Burn, baby, burn

There is nothing more un-American than passing a constitutional amendment to outlaw burning of the American flag.

Our flag is a proud symbol to veterans and other patriotic Americans… but a symbol of what? A nation where freedom of speech is amongst our most cherished rights. To contradict this basic human right is both outrageous and absurd.

A few years back I spent $15.00 on an American flag (it was made in China,) and in addition to it being a symbol, it is also a piece of cloth that I own. The day my nation throws me in jail for lighting a match to my flag, while standing on my property, is the day America ceases to be, well… America.

Comments

  1. 1

    Goldy spews:

    And let me just add… what the fuck?! Is there some kind of epidemic of flag burning that suddenly makes this an issue worthy of a constitutional amendment? When was the last time anybody burned an American flag? (I mean, inside the US, that is.)

    This is the worst kind of political grandstanding, meant to divert the public’s attention away from the administration’s failed foreign and domestic policies. Our nation is going to hell in a handbasket, and all these fuckers can do is wrap themselves in the flag and call everybody else traitors. Well fuck you!

  2. 2

    Ivan spews:

    Once they passed an amendment outlawing booze, too, and everybody drank anyway, and eventually they repealed it because they couldn’t enforce it.

    I’m waiting for some smart Senator to introduce an amemdment to this legislation that would include outlawing any Confederate flag. Then watch the RIGHTIST PINHEADS holler!

  3. 3

    Mark spews:

    Goldy,

    So you’re saying that flushing a Koran down a toilet is NO different than destroying the prisoner’s copy of Juggs Monthly? Yes, it is destruction of personal property, but it is NOTHING more than that and is not worthy of outrage or a million column inches of news? Right?

  4. 4

    headless lucy spews:

    The Right in this country has always had trouble distinguishing symbol from substance. It has proved to be their political undoing on more than one occasion. It is lawful- even mandated by law- that damaged flags be respectfully burned. But, then again, these are Rep. lawmakers we are talking about, not people who are aware of or obey any laws they don’t like.

  5. 5

    Thomas Trainwinder spews:

    It’s like Gay Marriage. Nobody cares (ok 5% of Americans really care). Yet it’s all people talk about.

    PR Meisters par excellence.

  6. 6

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    Wow Loocy you miss the point, you and many lefties miss substance from symbolism. It’s about public flag desecration not burning damaged flags. You are such a dunce. GBS and Patrick, as veterans from the left side of the aisle, how do you two feel about the public destruction of a symbol you put your lives on the line for? Righton I am with you. The left has to tear down all American symbols and burn the flag just like our mortal enemies do. GBS, this is another reason I asked my question of you. Now there are at least two for your answering. The loony lefties who think it is right and proper to destroy one of our most cherished American symbols as tool for their protestations is beyond me! Next they will want to burn the Bald Eagle in effigy!!!

    PacMan – Sad my anniversary year has this flag commentary in it

  7. 7

    spews:

    The loony lefties who think it is right and proper to destroy one of our most cherished American symbols as tool for their protestations is beyond me! Next they will want to burn the Bald Eagle in effigy!!!

    More stupid, rightwing PC spew.

    The fact that you choose symbolism over substance EVERY GODDAMN TIME is one of the big reasons this nation is currently in the crapper.

  8. 8

    headless lucy spews:

    Pacman, you are a fucking fascist moron and I do NOT support your right to deny others their constitutional rights. If it comes down to it you and your buddies will be looking down the barrel of a gun that Charleton Heston fought for me to have. That’s what I mean by substance over symbol.

  9. 9

    Mark spews:

    Carla, Lucy,

    C’mon… Admit that, aside from the personal property issues, you think flushing a Koran is OK because it is EXACTLY the same as any other ratty old book. (see my post @ 3)

  10. 10

    spews:

    PacMan –

    As a veteran from the left side of the aisle, I agree completely with Goldy.

    I didn’t put my life on the line for a symbol, I put it on the line for what that symbol stands for.

  11. 11

    Mark spews:

    Me @ 9

    Clarification… I didn’t mean to imply that the Koran is a “ratty old book.”

  12. 12

    spews:

    Mark –

    If a prisoner was flushing his own copy of the Koran, there wouldn’t be an issue. However, since they are prisoners, and the object of giving them offense is to coerce them (i.e., mental torture), what has happenned at Gitmo is wrong.

  13. 13

    candrewb spews:

    OK Mark, I’ll bite… Rioting and killing over something symbolic is insane. If you want to kill, riot, or jail because your sensibilities were offended, you may want to reevaluate your priorities. This is meant to fire up the “Base”, nothing more.

  14. 14

    Chuck spews:

    One of the problems with flag burning is it usually involves burning a stolen flag….yes the post office counts as someone elses flag.

  15. 15

    spews:

    Burning a stolen flag should be prosecuted as theft and destruction of property.

    Burning one’s own flag should not be prosecuted. Period.

  16. 16

    Chuck spews:

    Hell of a stretch to call flag burning speech, talking about it is speech but burning it not a petition to the government, an assembly nor is it likely done in the name of religion.
    But, Ill give you that if you are on YOUR property (as versus your landlords) and you are burning your flag, have at it. Ill even say it is you right to in the name of free speech burn one down in the parking lot of the Pike Place Market. But understand that when you do that it should also be another persong right to free speech to stomp a mudhole in your ass for doing so.

  17. 19

    All Tools here, and yet there are still screws loose. spews:

    Goldy –

    Don’t worry you can’t get a Title 4 U.S. flag except by special order: http://www.access.gpo.gov/usco.....ter1_.html

    If it is not an authorized U.S. Title 4 flag it is a souvenir and nothing more, the new legislation says nothing about burning souvenirs.

  18. 20

    Chuck spews:

    speech (spch) KEY

    NOUN:

    1.
    1. The faculty or act of speaking.
    2. The faculty or act of expressing or describing thoughts, feelings, or perceptions by the articulation of words.
    2. Something spoken; an utterance.
    3. Vocal communication; conversation.
    4.
    1. A talk or public address: “The best impromptu speeches are the ones written well in advance” (Ruth Gordon).
    2. A printed copy of such an address.
    5. One’s habitual manner or style of speaking.
    6. The language or dialect of a nation or region: American speech.
    7. The sounding of a musical instrument.
    8. The study of oral communication, speech sounds, and vocal physiology.
    9. Archaic Rumor.

  19. 21

    Goldy spews:

    And by the way folks… I didn’t come out in support of people burning flags… I came out in support of their right to burn flags. Just like Nazis had the right to march through Skokie IL, or white supremacists in ID. It’s a free country. For the moment.

    Chuck @16,

    Oh… so money is speech, but a symbolic gesture isn’t? And the appropriate response to a nonviolent act is a violent one? Nice American values.

  20. 22

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Mark @3, 9

    So you’re saying that the flag is a religious symbol, equivalent to what some consider the holy word of god? Hmmm, funny, but I’ve never considered nationalism to be a religion (though by definition the crypto-fascists out there would probably disagree w/ me). Also, I agree w/ Roy @12 that there is a difference between what you do w/ your own property and what someone else does to your property against your will.

    And as for Pacman @6 – if you want to behave like an ignorant child, then we’ll be happy to treat you like an ignorant child. Now either behave and pay attention, in which case you might learn something, or go to your room for some quiet time until you can.

  21. 23

    Chuck spews:

    Goldy@21
    If burning, spindling or mutilating the Koran or speaking of it around a prisoner is a violent act, then burning a flag around certain people is in my opinion a violent act, and I feel they should be able to defend themselves against such violence.

  22. 24

    Mark spews:

    Roy @ 12

    You’re misreading my post. I recognized it as destruction of someone else’s property. HOWEVER, would trashing a prisoner’s copy of TV Guide generate a single statement of outrage from those who wailed about the Koran issue at Gitmo?

    If you say that a flag is just a piece of cloth, then you have to concede that the Koran is just a book with no special value.

    Are you saying that if the (alleged) Koran at Gitmo had belonged to a guard, that it was OK to defile it in front of devout Muslim prisoners?

    Geo @ 22

    No, I’m saying that a Koran (or Bible or Talmud) is more than a book and that the flag is more than a piece of cloth.

    And, as I note to Roy above, you are saying that ANY Koran has NO value of any kind beyond its physical replacement cost. At which point, you’d have to admit that the Gitmo/Koran issue was much ado about nothing.

  23. 25

    Marilyn spews:

    Mark@3&9:

    are you unable to discern patriotic icons from relgious icons?
    How is a flag analgous to religious tracts that are holy to some. Is the flag holy to you? Marilyn

  24. 28

    Mark spews:

    Marilyn @ 25 “Is the flag holy to you?”

    And if it is, would you then say that defiling it should be illegal?

    Understand that I’m not an advocate of flag burning laws. I’m simply pointing out that the oversimplified argument of “just a piece of cloth” is wrong. Also, flag burning is not a First Amendment issue as it is neither related to speech, press or peacable assembly (e.g. Skokie, etc.). It is more precisely freedom of expression, which isn’t always protected.

  25. 29

    Ivan spews:

    You know what? Chuck’s right. Flag burning is, and should be, protected free speech. But you know what else? Some free speech is considered “fighting words,” and that’s a point of law. Don’t believe me? Check it out.

