Category Archives: patriotism

Patriotism My Ass

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Six years ago, I received a forwarded email (one of many, sadly) that was one of those rotten, hateful rants disguised as patriotism. It pissed me off so much that I had to respond to it on my blog, hoping and dreaming of the day when we could grow learn to love instead of hate. And yet here we are SIX YEARS LATER and we haven’t grown a goddamned bit.

A blogger I adore received this same email all these years later, and being a good, kind person, it outraged her as much as it did me. And I feel the need to re-post what i wrote all those years ago:

I received an absolutely OFFENSIVE email yesterday. I am SO SICK of hateful diatribes being sent around via email, thinly disguised as patriotism. The people who start these things need to think a little harder about the meaning of patriotism. As far as I know, it doesn’t include hate and bigotry. In fact, for those too stupid to look it up, here’s the dictionary definition:

“Love of country; devotion to the welfare of one’s country; the virtues and actions of a patriot; the passion which inspires one to serve one’s country”

Love of country. Hmmm, I don’t think that requires hating others based on their religion. Devotion to the welfare of one’s country. These assholes may think they are devoted to our welfare, but if you ask me, hate really isn’t good for the country as a whole. In fact, I think that hate and prejudice will do the exact opposite. They’ll tear this country apart. So stop it. Now. Anyway, for your reading displeasure, here is the email:



USPS New Stamp

Looks pretty doesn’t it? Pretty deceiving….
PLEASE, DON’T USE THESE STAMPS! NOT FOR VALENTINE’S,
NOT FOR ANY MAIL!!

USPS 44-Cent Stamp Celebrates Muslim holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha .

If there is only ONE thing you forward today… let it be this!

REMEMBER to adamantly & vocally BOYCOTT this stamp, when you are
purchasing your stamps at the post office.

All you have to say is “No thank you, I do not want that Muslim Stamp
on my letters!”

To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS
who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors.


REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of PanAm Flight 103!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military barracks in Saudi Arabia!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001!

REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!

Now the United States Postal Service REMEMBERS and HONORS the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a commemorative first class holiday postage stamp.

REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp when purchasing your stamps at the post office. To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the ands of those whom this stamp honors.

REMEMBER to pass this along to every patriotic AMERICAN you know and get the
word out! Honor the United States of America!


Lovely, isn’t it? Now I feel the need to respond to the ASSWAD who wrote this hateful, racist, bigoted, small-minded FLAMING BAG OF CRAP:

I DO remember the many atrocities committed by MUSLIMS. And by CHRISTIANS. And JEWS. By CATHOLICS and by PROTESTANTS. By WHITES and by BLACKS. By MEN and by WOMEN.

And I also REMEMBER the JEWISH boy who was the son of God. He told me to love, not hate. He would not approve.

I REMEMBER a BAPTIST minister who had a dream. He would not approve.

I REMEMBER a BUDDHIST monk whose struggle remains “non-violent and free of hatred”. He would not approve.

I REMEMBER a PROTESTANT woman who devoted most of her short life to helping those of all religions and backgrounds. She would not approve.

I REMEMBER a HINDU man who died for his unwavering belief in religious freedom. He would not approve.

I REMEMBER a CHRISTIAN man who spent 27 years in prison fighting for freedom and equality. He would not approve.

I REMEMBER a CATHOLIC nun who gave up all she had to live among and help the poor, the sick and the “different”. She would not approve.

Neither do I.

Now go read what Mrs. Chili has to say.

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Veteran’s Day (I know, I’m way late here)

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So I’m a little late with this, but I have to tell you about my experience at our local Veteran’s Day ceremonies. I say ceremonies because our town is made of several small communities and five of them have memorials, so every year on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, a group of folks, including veterans from the American Legion, VFW, Biker Vets (I don’t know what they’re called but that’s what they are), Rifle Squad (or whatever they’re called – I suck at this), ladies Auxiliary groups, and boy and girl scouts make rounds to each of the memorials for a ceremony. Since the boy is a scout, we always go.

