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Graven Images

There are a number of religious sects that do not ‘honor the flag’ because they consider it a graven image. They don’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance or participate in the National Anthem.

The flag serves a real purpose that has nothing to do with politics. The first flag was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777 to help the American forces identify friend from foe. There is a military ceremony, trooping the colors, that amounts to show-and-tell, where the troops are formed up and shown the flags of their side so they know who not to kill. Flags are military signals.

The rest of Trump’s latest faux outrage is 20th century psuedo-patriotism.Having nothing better to do after they decided that nothing could be done about the Great Depression, Congress passed a law making the Star-Spangled Banner the national anthem in 1931. John Charles Linthicum, Congresscritter from Maryland, entered 6 bills to accomplish that beginning in 1918, but it took a petition by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to finally move Congress to adopt a poem by a Maryland slave owner set to the music of a British bar song.

Trump has absolutely no claim to honoring the military based on the disrespect shown to Senator John McCain and a Gold Star family. If he had any respect for the military he should have said something about the four Green Berets killed in Africa. I doubt he knows about them, or that as Commander-in-Chief, he is supposed to know about them.

The demonstration by sports figures is covered by a Supreme Court decision:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.
— Robert H. Jackson, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette

All public officials take an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not flags or songs. The Constitution says the NFL players can kneel.


1 Kryten42 { 10.12.17 at 8:42 am }

“The Constitution says the NFL players can kneel.”

And therein lies the problem. The RWNJ’s couldn’t care less about the constitution. It’s just something they use. They live in a completely binary World. US/THEM. They care nothing at all for facts, truth or reality. Only for what they *believe*! No matter how insane or unreal that may be. These are people that truly cannot see or deal with anything more complex. Anyone who doesn’t believe what they do, or want what they want, is THEM! The enemy. The THEM don’t get to decide what the Constitution means, in their view.

I don’t just mean the USA. This is as old as Homo Sapiens. And it’s happening everywhere, even here.

It’s almost as if their are two species. The same biologically, but mentally alien to each other. It’d be easy to blame *religion*! But I think that’s just part of the symptoms of the *US* group/species. The *THEM* group have their own symptoms. 🙂


2 Bryan { 10.12.17 at 10:30 am }

You have civilized people who accept the constraints of the law, and then you have outlaws who refuse to be constrained. You can’t have a society if you don’t have laws to control the interaction and conflict caused when the desires of individuals collide.

The Toddler-in-Chief doesn’t accept any restraints, and is under the impression that he can do whatever he wants to whomever he dislikes today. He is attacking the people he needs to advanced his ‘agenda’ and throws tantrums because his ‘ratings’ are dropping. We are approaching the point of having the 25th Amendment invoked and “President” Pence taking over.

3 Kryten42 { 10.12.17 at 11:13 pm }

Latest news is Trump provoking NK with a flyover of B-1B Lancer bombers flanked by Japan Air Self Defense Force F-2 fighters.

Maybe time to move out of Florida. Mar-a-Lago is an NK target. Hopefully, the WH is also. *shrug*

Infants & their insecurities, playing with nukes!


4 Badtux { 10.13.17 at 2:03 am }

I will stand for the Star Spangled Banner only for the third verse. The verse that contains these embarrassing lines:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

Which, strangely enough, nobody ever sings. Funny that, eh?

Kryten, Bryan lives on the other side of Florida from Mar-a-Lago, and the winds are blowing away from Bryan if Mar-a-Lago gets nuked. NAS Pensacola really isn’t that big a target anymore now that it’s mostly used for training.

5 Bryan { 10.13.17 at 11:12 am }

When F.S. Key served as the Prosecutor for the District of Columbia he asked for the death penalty to be imposed on a man who was arrested for having abolitionist pamphlets in his house. The reference is to the British tactic of offering freedom to indentured servants and slaves freedom if they fought against the US. After the Revolution and the War of 1812, those who took the offer were taken to Canada for resettlement by the British.

