Original article posted by Angel_Fire:

Okay, so America has made some mistakes. We don’t always do everything right. Let’s think about this from another point of view, though. When we have done these things, what were we really doing? Were we demonstrating our power for the hell of it, or were we simply over-zealous in defending those we love? I, personally, think it was the latter. I’m am stating my opinion, just like Rodney stated his. (Nothing personal, Rodney)

I don’t think America is such a horrible place as Rodney makes it out to be. Granted, we have our faults; What country doesn’t? As far as I know, there is no pure Utopia or Zion. And, honestly, America is just about the best place on the planet to be right now. Why else would millions of people die just trying to get here? We could give thousands of examples of why America is bad to not only other countries, but people right here in our own country. But how many times have we tried to count the good?

How many of us would honestly give up our American Citizenship to live somewhere else? You could have ended up anywhere on the planet, perhaps you should be grateful you’re here instead of Mexico or Ghana, or some country where there is no “free speech”, where you have no rights.

My point is, yes, America has her faults, but given the choice, I’d rather be here. I would fight if I had to, and I’m glad our fore-fathers (and my grandpa) did. There are things I disagree with. I do disagree with the internment camps they created in Utah and Arizona. I grew up 30 miles away from one of them. I’ve researched it, I know the things that have happened there, I’ve met the people who have been there. And guess where most of them would still rather live? Right here, in the good old U.S. of A. They wouldn’t go back to Japan for anything, most of them. And if they can get over it, so can you(Rodney). So why must Rodney hate us all (and himself)? That is THE question.

Orginal comments:

Nickname: ravenpaine
Re: And I Proudly Stand
I just love a little bit of open ended dialogue in the evening time.

So, lets open this one up for some discussion, shall we? I’ll answer your question first because that seems like the most useful thing to do at the outset of this little dialogue.

Answer – I would revoke my citezenship to this country if given the chance. Like so many expatriates of the ealry 20th century I see throught the lies that the US has spun for me. I realize, perhaps more keenly than most people, that the freedoms we hold so tightly to are not for everyone and can be taken from you at any moment. I have been arrested and prosecuted for crimes that I did not commit. I have been abused by the local police force, i have been taunted and tormented by the adjudicators of the law and when I spoke up about it I was given a harsher sentence. I have been thrown out of a university, I have had articles and writings refused for publication because of content that people did not feel was appropriate to print because of what it said about officials and leaders.

I was arbitrarily given a couple of F’s on papers that professors disagreed with and lost scholarships because of.

Arbitrarily, mind you. And I will not hold to the idea that this is the greatest of all countries, not only because it is not true, but also because it is incapable of being true. Our current country is in a state of rampant stagnation, the progressive ideals of our Founding Fathers have been left at the way side of industrial and fiscal advancement until the only thing that this country does is produce generations of apathetic dreggs who could not survive in the world in general.

And make no mistake, you know nothing of the outside world. You do not live in the outside world, you live in the ultimate system of lies and propoganda.

And you like it. Because it is easy.

So finally, I would like to close with the one line answer to the question posed above.

I hate you all, and myself, because instead of doing what I can to make it all better I try to justify what i have and say that is plenty enough, when I should be doing all I can to MAKE my country a place worth living in, not simply pretending that it is and always will be great.

As Richard Nixon once said, “Sacrifice your children, sacrifice your sons and daughters, sacrifice your time and effort, sacrifice for your country. Sacrifice for your America!”

And we all want to do what Nixon said, don’t we?

Rodney TGAP
NOT a Steppford anything

Nickname: ravenpaine
Re: And I Proudly Stand
Oh and one more quick note, what part of fire bombing a nation across an ocean for six months before atomizing two major cities of said nation is “defending” our country, zealous or otherwise?

Nickname: Angel_Fire
Re: And I Proudly Stand
Rodney, go ahead and hate yourself for not doing anything for your country. Go ahead and hate me. No matter how much you hate the rest of us, it doesn’t mean that we’re not doing anything. We can do something for our country every day. Simply by getting an education, learning what we can, researching our history–even the less flattering parts of it–we are doing something. We are learning to not repeat the past. So in a way, you are doing something for your country. But hating the rest of us will do you no good. I’ll admit I don’t like being hated, but I’m not going to let that stop me from doing what I need to do.

If you feel so awful about life in America and you want to leave, do it. Take the out. Or you could stay here, rough it out, learn and help others.

Like I said, there are things to be disagreed with in this country. You have been mistreated, but the only person still really affected by that is you. You are the only one that can help yourself get over that. And, in overcoming it, you could help others. Or you could just keep it with you for the rest of your life and stay bitter. Whatever floats your boat, buddy.

I’m not here to debate every incident in American history with you. I’m here to say that we should learn from that history and apply that in the present to improve the future.

