« questions, questions | Main | careful, your indie cred is showing »

no pledge, no state aid....

no pledge, no state aid....

In the wake of 9/11, our nation has lost its mind. The face of freedom has changed drastically, its meaning altered beyond what we once thought possible.

New York State Assemb. Steve Levy (D-Holbrook) announced yesterday he would introduce legislation that would penalize school districts if their schools don't lead students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance daily.

What's next folks? A recitation of a daily devotion to George Bush?

Pre 9/11, this never would have happened. Nor would there be essays hanging on the walls of a public school entitled "God Bless America." We wouldn't be looked at with a curious glance if we don't have an American flag waving from our car. But now, not only are we terrorist-aiders if we speak out against secret military tribunals, but there are people who want to take away funding from schools if they don't force the pledge on students. Wasn't this a free country once? 9 out of 10 people are practicing extreme forms of patriotism and religion. God is everwhere, and he's carrying an American flag.

The pledge itself is a farce. I long ago said that the last line should be changed to "liberty and justice for those white middle class men who can afford it." Even my daughter, at eleven years, has voiced her dissent that the pledge intones that this whole nation prays to the same god, or any god at all. What do words mean in the long run? Is the nation going to crumble if a few "renegade" students or districts decide that the pledge is not mandatory? I thought this country stood for freedom: freedom of religion, freedom of politics, freedom of choice. Should someone choose not to say the pledge, it should not reflect in the school budget. That is ludicrous.

I know I am vigorously outspoken about the administration of this country. And that is one of the things I love about living here. I am allowed to be outspoken. All that is changing, however. The crashing waves of misplaced patriotism and blind loyalty are eroding the shores of personal freedom. Where were all these misguided people before terrorism struck us in the face? Did anyone care about the pledge then? Would anyone have been allowed to sing "God Bless America" in a public school then? How many flags did you see in a day before September 11th? When was the last time you were afraid to speak your mind because you would be labeled pro-terrorist if you di? I bet it wasn't before September.

This country is scaring me. The scare tactics, propaganda and misuse of the powers our leaders is making this a scary time, indeed.

I'm afraid of Americans.

Comments

You're afraid?! How f'ing terrified do you think we are?!

that was well written.. thanks

You can always move to Canada. ;-)

Hehe, I'm sorry to laugh, Michele, but look at you - you were lead to say the pledge of allegiance every day and it didn't kill you. I also had to recite the pledge when I was in school. I think his heart's in the right place, anyway. I'm more worried about being issued national ID cards.

I see no harm in pledging allegiance to a country that you're a citizen of.

Not that I agree with the "under God" part, but I didn't keel over dead when I was saying it. I lived. Just like all the Jewish kids live when everyone else is celebrating Christmas and running around saying Merry Christmas. I'm sure they don't enjoy it, but I'm sure they aren't traumatized for life for having to listen to it.

I shouldn't be forced to endure conversations with peace-loving hippy Canadians that think we should have just sat back and done nothing in the face of what happened, either, but I tolerate it. Barely. snort

I don't agree with penalizing schools for not leading them in a pledge, but no one has said the kids that don't believe in it are going to be beaten senseless if they don't go along with it.

You bash patriotism all the time, but not all of us are flag-waving lunatics. If we were all apathetic, there wouldn't be an America for you to bitch about, because no one would believe in our country enough to fight for it.

Not that patriotism has shit to do with reciting the pledge, but it's a start. wink

The right not to pledge is as important as the right to pledge. We are a free people. Rights are granted to us from nature (see any book regarding the social contract) and we list them in a constitution for convenience sake, not to disparage or deny any other rights that exist. Check your ninth and tenth amendments. This patriotism that we've seen lately is mini-mall patriotism, it's must-see-tv patriotism. And frankly, I believe it won't last. It didn't after the Gulf War, when Whitney Houston had one of the best selling records of all time with the "Star Spangled Banner" from the Super Bowl.

