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I do not recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.
It is not that I don’t respect the American flag. I do.
I was trained to respect it both as a young child and in Boy Scouts. I display it on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, and other days. I’m careful to not let it touch the ground. I try to put it up quicker than I take it down. I don’t fly it at night unless there’s a light shining on it.
I wouldn’t fly it upside down (unless there was an emergency, for then that’s proper). I don’t wear it as clothing, don’t spit on it, and don’t carry things in it. I store it where it can stay dry and safe and not get torn.
I have never burned an American flag. I would not do so unless it was no longer in a condition to be displayed with honor, and then I would either give it for proper disposal by burning by a group like the American Legion or the VFW, or burn it properly in a private ceremony.
But I will no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
While it existed in some form earlier, the Pledge was not officially adopted by Congress until after America got involved in World War II. The phrase “under God” wasn’t added until 1954.
Currently, it reads: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,”
The “under God” portion to me violates the principle of Freedom of Religion/Separation of Church and State. So does the motto “In God We Trust” which wasn’t made official until 1956 when it replaced E pluribus unum which had been the de facto motto since 1776. Those phrases gained favor in the 1950s with its “America is God’s country” and thus “America is the greatest nation on Earth (i.e. we’re better than you)” philosophy. America then meaning, of course, non-Hispanic White America.
But beyond that, I will not pledge allegiance to an object. To me, that speaks of idolatry. Allegiance to a group, a cause, a philosophy, a nation; those I can understand. But not allegiance to a rectangular piece of colored cloth. If I had a choice between saving an American flag or saving a human being, I would not chose the flag. I would choose the person.
(Guest post by Deby Fredericks of http://www.wyrmflight.wordpress.com These interviews of authors and one of their characters are scheduled to appear there in June 2021.)
You heard your name in the singing of the birds, and when you looked up, a robin flitted to you with a single, silver page.
You saw your name in the ripples on the river, and when you looked down, a brilliant green frog hopped up to present you a small lily pad laced with glittering golden letters.
You felt the wind tug you at your hand, and when you looked forward, a sidewinder drew your name upon the shining sands.
You scented aether, and when you looked behind, a darting bat delivered a message of cobwebs sketched upon velvety moss.
The swirling wings of butterflies, the whisper of leaves at dusk. In such ways does Titania, Queen of all Fairies, reach out to her favored kinfolk. Join us, on Midsummer Night, when every elf and sprite, fantastic beast and worker of wonders, is welcomed to Queen Titania’s Court!
June 5th, Lunar Boogie (C. S. Boyack)
June 7th, Fractured Fairy Tales (Alma Alexander)
June 9th, Investigation in Nottingham (Astrid Brandon)
June 12th, Owl Dance (David Lee Summers)
June 14th, A Gap in the Veil (Sam Schenk)
June 16th, War of Nytefall: Savagery (Charles E. Yallowitz)
June 19th, Winterlight (Sanan Kolva)
June 21st, Clan Elves of the Bitterroot (Barbara Mountjoy)
June 23rd, GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves (Alden Loveshade)
June 25th, Chaos Wolf (Sheryl Hayes)
June 27th, Peavley Manor (Robert Dahlen)
June 29th, Overdues and Occultism (Jamie Sands)
June 30th, The Grand Finale (Deby Fredericks)
Painting is Sir Joseph Noel Paton’s “The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania.”
Yes, this year the Gathering at the Grove is on! Last year’s gathering, which was to be called “The Slack Gathering,” was cancelled. This was due to a certain contagious disease that rhymes with “OVID mine-mean.” We were concerned that this year’s event would be cancelled as well–but fortunately “vaccine” beats “mine-mean.”
This year’s event is Slack Grove, and is planned for 18 – 20 June 2021. That includes both the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice and the American Father’s Day.
Due to COVID-19 and the availability of vaccines, all adult participants must be vaccinated for COVID-19 and show proof of vaccination before the event; please try to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The same applies to all child participants in categories that are at risk for a severe COVID-19 reaction according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/…/daily…/children/symptoms.html…). We will follow the current CDC guidelines.
Fortunately, the even is held outdoors, which makes safety easier.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott ended the mask mandate in Texas effective today, 10 March 2021. All businesses can open 100%.
That’s in spite of the fact health professionals say the risk is not over, and that it might be two or three months before COVID-19 vaccines are widely available.
Guest Blog by David Lee Summers
“Since the early days of science fiction, authors have explored the future of humanity and what other life might be out there among the stars. From cybernetics to spaceships to alien contact, future-focused sci-fi lets us explore complex issues while escaping from everyday life. Eighteen diverse visions of Expansive Futures have been gathered in a special collection curated by SFWA members, now available in a limited-time bundle,” says Nebula nominated and USA Today Bestselling author, Amy DuBoff.
