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Nothing is LESS free market than our military-industrial, oil-car-corporate, bank-on-dole economy

Nothing is LESS free market than our military-industrial, oil-car-corporate, bank-on-dole economy the GOP sucks up to.

I tweeted this following a long – for Twitter – discussion that typically pitted reason on the left against smoke from the right. It is time to start framing our rhetoric accurately. None of the freedom conservatives say they want is in today’s economy. Conservatives are defending the most government-centric society you can imagine. They simply want to cherry-pick who gets the gravy. If it’s military-industrial, oil-car corporate and bank-friendly, it gets a pass. That is where GOP pay comes from. If it is the result of this huge welfare capitalism, a mass of Americans reeling and on the hook to these very same forces, well, the devil take the hindmost. The last laugh will be administered by an impatient Deity who is stretching at the moment in preparation for another summer and fall of gorgeous weather that the media will describe as once in a century. We would not want to get Chevron’s nose out of joint now, would we? Oppose!


Moment of Truth In Afghanistan, Iran, Israel-Palestine, SE Asia, Africa, FSU Afghan War Needs New Strategy: US Commander McChrystal

I include many areas where the world faces huge challenges, including the former Soviet Union (FSU).

We make a mistake when we segment challenges. One boat rocks others. We may not be gaia but there is some truth to our interdependence.

In all these situations, violence is active or incipient. In all of them, there is no solution being proposed that promises an end to the prospect of more of the same.

To cite examples:

There is every possibility that Iran will remain firm in refusing to stop enriching uranium and this will activate Israel eventually. If that happens the US may not be far behind.

There is every chance that the civil violence (if that is not an oxymoron) in many areas of the FSU will continue and that worsening economic conditions there will exacerbate conflict. Again involving other nations including the US.

In Africa there are at least five situations in which any notion of rights and decent behavior is a pipe dream without international action that would involve the US.

In Asia, Burma and Sri Lanka are merely the most conspicuous examples of continuing repression. I have not even mentioned North Korea.

And in Afghanistan we have the head US military man suggesting that with more resolve and manpower we can succeed — a truth that is no more likely to hold than the belief that Iraq will be a stable and unified democracy over time.

No serious thinker following Nietzsche and living through the Holocaust believes that the world can permanently weather a continuation of the dynamics which gave rise to the cataclysmic wars of the 20th Century.

We cannot weather full economic breakdown and a global nuclear winter.

How then are we to proceed?

I see no way other than for our President to declare a global emergency and address the underlying issue of a global military-industrial complex and a reliance on force that is fueled by governments still operating with 20th century notions that the sword is the instrument of peace and justice.

President Obama needs to declare a restructuring of the moral apparatus of the world. Realpolitik must be seen as the politics of negotiation and peace. Religion must be seen as the proximate capacity to dream, not as a license to kill. Economies must be made to create sustainable communities, not fortress societies.

Only the leadership of courageous persons can accomplish the movement needed today. Specifically, in Afghanistan we need to understand that there cannot be a military victory, period. In the future the only real victories will be those of aroused peoples who insist that the ways of war be permanently shelved. This will mean more movements like those in Iran following the most recent elections.

The President needs to stand at the helm of a global civil rights movement. He needs to show that realism is not inconsistent with this. He needs to hark back to Eisenhower and identify the military-industrial complex as the true enemy of civilization.

This is a moment of truth. This is not one person’s belief. It is the stance of all who have lived under the lash of the global war machine. We must reject the leadership of those for whom belief in force has overcome belief in themselves.

The moment of truth is a reappropriation of who we are and of our inherent possibilities.


Obama Socks Unbelieving Defense Contractors

This is a big one. Can the Man of Steel beat down Ike’s Military Industrial Complex. Get up to speed so you can help.


With President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he intends to attack wasteful Pentagon spending, one of the most powerful and entrenched interests in Washington — the multi-billion dollar defense lobby — is sure to retaliate. Obama aides insist that they’re prepared for the fight ahead. Defense reformers and lobbyists aren’t yet convinced that they are.

As part of a plan for fiscal responsibility, Obama issued a memorandum to all government agencies and departments informing them that the White House’s Office of Management and Budget will issue new guidelines by July 1 instructing them on what “inherently governmental” jobs cannot be outsourced and what new procedures are to be created to prevent government contracts from spiraling over budget — including “modifying or canceling such contracts.” At a press conference unveiling the memorandum, Obama singled out the defense industry for special opprobrium. “The days of giving defense contractors a blank check are over,” Obama said.