Dissent is at the very core of this nation and it's founding documents, otherwise, why would we have formed a nation in the first place? Sure, don't speak out against British taxation, it's not patriotic. The harm is not questioning you government, which is of, by, and for the people. It may not seem like it at times, but every so often, government by the people works.

I'm not so sure Michele is apathetic here. She provides an important voice against excesses of a dubiously elected administration. I for one, applaud her on a daily basis for her courage and the forthright way she tackles tough issues most people would just nod blindly at when presented to them by FOXNews or talk radio.

Ask Native Americans and agnostics how they feel about the pledge. Most will probably agree with it, but a few will have thought about it and understand that while in theory, such a solemn oath is sound, it has not survived practice perfectly.

I direct all to the words of Beatrice Hall - "I disagree of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

i accidently ran into this page and i thought you were spot on on what u said. Brace your self guys cause the world since sept 11 is gonna turn into something from worst mightmares. Personal freedom/ rights.. is the start. After the new law got voted that anyone could be arrested if suspected as a terrorist (shic, whats the definition of one?..maybe anyone who goes against us gov?) an detained without warrent for arrest or without any proof. That alone scares the $hit out of me. That means, if u are at the wrong place at the wrong time.. your in deep $hit... and top of it all noone will be able to help u. The governement is getting too much power..over the people, WTF isnt it suppose to be from the people and for the people?...obviously not any more. And about the flag stuff.... pure propaganda, something out of hitler documentaries (chilling). America always had a problem with nationalism...ever since WWII and especially after vietman... the majority of us military is on a pay roll.... in other words disposable heroes on a bugget. Then again were there any real americans to start with?

waterboy

I'm messing with Michele, and she knows it. If I didn't love reading her opinions, she wouldn't be the #1 link in my list. She's one of the few I can disagree with on minor points and she won't get snarky with me about it.

I'm just picking on her for making fun of patriots all the time, which has nothing to do with the pledge of allegiance being forced on schools (which is a point I agreed with her on, if you'll read what I said again.) Nor do I think Michele is apathetic; if she were, she wouldn't bother saying anything at all.

If you sensed a line drawn in the sand between Michele and I, you're mistaken. ;-) It'll never happen.

Of course, there I go being different again, but I do have to say this:

While I will admit that the number of flags I see in a day has increased dramatically, one thing I always noticed about our people was the patriotism we carried throughout our everyday lives. I mean, every Perkin's has a big fucking American flag outside. Construction cranes (even before september) would fly flags at the top. People had patriotic bumper stickers before september, too. One thing that foreign exchange students consistantly remark upon is the fact that we sing the national anthem before all major events. I don't recall hearing you complain about that before.

My point is this: we're a patriotic country to begin with, and since our collective anxiety level has been spiked, some of us have chosen to go a little overboard with the flags on the cars.

I don't partake in this blind patriotism (because it truly is blind--we know a very small percentage of the truth, and the truth we know barely resembles the authentic truth), but I do condone it. It makes people feel better, so more power too them. Nobody has commented on why I don't have a flag on my car yet, so until that happens enough to annoy me, I'm just fine with all of it.

As far as cutting funding if the schools don't say the pledge--that's some fucked up shit right there...

as to moving to canada, you're always welcome in my apartment, provided your kids are gagged at all times, and you bring your PS2

I keep telling you: it's all about the Island Nation.

The pledge is insipid. I don't know where it originated, but it certainally isn't on par with the great documents of the founding fathers. "I pledge alligence to the FLAG . . ." What kind of Hitler youth type jingoism is that?

Here it is - just as I thought, nothing but a political move by religious-based civic groups and Republicans.

I haven't said the pledge since middle school - I quit because I thought it was stupid. I agree - I have no allegiance to a flag. The flag is not the country. And one of the cornerstones of this country is dissent - loud, vigorous dissent.

All I'm saying is, it's time to worry when the FBI are knocking on college students' doors to investigate reports of "anti-American" material (meaning "anti-Bush"). It is not a crime to have anti-American material in ones possession - yet. And if I can ever find the link to that story, I'll post it.

Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them. by internet poker