Saturday, February 18, 2017




Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology

(#2, Dec. 29, 2016)

Contents of Grassroots Newsletter #3
Northwest Arkansas Regional “Our Community” Phone Directory/Yellow Pages 2016-2017, the Cover for Veterans
 The Rise of the Military Welfare State by Jennifer Mittelstadt

Local Newspaper Record of Grassroots Militarism
Memorials, Monuments and Museums to Celebrate War and Militarism (2008-2017)
American “Valor” and Honoring “Heroes” (2009-2016)
State of Arkansas Tax Support
State of Arkansas Medical Support
Benton County Support:  Veterans Services Office
Local Military Industrial Complex
Militarism Promotion in Schools and Universities
Businesses and other Institutions Supporting Militarism
Public Officials Promoting Militarism

Northwest Arkansas Regional “Our Community” Phone Directory/Yellow Pages 2016-2017: 
No attempt is made to explain what service is provided, what has been the sacrifice.  That’s the hidden point of this prominent cover: the organizer of the Directory assumed all readers would share that assumption; that is that nobody would question the necessity and the value of the interventions and invasions of  several dozen nations by the USA.   An informed and critically thinking citizenry is not expected.  Essential questions are never asked: Is it admirable service to attack and kill large numbers of civilians who have not attacked the USA, nor had their governments?   Have the volunteer soldiers sacrificed, or have they been sacrificed?   Have the consequences of this service and sacrifice been beneficent for the world, or have more wars and increased chaos ensued?    Here in the pro-war, automatic thinking is the groundrock upon which US militarism is constructed

The issue of sacrifice deserves more comment.
For example, the new book, The Rise of the Military Welfare State by Jennifer Mittelstadt  (Harvard UP, 2015) tells us about the extraordinary social support system the Pentagon provides its volunteers.  “Since the end of the draft, the U.S. Army has prided itself on its patriotic volunteers who heed the call to “Be All That You Can Be.” But beneath the recruitment slogans, the army promised volunteers something more tangible: a social safety net including medical and dental care, education, child care, financial counseling, housing assistance, legal services, and other privileges that had long been reserved for career soldiers. The Rise of the Military Welfare State examines how the U.S. Army’s extension of benefits to enlisted men and women created a military welfare system of unprecedented size and scope.”

     As you see the subject of US militarism is enormous in scope.  I treat it therefore under a variety of topics hoping to touch upon at least many of the main subjects.
For example, see: 
PENTAGON BUDGET NEWSLETTER # 2.  APRIL 18, 2014.    This is only one of a dozen newsletters on different aspects of the Pentagon.
 “What Service Were You In?” Newsletters.  Here’s #4:   
     Nevertheless, grassroots militarism—military promotion from the towns and states as distinguished from federal militarism—is an important subject, particularly because it is so neglected, so unobserved, so taken for granted.  If it means that the public assumes the necessity of a thoroughly pro-military nation just as important as public schools, then we are in danger.

What follows is a sampling from the local newspaper of grassroots militarism.  No wonder the editor of the latest phone directory assumes strong public consensus regarding the service and sacrifice of our volunteer military.   The assumption saturates the newspapers daily.     
Memorials, Monuments and Museums to Celebrate War and Militarism (2008-2017)
“Farmington City Council offers help for veterans’ memorial” (NWAT, 10-14-08)
“Veterans Monument Unveiled in Farmington” (NWA Times, 5-31-09)
“Winter Preparations. Story on cleaning Bella Vista Veterans Wall.” (ADG, 12-2-09)
“National Guard to get new center” (1-24-2010) Bentonville center, no cost given
“North Little Rock Library selected for memorial site” (ADG, 2-1-10)
“Military Park is Worth Enhancements.” (NWAT, 2-17-10)  Pea Ridge park.
“Post office takes name of Vietnam War hero.” (ADG, 8-12-13)
“Budget cut puts Jacksonville military museum in a pinch” (ADG, 1-16-17)
“Gold Star families memorial sought at Capitol” (ADG, 1-30-17)
“(Arkansas Military) Museum Seeks Greater Interest.” (NWAT, ?)

