A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
'Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.' - Groucho Marx

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    Default A Fouth of July Reflection

    You know, it's really bad symbolism if Washington is out of power on July 4th. That day, the one that represents our rise to independence from the tyranny of the British crown has evolved to mean many things. For some, it is a day that is about family, barbecue, and fireworks. For others, blood sacrificed on a battlefield. Still others, reflect on that iconic image of John Hancock, Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin as they sign the Declaration of Independence.

    For me, the Fourth represent Freedom, but it also represents struggle. One of greatest rights includes the right to be wrong and one of our greatest duties is the responsibility to correct our mistakes whether that's Jim Crow or slavery, a misguided war, or the negligence of our infrastructure and future. This balmy day in July is about looking back and celebrating survival and growth, but it's also looking forward.

    Are we the land of the Free that we want to be? Are those inalienable rights being cherished or they even being preserved? To paraphrase Ben, today we sacrifice freedom easily for the illusion of safety and sometimes even convenience.

    As Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer once told me... most Jews in America are not very observant because it is so very easy to be a Jew in America. We take for granted our culture because it is not under threat. Likewise, it is so easy to be an American that we take our liberties and responsibilities for granted... even when they are under threat.

    Many of the provisions of the Patriot Act make me wince. Worse, is that we accepted them meekly, even eagerly. We focus our anger too often on immigrants, scapegoating and persecuting them in the same way we did in the 19th Century. This nation was built and is constantly rebuilt on the backs, ingenuity, and inspiration of immigrants. Yes, we need secure borders, but we also need to stop persecuting the other and blaming them for our woes. At the same time, we are stripping women of their rights, perhaps for a moral reason or due to spiritual conviction, but in a way that is fundamentally against the principle of equality and fairness we were taught in grade school.

    Still, don't get me wrong... there is so much more right with the United States than wrong. For one, I have the ability to complain without fear. I can go where I please and the real restrictions on my life are few. There is still that dream of opportunity and a hierarchy of society that is not based on name and lineage, but accomplishment and effort... or perhaps celebrity.

    And, we have plenty. Look in the grocery stores, the hardware stores, the flood of flotsam and treasure on the internet and you can find easily whatever it is you want and most of what you desire. Ideas are also flourishing in the United States and innovation are producing medical and scientific miracles every day. So, there are reasons aplenty to shoot off fireworks as well as our mouths.

    The United States of America, born in strife and compromise, crafted by imperfect men is still a land that can fulfill its promise. Will we work on it? Will we expend the effort, sweat, and more provide the sacrifices to our own comforts to achieve it? I worry about the degree that we have become averse to pain. Celebrate the Fourth, raise your mug to America, but also grasp your neighbor's hand and roll up your sleeves. We've got work still to do.
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    Baylor

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    Burgold isn't it great that we live in a country that provides us the free speech rights to boldly claim what we believe and cherish. Being on a border state I have a relative by marriage who was an illegal immigrant at one time. I wish him no ill and he is a hard working member of our country. However, we can't turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. All humans in our country should be treated with dignity and respect and that should go with out saying, but our immigration laws should be enforced. The Arizona law goes too far in my opinion, but if law enforcement finds out someone is here illegally they should enforce the law of the land and the Federal government should as well.
    I don't get where you are coming from in regard to women's rights. What about the rights of the unborn child? Nothing spiritual or religious about this. Science has clearly shown that life begins at conception you can't rationalize this away.

    The Patriot Act does need to be reexamined. Our privacy, personal liberty, and personal freedom are at peril.

    Still, I wouldn't want to be a citizen of any other country. God bless the USA.
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    This wasn't reflection! This was a diatribe! Why anyone would feel the need to point out the nations flaws on July 4th of all days is beyond me! Just celebrate the ****ing day and spew your nonsense another day!

    How about Labor Day you talk about the value of Unions but be sure to mention the corruption that has been present from their origin!

    How about Christmas? You can condemn Christians for the Crusades!

    Thanksgiving Day you wanna discuss the disease Europeans brought that wiped out the native population?

    Ramadan? Gonna talk about Islamic terror during Ramadan?
    Last edited by Elephant; 07-05-12 at 03:21 AM.
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    You considered that an attack on America, El? I understand that some get a little more sensitive around the 4th of July, but my goodness. That was extremely well-written, and had some very good observations in it.

    Its ironic that you come down so hard on someone's freedoms on the day we celebrate...our freedoms.
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    To begin with I did not call it an attack Lanky, those are your words. It may have been a well intentioned piece, but he had to be critical of this nation on it's birthday. Would you be pleased if he reflected on your character defects on your birthday instead of simply wishing you well that day?

