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Lawyer’s refusal to stand for Pledge leads to funding loss for park district

Oct 28, 2013, 02:13 pm CDT

Comments

Elections have consequences.

By Yankee on 2013 10 28, 3:08 pm CDT

So the American Legion proudly supports the US Constitution, except for the First Amendment.

Got it.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 10 28, 3:13 pm CDT

@2

It's very simple. Ashtabula has a choice on what to do with his feet. The legion has a choice on what to do with their money.

By Fred on 2013 10 28, 3:27 pm CDT

They're both within their rights. Here's why I respect the Legion less:

They're hurting the public because they disagree with one person.

By Anonymous on 2013 10 28, 3:35 pm CDT

That "one person" is an elected official who appears to have the final say here.

By Yankee on 2013 10 28, 4:43 pm CDT

I'm not sure what you mean by a "final say" here.

The final say seems to belong to the Legion, which had a choice regarding what to do with their money. They chose to withdraw funding that benefited the public.

Again, they're within their rights. I just feel sorry for them given what this says about their priorities.

By Anonymous on 2013 10 28, 4:51 pm CDT

The American Legion's actions only hurt the Public.

By faddking on 2013 10 28, 4:57 pm CDT

No, the "final say" on whether the pledge is included on governmental meeting agendas is not with the American Legion.

The American Legion is a private, non-governmental entity

By Yankee on 2013 10 28, 5:04 pm CDT

It is clear that Ashta did not make his choice out of disrespect for the country or servicemembers. Petty move by the Legion.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 28, 5:25 pm CDT

Ashta is absolutely right. Attending a park district meeting should not be turned into a lithmus test of how "patriotic" you are.

By sullivan2day on 2013 10 28, 5:26 pm CDT

Have you ever read a response that was so off-topic and unrelated to the discussion that you had to re-read the article twice to make sure that you weren't the one that was losing his mind?

By Anonymous on 2013 10 28, 5:27 pm CDT

@11 - New here?

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 28, 5:30 pm CDT

he is a lawyer did not explaining his objection i accept that some religion do not allow things but
baring that do not come in the meeting until the pledge is over and best bet do elect lawyers to office unless prosecutors or judges

By jr23 on 2013 10 28, 11:58 pm CDT

@jr23

Could you please repeat your comment only in English this time?

By AnyMoose on 2013 10 29, 12:08 am CDT

Agenda/full audio from MGPD 10/24/13 meeting:
Agenda: www.mortongroveparks.com/pdf/October24-agenda.pdf
Audio: www.northshorevoice.org/2013/mgpdmeeting102413.WMA

Supplemental links via FB:
Morton Grove Park District Bd. of Commissioners Meeting (10/24/13)
www.facebook.com/mgvoice/media_set?set=a.10201457829985310.1073741989.1162372627&type=3

By The Morton Grove Voice on 2013 10 29, 2:37 am CDT

No one should stand for, nor chant, the Pledge of Allegiance, because it was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior (see the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry). As shown here, even though the gesture has changed, the pledge continues to be the source of Nazi behavior. Stop the Pledge everywhere.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 29, 12:48 pm CDT

Judges across the country require packed courtrooms to recite the pledge each morning. The peanut gallery always complies, because do you want to piss off the same judge you're about to stand before?

By JR on 2013 10 29, 1:58 pm CDT

what you said about judges and the pledge is often true, though many don't do it. It is especially disturbing in a criminal case, and in federal court. Every morning the jurors might be frightened into chanting their allegiance to the prosecutor.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 29, 2:30 pm CDT

just do the simpsons pledge while standing;


I pledge allegeiance to queen frag and her mighty state of hysteria..."

problem solved.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 29, 2:51 pm CDT

A group of predominantly old men like the American Legion throwing a temper tantrum over failure to adhere to traditional social protocol in a matter that makes little to no difference to anything? Noooo.

By Hooraytheist on 2013 10 29, 2:53 pm CDT

It's the statement "He said his group supports the right to not stand during the pledge, but does not accept it" that I find most interesting.

How can you support something but not accept it?

By OKBankLaw on 2013 10 29, 7:21 pm CDT

You ask: "How can you support something but not accept it?"

Ashta is a politician. They make sophistic distinctions all of the time.

By Yankee on 2013 10 29, 7:38 pm CDT

@21

I think it may fall under "I disagree with what you have to say but will fight to the death to protect your right to say it."

By faddking on 2013 10 29, 7:38 pm CDT

I support a woman's right to abortion but do not personally accept it as permissible in my own life.

I support the troops but do not accept the validity of the various wars.

I support my kids when they do something wrong but do not accept their crappy excuses.

i support NPR but they often irritate me.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 29, 8:34 pm CDT

Running for Congress, eh?

By Yankee on 2013 10 29, 8:43 pm CDT

He won't stand for the pledge, and they won't stand for him not standing for the pledge.

There is a certain symmetry to this.

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 30, 12:36 am CDT

He took an oath of office, but he won't pledge allegiance to his country? Does he have the right? Sure. It seems sophomoric to me, but it's a free country. I'm going out on a limb and guessing this guy has never served his country. If so, I'd imagine he'd have a little more respect for the people who died defending the freedoms he enjoys. American Legion is well within their rights to withdraw funding. They're not hurting the public, this politician is. Btw - I'll bet they are still publicly donating that money in the community, just not to that program.

By NJD on 2013 10 30, 4:52 am CDT

NJD: The Pledge of Allegiance is NOT a pledge of allegiance to our country; it is a pledge of allegiance to a FLAG. Huge difference. And please note that Congress changed the wording in the 50's to include "God" in the pledge. So there are numerous reasons that one might want to skip it. Personally, I would like to see a Pledge of Allegiance to the Constitution, and one that honors the 1st Amendment by keeping religion out of it. Count me in if that happens. Otherwise, I, too, will pass.

By Erin on 2013 10 30, 5:55 am CDT

The American Legion didn't buy the right to set the agenda of a city meeting. (Imagine the howling if some other group out-bid them, and did away with the pledge!)

By Ham Solo on 2013 10 30, 9:08 am CDT

Erin - while I agree with much of what you said, the pledge is not simply of allegiance to the flag. It continues on , "and to the Republic . . ."
That being said, the reference to "under God," which, as you note was added in the 50's, controverts the 1st Amendment.

Thankfully, I have never practiced in a courtroom where the jduge led the pledge, but have always been troubled by the "in God We Trust," on the wall. I think it should be, in Justice or the Law we Trust."

In one of the courtrooms in which I served as a juror, the "G" and the first "T" in "Trust" had fallen off of the wall. The sign read, "In od we rust." I felt much more comfortable with that.

By donniem23 on 2013 10 30, 10:59 am CDT

You are correct that the deification was added in the 50's to the pledge, however many people do not know that the pledge was originally written (1892) as part of a much larger program that included prayers, hymns, Bible references and various religious references, including the phrase "under God" (see the book "Pledge of Allegiance and Swastika Secrets" by the author Ian Tinny, explaining the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry). That is why the original full pledge program cannot be performed in government schools (socialist schools). The author of the pledge and it's larger program was a socialist and religious wacko and ex-minister. Bellamy knew what he was trying to do, as back then the government schools had prayer and read from the Bible. It was nearly an oversight that he did not include a religious reference in the pledge.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 30, 12:37 pm CDT

They were right to withdraw funding.

By tim17 on 2013 10 30, 1:32 pm CDT

It would be so cool if the lawyer who isn't pledging would explain the pledge's putrid past and give an audio-visual presentation including photos and video of the early Nazi gesture, and the lynchings and abuse it inspired, and advocate that the pledge end altogether. He could substitute that presentation every time in place of the pledge.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 30, 1:38 pm CDT

Yep, that would be "cool", Tiffany.

Cooler still would be Ashta discussing the supposed connection between Pledge of Allegiance and Nazism the next time he ran for re-election. If Ashta believes this Leftist tripe, I am sure voters would want to know.

By Yankee on 2013 10 30, 1:45 pm CDT

@31

If you're going to cite a work, cite the original, not the "explanatory" work.

@22

It was Commander Lampert, not Ashta who said it, though I'll agree both sides here seem to be politicians.

@23

I would agree with you, but the wording of the sentence is flawed if that was the sentiment he was trying to express.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 10 30, 1:59 pm CDT

Oh, and for the record, as a devout Catholic, I don't say the Pledge of Allegiance. I believe it conflicts with the Commandment requiring us not to make false idols.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 10 30, 2:00 pm CDT

There is nothing "supposed" about it, and that is why you didn't actually dispute the point with any facts, because you have none that support you. You know that Bellamy was a self-proclaimed socialist, and the Nazis did not call themselves "Nazis," they called themselves "socialists" (you know it or you just learned it here). And you also did not attempt to dispute the photographs and the video showing the pledge's early nazi salute, repeated daily with mechanical chanting under threat of violence from around 1892.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 30, 2:05 pm CDT

@37 - The problem with your thesis, aside from your false linkage of socialists to Nazis, is that Nazis were not around in 1892, and did not adopt the Roman salute/Hitler salute until the mid-1920s, much later than when Bellamy devised his salute to the flag.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 30, 2:19 pm CDT

@36 ". . . as a devout Catholic . . ."

Given your positions on a whole host of other issues discussed on this board, it is funny you'd play the Catholic Card here.

By Yankee on 2013 10 30, 2:37 pm CDT

#38 There is no problem with the thesis, and that is why you did not actually dispute the point with any facts, because you have none that support you. You know that Bellamy was a self-proclaimed socialist, and the Nazis did not call themselves “Nazis,” they called themselves “socialists” (you know it or you just learned it here). There is no "false linkage" in that regard, and you know it, that is why you did not dispute that. And you also did not attempt to dispute the many photographs and the videos that exist and show the pledge’s early Nazi salute, repeated daily with mechanical chanting under threat of violence from around 1892. You lend your own support to the thesis when you state that "Nazis were not around in 1892, and did not adopt the salute until the mid-1920s, much later than when Bellamy devised his salute to the flag." It is clear that you do not understand how you lend your support, but keep thinking about it and you might figure it out. Everyone else here probably understands how you have unwittingly lent your support to the thesis.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 30, 3:01 pm CDT

@40 - Is North Korea a democratic republic? Or, is a seahorse a horse? Discuss.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 30, 3:04 pm CDT

That is not a smooth evasion. Thanks for conceding, though.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 30, 3:10 pm CDT

It wasn't any type of evasion. It simply pointed out your flawed logic that because the word "socialism" appears in the term "national socialism," national socialism can be equated to socialism.

