Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Monday, December 12, 2016

What Happened to the 'Fiscal Conservatives'?


It's Advent season which means we are holding our weekly vigils at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine declaring our desire to see the Navy shipyard converted to build sustainable technologies like commuter rail systems, wind turbines, tidal power systems and solar power.

The military has the largest carbon bootprint on Mother Earth and if the future generations are going to have a future we need to stop waging endless war and instead build for the future.  But it won't happen unless we keep making the demand and continue to build support for the idea.

Mary Beth Sullivan wrote an excellent article a couple years ago on the conversion issue that was printed in The Humanist magazine.  I highly recommend reading it here.  Please help spread the word on this important concern by sharing the article.  Even though it is a couple years old it remains a fresh and vital story.

News today here in Bath, Maine is that Trump's pick for Secretary of War, General 'Mad Dog' Mattis, serves on the Board of Directors of the General Dynamics weapons corporation that just so happens to own Bath Iron Works.  Our local paper ran the story along with a quote from Mattis that reads:

“With the cutbacks to the Army and Air Force and fewer forces around the world, military aspects of our strategy will inevitably become more naval in character,” said Mattis. “Today I question if our shipbuilding budget is sufficient, especially in light of the situation in the South China Sea.”
Thus many local folks I am certain are cheering and thinking that BIW is in hog heaven.  Nothing like a new enemy (China) to keep the very expensive warships rolling off the production line.

I can't help but wonder what happened to all the 'fiscal conservatives' who were so worried about the massive debt the nation is piling onto the backs of our children.  Recent disclosures indicate that the Pentagon buried an internal study that reported $125 billion could be saved in military contracting costs if simple administrative changes were made.  Or maybe the fiscal conservatives might want to call for an audit of the Pentagon since several trillion $$$$ are reported 'missing' in the bowels of the war machine.  Somebody must have shrink wrapped the money and shipped it out on pallets to some war zone.  I can imagine a bunch of lower level officers stuffing the wads of cash into their ruck sacks to be used for a deposit on their very own Shangri-La when they got home.

Just imagine the good that could be done with all that wasted money!  We could obviously retool the military industrial complex and change our entire energy system to one that would allow for life rather than the greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.

Many ask: what about the corporate executives who keep doing all these terrible things that are killing life on this planet?  Don't they worry about their own families and how they are impacted?

It's a good question and the only answer that makes any sense to me is that these cats are so blinded by their love for the dollar bill that they can't see anything else - their spiritual connection to our Mother Earth is broken - snapped like a twig.  What else could it be?

Bruce

1 Comments:

Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

There's a tax return preparer ad that we'll be seeing in a couple of weeks, 'get your billions back, america' and last (this) year had a representation of 4 billion dollars in hundred dollar bills. As drug dealers know, you could count money easier with a scale, assuming the bills are the same denomination. 10 kilograms of $100 bills is a million dollars. The depiction of somebody in any shady business displaying a briefcase allegedly containing multiple millions is pure crap. It's well known but it's an easy deal if people are trusting enough to allow a movie or commercial to warp their perceptions.

I used to do that with drugs btw, but found myself limiting my intake to weed because you can taste if it's been altered. Then I gave that part up 30 years ago. I just chalk it up as experience for writing semi-anecdotes like this.

So the commercial shows what 4 billion bucks looks like, appropriately on the deck of a US warship, probably a decommissioned WW2 carrier, 4 shrink wrapped pallets. 4 trillion
would be 4,000 pallets. I'm one of Those Fellows, I sometimes do math just for fun.

I wonders, yes I does, if we have a similar situation as when the Bonus Army got attacked by the Real Army, when there were still survivors on pension from the Civil War, Indian Campaigns and of course Spanish-American, Philippines campaign, WW1 and all the little wars, "guerrillas" (the correct spanish word for a fighter is "guerrero") which have been a constant use of violence and fear of violence to manipulate the political, cultural and economic institutions of other countries...

Because we have people now who are veterans of WW2, Korea, Algeria, VietNam and a whole slew of wars which haven't made the grade for history books. I just checked the really inclusive (they even counted chaplains and drum and bugle corps statistics) of all servicemen, without mention of Selective Service slavery, but the numbers ran down the page and are hiding in a corner somewhere.

When I have more time I'll read it again and do all the math. Mind, any wars in which America indulged without a declaration of war, including the Orwellian "war on terror" are in their basic reality were and are Terrorism. It fits the primary definition of Terrorism used by the U.S. State Dept and the Pentagon. As close as a two-party "democracy" being run by the same tiny minority of citizens is to the same agencies' definition of Fascism.

So the numbers are hidden. Hidden deep. Our Heritage Foundation Senator here, Doug Lamborn, set up the VA to fail, by sponsoring a bill to mandate VA compliance with a whole package of unfunded services. The only way vets can get any shadow of the benefits promised would be for disbanding the military completely, except for a small corps who would, like from the movie Braveheart, go from door to door in every country we've devastated and offering to kiss the ass of every person. I'm nominating General Mad Dog to be the Lead Ass-kisser. On an unpaid basis.
World War One soldiers got half their pay in unfunded War Bonds and a bogus promise of a bonus. And were constantly bombarded by propaganda from their own leaders to buy even more Bonds. If it's good enough for the Boys in The Trenches, it's good enough for General Wall Street Mad-dog. He can count the overpayment of his salary on that basis, for the entire length of his "service", and only owe every penny for beyond the length of his miserably misspent life, and take away any widows benefit from him. Again, Good enough for the Trenches, good enough for him. And any Commissioned Officer who expressed support for the endless war policy.

Senators too.

12/13/16, 12:56 PM  

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