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I merely ask whether this is a fitting minute and a half Ode for Memorial Day, for the US or for soldiers in general.

Or an Ode to Armistice Day?

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This link seems to work better.

http://picosong.com/CHTu/

And the answer is no, Charles Ives. I actually played this for a veteran, and he said if you were in the room he would slap you first with the left hand of liberty and then with the right hand of freedom.

Well, at least it got an audience, and a strong reaction.

I like that.

You mentioned Charles Ives. I wonder if your veteran friend would also slap Ives with "the left hand of liberty and right hand of freedom?"

Seriously, though (and I assume he was joking, because as a veteran he is pledged to protect the constitution and my freedoms), I wonder what he precisely found objectionable.

My veteran friend who is a marine will happily slap anyone who disrespects America no matter what their name may be and your freedoms and opinions end when you replace them with stupidity and disrespect for the people who fought for your freedom.

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

Well, at least it got an audience, and a strong reaction.

I like that.

You mentioned Charles Ives. I wonder if your veteran friend would also slap Ives with "the left hand of liberty and right handy of freedom?"

Seriously, though (and I assume he was joking, because as a veteran he is pledged to protect the constitution and my freedoms), I wonder what he precisely found objectionable.

Without offering an opinion on the merits of the submitted composition, I offer to the members of this thread that the soldiers who fought for America did not fight for popular opinions, or even good ones. They fought so that all of us would be able to express our opinions, no matter whether they be popular or good.

I have to second what Gav said.

Thank you, Bob Porter, for your comments.

You said, “It is interesting to me to note that there are no Federal Laws regarding and official language, proper care of the American Flag or respect for the National Anthem.”

I believe 48 US states had such laws (regarding “flag desecration”) at one time. Should American citizens not be glad the Supreme Court struck them down? In the interests of freedom of expression?

“There are such laws in most countries.”

Are you sure? Perhaps that is right, though I believe most European nations either ignore them or have struck them down. I know that Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, North Korea and China have very strict laws against what is commonly called “flag desecration.” Nazi Germany and the former USSR had such laws, as does the Russian Federation today. On the other hand: The laws of England, Scotland and Wales do not even have a concept of “flag desecration,” so most UK citizens are totally puzzled by the whole idea. It’s virtually the same in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In Norway it is perfectly legal to burn the flag. Belgian law does not forbid flag burning. In Switzerland, you can burn your own national flag if you purchase and own it, but you cannot tear down a publicly installed flag and burn that. (Interestingly, it is illegal to burn foreign flags in Denmark, but totally legal and acceptable to burn the national flag.) Holland and Sweden are very libertarian on this point of flag desecration as well. In any case, generally speaking: Do we want to be in the company of these latter nations, with established traditions of representative government, or in the company of Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey and North Korea when it comes protecting the right of free expression?

You appear to deplore the fact that “We get to watch people burn our flag on the Capitol steps. And this odd music. . . .”

Well, back to the music then. I am curious to know why you discuss flag burning (and the use of multiple languages by the authors of a product brochure) in the context of a conversation about the composition of this type of music.

You made the statement: “Ondib, I suspect that there are few, if any soldiers that would ‘get’ what you are trying to do.”

Might you be underestimating the intelligence of soldiers, in the US and in the world at large, when you make such a statement?

What do you (or others who have an opinion on the matter) think I am “trying to do”?

Ondib,

     Of the countries you list that allow flag burning, there is little emotion associated with their flags, because their flags stand for nationalism and nothing more. Of course there is the religion of Islam associated with many mid-eastern and some African flags, but who can pay reverence to a religion that promotes the subjugation of women, terrorism, and world conquest?  If you are puzzled about the special reverence reserved for the American flag, you need to study this nation's founding and its role in world affairs for the last 200 years.  Our soldiers are intelligent enough to know that only an idiot would burn an America flag.

Lawrence

Lawrence, it is exactly that it is allowed to burn the American flag that makes America great. I would never do it, and I think you would never do it, but I would defend other peoples' right to do it to the last degree. America is not about preventing someone from burning a piece of cloth: rather, it is us defending the rights of others to do so which make us great

Gav,

    Certainly, we must uphold a people's right to behave stupidly.

Lawrence

Lawrence: yes

Kristofer, if I understand you correctly, you support what I said

Gav, I agree with what you have said, as does the Supreme Court. (Notice I corrected the previous post, to express at the beginning, my agreement with your view).

Kristofer expresses my thoughts on this matter exactly.

Lawrence said, "Of the countries you list that allow flag burning, there is little emotion associated with their flags, because their flags stand for nationalism and nothing more." On what basis do you make that assertion? Most Anglo-Saxons living in the British Isles would not countenance that statement, and I know this by direct personal experience. (My mother is English, and I have lived in the UK). And yet, the English believe, as the Supreme Court of the US held, that whatever one's feeling about a flag (or an anthem) free expression must not be curtailed.

People appear to have very strong feelings about anthems, flags and other national symbols, but such feelings do not justify fetishizing said objects and the limitation of others rights to freedom of expression..

You also said, "Our soldiers are intelligent enough to know that only an idiot would burn an America flag." And, "Certainly, we must uphold a people's right to behave stupidly." Is there a scientific study available to show whether a person who burns the flag is less intelligent than one who does not? One might argue that a person who burns the flag would have to be more intelligent than the average person, because he would have to question the fundamental biases and prejudices of his society rather than conforming to the popular view. I don't know if the question can be definitively settled one way or the other. (Still, I hope we don’t descend to the level of arguing, as one public figure did not so long ago, that Texas should adopt an “English-only” law, saying: “Read the Bible. If English is good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me”).

Lawrence, you also said to me, "you need to study this nation's founding and its role in world affairs for the last 200 years." We all do well to dedicate ourselves to that study, and also to the study of other nations, cultures, languages and racial perspectives. My own views come from having made that study to some extent, and from having lived in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America and East Asia for extended periods. You might notice in the "Ode" that I make use of the national anthems of three nations in addition to the Star Spangled Banner. If music is the true universal language, then does it not transcend narrow feelings such as nationalism?

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