Social Issues

I Pledge to Scream Until My Eyeballs Pop Out

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So some guy at an Obama rally grinds everything to a halt by DEMANDING that the Pledge of Allegiance be observed. Watch the two-minute video, but especially note the vein-popping interview/rant afterward:

This kind of stuff, ultimately, is why I'll always live as far as possible (figuratively, more than geographically) from the Real America. Half-deranged insistence on ritualistic displays of loyalty is the stuff of unconfident Americans and small-minded authoritarians, though I'm less tetchy than I used to be about reciting the pledge before civic meetings or singing "God Bless America" at the ballgame. (In elementary school, I would deliberately mangle the Pledge; upon my 18th birthday, I refused to register for the draft; and when I worked for the University of California I tried like hell to get out of the mandatory swearing-I'd-defend-the-state-constitution thing, though I don't remember if I was successful.)

Whatever; like David Brooks, I'm not running for office. But it's morbidly fascinating to me that people can get all purple in the face for a half an hour talking about Barack Obama's decision (since rescinded) to not wear a flag pin sometimes. Sure, there's the idea that anyone running for president of these United States should be expected to pay constant homage to our dorky and purely symbolic civic traditions. It's a persuasive argument, just one that reminds me that my sense of civic mores will probably always be in the distinct minority.

Link via Wonkette. Read reason on the Pledge here.

UPDATE: Maybe the Pledge-heckler was less Real America than I thought ? he's reportedly a Bloomberg photographer.

UPDATE 2: Reference to one of my family members was removed.

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  1. I Pledge to Scream Until My Eyeballs Pop Out

    Great, Matt, just great. Now you have done it. You mentioned eyeballs in a post about Sen. Obama. This will be the new “stealth racism” item.

    No, it does not matter if you are talking about His eyeballs or not.

  2. Where do they sing “God Bless America” at the ballgame? I thought we started ball games with the Star Spangled Banner and rodeos with “God Bless the USA.”

  3. Well, ideally, being President should be a dorky and purely symbolic civic tradition. Since we have ceded so much power to the fed and the executive, I guess asking for some symbolism in return isn’t too much.

  4. Abdul,

    Perhaps he has avoided that activity long enough to forget which song is sung?

  5. I don’t get how people with fulfilling lives can be so nationalistic. It’s lines on a map, people.

  6. Half-deranged insistence on ritualistic displays of loyalty is the stuff of unconfident Americans and small-minded authoritarians

    Or Packer fans.

  7. when I worked for the University of California I tried like hell to get out of the mandatory swearing-I’d-defend-the-state-constitution thing

    As you were a state employee, I dont see how this was a problem. If you are going to leech off “my” (Im not in CA, so Im acting as proxy for CA taxpayers) money, you got to follow some rules.

    Personally, I think it should be enforced much more strictly with extremely harsh penalties.

  8. That was funny. That dude needs hospitalization, like, right now.

    But don’t worry, when Obama becomes president, the pledge will likely be replaced by the Internationale. 🙂

    I read that the Decembrists even played it before a big Obama rally earlier this year.

  9. a sometimes-employed blue collar guy still struggling to come to grips with the post-Cold War collapse of cushy G.E.D.-requiring aerospace jobs in Southern California

    Now there’s a phrase that needs to be invoked more often in American bellybutton contemplation argle-bargle.

  10. When did wearing a flag pin become a civic tradition?

  11. When did wearing a flag pin become a civic tradition?

    2001?

    Hey, traditions have to start sometime. If you do something twice, its a tradition. 🙂

  12. Where do they sing “God Bless America” at the ballgame?

    On every Sunday since 9/11, and at Yankee Stadium every night.

    Guy Montag, step back.

  13. I, too, get tetchy whenever the whole audience has to rise and recite the pledge at a civic meeting. So I say the following words only: “I pledge allegience to…..liberty and justice for all.” That should probably be the LP’s membership pledge too.

