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Memorial Day in America 2011

By Patty On May 30th, 2011

Update: “Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote.”

To the men and women in uniform who fought and died defending freedom, you are not forgotten.


71 Responses to “Memorial Day in America 2011”

  1. Extremely moving
    and a reminder of the costs of living free..

  2. If freedom encourages such bad songwriting Im willing to consider alternatives.

  3. I just saw this – taking a flag to a pawnshop? Who does that? It has never happened.

    What kind of imbecile song is this?

    Troll, please take this down, build a huge bonfire in your backyard, and burn your computer up in it.

    Send out an arrest warrant for the no talent creep who sang this.

  4. Even the South Park writers would reject this.

  5. Yes, very moving and a reminder of the costs, – but does it really have much to do with ‘living free’? these folk are all dying on foreign shores, nothing at all to do with our freedom at home.

    Such a pity that as our miltary are repelling the non-existent threat at our front door, while the enemy is flocking in by the back door.

    Our ‘leaders’ in the West seem to be almost encouraging the terrorism they say threatens us, by their very actions in attempting to convert devotees of a very different culture into a belief in ours. Such a conversion, when pursued by what can only be described as arrogant brute force rather than by a welcomed education, can never truly work, there will always be dissidents, and those seeking revenge.

    Each new report of yet another death of one of our young folk, strengthens my belief in a more pacifist approach to global diplomacy, and to saving our might and expertise for the defence and protection of our homes and loved ones, and not to used as mercenaries for the benefit of politicians with grandiose delusions of global superiority or domination.

  6. Ernest Young –


    In fact each time I look up I come closer to the belief that our militaries ought to honours their oaths for once and turn their guns on the politicians at home who cannot let a day go by without building police states yet further.

  7. Basically agree Ernest.
    One central issue for me is that our politicians should not have the power to engage in foreign wars without proper debate.
    Or else they send their own kids in first…
    That will provoke a rethink!
    There is no real justification for Afghanistan or Libya.
    Let the Arab states sort their own problems out.

  8. freedom allows you to write rubbishy songs
    or good stuff.
    The alternatives probably would only allow
    stuff that the state approved of…

  9. It’s not Troll, it’s Patty. The song as been around for a few years now – it’s Five for Fighting – well known, well liked – if you’re not a Lefty that is.

    The songwriter wrote “100 Years” that you might know. From LA. Hooah!

  10. I reckon Jimbo would love it…
    Cartman would dismiss it as typical “hippie crap”…

  11. “freedom allows you to write rubbishy songs”

    And criticise it.

    “he alternatives probably would only allow
    stuff that the state approved of…”

    No. Just me.

  12. Patty, just in case you were including me in your ‘lefty’ remark, – I am anything but any such thing, but I see no honour or credit in supporting, or owing allegiance to a government that virtually betrays its own citizens best interests, whether militarily, financial or diplomatically, especially when such behaviour goes way beyond any democratic decision.

    In a true democracy the power really is ‘with the people’, and ‘leaders’ would do well to remember that their positions rest solely on the will of the people.

    To withdraw our support when they fail so miserably as as they have in the UK and the US, is our duty, and not to give sheeplike support to the incumbent of the ‘office’ at all costs. To do otherwise is no-more than encouraging tyranny.

    Our current crop of leaders are no more than opportunists, who, on finding themselves ‘in the right place at the wrong time’, seek nothing but self agrandissmnet and a place in the history books.

    That great leaders appear at the right time is no coincidence, they are made great by the situations in which they find themselves, – not the other way around, where they foment the situations to which they imagine they have the answers.

  13. >>especially when such behaviour goes way beyond any democratic decision<<

    Not sure what you mean here. But in a democracy, the people give representatives the power to act on their behalf, without consulting them and even against their wishes, for a specific times.

    That's the deal. Governments can't afford to consult the people before making important decisions, such as changing taxation or waging a war or whatever.

  14. This song would make Ronald Reagan join the Taliban. I mean of all the tunes to honor our war dead, this travesty?

  15. This song is pathetic, a bag of manipulative cliches whose utter falseness any ten year old would spot.

  16. The elected officials you speak of were elected by your fellow citizens. And now you advocate that they be assassinated by the military?

    That’s how you deal with the fact that the public keeps electing politicians whom you disagree with?

    That sounds like treason in the name of loyalty. You may want to have a long rethink.

