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The W - Current Events & Politics - What is a patriot?
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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
With all the discussions here regarding the Iraqi situation, WMD, terrorism, the Patriot Act, and the primaries, I have a question that has been giving me pause to think. There is certainly a wide array of divergent political views here with Wieners having strongly held opinions. So, how do you define what a patriot is? And how do you determine what is unpatriotic? I would prefer to hold off my opinion for a little while so I can obtain your views without my bias intruding.



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AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.53
There's always bias.

To me, a patriot is one who is somewhat jingoistic, that is, they put their nationality first and foremost. Now that doesn't mean agreeing with whoever is in power, but in the idea and concepts of the country they live in. They never allow what is a basic tenant of their country's core values to be compromised and will fight with everything in them to keep those core values constant.

In the United States, the freedoms given by the constitution and its amendments are our core beliefs while the structure and responsibility of the government maintained within are their core values. Attacks on those freedoms or changes in those structures (outside of the change structure built into the constitution) are the main thing a true patriot should be concerned about.

So stuff like the limitation of free speech (The McCain thing of late), or limitations on speedy trials (The so-called patriot act) and other limitations have to be carefully examined to see if they violate thse key tenants.

But even more, the courts seem to often violate these key tenants by ruling things the constitution seems to allow as disalowable and vice-versa.

Unpatriotic activities would include (for me), allignment with another country over one's own, either loosely or intimately. Allowing another country to rule our own policy or to subordinate ourselves to another's rule is anathema. Personally, speaking against our government or ever our government structure or way of life isn't unpatriotic - it's something we allow here in our country. Obviously, spying or cheating your fellow citizens (such as cheating on taxes - not finding loopholes that are legally availble, but cheating, or cheating on benefits, likie welfare, etc) is unpatriotic.

Hmmm.. might require much more thinking




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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
AWA, I agree with alot of what you said, but especially the last statement. It's not as easy to define these terms as people think. Look at the lack of replies from normally verbose Wieners. Its not a trap thread or designed to elicite flaming or anyhting of the like. Its a tough couple of questions, at least for me. Although it's easier for me to define a patriot than what is unpatriotic.



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Bierwurst








Since: 9.7.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.20
I'm with AWArulz 100% here. Questioning the government or the country's stances on certain things isn't unpatriotic. If anything, it's more Patriotic than blindly following what the man in charge says. To me, a Patriot stands up for what they believe this (or any) country was founded on, someone who is willing to fight to the death for those beliefs.

Collectively, a group of Patriots can do unimaginable things, such as beat the Dolphins in Miami when it's not December. :)



    Originally posted by ringmistress
    You may not believe this, but one year, I pretended I was a mistress (of the S&M variety). I was told I had the right voice for it. Just wanted to let you know that.


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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.34
pa·tri·ot ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ptr-t, -t)
n.
One who loves, supports, and defends one's country.

With that definition, simple as it is, I think it says it all. You love your nation. You support it, when it needs supporting and you defend it. Of course, defense and support are other words that bring up a lot of debate. To me, support and defend have always meant backing up the nations interests and helping defend it against all enemies, foriegn and domestic. Domestic being disagreement with those in power who you have a difference of opinion with, since if you feel thier policies or beliefs will weaken the nation, then it is your duty to speak up.
Pool-Boy
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Since: 1.8.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.56
I think it is pretty clear what the definition of patriotism is... but some politicians lately have been getting it wrong.

Yes, it is not patriotic to blindly follow the elected leadership. But take Hillary's little comment to the TROOPS in a warzone that she "supports you, but thinks your cause is wrong, blah blah." THAT was unpatriotic- politics are supposed to end at the water's edge. The appropriate thing to say in that circumstance would be "Thank you for your service to your country, we all appreciate your sacrifice at home." Save the war bashing for when you get back to US soil.

Another thing that I have seen that gets the definition of patriotism WRONG is another Hillary comment (I am sorry if I am bashing her... her stuff is just what comes to mind first). She claimed it was her "Patriotic DUTY" to question the President's actions in Iraq. That is fundamentally false. It is a right, not a duty to question your elected official, and it has nothing at all to do with patriotism. In fact, it could be said that blindly opposing someone based on politics is UNPATRIOTIC.

I kind of relate patriotism in politics to a married couple. The pair may disagree about something, but no matter what course of action is taken INSIDE the marriage, to the outside world, the pair is perfectly unified in the decision. Sure you may disagree with the war in Iraq, but in using the system that is set down in the contitution for making decsions like this, we ended up going to war. Yes, you can still dissent, political dissent is neither nor when it comes to patriotism, but when you take that dissent to the world, you become unpatriotic. The Dixie Chicks move, for example. Just as if you and a wife get in a disagreement, the wife gets her way- it is bad for the husband to go to the neighbor's house and bitch about it. Just as in a marriage your first duty is to your spouse and the marriage, in politics your first duty is to your country. You don't go commiserating in another country just because they agree with your view, which lost out in the political process.

