Monday, February 27, 2017

We Are What Makes America Great

We need to get along in order to be the Great America we are known to be.

We need to be intelligent, as best we can be; educated, as best we can be; humane as best we can be.

We need to be Human beings FIRST and foremost.
We need to be Americans SECOND and proudly with reason to be proud.
We need to be political or partisan THIRD and as Americans.

And finally and some might say most importantly, we need to be atheists, theists, or ideologues... FOURTH.

Because it needs to be fourth.

It needs to be fourth because we live in an amazing country that is multicultural, not only white. Because we do take in the "tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free." And that is what makes us great, not isolationism, not fear, not revenge, not anger.

That does not mean you cannot put your God first.

It does mean however that if you will find yourself in conflict between your God and OUR America, then you cannot take a public office that will put you into that conflict if it will affect others in their not being able to have their God first. It is what protects us all from abuse in such a country as ours.

You should praise that, because it protects your rights to your beliefs, and everyone elses and just how amazing is that?

We are multi theistic and atheistic, not only Christian.
We are equally male and female and all other genders involved, not only as defined by theism.

If you want your religion then practice it as you see fit. But allow others to practice their own beliefs too as they see fit, and give them the room for themselves so that you too may have the room you need.

Because THAT, is what America is founded upon and THAT is what makes us Great.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Art of Kid Talking

Originally posted on Facebook in 2013. I cleaned it up a bit for posting here as I felt it relevant to share again.

I've had many interesting discussion with my son and daughter that I suspect will be going on for a very long time. The are in their mid and late twenties now.

Even when my kids were very young I used to carry on some very interesting conversations with them. My now ex wife would be gone away at horse shows around the Pacific Northwest region and southwest for a week or even three at a time and so I had a lot of time with the kids.

You're missing some truly valuable resources if you don't see how smart the young can be, or even people with semi or even at times severe mental difficulties.

I'd talk to my kids about things way beyond their ability to understand them, just to entertain myself. I'd simplify them enough so that we could actually carry on a conversation, but they frequently had some very interesting and wise things to say.

Out of the mouths of babes.

We seldom do that. Which is sad. For all involved, because it builds critical thinking in them as well as self esteem in their being treated as equals. They usually don't get enough of that. It's actually even solved problems I've had.

One time when my daughter about four, we were on the floor, playing in her room. Out of the blue, she asked me what was wrong.

I was actually having problems at work. So I honestly told her that I didn't think she could help me. She said, "But maybe I can." I laughed. It was ridiculous. She was four. I worked in IT, in a high level computer and internet job. I'd been on some of the top teams in America as a Senior Technical Writer at a large communications company.

But then I figured, purely for her benefit at first, what did I have to lose? And maybe she could simplify things in a way that I couldn't, because I was too close to the problem. If for no other reason. I have a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. I should be able to pull this off, after all. And she was an interesting kid. I won't go into that now but there was something very unique about her. Other people noticed it just in seeing her.

So I got serious, really thinking about it. About how we don't chance things. How we see things so often in such limited ways, in not thinking out of a box and so on.

I thought, what the hell. I simplified the problem down enough for her to grasp and then sat back and listened. And she solved my problem!

At first I took her comments and couldn't figure out how it fit my situation. I almost dropped it right there. But I tend to be tenacious (tenacious "D" fan that I am, or even otherwise). I took the tact of, what if it actually did fit? Maybe I just wasn't applying her answer properly. Perhaps I wasn't seeing it clearly.

As I thought about it I found more and more over those next few minutes that did fit. The more I thought about it, the more I realized...she had actually solved the problem.

From then on, I asked her about other things. I asked my son, who was five years older than her. Like I said, we had some interesting conversations over the years. Especially from that moment forward.

We have so much wonder and wisdom in our lives that we frequently just disregard it. And it's sad. Sad for all involved.

Pathetic really, in how we don't make use of all that we have available to us.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sex or Violence? Choose.

