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registerthis
06-22-2005, 04:47 PM
Taken from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050622/ap_on_go_co/flag_burning

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer
35 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The House on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to ban desecration of the American flag, a measure that for the first time stands a chance of passing the Senate as well.

By a 286-130 vote eight more than needed House members approved the amendment after a debate over whether such a ban would uphold or run afoul of the Constitution's free-speech protections.

Approval of two-thirds of the lawmakers present was required to send the bill on to the Senate, where activists on both sides say it stands the best chance of passage in years. If the amendment is approved in that chamber by a two-thirds vote, it would then move to the states for ratification.

Supporters said the measure reflected patriotism that deepened after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and they accused detractors of being out of touch with public sentiment.

"Ask the men and women who stood on top of the (World) Trade Center," said Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif. "Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment."

But Rep. Jerrold Nadler (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., said, "If the flag needs protection at all, it needs protection from members of Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents."

The measure was designed to overturn a 1989 decision by the Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 that flag burning was a protected free-speech right. That ruling threw out a 1968 federal statute and flag-protection laws in 48 states. The law was a response to anti-Vietnam war protesters setting fire to the American flag at their demonstrations.

The proposed one-line amendment to the Constitution reads, "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." For the language to be added to the Constitution, it must be approved not only by two-thirds of each chamber but also by 38 states within seven years.

Each time the proposed amendment has come to the House floor, it has reached the required two-thirds majority. But the measure has always died in the Senate, falling short of the 67 votes needed. The last time the Senate took up the amendment was in 2000, when it failed 63-37.

But last year's elections gave Republicans a four-seat pickup in the Senate, and now proponents and critics alike say the amendment stands within a vote or two of reaching the two-thirds requirement in that chamber.

By most counts, 65 current senators have voted for or said they intend to support the amendment, two shy of the crucial tally. More than a quarter of current senators were not members of that chamber during the last vote.

The Senate is expected to consider the measure after the July 4th holiday.


Great...when there are so many important issues to tackle, Congress instead decides to spend their time stifling yet another method of dissent.

Let's see, the American flag stands for freedom, but we can't excercise that freedom by burning it. Makes sense to me! :rolleyes:

jmcclain19
06-22-2005, 04:59 PM
No way this passes the amount of states needed to make it an amendment.

Pathetic encroachment on free speech - IMO

KronoRed
06-22-2005, 05:02 PM
Is there a flag burning epidemic that I've missed?

registerthis
06-22-2005, 05:11 PM
I get so fed up reading quotes like this:


"Ask the men and women who stood on top of the (World) Trade Center," said Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif. "Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment."

You know what? if you ask the men and women who stood at the top of the Trade Towers, I'd bet they'd also ask for proper funding for the TSA staff. And a non-intrusive DHS. And improved relations with foreign nations. And an end to the practice of torture by our government. And on and on and on.

I'm guessing "flag burning" would be pretty low on their priority list.

Roy Tucker
06-22-2005, 05:18 PM
Yeah, I'm not too keen on burning the flag, but there are a lot of things I'm not too keen on that I'll defend the rights of people to do them.

Puffy
06-22-2005, 05:26 PM
I would never ever burn the flag. And if I saw someone burning the flag I would have a real problem with it (I'm a toughguy!)

But I thought amendments were for important things, like the Bill of Rights, the civil rights amendments, women's rights, the limiting of presidential terms, not some arcane crap like flag burning. Then again, the last time Congress intervened like this, the Prohibition Amendment, it worked really well :rolleyes:

Johnny Footstool
06-22-2005, 05:38 PM
But Rep. Jerrold Nadler (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., said, "If the flag needs protection at all, it needs protection from members of Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents."

Yes.

Dom Heffner
06-22-2005, 05:53 PM
This will never, ever die. It will come up again and again, and it will keep on losing. What an incredible waste of time as well as being contradictory.

RedFanAlways1966
06-22-2005, 06:19 PM
Some of you may be surprised at the number of things that our Congress votes on... and may consider it a waste of time. Happens all the time. We have the chance to change these people every 2 years in the House.

If you get a chance... Google up House voting records. Lots and lots of things voted on in each session of Congress. You'd laugh at some of these things and shake your head at some.

None of us agree with all things that happen in that great building called the U.S. Capitol. As some here are vocal with their disapproval of this issue, there are a lot of people in this country who differ with your opinion. Perhaps these people were raised in a different era. Perhaps they fought on the beaches of Normandy, Iwo Jima... or Pork Chop Hill or a jungle in Vietnam. They may have a different opinion about flag burning. Some countries would have you put to immediate death for burning their flag (old Iraq?).

