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July   3

That Flagging Feeling

Dear Betty,
I used to adore July 4th weekend, but this year I'm really depressed. This terrible war is dragging on, the Supreme Court is up in the air, Social Security is in jeopardy, we are losing our privacy, gay bashing is defended from the pulpit, environmental regulations are being loosened, the rivers are poisoned, the Democrats think it's okay to run an anti-women's rights candidate for the Senate in Pennsylvania, et cetera et cetera. I love this country, but lately I don't recognize it. Please offer a message of comfort that might help me feel the sense of peace that I used to feel on a beautiful summer weekend.
Thanks, A Flagging Flag Waver

Dear Flag,
I hear you.
Love, Betty

July 3, 2005 in Betty Says | Permalink


You could both cheer yourselves up, Betty and Flag, by also ruminating on how great this country remains. Perhaps you'd recognize its greatness better, too, were you to compare it to such fun states as North Korea, China, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Cuba and Zimbabwe, where even the above post-and-response might bring a visit from the not-so-secret police. Or even to France, or to Italy, which since WWII has had an almost literally uncountable number of governments. Snap out of your false anguish, kids!

Posted by: cathar | Jul 3, 2005 12:32:51 PM

Isn't the "We're a hell-uva lot better than North Korea" song getting a bit tired? I'd prefer that the US could go head to head with Finland or New Zealand.

Posted by: Cheaplazymom | Jul 3, 2005 1:01:11 PM

Ah, the vituperation spews out sludgily like an oil change after 75,000 miles. Yes, we could compare ourselves to, say, Finland. Or to the wondrous welfare states of all Scandinavia. We have much lower suicide and alcoholism rates, for starters. And the crime rates of Norse nations are rising across the board, while ours are generally declining. Then there's the issue of Muslim immigration which the Scandinavians are suddenly beset by and aren't handling well at all, the climate...and the amazing fact (well, amazing to me, anyway) that there are more bike club chapters for the population (famously both the Angels and the Bandidos, but also all manner of Neo-Nazi sorts) in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland than there are in fact here, where bike clubs began. Don't think these chapters are there simply to promote the wonderful sport of motorcycling, either. Oh, Scandinavia is such a fun place. Now shall I start in on NZ? Hmmm, sweetie....

Cheaplazymom, when will you at least own up to being happy, elated even, that your constant (predictably) leftist dissatisfaction with so much is only possible due to the considerable sacrifices of others? If you march tomorrow, flip me a digit as I've similarly requested of butch on another thread. Better yet, wave the flag. Enthusiastically. You're a very lucky crank, you know, to live in a country where you can in fact be one so completely. I swear, however, every time I do see a post of yours, it seems etched in acid for every little political thing you disagree with. You must be loads of fun at bluewavenj synods.

Posted by: cathar | Jul 3, 2005 1:42:51 PM

Yeah, it's like-- "My husband used to be so warm and loving-- now he doesn't speak to me, does nothing around the house, and disappears for weekends at a time. When I asks him where he's going, he says 'None of your f#$&in' business!'"

"What are you complaining about? At least he hasn't raped and murdered you!"

Posted by: latebloomer | Jul 3, 2005 1:47:00 PM

It's nice to hear from the Remus to her cheapness's Romulus today, who is equally bitter and even farther off the mark with her invidious comparisons. Or was that an effort at wit? (I did sense a lot of effort there.) Enchante', wolfen.

Posted by: cathar | Jul 3, 2005 1:58:45 PM

Right on, Cathar. We have a President with principles who does what he says he will...unlike Bubba who had to see which way the wind blows before he mede his position. We also have a Supreme Court that interprets the laws rather than makes laws. But unfortunately, we still have Ted Kennedy in the Senate...glurp..glurp

Posted by: frosty | Jul 3, 2005 2:02:04 PM

Uh-huh. He does what he says he will-- like going after those weapons of mass destruction.

Posted by: latebloomer | Jul 3, 2005 2:07:11 PM

He had the courage to follow his convictions...too bad he was wrong about the WMDs.

Posted by: frosty | Jul 3, 2005 2:12:49 PM

Frosty, not just him. British intelligence, Spanish intelligence, un reports, the clinton administration, the CIA....

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Jul 3, 2005 2:19:43 PM

He followed his "convictions", all right-- that this country and its corporate controllers have every right to dominate the Middle East and its resources.

A hundred thousand innocent lives lost in the process? Oh well, you gotta break a few eggs. . .

Posted by: latebloomer | Jul 3, 2005 2:19:52 PM

Not to mention a billion dollars a day.

Criminal insanity is what it is.

Posted by: latebloomer | Jul 3, 2005 2:23:54 PM

I'm sorry, my figures were wrong. It's "only" $177,000,000 a day of our tax money.

Posted by: latebloomer | Jul 3, 2005 2:29:16 PM

Oh come on, your lateness, where did your claim of "a hundred thousand innocent lives" come from? From Molly Ivins?

Posted by: cathar | Jul 3, 2005 2:58:42 PM

Ah yes. Social Security leads to suicide. Good thing neo-Nazis are the sole province of Europe.

