Militarism in Chicago

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Militarism in Chicago
by Stephen Lendman
US Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels perform stunt flying exhibitions in US air shows nationwide – their mission to promote militarism, imperial wars, and aid recruiting.
Annually they participate in Chicago’s Air and Water Show, coming this weekend along Lake Michigan’s lakefront close to where I live – assaulting city residents like myself with the roar and toxic pollution of low-flying warplanes, their din disturbingly audible indoors, much more so close to where they perform stunts – practicing this Friday, in action Saturday and Sunday, my most disliked weekend of the year.
This year, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II “advanced stealth” warplane will participate – a $2 trillion boondoggle in development, production, operations and maintenance, yet to achieve its performance objectives and perhaps never will.
Each aircraft costs around $300 million, the amount increasing annually, congressional oversight entirely absent – a deplorable waste of US resources, unavailable for vital domestic needs. Militarism and endless wars take precedence.
US Air Force Thunderbirds will participate this year in Chicago, along with Army parachute team Golden Knights and Navy Leap Frog counterparts – performing their aerial stunts.
I’ll be home avoiding their theatrics as best I can, focusing on what I love best – writing and any interviews if asked.
In July 2016, retired physician Gary Kohls addressed what he called “inconvenient truths about” the military air show scheduled two days later in his home city of Duluth, MN.
He discussed “Big Oil and Big Agribusiness” polluting global air, water and soil. Thunderbirds and Blue Angels use “highly toxic propellant fuel,” affecting “liver, brain, kidney and immune systems.” Their exhaust is carcinogenic.
The cost to taxpayers for these air shows is enormous – tens of thousands of dollars per hour of flying for participating warplanes – during many hours of training exercises and actual performances.
All this done nationwide to promote abhorrent militarism and naked aggression, masquerading as humanitarian intervention and responsibility to protect.
It’s also to seduce naive young men and women to consider military service as an occupational choice. Volunteerism replaced conscription in 1973.
Imperial wars continued, raging in multiple theaters today, the threat of possible East/West nuclear confrontation greater than at any previous time – especially if Hillary succeeds Obama.
She’s notoriously anti-Russia, anti-China, anti-Iran, anti-peace, pro-use of nuclear weapons. 
Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance with her president and commander-in-chief of America’s military.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.