It's not independence day in Australia where I live. We became independent on January 1, 1901, without having to fight for it. But Australians and Americans are brothers in important ways so in honour of the American occasion I flew Old Glory from the flagpole in front of my house yesterday and will do so again today.
Patriotism in America
I believe politicians are the number-one cause of gastro-intestinal disorder. I think this is true because I get gas whenever a politician outlines his or her vision for America, or when they speak to us about morality, or lectures us about patriotism. I think this is because if anyone should refrain addressing such weighty issues, it is a politician - mostly because beyond the fact they've convinced some number of back-home voters that they deserve to be an elected official, politicians aren't qualified to lecture me about any of these things - especially about Patriotism.
When Barack Obama lectured about patriotism the other day, in advance of our annual Fourth of July celebrations, I wondered about his moral authority in doing so. In the first place, I am not convinced that any politician has ever placed the good of the nation above self-interest. I imagine our attitude regarding Obama depends on what we are prepared to believe about his meteoric rise to national prominence. For example, we might wonder if self-interest or patriotism prompted him to run for the presidency a mere 143 working days after his election to the United States Senate; one pundit recently said, "I keep leftovers in my refrigerator longer than that."
Let us for a moment consider what patriotism should mean to Americans. First, it should capture the best of our national spirit. It is pride in our nation's many accomplishments even in spite of our shortcomings. It is pride in our culture, a desire to preserve our traditions, a particular adherence to our values, and it is how we identify with our fellow citizens. And let me add that contrary to the views of multiculturalists, "nationalism" is not a despicable concept. Our institutions should promote patriotism, not demean its character.
When we speak of patriotism, we should probably understand that it encompasses personal sentiment, institutional demonstrations, and aspects that I regard as authentic and verifiable. Patriotism can be intangible (crossing one's heart during the National Anthem, wearing a flag pin), and measureable (service to country and community). It can be intellectual, and emotional. In most cases, I think our feelings of patriotism stem from one or more of these, depending upon who we are as individuals, and our experiences. And because the concept of patriotism is nebulous, Barack Obama is probably correct to suggest that we should exercise care before calling into question another citizen's patriotism. A soldier who gives up his life for his country is an authentic patriot - there is no greater gift than that, but this does not suggest that another person, choosing not to serve in the military, is unpatriotic. It only demonstrates that personal patriotism is difficult to measure.
Mr. Obama suggested that our country should call upon every citizen to demonstrate patriotism through some form of national service. I do agree with this sentiment, but note that Obama has not seen fit to do that. I wonder if Obama proposes reinstitution of the military draft - now that he is past that point in his life. My point is that a true leader will not ask others to perform a task that he is not willing to take-on himself - the underlying value of having a commander in chief with some military background.....
We all know what patriotism should mean, but it is apparent that liberals have a concept far removed from American tradition; these ideological platforms do not emerge from fortune cookies. Human beings develop political policy consistent with their personal or collective philosophies. That said, I think it is fair and relevant to question to patriotism of those who conspire to divide our nation - and in doing so, pave the way for their personal advancement to the highest levels of our government. Politicians who pander to voters according to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, socio-economic status are dividers. Politicians who embrace "the world view" place foreign views over our own, nationally unique values; I cannot help but to wonder how a world-view encourages or reinforces patriotism among our people. Personally, I am offended when illegal aliens in California demonstrate under the banner of the Mexican flag. It is difficult to imagine a patriotic politician who encourages such activities in order to capture the Hispanic vote.
Obama's harangue on patriotism did not offend me; I only prefer that he know something about it. I love my country - spots and all. I do not think it is necessary to redefine our National Anthem to encompass a "black perspective," nor do I accept the view of liberals, which closely parallels the attitudes of the pre-World War II French. I do not agree with halfwits who claim support for troops, but treat them as victims. Flag burning may be an expression, but it is not a patriotic expression. Spitting on military recruiters may be a popular past time in Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein's state of California, but it is not patriotism. That said - I wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday.
Rush Limbaugh is going from strength to strength. Big update on the latest here.
Oh dear! Ann Coulter tells us lots of stuff about McCain that we wish we could forget here
There is a new blog from England which I think is rather fun: The Fat Bigot
Christian Conservatives Unite Behind McCain: "At a meeting Tuesday in Denver, about 100 conservative Christian leaders from around the country agreed to unite behind the candidacy of John McCain, a politician they have long distrusted, marking the latest in a string of movement that bodes well for McCain's general election prospects among the Republican base. "Collectively we feel that he will support and advance those moral values that we hold much greater than Obama, who in our view will decimate moral values," said Mat Staver, the chairman of Liberty Counsel, a legal advocacy group, who previously supported Mike Huckabee's candidacy. "There are people who came through the primary with very mixed emotions of the candidate," Staver continued, noting that many in the group had been in Denver to attend a separate meeting for pastors. "This event was to put those aside."
Red tape nobbles British police: "Frontline police sergeants spend almost half their time on paperwork and just 10 per cent attending the scenes of crime and incidents, according to a report published today. In it sergeants complained that they were swamped by paperwork related to targets and work performance. One officer said: "Click, click, tap, tap best describes my job; mainly recording performance figures." The finding that frontline sergeants were spending 45 per cent of their time on paperwork is highly embarrassing for the Police Service and the Home Office, which have often pledged to cut red tape to get officers out on the beat. Sergeants also reported that they were afraid to challenge scruffy constables in case they were accused of bullying and that they were not adequately trained or supported to supervise constables"
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)