Gut Rumbles

August 20, 2003

i wanna stand for nothing

I was raised in a coal mining camp and my daddy was a miner. I learned early in life that hard work was important and pride meant something. I was taught VALUES, and they weren't bad ones to grow up with. In fact, they've served me well my entire life.

Now, this bullshit is being spoon-fed to our children.

Last Friday, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction against a Colorado law that required public school students and their teachers to recite the 31-word Pledge, first adopted in 1892, in school.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock said the law discriminates against teachers by allowing students to opt out with a note from their parents. Teachers cannot opt out.

If I have a teacher who wants to "opt out," I don't want that dumbfuck liberal twit teaching my son ANYTHING. Kiss my Cracker ass!!! If you want to "opt out" of allegiance to your country, you need to hop the next flight out of here. Otherwise, shut the fuck up. Don't you DARE try to brainwash my child with your idiotic ideas.

And any federal judge who makes such a brain-fart decision needs to be dragged off and shot. The man's mind is obviously mush.

Babcock also said the law pits students who choose to say the Pledge against those who do not, and students against teachers.

"What is instructional about that?" Babcock asked. "You can't compel a citizen of the United States to recite the Pledge of Allegiance."

Babcock, you are a royal asshole.

I agree that no one can FORCE anyone to recite the Pledge. Hell, if you are forced to say it, it's not a pledge to begin with. But we're dealing with TEACHERS and CHILDREN here. If I were a teacher, I would NOT inflict my political viewpoints on impressionable young minds when my primary job was to teach them to read and write. Kids can figure out their political viewpoints later. Just teach them to read and write first so that they can make INTELLIGENT decisions about what they believe when they grow up.

Ann Rosenblatt of Cherry Creek High School is one of nine students and teachers in Colorado who are challenging the law, with the help of the ACLU.

"I don't believe in pledging my allegiance to an inanimate object," Rosenblatt said.

Ann, you are as dumb as a red brick, you pompous little shit. I am certain that you have a bright future in the Peace Corps or as some kind of grievance councellor. But you'll never have a clue about the real world in your goddam life. I blame your teachers and your parents for your sublime gnorance.

I'll bet my next paycheck that you couldn't find Vietnam OR Iraq on a globe. You probably don't know when the Civil War was fought. But you've got grown-up political opinions that you barf up like vomit because you heard someone from the ACLU say something you really thought was coooool. Whoh, I am impressed by you! Fucking twit.

When you say the pledge, you ARE NOT swearing allegiance to an inanimate object. You are speaking to the ghosts of George Washington, Ben Franklin, Tom Paine, John Adams and a host of others who gave you the right to sit on your pity-pot and show your ass they way you're doing now. You don't pledge to a fucking FLAG, you dimwit!

You pledge to a country that is the greatest place in the world to live. You pledge NOT to a perfect country, but to one that is as close to it as you can find. You pledge in remberance of Abraham Lincoln and 600,000 dead Americans in the Civil War and all the slaves that were freed because of that sacrifice. You pledge for Sergeant York and Audie Murphy and all the American dead buried in foreign soil for the cause of freedom. You pledge for how fucking good you've got it, you ungrateful brat.

This display of egoism combined with sheer ignorance simply sickens me. I don't know who is more fucked-up, Judge Babcock or that confused girl.

Who cares? They are BOTH fucked-up.

(link via a likely suspect)


Hot damn, Amen, and Pass the ammunition.!

Posted by: Raging Dave on August 20, 2003 07:03 PM

Well said.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on August 20, 2003 07:13 PM

Interesting error they made. The original pledge had 29 words, not 31 ("the 31-word Pledge, first adopted in 1892"). The other two ("under God") were added during the height of the Red Scare (the scare was justified, but I'd argue that amending the pledge was not). For a brief history of the Pledge, see:

Anyway, I agree that kids need to recite the pledge. If we don't instill a love for this country early on, the Berkeleyites and their fellow travellers will make sure it doesn't happen later.

Posted by: Jason Bontrager on August 20, 2003 07:27 PM

Well said.
They should instruct the teachers that way. The problem is they shouldn't have to instrcut the teachers, the teachers should know what this country stands for and support it.
The scary thing is that a lot of them don't know and don't support iy.
We have a lot of work to do.

