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Roderick Long Unblogs Veteran’s Day

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 21 years ago, in 2003, on the World Wide Web.

Roderick Long calls his blog In a Blog’s Stead because he doesn’t want to update it daily. I don’t think this actually makes it an un-blog (but, being the dilatory updater that I am, I have a vested interest here). On the other hand, you might call what he does un-blogging in another sense. One of the negative aspects of blogging is the amount of commentary gas that it generates — a circular, self-feeding, self-congratulatory world of opinion-mongering that at times, no longer content with flying away from the facts, generates entirely new misconceptions to propound (can anyone say flypaper?). Roderick offers something that is desperately needed in the world of weblogging: rational analysis and serious critical engagement. Posts that, so to speak, deflate nonsense rather than bloating it. Consider, for example, his recent un-blog of the pap surrounding Veteran’s Day:

Is it really true that we in the United States owe what freedom we have to U.S. veterans? Certainly the Bill of Rights was made possible by veterans of the American Revolution, and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were made possible by veterans of the Civil War. But none of those veterans are currently living. No American war in living memory was one in which the United States was in serious danger of being conquered by a foreign aggressor; hence no living veteran can plausibly claim to have played a role in defending our freedom.

In fact the U.S. government has used each of its wars as a pretext for increased violations of all the rights listed above. (Not that veterans should be blamed for this result; veterans and civilians alike have been victimised by the murderous militarist schemes of politicians.)

. . .

Roderick goes on to argue that The best way to honour Veteran’s Day is to ensure that we avoid having veterans in the future. Indeed, I’d like to see the whole of Veteran’s Day scrapped — or rather, replaced — or rather, reclaimed. I’d like to see the whole day restored to its old identity — Armistice Day. Rather than an exercise in jingoistic militarism, let’s make Armistice Day what it should be — a celebration of the end of a senseless and brutal war, a celebration of the coming of peace, and a solemn remembrance of those who risked and lost their lives before we laid down our arms.

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  1. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    Yadda yadda yadda

    Yesterday I offered the following commentary on the debate over the authenticity of the alleged memos on Bush’s alleged no-show for Air National Guard appointments:…

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