Learn more about the Expansive Futures Sci-Fi Bundle at: https://storybundle.com/scifi
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting science fiction and fantasy writer in the United States and Worldwide. I have been a member since 2001 and they have helped me with legal and contract questions as well as providing me some great networking opportunities. The Expansive Futures StoryBundle is a collection of science fiction novels featuring award-winning authors along with fresh new voices. I’m excited that my novel The Solar Sea was chosen to be part of this collection which is sure to please fans of futuristic sci-fi and space opera. The Solar Sea imagines humanity’s first voyage through the solar system aboard a solar sail space vessel.
In addition to my novel, this bundle includes the Nebula Award finalist novel Eternity’s End by Jeffrey A. Carver; When You Had Power, the first novel in a new hopepunk series by bestselling author Susan Kaye Quinn; and Starship Hope: Exodus by rising star author T.S. Valmond, among many others. The Expansive Futures bundle will run for three weeks only, so grab this fantastic deal while you can and discover great new writers!
For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of five books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.
- Ganymede by Jason Taylor
- The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth
- Raptor by John G. Hartness
- The Chiral Conspiracy by L.L. Richman
- Exodus by T.S. Valmond
If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus THIRTEEN more! That’s 18 books total!
- The Cost of Survival by J.L. Stowers
- Two Suns at Sunset by Gene Doucette
- Claiming T-Mo by Eugen Bacon
- The Solar Sea by David Lee Summers
- Eternity’s End by Jeffrey A. Carver
- A Fall in Autumn by Michael G. Williams
- Knight Errant by Paul Barrett and Steve Murphy
- Warrior Wench by Marie Andreas
- Annihilation Aria by Michael R. Underwood
- Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet by Philip Harris
- Iron Truth by S.A. Tholin
- When You Had Power by Susan Kaye Quinn
- The Hammer Falls by Travis Heermann
This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi) for all books!
It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to their gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.
Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.
- Get quality reads: They’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
- Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
- Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
- Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America!
- Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!
StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.
An opinion of a guest poster to The Loveshade Family Blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.
The honorees for 2021 are Dr. Robert Newport (Brother Hypocrates Magoun) and Monty Python!
Monty Python. M. Python revolutionized comedy, but also challenged social norms, religious credulity and hypocrisy, and closed-mindedness. Seven asteroids are named after M.P., and “Pythonesque” was entered into the Oxford English Dictionary–but won the award in spite of those. And likely no one else was honored by having a wheel of cheese (“Cheese Shop,” “Blessed are the cheesemakers”) sent into Earth orbit.
Dr. Robert Newport (Brother Hypocrates Magoun). He is a psychiatrist who knew OPers Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Younger) and Kerry Thornley (Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst) in high school. He contributed “The Parable of the Bitter Tea” to Principia Discordia. He helped run Hill’s Cinema Rio Theater. From the estate of the late Greg Hill, he contributed the vast majority of the archives for Historia Discordia compiled by OPer Adam Gorightly.
The Order of the Pineapple is also called the DisOrder of the Pineapple and the Pineapple DisOrder, but it’s usually abbreviated O.P. (The award has also been called Patus Pineappleus Bromeliadic and the winners The P.P. Bromeliadics or Bromedliaddicts). It honors those felt deserving, particularly those who have given extraordinary service to “the participatorial study of comedic attitudes and eccentric tendencies.”
The O.P. is awarded to very few people, typically only one or two a year. It’s presented on only one day a year, January 18 CE, which is 18 Chaos of the Discordian calendar. That date is recognized as Pat Pineapple Day. Pat is the Mascot of the ECG and Patron Saint of the very recently dissolved D D of the ECG. It was first awarded on 18 January 1982, so this is its 39th anniversary and 40th year.
It is absolutely required that members of the Order eat something containing or resembling pineapple on January 18–unless of course they forget or don’t feel like it.
Congratulations to them both!
EDIT: Link to Order of the Pineapple Wiki fixed
By John DeProspo
2020, the year we came to see
How divided a nation we’ve come to be
Is this the end of a once great nation
Or was the year an aberration?
2020, the year we came to realize
How many of our neighbors believe in lies
Or is it just a different reality they see
After twenty-five years of Hannity?
2020, the year that finally brought home
How democracy isn’t so sacred to some
They’d rather have an autocratic commander
One who deals in malevolence and slander
2020, the year that saw a divisive election
With 74 million favoring an incompetent’s selection
Nothing more defines a splintered nation
Than such a vote count that defies explanation
2020, the year that saw Republican leaders
Shun their Oath and become conspiracy breeders
Not adhering to the Constitution
They thought a bloodless coup was the solution
Now, as 2020 comes to an end
What’s in store, around the bend?
Will America rediscover what’s true and right
Can it come together and reunite?
2021 will usher in a new president
But will the year be kind to the White House resident?
Will he be able to heal the nation’s wounds
Or is American democracy irrevocably doomed?
