A Pittance of Time

On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a drug store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the stores PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.

Terry was impressed with the stores leadership role in adopting the Legions two minutes of silence initiative. He felt that the stores contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.

When eleven oclock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the two minutes of silence to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.

Terrys anger towards the father for trying to engage the stores clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, A Pittance of Time. Terry later recorded A Pittance of Time and included it on his full-length music CD, The Power of the Dream.

47 thoughts on “A Pittance of Time

  1. Terje; is there a way to reduce the size of the video clip on WordPress? The last one I used extends out too far and I notice this obscures the comments block.

    On Blogger I am able to cut them back to quite small using the Youtube settings, but this doesn’t work here.

  2. How much respect does ‘a pittance of time’ show any way? We let soldiers be propagandised into murdering and being murdered, but hey it’s okay, we can just give a minutes silence. Really? Let’s have an hour of screaming at how complacent and stupid we are.

  3. Because the soldier is the initiator of the aggression. When was the last time a Western soldier actually defended someone’s property, instead of invading it? Though, due to propaganda and coercion, it’s unclear if a soldier ever commits a crime. Perhaps more accurately; to kill and be killed, with either murder being held responsible by the invading government.

  4. There’s no need to pay respect to soldiers. They are professional killers and thugs, murdering for the government. They’re not Mother Teresa.

    They didn’t fight to defend our “freedom”, they fought to defend the State.

  5. That’s prejudicial.

    Let’s be more specific.

    Which wars were wrong?

    Probably the Boer Wars but we had no choice at the time.

    Did Australian soliders systematically engage in genocide?

    No.

    “They didn’t fight to defend our “freedom”, they fought to defend the State.”

    That’s true but we’ve fought a lot of wars against militarists and militant internationalists. Consequentially, they did fight for our freedom.

  6. Buddy:
    “Because the soldier is the initiator of the aggression.”
    No. Our aggression was against evil governments. An anarchist would have to argue that military privatisation would just make such wars fought more efficiently, for example.

    “When was the last time a Western soldier actually defended someone’s property, instead of invading it?”
    This morning, in Iraq & Afghanistan. Assuming that by “property” you mean a person’s body. We aren’t necessarily defending land or houses for individuals, though, as the resulting gov’t may just turn socialist.

    Sukrit:
    “There’s no need to pay respect to soldiers. They are professional killers and thugs, murdering for the government.”
    This statement has dispelled any doubt I may have had about Rothbardians being insane.

  7. Hahahaha, evil governments! How about governments that go and kill millions of innocent civilians, in the name of peace and liberation? People in the target country are going to equate ‘freedom’ with violence and oppression. “Oh please, Muslim state, save us from the ravages of freedom!” And, yes many people don’t want Western government to take control over their land and houses. Many people prefer the statism they know, to the statism imposed on them by foreigners.

    How would anarchy deal with bad governments? Natural progression. Non-coercive pressure. Helping people escape from bad countries. Defending seceding regions and peoples. Destroying the structure of government. Would it be perfect, no, but it would be far better than the complete mess that government military causes. The brute force method of taxing one country’s citizens to fight other oppressors, killing whatever civilians get in the way, is unimaginative and hypocritical in the extreme.

  8. America honours its military far more than we do in Australia. Some people here, including Sukrit, can’t even respect them.

    I don’t think it’s difficult to distinguish between the military task and the individuals doing the task. And as long as it’s voluntary, I’d defend anyone’s right to honour the individuals.

  9. “I don’t think it’s difficult to distinguish between the military task and the individuals doing the task.”

    That’s right. You can’t blame soldiers for being sent on wars of aggression.

    “Which wars were wrong?”

    Any that weren’t in self-defence.

    “a lot of wars against militarists and militant internationalists. Consequentially, they did fight for our freedom.”

    In what way were foreign militarists impinging on your freedom?

  10. Jarrah,

    The first Iraq War wasn’t in self defence. It may not have been practical, but I fail too see why it was immoral.

    Islamic militants are impinging on my freedom Jarrah. Read their manifesto. They want you or I killed. My profession and your course of study makes you a *legitimate* target.

  11. There’s no need to pay respect to soldiers.

    I would not wish to live in a country where paying respect to soldiers was a requirement. Luckily in Australia it is a voluntary thing.