  14. It’s a persuasive argument, just one that reminds me that my sense of civic mores will probably always be in the distinct minority.

    You need reminding? I’m 100% conscious of it every day, just talking to people.

    When did wearing a flag pin become a civic tradition?

    Actually, I was reading the print version of reason last night (the Rick Perelstein [sp?] interview) and there was a picture of Nixon with two building trade guys. All three, to my surprise, were wearing flag lapel pins.

    So it might go back a while.

  15. Barack Obama’s decision (since rescinded) to not wear a flag pin sometimes.

    Another reason to be pissed off at Obama.

    He made a fairly rational and seemingly principled defense of not succumbing to pointless theatrical displays of capital “P” Patriotism, and then promptly caved.

    Fucking weenie politician.

  16. Matt,

    LOL! So Yankee Stadium is in “Real America” and you moved to DC to be away from there?

    BTW, I am not a Yankees fan so I can truly claim to not know that one.

  17. Since middle school I have always left the word god out of saying the pledge. Since the invasion of Iraq I pretty much avoid reciting the pledge at all.

  18. When did wearing a flag pin become a civic tradition?
    Where do they sing “God Bless America” at the ballgame?

    Both are post 9/11 fallout. “God Bless America” replaced “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. In some stadiums now both are sung. I always crack up when foreigners like Ronan Tynan and Celine Dion are asked to sing it.

  19. I read that the Decembrists even played it before a big Obama rally earlier this year.

    It appears that Obama has the sea shanty enthusiast vote all locked up.

  20. In Obama’s defense, he was born in Kenya Hawaii – they haven’t had as much time as the rest of us to learn all our little customs and traditions.

  21. Mister DNA,

    Seems we need some government documentation to verify that place of birth.

  22. As libertarian as I am, I never hesitate to say the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge, while it may be a strange and borderline collectivist custom, it is a nice tradition. After all, we’re pledging to defend the flag of perhaps the most libertarian nation that ever existed.

  23. Are we the crazy ones, and are guys like that normal?

    There’s something quite un-American about the Pledge of Allegiance, as far as I’m concerned, even in its original godless form.

  24. At every school function for my kids that I attend, I never say the pledge (although I do stand), nor do I place my hand over my heart. My wife groans silently at these ineffectual and largely invisible protests of mine. I patiently await someone noticing me and the undoubtedly civil debate which will ensue.

    (I rationalize the “standing” part of it as not intentionally thumbing my nose at all the others who are standing… kind of like wearing a yarmulke at a bar mitzvah even if you’re not Jewish)

  25. He made a fairly rational and seemingly principled defense of not succumbing to pointless theatrical displays of capital “P” Patriotism, and then promptly caved.

    Or, the dude neglected to get a flag pin because he didn’t realize it was such a big deal, was suddenly confronted with the oversight by frothing jingoists and the political planners who point them at things, and promptly decided not to let it become an issue. Not everything starts as some big symbolic gesture.

  26. “As you were a state employee, I dont see how this was a problem. If you are going to leech off “my” (Im not in CA, so Im acting as proxy for CA taxpayers) money, you got to follow some rules.”

    Employees are leeches? I knew some of you libertarians were pro-boss and anti-worker, but sheesh robc. And here I thought he probably exchanged his labor for pay…

    I think the pledge is a bunch of authoritarian crap. No wonder Guy Montag rose to its defense fo immediately.

  27. After all, we’re pledging to defend the flag of perhaps the most libertarian nation that ever existed.

    Huh. I always fell like I was pledging obediance and obligation to a piece of brightly colored cloth. Go figure.

  28. I patiently await someone noticing me and the undoubtedly civil debate which will ensue.

    I’ve decided that the best way to irritate the guy down the street with the upside-down flag is to never ask him about it.

    That searching look when I say hi, chat, and walk off as normal is reward enough.

  29. I make this country better every day I go to work. I provide a service which folks voluntarily find to be worth more to them than what I pay them, and I find the money they pay to be worth the service I provide. I then take that money and buy things from other hard working people and pay my taxes which, when the money is not wasted, is used to make my nation “stronger” (even in the ways that authoritarians admire). I inform myself before elections, I question my leaders to try to keep them honest with our Constitution, laws etc. That’s how I keep my nation strong and show my support, not some authoritarian loyalty pledge…

  30. I wonder if this guy is related to the guy here in Boston who calls sports radio to complain anytime anyone refers to a game as a battle because there’s a “real war with real battles” being fought for freedom.

  31. A free society shouldn’t have loyalty oaths to the state. Period.

  32. Ya know, Tom Wolfe has talked about when he wears his flag pin around pretty much the same sort of folks that Sen. Obama runs around with.

    He says that it is almost like showing a cross to a vampire, although the people are not bad, they are good people.

    So, let’s not make such a big deal about wearing one or not wearing one.

    I had a guy at a 2600 meeting ask me over and over again why I was wearing a Pentagon pin (and a suit). Seems “I just came from work, I wear the pin because I feel like it” was not a good enough explaination, requiring several cycles of answering with the same words.

  33. You know, what would amuse me enough to vote for Obama is if he would start wearing a Confederate flag pin. Why not? Can’t accuse him of being a racist, right? We could use a secessionist candidate around now, anyway ?

    A tie with the Constitution printed on it would be viewed as wacky, wouldn’t it? How sad.

  34. Hey Guy, the Nazis had pieces of flair too.

  35. That’s how I keep my nation strong and show my support, not some authoritarian loyalty pledge…

    So you hate America, then. I knew it.

  36. Not everything starts as some big symbolic gesture.

    Aww, you’re no fun.

  37. I would deliberately mangle the Pledge; upon my 18th birthday, I refused to register for the draft;

    I tried doing the same thing. Me mum, though a hippie lib, called my martial arts tourney champion bro two states over to drag my ass to get registered. He even brought his portable electric razor with him and forced me to endure a buzz cut. That was punishment for ruining his weekend with the trip home.

  38. I refused to register for the draft

    So did I…until I found out that my college wouldn’t pay out on a scholarship that I won, which was not federal money.

  39. “rodeos with “God Bless the USA.””
    I was just at a rodeo at a state fair in Kansas last week, and no singing there, but unbelieveably they did start the rodeo with a prayer. The guy prayed for troops and the war in a positive light, he prayed for the cowboys, etc. The announcer was from Oklahoma, so maybe that was a southern thing.

    Here is a question, have schools always started events with the pledge? My kids events always do it, but I don’t remember that in my 1970s school days? Was it a 9/11 thing or a George H.W. Bush thing from the 1988 election. It is insane. Our city council even says the pledge. Grown adults saying the pledge with no kids in site. Insane.

  40. I hate people who disrupt events. The Left are generally the jackasses who do this sort of thing but I will call out the right when they do it as well. No one has a right to disrupt an event just because they don’t like the guy speaking or don’t like the way it is being run. Everyone deserves a polite hearing and a chance to say what they want to say and have their event run as they see fit. If you don’t like it, don’t go to the event. No one has the right to shout someone down or disrupt a public event to make a political point no matter how valid. You want to score points have your own events.

  41. Matt,

    Please don’t confuse my kidding you with disagreeing with your general position on this. I am pretty much on board with what you are saying.

    I still had to register with Selective Service even after I had both a federal commission in the Army Reserve and a State National Guard comission. Thought it was the craziest crap in the world, so I filled out the registration update paperwork every single time I entered a Post Office until well after my 26th birthday.

    Certainly that fellow disrupting an appearance by the Senator and demanding that people be compelled to say The Pledge (seems he is trying to force the pledge on Sen. Obama, from the description) is out of line.

    Being against compelling others to say it (like in public [gun] school) is where I am, but am I misreading you in thinking you object to anybody saying it at all, even on their own?

