Gross Pentagon Waste Subject of Documentary

The Lincoln chapter of Nebraskans for Peace, in collaboration with the UNL NFP chapter, is sponsoring a free showing and discussion of the film Ethos at the Ross Film Theater in Lincoln at 3:00 PM on Sunday March 6.  The film has as its narrator Woody Harrelson, two time Oscar nominee and one of the stars of the sitcom Cheers. It raises the question of what the ordinary citizen can do to reform a society in the grips of the military-industrial complex and other global destructive forces at a time when our instruments of government seem paralyzed.

The film will be followed by a discussion by people knowledgeable in the area of our budgeting for education and social services on the one hand and the military on the other.  We wish to invite a discussion of national budgetary priorities at this time when the total military budget proposed is about 700 billion dollars, when most people are taking serious cuts to the military off the table, and when cuts are being proposed for HeadStart, Pell grants, Social Security, support for education, Medicare and a variety of other 'civilian' programs.  We do not think that the issue of the military budget should go undiscussed.

If you are unable to attend this event but are still interested in seeing this important film, you can go to the website and download this film or just click HERE!

Part of the argument of the film is as follows: 
POLITICS
'Every' Politician takes money from big companies to get elected. That means they have an inherent 'conflict of interests'. They will not legislate against a bad company that pollutes, for example, if they have taken their money right!  Whatever your politics you cannot wait for the government to fix things for you. You have to change the things you do.   But this is very important, once you start to change, everything changes. We will get politicians that serve the peoples interests when the people take responsibility and then act.  Once you start taking responsibility, finding out the facts, and then acting accordingly, once you are a properly engaged member of our society it  will much more difficult for any politician to pull the wool over your eyes or make false promises. Also, the bad companies who support them will be replaced by the good companies YOU supported when you made the decision to be a responsible consumer. We can work toward changing our electoral system but you can start the change today!!   
        
ENDING THE WARS
I am going to give you a quick example. General Electric is an arms manufacturer, they make weapons for war. They make light bulbs too! They have their hands in so many things. They also own CNN news channel. But lets stay with weapons for a minute. If you are a weapons manufacturer you make billions BILLIONS of dollars whenever there is a war. So what we have here is a company that is in a position to support a war, Iraq or Afghanistan for example, on it's news channel, and then make BILLIONS of dollars if the war Happens.  Lets not get in to a discussion about the morality of this for a moment, or even question whether any war can be justified, lets just keep our eye on the ball. Should any company who makes weapons be in a position to sway public opinion in a way that benefits their bottom line? There is an obvious conflict of interests here, and a dangerous one and this conflict exists through out most of our industries and 
media.
If you take a look at history you will find that most wars are fought because one country wants the resources that another country has. Of course the reasons given are always about spreading democracy or defeating a terrible cruel regime, but you will notice that kind of war seldom happens in places that have no valuable assets! Regardless, it is very important that YOU UNDERSTAND THE PART YOU PLAY IN CAUSING WARS.  When you buy stuff, oil for example, you are buying the stuff that was taken from another country so it could be sold to YOU. YOUR CONSUMER DEMAND DRIVES WAR! AND CAUSES POLLUTION! CAN YOU SEE THE RESPONSIBILITY YOU HAVE.
Yes, there are many systemic issues and mechanisms that work against us, and we can if we wish point the finger at arms dealers but unless we all start to recognize the part we play then nothing will change. On a brighter note, you probably won't find any companies that do business in a socially responsible way that are connected to the arms industry. If you decide to buy your light bulbs form a company that is socially responsible, instead of General Electric, for example, you are turning the tide. Once you find independent sources of information you will know better what to think and how to act.
Your active engagement, learning the facts and then acting accordingly will end the wars. Once you understand that the information the news media gives you has to be vetted thoroughly, once you understand that there are conflicts of interest that you have to be aware of then you will be wiser. Once you understand why wars happen you will not, nor will you allow any one you know, to join the armed forces or work for an arms dealer. 

Part of the argument of the film is as follows:

Politics

'Every' Politician takes money from big companies to get elected. That means they have an inherent 'conflict of interests'. They will not legislate against a bad company that pollutes, for example, if they have taken their money right!  Whatever your politics you cannot wait for the government to fix things for you. You have to change the things you do.   But this is very important, once you start to change, everything changes. We will get politicians that serve the peoples interests when the people take responsibility and then act.  Once you start taking responsibility, finding out the facts, and then acting accordingly, once you are a properly engaged member of our society it  will much more difficult for any politician to pull the wool over your eyes or make false promises. Also, the bad companies who support them will be replaced by the good companies YOU supported when you made the decision to be a responsible consumer. We can work toward changing our electoral system but you can start the change today!!           

Ending the Wars

I am going to give you a quick example. General Electric is an arms manufacturer, they make weapons for war. They make light bulbs too! They have their hands in so many things. They also own CNN news channel. But lets stay with weapons for a minute. If you are a weapons manufacturer you make billions BILLIONS of dollars whenever there is a war. So what we have here is a company that is in a position to support a war, Iraq or Afghanistan for example, on it's news channel, and then make BILLIONS of dollars if the war Happens.  Lets not get in to a discussion about the morality of this for a moment, or even question whether any war can be justified, lets just keep our eye on the ball. Should any company who makes weapons be in a position to sway public opinion in a way that benefits their bottom line? There is an obvious conflict of interests here, and a dangerous one and this conflict exists through out most of our industries and media.

If you take a look at history you will find that most wars are fought because one country wants the resources that another country has. Of course the reasons given are always about spreading democracy or defeating a terrible cruel regime, but you will notice that kind of war seldom happens in places that have no valuable assets! Regardless, it is very important that YOU UNDERSTAND THE PART YOU PLAY IN CAUSING WARS.  When you buy stuff, oil for example, you are buying the stuff that was taken from another country so it could be sold to YOU. YOUR CONSUMER DEMAND DRIVES WAR! AND CAUSES POLLUTION! CAN YOU SEE THE RESPONSIBILITY YOU HAVE.

Yes, there are many systemic issues and mechanisms that work against us, and we can if we wish point the finger at arms dealers but unless we all start to recognize the part we play then nothing will change. On a brighter note, you probably won't find any companies that do business in a socially responsible way that are connected to the arms industry. If you decide to buy your light bulbs form a company that is socially responsible, instead of General Electric, for example, you are turning the tide. Once you find independent sources of information you will know better what to think and how to act.

Your active engagement, learning the facts and then acting accordingly will end the wars. Once you understand that the information the news media gives you has to be vetted thoroughly, once you understand that there are conflicts of interest that you have to be aware of then you will be wiser. Once you understand why wars happen you will not, nor will you allow any one you know, to join the armed forces or work for an arms dealer. 

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March 28th 2011

andrew - To the best of my knowledge, AOL TW (not GE) owns CNN.