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Thread: Your Definition Of Patriotism

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Your Definition Of Patriotism

    This is not s Super Bowl thread.

    Stuck to the TV and watching many-many movies this Bear got to thinking about the term "patriotism". One (1) movie watched was actually a 1947 documentary (docu-drama) that told the story of the development of the atomic bomb. One (1) of the key players involved in the development was continually questioning whether or not it was the right thing to do to plan on using atomic power as a weapon. His thought process involved questioning his patriotism.

    Posts to some Cyburbia threads also got me thinking. Some articles I read in magazines such as Reason Magazine also moved my brain cells to thought.

    In this Bear's point-of-view a true patriot doesn't swear "blind allegiance" to a country or a party or a philosophy. A true patriot understands and adheres to a constitution that gives us the right to dissent (free-speech). A true patriot doesn't wrap oneself in the American flag and strike down any who would mock or burn that symbol. A true patriot knows that the flag represents the right to be free. (Because of that this Bear proudly flies the flag and will defend the right of anybody to mock it.)

    I'm having trouble putting my thoughts and feelings about patriotism to words that come across as "somewhat coherent". Maybe some of you Cyburbian residents can contribute your thoughts.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    We have really different definitions of what makes a patriot.

    Off-topic:
    Burning the US flag in front of me is my personal version of getting called the N-word in public. I understand that someone somewhere passed off the free speech con on the Supreme Court but to me it is a direct incitement to violence. I'll respect your free speech all you want. But, I'd be quite proud to do the jail time that comes with assaulting a flag burner.


    Back to the topic at hand:

    To me a patriot is one who is self-educated about their government.

    To me a patriot has as many doubts about the media, academia & corporate America as they do about government.

    To me a patriot understands that they have a duty to pass patriotism on to the next generation.

    A patriot understands the Constitution and the reasons behind its evolution.

    To me a patriot is someone who plays by the rules and understands their responsibilities to their fellow man.

    To me a patriot is someone who fights to change the rules he disagrees with in a constructive manner.

    To me a patriot doesn't make irreseponsible statements about our leaders.

    To me a patriot is someone who doesn't feel the need to burn a symbol millions of men have fought under and nearly a million have died to protect what it represents.

    To me a patriot questions authority without being an asshole.

    To me a patriot is willing to actually do something for their country.

    To me a patriot is involved in their community.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    This is not s Super Bowl thread.

    Stuck to the TV and watching many-many movies this Bear got to thinking about the term "patriotism". One (1) movie watched was actually a 1947 documentary (docu-drama) that told the story of the development of the atomic bomb. One (1) of the key players involved in the development was continually questioning whether or not it was the right thing to do to plan on using atomic power as a weapon. His thought process involved questioning his patriotism.

    Posts to some Cyburbia threads also got me thinking. Some articles I read in magazines such as Reason Magazine also moved my brain cells to thought.

    In this Bear's point-of-view a true patriot doesn't swear "blind allegiance" to a country or a party or a philosophy. A true patriot understands and adheres to a constitution that gives us the right to dissent (free-speech). A true patriot doesn't wrap oneself in the American flag and strike down any who would mock or burn that symbol. A true patriot knows that the flag represents the right to be free. (Because of that this Bear proudly flies the flag and will defend the right of anybody to mock it.)

    I'm having trouble putting my thoughts and feelings about patriotism to words that come across as "somewhat coherent". Maybe some of you Cyburbian residents can contribute your thoughts.

    Bear
    I think you are being very coherent, Bear. Although I would normally question anything inspired by REASON

    I would add that a true patriot does not necessarily believe his country is always right, that his country is uniquely appointed by God or some higher power to spread its way throughout the world (or even that our way is the only way). A true patriot is suspicious of power, suspicious of greed, suspicious of "foreign entanglements."

    EDIT:

    I don't necessarily disagree with everything El Guapo says, either. I would acknowledge that I fall short of his definition of a true patriot in some ways.

    But, my problem is that he would undoutedly see MY normal political discourse as violating his definition of patriotism. Who is to decide what is nunreasonable criticim of "the leader." I could be much more intemporate than I have been-and I reject the argument that the political humor I enjoy is unpatriotic. I see the current leadership as so dangerous and misguided, that it would be difficult for me to imagine being too intemporate on a work-safe post. Especially since many of the comments and "jokes" by Dear Leader's followers and shills are far worse.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    interesting, dictionary.com defines patriot as "One who loves, supports, and defends one's country." so what if we do not agree with current policies, can we call ourselves patriots? I guess like Meatloaf said two out of three isn't bad. Leave it to the french to cause confusion, sorry confusing french.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    To me, a patriot is someone who is truly passionate about the county that they live in, and willing to do things to preserve if not enhance our freedoms, promoting opportunity, and encouraging the expression of personal thoughts, even if the are in contrast with others, all while maintaining the balance between freedom and safety.
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    One who questions authority (without getting sent to Gitmo ) and one who bears arms in the event we have to overthrow the current governmental system.

