Let Freedom Ring! But How About For Reals? (A 9/11 Remembrance)

I'm staying away from the radio and TV today. If I'm to actually remember September 11, 2001 on the 10th anniversary of its shock & horror, then I propose to actually do that and not have it "remembered" for me by fancy images, editing, and tear-jerking stories of the remembrances of others.

I know very well were I was, precisely what I was doing, and who called to tell me to turn on the TV only minutes before the second plane went in -- making all too obvious the nature of the horror that was taking place. And if that wasn't outrageous and awful enough, there was that brief respite where you imagine that the worst is over or almost over, that they'll eventually get the fires out...only to have things get unimaginably far worse and terrible in a hurry.

You want to know what I remember, what outrages me, and what I mourn above all else? It's the juxtaposition of the whole deal: 14th century, dirt scratching savages using the technology of science, freedom and industry to take out a symbol of what makes that technology, freedom and industry all go round: the free trade of value for value.

September 11, 2001 serves as a bitter reminder to me that America wasn't free before, and is less and less free each day I count since. Moreover, when the vandalism of symbols representing the freedom to produce and trade the fruits of your labor on terms of your own choosing is met almost exclusively by cheerleading for masters and their troops, I fear all is lost.

Then there's these, too:

So you'll excuse me if I'm not all weepy, hauling out the good 'ole "Red, White and Blue." I'm an asshole in that way. And while I certainly do mourn the entire tragedy and those who lost lives and loved ones in it, I morn far more the quotidian loss of freedom and livelihood you'll find as close to home as the local lemonade stand and in the rest of those links above.

And then there's this great and comprehensive post by the folks over at "The Primal Challenge." They've titled the post CHICAGO OUTRAGE: Switch from real strawberries to corn syrup, or get shut down, but in actuality, it covers far more than that in terms of the latest war being conducted on peaceful and productive American people by their masters and domestic troops: The War on Real Food.

You should go over and read the whole thing. Discussion in comments is welcome, and if you're bold enough, Tweets, Likes and submissions are certainly welcome and might get some of the celebrants to think a little deeper, today.

There's plenty of dead to mourn today, I agree. But let's also carve out a place to mourn the virtual death of freedom, self-determination and small trade.

Comments

  1. Absolutely correct.

    Except for one thing: you’re not the asshole. The people in government who exploited this tragedy to gain power and erode our freedoms are the assholes.

  2. Well said. I agree. The fear mongers (and I’m talking about what was our “government” then (the AWOL pretend cowboy)) set us on a road that we probably won’t recover from.

    • Jeff, my only quibble with that is that virtually any politician would have used it to expand power and influence. Maybe not Ron Paul, but it’s easier to take his positions sitting where he is. A guy with an R after his title does it in away that the R tribe finds appealing and a guy with a D after his title does it in a way the D tribe finds appealing. And in a way that the opposite tribe loathes, so as to always keep everyone up in arms as that is the true fundamental nature of the whole scam.

      A pox on ALL their houses. They ought to all find honest work.

      • Expand power and influence? Really. He took and is still taking MUCH criticism regarding the fact that he did everything he had to to defend our country. Okay you lefties, how about you roll over and get the shit kicked out of you, if I could I’d stand with him to defend our freedom.

      • Nancy, about the only ones I hate more than conservative republicans are liberal Democrat commies.

        The difference between us is only that I’m fooled by one less group than you.

      • It’s possible to despise the War on Terror, along with the War on Drugs and all the other ridiculous wars on nouns, and all the damage they have wrought without being a ‘leftie’. There’s plenty of blame to apportion to both Team Blue and Team Red on that bullshit. Think about that the next time a TSA agent has some fingers jammed up one of your orifices in order to make the world safe for democracy.

      • Yes. I don’t care why you are an asshole. I just wish you would take your fingers out of mine.

  3. Thank you for this Richard. In Death by Medicine, by Drs. Gary Null, Carolyn Dean, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio and Dorothy Smith, 783,936 people in the United States die every year from conventional medicine mistakes. That’s the equivalent of six jumbo jet crashes a day for an entire year.
    Yet we are so medicated, this gets right by us.

