Penn & Teller Flag burning...

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Cruentus, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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  2. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I think it's a great act. I think they make a great point.

    I despise people burning the US flag as a protest. I generally disagree with their points of view as well. But I can't help but consider that the countries that prohibit verbal or symbolic attacks on the government tend to be rather totalitarian...

    I believe it was Patrick Henry who made the statement along the lines of "I disagree with what you say -- but will defend your right to say it with my life." I get worried when we get so locked up on protecting a symbol that we forget what it stands for...
     
  3. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    Voltaire.
     
  4. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    Well....

    What could I, as someone who wears it on 2 uniforms, say of this treatment of the Flag.

    Politically speaking I won't argue for a law or Constitutional amendment banning it.

    But I do indeed wish these people, if they must perform this ungrateful idiotic act, would burn them the CORRECT way.

    You're supposed to soak it in napalm and wrap yourself in it BEFORE you light up.
     
  5. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Burning our flag doesn't seem to attract the same emotional response with us as it does with Americans with theirs, probably because everyone at some time or another has had a go at burning it since 1606 when the first form of it was used. Mmm that will be all you lot out there then lol!
     
  6. michaeledward

    michaeledward Grandmaster

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    I am moved to tears and burst with pride for my country, and the wisdom of Mr. Jefferson, and Mr. Madison, each time I see this act. It is heroic in a way that is seldom seen in this country.

    It reminds me of Mr. Franklin's words; 'we must all hang together, or we shall surely all hang seperately'.
     
  7. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    Yup... I agree.
     
  8. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    Really listen to what they are saying in their act. Ungrateful is a word that doesn't apply.

    Charming.
     
  9. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    I'm not referring to Penn and Teller or their act. Penn and Teller have *nothing* to do with what I said. I have met and had the misfortune to be within talking distance of the *real* idiots who do such things. If you have chosen to believe that P&T's act accurately represents the majority of flag burners then you have chosen unwisely.


    What? It's the perfect solution:

    *Those who wanted to see a flag burn have seen it.

    *The idiot who wanted to make whatever statement he/she did has now not only made it but gets to be a martyr for his/her cause into the bargain.

    *The rest of the normal people can go about their business knowing that at least one more undesirable member of society has been handily culled from their ranks.

    Everybody's happy, everyone wins.
     
  10. grydth

    grydth Senior Master

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    Sometimes a person before you hits the target so cleanly that all there remains to do is.... "What he said."
     
  11. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    Well, you might want to edit the post I responded to then to say so. Your intentions were not at all clear.

    Now, where did I say that? I know very well that P&T's act is pretty unique.

    I will say this though about all the "idiots." If you really believed - and I mean really believed - that the US was a fascist nation, would you really be adverse to burning the flag in protest? Their misconceptions are what is wrong, not the flag burning.

    I'm just going to go ahead and believe that you were being sarcastic. The alternative is too unpleasant to contemplate.
     
  12. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    Wanted to do so but my edit time had timed out.


    Fair enough.

    If I believed, and I mean really believed, that the US was a fascist nation I would not continue to live here, much less wear its flag.



    You believe correctly.
     
  13. CoryKS

    CoryKS Senior Master

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    Ditto.
     
  14. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    Well, I give them credit for sticking around and trying to change things for the better, as they see it. I don't go along with anything they believe either, but I do hope I would have that courage if I really thought I was living in the next Nazi Germany.

    *whew* :)
     
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yup, there ya go. What's worse than burning your own flag? Having your own govt. tell you that you can't. I'll take freedom instead, thanks. If you're not free to do this--are you really free?
     
  16. LawDog

    LawDog Master Black Belt

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    Many of my friends died under that flag,
    Most of my fathers friends also died under that flag.
    When someone burns our flag, for whatever reason, I see my friends and my father sees his.
     
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  17. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I want to make something very clear.

    I do not agree with burning the flag as a protest. I also don't agree with burning people in effigy.

    To me, too many people have put their life, their liberty, and their own freedom at hazard so that we at home can enjoy the privileges of freedom and liberty. Whatever your opinion of the current government (ours does change with great frequency) -- I believe those men and women, and their sacrifices, deserve respect. And, by extension, the country that provides those liberties to us deserves respect.

    But I fear what follows if we place the symbol above what that symbol stands for; a nation founded on the ideals of equality and freedom. The first nation to truly spell out the relationship between the government and governed, and to place limits on the power of the government. One of the very first amendments addressed not only the right to speak out, as well as the right to gather to do so, but also the right to confront the government when you believe it is wrong. So long as the methods chosen are within broad, but reasonable bounds of civilized conduct -- I can't say I want to see them restricted. I'd rather error on the side of accepting something uncivilized than restricting speech, especially speech against the government.

    Multiple courts, in many different states, have held that I, as a police officer, have to accept words, insults, and actions directed at me which would ordinarily be seen as offensive enough to justify a breach of the peace or assault. I don't like this -- but I see what I believe is the underlying principle; a police officer is the hand of government. We have the unique authority and ability to deprive someone of their liberty, up to the extreme of using lethal force against them, solely on our instant judgement. That is, literally, awesome power, and it must be carefully restricted. (I leave it as an exercise for the student to consider that the courts have not restricted themselves nearly so tightly... Contempt of court is a wide & loose charge.) In a similar manner, infringement upon speech must be carefully weighed, and only imposed against the most extreme measures.

    (Of course -- none of these ideals would prevent me from, for example, charging someone silly enough to burn a flag in my presence with an unauthorized open fire, or throwing injurious materials upon the roadway, or littering, or some other appropriate charge for their actions.)
     
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  18. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    I don't, because I don't see how flag burning and protesting to the level of illogic and near violence that some of these people do amounts to trying to change things for the better. But that is just my take on it...
     
  19. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    And just to clarify my stance, I agree that people should have free speech, and should have the freedom to burn the flag in protest if they wish.

    However, I also have the freedom of speech and thought to not like it one bit.
     
  20. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Full agreement, dude. There are a lot of things a person can legally do that'd get them banned from crossing my doorstep. "It was legal" is a mighty weak defense to anything other than the threat of incarceration. I'm OK with shunning jerks.

    I think jks9199 makes the point very well. If you really believe your govt. is in the wrong, you should be able to try to get its attention. If you believe it's extremely wrong, perhaps you'll think this is the way to do so. Would you have been willing to burn a flag over slavery in Georgia in 1842? A confederate flag if you had lived in Georgia in 1862? It's just not so simple.123
     

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