Monica Roberts

GLBT Peeps, If You Want Your Rights, Fly This Flag

Filed By Monica Roberts | June 14, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: civil rights, GLBT, Monica Roberts, politics, strategy

Tamerican flag.jpghe gay community has gone through post mortem after post mortem in terms of dissecting why the Prop 8 fight in Cal-ee-forn-ia was lost last year. But I doubt anyone thought about one simple change that will help immeasurably in this struggle.

Flying the American flag.

Since today is Flag Day, starting like yesterday, the TBLG community should make sure Old Glory is front and center at every protest, every march, and the backdrop at every press conference that's held from now until the next electoral showdown in 2010 and beyond.

One factor as to why the GLBT community continues to lose is that it hasn't forcefully made the unassailable case that we are AMERICANS who deserve and are demanding our constitutional rights.

And how do we do that? The easiest way to prove that we are is by flying the flag.

prop 8 protest vancouver.jpgBy continuing to fly only the rainbow flag we make it ridiculously easy for the right-wing Christohaters to paint us as un-American.

Making sure that American flags are front and center and prominently displayed is a major lesson of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

The immigration movement made the same mistake early on, but after getting savaged by conservative haters about the lack of American flags quickly picked up on that error and swiftly corrected it.

An immigration protest now doesn't happen without American flags being prominently displayed and dispersed amongst the marchers and I fail to understand why the GLBT movement continues to make this fundamental mistake.

Yeah, I've heard the philosophical reasoning that some of you sent my way when I wrote about this topic last year. I know some of you have issues with the American flag.

But if you want your constitutional rights, better get over those issues with the quickness and bury them.

It's time to realize that only flying the rainbow flag not only isn't going to cut it, it's past time to try old school tactics for the new millennium.

civil rights march2.jpgFace the facts that no American civil rights movement agitating for the constitutional rights of a minority group has been successful or done so without consistently flying and prominently displaying the American flag at its myriad events.

And gay people aren't any different as far as the powers that be are concerned. We are seen as the 'other' unworthy of rights. Mike Huckabee's November 2008 comments on The View that 'the gay community hasn't suffered enough' for their rights should have clued y'all in to that jacked up line of conservathinking.

So it is incumbent upon the GLBT community to prove the haters wrong and establish we are red-blooded Americans.

What the Stars and Stripes represents at its fundamental level is our country. It is not a bought and paid for symbol of the Republican Party or the conservative movement, who by the way NEVER fail to fly it at their events.

usa flag map.jpgFailing to fly it makes the rights case a non starter with persuadable people who do believe in mom, apple pie, fairness, the American Dream and tear up when they hear the Star Spangled Banner.

And if you won't do it for yourselves, do it for the TBLG veterans who served and the GLBT service members who died defending it on foreign soil so you can use it.


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Agree 100% and have held thisposition for sometime now. The stars and stripes of the flag are as much ours as our oppositions. We are Americans being denied full equality under the law. As long as we continues to solely fly rainbow flags, we are not "one of them." We need to emphasize the American flag until they realize they are one of us - AMERICANS.

You are so very "Right On" with this Monica! It Doesn't matter that we're TBLG, we are Americans and so deserve the same rights as those who would deny us.

Excellent suggestion, Monica! I have this image of LGBT veterans marching in Pride parades as color guards and carrying both flags side by side.

Debbie murphy | June 14, 2009 2:11 PM

As an American I will always display the American Flag.

The issue is not one of patriotism it's about Equality. The LGBT community is invisible to the rest of America except for when we display the only recognizable symbol that we have.

I believe we should display both flags together at all times.

Right on. Not only should we carry the American flag in our parades and protests, but we should fly it in front of our homes on certain holidays.
No way should we allow the Bible-beaters to take it away from us.

Wildcat Press has a nice flag that flies by the front door on every appropriate day. To me, the flag represents all the good things about this country, and the dreams of Americans who want to make it better. It even represents the times that the U.S. has learned from our big mistakes (though admittedly we don't always do that).

I fly both flags. My neighbors appreciate the Old Glory, while sneer at the rainbow. One even stole the rainbow down. I found it in the dumpster behind the house. Point being, I don't think putting an American flag in front of us will curb hate. I've not really seen that flag as lacking in front of many gay homes or parades. I've even been told I can't be a real American and be a fag too, because America is a man's country, whatever that means.