Four of the memorials are smaller, and the ceremonies go pretty quickly, but the “main” one in town is generally a little larger. Usually I enjoy the ceremonies – the laying of the flags, reading of the names, and the 21-gun salute are touching. Taps makes me cry every time. But it can be a little boring after you hear the same prayers, the same speech, the same poem at each and every ceremony. But you suck it up and pay your respects. This year, however, it was a little irritating.

The lady who read the poem started off by giving a little speech about honoring veterans. It was mostly nice until she started bitching – I mean raised voice bitching – about the low turnout. She went on and on about how years ago more people turned out and now it’s sickening that people don’t. I have a couple of problems with this. First off – years ago, it was a big deal – I mean – there were bigger ceremonies – they were publicized. Now, unless you’re in the groups that are a part of it, you don’t even know about them. And if you don’t know, you can’t come. Two – with Veteran’s Day especially – people work. I am lucky enough to be off that day, but I know plenty of people who couldn’t come if they wanted to because they are working. And finally – hello? Preaching to the choir! We’re here. Don’t bitch and yell at us about apathy because each and every one of us dragged our asses (and often our kids’ asses) out of bed at the buttcrack of dawn, got dressed and ready, and stood outside in the cold listening to the same speeches over and over again. Don’t bitch at us! Write a letter to the editor or something, but please – shut up.

But the thing that really pissed me off this year was the main speaker at the “big” ceremony. We got done with the 3rd one and it was early, so I figured we had plenty of time to attend the 4th one (the “big” one) and still make our plans for the day. It was only about 10:00 when we headed out on the less than 5 minute drive to the next memorial. It got started about 10:30, and went through the same speeches, prayers and poem, and then they had a speaker. And I wanted to punch him in the face.

He started off talking about honoring veterans. It was nice. And then…oh, and then he got political and religious. He started going on and on about what a terrible country we have become and how all the veterans who gave their lives were rolling over in their graves over what was going on in this country. That they would be so disappointed in our leaders, and so on and so on and holy fucking shit, he is still going on. Rush Limbaugh couldn’t have done a better job at being an asshole.

I was absolutely offended. And not because his politics clearly differed greatly from mine – I would have been pissed if he agreed with everything I believe, too. I was pissed because this was supposed to be about honoring veterans. This was not mean to be a political rally. And it’s offensive that you should assume that everyone in the audience agrees with your views. It’s a slap in the face to the men and women who have served and/or given their lives for this country to use their day to do this. I have known a lot of veterans in my lifetime, and at least half of them would have vehemently disagreed with his political views. And it is incredibly ignorant to claim that they are or would be disappointed in this country currently. I’m getting awfully sick of the assumption that Conservative=Patriotic and Liberal=Country-hating, veteran-mocker.

His speech went on and one and on. At this point, it was at least 30 minutes – 25 of which had nothing to do with Veteran’s Day and everything to do with watching Fox news too fucking much. And just as we thought it was going to end ( he kept saying, “in conclusion” and then going on and on some more), he decided to shift from what a commie pinko country we have become and focus on what godless heathens we are. He talked and yelled and railed on about the loss of God in public schools, the lack of mandatory prayer, the abandonment of Jesus.

Again, this was a huge slap in the face to the many, many men and women who have fought sacrificed for our freedom – for his freedom who are and were Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and atheists. Does their sacrifice mean less because they didn’t die praying to the same god? Or any god?

I walked way at this point. I know it wasn’t the most respectful thing to do, but I couldn’t take any more. I was so offended I was actually in tears. I was just waiting for the god hates fags chorus to kick in and I didn’t want to be there to hear it. By the time he was done, he had spent 45 or 50 minutes raining his fire and brimstone down on us and maybe five to ten minutes had anything to do with the actual purpose of the day.

When he finally did finish spewing his nonsense, both he and the man who took the podium after him offered information on his youth group, inviting people to join. Yeah, I’ll get right on that, hater.

So, a little late – I want to say that I have a huge amount of respect and awe for the people who have served this country. I am not nearly as brave. I am not nearly as noble. They may not all be perfect, but they are willing to defend me and this country and for that, I honor them. They make little money. They don’t get nearly enough respect. They spend time away from their families and homes. They lose hope and limbs and precious, precious time. And for those who gave their lives – there is nothing I could do that could equal that sacrifice. Even when I don’t support the war, I always, ALWAYS, support the soldiers. I don’t care who they pray to, or if they pray at all. I don’t care who they voted for. And I hope that next time, the town finds a speaker who doesn’t care either.

