HomeArticleUS Lawmakers Say Student Loan Forgiveness Will Hurt Military Recruiting

US Lawmakers Say Student Loan Forgiveness Will Hurt Military Recruiting

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Nineteen members of the US House of Representatives have written a letter [PDF] to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin cautioning that the partial cancellation of student debts can have the unintended consequence of reducing military recruitment in the United States.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear President Biden,

We write to you to share our concerns about the unintended consequences of your decision to cancel up to $20,000 of student loan debt per borrower. We are particularly concerned about the negative impact this will surely have on our nation’s military and their ability to recruit and retain top talent.

As you know, some of the most successful recruiting incentives for the military are the GI Bill and student loan forgiveness programs. The idea that the military will pay for schooling during or after completion of a service obligation is a driving factor in many individuals’ decision to join one of the services. A recent estimate showed that as many as 178,000 servicemembers were eligible for some type of forgiveness.

By forgiving such a wide swath of loans for borrowers, you are removing any leverage the Department of Defense maintained as one of the fastest and easiest ways to pay for higher education. We recognize the loan forgiveness programs have issues of their own, but this remains a top recruiting incentive.

Currently, a mere 23 percent of the population is eligible to serve in the military. Even fewer of those have a propensity to serve. At the end of last month, the Army had only reached 66 percent of its recruiting goal for the year. The Navy, only 89 percent. It is no secret that each of the services continues to battle hardships in recruiting and now these problems will be exacerbated by removing the uniqueness of this benefit.

As the services try to adopt unique approaches to tackle their recruiting challenges, including historic bonuses, it feels like their legs are being cut out from underneath them. With this in mind, we ask for you to provide us answers to the following questions:

1. Was the effect on military service considered in the development of the recent student loan forgiveness decision?

2. What is the administration’s plan to develop incentives to augment the loss of those who might join the military to help pay off student loans?

3. What improvements are being made to ensure timely payments to those currently enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs for both active duty and reserve components?

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

https://twitter.com/RepDonBacon/status/1571850461334081539

So they’re just coming right out and admitting it. One of the reasons the US government doesn’t offer the same kinds of social support systems that people have in all other wealthy nations is because otherwise there’d be no economic pressure on young Americans to sign up for service in the US war machine.

This is no secret, but it’s generally considered taboo for government officials to actually say so. People have been talking about the poverty draft for many years — about the established fact that a majority of US military recruits come from neighborhoods with below median income levels and that those neighborhoods are targeted for recruitment because impoverished communities often see military service as their only chance at upward mobility.

But the term “poverty draft” can create a bit of confusion, because when most Americans hear “poverty” they think homeless people and those who can barely afford to eat or keep a roof over their heads. In reality the US is a nation where a majority of the population would be unable to pay for a $1,000 emergency expense from their savings, and the level at which economic pressure is felt to join the military is much higher than the very poorest of the poor.

Those economic pressures are why US Army officials have explicitly said that the student loan crisis is to thank for their success in meeting recruitment goals.

So the US empire has a huge incentive to maintain a very large population of Americans who are economically uncomfortable, and this plays a significant role in the domestic policymaking decisions of that nation’s government. The US empire is held together by constant violence and the threat thereof, and its ability to apply that violence would be crippled without a steady supply of warm teenage bodies to feed into its war machine. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the US empire would collapse without the economic pressures which coerce teens to sign up to kill and be killed over things like oil reserves and Raytheon profit margins.

It’s one of those things that looks more ghoulish the more you think about it. In the wealthiest nation in the world, economic justice is actively suppressed in part to ensure that young Americans will feel financially squeezed into killing foreigners who are far more impoverished than they are. They are keeping people poor so that they will commit mass murder. It’s actually hard to think of anything more depraved than that.

But such is the nature of the capitalist empire. You’re either a useful gear-turner of the machine or you are liquidated and turned into fuel for its engine. If you’re not a successful capitalist you can be used to defend the empire with pricey weaponry. If you’re not helping the empire you can be used to drive up profits for the military-industrial complex as a target for war machinery whose costly munitions will need to be replaced. If you’re not a good gear-turner you can be sent to become a prison slave or incarcerated in a private for-profit prison. There’s a use for everyone in the empire.

The globe-spanning power structure that is centralized around the United States is the most evil, soulless and destructive force on this planet. The young people who are duped, manipulated and financially coerced into joining its war machine come back horrifically traumatized by the experiences they have in the situations they are placed in. Something better is needed. This cannot continue.

