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DEFEND THE BILL OF RIGHTS

 
 
Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 01:19 pm
POLITICS
And For Which It Stands

The U.S. Congress is closer than ever to passing a constitutional amendment that would criminalize desecration of the U.S. flag. If successful, it will mark the first time in 214 years that the Bill of Rights has been restricted by a constitutional amendment, and will place the United States among a select group of nations that have banned flag desecration, including Cuba, China, Iran, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein. The amendment has already been approved by the necessary two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives, and last week it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a near-party line 11-7 vote. Now, aided by a handful of Democrats, the amendment has gathered 66 votes in favor, just one shy of passage. "Whether advocates can find the 67th vote to send the flag amendment to the states for ratification remains unclear." The Senate vote is expected next week. Take a stand now by signing up with Veterans Defending the Bill of Rights.
--AmericanProgressAction
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,882 • Replies: 42
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 01:49 pm
Re: DEFEND THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Advocate wrote:
POLITICS
And For Which It Stands

The U.S. Congress is closer than ever to passing a constitutional amendment that would criminalize desecration of the U.S. flag. If successful, it will mark the first time in 214 years that the Bill of Rights has been restricted by a constitutional amendment, and will place the United States among a select group of nations that have banned flag desecration, including Cuba, China, Iran, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein. The amendment has already been approved by the necessary two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives, and last week it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a near-party line 11-7 vote. Now, aided by a handful of Democrats, the amendment has gathered 66 votes in favor, just one shy of passage. "Whether advocates can find the 67th vote to send the flag amendment to the states for ratification remains unclear." The Senate vote is expected next week. Take a stand now by signing up with Veterans Defending the Bill of Rights.
--AmericanProgressAction


Before we go any further, show me exactly which ammendment in the first 10 specificlly states it is OK to burn the flag.
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Advocate
 
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Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 01:57 pm
As requested:


Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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woiyo
 
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Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 02:18 pm
There have been several cases which has defined what is protected speech.

Yelling FIRE in a theater has been noted as not being protected speech; burning your draft casrd also.

Yet, to amend the US Constitution that would over-rule a Supreme Court Ruling would be unique.

I would not support this amendment for the above reason; courts have ruled that this act IS protected speech and I would not want the Bill Frists of the govt over-ruling a USSC decision without good reason.

Sen Frist has not provided a reason for this amendment.

Do you have an opinion or do your just parrott whatever lobby group wants you to think?
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Advocate
 
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Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 02:30 pm
I am not sure whom you are addressing, but I do have an opinion. Basically, I agree with you. I might add that this is not similar to your fire and draft-card examples. In the fire situation, yelling fire in a crowded theater, which would provoke an immediate and dangerous reaction, is in essence an act, which may be prohibited. As I recall, burning the draft card was held to be the destruction of a government document.

Burning a flag is, indeed, protected speech. For instance, if I were to burn an Iranian flag at an anti-Iranian demonstration in Washington, no one would say that it was other than free speech. Similarly, if I were to burn the American flag because the country was, say, turning fascist, this should also be protected speech.
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Shapeless
 
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Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 02:39 pm
woiyo wrote:
Yelling FIRE in a theater has been noted as not being protected speech


That is because it is, legally, not an act of speech but a full-fledged act. It is the difference between having a conversation with someone and candidly saying, "I want your money," or holding a gun to someone's head and saying "I want your money."
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Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 02:44 pm
I agree, and the holdup comment is a good example of speech really being an act in certain cases.

The main point is that the Bill is what separates us from totalitarian regimes, and it should not be messed with. Another fear is that once the amendment process begins, a lot of other mischief result.
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 02:52 pm
Advocate wrote:
I am not sure whom you are addressing, but I do have an opinion. Basically, I agree with you. I might add that this is not similar to your fire and draft-card examples. In the fire situation, yelling fire in a crowded theater, which would provoke an immediate and dangerous reaction, is in essence an act, which may be prohibited. As I recall, burning the draft card was held to be the destruction of a government document.

Burning a flag is, indeed, protected speech. For instance, if I were to burn an Iranian flag at an anti-Iranian demonstration in Washington, no one would say that it was other than free speech. Similarly, if I were to burn the American flag because the country was, say, turning fascist, this should also be protected speech.


Burning a flag around me would also "provoke an immediate and dangerous reaction".
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Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 03:03 pm
McG, would you feel the same way if the country somehow became communistic?
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McGentrix
 
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Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 04:22 pm
Advocate wrote:
McG, would you feel the same way if the country somehow became communistic?


