The traitor is always first to take the loyalty oath

I see where the big government nanny state Republicans in the Legislature are at it again: Now they want everyone in a public school to stand like good little soldiers and pledge allegiance to the flag every day.

Somehow, we are told, this will instill patriotism in children’s impressionable little minds. They have  a vision of an America where everyone walks around with a smile on their face, a song in their heart and love of country in their minds.

There are two ways to do that: Pass laws that help build a country based on those patriotic ideals, or  just pass laws that tell everyone to look patriotic.

Needless to say, the Legislature favors the latter. Perception is reality to these guys. If people are perceived to be patriotic, they must be patriotic, how hard is that?

The current idea of lining school children up every morning is the brainchild of newbie Sen. Aaron Osmond of South Jordan, who obviously missed the Tea Party briefing on small government, government not telling people how to live, etc etc etc. In his newness Sen. Osmond thinks he’s really smart and powerful so he should be able to tell other people how to live.

Osmond suffers from what I like to call real delusions of adequacy. His previous brainchild was the personhood fiasco, in which he and his fellow legislators would pronounce when human life begins, a mystery to theologians, philosophers and medical ethicist for thousands of years, “so it’s about time someone like us with some brains solved it,” was apparently his thinking.

So, no self-esteem issues here!

Making people pledge allegiance doesn’t prove anything, of course. In the 1970s there was a passing fad to have school teachers take loyalty oaths, the thinking being that we didn’t want any commies teaching our children evil.

Then someone pointed out that real commies, faced with discovery if they didn’t sign, would naturally be the first in line to proclaim their patriotism. If they could sign twice, they would.

Which, I suppose, gives us cause to wonder about the real patriotism of Sen. Osmond?

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55 Responses to The traitor is always first to take the loyalty oath

  1. Owain says:

    YGBSM!!! Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war!

  2. Dave Thomas says:

    Hooray! A bill to require what is already happening! That’s a WONderful use of our legislature’s time.

    • Owain says:

      Apparently, Utah law only requires reciting the pledge in elementary school. The new law extends the mandate to Jr High and High Schools, so it isn’t already happening. Yet.

  3. Ben pales says:

    Amen Charles. I see your frustration with the yahoos on the Hill are bordering my own. I get so tired of the same crap that is spouted from these guys year in and year out. The greater public not caring, and me feeling powerless to change this crap.

  4. Boj says:

    No the Jr and High schools are required do it, but only once a week and over a PA. I guess that isn’t enough for the fools on the hill. Besides doing it daily they say they cant use the PA.

    AS for the PA issue, even back in the God Fearing Republican 60′s we said the pledge over the PA, there wasn’t an issue then.

  5. Owain says:

    Let’s see. Conservatives favor reciting the Pledge Allegiance to the Flag in schools, and Charles thinks that is bad. Liberals attempt to indoctrinate kids by instructing them to Pledge to be of service to Barack Obama at Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington, Utah in 2009. I know which I find to be creepier. Were you equally as outraged then, Charles.

    I’m all for reciting the Pledge Allegiance to the Flag in Utah schools. Not so much to Obama.

    • Decider says:

      Every LOYAL member of the Armed Services swears an OATH to “follow the orders of the President of The United States”. You and Gayle Ruzicka have a problem with grade school children also expressing their loyalty to the President of The United States?
      Sir. I think the sham of YOUR disgraceful partisan situational patriotism and meally-mouthed race-baiting loyalty is contemptible and transparent.

      • Owain says:

        That is not the oath of office I swore upon being commissioned. This is the oath I made.

        “I, (state your name), having been appointed a (rank) in the United States (branch of service), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foriegn and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

        • Decider says:

          “That is not the oath of office I swore upon being commissioned.”

          “Federal law requires EVERYONE who enlists or re-enlists in the Armed Forces of the United States to take the enlistment oath. The oath of enlistment into the United States Armed Forces is administered by ANY COMMISIONED OFFICER TO ANY PERSON ENLISTING OR RE-ENLISTING for a term of service into ANY branch of the military.” Swearing to “follow the orders of the President of the United States” has been an ESSENTIAL part of the oath since 1789!

          Now, Owain, if you didn’t swear an oath to follow the “orders of the President of the United States” for your commission, then you OBVIOUSLY weren’t commissioned in the U.S. Armed Forces — you didn’t identify the source of your commission — perhaps it is some Utah County paramilitary militia headed by General Ruzicka?

          • Owain says:

            It appears the Oath is different for commisioned officers than it is for enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers, which is interesting. The history of the evolution of the oath can be found here.

            There. We both learned something today. You’re welcome.