  42. who is this guy? a plant for McBush?

  43. Why the hell do you keep linking to Wonkette?

  44. Where do they sing “God Bless America” at the ballgame?

    They also sang it at the Nationals game last Friday before “Take me out to the Ball Game”. Not sure if that is a regular occurrence.

  45. So Yankee Stadium is in “Real America” and you moved to DC to be away from there?

    My home stadium is the Big A, in Anaheim. You know, Orange County, California? We have military flyovers whenever someone hits a three-run homer.

  46. if you hate america so much, you should just leave. think of The Children.

  47. ACK!

    I kidded Matt for not knowing what song is sung at a sport I generally ignore.

    Bad Montag.

  48. “I still had to register with Selective Service even after I had both a federal commission in the Army Reserve and a State National Guard comission.”

    I never got that. When I filled out my application for my security clearence when I joined the Army they wanted proof I was registered for selective service. I had joined the army, doesn’t that kind of aleviate the need to draft me?

  49. Matt,

    I have driven by that stadium, on the way to Santa Ana, and really could not distinguish Anaheim from the rest of Los Angeles.

  50. I never got that. When I filled out my application for my security clearence when I joined the Army they wanted proof I was registered for selective service. I had joined the army, doesn’t that kind of aleviate the need to draft me?

    If you joined the Active Army (Compo 1 for those G-1 types out there), then yes you no longer had a requirement to keep up registration.

    For Guard and Reservists (Compo 2 & 3), we were still required to keep our SS info up to date. At least 20 years ago we were. If i remember I will check with my son and see what he says the rules are now (since I am too lazy to look it up).

  51. Nice thing about CA, the Burbank Airport has the best scenery on earth.

  52. John,

    I hate people who disrupt events.

    A liberal blog I read last week contained the observation “The primary purpose of Code Pink seems to be to convince people not to join Code Pink.”

    Get your sign into the shot, that’s cool, but don’t be a jackass.

  53. Joe,

    Damn you for not noticing and responding to my plea for attention!! You go to hell and you die!

    Though there’s a bit of a difference between not saying a pledge and hanging an upside down flag. When I refrain from saying the pledge, I am not doing it in order to send a message to anyone — I do it to satisfy myself (but I am aware that others *might* notice). The upside-down flag though can be seen as nothing other than a message to others.

  54. John,

    From the right, there’s that guy who goes to funerals, right? Egad.

    I generally think civil discourse is best–for instance, I get annoyed at disruptions of invited speakers on college campuses–however, my interest in civility diminishes when the protest is made directly against a government body or action or when the fora for such protests have otherwise been shut down. The latter is less of an issue in the U.S. than in other countries, of course.

  55. I have long forgotten when I quit pledging allegiance to the cloth. At some point, I even managed to begin my own tradition of avoiding the use of “sir” when speaking to anyone who might be used to being addressed that way.

    My allegiance is to the moral principles in which the seed of liberty is planted.

  56. David (not that one),

    Yeah, agreed, remaining silent while politely standing is exactly the opposite of hanging a flag upside down from the front of your house.

  57. Off-topicish, but did anybody else think the pinstripe-shirted journalist in the interview section was kinda hot?

    Also, I kinda hope the yelling guy does stuff like this when he goes to condo board and PTA meetings.

  58. joe,

    Your Jedi mind tricks are useless on me.

  59. While that guy was indeed a jackass, I admire Obama’s handling of it. Inviting the guy to lead the pledge was a great way to defuse the situation.

  60. David,

    These are not the disruptive displays of patriotism you are looking form

  61. am I misreading you in thinking you object to anybody saying it at all, even on their own?

    Absolutely not. I actually find it almost touching, in a non-condescending way, when people start their civic, non-governmental meetings with an enthusiastic rendition of it.

  62. I mean, “absolutely, you *are* misreading me,” etc.

  63. Sam Grove | August 7, 2008, 11:31am | #
    I have long forgotten when I quit pledging allegiance to the cloth. At some point, I even managed to begin my own tradition of avoiding the use of “sir” when speaking to anyone who might be used to being addressed that way.

