Tag Archives: flag

Fighting Fire With Fanaticism

Congress from Amending the Constitution to Limit Free Speech

Urge your Members of Congress to Oppose the Flag Desecration Amendment!

For more than a decade, numerous members of Congress have tried to amend — with
seemingly endless resources — the U.S. Constitution to give the government the
power to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. Civil libertarians
have fought back hard with coalitions of veterans, religious leaders and other Americans
who believe that such a constitutional amendment would undermine the very principles
for which the American flag stands.

*Sigh* How many more times with this monstrosity rear its ugly head? The American
flag – any flag for that matter – is just a symbol. Citizens of any free country
should have the right to protest what they see as disgraceful actions taken in their
name by their government, so long as doing so doesn’t not endanger others. A legal
expression of such a protest should be the “desecration” of a symbol of
that government/country, including its flag.

This should be especially true for the US. Our constitution, and the Supreme Court
interpretations thereof, guarantees the rights of free expression and to petition
the government with grievances. To ban flag-burning would violate both.

Perhaps flag-burning is a distasteful thing. I’d have to be pretty ticked off to
do it myself, but tastefulness should not guide legislation of constitutional law.
If it were, we might as well ban foul language, sandals worn with socks, reality
TV, and Hillary Clinton.

Flag Schmag

I’m far from being a stickler about flag desecration. In fact, I’m very much against the Flag Desecration Amendment. However, this just seems wrong to me.

“President Bush signs American flags for workers at Beaver Aerospace and Defense after speaking about jobs and economic growth in Livonia, Michigan, Thursday, July 23, 2003. President Bush, in campaign-style speeches in states vital to his re-election, sought Thursday to make sure voters give him credit for rebates heading to millions of taxpayers this week. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)”

Civil Liberties

I don’t always agree with the ACLU, but here are a few causes of theirs I support.

Support Oversight of the Secret FISA Court

"Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (most commonly known as FISA), a secret intelligence court was created to authorize government wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations. Since its initial enactment, FISA has been steadily expanded in ways that pose an increasing threat to individual rights."

Speak Out: Flag Amendment Passes House – Thank or Spank Your Representative

"On June 3 the House of Representatives narrowly voted to approve the so-called flag protection amendment. This amendment would alter the First Amendment for the first time in its history and allow Congress to outlaw the physical desecration of the flag."

In regards to the following, I do not morally condone homosexual behavior. However, I do not think there is sufficient reason to make gay marriages illegal. In fact, I think it would be helpful, particularly as it relates to health benefits from employers (see earlier blog entries with specific mention of the University of Pittsburgh’s same-sex benefit woes).

Oppose Writing Intolerance into the U.S. Constitution

"Spurred by Canada’s recent decision to legalize gay marriages, a coalition of right-wing religious groups has launched a campaign to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, invalidate all state and local domestic partnership laws and nullify civil rights protections based on marital status. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) has advanced their goal by introducing H.J. Res 56, the ‘Federal Marriage Amendment.’"

Support Corrections to the PATRIOT Act

"The USA PATRIOT Act and related government actions undercut many important checks and balances on government law enforcement and intelligence powers."

"Under this Act and other Administration actions that were taken without congressional involvement, the government can search your home without notifying you, can get a list of the books you have obtained from your library and your local bookstore and require your local librarian and bookseller to keep this hidden from you, can keep a file on how often you go to church, which churches you attend and the medications you use — even if these activities have nothing to do with the fight against terrorism ."

Support the Freedom to Read!

"With the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, the FBI gained the power to search your library and book-buying records without probable cause of any crime or intent to commit a crime. Furthermore, librarians and others who are required to turn over records are not allowed to say that the search has occurred or that records were given to the government."