Come On, Take It – A Blast From the Past from January 2016

*I’m still sick and I’m beginning to be tired of it.  At least I know it’s not something peculiar to me, or something I’m doing wrong, because “this is going around” and taking a long time to get over for everyone.  Though at almost two weeks, it is pushing the limits of my tolerance.  And my poor husband’s too (since he’s down with it also.)
I was casting about for a BPF for today, and this seemed to be apropos.  At least part of the reason that idiots are losing their minds on the street is that they think nationalism or ANY enforcement of borders equals Nazism.
It is important to remember what Nationalism is and what it isn’t, particularly in reference to the US which in this as in so many other things stands alone and apart from the rest of the world.
As I was reading through several posts and hit this one, a Portuguese poem came to mind that ends with “Give us against the erroneous hour when a new infidel threatens, the sword as a blessing and the blessing as a sword.” (Fernando Pessoa, Don Afonso Henriques).  I thought if you substitute sword with Constitution, you won’t go far wrong: Give us against the erroneous hour in which a new infidel threatens, the Constitution as a Sword.  And a blessing too, while you’re at it.
Go on, take it.

Come On, Take It – A Blast From the Past from January 2016

Yesterday, on a private forum a friend of mine who here will go under the name Sam Anderson said the following:

Patriotism is good. Nationalism through a patriotic lens, seeing your country as worthwhile, as having prospects and things to be proud of, is not only acceptable but necessary for the health of any nation. But MOST especially the United States, because it’s one thing for the French to be ashamed of being French, but at the end of the day, they’re still going to be French. France is established on ethnic and historical foundations, and even if the French think they suck, there can still be citizens of France. Just not very long, since self-loathing aligns you, first metaphorically, then inevitably in practice, with enemies who ALSO loathe you.

But an American just CAN’T believe in nothing, CAN’T reject the philosophy underpinning America, and be one. Philosophy IS America. There’s nothing else to base it on, and there’s no “philosophy on the side” option. There’s no “shared values” or that bullshit. There’s a piece of paper that lays out precisely how the government functions, tells it what it doesn’t get to do, and tells YOU to go shift for yourself. Now yeah, maybe you can quibble with a point or two of it. Lots of people did then, too. But people who reject, wholesale, that that makes sense as the foundation of a country- who complain about negative rights, who call the constitution outdated- de facto, aren’t American, the same way you couldn’t be a Catholic but not believe in G*d. Aphilosophical American is a contradiction in terms. The most they can do is live somewhere between Mexico and Canada. We’ve got a lot of that kind of “American”.

But nationalism is only a problem when it starts to supersede rather than represent a people. The American people, left mostly to their own devices, with most of their own money and most of their own time, even if they only SORT OF try to adhere to their founding principles, can turn the world upside down. It’s not because of any particular genetic, ethnographic, economic, or so on reason. You could do it with anyone… they’d just have to agree to the challenging but rewarding terms of freedom, which historically much of humanity would rather trade for security. But America, the national body- the government bureaucrats meant to represent the people, who increasingly act in contravention of same- that America cannot find its ass with both hands. It’s just the resurgence of a far inferior product coming back under a much more successful and respected brand.

One of the lines you can draw between right and left is, when a conservative roots for America, they mean the individual entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and scholars- the millions of little people who even now, every so often, by the grace of determination, judicious risk taking, and hard work, manage to do a few really big things. When a liberal roots for “America”, they back the bully-boys in the government with the private jets… the big institutions that nevertheless manage routinely to fuck up thousands of little things.

THAT’S the form of nationalism that’s toxic.

Let’s go back to what Sam said “Philosophy IS America.”  If you don’t believe in the founding principles, you’re not an American.  You’re at best a permanent resident who grew up here and behaves generally within the law.

We’re a volitional citizenship.  Yes, if you were born here, you are LEGALLY an American.  You can legally be a lot of things that you’re not even close to being in reality.  Take all the college people running around screaming they want to be protected from micro-micro aggressions.  They are legally adults.

My younger kid is also legally an adult, and although closer to an adult than most of the micro-aggressed, he still lives at home and has never had to provide for his daily upkeep.  He’s a legal adult, but not an adult like say any of you who have to work for a living.  (We let him only because he’s taking two stem degrees concurrently and not taking accommodations for his sensory issues.)

Do I think it was a mistake of the founders to allow citizenship of birth in a nation of volition?  You bet your beepy I do.  They got so much right, though, and they were only human.  They couldn’t believe anyone born here, enjoying the blessings of liberty could possibly wish to believe that a system where “we belong to the government” is better.

They were wrong.  In a way, again, understandable, since they’d given their life, their fortunes, their sacred honor for this endeavor and many lost it.  (Read a book called Signing their lives away, if you haven’t yet.)  On the other hand, not understandable, since they knew how revolutionary their system was.  Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness?  You must be mad.  The government as a servant to the sovereign citizen?  Cooee, what world do you come from?  Separation of powers to make it difficult to “get things done”?  Mister, you must be one of them escapees from the asylum.

