Tag: patriotism

We were Waiting for 9/11

In the late 90’s I shared an office with a Chinese academic who, because of the fact he belonged to a family of scholars going back many generations, was put in a work-camp on the Mongolian border during the Cultural Revolution during most of his adolescence. This was not a happy experience for him and had left deep scars in him. But he still was a Chinese patriot and we would have friendly arguments about Chinese/American conflicts. He expressed doubts that the U.S. would respond to provocations or crises in any muscular way–he saw us as “soft.” I told him that should we ever be attacked the perpetrators would experience a storm of violence beyond their imagining.

I felt, in those days, an underlying sense of frustration and repressed violence that was a result of being the lone superpower in the world yet, we weren’t able to just assert our superiority and, so it appeared to us, not get the proper respect and deference we deserved. I sensed this in American culture. Here we were, the most successful people on earth and we had no national mission like we did when we “fought” and won the Cold War. Capitalism triumphant, prosperity, but what did it mean? Who are we? Why was the most important news story for months a blow job? Neo-conservative intellectuals did write that only a “a new Pearl Harbor” would bring the U.S. out of its lethargy. They made much of our moral decline and need for a unifying enterprise and I think they were right–they saw us as drifting into hedonism and triviality which we were then and still are doing only now much poorer because of the way we reacted to 9/11.

Making Sense of Revolutions

We are witnessing what may be the birth pangs of nascent democracy in the Middle East.  Or, we may be witnessing something else entirely.  A region which has long trailed the rest of the Western world in basic freedoms for its citizens is in the process of long-needed transition.  What it will be and what form it will eventually take has yet to be established.  This doesn’t mean, of course, that we won’t try to transpose our own understanding upon the scene that lies before us.  Especially when we contemplate the unknown, we can fall so easily into dichotomies.  When comparing two things simultaneously, it is easy to believe that everything must belong to one part or the other, or, failing that, nothing can belong simultaneously to both parts. Egypt is not Libya, nor is Tunisia exactly like Egypt.

Is Now a Citizen

One has wondered where all those ‘citizen kombat keyboarders’ have been this whole past decade! We know they certainly, nor their spin meisters, haven’t been demanding ‘Sacrifice’ by the Country, instead quite the opposite, their representatives as well.

We also know all the names and phrases used against any who didn’t walk in lockstep with their hollow words of support while they waved that flag of what they call ‘patriotism’, their definition of patriotism. Like this beck recently calling out Special Ops soldiers for god knows what twisted reason sits in that chubby head.

‘Deer in the Headlights’ — They’re Not!

Supposedly ‘Uncertainty‘ is the new Corporate buzzword.

Uncertainty‘ is the Mantra that keeps them FROZEN with inaction.

Well I guess, a lot depends on what kind of ‘Action’ — were looking at.

America’s Corporate Cash Cushion

Jonathan Cheng, WSJ Market Beat — Sep 17, 2010

The Federal Reserve put out its quarterly report on fund flows today, which shows comprare viagra generico 100 mg spedizione veloce a Bologna corporate balance sheets more or less flat at $1.845 trillion, compared to $1.847 trillion in the first quarter of 2010.

[…]

acquistare levitra generico 20 mg Companies weren’t stuck like a deer in the headlights because of regulatory or political uncertainty,” he said. Instead, he says corporate directors have been spending on capital expenditures, M&A, and buybacks and dividends.  [ … according to Anthony Carfang, from at Chicago-based corporate treasury consultancy Treasury Strategies.]

Dividends and buybacks, like the ones announced after market close yesterday by Texas Instruments, are on the rise […]

Be afraid, be very afraid, people — Or so the Corporate Speakers are telling us.

George Orwell and Howard Zinn on Nationalism

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Writing in 1945 in his remarkable essay Notes on Nationalism, author George Orwell noted the following distinction between patriotism and nationalism

real viagra from online drugstore 50mgs Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism.  Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved.  By “patriotism” I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people.  Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power.  The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

Author and journalist George Orwell

On The Fear Of Government, Or, Let’s Get Back To Basics

It seems like everywhere you look these days, someone’s trying to spread…The Fear.

All around us…in every town…on every corner…a massive Army Of Fear is standing by, according to the Messengers, ready at a moment’s notice to obey the dictates of some unappointed Czar or another.

Just ask Glenn Beck: concentration camps for the white people, jackbooted stormtroopers ready to snatch the guns from your cold dead fingers…Socialist Government-Controlled Healthcare That Threatens Your Not Socialist Medicare…it’s all coming, my friends-and unless we organize, as a community, to return to the values of the Founding Fathers, The Government, meaning that awful Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and George Soros and all the other Evil Community Organizers, will win.

There’s no government, we’re told, like no government.

You know who would find all of this fear of self-government just entirely bizarre?

The Founding Fathers.

In today’s conversation we’ll consider the fundamentals of American patriotism, we’ll ask one of those Founding Fathers how he saw the role of Government-and we’ll toss in a few words from Abraham Lincoln, just for good measure.

This Is Your Community Too!!

comprare vardenafil senza ricetta Sardegna Is Anybody Listening?

Many have already heard about the kids from Pomona California Village Academy High School, many have probably caught their little eight minute video that has launched them into the National Spotlight and Political Debate on what this Country is now going through. But this isn’t new it’s just affecting many more kids and families now, with more added each day. Kids can’t learn and achieve any dreams they might have if their families are struggling and their living those struggles daily.

