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Member since: 2002
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In that case, cut out the bogus patriotism.

The people are the country. A constitutional state is the country. Flags and songs are just that: flags and songs.

The flag is a piece of cloth. Worshipping the flag is not a sign of good citizenship. It mostly says you are ready to follow blindly any fool who waves a piece of cloth. It is unpatriotic to follow blindly!

The great scandal of our schools is that children know some crazy socialist preacher's "Pledge of Allegiance" to a piece of cloth, but they don't know the actual Constitution of their own country. This is one reason why so much shit is accepted that should not be.

The anthem is a war song that continues (in further stanzas) with a glorification of how runaway slaves were massacred.

Worshipping flags and singing anthems are religious rituals that do not befit the self-actualized citizens of a democratic, constitutional, secular republic.

As for your veteran relatives, they certainly sacrificed and no doubt believed it was for the defense of the country or some other high ideal, But unless they fought in the Second World War, that is just not so. Since 1945, the wars have almost always been for empire. U.S. soldiers had no business killing people (or being killed in return) in Vietnam, or Iraq, or Lebanon. Your veterans don't have any beef with people who protest these mass murders, or who sit through a song. Their beef should with a government that turned into a global empire.

They certainly didn't do anything to defend Colin Kaepernick or his rights. That is preposterous. His rights are natural, guaranteed under a rule of law, and in reality defended by people who fight for their rights when under attack right here at home, not by Marines in Syria or wherever.

Sorry that you don't like these realities.

Kaepernick is the patriot!

Would you also agree with that re: Middle East, Ukraine?

Otherwise neither Judy Lynn or I, nor you, need to represent the US in having an opinion on Colombia's mass internal deportations dating back decades. We're allowed to have our own opinions on what's wrong and right. US treatment of the homeless is bad, or even worse depending on the jurisdiction. But if the US really loses any "moral standing" with regard to Colombia, then that is not so much because of the bad moral example in the U.S. itself, but because of the 10 billion dollars of foreign aid given directly to the Bogota death squad narco-regime since 2000!

False premise: That there is one "we" here.

I certainly would never criticize anyone for failing to meet some fanatic standard of participation in meaningless nationalist rituals, let alone a young black woman. She can sit down during the national anthem for all I care, I certainly have done the same.

The false premise is that the same group vilifies Douglas but makes excuses for the Drunken Swimteam Rowdies. I say these are two separate groups of respondents. The Douglas attackers are stupid concern trolls and a minority.

As for making excuses for the rowdy men, whatever. They were stupid, but they really complicated things with their lies. That was their main transgression by far. They should have just taken the rap up front.

But is it a national embarrassment? Hardly. They don't represent all Americans, no one does and that shouldn't be the role of athletes who actually compete as individuals.

Drunken men being stupid vandals breaking a bathroom door when they want to piss -- all too common and not to be excused. But if they had not made up a vile story about Brazilian muggers, if they had spent their night in jail and then left, it would have been forgivable and totally forgettable. That's where they attempted to make use of their white American privilege. IN this case, for a change, it backfired!

It also shows one reason for Trump's appeal.

Eight persons depicted, six of them identifiable as white -- including Superman. One black kid and one Asian very safely rendered as an adorable six-year-old. Not so far from the actual demographics of the time, the poster would look ludicrous today. That self-evident hegemony has declined, and it's had a number of white people in a moral panic ever since.

It might be very easy to enforce.

After all, no one can hide that they're wearing a burqa.

The question is, how much state force gets applied. It would be one thing if they offered a safe house for women who want out of their burqas to flee to (but what about their children or female relatives?). Probably be decried as welfare by many who approve of the burqa ban...

Or do they detain the woman? How long? Force her into other clothing? Arrest the male presumed to be in charge of her? Raid the house?

Suddenly this makes sense as a wedge item for surveillance without ethnic/racial "profiling."

Not that it's going to happen...

But you may have the wrong idea about the Greek position in such an unlikely case (i.e., that Turkey breaks openly with NATO - we agree, very unlikely). Athens might well be next on the line to cut a protection deal with Moscow. And if anything, Turkey aligning with Russia practically guarantees no further moves on the Orthodox south of Cyprus, which is very much a Russian billionaires' plaything. It may open the way to new negotiations. Not that I'm thrilled with the potential Turkish-Russian axis, if it actually happens, but new peace moves would be a lot likelier than any new Greek-Turkish conflict over Cyprus. Hm, kind of seems the logical next step for Putin to endeavor in his makeover as Dr. Peace.

There is absolutely zero chance of this.

They might leave - I doubt it - but nothing of the sort will be done from the NATO side.

Also, ahem, who said Russia is the enemy of NATO? Are we at war with them? Is there somewhere we can vote on this?

Personally I'm not for any military alliances, I'm for scaling it all back and ending the international arms trade and interventions generally. That would involve sitting down with Russia while there's still time to prevent the insanity from spinning out of control. If there's still time.

Because our laws and customs...

are supposed to be based on freedom and rights (a basis on which the burqa might be challenged, by the way) and not on a dress-code supposedly mandated by God?

I'm glad you agree that arresting immigrant or refugee women for wearing burqas should be less of a priority in actually changing the situation with Islamic terrorism than cutting off arms and funds to "our" "allies" who foment it.

Now that's a rational contribution.

It's one thing if De Maiziere condemned the burqa as a hateful instrument that oppresses women, and wanted to do something about that.

In that case he could be more effective by calling for an end to military collaboration with Saudi Arabia, don't you think? Alongside, in any case. Have you heard any such indication from the German government?

It's another thing to put forth this canard that burqas are the disguise par excellence for terrorists, without which they'd be less effective. That's just turning it into a symbol of the Other, whom we should hate. He's competing for the AfD vote, not putting forth a serious proposal.

You also would not know if the fat guy in shorts...

had 30 pounds of explosives in his grocery bag.

It's important to separate the canard of "burkas help terrorists" from the reality of burkas are a cultural expression that oppress women.

As for the latter, if I'm understanding you right, you're saying the West needs to be more like Saudi Arabia? Tit for tat?

I'd like to see as much passion going into the idea of suspending all weapons sales and military aid to Saudi Arabia and other countries with such practices, who use these weapons and aid to murder around the globe. As long as they are "our" "ally," this seems incomparably more urgent. Where's De Maiziere's statement on that?

Do you agree?
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