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Almost Forgot!–Congratulations, France! Let’s Do It At Our Place Next TIme

Say what you want about Freedom Fries, the French know how to take care of this 1% problem.
french-revolution-guillotine

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Commentary

On Dan Snyder, The Redskins, Free Speech and Flag Desecration

Wow!  That’s a lot for one little article, eh?  A few weeks ago, I posted on my support of the effort to encourage Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins NFL football team, to change it’s name. A similar post planted elsewhere on the web stirred up a dialogue with a fellow I know from our high school days back around 1798.  I like this guy a lot, have a ton of respect for him and his perspective, agree about half of what he believes while the other half, well, I don’t agree with it.  In any case, I wanted to follow up on that original article with his response to me, and then–since it’s my Blog and I’m Emperor here, my response to him.  It’s good to be an Emperor–I always get the last word.

First, in case you missed it, the link to my original post–the responses follow.

https://oldroadapples.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/an-open-letter-to-dan-snyder-time-to-rebrand/

Randy said:  Chuck–I myself do not have an issue with this, with me being part Cherokee…it’s a name and they the Redskins do not use it in a derogatory manner. Why does PC have to come into play with everything? It’s call the 1st amendment…freedom of speech…freedom of expression…why do we not see more advertisements about desecrating the US flag…why is that freedom of speech & freedom of expression. IUP and a lot of universities caved…they should have just left the NCAA and joined the NAIA. The Native Americans have no problem living in tax free reservations gambling casinos and all that….this issue to a lot of them it is about heritage and to a lot of them it’s about money…if you can step on, piss on and burn my flag well then you can say redskin because the constitution that I took a life long oath to protect and defend says you can. Just because people are offended doesn’t mean it should be stopped…if it were that way we would have to just sit in our houses and do nothing not even read a book…that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it…Semper Fi!!!

— Randy

Then I said:

Until recently, I agreed with you on this specific issue, and I’m still pretty much with you on the PC thing, but I’ve given it a lot of thought–not just because of this video, but because so many people seem to feel so passionately about it that I decided it was worth further consideration, and what I came down to was this: it’s not about being “politically correct”–a term I don’t like because it’s emotionally charged, vague and subjective.

I don’t go to church nor subscribe to a specific political philosophy–in general my conservative friends disregard me as a raving socialist and my liberal friends tend to snicker at my rough edges and bluster while, I suspect, being privately horrified by my foul language, gross insensitivity, potential fascistic bend, and questionable intellect –not necessarily a bad thing on any of those counts. I try to live my life by a simple code that I’ve yet to refine, in terms of a definition, but the gist is to conduct myself in a way that lands me somewhere in the center of the being fair, being respectful, and being good.

I think this is an issue of respect.

As for the first amendment, I agree in principle–I would not support a call to force the Dan Snyder & company to change the team name by force or law, but I do support people using their freedom of speech to call on him to do so. And yes, I think he has the right to tell ’em all to go to hell, too.

On the totally different issue of flag desecration, I’m (again) with you on principle: I love this country (though not blindly, I love it for the worst of it as well as the best) and think it’s a foolish, useless, and disrespectful act (see, there’s my “respect” thing again). I understand it’s a protected right, but I still don’t like it. Nevertheless, I enjoy the irony that when some angry yahoo burns a flag he is undermining his own anti-American statement, because in that act of destruction he is proving the greatness of the nation he’s acting against, as well as the freedom and protections that nation provides him. Still makes me sick to see, of course. Does that make sense? I wrote a better explanation elsewhere–I’ll try to find it and tack it on later.

Finally, a flag-burning missive from “the old blog.”

I’ve noted, quite after the fact, that another crop of earnest, unwashed underclass rebels took time out from their busy days to torch tiny paper copies of Old Glory in the sun-dappled comfort of my alma mater’s iconic Oak Grove. Groovy, right?

