What Are Some Patriotic Quotes

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That's the big mistake a lot of people make when they wonder how soldiers can put their lives on the line day after day or how they can fight for something they may not believe in. Not everyone does. I've worked with soldiers on all sides of the political spectrum; I've met some who hated the army and others who wanted to make it a career. I've met geniuses and idiots, but when all is said and done,we do what we do for one another. For friendship. Not for country, not for patriotism, not because we're programmed killing machines, but because of the guy next to you. You fight for your friend, to keep him alive, and he fights for you, and everything about the army is built on this simple premise.
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
We need to revitalize the American spirit. People are always asking ‘What would the founding fathers do,’ but I have yet to witness a single séance.
Bauvard (Some Inspiration for the Overenthusiastic)
I should say here, because some in Washington like to dream up ways to control the Internet, that we don't need to 'control' free speech, we need to control ourselves.
Peggy Noonan (Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now)
Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the war. I believed in it. I don’t know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable -- which I need not discuss today -- it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed? We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it -- if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy -- what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
Just observe the nation that is defended by devoted patriots. The patriots fall in bloody battle or in the fight with hunger and want; what does the nation care for that? By the manure of their corpses the nation comes to "its bloom"! The individuals have died "for the great cause of the nation," and the nation sends some words of thanks after them and - has the profit of it. I call that a paying kind of egoism.
Max Stirner (The Ego and Its Own and The False Principle of Our Education)
You're suicidal.You know how impossible this sounds?" "Yes." I pause. "But I don't really have much choice." "Well,go on.What about the square?" "Diversion." My eyes lock onto Kaede's. "Create chaos in Batalla Square, as much chaos as you can manage. Enough chaos to force most of the soldiers guarding the back exits to enter the square and help contain the crowd-if only for a couple of minutes. That's what the electro-bomb might help you with. Set it off in the air, and it'll shake up the ground in Batalla Hall and around it. It shouldn't hurt anyone, but it'll definitely stir up some panic. And if the guns in the vicinity are disabled,they can't shoot at Day even if they see him escaping along a rooftop.They'll have to chase him or try their luck with less accurate stun guns." "Okay,genius." Kaede laughs, a little too sarcastically. "Let me ask you this, though. How the hell are you going to get Day out of the building at all? You think you're going to be the only soldier escorting him to the firing squad? Other soldiers will probably flank you.Hell,a whole patrol might join you." I smile at her. "There will be other soldiers. But who says they can't be Patriots in disguise?" She doesn't answer me,not in words. But I can see the grin spreading on her face, and I realize that even though she thinks I'm crazy,she has also agreed to help.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
You can be patriotic and still believe that some things cost more than what they're worth.
Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men)
Religion is, as I say, something universal and something human, and something impossible to eradicate, nor would I want to eradicate it. I am a religious person, although I am not a believer. Religion is at its best when it is a long way from political power. The founder of the Christian religion -- or, the founders of the Christian religion, Jesus and St. Paul -- were both clear about this. "Blessed are the meek." "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." St. Paul is perfectly clear that the highest Christian virtue is charity, not patriotism, not martial valor, not exalting your class, your group, your race above others, but charity. That's the highest virtue. When religion remembers that and acts accordingly, it does good. But religion, at various points in human history, notably the history of western Europe and the history of some parts of the Middle East more recently, has acquired political power, and put its hands on the levers of social authority. It decides who shall live and who shall die. It decides how we shall dress, what we shall be allowed to read, whether we shall go to war, and so on. When religion acquires that power, it goes bad very rapidly.
Philip Pullman
It is in this way that a war is disastrous. If it does not kill, it transmits to some an energy alien to their own resources; to others it permits what the law forbids and accustoms them to short cuts. It artificially glorifies ingenuity, pity, daring. A whole younger generation believes itself to be sublime and collapses when it has to draw on itself for patriotism and fate.
Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
The best part about being a nerd within a community of nerds is the insularity – it’s cozy, familial, come as you are. In a discussion board on the Web site Slashdot.org about Rushmore, a film with a nerdy teen protagonist, one anonymous participant pinpointed the value of taking part in detail-oriented zealotry: Geeks tend to be focused on very narrow fields of endeavor. The modern geek has been generally dismissed by society because their passions are viewed as trivial by those people who ‘see the big picture.’ Geeks understand that the big picture is pixilated and their high level of contribution in small areas grows the picture. They don’t need to see what everyone else is doing to make their part better. Being a nerd, which is to say going to far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know. For me, the spark that turns an acquaintance into a friend has usually been kindled by some shared enthusiasm like detective novels or Ulysses S. Grant.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
Religion is the opium of the people. He believed that, that dyspeptic little joint-keeper. Yes, and music is the opium of the people. Old mount-to-the-head hadn't thought of that. And now economics is the opium of the people; along with patriotism the opium of the people in Italy and Germany. What about sexual intercourse; was that an opium of the people? Of some of the people. Of some of the best of the people. But drink was a sovereign opium of the people, oh, an excellent opium. Although some prefer the radio, another opium of the people, a cheap one he had just been using. Along with these went gambling, an opium of the people if there ever was one, one of the oldest. Ambition was another, an opium of the people along with a belief in any new form of government. What you wanted was the minimum of government, always less government. Liberty, what we believed in, now the name of a MacFadden publication. We believed in that although they had not found a new name for it yet. But what was the real one? What was the real, the actual, opium of the people? He knew it very well. It was gone just a little way around the corner in that well-lighted part of his mind that was there after two or more drinks in the evening; that he knew was there (it was not really there of course). What was it? He knew very well. What was it? Of course; bread was the opium of the people. Would he remember that and would it make sense in the daylight? Bread is the opium of the people.
Ernest Hemingway
All things carefully considered, I believe they come down to this: what scares me is the Church as a social thing. Not solely because of her stains, but by the very fact that it is, among other characteristics, a social thing. Not that I am by temperament very individualistic. I fear for the opposite reason. I have in myself a strongly gregarious spirit. I am by natural disposition extremely easily influenced in excess, and especially by collective things. I know that if in this moment I had before me twenty German youth singing Nazi songs in chorus, part of my soul would immediately become Nazi. It is a very great weakness of mine. . . . I am afraid of the patriotism of the Church that exists in the Catholic culture. I mean ‘patriotism’ in the sense of sentiment analogous to an earthly homeland. I am afraid because I fear contracting its contagion. Not that the Church appears unworthy of inspiring such sentiment, but because I don’t want any sentiment of this kind for myself. The word ‘want’ is not accurate. I know— I sense with certainty— that such sentiment of this type, whatever its object might be, would be disastrous in me. Some saints approved the Crusades and the Inquisition. I cannot help but think they were wrong. I cannot withdraw from the light of conscience. If I think I see more clearly than they do on this point— I who am so far below them— I must allow that on this point they must have been blinded by something very powerful. That something is the Church as a social thing. If this social thing did such evil to them, what evil might it not also do to me, one who is particularly vulnerable to social influences, and who is infinitely feebler than they?
Simone Weil (Waiting for God)
Anyway, you never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from. I was too young for one war and too old for the next one. But I seen what come out of it. You can be patriotic and still believe that some things cost more than they’re worth. Ask them Gold Star mothers what they paid and what they got for it. You always pay too much. Particularly for promises. There aint no such thing as a bargain promise.
Cormac McCarthy
I suppose it’s all in how you define patriotism. Some say that’s only saying good things about your country. Others say that it’s speaking against what you feel is wrong with your country and trying to make a change.
Libba Bray (Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3))
The barber's assistant asks if I am a Swede. An American? Not that either. A Russian? Well, then, what are you? I love to answer such nationalistically tinted questions with a steely silence, and to leave people who ask me about my patriotic feelings in the dark. Or I tell lies and say that I'm Danish. Some kinds of frankness are only hurtful and boring.
Robert Walser (Jakob von Gunten)
Some people claim we have a Christian heritage in America that needs restoring, but such a claim is debatable and is not well supported by the evidence. We have no biblical warrant to deify the past. Consequently, I find it difficult and possibly wasteful to try to identify just what part of our heritage was Christian in hopes that we can somehow get back to it.
Donovan L. Graham (Teaching Redemptively: Bringing Grace and Truth Into Your Classroom)
To begin with, we have to be more clear about what we mean by patriotic feelings. For a time when I was in high school, I cheered for the school athletic teams. That's a form of patriotism — group loyalty. It can take pernicious forms, but in itself it can be quite harmless, maybe even positive. At the national level, what "patriotism" means depends on how we view the society. Those with deep totalitarian commitments identify the state with the society, its people, and its culture. Therefore those who criticized the policies of the Kremlin under Stalin were condemned as "anti-Soviet" or "hating Russia". For their counterparts in the West, those who criticize the policies of the US government are "anti-American" and "hate America"; those are the standard terms used by intellectual opinion, including left-liberal segments, so deeply committed to their totalitarian instincts that they cannot even recognize them, let alone understand their disgraceful history, tracing to the origins of recorded history in interesting ways. For the totalitarian, "patriotism" means support for the state and its policies, perhaps with twitters of protest on grounds that they might fail or cost us too much. For those whose instincts are democratic rather than totalitarian, "patriotism" means commitment to the welfare and improvement of the society, its people, its culture. That's a natural sentiment and one that can be quite positive. It's one all serious activists share, I presume; otherwise why take the trouble to do what we do? But the kind of "patriotism" fostered by totalitarian societies and military dictatorships, and internalized as second nature by much of intellectual opinion in more free societies, is one of the worst maladies of human history, and will probably do us all in before too long. With regard to the US, I think we find a mix. Every effort is made by power and doctrinal systems to stir up the more dangerous and destructive forms of "patriotism"; every effort is made by people committed to peace and justice to organize and encourage the beneficial kinds. It's a constant struggle. When people are frightened, the more dangerous kinds tend to emerge, and people huddle under the wings of power. Whatever the reasons may be, by comparative standards the US has been a very frightened country for a long time, on many dimensions. Quite commonly in history, such fears have been fanned by unscrupulous leaders, seeking to implement their own agendas. These are commonly harmful to the general population, which has to be disciplined in some manner: the classic device is to stimulate fear of awesome enemies concocted for the purpose, usually with some shreds of realism, required even for the most vulgar forms of propaganda. Germany was the pride of Western civilization 70 years ago, but most Germans were whipped to presumably genuine fear of the Czech dagger pointed at the heart of Germany (is that crazier than the Nicaraguan or Grenadan dagger pointed at the heart of the US, conjured up by the people now playing the same game today?), the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy aimed at destroying the Aryan race and the civilization that Germany had inherited from Greece, etc. That's only the beginning. A lot is at stake.
Noam Chomsky
...The war in the East were hidden behind a thicket of language: patriotism, democracy, loyality, fredom - the words bounced around, changing purpose, as if they were made out of some funny plastic. What did they actually refer to? It seemed that they all might refer to money...
Deborah Eisenberg
A man who says that no patriot should attack the [war] until it is over is not worth answering intelligently; he is saying that no good son should warn his mother off a cliff until she has fallen over it. But there is an anti-patriot who honestly angers honest men…he is the uncandid candid friend; the man who says, "I am sorry to say we are ruined," and is not sorry at all…Granted that he states only facts, it is still essential to know what are his emotions, what is his motive. It may be that twelve hundred men in Tottenham are down with smallpox; but we want to know whether this is stated by some great philosopher who wants to curse the gods, or only by some common clergyman who wants to help the men.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
To My Children, I'm dedicating my little story to you; doubtless you will be among the very few who will ever read it. It seems war stories aren't very well received at this point. I'm told they're out-dated, untimely and as might be expected - make some unpleasant reading. And, as you have no doubt already perceived, human beings don't like to remember unpleasant things. They gird themselves with the armor of wishful thinking, protect themselves with a shield of impenetrable optimism, and, with a few exceptions, seem to accomplish their "forgetting" quite admirably. But you, my children, I don't want you to be among those who choose to forget. I want you to read my stories and a lot of others like them. I want you to fill your heads with Remarque and Tolstoy and Ernie Pyle. I want you to know what shrapnel, and "88's" and mortar shells and mustard gas mean. I want you to feel, no matter how vicariously, a semblance of the feeling of a torn limb, a burnt patch of flesh, the crippling, numbing sensation of fear, the hopeless emptiness of fatigue. All these things are complimentary to the province of War and they should be taught and demonstrated in classrooms along with the more heroic aspects of uniforms, and flags, and honor and patriotism. I have no idea what your generation will be like. In mine we were to enjoy "Peace in our time". A very well meaning gentleman waved his umbrella and shouted those very words...less than a year before the whole world went to war. But this gentleman was suffering the worldly disease of insufferable optimism. He and his fellow humans kept polishing the rose colored glasses when actually they should have taken them off. They were sacrificing reason and reality for a brief and temporal peace of mind, the same peace of mind that many of my contemporaries derive by steadfastly refraining from remembering the War that came before. [excerpt from a dedication to an unpublished short story, "First Squad, First Platoon"; from Serling to his as yet unborn children]
Rod Serling
As well, they used their B-52 bombers to drop thousands of tons of bombs which included napalm and cluster bombs. In a particularly vile attack, they used poisonous chemicals on our base regions of Xuyen Moc, the Minh Dam and the Nui Thi Vai mountains. They sprayed their defoliants over jungle, and productive farmland alike. They even bull-dozed bare, both sides along the communication routes and more than a kilometre into the jungle adjacent to our base areas. This caused the Ba Ria-Long Khanh Province Unit to send out a directive to D445 and D440 Battalions that as of 01/November/1969, the rations of both battalions would be set at 27 litres of rice per man per month when on operations. And 25 litres when in base or training. So it was that as the American forces withdrew, their arms and lavish base facilities were transferred across to the RVN. The the forces of the South Vietnamese Government were with thereby more resources but this also created any severe maintenance, logistic and training problems. The Australian Army felt that a complete Australian withdrawal was desirable with the departure of the Task Force (1ATF), but the conservative government of Australia thought that there were political advantages in keeping a small force in south Vietnam. Before his election, in 1964, Johnston used a line which promised peace, but also had a policy of war. The very same tactic was used by Nixon. Nixon had as early as 1950 called for direction intervention by American Forces which were to be on the side of the French colonialists. The defoliants were sprayed upon several millions of hectares, and it can best be described as virtual biocide. According to the figure from the Americans themselves, between the years of 1965 to 1973, ten million Vietnamese people were forced to leave their villages ad move to cities because of what the Americans and their allies had done. The Americans intensified the bombing of whole regions of Laos which were controlled by Lao patriotic forces. They used up to six hundred sorties per day with many types of aircraft including B52s. On 07/January/1979, the Vietnamese Army using Russian built T-54 and T-59 tanks, assisted by some Cambodian patriots liberated Phnom Penh while the Pol Pot Government and its agencies fled into the jungle. A new government under Hun Sen was installed and the Khmer Rouge’s navy was sunk nine days later in a battle with the Vietnamese Navy which resulted in twenty-two Kampuchean ships being sunk.
