NFL

Super Bowl XLIX as a Case Study in the Mechanics of Pro-War Propaganda

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The Pat Tillman Freedom Plaza is situated just a couple hundred yards away from the entrance of the University of Phoenix Stadium, the host of this year's Super Bowl. Built by the home franchise Arizona Cardinals, the memorial features a solemn concrete slab surrounding a life-size bronze statue of its namesake, forever frozen in a warrior's roar. Patrick Daniel Tillman instantly became an icon of self-sacrificial patriotic enthusiasm when he walked away from a multi-million dollar NFL contract to join the Army Rangers in the wake of 9/11. His legend was secured when he was killed in action in April 2004.

Tillman was a man possessed of exceptional bravery and a fiercely independent mind. But his story is also one of cynical image management conducted at the highest levels of the American military in order to foster public support for war. And it's precisely this kind of pernicious narrative building that animates much of the U.S. military's marketing, which, it just so happens, thoroughly saturates NFL games.

Tillman died from "friendly fire." His Ranger platoon was traveling through a valley in Southeast Afghanistan when, in response to a couple of rifle shots from local insurgents aimed at the back half of the convoy, Tillman, another ranger, and a local Afghan militia fighter set up position overlooking the mouth of the valley. One of the tail-end humvees emerged, mistook Tillman and the others for enemies, and opened fire. During several minutes of shooting, three bullets shattered his skull. He'd been repeatedly shouting—screaming—"Why are you shooting at me? I'm Pat fucking Tillman!"

An internal investigation determined Tillman's death resulted from reckless bloodlust and "gross negligence," not exactly unpredictable phenomena when pairing young males with high-powered weaponry. One of the shooters flat-out admitted to investigators he'd failed to follow proper Ranger protocol for identifying a target because he "just wanted to be in a firefight."

The United States government immediately moved to suppress the circumstances of Tillman's death from the public and preserve a useful iconography. In violation of military regulations, Ranger personnel destroyed his body army, helmet and uniform. Top brass ordered his platoon mates not to tell his family he'd been killed by another American soldier. Tillman was posthumously awarded a Silver Star based on forged soldier testimony. And, contra explicit instructions he left on his deployment forms, officials gave him a full military funeral—nationally televised, of course, and including a Ranger eulogy claiming Tillman had died defending against a Taliban ambush.

Pat's mother, who thinks this cover-up extends to the highest reaches of the military, had to battle a stonewalling bureaucracy for years to unearth the truth about her son's death. Her fight culminated in a 2007 congressional hearing which, predictably, devolved into repulsive kabuki theater, capped off with the patented loose-skinned mendacity of one Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Pat Tillman is worthy of awe. But what the government did with his death is propaganda, full stop. It constructed a false narrative to advance a political agenda. And this is not an isolated incident. Such calculated image-crafting undergirds a lot of the American military's $700 million a year public marketing efforts.

You'll definitely see this in action today, as the NFL audience is replete with the military's prime recruitment demographic. The biggest chunk of that overall marketing total—about $200 million—goes to the Army, giving it the single biggest ad contract in the federal government. And the Army devotes a full five percent of its marketing budget just to television advertisements during NFL games.

An emblematic spot draws a crass parallel between competitive sports and combat:

Another from the Navy—which I've seen pop up while bearing witness to the sustained exercise in expensive mediocrity that is the Washington Redskins—scores a series of slow-motion action shots to some soldier testimonies filled with capitalized warrior watchwords ("Democracy," "Freedom," "Honor," etc.):

And I've seen at least one of these ads from the Marine Corps (1:06), whose marketing more than occasionally resembles a Jerry Bruckheimer-directed LSD trip:

This advertising relationship runs both ways. The NFL funnels about $800,000 a year to various military charities through its "Salute to Service" program—a pittance for a multi-billion dollar operation that pays its commissioner $44 million annually—and in return the league gets to drape itself in hollow pro-soldier branding.

We do not live in some sort of Chomskyite dystopia in which all patriotic sloganeering is simply a smokescreen for Halliburton to keep harvesting Arab orphans or what not. And I'm personally sympathetic to an emergent libertarian wing that rejects the extreme isolationism that has historically categorized the movement's foreign policy philosophy.

But marketing that myopically focuses on the theatrical heroics of soldiers does obscure the messy complexities of the battlefield. And it cultivates a reflexive sacralization that draws attention away from the often inept decision-making that puts our soldiers in harm's way in the first place.

And this is always worth repeating: the conception and execution of American wars in the 21st century has often been epically inept. In Iraq, as extensively documented, a complete lack of post-invasion planning left allied forces flat-footed once sectarian violence filled the power vacuum created by Saddam's fall. Seriously: a 21-year-old whose most significant job up to that point had been driving an ice cream truck was charged with purging the central government of Baathist militia.

The cost of this ineptitude comes denominated in corpses. Since 2001, 6,845 US soldiers have been killed in the Middle East theater. Thousands more have returned home ruined by the physical and psychological ravages of combat.

The military's agitprop, exemplified in the Tillman story, actively fosters a kind of lazy patriotism that makes people disinclined to ask tough questions about the broader context of our soldiers' sacrifice. Just snap a selfie with the statue, dutifully bow your head when some "support the troops"-type bromide gets blasted through stadium speakers during warm-ups, and that's it. You've done your duty. Now, can we please just get to the game?

NEXT: Can We Shut Up About the Weather? And Start Talking About Super-Bowl-Sized Corporate Handouts?

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  1. Well done.

    1. Personally, some of the over the top language seems to be reaching for a Sheldon Richman Prize.

      But I suspect the author knows much more of combat and such than I.

      1. “Personally, some of the over the top language seems to be reaching for a Sheldon Richman Prize.”

        ‘Reckless Bloodlust’ had me wondering what contrasting examples of ‘responsible and thoughtful Bloodlust‘ would necessitate the distinction.

        tho it doesn’t quite reach Sheldon-levels of ‘gross, willful distortion of reality’.

        I understand that many (most) people find the canned-militaristic Disney-style-propaganda routines that get slapped onto the SuperBowl to be… unseemly. That the ‘Starship Troopers’- advertisements grate the nerves. I think the author might be surprised to learn that a vast majority actually see them the same way.

        The difference being that most people don’t see it as an excuse for an annual “I’m no Noam Chomsky, but….”-Rant at everyone else around them.

        Yes, yes… we *know*. It DOES “cultivate a reflexive sacralization“.

        Which – provided there are also plenty of Nachos – are part of what constitutes ‘mass entertainment’ in America. Shocking, i know.

        And this *is* technically ‘lazy patriotism‘. Because I’m sitting on a couch on a Sunday with the objective of drinking a half case of beer. Which apparently someone has taken as an ideal opportunity to go all anarchist-media-critic on everybody.

        Because what Superbowl Sunday *really* needs is a pre-game lecture from “Rik

      2. They name Beerz after guys like you Switzy!

        =)

  2. But the military’s agitprop, exemplified in the Tillman story, fosters a kind of lazy patriotism that makes people disclined to ask tough questions about the broader context of our soldiers’ sacrifice.

    Yeah. Well, same as it ever was. There’s nothing remotely unique in the laziness of citizen patriotism. In fact, laziness is a characteristic of American thought, not just by the general public, but by what passes for the pundit class.

    So, Rob, you’re just tuning in to the reality of institutions shaping narrative (otherwise known as lying) to their own benefit? And also marketing to receptive demographics?

  3. Tillman’s story and Sniper present a good case that we are far too casual in asking these fine men to sacrifice their lives for non-essential reasons. THAT should be the lesson: these lives are too precious to waste.

    1. But if their all just Adam Lanzas anyways shouldn’t we want to use them as suicide soldiers?

  4. Meh, article is a C- attempt.

    “But the military’s agitprop, …”

    LOL, really agitprop? Dredging up some cold war terminology there aren’t we. And Agitprop explicitly involves censorship of the press. Whereas, the Tilman story was an example of the Press outing the Truth that Tilman’s unit tried to cover up.

    Still for the hyperbolic, Cold War language that brought me a reminiscent chuckle I’m bumping you up to a C.

    Final Grade: C

    1. The Rangers were the problem here. Trying to make it seem like some vast, overarching machinery was involved, instead of one bunch closing ranks and making stuff up to make themselves look better than reality boots nothing.