    Most importantly, a true patriot must like beer and tacos
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I see a patriot as someone who understands and defends the ideals and policies that created this country and isn't afraid to question the principles or interpretations of the constitution our elected and federal staff use.

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    To me, a patriot is someone who is truly passionate about the county that they live in, and willing to do things to preserve if not enhance our freedoms,
    kinda off topic, which I imagine can happen quite a bit in this thread. Is it a patriotic duty to be missionaries of democracy by spreading it to the far reaches of the Earth? Our democracy was self fulfilled, not the result of a missionary trip. It's really all about us (domestic policy). That doesn't mean we should ignore foreign policy, but we shouldn't use foreign policy primarily as a tool to preach the good word of democracy.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I friend just e-mailed this to me...

    FORWARDED IN THE NAME OF PATRIOTISM


    We all know that it is a sin for an Islamic male to see any woman other
    than his wife naked, and that he must commit suicide if he does.

    So next Sunday at 4:00 PM Eastern time, all American women are asked to walk
    out of their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists.

    Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this antiterrorist effort.
    All men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of their house to
    prove they are not terrorists, and to demonstrate that they think it's okay
    to see nude women other than their wife and to show support for all American women.

    And since the Koran also does not approve of alcohol, a cold six-pack at your side
    is further proof of your antiterrorist sentiment.

    The American Government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds
    your participation in this anti terrorist activity.

    God bless America and GOD BLESS AMERICAN WOMEN!

    IT IS YOUR PATRIOTIC DUTY TO PASS THIS ON
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I friend just e-mailed this to me...
    LOL! Hilarious.

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I friend just e-mailed this to me...
    Funny!!!! I would be concerned, however, that this technique may have the unintended effect of wiping out the 99.9999% of Muslims who happen not to be terrorists. And I'm concerned that the prevalence of open intoxicants might also have the unintended effect of attracting all the IRA terrorists. Wouldn't want that now would we?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  11. #11
    I have been a planner for about 12 years now and before that I was in the military for 11 years (Air Force). As a veteran I fully support the right of free speech even if it includes flag burning. I also support the ability to question the government on its actions. No citizen should blindly follow without questioning , why are we doing this? The government has the reponsibility to all citizens, not just a few. I am somewhat concerned of where my country is heading right now.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    It's such a vague, or maybe obfuscated, term that i'm not sure i have my own definition of it. I agree with most of the other sentiments put forth here so far. I also like what Orwell had to say about it . . . (my emphasis in bold)

    By "nationalism" I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled "good" or "bad." But secondly -- and this is much more important -- I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By "patriotism" I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseperable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

    I also like what the Descendents have to say on the matter:
    I come from the land of Ben Franklin
    Twain and Poe and Walt Whitman
    Otis Redding, Ellington,
    The country that I love
    But it's a land of the slaves and the ku klux klan
    Haymarket riot and the great depression
    Joe McCarthy, Vietnam
    The sickest joke I know


    I guess that's to say that what i like about this country is our culture and our way of life and, at least by Orwell's definition, that is patriotism. On the other hand there are aspects of our culture and history that i deplore, but all the same, i don't consider them my culture and history. They belong to that other america, the one that's on the losing side of history.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  13. #13
    My father, the WWII Navy combat veteran, thought Americans burning the flag was a childish cry for attention -- and a not very original one at that. He had no problem with it, however. He always told me he volunteered (at 17, in 1941) because he thought the Axis powers could win and destroy him, his family and this country, not for any abstraction beyond that and certainly "not for a piece of cloth".

    On the other hand, dad would get severely pi88ed off when foreigners burnt our flag.

    I concur.
    Je suis Charlie Hebdo. Je suis Bataclan. Je suis Bruxelles. Je suis Nice.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planificador Urbano
    .....As a veteran I fully support the right of free speech even if it includes flag burning. I also support the ability to question the government on its actions. No citizen should blindly follow without questioning , why are we doing this? The government has the reponsibility to all citizens, not just a few. I am somewhat concerned of where my country is heading right now.
    I concure. I would agree with EG that flag burning is incorect, but it should certainly not be made illegal.

    Further, I have little disagreements with EG's stated list. The problem I see is that if there are disagreements on how those things are acomplished. Who then decdes the "Value/Weight/Worth/Proper" patriotic stance.