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy)
When I think about the patriotism that drives SEALs, I am reminded of Ryan recovering in a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. There he was, freshly wounded, almost fatally, and blind for life. Many reconstructive surgeries to his face loomed ahead. You know what he asked for? He asked for someone to wheel him to a flag and give him some time. He sat in his wheelchair for close to a half-hour saluting as the American flag whipped in the wind.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
The humanitarian philosophies that have been developed (sometimes under some religious banner and invariably in the face of religious opposition) are human inventions, as the name implies - and our species deserves the credit. I am a devout atheist - nothing else makes any sense to me and I must admit to being bewildered by those, who in the face of what appears so obvious, still believe in a mystical creator. However I can see that the promise of infinite immortality is a more palatable proposition than the absolute certainty of finite mortality which those of us who are subject to free thought (as opposed to free will) have to look forward to and many may not have the strength of character to accept it. Thus I am a supporter of Amnesty International, a humanist and an atheist. I believe in a secular, democratic society in which women and men have total equality, and individuals can pursue their lives as they wish, free of constraints - religious or otherwise. I feel that the difficult ethical and social problems which invariably arise must be solved, as best they can, by discussion and am opposed to the crude simplistic application of dogmatic rules invented in past millennia and ascribed to a plethora of mystical creators - or the latest invention; a single creator masquerading under a plethora of pseudonyms. Organisations which seek political influence by co-ordinated effort disturb me and thus I believe religious and related pressure groups which operate in this way are acting antidemocratically and should play no part in politics. I also have problems with those who preach racist and related ideologies which seem almost indistinguishable from nationalism, patriotism and religious conviction.
Harry W. Kroto
What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do some thing about them.
Henry Ford II
New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private, for-profit health care "soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain." Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, Bill, the profit motive is what sustains capitalism." Yes, and our sex drive is what sustains the human species, but we don't try to fuck everything. It wasn't that long ago when a kid in America broke his leg, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun stuck a thermometer in his ass, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle, and you were done. The bill was $1.50; plus, you got to keep the thermometer. But like everything else that's good and noble in life, some bean counter decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they're not hospitals anymore; they're Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. The more people who get sick, and stay sick, the higher their profit margins, which is why they're always pushing the Jell-O. Did you know that the United States is ranked fiftieth in the world in life expectancy? And the forty-nine loser countries were they live longer than us? Oh, it's hardly worth it, they may live longer, but they live shackled to the tyranny of nonprofit health care. Here in America, you're not coughing up blood, little Bobby, you're coughing up freedom. The problem with President Obama's health-care plan isn't socialism. It's capitalism. When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what's in it for Blue Cross Blue Shield. And it's not just medicine--prisons also used to be a nonprofit business, and for good reason--who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition, you're going to have trouble with the tenants. It's not a coincidence that we outsourced running prisons to private corporations and then the number of prisoners in America skyrocketed. There used to be some things we just didn't do for money. Did you know, for example, there was a time when being called a "war profiteer" was a bad thing? FDR said he didn't want World War II to create one millionaire, but I'm guessing Iraq has made more than a few executives at Halliburton into millionaires. Halliburton sold soldiers soda for $7.50 a can. They were honoring 9/11 by charging like 7-Eleven. Which is wrong. We're Americans; we don't fight wars for money. We fight them for oil. And my final example of the profit motive screwing something up that used to be good when it was nonprofit: TV news. I heard all the news anchors this week talk about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite's day. And I thought, "Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
New Rule: America must stop bragging it's the greatest country on earth, and start acting like it. I know this is uncomfortable for the "faith over facts" crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers. Infant mortality rate: America ranks forty-eighth in the world. Overall health: seventy-second. Freedom of the press: forty-fourth. Literacy: fifty-fifth. Do you realize there are twelve-year old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with? America has done many great things. Making the New World democratic. The Marshall Plan. Curing polio. Beating Hitler. The deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland, where you can smoke hash in church and Janet Jackson's nipple is on their flag. And sadly, we're no longer a country that can get things done. Not big things. Like building a tunnel under Boston, or running a war with competence. We had six years to fix the voting machines; couldn't get that done. The FBI is just now getting e-mail. Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too!" Since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil? We invented the airplane and the lightbulb, they invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead? In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care and hardly anyone doubts evolution--and yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't gonna be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning. Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico. We're not a bridge to the twenty-first century, we're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters. And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not, and I take no glee in saying that, because I love my country, and I wish we were, but when you're number fifty-five in this category, and ninety-two in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "number one" finger. As long as we believe being "the greatest country in the world" is a birthright, we'll keep coasting on the achievements of earlier generations, and we'll keep losing the moral high ground. Because we may not be the biggest, or the healthiest, or the best educated, but we always did have one thing no other place did: We knew soccer was bullshit. And also we had the Bill of Rights. A great nation doesn't torture people or make them disappear without a trial. Bush keeps saying the terrorist "hate us for our freedom,"" and he's working damn hard to see that pretty soon that won't be a problem.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Let a man be of what side he may in politics, — unless he be much more of a partisan than a patriot, — he will think it well that there should be some equity of division in the bestowal of crumbs of comfort
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
And I thought, y’know, I mean…this is crazy. I mean, the only thing that determines what country you belong to is where you happened to be born? What is a country, anyway? It’s not, y’know, “purple mountain’s majesty” or “fruited plains,” whatever the hell that means. I mean, America isn’t a place, it’s an ideal. It could happen in the Sahara Desert and still be America. For that matter, I’m the child of immigrants. My father’s lived and worked in this country for the past three decades. And he’s somehow more or less American than some redneck who uses Osama bin Laden for toilet paper? How the hell do you measure something like that?
Phillip Andrew Bennett Low (Indecision Now! A Libertarian Rage)
I mean, you were a soldier, too. I understand that part, however. My brother is sort of a soldier. In some ways, we all are. We fight for what we think is right. Some of us are better fighters than others, but that's really what a soldier does
Nick Thacker (The Patriot (Jake Parker #2))
What does Africa — what does the West stand for? Is not our own interior white on the chart? black though it may prove, like the coast, when discovered. Is it the source of the Nile, or the Niger, or the Mississippi, or a Northwest Passage around this continent, that we would find? Are these the problems which most concern mankind? Is Franklin the only man who is lost, that his wife should be so earnest to find him? Does Mr. Grinnell know where he himself is? Be rather the Mungo Park,the Lewis and Clark and Frobisher,of your own streams and oceans; explore your own higher latitudes — with shiploads of preserved meats to support you, if they be necessary; and pile the empty cans sky-high for a sign. Were preserved meats invented to preserve meat merely? Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice. Yet some can be patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to the less. They love the soil which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads.What was the meaning of that South-Sea Exploring Expedition,with all its parade and expense, but an indirect recognition of the fact that there are continents and seas in the moral world to which every man is an isthmus or an inlet, yet unexplored by him, but that it is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Among this bewildering multiplicity of ideals which shall we choose? The answer is that we shall choose none. For it is clear that each one of these contradictory ideals is the fruit of particular social circumstances. To some extent, of course, this is true of every thought and aspiration that has ever been formulated. Some thoughts and aspirations, however, are manifestly less dependent on particular social circumstances than others. And here a significant fact emerges: all the ideals of human behaviour formulated by those who have been most successful in freeing themselves from the prejudices of their time and place are singularly alike. Liberation from prevailing conventions of thought, feeling and behaviour is accomplished most effectively by the practice of disinterested virtues and through direct insight into the real nature of ultimate reality. (Such insight is a gift, inherent in the individual; but, though inherent, it cannot manifest itself completely except where certain conditions are fulfilled. The principal pre-condition of insight is, precisely, the practice of disinterested virtues.) To some extent critical intellect is also a liberating force. But the way in which intellect is used depends upon the will. Where the will is not disinterested, the intellect tends to be used (outside the non-human fields of technology, science or pure mathematics) merely as an instrument for the rationalization of passion and prejudice, the justification of self-interest. That is why so few even of die acutest philosophers have succeeded in liberating themselves completely from the narrow prison of their age and country. It is seldom indeed that they achieve as much freedom as the mystics and the founders of religion. The most nearly free men have always been those who combined virtue with insight. Now, among these freest of human beings there has been, for the last eighty or ninety generations, substantial agreement in regard to the ideal individual. The enslaved have held up for admiration now this model of a man, now that; but at all times and in all places, the free have spoken with only one voice. It is difficult to find a single word that will adequately describe the ideal man of the free philosophers, the mystics, the founders of religions. 'Non-attached* is perhaps the best. The ideal man is the non-attached man. Non-attached to his bodily sensations and lusts. Non-attached to his craving for power and possessions. Non-attached to the objects of these various desires. Non-attached to his anger and hatred; non-attached to his exclusive loves. Non-attached to wealth, fame, social position. Non-attached even to science, art, speculation, philanthropy. Yes, non-attached even to these. For, like patriotism, in Nurse Cavel's phrase, 'they are not enough, Non-attachment to self and to what are called 'the things of this world' has always been associated in the teachings of the philosophers and the founders of religions with attachment to an ultimate reality greater and more significant than the self. Greater and more significant than even the best things that this world has to offer. Of the nature of this ultimate reality I shall speak in the last chapters of this book. All that I need do in this place is to point out that the ethic of non-attachment has always been correlated with cosmologies that affirm the existence of a spiritual reality underlying the phenomenal world and imparting to it whatever value or significance it possesses.
Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means)
I’m not going askew from the principles on which the United States was built; I’m right there with our founding fathers. I’m a patriot and a Christian, and I’m moving forth with what they started. But now it’s gotten to where I’m some kind of nut or Bible beater. I say, so be it. I’ll still go across the country spreading God’s Word, like I’ve done since I was twenty-eight. I may be only one man reading Scripture and quotes, carrying his Bible, and blowing duck calls to crowds, but, hey, it has to start somewhere. It’s what makes me happy, happy, happy.
Phil Robertson (Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander)
But before we cue the brass section to blare "The Stars and Stripes Forever," it might be worth taking another moment of melancholy silence to mourn the thwarted reconciliation with the mother country and what might have been. Anyone who accepts the patriots' premise that all men are created equal must come to terms with the fact that the most obvious threat to equality in eighteenth-century North America was not taxation without representation but slavery. Parliament would abolish slavery in the British Empire in 1833, thirty years before President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. A return to the British fold in 1776 might have freed American slaves three decades sooner, which is what, a generation and a half? Was independence for some of us more valuable than freedom for all of us? As the former slave Frederick Douglass put it in an Independence Day speech in 1852, "This is your Fourth of July, not mine.
Sarah Vowell
It’s crucial to understand that ordinarily the FBI applies for a wiretap separately from the National Security Agency. The NSA had tapped my phones for years, going back to the 1993 World Trade Center attack. But those wire taps would not automatically get shared with the FBI, unless the Intelligence Community referred my activities for a criminal investigation. The FBI took no such action. Instead—by coincidence I’m sure, the FBI started its phone taps exactly when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee planned a series of hearings on Iraq in late July, 2002.212 That timing suggests the FBI wanted to monitor what Congress would learn about the realities of Pre-War Intelligence, which contradicted everything the White House was preaching on FOX News and CNN. In which case, the Justice Department discovered that I told Congress a lot—and Congress rewarded the White House by pretending that I had not said a word. But phone taps don’t lie. Numerous phone conversations with Congressional offices show that I identified myself as one of the few Assets covering Iraq.213 Some of my calls described the peace framework, assuring Congressional staffers that diplomacy could achieve the full scope of results sought by U.S policymakers.
Susan Lindauer (EXTREME PREJUDICE: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq)
To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.
Milton Sanford Mayer (They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933–45)
Cosmopolitanism gives us one country, and it is good; nationalism gives us a hundred countries, and every one of them is the best. Cosmopolitanism offers a positive, patriotism a chorus of superlatives. Patriotism begins the praise of the world at the nearest thing, instead of beginning it at the most distant, and thus it insures what is, perhaps, the most essential of all earthly considerations, that nothing upon earth shall go without its due appreciation. Wherever there is a strangely-shaped mountain upon some lonely island, wherever there is a nameless kind of fruit growing in some obscure forest, patriotism insures that this shall not go into darkness without being remembered in a song.
