I have always found it to be somewhat of an odd occurrence, when those who proclaim themselves to be “Patriotic Americans” and conservative or “republican” get completely up in arms at every little thing that they claim shows disrespect to the American Flag, while they themselves display the “rebel flag” or alternate colorizations and depictions of Old Glory.
Many of the same people who claim to be patriots “disrespect” the flag on a daily basis.
From the US Flag Code:
The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be fifty stars, white in a blue field.
(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.
Bunting of blue, white, and red always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkin or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
By every measure of the United States Flag code, waiving a “thin blue line” flag, wearing a single color patch of the American flag on your leather vest or eating off of red, white & blue plates and then wiping the potato salad and drool from your mouth with a stars & stripes napkin is open disrespect for the flag.
What is even crazier, is the same person who get’s upset when a pro athlete chooses not to stand during the national anthem, is often times wearing a “rebel flag” on his tee shirt while he’s wiping the mustard off his lips with an Old Glory napkin.
The same people who say “America love it or leave it” when it comes to things they perceive as un-American, support a flag of a movement that was trying to leave it because they didn’t love it.
Hypocrisy at its finest.
This past Monday Night, my hometown Cleveland Browns took on the New York Giants in a nationally televised pre-season game. Nine days after the racially charged events of Charlottesville and a year after the Colin Kaepernick anthem controversy began, about a dozen players knelt and prayed during the playing of the national anthem, a handful of teammates stood by in support placing a hand on a teammate’s shoulder.
Of course the reaction of Cleveland’s self proclaimed patriots was fierce, via News 5 Cleveland:
CLEVELAND – Angry fans took to the Cleveland Browns Facebook page overnight and into Tuesday morning to voice their frustration with the players who kneeled during the national anthem Monday night.
The Browns Facebook page lit up after the game, with people calling the team “disgraceful.”
“Pray before or pray after. Taking a knee during the National Anthem these days screams disrespect for our Flag, Our Country and our troops. My son and the entire armed forces deserve better than that,” wrote one person.
“Cleveland Browns needed all the fans they can get!” wrote another. “They have one less now! How pathetic! You are not paid to protest! I for one am done with any professional team that act’s this way! Lost any money from me for life! For years I have protested as to why you are so bad and never win any more, now I see it’s your Teams values! Good luck but you lost this fan for life and all my spending$$. This country needs heroes and patriots not millionaire crybaby’s who disrespect this country and our flag!” Read More…
So according to the internet patriots, you can’t kneel and pray to the Lord during the National Anthem because “our soldiers fought for freedom” and “you better stand up an pledge that oath to a piece of cloth or else you ain’t free”.
My own personal view, when attending a sporting event, is that I stand for the national anthem. I too personally am personally offended and believe that it is somewhat disrespectful to refuse to stand for the national anthem. However, I don’t get all raging angry about it and want to shuffle off to my safe space, because I am a grown up who knows that the right to not get offended is not one of my god-given unalienable rights.
Furthermore, while I believe it to be disrespectful to not stand for the anthem, I believe it is infinitely more disrespectful to characterize what that flag stands for.
As I wrote last November after President Trump posted his “there must be consequences…” tweet about people who burn the flag. No man died for a piece of cloth, they died for the idea that that piece of cloth represented. Amongst those ideas, as our founding fathers so eloquently put it is that we “… are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Part of that includes the right to partake in activities that others don’t agree with, as long as in doing so you are not depriving another of their rights. Wanting to force another free person to stand up for a song is the polar opposite of the freedoms that our republic represents.
Go America, Go Browns but most importantly Go Liberty!
I was not paying much attention to social media this past weekend, as I was working on a home improvement project, so I only had a vague idea of the events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia. I made a few comments to twitter, mostly re-tweets and one asking anyone that agrees with the protestors to unfollow me, and emphasizing it with vulgarities.
It wasn’t until late Sunday and early into the week that I really started to dip my toes into the waters so to speak and get acquainted with the disgusting display that took place.