I don't see symbols changing anything when people still hate what I am but tell me that they are praying for me, or when I mention the problems with the military they'll tell me that I should be thankful that it's there since they gave me my right to fly my reprobate rainbow flag and speak my wrong opinions about me not being a pervert who just needs to find Jebus.

I'd love to think this would work, but this hatred is far too intense for a symbol to phase it.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | June 14, 2009 2:52 PM

Thanks, Monica. As I attended a Pride celebration in Indianapolis yesterday I was reminded of how we must never allow those who would exclude us and diminish our rights to wrap themseleves in the flag and claim us outside of it.

In June 1992, the LGBT community here took a giant step in deciding, for the first time, to move its Pride celebration from relatively safe private property on the fringes of the city to the heart of Indianapolis on its landmark Monument Circle. In those days the organized fundamentalist presence was very real and very vocal. Many were nervous that a violent confrontation might erupt as the Indianapolis Men's Chorus prepared to begin the festivities on the south steps of the monument. Suddenly a group of sign carrying protestors tried to occupy the "stage" and prevent the opening, but police prohibited them from doing so. Nonetheless they gathered, ready to heckle and distript the opening ceremonies. The chorus director, sensing panic among members of the fledgling organization, was asked: "What should we do?" His reply was "Let's do what we do best: sing".

And so they did. With Old Glory waving next to rainbow colors, suddetnly the area was alive with strong voices beginning, "Oh say can you see.....". There was a hush, and the fundamentalist, confronted with the contradiction between what they sought to claim exclusively as their own symbol of America and the reality that others had robest claim to it also, slowly dispersed and snuck away. At the end the crowd roared with approval and rejoicing. It was a turning point locally.

The flag is indeed OUR symbol, too. Fly it proudly.

I'd love to think this would work, but this hatred is far too intense for a symbol to phase it.

My people have faced far worse hatred for centuries, and did precisely what I'm advocating here. We all know how those marches and that rights push turned out.

The sooner the GLBT community starts thinks of itself as AMERICANS who have God given constitutional rights, the sooner they'll become as Dr. King said. 'tough-minded' enough to fight for them.

Flying the flag is a small but critically important step in making the 'We're Americans' case that will lead to civil rights coverage.


The Flag is something I don't mind saying I'm proud to fly. But god given right, I have a problem with that! Rights given by reason, in constant need of social adjustment, in a society influenced church in state government.

Heather Wednesday | June 14, 2009 7:12 PM

I agree with this sentiment. I'd like to see American flags hanging around LGBT causes and I know it would likely help.

But to be honest, I'd feel *really* weird holding an American flag. There are a lot of reasons, none really valid, but all culminating in me feeling really weird.

Heather,
I understand what your saying and its understandable. Want me to hold it for you? Just ask, I've done it before and I'll do it again.

As for the 'haters' that will still hate us. That's true too, but thats just it.

The American flag has always flown in front and against the 'haters' that would deny us our rights.

The flag is really nothing but a symbol.

Its a symbol that shows the strength and resolve of those who support the flag, the rights and the people and thats what matters.

Some of us don't like the american flag because we remember all the people who were tossed under the bus throughout the course of american history. It started with the native americans, then slaves, indentured servants, workers, immigrants and also all the countries we invaded and oppressed like the Phillipines, Cuba, Hawaii, etc. Read "A Peoples History of the United States:1492 to the Present" by Howard Zinn if you're not familiar with this aspect of american history. The abuse still continues with corporate america calling the shots. Rather than fly the american flag, we should burn it and the propaganda that goes with it. This country was formed by a bunch of rich white men who advocated revolution so they could take other rich white men's land. Most, if not all, of the wars we've fought were about resources, not freedom. I'm not about to sell out to the religion of patriotism to get equal rights. Wake up america!

I'm not sure if our Vodka and Airline sponsors want us to be that radical.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 15, 2009 7:51 AM

Curtis, what it means to you is irrelevant. What it means to progress is great.

Monica is underscoring the importance and dignity of our national symbol. We should never allow those who hate us to grab away the most important aspirations of freedom.

And, 1492 to present associated with the American Flag? No one even landed to colonize until 1585 from Britain and that was a long way from 1776. (Or are you blaming the American Flag on the Spanish who were here first?)