G.K. Chesterton
He would read as his supper cooked over a small, smokeless campfire, it didn’t matter what: words from some battered and coverless paperback porno novel, or maybe Mein Kampf, or an R. Crumb comic book, or one of the baying reactionary position papers from the America Firsters or the Sons of the Patriots. When it came to the printed word, Flagg was an equal opportunity reader.
Stephen King (The Stand)
A properly functioning system of indoctrination has a variety of tasks, some rather delicate. One of its targets is the stupid and ignorant masses. They must be kept that way, diverted with emotionally potent oversimplifications, marginalized, and isolated. Ideally, each person should be alone in front of the TV screen watching sports, soap operas, or comedies, deprived of organizational structures that permit individuals lacking resources to discover what they think and believe in interaction with others, to formulate their own concerns and programs, and to act to realize them. They can then be permitted, even encouraged, to ratify the decisions made by their betters in periodic elections. The "rascal multitude" are the proper targets of the mass media and a public education system geared to obedience and training in needed skills, including the skill of repeating patriotic slogans on timely occasions.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
Consider the testimony of a well-educated but not politically minded German who experienced the rise of the Third Reich: To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me. . . . Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, “regretted,” that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what . . . all these “little measures” that no “patriotic German” could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. . . . And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying “Jew swine,” collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
Working on behalf of the common good is the engine of democracy, vital to our communities, cities, states—and, ultimately, the nation. It is “an outflow of the idealism and moralism of the American people,” wrote Gunnar Myrdal.3 Some have called this impulse “love of country” or “patriotism” or the “American spirit.” But whatever its name, its foundation is the home. What else is a nation but a patchwork of cities and towns; cities and towns a patchwork of neighborhoods; and neighborhoods a patchwork of homes? America
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
Honest question: If I am a good Christian, and have faith and stuff, will God protect my children? Honest answer: He might. Or He might not. Honest follow-up question: So what good is He? I think the answer is that He’s still good. But our safety, and the safety of our kids, isn’t part of the deal. This is incredibly hard to accept on the American evangelical church scene, because we love families, and we love loving families, and we nearly associate godliness itself with cherishing family beyond any other earthly thing. That someone would challenge this bond, the primacy of the family bond, is offensive. And yet . . . Jesus did it. And it was even more offensive, then, in a culture that wasn’t nearly so individualistic as ours. Everything was based on family: your reputation, your status—everything. And yet He challenges the idea that our attachment to family is so important, so noble, that it is synonymous with our love for Him. Which leads to some other spare thoughts, like this: we can make idols out of our families. Again, in a “Focus on the Family” subculture, it’s hard to imagine how this could be. Families are good. But idols aren’t made of bad things. They used to be fashioned out of trees or stone, and those aren’t bad, either. Idols aren’t bad things; they’re good things, made Ultimate. We make things Ultimate when we see the true God as a route to these things, or a guarantor of them. It sounds like heresy, but it’s not: the very safety of our family can become an idol. God wants us to want Him for Him, not merely for what He can provide. Here’s another thought: As wonderful as “mother love” is, we have to make sure it doesn’t become twisted. And it can. It can become a be-all, end-all, and the very focus of a woman’s existence. C. S. Lewis writes that it’s especially dangerous because it seems so very, very righteous. Who can possibly challenge a mother’s love? God can, and does, when it becomes an Ultimate. And it’s more likely to become a disordered Ultimate than many other things, simply because it does seem so very righteous. Lewis says this happens with patriotism too.
Brant Hansen (Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better)
A nation is only an individual multiplied. It makes plans and Circumstances comes and upsets them—or enlarges them. Some patriots throw the tea overboard; some other patriots destroy a Bastille. The PLANS stop there; then Circumstance comes in, quite unexpectedly, and turns these modest riots into a revolution. And there was poor Columbus. He elaborated a deep plan to find a new route to an old country. Circumstance revised his plan for him, and he found a new WORLD. And HE gets the credit of it to this day. He hadn’t anything to do with it.
Mark Twain (What Is Man? and Other Essays, improved 11/28/2010)
At the Minsk tractor factory I was looking for a woman who had served in the army as a sniper. She had been a famous sniper. The newspapers from the front had written about her more than once. Her Moscow girlfriends gave me her home phone number, but it was old. And the last name I had noted down was her maiden name. I went to the factory where I knew she worked in the personnel department, and I heard from the men (the director of the factory and the head of the personnel department): “Aren’t there enough men? What do you need these women’s stories for? Women’s fantasies…” The men were afraid that women would tell about some wrong sort of war. I visited a family…Both husband and wife had fought. They met at the front and got married there: “We celebrated our wedding in the trench. Before the battle. I made a white dress for myself out of a German parachute.” He had been a machine gunner, she a radio operator. The man immediately sent his wife to the kitchen: “Prepare something for us.” The kettle was already boiling, and the sandwiches were served, she sat down with us, but the husband immediately got her to her feet again: “Where are the strawberries? Where are our treats from the country?” After my repeated requests, he reluctantly relinquished his place, saying: “Tell it the way I taught you. Without tears and women’s trifles: how you wanted to be beautiful, how you wept when they cut off your braid.” Later she whispered to me: “He studied The History of the Great Patriotic War with me all last night. He was afraid for me. And now he’s worried I won’t remember right. Not the way I should.” That happened more than once, in more than one house.
Svetlana Alexievich (War's Unwomanly Face)
But what Nev does is he takes these kids’ anger and channels it. He gives them someone to hate. He gives their rage some structure and provides them with real targets rather than nebulous ones. So they end up believing they’re committing theft, assault and vandalism for a good cause. Isn’t that what terrorism is basically all about, anyway? Add a few olde worlde patriotic values, a lot of guff about the ‘true English homeland’ and a bit of green to the mix and it makes them feel like downright responsible and virtuous citizens, the only ones who really care about their country.
Peter Robinson (Blood At The Root (Inspector Banks, #9))
He was worried about his country. Something was rotting from the inside—a slow decay of what was right and wrong. It was as if hundreds of cynical little rats were chewing at its very fiber, gnawing away year by year, until it was collapsing into a vat of gray slime and self-loathing. It had oozed under the doors of the classrooms, the newscasts, and in the movies and television shows and had slowly changed the national dialogue until it was now a travesty to be proud of your country, foolish to be patriotic, and insensitive to even suggest that people take care of themselves. History was being rewritten by the hour, heroes pulled down to please the political correctors. We were living in a country where there was freedom of speech for some, but not all. What was it going to take to get America back on track? Would everything they had fought for be forgotten? He was so glad he and Norma had grown up when they had. They had come of age in such an innocent time, when people wanted to work and better themselves. Now the land of the free meant an entirely different thing. Each generation had become a weaker version of the last, until we were fast becoming a nation of whiners and people looking for a free ride—even expecting it. Hell, kids wouldn’t even leave home anymore. He felt like everything was going downhill.
Fannie Flagg (The Whole Town's Talking)
When I think about the patriotism that drives SEALs, I am reminded of Ryan recovering in a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. There he was, freshly wounded, almost fatally, and blind for life. Many reconstructive surgeries to his face loomed ahead. You know what he asked for? He asked for someone to wheel him to a flag and give him some time. He sat in his wheelchair for close to a half-hour saluting as the American flag whipped in the wind. That’s Ryan: a true patriot. A genuine warrior, with a heart of gold. Of course we all gave him shit and told him somebody probably wheeled him in front of a Dumpster and just told him it was a flag. Being Ryan, he dished out as many blind jokes as he took and had us all rolling every time we talked.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
It is clear that the left is winning the battle of ideas with America's young people, and doing so with some decidedly mediocre political dogma. If our children are both demonstrably uneducated and measurably indoctrinated, and if we're fully aware that these things are true, we can't just stand around clucking and griping about all that is wrong. We need to offer more of what is right. If we want our children to experience the liberty and opportunity uniquely available to us as American citizens, we need to raise a new generation of leaders who will shore up the republican form of government handed down to us by our Founders. We need to counter the Left's messages about dependency and entitlement with a vision of patriotic citizenship to which our youth can aspire.
Marybeth Hicks (Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom)
O Tell Me The Truth About Love - Poem by WH Auden Some say love's a little boy, And some say it's a bird, Some say it makes the world go round, Some say that's absurd, And when I asked the man next door, Who looked as if he knew, His wife got very cross indeed, And said it wouldn't do. Does it look like a pair of pyjamas, Or the ham in a temperance hotel? Does its odour remind one of llamas, Or has it a comforting smell? Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is, Or soft as eiderdown fluff? Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges? O tell me the truth about love. Our history books refer to it In cryptic little notes, It's quite a common topic on The Transatlantic boats; I've found the subject mentioned in Accounts of suicides, And even seen it scribbled on The backs of railway guides. Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian, Or boom like a military band? Could one give a first-rate imitation On a saw or a Steinway Grand? Is its singing at parties a riot? Does it only like Classical stuff? Will it stop when one wants to be quiet? O tell me the truth about love. I looked inside the summer-house; It wasn't even there; I tried the Thames at Maidenhead, And Brighton's bracing air. I don't know what the blackbird sang, Or what the tulip said; But it wasn't in the chicken-run, Or underneath the bed. Can it pull extraordinary faces? Is it usually sick on a swing? Does it spend all its time at the races, or fiddling with pieces of string? Has it views of its own about money? Does it think Patriotism enough? Are its stories vulgar but funny? O tell me the truth about love. When it comes, will it come without warning Just as I'm picking my nose? Will it knock on my door in the morning, Or tread in the bus on my toes? Will it come like a change in the weather? Will its greeting be courteous or rough? Will it alter my life altogether? O tell me the truth about love.
W.H. Auden
I begin this chapter with President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Speech on January 11, 1989. President Reagan encouraged the rising generation to “let ’em know and nail ’em on it”—that is, to push back against teachers, professors, journalists, politicians, and others in the governing generation who manipulate and deceive them: An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties. But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection]. So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important—why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.1
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
Patriotism is a virtue, no doubt: and it is a duty to cherish patriotism in ourselves and others. But patriotism means wishing well to our country, and the question is what is this "well". Lord Beaconsfield would say "material prosperity, grandeur, increase of power and territory"; Mr. Gladstone would say "that our country may act virtuously". If patriotism is an extension of the feeling which we have about our relatives, Mr. Gladstone is surely right; we wish our relatives to be good men in the first instance, and then successful men, if success is compatible with goodness. I cannot understand how many excellent people fail to feel thus about their country too; it would seem to me that exactly in the proportion in which we realise the fact that a nation is only a very overgrown family which has kept open house for some centuries will be our anxiety that this country should act as a good man would act; and that patriotism consists in wishing this.
Henry Parry Liddon
Patriotism comes from the same Latin word as father. Blind patriotism is collective transference. In it the state becomes a parent and we citizens submit our loyalty to ensure its protection. We may have been encouraged to make that bargain from our public school education, our family home, religion, or culture in general. We associate safety with obedience to authority, for example, going along with government policies. We then make duty, as it is defined by the nation, our unquestioned course. Our motivation is usually not love of country but fear of being without a country that will defend us and our property. Connection is all-important to us; excommunication is the equivalent of death, the finality we can’t dispute. Healthy adult loyalty is a virtue that does not become blind obedience for fear of losing connection, nor total devotion so that we lose our boundaries. Our civil obedience can be so firm that it may take precedence over our concern for those we love, even our children. Here is an example: A young mother is told by the doctor that her toddler is allergic to peanuts and peanut oil. She lets the school know of her son’s allergy when he goes to kindergarten. Throughout his childhood, she is vigilant and makes sure he is safe from peanuts in any form. Eighteen years later, there is a war and he is drafted. The same mother, who was so scrupulously careful about her child’s safety, now waves goodbye to him with a tear but without protest. Mother’s own training in public school and throughout her life has made her believe that her son’s life is expendable whether or not the war in question is just. “Patriotism” is so deeply ingrained in her that she does not even imagine an alternative, even when her son’s life is at stake. It is of course also true that, biologically, parents are ready to let children go just as the state is ready to draft them. What a cunning synchronic-ity. In addition, old men who decide on war take advantage of the timing too. The warrior archetype is lively in eighteen-year-olds, who are willing to fight. Those in their mid-thirties, whose archetype is being a householder and making a mark in their chosen field, will not show an interest in battlefields of blood. The chiefs count on the fact that young braves will take the warrior myth literally rather than as a metaphor for interior battles. They will be willing to put their lives on the line to live out the collective myth of societies that have not found the path of nonviolence. Our collective nature thus seems geared to making war a workable enterprise. In some people, peacemaking is the archetype most in evidence. Nature seems to have made that population smaller, unfortunately. Our culture has trained us to endure and tolerate, not to protest and rebel. Every cell of our bodies learned that lesson. It may not be virtue; it may be fear. We may believe that showing anger is dangerous, because it opposes the authority we are obliged to appease and placate if we are to survive. This explains why we so admire someone who dares to say no and to stand up or even to die for what he believes. That person did not fall prey to the collective seduction. Watching Jeopardy on television, I notice that the audience applauds with special force when a contestant risks everything on a double-jeopardy question. The healthy part of us ardently admires daring. In our positive shadow, our admiration reflects our own disavowed or hidden potential. We, too, have it in us to dare. We can stand up for our truth, putting every comfort on the line, if only we can calm our long-scared ego and open to the part of us that wants to live free. Joseph Campbell says encouragingly, “The part of us that wants to become is fearless.” Religion and Transference Transference is not simply horizontal, from person to person, but vertical from person to a higher power, usually personified as God. When
David Richo (When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds That Sabotage Our Relationships)
They sighed: "This leadeth to captivity-- Perchance destruction, ending dark and dire. Yet must we yield to human liberty Its own, e'en though a brand from freedom's fire Kindle for freedom's self the fatal pyre." So saying, they anointed one their king Who craved the crown, by patriot son and sire Put by in pure denial, lest it bring First care, then crime, and waken woes then slumbering. For though a king see duty's pathway plain, And walk therein, as he who now arose; What monarch from misrule can all refrain, When privilege lifts power o'er friends and foes? Rare is the reign untarnished to the close, And rarer still the blameless dynasty. Ofttimes as princes the unkingliest pose, Because, forsooth, they come of some tall tree, Whose root and trunk were sound, while branches blasted be. True kingliness--what else proves man a king? A slave, though throned and sceptered, bides a slave; Nor pride, nor pelf, nor all that power may bring, Can make the serf a sovereign, or yet save The dust of either from the common grave. Royal the soul must be, or comes to end All royalty. Spirit, then blood, God gave; And each at last its separate way doth wend Home to the parent source, to meet no more, nor blend.