Just a fact of life. Lots of time wasted in D.C.... depending on your opinion. You can try to change these time wasters (at least one Congressperson and two Senators) with your efforts and your vote. And you have the freedom to express your disgust at the way they do things and how they vote (some countries will kill you for having a dissenting opinion).

It is good and it is bad at times. Just depends on your opinion. But I'll take it over many-many other countries everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.

:usa:

Falls City Beer
06-22-2005, 06:22 PM
But I'll take it over many-many other countries everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.

I would too, especially when it's a country that defends my freedoms and doesn't seek to abridge them with jingoism and false patriotism.

The Constitution's a pretty brilliant work.

Unassisted
06-22-2005, 06:33 PM
This is a wedge issue that conservatives can use to bash non-conservatives over the head in attack ads, as it wends its way through state legislatures around the country.

Fast forward to 2008...

"Representative Jones is wrong for the 99th district. He cast a vote in support of crazy people who want to burn our American flag! Use your vote to show the state how much you love our country and our flag, elect Candidate Smith in November."

Jaycint
06-22-2005, 08:28 PM
While I find it repulsive to think of someone burning the flag of their own country I will defend the right of that person to do so every day of the week based on the first ammendment.

M2
06-23-2005, 01:26 AM
I don't particularly understand why anyone feels the need to burn a flag or why anyone gets overly peeved if someone does (I put that one in the same file as Muslims getting worked up over defiling the Quran).

All this said, if the flag burning amendment ever gets passed, I'm going to start burning flags all the time. I won't barbecue without one.

Falls City Beer
06-23-2005, 01:40 AM
I don't particularly understand why anyone feels the need to burn a flag or why anyone gets overly peeved if someone does (I put that one in the same file as Muslims getting worked up over defiling the Quran).

All this said, if the flag burning amendment ever gets passed, I'm going to start burning flags all the time. I won't barbecue without one.

I'd put it in the file with the episode of Jerry Springer circa 1991 where his guest was GG Allin threatening to take a poop on the Bible.

CTA513
06-23-2005, 03:28 AM
Im starting up my own "Anti-Flag Burning Task Force"... If I find someone burning a flag I will shoot them.

;)

registerthis
06-23-2005, 10:00 AM
OK, well, who actually SUPPORTS this amendment?

I guess there are a group out there who honestly view that burning the flag is not a protected form of free speech, but really...beyond that, who thinks this is a good idea?

I'm inclined to go with what Unassisted said--it's a wedge issue. SOmething put forth safely, because they know it has no chance of passing, and used to attack opponents who voted against it.

RedFanAlways1966
06-23-2005, 10:36 AM
I'm inclined to go with what Unassisted said--it's a wedge issue. SOmething put forth safely, because they know it has no chance of passing, and used to attack opponents who voted against it.

Absolutely. It works both ways and has been that way for a long time in this country. It is called politics. We see good and we see bad. We see important things and we see political things. All the same... this country has a darn good system. Perfect? No way. Better than most other forms of gov't in this world? Darn right.

Obviously we will have to wait and see if attacking is done on down the road related to this. But this and other things like this have been around longer than any member of this great site has been alive.

Who supports it, you ask? Looks like 286 people who were elected to sit in that big domed building in D.C.. Do they REALLY support it? Only they know the truth.

Johnny Footstool
06-23-2005, 10:41 AM
Democrats should attach a rider to the bill allocating more federal funding for women's health clinics. Then when their conservative opponents needle them for "wanting to burn the flag," they can say their opponents support abortion.

zombie-a-go-go
06-23-2005, 10:43 AM
Could you imagine being the guy in jail who's crime was setting a flag on fire?

Man, you'd be the (you-know-what) of the prison in no time at all. :laugh:

SunDeck
06-23-2005, 10:47 AM
I just burned a French flag last week. It felt pretty good. I've been moving through the entire cadre of countries who don't like us, or who have better food than us. Next week, Lebanon, who qualifies for both criteria.

But, I would NEVER burn an American flag. Not the symbol of the US, the home of liberty, informed dissent and equal protection for all its citizens. Not the stars and stripes, the banner of the free, the banner of the enlightened electorate, the cloak of patriots who have died to protect the rights of those who wish to make this country a better place through organization, protest and peaceful disobedience. And it is for these reasons that I declare supporters of this amendment a threat to our democracy.

This bunch of chuckleheads are hurting the country more than some hippie with a match and a can of lighther fluid anyday.


"Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea" - John Gunther.

RedFanAlways1966
06-23-2005, 10:59 AM
Monday Saves Flag From Burning (http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/dept/d46/psy/dev/Fall01/patriotism/ballgame.html)

The day was April 25, 1976. The Cubs were playing the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Patrolling center field for the Cubs was 30-year-old Rick Monday, who was embarking upon what would be the best season of his career, with 32 home runs and 77 runs batted in. On this spring day in '76, he was on a Cubs team that was headed for a fourth place finish in the National League East. It was the fourth inning with the Dodgers batting.

