Thursday, May 31, 2012

California Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers to take 5% pay cut


Citizens Compensation Commission approves the reduction for 132 elected officials after Brown proposed a similar cut for other state employees. 'Everybody has to sacrifice,' one commissioner said.

Cutting lawmakers' pay
Charles Murray of the California Citizens Compensation Commission, right, talks to commission Chairman Thomas Dalzell in Sacramento. The panel approved Murray's proposal to cut the pay of lawmakers and statewide elected officials by 5%. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press / May 31, 2012)

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers will take the same 5% hit to their pay that the governor has proposed for rank-and-file state workers, a state panel decided Thursday.

The Citizens Compensation Commission, created by California voters to set salaries and benefits for certain elected officials, approved the pay reduction for 132 elected state officers two weeks after Brown proposed the cut, through a workweek reduction, for other state employees.

Officials should share the pain they are imposing on civil service workers even if it makes only a small dent in the nearly $16-billion budget deficit, Commissioner Charles Murray said. The panel's action will save the state about $657,000 a year.

"I think we will send a message that we have to get out of this hole," he said. "Everybody has to sacrifice."

The vote was 5 to 1, and the pay reduction will kick in Dec. 3.

Assembly Speaker John A. PĂ©rez (D-Los Angeles) called the panel's move "unfortunate," noting that it comes on top of an 18% slice the commission took from the officials' pay three years ago when other state workers were put on furloughs.

Given that the furloughs have ended but the 18% reduction remains, Perez said, "we believe the commission's cut is punitive and ignores the size and complexity of the job and the facts regarding comparable legislative bodies."

Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), who made an unsuccessful challenge to the previous cuts, said the commission's action hurts the state by making it hard for average citizens to get involved in public service as lawmakers.

"We're clearly heading in the direction where only the wealthy can serve," Cedillo said. "We [legislators] have to live in two cities, our regular costs are doubled and our salaries may not be able to accommodate that."

In addition to the governor and legislators, the lieutenant governor, attorney general, controller, treasurer, members of the state Board of Equalization and others will have their pay reduced.

The governor proposed in May to reduce the workweek for many state employees from 40 to 38 hours as a way of cutting payroll by 5%. On Thursday, Brown seemed to take it in stride that his annual salary will shrink from $173,987 to $165,288.

"Look, I'd run for governor whether it was a paid job or not," he told reporters. "I derive a lot of psychic income."

Even at his current salary, the governor is paid less than state judges and many county administrators, said Commission Chairman Thomas Dalzell, who abstained from the vote but voiced opposition to the panel's action.

He said the legislators' annual $95,291 pay puts them on par with skilled construction workers, and their new pay will be $90,527.

"To cut them further boggles my mind," Dalzell said.

Although California provides the highest base pay for legislators of any state in the country, Commissioner Ruth Lopez Novodor said other states provide their lawmakers with pensions, which current California officials do not receive. [The wealthy don't need pensions, do they comrades. - Dan]

Novodor cast the only vote against the pay cut, arguing that the 18% reduction approved in 2009 brought the officials' salaries close enough to those of comparable positions.

"I believe that we are at equilibrium already," she said.


Times staff writer Anthony York contributed to this report.

Comment:

Ordinarily, I'd be LMWAO over this, but think about it.

Considering the high salaries plus a $30,000 expense account, plus a state card and gas credit card, it's a good start.  However, I can't help but be suspicious.  Considering that most of these people are millionaires, a five percent cut won't mean much.  Most of them have other sources of incomes like their own businesses, and investments.  I'm sure they won't even notice the loss, financially speaking, unlike the average person who could find a five percent loss in pay unacceptable, and would definitely hurt financially.  In other words, a five percent pay cut will hurt the rank-and-file state workers a lot harder than it will the politicians.  I think at least 25% is in order.

Perhaps these cuts are all a sort of scam.  Perhaps the state, which is planning massive budget cuts, including social programs and services to residents may, and probably are trying to soft soap us.  When they announce their big cutbacks, and we moan and groan about it, they can say, "Hey, this affects all of us.  We took a five percent pay cut, so we're hurting too."

Yeah right.  When you make $90,000 a year, that's about a $4,000 cut.  But you still have your $30,000 expense account, and free car, plus any outside income you may have from business and investments.  Five percent is nothing.

