>From: Amara Graps <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>An American flag phenomenon, everywhere. It used to be that one
>saw only the American flag on government buildings, schools and on
>politician's cars as they campaigned, but not only these anymore.
>They are on people's houses, on some ~20% (or more) of the cars.
>If not the American flag, then stickers of the Amercan flag, or
>clothing pins of the American flag, which can be bought near the
>cash register of almost every store (gas stations, etc.) Sometimes
>I got the sense that houses in neighborhoods were competing with
>each other for the biggest flag, or the most flags. Or sometimes
>I got the impression that the flags were more like a fashionable
Most of these items are marked "made in China".
Real patriots didn't need to go looking for a flag.
>Along with the flags were equal numbers of stickers on cars, in
>windows of stores and houses with the words: "United We Stand" or
>"God Bless America".
Getting the "God" thing stuffed down your throat everywhere is a
>From my 37 years living in the U.S., I find this phenomena odd.
>The U.S. is a mix of an incredible number of many things and
>people that never was, and never will 'united'. Besides, I'm
>rather partial to the Earth, the Solar System, and the Milky Way,
>and I generally abhor boundaries (one of the reasons I moved to
>live outside of the U.S.). I would rather those flags and stickers
>show pictures of the Solar System ("Sol we Shine") or the Milky
>Way ("Universe Bless the Milky Way").
Fly an earth flag, I do.
>The media (newspaper, TV news) has created a deluge of
>War-in-Afghanistan news with at least 1/2 of the "A" news section
>devoted to this topic every day, and at least 1/2 of the TV news
>every day. Often the news is generated via a media circus. No
>wonder so many of my family and friends are saturated with the
>news, and no wonder the 'War' is in front of so many people's
>minds every day. If I was living there, I would find it very
>difficult to think of alternative peaceful solutions to the 'War'
>with the media hammering away as it is.
We are at war, not at peace. Although we hope to re-establish it
>Finally, I observed a transformation in America, that frankly
>scared me. It's there now, and is trickling outside. Fear,
>suspicions, sometimes paranoia. Boundaries and borders are being
>heavily fortified, civil rights are being trampled right and left,
>and for the most part, I didn't hear people complaining about that
>(the one exception was the the ~1000 people who are held in jails
>with no due process for 'suspicious terrorist activity'). In human
>history's most wretched times, people were labeled and then
>burned, quartered, persecuted, and I see this kind of fear-based
>labelling on people appearing again. I couldn't escape the feeling
>that the place where I was born and lived for most of my life (the
>U.S.) has gone a little bit insane.
People have been made rudely aware that there is evil afoot in the
world, and they are justifiably scared. Those who have lived a
sheltered life are scared the most.
Yes, a bunch of people are currently being detained for being in
this country illegally during a wartime situation. They have
rights, and they will get them, but they may have to wait a bit.
>Before I moved out of the U.S. ~4 years ago, I was, in a small
>way, a pacifist, believing that one doesn't answer violence with
>yet again more violence. I also believe that any group's rampant
>unhappiness or disrest has an element of truth embedded, and it
>must be addressed in a civil way, or the violent cycle will
>continue. The events since September 11, and my U.S. observations
>the last weeks, have polarized me (unexpectedly) much more as a
>pacifist, and I know now that the U.S. is not a good fit as an
>environment for me to live (or to raise a kid).
The Taliban and Al Quaeda were out to create an fundamentalist
Islamic planet, and they murdered those who got in the way,
including the pacifists.
Once you start killing people, discussion time is over.
Imagine trying to raise a kid under Taliban controlled
Get some perspective.
Don't worry, armed troops are defending your right to be a
>I don't know if my observations are useful to anyone in the U.S.
>and I won't entertain arguments or debates, since they are mostly
>my observations. I'll only state that I'm very worried with the
>direction that the U.S. humans (and others) on this planet are
Things are messy right now, But I have confidence everything will
turn out allright. (with a lot of hard/smart work)
Extropy Institute, www.extropy.org
National Rifle Association, www.nra.org, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W
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