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Gibson writes: "The Lockheed Martin F-35 is the epitome of Pentagon waste. The program has already cost taxpayers roughly half a trillion dollars."

Senator Sanders speaks out against cuts to Social Security outside the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 9, 2013. (photo: Bernie Sanders)
Senator Sanders speaks out against cuts to Social Security outside the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 9, 2013. (photo: Bernie Sanders)


Bernie Sanders Doubles Down on F-35 Support Days After Runway Explosion

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

03 June 14

 

Me: “You mentioned wasteful military spending. The other day ... I’m sure you’ve heard about the F-35 catching fire on the runway. The estimated lifetime expense of the F-35 is $1.2 trillion. When you talk about cutting wasteful military spending, does that include the F-35 program?”

Bernie Sanders: “No, and I’ll tell you why – it is essentially built. It is the airplane of the United States Air Force, Navy, and of NATO. It was a very controversial issue in Vermont. And my view was that given the fact that the F-35, which, by the way, has been incredibly wasteful, that’s a good question. But for better or worse, that is the plane of record right now, and it is not gonna be discarded. That’s the reality.”

hat was the exchange I had with US senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at a town hall in Warner, New Hampshire, this past weekend (skip to the 45:30 mark of this video to hear my question). Sanders came to New Hampshire to gauge the local response to his economic justice-powered platform for a presumed 2016 presidential campaign. While his rabid defense of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and takedown of big money running politics was well-received, he contradicted his position of eliminating wasteful military spending while defending the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 is the epitome of Pentagon waste. The program has already cost taxpayers roughly half a trillion dollars, with $700 billion or more to come during the program’s lifetime. During an interview, Pierre Sprey, a co-designer of the F-16, went into great detail about how the F-35 was a lemon aircraft. Sprey explained that the fighter is an excessively heavy gas guzzler with small wings, a low bomb-carry capacity, low loiter time, is incapable of slow flight, is detectable to World War II-era low-frequency radar, and costs $200 million apiece. And just a little over a week ago, the F-35 caught fire on a runway at Eglin Air Force Base.

To his credit, Sanders acknowledged that the program was “wasteful” in his defense of it. The contention over the F-35 in his home state of Vermont is that the program is now responsible for jobs in his hometown of Burlington, where he served as mayor before running for Congress. Some front doors of homes in the Burlington area are adorned with green ribbons, signifying support for the F-35. Sanders, like his colleagues in 45 states around the country, doesn’t want to risk the wrath of voters angry about job losses related to F-35 manufacturing, assembly, and training if the program were to be cut. And that’s where Lockheed Martin’s political savvy comes into play.

War hawk John McCain (R-Az.) has called the F-35 program a “scandal and a tragedy” in the past. But when an F-35 squadron came to the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, McCain changed his tune to say the program was “moving in the right direction.” Lockheed Martin, which draws 82 percent of all revenue from taxpayers (Lockheed’s information systems department gets 95 percent of its money from taxpayers), knows that by spreading out manufacturing as widely as possible, the program is more likely to be funded by politicians beholden to voters who draw their livelihood from the F-35. Lockheed spent $15.3 million on lobbying politicians in 2012, a year in which the company made $47 billion in revenue. That’s a return on investment in the thousands of percentage points. Lockheed gets paid, and politicians get re-elected. That’s how Washington runs.

So, while Bernie Sanders is saying we should cut military spending to fund free college for everyone, his defense of the F-35 means that despite everything else, Sanders is still just a politician. Sooner or later, the F-35 will eventually be replaced by something even more expensive, while the F-35 joins the thousands of other unused fighter jets in the boneyard. But rather than lying to people and saying the program is already a done deal and that there’s nothing he can do, Sanders could stand by his principles and introduce an amendment in the next National Defense Authorization Act to strip the F-35 program of its funding. That remaining $700 billion could make college tuition-free for everyone for at least a decade.



Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+22 # indian weaver 2014-07-03 16:49
This is one of many reasons I will never again vote for either party nationally. No one good exists in either one, and Bernie is the example. Talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. Sold out like all of them.
 
