Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Pledge of Allegiance Again

Here's my issue with the Pledge of Allegiance... and I know that I've posted on it before but I won't run on about it.
The Baptist minister who wrote the Pledge in 1892 did not include the words "under God." "Under God" wasn't added until 1954 to set us apart from the godless communists of the time.
I learned the Pledge first without "under God" and then again with it. At the point when I felt uncomfortable avowing a belief I did not share, I simply stopped saying those two words. There was a year when I took a turn as Chairperson of a group that recited the Pledge at the beginning of each meeting, and the group got along quite nicely despite my pause while they said "under God."
My issue is that as a teacher, particularly of elementary school children, I would have to teach them to recite those words. I would have to lie to them.
People can argue that the current Pledge of Allegiance is not a state-sponsored (mandated?) expression of belief in the supremacy of the God of Abraham, but I ain't buying it. A person shouldn't have to affirm a belief in god in order to pledge their allegiance to the United States of America.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Changing Bodies - Changing Lives

A brief note to say that I have not forgotten this blog, but that it is unlikely that I will be able to post much more than a brief note between now and next week.
There are issues on which I'd like to comment... It's discouraging to me that a couple dozen guys in four airplanes have apparently been able to successfully attack the heart of what it means to be an American as the institutions of slavery, fascism and communism could not... but I really don't have the time to think about that now.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Hospitalman Robert N. Martens

Hospitalman Robert N. Martens, 20, of Queen Creek,Ariz., died Sept. 6, from injuries sustained as a passenger when his HMMWV rolled over in Al Qaim, Iraq. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Martens was assigned to II Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
There's more about him here.
Semper Fi.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thoughts on Accountability

As I read the coverage of the disaster unfolding in New Orleans I see a lot being written about the failures of the federal government to provide timely support to the people trapped in the city. It occurs to me that there were an awful lot of people apparently trapped in the city...
One wonders if Mayor Nagin or Governor Blanco were appropriately mindful of the 50,000 New Orleans households (that they knew of) without cars. One wonders if they were appropriately mindful of those invalids receiving home health care from local agencies.
To order the evacuation of a metropolitan area and somewhat off-handedly refer those who perhaps can't make it to the corner of their block to make their way to the Superdome sounds like some folks were being written off at the local level.
I'm no more fond of Dubya this week than I was last week, but really...

One might suggest to Mayor Nagin that before he gets too... may I borrow his French word and say pissy?... he might want to reflect on what he might have done better.
Ray, there should have been busses before the hurricane.

I came across this article in Raw Story citing Mayor Nagin's... acknowledgement?... back in July that the poor of New Orleans... an estimated 134,000 people... would be left to their own devices in the event of a catastrophic event such as Katrina.
In what must have been a "let them eat cake" inspired moment, this information was to be distributed to the community churches and civic groups on DVDs? (There are a lot of DVD players in those neighborhoods?)
Winston, far be it from me to cut Dubya a bit of slack... the federal disaster recovery effort has been FUBAR... but I sincerely hope that the city's municipal and school busses aren't forming an artificial reef in the Mississippi delta as we speak.