    In the last election, getting wounded in the service of your country was turned into a farce and a complete mockery. Kerry's wounds were somehow turned into undeserved paper cuts.

    His entire service thrown into question because of his party affiliation. Yet the leaders of our nation were as active in dodging the draft and a war zone as could be. Kerry was turned into an enemy sympathiser because he come back from war with an anti war stance. Who better to judge such a situation as the combat veterans themselves. Yet people seem content to let the current administration shove one lie after another up thier posterior.

    Personally, I am not understanding a lot of things right now. On the one hand, I support our troops like crazy. When it comes to a fight, I want them to win and obliterate every last insurgent shooting at them. On the other, if I had forign troops in downtown Green Bay that had invaded my nation under false pretenses, I would be taking pot shots and joining the insurgency against them, it would be the patriotic thing to do. So while I support our troops, I sure as hell patrioticly disbelieve in the actions, motivations, and legality of the leadership that sent them to a forign land to fight.

    Anyone catch the reason why Rumsfeld isn't going to Germany? If you didn't, its because he is questionably a war criminal and could possibly be arrested. Curious if nothing else. Must be the evil UN trying to be mean to the US after we showed everybody all the WMD's we found.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  15. #15
    Although I concider myself "patriotic" if any of my fellow American do not want to be "patriotic" that's ok with me. There is NO REQUIREMENT to be patriotic in order to be an American...... at least not yet...

  16. #16
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    This question of what is ‘patriotism’ has bugged me a long time. I think it is helpful to look at various expressions of patriotism to better understand the phenomenon. It’s safe to say that a national anthem is at least one means by which we may gauge the values intrinsic to patriotism. Here’s England’s as it was first publicly sung in London in 1745 (in fairness to our resident Brits, I should point out to everyone else that the State has never formally adopted this ‘national anthem’ and most Brits have probably never heard the latter verses, but include them here as they were viewed to be a legitimate expression of ‘patriotism’ around the same period as the US’s national origins):
    1. God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen! Send her victorious,
    Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us; God save the Queen!2. O Lord our God arise, Scatter her enemies
    And make them fall; Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks, On Thee our hopes we fix, God save us all! 3. Thy choicest gifts in store On her be pleased to pour; Long may she reign; May she defend our laws, And ever give us cause To sing with heart and voice, God save the Queen!4. Not in this land alone, But be God's mercies known, From shore to shore! Lord make the nations see, That men should brothers be, And form one family, The wide world over.5. From every latent foe, From the assassins blow, God save the Queen! O'er her thine arm extend, For Britain's sake defend, Our mother, prince, and friend, God save the Queen!6. Lord grant that Marshal Wade May by thy mighty aid Victory bring. May he sedition hush, And like a torrent rush, Rebellious Scots to crush. God save the King!
    and here’s La Marsellaise, France’s national anthem:
    Arise you children of our motherland, Oh now is here our glorious day ! Over us the bloodstained banner Of tyranny holds sway !Of tyranny holds sway !Oh, do you hear there in our fields The roar of those fierce fighting men ?Who came right here into our midst To slaughter sons, wives and kin.To arms, oh citizens !Form up in serried ranks !March on, march on !And drench our fields With their tainted blood !Supreme devotion to our Motherland, Guides and sustains avenging hands. Liberty, oh dearest Liberty, Come fight with your shielding bands, Come fight with your shielding bands ! Beneath our banner come, oh Victory, Run at your soul-stirring cry. Oh come, come see your foes now die, Witness your pride and our glory. To arms, etc.. Into the fight we too shall enter, When our fathers are dead and gone, We shall find their bones laid down to rest, With the fame of their glories won, With the fame of their glories won ! Oh, to survive them care we not, Glad are we to share their grave, Great honor is to be our lot To follow or to venge our brave. To arms, etc..
    I recall seeing a comedy one time where a German spy posing as an American was asked by the cops to sing the national anthem to prove she was a Real American. They arrested her when she started singing the second verse (“no Real American knows the second verse”). For those who may not recognize any of the subsequent verses, this is the US national anthem in its entirety:
    Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war's desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: "In God is our trust." And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
    Now comparing the three different songs don’t certain patterns emerge? Militant nationalism at any rate seems to require more than just a few buckets of blood to grease its wheels. It seems that patriotism must also exist on several different levels, both intellectually and emotionally. The US and English anthems in one way or another seek a means to justify or legitimize governmental authority citing no less than God himself approving their respective political units. Undoubtedly, many folks do believe the Creator of the universe was involved in the creation and maintenance of their polities, but even for those who don’t necessarily subscribe to this notion there are other appeals, primarily calls to arms to preserve life and property within particular geographic regions. Patriots must therefore have a clear delineation of ‘us’ and ‘them’. Those who act to preserve life and property within those boundaries would by this measure qualify as patriots. It should also be noted that ‘us’ and ‘them’ is a fairly fluid principle subject to change at short notice as is often evidenced in civil wars. Governments making patriotic appeals for its denizens to defend life and property within its borders, have historically had an easier sell than those governments which have sought to export violence and destroy life and property in other countries e.g. during the American Civil War, public support in the north was in serious jeopardy until Lincoln co-opted another cause to justify the conflict – abolition of slavery.
    Several have listed what appear to be attributes for responsible citizenship in a democracy for their patriot criteria. I don’t doubt that many responsible citizens happen also to be patriots, but I think the patriot criteria should be more inclusive. I think two elements must exist – commitment and support of a culture or geographic area AND commitment to a particular idea/principle are both necessary.
    Just for fun comparative purposes, here is the former Soviet Union’s anthem. Comments?
    Unbreakable Union of freeborn Republics, Great Russia has welded forever to stand. Created in struggle by will of the people, United and mighty, our Soviet land! Sing to the Motherland, home of the free, Bulwark of peoples in brotherhood strong. O Party of Lenin, the strength of the people, To Communism's triumph lead us on! Through tempests the sunrays of freedom have cheered us, Along the new path where great Lenin did lead. To a righteous cause he raised up the peoples, Inspired them to labor and valorous deed. [Or, the old way: Be true to the people, thus Stalin has reared us, Inspire us to labor and valorous deed!] Sing to the Motherland, home of the free, Bulwark of peoples in brotherhood strong. O Party of Lenin, the strength of the people, To Communism's triumph lead us on! In the vict'ry of Communism's deathless ideal, We see the future of our dear land. And to her fluttering scarlet banner, Selflessly true we always shall stand!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  17. #17
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Partial definition

