Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In the ether

Listening to news/talk commercial radio in Washington DC is an interesting case study in what the USA has become. A steady stream of ads from defence contractors aimed at the many tentacles of their prime customer, the US government. One could pick out any of them because the overall format is similar. Today's example would be the ad for the F22 Raptor, whose virtues are extolled over a soundtrack of solemn martial music.

One virtue is the number of sub-contractors involved -- 1000, the ad proclaims. Then we're told that the plane is "destined to avoid wars and save lives." Yet later we're told that it's designed to "get in safely, get the job done, and get out." That "getting the job done" may involve dropping a 1000 lb bomb on a house is left unsaid, because after all, God has assured us that if you bomb a house with bad guys in it, any other deaths are the fault of the bad guys.

Anyway, the biggest virtue of the F22 Raptor is that all this subcontracting, job creation, and occasional bomb-dropping is "defending freedom." Since Pratt and Whitney, Boeing, and Lockheed-Martin say so, it must be true.

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