Guide Dont Tread on Me: A 400-Year History of America at War, from Indian Fighting to Terrorist Hunting

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Then a friend working near him was swallowed by a surge of earth. Ye Min Naing was buried too. Somehow fellow wildcat miners pulled him out, along with a year-old who was left paralyzed by the accident. Three people, Ye Min Naing thinks, were killed, but who really knows? Like many deaths in the mines of Hpakant township in northern Myanmar once known as Burma , this accident never appeared in the media.

No bodies were recovered. In the months since the landslide, the mass of stony waste at Hmaw Sisar, where Ye Min Naing still forages, has only grown more perilous. The roughly , jade pickers who sift through the detritus left by larger mining operations are migrants whose lives are threatened by landslides, drug addiction and disease. Tying the precious stone to dispensable miners is a web of Burmese military-linked firms, Chinese companies, ethnic rebel commanders and drug kingpins wanted by the U. The stone of heaven, as it is known in China, is also fueling civil war between the Burmese military and ethnic Kachin guerrillas seeking self-rule.

Yet the industry remains shrouded. The ethnic Kachin, though native to the jade hills, control few of the mines. Today most of the big concessions belong to companies or cronies connected to the Burmese military elite. Even as the country has transitioned from five decades of military rule to semicivilian authority, jade has proved the limits of democratic governance. While conflict diamonds have yielded Hollywood scripts and rap lyrics, jade has largely escaped international scrutiny. Last October, then U.

Many civil-society and watchdog groups, however, were aghast, arguing that the jade industry is still rife with abuses. Though the Burmese government has signed on to a global transparency initiative for extractive industries, the reality in Kachin remains bleak. But I managed to access Hpakant to experience a place so beguiling to 18th century Chinese imperial envoys that hundreds perished en route in the malarial wilderness.


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The scenes before me look like a cross between a magnified ant farm and a Star Wars set. In the distance I spy what appear to be hundreds of tiny insects clinging to a hillside. As we drive closer, I realize they are men. Backhoes, excavators and giant trucks maneuver through a lunar landscape like creatures from an alien planet. Hpakant was once the domain of tigers and verdant foliage.

All I see is dust and brown. Where prospectors used to dig by hand, now explosives and heavy machinery, mostly imported U. Already, Hpakant is mostly dead. Fatal accidents mount. Only the biggest, like a November landslide that killed about miners, make headlines. Township officials have recorded hundreds of deaths in jade-mining accidents over the past year and a half.

But locals say the real number is many times that. And in the hills, the Burmese army and Kachin rebels continue to wage war. The oversize vehicles move in erratic lines to the edge of a cliff where they will disgorge stones considered too trifling for the big mines to bother sifting through.

Behind us, the hillsides are covered in pinpricks of light, each the flashlight of a freelance miner striking bits of rock with an iron pick, hoping to hear the distinctive ping that denotes a chunk of jadeite. Suddenly, a shout goes out. A cacophony of voices magnifies the panic. Miners storm up over the brink of the precipice, rocky debris clattering down the quarry.

In the spotlight of my headlamp, I catch isolated images of terror: the whites of widened eyes, grasping limbs and swirls of dust from the tread of frightened feet. The alarm turns out to be false.

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But less than a month before, at least three people were killed by a landslide at this very mine. For years, no Western journalist had reached Hpakant. Burmese reporters have filed compelling stories. Two trucks filled with soldiers, plus about a dozen security forces, are waiting for us. During our detention, we are treated with courtesy. We notice that local officials are profiting from jade: one has raw stones rolling around in the trunk of his car. A calendar in the Hpakant immigration office features images of jade mines. Among other meanings, it is clear that it is often adopted by those with a general or even vague approval or even outright enthusiasm for the concept of minimal government and freedom of rights for individuals.

Currently, there are several variations of this flag but the message remains the same. Following are some of the minor changes that may be found for the Gadsden flag.

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The Continental Marines is one of the most popular groups that used this flag, unfurling it side by side with the Moultrie flag. The United States Navy also utilized an earlier version of the flag. The first use of this flag, however, was by Commodore Esek Hopkins. His ships sailed for the first time in the year on the month of February. Today, the flag is being used by the Tea Party Movement as previously mentioned — which is why the symbol is currently getting some bad reputation.

We understand that there have been white supremacist groups who have used the flag as part of their own symbolism, but most rational people can understand that just because a fringe group adopts a national symbol, that is no reason to persecute those who display the symbol since most who display the symbol probably display it as a symbol portraying its original meaning. Can you imagine if every Conservative Republican decided to persecute anyone who displays a photo of a rainbow because it has been adopted by the LGBTQ community?

The rainbow was originally a symbol of a promise given to us by God to never again destroy the earth with a flood. The symbol has been taken by the gay community to symbolize their lifestyle and agenda which has nothing to do with the original symbolism of the rainbow. Can you please return the favor? Nowadays, the United States is proud of its freedom — sometimes even stating that it is the freest country in the world.

