Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Reflections

When this blog started in 2005, I posted an article with a link to Why smart people defend bad ideas. We need to keep that in mind while we honor those who have served and sacrificed and continue to serve and sacrifice in defense of freedom and our country.

We need to remember that the best and the brightest are not the only source of bad ideas. Sometimes these bad ideas are from a tyranny of the masses. History is full of examples where the majority has unfairly and unjustly taken advantage of or oppressed a minority. Much of our constitution is there to help guard against such tyranny. It is , unfortunately, still a problem at all levels of government and society.

We must guard against bad ideas, even those from very smart people or those that are popular with the majority of people. We need to do this so that those we honor today will not have served in vain.


  1. Democracy is defined as the rule of the majority. The so call rights guaranteed in the United States Construction are out of the reach of those who cannot afford the financial cost. The USA is the only western democracy which denies it’s citizens s the right to directly file a complaint with it’s judiciary and to directly vote for their representatives.

    Most who serve in the enlisted sections of the American armed forces “volunteer” out of financial necessity.

  2. I pay attention to elections more than most, and outside of the electoral college election of the president, every other representative is directly elected. Not even sure what you mean about the Judiciary. It sounds like your describing some other country.

    When it comes to why people volunteer for the Armed Forces, you know not where of you speak. I was enlisted and worked with, followed and led enlisted soldiers for a 20 year Army career. The reasons were as varied as the people that enlisted. No matter what the reason, honorable and necessary service was the rule.

    With 2 real shooting wars going on, finance is never the only reason. Military pay just isn't that good.

    James Turner
    SFC, USA, Retired.

  3. Anon; I do not share Mr. Turner's service record, but your contention that our enlisted serve only from economic necessity denigrates their service. There are some quite wealthy people buried at Arlington including NFL all-pro Pat Tillman who turned down a half-million or so to enlist and serve in the Rangers. He died in a tragic "friendly-fire" episode in Afghanistan, but it's hard to make a case he volunteered of economic need, I don't think the Army bids that high.

  4. BTW anon; I getting slow and easily distracted in my old age.

    "USA is the only Western Democracy which denies its citizens the right to directly file a complaint with its judiciary and to directly vote for their representatives".

    Pardon me, but I have filed pro se (represting one's self without benefit of counsel)in matters beore courts in Texas, and actually won a small point or two.

    Point of the second: perhaps my copy of the Constititution is out of date, but I think the 14th, 17th, and dare
    I mention it, 19th Amendments provide for pretty direct election of our "representatives" by all qualified voters: renters, people of color, and lest they be forgotten, even women.

    Your beef is what, precisely? Given my rules geek nature, a degree of precision is right up my alley, be glad to hear dissent.