jet

What the heck is it supposed to prove? Why do fighter jets fly fast and low over cities and towns for the 4th of July? Scares the crap out of me 😦 There were 2 flights before I closed the window and turned on the A/C.

When I was a kid, my father was in the National Guard. He was at Camp Drum, which is now Fort Drum. I don’t remember if it was 4th of July, Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day when they put on their shows of force. It left an indelible impression on me, though. There were family days when servicemen brought their families to the base. This was the Korean War-Vietnam War era. Everywhere from my summer camp to the Guard had leftover Army gear. Quonset huts from WW2 dotted the Syracuse area. Everywhere you looked was stuff left over from wars.

flamethrower

Well, the Guard would put on war simulations for families to watch. They blew holes in things with tanks, shot off bazookas and used flame throwers. I thought it was creepy then and it’s still creepy to watch shows of force now.

biglie

Yes, there have been actual wars that vanquished evil. But most wars have been fought for reasons of power and resources. The US wanted what someone else had. Now most wars seem to be driven by greed. The Pentagon eats up huge amounts of money and they claim they don’t even know how they spend big chunks of that. And a lot of what they do spend money on is scandalous. Money goes to contractors who bilk the government of billions of dollars. The US spends as much on the military as the next 7 countries, combined.

spending

What that means in practical terms is that there is less money available for education, housing, science, healthcare, alternative energy and all the things that make this a better world for real people, here and now. The US government makes choices based on lobbyists and corporations rather than regular citizens. We are the ones who lose.

HOMELESSNESS

Ugh…back to me. Very weak and shaky. My blood sugar is not low. It’s MG this time. It figures I would get a phone call at my worst 😦 It was a guy from church saying he would like to come visit tomorrow night. He could not understand me at all. Lots of long, awkward silences while he tried to figure out how to respond. He probably thought I was drunk 😛 I guess the bishop did not warn him about my broken voice. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the telephone????????

4thsundae

How do you like my 4th of July lunch? Ice cream, strawberries and blueberries. Patriotic, huh? I planned ahead for this treat. It’s a lot easier to pull off than end of the month holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

women

Now….about patriotism. Made me gag watching the news today. Of course the sort of patriotism that is rah, rah war is what media portrays and encourages. That’s not my idea of something to celebrate. We should be able to protect our country and help our allies. We should not be off fighting ideological wars for the sake of corporate welfare. If we are talking welfare….it should be for everyone’s benefit in clean air and water, decent housing, good food, a supportive environment. Right now we are a nation deeply divided. I’ll be darned if I can figure out what motivates most people. We should be aiming for good, decent lives under good, decent conditions.

food-conservation-poster

Wars are great ways to manipulate people. Patriotism in the old days promoted a sense of community and shared sacrifice…us against them. People were manipulated to feel guilty for not wanting to fight by using peer pressure and fear. If you did not step up, you were a coward who was guaranteeing the death of innocent women and children. It sure seems like much of history in hindsight was based on wrong premises. How much fighting actually accomplished anything? Were there other ways to seek peace? Or was it all sponsored by corporations and power hungry men all along? Wars make a lot of money for a few at the expense of many.

fireworks

When it comes to the 4th of July. I think it’s great that, at least in theory, we have freedoms. I like watching fireworks; red, white and blue are pretty colors together; picnics are nice; the weather is usually decent; it’s fun to have something to celebrate.

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I wholeheartedly believe in the original reason to celebrate the 4th of July….the rest of it….not so much. It has become much more than celebrating our freedom from England. In some circles it’s a contest to see who can seem the most “patriotic”, which they really mean to be a combo of nationalism and jingoism. I like this definition of patriotismBy “patriotism” I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. There was a time in my life, when I believed the hype that the US is #1 in everything. Then I spent a bunch of years as an adult in the US….and realized our country is great for some and not so great for others. It depends what your skin color is, how wealthy you are, who you love, what your religion is, who you know…and all that sort of thing.

America

For those of you who need fortification, try this article. 21 maps and charts that prove America is Number One.

There’s a big difference between today’s wars and defending America to keep us safe. I wish more people had meaningful conversations about that. Ever since I was a kid, those conversations were cut short by “love it or leave it”. Totally ridiculous. I can love this country and NOT be happy with everything done in its name. I love God, but I sure as heck don’t agree with all that’s done in His name. We need to speak up, not just keep quiet. Bonus…this video was done in Vermont 🙂

The Story Of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’

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