US Combat Valor and Honoring War Heroes (2009-2016)
Jack Stephens, owner of the Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, arranged for writers in the chain to recount the stories of  “American Valor,” US troops in combat.  Fifty-four were published in 2009, twelve more in 2010 in the NW Arkansas Times.   As a whole, the series is a major effusion of patriotism for war.  I responded to the series in 2010.   “‘We Are Winning,' Two Wars, Two Colonels, and a General.”   Free Weekly (January 28, 2010).  The editor of the Free Weekly at the time was Susan Porter.
The following includes samples of Stephens’ Valor series, and miscellaneous reports.
Wesley Millett.  “Man’s Cover Fire Saves Lives.” (NWArkansas Times, 11-13-09).
“Countdown to Christmas.” (ADG, 12-18-09).   Support the troops editorial.
“Local chapter of military officers honored” (NWAT, 12-27-09).
“Honoring Military Heroes.” (ADG, 12-13-09).   Wreath laying event in Fayetteville.
“Navy Doctor Saves 30 Lives Close to Fighting” (NWAT, 4-19-10).
“Convoy of Military Vehicles Planned.” (NWAT, 4-30-10).  Veterans parade.
“Guardsmen Save Two: Veteran Snipers Rescue Green Berets During Shootout” (NWA Times, 5-31-10)
“Run for the Fallen to Be Saturday” (ADG, 8-20-10).    Run of remembrance for killed soldiers.
“Event Thanks Guardsmen, Families” (ADG, 10-4-10).
“Marine Stays Calm During Fighting (NWAT, 10-25-10)
“Soldier Wins Silver Star for Combat Heroism in Aghanya (NWAT, 12-27-10).
“Christmas Honors Set in Fort Smith “to place wreathes on the graves of soldiers”. (NWAT, 12-5-12).
“Ceremony Remembers 47 Arkansans Killed While Serving in Wars-“who died doing Their Patriotic Duty” (ADG, 5-6-13)
“Let’s Honor Our Heroes“ (ADG, 10-21-16).   “A small Perryville, Ark. will now bear the name of a soldier..”
“Korean War Veterans Honored.” (NWAT, 11-14-16).  “Homage to the Slain: Ark. Veterans Honored for Service.   (NADG, 11-3-16)
“Forgotten no more: One parade that remembered Arkansas Grunts.”  (ADG, 11-21-16).
     Korean war soldiers honored.

State of Arkansas Tax Support
“State income-tax exemption for military pensions backed” (ADG, 1-27-17)
“Push for tax exemption, senator says to veterans.” (ADG, 1-12-17) income tax exemption proposal for veterans

State of Arkansas Medical Support
Hunter Field.  “Facility for Vets Opens.  State-run Nursing Home to Accept First Resident Today.”  NADG (January 31, 2017).

Benton County Support:  Veterans Services Office
Patrick Robinson appointed to head the VSO.

Local Military Industrial Complex
“Huntsville Plant gets F-16 Contract.” (ADG, 5-21-10)

Militarism Promotion in Schools and Universities
“War Stories Shared:  Students Read Poems, Letters Thanking Veterans” (NWAT, 12-22-13)
Publisher ranks UAFS ‘military friendly’ (ADG, 11-27-16) University of Arkansas “Military Friendly”
Letter from Clark Taylor, Military Science at UA Fayetteville. No date.

Businesses and other institutions supporting militarism
“Appreciation.” (NWAT, 1-10-10) TME Inc. Presented with award for support of the Marine Corps League.
“Discounts, freebies offered to vets and voters in Little Rock.” (ADG, 11-8-16) Businesses offer discounts and free goods or services to veterans
Soldiers on Service Dogs. Bank of Fayetteville. No date.
AETN Salutes Arkansas Veterans. No date.

Public Officials Promoting Militarism
“Officials pledge support for local military” (NWAT,  11-17-09) Bentonville public officials make pledges of support.
“Senator: Spending Cuts Needed: Boozman Speaks at Rotary Club.” (NWAT, 8-31-11) Cuts to social programs, but not military.
“Work for Veterans Highly Appreciated” (NWAT, 11-21-13).    Sen. John Boozman Letter Praising Veterans’ Parade.

Contents:  Grassroots Militarism, USA, Fayetteville, AR, Northwest Arkansas, Arkansas Newsletter #2

Context: US War Budget 2017
“$611 Billion Defense Policy Bill Signed.” NADG (Dec. 24, 2016). 