The long and short of it is you do not have to love our national symbol and can disagree with it all you like, but don't make it something it is not. I think of it as a representation of the best people we can become rather than the ignorant people we were.

. I think of it as a representation of the best people we can become rather than the ignorant people we were.

Brilliant!

I agree 100%, and I also believe that the American flag should be prominently displayed in our Pride events. A display of patriotism and love for our country would be a good thing. It shows that we do love our country as much as anyone else despite the inequalities we seek to resolve.

May I suggest that if your community hasn't had its Pride fest yet, that you check with the organizers to see if they plan to display the flag? I plan to do that here in Denver.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | June 15, 2009 12:22 PM

I haven't been around these parts for some time (long story) but I feel the need to weigh in on this one, to say I stand strongly with Curtis and Alex. At a time when the human race desperately needs to move away from mindless nationalism and work together to resolve huge problems that transcend borders, you'd like our movement to embrace what is the single most mistrusted symbol of nationalism and empire in our time?!

Considering the economic path our country is intent upon, I expect the American flag to be supplanted by another within my lifetime representing the dominant power, but that's another discussion.

In the meantime, the American flag does not symbolize a freedom-loving people dedicated to equal rights and recognition for all; it represents a government founded on on genocide, advanced through slavery, sexism, and wars, and now ruled by a corporate oligarchy intent on maintaining its hold on wealth and power through any means necessary. Have you forgotten we are currently occupying two countries?

As well--and you can't just erase this fact by ignoring it--the American flag DOES represent the right wing to me and to others. Since I was a little kid, I have watched bigots, racists, homophobes, good ol' boys, and pro-war enthusiasts wave the flag in the process of putting me and mine down. That experience carries weight.

Ask me to embrace the Constitution and Bill of Rights as symbols, and I'd be interested. Ask me to embrace a non-nationalistic symbol that transcends borders, like the rainbow flag, which began as a symbol of peace, diversity and unity of all peoples, and I'm with you. But the American flag?! No.

If the marriage equality movement adopts the American flag, it will only drive me farther away from it than it already has by focusing with such single-minded intent on this one issue to the exclusion of all others.

In 1999, I created the Transgender Pride Flag and in every Pride Parade I've been in, since 2000, up front in the Color Guard, I have carried that flag next to the American Flag.

In 2003, I designed the logo emblem for the Transgender American Veterans Association with the American Flag and the TG Pride Flag crossing over each other. (At the bottom of: http://www.tavausa.org/)

Like Monica Roberts, I feel that the American Flag needs to be everywhere at TLGB events in this country. I'm proud to be trans, a lesbian and an American, and they are exclusive of each other.

You and Ms. Roberts are right. The American flag is a symbol of an idea and a potential. "[I]n Order to form a more perfect Union" means one thing, perfection is the goal not the product.

I think every member of our communities has to decide if they want to build up our culture or just tear down everything they don't like.

Ms. Roberts zeroed into a reality for most soldiers, sailors, airmen,and marines; we fight not for any national motto, but for our comrades in arms. Civilians may not understand it but they operate on it. When we model ourselves as part of the us, rather than the them, we become meaningful. Harder to dismiss as other.

The other day I watched some individuals walking to their cars. They were coming from the US Courthouse. They carried in their arms, American flags. They were newly sworn in US Citizens.

I am a transgender American of African descent, and those identities are NOT exclusive.


Last year when I had the honor of participating in the first Trans Pride March in Massachusetts, my host put the event together in nine months.

They thought of every detail, including having a documentary filmmaker there. They even had a rainbow flag on the stage.

The one thing that they didn't have, and I pointed out was an AMERICAN one.

To Brynn and others who share your sentiments, if any one should putridly hate the flag, it is African-Americans and native Americans. But our peoples have fought and died in combat through numerous wars to defend it.

I'll be damned if I'm going to disrespect the memories of African Americans and progressives who fought and died on foreign battlefields and here at home for us to fly it.

I'm tired of ceding our national symbol to people who claim to love this country but are nothing but traitors working to destroy it.

I repeat what I said in the post, if you want GLBT rights, fly the flag.


Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 16, 2009 12:30 AM

You are very right Monica and I would add we have been on the right side of many issues and military conflicts. To label the United States as totally one thing or another blocks opportunities for persuasion and improvement. As we "form a more perfect union" let us not cede ground to haters.