Another component is supporting the actions of your country. Take our military action in Bosnia. I don't feel our troops had any buisness there- certainly not at the time, it seemed to me to be nothing more than a civil war that was none of our buisness. But once we sent troops, I "rooted" for them. Our elected officials decided that it was a good idea to go there- I hoped that we suceeded in our mission. I feel that was patriotic. Those people who disagree with the war, AND go so far as to wish that we fail in our mission just for selfish satisfaction are indeed unpatriotic.

Patriotism and politics have been increasingly intertwined over the last year or so, and that is a shame. You used to be able to define patriotism simply as a "Go USA," and the political process was a seperate entity. This is probably why patriotism is so hard to define today.


(edited by Pool-Boy on 12.12.03 1232)


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eviljonhunt81
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Since: 6.1.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.50
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    She claimed it was her "Patriotic DUTY" to question the President's actions in Iraq. That is fundamentally false. It is a right, not a duty to question your elected official, and it has nothing at all to do with patriotism. In fact, it could be said that blindly opposing someone based on politics is UNPATRIOTIC.


So, blindly following is patriotic? It is a duty to question the actions of the government. What conclusions you come to doesn't matter, but simply accepting what the government says and does as right is no more patriotism than blind loyalty, and in a country that encourages free thinking and decision making, blind loyalty is not patriotism.


    I kind of relate patriotism in politics to a married couple. The pair may disagree about something, but no matter what course of action is taken INSIDE the marriage, to the outside world, the pair is perfectly unified in the decision. Sure you may disagree with the war in Iraq, but in using the system that is set down in the contitution for making decsions like this, we ended up going to war. Yes, you can still dissent, political dissent is neither nor when it comes to patriotism, but when you take that dissent to the world, you become unpatriotic. The Dixie Chicks move, for example. Just as if you and a wife get in a disagreement, the wife gets her way- it is bad for the husband to go to the neighbor's house and bitch about it. Just as in a marriage your first duty is to your spouse and the marriage, in politics your first duty is to your country. You don't go commiserating in another country just because they agree with your view, which lost out in the political process.


Which is not what the Dixie Chicks did either, but that's besides the point. You're saying that it's ok to disagree, but we have to put on a happy face and pretend everyone agrees whenever another country wonders what's going on, which, again, is not very patriotic sounding. How is lying about your views, or, if not that far, simply keeping mum because you happen to be in a minority opinion, patriotic at all?



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MoeGates
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
Huh. That's an interesting question. I really don't know. My knee jerk reaction is someone who sacrifices something for his country, and not only reaps the benefits of it. Someone who gives to his country, not just takes from it. And I DO know, that being a Patriot is expressed in deeds, not words.

This really sums up why it makes me so angry when certain people accuse certain other people of not being patriotic.

What has George W. Bush ever sacrificed for his country?

What has Dick Cheney ever given to America?

When has Rush Limbaugh, or Ann Coultier, or Michael Wiener, or all of those mouths ever done a Patriotic deed, not just talked about it?

(edited by MoeGates on 12.12.03 2037)

I wonder how much money George W. Bush gave Paris Hilton.
StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.34
On the Same Token,
what has Hilary Clinton ever done for her country?

Or Ted Kennedy.

Or Joe Lieberman.

Or Bill Clinton?

At least Al Gore served his nation in time of war, without backing out as many people who were in his position would have.
But, if you are going to make it a "republicans havent done anything for thier nation" argument, that just pretty weak.

George Bush helped a nation grieve during its most trying times in recent history, and helped most of America feel as if they would be looked after and taken care of. Regardless of how you feel about what he has done since, you cannot deny that.

Dick Cheney served as Sect of Defense during a war, and his company employed thousands of people.

And, please explain how Rush, Ann, etc are not doing patriotic deeds by voicing thier opinions, especially when the Clinton's were in office, but liberals doing so now are considered patriots.
EddieBurkett
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Since: 3.1.02
From: GA in person, NJ in heart

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.61
    Originally posted by eviljonhunt81
      Originally posted by Pool-Boy
      She claimed it was her "Patriotic DUTY" to question the President's actions in Iraq. That is fundamentally false. It is a right, not a duty to question your elected official, and it has nothing at all to do with patriotism. In fact, it could be said that blindly opposing someone based on politics is UNPATRIOTIC.