 
-62 # brux 2014-07-03 20:47
That is really simplistic thinking. The fact is is that our military is as good as it has ever been ... better. The management, technology, training, and keeping the feedback to all systems working to keep everything up to date and training with it.

There are going to be military costs to running the United States, just like there are human costs.

To try to bolster the human aspect of this duality by attacking the military is just as bad as what we have now - a preference for the military POV. We need both, and we can both have and afford both.

The military protects us and also keeps our technology leading edge, to be Liberal or Progressive should not mean to be blindly pacifistic or against a strong military.
 
 
+55 # blizmo1 2014-07-03 21:54
Quoting brux:
That is really simplistic thinking. The fact is is that our military is as good as it has ever been ... better. The management, technology, training, and keeping the feedback to all systems working to keep everything up to date and training with it.

There are going to be military costs to running the United States, just like there are human costs.

To try to bolster the human aspect of this duality by attacking the military is just as bad as what we have now - a preference for the military POV. We need both, and we can both have and afford both.

The military protects us and also keeps our technology leading edge, to be Liberal or Progressive should not mean to be blindly pacifistic or against a strong military.

Nope.


A trillion-$-boon doggle that only hands out cash to its supporters, without having to provide a workable product? Corporate welfare at its worst.

Funny how an F-15 can gave an entire wing blown off and still make it 10 miles to base safely (in the hands of an Israeli pilot) -- yet the trillion-dollar HoneyBucket F-35 can't fly in the rain.

That's a "done deal" we'd all better stay away from.

Bernie Sanders? Step to the back of the line. Even McCain out-patriots you in this one, defending taxpayer interests.
 
 
+14 # jcdav 2014-07-04 12:03
Is there a Lemon Law for aircraft? the Osprey (v-22) would also qualify.
 
 
+82 # propsguy 2014-07-04 02:40
you think our military is good? when we can't win a war against tribal people with relatively primitive arms?

the military does NOT protect us. it protects itself. it makes enemies for us all over the world so it can continue to stay in business

it should be a defense dept: instead it serves to provoke wars
 
 
+11 # jimslaton 2014-07-05 14:19
Well said, sir!
 
 
+16 # jimslaton 2014-07-05 14:29
That is really indoctrinated thinking , Brux. From what has our bloated war mongering murderous military protected us? Where's the societal value that we get from our trillions of wasted military dollars? Where's the valor in our going to a third world country and killing defenseless people? We don't even seem to keep the territory we conquer! Our military is an utterly pointless expenditure.
 
 
+12 # Billsy 2014-07-06 18:16
Good as it's ever been? Not while blowing a trillion dollars on a poorly designed fighter jet and defending its cost rather than admitting it made a gross error, trashing it and moving on. Sorry but your opinion here is without merit and ignores the greater point made which is that politicians beholden to campaign contributors can rarely admit the truth or come to the most logical and helpful decisions on behalf of their constituents rather than their benefactors.
 
 
+33 # malsywalsy 2014-07-03 23:52
'So, while Bernie Sanders is saying we should cut military spending to fund free college for everyone, his defense of the F-35 means that despite everything else, Sanders is still just a politician'

Carl, if he wasn't a politician he wouldn't be in the Senate. He's be a fireman or a plumber or something.
 
 
+11 # A_Har 2014-07-04 19:17
Quoting indian weaver:
This is one of many reasons I will never again vote for either party nationally. No one good exists in either one, and Bernie is the example. Talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. Sold out like all of them.


Bernie is not a Democrat--from Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders

"Sanders caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments, but because he does not belong to a formal political party, he appears as an independent on the ballot."

He has been correct in my opinion on a lot of things, but he is wrong on this issue. If you support a candidate based on issues rather than party, isn't that what is fundamentally important? I don't get behind him on this one--not at all.

As to the military spending, the USA spends more on defense than all other countries COMBINED: http://mercatus.org/publication/worlds-top-military-spenders-us-spends-more-next-top-14-countries-combined

It is stupid and wasteful...peri od.
 
