Daddy, Why Don't We Have an American Flag?

Bennington flagPublic DomainThis morning, as I drove my son to day camp, his voice chirped from the seat behind me, "I wish we had a flag. Daddy, why don't we have an American flag?" I'd half-expected that question, after I'd seen his eyes fastened on the colorful banner flapping in our neighbor's front yard on Independence Day. A building contractor (and a nice guy), Dan erected a telescoping contraption that, when cranked to its full height, would do justice to a military base. The cloth dangling from it matched in scale. "Well," I answered. "We don't have an American flag because I'm not especially patriotic. I think the basic principles on which the country was founded were pretty good, but it's gone downhill since then. There's not enough freedom left to celebrate."

Tony is only seven, so I'm never entirely sure how much of what I say sticks and how much doesn't. But I decided long ago that I'd rather give him too much information than dumb it down. He'll digest it in his own time. In the run over to camp (swimming, a bit of paleontology [yeah, I screwed this up earlier], and Pizza Hut, today), I reiterated what I've told him before about fading civil liberties, lost economic freedom, out-of-control presidents, murderous foreign policy — and how it's not a complete loss, since there have been victories in terms of the treatment of gay people and rescinding some of the restrictions on the plants that people can smoke, among other things.* But, overall, I'm not pleased by the direction the country is moving.

Rockets RedglareRockets RedglareI'm not a complete pessimist. I think freedom has a future, here and elsewhere. But that's a freedom based in individuals who want to be free and their association with like-minded people, abetted by liberating technology, such as encryption and decentralized manufacturing. Governments and countries don't especially enter into the equation, though it would be nice to have a reasonably welcoming refuge somewhere, and maybe a new one will arise in time for me to see it happen.

My attitude toward patriotism has always been pragmatic, based on a family history of shopping for convenient nationalities. One branch of my family has been Spanish, Italian, Argentine and American, that I know of, and in that order. All of those shifts in "allegiance" were deliberate (as opposed to the common European practice of staying at home and waiting for a new nation to come to you) as an old national identity lost its attraction and was substituted by a new one. Any given citizenship is good, so long as it works for you, so I tend not to tear up when I see a flag, well aware that my great-whatevers found one or another banner convenient until it wasn't.

That's a lot for Tony to process, right now. But he understands that both his mother and I consider governments to be generally bad things, and the one we have to be on an unfortunate path. We tell him that loyalty should be reserved for family, friends and people and groups you've chosen. He knows, in broad terms, why we feel that way.

"You can have a flag in your room," I told Tony. "But I don't want one over the house."

He's a smart kid. He can make his own decisions — he should make his own decisions if my hopes for him mean anything. This afternoon, he showed me a drawing he'd made. "It's a new world," he told me. "These are the clothes they wear, this is what this country looks like (showing me the borders) and this is their flag."

If only it were that easy.

Update: A recent Gallup poll finds that "71 percent [of respondents] say the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be disappointed in today’s United States."

* Yes, I count the end of slavery and equality before the law for women, blacks and Native Americans as positive developments, but the conversation focused on the country's recent direction. As in, all of the beneficiaries of the aforementioned developments are getting surveilled and bossed around, just like the folks who look like the founders.

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  • cavalier973||

    Not to mention that one is free to call a deep-dish italian casserole a "pizza".

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I'm making two deep dish casseroles tomorrow. It's awesome.

  • cavalier973||

    Do you put cornmeal in the dough?

    I've had Gino's in Chicago; unfortunately I was suffering from some sinus disease at the time, and could not properly enjoy it.

    Here in sunny, snowy Cedar Rapids, they have a place called "Tomasso's" that serves New York Style, Chicago Deep Dish, and Detroit Deep Dish pizzas. They put corn meal in the dough. It's not exactly bad, but I can taste it, and it's a bit distracting. I've not had the NY style, but their Detroit was a superior pie to their Chicago.

  • froving39||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link,
    http://goo.gl/yJQCa

  • SweatingGin||

  • Paul.||

    No flag no country!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "I reiterated what I've told him before about fading civil liberties, lost economic freedom, out-of-control presidents, murderous foreign policy — and how it's not a complete loss, since there have been victories in terms of the treatment of gay people and rescinding some of the restrictions on the plants that people can smoke, among other things"

    Er, the end of slavery and Jim Crow seems like something to enter in the ledger...

  • SweatingGin||

    And throwing off the king of England, too!

  • fish_remote||

    We had greater liberty under the crown.

    Although comparing the US to England these days it looks like we've taken two different roads to arrive at the same shitty location.

  • yonemoto||

    no, England is somewhat worse. Seriously.

  • Jefferson's Ghost||

    worse now certainly. Pre-revolution life in America not so much.

  • jdtuccille||

    The conversation was more recent-term, but your point is very valid.

  • ||

    Tucille, we've worked very hard to make H&R a hostile commenting environment, we don't need you coming and ruining that with politeness and recognition of argument validity.

    You're SUPPOSED to call him a troll and insist he learn2read while criticizing his mental capacity and sanity. Get with the program already.

  • cavalier973||

    I thought he was trying to lure SG into a false sense of security, STEVE SMITH style.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Have a seat.

  • sgs||

    I don't agree. When you institute something abhorrent, you don't get credit for putting things right. At best you get neutral consideration in the future.

  • wareagle||

    what the fuck ever. Slavery was instituted long before the US came along. As it was, slaves were brought here while the place was still a colony. But thanks for a good example of why applying presenting thinking to past events is a bad idea.

  • Irish||

    Western countries were some of the first to abolish slavery. Slavery wasn't legally abolished in China until the 1900s. Huge numbers of people in Africa were enslaved to other Africans and most of those African nations didn't outlaw slavery until the 1900s. India only abolished slavery because the imperial British made them.

    I think Western countries do deserve credit for being among the first groups to abolish slavery, just like the schismatic Buddhist groups that realized slavery was evil even earlier than the West deserve credit as well.

  • ||

    I think I missed a link recently about how the founders and the constitution are marginalized by progressives because they didn't live up to their principles wrt slavery. If so, I'm sorry I missed it. That argument pisses me off.

    Not living up to one's principles doesn't reflect on the rightness (or wrongness) of the principle itself.

    AND

    Many of the founders, even the slave owning ones, were well ahead of their time concerning slavery. It boiled down to a simple fact. If slavery had been made an issue, the constitution would never have gotten ratified.

  • Dan||

    The US didn't invent slavery. Slavery had been common for thousands of years before the US ever existed. And the US was one of the leaders in abolishing the practice. In fact the entire purpose of the 3/5 compromise in the constitution was to lay the groundwork for it's demise.

    But to hear all the morons tell it the US invented the practice and were the only ones to ever engage in it. That despite the fact that people have been doing it for thousands of years, and some continue the practice still to this day.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    And the start of Jim Crow also goes on the ledger.

  • cavalier973||

  • Zeke||

    Montreal?

  • cavalier973||

    Not William Shatner; JAMES T. KIRK

  • Tman||

    So "There's not enough freedom left to celebrate" in comparison to what?

    Europe?

    No doubt there are some incredibly terrible anti-liberty things going on in the USA right now. But I would argue that many (not enough maybe, but many) Americans are repulsed and actively fighting back against the tide of the nanny state because it's who we are as a culture and a nation.

    This nation has lived through much worse threats to freedom than where we are today, and we are stronger for it.

  • SweatingGin||

    Today has been a depressing day for freedom with the third amendment cop assault case.

    Seems like there are speech codes all over the place. Politicians are talking about regulating who is a journalist. Cops are in full assault mode. Kids are arrested for t-shirts. Police lock downs of cities. House to house searches.

    I don't see those getting better until there's nothing left to steal to pay for it.

  • Dweebston||

    Sorry, are you suggesting that "authentic" Americans wouldn't have elected some twit mouthpiece representing one of two politically viable parties of fuckwits, like we've done since time immemorial?

  • Dweebston||

    But whichever party kicks out the brown folk virtually locks down your vote, right? Protectionism for all, especially low-skill labor markets, right?

  • ||

    Merkin is all about being low-skilled.

  • SweatingGin||

    So anyone with a marginal productivity less than, say, $20 / hour is not just unemployed, but unemployable, right?

  • Sevo||

    SweatingGin| 7.5.13 @ 10:32PM |#
    "So anyone with a marginal productivity less than, say, $20 / hour is not just unemployed, but unemployable, right?"

    There's more, I think.
    Last night, a commenter using the handle "American" made some silly claims regarding "market anarchy" hinting pretty strongly that a market not controlled by a government is somehow, uh, dangerous. Do I have that right, Murcan? Was that you?

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and I called American on bullshit, but last I checked, there was no response.

  • ||

    I believe in economic patriotism, that means protectionism, yes.

    You are a fucking idiot.

  • ||

    As I said...

    You are a fucking idiot.

  • Dweebston||

    "The market will find a viable equilibrium, but like all interventionists, I have my special pet aesthetic to maintain."

    Thanks for the candor.

  • Irish||

    Your pet aesthetic is entirely white. That's unreasonable.

  • wareagle||

    Your pet aesthetic is entirely white. That's unreasonable.

    because illegal immigration and workers willing to do jobs at cut rates do not hurt minorities who are citizens? Seriously?

  • Dweebston||

    You're suggesting the work that secures a measly 50 cent wage is analogous to anything the American economy produces. There's a reason we exported that sort of manufacture to third-world countries, and there's a reason American consumers prize cheaply manufactured goods imported from abroad. What, do you think the foreign influx from down south would creep into bankrupt Detroit and supplant auto-assembly workers, or Intel plants replacing bunny-suited technicians? Or do you think white laborers are rushing to fill vacancies picking vegetables?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That is a noble goal, however, it can not be allowed to trample American workers in the process.

    1) why are American workers more noble, in your eyes than American consumers, American investors, American ....

    2) American workers getting screwed is the result of government policies that limit voluntary cooperative trade, not 'the market'.

  • Whahappan?||

    To add to point one, American workers are also consumers, investors, etc.

  • Irish||

    You are a fucking idiot.

    No he isn't! You see, forcing Americans to pay higher prices for everything and causing a worldwide depression through the constriction of global trade is highly patriotic.

  • Irish||

    American workers' real wages haven't risen in forty years.

    This is a lie that liberals create by fucking around with numbers you nitwit. Americans can afford far more today than they could 30 years ago. Food prices are much lower, as are the prices of almost all consumer goods. The purchasing power of the average American is far higher today, and twisting numbers to talk about 'real wages' doesn't change that basic fact.

