Sam I Am Blog

My Newspaper of News, Lifestyle,Culture

Posts Tagged ‘citizenship

Raise The Colors !

with 15 comments

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I love to see a flag flying in the breeze.

A1_THE COLORS UNFURL_8341A_resized

  The Saldana Family proudly flies their Republic of the Philippines flag in Barangay Baras among the coconut and guava trees.

  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Thanks to my brother-in-law, Ramon Q. Saldana Jr.,in a matter of days, we had a beautiful, tall, functional flagpole in our front yard. 

In the United States of America when a military installation or a government agency is ready to begin business, there is a formal ceremony that focuses on the raising of the United States flag to announce the”official” commencement of operations. Even homes, in the United States, with a flagpole usually has some type of ceremony before the flag is raised for the first time. 

Once a flagpole is ready, you need to understand your feelings toward the flag that will rise up the standard.  If the banner is a national flag, then, you need to understand your emotions and beliefs about patriotism.

Patriotism involves your love of your country and the respect to honor the memory of the people who have sacrificed their lives for your country.  If you don’t love your country or feel little to no emotion for the people who have sacrificed their lives for your country; then, you have no business flying a national flag.

In observing my nephews and nieces, they have shown care, concern and compassion for their community and have demonstrated their responsibility in their schoolwork, which translates to me as responsible citizenship.  I’m proud to watch them show an interest in current events and Filipino history, which I also view as personal pride in their country. 

 

When you fly a national flag, you should always be aware of your nation’s flag protocol.  In the United States Armed Forces, I was taught customs and courtesies, which addressed guidelines for the use and display of the United States flag.  And, I know there are detailed procedures for the use and display of the US flag at embassies, consulates and official government agencies.  I would theorize that most governments probably have similar procedures and guidelines for the display and use of their national flags.

 

I explained to my nephews and nieces that proper display of the flag is their responsibility and suggested they ask a teacher or go online and research Republic of the Philippines protocol for the display of the national flag.

1_RAMON AND FE ADJUST THE LINE_6711_resized

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Ramon Q. Saldana Jr., and Marife Saldana Roa adjust the flagpole line. 

  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we raised the flag, Ramon and Fe asked me if we were going to do “a formal flag ceremony ?”  I smiled and answered, “I’m retired.  My days of military protocol are behind me.”  The truth is before putting together anything like a formal flag ceremony, I wanted to be sure that the flagpole and the flag would work without any flaws. 

 

4_CHRISTY AND RAMONWATCH WHILE FE ADJUSTS THE LINE_6713_resized

 

 

 

 

 

Christy Warren and Ramon Saldana hold the banner while Marife threads a tie through the top grommet to tie the banner to the flagpole line.

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I had not tested the flag raising procedure, I didn’t want to risk the kids being assembled for a flag raising and have the line hang up so that the flag did not rise or discover that the grommets were not tied properly and have the flag come loose and fall to the ground.  My favorite “Uncle Sam” had taught me to always hope for the “Best Case Scenario” and to be ready to expect the “Worst Case Scenario.”  Without a “dry run” to test the procedure, I suggested that we just try to raise the flag the next morning.

5_RAMON HELPSFE TIE THEGROMMET_6714_resized

Ramon and Fe make sure the top grommet is securely tied to the flagpole line as a part of the process to raise the banner. 

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I simply hoped that we would have the colors flying when the kids returned home from school the next day.

7_MARLON SALDANA CLIMBS A GUAVA TREE TO RETRIEVE THE FLAGPOLE LINE_6723_resized

Nephew Marlon Saldana climbs up a nearby guava tree to snatch the flagpole line which came loose from the bottom of the banner and did not allow it to rise in the first attempt.The failure revealed that the line should pass through the top grommet and the bottom grommet.  To keep the banner attached to the line, then, the bottom grommet would also have to be tied to the nylon flagpole line to allow the flag to rise with the line up to the pulley at the top of the staff.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

February 1, 2012, Christy, Ramon and Marife, three of the adult children of Ramon and Nenita Saldana, raised the colors in the front yard for the first time. I, of course, photographed the event.

Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong; will go wrong,” seems to pinpoint first time events.  The initial flag raising did not go smoothly.

 

None of us had ever tied a flag to the line before.  The tie at the bottom grommets of the flag did not hold and the bottom of the flag came loose as it was raised.

Fortunately, the flag did not touch the ground. U.S. Flag protocol states that if the flag falls and touches the ground, then, that flag must be destroyed.

When we attempted to lower the flag, too much of the line came through the pulley at the top and the line rushed through until the knot at the end of the line caught in the pulley.   My nephew, Marlon Saldana climbed up the nearby guava tree and retrieved the knotted line caught up in the pulley and brought the line back down.

By the second attempt, the glitches had been remedied and the colors rose up the line to the top of the flagpole.

8_RAMON ADJUST THE LINE AND CHRISTY STRAIGHTENS THE FLAG_6717

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramon Saldana examines the flagpole line to make sure  it passes through the grommets of the banner to allow the cloth to rise up the line.  Christy Warren straightens the material, so that the cloth should rise like the sail of a ship up to the top of the mast.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The colors raised – there was only one item missing – a breeze.

FLAG RISES TO THE TOP OF THE FLAGPOLE_6738

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flagpole line raises the flag up to the top of the flagpole on the second attempt.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time passed. The kids returned home from school, but the flag was not flying. That fact was a disappointment. Unfortunately, there was no breeze.

The irony is ,it was about, a week and a half later before the flag waved.  Typhoon winds off of the ocean actually spawned enough of a breeze to unfurl the colors.

SALDANA FAMILY FLIES THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES FLAG_8424_resized 

The colors unfurl.  The Republic of the Philippines flag flies above the Saldana Family residence in Barangay Baras, Tanauan, Leyte. 

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

If you pass through Barangay Baras, keep looking through the tall coconut trees.   When you see a flash of colors in the trees look for the flagpole.  The Saldana Family flagpole stands proud and unfurls the colors of the Republic of the Philippines against the sky.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

American Health Care Bullet – Your Name On It

leave a comment »

American Health Care Bullet – Your Name On It

A National Day

Of Civil Disobedience

for Health Care

Plan and Campaign

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The American Health Care Bullet has your name on it. An unexpected medical crisis or an accident and the bullet fires and destroys your lifetime of work, savings and accomplishments.   Copyright Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

There is a loaded gun at your head – American Health Care.

The finger on the trigger is the United States Government.

James Richard Verone dodged the bullet – He robbed a bank to go to prison to receive Health Care,

The loaded pistol of American Health Care remains at your head.

The American Health Care Pistol Is At Your Head waiting for an unexpected medical crisis or accident to strike you. The American Health Care Bullet with your name on it then fires and allows you to be blown into poverty. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

You In The Orange Jumpsuit.

Look in the mirror. You could be the next James Richard Verone.

Sooner or later, everyone gets ill. Sooner or later, everyone needs medical care. Without National Health Care, the finger on the trigger squeezes and in an instant your life is reduced to poverty. Everything you have ever worked for is now owned by a doctor, a hospital, an HMO, an insurance company or numerous creditors, who wait for the belching bureaucratic buzzards of the American Legal System to claw apart your financial carcass.

Look in the mirror – Your grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, sister, brother, your son, your daughter, or you . . . You could be the next James Richard Verone.

You might only be a single heartbeat away from wearing an orange jump suit.

The Bomb Vest Of Uncertainty

  For decades, Americans have screamed at The Deaf, Dumb And Blind Fools Of The Congress Of The United States Of America. For decades, Presidential Wannabes have “Promised” A Plan For National Health Care. Americans cannot continue to work with The Bomb Vest Of Uncertainty strapped to their chests as they go about trying to earn a living. A simple accident or incident triggers uncertainty and a diagnosis of cancer, hospitalization from a car wreck and suddenly a life ends up weighed against medical bills.