I really won’t discuss the actual events that transpired, only to say that as a lover of liberty that has long rallied against the watering-down and redefining of what it means to be a “right leaning” conservative I am disgusted that those hateful, racist “alt-Right” protestors and the movement itself gets associated with “conservative” or “libertarianism.”
I will say that I am even more glad that I gave up my former blogging domain name years ago of Right Wing Rebel. Though I mainly gave that up because I have come to realize that the left vs right political spectrum is complete hogwash.
My biggest concern over the Trump candidacy was the nationalistic sentiment that his campaign swept up. “Blood & soil” is the polar opposite of the very idea that our country is founded on, the idea that all men are created equal, and our endowed by their creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
But I don’t care to talk about Trump, Nationalism, or even racism really right now. What I really want to focus on, is something that has been brewing for a while now, but has really come to prominence these past few days and that is the “no free speech for fascists” or the “punch a Nazi” movement.
Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor-in-chief of Reason Magazine, recently asked the very valid question, “Do you really want Donald Trump deciding who gets free speech”?
… if fascists are to lose their free speech rights, someone must take them. And if you believe, as many of the counter-protesters do, that the white nationalists and their brethren were emboldened by the presence of a man in the White House who sees them as part of his coalition, then why on God’s good green earth would you want to turn around and hand that very man the right to censor anyone whom he labels fascists? Because I can tell you right now, the list of folks that Trump and the restive-but-still-Republican Congress would like to silence sure won’t look like the list those sign-wavers have in mind.
Living in a truly free and open society, truly respecting the concept of individual rights and liberty, means having to accept things that you dislike. That also includes having to accept some things that you find morally reprehensible.
Forcing the ignorant, disgusting and vile into the shadows does not eliminate ignorance and hatred. It just sweeps it under the rug where it is allowed to fester and grow like mold and spread into something even more hateful and disgusting.
The American progressive movement always claim to be the ones of peace, love, understanding and free ideas… but the caveat is, you are accepted only as long as that peace, love and understanding comes with the same pre-packaged manufactured group-think “free” ideas that they share.
The image that struck me the most this weekend was of the black police office standing guard and protecting the ignorant racists behind him.
Think about that juxtaposition for a moment.
Barely a full year ago, a crazed black power ideologue gunned down law enforcement in Dallas, Texas, where the media incidentally didn’t go bash ALL BLM supporters and ALL progressives, they pointed it out for what it was an isolated incident.
Now that police office, who is both a black life and a blue life but more importantly a HUMAN life and who is hated by many hardcore progressives who think all cops are corrupt is protecting ignorant fools who also hate him, albeit because of the color of his skin.
Things are not clear-cut. There is not one side, or the other side. There is not only right or left. There is not just black or white.
The issues facing us are far more complicated then anything I can explain.
Hatred begets hatred, violence begets violence. Ignorance breeds ignorance and anti-fascism, at least these days, is more often then not — fascism itself.
Free speech, as long as its non-violent free speech, must be protected and defended to full extent, even free speech that you find repulsive.
I’ll close out with the words of pastor Martin Niemöller, who knows a little bit of this, having spent a few years in a real Nazi concentration camp.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Today is not about the date.
Today is not about fireworks.
Today is not about backyard cookouts.
Today is not about a piece of cloth with the colors red, white & blue.
Today is not about patriotism.
Today is about an idea. The greatest idea in the history of civilized mankind.
One that unfortunately, all too often we lose sight of and ignore.
The idea that we are free people and not subjects of a monarchy or a tyrannical government. Government comes from the consent of the people and not the whims of the ruling class.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
Notice the word “pursuit.” Happiness has become an expectation, something that people feel they are entitled to and must be supplied to them by the government.
Every couple of years we fool ourselves into thinking this next person will be different, this one will be the person that will truly make a difference and who will fix all of our problems. However, what we end up with is a big load of garbage in the form of more rules & regulations and less freedom for everyone, irregardless of where your beliefs lie in the made up Red State / Blue State political spectrum that the media force feeds us.
