hi just going to point out that the pledge of allegiance was added in the seventies and can be changed. and i want your views on that

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That is pretty cool.  I've done similar things, but tend to just say "with liberty" really loud and then pause to let everyone else catch up.  I've managed to get a few dirty looks that way.  hehe

That's actually not a bad idea. If someone gives you a dirty look, you can just turn to them and say, "What? You have some sort of problem with liberty?"

"underdog" is kinda silly, and doesn't really say anything meaningful. I'm sure it was brilliant as a 4th grader, but I'll stick with a silent moment: "One nation....... indivisible with liberty and justice for all"

i suppose if you wanted to be satirical you could say "one nation under Allah..." That would certainly rustle some jimmies.

It's sure become an ingrained civic tradition.  I like the pledge, I think it's good for maintaining patriotism and popular unity.  I'd love to see 'under God' scrapped, so that the pledge is in line with separation of church and state.  Government traditions which validate the enmeshment of church and state are dangerous and unconstitutional. 


On a side note, I went to Catholic school for a couple years.  Each morning we said 'the Our Father' and then the pledge.  I swear I thought the pledge was another prayer for years!  Even now when I say the pledge, I sometimes feel like tacking on some gobble-de-gook about Jesus ascending to heaven and being seated at the right hand of the father.  Now mixing my prayers up too.  :D   :-)    :-l    :-(    : [

"I swear I thought the pledge was another prayer"

isn't it? it's a prayer to the United States (rather than God). Recital is required, for brainwashing purposes (there's a reason people are so over-the-top patriotic instead of being open-minded; it's because the US Govt forced young moldable minds to recite the pledge every day of their lives). 

There's a wonderful WKUK sketch about it:


No big deal.  From the beginning, I just closed my mouth on the "...under God" part.

Actually, I have stopped reciting the Pledge at all; and when I was a teacher, I refused to require my classes to recite it.  I see no compelling reason why people should owe allegiance to whatever country they happen to inhabit, much less some non-existent deity.  And, in fact, few countries are so chauvinistic as to demand this of its citizens.  They believe that a government owes allegiance to its people; not the other way around.  And neither should owe allegiance to some god or other. 

Here's what our revered Pledge REALLY says: 

...”I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the corporate plutocracy for which it stands, one empire, under a mythical deity, with liberty and justice for rich, white men.”

How’s this for a better pledge:  “I pledge allegiance to the people of the world, and to their health, welfare, and prosperity.”  That’s a sentiment I would gladly embrace aloud.

Okay, Republicans, all together now: "WHY DON'T YOU LEAVE THE COUNTRY?"  Believe me, if I'd known what I know now when I was younger, I would have tried.  I did apply for a job in Canada, where they don't torture prisoners; don't slaughter innocent civilians for economic gain; don't spy on their citizens without a warrant; don't permit any cowboy wannabe to carry a gun; don't deny free health care to anyone, don't deny people the right to love whom they wish; don't discriminate by reason of language or skin color; and - most of all - don't seek to start wars at the drop of a hat.  Unfortunately, Canada had no need, in 1976, of my particular skills.

Besides, I do love this country; at least the part of it where I live.  And I feel I am contributing more to its improvement by staying and fighting against the things I think are hurting it, like religion, incipient fascism, and blind patriotism.   

@Dale - First, I'd like to start out saying I'm a republican.  Of course, I'm for what the republicans "claim" to stand for, not one of the delusionally superstitious [self] Right[eous]. I guess you could call me more of a Libertarian these days.

My viewpoint is that the government should stay out of everyone's lives as much as possible.  Not *completely*, mind you, because there are some services that the government is necessary for such as civic projects, law enforcement, and regulatory duties to maintain a free market with as little corruption as possible.  That being said, outside of "free" healthcare, and your suggestion that people should never be allowed to defend themselves, I agree with everything else you say.