      • tmone says:

        ” and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

        little bit different than swearing an oath or allegiance to one man. not office, but MAN.

        It was the wonderful dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler, I believe, where school teachers loved nothing more than the idea to show their true allegiance to their master. Are you too blind to know the difference.
        my point is simple, we all pledge allegiance to our FLAG, our country, our way of life. Not a man. get a clue.

    • Michael Johnson says:

      This is the kind of intelligent well thought out reply we have learned to expect from conservatives who because of cognitive challenges believe stopping 396,000 entries from Mexico “is doing nothing.” Conservatives even believed Obama would take their guns and that Obama was born in Kenya and followed Islam. Aren’t conservatives a hoot? I thank them for the hours of laughter they have added to my days.

  6. Charles Trentelman says:

    I didn’t say it was bad, owain, i just said it was a waste of time and a futile attempt to instill patriotism, but if you think rote recitation does that, hey go for it.

    I like the way one teacher’s decision becomes “liberals,” as if that one teacher represents all liberals. No need for me to be outraged, I’m sure yours was enough for all…

    • Owain says:

      Read the article again, Charles. It wasn’t one teacher. Nice attempt at revisionist history, though.

      “Chris Williams, Davis School District spokesman, said school principal Ofelia Wade and school PTA leaders decided to show the video as part of an assembly about the school’s theme for the year, service. He said the PTA board chose the video and Wade did not see it before it was shown in the assembly.”

      • ctrentelman says:

        so, you are saying I should have pointed out that both the principal AND the PTA are liberals?

        Sorry, my mistake.

        • Owain says:

          “you are saying I should have pointed out that both the principal AND the PTA are liberals.”

          Had you done so, Charles, it would have been an atypical example of accuracy on your part. Certainly more accurate than your initial feeble attempt, that it was the result of the actions of ‘one teacher’. ‘One teacher’, you repeated.

          Wishful thinking?

  7. Melly says:

    And we shouldn’t be proud of our country?
    Oh, that’s right, Michelle Obama isn’t so we shouldn’t be either.

    • ctrentelman says:

      actually, i believe she said she was proud of her country, in a statement that has been wildly taken both out of context and twisted.

      Her country finally electing someone of the black persuasion President was something we all ought to be proud of. Sorry ur not.

      • Owain says:

        Trying to pass off some revisionist history again, Charles? Is Google really so hard to navigate?

        Here is her statementxt. “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” I believe she was 44 years of age when she uttered that statement, so if we are to take her at her word, she spent the previous 26 years NOT proud of her country.

        I think the video clip provides the necessary context. In it, she says she’s not even talking about her husbands achievements, so your second argument fails as well.

      • Mark says:

        I think it’s pretty presumptuous of you to say Melly isn’t proud that our country “finally” elected its first black president. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though, as most if not all of your writing is similarly presumptuous, mediocre at best, and always condescending toward anyone who doesn’t 100% agree with you.

    • Michael Johnson says:

      I refuse to act like the Chinese under Mao or the Nazis under Hitler standing repeating some inane pledge of allegiance. You ignorant conservatives the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.

      Any Benedict Arnold can say the pledge of allegiance.

      I’m not a conservative like Limbaugh and those on fox news. I have pride and honor. Conservative need Glenn Beck to restore their illusion of having honor.

      I joined the US Army during Vietnam. There are two kinds of people: doers and talkers.

      My actions speak louder than trying to impress others without any morals or honor what a great American patriot I am by saying some stupid pledge of allegiance.

  8. Bob Becker says:

    In this regard, I like to recall the wisdom of minister and Rhode Island founder Roger Williams, who said in one of his sermons “Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.” [Heretical statements like that are what got him chased out of Puritan Massachusetts one step ahead of John Winthrop's thought police.] William’s statement applies to flag worship too, I think.

    • tmone says:

      flag worship?? now the pledge of allegiance, the very oath our forefathers and those that laid down their life took is now to be seen as flag worship???. Sir, it is a good thing that our service men and women have a different view.

      • Bob Becker says:

        Sorry, but the nation’s forefathers took no pledge of allegiance to the flag. Not in Washington’s army, not in the army under Lincoln. The pledge wasn’t written until the last decade of the 19th century and took a while to become widespread after that. And its form changed over the years, with “under God” not being added until the mid 1950s.

        What turns the pledge into flag worship is (a) that it does not involve an oath of allegiance to the nation, but instead to the flag, and (b), that it’s now to be repeated, daily, by children, in the schools, as a matter of law. If you join the military or federal law enforcement or are elected or appointed to office, you swear an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. You do not have to repeat the oath daily. You’re word is presumed to cover the entire length of your employment or service. Requiring a loyalty oath to the flag daily in schools does involve, seems to me, a kind of creepy and compulsive flag worship.

