News

In changing times, faltering allegiance to the Pledge

Local Rotary Club, others drop saying Pledge of Allegiance

For 97 years, members of the Rotary Club of Palo Alto have recited the Pledge of Allegiance with hands over hearts, but that tradition officially ended in late October. A slim majority voted to stop reciting the pledge at their weekly meetings, an act that reflects the clubs' changing demographics.

The Rotary is not alone. The Palo Alto University Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto and Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce all forego the pledge, saying that the tradition excludes immigrant members and non-Americans who attend their events.

Groups that continue the tradition, however, say the pledge remains an enduring symbol of unity and continuity.

Dana Tom, Rotary Club of Palo Alto president, said some members questioned saying the pledge two-and-a-half years ago because Rotary is an international organization and the local chapter has many members from other countries. The board discussed the issue in May, then voted unanimously in August to no longer recite the pledge as of September.

But after hearing from some members who wanted to be included in the decision, the board held a vote of all of its members in which 47 wanted to continue the pledge at weekly luncheon meetings, 49 preferred to discontinue it and 33 members did not vote.

The close vote caused the board to approve a compromise on Nov. 11, Tom said.

"We will not recite the pledge at our weekly Monday meetings, but we will at four of our Monday Rotary meetings that are near days when we put U.S. flags along University Avenue," he said by phone, referring to Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day and Veterans Day.

The decision to end the pledge wasn't made lightly, he added. Rotary is, however, the largest non-governmental and non-religious service organization in the world.

"We want to be welcoming to a diverse membership. We have people from other parts of the world and different ages, and we're trying to provide a comfortable environment for that. Rotary is welcoming, whether you're a citizen or not. We want to welcome people who believe in lasting change," he said.

Annette Glanckopf, a Palo Alto Rotary member, said she supported keeping the pledge.

"I'm sort of a traditionalist. I like the concept of honoring our country. I've always liked pomp and circumstance."

The Palo Alto University Rotary Club, the city's other Rotary, has not recited the pledge for about five years, said Katie Cooney, club president. About 30% of the members are foreign-born and include Europeans, East Asians and Africans. Some members hold dual citizenship; others live and work here but aren't quite ready to make the commitment to become citizens. Pledging allegiance to the country may make some uncomfortable, she said.

But ending the pledge isn't a lapse of patriotism, according to Cooney.

"I'm the biggest patriot ever. I'm a daughter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) ... the Mayflower. I love the pledge. I don't think it's obsolete."

She thinks people must unify around a greater vision "to be the best we can be," she said.

"When we're in an international group ... maybe (the pledge) is not the appropriate way to express that unity," she said.

Instead, throughout the year each member stands up and shares something inspiring.

"We can participate in a shared sense of humanity. It shows we are not divided by creed, color or race," she said.

Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto, another international organization, also dropped the pledge. Members may say it one time a year around a patriotic holiday now, said Jim Phillips, a past president.

The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce also doesn't recite the pledge, although a flag is present at the meetings, Judy Kleinberg, board president, said in an email. Many of the Chamber's member companies and many of the workers of its members aren’t American citizens.

The Chamber's meetings "are more informal and a pledge is unnecessary to pursuing our mission," she said.

Some organizations still recite the pledge. Glanckopf said the Woman's Club of Palo Alto, of which she is a member, still says the pledge at its monthly meetings and recites its "collect," a prayer dating to 1904 asking God to keep members from prejudice and judgment and to strive for unity and a kind heart.

Larry Gibbs, Palo Alto Elks Lodge exalted ruler, said its members recite the pledge at all meetings and member events.

"The flag is an integral part of the Elks organization. The flag's been a mainstay since the early 20th century. Certainly, one of our basic tenets is honoring the flag and we do have a Flag Day celebration. One of our main charity causes is for veterans, so it goes along with that," he said.

Debra LaVergne, secretary of the International Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekah Assembly, said the Odd Fellows requires its members to express fidelity to the nation.

"The Pledge of Allegiance is part of an expression of being loyal to your country," she said.

Odd Fellow members also recite "The Lord's Prayer." The Christian practice is a current topic of discussion in the parent organization, however.

"The issue is the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs are nonsectarian. As we get more Jewish and non-Christian members, the question is: Are we excluding new members we'd want to have?" she said.

School boards, PTA and city councils are split on the tradition

When it comes to government groups, most — including the Menlo Park and Mountain View city councils and Santa Clara County boards — do say the pledge, according to their meeting minutes. But not Palo Alto and East Palo Alto.

