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View Diary: cancel the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (77 comments)

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  •  Chop the Military by 90% (11+ / 0-)

    That would go a long way toward increasing the safety of the other 6.7 billion people on the planet.

    As an aside, it would do wonderful things for our country to have that money spent on social causes.

    The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

    by teacherjon on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:13:43 AM PST

    •  Maybe (5+ / 0-)

      I do wonder to what extent the rest of the world benefits from "Pax Romana" of knowing they shouldn't even bother to try to build up a military to conquer stuff.

      That said we've gone way overboard in the military department, especially considering our anemic respose to genuine threats. (Global Heating, but also stuff like epidemic diseases and nuclear proliferation.)

      •  isn't most of the F-35 made in Ohio (Boehner) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrY10cK, BusyinCA

        Many of the parts for military planes are made in several different States - convenient for Congress critters representing those States to keep the MIC going strong.
        ugh.

        "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

        by MartyM on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:07:45 AM PST

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        •  Yeah, but I'm sure Boehner doesn't work on them. (0+ / 0-)

          Those are jobs, whether we like the program or not.  It's not arbitrary.

          Off the fiscal cliff to the waiting jagged slivers of impending fiscal impalement. Out of the fiscal minefield and into the boiling pools of toxic fiscal sludge. -- (taken from The Hyperbolic Chamber: A Republican Primer for Harvesting Morons)

          by Rich N Mdriems on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:44:54 AM PST

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          •  Let's hear what a decorated WWII vet had to say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BusyinCA

            about those jobs:

            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. . . . We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
            ~ Dwight David Eisenhower, "The Chance for Peace," speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 16, 1953

            Reaganomics noun pl: belief that unregulated capitalism can produce unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources and we the people can increase revenue by decreasing revenue.

            by FrY10cK on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 12:06:45 PM PST

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            •  So the argument is to scrap the defense industry (0+ / 0-)

              good luck with that.

              Off the fiscal cliff to the waiting jagged slivers of impending fiscal impalement. Out of the fiscal minefield and into the boiling pools of toxic fiscal sludge. -- (taken from The Hyperbolic Chamber: A Republican Primer for Harvesting Morons)

              by Rich N Mdriems on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 12:43:56 PM PST

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              •  No. (0+ / 0-)

                Just reduce the weapons industry so it's proportional to what the rest of the world spends on weapons.

                Reaganomics noun pl: belief that unregulated capitalism can produce unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources and we the people can increase revenue by decreasing revenue.

                by FrY10cK on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 02:20:33 PM PST

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                •  I support that thought... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FrY10cK

                  ...we spend as much as the next 13-14 nations combined.  You would think there is a sane level we could scale back to.  

                  Off the fiscal cliff to the waiting jagged slivers of impending fiscal impalement. Out of the fiscal minefield and into the boiling pools of toxic fiscal sludge. -- (taken from The Hyperbolic Chamber: A Republican Primer for Harvesting Morons)

                  by Rich N Mdriems on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:08:04 PM PST

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    •  Oh, the Horror!!!! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maracucho, Kickemout, chimene, FrY10cK

      how about a 9% cut?? and I'm talking about an actual 9% cut in the actual defense budget, not merely eliminating planned automatic budget increases due to "inflation"-- which are often touted as BIG painful cuts-- but aren't actually cuts at all.

      If a mere 9% cut was suggested, Stumpy McCain and the rest of the GOP war profiteers in congress would scream as if you were cutting off their fingers. the democrats in congress would, as usual, remain silent on this-- since most of them are protecting the defense corporations in their respective districts.

      "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:52:15 AM PST

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      •  The DoD budget is not unique in this respect. (0+ / 0-)
        how about a 9% cut?? and I'm talking about an actual 9% cut in the actual defense budget, not merely eliminating planned automatic budget increases due to "inflation"-- which are often touted as BIG painful cuts-- but aren't actually cuts at all.[Emp added]
        •  What Other Ox Never Gets Gored (0+ / 0-)

          I wonder?

          Agriculture? yes, the subsidies for millionaire/billionaire ranchers need to go away, but the farm bill includes SNAP (food stamps) so I'm not in favor of cutting that.

          Farm legislation is around $100 Bil per year, not even close to the bloated defense budget.

          "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

          by Superpole on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 02:19:59 PM PST

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    •  Most of the high tech innovation (0+ / 0-)

      currently driving the economies of the world were generated by U.S, military R&D contracts. One huge contributor that comes to mind is DARPA. This govenment agency was responsible for the initial development of computer technology. A long time ago (before computer companies Digital Equipment and Data General) when the main stream method of data comunication was via teletype) DARPA let contracts for the development of a centralized parts ordering system for all of the military branches. The goal of the miulitary was to reduce the redundancy in the parts distribution on a global basis. For example there was no sharing of tire warehousing between the all of the branches, so if an Air Force base needed 40 tires for one of its motorpools and in the same city there was an Army distribution warehouse that could have easily filled that tire requistion - that Air Force requisition would still have to be filled by an Air Force depot located thousands of miles elsewhere. The new DARPA system would prevent such transportation waste by processing the original requistion and assigning it to the closest military parts depot.  

