November 30, 2016

This is not the post I wanted to write today

I have said it before and I will say it yet again, freedom of speech is for that speech we find most loathsome. That includes flag burning. It includes skin-heads and Nation of Islam  and the Westboro Church. Freedom of speech even allows idiots like the NFL quarterback from San Francisco, who demonstrates his opposition to oppression by wearing a T-shirt of Fidel Castro.

Trump is wrong to want to punish flag-burners. They deserve our contempt, our derision, or disgust, but they have every right to burn the flag.

Tyranny is a word that has fallen from fashion. Stripping a person of citizenship and throwing him in jail over their dissent is tyranny at its worst.


Anonymous said...

If I set your car on fire, will I be punished?
If I set your house on fire, will I be punished?
If I set you on fire, will I go to prison for life?

When you set the American flag on fire, it is not covered under your freedoms. You have made an attack on this country. You have created much harm and destruction. Comparing the burning of an American flag, the physical symbol of America itself, to wearing a tee shirt depicting Fidel Castro is a bad analogy IMHO.

And desecration of any American object or symbol should be a crime, punishable by fines or otherwise. When we Americans see our flag being set on fire, spit upon or trapsed through the ground, it is the same as feeling a stake go through our very hearts. We The People have been physically harmed.

No destruction of our flag should be tolerated, nor when the National Anthem is played should any American citizen depict any discourse. Ditto for the Pledge Of Allegiance. Respect of our symbols are what will make America great again.

Don't like it? Then get the f**k out.
Go play with Rosie O'Donnell.

Joe said...

I suspect King George would have agreed with your sentiments in 1775.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I am dismissing this as just more BS intended to get a rise out of the press. Hillary was actually a co-sponsor of a bill to do exactly this in 2005. Surely Trump is aware that the Supreme Court has ruled that burning the flag is protected speech...the guy is not dumb, and this seems like just another poke at Hillary.

I think Trump is simply trolling the press at this point, and while it's kind of fun to watch, I'm honestly more impressed with his comments about Castro and his willingness to appoint hard-line Cabinet officials. He's pitching the high heat and the press simply can't connect with the ball. They honestly don't know what to do with him, and it shows.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...


The problem with your attempted analogy is that the first three situations you have proposed are not the same as the fourth. You need to go read about logical fallacies. Because you committed one right out of the gate.

However, to address your illogical contention: Of course I will be punished if I destroy your personal property.

But a flag that I have purchased myself is not your personal property, and moreover, my right to burn or otherwise deface or destroy it has been upheld by the Supreme Court as a form of protected speech. (Not that I would do such a thing, personally.)

There is a point at which we have to accept that some of our fellow countrymen will do stupid things for which there can be no punishment under our system. Joe is absolutely correct when he suggests that George III would have agreed with you. But one of the things we avoided when setting up our system was the concept of lèse-majesté. We'll wait while you go look that up.

I suggest that burning a flag (political symbol of the nation) is no different than insulting the king or a president (political symbol of the nation). The latter does not carry a civil or criminal penalty in this country; anyone may set up his soapbox in the town square and rail about the king, that bastard. The Supreme Court says that the latter carries no civil or criminal penalty, either. However, I also infer that to do so in a patriotic crowd is likely to get your nose punched, and/or other areas of your body bruised and battered, as well as earning you a trip to the pokey for disturbing the peace or other such mopery or dopery (like arson, or endangering the public).

Or Rick Monday could come running out on the field and take your flag away from you before you managed to set it on fire.

Bottom line, there are checks and balances in the system, if we care to use them. We don't need laws that prohibit political expression, even if the mode of that expression is flag burning. That kind of thing gets taken care of by patriots.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Also, I just ran across this at Instapundit. You may simply not be getting the point (my emphasis in bold):

"As for 'Twitter meltdowns,' where have you been for the past two years? This is what Trump does, and it neither hurts him nor forecasts what he’s actually going to do. You’re being trolled and it’s working. Trump has basically lured Democrats (and a few #NeverTrump Republicans) into defending flag-burning, and reminded people of Hillary’s position in 2005. Sure, the idea is dumb and unconstitutional (as I said yesterday), but it’s a tweet, not a piece of legislation. And it also brings attention to the fact that the Dems haven’t been exactly friendly to people’s First Amendment rights on issues they care about. Now they have to publicly argue that you should go to jail for not baking a gay wedding cake, but not for burning a flag. To the surprise of many Democrats, this turns out not to be the popular position."

Joe said...

Thanks Fuzzy, that is te response I wanted to write but I had neother the time nor the eloquence to pen

Anonymous said...


As a vet, I find your view sicking but it is your view and you have a right to be an idiot.

James Old Guy

mts1 said...

The reason I stopped being for making flag burning illegal is because I want my traitors in the wide open, photographing their contempt and posting it in social media for all to see and make a permanent record thereof. Then when things get interesting, we have a cadre of draftable volunteers to hold up targets by hand downrange during firearm practice.

What I find detestable is that if I hold a flag up and torch it, I'm bravely standing up truth to power. However, if the rainbow flag is on the same pole and likewise gets torched, the very same people lauding my American flag burning will turn like rabid dogs against me. If I burn a bible in a fire pit yay protesting against religious tyranny, but burn a koran right along with it is hate speech. It puts a lie to their protest that these things hurt no one and they should be allowed as protected speech.

All the same, letting America's enemies act out as they wish and recording it means they have no fallback claim that they were coerced, they cannot lie about where their hearts really belong, and just passively watching who does this crap and who doesn't is better than any loyalty oath or McCarthy hearing.

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