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The Two American Flags

[ 142 ] August 29, 2012 |

What is the flag of the United States of America?

I bet you thought it was this:

Such a nice flag. Doesn’t it want to make you eat some apples, light some fireworks, steal the natural resources of poorer countries.

And it’s so versatile. Here are a couple of beautiful examples.

But that’s just the flag for you and I, the flag of the 99%. The United States of America has two official flags. There’s also the flag of the 1%. Until now, it was known as the flag of the Cayman Islands:

What is that lovely little flag with the Union Jack doing on a big yacht?

Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.

The floating party, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht “Cracker Bay,” was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney’s bid.

“I think it’s ironic they do this aboard a yacht that doesn’t even pay its taxes,” said a woman who lives aboard a much smaller boat moored at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina.

Romney’s Cayman-based investments have come under fire during the campaign.

The event, attended by no more than 50 people, along with Romney relatives, including older brother Scott, appeared on no public calendars. ABC News obtained a schedule of the Romney campaign’s “Victory Council” and waited dockside to speak with members.

“It was a really nice event. These are good supporters,” said billionaire Wilbur Ross, an energy industry executive.

I mean, we could criticize Romney for holding an event on a yacht called the CRACKER BAY (!!!) with a flag demonstrating that this billionaire, like the Republican candidate himself, pays no taxes to the United States government.

But then that would be insulting the real flag of the United States of America, the one that allows plutocrats to concentrate their wealth. Which is the true meaning of America after all.

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  1. ploeg says:

    Lovely thing about the Caymans is that they have so many flags. You can do the red one for yachting or less formal occasions, or you can do the blue one if you’re having the Governor over or if you’re just not in the mood for something splashy.

    • Lurker says:

      The Cayman islands doesn’t really have that many flags: only the civil merchant ensign and a flag for other uses, plus a gubernatorial ensign.

      In European countries, it is quite typical that the country has a civil flag (sometimes also a different civil flag for marine use), a flag for the armed forces (sometimes different flags for different services) and a flag for the state authorities. Quite often, different state authorities with significant marine presence have their variations of the flag (e.g. customs, postal service), as well as the head of state.

      The US practice of having a single flag for all these purposes is actually uncommon.

  2. Sockie the Sock Puppet says:

    The owner of the Cracker Bay is Gary Morse, who owns a bazillion acres of central Florida and runs his own baronry called The Villages. More on that here.

  3. Gary K says:

    Oh, man, I followed that link. Not only is there Gary Morse, there’s also his spokesman Gary Lester and Republican Club President Gary Davis. Thanks so much for making my day!

  4. Davis X. Machina says:

    Nothing, not even baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet says “America” like high-end tax avoidance schemes.

    While you’re up, throw another pass-through entity on the grill for me, will ya, and hand me a Pabst.

  5. Mike F. says:

    This is another example of the miserable organization of the Romney campaign.
    There is no legal requirement that a vessel registered in a foreign country display it’s colors while docked in a US port. The vessel must carry the hailing port (almost certainly “St. George C.I.” in this case) on her transom, but the number of journalists who would get close enough to photograph the transom, or who know what “St George” means if they did, is probably zero.
    So the dick who owns this thing forgot to strike his flag, or wants everyone to know his boat is registered in the C.I. (just like almost every other mega yacht in the western hemisphere).
    For the Romney campaign this is like walking your guy out in front of the Trump plane.
    They’re just so bad at this. How is this race even close?

    • Erik Loomis says:

      “They’re just so bad at this. How is this race even close?”

      Because there’s a shitload of racists in the United States?

        • Dirk Gently says:

          There are also stupid fucks who say things like this:

          “I’m a Democrat but I’m just not sure who to vote for this time. I mean, can’t we get someone in there who’s going to be able to DO something? Maybe someone new will shake things up.”

          I shit you not, these words tumbled out of the mouth of someone I consider to be thoughtful and fairly well educated.

          • Murc says:

            To be fair, people just don’t get the nature of the Presidency. It’s a powerful office in many ways, but for some reason (and I blame the fact that being President DOES mean you can bomb anyone you want) people think being President is like being King.

            • Calming Influence says:

              I’m tired of being fair. At this point, if a person is so unaware of the diametrically opposed goals of the two parties, then they’re not “independents” or “undecideds”, they’re just plain fucking idiots.

