The best way for every American old enough to think for her or himself to honor Dr Martin Luther King this weekend is to listen to and read the speech he delivered on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York, “Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence.”

The audio of the speech is available at at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQr_e_P-nBA ; and the transcript is at https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm .

As TIME MAGAZINE put it back in 2019: “The MLK Speech We Need Today Is Not the One We Remember Most”:

“Most Americans remember Martin Luther King Jr. for his dream of what this country could be, a nation where his children would ‘not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ While those words from 1963 are necessary, his speech ‘Beyond Vietnam,’ from 1967, is actually the more insightful one.

“It is also a much more dangerous and disturbing speech, which is why far fewer Americans have heard of it. And yet IT IS THE SPEECH THAT WE NEEDED TO HEAR THEN–AND NEED TO HEAR TODAY.” Continued at https://time.com/5505453/martin-luther-king-beyond-vietnam/ ; EMPHASIS added.

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"Privates should make more, generals should make less..."

Absolutely. The same is true of CEOs and line employees in the civilian world. And really, no one in this country should be food-insecure, given the overall wealth inside our borders (and in offshore stashes!).

But I didn't realize that such abysmal conditions exist for lower-level members of the military. Truly, shockingly inexcusable!

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This is nonsense. Enlisted members like me are very well paid thank you very much. We get extra pay for food, an allowance that covers rent or a mortgage and utilities, extra pay for travel and family separation, life insurance, and health care. Our discretionary income is huge. If active duty troops can't make ends meet it's because of life-style choices. Try it as a civilian without those benefits and tax advantages. You know, a little empathy for those paying your way.

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and even with this the poverty draft still works.

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EXCELLENT new Tom Dispatch piece, Bill.

It will be interesting to see if anybody in Washington reacts and responds to it. Especially with the very unpleasant task of dealing with the National Debt Limit at the top of the list of things that those folks need to get done.

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