July 4th Celebration Happy Birthday USA

Lulu Smith

From Cruise Critic Message Board:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2754534-july-4-2020/

They're not very political there. They just want to start cruising again.

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Lulu Smith

Nobody and no nation is perfect, but for 240 years the United States has been a beacon for the world. Here's why.

We're a blessed country here in the USA.

No, we're not perfect. There are certainly some stains on our history.

But we're also a land that learns, progresses, grows--and ultimately stays true to some of the loftiest ideals any country has ever articulated.

So this Independence Day, take a minute to explore some of the ideals that make us such a great nation. This land is your land, this land is my land. And it's the greatest land on earth.

The land of democracy.

1. "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

--Winston Churchill

2. "Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage."

--H. L. Mencken

3. "Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments."

--Alexander Hamilton

4. "Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal."

--Aristotle

5. "Voting is completely important. People in America think democracy is a given. I think of it as an ecosystem, and what gets in the way of it is politicians and apathy."

--Henry Rollins

The land of immigrants.

6. Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."

―Franklin D. Roosevelt

7. "The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources--because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples."

―Lyndon B. Johnson

8. "We asked for workers. We got people instead."

―Max Frisch

9. "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out."

―Tony Blair

10. "My folks came to U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien."

--Leonard Nimoy

11. "I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong." ―President George Washington

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Lulu Smith

The land of opportunity.

12. "The fact is: It's true what they say about the United States. It is a land of opportunity. It is too various to get bored with it."

--Christopher Hitchens

13. "If you're worried about getting a job-or keeping one-start a company of your own. By doing so, you'll reap the rewards of your hard work and you'll only get fired if you fail. This is the land of opportunity. Live in it."

- Bruce Campbell

14. "Go with your first thoughts; they're usually your best thoughts. Pay attention, stick to your goals and follow those guidelines. It's all right there if you reach for it, unless you want to punch timeclocks and work for somebody. That's what we liked about America, the land of opportunity. All your dreams can come true."

--Richard Danko

15. "Basically, there are two kinds of stereotypes out there in the world about America. There's America the Goliath - the big, powerful, bullying country that pushes its way around the world and gets its ways, pursues its own interests nakedly, irrespective of what others want. And the other stereotype is America, the land of opportunity, where everyone can go and do anything, be anything, make any dreams come true."

--Shashi Tharoor

The land of courage.

16. "Winning isn't everything--but wanting to win is."

― Vince Lombardi Jr.

17. "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty."

--President John F. Kennedy

18. A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."

--President Dwight D. Eisenhower

19. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

--President Thomas Jefferson

20. "The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."

--General Norman Schwarzkopf

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cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)(zone 7, Northern VA)

Keep going!


The Land of Leadership


21. "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

--Abraham Lincoln

22. "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."

--Harry S Truman

23. The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it."

--Theodore Roosevelt

24. "Leadership requires the courage to make decisions that will benefit the next generation."

--Alan Autry

25. "A person who is worthy of being a leader wants power not for himself, but in order to be of service."

--Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr.


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queenmargo

Right on cue, lol

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

America was not built on fear.

No fear, but the determination to exterminate those who were living here before Europeans arrived.

I believe that the correct word is genocide.

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elvis

ancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

America was not built on fear.

No fear, but the determination to exterminate those who were living here before Europeans arrived. I believe that the correct word is genocide.

My goodness, Nancy. The world sure has seen its share of conquering the natives. The Spanish did that in Mexico, the Brits did that in Canada, India, Australia, and numerous other places, the Dutch did it in Africa, and some nations in Africa still do it to each other. And then there's New Zealand. Oh, and all those Caribbean islands. And so many more examples...


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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“And it's the greatest land on earth.”

Why does the US have to be the greatest? Why can’t it be one of many equally great nations?

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lurker111

The rioters are blocking the road. Crazy!



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patriciae_gw(07)

Lulu, you ought to settle for being average.

Now I don't particularly like it here these days but I believe in accepting who we have been and thinking about what we actually ought to be which is going to have to do better than the exceptionally unpleasant thing we are at the moment. We can do better.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

nancy: go back if you don't like it here.

A true and factual statement of US history, and now I'm being verbally attacked.

If the US is so great, we are certainly able to take a clear-eyed look at our beginnings and expansion. No need to be snowflakes about what happened.