"Not saying the pledge at our meetings does make us unusual among California school boards," said Todd Collins, vice president of the Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education, in an email. "I don't recall any public discussion about it. My knowledge goes back about 20 years, and it was never a part of the meeting during this time."

Jade Chao, president of the Palo Alto Council of PTAs, said the group's written rules call for the Pledge of Allegiance, but she's never heard it said during her tenure.

"We are not sure why we do or why we do not," she said in an email.

Former Palo Alto Mayor Lanie Wheeler said she doesn't recall the council reciting the pledge when she was there in the 1990s, and the council does not recite the pledge to this day.

East Palo Alto's City Council has never said the pledge since the city's 1983 incorporation, City Clerk Walfred Solorzano said, and he could not find any written policy on it.

Similarly, the Ravenswood City School District Board of Education doesn't follow the tradition, nor does Menlo Park's, but the Mountain View and Los Altos boards are among those that do, according to meeting minutes and staff.

As traditional as the Pledge of Allegiance appears to be, the framers of the U.S. Constitution did not specify a pledge or motto, noted Jack David Eller in his book "Inventing American Tradition."

Taking the oath came out of the country's war traumas and the "perceived menace of immigration and socialism," he said.

The first iteration of the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist minister, Francis Bellamy, in 1892. Congress adopted the pledge in 1942 during World War II and amended it in 1954 to include the words "under God" at the height of the Cold War, according to Eller.

The original pledge began with a military salute with the arm outstretched toward the flag. It later combined the hand over the heart and the salute, but that was officially changed in World War II because the outstretched arm resembled the Nazi salute, according to the Independence Hall Association.

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Comments

43 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 15, 2019 at 8:32 am

The pledge of allegiance has been a political mess ever since the right-wingers forced the addition of the "under god" statement. Are they trying to say that god's law should overrule the constitution, which is never mentioned in this pledge?


14 people like this
Posted by Actions Speak Louder Than Words
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 15, 2019 at 9:23 am

"with liberty and justice for all" is another hypocritical statement.

Perhaps best to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance all together.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2019 at 10:16 am

I always had the impression that the 1954 edit, and, 1956 motto, were Eisenhower wanting to save the Constitution from Joe McCarthy and the Right Wing Authoritarians of his day. Demonstrating loyalty to a higher power and outflanking McCarthy. Of course, nowadays, these are things that have been weaponized -by- the RWAs, so, support from the 54% is waning.


22 people like this
Posted by Pledges and Shared Values
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 15, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Pledges and Shared Values is a registered user.

I'll preface this by saying that I (a Christian) think that the words"under God", are unnecessary and inconsistent with freedom of religious expression. Religion is a personal matter.

However, a pledge of allegiance is a good way to focus us on shared values. One might say that "with liberty and justice for all" is hypocritical, but I view that as an aspirational value. Starting a meeting with a shared expression of such community values--focusing on the kind of community/nation we WANT to build is a good thing. It is a way to get us started with a focus on shared aspirational values. We could use more of that today.

I appreciate the good work these organizations do. Inclusivity is important, but perhaps it is time to rethink this pledge and create a new statement that reflects our current shared values. Get our meetings started in a positive way to help keep us focused and united--seeking points of consensus around shared values. This is how we bring people together.


49 people like this
Posted by Remind me again, which God?
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 15, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Every religion has their God who they refer to as "God". Oh wait, maybe we're talking about the "One true God"...something else every single religion claims.

It was stupid to mess with the original version of the Pledge. I still proudly recite the original version.


42 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2019 at 3:15 pm

pearl is a registered user.

This is America! The Pledge of Allegiance is an American tradition and a part of our American culture! The Pledge of Allegiance is not being said at civic meetings because it's been said "that the tradition excludes immigrant members and non-Americans who attend their events". Are you telling me that certain civic groups are no longer pledging allegiance to our country and to our flag because foreigners are in attendance at the meetings?!? That is absolutely outrageous!!! Since when do foreigners have anything to do with our long-held American traditions?!? And vice-versa, if I visit their country, do you think they're going to stop saying their pledge just because I'm present? Of course not! Get with it folks, or before you know it our American culture and American traditions are going to be no more.


25 people like this
Posted by The Purpose
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 15, 2019 at 3:34 pm

" As we get more Jewish and non-Christian members, the question is: Are we excluding new members we'd want to have?" she said. "

The purpose of being an American is to give up your culture and join the greater American culture. You can still reference your culture at dinner time, or what have you, but when you become a citizen you must follow the flag even to your grave. That's what being an American citizen is all about.