    • How can you even compare the two? Gees, not quite the same thing. This was an attack on our country, not a prescription!!

      • Nancy:

        Hope all the Rat Terriers are doing well.

        Comments here might become a bit frustrating for you on this subject. I long ago divorced from the notion that I am morally a citizen of any “country.” I prefer Americans, and some of the “wetbacks” who come overer the border or fly in from Eastern Europe & stay are the best Americans I know.

        Perhaps naive, they remember an America that was.

      • Richard I love you! LMAO!!

      • It’s been many years since I said it the first time: America exists all over the world. It’s a state of mind, not a border.

      • Homogenization is not good. And I thought you were “paleo”…..tsk. tsk.

      • I’m talking about individuals. Do you get it? Far from collective and farther from homogenous.

        Or did you want to look clueless?

  4. Aaron Curl says:

    Misty! Nice info! I love and feel love for those who died on 9 11……..do i want to see it on tv? NO Let the past go and remember the love of those who fell! Love is how we can grow. We can not move forward if we constantly remember the dead. Let us love and remember how the fallen lived…not how they died! Remember the love and lives of the fallen…not the deaths! Peace to all.

    • Aaron, you raise an implicit but salient point.

      The first and second para of my post is really an indictment on the media. In this technologic age, they really have no shame at all. The mind boggles at the ad revenue they are making. They are free to do it, but I exercise my prerogative to ignore it. Blood money, really.

      I just find it disgusting. Now, that said, I really don’t know: have any offered to donate their ad revenues over the last week to some cause of their choosing? But I have tried not to pay any attention.

      I like simple, real, modest and dare I say primal remembrances.

      • I don’t have the cable nor an antenna, I use the television to watch DVDs and that’s it. I haven’t watched TV in years. The thought of sitting in front of the tube at a precise hour to watch some stupid show/propaganda interrupted by frequent pauses for advertising is just alien to me now. My TV watching days are over.

    • Aaron, it’s easy for you to say to not remember the dead and how they died. I wonder if you would feel different about this if your family members were in the towers that day. That “14th century savages” took your family’s and many other families lives. We’re definitely remembering how they died, you betcha, the heroes that gave all, the horror of the attack on our country.

      Call me naive, I don’t agree that we’re less free than we were in the days before the attack.

      So don’t watch TV, whatever. I’ve seen some beautiful images to honor the fallen, tributes, I guess it’s my way of grieving, and yes, I think we should grieve now and forever. Reminders of what the “savages” were capable of doing and reminders of the heroes that gave it all to attempt to save lives that were lost from a terrorist attack.

      • I don’t Begrudge anyone’s grief.

        But it’s your grief, not mine, and at a point, a level of obscenity gets reached.

        No one will stop you from keeping it to yourself.

      • Actually I was keeping it to myself, and I do keep it to myself, just responding to comments on this blog. Do we have to agree with you? Oops I guess we do, it’s your blog, point taken.

      • Aaron Curl says:

        Believe me….I mean no disrespect. My mom died when I was 13 right in front of me…..do I want to remember every year how she died? NO NO I dont. Instead I remember how she lived! I love her….always did…always will …….REMEMBERING HOW ONE LIVED IS DIFFERENT THAN REMEMBERING A DEATH! This is a starting point of how to live a life…..you can’t successfully live a life if you constantly live in the past! Good day.

      • Yes. Dwelling on the past brings stagnation, frustration, and (if we are really unlucky) deleterious revenge (which hurts us at least as much as those whom we punish).

      • Aaron, you definitely have all my sympathy, there’s really a tragedy, and I’m sorry.

        I really think this is a somewhat different scenario. This was an attack on our country, as a result, 1,000′s of people died. I feel fairly certain that individually, the people that lost family, friends, whatever, honor their deceased loved ones the same way you honor your mom.

