Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress ...

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Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress ...

Postby Pdxfashionpioneer » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:01 pm

First off, it was interesting that getting as worked up about one's nation's flag as we US citizens do is a uniquely US phenomenon.

Dan stated that disrespect for the US flag disrespects veterans of the US military. The vet I knew the best was, of course, my father who fought in the 2nd World War. As the son of immigrants he loved his country deeply. Enough, that he couldn't make up his mind where he stood on the Vietnam War. When it looked like I might possibly get drafted into it, he discussed the possibility of shipping me off to Canada … with my younger brother. To me he consistently said that, "Any country worth living in is worth fighting for!" When I replied that I agreed with that, but didn't feel the Vietnam War amounted to fighting for our country, just the egos of our current leaders, he stuck by his previous statement.

While I protested the Vietnam War, I hated watching people burning thee US flag or even its unreasonable facsimiles. On top of that, I thought it was terrible politics; such tactics could only offend the possibly persuadables.

For all of that, decades later, when no one in America had burned a flag in protest in … well, that many decades, some of the Republican Congressmen and Senators were trying to get their peers to pass a Constitutional amendment to forbid burning the flag, I asked my father how he felt about it. He agreed with me that it was a stupid, unnecessary and unAmerican idea. When I asked him if he didn't want to protect the flag he fought for, he said, "I didn't fight for the flag, I fought for what it stood for." And went on to make clear that burning a flag in protest while stupid and repugnant was protected free speech and that right is very much one of the things America is all about. So there was a vet who didn't take it personally when someone burned a US flag.

As to Moon's point about what to call people who live in the USA, I too have, especially when I was around Canadians, been uncomfortable with our claiming the name "American" all for ourselves. My discomfort was relieved when they made it quite clear that they were happy to leave the name to us because frankly nothing else fits. I grew up in Connecticut, went to college in Michigan and along the way lived in 3 other states before I settled in Oregon, and while some of the Oregon-born would dispute it, I consider myself an Oregonian. But Moon, first and foremost I am an American.

If you read enough history you will find that by the end of each of our major wars, people thought of themselves as Americans rather than first and foremost citizens of their state. Except Southerners after the Civil War. Somehow, they didn't get the very real points that 1) that's a distinctly minority opinion and 2) that sort of thinking is one of the factors that doomed the Confederacy from the start. For instance, when the Army of Northern Virginia desperately needed supplies of every sort in March and April 1865, the military authorities of the adjoining states withheld substantial stocks of all of the necessities under the theory that their own states would need them. Not when the whole enterprise collapsed a few weeks later.

This fundamental weakness prevailed throughout the war. Because they maintained that in addition to slavery, the war was about states' rights, the Confederate government did not have the authority to levy taxes or command the member states to do anything. As Dan can tell you, it's tough to fight a war that way.

Bottom line, we should avoid taking threads off-track. We should also avoid speaking for others and not taking political statements personally, as hard as that has become.

Finally, Carl, while some scholars are writing books about how we're on the PATH to becoming an oligarchy, I don't see any consensus that we've gotten there. Yet. There s plenty of agreement that our totally off the charts income and wealth disparity will get us there in time, and that's not necessarily a whole lot of time.

But let's look at current affairs. Even though he's a billionaire, Trump is not accepted by the top income tier of the country as one of their own. He drew his votes from people who were anything but members of the elite. Similarly, he is being taken down by popular demand and is hamstrung by the democratic-republican institutions that were initiated in 1776. These are scary times and our progress has not been linear or even monotonically increasing over our history; but we've survived worse.

Finally, I guess we Americans take our symbols so seriously because we feel our nation stands for a set of ideals that transcend our land and our people. After the Berlin Wall fell or perhaps earlier, there were too many folks who got the notion that those transcendent ideals were wrapped up in laissez-faire, free market capitalism whereas previously we all agreed, and most of us still do, agree that it's life, liberty, equality, the pursuit of happiness and the rule of law as opposed to individuals, that defines our nation. Whichever the case, when what defines us as a nation are ideals, then of course symbols, such as our flag, are going to take on more than a reasonable amount of importance.

