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 Post subject: Patriotism Redux
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:55 pm 
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This morning on another (private & restricted Yahoogroup) forum, a new member posted the following provocative statement:

Quote:
I don't want to cause any problems here, but I have to comment. I no longer recite the pledge because I sincerely believe that flag waving neocons have usurped the rights that I fought for and some of my buddies died for, and they did it by waving the flag and calling anyone that didn't agree with them unpatriotic. I served my country for seven years in the sixties, an uncle was a medal of honor awardee with a destroyer named after him and there are three silver stars and a bronze star in my immediate family. Like many, I no longer believe that the flag, I so loved, stands for what it did fifty years ago. Yours for a truly free America. -Ward


To which our own Powder responded:

Quote:
I'm sorry you let them take that right away from you. I recite the
pledge (leaving out "UG" since that is a recently-inserted untruth)
because I do. I do pledge allegiance to the United Sates of America, as
strenuously as I defy those who would change her to fit their own
strange agendas. When I don't pledge my allegiance, I hope I will have
the good grace to get out.

"Usurped the rights you fought for"? Then damn well fight to take them
back. Keeping still is pretty similar to rolling over and playing dead.

One woman's opinion. Does anyone agree with me?


Well, yes Powder, I do; emphatically. I couldn't do it pithily enough for some tastes over there, but I have some personal experience that I would have liked to share with Ward. I went through a similar phase as he now is in, though from what I can tell, probably for the opposite ideological reason.

After I got out of the Army, I got so disgusted because they refused to win the Vietnam War (where I lost buddies too), and embarked on Johnson's Marxist "Great Society," that I withdrew my support of the U.S. Government in the same way as Ward. It was even more difficult to make myself stand silent with my hands at my side during the Pledge of Allegiance, than it was later to get used to keeping my head up with eyes open during public prayers.

I did this for years, and it wasn't until the end of the first Gulf War that I had an epiphany that straightened out my patriotism. I owned a Marine Electronics business in Honolulu at the time, and my shop was right in the middle of the Nimitz Hwy (really just a boulevard in Honolulu divided by a sort of strip mall at that location), which is the main artery between the airport and downtown.

For several days, every time a jumbo jet disgorged a load of returning GIs, busload after busload of them would caravan past my store on the way to some well deserved R&R in Waikiki. Each time, the good citizens of Honolulu would go out to line the streets, waving and cheering as the soldiers hooped, hollered, and waved captured Iraqi flags out the windows, while the bus drivers honked their horns (in itself an aberration, for on the rare occasion one ever heard a horn in Hawaii you could bet your bottom dollar it was a tourist from the mainland; the locals were polite drivers to a fault).

I, of course, initially went out to see what the ruckus was all about. I was taken aback by several unexpected emotions. First, I was stunned, amazed, and gratified at the incredibly different homecoming these kids were getting from the one we got back in the '60s upon returning from Southeast Asia. More perplexing, was the lump in my throat and downright pride for what these men represented that I was experiencing, which could only be named patriotism.

Where was this coming from? I hadn't loved my country for many years. In fact, I was as contumacious as I could be and thought I out-and-out despised it. I wouldn't even do business with it. I passed up the chance to bid on major lucrative Navy contracts. If they wanted my products, they could come in the store and pay the same price as my retail customers (and they did - I sold a small portable radar to every submarine in Westpac one at a time, because I stocked the only model with a radome small enough to fit through the conning tower hatch).

I had to do some serious introspection to solve this riddle. Then, it dawned on me that I was an American! My forefathers had bequeathed me the right to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, regardless of who might be currently running whatever corrupt government was claiming dominion over that land. I could love my country and despise the government simultaneously!

Finally, I understood something that had often puzzled me. How could the soldiers of other countries fight so hard for oppressive leaders, and die for a cause that seemed so unjust? Now I knew they weren't fighting for Hitler or Stalin et al, or Nazism or Communism; they were fighting and dying for their Fatherland; not some egomaniacal politician or his ideology.

By the second day, I was standing on the curb at full attention and saluting those young GIs with pride, a huge lump in my throat, and tears of joy in my eyes. I was an American again; and no damn fool politician would ever be able take that away from me again!

Now, when I pledge my allegiance it is “…to the Flag and to the Republic for which it Stands.” That is to say, the “Republic” our founders designed. Not the “Democracy” modern politicians have subverted it into. I’ll have more to say on that distinction hereabouts in due course.

This is my country, and if Ward were over here I'd invite him to join me in loving it again, regardless of what our philosophical differences over how best to govern it might be. We earned that right, and the American Dream is too valuable to abandon to the mind-numbed ideologues - Left or Right.

-Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:18 am 
Dave, you have figured out what many people haven't - the difference between "country" and "State." A country is a local geographical region and/or the people who live there. A State is a political entity - an organization with a monopoly on the legitimate/legal use of force in a particular geographic area. To be complete: A nation is a language or cultural group. Thus, my country is Ozarkia - the Ozark mountains. The State that claims to rule and tax me is the United State of America. (No trailing "s" in State; It became one central State after Lincoln's War of Forced Unification.) My nation is the Anglo Nation - the US and Canada and Britain and Australia and New Zealand.

Politicians like to obliterate the distinction between these three concepts. George Orwell in 1984 (and essays) warned us of such use of language to destroy concepts. You know: "War is Peace," "Freedom is Slavery." Country is State is another Orwellianism. Rulers use it early and often. It makes the most totalitarian rants appear warm and fuzzy. E.g. "Ask not what your State can do for you; ask how you can serve the State." That's the translation of JFK's famous words. It doesn't sound so good now, does it?