  17. Phantom –

    So what that politicians are elected? What is this weird fetish for a vote?

    My neighbour does not have the moral right to choose someone else to plunder my property on his behalf. No politician, no matter how mant votes he gets, has the moral or legal right to override my birthrights and dispossess me of my liberties.

    Our militaries do not exist primarily to make war abroad to suit the egos and career prospects of politicians or enforce the commercial advantages of their corporat chums.

    Look at the oaths they take. Look at the oath you swore to defend and uphold the constitution from all enemies, domestic and foreign. Did you not understand the words? A vote is not a letter of marque against the people. It is a licence to govern within the law which is supreme above all governments.

  18. Excellent stuff Ernest.
    We have a generation of soundbite spin doctors and photo op politicians.
    As vacuous and forgettable as tv adverts….
    Get your pictures, make waves, strike heroic poses, champion the rights of the irresponsible…
    and retire to write trashy memoirs while someone else clears up the mess.

  19. >>A vote is not a letter of marque against the people<<

    It is nevertheless a license to govern, including waging war, even if that is against my wishes or the wishes of a majority of the governed.

    One of the main reasons people institute governments is that they know they, thinking and acting as a block, are often unable or too immature to make correct decisions in matters of state.
    Depressing, but inescapable unfortunately.

  20. Noel,

    I agree to a cetain extent with your querying my phraseology, however it is difficult to define that moment when our beloved leaders go beyond their unspoken remit in taking actions which have either been discussed, and dismissed, or taking actions, or stances which have never been discussed or fall within the broad general consensus.

    If our polticians thinking were more in sync with the electorates, and in this day and age of information there is no reason for it not to be, perhaps we would not get such dissent when the really important decisions need to be made. Democracy is not a carte blanche ticket for politicians – who incidentally are no more intelligent, educated or even beter informed than the rest of us, – to practice what amounts to social engineering by manipulation of facts and circumstance, rather than by national ‘best interest’.

    What use is it if ‘they’ do take such peremptory action, such as declaring war, or its latest euphemism, the ‘no fly zone’, if the population does not support that decision? e.g. Iraq and Aghanistan and other such muscle flexing excercises.

    Likewise with arbitary and excessive tax rises, cuts, and other such unpleasant and painful measures, the public are not so stupid as to realise such actions are sometimes necessary, but they do object and reject such actions when taken in so arbitary a fashion as so many recent decisions seem to have been made. e.g. the ‘no fly zone’ over Libya, – the reasons given for that litle scam being so flimsy as to be an insult to even simplest mind.

  21. Noel,

    You really don’t believe that do you? The Arab Spring is supposedly all about ‘the people’ rising against their governments, – yes, even when they have been elected, and several have, – to attain ‘freedom’, Now all that proves is that democracy has many meanings, largely defined by those in power, and thus is not quite so immutable as you would like to think…

  22. “Freedom isn’t free” from the Team America movie springs to mind.

  23. Noel Cunningham –

    One of the main reasons people institute governments is that they know they, thinking and acting as a block, are often unable or too immature to make correct decisions in matters of state.

    Oh do get up off your knees.

  24. >>Oh do get up off your knees.<<

    Exactly my point. The British govt was prepared to get off its knees and confront Hitler in 1939; the British people on the other hand felt comfortable just as they were.
    Had the Govt followed popular opinion, those kneeling figures would soon have felt someone standing behind them with a Luger.

    This also answers some of Ernest's points. People will explain to you that taxes are necessary, yet would vote to reduce them – for themselves at any rate – if they could. Likewise in 1939 most wanted to see the Germans put in their place, but the vast majority was very much against going to war.
    (Certainly not saying that taxes and war are generally good – I detest both; just that the popular mood of the day is a very bad basis for decisions)

    Democracy is a way of smoothing out these contradictions. The very mass of people involved provides a bulwark against our innate capriciousness and subjectivity when it comes to paying for anything, whether in cash or blood. Fortunately, most recognise this, and democracy has an excellent track record is terms of prosperity, peace, fairness and general happiness.

  25. Noel,

    You really do like putting your own intepretation on events you have only read about.

    “Had the Govt followed popular opinion” – in 1939, Chamberlain would hardly have gone to Munish and returned waving that infamous piece of paper, and saying, “Peace in or time!”, or some such trite cliche.