50 people like this
Posted by 'dre Igs
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 15, 2019 at 4:11 pm

> The purpose of being an American is to give up your culture and join the greater American culture. ..... but when you become a citizen you must follow the flag even to your grave.

Uhhh, I missed that in civics class. [Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by 'dre Igs
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 15, 2019 at 4:19 pm

btw: I still proudly recite the Pledge. I just think it's stupid to do it as rote just because some tradtion has it done at every meeting. You telling me you have to be TOLD to recite it at meetings to prove something? Silly! Disrepectful!


25 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2019 at 4:45 pm

pearl is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] The point is, if you become an American citizen, and truly want to be a part of America, you assimilate or take in the American culture. If you don't want to be a part of America and the American culture, then why become an American in the first place?!? That's kind of a "no-duh" as far as I'm concerned!


2 people like this
Posted by The Truth
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 15, 2019 at 4:54 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


3 people like this
Posted by Soooo?
a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


2 people like this
Posted by 'dre Igs
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 15, 2019 at 5:03 pm

> The point is, if you become an American citizen... you assimilate or take in the American culture.

is the same as?

> The purpose of being an American is to give up your culture and join the greater American culture. ..... but when you become a citizen you must follow the flag even to your grave.

Which one are you standing behind? or are you going to waffle it down some more?

You sure backslid from "give up your culture ... you must follow the flag even to your grave"

Such principles!


24 people like this
Posted by fake necklace
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 15, 2019 at 6:07 pm

Oh pearl....

Stridently claiming you believe one thing, and then with faltering allegiance, backpedaling to some weak tea.

Aas Lin Manuel Miranda wrote: if you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?


2 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 15, 2019 at 7:28 pm

Don't falter, pearl. Backpedaling looks weak.


15 people like this
Posted by It's just a play
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


25 people like this
Posted by An-American
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2019 at 7:54 pm

#-----

This is outrageous .. if those in the Rotary Club don’t want to endorse the basics of American culture and our way of life – then why not move to some other country and see just how you are treated there.

Those dismissing the “American Dream” seem to have little appreciation that the American Constitution sets the stage for life in this country that is based on opportunity to achieve everything that each person can achieve without any restraint because of family name or class or education—and that the flag is the symbol of what makes this country great.

These sorts of values are inherently American. One can pick just about any country on the earth and it would unlikely to find a similar set of Constitutionally protected rights which are the basis of that nation’s laws and shared values. Corruption is not a significant problem in this country. This fairness is rooted in our Constitution, reinforced in our laws and our shared values. Corruption is a way of life in most countries in the world. Wonder how many of those in the Rotary no longer wanting to say the pledge would like to live in one of these countries: Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, Colombia, Angola, Mexico, Ghana, Myanmar, Guatemala (ranked as the top ten most corrupt countries.) Our flag is a symbol of the difference between the US and the rest of the world.

Our flag is carried into battle—which it’s unlikely that most of those in the Rotary have done. These people have benefited from a secure country that operates under capitalism and the rule of law without having to actually sacrifice for these opportunities and rights.

The American flag and the pledge is part of the glue that binds us together. It would seem that the Rotary now doesn’t care much about seeing a country unified in its culture, language and borders.

If this is true—what is the Rotary willing to support these days?


7 people like this
Posted by Wealthy South Asians Messing Up America
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 15, 2019 at 8:29 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


3 people like this
Posted by Ze'ev Wurman
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 15, 2019 at 9:40 pm

So here, again, is a topic worthy of civil discussion and multiple points of view are reasonable to be held.

And yet again the enlightened citizenry of Palo Alto prefers to hide behind idiotic pseudonyms and spout childish emotional opinions.

Shallow Alto indeed.


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2019 at 9:42 am

Posted by Ze'ev Wurman, a resident of Palo Verde

>> So here, again, is a topic worthy of civil discussion and multiple points of view are reasonable to be held.

On this subject, I wish more people knew the basics of the history. In this case, the Wikipedia articles are a good -starting point-.

Web Link

Web Link


>> And yet again the enlightened citizenry of Palo Alto prefers to hide behind idiotic pseudonyms and spout childish emotional opinions.

People have very good reasons for not disclosing their names online, especially for certain topics.

>> Shallow Alto indeed.