    As for the per capita GDP, there's a simple reason for that. Mexican immigrants do, in fact, add less to GDP per person than an American citizen or a well educated Japanese person. That means that immigration will result in lower per capita GDP increases, but it does not follow that Americans who aren't Mexican immigrants will have seen a decline in their wealth.

    Similarly, Japan's got a massively aging population. Of course their per capita GDP has risen faster than ours. Shockingly, people who are 50 make more money than people who are 25.

    That's basic logic, but they don't teach logic in the 1915 school you apparently went to to learn the science of eugenics.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    You completely missed Irish's point. The statistics you point out are not a proxy for prosperity; they are a known outcome and don't imply what you think they do about prosperity.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Have you ever lived in Japan? Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Japan itself has had extremely anemic growth rates since the 90s -- it's only recently that the US has had comparably slow growth rates. As far as wages go, the US' wages have seen similar increases as Japan if you compare similarly situated individuals (i.e., remove immigrants). At any rate, it sure as hell ain't Japanese janitors or construction workers who are benefiting from the Japanese economy; such jobs are being automated to the extent possible -- as would be the case in the US if it ever became economically "patriotic", to use your terminology.

    Repetitive, simple jobs are going to be automated, outsourced, or offered to immigrants who ask for less than the cost of automation. Deal with it.

  • Calidissident||

    "Japanese workers have high wages. That's why it's cost-efective to automate them."

    He's like a squirrel who found the nut and then walked right past it.

    The fact that you're holding up Japan as some sort of economic ideal is hilarious

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Japan has economic patriotism and has a per-capita GDP that has grown faster than America's has over the last decade.

    No it hasn't. Japan is in the middle of a multi-decade depression with no sign of escape.

    American workers' real wages haven't risen in forty years.

    Which coincides exactly with the growth of government spending and intervention in the economy in general and the medical system in particular. American workers wages have been hit by a triple whammy of lower growth, higher taxes and higher health insurance cost.

  • ||

    "American workers deserve a living wage."

    What does that mean?

  • wareagle||

    I'm curious about that, too. That term, living wage, is always a red flag that implies "govt mandated wages for everyone."

  • Dan||

    Americans elected obama like cubans elected castro.

  • robc||

    So "There's not enough freedom left to celebrate" in comparison to what?

    Platonic ideal.

    Why compare to anything else?

    Some of us arent grading on a curve.

  • sgs||

    robc beats me to it

  • sgs||

    "So "There's not enough freedom left to celebrate" in comparison to what?"

    Genuinely being free.

    Why do you point out locations?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Hello dear reason reader. The commenter American has shitted up this thread, per usual. Continue reading at your own peril. I suggest you go to YouTube and look at kitten videos.

    You have been warned.

  • cavalier973||

    You know what's great about America? Jazz music.

  • Tman||

    That guy Jimi Hendrix was pretty good too.

  • Hyperion||

    If you give a more specific example of jazz music, I might agree. While some of it is amazing, some is awful. Sorts of like other music.

    If you mean the stuff I heard from that link... ewww!!!

  • cavalier973||

    It's Louis Armstrong, you philistine. Why do you hate African-Americans so much?

  • Sevo||

    He's good, but this ended up on Sirius on the way up the coast yesterday:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynEOo28lsbc

  • cavalier973||

    Instant classic. I also like "Porgy and Bess".

  • cavalier973||

    What's great about living in this modern age is that you can listen to the version with Gershwin himself playing.

  • SweatingGin||

    Rhapsody is one of my favorites. Also great is "an American in Paris"

  • Tman||

    I raise you a Oscar Peterson and a Jimmy Smith.

    (Oscar was Canadian though.)

  • Tman||

    Funny the Canadian link doesn't work.

    Here it is again.

    Freakin' mooseheads.

  • Zeke||

    doppel-fail

  • Tman||

    DAMN THOSE CANADIANS!!!

    Oscar Peterson Trio - Bern Jazz Festival 1986 (Part 4 of 4)

    Go to 8:00 for a blistering version of Caravan.

  • Gene||

    Oscar is awesome but for the real Caravan check out Erroll Garner's version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....FVoSSKiwJY

  • Sevo||

    Call and raise an Artie Shaw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLVytcPtWwM
    Stinking commie that he was.

  • Sevo||

    There's plenty to celebrate, but the shame is there should have been and can be so much more.
    But it will take a population to require that of the government we currently have and I'm not sure the desire is there.

  • Fluffy||

    I avoid this conflict simply by regarding myself and my own set of views as "America", and regarding all of my opponents as traitors and usurpers.

    That way I'm free to be patriotic, because the Constitution is wherever I'm standing.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, it's not really the flags fault we don't live up to the freedom that it stands for. I see the flag more as something to aspire to rather than a reflection of the current state of affairs.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    THIS. It is the promise of what was established - it is not the flag of O! or BOOOOSH or whatever set of political leeches happens to be sucking at our sustenance and freedoms at this moment.

    The America I am patriotic about is the one that the Founders gave us. Not the Living Constitution of penumbras and emanations and welfare benefits as a property right and speech codes and rampaging militarized police.

    It is the citizen militia (hence my time in the Guard) mind your own business and I'll mind my own nation. We have made some good steps in that direction - ending slavery, racialist laws, etc. But we have gone back on other fronts. It is up to those of us who do not want the backward steps to resist.

  • Sevo||

    American| 7.5.13 @ 9:26PM |#
    "The idea of an independent libertarian state, a "refuge" is incompatible with libertarianism(as cosmotarians understand it). The small number of libertarians would soon be swarmed by economic immigrants, who would reinstall socialist policies as soon as they got the vote."

    Maybe.
    The failure of the US experiment is the failure of the Constitution to enforce the republic.
    The next experiment may make that constitution more durable.
    Personally, I think the BoR was a mistake; the statists point to that and claim those are the rights "granted" by the government. Next time, perhaps we do a BoA; a Bill of Allowances where we 'allow' the government to do X, Y and Z.

  • SweatingGin||

    I don't think a constitution anywhere near the current one could be done in modern times. It's a little over 4000 words, covering basic rights, structure of government, and enumerated powers.

    Look at the Indian constitution -- over 400 articles, something like 600 pages (may be misremembering). Specifying all manner of positive rights (healthcare! It's a right, so it's ok to use force to make someone provide it!)

    That's the kind of thing we'd get today. Healthcare, right not to be offended, right to never be afraid, living wage, etc.

  • Damned Fool||

    I could have sworn we had a bill of allowances somewhere. Maybe Article 1 of the Constitution? I wonder what happened to it, it seemed so precise.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Of course, the entire constitution, even before the "Bill of Rights" was added, was considered to be a "Bill of Allowances," and to drive home that fact, two of the Bill of Rights, Amendments IX and X, deal with that very issue in no uncertain terms.

    The thing is, it doesn't matter how clear the constitutional language happens to be. The job of lawyers is to get you to seriously consider the question, "who are you gonna believe, us, or your own lying eyes?" They've done pretty well for themselves so far.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    C- trolling; needs more racial slurs.

  • RightNut||

    but that hasn't worked so well for countries that have tried it, like South Africa.

    When was South Africa ever a libertarian state?

  • sgs||

    " Care to wonder why?"

    Because assholes like you crave power over other people.

    No, I never wonder why people like you always appear to insist I must accept less freedom.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    What does Vietnam have to do with it?

  • Irish||

    Guys, it's American. He's angry that the rest of us are opposed to lynch mobs and eugenics. Pay him no heed.

  • Alien Invader||

    The idea of an independent libertarian state, a "refuge" is incompatible with libertarianism

    More than you might realize.

    Libertarians will not have their refuge until and unless they are willing to impose it. By force, thank you.

    But if they did impose, then they'd feel like they weren't "true libertarians" anymore. Ahhh!!

    It's kind of like a ice cube sitting on the sidewalk in the middle of summer, trying to will itself to not melt.

    Re: South Africa, people don't need to vote in order for things to "work out", they just have to be treated fairly and justly. Like the pax romana once worked, and like the Canadians (mostly) dealt with the American Indians.

  • Irish||

    Someone I've never seen before suddenly shows up to side with American.

    This seems to happen every time American posts here. I'm sure this is just a coincidence and this isn't just some sort of sockpuppet though.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    As much as I hate to admit it, American is right about one thing: you can't have universal suffrage, easily obtainable citizenship, and free immigration and expect a libertarian (or any other ideological) system to last, since there is no expectation that economic migrants have the same understanding of political economy and civil liberties as the founding population.

    Of course, it's rather stupid to consider this a problem with race; Botswana would find it very difficult to accommodate a large influx of Ukrainians or Belorussians while maintaining their freedoms, for instance.

  • Irish||

    As much as I hate to admit it, American is right about one thing: you can't have universal suffrage, easily obtainable citizenship, and free immigration and expect a libertarian (or any other ideological) system to last

    Which is why I'm not in favor of guaranteed citizenship for immigrants. I'm pretty sure I've actually had this discussion with you when we were arguing with someone else about the major problems with the current immigration bill. They should be allowed to work here and be granted equal rights and protections under the law, but I wouldn't grant suffrage easily. There need to be requirements for an immigrant to get suffrage.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Agreed. Personally, I wouldn't mind applying a similar test to citizens as well, but obviously that isn't going to happen.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    In the High School Civics class my wife and I taught, students had to pass the INS citizenship test in order to pass the class. We used to joke that we had buses standing by to take those who did not pass down to the border. Some kids BARELY passed, but all ended up not being deported. On the other hand, the INS test wasn't that tough. I agree with others here that naturalized citizenship should be as difficult to obtain as a visa to live and work here without becoming a citizen should be simple to obtain.

  • Alien Invader||

    ...suddenly shows up to side with American

    Yeah, but I don't side with American on everything. The protectionist BS has to go, just for starters.

    Nonetheless, I'm not Team Red, Team Blue, or Team Libertarian. I merrily throw stones at contradictions, where ever they be found.

    Libertarian theory has a few contradictions of it's own going.

  • sgs||

    You're American's fucking sock puppet.

    "Yeah, but I don't side with American on everything."

    That's just so you can claim some credibility with those people who aren't familiar with your obvious and repeated tendency to troll with two accounts.

  • ||

    Libertarians will not have their refuge until and unless they are willing to impose it. By force, thank you.

    a. False premise. Why couldn't libertarians obtain their "refuge" by convincing others, through reason, that such a system is in everyone's best interest and then work together to bring it about?

    b. You make a false assumption. You seem to think libertarians are against force. This is patently incorrect. Libertarians are against the initiation of force. Using force to "impose a refuge" would not be out of the question if they were being repressed by the existing system. Don't confuse the NAP with pacifism.

