Patriotism in the U.S

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Fascism should more
properly be called corporatism since it is
the merger of
state and corporate power

-Benito Mussolini

Estimated Prophet
"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
-Thomas Jefferson

Confident Hope
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

taken from William Butler Yeats' poem, "The Second Coming"

If you expose yourself to corporate media odds are you are not hearing a balanced story, my experiance shows "objective news" does not exist in our nation, much to the detriment of the democratic process. A question comes to mind: If proponents of peace and diplomacy are so loopy, why not show them. Surely they can't be anymore ridiculous than "evidence" presented to the UN Security Council plagerized from a twelve year old doctoral term paper; or as morally bereft as a world leader insinuating an Iraq 9/11 connection over and over in speeches while denying the connection when asked outright. People should be allowed the facts and to reason for themselves; this is a Democracy, remember? The media gives a few talking heads a forum for an either misinformed or just plain dishonest "passionate intensity". A slap in the face of our troops who are fighting, killing and dying for the patriotic ideals that make America great. Sadly hate and onesidedness are acceptable to the people that present the media...

Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one-- A.J. Liebling, in The Wayward Pressman

Well, looks like I do, in the 21st century version. And you stopped by. Lets us, you and I ask some simple questions the press doesn't. And not the substantive ones you usually see addressed here dealng with misreported "facts" etc; let's explore questions that are substantial in a different way...

What is America to you? Yeah, yeah, I know contiguous 48 , Alaska and Hawaii. But I mean what is it? What is your vision for our sweet land? What does our flag say to you? What does it represent? How do you think we, as Americans can best help our nation reach her promise? Drop me a line.

You know, I really like getting your mail, and not just the good URL suggestions. When you disagree it makes me think. Because, damn, who has time to articulate a decent fact filled letter now- a- days? So I know that you are sincere. And this is America, so let 'er rip. A conversation will better us both.

Life seems to me to be about and enriched by people not one alone but an us , our coming together in joy or pain, for work or fun, to accomplish great things or to leisurely appreciate the greatness of it all; LIFE writ large and sweet and illimitable. One can exist in isolation but what is being added to the whole? What is the point really?

You'll note I'm full of questions today. I've been in situations lately that have me marveling at the diversity of thought, perspective and manner of folks, seeing a group s-l-o-w-l-y being born a, cohesiveness that won't be denied; interacting with people from all walks of life, all ages, seeing a full spectrum of approaches and attitudes, in daily life as well as here in blogtopia (thanx skippy), . If you don't see what a marvel life is, you are wasting a bunch of breathing, friend.

What gives me hope? Experiancing that while we are all so different, each a complex mix of experiences that mark and mold us, we are colored by a sense of decency and openess, honesty and tolerance- the very stuff of America- and we will pull together to see this 'burp' in history through. Our forefathers gave us a Constitution and Bill of Rights to keep us on course; and the one thing I've learned in all my travels: "People are people" . When you get down to it we care about our parents and kids and neighbors, about our air and food and water. We want a better future. To be able to exercise the freedoms that set our country apart, that we talk about facilitating in other lands. Democracy starts at home; it's me and you sister. Every time we hear someone Saddamizing what it is to be American, denying our freedom to think or express dissent we need to call them to task. This, is America; to be free to think and to be. No cookie-cutter lock step.

Somehow that makes me think of a Katherine Hepburn anecdote I read once. It seems Ms Hepburn was introduced to Queen Elizabeth. She said something along the line of "Nice to meet you, Mrs Mountebatten" "Don't you know that is the Queen you are addressing?" "I thought we figured that out a couple hundred years ago", Ms Hepburn was said to reply.

The American Spirit. Straight forward decency, innovation, irreverence when need be and mutual respect. Not to be dictated to. FREE.

America . God (however you want to call the Ultimate Reality) shed your grace thee. And crown thy good with Brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

It is an amazing and wonderful thing to be alive now , though the times seem tumultuous and uncertain. If you kick back, watch tv, let other folks worry about our state of affairs you are letting your country down, and our collective future. We are called to live by our ideals, to be active in the way a true Democracy demands; the way we manifest our beliefs in America, the way we live them will effect generations yet to come. We need to stay abreast of the news and let our legislators know that we stand by our Constitution; travesties of justice like The Patriot Act will affect the very fabric of being American. One needs to actively listen, ask questions and think. We need to be scathingly honest and require the same of others. We need to share what we learn and attempt dialogue with folks who disagree with us. Cultivating conversation is just plain good, not only good for our country. That's one of the things people did before tv, it's a great way to see the humanity of others. And just as important, to recognize your own. People who experiance the world openly, firsthand, tend not to see in black and white.

Rising to the challenge our Democracy requires of us now calls us to break out of insular existence, to network with others and to find common ground. To find times in our busy lives to work for the common good. If you haven't worked cooperatively with others in a bit it can be an eye opener too; but what wonderful experience to build consensus. You'll appreciate what a marvel our Constitution is, just how glorious an achievement is our Bill of Rights! There is nothing pedestrian about getting folks to a point where they realize that their differing angles, their individual voices on reaching a common good form a symphony, that when aligned selflessly all their differences are complimentary in the end. Sure there are bumps and bangs, the reconciling of them is part of the wonder. And joy. Because you can feel it. Democracy is not an abstract 'thing' anymore when you have sweated and worked to see it through. It is living and breathing and larger than it's parts.

We have the passion, we have the intensity, we have the facts on our side.

We are America. See you there.

O.K, I didn't link to anything... Sorry about the soapbox, but I care. Deeply.



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