______________

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Latest comments

  • “As the services try to adopt unique approaches to tackle their recruiting challenges, including historic bonuses, it feels like their legs are being cut out from underneath them.”

    So its better for these recruits to get their legs blown off and bodies shot up in wars to pay college debts instead

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  • There (once) was a brief, shining moment in American society when people began to see the Military as well as the alphabet-agency “security services” for how truly corrupt and destructive they were: it was, approximately, between 1967 – 1982.

    The three-headed leviathan, though, of: Reagan/G.H.W. Bush/and Ed Meese; knew it and, subsequently, created the most obnoxious and phony di*k-measuring ad campaign to completely overturn it however from the mid-’80s still to today. Otherwise, their road-to-hell intentions could have never brainwashed an entire generation to sell-out their own country.

    One of the greatest myths about the Military is that it attracts “alpha males”. No. “Alpha males” are not braindead manchildren who think war is a videogame or they want a retarded haircut from 1961. All the “heroics” are nothing but a pass-the-buck, collective guilt trip.

  • From this moment forward, it is decreed that all weapons manufacturers, warmongers, belligerence-advocates, war-profiteers, soldiers-of-fortune, military contractors, or bullies, must imperatively obligate their entire family (including themselves, no exceptions) to full-participation in military adventures, conflicts, police-actions, desert-storms, freedom and democracy exports, war-on-terror, war-on-drugs, violent clandestine actions, or ANY mode, type, or variation of truculence.
    To be clear, you, and your immediate family, are conscripts, effective retroactively. Therefore, promptly get your ass to the fabricated conflict, and bivouac until cessation of hostilities (now you may cease complaining about not meeting recruiting quotas)! WARNING: all Decree evaders remanded to Guantanamo Bay detention camp (Habeas Corpus/Due Process Clause suspended), and/or subject to rendition, to your choice of: Death Valley (summers only), Devil’s Island (Absolution suspended), or The Dismal Swamp (in such case, the Female Yellow Fly will be notified of your imminent arrival). Breaking News: The above option, “your choice of,” has been temporarily suspended (we apologize for any inconvenience). Therefore, you MUST accept “arbitration;” by the way, we are the arbitrators! We feel you’ll enjoy you stay; we’ve made special accommodations just for you.

    • Bravo!

      • In this fearmongering dystopia, an improbable expectation; but we can at least dream of dissuading the imbeciles from their designed date with disaster, can’t we? It wouldn’t be the first time, and it works for me!

  • Not counting me who listened to Antonio Guterres at UNGA today?
    It was very polite but he left implicit the state of the world.
    – Fertilizers should not be the subject of sanctions ever.
    – Today we don’t see G20 but G2.
    I could go on but I’ll stop here.

  • I tried to think of something more depraved. Mass animal torture comes to mind, kept out of sight, and propagandized as agriculture or research. But it is part of the same system.
    .
    In case anyone wonders what the problem might be with artificial intelligence… this is it. Heartless decisions made by a system. Gear turners helpless to influence the system. And the system wants to speed itself up by automating everything… making heartless decisions with computer speed.
    .
    I think the world desperately needs Julian Assange free and whole and now.

    • I just watched Powaqqatsi (1988), the middle of the “qatsi” trilogy. It is visual poetry about the nature of modern life. It says the title is from Hopi, meaning something like an entity that eats other life, like a parasite.
      The other two are Koyaanisqatsi (1982) “life out of balance”, and Naqoyqatsi (2002) “life as war.”
      .
      I looked up director Godfrey Reggio on https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0716585/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm, and it says he spent 14 years in silence and prayer while studying to be a monk. They list some quotes from him. One is:
      “So, not for lack of love of language, but because I feel our language is in an enormous state of humiliation, I decided to make films without words.”

    • YES…FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW! The US: Too Much and Never Enough.

  • How the ruling class does it: 7 strategies to stay in power (cpusa.org-9/9/22-by Anita Waters):

    Excerpt: What is the ruling class and who comprises it?