As to your last point @40, I give up. How does the fact that Bellamy's salute predated the Nazi salute lend support to the notion that the Bellamy salute was a Nazi salute?

Yankee, I think we found your intellectual soul-mate.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 30, 3:23 pm CDT

No, I think you found your intellectual soulmate.

By the way, as much you like to deny it, German National Socialism was at is core collectivist, leftist and, yes, socialist. It is plain fact that the top three bad guys and mass murders of the 20th century - - Mao, Stalin, and Hitler - - were leftists and politically of the same lineage as the guy who lives at the White House today. And, No, the Political Right understandably does not want to posthumously want to adopt any of these creeps into our family.

By Yankee on 2013 10 30, 3:50 pm CDT

All I see is from you are repeated conclusory statements and selected contemporary quotes that were used to mislead voters, that can be countered by as many quotes to the opposite. I think we got into that before. Setting quotes aside, you have not addressed bans on labor organizations, poorer worker conditions,, increased concentrations of wealth, maintenance of enormous Junker estates, the close and symbiotic alliance between Nazis and captains of industry, coalitions between Nazis and monarchists and other nationalists, not to mention open battles between Nazis and the actual leftists in Germany during the Nazi rise to power, that is, the Communist and Socialist parties.

But by all means, continue to bandy about meaningless terms, you and Ms. Bell are just two peas in a pod. It warms the soul to see such connections blossom.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 30, 4:11 pm CDT

The left was battling itself in pre-War German, the key difference between these two groups of leftists is whether the would adopt an internationalist (i.e., controlled by Russia) or nationalist flavor of socialism.

Hitler is yours. Own him.

By Yankee on 2013 10 30, 4:22 pm CDT

Notice how NoleLaw dances around the actual topic: The pledge of allegiance was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior. He knows that is correct so he will always misstate it. Also note that he will never ever use the actual name of the German party. He must keep using the abbreviation in order to keep the ignorance going. Just as he was taught to do in the government schools (socialist schools).

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 30, 5:01 pm CDT

First, I'm really surprised nobody's invoked Godwin's Law yet.

Second, I've often wondered about the apparent need to continually repeat the pledge of allegiance. I mean, you don't repeat your bar oath every day. Once you took it, you were bound by that oath. So wouldn't a single instance of intentionally and knowingly pledging your allegiance to the Republic of the United States of America suffice? Why the need for constant re-taking of that pledge?

By Netochka Nezvanova on 2013 10 30, 5:01 pm CDT

The Nazis were not "on the left." They were on the right politically as fascists. I think you're right as far as Stalin and Mao being on the left politically as communists.

By Erin on 2013 10 30, 7:17 pm CDT

Why would anybody find it surprising or objectionable that the American Legion would take the stand that they did? These people risked their lives, suffered wounds and worse and lost friends to defend this country which is symbolized by this flag. Somewhere along the line, they earned the right to exercise their right of freedom of speech. If you don't want to recite the Pledge, then don't do it. Spend the 20 seconds or so it takes to say it sitting on your butt and contemplating the fact that you live in a country that permits you to skip affirming your allegiance.

By Ron on 2013 10 30, 8:00 pm CDT

Yankee, let me quote you: "Round them up and send them back."
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/aclu_asks_ice_to_stop_making_abusive_arrests_at_courthouse @3.

You were referring to millions of people there.

Hitler is yours. Own him.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 30, 8:55 pm CDT

No one should stand for, nor chant, the Pledge of Allegiance, because it was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior (see the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry). As shown here, even though the gesture has changed, the pledge continues to be the source of Nazi behavior. Stop the Pledge everywhere. It is not surprising or objectionable that the American Legion would take the stand that they did? These people were brainwashed, including with the mechanical chanting in government schools (socialist schools). They did not risk their lives, suffered wounds and worse and lost friends to defend this country, though they have been lied to in order to believe that. Their right to exercise their right of freedom of speech is no more than anyone else's. They have no right to organize robotic chanting in government schools (socialist schools), and if they did then others have the right to denounce it and expose the truth as it happens. If you want to recite the creepy Pledge, even with the early Nazi salute, then don’t do it, but do it on your own time. Spend 20 seconds or longer to learn the truth and drop the propaganda. Sit on your butt and stop kissing the government's butt every morning (which the hypocrites don't -instead they make children do it). contemplate the fact that you live in a country that used to beat, arrest, and lynch people who would not do the mechanical chanting with the nazi salute, that the first supreme court decision on the topic, upheld expelling dissenters. That there are clearly people who wish they could do the same today and children continue to be persecuted for refusing the pledge.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 30, 9:25 pm CDT

Tiffany, sometimes its best to let the unpleasant origins of things rest, no longer relevant except as historical facts. Case in point: the Hokey Pokey was originally a lampoon of the Catholic mass (Hoc est corpus mei...). That's not, in the year 2013, a reason to have it banned from schools. My objection to the current version of the Pledge of Allegiance is that the reference to God was inserted in a place that weakens the key phrase in the pledge, the reason the Civil War was fought: "one nation indivisible." It is as important an idea now as at any time in our history, and one that shouldn't be obscured. It's why I don't mind saying the Pledge of Allegiance (even with its flawed wording) and hearing other people say it.

By Pete on 2013 10 30, 10:18 pm CDT

#46 -- One of the more annoying American right efforts to rewrite world history is to characterize the Nazis as left wing. It's as false as it would be to characterize Lenin,Stalin, Mao or Ho as right wing.

Humpty Dumpty-ism (i.e., redefining words to suit one's own goals) is an intellectual embarassment. Stop it at once.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 10 30, 10:41 pm CDT

I'm not sure how we're all getting away with this, but I will say I agree the Nazis were not "leftists," and were not real "socialists," even though the "S" in NSDAP was for "socialist." They were, in fact, popularly known as "Nazis" in the day, and I believe that the reason for this was the tendency to abbreviate the first two words in all their sattelite organizations as "Nat. Soz."

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 31, 2:03 am CDT

@50

"If you don’t want to recite the Pledge, then don’t do it. Spend the 20 seconds or so it takes to say it sitting on your butt and contemplating the fact that you live in a country that permits you to skip affirming your allegiance."

Is it really 'permitted', if the people who claim to have fought for your rights are then promising to financial hurt your entire city because someone is exercising their freedom? If 'stepping out of line' is punishable by financial penalties, then that's really not permitted at all, is it?

These men need to seriously consider how petty they're appearing. Petty, malicious, vindictive, and without a target to aim for, so they're trying to hurt everything around them, hoping the blame gets pinned on Ashta. It's a play right out of a coward's playbook.

You cannot force people to say the pledge. Period. Trying to coerce people into doing so is the action of a weak, spiteful person.

By JT on 2013 10 31, 2:05 am CDT

@51

Well said, NoleLaw.

By faddking on 2013 10 31, 5:37 am CDT

Sometimes its best to let the unpleasant origins of things be remembered, especially when it is relevant as historical fact. Anyone who's objection to the current version of the Pledge of Allegiance is only the reference to God is completely missing the point. Everything about the pledge is wrong or a lie. Including the phrase: “one nation indivisible” meant to brainwash children/citizens into believing they have no right to secede, that they are trapped, that their government will force them to stay no matter how tyrannical it is, nor how large the police state continues to grow.

The reason for the misleading term "Nazi" was to shorten the first two syllables in the actual name of the group: National Socialist German Workers Party. In German, the first two syllables of "National" sound a bit like "Nazi." The term was used by socialists to keep everyone ignorant of what the group actually called itself, just as socialists wanted everyone to forget that Stalin killed at least twice as many people as did Hitler, and the name of Stalin's country was the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" and German socialists and Soviet socialists were allies in 1939 in a pact to divide up Europe, invading Poland together, spreading WWII.

Of course, the party members did not call themselves "Nazis," but called themselves "socialists," just as their Soviet socialist allies did. They also did not call their symbol a "swastika." And they altered their symbol by turning it 45 degrees from the horizontal and always pointing it in the S-letter direction, to use it as crossed S-letters for their "socialism" (see the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry in the book "Pledge of Allegiance and Swastika Secrets"). Similar stylized symbolism was used by the SS Division (for Schutzstaffel), the SA, the NSV, et cetera and similar alphabetical symbolism is visible today as the Volkswagen emblem (the letters V and W conjoined for "Volkswagen").

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 31, 5:59 am CDT

Ah, yes. Their Soviet allies, who shortly became OUR Soviet allies, after Hitler's invasion breached the pact he had never meant to keep. "Uncle Joe" Stalin may not have been a very nice man in reality, but he was such in our propaganda, for the duration of The Great Patriotic War. So, by your reasoning, WE must be "socialists". (I would not venture to disagree).

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 31, 7:41 am CDT

And your point also explains why so many in the USA adopted the misleading term "Nazi" in order to cover up that they had been allies with the Soviet socialists (then our allies) who spread WWII with them, and Stalin went on to kill even more people.

Chanting in unison the socialist Bellamy's pledge on cue of a government employee every day in government schools (socialist schools) is definitely socialist. And that is meant in the most German socialist and Soviet socialist sense.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 31, 8:07 am CDT

What a jerk. I'll be he never risked his life for the country. Maybe he'll be willing to cough up the money that was lost. If he puts his money where his big mouth is, he might get some respect. But I doubt it. Jerks like him like to talk, not walk the walk.

By Micky on 2013 10 31, 9:51 am CDT

What you said about Francis Bellamy, the socialist author of the Pledge of Allegiance, is true: "What a jerk. I’ll be he never risked his life for the country. Maybe he’ll be willing to cough up the money that was lost. If he puts his money where his big mouth is, he might get some respect. But I doubt it. Jerks like him like to talk, not walk the walk." Thanks for your support.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 31, 12:11 pm CDT

The American Legion is striking a brave stand for forcing people to mouth civic sentiments they do not agree with. It's in keeping with a long tradition of soldiers fighting and dying for cynical hypocrisy.

By Tim on 2013 10 31, 12:54 pm CDT

@51 The National Socialist German Workers Party is only Right if you are hopelessly Left.

