Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Because They've Solved All the World's Problems

The U.S. Congress has the time on its hands to debate and pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning the desecration of American flags.

"We are Americans, dammit! We represent the epitome of freedom! And we will punish anyone who dares to try to exercise that freedom in a way offensive to mine eyes!"

Congress seems quite concerned about "protecting" the flag -- a symbol of the freedom that this country represents. And yet it thought nothing of whittling away the actual rights this country stands for when it first passed the civil liberties death knell known as the PATRIOT Act. (Thank goodness they've since revisited and reconsidered at least some of its provisions.)

PS: Tiny bit of irony: What does one do with a flag that's worn and tattered and needs to be disposed of? Answer: It "should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning" (emphasis mine). Apparently there's an entire chapter of the U.S. Code devoted to the flag (who knew?) and the relevant portion is found at 4 U.S.C. § 8(k). I daresay, I'm a little flabbergasted.


Matthew said...

Well, I'm glad they've finally hunkered down and begun work on the important stuff.


The hypocrisy, grandstanding and disregard of civil liberties is very troubling, indeed.

You've said it well, Dennis, so I'll just shake my head in despair.

katie said...

I love the fact that the people who support this are the same people with the little cloth flags flying on their cars, or the giant ones in their yard. If they are so concerned about the flag, they should be taking these down every night at sunset, and raising them again in the mornings.

Dennis! said...

Katie, you're totally right - Section 6(a) says sunrise to sunset only, unless "a patriotic effect is desired," in which case it should be "properly illuminated" at night. Section 6 also tells you how the flag should be lowered and raised (lowered "ceremoniously", raised "briskly").

Section 8 includes a whole panoply of regulationis regarding the flag including stuff I've seen violated by "patriotic" red-staters all the time:

- flag "should never be used as wearing apparel", Section 8(d). HOW many flag shorts, flag shirts, flag suits have I seen, including a W. horrific inauguration galas?
- flag should not be printed on anything "designed for temporary use and discard," like handkerchiefs, cushions or napkins, Section 8(i). I've seen these.

Aaargh. I'm flustered again.

Steve said...

But, Dennis! Don't you think they're bringing this shit up again because they're really losing ground, and are desperate for another 'wedge' issue? I'm glad knowing everything that's f**ked up in this country is now un-f**ked up, so they can deal with the really important stuff like this. Geezh.

Bowman said...

Two things:

1) Jon Stewart was making fun of that provision on his show last night.

2) Someone pointed out to me that the Boy Scouts actually follow that and burn worn-out flags. Apparently this dude claims it is a very emotional ceremony. yeah over a freaking flag. W/ever.

Dennis! said...

Jon Stewart kicks ass.

Unfortunately, however -- because I'm an old man -- I've lately come to choose sleep over staying up to watch him most nights. :(