Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

I get to be as self-indulgent as I want without wasting anyone's time. Guilt-free solipsism -- excellent!

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004
I became a liberal in 8th grade, although not before supporting George Bush in the '88 election (side note: my support for Bush was strengthened by my nakedly partisan Dukakis-supporting history teacher...I decided I needed to be a counterweight to his inappropriate evangelizing. I'm a contrarian that way).

Anyway, the catalyst for my conversion was Texas v. Johnson, a.k.a the flag-burning case. Or more specifically, the right-wing reaction to that landmark case, which was to propose an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting flag desecration.

The folly -- and bitter irony -- of protecting a symbol of free expression by undermining free speech itself was not lost on me. The brave men and women who died fighting to defend America were not fighting for the flag; they were fighting for the freedoms the flag represents. Taking away those freedoms does not honor their sacrifice, but instead renders it pointless. Free expression is the most profound natural right, and the necessary precondition for a legitimate society. An insufficient respect for that fact gets a candidate automatically disqualified from Using Bees consideration (it's probably the only issue on which I have a litmus test -- as General Clark, for one, knows).

The profoundly misguided and unAmerican idea of the flag burning amendment regains currency every few years, and sure enough, it's back now. I hope you will join me (and Colin Powell) in affirming the principles enshrined in the 1st Amendment -- oppose the flag desecration amendment.


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