Rants My Way

This grand old Flag: what’s it worth?

The old carpenter shuffled slowly to the park bench.
He placed his wooden tool box reverently on the ground.
He had to put his hand on the bench to support himself,
While he lowered his creaking frame down to sit.

I went and saw The Last Airbender today in 3D and enjoyed it. I’ll do a review on it another day, as there was something that happened at the start that disappointed me. Prior to the curtain going up, the Johnny Cash version of Ragged Old Flag played over the sound system, followed by The Pledge Of Allegiance. While the theater was only about one third full, one would expect at least some to stand for it. I counted two of us standing with our hands over our hearts.

He surveyed the area, hoping to find a friendly figure
With whom he could converse, to pass the time,
But it was late November, and the park was empty.
And so it should be, he thought, so it should be

Maybe it’s the fact I’m a Vietnam vet, or that I just have a love of this country, but I think respect for that pledge, and what it stands for, should be synonymous with what this country stands for. With the hatred spewing from the pundits who call themselves Americans, and the hatred from those saying they’re not, I think the message of the pledge has gotten lost somehow.

A crow, with shiny black feathers, landed on the bench.
It cocked its head, and looked up at the carpenter
With an expression that brought to mind the words,
Have you been here before?

This country was founded with the blood of those who weren’t afraid to spill it for simply the idea of living free. And spill it they did, by the hundreds of thousands in wars we fought right here on our shores, and on the fields of countries where freedom was in jeopardy. Countries like England, France, Italy and many others. Thousands of American soldiers died on those fields, many to never return to these shores again.

Many, many times, the carpenter said to the crow,
Though his voice was silent as the long dead leaves
That were still scattered about the park’s broad expanse.
I have been coming here since ‘fore this place’s time.

But now it seems the hatred has spread to the point getting together and hashing out differences is seen as a weakness, and making political points is the norm. And it’s not just one party doing it; it’s all parties, be they Democrat, Republican, Tea, Independent, et al.

I am the carpenter. I am the one who built the Cross.
I am the one who watched on the mount as the man
They called Jesus was nailed to what I had built.
I am the one who helped Him down, and laid Him to rest.

That I saw only two people stand during the pledge speaks volumes as to the state of politics in this great nation. Its gotten to the point I wonder if this Republic hasn’t degenerated to the point it’s not working any more, and if there is anything we can do to bring civility back into the fold.

My penance for carving out the wood, and making the cross,
Is to wander the world until such time as I find that
I can forgive myself for what I have done.
I have many more years to wander, I fear.

And I ask myself as well, do we need to shed more blood on these shores to reinforce the beliefs our forefathers placed in The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights? And I tell myself, I don’t want to be alive to watch something as horrible as that. I don’t want to think for one second it would be necessary.

As the carpenter turned to gaze at the crow,
The bird gave a squawk, and flew off to seek less noisy things.
The carpenter looked again over the park with eyes
That contained no joy, no light…only the pain of ages.

So I ask you, is this country worth saving? Can we get together and make this country what it should be, without the hatred? Or am I spinning my wheels here over something lost, not to be found again. I know I’m guilty of bashing this political system on more than one occasion, but I’ve never hated what we stand for, nor hated people I disagree with enough to wish them harm in any way. I’ll say unabashedly I love this country, but I hate this hatred spreading like a cancer throughout our political system. It’s time we all stop and look at our neighbor, and regardless of what they believe in, understand they, too, are Americans, and that is something we can all be proud of. So I would ask you if you go the the movies, and they play The Pledge of Allegiance before the movie, stand, and show people you do care, and this country is worth it.

The old man slowly reached for his tool box.
He stood up, wincing at the pain it brought,
And shuffled down the park path towards places unknown.
The crow watched, with a coal black eye, from a barren tree.

July 7, 2010 - Posted by | Just plain patriotism


  1. Thought provoking post. Nice, nice. Very Nice.

    Like you, I can’t stomach the diviseness and all the hatred for our fellow man.
    I’ve left at least 2 Wichita blogs for that reason.
    I don’t give a wet fart how correct people think their political ideology is….if they hate others they ARE the problem.
    Liberal/conservative…who friggin cares. If you hate your neighbor you need to get some help, seriously.

    The world is now too dangerous for anything but TRUTH.
    Too small for anything but BROTHERHOOD.

    I’ll be losing this computer August 21st.
    I blog less and less knowing this.
    I’m also deleting ALL the political stuff.

    This country will survive, but will it be worth having?

    If might is right, then love has no place in this world.
    I’m not sure that’s a world I want to live in.

    Comment by sekanblogger | July 7, 2010 | Reply

    • I fully agree, bro. And hope you can get the computer thing worked out and return to blogging. I know I’ll miss it.

      Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  2. As much as the internet brings us together, it has done more to keep us apart.

    If I know Jammer the man, I am less apt to be vicious in my attacks on the net. If I only know Jammer the blogger, I might feel empowered to be a bigger ass.

    Here’s a question. We grew up standing and placing our hand over our hearts for the pledge but not the national anthem. While we stand for the anthem, I never could figure out if you were supposed to do the heart thing too.

    Comment by Bearman | July 7, 2010 | Reply

    • But it seems the level of hate today doesn’t need a screen to hide behind; it just needs people who could care less who they hurt.

      When I was in the military, we saluted both the National Anthem, and the Pledge. As a civilian, I stand and put my hand over my heart for both, but I think it’s up to the individual.

      Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  3. Comment by IzaakMak | July 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you. Beautiful.

      Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  4. Hey, if the vampires and the werewolves can get along why can’t we? Yes,damn it,I was dragged to Eclipse last night. God have mercy on my soul. If kids are wanting to date the living dead and the moon howlers isn’t it saying something about us mere mortals?
    I was at a restaurant watching the Melbourne Cup last year and our table was the only one that stood when our national anthem played.

    Comment by frigginloon | July 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Isn’t it amazing how people ignore their national theme songs? While I was standing during the Pledge, I had people shoving past me to find a seat. That, to me, is disrespect, but what do I know, huh?

      Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  5. This was well written, succinct, poignant and oh so true Jammer. What we all (both sides… no all 5 sides, of the political fence) is that it is possible to love our country and want the best for it, without having to hate anybody or anything. There is no opposite of love. Why does everyone look for one?

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  6. Over here, we have so many sides, one loses count. And while each has good, as well as bad, points, the degree in which they are willing to go to further their agendas amazes me.

    Agreed: there is no substitute for love. But many seem to think their hate should be construed as love, and how wrong is that?

    Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  7. I remember a religous fundie couple who frequented WE Blog for a short time.
    I picked my jaw up off the floor after one of them told me that my problem was; “That I focused too much on loving everybody, and not enough on the ‘rules and punishments’ in the bible.

    Just to illustrate how much my thinking is changing:
    I have to go to a temp job today, right now.
    This is the only thread I wanted to see before I leave.

    Instead of arguing politics with anybody, I just reply with a polite “NO THANKS”!

    The way I see it, hating 50% of the population is hating the USA.
    Have a great day!

    Comment by sekanblogger | July 8, 2010 | Reply

    • The fact everyone seems to think hating is the way of life in politics now sadly isn’t going to go away.

      Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  8. Maybe we just need a nice long alien invasion?

    Comment by writerdood | July 8, 2010 | Reply

    • Then you’d have pundits running around screaming the aliens are godless/communists/progressives/cannibals/too dark/too light/ad infinitum.

      Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010 | Reply

      • Maybe they’ll eat the pundits.

        Comment by writerdood | July 8, 2010

      • I wonder what wine they’d go good with?

        Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010

  9. I’ve never fully understood the argument behind not saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Just because there’s a three-letter word it in that rhymes with “bog” that not everyone believes exists in any shape, way, or form? It’s on money as well.

    Though the desire to seek wealth and opportunity was motivation for the hundreds and thousands of other continental persons’ voyages to (North) American shores, I seem to recall something about pilgrims and Puritans and wanting the freedom to believe in and worship that word that rhymes with “bog.” Historical legacy? tradition?

    Now, if anyone wanted to make me believe in the word that rhymes with “bog” in a manner that didn’t appeal to my own opinions and preferences, then there’s a problem.

    Comment by sittingpugs | July 8, 2010 | Reply

    • You know something? I agree 100%. I could care who or what people believe in; or who or what they don’t. I wrote that poem out of respect for my mother, who was a devout Catholic, and because she asked me to write a religious poem for her. I used it here because it ties in with what I wrote, not in a religious way, but in a perspective way. I doubt many would understand that. I have no doubt you would, or do for that matter.

      That people even have the audacity to condemn someone because they happen to believe, or not believe, in some deity other that the one they believe in, smacks of lunacy. And how many are dead because of that lunacy? If someone comes up to me and says, “See that tree over there? That’s God.” Then it is to that person and that’s fine with me.

      And not saying the pledge because it has THAT word in it is just as ridiculous. Makes me wonder who the real terrorists are.

      Comment by jammer5 | July 8, 2010 | Reply

      • You wrote that poem? I love it. Second stanza my favorite.

        If someone comes up to me and says, “See that tree over there? That’s God.” Then it is to that person and that’s fine with me.

        Or even, “See that tree over there?”


        “It’s right over there.”

        “I don’t see any tree.”

        “Next to that wheelbarrow.”

        “That’s not a tree. It looks more like a crudely done papier mache gumby.”

        Who’s on first, what’s on second, I don’t know who’s on third.

        Comment by sittingpugs | July 8, 2010

      • I love it. Second stanza my favorite.

        Thanks. For some reason the next to last was the one I liked best.

        Point taken. Turns out nobodies on third, which makes the bases still loaded.

        Comment by jammer5 | July 9, 2010

  10. I’m old enough to have learned the Pledge of Allegiance before they added “under God” to it. It didn’t change my love of country or respect for the flag or the pledge. I always stand, face the flag, put my hand over my heart, and repeat the pledge exactly as I was taught — without saying “under God.” I’m appalled that people in that theater didn’t stand and show proper respect for the flag, country, and freedoms they were enjoying at that very moment, even if they chose not to repeat the pledge.

    Was there an actual flag in evidence on the stage? Was a real person on the stage leading the pledge? Or was there just a recorded voice coming out of the screen? Maybe the audience felt they were viewers, not participants.

    Comment by PiedType | July 9, 2010 | Reply

    • Ditto. I remember when the boy scouts had it put in, and, no it made no difference to me either.

      You may have something there: it was just the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing it over the PA. But still, does it really matter? We stand and do the same thing at ball games when it’s played over the PA, so I’m of the opinion they should stand.
      Thanks, PiedType. Appreciate you stopping by.

      Comment by jammer5 | July 9, 2010 | Reply

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