        As for me, I fly a US flag outside the house on the 4th of July, on Memorial Day, on Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays, and occasionally to honor someone who’s died. But never on Flag Day. A national day to honor a flag seems, again, like flag worship to me. Or eerily close to it.

        • Bob Becker says:

          Your not you’re. [Note to SE: we need an edit function on the blog site.]

          • Owain says:

            Don’t hold your breath.

          • ctrentelman says:

            i can edit my posts because i am granted god-like powers by the 1st amendment (and the software that runs this — same-same) but you can’t, so think carefully, I guess.

            But I still have to figure out that $^%#$# recaptcha thing. I need new glasses…

        • Mark Saal says:


          You wrote: “What turns the pledge into flag worship is (a) that it does not involve an oath of allegiance to the nation, but instead to the flag …”

          I’m kind of an idiot, Bob, so if you respond, please type slowly, but doesn’t it read “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, AND to the republic for which it stands …”?

          Wouldn’t that include both the flag and the nation?

          Just wonderin’.

          • Decider says:

            “Wouldn’t that include both the flag and the nation?”

            “A distinction without a difference is a type of argument where one word or phrase is preferred to another, but results in no difference to the argument as a whole.”

          • Bob Becker says:

            Yes, but it’s still a pledge to a flag first and foremost. The opening words are pretty plain I think: “I pledge allegiance to the flag….”

            But let’s take “flag” out and make it solely a pledge of loyalty to nation. In that case, I’d still find it objectionable to have school children have to repeat it, by direction of law, every day, day after day.

            One of the things Protestants in general, and Puritans in particular, objected to in re: Catholicism and Anglicanism was rote prayer… saying the same words again and again, day after day, endlessly. They dismissed rote prayer as a kind of narcotic, designed to lull the mind into a waking sleep, and insisted prayer must be personal and original.

            And yet the inheritors of that tradition, or many of them, in the nation today, passionately defend a rote pledge of allegiance [either to flag or nation, the point would be the same] by school children daily as necessary to instill patriotism in the young. Seems like nonsense to me. And I’m hard put to find any evidence that it has had the desired affect. I don’t think Americans since the 1890s have been noticeably more patriotic than were Americans 1775 to 1890. If there’s evidence to that effect, I’ve not seen it.

            Absent evidence of its effectiveness, there seems little point to having it repeated by legions of school children day after day to satisfy the blusterings of the latest round of bumper sticker patriots in this legislature or that.

    • Michael Johnson says:

      Even Jesus was against praying in public.

  9. Decider says:

    “different for commissioned officers than it is for enlisted personnel”.

    Federal law requires EVERYONE, EVERYONE, EVERYONE . . . to take the enlistment oath of the Armed Forces of the United States — what part of EVERYONE don’t you understand?

    Apparently, you also never understood that the President of the United States is the COMMANDER IN CHIEF of ALL the Armed Forces of the United States, either. Certainly, anyone so ignorant of the SWORN loyalties and duties of EVERY U.S. sodier could not have been an effective serviceman nor loyal patriot of this country!

    I learn more about hypocrisy and self deception with every post . . . .

    • Owain says:

      Well, all I can say now is you’re just being stupid.

      Officers do not enlist, they are commissioned, and serve by direct appointment by the President of the United States. Thus, Officers have an Oath of Office, and enlisted personnel have an Oath of Enlistment. That is why officers, 2nd Lt. and above for the USAF, are referred to as Commisioned Officers, and enlisted personnel above the rank of Sergeant are referred to as Non-Commisioned Officers, or NCO’s.

      The Army is a little different in that they also have Warrant Officers, but for the most part, the USAF, USA, USN, and Marine Corps are all the same as far as commisioned officers and NCOs go.

      That should be enough education for you for one day. Wouldn’t want to exceed your capacity for new information.

    • Decider says:

      In honor of “the latest round of bumper-sticker patriots in the legislature.”

      In the desert
      I saw a creature naked, bestial
      Who, squating upon the ground,
      Held his heart in his hands
      And ate of it.
      I said, “Is it good friend?”
      “It is bitter — bitter,” he answered.
      “But I like it
      Because it is bitter,
      And because it is my heart.”

      -Stephen Crane

  10. Decider says:

    Well, all I can say now is that YOU just might be guilty of mutiny or sedition.

