Fourth of July Thoughts

A wish to see the civility of days gone by again.

That I see red, white, and blue everywhere this week reminds me of the first full-sized American flag that I ever owned. I was a Cub Scout in 1958—Pack 56, Den 2, and received my flag as a birthday gift. It contained 48 stars and came as a kit with a beautiful hardwood staff, a solid brass display bracket, and a booklet explaining the protocols of caring for the flag and on which national holidays displaying the flag was appropriate. My father installed the bracket onto a support pillar of our front porch and I was responsible for unfurling and displaying it on the appropriate dates. Off time, it lived in corner behind our front door but I often displayed it just so I could watch it in the breeze and sneak in a scout salute.

A few years later, as a Boy Scout, I had the privilege of marching in a Memorial Day parade as part of our troop’s color guard, bearing our flag. It had 50 stars then, and my pride in it, my country, and in my new president would never be greater. It seemed to me that there wasn’t as much divisiveness then. People trusted elected officials and believed in their commitment to our town. At election time, the adults would argue about who was better, but there was no obscene name-calling (OK, maybe a little!); no belligerent letters to the editor appeared in the Daily Record; and no one who hoped to attain public office ever publicly used profane insults in describing an opponents. So, for this July 4, it would be my wish to see that type of civility again. I witnessed that it as a poll worker during the primaries and know it’s possible. 

