A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Upside Down Flags

The Alameda Sun published my letter to the editor today, reprinted below as written. I was responding to a letter written last week...well, you'll figure it out. It was also nice to see the homeowner's response there as well. Incidentally, today the Sun also ran a good story about Pete Stark's recent Town Hall in Alameda, worth a read.

The anonymous reader who wrote to complain about the upside-down flag needs to research what this means before complaining so ardently. With just a little bit of looking, he or she would quickly discover that the flag is traditionally flown upside down not out of disrespect for its ideals, but as a distress signal.

I can't speak for the homeowners, but it certainly seems appropriate to display a symbolic distress signal for the country which the flag symbol represents, when its government has stepped out of the bounds defined by our constitution and history. Perhaps the residents there fly the distress signal because the executive branch continues the path towards invading Iran and escalating our occupation of Iraq, defying Congress as well as common sense. Or maybe it's the administration's embracing of torture and disregard for the Geneva Convention. Or maybe it's the numerous lies they used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Or could it be the inadequate protection given our service members when they are in harm's way, or the substandard care that injured veterans are given upon returning home. Or maybe it is the documented voter fraud and intimidation they used to get elected. Or perhaps it's the way that the executive branch and a willing Congress have filled the District Courts and Supreme Court with unqualified idealogs. Or maybe it's the mounting evidence of coverup and the clear violation of the laws of physics that cast huge doubts on the oficial account of the events of September 11, 2001. Maybe it's because many of the members of the Bush Administration have already been convicted as war criminals by World Tribunals. Maybe it's the way that the invasion of Afghanistan, cloaked as a mission to get Bin Laden, was really a way to control oil and increase opium production. Maybe its the erosion of our liberties thanks to the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act. Maybe it's the bankrupting of our country while the coffers of Big Oil and other giant corporations continue to grow. The list of reasons goes on....

Unlike the nameless complainer, who accuses the residents of not caring about the ideals that our country was founded upon, I can't think of any household that exhibits a love and honor of those principles more than this one, based solely on the proud symbols they show. The writer conveniently neglected to mention the Statue of Liberty standing in their front yard!

Considering the state of our country, I'm surprised I am not seeing MORE flag-owners flying theirs upside-down. While we still have it, Let freedom ring!