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Coerced patriotism is fake patriotism

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 09-08-2016 | in Freedom, Democracy, Government,

Coerced patriotism is pretend patriotism

America does not have an official national anthem or pledge of allegiance to the republic.  Therefore, people lacked a basis for claiming Colin Kaepernick unpatriotic for remaining seated while the Star-Spangled Banner played in protest of inequality and injustice in America

By what authority do most Americans set deference or idolatry of the flag as the highest expression of patriotism?  Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and amateur poet, wrote the Star-Spangled Banner. Colonel George Balch composed the original Pledge of Allegiance of the United States in 1887.  Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist minister and author, changed it in 1892. Congress did affirm the Star-Spangled Banner as the national anthem in March 1931 and the Pledge of allegiance to the flag in 1942, respectively 143 and 153 years after the nations’ founding. But what does Congress approval mean?

Both congressional actions define the form and content of official patriotic speech. This government-approved speech is acceptable for members of America’s Uniformed Military Services. They surrendered personal autonomy on joining the services. However, the Constitution of the American Republic forbids Congress, government, authority over free-speech rights of citizens who are sovereign individuals. This exclusion denies Congress authority to regulate speech or to approve official symbols of patriotism like the flag or anthem that citizens must venerate. Therefore, Congress approval of those symbols lack a Constitutional basis. Laws of nature and America’s founding documents, Declaration of Independence and Constitution, decide this issue.

Nature’s law orders that all organic and inorganic conditions reflect the forces that created and continues them. Every organism developed certain primary survival traits. Humans developed the individual inborn ability for higher order reasoning. This ability enables individuals to develop knowledge about the diverse forces and conditions on earth they face for survival and fulfillment.

Although human reasoning ability is innate, each person must develop his or her moral and logical standard for thinking. Everyone thinks within a personal environment influenced by self-perception, inquisitiveness, experience, information, standards of morality and logic, and survival instinct.

Nobody can directly access another person’s thinking, or implant knowledge in another person’s mind. Someone or authority can force another person to memorize a body of information and recall it by testing. However, memorization is not knowledge, and the recital of information does not confirm knowledge. Each person must analyze information to develop it as knowledge. Obviously, everyone has a unique reasoning environment and viewpoint.

It is noteworthy that nature endows everyone with reasoning ability to develop knowledge. It does not endow individuals, groups, or societies with knowledge. We can only experience the result from our thinking. Therefore, true feelings of patriotism cannot result from group-coerced reverence for uncertain government-approved symbols of liberty and justice.

Reasoning does not follow a simple formula. However, at minimum someone must define the problem, condition, or question at issue; describe its subject and applicable terms; and examine personal ideas before and as he or she reasons about it. Otherwise, he or she forms an opinion based only on belief and prejudice. The pursuit of knowledge is a lifetime activity, because its growth changes and broadens the holder’s perspective. In addition, the challenge of new problems or conditions requires each person to review held knowledge from different perspectives. This reviewing requirement challenges each person to understand his or her reasoning methods and standards.

Accordingly, reasoning ability is clearly and indisputably a trait of individuals. Therefore, it follows that liberty—the right of self-direction free of arbitrary government or group restrictions—is also the inborn human right of individuals and not groups.

The founders stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” They based those truths on nature’s laws.  Therefore, each person’s loyalty to the nation must comprise sincerely held respect for and identification with the moral and logical basis of its political and social-economic policy. He or she can only develop this basis for patriotism by reasoning and introspection.

America is a constitutional republic founded on republican principles of personal sovereignty, retained inborn human rights, and limited government.  Here, republican refers to a political philosophy of guaranteed liberty and limited government by elected representatives and not those of a political party.

The U.S. Constitution does not grant human rights, contrary to what most Americans believe.  Its first Ten Amendments do not comprise a true Bill of Rights that summarizes all the peoples protected human rights. They list a few specific prohibitions against the exercise of federal power over the people’s liberty rights. For example, the First Amendment does not grant freedom of speech or of the press already affirmed as innate in the Declaration of Independence. Instead, it says, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Currently, it appears that all government agencies respected First Amendment restrictions of its powers over Colin Kaepernick’s speech rights. A possible exception is an alleged letter from Santa Clara Police Officers Association to Kaepernick’s employers that it must change his conduct or officers may not honor their contract with the city to protect the arena during San Francisco 49er games.

The belief is illogical that government decides the symbols of patriotism—national anthem, and pledge of allegiance—in a free society.  Nevertheless, there is no reason why Americans cannot express patriotism voluntarily. Voluntary participation in songs of fellowship and shared values can have a positive influence on a group or society. However, an official national anthem ordered by government causes dissention. Disputes among Americans already abound with many preferring lyrics and music of “America the Beautiful,” or “God Bless America” as preferable expressions of patriotism. 

I am a military veteran retired after twenty-years of service. Do I believe Americans as sovereign individuals owe allegiance to country?

