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Citizenship in perspective


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Guest Paul

Let's move the discussion on the Pledge of Allegiance here, and broaden it to the topic of citizenship, which is what this is really all about.

Between voting and reciting the Pledge, which is the more important?

Why?

Does our behavior,

(a.) as participants in our democratic system and

(b.) in our reactions to our fellow citizens,

reflect what we say our values are?

If 100% of all the people in Yankee Stadium or Giant Stadium are standing for the national anthem, but only 50-60% of them vote, even in presidential elections, what does that say about us as a nation, a people and a culture?

In particular, what does it tell us about which aspects of citizenship could stand improvement?

Is it possible for a nation to place too much emphasis on outward displays? If so, how can we tell when that is happening, and what should we do about it? How much room does each person have in a free society to chart his own course, especially on matters of symbolic expression?

What can we learn about ourselves, our attitudes and our prejudices by considering these two examples, both of which are associated with citizenship?

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Let's move the discussion on the Pledge of Allegiance here, and broaden it to the topic of citizenship, which is what this is really all about.

Between voting and reciting the Pledge, which is the more important?

Why?

It all depends.

One could have a meaningful reminder of one's position as a citizen by reciting the pledge. And one might vote for Osama bin Laden as a write-in candidate on election day. Or a terrorist might recite the pledge as part of his cover while a Libertarian sincerely aligns with his party by voting for Bob Barr, a candidate who cannot possibly win the presidency.

Does our behavior,

(a.) as participants in our democratic system and

(b.) in our reactions to our fellow citizens,

reflect what we say our values are?

Hopefully.

If 100% of all the people in Yankee Stadium or Giant Stadium are standing for the national anthem, but only 50-60% of them vote, even in presidential elections, what does that say about us as a nation, a people and a culture?

Not much.

Many people (I'm tempted to include you specifically, Paul!) don't know much about the issues. And many of those people know that they don't know the issues and decline to vote as a result. In effect, they trust and hope that those who know better are making the decision at the polls. Meanwhile, some factions are pushing for as many to vote as possible as though that in itself is a good thing (voting while not knowing the issues is like reciting the pledge mindlessly, IMHO).

In particular, what does it tell us about which aspects of citizenship could stand improvement?

Again, not much. As the nation ages, things only get more complicated and the media do a poor job of explaining them. Many sense that the media are failing in their role (some sense it in a more accurate way than others) and therefore justifiably disregard much of what is reported.

Is it possible for a nation to place too much emphasis on outward displays?

Such as voting just to say one has voted? Definitely.

If so, how can we tell when that is happening, and what should we do about it?

Hook electrodes to everyone's brain and monitor their thoughts? Make voting mandatory? :rolleyes:

Seriously, just inform yourself and inform others. Though of course if your understanding is poor you can simply aggravate the problem. ;)

How much room does each person have in a free society to chart his own course, especially on matters of symbolic expression?

Ask the courts, not the legislature. ;)

What can we learn about ourselves, our attitudes and our prejudices by considering these two examples, both of which are associated with citizenship?

Moreover, what can we learn about Paul's attitudes and prejudices from threads like this one?

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Guest Patriot
Let's move the discussion on the Pledge of Allegiance here, and broaden it to the topic of citizenship, which is what this is really all about.

Between voting and reciting the Pledge, which is the more important?

Why?

Does our behavior,

(a.) as participants in our democratic system and

(b.) in our reactions to our fellow citizens,

reflect what we say our values are?

If 100% of all the people in Yankee Stadium or Giant Stadium are standing for the national anthem, but only 50-60% of them vote, even in presidential elections, what does that say about us as a nation, a people and a culture?

In particular, what does it tell us about which aspects of citizenship could stand improvement?

Is it possible for a nation to place too much emphasis on outward displays? If so, how can we tell when that is happening, and what should we do about it? How much room does each person have in a free society to chart his own course, especially on matters of symbolic expression?

What can we learn about ourselves, our attitudes and our prejudices by considering these two examples, both of which are associated with citizenship?

I'd prefer to stay focused on the Pledge of Allegiance and why some maladjusted leftist Kool-Aiders disrespect our veterans by snubbing their

noses at our flag .

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Let's move the discussion on the Pledge of Allegiance here, and broaden it to the topic of citizenship, which is what this is really all about.

Between voting and reciting the Pledge, which is the more important?

Why?

