Friday, April 04, 2008

Flag Pins are Cool.

It seems that loving your country is out of vogue these days, unless you (a) don't live in the USA, or (b) include some sort of criticism along with your expression of patriotism (all the better if the criticism completely negates the patriotic part).
However, at the risk of sounding "unenlightened", I'll say that I unabashedly love this country. I can freely go to whatever church I want. I've got every cuisine worth eating within 10 miles of my home. I can call my president a dunderhead and not be in stocks the next morning. That's just a few things that make me love this place.
I don't buy into the "enlightened" view that all cultures are equally good, they are just different. If that were the case, people from every other culture on the planet wouldn't be willing, in droves, to leave their ancestral homeland, break laws, endure subhuman treatment and risk drowning, sharks, coyotes, and human smugglers just to get here.
Here's a couple of items that prompted this little flag-waving, jingoistic, entry:
Palestinian fisherman were captured on tape dragging in a huge leatherback sea turtle on the beach and slaughtering it (in front of kids, no less). Now, I don't expect third-world miscreants to be fully aware of horribly endangered species, but I DO expect people in the 21st century to not slaughter an animal so that "sick children or people with back problems" can drink its blood for the "healing properties". I'm just going to have to say, "We're better than that."
Also, in China, an Asian animal rights organization is in the process of rescuing dozens (on their way to thousands) of bears (small bears called Moon Bears) which are penned in tiny cages their entire lives for... wait for it... their bile. In China, bear bile is apparently highly prized for medicinal value. Mmmmmmm, we're better than that, too.
Sure, we've got Paris Hilton, Sean Penn, and the "Chocolate Rain" guy, but... we're still the best place on the planet to live. Yeah, I said it.