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Flag Burning. Senate debates today. Worth while? Or a Demagogue's Delight?

| 27 Comments

This flag burning amendment legislation gets a whole bunch of floor time starting today courtesy of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a possible 2008 presidential candidate.

Frist is getting it from the right and left for tying up the chamber on symbolic legislation. Even a bunch of blue chip conservatives--who support the resolution--hit Frist recently for making a priority of flag burning instead of pushing to confirm conservative judges.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) who thinks the measure is a waste of time, said Sunday on ABC's ``This Week'' it is within one vote of passage.

C


DURBIN; We don't need to amend the Bill of Rights for the first time in our history. Thomas Jefferson did a pretty good job. And I think it's, kind of, bold of some of our colleagues to think they can rewrite it for an issue that, frankly, is not a national problem.

There are scarcely any instances across America where people are burning the flag. And yet, now we want to set aside the important business of the Senate, health care and energy policy and education and debate for an entire week this concept of amending our Bill of Rights for the first time in our history. I think that's a mistake.

27 Comments

This is a blatant disregard of our rights as United States citizens in hopes that in banning the desecration of our national symbol will win Frist votes in the next election. If it is out-lawed, though I have never done it before and have no quarrel with the flag, I will personally burn the biggest U.S. flag that I can find in protest. Join me, if you will.

Maybe the GOP Senate should worry more about Iraq, good paying jobs, price of gas and illegal aliens! DUH!
Bill Frist is reduced to endlessly pandering to the right wingers! Oh, the humanity!
I have a better chance of being hit by a meteorite than seeing a fruitcake burn a flag. Will Frist be visiting any flag factories?!?! YAWN!

I'd like to suggest a tongue-in-cheek compromise on the divisive issue of flag burning. Protestors should have the right to burn the flag. In turn, others should have the right to burn protestors who burn the flag.

Mr. Graf's tongue in cheek remark isn't funny. The last nation that placed nationalism over freedom did burn millions of people for religious views as well as homosexuals and gypsies.

As we pass Constitutional Amendments dictating appropriate political behavior, let us be aware of who is leading this effort and turn the Republicans out of power before they continue to advance their freedom-denying agenda throughout this land.

It is a shame that American leaders can be so spineless to be led by demagogues who place protection of banners, no matter how beautiful they may be, above the rights and freedoms of Americans.

His remark is funny, it is meant as a joke, kind of like what you are mr. freedland, A JOKE! And anyone who burns the flag, is a sorry joke!

All of you who realize this is a political argu,meant to coddle to the base are right! But, if it passes the Senate, wait til we hear that National debate for states to ratify. And while the American people are off doing that this Republican government will sneak by some other legislation re-enforcing their control and stealing Democracy from the middle class. Read "Off Center" by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson!!

The Republicans are the most laughable collection of tiny minds ever assembled under the Capital dome. Passing this admendment will result in MORE American flags being burnt, not fewer. It will give flag burning the delicious cachet of civil disobedience beloved of protesters everywhere, in the fine tradition of Henry David Throeau. And consider this: Recently, nazi and ku klux klan filth were allowed to assemble and desecrate the Gettysburg Battlefield, an act that makes flag burning look positively patriotic. If we can allow one, we can surely allow the other.

The Republicans are the most laughable collection of tiny minds ever assembled under the Capital dome. Passing this amendment will result in MORE American flags being burnt, not fewer. It will give flag burning the delicious cachet of civil disobedience beloved of protesters everywhere, in the fine tradition of Henry David Thoreau. And consider this: Recently, Nazi and Klux Klan filth were allowed to assemble and desecrate the Gettysburg Battlefield, an act that makes flag burning look positively patriotic. If we can allow one, we can surely allow the other.

Symbols, such as flags, do hold great meaning for many and descecrating a symbol, such as burning a US flag, is definately disrespecting a country which has been a gift from God to many. However, the irony of a law which bans flag burning is that it takes away from what makes this country such a gift. In short, the fact that we have freedoms, such as burning flags, is what makes the flag burning shameful; conversely, take those freedoms away and we increase the reasons to burn a flag.