Posted by: Seriously Though | Jul 3, 2005 3:03:28 PM

Whoever here said that a social security system leads to suicide? (Well, Oscar Wilde once vaguely did, sort of,kind of, but that's another story.) But lordy they do seem to self-slaughter themselves up in the Norse nations for whatever reasons. T'wasn't ever America that supposedly took that song "Gloomy Sunday" to heart so heartily back in the 40's and 50's, I'll remind.

I'm also positive that Neo-Nazis are both much more numerous in Europe and form a higher percentage of the population in general than they do here. And it doesn't surprise me one bit, "seriously though."

Posted by: cathar | Jul 3, 2005 3:13:18 PM

"Etched in acid"? I'm afraid you have a tin-ear, Cathar. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just think the "we're better than the other guys" argument is old hat and not saying much. How that comment translates to "constant leftist dissatisfaction" is unclear to me.

I was under the impression that even a champion athlete must constantly strive to reach perhaps unattainable goals. Resting on ones laurels is the first step to loosing one's competetive edge. I join you in celebrating the liberties that make this country great. But, unlike you I don't believe these freedoms are a foregone conclusion and that what has made us great in the past is sufficient to keep us great. The athlete can call his demanding coach a whining pessimist who is always dissatisfied or he can redouble his committment to his sport. I just think America should always aim for the top in everything--education, health of its citizens and environment, civil liberties, job opportunities, freedom of the press, rights of citizens defended against needs of corporations, transparency in all governmental affairs from the White House to Town Hall. You seem to think that America should just strive not to be last. And in this great land of the free, that is your perogative.

Posted by: Cheaplazymom | Jul 3, 2005 3:14:39 PM

Pardon me, "coach," but you're not much of a coach. More like a somewhat punchy cornerman. But in the left, despairing liberal corner.

I think we're striving to insure that we remain well ahead of everyone else's game. I think action in both Iraq and Afghanistan thus makes a great deal of sense. Whereas you'd have us throw in the towel or not answer the next bell. So however sweetly you phrased your remarks above (a seeming first, or maybe a second), I suspect even you don't at all believe what you posted.

And when, of all silly things, did I ever suggest America "should just strive not to be last?" 10, 15, maybe 20 years down the line, much of the rest of the world will thank us for taking down Saddam Hussein, for taking on al-Qaeda. They would never have thanked us for the pained stasis your posts often seem to be urging for America.

Your prerogative (the correct spelling, I think, no matter how Britney Spears pronounced it) is, in turn, to remain embittered and defeatist. Just please sing along with the National Anthem tomorrow.

Posted by: cathar | Jul 3, 2005 5:46:01 PM

You really are awfully full of yourself Cathar. I am most amused that you think I need lessons in patriotism and that if my heart swells tomorrow it will be at your urging. I also don't need your compliments--back handed or otherwise. I appreciate all spelling corrections, however.

By the way--the only thing I flip are pancakes and grass-fed burgers. I may be cheap and lazy, but I am always polite. Which is more than I can say for you.

Posted by: Cheaplazymom | Jul 3, 2005 7:43:12 PM

Your nastiness, too, is your "perogative," ma'am. As is your steadfast refusal to accept compliments, or the reality that you're hardly likely to engender them for your grasp of politics.

Posted by: cathar | Jul 3, 2005 9:15:28 PM

I won't be waving a flag tomorrow. And I have no qualms about it. And, by the way, neither one of my sons will be fighting a pointless immoral war for the Bush family. You can't bet on that.
On second thought, I'll urge my sons to sign up the day one of the Buch girls sign up to fight. Or one of the Cheney kids. Or one of any Republican member of the House. Or the Senate. Or the kid of a Republican governor. Or when Rudy Giuliani's kid signs up. Or George Pataki's. Or maybe even a leading Republican talk radio host.
Read the papers. It's poor Hispanic kids and poor black kids and poor kids from the Heartland dying every day. The people who orchestrate these charades make damm sure it ain't their kids dying. If ROC disagrees, pleas epoint out a prominent Repubs who has lost a kid in the war.
Have a Nice 4th.

Posted by: montclair_is_crazy | Jul 3, 2005 9:16:46 PM

I can point out one prominent Democratic politician who has a son serving, Richard Daley of Illinois.

But then, perhaps if we had a draft, or compulsory national service of some kind, all the children of politicians and talk show hosts alike would serve somehow and in some way. (Kind of like they do in Israel, come to think of it.) But I don't think pointing out people of prominence anywhere, and from either party, who've lost someone in the current spate of armed conflict would do any good. There are simply too many vindictive sorts out there. And grief, I feel, should be private and privately measured. (This puts me at a great remove from Michael Moore, obviously.)

However you feel, montclair_is_crazy, I hope you'll join me tomorrow in briefly praying for the souls of those who've lost their lives in defense of this country down the years, and for those still serving, that they may remain, as best as possible, unscathed. From our own paltry verbal rantings as well as from the violent efforts and actions of our enemies.

Posted by: cathar | Jul 3, 2005 9:31:57 PM

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