Today In 1811

Yep my friends…that time again….your history lesson…..

Ever heard of Ned Ludd?

No?

How about the Luddites?

Luddites are those people that see a scary future in technology and mechanization……

On this day in 1811 Ned Ludd lead a wild protest against mechanization…….

“Luddite” is now a blanket term used to describe people who dislike new technology, but its origins date back to a 19th century labor movement that railed against the economic fallout of the Industrial Revolution. The original Luddites were British weavers and textile workers who objected to the increased use of automated looms and knitting frames. Most were trained artisans who had spent years learning their craft, and they feared that unskilled machine operators were robbing them of their livelihood. When their appeals for government aid and assistance were ignored, a few desperate weavers began breaking into factories and smashing textile machines. They called themselves “Luddites” after Ned Ludd, a young apprentice who was rumored to have wrecked a textile apparatus in the late-18th century. There’s no evidence Ludd actually existed—like Robin Hood, he was said to reside in Sherwood Forest—but he eventually became the mythical leader of the movement. The vandals claimed to be following orders from “General Ludd,” and they even issued manifestoes and threatening letters under his name.

The first major instances of machine breaking took place in 1811 in Nottingham, and the practice soon spread across the English countryside. Sledgehammer-wielding Luddites attacked and burned factories, and in some cases they even exchanged gunfire with company guards and soldiers. The workers hoped their raids would encourage a ban on weaving machines, but the British government instead moved to quash the uprisings by making machine breaking punishable by death. The unrest finally reached its peak in April 1812, when a few Luddites were gunned down during an attack on a mill near Huddersfield. The army rounded up many of the dissidents in the days that followed, and dozens were hanged or transported to Australia. By 1813, the Luddite resistance had all but vanished. It wasn’t until the 20th century that their name re-entered the popular lexicon as a synonym for “technophobe.”

https://www.history.com/news/who-were-the-luddites

More Luddite stuff!

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-the-luddites-really-fought-against-264412/

Of course we are the future and we have to have our own term…..Neo-Luddism…….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Luddism

Now you know more than you knew yesterday……

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

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What Is The Military-Industrial Complex?

For years I have been writing about the “evils” of the military-industrial complex….how it controls our foreign policies….how it has a strangle hold on the members of Congress through massive donation to their election trunks……

Then I realized that I may not have given a clear definition of this situation…..yep a history lesson…..

The term “Military-Industrial Complex” was first used by Ike in his farewell speech…..

Now that you have heard the first use….let us go to the history books….

The term the”military-industrial complex” was made famous by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address. Eisenhower warned:”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Eisenhower (or his speechwriters) did not coin the phrase, but its previous usage referred to physical connections between industrial and military production, not political relationships. Eisenhower referred to a novel set of challenges facing the American polity in the Cold War, while other definitions refer to more general relationships between the military and industry.

One use of the term MIC refers to any set of relationships between military policy and industrial production. For example, scholars have examined the MIC in the former Soviet Union and in Latin American countries. Their concern is usually with the reciprocal influence of the military and industry on each other’s policies, rather than the hijacking of foreign policy by a collective interest in maintaining military-related production.

http://hnn.us/articles/869.html

The only good to come out of this is jobs……everything else is just making a few extremely wealthy and use to start conflicts worldwide.

This is a slightly different look at the infamous M-IC…..

Military-Industrial Complex is an unofficial phrase used to signify the “comfortable” relationship that can develop between government entities (namely defense) and defense-minded manufacturers/organizations. This union can produce obvious benefits for both sides – warplanners receiving the tools necessary for waging war (while also furthering political interests abroad) while defense companies become the recipients of lucrative multi-million or multi-billion dollar deals.

