Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Phew! We're Still Free, For Now

By ONE vote, Congress rejected a ban on flag burning being added to the constitution. It would have been the first amendment to curb rights rather than expand them. (other than Prohibition, of course. That worked out well.)

It also would have made us strikingly similar to Saddam Hussein.

To deface his image, in Iraq, meant almost certain death or imprisonment.

Do we really want to throw people in jail for burning a flag? Do we really want to throw people in jail for hurting our PRIDE?

The flag is very nice. As far as flags go, it's a pretty nifty design, and thank God it lacks the religious symbolism that is found in many of the world's flags. That said... its a flag. It's a piece of cloth sewn by a machine in a factory somewhere.

I've had American flags handed to me at 4th of July celebrations that were stapled, yes, STAPLED, to a plastic stick.

People like to say, "people have died for that flag." But that's bullshit. Nobody ever died for a flag. Nobody ever fought for a flag. It's a flag. If you fight for a flag, you're a moron. You don't fight for a flag, you fight for a COUNTRY. A Country that is supposed to believe in freedom of expression.

Now, I don't see any reason to burn the flag. On that point, I tend to agree with the banners. Burning a flag gets a lot of people angry, and doesn't seem to get much of a message across. As a protest tactic, it's pretty weak. What are you trying to say? You're not a fan of Betsy Ross?

But it is a form of protest. It's not our place to judge whether it's effective or not. When banning something, we should consider the harm that thing does. You're telling me that cigarettes, alcohol, and Ann Coulter don't cause more pain and damage to America than a burning flag? Give me a break. If your basis for banning flag burning is that it's "a form of expression that is spiteful or vengeful" (as Arlen Specter said), then that's stupid. Posting pictures of aborted fetuses in front of abortion clinics is spiteful and vengeful too. No one's jumping to outlaw that.

This was obviously an election year tactic. But what's disturbing is how close it came to actually winning. 14 democrats voted for it. Is it any wonder why people have lost faith in them?

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