Archive for December 2009

Industrial-Military Complex Hex

December 21, 2009

Speaking of industrial-military complexes (see recent posts on Dwight Eisenhower’s warnings of the rise and abuse of industrial-military complex power) …

I was reminded of a song produced many years ago by the Steve Miller Band on an album entitled Number 5. The song is Industrial-Military Complex Hex. It, along with Jackson-Kent Blues Blues and I’ll Never Kill Another Man, were surprisingly anti-war. Of course, it was 1970.

Fast forward to 2009 ….

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Industrial MIlitary Complex Hex

Feel like I’m livin’ under some kind of hex
Livin’ in here in this industrial military complex
Doesn’t really help when I read Time magazine
Cause they only distort the scene
The sky is so hazy I can’t even see the sun
Livin’ here is like livin’ under a gun
I really do wonder ’bout the United Nations
Why don’t they face the situations

 

I’m a troubadour
Lookin’ for a dream
I’m a troubadour
Lookin’ for some dream

Lord, I’m so tired of payin’ all of these dues
From Sunday to Sunday all I hear is bad news
Tired of the war and those industrial fools
Got to make it better cause I’ve got nothin’ to lose

 

Ain’t too clear to pay my income taxes
‘Specially when I know it goes to kill the masses
Love to hear the President make it perfectly clear
How the donkeys and the elephants are police up here

I’m a troubadour
Lookin for a dream
I’m a troubadour
Lookin for some dream

Lord, I’m so tired of payin’ all of these dues
From Sunday to Sunday all I hear is bad news
Tired of the war and those industrial fools
I’ve got to make it better cause I’ve got nothin’ lose
Won’t somebody help me cause I’ve gotten in my shoes
Those industrial military complex blues

(Steve Miller Band, Number 5 , 1970)

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Eisenhower: Caught On Tape

December 21, 2009

Here is as excerpt from President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell speech from office in 1961 in which he issues a warning about the growth of the military-industrial complex and the abuse of power.

Prophecy?

De-Facto Unemployment Rate

December 21, 2009

I have just come across a very interesting chart published by the Center for Working Class Studies at Youngstown State University.

The chart is entitled “De-Facto Unemployment Rate.” The chart not only shows and compares the unemployment rates of different months in the years 2007, 2008, and 2009, it also shows other employment-related categories and figures that most Americans are not aware or have never been told about. Categories such as:

  • Marginally attached workers – Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work and who have looked for a job sometime in prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.
  • Discouraged workers – Persons not is labor force who want are available for a job and who have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months)
  • Underemployed -Persons who would like to work full-time but are not able to do so for economic reasons such as unavailability of full-time work or reduced demand for hours by current employer

What is of special interest to me is the underemployment figure for this month, December 2009. It is 9.2 million people, or 6%. This figure is not included in the unemployment rate of 10%, or 15.4 million, that most of us are aware of.

You can view the chart here.

Military-Industrial Complex

December 20, 2009

 Military-Industrial Complex

In 1961, as President Dwight Eisenhower was leaving office, he issued a dire warning against the rise and growth of an industrial-military alliance in the United States that had great potential for abuse.

[The] conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every State House, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the industrial military complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

I will post a video of his comments tomorrow.

(President Dwight Eisenhower, in his farewell address as president in 1961. Quote taken from Superclass – The Global Power Elite and The World They Are Making by David Rothkopf, 2008, p.8)

The Story of Stuff

December 19, 2009

The Story of Stuff

Extraction … Production … Distribution … Consumption … Disposal = Materials Economy

Waste Resources … Waste People

Work … Watch … Spend

It’s the story of stuff.

Power Is “Neat”

December 13, 2009

 “Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.”

(A quote by John Lehman, from the book Superclass – The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, by David Rothkoft, p.xxii, 2008.)

John F. Lehman, Jr.  is an American investment banker and writer who has served on the staff of Henry Kissinger and the National Security Council,  as Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Administration, and was a member of the 9-11 Commission. He was a member of the Project for a New American Century, an ultra-consevative think-tank that included other notables such as Dick Chaney and Carl Rove.

“Inequality By The Numbers”

December 10, 2009

I just received an email from the Working Group on Extreme Inequality that contains a link to a paper they have produced  entitled, “Inequality By The Numbers.”

The paper, containing facts, figures, and graphs, addresses the extreme gap that exists between those that continue to get richer and those that continue to get poorer during this period of economic “recession.”

The email says,

This week some of the nation’s leading experts on poverty released a report that examines the deep impact of our ‘Great Recession’ and outlines the steps we need to take to get our economy moving so that it helps those who need it the most.”

The report concludes that the economic crisis is still on the rise for millions of Americans, while at the same time the social safety net is failing to support many of them. It offers one of the boldest, most comprehensive plans to combat poverty and unemployment — beginning now.”

I have found this paper to be very informative. Perhaps you would like to read it as well. The paper can be found here.