The Vietnam War had ended a year before, but people didn't need a war in order to protest. What these two ding-a-lings who had just dashed onto the field of Dodger Stadium were all about nobody knew, but here they were, and where was security? They had come from the left-field corner and had just run past Cubs left fielder Jose Cardenal. One carried something under his arm but Monday couldn't distinguish what it was. Once they reached shallow left-center, they stopped and brought out the object. Monday could see; it was the U.S. flag.

He recalled that they laid it on the ground almost as if they were about to have a picnic. Then one of them dug into his pocket and brought out something shiny and metallic. "I figured having gone to college two and two is sometimes four," Monday said. "They were dousing it with lighter fluid." Then they lit a match. Which flared momentarily and died. By now, Monday was in full stride, running towards them. "To this day, I don't know what I was thinking,"he said. "Except bowl them over." He was also thinking they were trying to commit a terrible act.

"What they were doing was extremely wrong as far as I was concerned," said Monday, who served six years in the Marine Reserves. He reached them about the time they got the second match lit and were about to torch the flag. "There's a picture that I think won the Pulitzer Prize and it showed me reaching down and grabbing the flag," he said. Monday got the flag and handed it to Doug Rau, a Dodger's pitcher. That was the last Monday saw of it until a month later. The Dodgers came to Wrigley Field and Al Campanis, a Dodgers executive, presented the flag to Monday. "It's displayed very proudly in my home," he said.

Monday got a hero's welcome wherever the Cubs played the rest of that season. It was the last thing he wanted. He had simply done what he thought was the right and honorable thing to do. He had visited a veterans hospital when he played for Oakland and had seen how people's lives had been shattered fighting for what that flag represents. "It's the way I was brought up," he said. "You would have done the same thing had you been as close geographically as I was, I get the idiots stopped."

:usa:

M2
06-23-2005, 11:41 AM
I'd put it in the file with the episode of Jerry Springer circa 1991 where his guest was GG Allin threatening to take a poop on the Bible.

I have a friend who lived right around the corner from where GG died (3rd and B). Ever see the documentary on him with his brother Merle?

RosieRed
06-23-2005, 03:14 PM
What is the proper way for disposing of an old, worn out American Flag? Isn't it by burning it? I thought veterans' groups even had ceremonies for such things.

RedFanAlways1966
06-23-2005, 03:23 PM
What is the proper way for disposing of an old, worn out American Flag? Isn't it by burning it? I thought veterans' groups even had ceremonies for such things.

I hope you can see the difference between proper flag disposal and the method of burning that this legislation is relative to in D.C.. I am sure you do.

From The Boy Scouts
When the national flag is worn beyond repair, burn it thoroughly and completely on a modest, but blazing, fire.

This should be done in a simple manner with dignity and respect. Be sure the flag is reduced to ashes unrecognizable as a former flag.

KronoRed
06-23-2005, 03:26 PM
What is the proper way for disposing of an old, worn out American Flag? Isn't it by burning it? I thought veterans' groups even had ceremonies for such things.

US Flag Code. TITLE 4 > CHAPTER 1 > Sec. 8(k) states:

"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

If you are not able to legally or safely burn your flag, try contacting your local American Legion post - many of them provide this service for free.

Rojo
06-23-2005, 05:52 PM
Personally I can't stand provocateurs who are so desperate for attention they need to defile widely admired symbols -- flag, crucifixes, Bibles, Korans, etc....

What I don't get is why people rise to the bait. They're Gallaghers. Ignore.

registerthis
06-23-2005, 05:53 PM
What I don't get is why people rise to the bait. They're Gallaghers. Ignore.
Oh, man, I haven't heard that name raised in a while.

I kind of miss those ever-rhetorical questions: How did Whiffey do today?

RosieRed
06-23-2005, 06:43 PM
I hope you can see the difference between proper flag disposal and the method of burning that this legislation is relative to in D.C.. I am sure you do.

Umm, yeah. I know the difference. :rolleyes:

Just pointing out the irony.

Personally, I don't really care if someone wants to burn a flag. It ain't my cup of tea, but I'd rather it not be illegal.

RedFanAlways1966
06-24-2005, 08:46 AM
Umm, yeah. I know the difference. :rolleyes:

Just pointing out the irony.

There is NO irony. There is a huge difference. I am sure you realize that. To compare the two is not even close. It is not even arguable. I hear people throw that out in regard to this issue and... well it makes ME roll my eyes.

Sorry if I offended you.

:usa: