August 30, 2016

"Trump said something sarcastic about Kaepernick finding a country that he likes better."

"Persuasion-wise, the stronger play was to support Kaepernick’s right to free speech and invite him to be part of the solution, as I just did."

Says Scott Adams... who managed, without actually saying it, to create the idea in my mind — I know he's a hypnotist — that "The Star-Spangled Banner" will soon be widely regarded as racist and no longer acceptable as the national anthem. And that's before I read the CNN article he linked to: "Slavery and the national anthem: The surprising history behind Colin Kaepernick's protest."

And even though I personally reject the argument that Kaepernick needs to love America because it's better than the alternatives — it goes against my aphorism "Better than nothing is a high standard"* — I think Kaepernick's forefronting of the general abstraction of patriotism helps Trump.

I can imagine a psychological study that divides undecided American voters into 3 groups. Group 1 watches some well-crafted propaganda designed to inspire love for America. Group 2 watches a serious exploration of the pros and cons of whether Americans should love America. And Group 3 watches something — no more or less entertaining — that has nothing to do with patriotism. I'm guessing Group 2 would lean more toward Trump than Group 3.
___________________________

* Yes, you have to live somewhere, but you don't have to love it. Back in the 60s, those who didn't like the various anti-war and other protests had a slogan "America — love it or leave it." It was kind of like the old parental demand — on presentation of some unappetizing food — "You'll eat it and you'll like it." Why must I also like it? And how can I be ordered to like it? More sensible parents — like mine — would just say: "That's what's for dinner." They didn't prod me to go see if I could go get dinner at someone else's house and taunt me with predictions that I wouldn't even like it. This is dinner. This is what we're having. You need to eat. But you can have your own thoughts about it and dislike it even as you use it to fulfill your needs.

IN THE COMMENTS: Balfegor said something I meant to make you think:
I wouldn't be surprised if Group 2 actually leaned more towards Trump than Group 1 too . . . sort of like what we saw with Obama, Obama benefited when race was made salient in voters' minds (e.g. by the media and his other proxies), but less so when voters were beaten about the head about racism (cf. his late fade against Clinton II back in the 2008 primary). However well-crafted, propaganda that articulates a clear point of view can provoke a counter-reaction. That said, I suppose that means it just wasn't well-crafted enough.

237 comments:

1 – 200 of 237   Newer›   Newest»
eric said...

Trump is working to make America great again.

This guy is working to keep his job.

David Begley said...

And in other news, Russia just delivered some missles to Iran to protect Iran's underground nuke facility. We paid for the missles.

Thanks Barack!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

OK, I'll bite. what makes "The Star-Spangled Banner" racist?

rhhardin said...

National anthem and flag ceremonies have always baffled me. Who gives a damn? Apparently a lot of people, which is what baffles me.

Let's play some music and make everybody stand up. It's nonsense.

The reason for national anthems at ballgames isn't even fake patriotism that it comes off as. It's the get the crowd to shut up and pay attention so that the ballgame can begin.

It's marketing.

Now it's a test of love or something. Weird. Madness of crowds.

rhhardin said...

Handel's Messiah, Halleluja chorus, would be a better thing to play. Weed out the atheists.

The standing up was originally a mistake by a king who thought it was over, but it's an emperor's clothes kind of thing.

Humperdink said...

Group 4 are the NFL fans, who will be merciless on the Kaepster (assuming he survives the final cut). NFL is most popular sport in the US. Kaep is messing with their Sunday afternoon delight. It will not end well for Kaep. And this will not hurt Trump.

Balfegor said...

RE: Althouse:

I can imagine a psychological study that divides undecided American voters into 3 groups. Group 1 watches some well-crafted propaganda designed to inspire love for America. Group 2 watches a serious exploration of the pros and cons of whether Americans should love America. And Group 3 watches something — no more or less entertaining — that has nothing to do with patriotism. I'm guessing Group 2 would lean more toward Trump than Group 3.

I wouldn't be surprised if Group 2 actually leaned more towards Trump than Group 1 too . . . sort of like what we saw with Obama, Obama benefited when race was made salient in voters' minds (e.g. by the media and his other proxies), but less so when voters were beaten about the head about racism (cf. his late fade against Clinton II back in the 2008 primary). However well-crafted, propaganda that articulates a clear point of view can provoke a counter-reaction. That said, I suppose that means it just wasn't well-crafted enough.

rhhardin said...

Oh and the pledge of allegiance too. We can force you to stand and say this poem.

Even though it doesn't scan any longer because we added under god.

rhhardin said...

What's his name is as wrong as the rest. He thinks the ritual means something too, in order to say it means the opposite.

Where is the it's-nonsense lobby.

"If you don't like nonsense, don't go to some other ballgame."

Bob Ellison said...

Trumps answer would be, "You can pay me to like it."

madAsHell said...

OK, I'll bite. what makes "The Star-Spangled Banner" racist?

Cuz so many dead white males sang the song with pride.

All kidding aside, when I played high school football, nobody would sit on the bench. If you sat on the bench, then the coaches didn't have to make a decision.
I think this might be the end of Kaepernick. He posted good numbers when he had Frank Gore, but last year.....if I'm not mistaken....he threw more interceptions, than touchdowns. He is really a very mediocre QB.

David said...

Next time play the Hendrix rendition of the National Anthem. See who stands for that.

Rae said...

Remember when all those d-list celebs cut a commercial pledging allegiance to Barrack Obama?

David said...

"He is really a very mediocre QB."

Kicked the poo out of our Packers a few times. Then he was injured, and has lost weight, strength and confidence. Tough game, football.

Bob Ellison said...

I saw someone on Fox News yesterday saying that Kaepernick's dumb behavior is a money ploy: that if the 49ers bench him permanently (which already was likely) or trade or drop him, he'll sue on racial-discrimination grounds. That's far-fetched. Assuming the best, though, that K's behavior is some moral-high-ground thing (he's already richer than God), is equally far-fetched.

Much simpler to assume that he's just a fool.

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
Oh and the pledge of allegiance too. We can force you to stand and say this poem.


I "got in trouble" for refusing to recite it in school sometime around 1960 because pledging allegiance to a flag, of all things, seemed to make no sense, though the part about the invisible nation was pretty cool.

rhhardin said...

John and Ken on KFI long ago did an hour on how weird the pledge of allegiance was as a ritual, and got an hour of really really angry callers correcting them, none making any sense.

Unknown said...

"And in other news, Russia just delivered some missles to Iran to protect Iran's underground nuke facility."

Now why would Putin, Trump's BFF do this?

John Christopher said...

Althouse, I finally grasped the full meaning of your favorite aphorism as I thought "I'll have nothing" when confronted with sub-par dinner options at the recent back-to-school night for my kids.

Birkel said...

Let's all reject the notion that American citizens should love America. We can draw moral equivalence between Benedict Arnold and George Washington. Think of the fascinating world that some idiot with an advanced degree might believe can exist in that scenario, played out widely in any country in the world.

Why bother protecting the First Amendment when other countries don't? Why bother protecting Due Process? Shall we love the principles that live here and nowhere else but not love the country? How exactly might that work?

rhhardin said...

Ths star spangled banner is a waltz, anyway.

jdniner said...

In Afro Centric terms slavery was created by Africans. No doubt about it. It scourged the world until it was ended by the force behind the Star Spangled banner.

Kap should into the slaver history of Islam and the unwillingness there to evolve.

Part of the fabric of the US is slavery.

sean said...

That CNN article is peddling the usual offensive nonsense, that a lawyer endorses the litigants he represents. Both left and right do this, of course. The legal academy and the organized bar complain vociferously when the right does it, and attempts to tar someone who has done criminal defense as soft on crime. When the left does it, the academy shuffles awkwardly and talks about something else.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

What's wrong with suggesting he find another country he'd be more comfortable in?

If this country is so bad and it treats blacks and minorities so horribly he would be wise to leave.

Millions of people have left their country for a better place.

The fact he doesn't want to leave tells you everything you need to know. The country isn't that bad and he is just bitching and moaning for no good reason.

Birkel said...

rhhardin:

It is symbolism. There is no inherent meaning in much of what we do in life. I challenge you to defend, in a meaningful way, the value of your own existence. Surely you will not accept my challenge because it is impossible to successfully do so.

Somewhere there is a fence, placed somewhere for reasons now undetected. Let us pause and think a while before we tear it down so blithely.

cubanbob said...

Unknown said...
"And in other news, Russia just delivered some missles to Iran to protect Iran's underground nuke facility."

Now why would Putin, Trump's BFF do this?

8/30/16, 10:42 AM

Perhaps he is pissed off that Hillary didn't deliver on the bribes she took.

rhhardin said...

Let's all reject the notion that American citizens should love America.

Maybe that's the trouble. You think love is a feeling.

If you don't take your child to the dentist, people will say you don't love your child. Are they talking about a feeling? No.

Flag-standing makes the same mistake. It claims being moved to stand, when all it is is empty social pressure from people who like to be in charge of empty ceremony.

rhhardin said...

Could America exist without ballgames. I'm surprised the founders didn't put ballgames in the Constitution.

rhhardin said...

I challenge you to defend, in a meaningful way, the value of your own existence.

Google it.

jdniner said...

When in the military most of my positive mentors were young black sergeants in the 20-30 age range. It was a productive class of leaders.

I used to avoid 5 PM when taps was played and everyone had to stop and stand at attention for 60 seconds. It seemed inconvenient at age 18. Much later though after a few friends had died I realized I needed to have some awe and respect for them. If just as a common patriotic memory. I abhor having life lessons taught to me through death, but there it is. Can't be avoided. Too late.

Now at the ballgame I will stand with hand over heart and hat off anytime I have the opportunity to do so. When the Blue Angels fly over and the elite classes start complaining about the war machine and their dogs being scared? I think of how small those people are and how great these warriors for freedom are.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump's slogan to Make America Great Again is also a criticism showing a lack of love for America as it is. It may be a different form of expression than not standing for the Star-Spangled Banner, but it is in the same category.

The fact that Trump can't relate to Kaepernick and talk on a level that appeals to that point of view, which is not so very different from his own, is why he can't win the black vote, despite his rhetoric of sometimes appealing to it.

rhhardin said...

Trump can't win the black vote because the black vote goes Democrat.

Birkel said...

"Google it" was not meaningful.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

So there's a third verse that's racist? As I've never heard anything but the first verse, and that's the only one that's ever sung, I did not know that. Am I supposed to now be offended at the completely inaudible words that are never sung? I mean, debates about Victimae paschali laudis weren't this arcane. (For those who don't know medieval music, it's a sequence that includes a reference to the "lying crowd of Jews." Later, "Judeoram" was replaced with "populoram.")

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

rhhardin:

You should surround yourself with people who take the sybolism of the ceremony seriously.

Curious George said...

"David said...
Kicked the poo out of our Packers a few times."

That is why, despite him being an asshat, there will always be a special place in my heart for him.

Ann Althouse said...

"I wouldn't be surprised if Group 2 actually leaned more towards Trump than Group 1 too . . ."

Yeah, I left that open, but I was thinking that too.

"... sort of like what we saw with Obama, Obama benefited when race was made salient in voters' minds (e.g. by the media and his other proxies), but less so when voters were beaten about the head about racism (cf. his late fade against Clinton II back in the 2008 primary). However well-crafted, propaganda that articulates a clear point of view can provoke a counter-reaction. That said, I suppose that means it just wasn't well-crafted enough."

Yes. Just putting it in issue has an effect. That's what I was thinking.

cubanbob said...

John Christopher said...
Althouse, I finally grasped the full meaning of your favorite aphorism as I thought "I'll have nothing" when confronted with sub-par dinner options at the recent back-to-school night for my kids.

8/30/16, 10:42 AM"

I'll have the Frim-Fram Sauce With The Ossum Fay And Chiffa On The Side, thank you very much.

rhhardin said...

You should surround yourself with people who take the sybolism of the ceremony seriously.

I am surrounded by them. That's what's baffling.

BDNYC said...

Kaepernick is being rather cynical with his protest. Context is everything. He's a bust who lost his starting job and is on the verge of being cut. Kaepernick cleverly timed his surgeries so that he was "injured" as of April 1, in order to prevent the 49ers from cutting him without pay. The 49ers tried to trade him, but no other team wanted to eat his salary. The Broncos came close but Kaepernick refused to renegotiate his contract.

The situation is toxic and the 49ers have had two options since the trade with Denver fell through: (1) cut Kaepernick and hope he gets signed by another team who would pay part of his guaranteed salary for 2016, or (2) sit Kaepernick all season long and cut him in the next off season before next April 1.

This is the prism through which his actions must be judged. Kaepernick may be a BLM supporter, but spare me the garbage about his "courageous" protest. He's pursuing his own interests and playing the hand he's been dealt.

rhhardin said...

You can go to a ballgame but you have to go through a ritual that makes no sense to you.

Does that requirement make sense?

Humperdink said...

I find it interesting the one institution in the US that has minimal racial issues is the military. And Kaep won't stand for flag which reflects respect for our fallen military men and women.

gerry said...

Don't most kids coming out of the public schools today believe that the United States was the first country to practice slavery in the world?

gspencer said...

Kaepernick's actions are more related to his becoming a Muzzie. Hating America part of the Muslim code.

rhhardin said...

Religions have rituals, but except for islam it's not required of the public to participate.

Yet it's meaningful to the religions. There's a self-selection to it that's surely American.

Except for flag stuff, where it's not optional for reasons that I don't understand.

Brando said...

"However well-crafted, propaganda that articulates a clear point of view can provoke a counter-reaction. That said, I suppose that means it just wasn't well-crafted enough."

That's the value of subtlety. Rather than literally kiss an American flag and say "I am a patriot!"--which even patriotic people will think is obvious pandering, insincerity, or overkill--work in the subtle themes so that people unconsciously associate you with something.

rhhardin said...

You'd think that there are people who get self gratification out of enforcing ritual.

That would explain it.

rhhardin said...

There are so many things that are like that. PC is modelled after ballgame patriotism.

Just on the other political side.

You fail go to along with the emperor's clothes at peril of your job, on both sides.

cubanbob said...

jdniner said...
In Afro Centric terms slavery was created by Africans. No doubt about it. It scourged the world until it was ended by the force behind the Star Spangled banner.

Kap should into the slaver history of Islam and the unwillingness there to evolve.

Part of the fabric of the US is slavery.

8/30/16, 10:48 AM"

Kap ought to consider the the following alternative history scenario: Abraham Lincoln just prior to Ft Sumter after carefully considering the potential looming disaster decides to telegraph Jefferson Davis saying fuck it, let's have a beer and go our separate but friendly ways.

Rick said...

I think it's revealing none of our so called media have pressed Kaepernick on his position.

He supports a group whose members on multiple occasions advocated violence by chanting "Pigs in a blanket, fry'em like bacon". In fact this seems to be a sort of underground organizational anthem. One supporter killed 9 cops and wounded another 11 people. Others have advocated violence in other ways including by approving these murders. Organizers have demonstrated their animosity in other ways for example by asking Asian supporters "why are you even here" and racially segregating marches. These events are not outside the group's milieu, the very first introduction most of us had to BLM was their intimidation of college students studying in the school library.

So obviously Kaepernick doesn't believe organizations he supports should be defined solely by their worst members or actions.

Why then does he believe America should be so defined? And if you're going to support such a double standard do you understand people will appropriately think less of you for doing so?

Milwaukee said...

Patriotism is part of the material that leads men in public to defend women they don't know. Destroy patriotism, and we destroy part of that fabric, the belief that there are things greater than ourselves worth fighting for.

Show me a country were Blacks are more free and have fewer opportunities. Is a America perfect? Of course not. But we are working hard on being free.

And "Blogger Curious George said...
"David said...
Kicked the poo out of our Packers a few times."

That is why, despite him being an asshat, there will always be a special place in my heart for him.
"

George, I never thought you were a hater. Being a hater is so unbecoming. What, are you like, a Bears fan?

hombre said...

I'm sure Kaepernick was fully aware of the material cited by the Clinton News Network before he took his "stand." Lol.

It also took a lot of brass for the assholes at CNN to mention Jackie Robinson in the same breath with this $20 million-a-year loser.

GRW3 said...

The left always makes two mistakes about freedom of speech.

One is willful, they think it only applies to their speech.

The second is stupid, they think it should protect them from consequence.

rhhardin said...

Patriotism is part of the material that leads men in public to defend women they don't know.

So if you were an American in Germany you wouldn't defend a German girl?

You'd do better with the true Scotsman argument.

True patriotism has nothing to do with the ritual, which is what I'm arguing all along.

The ritual means nothing, or nothing good.

EDH said...

