Last week at Huffington Post I learned this little tidbit of news, Pentagon Paid Up To $6.8 Million Of Taxpayer Money To Pro Sports Teams For Military Tributes. As if it isn’t enough that every football game (not to mention NASCAR race) isn’t wrapped so tightly in the flag that it produces skid marks on it. Add to this the constant commercials for the military that make it look like the job involves rappelling from helicopters and handing out candy to young children. Now we know the Pentagon is paying sports teams to have those charming “we support the troops” displays.
It makes sense if you think about it. After all, what does our military exist for? It certainly doesn’t exist to keep us safe. It exists to maintain the American empire and make sure that markets stay open for our corporations. These are corporations, of course, who show absolutely no loyalty to the country. They have only one (legally defined) loyalty: maximize shareholder value. So as long as it isn’t illegal to sell weapons to groups that would attack us, they will. And let’s face it: if they thought they could get away with selling weapons to ISIS, they would do that too.
So it just makes sense that the military is paying billion dollar sports teams to pretend that the US has to spend almost as much money on the military as the rest of the world combined. It’s all about money and power and the NFL and US Navy really aren’t any different in that way — except that there is more head trauma in the NFL. It isn’t put this way of course. It isn’t “advertising.” That would be too coarse. These are just celebrations of American patriotism, and in this modern world, patriotism is not something that just happens spontaneously! Only Rubes think that!
The actual line items in these contracts are “paid patriotism”:
This all came to light because two Republican Senators — John McCain and Jeff Flake — put out a report on it. The report hilariously states, “Given the immense sacrifices made by our service members, it seems more appropriate that any organization with a genuine interest in honoring them, and deriving public credit as a result, should do so at its own expense and not at that of the American taxpayer” Oh please! This is business.
Jeff Flake voted against monitoring TARP funds to encourage mortgage relief. He voted for making it harder for individuals to get bankruptcy protection. He is against the Home Affordable Modification Program. He’s a corporate guy! He knows that if you are rich, you get all the breaks and if you are poor you should be allowed to die of starvation on the streets. He should be all for billionaire sports teams getting a bit of taxpayer money to pretend to care about the military.
I’m not even going to talk about John McCain. I think we all know what a bitter old man he is. The only time he’s ever done the right thing is out of spite. He too is a big booster for society’s winners. So his outrage is about as believable as Captain Renault in Casablanca.
Of course, the whole thing is a joke. But are we really supposed to worry about that $6.8 million spent over four years? That’s $1.7 million per year. The current Benghazi hearing has spent $4.5 million over the past 17 months. That’s $3.2 million per year — almost twice as much. If the money is the issue, then we shouldn’t care. If it is the idea of it, then we should applaud. This is exactly what America stands for — and what McCain and Flake think it should stand for.