    A congressperson who requires a declaration of war prior to starting a war is a patriot.

    A president who requires a declaration of war prior to starting a war is a patriot

  18. #18


    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.

    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!

    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    Emphasis added.
    Je suis Charlie Hebdo. Je suis Bataclan. Je suis Bruxelles. Je suis Nice.

  19. #19
    maudit anglais
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    Very nice Maister (insert clapping emoticon here).

    Gedunker - I was going to post the lyrics to O Canada (I actually remember the whole thing off the top of my head), but I bet, like the longer US/UK versions posted by Maister there are additional words.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    On a similar note, I am really getting bored with "Bumper Sticker Patriotism". You know, the yellow ribbon magnets and the american flag stickers that sprouted like weeds after 9/11 ....

  21. #21
    Quote Originally posted by Planificador Urbano
    I have been a planner for about 12 years now and before that I was in the military for 11 years (Air Force). As a veteran I fully support the right of free speech even if it includes flag burning. I also support the ability to question the government on its actions. No citizen should blindly follow without questioning , why are we doing this? The government has the reponsibility to all citizens, not just a few. I am somewhat concerned of where my country is heading right now.
    I agree with Planificado Urbano. Questioning is part of it and expecting straight answers for the elected as well, especially when it comes to the issues that affect our lives. Oh well. I can dream. Blind patriotism is as dangerous as sedition. Patriotism is like morality, it's vague and depends on the person. One person's teason is another person's heroism.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    Partial definition

    A congressperson who requires a declaration of war prior to starting a war is a patriot.

    A president who requires a declaration of war prior to starting a war is a patriot

    How 1945ish of you. The times, they are a changin' Sometimes you need to kill a fella without waiting for an act of congress.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Eg

    I kinda like the fact that each states rep is able to voice his/her opinion in order to declare war. Is this a policy or is this a law?
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  24. #24
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    How 1945ish of you. The times, they are a changin' Sometimes you need to kill a fella without waiting for an act of congress.
    Sometimes, maybe, but not very often.

    There were acts of Congress before we started the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - just not declarations of war - as required by the Constitution. It always strikes me that the way to be "Constitutional" is to follow the Constitution.

    When a nation has an exceptional set of founding principles, as we do, a real test is whether you follow the principles, even when you don't have to. Each time you don't, the next decision is made from a basis that is lower than the original principle. And you have a predecent for going lower with each decision.

  25. #25

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    Heck, wasn't Pearl Harbor as big of a surprise attack as 9-11 (and far more devastating)? Somehow, even in 1941/2, they managed to fit a Declaration of War in, even with their primitive insistence on follwoing the rules of our country.

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