    It was the government who knowing they were totally unprepared for war, who didn’t want to go to war. The public were all expecting to do so, as it was generally seen as the right thing to do, those being the days when a Brits word really was his bond…

    As I said, democracy does not give carte blanche to politicians, it is a balance of consensus, necessity, practicality and ‘leadership of good intent’… no doubt you will notice that several of those requirements are sorely lacking in today’s governance…

  26. The Constitution is what it is – and not what minor league cult leaders like Ron Paul says it is. I’ve taken that oath.

    We live in representative democracies. If you don’t like the system, change it or seek to change the minds of your neighbors and fellow voters.

    Putsches and inciting troops to take arms against their lawful leaders is the language of treason. It’s not on. It is completely outside the four walls of the Constitution.

    Irresponsible words have consequences, and ultimately lead to the likes of John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Timothy McVeigh.

    Do reconsider in a spirit of tranquility.

  27. Noel Cunningham –

    That really is a collection of platitudes. Even those who believe in democracy cannot deny the objective truth that the law is above government and that governments may not act without restraint.

    To deny this is to assert the right of government to drag you from your home in the dead of night and take your children from you, simply because someone in government feels like doing so.

    democracy is merely a tool, it is nothing more than a process and not an end point. If you believe “democracy has an excellent track record is terms of prosperity, peace, fairness and general happiness” then I refer you to the countless and continuous wars and destructions carried out by democracies.

    If you want peace and general happiness deocracy cannot hold a candle to the rule of law, enforcement of property rights and economic liberty to trade freely. Democracy has nothing to do with it.

    Democracy alone merely gathers our property and liberties into a grab bag for the winners to take, dispossessing the losers. As Han-Herman Hoppe says:

    “One-man-one-vote combined with ‘free entry’ into government — democracy — implies that every person and his personal property comes within reach of — and is up for grabs by — everyone else.”

    Well, sod that.

  28. If property rights means ” no taxes of any kind under any circumstances ” then there are no societies with property rights.

    Which is ridiculous thought, and which ignores all or nearly all human history in organized society, but no more ridiculous than much of the ” libertarian ” high theory workbook

  29. Pete

    The rule of Law requires that someone makes the laws in the first place. The law can either be made by democratically elected officials who can be peaceably removed by the populace in regular elections or by those who sieze and control power without the consent of the people and can usually only be removed through force and bloodshed. Which do you prefer ?

  30. Great film
    gross bit about the guy leaving the bar…..

  31. Colm –

    Have you not heard of the common law?

  32. At what time in English history has the common law been interpreted to prohibit taxation?

    No sane person likes taxes, but they are an inherent component of any advanced society – or even a primitive one.

  33. >>Had the Govt followed popular opinion” – in 1939, Chamberlain would hardly have gone to Munish and returned waving that infamous piece of paper<<

    You're totally wrong, Ernest. That is exactly what he would have done because that's exactly what popular opinion favoured at the time.

    While many now like to imagine an island of proud Britons taking on Hitler, the truth was that very few people in the UK favoured war in 1939. Even after Hitler's sins in Poland were known and seveal RN ships had been sunk etc, there was still no appetite for war even well into 1940 – the media were generally against it, up and down the country meetings were being held denouncing the war and Britain's involvement in it. For various reasons: many on the right had a kind of sympathy for the lad in brown, many believed Germany had a just cause in trying to get back German-speaking territory taken from it in 1918, many on the left obediently went along with the Molotov-Ribbentropp pact; if it was good enough for Stalin, it was good enough for them. What united right and left, howewver, was the memories of the horror of the trenches; whatever happened, nobody in britain wanted anotehr round of that and were prepared to make almost any compromise that did not affect their interests – and Poland did not – to avoid it.
    That all changed after Dunkirk and when the bombs started falling, but the fact is that Chamberlain took on Hitler without the support of his people.

    This is confirmed by Churchhill, George Orwell amd every other serious observer I can think of.

    (by the way, are you not embarrassed by that "I was there, so there!" argument. While I understand your pride at being part of that generation, it's nonsense to suggest that those who were there know more about it than those who weren't.
    Remind me to tell you of the time I got into a fight in Belfast for pointing out to a group of people that it was not the Labour government that introduced Internment, oversaw Bloody Sunday. What did I know – They were there, you see.)

  34. what elected arab governments have “the people” risen up against?