    OR you could try addressing W as “sir” at a press briefing, instead of “Mr. President.” He doesn’t take kindly to people forgetting his royal title.

  64. I have driven by that stadium, on the way to Santa Ana, and really could not distinguish Anaheim from the rest of Los Angeles.

    A typical observation. Next time, look closely for concrete ditches surrounding ribbons of gutter-water — those are often the borders of cities and even counties. Otherwise, yeah, not much difference between here and there.

  65. Why the hell do you keep linking to Wonkette?

    Because Wonkette was the source of a video I found interesting? Also, when’s the last time I or anyone here linked to Wonkette?

  66. Because Wonkette was the source of a video I found interesting? Also, when’s the last time I or anyone here linked to Wonkette?

    Not going to look it up, but it was about a month ago. Video is a good rationale for doing so, however.

  67. Wow.

    So that’s what happens when a FREEPER gets a press pass.

  68. Obama was classy here.

    You don’t see a lot of “classy” in politics these days.

  69. I never got that. When I filled out my application for my security clearence when I joined the Army they wanted proof I was registered for selective service. I had joined the army, doesn’t that kind of aleviate the need to draft me?

    Selective Sevice has it’s own bureuacracy and like all such monsters, it must be fed. I’m not sure, but I’ll wager if you join the service prior to your 18th birthday, you are still required to register.

  70. Matt,

    I mean, “absolutely, you *are* misreading me,” etc.

    I was hoping so.

  71. when I worked for the University of California I tried like hell to get out of the mandatory swearing-I’d-defend-the-state-constitution thing

    That is actually kind of fucked up….of course i have doubt any employee in my state gives a crap what is in our constitution with most being hostile to what it actually says and i am sure they have to pledge as well.

  72. You don’t see a lot of “classy” in politics these days.

    Sure you do! Of course, you generally see it in phrases like “Spitzer spent a bunch of money on some classy hooker,” as opposed to applying directly to the politician.

  73. Classy isn’t quite the word. Yes, there is that, but what he did goes beyond that. He had a frothing at the mouth character, and he handled him. It was more deft, I’d say.

  74. Perhaps if we renamed it the “Pledge of Blind, Unquestioning Fealty to an Autocratic Kleptocracy That Used to be a Constitutional Republic Before FDR Fucked it up”, politicians like Obama would feel less compelled to pander to crowds like this.

    I mean, insert that phrase in this clip and see how ludicrous this pander would become.

    Though it would be considerably more entertaining.

  75. Ya know, Tom Wolfe has talked about when he wears his flag pin around pretty much the same sort of folks that Sen. Obama runs around with.

    He says that it is almost like showing a cross to a vampire, although the people are not bad, they are good people.

    In Tom Wolfe’s circles, I imagine this is less a patriotism thing or even a political thing than it is a kitsch thing.

    I bet if Tom went to parties on the Upper West Side and brought his beanie baby collection along to show everyone, he’d get the same vampiric reaction.

    Leaving aside the whole kitsch question [which we’ve discussed here productively before] there’s an element of domination/subordination involved in these petty little rituals. That element grows stronger the farther down the social strata you go. If you refuse to sing “Proud to be an American” with some country bumpkins, they’re not just angry because you aren’t playing the symbolic patriotism game; they’re angry because they know, whether consciously or unconsciously, that one reason you’re not singing along is because you refuse to be a redneck hillbilly. They find that refusal personally insulting, and are compelled to try to dominate you into singing along. Obama is encountering the meta version of that. The people who complain about him know, on some level, that it’s not the country that Obama has a problem with – it’s them.

  76. Half-deranged insistence on ritualistic displays of loyalty is the stuff of unconfident Americans and small-minded authoritarians

    That, sir, is also the stuff of modern corporate America. Why is it, then, that these unconfident people and small-minded authoritarians always seem to make more money than I do?

