Saturday, February 21, 2015

The mind-boggling grotesquery of the U.S. military - Notes & Errata by Mark Morford

This is the chart.


This is the chart that blows away all other charts, that makes babies melt and flowers scream, that equally intoxicates and befuddles all viewpoints along the political spectrum; it’s the meta-, mega-, uber-chart that you rarely hear anyone in the corridors of power fight much about, not in the normal sense anyway, largely due to its stupendous insanity, imposing wastefulness, open-palmed insult to all you ever cared about.

Really, how can you not be sort of amazed, in a gross-all-over kind of way, when you see how the US military budget is so vast, so grotesquely outsized that, at upwards of $600 billion, it not only dwarfs all other expenditures in our economy, it’s actually larger than the military budgets of the next 10 major world powers on the planet, combined?

Whenever I hear that factoid, I just can’t make it scale. It just sits there, like a lump, a massive tumor on the face of the nation that no one dares mention, even though it’s the size of Mars. Even today, after many post-Cold War budget cutbacks, we still spend 10 times more than Russia, five times more than China, and so on. No one else even comes close. Is this not viciously surreal? Insane?

It’s not exactly something to be proud of.

And we can now add to the list of Obama depressants the fact that the president just proposed a massive increase to the US military budget, far larger than Congress allows (and they allow a lot), most of it earmarked for ongoing wind-down in Afghanistan, attacking the extremist freak-show that is ISIL, and to “modernize” the creaky US military so as to better keep up with technological advances in China and elsewhere, so we’re better able to combat – well, who knows what. Chinese robots? Magic drones? Awful comedies about North Korea? Impossible to know.

Complete story at - The mind-boggling grotesquery of the U.S. military - Notes & Errata by Mark Morford

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