I believe that "free" healthcare is extremely expensive because it's paid for via taxes and the government runs it.  Consider how inept the government is at running the Social Security program - we all pay into it for 50 years and the system gets to benefit from all that money, and yet it can't support us for 15 years afterwards, putting out a fraction of what was put in.  Let me put my money into a retirement fund for that long and I would be living the high life after retirement, not living at poverty level.  This is due to nothing other than poor management.  It is *not* a pyramid scheme.  It is *not* because of "baby boomers". We have all put in more than enough money to support us in our retirement, the government just rapes that fund and then blames the elderly for expecting to get their investment back.  Health care is paid for *by us* one way or the other. I just don't understand why people think that making the government pay for something makes it "free".  Do they not understand where the government gets its money from?

As for the firearms issue - here are a couple of extremely clear facts: 1) there is NO WAY we are ever getting rid of all the firearms in this country.  Period.  People can wine about it until doomsday, but it's just simply not going to happen.  2) based on premise 1, if we outlaw guns (and law abiding citizens actually go along with it, which we won't), what you have created is a society of victims.  You have criminals with gun and an unarmed public.  What could go wrong with that?  3) the police are NOT there to protect you.  They admit it themselves.  They are a reactive authority, not a proactive authority.  Based on your post, you can surely see why this is the way it *must* be and putting more proactive power int the hands of the police can only be a bad thing.  4) Statistics clearly show that the more restrictive the gun control laws, the higher the violent crime rate, as a general rule.  Sure, you can find exceptions (which is why we turn to statistics), but they are few and far between.  5) You are FAR more likely to get shot accidentally by a police officer than you are a citizen, and *especially* a law abiding citizen. Again, look up the statistics.  5) the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting or protecting yourself against intrusion.  It is solely meant as a deterrent against a tyrannical, repressive government.  The argument that "they have tanks and jets, so you having guns is useless" is one of the most ridiculous, moronic statements I can even imagine.  It proposes a scenario that is completely impossible and takes a concept to an absurd extreme.  Just looking at your post with your proposal of how oppressive our government already is against its citizens, can you imagine how bad it would be if they thought we were all completely helpless to fight back?  So, to sum up, being pro gun control is basically declaring that you want everyone you know to be helpless victims for no other reason than your fear of something that you obviously don't understand.

Again, other than those two, I completely agree with your other comments about our government.

I believe that "free" healthcare is extremely expensive because it's paid for via taxes and the government runs it.

While you are correct that socialized health care is not free, if the system being referenced in the post is the Canadian health care system, it is overall more affordable and accessible than the American system with very similar overall health outcomes. This is not to suggest that the Canadian model is suitable for America, but comparatively, the extremely expensive system is the American system.

Personally, I've never really cared for the 'govern' in 'government', but I do think public offices are needed to coordinate social affairs and resources. Something like health care can be more efficiently managed with federal level cooperation. It becomes a question of whether or not access to health care is a fundamental social value, or if it is merely an individual value.

Good points.  My only real retort would be my general distrust for *our* government to be able to manage it.  Just because other countries governments an manage to govern a health care system, doesn't mean ours can.  I have heard many times that Canada's health care system is better than ours.  But then, I've also heard of several people who have come here from Canada, because their system would have let the person die because of such long waits for critical treatments. 

Don't get me wrong, I do think that our health care system needs overhauling.  I have heard professionals say that part of the reason that our health care costs so much is that our government is involved more than it should be and in ways that it shouldn't.  Basically I just don't trust our gvmt to manage their way out of a paper bag at this point.


When Canadians opt to pay cash for surgery in the U.S. because they feel the waiting time in Canada jeopardizes their health, they typically pay tens of thousands of dollars - sometimes hundreds of thousands. Their counterparts in the U.S. typically pay the same price to bypass their HMO's. In both cases, we are talking about people who have 40 or 50k to drop when necessary. The other 99% of people wait longer, at their own peril, in Canada while their American counterparts just plain die.

So tell me again how this situation reflects poorly on the Canadian health care system?

Hi Heather - Please try not to take my comments out of context.  I never said the Canadian heath system was bad, just that it wasn't perfect.  My point, though, is that I don't believe our government is nowhere nearly competent enough to run a healthcare system as well as any government that current does that, including Canada.  The Canadian government probably actually CARES about it's citizens where I think the majority of our politicians (especially the republicans) are much more concerned with staying in office while making sure big business makes as much money as possible.


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