Orson F. Whitney (Elias: An Epic of the Ages)
It takes no skill to find a bald eagle. You look for flat rabbits on country roads. Wait a while and the national emblem will appear, menace anything that got there first, and plunge his majestic head deep in a mass of entrails. Alternatively, you can follow some industrious hawk through swamp or bottomland forest until he dispatches a squirrel; an eagle is likely to descend, savage the smaller bird, and steal his prize. The eagle can hunt, of course; he just prefers not to. Benjamin Franklin called him a bird of bad moral character. It takes no skill to find the nest, either. Look for a shipwreck in a tree, layered in feces . . . The likeliest impediment to (the eagles’) reproductive success was a human observer bungling around twice a day, but their welfare was almost incidental anyway. The point was for patriotic human hearts to swell with pride on outdoor weekends, and convincing replicas would have sufficed; the compulsive monitoring was not good husbandry, just an expression of national guilt. I did what I was paid for. Privately I sided with the furred and feathered residents of the area who must have wondered why humans were loosing winged hyenas in their midst . . . They’re glorified vultures. An apex predator that never hunts. Absurd.
Brian Kimberling (Snapper)
A postscript on Ryan: Ryan did recover, but he was left permanently blind. His girlfriend Kelly stayed by his side through his recovery, and they soon married. I’m happy to say that we all became good friends. Ryan had an indomitable spirit that infected everyone he met. He used to say that he suspected God had chosen him to be wounded, rather than someone else, because He knew he could bear it. If so, it was an excellent choice, for Ryan inspired many others to deal with their own handicaps as he dealt with his. He went hunting with the help of friends and special devices. His wound inspired the logo Chris would later use for his company; it was a way for Chris to continue honoring him. Ryan and his wife were expecting their first child in 2009 when Ryan went into the hospital for what seemed like a routine operation, part of follow-up treatment for his wounds. Tragically, he ended up dying. I remember looking at his wife at the funeral, so brave yet so devastated, and wondering to myself how we could live in such a cruel world. My enduring vision of Ryan is outside one of the hospitals where he was recovering from an operation. He was in his wheelchair with some of the Team guys. Head bandaged and clearly in pain, he asked to be pointed toward the American flag that flew in the hospital yard; once there, he held his hand up in a long and poignant salute, still a patriot.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt—particularly to doubt one’s cherished beliefs, one’s dogmas and one’s axioms. Who knows how these cherished beliefs became certainties with us, and whether some secret wish did not furtively beget them, clothing desire in the dress of thought? There is no real philosophy until the mind turns round and examines itself. Gnothi seauton, said Socrates: Know thyself. There had been philosophers before him, of course: strong men like Thales and Heraclitus, subtle men like Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, seers like Pythagoras and Empedocles; but for the most part they had been physical philosophers; they had sought for the physis or nature of external things, the laws and constituents of the material and measurable world. That is very good, said Socrates; but there is an infinitely worthier subject for philosophers than all these trees and stones, and even all those stars; there is the mind of man. What is man, and what can he become? So he went about prying into the human soul, uncovering assumptions and questioning certainties. If men discoursed too readily of justice, he asked them, quietly, tò tí?—what is it? What do you mean by these abstract words with which you so easily settle the problems of life and death? What do you mean by honor, virtue, morality, patriotism? What do you mean by yourself? It was with such moral and psychological questions that Socrates loved to deal. Some
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)
For centuries, even millennia, generals and governors, artists and poets had taken it for granted that soldiers fight. That if there’s one thing that brings out the hunter in us, it’s war. War is when we humans get to do what we’re so good at. War is when we shoot to kill. But as Colonel Samuel Marshall continued to interview groups of servicemen, in the Pacific and later in the European theatre, he found that only 15 to 25 per cent of them had actually fired their weapons. At the critical moment, the vast majority balked. One frustrated officer related how he had gone up and down the lines yelling, ‘Goddammit! Start shooting!’ Yet, ‘they fired only while I watched them or while some other officer stood over them’.14 The situation on Makin that night had been do-or-die, when you would expect everyone to fight for their lives. But in his battalion of more than three hundred soldiers, Marshall could identify only thirty-six who actually pulled the trigger. Was it a lack of experience? Nope. There didn’t seem to be any difference between new recruits and experienced pros when it came to willingness to shoot. And many of the men who didn’t fire had been crack shots in training. Maybe they just chickened out? Hardly. Soldiers who didn’t fire stayed at their posts, which meant they ran as much of a risk. To a man, they were courageous, loyal patriots, prepared to sacrifice their lives for their comrades. And yet, when it came down to it, they shirked their duty. They failed to shoot.
Rutger Bregman (Humankind: A Hopeful History)
each other and build a life together, I say more power to them. Let’s encourage solid, loving households with open-minded policy, and perhaps we’ll foster a new era of tolerance in which we can turn our attention to actual issues that need our attention, like, I don’t know, killing/bullying the citizens of other nations to maintain control of their oil? What exactly was Jesus’ take on violent capitalism? I also have some big ideas for changing the way we think about literary morals as they pertain to legislation. Rather than suffer another attempt by the religious right to base our legalese upon the Bible, I would vote that we found it squarely upon the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. The citizens of Middle Earth had much more tolerant policies in their governing bodies. For example, Elrond was chosen to lead the elves at Rivendell not only despite his androgynous nature but most likely because of the magical leadership inherent in a well-appointed bisexual elf wizard. That’s the person you want picking shit out for your community. That’s the guy you want in charge. David Bowie or a Mormon? Not a difficult equation. Was Elrond in a gay marriage? We don’t know, because it’s none of our goddamn business. Whatever the nature of his elvish lovemaking, it didn’t affect his ability to lead his community to prosperity and provide travelers with great directions. We should be encouraging love in the home place, because that makes for happier, stronger citizens. Supporting domestic solidity can only create more satisfied, invested patriots. No matter what flavor that love takes. I like blueberry myself.
Nick Offerman (Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Principles for Delicious Living)
It should be clear by now that whatever Americans say about diversity, it is not a strength. If it were a strength, Americans would practice it spontaneously. It would not require “diversity management” or anti-discrimination laws. Nor would it require constant reminders of how wonderful it is. It takes no exhortations for us to appreciate things that are truly desirable: indoor plumbing, vacations, modern medicine, friendship, or cheaper gasoline. [W]hen they are free to do so, most people avoid diversity. The scientific evidence suggests why: Human beings appear to have deeply-rooted tribal instincts. They seem to prefer to live in homogeneous communities rather than endure the tension and conflict that arise from differences. If the goal of building a diverse society conflicts with some aspect of our nature, it will be very difficult to achieve. As Horace wrote in the Epistles, “Though you drive Nature out with a pitchfork, she will ever find her way back.” Some intellectuals and bohemians profess to enjoy diversity, but they appear to be a minority. Why do we insist that diversity is a strength when it is not? In the 1950s and 1960s, when segregation was being dismantled, many people believed full integration would be achieved within a generation. At that time, there were few Hispanics or Asians but with a population of blacks and whites, the United States could be described as “diverse.” It seemed vastly more forward-looking to think of this as an advantage to be cultivated rather than a weakness to be endured. Our country also seemed to be embarking on a morally superior course. Human history is the history of warfare—between nations, tribes, and religions —and many Americans believed that reconciliation between blacks and whites would lead to a new era of inclusiveness for all peoples of the world. After the immigration reforms of 1965 opened the United States to large numbers of non- Europeans, our country became more diverse than anyone in the 1950s would have imagined. Diversity often led to conflict, but it would have been a repudiation of the civil rights movement to conclude that diversity was a weakness. Americans are proud of their country and do not like to think it may have made a serious mistake. As examples of ethnic and racial tension continued to accumulate, and as the civil rights vision of effortless integration faded, there were strong ideological and even patriotic reasons to downplay or deny what was happening, or at least to hope that exhortations to “celebrate diversity” would turn what was proving to be a problem into an advantage. To criticize diversity raises the intolerable possibility that the United States has been acting on mistaken assumptions for half a century. To talk glowingly about diversity therefore became a form of cheerleading for America. It even became common to say that diversity was our greatest strength—something that would have astonished any American from the colonial era through the 1950s. There is so much emotional capital invested in the civil-rights-era goals of racial equality and harmony that virtually any critique of its assumptions is intolerable. To point out the obvious— that diversity brings conflict—is to question sacred assumptions about the ultimate insignificance of race. Nations are at their most sensitive and irrational where they are weakest. It is precisely because it is so easy to point out the weaknesses of diversity that any attempt to do so must be countered, not by specifying diversity’s strengths—which no one can do—but with accusations of racism.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
[Magyar] had an intense dislike for terms like 'illiberal,' which focused on traits the regimes did not possess--like free media or fair elections. This he likened to trying to describe an elephant by saying that the elephant cannot fly or cannot swim--it says nothing about what the elephant actually is. Nor did he like the term 'hybrid regime,' which to him seemed like an imitation of a definition, since it failed to define what the regime was ostensibly a hybrid of. Magyar developed his own concept: the 'post-communist mafia state.' Both halves of the designation were significant: 'post-communist' because "the conditions preceding the democratic big bang have a decisive role in the formation of the system. Namely that it came about on the foundations of a communist dictatorship, as a product of the debris left by its decay." (quoting Balint Magyar) The ruling elites of post-communist states most often hail from the old nomenklatura, be it Party or secret service. But to Magyar this was not the countries' most important common feature: what mattered most was that some of these old groups evolved into structures centered around a single man who led them in wielding power. Consolidating power and resources was relatively simple because these countries had just recently had Party monopoly on power and a state monopoly on property. ... A mafia state, in Magyar's definition, was different from other states ruled by one person surrounded by a small elite. In a mafia state, the small powerful group was structured just like a family. The center of the family is the patriarch, who does not govern: "he disposes--of positions, wealth, statuses, persons." The system works like a caricature of the Communist distribution economy. The patriarch and his family have only two goals: accumulating wealth and concentrating power. The family-like structure is strictly hierarchical, and membership in it can be obtained only through birth or adoption. In Putin's case, his inner circle consisted of men with whom he grew up in the streets and judo clubs of Leningrad, the next circle included men with whom he had worked with in the KGB/FSB, and the next circle was made up of men who had worked in the St. Petersburg administration with him. Very rarely, he 'adopted' someone into the family as he did with Kholmanskikh, the head of the assembly shop, who was elevated from obscurity to a sort of third-cousin-hood. One cannot leave the family voluntarily: one can only be kicked out, disowned and disinherited. Violence and ideology, the pillars of the totalitarian state, became, in the hands of the mafia state, mere instruments. The post-communist mafia state, in Magyar's words, is an "ideology-applying regime" (while a totalitarian regime is 'ideology-driven'). A crackdown required both force and ideology. While the instruments of force---the riot police, the interior troops, and even the street-washing machines---were within arm's reach, ready to be used, ideology was less apparently available. Up until spring 2012, Putin's ideological repertoire had consisted of the word 'stability,' a lament for the loss of the Soviet empire, a steady but barely articulated restoration of the Soviet aesthetic and the myth of the Great Patriotic War, and general statements about the United States and NATO, which had cheated Russia and threatened it now. All these components had been employed during the 'preventative counter-revolution,' when the country, and especially its youth, was called upon to battle the American-inspired orange menace, which threatened stability. Putin employed the same set of images when he first responded to the protests in December. But Dugin was now arguing that this was not enough. At the end of December, Dugin published an article in which he predicted the fall of Putin if he continued to ignore the importance of ideas and history.
