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Hell Mixed With Futility

Hell Mixed With Futility

Robert C. Koehler

Oh, the normalcy of militarism! Our annual financial hemorrhage to this complex menagerie of institutions — from the Pentagon to Homeland Security to the Nuclear Security Administration to the CIA and its secret expenditures — must not be seriously questioned in the corridors of Congress, even though, all things considered, it comes to almost a trillion dollars annually.

Call it the Defense budget, smile and move on.


Maybe the problem is the lack of courage among those in control to challenge the insanity not simply of the military budget but of militarism itself.

“lack of courage” may be a polite way of scared out of their minds… insanity rules the day “those in control” fear everything: the russians, the cinese, northk orea, venesuala, their own citizens–you name it! a lot of our fellow citizens believe that these control freaks are so cunning that they spread fear among the populace to secure their financial holdings as well as their status… i think that as they speak their fears more and more citizens see monsters everywhere… we are not "the home of the brave"!

those of us who step up fearlessly to speak for peace and sanity are the most feared of all… i saw a recent photo of julian assange making the peace sign… we can wait all day, all night, not before we the people of earth–especially in the usa–grow up, face the boogie man in the closet and master our unreasoning fear can we declare PEACE ON EARTH!


I have to laugh thinking of Mike Pense(less) comporting his riddled frame as though he were a noble christian (note: spell check no longer makes it a capital C). He does however seem to fit very nearly perfectly into a Constantian emperor’s knicker-twist with “mother” (don’t hink thats to be capitalized, but I haven’t asked). So I guess he’ll be ‘repenting’ on his death bed. I just wonder what will happen if he puts his VP office cardboard standee in the deathbed though.

Public Banks
Cooperative industries
Make sure the essentials are brought back into the public sphere of governance and close the damn corporate tax loopholes.
Continue to work to make the abusers irrelevant.

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I agree, but I’m not sure that fear they have is imagined. The MIC budget has almost always been bloated, but it has exploded since it was announced all of our communications are being vacuumed up by the alphabets. There’s a real possibility they are being blackmailed by the MIC for these enormously huge budgets we see today.

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Actually, I think this will be like the biological process where a lake or pond flips in the heat of the summer. Meaning: a large Defense Budget will be what is necessary to fund our survival on this Earth. This has been proposed by climate scholar Lester Brown, in his book, Plan B, 4.0 (2008) - who said it would take 1/3 of the budget then - and more recently by economist Robert Pollin of UMassAmherst on how to fund the Green New Deal - who believes it will take 1/2 of this budget. A SILVER LINING TO PUT WAR FUNDS into creating a peaceful Earth. Not a bad silver lining, agree?

I’m surprised that the author did not make awareness of the fact that there is exactly ONE person in congress who is making a rejection of rampant militarism the main theme of their campaign to run for president: Tulsi Gabbard. It is extremely important for people who write articles like this to take a deep look at anyone who rises from the swamp with an actual, highly principled stance on this subject and make their readers aware. We very much need this sort of person and they are a rarity in Congress. It is also a rarity for Corporate media to acknowledge this type of ambition. It seems to be a rarity for Common Dreams to acknowledge it as well as I have seen no in depth coverage of Tulsi anywhere on this site. Why is that?


The enormous trouble with the dismissal of the left as we have known it is that it is also the dismissal of the humane. That sounds dismissive itself, so let me clear up a couple terms to be clearer about what I am saying and particularly what I am not saying.

By left I mean it as it was understood in the latter 20th century through much of the United States. It was a movement against economic and demographic inequalities, and it was a movement against violent coercion and encroachment against human rights. This was seen as also being a movement against war.

Of course, this is a day in which people can imagine that left or right comes down to different colored jerseys, when people can advertise Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as being “the left” by virtue of being non-Republicans, with no reference whatsoever to practice or policy. It was initially a deliberate distortion, but for many, this has simply become normal usage.

I have no copyright on the word; I just want to be clear that I mean the prior, not the latter, and that I consider them to be clearly opposed.

Now, if we define left as a movement to minimize coercion and exclusion, then we might see that those who are not left must favor coercion or exclusion, or both. Of course, they surely have all sorts of conditions and wherefores, and these vary. And of course their reasons grow out of their concerns with their own relations and human relations and the world as they see it.

However, whatever reasons these be, however well or ill considered, dismissal of the left does amount to dismissal of the concern that people not be unduly coerced and the concern that people not be unduly excluded.

Can we think of this closely and imagine that it is not without cost, or that it is somehow not central to the damage that humans do around us and to ourselves?

No, the dismissal of the antiwar movement is but one part of the dismissal of the left. It is perhaps the most flagrant, at least arguably. But it is well fitted into the matrix of psychopathic considerations in general.


Do you want an end to wars? Then put an end to capitalism, religion and borders.


The Iron Law of Oligarchy states that organization leads to oligarchy.

If the only way to prevent oligarchy, militarism and empire is to not organize hierarchically, how about we organize direct online democratically?

No leader, all leaders.

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I agree with your post completely hummingbird. Irrational FEAR has been, and continues to be, inculcated into our everyday existence by all who want to control our thoughts and behaviors for profit and/or power. This is true for Government, Corporate and Religious Hierarchies…

By maintaining and nurturing a state of constant FEAR those who wish to control us, manipulate us and divide us, thereby insure that there will be no threat to their
continued and comfortable status quo.


yes! and the underlying connection is the patriarchy! we need to build a society where men and women have equal access, equal authority and equal respect… the best place to do that is in our homes and neighborhoods… teach the children well.

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for many, many centuries now–i think it began with the agricultural revolution when humans decided to create boundaries to own and protect… that called for a military class… the hunter/gatherers, of course, thought nothing wrong with gathering where food is found… that’s the way they had always lived…

those who had built settlements, however, needed two new classes of people–servants and soldiers… prior to this weapons were designed by hunters to hone their skills… during droughts skirmishes would beak out because food was in low supply… the goal now and still for soldier is to build more effective weapons to go to war against “enemy” settlements.

This has been proposed by climate scholar Lester Brown, in his book

ah yes, les brown, who also says, “The Earth is Full.” i like a lot of what he says–did you know that at age three(!) les cleaned the stables every day on the farm where his parents share-cropped?–very admirable, but brown has joined with monsanto… that’s the company that concocted cancer causing roundup… also, they’ve put many successful farmers into bankruptcy, because we can no longer plant the seeds to grow new crops without investing in pricey monsanto chemical fertilizer… we’re getting corporately owned farms needing more low-pay laborers while our food prices skyrocket.

A SILVER LINING TO PUT WAR FUNDS into creating a peaceful Earth. Not a bad silver lining, agree?

you bet i agree! i’d love to see a “green new deal” that works! i am not only concerned about human life, but all endangered species as the corporations continue to deforest the land and foul the sea…

“When man interferes with the Tao,
the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct.”–Lao-tzu (about 500 years, bc

i don’t know why but my reply to you went to to recon/fire–just above this.