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July 04, 2004

Comments

Peg K

Athena--

You may be much younger than I am - but you are far wiser than many I know.

Thanks for a great reflection on what today really means.

scott siegel

one of your favorite mindsay posters, Jim, had a great post the other day. here it is : http://www.mindsay.com/talkread.bml?journal=jimschweizer&itemid=56750895
You can read it and read my comments too.

It got me thinking. Maybe some people can't handle certain concepts because of the way their brains think.

I mean some of us can understand physics or math or aernautics better than others. Some grasp music or art in different manners than the rest. Maybe liberals don't get stuff because of the way their brains are hotwired.

John

I could not have said it better myself.

You are a great American, Athena. God bless you.

Jeff Swanson

very well said Athena, very well said indeed... keep up the great work...

La Shawn Barber

Once again, great post. I wish I could be as reflective when contemplating freedom. One of my vices is that I always see things from a political view, which often blocks out the simple meaning of freedom and God's truth. I'm glad you linked to me, which is how I found you. I'll be checking in often!

Athena

Thanks for the comments!

Scott, I checked out his post and made a short post, I'm just waiting for him to fire back at me.

Jim Schweizer

Gee, is it my imagination or did you delete my return fire? Here, I'll say it again: Why bother. You already know all the answers...

jake

I woke up this morning and I realized that there were many freedoms that I did not have. I realized that my vote for our President would most likely have absolutely no effect on the outcome, not because a single person's vote is so insignificant, but rather because I live in California where our state is almost a sure thing for Kerry. Since we live by the electoral college, we all know that it doesn't matter who gets the popular vote *cough* but that ultimately the election is up to those crazy swing states. Where my votes can be considred nulled if i'm colored because i might be confused for a convict. Or if i somehow convince the government that i am some sort of terrorist that i can be shipped to Guantanamo and be held indefinetly. Or now that i'm eighteen I can very well be drafted to 'defend' my country in Iraq. Thankfully I don't have nightmares of terrorists because i choose to ignore the fear that is trying to be instilled on me. (Is it Orange or is it Yellow today... could it even be Blue.... has it ever been Green... at least its not Red!) More realistically i realized that my cousin just graduated from VMI and that we would not need a draft for him to see war within the next year. That he would be ordered to take someone's life, even though he personally and many of his comrades don't believe in this war. I know my country enables me many freedoms that I will not try and deny, but that does not mean that we cannot strive for a better society here. Many people are not given the options that I have because we live in such a 'stratified' society. Does that make me more free? Or we still at the same level? I guess my mind just cannot comprehend these things because i am wired the wrong way. Oh wait, wouldn't that mean that I was born repressed by my own genetics, and that i will never be as free to think as you right wingers. Oh well... i guess i better stop trying.

jake

I woke up this morning and I realized that there were many freedoms that I did not have. I realized that my vote for our President would most likely have absolutely no effect on the outcome, not because a single person's vote is so insignificant, but rather because I live in California where our state is almost a sure thing for Kerry. Since we live by the electoral college, we all know that it doesn't matter who gets the popular vote *cough* but that ultimately the election is up to those crazy swing states. Where my votes can be considred nulled if i'm colored because i might be confused for a convict. Or if i somehow convince the government that i am some sort of terrorist that i can be shipped to Guantanamo and be held indefinetly. Or now that i'm eighteen I can very well be drafted to 'defend' my country in Iraq. Thankfully I don't have nightmares of terrorists because i choose to ignore the fear that is trying to be instilled on me. (Is it Orange or is it Yellow today... could it even be Blue.... has it ever been Green... at least its not Red!) More realistically i realized that my cousin just graduated from VMI and that we would not need a draft for him to see war within the next year. That he would be ordered to take someone's life, even though he personally and many of his comrades don't believe in this war. I know my country enables me many freedoms that I will not try and deny, but that does not mean that we cannot strive for a better society here. Many people are not given the options that I have because we live in such a 'stratified' society. Does that make me more free? Or we still at the same level? I guess my mind just cannot comprehend these things because i am wired the wrong way. Oh wait, wouldn't that mean that I was born repressed by my own genetics, and that i will never be as free to think as you right wingers. Oh well... i guess i better stop trying.

Jonathan

In response to Jake's comment: "I realized that my cousin just graduated from VMI and that we would not need a draft for him to see war within the next year. That he would be ordered to take someone's life, even though he personally and many of his comrades don't believe in this war."

