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unhappycamper's Journal
unhappycamper's Journal
January 23, 2016

The Large Hadron Collider as a measurement tool?


We need a way to understand really LARGE amounts of money when discussing military hardware. We know it is expensive but the zeros keep getting in the way. One million dollars has six zeros; one billion dollars has nine zeros.

The Large Hadron Collider is a magnificent machine that is used to probe the fundamentals of physics. Where does mass get its matter? What is the smallest particle in the universe? Fundamental questions.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) cost $10 billion dollars to build. I propose we use the LHC as a unit of measurement to understand how much money we are spending on ‘stuff’.

Exhibit 1:

1.39 LHC

The United States Navy accepted the USS Gerald R Ford only 80% complete for $13.9 billion dollars. It will be a few years until it is finished, but we own a new, unfinished one.

Exhibit 2:

3 B-2 bombers = 1 LHC

The B-2 bomber were built by Ronnie Raygun in the 80s for $2 .4 billion dollars each. The cockpits were were upgraded to glass for another six hundred million dollars or so putting our current cost right at $3 billion per aircraft.

By the way, the Pentagon put out an RFP for new bombers. The new ones are gonna be stealthy and will cost only $550 million a copy. Good luck with that.

Exhibit 3:

1 Zumwalt-class destroyer = .75 LHC

This stealth destroyer breaks the bank. $7.5 billion dollars for a frickking destroyer with a 57mm popgun on the front. Really?

Exhibit 4:

2016 military budget = 59.85 LHC

In 2016 the United States will waste almost $600 billion dollars.


The Chance for Peace speech was an address given by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower on April 16, 1953, shortly after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Speaking only three months into his presidency, Eisenhower likened arms spending to stealing from the people, and evoked William Jennings Bryan in describing "humanity hanging from a cross of iron." Although Eisenhower, a former military man, spoke against increased military spending, the Cold War deepened during his administration and political pressures for increased military spending mounted. By the time he left office in 1961, he felt it necessary to warn of the military-industrial complex.

The speech was addressed to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, in Washington D.C., on April 16, 1953. Eisenhower took an opportunity to highlight the cost of continued tensions and rivalry with the Soviet Union.[3] While addressed to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the speech was broadcast nationwide, through use of television and radio, from the Statler Hotel.[4] He noted that not only were there military dangers (as had been demonstrated by the Korean War), but an arms race would place a huge domestic burden on both nations (see guns and butter):

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 fifty miles of concrete pavement. 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 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.[1][5]

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