Just a tiny question: If someone is against spending more money to help Israelis and that makes him anti-Israel, then what do we call Republicans who are against spending money to help American children?
As I have written numerous times, the Pledge of Allegiance may well be the most sarcastic paragraph our children have ever been convinced (or coerced) into reciting. First, make no mistake - it is recited. We don't talk like this. "I pledge allegiance (pause) to the flag (pause) of the.........etc." It's like a first grader reading his cloth book to Daddy. I've also pointed out that a Boy Scout oath tacked onto a paragraph written by a socialist is not the ideal vehicle for showing one's fealty to our corporate-owned society.
That said, let's go into the idea obeing f pledging allegiance to a Republic. Republics are a form of democracy wherein the people elect representatives to pass laws according to the will of the majority. According to recent polls, approximately 80% of the people don't trust their representatives further than they could lift them - and in the case of some, that's not very far. The Supreme Court and the President are more popular, but not by a whole lot. So where's the Republic we're pledging allegiance to?
"One nation?" In your dreams. We've seen states officially order their judicial branches to defy lawful orders of the federal government and nobody seems to have taken any action. "Indivisible?" Ask the people in Texas who want to secede. "Under God?" Whose god? Well, our Christian god, of course.
Before one can tell whether something is working right, we have to ask what it's supposed to do. I maintain capitalism is doing exactly what it was designed to do and is doing it well. One mistake we make on the left is not understanding what we, the people, have designed as our economic model of choice. I suggest capitalism is following a logical progression that was built into the system from the get-go and our bitching is the result of that misunderstanding.
If, in reading this diary, you can find logical misstatements or illogical leaps, I wish you would point them out.
We're hearing grumbles from he "left" about Barack Obama. He speaks well, but he isn't following up on his rhetoric to combat the corporate takeover of America, the rental of the Congress and the hypnotic effect big money has on the Supreme Court. Obamacare iis nothing but a small step in the right direction, which is a single-payer universal health plan. He hasn't been decisive enough. He's surrendered to the fascist right. In foreign poolicy, hes an extension of Geoge W. Bush. And on and on.
There is an incresing number of progressives who are completey disenchanted with both the Democratic and Republican parties. Some jump ship and become Independents, which at this point means absolutely nothing. Same with the Greens. Many simply don't vote.
I siggest that they quit whining and try being honest.
The vexing problem of thousands of children daring to seek what was promised on the Statue of Liberty in the radical, commie-socialist poem of Emma Lazarus ("Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, etc.") has presented Democrats, especially the liberal ones, with a terrible dilemma. If they advocate welcoming the kids, they stand a good chance of rousing the wrath of people who fear anything that might cost tax money and/or threaten jobs. If they suggest shipping the kids back to Central America, they risk becoming the same kind of Scrooge-inspired sourpusses as the Republicans.
"Conservatives," by which I mean the Scalia-Thomas kind of folks who hate the idea of messing with the original ideas of the Founders except when it favors business, have it a lot easier. For instance, in this diary, I'd like to present an idea that would fill all the requirements of the Republican Right, including no negative impact financially, huge benefits for the one percent and a continuation of the controlled attack on the Bill of Rights. Read on.
This will be a shortie. The test I propose is a measure of true as opposed to phony patriotism fed to the American public on this solemn holiday honoring our fallen men and women in the battle to preserve democracy. I'll begin with the hypothesis that when patriotism is mixed with monetary gain, its sincerity is open to question, just as acts of heroism are seldom done for material reward. Therefore, when we hear appeals to our higher duty to the country mixed with inducements to buy some unrelated product, we might have reason to doubt the sincerity of the appeal. Of course, this is equally applicable to religious and famiily hoidays, like Easter or Mother's Day.
We'll finish after the break...
In the thousands of posts discussing what's wrong with America and more thousands pointing fingers in all directions, I'd like to clear up one important point, on which most of the other arguments hinge: What is today's America all about? It sems to me if we really think our country is dedicated to the principles upon which it was founded, we should work on remedial action, but if what we really think is contrary to this, we should perhaps think about replacing the system completely. To this end, please complete the brief poll at the end of this piece.