Most politicians aren't in this for the salaries anyway.  That's peanuts to them.  They make their real money from the Judeo-Capitalists who funnel tons of money into their "campaign accounts" and even their personal bank accounts.  Plus, if they have businesses of their own or investments - which most do - they can manipulate the law to benefit those businesses and investments.  For example, if they own millions of dollars in stock in California corporations, it's to their benefit if they vote to kill new business taxes.  New business taxes could negatively effect corporate profits, which would cause their stock to drop in value.

As a California resident, I fear they have something really special planned for the Working and Middle Class.  How bad it will be, only the future can tell, but I'd be prepared for anything.

Because of the fact that California is a majority-minority state with Whites accounting for only about 15% of the population, there's not a whole lot the ANP can do about it.  We waited too long to act and now it is too late here - but not in most other states.  Only about seven states are majority-minority, so let's not let the rest of the country go that way.  As long as we are still the majority, and we are in 42 states, it is NOT too late.  But it soon will be.  In about 20 -30 years it will be all over for us - unless we do something NOW.  Not later, but now.  

We must support the ANP.  Give as much as you can.  I hate to keep harping on this, but without money, we can do very little.  Also in the news today, a billionaire in California held a Republican fundraiser at his mansion.  It was $50,000 a plate!  That's not a type-o.  Not $500.  Not $5,000.  But $50,000.  You know damn well that only the ruling elite could afford even one plate, let alone two.  After all, how many million and billionaires go to these things without their wives or a date?  That means $100,000 a couple!  At my highest annual salary ever, that's three years pay!  This event alone PROVES who Mitt Romney represents.  It's certainly not us.

When we ask our Supporters to send in an extra $10 or $20, we're not trying to scam you out of money.  It's amazing how many gullible working class Republicans will send in $20, $50, or even $100 of their hard-earned money to support these parasites.  The Democrats too.

As the old saying goes people, "You get what you pay for."  And what these working class suckers will be paying for is to elect someone who will work very hard to bleed them dry.

I've posted this joke before, but I'll post it again because it's so true.

What's the difference between a Republican politician and a Democrat?

The Republican will bleed you dry first chance he gets.  The Democrat will shake your hand, call you pal, and THEN bleed you dry.

Dan  88!

The Drill-Baby-Drill Fallacy


click to enlarge
drilling-vs-gas-price.png

Puzzle: Why is the price of gas up, when drilling is up?
  1. It was $1.00 under Clinton when drilling was lowest.
  2. It was $3.30 when drilling peaked under Bush.
  3. It was $3.90 with drilling sky high under Obama.

What's Wrong with the Drill-Baby-Drill Theory?

Newt-$2.50-Gas-Price.jpgNewt_Gingrich.jpg
Newt's $2.50 gas for China⇒
  1. It's only about US Oil Supply (drilling).
  2. But supply and demand determine the price.
Here's What Happens Instead:
  1. Demand for oil goes up (think, China, India and Japan).
  2. The price of oil goes through the roof.
  3. Big Oil smells profit and starts to drill like crazy.
  4. Drilling keeps the price about a nickle lower than "it would have been."
  5. You get the nickle, Exxon gets $10 billion.
In a nut shell, here's the awful truth:
  • China uses more, and Our gas price goes up.
  • We use less and drill more.
  • Exxon ships the extra gasoline to China! -- See for yourself.
zFact:  US drilling is 10% of half the story. We pump 10%. Demand is the other half.


Comment:

Is anyone surprised?  It's all about the money.  

Comrades, the wealthy elite are NEVER going to give us a break.  To them, we are less than NOTHING.  We are commodities to be used up, and when we are of no more use to them, they just toss us over their shoulders like an empty beer can.

We must stand against them NOW!  If you ever hope to have any sort of financial security for yourselves and your children, we must all stand united.  Wake up Whitey!  What has the current multicultural-diverse system done for you?  I'll tell you what they've done for you.  They've taken your jobs and given them to non-Whites, both citizens and immigrants.  They've taken your homes, your savings, and your self-respect.

YOU have the power to get it back.  But you must act, and act now!  Join us. Together we can take back our country and make it a fit place for ourselves and our children.

I know I came off a little more agitated than usual, but high gas prices are one of my pet peeves.  Here in California it's hit $4.50 in some places, and I'm damn sick and tired of it.  But do you know what grinds my gears even more?  It's the transparent lies and phony excuses they hand us.  Ripping us off is bad enough, but I REALLY resent it when they insult our intelligence.