It seems really weird, a kind of stunted child development of our legislators that sex and weed are the devil's tools, but guns are God's gift to humanity. Is it really true that sex and nudity are obscene but violence is not? We are seeing many abuses of Americans and our government on the Trump Republican side of things.

This bleeds over into the conservative agenda of pushing guns on America but maintaining that legalizing cannabis is bad when it has been shown clearly to be good for America, lessening crime, cutting out Mexican and other drug cartels from drug trade in America and yet we have not yet legalized cannabis all across the country out of ignorance and ideologies.

Why is violence a God to conservatives? And sex (and weed) the tools of the Devil or something? The Trump administration is now floating the idea of cracking down on legalized Cannabis. There go state's rights after all their talk about them.

Guns good. Weed bad. Really? Alcohol good, weed bad? Behaviors that harm are good, but getting stoned, watching TV, eating munchies is bad? But carrying guns literally anywhere is good?

So a kids watching two people showing love and kindness and say walking on a beach naked is utterly horrible but watching people blown apart with guns is okay and fine? How did we ever get to THAT point?

I guess because the former gives you liberals and the latter, conservatives?

Then I vote for the former if we have to choose. Why is it bad for conservatives in their mind? Because fear. Because what if we go to war. Because we set up and cause so many environments requiring war all around the world. What if we used diplomacy and an agenda of setting up people for success rather than invasion and death?

How messed up is that?

Nudity and sex in films and frankly, even in life, is bad, horrible (so we should force women to wear full body bags and only show their eyes or we might get what, a twinge in the crotch?). Grow up guys, Be a real man, be responsible for YOUR own actions.

Yet violence, people being blown away from gun shots, heads torn completely off, people blown up with bombs, even cannibalism is good clean fun. Well yeah, I'd agree to a degree.

Make believe violence is so much more preferable than real violence and yet so many people don't seem to get that.

Why? Is it because conservatives just can't seem to understand things that are counter-intuitive, but true?

Regardless, WTF people?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Exterrestrial Contact Clock

We have had a method based in scientific consideration about our potential for nuclear war from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The clock was reset recently to 2.5 minutes to midnight. When it hits midnight, we're toast.

2017: For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.”

In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way. See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2017 time of the Doomsday Clock.

According to the Bulletin's statement: The Bulletin was founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists who “could not remain aloof to the consequences of their work.”

It has been derided by some, feared by many. It is an obvious way that non scientists can get a handle on where we are at.

I'd like to suggest another clock. One that is a bit more positive, a bit less punitive and a bit more attractive. Considering there may be extraterrestrials out there who really want to explore, make new friends and not just the horror show some have claimed may be their intention, I'd like to see a Contact Clock, for how far we are from extraterrestrials visiting us.

As with the human element to Climate Change, for those who disbelieve in it, even against all the scientific facts involved, it still does us great good to go along as if it is true, even if it weren't. We would finally get off industrial age energy, petroleum, coal, even natural gas, though it's far better than the other two forms.

A Contact Clock would give us a way to see if we are moving toward a kind of global community of humanity that would attract a positive feeling from non terrestrials about us.

The argument against contact by such as Stephen Hawking and others, is that we have seen in our own history how contact by an advanced group toward a more primal group, tends to destroy that visited group.

And yet, it seems Hawking's desire to know if there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe trumps his fears. Today (July 20), he was part of a public announcement for a new initiative called Breakthrough Listen, which organizers said will be the most powerful search ever initiated for signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Alien Life]

Examples of destructive encounters with advanced nations on earth have been either through outright destruction as with the Spanish toward the Aztecs, or where giving a primitive society advanced technologies that led to the destruction of their culture and many times led to that group either disappointing, becoming alcoholics or worse.

However only focusing on contact being by an aggressive, or even slave trade (or even culinary) extraterrestrial force, brings us nowhere. If they are that advanced, we're lost anyway. However, if they lean more toward the positive versions of contact with humankind in their contacting more primitive cultures, it would certainly benefit us to move along those lines.

Ii is in that case that we need to consider how we look to outsiders.