Whats more important Pledging Allegiance to ones country is far more important than voting.While voting is important in it's own right. I know Marines and Army personal who currently are fighting for thier country They have pledged thier allegiance yet several of them have never voted. Anyone can vote once they have become naturalized or born here, But why vote at all if you have no alligence to the country you live in. Why even bother to vote if thats the case

Does our behavior,

(a.) as participants in our democratic system and

(b.) in our reactions to our fellow citizens,

reflect what we say our values are?

If 100% of all the people in Yankee Stadium or Giant Stadium are standing for the national anthem, but only 50-60% of them vote, even in presidential elections, what does that say about us as a nation, a people and a culture?

You say 100% are singing the National Anthem yet only 50 - 60% vote. Well first question I'd have to ask is how many of the 40 - 50% not voting are under the age of 18, how many are American Cititzens how many are past felons who gave up their right to vote. I'd have to say that a good percentage are under the age of 18 while the rest more than likely have lost their confidence in politicians. Politicians will tell you what you want to hear, take Clinton or Obama that are promising Universal health care. Now we all know that this will never come to fruition the candidate does'nt have that kind of power nor the resources to pull it off. Some don't vote because they know no matter how they vote the status quo will remain the same. While others don't vote because they have no interest in politics.So what does this say to us as a culture, It tells me that we are Americans and we have the right to choose whether we vote or not.

In particular, what does it tell us about which aspects of citizenship could stand improvement?

Is it possible for a nation to place too much emphasis on outward displays? If so, how can we tell when that is happening, and what should we do about it? How much room does each person have in a free society to chart his own course, especially on matters of symbolic expression?

What can we learn about ourselves, our attitudes and our prejudices by considering these two examples, both of which are associated with citizenship?

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Let's move the discussion on the Pledge of Allegiance here, and broaden it to the topic of citizenship, which is what this is really all about.

Between voting and reciting the Pledge, which is the more important?

Why?

Does our behavior,

(a.) as participants in our democratic system and

(b.) in our reactions to our fellow citizens,

reflect what we say our values are?

If 100% of all the people in Yankee Stadium or Giant Stadium are standing for the national anthem, but only 50-60% of them vote, even in presidential elections, what does that say about us as a nation, a people and a culture?

In particular, what does it tell us about which aspects of citizenship could stand improvement?

Is it possible for a nation to place too much emphasis on outward displays? If so, how can we tell when that is happening, and what should we do about it? How much room does each person have in a free society to chart his own course, especially on matters of symbolic expression?

What can we learn about ourselves, our attitudes and our prejudices by considering these two examples, both of which are associated with citizenship?

While I did try answering some of your questions in this post, you and I will never see eye to eye. While you say that people are trying to conform you to their beliefs you are guilty of the same thing. I see no point in even trying to be civil with you since you have your ears closed to others. With that said have a nice life

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Guest Guest
I'd prefer to stay focused on the Pledge of Allegiance

Yes, we know. And that's exactly the problem Paul is talking about.

Thanks for making his point for him, false patriot.

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Guest Guest
While I did try answering some of your questions in this post, you and I will never see eye to eye. While you say that people are trying to conform you to their beliefs you are guilty of the same thing.

What? No he isn't. If he or Matthew just wants to sit out the pledge, that's not trying to make anyone else conform to a thing. On the other hand, pressuring or forcing someone to say the pledge IS trying to make others conform.

I see no point in even trying to be civil with you since you have your ears closed to others. With that said have a nice life

You're the one who isn't being civil. Next time you try to make a point, try not lying so much.

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Guest Captain Obvious
JUST GO AWAY PAUL!!!

Hey, stupid. You see where it says who the author of a topic is? If it says "Paul", and you don't want to read what he wrote, guess what? You could not click on the topic, you idiot.

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While I did try answering some of your questions in this post, you and I will never see eye to eye. While you say that people are trying to conform you to their beliefs you are guilty of the same thing. I see no point in even trying to be civil with you since you have your ears closed to others. With that said have a nice life

In other words, you don't want to think about the things that really matter, so you ignore an invitation to do it on the pretext that the person asking the questions has a closed mind. It's easier to put your hand over your heart and pretend. That requires no work. So let's do that.

Point proved.

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Guest Guest
Let's move the discussion on the Pledge of Allegiance here, and broaden it to the topic of citizenship, which is what this is really all about.

Between voting and reciting the Pledge, which is the more important?

Why?

Does our behavior,

(a.) as participants in our democratic system and

(b.) in our reactions to our fellow citizens,

reflect what we say our values are?

If 100% of all the people in Yankee Stadium or Giant Stadium are standing for the national anthem, but only 50-60% of them vote, even in presidential elections, what does that say about us as a nation, a people and a culture?

