August 02, 2006

What's the big deal about flags

Doonesbury used to be one of those "adult" (or should I say "mature") comics that I just didn't understand. It also doesn't help that it's about US politics and I lived in regional Queensland. Now I think it's excellent, it might also be considered a better US current afairs source (for international people not in the know, like myself) than FOX.

Right now the US Congress, in the supposed land of do-you-as-you-please and freedom and democracy, is debating on under exactly what circumstances you can deface (e.g. burn) the American flag. (I even have a news article about it, but I wouldn't've known about it if not for editorial cartoons).

What is the big deal? It's fabric. It's not even legal tender; there's a bit, (not much), more sense to laws against defacing money. It is a matter of freedom of expression. You know what's the second best defence against flag burning - don't piss people off. The best defence, of course on the basis of my previously established logic on women's safety, is to not have a flag.

Don't flame this post, it contains references to an American Flag

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At Wed. Aug. 09, 01:05:00 am AEST, Anonymous snowman said...

"Right now the US Congress, in the supposed land of do-you-as-you-please and freedom and democracy..."

only americans think that they ever have more "freedom" than anyone else. You've heard this phrase repetedly on american TV... so it must have been true! right?

Tt is only now, when you are out of thew US umbrella of propeganda that you are seeing things without those red-white-and-blue glasses...

* fom slavery, segregation, the draft, McCarthy hearings... etc, The US has never been a model for rational thought and freedoms.

* Recently, some wag pointed out that the theorem of Pythagoras' contains 24 words, the Lord's prayer contains 66 words, the 10 Commandments contains 179 words and the US Federal Government regulations on the sale of cabbage contains 26,911 words.

* For lucky US citizens, you now have phone calls, internet access, library purchases all openly monitored by the government.

* Your "war on drugs" has made it illegal to posses even trace ammounts of marajuana. But has allowed Pharmaceutical & big tabacco to run rampant....
Most western countries in the world right now are fairly relaxed about the posession and use of light narcotics (except the USA), and instead target the smugglers.

* Most US states have outlawed the purchase and sale or firecrackers.

* The US is currently passing a law to make it illegal to gamble online.

* a US citizen would be arrested if they were to build an alcohol still.

* What happened at Waco, Texas?

* Nudity. It is not allowed if ANYONE else can see it. Period. If you were in your own home in the USA, and were walking around nude with the curtains open, you would be arrested. (In your own freaken home!)

* Try wearing a t-shirt that says "I hate America" on it, into any federal building or at the airport. See how quickly you would be arrested.

* If a US citizen wanted to vacation in Cuba, they would immediately be arrested when they returned. You have made it illegal for your citizens to visit a whole country!
Enjoy your mexican cigars!

* Then there's the USA's insideous "important peoples act" which gives a slap on the wrist to an elected official, movie star, son of a senator, etc. for crimes he commits... while your normal citizen would have to do years of jail time.

* the US press (especially Fox and CNN) usually misreports world events (trade disputes etc), so that the USA's interests in the particular dispute are sold as being the only "right thinking" way to resolve that particular situation. The real facts of the case (such as WTO rulings against the USA) are almost always inaccurate or never mentioned.

* The USA's "imminent domain" law allows any government level (federal, state, local) to sieze any citizens land at anytime, for any reason. Sleep tight.

* hipocracy. The US media reporting on alleged human rights abuses by other regimes, while downplaying US human rights abuses. Even abuses within the USA on it's own citizens. Most US abuses are completely unreported... spend a day reading Iraq news from any Europeen or Middle Eastern news agency to see the difference. Almost seems like a totally different war doesn't it?

* Your governments refusal to allow Iraq to prosecute war crimes commited by US troops. So almost all cases of murders & rapes are undealt with at all. You have a history here. google for "MiLai, Vietnam." There was only 1 person "convicted" for the massacre of a whole village.... And he was released after serving 3 months.

* Burning cloth is illegal. Especially if it has red and white stripes with a few stars imprinted on it.

* writing someone's phone number, or doodling on a dollar bill in the USA is illegal.

* So called "Plea Bargins". Accused criminals who decline a proffered plea bargain will be told that if they insist upon a jury trial they may well find themselves with a significantly increased sentence if convicted, which seems to me at least a very clear form of coercion. Reducing serious crimes to lesser offences indicates that punishment can be reduced if only one will plead rather than go to trial.

... countless other cases.... but now i'm tired.....

At Wed. Aug. 09, 02:14:00 pm AEST, Blogger ZayZayEM said...

Ethical Dilemna - can i delete tripe (i.e. above) or does that count s restricting freedeom.

two immediate points - I don't have any affiliation with the US government, I'm not even a citizen

- in regards to government monitoring (Which I'm all for) this really doesn't directly relate to your ability to do-as-you-please (your government will just know about it).


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