The Nazis effectively abolished laissez-faire capitalism in favor of a planned economy. They eradicated federalism in favor of centralized government.

Consider the 1920 Party Platform of the National Socialist German Workers Party, written by the leader of that party, Adolf Hitler:

“11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in life and property, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as a crime against the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits whether in assets or material.

13. We demand the nationalization of businesses which have been organized into cartels.

14. We demand that all the profits from wholesale trade shall be shared out.

15. We demand extensive development of provision for old age.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle-class, the immediate communalization of department stores which will be rented cheaply to small businessmen, and that preference shall be given to small businessmen for provision of supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

17. We demand a land reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to confiscate from the owners without compensation any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.”

Yep, Hitler was a man of the Left. Hitler's political DNA is shared by Leftists throughout the world, including in the United States.

He's yours: Own him.

By Yankee on 2013 10 31, 1:26 pm CDT

To attempt to pigeonhole Nazism--which wasn't really even an economic philosophy--into any one of the two political affiliations in this country is a profoundly unserious effort. One might as well use kinesiology or phrenology as one's basis for evaluating beliefs.

By Tim on 2013 10 31, 1:43 pm CDT

@39

Given your position on a whole host of issues, it's interesting when you play the Catholic Card as well.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 10 31, 1:43 pm CDT

@64 - You are making the elementary mistake of taking the Nazis' word about who they were to color your conclusion about who they were. Not only that, you conveniently cherry-pick only those statements that support your baseless assertions without looking at others. From the same party platform of 1920:

9. All German Citizens must have equal rights and duties.

24. We demand freedom for all religious denominations, provided that they do not
endanger the existence of the State or offend the concepts of decency and
morality of the Germanic race. The Party as such stands for positive Christianity,
without associating itself with any particular denomination[...]

Do either of those statements accurately reflect Nazi ideology? If not, why do you think that the ones you selected are accurate? How many of the economic party platform aspects you list did the Nazis actually pursue? Who were finance and economics ministers under Hitler? Not one was a leftist. The Nazi economy was only planned to the extent it was designed for a massive rearmament program, which by definition had to be funded by government. The means of production, however, remained firmly in private hands. I'm done debating this with you because to engage with you further on this matter might make it seem like your assertions are actually debatable.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 31, 2:08 pm CDT

I will agree with you on one thing: My assertions that Hitler was a leftist are not "debatable."

By Yankee on 2013 10 31, 2:34 pm CDT

Whew!!!!! Geez!!!! Lordy!!!

Tiff - were you a cheerleader, a football player AND in the Student Counsel in high school? Or some bizarre combo? Regardless - what Costume are you wearing tonight for Halloween. Surely - not a lawyer..

I'm going as a constitutional lawyer, with an Obamacare sign around my neck.

NOTE;I have doctors appointments all day - so I will not be able reply until tonight sometime. Hopefully my doctor can explain Obamacare to me so I can make my costume more accurate.

Ya know - I might not respond until bedtime after some Cava Beans and nice Chianti.

By Two to Beam UP on 2013 10 31, 2:38 pm CDT

@50

Forget it Jake. It's Chinatown.

Don't waste your time trying to explain sentiments of duty and honor and patriotism.

Those who whine about the Pledge (most often dragging in disconnected memories of atrocities they never suffered committed by persons they never met) will never get it, because in their view nothing matters except me, me, me. Duty and honor and allegiance are for the hired help and for suckers.

It has always been the weary understanding of veterans that very often those who most vigorously exercise the rights protected by people in uniform are the least appreciative of how those rights are really secured.. Those who disrespect the flag and the country are the ultimate free riders, unequipped by their limited capacity for understanding to question their own smug assumptions for even a second. So the veterans just shake their heads. And sometimes they vote with their wallets.

By Been There on 2013 10 31, 4:00 pm CDT

@70

Soldiers are motivated by symbols, and do in a sense fight for them. But do not mistake the symbols for the freedoms they represent, or you wind up in a position where you are arguing that soldiers fought for the principle of denying people's right to dissent from forced veneration of symbols.

The freedoms are the important thing.

By Tim on 2013 10 31, 4:26 pm CDT

QED

By Been There on 2013 10 31, 4:31 pm CDT

After reading Yankee's comments (including "Hitler is yours. Own him.") and realizing that the opinions are too ridiculous to be seriously held, I've come to the conclusion that Yankee is actually Ashton Kutcher and we are all being set up for some new variant of his hit show Punk'd.

By fiction fan on 2013 10 31, 4:54 pm CDT

@73 - new here?

By plink on 2013 10 31, 5:40 pm CDT

Actually, the Russians own him. Or whatever remains they pulled out of the bunker. There's a box somewhere in Moscow right now . . .

By Tim on 2013 10 31, 5:41 pm CDT

No one should stand for, nor chant, the Pledge of Allegiance, because it was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior (see the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry). Even though the gesture has changed, the pledge continues to be the source of Nazi behavior. Stop the Pledge everywhere. It is not surprising or objectionable that the American Legion would take the stand that they did, because they were brainwashed, including with the mechanical chanting in government schools (socialist schools). They were never taught the truth about the pledge and they never figured it out on their own. They did not risk their lives to defend this country, though they have been lied to in order to believe that. If you want to recite the creepy Pledge, and even if you want to restore America's heritage with the early Nazi salute, then do it on your own time. Better: learn the truth and drop the propaganda. Stop kissing the government’s butt every morning (which the hypocrites don’t do the pledge every morning -instead they make children do it). Fear the fact that you live in a country where the pledge zealots used to beat, arrest, and lynch people who would not do the mechanical chanting with the Nazi salute, that the first supreme court decision on the topic, upheld expelling dissenters. That there are clearly people who wish they could do the same today and children continue to be persecuted for refusing the pledge.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 31, 6:12 pm CDT

@76

I'll indulge the troll for a minute. The Swastika was a symbol in a variety of cultures prior to being adopted by the Nazis, should we therefore have nothing to do with those cultures? Germans formed the core of the Nazi party, should we therefore have nothing to do with all Germans? Saying something bad came from a corruption of something else, doesn't mean the something else that originated the bad thing is in and of itself bad.

Though to be perfectly frank, the First Amendment supports your right not to say the Pledge. It also supports other people's right to say the Pledge.

As for the rest of your rant, knowing many American Legion members who are veterans of every conflict the US has participated in since WWII, your statements are both clearly untrue and patently offensive.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 10 31, 7:22 pm CDT

As a veteran myself, I am proud to have served under our flag to help secure the liberties you enjoy to in this beloved country to express your views.

Misguided and uninformed as they may be.

By Been There on 2013 10 31, 7:23 pm CDT

Please note: My comment 78 was directed at Tiffany 76.

By Been There on 2013 10 31, 7:25 pm CDT

@77 I was just pointing out something that most people don't know: German socialists used their symbol to represent crossed S-letters for the socialism. Thanks for not disputing that.

And thanks for not disputing my points about the pledge's putrid past (as the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior) and present (and that no one should chant the pledge) when you state: "The First Amendment supports your right not to say the Pledge. It also supports other people’s right to say the Pledge."

As for the rest of your strange evasive rant, your statements are both clearly untrue and patently offensive (In that you said that nonsense comment to me, after not disputing anything I said, then I have repeated it to you).

I am proud to have helped secure the liberties you enjoy in this country to express your views.

Misguided and uninformed as they may be.

By tiffany bell on 2013 10 31, 7:44 pm CDT

I agree with Anonymous #4:

They’re both within their rights. Here’s why I respect the Legion less:

They’re hurting the public because they disagree with one person.

Separation of church and state is an American value. The pledge of allegiance, as revised to exclude those who eschew public demonstrations of religious affinity, is a repudiation of that value. There are many veterans who would also like to see a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag-burning. That, too, is ridiculous. So many Americans would elevate a symbol above a principle -- which is completely ridiculous. Lawyers have a special duty to point out the superficiality and silliness of elevating a symbol above a principle.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 11 01, 12:48 am CDT

I do not know how we got back to Hitler, but he was not "on the Left" and did not identify with the Left. He persecuted Leftists and Socialists and Communists. His idea, "That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished." is clearly in line with modern conservative attacks on what they perceive as "liberal entitlement programs."

Everything else he actually worked for (heavy industry, economic self-sufficiency, a very strong military, jingoistic patriotism, expansion of borders, persecution of minorities and homosexuals) are, in fact, policies of economic nationalism and conservatism -- not policies of liberalism. The philosophy of Ayn Rand, darling of American conservatives, is more in line with Nazi beliefs than liberalism (notwithstanding she was Jewish).

Only the historically ignorant, unable to see beyond the simplistic and ironic name of the party ("National Socialist German Workers' Party") could possibly argue that Hitler was a leftist.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 11 01, 1:22 am CDT

@80

Meh. You're free to say what you like. Your attributing a rant to me that really doesn't belong to me. You're also repeating statements that weren't mine as if you're intending to throw them back in my face.

If you are truly a veteran however, I salute you for your service to this country. If not, well, the internet is full of people who claim they're something they're not.

The American Legion is a private organization, as a private organization they are free to do, or not do, whatever they like with the funds they have, so good for them for taking a stand on the first amendment. And good for the city attorney for taking a stand on the first amendment too.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 11 01, 2:02 am CDT

I don't have a great deal of sympathy for either party, but I will say this - war heroes or not, they're mindlessly destructive idiots for pulling funding over this one person and a scheduling issue. However, it's their money - if they want to be idiots about it, it's their call. Certainly, Ashta wasn't firing on all cylinders, but I can at least say that he has a reasoning to follow, other than the Legion.

By Edmund Wilfong on 2013 11 01, 7:50 am CDT

The president doesn't have to re-recite his oath of office whenever some master of ceremonies or club president requests.

Totally agree with @10. Standing and reciting the pledge in a group is nothing more than a ritual to force people to show "patriotism". I don't recite the pledge anymore for that reason. (I used to recite it but without the god part.) I'll stand for the pledge out of respect for others in the room (just like I'll stand at a church wedding), Besides, even without the god part the pledge is still a false statement: Our nation does not have liberty and justice for all.

@tiffany, you have a point but you over-argue your case and you come off as a nutty fanatic.

Totally agree with @28 Erin - if the pledge were to the Constitution and left out the god part (just like the Constitution) I would be totally comfortable with it.

