Fellow Americans - Do you consider yourself a Patriot?

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Fellow Americans - Do you consider yourself a Patriot?

I'm curious what other Atheist Americans think about the question, are you a patriot.

I'm not here to judge anyone that doesn't.  I would just like to hear your views.

The short version for me is yes I am a patriot.  I love my country, and the fundamentals it was founded upon.  I love the melting pot that America is, and the freedoms we have (even if some are being infringed upon, and some seem to be illusionary.)  Most of what I despise about this country are things that are imposed on us by people who try to subvert what the founding-fathers set up, or who try to revise history.  I often wonder how far things will get out of hand before people stand up to the near theocracy gaining hold, what will it take, what will we have to lose.  The other fundamental thing that has to change if America is to buck the historical trend of the mightiest nation falling, is the power wielded by the special interests and lobbyists for corporate America.  I think capitalism is a good system, but checks and balances need to be used to prevent what has happened here lately.  We have the rich corporations getting greedier than ever, and causing a recession that hurts us all.

 

Not sure if Thomas Jefferson or Howard Zinn said this but:

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

"They always say the same thing; 'But evolution is only a theory!!' Which is true, I guess, and it's good they say that I think, it gives you hope that they feel the same about the theory of Gravity and they might just float the f**k away."


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Yes and no. I'm proud of the

Yes and no. I'm proud of the freedoms, at least when we actually have them, but as to our current government and the way most other citizens are (religiousity, lack of knowledge, extreme conservatavism, etc. ) I'm actually ashamed to be American right now. Maybe the recent elections and the big one next month will help change things, but I'm not too optimistic. I did hear a political analyst say this election may be the end of the conservative era (in the way the 1980 election was the end of a liberal era. ) Hopefully he's right.

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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

        I was born in Canada    53   years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I have lived   in Canada for the last  32 years!!!!!!!!!!!

        But I am a Patriots fans   and Tom Brady is my lord all mighty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Also pro-'merican;   yeah can't get thay-t Nah  Ang-land outtah me no  mattah  how  hard yeah tri-ya.

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Pats fan? Did you cheer for

Pats fan? Did you cheer for Darth Vader in Star Wars and for The big red eye dude in Lord of the Rings?

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Vader

Vader yes, big eye dood no, I also cheered for anyone to kill jar jar binks.


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I consider myself

I consider myself patriotic... actually I consider the separation of church and state tabling I do with the group to be one of my most patriotic activities.


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FUCK AMERICA!!!!! From the

FUCK AMERICA!!!!!

 

From the blog of one of my best friends:

For some reason I made the mistake of thinking that August was going to be my last month of reporting to probation. In actuality it's October and that is less than two weeks away. I am so excited that two weeks from now I will be a free man and can have my life back to do with it as I will.I can travel when and to where I feel like it without being accountable to anyone but myself.It's funny but we tend to take these freedoms for granted until they are taken away from us.

I have big plans and I will carry them out.I have come to the determination that I hate this country more than anything in the world.So,I am going to do some traveling in the near future to find a more suitable place to settle down in.Once I find the place where I feel the most comfortable and at ease I will then stay there forever and never return to this shit hole called America.All you patriotic fucking pricks can have this bullshit ass country and continue to believe the spoon fed bullshit the politicians continue to feed you.For it is the politicians that continue to rob you of your hard earned money.You work in this country to support a bunch of lying leeches that are doing nothing but bleeding this country dry of it's money and resources.Hell,you would think that we are being invaded by aliens or something.But the only aliens are those clowns in the White House,Congress,Senate,and the House of representatives.

Speaking of the House of Representatives, who are they representing? Surely not us the tax paying citizen. Since all of their work only seems to benefit them with the best medical benefits and life insurance policies this country could offer.Not to mention the bloated salaries and free vacations and limo rides at tax payers expense.This is the reason I don't bother voting since all it is is an exercise in futility and nothing more than a formality.The two things I hate most in this world are religion in all it's forms and politics.The two most dirtiest games the world has ever known.The fact that people believe in them even today says something of their cunningness.

 

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No.I am no patriot. This is

No.

I am no patriot. This is no country worth fighting and possibly dying for. The well-intentioned promises of being the land of the free and home of the brave died somewhere/sometime ago. Probably right after they were made.