MESSAGE TO "WENDY":  Okay, I'll wait until all the facts are in before making a judgement.  I'm sure some of what they say about them is true, and other things are BS.  We'll wait and see what an investigation and trial brings out.  There's an old saying, "The truth will out."

Dan  88!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Greece Proves Bank Bailouts Are Scams

By Graham Summers


I've already assessed the significance of the Greek elections in an earlier article. That in of itself is cause for an alarm as the Syriza party (the most popular party in Greece today) has decided to go head to head with Germany in a standoff regarding the potential exit of Greece from the Euro-zone (Greece wants Germany to drop its bailout austerity requirements while Germany is pretty much on the verge of telling Greece to take a hike).  The Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party has taken a similar stand against German demands.

If the current government cannot solve Greece's problems, Golden Dawn is predicted to become even stronger - possibly the dominant party in Greece after the next big election.  Imagine, Greece could become the first country since Germany to have a Nazi government.

However, there is one final element to Greece's current predicament that is even more important than any of the above items. That element is the following: 

The Second Greek Bailout has proven to be based on a total and complete lie on the part of the ECB (European Central Bank - their version of The Fed) and EU politicians. 

If you'll recall, during the Second Greek bailout, private Greek bondholders were told that they HAD to accept the terms of the bailout (a 70% haircut, and new bonds with lower interest rates and longer repayment periods). The alternative to this, as promoted by the ECB and EU politicians, was the total loss of money. 

As you may or may not know, only 97% of private bondholders went for the deal. The remaining 3% (representing roughly €6.5 billion in Greek debt) decided they would maintain their bond holdings as they were and see if they got their money back. 

On Tuesday before last, Greece was scheduled to make €436 million in principle payments on this €6.5 billion. And it did. Every single penny. 

And they didn't even have to! Indeed, under normal conditions if Greece missed this payment deadline, it would have seven days to make the payment. However, this time around, Greece had 30 days to make the payment before it would be considered to be in default. 

And Greece chose to pay bondholders every penny right on time. 

Put another way, those Greek bondholders who DIDN'T go for the Second Bailout, just got their money back at 100 cents on the Dollar (compared to those who DID go for the Second Bailout and lost 70% of their money). 

This has shown the ECB and EU bureaucrats to be complete and total liars. It also shows the entire bailout/ austerity measures process to be garbage. Private bondholders got screwed. Greece got more debt and an even weaker economy. In fact, the only group that has so far gotten through the Greek mess relatively well has been the ECB, which swapped out ALL of its Greek exposure for bonds that DIDN'T take a haircut. 

The significance of this cannot be overstated. The Second Greek bailout has shown the whole of Europe the following: 

1)   Bailouts don't work (Greece actually now has more debt than before). 

2)   Austerity measures worsen the economy. 

3)   Private bondholders get screwed. 

4)   The only one who comes out clean is the ECB. 

All of this ties in with the rise in National Socialism I've noted in previous articles. THIS is why voters in Greece, France, very likely Ireland (whose referendum is on May 31st), and other EU states are voting incumbent Governments out (especially those that have supported the ECB's moves) and showing increased support for Nationalist parties. The people have read the writing on the wall and the writing makes it clear that they are going to get screwed while the EU bureaucrats stay in power.  [Yes, there are National Socialists in Ireland - Dan]

This is why yields on Spanish and Italian bonds are rising (as I write Italy's ten year is close to 6% and Spain's ten year is at 6.2%): bond investors know that if they continue to maintain their exposure to the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greek Bonds), that at some point they're going to have to negotiate with the ECB. And that means losing a lot of money. 

On that note I fully believe that the EU will collapse before the end of the summer. So if you have not taken steps to prepare for the end of the EU (and its impact on the US and global banking system), you NEED TO DO SO NOW! 

Comment:

If the current government cannot solve Greece's problems, Golden Dawn is predicted to become even stronger - possibly the dominant party in Greece after the next big election.  Imagine, Greece could become the first country since Germany to have a Nazi government.

That would be fantastic comrades.  If one country becomes National Socialist, then so would another, and another.  As long as the new governments followed NS philosophy and ideals, and their condition improves, it will spread throughout Europe.  And then  to the U.S.?  Not by itself it won't.  Americans are still too brainwashed against us.

That's where the ANP comes in.  One of our purposes is education.  We must continue to educate people.   That not only includes the average White American, but also those who call themselves NS, but have little to no understanding of TRUE National Socialism.  Having a picture of The Fuhrer in your house, and a Swastika banner on the wall does not a National Socialist make.