Posted by: starhawk on August 20, 2003 07:35 PM

Sorry about mangaling the previous comment. I have to learn to slow down when typing comments.

Posted by: starhawk on August 20, 2003 07:38 PM

I've never understood the pledge or why anybody wants me to say it. I decided maybe it was a grown-up thing. Now I'm a grown-up and it doesn't make any more sense.

The social reason for the pledge is the get the crowd to quiet down and pay attention. It marks the beginning of some occasion or other that requires crowd behavior to be appropriate for it, like teaching; or watching a ballgame.

John & Ken (KFI) used to get into such topics. They got very angry calls from patriots. My own response would be that patriotism isn't so easy as you want to make it out to be. It's being made out to be sort of like ``caring,'' the sappy attitude we all hate. For some reason it's acceptable in the form of the pledge or the national anthem.

The Flag belongs on post offices so you can find them; and on US embassies abroad to mark a place where you can find sensible people after dealing with weird foreigners for too long.

Posted by: Ron Hardin on August 20, 2003 07:38 PM

"The Flag belongs on post offices so you can find them; and on US embassies abroad to mark a place where you can find sensible people after dealing with weird foreigners for too long."

I'm sure the souls of the veterans who gave their lives defending your right to be a moron felt the same way as they lay in their flagged draped coffins.

Posted by: Geoffrey on August 20, 2003 07:46 PM

Geoffrey, I like Andy Rooney's comment. The veterans already got what they deserve: a free country. His point is that angling for more gratitude cheapens what they were in fact doing. Some veterans are willing to do that, and it is not admirable by Rooney's lights. Other veterans do not. I assume most of them.

Posted by: Ron Hardin on August 20, 2003 07:56 PM

God Bless ya! Couldn't of said it better myself. Figures the ACLU would be helping this ignorant out.

With all this bullshit running amok, I worry about my kids growing up in this kind of environment. I remember when I got in trouble at school (not often...I'm a quick learner :)) and dreaded coming home and answering to dad.

Posted by: Gina on August 20, 2003 08:17 PM

Here's a John & Ken (KFI) show on the Pledge and a girl who didn't want to say it, from many years ago. (2mb real audio, 31 minutes) probably from June 1998 (from the HD file date). It starts with a school case like this one. The case is tedious (10 minutes) but John eventually takes off from there more into my pledge misgivings. John is angling for angry calls but does a nice job on the misgivings.

Posted by: Ron Hardin on August 20, 2003 08:22 PM

Andy Rooney is an asshat. Quoting him here wins neither points or arguments. The sad thing is that the Teacher's Unions have gotten so powerful that we can't just summarily dismiss these teachers for not helping raise our children properly.

This country started to go to heck when obeying simple rules (Ten Commandments and the Constitution for example) became unfashionable and Penumbras took over.

I care not if "a girl" doesn't want to say the pledge - she'll figure out priorities later on when she grows up. I care greatly when the ACLU and teachers won't let my kid say it if the community agrees that it ought to be part of our life.

Posted by: Patrick on August 20, 2003 08:35 PM

Damn. Just Damn Aman.

This kind of post is why I come here.

Posted by: MarcL on August 20, 2003 08:49 PM


A teacher's job is to educate.

It is a sad sad world when we have to rely on teachers to raise children. If parents can't do a decent job they shouldn't have them.

Posted by: GrumpyBunny on August 20, 2003 09:21 PM

This teacher is a result of the NEA and the asinine "Education Degrees" in universities. Teachers no longer belong to a "profession." (After all, what kind of professionals have to have unions?) Like other union members, they now believe that their work places should revolve around them and their needs rather then their student's needs. Imagine if a doctor put themselves before their patient?

My apologies to any teachers who actually change their lesson plans on a yearly basis and consider themselves to be too professional for this b.s.. Your collegues are making you look bad!!

