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Author Topic: Remembrance Day 2012  (Read 5208 times)
DougJ
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« on: November 09, 2012, 12:10:29 AM »
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With November 2012 just around the corner, it's time to remember the sacrifices made by others on our behalf that we (in most countries) can live and enjoy many freedoms without repression.

As a Canadian (by choice) the attached image of a Canadian cemetery in Normandy is one of my favourite personal images.

Lest we forget . . .

Doug
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Justinr
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 03:58:33 AM »
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With November 2012 just around the corner, it's time to remember the sacrifices made by others on our behalf that we (in most countries) can live and enjoy many freedoms without repression.


Doug

Careful how you mention that to the Greeks, Spanish, Irish etc.
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 04:53:40 AM »
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Justin - I usually stay away from discussing politics with virtual acquaintances for good reason - but couldn't let this one go by without comment.

Are you seriously suggesting that EU regulation - however over-zealous - is in some way equivalent to the suffering inflicted on millions of people in war?

I do rather resent this thread - on a serious subject that touches many people's hearts - being hijacked by such a jibe, if it was intended as such rather than a joke in dubious taste.
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Justinr
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 12:27:30 PM »
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Justin - I usually stay away from discussing politics with virtual acquaintances for good reason - but couldn't let this one go by without comment.

Are you seriously suggesting that EU regulation - however over-zealous - is in some way equivalent to the suffering inflicted on millions of people in war?

I do rather resent this thread - on a serious subject that touches many people's hearts - being hijacked by such a jibe, if it was intended as such rather than a joke in dubious taste.

First things first. I am not untouched by it, I never knew either of my grandfather's although they were not killed directly. My mother was an evacuee and as a lad  I remember attending remembrance day parades where the veterans of two world wars would stand remembering the the many of their friends who died, it was a moving sight. My headmaster was an army captain at the Normandy landings and my first boss was a tank commander, also in France. So yes I am aware of what the day means to many, but what we don't hear about is that in a war you generally have two sides and not all those who were serving in the German forces were willing volunteers. A friend of mine thought it perfectly normal to be brought up by a father who would spend many nights screaming the house down and generally suffering psychological trauma, but then he was Austrian and had been shot down twice as a Luftwaffe navigator so it's understandable I guess. He's dead now, but there are no poppies worn for him, he was unfortunate enough to be on the losing side although it wasn't his choice.

Up to ten or fifteen years ago I was all for the day of remembrance but now I see it as being hijacked by those who would glorify war the better to sell arms or have unsavoury political motives. It diverts attention away from the death and destruction war brings and instead celebrates the heroes, I just see it as much as a sales job for war as I do a genuine time for reflection. I really do wonder what those who I knew would make of it all, what is absolutely certain is that they hated war and wished that there would never be another, its subliminal promotion as a noble pursuit they would, I am certain, have found distasteful, as I do.

Don't worry, I shall be remembering the heroes and also reflect upon the cause they died for. They believed war to be too terrible for there ever to be another so it sickens me to see the warmongers of this world crying crocodile tears as they send jets and drones to kill unprotected civilians.

As for the situation in Europe let me assure you the show is now being run by the Germans for the benefit of the Germans. I actually took the bike out there this summer to see for myself and found that there is no way Merkel is going to allow their standard of living to drop, austerity is for those that can be bullied into paying back unsecured and quite foolish loans, not for the people of Germany. Her latest wheeze is once again to call for all European tax and spending decisions to be taken centrally and we all know what that means, unelected officials and commissioners who nobody voted into office will be running the countries within the Eurozone which ain't funny when you are on the receiving end of it. 


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marvpelkey
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 08:21:54 PM »
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As a recently retired cop who marched in 30 Remembrance Day processions and occasionally dropped in to the local legion afterwards, I never saw or heard any attendee doing anything other than sincerely mourning and remembering those who gave their lives. Doug merely offered his sincere thoughts on the matter and how the hell something like this gets hijacked is way beyond me.

Now back to the scheduled program.....

Marv
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 10:28:29 PM »
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Careful how you mention that to the Greeks, Spanish, Irish etc.

I thought I knew a thing or two about politics, but you lost me with this one. What those guys have to do with the Veterans Day?
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Slobodan

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Justinr
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 04:23:40 AM »
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I thought I knew a thing or two about politics, but you lost me with this one. What those guys have to do with the Veterans Day?

Perhaps your outlook may not be as broad as you hitherto believed.