Are we appearing externally to act like children, and violent children at that? Are we prepared to maintain our own culture, in being psychologically cohesive and strong enough to withstand an influx of drastically new cultures, of immensely new forms of technologies?

Are we sociologically capable of even handling a contact? We can barely handle dealing with other countries that are different from what we are used to.

If we start now to move toward our productively and intelligently handling those things, if we can make ourselves appear more attractive for contact, even if there is no other race in the universe, we will still be all the better for it.

We have already seen much thought on this issue of contact. Both in sociology, science and speculative fiction, as well as in the fields of pure science.

One thought is that we are at a very noisy stage of our technological development. A more advanced society would be quieter and in our projecting broadcast signals out into deep space, we may be telegraphing how primitive we still are. Just as we are seeing a trend to go from broadcast to cable, to silent forms of communications, as in forms such as the internet, more advanced cultures who might themselves be silent in their more economical uses of energy and communications, may view us as much more reasonable to consider contacting us..

When we listen, we may quite reasonably not hear a thing from far off intelligently populated planets. Possibly because their old broadcast TV signals passed us by when we were neanderthals. The signals from the old 1950s TV show, I Love Lucy have been calculated as having now reached out as far as 60 light years from us back in 2011.

And so there is a Contact Clock already, currently set to five minutes to midnight.

"The Official Countdown to Contact Clock which began June 17, 2014 is a real-time countdown to contact between humanity and beings that exist outside of our known reality sphere and is visually represented by the minutes left until the clock hands strike midnight. The TOR Contact Clock is a mirror of the infamous Doomsday Clock which signifies a countdown to nuclear oblivion. The TOR Contact Clock offers an alternative reality belief system in which humanity is not destroyed by the military-industrial-complex mindset, but alternatively, glides into a parallel reality in which humanity shrugs off the old, barbaric ways and enters into a final stretch of open contact and strong relationships with peaceful galactic neighboring civilizations."

I'm not so sure they are the ones to be doing this. But the concept is a valid one. We need a guage by which to judge who we are and how we are developing. The Doomsday Clock is a wake up call about a serious issue. We need to be aware of that.

Still, we also need to see the more positive side of our development and reasons for it. Not just to avoid destruction. But also to have a goal to attain that is more positive.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Vladimir Putin, Russian Mobster, Pres. Trump Hero

Both Pres. Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping admire President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation.

I've been warning the public about Vladimir Putin [Mikhail Ivanovich] literally since the first months he took power in 1999. Ivanovich, Putin's alleged nickname, is a name gleamed from a 1969 Russian comedy film. Actor Stanislav Chekan played Mikhail Ivanovoch, Captain, then Major of militsiya. Also Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin known familiarly by Soviet citizens as "Kalinych", was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist–Leninist functionary. Another was an opera singer by that name.

Putting it simple, Putin is a criminal. He is also Russia's worst political cancer and needs to go merely for the sake of Russia, but as well for the rest of the world. Russia definitely needs more than anything to be rid of him. Putin has been involved in criminal activities since leaving the KGB. He was then elevated by being put into power by Boris Yeltsin in order to replace him. And in order to protect Yeltsin from prosecution, from his own actions to be clear. Putin then absolved Yeltsin and his family from prosecution or further investigation.

Once in power Putin kept himself there. Our President Trump at allegedly $10 billion, loves this jerk. Probably because he's illegally gotten away with becoming massively wealthy. By one report in a 2014 documentary, to the amount of 60 million euros. My understanding of Mr. Trump is that he is of a similar cut of the cloth in his own business dealings to a much minor extent.

Donald Trump is not at a financial level with Putin. Where Mr. Trump may have walked the fine line of legalities in America, I would assume he has had to use somewhat rough methods to achieve so much silence in this time of his becoming and being, president.

Putin however is more murderer and thug to Mr. Trump's illiberal businessman demeanor, to be overly polite and politic. Putin wears vastly expensive watches, even giving them away at times. though he claims he only makes the meager sums he is paid as his position dictates.

