6.27.2006

Hear, hear, Senator!

"Our country's unique because our dissidents have a voice," said Sen. Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran who lost an arm in the war and was decorated with the Medal of Honor.
"While I take offense at disrespect to the flag," he said, "I nonetheless believe it is my continued duty as a veteran, as an American citizen, and as a United States senator to defend the constitutional right of protesters to use the flag in nonviolent speech."...

Here's a guy who's an actual veteran who articulates a cogent and thoughtful position on flag-burning (or other desecration, I guess). While I agree that it offends one's sensibilities to see a flag burned (or otherwise desecrated, by which let me just say I also include sewing it to the ass of your disreputable jeans, ya freakin' Pinko), it nevertheless is absolutely galling to me that we can't pass a Constitutional amendment mandating equality in pay between the sexes, and yet these clowns in Washington are mucking around with trying to prohibit flag burning and gay marriage. Priorities, people, ok? There are homeless and starving people in the United States, and mentally disabled people with no health insurance and nowhere to go because the institutions don't have to keep them in anymore; kids are graduating from high school not knowing how to read; we may just be headed for a monster recession; the trade gap is widening all the time, and our best-educated college grads are taking a beating as skilled jobs are outsourced and moved overseas. How about the g.d. U.S. Congress take a look at fixing some of those very real problems in this country, before jumping into the politically-charged but entirely superfluous arenas of flag desecration and homosexual marriage?

By the way, if you must consider an anti-flag-burning amendment to the Constitution (whose framers, by the way, had an awfully big attachment to the flag, symbol as it was, back then, of freedoms their compatriots had died for and upon which they had founded a whole new country, in case anyone's forgotten -- but they didn't include a no-flag-burning component to the Constitution, nor did they make it one of the ten Amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights -- doesn't that tell you something??!), explain why this didn't pass:

"The Senate also rejected an alternative put forward by assistant Democratic leader Dick Durbin of Illinois. It would have made it against the law to damage the flag on federal land or with the intent of breaching the peace or intimidation. It also would have prohibited unapproved demonstrations at military funerals."

Now, see, that would have worked for me. Keep the flag-burning within some parameters so as not to (pardon me) be excessively incendiary (pun entirely intended). And you already know how I feel about the assclowns who disrupt military funerals -- reprehensible.

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