Readers respond to "Your Friendly Neighborhood War Profiteer"


War, what is it good for?

Once again, City Pages has scooped the corporate media and even the peacenik media with its excellent July 2 story, "Your Friendly Neighborhood War Profiteer." One wonders if the corporate media would report such a story even if they knew about it, given the fact that it might cast a pall over the upcoming, big-spending Republican National Convention and create doubt in the minds of other convention planners. It's good to know at least one news medium still values investigative reporting and is not beholden to the Republican or any other political agenda. This story is especially important since billions of our tax dollars are involved and at least some of our elected public officials apparently are just fine with the Minnesota Defense Alliance and its ill-gotten gains. I look forward to updates on the MDA, its wasteful spending of our taxpayer dollars, and its support by some people we elected in the hope they would oppose war, not glorify its economic benefits to some of their constituents.

Will Shapira Minneapolis

No. 1 with a bullet

Your story on mom-and-pop defense contractors was quirky and humanizing. At the same time, it gave a glimpse into all-American fascism. After World War II, America declined to demobilize for reasons owing less to Stalin or Osama than to Orwell. The military budget was two-thirds payroll until Reagan. The idea was to sponge up excess labor and allow the civilian workforce to prosper. Since the draft ended, the Pentagon budget has flipped around to mostly procurement. Borrowed money financed this solo arms race—at once a huge gift to capital and the textbook definition of fascism. Fascism is the destination of every democracy.

I could shrug this off. But the qualitative shift of American fascism from liberal to conservative is troubling because smug conservatism always gins up a holocaust. And the crisis will only worsen given horribly inefficient Defense bolstering of the economy that throws, per your article, million-dollar contracts to six-man shops instead of hiring 120 Army privates as in the heyday of Beetle Bailey and Gomer Pyle. I predict our holocaust will be a "tactical" nuclear strike to extricate one of our legions from one of these Bush wars we provoked that has gotten out of hand. We will strike some remote threat "preemptively," having first established that the enemy was on the verge of the cusp of initiating development of nukes. You see, the threat of foreign nukes is that much more ominous for foreigners' infamous lack of restraint and hygiene and mandate from God. Here, let us recall Hitler's rationale for having invaded Poland: Why, the Poles were massing along the border!

Mark Warner Minneapolis

Carpet-bombing liberal make-work

Jeff Severns Guntzel wrote about those evil private Minnesota companies cashing in on defense contracts, harkening back to President Eisenhower's famed military industrial complex speech back in the '50s. While I agree that Eisenhower's prognostication proved correct, I wonder why Mr. Guntzel and other leftists never take the time to look into private groups like ACORN, Al Sharpton's National Action Network, and Rainbow PUSH Coalition that receive billions of taxpayer dollars to ostensibly renovate and/or build affordable housing while also engaging in voter fraud, political corruption, and/or shaking down corporations who fail to kowtow to their demands for "donations." Could it be that your political sympathies and goals are more important, and that's why you deflect judging ACORN and other government freeloaders with an article that shows legitimate private businesses earning contracts with the government producing tangible products/services rather than patronage, failed poverty programs, and continued misery in our impoverished urban communities? (These views are my personal opinion and in no way, shape, or form the views of the Department of Defense, state of Minnesota Department of Military Affairs, nor do they represent an endorsement thereof.)

Jay Mastrud, former Republican candidate HD62B, Current MN Air National Guard Minneapolis

In defense of the Mill City Farmers' Market

Rachel Hutton's June 18 article, "Chef Shack Brings Curb Appeal to Summer Eats," is disparaging to all of the consumers and vendors who participate in the Mill City Farmers' Market week after week. This response in not about whether Chef Shack should be at the market (that's another story), but Hutton's condescending remarks about the people who attend the market "...feeling warm and fuzzy about helping a local farmer for about two minutes, and then sticking the meat in the freezer and forgetting about it indefinitely." The vendors supply food and work seven days a week, laboring in their love of being able to supply healthy, chemical-free food to the Market consumers. I personally know many of the vendors and understand their passion and desire to connect to their customers. Consumers are intelligent about understanding the benefit of healthy food for their families and return week after week. Hutton should take the time to learn more about each vendor's product, interview the consumer, and discover what really attracts people to the market!

Jim Braucher Northfield

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