    Burning my country’s flag is like calling somebody a nigger. You might have the right to do it, which I support, but he also has the right to kick your ass, and he’ll walk.

    I’m as big a LEFTIST PINHEAD as anyone who posts here. And I believe flag burning should be protected free speech. But it’s protected from prosecution, not from a through ass-kicking. It’s hate speech, and I’ll kick your ass if I catch you doing it, and then we can both accept the consequences of our actions.

  26. 31

    spews:

    Re: the Koran – the rules of what is acceptable change dramatically when you are dealing with a prisoner, or somebody else whose ability to respond or leave the scene is restricted. Those who are burning flags are not, as far as I know, forcing anybody to watch.

  27. 32

    Chuck spews:

    Unless you have restrained such a prisoner in a manner that he cannot close his eyes or turned his head, he doesnt have to watch either….

  28. 33

    candrewb spews:

    Ivan, not to argue your main point, but I guarantee you if you thoroughly kick someone’s ass because they upset you, you will not walk. Extenuating circumstances may lessen the penalty, but you will not walk. Then come the civil penalties… This type of thing happens day in and out with bar fights, road rage, etc…

  29. 34

    Donnageddon spews:

    I have never burned a flag in my life. But if they pass this amendment, I might just start burning flags just to piss of the people who value a piece of cloth more than the sanctity of the constitution.

    But not in front of Ivan…

  30. 36

    Ivan spews:

    candrewb @ 33:

    I repeat: Burning my country’s flag would be the same as calling me a Christ-killing Jew bastard — and I am confident that I could find a lawyer who could pick the right jury, and convince them of that.

    “Fighting words” are just that — deliberately and willfully inciteful language, and the circumstances of each case would be different, and each case might have to meet a different standard.

    I want for flag burning exactly what I want for abortion — safe, legal, and rare. I’ll fight to keep flag burning legal, but no one will force me to like it, or force me not to object to it.

  31. 37

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Mark @28

    I agree that the “flag as a piece of cloth” argument is a misleading oversimplification — hyperbole to make a point, though recognizing that does lead to an interesting discussion re: an American symbol made by Chinese sweatshop labor, treated strictly as a commodity until it’s sold in the form of, say, a seat cushion. But ignoring that for the moment, what I and others are saying is that just because the flag is not meaningless does not mean that it rises to equivalency with a religious text.

    I actually like Ivan’s argument to consider flag burning as a form of hate speech — not illegal, but offensive to some, particularly to those likely to make up local law enforcement. I remember hearing a story 10 or so years ago after the failure of yet another flag-burning-amendment effort, whereupon the Louisiana state legislature passed legislation saying that beating up a flag burner is punishable by only a $10 fine. But yes, assault, even against a flag burner, is still illegal.

  32. 38

    rujax206 spews:

    The spokesman and political architect of the Republican party, the political party that controls all three branches of government, branded American citizens…those like me and at least 48 million who think like me…who disagree with the policies and priorities of the political apparatus he designed…traitors.

    That to me, is a far greater threat to this country and our way of life that the incineration of a piece of cloth that is an internationally recognized symbol identifying the the person, vessel, building or whatever entity, as being associated with these United Staes of America.

    This argument is at least 35 years old. This argument is only brought up when to have a real debate of real substance would embarass the jingoistic cabal in power at the time. That has been my experience and that is how I see it.

    I say let’s make sure that we have a free and open society that honors diversity and equality in a way that shames other countries into being more like us. Let’s actually BE that shining city that we all believe we are or can be. Let’s show the others how we can disagree and still function as a healthy democratic republic. Let’s honor the ideals of our founding fathers as set forth in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Let’s treat even our enemies with dignity and respect. Let us use our awesome power for the greater good of all rather than for economic, partisan political or temporaty geo political gain. Then we will earn the respect for our Flag we say it deserves…for that flag is only as good as the man or woman who is holding it.

  33. 39

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    Ivan as a black man, if you called me a nigger thems be fightin’ words. I look at flag burning the same way. But nooooo, the loony loocy’s don’t see it that way. Our flag is the international symbol of freedom loocy. It is the international symbol of our constitution IT. So you both condone the freedom to perform stoopid acts, offensive to others.

    Loocy, go find somewhere and relieve the tension with your hand.
    IT, I hope rosy palm was good to you last night

    PacMan

  34. 40

    fire_one spews:

    PacMan @ 6 “as veterans from the left side of the aisle, how do you two feel about the public destruction of a symbol you put your lives on the line for?”

    As a veteran, I did not put my life on the line for the flag. I put it on the line for the Constitution, my family and my comrades. We did not swear to uphold the flag. And while I would knock down an SOB trying to burn a flag in my presence, I would also know, and be willing to accept the consequences of my actions.

  35. 41

    Mr. X spews:

    David and Ivan,

    Tell ya what, I’ll burn a flag, AND kick your asses. But I’m not gonna pretend that the latter act is protected by the Constitution of the US unless one of you schmucks throws the first punch.

    PS – fighting words doctrine DOES NOT protect one from assault charges in ANY of the 50 states that I know of.

  36. 42

    Mr. X spews:

    …I believe the legal theory here is about the same as the rules governing the behavior of 2nd graders – sticks and stones….

  37. 43

    Mr. X spews:

    PPS – Pac Man, I would deplore someone calling you the n-word, and would root for you in the subsequent brawl, but I would also have to convict you if I was a juror in your assault case.

  38. 44

    Goldy spews:

    If I were to Ivan call you a “cracker” or a “honky” would that be hate speech? Would those be fighting words?

    And if I were to stand on my front lawn, burning my flag, and you came onto my property and physically assaulted me, you can be sure I would press charges, and you would be convicted. Hell, in some states, I’d have the right to shoot you.

  39. 45

    Mr. X spews:

    …and a note on the Koran at Guantanamo and Abu Gharib. Focusing on the semantics of what when on w/the Koran is a classic rethug distraction tactic – as if the worst thing that went on in our little gulags was offending Muslim religious sensibilities. Nice way to change the subject from the Bush administration policies of illegal detention and torture, though.

    And before the 101st Fighting Keyboardists jump on that, might I remind you of the case of the US soldier who, in the course of a training exercise, was almost beaten to death at Guantanomo by our fellas before someone figured out he was one of our guys?

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/arti.....DAM6S1.DTL

  40. 46

    Ivan spews:

    Goldy @ 44:

    I doubt I would go onto anybody’s private property to keep them from burning a flag.

    Although burning a flag is repugnant to me, so also is outlawing burning the flag. Each situation is different, and we all need to know which fights to pick and when. That is the point I am trying to make.

    I value the opportunity to respond.

  41. 47

    David spews:

    X @ 41: “David and Ivan,
    Hey, how’d I get dragged into this? I agree with what you’re saying. But I haven’t participated in this contest to see who can be most offended by a burning flag.

    X @ 45: “the 101st Fighting Keyboardists
    LOL!

  42. 48

    Mr. X spews:

    Sorry David – I meant Chuck! I’m not quite there until the 3rd cup of coffee kicks in! Please accept my apologies.

  43. 50

    GBS spews:

    PacMan @ 6

    South bay, East Bay, West Bay, where ya’ at PacMan? Where ya’ at?

    My brother from another mother, how’s the bay area weather today? Gorgeous I’m sure.

    I’ve posted my reply to your question on the Ahhnold post. I also asked you a question. I’ll wait with great anticipation for your answer.

    This question is easy. I don’t like flag burning. I don’t like the disrespect it demonstrates. But you know what? If the whole intellectual concept of freedom is so fragile that a disgruntled citizen cannot display their contempt without being arrested — then concept was not strong enough to survive in the first place.

    I strongly believe that the concept of freedom is so much bigger and stronger than a few individuals burning the flag that I look upon it and think “I wish they wouldn’t do that, but I the fact that they can express themselves freely without the fear of prosecution or persecution gives me great satisfaction knowing their freedoms have been secured by veteran.”

    You see a society is only FREE when people are FREE to express themselves. Even if what they want to express really pisses you off and runs contradictory to the symbol they are burning.

    The same way Karl Rove is bound and determined to promote division within the United States political landscape with his divisive remarks the other night regarding the tragedy of 9/11. While I vehemently disagree with him, he has a right to his opinion, even though in a time of war remarks like that from someone who represents the President is unprecedented.

  44. 51

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    GBS, you are level headed, but I have to disagree with you. BTW it’s sunny and ~80 here. Thatsa nicea weather here! Whey do people emigrate to the US? Because they have an ideal. That ideal is formented by what. Their view of the US flag proudly flying over our embassy. They don’t see the constitution, they see the flag.

    Loony Loocy, where in our wonderful constitution or the bill of rights is flag burning found? Better yet Loony Loocy, where is abortion found in the constitution. When was abortion ratified? So if it’s been 32 years since R v.W and ratification, I doubt that flag burning will be a right!

    So I ask again, how many of you would support the burning in effigy of the bald eagle? I love my country. I have been to other world areas where people are so poor they barely eek out an existence. I am so glad to be born American. I uphold the American ideals. I would not want to give anything to our enemies to say look at them stupid americans, they can’t even uphold the ideals of their flag.

