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Saturday, March 13, 2010


The American "jobs program"

"Join the military and learn a skill." Unfortunately that skill rarely has anything to do with the jobs that are available, such as they are anyway. This morning's headline provides the grim reality of the American "jobs program" called the military: The unemployment rate last year for young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans hit 21.1 percent, 27% higher than the already unacceptable 16.6 percent jobless rate for non-veterans of the same ages, 18 to 24.

Last night I watched an excellent movie from 2007, "Body of War," about another aspect of that "jobs program" - soldiers returning home from the war severely injured (the movie is a profile of Tomas Young, a paraplegic vet who became an antiwar activist). Very much worth seeing. The movie closes with a song written for the film by Eddie Vedder called "No More" (or "No More War", depending on where you look). A bit of the lyric helps make at least one of the points of the movie:

Now nothin's too good for a veteran,
Yeah this is what they say,
So nothin' is what they will get,
In this new American way.

The lies that were told to get us to go
Were criminal, let us be straight.
Now let's get to the point where our voices are heard,
Behind the White House gate.
Next Saturday. Off the computer and into the streets!

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