“War for profit” is not an exclusive approach for modern times as it drove the best and worst of old Europe for many decades – perhaps best exemplified by the naval arms race seen between France, Spain and Britain. The driving force behind these initiatives was generally in out-doing a potential foe and, therefore, forcing the establishment of a large standing military force to counter the moves of the potential enemy. The modern interpretation of this, as it relates to the Military-Industrial Complex, is only slightly altered in that the established military force is now utilized to further global interests – the enemy is no longer another nation per se but any organization not in line with presented ideals.

https://www.militaryindustrialcomplex.com/what-is-the-military-industrial-complex.asp

Further Reading for those interested……

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/01/big-money-behind-war-military-industrial-complex-20141473026736533.html

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-military-industrial-complex-is-real-and-its-bigger-than-ever

To illustrate how far the M-IC tentacles reach…..just look at the news of troop withdrawals issued by the president…..and the Dems are pretty silent even war-like in their response….

One month after President Donald Trump abruptly ordered thousands of troops to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan, only a handful of the Democratic Party’s likely 2020 presidential candidates have taken a stance on one of the most important U.S. foreign policy decisions in years.

The drawdown in Afghanistan and total withdrawal from Syria is expected to significantly alter the fight against the Islamic State militant group and potentially leave American-allied militias vulnerable as the U.S. begins to extricate its forces. The decision has also triggered backlash from the U.S. security establishment, including the resignation of top officials like former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrats-2020-syria-afghanistan_us_5c40f6d9e4b027c3bbbf849b

The party use to be a reliable source of accountability…that has vanished.

The assault on the M-IC has gone into the land of activism…..

The MIC maintains itself through support from politicians across the right and the left enabled by policies and lack of accountability to public. Public awareness raising about the existence and harm of this system is step one. We have seen awareness raising and education turn the tide of war before, when it drastically shifted public favor against the Iraq war and propelled it to be a key voting issue in the 2008 presidential primaries. Important progress was achieved then but the wars continue and it’s time to organize for structural policy changes. Some examples include

https://aboutfaceveterans.org/drop-the-mic-campaign/

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Take It To The Streets–Again

Americans know the problems we are having with the government shutdown that has 800,000 people out of work and many many other losing their jobs maybe forever.

I wrote a piece the other day asking Americans ti take it to the streets and do some substantive protests…kinda like the “yellow vests” of France.

 
After I wrote that a similar post was put up on the website, CounterPunch.org, they are calling for massive protests in the streets of this country…..

Here are seven things you won’t hear much if anything about in the reigning corporate media regarding the ongoing record-setting partial shutdown of the United States federal government:

1: The Longstanding Neoliberal War on “Big Government”:  a proper understanding of the shutdown in relation to the longstanding capitalist project of what the leading corporate-neoliberal champion Grover Norquist called “starving the beast,” with “beast” taken to mean “big government.”  Norquist wanted, he said, “to cut government down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/23/time-for-the-u-s-yellow-vests/

I agree it is time for the people to take to the streets and demand a government of the people and not one of corruption, and for the rich only.

This situation illustrates perfectly how badly a strong labor movement is needed……and needed badly!  (redundancy used for effect…trying to head off the grammar police)…..

Celebrate His Non-Violence But Not His Anti-War

Today is MLK Day….we celebrate his activism for those without a voice….he chose the tactics of Gandhi….those of non-violence…..which is a good thing but if we celebrate those tactics why not then also celebrate is antiwar stance?

US jets bombed villages. US soldiers machine-gunned combatants and civilians. The Vietnam War had hit a fever pitch of death when Martin Luther King Jr. stepped onto the podium at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, and said, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

The speech, “A Time to Break the Silence,” cost him. Newspapers damned him. Friends distanced themselves. President Lyndon Johnson, angered by what he thought was betrayal, reportedly called King, “that goddamn n***** preacher.”

King risked isolation to speak hard truths. The US’s endless war had depleted the money needed to end poverty. The war was in support of a corrupt, authoritarian regime that suppressed a peoples’ desire to be free. The US was poisoned by its militarism; it was not the beacon of democracy but its destroyer.

https://truthout.org/articles/the-us-celebrates-kings-nonviolence-but-not-his-antiwar-politics/

King was a pacifist…… a peace-nik back in those days….he abhorred all forms of violence….and we should embrace his antiwar work if we embrace his non-violence tactics……

And yet many disrespect King by ignoring his work to stop war in all its forms.