    A ruling class is a collective social actor. It consists of those who control the means by which a society produces and distributes its goods and services, and who in turn control the rest of the population though coercion, violence, exploitation, and cultural domination. In feudal societies, the ruling class consists of those who control productive land and who extract the value of people’s labor in the form of rents and tributes. In industrial societies, the ruling class consists of banks and other financial institutions, industrial corporations, large agribusiness, and distribution networks like Amazon. The ruling class has used its wealth and military might to nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, and establish connections everywhere (paraphrasing Marx and Engels), exploiting the people they encounter around the world and stealing their resources.
    While the ruling class has common interests and a social agenda, it is not always unified, and some segments are more dangerous than others. As Georgi Dimitrov pointed out in 1936, fascism is defined as the rule by “the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.” It is segmented, and it also attempts to divide the working class to more effectively exploit it. For this purpose, the ruling class uses racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.
    Of course, the ways that the U.S. ruling class reigns in the emerging power of the working class at home are numerous, two-faced, and often effective, and they are reinforced by an even more heavy-handed repression of democracy abroad. The U.S. undermines democratic outcomes in other countries by choosing to support certain candidates, by propaganda and misinformation, by violence and assassination. There’s abundant evidence of transnational corporate influence and CIA activity in the defeat of the Jamaican socialist prime minister, Michael Manley in 1980, and the installation of Reagan’s man Eddie Seaga. Recent reporting by the New York Times reveals the role of the banking industry in the centuries-long repression and impoverishment of the working class in Haiti. There are sadly innumerable examples.

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  • Having experienced this war, lived and worked in the Saigon area, it is still very personal for me. I speculate that I would not be alive today had it not been for the altruistic nature of the Vietnamese I frequently encountered and lived with. They are a congenial, charitable and unforgettable society! THE UNITED STATES MUST STOP ITS PLANETARY WARMONGERING; AND BEGIN COOPERATING WITH THE WORLD! And to all the young men and women contemplating a career in the military…JUST SAY NO to the recruiter and their pathetic chicanery (find another career, vocation, or something else to occupy your time; you’ll be much happier). These lies have to stop at some point.

    Here is an excerpt from a cited article that I considered succinct and relevant (9/11 And 14 Other Times The US Government Lied To Us-9/24/16-therichest.com-by Joshua Olivieri):

    During the Vietnam War, there had been many questions and suspicions about the war itself. However, after much research and investigation was done, many of those suspicions were proven to be justified. A series of documents published by Daniel Ellsberg called the Pentagon Papers highlight what the government was really doing by joining the Vietnam War. Anybody that knows the outcome of the Vietnam War knows that we as a country didn’t necessarily win it. We only got the fighting to stop. What makes this so heartbreaking is that according to the Pentagon Papers, there was much information to suggest that they knew it was a war we couldn’t win, yet they fought anyway, thus putting thousands of our soldiers’ lives at risk. The Papers highlight many more wrongdoings regarding the Vietnam War, such as suggesting that the government was only in the war for political gain and not to actually help out the country. Also, there was evidence that President Johnson was planning to bomb North Vietnam, despite saying to the public that he was preparing to dial the war back. All of the evidence was so condemning that the author of the papers was brought in front of the Supreme Court but was let go when it was revealed that the government was illegally monitoring his communication.

  • Even the disclosure is a distorted lie.
    “At the end of last month, the Army had only reached 66 percent of its recruiting goal for the year. The Navy, only 89 percent.”
    Since last month was August,the eight of the 12 months (2/3) of the year, it accounts for 66.67% of the year. that means that, with recruiting standing at 66% (if that’s all it was), Army recruiting is, essentially, where it should be in relation to the Army’s goals.
    As for the Navy, it is clearly way ahead of its goal. At 89%, at the current rate of annual recruiting, it had, by the end of August, already reached the goal for the middle of November – a full 2.5 months ahead of schedule.

    Most important however, on a personal level, is that not only that fewer of our youth may needlessly sent to their deaths, but that the loan forgiveness amounts to a pittance, of what the majority will owe. Those whose loans will be wiped out, will already be too old to be recruited into the military.

    This seems less like a legitimate complaint against the loan forgiveness, per say, and more like a proactive attack on money going anywhere that lessens the potential defense (aka) war budget.

    • Their truth is a lie; and their lie is the truth. If there are any doubts, I’m sure they will direct us to their newly fabricated “Ministry of Truth.”

  • A recipe for how to change the universe with absolutely nothing more than your thoughts and your will. I know it doesn’t exactly say that, but after reading the article the first time, you go back and read it a second time with your eyes closed and an open mind, I think you’ll see what I mean.
    “A Solid Observation of Strong Kerr Nonlinearity”

  • The short book, Report From Iron Mountain, dealt with this insidious skullduggery, among other things, when it was published back in 1967. Since then, the power of the capitalist ruling class has become so concentrated, consolidated, complete and unassailable, they no longer have to hide their tactics.