I liked Ross's predecessor, William "Bill" Alexander, better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hawf7zdJR54

rhhardin said...

Let there be a ritual in ballgames of letting people do what they want. Celebrate liberty by using it.

Maybe drop the anthem thing.

You can read winning lottery numbers to silence the crowd, to replace its function.

R.J. Chatt said...

Hasn't anybody heard of the "Law of Attraction?" Don't people understand that the pledge is an affirmation? It's not that all those aspirations already exist, but by affirming as a group the ideals of unity, liberty, and justice for all, and taking action in the direction, we bring them about.

Kaepernick aught to be spending his money to help people achieve their dreams. I don't see how sitting on a bench complaining about Francis Scott Key is going to accomplish anything. But then I think Kaepernick complaining about income inequality is absurd so maybe I'm not understanding his point.

rhhardin said...

Disco destruction night is a bad idea, though.

rhhardin said...

by affirming as a group the ideals of unity, liberty, and justice for all

What's liberty doing in there?

rhhardin said...

Laws of Attraction (Julianne Moore) is pretty good. She needed to be written as a little wittier, though, to get a fair battle to be fought.

rhhardin said...

You want unity in the military. The flag is a nice abstraction of it. But that's the military.

It's an efficiency thing.

Rick said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...
Trump's slogan to Make America Great Again is also a criticism showing a lack of love for America as it is. It may be a different form of expression than not standing for the Star-Spangled Banner, but it is in the same category.


This is not true. The statement recognizes America isn't great now, but that is not required for love. As long as we're pointing out this difference though remember the left attacked Trump for believing just this: that America isn't great. But now they're lining up with Kaepernick to say America not only isn't great but far worse than that.

Was there ever a less credible criticism?

Roughcoat said...


"You understand there is something outside yourself that has to be served. And when that need is gone, when belief has died, what are you?"

I love reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and standing and singing the national anthem. It reminds me ...

rhhardin said...

I love reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and standing and singing the national anthem.

You have a better vocal range than I do, then.

The question though is whether there should be social enforcement of the ritual.

Catholics probably like their rituals that I find ridiculous, but they're not dragging bystanders into it, at least in modern times.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Why patriotism? Why public displays of patriotism like the pledge, the flag, the anthem? And why do we require people to participate in them?

Rrhardin mentions religion and ceremonies. I think it's part of it. What is religion? A view , an outlook on the world, with shared values, morals, and systems of making sense of things (at least partially; religion is much more than that, but lets start there).

Throughout the United States's lifetime, there has been a clear undercurrent of "This is the truth, the best" about American ideals. We fought the British for our ideals, which were revolutionary--and still are! The core principle of America, as stated in the Pledge, has "liberty and justice for all." What other nation has that as their core principle-- for all? England, the King and queen and nobility have more rights than you. The Soviets and commies don't do "justice for all" or liberty. It's all "force everyone to be equal."

In theory, I can--here in America -- I can file a lawsuit against Obama if he shoots my dog and eats it. And I can win. Imagine: me, a common citizen, winning a legal battle against the leader of the nation. Only in America is that even possible. Rather, it was possible, but rapidly becoming less so.

This idea, of personal liberty and personal responsibility, is worth dying for. It's worth living for. Many, if not most Americans, believe that God is behind it (Yes, God supports America, or did. But now we are too good for God, so we are being left to our own devises and finding out that by Golly, it is not very good.). Pledging Allegiance to the flag is a ceremony, but it means something: we agree with America's ideals. And we commit to it.

When do we the citizen commit to defend and support America as an ideal, a theory, not just a country but for which America stands? America would still be America if we didn't live on this particular piece of soil. Just like Israel is a political, cultural, and religious ideal; a nation, under God, so too is America.

We aren't pledging to "God save the Queen" or to defend the Fatherland; we pledge to an ideal. And we must internalize it for it to mean anything.

The Anthem, the flag, the pledge: all physical tokens of the ideal of America. Those soldiers who survive defending this nation are defending more than some land and our right to live here; we defend our ideals, our virtues; our liberties and responsibilities. It's more than "Yay, go our tribe! We are better than your tribe!" Well, in our case it is true: our tribe, our system, our virtues, values and so forth are better. Our system is the greatest the world has ever seen.

And when people like Kaepernick mock the flag, the pledge, the anthem.... we know he is not part of our tribe; our beliefs, our values. He is declaring himself alien; he is excommunicating himself from America as a concept.

Yes, we have lots to work on, but the ideals of America are solid. The execution has been shaky at times, but to disrespect the ideal itself? He has the right to do so.... but in so doing, he also excommunicates himself, in my opinion, from taking advantage of those rights in the future. Thus, "Like it or leave" is, in my opinion, the only appropriate response here.

-- Vance

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams of course has an eye to the election and who can persuade how fast, a different problem than what's the deal with the anthem ritual.

I can't persuade women and even men, apparently. Baffling.

traditionalguy said...

The Stars and Stripes is a rally banner raised to gather fighters in a battle. The Anthem is written about that common experience fighting the British King's invading Army and Navy that came to take back his colonies and hang the rebels.

Conscientious objectors to that are welcome to sneer at fighters for that freedom and their banners.

But complaining about bad police really has nothing to do with it. It takes a George Soros tricked fool to say that nonsense.

Trump seems to be considering deporting those fools next.

rhhardin said...

So you want a tribe test at ballgames?

rhhardin said...

In school, if you don't say the pledge, you get in trouble not with students but with administrators.

It gets the students to shut up and pay attention, the same as at ballgames.

That's the violation. A useful ceremony is being undermined.

Meade said...

"So you want a tribe test at ballgames?"

Well, maybe at Redskins games.

Unknown said...

rhhardin: We recite the pledge before a school day; we recite it before our political meetings, our conventions, etc. In my church, we sing the Star Spangled Banner on the Sunday closest to July 4th.

Baseball: quintessentially American (so is apple pie). So is football. Basketball was invented here. I don't know if they play the anthem before a soccer match, to be honest. Probably we do, and if so, even better: we are taking something foreign and turning it American.

When else do most people get to hear the anthem or sing it, rather than a ball game? Ball games are about the only large gatherings of the public anymore.

If we didn't sing it at a ball game, our National Anthem would become like our national tree: do you know what it is? Does it matter? We have a national bird, the Bald Eagle, but we like it because it's the King of the birds and no one messes with a bald eagle.

If we don't sing it, who would know it? And thus we lose one of the civic markers of the nation as a whole.

Still, I'd be down for changing the anthem to "Onward Christian soldiers." That would be acceptable, yes? :D

--Vance

mockturtle said...

Vance, I like your posts. I had to make sure you were 'Vance' before reading it because I don't read 'Unknown' posts. Why do you post as 'Unknown'?

rhhardin said...

Sneering isn't involved. It's ordinary life opting out of the ritual that somebody, for some reason, wants to impose on you.

People opting out of islam aren't sneering at it. They're opting out.

It's the "It makes no sense to me" thing.

Smilin' Jack said...

"Trump said something sarcastic about Kaepernick finding a country that he likes better."
..."Slavery and the national anthem: The surprising history behind Colin Kaepernick's protest."


Sounds like he'd have to move to a country that never had slavery. Antarctica might work, but I don't think it has an anthem.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

There are probably countries out there that don't have a national anthem but I haven't heard of any of their athletes winning a medal at the Olympics.

rhhardin said...

I like the national tree idea! That's perfect. And you don't have to do anything around a national tree.

The whole problem has been flags and poems and music.

What better celebrates liberty than a national tree.

rhhardin said...

I recommend the oak. Nature contains nothing stronger.

rhhardin said...

Next we can do a national bird for the national tree. Then things begin to get controversial.

The red-tail hawk is probably best. They use its call anyway.

Michael said...

Colin is another tiresome man, thinly educated and not very smart making a point that makes us yawn. The world is unfair, Colin. Gain a tad of agency. Do something other than sit.

mockturtle said...

When I was a hippie/radical in the 60's it was a common motto used against us: America! Love it or leave it. We of the left were just plain WRONG but we did have the right to our stupid opinions and the 'right' had a right to call us out. There was a terrible ideological division then, just as there is now. I'd like to think that all Americans would unite together in respect for our flag and our anthem but they can't/shouldn't be forced to do so.

Roughcoat said...

The question though is whether there should be social enforcement of the ritual.

Social enforcement is indeed a terrible force, like Ensatzgruppen and NKVD blocking units.

Sebastian said...