"And some people, including myself, believe that he's the richest man in the world, or one of the richest men in the world, with hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth that was stolen from Russia." [When] asked by [journalist Fareed] Zakaria what Putin's net worth is, Browder replied, "I believe that it's $200 billion."

[Kremlin whistle blower Sergei] Kolesnikov, who published a 2012 article in "Vedomosti" titled "Putin Forever," says the Russian leader's controversial third-term reelection convinced him that after years of criminal self-enrichment, the only way to stave off prosecution was to remain in power.

"Putin's entire chain of command is built on a foundation of corruption," Kolesnikov says. "To see power go to another party or other people would be to put themselves under enormous threat of criminal investigation and inevitable punishment." That, is Vladimir Putin.

That is the man the new American President Trump admires so much. And that greatly speaks to just who our new president is and what his orientation is.

We are seeing a Trump administration in the White House who seem to be clueless that they are actually in the White House, running the government. Luckily, Federal Judges and appeals courts have reigned him in. Something they have sorely needed.

Mishaps with Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and presidential counselor Kellyann Conway have led to restraint on their parts. As well in senior presidential advisor "I can barely read pre written scripts off que cards during interviews" Stephen Miller, who has added confusion to their messaging.

These people appear to be lacking any sense of what they are supposed to be doing. Not in what is most desired by the administration, though that too seems somewhat lacking. Mostly they seem to be best at not doing what is in the best interests of the country.

Yes, it is the same with every new administration. The question always being, how long will the indoctrination period last? With the Trump administration it is very likely that it could last until the end of the Trump presidential term, if not longer.

With a crew like this on his administration and his exhibiting admiration for criminals like Vladimir Putin, this loose canon of a president should have only up to go from here. Or does he? As he still shows potential for continuing to go down again and again and again.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Burning Down the House

Don't Kill Grandpa Until We Strangle the Babysitter (2016), curiosity that it is, is a bizarre short horror film by director Kelly Hughes, that has been picked up by Troma Enterprises and founder Lloyd Kaufman for streaming from their new Troma Now horror streaming service.

JZ Murdock as Grandma's Ghost
Located at, Troma Now is an Amazon Prime type of monthly subscription video streaming service. Troma Entertainment, Inc. are the producers as they like to say, of "disrupting entertainment"; of B- cult classics like the cult favorite, the Toxic Avenger series of films. In case you don't now Troma...
released 1986
Troma Entertainment is an American independent film production and distribution company founded by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz in 1974. The company produces low-budget independent movies that play on 1950s horror with elements of farce. Wikipedia

By the way, my own LGN Productions efforts have been continuing to work on the Mea Culpa film. It's an expansion of my original story also contained in, Anthology of Evil and expanded in Death of heaven as a section titled, Vaughan's Theorem. It is to be a ten minute horror short but it's gotten so complex we're first going to shoot a shorter three minute film from our new Garage Tales series. First up, The Rapping, a kind of homage to Edgar Allen Poe. On all that, more to come....

So, about the Grandpa film. Just how did this happen?

If you want to know how the film happened, it just kind of did. In a previous blog I discuss one of Kelly's other films, The Mephisto Box and touch on the Grandpa shoot:

"It's fun that we got to shoot some at my house and around my property in a couple of films now. The first being Kelly's recent short, Don't Kill Grandpa Until We Strangle The Babysitter. In the teaser you can see me as Grandma's ghost while my son pours gas on the fire behind me. Good times."

If you would like to know how I came to know Kelly and his film came to be on this new streaming service, Troma Now....

Back in 2016 I was contacted on Stage32, a site for filmmakers, artists, actors, talent and crew and so on. It was director, Kelly Hughes (the John Waters of Pacific Northwest Horror, as one magazine labeled him). We had both been producers on public access cable television back in the 1990s so he thought he'd reach out and connect. I'm glad he did.

Kelly produced Heart Attack Theatre! for years. Weekly he was producing a half hour horror film and playing it on public access TV in the Greater Seattle area. It was the wild west of cable television back then. Many of his films from then are available as DVDs and as you're seeing, beginning to be available for streaming.