I didn't need to read Howard Zinn to figure that out either.

Patriotism is equivalent to geographical racism. I hold only prejudice against canadians. lol. j/k

When one declares themselves to be the best country, it immediately informs the rest of the world exactly what it thinks of them.

It's as if we refer to any other nation we are debating in the U.N. assembly as "That one."

I could never be that kind of person.

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Darth, You remember

Darth, You remember ChatPilot from the asshat site? He's my buddy who made that entry.


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Citizenship being an

Citizenship being an accident of birth, I don't really care. I don't think there's anything special about my country apart from it being mine; my territory, my extended tribal faction. It's worth defending for no other reason--certainly not any maudlin bullflop about freedom or justice--but that reason is enough, just as my family being my family is enough. Outside of extraordinary circumstances, I'd probably feel the same way about another country, should I have been born into that one. The love of a country--a nebulous congregation of people sharing laws and geography--is incomprehensible to me. I do, however, consider myself a better (not to say more honest, but more flattering) representative of my country than 90% of the people out there for the simple fact that I READ BOOKS.

 


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Patriotism/Atheism not mutually exclusive

Yes, I am a patriot.  Yes, I am an Atheist.  It helps to have been a History major.

 

I was vague about my patriotism until I had the chance, at the ripe old age of 40, to stand on the green  in Lexington, MA.  What you see is a small typically middle-class village where people just like me thought they were being treated like second class citizens by their mother country and then went on to fight for their rights, and by extension mine, at great personal sacrifice.

 

The least one can do after experiencing such a visit is vote regularly since so many people gave up everything to bring us this  privilege.  Personally, I take great pride in our founding fathers and mothers.  I see nothing negative in having a sense of national identity.  This sense of national identity may just get us out of the economic quagmire  in which we currently wallow if it leads us to unite as citizens to achieve energy independence. 


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MattShizzle wrote:Pats fan?

MattShizzle wrote:

Pats fan? Did you cheer for Darth Vader in Star Wars and for The big red eye dude in Lord of the Rings?


Everyone cheered for Vader. Sticking out tongue

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Patriot My Ass

Do I love and/or am I devoted to this country? Will I defend it with my life for anything but the most practical reasons? Am I offended when someone wipes their ass with the American flag and then calls us all pigs?

Absolutely not. No way.

I do not accept that there is some grand entity that I should respect. There are things about this nation that are great, there are things about it that are horrific and barbaric. This particular nation has a history drenched in blood just like most every other country. There were some community minded decisions made at times and decisions based in nothing but open hostility for those who cannot protect themselves.

This country is psuedo-capitalist. It is psuedo-democratic. The government is (and always has been, FYI) burried up to it's neck in naked disregard for the lives of those it serves. We are a fat, consumer obsessed nation of weaklings and intellectual slobs.

Patriot? Hardly.

I recognize that this country has some good things going for it. Those things I will support. I will not make a sweeping statement of loyalty and slavery to this country or any other. To do so is an admission of voluntary delusion (at best).


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MattShizzle wrote:Darth, You

MattShizzle wrote:

Darth, You remember ChatPilot from the asshat site? He's my buddy who made that entry.

Vividly.

Like you, I do not mourn the demise of that site.

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Cool. Me and him still talk

Cool. Me and him still talk all the time. Still do with the Guy who cnanged his name a lot who was the fisherman and Crystal0249 from Louisiana.

I tried to get Dave (Chatpilot) to come here - he said he'd look but never participated.

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definition of patriot - "one

definition of patriot - "one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests"

I guess I don't fit the definition.  I don't support the authority of our government, and only some of the interests.  I do like the ideals generally espoused in this country - freedom, liberty, equality, etc.- but I don't see these ideals actually becoming reality here.  I would love to be a patriot and find it depressing that I can't really say I am one.

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


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Quote:definition of patriot

Quote:
definition of patriot - "one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests"

By this definition, I am not a patriot.  I am loyal to principles, not countries or authorities.

 

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
definition of patriot - "one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests"

By this definition, I am not a patriot.  I am loyal to principles, not countries or authorities.

Maybe I'm interpreting this in a broader sense than the definition implies but every time we obey a law are we not supporting the authority of the country?


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shelleymtjoy

shelleymtjoy wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
definition of patriot - "one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests"

By this definition, I am not a patriot.  I am loyal to principles, not countries or authorities.

