I Pledge Allegiance - And Response (4)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I grew up in the 70s and 80s and recall going to school where there was a United States flag in every classroom and we stood and faced that flag every morning, placing our right hand over our hearts and reciting the pledge of allegiance.   "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to... the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."  

Then in the middle 80s I joined the United States Army to serve my country. During the induction into the Army I pledged my oath of enlistment, I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."  

Some years later I again pledged an oath and this time it was to uphold the laws of the state of Tennessee. Once again it included "God" which apparently was important in our country at some point.

Over the years I have taken these oaths seriously and still do today. I have to wonder though where has God gone in our allegiance to country and to the protection of our states? Why is it that the President of the United states refuses to pay respect to our flag and pledge of allegiance?

The undermining of our nation by groups like the ACLU has certainly contributed to the lack of respect our young people have for this country. The liberal media and their portrayal of what is okay and their lack of respect for our service members is sickening to me. Our President has lied to us over and over and yet the liberal media continues to back him unconditionally. 

I am tired of being lied to by our governments, federal, state and local. This election year it is time to take back our government by the people and run off the current idiots who cannot seem to get along or accomplish anything. It is time that our elected officials pledge allegiance, take the oath of office and stand up for what is right.

Mike Cox 

* * * 

Mike Cox, you are right on brother, except for the fact that God has not gone anywhere. He always was, always is and always will be where He has always been, here and everywhere. We as a nation are turning our backs on Him, yet He still loves us. 

As far as the course our country is taking, one has to go back to 1776 when about 75 percent of our citizens were willing take things as they were rather than rock the boat. After all, they were under the protection of the King. Please remember that it only took the other 25 percent to get feed up and want a better life for all and independence from the King/Big Brother. Too many people have forgotten what President John F. Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." 

Your opinion was very well stated and I thank you for taking the time to articulate it, rather than just rant. 

J. Pat Williams 

* * * 

Mr. Cox, thank you for your service.  

I hear the term "take our country back" a lot from those on the right, but I am unclear as to what exactly you mean. Do you mean take it back to a certain period of time like the 50s, 60s or take it back from the Democrats, because the Republicans have had a less than stellar record when in office, including Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes, or do you mean change the type of government of elected officials that we currently have? I agree that the current Congress is the worst that I can remember in my lifetime. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth's Companion on Sept. 8, 1892. It was a "generic" pledge that Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country. 

It originally read:  "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 

In 1923, the words, "the flag of the United States of America" were added. At this time it read:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 

It wasn't until 1954, in response to the fear of Communist threat of the times, that President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God," creating the 31-word pledge we say today.  

Despite what those on the right say, this President has never turned his back on our flag or neglected to say the Pledge of Allegiance, but that doesn't make for as good story. 

John Fricke 

* * * 

Thanks for the letter. It's been at least a week or more since I've read something about how our country is being ruined by the liberal media and our godless President. Nevermind that the last President, Bush 43, has the needless deaths of over 4,000 U.S. service personnel on his conscience......or should. Obviously, that doesn't concern you. 

Please show some specific proof of where President Obama, "....refuses to pay respect to our flag and pledge of allegiance." When I read things of that nature, I think it might be best for the person to watch a few less hours of Faux News every day. Get outside and take a walk. 

Herb Montgomery

* * * 

Ad hominem attacks by Mr. Montgomery aside, I have always found that hard numbers present a much more accurate picture of reality. 

Mr. Montgomery points out that 4,000 "needless" deaths of our military have occurred and attributes those deaths to former President Bush. Mr. Montgomery appears to have overlooked the 2,978 totally innocent people (and 19 hijackers) who died on 9-11. However, I don't see those "needless" deaths noted in Mr. Montgomery's numbers. 

The facts are that three quarters of the 2,153 U.S. military fatalities in the 12-year-old Afghanistan war have taken place since Obama was inaugurated. He has, in fact, presided over three of the highest annual counts of the 12-year-old Afghanistan conflict—2010 (492 deaths), 2011 (404 deaths), and 2012 (295 deaths), with 2013 yet to be completed. Nearly 80 percent of all injuries in Afghanistan also have occurred under Obama’s watch. In comparison, during the entire eight years of the Bush administration there were a total of 558 fatalities in Afghanistan. 

In 2010, Obama sent 33,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan as part of the “surge." As of December 2013, those additional troops have increased the number of U.S. military in harm's way to about 47,000 soldiers. During the Bush administration, we received updated casualty reports on the evening news. Today, the media largely remains silent in announcing those increased  casualties. 

If Mr. Montgomery is referring to the Iraq War, then some research on the Iraq War Resolution will validate that both political parties as well as the international community were involved in and approved that decision based upon intelligence and other information known at the time. No one person made that decision nor can one person be blamed for the outcome. 

Mr. Montgomery and Mr. Fricke ask for "specific proof" where President Obama:  "....refuse(d) to pay respect to our flag and pledge of allegiance."   

