Sunday, July 15, 2012

Olympic Uniforms and Other Bombs

Why are people complaining about the 2012 edition of the US Olympic Team's uniforms? I mean, what could be more American today than a military style beret, a corporation logo on the jacket, and a Made-In-China label tucked in, out of sight?

If anything demonstrates the flavor of American thinking and doing today, well, the uniform fits.

And while we're on the subject of American internationalism (you didn't know that was the subject, did you? Well, ultimately, it's not), why doesn't anyone seem willing to discuss military spending? It has often been stated, and not just by me,that the United States annual military budget -- not counting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- is almost equal to the military budgets of all the other nations of the world combined. That's a lot of bombs. Do we really need them? Do we really need so many soldiers overseas? Whom and what are we protecting?

The answer is not the American citizen. Americans faced, and are slowly trying to regroup from, the greatest Depression (they still call it a Recession) since the
1930's, with millions losing their jobs and millions losing their homes and no end in sight. And it's spreading around the world, and having the bigest military in the world did not forstall our real disaster. Standing armies are supposed to deter invasion, but who in their right minds would invade us now? Instead, we ARE the invaders, mercenaries in the employ of Corporate America to protect ITS interests even at the expense of our citizenry, and this status has allowed our economy to tank.

Think of it this way: I remember being told that it cost about $350,000 to kill one Viet Cong soldier during the Vietnam War. Just how much money did it cost to kill Osama Bin Laden?

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives spends two weeks, according to CBS Face The Nation this morning, symbollically voting down Obamacare. There is no "make it work, fix the kinks" attitude there, no progressive legislation pending, or if there is, it's pending forever, while congressmen spend untold millions of dollars to prove a point that was clearly made weeks ago. They do this, then how can we expect them to do anything meaningful?

By meaningful, I mean make some hard decisions, and start with military spending. Cut spending in half. I think we have enough drones and humvies and tanks and bombs for the moment. Bring our troops back home. Don't put them on the unemployment line; assign them to infrastructure repair. Stop building bombs, whose sole purpose is to be destroyed. Build roads.

This kind of thinking is subversive, and I know it. It's like the water engine -- there's no profit in it. But in the long run, three hundred billion dollars saved or re-directed won't solve the problems facing us, but it will help.

So, Mr. President and Mr. Romney, don't keep telling me what the other guy did wrong or failed to do. What is it, exactly, that YOU do plan to do?

And, dear members of Congress from every side of the aisle, why don't you resign en masse so we can start over? Do your job, or get out.

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