Masha Gessen (The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia)
[T]he great decided effective Majority is now for the Republic," he told Jefferson in late October 1792, but whether it would endure for even six months "must depend on the Form of Government which shall be presented by the Convention" and whether it could "strike out that happy Mean which secures all the Liberty which Circumstances will admit of combin'd with all the Energy which the same Circumstances require; Whether they can establish an Authority which does not exist, as a Substitute (and always a dangerous Substitute) for that Respect which cannot be restor'd after so much has been to destroy it; Whether in crying down and even ridiculing Religion they will be able on the tottering and uncertain Base of metaphisic Philosophy to establish a solid Edifice of morals, these are Questions which Time must solve." At the same time he predicted to Rufus King that "we shall have I think some sharp struggles which will make many men repent of what they have done when they find with Macbeth that they have but taught bloody Instructions which return to plague the Inventor." . . . In early December, he wrote perhaps his most eloquent appraisal of the tragic turn of the [French] Revolution, to Thomas Pinckney. "Success as you will see, continues to crown the French Arms, but it is not our Trade to judge from Success," he began. "You will soon learn that the Patriots hitherto adored were but little worthy of the Incense they received. The Enemies of those who now reign treat them as they did their Predecessors and as their Successors will be treated. Since I have been in this Country, I have seen the Worship of many Idols and but little [illegible] of the true God. I have seen many of those Idols broken, and some of them beaten to Dust. I have seen the late Constitution in one short Year admired as a stupendous Monument of human Wisdom and ridiculed as an egregious Production of Folly and Vice. I wish much, very much, the Happiness of this inconstant People. I love them. I feel grateful for their Efforts in our Cause and I consider the Establishment of a good Constitution here as the principal Means, under divine Providence, of extending the blessings of Freedom to the many millions of my fellow Men who groan in Bondage on the Continent of Europe. But I do not greatly indulge the flattering Illusions of Hope, because I do not yet perceive that Reformation of Morals without which Liberty is but an empty Sound." . . . [H]e believed religion was "the only solid Base of Morals and that Morals are the only possible Support of free governments." He described the movement as a "new Religion" whose Votaries have the Superstition of not being superstitious. They have with this as much Zeal as any other Sect and are as ready to lay Waste the World in order to make Proselytes.
Melanie Randolph Miller (Envoy to the Terror: Gouverneur Morris and the French Revolution)
So Japan is allied with Germany and they’re like “Sweet the rest of the world already hates us let’s take their land!” So they start invading China and Malaysia and the Philippines and just whatever else but then they’re like “Hmm what if America tries to stop us? Ooh! Let’s surprise attack Hawaii!” So that’s exactly what they do. The attack is very successful but only in a strictly technical sense. To put it in perspective, let’s try a metaphor. Let’s say you’re having a barbecue but you don’t want to get stung by any bees so you find your local beehive and just go crazy on it with a baseball bat. Make sense? THEN YOU MUST BE JAPAN IN THE ’40s. WHO ELSE WOULD EVER DO THIS? So the U.S. swarms on Japan, obviously but that’s where our bee metaphor breaks down because while bees can sting you they cannot put you in concentration camps (or at least, I haven’t met any bees that can do that). Yeah, after that surprise attack on Pearl Harbor everybody on the West Coast is like “OMG WE’RE AT WAR WITH JAPAN AND THERE ARE JAPANESE DUDES LIVING ALLLL AROUND US.” I mean, they already banned Japanese immigration like a decade before but there are still Japanese dudes all over the coast and what’s more those Japanese dudes are living right next door to all the important aircraft factories and landing strips and shipyards and farmland and forests and bridges almost as if those types of things are EVERYWHERE and thus impossible not to live next door to. Whatever, it’s pretty suspicious. Now, at this point, nothing has been sabotaged and some people think that means they’re safe. But not military geniuses like Earl Warren who points out that the only reason there’s been no sabotage is that the Japanese are waiting for their moment and the fact that there has been no sabotage yet is ALL THE PROOF WE NEED to determine that sabotage is being planned. Frank Roosevelt hears this and he’s like “That’s some pretty shaky logic but I really don’t like Japanese people. Okay, go ahead.” So he passes an executive order that just says “Any enemy ex-patriots can be kicked out of any war zone I designate. P.S.: California, Oregon, and Washington are war zones have fun with that.” So they kick all the Japanese off the coast forcing them to sell everything they own but people are still not satisfied. They’re like “Those guys look funny! We can’t have funny-looking dudes roaming around this is wartime! We gotta lock ’em up.” And FDR is like “Okay, sure.” So they herd all the Japanese into big camps where they are concentrated in large numbers like a hundred and ten thousand people total and then the military is like “Okay, guys we will let you go if you fill out this loyalty questionnaire that says you love the United States and are totally down to be in our army” and some dudes are like “Sweet, free release!” but some dudes are like “Seriously? You just put me in jail for being Asian. This country is just one giant asshole and it’s squatting directly over my head.” And the military is like “Ooh, sorry to hear that buddy looks like you’re gonna stay here for the whole war. Meanwhile your friends get to go fight and die FOR FREEDOM.
Cory O'Brien (George Washington Is Cash Money: A No-Bullshit Guide to the United Myths of America)
Fox News portrayed itself as a full-fledged news outlet that was a corrective to the liberal press. There are some fine journalists who have worked and continue to work at Fox News. But the majority of programming is opinion rather than news, and this opinion is often in service of conservative political objectives regardless of the facts.
Dan Rather (What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism)
But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? . . . We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.
Dan Rather (What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism)
We do not need a heavy hand, just wise policies and an understanding that some things are so big or risky that only the government can be the catalyst for action.
Dan Rather (What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism)
To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me. . . . Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, “regretted,” that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what . . . all these “little measures” that no “patriotic German” could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. . . . And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying “Jew swine,” collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
But in America the people regards this prosperity as the result of its own exertions; the citizen looks upon the fortune of the public as his private interest, and he co-operates in its success, not so much from a sense of pride or of duty, as from what I shall venture to term cupidity. It is unnecessary to study the institutions and the history of the Americans in order to discover the truth of this remark, for their manners render it sufficiently evident. As the American participates in all that is done in his country, he thinks himself obliged to defend whatever may be censured; for it is not only his country which is attacked upon these occasions, but it is himself. The consequence is, that his national pride resorts to a thousand artifices, and to all the petty tricks of individual vanity. Nothing is more embarrassing in the ordinary intercourse of life than this irritable patriotism of the Americans. A stranger may be very well inclined to praise many of the institutions of their country, but he begs permission to blame some of the peculiarities which he observes—a permission which is, however, inexorably refused. America is therefore a free country, in which, lest anybody should be hurt by your remarks, you are not allowed to speak freely of private individuals, or of the State, of the citizens or of the authorities, of public or of private undertakings, or, in short, of anything at all, except it be of the climate and the soil; and even then Americans will be found ready to defend either the one or the other, as if they had been contrived by the inhabitants of the country.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
What did you tell Cornichet?" he asked suddenly. .."Nothing." "I assume they only just started on you." She didn't reply. "What did they want to know?" "What right do you have to take me prisoner?" she countered. "I'm no enemy of the English. I help the partisans, not the French." "As long as there's some profit in it for you, as I understand it," he said, his voice a whip crack in the dim hovel. "Don't pretend to patriotic loyalty..." "And just what business is it of yours?" she demanded furiously..."I've done you no harm. I don't interfere with the English army. You trample all over i> my country, behaving like God-given conquering heroes. All complacence and pomposity-" ..."The blood of Englishmen has watered this damnable peninsula for four interminable years, doing the work of your countrymen, trying to save you and your country from Napoleon's heel. I have lost more friends than I can count in the interests of your miserable land, and you speak against those men at your peril. Do you understand that?" ..."The English have their own reasons for being here," she retorted...England couldn't survive if Napoleon held Spain and Portugal. He'd close their ports to English trading, and you'd all starve to death." They both knew she spoke the unvarnished truth.... 1
Jane Feather (Violet (V, #6))
What did you tell Cornichet?" he asked suddenly. .."Nothing." "I assume they only just started on you." She didn't reply. "What did they want to know?" "What right do you have to take me prisoner?" she countered. "I'm no enemy of the English. I help the partisans, not the French." "As long as there's some profit in it for you, as I understand it," he said, his voice a whip crack in the dim hovel. "Don't pretend to patriotic loyalty..." "And just what business is it of yours?" she demanded furiously..."I've done you no harm. I don't interfere with the English army. You trample all over< i> my country, behaving like God-given conquering heroes. All complacence and pomposity-" ..."The blood of Englishmen has watered this damnable peninsula for four interminable years, doing the work of your countrymen, trying to save you and your country from Napoleon's heel. I have lost more friends than I can count in the interests of your miserable land, and you speak against those men at your peril. Do you understand that?" ..."The English have their own reasons for being here," she retorted...England couldn't survive if Napoleon held Spain and Portugal. He'd close their ports to English trading, and you'd all starve to death." They both knew she spoke the unvarnished truth....
Jane Feather (Violet (V, #6))
Bush had been warned about using Noriega as an asset by the legendary head of French Intelligence, Count Alexandre de Marenches, who warned him with regard to Noriega, "My own philosophy has always been that when you have something particularly dirty to do, you hire a gentleman to do it. If the gentleman is persuaded that what we are contemplating is an act of war, and by extension an act of patriotism, then we will find some very good people to work for us. By contrast, if we hire a thug, then eventually we will be compelled to kill the thug in one way or another because eventually we would be blackmailed by him.
Craig Unger (House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties)
M. Romains had taken many journeys in his country’s interest and at his own expense. He had talked with the statesmen of fourteen European lands. Three years ago he had traveled to Berlin and delivered a lecture under government auspices. Brownshirted leaders had been summoned from all over the land to hear him, and one of the top-flight Nazis had said to him: “You know, no private individual has ever been received like this in Berlin.” The philosopher-novelist had also been welcomed by the King of the Belgians, who had discussed frankly that country’s attitude to the gravely threatened war. As M. Romains told about these matters, you couldn’t doubt that he was patriotically in earnest, but also you couldn’t help feeling that he was intensely impressed by his own importance. His plan was the one known as le couple France-Allemagne, and it meant reconcilation with Germany, by the simple method of giving the Nazis whatever they demanded. For example, he had had the idea that the Allies should have got out of the Saar without the formality of a plebiscite. Lanny happened to know that Briand had been trying to work out some compromise on this question as far back as ten years ago; but apparently M. Romains didn’t know that, and certainly it wasn’t up to Lanny to correct him on his facts. The philosopher-novelist seemed to have the idea that the Saar settlement had been a matter between France and Germany, and that the plebiscite had taken place under French military control, whereas the fact was it had been a League matter, and French troops had been withdrawn nine years before the plebiscite was held. Among the members of that attentive audience was Kurt Meissner, who had met the Frenchman many years ago in Emily’s drawing-room. Evidently he had put his opportunity to good use, for it was just as if M. Romains had sat in a seminar conducted by the Wehrmacht’s agent, had absorbed the entire doctrine, and was now giving an oral dissertation to demonstrate what he had learned and get his degree. His discourse embraced the complete Nazi program for the undermining of the French republic: warm protestations of friendship; unlimited promises of peace; the sowing of distrust of all politicians and of the entire democratic procedure; and, above all else, fear of the Red specter. The Reds kept faith with nobody, their country was a colossus with feet of clay, their army a broken reed upon which France persisted in trying to lean. The republic had to choose between Stalin and Hitler; between an illusory military alliance and a secure and enduring peace. The words burned Lanny’s tongue: “M. Romains, have you ever read Mein Kampf?” Of course, Lanny couldn’t say them; but he wondered, how would this somewhat self-conscious idol of the bourgeois world have replied? Lanny recalled the Max Beerbohm cartoon in which a drawing-room fop is asked if he has read a certain book, and replies: “I do not read books; I write them.
Upton Sinclair (The Lanny Budd Novels Volume Two: Wide Is the Gate, Presidential Agent, and Dragon Harvest)
Next time you dream about the dead, ask them questions! Who was behind JFK’s assassination? What’s in Area 51? Does God hear NFL players praying before games? If so, does he have a favorite, because it seems to me the Patriots have some sort of upper hand.
Wendy Webb (The Haunting of Brynn Wilder)
There are some fine journalists who have worked and continue to work at Fox News. But the majority of programming is opinion rather than news, and this opinion is often in service of conservative political objectives regardless of the facts.
Dan Rather (What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism)
He couldn’t help thinking about one of Sam Houston’s most famous quotes, and he took some comfort in the belief that Texans at the core are defiant and resolute. He recalled Houston’s famous words: “Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may.
David Thomas Roberts (A State of Treason (The Patriot Series))
I remember a moment late in the 2008 presidential campaign when Barack Obama returned to his birth state of Hawaii for a vacation. Some pundits criticized this decision for the optics, arguing that our fiftieth state might strike some voters as exotic and foreign. At the same time, there was also a candidate on the ballot from the forty-ninth state, Alaska governor Sarah Palin. The glaciers and tundra of the Last Frontier are just as exotic as the beaches and palm trees of Hawaii, but I don’t remember hearing that Alaska was somehow bad for campaign optics. What I think was at issue wasn’t geography but race. Hawaii is the most diverse state in the Union, the result of waves of Asian immigration. By contrast, Alaska is predominantly white, save for a considerable population of Native Americans.