I am proud of our flag, glad that the Stars and Stripes were on the winning side in our own civil war that ended slavery and began a long march to equality for African Americans. It belongs in our public events as a matter of honor.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | June 15, 2009 3:11 PM

So, Monica, at what point do we finally move beyond nationalism? When planet Earth finally passes the climate-change tipping point, and it's too late? Or should we continue to fight one another, rallying behind our respective flags, to the very last scrap of food and potable water?

How should LGBTQ residents in this country who are of Iraqi or Afghani origins feel, seeing the American flag flying at marriage-equality demonstrations?

You're right: African-Americans and Native Americans HAVE died in vast numbers for this country, in horrifyingly numerous ways, many of them not in combat behind the flag. If anything, that should give folks pause to re-think patriotism.

And if they do so, I honestly cannot fathom anyone looking at the world's history of warfare and empire and afterwards sustaining a belief in nationalism or patriotism. Name me one war--one!--that actually could not have been resolved through other means had the young men who make up cannon fodder on both sides refused to fight, and which did not at its conclusion leave the working classes of both sides slaughtered while selected wealthy families on both sides prospered. Even the so-called "Great War," which defeated fascism in Europe. GW Bush's family made a fortune in that war. The US turned away Jewish refugees who were seeking to flee the concentration camps, then after the war immediately rescued Nazi scientists from criminal prosecution to set them up building our space program. Former Nazi companies are now among the most successful companies in the world: BMW and Siemens to name just two. IBM made money providing the Third Reich with punch card machines to track down European Jewry.

The marriage equality movement is putting so much energy into trying to prove to the mainstream that "We are just like you," that I, who worked hard to defeat Prop 8, want nothing to do with it. I am not just like your average, suburbia-dwelling, SUV-driving, middle-class American and I shouldn't have to be in order to be accorded equal rights and protections under the Constitution.

The day that LGBT rights depend on flying the American flag is the day I walk away from the movement that I have worked for for 28 years.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | June 15, 2009 3:44 PM

Oh, and btw, my 89-year-old dad has been experiencing flashbacks from WWII in which he served. War, which in our time depends upon nationalism, destroys (mostly) poor people among both the defeated and the victors.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 16, 2009 12:55 AM

Brynn,

Sorry about your dad. As my partner was Air Force for 13 years he occasionally has dreadful nightmares too. To my recollection I have never disagreed with you before so this will be gentle.

Firstly our climate record is a disgrace that may end up in the elimination of beef production altogether. (considering where 10% of greenhouse gases come from)

Iraqi and Afgan residents who are LGBT are in America seeking changes in American laws. They are already remarkably freer than they would be in their own countries and would have no opportunity to assemble there to do the same thing. The flag is hardly inappropriate.

In all the history of all the wars I have ever read never did both armies in a conflict refuse to fight.

If you ran a company in Germany in 1935-45 did you have the ability to say no and survive? What about the survival of one's children?

With reference to IBM. If I manufacture a car and someone else, without my knowledge or permission, uses it as a weapon to kill someone am I responsible?

The Flag is an important image and we have the right to depend upon it if we wish to. Many places in the world are less "nationalistic" than we are and rarely display flags at all. That is a cultural difference. But, while the right wing uses the symbol of all America nearly exclusively we rarely use it at all.

We may not all drive SUVs and live in the boring burbs, but we are not all "Commie Pinko Fags" either.

Have a winning day.

I agree with Monica that if we're going to continue a reformist movement in which LGBT people just want to prove that they're as nationalistic, patriotic, militaristic, etc., as everyone else is in order to gain equal rights, then the flag should be flown.

I also agree with Brynn that those goals aren't that great. Should we want to be equal to everyone else or to improve the world? The LGBT movement is stuck in the former, and for good reason: I have little hope that the world can be changed for the better.

Our country has about as much morality as Genghis Kahn's empire did. Killing, torturing, raping, and pillaging our way through the world as they did. And I'm sure if there was an LGBT movement at that time they would have flown the Mongolian flag to prove that they're just as bloodthirsty as everyone else.