Humans lived 99.9% of their history in hunter-gatherer groups, basically inbred super-families. So he has evolved with a hard-wired proclivity for community esprit de corps, neighbor solidarity, or whatever you want to call it. Rulers utilize this epigenetic tendency to con people into submitting to the State.

On one point, however, I disagree with you, Dave. You discern the difference between country and state consciously, but you seem to fall back into the Orwellianism when you speak of US soldiers. The soldiers don't fight in foreign lands for their community, their neighbors. They are not defending their homes. They are the chumps and hitmen for ruling politicians. They have joined the State's murder gang; they fight and die for ambitious rulers. They may be brainwashed by statist propaganda to think they are fighting for freedom or their "country," but a rational analysis indicates otherwise.

Vietnam era soldiers may have an excuse - they were drafted (or under the threat of being drafted.) Today, there is no draft. IMO People who join the military are both ignorant and immoral. They are ignorant for indenturing themselves to the State - selling themselves into slavery. They are immoral for agreeing to aid and abet mass murder for powermongering political elites.

The bumber sticker slogan is right: I love my country; I hate my government. Instead of the Oath of Allegiance, here is what I recite (with my hand over my crotch)

Proclamation of Disdain

I proclaim disdain for the rag
of the United State of America
and for the coercion for which it stands;
One empire, militarily aggressive
with liberty and justice a sham.


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 Post subject: Please Think
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:32 pm 
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Bill,

What's up with all the crotch grabbing these days? I never could grok that. I was born in Arkansas, and I would advise you to be a bit cautious where you perform this routine during a public flag ceremony. Irreverence during public prayer is easy to get away with, because the fundies have their eyes closed.

I was not drafted during the Viet Nam War, I enlisted. I will acknowledge my ignorance of many things at 18 years of age, and buying that the fall of South East Asia to Communism was a threat to the existence of my way of life, may have been a manifestation of it.

However, morality is a very personal matter, in my opinion, and I find nothing immoral about being willing to defend oneself, one's family, or one's ideals and way of life; quite the opposite. Your disdain for the warrior class in society, which I am unashamed to acknowledge I was/am a member of, is misplaced, naïve, and to me reprehensible in an otherwise apparently rational mind.

You folks with utopian dreams of a peaceful society, however organized - or not, as perhaps you would have it, overlook one little flaw. We live in a real world. There are sheep, and there are wolves. It doesn't matter one whit how serene and Pollyannaish the sheep may become; the wolves will still be out there looking for breakfast.

The sheep can complain about the shepherds and sheepdogs all they want, and they wouldn't survive a season without them. I look forward to learning how you would propose to defend "Ozarkia" from the advancing Ayatollahs and their suicidal bloodthirsty martyrs' brigades, once your anarchy is established.

Before you continue to rail about America's troops deploying to foreign soil to engage our adversaries, I would recommend reading my old essay WWIV where I pose the question, "…where do you want the battlefield to be?" Should we wait until they are blowing up civilians in our pizza parlors in the malls? -Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:52 am 
Dave wrote:
I would advise you to be a bit cautious...

Yeah, I got expelled by the police from the Rodeo of the Ozarks for booing the flag guard milfare recipients, yelling "baby killers" and such. They were afraid a riot would ensue... LOL!

Dave wrote:
I find nothing immoral about being willing to defend oneself, one's family, or one's ideals and way of life.

Me neither. Defending oneself, one's family, or one's ideals, is admirable. But going to foreign lands is to murder innocents is totally immoral. You seem to buy into the rulers' propaganda that, somehow, killing foreigners overseas is self-defense. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Dave wrote:
Your disdain for the warrior class in society...

I disdain the dupes who join the statist murder gangs. I have absolutely nothing against warriors who defend themselves and their communities.

Dave wrote:
You folks with utopian dreams of a peaceful society, however organized - or not, as perhaps you would have it, overlook one little flaw. We live in a real world. There are sheep, and there are wolves.

Please don't confuse me with a pacifist or a utopian. I totally agree that wolves exist in the world.

As Rand said, one should not initiate force. Retaliatory force is permissable, but only against those individuals who initiate it. Aerial bombing of Baghdad, which kills so many innocents, is therefor immoral. Shooting rockets into Fallujah likewise. The liberventionists such as the Peikoff group seem to forget the "only against those individuals who initiate it" part. They also justify their warmonger stance in term of collectives ("us", "them", "the Muslims") rather than individuals. Rand would roll over in her grave!

Dave wrote:
I look forward to learning how you would propose to defend "Ozarkia"...

Militias, guerrilla warfare, etc. It would be ridiculous to think that Ozarkians could defend the Ozarks by traveling to foreign lands and killing people. All that would do is create hate for Ozarkians and induce people to attack. Which is exactly what US foreign policy does. Were it not for the US' long history of military and political intervention in the Middle East, there would be no terrorism to spead of against the US. The USEmpire, by its interventionist policy, created the very terrorism it now decries! If not for foreign interventionism, Muslim fundie terrorist would be going after their local tyrants - like the Shah and Saddam.

Small government and State militarism is incompatable. You cannot have big military without big government. Domestic interventionism and foreign interventionism go hand in hand.

I'll make more detailed criticism in the thread the WWIV thread. After the first reading, I can say I disagree with most of what you write there.


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 Post subject: REVEILLE
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:10 pm 
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Call me a sentimental old fool, but this video got to me… -Dave

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