Monday, July 10, 2006

New Summer Poll: Your Current Rank

It's a week late but I'm launching the Summer 2006 Poll which you'll find on the right column. If you scroll down, you'll see the results.

This season, I decided to do a rank/strength poll. Admittedly, there are several ranking systems around the world and on different servers. Feel free to choose a category that you think most accurately reflects where you are. I'll cast the first vote using my Kiseido Go Server rank since it seems to be "comfortably conservative".

This poll will, of course, also help me get a better understanding of the readership of this blog so I can be on the lookout for news that may be relevant to most of you.

Results of the Spring 2006 Poll

Click on graphic to enlarge

The question of the Spring 2006 Poll was:

"When you talk about Go, the other person thinks you mean ... "

Tabulated results

Based on 237 responses, about 48.5% said that the non-Go playing public mistakes our game for Othello (which makes a lot of sense), 18.6% of you had unusual responses, and 7.6% said that folks mistook it for chess.

In Other News: Complete Waste of Time in Congress

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that
there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress.
- Mark Twain

While on vacation, it didn't surprise me to hear that the GOP majority in the House was pushing a series of bills which included legislation that would "protect the Pledge of Allegiance from attacks by activist federal judges seeking to rule it unconstitutional" (i.e. take out the phrase "under God" from the pledge) and a ban on same-sex marriages. I was pleased to hear today that moderate members of the GOP in the Senate sided with progressives against these bills.

Admittedly, although these bills had little chance of passage, they were intended as rallying points for their more hard-line constituents; so from some of these congresspersons' perspectives, it probably wasn't "a complete waste of time".

Still, you'd think that they'd try to tackle issues like global climate change, health care, economic competitiveness, or perhaps even the deficit. I suppose that they, and the majority of their constituents, must consider these to be trifling matters.

Few people realize that the pledge of allegiance contained no mention of either "God" or "The United States" in its original form. Here is how it was used since 1892:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

The phrase, "under God" was added on June 14th of 1954 by Congress. The phrase is a modern addition that is only 52 years old.

The original flag salute when reciting the pledge of allegiance.
The salute is now an unfashionable faux pas.

Few people also realize that, along with the pledge, the flag was gestured with the Bellamy Salute up until 1942. The picture above will explain why that salute went out of fashion in the early years of the second world war. It was replaced with the hand-over-heart gesture.

Some traditions we keep, and some we drop. I suppose it's all based on what's vogue.


At 1:31 AM, July 11, 2006, Anonymous Codexus said...

This american 'pledge of allegiance' thing is so weird. From my point of view, it's clearly morally wrong to ask children to say that.
Do they really do that every morning in public schools? That's like brain washing.

At 9:56 AM, July 11, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

There are a variety of objections to the pledge of allegiance that go beyond the inclusion of the phrase "under God". I would say that my objection is closest to the sixth of that hyperlinked list:

Some see it as an oddity to pledge one's allegiance to a flag, which carries connotations of nationalism, as opposed to some embodiment of ideas, such as the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

As an immigrant, I've often felt that what truly made America were the ideas that went into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I can accept the flag as some form of proxy for these ideas; but the pledge still doesn't fit perfectly.

I think it would be accurate to say that I'm ambivalent about the pledge. It wouldn't bother me if it reverted to its secular form. I might miss it if it was completely eliminated. But I don't consider it as important as the ideas that formed this country. Hence, my complaint that Congress is engaged in a "waste of time".

At ChiyoChan's school, they recite the pledge about once a month during the flag salute ceremony. I don't know if it's done more frequently in other schools.

At 8:05 AM, July 12, 2006, Anonymous msoftceo said...

When I was growing up we recited the pledge everyday in my private kindergarten/grade school. I stopped when I was old enough to realize what it meant. One of the arguments against the pledge is that having young children who don't understand recite it is at best meaningless, and at worst tantamount to brainwashing, like codexus said. When you have kids unknowingly saying "one nation, invisible" there's something fundamentally wrong with having them recite it.

At 9:11 AM, July 12, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Consider that a recent constitutional amendment, that would have outlawed any desecration of the American flag, was narrowly defeated in the Senate by just one vote; 66-34.

If this amendment had passed, it would have protected the flag at the expense of the First Amendment of the Constitution, which guaranteed the right to free speech.

Yet, despite the fact that the First Amendment of the Constitution would have been compromised, a poll showed that 56% of the American public supported the ban on flag desecration.

One could conclude, from all that information, that more than half of the American public had judged (perhaps as some might call by "brainwashing") to favor the flag, a symbol, over the true rights, freedoms and ideas that it is supposed to represent.


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