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In My Opinion ... by Ron Phillips
In July 4 Issue
Russell County News

Oh, What a World; What a World!  Many of you may remember that those words were uttered my The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) in the “Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy (Judy Garland) threw the water on her to put the fire out.  Unfortunately it’s going to take more that a bucket of water to put the fire out that is threatening to destroy the constitution of this great county of ours. The fire however is the so called progressive movement that feels the beliefs of our nation’s founding fathers are no longer relevant. They believe that the Constitution is a living document and should evolve. We have leaders like Congressman Barney Frank that can lean back in his chair during an interview with Bill O’Reilly and tell millions of viewers that he opposed the Bush administration on affordable housing when it has been reported that he was literally in bed with Fannie Mae executive, Herb Moses.  

Fannie Mae contributed over $40,000 to Barney Frank’s campaigns since 1989. The real truth is that the Bush administration was trying to introduce legislation that would place tighter controls on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We all know how that turned out. With the recent confession of South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford on his love affair with another woman, it is becoming increasingly clear that trust and honor are certainly not at the top of any politicians list and definitely not a requirement to get elected. The sad part is lack of trust and honor is nothing new! In 1991, Congress voted to eliminate the bank for the congress because there were nearly 10,000 cold checks written from 1989 to 1990 totaling over $300,000. You can go down to the Russell County Courthouse on just about any Monday and see people being prosecuted for this very same practice.

It is the general opinion of many of our elected officials that the majority of the people that they represent do not have the education or the skills necessary to take care of themselves. The truth is, whether you have a 3rd grade education, or a Ph.D. from Harvard University, we all have the right to vote. “It is My Opinion” the time has come to start holding our elected officials accountable for there actions. Trust, honor and integrity are not an option. They need to understand that these are the ultimate requirements for getting elected to be our representatives. Never let them forget that we placed them in their position of authority and we are the one’s that will remove them if they fail.

On this special day, I want to share with you a very special version of “The Pledge of Allegiance” by Red Skelton. A copy of the actual video may also be viewed online at

Mr. Skelton started out by saying, I remember a teacher that I had. Now I only went, I went through the seventh grade. I left home when I was 10 years old because I was hungry, this is true. I worked in the summer and went to school in the winter.

But, I had this one teacher; he was the principal of the Harrison school, in Vincennes, Indiana. To me, this was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time, anyhow. He had such wisdom.

We were all reciting the Pledge of Allegiance one day, and he walked over. This little old teacher ... Mr. Lasswell was his name. He said:

"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?

I     me, an individual, a committee of one.

Pledge       dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

Allegiance    my love and my devotion.

To the Flag    our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there's         respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job.

[of the]

United      that means that we have all come together.

States    individual communities that have united into 48 great states. 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.    [of America]

and to the Republic  Republic ... a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern.  And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

[For Which It Stands]

One Nation    One Nation ... meaning, so blessed by God.

Indivisible    incapable of being divided.

With Liberty    which is freedom, the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice    the principle or qualities of dealing fairly with others.

For All    For all ... which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.

Mr. Skelton closed his show that night by saying… Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance - "under God." Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said, "That is a prayer," and that would be eliminated from schools, too?"

From the Red Skelton Hour, January 14, 1969

If you agree with these words that were so elegantly stated my Mr. Skelton over 40 years ago, please, please share them with your children and grandchildren.

Help them understand why we are the “Greatest Nation on Earth”

May God bless us all...

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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