Dan Rather (What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism)
Karly- I stopped wearing my glasses after that day, when Jess Smith walked up and ripped them off my face and broke them in half, and poked me in the boob hard. I miss them, what wrong with glasses, they make you look sophisticated. Why was I so quiet and laid back, and a pushover? Marcel- She runs like everything for the bathroom, like always- not making it very far. She feels like some poor little girl, with a broken nose, and I remember when that happened. That is when I felt like she was in love with me she took the balls to the face for me. ‘I thought you liked balls in your face one boy said.’ You tripped and fell to the ground, hard, and I picked you up and carried you to safety, and we fell in love, even more, kissing under the bleachers. ‘You’re a weirdo,’ and the kiss was long and – fearing H-O-T! Like, kick your tongue out smoking hot! It’s still not as bad as the time my face was smashed to a brick wall, by some back boy- and I have to have something done about it, like getting my nose redone, yet I blamed it on my dad. Jenny- Sing the same girlie crap every year, you’ll blow chunks all over the place, which never happened, that’s why she stopped singing way back when. You can see here doing it on YouTube! Like- It happened! Jenny says every time someone brings it up. Until some unicycles guy flies into the frame where nothing freaking speedo- showing his tor·pe·do with the American flag up his ass! I don’t know if that is patriotic or what the hell that is… I am not sure what to look at. What can you say other than- ‘Ew-ah- gross…? Who does that…?’ Marcel- It kind of reunions the magic does it…? I spoke. Karly- Yep! I am glad I cannot see all that anyway! I am sure yours is better anyway. (She goes underneath his underwear down for it, getting a handful, and does what she feels is right in front of them all. It was more romantic than you would think pervs.) I did it for me and him, I did not give a crap; if they liked it or not… they can all look the other way. I have- a leaning popping lag kisses, and he rubbed his nose on mine saying it- I LOVE YOU! You’ll be fine… I’ll make sure of that. Karly- Back in time: We rain from the schoolyard to my house… stole my dad’s Nash and got married. My stepmother cased us down, with a bible in her hand saying we were sinners. Both- We’re sinner okay then- we all are- yet love is love even if age is in the way. Marcel- the very next day, it was all over. Say what you want to say… I know why- how- and who.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh They Call Out)
Georges was in a rage. It is a spectacle to comtemplate, his rage. He tore off his cravat, strode about the room, his throat and chest glistening with sweat, his voice shaking the windows. “This bloody so-called Revolution has been a waste of time. What have the patriots got out of it? Nothing.” He glared around the room. He looked as if he would hit anyone who contradicted him. Outside there was some far-off shouting, from the direction of the river. “If that’s true—” Camille said. But he couldn’t manage it, he couldn’t get his words out. “If this one’s done for—and I think it always was done for—” He put his face into his hands, exasperated with himself. “Come on, Camille,” Georges said, “there’s no time to wait around for you. Fabre, please bang his head against the wall.” “That’s what I’m trying to say, Georges- Jacques. We have no more time left.” I don’t know whether it was the threat, or because he suddenly saw the future, that Camille recovered his voice: but he began to speak in short, simple sentences. “We must begin again. We must stage a coup. We must depose Louis. We must take control. We must declare the republic. We must do it before the summer ends.
Hilary Mantel (A Place of Greater Safety)
The only appropriate war rhetoric is more rhetoric that calls our enemies spirits and people with flesh the victims of this war. Satan wants us to fight with one another, and I understand that some evil must be restrained, but our war, the war of the ones who believe in Jesus, is a war unseen. If we could muster a portion of the patriotism we feel toward our earthly nations into patriotism and bravery in concert with the kingdom of God, the enemy would take fewer casualties.
Donald Miller (Searching for God Knows What)
Mainstream US culture prompted this sense of belonging to some of its citizens - those who were white, who had secure enough jobs to be consumers, and who felt entitled to the historical wealth of the country despite the horrible toll some of it had taken on others. Like my parents, people wanted to put the difficulties of the past behind them, ignoring the legacies of those difficulties. They signed onto a future that was bright, and in which they were privileged. They were better-off because they were better people , the reasoning generally went, omitting the point that many such opportunities had often been purchased at other people's expense. Once people signed on to a worldview and its spokespersons, it was hard to shake their perception of the world as it was constantly reinforced by a selective input of information. They believed only what their leaders said, regardless of whether or not it was firmly grounded in fact. Remembering my earnest childhood patriotism, I called this phenomenon a sense of allegiance.
Cathy Wilkerson
I love my country. Holy shit, do I love America. In many ways, it is the glorious result of some very open-minded thinking on the parts of our forefathers (and the ladies advising them) a couple of centuries ago. But that right there’s the rub, y’all. We’re a group of human beings, which means we can never be done trying to improve ourselves, and by default, our systems, including our government. Now, here’s the deal: Invoking the Bible in any public school or at any government function? Un-American. Making a witness in a court of law place his or her hand on the Bible? Un-American. Disputing legislation based upon what it says in your holy book? NOT PATRIOTIC.
Nick Offerman (Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Principles for Delicious Living)
That night, they sat around the hotel room with a bottle of tequila and some salt and limes and talked about names for the new real estate company. A few ideas sprang up right away but got rejected just as fast. A half bottle of tequila later, the name "Real Estate Maximums Incorporated" was tossed around as a possibility. Nobody spoke for a moment because everyone liked it. Maximums meant that everyone would get the most out of the relationship-real estate agents and customers alike. The name did a good job of communicating the everybody wins principle at the heart of the endeavor. But after a few more minutes, they realized it didn't quite work. It wasn't snappy enough for a good brand name, and it was too long to fit on a real estate sign. More tequila got poured. No one could come up with another name that felt as on-target as Real Estate Maximums. Someone suggested shortening it to R. E. Max. That made it snappier and appealing in a brand name sense; but when you wrote it out, it looked too much like a real person's name. You could imagine junk mail arriving at the office in care of Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Max. Collins pointed out that Exxon had formed only a few years before, and the X with a slash through it looked very smart. So Liniger took out the dots and tried a slash through the middle of the word and then capitalized all the letters. They looked at the pad of paper and saw: RE/MAX. A silence came over them, followed by a few backslaps and cheers. Everything about the word looked exactly right, as though they were talking about an established global company. Now, what about colors? They were on a roll. Now was no time to stop. A few more shots of tequila went around while they debated the right look for the new RE/MAX. It didn't take long to figure it out: Everyone in the room was a Vietnam vet and patriotic to the core. The colors, of course, had to be red, white, and blue. When they considered the whole package, they knew they had it. And that's how the idea for the distinctive RE/MAX brand was hatched. Considering the time and resources that get poured into brand development today, their methods might seem unorthodox if admirably effective. No money was spent on advertising agencies, market research, or trademark protection. The only investment was a decent bottle of tequila; the only focus group, a bunch of guys sitting around a room having a good laugh.
Phil Harkins (Everybody Wins: The Story and Lessons Behind RE/MAX)
Inclusion on race has been a very different journey, and I worry that for all the progress we have made, we are stuck in the purgatory of tolerance. This may not be a comfortable thought for many who pride themselves on their progressive beliefs, but it is the truth. We have of late seen evidence of a great racial divide that remains, and in some ways even appears to be expanding, more than a half century after the major legislative victories in the civil rights movement. While tragedies like the high-profile shootings of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement get a lot of deserved attention, these are symptoms of a much deeper problem. We are still largely segregated as a society, and our political divisions increasingly fall along the lines of race.
Dan Rather (What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism)
amount to a fart in a cyclone. His parents and their parson had tried to sell him the same message, binding him to a hardscrabble farm and a church built on strict “thou shalt nots.” Ridgway had kicked over the traces, gone out on his own and proved them wrong. In spades. Once he was rich as Croesus—no, scratch that; richer than Croesus or the Lord Himself—small minds kept after him in other ways. They told him that he should concentrate on oil and gas, stick with the things he knew, where he had proven his ability. Don’t branch out into other fields and least of all space exploration. What did any Texas oil man with a sixth-grade education know about the friggin’ moon and stars beyond it? Next to nothing, granted. But he had money to burn, enough to buy the brains that did know all about the universe and rockets, astrophysics, interplanetary travel—name your poison. And he knew some other things, as well. Ridgway knew that his country had been losing ground for decades—hell, for generations. Ever since the last world war, when Roosevelt and Truman let Joe Stalin gobble up half of the world without a fight. The great U.S. of A. had been declining ever since, with racial integration and affirmative action, gay rights and abortion, losing wars all over Asia and the Middle East. He’d done his best to save America, bankrolling groups that stood against the long slide into socialism’s Sodom and Gomorrah, but he’d finally admitted to himself that they were beaten. His United States, the one he loved, was circling the drain. And it was time to start from scratch. He’d be goddamned if some inept redneck would spoil it now. You want a job done right, a small voice in his head reminded him, do it yourself. San Antonio CONGRESS HAD CREATED the National Nuclear Security Administration in 2000, following the scandal that had enveloped Dr. Wen Ho Lee and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Lee had been accused of passing secrets about America’s nuclear arsenal to the People’s Republic of China, pleading guilty on one of fifty-nine charges, then turned around
Don Pendleton (Patriot Strike (Executioner))
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Once upon a time our politicians did not tend to apologize for our country’s prior actions! Here’s a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our great country. These are quite good JFK’S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60’s when De Gaulle decided to pull out of NATO. De Gaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible. Rusk’s response: “Does that include those who are buried here?” De Gaulle did not respond. You could have heard a pin drop. When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of ‘empire building’ by George Bush. He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.” You could have heard a pin drop. There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?” A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?” You could have heard a pin drop. A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Germany and France. At morning tea the Frenchman complained that the conference should be conducted in French since it was being held in Paris. The German replied that, so far as he could see, the reason that it was being held in English was as a mark of respect to the other attendees, since their troops had shed so much blood so that the Frenchman wouldn’t be speaking German.
marshall sorgen
The leaders of our armed forces are patriotic, sober people. They do not go about shooting innocent persons. Though I am willing to concede that there must have been some unfortunate cases of this kind, mercifully, they have been very rare. Besides, the so-called powers of the armed forces are not powers, but duties. They are the duties of ordinary police officers, which the Army is always most reluctant to perform. There will be no need to keep that Army if the people of Jammu & Kashmir take on the responsibility of defending its frontiers from infiltrators and terrorists, imported or indigenous. Kashmir is the master of its own destiny. This is what the interlocutors should explain to the people.
Dear Christopher, This is the perfume of March: rain, loam, feathers, mint. Every morning and afternoon I drink fresh mint tea sweetened with honey. I’ve done a great deal of walking lately. I seem to think better outdoors. Last night was remarkably clear. I looked up at the sky to find the Argo. I’m terrible at constellations. I can never make out any of them except for Orion and his belt. But the longer I stared, the more the sky seemed like an ocean, and then I saw an entire fleet of ships made of stars. A flotilla was anchored at the moon, while others were casting off. I imagined we were on one of those ships, sailing on moonlight. In truth, I find the ocean unnerving. Too vast. I must prefer the forests around Stony Cross. They’re always fascinating, and full of commonplace miracles…spiderwebs glittering with rain, new trees growing from the trunks of fallen oaks. I wish you could see them with me. And together we would listen to the wind rushing through the leaves overhead, a lovely swooshy melody…tree music! As I sit here writing to you, I have propped my stocking feet much too close to the hearth. I’ve actually singed my stockings on occasion, and once I had to stomp out my feet when they started smoking. Even after that, I still can’t seem to rid myself of the habit. There, now you could pick me out of a crowd blindfolded. Simply follow the scent of scorched stockings. Enclosed is a robin’s feather that I found during my walk this morning. It’s for luck. Keep it in your pocket. Just now I had the oddest feeling while writing this letter, as if you were standing in the room with me. As if my pen had become a magic wand, and I had conjured you right here. If I wish hard enough… Dearest Prudence, I have the robin’s feather in my pocket. How did you know I needed token to carry into battle? For the past two weeks I’ve been in a rifle pit, sniping back and forth with the Russians. It’s no longer a cavalry war, it’s all engineers and artillery. Albert stayed in the trench with me, only going out to carry messages up and down the line. During the lulls, I try to imagine being in some other place. I imagine you with your feet propped near the hearth, and your breath sweet with mint tea. I imagine walking through the Stony Cross forests with you. I would love to see some commonplace miracles, but I don’t think I could find them without you. I need your help, Pru. I think you might be my only chance of becoming part of the world again. I feel as if I have more memories of you than I actually do. I was with you on only a handful of occasions. A dance. A conversation. A kiss. I wish I could relive those moments. I would appreciate them more. I would appreciate everything more. Last night I dreamed of you again. I couldn’t see your face, but I felt you near me. You were whispering to me. The last time I held you, I didn’t know who you truly were. Or who I was, for that matter. We never looked beneath the surface. Perhaps it’s better we didn’t--I don’t think I could have left you, had I felt for you then what I do now. I’ll tell you what I’m fighting for. Not for England, nor her allies, nor any patriotic cause. It’s all come down to the hope of being with you.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Dearest Prudence, I have the robin’s feather in my pocket. How did you know I needed token to carry into battle? For the past two weeks I’ve been in a rifle pit, sniping back and forth with the Russians. It’s no longer a cavalry war, it’s all engineers and artillery. Albert stayed in the trench with me, only going out to carry messages up and down the line. During the lulls, I try to imagine being in some other place. I imagine you with your feet propped near the hearth, and your breath sweet with mint tea. I imagine walking through the Stony Cross forests with you. I would love to see some commonplace miracles, but I don’t think I could find them without you. I need your help, Pru. I think you might be my only chance of becoming part of the world again. I feel as if I have more memories of you than I actually do. I was with you on only a handful of occasions. A dance. A conversation. A kiss. I wish I could relive those moments. I would appreciate them more. I would appreciate everything more. Last night I dreamed of you again. I couldn’t see your face, but I felt you near me. You were whispering to me. The last time I held you, I didn’t know who you truly were. Or who I was, for that matter. We never looked beneath the surface. Perhaps it’s better we didn’t--I don’t think I could have left you, had I felt for you then what I do now. I’ll tell you what I’m fighting for. Not for England, nor her allies, nor any patriotic cause. It’s all come down to the hope of being with you. Dear Christopher, You’ve made me realize that words are the most important things in the world. And never so much as now. The moment Audrey gave me your last letter, my heart started beating faster, and I had to run to my secret house to read it in private. I haven’t yet told you…last spring on one of my rambles, I found the oddest structure in the forest, a lone tower of brick and stonework, all covered with ivy and moss. It was on a distant portion of the Stony Cross estate that belongs to Lord Westcliff. Later when I asked Lady Westcliff about it, she said that keeping a secret house was a local custom in medieval times. The lord of the manor might have used it as a place to keep his mistress. Once a Westcliff ancestor actually hid there from his own bloodthirsty retainers. Lady Westcliff said I could visit the secret house whenever I wanted, since it has long been abandoned. I go there often. It’s my hiding place, my sanctuary…and now that you know about it, it’s yours as well. I’ve just lit a candle and set it in a window. A very tiny lodestar, for you to follow home.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
The politicians are the guilty ones," said one cavalry officer. "I am all for revolution after this bloody massacre. I would hang all politicians, diplomats, and so-called statesmen with strict impartiality." "I'm for the people," said another. "The poor, bloody people, who are kept in ignorance and then driven into the shambles when their rulers desire to grab some new part of the earth's surface or to get their armies going because they are bored with peace." "What price Christianity?" asked another, inevitably. "What have the churches done to stop war or preach the gospel of Christ? The Bishop of London, the Archbishop of Canterbury, all those conventional, patriotic, cannon—blessing, banner-baptizing humbugs. God! They make me tired!" Strange words to hear in a
Philip Gibbs (Now It Can Be Told)
She’d thought for sure that she would be able to truly change the world for the better by fighting those armies in France: surely, she’d be able to help the situation, gain some satisfaction in being able to do her part to win the war. Wasn’t that what they were supposed to do? Those propaganda reels at the theaters were always going on and on about how every man, woman, and child needed to do their part. She’d never imagined the lessons she’d learned in France and in Germany, when she discovered that the bad guys sometimes won and killed the good guys. That sometimes, people didn’t have a good side: sometimes, monsters hid in the clothing of a human.