          • Hogan says:

            Firing the manager! It always works in baseball.

      • Walt says:

        It’s close because the economy isn’t doing that great. If we’d had a normal recovery, Obama would be running away with it.

    • Sockie the Sock Puppet says:

      They’re just so bad at this. How is this race even close?

      ‘Cause people like my mom would crawl through broken glass to vote for anyone who isn’t, um, “that one.” The reanimated corpse of Bob Dole* could register 45 percent in most polls.

      I don’t think most young Americans recognize just how profoundly racist the over-60 white crowd is. Not everyone, to be sure, but it’s a clear majority and it goes deep into their bones.

      * Well, he’d have to die first.

    • DAS says:

      Certainly racism has a LOT to do with it, but there is also the matter that Obama gives people no clear reason why they should vote for him. Concretely speaking, what has Obama done to improve the economic situation for the majority of Americans? What does he plan to do in his second term? And why hasn’t he done it already if he thinks it is such a good idea? And so, why is it important that we should all come to the polls in Nov and vote for Obama?

      Until he really answers those questions, he won’t even manage, in an electoral environment in which getting your base out is ever more important, to get his core constituents out to the polls to vote for him (and the down ballot candidates). Especially in an environment where the GOP will do everything they can to discourage voter turn-out, Obama needs to do a good job in convincing people that voting for him is worth the effort. Just as an example, I live in Anthony Weiner’s old district which went GOP in part because, for all the annoying calls at dinnertime and all the annoying mailers, the Democrats never made a coherent argument about why we should actually go to our polling places and vote for a warmed-over party hack rather than just stay home.

      Of course, Obama’s lack of a clear agenda also combines with the racism of too many American voters: since Obama continually fails to articulate what he actually wants (vs. the deals he’s willing to make — the guy seems to love deal-making and compromise more than anything), people will just assume the worst about the dark-hued guy with the funny name.

    • mpowell says:

      It’s race, of course. People have looked at the race effect. It seems that it was about 2-3% nationally in 2008, though it’s tough to measure. If you extend Obama’s national polling lead of 2% lead today to 5%, Nate Silver would have Obama at 90+% to win it.

      It’s fortunate the Democratic party chose one of the most favorable election environments in recent history to run the first african american candidate (and I imagine Hillary would see a similar negative effect), but I sure hope it doesn’t cost the election in 2012.

      I think it’ll be another 20-30 years before race swings less than 0.5% of the national vote.

      • It’s not race, of course. Remember 2000? Remember 2004? Heck, even in 1996, Clinton couldn’t get up to 50%. All of these races featured white people.

        Presidential elections are close these days. A white Obama would still have only a narrow lead.

        • Dirk Gently says:

          It isn’t just white candidates. It is the perception that Democrats give things to black people–things that either they don’t really need, or that subjugate them by making them “dependent.”

        • Bill Murray says:

          all except 2004 had third party candidates getting fairly large numbers, so probably aren’t a great comparison.

          Lincoln didn’t even get 40% of the vote

        • mpowell says:

          You should check the actual evidence Joe. The Republican party has been moving further right over the last two decades and the country has not been moving as fast, if at all. Results from 96 don’t really cut it. The studies I’m referring to compared vote counts between 2004 and 2008 and checked the shift against prevalence of google searches that were judged to be racist coded. The difference in shift was quite substantial in regions like West Virginia. You’re looking at a trend from the last few presidential elections and drawing too much of a conclusion for future ones. It’s true that the electorate has fewer swing voters these days, but on the other hand, the Republicans are steadily losing on demographics. And while 2004 was a relatively strong environment for an incumbent, the demographic shifts since then has continued and the Republican party has given up on the latino vote.

          Assuming Obama wins and the economy recovers, I think a lot of people will be surprised by how uncompetitive 2016 turns out to be.

    • How is this race even close?

      All presidential races are close these days. There just aren’t that many people who aren’t already committed to one or the other party, the way there were in the 50s-90s.

    • David M. Nieporent says:

      Because his opponent’s supporters are so unintelligent and intellectually bankrupt that the only thing they can do is argue that disagreeing with their socialist ideology is racist.

      • commie atheist says:

        SEK, another round of “you don’t know what words actually mean, do you?” for the house.

      • Malaclypse says:

        I’m trying to come up with philosophical differences between JenBob and Nieporente, and aside from the latter’s ability to misuse longer words, I’m coming up blank. Anybody else got anything?