And yet — and yet — some of us are very much citizens of the volitional nation.  We embrace the vision of the founders, we work to protect the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.  We took an oath, and we keep it.

Come on.  Go ahead and take it.  Take it by yourself in the privacy of your heart; take it with your family; take it with a co-worker.

Take the oath.  Then keep it.

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen [or a moonstruck admirer for those on the right and left who think those people abroad have a better idea- sah]; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

136 thoughts on “Come On, Take It – A Blast From the Past from January 2016

  1. These days there seems to be considerable confusion over which America we owe our allegiance. Apparently, for many, this does not include “Trump’s America” but only “Obama’s America.”

    Such conditional allegiance is, of course, non-allegiance and in more sane times would be something decent folk would be ashamed to confide.

    1. I used to wonder how nations like Yugoslavia could come apart in fiery death.

      Now, I think I’m getting a vague idea how that sort of thing comes about…

      1. Well, nations like Yugoslavia came apart because were put together in a forced marriage, and when the guys doing the forcing died, they couldn’t get to divorce court fast enough.

        1. Whereas in the United States we are seeing the effect of several generations down inheriting a great fortune and the cousins who think it irredeemably tainted and want to give it all away are at odds with those cousins who think it is a heritage to be preserved.

  2. As I understand the history, the idea that you are a citizen because you were born here was really only pinned down in one of the post-Civil War amendments; and it was done precisely because the Supreme Court, before the Civil War, had refused to hear a case about a black man’s rights, saying that black people were not citizens and had no legal standing—and because the legislators of the time foresaw that if they didn’t change the rules, there would be states that still denied that black people were citizens and had rights, and reenslave them under a different name.

    I can’t really say that that decision was wrong, though it has had costs. I mean, suppose we start saying that if you don’t hold allegiance to the principles of the Constitution, you are not a citizen, and have no rights that the courts need enforce? There’s a lot of potential there for abuse, I think.

    But I don’t think “you’re a citizen because you were born here” can actually be attributed to the Founders. Though I may be in error about that; I haven’t gone back and researched the Constitution and the debates over it.

    1. Correct. Citizenship for being born in the US is really only defined constitutionally in the 14th amendment. I think that most states treated it that way before that point, at least for the average “white” person born here. And even with the 14th amendment, I think the Pacific states played some games with citizenship for the offspring of immigrants from Asia.

          1. CA has been afflicted by the jurisprudence of Ninth Circuit judge Stephen Reinhardt, who takes pride in being overturned by SCOTUS, confident that for every bad decision SCOTUS scotches nine more are left unreviewed, if only because SCOTUS cannot spend all its time reviewing the aptly named Ninth Circus.

            It would be interesting to see Reinhardt impeached for his bad jurisprudence; certainly there ought be a limit to how many times a lower circuit can be overturned before its members get dumped.

            1. For those who’ve been blessedly ignorant of what Reinhardt hath wrought, Ed Whelan of Bench Memos has thoughtfully provided:

              This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—February 3
              By Ed Whelan — February 3, 2017
              2010—In Perry v. Schwarzenegger—the case challenging California’s Proposition 8 and traditional marriage—the ACLU Foundation of Southern California continues its involvement in the case by filing a post-trial amicus brief on behalf of its national affiliate, the American Civil Liberties Union.

              Ramona Ripston, the wife of Ninth Circuit judge Stephen Reinhardt, is the executive director of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and (per its website) is “responsible for all phases of the organization’s programs, including litigation.” In addition to leading the political opposition to Proposition 8, Ripston engaged in confidential discussions with the lawyers for the Perry plaintiffs about whether they should file the case. And months later, she will publicly celebrate Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision striking down Proposition 8.

              Yet when the wonders of not-random-after-all* selection assign arch-activist Reinhardt to the Ninth Circuit panel to review Walker’s decision in this very case, Reinhardt somehow will decline to recuse himself. He will instead end up writing the majority opinion in support of (and providing the decisive vote for) a divided-panel holding affirming Walker’s ruling.


      1. I disagree. The “natural born citizen” clause in the eligibility for the presidency along with and exemption from that clause for those who were here at the founding makes it clear that from adoption the Constitution defined default citizenship by birthplace.

        1. The phrase “natural born citizen” certainly distinguishes citizens who are natural born from other citizens who are not natural born and don’t have the same rights or obligations (such as Arnold Schwartzenegger, who can’t run for the presidency). But it can also distinguish natural born citizens from natural born people who are not citizens. Before the Civil War, slaves were such people. That was why it was necessary to pass a constitutional amendment to do away with that category.

          1. An interesting point. Although I am not sure that slaves were not citizens, the 14(?)th amendment made certain that a person born here would be a citizen of this country with all the privileges thereto so whether slaves were citizens by definition before or not, the point is mute now.

            1. In the Dred Scott case (thanks, TXRED), the Supreme Court ruled that black people did not count as citizens. The only thing with more authority than a Supreme Court ruling is a constitutional amendment, which is what we eventually got.

            2. That raises another interesting point: manumission. Was a freed slave automatically accorded citizenship? Would that mean that citizenship (for the ex-slave) was the slaveholder’s to grant? Taken further, could one be a citizen of the United States but (by “virtue” of being a slave) not a citizen of the state of residence?

              1. No. While most of the history books stress voting, one of the things that brought this to a head was the 2nd Amendment. The Slave Codes prevented firearm ownership by slaves and in some instances free blacks (hazy on this, and probably state by state). These were carried forward into the post-Civil War period. The argument went that since they were not citizens, they were not guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms.

          2. I was as the Bard said, from my mother’s womb untimely (in my case somewhat overtimely) ripp’d. Am I still a ‘natural born’ citizen?

    2. Dred Scott vs. Sanford, where Justice Taney tried to change history. Thus the 14th to undo Dred Scott. The later “Slaughterhouse” cases flipped it to say in effect that birthright gave you national citizenship, but state citizenship could be defined by the states and states could restrict or permit certain rights as they so chose, if I remember things correctly. It’s been a while.

    1. Oh, pico, pico, pico. Perhaps the nation needs to accept that freedom from offense is not in the Contract of Liberty and that any effort to insert it voids the contract. I find the constant intrusion into the thought processes through which I employ language is an act of oppression of far greater offense than any harm they experience by my using an “incorrect” pronoun to refer t some unknown third party.

      While I find it offensive to be called a boor by these microaggressed, I find it a lesser offense than having to give a flying flip about what offends them.

        1. In this instance, “flip” was a substitution for a less publicly acceptable term for what I do not give.

          I find boor wars intensely boring and a burden not to be borne; given me druthers I’d druther sit through a Bourne movie marathon — and the only Matt Damon movies I find bearable involve him being crushed by bear, leviathan or other beast.

            1. Was he eaten/crushed by a Barsoomian Thoat? If not I don’t have much interest in the film.

              Whatamin — don’t the monsters in The Great Wall look sorta like Thoats?

              Okay, shy a couple pairs of legs, but maybe that’s just the film trying to obscure its origins?

              1. I liked John Carter (even if it does include one of my least favorite curses); and you threw me for loop. I had to go look it up to see if Matt Damon was in it!

            1. From the trailers I have seen, he’s shouldering the White Man’s Burden and teaching the yellow people something they already know far better than he does.

              “Oh Noes!!!! There are monsters invading all along our thousand-mile wall and we’ve only one hundred million warriors to defend it!”

              “Fear not: we have two Europeans to fight alongside us!”.

              1. Sounds kinda like some of the things suggested/heard about…

                Qlad_01: Crud, we’re doomed, the Zlort have us surrounded and badly outnumbered.

                Qlad_01: Relax. Just deploy the human. The Zlort will be, as it says, ‘toast’.

              2. Seems like his character is disillusioned with Western culture and finds his life’s purpose fighting for China.


              1. Maybe he gets eaten and the monster dies of indigestion? That would be how I’d imagine the Chinese writing it if the didn’t really like him, but knew he’d bring in the fangirlz.

              2. He’s got appeal in the West, which will increase the ticket sales. I don’t know of any Chinese (or even Asian in general) actors that have that level of draw. To add to that, this looks like a blockbuster-type of movie. If the Chinese are making this, then a question worth asking is how much experience the Chinese with blockbuster movies. While Damon has a lot of bad roles to his name, he does still sometimes do well. A *lot* of people liked The Martian, for instance. And he’s got experience working on the big budget, special effects laden stuff. I don’t know if there are any Chinese actors with that combination of experience and draw.

                As a similar example, the upcoming live action Ghost in the Shell movie has been criticized because Scarlet Johanson is playing the Japanese protagonist. But as I saw noted in one article, casting her makes a lot of sense. There aren’t any Japanese actresses who have experience in action roles like this (the Japanese movie industry doesn’t do much action stuff, surprisingly; they look to other places – like Hong Kong – for that). And casting a Chinese actress would open the movie up to criticisms that “You Westerners think that all Asians look the same.” So ScarJo’s choice makes sense.

                (and no, Rinko Kikuchi’s role in Pacific Rim does not qualify as an “action role”)

                Incidentally, the Japanese think that ScarJo’s casting is fine.

                1. ” I don’t know of any Chinese (or even Asian in general) actors that have that level of draw.”

                  Jackie Chan has retired?

                  1. Jackie Chan seems to do less serious stuff, based on the admittedly small number of his films that I’ve seen. Also, iirc he’s getting a bit old. These two things may have made him less attractive to whoever did the casting.

                    Jet Li might have been another possibility. Again, though, there were presumably elements that made Damon preferable.

                    It’s entirely possible that Damon was chosen because they figured he’d increase the movie’s draw in the US, which is kind of the inverse of how American studios do things these days (i.e. try to find ways to guarantee that a film will play in China, and get a big audience there).

                    1. He’s especially getting a little old for doing all his own stunts — which is a thing of his, and he’s broken several bones in the process.

                    2. The other odd aspect of that is that American audiences no longer recognise “stars” as reason to see a movie. Several who track the industry far more closely than I (Christian Toto, Kyle Smith, Andrew Klavan) have written that there no longer are movie stars in the sense of an ability to guarantee a big opening weekend. There are people (George Clooney) who the industry and its courtier press like to claim are stars, but the only real movie stars are people Hollywood prefers to ignore at awards time, such as Vin Diesel or The Rock.

                      The trend now is franchise flicks, which is why so many Marvel and Star Wars films are in the pipeline … and why Warner is desperate to get the DC characters on the big screen.

                2. ScarJo cast as an Orie—- I mean, Asian? How does that not trigger her “Cultural Appropriation” reflex? Oh wait, I bet that the ridiculous about of filthy lucre will sufficiently anesthetize that nerve. . .

              3. The screaming about Matt Damon in that movie is enough that I will watch it, and freaking root for his character to be awesome.

                The Chinese film industry is aware it’s a business that is supposed to entertain people. I think they’re taking advantage of the fact that Hollywood has forgotten this.

                ScarJo’s role as the Major made me grin, especially since I saw the animated movie. Same face shape, especially around the jaw, and well, after her work as The Black Widow, I reckon she’s got the acting chops to pull it off. The Major also drinks San Miguel Beer; I’m hoping they’ll pop that in the live action movie. They probably cast her based off the Avengers role. And yeah, the Japanese think it’s freaking awesome that she’s playing the Major.

                1. Yeah, but it’s China pretending that the Great Wall was a thousand zillion feet high, and that Mongols and Hsiung Nu were monster animals (as opposed to great inventors, traders, difficult enemies, and conquering rulers of China).

                  I mean, with all the “racissssss!” talk that is thrown around, this actually is a racist/ethnicist concept for a movie.

                  Also it looks like it is ripping off anime, but that is more amusing than worrying.

                  1. *wicked grin* but that’s not the kind of RACISSSSS~~ that bothers the snowflakes. Any more than African tribes committing genocide against each other bothers them.

                    And yeah, ripping off a fair amount of Attack on Titan I did recognize, but… eh. That’s a shrug for me because they made it different enough that it wasn’t a blatant rip off.

      1. I don’t know Res, to be called a boor by those folks is actually kind of a validation that you’re doing the right thing. Take it as being over the target…

    2. Take the “You’re Gonna Get Befriended” motivational poster and label it nanoagressions.

  3. You can’t overemphasize philosophy as it relates to being American. I’ve been encountering a small but seemingly growing number of people of late who deny the impact of Enlightenment thought on the birth of the US and/or the desirability of it. You run into a lot of those pseudo intellectuals on Quora.

    1. Arrrrrgh! I have a file with citations and quotations from various Enlightenment thinkers (French, English, Scottish) to show how the Founders borrowed, and possibly from whom. (Sometimes it is quite clear, other times I suspect there was an intermediary, because the US version isn’t quite what the originator recommended.)

      1. Arrrrrgh, indeed. I have what is probably a similar file, though mine leans heavily toward the Scottish side of the Enlightenment. I’ve lately learned that quoting those thinkers is proof of my Nazi and/or Fascist leanings. Who knew?

        1. Don’t forget the Salamanca School and St. Roberto Bellarmino (aka Robert Bellarmine), the cardinal who scared the pants off kings.
          Burke and whosis both stole a lot from them.

  4. Got nothing to say on the subject of the post. Seems to me you pretty much nailed it.

    On the crud…my condolences. I had it, and it also took me a few weeks to get “over” it–assuming we define “over” as “ready to resume my regular life more or less.” If we define “over” as “really healthy and no longer having a cough and stuff in the back of my throat,” it’s been a month and I’m still not over it. I think full recovery may have to wait til spring…which given that this is Colorado, could be any time between next week and mid June.

  5. I (and may of my acquaintances) took a slightly different oath:

    “I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

    As most of us recognize, this oath, like the oath of citizenship, has no expiration date attached. It is therefore still in effect unless formally renounced. This led me to join an often-excoriated (by the left) organization called Oathkeepers ( Not a militia as the SPLC likes to claim, but a group of people who swore the oath and take it seriously.

    1. I gather comedienne* Sarah Silverman wants you and others similarly oathed to rise up and cast down the Trump administration — although I get the impression she has failed to think through what should follow (presumably: prophets.)

      At times I confess to a certain schadenfreude at the idea of seeing some people’s wishes fulfilled. I wonder whether Tom Kratman can be prevailed upon to act as temporary military governor of the United States?

      *That, I gather, is what her business cards claim her to be; I have never seen any evidence of her having comedic ability or talent.

      1. Ms. Silverman is welcome to avail herself of an AR-15 and take point.

        Until such time as she does my first response is, “Where did you make your drops?”

      2. Miz Silverman apparently doesn’t realize the military voted for Trump 3 to 1, or, more likely, she can’t understand that implication.

        1. I suspect that if we start on a discussion of things Miz Silverman doesn’t realize and can’t understand this blog will surpass the kilocomment threshold.

          1. RES I think you’re underestimating the extent of Ms. Silverman’s ignorance. I think if we were to try to enumerate all things she is ignorant of the Blog’s mass would increase exponentially. At some point it would form it’s own schwarzschild radius and the cataclysmic collapse would engulf the whole of the Earth. Given that let us merely note she’s uniquely ignorant and call it a day.

        2. 3 to 1? Is that all? Wait, I was in few guys and gals who probably shouldn’t have been given live hand grenades, ever. (And yet he could ace the soldier of the month questions—how many trucks are there on [this post]? Answer is one.

      1. Excepting the strictly military parts – this should be the default behavior of all citizens. Whether you like the law or not, or you like the executive order or not, you obey it. That, of course, does not prevent your disputing its Constitutionality in court, or pressuring your legislators.

        A government employee, particularly a lawyer, is somewhat in the middle between military and civilian – they have a positive duty to execute or defend the law and/or order, whatever their opinion may be of it. They may not oppose it. Something that Ms. Yates forgot – and paid the justified price for same.

        1. Well, sort of. A government lawyer is required to come up with the best legal argument in favor of a law even if he or she personally believes the law to be unconstitutional. If opposing council and the presiding judge(s) do their job properly, then the law will still be overturned, and future attempts at such a law will have good case law explaining why arguments in favor of that law don’t have weight.



  6. What she and others similarly minded (shallow thinkers all) seem not to understand is that the oath we took precludes us both from acceding to her demand and from sitting on the sidelines while they try to implement their intentions themselves. The oath requires us to oppose them. And I’m pretty sure the colonel would agree.

  7. The oath I swore and abide by:

    “I David L Burkhead, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegience to same, and that I will obey the orders of the President and the officers appointed over me according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”

    No longer being subject to either military regulations or the UCMJ that part is no longer in force, but the rest of it is.

      1. And there are a lot of folks who don’t join groups like the Oathkeepers, the Tea Party, or other groups who would show up “if the circus came to town…”

        1. Yep. I didn’t go to the Tea Party meetings and gatherings because I was still (at the time) looking for academic jobs. Would I show up if , ahem, Something Happened? Yep.

          1. I attended a TEA Party rally or two, as an observer, not a participant. It seemed prudent to see what the fuss was all about and I did not trust the local media to accurately reduce three hours of speeches into two minutes of airtime.

            With Oathkeepers and such groups my view was “I’m past the phase of joining in groups to make my voice heard, but if you feel the need, go ahead.”

            I don’t think I’d have bothered visiting an Occupiers’ protest; their media coverage was a positive as our professional j-lists could make up and they were still an obvious cluster-f**k.

            It is an important metric, I find, that the groups I find worthy of my attention tend to leave their meeting sites neater and less trash strewn than when they arrived. Follow-through counts for a lot, and groups that won’t pick up after themselves generally exhibit other unsavory habits.

            And yes, I will stand forth and be counted when the circus comes to town, if only because some folks need to be told, “That is your circus, those are your monkeys and I’m not putting up with them destroying my lawn.”

            1. “The groups I find worthy of my attention tend to leave their meeting sites neater and less trash strewn than when they arrived. Follow-through counts for a lot, and groups that won’t pick up after themselves generally exhibit other unsavory habits.”

              Speaking of which, it’s worth reporting that the pipeline protesters in North Dakota left behind so much trash that ND and the Sioux tribe aren’t sure whether or not they’ll be able to clean it all up before the snow melts–ironically putting at risk the very water supply that they claimed to be up their trying to protect.

    1. > No longer being subject to either military regulations or the UCMJ that part is no longer in force,

      The military may no longer consider you one of their own, but unless you signed something saying otherwise, that part of your oath didn’t expire any more than the rest did.

      1. It’s not that it expired. It’s that it’s no longer applicable. The conditions under which I am sworn to obey the President and military officers “appointed over me” no longer hold.

        1. Support and Defend the Constitution was unconditional. “Obey the President” was conditional on certain things: the regulations and UCMJ. That’s the key difference between the two parts of the oath.

    2. Despite having sworn that oath, plans continue to abandon my current fighting position, general orders be d***ed.

  8. I have no issue with citizenship being conferred only with that oath or this one:

    I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    or this one:

    I, [name], having been appointed an officer in the [branch] of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of [grade] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God

      1. It is optional on enlistment and I’d be surprised if not on commissioning. You can also substitute “affirm” for “swear”.

        1. It’s optional for jury duty, too.

          As I understand it, the theory used to be that if you did not fear that God would punish you for being false to your oath, your word had no value. On the other hand, I suspect that the “or affirmation” in the Constitution is aimed less at atheists and agnostics than at the Society of Friends, who didn’t believe in swearing oaths, as I understand it; they were an influential group in early American history, and predominantly for the better. Among other things, they were one of the first groups to make serious efforts against slavery.

          1. Friends and some Mennonites and Amish as well, plus some independent churches (that date back to the 1860s) that also prohibit oaths. Some of the independents are also pacifist, a legacy of having been in the middle in the 1861-65 fray, but not all.

        1. you’re still swearing on your personal honor …

          Oh, that explains so very much of the difference between Left and Right these days.

          1. Yup. The concept of honor is laughed at by the left. Perhaps because the realize they are largely without it.

            1. I am minded of Wells’s story about the “one-eyed” man in the country of the blind, and what became of him. They have no honor and see no value in honor. To them it is a weakness to be exploited.

              In its place they have zealous loyalty to the Party, from which they trust all blessings will flow, and will therefore lie, cheat, steal to advance its position.

              1. Well, the Movement (or whatever else you’d use to call it) has become in a very literal sense their god, and they worship it. In that they’re quite similar to Islam. While we’re engaged in a cultural war, let’s also realize that for them it’s a cultural/religious war.

  9. We both have the crud as do son and wife and grand-kids. Everyone here (Florida) that has had it says it takes a long, long time to completely get over it. Plus, daughter has been in hospital all week (not related illness) and we haven’t been able to visit.

    Loved seeing and reading (out loud even though doing so made me cough) the oaths again. Worked for USAF when the world and I were young. Good days. Thanks to all of you who served.

  10. Question for the Dancer In Shadows:

    You have far closer acquaintance with current Aussie perspectives than any other of the Huns (including the Great Kate, much less those among us who’ve merely seen Crocodile Dundee too many times), so I ask your sense of the accuracy of this (via Power Line) view from down under:

    “How is it playing out in Australia?”
    That one’s from Canada, and this is from an old mate in the US: “What does the Australian press have to say about this?” These were their entire messages.

    What “it” and “this” are no one needed to tell me. But truly how stupid do you have to be to have made an arrangement with Obama after the election to send boat people from Nauru and Manus to the US? If Malcolm believed he was going to get points for having stood up to the US against Trump, as clueless as I have always thought him, he has plumbed levels of stupidity and political incompetence until now unimaginable. From The Australian:

    Australia’s alliance with the US has hit its lowest point in decades, in a clash over a divisive refugee deal that led Donald Trump to ­berate Malcolm Turnbull in priv­ate before staging a public retreat from the agreement.

    This morning the President has said he loves Australia and will “respect” the deal, but that nations are taking advantage of the US. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said his boss was “unbelievably disappointed” about the “horrible deal” and that refugees will only be allowed in the US if they pass extreme vetting. But Mr Trump’s top officials have tried to smooth over the rift, holding a meeting with ambassador Joe Hockey.

    For Malcolm apparently to have tried to push Trump, by telling him that as a fellow businessman that a deal is a deal, must rank as politically incompetent as anything I have ever seen. That Trump now thinks of Malcolm as a flea-weight no-account fool only means he has the same assessment of the PM as the rest of us.

    UPDATE WITH COMMENTS ON THE ARTICLE FROM THE OZ: There are now 830 comments on the linked article, and these are the top 22 in order from the list ordered according to “Top Comments” and there was no need to have stopped there.

    1) Chronology is important here.

    1. 10 months out from US presidential election, Turnbull visits US. He meets Hillary and snubs Trump.
    2. In the weeks leading up to US presidential election, Turnbull does a deal with a dead duck President.
    3. Turnbull and Obama agree to not announce it (hide the deal) until the US presedential election is over. They both want Hillary to get up, and the deal would be excellent ammunition for Trump in a campaign dominated by illegal immigration.
    4. Trump wins. Turnbull panics.
    5. Turnbull has to call Greg Norman to find out how to get in touch with Trump.
    6. Turnbull announces deal publicly 5 days later, and before he has spoken to Trump about it.
    7. Trump understandably gives him a smack down on the phone.
    8. Turnbull spins the phone call, and in desperation to announce something good in his otherwise failing Prime Ministership, announces the deal as done.
    9. Trump is annoyed that Turnbull couldn’t keep quiet. Trump has been placed in a contradictory position that could damage him politically.
    10. Trump gives Turnbull a smack down on Twitter, and leaks the phone call to return the favour.

    The problem exists because of Turnbull, and Turnbull alone.
    – At no point has Turnbulll invested in a personal relationship with Trump. Mostly because he exists in the same elitist bubble as people who predicted a thumping Hillary win.
    – He did a sneaky deal with left wingers and helped hide it from voters in the US.
    – He then tried to pump his own political fortunes up and didn’t care about the damage it might do to Trump.

    Turnbull has to go. He is damaging the Liberal party and the nation.

    2) I feel sympathy for Trump. Why should he in the American interest accept these illegal boat people who came to this country largely for economic opportunism, they have rampaged, trashed Manus island, we won’t take them, so why should Trump call on the American taxpayer to live in America?

    3) Greg Sheridan in his column today notes, Trump’s reluctance to commit to actual numbers to be resettled in the US from Manus Island or Nauru is no different from Obama’s. The Obama administration gave Turnbull an “announceable”, a media event, a virtual solution to the resettlement issue which itself did not guarantee that the US would take a single person unless it was satisfied through its own vetting procedures.

    Trump is right to ask “why”? What’s in it for America? He should take all the time he needs to scrutinise this “virtual solution”.

    4) Australia just keeps creating more problems for itself, by not enforcing its border laws on illegal immigrants. If they have been vetted and found to be unsuitable they should be deported.

    5) This was a deal cooked up by Turnbull and Obama in the interim period between Trump winning the US election and actually taking up Office. It was very similar to Gillard’s NDIS policy, made just before she went out the door, a little bomblet if you like, to tickle up the new lot when they get in. Gillard was never going to have to take responsibility for the NDIS much like Obama with the refugee deal. What Turnbull didn’t reckon on was how Trump was going to react to what he knew was a stitch up. You are the one who blew it Malcolm, you knew Obama was gone, why did you make this deal with a bloke who was literally gone? Also, where the hell us Bishop in all this? Attending gala functions???? That will help!

    6) Aubsolutely. Why Turnbull would do a deal with a outgoing President, knowing full well the incoming President’s attitude to illegal immigration, is anybodies guess. You don’t have to be real smart to work out Obama left it as a time bomb, why didn’t Turnbull recognise that? …

    1. “Obama left it as a time bomb, why didn’t Turnbull recognise that? …”

      I would suggest that, like an awful lot of the Political Left, he spends almost no time whatsoever actually trying to understand the motivations of others. Oh, he may FANTASIZE about his political opponents, almost always casting them as some combination of Fu Manchu and the KKK, but he doesn’t THINK. He gets caught up in his own narrative, and doesn’t consider what other people may be doing, or how they might actually react if they were, you know, real instead of cardboard cutouts.

    2. Most Australians that pay attention to news media don’t have a good opinion of Trump – because media. This, from my own experience talking to folks. I’ve had to point out a few sensible, logical things (how many of us would be able to get up from bankruptcy again and succeed, or do so well that a failed business doesn’t take everything we have? – to point out that a businessman of that level doesn’t lose EVERYTHING when a bankruptcy is declared for a specific business; similarly only a truly idiotic businessman puts all their eggs into one basket; to deflect the media shrieks about BUT HE BANKRUPTED BEFORE WAH HE SUCKS) but some other folks like him because he’s distinctly pro-America and generally think it’s a good thing.

      Housemate tells me that the deal with Obama and the refugees was actually in talks before the election results came out, so the results of the election have no bearing whatsoever with the negotiation itself; the deal was simply concluded and announced after it was finished. From what I am told Turnbull was required to announce the deal when it was done.

      As for the deal itself, the general impression I get is “Turnbull was a dodgy bastard about it, but he’s our dodgy bastard.” and generally, some understanding and sympathy; for both sides of Trump and Turnbull, because “We don’t want them here; it’s understandable that Trump doesn’t want them THERE” and there’s no complaints about the ‘extreme vetting’ because honestly, that’s something folks here want too, having been raked over the coals and burned too much with the whole ‘we let in refugees and they rape our women and want Sharia law and want to turn Australia into the same hellhole they SUPPOSEDLY wanted to get away from, fuck that noise.’

      Honestly, if these supposed refugees fail vetting anyway, the general opinion I’ve gotten is they should be sent back – and if there are women and children there, the island is MUCH safer than their place of origin. Any of them riot or burn stuff can go back as an automatic result for rioting and destroying things. This might seem exceedingly harsh to the bleeding hearts, but generally, we don’t have sympathy for anyone shitting in the place that’s safer than their ‘warzone’ and it strips them of the right to go to Australia or the US in many eyes. What if they decide to do that in the council housing they are given? That’s ta

      The fact is, most Aussies I’ve spoken to don’t feel any sympathy for the hordes that are invading Europe, because it is clear it is not safety they want, it’s the benefits of the Western economy and culture while wanting to bring in the same shit that brought about their hellhole warzone. The folks I talk to don’t see why they should want to bring Islam and Sharia law to other places when it was those things that made places they came from worse. People with genuine need we’re happy to help, but the ones that complain with what they’re given – really? You don’t have to have that. Go back. You’re treated well, given safety, shelter and food. That’s FAR more than you’ve gotten back where you came from.