"I'm guessing Group 2 would lean more toward Trump than Group 3." This looks suspiciously like a statement that could be refuted by reality.

The K stunt shows that people who think rituals are silly are wrong. Or they may be silly, but they are our sacred silliness, damn it.

Unknown said...

Why do I post as an Unknown? I'm not sure why. I signed into Google, and it shows my google account on the posting screen, but everything is always as an "unknown." I don't know how everyone else has a name and I don't.

So I leave the Vance to distinguish between me and the truly disgusting "Unknowns" who think that Marx was God and Hillary is just his latest profit (literally, with her)

--Vance

buwaya said...

"Why patriotism? Why public displays of patriotism like the pledge, the flag, the anthem? And why do we require people to participate in them?"

Because they convince people to fight for their country, or at least the propagandists image of it.

This is not new.

France was never a very cohesive country. Like most European countries it was made out of a variety of regions and linguistic areas, self governing and viewing others as foreigners. In fact parts of it were only very recently "foreign", having been acquired by the crown.

The French revolutionaries of 1792 created the greatest propaganda campaign in European history (up to that time), trying to create a French national consciousness to replace the king as an object of loyalty. Every trick every political propaganda campaign has ever used was first tried back then. Flags (formerly a royal symbol, but the modern flag comes from then), songs (the Marseillaise just for one - there were a huge number), poetry, speeches, the equivalent of Maoist struggle sessions, art, processions (a lot of processions), fetes, fashion, holidays, fake religions, personality cults, every last thing.

It didn't work sufficiently, because after the defeat of 1870 the French Third Republic went far deeper, by building the nationalist image deeply through education, with daily pledges, songs, histories, curricula, language, and in every way they could institutionalize it.

This did work, and was a major reason why the French suffered through WWI, absorbing disastrous losses, while maintaining their resolve.

They were copied of course, by the Germans, and everyone else eventually.

Meade said...

"People opting out of islam aren't sneering at it. They're opting out"

Some might be opting out and sneering at the same time. Just like some of us who have opted out of the so-called "white race". We also sneer at the very concept of race superiority/inferiority.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I think it was somewhere in the early 1970s that the leftish people finally figured out the countermove to "love it or leave it" which was the sarcastic "my country, right or wrong."

Yancey Ward said...

Like Adams, I thought Trump's line of discussion was not as effective as it could have been. However, it isn't going to hurt him either.

And I think Balfegor is actually correct about the leanings of the three groups with respect to each other. If you are in group 2, you are more likely to be part of the group that thinks the country is on the wrong track. It is going to include people that think Obama hasn't gone far enough, but I think they are going to be a minority within it.

This election is about that wrong-track feeling. All Trump needs to do to win is show that he is firmly against that track- something he hasn't quite accomplished yet, and it shows up in the polling data.

Kevin said...

The Anthem is played at the beginning of the game to remind us we all share common values and are one nation, prior to the game starting and the segregation of people into warring tribes based solely on the color of their clothing.

It's ironic then that Kaepernick choses to sit out the moment of unity to focus on the tribal aspects, in his quest for a more unified world.

rhhardin said...

I'd like to think that all Americans would unite together in respect for our flag and our anthem but they can't/shouldn't be forced to do so.

It's not exactly a different of opinion. It's that it doesn't mean anything at all, unless it's going along with social pressure.

I don't think I'm unusual in rejecting the ritual as ritual. Just in arguing it.

Oppression is worth stopping.

rhhardin said...

The Anthem is played at the beginning of the game to remind us we all share common values and are one nation

And if you're not reminded, your kneecaps get broken by the crowd.

rhhardin said...

The tactics of union goons are not a good sign for the pro-ritual side.

Brando said...

"I think it was somewhere in the early 1970s that the leftish people finally figured out the countermove to "love it or leave it" which was the sarcastic "my country, right or wrong.""

I never took that to be sarcastic, and didn't realize the left had come up with "my country, right or wrong." I see that statement as a true one--whether your country does good or bad (and even a great country has its faults) it's still your country, and you're better off fixing it than disowning it.

rhhardin said...

Civil inattention pretty explicitly advocates no sneering.

Roughcoat said...

Just like some of us who have opted out of the so-called "white race".

What? Where did that come from? Why?

boycat said...

I'll believe he's sincere when he returns his paycheck, along with all others he's received so far. Because white man's money is racist.

rhhardin said...

My country right or wrong is a lot older than me. It was controversial in fact.

Somebody will google it.

Yancey Ward said...

What Kaepernick is doing says more about him than it does about the country, and that was his mistake. There proper venues and ways for stating ones opinion, and how you go about that is related to the effectiveness of the criticisms (many of which I agree with in his case). Much of what Kaepernick said was entirely appropriate, but signalling it the way he did hurts him and undermines his critique.

And I found it interesting that it took a fairly deep search to find all of the things Kaepernick said that day. If you haven't, search for it.

rhhardin said...

I can't figure out what Rush is talking about either.

He's right that the NFL makes the rules for its players. He seems to be tailing that into what the public should think though.

donald said...

It's all about forcing his way out of San Francisco while still getting paid. Period.

Roughcoat said...


And if you're not reminded, your kneecaps get broken by the crowd.

An all-too frequent occurrence, alas. Every weekend hospital emergency rooms are flooded by kneecapped national anthem refuseniks.

rhhardin said...

You can't go by emergency room reports. They get flooded with all the injuries in the city.

Many blocks have no injuries at all, but the emergency room will never know it.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Roughcoat said...

And if you're not reminded, your kneecaps get broken by the crowd.

An all-too frequent occurrence, alas. Every weekend hospital emergency rooms are flooded by kneecapped national anthem refuseniks.

8/30/16, 12:19 PM

...and mounds of dead Muslims killed by the Islamophobes.

Unknown said...

Look, rhhardin: What, exactly, is wrong with the American values that are, as you put it, being Oppressive and forced on you? The Anthem is a celebration of our victory in the battle that truly was the most threatening to our country in history. If the Brits had taken Fort McHenry, we most likely would have lost the war of 1812 and with it, our country. All of the battles since then have not had that vital threat to our very existence that that one did, except possibly Gettysburg. And we have Lincoln's Gettysburg address to commemorate that one, also very famous and, it must be said, it was also mandatory for many decades to learn that one too.

Washington at Trenton; Gettysburg, Fort McHenry: Those are most likely the battles that preserved us a nation. And each has very, very famous artistic/civic memorabilia. Washington Crossing the Delaware; the National Anthem, the Gettysburg address: each indelibly embedded into our civic memory.

Yet you choose to crap all over them. Why? Why do you hate the Anthem, the Pledge?

Singing the Anthem is supposed to be a time when you are brought to remember more important things; things above yourself. Duty to country; Duty to others. It is supposed to unite all of us, Christian and atheist, rich and poor, black and white.

Yet you diss and attack the Pledge, the Flag, and the Anthem. I thought you were supposed to be a conservative? What values are we trying to conserve?

--Vance

rhhardin said...

Let's put it this way.

Because love is not a feeling, flag behavior is not a good litmus test for love of country.

mockturtle said...

Buwaya, that is very insightful. If we dissolve the glue that coheres nations and end up with a truly 'global' system, you can bet there will be an all-powerful world government at the helm. No one likes 'balkanization' but the fact is that separate, warring nations offer at least the possibility of freedom. A global government does not.

Roughcoat said...

"What is love?" Pilate said, and did not wait for an answer.

rhhardin said...

The war of 1812 was not a great one. Who remembers what the hell that was all about.

Tchaikovsky did a song about it, though. I'm surprised we don't use that. It had cannons.

rhhardin said...

As above, if you don't take your child to the dentist, people say that you don't love your child.

It's not a comment on your feelings.

Similarly love of country.

Meade said...

"What values are we trying to conserve? "

Values of liberalism.

mockturtle said...

rhhardin, did you forget to take your meds today? ;-)

traditionalguy said...

It's interesting to see the same guys who insist on group dishonoring the Stars and Bars from White Heritage to make black people happier, have now moved on dishonoring the Stars and Stripes of White Heritage that fought the many battles to defeat those Stars and Bars States.

It seems the offense is the existence of any White Heritage.

Some real history needs to be taught again. The European Empires were the Bad guys. The WASP American Revolutionaries are the good guys. Honest.

rhhardin said...