  77. I’ve decided that the best way to irritate the guy down the street with the upside-down flag is to never ask him about it.

    That searching look when I say hi, chat, and walk off as normal is reward enough.

    But if the guy has flowers that over hang onto the side walk Joe would go into a conniption fit.

  78. In lieu of the Pledge, I suggest that we substitute the following:

    Freedom? That is a worship word. Yang worship. You will not speak it.

  79. when I worked for the University of California I tried like hell to get out of the mandatory swearing-I’d-defend-the-state-constitution thing

    If you worked for the federal government, it wouldn’t be a problem. Fuck the Constitution; they only want you to swear fealty to the President.

  80. I was just at a rodeo at a state fair in Kansas last week, and no singing there, but unbelieveably they did start the rodeo with a prayer.

    I’ve never been to a rodeo (and I’ve been to a lot) that didn’t start with a prayer.

    Inviting the guy to lead the pledge was a great way to defuse the situation.

    Well played, indeed.

  81. Freedom? That is a worship word. Yang worship. You will not speak it.

    I can always count on ProL to deliver the Trek.

  82. Obama was classy here.

    You don’t see a lot of “classy” in politics these days.

    If by “classy” you mean “pandering to avoid another flag lapel pin media debacle”, then sure.

    Course, when I use the word “classy”, I mean something entirely different than that.

    “Adroit” is the word that I would use here, with shades of “cynical”, considering what he said about people like this in what he thought was a private audience in SF.

  83. prolofeed,

    If that guy had been clinging to a gun he might not have had to shout so loud.

  84. Indeed. Still, the quote seems so perfect–the word is used, but the concept is ever increasingly diminished.

  85. I can’t beleive I read the whole thread and didn’t see anyone mention that the pledge came about as part of the organized pro-WW1 propaganda push…right after free and compulsory universal public schooling became the norm in our country.

    Get all the kids in government schools and start shoving pro-war/slave/duty propaganda into their little heads…why? well becuase it is hard to convince sane unbrainwashed folks to go to france to get killed in a ditch for no good reason and we make 50 basis points off of every war bond we issue on behalf of the feds.

  86. Gabe,

    Rex Curry, who I think is a (Tampa) Bay Area Libertarian, has a whole site dedicated to the nasty origins of the Pledge.

  87. I was at a Giants game, and at the start of the Star-Spangled-Banner, a small-minded, authoritarian figure (some guy 2 rows behind me) insisted – half-derangedly – that I “ritualistically” remove my hat; though it took a couple of shouts of “HATS OFF” until I realized he meant me and my friends. As a head-covering Jew, this posed a problem. Given how open these types are to reasoned arguments about religious freedom and the virtues of an open society (see above video), I relented. His later ejection from the stadium for fighting with another fan helped me conclude I made the right decision (though being struck by lightning 3 times on the way home gave me some doubts).
    You me a LOT of Real American types at sporting events.

  88. Sure you do! Of course, you generally see it in phrases like “Spitzer spent a bunch of money on some classy hooker,” as opposed to applying directly to the politician.

    Lol.

    But if the guy has flowers that over hang onto the side walk Joe would go into a conniption fit. Huh? I have flowers that hang onto the sidewalk. Phlox. Joshua, do you curse me when you cut yourself shaving, too?

    Course, when I use the word “classy”, I mean something entirely different than that. Have read your “contributions” to various threads over the years, you no doubt use it in the sense Jamie Kelly pointed out.

  89. Gabe Harris,

    Well, I did mention the gun schools thing. Should I have expanded that a bit more?

  90. Although saying the pledge isn’t high on my list of things I insist on, it’s bizarre that a political candidate didn’t immediately want to recite it. It’s like kissing babies, driving a tractor, or touring a local factory. It’s something candidates are expected to do on the campaign trail. Yeah I know the pledge is cheap meaningless symbology, but if it’s so cheap and meaningless then there shouldn’t have been a problem with it.

