Have eyes on the flag for the Pledge
I feel it is necessary to comment about a photo on page 8A in the Oct. 12 Saturday Gazette-Mail. The photo was by Chris Dorst. It was titled "Pledging Allegiance." I am a 63-year-old U.S. citizen (born and raised here in West Virginia) and also a four-year veteran of the military (three years in country and one year out of country) where I took an oath to protect and defend our country and her flag. The photo caption states "Newly sworn-in citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. District Courthouse in Charleston Monday."
That caption should have clarified that to be "pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America." I was taught this pledge in my very first days of public elementary school. I was taught to keep my eyes on the U.S flag with my right hand over my heart. That stuck with me throughout my education, military and personal life, as a proud U.S. citizen.
The photo does not reflect this from all the newly sworn-in citizens. The first female on the front row is not "reciting" the pledge. She is "reading" from a paper in her hand. The girl next to her is looking at the floor, not the flag, and the tall guy standing behind her does not have his hand over his heart.
In my opinion, this is not acceptable, and I hope such actions can be corrected by our administrators of the Naturalizatioin Ceremony.
Politicians are not businessmen
It is important for citizens to understand that politicians do not typically develop business or economic plans. They aren't business people. They pay other people to do it. Or, a special interest group provides it. Their goal is to get re-elected or move to a position of more political power.
Whatever plan they accept they must make acceptable to their constituents. They must be able to convince the taxpayer they need it. Be prepared to explain why the plan is having problems or why more money is needed to complete the plan. Politicians are politicians. They have operated the same way since man decided government was a necessary evil.