Well, I am surrounded by the largest US military installation the US, home of the Air Force Special Operations Command, the 7th Special Forces Brigade, the testing and development center for all US airborne weapons, but most people don’t know that if they arrive by car they have been driving through Eglin Air Force Base. If you come by plane you are landing on an Eglin runway and taxi to a terminal built on land the Air Force loans to the county. That said, nobody seems to know it.

6 Badtux { 10.13.17 at 11:54 am }

What is hilarious is flying over where you live on Google Earth and seeing all the old auxiliary fields or remnants thereof. Shows you just how extensive the Eglin and Pensacola NAS facilities really were back in the day…

7 Bryan { 10.13.17 at 9:23 pm }

A half dozen of those fields are used for various organizations. Hurlburt Field, home of the Air Force Special Ops Command is Field 9 near the coast. Duke Field, Field 3, is up by I-10. The 7th Special Forces Brigade uses another. The Army Ranger School uses a field in the southeast of Eglin, and the now closed Federal prison camp was also located at a auxiliary field. Eglin has a half-million acre national forest on the reservation as well as dozen of ranges for blowing things up. Eglin takes up a lot of Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties.

8 hipparchia { 10.15.17 at 9:29 am }

Eglin has a half-million acre national forest on the reservation as well as dozen of ranges for blowing things up. Eglin takes up a lot of Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties.

and now they want to use blackwater river state forest for training, so I guess they’ve already used up all their half-million acres in your part of the world and they want to start taking over the trees in my part of the world.

9 Bryan { 10.15.17 at 10:22 am }

Well they have discovered that if you drop bombs on them you tend to lose trees that you need to practice moving through a forest. We are being led by people who think that life has a reset button…

It is probably the Special Forces that want the space.

10 hipparchia { 10.15.17 at 11:09 am }

back in 2014ish:



more recent (though I can’t decipher from this whether they’re still at it)


the killer thing about it all is that the military wanting to keep northwest Florida’s wilderness and water for itself is the only thing that’s keeping the fracking and offshore oil rigs away from here.

11 Badtux { 10.15.17 at 4:09 pm }

Yeah, the Marines are taking Johnson Valley here in California for training even though they have plenty of land at 29 Stumps. What I can’t figure is this — we have the smallest military now since before WW2. Why do they need *more* land to train than the WW2 military needed?!

12 Bryan { 10.15.17 at 5:06 pm }

Yeah, offshore oil rigs are not a good idea when Eglin is dropping bombs in the
Gulf. So many bases have been closed that space for training is becoming a problem. They have been consolidating things at Eglin after closing other facilities, and they have gone over board.

Eglin has to keep accepting new missions to remain open. At any time Congress could decide to close the base to give the land to donors. It is an uncomfortable relationship – support Eglin or the environment will get trashed by greedy developers or the oil scum.

13 Bryan { 10.15.17 at 6:59 pm }

You are correct that 29 Palms or Pendleton would make more sense as there is space and the desert environment as well as all of the Naval/Marine facilities that surround San Diego.

14 Badtux { 10.17.17 at 4:10 am }

Most of the bases that have been closed have been bases that don’t have a lot of land for use for training, mostly air bases. I think Fort Chaffee was probably the biggest training base that closed, and it’s only *sort* of closed (it’s used by the National Guard now). The really big training bases like Fort Polk or 29 Stumps are still open and used for training. In particular all of the big desert training bases here in California are still open, which is why I’m baffled that suddenly they need *more* land for training, even though the Army and USMC are miniscule in size compared to the heart of the Cold War….

15 Bryan { 10.17.17 at 11:42 am }

Yeah, the bases were closed because “ther were surplus to current military requirements” and now DoD wants more land. Unless they intend to restart the draft, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Is there anything special about the area they want, i.e. something similar to current or proposed combat zones? I would think that Pendleton & 29 Palms pretty much cover current operations.