But before you mock us Yanks (Moon you too are included under that nickname) consider: How much importance do the French put on cooking and wine? How do you Brits regard royalty? And let's not get started on how Germans feel about order ... Let's face it, each nationality has their unique form of irrationality. It makes the world go 'round.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby pelmut » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:20 pm

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:...How do you Brits regard royalty?

Some staunchly support it, others think it should be abolished and some couldn't care less.  My own personal feeling is that it is a good insurance policy: if we ever got an extremist government who tried to create a dictatorship, the royal family would form a good rallying point for opposition.  Meanwhile it continues to attract a greater revenue through tourism than it costs to support.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby oldsalt1 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:08 pm

Dave don't want to rehash things but your father is the prime example of my original argument. We may disagree a little on the general idea . But as far as his opinions on this particular subject. "he picked up a weapon and stood a post" he earned his rights to his feelings.

Hey you didn't say anything about my skirt suit.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby Sinned » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:42 pm

Not a royalist, if they disappeared then I wouldn't lose any sleep. Their lifestyle is so far different from mine. The Queen has very little real power. She may have influence and that's entirely a different thing. An Act of Parliament doesn't become law until it receives Royal Assent i.e. the Queen's signature but there is an entity called the Privy Council [0] that can sign on her behalf should she refuse. The trouble is that our leaders, MP's, Civil Servants are so incompetent and have allowed or changed the country so much that it's difficult to determine an entity worth fighting for, as patriotic as one may want to be. I always say that I'm English rather than British but I'm not sure that England even exists any more but a loosely set of subcultures formed by the indiscriminate and uncontrolled entry of immigrants, wanted or ( often ) not.

As for thread drift, it would be difficult to stop it. A casual remark within the pertinent post generates a response and the thing goes off on its tangent. Dave, try and keep a meat space conversation on one topic and you'll find it virtually impossible, although the conversation may come back to the original topic after many meanderings. And trying to keep it artificially on topic will require a lot of "And now back to the original post" comments and after a while becomes artificial and tedious.

[0] Google it.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby crfriend » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:49 pm

oldsalt1 wrote:Dave don't want to rehash things but your father is the prime example of my original argument. We may disagree a little on the general idea . But as far as his opinions on this particular subject. "he picked up a weapon and stood a post" he earned his rights to his feelings.

Whither the argument of, "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it?" Is that not about as "American" as one can get? Yet here we have profound disgust and even damnation over the ceremonial burning of a symbol and the occasional call to criminalise the act. What gives with that dichotomy?

As far as, "having picked up a weapon and stood a post" goes, lots of people have done that, many of them deeply unpopular indeed. On the notion of "feelings", I hazard that we are all capable of possessing them, not just those who have served in the military. There is also growing evidence that emotion is present in not just humans but also other species in the animal kingdom. We need to be careful with the rhetoric. I will also reassert that it's only the United States that has this aggrandised view of its national flag that no other nation on Earth does. Finally, and rather hilariously by way of irony, the proper way of disposing of a United States Flag is ... by fire.

Now, before anybody goes off and claims I don't support the military or that I'm not a patriot I'd like to remind folks that the military serves to implement foreign policy as defined by Congress and, secondly, the President of the United States. Sometimes, those institutions do profoundly stupid things. It's wrong to blame the military for something hare-brained that has originated in D.C. -- the military is in all manners more honourable than the politicians that call the shots. On patriotism, is it wrong to oppose a government which no longer embodies the ideals put forward in the Constitution of the nation and to desire to restore those ideals?
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby FranTastic444 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:23 am

As a Brit living in America I find the whole Pledge of Allegiance at schools and other events, as well as the singing of God Bless America or the national anthem at sporting events (plus the accompanying huuuge flag that will be carried out on the pitch) really alien. The stars & stripes can be found everywhere - outside buildings, in the street, on bridges over freeways, on many uniforms etc. This was really noticeable when we first moved here, but we have become so accustomed to it now.