        Of course I can’t speak for everyone, only myself, I don’t live in the past at all, but when 9/11 comes each year I definitely reflect, grieve and honor those who died.

      • Two thousand died in the Twin Towers in the United States.

        In Iraq – which had NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11 – half a million died and 2 million were made refugees as a consequence of the American attack on that sovereign country.

        So you can take your 9/11, put it in a pipe. Grief. You have no grief only the desire to ruin other nation’s lives.

        How dare you call others savages, fascist in a skirt?

      • How dare I? It’s WAY easy ’cause that’s what they are, just like Richard said, 14th century, dirt scratching savages, bite me.

        This is my last response to you.

  5. My point really Nancy is that we have terrorism we’re choosing to ignore every day with the medicine for profit not health design we’re currently working with.

    Since the beginning of time and through the end of this Earth cycle, we will have savages of many different types no matter the century.

    I believe that we truly become so comfortable in our own little environments that we forget just how vulnerable we really are each and every day. From terrorism to solar flares to the tilting of the earth, we truly are never ever safe and as Richard states, it’s ignorance of borders rather than “one world”.

    I think what really needs to be remembered is the illness those responders are currently falling to.

    May everyone be at peace here and understand the views of others while they might not agree, they are owned by us as individuals.

  6. I’m still waiting for America to become America.

    • “America has left the building.”

      • It might have left your building Richard but it hasn’t left mine – “American the Beautiful,” yeah, rock on!!

      • Nancy. I have lived in two other countries over a span of 8 years and travelled to about 30 others on that time.

        American, on balance, is the least free country I have lived in or visited, except China circa ’86 and the USSR circa ’90. Interestingly, we have more citizens behind bars per capita than USSR and last I checked, were seond only to China.

        In terms of non-violent citizens, we lead the world by far, i.e., non violent drug offenses.

        But Let Feedom KoolAid Ring!

      • Live long enough, and it will. The more you love something uncritically, the more devastating the inevitable betrayal is. If you make America an impossibly pure angel, you will eventually see her as an impossibly cruel demon.

      • Nothing’s perfect, call me naive, I prefer to live positively.

    • That’s the problem, you’re waiting instead of stepping up and making a difference. You can, we can, quit sitting around and bitching and do something about it. Or worse case – LEAVE!!

      • Spiro Agnew always gets hauled out in these sorts of conversations, on way or another. Eventually.

        I know it’s obtuse. No one will get the reference.

        A clue: spoken like he owns the place.

      • Yeah, I know. At least she hasn’t brought up Somalia yet.

      • Yep you’re over my political head, which really isn’t hard to do. I commented on 9/11′s 10th anniversary today in response to the original blog. Your little inside jabs about Spiro Agnew and Somalia mean nothing to me. If you’re referring to me thinking I own the place? Alrighty then, whatever works.

      • Agnew was famous for using the love it or leave it argument especially re Vietnam protests.

        Somalia is used as a reductio ad absurdum strawman argument against libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism.

        In its most idiotic form they are combined, “If you don’t like it, move to Somalia.”

      • Aaron Curl says:

        Nancy…..basically its obvious to see you are either a 10 year old child or you truly know nothing about life. Problem is……it’s so easy to learn. Empty your cup and expand your mind. It’s easy.

      • Ah, you got the reference, Sean. Almost nobody ever does. As far as Somalia goes, I’ve seen a number of articles in the past few years about stiff economic growth. May be something here:

        http://www.google.com/search?q=somalia+economic+growth&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

      • Holding up Somalia as example of anarchy is stupid, though. Just because there’s not one centralized government doesn’t mean the warlords don’t rule with an iron fist in their little domains, imposing harsh Shariah law coupled with the corruption which comes from a military dictatorship.

      • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA………. you’re good Aaron, however, I’m far from 10 years old, very far. I know much about life Aaron, let’s not get into a pissing contest ’cause I’d probably lose that, but I will win over you regarding life. Politics? No. Life? Yes. I’ve been around the block more than once, and have experienced things I wouldn’t wish on my worse enemy. Don’t talk to me about life kid, you’ll lose, or actually, you could learn a lot from me, empty YOUR cup, expand YOUR mind, it is easy.