We don't just talk about our ideals, WE LIVE THEM AS WELL.  How does one go about doing this?  I'm not going to post on what NS ideals and philosophy are.  It would take way too long.  If you haven't at least read "Mein Kampf", and Rockwell's "White Power" and "This Time The World", then you had better do so.  Copies can be downloaded off the main website at no charge.

But there are a few things I'd like to address: 

1.  Are there any circumstances where it is right to race-mix?

     NO!  Race mixing is NEVER acceptable.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

2.  Are there any circumstances where it is acceptable to socialize with non-Whites?

     My answer is that depends.  There are many who would never say attend a party where there are
    non- Whites - myself included.  However, if I attend a party and there happens to be a non-White(s) 
    there, I will be polite.  If I find Whites are the minority, I will stay a short time, and make an excuse 
   to  leave.    If  Whites  are  the  majority,  I will  be courteous,  but avoid  the non-Whites  whenever
    possible without being rude.  I treat everyone with civility as long as they treat me the same.
  
3.  Is it acceptable to work with non-Whites?

     If it's the only way to earn your daily bread - yes.

4.  Is materialism ever acceptable?

     Everyone deserves to splurge every now and again, as long as it is within your financial means.  But when  taken  to extremes  and your  whole life centers around collecting the latest gadgets and other crap - then   no.  National Socialists value honor, family, and community over material possessions.

5.  Is homosexuality acceptable?

     NO!   Homosexuality is  deviant  behaviour.    On  the other hand,  I  won't  try and  peek  into anyone's  bedroom.   As long as it is kept private,  I care not what you do behind closed doors.  Besides, societies have   tried   to   eradicate   homosexuality   before   and   all   have  failed  -  including  the  Third  Reich.  Homosexuality  is  not  a  choice  -  it  is  a  mental aberration.   Until a psychological "cure" is found, and people are  forced to  "take the cure",  I don't believe  it can ever be  eradicated.   Extermination  is in my opinion  far  too  extreme  and  would  not  work.    The rest of the  world would not  tolerate such harsh policies.  Besides, there would always be some that would be missed.   As long as they stay in the closet,  I'm willing to live and let live.

6.  Is any kind of capitalism acceptable?

     No.  Free enterprise is, however.  Free enterprise is not capitalism.   Free enterprise is starting your own business and making a go of it with your blood,  sweat,  and tears.    Capitalism is shifting money around, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and spending "other people's" money, such as with investors.   Getting a small business loan to help you is fine.  Selling stock and manipulating money is not. 


As I said earlier, there's just way too much for me to cover, but these are probably the most important issues of the day, not counting politics itself which would take even longer.

Comrades, anyone who calls themselves NS but does not live these ideals is ignorant at best, and a hypocrite and fraud at worst - and there's enough of them in the movement already.  So live our ideals, not just talk about them.

Dan  88!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Shocking Truth About Public Schools

Comrades, this video was made by a young man who is 18 years old at the most.  He hits the nail right on the head.  I'm sorry it doesn't quite fit, but I was unable to fix this.  Here's the Jew Tube URL if you prefer to watch it there, but only about an inch or so is cut off.  I doubt you'll miss anything all that important.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=bYmpoRBXgVM



Comment:

Except for the part about "slamming" students, he's correct about everything.   At least here in California, nothing gets a teacher fired and thrown in jail faster than laying hands on a student.  If the teacher is going to claim self-defense (which happens a lot in our high schools) he better damn well be able to prove it or he's gone.

If anyone has wondered why I became so disillusioned about teaching, then wonder no more. 

I advise every parent to get your kids out of public schools NOW!  Even if you can afford private schools, they are not much better because they have to adhere to state standards in order to be accredited.

The best option is home schooling.  It's still the state's curriculum, but at least you, as parents will know EXACTLY what they are teaching your kids, and you can explain the REAL truth to them.

Schools USED to be places where kids were taught HOW to think, rather than WHAT to think.  Today, they are nothing more than conveyor belts to Political Correctness.  They prepare YOUR children to take their place as good little ZOGBOTS.

I realize that home schooling can present problems for people with young children, what with both parents needing to work just to pay  the rent and put food on the table, but where there's a will, there's a way.  Whatever sacrifice you need to make for your children, it's your duty as parents to do it if you can.  NO EXCUSES.  "But I have to work."  "I don't have the time."  MAKE THE TIME.  What could possibly be more important than your children's welfare?

