Thursday, April 13, 2006


(Photo Plagiarized from Captain Fogg)

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

When a whole nation is roaring patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882), Journals, 1824

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

"My country, right or wrong," is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober."
G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other
countries because you were born in it.

George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.

George Jean Nathan (1882 - 1958)

You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality.
Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or says it.
Malcolm X (1925 - 1965)


At 9:27 AM, April 13, 2006 , Blogger Hillary For President said...


great quotes. You are right on the money with that. Patriotism robs us of our ability to see the humanity on others.

If Hillary Clinton is elected president she will work to find the humanity in others.

At 9:40 AM, April 13, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I appreciate the visit HFP, but I must disagree with you about your namesake. She is such an opportunist and blatantly sells her principles to the highest bidder. I do not find her credible in the least and it is a fear that the Repugs will win if the Dems can't find someone better as a viable presidential candidate.

She has to find the humanity in herself before she could ever find the humanity in others.

At 10:43 AM, April 13, 2006 , Blogger mrsleep said...

II, Malcolm X's quote the best, as it matches my values most closely.

Hillary "might" be ok, but I think the wingnut's are praying she wins the nomination. Just imagine what dirty laundry they'll bring out.

I agree on your assessment of Hillary though. I really don't trust her as far as I can throw her.

At 1:53 PM, April 13, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Direct and to the point - as usual.

At 2:10 PM, April 13, 2006 , Blogger The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

To Intellectual insurgent,

Many people who claim to be patriots are fake and defeated people in there daily lives. Some poeple are real patriots, for the right reasons. Then you have some people claim to be patriots because they know that by sayiny they are patriots they will get some benefits from the ruling racial class ina particular country.

If you are so patriot in feelings then why not go join the military they need more recruits. That right they will not join because they are afraid of dying and being separated from their daily comforts.

Yes feel good about your country but you don't always as a person have to go around arguing with others about why you feel good about your country.

I love my country but I don't fight with those who don't.

Good post intllectual insurgent.

BY Chance

At 1:51 AM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger Gandhi said...

To The Best,

What is joining the army going to achieve for anybody? All that will likely happen is that he will likely kill a few innocent Iraqi civilians, get shot and be handicapped for the rest of his life. Really, this idiotic notion that 'to be patriotic is to be in one's army' is just that, its idiotic. For most people its just a paycheck, nothing more.

Good post Intellectual Insurgent.

At 6:07 AM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Hillary will never be President. Ever. She is spineless, unprincipled, eager to sell out everything she believes to appease repukes; and most importantly, half the country hates her, which translates into "is not going to vote for her". Thing is, I want to win in 2008.

Pardon the rant, but I haven't yet heard anyone argue for Hillary without getting paid to do so. Truly shocking.

:-), StS

At 8:48 AM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


I think Best meant that people who claim to be patriotic should put their money where their mouths are. There are so many blowhards in the blogosphere who rant endlessly about how patriotic they are, yet we don't see them running to the local military recruiter to sign up. Their idea of patriotism is sitting on the couch eating bon bons while someone else's kid goes and dies for their so-called principles.

Best, correct me if I am wrong about your argument.

Sharky, you guys better hustle to find someone! Pronto.

At 9:40 AM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

I consider myself a Sovereign. That's why I don't salute the flag or sing the national anthem.

At 9:41 AM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

People of intellect do not revere symbols and abstracts.

At 12:41 PM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

To Gandhi,

I see your point and I was just making a point too.

I said if some people are so patriotic then put themselves to work by joining the military. Instead of these same type of people (the patriots) sitting around criticizing others by calling them unpatriotic because they disagree with some war their country is involed in.

By Chance

At 12:47 PM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

To Intellectual Insurgent and Gandhi,

The best said: Intellectual insurgent you are correct that is exactly what I meant by my statement on the military.

Thank you for explaining it to Gandhi

At 12:57 PM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger Chris said...