    2. And Agitprop explicitly involves censorship of the press.

      Really? I thought it meant exactly what he’s talking about. Movies and the like that are made by the government for purely motivational propaganda purposes.

      1. No censorship needed. Agitprop is agitprop, and though it had its origin as a Soviet/Russian term, it’s clearly an accepted word in the English language now. I wonder if there’s some concern trolling in play here.

        I’m not sure “the press” outed the truth so much as Pat Tillman’s mother. She could have certainly gone along with the bullshit narrative being peddled by the gummint. I don’t really see our spineless press doing any such thing.

        I’m reasonably certain that Pat Tillman was awesome. I am similarly reasonably certain that our “strategists” (both military and civilian) have their heads in their asses.

      2. So the Chrysler ads talking about an American comeback are also Agitprop? This article is Sheldon level kneejerkism.

        1. *facepalm*

          I guess you can call a commercial advertisement propaganda, but then you’d sound dumb.

        2. Agitprop (/??d??tpr?p/; from Russian: ???????? [????t?prop], derived from agitation and propaganda)[1] is stage plays, pamphlets, motion pictures and other art forms with an explicitly political message.

          Did the Chrysler adds talking about an American comeback have an explicit, political message?

          Propaganda is just communication for the purpose of persuading a population towards a certain position. It doesn’t necessarily have to be political, but it gained it’s most negative connotation by being associated with politics. Since it was so important to the rise of Hitler, you can’t have a conversation about the history of propaganda without talking about that, thus permanently Godwinning the term.

  5. And this is worth repeating in perpetuity: the conception and execution of America’s flagship war of the 21st century were epically inept. The Bush administration twisted intelligence reports to make the case that Iraq represented an imminent threat. And a complete lack of post-invasion planning left allied forces flat-footed once sectarian violence filled the power vacuum created by Saddam’s fall.

    What the fuck does this have to do with Pat Tillman who was killed in Afghanistan?

    Also, in what conceivable sense was Tillman’s patriotism “lazy”? The guy signed up to fight with the Army Rangers when he thought his country was under attack.

    This is just garbage. Whatever you think of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (I think they’ve proven very, very, poor policy), resorting to knee-jerk anti-military boilerplate to replace a legitimate criticism of the military for the cover-up of the circumstances of Tillman’s death is the sort of thing that makes reasonable people tune libertarians out.

    1. The author transited from the Tillman story several sentences earlier:

      “And this is not an isolated incident. Such calculated image-crafting undergirds much of the American military’s public marketing.”

      It would be reasonable to assume that following would be a discussion of wider policy.

      Further, the author did not call Tillman’s patriotism lazy. He expresses admiration for Tillman, in fact. He was clearly referring to those that think cheering as planes fly over a stadium or snapping selfies with Tillman’s statue is somehow in any meaningful way supporting those who might have to make the same sacrifice Tillman did.

      1. Meh, better than telling me I am dupe, killbot, only-joined-because-money-killin’-rapin’ or such.

        Maybe people just like jets flying overhead.

    2. This is a strange post. There’s nothing knee-jerk about this article. He was using Tillman’s death to illustrate a much broader point.

      The Iraq war was poorly executed and so was Afghanistan. America relied on a small number of spec ops with a lot of ‘help’ from Afghan ‘allies’ who fucked America over. Should have had 100,000 army rangers and marines and a nuke for Tora Bora.

    3. It is curious how eagerly some of Tilman’s relatives helped the anti-war Left throw mud on his reputation. Perhaps they were angry at him for walking away from all that football money, that would have put everyone on Easy Street.

      Friendly-fire incidents happen in war. It in no way detracts from Tilman’s honor and sacrifice that the bullets that killed him in a dangerous battlefield were “friendly” rather than hostile. (It might be a different story if a soldier’s own carelessness exposed him to “friendly fire,” but by all accounts Tilman was doing what he was supposed to do.)

  6. Why isn’t it just Super Bowl IL?

    Stupid Romans

    1. Because Illinois can’t host one…. what?

      1. Perfect day here for one, though. Snowing sideways. That’s how football ought to be played.

    2. I’m pretty sure that The Super Bowl? is the only reason most Americans know any Roman numerals at all.

      1. Nuh uh! There’s also the Star Wars movies. So there.

    3. The actual Romans would have used XXXXVIIII. The shorthand was developed after the Western Empire fell…

      1. I figured it would have just been 49 I’s.

        1. Sounds like an Obama speech.

          1. Now ?that? was damned funny.

  7. “Violent ground acquisition games such as football is in fact a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war.”

    –Derek Lutz

    1. Damn, beat me to it!

    2. as much as lutz’s quote is a silly oversimplification, there is something very reptile-brained going on at massive team sports events. throngs of drunken people, emotionally invested in whether this or that steroid-addled freak moved in a pre-specified manner; its always given me the creeps. team sports are all about tribalism, and thats why theyve alwayve been an easy fit for jingoist messaging. blood sports, though, are the sports of intellectuals and artists. boxing, mma, bull-fighting: these sports have real drama and exalt an individual’s triumph, instead of the worship of a “team”.

      1. Walter Camp also talked about the relation of football to nationalism.

        1. You know who ?else? compared football to nationalism?

      2. Ya know, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

      3. Sounds like you are over thinking. I’m a college football fan. To me the games are fun, that’s about where it ends. A bit of escapism, etc.

        I think you are getting close to saying that subjective tastes in entertainment say something deep about somebody. An POV that I find to be bullshit.

      4. I like bull fighting. Especially when the clown gets it in the butt. Spanish cow murdering where they pre-weaken the bull and arm the matadors is just cruel.
        disclaimer: I don’t think bull fighting should be illegal

  8. This is full on stupid. People die by friendly fire in war all of the time. When people die in a war it is either because they fucked up, were unlucky or both. You are just as dead and made just as much of a sacrifice whether you died from friendly or enemy fire.

    Sure, the government didn’t want to admit the truth that Tillman died because someone fucked up. At the same time, the public doesn’t want the truth that a lot of people die in war because of that. The fact is Tillman’s sacrifice and the admirable nature of someone walking away from an NFL career to join the infantry doesn’t change because of the exact reason he died. He could have been accidentally run over by a truck and it would still be the same.

    1. How is a deliberate cover up of a soldier’s sacrifice for better public relations not a problem for you? One of the core values of the military service is supposed to be integrity. Not only that, but I’m damn tired of people assuming that the public is too immature, stupid, or easily incited to know the truth about what is being done by the government that acts in their name. It’s paternalistic and doesn’t have a place in a free society.

      And for the record, the author made a point to express admiration for Tillman’s decision to enlist. I’m pretty sure if you had asked him, though, he would have wanted his family to know the truth about his death rather than having his commanders lie to them about it.

      1. How is a deliberate cover up of a soldier’s sacrifice for better public relations not a problem for you?

        It just means the government sucks. But we already knew that. Ultimately, I really don’t care how Tillman died. His sacrifice is the same regardless.

        1. Absolutely it is. But I care when, as opposed to honorably handing his grieving family a flag, they set out to use him as a propaganda tool. Then I care, because the government shouldn’t suck. And we shouldn’t stop complaining about its suckiness just because it does so in overwhelming fashion.

        2. But the article didn’t say anything different. You are excusing the propaganda and lying, and you’re doing it because it was Bush’s government. I guarantee you’ve expressed more outrage over Obama chewing gum in public than the Bush administration lying to the American people to start, and to defend, entire fraudulent wars. This article does not disparage Tillman. So what gives?

        3. God damn it, now you’re making me agree with Tony. You MONSTER!

          1. I know. It’s a sad day, because I agree with him too.

    2. Your post is full on stupid. There is no such entity as ‘the public’, and regardless of what it wants the government should not be lying.

  9. Tillman’s death resulted from reckless bloodlust and “gross negligence,” not exactly unpredictable phenomena when pairing young males with high-powered weaponry.

    Yes. That would be why gun ranges across America are littered with the corpses of their patrons, and why neighborhoods where gun culture is prevalent are such killing fields, you hoplophobic jackass.

    And as far as crass manipulation and image-making goes — no shit. Next you’ll tell me that Carl’s Jr isn’t patronized by the lusty 20-somethings I see on their commercials. If you had any respect for the agency of those in the military, you’d give reasons for them not to join instead of shoveling up bullshit about “agitprop” and the like. The military had plenty of willing volunteers before TV ads and President Bush.