    Taliban Loocy, Hamas Geocrackr, or Al Qaida IT, when you see them burning the flag, tell me how you feel? Do you enjoy the international Al Jezeera channel showing you on all over the world on TV demonstrating your “right” to burn our great flag on your own soil that others died for?

    PacMan

  45. 52

    GBS spews:

    I disagree with the Gentlemen from California.

    Quite frankly, I don’t want American laws being dictated by what Arabs might think about us on Al Jazzera. Truth be told, when they see Americans burning their flag without state sponsored retribution, it makes them more likely to realize that a woman should be able to drive in Saudi Arabia, or able to leave her home without being escorted by a man. Or that intellectuals wanting democracy in Egypt are being beaten and stoned in the streets.

    Or a woman in the Taliban regime being shot for exposing her ankle or wearing fingernail polish.

    No, my friend. Showing demonstrations against the government without consequences demonstrates what we are all about, LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

  46. 53

    GBS spews:

    “Appollo creed has just taken a tremondous shot from Rocky Balboa. How much more punishment can he take?”

    Jus’ cause I’m a cagy SOB

  47. 54

    prr spews:

    Goldy,

    Let me know when your gonna burn that flag so I can give you my response in person.

    A symbol huh?

    How many people have died protecting that symbol you fucking weasel?

  48. 55

    GBS spews:

    Goldy,

    Let me know when your gonna burn that flag so I can give you my support in person.

    Got your back.

    Any time, any where.

  49. 59

    GBS spews:

    PacMan, Righton read 57

    See what I mean. I support Goldy, and here comes prr with his potty talk. Whenever righties don’t like something, out comes the foul language.

  50. 60

    prr spews:

    I go back to my original statement, Goldy set the time and these two morons can debate while you try and burn that flag.

  51. 61

    prr spews:

    GBS.

    I’ll be polite.

    1. your from the west cost.
    2. Your a liberal.

    What does this mean?

    All your good for is talk…. Protestor is just another word for being a whiny little bitch

  52. 62

    Mr. X spews:

    prr-

    This here’s one seasoned protester (and West Coast liberal) that would be happy to mix it up with you or any one of your 101st fighting keyboardist windbags any day of the week.

    You want all talk and no personal sacrifice or risk – the chickenhawk Bush administration and its little cronies (ie – YOU) are a perfect example.

    Go back to mommy’s basement, now.

  53. 63

    pbj spews:

    Goldy,

    It is interesting that you use the phrase “my property”. Have you been following the recent Supreme Court case regarding eminent domain?

    I am curious how liberals feel about it. Now, according to SCOTUS, if say the city council of Bellevue decides that your house has higher economic purpose as say a WalMart, then you have to move out and accept whatever they offer you. There is no federal protection against this. Now I realize liberals are all for taking someone’s property. But what if it is a corporate entiry taking the property for a “higher” economic purpose?

    Thoughts please.

  54. 65

    Mr. X spews:

    pbj-

    Check my comments from the other thread – everyone I’ve talked to from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party thinks this is an awful decision. Some of the corporate whores you right wingers call “liberal” (as if they represent the left, which they don’t) probably think this was a fine decision, as does the business wing of the Republican Party.

    As I said, in this, we have an issue the left and right ought to agree on.

  55. 66

    prr spews:

    Mr X.

    Navy Diver, 86 -90′

    My “no personal risk” involved Panama and 1st Gulf War.

    What the fuck have have you done to serve this country?

    I didn’t vote for Bush, don’t support this war, but tell me your gonna burn a flag and I have no problem doing jail time for assaulting some piece of shit stupid enough to do it in front of my face.

  56. 67

    Mr. X spews:

    prr-

    Well, good for you regarding your military service, but I’m still willing to physically defend my 1st Amendment right to protest what the hell ever I want to.

    Pity you don’t know what you were serving for (and it’s ironic that you spent your time helping remove dictators the USA installed and subsidized for years).

    I’m thinking of calling these guys on their tough talk and organizing a flag burning (I’ll bring the flag and the lighter fluid!) – it’s not like BushCo. hasn’t given us enough things bad enough to warrant a flag burning – unless you think the flag stands for indefinite detention, torture, and psychological abuse?

    Watch the fur fly…

  57. 68

    prr spews:

    As an FYI,

    How many good people have to die defending something before you show some respect?

    The victims of 9/11?, Both Gulf wars? Panama? Grenada? Vietnam, Korea? World wars 1 & 2? and all the other places i have not mentioned…..

    Seriously, what is wrong with you ? would it hurt to just show a little respect for the people who have served our country?

    I’ve listened to people scream how abusing the Koran is “torture”, yert you are willing to burn your own flag and say that’s alright? Have you no pride in yourselves whatsoever? And yet you can kid yourselves and say that this is patriotic?

  58. 70

    headless lucy spews:

    A right winger would only get violent toward someone burning a flag only if there was no chance they’d get their own asses whipped in return. I’m trying to tell you right wing nuts that we’re not a bunch of pacifists. You’ll get what you give ten times over. I feel sorry for the asshole who does not recognize resolve when they see it. The next time an abortion doctor is murdered by one of your nutcases, I would suggest you keep your demonstrators off the streets PERMANENTLY because you’ve all gone as far as you’re going to go with your crap. It’s over. You are warriors like Bush and Cheney arer warriors– which is to say– you’re not.

  59. 71

    Mark spews:

    X @ 45

    The question I was asking was, “why is it considered an outrage when some guard at Gitmo trashes a Koran vs. any other book?” I will restate my point… IF a flag is just cloth you can do anything with, then the Gitmo/Koran issue is a tempest in a teapot and didn’t deserve all of the activist wailing.

    GBS…

    I think you had a well-reasoned answer. I don’t think there should be a flag burning amendment. However, I think all public safety issues SHOULD be strongly enforced. In other words, if you can stand at Westlake Center and legally torch a sign, be my guest with the flag (offensive as that may be).

    What I find ironic and moronic is that by torching Old Glory, you’re not making a statement about the President or any person or office. Instead, you’re defiling a major symbol of what lets you destroy it in the first place. The flag isn’t Dem or GOP. It stands for an ideal that is greater than all of the political parties combined. The flag is a living, breathing thing that willingly sacrifices itself to your Zippo just to prove that you have the freedom to do it.

  60. 72

    prr spews:

    MR. X.

    Come on tough guy, schedule your flag burning.

    I’ll make sure to let the local active duty military personell and the right wing blogs know about how tough you are and we’ll solve this discussion real quick.

    Although, you’ll look pretty funny with a berkenstock shoved up your ass

  61. 73

    Mr. X spews:

    prr – you just don’t get it – everyone who has died since the Revolutionary War supposedly died for FREEDOM. The FREEDOM to worship (or not worship, for the benefit of you immoral majority types), the FREEDOM to engage in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, and the FREEDOM to protest actions of their government.

    Burning the flag to protest government policy is a perfectly logical – if extreme to flag-fetishist idolaters such as yourself – way to do it precisely because it is provocative. Just because you find it offensive doesn’t mean you have the right to abridge people’s non-violent actions (and burning a piece of cloth that you own in a reasonably prudent way that ensures that the flames won’t spread is NOT violence).

    The Rethug party has been beating this dead horse since Gulf War 1. As one of our founding fathers said, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Funny how they bring this one up as the poll numbers for Bush’s Iraq war plummet.

    Regarding Drinking Liberally, when is it next being held, Goldy?

  62. 74

    Mark spews:

    GBS @ 59 “Whenever righties don’t like something, out comes the foul language.”

    C’mon… The language issue goes both ways.

  63. 75

    prr spews:

    Hedaless lucy,

    name one time where the right wing has taken to the street and gone on like a dead show letting out?

    It does not happn, perhaps you hallicinating.

    and yes, you ARE a bunch of pacifists. you are all bark and no bite

  64. 76

    Mr. X spews:

    prr @72 – what, can’t face a little liberal alone, tough guy?

    Mark @ 71 – the circumstances are quite different – and, as I said, the incidents with the Koran were the least of what was going on in our torturariums – the substance of which right-wingers wanted to avoid by bogging down in a discussion of whether someone pissed on a Koran or just flushed it in (as opposed to down) a toilet.

  65. 77

    prr spews:

    Mr. X, I’d be happy to face you alone,

    Reagding your comment
    “prr – you just don’t get it – everyone who has died since the Revolutionary War supposedly died for FREEDOM. The FREEDOM to worship (or not worship, for the benefit of you immoral majority types), the FREEDOM to engage in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, and the FREEDOM to protest actions of their government.”

    Tell this load of shit to the veterans of Wake Island, or the POWS from the Battan death march….

  66. 78

    Mr. X spews:

    I’m awaiting Goldy’s info on the next Drinking Liberally event. I’ll be the guy burning a flag.

  67. 81

    Mark spews:

    X @ 76

    From what I saw/read in the media, it was the activists on the Left and the journalists themselves that were making the big deal SPECIFICALLY about the Koran.

    Just so we’re clear… You believe that trashing a prisoner’s Koran is EQUAL TO trashing their copy of “Babes in Burqas?”

  68. 82

    Mr. X spews:

    As a private citizen, yes. As a representative of a country at odds with the muslim world that needs all of the friends there it can get, no.