  • Gene||

    "The point is that a libertarian refuge, no matter how it is created, would have to feature dictatorial rule of a small minority over a servile, nonvoting majority. Like South Africa."

    Why?
    What if all the land owners in a given region manage to form their own autonomous government based on Libertarian principles?

    I'm not so sure it wouldn't work, and I see no reason to believe it would necessarily lead to dictatorship.

    It's no surprise a Statist can't see anything other than violent coercion as the ultimate end.

  • ||

    So do I. To my mind Tucille is a pretty patriotic guy.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    "You can have a flag in your room," I told Tony. "But I don't want one over the house."

    He's a smart kid. He can make his own decisions — he should make his own decisions if my hopes for him mean anything.

    He also sounds like a good dad.

  • Dweebston||

    Doubtlessly due for a visit from CPS. I'm sure they'll dig up something to make their time worthwhile.

  • ||

    Hide the dog!

  • GroundTruth||

    Which is the reason then to fly the flag... not to say "I support the policies of the criminals in DC", but "There is still a Constitution".

    The fire may be weak, but it has not yet died.

  • Hyperion||

    Libertarians should get their own flag. A symbol of what we once stood for and would like to expand on. Can we have some orange?

  • Zeke||

  • A Serious Man||

    If I were transported into the world of Game of Thrones that would totally be my sigil and words.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Sic semper evello mortem Tyrannis remains the greatest of all the state mottos with "Live Free or Die" coming in a close second.

  • A Serious Man||

    Good point. Saying we killed the last tyrant and will kill the next one that comes along is pretty awesome.

  • Hyperion||

    Dude, are you color blind? That's yeller. I said orange.

  • Hyperion||

    But, ok. A snake... err, maybe something more scary, but some ORANGE!

  • A Serious Man||

    How about a honey badger?

  • Hyperion||

    Badgers? Yeah, I hear they are badass. I'm in, just some orange.

  • Zeke||

    Like the ING logo, but with a badger instead of a lion?

  • Hyperion||

    Ok. But there isn't much scarier alive today than a lion. .. Go back a few epochs, and ... velociraptor? Ok, velociraptors, are too evil.

    Tiger?

  • Sevo||

    Badgers?! I don't need no stinking badgers!

  • Dweebston||

    Dum dum dum Honey badger!

  • ||

    Teh honey badger don't care.

  • SweatingGin||

    Yellow is the color of gold.

  • Ball-sac||

    People really like the Gadsden Flag.

    Everyone likes to think of hisself as an ornery cuss with a well-hidden heart of gold instead of a titty-sucking nancy-boy.

  • SweatingGin||

    If you can go just a little more extreme than libertarian, there's an anarcho capitalist flag

  • Hyperion||

    What? Nothing is more extreme than Libertarian, just ask the GOP establishment.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    And if you ask the Dem establishment, there's nothing more extreme than Paul Ryan.

  • Hyperion||

    Ryan is an asshole politician, nothing more. Sure, there are a lot worse on both sides, but...

    I would have thought they would have identified Rand Paul, both sides...

  • cavalier973||

    Libertarians ARE anarchists. Any desire in a reduction in government power is equal to a desire for no government at all. WHO WILL BUILD THE ROADS, YA SNOTNOGGINS!!!!!

  • Marc F Cheney||

    It's called the Gadsden flag, and it's the only one I fly.

  • Paul.||

    Libertarians should get their own flag. A symbol of what we once stood for and would like to expand on. Can we have some orange?

    We had one. It had red and white stripes, and a blue patch with stars on it.

  • ||

    " "We don't have an American flag because I'm not especially patriotic. I think the basic principles on which the country was founded were pretty good, but it's gone downhill since then. There's not enough freedom left to celebrate.""

    1) They weren't "pretty good." They were exceptional and, as they still are, sacred, and their institution was utterly unprecedented.

    2) There's plenty of freedom left to celebrate, and while the state of our liberties is literally lightyears worse than it should be, the thronging pessimist that claims we're already goners really has nothing to contribute to anything but his own stolid misery. We're still here, and we're still fighting, and there are more of us than you think.

    3) I owe and reaffirm frequently my allegiance to the Founders' republic and the basal concepts and principles upon which its foundations stand, and not any government that may claim legitimacy beneath the colors of their flag, or the unruly and unjust behemoth which now purports to rule us in their name.

    In other words, I owe allegiance to an ideal -- an ideal which, to me, is represented by Old Glory. I fly the flag proudly.

  • Tman||

    ^^^This.

    "pretty good"?

    Talk about losing faith in the younger generation, hayzoos.

  • Hyperion||

    the thronging pessimist that claims we're already goners really has nothing to contribute to anything but his own stolid misery

    Speaking for some of us, our pessimism, is but the kindle of a seemingly drowned out fire that shall spark the flames of a new bright future.

    Dude, when you are in a dungeon getting flogged by the dungeon master, it's hard to be openly optimistic. You are, but you know, human nature...

    If I had given up, I wouldn't be here posting today.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You're not in a dungeon.

  • ||

    Update: A recent Gallup poll finds that "71 percent [of respondents] say the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be disappointed in today’s United States."

    -------------

    As they should be. But we certainly won't be able to attempt a restoration if every patriot simply surrenders to the gradual tide of authoritarianism and "lets go" of their country. For me, none of this is, or could ever be, pragmatic, or a matter of convenience, or a choice to be made by glancing at a given generation's inclination toward tyranny.

    I don't ever intend to abandon my country. Ever. It could get a lot worse before it gets better, or it could simply get worse and worse. Yeah, the only person I can really speak for here is me, but I can promise you one thing -- I'm not abandoning my country to the slavemakers.

  • Dweebston||

    It's proof of nothing other than the universal apotheosis of the founding class. We all believe them gods, and we all believe they favored our unique bitches about the state of things.

  • ||

    I've yet to meet a single person who thinks the Founders were gods, or anything even approaching gods, so I'm not sure what you're talking about.

  • Dweebston||

    I'm being glib. Gods or something superhuman, they register as a singular focal point for our nation. My point is that we read into them whatever we desire, so it's no surprise that nearly three-quarters of the country figures the signatories to the constitution would be disappointed with the outcome of their experiment. Actually, it surprises me that 29% apparently think things are on track.

  • ||

    A mob's mistaken understanding doesn't really bother me. I read what they wrote, and I know what they did, and I see the achievements and the flaws. That's all that matters.

  • Dweebston||

    Which is why I ascribe a certain undue apotheosis to the perception citizens mostly express about the founding class. These weren't men with ambitions and philosophies and desires writing letters to one another and debating in ratifying conventions, and leaving ample evidence of the true meaning of their words, but a single malleable entity capable of manifesting whatever polemical view modern thinkers require.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't ever intend to abandon my country

    Good for you. But, if I see the writing on the wall and the John McCain fence will still let me escape, then I'm out of here.

    There is no pride in going down with a sinking ship.

  • ||

    My point is that if we all jump ship, it's definitely going to sink. I'd much rather stay and help it stay afloat.

  • Hyperion||

    I get that. There is a time for fight, and a time for flight.

    Trust, me on this one, and it you can't, ask John McCain, there will come a time soon when the flight option is out of play.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There is nowhere freer.

  • robc||

    The asteroid belt?

    Not really an option...yet.

  • Cytotoxic||

    THIS. Threadwinner. Etc. We have too many sadsacks on HandR and libertarian emo gets real tiresome.

  • crashland||

    Agreed. Those whig wearing 18th century radicals created a system of government with the best chance at actual freedom than any other in the history of human civilizations. The idea of America is why I fly the flag and also why the Gadsden flag flies right along side Old Glory.

    Sadly along with their wisdom in crafting the box in which to contain the federal government, Madison, Jefferson, Franklin... were prescient in understanding the dangers their newly formed republic would encounter over it's future.

    The idea of America is what brings people to our shores and why many of our ancestors chose to pack up their stuff and move here. The idea of America is why we need to fight tooth, nail, knife and cartridge to shove fedzilla back into the cage in which it belongs.

    I hate the American government, but I sure do love America.

  • sgs||

    " sacred"

    Keep your religious crap to yourself.

  • ||

    I'm an atheist, fuckhead.

  • Zeke||

  • Tman||

    I like that the guy goes out his way to remind everyone not to take offensive because hey, he's just a blunt guy......when talking about people not smiling enough.

    Deep, dude. Deep.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    He's never been to Canada. People smile after you've stepped on their feet.

  • Damned Fool||

    Meh. I actually agree with him about the smiling bit. Other than that, he just sounds whiny.

  • cavalier973||

    He's Irish? He was probably drunk when he wrote this.

  • Irish||

    FUCK YOU GUYS, I'M GOING HOME!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What a bunch of a whiny assed crap. A guy complains that he can't speak his mind and we're all a bunch of politically correct pussies in the first "point", then shifts and cries "OMG, those fuckin' Christfags! Why won't they just shut up with all their Jesus-talk? It hurts my feelings!"

    That said, Benny should come to America whenever he likes. Chances are, I'll never encounter him (but there are plenty of whiny bitches here already), and our businesses will gladly take his Euros or Irish pesos or whatever the fuck he gets paid in.

  • ||

    1. Americans are way too sensitive

    ------

    Horseshit. See? That was easy. If you want hypersensitivity, pussy-footing, and a Satanic obsession with political correctness, try England, or Portugal, say. See what happens when you try to duplicate those same scenarios you brought up in those countries, for instance, and get back to me.

    ------

    2. Everything is “awesome”!

    ------

    Yeah, because being jovial and positive is a bad thing. County Cork awaits, traveler!

    ------

    3. Smiles mean NOTHING

    ------

    Or it could be a gesture of courtesy, or, I don't know. a friendly acknowledgment?

    ------

    4. Tipping

    ------

    Tough fucking shit, asshole. Don't like it, don't dine out.

    ------

    5. False prices on everything

    ------

    Is this guy just looking for shit to bitch about, or what? Weak sauce.

    ------

    6. Cheesy in-your-face marketing

    ------

    Childish excesses-of-capitalism whining. Seriously, fuck off.

    ------

    7. Wasteful consumerism

    ------

    Childish excesses-of-capitalism whining. Americans make awful choices. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

    ------

    8. Idiotic American stereotypes of other countries

    ------

    They're stereotypes I've heard and seen in all other cultures. They're not American stereotypes. Mr. Polyglot sure seems to miss a lot in his travels, probably because he's wasted on fucking Guinness half the time. Tough shit.

    ------

    Ugh. I give up.

