Happy Memorial Day

Since I didn’t get any comments when I posted this on Memorial Day in 2003, I thought that I’d try it again.

Linette and I celebrated Memorial Day as the great patriots that we are. We slept through our local parade and then spent the rest of the day drinking Mexican beer (Tecate), eating Indian food (tandoori chicken made by our friend Arun), discussing eastern religion, and bitching about the Bush administration. There wasnt much in the way of flag waving or jingoism. I did see a few kids eating hotdogs, but that’s as close as we came to reaching the conservative ideal.

I will deny it if you tell anyone this, but we even talked to a Canadian woman about French cheese… It just doesnt get much worse than that.

To borrow a phrase from MM.com reader Chelsea Lowe, were about as patriotic as a box of kosher salt.

I don’t have time to get into it all here, but I find all of this very sad. After all, my ancestors fought in several wars for this country and I’d like to be able to acknowledge and celebrate what they and others have repeatedly done in the name of freedom, justice and democracy. Unfortunately, its hard for me to muster much patriotic spirit these days. I won’t list all the reasons here. If you read this site, you know what they are. I’d just like to be able to feel the same about my country now as my grandfather did when he left high school to sign up to fight in World War II. I want to be proud of this country and I want to believe that we’re serving as an example to the rest of the world as to what mankind is capable of achieving. I want for us to be the city on the hill that people look toward for inspiration. Unfortunately, I don’t see that being in our future, at least not in the near term. I see us portraying ourselves instead as a glutinous, self-serving and stupid people.

I dont want to feel this way. It’s just how I feel today.

Sorry to get all serious on you. I promise that Ill get back to Whitney Houston and the ball-shaving tomorrow.

For those of you who don’t understand the references to Whitney Houston and ball shaving, you’ll find answers here and here. And, maybe here.

As for Memorial Day, I really thought that I’d feel differently once the neocons were driven from the White House. Unfortunately, I don’t know that a whole lot has changed… Yes, I know that Obama has done a lot since being elected, but it’s hard for me to get around the fact that he just reauthorized the Patriot Act.

Speaking of the Patriot Act extension, it didn’t do any good, but Dennis Kucinich spoke out about it in the House. [And that, my friends, is how a Congressman goes about getting his district eliminated.] For what it’s worth, Rand Paul also tried to derail it in the Senate, to no avail. It passed 72-23 in late night voting.

Oh, you should also know that both Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow voted in favor of the Patriot Act extension.

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  1. TaterSalad
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Sarah Palin wasn’t the only person at the “Rolling Thunder” event in Washington, D.C. while Barack Obama was in Joplin, Missouri at a memorial for the tornado victims and chewing gum while that event took place.

    http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=46924 – Rolling Thunder

    http://conservativeamericannews.com/debt-and-deficit/is-obama-chewing-gum-at-joplin-memorial-service – Obama chewing gum at the memorial service which disrespected the dead of Joplin, Missouri……..

  2. Posted May 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Mark makes a heart felt post about memorial day and the only person that responds is an angry white man living on the dole, with a pastes post no less.

  3. Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    In Tater’s defense, my post was also just a cut and paste job for the most part.

  4. Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    For those of you who have yet to make his acquaintance, here’s Tater.

  5. Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    I also forgot to mention it, but the ACLU has a good writeup on the Patriot Act extension.

    Oh, and I can’t find anything from either Levin or Stabenow explaining why the voted in favor this time. If you should happen to talk with either of them, could you ask?

  6. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mark, I was reading the Current while in the bathroom at the Corner (what a lovely image! See my FB page for the pretty new doors!) and saw that your blog came in second for best local blog :) I voted for it! Congrats!

  7. Sausages N Mash
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Tater Salad looks like one of those sausages sweating on the grill that swell with fat until you puncture them with a fork and it all oozes out with a little audible gurgling wheeeeeeeeze. Yes, a fat sausage with a little cat hair on top. Only less original.

  8. Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t even know that I was in the running, Patti. Who did I lose to? Do they count AnnArbor.com as a blog? If so, I guess I could live with that. I can deal with losing to a staff of 30 paid people.

  9. John Galt
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    There is nothing more patriotic than the Patriot Act. Read the title, dummy.

  10. Edward
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Memorial Day, here’s the history via Wikipedia.

    Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, which was first recorded to have been observed by Freedmen (freed enslaved southern blacks) in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865, at the Washington Race Course, to remember the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. The recognition of the fallen victims was then enacted under the name Memorial Day by an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War. Over time, it was extended after World War I to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Now known as Memorial Day, it is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

  11. josh
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    It has always been thus. The nation-state is an amoral creature, not worthy of our allegiance. We owe it only our cynicism. We should not thank or show our respect for “our” troops because they risk life and limb for country, but for their noble, if perhaps a bit naive, allegiance to unachievable ideals.

  12. Mr. X
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got no problem honoring those who serve in the military. It’s hard for me, however, to ignore the socioeconomics. The kids who go overseas, fight, kill and die for our country, are predominantly poor, and often they don’t have choices. We treat them as though they’re expendable. We acknowledge their sacrifices one day a year and consider ourselves supportive. Or, better yet, we put a ribbon magnet on our car. That’s not support, though. Supporting them would be marching in DC, demanding that they be brought home.

  13. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Mark, http://www.damnarbor.com came in first. You are first in my heart though :)

  14. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I like the damn arbor site too though, I should add :)

  15. Mark H
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I like this holiday a lot, and its origins too: 1865, recently freed slaves, honoring the sacrifice of United States army dead, who had fought the war against the traitorous Confederacy, thus saving the United States and ending slavery itself. The “decorations” of the original name was, of course, flowers placed on the graves of the war dead — and these flowers were local ones, in bloom. The practice spread from Charleston, with the day of “decorating” these graves varying by when the local flowers would be in bloom.

    Putting flowers on the graves of soldiers, who died in the war to destroy slavery; this being done by the men, women, and children who would have remained slaves without that war and without the soldiers sacrifice. That’s how Memorial Day first began. A true patriot’s holiday – truly celebrating freedom and community – and a holiday of reflection. What does it mean to be American? The origins of this holiday, if you think about, suggest a very good answer to that question.

  16. Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that’s true at all. Memorial day is about the US military protecting the free market and our Christian faith.

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