Forced Patriotism circa 1941
I never liked being forced to do something especially if I had major moral issues about it. I had a telemarketing job where I had to sell stuff I knew people didn’t need to buy. As a kid, I hated having to recite the pledge of allegiance and as an adult I refuse to recite it and I don’t stand the for the national anthem. It isn’t because I hate my country, it’s because I love my country and want it to do better. If the pledge and anthem mean anything it’s my right to address my grievances with my government like not standing for the national anthem.
Statue of the traitor Robert E. Lee in Richmond, VA.
New Orleans, Charlottesville, and Baltimore are the latest flash points in countering white supremacy efforts to sanitize our history. Confederate statues and monuments have been removed or there are plans to remove them. Some people complain that such actions are erasing history but in fact removing Confederate statues is one step in acknowledging our historical mistakes.
Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, had a recent book tour appearance in California canceled because of past insensitive remarks about Muslims. It fanned the flames of misunderstanding about ‘free speech’ as a concept. No matter how many times it’s explained, some people refuse to understand. It also doesn’t help when a freethought group tries to make some money on that misunderstanding.
The GOP would like us to return to the bad old days of overcrowded emergency rooms for non-emergency healthcare
While the GOP in the US Senate try to find a way to bribe and strong arm enough votes to pass their version of Trumpcare, I had another debate with a conservative friend about the issue. He doesn’t think he should pay for someone else’s healthcare. This is why we are so far apart on the issue. He thinks it’s like buying a car and I think healthcare is a fundamental human right and a basic plan should be provided and funded by the government using tax dollars.
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester UK
Terry Firma over at Friendly Atheist, got in a thither because an elected official in the UK tried to claim the bomber in the suicide attack in Manchester wasn’t a Muslim. Firma falls into the trap most people do when they react to terrorism by people who don’t look like them. While the bomber’s religion probably did play a part in the motivation in the attack, Firma misses the point that using such a wide brush to label religious people doesn’t make sense and can cause more collateral damage.