    However I do personally think that a minutes silence once a year as a mark of respect for soldiers who have fought and/or died for our country is reasonable and appropriate. And when I visit an RSL club I honor their tradition of standing for a minutes silence in the evening. “Lest we forget” calls on us to remember and reflect, it doesn’t ask us to agree with every deployment.

  12. “The first Iraq War wasn’t in self defence. It may not have been practical, but I fail too see why it was immoral.”

    If it wasn’t self-defence, it was an aggressive attack, an act of coercion on a huge scale. As a libertarian, you don’t have a problem with this?

    “Islamic militants are impinging on my freedom Jarrah. Read their manifesto. They want you or I killed.”

    Someone’s thoughts or words don’t impinge on your freedom. Only their acts. What acts of theirs have reduced your freedom?

  13. In these days, soldiers are voluntary professionals. It’s not as though Australia was being invaded. At the same time, Iraq was a country ruled by a tyrant, so I can’t feel sorry for Saddam, and I am glad that he is no longer ruining people’s lives. Nor would it have been good to ignore Bin Ladin, and the Taliban. However, I don’t want Australian troops to be stuck there indefinitely! Let’s find and execute Osama Bin Ladin, and then get out!

  14. I think the US was somewhat complicit in Sadams invasion of Kuwait. However I think it was reasonable and appropriate for Australia to contribute to the international effort to turf him out. I felt no such support for the second war. Although I respect the effort and courage of the soldiers who served.

  15. Jarrah – I don’t oppose coercion just for the sake of it. If coercion is used for just purposes, such as driving an aggressive and power hungry invader out of a country, and if the action is in our national interest then I’m okay with it. The first gulf war was very measured and in my book our actions as a nation were very appropriate.

  16. If man A is sitting on the chest of man B and punching man B in the head then is it just if man C says to man A “get off him you bastard or I’ll wack you with this plant of timber”.

    The coercion exhibited by man C is probably just. Countries are not people so it’s not a neat analogy but the point is coercion outside the rhelm of sled defense can at times be justified.

  17. .,

    ‘They want you or I killed.’
    Because of our governments interference in the territorial issues in M.E or because of our decadence, impiety etc?

    If the reason is the first than the solution seems simple: get out.

    Which manifesto are you talking about? The Koran??

  18. “If coercion is used for just purposes, such as driving an aggressive and power hungry invader out of a country, and if the action is in our national interest then I’m okay with it.”

    Do you think both of these conditions were met in the first Gulf War Terje? If it was just the first then to be consistent you’d have to advocate for action in all the other places around the world which have also suffered from an unjust invasion.

  19. It is intriguing just how many ‘libertarians’ are pro-war, conservative and pro-fractional banking.

    I think we need more lefties in the libertarian camp, if nothing else, it will dilute the rest of you boring saps. At least they passionately believe in certain freedoms and are decisively anti-foreign aggression. And people can easily tell them apart from conservatives.

  20. Jaz- not necessarily true.

    Terje can’t go around hitting every person with a plank of wood- he doesn’t have the time or planks spare. He might be able to intervene in some cases, though.

    I think stopping man A is probably a good thing, even if he can’t stop everyone like man A.

    Consistency is a furphy.. Just because you have sex with the intention of having a baby once that doesn’t mean you then need to try and make babies EVERY time you have sex just to be consistent.

    I don’t think Terje is trying to be consistent. Just saying that when he has the resources to and he thinks its just to intervene then he will.

    Now I’m not saying I agree with foreign intervention. I just don’t like bad arguments.

  21. Buddy- I think a lot of libertarians don’t recognise the importance of both democracy and sovereignty to the historic liberal/ libertarian tradition.

    Liberalism and libertarianism exist because we have sovereign democratic states.

    Sovereignty is the most important thing, I believe, then democracy… Liberalism can only be achieved once those criteria have been met.

    Except potentially in anarchy. Then the sovereignty exists only within the individual and the “state” is a democracy of one. But if we can’t have individual sovereignty we can at least have state sovereignty.

  22. Terje – How was the first Gulf War in Australia’s national interest?

    Shem – If the criterion is that we intervene when we have the resources and a just cause then there are plenty of places we should be right now.

    I don’t think it’s out of line to expect a consistent approach with things.

  23. Jaz – participating in the first gulf war curried favour with major allies. It also signalled that aggressive invasion by one nation of another won’t go undisturbed. We have an interest in both regards.

  24. TerjeP, if you use different words, I think we can get closer to your real message. For instance, if you talk about us reacting to Iraqi aggression, that sounds more libertarian than just going around co-ercing people to support the just cause of the week. I think that Coercion is too broad a term, but reaction to violence gets to the heart of your message.

