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writing for godot

The Dinosaur Party and Dangerous "Useless Eaters"

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Written by Dr. Roger Kotila   
Monday, 26 June 2017 07:26

President Trump and Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have submitted a proposed 2018 budget which adds $50 billion to the Pentagon’s already bloated war budget, while calling for catastrophic funding cuts in health care which could impact those with medical problems, the disabled, the poor, and the working poor.

The budget opens the door for tax reductions which greatly benefit the rich.  E.J. Dionne, Jr. in the San Francisco Chronicle (6/26/17) writes “About $33 billion of this would go to tax cuts conservatively averaging $7 million every year to each of the 400 highest-income families in the country.”

While President Trump gives the Pentagon’s war machine extra billions and withdraws the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords, Speaker Ryan appears determined to reduce the population of those who, like in Hitler’s Nazi Germany, are seen as “useless eaters.”

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords by itself earns the Republican Party a new title – the Dinosaur Party, as it risks large scale deaths from weather extremes.

But climate change denial isn’t the only dinosaur policy.  The budget continues to lavishly fund the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Life Extinction Program (LEP), a plan whose aim is to “modernize” our nuclear weapons systems but is likely to cause a nuclear arms race.

Reducing access to health care services can be viewed as an indirect form of extinction policy, aimed at the needy.  The goal appears disturbingly similar to when Hitler ordered the extermination of adults or children unable to function independently because of disabilities or significant medical conditions.

For the Nazis, such folks were deemed unproductive “useless eaters” – “life unworthy of life” (Wikipedia, “Useless Eaters”).  In a Salon article by Chauncey DeVega (3/20/17) the subtitle reads: “Trump’s budget proposes many ways to punish the poor.  It’s a new version of the Nazi urge to purge “parasites.”

With Speaker Ryan involved, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised since he admired greatly the ideas of the author of “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand who advocated individual selfishness over the good of the community, and especially held contempt for the weak and the poor.

For Ryan, dreams for an Ayn Rand world of personal selfishness and greed may finally come true.  Useless eaters, Paul Ryan might explain in the best Ayn Rand tradition, are “takers.”  They don't deserve the government's help.  It only makes them more dependent.

But Ryan and the Republicans have it wrong.  The disabled, the sick, the poor, are not to be cast off as useless eaters, but seen and valued as members of someone’s family to be loved and cared for.

Finding the real useless eaters

The real “useless eaters” are the financially overfed beneficiaries of the military/industrial complex like Lockheed Martin Corp. the prime contractor for the F-35, a new fighter jet that can carry a B61-12 nuclear bomb.

The F-35 has been described as the most expensive military program in Pentagon history (Hartung, Center for International Policy).  Trillions of dollars are happily given for this aircraft, the fighter plane that, according to objective experts, can't fight or fly right.  It's a lemon.  Journalist Paul Barrett asks “Is the F-35 a Trillion Dollar Mistake?” (Bloomberg.com/news, 4/4/17).

The total military-related part of the 2018 U.S. budget feeds absurd amounts of taxpayer cash to what should be seen as the real “useless eaters” – such as the LEP nuclear attack program which includes the F-35, B-21, B61-12, and the W80-4.  The money for these diabolical weapons should go for health care and education, not death and destruction.

The Republican budget, as noted earlier, continues to fund the NNSA’s euphemistically labeled Life Extension Program.  The LEP continues a 30 year plan started under President Obama to spend a trillion dollars (!) to “modernize” our nuclear warheads, bombs, and delivery systems.

In reality, the LEP is a Life Extinction Program.

The LEP features refined ways to end the world with tactical nuclear bombs (B61-12) to be deployed in Europe, and with nuclear warheads (W80-4) for cruise missiles – the latter a “modernized” nuclear warhead considered by some experts to be a first strike weapon.

The B-21 stealth bomber built by Northrop Grumman is another useless eater of taxpayer money which can carry nukes to end the world.  The B-21 is so expensive that its estimated cost was kept secret by Congress.  Lately, it is believed that the cost is upwards of $58 billion (The Defense Monitor, Sept., 2016).

Let’s hope and pray that a boastful President Trump doesn’t get an itchy trigger finger and becomes overcome by a mood to remind the world that America is “exceptional” and “can’t be messed with!” and impulsively orders a nuclear first strike.

Having a brash President with access to a lethally armed nuclear war machine in an aggressive nation like the U.S., and who is also a climate change denier, is not a combination that bodes well for the homeland or the world.

Add it up, and it feels appropriate to refer to the present Republican Party as the “Dinosaur” Party.  It is a Party whose budget will make sure that people who need help won't get it -- not food stamps, not Medicaid, not wheels on meals.  Instead, the money will go to the unproductive rich and its ever increasingly dangerous military/industrial complex.

Senator Dianne Feinstein has been quoted to say that “…Congress shouldn’t fund dangerous new weapons designed to fight unwinnable nuclear wars.” (Citizen’s Watch, Spring 2017)

Seeking an end to the danger of a nuclear nightmare

Recognizing that nuclear militarism is a dead end, the peace-loving nations at the United Nations are currently seeking to ban nuclear weapons.  Yet the Dinosaur Party, as well as many corporate Democrats, have yet to get the message.

The same shameful opposition can be said for the permanent 5 veto members of the UN Security Council – France, Great Britain, Russia, China, and the U.S. -- all of whom are attempting to stop the UN from passing a ban on nukes.

But he UN, no matter how well intentioned, lacks the tools needed to successfully end the dangers of life extinction. The UN Charter itself lacks provisions to protect human rights, or enforce treaties or international law.  As a result, aggressive nations may simply ignore the ban.

The Earth Constitution could provide the needed answers for a “new UN.”  The EC offers a blueprint to transform the World System into one capable of preventing the danger of life extinction, and is designed to replace the inadequate UN Charter.

The second “Building the World Parliament” conference under the Earth Constitution meets in Delhi, India in December, 2017 and will be open to interested activists and the public.

Roger Kotila, Ph.D.,  Earth Federation News & Views www.earthfederation.info

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