April 30th, 2014

red panda eating bamboo

Plus ça change

I'm taking a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) called The Causes of War, and this was referenced.
Eisenhower farewell address extract, 17 January 1961
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This 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 Statehouse, 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 military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.


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red panda eating bamboo

Ganked from elsenet

I bemoan that Facebook has taken over from Dreamwidth/Livejournal, but I make matters worse by posting things to Facebook that I don't post to DW/LJ. Imma try to stop that. Here are some things I posted to Facebook recently.

"Welcome to the Finger-Wagging Olympics" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who says:
"So, if we’re all going to be outraged, let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played."
I think finger wagging (prolonged public outrage) has a place in fighting injustice. But I agree that after a point it can distract us from more important stuff.

"Panti's Noble Call at the Abbey Theatre -- WITH SUBTITLES" and transcript. This is a SUPERB speech about the methods and effects of oppression (specifically oppression of gay people, but a lot of what's said applies to other oppressed people too). It's 10 minutes and worth watching the whole thing, but if you can't watch, read the transcript.

You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means: "AFA: Shops who display 'We Don't Discriminate' stickers are bullying Christians". (But I find it distressing how easily words naming injustices can be coopted, which would be a longer post if I had the energy to write it right now.)

"The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture" by Sarah Stillman, which describes how small town cops use forfeiture laws to trump up charges against regular folks, take their cash, homes, and vehicles, and use the proceeds to fund their police departments. A photo of some forfeiture victims accompanies the story. What do you suppose they have in common, other than being forfeiture victims?

Good one about male privilege, and what men can do to push back: "What's a Good Guy to Do?" by Katherine Lampe

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