On the contrary. Anonymous postings have to stand on their own merit.


12 people like this
Posted by Actions Speak Louder Than Words
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 16, 2019 at 10:08 am

I think the Boy Scout Oath still refers to God..."On my honor, I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;"
AND God is also mentioned on US currency (as someone OR something to trust in).

It is now the 21st century & over 500 years since the Renaissance. Science & technology got us to the moon along with the information super-highway...not God or any make-believe in miracles nonsense.

Turning water to wine & bringing people back from the dead is way too farfetched for intelligent people to buy into. The Inquisition is long OVER.


6 people like this
Posted by ahhh, balderdash
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 16, 2019 at 11:11 am

> Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, Colombia, Angola, Mexico, Ghana, Myanmar, Guatemala

Have to use THIS list to make yourself feel better about our country?!? Gees, that's a low bar, dude. Oddly, half of that list is a group of countries that also endorse state sanctioned murder - the death penalty.

That aside, it seems there's a fine line between "America, love it or leave it", absolute insistence in saying a pledge, and being a "good german".

"ahhh, balderdash" you say? As you recall, it was up to 1942 that the The Bellamy Salute was mandatory to the American Pledge of Allegiance. Prior to that: an eerie Nazi style Salute to the American flag occurred in every class room.

This photo ain't Man in the High Castle, folks.... Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Posted by Actions Speak Louder Than Words, a resident of Southgate

>> The Inquisition is long OVER.

Some kind of "inquisition" is always right around the corner, waiting.

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." -- Frederick Douglass (see example 5: Web Link)


Like this comment
Posted by Zeev Wurman
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 16, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Anon (how else?) wrote:
-----------
People have very good reasons for not disclosing their names online, especially for certain topics.

>> Shallow Alto indeed.

On the contrary. Anonymous postings have to stand on their own merit.
-----------

Anonymity is important for some topics, where there is a significant risk of commercial or social retaliation.

Yet how is the appropriateness of the Pledge of Allegiance or of saluting the flag a risky topic?

And do anonymous postings "have to stand on their own merit"? Check the merit of most of the above. Their inanity simply makes me unwilling to engage.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Posted by Zeev Wurman

>> Anonymity is important for some topics, where there is a significant risk of commercial or social retaliation.
>> Yet how is the appropriateness of the Pledge of Allegiance or of saluting the flag a risky topic?

It isn't that simple. Things can spin out of control. Web Link

>> And do anonymous postings "have to stand on their own merit"? Check the merit of most of the above. Their inanity simply makes me unwilling to engage.

I don't understand your argument.


20 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm

The pledge of allegiance is an empty rote exercise. Proof: Even Donald Trump recites it.


30 people like this
Posted by Vlad
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 17, 2019 at 12:59 am

"Proof: Even Donald Trump recites it"

But can he do it with out notes, by himself?


8 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 17, 2019 at 2:48 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Tacky comments above. Are people proud of being tacky? the Rotary Club needs to define what it's legal organizational position is regarding origination and tax base. Yes - a nonprofit - but nonprofits do have to report yearly to the government on a specific tax form. So let's assume that they are a registered organization with the US government. They have a stated mission which does not define capitulation to foreign countries or foreign businesses. Comments above say they are an international organizations - I suspect that not to be the case for tax purposes but the case for a lessening overall participation by the communities who have moved on to other mediums. Most Rotary people are from the WW2 days so now they are stuck with diminishing returns. Meanwhile foreign groups are looking for a place to hang their hats and this is it.
Who are they paying their taxes to - who are they reporting to - that is who they are. They own property - buildings, any in foreign countries? Think not.


35 people like this
Posted by ahhh, balderdash
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 17, 2019 at 3:44 pm

> They have a stated mission which does not define capitulation to foreign countries or foreign businesses

Hell, Trump has capitulated to Putin, Turkey and others: giving away the Kurds to Turkey, withdrawing from Syria and giving the regiion over to Putin, etc..

> Meanwhile foreign groups are looking for a place to hang their hats and this is it.

Actually, your conspiracy theory is conjecture. The NRA, otoh, has taken Russian money. Web Link


29 people like this
Posted by Liberty & Justice? If not, pardon yourself!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Hello? Do people really think like this?....

