Tag Archives: Military Industrial Complex

Joe Rogan Talks to Another Asshole

Former CIA Agent Gives His Reasons to Give Up On Our Democratic Society

The right never had any reason to fear a Bernie Sanders presidency… he would never have been able to do the things everyone loved to her him talk about. He best served as what he was… a straw man to move the conversation in the direction it should be going but never goes because the clout and monopoly of the public discourse on the right–where all the money and lobbying and PR emanates from most effectively.

The problem being one of the most influential political players at the lowest level of the political structure… not the individual voter, but those financially/professionally successful who are the gate keepers to lucrative careers giving pass or fail based upon a conservative perspective.Thus tainting and empowering others with the same political bias.

Bernie simply did not have an espoused platform which was realistic in office. And, he has much less experience, as does everyone else in the field of contention, with the Executive Branch than Hillary Clinton.

The president simply does not have the power people assign him with. It’s akin to the misunderstanding of corporate governance. In corporate governance, typically what is desired is not the CEO with “imagination” (= crazy ideas), but the guy who isn’t going to try and change or veer the ship into unfamiliar waters. With the POTUS it is very similar. He is like a cheerleader who plots a course and then must motivate the electorate to put a noticeable fire under the ass of their congress people. This is why the crazy BS coming from the mouths of elected officials must be taken with a grain of salt. They are there to convey the best (that is the most sensible and coherent) wishes of their constituency. If their constituency is a bunch of uneducated, misinformed, medicated, imbeciles… then guess what those elected officials are going to sound like… and those politicians are going to be that much more beholden to the corporate entities who bought their dress and brought them to the ball.

Eisenhower was a rare exception. He was at the time the oldest man to ever hold the office of president… he had already accomplished a singular historical feat in his position as Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe… and by his own accomplishments as a low ranking officer with no family connections or name to aid him, he personally dismantled the pre-existing societal pattern–which still reigned during WWI–of the command staff being comprised of members of the aristocracy rather than of those of merit. He single-handedly accomplished within the armed forces the fight so hard fought and to no avail in the civilian sector for a more egalitarian society. And as one of our wisest American statesmen, not only warned us of the Military Industrial Complex, but took measures to mitigate it’s effect and influence in the society which were highly successful. A single man had attained position, influence and with a plan he could implement to guide the ship of state out of the dangerous waters into which it was heading and onto a route which would see the creation of a middle-class who could educate their children enough and give them enough of a sense of empowerment and responsibility that they would end the next war.

Obama tried to do something in the same vein with much less to work with. His tackling of the Healthcare issue was taking on another of our domestic leviathans, the insurance industry. The insurance industry has managed to surpass the clunky structure of the monopoly with instead the Byzantine erection of an empire federation structure to the countless companies that make up the insurance industry. They have erected a structure of biblical proportions and scale to dominate our society with their narrow view of self-interest, market-share and societal obligation, a pyramid. By erecting a hierarchy of companies so impervious to challenge… market share is so solidly assured… that the only thing lost in the crumbs left to the lesser scavengers amount merely to a displacement of liability for catering to high risk markets. With this supreme accomplishment in organizing an entire industry with a guaranteed market-share… The Insurance Industry has managed to allocate unprecedented resources to and bring to bear a juggernaut of lobbying and political clout. So much so, that the industry has managed to attack the very foundations of societal thought on societal obligation that we are willing to see people live in poverty, suffering and deliberate neglect of their best interest when they are their most vulnerable for the sake of the quarterly earnings of an industry whose product is a necessity of life! The only reason being that they have grown too powerful to challenge. And yet, Obama challenged them. His fight with the insurance industry over the healthcare issue was never going to be fought and won in a single set of legislation. First, and this is what Obama care was intended to do and is slowly accomplishing, what was needed is to take down the structure of the Insurance industry’s political and societal might by disrupting it’s Byzantine Empire structure… By rocking the industry back on it’s heals, Obama was merely seeking to set up the fight for the next punch… an effort which the nickle and dime carrot-top in office is trying desperately to squander.

Hillary Clinton would have been our best bet to deliver that next punch… and who knows how many others she might’ve got in before her time was up? She was the best person, in the right place at the right time… but as is often the case in human history, our collective idiocy carried the day. It seems we are determined to learn the same dummy lessons over and over again the hard way.



Eisenhower, the Car and You (and Devo)

There is a great Devo song, Jerkin’ Back and Forth. Ostensibly, it seems to lament the distance and strife within a romantic relationship… “I know I let you tell me what to do… you were confident you knew best. Now thinks aren’t working like you want them to… your confidence is what I detest.” But then the song goes on to illustrate the experience of that failed relationship… “You got me, looking up high… You got me, searching down low… You got me, I know you know… You got me jerkin back and forth!”

I was sitting in my car heading west on Chicago Ave at a quarter to 5 in the evening… and making good time from the Loyola campus just north of Downtown Chicago to Forest Park when it occurred to me what the song was really about–all the lyrical imagery pointed to one thing. I already had it in my catalog of jest to recount my empathy with a ton of rumbling steel… seriously, few could handle the wheel and city traffic like I could. I had cut my teeth, irresponsibly, on vodka and pizza delivery with an unhealthy dose of nihilism. I learned the size of my car in metric… down to the millimeter. And could squeeze into openings so tight the illegality was unquestionable–I was well practiced at being a little prick, in traffic, and, I am sure, elsewhere.

