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: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. @BruceKGagnon

Thursday, March 28, 2013

GLOBAL REPUTATION FOR HYPOCRISY

 
  • As the wealthy have gotten wealthier, a new study reported by the Washington Post found, an economic arms race has been created in which the middle class has been spending beyond their means in order to keep up with the Joneses. The study calls this “trickle-down consumption.” The result? Americans are saving less, bankruptcies are becoming more common, and politicians are pushing for policies to make it easier to take on debt. As the rich spend more on things like expensive preschools or fitness clubs or even fashion, their middle-income neighbors start spending more on these goods too — without cutting back elsewhere. It's the "success" mythology in action.  Another example, in this declining economy, 32% of US couples in 2012 spent more than $25,000 on their wedding.

  • In 2011 the wealthiest Americans (those with earnings in the top 20%) contributed on average 1.3% of their income to charity.  By comparison the poorest Americans at the bottom of the income pyramid donated 3.2% of their income to charity.  The poor tend to give to religious organizations and social-service charities, while the rich prefer to support colleges and universities, arts organizations, and museums.

  • The Boston Globe reports that Gregory Foster, a former Army officer and West Point graduate who now teaches national security studies at the National Defense University in Washington, has leveled blistering charges of misplaced power and a morally bankrupt culture in the nation’s “military-industrial complex”.  While attending a military budget conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts Foster's speech was laced with accusations of “militaristic civilian officials” who serve not as civilian overseers as intended but “military advocates” who are “politically afraid of the military.”  What we have is an “American way of war” on autopilot that is too expensive, wasteful, and indiscriminately destructive—“killing people and breaking things”—and a growing global reputation of hypocrisy.

  • Natural Society reports: Genetically modified humans is the next venture for biotechnology companies working with the US military, with the admitted goal of producing a ‘super soldier’ that does not require food or sleep to perform Olympic-style physical feats. The genetically modified humans, or ‘super soldiers’, will even be able to regrow limbs that were destroyed by enemy fire and live off of their fat stores for extreme lengths of time. Backed by $2 billion a year in funding, the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently unleashed the news after years of secret experimentation and study. The organization did not say whether or not genetically modified humans currently exist to such an extent, however it is known based on previous reports that human chimeras have already been created outside of the public spotlight. Such scientific experiments have drawn fire from scientists and activists alike, who are demanding for laws to forbid the creation of ‘monsters’. 

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