Letters | Patriotism defined


Patriotism defined

Since I am not clever enough to write an erudite critique about patriotism (“The changing face of patriotism,” cover story, July 5), I must let others express my opinions about the topic.

Ambrose “Bitter” Bierce, one of America’s most popular humorists, authored the justly famous Devil’s Dictionary. In it he defined patriotism (noun) as: “Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. [Samuel] Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.” Bierce also considered a patriot (noun) as “The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.”

On related topics, Bierce defined un-American (adjective) as “Wicked, intolerable, heathenish.” Politics (noun), for Bierce, was “A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” A timely thought, indeed. America’s greatest writer and thinker was Mark Twain. A short essay of his titled, “As Regards Patriotism,” is a must-read for anyone attempting to get a handle on the subject. I suggest reading it slowly and carefully and then reading it again.

It is worth the effort. Dave Morton/Longmont

Thanks for suicide piece

I don’t have the words to express how I feel learning the true extent of soldier suicides. (“War’s invisible killer,” cover story, July 5.) All I can think of is what I want to do to the heartless bastards who are forcing them to kill. The same bastards that are fighting universal health care, crippling our schools, and letting our country fall apart so that they can boost some number on a computer screen. If enough people knew that this kind of stuff was happening, we’d kick the bastards out of our country tomorrow.

Thank you for making me angry, thank you for telling the truth, in these dark days, when “journalists” are keeping us misinformed, it’s people like you who remind the rest of us that we aren’t alone in this fight.

Daniel Schwartz/via Internet

Pamela White is a lefty broad

(Re: “Baloney on veggies,” Uncensored, May 17.) Do I have to be subjected to the broad’s liberal political leanings in her articles?

W.M. Knott/via Internet