Sunday, July 31, 2005

A simple sorry would suffice

A week ago, a deafening howl of righteous indignation arose from the right wing media machine about the vandalism of 20 American flags at the funeral of a fallen soldier from Iraq. Ever so quick to seize the spin and assign blame, the blog headers shouted - Leftists hit new low, burn funeral flags - blah, blah, blah....

Now that the truth has come out, the silence is equally deafening.
Two teenage boys were charged Thursday with burning 20 small American flags set up in honor of a soldier who died from injuries suffered in the Iraq war.
Police said the boys apparently did not know the significance of the flags they took from the yard and set afire under a car belonging to the soldier's sister-in-law. The vehicle was destroyed.

...The boys, ages 15 and 13, were arrested Thursday and charged with one count of arson and two counts of criminal mischief before being released to their parents.

Police did not identify the boys, but said they also were involved in other vandalism that morning.
Perhaps if the war debt wasn't bleeding our municipal coffers dry, our communities could afford to institute recreational programs for teens to keep them away from such boredom induced troublemaking.

As we said at the time, the vandalism could have been committed by anyone. The righter-than-thou "higher beings" of the ecoblogical order owe us an apology. I have a Kennedy half dollar that says we won't get one.

Update: Well there goes another fifty cent piece and well spent. Glenn Reynolds, had not seen the story and to his credit, says he will correct the record. To that The Impolitic can only say, thanks.

Update two: Gee whiz, just when you think these guys are going to ignore you as usual, they come through and do the right thing. Thanks to Captain Ed for a kind and really classy apology. I don't think it's all about me, but somehow I feel a lot better.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found you when I read the Captain's apology. I guess I should apologize as well, because even though I was not doing much online at the time, I am sure I might have jumped to the conclusion that some lefty had burned the American flags just for the fun of it.

I also apologize because I remember making my own fun when I was 13 or 15 and that fun didn't include arson. I expect kids to be able to do that. Perhaps the problem is that the parents were too busy working all day to pay their taxes because of leftist big government programs that they don't have enough time to spend with their kids...

Now that you have set the standard, I have no doubt that you are going to apologize any time you are wrong....but that would be too much to ask, eh?

5:26:00 PM  
Blogger M.O. said...

bob: I am sure I might have jumped to the conclusion that some lefty had burned the American flags just for the fun of it.

That is called bigotry, sir, and I hope you recognize that.

6:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Settle down, everyone. And I do mean everyone. He's right, and we should be polite about it. Honestly, both sides of the aisle, left and right, tend towards hysterics at times. We need to take any given opportunity to cool it and prove our maturity. Lord knows, there are days when I doubt any blogger in the known universe has hit puberty...

I will say this: the whole episode stinks. I don't buy your argument that the war in Iraq promotes juvenile delinquency, and in any event jabronis that would pull off this stupid stunt sound fairly un-de-delinquifiable. (Er, let's just pretend that's a real world and move on.) But I think it's fair to say that anyone that would do something this dumb deserves a stint in the armed forces to learn discipline and respect...

6:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I want to apologize too. Just when I was starting to think this was a post that was just going to criticise a blogger jumping to conclusion and live with the smug satisfaction, it turns out I was wrong. No way can I be right about that. No sir I was wrong and I apologize profusely. Nope this self described left of center blogger has to throw in a gratuitous comment from way out of the cheap seats. Now not only according to her is the Iraq war "bleeding our municipal coffers dry" but it is indirectly responsible for these two nitwits, totally unsupervised by their parents, going on a huge destruction of property wilding. Sheesh.

7:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to my little outpost. I'm not much with answers but I'm happy to reply to your questions.

I make a lot of mistakes. I shoot my mouth off all the time and apologize for it later. I only wish I could do it as elegantly as Capt Ed. I really appreciate that he took the time to do it, because it gives me hope that someday we can get past all this partisan BS and have civilized conversations about our disagreements.

What I don't get is this immediate assumption that the left would even condone such a ugly act. I don't get this whole mindset that to be anti-war is to automatically be anti-soldier, anti-country, anti-God, anti-freedom and pro-terrorist. That's not who I am and neither is it who the lefties I know are, and I know a lot of them.