Again, we'll let the facts speak for themselves. When asked why he was the sole political  candidate not wearing a U.S. flag pin, Obama responded:  "You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism." (Interview on KCRG-TV, Iowa ABC affiliate, October 2007. Verified by Politifact.) He started wearing a U.S. flag pin when it became politically expedient to do so. 

As for "proof" that he did not pledge the American flag, candidate Obama was caught on video in 2008 doing just that while on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton. While others on the stage placed their hands over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance, candidate Obama did not do so, instead clasping his hands in front of his body. (Still photos are easily researched.) In that instance, Obama left it to a spokesman to explain his omission: "In no way was he making any sort of statement," responded an Obama aide when questioned by the press, "and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous." (Inside Edition, October 23, 2007.) The fact remains that Barack Obama was the only one among four people on the platform who did not pledge the flag according to the U.S. Flag Code, something any politician should know by rote.  

In response to Mr. Fricke's opinion piece, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy, may have been a minister and Christian Socialist--but he was also a capitalist. Bellamy was hired by Daniel Sharp Ford in 1891 to promote subscriptions to a magazine called ”Youth's Companion.” Bellamy's job was to promote free U.S. flags as “premiums” for new subscribers and to write a pledge to the flag to encourage more sales. When the magazine market for flags began to dry up, Ford and Bellamy focused on promoting the sale of flags and the accompanying pledge in schools across the nation. Today, Daniel Sharp Ford is recognized as one of the first capitalists to use a new and highly successful marketing strategy involving “premiums” and young “recruiters” to sell his magazines. One could therefore say the sale of the U.S. flag and the Pledge of Allegiance are daily reminders of the capitalism that helped make this nation great. It might also be noted that the original Bellamy's Pledge used a gesture to salute the flag similar to that used by the Nazi's, but we don't do that today, either. 

Interestingly, Bellamy was later forced from his Boston pulpit for his increasingly Socialist sermons, some of which became radically anti-immigrant and racist. Consequently, there is no question as to why the original Bellamy Pledge of Allegiance has evolved over the years. 

And finally, a constant thorn in the side of many is the fact that "Faux News" (aka Fox News) remains the number one cable news show on TV according to the Nielsen ratings, including ratings released on Dec. 27. Contrary to what some seem to believe, Nielsen does not survey only conservative/GOP/Tea Party television viewers. Do people listen to NPR during drive time to get a dose of other news and opinion?  Of course. But there is no disputing the fact that Fox remains the top-ranked news network from the East to the West Coast. Can't argue the facts, and it's time to put that one to rest. 

Unless it escaped me, there are no ad hominem attacks in my submission. Perhaps it's time for others to try that approach as well. 

Mya Lane

Roy Exum: The Trouble With Chicago

On “Black Friday” night, I saw television footage of what was said to be about 2,000 people marching in protest in Chicago. The very vocal mob descended on the toniest street – Michigan Avenue – to spew its rage over a police officer who shot and killed a 17-year-old, this over a year ago in October of 2014. The just-released tapes of the incident embroiled the blacks who insist ... (click for more)

The Message Of The GOP Is Hate And Division

Maybe it is me.  Maybe it is me that thinks the likes of Donald Trump or Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and some of the others represent the voting public.  I noticed and watched, again, with horror, that another shooting and killing happened in Colorado yesterday.  Couple that with some of the hysterical rhetoric of the Republican Party and wonder, or I do, just what is happening ... (click for more)

Volkswagen Stockholder Files Suit Against Automaker At Chattanooga; Seeks Class Action Status

A Volkswagen stockholder has filed suit in Federal Court in Chattanooga against the automaker, charging that its stock was over-valued and that it has not plummeted due to revelations about emissions cheating. The suit was filed in behalf of Michael Wolfenbarger by Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball and Nashville attorney James Stranch III. It seeks class action status for those ... (click for more)

Woman In Critical Condition After Being Shot In The Face Saturday Night Near O'Rear Street

A woman is in critical condition after she was shot while driving in Chattanooga on Saturday night. Just after  9 p.m. , the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on the scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the face. The victim was driving a ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Texas Hands Lady Vols First Loss, 64-53

KNOXVILLE – The Tennessee Lady Vols won their first five games of the season, despite playing sub-par basketball against lesser-talented teams. They weren’t quite so lucky here at Thompson Boling Arena Sunday afternoon before the largest crowd of the year at 10,204 fans. The eighth-ranked Texas Longhorns ended Tennessee’s 27-game home winning streak with a 64-53 victory ... (click for more)

No.1 UConn Women and Breanna Stewart Face Mocs Monday

“By late Monday night, UConn’s Breanna Stewart will be on a very short list of the greatest female players to ever play at McKenzie Arena.”   -- UTC women’s basketball coach Jim Foster   America’s most talented female player - Breanna Stewart - on the best women’s college basketball team in the land -   UConn – is in town for a one night showing, ... (click for more)