DO IT NOW, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

"I don't want a nation of thinkers.  I want a nation of workers." - John D. Rockefeller.  

Dan 88!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day (Sort Of)


Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May.[1] Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2]Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. As a marker it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.[3]
By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visited the graves of their deceased relatives in church cemeteries, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, held since 1911 on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.[4]
Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others. There often is a religious service and a "dinner on the ground," the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the "memorial day" idea. [5]



Early History

Flags flying at gravesites at Fort Logan National Cemetery during Memorial Day, 2006, Denver, Colorado
Troops at the Washington, D.C. Memorial Day parade, 1942
A boy holding an American flag during the 2009 National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol.
The practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers' graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the U.S. Civil War.[6] There is documentation that women in Savannah, Georgia decorated soldiers' graves in 1862.[7] In 1863, the cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, PA was a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. Local historians in Boalsburg, PA, claim that ladies there decorated soldiers' graves on July 4, 1864.[8] As a result, Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day.[9]
Following President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, there were a variety of events of commemoration. The first known observance of a Memorial Day-type observance was in Charleston, South Carolina on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves.[10] Together with teachers and missionaries, Charleston organized a May Day ceremony in 1865, which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. They had cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, "Martyrs of the Race Course." Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen (freed slaves), gathered on May 1 to commemorate the dead. Involved were 3,000 schoolchildren newly enrolled in freedmen's schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, and black ministers and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field. Today the site is used as Hampton Park.[11]. Years later, the celebration would come to be called the "First Decoration Day" in the North.
The sheer number of dead soldiers, both Union and Confederate, who perished in the civil war meant that burial and memorialization would take on new cultural significance. Particularly under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had already taken shape. In 1865, the federal government began a program of creating national military cemeteries for the Union dead.[citation needed]

In the North

The friendship between General John Murray, a distinguished citizen of Waterloo, New York, and General John A. Logan, who helped bring attention to the event nationwide, was likely a factor in the holiday's growth.[citation needed] On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic - the organization for Union Civil War veterans - Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" should be observed nationwide.[14] It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle.[15]
Events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states in 1868, and 336 in 1869. The northern states quickly adopted the holiday; Michigan made "Decoration Day" an official state holiday in 1871 and by 1890, every northern state followed suit. The ceremonies were sponsored by the Women's Relief Corps, which had 100,000 members. By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Union dead had been reinterred in 73 national cemeteries, located near the battlefields and therefore mostly in the South. The most famous are Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania and Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington.
The Memorial Day speech became an occasion for veterans, politicians and ministers to commemorate the War - and at first to rehash the atrocities of the enemy. They mixed religion and celebratory nationalism and provided a means for the people to make sense of their history in terms of sacrifice for a better nation. People of all religious beliefs joined together, and the point was often made that the German and Irish soldiers had become true Americans in the "baptism of blood" on the battlefield. By the end of the 1870s much of the rancor was gone, and the speeches praised the brave soldiers both Blue and Gray. By the 1950s, the theme was American exceptionalism and duty to uphold freedom in the world.
Ironton, Ohio, lays claim to the nation's oldest continuously running Memorial Day parade. Its first parade was held May 5, 1868, and the town has held it every year since. However, the Memorial Day parade in DoylestownPennsylvania, predates Ironton's by one year. [16]

In the South

Evidence exists showing that John Logan "adopted" for the North a pre-existing annual Memorial Day custom that was already in place in the South.[17] This separate tradition of Memorial Day observance which emerged earlier in the South was linked to the Lost Cause and served as the prototype for the national day of memory. Historians acknowledge that the Ladies Memorial Association played a key role in that development.[18] Starting in 1866, the Southern states established Confederate Memorial Day, with dates ranging from April 25 to mid-June. By 1916, the June 3 birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was observed as a state holiday in 10 southern states.[citation needed] Across the South, associations were founded after the War, many by women, to establish and care for permanent cemeteries for Confederate soldiers, organize commemorative ceremonies and sponsor impressive monuments as a permanent way of remembering the Confederate cause and tradition. The most important was the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which grew from 17,000 members in 1900 to nearly 100,000 women by World War I. They were "strikingly successful at raising money to build Confederate monuments, lobbying legislatures and Congress for the reburial of Confederate dead, and working to shape the content of history textbooks."[19]
On April 25, 1866 women in Columbus, Mississippi laid flowers at the graves of both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.[20] The early Confederate Memorial Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the day and attend to local cemeteries. Around 1890, there was a shift from this consolatory emphasis on honoring specific soldiers to public commemoration of the Confederate cause.[citation needed] Changes in the ceremony's hymns and speeches reflect an evolution of the ritual into a symbol of cultural renewal and conservatism in the South. By 1913, Blight argues, the theme of American nationalism shared equal time with the Lost Cause.[21]