I have no worries of that happening.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 04:29 pm
I oppose all of the Constitutional Amendments currently proposed, or under consideration. Further more, I doubt that the States would ratify either the Official Language, or Flag Protection Amendments even if they are approved by the Congress.

On general principle, I oppose amending the Constitution unless there is a pressing need that clearly requires a Constitutional remedy. Nothing like that that I know of in the works.
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Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jun, 2006 10:37 pm
McG, anything is possible. We could have gone that way during the depression, which may reoccur.

Ash, have you seen polls that indicate that an amendment would fail?
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Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2006 06:37 am
I wonder if something like this could be an issue of Patrotic vs non-Patrotic. I don't mean to split the issue as such but I think it really is.
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2006 07:08 am
Baldimo wrote:
I wonder if something like this could be an issue of Patrotic vs non-Patrotic. I don't mean to split the issue as such but I think it really is.


In the very narrow and small mind of Sen Frist, this is, more than likely, his position.

I would rather not see one burn the Flag of the US, but I accept the reality that sometimes this form of speech is necessary to raise awareness of an issue.

However, amending the US Constitution to surpress a form of speech is UN-AMERICAN.
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Advocate
 
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Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2006 11:13 am
It could create a slippery slope. For instance, looking at a flag amendment, a movement may arise to have an amendment to, say, forbid criticism of the president.

The argument is frequently made that our troops fought and died for the flag. However, I don't feel that our soldiers fought so much for the flag, but for the country for which it stands.
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Asherman
 
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Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2006 12:13 pm
No I'm not aware of any polls (don't really believe they have any real use or even validity in many cases), that focus on whether any Constitutional Amendment would be ratified, or rejected.

Even if an Amendment is ratified there is no reason to suppose that it will not be changed, or repealed later. Prohibition was swept in by idealists who supposed that they were improving the moral fiber of the nation. What we got instead was the Mob, violence, widespread disrespect for the law as violations of the Act became fashionable. These proposed Amendments are well-intended I'm sure, but the outcome can't be known in advance. They may benefit the nation, but I tend to be cynical about such things. Why take un-necessary risks with our system of government? If anything, I'd like to see a reversion away from the popular election of Senators.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2006 12:40 pm
I agree with McG's sentiment, and Asherman's opinion, as well as several others.
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Brandon9000
 
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Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2006 12:51 pm
In my view, passage of an act criminalizing flag burning would represent the end of America as I know it, although life would still continue after a fashion. Up until now, all speech which doesn't specifically call for immediate violence has been protected, and political opinion is the most protected of all speech. Burning a flag that one owns, while loathsome to me, is absolutely an expression of personal opinion, and any assertion that it is a call to violence is a bold-faced lie. I hope that I do not live long enough to see Americans being dragged off to jail for expressing an opinion in public. The more repugnant the speech, the more important it is that it be protected, because if freedom of speech goes away, expression of opinions objectionable to almost everyone will be the speech that is eliminated first, to get us used to the idea that not all opinions may be expressed.
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Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2006 02:38 pm
Everywhere you look, the freedom of speech we took for granted has been curtailed by the new dogma of Political Correctness.

Don't believe it?
Take a look at the litany of people who have been demoted, villified or lost their jobs or positions because someone took offense over a joke they told, a comment made in passing or a memo/email that was leaked.

The forces of PC thinking (Which seem to be inordinately weighted to the Liberal bent.) seem to belive that they have the right to curtail and punish those who choose to speak their minds or utter words/phrases that THEY think are offensive. Yet when it is a topic on which they do NOT agree, such as protection for the flag, they suddenly get VERY broadminded on the interpretations of the First Amendment.

The Amendments are not locked in stone, the Founding Fathers (Now called the Founders or some such PC nonsense so as not to offend some people.) gave us the ability to alter that document to suit the needs of a changing society. In this they proved their brilliance. The Constitution was INTENDED to change, or else the Founding Fathers wouldn't have put the provision to do so in the document.

It makes me laugh so much I wan't to cry everytime I see the Left screaming that 'Reasonable restrictions' on gun ownership guaranteed in the Second Amendment should be implemented yet they scream to high Heaven when there is any chance of restriction on the First. (Unless it is something that offends their PC sensabilities.)
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2006 02:52 pm
Fedral wrote:
Everywhere you look, the freedom of speech we took for granted has been curtailed....yet they scream to high Heaven when there is any chance of restriction on the First....

This seems contradictory. Are you for prohibiting flag burning, or are you against it?
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