  • We should be thanking people and rewarding them for not enlisting.

    • That’s right. All they are doing is performing cheap labor and maintaining the corrupted rules-based world-order. The enlisted are economically supporting corporations, weapons manufacturers, Pentagon directors, conflict of interest politicians who own defense stocks, bankers, oligarchs, kleptocrats, etc. The ruling class would counter the rewarding action by criminalizing the rewarding action. It’s time to criminalize the criminalizing.

  • I checked the first four signers, all Republicans. Seems like a political stunt against the party in power. You’d think they could do better than nineteen. It’s really bad optics with voters, so I’m guessing these are back benchers. The new military is centered on special operations, they do the fighting and are not staffed by people looking for college loan forgiveness. I wouldn’t read too much into this letter, it’s just extremist right wingers trying to give a long time servant of empire and capitalism a political black eye. I doubt the US military wants to get directly involved in an industrial land war like in Ukraine. It wouldn’t be politically feasible, that’s why Sleepy Joe’s handlers keep walking back his Taiwan comments.

  • I haven’t heard of defense contractors or politicians having problems hiring workers so I guess we can rule out morality. I wonder if the reports of recruiters lying their asses off have finally reached the street.

    If you accrued college debt and can’t figure out how to pay it off but let a recruiter convince you the military is the best solution, it probably is. I can’t think of anywhere else you’d be able to succeed.

  • DEBT DRIVES WAR AND WAR DRIVES DEBT
    The Powers of Bank Credit Creation during World War I
    .
    The thesis of this paper is that the use of private bank credit as a society’s money is detrimental to the life of all citizens, concentrates wealth and power into national institutions outside public control, and is a major driver of imperialism and war.
    .
    This will be shown by first examining the positive benefits of the country’s experience with government-issued money, and its contribution to equality and democracy.
    .
    Today, the U.S. monetary system is based on bank credit. By law, the commercial banks have been given the power to create the deposits in the borrower’s account when a loan is made. These bank deposits then become the means of exchange for goods and services─that is, they become what we use as money.
    .
    Why has the government’s most important responsibility and power to create our nation’s money supply been turned over to private corporations─commercial banks─for their profit?
    .
    Under this system, our means of exchange is debt. Our money supply thus generates interest paid to the banks without stop, whether there is war or peace, whether there is prosperity or depression, whether the sun is shining or a hurricane threatens.
    .
    This profit-driven system encourages greed in humans and is the mechanism for the private money power to amass wealth for the few.
    .
    https://www.monetary.org/images/pdfs/Peters-2020-Debt-Drives-War-Main.pdf

    • Now you understand why the private banking industry wants to dissolve nation-states altogether and get everyone to adopt their CBDCs (central bank digital currency (CREDIT).
      .
      Central banks no longer want to share financial power with governments.The financial power that sovereign nations have to issue their own currency to create a healthy middle class is the very reason why there is a great reset attempt by the central banks/mega corporations to create a post nation-state world, which would be controlled via digital programmable currency (bank credit) and vaccine passports.
      .
      A lot of money in the system is bank credit, but this is only because Wall St deliberately mismanages public finance so that government is eternally constraining net issuance of its own currency, thereby increasing demand for bank credit.
      .
      Austerity is a policy to subsidize the private financial sector by creating artificial currency shortages.
      .
      All of this artificially manufactured private debt should be cancelled since it was dishonorably induced by means of deception. Top economists like Steve Keen and Michael Hudson advise writing it down or cancelling it altogether, not just student loans.
      .
      When you understand the fraud that is being perpetrated against you, you can articulate your argument and demand your rights.
      .
      Prof. Stephanie Kelton’s book, The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, is a worldwide bestseller. This is why they are in overdrive to deploy their plan to dissolve nation-states. MMT reclaims the State’s power to issue its own currency to invest in public purpose again, something that’s been diminishing during these past 40 years of neoliberalism.
      .
      “The nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.”
      .
      ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970

    • This is how sick it’s gotten:
      .
      Private banks don’t want people to pay off their debts. In fact, they call those who DO pay off their debts “deadbeats” because they are no longer generating profits for them.
      .
      Life in a Creditocracy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0WlZAypbos&t=32s