  35. Pete and Ernest seem to be confusing democracy with elections. The rule of law and democracy go hand in hand. Obviously some basic law or set of conventions must be in place for democracy to happen. Nobody suggested that governments are outside the law; I merely said that governments don’t – can’t – act on the basis of the popular mood; and in fact must sometimes do things that almost nobody likes. All part of the social contract.

    “If you believe “democracy has an excellent track record is terms of peace…” then I refer you to the countless and continuous wars and destructions carried out by democracies”

    Apart from the mad and bad stuff started by GW Bush (which just a few years ago I was one of the very few here against) and Israel (ditto), democracies – especially under liberal and left-wing governments – do have a rather good record, certainly infinitely better than the competition. And if you take away colonialism (American neo or British Victorian), that record would be excellent. How many times have two democracies gone to war in the past 100 years?

  36. Common law is as vague and woolly as the modern day Human Rights Act. It all depends on the whims and interpretattions of unelected judges. 99% of social organisation cannot properly apply without properly framed and legislated Statute law and those who make that law must be accountable to an electorate as the moral basis for exercising that power.

  37. You are the voice of reason and what you say is spot on.

    Common law has been generally good, but it is insane to treat it as any sort of a perfect system or even as one necessarily better than the practice in other lands.

    Without statutes, judges will often have to make things up, which is hardly the ideal.

  38. “No sane person likes taxes”

    Really? Well I suppose on the face of it no one likes to hand over their money, but the alternatives are unthinkable to any ‘sane person.’ Unless of course, that person wishes to reside in Somalia or some other haven of heavenliness?

    We don’t pay nearly ENOUGH in taxes- and most especially Americans (although it is probably also true that Americans see less of the benefits from their taxes.)

  39. The alternatives are unthinkable.

    Pete’s a smart guy, too smart to believe in some of the extreme things that he says.

    As far as Americans vs non Americans and services – don’t be too smug on that. I know Irish people who emigrated to NYC and ( pre the Irish bust ) were going to return back home. The reason that they did not was that their child had a condition requiring continuing medical care / education – and the educational services in NYC were clearly superior than in Ireland. ( won’t drill into the specifics )

    I pay high tax, and in return I get high quality local police, fire, mass transit, water quality, health inspections in restaurants, environmental dept, etc. I only resent what I see the waste and abuse that goes on.

    And again- in some areas our services are superior to those in European cities / countries. The integrated bus and subway system runs 24 hours a day, and can take you from one end of the city to the other for $2.25 at 3am. Try to do that in London.

    Only the fringe of a fringe say that taxes are never justified. That’s not a real argument. All countries have services, and since they must finance them, all countries have taxes to pay for them. A thousand years from now, it will be the same deal.

  40. Phantom. I also know a young Irish couple who have chosen to reside in NYC because the care they can get for their child is better- but much more expensive ( which of course when it is your own child cost is not a consideration). But then again, I know another couple who chose to go home for better treatment for their autistic child.

    I wasn’t taking a swipe, but I would say on average, the tax payer gets better returns in the UK and most European countries than does the average tax-payer in the US.

  41. In the case I speak of it is public education that made the difference.

    – – –
    I know a number of French, Americans, Swiss and others who have experienced both the US and French / Swiss health systems. Without exception, they prefer the French / Swiss health systems.

  42. democracy is mob rule, that’s why we are a republic

  43. does the term “echo chamber” mean anything to you, Pinky and Phantom?

    HINT: “I don’t know anybody who voted for Nixon…” Pauline Kael

  44. Bite me.

  45. Echo Chamber? Yes it means when Patty repeats verbatim crap she hears Rush Limbaugh spouting?

    Or when Patty posts and swears that Laredo Texas has been invaded because she read it on one of her right wing nutter sites?

  46. “Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote. Commonly attributed to Ben Franklin in error so I’ll take the credit. I would also give the lamb an assualt rifle.”

    quote by Jim Campbell at http://dancingczars.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/an-in-depth-look-at-lt-col-allen-west-us-congressman-r-fl/

  47. Patty

    You play a weak hand.

    Listen and learn, that’s my advice to you.

  48. Ah, so you oppose democracy then.

    Wowee, quelle surprise.

  49. Pinky, this is the essence of your anecdotal comments:

    “Heard it from a friend who
    Heard it from a friend who
    Heard it from another..”

    not terribly compelling.

  50. Some sort of weird threat, amigo?

    Learn to accept that not everybody agrees with you. That would be my advice to you.

  51. I am well aware of that.

    Lay off the crack pipe – at 937 am California time, its too early in the day. It makes you paranoid and cranky.

