Tag Archives: patriotism

Telling The Truth About The United States Is Hard

What makes the United States the greatest country in the world? I dunno. Yosemite? ___________ I like the above video’s puncturing of American exceptionalism. I especially like the Yosemite line, but when the piano starts to play, and the patriotic … Continue reading

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Billionaire Russian Roman Abramovich’s Yacht in New York

The biggest yacht in the world, owned by a Russian billionaire, came down the Hudson River today: __________ Here’s more footage of it: __________ It will be docked in New York for perhaps a month or more, establishing temporary residency. … Continue reading

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Mitt Romney’s “America the Beautiful” vs. Garrison Keillor’s

This ad nicely punctures Mitt Romney’s faux and cynical display of “patriotism”: _____ Last night, I saw, with my wife and kids and some friends, Garrison Keillor sing “America the Beautiful” at the Hollywood Bowl. It was so nice to … Continue reading

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Are Patriotism and Religion the Last Refuges of Scoundrels?

In 1775, in the year just prior to the American Revolution, Samuel Johnson famously quipped that: Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. And this morning, thinking about this truism, I asked myself this question: What is it about patriotism that … Continue reading

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The view from my window

The American flag, burning.

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Barack Obama Wins the Nobel Prize!

This today in Der Spiegel: “Only rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” the committee said in a statement. “His diplomacy is founded in … Continue reading

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Fox News 101: What Every Authoritarian Knows

Hermann Goering to Captain G. Gilbert, Nuremberg, 1945: “Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country … Continue reading

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The Authoritarian Moment

They’re hoping for it, aren’t they?

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In Washington D.C., a Tea Bag Protester Expresses Longing for a Blown-Up Capitol Building

Sounding like a 1920s German fascist or communist impatient with bourgeois parliamentary democracy in the Weimar Republic, Salon.com reports that a tea bag protester expressed his wish that, on 9/11, our nation’s Congressional building had simply been obliterated. This is really illiberal creepy … Continue reading

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Barack Obama is Pitch Perfect on American Exceptionalism

Below is one of the reasons why I voted for Barack Obama. Name another politician who can think this clearly on his feet, and with equal measures of clarity and nuance. And notice how he keeps America’s best historical qualities … Continue reading

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Martin Luther King Died 41 Years Ago Today

It was on April 4, 1968 that Martin Luther King was shot and killed. Below is his famous last speech. King’s bravery is at once inspiring and something very hard to live up to. We didn’t deserve such a figure in our history, but we … Continue reading

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Howard Nemerov and Learning from History

Howard Nemerov served in both the Canadian and American armed forces during World War II, and as a pilot flew combat missions over the North Sea against the Germans. His poem, “Ultima Ratio Reagan,” is a warning against historical ignorance … Continue reading

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Tanned, Rested, and READY?: In a New Poll, a Majority of Self-Identified Republican Voters Want Their Party to Be MORE In Line with the Views and Ethos of SARAH PALIN!

Contra Steele, more evidence that the Republican Party is being, as it were, gravitationally pulled in the direction of its most ignorant and authoritarian RIGHT-wing constituencies here. Money quote from TPM Online: A new Rasmussen poll further demonstrates that the GOP could be … Continue reading

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Is Creeping Authoritarianism the Republican Party’s Problem?

Conservative David Frum has started a new website: NewMajority.com. It appears to be an honest, self-reflective site devoted to thinking (seriously) about how to get the Republican Party out of the political wilderness. I have long respected Frum, and his … Continue reading

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“It was the most genuine, spontaneous, universal moment of the day. It was like watching the ice go out on the river”: Garrison Keillor Describes the Ebullent Crowd Watching the Helicopter Apotheosis of George W. Bush

Watching the inauguration on television, I found myself feeling an enormous wave of relief at seeing George Bush rising by government helicopter, and drifting slowly away, like a balloon cut loose, for the (mercifully) last time. The live crowd appears to have … Continue reading

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Farewell, Mr. President

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Life Affirming: Jefferson, Lincoln, Obama

By illustrator Patrick Moberg.

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This Is What the November 4th, 2008 Election Felt Like for Me

I felt like, all over America, people stood up for a less authoritarian, less cruel and cynical, America:

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Last Minute Appeal to Republicans and Undecideds: A Closing Argument for Barack Obama

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THE NEEDLE JOHN McCAIN MUST THREAD: Why Is McCain Spending So Much Time in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania?

John McCain isn’t investing heavy in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania because he’s polling close in those states—but because they’re his only reasonable route to 270 electoral votes. Chuck Todd explains:

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