Tag Archives | Military-Industrial Complex

The Military Industrial Complex Stimulus Program is Undeterred

Is there a panic on the Potomac?  The Congress has turned into a wailing wall just to hear all the moans about threatened cuts in what is patriotically known as our Defense budget.

Never mind that many of the cuts were ordered from above because the people at the top know how much they have to slash given all the waste, planned obsolescence and other waste they can afford to trim before they cut the bone or some hostile force can bring us to our knees.

The people who experience the reality up close and personal know that the public is being defrauded on almost every level.

Listen to Sgt. 1st Class Robert Zlotow from Fort Riley, Kan. who had the guts to send this letter to Army Times.

“I nearly spit out my dinner when I read your headline “Fighting through austerity” (March 4).

Even with these “evil” and “scary” cuts factored in, the defense budget will still rise every year in the foreseeable future.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the projected defense budget will still go from $593 billion in fiscal year 2014 to $702 billion in 2023, even if this sequester is allowed to stand.

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Explaining the US Government to ‘Star Wars’ Fans

Found on Reddit.com.

I was unable to identify who created this clever illustration, but I’d love to know his or her name. I’m particularly amused by the artist’s choice of Salacious Crumb as a stand-in for the mainstream media. I can’t argue with that, or just about any of the depictions here.

Can we expand the analogy? What might Han Solo (frozen in carbonite during this particular scene from Return of the Jedi) represent? How about Luke Skywalker?

 

 

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A Tear for Africa: Abduction and Reduction

Photo: Nasa (PD)

From Maximilian Forte of Zero Anthropology, A photo and text essay examining the intersection of western hegemony and humanitarianism.

Helpless, pleading, wanting, needing, small, weak, staring at you, black–this is the anti-bogeyman invented by Western humanitarianism, what passes as morality in the ideology of empire (yet again). Past the time of a London Missionary Society, we now have the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the moral dogma of a white, western elite that projects its abusive notion of “protection” everywhere it is not wanted. Hence we have the “smug self-congratulation” marking Obama’s “Atrocity Prevention Board” and empowering the U.S. to undertake global police work. Part of a long history of casting wars as “humanitarian,” the “moral compass” of Western imperialism has an appropriately nautical sound in this commercial that declares the U.S. Navy to be “a force for global good” (nautical or extraterrestrial perhaps: the images are inspired by the opening of Star Wars, and the narration echoes Darth Vader).

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US Air Force Training for Battle Against High-Tech Enemies

Photo Credit: Department of Defense

Via Raw Story:

With operations in Afghanistan ending in 2014, the United States Air Force is turning its eye toward preparing its pilots for battle against enemies with sophisticated air combat capabilities. Could this be another indication that the United States is gearing up for war with Iran or North Korea?

In day and night time battles, they faced off against US pilots flying F-15 and F-16 fighter jets painted in camouflage resembling the patterns on Russian warplanes.

The red team pilots are part of dedicated “aggressor” squadrons that work full-time at emulating tactics of potential enemies, based on the latest intelligence analysis from spy agencies.

Commanders are also increasingly adding simulated underground targets to red flag scenarios, officials said, training pilots on techniques that might be required if the United States moves to take out buried nuclear sites in North Korea or Iran.

“Underground targets are becoming more of a factor, especially with Iran, North Korea scenarios,” Thompson said.

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The Military-Entertainment Complex Hits Summer Cinema Screens

What do you get when the Pentagon joins into a symbiotic relationship with our major entertainment industries? The birthing of the ever-growing baby that we call militainment. The military grants filmmakers access to high-powered technology and in return, Hollywood propagates films that make warfare seem legitimate. Al Jazeera discusses Act of Valor, an $80-million-grossing action film released earlier this year which was commissioned by the Navy’s Special Warfare Command and goes "beyond propaganda":
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Lauryn Hill Versus The Military-Industrial Complex

Lauryn Hill. Photo: Lisa Liang (CC)

Well what do you think, will Lauryn Hill fare better against the tax evasion charges she faces than Wesley Snipes did? Ms. Hill explains her position on her Tumblr:

For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground. I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda. Having put the lives and needs of other people before my own for multiple years, and having made hundreds of millions of dollars for certain institutions, under complex and sometimes severe circumstances, I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance. I entered into my craft full of optimism (which I still possess), but immediately saw the suppressive force with which the system attempts to maintain it’s control over a given paradigm.

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The Self-Guided Bullet

Presumably the marketing pitch will be that you literally can't miss. From KRQE:
Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have invented a bullet that guides itself to the target. Sandia has wide expertise at miniature technology, and the bullet works like a tiny guided missile. The patented design doesn't shoot straight. Instead of a spiral rotation, the bullet twists and turns to guide itself towards a laser directed point. It can make up to thirty corrections per second while in the air...
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The Candidates And The Military Industrial Complex

Obama family getting in Marine OneMegan Carpenter investigates the ties that bind, for RawStory (with thanks to DeepCough):

Though Americans far and away identify economic problems as the biggest issue facing the nation, according to Gallup, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has been gaining support by talking about the need to restrict the military industrial complex and end what he terms “war profiteering” — most recently in his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary.

By contrast, former governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), currently leading the pack of GOP candidates, called for a strong America and a strong relationship with Israel — rhetoric that has most often accompanied robust military spending. Meanwhile, back in Washington, President Obama thought last year that the prospect of automatic defense spending cuts would be enough to pressure the supercommittee into a deal on the debt: it wasn’t, and now he may be stuck with them.

Given all of that, and Romney’s pro-business platform, you would think he’d be the favored son of the defense industry, even in the early stages of the 2012 race.

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The Drones Are Coming Home

dronerWill baby-sized drones soon be used routinely for tracking residential property lines and other domestic purposes? With our nation’s adventures in Iraq coming to an end, unmanned drones will need to be kept busy doing something…via BLDG BLOG:

A post on sUAS News—a blog tracking the “small unmanned aviation system industry”—we read about the possibility of drone aircraft being used to enforce residential property tax.

Citing a recent court ruling in Arkansas that “has approved the use of aerial imagery to collect data on property sizes,” and making reference to the already-controversial state deployment of aerial surveillance tools, sUAS suggests that drones could someday be used to manage a near-realtime catalog of local property expansions, transfers, and other tax-relevant land alterations.

Whether enforcing local building codes—keeping an eye, for instance, on illegally built structures such as the so-called Achill Henge in Ireland—or reconciling on-the-ground property lines with their administrative representations back in the city land archives, how soon will drones become a state tool for regional landscape management?

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