  52. What is democracy, Phantom? why do you conclude that I “oppose democracy?”

    In America, do we have a “democracy?” What is a “representative democracy?” How does this differ from a pure democracy?

    What role does the US Constitution play in the protection of individual rights?

    Answer the questions and then I’ll take you seriously.

  53. There’s nothing in the world wrong with speaking about personal experience and anecdotal experience.

    Very often, I trust that more than I do someone from right or left that has an agenda

  54. Also, Phantom, please research “democracy” and “minority rights”

  55. Echo chamber anecdotes are often called into action as a means to validate a person’s preconceived notions…..a feel-good exercise, at best.

    In these cases, anecdotes are not compelling evidence of anything.

  56. Patty, did you go to Laredo Texas to take part in the defense of your country during that invasion you reported here, like it was the gospel?

  57. Where did Patty’s post* on Allen West and Mrs. Tawdry Paling go? (*copied from another website, as usual)

  58. Compelling evidence- as in the compelling evidence you offered of an invasion of Laredo Texas, Patty?

  59. It was deleted because I couldn’t upload the photo – I have the remnants of hacker language floating around somewhere. And yes, it was a news tidbit with a link – for the sake of accuracy, it was “sourced” not “copied” but then your point is to somehow insult me, as usual.

    Why, Pinky, if you don’t like my posts, do you care so much about them? You’re inability to approach anything I write without a kneejerk insult makes you a troll. I request you stay off my posts if you are incapable of anything other than troll comments.

  60. “Lay off the crack pipe – at 937 am California time, its too early in the day. It makes you paranoid and cranky.”

    I’m not cranky – but I do note that you are angry and I don’t like it when you point your anger at me with insults like “lay off the crack pipe”

    ….and I think it’s kind of creepy that you bother to find out what time it is in California when I post.

  61. Pinky and Phantom: I’m off to do other things now. Have a nice day. 🙂

  62. Go back in this thread and see who came out swinging with insults, as usual. It was neither myself nor Phantom.

    It was yourself, Patty.

  63. Away to Laredo, to defend the US?

  64. What utter rubbish! – still you believe what you want, if only to reinforce your prejudices, and your belief in your revisionist version of scholarship…

  65. Colm –

    Common law is as vague and woolly as the modern day Human Rights Act.

    Of course it’s not. It gave us freedom and certainty under the law for a thousand years because the law was made in accordance with our customs and traditions. Little more than a century of Parliamentary activism has given us foreign rule, laws designed solely to entrap us and so many laws no-one knows what the law often is now anyway.

  66. Phantom –

    Without statutes, judges will often have to make things up, which is hardly the ideal.

    Judges do not make things up, they have never made things up. When called on to rule in a new area they do so in accordance with our laws and customs.

    Your alternative is a chamber of all-wise seers who can foresee every human condition, trade, interraction and state, being wise enough to frame laws which always make for justice and morality.

    This is supercharged, Napoleonic crap.

  67. Good point, it must have taken great mental energy to go so far as to subtract 3.

  68. Pete

    Many of your points are always very good and true but you have a tendency to throw out the baby with the bathwater, and I just like to gently place baby back where he should be 😉

  69. Good point, it must have taken great mental energy to go so far as to subtract 3.

    Poor old Patty, her ‘facilities’ are failing her?

  70. I freely confess to insulting Patty.

    Patty, what’s wrong with you? I told you that I have major clients in California and business associates in California. How would I speak with them if I didn’t know what time it was there?

    Make sense.

  71. You are wrong. Judges make stuff up all the time.

    Roe vs Wade was entirely made up – there was no precedent to any of it.

    It would be certain that the judges who built the jurisprudence that became English Law made things up bit by bit as new situations arose and as the British economy emerged from the agricultural economy of local areas into an industrial national and international power.

    I believe that under English Common Law the owner of land also was deemed to own all the space above the land. It was certainly the law in other places.

    But in the age of aviation, this approach could no longer stand. Literally sticking to that approach would mean that the country could not have the benefits of aviation. The Common Law was changed, either by a judge making up the change or by an aviation law being enacted in the various lands – for the benefit of all.

    Nothing man made, whether it’s a Constitution or a body of law, is perfect. All these things are, and should be, subject to change. The US Founding Fathers were not gods, and neither were the philosphers or judges who over time produced what is now English Common Law.