Sweet Freedom

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On a trip to Disney a few years back, I bought a necklace in the Morocco pavilion. It’s a round white pendant that they wrote my name on in Arabic. I love it and wear it all the time.

But recently, I was wearing it and someone made a comment that they couldn’t believe I was wearing it in this country. Really? Isn’t it enough that we mistrust entire religions, races, countries, etc? We’re going to demonize a language now? One of the top 5 languages in the world, no less? That sure is a lot of people you’re deciding aren’t OK.

I am sick to death of over-the-board judgments like this. Especially since they tend to be made by people who forget that they are part of a race that enslaved millions of people (and for fun, beat, raped and murdered them) that were stolen from their homes and bought to another country for this purpose. Or part of a race that displaced, attacked, massacred, enslaved, tortured, raped, and infected many millions of natives who lived on the land for thousands of years before it was stolen from them. Or part of a country that detained over 100,000 of their own countrymen in camps, based on their ethnic background, and who – in the name of god and country – have burned more villages and raped and killed more women and children than one can even think about without getting physically ill. Or part of a race and religion that killed millions of people in concentration camps (and let’s not forget the super fun beating, raping, and torturing).

Yeah – they tend to forget that when they go off on their stereotyping and thoughtless, racist rampages.

My response to the mental midget who dared comment on my necklace was that I was glad we lived in a country where we all had the freedom to do and be what we wanted. I could wear my necklace and she could be a racist asshole.

Email Hell

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I hate crap email. Not spam, but the endlessly forwarded trite, stupid, untrue, bigoted crap. I don’t mind the jokes, as long as I don’t get too many at one time. I enjoy a good laugh, but if there are enough that I can’t get through them in the 7 minutes that constitutes my attention span, they will wind up in the trash without me ever having looked at them. And I won’t feel bad about it, either. I sit at this computer all day long, dealing with a buttload of email between all my other responsibilities. The bloom is off the rose, my friends. But like I said, a joke or two is fine. It’s the other stuff that warrants disdain and possible punishment (perhaps caning) of the sender. The stuff that should be subject to a 2 second google search to make sure it’s not outdated or a hoax or just plain bullshit before it gets sent to anyone. They fall into a few distinct groups:

The “Safety” Squad

These are the emails that are sent by people who care about you, with only good intentions. They tell you how to best avoid becoming a victim. They educate you on safety. They give you safe driving tips. They tell you how to protect your credit and your identity. They plead for your help finding lost children. They teach you self-defense. They alert you to health hazards in your medicine, deodorant and air freshener. They are For Your Own Good. But Gah! I realize that *77 is a good thing to know about and the first time I heard about it, I thought, “hmm. Good to know”. The 11,469,379th time I heard about it, I thought something more like, “Fuck!” And that girl? The missing one? She’s 29 now. She’s a brain surgeon in Topeka. Stop it. I know you mean well, but before you send me one of these, look at the list of recipients in the forwarded emails. If there are more than…say…two, assume that they each told two friends, and they told two and so on and so on…and I ALREADY FUCKING SAW IT ELEVENTY MILLION TIMES!

The Heartstring-Pullers

These are all about sick kids and little old ladies and poor little urchins whose mothers are dying and need some pretty shoes to wear to their sister’s funerals when they take the beautiful doll they bought with the money they made selling their hair which they cut off to show support for their sick teammate who was born in the projects but stayed out of trouble because his mentor priest who is only alive today because someone helped him pick up his books on the way home from school where there was only one teacher who ever showed and interest in him and made him what he is today.