The fight against oppression

Thurber's ``misogyny,'' like Beauvoir's assault on the myth of the gentle and obedient woman, a myth that has killed so many powerful women, has its sources in a vision of human possibility more powerful than the pseudomythologies they both inherited. It took Thurber a while to parlay that knowledge into art, but the point is that he did manage it, as near as one can make out, actually managed grown-up human thought. The famous first-wife-on-the-bookcase cartoon is the product of a mind that knew as much as Tocqueville, Beauvoir, and Virginia Woolf ever did about the lethal forces hidden behind the sweet fairy tale of the tidy suburban marriage.

I will stay with this digression for a while. When I call Thurber a ``feminist,'' I mean that his work comforts, stays, and succors me at moments when new versions of the ideally sweet, supportive, and harmless woman come my way unexpectedly and treaten my peace of mind. Observations such as the following are what I have in mind.

Women writers cooperate with and are grateful to the books of their predecessors. The masculine tradition of relationships among texts is that anxiously suspicious and competitive one so ably and anxiously described by Harold Bloom; women, by contrast, support and nourish each other's writings. The male tradition of triumphant and antisocial excellence is alien to the feminine literary intelligence.

...Fortunately Thruber himself is to hand, with his wonderfully combative, aggressive, competitive women. I just reach onto my bookshelf and open Thurber's Dogs at random. I find the piece ``Canines in the Cellar,'' a tale about one of Thurber's role models, his mother. The occasion is an impending visit from Aunt Mary, whom our heroine, Mame Thurber, dislikes and does not nourish. Aunt Mary in her turn hates the Thurber family's beloved dogs.

...my mother had spend the afternoon gathering up all the dogs of the neighborhood, in advance of Aunt Mary's appearance, and putting them in the cellar. I had been allowed to go with her on her wonderful forays, and I thought that we were going to keep all the sixteen dogs we rounded up...

The big moment finally arrived. My mother, full of smiles and insincerity, told Aunt Mary that it would relieve her of a tedious chore - and heaven knows, she added, there were a thousand steps to take in that old house - if the old lady would be good enough to set down a plate of dog food in the kitchen at the head of the cellar stairs and call Judge and Sampson to their supper ... when the door opened and the could see the light of freedom and smell the odor of food, they gave tongue like a pack of hunting hounds. Aunt Mary got the door halfway open and the bodies of the largest dogs pushed it the rest of the way. There was a snarling, barking, yelping swirl of yellow and white, black and tan, gray and brindle as the dogs tumbled into the kitchen...

When the last one had departed and the upset house had been put back in order, my father said to his wife, ``Well, Mame, I hope you're satisfied.'' She was.

Now, that's my heroine! I identify with her, I emulate her, I want to live up to Mamie Thurber. And where would I be without her? Roughly where American women so often are - gloomily deciding yet once again that if women writers are nice, I must not be a woman, or a writer, or something. In a state of confusion, in short.

Mame's summoning of the dogs in the battle against senselessness and oppression is a typical maneuver in Thurber, and one that ought to be taken seriously...

Vicki Hearne ``Beware of the Dog!'' _Animal Happiness_ p.106

Think of yourself as a gentle obedient woman.

Meade said...

"A global government does not"

For awhile, Pax Romana offered the freedom from war.

Brando said...

"The war of 1812 was not a great one. Who remembers what the hell that was all about."

Think of it more as us making a mistake, and then our young navy pulling us out of what could have been a real mess. The lessons from it are appropriate for an anthem, because they teach us:

1) Dumb politicians can get us into bad wars.

2) We have heroic troops and sailors who perform splendidly even when the war was an ill-conceived one.

3) We're a strong enough country to withstand a major empire invading our capital and burning the White House to the ground.

poker1one said...

From http://ninerswire.usatoday.com/2016/08/28/transcript-colin-kaepernick-addresses-sitting-during-national-anthem/

"CK: You have Hillary who has called black teens or black kids super predators, you have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me because if that was any other person you’d be in prison. So, what is this country really standing for?"

Why hasn't this received any attention?

Quackademics being quackademics. It's positively astounding to me how many people are so foolish they don't understand or know love of country. Your necks are on the line and you debate. Good luck with that.

buwaya said...

"For awhile, Pax Romana offered the freedom from war."

For a while, so did the Pax Americana.
To a similar degree.

mockturtle said...

Freedom from war does not equate with personal freedom. The Pax Romana is a good example of that. Most of us hate the waste and carnage of war but, given a choice between peace or freedom, I will take freedom.

Meade said...

Exactly -- Pax Romana, Pax Americana -- both global governments, both relatively efficient at freeing their citizens from continual war.

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
My country right or wrong is a lot older than me. It was controversial in fact.
Somebody will google it.


ngram. First occurrence is 1850, taking off in 1900, high around 1940, then tapering off. I dunno if the source material always refers to the U.S.

Unknown said...

Every year close to where I live, there is a large pageant put on, free admission. It's one of several the Mormon church puts on around the country.

I've been in this pageant before, and relevant to this discussion is a scene about the Mormon Battalion. Now, this is one of the most important military groups in our history, because the Mormon battalion's march in the war against Mexico essentially determined our southern border. It was their march that allowed us to claim California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

But here's the thing: the Mormon Battalion, by all rights, should never have happened. It was raised from the Mormon's who were, at that time, leaving the US boundaries; having been kicked out of the country by gunfire and mobs; with said mobs having pretty much official governmental sanction.

So why did the Mormons, in the very act of leaving the United States so they could have peace, rustle up 500 men that had to leave their families on the cold prairie and march off to war, under the flag of the US?

Because they believed in the values: Freedom of speech, religion (even though freedom of religion and the Mormon church; well, let's say that that guarantee has not been extended to the Mormons very consistently). And the Mormons have always been faithful defenders of the US and its Constitution; despite the faithlessness of the US government towards them. Kapernick has a beef with how the blacks have been treated? Guess what: the last group as a whole that I'm aware of that had the right to vote taken away was the Mormons, in a 9-0 Supreme Court decision well after the 14th amendment and civil war was over.

Yet the Mormons do not have a "Mormon lives matter" group marching around killing cops. And our flag still means something, and so does our anthem, and our pledge. It's not oppressive to remember our past, or pledge to the flag.

--Vance

Meade said...

"Freedom from war does not equate with personal freedom."

It did for me when I turned 18 in 1972.

rhhardin said...

It's not oppressive to remember our past, or pledge to the flag.

It's oppressive to require participation in the ritual. Is this hard?

Gusty Winds said...

Meade said...For awhile, Pax Romana offered the freedom from war.

But that was between different nationalities within the Roman Empire, correct? That's like Alabama not going to war with Oregon.

Wikipedia lists the Pax Romana period as lasting 206 years between 27BC and 180AD. I guess besides the crucifixions, it was a relatively good time to be under Roman domination.

buwaya said...

"But that was between different nationalities within the Roman Empire, correct? "

Not just that, but also that the empire would protect those within the limits (literally the "limes", the term for the military/civil border) of the empire.

Such as Gaul from the Germans, or the East from the Persians, Britain from the Picts, etc., all along the borders.

Many Imperial wars were about holding the borders, or restoring the borders.

BDNYC said...

@ Gusty Winds. The notion of "Pax" is a drastic reduction in warfare under a stable balance of power. If the balance is disturbed or destabilized, e.g., by the rapid decline or rise of an important country, then warfare becomes more likely. Some people believe that a unipolar balance of power is often the most stable because the superpower feels obligated to behave responsibly even when it conflicts with its interests, hence Pax Romana, Pax Britannica, Pax Americana.

Quaestor said...

Because love is not a feeling, flag behavior is not a good litmus test for love of country.

That's evasive bullshit, rhardin.

mockturtle said...

"Freedom from war does not equate with personal freedom."

It did for me when I turned 18 in 1972.


The draft is an interesting question. I protested mightily against the ill-conceived, ill-executed Vietnam war. My brother was a medic in 'Nam and I was grateful he came back alive. But does a nation not have the right to muster troops when needed to fight the enemy? Do we get to pick and choose which wars we fight? I have no definitive answer to this question but I do believe that, as citizens, we have inherent duties. This nation was founded upon an armed conflict, after all.

Fernandinande said...

Meade said...
We also sneer at the very concept of race superiority/inferiority.


Wow, that's really a wonderfully subtle and creative form of virtue signaling.

Vance said...
We have a national bird, the Bald Eagle, but we like it because it's the King of the birds and no one messes with a bald eagle.


Sparrows harass the hell out of 'em.

Quaestor said...

It's oppressive to require participation in the ritual. Is this hard?

More bullshit.