Nickname: Chellee
Re: And I Proudly Stand
I would tend to side with Angel_Fire on this one, and not just because we’re friends. I’m not afraid to disagree with her, but this time I don’t. Our country will be what we make of it in the future. Everything on this earth has it’s mistakes. No country is perfect, just as nobody is perfect. All we can do is learn from our mistakes, do our best to fix it, and MOVE ON!!!

Nickname: ravenpaine
Re: And I Proudly Stand
I don’t know how many times I have been forced to bring up this point, or how many more times I will be forced to argue such a point, petty perhaps, but poignant as well; we are not Americans! Mexico is American, Canada is American, hell Chile is American. We can’t even get our own identity straight.

But that’s just me being petty. I’ll take a moment to adress your concept of hate a little more directly. The strange defensiveness you are exibiting because someone is verbally attacking your beloved country is but one more proof of the nonsense that is the country. The last time anyone showed as much loyalty to their country and unwavering confidence in their leader’s actions was Germany in the late 30’s. And if i remember correctly, that didn’t turn out all that funny.

Heed not the doggerl planted in your brain from years of propoganda, think your own thoughts and fight your own battles. Be an individual in a nation that supports and protects ideals of value, don’t simply hold to a web of lies spun about the “greatest nation” on earth. You have a mind, use it to find the truth in these matters and act from the heart.

And remember good old Joe Stalin, “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.”

Cause Joe knows what he was talking about.

Rodney TGAP
freelance human

Nickname: Junpei
Re: And I Proudly Stand
America is pretty great. We get DSL, cable, cheap poorly-made food and if you keep your head below the radar you can live a pretty good life here. And honestly, I’d hate to give up internet. It’s just so much fun.

America is going to hell pretty fast here, ‘nless we get a new president soon and get our cock out of everyone else’s asses. God we’re annoying. Of course, there is always Canada. They’ve got DSL, it’s just frickin’ cold there.

America is pretty great, compared to other countries. Though the UK isn’t too bad either, but they’re kinda stuck up. Oh, and in America I don’t have to learn some odd foreign language where everything is a chirp and a warble. That’s not bad. It’s a pretty great place to live, yes. It’s pretty aweful and messed up as well, hell yes. Actually, I don’t blame the country. We are the country. We’re pretty messed up. If you ask me, we’re too big and that’s why. Too many people, too much impersonilization. No more small-town closeness, not even family closeness. But that’s just philosophy.

I don’t think anyone here is defending America blindly. Honestly, there is no perfect country you can justify ‘defending’ or ‘defensiving offensively’ or whatever. There just isn’t. You move to Africa, it’s pretty fucked up. You move to Canada or the UK or Japan and, hell, they might be worse than we are in some places. I’ll tell you, prostitute slaves is pretty damn bad.

The point is, America Sucks. Not the Government, not the Man, not law and order or any of that funky jazz. All that stuff, under compassionate hands, could run just fine. Really, any political system could, communism and all. America sucks because WE suck. We did a lot of bad things, and considering how long humanity’s been around we did them RECENTLY.

But honestly? None of that matters. Rodney, you’ve done some fucked up things in your past, haven’t you? You dead yet? No. You move on. You press on, it’s how things work. I can’t stop the atomic bomb, I only wish I could. I could never justify that. But if another one is going to fly, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do everything I can to get it to stop. It probably won’t; I can’t do much. But fuck-all, I’m going to try. I’m going to vote Bush out of office even if I have to vote for a dink. I’m going to do what I can to get our troops out of Iraq because, fuck, what are we doing there? Weapons of WHAT?

I’m going to do what I can. Not because it’s the american way, not because it’s the right thing to do. I am going to do what I can because I want to. It is my way and I will have if I can.

Fuck country, fuck nation, fuck state, fuck county, fuck city, fuck town. Where were they when I needed them? Where are they when I cry? Who is there, eh? THAT is who I defend. I do not defend starving kids in africa nor punks in LA nor christians in Moscow. I judge and weigh a persons worth not by wealth or fame or beauty or charm, but by the volume of their soul and by how much of that they are willing to sacrifice for a friend. That is what I defend.

and because i never like to leave on a sour note…

As Jack Handey said, “I wish everybody would have to have an electric thing implanted in our heads that gave us a shock whenever we did something to disobey the president. Then somehow I get myself elected president.”

And we all know Jack Handey is a nutty man.

I stole your bit. 🙂

Nickname: SmokyWolf
Re: And I Proudly Stand
I believe that Rodney has a point which we too frequently take as a jab at our patriotism and let slide. America is screwed up. It’s really that simple. I would dare say that one of the reasons that he hasn’t packed up and learned French is because there’s a miniscule hope that he may be able to do some good toward reversing the trend. Far too often we still cling to the outdated belief of Manifest Destiny. We still maintain that this land is blessed by God and that means that whatever we want to do is sanctioned by God as well. Keeping that fallacy in our conscious is dangerous. Of course we’re not that blatant, but if you think about it, Manifest Destiny still lingers in the wings of every major action this country takes. The truth is that just because God sanctioned and inspired the founding fathers, people who Rdney seems to condone as good, doesn’t mean he sanctions the current administration, whether it be Democratic or Republican. It’s very possible that what was is no longer what is.
I’m a patriot myself. I do believe that the U.S.A. is the best place to live, but at the rate we’re going that may not remain true. So, the next time Rodney starts attacking the U.S. of A., look for where he’s right instead of jsut jumping up and down saying, “You anti-patriot, get the hell out of our great nation”, because honestly he may be closer to the truth than we are.