    “As a Commisioned Officer your oath BINDS you to understand that the United States Constitution, Article Two section two, clause one gives definition to the President’s role and authority as COMMANDER IN CHIEF to the Armed Forces of the United States. ALL SERVICE MEMBERS are SUBORDINATE to the President of the United States in peace time or war. Therefore, if you are obligated to defend the Constitution of the United States that BINDS you legally to obey ANY LAWFUL ORDER of the President of the United States.

    So, if you are a Commissioned Officer, in ANY branch, and continue to spout the nonsense that a Commissioned Officer’s oath precludes you from following Presidential orders because you do not like the current President, then be warned that you can be charged under Sec. 894 Art. 94 directly, which is mutiny or sedition, along with the violation of several other punitive articles.

    My capacity for information of tantamount SEDITIONISTS is whetted and optimal!

    • Owain says:

      I never said the Oath of Office prevented an officer from obeying the lawful orders of the commander in chief. I just said that the Oath of Office contained no language mandating that the orders of the President must be obeyed, which is true.

      In the case of the Oath of Enlistment, that requirement applies to the office of the President, not the man himself. Otherwise, once President Obama took over the office of President from President Bush, it wouldn’t be very practical to have every single enlisted person swear a new Oath of Enlistment, would it?

      That is quite different from what the school children in Farminton were being instructed to do, which was to pledge to support Barack Obama. That is why the Utah State school board rightfully came down upon the Principal of the school for presenting inappropriate material to her students.

      So, as I see it, you are still very misinformed, and you are far from optimal.

      • Decider says:

        “Children in Farmington . . . being instructed to pledge support to Barak Obama.”

        Didn’t happen.

        I know that with Owain’s mindset ANY lunatic fabrication about the current President of the United States is a lurid concoction of ‘foaming at the mouth’ loathing and tribal hysteria, with which radical conservatives can’t seem to get enough.

        First. Farmington is at the heart of Davis County. The “James V. Hansen” artery of I 15 rolls through the midst of the city. The County is represented with zero, zippo, Democratic legislators, Federal, State, City — been true for 15 or 20 years now. Republican caucus nights are housed in imposing auditoriums throughout the County. Democratic caucuses are held in a microbus on cinderblocks in someones back yard. There is as much chance of ‘liberal” instruction being secreted at the grade school in Farmington as a “coven” of Moslems being found practicing Sharia law in the basement of the temple! But that’s where the Owain/Rusicka Right-wing paranoia takes us, SO IT MUST BE TRUE.


        What truly happened? For those who really WANT to know –Owain/Ruzicka, not so much . . . .

        • Owain says:

          I guess you missed or didn’t follow the link I supplied originally to the news article that covered the incident. Here it is again.

          • Decider says:

            The “Pledge” videoclip was presented to the President during his inaugural celebration by Aston Kucher and Demi Moore who appear in the clip along with 50 or so other celebrity types who support/supported the President for his election. (Sinister liberal propagandists) The President’s picture is in profile at the beginning and is captioned with a quotation about what a lonely, thankless job being President is.
            The theme of the video is, “Pledging” to do SERVICE to both America and one’s fellow man. The President is heard in the background issuing a challenge and affirming the need for everyone to help country, friends and neighbors who are in need, which was taken from a clip from one of his campaign speeches — about ten/fifteen wasseconds. Then extremely quick takes of the other 50 celebrities making THEIR “Pledges”, with the “Pledges” of Demi Moore and Ashton Kucher wrapping up the clip.
            Most of the celebrity “Pledges” are thoughtful, some try to be humorous, some are “edgey” and silly — typical Hollywood schtick. At the end, Demi Moore utters the infamous “Pledge” (Owain cover your eyes) to help President Obama fulfill his goals of service, then Ashton Kucher “Pledges” to always do his best for the country by not embarrassing it/himself.

            I know there wasn’t any ‘red meat’ “Pledges” for waterboarding by former V.P, Chaney or “Pledges by Mitt about how the U.S. needs to bomb, Iraq, Iran etc. etc. etc. — so the clip probably had limited edification and entertainment value for children of right wing conservatives.

            I hate being an apologist for school administrators or the PTA, but I realize that kicking off SERVICE WEEK needed to be introduced with ENTHUSIASM and relevance and there was this FREE VIDEO available, and someone from the PTA said the President “Pledges” service in it, and all these celebrities talk of service that only the kids will recognize . . . . (been there, done that)

            This was a video clip made by celebrities to CELEBRATE THE PRESIDENT’S INAUGURATION. They feel committed and happy and want to make a public record of their “Pledges” to the country and to the President — only word parsing zealous MANIACS could get anything sinister out of it.