Kelly and I planned to get together at the upcoming Seattle Crypticon horror convention and had a great time. It was my third con, as I'd been to ZomBcon and ZomBcon II.

ZomBcon II was held at SeaTac Hilton where Crypticon was being held so I felt pretty familiar in being there. We had a great time all that day and evening along with actor Jason Hughes (no relation). We stayed in touch,

Kelly now has a new media center, Velvet Underground, in Port Orchard, WA. The next town over from me. Pretty handy. He recently had an established director Steven Boe, teaching a class on film production and there are supposed to be more. I had some things reinforced I already knew and I learned some important things I hadn't even known about.

One day Kelly called to ask if I wanted to be involved in his next short project. He wanted to get back to filmmaking. I did too. So he came over to my house in Suquamish, WA where I had been living for over fifteen years on a couple of pastoral acres in the back woods of Suquamish. I've since sold that house and now live in Bremerton, WA.

Kelly ended up shooting Don't Kill Grandpa Until We Strangle the Babysitter (2016) there. That led to his shooting another film there, The Mephisto Box (2016). A film he has since expanded into a web series. It has some interesting characters as well as the actors in it.

Like Alison Arngrim who played Nellie Oleson  on Little House on the Prairie. I was in a scene with her that was also shot at my house. We even put her up at our house for the night. She was funny, smart and professional and very easy to work with.

During all that as filmmakers tend to do, Kelly submitted Grandpa to regional film festivals. It got the front page mention on the 2016 Portland Film Festival's page on 18 Things to Do and See in Portland Oct. 14-16.

Kelly had been involved with the filmmakers of Grindspoloitation for some time now. So when II came around, he had some new footage to share and they were happy to include it. It's a film that has gotten a lot of mileage out of it for something through to be just a practice run for a bigger project.

So Kelly got Grandpa into Grindsploitation 2: The Lost Reels. Lloyd Kauffman, founder of Troma had given the intro in that first Grindsploitation film and he also shows up in this sequel. One thing led to another and he had this new streaming service starting up so it was an obvious fit.

And there is the connection.

Oh, you're wondering what the Burning Down the House is all about in the title?

I'll just let you check out the trailer for the Grandpa film. That's Kelly behind the camera and me in Grandma's ghost costume. My son handling pyrotechnics. Behind me, as the character, Satan. Very close behind me.

I think it will all be quite apparent.

Cheers! See you at the next viewing.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Where to Invade Next?

Every American should watch documentary filmmaker and very liberal American Michael Moore's, Where to Invade Next. You may know him from his other works like Fahrenheit 9/11 about the Bush administration's travesties, and other documentaries. His film Trumpland was a tour de force, well reasoned and productive in many ways. He went into the heart of Trump supporters and invited them to a one man stage show and filmed it.

He pushes his mostly left wing progressive agenda with facts, and humor. We need people like him, who push the envelope. But where he used to be annoying to many, he has grown into someone who is succinct, lighthearted, and accurate as a sniper's bullet.
I have never before pushed anyone to watch a Michael Moore film. But watch Where to Invade Next. It's on Netflix DVDs and Amazon Prime where I saw it. Ignore your feelings about him and just listen to what people in Europe say about us and how they view us and LET THAT SINK IN! It could be the one thing that saves us.

Do NOT let conservatives, Republicans, capitalists, and those types deny what is possible, deny the potential to make our lives better, deny we can make changes better for people and the country. You will find their lies sound oddly familiar. Because they are the same lies by the rich and powerful who have gotten us to the place. This sad place. America sad? Watch the damn film first before denying. Then we can talk.

Even IF what we see in the film is not possible in America according to those naysayers and soldiers of the status quo, which is at least partially ridiculous, the film most definitely gives you a feeling for an obviousness of how things should be certainly in AMERICA, and yet how they are most prominently, not!

CEOs are asked in the film, why do you give your employees so much? Because we can, they say, because it is right. How much money do you need to make after all, they say. Human dignity and respect. Our employees are healthier, happier. We make lots of money and we take care of our people and they respect and take care of us.

