FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Now That We Are Saved

by TOM HASTINGS

We are saved —so our politicians tell us —from a plunge off the fiscal cliff. In all reports, however, it is mentioned that President Obama settled for a slice of what he claimed to be after, which was to raise taxes on those whose income is more than a $quarter million annually. Instead, the Republican bravehearts kept that rapacious goal at bay and made certain that taxes would only increase for those making more than $400,000 per year. Brilliant!

According to media reports, the only actual spending cuts contemplated were those that would affect luxuries for the average person, such as Social Security benefits or medical care for the elderly or disabled. That’s the spirit, boys!

It’s important that the American media avoid all mention of the Pentagon budget and how each $billion cut there would free enough funds to create a net gain of thousands of jobs. Instead, it’s crucial to take all Pentagon claims without factchecking, and convince the American people that the slightest cut to DOD would slash jobs wholesale and strip body armor off US troops and leave them driving used Ford Festivas into combat. Framing any threat to Pentagon funding as seditious is key.

After all, the Pentagon budgets more than $4 billion each year just for publicity, so you can just print what they send you, write what they say to you, and in fact seek their expertise when it comes to responding to any conflict anywhere on Earth. Don’t talk to those who might research and understand other forms of power, you know, the ones who might know about how the Velvet Revolution happened across the Warsaw Pact, the Colored Revolutions, or Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to deposing Hosni Mubarak, the CIA and Pentagon utterly failed to see any of it coming because that is a different sort of force, so you need to avoid analysts who might disagree with the Pentagon approach and conclusions so you don’t confuse anyone.

Do not repeat not mention that the nuclear arsenal, for instance, provides the US with no usable defensive options and above all avoid any TV, radio, or writing that calculates the projected increases of some $600 billion in upgrading those nukes over the next decade. This is not the time to question the value in threatening the unthinkable and certainly not the time to release the figures on what some say could be saved by starting to mothball these weapons. Ignore any exceptions to this guideline and do not cite any reports that show which nuclear weapons contractors lobby and contribute to which politicians.

Thank you, politicians and mainstream corporate media, for your careful framing of these Big Issues so that we, the dumb apathetic citizenry, can proceed with our credit card shopping in anticipation of the next national holiday.

Don’t we all gain 10 lbs. each MLK Day?

Tom H. Hastings directs PeaceVoice.

 

 

Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the Conflict Resolution Department at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail