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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

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Re: flags

The flag desecration amendment is aimed at a new fad in schools: missing flags. Politicians are trying to stop the disappearance of flags from classrooms in the government's schools. School officials occasionally find some of the flags, desecrated or burned. In the many states that mandate a daily chanting of the pledge, students see an empty space where the flag once hung. The trend coincides with a spike in the number of students who refuse to participate in chanting the pledge each morning. Shocking new discoveries about the Pledge of Allegiance (below), coupled with the the USA's growing police state, are causing the anti authoritarian trend among students. http://rexcurry.net/book1a1a1pledge-ch8a1a2.html

Any Constitutional amendment against flag desecration is anti libertarian and is bad. State laws already dictate a pledge of allegiance to the flag daily in many schools. Why is it that flag fetishists who tout flag laws don't chant the pledge every day? Their hypocrisy masks the dark desire to make children and adults worship government daily at the ring of a government bell. Please oppose the amendment, and educate everyone about these new historical discoveries:

1. Dr. Rex Curry showed that the USA's early Pledge of Allegiance (to the flag) used a straight-arm salute and it was the origin of the salute of the monstrous National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis). http://rexcurry.net/pledgesalute.html
Historic photographs are at http://rexcurry.net/pledge2.html
also see http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html

2. Many people were persecuted for refusing to give the straight-arm salute to the national flag. That was the national flag of the USA and of Germany. It happened in the USA (to the stars and stripes) and in Germany (to the swastika flag) at the same time. Many of the people who were persecuted were religious people who believed that the pledge and the salute were the sacrilegious worship of government. They had a basis for their belief. Most people do not know that a cross was worshiped as the notorious symbol of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. The group called the symbol on its national flag the "Hakenkreuz," not the swastika. Hakenkreuz means "hooked cross." Although the swastika was an ancient symbol, Professor Rex Curry discovered that it was also used sometimes by German National Socialists to represent "S" letters for their "socialism." With a 45 degree turn of his Hakenkreuz, the leader of German National Socialists combined the cross with collectivism, merged church and state, meshed religion and socialism, and mandated the worship of government. Hitler altered his own signature to use the same stylized "S" letter for "socialist" and similar alphabetic symbolism still shows on Volkswagens.
http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-swastika.html

3. Francis Bellamy (author of the "Pledge of Allegiance") and Edward Bellamy (author of the novel "Looking Backward") were socialists. Francis and Edward were both self-proclaimed National Socialists and they supported the "Nationalism" movement in the USA, the "Nationalist" magazine, and the "Nationalist Educational Association." They wanted all of society to ape the military and they touted "military socialism" and the "industrial army." Edward inspired the "Nationalist Party" (in the USA) and their dogma influenced socialists worldwide (including Germany) via "Nationalist Clubs." http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-edward-german-connections.html

The Pledge is part of the USA’s growing police-state. The insane government in the U.S. is twice the size of the prior administration (in social spending ALONE), financed with enormous taxes, and still bankrupt with massive debt. The government could cause comatose persons to pledge dis-allegiance, to burn or desecrate the flag, and recite a declaration of independence. The size of the government, and the history of the pledge, make the pledge a desecration of the flag.

If government's schools (and the media) told the true history of the Pledge, then no student would chant it and all flags would disappear from classrooms. If Americans knew the truth, then the Pledge would cease to exist.

Fight the flag hags and their flag fetish. Government's schools should not teach kids to verbally fellate flags each morning. It is like a brainwashed cult of the omnipotent state. For adults it is childish. The pledge is emotional masturbation.

Remove the Pledge from the flag, remove flags from schools, remove schools from government.

Karen

Scott, do you think there should be an additional penalty for killing blacks or gays, just because they are black or gay? Should that crime be punished more harshly than if you or I were murdered, or your child or mine?

Scott

Scott, do you think there should be an additional penalty for killing blacks or gays, just because they are black or gay? Should that crime be punished more harshly than if you or I were murdered, or your child or mine?

Several things:

1) Yes. Absolutely.

2) You’re assuming that my child, to get quite specific, is not black or gay. :)

3) We’re talking about intent. Intent is pretty much always taken into consideration when it comes to murder.

The act: Person A takes the life of Person B.
Now we consider whether or not this was a crime and, if so, just how serious a crime.

∑ Was Person A protecting Person C from Person B?
∑ Did Person A take Person B’s life through absolutely no fault of his own—perhaps faulty brakes on a car he was test-driving at a dealership?
∑ Was Person B breaking into Person A’s home?

If so, was Person B a burglar intending to rob Person A’s home?
Or was Person B a murderer intending to kill Person A?
Or was Person B a famous movie star who was too drunk to know where he was or what he was doing?
Or was Person B an old friend trying to play a prank on Person A?

∑ Did Person A catch Person B having sex with his wife and in a fit of rage hit him with a lamp?
∑ Did Person A kill Person B after plotting and scheming about it for months and months?
∑ Was Person A a police officer attempting to apprehend Person B?
And, in that case, was Person B actually a thirteen year old boy and the cop someone who’d been known to shoot from the hip, as it were?
Or perhaps Person A was a cop who’d only been on the job for two weeks?
Or perhaps Person B was in fact a serial rapist who was indeed reaching for a gun, thus giving Person A no choice in the matter?

All the same action, the taking of another person’s life. And yet in each and every instance, we as a society and specifically the people on the jury are instructed to try to figure out what Person A, the person who did the killing, was thinking. That’s a bedrock staple of our law.

A man killing his wife in the throes of passion is generally considered differently than a man who takes out a big insurance policy on her and then cuts her brakes right before she’s about to drive over the mountain. Same act—killing her—different intent. In other words, different thought.

So why is killing a person just because you don’t like the color of his skin or the gender of person to whom he’s attracted put into a different category than all other such cases? Why should this be the one exception? For political gain it’s sometimes held up as an exception—"we can’t look into the heart of another and know why he dragged that man for a mile behind his truck"—but, really, it’s not an exception. Just the opposite, in fact.

So. This is the backdrop against which the flag burning amendment must be viewed. Conservatives do not believe that someone who kills a person simply because that person is (or, rather, was) black or gay should be punished any more harshly. Conservatives pejoratively label such hate crime legislation "thought crime legislation" and believe it’s, at best, redundant, and more often simply impossible and perhaps even immoral. Certainly it offends their sensibilities.

And yet they now want to do the exact same thing to protect our flag.

You’re allowed to burn the flag as long as you’re doing it with honor in your heart. If you do the exact same thing to make a political point, however, they want to send you to jail.

Same act, different reactions, all depending upon what the burner was thinking as he was doing the burning.

That’s a thought crime. The difference is, it’s not the life of a human being they’re fighting to protect. It’s just a bit of colored cloth.

So, to restate: attempting to give sufficient protection to a minority of humans that have historically suffered extra wrongs seems to me morally crucial. Refusing to do so, however, can perhaps be justified, or at least an argument can be made for that point-of-view—I’m not sure I see how, but then I’m obviously somewhat slow.

But refusing to do so and yet then turning around and using that exact same logic to not defend human life but to defend a colored piece of cloth? That seems to me not only the height of hypocrisy, not only a repudiation of the most basic principles upon which our nation was based, it seems utterly indefensible morally.

As so often happens, it’s not really so much the professed stance that bothers me (although in this case it most certainly does)—it’s really the rank hypocrisy which drives me insane. When that hypocrisy is aimed at both undermining our moral foundations and refusing protection to a group of human beings who need it—a most impressive double-whammy—I find it hard to believe these people call themselves either Christians or Americans, much less pretending to be both.

Karen

Hi Scott,

I've got several things also:

1) I agree with you 100% on the flag burning issue.

2) I am not assuming that your children are not black or gay. I've seen pictures of your beautiful family, and they looked pretty white to me. As far as being gay...yes, that is always a possibility, but unless you start taking your children to march in gay rights parades, I don't think they are in much danger at the moment for being targeted for "hate crimes."

3) Of course, intent is, and should be, taken into consideration - but it should not legislated. And I think that in the long run it will not benefit minorities to set them apart in these different classes or categories.

4) If I were to use your argument, I would say, "Liberals acknowledge intent in hate crimes, but will not consider it as an issue with flag burning."

5) Yes, the Replacements are the most underrated Great American Band ever.

Scott

1) I agree with you 100% on the flag burning issue.

Wow! I…I…I’m speechless. It is such a rare occurrence for someone to agree with me that I don’t quite know how to react.

2) I am not assuming that your children are not black or gay. I've seen pictures of your beautiful family, and they looked pretty white to me.

Ah! You’re assuming 1) that those are really MY kids. Yes, Top Management swears they are but, let’s be honest, they’re way too attractive and smart for it really to be entirely plausible. And 2) even assuming they are, that they’re my only kids. Yeah, okay, the idea of another woman being interested in having my kids is even more unlikely. Oh, and 3) my kids are part Native American. Does that count? And, of course, 4) yeah, they are gorgeous, aren’t they?

As far as being gay...yes, that is always a possibility, but unless you start taking your children to march in gay rights parades, I don't think they are in much danger at the moment for being targeted for "hate crimes."

We live in a tough neighborhood?

Behind this ever so amusing levity issuing forth from my silver fingers, of course, is a more serious question: because it doesn’t affect me, I shouldn’t care?

That’s a trap that’s often set for liberals: you can’t possibly really care about the poor because you’re rich, or about minorities because you’re a WASP. On the other hand, if you’re poor or black and advocating the same thing, well, in that case, it’s all about whining in order to get a little extra unfair advantage for your own team. It’s a no-win situation.

So, no, you’re right, my kids are (primarily) white and (as far as I know at this point in time) straight. That’s exactly why I believe it’s incumbent upon me to fight for those who don’t have the enormous advantages my children and I have. Because I’m in a position to do so. Because I believe it’s necessary from a historical and moral point of view and because I have absolutely nothing to gain by doing so, other than what anyone gains by doing the right thing.

3) Of course, intent is, and should be, taken into consideration - but it should not legislated. And I think that in the long run it will not benefit minorities to set them apart in these different classes or categories.

But intent IS legislated and has been in this country for a couple hundred years. That’s why there’s the difference between murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree and manslaughter. And I’ve never heard anyone saying we should get rid of those different classifications.

And it’s not setting minorities apart. It’s simply acknowledging that they’re already set apart, that they have been for decades or centuries, and attempting to rectify that situation.

4) If I were to use your argument, I would say, "Liberals acknowledge intent in hate crimes, but will not consider it as an issue with flag burning."

Yes, but that’s because:

A) Both liberals and conservatives believe murder should be illegal.
B) Liberals and conservatives disagree on whether a specific group of minorities which has historically suffered extra persecution and continues to do so to this very day therefore deserves extra protection.
C) Liberals and conservatives disagree on whether flag burning should be illegal or not.

So liberals are more than willing to consider intent in flag burning—in fact, they think intent vital. They simply don’t think flag burning should be illegal in any circumstance, regardless of intent. They think the first amendment could not possibly be any clearer about that and wonder why the conservatives pushing the flag burning amendment hate the constitution as it was written so very much.

5) Yes, the Replacements are the most underrated Great American Band ever.

Yes! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

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