 
0 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-07-05 23:39
Look @ Bernie's war voting record. Is there a war he did not like and vote funding for? Vermont Air Guard now flies a fleet of F-16s out of Burlington airport. The F-35 will replace those F-16s. Go Bernie go! He voted for the Farm Bill which cut food stamps to the poor.
 
 
+2 # bingers 2014-07-06 14:28
I think the point is that it's already done, or very close and starting over would be a far bigger disaster. Perhaps if they had never started it would be different. And you're wrong about him, way wrong.
 
 
+42 # Buddha 2014-07-03 17:02
When even Bernie is beholden to the Military-Indust rial Complex, and when Liz Warren stumps for BlueDog Dems like Grimes in WVa, it really shows our nation's problems and how broken the Democratic Party is. It ain't the GOP, but it is sad when that is the best that can be said for the Democrats today...
 
 
-18 # brux 2014-07-03 20:43
I'll go with Bernie on this one, I think he knows what he's talking about. BUT, it is as essential that we prioritize human values as just as important as maintaining military dominance - in fact we should have human rights dominance as well.

Why do we have a country that only seems to value one aspect of the economy?
 
 
+6 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-07-06 22:25
Your comment, "we need a strong military."
How strong? Nobody really knows. A great jobs program for the military/indust rial complex. We are now stronger than the next sixteen countries combined. So strong that we ignore our falling bridges, polluted water ways, inferior school system, a world hatred for the abuse of our military force.
 
 
-20 # brux 2014-07-03 20:50
Con't undercut Bernie in his Presidential aspirations now because he doesn't agree with you that the military should be essentially mothballed and shut down ... no one but those extremists on the far left think that, and it would be a very bad idea.

Why do both sides of our government seem to have such a problem with realizing there are two sides of this country that are needed to maintain proper functioning ... the human infrastructure and capital and the military.

We could start to progress as a nation if both sides would ease up and start to be supportive of each other, because honestly, neither side is going to go away or get everything they want.
 
 
+57 # blizmo1 2014-07-03 21:58
Quoting brux:
Con't undercut Bernie in his Presidential aspirations now because he doesn't agree with you that the military should be essentially mothballed and shut down ... no one but those extremists on the far left think that, and it would be a very bad idea.

Why do both sides of our government seem to have such a problem with realizing there are two sides of this country that are needed to maintain proper functioning ... the human infrastructure and capital and the military.

We could start to progress as a nation if both sides would ease up and start to be supportive of each other, because honestly, neither side is going to go away or get everything they want.

Brux:

No corporate giveaways. No BS military trillion-$-boon doggles. Y'know what is keeping us safe? 2 vast oceans, 2 weak neighbors and a residual hegemony on world economy.

You gotta be kidding me: US military spending = next 12 countries COMBINED.

WE HAVE NO COMPETENT ENEMIES. THAT IS WHAT KEEPS US SAFE.
 
 
-20 # brux 2014-07-03 23:57
And why do you think that is? There is no one who "trains" like we do, who develops like we do, who takes this job as seriously as we do. Yes, there is corruption and waste ... I wish we could get rid of it, but human beings are such that almost all of us at every level cheat and waste ... how do you expect to stop that at high levels.

We could do better I'm sure, but that would require a shared goal, and the way the conversation goes on this website that is not possible, and it is because of BOTH SIDES.
 
 
+18 # propsguy 2014-07-04 02:47
as blizmo1 said a lot of our so called dominance is the luck of geography and still resting on our lucky laurels from WW2, during which we were also protected by our location
 
 
+25 # RLF 2014-07-04 07:31
We have a military that has blown off any inteligent approach to war causing us to essentialy spend trillions to lose the last three wars. We need a smaller military that is smarter and can keep us out of wars. The idiotic "they'll come celebrating into the streets" mentality of the Iraq boondoggle is just one instance of the military being completely out of touch. The "god is on our side" crap is out of control also.
 