Posted by: Sue Bob on August 20, 2003 09:52 PM

I'm a nine year veteran, and frankly, I find the whole Pledge to be insulting. If I have to demonstrate my loyalty to my country that way, well, whats that say about the fact that I live here? The borders are open, if I wasn't loyal, I could emigrate. The "under God" bit is pretty insulting to an atheist patriot as well.

Even worse, the whole history of the thing creeps me right the hell out. The author of the pledge was a collectivist, with ties to all sorts of socialist groups of the time. The original pledge was recited not with hand over heart, but with arm thrust out in a way that the Nazi party made very familiar.

Fuck the pledge.

Posted by: Eichra Oren on August 20, 2003 10:31 PM

Folks, Here in sunny Lexington, SC, our school children not only have the fantastic opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States, they also honor the Palmetto State daily by saying the Pledge to the Flag of South Carolina.

Posted by: Barry on August 20, 2003 10:33 PM

Fine, the pledge is stupid. Or its great. The real issue is that the Federal Courts don't have any business in this issue. Its yet another example of the fact that the judiciary has gone far beyond its boundaries - interfering with the operation of our democracy.

Posted by: Robin Roberts on August 20, 2003 10:49 PM

It was originally "I pledge allegiance to the flag, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" Not too damn shabby for being the work of a socialist. I like it better the old way, no extraneous crap. I make this pledge, because I don't believe in god or a higher moral authority, and because the pledge is more appreciable in its original form. We all know what the hell we are pledging. So, Eugene V. Debs, though I despise your bullshit legacy, I like the pledge, and it amuses me to see it waved as an icon of conservatism. I don't pledge to the flag, I pledge to the flag as the reminder of the fact that I live in the best nation to have existed.

Posted by: Garrett on August 21, 2003 12:46 AM

AMEN Brother!! This retired sailor will man the rails and give three cheers when he sees you coming.

Posted by: Squid on August 21, 2003 07:19 AM

I'm a nine year veteran, and frankly, I find the whole Pledge to be insulting.

Fine, Eichra -- you're exempted.

And after the schoolchildren have served their country as you have, they can be exempted too.

Posted by: McGehee on August 21, 2003 08:24 AM

"I thought schools were supposed to teach children how to think, not what to think." - Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

Yeah, I know that Doktor Kwinn was a fucking left-wing, feel-good nutjob, but she got that one right.

And no, I didn't watch the thing, but Mom did. So, when you visit Mom, you either watch what she wants to watch (Mom has only one TV), or you sit in the room with her and read a book, like I do. Occasionally, a sound bite gets through, though rarely a good one.

She is also enamored with M*A*S*H, The Golden Girls and John Wayne Western movies, FYI.

The point is, schools are not for indoctrination. Should our kids LEARN the pledge, MEMORIZE the pledge? Yes. It is an institution of this nation. They should also learn and memorize such things as the Declaration of Independance, the National Anthem and the US Constitution.

Should they RECITE those things? Depends. Are they reciting them because it is necessary for them to learn them? Then yes, recite them. Are they reciting them because some bureaucrat/politician that has not set foot in a classroom since he dropped out desires it that way (or is trying to appeal to a bunch of people to win votes)? Then (an emphatic) no. How to tell the difference? Pay attention. Keep tabs. WATCH the government, as we should be doing all the time, anyway.

Or, better yet, get the government out of schools altogether.

It won't matter to me. My kids will learn and understand all of the above from me. I look forward to forcing my son/daughter to recite a random constitutional amendment before he can borrow the car. I'm mean and sadistic like that.

Posted by: JPatterson on August 21, 2003 11:28 AM

Here is Texas, our new law requires not just the Pledge of Allegiance to the US Flag, but also to the Texas Flag (that was a new one on me -- I didn't know there was one).

I have a 4-year-old who is starting school next year, and I find it very difficult to believe that he will have any permanent emotional scars from saying the Pledge. I am interested in how the children could learn the Pledge if the teachers were exempted . . .

I believe that anyone who is able to describe and defend their logic and belief system that makes saying the Pledge(s) philosophically compromising in an intelligent, non-emotional manner should be permitted an exemption, on a case by case basis.

No lawyers allowed.

No help from the parents.

You don't want to say it -- define WHY.

