Time for a Real Peace Dividend

W.J. Astore

On “Two Minutes to Midnight,” I talk about some of the themes I’ve developed at this site. Produced by Catalysta, the idea behind the series is to encourage fresh thinking on the challenges confronting us in a rapidly changing world.

Here is the Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTc7Qj4AXWU&t=59s

In this interview, I explain how and why America spends way too much on weaponry and wars, and how we can shift the narrative and revive the idea of peace. Echoing George McGovern, it’s time to “come home, America,” to invest in our country and ourselves, rather than to fund more weaponry and more overseas wars.

Near the end of the video, I make an appeal to younger generations of America to lift their voices against the military-industrial-Congressional complex. I urge them not to be intimidated and to speak their mind, explaining that many veterans are just as fed up as they are. Collectively, we need to act. And perhaps the first and most critical step is getting big corporate money out of politics even as we work to make major cuts to the U.S. war budget.

Special thanks to Edward Goldberg at Catalysta.net for inviting me and offering me a chance to share my views with a wider audience.

15 thoughts on “Time for a Real Peace Dividend

  1. Bill, thoroughly enjoyed listening to and agreeing with your monologue having no dissent whatsoever. I shared it on Twitter and FaceBook with this intro,
    “WE have smart phones and people who don’t think.
    This man is a right thinker, and I’m not using right in the Political sense, but in the Common Sense!”

    Establishment Christianity in America, has to be confronted with these verses in their Bibles concerning WAR they ignore in support of the Status Quo.
    They worship a Passive Christ rather than an Active Christ as far as the Earthly Systems operate to make the rich richer. They are heavenly minded, but no Earthly good!
    “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying: ‘Not by military force and not by physical strength, but by My spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts.”

    The US being the biggest Arms Merchant this World ever generated, American Christians, if they can’t understand that Bible verse, how can they prepare the Way for the Lord they claim to love and serve in THIS World to “judge between the Nations and reprove many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore?”
    American Weapons of Death and Destruction manufactures don’t want to see the taxpayer gravy train they’ve been on since WWII come to the end of the Line.

    American Christian Zionists supporting Apartheid Neo-Nazi Israel without criticism in all they do, remain oblivious to the Reality the plans the Zionists have, once they can get rid of the Muslim Dome of the Rock, is to build a 3rd Jewish Temple, and reinstate the Old Testament ritual of regular animal blood sacrifice for the Atonement of SIN.

    In effect, like the Apostle Peter, they are in denial of Jesus the Christ, who is the One and Only Atonement for SIN, for ALL PEOPLE, FOR ALL TIME.

    The Spirit of Christ can see not much has changed with the People since The Book quotes Jesus from so long ago, “You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
    This people draws close to me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
    In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ray. WWJD? Well, Jesus would not “do” WMD.

      We have far too many wars and weapons (and lies) and far too little truth.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. impressive, inspiring, and argutely insightful remarks, rjc. am motivated by your biblical references to cc your cantus firmus to my xian-zealot sister who is a trenchantly committed member of the church of jesus christ of the latter-day saints. her own cantus firmus is founded on the caryatid of “onward xian soldiers, marching onto war”… which does not strike me as an accurate interpretation of her beloved jesus-christ-the-saviour’s peace-embracing narrative. she is preveniently, as one might anticipate, a trumpian, war-besotted, pro-military, racist q-anoner who has hung her adult-hat in georgia and south carolina for over 56 years.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jeanie, The OT Prophet Isaiah described the Christ in a way many people can identify with in chapter 53. My interpretation of Jesus living in me as I wrote above, makes me a minority extremist in Christian Establishment thinking.

        This is a recent example of my Christian Faith posted to my Public FB page, soldiering on, as the Christ shows us how to behave, as sheep among wolves, being wise as a Serpent, but harmless as a Dove as per his Commandment.

        What’s on my Mind, FB asks? To start, at 77, sometimes I think I think too much, and other Times I think I don’t think at all!
        I just read The Economist article ‘Xi Jinping’s campaign
        China’s new reality is rife with danger’
        It seems prescient to my reading.

        The 1st concern is President Xi is heading a Cult of Personality. I read about Donald Trump having a Cult of Personality before President Xi.

        The most famous enduring Cult of Personality is Christianity, based on living and breathing the Personality of Jesus, the Christ of God.
        Not only is Christianity a Cult, it’s also Occult by definition of the Word.
        Only by actually embodying and doing the Commandments of Jesus, as the Love of God and out Neighbour grows in expressing our Daily Personalities being one with the Personality of Jesus, Jesus reveals himself as the Christ to the individual Believer, not to the World.