        • DrDick says:

          Is it just me or has Nieporent gotten even dumber and less coherent over time? I think that steady diet of Oxycontin, meth, and Popov vodka is catching up with him.

          • NonyNony says:

            It’s not just you.

            Frankly I’m starting to wonder if the actual Nierporent disappeared a while back and this is just a troll who took over his name. He used to be a conservative jackass but he’s become an amazing angry and ignorant conservative jackass in the last few years.

            Or maybe he just has Obama Derangement Syndrome.

            • Holden Pattern says:

              I think that conservatism MAKES you stupid, or at least makes you say stupid things. There are simply too many insane and internally contradictory things you have to believe to be a member in good standing. So you have to be constantly lying, stupid, crazy, or some combination.

              • mpowell says:

                There are a lot of things going on. As he and his party have drifted in a more and more despicable direction, he’s gotten a more and more negative reception around here, which has probably caused him to be less inclined to make actually thoughtful objections to liberal arguments.

                And arguing politics is a lot about taking sides. It’s very difficult to avoid shifting to the right if you identify with the right and that’s what your side is doing. Nieporent is a victim of this trend along with a lot of other conservative intellectuals.

            • Murc says:

              Frankly I’m starting to wonder if the actual Nierporent disappeared a while back and this is just a troll who took over his name.

              I remember Hilzoy wondering the same thing about Moe Lane many moons ago.

              The answer, like so many answers, is probably ‘sadly, no.’

          • Malaclypse says:

            Yea, Davey used to be just arrogant and wrong. Now he’s added stupid to the mix, and that’s a sad thing.

      • Furious Jorge says:

        You people really should learn what words mean before you try to say them out loud.

      • Holden Pattern says:

        The more accurate description of the problem is that moral bankrupts like you argue that disagreeing with the Republicans’ racist ideology is socialist.

        Oddly, this shows both that you’re cool with racism and that you have no idea what socialist actually means.

      • Jon H says:

        Granting, for the moment, that Obama’s supporters have a socialist ideology. And granting, for the sake of argument, that they say that to disagree with that ideology is racist…

        What does that have to do Obama’s policy, which has been notably lacking in socialist ideology?

        If you want to bring up Obamacare, please explain how Romney and the Heritage Foundation qualify as socialist ideologues.

      • DrDick says:

        If you had any idea what socialism was, that might be a meaningful state. As you do not know what the word even means (much like pretty much all other words), it is simply another moronic pile of recycled horseshit.

  6. SP says:

    Well, the Union Jack is more similar to the Stars and Bars than the American flag, so maybe it’s just a shout out to the base.

  7. Cody says:

    I can’t… even… HOW!?

    Is this real? This is an ad writing itself. It’s a parody. Only in our sarcasm would Romney campaign on some boat named CRACKER BAY that was blatantly dodging American taxes.

    I’m sure the owner originally registered it American to get a tax break for buying a Yacht.

    • Tehanu says:

      Well, after all, calling it Saltine-American Bay would be a politically correct attempt at consideration of the feelings of crackers, and we all know that conservatives hate considering the feelings of their inferiors — even the ones they’ve convinced to vote for them.

  8. redrob64 says:

    In the name of all that is “fair and balanced”(tm) I demand that you stop smearing Gov. Romney with all these facts! Do we really want to live in an America where the rich are not beyond criticism? What kind of America would that be?

  9. mark f says:

    Where did Mitt get that wonderful jogging outfit?

  10. Malaclypse says:

    “I think it’s ironic they do this aboard a yacht that doesn’t even pay its taxes,”

    Sadly, there is nothing at all ironic about this.

  11. Bitter Scribe says:

    This is entirely the fault of oppressive regulations that create an overwhelming temptation to register a yacht in the Caymans, as well as stash cash there. Shame on all of us for driving rich people and their money away from America. How do we live with ourselves?

  12. [...] The Two American Flags – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money [...]

  13. wengler says:

    This is just Mitt’s money coming to visit him. A man needs to have his natural rights of visitation.

  14. TK421 says:

    But then that would be insulting the real flag of the United States of America, the one that allows plutocrats to concentrate their wealth. Which is the true meaning of America after all.

    Speaking of which:

    “Growth of Income Inequality Is Worse Under Obama than Bush”

    Link

  15. Dirk Gently says:

    In all sincerity, I think that dress is absolutely amazing. I am not being snarky.

