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March 16
2003 - Life-size sculpture honoring heroes of St. Francis Dam disaster unveiled in Santa Paula [video]

You Know I'm Right | Commentary by Betty Arenson
| Friday, Jul 8, 2016

bettyarensonMany Americans celebrated the nation’s birthday earlier this week with spectacular cheering, flag waving and exuberant parades; most of all, with pride.

It’s uplifting to see people energized. Older people, perhaps past the late 30s range, likely have a different view of the state of America today versus America four or five decades ago.

Those earlier years conjure up memories of heightened American pride; her flag, her constitution, loyalty to our fellow human beings and country, freedom of religious practice without disdain, respect for authority and a palatable sense of responsibility and accountability.

A Gallup Poll released July 1 shows “very proud” of America dropped from 70 percent in 2003 to 52 percent in 2016 after 57 percent in 2013.

A clear look at reality shows us why we shouldn’t be surprised.

Although it wasn’t a common practice, flag burning became legal in a 1969 Supreme Court case wherein such an act was deemed covered under the First Amendment. Predictably, the ACLU has enthusiastically led legislative efforts fighting the banning of flag desecration, under the guise of protecting First Amendment rights.

Many of us grew up with a pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag and morning prayer in school. I think many would agree it was an uplifting, positive way to start the day. I never heard a complaint.

Eventually, prayer became forbidden as a result of vociferous dissenters. They erroneously title it as a matter of church versus state, which it is not.

A 1962 Supreme Court ruled that “official prayer had no place in public education.” That does not mean the ruling said students would be forbidden on their own to pray, but rather government officials will not “compose a prayer for students to recite.”

Clearly the true meaning of the rulings is not practiced today.

There’s vivid evidence that prayer is indeed forbidden. Example: Washington’s Bremerton High School football coach Joe Kennedy who was suspended in 2015 for his practice of praying after the games. Both teams were welcome to attend completely voluntarily. After eight years of doing this, “someone” reported him to the principal. His litigation continues.

Then there’s the matter of California’s Camp Pendleton Marine Base and Memorial Hill.

In 2003, surviving Marines of Operation Iraqi Freedom made burdensome efforts to walk up a 3,000-foot incline, “near vertical at some points carrying shovels, stones and a wooden cross” (Business Insider May 2012). Their intent was to symbolize “a fallen Marine, a brother, who had given his life in combat.”

The memorial grew as Marines would bring more rocks, one weighing over 50 pounds. Others “brought bottles of liquor, drinking with their fallen brothers and leaving the rest for them at the site. Between rocks, there were dog tags, Purple Hearts, battalion T-shirts, and photos.”

Two salient points: 1) The Marines are steadfast in their belief that the cross symbol is not of religious intent; and 2) The cross is far from the view of any mere passers-by; one must exert efforts to seek it out.

One objector is the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. I don’t know if they have formally filed a lawsuit yet.

Americans are right to hold the presumption that anyone who wants to be the president should be proud of America. President Obama fails at that.

Obama took office in January 2009, and his detrimental world apology tour soon followed.

* “We Have Not Been Perfect.” Apology to the Muslim world – Obama interview with Al Arabiya, Jan. 27, 2009.

* “Some Restoration of America’s Standing in the World.” Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders at a London news conference April 2, 2009.

* “America Has Shown Arrogance” and “Sacrificing Your Values.” Obama apology speech to France and Europe in Strasbourg, April 3, 2009.

* “At Times We Sought to Dictate Our Terms.” “Promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past … we have at times been disengaged.” Apology to the Summit of the Americas, Port of Spain, April 17, 2009.

* “We Went off Course … our government made a series of hasty decisions … all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight.” Apology for the War on Terror with Obama’s speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.

* “Our Own Darker Periods in Our History.” “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history.” Apology before the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, April 6, 2009.

* “The United States Has Not Pursued and Sustained Engagement with Our Neighbors.” Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas. Obama op-ed, “Choosing a Better Future in the Americas,” April 16, 2009.

* “Potentially We’ve Made Some Mistakes.” Apology for (alleged) mistakes of the CIA. Obama told CIA employees, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Va., April 20, 2009.

* “A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies,” “Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law … rather it made us less safe” Apology for Guantanamo, National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.

* Obama spoke at a town hall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 20, 2015 of America’s “pitfalls” like “income inequality, a political system controlled by the wealthy and political parties divided along racial lines.”