Here is what I say to that: Yes, in fact, I have stopped to watch kids on a merry-go-round. And I’ve followed a butterfly’s erratic flight. And then I went home because the little screaming fuckers were giving me a headache and the damned butterfly turned out to be a moth and it flew near me and I freaked out and whacked it and it left a smudge on the wall and it was flapping around on the carpet and the dog starting spazzing out and the cat came over to see what was going on and I stepped on his tail and he hissed ran and the dog took a big anxiety shit on the carpet and, wait – let me just wipe away this tear, because it’s all so beeeeeaaaauuutifuuuulllll?..(sob)

Civic Duty

I don’t care about some kid’s class project. In fact, that kid has long since flunked out of school because he was stupid enough to depend on assholes like me for a school project. As for the endless petitions – yeah, that’s effective. It’s not like the internet could be used to (gasp) fabricate anything. No, those ?signatures? are all legitimate. And my congressman? If I am unhappy with something, I’ll write him all by myself, thank you. Anyone who knows me can tell you that if there’s one thing I am not afraid to do and that’s stand up for myself. I write letters all the time. I’ll continue to do so without signing my name after Mickey Mouse and before Charles Manson and forwarding it to everyone I know.

The Chain Gang

“Pass this on to 10 people”? I hate those words. Look, I don’t believe in that crap. I know that sending an email to ten people will not bring me fame or fortune. Failing to do so will not ensure that my fiancé or best friend or prized bull will be struck by lightning or gunned down by Uzi-sporting rabid hedgehogs. But if I did believe in it, I would be wondering why someone who supposedly cares about me would put me in a situation that would possibly result in my spontaneously combusting. Besides, the rabid hedgehogs have much more important things to worry about than my sending an email. They’re busy waiting for the Taco bell dog to run across the screen.

Something for Nothing

Walt Disney and Bill Gates and the folks at Coca-Cola and Gerber are rich. RICH. They know that people will actually buy their products and thus will not be giving anything away. Even if I did sent an email to ten people and gave birth between 1986 and 1998.

BFFs

I love you. I truly do. But I will not be sending you any poems about my love. I will not be giving e-hugs or kisses. I hate cutesy cartoon duckies and bunnies and bouncing smiley faces. I hated it in my 7th grade yearbook and I hate it 24 years later. ?A ring goes round and never ends and that’s how long that we’ll be friends.? Ugh. How about ?A ring goes round and never ends and hey bitch, when are you going to give me my black blouse back? Where’s the beer?? See? That’s much better. That’s how my friends and I talk to each other, except for the ring part, because a) we don’t give a shit, b) If my friend started babbling in rhymes about rings I’d have her committed and c) my friends are not idiots and they know what shape a ring is, since they watched Sesame Street and Electric Company and they’re not – I don’t know – retarded, so they don’t need a little poem to remind them.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

OK, sometimes the surveys can be fun, but only if I am really bored or if they ask interesting questions. Most don’t. I have to be honest, I never once thought about whether C likes bacon bits or croutons. I don’t give a shit if Tee eats a chocolate cone or a vanilla one. As long as I get my twist cone dipped in chocolate she could be eating frozen shit for all I care. And who decided that bits and croutons are mutually exclusive? We used to do this in grade school. It was the boring, benign cousin of slam books. I may act like I’m seven sometimes, but no. And WHY do you need to know if I still have my appendix and tonsils? Do you need them for some kid’s science project? And I don’t care what A’s favorite smell is. It could be dog farts and dead buffalo and I would still love her.

The Patriot Act

The most hated of all the e-shit. I love this country. I am an American. I AM AN AMERICAN. I don’t have to love the federal government to love America. I don’t have to love the president to love America. I would love to buy all American products, but I sure as hell can’t afford an American car and everything else is shipped out to me manufactured by a 4 year old in a third world country for 3 cents a day and then shipped back here to have a “Made in the USA” tag slapped on it anyway. I support our troops. I respect each and every one of the people who are willing to die for me. For my right to buy a foreign car and gas on a Tuesday and a Muslim stamp if I damned well please.

I hate the assumption that my political views match yours. I hate that you make it clear that my choice of political party makes me unpatriotic. I hate that you equate patriotism with blindly following what someone tells me. Someone who can’t pronounce nuclear. I AM patriotic. I am an American. And I am proud. And I am patriotic. And I don’t need your thinly disguised bigotry to tell me I’m not. Stop it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to check my email.