  • John||

    Idiotic stereotypes, as he writes an entire article of them.

  • Irish||

    ^^^ Just going to say that. THEY HAVE STUPID STEREOTYPES OF OTHER COUNTRIES, THOSE HYPER CONSUMERIST SMILE MONSTERS!

  • Xenocles||

    Irish, that was perfect. Thanks for saving me the effort.

  • Ted S.||

    5. False prices on everything

    I know I hated it when I was a kid discovering that I'd have to pay sales tax on top of the price on the tag.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He prefer's his taxes be hidden from him. It helps him avoid out of control consumerism

  • cavalier973||

  • Paul.||

    The one that made me laugh was this: "8. Idiotic American stereotypes of other countries"

    If you've ever known a real European, and I come from a family that was half ferrin-- my mother wasn't even an American citizen-- if there's one group of people who have the most provincial, laughable, stupid and uneducated view of America, it's Europeans. I find the average American to actually have a pretty good (but far from perfect) view of Europe. But the average European is wildly provincial and ignorant of how this country operates.

  • The Blue Falcon||

    So depressing that you make your LIVING publicly criticizing your government, yet you think we've lost too much freedom to be proud of this place.

  • Hyperion||

    Who makes their living publicly criticizing their government?

  • Dweebston||

    Tuccille, presumably. And the extent to which he makes a living criticizing his government is a statement about the extent to which consumers are willing to pay his employer to read his columns. It's not a particularly romantic affirmation about his right to do so, which should exist unfettered whether or not he makes money doing so.

  • Hyperion||

    I criticize my government, and I take great pride in how well I do it, free of charge. Take that NSA, and kiss my fucking ass.

  • From the Tundra||

    Well, at least we'll all have some friends at the reeducation camps. I call top bunk

  • Hyperion||

    Fuck you, I want the top bunk!

  • SweatingGin||

    Whoever gets there first, try to steal some copper pipe so we can build a still.

  • Gordilocks||

    I'll be getting to work on Tom, Dick, and Harry, immediately.

  • Dweebston||

    Sorry. I intended the bulk of that to the OP, who seems to think that Toochilly should be proud of his nation because his nation permits him to voice his discontent.

  • John||

    No. It means that JD is a fucking moron if he thinks that the life he leads isn't freer than 99% of the people who have ever lived. I am thinking someone from Stalinist Russia or Feudal Europe would find some freedom here worth celebrating.

  • ||

    People who have spent their entire lives in a place that is freer, juster, and wealthier than most any other in the history of the world tend only to notice the degradations in their own state of affairs, the health of their own society, without realizing that even the declining standards they're accustomed to remain just a distant, unattainable dream to others.

    We've been spoiled by greatness, even as our compatriots slowly piss away our legacy and our liberty.

  • Dweebston||

    Fine and good, but again, the OP suggested that BECAUSE 2chile is able to voice a complaint against the panjandrum, therefore his complaints are invalid. The fallacy should be obvious.

  • ||

    Thank you!

  • sgs||

    Fuck you American's 3rd sock puppet.

  • A Serious Man||

    OT: Watching Return of the Jedi on Spike for the first time in a while. I'm seeing a lot of flaws in it now that I don't remember, Ewoks aside.

  • Dweebston||

    Shh. Hush, you.

  • From the Tundra||

    No he's right. This is brutal. Mark Hamill is a truly awful actor

  • Zeke||

  • A Serious Man||

    To be fair to Hamill the writing in Jedi is pretty awful. The first film he played an archetype. The second film he got some darker material to work with and I thought he did a good job portraying Luke's horror and anguish.

    In Jedi he's gotten over it? I kind of wish we could have seen that.

    Ford looks bored throughout the movie, again, because Lucas castrated the character by removing the roguish charm he had.

    I'll give Fisher a pass because she was stoned out of her mind most of the time during filming.

  • John||

    I'll give Fisher a pass because she was stoned out of her mind most of the time during filming.

    Could anyone have given those lines sober?

  • From the Tundra||

    I just watched Luke levitate C3PO. His look of concentration looked a lot like he was just waking up. Everyone was baked on this set

  • John||

    It was the early 80s. The 70s didn't end in Hollywood until like 1988.

  • Cytotoxic||

    STFU

  • SIV||

    Yub! Yub!

  • cavalier973||

    I would totally get behind Brad Bird as director for Episode VII.

  • Zeke||

    Like how Han Solo ages 4 years while being frozen?

  • A Serious Man||

    Okay, here's the biggest flaw, and strangely enough the commercial breaks highlight this: the film is choppy as hell with the editing and the tone. The scenes with the Rebels are goofy and way too lighthearted. Like they are planning a suicide mission against the Death Star and Solo and Lando are cracking jokes?

    Conversely the scenes with Vader and the Emperor are dark and its jarring to go from the Death Star throne room to the stupid Ewoks on Endor.

  • John||

    It always comes back to the same problem, Lucas can't write dialog.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    There is no levity in the Dark Side. There is also no joking, buffoonery, or smiling allowed either.

  • John||

    I thought it was pretty funny when Vador choked the one admiral in the first movie. Not when he finally kills him in Empire, but when the guy is laughing at Vader's religion and Vader chokes him. That was some levity.

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • John||

    And that is pretty damned funny. Tell me the dark side has no sense of humor.

  • A Serious Man||

    I don't know, the Emperor seems to enjoy being evil. Watching him antagonize Luke is one of the best parts of the movie.

  • Xenocles||

    Those scenes in the throne room are the most important in the entire trilogy for me. To me it's an arc of redemption and filial love.

  • A Serious Man||

    Oh God, these scenes on Endor are just awful. Everything is done wrong: the conversation between Luke and Leia when he tells her they are brother and sister "I've know. Somehow I've always known" didn't appear to stop her from kissing him.

    Then Han shows up and acts like a whiny bitch because he's jealous and all that repressed passion in Empire somehow has disappeared since they just hug.

  • John||

    The seen when Han shows up and whines is particularly insulting. Here we have the Mac daddy of Mac daddies who actually has the style and balls to tell Leia "I know" after she confesses her love in the first movie, reduced to being a whinny beta male bitch. It was horrible.

  • ||

    Thank God for George Lucas' writing chops!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Most of Endor was pretty bad, except for the chase scenes.

  • A Serious Man||

    Okay, last thought: to the film's credit, the space Battle of Endor between the Rebel and Imperial fleet is one of the best battles in movie history. It was way better than anything in the prequels.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    IT'S A TRAP!

  • Killazontherun||

    If that ever came up with the kid, which I doubt will happen, but if it did, I'd probably answer thus so

    You either make your own banner, or you submit to that of another. You can do what you want, but I made my own fortune, son.

  • cavalier973||

    That's basically what Jerry "The King" Lawler said to his son.

  • Killazontherun||

    Did not know that but it doesn't surprise me. Telling a little girl she made him understand why some animals eat their young was gold.

  • SIV||

  • From the Tundra||

    They did. About 150 years ago yesterday, as I recall. Just sayin'

  • cavalier973||

    As they are the same colors of the US Flag, then the phrase is technically true.

  • SIV||

    IIRC, that loss would have been under a square version of the flag. I posted a rectangle ;^)

  • Zeke||

    In Dixie Land, where I was born in,
    early on one frosty mornin',
    Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

  • John||

    No they don't run, they just get their asses kicked and march to pointless deaths in a charge any professional military man knew was insanity but they were ordered to undertake by their "genius" dear leader.

    And actually they do run. They ran a lot from Grant in the summer of 1864 as he mercilessly beat their sorry asses until they were walled up in Petersburg.

  • A Serious Man||

    Lee knew how to win battles but his long-term strategic thinking was flawed. The war only lasted as long because incompetents were in command of the Army of the Potomac, which was the finest army in history up to that point.

    Lee should have been annihilated either during the Peninsula Campaign or at Antietam.

  • John||

    Or after Gettysburg. They had so many chances to destroy him that they failed.

  • Virginian||

    Haha yeah funny how he kept slipping away. Almost like he was a fucking genius.

    Don't get me wrong, the Union had good generals. But if you gave Lee and Grant equal population and industrial bases, I'd have a different colored passport. The US Civil War is just one more case to prove the adage "Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics." Brilliant generalship isn't much good when you're outnumbered so heavily and outproduced even more so. Not that Grant was bad, Grant gets a bad rap for same reason people like Zhukov and Chuikov get shit on: frontal assaults don't appeal to the fine sensibilities of armchair generals. But sometimes the only way out is through.

    If the orders had not been lost during the Antietam campaign, or if Gettysburg had gone differently, Lee could have marched on DC and forced a peace agreement. Lee did exactly the right thing in choosing his grand strategy: push the pace of operations and seek a political decision. He knew he couldn't win a war of attrition, and he didn't.

  • ||

    They had the wrong people in charge?

  • John||

    There's not enough freedom left to celebrate."

    Spoken like a true self absorbed American who has no understanding of history or what the rest of the world is actually like. Seriously, JD, our current problems aside, only a complete fucking moron doesn't understand how luck they are to be born in this time and this place.

    That is just sorry son. I mean seriously, that is sorry.

  • Dweebston||

    Let's celebrate the jaded sense of self we've left among us rather than lament what should have been?

  • John||

    No. Lets understand that while life isn't perfect, we still have it better than pretty much everyone else who has ever lived. I think being among the freest and richest one percent of every human who has ever lived is worth celebrating.

    Basically, JD is saying that things are not perfect so therefore there is not enough celebrate. Only a douchebag who has no idea of the world or history outside of himself would say such a thing. I don't know where Reason finds these people.

  • Dweebston||

    I think you're reading too much into it. He didn't say therefore, we must embrace Marxist economic theory, or Sharia law, or European hate speech laws. The aspects worth celebrating in the United States are only peripherally affiliated with the flag. The iconography of this country belongs to an entity which daily encroaches on those things which make life here exceptional: free commerce, free association, free press, freedom to bear arms. Which of these things isn't under constant assault by a kelptocratic, technocratic, bureaucratic regime cloaked in the paraphernalia of American grandeur?

    I don't fly a flag, either. I go to work, I engage the world commercially, I disseminate my ideas as freely as I see fit, and avoid the bureaucracy as much as possible. But I don't pay lip service to a usurped icon, and I don't celebrate my country because at some point in the past we had really great anti-imperialist, laissez faire, individualistic ideas.

  • John||

    I don't celebrate my country because at some point in the past we had really great anti-imperialist, laissez faire, individualistic ideas.

    Sure we did. And we had a lot of other shit too that wasn't so great. If you really think the country was really any better in the past, you don't know much about the past. We just have different problems now.