Nickname: Junpei
Re: And I Proudly Stand
Sooo… played StarCraft?

It’s cruel, but it’s true.

Nickname: ravenpaine
America vs. Japan? (the question mark is on purpose)
This is technically a comment from sqishous that I placed here instead of posting as a full article, to keep the discussion altogether.

I wish I had more than a half hour to write this. I have read and reread the recent articles debating Americas’ atrocities during WWII. If you think that fire bombing is the most heartless and cruel thing done by the U.S. then there is more for you to learn. But, if you believe that we were more cruel than our Asian couterparts then you are simply uninformed.

I have talked with old men in Japan who recall the days of WWII. I have talked with a survivor who was trapped underground for 30 days after a bombing of his city. I have heard what the Japanese teach their children about WWII. Maybe one day we will find eachother and discuss these things face to face, but for now I will simply ask to leave uninformed comments open for learning and discussion. I know for a fact that I don’t know enough to judge whether the decisions of the past are worth reliving, but I do know that no one who wasn’t there can ever understand the horrors or the fears that come from making an important decision during wartime.

The real tragedy with Japan is the loss of culture. After WWII the US sent in money and supplies and the Japanese, like the native american, were caught up in the glamour. Where are the Samurai? Where has the noble warrior gone? They left, and now the japanese culture is in their history, not in their homes. It is taught to them like we learn about the Old West. Is that progress? I don’t know, but it is change.

And, before I leave off, one of the Beauties of America is that you can choose to leave her protection. You can choose to fight the powers that be and you can choose to sit on your ass and do nothing. Not many cultures in the world allow people to speak so blatantly against their leaders. All of these offences that have been dumped on Rodney (not to be too personal) are injust and wrong. But here, in the US, you can say that they are injust and wrong. I have been mistreated by the law makers of this country too, and I have seen the persecution that has been inflicted on others by arrogant agents of the government. But, the punishment affixed pales in comparision to the punishment for the same ‘crimes’ in other societies.

I wish I had more time, but I have class.

Comment back, I love discusisons where I can learn.

Nickname: gandhi2
.02 dollars
I will not argue that America is the best place to live. That is not the present issue, however. It doesn’t matter whether you’d rather be here or elsewhere. There are days that I wonder. I’ve been elsewhere, and there is fuckulence abound all around the world.

I think the point that was being made was that whether the US of A is the best or not is not important. Being among a variety of shitty options still means you’re shitty. What I personally believe (as a general life philosophy) is that progress is an essential part of existence. Nothing stagnant deserves to exist, and nothing that digresses deserves to exist.

I can say of one place, as I’ve only experienced one other place besides the US, I would rather live in America than there. According to most peoples opinion (and in my own, as well), America has “free-er” speech than there. America has “less corrupt” law enforcement than there. America has “better” economy than there. This doesn’t negate the fact that America does not have free speech, uncorrupt officials, or stable economy.

I believe the words in the Declaration of Independence were “in order to form a more perfect union…” That should be the goal. That should be what we strive for. No excuses. No “It’s alright. Let’s forget the past.” No. You should never, ever FORGET the past. (Let’s forget the fact that the NYTC was ever bombed. Doesn’t help to dwell on old wrongdoings. Just stop the war, pack up and leave them alone) Always remember the past. Be prepared to forgive mistakes. Learn from the past and apply it to the future. Progress. That (I presume) was the call being made.

We live in a society of quick guilt fixes; in a society were you are always the victim. Bullshit. There are not victims. Sometimes somebody else does something wrong, and sometimes you do something wrong. The object of the game is to lessen the amount of wrong being done on both sides, which basically translates to the amount of wrong being done on your side (as forcing your standards on somebody else would only increase the amount of wrong you’re doing).

The next time somebody out there hears about the horrible thing the other country has done to us: stop and think. Go listen to the other guy’s story. Feel that pain from the monstrosities commited by their grandparents and great-grandparents. Feel that guilt from the monstrosities commited by our grandparents and great-grandparents. And when it starts to drive you crazy how much crapulence happened, stop again. Do something about it.

Nickname: ravenpaine
Re: .02 dollars
Finally someone gets to the actual heart of this issue. I pronounce this discussion over. Nothing more should ever need to be said.

Nickname: Chellee
Re: And I Proudly Stand
And I quote:

“We are not Americans! Mexico is American, Canada is American, hell Chile is American. We can’t even get our own identity straight.” –Ravenpaine

What does this mean, Rodney? Your meaning is very far from clear to me, so I thus I am confused much by it.