The Gadsden flag, however, represents the time when America is in the process of fighting for its freedom. Young Americans will do well to know the impact and underlying meaning of this flag to their history. Why is that unfortunate? However, if you wrote your reasons as to why you think abortion is an awesome thing, I would have no problem reading it though I would certainly disagree with your conclusion.

Thanks for checking out Knifeup! Is that a decent answer or did I fall woefully short? The flag standing alone is typically not viewed as racist.

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I was recently at a survival store and I saw the symbol and I liked it, then a family member made a comment that it was racist in some way. I decided to Google it and just read about it I personally love history and facts are facts. When this flag came out it meant we came Together As Americans. If anyone comes to this country I believe they should act American because we are all Americans. I have a bi-racial child so I am anything but racist. Go Marines go Navy hoorah. I love your reply. My kids are of mixed race as well and I teach them not to hate but to look beyond normal stereotypes.

Never as a hate symbol in any way. No big deal! You are comparing them to racists? In 32 out of 50 states, conversion therapy is legal. In 70 countries, being gay is illegal, and in 9 it is punishable by death. You are not being persecuted for flying a flag.

Some people view it as racist, but it is not illegal or punishable by death. It was a great example.


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  5. No hysteria needed! This is actually the perfect example of people being so sensitive that people end up feeling they have to shut up about everything. Just stop. You are the ones responsible for the terrible things that happen. I was thinking the same thing. I like the original meaning of the flag but that was years ago. Today that flag means White Christian Supremacy.

    Am I right? The difference in melatonin in your skin and genetic variation we see in Asians, Hispanics, Blacks, etc. Of this I could not be more convinced! And because of that, people are persecuted for flying this flag.

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    I appreciate your in depth and somewhat fair explanation of the Gadsen flag. I came to your site just after reading the wikipedia article on it and found your thoughts pretty much the same as there. Just like being told in a restaurant not to use the f word. The meaning of symbols change over time. As a southerner I love the battle flag. But, for others, it means racism, slavery, and jim crow. Unfortunately the Gadsen flag has ended up in the same situation. Today it seems to be flown as a signifier of affiliation to an ideology that, to me, is abhorrent to the principles that our country was founded on.

    That ANY citizen can rise to the top given that they agree to ideas rather ethnicity. Ultimately, because the far right has co-opted this flag, and to some extent co-opted libertarianism. I will not fly this flag. It is a sad time indeed when people in this country just sit around and poke fingers at one another about race, discrimination and flags that are offensive to some people. It shows how far our country has fallen from its original ideals, and how social media has poisoned and corrupted the minds of the citizens of this country.

    Ignorance is to blame on the hatred of such beloved historical standards as this flag, the original meaning of its purpose has been washed away by those that have no idea of why it is still important to bear this standard today, to show that we are a country of citizens that will not be controlled by a foreign entity and if our liberty is put to the wire we will fight with the very same passion that won our independence. If you find this offensive or racist you truly need professional help. As a Mexican American, I do not see anything wrong with this.

    Putting a label on someone based on an individual belief is both ignorant and unfair to that person. There is already so much division in this country because of extreme thinking and judgment being placed on others. We are all Americans and it sure would be nice to see some agreement and less negativity. Thanks for your time everybody. They were slain as they ate lunch in broad daylight. Two domestic terrorists ambushed the officers and fled to the Wal Mart next door where they killed a concealed carry man who heroically tried to stop them.

    Both were eventually killed. I use this flag as a libertarian. We have had an American flag and a Gadsen flag flying at our home for 3 years. Both were stolen out of their pole supports—poles and all. We let our neighbors know…most were very supportive. We have replaced both flags. What is happening here? Thanks for stopping by, J. Lets not eff around or mince words. These people want to tread on minorities. Screw that…anyone who would wear this T shirt would likely be a racist, so the black man was probably correct.

    They mean southern slavery pride. Ann James aka another entitled, spoiled lily white leftist with a chip on her shoulder. Ya know people like you who scream racism at others are often racists themselves. You immediately mention white people, yep your a racist! I also know that I am absolutely NOT a racist. To me, the original meaning of the flag is absolutely a symbol of American pride and patriotism. Even Ben Franklin used the symbol of a snake to stir American pride against the British. That is morally wrong, but wanting to be free from political slavery taxation without representation is not wrong and I agree with the symbol of a snake bite against England as a declaration of freedom and revolt against a corrupt government.

    I guess there are always two ways to see lots of issues like the breath of fresh air finally coming from the Alabama legislature dealing with the defining moral issue of our culture, etc. Crazy world huh? Cry more about nothing! Where are the men these days! I wish we had a few good ones in my area! Gender blending is all the rage you know! I often wonder why political affiliation bother to bait people. Religious ideology also sneaks into a conversation and the emotional manipulation takes over rather than an open honest dialogue.

    The snake cut into pieces also has historical significance in modern times the enemies of freedom and uniting as a people is undermined by choosing sides. Historically many have died for what they believe in and fought sadly the rebel rousers have a pen or a keyboard and when the bodies are cold and those of us stacking the bodies of the enemy and mourning our lost loved ones those pulling the strings are urging us to give or admonish those willing to die.