President Dwight D. Eisenhower coined this term in his farewell address to refer to "a conjunction of an immense military establishment and large arms industry".
Here's how it works: our taxes support a massive military budget which is doled out to large defense contractors. These corporations use this money to buy politicians and impel the United States to enter unending wars in order to assure that their contracts never end and grow increasingly bloated.
Dick Cheney was Defense Secretary, CEO of Halliburton, and then Vice President of the United States, and is a key member of the military industrial complex. It kinda explains why Halliburton is profiteering off all these wars.
n. a crazy person, especially someone who purports to be a scientist or inventor who has discovered the answer to some important problem facing mankind, like curing all diseases, unlimited energy, levitation, aliens, etc.
He defends his claims with the most ridiculous pseudoscientific crankisms, and claims that the government/mainstream science/experts are suppressing the truth.
Sometimes cranks are businesspeople, selling such wares as Q-ray bracelets that align your chi using q ions to give you enhanced energy.
Probably the best known internet crank is Gene Ray, for his Time Cube site.