To be brief. They escaped fascism once 70 odd years ago and now they are faced once again with central control by unelected commissioners and officials who are in thrall to the global financial industry. There may not be the guns and tanks but it is not the democracy which was fought for by those who died in WWII.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 08:19:56 AM by Justinr » Logged

Justinr
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 04:28:15 AM »
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As a recently retired cop who marched in 30 Remembrance Day processions and occasionally dropped in to the local legion afterwards, I never saw or heard any attendee doing anything other than sincerely mourning and remembering those who gave their lives. Doug merely offered his sincere thoughts on the matter and how the hell something like this gets hijacked is way beyond me.

Now back to the scheduled program.....

Marv

I never suggested otherwise. I too have marched with veterans and my appreciation of the sacrifice is as great as yours, but that was not the point I was making. I would urge you to look again.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 04:33:46 AM by Justinr » Logged

John McDermott
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 01:24:51 PM »
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Justinr. Very thoughtful. Thanks for posting it. I am an American retired Naval Officer.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2012, 04:04:38 PM »
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Perhaps your outlook may not be as broad as you hitherto believed.

To be brief. They escaped fascism once 70 odd years ago and now they are faced once again with central control by unelected commissioners and officials who are in thrall to the global financial industry. There may not be the guns and tanks but it is not the democracy which was fought for by those who died in WWII.

Oh, that outlook!

I shall certainly broaden it to include cheap political shots as the first reaction to Veterans Day.
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Slobodan

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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2012, 04:12:27 PM »
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As good a start as any.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2012, 06:45:06 PM »
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Careful how you mention that to the Greeks, Spanish, Irish etc.

What a shameless and tasteless jab.

[insert Bronx cheer here]

 Huh Huh Huh

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wolfnowl
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2012, 12:52:04 AM »
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Taken last year at 'The Homecoming' statue at Ship's Point, celebrating 100 years of Canada's Navy.

Mike.
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Justinr
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2012, 03:02:44 AM »
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What a shameless and tasteless jab.

[insert Bronx cheer here]

 Huh Huh Huh



And given what I have written since that is rather a thoughtless response.
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kencameron
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2012, 03:29:32 AM »
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Careful how you mention that to the Greeks, Spanish, Irish etc.
I sympathize with Greek, Spanish and Irish people who are suffering unexpected and personally undeserved financial pain at the moment, but your take on the underlying story there is unpersuasive and its anti-German coloring is distasteful.

The Irish and the Spanish weren't forced into housing bubbles and the incidence of tax evasion in Greece is down to the Greeks. Of course, none of those things constitute the whole story but they are a significant part of it. The people of those countries may have a legitimate quarrel with their own Governments and financial sectors in the last decades but they don't have much of one with the Germans or the EEC and they - like the rest of us - need to think about the sustainability of endless growth based on credit.

I  also have far too much respect for them (the Greeks, Spanish and Irish) - and perhaps understanding of them - than to imagine that they would have any problem at all with Remembrance Days in Canada or any of the other countries that remember their citizens who died in the Second World War, or feel any need to lament their current misfortunes in that context. They have no need of your protection from mention of such things. You have simply chosen an inappropriate occasion to make a simplistic argument.
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Justinr
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2012, 07:17:55 AM »
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I sympathize with Greek, Spanish and Irish people who are suffering unexpected and personally undeserved financial pain at the moment, but your take on the underlying story there is unpersuasive and its anti-German coloring is distasteful.

The Irish and the Spanish weren't forced into housing bubbles and the incidence of tax evasion in Greece is down to the Greeks. Of course, none of those things constitute the whole story but they are a significant part of it. The people of those countries may have a legitimate quarrel with their own Governments and financial sectors in the last decades but they don't have much of one with the Germans or the EEC and they - like the rest of us - need to think about the sustainability of endless growth based on credit.

I  also have far too much respect for them (the Greeks, Spanish and Irish) - and perhaps understanding of them - than to imagine that they would have any problem at all with Remembrance Days in Canada or any of the other countries that remember their citizens who died in the Second World War, or feel any need to lament their current misfortunes in that context. They have no need of your protection from mention of such things. You have simply chosen an inappropriate occasion to make a simplistic argument.

That is most easily answered by the words condescending and poppycock but I will try and expand upon that initial reaction a little.

There are two strands emerging in the arguments here. The first is that I am being accused of being disrespectful of those who have fought in wars on the side of the west whilst the second is that I am trying to make a cheap and unfounded political point, both are seriously erroneous.

