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Friday, October 24, 2003

Two Thoughts, One Mind

Two things have bothered me today, and they both come back to a concept of patriotism. Not the superficial, everyone's patriotic, nor the "you can't be a 'loyal patriot' and question the government" brands of patriotism, but the common sense, "I love my country, and want it to be better" kind.

First, there are "reports" almost every day that there are soldiers, in our voluntary armed services who are upset that they are still deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, or where ever. Depending on the news source, they are almost demanding that they shouldn't have their lives interrupted by the war(s). Now, don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that the separation and stress of constant danger is trying. I have very deep respect for the men and women who, as part of our armed forces, live with the knowledge, day-in-and-day-out, that their lives could be changed by international events at almost any moment. But to complain that they are deployed "too long" and that the war is causing "too much disruption" seems odd to me. These folks signed up for the Army. It was their choice, and they should have gone in understanding the risks. No one was drafted. Yes, the sacrifices are great, but nothing worth having is easy to come by. Not relationships, not material items, and not peace.

Second, I was told by the local "news" paper yesterday that the American flag is a "prop" for political candidates, and that the flags hanging in the background of some of the photos of certain candidates would be "digitally removed". These are American citizens, exercising their American democratic tradition of citizens running for public office, IN AMERICA. And the flag of our country is a PROP??? The reporter indicated, "I don't think the paper wants to allow just anything in the background of the pictures we print. You'll end up with people with puppets or something behind them." So, being the smarty I am, I asked, "So, the paper equates the flag of our country with a puppet?" That's when he said the policy was against "all props".

Pretty soon, you'll be elected by standing naked, in the public square, unable to speak about any issue, and unable to utilize any media to get your message out. You think we have bad leaders now...



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