Sequestration and defense spending: the class war continues

via truth-has-a-liberal-bias

“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.” — George Orwell, from 1984


“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Defense CEOs vs. Workers

The military’s new fighter jet project only costs $1.45 trillion – While [Gov. Rick] Scott famously refused $2 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail in Florida, deriding it as an expensive boondoggle, his team shows no such hesitations about the $1.45 trillion F-35 project. The most expensive weapons system in Pentagon history, it has suffered technical setbacks, nearly a decade of production delays, and substantial cost overruns; the Pentagon currently estimates each plane will cost $135 million to build and maintain. So it’s no surprise that the Simpson-Bowles commission pointed to halving the Navy and Air Forces’ orders and eliminating the Marines’ version as a deficit-reduction step; in 2009, the Congressional Budget Office floated a similar cut. Any such reductions would lower the $1.59 billion in economic impact that, Lockheed boasts, Florida will get from F-35 contracts held by 95 in-state suppliers. […] During the Republican rebuttal to Obama’s 2012 State of the Union, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ripped the president for trying to “build a middle class out of government jobs paid for with borrowed dollars.” Yet just three months earlier, his deputy, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, blessed a report highlighting the stimulus brought to her state’s economy by nearly 40,000 deficit-exploding federal defense jobs. – Mother Jones

Where did your 2011 federal income taxes go? Find out more here.

“The U.S. defense budget is about 43 percent of the world’s total military spending — more than the combined defense spending of the next 17 nations, many of which are U.S. allies. Are Republicans really going to warn voters that America will be imperiled if the defense budget is cut 8 percent from projections over the next decade? In 2017, defense spending would still be more than that of the next 10 countries combined.” — George Will, The Washington Post 

CHARTS: U.S. Military Spending Is Totally Out Of Control And Can’t Last: “Between 2009 and 2010 defense spending increased 3 percent even as the economy continued to slow, with the 2012 military budget claiming $1.4 trillion tax dollars. That amount doesn’t even include classified programs and that money is buying expensive equipment that is just as costly to maintain.” —

wordsagainstchaos: With defense spending soaring, from 2001-2011, and government revenues falling to 24% below 2001 levels (imagine how difficult it would be to pay your bills if you were earning 24% less than you did 10 years ago), the United States finds itself in a security-state deficit crisis. If we can be smarter about how we manage our money, we can ease out of record deficits without crippling the middle class or the states.

Tennessee Tea Party goes Full Metal Orwell

Rewriting history to suit your personal comfort level is doubleplusgood.

Charles Johnson reports that Teabaggers in Tennessee are demanding that school textbooks leave out America’s history of slavery:

“…a group of Tea Party activists in Tennessee has renewed its push to whitewash school textbooks. The group is seeking to remove references to slavery and mentions of the country’s founders being slave owners.

“According to reports, Hal Rounds, the Fayette County attorney and spokesman for the group, said during a recent news conference that there has been “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

“[...] The group called for textbook selection criteria to include: “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

Oh, Fox News!

“Fair and balanced,” in an Orwellian sense. If you’re not looking. Move along now.  

Fox News hoodie disappears from online store after Geraldo Rivera’s comments

After Geraldo Rivera decided to put some of the blame for Trayvon Martin’s death squarely on the “head” of the sweatshirt he was wearing, the Internet (and Rivera’s own household) erupted in scorn. Many began sarcastically pointing out all the sweatshirt-wearing  people in the world that this meant Rivera was threatened by. The folks at BuzzFeed even pointed out that Fox News itself was selling a hooded sweatshirt on their online store.

And that’s when things got interesting. The sweatshirt has suddenly vanished and is no longer available to buy, according to BuzzFeed.

Where, just a few hours ago, BuzzFeed reported that Fox News fans could easily order a nice sweatshirt, they then found that a message at the same URL now informs them that “The search for ‘SWEATSHIRT’ returned no results. Please try your search again or change your selection.”

via: abaldwin360 | source

The War on Terror and the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

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“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.”George Orwell, 1984


The new Orwellian slogan for 2011

image: saturninefilms

Fox Newspeak

“Murdoch’s News Corporation, the owner of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, is the opposite of a true news corporation. It is news as in Orwell’s newspeak. Its major role is to peddle corporate propaganda, frighten politicians, and make lots of money. In those roles it has been successful. Yet the more we learn about Murdoch’s methods, the more we discover a lack of rudimentary ethics and a corporate culture that invites even criminality. The U.K. hacking scandal and the repeated lies of Murdoch’s associates (and even Scotland Yard) in that scandal have opened a new window on how Murdoch’s world really works. If Murdoch’s aims were just about money, we might understand the derangements of a greedy man. But when a billionaire octogenarian’s mad pursuit of money and influence takes precedence over the fate of the planet, a special kind of immorality is at play. That immorality will be Murdoch’s lasting legacy and the long-term association of the Murdoch name.” Jeffrey Sachs (via azspot)

Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Fox News.

Chris Hedges argues that both Huxley and Orwell were right

Chris Hedges tells The Progressive in an interview that both Aldous Huxley and George Orwell were on to something, and their dystopic visions are neither far fetched nor incompatible:

“I used to wonder: Is Huxley right or is Orwell right? It turns out they’re both right. First you get the new world state [Brave New World] and endless diversions as you are disempowered. And then, as we are watching, credit dries up, and the cheap manufactured goods of the consumer society are no longer cheap. Then you get the iron fist of Oceania, of Orwell’s 1984.

“That’s precisely the process that’s happened. We have been very effectively pacified by the pernicious ideology of a consumer society that is centered on the cult of the self—an undiluted hedonism and narcissism. That has become a very effective way to divert our attention while the country is reconfigured into a kind of neofeudalism, with a rapacious oligarchic elite and an anemic government that no longer is able to intercede on behalf of citizens but cravenly serves the interests of the oligarchy itself.”

Read more…

via: Utne Reader

Are we more ‘Brave New World’ or ‘1984’ today?

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”

Neil Postman (via: azspot)

Amusing ourselves to death: Aldous Huxley vs. George Orwell

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Amusing Ourselves to Death George Orwell Aldous Huxley Neil Postman cartoon