US Culture of War the Capillaries of Militarism and Empire
Keeping War Alive: Institutions, Activities Supporting the Wars
Battle Re-enactments in Arkansas
Naming Post Offices:  Navy Seal
Vets Stories Archived
Arkansas Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame
Armed Forces Honor Day

Keeping Veterans Alive,
Veterans Administration Hospital in Fayetteville, AR

JROTC at Ft. Smith
Honor Flight
Statue for Col. Darby
Keeping Ark Military History Alive
Patriotic Corporate/Business:  Wal-Mart
Casino Gifts to Vets
Commodification of Vets
Google Search

Hastings and Dick on “Service”

Television:  Militarism in Homes
Television: GO ARMY Advert Campaign
Mittelstadt, The Rise of the Military Welfare State

PBS in Arkansas, Pentagon Propaganda Machine in Our Living Rooms
PBS Pro-Vets, Pro-War, Pro-Empire
     Lidia Celebrates Vets “Defending” “America”
     Two Silver Star Medal Winners “Defend” “America”


Tuesday, February 7, 2017


FEBRUARY 8, 2017.
Edited by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology

Vegetarian Potluck
Wed Feb 8 - 6:00 pm @ OMNI
Specially Big Day!
Amy Wilson unveils her great new American cookbook
Little Miss Cornbread!
How about a southern cooking theme with a vegan touch?
A group of visiting Scandinavian musicians are visiting Kelly & Donna
They'll attend Veggie Potluck and do music after.  WOW!
Please bring extra food to help feed the musicians, and come to this amazing opportunity.  Once in a lifetime! 

CONTENTS: Vegetarian/Vegan Action Newsletter #35, February 8, 2017:
Health, Nutrition
“The VegNews Bloggy Awards”: Blogs on Latest Recipes, Products, Restaurants
New Film on Vegans:  Vegan Everyday Stories
Empathy, Compassion, Protection of Animals
New Film
Related Films
“Spy in the Wild,” PBS Series on Animal Feelings and Thought
Cruelty at “High-Speed” Pork Plants
Fight for Transparency in Meat Industry
Sue Coe, Animals’ Vegan Manifesto
Vegetarianism, Veganism, Vegetarian Action  vs. Carnivorism and Climate Catastrophe.

“The VEGNEWS Bloggy Awards,” VegNews (August 2016).  Describes 21 blogs, including:
“Oh She Glows, a healthy and popular site,
“This Rawsome Vegan Life,” by “wildly popular blogger/cookbook author,”
“Chocolate Covered Katie,” “a one-stop shop for all things chocolate,”

Tom Meersman.  “Rules Aim to Cut Farm Antibiotics.”  NADG (Feb. 7, 2017).  “The problem is that the more frequently antibiotics are used…the more quickly bacteria can develop resistance to them, rendering the lifesaving drugs less effective  or ineffective.”

Vegan Movie: VeganEveryday Stories
VeganEveryday Stories is a feature-length documentary that explores the lives of four remarkably different people who share a common thread - they're all vegans.
[This film fits both Health and Compassion categories.  –Dick]


NEW FILM:  VeganEveryday Stories
VeganEveryday Stories is a feature-length documentary that explores the lives of .... Glenn Scott Lacey is a director, filmmaker, film composer and the owner of ...
May 6, 2016 - Uploaded by Northwest VEG

Related Films (send me your review).