As for the personal attack: No, I do not intend to go back to Burbank; the ocean air and mild temperatures of Venice suit me. Plus my Mediterranean sub-tropical jungle is flourishing here.

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cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)(zone 7, Northern VA)

Nancy, I was taking those quotations somewhat differently. The Truman quotation on fear is interesting when put in context. Truman was a horrible racist-he was raised by confederate sympathizers and used the n-word often. After he became president though, he changed. He desegregated the federal workforce. He created the President's Taskforce on Civil Rights: From the Washington Post. Three months later, on Dec. 5, 1946, Truman issued an executive order he called “Freedom From Fear,” which created the President’s Committee on Civil Rights, tasked with analyzing the state of civil rights in the country, investigating mob violence and proposing legislation to protect civil rights.

Truman later wrote in “Memoirs by Harry S. Truman: Volume Two: Years of Trial and Hope” that he decided to appoint the civil rights committee “because of the repeated anti-minority incidents immediately after the war in which homes were invaded, property was destroyed, and a number of innocent lives were taken.”

Several months later, Truman became the first U.S. president to address the NAACP. He knew his family wouldn’t approve, but he wrote to his sister, Mary Jane Truman, that he believed in civil rights and would not be swayed....'I’ve got to make a speech to the Society [sic] for the Advancement of Colored People tomorrow,' Truman wrote. 'Mamma won’t like what I say because I wind up by quoting old Abe. But I believe what I say and I’m hopeful we may implement it.'

On June 29, 1947, Truman stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and addressed the NAACP. A crowd of more than 3,000 gathered along the Reflecting Pool.

“As Americans,” Truman said, “we believe that every man should be free to live his life as he wishes. He should be limited only by his responsibility to his fellow countrymen. If this freedom is to be more than a dream, each man must be guaranteed equality of opportunity. The only limit to an American’s achievement should be his ability, his industry and his character.”

Truman emphasized in the speech: 'When I say all Americans, I mean all Americans.'

When he sat down after the speech, according to the Geselbracht’s book, Truman 'showed absolutely no signs of fear of the impending firestorm that was certain to come quickly his way. White told the president he thought it was an excellent speech, and Truman assured him, ‘I said what I did because I mean every word of it — and I am going to prove that I do mean it.’

However, I suspect unity was not the OP's goal here. Her comment to you proves that (nancy: go back if you don't like it here). I have always found that to be an anti-American statement. As a liberal, left-wing, wacko, I guess I should have known better.


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cattyles

“[American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant.”
― Zbigniew Brzezinski

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cattyles


“Moreover, the very belief that Americans had somehow discovered the ultimate answer to mankind's eternal quandaries and were now poised to establish heaven on earth was a delusion that deserved to be ranked alongside the fables about the Holy Grail and the fountain of youth. "We may boast that we are one, the chosen people,: he (Adams) warned, " and we may even thank God that we are not like other men, but, after all, it would be but flattery, delusion, the self-deceit of the Pharisee.”
― Joseph J. Ellis, American Dialogue: The Founders and Us

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Lulu Smith

I had hoped that this would unite, rather than its anagram. I felt these quotes were positive and not confrontational.

Being fearless and crossing the ocean to escape torture and oppression suddenly became genocide. I don't think most of the immigrants and refugees came here with the intention of committing genocide. Why do some people always turn everything to a negative self image? We are accused of genocide and I'm the one who's accused of being nasty? I'm just suggesting that if some people are so unhappy with the United States and its history, there are other countries that presumably would welcome them and in which they might thrive. No one should live in a country about which they feel shame, not pride.

Then we were told to be average, not to try to be better than anyone. If we aren't convinced we can build a better mousetrap and try to outperform, we all wallow in mediocrity. I don't believe I have ever heard a parent tell her child to be average. Don't do better than anyone else. If you believe as Frank Loesser said: Mediocrity is not a mortal sin, we all belong to the brotherhood of man, go to it and perform at that level.

I am enjoying my holiday, Independence Day. I am celebrating the good fortune and blessings that are these United States of America. I thank God for my forebears who were brave, fearless, and gutsy enough to emigrate from oppression and immigrate to freedom.

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huachuma

"The rioters are blocking the road. Crazy!"

Good, it's legally the Lakota's/Sioux's land after all...

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Lulu Smith

You can quote as many people as you want. If you want to think of yourself and your fellows as average or unable to understand global issues, go for it. There are always apologists for all kinds of people.