  16. cpinva says:

    if mitt romney wins nothing else this year (and that’s looking to be the case), he will be awarded the top prize, for complete lack of self-awareness, of a candidate running for public office. no doubt, the idiot responsible for leaving that flag up will be flogged in the morning. have to keep up crew morale on the ship.

    • Lurker says:

      You know, keeping the flag at the stern is part of the culture of yacht sailing. You keep it there for the tradition. Of course, a person who owns a yacht to sail with it one or two times a year is not really part of the world of the seafaring. However, the yacht-owner wants to play pretend. Thus, flying the ensign, even in the harbour, where it serves no useful purpose, is a must.

  17. Svensker says:

    Late to the party, but an being a pedantic pedant, too, but it should be “for you and ME” not “for you and I”.

    Pet peeve. That is all. Carry on.

  18. [...] If F. Scott were alive today, he’d write a novel called “A Much Smaller Boat.”* For all the words wasted over the odor of class warfare last fall, this is the true tectonic plate of American economic division: not class warfare, but class envy. The GOP succeeds because people with smaller boats will always vote on the chance that they could one day have a bigger boat, and those without boats at all that they could one day get one. And so they keep electing the party that lowers their wages, demolishes their collective bargaining rights, redistributes wealth to the wealthy via austerity programs, etc., in other words ossifies class divides, making any upward mobility impossible, all on the chance that they could be the one to escape that common fate and wind up on a yacht, at which point I seriously doubt they will care what flag flies above them. A Flea In The Fur’s annual budget says that the women who waahed about that boat votes for Romney. She’d rather be him than beat him. (via Erik Loomis) [...]

  19. Matt says:

    Wait – a secret fundraiser on a Cayman-flagged yacht named *Cracker* Bay? Are we sure this isn’t from the Onion? :)

  20. Calming Influence says:

    I’m not one to hold a grudge, but there were some other Nancy Boys carrying the Union Jack on our soil in the 1700′s, and we kicked their asses. I say we send a Turtle out to welcome the Cracker Bay.

  21. God says:

    The reason why you all hate Obama is because he’s black.

    America is founded on Christian principles.

    How much more racist can Americans get?

    • pb says:

      First of all I don’t hate him, I just think his hatred of this country and what made it strong, like this website, suxs.

      All you self righteous anti-capitalists need to throw away your I-phones and I-pods if you are so pure to your cause. Tell me exactly what year you think those might have been invented in say a country like Cuba? Ever?

      You need to go in the closet and get a hold of yourself.

  22. Spirit of 76 says:

    Wow. I can’t believe you people. What is really sad, is how hateful and divisive we have come. Democrats, the very people who go on and on all the time about how racist, hateful, etc Republicans are, have been spouting out some of the MOST hate filled rhetoric lately. The most high exposure supporters of Obama (the people he ditched the Israeli Prime Minister to hang out with etc.) have most recently said they are voting for him BECAUSE he is black. Do you people not realize THAT is RACIST???? Supporting and holding someone up BECAUSE they are a certain ethnicity is as racist as trying to put someone down! I really and sincerely DO NOT dislike Obama because he is partially black. I really don’t. What I’m tired of is all the black people, and white people alike that are voting for him because they think he is a really cool, down to earth guy… oh and he’s black… sort of. And you all despise Romney because he is a successful business man. Yep that’s it. I’m sorry, but I know him and I know he is an honest person. He didn’t write the freaking tax code that is currently in place, and he wants to change it. He said at the debate, with his own mouth, that his plan is to CUT LOOP HOLES and CAP DEDUCTIONS!!! Are you guys even slightly able to comprehend that??? It means lowering what HE is able to deduct. Again… it means LOWERING WHAT HE, MITT ROMNEY AND THOSE LIKE HIM, ARE ABLE TO DEDUCT. It is NOT HIS FAULT that there are so many deductions and tax rules that reduce his taxable income.

    People like those of you who go on and on about how evil he is because he makes so much money and pays comparatively small taxes, are just a sickening green with envy, that is all.

