Monday, March 20, 2006

Who's more Patriotic?

Last weekend I attended the California Division I State High School Basketball Championship Game. It was a low scoring very competitive game between De La Salle and Clovis West. It came down to the final seconds with De La Salle pulling out the victory 43 – 40.

Now there were many things that could have turned the game at any point. One rebound, a steal, a couple of made free throws and Clovis West would have been celebrating. But what may have put De La Salle over the top was the American Flag patch sewn above the numbers on the back of every player’s uniform.

Maybe De La Salle won the game because they are more patriotic than their opponent ....from the same State .... the same country.

Now if this were an international tournament I guess this outward display of patriotism would be understandable, but in a high school basketball game with two teams from the very same state – it was a little ridiculous. Never mind that De La Salle is a private school from a wealthy suburb of the Bay Area and Clovis West is a public school from a much less affluent city near Fresno.

I have no way to find out but I would venture a guess that more family members of the Fresno kids are currently fighting for our "freedom" in Iraq.

Now I doubt that the players were the ones who added the flag to the uniforms. It was probably someone with the best intentions in mind. I bet it made them feel good as they sewed every stitch - like they were directly helping our country's fight for democracy in the world.

You know, like the people who buy monstrous SUV’s and decorate them with those yellow ribbons that say "support our troops".

How is driving a vehicle that gets 8 miles to the gallon supporting our troops - who are in harm’s way because as our President so eloquently put it “ We are addicted to oil”?

If you really want to support the troops Mr. Yellow Hummer, try riding a bicycle - then you can plaster it with all the "support the troops ribbons" you want and they will actually mean something. Or better yet, in the next election vote for the candidate who will support veteran's benefits and who won't send troops into battle as an experiment.

Only then will you be able to cheer "Patriotism, patriotism - we got patriotism - how about you?


  1. How about:

    Go Neocons (clap, clap) Fight!
    We've got an army, but we're not too bright!
    Goooooooooo Neocons!

  2. It's a matter of pride, something that the left knows nothing about. Leftism is an ideology all but dedicated to the eradication of pride. You begrudge people their patriotism and ridicule it and wonder why less than twenty percent of the populace is willing to describe itself as liberal.

  3. Anonymous3:07 PM

    I bet the wearing of the flag wasn't the only reason they won, because I'm sure God was on their side as well. God really prefers rich private school white boys.

  4. Leftism is an ideology all but dedicated to the eradication of pride.

    Leave it to the left to faithfully follow what the Bible says about pride!

  5. Thanks for the link seenos.

  6. Here is another link and another link.

    Sounds alot like President Bush doesn't it? Thanks AnonCon. I've really learned something from your comment today.

  7. Giraffe4:46 PM

    This administration has no patriotism. A good part of my progressive concern about the path they have chosen for us, is that it is a path to weaken our nation. How patriotic is that? I actually believe greedy, power hungry, ignorant fools says it better. It is hard to understand AC how you buy into all that you spout. Are you idealistic, or are you profiting in someway by sticking to that position not matter what comes down the pike? I keep thinking at some point you are going to wake up and know, "Pride is not a virtue." Why should you defend your position out of pride? Can't you see how passionately patriotic we are in fighting with words daily for our nation and wanting all Americans to have a part of the best that America can offer to those who live here in America?

  8. You are engaging in an act of sophistry to obfuscate the fact that you have no real answer to the charge. The fact that you take exception to the simple gesture of wearing a flag on a uniform suggests your disconnect from ordinary Americans. Many support the war, many do not. But to lean against it does not tell them it is wrong to put a flag out on Memorial Day or cause them to find an ad for military service repellant. You believe the Administration is leading the country to ruin, sure, but the left was scarcely more comfortable with the flag during the Clinton Administration. The symbols of our country stand for more than partisan politics, and until you can look upon someone waving a flag or slapping a Support Our Troops bumper sticker on a means of conveyance no matter its fuel economy and sense something beyond a vague discomfort, you will find no reception for your ideas.

  9. No you "obfuscate". You brought "pride" into the argument. And when we show several direct examples of how Christian teachings state that "pride" is not a virtue, you simply ignore the point. I made no mention of any other form of flag waving.

    And for the readers of this blog - I am very happy with the reception of our ideas. But I am not too proud of it!

  10. Giraffe10:08 PM

    Putting the flag out on Memorial Day is quite different than high school basketball players wearing a flag on their uniforms.

    Just what are they saying by wearing that flag - that patriotic symbol?

    We already know they are Americans. They don't need to advertize that fact.

    Wearing a flag doesn't make them more American than those not wearing a flag, so just what reason could there be for having young basketball players begin to show great patriotism?

    Could it be a sneaky way to get young boys to start thinking about joining the military perhaps?

    Who put those flags on those uniforms, and who made that decision?

    Not those basketball players I'll bet.

  11. There is a difference between humility and self-loathing. One need hardly repudiate Christianity to celebrate the gifts of freedom and prosperity bestowed upon us by our Creator merely by virtue of birth in this nation.

    Is there something wrong with joining the military?

  12. Giraffe7:08 AM

    Sending young innocent, men into a country in the midst of a Civil War - yes, I think there is something wrong with that.

    I know you will say this is a cliche, but I'm going to say it anyway. Old men love to send young men to fight their wars.