    BTW – can you order “Babes in Burquas” online – it sounds hot.

    Speaking of which, do you think prisoners in local, state, and federal prison should be allowed to have Playboy along with their bibles?

  69. 83

    Mr. X spews:

    prr – you’re welcome to try. I might even decline to prosecute when you assault me for expressing my free speech rights and you find out that not all liberals are pussies.

  70. 84

    spews:

    Drinking Liberally

    Unless the King County Democratic Nominating Convention over in Bellevue runs very smoothly, I’ll miss next week’s DL. Of course, it just might be that quick, at least for everyone not in the new County Council District 1.

    See ya there, Ivan.

  71. 85

    DamnageD spews:

    An American flag made in China…the thought makes my stomach turn. What, are we to inept to MAKE OUR OWN FLAG NOW?!? Fucking global economy bullshit!

    I remember after 9/11, when everybody pulled out thier flags, Costco, Walmart, Target, etc., had these cheep assed, get-bleached- in-the-sun-in-a-week, found crumpled on the side of the highway MADE IN CHINA shit assed flags. I personally REFUSED to spend found change on the damn things.

    If we as Americans cant even RESPECT the SYMBOL the people have given their LIVES for, I can finally and honestly say I ashamed to have been birthed into this country.

    My wife used to give me shit when I’d bitch people out for letting their flags touch the ground, wad it up, stuff it into a box, sell ‘em on a table (in a pile). She thought I was loosing my marbles..untill I showed her the documents that state HOW THE FLAG SHOULD BE TREATED!!!

    I’m all for freedom of spech and expression. Lord knows I push that limit DAILY (not just here, but everywhere)! But the day I witness someone burning the American flag will be the day I become quite violent as my new form of expression!

    FUCK THAT BULLSHIT!!!

  72. 86

    Mr. X spews:

    Man, if these flag worshippers could get 1/2 this worked up over the rise of facism in this country I’d be a little more impressed.

  73. 87

    Donnageddon spews:

    I imagine Republican Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, loves to see people pay attention to this non-issue. Keeps the spotlight off the recent investigation to his pay-off by defense contracting company MZM Inc. He made a quick $700,000 and we got stuck for the bill amounting Billions.. These sick fucking repugnants

    http://tinyurl.com/cnwuj

  74. 89

    spews:

    DamnageD@85:

    My wife used to give me shit when I’d bitch people out for letting their flags touch the ground, wad it up, stuff it into a box, sell ‘em on a table (in a pile). She thought I was loosing my marbles..untill I showed her the documents that state HOW THE FLAG SHOULD BE TREATED!!!

    I’m all for freedom of spech and expression. Lord knows I push that limit DAILY (not just here, but everywhere)! But the day I witness someone burning the American flag will be the day I become quite violent as my new form of expression!

    You’re aware, of course, that HOW THE FLAG SHOULD BE TREATED is this:

    Section 176(k), Chapter 1, Title 4, United States Code states the flag, when it is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. [emphasis added]

    But, hey, what would the U.S. Code know?

  75. 90

    GBS spews:

    prr @ 61

    Has there ever been an event in your life that when you reflect back on it you really wish you had made another decision?

    If so, this is one of those times. Trust me on this one.

    If not, this is one of those times. Trust me on this one.

  76. 91

    headless lucy spews:

    Typical, prr, you’ll let the tough guys know what’s going on and then you’ll flee. Fuck you! They might kick your ass for deliberately trying to use them . I know I would. Put up or shut up. You got nothin’ You’re like your president : All hat and no horse. You want to dictate what I can and can’t say? You’ll pay the consequences. If you want to fight, do it yourself. You conservatives are HOT AIR.

  77. 92

    DamnageD spews:

    N @ 89

    I’m very familiar with the means of proper “retirement” of the flag. In fact I’ve seen the Marines very professional and moving cermony, so take it easy there pal.

    Or am I to understand that this statute is the same as some anarcist from Eugine torching a flag in a street demonstration, for example?

    If so, i’ve got a response for ya…

  78. 93

    marks spews:

    N in Seattle @89

    Burning of the flag is the preferred method, much like the immolation of revered dead. The flag served its purpose in life and should be honored for having done so.

    Having said that, if you want to fly the flag upside-down and then apply lighter fluid and a flame to it, blow me. No, I won’t beat your ass, but I will remember who you are. If I see you again, doing whatever line of work you do, I will not be silent…

  79. 94

    headless lucy spews:

    Symbol over substance. Conservatives are the millstone around the neck of humanity. I have no regard left for you. You are not true citizens of this land and you will be pushed into the sea. Fuck you and stay the hell out of my way .

  80. 95

    marks spews:

    headless,

    You must be a real big fan of recycling, because I’ve seen that comment from you before.

    Must be based on the repetition method you use to teach our pliable young children at school: “Republicans = Bad…Teacher Unions = Good”…

    You must be a gym teacher. Are you now known as Lucy because of what the BALCO concoctions you were taking did to you???

  81. 97

    fire_one spews:

    Marks – it appears quite obvious you know nothing about what this country was founded on. It also appears quite obvious that you know nothing about the military or what we fought, and fight, for. Nothing to do with the flag. Old Glory is not the Constitution. When you swear to uphold the Constitution, it has nothing to do with the flag. Hell, the pledge of allegiance didn’t even exist till the 50’s. I suggest you go read the Constitution.

  82. 98

    DamnageD spews:

    goldy,

    While i COMPLETLY agree with your first post comment, This is the worst kind of political grandstanding, meant to divert the public’s attention away from the administration’s failed foreign and domestic policies. Our nation is going to hell in a handbasket, and all these fuckers can do is wrap themselves in the flag and call everybody else traitors. I not only vehemently condone desecrating the flag (or the Bible, Koran, Tora or anything else). But exactly what got this issue fired up again? Seems to me like its a ploy to boost troop morale, or shake up the paitroits when everything else is in the crapper. What a way to divide folks…just look at the responses from people (my self included)!

    The other thing I don’t get is one day we have the SCOTUS giving good American the finger by saying simply big business can pay off their local officials and take your property…oh, but look how American we are today?!?

    Would someone PLEASE tell the SCOTUS to stop pushing this merry-go-round faster, I think i’m gonna PUKE!!

  83. 99

    Mr. X spews:

    Who says there aren’t a few sensible Repubs left anymore?

    From Helen Thomas (but the quotes speak for themselves)…

    Two conservative Republican senators have consistently opposed the flag amendment: Robert F. Bennett of Utah and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Bennett said he did not want to amend the Constitution “to solve a non-problem.”

    “People are not burning the flag,” he said, correctly. “The only time they start is when this amendment is offered.”

  84. 100

    marks spews:

    fire_one @97

    You fucking idiot!

    First: Just what did I say to set you off?

    Second: I served in the Navy while you were learning to be a moron.

    Third: I do not condone violence against stupid people who want to exercise their right to be a moron.

    What I said was: When they return to their day jobs and try to learn how to be productive in society, and I happen to recognize them as the idiot burning the flag to make some obscure statement, I will exercise my free speech by calling them out. What is wrong with that? It has worked on Hanoi Jane…

  85. 101

    headless lucy spews:

    Bush & Co. are selling the US to the Red Chinese and all these morons can react to is some obvious button pushing on the part of the administration to get them stirred up about flag burning. It’s simple now,righties, you can put just put up or shut up about your bogus issues because if you try to trample on free speech you’re going to get your sorry asses pummeled in a very real way. And the moment a draft is instituted, people will take to the streets. It’s over. You’ve overreached.

  86. 102

    marks spews:

    Dammit headless,

    The flag burning amendment is indeed stoopid. You happy? For some reason I failed to mention that…

    So what about BALCO and teaching gym class, lucy?

  87. 103

    headless lucy spews:

    I do teach some gym classes and I have coached wrestling. I am a very disciplined person. I don’t need any fucking conservative to tell me how to behave or what to think.

  88. 104

    marks spews:

    headless,

    Oh? But you need a lousy bunch of SCOTUS Justices telling you that life is good because your city council can boot you off your land?

  89. 105

    Mark spews:

    Lucy @ 101 & other assorted spewings

    You’re a teacher??!! No wonder Johnny can’t read!

    But since you think you know so much, please explain how flag burning is “speech.” It is free expression, but not speech. The First Amendment protects speech (including your blatherings), press (incl. your picket signs & union leaflets) and peaceable assembly (Skokie, whatever protest you were at last weekend, etc.). It does not protect throwing blood on fur coats, which may be “expression,” but is also assault at the very least.

    Right now, nothing forbids you from burning a flag except for public safety laws, but you don’t get special treatment because it is your jackassed way of protesting when your ballot-box stuffing fails.

  90. 106

    prr spews:

    Headless Lucy,

    Oh I did not flee.

    I finished my work, went out had a nice dinner.

    Now I am back and can see that your pathetic ass has been on here the whole time instead of having a life.

    Mr. X, To be clear, at the next drinking liberally, you’ll be there and will be doing a flag burning?

  91. 107

    marks spews:

    I can’t seem to find the time…damn…

    marks,

    I’d be happy to join ya!