Maybe I'm interpreting this in a broader sense than the definition implies but every time we obey a law are we not supporting the authority of the country?

No. We are protecting our own self-interests by obeying the law. It's just a question of how bad a law can get before it warrants disobedience.

Wouldn't you say?

 

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darth_josh wrote:No. We are

darth_josh wrote:

No. We are protecting our own self-interests by obeying the law. It's just a question of how bad a law can get before it warrants disobedience.

Wouldn't you say?

It seems to me like you would only be protecting your own self-interests  when the law is in your interest or the penalty is such that avoiding said penalty is preferable to the benefit of (insert regulated action here).  This is not always the case, is it?

 


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I'm game.Give me one.

I'm game.

Give me one.

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Quote:Maybe I'm interpreting

Quote:
Maybe I'm interpreting this in a broader sense than the definition implies but every time we obey a law are we not supporting the authority of the country?

Supporting, perhaps.  Endorsing, no.

I'd sell pot if it wasn't illegal.  Lots of money in it, and I don't care for the stuff, so no temptation to smoke the profit.  The only reason I don't sell pot is that I don't want to go to jail.  I don't support the law.  I just follow it for fear of my own freedom.

 

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Not only that you might

Not only that you might think some laws in particular and still not accept the authority of the government - most of us would refrain from rape or murder even in an anarchy situation (assuming you had enough to survive - many people WOULD kill to get food for themselves and their family if necessary. Though I can't think of a realistic possibility where rape would be necessary to survive. )

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i would argue that it is

i would argue that it is somewhat mutually exclusive to be an atheist and patriotic. at the core of being an atheist is the recognition that faith or anything that impedes your ability to question or doubt is negative. patriotism though admittedly usually to a lesser degree means that you have some amount of predisposition towards your country; that is an obstacle to objectivity.

 

don't misunderstand that does not mean that i don't think america has a lot of potential and it does not me that i am not motivated to everything i can to make as great of a country as possible. but i am not patriotic.

 

patriotism, nationalism, theism are all informed by faith.  faith is an attempt to make not thinking a virtue.


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crosspolytope wrote:i would

crosspolytope wrote:

i would argue that it is somewhat mutually exclusive to be an atheist and patriotic. at the core of being an atheist is the recognition that faith or anything that impedes your ability to question or doubt is negative. patriotism though admittedly usually to a lesser degree means that you have some amount of predisposition towards your country; that is an obstacle to objectivity. [...]

Atheism doesn't necessitate objectivity. A person could have wholly invalid and illogical reasons for not believing in any deities (not to neglect that there are so far only invalid reasons for believing!), but it suffices that they don't believe, for whatever reason (or no reason at all), for the definition to work.


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fair enough. but my larger

fair enough. but my larger point is that the many of the same arguments against theism and faith can be used against patriotism. 

 

and to be honest i am an antitheist so as such i should more accurately refer to myself as an antipatriot. and to prophylacticly avoid any fears that does not mean i am in anyway aggressively against america.


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crosspolytope wrote:fair

crosspolytope wrote:

fair enough. but my larger point is that the many of the same arguments against theism and faith can be used against patriotism. 

Sure. Either could be viewed through the lens of tribalism, or irrationality, or any number of common frameworks.

crosspolytope wrote:

and to be honest i am an antitheist so as such i should more accurately refer to myself as an antipatriot. and to prophylacticly avoid any fears that does not mean i am in anyway aggressively against america.

I'm not going to interrogate what you mean by that, but I'll offer that I think the smart Americans have been pushed to the fringes and convinced they're somehow un-American by the mayonnaise bloc; as though a) a country defines its people rather than vice-versa, and b) the founders of this country weren't some smart, skeptical, Enlightenment Age mofos, themselves.


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Maybe I'm interpreting this in a broader sense than the definition implies but every time we obey a law are we not supporting the authority of the country?

Supporting, perhaps.  Endorsing, no.

I'd sell pot if it wasn't illegal.  Lots of money in it, and I don't care for the stuff, so no temptation to smoke the profit.  The only reason I don't sell pot is that I don't want to go to jail.  I don't support the law.  I just follow it for fear of my own freedom.

 

Heh. On the other hand, if it were legal, it wouldn't be quite as profitable.