I was amazed to hear about all of the ceremony and the do's and dont's associated with the flag from my neighbor (he was a base brat). I live next to an airbase and in the summer you can hear the bugle as the flag is lowered every evening. My neighbor told me about how everything stops on the base when the flag is lowered or raised. He also told me about how flags on a pole shouldn't remain raised after dusk unless they are lit (from below??).

I remember a (US) comedian doing a piece about how some Americans get so wound up when they see a flag being burned and comparing that to what happens if a flag accidentally touches the ground.....

I do not see myself as English - I guess I think of myself as British, but if somebody called me European I'd have no problem with that. I am not particularly patriotic and I detest jingoism. I find singing of the National Anthem slightly embarrassing and a bit pointless and whilst I might watch an International game of football or rugby or the Ryder Cup, I certainly will not get too wound up if 'my' side loses and I won't feel a deep sense of pride and achievement if they win. On that note, I find chants of "USA USA USA" at the Ryder cup and other events (like the end of the fireworks on NYE in Boston a couple of years back) totally moronic.

On the Royals - I see a practical advantage (from a tourism pov) in keeping a very limited number of them on the books, but the likes of Princess Michael of Kent should be fending for themselves as far as I am concerned. I like Charlies idea of changing the title of the head of the British Monarchy to the "Defender of [all] faith" - preferably in conjunction with a separation of the Church of England from the House of Lords.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby crfriend » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:03 am

FranTastic444 wrote:He also told me about how flags on a pole shouldn't remain raised after dusk unless they are lit (from below??).

The Rules on how to fly the Flag are legion and depend on whether the application is military or civilian. Most are ignored.
[...] I find chants of "USA USA USA" at the Ryder cup and other events (like the end of the fireworks on NYE in Boston a couple of years back) totally moronic.

I don't recall such chants at the Boston fireworks, but have been rather amused by the irony of the use of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture to celebrate the United States' Independence Day when it's a Russian piece portraying the final Russian victory over Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812 (and which caused much stir in Russia at the time it was debuted for its use of La Marseillaise). The US "tradition" of playing it on the Fourth of July (Independence Day being seldom used now as it might give the masses ideas) is also very recent and dates to Aurthur Fiedler playing it on the 4th in 1974 (less than 50 years ago as of this writing) in a rousing performance complete with cannons (howitzers, actually) and church-bells. I recall the performance.

On the topic of the UK Royals, I admit some fondness for Queen Elizabeth the Second, but other than that really couldn't give a fig. It's nice to have something as a bulwark against overt insanity, but that didn't help much in the 1980s did it. (I got in trouble for that in grammar school when we were all expected to sing My Country 'Tis of Thee and I belted out God Save the Queen. That got me sent to the Headmaster's office (again) and my father called in to mop up the mess.) (I was pleased that when George H. W. Bush's body arrived in D.C. for his funeral God Save the Queen was played.)
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby oldsalt1 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:28 am

Here we go again first Fran if you are embarrassed to sing the national anthem please do me a favor don't sing it

and CR yes the proper way to dispose of the flag is to burn it. however I don't see anything hilarious about it.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby JennC03 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:11 am

:roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby JennC03 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:00 am

So on the other thread I was told to ask my father what he thought of the post Moon shared. While I’m on no speaking terms with him I’ll tell you about him.

My father was a man who fought for our freedom. Freedom to be allowed to our opinions and to have the ability to post on this forum today. My father didn’t defend a flag but the American people and those who he went to war with. He didn’t knock people down because they had different political views or opinions about certain topics. He defended his country. While at our current time in our lives some can be for our President while others can be against. At the end of the day he’s still our President whether we like it or not. My father got his Purple Heart. He seen things that he wished he hadn’t, he fought hard and never left anyone behind. Not everyone looks to the flag like you do Dan. Some can show the same meaning you have towards while others see it differently. That doesn’t mean they’re not Patriotic. It doesn’t mean they’re aiming to disrespect and it doesn’t mean that they don’t find the flag meaningful. It just means we’re all different. So when you asked what my father would say? He would say. Be proud you have the freedom you have today. Don’t worry about how someone else sees certain views on the flag and other things. It doesn’t change the war we fought. We all at the end of the day are Americans and we don’t leave anyone behind even if they don’t represent the flag. It isn’t about the flag but the war we fought to give them the freedom to choose, the freedom to opinions and the freedom to have free speech.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby crfriend » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:41 am

oldsalt1 wrote:Here we go again first Fran if you are embarrassed to sing the national anthem please do me a favor don't sing it