In particular, what does it tell us about which aspects of citizenship could stand improvement?

Is it possible for a nation to place too much emphasis on outward displays? If so, how can we tell when that is happening, and what should we do about it? How much room does each person have in a free society to chart his own course, especially on matters of symbolic expression?

What can we learn about ourselves, our attitudes and our prejudices by considering these two examples, both of which are associated with citizenship?

Voting is more important because it is essential to our system of government. If no one ever recited a national pledge (which no one did for more than 100 years after our country was founded), it would have no effect. If no one ever voted, democracy would cease to exist.

Quite often, our behavior does not reflect what we say our values are. We say we would give our lives to preserve democracy, but we don't even bother to vote. We say we want freedom to express ideas, but when someone dissents, some people can't tolerate it. In the Yankee stadium example, going along is the easiest thing to do. So we could stand improvement in thinking through the issues that matter and in doing something about them. But that would require effort.

The main reason this has happened is that the political issues that affect us most have become extremely complex. Bryan is a self-righteous pain, but he's right that Paul probably doesn't know a lot about most of the issues - he neglects to say that he doesn't know much either. Very few of us do. So people take refuge in things they think they understand, like flag salutes and pledges. That gives people a sense of security, but it's true that it doesn't help our country.

If you learn how to look at the behavior of politicians, you can at least spot some of the worst phonies. Maybe that's the best citizens can do these days - keep our politicians honest. We're not doing a very good job of it, largely because we're buying into the games.

What I learn from all this is that citizenship is hard work, and most people don't want to do it. Where that leads is anyone's guess, but it does leave us vulnerable to bad government and the loss of our freedom. In the end, whether anyone stands and salutes the flag won't make a bit of difference.

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While I did try answering some of your questions in this post, you and I will never see eye to eye. While you say that people are trying to conform you to their beliefs you are guilty of the same thing. I see no point in even trying to be civil with you since you have your ears closed to others. With that said have a nice life

If you are an example of the KHS system, there's not much to brag about. There's nothing wrong with trying to convince others to your way of thinking. You can't answer points by changing the subject.

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If you are an example of the KHS system, there's not much to brag about. There's nothing wrong with trying to convince others to your way of thinking. You can't answer points by changing the subject.

Ok punk. I'd like to see you answer a post, any post without trying to come off as the tough guy. I've noticed that you will attck anyone who disagrees with Paul the media ****** just my opinion, but **** **** ****** whenever his holiness pope paul opens his yap. So come on cheerleader are you up to it.

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Guest 2smart4u
Yes, we know. And that's exactly the problem Paul is talking about.

Thanks for making his point for him, false patriot.

When one is running out of lame excuses trying to justify dispicable behavior, you try to switch topics. This should be obvious to everyone.

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Guest Kearny Pride

Let's move the discussion on the Pledge of Allegiance here, and broaden it to the topic of citizenship, which is what this is really all about.

Between voting and reciting the Pledge, which is the more important?

Why?

It is such an ambiguous analogy that it is stupid to even speculate which is more important.

In not trying to sound too Clinton-like in my response I have to ask "Important to what or whom?" Are carrots more important than milk? Both are important in what and for what they are. To compare them is comparing apples and oranges, and like this two fruits, pledging and voting are important but different.

Does our behavior,

(a.) as participants in our democratic system and

(b.) in our reactions to our fellow citizens,

reflect what we say our values are?

If 100% of all the people in Yankee Stadium or Giant Stadium are standing for the national anthem, but only 50-60% of them vote, even in presidential elections, what does that say about us as a nation, a people and a culture?

Values are standards as to what we judge are important to each of us and how others view us as to their own importance. Our nation as a whole has lowered its values. When was the last time you went to the convenience store and someone said thank you or someone held the door open for you. This is a “self-gratification” generation and to hell with everyone else except me. It is an “all about me” generation and respecting the values of someone else comes second. You and your son are an epitome of that. It is about respect lost. And about people voting, polls have shown that majority of people vote either along ethnic or political party lines. Few people really study candidate’s issues and studies have shown in most local election many people don’t even know who the candidates are until they get into the voting booth. So to stand there and justify what you do or do not do comparing voting to saying an anthem is again like comparing apples and oranges. They just do not go together.

In particular, what does it tell us about which aspects of citizenship could stand improvement?

Is it possible for a nation to place too much emphasis on outward displays? If so, how can we tell when that is happening, and what should we do about it? How much room does each person have in a free society to chart his own course, especially on matters of symbolic expression?