Still, this is one particular law that I have ignored my entire life. As a child, I was force fed lies about weed just like jesus and santa and so many other things. As I grew up, I found that 99% of all these lies were lies in fact. At which point, I lost respect for society and its ability to be reasonable. At which point, I cared nothing for the law. Though I got very good at concealing my activities, since I also have no desire to spend time in prison.

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Quote:Heh. On the other

Quote:
Heh. On the other hand, if it were legal, it wouldn't be quite as profitable.

Have you ever looked at the bank account of a cigarette company CEO?

 

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Not that I can recall, but

Not that I can recall, but my point stands. Governments make something like 90% of the profits of smokes. And the majority of the cost of weed is due to its illegal status.

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I was just being snarky. 

I was just being snarky.  You're right that it would be a lot more difficult to make good money at it.  Out of curiosity, do you think the cigarette market would be ok if pot was legalized?  It seems like everybody in Holland smokes cigarettes, so I'm guessing that's not a real obstacle to legalization in America.  That is, it's not the cigarette companies fearing that they'll go out of business.Feh... America is pretty much on track to ban smoking anything in any public place, so it's probably a moot point.   

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Hambydammit wrote:I was just

Hambydammit wrote:

I was just being snarky.  You're right that it would be a lot more difficult to make good money at it.  Out of curiosity, do you think the cigarette market would be ok if pot was legalized?  It seems like everybody in Holland smokes cigarettes, so I'm guessing that's not a real obstacle to legalization in America.  That is, it's not the cigarette companies fearing that they'll go out of business.

Feh... America is pretty much on track to ban smoking anything in any public place, so it's probably a moot point. 

 

I'm not really sure, but I've been keeping my eyes open for the answer the last few years. The primary reason we didn't decriminalize marijuana(not make legal, but decriminalize) in 2005(or thereabouts) is thanks to our neighbours down south, who threatened to lock up the border if it happened. There was actually a month or two where cops stopped arresting people for possesion(they took away their weed, but left them alone as far as the justice system goes) until the government could make up its mind. It was an election year, and unfortunately the bill died while the last Liberal government was making up its mind. Yet at the same time as all this, we are becoming one of the more smoke-free countries on the planet. Smoking is not legal within 9 metres of a public entrance or roofed area in the vast majority of the country. As yet, I've not seen the two paths converge, but I'm very interested to see what happens when they do. I'm hoping a balance is struck, because the process of criminalizing cigarettes is merely driving them into the black market. I remember hearing about smuggling going on while I lived in B.C., but when I moved to Ontario the government had killed it by dropping taxes on smokes. Those tax breaks have been repealed, and the vast majority of smokers now buy smuggled smokes for a fraction of the commercial value($10-15 a carton compared to $65+ a carton). But there are a lot of "black and white" world views in health and government today, and I'm not banking on my hopes.

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Personally, I prefer not to

Personally, I prefer not to come home smelling like smoke since I'm a non-smoker, but at the same time, I don't want to stop people from smoking, so to me, some kind of compromise would be nice.  The problem with bars and restaurants is that all the cool people hang out in the smoking section, so that leaves people like me in the same boat as if smoking was ok everywhere.

I honestly don't know what the answer is.

 

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No. In fact, by and large, I

No. In fact, by and large, I detest how North American countries are managed - and I detest how much of the public actively encourages this mis-management. Why?

Quote:
But there are a lot of "black and white" world views in health and government today, and I'm not banking on my hopes.

^^ This ^^

 

We just had an election up here, you guys are having one down there. What was John McCain's #1 platform (next to appealing to the cowboy in everyone by declaring himself, 'The MAVERICK!')?

'The Straight Talk Express.'

Consider the implication of such a platform. It effectively says, 'There's right and there's wrong, and anything in-between is just bleh.' Fellow Canadians, take a look at our own election coverage (especially the debate). Every time a hard question was posed, an opponent was expected to essentially whip-out a clever two or three word answer or a straight-up yes or no, with any further explanation treated as 'double-talk'. Yes, there's such a thing as dodging around a question; there's also such a thing as demaning unreasonably simple answers to complex problems, and that's what we have right now.

Worse, the public then effectively decides the same approach should be taken to much more complex subject matter (like, oh, I dunno... science).