    Comment by DamnageD— 6/24/05 @ 6:40 pm

    DamnageD,

    Don’t join me or any other Repub loser. Just start thinking. Soon enough, you’ll get it…

  92. 108

    marks spews:

    But, then, you already have…

    I’m very familiar with the means of proper “retirement” of the flag. In fact I’ve seen the Marines very professional and moving cermony, so take it easy there pal.

    Or am I to understand that this statute is the same as some anarcist from Eugine torching a flag in a street demonstration, for example?

    If so, i’ve got a response for ya…

    Comment by DamnageD— 6/24/05 @ 5:49 pm

  93. 109

    Jerry Springer Jr. spews:

    I have a bad feeling that prr and co. are “winning” this debate on two grounds.

    First, look at the number of posts here versus other, more substantive topics. Exhibit 255 in the Politics of Diversion.

    Second, it sounds like we’ve got a barroom brawl in the making that could elevate this non-issue in the news media (at least with a quick phone call to King 5 News regarding the proposed flag burning).

    Joshua Micah Marshall in his blog, talkingpointsmemo.com, points out how a vocal sponsor of the flag-burning amendment, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, just so happens to be feverishly trying to divert attention away from some scandals that could boot him from office and even put him in jail. Personally, I’d rather be talking up the Duke, since his methods epitomize the pervasive climate of corruption in Washington, D.C.

    Mr. X, if you really feel the need to go through with the burning, that’s obviously your call. However, I hope you spend a few minutes pondering whether you are being played.

  94. 110

    DamnageD spews:

    Marks

    What am I to get? Just what is your point to me? I cant make heads ot tails of your comments. Do you disagree with me and think im some asshole…righty or lefty…or do you agree with me?

    As a squid, I’d think you’d see my point. You trained to defend the same country I dont want to see desecrate its FLAG.

  95. 111

    DamnageD spews:

    I had to re-read this post to see if I cound get your point Marks, and I believe I see it. From 71 What I find ironic and moronic is that by torching Old Glory, you’re not making a statement about the President or any person or office. Instead, you’re defiling a major symbol of what lets you destroy it in the first place. The flag isn’t Dem or GOP. It stands for an ideal that is greater than all of the political parties combined. The flag is a living, breathing thing that willingly sacrifices itself to your Zippo just to prove that you have the freedom to do it.

    Admittedly, that was well put. Personally, it troubles me to see folks disgrace Old Glory. If folks wana burn an effigy, great1 If ya wanna MAKE a flag and torch it to get you point…fine. But to take the REAL flag and put it to match gets my soul.

  96. 112

    Mark spews:

    DamnageD @ 111

    That was my post (“Mark”) not “marks.” Thanks for the compliment anyway, though.

  97. 113

    headless lucy spews:

    This reverence for the damn flag is something from the blighted ’50’s just like the damn pledge of allegience. Do you know what they did with the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key? They cut it up into pieces and sold the pieces. Your sappy and superficial piousness towards flags and insincere pledges to it are the furthest thing in the world from what this country is all about. During the American Revolution you conservatives would have been British loyalists to a man. And you know it. You’re what’s wrong with America. Why don’t you all drink a pint of warm ale, sing God Save the Queen, and go sleep it off?

  98. 114

    marks spews:

    DamnageD:

    I apologize, but well put @111. IMO, on this issue there is no right or left. For myself, I believe each individual must take their own muster to determine how they react. I did my time in the military, and raised the flag as called for. The question is; who saluted?

    If I had caught somebody giving short shrift to our flag while I was in, I’d have given them a ticket. The ticket would have entitled (or obligated) them to flag raising duty for the week, with funeral detail. If they did not get it then, when would they get it?

    Mark @112

    Did not mean to take credit for your fine post… :)

  99. 116

    bill spews:

    Speaking as a disabled vet, prr, STFU and quit telling folks what I think. You are perfectly qualified to speak your own opinions, but you in no way speak for all vets. What I joined up for was freedom, not a piece of cloth.

    The fact is I was in during a period of time when there were signs on the grass at houses in Norfolk that read “sailors and dogs keep off the grass”. I was there cause I believe in a free America.

    You know, its funny. The only people who have actually burnt a flag since 1969 have been folks who are still fighting Vietnam, folks who are on day leave from the local mental hospitals, and people pissed off about that damn law.

    Its bad policy, and its only purpose is to distract the country from serious issues. Its on par with submitting an amendment to stop all those nasty people from farting at bus stops.

    Oh yeah, if guard bought a Koran or a Bible and burnt it at their own home or somewhere that onlookers can walk away from what they are doing, yes, that is indeed freedom. Remember at Gitmo, the Korans in question were personal property and the men there are prisoners.

    The main issue about Gitmo is not the desecration of the Koran, its the government swearing for 2 months that that they never put a Koran in the toilet only to finally release notes that someone relieved himself into a fan that blew urine onto the Koran. I call that a lie.

    BTW mark, regarding “. . . I will exercise my free speech by calling them out.” The supreme court HAS ruled that a) burning a flag is free speech and b)your right to swing your fist end at someone else’s nose.

    pacman @51, to answer that question those issues ARE covered by the constitution quite well in amendments 10 and 14 respectively.

  100. 117

    marks spews:

    Bill,

    The main issue about Gitmo is not the desecration of the Koran, its the government swearing for 2 months that that they never put a Koran in the toilet only to finally release notes that someone relieved himself into a fan that blew urine onto the Koran. I call that a lie.

    I can call you a name, but so what? The fact remains; the original story was a fabrication.

    BTW mark, regarding �. . . I will exercise my free speech by calling them out.� The supreme court HAS ruled that a) burning a flag is free speech and b)your right to swing your fist end at someone else�s nose.

    I call them out. That means I pound his nose in? You from the East?

  101. 118

    Mark spews:

    Lucy @ 113

    “blighted 50’s,” eh? I’m guessing you’re one of those teachers who longs for the 60’s, maaaaannnnnn, when you could really score some preeemo weeeeeeeeed.

    Sounds to me like you respect little, if not nothing — especially yourself.

    How the f* do you know that any of these posts are “insincere pledges?” You only think so because all of this sails SO far over your self-indulgent, self-involved head. I’d bet the reason you teach is to have 6-hour days, union benefits and summers off — not because you give a damn about the kids.

    All you seem to know is free love and free speech — paid for with someone else’s blood that you take for granted.

  102. 120

    bill spews:

    prr @ 68 “… would it hurt to just show a little respect for the people who have served our country?” and @119 “Sounds like it was a head wound.”

    I guess that respect is limited to just those who agree with you? Support for vets and the troops, so long as they are not liberals? So, do you also feel that any current military people who object to that damn amendment should stay in Iraq and get shot?

    Asshole!!!

  103. 121

    bill spews:

    Let me also say, you just demonstrated my point exactly, support for and respect for the flag is NOT respect for either our country, our troops or our leaders.

  104. 122

    prr spews:

    Bill,

    Sounds like you are venting your own ideas again.

    Respect is limited to addressing an asshole, such as yourself.

    I am really curious if you were actually wounded or just another liberal milking the system for everything you can. Hopeful psycholigical counseling is part of your receiving a check.

  105. 123

    bill spews:

    Wow!! I am just astounded by your patriotism and respect for vets. Guess we will all remember this next time you start bleating on and on about support for our troops, you’ve really got none. I guess that was just a political position all along.

    Yeah, venting my own ideas rather than parroting or bleating or making s**t up. If you had ever actually read the constitution, you’d realize that is not just a good idea, its your duty as an American. Opps sorry, forgot, noone has to learn to read anymore and that was insensitive of me or something.

  106. 124

    prr spews:

    Hey Bill,

    As one vet to another. It sounds like you have been a Jackass your entire life.

    Let me guess, shot by your our troops in “Nam”?

  107. 125

    bill spews:

    Now the tried and true conservative tactics come out, when you get caught saying something wrong pull out an ad hominum attack based on nothing. Cause noone will notice your demanding others support those you’ve no respect for if you attack the person who pointed it out. Go for it, noone is gonna notice. Really.

  108. 126

    prr spews:

    Who the hell are you to talk about personal attacks?

    Suddently someone calls you for the fraud you actually are and you become diplomatic?

    Fuck you….

    Go burn a flag you fucking traitor

  109. 128

    bill spews:

    Called me for a fraud? When? You made a couple of baseless accusations to try to redirect attention away from you calling for respect for troops they you do not have.

    That is my point, burning a flag is not a traitorous act. Go find a constitution and read it.

    Nope, same as for the Koran above. If someone burned their own cross in their own yard or in a place where others can walk away from what they are doing, they are allowed. It is traitorous to try to say they cant.

  110. 129

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Bill — you’re letting these ignorant children get to you. Don’t get yourself all worked up over their incoherent temper tantrums.

  111. 130

    headless lucy spews:

    Don’t wave the bloody flag at me you traitorous pissants, mark and prr. Face to face with me you’d shut your yap pretty quick. I’ve dealt with your kind many times.

  112. 131

    Mark spews:

    Lucy Goosey @ 130

    ME a “traitorous pissant?” Pot… kettle… black.

    Face-to-face with you, I’d likely turn to stone. Intellectually, you’re a lightweight.

    “My kind,” huh? Go ahead… profile me. Tell me what you think I’m like, what you think I think, etc.

