Military Privilege

Thursday, April 11, 2013
Posted in category War

This morning I noted that Detroit Int’l Airport has a Freedom Lounge with a sign says “Serving Those Who Serve Us.” It’s a special ‘military only’ lounge for the government’s war enforcers. They sure as heck don’t serve me because I don’t conduct the wars they “serve.” Surely the airport doesn’t have an entrepreneur’s lounge, and that’s because those folks don’t serve they state. Their first allegiance is to serve the voluntary customer via mutually beneficial transactions, so they actually do serve “us.”

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6 Responses to Military Privilege

  1. KSB26 says:

    April 11th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I’m amazed that a libertarian leaning business owner somewhere hasn’t put up a “Civilian Discount” sign yet in their store.

    “Surely the airport doesn’t have an entrepreneur’s lounge”

    I’d love to see someone open something like that. I already have the logo ready: “Giving back to those that give us our prosperity.”

  2. Murf says:

    April 12th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I see this from two sides.

    Side A, as a veteran, and especially with the mentality inculcated in most soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, is that it is a good thing.  Most kids, and you are kids (i was through all of my initial military training and still only17) join because they think it IS a good thing.  You are told you are good and worthy for joining, putting yourself on the line, doing the nation’s defending, etc.

    You are right, of course, the so called defense department is really the (ever and ongoing) war department, and per Smedley Butler, those serving in the military serve corporate and money interests, NOT the USA or its people.    Most kids joining, however, especially the mass of whom have been in government schools all their conscious lives until that point, are told they are doing the right thing, serving their nation.  Even in the draft that rationale was applied as a salve, so you have to consider it from the standpoint of the people who join.

    I raise my kids differently, as a veteran myself (with special forces experience) but that is another topic.

    So from the standpoint of a kid, out of basic, maybe AIT, or bouncing to and fro foreign countries, sometimes doing hard, hateful, dangerous things, the lounge seems like a well over due, nice bit of recognition and comfort.  I would have appreciated it in my day.

    On the other hand, it is a darned dangerous trend.  Increasingly, it seems, those in government service and uniform get rewarded for their “service.”  It pays better, retires about a decade or more earlier, taxes lower (many police, fire department, etc get a separate pension plan, may opt out of FICA taxes on their employment, my father, uncle did, yet from second jobs they pay FICA, then get social security too anyway).

    Police seem separate, militarized. Putting soldiers in separate lounges separates them from the people they are supposedly protecting, as well as exposure to public opinion.  Before, after Gulf War (part one) when or if I flew in uniform, or my military ID was spotted checking in, people “thanked” me for my service (something that bothered me and embarrassed me).  In Vietnam, vets were sometimes spit upon (unfair as most were draftees and had no choice) on returning home.  While I do not think citizens should spit on veterans, I think it served an important point for soldiers to encounter the public, hear what people thought of the war. Wars are fought with soldiers, with or without public support, and at the end, in Vietnam, though it is not often discussed openly, many units just STOPPED fighting, stopped patrolling, marked time, even mutinied in some cases, such was the discontent.

    NO nation should be sending the soldiers to war, especially the USA, without Congressional declaration of war, public support, clear goals, end game, etc. Again, the USA let the president drag it into unwinnable foreign wars, and immense amounts of money have been spent making cripples not cared for (read Fred Reed’s latest on VA care, something I am personally aware of) or compensated, destroying a nation, and in the end, accomplishing nothing from the AMerican people’s point of view (though MANY high end corporate and bankster missions and money gains are accomplished, all around).

    I would say does America never learn, but I think it ceases to be a free nation where the military and people have a say in what the money masters dictate.  This will continue until it is fiscally broken, worse than now, and unable to pay and raise an offensive military, which is what it currently has.

    So, in the end, I see why there is an impetus, a well meaning impetus to recognize, reward service members.  They certainly are a large business segment for struggling airlines with the military buying huge numbers of tickets annually.  I also see the separation of those in government”service” from the public with a wary eye.  It is creating a pretorian mentality I believe.  That mentality is certainly prevalent among police. We do NOT need it in our military.

  3. af6170 says:

    April 12th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I don’t want this to sound as ungrateful as it does, but often, when I self-identified as a veteran, I would get this “thanks for your service” that bothered me more than anything else. A certain segment of the population, I felt (notably including no actual veterans themselves) was getting a creepy, racist, vicarious thrill about Our Glorious And Infallible Crusades, which have brought us so much money and international respect. I honestly think that the cultural token of bumper-sticker thankyouism is a sick replacement for the far healthier connection to service which might attain if, maybe, our foreign policy had some remote connection to our actual national interests.
    The first big gaffe I made fresh out of boot camp was to wear a military-looking sweater in an airport. I was immediately warned in a friendly manner by a security guard that we shouldn’t be advertising our status, that this might provoke terrorists or hippies, and that even servicemembers traveling to a new duty station (which you traditionally do in your main service uniform, so you can be inspected and have your medals “read” by your new boss) should be in civvies, changing in bathrooms as needed.
    This policy continued for years: it was clearly the feeling that military service, while nothing to be ashamed of, ought not to be rubbed in the faces of international strangers either. Now we’re going to have a readily identifiable finite space with limited exits, where everyone inside but the bartender is guaranteed to be a representative of that love-inspiring global favorite, US foreign policy. Is that really a bright idea?
    One last thing: with the explosion of doubtlessly necessary domestic spying bureaucracies and pseudo-law enforcement agencies, will these lounges be limited to the conventionally defined military services, or open also to mercs and neo-KGB?

  4. Nicholas says:

    April 12th, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Military Lounges in airports are operated by USO, a nonprofit organization funded largely by private and corporate contributions.  The airport lounges provide a place for Service Members and Veterans to relax and get something to eat on their frequently lengthy layovers.  They are often used as a place to sleep when stuck in an airport overnight.  If entrepreneurs wanted a special lounge in airports there is nothing stopping them from starting their own organization to run one. 

  5. Woody says:

    April 14th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    They choose to serve our country and for that I don’t begrudge them an airport lounge. Their lives are frittered away by a self-serving treasonous political class.

  6. liberranter says:

    April 15th, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    If entrepreneurs wanted a special lounge in airports there is nothing stopping them from starting their own organization to run one.

    There would certainly be nothing to stop a group from organizing to set up such a lounge. However, I’d wager that if any major corporation or non-profit organization like, say, Junior Achievement tried to sponsor something like that in a major airport that there would be a loud hue and cry raised by a whole range of state-connected entitlement classes. After all, setting aside special facilities for certain productive private-sector professionals would be “discriminatory” (not that any of these people who publicly scream that first-class seating on airlines also “discriminates” against large groups of people).

    As Karen pointed out, the only reason that organizations like the USO are permitted (actually, encouraged) to establish their presence in federally controlled public places like airports is because the demographic group they cater to serves The State. Entrepreneurs, OTOH, are largely individualists – which explains why the State despises them and tolerates them only for the revenue they extort from them at the point of a gun.

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