Rob Bishop: “The Plane! The Plane!”

Utah representative Rob Bishop proudly insists that he is a fiscal conservative. He rejects “massive government spending on bloated federal programs that puts our country deeper into debt.” Judging from his statement on the floor of the House in 2006, one might suppose he was determined to critically review government programs and spending based on their effectiveness, working to ax those which didn’t pass muster.

Except, seemingly, when it comes to glamorous military equipment such as the F-22.

No, Rob Bishop is proud to have played a role in saving the F-22, a weapon which is many times as expensive as the fighter it is supposed to replace, requires far more frequent and costly maintenance, is vulnerable to rain, and which appears completely unqualified for the sorts of warfare in which we seem likely to be engaged in the future; after all it has never flown a mission in Iraq or Afghanistan during its four years of service. Does anyone really expect the sort of full-scale conflict with another large, military power in which these flashy fighters might shine to come around in the foreseeable future? (see R. Jeffrey Smith, “Premier U.S. Fighter Jet Has Major Shortcomings,” The Washington Post, and Jeff Huber, “Sticker Shock and Awe,” The American Conservative).

Nevermind any critical analysis of the program. Bishop is apparently willing to overlook this expensive government program and it’s questionable impact on national defense because, as Bishop’s website proudly announced, his defense of the F-22 “scored some significant victories for Utah’s military installations and personnel.”

In other words, it’s about pork, a game which the military-industrial complex has become experts at playing with Congress (see the insightful documentary Why We Fight).

We can’t have government “waste” on energy efficiency, environmental protection, or health care. We must reserve that instead for the war-toys which set warhawk hearts aflutter and keep people employed in production of dubious value. Just keep in mind the warning of President Eisenhower:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron (“A Chance for Peace,” American Society of Newspaper Editors; April 16, 1953).

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9 Responses to “Rob Bishop: “The Plane! The Plane!””

  1. adamf Says:

    Wow. I don’t know what to say other than I’m not surprised given Bishop’s record. I agree, it seems like big government spending our tax dollars for useless programs.

  2. Forest Simmons Says:

    It’s an ill wind that blows no good.

    The more useless military baggage we accumulate, the sooner the end of American imperialism!

    As the scriptures put it, the Gentiles (i.e. Gringos) will fall into the pit that they have dug for the scattered remnants (i.e. exploited third world). It seems to me that today this pit is largely a matter of the economy, and although we have already dug ourselves in over our heads, continued military spending on borrowed money coupled with fewer people willing to lend money to the US Govt. entails printing money to pay debt. When the value of the dollar begins to be diluted by this massive printing, nobody will want dollars, which will lead to capital flight on a massive scale, etc. This vicious cycle will make the current phase of our economic depression seem like the good old days.

    If that is what it takes to get rid of Western Imperialism, then so be it.

    If China steps into the vacuum, that will open the door for the modern version of chapter 5 of Helaman. Unlike the Gringos who have largely rejected the fulness of the gospel, the Chinese (like the Lamanites in Chapter 5) will largely accept it in a short time. (the more part of the Lamanites were converted in less than one year’s time.)

    Then will be fulfilled the words of Isaiah, “Who hath begotten me these?” and “More are the children of the desolate than of the married wife.”

    The 700 Club idea that equates Israel with Tel Aviv, and heartily subscribed to by too many Mormons, will finally be squelched once and for all.

    The Lord is about to make bare his Holy Arm! If you can hear it, brothers and sisters, the greatest and most marvelous part of the Great and Marvelous Work is about to come forth!

    On which side of the great division will we be?

  3. utahgovwatch Says:

    Bishop is definitely not fiscally conservative, but thanks to his rousing speeches in Republican conventions everyone seems to think he is. Great post.

  4. Mike H. Says:

    *THE* Secretary of Defense says we don’t need the F-22 & the F-35 engine update. Obama says he doesn’t want the new Presidential Helicopter. But, the pork goes on.

  5. SUNN(0)))ofaB.C.Rich Says:

    so…. Forest when you say gentiles (Gringos) who are you talking about… Thought you mormons had some idea about you being not gentiles and everyone who wasn’t mormon was a gentile… just wonderin

  6. Forest Simmons Says:

    In Utah Mormon culture “Gentile” means non-Mormon. But in Book of Mormon usage, Gentile means western Europeans and their descendants, i.e. the “white man.” Nephi, for example, calls the european colonizers the “Gentiles” and the European couontries from when they came, “the Mother Gentiles.”

    According to the Book of Mormon, the Gentiles take the Bible and the Book of Mormon to the scattered remnants of Israel, i.e. the rest of the world.

  7. Forest Simmons Says:

    Quoting the above blog …

    “In other words, it’s about pork, a game which the military-industrial complex has become experts at playing with Congress (see the insightful documentary Why We Fight).”

    I just saw “why we fight” for the first time. As you say, it’s all about war profiteering.

    But shooting wars are not the only wars targeted by the profiteers. We have the war on cancer, the war on heart disease, the war on diabetes, the war on flu epidemics, the war on sin, the war on ignorance, the war against hunger, etc. … mostly worthy causes, but hijacked by the war profiteers of the

    military/industrial/pharmaceutical/educational/agribusiness/insurance

    complex.

    Profiteering in any of these areas is what the Book of Mormon calls priestcraft, i.e. profiteering in the war against evil in general. Practicioneers of priestcraft set themselves up as a (false) light to the world, i.e. as false saviors, i.e. as anti-christs. They can give great lip service to Jesus Christ, but they are still counterfeit saviors:

    2 Nephi 26:29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.

  8. sturgeon Says:

    sounds like a confusing mess of what’s literal and what’s figurative, you say gentiles is a literal term based on a persons skin color but “Israel” is a figurative one… doesn’t jive… and if youre not part of the military/industrial/pharmaceutical/educational/agribusiness/insurance complex then what do you do Forest?

  9. John Says:

    Thanks, very interesting note.

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