 
+10 # BobboMax 2014-07-04 10:48
@RLF- gotta remember "they'll come celebrating" & "welcome us w/ open arms" came from Cheney and really represented the industrial side of Ike's "military-indus trial complex." The military was much more hesitant & realistic in the lead-up to the attack on Iraq.

Ref Sanders and the F35, I think he's not so much defending as acknowledging its reality. "...that is the plane of record right now, and it is not gonna be discarded. That’s the reality.” Another program designed for the benefit of the industrial side of the military-indust rial complex, albeit with military complicity. And no doubt some revolving-door action.
 
 
-11 # brux 2014-07-05 19:19
Maybe we lost the battles but we won or are winning the war. Our military is just about as smart as any institution on the planet. Look at the losses in our military ... the losses in the 911 wars have been lower than the suicide levels for God's sake ... we have very measurably done better and are learning to do even better.

The only thing we can do to be better is to ban private contractors.
 
 
+5 # bingers 2014-07-06 14:36
They did come dancing in the streets to celebrate us under Clinton because Clinton protected the everyday people and waged a rational war strategy, freeing the Bosnians and Croats from dictators.

We didn't lose a single soldier under his strategy and captured the bad guys and sent them to the Hague for trial. Bush had an offer from the Taliban to ship all the al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, but he said no, he wanted them shipped here to stand trial in kangaroo courts and then attacked a country which had no part in hostilities against us.
 
 
+2 # RODNOX 2014-07-05 05:22
when we are the aggressors-it is dangerous to have the best funded military----esp ecially when we spit out our soldiers when they are injured---our military is only defensive when the people we attack politically and militarily respond by attacking us back
 
 
+40 # blizmo1 2014-07-03 22:03
And none if us is calling to mothball the military, BTW.

Merely cutting off hemorrhages like the f-35 and sitting tight would take care of us for at least a decade.

Who on Earth are you afraid of? No other power comes near what we have -- reacting to the dog-whistle of "protect the homeland!!" Against imaginary enemies merely keeps us tied Matrix-like to the Machine, sucking us all dry.

Don't fall for it; go investigate other countries and see the fear is just a chimera.
 
 
-1 # bingers 2014-07-06 14:37
The money for the F-35 has already been spent. Starting over would be way more expensive and pointless.
 
 
+32 # Farafalla 2014-07-03 22:42
OMG! Even Pat Bucahannan (in a moment of truth swoon) said "democracy and empire are incompatible". We can't hope to have both. Our military and it's jets are there for empire, not democracy.

Brux represents the voice of imperialism. To follow his logic is to acquiesce to his overarching paradigm of world control through military might. Conservatives have become bare knuckle interventionist s. That hasn't worked well so far.

The F-35 is pork aimed right at screwing with Sanders on the left. It works. I'm suddenly, once again, grossed out at politics. Opposition to imperialism is the electric third rail of American politics. You are not allowed to oppose the empire, even if it's backing up like a sewer. No Dem dares say they oppose the imperial reach of corporate America.
 
 
-8 # brux 2014-07-05 19:16
> Brux represents the voice of imperialism.

No, Brux does not.

Your simpleminded intellect just cannot handle the complexity of the world today. Perhaps you'd rather see Russia, China or an Islamic Caliphate dictating the global reality instead of a group of moderate Liberal Western powers?
 
 
+22 # Thebigkate 2014-07-03 22:59
This is so disappointing-- and so much about the way Washington operates. Even Bernie Sanders, a man of the people, is beholden to get pork for his state when he can. And he will. After all, even with a stellar person like Bernie Sanders, America is still EMPIRE! He knows this and supports it. DOUBLE YUK!
 
 
-19 # tomslockett 2014-07-03 23:23
I have to agree with Bernie and Brux on this one. An example of waste is the congressional authorization of more F-18 Growlers over the objections of the Pentagon.

The F-35 is the second best US air superiority fighter, behind the existing F-22 Raptor which is now out of production. The F-35 was chosen as the future-technolo gy-based least risky development model to replace the aging F-14,F-15,F-16 and F-18 technology. It shares 80% of its parts between the three versions, standard takeoff and landing, short takeoff and vertical landing, and carrier based.

