Thursday, November 5, 2015
Militaristic "Paid Patriotism" In Sports Venues is NO Patriotism At All
Returned vets coming down a rope at an NFL stadium, an Army reservist singing the national anthem with military emblems all over the stadium, marching military bands before games as well as jet flyovers. All of this is bull pockey and enough to make a sports fan barf. It has no place in sports, whether baseball or football games and merely shows the extent to which the nation's athletic sphere has been taken over by the uber-military meme.
We know Ike, when he left office in 1961, warned of the incursion of military growth into every aspect of our lives as he warned of the "military industrial complex". He said in part:
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Note the part about "unwarranted influence- whether sought or unsought" which is what these militaristic displays are all about. Pure marketing ploys (as described by Sen. Jeff Flake) - paid for by we the U.S. taxpayers - to support a perma-war state by appealing to endless recruitment. The bottom line is the NFL, Major League Baseball and other sports have permitted the "unwarranted influence" of militarism to intrude into sports venues where they should not be.
As Sen. Flake noted, many fans when they see these staged events think the NFL is sponsoring a patriotic display but later, when they learn taxpayers are paying for them "it kind of cheapens the whole thing". Not only that, but it allows our sports and greatest sports events - including the Super Bowl - to become massive grand stages for the celebration and adulation of military memes. No citizen in his or her right mind should be supporting such bogus fanfare.
According to Sen. Flake and fellow Senator John McCain, in their current campaign to tackle "paid patriotism", the Dept. of Defense currently has 122 marketing deals with pro sports teams worth $10.4 million. At least 72 included what the two senators called "paid patriotism". This, to put it mildly, amounts to enabling the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial complex.
- The $7, 500 the Milwaukee Brewers got that covered "award presentations" on the field by National Guard members and ceremonial first pitches by military at three home games.
Why are military making first pitches at Brewer games? How about people from the help community, serving the homeless, the disabled or others? Why must we incessantly glorify these military types and make young people believe they are the pinnacle of honor?
Sen. Flake also noted items that were "outright boondoggles" like the Air Force paying for four sideline season tickets to LA Galaxy games. And the National Guard paying for forty lower level court seats at Indiana Pacers games.
The Obama White House (as reported on CBS this a.m.) claims these sort of payments, subsidizing by taxpayers of the DoD are "justified". But bear in mind this is like the 12th administration following in the wake of John F. Kennedy's assassination - who was himself taken out by the national security state of which the military industrial complex is a component. So what the hell would you expect any of these administrations to say when it is plausible that each of their standard bearers was shown footage of the Zapruder film before entering the WH?
Some people just don't want to hear the truth, and others can't handle it. In any case, lets hope Senators McCain and Flake can get legislation passed to put an end to this crap and slow down the takeover of this country by militarist memes!
"The US Air Force just awarded a contract for its new bomber to Northrop Grumman. The price tag for what it calls the Long Range Strategic Bomber (LRS)? As Charles Tiefer writes at Forbes: “The contract is for $800 million per plane – or $80 billion for the whole fleet.”