    Obama has done so much to cripple our nation, even if it was with the best intentions. I don’t think he is a bad person that hates our nation, just doing things wrong. Obamacare, for instance, has cost my family and me increases in our premiums, increases in our co-pays and lowered benefits. (Honestly… I got a letter from my insurance company when it went into effect that stated, “due to new federal laws… your premiums will be increasing and your benefits will be increasing.” WHY????!!!!! Romney isn’t the one that stuck me with that BS, Obama is!!! Further more, there is a new tax on the sale of homes going into affect to pay for Obamacare. Great, so if I had gotten an offer on my house I’m trying to sell before it goes into foreclosure, I now have to add about $5500 to the price, which the buyer will insist I pay. So, I get to scrounge up that money to pay to the gov’t to fund Obamacare so someone else can have insurance??? WTF??? Sorry, I don’t have $5500 laying around. I guess I’m letting that house go into foreclosure. Thanks ACORN, for running up the housing market prices in 2005. (Hmmmm.. Obama was behind that too…)

    Besides all that, Obama has disarmed America, making us weak. We cannot afford that in today’s world. He has cut the military, cutting jobs (including my husband’s) and again, making us weak. He is apologetic for us being who we are, which is UNACCEPTABLE. Well, that all makes me wonder… does he really want America to succeed????

    Romney is an honest man, and a good man. He loves this nation and wants what is best for it. He is intelligent and decisive, not divisive. He may have a lot more than I do, and that is why I trust him to know better than me, how to help America gain more and get back on track. I wish people could stop hating him for what he has, and think about how he could help them get the same. Obama wants less rich people, Romney wants less poor people.

    Democrats lately are seeming to be behind the ideology that the gov’t should be watching over us all, giving us what we need, making sure it’s all “fair”. Republicans are behind a smaller, less intrusive gov’t, letting us all run a free market. It has nothing to do with whether the face of the party is black or white, asian or hispanic.

    Sadly, I see way too much pettiness coming from democrats, with name calling, anger, and a refusal to listen. My friend’s Romney signs have been stolen out of her yard twice this week. Other people I know have had their cars keyed because they have Romney stickers on them!! REALLY??! REALLY DEMOCRATS??? Is that what you call, fair, honest, good, mature and intelligent??? wow.

    • Malaclypse says:

      He has cut the military, cutting jobs (including my husband’s) and again, making us weak.

      I thought the government could not create a single job. Could you perhaps clarify this thought in a news-letter to which we could subscribe?

      • Romney Fan says:

        You really are an idiot. Cutting jobs is not the same as creating jobs. The post is saying Obama’s defense spending cuts have meant military jobs lost. What is so hard to understand about that?

    • mark f says:

      Shorter Spirit of 76:

      Mitt Romney is the kindest, gentlest man who has never carved a backwards ‘B’ into my cheek, which is more than I can say for the HALF-black Obama whose race I am not at all preoccupied with.

    • Romney Fan says:

      Thank you SO much for this post. You sound like a truly intelligent individual who knows what he/she is talking about. I feel so crappy that Romney is not our next president, but maybe ignorant individuals who support Obama for superficial reasons will learn their lesson the hard way. 50% of Americans will learn what it means to vote for Baracko Claus and the free handout.

  23. Romney Fan says:

    This is the most idiotic post EVER. Just because Romney does a campaign event on a yacht that appears to be registered in the Cayman Islands doesn’t mean he is unpatriotic. Maybe his campaign staff planned that event. Maybe his top donor chose it. If he’s ever been on a Carnival cruise, is that a problem too? Carnival cruse ships are registered in Bahamas and Panama. If he buys Shell gas, does that make him unpatriotic? Shell is a subsidiary of Royal Dutch – which is based in Europe. If he drives a Mercedes, does that make him unpatriotic? Mercedes is ALSO A European company. Ignorance prevails again, but thanks for the Facebook cover photo. I used ur pic of the American flag.

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  25. I can’t believe that you would limit this to just two flag. It’s not just the Bahamas that give these corporate tax dodgers safe haven. Maybe they should add something to the US Flag code allowing you to fly the flag of the country that you pay tax in.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Obama is a terrible person, and if he were to be strung up and hung from a tree, while white people piss on him, i would be the happiest i have been in 6 years.

  27. Dillon Roos says:

    i hate niggers, but Obama has made that hatred even worse. i wish he would be put through a meat grinder and fed to terrosists. WHITE POWER!

  28. American Pride says:

    i am going to assassinate Obama on 3/16/14. try and stop me you greasy fuckin porch monkey!

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