{Repost} The Fourth Of July Is For Burning Things

(a post from last year that is, unfortunately, still apropos)

US flag burningIt's gonna be awful tempting to burn a few American flags this year, while I still can. You can get them so small...so cheap...and they burn so good!

On the other hand, maybe it will be more fun once its illegal - hell, most things are.

On the third hand, perhaps it's the period when it's clear that the idiotic amendment is going to pass, but before it takes effect, that is most rife with opportunity. My entrepreneurial mind swims with opportunities to make a buck helping out my fellow free and independent spirits. You know, the folks who will do something just because someone tried to forbid it for a dumb reason. I could be the one-stop desecration dispensary - American flag trash bags, duraflame logs, toilet paper, and tampons.

That last and most tasteless suggestion indicates the tricky issue of exactly what a flag is. The ugly poppy pod, grown for ornamental purposes all around the country, is ambiguously legal until the moment I grind it and soak it in hot water, at which point it becomes Schedule II substance code 9670. Well, what if a stripe or a star is missing from a so-called flag? Or how about a whole color? A tampon sold in a blue and white flag-like pattern might not really count as a flag - until the user adds red.

Juvenile joking aside, there is a real point here about the uselessness of this useless amendment. Let's consider two possibilities for how the resulting laws are interpreted, either (a) small changes in design make an object not a flag, or (b) small changes don't change its symbolic nature.

In (a), people can desecrate giant objects that are almost exactly flag-like with impunity. Over webcasts, live on TV, they can burn them, boil them, piss on them, shit on them, whatever. These objects make people react emotionally the same way, they have the same symbolic significance, so the law has really accomplished nothing. People are still making the same statements and protests in essentially the same way.

In (b), we are really prosecuting an attack on the symbol. Yet there are an infinite variety of ways to indicate the symbol, to stretch the envelope of what is permitted, so in order to actually stop such desecration, we must almost become thought police. Texts like this very article you're reading, delightfully conjuring up vivid images of bloody flag tampons, are pretty serious symbolic attacks. You can either reach new heights of fascism by banning them, or you can allow them, and hence not actually accomplish your goal.

Either way, the law doesn't do one tiny burning flaglet of good - except to make some dough for my future store. I'm a clever and creative guy, and no matter what the interpretation of "flag", I'm sure I can find something in the grey area. Hell, I can sell the illegal stuff too - but it'll ship from Canada. Land of the Free indeed.

Share this

Patri, Either way, the law

Patri,

Either way, the law doesn’t do one tiny burning flaglet of good - except to make some dough for my future store. I’m a clever and creative guy, and no matter what the interpretation of “flag", I’m sure I can find something in the grey area. Hell, I can sell the illegal stuff too - but it’ll ship from Canada. Land of the Free indeed.

The purpose is to innoculate incumbent paranoid Congressmen against the exceedingly remote possibility that some issue, somewhere, remains for a challenger to successfully use against them in a future election. Passing a law is secondary to getting the proper recorded vote on the record, along with the needed rhetoric.

Regards, Don

To hell with the flag, and

To hell with the flag, and to hell with the republic for which it stands.

- Josh

I believe one of the most

I believe one of the most "American" actions you can take is to burn the American flag and one of the most American actions congress can take (or not take as the case would be) is the continued protection of the right to do so.

Scott Adams has an awesome

Scott Adams has an awesome post on flag burning as well.

The only flags you should

The only flags you should not be able to burn are other peoples flags without their permission. I wouldn't mind that having some extra penalty associated with it so long that it is general. By that I mean that the penalty for burning someone elses U.S. flag should be no worse than for burning any other flag of any type.

People worry about how

People worry about how libertarians are marginalizing themselves by denying IUCs, which nobody ever heard of, and then post stuff on July 4 that start out "It’s gonna be awful tempting to burn a few American flags this year..."

My solution is to stop worrying about how libertarians are marginalizing themselves.

Patri, how clever of you to

Patri, how clever of you to think of making money by selling flag desecration articles.
It is true that America is home of the free and the brave, so theoretically you are free to burn the American flag or use it to clean your toilet. I don’t like this so I invoke the unwritten yuk clause in the Constitution that states that I am free to feel repugnance concerning the matter. Being unwritten, the yuk clause does not deprive you of your constitutional right to police protection (due process), if I feel like kicking your ass, but I still support the status quo because I don’t like messing with the constitution.

However, I suggest you expand your line to include other items designed to show disrespect for and to elicit outrage from fellow humans. Examples that come to mind include Martin Luther King brand lynching ropes, Matthew Sheppard hemorrhoid products, Timothy McVey firecrackers for the Fourth of July and Adolph Hitler Halloween costumes complete with kerosene impregnated model paper Temples and Holocaust denial pamphlets for the kids. I fear your store would soon be burning, not the Flag.

People worry about how

People worry about how libertarians are marginalizing themselves by denying IUCs, which nobody ever heard of...

More accurately, which nobody ever heard of anyone denying.

[...] he story of my

[...] he story of my budget-busting ticket for not wearing a seat belt? We need our own island. Great article on flag-burning — that, inci [...]

More accurately, which

More accurately, which nobody ever heard of anyone denying.

I've been debating with leftists and others for years on Usenet (usually some variant of "Constantinople" if you want to check) and as far as I recall it never forms the basis for any disagreement. And yet, *were* someone to bring it up I could answer as I answered you. So no, I don't think it comes up.

I've grown the poppies

I've grown the poppies Papaver orientale, P. rhoeas, P. bracteatum and P. nudicaule which are perfectly legal to have here in the U.S.

The opium poppy's scientific name is Papaver somniferum and it is clearly illegal to grow it here in the U.S. as far as I know. Possession of the seeds is legal but you cannot grow them. In fact, they put them on poppy seed bagels.

P. orientale and P. bracteatum are so similar looking to opium poppies that it could make for a prank. Just grow a small field of them and score the seed pods and you could certainly freak someone out. Of course, you could also end up in jail till they determined they were not somniferum, if they figured it out. If your prank included selling any of the scored pods or sap you could still serve time for selling a counterfeit banned narcotic. Isn't that silly. You can get jail time for selling powered sugar and claiming it's cocaine.

Teen Sex Free Porn- teen sex

Teen Sex
Free Porn- teen sex videos, free amateur porn pictures, teens suck