Not only does Old Glory work on a pole outside your business, as a tie, or, my personal favorite, as underwear (here, here, and here, (DISCLAIMER: A) Some of the pics might not be appropriate for young eyes and B) no, we’re not trying to sell you anything…it’s just funny)), but the U.S. Senate has found yet another use for the Stars & Stripes: Cover up the real issues facing the country!
Debate on amending the U.S. Constitution to ban flag burning started yesterday with our own Arlen Specter, self-proclaimed great defender of the Constitution, leading the charge:
“I think of the flag as a symbol of what veterans fought for,” Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said as he opened the debate yesterday, “what they sustained wounds for, what they sustained loss of limbs for and what they sustained loss of life for.”
In pursuit of this urgent matter, floor leader Specter mustered all manner of argument: the military service of his brother, Morton; his brother-in-law’s service in the Pacific; his father Harry’s service in the Argonne; his mother’s emigration from Ukraine; his own stateside service during the Korean War; a pickup-truck accident his father once had with his sister; bicycle rides he took as a 7-year-old in Kansas; the “treachery of Mussolini”; the light casualties sustained during the Persian Gulf War, and a trip he made to VA hospitals 15 years ago.
“I think it’s important to focus on the basic fact that the text of the First Amendment, the text of the Constitution, the text of the Bill of Rights is not involved,” Specter argued. The Judiciary Committee chairman did not explain how he could add 17 words to the Constitution without altering its text.
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post also points out that incidents of flag-burning shockingly escalated last year by 33%…from three incidents to four.
Meanwhile, the NSA continues to conduct surveillance without a search warrant, the PATRIOT Act continues to allow the FBI to get warrants from the FISA court without showing a shred of evidence for why they suspect the subject of the search of a crime, and a whole of host of important non-civil liberties issues continue to smolder out here in the hinterlands. Thanks, Senate…for nothin’.
UPDATE, 8:54PM: In the Senate, the amendment went down in flames. *Ba-dump-ching* Ah, I’ve got a million of ’em. Seriously, it failed by one vote. Kudos to the 34 senators who had the chutzpah, the gumption, and other less appropriate terms to vote against this tom-foolery. In particular, it must be pointed out that Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Bob Bennett, R-Utah, both voted against it, along with usual suspect Lincoln Chafee, R-RI, a moderate R. Both McConnell and Bennett typically do not buck the party line. In a written statement, McConnell said this:
“No act of speech is so obnoxious that it merits tampering with our First Amendment.” Doing so, he said, “could also set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the Bill of Rights.”
Andy in H-burg