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Selene July 06, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Our Founding Fathers MOST specifically did not want GOD entered into the equation of government. Separation of church and state, does that ring a bell? And for all you whiners, specifically the bible thumping zealots, you don't have a clue what is going on this country....you dare praise our elected officials? Are you kidding, they are bought and sold every minute on Capital Hill by the corporations. They haven't represented your interests in decades and you keep voting them in because they are Repubs and that's what your parents voted for......sheep. And references to "entitlements" is frivilous, especially when it refers to food stamps, or lunch programs or educational grants....the US government has spent BILLLIONS on welfare for the rich, the banks......pull your head out of your most southern orifice and get a little bit more politically educated. One more thing, this country was built on freedom and the promotion of civil liberties...that includes the gays and the illegal imigrants.
Selene July 06, 2012 at 03:40 AM
The Boy Scouts of America are an antiquated. white, male supremist group. Nothing to be proud of Joe. Thomas Jefferson, a true patriot, he said, was one who constantly questioned the actions of his government. I can well speculate that most posters here do not know the names of their representatives or senators and have no clue how they vote on issues in Washington. BTW, Chris Christie, a republican is one of the WORST white trash, mud slinging, name calling, bullying public servants I have EVER seen. Oh and add FOX news (totally conservative, repub) as the WORST most uninformed, biased, name calling UNCIVIL news organization to blow their waves over cable.
Selene July 06, 2012 at 03:50 AM
For all the religious, God fearing folk and their ridiculous talk of morality....I'm guessing you never were educated beyond high school because in college you learn all about Greek philosophy and the Greeks were way ahead of the Christians. The difference being the Greeks taught morality wihout persecution and enslavement. They were more about enlightment.
Selene July 06, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Entitlements for the rich and the corporations, which is the bulk of the money spent by our government.
colleen Bondy July 06, 2012 at 04:22 AM
shame! Both sides have most definitely lost civility! Why can't people stick to specific points sans insults!
colleen Bondy July 06, 2012 at 04:28 AM
More than civility, intellect has been lost! It seems insult is used to mask lack of intellectual argument.
wt-taxpayer July 06, 2012 at 04:33 AM
I find this amazing... such a simple remembrance about Joe's childhood and the innocence and pride in paying tribute to this great country by his honoring the flag - as a salute to our independence day celebration and a wish for civility opened the floodgates with such uncivilized comments. pay attention, neighbors and friends. maybe this ugliness can be dialed down a notch by looking inward for a few more minutes before spewing such spiteful, hateful comments? this right wing christian blather does not add anything to the discussion except to show ignorance and intollerance. God doesn't care what your party affiliation is - God is Love. and, as I understand it, Christ came to fulfill the commandments to 'Love God and Love One Another' - this doesn't mean to 'condemn another - if they don't think the same as you.' Tolerance and respect and caring is more of the Christian ethic than name calling and insistence that it's 'my way or the highway.' Is there no room for a differing opinion?
Hattori Hanzo July 06, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Very well said, wt-taxpayer, please speak with Jerry Gordon to prevent further instaces of this happening.
Hookerman July 06, 2012 at 01:36 PM
"Why do you display such intolerance for someone you disagree with?" That was the question you asked below Jerry, and yet that's exactly what you did with Stacie. I'm sure the irony went flying over you head at the speed of sound.
Joseph Keyes July 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Afterthoughts: It’s always interesting to read blog responses here. I began this blog with my recollections of being a Boy Scout and how important my flag was to me at that age. I went on to iterate how I missed civility in state and national politics. Our Governor was an clear, if unnamed example, for obvious reasons. Jerry Gordon asked why I was afraid to criticize “my side” on public civility. I don’t have a “side” on that issue and I’m not afraid of anything (except telephones, so don’t call me!) I pointed out that as Governor, Mr. Christie is our head of state and should start comporting himself in a manner showing respect for the office-- and us. By the time someone posting as “Selene” condemned Boy Scouts as being “an antiquated. white, male supremacist group,” the posts ran the gamut from Biblical verses, to sexual preferences, to labeling, condemning, and otherwise demonstrating some small-minded views way off the original topic. I like hearing from people and especially enjoy reading these posts. If you haven’t already done so, please initiate a Patch blog of your own.
Jerry Gordon July 07, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Joe - it was you who opined for the days of civility. Yet, when I pointed out the uncivilized profane recent comments from the Democrat party, you refused to condemn the remarks, and now their not on your side? What side are you on? Does anything you write or say have any credibility? For the record, unlike you, I'm not afraid to criticize my side, Christie's outbursts lately proves that he's not ready for higher office. His conduct in Seaside Heights the other night was unacceptable for a sitting governor. Just keep in mind Joe, the rest of the sex obsessed liberals on this thread who totally missed the issues you raised are on YOUR SIDE!
Dan Grant July 07, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I have one about Montville Township and Morris County political issues. Called From the Sidelines. It is called that because I spent 15 years on the Township Committee and retired when I didn't get enough votes. Aside from all other things I watched my 5 year old grandson stand at attention when the Pledge was said. He was saluting and all on his own.
Joe videodummy July 07, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Selene Your a graduate from the College of Ignorance. Your great Greek philosopher: Aristotle said "slavery is a natural thing and humans come in two types- slaves and non-slaves. Natural born slaves should remain slaves under any circumstances. This is because their souls weren't complete. They lacked certain qualities, such as the ability to think properly, so they need masters to tell them what to do. Aristotle couldn't provide a sensible or practical method of recognising "natural" slaves so he categorized them as "legal" slaves stating that some people would be made slaves that should not be, but this would be inevitable. Greek pliosopher Plato also thought it was better to rule over the inferior and insisted that justice consists of the "superior" ruling over the "inferior".