Sebastian said...

"It's oppressive to require participation in the ritual." In this country we don't require it. We just use it to identify the assholes.

buwaya said...

The Pax Americana was much like the Pax Romana. It meant not just that the Iranians (under the US umbrella when still under the Shah) would play nice and not take over Bahrain (also an ally within the umbrella), but also that the US guaranteed its allies from foreign invasion. Those were and mostly still are the modern limes of the American Empire.

Currently being seriously challenged, again.

Quaestor said...

Trying to earn that Ph.D, are you rhardin? You're piling it up so fast and deep I must conclude so.

David said...

"Most of us hate the waste and carnage of war but, given a choice between peace or freedom, I will take freedom."

Yes, but when is that actually the choice, as opposed to believing it's the choice?

Those of us who have never been involved directly in war (nearly all of us) probably overestimate when peace and freedom are the actual choices. Personal experience in war can lead to more caution. That's why I tend to trust our military on these issues more than politicians and even academics, who always choose "peace" it seems.

Large scale war between militarily equal developed states seems to me more likely now than it has been since the 1950's. Even if nuclear weapons are not used, it will be worse than we tend to imagine.

Roughcoat said...

Pax Romana, Pax Americana -- both global governments

No, not at all. Bad analogy. There has never been a global government, fortunately. Try again. Think "hegemonic power."

rhhardin said...

"It's oppressive to require participation in the ritual." In this country we don't require it. We just use it to identify the assholes.

If you're even normally sensitive to being thought to be an asshole, then you're being oppressed, assuming you think the ritual is idiotic to require. Right?

The interesting question is what fraction of the population that is, and how would you go about finding out?

I understand that there are people who like the ritual and people who like imposing it. The question is how many think otherwise.

rhhardin said...

Things were so much simpler when the Stasi could just come in and take away the assholes.

rhhardin said...

A fair number of people do not sing or (any longer after 24 hour TV) listen to the national anthem, nor do they say the pledge, in their daily lives. Almost all of them.

Do they not love their country?

Suddenly in ballgames the ritual jumps on them and beats them into submission.

You've got to admire the humor.

buwaya said...

"Most of us hate the waste and carnage of war but, given a choice between peace or freedom, I will take freedom."

Many small countries will not make this choice. Its easier to say when the prospect of damage is limited. Consider 1941.

Thailand was independent, and had a choice to kowtow to Japan and avoid the fate of China. They had to give them bases and transit rights and unenthusiastic garrisons for bits of Burma. And they did, and Thailand survived undamaged.

The Philippines was not independent, though the Philippine government tried desperately to come to a Thai-style deal with the Japanese, the US wouldn't let them (this is real - look it up. Its one of those untold stories of WWII). The Philippine government knew what was coming their way and had no confidence that the US could avoid war or protect them when war came. All these predictions, including the Chinese-scale slaughter, were perfectly accurate.

mockturtle said...

"It's oppressive to require participation in the ritual." In this country we don't require it. We just use it to identify the assholes.

Quite so! You may have the right to sit during the national anthem or refuse to salute the flag but I have the right to call you an asshole for doing so.

rhhardin said...

I don't even listen to America the Beautiful, which actually has some positive musical properties. Not a lot, but some.

Would that we had a pleasant national anthem! I'd go with Faure's Clair de Lune.

You can't march to it because Faure avoids any suggestion of a note on the beat, which nevertheless appears.

n.b. not Debussy's.

rhhardin said...

Quite so! You may have the right to sit during the national anthem or refuse to salute the flag but I have the right to call you an asshole for doing so.

That doesn't bother me personally, but it does have an oppressive effect on others. Would you agree?

rhhardin said...

If your neighbor is out a zillion hours a day on his lawn tractor, do you call him an asshole or just let him be?

buwaya said...

"If your neighbor is out a zillion hours a day on his lawn tractor, "

Is your lawn so large? If mine were I'd have groundskeepers, and spend my day in the shade watching them work.

Bobby said...

rhhardin,

"Let's put it this way.

Because love is not a feeling, flag behavior is not a good litmus test for love of country.
"

You know what? I'll actually agree with this. Throughout American history (and to include contemporary America), you have a lot of people-- you know who they are, no need to name any examples-- who love to portray themselves as Great American Patriots because they do the rituals, whether that be putting their hand over the heart during the national anthem or raising the flag over their home or putting a yellow ribbon sticker on their car that says "We Support The Troops."

Meanwhile, the country's military is fighting and dying in the Philippines or Vietnam or El Salvador or Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria, and these Great American Patriots are contributing nothing more to the nation's interests than are the people they despise because they "don't sufficiently love the country" because they're not doing the ritual.

And it's a cop out. These rituals aren't doing much (if anything) to actually serve the country these Great American Patriots purport to love, but it allows them to delude themselves into thinking they're actually doing something to help and falsely feel good about themselves. They're not. If someone really loves their country, they would show it in a way that actually helps their country - somehow I doubt the best they can do is to stand and put their hand over their heart while the Star Spangled Banner is playing. Somehow, I think they could be doing something that actually helps.

Hardin, if I've miscontrued your point, my apologies for hijacking it.

rhhardin said...

Suppose the ritual were to sit quietly for the national anthem.

Then people who think it's silly and empty can just sit quietly, and people who let what they imagine is love of country well up can sit quietly too.

Talk about unity!

This guy at the top of the thread's name could sit quietly too.

mockturtle said...

That doesn't bother me personally, but it does have an oppressive effect on others. Would you agree?

Oppressive? No. Social pressure and oppression are not synonymous. Would widespread opprobrium have a suppressive effect on your behavior? Possibly.

David said...

"The war of 1812 was not a great one. Who remembers what the hell that was all about."

Anyone who cares to look. It was an extension of the War of Independence. The British, locked in a death struggle with Napoleon's France, were impeding American trade and impressing Americans into their navy. The Brits were also dedicated to blocking westward American expansion, and supported various indian tribes against the US. The slave-agrarian south was more hurt by the trade restrictions than the merchant Northeast, which was less enthusiastic about the war. But despite various superficial causes, the main American impulse was to diminish British power in North America. In many ways the British had the better of the fighting, and the sacking of our national capital was humiliating. But the British learned (again) that the Americans would fight, and after Napoleon's defeat restricted their North American ambitions to maintenance of Canada's colonial status. In that sense the war was a successful one for the United States.

rhhardin said...

Is your lawn so large? If mine were I'd have groundskeepers, and spend my day in the shade watching them work.

It's an acre, and I scythe the whole thing. But I happen to like scything.

Lawn tractor guy is elsewhere, and he likes lawn tractoring.

He's thinking golf course, and I'm thinking hayfield. It's a different decor.

If you're thinking golf course, there's no limit to what you can detail.

Fernandinande said...

Enrico Palazzo really nailed the National Anthem in that 1988 police documentary.

rhhardin said...

Oppressive? No. Social pressure and oppression are not synonymous. Would widespread opprobrium have a suppressive effect on your behavior? Possibly.

I'd stick with oppressive. One is the means of the other.

Social pressure gets you to parties that you don't want to go to, it gets you to make contributions that you don't want to. It all produces a life of oppression.

My question is how many people who are more susceptible to name-calling than I am are of the same opinion that I am, that the ritual is empty. It serves interests that are not admirable, I'd even suggest.

mockturtle said...

rhhardin If your neighbor is out a zillion hours a day on his lawn tractor, do you call him an asshole or just let him be?

Discretion being the better part of valor, pissing off someone who lives right next to you may not be the most prudent course. Like you [I assume], I have a very low tolerance for noise so I do empathize. And I would certainly call him an asshole behind his back. :-D

Jim Stronach said...

Jesus Christ it's the Star Spangled Banner, not 'Mammy'. For $114 mil quarterbacks of color should sing 'Mammy' and look like they're loving it.

Meade said...

"Is your lawn so large? If mine were I'd have groundskeepers, and spend my day in the shade watching them work."

So would I. And then I'd start my own baseball league. I'd call it Major Meade Baseball. No one would feel oppressed when, to start the game, everyone stands up and jumps around and, for those who choose, sing Blowing In the Wind with the most fervent shouting out in unison every time it comes around: How many years can some people exist... before they're allowed to be free?, followed by a moment of silence to contemplate just who and what allows them to be free and why that even matters. Followed by "PLAY BALL."

Sit out my imaginary ritual if you want to. I don't care. I won't oppress you for it.

Bobby said...