      The DARPA system also worked to process requistions in relation to the size of inventory at various depots; so as to uniformly keep the inventory moving across the entire parts distribution system. It quickly became obvious to those companies participating in the competition for the final development contrct that a fairly sophisticated digital processing system would be necessary to run the system, namely a digital processor driven by a stored program. Hence this DARPA project unleashed a large scale long term  engineering development effort towards developing a teletype driven special purpose digital controller capable of managing a part supply network from military bases around the world.Over the decades that followed the digital controller gave way to the general purpose (small memory - 4k 8 bit word) mini-computer, which was followed by larger capacity mini-computers (64k, 32 bit word), which was followed by micro computers and more sophisticated software.

      There is a direct connection between the divergence of military R&D money from the high tech labs of America to the battlefields of Iraq and Afganistan. Military R&D money has ALWAYS been the engine that has produced the revolutionary achievements here in America. The development of the airplane is also a prime example.

      Likewise a Raytheon employee working in radar systems final test discovered the first Microwave "oven" when he left his lunch bag sitting on a dummy load sand-filled antenna that was hooke to a radar system that was on a test run for "burn-in". After opening his lunch bag he discovered the originally cold lunch sandwiches were all heated up too hot for eating. After recovering from his surprise, he rightly reasoned that it was the micowave energy from the radar system that heated up the sandwiches in his lunch bag that he had left sitting on top of the radar systems dummy antenna. The test technician also knew that the company threw away all magnetrons removed from the radar system's transmitter for not meeting the government's power requirements for burn-in testing. The technician surmised that these down-graded magnetron tubes could find commercial use to power a quick heating oven, that could be used to heat up sandwiches and other foods. He submitted his idea to Raytheon corporate headquarters and the company proceeded to act on his idea, and the rest is history. Who was buying those Raytheon radar systems? The U.S. Military.

      •  Accidental Innovation (0+ / 0-)

        Much like I'm an "accidental historian" (I don't like to read history, I find it dry, boring, and painfully tedious - but I do like to use it to back up my posts - hence I'm an accidental historian). Many point to things like the internet and the microwave - but those are "accidental innovation" that found their way into civilian life.

        R&D in the United States military ONLY exists because we are willing to spend oodles and oodles of money to figure out ways to kill our fellow human beings in this planet. The internet? A method of transmitting messages via different nodes in case of a nuclear war. But it didn't create the iPod or the Walkman or hundreds of thousands of other technologies.

        This belief that we are only driven to innovation in order to kill is what I call "accidental innovation" - it's usefulness in a non-killing mode comes about because someone realizes "oh, this might actually be useful." Killing other human beings is seldom useful. I could go on and on about it, but frankly, there are more learned people who have written about the subject. Go read them.

        Some of the products from NON-Wartime projects have seen the most use: for example sidewalks created by the WPA. The small town that I grew up in had miles and miles of sidewalks all stamped with WPA. The post office in my little town was WPA built (and has an awesome mural). At it's height, the WPA employed 3 million people. Surprisingly, that is almost EXACTLY the same number as the DoD - yet the DoD is around 4.7% of the GDP. The WPA never came close to that number.

        The head of the computer science department (when I was a student) told me a story about the CADET computer. It did addition via means of a lookup table. He said people argued CADET stood for "Can't Add - Doesn't Even Try". This is NOT the forefront of technology, it is make-do technology. Make do with whatever overpriced system comes out of the lab.

        The United States, in fact, LIMITS DARPA because their mission statement is "to maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military and prevent technological surprise from harming our national security by sponsoring revolutionary, high-payoff research bridging the gap between fundamental discoveries and their military use" - do you see the problem in this mission statement? Threats to the United States are not limited to military. In fact, i would argue the GREATEST threat is economic. And we are doing it to ourselves.

        DARPA is useless. It has only one goal, one function, to reach a military payoff. The argument that the United States depends on military R&D for advancement is old, dusty, and weak. I could make (but others have done a better job) the argument that far more has been done in other departments - the NIH for example.

        The simple fact is that the United States doesn't like R&D unless it IS military. Unless it is designed to kill another human being. This is the fallacy of "Advancement through War".

        The Intel 4004 was created for CALCULATORS (Busicom, a Japanese company). Profit and loss drives economies. Business drives economies. War is actually a DRAIN on economies (where was the profit in the Iraq or Afghan wars?).

        The reality is that, for the most part, military technology has no civilian use (or we hope to god it doesn't). Many of the technologies are not very good (Patriot missile) or downright dangerous - because they were designed for military use (duh). As much as my gun loving nut of a neighbor might like one, I see no reason for him to own a .50 caliber sniper rifle.

        Republicans fear the US turning into Greece want to implement austerity measures... like Greece.

        by feloneouscat on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:21:47 AM PST

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