    Obama is a very symoblic candidate. Obama hesitating to say a symbolic pledge is very symbolic in itself. And it’s not a very positive symbol. I’m not suggesting that he hates America. Rather, I’m suggesting that it betrays a core worldview of his (and of many liberals). What that is I leave as an exercise.

  91. Brandybuck-

    Eh, ritual displays of patriotism always grate on me. If Obama is less interested in the ritual, I don’t really care. Although, to be honest, I don’t know how much we can read from this: He was asked to say the pledge, and once he could make out what the heckler was saying he went ahead and said the pledge.

  92. We have military flyovers whenever someone hits a three-run homer.

    Good thing it doesn’t happen that often!

    (of course, I say that, as Mr. Welch well knows, as a huge Angels fan)

  93. …right after free and compulsory universal public schooling became the norm in our country.

    Who are we to shoot?

    If by “classy” you mean “pandering to avoid another flag lapel pin media debacle”, then sure.

    Course, when I use the word “classy”, I mean something entirely different than that.

    That’s joe’s game, throw out a work and work around to have a joe definition, which may or may not depend on the general consensus.

    Hey, can we make joe the compulsory shooting target?

  94. when I worked for the University of California I tried like hell to get out of the mandatory swearing-I’d-defend-the-state-constitution thing

    Someone just got fired for this. Check it.

    (San Francisco Chronicle) Feb. 29 – California State University East Bay has fired a math teacher after six weeks on the job because she inserted the word “nonviolently” in her state-required Oath of Allegiance form.

    Marianne Kearney-Brown, a Quaker and graduate student who began teaching remedial math to undergrads Jan. 7, lost her $700-a-month part-time job after refusing to sign an 87-word Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution that the state requires of elected officials and public employees.

    “I don’t think it was fair at all,” said Kearney-Brown. “All they care about is my name on an unaltered loyalty oath. They don’t care if I meant it, and it didn’t seem connected to the spirit of the oath. Nothing else mattered. My teaching didn’t matter. Nothing.”

    A veteran public school math teacher who specializes in helping struggling students, Kearney-Brown, 50, had signed the oath before – but had modified it each time.

    Happened last year at Cal State Fullerton, too.

    No comment on why we’re teaching remedial math to college student.

  95. “All they care about is my name on an unaltered loyalty oath. They don’t care if I meant it, and it didn’t seem connected to the spirit of the oath. Nothing else mattered. My teaching didn’t matter. Nothing.”

    Sort of like the people who insist that oaths of office not be done on Korans.

    Personally, I’d rather have my officeholders’ pledge to uphold the Consitution be a solemn promise they make to their God than a show piece demonstrating who’s boss ’round here, but I guess that’s a matter of priorities.

  96. It should be noted that the guy appears to have not been a Bloomberg employee, but someone hired specifically for that one assignment.

    He could’ve very well been local.

  97. Hey, can we make joe the compulsory shooting target?

    A word-by-word small-l analysis of that sentence:

    “Hey” – a greeting, likely libertarian neutral.

    “can” – an option, big plus – libertarians like choice.

    “we” – a collective group, good luck with that idea here.

    “make” – implies force – libertarians no likey.

    “joe” – great disagreement here – could mean left-wing, or troll, or worthy debate opponent, depending on who you ask (occasionally all 3 at once).

    “the” – correct me if wrong, but I don’t think there’s any libertarian objections to the use of definite articles, only to their prohibition.

    “compulsory” – also implies the use of force. Force bad!

    “shooting” – Woo-Hoo!

    “target” – Gotta shoot at something, else you are recklessly endangering others (as in the commonly-used example of randomly firing a gun into a crowd)

  98. That’s joe’s game, throw out a work and work around to have a joe definition, which may or may not depend on the general consensus. Hey, can we make joe the compulsory shooting target?