    1. Man, when I enlisted at 18, I could barely refrain from shooting the shit out of everything I saw!!!!!

      1. Wait –

        That was YOU?!!

    2. Gun ranges =/= war zone

      I don’t think the author ever said that soldiers were getting sucked in because of agitprop but rather that it is unhealthy on other levels and wrong in itself.

  10. high-powered weaponry

    This term sets off bullshit alarms instantly. Whenever I see it I instinctively tune out any statement it is attached to.

    1. Why? He wanted you to know the Rangers weren’t wielding pitchforks and swords. That’s good information!

      1. Of course they wouldn’t have pitchforks or swords, they have Tomahawks!

  11. If I may quibble:

    The Army runs a pro-military propaganda campaign. I recall few to no references in its ads to Iraq, Afghanistan or other deployments (although there are plenty of pix of dusty crapholes with soldiers maneuvering through them).

    There is zero content demonizing anyone, an essential element of actual pro-war propaganda. If anything, depictions of foreigners are relentlessly positive, not negative.

    1. It’s because they can’t blatantly dehumanize the enemy until after you’ve signed your life away. They have to appeal to your vague patriotism and sense of duty to get you to sign up. After you sign your life away, then they start getting you in the killing mindset, which requires dehumanization.

      1. right…because the armed forces are a totally new concept and no one knew what their primary purpose was prior to 9/11.

        1. I never said it was a new concept. It’s as old as war. But you’re not going to see ads calling on young men to fight the “baby killing huns” anymore (at least not so explicitly). They wait until after you’re in to start that sort of talk.

      2. Citation?

        1. Are there ads calling Iraqis hajis? No. But that was the “gook” and the “hun” of the Iraq War. It’s just a fact of war that in the eyes of the fighters, the enemy has to be objectified if not dehumanized.

          1. Okay you pulled it out of your rear. Got it.

            1. Wtf kind of citation are you looking for? Research about the subject? Video of soldiers calling Iraqis hajis? Excerpts from Chris Kyle’s book where he calls Iraqis subhuman? What?

              1. Actual military propaganda that does that. You seem to have shifted the goalposts.

                1. If you can point out that I said there were ads produced that dehumanized the enemy then you might have a point. My point was that it wasn’t so blatant anymore, but dehumanization is still necessary so they do it less publicly, make it part of the unofficial military culture.

  12. Ultimately, I really don’t care how Tillman died. His sacrifice is the same regardless.

    What

    the

    fuck?

    1. They should just have a Medal of Honor dispenser right at the recruiter’s office.

  13. Fuck the *Patriots. I hope they lose in record-breaking fashion. Fuck Tom Brady. Fuck Bill Belichick. Fuck Robert Kraft. Fuck *Patriot fans.

    /tribalism

    1. Fuck Art Modell! For Warty…and America.

    2. Fuck the Patriots

      Yes, thanks I already read the piece.

      But who are you rooting for in the *game*?

  14. an emergent libertarian wing that rejects the extreme isolationism that has historically categorized the movement’s foreign policy philosophy.

    Sorry bud, you lost me there. Since when is non-aggression and not wanting treaties, embassies, foreign aid, overseas military bases, or other official government-to-government relations anything remotely related to isolation?

    If that be isolationism, then I glory in it.

    Far as I can see, you just outed yourself as a statist.

    1. HERETIC! BURN THE APOSTATE/HERETIC!

  15. You know what would have made this better? Some theme music.

  16. Sometimes, entertainment is just entertainment.

    1. Beat ya to it, above…

      1. Sorry, I was too busy with your mom to read all the comments. She says “Hi”, by the way.

        1. She’s dead.

          1. Damn, no wonder she wasn’t doing the usual moaning.

    2. Yes…but Tony and ButtHole beg do differ as they need to imply superiority in every facet of their agendas.

      I first ran across this in the F1 v NASCAR debates in the first automotive forums in the late 90’s. I’m an F1 fan but it really got out of hand with the F1 types claiming some sort of inherent superiority because F1 was more complex technically than NASCAR.

      That kinda shit makes me wanna puke.

  17. Is this the AM Links?

    Seems “free shit” translates easily from Greek to Spanish:
    “Spanish Radical Left Party Gets Boost With Huge Madrid Rally”
    […]
    “While there are major political and economic differences between Spain and Greece, both countries have suffered severe economic crises, massive unemployment and austerity measures while simultaneously having to put up with myriad political corruption scandals.”
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics…..y-28627402

    Which economic crises are caused by exactly the sort of bullshit the left preaches.

    1. Tried to post this before, but it was eaten by the squirrels.

      Just how austere were the Greek austerity measures, really? I have only a kiddie-pool depth of knowledge on this subject. Anyone?

      1. Not very. Marginally less free shit.

        1. There was some Guardian or Independent concern-article about the austerity measures a while back. Part of it was about the increase in HIV because they didn’t have free condoms (!). Most of it was about the lack of funds to medical clinics. Seemed to me that a certain Greek government had failed to get its priorities straight.

          1. The root cause was…. taadaa! retirement obligations. Guess what has gone mostly unscathed?

            1. Yeah, that part was buried deep in the article where they hoped no-one would notice.

          2. “Seemed to me that a certain Greek government had failed to get its priorities straight.”

            If Mr. Bureaucrat wants to convince the public of the need for higher taxes, he should start by closing the clinics, parks and the fire department, right?
            HIS priorities are just fine; yours might be different.

            1. Which is why I am really hoping the Germans tell the Greeks to go get fucked.

              On that note, it didn’t take long for comments on Yahoo news to include something about how the Germans were evil to the Greeks in WWII. Again with the Nazis…always the Nazis.

              1. I hope the same thing. Ditto with Spain (they’re in the on deck circle). But the chances are minuscule.

      2. There never was any austerity. It was a pantomime farce and I am glad that Syriza got elected because that farce can end now.

        Greek public servants cannot be fired. It’s against the constitution IIRC. So the ‘fired’ parasites get sent to basically a rubber room where they were paid less.

    2. Catalonia and Basque need to separate ASAP.

  18. Our little pal Chuck Todd is really on his game, today. He made some idiotic allusion to the “cynicism” of all the wise and noble members of the inside the beltway Washington press mob, AFTER his gotcha moment with Paul Ryan wherein he listed “Obama’s massive gains” in GDP, unemployment numbers, and the DJIA.

    The methodology of each those numbers (I believe the membership of the Dow has even been reconstituted over that time) has been modified, making a direct comparison difficult, if not meaningless. But Obama has dragged our ruined economy back from the brink of collapse! Why would we let the Republikkkans take us back in time, to be exploited by the Robber Barons?

    1. Pardon my economic ignorance here, but doesn’t the GDP also include government spending? Can’t it essentially be raised by fiat?

      1. Indeed. Moreover, government spending should really be subtracted from GDP, not added to it, for a number of reasons.

        1. So we could raise the GDP by just paying a bunch of people to dig holes and fill them up again? Recovery!

  19. ABC, not content with boring old anti-terror fearmongering, has dragged out the MEEZULS threat.

    1. I love their fearmongering about using people as human bioweapons. “You there, with the Ebola – get on that plane so you can infect the infidel!”

      1. To be honest it kinda amazes me that these people who are willing to blow themselves up to kill Americans don’t do that. The chances of being caught are much lower and there is actually a possibility of survival in case of success.

        1. Given the vaccination rates in certain California suburbs, dropping one measles-infected guy there would take down entire schools.

  20. In other war news Scott Walker says: ‘We Have to Be Prepared to Put Boots On the Ground’ to Fight ISIS

    1. Yes! Another chance to stimulate the economy!

      /Krugman

    2. Didn’t take long for Scotty to put himself into the “I’d floss with rusty barbed wire before I’d vote for him” category.

    3. All he sad was ‘don’t rule it out’. Hedging.

      1. We should rule it out right now, unless a clear direct danger to America emerges. I agree, it’s barbaric that they behead prisoners, but we’re chummy with the Saudis who do the same. They are also a threat to surrounding countries, who should be the ones fighting them. We can certainly help by supplying technical help, maybe some transportation and logistics. I’m somewhat less in favor of our current bombing expedition, but that absolutely should be as far as it goes.