 

That aside, I find patriotism in general to be repugnantly dogmatic. Arguing about how awesome your country is for it's principles is like arguing about how awesome Christianity is for Jesus's moral messages; the implication, then, would be that you couldn't find such principles anywhere else, which is absurd.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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As unpopular as it is to say, no I don't consider myself a patriot. Being a history major, looking at all these wars in which people died for their country, for what now seem like futile and ridiculous reasons, I just don’t see the point. Dying for an idea I understand. Maybe that’s what countries really are in the most noble (naïve) sense. I also see America as just another empire, much like the Roman one. As such, I know one day it will fall or fade away, nothing changes, only the uniforms and the weapons. While I love the ideas this country supposedly stands for, I despise what it has become. I was only in 8th grade when Bush stole the first election and 9/11 happened. All I can remember is growing up under his regime, I can’t really remember a different America, one where your phones weren’t tapped, and where “liberal” wasn’t a swear word. Now that I’m almost done with college, I’m seriously looking at moving to another country and giving up my citizenship. My generation will be the one that is going to have to pay off this TRILLION dollar debt…plus, I want crazy liberal things like….oh say…..healthcare.


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Quote:My generation will be

Quote:

My generation will be the one that is going to have to pay off this TRILLION dollar debt

That's 11 trillion. And I don't think you'll have to pay it off. The United States has spent the last 30 years borrowing copious amounts of money from foreign nations to maintain their spending habits. The only way that the US will be dug out of their remarkable hole is if someone buys the debt. The only people who would possibly want to buy off the American debt are the Chinese. After all, that guarantees them a large share of American assets. After all, just a few weeks ago, the Russians basically purchased Iceland. Eventually, foreign investors will just end up purchasing the United States (this is great for me!). The Americans don't want this to happen. I imagine that the short term preventive measure will be to print more money, which will just lead to inflation, and eventually the inevitable will occur.

You guys probably should have thought of this before the debt clock ran out of numbers.

 

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deludedgod wrote:You guys

deludedgod wrote:

You guys probably should have thought of this before the debt clock ran out of numbers. 

I know. We'll just borrow some more money and buy a bigger debt clock from the Chinese. lol.

None of this helps the Hang Seng either.

Borrowing money from China to buy things from China means one big IOU is all that is left.

Xie Xiye.

I mean really. If we can't pay the debt for our house then why would be expected to pay the debt for our imports?

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Quote:You guys probably

Quote:
You guys probably should have thought of this before the debt clock ran out of numbers.

I've spent years trying to explain to people that it's not just the American government.  As individuals, we have been living on imaginary money for a long time.  The government is a mirror of the people.  Most Americans feel like it's their right to own two cars, a big house, lots of land, a boat, and a summer home in the Hamptons.  What they end up with is three mortgages (two on the first home and one on the summer home), three year leases on two vehicles, two flat screen TVs on credit from Circuit City, and a personal line of credit over ten grand.

I've said it enough times before, I'm scared for the future of America, and I'd really like to leave, but at the least, I own most of my house, all of my car, and my restaurant is paid off.  I don't make jack shit since the economy went south, but I don't owe anything either.  My goal is to be completely out of debt within a couple of years.  That way, even if shit goes completely stupid, I at least have a place to live, and whatever money I make can go to food instead of the credit card company.

Basically, the American standard of living is a lie.  The average American with a nice apartment, nice car, and lots of cool toys can't actually afford all of that.  If the stock market corrected to what it's actually worth, that would be scary.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:Basically,

Hambydammit wrote:

Basically, the American standard of living is a lie.  The average American with a nice apartment, nice car, and lots of cool toys can't actually afford all of that.  If the stock market corrected to what it's actually worth, that would be scary. 

Scary?

Scary that paper really is just paper, but a house is a home for someone?

Scary that the price of food matches what it costs to produce and distribute instead of wild speculation of demand?

Scary that doctors charge less because they don't have to repay 20% interest student loans?

Scary that insurance executives must finally be forced to pay fair value on claims?

I don't see scary here. I see humanity struggling to present its best while the worst mourn the loss of their diamond poodle chains.

At the same time, I see a population of humans remorse in their decision to call themselves 'American'. And THAT gives me hope they'll forget the conditioned dream of the 'American Way' in favor of societal prosperity.

