Thanks go out to the good folks at Zaius Nation for the link.
Barack Obama got in hot water last week for discarding his American flag lapel pin.
There’s only one problem. This is not news. This is rhetorical fodder, dumbing down the level of discourse on American politics. But the internet has enough little cracks and crevices to foster the seeds of intelligible debate. Take this Bill Neikirk blog from the Baltimore Sun. The article is o.k. in itself, but the comments are gems. Aside from the occasional GFY (go f*ck yourself), some valid points are made by readers. One such point is the Flag Code.
The Flag Code is actually Title 4 of the U.S. Code, making it federal law. It states, “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.” Can’t be much clearer than that. If anything, the Flag Code is more newsworthy than Barack Obama’s personal statement on lapel pins. Jim Brossard clearly knows the code.
Although nativism is not truly news either. It is more a social current than news, but the fact remains that Mexican flags flying above Old Glory is worth talking about more than how unpatriotic Barack Obama is because he will not follow the herd. Mindless fodder for mindless people.
Pandering behind a facade of patriotism is being a fake soldier. Even worse is being a media pundit that tees off on someone for something that is not worth talking about. It obfuscates real debate. But maybe the plan all along has been to anesthetize the American public, to stifle critical thinking. At least some thought is brewing, occasionally bubbling up online.
Real freedom is questioning the motivation and intent of your government, not chattering about some crazy quote from Ann Coulter.
An easily mollified populace is one that does not think about the how or the why. Until people engage in real conversation, rather than gab about Dina and Michael Lohan’s divorce proceedings, America will continue to stagnate. So read a book, have a discussion with a co-worker that has differing political beliefs. Do anything you can to get past the gruel put out by journalists today.
Although, to be honest, I’d love to party with Ms. Lohan………
One thing that’s really nagged me about the entire argument concerning the wars abroad is, most pundits and people cease to realize why exactly we’re in military gridlock, stuck in Iraq until we get the green light, say 2011. We’re doing little to no physical reconstruction of real institutions. Try doing a google search for schools built in Iraq. I found three noteworthy articles. Harry Browne has this slightly scathing article on the reconstruction effort(http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/IraqQuestions.htm) , but it’s from 2005. A couple of articles come up from the past few months. Middle East Onlinebrings us the tale from Samawa of local villagers taking things into their own hands, never a good sign of foreign led progress (http://www.middle-east-online.com/ENGLISH/?id=20893).
But we do hear of the Minnesota Soldiers who just finished building a school in Balad (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1844853/posts). We see that progress is being made, but is it enough? Try searching for official White House figures. If you find any, point them in my direction….I can’t find them.
There’s no use in side stepping the real question I’m trying to illuminate: if we’re not replacing infrastructure, how in the world can we ever expect to be done in Iraq. I don’t want to argue about the merits of our jaunt into the Persian Gulf. Enough’s been said. But what needs to begin is a dialogue, namely on doing our best to replace and drastically improve the Iraqi infrastructure. This does not mean rebuilding the Oil Ministry (that was secured first thing, hence no need to rebuild), but taking the time and effort to make life a little more livable for regular citizens.
Some postulate, “But Drew, if we build schools and hospitals, terrorists would only try to destroy them.” Let ’em, I say. If we put in the work and actually construct beneficial facilities, whatever happens afterwards is out of our hands. Hell, even if some fanatics bomb a new school, all that would do is tip public opinion towards us. Is that bad? Not at all. What’s bad is that we haven’t heard anything about rebuilding the infrastructure in Iraq. How can an ideological war be won without engendering goodwill and extending an olive branch?