  21. Another Reason article critically examining the actions of the military, another bunch of our ‘right leaning posters’ getting their women’s underpants in a wad. Never change conservatives, you hate the government but with it’s biggest agency excepted of course. Lol.

    1. Another Reason article, another chance for Bo Bo to bring up his evil SoConz theme. Never change Bo Bo

      1. You can’t even get your parroting correct (who mentioned SoCons other than you?). You’re more funny than pathetic, but it’s getting close.

        1. Derpy derp derp. Pathetic is your meme Bo Bo

          1. Closer still.

            1. You’re the closer?

              1. Almost there.

                1. Almost there
                  Almost here
                  Almost everywhere

                  1. See, now you’re stalling. Just go for it. Don’t be afraid

                    1. Afraid of stalling in a plane I am.
                      Going for it I will not

    2. more like another Reason searching for evidence to support its hypothesis. That conservatives tend to support the military is not news, but neither is the realization among many of them that it is no more perfect than the Dept of Energy.

      1. So it’s just as bad as DOE but they still love it?

        1. they tend to support it. That’s not exactly news. But you stick with that self-satisfied smugness that ensures libertarianism’s limited appeal. By the way, national defense is an actual enumerated power of the federal govt.

          And stop with the mendacity of putting words on people’s mouths: So it’s just as bad as DOE
          I didn’t say that. I didn’t say it was bad at all though it is capable to doing dumb things.

          1. ” By the way, national defense is an actual enumerated power of the federal govt.”

            So’s the Post Office.

            “I didn’t say it was bad at all”

            So one step forward, two steps back.

            Look how riled up you are over this. Again, it’s hilarious that conservatives say they hate the federal government while genuflecting to it’s largest agency.

            1. again with the intellectual dishonesty. It’s just part of your DNA to either project or put words into people’s mouths.

              I’m not riled up at all; the military will advertise during the game just like it did during the rest of the season and all the ones prior to it. Curiously, you are doing exactly what has Nick pissed off about the weather – figuring out a way of politicizing everything and, if possible, through a partisan lens.

              1. It’s the opposite of partisan. I, like Reason, subject the military to the same high scrutiny we do the Post Office or DOE. It’s Red leaning partisans that get all upset about that since they fetishize the military. We find that amusing since it’s the largest agency of the federal government.

                1. Do you have a mouse in your pocket?

                  1. It’s named FUQ. It’s a tiny, squeaky, weak hairless mouse. I think he’s amusing though and figure I might as well keep him in my pocket since he otherwise would be following me around sniffing my butt

                    1. Why must you other me?

                2. the military is no different than any other organization advertising itself, and your hyper tuned sense of outrage is immaterial. As it is, the military’s actions get quite a bit of scrutiny, and that includes from conservatives.

                  And who is this “we” you keep yammering about? This mostly libertarian audience seems rather convinced that you don’t know shit about marketing and act as though military ads have crossed some heretofore unknown threshold.

                  1. “The military is no different than any other organization advertising itself”

                    Except that, it’s, you know, an organization of the federal government which is using our tax dollars forcibly extracted. Maybe that’s why a libertarian magazine would give it a bit more scrutiny?

                3. Bluetard rises. The largest agency in terms of spending would be either SS or Medicare/Aid/CHIP combined. But that’s OK, because it helps people and reduces inequality, two of your core values.

                  I, like Reason, subject the military to the same high scrutiny we do the Post Office or DOE.

                  Sadly, I think you and Reason probably do subject entitlements to the same weak level of scrutiny.

                  1. Largest in terms of personnel Skip.

                    1. Largest in terms of personnel Skip.

                      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                    2. “oday, the Department, headed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, is not only in charge of the military, but it also employs a civilian force of thousands. With over 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 718,000 civilian personnel, we are the nation’s largest employer. Another 1.1 million serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. More than 2 million military retirees and their family members receive benefits.”

                      http://www.defense.gov/about/

                    3. Thats not what I was laughing at you for. See comments below.

                    4. Largest in terms of personnel Skip.

                      Gee, and here I thought you were critical of spending on ads, Blue.

                    5. No reply, Blue?

                    6. I see, you’re confused. I imagine that’s a common state for you.

                      I’m skeptical of all government. I don’t give any agency that does that a pass, and I especially don’t except the largest government agency in the country.

                    7. Oh, a little foot stomping now? Poor Blue. And again I notice that you don’t really care about the spending at all, since you only care about the number of people in the enterprise. As I pointed out above, SS or federal health spending each exceed the total defense budget. So it’s not really the ad spending that bothers you, it’s the fact that we have a military at all. How Blue of you.

                    8. Of course I care about spending. The only person defending an instance of federal government spending here is you and yours, not me. I just noted how curious it is that you guys would defend such spending when it comes from the biggest federal agency there is.

                      That makes sense if you were a conservative of course, they revere the military. But libertarians don’t tend to grant that pass.

                    9. Bo’s posts make a lot more sense when they are read in the voice of a precocious 6-year old know-it-all.

                    10. Blue, if you cared about spending, then the DOD is not the largest single federal agency. That is the point which you so painfully are unable to understand.

                    11. To be in court the first time Bo makes his arguments would be priceless. There is not enough popcorn in the world

                    12. You’re to late for that, I’ve argued in court and done well. Got my clients, juveniles reduced charges each time.

                      But if judges were groupthink conservatives who use a libertarian magazines discussion board to hang out at, then yeah I might be in trouble.

                    13. You really need to argue with real people and not the evil conservatives in your head. The only groupthink going on is in your head.

                      PROTIP: Just because people think your a mendacious ass doesn’t make them a conservative.

                    14. Of course. It’s the reflexive defense of the military that’s the indicator.

                    15. I haven’t nor have very many defended the military here. Maybe the conservatives in your head are not the majority of people here.

                    16. I care about spending all around, I just find it funny that you say you do unless it involves the largest agency the Feds have

      2. But it’s not in search of evidence. It makes a pretty good case. It’s not saying anything radical or retarded or radically retarded like Sheldon does.

  22. And now, for something completely different: CHUMPCAR.

    All a first-time ChumpCar driver needs is a valid driver’s license and to attend a lighthearted rookie meeting where racing basics are described. Michael Chisek, ChumpCar’s regional director, explained the basics of on-track safety.

    “Do not get out of the car,” he warned. “The exception ? your car is on fire.”

    There were rules on passing, how much contact is allowed and an explanation of the flag signaling system. The lack of licensing has been questioned by some organizations that require it.

    “This sport is a privilege. It’s amazingly fun, but it’s an extreme sport,” said Ryan Flaherty, national director of the National Auto Sport Association, which has a strict training and licensing system. “You don’t begin any extreme sport with the most dangerous and difficult activity of that sport.”

    Fucking nannytarian spoilsports, you can’t get rid of them, no matter how hard you try.

    1. “Why aren’t you kids playing out there”

      “Just waiting for the state safety inspection”

  23. BUT-

    One might expect a track crowded with neophyte leadfoots to frighten off more accomplished drivers, but some professionals have been drawn to ChumpCar.

    Ken Schrader, a 30-year Nascar veteran, has raced the series and said he found it no riskier than professional races.

    “You are not running 190 miles for hours in an open-wheel car or inches from a concrete wall,” he said.

    And with tire barriers and track runoffs, Chump events have more safety features than many pro races, he said.

    Bobby Labonte, who has won 21 Nascar Sprint Cup races, has run ChumpCar races.

    “It’s just fun,” he said. “There isn’t pressure like you’d experience on the weekend of a Sprint Cup race.”

    Racing a Ford Crown Victoria painted like a police car, Labonte’s co-drivers include his son and the North Carolina district court judge who owns the car.

    “Without spending too much money we are just having a great time together,” Labonte said.

    That prissy little ballerina Scott Dixon would never do that.

  24. And the Army devotes a full five percent of its marketing budget just to television advertisements during NFL games.

    and so fucking what? NFL games are full of advertisements geared toward viewers who are in the target demo. Beer and truck ads are fairly common then, too, along with ones for Viagra and the like for older male viewers. It’s like Rob discovered Marketing 101 today.

    1. “But marketing that myopically focuses on the theatrical heroics of soldiers does obscure the messy complexities of the battlefield. And it cultivates a reflexive sacralization that draws attention away from the often inept decision-making that puts our soldiers in harm’s way in the first place.”