    On the 4th of July he attempts to talk about how great this nation is but feels the need to point out what he dislikes about it. Why on the 4th? Why not wait til the 5th? Just leave the agenda alone for one friggin day!
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elephant View Post
    To begin with I did not call it an attack Lanky, those are your words. It may have been a well intentioned piece, but he had to be critical of this nation on it's birthday. Would you be pleased if he reflected on your character defects on your birthday instead of simply wishing you well that day?
    You called it a diatribe, which means an attack. Maybe you didn't mean to call it diatribe...

    diatribe: a bitter, sharply abusive denunciation, attack, or criticism

    On the 4th of July he attempts to talk about how great this nation is but feels the need to point out what he dislikes about it. Why on the 4th? Why not wait til the 5th? Just leave the agenda alone for one friggin day!
    I see your point, I was only commenting because I thought you called it an attack. America is not a person, its a relatively-young nation; its okay to point out what still needs work about it, even on its birthday. Especially using historical context, while praising everything good about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    I see your point, I was only commenting because I thought you called it an attack. America is not a person, its a relatively-young nation; its okay to point out what still needs work about it, even on its birthday. Especially using historical context, while praising everything good about it.
    We'll just have to agree to disagree. People wonder why there is so much acrimony these days and I attribute at least some of it to those who never seem to be able to separate their agenda from something as simple as a holiday that is supposed to be a celebration.

    On the Fourth of July we can't even come together to simply enjoy the day...people have to point out flaws in this Nation's history. For what purpose? Decry another time, you have plenty of other days in the year.

    As you can see from my lack of participation in this forum, I am trying to refrain from posting here...but this post just got under my skin. There was absolutely no need for him to post this on the 4th unless it was his intention to instigate.

    And you're right Lanky, originally I misused the word diatribe but the reality is...after further examination, I think the word describes the original post well.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    I am okay with agreeing to disagree - I didn't see this post as having any type of agenda, which is why I was fine with it. I agree that politics shouldn't sneak into 4th of July celebrations, however I also don't think this was overly political.

    Also, I like RG3Fan's response - its great that we live in a country in which Burgs can post anything he wants on any day he wants...at least in my opinion. Its also great that you can disagree with it!

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    Yeah, freedom of speech is a great thing...it doesn't mean that all speech is good. I'll leave it at that.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    I find it humorous that an obviously political based rant is being defended as not overly political. Outside of the first paragraph, the entire opening post sounds like it was taken from a Bill Maher monologue.

    I will not attack the post or the poster, because I believe we all should have the right to say whatever we want. I do, however, believe as El does that there is a time in place for everything, and the timing was in bad taste, and I will discuss or debate nothing on the topic beyond that, so if anyone feels the need to rant and rave, go ahead, but I've said my piece.
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    Maybe I should have said it wasn't overly-partisan? Its an opinion*; we're all entitled to them. I didn't think there was any kind of agenda except the betterment of our beloved country. That's all.




    *to clarify - I'm referring to my opinion that its not overly-political, however it could also apply to burgold's post.
    Last edited by Lanky Livingston; 07-05-12 at 04:23 PM.
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    Meh, I don't fault Burgy at all. He clearly loves this country, and is worried about its future. His worries and your worries don't align, so what? In his view, he loves America enough to want her to improve, nothing wrong with that, IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    Meh, I don't fault Burgy at all. He clearly loves this country, and is worried about its future. His worries and your worries don't align, so what? In his view, he loves America enough to want her to improve, nothing wrong with that, IMO.
    I actually didn't mean to cause consternation. It's funny how different audiences perceive text. I do apologize.

    For me, this was a celebration of America while also outlining some of my fears. To me, you honor through honesty... if I pretended everything was perfect than it would be faint praise.

    America, Hell yeah, has its place. In any case, thought I would dip my toes back in these waters and this commentary/reflection had been well-received by many stars and stripes in other environments.

    No offense meant and if any taken. I do apologize.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme View Post
    I find it humorous that an obviously political based rant is being defended as not overly political. Outside of the first paragraph, the entire opening post sounds like it was taken from a Bill Maher monologue.
    Just hearing that guy's name makes my stomach turn. There are few people that I dislike more than him. Rosie might be a close second.

    As to the original post, I do like the sentiment, and hope that our country is great for decades to come.

    However, I find it ironic that on a day when we are supposed to be celebrating independence, that we are making many in our country more dependent than in generations before. Dependent on our own government.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    Meh, I don't fault Burgy at all. He clearly loves this country, and is worried about its future. His worries and your worries don't align, so what? In his view, he loves America enough to want her to improve, nothing wrong with that, IMO.