  • Gordilocks||

    +1, Mr Dweebston.

  • Marshall Gill||

    You are right, John. It doesn't matter how much our natural rights are eroded, it was worse some time in the past.

    Yeah for us!

    Why is it unsurprising that you are employed by government?

  • John||

    it was worse some time in the past.

    No, it was worse at nearly every point in the past and is worse now nearly every place on earth. If you don't realize that, it is because you are silly and ignorant. Sorry, but there is no other way to describe it. But I already knew that about JD. It comes as a bit of surprise coming from you.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Libertarians are at their worst when they get whiny, self-indulgent, and 'deep'.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Libertarians are at their worst when they get whiny, self-indulgent, and 'deep'.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And redundant.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Libertarians are at their worst when they get whiny, self-indulgent, and 'deep'.

  • Dweebston||

    Hey, at least we don't repeat ourselves.

  • SweatingGin||

    It was worse at nearly any point in the past, but the direction it's heading is right back down again, right?

    I mean, just earlier today you were mentioning the lockdowns and how an emergency measure always becomes the standard.

  • John||

    but the direction it's heading is right back down again, right?

    In some ways it is up and in some ways it is down. As much as I hate the things you describe, I still wouldn't want to live in the 1950s when it was a scandal to date a person of another race and a felony to be gay.

    Just because there are lots of things to be upset about doesn't mean there are not lots of other things to be happy about. To say there is nothing to celebrate is to basically spit on the graves of the millions of victims of much worse tyranny in the past and present.

  • Dweebston||

    But we didn't lock up tens of millions of non-violent drug offenders and metastasize an underground, criminally-driven black market while pouring billions into fighting it. You're right; there's some things I don't particularly want to celebrate about my grandparents' heyday, either.

  • SIV||

    I still wouldn't want to live in the 1950s when it was a scandal to date a person of another race and a felony to be gay.

    The music was great, the women hot and the cars were downright beautiful. You could mail order handguns, buy meth otc and the local cops outside of a few big cities had no idea what reefer looked or smelled like. Dating Asian or Hispanic women would hardly cause a scandal. I don't think the prisons were exactly filled with convicted consensual sodomites even though it was quite illegal.

  • John||

    It was a huge scandal in most places in the Southwest to marry a Mexican. And there were plenty of gays in jail.

  • Calidissident||

    "Dating Asian or Hispanic women would hardly cause a scandal."

    Are you serious? You obviously don't know anything about the history of race relations in the West. It wasn't just blacks who got discriminated against. It was illegal in California until 1948 for a white or Mexican to marry an Asian or black person. Whites and Mexicans could marry, but that doesn't mean there wasn't any social stigma to it. Hell, even today you can find people who'd have a problem with it, even if they're nowhere near a majority. Most other Western states likewise made it illegal for a white to marry an Asian. And the people of Lubbock didn't exactly greet Buddy Holly's wife (who was Puerto Rican) with open arms.

  • Marshall Gill||

    it was worse at nearly every point in the past and is worse now nearly every place on earth.

    This is imbecilic, even coming from you.

    I must assume that you do not believe in the American Revolution. For the Founders of this country "it was worse at nearly every point in the past and is worse now nearly every place on earth." wasn't it?

    So they should have celebrated their English King instead of demanding their rights as Free men? Imbecilic may be too weak of a word.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dammit Gill. John, a fearless public servant, came down here on his own time to explain to you how lucky you are to live in this great nation and what kind of appreciation do you show?

    None, you moron douchebag.

    It's not enough that this brave soul takes time out of his workday serving the people to educate us; you want to reward this insightful lesson in history with juvenile sarcasm. For shame, Gill. For shame.

  • John||

    Go fuck yourself GBN. I am not surprised at all that you show yourself to be a silly, ignorant moron with no understanding of freedom and or oppression actually are.

    The worst part is that you are willfully ignorant. You know better. But the truth cuts into your narcissism. It doesn't take much courage to live in a basically free society.

    Thanks for proving that yes, some Libertarians are as dumb as liberals.

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Poor baby! You prove that some people just can't break away from the arrogant stupidity of the right, no matter how hard they try. Yes, anyone that disagrees with you MUST be stupid, ignorant, and narcissistic. John, you are the soul of irony.

  • ||

    Because he doesn't agree with you and makes a glib comment he's a silly ignorant narcissist?

    Oh my god John, get over yourself. I mean seriously.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    I would, John - a littl3e courtesy in disagreement rather than leaping to fierce insult goes a long way.

    Of course, I am supposed to love my enemies...I am here amongst friends - how should I treat them? Dial it back a notch on the Manichean scale. Please.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dang John, you drunk bastard. You just spat back what I said with different words. The difference is that I was joking.

    Jesus.

    Get a grip on yourself, man,

  • ||

    Liberty in decline should not be celebrated John. We've been in decline for 80 years.

    Am I proud of what this nation was? Absolutely. Am I proud of where it's going? Absolutely not.

    I don't care that we are freer than everyone else. I want to be as free as we once were. Accepting less liberty is shameful.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    This. I celebrate what we have, strive against losing any and move for even more.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

  • John||

    America produced Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, the stingray corvette, the big block motor, and a lot of other things. Things hipster douchebags who write for Reason will never appreciate.

  • Killazontherun||

    Steve McQueen put Ali MacGraw in the hospital for asking too many questions about his manwhore youth.

    Not a hero.

  • John||

    When he wasn’t racing cars or consorting with women, he often spent days doing nothing except watch TV soap operas in a drug-induced haze.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....z2YEE70Jn7
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    But he had his good points. And Monroe was a nut too. But being a great actor doesn't mean you are a great person.

  • Killazontherun||

    I don't give wife beaters breaks; sorry, its just not in me to respect him on any level.

  • John||

    His personality or character has nothing to do with his acting ability or the quality of his movies. What, am I supposed to pretend I never liked his movies because he whacked Ali McGraw, who was a nut in her own right, around?

    I am a fan not a personal friend. So, his behavior as a private person has no effect on my view of his work.

  • Killazontherun||

    You point to Steve McQueen as a reason to love this country. I'm just saying there are twenty million better reasons that could state the case. Plus, I don't think acting and movies are that important in the scheme of things.

  • John||

    I think it is. A thousand years from now, people will most likely still be watching Hollywood movies. The 20th Century Hollywood movie will be remembered as one of the great contributions this country ever made. And he is a part of that.

  • Killazontherun||

    Nope. The number of people per generation that are even aware of who McQueen was can be expressed in exponential division. Hollywood movies are not even as valued as an art form now than they were when we were in our twenties twenty years ago. It's a different world coming up, and we are not setting the rules, mandating their desires, nor will they live under our cultural prerogatives.

    Much of classic era Hollywood movies were filler material, painful to watch now due to the the lazy exposition they could get away with when there existed little competition for the entertainment dollar. Like most everything else, it will be known for the mean and the average more than the occasional flourish of greatness once the sentiments of contemporaries are long forgotten.

  • John||

    ollywood movies are not even as valued as an art form now than they were when we were in our twenties twenty years ago.

    The classic ones are valued even more now than they were then. Hollywood's inability to make good movies anymore has made them more valuable.

    Like most everything else, it will be known for the mean and the average more than the occasional flourish of greatness once the sentiments of contemporaries are long forgotten.

    That is completely stupid and entirely contrary to reality. It is the greatness that is remember and the trash forgotten. Most Elizabethan theater was trash. But we still read Shakespeare and Johnson. No one bothered to even record most Greek theater, but the 44 plays they did, are still performed and read today. The world works totally opposite of what you think. The greatness is remembered and the average and bad completely forgotten such that people forget it even existed and think every play performed in 1600 London of 300BC Athens was a masterpiece.

    You have things totally backwards and badly mistaken.

  • Killazontherun||

    It is not stupid, you just don't see what is coming. People are losing patience with linear media in our own life time. A few generations down the road and the tolerance for movies is likely to be as excruciating to the typical viewer as our patience for reading classic epic poems like the Aenid.

  • John||

    Maybe you can't read the Aenid. but I can. And so can a lot of other people. And if your standard of failure is being considered like the Aenid, I will take the failure.

    All you are saying is that movies will move to the realm of high art, which is exactly my point.

  • Killazontherun||

    Maybe you can't read the Aenid. but I can. And so can a lot of other people. And if your standard of failure is being considered like the Aenid, I will take the failure.

    Okay, you are not even going to admit that your head is less geared to slog through an epic poem than generations past where they had far fewer stimulative options available to them and were acculturated in the original milieu. Signifying being more important than honesty to you, I can better understand your mancrush on Steve McQueen now.

  • Killazontherun||

    That is completely stupid and entirely contrary to reality. It is the greatness that is remember and the trash forgotten. Most Elizabethan theater was trash. But we still read Shakespeare and Johnson. No one bothered to even record most Greek theater, but the 44 plays they did, are still performed and read today.

    Get real. All the money every Shakespeare company in the world today make combine would not cover the cost of a single run of Cats in the late 80s.

  • John||

    Get real, Shakespeare is revered and read by millions will continue to be until there are no more people to read it.

  • Killazontherun||

    You recall last week when you stated you thought liberals only bought certain books to signify their status by having them on their shelves but not even bothering to read them? Pretty much the same thing, and much better and less prancy in the original Klingon.

  • ||

    I don't see what's so objectionable about being a junkie. You're only harming yourself, and if that's the life you want to live, be my guest. You're a free man/woman.

  • John||

    I wasn't being sarcastic. I don't see a problem with it at all. IN fact, I kind of envy him for being able to do that and get away with it.

  • Killazontherun||

    You recall last week when you stated you thought liberals only bought certain books to signify their status by having them on their shelves but not even bothering to read them? Pretty much the same thing, and much better and less prancy in the original Klingon.

  • John||

    I know he was an asshole But damn, I really can't knock his hobbies.

    Over the next three years, McQueen was content chiefly to sleep, eat, ride his bike, have sex with girls and take drugs.

  • Dweebston||

    I just wonder if that missing Oxford comma had instead failed to fall between riding his bike and hav[ing] sex with girls, what a world it might have been.

  • Sevo||

    John| 7.5.13 @ 10:21PM |#
    "America produced Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, the stingray corvette, the big block motor,"

    And you missed the Small Block?! Go hard or go home.
    A 305 in a preped '56 held records for some time in the early '60s, and yes, that was me driving.

  • Dweebston||

    I forget some of you are older than my parents. What was life like back in the era before smartphones and expensive lattes?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    I remember life before debit cards.

  • Dweebston||

    Unpossible. How did people pay for things, pocket change?