      1. you don’t know what marketing is, do you, Bo? No, you don’t. All products focus on their most positive perceptions; you don’t appeal to your audience by saying “hey guys, you might get killed.” Again, it’s the military; death is an accepted risk, especially for anyone who joined post 9/11.

        People die even during the best of decision-making. See: Normandy, storming of the beaches. Lots of death; not much second-guessing about whether it was a good call.

        1. So you don’t have a problem with the government using tax dollars on a slick misleading marketing campaign to convince young people to sign up for a huge government program engaged in foolhardy missions.

          Are you Pajama boy?

          1. /makes popcorn

          2. the military has had a marketing budget for a long time. I realize that strikes you as news but propaganda ads date back to at least World War I, probably earlier if I want to waste the time looking.

            No one is forcing people to sign up, no one is shielding them from current-day reality, and all marketing campaigns show the product/service in the best possible light.

            1. “No one is forcing people to sign up, no one is shielding them from current-day reality, and all marketing campaigns show the product/service in the best possible light”

              All applicable to the Pajama Boy campaign.

              1. that argument is stupid even for you, no mean feat. The PB campaign was about O-care, which you evidently have forgotten. Last I checked, O-care did require forced participation, it made monstrous efforts to shield people from reality (if you like your plan…., people will save money….etc).

                If you are going to lob insults, strive to do better.

                1. Yup. Federal government engages in deceptive marketing campaign to get young people to sign up for huge federal program pursuing incredible foolhardy goal.

                  Is that the Obamacare campaign or the military recruiting campaign during our folly filled Iraq adventure?

                2. In his heart Bo would be fine with labeling GMO’s, allowing states to make end runs around the Commerce clause to protect chickens, and a whole host of big government to get his way. After all, that is the modern, non-paleo, evolved soviet man libertarian.

                  The country needs a military. We can debate about how large it is and how expansive its role is, but it needs to have something. To populate that military you have two choices: draft and volunteer. We have chosen the latter and far more libertarian option. Given that we have a volunteer force we must recruit. That means advertising. Only a kneejerk opposition to the military from Blues like Bo results in this kind of article and incoherent thought.

                  1. ” Bo would be fine with labeling GMO’s, allowing states to make end runs around the Commerce clause to protect chickens, and a whole host of big government to get his way. ”

                    Nice try, but the only one here defending federal government programs and spending is you and yours, not me.

                    1. So you retract all of the restrictions you endorsed on food freedom? Well that’s refreshing.

                    2. Where did I do that?

                    3. So you’re not retracting your endorsement of increased food regulation? Well, you do strive to be consistent, sorta.

                    4. So you’ve got nothing and now you turn to lies.

                      “My military right or wrong” is your motto.

                    5. You were fine with the California egg restrictions. You were doing your best Left twist to contort your way around Commerce. I know it sucks to have your own hypocrisy tossed back at you when you so relish trying to find inconsistency in others, but, sword live by, die by…

                    6. Yes, I’m fine with animal cruelty laws. And I was arguing AGAINST the Commerce Power there, genius.

                      So, your GMO labeling charge was just a desparate cheap lie.

                    7. You were arguing in favor of allowing a large state, CA, to effectively impose its laws over a broad range of producers in other states. You were arguing in favor of increased regulation because you like the outcome.

                      Bigger government.

                      How libertarian of you, Blue.

                    8. “to effectively impose”

                      That’s how progs talk. ‘Effectively impose’ us not coerce Skip. But nice try.

                      And again, nothing on GMOs. Just a lie on your part, sad and desperate

      2. But marketing that myopically focuses on the theatrical heroics good times of soldiers beer drinking does obscure the messy complexities of the battlefield drinking and the bar scene.

        Fer fuck’s sake. When Budweiser starts running ads of guys waking up hung over next to some dreadful skank, and rounding out their ad with some dude yakking out the previous night in a toilet, I’ll complain about the military not showing guys being dragged screaming from a battlefield in their ads.

        1. but but, conservatives, RC!!11!1

          Bo has only now realized that the military recruits using media campaigns. It’s like ‘be all you can be’ is some piece of antiquity to him.

          1. Terrible argument which would mean we should let any silly or dishonest use of our tax dollars escape scrutiny because we’ve been doing it for a long time

            1. *whistle* False equivalence. Penalty: 10 comments and suspension or higher order mammalian status for 1 day!

              1. Like most conservatives Skippy struggles with analogies.

                1. “Mommy, make the bad man stop being mean to me!!!”

                  1. Are drinking or something? You’re a little more non sequitur than even your being so upset over someone criticizing your big daddy government agency could explain.

                    1. Oh dear, the bad man is still being mean to you. The fact that you can’t understand the reason it’s a false equivalency really isn’t my problem.

                    2. You do realize that in no analogies are the two things the same or even usually equivalent, right?

                      Actually, I think you don’t. Oh dear.

                    3. *foot stomp*

                      Heh, poor Blue is getting so frustrated.

                    4. And your desparate need to get the last word in with me is indicative of….?

                    5. The overwhelming fun it is too jerk your chain.

                    6. Damn it. I got this far down before realizing this wasn’t a thread about anal orgies.

  25. the F1 types claiming some sort of inherent superiority because F1 was more complex technically than NASCAR.

    More complex not same as better.

    The current iteration of the F1 car is an abomination.

    1. “Ze F1 car is FAR SUPERIOR to your American-type cars!”

      (Removes glove and slaps P Brooks)

        1. “I saw your Highlander movie. It was shit!”

  26. The military markets on NFL telecasts. So, what, then? They are supposed to NOT do so? The NFL is supposed to not accept money from the US Army? The government is supposed to prohibit its own military from advertising? TV networks are supposed to refuse to run military spots?

    Whichever way you slice that in your nutty dream world, some large institution is being expected to characterise the military as an inherently bad and destructive product (a la tobacco.)

    Not going to happen.

    All marketing is obnoxious. These ads even more so than most. But complaining about this is akin to those numpties who complain about Old English 800 ads being run in the ghetto. Like where the fuck else are you going to run ads but in a venue targeting your likely demographic?

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    1. “All marketing is obnoxious.”

      When it’s done with our tax dollars perhaps we libertarians might give it a bit more scrutiny than that?

      1. we haven’t given it scrutiny for the decades that it has been going on. Are you daft?

        1. Maybe you haven’t

          1. and yet, it’s everyone else who is wrapped around the axle. Okay then. From what I see, you’re apoplectic about a marketing budget and a lot of other folks are saying WTF.

      2. Well, its for recruiting.

        If you’re down with the military spending money on recruiting, you’re now just talking about the most effective way to spend that recruiting budget.

        At that point, I think you’ve lost the argument about these kinds of ads being targeted to the NFL demographic.

        1. When the government uses our money to recruit people for government programs and goals it would be odd to not subject it to scrutiny if you’re a libertarian. We wouldn’t let a deceptive government ad campaign painting their program as heroic and pure if it were some other agency involved. The pushback in this instance is that people who lean right like and revere the military.

          1. The pushback in this instance is that people who lean right like and revere left hate and revile the military.

            FTFY

            1. See? Conservatives see criticism as the military as people out to get our brave heroes, rather than the natural tendency of those skeptical of the federal government to give a pass to the federal agency which employees the most federal employees with our dollars.

              1. Watching you make everyones else’s point for them without realizing it is fucking hilarious. Almost as much fun as tweaking you and sending you into fits.

                1. Wow, the projection equals the lack of self awareness there FUQ

                  1. Wow, the projection equals the lack of self awareness there FUQ

                    Again, hilarious

                    1. It is

                    2. Goddam it Bo, how do you sit and do this for so long? These right wing christian conservatives are never going to let you have the last word when it comes to their military worship. Why do you even bother?

              2. Poor Blue, he struggles with the voices in his head. Ok, let’s try to make this a little more understandable.

                Which do you prefer, a volunteer force or conscription?

                If you prefer a volunteer force, how do you propose to maintain staffing levels? Is recruitment allowed?

                The problem with people from the Left like you is that you can’t decouple your irrational hatred of the military from anything associated with them. In your mind you just heard me say never question the military, but that’s not what I said and not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is a couple of people getting their panties in a wad over the military engaging in recruitment of volunteers. A general criticism of the military which you want is a greater scope and a separate topic.