I was in the military. I salute the flag and sing the national anthem out of respect for the people who quit eating bon-bons and DID go serve. (Non-Republicans can and do serve, you know.) When Mr. Bush got "re"-elected, though, we seriously looked into moving to Canada, but we don't have enough $$, sadly enough. I have no problem with patriotism, you see, but not BLIND patriotism. And I detest people who USE patriotism for their own means - that undermines the very fabric of what they're trying to do.

I love my country, but my government embarasses me.

We're in the wrong war (if, indeed, there can be a RIGHT war) for the wrong reasons (if, indeed, there can be RIGHT reasons).

America is ready for a female president, I think, but not Mrs. Clinton. As Shark mentioned, she carries a lot of baggage with her.

At 1:57 PM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...


You said:

"People of intellect do not revere symbols and abstracts."

That's quite broad. Perhaps too broad? Reminds me of when Eric Badu said, "most intellects don't believe in God."

You kinda remind of Bill Maher. Intellectual, anti-religion.

At 6:41 PM, April 14, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Chris -

What does patriotism mean to you? I see it much like religion which, as BOB accurately observed, I dislike. What's the difference between some guy with authority bestowed upon him by God or by country? Both demand submission and unquestioning loyalty from their subjects and that is inherently incompatible with individualism.

At 1:07 AM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger Chris said...

What is patriotism to me? That's a hefty question to tackle at 2:30 in the morning...

Patriotism is an extention of the family group, in a way. If enemy troops were rolling into my fair city, I'd be there to meet them, shotgun in hand, to protect my family. It's a short step from there to protecting the elderly lady next door as well. The next step would be to realize that there are elderly ladies in every town that need protection... So in a narrow view, patriotism means protecting my family from harm, and by extention, the families around me.

How best to protect and serve? In the broad view, what makes a patriot? Independent and critical thought. How doe we keep our nation strong? How do we turn it into something we can be proud of? Right now some of the nation's patriots are calling for Sec'y of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to step down. Being patriotic does not mean blind submission (though the military service does ask that of the lower ranks). It means doing what is necessary to help the nation, regardless of personal risk.

A patriot treats those of other nations with respect, not disdain, because respect breeds respect, and disdain breeds hatred. (Unfortunately, our current administration does not see things that way...)

Patriots do NOT torture people in hidden prisons. Patriots do NOT bait other nations into war.

Ack... I'm too weary and beery to get my thoughts straight.

Patriotism is akin to loyalty. I'm loyal to that which EARNS my respect and trust. America is a pretty nifty place. It's earned a bit of loyalty... We're having a rough spot at the moment, but I still think America and Americans are pretty spiffy, all in all. I think I'll do what I can to help her get back on track... We just need to get those that DO think patriotism means blind acceptance - those that DO think patriotism means waving nuclear missiles at other countries - out of power.

(An odd side note - when I was thinking of all this, I realized that if America were to go to war for a "noble" cause, I would naturally support the troops in any way I could. If Iowa were to go to war, I'd be MUCH more motivated. But the only way I can see myself taking up arms again would be if I saw the enemy at the county border. In other words, the closer to home, the more emotional the issue becomes. Patriotism means one thing when thinking on a grand scale, but another altogether when you envision hordes of enemy troops in your hometown, approaching your parents' house.)

I fear I'll wake up in the morning to find that none of this makes sense...

At 5:17 AM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger Gandhi said...

"People of intellect do not revere symbols and abstracts."

To Intellectual Insurgent,

People of intellect don't make broad, sweeping generalisations either ;)

At 5:45 AM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger Gandhi said...

My own version if patriotism is something deeply personal. I believe my little land (Ireland) is special, and that someone who is not Irish would and could not understand that. As someone who is an advocate of non-violent resistance against oppression, I doubt if I would take the gun up against a foreign invader and would refuse to join the army out of conscience, even in a WW2 situation.

However, desperate times may call for desperate measures...

At 9:47 AM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Gandhi and BOB -

Assuming you consider yourselves people of intellect, tell me what symbols should be worshipped. What are the exceptions to my statement? You can suggest that my statement was quite broad, but I await an explanation from either of you as to how form can ever take the place of substance.

