Character assassination

American spirit is succumbing to mob, entitlement mentalities

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Editor’s Note:  This editorial has been updated to correct the attribution in the sixth and seventh paragraphs.

 

America just celebrated those who died preserving our freedoms.

What many Americans actually do with that hard-won liberty is increasingly less than impressive.

While some of us are trimming tombs and saluting our war dead, others are essentially spitting on their graves.

They don't even wait for a less inappropriate time, either: Memorial Day weekend itself was a bloody mess in some quarters, with melees and crime spikes in Miami, Charlotte, N.C., Boston, Charlotte, N.Y. and more -- even in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where, during a biker event, "police received reports of five armed robberies, a stabbing, a shooting and an incident involving a shotgun being pointed at a security guard during a nearly eight-hour period," according to one report.

In Nashville, a wave-action pool called Wave Country was closed down Monday when an impatient queue of customers became unruly. "A significant number of kids grew impatient and started to jump the fence surrounding the park," a public official said.

But it goes way beyond bad manners and line-jumping. Miami Herald blogger Steve Rothaus reported Monday that Miami Beach activist Herb Sosa called the Memorial Day/Urban Weekend celebration there "nothing short of a war zone," with violence and widespread property damage to cars and buildings and streets literally trashed.

"There isn't a residential street in South Beach not affected by tons of garbage, crime to our vehicles, excessive noise 24 hours a day, and simply a lack of respect for our community, citizens and property," Sosa wrote in an open plea to city officials to rein in the chaos.

These incidents, as aggravated as they are by Memorial Day gatherings, really have become a year-round phenomenon -- part of the new American landscape. Besides allegedly impromptu trashings of 24-hour restaurants, there also are social media-coordinated "smash and rob" attacks on other retail establishments, such as one at a Dunkin' Donuts in New York recently.

These people are rampaging for no reason, stealing milk and honey in the land of milk and honey. There is no shortage of doughnuts in America; it's not as if a starving people were doing all this to survive.

What happens if the economy does collapse, and if need does become rampant? What kind of character will America show then, when it's showing this kind of animalistic leanings at a time of relative plenty?

What exactly is the American character today -- and how did it get here?

We have some suspicions.

Unemployment, particularly among the young, is one explanation -- but only part of the picture. This country has seen worse times than these, and endured them with infinitely more dignity.

No, there are other reasons -- including the continued meltdown of the nuclear family; the ebbing of churchgoing and moral values; and a news media and culture that, for decades now, have beat Americans over the head with the message that 1) the customer is always right and 2) the deck is stacked against you.

Nutty left-wing propagandist Michael Moore is out there churning mobs up with the message that other people have money that "isn't theirs, it's ours." Protesters in California and elsewhere now openly and unashamedly call for communism, a system in which all property is communal -- and can be taken according to perceived "need."

So, what are young Americans to think, and how are they to comport themselves -- if there are no absolute morals or parents to teach them; if they're trained to see themselves as victims of the capitalistic system; if self-gratification, which has now become enshrined as some sort of civil right, is seen as denied them by a society that unfairly expects them to abide by the law, to work and to pay their freight?

What we have here isn't a lack of anything tangible; what we have today is widespread shortages of character.

Consider: Someone recently broke into Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta to steal copper piping -- shutting off refrigeration and endangering 57,000 pounds of food that had been accumulated to feed the hungry in the area. That's as low as it gets.

More than the parades, more than the flags and the salutes and the fireworks and the wreaths, our war dead and our loved ones who now watch over us from the next life should be honored with honorable behavior on our part. We owe them, and each other, a life and a society that respects liberty by exhibiting responsibility.

Too often, they're getting the precise opposite.

Comments (14)

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/31/11 - 10:50 pm
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I agree with everything you

I agree with everything you said, but the line about moral absolutism. (Just to show you I read it all.) Everything depends on the context if you think about it.

faithson
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faithson 06/01/11 - 01:52 am
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There you go again Editorial

There you go again Editorial Board.. You remind me of my 84 year old mother who watches to much TV. She has this terrible attitude about the world 'out there', not recognizing the wonderful life she has, living on her own, independently. Complaining about events at South Beach has about as much relevance to me and my family as a dog bite in Cleveland. Now something downtown, down south or out west here in our fair city, sure, write it up.. let us know. Nit picking the national news wire to support your 'sky is falling' thesis works for those who 'want' to hear such gibberish. Personally, I always leave those grocery check out magazines alone, life itself, when lived is quite enough of an adventure, and thank the Lord we have committed souls out there to protect us as we partake.

carcraft
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carcraft 06/01/11 - 05:27 am
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Faithson-Downtown? Well

Faithson-Downtown? Well First Friday used to be fun until the rowdy ugly people showed up after around 10:30 pm and later and made Broad Street dangerous to be on, so it does happen down town right here in Augusta GA