    Didn't say there was anything wrong with expressing an opinion about the direction of this country. The problem I have is that someone who calls for more harmony, which he has in the past, should practice it on the one day we should all be able to come together and celebrate this nation's greatness.

    This was not "reflection", it was condemnation in the guise of a reflective prose.

    Then in response, he infers that if I don't like the piece, I am sticking my head in the sand to the problems of the nation. Save it for someone who buys into the disingenuous apology. Truth? What truth, the measure you use as truth? Give me a break!

    You still haven't answered the question about the attack on women!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RG3 Fan View Post
    Burgold isn't it great that we live in a country that provides us the free speech rights to boldly claim what we believe and cherish. Being on a border state I have a relative by marriage who was an illegal immigrant at one time. I wish him no ill and he is a hard working member of our country. However, we can't turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. All humans in our country should be treated with dignity and respect and that should go with out saying, but our immigration laws should be enforced. The Arizona law goes too far in my opinion, but if law enforcement finds out someone is here illegally they should enforce the law of the land and the Federal government should as well.
    I don't get where you are coming from in regard to women's rights. What about the rights of the unborn child? Nothing spiritual or religious about this. Science has clearly shown that life begins at conception you can't rationalize this away.

    The Patriot Act does need to be reexamined. Our privacy, personal liberty, and personal freedom are at peril.

    Still, I wouldn't want to be a citizen of any other country. God bless the USA.
    Wanted to go back to this a little. RG3, I don't disagree with much in your response. Personally, I'm conflicted about abortion as I hold life to be sacred, but also believe that women should be able to make decisions that impact their health. My rationalization is not about where life begins, but where humanity begins. What I wonder about is when the soul enters the body, when consciousness does?

    Anyway, putting the weight on when a fetus becomes a person gives me cognitive wiggle room on an issue I remain uncomfortable with. On a personal level, I wish abortions would never happen. On a legal level... I don't know.

    El,

    I wasn't trying to backhand or say if you disagree with me you're in denial and wrong. What I meant was that I had posted the refelection in several other venues and got a positive response from people on the right and left and so I posted it here without thinking it would generate controversy.

    As for the call to brotherhood, that's a large part of what the reflection is about. It's what I meant anyway. We are finding to many ways to define each other as "other" That goes against the spirit of America I was taught. We can do better than this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elephant View Post
    This wasn't reflection! This was a diatribe! Why anyone would feel the need to point out the nations flaws on July 4th of all days is beyond me! Just celebrate the ****ing day and spew your nonsense another day!

    How about Labor Day you talk about the value of Unions but be sure to mention the corruption that has been present from their origin!

    How about Christmas? You can condemn Christians for the Crusades!

    Thanksgiving Day you wanna discuss the disease Europeans brought that wiped out the native population?

    Ramadan? Gonna talk about Islamic terror during Ramadan?
    bingo!!!

    El...you can wash those underclothes a million times....but sometimes the railroad tracks just don't go away! thank goodness we live in a country progressive enough to occupy people throughout their lifetimes keeping the rest of us awash in the glow of their goodness!!!

    Onward Progressive soldiers, marching as to war,
    with the sun of Obama going on before.
    Obama, the royal master, leads us against the foe;
    forward into battle see his banners go!


    At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;
    on then, Obama's soldiers, on to victory!
    Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
    brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
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    Probably last observation. I read the other 4th thread just now and it starts out with a lovely sentiment supporting and honoring our troops and then ended by insulting and calling names of the men who preside in the White House... and all in a post that was six lines long.

    But this is the thread though that was attacked for getting partisan and critical? I guess everything is a matter of perspective.

    For the record, I think Ax's thread is fine and have no problems with it. Just thought the way both threads were addressed was interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by burgold View Post
    Probably last observation. I read the other 4th thread just now and it starts out with a lovely sentiment supporting and honoring our troops and then ended by insulting and calling names of the men who preside in the White House... and all in a post that was six lines long.

    But this is the thread though that was attacked for getting partisan and critical? I guess everything is a matter of perspective.

    For the record, I think Ax's thread is fine and have no problems with it. Just thought the way both threads were addressed was interesting.

    Its only okay if your opinions align with theirs, burgold. That's how this place works, unfortunately. However, I think Ax was referring to all politicians, as in "two-party clowns," not referring to Obama and Biden specifically as "two party clowns." At least, that's how I read it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    However, I think Ax was referring to all politicians, as in "two-party clowns," not referring to Obama and Biden specifically as "two party clowns." At least, that's how I read it.
    Yep, that's how I read it. And why I, therefore, agreed. Hard to argue with that, actually.
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