Wednesday, July 04, 2007

flag

My neighbor is flying a flag today. He couldn't get married in this state because his love, now dead of AIDS, was also a man. Wayne is a gentle man and honorable. His flag is flying because he believes in the greatness of this country, as do I.

Though I believe, I have been sitting in my quiet living room in the house I love, looking at my beautiful garden, looking at my neighbor's flag blowing in the breeze and I fly no flag in remembrance of independence. Instead, I have been reading Al Gore's Assault on Reason and weeping. I haven't the heart to fly a flag today. I wish, instead, for another Declaration of Independence, a declaration of freedom from those who have taken over the government of what was once the grandest nation of laws, of democracy, of a proper and beneficial government allowed solely by consent of the governed. A participatory democracy, seemingly a dream in these desperate times.

I don't recognize my country on this Independence Day 2007. To say that doesn't make me a traitor. On the contrary, it makes me a patriot, one willing to dissent and to refuse to join the masses in pretending that the arrogant emperor is clothed when he is, in fact, horrifyingly naked. I am willing to recognize, though it hurts my heart, that we are all at risk as the result of a blatant disregard of the Constitution, of the Bill of Rights, by the concentration of power in an indifferent and incompetent executive and the consequential loss of checks and balances, by the death of habeas corpus, by the abandonment of the Geneva Conventions and on and on and on. I don't recognize my country, and so I find myself in tears as I read, unable to tolerate more than a chapter at a time of Mr. Gore's heartbreaking book.

I want independence from the tyranny of this president-who- would-be-king and his neoconservative cronies, from corporate control and ownership of our elected representatives. I look at the Declaration of Independence and I know that we are created equal and yes, we've had to fight for the reality of that and the fight continues. But the fact that we have an orderly system for fighting and for righting wrongs is what made this nation great.

The Declaration tells me, and the Constitution further supports the fact that, in this country, I have unalienable rights and it is not acceptable for this government to infringe upon those rights as a matter of course, for its own nefarious purposes, in secrecy and without permission of courts. The power of this government is derived from the consent of the governed ~ from our consent ~ and it is a travesty to manipulate that consent through the manufacture of propaganda and falsehoods and lies at the highest level. When any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, infringing upon our basic rights, it is our right and our duty to abolish that regime and institute a lawful government which will effect our safety and happiness.

It is our right and our duty as free people to abolish this dangerous government, to rid ourselves of the malignant traitors and despots who are destroying these United States. Impeachment is our remedy.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

What an eloquent expression of the rage that so many of us feel at what is happening to our beautiful Nation. Please send this to EVERYONE you can think of, including Speaker Pelosi.

I wrote her yesterday and begged her to take action against the evil that is destroying our Government.

July 04, 2007 3:29 PM  
Anonymous GRRSteve said...

I'm just taking a break from cleaning out my garage to check in and respond to your writing, Lynette. I have had similar thoughts to yours today as I took the better part of the morning catching up on blogs and news sites that I don't often make the time to visit.

I'm flying my flag today. I've flown my flag on the front of my tiny house in my aging, family-oriented, mostly-Republican neighborhood for the past six years. I started when I was downsized from my "career" job on July 24, 2001 (a Tuesday, I think). I've flown the flag to let my neighbors and others passing by that I AM a citizen, a taxpayer, a lawful man. I also sport a "WORST.PRESIDENT.EVER" sticker on my Honda Civic. And I always put out yard signs for the "liberal" local, state, and federal candidates during every elections. And I vote for each one of them, every time.

I fly my flag because I will NOT have anyone tell me that I am less than a patriot because I follow my own conscience and will not blindly agree with my president or my peers. And I, too, can't marry the one I'll love someday, but I refuse to allow myself to be silenced. I've lived too long being silent and can't do it any more. And yes, I am aware of the consequences.

At the risk of committing the heinous sin of double-posting on a blog, I would like to share something I found from Keith Olbermann's tirade last night. I look at it as a very clear, succinct expression of all I've felt the past several months, and I hope that enough people hear or read it to let it serve as a sort of rallying point to declare OUR independence:

Check out what Olbermann said last night:

"...I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice...

... It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them - or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them - we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time - and our leaders in Congress, of both parties - must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach - get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.

Resign..."

Right on.

My best to you, Lynette.

July 04, 2007 3:33 PM  
Blogger Doralong said...

Lynette- though we don't actually "know" one another in the conventional sense.. I feel your pain, and feel perhaps I do know you. To a degree, thanks to your beautiful writing. And as Grrsteve noted, what Olbermann said last night was the most eloquent form of the rage that's been building in me for the past few years. I had wanted to bail on any festivities this year due to my general disgust. But the eldest wished to go to a particular annual festival with fireworks, and a couple of great blues bands that's in the middle of the most counter culture environment one could imagine. People that love their country and hate or fear their government.. but still gather together and hope for the best.

I think I've changed my mind, and will go and feel the good vibes of like minded folk.. The decent folk bail, the asshats win. I'm just too much of a bitch to let them.. I'm stubborn like that.