It is not my place to comment on what you do or why you do the things you do. You speak of words like framers and founders and I do feel that your admiration for them is true. However I feel that the very people you speak of would not admire or respect you in your course of action on the Pledge of Allegiance. Their fight was against a foe to all the people of these United States. Your fight is with the people of the United States. That’s where we differ. It was the goal of those framers to try to bring these people as one nation, not trying to divide one nation into individual people. I doubt that the framers wanted each individual American not respecting follow Americans. When someone you love does something wonderful, you stand up proud for them. The same feeling should be given to this great country. Stand and be proud. To me and others your protest is just a self indulgence into your own self gratification.

What can we learn about ourselves, our attitudes and our prejudices by considering these two examples, both of which are associated with citizenship?

What prejudice do I show for standing for the Pledge of Allegiance? None, because I do stand. I am American and I am proud. If anything now I think more about the words in there then ever before. If you are going to go on one of your quests, then I suggest it be against society in general, since it is what who your battles are against.

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Guest Guest
When one is running out of lame excuses trying to justify dispicable behavior, you try to switch topics. This should be obvious to everyone.

Oh good, 2dim4words finally realized that the people criticizing Matthew never address the issues.

Just because the topic was brought here from the one that was supposed to be about school uniforms doesn't mean that the topic was "switched" in the sense of avoidance. It was switched only in the sense that it was brought onto its own page.

A brain must be a terrible thing not to have.

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Guest Paul

I appreciate your response, though I don’t agree with it. Here’s why.

It is such an ambiguous analogy that it is stupid to even speculate which is more important. In not trying to sound too Clinton-like in my response I have to ask "Important to what or whom?" Are carrots more important than milk? Both are important in what and for what they are. To compare them is comparing apples and oranges, and like this two fruits, pledging and voting are important but different.

It’s not like comparing apples and oranges because you’re saying that not eating one (but not the other) is a vile act. You argue that not standing for the Pledge is a vile act, but you don’t seem to think that about not voting. That is what invites the comparison. Why is one bad behavior, but not the other?

To answer your question: Important to our country and us, its people. Voting is important in that way, reciting a Pledge is not. Voting is the real work of citizenship, without which we wouldn’t have a democracy.

Values are standards as to what we judge are important to each of us and how others view us as to their own importance. Our nation as a whole has lowered its values. When was the last time you went to the convenience store and someone said thank you or someone held the door open for you. This is a “self-gratification” generation and to hell with everyone else except me. It is an “all about me” generation and respecting the values of someone else comes second. You and your son are an epitome of that. It is about respect lost. And about people voting, polls have shown that majority of people vote either along ethnic or political party lines. Few people really study candidate’s issues and studies have shown in most local election many people don’t even know who the candidates are until they get into the voting booth. So to stand there and justify what you do or do not do comparing voting to saying an anthem is again like comparing apples and oranges. They just do not go together.

To answer this question, I held doors open for several people today, and I think two people held a door open for me. I haven’t been to a convenience store in a while, but it happens there, too.

Again, the comparative behavior invites the comparison of values, just the same as if five times as many people liked apples as liked oranges. “Why” would be a trivial question on the subject of apples and oranges, but it is not trivial when the question is about citizenship, as it is here. So here again, I don’t think your argument about apples and oranges is well taken.

I agree with you that we live in a culture of selfishness and self-gratification. In fact, I’ve complained here very recently about it, and was told that I hated our country because I did. What’s odd is that you see Matthew’s action as reflective of that culture. It’s exactly the opposite. Matthew is not doing this to gratify himself. He is doing it because he thinks too much importance is being attached to the Pledge of Allegiance, because it is being pushed on people and because the reaction against his dissent is for horrible reasons. He is going against the grain, facing down his peers, his teachers, etc. That is one of the hardest, least self-gratifying things a person can do. Ask a expert in psychology how difficult it is, and why so few people do it. None of that speaks of selfishness or self-gratification on his part. Where do you see that?

It is not my place to comment on what you do or why you do the things you do. You speak of words like framers and founders and I do feel that your admiration for them is true. However I feel that the very people you speak of would not admire or respect you in your course of action on the Pledge of Allegiance. Their fight was against a foe to all the people of these United States. Your fight is with the people of the United States. That’s where we differ. It was the goal of those framers to try to bring these people as one nation, not trying to divide one nation into individual people. I doubt that the framers wanted each individual American not respecting follow Americans. When someone you love does something wonderful, you stand up proud for them. The same feeling should be given to this great country. Stand and be proud. To me and others your protest is just a self indulgence into your own self gratification.