By Critical Rationalist on 2013 11 01, 10:06 am CDT

I always stand for it and recite and just don't repeat the God part, because I object to that. But if someone objects to the whole thing, then they don't have to say it. If someone wants to withdraw non-compulsory funding, they can. I think its a little unprofessional of the guy to make his personal views part of something that hurts the people he is representing, but if they agree with me, then they don't have to re-elect him.

By HM on 2013 11 01, 10:12 am CDT

I respect what the American Legion wanted, but they might have demonstrated a little more levity and tolerance, in the circumstances. The need to recite ritualistic words before some activity is similar to an exercise in idiocy, sometime verging on hypocritical. The act, itself, is not as important as whether one puts some thought, now and then, to issues such as whether financial interests of large corporations and the wealthy top 1% income-makers paying a higher tax rate on marginal slices of income above something like $500K per year is vital to the national security and domestic interests of the United States. Such people - other than their exceptions who do things like donate most of their wealth to apolitical charities via charitable remainder trusts - would be glad to see the entire public required ritualistically to say the pledge before any number of events, if that implies they can keep it all.

By Richard on 2013 11 01, 11:04 am CDT

Atheists cannot stand the fact that a belief in GOD is part of our country and and instilled in our culture since its beginning. Gos is mentioned in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence and in the second paragraph it is further stated that:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

What hold together the US is the conservatism and work ethic values. Lets not let them go to waste.

In GOD we trust.

By Robert on 2013 11 01, 11:30 am CDT

By the way, why a person who is not willing to pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands should hold public office?

By Robert on 2013 11 01, 11:32 am CDT

Who is Tiffany Bell anyway?! Equating the Pledge with Nazism?! She can't really be a lawyer. I assume she's just someone who hacked her way into our publication to spout off. I support the Legion 100% on this one.

By Bill in Ohio on 2013 11 01, 11:44 am CDT

#90 Thanks for not disputing the facts about the pledge’s putrid past (as the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior). No one should stand for the pledge. Help stop the pledge. And help stop all the sick hypocrite adults who don't chant and gesture in a group upon the cue of a government employee every morning, but who want to force little children to chant and gesture as a group on cue of a government employee every morning, and seem to think that is dandy IT DOESN'T MATTER MATTER WHAT THEY ARE CHANTING, it is sick and creepy and so are the people who support that behavior.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 01, 12:12 pm CDT

Robert, I sure wish you religious fanatics would stop trying to force your god crap on the entire nation. But self-righteousness doesn't seem to have any known cures.

Tiffany, lighten up. This is just a blog. Besides, you aren't convincing anyone of anything with your fanaticism; it's counterproductive.

By Critical Rationalist on 2013 11 01, 12:25 pm CDT

We'll see what the voters think at election time. They may hand his Ashta him.

By B. McLeod on 2013 11 01, 12:29 pm CDT

Excellent discussion. I'm once again proud of lawyers and proud to be one.

By James Monroe on 2013 11 01, 12:36 pm CDT

Except for McLoed

By James Monroe on 2013 11 01, 12:40 pm CDT

That was a fun read. Oh not the article. That was a lame non-story: "Politician makes decision pissing off portion of constituency; they stop wasting their money on public parties." But the comments were a mild diversion on a Friday morning. Thanks ABA Journal for setting up an argument over whether the POTUS is Hitler reincarnate.

By TimT on 2013 11 01, 12:44 pm CDT

I'd still like to know when National Socialism (Nazi or that particular brand of "fascism") was formulated as a doctrine. I suppose I could read Mein Kampf, but; I bet someone on here knows.

When was the pledge of allegiance penned?

By James Monroe on 2013 11 01, 12:56 pm CDT

If there is a worse poster on this site than Yankee, I have yet to find him/her.

By Met on 2013 11 01, 1:01 pm CDT

@82

1. You write: "[Hitler] persecuted Leftists and Socialists and Communists."

That demonstrates nothing. As we all know, there is no hatred like fraternal hatred and that hatreds among and between different Leftist groups have existed from the French revolution onwards. Family squabbles are always the ugliest.

2. You write: "[Hitler] persecut[ed] of minorities and homosexuals . . ."

As did Hitler's fellow socialist Stalin. Indeed, in 1933, Stalin added Article 121 to the Soviet Criminal Code made homosexual sodomy a crime for the first time punishable by up to five years of hard labor.

3. You write: "The philosophy of Ayn Rand, darling of American conservatives, is more in line with Nazi beliefs than liberalism . . ."

You've either not read Ayn Rand or you intentionally mischaracterize her beliefs. Ayn Rand opposed both collectivism and statism, something embraced by leftists Stalin, Mao and Hitler. rthvlie've ob

By Yankee on 2013 11 01, 1:02 pm CDT

Ultimately this country's demise will likely come because we indeed feel little allegiance to it. As much as we say we value the freedoms given only here, we abuse the country that gives them. I am fairly certain this lawyer has not served his country. And if pledging allegiance to this country is so heinous to him, he should leave it.

The country needs to stand up for itself - close the borders, demand allegiance, require service in some form, and establish an official language (you can speak an additional language or even twenty, but there should be one official one - most other countries have one!). Why are we so ashamed of ourselves that we can't establish even a language? Fear of insulting someone else? Bizarre - and ultimately we will all pay for such stupidity.

By SU on 2013 11 01, 1:07 pm CDT

When I was young and taking political science at the University of Virginia fifty years ago, socialism was set on a scale with nazis and facists on the right, democratic socialists (currently dominating Europe) in the center and Communists on the left. The extreme right and left were perceived as fringe groups. Socialism was identified as a top down governmental structure that used scapegoating of identified groups to distract its constituency from realizing that that they were not free. The behavior got more intense in the fringe groups.

Constitutional government in the United States was perceived as more dispersed and drew its strength from the grass roots, not the power of an elite at the top. The Constitution was conceived as a governmental structure for a revolutionary population, with a primary goal of keeping governmental decisions as close to the people in its local and state governments as possible to preserve the freedom of individuals. After dealing with a toothless Continental Congress and Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention identified and granted to the federal government those tasks that only a central government could efficiently exercise, and denied it any other power. It is the antithesis of the socialist model, but it does not satisfy the egos and ambitions of a political class that seeks to rule instead of serve, so maintaining this structure requires vigilence on the part of the people.

It appears that we call followers of that model as conservative and right wingers, although I think they are as revolutionary today as they were in 1775, and the worst nightmare of nazi and facist right wingers. Our current progressives are really counter-revolutionaries who would impose a more conventional federal government that has power to impose its will on all state and local governments and the people.

By Buzzard on 2013 11 01, 1:08 pm CDT

YANKEE @64 What's your beef with #11? "11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished. "

That should be the ultimate goal of our tax code.

By James Monroe on 2013 11 01, 1:11 pm CDT

" The Pledge of Allegiance is NOT a pledge of allegiance to our country; it is a pledge of allegiance to a FLAG. Huge difference."

@ 28: If you believe that, then please explain what the following words mean:

"AND to the republic for which it stands".

As a non-believer, I don't share your inability to recite the "under God" part. I just don't happen to believe, and I don't feel the need to prevent others from reciting "under God" by trying to advocate changing it. I can see how you might interpret the establishment clause to forbid every public official or public ceremony from ever mentioning "God", but I don't interpret it that way. Intelligent minds may differ.

But, to say that "And to the republic for which it stands" does not mean that it is a pledge of allegiance to the country is a stretch of the imagination my mind is not quite limber enough to accomplish.

By Jam3s on 2013 11 01, 1:12 pm CDT

When I attended school (back in the day) there were some schools where we said the pledge, and some where we didn't. Didn't bother me one way or another.

Though I do continually find it amusing that Yankee is incapable of recognizing that someone could be SO far to the right that it's bad and that "Left" is automatically equated with "Evil" in his mind.

Either that, or he's so far to the right that he actually sees Nazis to the left of him, which I suppose is scary for different reasons.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 11 01, 1:17 pm CDT

@97 If you read Mein Kampf there are two words you won't find in it: "Nazi" and "fascism." You will find the words "socialism" and "socialists" over and over in classic droning socialist fashion about how wonderful it is all going to be, har har.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 01, 1:22 pm CDT

It is sad. I grew up in a military family and remember the favorite words of my father, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it." Sorry to hear that the American Legion has abandoned that duty to defend the Constitution.

By Tina on 2013 11 01, 1:26 pm CDT

As both an attorney and a veteran I find the position of this American Legion Post maddening. I am so sick of people playing the "insult to veterans and those that have died for our freedoms" card. Wars are not fought for the right to vote, to protect our precious freedoms or the right to drink beer... wars are fought for largely economic reasons and geopolitically strategic reasons (which usually are economically based). Saying the pledge is meaningless.

By progressive on 2013 11 01, 1:31 pm CDT

It is unfortunate that the American Legion and many others (some on this list) confuse the Flag with God and the Nation. Refusal to say the pledge is a long way from being against the country or against solders who fought and some of whom died or were wounded for their country.

In Ontario, Canada, in early primary school, I pledged "allegiance to our flag, and to our King and Empire, for which it stands." (Not a highly sympathetic cause to Naziism, as it happens.) When his late majesty George VI died, the pledge seemed to fade away. But the Commonealth First Ministers rather wound up the Empire as a functioning entity in 1951 or so, and that probably had some impact on the pledge. I have not heard it in Canada in any forum since, say, 1952.

By John G on 2013 11 01, 2:03 pm CDT

Chalk up another big win for the "American Taliban" ... our own home grown special brand of political & spiritual thought police (which is ironic, considering thought isn't generally their strong suit) ... as usual the community they're in suffers as a result of their nonsense.

Kudos to Mr. Ashta for not standing up for what he doesn't believe in. Personally, I say the pledge to my country, omitting the stupid make believe part. And I don't worry at all about which "mullahs" may be watching to see if I say "...under God..." just like I don't worry if they peek to see if I'm not bowing my head during their generally inappropriate & often unconstitutional public prayers to their make believe deity.

This country needs freedom FROM religion every bit as much as it needs freedom OF religion.