  Gas prices rise. Food prices rise. The U.S. Economy is a myth of vanishing smoke. And there is no net to even protect citizen’s health, which allows them to receive health care to keep working.

You have a job today; you might not have a job tomorrow. No job and your Health Care goes away.

  The United States Government does not flinch when the pistol fires. The American Health Care Bullet bores through the gray matter of your brain. The weapon’s recoil simply signals that another American is Dead from lack of affordable health care. Family and friends will grieve over your obituary and try hard to ignore that lack of health care is being written into their obituary.

James Richard Verone still wears his orange jump suit and sits ignored in the American Legal System. We have all read the story and moved on with our lives.

But, the American Gun Of Health Care remains wedged against our temples. The finger flexes on the trigger and beads of sweat emerge on our foreheads.

The American Health Care Pistol Stays Loaded And Ready To Fire. The constant threat of an unexpected medical crisis or accident forces Americans into bankruptcy and poverty. The White House and Congress seem unwilling to stand up to HMOs and insurance companies. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Someday, pershaps, someday soon – you will need expensive, excessive health care. The American Health Care Bullet in the chamber has your name on it.

The uncertainty of Life always manages to spring unforeseen medical issues upon people.  An automobile accident, an

The American Health Care Pistol Stays Loaded And Ready To Fire. The constant threat of an unexpected medical crisis or accident forces Americans into bankruptcy and poverty. The White House and Congress seem unwilling to stand up to HMOs and insurance companies. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

unexpected heart attack, a sudden stroke or a diagnosis of cancer can be the pressure that squeezes the trigger and starts the explosive chain of events that can destroy a person’s lifetime of achievements and personal savings.

Will the hot metal shoot down the barrel, break through your skull and send gunpowder and metal fragments exploding into your brain because you don’t have Health Care coverage ?

Civil Disobedience

Throughout history there has only been one nonviolent way to force a government to listen to citizens – Civil Disobedience.

Civil Disobedience helped to end America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The problem was the sits ins and protests were sporadic and uncontrolled like lightning sparked brush fires and it took years before the United States Government finally had to listen to citizens.

National Day Of Civil Disobedience For Health Care

A National Day Of Civil Disobedience For Health Care will get political leaders attention. If people come together to agree upon a Day Not To Show Up For Work, then, Government will grind to a halt for a day.

For A National Day Of Civil Disobedience to be successful all participating Americans have to agree to basic ground rules.

No Violence

The Essential Requirement For Success is No Violence. The success of the student sit-ins of the 1960s were they did not destroy lives and personal property. Violence only mobilizes the American Legal System to pull out all the stops to maintain Public Order, which allows the Government the ability to use any and all means at it’s disposal to put down any suspected hint of an uprising.

Take The Day Off

A National Day Of Civil Disobedience where Americans agree not to show up for work is the one technique that Uncle Sam can not defend against. If people don’t show up for work, then, No Business gets done. It breaks no law for a business to simply “Take The Day Off.”

Common Sense Rules

The Uniformed Code Of Military Justice requires military personnel to perform their official duties, so they cannot legally participate in such a day, nor, should anyone in military uniform risk the threat of court martial.

Americans, who work in law enforcement and in life saving jobs, should not jeopardize their lives of themselves or fellow citizens by participation. Thus, guards at Federal and State prisons and local jails should not walk off the job or fail to show up for work. Naturally, paramedics, nurses and doctors should not just walk out of hospitals.

But, there are jobs in America, where Americans can simply stay home from work for a day.

The financial fallout should be sufficient enough to sober up Congress.

Red, White And Blue Flu

A National Day when Wall Street feels the national surgical strike of No Business, No Revenue For A Day.

Americans across the nation, simply come together with family and friends and agree to a day when they will “Take The Day Off.” Then, they pick up the telephone or cell phone and call their bosses to “Stay Home From Work With A Massive Case Of Red, White And Blue Flu.”