Driving skill in a city like Chicago–where trucking and commuters try to mix like a rancid vinaigrette–is like the meat and potatoes to the daily serving of naked lunch. I once caught myself pissing into a thirty two ounce cup  20 min from the end of my commute the former contents of which, the carbonated sugar water, I had purchased and drank as I entered the “expressway”, at the beginning. And as I felt the relief of that draining I realized… I still wasn’t home yet! And looking around at all the other commuters, I thought… “What the fuck are we doing! We sit in this same traffic jam EVERY FUCKING DAY!” But it wasn’t until that trip home on Chicago Ave, when Devo was playing on my tapedeck, that I realized… All the imagery pertains to the experience of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. This song isn’t about the breakdown of a romance between two former lovers, but the tyranny of our relationship with the car!

“You tell me people like to suffer; you tell me that’s the way it is…” the song continues, “You said that things are getting better; you said I should accept all this.” But then the revelation, “You think it’s funny, but what I say is true. The reason that I live like this… Is all because of you, You, YOU!”

The metro sprawls into suburb and that space is largely determined by the need for a minimum of 32ft wide streets, and the need for parking, and the need to alleviate congestion… and so the sprawl spreads. And to handle that space needed to be traversed to arrive daily to work… the car becomes even more necessary for basic participation in society. Along with all of it’s peripheral adjunct… insurance, driving school, gas stations, petroleum states, traffic courts, the DMV and don’t forget the scumbag mechanic who charged your neighbor $1200 for a brake job on a 5 year old car! (But the guy isn’t so bad, he lowered it to $900 when the bill came due) But let’s not forget the drive thru dining and the bigbox malls where the green space is easement like after thought between the acres of vacant treeless parking lot and an economy that siphons the wealth of the entire community to far off accumulations leaving behind a worker pool honed to perfection to fulfill it’s role tending the cash register after two weeks of training–and consignment to a life of renting from landlords who house people little better than kennels do dogs. But in order to pay for that car, it’s fuel, upkeep and repairs… you have to bring in so much money and therefore have to work so many hours little matter the arrangement!

But how did we get here?! After WWII we went from being an economy in economic crisis, or “depression”, to being the only nation on the planet with a modern industrial capacity whose infrastructure was unmarred by war. And the nation providing not only corporate guidance and service to aid with reconstruction, but the loans to pay for it to boot! We were so flush with wealth that in the late fifties there was no end to the need for engineers in sight. Universities created curriculums to figuring out how to convince people to buy what they never knew they needed. The single family home and the suburbs as we know them today were born and still the average worker, as rich as he might feel, was still being filched out of his and her fair share. And the thieves still couldn’t steal their unfair share fast enough… they needed help! An entirely new political constituency was born to support this national and soon to be international fleecing, the modern investor. Finally, everyone had money enough to put the money where their mouth was… the fat cat’s pants pocket–only that wasn’t his pocket, bub, and you’re not whistlin’ dixie.

And to add to all this theft and marketplace power brokered malfeasance, such as wages in steady decline since the 70’s and the occasional cannibalization of your less savvy investors by their bigger player counterparts as bubbles burst from time to time… we have the necessity of owning a car–and don’t talk to me about public trans or leasing–woefully underfunded and over-priced.

But at a certain point in our history, our oldest (up to that point)–and probably wisest, most competent–president made the decision, rather than more fully developing a national rail system, to, instead, develop the national system of highways. In this he set us on a course which linked our future and sense of national character with the car–we would all learn to empathize with at least a ton of steel on a daily basis. And so the inception of the ‘Big Three’ in Detroit was paved. And in his farewell speech to the Nation, he gave us a clue as to why he decided as he had. He warned us of the influence of an industrial Goliath with little to counter it’s influence over the polity and the Nation. His warnings about the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex have become enshrined in our national consciousness, unfortunately, like most things which are enshrined, their true meaning eludes us to greater and greater degree with every passing moment. You see, corporations might be hyper-efficient at what the do, but that is largely because their scope of responsibility is so narrow and they have every incentive in pursuing their limited, and yet cavernous ambitions. They naturally have the ear of any politician wishing to seek or keep office, they hold the key to the dreams of any would be employee, and they compartmentalize their conduct to the point of thoughtless, zombie-like, momentum. It is completely within the realm of possibility that an overbearing industry whose profits are determined by conflict would steer the nation into conflict merely to generate profits! This was Eisenhower’s warning even as we were slipping headlong into an inevitable war in Vietnam.

Eisenhower’s answer was elegant and profoundly insightful as to the limits of his office and the workings of our society and psychology. He opted for a course which would have every viable consumer in the country driving a car within a generation. Creating a society of nomads and an industrial Goliath powerful enough to match the influence of the Military Industrial Complex. Even now, aside from the citizen driver, the single most common employment for men from state to state is truck driver. My assertion is, that today, we have our ‘Fast and Furious’ mentality, our reliance on the car as foil to that industrial monolith whose incentive to send us to war was all but unchallenged. It is a sad irony that the worst political regimes and the context for war and conflict throughout the world is now over Oil.

As for the lover in the song, Jerkin’ Back and Forth… he isn’t even home yet.