          • Owain says:

            It was so harmless, the Principal immeditately appologized to parents, and the school PTA leaders disappeared rather than be interviewed. Cockroaches do scatter when you turn on the lights.

  11. ctrentelman says:

    if this devolves into a shooting war, you guys will give us civilians a chance to dig out our constitutionally protected firearms, right?

    • Decider says:

      I assumed you had brought your 30 06 to work and it would be with you on the way home (per legislative edict). I’ve read some mighty unfriendly ‘in-comming’ on some of your columns — you might even spring for a bullet-proof vest too.

    • Decider says:

      Especially in Davis County, Farmington, and most all of Utah, Principals/PTA are political agents who serve at the whim of the political winds of their environs, which prevail far, far to the RIGHT. When Wicked Witch Ruzicka shreeks bloody murder the echo chamber of these Educational sycophants wail their apologies and bow very, very looooooow!

  12. Myth Buster says:

    Life begins at Conception; no mystery, John the Baptist leaped in Elizabeth’s womb on hearing the news Jesus had been conceived in Mary’s womb.
    Francis Bellamy authored the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892 accompanied by a stiff arm salute with palm down which later became adopted by Italian Fascists and German Nazis. Bellamy was a Theosophist as was his mentor Madame Blavatsky; the Skull & Bones is the American branch of the Theosophical Society with its HQ in New York City. It is also known as the Brotherhood of Death; which is why Yale Theology Grad Chairman Mao Zedong murdered 50 million Chinese peasants in his Great Experiment and Stalin murdered 60 million Russians and Poles.
    Bellamy wanted the US Government to control all aspects of food, clothing, schooling, shelter, goods, services and forced conscription of military.
    This is no surprise, but just remember scripture admonishes us to “Swear Not” ie make no oaths of allegiance. God knows who His own are and He needs no Oaths from anyone.

  13. Decider says:

    Parker Pens are made in Great Britain and France.

    My “Mission Impossible” experience has taught me to be wary of potential micro exploding implants and/or self destroying recording devices in such things.

    • ctrentelman says:

      They are made in those commie socialistic cheese and spotted Dick (!) eating places NOW. Mine was made in the God fearing, flag waving, apple pie adm mom loving US of A and says so on it’s side.

      • Decider says:

        Don’t always believe what you read! Haven’t I told you that I subscribe to the “Standard”?

        • Owain says:

          Well, you can lead a horse to water, yadda yadda.

          It’s one thing to be mentally deficient. It takes a very special brand of stupid to be stupid by choice.

          • Decider says:

            No one is stupid by choice — though I have found belligerence allied with stupidity to be more than common.

  14. gene willis says:

    will they say the pledge to the original or the one with obamas face on it?the only problem with the pledge of aligents is….america as we know it is no the word republic will have to be removed from the pledge.along with the word one nation under remember to seperate god from all schools even in pledges or the athiests will get them.aclu will go to court as well.besides,the american flag dosnt fit in obamas socialist acadamia at all.get rid of the flag and pledge to the next dictator we vote into office.

    • Michael Johnson says:

      In English, a sentience starts with a capital and proper nouns are capitalized. America and Obama are a proper nouns. We can see you fail to be indoctrinated in school.

      This is a wonderful example of why I question the intellect of conservatives. Not only do they say “illegal is illegal while they Vote for Mike Noe who broke the law in front of cameras, they worship Ronald Reagan who holds the record with 132 federal conviction during his corrupt regime.

      America is a democratic republic. You can’t figure this out for cognitive reasons? We vote for representatives who vote representing us. This is what a republic is.

      Before, I escaped Utah, we had prayers in school. Look what praying did for me. We said the same prayers I heard at the 13th Ward.

      I look back at this both in embarrassment and shame. The Catholic kids were forced to feel left out and that they were children of a lessor god by the religious majority. Looking back this was wrong and morally reprehensible.

      God, forgive us for we knowth not what we do at times.

  15. Michael Johnson says:

    We see this great American patriot never served his nation. I never said any stinking pledge of allegiance while serving in the army. You do swear an oath to protect our nation from enemies both foreign and domestic. This is why I will fight American fascism (aka. conservationism). Let’s check their score card.

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    If you just change Jews to liberals conservatives are three for three.

  16. Myth Buster says:

    The first Traitor was George Washington who brought the Order of Cincinnatti (identical to the Order of the Garter in England, Order of St Patrick in Ireland, Order of the Thistle in Scotland) to America pretending to be a Constitutional Republic.

  17. Tired of the Trolls says:

    The trolls on here think that if they something over and over that somehow it suddenly stops being fictional and magically becomes fact.

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