I'm just sayin'

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     I have to say that

     I have to say that I am whole heartedly not a patriot. I'm 22 years old, attending college. There is nothing that I see in this country that I would fight for, much less die for. Don't get me wrong this country has some good points but I personally believe that the bad out weighs the good. I personally believe we are in a country with the illusion of freedom. Granted, humans as they are today could not handle true freedom as the country would kill itself, but for a government to tell me what I can and cannot do with my own body? Where is the freedom in that?

     Is this really the "Land of the Free" when a government has the power to tell it's entire nation, "You cannot do this or you will be put in a cell for a determined amount of time" for things as trivial as smoking a joint?? Or even prostitution! Now don't get me wrong, i'm 100% against human trafficking, or any person forced into prostitution against their will, but the general idea of it. The fact that a man or woman cannot offer sexual pleasure and be paid for it simply because they are being paid for it? Suicide for crying out loud! It is illegal to commit suicide! Are these people serious? I know this is a little harsh but if someone has made up their minds to jump off a building, bite the bullet, or ingest a mass dose of pills the last thing that will be on their minds is "damn I wonder how long my corpse is gonna be in jail for this."

   Thats like passing a law stating "If you decide to leave this country and giving up your citizenship for good then we're going to take away your citizenship for good!"

   I understand that laws are important and necessary. I can go through a law book and agree with a lot of what is said. Laws against theft, murder, rape... things along those lines. But when I look at some laws and see that anal sex is illegal, in one state spitting on the street is illegal, gay/lesbian marriage is prohibited. It drives me insane. What right does any person have to say that you can't indulge in certain forms of sex between two or more people? What right does any person have to say that two people of the same sex can't marry? What ever happened to "all men are created equal"? ..oh but wait.. that one was never upheld to begin with anyway so thats a moot point.

   The truth of the matter is, I detest humanity as a whole. Now I do not make any prejudgments on any single person, that is not to say that I don't judge people. I judge every individual person based on their actions and their personal actions alone. When I say I detest humanity, I mean humanity over all. When I look at it's history, when I look at different nations including America, when I think about the never ending sea of human stupidity it makes me cringe. Without that love for humanity, patriotism goes right out the window with it.


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Hambydammit wrote:As

Hambydammit wrote:
As individuals, we have been living on imaginary money for a long time.

Yeah, since the banking system was invented a little over 600 years ago. That's not really a bad thing. Credit is good. Massive abuse of a well-meaning piece of legislation (mortgages for the underprivileged) resulting in a 50 trillion dollar black market is bad.

Hambydammit wrote:
Basically, the American standard of living is a lie.

... and has been so since America invented the suburb in a frenzy of post traumatic stress disorder following world war two. Now, I KNEW the suburbs were going to come back and bite us in the ass, but I figured I had until around 2011.

Back to the point: if "patriotism" (honestly, what a ridiculously nebulous concept) is something to aspire to, then so is joining all the other lemmings in their proud exodus to the outskirts of town to set up identical houses exactly 5 feet away from one another. In fact, so is the herd mentality and group think. Both patriotism. Both the source of the massive quagmire now known as North America.

At least there's beer.

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Haven't seen you in a while.

Haven't seen you in a while. Nice to see you're posting again.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote:Haven't

deludedgod wrote:

Haven't seen you in a while. Nice to see you're posting again.

Thanks. School and work and all that. But I missed the fun.

And I had to jump in, considering I have never understood the American obsession with being patriotic. The original ideals of the country are 100% Super Awesome, and I think many of us can agree on that (equality as a principle, keeping the church from influencing the state, attempting to free the populace, etc.) but the average American can't even stick to an exercise plan, much less become active in their own community's work toward those goals. The humility of other countries - which strikes many Americans as ignorance of industrial progress - provides not "patriotism", but "perspective".

Rallying behind a flag when we've really just figured out that we're all in this together might not be the best way to approach things.

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HisWillness wrote:Back to

HisWillness wrote:
Back to the point: if "patriotism" (honestly, what a ridiculously nebulous concept) is something to aspire to, then so is joining all the other lemmings in their proud exodus to the outskirts of town to set up identical houses exactly 5 feet away from one another. In fact, so is the herd mentality and group think. Both patriotism. Both the source of the massive quagmire now known as North America.

At least there's beer.

