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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/3/18

Some trumped up "patriotism" for this 4th of July

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Unknown baseball player wearing stars and stripes on uniform

Today a little diversion from the usual fare found in this space. With that in mind on this 4th of July holiday do we really need to have major league baseball players wearing stars and stripes on their uniforms, sox and hats?

It's as if baseball-and I suppose it's all big time sports in America-has become an adjunct to the defense war department with all these "promotions" emulating a sort of trumped up patriotism.

If one has seen films of 1930's Nazi Germany Swastika's are seen flying everywhere, it's become similar with the stars and stripes in today's America.

Along with the flags there's surveillance cameras proliferating at almost every intersection, not just in schools zones.

Travel on public transportation and there's ads along with public address system intoning "If you see something say something" as if there's an "enemy" lurking out to get you.

When did the "Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave" come to resemble something out of Orwell's 1984?

It certainly is a different America than the one I grew up in as a lad in early 1950's Queens, New York.

From the age of 10 we traveled alone on the subways to Coney Island in Brooklyn. Walked across the George Washington Bridge to go camping in Fort Lee, New Jersey- at the time a rural backwater.

As a kid we had a sense of "freedom" that I don't see existing for kids today.

Kids hardly play without a parent taking them to play with other kids. "Play dates" are arranged by their parents. Personally I can't remember parents being a part of anything we played as kids. We organized our own teams and the only adult was a cop assigned as an organizer by the PAL, Police Athletic League.

For the life of me I can't remember all of this flag waving and militarism even before the 4th of July for a major league baseball game. Beyond the usual playing of the National Anthem before the game when everyone stood- though I can't remember anyone singing the words-that was it. Just start the game. No uniforms adorned with the stars and stripes. No military honor guard in center field. No military jet flyovers.

Now I look at these major league players dressed as they are in stars and stripes garb it's as if this faux "patriotism" I'd guess is intended to be synonymous with support for the troops. Then there's the idiotic announcer putting it, "Our military is there to defend our freedoms". And all of it supposedly to be embraced by the fans.

Maybe it's just nostalgia for a bygone era in America-or at least the one I remembered as a kid.

Sure we had to duck under our wooden desks during some civil defense drill in case we were attacked by a nuclear bomb. We just did what we were told not giving any credence to the absurdity of the act. Today they wouldn't do such a thing in our schools.

I wonder though, as for acknowledging the 4th of July how many people in America today realize those men who signed the Declaration of Independence on that day in 1776 would have been hanged as rebellious traitors if the revolutionary war had been won by the British. Just a little tidbit as you chow down whatever it is cooking on the barbecue.

Have a nice 4th.

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