* Obama spoke in March 2016 in communist Cuba. He did not speak of America’s democracy or denounce Cuba’s dismal reign against human rights but was eager to be the communists’ friend.

* A happy-faced Obama appeared with a bust figure of Ho Chi Minh, leader of the communist movement in Vietnam, on May 23, 2016. He spoke in gleaming terms of Vietnam and made no positive statements about America.

Gallup concluded: “Americans’ patriotism stayed relatively flat from 2006 through 2013, a period that spanned the Great Recession and Barack Obama’s election and first term as president. But over the last three years, Americans’ willingness to say they are extremely proud to be an American has declined further.”

Much of the loss of “very proud” of America can be directly attributed to the aforementioned and more.

This week’s events with a presidential candidate having proven beyond the shadow of any doubt to be a big liar and document destroyer add to America’s losses.

More on that next time.


Betty Arenson has lived in the SCV since 1968 and describes herself as a conservative who’s concerned about progressives’ politics and their impacts on the country, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She says she is unashamed to own a gun or a Bible, couldn’t care less about the color of the president’s skin, and demands that he uphold his oath to protect and follow the Constitution of the United States in its entirety.



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  1. Gary says:

    Betty, perhaps you should widen your scope of news input and get out of the right wing echo chamber.

    Have you heard of the new Chilcot report re: Britain’s roll in the American/British invasion of Iraq? There’s a good chance Blair could go to jail. If America was honest with herself, Bush would be in the Big House. Apologies are necessary because we’ve wrecked havoc around the world. Yes, us. We did it. We opened the Pandora’s Box in the Middle East. That’s what you call an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation.

    We must accept it, make changes, and strive to become a better nation all around.

    – Gary

  2. Cheryl G says:

    Just Shut UP. You are part of the problem!!! How about working to put the word “United” back into your vocabulary. You offer your opinion and zero solutions!!

  3. Older people past the late 30’s range…now I feel really REALLY OLD!

    • Betty Arenson says:

      Oops, sorry Sherie Ritter-Rubin……about that ‘past thirty” thing. lol Oh, and for you readers, Cheryl G and I have been communicating on another blog site (where she uses her full name) about this commentary. Her motto is “spread love not hate”….did you all recognize that?” Now THAT is an lol.

  4. Denny NNWofLA says:

    No apologies would be necessary had this nation conducted itself honorably and been a good world neighbor rather than pursuing the course the right has pushed upon us. How can anyone offer credible condolences to those we have bombed, citizens we have killed and infrastructures we have destroyed under the false flag of liberation? Remember Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL)? No. It was all about the money and power for the war machine and world corporations that rule. Shameless hypocrite; now you apologize.

  5. Lib says:

    I’m pretty sick of conservatives trying to define ‘progressives’ and ‘liberals’. They are nothing close to the truth or reality. My suggestion for Betty – define yourself and exactly what policies you like and let democrats or liberals define their own. Your hate of Obama has come through loud and clear for years, by the way. I’m not sure how godlike it is to revere your gun and Obama hate as much as your Bible, you may want to take some time to ponder that. I’d also love to know how Trump fits into those values of yours.

  6. Betty Arenson says:

    Lib. My suggestion to you would be to 1.identify yourself with real name; 2.location; 3. prove where I have ever said I hate Obama—-reciting his own comments does not constitute that; 4. since you apparently having been following me for “years” you would know I do not “hate” anyone. That takes too much energy and I’m, not interested. I leave hate to the Left; 5. I’d love to know where in the heck did you get Trump from all of this? I have NEVER waved a flag for Trump; he was not my choice; 6. The First and Second amendments give me all of the rights I need to possess a respect and free practice of religion i.e a bible and own or not own a gun. Thank you for once again proving the thoughts, anger and sloppy accusations and assignments of liberals.

    • Denny NNWofLA says:

      Getting pretty defensive there Betty. Lib was clearly asking what you thought of Trump. And Lib is not the flag waver. How about removing your star-spangled blinders and pay attention to the topic. To quote that guy you do not hate: “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter. They cling to their guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…” President Barack Obama.
      Thank you for once again proving your ignorance.