Herd mentality: yes
Community mentality: no

You hit the nail on the head (the top part Sticking out tongue) about the nebulous nature of the patriot concept. I was watching a video clip from one of the conservative ladies (I've lost her name) talking about how people were "anti-America". Whenever I hear people talking about patriotism as a *thing* I always cringe. If I am against America, un-American, un-patriotic, what does that even mean? Even saying someone is anti-America, what exactly does that mean? It implies that someone is against freedom, peace, love, or whatever other cliche you want to add on there. Is that the case? In the case of religious psychos who like killing people...probably.

In the case of Bill Ayers and his crew, there was a lot going on. He was certainly a violent radical which is it's own special kind of problem, but was/is he anti-America? I think he was against the patriotic idea of America. They were against the compulsory herd mentality. But were they against all of those actually good things? Like the freedom, peace, etc etc? Not likely. They were fighting for something that mainstream folks just can't comprehend. The desire to push this whole patriotism slogan is just a display of how well the media and government understand their people. We're as stupid as the day is long.

McCarthyism was, I think, the greatest example of patriotism run rampant in our countries history. That psycho had us running around chasing our tails, everyone searching under the sofa cushions for "patriotism". Lo and behold, no one could find it. However we did make a good play at causing as much harm to each other as we could, short of hitting each other with hammers.


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Hambydammit wrote:(..) It

Hambydammit wrote:

(..) It seems like everybody in Holland smokes cigarettes(...)

Quick Off-topic, but erm, in 2006, 28% of the adult (15+y years old) population of the Netherlands smoked. The number seems to be dropping rapidly lately since it was prohibited in just about all public places. Also, marihuana was never really legal, the laws about softdrugs just were not really being enforced. Currently, unfortunately, we have a rather conservative, staunchly Christian, government, which is attempting to turn back time to the 1950's. Also, the EU is pressuring NL to be less tolerant in this area, so I half expect the sale and use of softdrugs will be all nice and criminalized somewhere within this decade. So, want to get high without hassle and harassment? Better visit us soon, otherwise the party might be over!

PS and back on topic despite, technically, not meeting the criteria: Yep, patriot here, only I consider "Earth" to be my father (and mother-)land. And since the USA is definitely part of Earth, count on me to stand side by side with you, my fellow countrymen Eye-wink


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Quote:Quick Off-topic, but

Quote:
Quick Off-topic, but erm, in 2006, 28% of the adult (15+y years old) population of the Netherlands smoked.

Thanks for reminding me that sometimes things I remember are from 20 years ago.

Quote:
Also, the EU is pressuring NL to be less tolerant in this area, so I half expect the sale and use of softdrugs will be all nice and criminalized somewhere within this decade. So, want to get high without hassle and harassment? Better visit us soon, otherwise the party might be over!

It isn't even about me wanting to get high.  I don't care for the stuff, personally.  It's just been nice to know that the whole world isn't buying into the "War on Drugs."

A couple more points for Will and Josh.  (Wasn't that a TV show?)  Anyway, I'm not knocking credit as a whole.  I'm knocking a system where credit becomes the foundation for an overly inflated standard of living.

Josh, I would like to point out that as nice as it may feel intellectually to think rich people are going to get theirs, I've noticed that in most gigantic economic crises, the poor suffer the most.

 

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Pat Tillman was an atheist

Pat Tillman was an atheist and a patriot. If someone gives up a multi-million dollar contract to play in the NFL to join the Army Rangers that's someone who is patriotic, if not just a little bit myopic. We're a nation of nationalists.

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Hambydammit wrote: I'm not

Hambydammit wrote:
 I'm not knocking credit as a whole.  I'm knocking a system where credit becomes the foundation for an overly inflated standard of living.

But that's the point of credit. Indeed, of all banking. I think what you mean is "derivatives". That harmless looking word allows normal American Wall Street schmucks to become Magical Wizard Kings.

"What am I betting on now, oh mighty Financial Wizard?"

"You're placing a hypothetical future order on the future value of a hypothetical capital investment!"

"Oh most Mighty Financial Magician, you make me feel soooooo special."

I have no quarrel with futures (that is, a bet placed on the future value of corn or wheat as a farmer's insurance against price changes), but when these guys get together and invent new kinds of ways to frame something simple (Cf. "sub-prime mortgage" derivatives), that's criminal. Actually treasonous. I think "treason" is an excellent way to put it, since you really are screwing the whole country all at once unleashing bullshit like that.