Small business might support the national sick day because they can’t afford to provide employees with health care and Congress has ignored small businesses as well as Americans on this issue.

Wake Up The White House, Sober Up Congress!

A single day would wake up the White House and Sober Up Congress – but, it will take more than one day for the White House, Congress and The Supreme Court Of The United States Of America to realize ALL Americans are united in a demand for an immediate and effective policy of national health care.

By 1973, the Italian Government had already had about 42 new governments since the end of World War II, based on my research. Italians felt their government wasn’t working and they walked away for a few days until a new government could be organized. The simple National Stirke – No Confidence Vote technique meant that leaders had to come up with a way to solve the immediate issue.

Congress Can Find The Money For National Health Care

America can afford National Health Care.

Congress found the money for the Space Race.

Congress found the money for the Arms Race during the Cold War.

Congress can find the money for National Health Care. They just have never wanted to. HMOs, insurance companies have lobbied Congress to go fishing and forget about health care.

Congress found the money to fight the War In Afghanistan.

Congress found the money to fight the War In Iraq.

Congress can look at the budget and divert funds from some programs into National Health Care until they pass legislation to set aside funds beginning in the next fiscal year.

Inalienable Right

A Non-Violent – National Day Of Civil Disobedience will fire the starting gun to make the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court realize that “Life, Liberty and The Pursuit Of Happiness” involves – a person’s health to be able to live that “inalienable right.”

We can all forget James Richard Verone and move on with our lives. When a major Health Care Crisis hits our life, we might remember that guy back in 2011 who robbed a bank to get health care. Then, we will wonder why we didn’t do something to try and convince American politicians to make National Health Care a matter of national law and policy.

National Health Care is not a political issue; it is a neglected, inalienable right of human dignity and citizenship.

Without health a citizen cannot work for a personal livelihood, nor, can he or she contribute to the local, state and national treasuries to ensure the social and political stability of public order at all levels.

National Volunteer Denial Of Service Campaign

While A National Day Of Civil Disobeidence would be the opening salvo in the battle for American Health Care there would probably have to be a strategic nonviolent escalation for the White and Congress to realize that Americans believe Health Care is a Freedom forgotten by the Founding Fathers.

The Second and Final Phase of National Disobedience would require the volunteer efforts of Americans and businesses in a National Denial Of Service Campaign. American businesses have always had the right to refuse service.

The Second Phase of the National Civil Disobedience Movement For Health Care simply requires businesses to deny personal and professional services to the president, the first family, the cabinent, members of their families, members of the Administration and their families, members of Congress and their families for a period of at least 30 days.

Basically, for at least 30 days, Washington D.C., policymakers and their families should be denied services for groceries, gasoline and access to medical care unless they are willing to pay excessive prices. The action would be a symbolic real world gesture to remind policymakers what it is like for an average American to be “denied basic services because of an inability to earn money to purchase products and services.”

Naturally, Washington D.C., policymakers would be ready to flock to Bethesda or Walter Reed for medical services, but the simple nuisance of lawmakers having to temporarily rearrange their schedules should be enough to remind them of the seriousness of not being able to expect an immediate response.

As for groceries and gasoline, American businesses should stand ready to treat national, state and local policymakers with the same lack of concern that average Americans face daily. Since there are no Price Controls for average Americans, then, there should not be any for policymakers. Wouldn’t it do your heart good to know a United States Senator from Missouri had to pay $10 for a carton of eggs?

Would you feel bad if a former president had to pay $20 a gallon for a tank of gas ?

The Denial Of Service Campaign to policymakers is to remind them what it is like to “Walk A Mile In An Average American’s Shoes” for a few days. The campaign should also remind them they were elected to do a job and accept the responsibility to find solutions.

The American Health Care Bullet with your name on it is in the gun . . .

Do We The People unload the gun or do we continue to allow the United States Government to repeatedly keep squeezing the trigger?

%d bloggers like this: