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Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 25
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]
Clampitt fire

The Real Side | Commentary by Joe Messina
| Monday, Mar 31, 2014

joemessinamugSo say two council members in Bangor, Maine. I had to read it twice myself. They refuse to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance because they believe it’s being used as a political weapon. How, you ask? They won’t answer that question.

That’s right. As some do, they simply make a statement to justify their crazy, ludicrous actions, even when they have nothing to stand on, and expect you to believe what they’re saying. They actually think they are making a statement, but can’t tell you what “statement” it is. Looks like we’ll just have to guess, since they won’t respond.

I grew up in Massachusetts and visited Maine frequently. It was a very different universe up there. Most of them believe you should be allowed to do just about anything you want  on your own property, as long as you don’t infringe on the rights of your neighbors. And I do mean anything. But that’s a story for another day.

One of my curiosities is that this council had not been reciting the Pledge of Allegiance until this past January. They saw no need for it? Doing a little more research, it seems they felt it was pushed on them by the Hampden Association of Land Owners.

Apparently the Pledge has been on the agenda forever, but the council members had decided they didn’t really need to do it, even though they never really came out and said so publicly. Eventually landowners started putting pressure on the council to start off the meeting with the 20-second pledge. At first, the council refused but then bowed to pressure and started in January.

The two council members who sat down said they refused to bow to pressure. What pressure? Pressure to do the right thing? Really?

I’m just too confused here. Bangor, Maine, has been around forever. Their council has been around forever. Yet in all these years, they never thought to pledge respectful allegiance to the flag of these United States? Well, “united” except for, apparently, Maine.

Isn’t it ironic that the initial rebellion against England started in New England, where Maine was part of Massachusetts? The men and women from New England fought for our freedoms, died for our freedoms, and knew what the flag meant with the formation of this country. Now we have a new rebellion in Maine against the flag of our own country?

These two selfish – and don’t give me the freedom-of-speech garbage – veterans themselves don’t see the dishonor they do to the many who have fallen in service to our country to give them the right to be “jackwagons.”

That city is protected by men and women who signed up and pledged allegiance to this country and the flag. That town is protected by American soldiers. Their rights are protected by the Constitution of these United States.

Where that flag flies is a sign that the “area” is protected by the American government. (At one time, that really meant something.)

These guys are upset because the American citizens who elected them to do a job, want them – are in fact pressuring them – to pledge allegiance to the flag and to the country that affords them the ability to run for and serve in office. This is a problem, how?

I can “pre-write” the comments I will get on this. Yes, we have freedoms. Freedom to pledge or nor to pledge. Freedom to stand or not to stand. Freedom to run for office or not run. But, these freedoms came at a price. They have meaning behind them.

The founding fathers thought we would appreciate and treasure knowledge and family as much as they did, and that would make for a different voter and a stronger county. A few of the founding fathers stated that an uniformed electorate would be a real problem for this country.

Anyone who has watched a “JayWalking” episode with Jay Leno knows the trouble we are already in.

These two council members think the Pledge of Allegiance is a weapon. You bet it is. The dictionary says a weapon is:

1. any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat, fighting, or war, as a sword, rifle, or cannon;

2. anything used against an opponent, adversary, or victim.

I especially like No. 2. When opponents come across Americans who have pledged allegiance to the flag and to the country for which it stands – the United States of America – yes, one nation; yes, under God (although we don’t give Him much time anymore); indivisible (prior to the current administration, but it’s ultimately helping us to reunite); with liberty and justice for all.

What a weapon against tyranny, oppression and socialism.

Yes, it is a weapon. It’s a threat to those who would do us harm. It lets everyone know you will stand up for the rights of the rich and the poor, for moronic council people in Maine and patriots in Pittsburgh. It’s a pledge that you will defend this country and its principles to the end.

We are seeing more and more of this kind of tomfoolery. Eugene, Ore., stopped saying the Pledge, stating it was “too divisive.” Another town in Colorado stopped because it took too much time. Are we serious?

The founding fathers sacrificed years of their lives and lost much (lives, fortunes and sacred honor). Yet, the people we’ve elected can’t take 20 seconds at the beginning of a public meeting to pledge allegiance to the country they’re serving?


Joe Messina is host of The Real Side (TheRealSide.com), a nationally syndicated talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS radio and SCVTV [here]. He is also a member of the Hart School Board. His commentary publishes Mondays.


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  1. I don’t think anyone should have to do it personally. I stand but that’s it. I don’t like the “under god” they added because we are not a nation under god

  2. Much ado about nothing. Who cares?

  3. Allegiance to one’s nation is demonstrated by one’s actions, not by reciting words. If you wish to recite the pledge, great. If you don’t, then don’t.
    We have more important issues to fix in this divisive, self-defeatingly partisan political landscape of ours.

  4. I second the sentiments of Christian Lanz. It always comes as a surprise to me that conservatives get up in arms about saying the pledge as though anyone who isn’t willing to do so is a commie pinko. Oddly enough, the pledge was written by a Christian socialist who did not include the words “under God” in his pledge. I’m sure there are many corrupt, self-serving politicians who are most fervent when they recite it., but it is all for show.

  5. One could argue that a true leader would not hesitate to publicly proclaim their allegiance to the people and country they are serving. Unless maybe they have no intention (or capacity) to believe or serve something greater than themselves.

  6. I was in 6th grade when they added ‘under God’. Me, I’m from the land of Fort McHenry, the Star Spangled Banner, and, the first Washington Monument. That Pledge is not where you make a political statement. Sure you have the right to not say it. Too many have shed blood and suffered for the privilege and honor to say that Pledge. As far as I’m concerned, it is a gift and an honor to say that Pledge. It’s not just another entitlement to abuse and trample. Too many do not have the opportunity to say….. ‘place your right hand over your heart and repeat after me’, “I pledge allegiance….”. This is not about a political party. This is about love, respect and honor for the greatest country in the history of civilization. That makes me a flag waver. So be it. I don’t ever have to say that Pledge. I am blessed. I get to say that Pledge. I want to thank every Hero, past and present, that makes my life possible that I have today. That includes the honor of saying that Pledge.

  7. Greg Brown Greg Brown says:

    Just remember if you deny Him, He will deny you before His Father. So you got that coming. Good luck.

  8. J Schwartz says:

    Having been raised by a classically taciturn New Englander I can attest to their belief in individuality, the results of their deeds and their dislike of wasting anything, especially words. In your spirited defense of freedom and the rights Americans, you choose to overlook that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech which sometimes, as it applies in this case, can be freedom from speech.

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