At Gettysburg

The ceremonies and Memorial Day address at Gettysburg National Park became nationally well known, starting in 1868. In July 1913, veterans of the United States and Confederate armies gathered in Gettysburg to commemorate the fifty-year anniversary of the Civil War's bloodiest and most famous battle.
The four-day "Blue-Gray Reunion" featured parades, re-enactments, and speeches from a host of dignitaries, including President Woodrow Wilson, the first Southerner elected to the White Housesince the War. James Heflin of Alabama was given the honor of the main address. Heflin was a noted orator; two of his best-known speeches were an endorsement of the Lincoln Memorial and his call to make Mother's Day a holiday. His choice as Memorial Day speaker was criticized, as he was opposed for his racism. His speech was moderate in tone and stressed national unity and goodwill, which gained praise from newspapers.

Flags at half-staff until noon

On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.[22]
The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

Name and date

The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day", which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) advocate returning to the original date, although the significance of the date is tenuous. The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address:
Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.[23]
Since 1987, Hawaii's Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has introduced a measure to return Memorial Day to its traditional date.[24]
After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress's change of date within a few years. Memorial Day endures as a holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the unofficial beginning of summer.

Traditional observance

Many people observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 pm local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States athalf-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site atnational cemeteries.
For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.
One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It runs on the Sunday preceding the Memorial Day holiday. The Coca-Cola 600 stock car race has been held later the same day since 1961. TheMemorial Tournament golf event has been held on or close to the Memorial Day weekend since 1976.
Because Memorial Day is generally associated with the start of the summer season, it is common tradition to inaugurate the outdoor cooking season on Memorial Day with a barbecue.[25]
The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.

Start of "summer"

Most school districts that had their school year begin in late August will end school on the Friday before this day, while schools that started the school year the day after Labor Day in early September will remain in session until early June.
Across most of the central and southern continental United States, summer-like weather generally does begin reasonably close to Memorial Day time (somewhere between mid-May and early June being the norm). But in the northernmost and westernmost parts of the country, the holiday makes a far less reliable seasonal marker. In these areas, cooler and unsettled spring weather often continues into June. (In the Pacific Northwest, there is a somewhat popular expression that "real" summer begins on the 5th of July.)

Interpretations

Scholars[26][27][28][29], following the lead of sociologist Robert Bellah, often make the argument that the United States has a secular "civil religion" - one with no association with any religious denomination or viewpoint - that has incorporated Memorial Day as a sacred event. The obligation of both collective and individual to carry out God's will on earth is a theme that lies deep in the American tradition. With the Civil War, a new theme of death, sacrifice and rebirth enters the civil religion. Memorial Day gave ritual expression to these themes, integrating the local community into a sense of nationalism. The American civil religion, in contrast to that of France, was never anticlerical or militantly secular; in contrast to Britain, it was not tied to a specific denomination, such as the Church of England. The Americans borrowed from different religious traditions so that the average American saw no conflict between the two, and deep levels of personal motivation were aligned with attaining national goals.

In literature and music

Charles Ives's symphonic poem Decoration Day depicted the holiday as he experienced it in his childhood, with his father's band leading the way to the town cemetery, the playing of "Taps" on a trumpet, and a livelier march tune on the way back to the town. It is frequently played with three other Ives works based on holidays as the second movement of A New England Holidays Symphony.

Comment:
What distresses me most about Memorial Day is that most Americans view it as just a day to go to the beach or have a BBQ and drink beer.  They have little knowledge about or interest in the intended purpose of the day.  Their priorities are sadly misplaced.
Perhaps you may think that this day is a sham because it's to honour those who died in Judeo-Capitalist wars of expansion and profit.  Well, that is indeed the case.  However, the people who gave their lives believed they were doing what was right, and deserve some memorial for their sacrifice.   
This article was taken from Wikipedia.
Dan  88!