Just For Fun Concerts EP 2016-27 (Episode 31)

Back at you with another exciting (setting the tone here) episode of Tales from the Dropbox as both Canada (Canada Day aka Dominion Day) and the United States (Independence Day) this past weekend celebrated the establishment of their respective nations as independent and more significantly free. (To be clear, on July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec (the province of Canada was divided at that time into Quebec and Ontario). Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.)

Episode #31 continues the recent trend towards establishing musical freedom with an amalgam of very disparate sounds designed to refocus your musical energies away from commercial radio i.e. to celebrate the freedom you have to take a journey away from complacency.

As for the weekly social issue – the status of our freedom as Canadians and Americans is truly what I have in mind. As the news highlights yet another tragedy “More than 100 killed, scores wounded in bombings across Baghdad” the question we need to ask ourselves is this:

What impact does the fanatical action of terror organizations and other F@@% nuts take on our freedom?

The failure to address, let alone answer, this question prevents we as independent nations from determining the human price that we, as citizens of the United States and Canada, must to protect our concept of freedom. That is, what does it mean to be free?

NB: I know these notes are going to be rather long – but dammit, freedom is important and I think the read interesting!

While there are many formulations of what it means to be “free”, this seem an appropriate starting point:

Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them and then, the opportunity to choose.

Mills, C. Wright.  1959 [1976] The Sociological Imagination.  New York:  Oxford University Press. pp 176.

As a primary thesis, freedom must start with the individual. That is, we can only be truly free by being the master of our own intellect (self). If we are the masters of ourselves, then as Mills reminds us, our individual expression of freedom can only be expressed in concert with others – that is, we do not lose our freedom by participating in discourse and engagement with others. If we cannot connect with others, to formulate choices with other individuals, without the fear that we will lose our self then we are not free.

So, as we stand at yet another turning point in our nation’s freedom, as those f#^! nuts engage in unconscionable actions against the world, perhaps history can highlight, yet again the importance of and value of our freedom and what it means for the citizens of a nation to be free on this date – July 4, 2016 (I’ve edited this transcript slightly to clarify the relevance for these notes):

I address you . . . at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union. I use the word “unprecedented,” because at no previous time has American security been as seriously threatened from without as it is today. Since the permanent formation of our government under the Constitution, in 1789, most of the periods of crisis in our history have related to our domestic affairs. Fortunately, only one of these—the four-year War Between the States—ever threatened our national unity….

It is true that … the United States often had been disturbed by events in other continents. We had even engaged in two wars with European nations and in a number of undeclared wars in the West Indies, in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific for the maintenance of American rights and for the principles of peaceful commerce. But in no case had a serious threat been raised against our national safety or our continued independence.

What I seek to convey is the historic truth that the United States as a nation has at all times maintained clear, definite opposition, to any attempt to lock us in behind an ancient … wall while the procession of civilization went past. Today, thinking of our children and of their children, we oppose enforced isolation for ourselves or for any other part of the Americas. …

Every realist knows that the democratic way of life is at this moment being directly assailed in every part of the world—assailed either by arms, or by secret spreading of poisonous propaganda by those who seek to destroy unity and promote discord in nations that are still at peace. …

Therefore, as your President, performing my constitutional duty to “give to the Congress information of the state of the Union,” I find it, unhappily, necessary to report that the future and the safety of our country and of our democracy are overwhelmingly involved in events far beyond our borders.

Armed defense of democratic existence is now being gallantly waged in four continents. If that defense fails, all the population and all the resources of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australasia will be dominated by the conquerors. Let us remember that the total of those populations and their resources in those four continents greatly exceeds the sum total of the population and the resources of the whole of the Western Hemisphere—many times over.

In times like these it is immature—and incidentally, untrue—for anybody [ed: Donald Trump?] to brag that an unprepared America, single-handed, and with one hand tied behind its back, can hold off the whole world. No realistic American can expect from a [religious zealot] peace, international generosity, or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion, or even good business. Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors. “Those, who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

As a nation, we may take pride in the fact that we are softhearted; but we cannot afford to be soft-headed. We must always be wary of those who with sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal preach the “ism” of appeasement. We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests. …

But we learn much from the lessons of the past years …. The first phase of the invasion of this Hemisphere would not be the landing of regular troops. The necessary strategic points would be occupied by secret agents and their dupes—and great numbers of them are already here … As long as the [religious zealots] maintain the offensive, they—not we—will choose the time and the place and the method of their attack. That is why the future of all the American republics is today in serious danger.

That is why this annual message to the Congress is unique in our history. That is why every member of the executive branch of the government and every member of the Congress faces great responsibility and great accountability. The need of the moment is that our actions and our policy should be devoted primarily—almost exclusively—to meeting this foreign peril. For all our domestic problems are now a part of the great emergency. Just as our national policy in internal affairs has been based upon a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all our fellow men within our gates, so our national policy in foreign affairs has been based on a decent respect for the rights and dignity of all nations, large and small. And the justice of morality must and will win in the end.

Our national policy is this:

First, … we are committed to all-inclusive national defense.

Second, … we are committed to full support of all those resolute peoples, everywhere, who are resisting aggression and are thereby keeping war away from our hemisphere. By this support, we express our determination that the democratic cause shall prevail; and we strengthen the defense and the security of our own nation.

Third, … we are committed to the proposition that principles of morality and considerations for our own security will never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by appeasers. We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people’s freedom. …

When the [religious zealots], if the [ religious zealots], are ready to make war upon us, they will not wait for an act of war on our part. … Their only interest is in a new one-way international law, which lacks mutuality in its observance, and, therefore, becomes an instrument of oppression. ..

[T]here is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

  1. Equality of opportunity for youth and for others;
  2. Jobs for those who can work;
  3. Security for those who need it;
  4. The ending of special privilege for the few;
  5. The preservation of civil liberties for all;
  6. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

These are the simple, basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations. …

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.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the zealots seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception—the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change—in a perpetual peaceful revolution—a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions—without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, State of the Union, January 6, 1941

So, which one of your present presidential candidates do you think could give this speech to our nation on the precipice of war?

As you think about freedom remember that the choices you make in the exercise of your individual freedom have real consequences impacting not only your future, but perhaps the future of our nation.

So, be free and participate in the discourse that makes our nation truly free.

Happy 4th.

Here is what you’ll find in Episode #31:

  1. Whyte Horse – “The Snowfalls” (Pop or Not)
  2. Big Deal – “Hold Your Fire” (Say Yes)
  3. Catfish and the Bottlemen – “Twice” (The Ride)
  4. Such Hounds – “Drink to Sleep” (Strangers)
  5. Goggs – “Glendale Junkyard” (Goggs)
  6. Direct Hit! – “Hospital For Heroes” (Wasted Mind)
  7. Moment 44 – “Mirror Mirror” (Welcome To the Carnival)
  8. Spring King – “Rectifier” (Tell Me If You Like To)
  9. Useless Eaters – “Motorway” (Relaxing Death)
  10. Young Moon – “Love Is A light” (Colt)
  11. Imaginary Sons – “Sloburd” (Don’t Impress Me)
  12. Snow Roller – “Too Good” (What’s The Score)
  13. Hurry – “Wanna Be You” (Guided Meditations)
  14. Colour Me Wednesday – “Don’t Tell Anyone” (Anyone and Everyone)
  15. Don’t – “The Chase is Better” (Fever Dreams)

Well I’ve been pissing in a cup for a couple of weeks … when you are spinning around and you think you’re lost…love is a light.


Leave a Reply