Pharisees: There are also several references in the New Testament to the Apostle Paul being a Pharisee. The relationship between Early Christianity and the Pharisees depended on the individual; while numerous nameless Pharisees were portrayed as hostile, New Testament writings make mention of several Pharisees, including Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and Gamaliel, who are sympathetic to Jesus and Christians.

I don't find this to be a negative reference. Are you saying we are like the Pharisees?

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“If we aren't convinced we can build a better mousetrap and try to outperform, we all wallow in mediocrity.”

That’s a fallacy.

Life need not be a competition that only one can win. It can be a cooperative effort, a collaboration in which everyone pulls together and raises each other up.

Unity.

If it is self-evident that all are created equal, how does the concept of being the greatest or trying to outperform fit in?

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Lulu Smith

We are created equal in law, not ability. We don't all end up as equal. It's what we do in between that counts. Ever watch the competition at the Modern Olympics?

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studio10001

Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday.

There is sorrow in the air, people dying everywhere, but

Happy Birthday,

To you.


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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Lulu Smith

20 minutes ago

We are created equal in law, not ability. We don't all end up as equal. It's what we do in between that counts. Ever watch the competition at the Modern Olympics?

———

No, I have to disagree that “all [men] are created equal] implies “under the law.”

I think the Founding Fathers believed in a creator, and believed that the creator not only endowed us each with equal rights but also gave to each human gifts and talents to be used for the good of all.

At least, that’s what my bible says.

My talents can be used in conjunction with yours to enhance both our lives. Or I can struggle to keep up with you at whatever you’re good at, and you can struggle to keep up with me at whatever I’m good at, and both of us are destined to struggle and fail for life.

I’m not suggesting there isn’t value and reward in striving for personal betterment.

I am saying that when societies collectively insist they are the greatest to the degradation of their neighbours and friends they quickly weaken.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

It’s no accident that:

You learned about Helen Keller instead of WEB Du Bois.

You learned about the Watts and LA Riots, but not Tulsa or Wilmington.

You learned that George Washington’s dentures were made from wood, rather than the teeth from slaves.

You learned about black ghettos, but not about Black Wall Street.

You learned about the New Deal, but not “redlining.”

You learned about Tommie Smith’s fist in the air at the 1968 Olympics,
but not that he was sent home the next day and stripped of his medals.

You learned about “black crime,” but white criminals were never lumped together and discussed in terms of their race.

You learned about “states rights” as the cause of the Civil War, but
not that slavery was mentioned 80 times in the articles of secession.

Privilege is having history rewritten so that
you don’t have to acknowledge uncomfortable facts.

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Lulu Smith

I assume all societies strive to be the best. I do not degrade others. I love international travel and appreciate our differences and that which makes us unique. Not all our gifts are equal.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Cyn427, thank you for the information on Truman -- I was unaware of his address to the NAACP.

Truman assured him, ‘I said what I did because I mean every word of it — and I am going to prove that I do mean it.’

This is what I know of Truman and civil rights:


From wiki -- Executive Order 9981 is an executive order issued on July 26, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman. It abolished discrimination "on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin" in the United States Armed Forces. The executive order led to the end of segregation in the services during the Korean War.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

We are accused of genocide

Not an accusation but a statement of fact -- an integral part of US history.

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Lulu Smith

Time to start shooting off the fireworks. Happy Independence Day America

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

I got hung up wondering what the anagram of unite is...

untie?

And I learned to day about an economist named Sadie Alexander:

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/26/883995581/sadie-alexander-americas-first-black-economist

She saw equal rights as a means to creating a thriving economy.

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sadie-Tanner-Mossell-Alexander

Looks like she may have been instrumental in converting President Truman on civil rights.

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elvis

miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)


I think the Founding Fathers believed in a creator, and believed that the creator not only endowed us each with equal rights but also gave to each human gifts and talents to be used for the good of all.

At least, that’s what my bible says.

Your Bible? Well, this is the closest scripture I can come up with off the top of my head. I'd sure like to know where you read that^^^!

Matthew 5:44-48


But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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elvis

nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

We are accused of genocide

Not an accusation but a statement of fact -- an integral part of US history.

Sadly, a part of many nations' histories. We're fortunate to have changed our ways much more quickly than our former masters, the British, who for centuries, had been subjugating native peoples of the nations that it conquered, we learned from the masters, and then we un-learned it.

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patriciae_gw(07)

When you tell a citizen to leave this country then you can aspire to average? I think of that as something to work towards? That post is gone but the thought lingers.

