Mr. Key, please phone your office
UPDATE: Amazingly, the anti-First Amendment crowd fell one vote short. Good news for a change, accompanied by more overblown rhetoric. Bill Frist noted, lamenting the bill's failure, that many soldiers had died for the flag. I hope not! I prefer to think they died for what the flag represents, not the flag itself.
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Aeon J. Skoble - 6/27/2006
Well, yes, in principle - as any logician will tell you, anything and everything follows from a contradiction -- but this is so maddeningly stupid that it seemed worth going on record as saying so. Thing is, you don't even have to be libertarian to think this is moronic.
Stephan Kinsella - 6/27/2006
If the feds can tax and conscript you, jail you for smoking some doobage--well, a fortiori, no?
Robert Higgs - 6/27/2006
Neither in the UK nor, to my knowledge, in any other country has the national flag taken on the ideological weight that it has in the United States. This development is scarcely surprising, being but one of a thousand ways in which the American people have become the most mindlessly nationalistic herd on the planet.
The very concept of desecrating the flag, which Sudha aptly places in quotes, suggests that the Americans clearly stand in violation of the First Commandment--and in violent violation, too, given that the flag serves above all as the combat banner of the imperial armed forces. The typical American long ago surrendered his soul to the nation-state: hence his idiotic attachment to that state's emblem-rag. He must plaster it everywhere--on products, on packages and envelopes, on signs, on commercial accouterment--he must fly it over his used car lots and not uncommonly over the front yard of his residence, and of course very often he must prop it up prominently even in his house of worship.
The 1960s are much demonized in certain circles (though my personal circle is not one of them), but whatever vices that era might have had, I find flag burning to be among its proudest monuments.
Sudha Shenoy - 6/27/2006
For what it's worth, in Britain the Union flag is printed on underwear of all sorts. The boxer shorts are advertised as 'patriotic'. The Union flag is also printed on tea-towels (I have one.) A Tory MP introduced a private member's Bill to penalise 'desecration' of the flag, but explicitly excluded underwear, tea towels,'& such sort of fun'.
Here in Australia, the odd person who puts up a flag on his verandah, or even more peculiar, on a flagpole outside his house, _is_ seen as odd.
To some extent, culture does come into it.
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- Richard Hofstadter’s insights into the "paranoid style in American politics” lauded in the NYT