"Since when do foreigners have anything to do with our long-held American traditions?" (UNLESS YOU ARE NATIVE AMERICAN THIS IS OUTRAGEIOUS STATEMENT)

"to become American you give up your culture" (WRONG)


What happened to the melting pot? Or should my grandparents have gone back to where they came from?? Liberty and Justice for all... and if you cannot get justice pardon yourself.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2019 at 5:22 am

Agree with pearl. I think this is a a slippery slope.
Maybe they should change it to:
"I pledge allegiance to Facebook and Amazon, our globalist masters... one nation, under Google, with bicycles and smartphones for all."


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2019 at 9:18 am

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Tacky comments above. Are people proud of being tacky?

To the extent that someone could interpret the Pledge as a declaration of fealty to an emperor, it is understandable why some would be reluctant to say it these days. The problem with the Pledge is that it is too generic (by design). It might be easier for many to swallow right now if it pledged to protect and defend the Constitution. Including the First Amendment.

"A Republic, if you can keep it." Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 20, 2019 at 9:26 am

Declaring personal commitment to a body of shared values is very common whether between two people or two thousand. It's the willing compromise individuals freely makes in order to join with others in a common cause. Joining together is the hallmark of civility. Reaffirming that commitment is a very good thing.
Today we are more often confronted with challenges to our shared values than with opportunities to acknowledge them.
Our shared values motivate an America to strive for a more perfect society and it is good, on occasion to remind each other of that objective.
Unfortunately, now, we have a a serious threat to our constitutional shared values with this phony inquisition. We have a Big Brother industry - Facebook, Google, in our neighborhood which is unquestionably the greatest risk to everyone. So-called social media isolates and ultimately enslaves. It is the very opposite of promoting shared values which is becoming increasingly obvious as Zuckerberg intends to control the wallet, the surveillance, the individual social score, and group think.
Reaffirming commitment with a partner to your shared values is a good thing. Reaffirming commitment to our values as a nation is a good thing. 'Under God' is non-specific but it does remind that there are higher ideals.
'One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all' is not a bad thing to be reminded of. Our shared values are much more important than the pettiness people express these days. Our nation is not founded on that. It is founded on our common wish for a more perfect union. The government we aspire to and enshrined in the Constitution, is one that serves by finding agreement together. It's good to keep the simple pledges and associations that remind us of when we were our best.
The Rotary Club may be making a political statement in this time of resistance or marking it's own decline.


14 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2019 at 1:33 pm

Posted by George, a resident of Old Palo Alto

>> Declaring personal commitment to a body of shared values is very common whether between two people or two thousand. It's the willing compromise individuals freely makes in order to join with others in a common cause. Joining together is the hallmark of civility.

Agreed.

>> Unfortunately, now, we have a a serious threat to our constitutional shared values with this phony inquisition.

Five felonies identified (according to traditional-conservative columnist George Boot prior to the latest bribery/extortion/obstruction of justice issue.

"“After a lifetime as a Republican, I re-registered as an independent on the day after Donald Trump’s election,” he writes."

“But a vote for the GOP in November is also a vote for egregious obstruction of justice, rampant conflicts of interest, the demonization of minorities, the debasement of political discourse, the alienation of America’s allies, the end of free trade and the appeasement of dictators.”"

>> We have a Big Brother industry - Facebook, Google, in our neighborhood which is unquestionably the greatest risk to everyone. So-called social media isolates and ultimately enslaves. It is the very opposite of promoting shared values which is becoming increasingly obvious as Zuckerberg intends to control the wallet, the surveillance, the individual social score, and group think.

Agreed.

>> The government we aspire to and enshrined in the Constitution, is one that serves by finding agreement together. It's good to keep the simple pledges and associations that remind us of when we were our best.
The Rotary Club may be making a political statement in this time of resistance or marking it's own decline.

I think we are 100% agreed that we support the form of government enshrined in the Constitution. That is loyalty to the Constitution, not personal loyalty to one or more elected officials.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Sorry for the immediate followup. That is -Max- Boot. George Will has also expressed similar sentiments.


12 people like this
Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 20, 2019 at 11:35 pm

@An-American - "Corruption is not a significant problem in this country. This fairness is rooted in our Constitution, reinforced in our laws and our shared values. Corruption is a way of life in most countries in the world."

The US Pay-To-Play political system was always here and is now well known throughout the world. It's the crack in our foundation. Because of it corruption is very much a significant problem in our government and our lives. We certainly don't have the sort of corruption where individual government employees take a fee as gatekeepers and do prosecute it should it be found. We do have the "revolving door" between government employment and the regulated or military contractors.