    As I’m sure you’ve heard many times before (and probably recently): Go ahead, lucy, run along. The big people are having a conversation.

  113. 133

    headless lucy spews:

    Mark: Nothing you’ve ever written on this blog even remotely resembles anything grown-up or intellectual. If you had ever said anything in an intellectual vein you would soon find that you can not deal with my intellect at all. You would be in the position of the ant in an antpile who’s trying to figure out what’s happening as I piss all over your childish concepts to the point where you would soon be angrily denouncing me as a “communist” or some other emotionally loaded labels and right wing drivel.

    Example: Let’s discuss Leo Strauss’ political and ecomomic theories.( No, NOT Levi-Strauss and denim jeans.)

  114. 134

    prr spews:

    Lucy,

    You are pathetic.

    “Example: Let’s discuss Leo Strauss’ political and ecomomic theories.( No, NOT Levi-Strauss and denim jeans.)”

    Why stop there at your attempt to show your intellect?

    Why not a topic of discussion like “What was ben Franklins motivation behind the Philadelphia Letters”? or How about Irving Fishers Adaptive Expectation principles?

    Both about equally link your last statement for what is, pseudo intellectual maturbation in an attempt to qualify you as some form of scholar, when in fact you are some misguided nutbag

  115. 135

    GeoCrackr spews:

    Both about equally link your last statement for what is, pseudo intellectual maturbation in an attempt to qualify you as some form of scholar, when in fact you are some misguided nutbag

    awww, they’re so cute when they’re petulant, aren’t they Lucy?

  116. 136

    headless lucy spews:

    prr(prunelike republican rectum):So, I take it you do not want to be pinned down to any specific topic or line of inquiry, just more name calling and diversionary B.S.? Either one of the topics you mentioned is fine.

    I’m game.Go ahead and school me in the proper way to evaluate Franklin’s letter writing motivations and the ever adaptive Irving Fisher.

    The game is afoot!

    Or, is it?

  117. 137

    headless lucy spews:

    And it’s Fischer. That’s my first correction of your “intellectuality”. Spell the guy’s surname correctly for Jesus H. Christ’s sake!

  118. 138

    marks spews:

    Took you that long? I can just imagine how long it takes you to grade your students’ papers. Unless, of course, you don’t bother to correct them. Naturally, you will correct the student who pissed on you for being ignorant, but the rest just get the same passing grade. Sure is easier on you, and it does free up your time to make inane comments…

  119. 139

    prr spews:

    Alright Headless,

    How about this for a topic of conversation:

    Let’s duscuss the rapid decline in morality, religion, ethics and the success of America beginning in 1964 and ending with today’s date.

    I propose that liberal input in America has, like a cancerous growth, attacked the basic soul of this nation and what we are left with is a shadow of a once great nation.

  120. 140

    headless lucy spews:

    You proffered yourself as an intellectual who was trying to talk with the grownups about intellectual matters and that I needed to stay out of it. But I’m not seeing anything intellectual coming from you. You are engaging in avoidance behavior and I think that you are afraid of me both physically and intellectually. You didn’t like the Strauss discussion I proposed, so I agreed with your counter proposal of Fischer and Franklin. But so far I’m not seeing anything concrete from you.

  121. 141

    headless lucy spews:

    Can we start with America’s decline in the 1890’s, the Wilson Administration, 1929, and other era’s. What is special about 1964? The civil rights act?

  122. 142

    prr spews:

    Actually Lucy,

    I’ve never labeled myself to be an intellectual. That’s just you and your arrogance looking for some identity.

    You pointed out your deep intellect, While propsing a discussion about Strauss, I pointed out what a poser you were.

    Now go on?

    What’s you next line of shit you hack?

  123. 144

    headless lucy spews:

    You guys are pathetic and inchoate fools. Maybe literacy tests for voting is a good idea—for dumb white crackers like you guys.

  124. 145

    jsa on beacon hill spews:

    I just love dropping into these threads on the weekends.

    It always seems the discourse gets louder, meaner,and nastier Saturday and Sunday. I have some theories on this, but will keep them to myself for now.

    Regardless of your politics, burning a flag is a stupid form of protest. Protestors often are perfectly well-meaning, well-intentioned people. Gathering in large groups turns these good intentions into trite slogans in two refrains.

    (It is sometimes still necessary to gather in large groups when our rulers are doing something idiotic).

    A flag-burner can’t even muster enough eloquence to cough up a dumb slogan or a banner.

    But jeez people. Does every dumb, wrongheaded action need to be legislated? If you really feel that way, it’s actually easy to emigrate to Singapore.

    If this ammendment were to pass, it would be a sure sign that small-c conservative government (as in reserving limited power to the state, remember?) is dead, and large C Conservative “we will social engineer the populace through legislation like the leftists tried and failed to do” is triumphant.

    But it won’t pass. It’s not supposed to pass. It’s designed to get all y’all in a lather and distracted.

    Now snap out of it.

  125. 146

    DamnageD spews:

    JSA @ 145

    WELCOME BACK!! I missed your posts…but yet again you’ve stated your point most elloquently, and in full agreement I might add!

    Oh, please do share your theory on the weekend meanies. I bet you’ve got a great one brewing up there.

  126. 147

    marks spews:

    jsa,

    I have to agree with what you wrote:

    “Does every dumb, wrongheaded action need to be legislated?”

    and parallels what I said at #100 and 102.

    “It always seems the discourse gets louder, meaner,and nastier Saturday and Sunday. I have some theories on this, but will keep them to myself for now.”

    This illustrates what I said at a number of points. I sincerely apologize to those of you who are honestly disappointed in my lack of decorum. My theory is that headless loser is the Forrest Gump of commentary, and most people respond accordingly, dragging everyone down to his level, the lowest common denominator…

  127. 149

    headless lucy spews:

    Headless Lucy “made” marks act like an asshole. How childish can you get? How ’bout a little personal responsibility, marks. You’re a dithering, blithering idiot without any help or incitement from me.

  128. 150

    headless lucy spews:

    The first three paragraphs of Steyn’s op-ed make perfect sense. It’s just a set up , though, for the rest of his nonsense. Which is the unreasoning , jingoistic crap that he really wanted to say in the first place. At least he now recognizes that he has to write a few sensible sentences to suck the reader in.

  129. 151

    prr spews:

    marks @ 148

    Thanks for the link.

    I liked the connection to Rachel Corrie, although he stopped short on this point. If you want to burn a flag and protest the US, don’t expect the US to worry about you get killed for being an asshole.

    What has the lft done to support this girl getting crushed? The professors at Evergreen who fuelded her activism? What has the international Solidarity movement done to accept responsibility for putting her in harms way? What have her parents done?

    There’s been blame at Catepillar for makking the bulldozer, Blame at the US for?? Blame at the Israeli military bulldozer driver? blame the Israeli military?

    How about blaming those people who fueled this kid and got her motivated to get killed. Her School, her parents and the ISM are all directly accountable for this kid getting killed and how have they reacted? Blame everyone else.

    See what happens when you burn a flag? maybe the US should bring in some more bulldozers.

  130. 152

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    I had some bidness to take care of so I’m back now! These may be out of order but who cares.

    52 GBS: Since the only part of my 51 post is the Arab Al Jazerra issue, let me explain something to you. Do you have muslim friends who emigrated and are now american citizens? I have some Arabic computer engineer friends who we talk about middle east issues with. Many came over on H1-B type visas during the Clinton Years, stealing jobs from white guys. But what does a liberal care about that, it happened during the “Clinton Years” and it had to be good!

    These guys are devout Muslims, and are some good friends. I respect their Muslim worship and they respect my Christian worship. They look at the ideal of the US flag. To quote one over lunch, “Why do you Americans like to damage the flag, one of the things that make this country great?” I answered that I do not support flag burning. He then told me about being a young boy and seeing Old Glory flying over the embassy. That’s where my question to you came from, since IT likes to persecute anyone who takes a quote without citing the immediate source.

    Rocky Balboa just took an right uppercut and a left hook to the head from Apollo Creed. Rocky has fell back against the ropes, dazed and confused!

    56 Rujax206: That’s right I love America and I hate seeing our symbols of freedom destroyed by Deaniacs like you and your friends. Where do you draw the line at destroying things that Aymbolize America to visitors and potential emigres?

    59 GBS: Read IT, headless loocy, dj, david, and others postings who will swear like a drunken sailor to “make” their point. I use very little swearing, and when I write I implement it as a metaphor.

    73 Mr X.: Man you like to fight. Are you a UW student? I remember my college days of indestructability, where anything anyone said in disagreement were fighting words!

    76 Mr X. & 77 Prr: I forgot all about the Bataan Death March. Thanks Prr. That was a torturarium. But to the liberal mind, a little head slap, sleep deprivation, dunking (heck the Marine pilots get dunked in training), and other types non lethal torture is the same as the Bataan Death March. Who occupies Gitmo? Arabs best? No, their most lethal. Loocy, Mr X. et. al., are you willing to open up your home and accept one of these nice guys, to feed and shelter for the rest of their life? No that’s not a rhetorical question. Your answer will be very interesting. Ding, the clock is ticking!