    Not sure what this is supposed to mean in English, except perhaps the (always fresh) “Me no like joe.”

  99. “when I worked for the University of California I tried like hell to get out of the mandatory swearing-I’d-defend-the-state-constitution thing…”

    But were you OK with the whole “We own every idea you have” IP clause, Matt? I remember having to sign my brain away, just to get paid for grading papers or clerking for a professor back in the 70s. They were worse about this than any Silicon Valley high-tech company I ever worked for afterward.

  100. “On every Sunday since 9/11, and at Yankee Stadium every night”

    But it’s not done at Yankee Stadium for national pride or any other nonsense. It’s done simply to make the opposing pitcher and defense have to stand around longer than usual. So it’s just like the whole falg pin and hand on your heart debate – it’s used just for the opposition to gain an advantage.

  101. Qbryzan – nice work, but what’s the bottom line? We libertarians are big on bottom lines.

  102. Qbryzan – nice work, but what’s the bottom line? We libertarians are big on bottom lines.

    Thanks.

    Bottom line – the answer to the original question must, of necessity, be “No!” (too much collective force involved)

    However, I would recommend it be re-phrased as:

    “Hey, can individuals make their own decisions to shoot, or not shoot, at joe?”

    As it would be more likely to elicit a positive response.

  103. Not that I have any objection to using joe as a target, someone apparantly was engaging in identity theft. Kind of funny, but not me.

  104. I never got that. When I filled out my application for my security clearence when I joined the Army they wanted proof I was registered for selective service.

    This specific case is easy to explain. Part of granting a security clearance is checking if one can follow rules. If you’re a dude over 18 (+ the buffer), and havn’t yet registered for selective service, you are in violation of a rule. Ergo, it is adverse information that one considers in the decision to grant the clearance. More importantly, if you say you have registerered, and the background check says you haven’t, then you are a liar as well. This is the biggest mistake people make with security clearance applications – a whole bunch of adverse stuff can be explained and/or mitigated, *except* lying during the application process.

  105. Personally, I’d rather have my officeholders’ pledge to uphold the Consitution be a solemn promise they make to their God than a show piece demonstrating who’s boss ’round here, but I guess that’s a matter of priorities.

    Personally, I’d rather have a newly elected president’s pledge to uphold the Constitution be enforced, with immediate calls for impeachment hearings the instant he or she signs any bill with an appropriation for anything that is not an enumerated power.

    Which would pretty much start when the first appropriations bill hits the Oval Office.

  106. Not only did Obama say the pledge, but he placed his hand over his heart when he did it. And to think I thought he hated Merica.

  107. I have thought for quite some time that two song, each in their own unique way, would be fitting substitutes for the national anthem:

    Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
    and
    Steve Miller’s “Abacadabra”

  108. Personally, I’d rather have a newly elected president’s pledge to uphold the Constitution be enforced, with immediate calls for impeachment hearings the instant he or she signs any bill with an appropriation for anything that is not an enumerated power.

    I think it unlikely the House would impeach a President for signing a bill the House just passed.

  109. If the games I’ve been to recently are typical, they’re singing “God Bless America” after the top of the 7th all the way down to the AAA (Albuquerque Isotopes) and single-A (San Jose Giants) clubs. No surprise, since pretty much everything from the scoreboard cut-scenes and “check your program” contests to the mascot routines and nu-metal at-bat music seems to come as a package deal nowadays.

  110. “Not only did Obama say the pledge, but he placed his hand over his heart when he did it. And to think I thought he hated Merica.”

    But did you notice that Obama turned and faced Mecca when he recited the pledge.

  111. Come on, Matt, if you can’t kick your brother in law’s ass just fess up to it.

  112. I’m totally with you, Matt!

  113. Bloomberg announced today that “There are no more assignments scheduled” for the psycho fetishist.

    “the liberties of the freest people are in danger when they set up symbols of liberty as fetishes, worshiping the symbol instead of the principle it represents.”
    ~Wendell Phillips

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