Symbols, such as flags, do hold great meaning for many and descecrating a symbol, such as burning a US flag, is definately disrespecting a country which has been a gift from God to many. However, the irony of a law which bans flag burning is that it takes away from what makes this country such a gift. In short, the fact that we have freedoms, such as burning flags, is what makes the flag burning shameful; conversely, take those freedoms away and we increase the reasons to burn a flag.

Once upon a time in the House.

From GovTrack.us

109th U.S. Congress (2005-2006)
H. J. Res. 10: Flag Desecration resolution

Status: Passed House (94% of Republicans supporting, 61% of Democrats opposing.)

Aye IL-08 Rep. Bean, Melissa [D]

Here are what slackers like you dont understand, The contienental army used this battle flag for OUR INDEPENDENCE, the UNION ARMY, used this flag to kill southern Democratic slavery, George Pershing used this flag to rout Kaiser Wilhelm in WW 1., Eisenhower in WW2 crushed german/nazi rule and MacAurthor crusher Imperial Japan on the USS Missouri. Thats all his flag stands for? The charge on Iwo Jima, think Hitler would let you burn his flag, or Tojo, Stalin or Castro? Thats what this flag stands for you ignorant cowards, hate this country so bad go to Cuba see what free speech they have their, go to China or Syria and practice free religion! Go to Iran and tel them you want to be a christian, then see what happens. Come to America , work hard , mind your ouw beans and noone bothers you! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

We should be very cautious about tampering with the constitution in these times when our perspective is so clouded by anger and ignorance, and our country is so polarized. I know better, for instance, to wait a day before sending off a nasty email. But worst of all, is that the proposed amendment is a political stunt. If you want to talk about sacred, talk about the constitution. The constitution is timeless, and is above and beyond trends and political whims.

One of the things that the flag stands for is freedom. To introduce, for the first time in history, an amendment that limits freedom is a bigger threat to what the flag stands for than flag burning.

This is in response to Paul Piecarcyk's post. He says "The charge on Iwo Jima, think Hitler would let you burn his flag, or Tojo, Stalin or Castro." Well, flag burning is illegal in Cuba -- and in Iran, and China.

All the mythical symbolism that Paul conjures up about how the glorious American flag prevails over the evil forces is from grade school indoctrination, and has little to do with reality.

This is in response to Foghorn Leghorn's quote, you liberals want to force you morality on all of us, but, we wont tolerate it. People like Leghorn are what is wrong with this country, he probably subscribes to the NY times and deep down inside hates america! Dont force your morality on me, dont make me watch your idiotic behavior. Your way of thinking died after Jimmy Carter lost re-election. You burn a flag in those countries you idiolize (all commie dictatorships) you'll die, here you get arrested,big difference.

Response to Paul again: In this debate, Paul has stooped to name calling. He also wrongly assumes that I hate America (at least I capitalize "America". Maybe there should an amendment about that too). I don't idolize Iran, Cuba, and China. My point was, we'd be more like them if we had a flag burning amendment. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" (Declaration of Indpendence) sums it up pretty well. These things are sacred, and much of what the American flag stands for. I value those things more than anything. I value my life more than a piece of cloth. To equate a life with a piece of cloth trivializes life, and Paul trivializes the struggles of Americans who have defended freedom with his simple, comic book mentality.

I think he calls you forhorn leghorn ,because he was a chicken. I served my country and agree with him, you are a coward and thank god this country wasnt populated by people like you when WW2 broke out, we'd be speaking german now! even thought it wasnt a crime in the 40's no one acted as such. Here we are in a global war with Islamo-fascists and Foghorn Leghorn wants to burn flags. That makes us nothing like Cuba, where you cant speakout against a tyrant like castro! or China your other utopia. 60's reject wackos like you are just hate america, you college professor types that think you so smart. Honor the flag I served and Paul served to defend your right to be an idiot!