Speaking of all people being created equal when not only women but all people of color were not equal in law is a sort of stick in the eye. No taxation without representation rings hollow. If we had long since left racism and misogyny behind then we could celebrate our exceptionalism but we did not. We have something to aspire to. It certainly does not make us some sort of exception to the general status quo of those who get left out. The fourth ought to be a self assessment of what we ought to be. We blow stuff up for the fourth. Now that is just so us.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

we learned from the masters, and then we un-learned it

Not so good on the unlearning.

There wouldn't be millions of us in the streets supporting BLM if the US had truly unlearned the lessons from the Brits.

There wouldn't have been Jim Crow, nor the civil rights struggles in the 1960s if not for the continuation of centuries-long subjugation.

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jmm1837

"We're fortunate to have changed our ways much more quickly than our former masters, the British, who for centuries, had been subjugating native peoples of the nations that it conquered, we learned from the masters, and then we un-learned it."


"Much more quickly?" Really? The British abolished the slave trade in 1807 and slavery itself in 1831. The US ended slavery (in the North) in 1863.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

elvis--

Romans 12:6-8 is a good start.

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batyabeth

I adore America, and I love many of the quotes. I also beleive she can do better, BE better, and I lived my life there, and raised my kids there, to be the movers and shakers of such progress. We can always improve. We can always be more honest about the past and the present, without saying how horrible we are or were. We were often erred egregiously, and we were inpiring and wonderful often. Our immigrant roots are precious and we need to be reminded that we are all immigrants.

I personally am delighted there are fewer fireworks. I always thought it was crazy to make believe the sounds of bombs were the right way to celebrate. Also, 2 out of 3 sons are military veterans, and one is very very nervous around fireworks, and one is straight up acutely PTSD. Any holidays with fireworks is a family disaster, and all we try to do is to get as far away as possible. Parades and floats yes! Speeches and songs, sure. Explosions and bombs? NO no no thank you.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Explosions and bombs? NO no no thank you.

1:20 AM here and the firecrackers are still going off in my neighborhood. Pretty much the same all week.

I can't imagine what the night of the 4th will bring.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)


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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Yes. I feel sad for those who are spooked and stressed out by the noise. Our poor dog used to hide in the bathroom, just standing and shivering during fireworks and thunderstorms.

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foodonastump

I stopped reading when the thread turned negative; just like on my own birthday I try to look forward to a positive future rather than beat myself up over past mistakes. Learn from them, sure, but if life is worth living then look forward. Happy Independence Day everyone!

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Lulu Smith

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”

“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” Mary Pickford

"While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future." Ronald Reagan

“Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you imagined.”

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mudhouse

Thanks for the thread, Lulu. I find plenty of things to celebrate in this holiday, in this country, and in this country's heroes and history, every day. Millions of other people do too.

I appreciate your contributions here!

I hope everyone has a Happy Fourth of July.

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Cookie8

"America was not built on fear.

No fear, but the determination to exterminate those who were living here before Europeans arrived. I believe that the correct word is genocide.

My goodness, Nancy. The world sure has seen its share of conquering the natives. The Spanish did that in Mexico, the Brits did that in Canada, India, Australia, and numerous other places, the Dutch did it in Africa, and some nations in Africa still do it to each other. And then there's New Zealand. Oh, and all those Caribbean islands. And so many more examples..."

I would agree most countries/cultures have done the worst to humanity and the past is the past. One thing about Native Americans and First Nations - they have treaties and those treaties are spit upon. This is current day. Governments fail to honour their commitments.

ETA: Oh, and Happy 4th of July. Maybe there can be a bit of reconciliation today amongst Americans but seeing the news lately... I wish you luck.

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tvq1

Thank you Thor--that is spot on! I can only hope we learn from those mistakes, and educate our children honestly about our history. Only then will our nation truly change for the better.

AND--spot on on your pet post too. It started here yesterday--our poor Finley spent most of the day and night hiding in our walk in closet--the most interior space in our home. I dread tonight.

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barncatz

A) We just haven't treated our minority citizens with the fairness due citizens of the land of the free.

B) We can fix that

C) But not if A is a lie.

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sjerin

This is the first year I purposely did not put up the flag. I will continue put it up for Veterans' Day and Memorial Day, but not for the 4th since the country is currently a far cry from what it set out to be.