Yes, if allegiance means the duty and commitment to defend the homeland from attack. After all, we join in relationships of reciprocity to advance our common interests.

Yes, if allegiance means the duty to promote social policy based on principles of human equality, and to protect individual’s inborn rights of life, liberty and associated rights of self-direction. 

No, if allegiance means idolatry of the flag and anthem that obscures important issues of morality and political significance. Idolatry of the flag unquestionably motivated many people’s negative emotional-based response to Colin Kaepernick’s protest.

 

“Equal laws protecting equal rights…the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.”

* James Madison

 “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”

* James Madison was the Fourth President of the United States and principal author of the Constitution. 

“May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”

* Dwight D. Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. He was the 34th President of the United States.

 

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.

  •  Benhanin Franklin was a Diplomat, Scientist, Inventor, writer and a drafters of the Declaration of Independence.

I include those quotes because they express a philosophy of liberty and equality that conform to nature’s law and not only because famous persons wrote them. After all, Madison enslaved 100 plus humans all his adult life and who therefore was an amoral hypocrite no matter his intellectual assertions.

 I find it ironic that the quoted remarks and those written by many others throughout history consistently report a philosophy of liberty, equality, and knowledge that agrees with Kaepernick’s actions as the best protection of liberty and guarantees of loyalty.

 

 

UN concerns of U.S. police brutality

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 12-03-2014 | in Freedom, Critical Thinking, Democracy, Race, Government,

The United Nations’ anti-torture panel reported concerns with United States domestic policy with a high incidence of police brutality and shooting—especially against unarmed “African-Americans” and Latinos. Other concerns were growing militarization of policing activities, racial profiling and harsh conditions in many prisons. The panel expressed those concerns during its investigation of U.S. compliance with 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

In perfect timing, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani proved the basis of the panels concerns with remarks that tried to justify the need for brutal domestic policy based on racial profiling.  He said on national television the police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson was the exception that does not exemplify a larger national problem. He said people should be protesting the bigger problem that “93 percent of blacks are killed by other blacks.” Giuliani and many other Americans ask, “What about the poor black child that is killed by the other black child? Why aren’t you protesting that?” They make this deceitfully indirect appeal to racism believing wrongly that it cancels charges of police brutality based on racial profiling.  

The American Declaration of Independence and United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognize “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. In the Constitution, the American people ceded limited authority to government to protect the general welfare. Only someone ignorant of those facts would ask flippantly why the people do not express the same concern for the killing of one child by another they do for police killings.

Americans have special concerns about police fatal shootings of civilians, because police officers kill in the name and authority of the people and not as individuals. To whom would the people protest over the killing of one person by another since they did not grant this power to the killer?

In addition, Giuliani defended police policy during his administration of stopping and frisking people based on skin color and “Latino” ethnicity to “save them from killing one another.”

City of New York’s stop-and-frisk policy under Giuliani was a mugging by police officers of five million people—mostly Black-race-labeled or Latino labeled—with nine out of ten eventually walking away without arrest or a ticket according to official findings. This police policy of treating people as a racial stereotype violated UDHR—Article 6 “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Article 7 All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.  Article 9  No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. 

The same as other muggings, the frisking by police were armed assaults to advance goals of the mugger. They used force to invade the privacy of victims’ possessions and body with accompanying threat of physical harm to all that resisted. The only difference is that government does not classify those type police muggings as crimes. The victims do not have remedy for the indignity they endured, nor protection from repetition.

The 10-member UN panel recommended that all instances of police brutality and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers are investigated promptly, effectively and impartially by an independent mechanism with no institutional or hierarchical connection between the investigators and the alleged perpetrators.  The fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland, Ohio police officer meets the standard for investigation.

Deputy Chief Edward Tomba explained, this is an obviously tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We have got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do.  This mischaracterization of events is why the people need to conduct an independent investigation of all fatal police shootings. Police reports and video focuses attention on the three to sixty seconds preceding the fatal shooting and the potential threat to officers. However, this event and police responsibility began on the public member’s report to government authority about someone waving a gun in a public park.  

Police officers had the duty to conduct a proper investigation that included consideration the report could be false. It may involve a child that viewed the officers as trusted individuals he may approach with a toy. It may involve a non-hearing person unable to hear commands and who may make hand movements in communication. It may involve a mentally ill or intoxicated person that lacked the ability to respond immediately to police commands. Or, it may be someone with criminal intent who may surrender if given time to consider the choices.  

Nobody reported anyone in imminent danger. Therefore, responding police officers should have kept a safe distance from the suspect for safety and with backup in place to prevent a potentially dangerous person from escaping. They should have delayed closer contact until they had more information about the suspect, the nature of his weapon and his intentions  The two police officers rejected this cautious and responsible approach that provided the best potential for a fatality-free resolution. Instead, they moved close to the suspect and unnecessarily placed themselves in danger. They created the crisis situation leaving only the option of an immediate compliant response to their verbal commands by the person or a fatal shooting.  

 

 

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