Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Burn This Blog

Today marks the day that the United States Senate once again tries to take our attention away from what is truly important in this country, to argue for a hollow, destructive, and truly un-American amendment - the "flag desecration" amendment.

As regular readers of PTF know, I've already been on my soapbox over this smokescreen.

If this Amendment passes, I will never fly an American flag again. This may sound extreme, but let me explain. I view the flag as a symbol... a symbol of our freedoms as American citizens. By amending our Constitution in this way, the symbol becomes hollow, and as such, loses its intrinsic values that are allegedly being protected.

I find far more heinous "desecrations" of the American flag every day in my community - the magnetic flag slapped on the back of a minivan, caked in mud - a supposed sign of uber-patriotism. The miniature flags parked along the curb by a realtor on Flag Day to draw attention to an Open House - long since forgotten and left in the rain soaked gutter. The American flag "Made in China," hanging as decorative trim in a store window's Fourth of July Sales Extravaganza.

Need more examples of flag desecration currently unrecognized as such? Take a look at some of the pictures I posted earlier.

The President of the United States, writing directly on the flag, in clear violation of the current United States Code - the individual who is allegedly the Standard Bearer is a Flag Desecrator:

According to the Citizens Flag Alliance, an organization that SUPPORTS the amendment, there were only twelve instances of flag desecration in this country in all of 2005. In 2004, there were three. In each of these cases, laws were already in place to punish the perpetrators.

More often than not, those who choose to desecrate a flag intentionally do so to someone else's flag - not their own. In other words, they choose to destroy the property of someone else. As such, there are laws which ALREADY exist to punish these people. The amendment is simply unnecessary.

Is flag burning ugly? Absolutely. But in America, we protect the rights of people to do ugly things. I cannot believe some of the ugly, despicable, and utterly hateful things that come out of the mouth of Ann Coulter. But she is protected not only to speak those words, but to publish and distribute those words in a variety of means. My stomach turns at the thought of the mere existence of the KKK in this country, but we protect the right of this hate group to assemble, to this day.

These are the costs of living in a country where freedom is TRULY a valuable commodity. And an occasional flag burning may be a part of that cost, as well. Despicable? Certainly. But meritorious of amending the Constitution? Never.

I've linked to this Washington Post story above, but this specific paragraph bears highlighting:
Fortunately, the Senate will have plenty of time to discuss that matter. The chamber has scheduled up to four days of debate on the flag-burning amendment this week. If that formula -- one day of Senate debate for each incident of flag burning this year -- were to be applied to other matters, the Senate would need to schedule 12 days of debate to contemplate the number of years before Medicare goes broke, 335 days of debate for each service member killed in Iraq this year and 11 million days of debate on the estimated number of illegal immigrants in the country.
The United States Senate is guilty of perpetrating a fraud against the American people in even pursuing this amendment to our United States Constitution, and should be ashamed for trying to protect our rights by limiting them. By placing such importance on the mere symbol, they disregard the importance of what they symbol represents.

UPDATE: The Sentate voted 66-34 on the Amendment this evening. It needed two-thirds, or 67 votes to pass, and so the Amendment was defeated. Obviously a staged vote. What surprised me were the number of Democrats who voted in favor of this Amendment - please feel free to share your displeasure with the following Democrats - Max Baucus (D-Montana), Evan Bayh (D - Indiana, and a potential 2008 Democratic Pres. candidate - yeah, right), Mark Dayton (D - Minnesota), Dianne Feinstein (D - California), Tim Johnson (D- South Dakota), Mary Landrieu (D - Louisiana), Blanche Lincoln (D - Arkansas - yeah.. who?), Robert Menendez (D - New Jersey - I KNOW we have some NJ readers here), Bill Nelson (D - Florida), Harry Reid (D - Nevada - current SENATE MINORITY LEADER... idiot), John D. Rockefeller (D - West Virginia), Ken Salazar (D - Colorado), and Debbie Stabenow (D - Michigan).

Three Republicans deserve a tip of the hat for voting with the rest of the level-headed Democrats on this Amendment. They are Bob Bennett (R - Utah), Lincoln Chaffee (R - Rhode Island), and Mitch McConnell (R - Kentucky, and definitely the biggest fish in this bunch - if Democrats win back the Majority in the fall, McConnell could very well become Minorty Leader).

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Posted by FleshPresser at 11:31 AM /


  • Blogger Kitten posted at 1:35 PM  
    This is what my Daddy has ALWAYS said about this issue...

    "I DO NOT believe that burning the flag is right. I may NOT agree with what you say, do or how you express your beliefs. But, I WILL defend your RIGHT to do so until the bitter end because this is AMERICA!."

    A powerful statement all on it's own. More so when you take into account his 28 years of military service.

  • Blogger The Professor posted at 4:19 PM  
    Hey--I agree with you on this one.

    But I think the photo of the person signing the flag looks more like John Kerry than G.W... when was the last time G.W. had such a good hair day?

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 5:05 PM  
    nawww...cmon... look at that Red Neck... that's Bush. :) You've actually convinced me to replace the photo, however, with one that has a citation attached to it... just so that people are clear.

    I actually find very few people who disagree with me on this issue, which makes me wonder why Congress believes it to be such a pressing issue.

  • Blogger Kevin posted at 6:17 PM  
    And you are correct to wonder but then here's a rhetorical question:

    What other issue could be used to show that we politicians are in step with American values? I mean, it seems like all people oppose flag burning but politicians fail to realize you can be opposed to flag burning and still let the person next to you burn a flag.

    Excellent post on flag burning.

  • Anonymous Eric Odom posted at 10:10 PM  
    Even us conservatives are pissed about this crap. They need to stop wasting time and get something done!

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 10:17 PM  
    Agreed, Eric... you and I may not agree on exactly what they should be working on, but we're agreed that this is an insult and a waste of time.

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