If have spoken….so I have written……

Turn The Page!

Closing Thought–11Dec18

Does anyone remember the name of BUNDY?

They began their rise with a stand off about some cattle in a wildlife refuge….it then escalated later onto a bird sanctuary and a confrontation with Federal agents….now the son of the elder Bundy has decided that the militia movement is bogus…..in solidarity with the so-called “caravan”…….

Ammon Bundy is best known as a leading light of the American militia movement (a motley coalition of various different flavors of firearms enthusiasts who hate the federal government). He’s famous for getting into armed standoffs with federal agents and violently occupying bird sanctuaries. His friends are the kind of folks who co-chair pro-Trump veterans groups; his father is the kind of man who says, “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro” — and proceeds to explain why black people were “better off as slaves.”

So, this being 2018, Bundy naturally just disavowed the militia movement in solidarity with the migrant caravan, suggested that nationalism is actually the opposite of patriotism, and said that Trump’s America resembles nothing so much as 1930s Germany.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/ammon-bundy-quits-militia-movement-defends-migrant-caravan.html

Now I want to hear the retort from the alt-Right that held the Bundys up as the saviors of America…..

Is This Our Darkest Hour?

Hey is it not time to actually have a conversation on climate change?  Or is the term global warming?  Matters not for something is on the horizon and we are sticking our heads in the sand and hoping it will all go away…..

Hint:  IT WON’T!

The word is out and it does not look too promising…..

“The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”

Offering a stark warning that humanity may have even less time to drastically cut carbon emissions than the United Nations suggested in its latest alarming report on the climate crisis, new research (pdf) published in the journal Nature on Wednesday shows that Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year over the past 25 years than scientists previously believed.

“We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of CO2 that we emitted. But we were wrong,” Laure Resplandy, a geoscientist at Princeton University who led the new study, told the Washington Post. “The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/31/we-have-less-time-we-thought-alarming-new-study-shows-oceans-have-retained-far-more

Don’t believe a word of the new study!  But instead take the word of some jack wad that gets his money from the industries causing the world’s problems for we would not want these greed turds to lose any money now do we?

The so-called “Doom and Gloom” continues (maybe it is time to listen)…..https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/26/eco-crises-doom-gloom-truth-consequences/

The biggest threat is the threat of drought……these seem to be expanding yearly…..a bad drought will expand the hunger and the famines……

The most hazardous global warming risk for society at large is widespread loss of grain production because of a synchronized worldwide drought. It would be a colossal killer. It’s happened before, known as The Great Drought 142 years ago.

Unmistakably, droughts feed off global warming and world temps are heading up, not down. Thus, droughts are intensified by temperature increases. If the same conditions as the drought of 1876 recurs, it would likely be a nightmarish scenario.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/26/the-great-drought/

For a couple of decades the world’s population has looked the other way when the subject of climate change is mentioned…..America’s are some of the worse…

Finally the population has decided that they cannot sleep there way to a cleaner safer world…..civil disobedience, environmental disobedience will return to the world stage……appears the UK may well lead the world in this new found empowerment…..a Declaration Of Rebellion (has a nice ring to it)…..

To underscore the planetary emergency and denounce the U.K. government’s inaction on the climate crisis, a new group calling itself Extinction Rebellion rallied over 1,000 people to block Parliament Square in London on Wednesday. The direct action marks the launch of a mass civil disobedience campaign, with the group issuing a “Declaration of Rebellion” against the government because the activists “refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/31/our-darkest-hour-declaration-rebellion-new-group-vows-mass-civil-disobedience-save

May we finally have some progress on saving this world before we go out looking for another one to screw up.

QAPLA!

After writing this draft I read another silly theory……

Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has chosen a new foreign minister who believes climate change is part of a plot by “cultural Marxists” to stifle western economies and promote the growth of China.

