Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving and Freedom

I remember a film clip a few years back billed as the "most honest three minutes in television history." I watched it, thought it was three minutes (actually it's longer) of unadulterated horse shit. (Pardon my French.) I lost a great deal of respect for the actor who pronounced (what was to me) the offensive lie that America is "not the greatest country in the world."

Opinion? Yes. True? Absolutely not. A friend of mine sent me a link to that video, praising it, I lost a lot of respect for him as well. He should know better, especially given the advantages he's had in life, simply by being born here.

But hey, freedom of speech. It's important, even if what is said is out and out poppycock. It's the first of what FDR called "The Four Freedoms" in his speech to Congress on the 6th of January, 1941. Here's the excerpt from which the speech drew its name:
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. 
The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world. (Source)
While I am not the biggest fan of FDR, he did get us through WWII, a war which he didn't survive. And the man could give a mighty fine speech. Note his use of "everywhere in the world" for the first three freedoms. This isn't something which only Americans should enjoy. (Though even now there are some Americans who want to restrict free speech to only that which is agreeable. Screw them. Once you restrict some speech, you are not far from restricting all speech. Let "political correctness" die a slow and lonely death. It is un-American in the extreme.)

For the fourth freedom, FDR says "anywhere in the world" with regards to freedom from fear and the ability of one nation to make war upon another. (Though truth be told, arms reduction is a chimera, unattainable in practical terms. Someone is always going to cheat. Eternal vigilance is the answer in my book. Si vis pacem, para bellum. A sad truth.)

As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, these four freedoms should be something we should be thankful for, if we have them. There are still Americans who lack some of these freedoms and as long as that is the case, those of us who enjoy all four freedoms need to strive to make sure our fellow citizens have the same advantage. Regardless of race, creed, religion, or national origin.

So enjoy the holiday weekend, play nice with those around you. Leave politics at the front door. (I know, I know, it is hard.) I shall be out and about with my kinfolk, observing the holiday, being with people I don't spend nearly enough time with.

I hope your holiday is joyous, filled with love (and pie, yes, lots of pie), and filled with thanks for what we have. So many have little or nothing. Even here at home...

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten or neglected you. I've scheduled a couple of posts for my time away from the keyboard so you don't have to go "cold turkey." (Though that does make a wondrous sandwich!) As Mom lives in an Internet-free zone, by choice, I'll be checking comments via the "smart" phone. Don't know if I will have the bandwidth to respond to comments, as the cell phone reception at Mom's ain't all that grand either, but I'll try.

Stay safe, enjoy! See you on the flip side.


  1. Enjoy your family Thanksgiving Sarge!

    I baking fresh bread today, designed specifically to house and convey cold turkey, which in many ways is the best part of the meal.

    Travel safe!

  2. Have a wonderful and family filled Thanksgiving Chris.

  3. Have a safe and enjoyable trip. We're doing Thanksgiving dinner in the People's Republic of Austin with my Niece's family, complete with new daughter, so looking forward to it.

  4. Free speech gives people the right to be stupid and obnoxious. Without the right to be stupid and obnoxious we would be forced into a narrow spectrum of thought controlled by proper smart people. Proper smart people scare the shit outta me; they care not a whit for stupid obnoxious people, especially when stupid and obnoxious are defined by proper and smart.

  5. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, one and all.

    Paul L. Quandt

  6. Back in the 1980's, a man from MN< John Louis Anderson, wrote Scandinavian Humor, and Other Myths, a book about growing up Norse, and Lutheran and living in the Upper Midwest. He mentioned the pot luck suppers in the Fellowship Halls of Lutheran churches, with the hot dishes made by the Lutheran Ladies of the congregation. He listed no actual recipes, but did list some of the names, Tuna Noodle Surprise, et al. I liked he sound of Turkey Lurkey Hoo Hah, so I made my own recipe.

    Put a layer of mashed potatoes on a large dinner plate, add a layer of stuffing, and a layer of corn pudding. Put on as much chopped up turkey as you can get, cover it all with gravy, and nuke it til it glows. Make the layers as thick as you want, or substitute the vegetable of choice for the corn. It makes a wonderful meal. I make it for the entire 3rd shift at the resort on Thanksgiving night. I actually use Jenny-O turkey rolls for the meat, as it is much easier to deal with than transporting an actual roast turkey, but it tastes the same. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, One and All!

  7. In the mid '60's, after I learned of The Battle of Athens (TN), I kind of saw Norman Rockwell's renditions of young to middle aged blue collar men as those who fought and won the battle. I am thankful to that generation. Happy Thanksgiving and, regards, Alemaster

  8. I wonder if the Navy is still requiring all its sailors to carry out an Operational Risk Management study before traveling for Holidays. I hope not. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  9. Those Rockwells are classics... Thanks!

  10. Gathering tomorrow at my sister's. Present will be my niece and her new man, his children, her two children, my middle son, and assorted strays my sister gathers together. My contribution to the meal is cooking in a crock pot and the odor is making me hungry. Should be around twenty people in attendance. Police probably won't be involved as my sister keeps a clean and sober house.

  11. Have a beautiful and Blessed Thanksgiving, my blogging friend!


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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