Today the primary agenda of our formerly somewhat Conservative party is to divert as much of the US GDP to its funders as possible. Its general policies promote Corporatism and concentration, especially in the financial sector. That undermines real Capitalism, markets, and entrepreneurialism which an overwhelming majority of us support save for medical insurance. Socially, it promotes oligarchy and hierarchy, and false economic Darwinism with a bias towards people of European descent.

Interestingly, the current Right's social and economic policies fit the core Southern Way of Life - from the Confederate Culture Area - like a hand into a glove. Sometimes it sounds like they want to discard the Constitution and return to the Articles of Confederation that didn't work.

Ultimately it's the Pay-To-Play system that has resulted in this fix and widening divisions that may even cause the US to split up. The Confederate Culture Area vs the rest is a potential border anyway.


10 people like this
Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 21, 2019 at 1:35 am

@George - "Unfortunately, now, we have a a serious threat to our constitutional shared values with this phony inquisition."

The Republicans persecuted the Clinton's for decades and finally only impeached Bill Clinton for his juvenile zipper control, a common problem in Washington as it turned out, and irrelevant to the execution of his office. Such a matter should be decided by the voters.

Now we have a President who seems to have done rather impermissible things in his function as President of the United States. It's at least reasonable to air out the matter and determine if he did. It doesn't look good does it? If Articles can't be brought or the Senate rejects them on partisan grounds or they simply fail the trial, then it's up to the voters next fall. What's wrong with that? The voters get to salvage the United States' future or not. Where are your "Constitutional shared values"?


6 people like this
Posted by Changes For The Worse
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 21, 2019 at 7:17 am

The Pledge of Allegiance was OK before America got overly diversified both ethnically & from a religious standpoint.

Now it is no longer politically correct & potentially offensive to some individuals...like Nativity themes during the Christmas holidays.

America is changing for the worse...it is becoming like Queens, NY.

Except for the Mets *ugh*


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2019 at 8:35 am

Posted by Changes For The Worse, a resident of Community Center

>> The Pledge of Allegiance was OK before America got overly diversified both ethnically & from a religious standpoint.
>> America is changing for the worse...it is becoming like Queens, NY.

Ironic, isn't it? People from all over the world look up to the US and expect the US to observe the Constitution. People try to get here, try to become citizens, because they hope for the personal freedom embedded in the Constitution. While here at home in the USofA, Right-Wing-Authoritarians deprecate the personal freedom and the tolerance for diversity built in to Constitution.


2 people like this
Posted by Changes For The Worse
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 21, 2019 at 9:19 am

>>> Right-Wing-Authoritarians deprecate the personal freedom and the tolerance for diversity built in to Constitution.

^^^ This is true to a certain extent BUT remember...the US Constitution for the most part was drafted by wealthy white US citizens some of whom owned slaves.

At the time of its writing, our forefathers did not foresee mass immigration from other areas/countries outside of western Europe.

America was essentially Protestant based & white with acceptance of diversity predicated on various Protestant sects & white immigration.

Manifest Destiny & imperialism changed all of that over the decades BUT immigration from eastern Europe & 3rd world countries have bloated the concept of diversity.

America is no longer a melting pot but a hybrid of many cultures & religions...for better or for worse.


5 people like this
Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 21, 2019 at 9:27 am

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

All Americans should embrace and respect our Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, or go somewhere else. It is a great pledge to our love for and loyalty to our country, and to each other, despite all our differences. For the small minority that consider themselves atheists, do what my atheist friends all do, just say “under the Constitution” instead of “God.” The vast majority of Americans do believe in God, across all religions and agnostics, we fear God, we cherish our right to practice our religion. We who fear God recognize this represents the great need of humility in all humans in order to have an advanced civil society. This is precisely why millions have come here as legal immigrants every year for centuries. We have embedded humility and recognition of fair justice for all as the bedrock we all stand upon.

As many posters have noted above it also helps focus and unify us around our core common values of rule of law, enshrined in our Constitution. Our Pledge is one of the last vestiges of civil discourse, an important reminder that we are “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” “Justice for all” is perhaps the most important shared value.

Anyone saying we ought to do away with our Pledge due to fact that there are many new legal immigrants is an absolutely non-sensical and very ignorant argument. What we need more than ever in our UNITED States of America, a democratic Republic, is an affirmation that none of us will agree on everything, yet we must agree on our rule of law based on our Constitution and stand together to protect these core values. We must all work hard to solve our big problems together. Just as in a large family of many strong personalities, we must listen to each other’s POV, and through our electoral process vote for our representatives who best champion our POV.