This brings up the other issue which is that only a tiny fraction of the population can actually sing the thing because of the range required. For that reason alone, I think the selection was a poor choice because most can't sing it without butchering it. Given my druthers I'd probably select America the Beautiful because (1) it's got a range that's accessible to the masses and (2) it describes the sort of country I'd like to see.
and CR yes the proper way to dispose of the flag is to burn it. however I don't see anything hilarious about it.

It's the irony I find funny. The act of burning the United States flag is tantamount to burning the United Stated itself by effigy because of the oddball relationship that US citizens have with the flag, so of course they get enraged. Understandably. This would not be the case without that strange relationship. Recall, too, that the US Supreme Court has upheld the act as a "freedom of speech" in the past, although that's in danger now.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby oldsalt1 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:54 am

CR do you have a friend or relative who spent their life as a firefighter , would you consider it " HILARIOUSLY" ironic if they choose to be cremated.
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby crfriend » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:16 am

oldsalt1 wrote:CR do you have a friend or relative who spent their life as a firefighter , would you consider it " HILARIOUSLY" ironic if they choose to be cremated.

No, because that's a personal choice, made at a human level rather than one of arcane and arbitrary local convention/custom. Given the actual number of firefighters in the world, it would not surprise me in the least that cremation would be the choice of some. To slag off on that choice would be taking a pot-shot at the individual who made it; taking a pot-shot at an inane convention is not taking a shot at an individual.

The Flag is an artefact -- a symbol -- used to represent the presence of the nation, or her citizens, in times of peace and in times of war and little else; the undue adulation of the Flag is what much of the rest of the world's population finds baffling. I find the adulation more concerning than simply baffling because it can make us act in irrational ways when we least need to.

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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby JennC03 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:21 pm

crfriend wrote:
oldsalt1 wrote:CR do you have a friend or relative who spent their life as a firefighter , would you consider it " HILARIOUSLY" ironic if they choose to be cremated.

No, because that's a personal choice, made at a human level rather than one of arcane and arbitrary local convention/custom. Given the actual number of firefighters in the world, it would not surprise me in the least that cremation would be the choice of some. To slag off on that choice would be taking a pot-shot at the individual who made it; taking a pot-shot at an inane convention is not taking a shot at an individual.

The Flag is an artefact -- a symbol -- used to represent the presence of the nation, or her citizens, in times of peace and in times of war and little else; the undue adulation of the Flag is what much of the rest of the world's population finds baffling. I find the adulation more concerning than simply baffling because it can make us act in irrational ways when we least need to.

Jenn -- Thank you so much for the impression of your father.


You’re welcome Carl
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Re: Musings on the Political Discussion in "Wearing a Dress

Postby Fred in Skirts » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:03 pm

The "FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" is a symbol of our once great nation and nothing more. When I joined the air force in 1960 I took an oath to defend my country and its citizens against all enemy's both foreign and domestic. The oath said nothing about the flag. So I fly the flag? Yes I do. Why because I like the flag and enjoy watching the symbol of the nation flapping in the breeze. I also fly the flag of the US Marines when my son in law is visiting as he is a "Marine" currently on civilian duty. (0)
That flag too is just a symbol.

Flags are just symbols and are made of cloth paper or many other types of materials. They are nothing more or less than that. Yes our flag has plenty of history attached to it. It is carried in war and peace to represent the country, as are all flags. Watch the Olympics sometime and see all of the nations and see all of the flags in the stands where the citizens of the participating nations are waving them. Flags represent the national pride each citizen has for his or her country.

(0) The saying "Once a Marine, Always a Marine is true in his case.
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