We're doing what we think is right to support our soldiers and country and you're doing what you think. We disagree, but that doesn't make either of us bad people. We're not going to get anywhere unless we can treat each other like fellow Americans instead of the enemy.

I don't hate Bush, I'd be saying the same thing no matter who was in office. I hate the entire White House policy. I think it's wrongheaded and it's destroying America. It's not just Iraq, it's the war on drugs, the war on state's rights, the war on civil liberties, and the war on personal sovereignty to start with.

I'd happy to be convinced otherwise. I don't care about being right, I care about figuring out what's true. In fact if anyone could explain to me exactly how any of these policies are benefiting working class Americans, I'd be damn grateful.

8:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see my "gratuitous" comment is rankling. As I said, it's not just the war on terror, or whatever it's name is this week, that drains our coffers but it does have a real effect on the amount muncipalities can spend on services.

In my day, there were always a couple of deliquents around but mostly kids stayed out of trouble because there were playground programs and afterschool activities and there was a parent a home.

Those days are long gone and there's little chance of restoring funding for such "luxuries" when we can hardly afford to fund the bare basics at public schools.

Bored (and unsupervised) kids get in trouble. Simple cause and effect. It wasn't meant to be some big prouncement on the value of the war policy. It's simply that the money only goes so far and we're spending all ours on prisons and fancy weapons of war.

8:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bunch of completely moronic statements. The failure of these kids to understand right/wrong are not based on a recreation center or if we are at war.

I don't know where you live, but where I live we don't give excuses to criminals or delinquents.

Funny, the only thing I had growing up was playing hoops at a local rec. It appears they have that today too, plus afterschool programs, tutoring and other opportunities. Whether or not their parents actually take advantage of these programs is not my fault, not the governments fault, but the fault of the parents.

It's not the fact that these kids lack any 'afterschool' program due to the war.

I don't remember Bill Clinton's 8 years of 'great afterschool' programs helping children around my place.

The problem is the parents and the lack of any moral values being taught to the children today.

But, back to the original part of this blog post. The fact is, its not conservative rebulicans going around burning American flags now is it?

Where do you think the kids ever see flag burning? You think the boy scouts love to do such antics?

No, they see the leftist, marxist, anarchist, enviromentalist, communist wackos burning flags and oh yes, islamic extremist who are taught by their religous puppet masters(condoned by even bigger puppet masters).

Maybe that is where the blogs would get the idea its a leftist agenda? Because up until now, its been leftist anti-war hacks going around burning flags.

So, on that note, lets go forward.
Exactly what would you have the government programs teach? Diversity training for recognizing homosexuals rights to marriage? Maybe crossdressing - does yellow or red look best on a man in drag?

Maybe that 'anal sex' is a good reason to get married movement?

If your revulsed by such words, don't blame me, just go turn on your local TV. One only need to really look at whats on TV these days, seriously review it for content and what its teaching to understand the filth being poured forth into our society. Anal sex OK? Sure it is - see that cute little guy, he won't hurt you, he just wants to get married based on the fact that anal sex is a good thing for all people to enjoy.

Burning flags OK? Sure it is, just ask Hanoi Jane as she gets ready to promote her new book and start yet another propagandist anti-war tour against our soldiers and our government. Nevermind that 100's of innocent South Vienames men, women and children "WERE SLAUGHTERED" by the communist after the "democrats" cut off funding to South Vietnam. Nevermind the thousands dead and lost at sea, or the families forever broken apart. No, Jane was right of course as David Letterman said, 'she was right'. Lets just forget any responsibility at all for protecting people from dictatorships that kill innocent people.

I know,
Maybe you can teach them about the lawyer in Sacramento who paints a picture of the United States draped in the flag going down the toilet? He called it art. Its nothing but a political hack commentary.

Yes, freedom of expression, its a great feeling to show our country going down the toilet because of 1 single man.

Even though 60 million people voted for him and therefore the "artist" is condemning 60 million people's vote.