In other words, yeah, there are issues with war, etc., when it comes to the flag, but I have little hope that people will be able to change that. Everything is working against changing that (including people working for reforms... they ask for their reforms by promising that they won't really change anything and sometimes become worse than the dominant population in their defense of the status quo). So maybe we should just learn to love the world as it is and start marching with the flag, since getting same-sex marriage seems to be a much more doable goal than trying to get the US, or any future world power, to not be imperialistic.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | June 15, 2009 6:49 PM

Alex, this comment doesn't sound like the firebrand I know you can be. You haven't transformed into a petit bourgeois during the time I've been missing from Bilerico, have you? Or are you just having a bad day?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 16, 2009 1:08 AM

Alex, but if we are equal to everyone else in all legal matters in the United States we will be in a stronger position to effect the positive changes to which you aspire and to which Brynn aspires.

I sometimes feel as though no one cares when I mention limited water resources, hybrid seeds produceing food with reduced nutritive value, and oil based fertilizers/pesticides. We have been sold a consumption culture of false abundance and that blends perfectly with the LGBT message.

It is always a continuation, the fight is never completed, because humanity is ingenious at being unjust.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 15, 2009 5:06 PM

Curtis is right.

Ganshorn, Roberts and the other Obamaites are wrong, as always.

“They tell us that we live in a great free republic; that our institutions are democratic; that we are a free and self-governing people. This is too much, even for a joke… … the gentry who are today wrapped up in the American flag, who shout their claim from the housetops that they are the only patriots, and who have their magnifying glasses in hand, scanning the country for evidence of disloyalty, eager to apply the brand of treason to the men who dare to even whisper their opposition to Junker rule in the United Sates. No wonder Sam Johnson declared that “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”
E.V. Debs, socialist and leader of the American Railwaymens Union, the forerunner of my Union, TCU.

The US flag is a symbol of mass murder of civilians in places like Panama, Vietnam, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
Sinclair Lewis


The US flag is a symbol of mass murder of non-combatants for the Sioux, Cheyenne and Apache nations. It was the flag of the Middle Passage and was a symbol of treason when compromise replaced Reconstruction with Jim Crow.

'There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
Howard Zinn

The only proper way to display the US flag is upside down to indicate a nation in distress, a nation run by bigots like Obama and those who blindly support his campaigns against same sex marriage and the rest of the GLBT equality agenda. A nation whose leaders have overseen mass murder in Iraq and Vietnam and who are shamelessly bought and sold by the looter class.

Here's a nice video about flagwaving and what it’s used to excuse. All you have to do is follow Obama’s lead, substituting him and his cabinet for Bush and his cabinet as chief warlords and lapdogs for Haliburton and Chevron-Texaco.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_LiYOWoIJE

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 16, 2009 1:25 AM

And I think of you as the best person you can become rather than the rusty totalitarian socialist you are :) as you sit in your air conditioned apartment where all around you was provided by capitalism.

But even so, should we evolve into a democratic republic based upon more socialist institutions like medicare health coverage,genuine equality for all and care for our planet I would be very much in favor.

But, the greatest polluters in Europe were Socialist countries behind the iron curtain pre 1990. Particular offenders were East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania. So Socialism does not keep mankind alive either.

You would let me be equal too, wouldn't you Bill? I worry about that a lot. :)

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 16, 2009 2:56 AM

"All around me" was provided by the labor of working people.

Stalinism is bad. Stalinist polluters were/are bad. Not at bad as capitalist polluters over time, but bad. So?

Is that your best defense for US genocide in Iraq? No wonder your party is extinct.


The rest is ad hominen drivel.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 16, 2009 8:07 AM

Which stooge was it who said:

"homina, homina homina"

Working people without a place to work and organization to provide worldwide reciprocal trade are quickly people with no place to work.

Yeah, I know, the economy sucks right now, but it does all over the world regardless of degree of socialism.

I do not have to defend decisions about Iraq I disagreed with Bill and I shall not. Still hoping to be an equal when you rise to power.

Love, Kisses and Secret Handshakes...

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | June 16, 2009 12:04 PM

the economy sucks right now, but it does all over the world regardless of degree of socialism.

Robert I'm at work and don't have time to respond to the many incorrect statements you've sprinkled throughout your various comments, but this one I cannot let pass. It is absolutely not true. For one blatant exception, see this article in the NYT about Norway.