                1. …”Is recruitment allowed?”…

                  Bo will have us spending money on body-bag stills, voice-over, 3AM on the cooking channel.
                  Otherwise, it’s, uh persuading people! And stuff!

                  1. So many ‘libertarians’ disagreeing with Reason’s criticism of federal spending and finding themselves instead agreeing with the defenses of it offered by some of our acknowledged conservatives and Republicans. Yup, only an Arbiter would notice that as odd.

                2. If you weren’t wrapped up in your reflexive need to defend the military you’d have noticed that Soave is talking about the content of the ads in the particular light of our the harebrained mission they were recruiting people for. The military was spending our money in a dishonest way to boost recruits for our nation building exercise in the ME.

                  But you just see someone saying something bad about your daddy and start defending him like a teary eyed fourth grader.

                  1. Blue, you hate the military. We get it. Your problem is that because you come from the Left you reflexively latch on to any criticism of the military no matter how flawed. My beef with the article is that it starts out making a valid point and veers into the utter stupidity that the military shouldn’t be allowed to market itself. It’s a deeply flawed piece as a result. But again, it agrees with something near and dear to your heart, so you fight tooth and nail to salvage it and accuse anyone of pointing out those flaws as some deep conservative neanderthal. You’re more than willing to put words in people’s mouths as well. Quite telling.

                    For the record I agree that we spend too much on defense, but, just like those who pass laws against the dreaded assault weapons because they have pistol grips and mounting rails, silly arguments like this distract from the real problems in defense spending. Here are a few:

                    Troop deployment in South Korea
                    F-35
                    NGB (you won’t know what that is)
                    LCS
                    Retiring the A-10 in favor of the (F)A-16
                    Tri-Care copays
                    Civilian review (and veto) of domestic base closures

                    Those are all legitimate areas to attack funding and consumption. Criticizing a core function, recruitment, is akin to claiming that the military shouldn’t buy artillery rounds because they don’t always just kill bad guys.

    2. I myself preferred the Billy Dee Williams “Colt .45” ads. But an Olde English 800 tall boy and some Ho-Hos: breakfast in any language!

      It is completely unsurprising that the military would use sporting events as a target (for advertising, that is). The groupthink thing is creepy, though, and I think that brings out the wariness in many libertarian types.

      1. Works Every Time

      2. There was beautiful Olde English spot from the early 1970s that featured Redd Foxx. Opens with a tight shot of Foxx sitting in a dilapidated living room, pouring himself a glass of malt liquor. Camera pulls out revealing Foxx’s tenement apartment about to succumb to the wrecking ball. Spot closes with a tight shot of Foxx, sitting in a pile of rubble, drinking his Olde English and quipping “Well, that’s urban renewal for ya!” Bloody brilliant.

        Additionally, FUCK OFF BO!! You are an immature Whig/Progressive know-it-all who would do well to shut up and listen to your betters before opening your filthy pie-hole.

  27. it’s hilarious that conservatives say they hate the federal government while genuflecting to it’s largest agency.

    Yeah, sure, whatever.

    Collectivist troll collectivises.

    1. Wait, did you really try to throw out the argument that criticizing the largest federal agency as a whole is collectivizing?
      Hahaha!

      1. You would never collectivize conservatives….ever.

        1. Are you feeling othered? Poor dear.

          1. What other could I be?

      2. no, Bo; he threw out the opposite argument – that you collectivized every single conservative as a military bootlicker who supports anything and everything that the armed forces do. You’re not criticizing the agency; you are criticizing anyone who dares harbor anything but animus for the agency.

        1. “that you collectivized every single conservative as a military bootlicker ”

          I’m not going to lie to make you guys feel better!

          1. No, you’d rather lie to make them feel worse.

    2. Which agency? 2/3 of the fed budget is spent on non-discretionary social welfare programs and income redistribution. DoD gets about 1/5 and is on the discretionary side. Demographics and politicians being politicians we are likely to continue trading defense dollars for vote getting free stuff and DoD civilians for uniformed service members. Pretty soon we’ll be just like the EU in its resolve standing up to Putin.

      1. I’m talking personnel.

        If you were to randomly select a federal employee they would be more likely to be DOD than any other.

        1. Do the 93,000,000 who left the work force but subsist on federal handouts count as federal employees? Add them to the number employed by the social welfare agencies and let me know what that total is. You can ignore the capability return on investment for now.

          1. DOD falls within the group of those living off federal handouts, that’s my point.

            1. So anyone receiving money from the government falls into the group and DOD is no different. Wow, stunning logic. That’s almost as good as your argument that Argumentum ad populum isn’t a fallacy when a majority believe in it.

              Never change, Blue.

  28. Don’t worry, Bo. Just keep tossing that term “conservative” around. Putting a name on the bogeyman will make you feel better; just like John, and the PROGZ dancing in his head.

    1. If you walk, talk and quack all the time then stop crying when people refer to you as a duck.

      1. Duck, duck, goose?

  29. stop crying when people refer to you as a duck.

    Yeah. Boo hoo.

    Allow me to direct your attention to the very first comment, above.
    Dogmatism is not my strong suit.

    Too bad you cannot say the same.

  30. “But marketing that myopically focuses on the theatrical heroics of soldiers does obscure the messy complexities of the battlefield. And it cultivates a reflexive sacralization that draws attention away from the often inept decision-making that puts our soldiers in harm’s way in the first place.”

    Did I miss Montz’s piece on the cost of propagandizing Obamacare? Does this pajama boy pinhead understand that the point of a military is to go in harm’s way? Or his he pissed that people just don’t get really football (soccer)?

    It’s advertising. Should they use images of US soldier body parts and upside humvees in flames and flag draped coffins and weeping moms and widows to entice young males to do what they know they are signing up for…go in harm’s way?

    I suppose we could patiently wait for harm to come to us. Shouldn’t take long.

    A State Department database shows a massive rise in total terrorist activity from 2010 to 2014, driven largely by developments in countries where the US has some degree of military involvement or is aiding the government: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, and Pakistan. If the US is “winning” in any of these countries, the START database that the State Department uses does not show this. In fact, its trend analysis shows exactly the reverse.

    1. …”If the US is “winning” in any of these countries, the START database that the State Department uses does not show this. In fact, its trend analysis shows exactly the reverse.”…

      Which makes a pretty strong argument that the US military has no business being in those areas.

      1. The point is that there is no strategy for winning to begin with as 0dumbo can’t bring himself to identify the enemy. He has opted to ignore the threat, but the threat isn’t going to ignore us. Ignoring evil in the world doesn’t make it go away.

        “…if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

        1. …”Ignoring evil in the world doesn’t make it go away.”…

          It already is “away”; we have no remit to police the world.
          Japan and China can deal with Young uns’ idiocy; those in the mid east can learn to be civilized or continue blowing each other up.
          I don’t care.

          1. those in the mid east can learn to be civilized or continue blowing each other up.

            The problem is they choose to blow us up or shoot us for cartoons. We already tried the ‘wait and see’ approach and it got us 9/11 and the terror attacks before it. America of course has business being over there. Just don’t get into nation-building.

            1. “The problem is they choose to blow us up or shoot us for cartoons.”

              Not from there, they can’t.

              1. Yeah they can and do. 9/11 was organized by AQ from Afghanistan. We also have these things called ’embassies’.

            2. Here’s the problem with that. 9/11 was brought to you by our friends in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I don’t think anyone would propose a military engagement with either of those two states, and it’s debatable just how effective their internal anti-terrorist/anti-insurgency efforts are and can be.

              It seems to me that in those less ‘friendly’ states we can try the Barbary pirates approach, but in the two I just mentioned, I don’t see any viable solution.

              1. Saudi Arabia has definitely been the source code for much anti-American terror, but Egypt? What did they do?

                It has long been my position that the government of SA must be destroyed. Don’t know how best to accomplish that but it’s gotta happen.

          2. If you think the evil is just “away” you’ve not been paying attention, globalized world and all that.

            “I don’t care,” said the ostrich.

            1. msimmons|2.1.15 @ 1:39PM|#
              “If you think the evil is just “away” you’ve not been paying attention, globalized world and all that.”

              Bullshit attempt at justification.