This also means accepting the outcomes of elections, and respecting our duly elected President. Know that because of our Constitution we never have risk of a dictator, you get to choose every 4 years. I did not vote for Obama, and completely disagreed with almost every single policy he pushed, yet not once did I say a harsh word in public about him, not once did I disrespect the fact he was the duly elected President. Flash forward to today, this absolutely irrational hatred of President Trump by the far left and Democrats has grown into a dangerous monster for all of us, irrespective of your party affiliation. People spew all sorts of venomous hatred and ignorant nonsense on Twitter and Facebook, precisely why I don’t waste my time on either.

Most dangerous for all of us: once “Trials by accusation” and inquisition tribunals become accepted by an ignorant majority, you can kiss your freedom away and God help you if the mob decides to come after you next. There will be no law or Constitutional rights to protect you since the same sniveling ignorant mob that refuses to take the pledge is the same mob that wants to tear up our Bill of Rights and Constitution.

As for this so-called Impeachment “process” or “inquiry” or whatever the Democrats are trying to call it, make no mistake, YOU and I are both on trial here, not just President Trump. This is America on trial, the latest test of our Constitution. The good news is we’ve been here before, and the good guys and gals have always won. I’m betting our Constitution will save us again, thank God. This show trial the Ds are running is an unwholesome, un-American, unconstitutional show trial.

Devin Nunes said it best this morning:

“This is not an impeachment inquiry, it’s an impeachment inquisition. In the Middle Ages, the inquisitor was free to act on his own and bring suit against any person who was even vaguely the subject of the lowest rumor. And the accused was denied any right to confront their accusers.

“Incredibly, or maybe not so much — given the Democrats’ track record — an inquisition victim had more rights than the Democrats are giving the President. After all, inquisition victims had the right to know their accuser’s name.”

“For those of you at home, it’s time to change the channel, turn down the volume or hide the kids, and put them the bed. Now I yield to Mr. Schiff for storytime hour.”


12 people like this
Posted by ahhh, balderdash
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 21, 2019 at 10:24 am

> YOU and I are both on trial here, not just President Trump.

Not I, for I have not extorted nor bribed a foreign country for political gain in the 2020 election. Have you?


> "After all, inquisition victims had the right to know their accuser’s name.”

Perhaps that's Devin's most nonsensical statement since he sued a fictional cow this year. Every witness that has testified this week has been identified - they are patriotic, thorough professionals (except the likes of Trump donors/appointees such as Sondland, who still threw Trump under a bus.)

If Nunes is your best example, I too feel that the Constitution will survive even Trump. Nunes still claims that the Russians didn't interfere in the 2016 election, despite EVERY branch of the American intelligence community saying that it was Russia.

Devin is "an unwholesome, un-American, unconstitutional" political hack putting party before patriotism.


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2019 at 10:29 am

osted by Martha Dogood, a resident of Old Palo Alto

>> As for this so-called Impeachment “process” or “inquiry” or whatever the Democrats are trying to call it, make no mistake, YOU and I are both on trial here, not just President Trump. This is America on trial, the latest test of our Constitution.

So, you don't care if an elected official has committed six or seven felonies (while in office)? You don't want to know if that is true or not? Do you owe your loyalty to the Constitution, or, a particular person in office? Because, it can't be both. An elected official occupies an office for a period of time. We hope, in the US, under our Constitution, for a limited period of time. During that time, every Federal official, right down to the mail clerk, has affirmed that, first and foremost, they will uphold the Constitution. Not be loyal to some person or other.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2019 at 10:32 am

The "impeachment" thing is just there to create a false narrative for the media to talk about but just like the Mueller thing it will blow over and the media will render themselves even more irrelevant.
Its a massive waste of time for Congress when they should be focusing on productive work. Its really inexcusable that they're able to waste so much time and distract so many people with this fabricated TV drama. Just like Russia, just like Kavanaugh thing, more manufactured drama that most people truly don't care about. What a display of futility, such lack of objectivity by Congress.


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2019 at 11:49 am

Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown

>> The "impeachment" thing is just there to create a false narrative for the media to talk about but just like the Mueller thing it will blow over

Most people who have read the Mueller report conclude that Donald Trump obstructed justice. Whether or not Congress removes him from office for it. Now, we have Donald Trump engaging directly in a quid-pro-quo bribery/extortion scheme directed at a political opponent in the US. (!) Will that "blow over"? I don't know. One of Trump's lawyers , William Consovoy, says,

"An attorney for President Trump told a federal appeals court Wednesday that Trump could not be prosecuted even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue in New York amid a legal fight that seems destined for the Supreme Court.

