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Sat., Dec. 27
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Department of Defense gorging resources

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There is a cliche that aptly fits the Oct. 2 column, “Tea party shows arrogance of power.” When you can’t dazzle with brilliance, baffle them with bull****. The column is a catalog of befuddlement that cannot be addressed in its entirety because of the constraints imposed by the Times.

But as to the run-together question in the ninth paragraph: “How can there be justification ... Should anyone ... be expected to choose between medicine and food, or heat?”

The answer to this is in the third paragraph, the tedious paean to Fort Drum and the “We are defended” absurdity. Drum is more than a federal welfare payment transfer site to Jefferson County. Understand Drum for what it is, an intoxicating and toxic part of a whole.

Drum sits on some of the worldwide 28 million acres possessed by the Department of Defense. It is but one of the more than 5,000 locations worldwide commanded by the department.

It has a fraction of the 542,000 Department of Defense worldwide real property structures. The Pentagon is reported to be the world’s largest landlord. Were the Pentagon a country, it would rank about 35th in worldwide energy and fuel usage.

The real costs of defense spending is about 25 percent of the federal budget. The maintenance of Empire and the politically inspired adoption of Keynesian militarism as a (failing) attempt to hide the devastating and ongoing loss of more than 50,000 American manufacturing facilities in the past decade has flushed trillions down the sewer. Because the Pentagon and its defense industries buddies gorge so much from the treasury trough, the costs of lost wealth, innovation and other societal needs are incalculable.

Imperialism is expensive, Virginia, and that is why there is no Santa Claus.

Robert K. Kirchoff


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