  • Lord at War||

    Pretty much... I remember when a pack of cigarettes cost less than a Bic lighter.

    (1976. Pack of Marlboros- $0.50-- Bic lighter- $0.53)

  • Killazontherun||

    We had random loot droppings from a constant stream of beast attacks back then.

  • ||

    This place has really gone down hill since Postrel left.

  • cavalier973||

    You know what else is great about America? The Chairman of the Board.

  • cavalier973||

    This is my favorite of the songs he sings.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

  • RightNut||

    Anyone else get the vibe that Tuccille is the weird dad. Not the wacky Dad, the weird one.

    I don't have kids, but mentioning the gay marriage debate and marijuana legalization seem like very heavy topics for a seven year old. At that age I was trying to figure out who would win in a fight, the red or green power rangers, and why Zordon was a floating head.

  • John||

    I would agree. Can't you give your seven year old a break on the political indoctrination? Maybe wait until they are a bit older?

  • RightNut||

    Made me think of this.

  • From the Tundra||

    Good in concept, but the world has other plans. Not just public schools, either, but children's books, tv shows, friends etc.

    I do not fault 2Chili for talking to his kids about this stuff. They will notice very quickly that their family is very different than most others. It helps them to know why (and how awesome being a freak libertarian can be)

  • John||

    Maybe. Or the kid may decide to rebel and be something totally different to piss off his parents.

    And as bad as schools are. I doubt there is that much indoctrination of seven year old kids and what their is is likely to be shit like gay marriage and birth control that Turcille agrees with. Seriously, unless he is sending his kid to Victory Christian academy, I doubt anyone is telling his kid that gay marriage is anything but the greatest thing of the modern era.

  • Fluffy||

    You're crazy, dude.

    The green indoctrination is literally off the fucking charts.

    That's the number one economic freedom issue of our times, and the indoctrination to the most radical left position possible on that issue is non-stop and without limit.

    That's on top of the routine communitarian indoctrination that schools have always undertaken.

  • RightNut||

    It helps them to know why (and how awesome being a freak libertarian can be)

    Or it will make them hate their parents for ruining the innocence of childhood. No pressure though.

  • From the Tundra||

    Ok, I'll concede that I never had gay marriage conversations with my kids when they were that young. I did, however, reassure them that the fuckhead DARE officer was full of shit when he had my daughter convinced that she would be kidnapped. Or the time I had to explain that the lefty mom-of-a-friend was full of shit when she told my son that people who liked guns were sick.

    I don't propagandize, per se, I just try to give them some perspective and a different cut at things

  • John||

    I thought DARE was about drugs. How did it end up being scaring little girls about being kidnapped? That is some sick shit.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Mission creep.

  • ||

    They also seem to cover gang membership, and "violent behavior".

  • ||

    Why John, don't you know that all drug users are funding their habit with money earned from their child prostitution rings?

    DRUGZ make you kidnap little girlz and sell them into slavery.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No. You have to get them while they're young or someone else will. Politics uber alles.

  • Dweebston||

    This is the party of Melissa Harris-Perry. Children are implements for leveraging their parents' inability to embrace the progressive utopia they've so painstakingly planned for us all.

  • Fluffy||

    Kids ask questions. You have to have answers ready.

    My kid walked up to me yesterday while I was on the computer. That Newsmax ad with Snowden on it ("Hero or Traitor?") was on the page I was viewing. And he says to me, "Why did Snowden go to Moscow?"

    Later that night he was on his own computer in the family room and he calls over to me, "Why do so many cities in California have the word 'San' in front of their names?"

    And I tried to explain about how those cities had been founded by Spanish explorers, who named the cities after Catholic saints, and how the Spanish word for saint was "san". So he says, "What's a 'saint'?"

    You might want to get through the day without explaining to your kid about the 4th amendment and about atheism, but they just aren't going to let you.

  • RightNut||

    "what's a saint?" and "why did snowden go to moscow?" have much simpler answers than the one Tuccille apparently gave to his son. Like I said, Tucille is the weird dad.

  • Fluffy||

    "What's a saint?" is actually very complex to explain to someone who really has no idea what God or heaven or Catholicism are.

    As far as the little guy knows, "heaven" is where cats go when they go to the vet and don't come back. I would not be surprised if he thinks it's an actual physical place full of cats hanging out, like the animal shelter in Shaftsbury.

    I went with, "Saint is a word people use to describe a dead person they think was very nice during their lifetime." So not really an explanation at all.

  • ||

    You could have said "Saints are dead people who certain religious people believe were very important and righteous while they were alive". Although either one is a simple enough explanation for a kid. You can discuss the finer points of your irreligious sentiment when the kid's old enough to understand what the church is.

    This is also why, even if you're atheist, I still think it's a good idea to introduce your kids to religious subjects, even as a matter of abstract study. They're going to miss out on the reasoning, metaphors and belief systems of over half the planet otherwise.

  • Xenocles||

    Fluffy's right. Kids ask questions and you really only have three choices. You can lie or grossly oversimplify to the point where you are basically lying. You can dodge the question with something like "when you're older." Or you can tell the truth to the maximum extent understandable. I don't recommend lying except in the most harmless of cases. (Yes, we keep Santa Claus going. But when my daughter asked me if I believe in God (my wife takes her to church), I said no.)

    It's easy to plan your kids' intellectual development but it just doesn't work that way. Kids aren't dumb, they're just ignorant and untrained in critical thought. Kids have their own minds, and they want the truth when they decide they want it, not on your timetable. And if you don't satisfy their curiosity, someone else will. Given the state of education and journalism you owe it to your kids to give your own values the exposure they deserve. If you can't do it when they ask, when can you do it?

  • sticks||

    No. I get the impression he is an honest, loving, loyal father.

  • RightNut||

    And a weird dad can't be those things too?

  • sticks||

    Sure. But weird was used with a negative coronation that i just don't pick up with Tuccille.

  • RightNut||

    It is negative, but it doesn't mean he's a bad parent.

  • sticks||

    Rockets Redglare

    Great American or Greatest?

  • ||

    The future may not be what it use to be: The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be

  • John||

    We can hope. But I am thinking the powers that be will be a bit more resilient than we think they will be.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I can't believe nobody has yet mentioned that 2chili's son's name is ...TONY.

  • John||

    He needs to keep better track of what his son is doing on the internet.

  • Luddite||

    WITHOUT SPACES!

  • myaskyler9||

    my roomate's step-aunt makes $60/hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for 10 months but last month her pay was $21484 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site Go to site and open Home for details
    http://WWW.JOBS31.COM

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    AMERICA!

  • cavalier973||

    You know, after reading this, I'm back to the "America is on its way out" funk.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

  • Irish||

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That way I'm free to be patriotic, because the Constitution is wherever I'm standing.

    The Constitution is a moveable feast. Unfortunately we're down to leftovers.

  • Killazontherun||

    It's the unmovable ones you have to worry about. Intestinal blockage can kill you.

  • Warrren||

    Negro, I implore you!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I don't see why the US flag (which predates the US government) needs to be associated with the current government. Some patriots prefer to hang up the 13-star flag corresponding to the original republic; I have a black acquaintance who hangs up the flag for the post-Civil War republic. Myself, I hang up a Gadsden flag, the Pine Tree Flag, and of course the Puerto Rican flag.

  • Abraham Simpson||

    My flag only has 49 stars!

  • Abraham Simpson||

    It will be a cold day in hell before I recognize Missour-ah!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Q: Why couldn't the baby Jesus be born in Missouri?
    A: Because they couldn't find 3 wise men or a virgin.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Q: What is the definition of safe sex in Missouri?
    A: Placing signs on the animals that kick.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    My general impression of most libertarians who refuse to acknowledge any sort of public pride or respect for the US is that, rather than being unable to understand that patriotism need not be blind deference, most simply believe the public display to be gauche or their fellow citizens undeserving enough to merit the sentiment.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    That, and it serves mostly to turn off what little critical thinking skills our fellow-moron-citizens have. Thats enough reason right there to try to tone it down when possible.

  • Fluffy||

    Well, there's the little problem of the simple fact that the public displays people contrive usually ARE gauche.

    There are several things you can count on in America today, with regard to any public ceremony:

    1. It will be vulgar.
    2. It will be overdone.
    3. If any spontaneity is ever accidentally achieved in any one event, other event organizers will immediately spoil it by trying to duplicate whatever happened over and over, because everything must always be beaten to death.

    If you are desperately trying to make me feel some sentiment, and the means you've chosen to do so is the piling up of schmaltz in a context where I am socially sit through it without pointing and laughing, you are only going to annoy me.

  • Fluffy||

    Sorry, that should say "...socially obligated to sit through it..."

    My southern Vermont town is too small and too cheap to put on any July 4th celebration that would cut it with you city folks.

    All it could manage was some really not very impressive fireworks.

    So the citizens brought their picnic baskets and blankets down to a local park (where there was no security gate to pass through, no metal detectors, no bomb-sniffing dogs) and everyone sat on the lawn and watched the not very impressive fireworks.

    There was no F-14 flyover. No one demanded we engage in a rote moment of silence for bombing victims somewhere. Nobody played "I'm Proud to Be an American". There were no monster trucks. There was no giant American flag for the crowd to pass along over their heads.

    In other words, it was nice. And so I could enjoy it and feel a little patriotism.

  • Timon 19||

    F-14 flyovers are kind of hard to come by, since they retired that airframe 7 years ago.

  • Fluffy||

    They were very common back when they were first beaten to fucking death...30 years ago.

  • Timon 19||

    Used to get F-15s fairly often in Columbus (Ohio State, Columbus Crew).

  • Killazontherun||

    Highhhhwayyyy to the. DangerZone!

  • RightNut||

    There was no F-14 flyover. No one demanded we engage in a rote moment of silence for bombing victims somewhere. Nobody played "I'm Proud to Be an American". There were no monster trucks. There was no giant American flag for the crowd to pass along over their heads.

    I've been to a bunch of fourth celebrations in a variety of places in the US(Canada Day count?), and I've never experienced any of those things. Maybe the moment of silence, but that would be it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Same. At any rate, I don't see why anyone needs to associate patriotism with brash spectacle.

    My wife and I shop at Walmart -- it does not follow that either of us looks like one of the folks featured on People of Walmart, nor does it enter in my mind that I need to screech about how horrible Walmart is to be one of the "good" Walmart customers. Likewise, the best way to demonstrate patriotism that isn't tacky is... by not being tacky, not by rejecting the concept altogether.

  • juris imprudent||

    There was a tractor pull wasn't there? PLEASE TELL ME THERE WAS A TRACTOR PULL!