      • So anyone who doesn’t buy into your fascist koolaid must go into exile?

        Richard, I’m doing my best to avoid expletives here.

      • Alec:

        It’s open ground and I am not censoring anyone on topic, and hell, not even the 9/11 “truth” folks. Nancy is an old friend of mine, so I’m biting my tongue and sitting it out.

        You should chalk it up to the woeful mass ignorance of Americans. They have had it so decent they can afford to disregard the rest of the world, which is fine, until others start to get killed and lives ruined and it’s seen as a “fight for Freedom.” What Lenin and Stalin could not ultimately accomplish with an iron fist, America has accomplished by sheer marketing: isolation.

        There are many like Nancy, who believe the American experience to be above reproach and beneath anything but utter global adoration. In a sense, there are elements of truth to that in that America has traditionally been a place of relative economic freedom — hence, the American Dream. But I think it’s time to stand up and realize that economic freedom isn’t everything, when there’s almost no place left in America where you can have a drink and a smoke outside on the sidewalk.

      • Richard, thanks for your patience with me, I realize I’m not as glib and profound as your bloggers here and I’m WAY politically ignorant, but I’m certainly open to others’ opinions and I’m willing to learn.

        That said, I really miss you and Bea and the furr-babies, how do we get together? When we were getting ready to move our world was rocked with the sheer horror of it, leaving my beloved ranch after 36 years, I can’t tell you. However, we’re out now, living in a drama free, stress free, peaceful environment. I’d love to share it with you, it’s paradise.

      • Alright, so forget my last comment. Perhaps youll understand when you see , my latest post. I have been out of sorts for the last two days, with Bea’s support.

  7. Well, anyone morning for the 10′s or is it 100′s of thousands of collateral’s from the war on terra?

    • Gazza

      Nope. You may have noticed I didn’t mention US or allied troop deaths, either. Or starvation deaths from recent drought & famine, deaths from earthquakes and volcanos and tsunamis, or from various atrocities being committed on the African continent and so on.

      I kept it to a specific context, and I don’t believe that because one expresses sorrow over one death there’s something note quite right unless he expresses sorrow over all of them.

      The principle point is the myopia Americans seem to possess about living in a Free Contry and that 9/11 is all about how our Unparalleled Freedom is such a resentment to the rest of the world that they are motivated to kill us. Whether or not there’s any meaningful truth to that, which I doubt, incidentally, America is not a Free Cpuntry and hasn’t been anything close for a very long time.

  8. We’re mourning, not in the “morning” but all the time, and you? Are you “morning” for them? Sorry, spell check won’t work if it’s a real word, not just spelled wrong.

  9. As with all unspeakable tragedies, personal or social, the worst of it comes when one is forced to surrender to the fact that their occurrence is far from rare.

  10. Some people make a virtue out of tears. If you don’t cry about it you’re not a good person. I have to agree with richard and others, there are greater tragedies than 911. As an european, what concerns me more is the enormous US debt and what would happen if the US really goes bankrupt. The suffering then would be far bigger than 911 and no terrorist to blame.

    • The real criminals behind everything seriously wrong with modern America (politicians, banksters, corrupt leaders of industry) haven’t broken any laws, except the unwritten code of human decency. They refuse to take responsibility for any mistakes, at all. They just socialize the risk, and then blame all uncomfortable consequences on their enemies and arch-competitors.

  11. I never get the whole “Love The U.S.A.” thing, I don’t know how it is possible to love an enormous geo/political entity, we’re taking 300,000,000 people, 50 states, the better part of a continent.

    I’m supposed to love all of that? I think I am capable of loving a very small parcel of earth, like a local pond, but I can’t love millions of square miles. Hell I don’t even love the county I live in, there are over a million people in my county and some of them are real bastards.