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socks(10a)

Video clips on TV of people thanking front liners while trump puts them at further risk through his rally. No doubt many flew in to be near their "boy."

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tapla(mid-Michigan z-5b-6a)

Independence Day: a day of reflection to honor our great country, our
flag and what it truly stands for. A day to honor all of the military
that fought for it. A day to thank your parents for instilling the value
of patriotism into you so many years ago. To reflect on the important
people in your life (teachers, bosses, family and friends) that
encouraged you to be independent and not dependent. To realize what
true Independence means... choices about everything you encounter within
the law, freedom to choose your own path. I pray that I can witness
true domestic tranquility before I die. I honor my president and my
country because if I were anywhere else in the world, I could not live
the life that I have. I am so thankful and proud to be an American!
Happy Birthday USA!

Al

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justerrilynn(10)

You go Tapla!!! Great Post!

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patriciae_gw(07)

I always think about whether or not we should have had a war to "free" ourselves. We have been indoctrinated to the idea of our war of Independence being necessary but when I look at Canada I wonder what all the blood and guts was all about? Why war? Canada is as free as we are and in many ways a better place to live. Did we make a terrible mistake?

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tapla(mid-Michigan z-5b-6a)

O' the horror! I think I just rolled my eyes out loud!


Our biggest mistake was the hebetude and apathy that gave rise to the influence of progressives in our government.

Al

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jmm1837

Gosh, for a country created by protest, demand for change and finally by outright violent revolution, the US sure has drifted away from its origins - or at least the right wing has...

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elvis

Good to know, thanks for sharing.

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HamiltonGardener

There is only one way to make amends for the the history of genocide and stolen lands.

Pack up, and move back to Europe.

The rest is just empty, white guilt words with no intent on ever backing it up with action.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Only one way -really?

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

"Life need not be a competition that only one can win. It can be a cooperative effort, a collaboration in which everyone pulls together and raises each other up."

Life is entirely about competition. Even when we cooperate, we cooperate to compete.

That's how religions got organized - if we gather around the sacred object together and practice rituals and chanting and the like, we can build some trust with each other and then form a cohesive group to fight off the enemy who threatens us.

I don't think we would do well without competition. It's central to all, or almost all, mammals, not to mention most other creatures whose reproduction requires 2 different gametes.

The "winners" in any given niche are those who adapt, survive, acquire resources to attract the fittest mates, and successfully produce strong offspring who will survive and hopefully do the same in the future.

Many lineages have died off throughout history because they couldn't successfully compete or successfully produce strong offspring.

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Lulu Smith

Al: thanks for the new word!

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Ziemia(6a)

"There is only one way to make amends for the the history of genocide and stolen lands.

Pack up, and move back to Europe.

The rest is just empty, white guilt words with no intent on ever backing it up with action."

Ahh, really? Actually, action is already happening in cities. And for most it most definitely doesn't include moving to Europe (Americans can't right now - the borders are closed to us). {The last sentence in the quote has me missing any sarcasm if it was intended).

********

Progressivism is how slavery officially ended and how voting was given to nearly all adult citizens. Progress

It is also what moves medicine ahead.

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mudhouse

Lulu: Al: thanks for the new word!

(mudhouse looks up hebetude)

Yup, thanks Al! I'm guessing that Patriciae might be the only other person here who uses that word. :-)

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queenmargo

OK- now I have to look up hebetude, LOL

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queenmargo

LOL- I rarely am a hebetude ;))

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Ziemia(6a)

Another interesting claim:

"Life is entirely about competition. Even when we cooperate, we cooperate to compete."

What is it with using absolutes?

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mudhouse

"Life need not be a competition that only one can win. It can be a cooperative effort, a collaboration in which everyone pulls together and raises each other up."

To me, competition is linked with achievement. In the act of competing with each other, people often achieve things they wouldn't otherwise. When I try to do something I wasn't able to do six months or a year ago, I'm competing with myself. That's growth and achievement. That moves people forward.

"My talents can be used in conjunction with yours to enhance both our lives. Or I can struggle to keep up with you at whatever you’re good at, and you can struggle to keep up with me at whatever I’m good at, and both of us are destined to struggle and fail for life."

When people struggle to achieve, whether it's to surpass the achievements of others, or to surpass their own previous achievements, that's not failing; that's becoming stronger.