What is apparent to me from Carl's reply to me is that not only can't he write, he can't read. Where did he get the idea that I wrote that Cuba & China are utopias, or that I want to burn flags, or that I hate America (note again, that I capitalized "America" -- I believe "God" should also be capitalized), or that I'm a college professor? Just because I use a spell doesn't make me a professor. I honor the flag. I've never burned a flag, and will never burn a flag. I just don't think there should be a flag burning amendment. Flag burning is not a problem in our country. It rarely happens, and when it does, the idiots who do it are dealt with appropriately. I'd like to see congress spend our tax dollars on real issues instead of political posturing to rile up the ignorant masses for another election (and I mean ignorant! look who they voted for... twice!).

Once in a bookstore, I opened up a book about the Iraq war, and saw a picture of an Iraqi man holding his dead little girl who had been killed by an American bomb. I will never forget it. Carl, if you can read, and have read this far, what do you have to say to that?

Did that book have pictures from Saddams rape rooms? Know it all liberalman. I served in the army, did you? I read these blogs reply laugh at liberals then back to work, no time or care to spell check. I opened up a book in a bookstore about 9/11 saw dead american children ,if you can read what do you have to say about that? Cowards like you don't realize that freedom is not free. Your boy Jimmy Carter he was great Mr Foghorn Leghorn! John Kerry or ALGORE were better? LOL. You deny being what you are, a god hating liberal forcing your 1/2 assed morals on the rest of us. Do you have your ACLU card in your Yugo? What terrorist attacks have happened here since the Iraq war( for you liberals a theater of war is a battlefield, Iraq is a theater in the war on terror). If this country was run by SMART MEN like Fog Horn Leghorn we would have been speaking German after WW2. So before you go hide under your sheets tonight from the islamofascist boogeyman , remember there are American soldiers riding the world of this problem is the main fight in what will be WW3. GOD BLESS AMERICAN AND OUR SOLDIERS AND MAY HE HAVE PITY ON LIBERALS!

President Bush is given a great deal of credit about not having a second 9/11 style attack on America occur under his watch. But too quickly we forget what Secretary of State Rice testified to members of the 9/11 Commission:

"Members of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks grilled national security adviser Condoleezza Rice about the Aug. 6 PDB, which referred to al-Qaeda's plans to attack the United States.
"Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the Aug. 6th PDB warned against possible attacks in this country?" commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste, a onetime Watergate prosecutor, said after Rice testified that the president had not been given specific warnings about such plots. "And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?"
Rice replied, "I believe the title was 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.'"
Of course it would be foolish to point out that it was this President who failed America miserably in preventing that attack by not following up on that memo which was on his desk. What did the President do about it anyhow. But nevermind, there wasn't another attack so I guess some could judge that as a big success. I view 9/11 as a big failure for this President. The first of many failures for this Administration.

Carl has won this argument. I have nothing counter the rational arguments that he has put forth with airtight logic and an eloquence that reveals a depth and breadth of education that could only be made possible by tax cuts. I'm glad he was in the army, carrying around firearms, protecting my freedom. His insights into my political views and character are stunningly accurate, despite the scant evidence I've left in my postings. Yes, indeed, I'm a coward, I have a Yugo, I am a member of the ACLU, I'm a know-it-all liberalman, and I hate God. Before Carl set me straight, I was under the impression that Saddam was a good guy (didn't he get the Nobel Peace Prize?). I also agree with Carl, after 9/11, we had no choice but to bomb Iraq, right? I will write this on chalkboard 1000 times: Iraq/911, Iraq/911, Iraq/911. I will stop burning American flags (after the amendment is passed).

Does anyone have a therapist they can refer Dave and Foghorn Leghorn! I do like how you censored the board to remove my question. Did Mr. Leghorn see the book with the dead American children in it after 9/11?

Why would you remove it to begin with?

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Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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