Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?

In the 1989 film Batman, after the caped crusader rescues a damsel in distress from the Joker using a fancy zipline gun, the clown prince of crime, played by Jack Nicholson, asks in bewilderment: “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” Especially upon seeing Batman’s nicest toys — his armored Batmobile and his military-grade Batwing fighter plane, … Continue reading “Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?”

Propaganda and Censorship: The Hollywood Industrial Complex

The new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will fly its first mission on June 14, 2013, but it won’t be over Afghanistan, Syria or Yemen. It’ll be over the mythical town of Smallville, in the upcoming Man of Steel. In reality, the F-35 may never fly; the program is currently grounded due to flight difficulties after … Continue reading “Propaganda and Censorship: The Hollywood Industrial Complex”

Is Lockheed Martin Sequester-Proof?

Bipartisanship in Washington is a rare thing these days.  However, no beltway battle in recent memory has been quite as partisan as the one over sequestration and its $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts.  Yet, for all the rancor between Democrats and Republicans over that so-called meat ax or poison pill, there has been … Continue reading “Is Lockheed Martin Sequester-Proof?”

War, Children: It’s Just a Welfare Check Away

When pundits name-check “the welfare-warfare state,” we usually mean, and are usually understood to mean, something along the lines of “bread and circuses at home, military adventurism abroad.” That’s as good a definition as any, I suppose, and certainly an accurate description of today’s global political environment, but it fails to really capture the nature … Continue reading “War, Children: It’s Just a Welfare Check Away”

Washington’s Militarized Mindset

Americans may feel more distant from war than at any time since World War II began. Certainly, a smaller percentage of us — less than 1% — serves in the military in this all-volunteer era of ours and, on the face of it, Washington’s constant warring in distant lands seems barely to touch the lives … Continue reading “Washington’s Militarized Mindset”

Hail to the Cheerleader in Chief!

Let’s start with this: according to the Pentagon, the production and acquisition costs of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, the military’s most expensive weapons program, have risen yet again, this time by 4.3% since 2010 to $395.6 billion. If you’re talking about the total cost of the system, including maintenance and support for the nearly … Continue reading “Hail to the Cheerleader in Chief!”

If You Have to Ask Why, the Answer is Usually ‘Money’

One major problem with writing political commentary is that it’s often difficult look at something that seems … well, crazy … and find a rational explanation for it. It’s easier to just write off what looks like craziness as craziness and move on. But in the real world, there is in fact method to most … Continue reading “If You Have to Ask Why, the Answer is Usually ‘Money’”

Confessions of a Recovering Weapons Addict

The 21st century hasn’t exactly been America’s greatest moment. Still, there remain winners, along with all the losers you might care to mention. If, in fact, you were to sum up the first decade-plus of the next “American Century” in manufacturing terms, you might say that — Steve Jobs aside — this country has mainly … Continue reading “Confessions of a Recovering Weapons Addict”

Privatizing the War on Terror: America’s Military Contractors

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its … Continue reading “Privatizing the War on Terror: America’s Military Contractors”

Don’t Count on Obama’s Defense Cuts

The “lamestream media,” which often parrots what government officials blather, has touted the approximately $480 billion in promised savings to the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) budget over 10 years as “defense cuts.” Instead, these should be termed “Washington cuts” or “imaginary cuts” or even “fraudulent cuts.” First, the national budget is usually legislated each year, … Continue reading “Don’t Count on Obama’s Defense Cuts”