By RJP11 on 2013 11 01, 2:10 pm CDT

#92 - So if someone mentions that the Declaration of Indiependence mentions God twice, they are foisting "god crap" on the entire nation? And you call yourself rational? Obviously you must be a heretic to your own "religion." If there is no God, then there is no moral right or wrong. You have no basis to determine what is right or wrong without a reference to the biblical values the founders of our society embraced. Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, etc. all referred to, were influenced by and embraced these values. It is the height of conceit and disingenuousness to assert your supposed rationality (which you've already shown yourself short of) over the values that were necessary for the founding of this country and which made us the wonderful nation that we are today.

By Been there done that on 2013 11 01, 2:19 pm CDT

@110 -I'm not sure that Jefferson was referring to your God when he mentioned "Creator"; he was not particularly religious, and, as the idea of natural law was pretty popular at the time, it was a convenient method to refer to natural rights that people enjoy by virtue of being human as being bestowed from above. The idea of an Abrahamic God is not necessary for that concept, and in any case, the Declaration and the Constitution are two very distinct documents.

By NoleLaw on 2013 11 01, 2:31 pm CDT

This string of comments is exactly why I support the actions of the American Legion and do similar things myself. I'm not going to convince any of you of anything, and most conversations devolve like this one did, and my vote seems to mean less and less, so I vote with my wallet. It's not a huge wallet, but it certainly makes me feel better to not give any more of my money to those I oppose.

I think it was said in a few forms above, but what public official doesn't know that their actions in a public venue have repurcussions? I think Ashta knew exactly what he was doing, was pandering to his supporters and it didn't work out the way he had hoped.

By Christopher on 2013 11 01, 2:42 pm CDT

It is depressing to read here an exchange of opinions that, in many instances, does not rise to the level of the rantings on Yahoo. The core philosophies of fascism and socialism have nothing to do with the governments that came to power in the 20th century as the supposed champions of those philosophies. All were cruel dictatorships that existed to perpetuate themselves, and trying to characterize them as left wing or right wing is not analysis or particularly useful. In the US we have an ever shifting balance between the needs of society and the rights of the individuals who make up the society. Some (on the left, if you will) see any abridgement of an individual's rights as fascism. Some (on the other side of the hall) see any government programs intended to benefit individuals as socialist. Forcing someone to stand during the pledge or suffer a penalty would seem to be beyond the scope of legitimate government concern, but is the sort of uber-patriotism the American Legion has been famous for since it was founded and its members enlisted during the Red Scare of 1920 as political police. Their efforts to get more government benefits for ex-servicemen is good. Their efforts to impose a particular brand of external Americanism on everyone is contradictory to the goals servicemen fought for. They have, so far, successfully intertwined their two missions in the public perception to make it seem that an attack on one is an attack on the other.

By Mike on 2013 11 01, 2:49 pm CDT

Well the one good thing that will come of this is that they will have a new park commissioner soon. The American Legion was within there right to withhold funds and I applaud them for doing so. They can always reinstate it when they get a new commissioner at the next election. What was this lawyers intent anyway there then being an asshole for not respecting the country that gives him the rights that he is clinging to. All you idiots that are comparing this country and the pledge to the Nazi's haven't got a clue. If this was a Nazi state you wouldn't be taking like this.

By Scott Richardson on 2013 11 01, 2:52 pm CDT

@111 You strangely assert: "I’m not sure that Jefferson was referring to your God when he mentioned 'Creator' . . ."

I don't know how to break this to you, except to note that the Declaration of Independence was not Jefferson's personal correspondence, but was an act of the Continental Congress, having gone through several drafts and much debate and consensus building.

My only quibble with the commenter @110 is that he states that there were two references to God in that document. In fact, there are five references to God in the Declaration of Independence.

By Yankee on 2013 11 01, 2:52 pm CDT

The American Legion still supports the constitution, but prefers not to sponsor or fund events, under the circumstances. What I don't understand is why the lawyer (commissioner) decided to make his "stand" then and there.

By Stanley Feldman on 2013 11 01, 2:52 pm CDT

@110

I'm just going to throw out there that it IS possible to have a code of ethics and morality without either believing in the Christian God, or any other diety for that matter. I've often heard people say that without the fear of eternal damnation people will do evil automatically. That's incredibly cynical and discounts the people who do good without the threat of hellfire.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 11 01, 2:54 pm CDT

@115 - Actually, there was only one reference to "God", and that was qualified as "Nature's God." An odd qualifier if it was a reference to your specific god; in any case, who cares.

By NoleLaw on 2013 11 01, 2:56 pm CDT

#111 - I have read a great deal about Jefferson and deism and natural rights. I do believe that, though he was not a traditional Christian of his day, the concept of God he believed in as the Supreme Being and Creator of the Universe and source of morals was very similar to the one most of us believe in today.

By Been there done that on 2013 11 01, 3:03 pm CDT

@119 - The Enlightenment values that formed the backbone of the reasoning behind the Declaration were not derived from the Bible of Christian thought up to that time, and in any case, almost everyone on the planet, regardless of religion or ethnicity, shares similar ideal morals.

That said, even if Christ was explicitly thanked in the Declaration, that would be irrelevant to the Constitution and First Amendment and the reasonableness of Ashta's opposition to reciting the pledge. It would also be irrelevant to the Legion's perfectly acceptable (though not very Christian) response to a man with whom they disagree.

By NoleLaw on 2013 11 01, 3:11 pm CDT

*should have been "Bible or Christian thought"

By NoleLaw on 2013 11 01, 3:12 pm CDT

I'm with Erin (comment 28). The pledge should be to the Constitution, not to a cloth symbol of the nation.

By Dan Lauber on 2013 11 01, 3:19 pm CDT

Okay. Both within their rights, fine. Both exercising their own form of freedom of speech, I agree. Yet, standing on command and bleating out symbolic slogans in unison does not convey the message of liberty and justice for all, in my view. Rather, it seems to be a not so subtle form of state propaganda designed to elevate the group over the individual and to encourage the citizen to be a lemming and march in lock step with the rest. It exalts order and conformity over freedom and individuality. The state begins this form of brainwashing of children early on when they begin school. When I hear adults say the pledge it makes me assume their political views and thoughts have not developed past the grade school level.

By Pierce on 2013 11 01, 3:29 pm CDT

@118 Your radically secular world view has blinded you to what is right in front of your eyes.

The specific references to God in the Declaration of Independence are these:

First paragraph: “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”
Third paragraph: “Creator”
Last paragraph: “Supreme Judge of the World” and “Divine Providence.”

More fundamentally, however, the assertion that "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence is not an aspirational statement, nor very obviously an objective description of the legal rights that men enjoyed in the colonies in 1776, but rather a profoundly theological statement that reflects the Christian understanding that all of God's children stand in the same relationship with their Father God.

By Yankee on 2013 11 01, 3:31 pm CDT

I stand with the American Legion on this one. These people risked their lives and saw many never come home, just so we could have the right to salute that flag, and vote each election cycle. Perhaps they should remind the rest of the citizenry of those facts, and see if it makes a difference to them. I say they should spend their money elsewhere, and let the citizens know why in a large ad. Come election time perhaps the citizens will be better represented.

By dscrivener14224 on 2013 11 01, 3:34 pm CDT

"He said his group supports the right to not stand during the pledge, but does not accept it"

That's incoherent.

By kc on 2013 11 01, 3:35 pm CDT

Compelled Speech -- The MUSICAL !!

By Where IS Banksy? on 2013 11 01, 3:50 pm CDT

@124 Your radically monotheistic world view has blinded you to what is right in front of your eyes.

The specific references to God in the Declaration of Independence may very well refer to Odin, Zeus, Jupiter, etc.

By faddking on 2013 11 01, 3:59 pm CDT

RE: Tiffany Bell- kid, as a former history professor, I've heard many, many, many "secret", "revolutionary" "bold new" "historical" theories, so allow me to comment on your pet hobbyhorse: Curry is full of crap.
But assuming, but not concluding, that his "theory" is correct- it's still irrelevant as to the Pledge of Allegiance, it's meaning, and it's creation. The mere fact that some yahoo 30 years later may or may not have decided to adopt a similar salute means nothing, nor does it discredit those who created the Pledge. That some other yahoo, decades after those events, decides to write a book based upon his "pet coon"* theory, and which other ill-educated yahoos, lacking a grounding in basic history, swallow without question is mere proof of that famous maxim- "there's a sucker born every minute".
As to the current stir-up-- The guy is basically saying "I don't like it- and I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, so we'll junk it". Well, he ignores those who may firmly believe that it should be said at the start of any govt. meeting. And his disingenuous statement about "making people speak"- typical doublespeak. IF they're at the meeting, then by their mere presence (adopting his theory) they've already made a statement- they're already made a decision to "speak". He is, in fact, limiting their opportunity to speak by refusing them the chance to either sit or stand.
This is more about his opinions rather than any principled constitutional stand.
*As in "crazy as a pet coon"

By Vastly Amused- and reviewing my DD214 on 2013 11 01, 4:05 pm CDT

@128 I'm sure you'll be able to identify, with citations to compelling historic documents, the signers of the Declaration of Independence who believed in Odin, Zeus, Jupiter etc.

Until you can provide that compelling evidence, I will assume that the traditional breakdown by region is correct: Episcopalian/Anglican 30; Congregationalist 13, Presbyterian 12; Quaker 2; Deists (nominally Episcopalian) 2; Unitarian or Universalist 2; and Catholic 1.

By Yankee on 2013 11 01, 4:27 pm CDT

Firstly, saying a pledge to "the flag" does not equate with supporting our service men and women who allegedly "fought for our rights". Our foreign wars were never fought to protect "our rights". Where and how were our rights ever at risk!? Except perhaps at home by the very same power mongers who send our service people to die in war.

Union members fought and died for our rights. Civil rights leaders fought and died for our rights. Student protesters/demonstrators fought and died for our rights. Lawyers and teachers and other people who have taken a stand have fought for our rights. I note that the military has at times been at odds with people fighting for our rights at home.

By Pierce on 2013 11 01, 4:28 pm CDT

So Tiffany, let me get this right, are you saying that this has something to do with Nazis? Could you explain that just one more time? In the immortal words of Sgt. Hulka, "Lighten up Francis."

I usually just stand and remain quiet. I don't particularly like the pledge, but I do like America and most of the people living here. If it is something they want to do, who am I to get in their way? Sorry SU @100 - not on board with your position. "Demand Allegiance" - Now hold on, that is exactly the polar opposite of what this country stands for - that is dangerous territory.