    So, blindly following is patriotic? It is a duty to question the actions of the government. What conclusions you come to doesn't matter, but simply accepting what the government says and does as right is no more patriotism than blind loyalty, and in a country that encourages free thinking and decision making, blind loyalty is not patriotism.


I think what Pool-Boy is saying is that it is as unpatriotic to blindly oppose someone based on politics as it is to blindly follow someone based on politics. Ultimately, we should question every action or stance by each politician, but when we agree, we tend not to focus on the questioning phase as much; its always more obvious when we disagree.

    Originally posted by MoeGates
    What has George W. Bush ever sacrificed for his country?

    What has Dick Cheney ever given to America?

    When has Rush Limbaugh, or Ann Coultier, or Michael Wiener, or all of those mouths ever done a Patriotic deed, not just talked about it?


Well, I doubt any of those people has anything close to a normal life. Can Cheney or Bush just go out to dinner on a Friday night? It may not be the same type of sacrifice as the kind made by those who serve in the military, but I'm sure there are downsides to being such visible political figures.

As for Coulter, Limbaugh, & the rest, their talking is their patriotic deed. They have certain beliefs about how the country should be run, and by discussing this in a public forum, they are able to make those beliefs known so that they can be implemented. They inform*, inspire, and motivate like-minded citizens into action as well. For example, if a radio talk show host is able, through oratory, to inspire several young people to serve in the military, does that not help the nation? Although there may be no directly visible consequences from the endless talking, there may still be inconspicuous consequences, and although the risk and sacrifice these people undertake may not be as great as others, does that make their actions any less patriotic**?

* Feel free to substitue brainwash if so biased.

** Assuming that their actions (and speech) are predicated upon what they honestly believe to be best for the country. If they speak from a primary standpoint of seeking personal gain, then no, they are not being patriotic.



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Pool-Boy
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.56
    Originally posted by eviljonhunt81

    So, blindly following is patriotic?


    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Yes, it is not patriotic to blindly follow the elected leadership.


The first line of the second paragraph friend. Perhaps you should read closer into what I was saying. No, you don't lie about your opinions if you are in the minority, you simply don't dissent to the actions of your nation to another-

If we can jump back to the Hillary/army situation- I gave a perfect example of the sort of thing she should have said. It did not say she supported the war, it was an expression of support for the troops. Of course she is allowed to dissent, but there is a time and a place.

Democratic Republics work on a simple principle- majority rules. Hilary is a Senator, and was elected to vote how she thought certain situations should be handled. When the vote is finished, win or lose, it is her duty to do everything in her power to see that the action that was decided upon succeeds as well as possible. As a patriot, that should be her first priority. No one is saying she should go ra-ra war, and no one is saying that she cannot aknowledge that she did not support the war- but to throw it out there every time she is in front of a mike, and ESPECIALLY when speaking directly to troops who are on the front lines risking their lives just reeks of unpatriotism. Honestly- put yourself in one of their places. A senator from your nation comes and speaks to you in a war zone and talks about how she does not agree with the cause you are fighting for? Risking your life for? How would that make you feel? How would that affect the job you were there to do?

The point is- you vote, you lose, you move on. The elected officials of this country decided to go to war. The patriotic thing to do for everyone, including those who voted no, is to support the country and hope/pray/work towards a successful conclusion to the endeavor. Then at election time you say "I voted no on the war, or I do not agree with our actions, vote for me if you feel the same way." If the majority agrees with her, she will be elected, and can cast another "no" vote in a similar situation in the future. That is democracy.

One thing I just HATE about politicians on both sides of the aisle is the foot dragging when a vote is lost. There is more to being an elected official than voting and throwing a tantrum when you lose- you still have to run the government. How well do things run when someone drags their feet and works to undermine the actions of the government when they disagree? Say you disagree, vote against it, then work your hardest to make whatever is voted on work as well as it can. That is patriotism.

And the Dixie Chicks? I can't think of a single situation where going to another country and badmouthing your elected leader to a crowd of foreign citizens is patriotic. Not a damned one. Disagree with his decisions? Fine. Talk about it at home and vote against him- but respect the damned office.



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Nag
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Since: 10.1.03
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.53
I didn't think much about it, but on my way to my local tavern I heard a very interesting report that made me think, what is a patriot.

See, CBS news ran a news story about a bunch of ILLEGAL immigrants in San Jose protesting because they don't receive "fair treatment" see they want to be able to be able to have drivers licenses and get the same rights we hard working Americans do who are here LEGALLY, even though they are ILLEGAL immigrants. (This is where you can insert your snarky,"he is a backwards 20th century dinosaur, hey Brittney kissed Madonna" laugh here) I highlight ILLEGAL, because the politically correct term is undocumented workers, these SOCIALoglists can bullshit the fact with sugarcoated lies you can't hide the fact that they are over here ILLEGALLY!

Which negates the fact that if I have one beer and drive here in the great grand state of Ohio, I could be spending the rest of my 20's in prison cause it's ILLEGAL. And, if I punch someone who happens to break in my house after 3 in the morning it could be ILLEGAL. but nooooo, these people are okay with most, cause they stray from the norm. I, some assclown who tries in vein to make something of myself ... don't!

So yes, question the government, question why this shit occurs, then question why do WE during this Christm, oops a daisy, Hoilday season, economically support such nonsense. When all I hear, is industry being shut down, and LEGAL AMERICANS not having a pot to piss in nor the window to throw it out.

And if you want a good role model for a patriot look no further then my a person in my family line, George Patton. If only we had people like him around today.



oldschoolhero
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Since: 2.1.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.22
"Patriotism is the virtue of the wicked"-Oscar Wilde

Like religion, I find patriotism to be a great force both positively and negatively. It can give spirit to a nation, but it can also be used as a smokescreen for horrific acts. I think I'd have to agree with Moe's definition the most. Say a full-blooded American dodges taxes, mooches benefits, and generally tries to cheat the country as much as possible, but still salutes the flag whenever he sees it and declares America the best damn country in the world. Patriot? Hardly. In a similar vein, I think Pool-Boy's view has some serious holes in it. You vote, lose, move on, right? What if corruption rules? What if the thing that goes through on a majority is against the values of America? What if you can't see any positive benefit from the action that's being greenlit? I think the "vote, lose, move on" thoerem is far too general to use as a patriotic standpoint. J. Edgar Hoover's methods, for example. Government-approved? You betcha. Good for America, or just a means of fuelling his obsession with smut and other people's lives? Ditto McCarthy. History has shown that those in the wrong are capable of manipulating the democratic system; patriotism, if it to remain a positive attribute, cannot be so inextricably tied to it.

"George Bush helped a nation grieve during its most trying times in recent history, and helped most of America feel as if they would be looked after and taken care of. Regardless of how you feel about what he has done since, you cannot deny that."

That's a very sketchy way of putting it. He comforted some, I'm sure, but to others he manipulated a nation's grief to further his party's agenda. That's not patriotic, surely-and I'm not saying either view is right or wrong, I'm just putting them out there.

"So yes, question the government, question why this shit occurs, then question why do WE during this Christm, oops a daisy, Hoilday season, economically support such nonsense. When all I hear, is industry being shut down, and LEGAL AMERICANS not having a pot to piss in nor the window to throw it out."

What about the legal Americans that choke the sytem with benefit claiming? What about industry heads who shut down entire factories to make another $10mil at the end of the fiscal year? Do you have the same issues with them? It's not as black and white as you make out. Illegal immigrants are a serious drain on a country's funds, especially those who have no reason to be there and only want to milk the sytem. But what about those genuinely wanting to escape persecution and violence in their country? Would you send them back to death, just because technically they're illegally entering the country? Such a grey issue; it's impossible to draw lines in the sand, because you'll inevitably end up punishing innocent people who just want to escape death.





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Since: 6.1.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
Patriotism is super, Blind patritoism is very scary and a sign of population easily minipulated... I'm very Patriotic. I wear my country on my sleeve. But damn if my contry is in the wrong I will sure as hell call them out on it. Because I expect more from and hold on a higher standard a country that I love and support.

I think the problems starts, when a country starts looking at simple black and white. We are "the good" therefore they must be "the bad". Because how on earth can my beloved country be in the wrong... I direct you to your evening news. You see evil in your/our contry in a violent nature from your contrymen, you see evil in your/our country in a corperate manner from your countrymen. Why is it so inconsivable of having someone raise to the height of political power who just might not have the best interest of the world or even his countrymen in mind.

A agree with the Oscar Wilde quote, It's like what are you trying to hide by blinding me with the colors of my flag. I get the same feeling when I get a hard sell from a salesman and not allowing you to think things clear or a magican who doesn't let you see under her sleaves...You have to be allowed to stand back a few steps, take a broder view of situation and make an independent thoughts and if it goes against your country. So be it, and if they only retoart the other side has is that you are being unpatriotic then you are probably in the right.




