Posts Tagged ‘waste’

Canada to Ditch Troubled F-35s?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Canadian’s are facing austerity cuts across the board – wage freezes, slashed funding, and major reforms to pensions – yet the Conservatives seem hellbent on acquiring some fancy new planes for $9 billion. Or is it $10 billion now, or more?

Where are their priorities? With the pressing needs of Canadians, or with getting their kickbacks from the Defense Industry?

As CBC revealed yesterday, these jets don’t even meet the necessary requirements for jets in the Great White North. Way to drop the ball, Tories. (more…)

Defense Industry is Decade’s Biggest Scam – Greenwald

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Outspoken author Glenn Greenwald put out a provocative piece today called The Decade’s Greatest Scam which outlines the absurdity of spending billions of dollars to fight terrorism – a threat that kills the same number of people who die drowning in a bathtub each year.

Greenwald says these industries are exploiting the people’s irrational fear as a for-profit business:

Exaggerating, manipulating and exploiting the Terrorist threat for profit and power has been the biggest scam of the decade; only Wall Street’s ability to make the Government prop it up and profit from the crisis it created at the expense of everyone else can compete for that title.

Nothing has altered the mindset of the American citizenry more than a decade’s worth of fear-mongering. So compelling is fear-based propaganda, so beholden are our government institutions to these private Security State factions, and so unaccountable is the power bestowed by these programs, that even a full decade after the only Terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, its growth continues more or less unabated.

The author also points out how most of these new security measures will ultimately be used not for protection against terrorism, but rather, as tools used to subdue uprisings and keep the people down:

The Security State has little to do with addressing ostensible Terrorist threats, it has much to do with targeting perceived domestic and political threats, especially threats brought about by social unrest from austerity and the growing wealth gap.

The prime aim of the growing Surveillance State is to impose domestic order, preserve prevailing economic prerogatives and stifle dissent and anticipated unrest.

The Western World has been fighting the war on terror for ten years, costing tremendous amounts of blood and treasure, not to mention liberty and freedom.

And what has been the result? Death and chaos.

If we really want more security in our world, maybe it’s time to try something else besides wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on the tools of war.

How about investing some of these funds into programs that alleviate poverty and strengthen communities? Then we’ll see which method works better to stabilize societies, resolve conflicts and build a peaceful planet.

Woeful Waste: Losing a Hypersonic Plane

Friday, August 12th, 2011

DARPA – America’s advanced research group – lost their $308 Million dollar plane during yesterday’s test flight over the Pacific ocean.

The Falcon HTV-2 – a vehicle that works more like a rock with wings than an airplane – gets launched into the atmosphere with detachable rocket boosters before plummeting back to earth at up to 20 times the speed of sound.

One potential use for the project is – what else – a super weapon capable of delivering a 100o-pound payload to anywhere in the world in under 60 minutes.

Because that’s exactly what the world needs – another way to kill a large number of people on a tight deadline.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for scientific pursuits, even those with no obvious use, since many discoveries happened by accident and you never know what beneficial developments might arise.

But when your economy is in the tanks, and much of the world depends upon you for stability, perhaps it would be prudent to put super-plane projects on the backburner while more pressing issues – like your crumbling infrastructure and struggling education systems – get to sit in the front seat.

On the other hand, if you consider the $20 Billion or so that has gone missing in Iraq, the cost of a lost plane seems like a trifle.

I guess the best thing to do would be to expose the entire Defense Industry to a solid dose of transparency. That way the taxpayers can judge if their money is being used effectively or not.

Of course, if that ever happened, the whole scam might come crashing down and we’d be without large scale armed conflict in our world. And then how will the poor war-profiteers make their billions?

A Trillion Dollars… Gone Forever

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The U.S. led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have now crossed the One Trillion Dollar mark – that’s $1,000,000,000,000, gone forever.

This is an obscene amount of U.S. Taxpayer money. Money that could have helped solved the health care issues… money that could have put the U.S. back near the top regarding education levels… money that could have taken a big chunk out of the U.S. foreign debt. This trillion dollars could have been used for pretty much anything other than occupying foreign countries who really have no desire to be occupied.

The U.S. is no safer now. Their economy is teetering on the brink of collapse, their infrastructure is crumbling, and the world holds as much contempt for America as ever.

Of course, if you ask the people involved in the war industry, they will likely say how the cost is justified and how the war efforts have been working and will continue to work: the U.S. is safer, America’s enemies have been crushed, Iraq and Afghanistan are now better off.

But their opinions need to be taken with a huge grain of salt… their livelihood depends on the war-industry. It is their job! It’s how they feed their families. The idea of ending war means they would need to find new employment, and that is a scary prospect to most anyone.

Asking people entrenched in the war industry if the war is working would be the same as asking a drug enforcement agent if the war on drugs is working. The vast majority of them would like to believe their efforts are working.

With billion dollar profits involved and millions of people with an invested stake in perpetuating conflict, war will not stop on its own. It will take a force of equal or greater power to slow down and stop the war-machine.

This force will come from the millions and millions of people around the world who are sick of war – the world’s peace warriors. The more we come together, the more we coordinate our efforts and mobilize to action, the more power we will gain to systematically dismantle the war machine.

The world’s peace movement will continue to grow in strength. We will prevail.

World Peace is Coming!