Well, Jake, either you don't know your cousin very well or you're not telling the whole story. I am a rising senior at VMI, and the only way that your cousin will be sent to war is if he joined the military. Not everyone who graduates from VMI goes into the military (in fact, most don't). And if your cousin made the decision to join, then obviously he understands what he may be asked to do. I'm not trying to lecture anyone (this is my friend Athena's blog, not mine), but there is something to be said for a sense of duty. It's not a matter of what you "want" to do, it's a matter of what your country asks you to do. I can assure you, Jake, that your cousin knows what he got himself into. Instead of depicting his decision as a mistake, maybe you should allow for the possibility that some people do believe in this war.

Stephen

wow... talk about nailing the underlying thoughts that should be going through a most ungrateful nation's head during such times...

thanks for the reality check

Jake

Let me assure you Jonathan that I am not making it up, that I talked to my cousin BEFORE the war and he beleived that it was the wrong decision. He told me that he was not alone at VMI. I cannot argue with you that the majority at VMI agree/disagree with the war since you are actually there and no better than I. My cousin IS going into the military because he got a scholarship for VMI, which as you know means after his four years at VMI he has to spend five years in the Marines. I really don't know if ultimately his decision to go to VMI was a mistake. He agreed to this before 'war' broke out, but I do not doubt that my cousin will have any problem carrying out his orders if he goes to Iraq or not. I also understand that military decisions shouldn't be made up everyone personal wants, but I'm personally sad at the fact that a person who I've known would have any problem going to war if he thought it was for the betterment of the United States now would be required to go to a war that he couldn't put his heart behind. On the topic of you 'depicting' me as not able to support my cousin/soldiers because i'm against the war, think of the main reason why i'm against it. Its a sad day when someone like me who didn't want to see our troops put in harm's way is considered not to know how to support his troops.

Gregory Hughes

I awake to the sounds of urban life. After a lengthy 4, minute shower, I quickly put on the clothes which have been laid out by my wife. I take a minute to look at her upon the bed sleeping, she’s just arrived from work, and I wonder how long she will continue working the nightshift. Without a sound I grab my things to go, if I am lucky it will only be an hour commute. While driving I usually don’t reflect upon my thoughts but this time it was very different, listening to the radio I hear reference to the 4th of July weekend and couldn’t help but begin to think about the freedoms in my daily life I have been given. As I realized the journey to work has ended, I climb out of my 18, year old automobile and wonder how long it will last me for. After a long day I enter my auto for a long commute back home, and again my thoughts come into play. I take notice of the different possible people around me. A gay couple within our country is not given the freedom to wed the person they choose. Our Press surely has the freedom to create and report anything it wishes… except when The Pentagon restricts it. We are blessed to be in a nation of which most people have shelter and sustenance, and I emphasize the word most because many go without proper sustenance and due to economic hardship are forced into substandard of living. We live in a nation where 55% of the total population votes for the people who will represent them, many of us simply do not care, and many do not have the time or resources to go out and vote, As I get off the highway, I realize the dangers I face driving back home, the gang violence. Without reason I get pulled over, because of my mere complexion. Cops are forced to discriminate racially for our own protection, but I cant help but think the amount of people they alienate, those which don’t understand the reason for their discrimination is the lack of human resource to patrol and secure our neighborhoods. As I reach my home I am quick to lock the door, because in this area criminals are free, free to take my possessions and my life. These criminals are free from authorities grasps, unknown and overlooked terrorist of the streets. Evening quickly turns to night, and as darkness approaches so do the street fights, shots ring without any clear pattern or direction. Gang’s begin their nightly warfare as accustomed. Some say we should leave gangs to destroy themselves, but they take far too many innocent lives as well. Reflecting back on the weekend of Fourth of July, I now know it has a very different meaning for me, I take great pride in this country, but before we combat terrorism and oppression globally, we should focus on the oppression and violence within.

Athena

You know, you can complain and act as if we're not really "free" in this country because of the assorted reasons that some of you listed. Those are issues that need to be addressed, but I feel you're all missing the big picture of my post.

Actually, an Arab from Tunisia that I met summed it up fairly well:

"No, this is not America's gift only---freedom is God's gift to all people."

"I have lived on three continents. I love America. Yes, there are some things in the culture of America that I find too wild, but here you can be born poor and become rich. You have the ability to choose here, an individual can make his own future. That is why I love America."

And Jake, he accepted the scholarship knowing that going into the military means following orders. This is the military. Victimization of the troops as if they're all just poor, drafted subjects of foreign policy does not fly with me. I could've attended my university on a ROTC scholarship and if I didn't want to join the military, I could pay back the money. Are you sure that's not the case with your cousin?

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