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 06/01/11 - 06:16 am
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faithson-your arguement is

faithson-your arguement is silly and petty..the country is becoming an entitlement society, if i dont have it then its unfair and wrong.. i pity those with this mentality for when we all go over the cliff due to this me-ism and self pity and demanding everything..they will have no where to turn..its this very mentality that is surfacing in so many places .that is bankrupting us at an unprecedented rate. brought to you by that socialist in the white house..

southernguy08
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southernguy08 06/01/11 - 06:57 am
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What do you expect with reps

Unpublished

What do you expect with reps like Nancy Pelosi, queen of the entitlement crowd? As long as those riding in the cart aren't called on it, and supported by leaders like Pelosi, those of us pushing the cart will get smaller and smaller. And, you guessed it, the cart will eventually break.

curly123053
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curly123053 06/01/11 - 08:02 am
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As far as Nancy Pelosi is

As far as Nancy Pelosi is concerned I see her as being mentally unbalanced. I find it hard to believe she actually believes in some of her rants.
A lot of the stuff mentioned in this editorial is already happening here in the CSRA, as far as lacking respect for other people's property and animal like behavior among certain people with crime the way it is.
And the lack of respect and crime go hand in hand.
I guarantee it a lot of these people never give the Memorial Day Holiday a thought as to what this time is all about. All they see is the first holiday of the summer season and think this gives them a green light to act up and be irresponsible. I think these breeds of people though are in the minority even though they seem to garner the most publicity.

ncbravesfan
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ncbravesfan 06/01/11 - 08:41 am
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‘Myrtle Beach police received

‘Myrtle Beach police received reports of five armed robberies, a stabbing, a shooting and an incident involving a shotgun being pointed at a security guard during a nearly eight-hour period in the city early Sunday and Monday.’

This was the Black bikers weekend in SC. A few years ago the black bikers cancel their annual trip to Myrtle Beach in protest over the confederate flag. The mayor said, ‘I guess I won’t need to ask the governor to send out the national guard.’

constitutionnow
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constitutionnow 06/01/11 - 09:56 am
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"What exactly is the American

"What exactly is the American character today -- and how did it get here?"

Let's see, they took the Bible out of schools and began teaching young children that they're nothing more than a higher form of animal. This began in the 1960s when the Federal government decided it knew more about teaching our kids than the professional educators did. If we teach kids that they're animals, how can we expect them to act like anything else?

Chillen
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Chillen 06/01/11 - 12:57 pm
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All of the above atrocities

All of the above atrocities share a common denominator - research them. You'll see the facts.

We have a very serious societal problem that is not being addressed in this country. And things are clearly getting worse - there are way more incidents than depicted in these stories. How about the many beatings in fast food restaurants, riots in fast food restaurants, random trashing of fast food restaurants, etc.?

Meanwhile, hero of the left and the above mentioned rioters & attackers was out playing golf on Memorial Day. You would think that the Commander in Chief would be able to dedicate an entire day to the memory of those who fought & died for our freedom. Oh never mind, he doesn't value freedom. I almost forgot.

Chillen
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Chillen 06/01/11 - 01:01 pm
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faithson. You are zeroing in

faithson. You are zeroing in on a single incident. You need to "fly" a bit higher and look at the whole picture. There is a pattern here. Something going on nationally. It could happen here or anywhere. The socialists, unions & communists in the USA have been trying to incite riots in the USA. Well, it looks like they are succeeding. And they have very willing participants.

onlysane1left
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onlysane1left 06/01/11 - 01:31 pm
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This editorial is just an

This editorial is just an prime example of adding more gas to an already stoked fire. The radicals on both side are fired up, why incite them more? What is it to gain? Then to read ridulicous comment like Obama is putting people on entitlements, like they started yesterday or it's all Nancy Pelosi's falut, like she has all the majority votes in Congress. Really what happened was hard work was not longer taught. It was no longer applied. It was replaced with get rich quick and get more for doing less or nothing. Open mindedness was replaced with cynicism and biased opinion. This nation has no character. We are a victim of our own excess. Television, internet, cellphones, and webcams are destroying our fabric and corrupting the minds of the young. When you see kids doing the most immoral things just for Youtube hits, there is a serious problem, way bigger than budgets, Democrats, Republicans, or skin color can be blamed for.

Suzy Q
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Suzy Q 06/01/11 - 02:42 pm
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@chillen....are you saying

@chillen....are you saying the problem is fastfood, or the restaurants??-

Chillen
16
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Chillen 06/01/11 - 03:01 pm
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No, the problem is the people

No, the problem is the people suzy Q! They just choose to to their activities in those establishments for some reason.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 06/01/11 - 03:45 pm
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Faithson, you have your head

Faithson, you have your head stuck in the sand. Morality is going to hell in a hand basket. Yo" Momma is right. Listen to her.

madgerman
236
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madgerman 06/01/11 - 06:11 pm
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In my youth businesses closed

Unpublished

In my youth businesses closed down on Memorial day. But now it is the almighty buck "day". My idea would be to stay at home, period, after visiting the grave yard.

orb
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orb 06/02/11 - 02:08 pm
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When a society justifies and

When a society justifies and participates in the murder of one third of a generation can it really expect anything other than chaos?

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