H.J. Peterson (Prosper)
Figure that one out. Every single state has its own border patrol, and my kid still calls herself an American.” Angel shrugged. “I never really got patriotism.” “No,” Case laughed, “you wouldn’t. Some of us used to believe in it, though. Now we just wave the American flag so the feds won’t come down on us for recruiting militias.” “Countries…” Angel trailed off, thinking back on his own early life in Mexico, before the Cartel States. “They come and go.” “And mostly we don’t see it when it’s coming,” Case said. “There’s a theory that if we don’t have the right words in our vocabularies, we can’t even see the things that are right in front of our faces. If we can’t describe our reality accurately, we can’t see it. Not the other way around. So someone says a word like Mexico or the United States, and maybe that word keeps us from even seeing what’s right in front of us. Our own words make us blind.
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Water Knife)
As sure as shite, Herby knew less about politics than I did, and he was only saying what he’d heard some scuttered Fenian saying in a public house, believed by saying it himself he was being a patriotic Irishman.
Tom Phelan
If some act is wrong it is simply wrong, no matter who tells you to do it or for what grand motive. It seemed to me that a true patriot and decent human being rejects doing wrong and puts the ideals on which the country is founded ahead of the directives of government bureaucrats. If the government is off the rails, you don’t keep on riding the train to destruction—you certainly don’t push it there on your own; you start hauling the other way as hard as you can.
Kat Richardson (Possession (Greywalker, #8))
In fact, there was a pervasive view among some of the President’s most senior aides that there was something patriotic about undermining Trump’s most disruptive impulses. I know that many people reading this will say, “Thank God.” And if I give them the benefit of the doubt, it may have been a sincere effort to do what they thought was in the best interest of the country. But whether they were sincere or not, I found it cowardly. There’s nothing patriotic about being a part of “the resistance” inside the building. Imagine the arrogance of saying, “I know sixty-three million of my fellow Americans voted for this guy, but I’m going to sabotage him anyway because I know better.
Cliff Sims (Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House)
The political atmosphere has been polluted by what Steven Colbert referred to as “Truthiness.” To that, I would add the term “factitious.” Lies that travel in via statistics, and cited by people who are confident that the public isn’t smart enough to question a statement that’s got a few numbers in it. Unless someone in the conversation knows enough to debunk the claim on the spot, it goes forth as truth. That’s why many GOP spokespersons enter TV debates armed with two or three factitious statements, often citing some genuine-sounding patriotic source like The Heritage Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, American Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, The Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, or Judicial Watch.
Ian Gurvitz (WELCOME TO DUMBFUCKISTAN: The Dumbed-Down, Disinformed, Dysfunctional, Disunited States of America)
Not so long ago, I visited relatives in Italy. I took a daytime stroll to the famous (infamous) Roman Coliseum, and marveled at the engineering feat to build such a magnificent structure. Being a Christian, I was suddenly thunderstruck at the thought of how many Christians perished in some of the most cruel way possible, some torn limb to limb by starved lions, simply because they refused to denounce Jesus Christ as their savior. Yet here in America, a land blessed by God ( a ragtime army of patriots defeat one of the most powerful standing armies in the world) and founded on religious freedom, we allow them to remove prayer from the schools, remove nativity scenes from our cities and towns and abort millions of children. Where’s the outrage? What has happened to us? Jim Balzotti
Jim Balzotti (THE WRATH of GOD: A NOVEL)
I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” —Acts 10:34–35 (NRSV) We stared at the school handout. “That’s pouring it on pretty thick,” Kate said. I nodded. “Was it like this when we were in school?” I asked. Presidents’ Day was approaching, and Frances’s school was hosting a patriotic assembly. The kids had a packet of songs and poems to memorize. Some of them seemed over the top in their worship of the United States. Don’t get me wrong. I love America. I studied abroad in college and returned home profoundly grateful for my sprawling, boisterous, beautiful, dynamic country. But no country is perfect, and the United States is not the kingdom of God. Was it right to fill impressionable kids’ minds with such unvarnished patriotic worship? Aren’t we supposed to see the world through God’s eyes, thankful for our religious freedom, but calling out greed and injustice when we see it? “Maybe I learned some of these songs in school,” Kate said. “I can’t remember.” “Well, then probably Frances won’t remember either,” I said. “She’ll form her own ideas as she grows up.” And, suddenly, I realized that was the point of patriotism. Frances could form her own ideas. She was free to think and believe what seemed right to her. She was free to grow up and disagree with Kate and me completely. That was the glory of America. Lord, help me to see the world through Your eyes. —Jim Hinch Digging Deeper: Ps 22:28; Is 30:21
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
...supposing the present government to be overthrown, the limited choice of the Crown, in the formation of a new ministry, would lie between Lord Coodle and Sir Thomas Doodle--supposing it to be impossible for the Duke of Foodle to act with Goodle, which may be assumed to be the case in consequence of the breach arising out of that affair with Hoodle. Then, giving the Home Department and the leadership of the House of Commons to Joodle, the Exchequer to Koodle, the Colonies to Loodle, and the Foreign Office to Moodle, what are you to do with Noodle? You can't offer him the Presidency of the Council; that is reserved for Poodle. You can't put him in the Woods and Forests; that is hardly good enough for Quoodle. What follows? That the country is shipwrecked, lost, and gone to pieces (as is made manifest to the patriotism of Sir Leicester Dedlock) because you can't provide for Noodle! On the other hand, the Right Honourable William Buffy, M.P., contends across the table with some one else that the shipwreck of the country--about which there is no doubt; it is only the manner of it that is in question--is attributable to Cuffy. If you had done with Cuffy what you ought to have done when he first came into Parliament, and had prevented him from going over to Duffy, you would have got him into alliance with Fuffy, you would have had with you the weight attaching as a smart debater to Guffy, you would have brought to bear upon the elections the wealth of Huffy, you would have got in for three counties Juffy, Kuffy, and Luffy, and you would have strengthened your administration by the official knowledge and the business habits of Muffy. All this, instead of being as you now are, dependent on the mere caprice of Puffy!
Charles Dickens (Bleak House)
Structural analysis leads to some surprising conclusions concerning “normal” people, which are nevertheless in accord with competent clinical judgment. In structural terms, a “happy” person is one in whom important aspects of the Parent, the Adult, and the Child are all syntonic with each other….The following anecdote illustrates the structure of the “happy” personality carried to its logical end: A young man came home one day and announced to his mother: “I’m so happy! I’ve just been promoted!” His mother congratulated him, and as she got out the bottle of wine she had been saving for such an occasion, she asked him what his new appointment was. ‘This morning,” said the young man, “I was only a guard at the concentration camp, but tonight I’m the new commandant!” “Very good, my son,” said his mother, “see how well I’ve brought you up!” In this case, Parent, Adult, and Child were all interested in and gratified by his career, so that he met the requirements for “happiness.” He fulfilled his mother’s ambitions for him with patriotic rationality while obtaining gratification of his archaic sadism. In this light, it is not so surprising that in real life many of these people were able to enjoy good music and literature in their leisure hours. This distasteful example raises some serious questions about certain naive attitudes concerning the relationship between happiness, virtue, and usefulness, including the Greek aspect of “good workmanship.” It is also an effective illustration for people who want to know “how to raise children” but cannot specify clearly what they want to raise them to be. It is not enough to want to raise them to be “happy.
Eric Berne (Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy)
The circle between Madison Avenue and Wall Street was complete; they were inexorably linked, in a relationship developed in ten short years, during which the ad men had created an ambience invaluable to the continuing popularity of stock speculation. The limitless, desirable, and expensive goods coming onto the market—often products of companies quoted on the Stock Exchange—could only be sold by determined advertising campaigns. If those campaigns failed, the market would slump. To maintain his place in consumer society, a man was told he needed a car, radio, icebox, and refrigerator; his wife required a washing machine, automatic furnace, and one of the modish pastel-hued toilets. To complete their domestic bliss they would have the latest in bathrooms: a shrine of stunning magnificence, containing, among other items, “a dental lavatory of vitreous china, twice fired.” To buy it would cost the average American six months’ salary. But paying was no problem; there were the installment plans. It was also part of the advertising philosophy that it was no longer enough to buy a car, radio, or refrigerator. People must have the latest model—junking the old one, even though it was still useful. Failure to do so would cause factories to close from the Atlantic to the Pacific, ending what some newspapers called “the golden era.” To protect it, they told their readers, was the patriotic duty of every American; one way to express that was, “to buy until it hurts.
Gordon Thomas (The Day the Bubble Burst: A Social History of the Wall Street Crash of 1929)
Patriotism has then, many faces. Those who would reject it entirely do not seem to have considered what will certainly step—has already begun to step—into its place. For a long time yet, or perhaps forever, nations will live in danger. Rulers must somehow nerve their subjects to defend them or at least to prepare for their defence. Where the sentiment of patriotism has been destroyed this can be done only by presenting every international conflict in a purely ethical light. If people will spend neither sweat nor blood for ‘their country’ they must be made to feel that they are spending them for justice, or civilisation, or humanity. This is a step down, not up. Patriotic sentiment did not of course need to disregard ethics. Good men needed to be convinced that their country’s cause was just; but it was still their country’s cause, not the cause of justice as such. The difference seems to me important. I may without self-righteousness or hypocrisy think it just to defend my house by force against a burglar; but if I start pretending that I blacked his eye purely on moral grounds—wholly indifferent to the fact that the house in question was mine—I become insufferable. The pretence that when England’s cause is just we are on England’s side—as some neutral Don Quixote might be—for that reason alone, is equally spurious. And nonsense draws evil after it. If our country’s cause is the cause of God, wars must be wars of annihilation. A false transcendence is given to things which are very much of this world.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
So many of our problems today are directly linked to the way we vote or how we are subtly prohibited from voting. In some ways, we have worked hard to enhance the ease of casting a ballot; we have early voting and voting by mail in many states. On the other hand, there are states seeking to limit access to the ballot box, even if they make claims to the contrary. And often these voter suppression efforts target the most marginal members of society. We see long lines at some precincts and short lines at others. It is easier for a white-collar worker to alter his or her schedule to vote, but for a single mother punching a clock with a long bus ride to her job, limiting voting options can amount to disenfranchisement.
Dan Rather (What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism)
Radical reform and even revolution are indeed justified in some cases; and in such cases, those who wage them with reluctant yet steady hearts are heroes of the highest rank. But any self-styled social justice warrior who has never even smelled gunpowder in their life should think long and hard before impetuously calling for an armed revolt, in a lazy leapfrog over those more measured modes of reform that prudence first demands. Press them to define exactly what they mean by such revolt, how they imagine they might pull it off, why they think it is the best of bad routes to take, and which positive program they hope to implement the day after rebel bugles sound their last taps. A mind built with integrity, brick for brick, will survive all such degrees of scrutiny; a scattered brain drunk on conflict will not.
