Friday, June 23, 2006

Flag-burning amendment

There is an op-ed by Dianne Feinstein in the USA Today, warning the people about the coming disaster to our nation. No, it is not al-Qaeda; it is not Iraq either; it is not Iran; it is not WMD; it is not even the debasement of our currency. According to Feinstein, it is more sinister than that. According to Feinstein, it is this: we have to protect the degradation of our precious American flag...that's it.

The American Flag symbolized our country and all our country represents. But, that's just it: the American Flag is a symbol; it is nothing but red, white, and blue nylon or cloth, like the British flag, the French flag, the Confederate Flag, even the state flag (like Texas).

The ideas that the flag represents, that's what matters. America represents is freedom, backed by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. And the second right espoused in the First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech". That is in opposition to Feinstein's Flag Protection Amendment.

Feinstein disagrees. She says, "There is no idea or thought expressed by the burning of the American flag that cannot be expressed equally well in another manner. This Amendment would leave both the flag and free speech safe." In other words, you will have free-speech intact...with one exception. Make that two exceptions: you forgot the President's "free-speech zones".

Let's make something clear: my rights doesn't include exceptions! Rights with exceptions are not rights. My rights are UNALIENABLE; that means they are a gift from God which cannot be altered in any way. Like Michael Badnarik said, wherever I happen to be standing is a "free-speech zone". Taking a note from Badnarik, what I happen to own, I have a right to degrade, including my flag.

Also, Feinstein said something peculiar. At first, Feinstein praises the idea of the Flag Protection Amendment in the Constitution. But, at the 3rd paragraph from the end, Feinstein says, "The Flag Protection would not prohibit flag burning. Rather, the Amendment would simply return to Congress the ability to protect the flag as it has been protected throughout most of this nation's history." Talking about speaking out both sides of the same mouth!

I first remember a libertarian-leaning trait in my personality when I was in the Naval ROTC during my freshman year in college (OU). Oklahoma is a very conservative state, but OU is the most liberal place in Oklahoma. In warm weather, when we drilled outside, an anti-war group protested us. Some of them take it so far as to rip the American flag. A majority of my fellow midshipmen (and a few officers) would get steamed. They wanted to ring the group's neck. However, I had a different view. Sure, I despise what the group is doing. But, I represent the USMC, and the US represents liberty. That liberty means to me liberty to do whatever one wants with one's own property, including ripping one's own flag. I would feel the privilege to fight for American's liberty, even though I don't like what they are doing. Feinstein could take a lesson from a 18-year-old midshipman from the University of Oklahoma. I feel that I know the concept of being an American than an over-70 Congressman from California.

Why don't we ammend the Constitution to protect from burning the Constitution itself. The Constitution, like the flag, is also a symbol of America. But Feinstein wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole, and I can see why. With checks-and-balances, three equal branches of government, and adding a Bill of Rights before ratification, the underline principle of the Constitution is that the greatest threat to the people's freedom and liberty are with our own government.

2 Comments:

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Thomas Bell said...

Go to Zanadu, and ask them there.

 

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