      Hell, I’m not sympathetic either to the way that the British government has made their citizens take in adult men into their households by claiming they were children.

      The general gist I get is: The reason they want in to the US, Australia, Britain, etc? They should bloody well convert – or at least secularize and adopt their new home’s culture, abandon the parts of their culture that hurt and don’t fit in with the culture of the West, and stop bitching.

      The ones that bitch? Send them back. What they want is not found here, and perhaps they’ll be more comfortable in the Islamic areas of Africa.

      1. The fact is, most Aussies I’ve spoken to don’t feel any sympathy for the hordes that are invading Europe, because it is clear it is not safety they want, it’s the benefits of the Western economy and culture while wanting to bring in the same shit that brought about their hellhole warzone.

        Here in the States that aptly sums up how many of us feel about Californians and Yankees.

        Thanks for the info.

      2. Trump has an added handicap in that even when he was a full on leftoid in the media’s eyes, they and he cordially hated one another, so you find little background where the media heaped praise on him.
        So, when he was allowing the LGBWTF to use what ever restroom they pleased, or he was getting his leftist in good standing awards, they ignored the stories. Now that he went “right wing Fascist” (media specialize in oxymorons. . without the Oxy most of the time) there is little else out there.
        As for his business acumen, it is not as great as he claims, and not as bad as made out to be. My business beef with him was his use of bankruptcy to avoid paying stuff he likely could have, and love of klepto tactics by the gov’t to get what he wants. He really hasn’t showed me he has changed, but seems to be far better than I feared, but I sure ain’t gonna ignore him.
        Trump’s action do sometimes bite him. I saw on the clickbait Fox Feed scrolling at work (shocking, I know. Fox News at the corporate level?) that the State of Virginia is in with a law suit to stop Trump’s travel restrictions. He helped finance candidates to flip the Governorship in Virginia from Republican, to Dem.

        1. I don’t mean to make it sound like that I’m trying to make him like the next Jesus; I’m sure there’s plenty of very valid criticisms, like the ones you listed.

          But the only thing most people know about him is that he’s gone bankrupt a couple of times and then the ‘pussy grabbing’ comment; the rest is about how he’ll somehow destroy women’s rights and LGBT rights and so on and so forth. For the latter, I pointed out “How many rich men get women throwing themselves at the rich guy, offering no strings, anything you goes sex, in exchange for sugar babyhood?” And really, how crass do people get with locker room talk when the other sex isn’t around? It’s also stupid to say he’s anti-LGBT when he’s been pretty open about his support.

          1. Oh, I knew you weren’t. There is so much to worry about there, but for most of us here, there ALWAYS is, even (or possibly especially) with those on “our” side. Too many bites of, run towards us to get in, then roll over to the other side afterwards to try to get in with the “cool kids”. But today it is either you are fully left of Marx, or you are the furthest thing right there is, even squishes like McCain (who loves working across the aisle to limit rights) or Romney, who in Texas could likely be a Democrat outside of Dallas, Austin or Houston. The leftoids drove Joe Lieberman out of the party officially and he was their VP candidate with AlGore, simply because he supported the War On Terror consistently, instead of conveniently.
            Of course, as Trump keeps trending the way he is, it is even worse to them, as now he is apostate, and you know how the faithful feel about those.

              1. He hasn’t so much gone apostate as they’ve driven him out, creating a contemporary Gaius Marcius Coriolanus .

  11. I have a comment, first though I need to get properly lubricated. so this is just a placeholder till that time occurs. *check*…..

  12. “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. ”

    If “duty to my country” is understood to include the provisions of the citizen’s oath, I think I’m covered.

  13. DadRed has the adno-virus version of The Crud, my department head had the ‘flu (aka the Dreaded Lurgy), and the students are all sniffing, sneezing, and coughing at each other. *sigh*

      1. I have gotten back to work, wearing a sling and with painkillers. But not sick. My cubicle area, though… the entire other half of the room is coughing, sneezing, sniffling, and wheezing.

        Bleach wipes for the win! I’ve already lost enough work time!

  14. “Our elites aren’t elite but they are elitists.”

    One of my favorite quotes that perfectly describes our current situation.

      1. I still chortle over all the Liberals who complained George W Bush was “arrogant” because he wasn’t listening to them.

        1. Showing my age, but I remember some Democratic Congress-Critters complaining that Reagan wasn’t “providing leadership”.

          Besides the problem that the President doesn’t “lead” Congress, it appeared to me that Reagan wanted to “lead” in a different direction than they liked. 👿

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