By the way, Stephen Decatur's quote was excised from his toast at an April 1816 dinner in Norfolk. The actual toast is believed to be:

"Our country – in her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, and always successful, right or wrong."

He was basically saying he hopes America's foreign policy is always right (good, just, moral), but even where we're not right (good, just, moral) - whether you think that injustice was manifested in Vietnam (Clinton), Iraq (Trump) or the Trail of Tears (me) or perhaps something in between - Dectaur was hoping that we would nonetheless win.

That's substantially different than the jingoistic "my country, right or wrong" that it was bastardized into.

Brando said...

""It's oppressive to require participation in the ritual." In this country we don't require it. We just use it to identify the assholes."

Yeah, I don't think I saw any serious person saying we should require adherence to the ritual. The "social pressure" of being scorned when you refuse to stand up for the anthem isn't the same thing as "oppression."

The anthem and flag are just symbols, so it's not a big deal if someone rejects them, but those of us who adhere to such "rituals" do so out of a show of unity. If it brings comfort to other Americans to know we're unified behind the values those symbols represent, all the better. It's a way to show appreciation for those who sacrificed not for the symbols, but for what those symbols represent. Sure, it's just a gesture, and paying taxes or serving in the military or doing some civic service has more practical value, but a reminder that even with those we disagree and share different religions, races and age groups, we can at least share a reverence for what those symbols represent--it's not nothing.

Refusing to stand for the anthem, or tarnishing a flag--it's your right to do it, of course, and this country and its values won't be hurt one bit by your symbolic disrespect, but don't be surprised if anyone noticing you suspects that you are rejecting what makes this country great. Simply refusing to stand, or burning a flag, does not get across the nuance of saying "I love this country and its values but think we fell short on this particular policy"--rather, it looks like ingratitude.

rhhardin said...

rather, it looks like ingratitude.

Andy Rooney said activist vets were after constant displays of gratitude; and said he thought that the vets already got what they deserved, namely a free country.

Some vets are not activist.

rhhardin said...

If you're after gratitude, you're in the wrong business.

Unknown said...

By the way, rrhardin: calling those who support the flag, anthem, and pledge the "Stasi" and saying you'd prefer the real Stasi to them?

I'm just pointing it out, that apparently you think patriotic Americans are worse than the secret police.

I'm just saying, but somehow that seems a bit more offense than anything Trump ever says. You're lucky people are only calling you "asshole", you know?

--Vance

Char Char Binks said...

Saying "America, love it or leave it" to shut down dissent is not the same as Trump saying that privileged NFL player should find a country he likes better. It's a valid point. You don't have to love, leave it, or shut up, but you are free to go, and people like Colin Copperneck, who is protesting in favor or racial injustice, won't be missed.

rhhardin said...

By the way, rrhardin: calling those who support the flag, anthem, and pledge the "Stasi" and saying you'd prefer the real Stasi to them?
I'm just pointing it out, that apparently you think patriotic Americans are worse than the secret police.
I'm just saying, but somehow that seems a bit more offense than anything Trump ever says. You're lucky people are only calling you "asshole", you know?


Who's busting the (symbolic) kneecaps?

Roughcoat said...

buwaya:

Should the Philippines should have reached an accommodation with Japan?

Meade said...

Fernandinande said...

"Meade said...
We also sneer at the very concept of race superiority/inferiority.

Wow, that's really wonderfully subtle and creative form of virtue signaling."

It is? Why thank you. Which virtue does it signal?

rehajm said...

By taking a seat Kaepernick is practicing for his role in the regular season.

mockturtle said...

people like Colin Copperneck, who is protesting in favor or racial injustice, won't be missed.

Neither would all the MSM & Hollywood divas who have promised to move to Canada if Trump wins. Canada can have them.

Unknown said...

Well, I would suggest you are, since apparently patriotic Americans are vile, according to you, that likely we should all be put down with no more care than a rabid dog. That's what we did with the Stasi, the SS, and other groups you apparently prefer to Josh Smith, recent returnee from Afghanistan where he was defending his fellow Americans, and now singing his countries anthem that he put his life on the line to defend.

You may spit on him, and you have in this thread, but it is still disgusting.

I hope you are trolling, but frankly, if you are not, then the attitudes you are demonstrating in this thread if expressed to Mr. Smith would entitle Mr. Smith to in fact treat you with "social disapproval", don't you think, for your disrespect and disdain for our country and for him in particular all while you take full advantage of it?

--Vance

Dave said...

I've long said the national anthem should be changed to "Don't Stop Believin'"

mockturtle said...

By taking a seat Kaepernick is practicing for his role in the regular season.

He probably knows he may get cut and is setting himself up for an excuse. And a media spot.

Brando said...

"If you're after gratitude, you're in the wrong business."

I guess I am in the wrong business--I just think being in this country is a huge advantage and its benefits (in terms of not just wealth but freedom and the rule of law) are thanks to the efforts of millions over the years. I think all of us should show some gratitude towards them, but if someone prefers not to, that's on them. We'll just make our judgments.

rhhardin said...

That's why the John and Ken hour on the pledge was so great. An hour of really angry callers and puzzled counter-argument by John and Ken.

It was so like things really are in life.

I wonder if it's still on the web....Yes!

Real Audio

It starts slowly and boringly, a conversation with a family whose little girl refuses to say the pledge and her lawyer, and then after ten minutes or whatever there's a flood of angry callers.

It's entertaining enough to save for almost 20 years.

buwaya said...

"Should the Philippines should have reached an accommodation with Japan?"

Yes. That was the only correct course of action at the time.

mockturtle said...

There are certain religious groups that don't salute the flag and I don't recall that any of them have been drawn and quartered.

Titus said...

Colin is really hot and has an amazing body.

tits

Meade said...

"There are certain religious groups that don't salute the flag and I don't recall that any of them have been drawn and quartered."

Do you recall Jehovah Witnesses being lynched after Minersville School District v. Gobitis

Balfegor said...

Re: Bobby:

That's substantially different than the jingoistic "my country, right or wrong" that it was bastardized into.

In my opinion, Jingo-ism comes in for a bit of unfair disapproval too. After all, the refrain begins:

We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do,
We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too
,

This has been exactly US policy for almost two hundred years. We don't want to fight, sure . . . well mostly. But if it comes to blows, we will bury you. Or maybe just leave your corpses for the carrion crows if we're feeling particularly brutal, I suppose.

Gusty Winds said...

I really don't care if he stands or sits. I just think it sucks that now the cameras are going to focus on him sitting, and the other players that will join him. I'm pissed that Colin Kaepernick is screwing up football.

ESPN is bad enough as the sport world's MSNBC.

The NFL is great TV. And most TV sucks. The Packers are going to be good. Lacey lost weight, Jordy Nelson is healthy. The NFL is supposed to be and escape for its fans and viewers. Something families, friends, and strangers in a bar watch together.

Birkel said...

paraphrased rhhardin:

"I don't like the ritual and therefore the ritual should not be in place."

Let's apply this particular bit of brilliance abit more broadly and see where it gets us.

Everybody else:

"Don't participate and accept whatever consequences accrue."

Sebastian said...

"The NFL is supposed to be" No. Everything is supposed to be approved by progs, or otherwise ruined by them. They will leave nothing untouched.

Unknown said...

The NFL is catering to a crowd that doesn't even watch its events and shitting on the rest of us in the process. F*ck them. Since the NFL has no problems fining athletes for wearing the wrong color socks or shoes taped in an unregulated way but it can't trouble itself to remind players they should keep their politics off the field. F8ck them! I will watch college ball instead.

William Chadwick said...

Instapundit has a post titled "Colin Kaeperlick's Ignorance of Racism in Cuba," noting the t-shirt commemorating Castro's meeting with Malcom X, and quoting from an article by Mark Hemingway in "The Weekly Standard:"

"One can revisit the great civil rights debate over using violence as a means to an end; suffice to say, America’s better off that Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to nonviolence, not Malcolm X and his “by any means necessary” approach, won the day. And this divide is only highlighted by Castro’s harboring of a bunch of American cop killers, such as Assata Shakur and Eldridge Cleaver, who claim their unconscionable and murderous actions were done in the name of 'racial justice'.