  • irismoore23||

    my neighbor's sister makes $86 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her pay was $13089 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more... www.CNN13.com

  • Gordilocks||

    Nice work, Mr. Tuccille. Your take on teaching kids honestly about the realities of the state are much appreciated; see your previous article http://reason.com/archives/201.....ak-the-law

    More parents like yourself = less sheeple in the future.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-WMn_zHCVo

    Cops protecting our freedoms on 7/4. Not enough Dr Pepper yet to manage posting links correctly.

  • ||

    God bless America.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Pigs gotta be pigs.

  • AlmightyJB||

    And the thing that really pisses is me off is the knowledge that if you show 100 people that video, 90%+ are gonna side with the cops.

  • ||

    No offense to southerners, but there is something about an arrogant kingshit cop with a southern accent that incites fury within me.

    You will respect mah authoritah!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You wouldn't be pissed off if he had a New Yawk accent while messing with you?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I can say this much in gratitude to Northerners: I've had my problems with good old boys, but when I'm tempted to prejudice, I see the anti-Southern venom of the Yankees and their ilk, and I realize that I don't want to be associated with that crap.

    The worst racism I ever heard was in the Northeast USA.

    The plunger-love cops ("rectum? Durn near killed 'em!") were in New Yawk.

    It was Boston cops who locked down a whole city because of two losers, thus enabling the very terror they were trying to create.

    I love my Yankee fellow-citizens, but when they try to make like they're uniquely enlightened vis-a-vis the South, I remember things like the above.

  • ||

    Close second.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You wouldn't be pissed off if he had a New Yawk accent while messing with you?

    No, a working class Boston Irish accent would be much, much worse.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Get aht of the cah...ah, sorry, Senator Kennedy, I didn't know it was you..."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Plus I notice that you *already* got aht of the cah."

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's regionalist!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Look at this way: Suppose some villain beats up your wife, sending her to the hospital. You want to punish the villain, and you want your wife to recover, but you aren't going to love your wife any less just because her health is bad.

    We've always had villains messing up this country - that shouldn't decrease our patriotism, it should *increase* it.

  • AlmightyJB||

    But if you have Libertarian writers, websites and politicians that don't live up to the standards of true Libertarianism, you should totally abandon it. Or at the very least don't let anyone else know you're a Libertarian. 'Cause if it's in trouble, it's not worth fighting for.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Interesting analogy, I hadn't thought of that.

    Re the flag of the USA - one regrettable side-effect of denigrating patriotism in the name of freedom is that the authoritarian knob-gobblers acquire a monopoly on flag-waving. Yet there is a fine tradition of dissidents proudly waving the flag in rebuke to American leaders who have betrayed the principles the flag represents. Eg:

    http://www.messiah.edu/externa.....s/MLK3.jpg

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, and if anyone would have a reason to rebuke the flag it would have been them. Who really owns liberty?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That's one reason I like *Lord of the Rings* - when traitors or madmen take over a kingdom, that's specifically the problem of the traitors or madmen concerned, not a knock against the kingdom itself - and once (say) Rohan and Gondor cast aside their lunatics and disloyalists, they can still kick ass.

    I wonder if there's potentially some kind of application to modern America?

  • Sevo||

    OT, but "There's Nothing Left to Cut!"
    "California must restore [...] chiropractic services for Medi-Cal patients"
    But we got plenty for quackery!
    http://www.sfgate.com/health/a.....649649.php

  • sarcasmic||

    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    This. THIS. THHHHIIIISSSS!

    Unfortunately, the G isn't getting much (or deserving it) lately.

  • Mike M.||

    No Baylen LinkedIn foodie Saturday updates today I guess.

    Obamacare strikes: part-time jobs surge to all time high; full-time jobs plunge by 240,000. Gee, who could ever seen THAT one coming?

  • Sevo||

    So the crowing about all the new jobs sort of neglected to mention they were largely part-time jobs?
    Now what sort of news organizations would participate in such propaganda?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Granma?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    And even with the new part-time jobs, the market is still so scarce that it takes multiple interviews just to get hired by a fast food place or chain retailer.

    I just saw that this is the longest stretch of 7.5%+ unemployment since they started keeping track in the 40's. And only 47% of adults have a full-time job. Meanwhile, more people than ever are on some sort of welfare, and Obama's big plan is to threaten to destroy the fossil fuels market, the one bright spot in this economy.

  • GLK||

    I do not see the flag as representative of our increasingly oppressive Government. Because the American flag was created by Liberty loving citizens for Liberty loving citizens such as the author of this article. That's what I see and celebrate when I fly it.

  • oscarwhitehead01||

    up to I saw the check 4 $4313, I did not believe that my neighbour realie bringing in money part-time at there labtop.. there moms best frend has done this 4 only about twenty two months and a short time ago took care of the dept on there cottage and bought themselves a BMW. I went here.... WWW.CNN13.COM

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    'Murca!

  • SIV||

    Who changed the font? Is it just me?

  • AlmightyJB||

    If your gonna do shrooms for breakfast you need to share.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    you're

  • AlmightyJB||

    Grammar rules are for suckers.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Or spelling rules since youll prolly bust my balls on that.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    the left margin seems smaller.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm not seeing it. Looks the same as it did last night.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    I see now that it changes with browser window size :)

  • ||

    Hey Reason...

    How bouts a little weekend link love?

    WTF?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    A writer in *Dissent* magazine praises patriotism in rebuttal to Katha Pollitt (who, like Tuccile, told her child she didn't want to display a flag):

    http://www.dissentmagazine.org.....patriotism

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    [my version has a lot of "?" typos]

    "Her daughter had it right when she said that hanging the flag means standing together and honoring the dead and saying no to terrorism."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Question: So, is Mr. Clean supposed to be gay?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Why? Does he invoke something queer within you:)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Hardly. I couldn't live with a neat freak like him.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I was joking. Yeah, I couldn't live with a neat freak either.

  • Almanian!||

    So you're not gay. NTTAWWT

  • AlmightyJB||

    Nope. But if I was a chick I'd totally be a Lesbian.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    He'll be whatever you need him to be.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Oh,say does that star-spangledbanner yet wave? O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    Legit

  • AlmightyJB||

    "My attitude toward patriotism has always been pragmatic, based on a family history of shopping for convenient nationalities."

    That's all well and good but where do you go next? If you can't fight for freedom here, where can you fight for it?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    For days, CNN has been running Snowden articles accompanied by this fairly neutral picture of him. Now check out the picture og him on CNN's website today. From the same interview, but captured at a different time. His eyes are narrow and silted, his mouth in a slightly downturned position; all in an attempt to make him look sinister and evil.

    Disgusting.

  • np||

    Probably because of Snowden's criticism of Dear Leader on July 1

  • ||

    I am usually ashamed of my government. I suppose I can celebrate the 4th since we are relatively free. It could be worse. http://m.timesofindia.com/worl.....945299.cms

  • ||

    While I can understand the sentiment, I can say from experience that turning your kids into beaten down cynics before they reach puberty doesn't exactly set them up for the most happy and successful life. Even if they accept your philosophy. Which they probably won't when their first douchebag social studies teacher comes along and promises them blissful happiness at the expense of someone else. And on top of being Debbie Downer, speaking to your 7 year old as if you were a character from an Ayn Rand novel is just a little... weird.

  • Killazontherun||

    I think you are right. I'm always cheerful around my kid no matter what I'm telling him. If he at some point wants a flag, I'll buy him a flag. I'll tell him also that when he accepts the flag as his own banner* he also accepts the actions be them good or evil done in its name to also have been done in his. I'll strain to make him understand this because it is of the absolute importance to understand what obligations entail, but no badgering or brow beating from dad.

    * The entire family except for a few stray outliers are huge Game of Thrones fans. Most from the HBO series but me, my brother, sister and cousin Levi and his wife have all read the books. We came close to having Levi make us a Banner of the Flayed Man to fly on the Fourth, but his work (runs the machine shop for the Lorillard plant (makes his own chain and platemail there for his activities in the Society for Creative Anachronism) got a bit busy this past month.

  • ||

    I'll tell him also that when he accepts the flag as his own banner* he also accepts the actions be them good or evil done in its name to also have been done in his.

    That seems like a lot of pressure to put on a kid who probably doesn't or can't understand a lot of the things the government does. You can make it age-appropriate. I wouldn't make my kid bear the weight of Iraq or Libya or the military industrial complex or economic stimulus for wanting to hang up a flag when the only thing he knows about America is the grade-school version of George Washington manhandling the British to secure our freedoms. FFS, let them be kids. IMO. YMMV.

  • Killazontherun||

    He's just a little younger than I was when I witnessed Nixon resigning, Saigon falling and Jack Nicholson improving a young retarded man's self esteem by getting him laid only to see it smashed away by an overreaching authority figure, Al Pacino committing a heist to pay for his tranny lovers surgery, Bonnie and Clyde getting blown to smithereens and I understood those things. I don't want to underestimate my son.

  • ||

    I don't want to underestimate my son.

    Every kid is different, of course, and I don't know how old your son is (I was thinking of Tucille's 7 year old when I posted), but as a general principle, speaking partly from experience as a kid (albeit with more dysfunctional parents), they don't need adult responsibilities and adult concerns put on them at a very young age.

    That said, I think I was 9 or 10 when my dad drilled into me how important my right to remain silent was, explained that I don't have to talk to the police and why I shouldn't, and gave me a pocket bill of rights. At the time I thought he was being rather paranoid and it didn't occupy much of my focus, but it did lay a foundation.

  • np||

    I think the basic principles on which the country was founded were pretty good, but it's gone downhill since then.

    You know who else celebrated our Independence by reflecting it's going downhill?

    But is the spirit of the people an infallible, a permanent reliance? Is it government? Is this the kind of protection we receive in return for the rights we give up? Besides, the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united.

    From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.
  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The USA has had serious crises before. On two occasions, the forces of the British Empire were marching up and down throughout the country, threatening its independence. The slavers tried to distort and deny the meaning of Founders' principles. Woody Wilson set up what Johan Goldberg claims was the first fascist regime (including Jim Crow). FDR subordinated freedom to crackpot economics which even Krugman today wouldn't endorse (and he locked up the Japanese-Americans). LBJ tried to complete FDR's work by putting everyone on the dole.

    If you want to give in to Denethorian despair, go ahead, but it's not your call to say when the battle is over. That's for others. If worst comes to worst, you can at least be Cato the Younger, fighting to the end in defense of a republican constitution.

  • Almanian!||

    it's not your call to say when the battle is over. That's for others.