Wake up. The kids were wrong, completely wrong and 'there is no excuse, none' for what they did. They need to have their butts whipped, apologize to the family and work to buy them new flags. I'd make them go work digging graves for a day or two to understand the sacrifice people make for this country. That's the way 'real men' use to deal with delinquents before we went down the political left pinko party powder path.

But I suppose you could go up to little Johnny and say, ohhhh Johnny, its not your fault, its that mean old President Bush and all the people who voted for him, those crazy right wing people.

Johnny, its not your fault we do not hold your teachers and schools accountable. Johnny, its not your fault we do not hold your parents accountable for your delinquency.

No, Johnny, its that BAD OLE MR BUSH! Now, just remember, next time you burn the flag, blame it on the war Johnnny, blame it on the war.

Kids grew up in much harder times, with less money, no TV and much less education prior to these days and yet back then there was no excuse for bad behavior, crimminal behavior.

If you really want to solve the problem, you can start by not condoning the behavior using political commentary. Because it does not hold up in any honest debate.

I guess all those WWII kids must have been hell on all the Mom's ey?

No, what you have is the lack of any morals being taught to children these days. Instead they watch with their eyes, thousands of hours of violence and sex on TV and they hear with their ears thousands of hours of violent and sexual remarks.

This causes children to grow up with less sense of moral conviction in life, disassociating themselves from society in general and turning to more and more rebellious and lost causes.

But don't take my word for it, just ask the ADVERTISORS if billions of dollars in commercials work or not.

Until we as a society start demanding better social values be taught through our media, or we as a society start boycotting such indecent and 'anti-social' material that is spewed into our homes every day and night, then our society will continue to reap the consequences of such inaction.

This is not a left or right issue and it most certainly is not an issue of war. But it is a social issue eating away at our youth and the future of this country.

If your offended at any of my comments, then your way to sensitive to help any kid on the street who does not have good parents.

I grew up without any parents at home. I know the battles children go through. But you see, the family I did have taught me values, raised me to respect people and people's property.

Of course we didn't have so much 'realistic violence' coming into our minds on TV. We didn't have continuous sex shoved down our throats, nor did we have Hollywood shoving its sexual moral values down our throats either.

Normal - within a certain range of values on the bell curve.

Abnormal - outside the range of values at the edge of the curve.

Stop teaching our kids to hate our government, our nation, our President, blaming our country for all our problems and start teaching them responsibility, individual motivation to better their lives.

Stop teaching young boys that anal sex is normal before they've reached puberty.

Give young boys and girls 'good role models' and they will strive to live as those good models.

But if you keep giving them filth on TV to live by and 'stupid excuses' in the form of statements like the one made here, then they will grow up to live a life of filth without responsibility for their own lives or of those around them.

Seeking instead 'their own pleasure' above all things.

I remember the days of JFK, a democrat who stood up to communism, tyranny and was proud of the flag. I think JFK would be ashamed of today's democrats.

a new nation is born...

3:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said you hate the Bush administration's "war on state's rights."

So would you support each state having the right to individually legislate abortion? Just curious. Thanks.

11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good question anon. To tell you the truth, although I'm pro-choice on the basis of personal sovereignty, I'm not pro-abortion as method of birth control and abortion is not really a big issue for me. I'm not at all well versed on the laws.

I'd say off the top of my head that I don't see any compelling reason not to have the states make their own decisions on it. In fact, I believe if Roe v. Wade is overturned it will be back under state control.

On some level, that would be a good thing in my mind because it would force legislators to face their own constiuencies by taking a real position instead of using it as a rhetorical weapon during election time. Polls show the majority of Americans favor keeping it legal.

It occurs to me if this happened, the laws would more accurately reflect the will of the people on the subject and assuming some states would ban it, it could provide useful health data in terms of the effect policy has on public health.

It's useful to remember that Roe effectively came about in the first place in response to the numbers of botched back street abortions. It's like drugs. Better to allow and regulate these things because as a practical matter, making them illegal doesn't stop them, it simply makes them more dangerous.

12:58:00 PM  

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