"The biggest problem here is that Kaepernick is seemingly unaware of Castro’s legacy. Aside from Castro dragooning and executing Christians and gays, Castro’s record on racial justice is decidedly not “woke”, as the Internet likes to say. While Cuba’s legacy of racism predates Castro, it’s safe to say overt racism against individuals of African ancestry there remains far more pronounced than it is in the United States. In fact, racism is kind of an unstated official policy: 'State-posts, government jobs, or positions in the tourism industry are often allocated on the basis of skin color. Take a look at the top office holders in Cuba. See any black faces there? No,' Mediaite’s AJ Delgado wrote."

traditionalguy said...

Freedom to be an asshole is basic.

But FTR a culture, from whence comes a political belief, is formed by ritual ceremony honoring a higher power. Without that, Everyman goes his own way. And group cohesion goes the way of the way of the team working the Tower of Babel Project.

What would prescious flower Kapernick think of an English only rule on a TEAM.

Bob Ellison said...

Comedian Bill Burr on the shut up and sing problem in major sports.

mockturtle said...

I really don't care if he stands or sits. I just think it sucks that now the cameras are going to focus on him sitting, and the other players that will join him. I'm pissed that Colin Kaepernick is screwing up football.

ESPN is bad enough as the sport world's MSNBC.

The NFL is great TV. And most TV sucks. The Packers are going to be good. Lacey lost weight, Jordy Nelson is healthy. The NFL is supposed to be and escape for its fans and viewers. Something families, friends, and strangers in a bar watch together.


Agree! As a football fan I'm pissed off about the publicity this asshole is receiving. If the media ruin sports over these PC matters, people will lose interest in football and basketball. Then what will these highly-paid athletes do? Can they rely on their degrees in 'communications' to make a living?

gadfly said...

As I learned in my Economics History class in college, our history is full of wars that began and ended in the midst of financial crises. The so-called War of 1812, which actually spanned three-years, started when the Royal Navy began stopping American ships carrying cargo to French ports while the Napoleonic War still raged, ultimately impressing 10,000 of our merchant marine sailors into service aboard the Royal fleet.

Successes by American privateer warships in securing some 40 cargo ships from the English merchant fleet and surprising control over the Royal Navy along our coasts, we were losing ground. According to the Smithsonian, America’s oceanic trade went from $40 million in 1811 to $2.6 million in 1814. Custom revenues - which made up 90 percent of federal income - fell by 80 percent, leaving the U.S government virtually bankrupt. The war finally ended, two days after a truce was signed, with Andrew Jackson's smashing victory in New Orleans. But it ended for the English earlier when the Napoleonic War reach its conclusion because the English concluded that continuing wartime taxes at home was unpopular and futile.

As for black slave involvement in the war, it was not common knowledge "back when." but the total was somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000, who joined either the Royal Navy, Royal Army or the American Privateers, in an effort to own land of their own. Most were moved to Trinidad or Nova Scotia and younger slaves were not granted the reward of land. War casualties were estimated to be 20,000 for all participants, so we need to keep the slave question in proportion. Interestingly, there is the claim that the real losers of the war were the Shawnee Indians under Chief Tecumseh, who suffered at the hands of Americans long after war ended. The tribe had hired out to be the armed force for the Canadian English.

SukieTawdry said...

Flag-standing makes the same mistake. It claims being moved to stand, when all it is is empty social pressure from people who like to be in charge of empty ceremony.

Standing is a time-honored sign of respect. Gentlemen stand when a lady enters the room. The congregation stands when the bride starts down the aisle. The White House press corps stand when the president approaches the podium. I stand so the elderly or infirm may sit. I do not love Canada or Great Britain or any other nation but my own, but I have always stood for their national anthems. And the king did not stand because he thought the Messiah was over but because he found the opening notes of the Hallelujah Chorus so moving. And when the monarch stands, so does everyone else. It's a gesture of respect.

Meade said...

My favorite part of the State of the Union Address is the way the Supreme Court justices just sit there without clapping or jumping to their feet like trained monkeys.

LCB said...

I've only read about 1/2 through the comments, so I may have missed it if anyone used this word: Memorial The SSB is a memorial to the men and women that died serving the country, sometimes for love of country, more often for love of their fellow soldiers/sailors/airmen.

I think the biggest part of the ritual may come from the high number of former military members during the 20th century. I would imagine that standing to attention just came natural to them after 2, 3 or 4 years of service; the custom just "caught on".

Roughcoat said...

"Should the Philippines should have reached an accommodation with Japan?"

Yes. That was the only correct course of action at the time.


Surrender to Japan would not have spared the Philippines the horrors of war. What spared Thailand was its geo-strategic position which rendered it irrelvant removed it from the ebb and flow of military campaigning. Whereas the Philippines stood squarely athwart the path of the American trans-Pacific offensive. The Americans were going to come to the Philippines eventually and no power on earth and in heaven was going to stop them. The Philippines were destined by their geo-strategic position to become a major battleground of the Pacific War. The fighting for the Philippines would have been all the more horrific had Filipinos passively allowed the Japanese to occupy the islands and thus become even more firmly ensconced throughout the archipelago than they actually were in 1944.

There are other reasons the Philippines should have refused accommodation but I'm sure you already know what I'm going to say in this regard so I'll spare you that lecture. Except to say that, in the future, and as a non-citizen of the United States who has now stated that the Philippines should have reached an accommodation with America's World War II enemy -- and a very cruel enemy at that -- you might want to exercise some restraint in commenting about my country in what is proving to be one of the most trying times in American history.

Fernandinande said...

Meade said...
It is? Why thank you. Which virtue does it signal?


Mindless conformity to a modern fad. It's pretty popular with the younger set.

LCB said...

Roughcoat said: Whereas the Philippines stood squarely athwart the path of the American trans-Pacific offensive.

Ummm...not necessarily. MacArthur wanted to go back to the Philippines and cajoled FDR until he got his way. The Navy wanted to bypass the Philippines, take Taiwan as a major staging area for the invasion of the Japanese mainland.

But it doesn't matter. The Philippines was US territory. There was no way the Japanese were NOT going to invade, no matter what the people of the Philippines may have wished.

Meade said...

Thanks. I had no idea it was a modern fad to individually opt out of racial identification. I suppose then that identifying with a "race" is, what, mindful conformity to an ancient fad?

walter said...

Kaepernick said that he has thought about going public with his feelings for a while but that "I felt that I needed to understand the situation better."
--
Keep trying, sport.

walter said...

"Over the past few months, his relationship with management has turned sour. He requested a trade last spring, which never came. He also has spent most of the offseason rehabilitating from operations to his left (non-throwing) shoulder, his hand and knee. His recovery left him unable to fully compete with Blaine Gabbert for months and has him seemingly in a bind to regain his starting job. "

Maybe he figures he needs a career plan B.

I Callahan said...

Who's busting the (symbolic) kneecaps?

Sorry, rhhardin, but people are tribal by nature. People are going to kneecap each other over stuff like this. Ignoring this reality doesn't help you or anyone else. Patriotism is tribalism.

Sounds to me like your'e trying to deny reality.

walter said...

Meade said...
Thanks. I had no idea it was a modern fad to individually opt out of racial identification.
--
Me neither..would love to see that in the "minority" community. As it is, "our people" is just fine for some folks to say, lynchin' words for others.

Roughcoat said...


A single-prong drive across the Central Pacific was not practicable. It would have left the southern flank of the drive wide open to attack by powerful Japanese forces in the Philippines and Dutch East Indies. The idea for single-prong drive was a relic of an earlier time and arose out of Navy-centric Mahanian thinking that envisioned a war with Japan being decided in mid-Pacific in a mighty and decisive clash of battleships. Technological developments during the interwar years changed the nature of naval warfare and rendered Mahanian concepts obsolete. The mobility, power, and striking distance of navy forces in which the aircraft carrier and submarine had superseded battleships as capital ships meant that the Mahanian single-prong drive formlized in War Plan Orange would be terribly vulnerable to flanking operations and thus ultimately prove unstable as a war-winning strategy. It is true that certain high-ranking Navy officers and planners advocated for a single-prong drive through the Central Pacific but this proposed course of action was never really seriously considered and dismissed early on in the war. MacArthur was right in insisting on retaking the Philippines, not only for political reasons but also for military reasons.

Roughcoat said...

unstable should be untenable (above)

walter said...

If you go to his Twitter, you can find this jock re-tweeting gems like:

Colin Kaepernick Retweeted
LEFT ‏@LeftSentThis Aug 25

Folks always want to make it seem like White Supremacy is whiteness gone wild. No. It's a standard 🇺🇸 practice.

walter said...

I guess his white Wisco parents were putting on a front when they adopted him...or he's denying he's part black?
Shit..why bother..

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