It was a strange day in politics yesterday for several reasons I can't go into.
But if a flag burning amendment isn't surreal enough for you I don't know what would be.
It's all one thing has neat things to say on the flag burning topic, in a bash-conservatives-over-the-head-with-their-own-book sort of way.
I know some very sophisticated people disagree with me on this one, but I can't help but be uncomfortable with that approach. I know it has a decent chance of working, but I don't like it.
The flag burning controversy began with a veteran burning his own flag after hearing that civil rights leader James Meredith had been assasinated. That case went all the way to the Supreme Court, though to me it is pretty obviously political speech.
I'm preaching to the choir here, aren't I?
Yeah, you're probably preaching to the choir. What also concerns me, besides the obvious infringement on expression, is the blatent violation of property rights. If I buy a flag it's mine to do with as I like. I have written a scathing letter to my bassackward representative (who I'm sure only supported this because he thinks it will score him points with the yokels; he underestimates the increasingly affluent and educated population influx in my area due to low taxation).
Well, at least this will take time and effort away from efforts to infringe on our rights in ways that directly affect me. This is largely a symbolic ban, one that (though I still think it's wrong) wouldn't prevent me from doing anything I would want to do anyway.
Yes, it's a slippery slope. Yes, it will be better if this amendment is defeated. But if it eventually is enacted, I won't be affected. Hardly anyone will be.
The movement towards a licensed-not-sold model for intellectual property in general (which laws such as the DMCA enable) infringes on our rights to expression and our property rights far more than any amendment against flag-burning ever could.
And I don't think I even need to go into why the Patriot Act is way worse than anything prohibiting flag-burning. My biggest concern here, actually, is that fighting a flag-burning amendment will take resources away from the far more important task of fighting laws that REALLY take away our rights.
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