So, I'm gonna go pack the cooler and head out to remember there are still a lot of decent folk out there that do give a shit about what's going to happen. Listen to some good tunes, eat some good food and remember all the reasons I've marched for various things over the years, exhausted myself writing to every one and his damn brother, and sustained broken bones (twice) in the effort.. Fuck them, we ARE better than this- and we will eventually prevail- but only if we put the effort into making sure it happens.

Don't leave us Lynette, this country needs genuine patriots like you now more than ever.

July 04, 2007 4:03 PM  
Blogger Livvy U. said...

Belle, as one reading from across the Atlantic, I found your post very moving. Fantastically written, too. Don't stop believing that the changes that are needed could happen, that way there's a chance they just may.

July 04, 2007 6:00 PM  
Anonymous tater said...

Me Too! Me Too! I love ya Belle, and I very much appreciate your eloquent writing on a subject I just get too enraged to talk about. Thank you for stating so succinctly, what I feel today. I am grateful that this country still has people of conscience, willing to speak their minds despite our government's attempt to stifle dissent. I stand shoulder to shoulder with you, and refuse to give in to those that are seeking to destroy our Democracy for profit.

July 04, 2007 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Brion. said...

Why not fly your flag upside down as a protest...or is that 'illegal' also??

Big hugs to all you THINKING Americans...from 'downunder'

BJ in New Zealand

July 04, 2007 7:21 PM  
Blogger Willym said...

Lynette, as always you speak from the heart and express so well what many of your countrymen are thinking. In a review I wrote a few years back for the DVD reissue of White Christmas, I recall mentioning how "it displays a brand of honest American patriotism that has gone out of fashion." It is you and people like you who will take "honest American patriotism" and return it to its real meaning.

July 04, 2007 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Don said...

Speaking of flags and patriotism. Hon, if you do make it up here to Canada, please refrain from using the Canadian flag as a coaster on our National Holiday (July 1st), as was the behaviour of 3 of your fellow Americans who were visiting last weekend. Canadians do like visitors, especially when they behave like guests.

July 05, 2007 12:45 AM  
Blogger here today, gone tomorrow said...

Eloquently put, lynette. Very well done. Thank you.

July 05, 2007 7:12 AM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

Yes, eloquent and needing to be said. I could not bring myself to write my feelings about this administration on my blog, so I merely put up some photos of our soldiers sweltering in 100+ degree heat for July 4th and placed a link to the Constitution. Sometimes it is best to be reminded directly by our forefathers what they meant when they wrote that great document.

My other comment to your beautiful thoughts is, in addition to impeachment, let's string them up by their balls.

July 05, 2007 7:43 AM  
Blogger Willym said...

don, given what Lynette has written in the past I can't see her or anyone she knows doing that sort of thing. Yahoos are Yahoos - American, Canadian or Martian - and keep in mind it was a Canadian who thought it was funny to piss on the National War Memorial last year.

July 05, 2007 8:12 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

thank you, all of you, for your comments and commiseration. the sun's shining this morning and i've just finished Assault on Reason and thus am not wholly without hope.

mr. gore is convinced that the internet may be the salvation of democracy if we can keep it out of the hands of the corporations and those who would control even our thoughts.

steve ~ that special comment by olbermann was magnificent. i love that man when he's not going on about paris hilton or brittany spears or whoever he's probably forced to include by his masters at msnbc.

don, i am sorry that your flag was disrespected. that is outrageous. there are idiots everywhere and at this moment in time we seem to have more than our share.

brion ~ yes, upside down. a symbol of distress. giving that some thought.

all of you, big hugs this morning and thank you, thank you.

July 05, 2007 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Crixi Van Cheek said...

I'm with Grrrsteve. Our gay household has on any given day, the Stars and Stripes the Marine Corps Flag, a rainbow flag and lawn signs for the cause du 'jour. I'm an American, I served in the Marine Corps, I am gay and I have opinions. No drunken, treasonous, murdering baffoon and his legions of Christo-fascist terrorists will take that right away.

July 05, 2007 8:36 AM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

Lynette, I'm not a big flag-waver either. I believe in the promise of America, but have never been less convinced that this promise is close to becoming a reality.

I live in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, and often wonder what my neighbors think, as their country celebrates its "freedom" by looking back to 1776, when their ancestors were still in chains. One of the women on my block sent her daughter to a segregated school and can well remember not being allowed to drink from the same fountain as a white person. Woo-hoo ... happy independence day.

History will not be kind to those who led America in 2007 -- let's do better than that; let's make sure we're remembered for dissent at a time when dissent was sorely needed. Let's make our descendants proud of us, shall we? (I think we shall.)

July 05, 2007 8:47 AM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

Lynette -- thank you. I was very conflicted this 4th. I started a draft and deleted it. I still feel a need to write about it. We'll see. Anyway, you have the ability to express such clarity on emotional subjects. This was wonderful writing.

July 06, 2007 1:46 PM  
Blogger eric3000 said...

I've always felt excessive nationalism and patriotism to be a little strange and counter-productive. I think it tends to promote the "us and them" mentality that is responsible for much of the world's problems.

I have no problem with people loving their country. I just wish people would put a little more effort into loving the entire planet.

July 08, 2007 2:05 PM  

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