Tag Archives: United States

National Anthem is About the Nation, Not the Singer

They sing the wrong words. They sing the wrong notes. Sometimes, it is as if they are singing the wrong anthem.

I am tired of listening to singers butcher the national anthem. The “Star-Spangled Banner” is a gorgeous, moving, challenging song. Lately, the mashed, twisted, rearranged versions I am hearing make my ears ring; not from the bombs bursting in air, but the notes twinging, twanging and trilling without ever finding a home.

Listening to Christina Aguilera’s version of the national anthem during the Superbowl on Sunday was so horrific to me that I did not even notice she had messed up the words. Her notes were so wrong, so off, that I completely missed the fact that there were no ramparts anymore. Honestly, all the trilling really is just a sign that she cannot hit and/or sustain a note.

When I was a younger man, people sang the national anthem the way it was written. And, you know what happened, everyone sang along.

That is what I want. I would die and go to heaven if I could perform the national anthem at Arrowhead with all 73,000 people belting it out with me.

Now, that would be powerful. That would be awe-inspiring. That is the way it used to be.

Sadly, singers think it is all about them now. That is the problem; our selfish, hey-look-at-me culture. They want to be applauded for how great they sang the anthem and how they “made it their own.”

It does not belong to them. It belongs to the nation. It is not about them. It is about our nation.

That is what we have forgotten. It is time for us to take it back. Let’s put the “nation” back in our national anthem.

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Swine Flu: True Stats or Just Plain Slop?

Frightening words and scary numbers are being bandied about when it comes to the H1N1 virus, otherwise known as the “Swine Flu.” Words such as “pandemic,” “epidemic,” “surge” and “die.” The numbers range from 30 percent of the U.S. population to 50 percent, with up to 90,000 dead.

All these frightening words, all these scary numbers; yet, little evidence to back them up. More people will wind up dying out of sheer terror thinking about the swine flu than actually from the illness itself.

Tonight, the Channel 9 (ABC-Kansas City) news caught my attention with their report on the swine flu. The report said that some so-called “experts” were saying up to half of the U.S. population could be infected by the H1N1 virus this year and up to 90,000 people could die.

I then read an article by Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press that reported the findings of a “White House expert panel” that said anywhere from 30 percent to half of Americans could be infected “during the course of this pandemic and that from 30,000 to 90,000 could die.” (1)

To that I say, prove it. To that I say, I will believe it when I see it. To that I say, stop trying to scare us to death and start governing the way you should.

We are being toyed with by this sorry excuse for a government. This is the classic trick of the illusionist, being executed on a grand scale. The trick is distraction and, sorry to say, for many it is working.

When the threat becomes one against life itself, all other threats rapidly recede into the background. Front and center is swine flu and its voracious appetite for destruction.

Economic woes are forgotton; the rising cost of energy is forgotton; the attacks on the very foundations of our society are forgotton. We are too busy sanitizing our lives, hiding behind useless masks with big deer-in-the-headlight eyes to see all that is being taken from us.

It is unbelievable to me that in the very same AP article, just a little more than a paragraph under the claim that “30,000 to 90,000” people might die, Stobbe writes, “No cause for panic. So far, swine flu isn’t much more threatening than regular seasonal flu.”

What? Are you serious? Who is sending out the misinformation here? The White House and its “experts”? The optimists at the AP? Who are we supposed to believe?

Here’s what I believe — don’t buy into the hype, don’t believe what you hear. Use common sense and don’t allow these “experts” to frighten you to death. Let’s not repeat the big Y2K scam (invest in a generator company, anyone?)  and make the elderly rush out to purchase bubbles in which to live (if I knew what company made those bubbles, I would definitely invest!).

Since the threat of terrorism has diminished, the government needs some other way to distract us while our rights, freedoms and ethics continue to erode. This White House has found just such a threat and have given it a name.

Its name is the “Swine Flu.” I think it is just a bunch of slop.

(1) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090901/ap_on_he_me/us_med_swine_flu10_things