So let us say a New Year’s prayer
That a sense of renewal will fill the air
That we will be as we once were then
And truly make America great again
An opinion of a member or guest commentator on The Loveshade Family Blog does not necessarily reflect the view of the whole family. This post originally appeared at http://thedailynooze.com/2020/12/29/2020-the-year-we-came-to-see/ and is used by permission.
Photo | amazon.com
Alien Loveshade aka BloodStar: (Currently far away from the COVID-19 planet).
Gamemaster Loveshade: (No Comment)
Lorien Loveshade: I got married! Herbie and I started dating years ago on an August 6. Then we had a long break and then we got married on August 6 this year! It was a virtual wedding but Herbie and my new kids Emma and Christopher and best friend Mindy were all here because we live together anyway! Teaching young elementary school students through distance learning is very different! Really it is hard for both me and the kids but we are doing our best!
Reverend Loveshade: I’m still living happily ever after with the clan at Rosenteeth Commune including my sother Ms. M.C., our daughters Puffletoes Twinkleton and Wunderkätzchen and our son Cobbraven. I’m still writing fake news and my lady is still teaching real news. Because all of us here have been in close contact with each other for a long time, we do at least get some sort of a social life. But I definitely miss big get-togethers!
We disbanded the Discordian Division of the Ek-sen-triks CluborGuild! That was effective at 5 minutes and 37 seconds after midnight UTC on Nude Years Day of 2020 (AD 1 January 2020 or 1 Chaos 3186 YOLD). The anti-establishment tends to become the establishment in 25 years, and it was formed in 1994, so time to go. But we formed the new, 2020, Erisian Division of the Ek-sen-triks CluborGuild! You can smell the difference.
The infamous Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht, the book that was part of an FBI investigation, did not return this year as we had hoped. Somehow, 2020 didn’t have the vision it was supposed to have. But maybe in 2021!
Dr. Sinister Craven: The book that tells the truth of what really happened to a famous church is nearly finished. It may be out this year. And I am not really in prison with Rosey Tiger that’s just a rumor.
Miley Spears: Remember I was going into the Peace Corps? My training was supposed to start, then COVID-19 hit! I had already quit my job and everything. It sucked! But I know it affected many, many people. So I’m still editing wikis until I can finally get in if it even works out. And I’m helping with a couple of books I can’t talk about yet. Maybe soon!
Mindy Yuko: Do you know what it’s like practicing in a professional orchestra when you’re supposed to be practicing social distancing? It doesn’t work! So I’m keeping my flute in practice and playing guitar for fun.
Loveshade X: Unlike the rest of you, I am not a flesh and blood person. I gave that s*** up years ago. Thing change when you’re over 200 f***ing years old.
Did the Early Church of the SubGenius arise this year like I propagandized prophecized it would? Of course it did! We infiltrated X-Day they couldn’t stop us! Now we’re pinning down who started this whole COVID-19 s**t, and believe me, it wasn’t the government of [REDACTED]! The Truth is Out There!
2020 is coming to a close–for many of us, it’s been a long year.
This year I published various pieces, including a story for an anthology called Exchange Students that led to me–and one of my characters–getting interviewed. I’m editing a book that’s nearly finished; copy edited some books; and am looking to get a book that’s out of print republished. My writing appeared on half of the 10-most-visited websites in America! (OK, I’m cheating there–those include Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter…).
As of this writing, the second draft of a GURPS roleplaying book about elves that I queried about doing in mid 2019 was accepted and is awaiting peer review in January 2021. Then I’ll write a final draft, and hopefully the book will be published some time in 2021. (These things take time.)
The day after the deadline for the above book’s first draft, my doctor sent me to the emergency room. I had open-heart surgery, had follow-ups with an in-person X-ray and a virtual visit with the surgeon, but am now back to normal (whatever that is).
Tragically, my writer and artist friend Michael Viviano aka Kilmore, who helped with the elves book, got COVID-19 and didn’t survive. It appears he tried following proper guidelines–but someone who didn’t know they had the virus did not.
I sent in my third suggested change to a definition in Merriam-Webster; while my first two suggested changes had been accepted, I’m waiting to hear on the third (“blue moon“).
On animal news, I had a curious kitten get its head stuck in a jar; fortunately, people at the veterinarian’s office got it out. My next-door neighbors still have four legs and say “moo;” but now some of them moved in. I saw a large raccoon procuring food for three smaller raccoons–from my cat food bin. And I found something oddly appropriate in the burn barrel where I set paper and cardboard trash on fire–a fire ant mound.
I’ve attended more conventions this year than ever–online, that is. And I went to my first online graduation, and my first online wedding. A two-year class action suit where my potential award was up to $600 finally concluded. The result: I got a check for $8.34. Woo hoo!
Happy Christmas, Merry Chanukah, Nice Kwanzaa, Cool Yule, Fine Winter/Summer Solstice, Terrific New Year!
An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.
Graphics by Alden Loveshade.