Chris -

Your point made complete sense -- patriotism as protection of one's family. I guess the question becomes who you define as your family and what constitutes a need for protection. I agree that an enemy at the border would warrant taking arms. Perhaps this is quibbling with semantics, but that seems like self-preservation much more than it is patriotism.

At 10:48 AM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger Gandhi said...

To Intellectual Insurgent,

How would one define an intellectual?

At 10:50 AM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger Gandhi said...

And again, what is a symbol in this case? I would put my hand up and say I worship the female body, but maybe this is more to do with the fact that I am seventeen...

At 11:04 AM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger jj said...

It depends on what your definition of patriotism is.

1. The blind support of the country right or wrong?

2. Standing with the country and standing up to our country especially when wrong.

The later suits me as being patriotic. Chris makes a great case. II I think your right it is self preservation. The preservation of our way of life means preserving our country.

Maybe some day far in the future people will be concerned with human beings rather than just the ones inside the borders.

As for Hillary I think everyone has summed her up pretty well.

At 12:57 PM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

I see patriotism rather differently. It is more of a thing relating to "this is where I come from, this is where my people have lived beyond memory, this is my land, of whose ongoing story I am a part".

To me, it's a deep sense of continuity, of belonging to something greater than myself, even without a value judgment attached. In a way, it's comparable to a sense of family; people whom you may dislike, perhaps, but with whom you have a bond beyond logic.

:-), StS

At 7:45 PM, April 15, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


My idea of an intellectual is a person who always asks "why"; who always questions what he/she is told without taking things at face value; who can be objective about points, no matter how close to home they may be; a person capable of thinking through things without lazy reliance on symbols, cliches and defensive crap.

At 9:45 PM, April 15, 2006 , Anonymous Infidel said...

gandhi~ "What is joining the army going to achieve for anybody? All that will likely happen is that he will likely kill a few innocent Iraqi civilians"

Why do you think they are innocent? What do you base this assumption on?

At 2:38 AM, April 16, 2006 , Blogger Gandhi said...

To Intellectual Insurgent,

If that is a definition of an intellectual then I suppose I am one. Its not a tag I feel comfertable with either.

To Infidel,

The average Iraqi on the street is not an innocent? An innocent of war?

At 8:04 PM, April 16, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


Watch your logic. As soon as you start suggesting that everyday Iraqis are not innocents, then you are Osama Bin Laden arguing the people in the towers were not innocents. Your argument cuts both ways.

At 8:42 AM, April 17, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...


Good point. I think there is a difference between worhshiping a symbol and worshiping USING a symbol. Good point though. I'm kinda stumped.

At 9:31 AM, April 17, 2006 , Blogger Chris said...

Here's something I ran across in a newsletter this morning...


Loyalty Day, observed May 1 in our nation, may come and go with little notice, perhaps because we all are too busy operating on the assumption that every day should be Loyalty Day. That should provide reason enough to remind that a special day is set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of America’s freedom heritage.

The holiday was first celebrated in the 1930s as Americanization Day and was intended to service as a counterweight to the Communist May Day. In some communities across the U.S. Loyalty Day is marked by parades and ceremonies, although as was observed earlier, many people are unaware of such a holiday.

It was made an official legal holiday nearly a half century ago by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 1, 1958.

Loyalty Day serves as that specific occasion when we pledge to maintain a free society in which loyalty is respected and encouraged.


I never knew such a holiday existed.

At 9:45 AM, April 17, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Chris -

The last line is quite Orwellian -"Loyalty Day serves as that specific occasion when we pledge to maintain a free society in which loyalty is respected and encouraged."

Reminds me of something from 1984 or Brave New World.

At 10:23 AM, April 17, 2006 , Blogger Chris said...

Yeah. Weird, ain't it? It's interesting, though... The holiday started in the 30's - that's when World War II was looming, and was made official while we were in the first stages of the Cold War.

At 2:10 PM, April 17, 2006 , Blogger Gandhi said...

I think we have a holiday like that over here. It's better known as St. Patricks day though!

At 2:49 PM, April 17, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

The power of propaganda and symbols. :-(

At 8:16 PM, April 17, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

very interesting!!!!

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