    • Rob, I think it’s a state of mind, we “love” our country, our family members have fought for her, for our freedom. There’s much beauty here, many really kind, loving, happy, positive people that are true Americans, not naysayers. Of course there’s no perfect country, and America has problems, but all things considered this is a wonderful place to live. For fear of being compared to Spiro Agnew, I SO wish people that don’t like it here would leave.

      It’s what you make of it, Richard said people remembering what it used to be like, yep, there were simpler times, but they’re gone now, make the best of it. Since apparently we’re not in control of what happens here, anger and hatred just aren’t the state of mind I care to have.

  12. Kevin:

    I don’t think any innocent or their loved ones should have to “get in line” for someone to be sorrowful or outraged at their death. If you don’t believe an individual should be held accountable to the death for the actions or crimes of their country or state in the case of the Middle East and elsewhere, then why not the innocents in America, too?

    And yes, there are American cheerleaders for American actions and crimes, as you call them, just as there are Middle Eastern cheerleaders for the actions and crimes perpetrated by those states and organizations that enjoy refuge and even protection within them.

    And ironically enough, if America was actually a free country, free enough to actually decide how their own money is spent, I’m guessing they’d rather be spending it at the local mall, restaurant or car dealership than in military police actions across the globe.

  13. I remember 9/11 every day. I remember that people, myself included, are dangerous morons, liable to believe ridiculous nonsense and to express those beliefs with wanton violence. I remember my own naive faith in God and country, and reflect that I was once as fanatical and irrational as the most raving Islamic terrorist.

    Not too many years ago, if my God (or my commander-in-chief) had ordered me to ship out to the Middle East and shoot up Muslims there, I would have gone, and I would have pulled the trigger. Of course I would have lamented that my victims couldn’t see the light and join God’s side (embracing the “freedom” that I brought at gunpoint). I would have said that my ideals were high, because they were. They were so high that I had lost contact with more mundane things, like the value of forgiving others and living in peace. I was so committed to freedom as an ideal, that I was willing to deprive myself and others of it in real time. I would give up my ability to make moral decisions (to kill or not to kill, to forgive or not to forgive). I would kill other people for specious crimes that boil down to nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (If you had the misfortune to be born an Iraqi or an Afghani, you run the risk of dying violently. Hey, at least you die “for freedom.”) I had no more moral integrity than those criminals who blew up the Towers. And I was a blue-blooded American (descended from people who immigrated before the Revolution).

    9/11 was the beginning of a really painful realization for me. I slowly began waking up to the fact that my ideals, like the ideals of those terrorists, are toxic. Today, I am still American. But I am no longer a tool that others can manipulate with the word “freedom.” I don’t kill on command. I don’t let anyone take away my moral responsibility for whatever it is that I happen to be doing. I will never be as naive, as thoughtless, or as stupidly patriotic as I once was.

    • Joesph: your comment gave me a lot of hope. Socrates said an unexamined life is not worth living, but modern living encourages sheep-like behavior. Thank you for breaking out of the herd.

  14. Murder convictions upheld against vegans in baby’s death

    http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/murder-convictions-upheld-against-1173904.html

    • I can’t really say I agree with that. They clearly didn’t intend to kill their child. It’s ignorance and stupidity. Manslaughter would be a more appropriate charge and conviction.

  15. It’s tragic that all those people died on 9/11 and I can respect the rememberance of that. However, I can’t go beyond that and “celebrate” the event that accelerated the erosion of our freedoms and bankruptcy by unnecessary wars. If its true that they hate us for our freedom (which I doubt), then the terrorists have succeeded in getting our government to distroy our freedoms. The democrats want a nanny state and the republicans (with the exception of Ron Paul) want a police state. Both parties are enemies of our freedom.

    Remember the fable of the frog in the pot. Get yourself a thermometer to monitor the temperature.

  16. Richard, I think your posts on freedom are my favorite. The post where you said that Independence Day is about telling the government to fuck off has stuck with me. Any thoughts on how we regain our freedom? Voting is basically a waste of time.