For another example: Canada's banking system is much healthier than ours, due to strong regulation; likewise, they have a great public health system which cushions the effects of any economic downturn. The government of France, where my daughter lives, has (under Sarkozy) been trying to move to the right regarding education and social benefits, but they are being fought tooth and nail by the students and unions. Consequently, they still have a social safety net that protects the most vulnerable in their society against the worst ravages of this economic downturn. There are more examples, but I have no time to list them.

After more than 30 years of increasingly right-wing policies in this country, the social programs and laws that protected the poor and vulnerable here have been shredded. As a result, poor Americans are entering into increasingly uncharted economic waters with little more financial or social protection than their credit cards if any sort of disaster strikes. That is far different than the populations of many, if not most, other western industrialized nations.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 16, 2009 8:33 PM

Brynn,

I live in a country with a 272 Billion GDP spread among 60 million people. They export 27% of the world's supply of rice.

Norway sits on oil *(and I do not mean sardines) and still has a 481 Billion GDP spread among a tiny population of under 5 million people. Their largest resident minority group. The Polish.

Even within your article you will read:

"Some day the dream will end." It will end because socialism destroys work ethic. Norway's standard of living at $42.00 a barrel is much different from the current market price of $73.00.

I do not recall mentioning Canadian banking regulations in context with the efficacy of displays of the American Flag at Pride Events. I do not get the connection here.

I do recall that prosperous countries tend to have a substantial savings rate. We have been blowing it at the mall for 30 years on what is usually plastic junk.

I do recall what it is to be inspired to achieve for myself, while coming from nothing, and to have few obstacles put in my way by my country as contrasted with many other places in the world.

Socialism provides a higher "bottom" for people only so long as people are motivated. It also insures that you are kept in your place.

The government of France must move to the right because there is no more money along with ethnic and religious issues that will fracture that country. They have largely made manufacturing so cumbersome and expensive they cannot compete and cannot employ their population. Next door Germany (a world leader in exports)has a pampered but motivated and highly educated work force. They have a work ethic built from traditon.

In your last paragraph you make Monica's argument for her. I myself, have long wondered why American voters are stupid enough in "Hot Coffee Mississippi" to consistently vote for scoundrels who make their lives harder, but they do. Perhaps you can tell me; did IBM rig the American elections or were people not motivated enough to show up to vote for anyone? If they showed up did they even know the issues, or were they indoctrinated by "right to life," or "Keeping America Safe" and anything else was too much work? WERE THEY MOTIVATED to learn more? (Oh, and have they finished high school and can they read English?) Perhaps a little flag waving around our issues are in order after all.

I hope your dad is feeling better. Take good care of yourself so that you can take care of him.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 17, 2009 6:07 AM

P.S. I hope you read the correction at the bottom of the article regarding their huge debt.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | June 17, 2009 1:39 PM

Robert, simply saying that I make Monica's argument for her, sadly, does not make it so.

Likewise, in response to my example of Norway, you say, what? That in the future, Norway is going to run out of money and regret that they are socialists? That's an argument?

When someone offers a concrete rebuttal or calls you out on an incorrect statement, getting personal ("you're making Monica's argument for her,"), stating opinions as fact ("socialism destroys work ethic"), or ignoring the basis of the rebuttal--in this case that Norway has chosen both to save income from its gas reserves for the future AND to spend generously on social programs now--does not really win the argument for you. Nor does changing the premise of the argument--in this case, who knows WHAT the future will bring to any country, including the US? Right now, Norway's citizens and its economic and financial systems are prospering, while those of much of the world are failing.

Moreover, I don't know why you brought up the (unnamed) country of your residence and its rice production and large population. Talk about a non sequiteur.

Finally, for the record, I brought up Canada's banking regulations because they are an example of decisions made by a more left-leaning government, not socialist but definitely more left than America's government. My argument from the beginning has been that, contrary to what you said, the citizens of different countries ARE suffering differently in this economic downturn. And in my opinion, the citizens of countries with socialist or left-leaning governments are suffering less. Which is the debate I thought we were having.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 18, 2009 11:50 PM

While I respect your premises Brynn I think we are coming to different conclusions based upon a different world view. What does Norway work to produce that does not involve petrol or Sardines?

Because of the climate here I can tell you that an incredible amount of food production and manufacturing occurs here. People come from Venezuela to Thailand to purchase Toyota trucks in container quantities when they could buy them in Brazil.

