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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rudolph's Tiny Soap Box

from the Greek,πατριώτης ,{“Patriotes”} “Countryman”.

Generally considered to mean “love of one's country”...akin to Nationalism.
Does “Loving one's country” mean unconditional love?
Love, no matter what happens?
Or is Love of one's country more complex than such sentiments as “love it or leave it” or “my country, right or wrong”?
Could it be that Rudolph's political opponents also love this country, even while criticizing it?
Is criticism, alone, enough to negate a feeling of love? Of Patriotism?
Or is such criticism, perhaps, an ingredient in a more robust, more perspectival, love?

18 USC : 2340, the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, and the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbid Torture by any US Citizen or National or Government or agent thereof.
Torture was done, in Our name, by Our Government.
I hated this...I still Hate this...I am ashamed of these heinous crimes perpetrated by those who I still consider My Employees(and yours, too).
So I criticized the Torture Policy of the Second Bush Administration.
I criticized them vigorously and often.
I then admonished the current Administration to ensure that Justice be done upon the Criminals(to no avail, it turns out).
This criticism did not negate my love for my was informed by it.
Patriotism,Love of country, as I see it, necessitated that criticism.
I would have been remiss if I had remained silent while my country committed War Crimes.

Rudolph, on the other hand...well...I really don't know what he's talking about. It seems he's fallen for the whole Beckian Surreality, where a sitting President with a funny name and a darker complexion than we're perhaps used to is seen as “the Other” Illegitimate.
Does Rudy still believe the whole Birther Thing? That Obama is a Kenyan Commie-Fascist-Socialist Dictator, who is “destroying the country”(by reducing deficits,boosting jobs numbers and attempting to fix so many of the things that the Previous Gang screwed up)?
I pity poor Rudolph his delusions, but I will defend his Right to Believe in whatever nonsense he likes, and to Speak such nonsense.
Speak his Nonsense loudly, if he so desires.
The rest of us enjoy those same Rights...which include the Right to name poor, deluded Rudolph a Fool.
Where we part company, Rudolph and I, is that I will defend his Rights, even if I despise him and his words and actions and beliefs; I do not think that Rudolph would do the same for me.
I infer this from his own long record of saying stupid things in public.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression saw fit to give Rudolph the very first Lifetime Muzzle Award, noting,”He has stifled speech and press to so unprecedented a degree, and in so many and varied forms, that simply keeping up with the city’s censorious activity has proved a challenge for defenders of free expression.”.
It seems that poor, deluded Rudolph has never wanted to share that whole Free Speech is for him ,and those he agrees with, alone.
If an American so despises the First Amendment Rights of other Americans, does he still “love this country”?
“Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do. You have free speech so I can be heard." --Giuliani in a March 1994 speech on crime at a forum in New York City sponsored by the New York Post as quoted by the New York Times (lifted from Wiki)

““over 35 separate successful lawsuits were brought against the city under Giuliani’s stewardship arising out of his insistence on doing the one thing that the First Amendment most clearly forbids: using the power of government to restrict or punish speech critical of government itself.” -Floyd Abrams, 'Speaking Freely',(

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