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Above the Noise, Not Part of It

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April 4, 2020

Excerpted Repartee. (content added Sunday).

This exchange took place in the “comments” section ” at the “Center of The American Experiment”

I’ve not had an opportunity to seek permission for the rights to present both sides, but I wanted to get this out AQAP.

The subject at hand was a “protest” of the National Anthem and TAPS being presented at Edina HS in Minnesota. The protesters were all Somali “immigrants”. Kids who may, (or may not), have ANY idea what, if ANY thing they’re protesting. Dialogue is ongoing, as far as I can tell. But you can rest assured, they wouldn’t do it in their “homeland”; else they’d BE in their “homeland” and not in Edina, MN, USA.

The issue at hand is the right to protest. If you’re reading this without reading me before, I URGE you to go and read some of my earlier work. NO ONE is more devoted to our Constitutional guarantees than I. Those guarantees, in my mind, are neither in question nor at stake, here.

Lay on, Macduff.

(Other Commenter) posits..you also must keep in mind that people from different cultures may be coming from places where they are not at all well off, and are coming to America for opportunity. France, Germany and Belgium have higher standards of living that say Somalia or other poorer countries. And it is out of proportion”

My initial reply:

All the MORE reason, here OR the various European nations, why they should be over-the-Moon ECSTATICALLY happy and EAGER to assimilate INTO their new found homes.

The part. “France, Germany and Belgium…out of proportion”. So, you’re a Socialist? A Communist? A “One World Order – ist”? That “higher standard” is eroding by the moment. Precisely because of the open-borders Brussels insists on. American exceptionalism has brought us that disproportionate standard. Regardless of political / social / economic system any of the “each” of us think is right. An exceptionalism we’ve been ready, willing, able and happy to share with anyone, here or abroad, that asks. The same used to be said about the U.K., France and Germany, but it’s falling apart. And it’s on it’s way to us.

I don’t like it. I don’t have to like it. You can’t make me like it. Go ahead. Believe as you will. The people who were honored by TAPS might even agree with you. I recognize you point of view. It’s yours. I don’t make any effort to change it. But the millions of us, (who would HAPPILY volunteer time & money…yes, some of us even our lives), but resent having it all being demanded by those perceived as unwilling to respect US and outwardly ungrateful when it’s given.

I don’t care what other peoples’ values are, as long as they don’t impact directly or “disrupt” my life. They may be considered by some to have been “respectful” in their sit-down, but, AS a veteran I don’t think it was. There have been countless lives for which that simple trumpet sounds. In the name of AMERICAN VALUES. You can hold your values, culture and opinions as dearly as you like. But there should be, (actually, there is. It’s just ever-so unpopular these days), a base, root core of values that we, AS a NATION, espouse.

Parried with my never having seen the Constitution and my denying that the right to protest was not a part of our fundamental foundation, as well as being factually, morally and intellectually unable to “best him” in the argument.

I, (predictably), counter-argued thus:

I carry a copy of the Constitution with me at all times. I have read it. Over and over again. Never said I was always right, just representing what I feel is the pulse of many, many Americans. Actually, never said thet you, personally, called them “respectful”. A COLLECTIVE “you”, as in for all apologists, yes. They can protest. I can’t stop them. It would be wonderful if we, (or THEY, for that matter), knew what it was that they were protesting. I’m sure it would be worth dialogue. This does not, however, dismiss the fact that we demand less of them, (I believe the phrase is “the bigotry of low expectations”), than we do of all the other people that gave us this “nation of immigrants”. A sore-spot for many people who are the sons and daughters of those immigrants, (or immigrants themselves), who worked hard and were thankful for the blessings of Liberty to be found nowhere else but here. That includes those who paid the ultimate price.

The “labels” you mention are probably linked to your comments on the distribution of wealth. A key component.

Years ago we heard the word “gravitas” ad nauseam. This year or so it’s been “OPTICS”. The American people, (other than in the proverbial “bubbles”), don’t like what they see. It doesn’t make them right. But, neither does it make them wrong. Those kids, with or without a reason to protest, are FREE to protest. Though they wouldn’t DARE in their homeland. That’s why they’re here. The American people are also free to feel disgust and disdain at their antic. Go ahead…I know…I called them “antics”.

“BEST” you? I can’t “best” any man. Or woman. Would never try. Well, except in a Matt Dillon-style gunfight. Haven’t had one of those since I was eight or nine years old.

To which I also added:

ADDENDUM: The Hall of the Charters of Freedom is the masthead of my F/book page. Other than for holidays, it usually is. I have been in the presence of the document. It leaves me with goosebumps every time.

[This commentary is ongoing. I am publishing it today, 18NOV17 at 0945 for the sake of having it handy.
Ergo, this essay is subject to further information being added. F.L.]

After I got over the sting of my having committed spelling and grammatical errors, it was pointed out that I was still wrong and still ignorant of the founders’ wishes when creating the Bill of Rights AND I could never, ever out debate him. (I think this is called “Troll”). Ergo:

I’m not, I suppose, anyone’s Shakespear, Russel or Paine. Spelling errata is a peeve of mine, so I actually appreciate it when someone chooses to point them out. Grammatical errors are the reason I paid dozens of proof readers and even ghost writers in college.

I did, however, mention that I would be open to the dialogue that the educators said was going on. While we ALL have the right to an opinion, I would like to know what that opinion is. Are they protesting something of value to them? Are they protesting because, in their opinion, it’s a hoot? There is a value basis at play here. The deflection of Godwin’s Law here is specious. That argument does have standing. We all have the right to an opinion. We all have a right to express that opinion. The First Amendment was written for precisely that reason…speech we don’t like. True enough. But built into that is the “don’t like” part. That right extends that far. Speech. Actions are different. Disruption of the public peace, while very subjective, (I think, these days, it’s called “optics”), has it’s limits. to one side, we have Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971) which protected the individual display of foul language. To the other, we have the “flag burner” argument, (SCOTUS, TEXAS v. JOHNSON, (1989) ) as well as various challenges of the “Fighting Words Doctrine”, ( TERMINIELLO V. CITY OF CHICAGO, (1949), the Espionage Act, Schenck v. United States (249 U.S. 47, 1919), et al. and the Patriot act of more recent history.

The nexus of these cases rests in the perception of the disturbance of the peace. Someday, soon, we’ll start seeing loads of case law and precedent for people like “Antifa”.

Discussing all of the last evening at dinner with my wife, sister and brother in law,; it was determined, (by the circularness of your argument, the dismissal, out of hand, of the Godwin’s analogy as well as the reasonable expectation of decorum when faced by such things as TAPS, if not the National Anthem accompanied with the “bested” angle), that you are not debating for or against anything. At this point, sir, I consider this discussion at least a draw and at most a total, fatal loss. I “can’t best you, ergo, I will stop trying. I bow to yor superior forensic skills, whatever their motivation.

I won’t even presume to tell you what kind of day to have. Have whatever kind of day you see fit.

As a P.S. I added: I didn’t call anyone names. Others may have but I did not. It’s not my way. Ad hominae and foul language bug me.

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