              1. BTW, you can add up the numbers; how many US citizens (not soldiers being where they shouldn’t be) have been killed by terrorists in the last 15 years:
                “Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. or Against Americans”
                http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/…..z3QWN1wfUp

                And then you can compare that to some other danger:
                “US Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11”
                http://www.mintpressnews.com/u…..11/172029/

                How much are we spending to ‘protect ourselves’ from the terrorists?

                1. If we could define the police as domestic terrorists then I might be onboard the war on terror.

                  /kinda joking

                2. That makes for a good critic how America does not hold police accountable. That does not mean America should not be killing bad guys and eliminating the states that support them.

                  1. Cytotoxic|2.1.15 @ 1:59PM|#
                    …”That does not mean America should not be killing bad guys and eliminating the states that support them.”

                    It says the ‘bad guys’ aren’t worth billions in defense.
                    YOU pay for it. I. Don’t. Care.

                    1. It says the ‘bad guys’ aren’t worth billions in defines.

                      No it doesn’t. Not even remotely. You’ll have to actually argue your point no one else is going to do it for you.

                      It is the USG’s job to kill these bad guys, so you’re paying for it. TFB

                    2. Cytotoxic|2.1.15 @ 2:05PM|#
                      “No it doesn’t. Not even remotely. You’ll have to actually argue your point no one else is going to do it for you.”

                      You are welcome to ignore all the facts you please.
                      I. Don’t. Care.

                    3. Cytotoxic|2.1.15 @ 2:05PM|#
                      …”ou’ll have to actually argue your point no one else is going to do it for you.”

                      No, I don’t.
                      YOU want my money; convince me.

              2. No, he’s right. The world is too small for ‘over there’. Actually it always was-for reference see ‘Barbary Pirates’. The peaceful past you seek a return to is a mythology.

                1. Cytotoxic|2.1.15 @ 1:57PM|#
                  “No, he’s right. The world is too small for ‘over there’. Actually it always was-for reference see ‘Barbary Pirates’. The peaceful past you seek a return to is a mythology.”

                  Sarc or stupidity?
                  No, you’re wrong.

                  1. IOW, you have no actual counterargument and resorting to your usual infantile argument-by-statement ‘tactics’.

                    1. Cytotoxic|2.1.15 @ 2:05PM|#
                      “IOW, you have no actual counterargument and resorting to your usual infantile argument-by-statement ‘tactics’.”

                      You have been handed the facts of the matter and you choose to ignore them and make silly claims absent evidence.
                      Infantile pretty much describes that, so you are getting what you deserve.

              3. Reality justifies. Enhanced awareness of real evil that is here now. I’m guessing everything you know about the world is gleaned from the intertoobz and not your vast experience traveling to regions of the world where acts of terror are an everyday occurrence.

                1. msimmons|2.1.15 @ 1:59PM|#
                  …”I’m guessing everything you know about the world is gleaned from the intertoobz and not your vast experience traveling to regions of the world where acts of terror are an everyday occurrence.”

                  Add up the numbers above and get back to me; tell me how scary those guys are!
                  I’m guessing you spend half the night checking under your bed.

                  1. Sevo: infoplease cite is only US numbers. Do you have friends? Ever form a cooperative working relationship?

                    You don’t know what you don’t know.

                    1. msimmons|2.1.15 @ 2:10PM|#
                      “Sevo: infoplease cite is only US numbers. Do you have friends? Ever form a cooperative working relationship?”

                      If you choose to police the world, YOU pay for it.
                      I. Don’t. Care.

                    2. If you choose to police the world, YOU pay for it.
                      I. Don’t. Care./blockquote

                      Thats the point. He wants to be the world police and wants to throw me in a rape cage if I don’t want to pay for it.

  31. The Obama administration, however, not only ignores these trends, it has yet to show it has any clear and well-defined strategy and action plans to deal with terrorism on a global basis. It seems to be fighting terrorism one country at a time, and it is not doing well.

    The START database demonstrates that major incidents have risen from less than 300 a year in the Middle East and North Africa region from 1998 to 2004 to approximately 1,600 in 2008, and increased again from around 1,500 in 2010 to 1,700 in 2011, and jumped to 2,500 in 2012, and 4,650 in 2013. This is a fifteen-fold increase since 2002, and threefold increase since 2010.

    A RAND Corporation study found:

    A 58% increase in the number of Salafi-jihadist groups from 2010 to 2013.

    The number of Salafi jihadists more than doubled from 2010 to 2013.

    Another report by the Institute for Economics and Peace found:

    Fatalities related to terrorism soared 60% last year, and five countries?Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria?accounted for 80% of the almost 18,000 fatalities

    1. The only casualties and attacks the USG should be concerned about are the ones targeting it and its people ex embassies, Hebdo.

      1. And when a nuclear armed Iranian consolidates in Yemen, Syria and Iraq and the global economy is at the mercy of the mullahs (news flash, the global economy needs energy, most from the mideast), will you consider second and third order effects? Meanwhile China and Russia are setting aside their differences.

        http://www.blacklistednews.com…..8/Y/M.html

        Brought to you by failed foreign policy. Head in sand not an attractive alternative.

        1. And when a nuclear armed Iranian consolidates in Yemen, Syria and Iraq

          When this happens and when they make direct threats then we can maybe discuss your concerns. Until then it’s nothing but speculation and bombing the shit out of people because of speculation is the definition of evil.

          1. Iran has made many threats and murdered Americans many times before. That’s not speculation. Allowing to continue murdering Americans is evil, and that complacency lead to much of our security state.

            1. Cytotoxic|2.1.15 @ 2:02PM|#
              “Iran has made many threats and murdered Americans many times before. That’s not speculation.”

              No, it’s just irrelevant.
              How many were killed under what circumstances?

        2. msimmons|2.1.15 @ 1:50PM|#
          “And when a nuclear armed Iranian consolidates in Yemen, Syria and Iraq and the global economy is at the mercy of the mullahs (news flash, the global economy needs energy, most from the mideast),”

          News flash: Fancy hypotheticals only convince believers.

          1. Fancy hypotheticals only convince believers.

            You’re right. Obsessing over ‘blowback’ is silly.

            Sigh. Another thread where everyone except me is wrong.

          2. Sevo: I call your calling hypothetical hypothetical. You don’t know what you don’t know.

            1. msimmons|2.1.15 @ 2:05PM|#
              “Sevo: I call your calling hypothetical hypothetical. You don’t know what you don’t know.”

              You can make ups stories all day long. I. Don’t. Care.

        3. LOL. Iran is broke. They can’t even get Syria under control. Russia and China are not setting aside differences, Russia just made a firesale of its natural gas to China (China is waffling on the deal). If you cite something, please try something other than ‘blacklisednews’ or some other BS.

          1. It kills me but Cytotoxic is 100% correct here.

            Using “barenakedislam” as a cite isn’t helping him either

        4. You do realize that your own link argues against your policy, don’t you?

          As we’ve repeatedly warned, the neocons and neolibs have pushed so hard to ensure a “New American Century” ? i.e. American hegemony for another 100 years ? that they’ve instead created “No American Century”.

          Heck of a job, guys ?

        5. How do you stop a nuclear Iran? Willing to bomb the shit out of them? That will certainly make things better…

          Having said that I would gladly expunge the world of the AQ Khan bloodline no matter how innocent. If there ever is a nuclear terrorist incident, it will be as a direct result of him.

    2. “Major incidents have risen from less than 300 a year in the Middle East and North Africa region from 1998 to 2004 to approximately 1,600 in 2008, and increased again from around 1,500 in 2010 to 1,700 in 2011, and jumped to 2,500 in 2012, and 4,650 in 2013.”

      That increase is because Obama didn’t engage in the Middle East and North Africa?

      I think it’s because various dictatorships in North Africa and the Middle East disappeared after 2008, and those regions are still undergoing tremendous upheaval in their transitions to something different than the vicious authoritarian dictatorships they had before.

      Blaming the Obama Administration’s lack of depth in their military engagements for the ongoing upheavals in the aftermath of the Arab Spring is like blaming Charles V for the 30 years war. It’s like blaming FDR for the spread of fascism.