    You are probably young enough to volunteer. Have you thought of it?

  13. Giraffe7:09 AM

    Sending young innocent, men into a country in the midst of a Civil War - yes, I think there is something wrong with that.

    I know you will say this is a cliche, but I'm going to say it anyway. Old men love to send young men to fight their wars.

    You are probably young enough to volunteer. Have you thought of it?

  14. Giraffe7:11 AM

    OOPs, didn't mean to send it twice.

  15. One need hardly repudiate Christianity to celebrate the gifts of freedom and prosperity bestowed upon us by our Creator merely by virtue of birth in this nation.

    Are you suggesting that God loves Americans more than the citizens of less prosperous nations?

  16. There is a difference between humility and self-loathing.

    Is there something wrong with joining the military?

    Does the act of vehemently pushing the glory of military service while not enlisting arise more out of humility, or out of self-loathing?

    Just wondering!

  17. Giraffe8:54 AM

    I just heard the President's press conference.

    "If I didn't think we could win, I wouldn't send our kids over there."

    There you have it! KIDS,
    not even young men and women, KIDS.

    I personally am not willing to send any American kids to their death, by false promises. Without even a trace of saddness he said it. Send our kids!

    It makes me cry.

  18. A. I am not suggesting God loves his American children more than he does other ones. I am simply suggesting liberty and prosperity are blessings.

    B. Drop the military thing. It does not apply. I understand the chickenhawk argument (particularly as it applies to Rush Limbaugh) but whatever you wish to say for punditry applies less to Bush voters, a great many of whom have served or have family and friends who have done so.

  19. We'll drop the "military thing" when we want to. This is our blog.

    Giraffe has a good point if you are so behind this war, why haven't you enlisted. "ChickenHawk" doesn't only apply to Rush.

    I bet you could really improve the vocabulary of our Iraqi friends.

  20. Giraffe is asking the wrong question. Perhaps the more appropriate one would be 'what do you do for a living?' which should, in light of the tenor of the conversation, answer itself.

  21. Giraffe11:06 AM

    AnonCon, Since when do you think you get to decide which questions others get to ask?

    I still find sending KIDS to war immoral and actively recruiting them in high schools despicable. This war is about control of oil after all. Cutting students loans, so high school graduates have less choice about higher education and are forced into a war that is fought so the George Bush can continue to be a war president may bring us all down. It is a no winner despite what George Bush says.

  22. We are not playing 20 questions!

    Giraffe can ask any question he/she wants.

  23. Yes its all about the oil. Cutting federal student loans is just a way of getting young'uns to enlist. Next we'll be forbidding banks to loan money to students. Personally I disagree with the cuts in student financial aid. I believe the grant package should be expanded, perhaps tethered to public service (eg teaching). Nonetheless, to allege some grand conspiracy to increase recruiting is just plain silly. Next thing we know the Navy will create a boy band and use subliminal messages to induce teenagers to 'take the King's shilling.'

  24. to allege some grand conspiracy to increase recruiting is just plain silly

    Why is this silly?

    And are you saying that the Navy band is not used as a recruiting tool?

  25. Its advertising. Not a clandestine plot to make college unaffordable and thus convince students to enlist instead.

  26. What is advertising if not a clandestine plot to encourage a specific behavior? It makes a behavior look desirable, so people will buy it.

    It's the desired behavior that determines the "grandness" of the plot.

    Buying a six pack of Miller Genuine Draft is the result of a relatively small plot.

    Signing up to potentially die while fighting in a war prosecuted by imcompetent leaders is a grand plot!

  27. OK AnonCon - are these the correct question? What is your rank in the millitary? And, is commenting on Progressive Blogs part of your duties or is that strictly on your own?

    Just curious!

  28. My service is a reflection of my values, not the other way around. I respect the myriad military bloggers but when I write I don't advertise my vocation. We are duty-bound to avoid using our rank or position to give credence to any political party or policy, and I interpret this differently. I frequent this site because when I take aim at something I see I get feedback by several people rather than just one.

  29. AC - I sincerely appreciate your service, and the fact that you follow your values.

    It is what I believe I do as well.

    The fact that we are often led in different directions by our respective values does not take away from the fact that your opinions are interesting to read (though occasionally frustrating!)and are welcome on this site.

    Suffice it to say that my efforts in publicly questioning your Commander in Chief arise out of concern that he might be asking you and your fellow service men and women to take unnecessary and unwise risks, based on false pretenses.

  30. I too appreciate your service and understand why you go by AnonCon.

    The reason I asked the question was because you basically dared someone to figure it out.

    You seem to like a good argument.

    I like a good mystery.

    As seenos said your comments here are welcome and interesting - when I can decifer the big words.

    How about we all make our points without trying to insult the other. At least for a while.

    Comment away.

    By the way it's kind of cool to break the 30 comment barrier on one post.

  31. Giraffe8:14 AM

    Anon Con, I would like to add my voice to the others in saying that I respect your military choice as something you felt was right for you.

    In no way would I ever want to discredit that choice. I can also see your steadfast need to talk about it, and you have been faithful to this blog.

    Knowing this will definitely change the tone of my dialogue, but it wlll never change my opinion about the war.

    I hope you are in the states, and not in Iraq.