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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:52 pm 
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What the American Flag Stands For

by Charlotte Aldebron

The American flag stands for the fact that cloth can be very important. It is against the law to let the flag touch the ground or to leave the flag flying when the weather is bad. The flag has to be treated with respect. You can tell just how important this cloth is because when you compare it to people, it gets much better treatment. Nobody cares if a homeless person touches the ground. A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain.

School children have to pledge loyalty to this piece of cloth every morning. No one has to pledge loyalty to justice and equality and human decency. No one has to promise that people will get a fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable medicine, or clean water, or air free of harmful chemicals. But we all have to promise to love a rectangle of red, white, and blue cloth.

Betsy Ross would be quite surprised to see how successful her creation has become. But Thomas Jefferson would be disappointed to see how little of the flag's real meaning remains.

Charlotte Aldebron, 12, wrote this essay for a competition in her 6th grade English class. She attends Cunningham Middle School in Presque Isle, Maine. Comments may be sent to her mom, Jillian Aldebron: mailto:aldebron@ainop.com

http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0403-01.htm

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:23 pm 
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Geez, sorry we aren't a Utopia yet. Where in the world can you find that place? :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:57 pm 
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Sounds as if she has been properly indoctrinated.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:57 pm 
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Sounds as if she has been properly indoctrinated.


Some parents push their children to do sports so they can live their life through them. And some do their children's english homework.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:10 pm 
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I totally believe a 12 year old would write that essay.

This is very bright, challenging, well-educated and well-spoken girl, who is in fact 12, so she doesn't get it. She can write real real good, but she doesn't get what the flag represents.

No one worships fabric. It's a symbol, and love it or not, they're worshipping something that represents their great love of their way of life.

Her mother seems a bit much, though, because she's older than 12 and she doesn't understand either.

As a perennial cub scout leader, I've watched audiences suck in air with horror if a scrawny 9 year old can't manage to keep a large heavy flag off the ground. But when they see the child respectfully struggle, and get the flag back up properly, everyone gets it. It's about not being disrespectful to the country, and the citizens.

It's not about homeless people being allowed to choose to sleep on the ground instead of fabric.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:35 am 
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LC wrote:
I totally believe a 12 year old would write that essay.

This is very bright, challenging, well-educated and well-spoken girl, who is in fact 12, so she doesn't get it. She can write real real good, but she doesn't get what the flag represents.


Those were my thoughts exactly. She's smart enough to challenge something like that, but not wise enough to truly understand it.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:52 am 
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Quote:
As a perennial cub scout leader, I've watched audiences suck in air with horror if a scrawny 9 year old can't manage to keep a large heavy flag off the ground. But when they see the child respectfully struggle, and get the flag back up properly, everyone gets it. It's about not being disrespectful to the country, and the citizens.

It's not about homeless people being allowed to choose to sleep on the ground instead of fabric.


I wonder how many of these audiences sucked in air with horror that
"A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain"....freezing cold and death from exposure.

http://www.nbc5.com/news/10458489/detail.html

The extreme cold may be to blame for at least five deaths in Chicago. And, if suspicions are confirmed, Illinois' death total during last week's storm and its aftermath would rise to at least 10 people.

The latest report was of a homeless person found Monday night near a Dumpster in an alley.

In Gary, Ind., the death of an elderly woman on her way to church may also be due to extreme temperatures.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed the first cold-releated death of the season on Monday.

The unidentified man was found at 3060 N. Milwaukee Ave. on Sunday night, according to a Cook County Medical Examiner's office spokesman. The man, believed to be in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the Stein Institute at 8:15 p.m. Sunday, the spokesman said.

An autopsy performed Monday determined the cause death was cold exposure with coronary atherosclerosis, the medical examiner's office said.

Another body was found late Monday night in an alley. The body was that of a homeless man, who may also have died of cold exposure, NBC5 reported.

Meanwhile, Chicago police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man found in the Loop near the Chicago River on Monday morning.

The man, believed to be 30-50 years old, was found about 10:40 a.m. on the west side of Wacker Drive off of a ramp near Van Buren Street, according to Central District Police Lt. James Sazama.

The man apparently died from exposure, pending autopsy results. He was found on the ground near the river and is believed to be one of two homeless people who frequent that area. He often sat on the railing near where he was found, Sazama said.

Chicago police are also investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two men on opposite sides of the city Monday morning, but it was unknown whether the men died from exposure as well.

One man was found dead on the Northwest Side in an alley at 5630 W. Eastwood Ave. about 6:35 a.m., according to police News Affairs Officer Kubiak. The other man was found dead in an abandoned building on the South Side at 2412 E. 75th St. about 8:12 a.m., he said.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:19 am 
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Denni......yer point? What's that got to do with the flag....really? And do you find it horrifying that there are homeless people who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse to the point where they don't even seek shelter? Why is it that homeless shelters have vacancies even when the weather gets cold?

