Sunday, March 04, 2007

Disrespect for the Flag

I am a Republican (moderate to liberal). I tend to be a hawk when it comes to war. (Afghan war - good, godly and righteous. Iraq war, wrong, sinful and bungled)) I like an all powerful United States. My dad was in the US Army as was one of my brothers. My other brother was in the Air Force. I was in the Boy Scouts twice. I have strong feelings about the American flag.

Spray painted in the gutter of my new house in Lutz are our house numbers and an American flag. My mailbox flag is a completely faded plastic American flag emblem. I suspect these are all the results of patriotic fervor that followed 9-11.

These two displays of the US flag are shameful and disrespectful. I am especially offended by the US flag in the gutter! What were they thinking? In the gutter!

When I worked at Tampa General one of the trash cans in the lobby area was painted with a stylized US flag. I complained about it but nothing changed. That was an offensive use of the flag in my mind. Decorating a trash container!

On the other hand I'm not offended by the burning of the US flag to make a political statement. That is someone making an affirmative political statement. Demonstrating our freedom of speech we fought for. That is not disrespectful. It is an affirmation of our ideals. (By the way I oppose any flag burning amendment.) However these displays at my house demonstrate neglect and indifference. Lack of thought. Just a fad. I appreciate patriotic fervor. However critical thinking patriotic fervor, not blind lemming fervor. Anyone critically thinking would say "hmmm.. the flag in a gutter is not a good idea."

16 comments:

KombatRock! said...

I can sorta sympathize with your feelings satan. My grandma of the "Greatest Generation" feels that way too. But I respectfully disagree with her and you (although I avoid the subject with Grandma-you know how it is).

I think folks like you have a lot of misplaced sentimentality in the ol flag. You were sold a bill of goods on what it's supposed to represent: Freedom, Democracy and all that. The truth is the US flag has come to represent something pretty sinister and ugly to much of the world's population: Fascism and Imperialism. You've been had David Banghart! We've bombed 22 countries since the end of World War II. We subvert democracy whenever we please and prop up evil dictatorships when it makes half decent business sense. We bomb, torture, murder, and maim, but all that seems ok to some folks as long as we're the "all-powerful United State"...

Einstein was more eloquent:

"Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!"

Mal Carne said...

I'll disagree with you on that part. It is possible to simultaneously love one's country but fear and loathe one's government.
I view the flag as a symbol of what this country is supposed to be, not what rich white men with bad haircuts have made it. As such, I respect the flag to a great degree. It should be a banner; not a trash can design, zeitgeist decoration in the gutter, car magnet, or boxer shorts.
At the same time, I'm also a supporter of the right to burn the flag as an expression of free speech. Any ammendments to the contrary are not wrapped in the well meaning notion with which they are presented, but an easy distraction from bigger issues at hand in an easily embraced, single serving chunk. Now that gay marriage has settled down a bit, my money says there will be another attempt at banning flag burning before we get out of Iraq.

KombatRock! said...

Once the symbol has been warped beyond recognition, it's hard to go back. Pride no longer has definition, everybody wheres it, it always fits.
It's a tool for torturing and brainwashing masses in this empire. It's an ugly thing.

AngelSil said...

The flag is just a flag. Every country has one. It's a symbol, nothing more. I don't hear the British getting bent out of shape that their flag is on boxers, rockstar t-shirts, and all manner of paraphenalia.

Having pride in this country involves a lot more than just 'protecting' the flag. The flag doesn't need protecting. The values it supposedly represents do.

Mal Carne said...

Well Kombat, whatcha gonna do about it? I mean, you've got a pretty defeatest attitude there, similar to mine about age 18. Yes, our government is evil. No, loving our country is not evil.
Since the Nixon years, the same players have been guiding our country's future. Rummy, Cheney and HW were profiteering from Vietnam and have continued to do so with similar conflicts around the world ever since. The Carter years? A well crafted anomoly. It was literally said that we needed a peanut farmer in office in order to make the Republican machine look attractive again. Neutered from day 1, listed as one of the worst presidents ever, exit Jimmy, enter Reagan.... and Cheney ...and Bush...and Rumy.
Now come the Clinton years. No ties there, right? Rong! (intentional) several dubious business dealings between the Clintons and the Bushes have come to light over the years, including Jeb and Dubyah running coke from Florida to Texas through a Clinton owned airport in Arkansas.
We have an historic election coming up. The vote should really not about Red vs. Blue. The election should be about continuing with the powers that be or ridding ourselves of the political forces that have sponsored Saddam, Noriega, bin Laden, et al, and then turned their backs and painted them as vile enemies when they were no longer viable assetts and we requried a boogy man in order to stimulate defense spending. (**note I am in no way defending any of the above names, just laying it out like it's been played out.)
So what's it gonna be? Point your finger and scream "bad, you've all been duped"? Or work to take our country back, to make it something not to be ashamed of If it's the former, please just get out. You're only detracting and don't have anything to offer to the pot.
If it's the former, let's go kick some ass.

Respectfully,
Mal Carne
Tattooed Punk Rock Trash
(how's that for a shocker?)

Anonymous said...

i don't think our govt is evil, i think the voting electorate are just morons, easily sidetracked by dividing issues that mean little...how about some love for our govt, our democracy but some hatred for our country - a play on the typical marginalized bumper sticker....i hate my country,but i love my govt...really - i think 80% of our elected representatives are hard working policy folks...unfortunately its the extremists, the equivalent of religious zealots who get all the press.....i am so sick of the cynical attitude our country has about civics and govt. that is the defeatist attitude. recognizing the crappy decisions made by politicians and understanding that a square piece of fabric is simply that, is not defeatist at all.

fudgie the whale said...