    • Lib says:

      One doesn’t need to do anything more than read the Signal daily to know your opinions, it has nothing to do with ‘following’. You are rather hard not to know, frankly. You may think you don’t hate anyone, but that is exactly what comes through the words in your column when talking about Obama. As for Trump, since he will be your nominee and I know you aren’t voting democrat, how do you reconcile those ‘values? You don’t seem to want to answer that one. As for me, I have to live in this valley of red (for now) and prefer to keep politics out of my friendships, but that doesn’t mean I can’t put my opinion out there. I would love for everyone to just work together to solve problems and your blatant attempts to mis-define liberals are getting tedious and are unhelpful. Stop being so negative.

  7. Alleys Zerep says:

    What delusional world do you live in? Go wrap yourself in the flag because as anyone with a brain knows, Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. I am proud of my President and no amount of your vitriol or baseless assertions can diminish what he and his administration have been able to achieve despite all the Republican obstruction.

  8. Yawn. Bitter, tarnished, and struggling to remain relevant. Your time is over, Betty. There’s the door.

    • I think that pic is 30 years old😁

    • Jared, you just don’t get it do you. The age and gender of the writer is now relevant, rather the content speaks the truth for all of us to are not to deaf or blind to understand. Eight years of Obama have changed this country in so many negative ways. Race relations, the economy, respect from other country’s leaders. Obama’s change and hope rhetoric has been a disaster!!

      • Lib says:

        Are you actually blaming Obama for the hate that has been blown out into the open with his election? I can only say you and that belief is a huge part of the problem. I see and hear it all the time. Right here in SCV. A total lack of empathy and understanding.
        As for the economy, Obama has brought the economy up from the deep, deep, deep recession caused by Bush and those failed trickle down policies, among other things. The republican obstruction of all of Obama’s policies have left those failed policies in place! So IN SPITE of republican obstruction, Obama managed to take the economy out of recession.
        As for that lie that Obama isn’t respected in the world, actually the opposite is true and he has worked hard to bring back the respect lost during those terrible Bush years.
        Lastly, Obama’s rhetoric? What exactly are you talking about? I hear nothing but calm, measured words. Trump? The last time I heard him at a rally he sounded like a deranged despot screeching at the crowd.
        I just look forward to Hillary nominating the next few justices to SCOTUS. Thanks for choosing a real piece of work as your candidate, republicans!

    • And Carol, who cares the age of the author, rather the truth of her words! She’s right!

    • Oh, that’s rich. I would love to hear how one man has made a disaster of race relations. Enlighten us, Shirley.

  9. Betty Arenson says:

    Sorry Jared, Liberals always want to crush or muffle people they don’t agree with. I’ll take my patriotism, thank you and has zero to do with masking anything. And no, I’m not going away. Somehow you are supposed to be able to be proud of Obama, yet I’m not supposed to be proud of America. Can you really defend that stance? Carol Fleming, your “think” is dead wrong. My picture was taken December 31, 2015 with a cell phone. Darn, I should have made you a $1000 bet, put into an escrow account, and you could work at proving your lunatic accusation and I could prove up the truth and you could just keep on thinking…and paying up. Still want to put your money where your mouth is? I can arrange it.

    • Denny NNWofLA says:

      Betty, do you think you could arrange THIS? An answer to the simple question asked of you three times already in this thread regarding your thoughts on Trump. As you may believe, we all want to know what you think. C’mom Betty- don’t leave us hanging, we need to know.

  10. Betty Arenson says:

    Denny anonymous, part of my views on Trump have been answered above. He was NOT my choice while others were in the race. However, now the process has mandated Trump is the presumed Republican candidate. He will get my vote because 1.he is disliked by the left, by Hillary list Clinton, Bernie Sanders and a lot of Republicans. Since I do not like a lot of Republicans,w whether try like Trump or not, and I am NOT a sheep, I do NOT want to see Hillary in the oval office, I do not want the distraction if the whore-hound slick Willy, I do not want the continuation of Obama, I do not want Hillary picking Supreme Court justices. Hillary is a proven liar and a greedy, dishonest person….those for starters. Your question is answered? And since you’ve referenced it, I’m also awaiting the $1000 challenge from your buddy Carol Fleming. Can’t you arrange THAT?

  11. Denny NNWofLA says:

    Thank you Betty for again showing us your brand. But- you left out the part about Hillary eats babies. Sheesh!(BAHHH)
    btw- I did not reference Carol Fleming, but since you brought it up, perhaps it was a photo of a 30-year old photo taken by a cell phone. (BAHHH)

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