Hey, did you know that it is estimated that the European Union has more homeless people than the U.S.?

As I said, let me know when you find a Utopia on this world.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:57 am 
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The flag represents ( to me) the OPPORTUNITY that these people have to do better and advance in life. It gives them a fair CHANCE. It does NOT represent an equal outcome for everyone.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:51 am 
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Quote:
And do you find it horrifying that there are homeless people who
suffer from mental illness and substance abuse to the point where
they don't even seek shelter? Why is it that homeless shelters have
vacancies even when the weather gets cold?


I find it horrifying that homelessness is increasing in this country and is not just confined to mental illness and substance abuse..whole families are becoming homeless as the middle class slowly disintegrates and disappears...I find it horrifying that there are no programs to help those dumped from institutions with mental issues (like one of my cousins) and no where for them to get the help they need that end up in the streets...I find it horrifying that more and more women are becoming homeless due to domestic violence and divorce...crime is often rampant in shelters especially for women...I find it horrifying this gov't has chosen to spend hundreds of billions on a war effort designed to devastate and destruct a large chunk of the world that no amount of money will ever be able to fix...but I guess we can all gasp a collective sigh of relief some nine year old was able to erect a pole with a flag that is deemed more deserving of respect and treatment than the people it represents.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:07 pm 
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Our government was not designed to be a fail safe for people.....Although it has become the tit off of which a large portion of our citizens feed. It is NOT my responsibility to take care of someone who has ( either by misfortune or stupidity) fallen on hard times. It is NOT my responsibility to take care of the unwed mother who cannot take care of herself. when the government robs me to give to someone else it makes me despise the recipient and the government. I recall a friend of mine discussing this with a pregnant teen mom ( 17 or so) She was lamenting her situation and asking him how she was supposed to get by without some help..He calmly explained to her that he did not have the pleasure of getting her pregnant so why should he have to pay for her activity. She became livid but could offer no answer. Our country is SUPPOSED to be about rugged individualism and the ability to do as you please unless you interfere with someone elses right to do the same......We have become a nation of limp wristed hand wringers hell bent on removing any last morsel of self reliance and personal freedoms based on some socialist ideology that is disguised under the General welfare clause of the constitution. It makes me sick to my stomach to see people on tv ( watched Michael Moore one night telling an interviewer that the rich should be paying upwards of 80% of their income in taxes) saying that we need more taxes for all of the social programs. There is NO constitutional basis for this, it is simply the government robbing the producers to appease the non producers.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:04 pm 
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Denni - I get what you're saying, but I see it differently.

It IS disheartening to see priorities misplaced, and to see that people are callous to other people's needs. I really get that.

What I don't get, and what scares me, is how many people are relying on the public welfare and purposely planning to use the welfare system, in their futures, to aid their lifestyles. We are approaching about 50% infant birth to unmarried women, and what's the shocking part, is that they were trying really hard to get pregnant, and had no plans to marry or had no plan for financial stability. We can't sustain this.

As a society, we can sustain people who planned well but something bad happened, or people who become sick or injured or mentally ill, but we can't sustain people who choose to not support themselves.

I am a lifelong democrat, because in past generations there are people who try all their lives and work their fingers to the bone and are still in povery.

What I'm seeing now, is 19 - 25 year olds who are planning families with girlfriends and boyfriends and have no plans whatsoever to independently support them. It's a mess.

It's as big a mess as what happened with Katrina in New Orleans, with an enormous population of people who after 18 months still can't muster the energy to provide for themselves.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:50 am 
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LC wrote:
I am a lifelong democrat, because in past generations there are people who try all their lives and work their fingers to the bone and are still in povery.


Anyone in half decent physical condition can work hard. It is the learning curve that separates success from stagation...working hard and smart, in other words. This includes the ability to realize how one's circumstances may not be right for them and having the courage implement change.

What all this has to do with the flag, I still haven't figured out. Other countries have flags and their homeless rates are generally higher than ours. Is it being suggested that we do away with flags in order to reduce poverty? :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:02 am 
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we're talking apples and oranges here.

I'm not talking about subsidized/welfare programs for teen pregnancies.

I'm talking about homelessness in this great rich country...where people
freeze to death because they have no where to go and no programs
to help them get back on their feet...families, mental illness, abused and
battered women, war veterans.

anyone of us can become homeless...especially if you don't have a
support system(family, friends) and you suffer some illness or physical
catastrophe and can't work to support yourself or your family.

housing displacement is the number 1 cause of increasingly homeless families.

war veterans with broken spirits and minds are another group adding
to homeless numbers.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17315490/site/newsweek/

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:15 am 
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denni50 wrote:
I'm talking about homelessness in this great rich country...


You've whined your point enough already. Homelessness exists in the US, as if this is news.

Shall we talk solutions or do we just need some cheese?

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