Here’s a headline from Slate: ‘What to Take Away from Those Alarming RFK Jr. Polls’.
What is ‘alarming’ about the polls is that they show a rising…and surprising…support for Robert F Kennedy Jr It’s alarming to Slate — and the Liberal Elite — because they regard RFK, Jr as a ‘kook’, a ‘fringe figure’, an ‘eccentric’ and, OMG, a ‘conspiracy theorist’.
As we’ve seen, RFK Jr has turned away from the orthodox views of both Republican and Democratic elite. He aims to take the US out of its US$1.5 trillion/year Empire business.
Here, we’re not the kind of faux ‘conservative’ you see on TV. No, we’re the old-fashioned, finger-waving, ‘we told you so’ kind of conservative. And what we’re telling you today is what we’re going to wag a finger about tomorrow: RFK Jr is right…sometime in the future, thinking Americans, if there are any left, will regret their Empire and wish they’d gotten out sooner.
Empire regret syndrome
You’ll recall that the empire is expensive. It supports thousands of grifters in the military and out of it…in think tanks, Congress, universities, ‘defence’ suppliers, the World Bank…and many other squirrely sinecures. It is so costly that the government needs to borrow…and print…money to support it. As in the Vietnam War, the money in circulation goes up…followed by consumer prices.
You get what you pay for. We get ships and missiles. We don’t get houses, cars, carrots, and the other things people want to buy. Again, consumer prices go up.
RFK Jr is the first candidate who proposes to put a stop to it.
But empires have a logic…and a trajectory…of their own. Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. Empires gotta be empires.
Military enterprises can be profitable — but only so long as you are winning, bringing back booty, selling captured slaves, and collecting tribute. Even then, the easy money and slaves eventually undermine your home economy…and then you need to use violence not on foreigners, but on your own citizens, to keep them in line.
Yes, what goes around, comes around. A nation that celebrates its ‘shoot ‘em ups’ abroad eventually gets shoot ‘em ups at home.
That is perhaps the meaning of this strange news at ‘OpenTheBooks’ on Substack:
‘Since 2006, 103 rank-and-file agencies outside of the Department of Defense (DOD) spent $3.7 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment (inflation adjusted to CPI). 27 of those agencies are traditional law enforcement under the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
‘However, 76 agencies are pencil-pushing, regulatory agencies, i.e. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Social Security Administration (SSA), Veterans Affairs (VA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and many others.
‘Headcounts: There are now more federal agents with arrest and firearm authority (200,000) than U.S. Marines (186,000).’
Fraud, Farce, and Failure
If you favour gun control, you might want to start there. A ‘police state’ is not something anyone ‘wants’. But it is part of the empire’s life cycle. You pass a Patriot Act, giving your elite more power to fight ‘terrorists’ abroad…and then, mirabile dictu, you find terrorists at home!
This insight is important to us, because it gives us a hint about which way the fight against inflation might go. In a nutshell, we expect the empire to keep doing what empires do — fighting, fleecing, and fudging the facts. We expect the Fed to put on a show too — dancing around the ring, jabbing at its opponent…and then taking a dive. Between them, look for at least a decade of financial and political fraud, farce, and failure.
But let’s stick with today’s theme — why empires cannot push away from the table before their arteries get blocked. In short, there are too many people with spoons in their hands and pudding in the bowls before them. Here’s Senator Tommy Tuberville:
‘“Experts have known for more than a decade that the military is top heavy. We do not suffer from a lack of generals,” Tuberville said. “When my dad served in World War II, we had one general for every 6,000 troops. Think about that: one for every 6,000. Now, we have one general for every 1,400 enlisted service members.”’
The brass lives high on the hog at the Pentagon. Then, it moves even higher on the hog.
In another book, now titled Uncivilizing America, and scheduled for release in two weeks [now available on Amazon…note that it is an updated version of Win-Win or Lose, which was never distributed outside of our own channels] we highlight the case of General Keith Alexander, US retired. The greatest danger he ever faced came from the dessert counter at the Officers’ Mess…and paper cuts at his desk. But Mr Alexander is emblematic of the trend in the empire’s Praetorian Guard towards bureaucracy…expense…incompetence…and mendacity. Alexander told Congress that his outfit did not collect information on Americans…even while he was putting together the most extensive database in history…recording every conversation that Americans ever had. Alexander:
‘I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox that we could search.’
Who can search it? The people with all those guns, of course.
And now, he’s moved on, but no…he’s not retiring gracefully to the family farm as Dwight Eisenhower did in 1961. Now he’s selling his secrets to foreigners. Here’s The Washington Post:
‘Retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who led the National Security Agency under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, secured $2 million in consulting deals with foreign governments after leaving office, including a $700,000 contract to advise Saudi Arabia on cybersecurity after the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, newly released records show.
‘Alexander’s consulting firm also won a $1.3 million contract from the government of Japan to provide advice on cyber issues, according to additional documents obtained by The Washington Post as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.’
Lies and murder
If we were going to sell our soul to the Saudis, we’d want a little more money. But Alexander knows what his soul is worth. And he’s not the only one. More from The Washington Post:
‘Retired military officials are finding high-paying jobs with the Saudi government and can make up to 7-figure salaries working for other foreign governments:
‘A new investigation by The Washington Post found that more than 500 retired military personnel have taken jobs with foreign governments since 2015, and a majority of the positions were located in North Africa or the Middle East, including consulting jobs for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense.
‘Australia’s government, for example, offered former senior US Navy officials more than $10 million for consulting deals. In Azerbaijan, one retired US Air Force general was offered a consulting job with a pay of $5,000 a day.’
From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, the contracts keep coming.
Among the Empire’s many tricks — to keep the money coming its way — is its willingness not only to lie but to murder. The Church Committee found as many as 638 schemes to assassinate Fidel Castro, for example. In one of them, the CIA recruited the Mafia to poison Castro’s food.
Which is why criticising the US military/industrial/spook complex is not necessarily a good strategy for getting ahead in life…or getting elected to the White House. While those responsible for wasting US$20 trillion — and the deaths of a million people — get even more money…those who ‘blow the whistle’ go to jail. Or worse.
We’d advise Mr Kennedy to get a food taster.
For The Daily Reckoning Australia