By Matthew on 2013 11 01, 4:31 pm CDT

The words "nation under God" are from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: "That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth." You could have people recite the concluding part of the Address, same effect. The people who object to the Pledge are, as the councilman said, opposed to the American form of government, and want to replace it. Remember, that form of government INCLUDES protecting freedom of speech. In other words, people who oppose a "republic . . . with liberty and justice for all" are opposed to the protection of the freedoms that are incorporated into our form of government. Local governments should not be in the business of endorsing competing forms of government that would do away with representative government and protection of our freedoms from government interference.

By coltakashi on 2013 11 01, 5:27 pm CDT

My dad was a 20 year veteran of the Navy and the Korean War who also happened to be an atheist. He stood up for my sister's refusal to say the pledge in High School because of the reference to God (I was too much of a coward to protest). He always said he fought for people in America to be free and not be required to recite loyalty oaths.

By mamiejane on 2013 11 01, 5:42 pm CDT

I didn't see who made the comment with " allegedly" in it but this person doesn't have any idea what the military has done. If they wouldn't have fought to protect our way of life they wouldn't be were we are now. The military fought has fought against every enemy to protect our way of life if not we might be speaking German or Japanese right now. Wake up and pay attention to what you are saying. If they are not fighting were are all the bodies coming from?

By Scott Richardson on 2013 11 01, 5:42 pm CDT

Why does this idiot deserve any more protection then the American Legion? They support his right and also support their right to not give him the money or the organization he represents. That's not real hard to figure out.

By Scott Richardson on 2013 11 01, 5:54 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By large weasel on 2013 11 01, 5:54 pm CDT

I can't believe that this many people would be against the pledge to a great country that makes it possible for you to speak freely. Wake up people or move to Korea.

By Scott Richardson on 2013 11 01, 5:59 pm CDT

The flag is a symbol of this country that everyone sees everyday and something they can relate to. It is not just a salute to the flag it is pledging allegiance to the country you live in.

By Scott Richardson on 2013 11 01, 6:03 pm CDT

@71 Tim. Thanks, I was surprised it took so long for someone to point out that the real problem with the pledge is that it elevates the symbol above the substance. The biblical admonitioin against graven images seeks to protect the substance of the teaching from those who reduce them to a physical manefestation that they control. Why don't we teach our children the preamble to the constitution instead? It contains a clear statement of the purpose of our government rather than being merely a expression of Jingoistic Nationalism and unquestioning obedience. As the debate illustrates, the pledge seems to be more of a litmus test than an expression of shared beliefs in the ideals undergirding the constitution. Sad.

By Late to the Party on 2013 11 01, 6:09 pm CDT

@135 Scott Richardson

The military may have, at times, fought for certain noble causes but this does not equate to "protecting my rights".

You said: "If they are not fighting were are all the bodies coming from?" Seriously?!? Well... maybe if our military would get back here and stop killing and invading everyone else then they could defend my rights here in the good old USA. Until then, it appears they are simply violating other people on behalf of the economic interests of the elite.

By Pierce on 2013 11 01, 6:37 pm CDT

For most folks, it is the additional phrase "under God" that creates the problem. Look, why would anyone think that atheists are incapable of pledging allegiance? I why would anyone want someone to insincerely swear allegiance to the flag when they are insincere about the "under God" concept?

As for our military, it is no secret that many of them do not understand what it is that they serve to protect. Many of them do understand. Most Americans -- myself included -- honor our military for their service and sacrifice but cannot ignore the fact that they often are confused about symbolism and principle. The flag and the pledge are only symbols of sacred principles. Flags can change -- ours has many times -- but the principles are steady. The principles have been bent and beaten, ignored and misconstrued, but are not really in doubt. No serious scholar challenges the principle that separation of church and state is essential to our liberty whatever the prevailing ethos.

It was our military who integrated schools even though, individually, many guardsmen probably opposed integration. Yet it is also our military who have engaged in torture in direct contradiction to our Constitution, our treaties and our principles as enunciated at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 11 01, 6:53 pm CDT

@141

Personally, I feel it extremely unlikely that the Nazis would've stayed on their side of the pond after and if they'd defeated Great Britain. Also, while various conflicts the US engaged in may have (emphasis on may for thems that will take offense to the rest of my sentence), in retrospect seemed misguided, they were generally engaged in (to take the non cynical view) with the idea of protecting our values from threats. Those born late in the Cold War, or after it was concluded, may have difficulty imagining a world where the "Communist Threat" was both ever present and all encompassing, but there was such a world once. While those who have lived after the history may see the paranoia as ridiculous, it's easy to see how history unfolded after it unfolded, it's a little less easy to imagine how it's going to unfold during the process.

Nor is that to say I defend all the things that happened during that time, but armchair historians, like armchair quarterbacks have an easy time picking the perfect plays.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 11 01, 6:55 pm CDT

@130

Once your again, your radically monotheistic views have blinded you to the fact that you are the one advancing an argument and that the burden of proof is on you; a burden you have failed to meet. You have also failed to set forth any evidence disproving there were signers of the Declaration of Independence who believed in Odin, Zeus, Jupiter, or even Satan for that matter. Ben Franklin belonged to an organization known as the Hellfire Club which engaged in pagan/satanic rituals.

By faddking on 2013 11 01, 7:05 pm CDT

@ 3 & 4 generally agree;

@ 27 etc.:

I happily swore the NY attorney's oath (support the Constitutions of NY and & USA) and would happily swear something similar under similar solemn circumstances.

However, I object to the language of the pledge (specifically that it's to a flag, not the country; and religiously, while I am very religious I feel that the 1950s addition of "under God" both because of the motivation to do so at the time, and because it is an attempt to "Americanize" God by suggesting a special relationship with the USA, is religiously objectionable) and have never, ever, sworn it nor stood for it. Though I happily stand for and sing (to the best of my limited ability!) the national anthem, or when in another country their anthem.

That said, my objection is primarily to the language of the pledge, not the sentiments, I would probably stand in a social situation in which others did but I would not recite it.

Not because I am not patriotic, but because I am patriotic but also don't swear blindly when I object to the wording of something merely because others do.

To use a loose analogy, some people (Quakers?) affirm rather than swear not because they're not religious, but because they are so religious that it is impious to swear.

By df on 2013 11 01, 7:15 pm CDT

Again, with this issue, like others, the objective stance people take is colored by the views held by the participants in the story. For example, people have argued that the Legion is more wrong because their actions hurt the public. Let's change the scenario a bit. Let's say the public official publicly stated that he is opposed to same sex marriage and a gay rights group withdrew their funding for an event in a manner similar to the Legion. I doubt the argument about the private group's withdrawal of funds hurting the public would be advanced so much or at all by the same individuals who advanced it here.

By SME on 2013 11 01, 7:17 pm CDT

Some of you need to read the works of Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC and Michael Scheuer, CIA (Retired).

Some of you also need to read the works of Jefferson and our other founding fathers:

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote "Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?")


I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 11 01, 7:19 pm CDT

147 --> An interesting point/argument. In light of that I find it interesting that just a little while ago, many were concerned about an insulting video and someone symbolically burning a religious book. In response, many thinking people advocated that the Constitution(esp. the 1st Amendment's Freedom of Speech) is outdated and needs to be revisited...perhaps scrapped. Those same thinking people now seem to hold that amendment inviolate in the context of this story.

By SME on 2013 11 01, 7:28 pm CDT

@146:

If my aunt had a mustache, she'd be my uncle.

Of course the Legion is free to use its money as it sees fit. It is disheartening and disappointing that they cite defense of a symbol as a reason to attack the freedom for which the symbol stands.

By Tim on 2013 11 01, 7:41 pm CDT

i've heard that he's an atheist and didn't want to say "under God." Well, if that's all that it is God bless him for that. But not standing to say the pledge? Them there's fightin' words.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 11 01, 7:50 pm CDT

149 --> I understand and agree, but we must use that same logic in other contexts regardless of the views of the participants.

By SME on 2013 11 01, 7:54 pm CDT

I think the closer analogy would be whether the ACLU defended, say, hate groups, or Rush Limbaugh.

Oh, look!

By Tim on 2013 11 01, 7:57 pm CDT

The ACLU may be logically consistent but they're not who I'm referring to.

By SME on 2013 11 01, 7:59 pm CDT

"If my aunt had a mustache, she’d be my uncle." Interesting point.

"If that shopper where white, nobody would have called the police just because he bought an expensive item".

"Yeah Well, if my aunt had a mustache, she'd be my uncle".

By SME on 2013 11 01, 8:05 pm CDT

One can support the freedom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment without having to capitulate to and endorse the viewpoint expressed, much less fund it.

By Russ LaPeer on 2013 11 01, 8:07 pm CDT

I will fight to the death to defend your right to say my aunt has a mustache.

Not my death, of course.

By Tim on 2013 11 01, 8:14 pm CDT

@ 143

"Armchair historians" what other kind is there? Unless it be one claiming to be an actual eye-witness to and/or involved in a specific event or set of events. Yet, then said person may not have the broad perception necessary to evaluate the totality of the circumstances on a legitimate historical basis. Not seeing the forest through the trees, if you will.

In any event, the cold war was unmitigated propaganda and you know it. Much like the "war on terror" is today. It wasn't so much ridiculous paranoia as manufactured paranoia. You said about our wars: "they were generally engaged in (to take the non cynical view) to protect our values from threats." Yes, I would say you are perhaps straining to take the non-cynical view. I might even say you would be ignoring evidence. I think this is viewing it in a sort-of relativist vacuum, but, okay, I get the general point.

I don't doubt the powers-that-be feel they are using the military to promote "our interests" The questions are: who constitutes "our"? and, what actual "interests" are they serving?

My original point was a bit more narrow in terms of the military protecting "our rights". Taken in the context of the veterans association and the article along with various posters' statements along the lines of: "We should honor the troops because they protect our right to say the pledge" or "Our troops fought and died to protect your rights". I say, this is nonsense. No they didn't.

In any event, if you read the rest of my posts (you may already have) you'll have some context under which I said what I said. See #123 and 131.

By Pierce on 2013 11 01, 8:44 pm CDT

@147

"War is a Racket" is a must-read.

By faddking on 2013 11 01, 9:47 pm CDT

I think the "pledge" is a deliberate form of brainwashing.

By Michael w. Ritter on 2013 11 01, 9:53 pm CDT

The Constitution does not guarantee a right to get money from the American Legion.

