Here's a quirky feature of our culture's gender roles... if your reproductive organs constitute an outie, you have to sign up for a draft; if you've got an innie between your legs instead, you don't have to sign up.
And what is the draft?
It's an arrangement where you're forced to acquiesce in your own kidnapping by the government, after which you run the risk of exposure to at least three very, very bad things: (1) getting wounded or killed; (2) wounding or killing somebody; and (3) signing away your inherent right to make your own decisions about what to put up with, what to do to others, and whether or not your actions constitute murder. Any one of those three can destroy a man's soul, but we have to sign up anyway.
Ours is, for the moment, an imperial nation rather than a stable one; it has to expand in search of new markets and new raw materials; it has to persuade more and more people to love the petrodollar system that keeps the greenback on the throne as the world's de facto reserve currency; it has to hold onto all the peoples and territories it controls. That requires military overstretch.
An empire is like a truck that's moving down the highway at a constant speed: it's always accelerating, just to maintain 65mph, because if doesn't keep the gas flowing through the engine, then friction and air resistance will eat away at the truck's inertial motion and slow it down to an eventual stop.
The inputs for our empire are, of course, new debt from the Federal Reserve; new debt from the sale of Treasury Bills to China, Japan, South Korea, and the big pension funds; petroleum; natural gas; freshwater; topsoil; forest "products"; seafood "harvest"; copper; iron for steel; cement; industrial silver and platinum; taxes; endlessly expanding military appropriations; cheap Asian imports; overseas markets for what little we still produce and export; cheap Mexican and Chicano labor throughout the Lower 48; suburban sprawl and the servicing thereof by Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart; the domestic market for cars; mountains of precious grain to waste on 300 million hogs, cattle, and chickens; millions of people engaged in unproductive "guard labor"; millions more employed in the legal system to adjudicate disputes; and millions more to work the colleges and universities by flowing through the graduate schools and teaching for peanuts sans health insurance.
In other words, Wall St. (the late Lehman Bros., the late Bear Stearns, the late Wamu, AIG, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, the Central Intelligence Agency, and so on); the Pentagon (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, MacDonnell Douglas, Boeing, KBR/Halliburton, and so on), and Big Food (Monsanto, ConAgra, Archer Daniels Midland).
This is what is supported by the triangulation of Uncle Sam, bullets, and your dork. It's enough to make a guy go underground:
"Instead of kidney machines, they go for rockets and guns / And the public wants what the public gets..." Thus spake The Jam.
Contemporary Studies Panel
1 day ago