If ANYONE in the United States is un-patriotic, it would be the guys trading securities they knew were purely paper. They made out like bandits, just so you know. it's the states, find one of them and sue the shit out of them!

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marcusfish wrote:Herd

marcusfish wrote:

Herd mentality: yes
Community mentality: no

That might just be the issue.


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Hambydammit wrote:Josh, I

Hambydammit wrote:

Josh, I would like to point out that as nice as it may feel intellectually to think rich people are going to get theirs, I've noticed that in most gigantic economic crises, the poor suffer the most. 

Mildly off the patriotism talk...

Been to the gas pumps during this latest drop? People quit driving all over this hell's half-acre because it was too costly. Some of them got so comfortable not driving that they probably won't change the new habit despite oil going back to the price it was when we had a growth in demand.

Besides that...

Who has the furthest to fall?

The poor are essentially used to it. I know this. I'm not as dirt poor as I once was, but that is a testament to my weakness not my perseverance. I accepted it as fact that I could not defeat ergo I must join. I'm using the system and the backs of others to keep myself above the suffering. I have some debt and I pay. However, when the system really corrects itself... don't think I won't be the first to PILE ON and put the keys on the counter or in the ignition and walk away.

You become conditioned to 'wanting' while 'needing'. Since we don't have enough money to buy mirrors we must look around at the environment in which we live for the cause of suffering. I looked and found what my perception, reasoning capabilities, and compassion pointed to as the cause for suffering. It wasn't humanity or environment. It was plain ol' ideology.

Religious, political, philosophical ideologies taught by parents; propagated by children; perpetuated by society. Capitalists are capitalists because they are conditioned by the ideology. I see this as a pat example of determinism. Right from the first time daddy gives you a dollar for an 'A+'

I also know that every group of poor people has their limit of belt-tightening.

Some of the greatest instances of human 'snappage' have occured in times both better and worse (relatively speaking) than this little blip of recession.

I called this current downturn back in April when the jewel of Tennessee capitalism saw its first negative month in 25 years. Wait until March '09. All the 'stimulus' and 'bailout' won't help the rich or pseudo-rich when the poor begin top feel comfortable with their new belt sizes. I'm sorry to say that even our Barack might not have the wherewithal to stave off the societal 'punctuated equilibrium' that I am predicting.

I can hear all the bullshit there is about the top 5% paying the most taxes to support the rest of society. One thing remains... what if the other 95% choose not to buy anything from Mr5% anymore? What if Mr5% can't find enough of the 95% to make more crap for profit? What if Mr.+Mrs.95% decide to move in their extended family and share what they already possess? What if Mr.+Mrs+Uncle+Aunt+Grandpa+Grandma+Brother+Sister+Cousin95% need something? They send the adopted black sheep child95% to go get just what they need from Mr5% at the point of a weapon. OR they produce it themselves using Mr5%'s old sweat shop for their own use and not his.

I'll leave it there before I get too preachy and nihilistic.

I think people will begin caring more for each other than they do for their country sooner than we think.

In any case, one could point to the fact that my own political ideology can be viewed as harmful as well. It becomes a question of lesser 'evils' - hurt the masses or hurt the rich.

 

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Patriotism like religion and

Patriotism like religion and militarisism takes away personal moral and ethical responsibility. You do something not because you consider it to be be right but because your priest, your officer or your politican  (your country) says its right and that is considered  moral in itself.

History has shown this is incredibly dangerous and terrible things tend to happen (genocide,war etc) . That is not to say that sometimes the individual may need to make ethical compromises for the good of the group (I'm no libertarian) but the individidual should always realise they are making these compromises and the group itself should at least recognise its members are having to make them.

Most people with the right pressures patriotism, religion, media or just plain apathy can commit or allow  acts of great evil (its not a minority it probably includes you!). Without these factors most people will not go around killing fellow human beings (a few do).

 

Well me being patriot, when England play football I live in this delusion that we will win the world cup regardless of our usual lack of talent. Its irrational it costs me and my country millions of lost hours of work not to mention damage to health (booze/fags) and buying loads of crap that no longer needs, but thats about as far as I will go. Now defending a decent society (whereever it is) thats something else but if my country ceases to be one it can fuck right off