Sarah Palin Answers “Who Are The Elite?”

Amazing…msnbc vid is here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21…

Williams: Who is the elite?

Palin: I guess just people who think that they’re better than everyone else…anyone who thinks that they are better than anyone else, I guess that’s my definition of elitism.

Oh, and John McCain goes on to clarify that it’s also anyone living in Washingotn DC or New York City…Rudy, I think he means click here you.

Sleeping with a Secessionist …



My beat around here is Global Warming and Energy.  And, the choice come November could not be starker in these arenas  (that is, at least in fact not media framing).  The contrast could not be starker … across a wide range of issues.

Among these, John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin has added a searing issue to the table:  

Do we want a separtist with easy access to the centers of power in the nation?

What would it mean to have a Vice President (likely President) sleeping with a separtist?

This question is essentially absent from the pages of traditional media.  

Imagine if Michelle Obama were a registered member of the Black Panthers until 2002?  Imagine the drumbeat of outrage that all Americans would hear.  About Todd “My Guy” Palin’s separtist credentials?  Crickets chirping in the night …  

Bush-Obama: Separated At Birth?

dosage for accutane MISSING IN ACTION! Ram-Obama wants you to you know that Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama Actually Wanted to Join the US Military, But There Wasn’t a War To Fight.  At least, that’s what Barack wanted to do, according to the One. Barack explains that what held back this terrible Dem tiger was an unfortunate lack of blood and gunfire.

“The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Waaaa…!! Damn that Viet-Nam ceasefire!! The Telegraph notes Barack omitted any previous mention of this deeply-held desire to join the US military. Nothing appears in any interview or publication. Memory loss? Scouring the formative years of his own past, Obama writes nothing about considering a military career, or any form of military service, in either of his two celebrity self-profiles.

Dems savaged Dick Cheney for masquerading as a patriot while doing everything possible to avoid suiting up. And why not? Called to duty five times, college student Dick Cheney received five separate dispensations from Selective Services, thus denying the would-be warrior the chance to guard America’s future.

Grandpa Biden Has His Own Pain to Deal With: Five Deferments. Just like Dick, Biden, the ‘bare-knuckle’ Dem Vice-Presidential candidate was ‘denied’ the right to serve five times. The silver-maned patriot waged a different kind of war, waddling through mountains of Congressional pork, waging war on drugs, and shrieking about morality.

George W. Bush stands head and shoulders above this crowd. It’s that bad. What with Barack’s crap about the ‘route-march’ not traveled and Biden-Cheney’s identical five deferments, Dubya, who actually made it into a recruiting center and into uniform, is positively heroic.

go here Barack, Bush both claim to have considered’ going to Viet Nam. Barack-Dubya both use exactly the same excuse to to ‘explain’ why staying home seemed a wiser path. With Viet Nam ending, Barack-Bush would have no chance of shedding blood for country.

georgia accutane side effects Damn! Now it all makes sense. Obama wanted to wear the uniform! It’s so easy to picture Rambo-Obama on the roof-top of the US Embassy protecting the last helicopter out. True! Pesky peace kept the youthful patriot from achieving his high-school dream of serving Uncle Sam. If only Nixon had kept the war going until Obama had a chance to suit up! Totally believable. The One simply forgot to tell anyone of his secret ambition to head into combat!

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=lasix-40-mg-best-priceest-prices Dubya-Barack are as patriotic as every other American. Both served in elite Ivy League schools, ‘toughing it out’ on term papers and all-night cram sessions before going on to pursue individual national political ambitions.

see And the Dubya-Obama similarities don’t end there. Obama now claims the Bush tax-breaks for the rich are necessary.

It’s About The Love

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

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Juan Carlos Onetti (1909-1994)

A continuation of an idea.  Remember my essay that mentioned the Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti?  I thought not.  It’s OK. It was about what happened to various writers when their countries decided that what they wrote was unacceptable.  The piece was an inquiry about whether that kind of police state might be growing in the US.    

Here’s an excerpt:

[Onetti] went on to become one of Latin America’s most distinguished writers, earning Uruguay’s National Prize in literature in 1962. In 1974, he and some of his colleagues were imprisoned by the military dictatorship. Their crime: as members of the jury, they had chosen Nelson Marra’s short story El guardaespaldas (i.e. “The bodyguard”) as the winner of Marcha’s annual literary contest. Due to a series of misunderstandings (and the need to fill some space in the following day’s edition), El guardaespaldas was published in Marcha, although it had been widely agreed among them that they shouldn’t and wouldn’t do so, knowing this would be the perfect excuse for the military to intervene Marcha, considering the subject of the story (the interior monologue of a top-rank military officer who recounts his murders and atrocious behavior, much as it was happening with the functioning regime).

Onetti left his native country (and his much-loved city of Montevideo) after being imprisoned for 6 months in Colonia Etchepare, a mental institution. A long list of world-famous writers-including Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Mario Benedetti-signed open letters addressed to the military government of Uruguay, which was unaware of the talented (and completely harmless) writer it had imprisoned and humiliated.

As soon as he was released, Onetti fled to Spain with his wife, violin player Dorotea Mühr.

Join me in Spain.

Army, Flag and Cross

Recently publisher here and crossposted here.

I wanted to try and generate some discussion on a subject that will continue to resonate regardless of who wins in November: the pathological coupling between fundamentalism, flag worship, and what can be called, for lack of a better term, “warrior worship.” Join me below the fold, won’t you?

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