  17. Nancy- I’m afraid you’re way off mark here. The USA’s foregin policy since WW2 has been nothing short of inhumane and sociopathic. The amount of ‘collateral damage’ (euphamism translation: death of INNOCENT CIVILIANS) caused by America runs, literally, into the hundreds of thousands. The reason the USA is generally viewed with such disdain throughout the world is because of the perceived lack of respect for innocent human life. I’ve visited the US several times and it appears to me that, genearally speaking, Americans aren’t aware of the goings on around the world. There is virtually no foreign news and the covert military operations of the 80s and 90s weren’t widely reported. I suppose ‘Children blown to pieces in random cruise missile attack’ isn’t great viewing while you’re gulping down 6000 waffles for breakfast.

    The USA has basically run a fantastic PR campaign for the last 50 years. Most Western European nations have more freedoms in practice than Americans. Americans are just fed the lie that they’re the freest country on Earth. It’s proaganda Goebbels would have been proud of.

    My view is that, in this day in age, we’re all human- not members of a particular country. Nationality is becoming irrelevent. It’ll be interesing to see how the nation-state pans out over my lifetime (I’m 24 now). My guess is that it won’t exist in it’s current form. I imagine a more globalised world.

    One final thought; as a European, I find it bizarre that US schoolchildren recite the pledge of allegience every morning before school. It conjures up imagery of Nazi Germany. Something like that would NEVER be considered over here. It’s creepy and bordering on brainwashing. I’m curious to know if any Americans have voiced dissent over this or if it’s just part of everyday life?

    This is my first comment so I’d just like to say thanks to Richard for a really helpful and interesting blog.

  18. When you are the one having to carry the big stick ’cause no other country will, collateral damage is very unfortunate. The people saved far outnumber the ones that got in the way. Why did they get in the way? Because the assholes of their country are using them as human shields. Our opinion, the U.S. should stay at home and let all the fuck heads kill each other and destroy their country, fuck ‘em. What part of sociopathic, i.e., anti-social, is relevant here when we’re helping everyone in the world? No one helps us when we have a catastrophe, they don’t like us? Alrighty then, they sure have their grubby little hands out when they need help, don’t they? Maybe you need to investigate the availability of foreign news on TV, it’s there, we could watch Al Jazeera News if we wanted to, we have absolutely no interest in what Muslim fanatics have to say. HA, they still think we have a BP oil problem in the gulf – it’s been over for months!!

    Please be specific regarding the freedoms the European nations have that we don’t have. Your comparison of our “PR” as it would relate to Goebbels and Hitler’s sociopathic agenda against the jews has no relativity in the U.S.

    A globalized world? A Russian, a German, a Frenchman? All having no country of their own? Right.

    As far as the Pledge of Allegiance, we love our country and pledge our allegiance to her. We attempt to teach our children a sense (not brain washing) of honor, respect, roots, patriotism and love of home and country.

    Whatever country you’re from, our fathers and uncles, was there kicking German ass, if it weren’t for them you’d be speaking German now.

    • …… unless of course you’re Jewish………………

    • The Pledge is to the flag and republic, i.e., a piece of cloth and a government. Also, there’s the imaginary god, which seems a bit odd to force upon people in allegedly secular schools.

      Children are made to say it by rote, long before they have the capacity to understand the words, much less the mental maturity to decide if they agree with the ideas laid down by men who owned other people centuries ago and decided that moral questions ought to be put up on the auction block of mob whim.

      How different is this loyalty oath than the mindless pledges that German, Russian, North Korean, Chinese, etc. children were/are forced to recite to authoritarian rulers?

      Shouldn’t the people who teach children in the “Land of the Free” be better than that?

    • What’s wrong with speaking German, Nancy? Or French.

      Is there something intrinsically better about English or English speaking people?

      How is your eugenics program going?

      • Gees Alec, you totally missed the point, and I’m not going to dignify your remark with a response, except – WHATEVER!!!