7:51, wow....just wow. Where can I find a pair of those rose colored glasses?

Mal Carne said...

>>>errrr... last sentence should read "latter".
Got a little excited.

Anonymous said...

whatever, try getting involved in local govt and you will see how hardworking our politicians really are...

Anonymous said...

VOTE FOR CHANGE

Speaking of local government, today is a very important day for Seminole Heights. For the past four years, we have had leaders that neglect the needs, of not just Seminole Heights, but the entire city of Tampa. With Rose and Kevin moving to the county commission, we have lost our voice. By VOTING TODAY, and voting Randy Baron, we put a loud, educated, experience voice on the council.

Mary Mulhern is another great candidate running against Shawn Harrison. Mary offers a fresh voice to the council and will show more attention to city needs versus just New Tampa.

This is your opportunity to send a message to city hall. We have had 4 years of DO NOTHING IORIO and more than likely will have four more years of nothing. Her legacy will be that of talking a lot and accomplishing nothing. However, it is our fault as citizens to allow our politicians to do as they will and not as we want. For four years, we have heard that the city is working with FDOT for the revitalization of Nebraska, yet nothing changed. However, drive thru the Mayors neighborhood and look at all the improvements under construction. You take your life in your own hands as you drive down Kennedy, yet no work has been started (We all know our president is not the sharpest tool in the shed, yet he even realized how bad Kennedy Blvd was) You look at our Code issues and leaders and anyone could point out the lack of intelligence and progress, yet nothing has been changed. You look at the inner city parks and common areas, yet nothing has been done. WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS? We have a riverwalk park with no amenities. We have city properties that are not kept up. You have a minimum of 6 high level positions created to the city staff all with salaries over $100,000. You have out of control spending which forces higher taxes on us, yet our very own needs are not being met. You have crime raising, yet numbers beinf manipulated to show a decrease. You have major thoroughfares through the city overgrown, trashed and littered, yet no solid plan on maintenance.

While I know Iorio will probably win, she will be our Peanut farmer, we can at least rattle her cage and vote for her opponent today to let her know that there is a large population of constituencies that are not happy with her lack luster performance. If you look at her website, it does not show progress. It shows a woman that loves going parties, book readings, celebrations, etc. Not one that wants to work and build a great city. Like I said earlier, I know we are "stuck" with her for 4 more years, but maybe if we wake her up, she can show up to work for the last 4. My husband and I are voting for "ANYONE BUT IORIO"

KombatRock! said...

Mal,
Thanks for the didactic history lesson. How weird that you were as jaded as me at 18 when you seem as naive now as I was then. Obama's not going to save America, nor will any democratic candidate. We'll have the same neocon vs. neolib false dichotomy as we always do as the empire slowly collapses into fascism around us. Go kick some ass pal. I'll love it and hate it and leave it and miss it and come home and do it all over again til they take my passport away and ship me to Guantanamo.

living said...

Obama isn't going to "save" America but he is the first visionary for our generation (the under 35 crowd). We missed Kennedy, the civil rights era, etc but I do feel like he has the passion to start a similar era in politics. People get too caught up on what politicians "stand for". When was the last time a politician from either party was able to enact all of the things that he stood for? This isn't a good way to elect candidates. Instead, I just want smart thinkers, empassioned orators, people willing to get down and dirty with the academics of a policy decision. Obama might just be that man. That way, when tough decisions do arise, we can trust them to use good judgment and logic to come to a fair decision.

Anonymous said...

Um, if Eistein didn't exsist, then the H bomb wouldn't exist or at least not as quickly. Yet you quote him under the premise of peace?

Anonymous said...

Look again, he was quoted supporting the idea that patriotism is stupid.

Mal Carne said...

OK, screw it. I've just been at Randy's defeat party and I see how easily that voter apathy can turn a good thing south.

You're right Kombat, whenever I've been out of the country I've been ashamed to run into other americans. WE suck. WE'RE ugly. I once beat a guy with his own camera for taking flash pictures inside of Chiesa San Marco.
(on that note please don't pray in my gutter and I promise that I won't drink in your church)

We have a mass of indifferent whiners who want all things handed to them on a silver platter. If nothing changes, you will be right. Unfortunatly, I don't want to see MY country go down like that.

As for naivite, well, don't count yourself as an original thinker. I was once you and I've met hundreds of you since. If you can do nothing but start fires and watch the herd's reactions, then your soapbox has crumbled.

Do please enjoy your life as a citizen of this country for as long as it fits your purposes. But please do shut the F* up if you have no solutions.

Yer pal,
Mal Carne
More Jaded Than Thou.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:52... Looks like Rick F left his playbook next to your computer again.

Wow, upper level people make more than $100K a year? Scandalous? hardly. I wouldn't take any sort of upper management job with any company, government, or agency for less. If you want people with advanced degrees, experience, or skill you need to pay good, market wages, which happen to be in the 100K and up range.

And finally, just like Rick F, you ignore the fact that the majority of our taxes go to Tallahassee, not City Hall, and even with all the tax increases, we are still one of the least taxed states in the USA. If you want to complain about a tax that actually DOES go to city/county, complain about the 1% sales tax added on to the Florida 6% base. (and that'd be pretty petty but it's at least a valid target.)