Adding, there seems to be a line of thinking here that there's something wrong with striving to be exceptional, because it leaves others behind. Striving to be exceptional doesn't make compassion or cooperation blink out of existence. Scientists who strive to develop food crops that were impossible 100 years ago create something that others couldn't. The solitary achievement of one scientist who pushed for an exceptional accomplishment can give a gift to the world that helps end starvation.

The very belief that you may have exceptional abilities can make things possible that were previously unthinkable. I think the US is an exceptional country, and I feel no need to apologize for that belief. I'm proud of it.

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Ziemia(6a)

Multiple (& perhaps shifting) meanings being assigned to "competition"... and hard to discern if it's to argue or to find common ground.

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

"The rest is just empty, white guilt words with no intent on ever backing it up with action."

Well, there's that.

Populations get out-competed over time. Just ask the Neanderthals, whose DNA was exchanged with modern humans and shows up today. Lots of Asians and Europeans alive today carry Neanderthal/Denisovan DNA, yet the Neanderthals gradually disappeared as a distinct population.

We are so mixed, even people who don't think they are mixed, that it's impossible to unweave the reality of gene exchange from groups that seem obvious on the surface. There's just no satisfactory way to address it. You have to employ a lot of dishonesty and oversimplification to come up with these "remedies".

I agree, not gonna happen.

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

"What is it with using absolutes?"

Evolutionary biology, ecology, and anthropology. Science. I thought we were all big fans of science here.

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Lulu Smith

"What is it with using absolutes?"

Evolutionary biology, ecology, and anthropology. Science. I thought we were all big fans of science here.


Can I add Kelvin to the list of absolutes?

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tapla(mid-Michigan z-5b-6a)

I like the flexibility of having more words to choose from. Thank God no one has ever accused me of being sesquipedalian. ;-)


BTW - slapping a happy-face name like "progressives" on communists doesn't make them progressive or worthy of political power, not even worthy of the adjective.


"Gosh, for a country created by protest, demand for change and finally by outright violent revolution, the US sure has drifted away from its origins - or at least the right wing has..." Pap, passed off as reasoning, like 'Marxist', passed off as "progressive".If the Marxists wanted peace, we'd all have peace. If Conservatives wanted war, there wouldn't be any Marxists.

What we see in the rioting, is the very essence of tyranny. The American Revolution was born of the will to throw off tyranny because we had no say in how we were governed. For the last 100 years or longer, you (collectively - the left) have had much more 'say' than other Americans, so your petulant tantrums have no validity, and your actions scream out your belief our laws don't apply to you because you alone are the sole source of virtue. If you doubt you had more say than the right, how did Marxism take root and grow to the cancer it is today? Because it's better? No, because the weak-minded have assented to being used as tools of those whose interests do not align with those of the US.

It must be so frustrating to the Marxists when they can't convince us that the new and improved brand of Communism/Marxism/Socialism is virtuous and good and can be trusted to be on the side of 'we the people', your moral superiority demands no less of you. That about it? That's the neo-Marxist way of looking at their actions through the lens of moral relativism, a convenient way of avoiding ever having to check your actions by way of self-denial. What a wonderful invention.

The 'go to' analogy from the left is to describe the Boston Tea Party as a "violent uprising" or justification for taking to the streets - Americanism at its finest.

During the Tea Party, the Sons of Liberty tossed tea cargo overboard. A single person, one of the Sons of Liberty, was injured when conked on the head by one of the tea crates. The Sons didn't do one bit of damage to Boston, none of its citizens were killed or injured, no homes/ businesses/ ships were burned or looted, and the only thing damaged was a padlock aboard one of the ships .... and that was replaced the very next day by members of the Sons. By comparison, recent rioting/ burning/ looting/ general mayhem have destroyed many hundreds if not thousands of buildings, caused the death of dozens, including police officers, and wreaked untold damage to other properties public and private.

By comparing the founding years of our country to the opportunistic devastation we've been met with this spring and early summer, the left greatly diminishes itself yet again. I suppose it might as well lower itself another notch by claiming the terrorism was really just another of their 'victories' and absolutely necessary if we're to progress to a Marxist utopia.


Al

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jmm1837

An individual wildebeest will be outcompeted by an individual lion every time. A herd can fight it off. They compete in different ways for survival as individuals and as a species, but they're both still with us.

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tapla(mid-Michigan z-5b-6a)

Not so - EVERY time? ...... and herds of gnus don't fight off lions. If you only knew what the gnu knew.