US air superiority has been proven with 100% victories for US produced fighters against Russian produced models in past confrontations between other countries. That's because the US technology could "see" and shoot down the Russian built fighters before they even knew they were were being intercepted. The knowledge of this technological superiority has stopped rational thought before proceeding to confront US fighter technology.

Both Russia and China are now producing fighter planes that significantly reduce or eliminate that advantage. Because of US cost considerations there are not multiple fighter versions being developed for the future. The F-35 is our only plan to build that technological advantage into the future. We either build it, or give up this technological advantage for the foreseeable future.

No presidential candidate willing to do that will be elected in 2016. Bernie is right about the F-35.
 
 
+9 # brux 2014-07-04 00:02
Good post, people here are blind to even thinking about this subject with an open mind and totally willing to turn on their favorite Bernie Sanders like ravenous sharks. Bernie's not stupid, and the writers of these articles should be helping people to understand the problems here, not pandering to the worst aspects of their constituency.
 
 
+15 # RLF 2014-07-04 07:36
We have companies building these things without producing anything useful...to me that is called fraud. Give us a functioning aircraft for the budgeted money or get sued for stealing the cash. If we required results for our money, we would have a much superior product. Big Business would never allow this crap...why should the people?
 
 
+16 # thekidde 2014-07-04 11:52
Big business, particularly the banks, run on fraud, exceptionalism and greed for the few - wake up.
 
 
+2 # psadave 2014-07-05 01:14
I would take an equal number of any 1 of the older model fighter jets vs F-35 any day. We have lots of very good aircraft that we hardly need/use, just keep them in shape. Here is a long article about the history of the F=35.
https://medium.com/war-is-boring/5c95d45f86a5
 
 
+31 # VictorG 2014-07-03 23:41
My God, Bernie, why must the USA be most powerful in the world? Every intervention outside US boundaries after World War Two has meant disaster for the country we've hit - and has never improved the lot (or the safety) of the American people. In the present world, the USA needs no superior weapons, and least of all swift bringers of death and destruction to innocent people in Vietnam, Libya, Panama, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan - or conceivably Ukraine, and who knows where else? If only people pressure could overcomer Lockheed pressure!
 
 
+11 # thekidde 2014-07-04 11:51
You must send this question to the Bushes, Cheneys, etc. Not Bernie.
 
 
+18 # Sweet Pea 2014-07-04 06:20
War is profitable for the wealthy investors in the huge military machine and the oil industry. Why would our legislators bite the hand that feeds them?
 
 
+19 # RLF 2014-07-04 07:38
War is the only thing produced in the good ole USA now...everythin g else is made in Asia.
 
 
+3 # intheEPZ 2014-07-04 07:26
You go Carl! This is what I call accountability. Call them out!
 
 
+9 # Vardoz 2014-07-04 09:19
The level of economic abuse that is taking place poses a serious threat to the health, safety and welfare of the people of our nation and to our economy. If accountability, checks and balances and regulations designed to protect the nation and the people are not put in place, we shall fail as a society. We will become just another multitude that is crushed by a barbaric and savage agressor
 
 
+17 # WBoardman 2014-07-04 11:36
The problem here it that there is no context.

What Bernie says is really undeniable,
even if it is politically slippery.

Where it the follow-up question to Bernie:
"WHY do you think it's the reality?"

The answer to that (which Bernie would probably duck)
is that there's nothing effective Bernie can do about
the F-35. When the issue was hot in Vermont, he might
have pitched in and made a difference, but realistically,
the effort would have been quixotic. The BIGGEST hurdle
to taking on the F-35 in Vermont is Sen LEAHY who has
backed it from the beginning in a death-grip with the
Vermont Air Guard (a constituency Bernie has no interest
in antagonizing, especially in futile opposition). For some
nuance on Vermont try:
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/17104-focus-if-pork-could-fly

So why attack Bernie?
Why go after one of the few Senators who might actually
be a progressive ally?
Sure, he's a "politician" – as distinct from whom?
It's fine to criticize him, but criticism should be honest.
Bernie has not "doubled down" on the F-35 – he's hardly
even "single-downed. "
And as the opening quote demonstrates, he doesn't come
close to a "defense of the F-35" – he doesn't engage on
the merits, and he wasn't asked to.