Ernesto Araujo – until now a mid-ranking official who blogs about the “criminalisation” of red meat, oil and heterosexual sex – will become the top diplomat of South America’s biggest nation, representing 200 million people and the greatest and most biodiverse forest on Earth, the Amazon.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/15/brazil-foreign-minister-ernesto-araujo-climate-change-marxist-plot

I cannot wait to see how long it takes for the dullards on the Right, the Trumpian Right, to get on board with this silliness.

Any bets?

When Women Step Up

You would think that this close to the end of Midterm voting I would be talking about female candidates….well you would be mistaken…..

Throughout history women have stepped up when they were needed to…..they are the protesters that many listen to for they have the weight of family as well as society on their shoulders.

Countries like France, Russia, South Africa, etc….women have taken to the streets….least we forget the Women’s March on DC in January 2017……

On Saturday, 150,000 people are expected to take to the streets for the Women’s March on Washington. The progressive demonstration is expected to be the largest of inauguration weekend as well as one of the largest in US history, and sister marches will be held in cities across the country and around the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/21/womens-march-protests-history-suffragettes-iceland-poland

One of the biggest protest were anti-war and in Russia in 1917……some say the beginning of the Russian Revolution…..

The first day of the Russian Revolution – 8 March (23 February in the old Russian calendar) – was International Women’s Day, an important day in the socialist calendar. By midday of that day in 1917 there were tens of thousands of mainly women congregating on the Nevsky Prospekt, the principal avenue in the centre of the Russian capital, Petrograd, and banners started to appear.

The slogans on the banners were patriotic but also made forceful demands for change: “Feed the children of the defenders of the motherland,” read one; another said: “Supplement the ration of soldiers’ families, defenders of freedom and the people’s peace.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/08/womens-protest-sparked-russian-revolution-international-womens-day

What made me think about women and protests was an article I read the other day…..

About 1,500 women and allied men marched on the Pentagon on Sunday to demand an end to perpetual war and the funding of education, health care and other social needs instead.

Stopping U.S. military involvement in Syria and Yemen and closing U.S. military bases around the world were among the demands voiced by the protestors who set out from Pentagon City and marched to the seat of American military power along a one-mile route.

With the Pentagon in the background, the protestors shouted slogans and waved signs calling for, “No More War.”

https://theantimedia.com/women-march-on-the-pentagon-no-more-war/

Finally!  Someone has stepped up and protested the constant wars that are draining this country of blood and treasure….and it was women that stepped up and showed courage something that most men seem to lack.

Plus there are several antiwar protests that the media has ignored for whatever reason……but I can help the memory of those protests…..

 A friend told me yesterday that he hadn’t seen an antiwar protest in America in ten years. It was a sincere comment; he genuinely hadn’t seen any coverage on any peace activism in his country during that time. And of course he hadn’t; it is mainstream media’s job to distort public narratives in favor of the war-hungry plutocratic class which owns the media outlets. But I’ve actually been noticing a lot of antiwar activism lately which, while often far from the spotlight of mass media attention, has given me much hope for the future.

https://theantimedia.com/antiwar-protests/

And now for the musical interlude……..

Keep in mind if anyone has a RIGHT to protest war it is the people that fight them……Period!

Veterans were especially outspoken in their opposition. Retired generals and admirals feared such a demonstration would embarrass the U.S., placing the nation in the company of small-time authoritarian regimes that regularly parade their tanks and missiles as demonstrations of their military might. And some veterans’ organizations opposed the parade because they saw it as a celebration of militarism and war.

Veterans of past wars, as I document in my book “Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace” have long been at the forefront of peace advocacy in the United States.

https://www.militarytimes.com/opinion/commentary/2018/11/10/veterans-have-fought-in-wars-and-fought-against-them/

Just think how much better this country could have been if the war bill of $5.6 trillion (post forthcoming) had been spent on infrastructure or other programs?

Use your voice!