        This is my last post to you, oh wait, you have one more I want to comment on.

      • Nancy:

        You should wait, really.

        Most of the hundreds of commenters I have, out of the 50-60 thousand unique readers I have, have been there, done that, in various ways.

        We are laughing at your childish ignorance and spouting of bromides that are so ridiculous it’s hard to imagine that you are so sheltered, by way of charitable explanation of cause.

        Do you know why we laugh so hard? Because so many of of used to be just as ignorant and flag waving.

        You’re a friend, but you persist, and this is my living room. You are at this point worse than a drunk I need to send on his or her way.

        Your have become a bore and ther’es not a single thing you have said everyone hasn’t heard before and dismissed as fucking stupid a long long time ago.

        Now go say your prayers to those you serve, slave.

    • Nancy, I’ve got to say that you seem to be a particularly brainwashed individual. The US, like any other country, acts purely in it’s own interests. US foregin policy is driven by access to raw materials or to gain economic advantage. Please don’t say you’ve fallen for the ‘America is the good samaritan of the world’ line. All the evidence shows otherwise. It’s embarrasing.

      Don’t get me started on the fallacy that the USA single-handedly won WW2 (granted, they pretty much took on the Japanese on their own). Ask any qualified historian and they will tell you that Britain and the Commonwealth would have beaten Germany, although it would have taken much longer. It does get a bit complicated when you factor in US weapons and food supplies to the UK but the overwhelming opinion says that if the US hadn’t entered the war, Germany would have lost. I will concede that the US pretty much kicked the shit out of Japan.

      Maybe sociopathic was the wrong word (it seems it’s used differently in Britain- it’s synonomous with psychopath). I was merely getting across that the actions of the US government showed no empathy or regard for others. To suggest that it was simply a matter of countries using civilians as human shields is embarrasingly naive. You think that every civilian death at the hands of the US was because civilians were put in harms way? What human shields were used when the US napalmed village after village in Vietnam?

      By foreign news I was referring to news coverage about foreign countries, not literally foreign news stations.

      My comment about the PR campaign and Goebells was about propaganda. It was very noticeable to me that there was a tone of ‘we’re the freest and best country in the world’ when I’ve visited America. It’s reinforced on news channels, chat shows and most media outlets. It’s obviously not a government coordinated campaign but my point is that the zeitgeist of the country keeps reinforcing biased untruths about your country. The US is not the best country in the world. I completely respect the economic success of the US, and the fact that a lot of high technology today was pioneered by the US (computers, miniturisation, etc- high technology generally). However, despite it’s immense wealth, the USA has the highest rates of scientific illiteracy, obesity and unhappiness in the develped world. Further, the USA consumes over a quarter of the world’s natural resources (and historically has contributed far more carbon and pollution to the atmposhere than every other country, barring India and China, put together), despite containing around 5% of the world’s population. It’s a disgrace!

      Regarding the freedoms Europeans have… Well, at the very least we are AS free as the US. We’re not socialist as American news anchors seem to believe. The only thing I can think of that seperate the UK from the US is a ban on guns over here, but we’ve never had that culture so we don’t miss it. Americans, as I’ve said, are generally less happy than Europeans and work many more hours a week. Europeans have a lot more leisure time so, in a sense, that’s living in a more free society. Also, a lot of European nations have Proportianal Representation and AV voting systems, which shits on your two party first past the post, richest bastard wins contest you call a democracy.

      It’s intereting to me the cultural bi-polarism of America. On the one hand you’ve got Bible bashing fuckwits who are a disgrace to humanity and on the other hand, the country/culture has produced some incredible scientists, entrepreneurs and artists. It’s fascinating.

      It sounds to me that the kids don’t have a choice about the pledge in reality. It seems to be convention that everyone says it. It’s a subliminal, sneeky form of brainwashing. What else can you call it? If I told my lad (he’s 2) to recite a daily pledge of allegience to McDonalds, he’d no doubt form an affinity with the chain. It is so clearly brainwashing I can’t see how you can deny it. A better and more advanced society would encourage pride in a shared history in better ways than getting infants to learn worship-language by rote.