Vermont Democrats have solidly stood behind Leahy and
the F-35, which is no reason to call out an independent:

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/266-32/16508-why-governments-fail
 
 
+8 # thekidde 2014-07-04 11:50
Nowhere in the article did I read Bernie defending the F35. He stated it is a fact, flawed or not, and that is reality. Saying that's a "defense" of this piece of crap is remedial reading idiocy. Jumping to unsupported (by reality) conclusions makes an ass of you.
 
 
+1 # fredboy 2014-07-04 12:23
Burlington and South Burlington must be absolute shit holes if they want F-35s based there. You hit the nail on the head--just another politician.

It's funny, but you could wrap a cow turd in a sign reading "jobs" and most Americans would salute and support it.
 
 
+8 # ElRoi 2014-07-04 13:15
How is factually stating the reality of the situation in anyway "defending" something. This is a load of crap. You go with the utter BS sHillary 2016 supporters.

Sanders / Warren 2016

I't about time for some REAL Hope for a Change!

They are last, best hope.
 
 
+4 # DaveHOz 2014-07-04 13:45
This obviously means jobs in Vermont, and no sane politician is going to risk alienating workers in their own constituency. Admittedly, Sen. Sanders is waffling in the above statement, due to the apparent conflict between his conscience and "jobs for Vermont"; but that's still better than unquestioningly bowing down to the corporations like most of our current "leaders" do.

We're never going to get saintly politicians -- That's probably a contradiction in terms...
 
 
+3 # lfeuille 2014-07-04 15:33
[quote name="DaveHOz"] This obviously means jobs in Vermont, and no sane politician is going to risk alienating workers in their own constituency. Admittedly, Sen. Sanders is waffling in the above statement, due to the apparent conflict between his conscience and "jobs for Vermont"; but that's still better than unquestioningly bowing down to the corporations like most of our current "leaders" do.

There is also a fair amount of opposition in Vermont from communities that will be impacted by the noise. I guess Bernie's done the math and decided the support outweighs the opposition. But this sets a bad precedent. There are many issues related to global warming that will at least initially and in certain areas cause job loss, but they still need to be done. If it's only in Vermont that Bernie won't fight for what's right, it will leave him open to charges of hiprocracy. He does advocate free college, which many in the establishment consider quixotic. That said, I still prefer him to anyone else that has so far been put forth.]
 
 
-8 # Lorraine B. 2014-07-04 14:31
Bernie, Bernie, we hardly knew ye... until now.
 
 
-4 # tomslockett 2014-07-04 16:33
This is truly a tough subject for Bernie and for us. To take it seriously we must confront unpleasant truths and comforting lies we tell ourselves.

Yes, we go to war far too easily and have made terrible decisions since WWII. The world would be a far better place if military spending was slashed and spent instead on a better quality of life here on planet earth. We need to work together through the UN and the world community to disarm, trust, and verify. A Secretary of State should resign in shame for failed diplomacy for recommending a military attack. No military attack should be launched without a declaration of war by Congress as is required by the Constitution. The voters should not be fooled by Wall Street and the military industrial complex to allow the situation we are in. We should not give up the goal to remedy the situation we are in. But unhappily that is not the world we live in at this time.

This is really a difficult existential question. How effective would our diplomatic efforts be if we did not have military superiority? Should we give up military superiority and unilaterally disarm, leaving nuclear weapons as our only way to respond to a threat? Do we trust the American public, which has initially supported every mistaken military adventure, not to support the use of nuclear weapons if threatened with no other means of response?

For me the best approach is to support a Bernie-like rational candidate with his values. Would you disarm, instead?
 