  25. Nuke – looking back I’m okay with the words I used. I think they reflect pretty well the meaning I intended. Except when I said “sled defense” instead of “self defense”.

  26. Jarrah – what are you on about? Why do I care if Saddam was coerced out of power? You don’t think al Qaida has academics, economists and financial services employees high on their hit list after Americans and American soldiers?

    Why do you think they bombed HSBC Bank AS in Instabul, 2003?

    If some prick in a cave wants me blown up because of a career choice, I’d gladly see my taxes go to dropping a GBU 24 on his face.

  27. It is interesting to note that there appears to be a bit of correlation between age and support of foreign interventionism amongst us all.

    Whether or not this has anything to do with younger people starting to take more of a contrarian view of political history and world conflict, or just a natural progression toward a conservative mindset with age, I’m unsure. I’d wager it would be more of the first rather than the second. We aren’t learning about all from the same textbook anymore.

  28. I have the same views I held almost a decade ago when I started at university.

    “younger people starting to take more of a contrarian view of political history and world conflict”

    I’m cynical this is nothing more than rehashed yippie crap that Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown would be proud of.

  29. “If some prick in a cave wants me blown up because of a career choice, I’d gladly see my taxes go to dropping a GBU 24 on his face.”

    So you believe in thought crimes now, Mark? I guess you’re not Another Bloody Libertarian anymore, then.

  30. You never answered my question, so why should I answer yours?

    “What acts of theirs have reduced your freedom?”

  31. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s545b.html

    Threatening to kill someone because they’ve taken up a peaceable profession – is this restricting my liberties through coercion, namely intimidation – clearly yes.

    They have tried to deprive my freedom of association, right to an income by my own labour, free speech, freedom of conscience (to name a few, purely relating to my chosen profession/past jobs) – through unlawful coercion, namely intimidation by means of causing apprehension of harm (they’ve killed people so we know they’re serious). They’ve violated my human rights by imposing an unlawful system of laws depriving my of a right to a fair trial and due proces and relying on summary executions.

    Politically, if not legally, they’ve tricked our Government into taking away our freedoms in order to fight against them.

    Now answer mine. The answer anyways to the qestion posed to you is yes BTW, assuming you’re the sane old Jarrah I know.

  32. Intimidation (from someone you’ve never met and never will) inhibits your freedom? Pull the other one.

    “They have tried ”

    Yes, but they haven’t succeeded. Ergo, no freedom infringement.

    “they’ve tricked our Government”

    So the government has taken away your freedom. Do you want to drop a GBU 24 on Parliament House?

  33. “Jarrah. Where is your response. GO!!!”

    To the question “Do you believe Osama bin Laden has only committed thought crimes?”, the answer is: against me, and against you, yes. To “do you think incitement is a crime or not?”, the answer is: no. Freedom of speech, remember?

  34. Well Jarrah, you may find the crimes imaginary, but the law doesn’t. The test you have made up for intimidation is a rhetorical device you’ve pulled from your backside. You don’t have to “succeed”, but be considered loopy enough to carry out your threats.

    The fact that you’re defending bin Laden’s incitement to kill innocent people means you’ve been smoking the Lew Rockwell peace pipe for too long.

    Now if you’re going to excuise bin Laden on free speech grounds, the fire in a theatre rule no longer applies to any speech and consequences don’t matter.

  35. “to carry out your threats.”

    So you do acknowledge that the problem is action, not words. Good.

    Incitement isn’t a “fire in a theatre” scenario, get your analogies right.

    If you think freedom of speech should be restricted to those you like, then you’re further from libertarianism than I thought.

  36. “So you do acknowledge that the problem is action, not words. Good.”

    Do you know what “intimidation” means? Do I need to buy you a dictionary Jarrah?

    “Incitement isn’t a “fire in a theatre” scenario, get your analogies right.”

    No shit (that wasn’t the analogy), but if you let bin Laden off for the most spurious of reasons, then consequences are most likely irrelevant for us non-terrorist types.

  37. How dare u disrespect the men who fought and died for the freedom of the oppressed and peoples rights I am a canadian soilder and I feel deeply insulted by what u have said every day not only do I give my life freely to my country but I also give it to the people of the world the fact that u have disrespected the people of this land is down-right embarassing u do not deserve to call urself Canadian

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