        What China’s Xi is trying to do rein in the excesses of Capitalism, the love and service to money, rather than Love and Service to God.
        He is taxing the Chinese Billionaires, the nominally Christ West talks about but never does.
        America’s Christian Establishment supports the system of the rich getting richer while the poor increase among us despite all the Biblical admonitions about the rich in THIS Material World.
        Western Christianity dismiss Christ’s view, that hardly ever will a rich man enter the kingdom of heaven.
        For the last 2000 years they have prayed in vain, ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.’
        It will never come if Christians don’t do the will of God, and change the Pyramid System with the rich at the top manipulating the Economic inequality.
        China’s President is trying to rectify with his program of working toward “Common Prosperity”

        Western Establishment Christianity refuses to acknowledge in the Acts of the Apostles in their Bibles, the 1st Century Christians were God LED Communists, long before Karl Marx lived.
        It does not compute, while they preach this World has arrived at THE LAST DAYS, they’re the same LAST DAYS the Apostle James writes about in chapter 5 of his Book in the Book of Books, warning the Writing’s on the Wall for the rich controlling this World’s systems orchestrated to make them richer.

        And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
        And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
        Acts 2:49-50
        And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
        Acts 4:32
        Jesus went even further with the record of the workers bringing in the Harvest at the End of the World, where the labours who worked only 1 hour, were paid the same as the workers who agreed to work all day long, as described in Matthew 20.



        1. thnx for the economist’s site reference, r.j. cormier. and the biblical passages. i will be cc-ing your response to my sister and other xians of her persuasion. even this old pyrrhonist octotogenarian finds inspiration in some biblical texts.


          1. Jeanie, before you cc your sister, there is a typo in Capital letters needing correction.
            Only by actually embodying and doing the Commandments of Jesus, as the Love of God and OUR Neighbour grows in expressing our Daily Personalities being one with the Personality of Jesus, Jesus reveals himself as the Christ to the individual Believer, not to the World.


  2. Having a Goo Old Time in the Goo Old U.S.A.

    Wonderful speech WJA, it truly gets to the heart of the matter. I especially enjoyed your historical approach regarding the way America used to regard itself as a nation at peace and peaceful. Only when a real need to fight an enemy such as the Nazis would Americans mobilize an army / navy. Afterwards the armed forces would de-mobilize and the troops would resume their places in civilian society.

    I noticed a real uptick in militarization in the U.S. after the defeat in Vietnam. It seemed that the people wanted to prove that the U.S. was still tough and had a military force to be feared. To me it was like a bully who finally got beaten, so he outfits himself in threatening tattoos and clothing. If this proves true again, we may be in for another round of militarization.

    I was so disgusted with the state of mind of this country after George McGovern’s defeat, I didn’t vote for 20 years. It seems that the corruption of the MIC Complex and the apathy of the American people has only increased in the last 50 years. I have returned to voting but what are the choices? It’s Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The candidates are already chosen in a back room by the politicos of the Democratic or Republican Parties. Last year I knew that Sanders or Warren would never be the candidate for the Democratic Party. The fix was in before the primaries were started.

    I am at the point of wondering if any involvement in politics to try and fix the problem is of any use. The corruption is so deep and so wide spread that it is like trying to save the apple in the refrigerator that has turned brown and is oozing goo.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, that post-Vietnam militarization was captured in the Rambo and MIA movies — even in the cheesy movie, “Red Dawn,” that imagined a Cuban/Russian invasion of the U.S. where we got to be the winning guerrillas.

      As a country, we have regressed after a short period of reflection in the 1970s. Now it’s all about bigger is better, always, especially when it comes to weaponry and “defense” budgets.

      Shameful, really.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Eisenhower warned us, but we didn’t listen. Now that “militaristic mindset” has moved into other areas much closer to home, and the more it’s discounted, the more undeniable it becomes. The good news is that “all politics is local” and regardless of the spin pushed over school board meetings, attendees have every reason to keep it peaceful, but establish oversight in representative government. I was very concerned last year when AntiFa/BlackBloc co-opted BLM through M4BL-this thing might go 3rd season Westworld-but everyone is disgusted by force & authority, and no one will want to exercise it in a few years. The peace dividend will be part of the credibility correction…


    1. I hope you’re right.

      Sadly, America’s leaders seem to like alternative lyrics: All we are sayin’/is give war a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. never lose your earnestness, commitment to noble endeavours, and willingness to divulgate those attributes to the hoi-polloi, wja. no matter how fruitless or futile your efforts may appear, you are making remarkable inroads into the mental adytum that gives us all sanctuary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The way he looks Today, the preeminent Social Justice Critic of our Times, could easily pass as one of the unrecognizable increasing number of homeless old men appearing on city streets in our Generations.

    I just watched 92 year old Noam Chomsky deliver a 45 minute extemporaneous monologue on where he sees this World is at, that is so current, he refers to the recently released Panama Papers II.
    There is no humming and hawing in his non-stop, logical and sequential presentation of facts and information at 92. Seeing him, Live Long and Prosper, Noam Chomsky!

    Naturally and Spiritually, I saw him putting meat on these Biblical Bones, even though he did not refer to God or the Book.
    Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
    Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.
    Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for THE LAST DAYS.
    Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by FRAUD, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord Almighty.

    And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.


  6. The Peace Dividend could go a long way in healing relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world especially the tribal areas of Pakistan where the Taliban hid for the last 20 years.
    Besides spending the dividend on our much needed country’s needs such as infra-structure repair, student debt forgiveness and a place to live for every American, this is one such project:


    This makes me proud to be an American, not drone strikes in the tribal areas.


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