    85 DamnageD: Welcome. We appreciate your opinion. Now if you could see other topics with such clarity of mind!

    89 N in Seattle: Are you and loocy lovers. I thought someone already expressed to you about the retiring of damaged or thread worn flags is different from public desecration. But I guess in your small intellectual prison (thanks dj) the two are the same!

    91 Loocy: Maybe in your pea-shapened mind GWB is “All hat and no horse”, but where was Clinton during Vietnam? What was he doing? Perform an Internet research on that and be sure to cite your sources before IT throws a tantrum.

    94 Loocy: Read your Sunday newspaper about the lady who just received a silver star for heroism taking on thirty terrorists in Iraq. I would would personally do her laundry and housework as a thank you before I would visit you at Western State!

    95 Marks: Loocy gets her paycheck from the union, so she kisses their ass everytime she posts. Each post has to be worth extra pocket money. She probably like the tastiness of other peoples’ shit direct from the source. Did I hear rimjob?

    101 Loocy: You claim that Bush & Co. are selling us to the Red Chinese. No Loocy, The Red Chinese received precious computer and gas technology from your pal Bill Clinton in the 1990’s through his friends at Loral, Halliburton (did I say Halliburton), and other companies. Damn Loocy it must be the Balco meds. Girl, git yo shit together, or just shut up! Take some Balco stimulants.

    103 Loocy: Teach wrestling? Did some wrestler cut off the blood supply to your brain on a half-nelson, body scissors move? That has to be the explanation along with the Balco meds.

    Regarding the US SCOTUS Decision, isn’t it ironic that the dissenters to the SCOTUS decision are the Republicans? Wow did the HAs miss this over two day old decision, or is that only important to us repugnicants? See how two faced you liberals are? Your won appointees screwed you all over and no one says anything. IT to steal another line “Nary a peep, nary a peep”.

    109 Jerry Springer Jr: Did the democrats get played earlier this week by Karl Rove? The Liberals all came out of the woodwork over his remark of soothing compassion for the hijackers. Remember it was Time Magazine within two weeks of the plane attacks asking why do they hate us?

    113 loocy: Hi there, I’m a human being! What are you? Damn girl git yo shit together. The “cut up” flag is intact in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, in WA, DC. You should take a field trip of one, because when the students see the truth apart from your blaterings you will lose the last of your classroom credibility!

    114 & 111: Marks and DamnageD: This is a demonstration of how two others converse like me and GBS. Thank you for some fine reading!

    116 Bill: You said, “You know, its funny. The only people who have actually burnt a flag since 1969 have been folks who are still fighting Vietnam, folks who are on day leave from the local mental hospitals, and people pissed off about that damn law.” Better words have not been written in a long time!

    Amendment X – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    AMENDMENT XIV
    Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

    Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

    Section 1.
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. – Where does not burning a flag deprive the citizen of anything?

    133 Loocy: Post 113 is a lie and a fabrication in your own mind! So please stop dribbling in your Latte, or is it a cappucino today?

    141 Loocy: The CRA (Civil Rights Act), which that and the VRA (Voting Rights Act), were passed by Republicans. Please Loocy STFU when you have no clue of history. What do you teach in Seattle Schools? Where did you buy your diploma? I am still waiting those answers? I already gave you my credentials to this discussion, loocy what are your credentials? IT (my pet name for donnageddon or Don as we now know) what are yours? N-in Seattle what are yours? Mr X. what are yours? GBS said he came from the school of hard knocks and I respect him for it! I know my history and from whence I came. My family came from slaves, mistreated by the British and illegally brought here. But to the rest of you “stupid is as stupid does!” I liked Forrest Gump, he reminded me of many liberals, full of ideals, but slow on the uptake!

    145 JSA: You are so right! Headless loocy needs to have a cup of chai or green tea (the drink of liberals in SF area) with you on the beacon and leave her fremont environment!

    Enough for now. I have to perform some honeydoos this morning!

    PacMan

  131. 153

    David spews:

    PacMan @ 152:
    Don’t falsely malign me. Either 1) you’re deluded or 2) your memory is weak or 3) you’re lying when you tell GBS (@ 59) to “Read . . . david, and others postings who will swear like a drunken sailor to “make” their point.”

    Unlike some folks here (especially some of the right-wing trolls, but it really is equal opportunity), I use reason—not invective—to make my points. Although I have been a drunken sailor before, I don’t swear like one when I’m arguing a point.

  132. 154

    David spews:

    Wow. PacMan @ 152: “I have some Arabic computer engineer friends who we talk about middle east issues with. Many came over on H1-B type visas during the Clinton Years, stealing jobs from white guys. . . . These guys are devout Muslims, and are some good friends.”

    Will they still be your good friends, if you tell them they’re “stealing jobs from white guys”?

    Your own words make you look a racist bigot, or a hypocrite, or both.

  133. 155

    Puddybud spews:

    JSA: Great comment.

    I am glad I waited to comment on this post. I was tempted on Friday, but I wanted to see what loocy would write. Sure enough loocy could not contain herself. Loony Loocy: http://www.answers.com/topic/fort-mchenry since IT wants me to place every post with their location. The flag is being restored. It sits in a special case where sunlight and air cannot attack it. But then you probably never seen land east of the Mississippi River.

    Personally I am against flag brning, but you all can do what you want, it’s a free country, and you are free to present yourself as an ass anyday of the week. As Bill said, you flag burners have to get out of the 1959-1973 Vietnam time warp. I am truly sorry you are disabled Bill. But for IT and Loocy, I wonder how they became disabled?

    Pudster

  134. 156

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    David: I read somewhere long ago you were in school with an Israeli justice. May I assume that you are of the caucasian persuasion? Me I am black through and through!

    Well how can the oppressed (blacks and hispanics) be anything you are accusing me of? Did that comment hit home? Remember the H1-B plan was supported by Clinton to get the best minds in the US from anywhere. Well David, why are the best minds from overseas being imported to the US? Because the best minds in America were being polluted in liberal universities where technical thought was blasphemed as wrong and just supporting the US military behemoth? Or, I suppose, you went through the school of hard knocks like GBS?

    You see David, being a black man from the inner city I know from whence I came. I also know most inner city black and hispanic kids have no chance to aspire today because of policies and programs of the Democratic Party. What has your side done since 1954 to improve the inner city lot? Absolutely nothing yet your party somehow gets their vote every four years. Since most of those technical jobs would have gone to whites, what part of my post offends you except the truth?

    Are you so afraid of someone pointing out the truth like Perot did about NAFTA? The great sucking sound did occur as jobs went south. Now your liberal hero, Warren Buffet, what did he do? Buy stock in those companies who supported NAFTA? Of course. How hypocritical.

    So David, that’s the only problem with my post? I am impressed, as I expected more complaints from your friends. Thanks for the comeback.

    PacMan

  135. 157

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    David: I missed the second part of you asking me if I asked them about their jobs and taking them from white guys. FYI, we did discuss H1-B visas and one told me that a big financial supporter of Grayout Davis beat me to the punch. They know about liberal racism, as they live it everyday since they came to the US. The looks they get from other professional people in the SF area. Who occupies the SF area? Lovers of Nancy Pelosi, etc.

    I rest my case David. I wait your response.

  136. 158

    David spews:

    PacMan @ 152, that wasn’t the only problem I had with your post, but I haven’t been participating in this contest to see who can be loudest about being offended by mistreatment of our flag. I suppose there is one major point worth addressing, though.

    Your ‘friends’ ask, “Why do you Americans like to damage the flag?”
    ANSWER: We don’t. Even the “LEFTIST PINHEADS” Chuck sees everywhere don’t like it when we see people burning the flag, either overseas or here at home (which almost never happens anyway). But someone burning their own flag, however stupid and inarticulate they might be, shouldn’t be thrown in prison for doing it.

    We can condemn flag burning without criminalizing it.

    (BTW, what about cutting up a U.S. Flag birthday cake? or stamping a postmark on a U.S. Flag postage stamp? or burning an older, somewhat worn flag? What should be a crime: the act of desecrating a flag, or the thoughts of the person doing it?)

  137. 159

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    David, regarding Post #152, do I need to search this blog to prove your use of swearing here? No that would be a waste of precious nanoseconds. Please be truthful. Most of your posts are well thought out from the left. I seem to remember past invective commentary to Puddy, Righton and Cynical. Your choice of invective use is less than headless or IT, but you have implemented that prose style before.

  138. 160

    David spews:

    Oh, heck, PacMan @ 152 (& obliquely Pudster @ 155), this little factual correction is just too easy to pass up.

    You wrote in response to headless lucy (regarding the Fort McHenry flag) that “The ‘cut up’ flag is intact in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, in WA, DC.”

    Not quite. It’s there, but it’s not intact. “Some missing pieces were probably snipped out for souvenirs,” says the Smithsonian. So she was right, at least in part (the whole flag wasn’t cut up).

  139. 161

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    David #158. The last paragraph brought a smile to my face. You can’t read thoughts so I can you prosecute that. Only unlawful actions can be prosecuted.

  140. 162

    David spews:

    PacMan @ 159: Be my guest. I know that once I swore at someone who was purposely misquoting an article (actually changing, cutting and adding words) to “support” his point. But I am serious when I say I don’t swear like a drunken sailor, ever.