      Anyhoo, this is turning into an incoherent rant now so I’ll sign off. Good talk.

  19. The flag is an emblem, a symbol if you will. Every nation has one, it’s a symbol of national pride, ever watch the Olympics? Actually there’s probably no difference in our pledge and other countries pledge, so? Imaginary God? Alrighty then, I can see where you’re coming from. I don’t know about your last paragraph, I suppose as children mature and are educated, they can make those decisions for themselves. I guided my son, he’s a great man with two children of his own. He was allowed to make his own decisions, I gave him the structure, education and information so that he could make them for himself.

    • Every nation has one…the Olympics…other countries pledge…

      Appeal to Tradition Fallacy.

      Imaginary God? Alrighty then, I can see where you’re coming from.

      I don’t believe in fairy tales and I think it’s harmful to try to force children to believe them. Teaching children religion from an early age distorts their view of reality—they tend to look towards magical thinking rather than dealing with reality. It sets them up for cognitive dissonance and/or disillusionment in the reliability of teachers and other adults who are supposed to be fonts of truth and wisdom. It sometimes creates monsters who engage in cruelty and even murder in the name of their religion, from persecution of homosexuals to suicide bombings. It fills good people with doubt, fear, guilt, and shame based upon “sins” which involve healthy, moral behavior or natural urges and thoughts. It hinders genuine ethical development, as many are motivated by rewards (miracles/heaven) rather than an actual devotion to respecting the rights of other people for rational reasons. I could go on, but better yet, you should read Christopher Hitchens, who has a razor sharp wit and a wonderful ability to detail the evils of teaching religion to children.

      I don’t know about your last paragraph, I suppose as children mature and are educated, they can make those decisions for themselves.

      So why force them to mouth the words by rote before they are old enough to do so? I’ve been told that there is a famous line by a Catholic about children attending parochial schools. To paraphrase: give us a child below the age of __ and we’ll give you a Catholic. Children are easily misled, which is why unscrupulous people like religious indoctrinators or government loyalists target children with rote pledges, songs, poems, etc. to catch them at a young enough age that even when they reach maturity, part of their underlying programming tends to always goes back to those lessons.

      I still fill up with emotions when I hear some gospel songs, see a movie depicting a miracle, or watch some patriotic display involving flags. Though, when I examine something objectively, like the Pledge of Allegiance, I apply reason to identify what is wrong, even if my emotions may conflict.

      What makes America a special place is the unique and revolutionary shift from tradition to the individualism brought to the forefront by the Enlightenment. Aside from the obvious faults of the outcome of the American Revolution (slavery being the worst), Americans represented free people who tried to live their lives on their own terms, not beholden to any potentate. This independence and free thought are characteristic of Americans. All the hoopla over democracy, wars, and government “accomplishments” are anathema to what makes an American, though the politicians and pundits perpetually attempt to hijack the concept of being American. The Pledge of Allegiance is like a thumb jammed in the eye of the free person known as an American. It defies what makes him free, it steamrolls over his right to make up his own mind, and substitutes loyalty to government and symbols, rather than any concepts of individualism.

  20. “I don’t believe in fairy tales”

    You raise some excellent points here and I will look into the book you recommend. I would love to talk with you in person. So gay pride day in grammar school? I have such mixed emotions, that at 8 years old a child’s education regarding homosexual love begins? Oh God, I’m probably opening up a whole new can of worms here. Ok, I looked up Hitchens, is there a particular book that you’re referring to?

    “So why force them……..”

    Again, you raise some excellent points here, I really respect your opinions, again, would like to talk more to you. I’m not politically savvy, I appreciate you not being patronizing or condescending, I like you.

    • Nancy, you need to shut the fuck up, now,

      Check out the top of the bog. That’s where you put in freetheanimal.com, and that’s it. Read the first entry as of today, 14 Sep, 2011.

      You are trying my patience.