By rick on 2013 11 01, 10:27 pm CDT

By the way, I think that the staff of the ABA Journal deserves kudos for properly cataloguing this story under the topic category "CAREERS." The category "CONSTITUTIONAL LAW" would have been incorrect since there is no legal issue whatsoever here, let alone one of Constitutional significance.

I suspect that immediately after the next election cycle there will be a dramatic change in Mr. Ashta's career path.

By Yankee on 2013 11 01, 10:49 pm CDT

Those who would destroy our country would be the first to stand and recite. And raise a stink when others didn't do likewise. They wouldn't want you to know they are really unpatriotic and anti-USA!

By Old Man from New Hampshire on 2013 11 01, 11:17 pm CDT

@161 - I don't see any constitutional issue here. The Legion is free to not donate its money, and the legality of having a pledge has not been challenged. What constitutional law issue do you perceive?

By NoleLaw on 2013 11 01, 11:58 pm CDT

Probably an end to his "career path" in politics, Yankee. But then, Ashtas to Ashtas, dust to dust.

By B. McLeod on 2013 11 02, 12:29 am CDT

@163 You ask: "What constitutional law issue do you perceive?"

I perceive no constitutional issue here.

By Yankee on 2013 11 02, 12:39 am CDT

Someone mentioned that those that would destroy this country are the ones that would be the first to stand and recite. Well I have news for you, I am a veteran and would stand toe to toe with anyone that tried to destroy this country. I would also be the one that would stand and recite the pledge. It sounds like you need a good look at what it takes to keep this country free.

By Scott Richardson on 2013 11 02, 12:53 am CDT

WE are fighting an enemy that attacked us were we suppose to let them attack us and do nothing. They are defending your rights back here you have the right to cry about things like this why other people are dyeing for you. Saying the pledge or not saying it is ok but don't complain when you what you do goes against the beliefs of the person you are trying to get the money from.

By Scott Richardson on 2013 11 02, 1:08 am CDT

I fail to see any reason to even discuss this topic. Not to mention the many inane comments. All that being said --since I can not control my fingers ( they have a voice of their own)
His right not to stand---their right to spend their money where and for what they wish. Soooooo Simple!

By GRB on 2013 11 02, 3:20 am CDT

@129. Hey self-proclaimed "former history professor" (har, har) everyone noticed that you did not actually dispute the facts stated about the Pledge of Allegiance as the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior. That is because you know that Dr. Rex Curry is correct, and you are full of crap. Oh, and then you back-tracked with "But assuming, but not concluding, that his “theory” is correct..."

The fact that some yahoo 30 years later adopted a similar salute and similar behavior means so much, and it does discredit those who created the Pledge and who continue to support it. And there are MANY other things that discredit those who created the Pledge and who continue to support it.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 02, 7:17 am CDT

Huh. I did not notice that. Anyway, who cares? If the Nazis had adopted "the all-seeing eye" as one of their symbols, would that make it bad? Are eagles bad because the Nazis used eagle symbols?

By B. McLeod on 2013 11 02, 2:47 pm CDT

I think tiffany bell is actually Curry trying to hawk some books. That, or a sovereign citizen who was duped into buying a book, and now repeats the nonsense nonstop in a compulsive attempt to console herself for her wasted money.

And thank you for not disputing that Curry is correct. Therefore, he is correct.

By NoleLaw on 2013 11 02, 3:31 pm CDT

Ms. Bell - you should toll your pedantic rantings. You started off well, but your rantings are becoming increasingly sophomoric and do not reflect at all well on you.

By Esquite on 2013 11 02, 3:34 pm CDT

Someone once said, "the key to communication is talking to the weakest link in a chain". It is plain to see you can only talk to space cadets. Remember the people, not your ego!

By Michael w. Ritter on 2013 11 02, 11:43 pm CDT

American Legion is trying to use its power, money & influence to force a government official to do what it wants. How is that proper?

The irony is that the Pledge of Allegiance is to show support for American principles, which include free speech. Forcing someone to take the Pledge is anti-American.

I support Ashta 100%.

By Cynthia on 2013 11 03, 7:37 pm CST

It is long past time to note that the validity of Godwin's Law has again been demonstrated here; see: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/godwins-law.

By Borstal on 2013 11 03, 8:34 pm CST

As our country becomes less and less concerned about the principles represented by our flag and more and more obsessed with talismanic devices like flags and salutes, we become more and more like Nazi Germany. This was a group of old men, disagreeing with one person, and screwing over a town full of children as a result. I actually think there are much more progressive and enlightened minds in the armed forces today than there were in the past, and it will be a good day for the American Legion when such backwards thinkers have passed on and their ranks are filled out by these later and better minds...people that weren't born into legislated racism and xenophobic fear of the "godless" commies. Of course, the way we collectively view muslims and hispanics looks like it will be the next test of how hard we intend to obsess over nationalism, racism, and xenophobia. One of the things I liked about Obama when he ran for office the first time was how he didn't put a flag pin on even when the right-wing part of the media started to give him serious flak about it, and how he started wearing one once he got elected and no one was pressuring him to wear one any longer. Compelled behavior is meaningless and ridiculous.

By Adamius on 2013 11 03, 11:14 pm CST

@171. NoleLaw and @170 B. McLeod and 172. Esquite If the USA had in 1892 adopted “the all-seeing eye” or the eagle as a fetish that people were led in chanting to on cue every morning with the stiff-armed salute, and refusal meant beatings, expulsions, arrests and even lynchings and then after about 30 years the German socialists started doing the same, then that would make it all bad.

I think NoleLaw is actually jealous about Curry's work and angry he learned so much about the Pledge from Curry's work. NoleLaw is like most Americans in that he is a citizen who was duped into buying into the pledge, led in repeating the nonsense nonstop in a compulsive attempt to console herself for her wasted time, and of course, never told the truth about the pledge and never figured it out on his/her own until now when he learned of Curry's work.

All of you should toll your pedantic evasions. None of you started off well, and your evasions and ad hominem attacks are becoming increasingly sophomoric and do not reflect at all well on any of you.

Everyone noticed that you did not actually dispute the facts stated about the Pledge of Allegiance as the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior. That is because you know that Dr. Rex Curry is correct.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 04, 12:23 am CST

The American Legion has all the right in the world to ask someone to stand for the pledge. They also have the right to say if you disrespect me and my organization then I am not going to give you the money you are asking for. Most sane people in this situation would stand and at least go through the motions and show respect for them men and women that represent the legion. He is probably didn't sign the loyalty oath when he filed his papers to run for office. I am sure this guy will be unemployed come next election.

By Scott Richardson on 2013 11 04, 12:39 am CST

In the early 1970s, I chose to quietly remain seated during the pledge in an Anaheim, California elementary school (Francis Scott Key). I was around 11 at the time. My point was if America is so free, I had the right NOT to recite the pledge day in and day out. My teacher threatened to give me an unsatisfactory grade in "citizenship" if I continued to remain seated during the pledge. My folks went to the school and had a talk with the principal. The teacher relented and my point was made. I have been an activist ever since!

By Crusader on 2013 11 04, 12:41 am CST

To Tinkerbelle: Ave atque vale.

By Mike on 2013 11 04, 1:32 am CST

Better yet, with hand outstretched I shout "Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant". I will be so embarrassed if Mr. Bellamy adopts this salute in 2000 years.

By Mike on 2013 11 04, 1:39 am CST

I find compulsory, or virtually compulsory, pledging of allegiance to the flag and nation to be ridiculous; especially in public meetings or courtrooms.

Why should one's fate be altered by something as arbitrary as being willing to publicly declare yourself a servant of a nation? Is the strength of our cause, or case, dependent on whether we recite the pledge, something that 99% of people have probably never paused to consider the meaning of? Reciting the pledge has become rote, and no one gives it a thought other than, "It means I love my country."

By Eric on 2013 11 04, 1:53 am CST

Oh my, Mike is another victim of misreading wakipedia (the anonymous bulletin board that masquerades as an encyclopedia) and he doesn't even have the guts to actually say what he tries to imply. oh well, another stale debunked myth that continues to be repeated ad infinitum.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 04, 2:05 am CST

Imagine tiffany's wonder when she discovers that other books and authors exist. It's going to be a magical moment. Godspeed.

By NoleLaw on 2013 11 04, 2:39 am CST

Ms. Bell tells us:

"If the USA had in 1892 adopted “the all-seeing eye” or the eagle as a fetish that people were led in chanting to on cue every morning with the stiff-armed salute, and refusal meant beatings, expulsions, arrests and even lynchings and then after about 30 years the German socialists started doing the same, then that would make it all bad."

Really? If this happened, eagles would be bad? I think there is some element here of irrationally blaming a symbol for some people's misuse of that symbol. Especially where the irrational blame extends to blaming a disinterested avian life form, which really had nothing to do with any of the human conduct at issue.

By B. McLeod on 2013 11 04, 6:56 am CST

Wow, NoleLaw and McLeod both chime in again to not actually say anything because they know that the facts about the pledge are correct. McLeod wants to pretend it is just about the old stiff-armed gesture because he has nothing contradictory to state, and he wants to ignore all that pledge entails and did entail (aside from the earlier Nazi salute gesture). No one falls for your absurd evasions. All you do is lend support to the opposing side because you are clearly unarmed.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 04, 12:07 pm CST

The best part is that while I recognize all the words as English, when put together in a sentence and paragraph, they lose any sense of meaning.

In other news, Aliens built the Pyramids, the Free Masons (Templars) are really the ones running the world, and the Phone Company is controlling our brains.