Christmas is the one time of year when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ. - Bart Simpson
eviljonhunt81
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Since: 6.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.50
[quote Pool-Boy No, you don't lie about your opinions if you are in the minority, you simply don't dissent to the actions of your nation to another-



But what if that other country pursues a policy that you agree with? I mean, in the Dixie Chicks example you keep bringing up, they were with an audience that shared (seemingly) shared their views, and to tell the audience that they agree is somehow un-patriotic? I don't view it as particularly patriotic, but I wouldn't go so far as to say the opposite.


    Say you disagree, vote against it, then work your hardest to make whatever is voted on work as well as it can. That is patriotism.


So, you're saying again that actively helping with something that you consider wrong is patriotic? Germans who thought Hitler was wrong, but were still patriotic, should have shut up and helped put Jews into ovens, then later on they could explain that they were against it the whole time?

Perhaps you will think that analogy is taking it too far, so let's say that it's, I don't know, a Republican legislator moving to remove a sitting executive from office. The executive won the election, so shouldn't the legislator shut up and help him do whatever he said he was gonna' do?

Again, while you say blind loyalty isn't patriotic, you keep implying that any sign of dissent is un-patriotic.



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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.55
Hitler's Germany was not a Democracy- the situation is radically different.

Impeachment is a contsitutional facet of this nation's democracy. Impeachment is not unpatriotic- not backing up Clinton's decision to go into Bosnia (especially once it began) would be unpatriotic.

I don't understand why this situation has to keep getting dragged back into Democrat vs. Republican. Republicans happen to be in power now, so there are more visible instances of Democratic unpatriotism- please excuse me for using timely examples...

And the Dixie Chicks? Yeah. I still think that was unpatriotic. I still think Hillary's speach was unpatriotic. What part of "dissent within the ranks" and not to the outside world is so horrific? Heaven forbid this nation presents a unified face (which makes us look stronger) to the rest of the world...



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Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.57
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Clinton's decision to go into Bosnia (especially once it began) would be unpatriotic... What part of "dissent within the ranks" and not to the outside world is so horrific? Heaven forbid this nation presents a unified face (which makes us look stronger) to the rest of the world...


It's irritatiing how you imply that those of us who are against this war are helping "the enemy" by making America look weak when we speak out about it. It's such utter nonesense.

We should not present a "unified face" when our nation's leaders are acting in a way that a large percentage find morally reprehensible. On the contrary - they are obligated to say something...

The moment you tell people not to speak their minds, especially when it's their money being used to fund something like this, then I really wonder how interested in "patriotism" you really are...





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Nag
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Since: 10.1.03
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.53
Yes, to both your questions oldschool. Of course I have ill feeling towards both of those groups. Those who mooch off the system are no better, but I think in any system with some form of social handout you are going to have cheats, we need to try to the best of our abilities to go after these people, but I'm not sure if you can make the system perfect. And I'm not sure that their is a perfect system.

Living in the heart of the rustbelt, I've seen first hand what corporate greed has done. I remember growing up in the early and mid 80's and going to downtown Akron, in a once vibrant city, and seeing prostitutes where Firestone used to be, watching crack deals where Goodrich used to be. While I wasn't directly affected by the shutdowns in the late 70's early 80's, I was indirectly, so yes for many reasons I'm bitter regarding that.

Thing is, with our country, and with any country they are procedures which immigrants have to follow to get their citizenship. I welcome them, if they follow the rules, the same as my ancestors did. But I really don't see the complexities in the situation, since they are here ILLEGALY.

There is protection for those looking to escape prosecution. But this isn't the Wars of German Unification we are talking about here; poverty yes, prosecution, for the most part, no. the biggest dangers many of these people face are dying of heat stroke in semi's that haul them across the border, or dealing with the gang members that smuggle them over here. Which of course means the families get to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and we pay the bill.



(edited by Nag on 13.12.03 2224)
OlFuzzyBastard
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Since: 28.4.02
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.97
The whole thing kinda reminds me of this article from The Onion I posted back in April (which, as you can see from the link, proceeded to frost everyone's ass a little too much for an article from The Onion.)





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MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
I welcome them, if they follow the rules, the same as my ancestors did.

This is one of those enduring myths about old immigrants - that they all came here legally. Unless you're ancestors immigranted very recently, chances are either

a) they came here before immigration was documented or restricted at all, which makes the argument kind of moot, or

b) at least one came here illegally, and got their citizenship in an amnesty (which Tom Ridge is rightly calling for now).



I wonder how much money George W. Bush gave Paris Hilton.
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My first guess was North Carolina, and I feel vindicated that while we may not be 'on the rise' we're still #1! Of course, according to the executive summary (cec.org) (it's a pdf), the biggest polluters in North America were:
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