  141. 163

    David spews:

    PacMan @ 161: right. (glad I made you smile.) So if someone’s burning a somewhat worn flag, should it be illegal if it looks like they are making a political statement, but legal if they’re being respectful to it?

  142. 164

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    David #160, Loocy talked about “They cut it up into pieces and sold the pieces.” I saw a picture of the flag and it had some small holes in it but not the whole flag. So Loocy lied, and like most of her posts their are holes in them.

    In the post David refers to is this comment: “Even in these cynical days, Americans who have lived abroad for a while, and suddenly meet the Stars and Stripes, feel a wrenching emotional surge — the pulse quickens, breath shortens, the throat tightens.” Wow this post proves my point of how people react when they see the American flag! Thanks David for posting another anecdotal positive for my argument against burning the flag.

  143. 165

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    David #164: That’s a catch 22 question if I have ever seen one. Burning a worn flag is the correct disposal nethod per the post above. Why they decide to burn it is only known by the burner and God in heaven.

    I like you David. Most of your posts promote introspection and contemplation. You and GBS are now my favorite lefty posters. BTW David, where did you attend school?

  144. 166

    David spews:

    PacMan @ 156: “how can the oppressed (blacks and hispanics) be [a racist bigot or a hypocrite]?”

    Just like anyone else. I don’t care what color your skin is, it doesn’t matter. Anybody can be a bigot. But with your further explanation, it sounds like when you said “stealing jobs from white guys,” you didn’t mean it in the sense that ‘Arabs are taking jobs that rightfully should belong to white guys'; I think you meant something more like ‘Arabs are beating out white guys for jobs the white guys thought they’d be entitled to.’ Maybe you should have said “outcompeting” instead of “stealing.” That would have sounded a lot less prejudiced.

    “the best minds in America were being polluted in liberal universities where technical thought was blasphemed as wrong and just supporting the US military behemoth”

    You’ve gotta be kidding. A lot of the guys (and gals) getting jobs here on H1-B visas got educated in those same “liberal universities.”

  145. 167

    David spews:

    PacMan @ 164: “Loocy talked about ‘They cut it up into pieces and sold the pieces.’ I saw a picture of the flag and it had some small holes in it but not the whole flag. So Loocy lied”

    I’ve seen the flag in the Smithsonian. There’s a big “V” cut out of the middle, and the bottom is ragged with pieces snipped off.

  146. 168

    David spews:

    and more @ 164: “Thanks David for posting another anecdotal positive for my argument against burning the flag.”

    You’re welcome. We agree—people shouldn’t burn the flag. But people shouldn’t be thrown in jail if they do.

  147. 169

    David spews:

    PacMan @ 165: “David #164: That’s a catch 22 question if I have ever seen one. Burning a worn flag is the correct disposal nethod per the post above. Why they decide to burn it is only known by the burner and God in heaven.”

    Exactly. And if this Amendment is passed, and flag desecration is criminalized, that’s the sort of Catch-22 that a court is going to face. If the line between correct disposal and desecration is what the burner is thinking . . . .

    “I like you David. Most of your posts promote introspection and contemplation. You and GBS are now my favorite lefty posters. BTW David, where did you attend school?”

    Thank you. (but don’t forget about jsa on beacon hill, and Mr. X; I think they’re also very articulate.) I went to Stanford undergrad, and NYU Law.

  148. 171

    BananaLand(aka Iguana) spews:

    I have never heard of a more stupid idea than amending the Constitution to ban flag burning.

    The last thing we need to do is start opening up the Constitution for every asshole political zealot to come along and change it.

    The history of Constitutions is that the more you change it, the less it holds a country together, the less clear it is, the LESS SUCCESSFULL the country concerned is. Just check out South and Latin America. Take Mexico, for example. Their Constitution has been changed so many times that nobody has any fucking idea what it says any more.

  149. 172

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    David I’m back. Mr X. and jsa should be added to my list? Well jsa seems level headed, but Mr. X. likes to resort to fisticuffs too much. I appreciated him cheering me on when I’d pound someone’s butt for using the n-epithet, then he would convict me. Well I’ll consider it.

    Regarding the flag, a missing V still does not qualify even close to Loocy’s statement. I realize you are friendly with Loocy, nut to come to her defense is weird to me.

    Regarding liberal universities, maybe some of them, but some were educated in their home lands and they arrived as guest workers.

  150. 175

    headless lucy spews:

    And if you actually read the Smithsonian article you’ll find that pieces of it WERE sold. “Ah, but there was still part of the flag left, so Headless Lucy was uninformed.” I was the only one who knew the facts in the 1st place.

  151. 176

    spews:

    The next time an abortion doctor is murdered by one of your nutcases, I would suggest you keep your demonstrators off the streets PERMANENTLY because you’ve all gone as far as you’re going to go with your crap. It’s over. You are warriors like Bush and Cheney arer warriors– which is to say– you’re not.

    Comment by headless lucy— 6/24/05 @ 4:21 pm

    You tell them Lucy!!! The next time you repubs try to stop us from killing babies you will find out how real men fight.

  152. 177

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    Headless, answer my school questions regarding your education and skills and I’ll talk about Headstart. You raise a great questions and I will gladly discuss Headstart. IT, don’t worry I won’t be referring to Internet sites so plagiarism will be non-existent. I know you’ll be checking IT, cuz you got nutin else to do! It will be from mine and others experiences. It is okay for a black from the bay area to write ebonic since it was the official language of the Oakland School System approved by Jesse Jackson.

    You said the flag was cut up and sold. Let’s first look at your sentences: “Do you know what they did with the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key? They cut it up into pieces and sold the pieces.” What flag? Are you talking about the flag over Fort Sumter? If it was cut up and sold how could the flag be under reconstruction at the Smithsonian? Wouldn’t part of the flag have to be around for a reconstruction effort to occur? I am not arguing the sold the pieces part. So your original premise is wrong loocy. Just using HA liberal logic used on other arguments put forth here.

    So headless, you be smack da eyes wid nice grill or you just buck? Duz yo onion sez yo purrty? As da HA hoochie, yo be flustered. But fo real do, keep me laffin. I enjoy going back to the roots at times. So headless being a Seattle School District “teacher”, the above is easily translatable right?

  153. 178

    David spews:

    PacMan asketh, “What flag? Are you talking about the flag over Fort Sumter?

    Um, wrong war. Fort Sumter => Civil War. Francis Scott Key => War of 1812 => Fort McHenry. (The Smithsonian link @ 160 is a really good read.)

    ObRandomFact: The flag over Ft. McHenry had 15 stars, and 15 (not 13!) stripes.

  154. 179

    prr spews:

    Okay,

    This post bothers me A LOT.

    I can’t help but think that the opinions in favor of allowing a flag to be treated in such a disrectful manner would be held by people without any knowledge of why the flag is so sacred.

    So, in an effort to educate, here is a brief history lesson.

    Attached is a link on the battle of Wake Island:
    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-C-Wake/

    Also, I’d like to include just a couple quotes from both Civilians and military alike regarding the mistreatmentnof our flag.

    “On his way back to work detail one day J. O. Young (civilian contractor captured during the battle of Wake Island) glanced over at a building being used by the japanese as an office and noticed a crumpled American flag that had been stuffed into a fish net and wedged into the dorr bottom as a stopper. Young and the other men bristled at the offensive sight, but they could do nothing as they marched by but stifle their tears and corral their emotions. Accustomed to Freedom all their lives, the men suddenly faced a world in which their every move would be dictated and their fates determined by someone else. “One cannot imagine what a horribile and helpless feeling that was to see our flag so desecrated” Young wrote after the war. “One thing we found out was that when Old Glory did not fly, there is no freedom” (p 197-98, Wukovitz, Pacific Alamo)

    And…
    “Men risked their lives to ctreate handmade American flags, even though they had to keep them hidden until wars end. Gathering cloth from from old uniforms or tattered sheets, men fashioned crude stars and stripes in an effort to keep morale high. Two men in one camp labvororously stitched together a flag by taking red cloth from a japanese quilt, white cloth from their sheets and blue material from a pair of dungarees donated by an Australian Officer. While the flags could not yet take their porpoer places atop a flagpole, the prisoners drew inspiriation from knowing that the stars and stripes ( a symbol that some individuals take for granted in less threatening times) existed amidst their misery.” (p 218, Wukovitz, Pacific Alamo)

    Now quotes fro members on this board:

    Quote From Goldy ” A few years back I spent $15.00 on an American flag (it was made in China,) and in addition to it being a symbol, it is also a piece of cloth that I own. The day my nation throws me in jail for lighting a match to my flag, while standing on my property, is the day America ceases to be, well… America.”

    Tell us about patriotism Goldy…..

  155. 180

    PacMan - The Best Game Ever spews:

    David, the Fort question was for Loocy, but you answered it. She said the flag was cut up and sold, so I wanted to see if she knew what flag and from what fort. Oh well. I see you like to come to her aid. Was she a client of yours?

    Goldy: You may have a personal right to damage your flag through fire. As you can view from many posts here, both sides of the aisle think your actionable choice is distasteful.

  156. 181

    David spews:

    “David, the Fort question was for Loocy, but you answered it.”

    Yeah, sorry about that. I’m addicted to facts, is all.