Plus, I see the Fnords.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 11 04, 5:12 pm CST

Links, American Legion 134/MG Park Commissioner, et al.:
July 31, 2013
http://mortongrove.suntimes.com/news/pledge-MGC-07252013:article

September 23, 2013
http://mortongrove.suntimes.com/news/government/ashta-MGC-08222013:article

October 25, 2013
http://mortongrove.suntimes.com/news/pledge-MGC-10312013:article

October 28, 2013
www.abajournal.com/news/article/lawyers_refusal_to_stand_for_pledge_leads_to_funding_loss_for_park_district/

October 30, 2013
www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/10/30/american-legion-withholds-donations-from-park-district-because-board-member-wont-stand-for-pledge-of-allegiance/ (pic with credit)
www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/30/american-legion-pulls-park-funding-after-atheist-official-wont-pledge-under-god/ (pic/video with no credit)
www.democraticunderground.com/121899098 (pic with no credit)
www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/american-legion-halts-park-funding-because-atheist-wont-stand-pledge-allegiance# (pic with no credit)
http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/american-legion-yanks-park-funding-after-ath (video posted with no credit, donations asked for)

October 31, 2013
www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeS8cl6V4iA (video posted then removed from YouTube)
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-31/news/ct-talk-american-legion-pledge-of-allegiance-20131031_1_vets-group-pledge-park-board
http://syndicatednewsservices.com/2013/10/31/american-legion-pulls-park-funding-atheist-official-wont-pledge-god/ (pic no credit)
http://aattp.org/park-funds-withheld-atheist-commissioner-says-god-reciting-pledge-allegiance-video/ (video posted then removed from YouTube)
www.lucianne.com/main2/?fcnt=758785
www.lucianne.com/thread/?artnum=758807
www.gofundme.com/50vuas (pic with no credit)
http://unitedconservatives.blogspot.com/2013/10/veterans-group-halts-donations-after.html
http://doctore0.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/american-legion-pulls-park-funding-after-atheist-official-wont-pledge-under-god/
www.the-two-malcontents.com/2013/10/vets-group-halts-donations-after-official-refuses-to-stand-for-pledge/
http://weaselzippers.us/2013/10/31/veterans-group-halts-donations-after-city-parks-commissioner-refuses-to-stand-for-the-pledge-of-allegiance/
www.bizpacreview.com/2013/11/01/vets-teach-parks-official-a-lesson-when-he-refuses-to-stand-for-pledge-86329

November 2, 2013
www.justicenewsflash.com/2013/11/02/vet-group-halts-donations-over-refusal-to-stand-for- www.examiner.com/article/fundamentalists-want-the-government-to-promote-their-beliefs-but-use-censorship
http://beforeitsnews.com/astrology/2013/11/vets-teach-parks-official-a-lesson-when-he-parks-commissioner-dan-ashta-refuses-to-stand-for-pledge-by-joe-saunders-2437838.html
http://jericho777.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/vets-teach-parks-official-a-lesson-when-he-parks-commissioner-dan-ashta-refuses-to-stand-for-pledge-by-joe-saunders/
http://usconstitutionalfreepress.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/vets-teach-parks-official-a-lesson-when-he-parks-commissioner-dan-ashta-refuses-to-stand-for-pledge-by-joe-saunders/
http://brittius.com/2013/11/02/vets-teach-parks-official-a-lesson-when-he-parks-commissioner-dan-ashta-refuses-to-stand-for-pledge-by-joe-saunders/

November 3, 2013
http://mortongrove.suntimes.com/news/pledge-MGC-11072013:article
www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2121542 (video posted then removed)
www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/15878783-american-legion-to-deny-funds-because-not-standing-for-pledge

By The Morton Grove Voice on 2013 11 04, 5:29 pm CST

@19 I'm surprised no one has corrected this yet, but as a fan of both the Simpsons and Calvin & Hobbes, I'm pretty sure that quote comes from Calvin, not Bart.

By rgardner on 2013 11 04, 5:39 pm CST

@183. What stale debunked myth?

By Mike on 2013 11 04, 5:53 pm CST

Links re Pledge of Allegiance's putrid past and present as origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior and brainwashing and violence/bullying

http://youtu.be/mvDwL553pVM

http://youtu.be/BssWWZ3XEe4

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 04, 7:15 pm CST

Tiffany,

I'll indulge the troll once more, but I have to ask, @31 you say the book you're going on about is by Ian Tinney, explaining Dr. Rex Curry, then in 58 you say the work is actually written by Rex Curry. So, who wrote it?

By OKBankLaw on 2013 11 04, 7:29 pm CST

OKBankLaw, I'll indulge the troll as often as the troll wishes, and point out that OKBankLaw not only misstates what he claims to reference, but he pretends to be unable to look up the simple answer to his contrived question anyhoo, and is merely trying to create another opportunity for himself to be a troll. That explains his other troll-level comments.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 04, 8:15 pm CST

Comment removed by moderator.

By The Morton Grove Voice on 2013 11 04, 8:20 pm CST

@182 "Eric" where are you located?

Your name is only confusing the issue at hand.

The Morton Grove Voice, et al.

By The Morton Grove Voice on 2013 11 04, 8:33 pm CST

Thank you for the advice on how I can deal with the trolls.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 04, 8:44 pm CST

@191. Son of a gun! I just learned something. The "Roman salute" definitely goes back to 1740.

By Mike on 2013 11 04, 10:05 pm CST

Plus, there was Siegfried and the three billy goats Gruff.

By B. McLeod on 2013 11 05, 12:34 am CST

@197. The “Roman salute” definitely does not go back to 1740. and the @191 that cited for it states that it does not go back to 1740.

The "Roman salute" is a popular stale debunked myth that people love to mindlessly repeat without even attempting to provide any factual support (as there is none).

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 05, 2:03 pm CST

Wow....all these years, 50+ of them, good government class and 20 years of military service it never occurred to me that the Pledge was somehow an expression of nazi/socialist tendencies.

What a joke......some of you take yourselves way too seriously.

By WingCmdr on 2013 11 05, 7:12 pm CST

Don't feel badly, as the government schools (socialist schools) either taught nothing about it or they taught pleasant propaganda. You were just a child when the brainwashing began, with the robotic chanting every morning on the cue of a government employee.

Thanks for not actually disputing in any factual way that the pledge was written by a socialist to promote socialism and that it was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior, influencing the German socialists.

Of course, you have nothing to say about the fact that the pledge was part of a program for the government to take over education and spread government schools (socialist schools), another socialist tendency that you do not dispute. Thanks.

It probably comforts you to this day to pretend that you do not comprehend it. We understand your frustration at discovering the truth so late in life after being lied to for so long.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 06, 1:43 am CST

What if I was seating in a court room and the judge approched the bench and I refused to stand up, because of my constitutional rights, would that hold up in court?

By ED on 2013 11 06, 5:38 am CST

The Pledge of Allegiance was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior. It continues to be the origin of Nazi behavior.

A teacher in a government schools (socialist school) has been suspended after forcing a 4th grader to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The teacher at Explorer K-8 School in Spring Hill, forced the student to place his hand over his heart and recite the Pledge.

The boy reportedly protested, but the teacher told him, "You are an American and you are supposed to salute the flag."

The following day she allegedly forced him again to take the Pledge, telling the classroom that "if you can't put your hand on your heart, then you need to move out of the country."

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/article/343253/8/Report-Teacher-suspended-after-forcing-student-to-recite-Pledge

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/hernando-teacher-suspended-after-requiring-fourth-grader-to-participate-in/2150894

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 06, 7:52 am CST

Well, sure, that's clearly just the same as sending him to an extermination camp for not taking a personal loyalty oath to the teacher.

By B. McLeod on 2013 11 06, 1:26 pm CST

Thanks for conceding, McLeod, although your comment might make people wonder if you are all there in the head.

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 06, 2:07 pm CST

Well of course I'm in the head (and I have several pages of your comments with me for an actually useful purpose).

By B. McLeod on 2013 11 07, 12:58 am CST

Now THAT would be a good gesture for the pledge to replace the hand-over-the-heart!

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 07, 3:13 am CST

Judge Throws Attorney In Jail For Not Reciting Pledge of Allegiance

http://wonkette.com/425515/hero-judge-throws-attorney-in-jail-for-not-reciting-pledge-of-allegiance

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 07, 5:09 pm CST

I agree Ashta has the right to sit during the pledge, but am disappointed he is using the Park District to do his grandstanding. If he was so passionate about the 1st Amendment/Constitution, why didn't he make it an issue when he was running for office? Because he knew he wouldn't get elected, but now has the platform to make this something more than just the Park District. Which in my opinion is unfortunate, since it could have some real negative repercussions on the Park District.

By MG Resident on 2013 11 07, 8:34 pm CST

More proof that the USA has been run by crazy people since way back and that the flag and the pledge turn people insane. Man sentenced to 10-20 years for refusing to kiss flag under threat of bully mob. Ex Parte Starr, 263 F. 145, 146-147 (D. Mont. 1920).

On the evening of March 24, 1918, Ernest Starr was confronted by about 15 men in a local committee while reading a letter at the general store in Big Horn township, and asked about his failure to make Liberty Bond contributions. Forced to kiss the flag, he said, "What is this thing anyway? Nothing but a piece of cotton with a little paint on it, and some other marks in the corner there. I will not kiss that thing. It might be covered with microbes."

Case details: Information filed Aug. 1, 1918. Attorney was John C. Lyndes. Convicted in a jury trial. Habeas corpus petitions denied in state and federal courts. In opinion in Ex parte Starr 263 Fed 145 (D. Mont. 1920), U.S. Judge George Bourquin noted that defendant was "more sinned against than sinning," and added that "Patriotism, like religion, is a virtue so exalted that its excesses pass with little censure. But when as here it descends to fanaticism, it is of the reprehensible quality of the religion that incited the massacre of St. Bartholomew, the fires of Smithfield, the tortures of the Inquisition and is equally cruel and murderous."Served 35 months. Sentence commuted by Gov. Dixon on June 4, 1921, to 5-20 years making him immediately eligible for parole. Evidence that a woman's malicious gossip about Starr, based on comments she said she heard him make in 1917, precipitated the confrontation with his accusers (but her testimony was not allowed for that reason). Released Sept. 18, 1921. Starr's name lives on in several books and articles on the flag.

Personal Information: Born in Wooster, Wayne Co., Ohio. Attended schools in Kalamazoo County, Mich. Had one sister, a missionary in S. America. Testified that he worked in North Dakota as early as 1886, worked for the Great Northern Railroad in 1887 and later homesteaded in North Dakota and Canada. In 1910 was single and living in Hillsdale, N.D. Left Canada in 1916 to come to Montana. Lived and homesteaded at the head of Tullock Creek near Hardin, 25 miles south of Big Horn township in what was then Rosebud County. Filed for homestead in 1916 on ceded portion of Crow Reservation. Also worked as engineer and boilermaker. Date and place of death unknown.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2ew4tXFFZJkJ:www.seditionproject.net/STARR.HTM+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

By tiffany bell on 2013 11 08, 12:48 pm CST

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