Shmuel Pernicone (Why We Resist: Letter From a Young Patriot in the Age of Trump)
What is it about the Greek character that has allowed this complex culture to thrive for millennia? The Greek Isles are home to an enduring, persevering people with a strong work ethic. Proud, patriotic, devout, and insular, these hardy seafarers are the inheritors of working methods that are centuries old. On any given day, fishermen launch their bots at dawn in search of octopi, cuttlefish, sponges, and other gifts of the ocean. Widows clad in black dresses and veils shop the local produce markets and gather in groups of two and three to share stories. Artisans stich decorative embroidery to adorn traditional costumes. Glassblowers, goldsmiths, and potters continue the work of their ancient ancestors, ultimately displaying their wares in shops along the waterfronts. The Greeks’ dedication to time-honored occupations and hard work is harmoniously complemented by their love of dance, song, food, and games. Some of the earliest works of art from the Greek Isles--including Minoan paintings from the second millennium B.C.E.--depict the central, day-to-day role of dance, and music. Today, life is still lived in common, and the old ways often survive in a deep separation between the worlds of women and men. In the more rural areas, dancing and drinking are--officially at least--reserved for men, as the women watch from windows and doorways before returning to their tasks. At seaside tavernas throughout the Greek Isles, old men sip raki, a popular aniseed-flavored liqueur, while playing cards or backgammon under grape pergolas that in late summer are heavy with ripe fruit. Woven into this love of pleasure, however, are strands of superstition and circumspection. For centuries, Greek artisans have crafted the lovely blue and black glass “eyes” that many wear as amulets to ward off evil spirits. They are given as baby and housewarming gifts, and are thought to bring good luck and protect their wearers from the evil eye. Many Greeks carry loops of wooden or glass beads--so-called “worry beads”--for the same purpose. Elderly women take pride in their ability to tell fortunes from the black grounds left behind in a cup of coffee.
Laura Brooks (Greek Isles (Timeless Places))
One day June took some papers down to the army personnel office that was processing Louis’s classification. When she left, he had been exempted from the service, but she had been sworn in! She was very patriotic and just got carried away. As a WAC she studied electronics at Northwestern University and learned trigonometry and calculus and God knows what else. She had to do it by intensive tutoring, because she had no special aptitude for higher mathematics. But that’s the sort of person she was; no challenge was too big for her. If she didn’t know something, she’d burrow into library books and find out. June
Ray Kroc (Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's)
Home Economics & Civics What ever happened to the two courses that were cornerstone programs of public education? For one, convenience foods made learning how to cook seem irrelevant. Home Economics was also gender driven and seemed to stratify women, even though most well paid chefs are men. Also, being considered a dead-end high school program, in a world that promotes continuing education, it has waned in popularity. With both partners in a marriage working, out of necessity or choice, career-minded couples would rather go to a restaurant or simply micro-burn a frozen pre-prepared food packet. Almost anybody that enjoys the preparation of food can make a career of it by going to a specialty school such as the Culinary Institute of America along the Hudson River in Hyde Park, New York. Also, many colleges now have programs that are directed to those that are interested in cooking as a career. However, what about those that are looking to other career paths but still have a need to effectively run a household? Who among us is still concerned with this mundane but necessary avocation that so many of us are involved with? Public Schools should be aware that the basic requirements to being successful in life include how to balance and budget a checking and a savings account. We should all be able to prepare a wholesome, nutritious and delicious meal, make a bed and clean up behind one’s self, not to mention taking care of children that may become a part of the family structure. Now, note that this has absolutely nothing to do with politics and is something that members of all parties can use. Civics is different and is deeply involved in politics and how our government works. However, it doesn’t pick sides…. What it does do is teach young people the basics of our democracy. Teaching how our Country developed out of the fires of a revolution, fought out of necessity because of the imposing tyranny of the British Crown is central. How our “Founding Fathers” formed this union with checks and balances, allowing us to live free, is imperative. Unfortunately not enough young people are sufficiently aware of the sacrifices made, so that we can all live free. During the 1930’s, most people understood and believed it was important that we live in and preserve our democracy. People then understood what Patrick Henry meant when in 1776 he proclaimed “Give me liberty or give me death.” During the 1940’s, we fought a great war against Fascist dictatorships. A total of sixty million people were killed during that war, which amounted to 3% of everyone on the planet. If someone tells us that there is not enough money in the budget, or that Civic courses are not necessary or important, they are effectively undermining our Democracy. Having been born during the great Depression of the 1930’s, and having lived and lost family during World War II, I understand the importance of having Civics taught in our schools. Our country and our way of life are all too valuable to be squandered because of ignorance. Over 90 million eligible voters didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election. This means that 40% of our fellow citizens failed to exercise their right to vote! Perhaps they didn’t understand their duty or how vital their vote is. Perhaps it’s time to reinvigorate what it means to be a patriotic citizen. It’s definitely time to reinstitute some of the basic courses that teach our children how our American way of life works. Or do we have to relive history again?
Hank Bracker
The attack on 9/11 was a localized event, affecting only a relatively small number of Americans. As indicated earlier, the general threat of terrorism, even factoring in the large death toll on that tragic day, produces a statistically insignificant threat to the average person’s life. People across the country, however, were gripped with fear. And because we are an object-oriented people, most felt the need to project that fear onto something. Some people stopped flying in airplanes, worried about a repeat attack—and for years afterward, air travel always dipped on the anniversary of 9/11.4 Of course, this was and is an irrational fear; it is safer to travel by plane than by car. According to the National Safety Council, in 2010 there were over 22,000 passenger deaths involving automobiles, while no one died in scheduled airline travel that year.5 Nevertheless, Congress responded by rushing through the USA PATRIOT Act six weeks after 9/11—a 240-plus page bill that was previously written, not available to the public prior to the vote, and barely available to the elected officials in Congress, none of whom read it through before casting their votes.6 Two weeks previous to the bill’s passage, President Bush had announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security to “develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks.” He explained that “[t]he Office will coordinate the executive branch’s efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.”7 The office’s efforts culminated in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) one year later as a result of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This law consolidated executive branch organizations related to “homeland security” into a single Cabinet department; twenty-two total agencies became part of this new apparatus. The government, responding to the outcry from a fearful citizenry, was eager to “do something.” All of this (and much, much more), affecting all Americans, because of a localized event materially affecting only a few. But while the event directly impacted only a small percentage of the population, its impact was felt throughout the entire country.
Connor Boyack (Feardom: How Politicians Exploit Your Emotions and What You Can Do to Stop Them)
Despite the refusal of the Obama Justice Department to prosecute anyone at the IRS, it is clear that what happened was an epic clampdown on any conservative voices speaking or advocating against the president’s disastrous policies and in favor of patriotism and adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law. Over the course of twenty-seven months leading up to the 2012 election, not a single Tea Party–type organization received tax-exempt status. Many were unable to operate; others disbanded because donors refused to fund them without the IRS seal of approval; some organizations and their donors were audited without justification; and many incurred legal fees and costs fighting the unlawful conduct by Lerner and other IRS employees. The IRS suppressed the entire Tea Party movement just in time to help Obama win reelection. And everyone in the administration involved in this outrageous conduct got away with it without being punished or prosecuted. Was it simply a case of retribution against the perceived “enemies” of the administration? No, this was much bigger than political payback. It was a systematic and concerted effort to squash the Tea Party movement—one of the most organic and powerful political movements in recent memory—during an election season. [See Appendix for select IRS documents uncovered by Judicial Watch.] This was about campaign politics. It was a scandal for the ages. President Obama obviously wanted this done even if he gave no direct orders for it. In 2015, he told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show that “you don’t want all this money pouring through non-profits.” But there is no law preventing money from “pouring through non-profits” that they use to achieve their legal purposes and the objectives of their members. Who didn’t want this money pouring through nonprofits? Barack Obama. In the subsequent FOIA litigation filed by Judicial Watch, the IRS obstructed and lied to a federal judge and Judicial Watch in an effort to hide the truth about what Lois Lerner and other senior officials had done. The IRS, including its top political appointees like IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and General Counsel William J. Wilkins, have much to answer for over their contempt of court and of Congress. And the Department of Justice lawyers and officials enabling this cover-up in court need to be held accountable as well. If the Tea Party and other conservative groups had been fully active in the critical months leading up to the 2012 election, would Mitt Romney have been elected president? We will, of course, never know for certain. But we do know that President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service targeted right-leaning organizations applying for tax-exempt status and prevented them from entering the fray during that period. That is how you steal an election in plain sight. Accountability is not something we will get from the Obama administration. But Judicial Watch will continue its independent investigation and certainly any new presidential administration should take a fresh look at this IRS scandal.
Tom Fitton (Clean House: Exposing Our Government's Secrets and Lies)
Poland, once a dominant power in Europe, was partitioned by its more powerful neighbors throughout much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and its elites organized several heroic but unsuccessful uprisings. 'For your freedom and ours,' was the traditional watchword of Polish patriots, derived from a belief in a brotherhood of victims. Both ideas - that the persecuted weak are right until proved otherwise, and that the liberty of mankind is universal - were embedded in the Romantic mythos. Nineteenth-century Polish messianism portrayed Poland as 'the Christ of Nations.' But during the Second World War, Poles failed to recognize a fellow victim, not in some far-off land, but living right across the street. And this attitude, in a manner of speaking, continued in the post-war period - what I have in mind is that the Jews were more less abandoned, or worse, to their fate during the war, and that the country proved unable and unwilling after the war to mourn over the calamity that befell the Polish Jews. To be sure many beautiful and moving commemorative statements were put out about the Jews after the war by several Polish intellectuals, but there has never been a demonstration of collective grief or soul searching over the Holocaust in Poland, let alone a catharsis.
Jan Tomasz Gross (Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland)
And with this feeling, I poised in my mind some other questions as to the soundness of beliefs I had long held, based upon copy-book maxims drilled into one generation of American children after another: "Merit wins...Survival of the fittest...You can't change human nature...The best people...The poor you have with you always...and the whole long line of rubber-stamp moral precepts. What were these but glittering emblems set up by the moneyed class to serve its own purposes? Born bourgeois, my brain had been filled from infancy with the nonsense of super-patriotism, with the lily-white virtues of imperialism added in due time. I had harbored these false values because I didn't know any better. I had been a drifter, innocent and sheep-minded long enough.
Art Young (The Best of Art Young)
Thou comest from Paris then, said Pantagruel; and how do you spend your time there, you my masters the students of Paris? The scholar answered, We transfretate the Sequan at the dilucul and crepuscul; we deambulate by the compites and quadrives of the urb; we despumate the Latial verbocination; and, like verisimilary amorabons, we captat the benevolence of the omnijugal, omniform and omnigenal feminine sex. Upon certain diecules we invisat the lupanares, and in a venerian ecstasy inculcate our veretres into the penitissime recesses of the pudends of these amicabilissim meretricules. Then do we cauponisate in the meritory taberns of the Pineapple, the Castle, the Magdalene, and the Mule, goodly vervecine spatules perforaminated with petrocile. And if by fortune there be rarity or penury of pecune in our marsupies, and that they be exhausted of ferruginean metal, for the shot we dimit our codices and oppignerat our vestments, whilst we prestolate the coming of the tabellaries from the Penates and patriotic Lares. To which Pantagruel answered, What devilish language is this? By the Lord, I think thou art some kind of heretick. My lord, no, said the scholar; for libentissimally, as soon as it illucesceth any minutule slice of the day, I demigrate into one of these so well architected minsters, and there, irrorating myself with fair lustral water, I mumble off little parcels of some missic precation of our sacrificuls, and, submurmurating my horary precules, I elevate and absterge my anime from its nocturnal inquinations. I revere the Olympicols. I latrially venere the supernal Astripotent. I dilige and redame my proxims. I observe the decalogical precepts, and, according to the facultatule of my vires, I do not discede from them one late unguicule. Nevertheless, it is veriform, that because Mammona doth not supergurgitate anything in my loculs, that I am somewhat rare and lent to supererogate the elemosynes to those egents that hostially queritate their stipe.
Thomas Urquhart
All the time you spend tryin to get back what's been took from you there's more goin out the door. After a while you just try and get a tourniquet on it. Your grandad never asked me to sign on as a deputy with him. I done that my own self. Hell, I didn't have nothin else to do. Paid about the same as cowboyin. Anyway, you never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from. I was too young for one war and too old for the next one. But I seen what come out of it. You can be patriotic and still believe that some things cost more than they're worth. Ask them Gold Star mothers what they paid and what they got for it. You always pay too much. Particularly for promises. There aint no such thing as a bargain promise. You'll see. Maybe you have done.
Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men)
On the Dangers of Confusing Saga with History The Four Loves (From Chapter II, “Likings and Loves for the Sub-human”) THE ACTUAL HISTORY OF EVERY COUNTRY IS FULL OF shabby and even shameful doings. The heroic stories, if taken to be typical, give a false impression of it and are often themselves open to serious historical criticism. Hence a patriotism based on our glorious past is fair game for the debunker. As knowledge increases it may snap and be converted into disillusioned cynicism, or may be maintained by a voluntary shutting of the eyes. But who can condemn what clearly makes many people, at many important moments, behave so much better than they could have done without its help? I think it is possible to be strengthened by the image of the past without being either deceived or puffed up. The image becomes dangerous in the precise degree to which it is mistaken, or substituted, for serious and systematic historical study. The stories are best when they are handed on and accepted as stories. I do not mean by this that they should be handed on as mere fictions (some of them are after all true). But the emphasis should be on the tale as such, on the picture which fires the imagination, the example that strengthens the will. The schoolboy who hears them should dimly feel—though of course he cannot put it into words—that he is hearing saga. Let him be thrilled—preferably ‘out of school’—by the ‘Deeds that won the Empire’; but the less we mix this up with his ‘history lessons’ or mistake it for a serious analysis—worse still,
C.S. Lewis (The Reading Life: The Joy of Seeing New Worlds Through Others' Eyes)