When asking people if they don't work two or three jobs, people are confused by the question. And so it goes in the film, on and on and on again about so many topics. Jurisprudence. Schools. And so on.

Michael's long been known as a liberal nut job. I didn't always agree with him. He seems to be mellowing though, getting more accurate and his documentaries? They are getting better. This one is his best in my view, in one particular way (and his others are pretty damn good too).

His best not because it has the best facts, the most truth, the actual important over what Pres. Trump is dictating as most important. We can't listen to what Mr. Trump says because he tells falsehoods and I believe, actual lies so much, just to get his way, to satiate his emotional status, to inflate his already conflated ego.

I saw this is Michael's best because by the end of the film you have a true visceral feeling for what is wrong in America. How we are not seeing reality around us because we've been lied to for so long by government, corporate and big money interests, and our own sad paradigm through archaic beliefs.

We have all the information in the world and yet, we continue to be the parent who beats their child rather than using newer tried and true methods now used world wide.

Over and over again, those in other countries react to Moore's prodding with looks of surprise, incredulity, and horror at how America does things. Over and over we hear Europeans asking about America, in how we do things. To paraphrase...

Life and government is about the human dignity? Primary is respect for people.

After watching the film, then ask of our new Pres. Donald Trump:

"How again are you planning to make America great again?"

But who cares really, apparently, as he got elected. Still ask what he means by America being made great AGAIN?

Michael's examination of other countries in how it can be in America, of how people can think of fellow citizens in really trying to actually help families and children, not just lip service, is simply not like America.

Try not to get angry while watching the film at how you are treated, how most of us are treated as workers here.

Two months vacation a year? That's just the beginning.

If you're not embarrassed, humiliated, disgusted and depressed by what this documentary shows you about ourselves, then you need to take a really good look at Yourself. It shows how we are not who we should be, who we could be, who we already think we are and, we are not.

It shows us how our understanding of things is warped from reality. How we don't allow cruel and unusual punishment in our prisons, and yet, we have those prisons which are themselves crule and unusual punishment based on 18th century jurisprudence, on punishment and retribution, not rehabilitation and building a better citizen. America prisons, including privatized ones (a truly despicable thing) are a broken, degenerate paradigm that is in itself cruel and unusual.

And we cannot see those things.

We need to wake up. I'll even go this far.

We need to wake the HELL up!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Trump's New Greater Pledge of Allegiance

Remember the original:
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Later adding "God" into our nation's words was the beginning of a bad path. It sounds good, but it is counter intuitive how it has negatively affected us. Understand, if I were a staunch theist, and a great American, the more I am both of those things, the more I would want to remove "God" from our government, in order to protect all people's version of God, and our nation. If we choose one over others, which we are doing now, it is patently NOT America. 

Comprehend how the current is in practice during a Trump Administration, not in speech....
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the Flag of the United States and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Colonel George Balch in 1887,[3][4][5] later revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942.[6] The official name of The Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945. The last change in language came on Flag Day 1954 when the words "under God" were added.[7]
In 1906, The Daughters of the American Revolution's magazine, The American Monthly, listed the "formula of allegiance" as being the Balch Pledge of Allegiance, which reads:
“I pledge allegiance to my flag, and the republic for which it stands. I pledge my head and my heart to God and my country. One country, one language and one flag.[13]”
In subsequent publications of the Daughters of the American Revolution, such as in 1915's "Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Continental Congress of the Daughters of the American Revolution" and 1916's annual "National Report", the Balch Pledge, listed as official in 1906, is now categorized as "Old Pledge" with Bellamy's version under the heading "New Pledge".[20][21] However, the "Old Pledge" continued to be used by other organizations until the National Flag Conference established uniform flag procedures in 1923.
In 1923, the National Flag Conference called for the words "my Flag" to be changed to "the Flag of the United States", so that new immigrants would not confuse loyalties between their birth countries and the United States. The words "of America" were added a year later. The United States Congress officially recognized the Pledge for the first time, in the following form, on June 22, 1942:
“ I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.