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Dear America and Britain,
“When johnny comes marching home again
Nobody understands it can happen again
The sun is shining and the kids are shouting loud
But you gotta know its shining through a crack in the cloud
And the shadows keep falling when johnny comes marching home”—The Clash (1978)
I desire to share two videos and collection of music wrapped in collage about Pax- Americana and Pax-Britannia dating from 1978 through 2008.
As you Americans and British go through the 6th year of war in Iraq and the 8th year of the so-called War on Terrorism, it is fascinating to note that “If I Were A Terrorist: A James Pence Video!”, is now one of the most popular and most controversial videos in America’s heartland, i.e. the place that brought you the Oklahoma City bombings, WACO and the Columbine High School Massacre.
People are demanding representatives who act and represent them, especially in their calls for impeachment and relief from crony-capitalism-as-usual in the nations’ media and businesses
Unemployment and Under-employment in America, for example, has been underreported in Kansas and other Heartland states for decades.  People are on edge about jobs flying south of the border, especially high tech jobs, like those at the new Ford plants in Brazil.
Brits are now facing an economic downturn for the first time in a decade.
By the way, the e-mail which delivered that Detroit News report above included the comments, like:
“One look at this [video]and you will instantly be able to tell what is wrong with the manufacturing plants of the US car makers and why there will probably never be another American car manufacturing plant built in the US. The video also points out why more companies will go off shore to escape the spiral death grip of US unions. This seems to be sad but true. An excellent presentation.”

I think British unionists see the issues here when they observe the video from Detroit—I know Americans do.

However, I don’t think all the politicians get it.
Meanwhile the conservative Eisenhower Foundation has issued this other important report on America’s state of the commonweal:

I see in this recent report and in the two videos above that issues of the American work world and issues of chronic underemployment are present in an already overwhelmed America. 
The giant sucking sound south of the border that Ross Perot spoke about may be partially—then again perhaps not, as many people from all over the globe still want to come to American and realize the American dream.
This is why Americans (and Brits) should not throw in the towel on the system but work to radically improve it in the next few months—and years.
Recently, in response to two decades of rap and hip hop dominating my radio, I have begun to listen again to the lyrics of THE CLASH and other singers from my high school and college days—i.e. the period of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when America and Britain last faced years of major recession, stagflation and deflation.
NOTE:  In America, the bad economy had all actually started over a decade earlier when the spending on the Vietnam War took the USA off the gold standard and eventually made the dollar linked to petroleum prices.  This is what MLK had warned America about, but instead of listening to him, he had become maligned and was shot in 1968.
Now we are reaping the wages of the excesses of bad governance and misguided economic and development policies of the last 40-plus years (and we are having another endless war). 
Meanwhile, as part of this historical collage, it is time to talk about what music began to hit America’s airways in the late 1970s and 1980s—i.e. British moans and groans came our way.  At this same junction in history, Bruce Springsteen would write his sad BORN IN THE USA.

All in all, this depressive tone is often historically to be found in the bread belt, which brought us decades earlier books like An American Tragedy and the revolts on Indian reservations in the heartland near Wounded Knee.
That’s right!
The British pathos of the punk spin-off band, THE CLASH, hit America’s Midwest 25 to 30 years ago—just as Britain was getting tough on Argentina in the Falklands War!
Songs like the following were on the band’s albums—one of the albums was even named Sandanista
How anti-Reagan and anti-Thatcher such sounds were to our ears back then.
Yet, in all the end-of-the cold war back patting, many Americans and Brits forgot in the 1990s about the bad-old days of Thatcherism and Reaganism.
Those were the days when the prophetic ROCK THE CASBAH cried out—just before 220 U.S. servicemen died Beirut under Israel’s occupation:
Now the king told the boogie men
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desert way
Has been shakin to the top
The sheik he drove his cadillac
He went a cruisin down the ville
The muezzin was a standing
On the radiator grille

By order of the prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy casbah sound
But the bedouin they brought out
The electric camel drum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the shareef
Had cleared the square
They began to wail

Now over at the temple
Oh! they really pack em in
The in crowd say its cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
The temple band took five
The crowd caught a whiff
Of that crazy casbah jive

The king called up his jet fighters
He said you better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the casbah way

As soon as the shareef was
Chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to
The cockpit radio blare

As soon as the shareef was
Outta their hair
The jet pilots wailed

He thinks its not kosher
Fundamentally he cant take it.
You know he really hates it.
Wow, so many tough Americans rocked to that, “Rock the Casbah”, tune as they dropped bombs, uranium tipped weapons and daisy-cutters 20 years later in Iraq and in Afghanistan. 
Now, in 2008, after dropping more bombs than in the whole of WWII America and its allies are still not winning many hearts and minds of people in the Middle East or in Americas Midwest.
The distant civil wars continue in Asia now as they did throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
The only contrast, is that our current image of the jet pilot, George W. Bush, (who orders the dropping of bombs) is famous for having ridiculously claimed, “Mission Accomplished” half a decade ago.
This mistaken statement now echoes in incredulity across American- (and global-) memory.
Meanwhile, in America, Pakistan, Egypt, Cuba and other countries on the globe, another CLASH song --“KNOW YOUR RIGHTS”--echoes true or at least omnisciently accurate.
“KNOW YOUR RIGHTS” sounds like this:
This is a public service announcement
With guitar
Know your rights all three of them

Number 1
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a crime!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights

And number 2
You have the right to food money
Providing of course you
Don’t mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers

Know your rights
These are your rights
Know these rights

Number 3
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you’re not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights
These are your rights
All three of em
It has been suggested
In some quarters that this is not enough!

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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