But you have commented on what I’ve done and said. You just called me self-indulgent, and on this issue you couldn’t be more wrong. Matthew decides what his motives are, not you.

You keep making the same false assumption. There’s nothing disrespectful in what we’re doing. Until you get under your biases and address the “why” behind your argument, we’ll never really be able to discuss this. Several veterans have posted here over the past year and a half to defend Matthew. They have made the point that they fought for his freedom to do exactly what he is doing, and support him 100%. So why is it disrespectful? You can’t just say it and make it true. What is your basis, apart from not liking it?

As for our country’s founders and our Constitutional Framers, they were fiercely independent men, who would be horrified at the way rituals are being forced on a free people. They understood the critical importance of dissent in a free society. (Very likely, they would have called Matthew's detractors self-indulgent, much in the same way as Jesus of Nazareth is said to have spoken of the hypocrites.) They had no pledge of allegiance. It wasn’t because they forgot. It was because they didn’t think it was necessary. Why do you think it is necessary?

And they certainly wouldn't agree with your argument about fighting a foreign enemy and "fighting" with one's fellow citizens. In the first place, the only violence, has come from people who tried to intimidate Matthew physically when this issue began. Second, we are trying to have a reasoned dialogue with our fellow citizens. That is exactly who we should be talking to about this. Comparing that to fighting a foreign enemy is just wrong on several levels.

What prejudice do I show for standing for the Pledge of Allegiance? None, because I do stand. I am American and I am proud. If anything now I think more about the words in there then ever before. If you are going to go on one of your quests, then I suggest it be against society in general, since it is what who your battles are against.

I never suggested that you show any prejudice by standing for the Pledge. I said that you show a prejudice by being contemptuous toward those of us who do not; and you show disrespect by continuing to ascribe motives to us that are not our own.

So you continue to think about the words in the Pledge, and stand and recite if that is how you think you can best express your patriotism. I respect and honor that.

I will continue to support Matthew because I think he’s making an important point. I think we can both be patriots, each of us in our own way. You’re saying that Matthew and I are not being good citizens. I can’t force you not to believe that, but I will challenge you on it. Convince me that I’m wrong, and I’ll change my views and my conduct. Would you do the same?

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Guest Guest
When one is running out of lame excuses trying to justify dispicable behavior, you try to switch topics. This should be obvious to everyone.

Thanks for noticing how neocons work. The above description matches them perfectly.

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Guest Guest
I'd prefer to stay focused on the Pledge of Allegiance and why some maladjusted leftist Kool-Aiders disrespect our veterans by snubbing their

noses at our flag .

You're exactly right. It's very clear what kind of upraising Paul jr has had.

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Guest Guest
Let's move the discussion on the Pledge of Allegiance here, and broaden it to the topic of citizenship, which is what this is really all about.

Between voting and reciting the Pledge, which is the more important?

Why?

Does our behavior,

(a.) as participants in our democratic system and

(b.) in our reactions to our fellow citizens,

reflect what we say our values are?

If 100% of all the people in Yankee Stadium or Giant Stadium are standing for the national anthem, but only 50-60% of them vote, even in presidential elections, what does that say about us as a nation, a people and a culture?

In particular, what does it tell us about which aspects of citizenship could stand improvement?

Is it possible for a nation to place too much emphasis on outward displays? If so, how can we tell when that is happening, and what should we do about it? How much room does each person have in a free society to chart his own course, especially on matters of symbolic expression?

What can we learn about ourselves, our attitudes and our prejudices by considering these two examples, both of which are associated with citizenship?

Not to be rude but Pledge of Allegiance discussion? Where is the discussion about how to improve our town? This is just a wasted thread. KHS uniform discussion became this?? This is as useless as the recall Santos discussion, lol I’m still waiting for the people to charge in to the town meeting demanding him to step down. Ask yourself why is KHS doing so poorly, how's the money being spent on KHS, and why does there website s**k so bad.

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Oh good, 2dim4words finally realized that the people criticizing Matthew never address the issues.

Just because the topic was brought here from the one that was supposed to be about school uniforms doesn't mean that the topic was "switched" in the sense of avoidance. It was switched only in the sense that it was brought onto its own page.

A brain must be a terrible thing not to have.

Oh look it's the KOTW's own little cheerleading B**ch. So tell me slick how does it feel to never have an original thought. Next time we want your opinion one of us will give it to you.

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Guest Guest

You said that this issue hasn't been brought before the Supreme Court, and your right. Except by that lone angry and bitter man trying to irritate his wife.

So Paul, what are you waiting for? Why don't you and Matt bring your case?

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