“Spy in the Wild: A Nature Miniseries.”  PBS, AETN Wednesdays, Feb. 1-March 1 at 7pm.  Animal behavior in the wild filmed by animatronic cameras.
Spy in the Wild, A NATURE Miniseries – a John Downer Production for BBC, PBS and THIRTEEN Productions LLC premiering Wednesdays, February 1 – March 1, 8-9 pm ET on PBS stations.
In the most innovative production Nature has ever presented, this five-part series employs more than 30 animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild. These “spycams” reveal animals as having emotions and behavior similar to humans: specifically, a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, and invent. Among the featured Spy Creatures are: Spy Orangutan, Spy Croc Hatchling, Spy Meerkat, Spy Egret, Spy Tortoise, Spy Prairie Dog, Spy Macaw, Spy Sloth, Spy Cobra, Spy Bushbaby, Spy Squirrel, Spy Adelie, and Spy Baby Hippo. These robotic, uncanny look-alikes infiltrate the natural world to film surprising behavior among wildlife from around the globe.
Spy in the Wild: Love
Episode 1 airs Wednesday, February 1 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS
Spy Creatures explore the rarely seen emotions of animals, revealing if they are as strong and complex as our own. Join the “spycams” as they are accepted into a wild dog pack, witness elephant love, and are mourned by a troop of monkeys.
Spy in the Wild: Intelligence
Episode 2 airs Wednesday, February 8 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS
Spy Creatures infiltrate the world of animal intelligence, ingenuity, and creativity. Watch our spies disguised as animals observe a gray squirrel stealing Spy Nut, a sea otter cracking open a meal, and an orangutan washing with soap.
Spy in the Wild: Friendship
Episode 3 airs Wednesday, February 15 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS
Spy Creatures and their new wild friends rely on each other to look out for predators. A Spy Meerkat babysits meerkat pups while a Spy Cobra pretends to attack the mob. Spy Crocs witness a convenient partnership between real crocodiles and birds.
Spy in the Wild: Bad Behavior
Episode 4 airs Wednesday, February 22 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS
Spy Creatures infiltrate the underground world of animal mischief, crime, and retribution. Spy Monkey is caught between crossfires as real monkeys fight over beach bar alcohol. Spy Egret is also a waterhole victim when elephants throw mud everywhere.
Spy in the Wild: Meet the Spies
Episode 5 airs Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS
The final episode explains how the concept of the Spy Creatures evolved at John Downer Productions from the original Bouldercam to the Penguincams that inspired the next-generation “spycams” featured in this series. It shows the painstaking work that goes into building the lifelike models and how the team deploys and operates the robotic cameras on location all over the world. It contains funny and unexpected moments, much of which is experienced from the viewpoint of the “spycams” themselves.

“GAP Gets Affidavits from Federal Inspectors.”  Whistleblower 2016 Year-in-Review.  Newsletter of Government Accountability Project.  “Reports show continued violations—legal and ethical—at ‘high-speed’ pork plants.”  Article is part of GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign.

Ted Genoways.  “Close to the Bone: The Fight Over Transparency in the Meat Industry.”  The New York Times (October 2016).  Dangers from USDA-approved high-speed pork inspection sites, also known as “HIMP” plants.

The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto by SUE COE.    OR Books, 2017.

"In the Vegan Manifesto, Sue Coe, human champion of rights for those whose voice most humans do not hear, has crafted a masterpiece: at once visually stunning and spiritually invigorating."  —Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not to Die

"Sue Coe is the most important and prolific political artist of our time. Her work explores and exposes every form of injustice suffered by both humans and nonhumans. With respect to the latter, her incisive eye—both trenchant and gentle—lays bare the profound immorality of animal exploitation and constitutes a clarion call to us all to reject it. Coe understands that the moral status of animals requires that we go vegan and no one who looks at the stunning work in this book will be able to disagree." —Gary L. Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy, Rutgers School of Law

Sue Coe’s advocacy of animal rights is unmatched in its eloquence, forcefulness, and lasting impact. She does so with a combination of extraordinary images and few words. In her unstinting insistence on tolerance and love, Coe brings us to a life-affirming philosophy that values compassion over greed, community over self, and life over capital.
In 115 black-and-white woodcut illustrations for The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto, Sue Coe unleashes an outraged cry for action that takes its rightful place alongside the other great manifestoes of history. As a prize-winning artist, she bears witness to unspeakable crimes, and has long advocated that we human beings must take more responsibility for ourselves, our fellow species, and the planet. Her illustrations, in the tradition of Goya, Kollwitz, and Grosz, will be familiar to many; her paintings, drawings and prints have been exhibited in galleries and museum around the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art.  122pp.

Climate Catastrophe, Capitalism, and Fossil Fuels
For a large guide to reading about the struggle of vegetarians against climate catastrophe, see past numbers of Vegetarian Action.  Comparatively, few climate mitigation movements offer more practical hope as ending carnivorism. 
Vegetarian Action

CONTENTS: OMNI Vegetarian/Vegan Action Newsletter #34, January 11, 2017
VegNews (February 2017), items cited to indicate range

Health, Nutrition
   New film: What the Health! From the makers of Cowspiracy
    US Dept. of Health and Human Services, US Food and Drug Admin.
    Government Accountability Project (GAP)

Empathy, Compassion, Protection of Animals
    PETA, “Why Animal Rights?”
    Practical Guide to Animal Rights
    Google Search
    Animal Times (#3 2016)

Climate Catastrophe, Capitalism, Fossil Fuels
    Vegetarian Action on Climate
    Categorical Responses to Climate Catastrophe
    Steve Coll, ExxonMobil

Vegetarian Action #33



Woody Guthrie
Jackson Browne
Leonard Cohen
Jimi Hendrix

Phil Ochs