RobbDogg's Rips

Serving the online community to bring awareness to political and social issues affecting Liberals and Progressives. Podcasts are posted every Monday morning and original commentaries are posted throughout the week.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Latest Commentary for Radio News America

Here's my latest commentary that will appear on Radio News America later today. It's about my feelings on this Fourth of July, and the reasons behind them. Although it could be a controversial piece, it's spoken from the heart and I know you wouldn't expect anything less from me...

In Memoriam - My Patriotism (1987 - 2005)
Original commentary by Robbie Michaels
July 4, 2005

Today is Independence Day, and I'm sure all of you out there are going to be celebrating with your friends and family. I'm grateful for the day off from work, the opportunities this country has provided me, and what our country has accomplished in the past 229 years. However, I do not believe it's appropriate for me to celebrate this year.

I'm not flying the American flag outside my home for the first time ever. The American flag bandana I like to wear on my head like a 'do rag remains in my drawer next to my socks and underwear. The stars & stripes paint scheme I like to run every holiday on my race car in my friend's NASCAR Racing 2003 online racing league will not make an appearance this year.

Quite frankly, I don't feel patriotic or have a sense of pride in the American flag right now. As a matter of fact, if I hear Lee Greenwood's song God Bless The USA on the radio one more time, I'm going to pick it up, fling it outside my window, smash it with a 50-pound barbell plate, set the remains on fire, and then I'm going to piss on it to extinguish the flames.

Why do I have hostile feelings towards my country? Is there something wrong with me? Since you asked.... yeah, as a matter of fact there is. Something close to me finally died, and my anger can be attributed to me going through the different stages of the grieving process. However, it wasn't a family member, friend, or one of my pets that died.

It was my patriotism. My patriotism died this year because I no longer love, support, or am willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for my country and its policies.

The Autopsy Report

I received a copy of the autopsy report and the death certificate this morning, and upon close examination I noticed the coroner listed the cause of death as acute starvation brought about by a lack of compassion. Not on my part, but the lack of compassion the Bush Administration has for this country, its citizens, its soldiers, the rest of the world, and especially for those who oppose their agenda.

My patriotism didn't suffer a sudden, tragic end in front of a nationally televised audience. Instead, its death was a slow, agonizing, private one that originated in my heart four years ago and slowly spread throughout my body as time passed by.

I first noticed symptoms during the Southern California heat wave in the summer of 2001. Our utility bills increased over 300% because of market manipulation by power companies doing business outside of the state. When California residents complained about it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), we were expecting a sympathetic ear and financial restitution from these crooks.

But California didn't nominate George Bush for president in the 2000 Election, so in a childish act of revenge he told us to go fuck ourselves and let companies like Enron keep their profits.

Since then, my patriotism died a little bit more with each passing day. Every scandal, every lie, and every rule broken by the GOP shook my faith in democracy: Recalling Gray Davis and the subsequent election of Arnold Schwarzenegger…the rejection of the Kyoto Treaty…The Patriot Act and the reduction in our civil liberties…the censorship of the mainstream media…violation of the Geneva Convention…The Carlyle Group…redistricting in Texas…the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top 1%…Haliburton's no-bid contracts, bribes, and misappropriation of federal money…the passing of environmental legislation that makes the ecosystem worse…and let's not forget about the wingnut's move to embrace theocracy.

During the past eighteen months, this disease my patriotism suffered from accelerated into its final stages and spread like a flame throughout all my internal organs as more scandals came to light: George Bush's unfulfilled National Guard duty…the Swift Boat Veterans attacks on John Kerry…Robert Novak’s outing of Valerie Plame in retaliation of Joe Wilson publicly questioning the Bush Administration…Jeb Bush's intervention into what was left of Terry Schiavo's life for political gain…the dismissal of Amnesty International’s report on prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay…the passing of CAFTA…Tom DeLay's breach of House ethics rules…James Sensenbrenner's abuse of power…Bill Frist’s threat to end filibusters in the Senate...The Downing Street Memos...The Minutemen Project and other like-minded anti-immigration groups that fan the flames of racism with their protests.

Final Analysis

With everything this administration has done to our country over the past four and a half years, I cannot feel proud to be an American on our country's birthday. Today, I feel shame. I feel ashamed of what the American flag symbolizes in the eyes of the world. I feel ashamed at what my president, his cabinet, and our elected officials do to their own constituents in the name of power and greed. And I feel ashamed of what our policies do to antagonize our neighbors to the north and south, as well as the rest of the world.

Despite my feelings, I still love this country enough to search for and disclose the truth about our wingnut leaders, to help bring justice for their actions, to restore our hope and faith in democracy, and to restore our reputation in the worldwide community.

Perhaps the next time I participate in my online racing league, you'll see my Pontiac GTO flying around the track in red, white, and blue. Maybe you'll see an American flag outside my front door, waving proudly in the afternoon breeze for all to see. You might even see my face crack a smile when I tell a passing stranger, "Hey, have a Happy Fourth of July."

I'd like to think my patriotism is taking a holiday, but right now it's lying naked on a cold, metal table in a dimly lit room in preparation for the trip to the mortuary.

Dear God, I hope I'm wrong.about that.


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