Al

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

There is no survival of the species. Instead, there are adaptive strategies that give individuals a better chance at survival. Forming coalitions or being adapted to live in a herd is a strategy to increase individual survival odds.

There's no altruism involved. Every creature is trying to maximize its chances of living as long as possible and getting their genes into the future. If they don't, they are evolutionary dead ends, in a manner of speaking. It doesn't benefit them at all if unrelated members of the group live on.

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Lulu Smith

"Not so - EVERY time? ...... and herds of gnus don't fight off lions. If you only knew what the gnu knew."


Nu?


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jmm1837

"There is no survival of the species. Instead, there are adaptive strategies that give individuals a better chance at survival."

Not sure I agree with that. And I'm pretty sure Darwin wouldn't either. Species adapt in different ways to ensure their survival as a group - whether that involves male birds with attractive feathering attracting more females or wolves hunting as a pack or wildebeest traveling in herds. If a particular physical or behavioral adaptation improves the odds of surviving and propagating, then the species is more likely to survive even if the individual animal doesn't.

But that's not entirely relevant to modern humans since we're all one species in the first place. Cultures may disappear (think Clovis people) but the genes carry on (think about 80% of native Americans).


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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“ Every creature is trying to maximize its chances of living as long as possible and getting their genes into the future.”

And some creatures have learned how to work cooperatively to the betterment and continued existence of the group. Very few species actually exist as lone individuals, and then not for their entire life cycle. Even plants flourish more when they work in cooperation.

I have very little competitive drive. Almost none in fact. That doesn’t mean I don’t strive to better myself. I want to learn and accomplish more because it’s interesting and makes me feel fulfilled, not because I want to be “better” than you. I do as well as I can, and I’m happy for you if you can do it better. If you can do it much better I’m happy to pay you fair compensation to do it so I don’t have to. Focus on your strengths and punt your weaknesses.

Or as Commander Chris Hadfield says, “strive to be a zero.” I would highly recommend his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life.

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

"And some creatures have learned how to work cooperatively to the betterment and continued existence of the group."

They taught us that in grade school, but it was wrong. I think it's going to take another generation or so to kill off the theory of group selection. Better teachers and better textbooks in primary school would help.

It's never about the group; it's about bettering odds for each individual within the group. Natural selection works at the individual level and not at the group level. I can't think of an example where group selection brought about the evolution of a trait. Traits are brought about by individuals.

"I have very little competitive drive. Almost none in fact. That doesn’t mean I don’t strive to better myself. I want to learn and accomplish more because it’s interesting and makes me feel fulfilled, not because I want to be “better” than you."

The irony is that we are here because a lot of our ancestors successfully outcompeted predators, usurpers, thieves, starvation, dehydration, frequent wars, plague, a couple of Ice Ages, and probably threats from enemy tribes along the way.

They probably had to form cooperative units with unrelated people here and there and work together to, say, chase dire wolves from their settlements, once settlements became a thing with hominids. They cooperated to outcompete predators and other tribes.

I guess that makes us the lucky ones. There were probably a lot of lineages that died out along the way.

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jmm1837

I think you're conflating two different things. Natural selection at the individual level is certainly a product of individual, advantageous genetic mutations. Survival of the fittest at the cultural and national levels, however, is another thing entirely. It is not a heritable genetic condition; it has a great deal to do with how we interact and work together (or not), how we organize, negotiate and collaborate to protect and advance our particular group. We are here and Neanderthals are not, even though they were probably superior physical specimens, because we used attributes that they may not have had - and one that has been cited, is that homo sapiens had created long distance trade routes which enabled him to survive the Ice Age while Neanderthals struggled for food locally.

The capacity to act and work together accounts for the rise of Empires and for the steady advancement of knowledge and science. There is nothing to suggest that we are stronger or smarter than humans of 50,000 years ago, but we have developed more sophisticated social and economic structures to protect us, provide for our needs, and advance our interests. The development of agriculture to replace hunter-gathering as a food source is the cornerstone of our world, and that is a product of the group, not the gene. Obviously, some groups have been more successful than others. That Europeans were able to overcome indigenous peoples is not evidence that we were stronger or more intelligent as individuals, but that our culture had developed better weapons, better tactics, better ways of feeding the group.

To me, survival of the fittest at the individual level has only limited relevance to the capacity of the group as a whole to flourish: in our modern world, the latter requires competition but also cooperation and division of labor, the kinds of things Lindsey is talking about.

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