      The 30 Years War was about the impact of the Reformation, which had all sorts of contributing factors–but it wouldn’t have mattered what Charles V had done; the Reformation and the wars that followed were going to happen anyway. And why would you blame FDR for what Hitler, the French, the Spanish Civil War, Stalin, and the Italians did? If we’d invaded Spain during the Spanish Civil War, don’t you think World War II would have happened anyway?

      It wouldn’t have mattered what Obama did or didn’t do, there would have been an Arab Spring and a power vacuum that followed anyway.

  32. THIS is a level-headed critique of militarism and the maudlin displays it comes with, as well as the USG’s disturbing taxpayer-funded propaganda.

  33. Here’s another military propaganda piece, generally self-funded even if subsidized to a small degree with DoD support and consultation, but mostly a successful demonstration of market capitalism.

    http://www.barenakedislam.com/…..an-sniper/

    1. Using links from sights that are not much better than Stormfront to make your point is counterproductive.

      1. Wow.

        Never seen it. Worse than Jihad Watch?

        1. I just gave it a quick glace over.

          If you took Salon and replaced “GOP/Right Wing/Conservative” with “Muslim/Islamic”, it would be pretty much the same.

          Actually scratch that….Given that the GOP isn’t calling/apologizing for anyone’s beheading… it simply shares stylistic commonalities

      2. Yeah, I’m sure the images are all photoshopped and the stories made up.

        1. So if Stormfront uses real images and stories it doesn’t make them a bunch of racist assbags?

          “Islam is a hate group not a religion” posted in bold on the web page of your cite gives me a suggestion about the politics of the site and how they may slant stories.

          1. Every info generator has a slant. Point?

            1. “Point?”

              Yeah, when it lists far enough to capsize, ignore it.

  34. I’m glad we didn’t have a draft for the War on Terror.

    There are a number of reasons why we didn’t have a draft, and one of them was because so many patriotic Americans were willing to volunteer for military service.

    If fewer people volunteered, I doubt we would have had fewer wars. If fewer people had volunteered, I suspect we’d have had a draft.

    God bless all those patriotic volunteers. I don’t know how bad life in the United States would be without them, but I know it would be worse.

  35. The title of this article sounds like something that would come out of Salon.

  36. Lunch on the BAY! Beautiful SF Sunday.
    Anyhow, we have Cytotoxic again arguing for someone else to pay for a war he supports, seemingly oblivious to the fact that if he wants they war, he has to convince ME, not the other way around.
    Then we have msimmons arguing for the US to be the world’s policeman since he has some sort of inside information (if I read his posts correctly). Again, he’s arguing for my money; convince me.
    Both of these guys think I (and I guess others) have not heard the same line of crap many times, considered and rejected it.
    Hey, Cyto and m! Got any new data? If so, let’s see it. Until then, flap your jaws all you please and pay for your own damn wars.

  37. I watched most of the Armed Services committee hearing last night. They were discussing the effects of the 2011 sequester. Here is the synopsis:

    General: We need more money.
    Senator: We promised we wouldn’t.
    General: Bad things will happen if you don’t give us more money.
    Senator: We don’t want that.
    General: We don’t either.
    Senator: But we’re trying to spend less money.
    General: If you give us less money, we won’t be able to do as much.
    Senator: Yeah, we know. This is hard. Thanks for your testimony.

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?3…..uestration

    Behind each 4 star general was a 1 or 2 star general that just sat there and tried to look serious. I bet the military could save some money if it dumped a bunch of do-nothing officers.

    1. “the military could save some money if it dumped a bunch of do-nothing officers.”

      a FANTASTIC suggestion, Senator. We’ll need to appropriate $200 million for this new ‘Leadership review panel’, and of course assign a brigadier general to the task, and after they’ve conducted a detailed soup-to-nuts assessment of the issues, we’ll devise a program for subsequent re-assignment of resources, which naturally is a labor-intensive process and may require further budgetary allocations to ensure that the transition process from “excess bureaucracy” to “Lean And Mean” doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We believe strongly in this Transformative Process. My staff will be happy to provide further powerpoint slides on the Action-Plan for Phase 1 of Operation Fat-Trimming sometime before the next leap year, as they are currently fully-engaged in the ‘drawdown process’ from the Middle East while simultaneously ‘ramping up’ our commitment to fight against ISIS.

  38. I’m personally sympathetic to an emergent libertarian wing that rejects the extreme isolationism that has historically categorized the movement’s foreign policy philosophy

    So what is the alternative to “extreme isolationism”?

    1. The way the question is being framed actually assumes that “extreme isolationism” is either possible/practicable, or even functions on an abstract basis. It doesn’t.

      I think Rob mis-characterizes “the movement’s foreign policy philosophy” because libertarianism has never really had a ‘foreign policy-specific philosophy’ at all.

      At best, its tried to apply (lamely, inconsistently, and half-heartedly) the NAP to foreign relations issues *of the moment* without ever really trying to articulate any coherent, all-encompassing theory of how to merge libertarian ideas with the practical requirements of international economic & security relations.

      Consequently, while “do nothing” is in fact often the best policy option in any given FP situation = it is not ‘the best’ because of any theory or philosophy that argues that it produces the best outcomes – its ‘the best’ because it prevents libertarians from ever having to risk compromising their abstract principles in the face of pragmatic choices.

      Consequently, the issue tends to be scrupulously avoided.

      I thought a discussion between Welch and Ron Paul (~2/14) clarified problems – because welch couldnt get Paul to admit at what point “diplomacy itself” becomes ‘intervention’; ‘intervention’ kept getting endlessly expanded to mean ‘everything’ – incl. trade policy, or even moral support. In that context – even expressing support for Ukrainian protestors was being described as ‘meddling’

  39. Ken called it abive. If no one vilunteered, we wouldn’t have fewer wars, we would have a draft.

    The worse thing about this post is that it is just leftist bullshit that assumes people are helpless in thr face of Propaganda. The author can’t accept that reasonable people disagree with him, just like leftists can’t accept that someone might like shopping at WalMart, so he ascribes their action to evil propaganda.

    No asshole a lot of people supprt the wars. The don’t agree with you. Try convincing them instead if whinning about the evil Super Bowl.

  40. Two things that have become apparent.

    1) Bo’s ability to change the conversation via straw man will probably do him well in his professional life. His wife will probably fuck the pool boy because of how annoying it is, but maybe a few years more of life will open his eyes.

    2) The military should be a good steward of the tax payers except if it deals with recruiting on national TV. Once we begin to have a national campaign we should highlight only the worst parts of the military. JOIN THE MARINES …. thirty guys got blown up last week so we need bodies!

    1. “Bo’s ability to change the conversation via straw man will probably do him well in his professional life.”

      Lol

      Given how frequently and with such predictability he digs into the ‘intellectually-dishonest-toolbox’, i’ve almost become convinced his only purpose here is to test-market his rhetorical skills

      Unlike you, all i see is him pretending to be the most libertoid-libertarian in Libertopia…

      and yet, everyone still fucking hates him. go figure.

      1. “and yet, everyone still fucking hates him. go figure.”

        Further, he continues the act and doesn’t seem to care that he is met with near universal distaste.
        You can get away with that on the innertoobze, but it tends to re-enforce my belief that he rarely gets out or acts this way if he does.
        It wouldn’t take long before even normally tolerant people got pissed enough to pound his ass to dust.

  41. When did the writers of this site turn into pussy ass Liberals?

    1. I think they are going after the Lew Rockwell/Alex Jones crowd, actually.

      1. “There’s gold in them thar morons”

  42. “The military’s agitprop, exemplified in the Tillman story, actively fosters a kind of lazy patriotism that makes people disinclined to ask tough questions about the broader context of our soldiers’ sacrifice. Just snap a selfie with the statue, dutifully bow your head when some “support the troops”-type bromide gets blasted through stadium speakers during warm-ups, and that’s it. You’ve done your duty. Now, can we please just get to the game?”
    So, do i assume that according to the author, one can not be aware of the crime that took place upon Tillmans death? Or that we are not aware of the idiocy of war in general but still wish to do what we can for the young men and women that for whatever reason, find themselves doing what they think is right?
    I am aware of it all, being old does come with some advantages, experience being one. BUT, I have had three major operations and have enough steel in me to build a small car. I have lost my ability to work, almost lost my home, and all I want to do is enjoy a friggin Football game. Can I do that, or is it some sort of crime? I like Reason and read it regularly, but sometimes………………

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