As one who was born and brought up in England I am perfectly well aware of the sacrifices that both the dead and surviving  made in the fighting. As a scout and later as a scout leader I to marched alongside those who had fought and lost comrades as well a greater part of their youth. My respect for them is second to none here. I was also educated by and have worked alongside those who fought in the Second World War and the most overwhelming impression they left upon me is that they did it because they knew what they were fighting for and when they came home the put into effect their belief in trying to build a better world. War was a hateful thing to them and they did not wish to see another. These are the people I knew and the ones I remember. Now I thought I had made my point clear in an earlier posting but I will reiterate it.

What I see now is not just the remembrance of those who fought but an underlying glorification of war. A nation needs it's heroes, they provide a form of social cohesion, and there is no quicker way of creating a hero than by going to war. As the living veterans have passed away with time this is becoming ever more obvious. We do not see the death and destruction, misery and trauma inflicted upon millions, no, we are very carefully not reminded of that, instead we are only recounted the undoubted tales of courage and sacrifice. It has become completely unbalanced and the net effect is that we no longer recoil in horror from fighting but rather embrace it as a noble pursuit. How many coalition soldiers have been killed in the middle east over the past decade? Hush now, don't go spoiling the day, just keep your mind on the past and let the present take care of itself!

Remembrance day is a wonderful cause, but let us not allow it to become corrupted, a smokescreen behind which further atrocities are carried out in our name but which we are not encouraged to question. Is this really what they fought for?

This takes me neatly on to the second point about cheap political jibes. I now live in Ireland and so am not a disinterested observer from afar but someone who is living through the unnecessary pain of an unchosen austerity and it just these sort of know it all comments that enrage me and many others over here. Let me introduce a few facts relating to Ireland at this point.

The people of Ireland are told that we must pay the bondholders back their unsecured loans. Everybody agrees that they were unsecured and therefore quite foolishly given (in fact they weren't just given but aggressively sold to an unsuspecting population by the banks, but that's another story). Our capital debt to the bondholders is something like 80bn, it now emerges that the 80 odd bondholders between them control 21tn worth of assets. In other words Ireland's 'debt' is less than one percent of the capital they manage. Ireland was but a tiny flutter in the great casino that is the global finance industry and make no mistake that's what it was, a gamble by the money men. It also emerges that 40% of the money we are told to repay is due to German banks who are by far the biggest group amongst the bondholders. Germany dominates the running of the Eurozone, it justifies this by pointing out that it is the biggest economy within it, it also points out it is the healthiest economy and preens itself on its fiscal rectitude. It can afford to because it is quite happily bullying the poorer states into coughing up it's banks gambling losses, money which it then 'lends' back at very healthy interest rates to those self same countries to pay off the self same gambling debts. We are being milked to keep Germany prosperous. We also have to suffer the indignity of having our budget inspected by unelected EU commissioners before it is implemented, so what you might ask has this to do with remembrance day?

The answer is quite simple. The allies went to war with a Germany (and Italy) that was dominating the rest of the continent by force. They fought for democracy, liberty and self determination all three of which are currently being compromised by the European Union. Did the brave soldiers of Britain, alongside a great many Irish, Canadians and Americans really fight for a political system that now seeks to remove all taxing and spending decisions from the various governments and pool that power in the hands of unelected commissioners and officials? That is precisely what the chancellor of Germany is calling for. The elected EU parliament BTW, is but a toothless spaniel keeping itself busy with annoying the citizens of Europe with pointless laws and legislation, it has no real say in anything important.

So my point is that those who gave their lives perhaps gave them in vain. They are probably turning in their graves as the centralisation of power proceeds not with tanks and bombs but coercion and oppression.

I weep for the loss of what it was they, my friends and mentors, so bravely fought for. It is not a cheap jibe but a lament for the pointlessness of their sacrifice.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 07:28:01 AM by Justinr » Logged

jeremypayne
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2012, 08:19:23 AM »
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And given what I have written since that is rather a thoughtless response.

Oh no, i thought about it a lot.
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Justinr
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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2012, 10:15:29 AM »
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Oh no, i thought about it a lot.

Can't say it shows.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2012, 12:38:59 PM »
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Can't say it shows.

Sorry, bud ... but you are the thoughtless one here.  There is a time and a place to make political arguments.

This thread was not the time or the place.

You protestations and back-pedaling do not change that fact ... they just prove you just don't get how inappropriate your original comment was.
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Justinr
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2012, 12:50:16 PM »
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Sorry, bud ... but you are the thoughtless one here.  There is a time and a place to make political arguments.

This thread was not the time or the place.

You protestations and back-pedaling do not change that fact ... they just prove you just don't get how inappropriate your original comment was.

Which underlines my point quite nicely in that the whole thing has become an unquestionable ceremony the better to reinforce the belief that war can be a glorious thing.
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