    Fuck off, slaver. I declare the battle over as well. If you disagree, that's your prerogative.

    But please - don't EVER tell me it's for "someone else to decide." No - it's not.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Screw you, retard, how exactly do you get to decide, by yourself, when the battle is over?

  • Overt||

    Fuck off, slaver. I declare the battle still on. If you disagree, that's your prerogative.

    As long as one person fights, the battle is not over- whether you believe it is or not.

  • ||

    "Senator Kennedy, I didn't know it was you..."

    My brush with fame... pulled over then Assistant District Attorney (third time's the chahm with the bar apparently) John Kennedy Junior early one morning in Martha's Vineyard.

    He was sober. And no wimmins in the car, either.

    Sober!

  • cavalier973||

    At least in America, one doesn't get arrested for saying that homosexuality is a sin.

  • goneGalt||

    That and Holocaust denial. (Disclaimer: Not something I subscribe to.)

    Still, I fear we may lose those sort of speech rights in the all too near future.

  • jdtuccille||

    When I wrote this piece, I knew that some people would agree, and some would disagree (even strongly). What boggles my mine, though, are the objections to discussing ideas and values with children. I was raised with discussions of this sort and so was my wife. Neither one of us would consider depriving Tony of these conversations, even if they (sometimes) go over his head.

    Don't underestimate your kids or deprive them of your viewpoints. They're getting other people's opinions, I guarantee you. You're not doing them any favors by waiting until some magic age when it's OK to discuss the world.

  • cavalier973||

    Fishing for more posts, eh? If you get to 500, do you get a toaster?

  • Almanian!||

    AHA! So Tony (no spaces) is your kid!

    Good article, JD. I have a telescoping flagpole and fly the stars and bars pretty much 24/7, excepting for windstorms.

    And I wholeheartedly agree with talking straight to your boy. I always knew when people were condescending when I was growing up - most kids do. So I think it's best to talk straight. Makes 'em better people who can think critically, I believe.

    Anyway, belated happy 4th anyway. I'm much more pessimistic than you, but there's a little kernel in there...KEEP HOPE ALIVE! KEEP HOPE ALIVE!

  • ||

    What boggles my mine, though, are the objections to discussing ideas and values with children.

    I don't think it's the discussion of ideas and values people object too as much as pissing on a 7 year old kid's holiday because of your rather cynical assessment that America has no redeeming values worth celebrating. I very much sympathize with the sentiment, but I wouldn't share it with my 7 year old. "My dear boy, things are absolutely awful and are only going to continue to get worse. So you shouldn't feel happy or proud about the country you live in" sounds like something the parent of a comic book villain would tell his child in an origin story. Adolescence and all its accompanying shittiness is coming soon enough for the lad without him thinking that his future's so bright, he's gotta drink hemlock.

  • cavalier973||

  • Killazontherun||

    A bit much is made of your decision to have a serious discussion about the flag with your son being somehow weird. Parenting here in NC consist of a simple rule, WWAGD, What Would Andy Griffith Do. Would Sheriff Taylor sit Opie down and tell him about civic obligations and how they pertained to the flag? Well, he did. Pretty sure the episode where Opie was leading his rowdy rough neck crowd into a confrontation with Mrs. Crabtree because he found the civics class to be boring covered that very ground.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's a bit obnoxious. A national flag can represent so many things (especially in this country) that going on a politically-charged tirade regarding same provides unwarranted context to an innocuous bit of Americana. It's along the same lines of using Walmart as an object lesson for Amerikkka's evul for a proggie trying to indoctrinate his or her kids -- there's no reason to overly contextualize something that is fairly banal.

  • Killazontherun||

    Laughing at the image that your discription put in my head. I picture little Tony thinking . . 'but that flag over there whipping in the wind looks so pretty, makes that crisp ruffling noise, and I want it! Why does dad always have to be such a dick!'

    I know, that undermines my own arguments, and is all poetic license, but it just struck a funny chord.

  • Overt||

    As I read this, I couldn't help but chuckle at how cute Tuccille was trying to be.

    For years, people have looked at the flag and been inspired. Whether it has inspired good or ill has always depended on the individual.

    I have no doubt that the current state of liberty in this country is a convenient explanation for Mr Tuccille to justify his natural revulsion. He basically admits as much when proudly proclaiming his family's 'pragmatic' traditions. Despite his wailing about our current state of affairs, twenty years ago he'd have found some other excuse to justify eschewing the flag- as he would have in 1800 or 1900. It is cynicism pure and simple, and rational excuses are still excuses.

    For me, I don't find anything wrong in having lofty conversations with the kids. But let's be honest- he isn't having conversations, but rather preaching to his kid. What I find weird is that Tuccille would use this Teachable moment to turn him into a pessimist rather than an optimist.

  • cavalier973||

    I like American history that deals with the private sector; the history of how cities were founded, the development of music and art forms, the biographies of businessmen. But the things that one is expected to be proud of--"good government", democracy/republicanism, the military fighting world evil....meh.

  • Rainbow||

    What a bunch of deluded wishcasters. No, the Merkin flag doesn't represent an idea. It doesn't represent "the Merkin nation". It doesn't represent anything but the legal entity, that of the United States federal government. You say "but oh, it predates that government!" Except that the people making and displaying it used at as a symbol for the government that they had every intention of ruling. And did. It has 13 stripes, representing what, the 13 ideals? 13 occupations? Or 13 existing vassal governments who wanted to cleave off from their leige? Mao, Lenin, Hitler, they all brandished a flag before it became representative of a government®. Funnily enough, each and every one went on to rule the countries under that same "pre-government" flag.

    You might as well claim the EU flag doesn't infact represent the European Union®, but instead some nebulous bullshit good vibrations feelings of Europeans holding hands and wearing quaint ethnic costumes dancing around maypoles. The fuck it does.

  • Rainbow||

    But worst of all, are the scum patting themselves on the back because of the groundbreaking "achievements" the US made in outlawing slavery. Only in Merka! Except slavery was good and dead even in the supposedly repressive Britain many decades before the US. It was done in every single so-called "Western" country, and country of Western extraction before it was finally got rid of in the US, with the exception of Brazil.

    Merkins trying to claim glory and praise for "ending slavery", when they were the 2nd to last ones to do so, is disgusting. I can't wait for Saudi Arabia to bray incessently and proudly about being the world's foremost proponents of women's liberation, when they finally decide to let them wear a t-shirt in public. Same shit.

    And finally, we have the constitution fellators. "Sacred", some useful idiots claim. More than merely "pretty good", others insist. Except that the constitution was deliberately written to be a toothless piece of toilet paper for future statists to wipe their asses with. The Articles didn't lend themselves so easily to the weasely federal abuse that the constitution does. That's why they were replaced.

    But now that I've learned you all good, go back to jerking each other off about what free little serfs you are and how your Stasi-on-steroids masters don't mean anything, when you have shitty Merkin flag t-shirts and shitty buntings to give you the feelings of community that every statist so fervently desires.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I sense hyperbole...

  • Killazontherun||

    Isn't a merkin something actresses use to use to hide their vaginas during nude scenes? When did the word catch on to mean Americans? It is an ugly word with no expressive value. I think less of the people who use it when they allow it to tumble out.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's like the word "sheeple" -- using it tells me a lot more about you as a person than it does about the people you're describing.

  • Rainbow||

    Its like "faux news". It tells me that the idiot saying it has no idea how to pronounce "faux". Or that they have no experience with sheep and the fact that most sheep are less obedient and more willful than most humans. In other words, a derpster who gets their trademark insults from the political TEAM.

    'Merkin' has no such origin. Furthermore, both TEAM BLUE and TEAM RED are overwhelmingly wildly patriotic and pro-Merka. Neither of them would think to disparage their own government, their own system, and the peons that they rule over. Not as a whole. They only disparage the other TEAM. For harming or sandbagging their precious America and its destiny.

    You sound like you might just be such a TEAM playing tool.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ...

  • Rainbow||

    Not all loot drops are something you want, bubba.

    And I disagree, it fits perfectly. A pubic hair wig is a fitting euphamism for a desperate useful idiot who insists on identifying as something that is loathsome to begin with.

  • ||

    A pubic hair wig is a fitting euphamism for a desperate useful idiot who insists on identifying as something that is loathsome to begin with.

    Groundbreaking analysis bro.

  • Killazontherun||

    Not all loot drops are something you want, bubba.

    Tell me about it. I once used the same go to weapon for three days before finding one to replace it with which was pretty much the same weapon with slightly better stats, but also included a sweet 4.3x scope. That revolver turned out to be better than any of the sniper rifles I was carrying for long distance shots.

  • Rainbow||

    Oh yeah, and the Merkin flag is ugly, busy, garish shit. Much as I loath flags and everything they stand for, I have to say that vexilogically speaking, the US flag is utter shit.

    Flags are stupid though. And anyone who "proudly" waves one is a total dipshit.

  • ||

    Having a fucking drink dude. Goddamn.

  • ||

    Btw, in purely aesthetic terms, the Nazi flag is one of the more beautiful, IMO. Too bad it's been marred by what it came to stand for. But then, such is the nature of flags.

    Jamaica, Brazil, South Africa, and the Union jack all place highly for me as well.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Jamaica - that's the St. Andrew's Cross made out of two joints, right?

  • cavalier973||

    84 more posts, and that toaster is yours, JD! Well, 83 more posts, now.

  • Susan Hogarth||

    "dinosaur-oriented archeology"?

    How's that?

  • emmawatson695||

    my best friend's mother-in-law makes $74 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her pay check was $18367 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site........Buzz55.com

  • emmawatson695||

    my best friend's mother-in-law makes $74 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her pay check was $18367 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site........Buzz55.com

  • emmawatson695||

    my best friend's mother-in-law makes $74 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her pay check was $18367 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site........Buzz55.com

  • emmawatson695||

    my best friend's mother-in-law makes $74 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her pay check was $18367 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site........Buzz55.com

  • Paul.||

    Tony is only seven, so I'm never entirely sure how much of what I say sticks and how much doesn't.

    JD, as a father of a now 11-yr-o, I can tell you that A LOT sticks. You'll start being more and more surprised about what you said that stuck as he gets older.

    In fact, this is the time when more sticks than doesn't. It's when they turn 16 that stuff stops sticking.

  • cavalier973||

    I showed the video of the "DUI Stop" that's on another thread; they were duly impressed. "You mean the policeman's doing bad things? Why?" Opportunity for me to talk about stuff.

  • cavalier973||

    If you're not eating Memphis barbeque, you're not eating barbeque. I just thought I'd let everyone know.

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