    • It’s time to drive debt out of town. I’ve sure had enough of it. Debt is just a scheme of social control; and the debtors are financing million-dollar yachts, multi-million-dollar homes for American Oligarchs such as Betsy Devos, and filling the coffers of banks, universities, and loan servicers, such as Navient (what a racket)! Just a cabal comprised of perfidious gangsters. It’s a class war…

  • “It is well that war is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it.”
    Robert E. Lee, Battle of Fredericksburg,13 December 1862
    Smedley Butler on Interventionism (man.fas.org-Steven Aftergood):
    (Excerpts from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.):

    War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

    I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

    There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

  • Oh no… you really need a new (PTSD) Propaganda Trained Scripting Director. Think about it: US Lawmakers Say Student Loan Forgiveness Will Hurt Military Recruiting. Isn’t this just a worn-out feeble platitude? The ruling class always has the working class’s interests at heart. Don’t they? And wouldn’t you know it, I always thought that it was the: gunshot wounds, truncated limbs from IED, the other PTSD, physical impairments, lack of mental health options, reduced availability of employment upon discharge, high rates of suicide before and after discharge, homelessness, acclamation difficulties upon return from conflict, VA appointment delays/stonewalling, marital issues, etc., that hurt military recruiting. However, I have some good news. Maybe this is just another case of subterfuge, and the real reason for resisting student-loan forgiveness is to maintain indebtedness, such as this: (US Navy targets indebted Americans-8/7/22-massnews.com-by editor):

    EXCERPT: The US Navy has a unique tactic to attract Americans who are drowning in student debt. They offer enlistment bonuses up to $50,000, which is not sufficient to entice enough sailors to sign up.
    These incentives help Navy recruit for the required job positions. “to ensure fleet readiness,” A memo issued by the Navy Recruiting Command on Thursday stated that there were no caps. The bonus caps are different depending on the specialty. A recruit assigned to high-demand nuclear jobs such as electronics technicians can receive a maximum bonus of $50,000. Special warfare boat and hospital crewmen are eligible for bonuses up to $38,000. Air rescue swimmers may also be eligible.
    In times of great need, recruiters may be more flexible. The Navy, for instance, offered $25,000 in enlistment bonuses to recruits that were willing and able to send out their ships before the summer.

    Isn’t this great? Bill Clinton and Ilk sign NAFTA, and export our jobs to out-sourced off-shore locations (no work, and our prior approval for this austerity was not requested in advance of legislation ratification); and then the ruling class insidiously/diabolically devises debt-traps (e.g.-student loans) to “drown us” in debt (no money, can’t buy a home, credit rating suffers, reduced economic opportunities, etc.) What a remarkable strategy to fill recruiting quotas? It’s almost as if it has been designed this way? Wouldn’t you agree?

    Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.
    It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscleman for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

  • There’s no boundary to their cynicism. A few years ago, Kamala Harris’ lawyers argued in court that if certain potential parolees were given a faster track out of prison [overcrowded because of the Biden 1994 law against drugs that casually provided cheap, essentially black, labor], it would negatively affect the prison’s labor programs, including one that allowed certain inmates to fight California’s wildfires for about $2 a day:
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/kamala-harris-ag-office-tried-to-keep-inmates-locked-up-for-cheap-labor
    And then we learnt last week that veterans did not commit suicide at the rate of 17 a day as the Department of Veterans Affairs had reported for years but 24 a day according to a new study, which is exactly one every hour.
    So that’s so much off the plate of the DoD when it comes to paying for studies some of those guys had enlisted for, to be added of course to the ones who get killed in action – but that’s only a third of those who commit suicide.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/veterans-died-suicide-va-previously-reported-new-study-shows-rcna48092

    • There’s also no boundary to their corruption and obstructionist activities. People like “Joe Manchin,” receive graft by the thousands to recite the agenda and obstruct progressive changes that just might be beneficial to us. I believe this is a society designed to incentivize criminal behavior at the highest level. This is not a country, it’s a corporation. They maximize their profit and minimize working class income. The indebted are just paying usury payments to fund luxury yachts and ostentatious homes for American oligarchs. It’s social control through oppressive debt. We are in a class-war!

  • I have lived in 3-4 different countries but never encountered a country that is SO anti social as the US.

    • Shut up!

    • Agreed, Vera.