I mean, I guess you’ve got to go with whatever gets you off, but I find flag burning to be just about the least productive, most self-indulgent and ridiculous form of self-pleasuring protest possible. It accomplishes nothing beyond annoying people who neither care nor understand what you think and wouldn’t change their minds even if they did. But it feels so good! Look how angry I am! See how revolutionary I feel! It’s a ME ME ME sort of thing. Might as well jump up and down and wave a pair of pink pompoms. ME ME Gooooooooooooo ME!

Burning tiny little paper flag replicas, fresh out of the old HP printer, advances the comedy from the ridiculous to the absurd. We’re talking protest and Monty Python skit. Reminds me of the 18″ stonehenge in This Is Spinal Tap.

My comment in the university paper sums up the remainder of my sentiment (conveniently cut and pasted just ahead, mostly because it’s a pretty paragraph that I like a lot). But I’m not merely trying to add some bulk to my blog, I’m gearing up (hear the grinding?) to include some thoughts on patriotism , protest, and participation in the democratic system and this seems as good a place to begin as any.

pposted 10/16/07 @ 12:37 PM EST

My view from the hard left: flag burning is a self-aggrandizing, unproductive burlesque that ultimately undermines whatever issue the action is intended to protest. It’s the polemic equivalent of a toddler’s tantrum. The irony of flag-burning is that the act itself reinforces the very ideals our flag is intended to represent. In burning our flag, one may be voicing his or her dissatisfaction or opposition, but he or she is likewise making a very profound demonstration of the the freedoms we are supposed to enjoy. Better to target our anger at those whose actions fail to live up to those ideals, who misuse the trust and power commended to them, than the symbol these despoilers stain.

Another new feature: an accounting of sounds. It’s like having a soundtrack. An imaginary soundtrack for the Most Widely Unread Blog on the Web.

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Commentary

How To Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened?

Here’s the official Chuck Junk read of the day…

How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions

Rev. Emily C. Heath Clergy, United Church of Christ

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/how-to-determine-if-your-religious-liberty-is-being-threatened-in-10-questions_b_1845413.html

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Commentary

Remember The Poison Chemicals Dumped in West Virginia?

Remember the company that poisoned the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians?  Maybe you do, maybe you don’t–at the time, the media was a lot more focused on Justin Beiber’s throwing eggs at his neighbors’ house than at a clusterfuck some have called the worst man-made natural disaster in the past hundred years.  But it did happen:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/09/us/west-virginia-contaminated-water/

And now that company has begun bankruptcy proceedings that may ultimately allow them to emerge on the other side unscathed–and their victims uncompensated.  Remember that?

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/22/3182911/freedom-industries-bankruptcy-bad-news/

Their chemicals are at my house now.  Really.  I wish I was joking; I really do.

http://triblive.com/news/armstrong/5548605-74/coal-chemical-rosebud

But I’m not.

The news came out today that Freedom Industries has moved the remaining material to a facility about ten minutes from my house–not in the watershed that provides my drinking water, thank the gods, but I wouldn’t be happy if my community pulled it’s water from the Crooked Creek-Kiskiminetas-Allegheny River watershed.  Better be safe and put a few gallons up on the shelf, folks.

Freedom–that operates locally as Rosebud Mining (a proudly non-Union mine)–brought that crap here after regulators nixed some of their other facilities for being just as dangerous as the run-down, outdated set-up that spilled into the river upstream from Charleston, WV.  Now that stuff is upriver from a million Westsylvanians.

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5576127-74/armstrong-casey-chemical

Nice.

And of course we can trust them to take care of things, right?  To not be sneaky slimeballs who, if an accident should happen, will stand up and do their duty to take responsibility.  Ah, yeh–sure.  Whatever.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/07/3264951/freedom-conflict/

Sigh.

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Commentary

2/11/2014: The Day We Fight Back

https://thedaywefightback.org/Screenshot_1

Of course, if the NSA isn’t dogging you like a lovesick teenager now, they sure as hell will be once you sign a petition or contact your legislators.

But what the hell?  Why not?  Think of it as being a part of history

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Best Damn Quotes #4: John Jay Chapman

“The battlecry of freedom may become a dogma which crushes the human soul”

–John Jay Chapman