Now that the great state of Florida has posted another Trayvon Martin version of justice, it might be helpful to attempt pinning the blame where it belongs - on us. We haven't been speaking to Florida in the language it best understands. We've been relying on moral outrage, the Constitution and the outdated image of the lady with the blindfold holding the scales. These are easily sorted in importandce when exposed to the new, right-wing language standard of America - the Golden Rule. Whoever has the most gold, rules. Morality, like religion and patriotism, has two aspects and are both explained by the same language - the balance sheet.
If any of the foregoing doesn't cost money, they are to be defended and put forth as a foundation of the United States, like wearing a flag pin in your lapel means you love your country, etc. If the same stand comes with a sizeable price tag, it's a different story. Education is a case in point. Everybody praises the value of equal education, but when it comes to dollars and cents, we bravely stand in number eighteen among the world's industrialized democracies. Everybody knows you get what you pay for, right?
Since what Stephen Colbert calls the "Superb Owl" is over and Seattle is still drinking some of the nation's best beer, I nevertheless feel it may be time to ask whether football is truly America's quintessential game. Does allowing huge men to pulverize other huge men regardless of what permenent brain damage may ensue in exchange for large amounts of money really best represent the Land of the Free? Even when the National Football League is ruled to be non-profit despite the millions they rake in each season from the clubs in the league? Could there be a more representative choice?
I think I have a better candidate, especially when we put a modern spin on it and let the game represent what America truly has become. Since we can't play this particular game in a stadium with thousands watching, we have to reduce its scope and make each player stand for one percent of all Americans. There are a hundred players.
The game is Monopoly.
Picture an apple named "America" on a shelf. Most objective observers have declared it rotten. Fewer than one in five citizens trust its integrity. Although it looks OK, it's no longer firm and sweet - more soft and bitter. Everyone is desperately looking for cures to get the apple back to where it used to be - the object of the world's desire - but nobody can put his finger on it. We wonder what's rotting the apple, but since we've been trained not to dig more than skin-deep into anything, we just throw up our hands and try to blame outside forces. Republicans, Democrats, socialists, conservatives, liberals, Tea Party, Greens, the rich, the poor, indifference, El Qaeda, President Obama, the House, the Senate, permisiveness, narrow-mindedness, religion, anti-religion, you name it.
It's a futile search. What's wrong with the apple can't be found on the outside. True, evidence of the problem can be dug up and we may well account for samples of the rot, but to discover the cause, we have to continue past the squiggle:
In 1948, a visionary writer named George Orwell imagined a world of the future and it didn't look good. Despite it seeming so far away, he reversed the last two digits and titled the book "1984" and it rose to the position of a major shrine of pessimistic book-lovers, along with Huxley's "Brave New World" and Vonnegut's "Player Piano."t
We are now thirty years past Orwell's date, so I thought it might be a good time to take a look at our country and see how accurate the author's predictions have been so far. Of course, we have to bear in mind that the immense leaps in technology we have seen surpassed anything Orwell came up with, but just following the trends is instructive.
The uproar over Phil lRobertson's identification of sexual love with solely what goes underneath one's underpants has, as usual, missed the point. What the Lead Duck of the Dynasty said was completely understandable if people would consider the rest of the package. Let me expound:
I'm sure Mr. Robertson considers his wife or significant other something more than a walking vagina. I'm also certain that Robertson, in turn, is considered as more than a walking anus by most discerning adullts. The fact that Robertson doesn't seem willing to grant this courtesy to others tells us lots more about the Lead Duck than his somewhat restrictive view of sex. If physical attraction was nothing more than the Reagan either-or choice of vagina/anus, people would be a lot more like dogs, cats or - yes - ducks. Likewise, if people's choice in sexual partners was nothing more than giving a good quack and hopping aboard, life wouldn't involve the multiplicity of factors making up the world today.
Please follow after the break:
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