News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

My Photo
Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

03 November 2005

flags in your face, flags all over the place = sure sign of big trouble

The Bennington Flag

The Vermont Militia flew this flag at the Battle of Bennington, Vermont, August 16, 1777. It was the first flag to lead American land troops into battle. The original is in the museum at Bennington.

filched back from charlottesometimes

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Hey buddy, where's your damn flag, huh?

My pal Dave/Bear called today. He said that two days ago, some Male Stranger came up to him on the street [of Springfield Massachusetts, a failed industrial city and a real dump] and asked him why he didn't have an American flag on his car.

Should I put a flag on my truck? Or should I rehearse an answer for the guy when he asks me why I don't have one?

How about:

* "I'm from Afghanistan."

* "I'm undercover, looking for unpatriotic people."

* "I used to have a flag, but I wasn't patriotic enough, so they took it away from me."

As I look back on a long and varied life, it very much seems to me that every time there's been a sudden mushroom-like public eruption of American flags all over the place, Something Very Bad has just happened, or is about to happen.

I've never burned one, does that count for anything?

Since the end of the Vietnam War around 1973, it's estimated that about three or four American flags get burned in the USA in public every year.

So about every three years, the Republicans in Congress blow a whistle, and all public business stops for three months while they try to pass an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to prohibit flag burning. It hasn't passed yet.

About 25 years ago, some cop arrested a flag burner, and the guy took the case all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that burning a flag, tasteless as it may seem, is Protected Political Speech under the First Amendment. So the only way to get around that and execute flag burners is to pass a new special flag-burning amendment.

It doesn't take Einstein to figure out what's really going on here. It's a chance for the Republicans to say, "We're Very Patriotic!" And when it finally comes down to some sort of committee vote, it forces everybody who thinks the proposed amendment sucks (mostly Democrats) to have to stand up and say, "Burning the American flag is okay with me."

Actually, there's a big-ass high-quality Free Flag in my future, if I'm patient. I'm a U.S. Army veteran, and a military honor guard will bring one to my funeral if I request it. I probably will. I could never resist Free Stuph.

Cynthia is slightly more Symbolically Small-Town Patriotic than I, and about four months ago began hitting me up for my consent to buy a flag and display it on the house.

First I tried to stall her, pretend I was going deaf, etc., but eventually I lost heart and grudgingly told her she could begin hunting one up.

However, I told her I wanted a Distinctive one. As you know, any historical flag -- there've been about a dozen -- is legal and proper to display. So I asked her to check out that "Don't Tread on Me" serpent flag, I've always thought that one's quite spiffy.

She began one of her Internet investigations and typed in "Don't Tread on Me." I heard a little scream from the next room.

It turns out that "Don't Tread on Me" is the Flag of Choice for backyard survivalist militias, Idaho skinheads, white powerists, etc. So DToM was out. So much for my unerring Fashion Sense.

Now she tells me that since 11 September, that's all changed -- DToM is back in style in the Bigtime Mainstream, every gas station and tavern in America is flying that one.

Nevertheless, my second choice -- when the sudden ten-month backorder delay from flag vendors loosens up -- is the Bennington Flag, a lovely, gentle Revolutionary War-era semicircle of 13 stars.

Meanwhile, I broke down and paid $1 for a temporary emergency cardboard flag at the Cumberland Farms convenience store, all proceeds to the American Red Cross, and Cynthia has taped it to the living room window, facing Out, so our house now passes the test. Cynthia wants me to buy two more for each car.

Someone on the TV news mentioned that the American flag factories in the Peoples Republic of China have been running three shifts like crazy to meet our domestic demand. That's great. My new American flag will have been made by slave laborers in Chinese prisons.

Is this a great country, or what? Well, it is. So there. But what does that have to do with suddenly running around waving a flag?

Here's another bit of Patriotic Advice from Ari Fleischer, the White House press secretary. For youse overseasers, "Politically Incorrect" is [VLEEPTRON UPDATE: was] a late-night TV talk show that has (mostly) very smart and funny guests talking about all sorts of controversial things. Its network, ABC, is very seriously considering pulling the plug on it after its host's remarks. When it's gone, the most controversial program on TV will be the Home Shopping Network.

This Associated Press story ran about 26 September:


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House press secretary scolded the host of "Politically Incorrect" Wednesday for calling some past U.S. military actions cowardly.

The host, Bill Maher, said on his show last week: "We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly," Bill Maher said on the show last week.

Then, referring to terrorists who hijacked four jetliners and crashed them Sept. 11, Maher said: "Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."

Maher later apologized "to anyone who took it wrong," and said his comments were aimed at political leaders.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said he remained troubled by the remark.

"It's a terrible thing to say, and it's unfortunate," Fleischer said. "There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that; there never is."

We thank you for your support.



Post a Comment

<< Home