Joe videodummy July 07, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Which brings us to colleen's "Civility". Since children are subjected to the power of the parent, as slaves to the power of their masters, until the mid 1900's it was considered lawful for a parent to strike a child, stating that instruction may be enforced by correction. This remain's true today, and although the courts have interjected by ruling it is not law abiding to strike a child, the method of of correction is sill punishment by means of showing the forces of the superior over the inferior. Civility could be understood two ways: The first is to be slow to threaten, this includes to a moderation of correction; and secondly, that the superior should not always carry out their threats, that is that they should sometimes decide upon a merciful forgiveness temper the judgement whereby they threatend punishment. Inhumane and degrading aren't attributes learned in the Boy and Girl Scouts. They are still active in schools, homes, and politics. This is because many people still defend it, like they did slavery for many centuries before the current one we are living in. Even today, people who are against slavery will state that they will strike their own children as a form of correction. They will contest that how they raise they're own child is they're "own business". Concluding that slavery can still be legal and unethical at the same time.
stacie bohr July 07, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I appreciate your fond memories, Joe. It is people like Jerry who corrupt them and instigate fights with people. It is a disgrace especially when he's pounding on his Bible in doing so in a total contradiction of what he preaches. That folks is not an insult. It is a fact and I am sure that many more than I have been victim to a thread going sour because of him, his insults and religious beliefs. Be a so called Christian....that's great! Let everyone else be themselves already! We don't all have to agree on anything but some here make it impossible to have a discussion.
stacie bohr July 07, 2012 at 11:21 PM
And for the record, Joe...my post about not having a "flag ruling handbook" was not meant as an insult to you, it was directed to the other. I am sorry if it came across that way.
Kelly July 07, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Hey Joseph, If, like me, you find that there are clowns to the left of you and jokers on your right, you can stick around in the middle with me. Plenty of room for rational people on this 'side.' :-) -K
Jerry Gordon July 08, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Stacie - you insult people you disagree with all of the time on this forum and then you write " that folk's is not an insult." How insulting that you condescend and treat everyone like little children. Who are you kidding? You have no tolerance for Christian and conservative values. Are you a bigot? BTW, never once did you address or acknowledge the subject of civility as raised by Joe. Are you capable of sticking to topic? Doesn't that make you a troll? Why are you always looking for an argument with me? If don't you like what I have to say, why do constantly respond to my posts?
Barry July 08, 2012 at 04:00 AM
While not a Christie fan, --- Corzine, McGreevey, Menendez and Lautenberg are all far worse.
Barry July 08, 2012 at 04:01 AM
hmmmm, is that why Greeks had slaves?
Jerry Gordon July 08, 2012 at 04:15 AM
wt-taxpayer -When Joe grew up in the 50's God was part of the everyday life in America.The churches were full, and we didn't work on Sundays, it was a day of rest. We respected our parents and authority.The blessings of God was upon our nation because Americans worshiped and respected God. The God of the Bible! If you think that the Bible is "right wing Christian blather" then you need to rethink yoru position.The only ones blathering here are the liberals, every time anyone mentions anything about God or that fact that America was founded upon Judeo-Christian values, liberals become unhinged. Where is the liberals love and tolerance for Christians in our society today? Why weren't you aiming your "God is love" rant at Joe, Stacie and yourself? Why didn't you address the nasty remarks put out by DNC leaders? After all, it was Joe, a Democrat, who opined for the days of civility. Wasn't that the point of his essay? Yes, you are right when you say "God says we should love one another." But Love has to tell the truth, and sometimes that could hurt or be offensive to a person that no longer has a respect for God.
stacie bohr July 08, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Because Jerry, this is a forum for dialogue. I am not opposed to any faith nor am I opposed to anyone's political affiliation. That is the beauty of our country...we all have the right to choose. I can assure you that I will not lose sleep over you calling me a troll but I hope you repent in church. That was really not nice and I don't think God was smiling when you hit "submit".
stacie bohr July 08, 2012 at 11:25 AM
By the way, Jerry...read through the thread. Nobody seemed to take paricular issue with what I had to say. Your name, on the other hand, is mentioned in several unflattering responses to your posts. Who's the bigot here that is being called out on it? Not me. Have a very happy Sunday.
Nose Wayne July 08, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Dan Grant July 08, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Jerry, when Joe was growing up in the 50's and Ward Cleaver was sitting in his arm chair reading his paper we also had segregation and Blacks couldn't use any White's Only restrooms or water fountains. It was against the law to have interracial marraige in many states. Blacks sat in the back of the bus and couldn't buy homes next to the Cleavers. Their Children couldn't go to White Schools and we had poll taxes. Conservatives went to Church in Greater numbers but didn't hear a word that was preached. Let's not rewrite our past no matter how fondly and fictionally we remember it. Conservatives have a Christian belief that has nothing to do with the word of Christ and you prove it.
stacie bohr July 08, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Very good point, Nose. Direct that to the finger pointers and not to the honest and reasonable recipients of same.
Hookerman July 08, 2012 at 02:06 PM
"America was founded upon Judeo-Christian values" Care to provide some historical basis for this revisionism???
Joe videodummy July 08, 2012 at 03:18 PM
P.S. Slavery was common in Greece, and also in early Christian societies. In Athens, almost every citizen owned at least one. Keeping in mind that woman and children were 'chattel's' or a possesion of the men. The chattel slave was an individual that on occassion would be forced to submit to their 'owner' to be temporarily leased to another owner in lieu of payment or until another agreement could be reached. Simon the shoemaker was most likely a very busy and popular man.
Joe videodummy July 08, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Which one ? The one that teaches to reprove, correct and train in righteousness while having constraints on sexual conduct and the death penalty for Homosexuals, or the one that reaps the abundant fruit from the work of Aristotle ? This is the one that teaches to sell an object for it's true worth, and follow the devine law of perfect happiness in the possession of God' Devine Law which leaves nothing unpunished that is contrary to vitue. Ethical questions are carefully investigated, and each indivual, at least in principal, will practice their faith conceding to the absolute religious authority. In this one, children that hate their parents must be killed (Luke 14;26 ) Love thy neighbor but if they have not had the opportunity to hear about Christ they are damned {to hell} buy no fault of their own. Raise the flag and remember that we can be ordered to punish mercilessly, people that are blameless for rape, torture, slavery, ethnic cleansing, genocide, adultery, and any other atrosity, because we know such actions are wrong and we are one nation under God.
Nose Wayne July 08, 2012 at 05:12 PM


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