    • And it’s anti working-class, anti (good faith) progressive legislation, anti-healthcare (we have disease care), pro alcohol, anti-organic psychoactive drugs (e.g.- magic mushrooms beneficial for PTSD), pro prison-industrial-complex (predatory-capitalist source of cheap labor), anti-public education (teachers exploited and exhaustively worked/oppressed), anti-country (we are just a corporation with a huge military and oil company), political system with anti-representatives who refer to themselves as representatives (misnomer), and non-convenient convenience stores (frequently restrain patrons from using el banyo). Hell, will there be anything else? Would you like to put that on a credit card?

  • Your best yet.

  • One of your best

  • Republicans trying to get ahead before midterms.

  • I think the unemployment rate is similarly manipulated, and for the same reason. The poor uneducated dross on display in the Abu Ghraib case demonstrate what they do when given the absolute control made possible by US military invasions.

    • If I am understanding you poor-uneducated dross are more cruel than dross diluted by education.

      You may be right. Education leads to a cosmopolitan identity and tolerance of others is part of that identity.

  • What happened to your poem? I came back to reread it, but it’s gone! You sold the rights to it already? Or the censors told you to take it down or else?

  • Evil most evil and double evil. I have some bad news.

    The empire does not care.

    The empire will keep doing what the empire does and without a revolution noting will change. Neo-liberal rule will continue down to the last man standing.

    I hate to be a Debbie Downer Catlin, but people are comfortable with tribalism. People need to belong and for most people that means excluding others not in their group.

    Americans like a strong military that is spreading freedom to all corners of the globe. The globe has no corners you may say? That does not change the fact that Americans think their idea of freedom is the only correct one. Screams of evil mean nothing if people don’t see they are doing anything wrong.

    The machinery of exploitation is a technical marvel. People are bewitched In America. No flaws in the machine are seen. I don’t see how screams of evil can lead to change. The cult of Musk is strong.

    Don Bacon sees the US military as a necessary and good. I am a pacifist and I think Don Bacon can go fuck himself. But I don’t see how screaming ‘you are evil in Don’s face is going to change anything. Insulting his tribe will get nowhere. Don is a tool but Don can’t see that he is.

    How should people like Don be approached? I don’t know, but obviously we need more effective ways than we have. Time is a wasting! People suffer.

  • Why conscript Americans when it is so much easier use a country, like Ukraine now (or Iraq against Iran, or next, Taiwan against China) as a mercenary army just for the the price of weapons, world class propaganda, and a coup?

    Just install puppet governments as in Ukraine (and soon in Taiwan) and avoid the political problems of young American citizen casualties smearing with their blood the image of glorious war (the only blood that counts) contrary to Hollywood pro-war propaganda?

    Because foreign mercenary armies are not composed of citizens who can protest stupid wars, foreign mercenaries don’t mess up the “news” (domestic election propaganda) with American dead and casualties, an advantage to empire that ending the draft after Vietnam produced.

    • Sheeeeeeet Glenn? You want to advise the Empire? Anyway, I found this on something called min news.

      ‘German media reported that there are now at least 400 American mercenaries, including Blackwater, in Ukraine. These people earn 20,000 U.S. dollars a month. If a war breaks out and goes into actual combat, the salary will be 1 million U.S. dollars a year.

      Under these circumstances Putin keeping it in his pants is something to respect and marvel at.

      • Got to follow the money. You know they do.

        Now if only the people would wake the fuck up and get past the propaganda.

    • I don’t have any total answer to this, but military service isn’t just about global hegemony.


      It trains people in boss think and pyramid structure obedience, in the most brutal and programmed ways possible. The private or equivalent, who sits in muddy holes, does the most killing and the most dying, and is the most numerous rank in any branch, also takes shit from almost everyone of higher rank and gets paid the very least.

      Military even has a class system sewn into it in the form of officers and enlisted men.

      Finally, there’s the whole ‘esprit de corps’ thing (hence, Shakespearean stuff like “Band of Brothers”), which comes in the form of “you guys are the family I never had,” after experiencing hardships together that no creature should ever experience. That is gravy to the oligarchs, because the suckers see themselves as part of a greater good and a society that “nobody but us can understand,” and certainly no civilian could.

  • …”evil, soulless and destructive” is putting it mildly. What we do to each other is cruel, and without conscience. There has never been, in all of human history, a sound rational for war. Never.

  • Time for areturn to the “Draft”. No bone spur exceptions. No exception for wealth. No exception for University.
    No exception for gender.

    • A standing army is required why?

    • You first.

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