Posted by: Ally on August 21, 2003 12:54 PM

Robin: The federal courts have no business taking cases that bubble up from the State courts on consitutional issues?

And their doing so, as is consitutionally mandated, is "interfering with the operation of our democracy"?

Well, for one, I'm glad to live in a consitutional republic, and regardless of any feelings about how the case should be decided, I don't see that it's improper for the Federal courts to look over state laws, when there's a question of their constitutionality - that is, after all, one of the primary purposes of the Federal courts.

(Everyone, also note that the Judge's decision was couched in language of discrimination - one imagines he would have been fine with the law if it allowed no-one to opt out, or anyone, on his given grounds. Constitutional rule of law leads, often enough, to things we dislike being required, or things we like being forbidden.)

Posted by: Sigivald on August 21, 2003 03:33 PM

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Powerful stuff, this is the stuff dreams and patriots are made of. My child says it every morning in her Department of Defense school and I'll be damned if she will opt out with my permission. The pledge gives our children a basic building block, a cornerstone upon which to build their citizenship. At least the DoD understands what makes fine young Americans. I'd say kick those commie ACLU bastards in the nuts, but then I have to remember that I am here in this shithole of a desert country doing my part to defend their rights. What a kick in the pants huh?

Posted by: Madman on August 21, 2003 03:48 PM

And education is part of raising a child. Believe me, I'm not one of those "ittakesavillage" people. But education started going to crap when teachers couldn't take the yardstick to some of the miniasscaps that are running amok. When teachers stopped reporting to parents (instead of the other way around), we started a spiral.

The Pledge ought to be compulsory, although participation voluntary.

Posted by: Patrick on August 21, 2003 04:06 PM

Yes, Sigivald, the operation of the courts is interfering with democracy. That's the nature of the judiciary. In the case of the pledge of allegiance, the constitutional issue is nonsense. People would have more respect for our Constitution if the courts had more sense of what "controversies" to stay out of.

Posted by: Robin Roberts on August 21, 2003 10:15 PM

Acidman, you said it yourself: "Kids can figure out their political viewpoints later. Just teach them to read and write first so that they can make INTELLIGENT decisions about what they believe when they grow up."

Yep. That says it. So what is the point then, of compelling recitation of something they won't understand? Or are you going to argue that a 1st grader understands the 1st Amendment significance of requiring political speach?

If your example child, Rosenblatt, is "dumb as a brick", how does the pledge have any meaning for her? How is it anything more than rote recitation, which she would then also "barf up like vomit".

Even more so, you also state that if a pledge is forced, it doesn't have any meaning. You've made as good an argument against the Colorado law as any by Judge Babcock.

I'm opposed to any law which compells political speech. But I can guarantee you you'd appreciate the civics lessons I'd teach in school, were I a teacher. Lessons such as patriotism, not indoctrinated by mindless recitation of mere words, but by the understanding of the very issues you allude to when you mention the ghosts of our Founding Fathers.

I must also point out that, since the original pledge was written in 1892, none of those Patriots you mention ever heard of it, much less recited it every morning at school, and yet, they turned out pretty well, don't you think.

We are a free people. And part of the freedom which many have fought and died for is that which is recognized in our Constitution, in the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ... ". And that freedom isn't just the freedom to say what we wish, it's also the freedom to remain silent. (And yes, by way of the 14th Amendment, the States are bound by this as well.)

Posted by: jed on August 22, 2003 10:53 PM

When I was in elementary school, we said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning and no one questioned it, complained, laughed, refused to say it, nothing. We did what we were told because we were taught to do what we were told because that's the right thing to do (in most cases) and I think I turned out okay. What does an 8-year-old back in 1982 know about allegiance, about their country? Fractions were my biggest problem, but that's all in the past. This is just another exercise in people behaving badly because they have nothing to fill their empty lives with and they know it will attract media attention. The truth is, they don't care. They just want attention. And a month after this is forgotten, they will be demanding attention for something else.

By the way, there's a monster US flag on a Dodge dealership on the west side of town here. Thank God, I'd hate to never be able to find it.

Posted by: Raspil on August 24, 2003 11:35 PM
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