"Trump's personal attorney William Consovoy made the remark during oral arguments in a case involving a Manhattan District Attorney subpoena seeking Trump's tax returns and financial records from his accounting firm. The president's attorneys have argued he has blanket immunity from criminal prosecution and even investigation while in office." Web Link

I don't agree with that view. However, Consovoy and Mueller are agreed, I believe, that the way a President is to be actually removed from office is via Impeachment, not legal prosecution.

What crimes would Donald Trump have to commit in order to justify being removed from office, in your opinion? Are six or seven felonies committed in office justification enough?


1 person likes this
Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

@ahhh, balderdash

I do pity folks like you that buy the massive propaganda campaign by the radical left and Democrats that run the main stream media. You always trot out your same nonsensical arguments and accusations of “crimes” based on zero facts.


@Anon
Same for your arguments. I hope you someday realize you've been bamboozled by a massive propaganda campaign.

The only politicos who definitely engaged in “pay to play” politics recently were the Clintons and Bidens, and many others.

I served in the US Foreign Service for 6 years in 1990s, got to see up close all the self important preening bureaucrats with inflated egos. Everyone who testified this week reminded me of those people. We didn’t elect them to run our foreign policy, that’s the whole point, we elect a President to enact change and his or her policy. The bureaucrats are supposed to follow orders. The ones who don’t are the “swamp creatures.” I voted for Trump to drain the swamp of these creatures. Now their feelings are hurt and they don’t like anyone taking their marbles away.

As for interference in the 2016 election. Please, wake up, there’s been foreign interference in American elections since our founding. The only way we succeed as a democratic republic is if a majority of voters are educated enough not to be fooled by a French or British cartoon published in a newspaper in 1820, or a Facebook or twitter post. News flash: if anyone is making any voting decision based on Facebook posts (there are MILLIONS of fake Facebook accounts created all over the world!), or twitter posts, I have a suggestion: 1) Read some books, 2) Read actual policy papers written by candidates, can be found on their websites, and 3) watch actual candidate debates. If you do those three things, you can pretty much figure out who you wish to vote for.

If you vote based on some Russian, Chinese or Ukrainian BOTs on fake websites or fake Facebook accounts, I can’t help you out.

If you want to talk about real election interference, let’s talk FISA warrants based on fake info, and all that Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Strock, Lisa lover Page, etc did in 2016. Can’t wait for those indictments to drop.

The entire impeachment hoax is a desperate Hail Mary pass by the Democrats. It’s wrong, and a serious misuse of the impeachment clause.

I left Government to return to the private sector since I did not want to be part of the problem, I wanted to be part of the solution: create private sector wealth that creates jobs and puts food on the table for many people. There are many great people working hard in government service, I’m grateful for them, however some of them clearly need to be reminded who the boss is: the American people, in the office of the duly elected President.


12 people like this
Posted by @Martha Dogood
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 21, 2019 at 6:26 pm

[Post removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 22, 2019 at 11:44 am

"Declaring personal commitment to a body of shared values is very common whether between two people or two thousand.Declaring personal commitment to a body of shared values is very common whether between two people or two thousand." Says George.

Well, I don't know about any culture (with an exception) in which ordinary people (who are not military personnel) are prompt and in some cases required to recite pledges of allegiance and I have lived in many. I also do not remember any country that has the national anthem almost required before sports events or flags allowed for commercial purposes.
Maybe George can tell us which countries he is talking about.
What about the exception? The exception was/is countries that experienced fascism, nazism or communism as a state
ideology or dictatorships. I only recited the pledge of Allegiance once in my life and that was for a solemn purpose. Cheapening it by requiring compliance of recitation is a way of weakening its effect. Requiring is is further unconstitutional. I will do it only if I want to and I wish for more respect for it. The Rotary club is right.


1 person likes this
Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 22, 2019 at 8:35 pm

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

@ndn, actually you are not correct as most countries have national anthems which are in effect pledges of loyalty and love for their countries in form of a song and music. Most of us are proud and patriotic Americans who enjoy saying our pledge and singing our anthem.

I lived in Japan (lots of patriotism there!), Chile, and Belgium. I also have travelled and conducted business in at least 22 countries, so I can say from first hand experience this is the case.

[Portion removed.]


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