 
+10 # fredboy 2014-07-04 16:56
When I was a teen I once dated a girl from Hopewell, VA, hailed at the time as the chemical capital of the South. When we drove back to her house after a movie the stench enveloping the entire town was horrible, a putrid, pinching odor that seemed to scour my nasal passages--Allie d Chemical, Hercules and other chem plants were spewing.

As we approached her house I asked "How do you and your family put up with that horrible smell?" She smiled and replied "What you smell is jobs."

A few years later dozens of chem plant workers and their families faced devastating health threats from Kepone. And countless others were likely impacted by the air and water borne chemical soup they ingested.

I smell, you smell, we all smell--Hopewell .

And "jobs."
 
 
+6 # A_Har 2014-07-04 19:29
Quoting brux:
That is really simplistic thinking. The fact is is that our military is as good as it has ever been ... better. The management, technology, training, and keeping the feedback to all systems working to keep everything up to date and training with it.


Democracy has paid a nasty price for this as Eisenhower warned in his farewell address:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWiIYW_fBfY
 
 
-6 # brux 2014-07-05 19:14
Be sure and tell us all about something we have heard for decades. The point is that it was there with Eisenhauer, and it is there now ... do you really expect it to go away.

Liberals better make their peace with the military industrial complex, it has kept the peace and served its purpose and will not be going away and if threatened with defend itself.

Stick to what is a Liberal/progres sive agenda and "render unto Caesar" so to speak ... that can work, challenging the existence of the US is a bit waste of time mistake. The good cannot be the enemy of the perfect.
 
 
+5 # Auteur47 2014-07-04 23:50
Sen Sanders has been right on everything, except this one. The F-35 issue shows that even he still must function in a political environment in order to survive politically. That is the reality, the "plane of record" BS notwithstanding .
The critics of the F-35 have made a very compelling case against this weapons system. My sympathies go to the aircrews whose lives will be put in jeopardy when they fly this contraption into combat. We will be much better off with this plane in the bone yards. Too bad so much of our treasure will have been wasted in the process instead of being put to better use.
 
 
+3 # Doctor C 2014-07-05 04:31
I think the comment from Shakespeare applies here: "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

If we want change we need to actively work to make it happen. Where are your specific calls to specific actions, folks?
 
 
+12 # Phillybuster 2014-07-05 12:17
We have the most powerful military in the world, yet we haven't won a war since WWII unless you want to count the "fish in a barrel" conflicts like Grenada and Panama. Yes, let's keep the pork flowing for projects like the F-35 "Widowmaker", but when it comes to something like repairing and building infrastructure the refrain from Congress is always, "We have no money!"
 
 
+3 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2015-01-16 10:20
The US is the most powerful military empire in the history of the world. According to the Pentagon, we have more than 750 military bases in some 130 countries. By comparison Russia has 1 and China has none at all.
What does this gain us? Are we as a people any happier, any more secure than other developed countries? Not according to any of the international surveys I've seen. If anything, this hyper militarism only feeds our national paranoia while funneling trillions of dollars to Wall Street and the ruling class.
 
 
+1 # Bezy 2015-08-16 15:06
Wow, do I hate the thread under this post. Bernie Sanders is pragmatic. Those god damn jets were already built so we might as well use them was one and only point by his statement.
 
 
0 # DaveO_Alaska 2015-10-26 21:40
https://medium.com/war-is-boring/fd-how-the-u-s-and-its-allies-got-stuck-with-the-worlds-worst-new-warplane-5c95d45f86a5#.9gq3ql73u
 
 
0 # jesnmoch 2016-03-07 17:14
I think you missed the point. If this is a done deal, even if it was grossly expensive (the money has already been paid), why throw a useful (though faulted) weapon away, and start spending anew for another expensive weapon? Especially when we are at peace, when you don't plan to get involved in more war, and when you DO plan to use the savings of the freed up funds to pay for education. Sander's remains consistent in his thinking and planning whether his constituents profit from this or not. Why throw good money after bad? It's not as if we don't have enough weaponry to protect ourselves if threatened!
 

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