Dagdha's Blog

Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

Posted in Uncategorized by dagdha on December 16, 2011

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. 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.

– President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address to the Nation, January 17th 1961

Although debated by academics, Geoffrey Perret’s claim, that the original version of the president’s speech read “military-industrial-congressional complex,” is completely logical, especially considering what I’ve witnessed in Congress the last two days during its discussion of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

SOPA, along with the PROTECT IP Act, are two pieces of legislation that  nicely complement the National Defense Authorization Act in our government’s current mission to legalize martial law.  This new legislation would force web services to monitor user-submitted content, deny website owners due process of law, undermine online security, and enable the Department of Justice to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia, and Iran (although we don’t see too many complaints coming from their citizens).

I’m reluctant to admit that until a few days ago I had never watched a live session of Congress.  Growing up C-SPAN was just the channel on which my gaming consoles ran.  If I had realized it was a window into a frustratingly comedic governmental circus, I might have actually watched the station more, though I have a hard time comprehending the depths of my potential cynicism had that been the case.  Yesterday alone I witnessed a chaotic hail storm of technological ignorance so profound it’s left the foul, acidic taste of vomit in my mouth.  The overwhelming stench of greed seeping off politicians in blind support of SOPA is the ipecac of our democracy, and the bill itself is Congress’s attempt to hold back the resulting volatile regurgitation.

Nearly everyone who spoke in support of SOPA yesterday foolishly began their ill-conceived and poorly delivered arguments with a dismissal of technological aptitude, stating “I’m not a nerd” or some equivalent, proceeding to casually disregard the expertise of revolutionary experts, including the founders and co-founders of Netscape, Mozilla, Google, Twitter, Flickr, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, The Huffington Post, YouTube, PayPal, craigslist, eBay, Twitter, Wikipedia/Wikimedia, Reddit, and Blogger, among others. Yet, entitled politicians who don’t even know the difference between a domain name and an IP address believe they know better than these technological visionaries, quite literally the architects of our modern Internet.  The words hubris and insanity come to mind, but they don’t capture the devious and malevolent underpinnings of their fear- and greed-driven support reminiscent of fascist Germany in the late 1930s.

For seven straight hours I listened to the embodiments of reason and madness duel like Einstein against an autistic toddler on Valium in a battle of wits.  To neatly sum up the proceedings so you don’t risk exposing yourself to the same suicide-inducing dross, those against the bill continually requested that experts be brought before the committee to address a best course of action, while those in support argued that more legislation to prevent loss of business (primarily for media corporations) couldn’t possibly hurt.  Even that kid on Valium could point out the vile odor coming from Congress’s asshole as it’s being sodomized by their coked-up corporate sugar daddies.

Fortunately there are a few intelligent voices in government.  The persistent reason of Darrell Issa, Jared Polis, Zoe Lofgren, and Jason Chaffetz tirelessly sifted through the proposed legislation, resulting in a delay of the proposed vote until Congress reconvenes in 2012, which provides ample time for more of the overwhelming evidence against SOPA to be compiled and filtered down so Mel Watt from North Carolina and his cretinous constituents can understand it’s a bad idea.

I really want to believe in our country and her people, but the world is descending into an ominous pit of self-destruction and too many people seem willfully oblivious.  No one in my office had even heard of SOPA before I brought it up yesterday, and I work for a broadband company.  A meme I saw sums up my perspective on the current situation rather well:  “Idiocracy is the only film in history to start off as a comedy and end up becoming a documentary.”  I hope memes will still exist this time next year.

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