I want our government to be more liberal as well, I would love to see United States military bases (not on American soil) the exception rather than the rule, and I have gone on record repeatedly that our kneejerk support for whatever Israel wants to do is an oppression to Palestinians.

What works for five million people who are sitting on a huge pile of oil they are lucky to have would not work elsewhere to the same degree and you cannot generalize that the more liberal or socialist a government is the better off are it's banking regulations.

But, this is a posting about the logic of carrying the American Flag so many of us love at our pride events. Haters do not get to own it exclusively.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 16, 2009 4:25 PM

"I do not have to defend decisions about Iraq I disagreed with Bill and I shall not. You can't weasel out it, Ganshorn. You voted for the lesser bigot, for his handouts to the rich (no suprise there, you are after all a dues paying member of the looter class) and for Obama's wars in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Now you and the fake left Democrats want to go back to playing critic and pretending to be part of the left. But the reality is that you're only criticizing your own bungled, wasted votes.

If you voted for Obama, and particularly if you encouraged others to vote Democrat or Republican, then you own the war.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 16, 2009 8:46 PM

OK, as you are an expert on weasels I will accept responsibility along with the other 98% of the people who bothered to vote. That's right Bill, 98% of the Americans who bothered to vote did all those wicked wicked things.

Oh, but that must mean that 98% of those who voted must belong to the "looter class." :)

Does that hurt my chances of being equal when you rise to power? After all, you have been doing this for over 40 years Bill. You must be on the verge of power by now, right?

Will we have colored armbands so we can tell who is most equal?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 17, 2009 2:30 PM

In future wait until the delerium passes before commenting.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 18, 2009 6:51 AM

OK, I haven't called anyone a bigot, you have. Great job on the life plan Bill.

And it is spelled "delirium."

Paige Listerud | June 16, 2009 2:35 AM

Every Pride Day in Chicago, Old Glory is waved right along with the rainbow flags and rainbow American flags and bear pride flags and leather pride flags and balloons. It's a flag manufacturer's paradise.

I shall never forget a piece written by one gay columnist for the local LGBT press after one multi-flag-waving Pride Day. He, too, was amazed at our community's display of patriotism, but he also said, remember that the Jews in Germany all thought of themselves as good Germans. Even before the war and before the enactment of The Final Solution, they thought the whole Third Reich would blow over and the Germany that they knew before would return. The columnist said this in the late eighties, when right-wing pundits were suggesting that HIV+ people should be quaranteed in camps with AIDS tattoos on their asses.

I don't think it's paranoid to remember the influence that the religious right had during the previous administration or to look with deep skepticism at Obama's "inclusion" of them now. A bunch of law graduates from Pat Robertson's Regents University were installed in the DOJ and other levels of government during the Bush/Cheney administration and I have heard of no attempts to root them out. Regents University has been training its grads to interpret US law in biblical terms. Biblical terms means: we queers die. Okay, there are a few right wing fundamentalists who think we should be given a chance to reform, in "re-education camps."

The religious right will not stop until our democracy is a theocracy. They are willing to achieve that by any means necessary. They will show no compunction about bringing fascism to America by carrying the cross and wrapping themselves in the flag.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 16, 2009 10:44 PM

Paige, the Jews in Germany did not march in Hitler's rallies. They would have been anywhere else.

Persecution of Jews in Europe had occurred for centuries and they had always come and passed until Hitler. European Jewry was enormous at one time and a source of great envy.

You too have made Monica's argument beautifully that we should never cede the flag to ignorant haters.

Scott Imler | June 18, 2009 11:00 AM

The Rainbow flag represents a birthright and a covenant as children of god..

The American flag represents an entitlement insured by force of arms.

The Rainbow is already ours.

The Stars and Stripes are not.

Fly the one you want, but do it with your eyes open.

pastor scott

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 18, 2009 11:58 PM

If you are an American citizen Mr. Imler the flag is yours and it is your responsibility to influence the course of events including our country's flag.

Just as it is distasteful for me to see a politician wrap themselves in the American Flag it is ridiculous to me to see anyone try to use the Rainbow for (yuk) religion.

As there are many non religious who use the Rainbow flag there are many non religious who fly an American flag for love of their country.