Stop expecting happiness to come from the false promises of politicians and realize, much like the founders did in 1776, that the true path to happiness is through liberty. Free people with the freedom to make their own choices in life and the freedom to live with the consequences of those choices.
Stop looking towards the government for answers and start looking from within. Stop trying to regulate and enforce and standardize your view of happiness on the whole country.
To paraphrase Billy Joel, go ahead with your own life and leave everyone else alone.
This is glorious.
I’m not a Trump supporter by any means, but the reasons I oppose him are different from the social justice warrior progressives out there.
This past week proponents of an independent California gained a small victory in their movement, as their Secretary of State Alex Padilla has approved a petition initiative to begin collecting signatures from voters.
Thanks to the recent vote in Great Britain to leave the European Union, which was dubbed #Brexit, California’s movement has taken on the hashtag name of #Calexit. The movement, which has gained steam after the the overall meltdown of the American Progressive Left after the election of Donald Trump, is not actually a new one. The Yes California Independence Committee PAC has been around for a couple of years.
From their website:
Yes California is the nonviolent campaign to establish the country of California using any and all legal and constitutional means to do so. We advocate for peaceful secession from the United States by use of an independence referendum to establish a mandate, followed by a nationwide campaign to advocate in support of a constitutional exit from the Union. By joining this campaign, signing up as a member, donating, volunteering, or otherwise supporting this important cause, you agree to these nonviolent principles.
While Yes California supports and encourages Californians to stand up and take direct action, to be bold, and to unapologetically demand the liberation of the people of California from its captors, we explicitly reject conduct or speech inciting open rebellion against the American government.
The idea of secession is not actually a new one in California, while the #Calexit people want to leave a Federal Government that they do not view as being attuned to their Progressive Political leanings, there is a much older movement within California’s more rural Northern State’s to breakaway and create the 51st State, The State of Jefferson.
I find it quite interesting that there is a group of people within California who feel that they are being bullied by the Federal Government & the Electoral College, who feel that they are culturally out-of-step with the rest of the Unites States — but who are completely oblivious the plight of their fellow Californians who feel the same way towards them.
Now, do I think that there is a reasonable chance that someday soon California will become a sovereign nation-state? No, I think there is about as much chance of that happening as there is of Donald Trump nominating Rosie O’Donnell to the US Supreme Court.
However believing that something is going to happen and believing in the right for that thing to happen are two completely different things. It was the inspiration for the name The State of Jefferson, who wrote the greatest declaration of secession of all time, otherwise known as the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas DiLorenzo, of the Mises Institute, wrote a few years back an article about the Jeffersonian secessionist tradition posted at LewRockwell.com:
Thomas Jefferson, the author of America’s July 4, 1776 Declaration of Secession from the British empire, was a lifelong advocate of both the voluntary union of the free, independent, and sovereign states, and of the right of secession. “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form,” he said in his first inaugural address in 1801, “let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it.”
In a January 29, 1804 letter to Dr. Joseph priestly, who had ask Jefferson his opinion of the New England secession movement that was gaining momentum, he wrote: “Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, believe not very important to the happiness of either part. Those of the western confederacy will be as much our children & descendants as those of the eastern . . . and did I now foresee a separation at some future day,, yet should feel the duty & the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family . . .” Jefferson offered the same opinion to John C. Breckenridge on August 12 1803 when New Englanders were threatening secession after the Louisiana purchase. If there were a “separation,” he wrote, “God bless them both & keep them in the union if it be for their good, but separate them, if it be better.”
I am firmly of the belief that, while not everyone may realize it on a conscious level or express it in these exact terms, the human heart yearns for liberty. Supporters of a strong and all-powerful Federal Government will bring up the “…one Nation under God, indivisible…” part of the Pledge of Allegiance or say things like the Civil War and Texas v White ‘settled’ the issue of secession.
As far as the Pledge of Allegiance goes, while I truly feel blessed to have been born in the what is still the greatest country on God’s green earth, I pledge my allegiance to no one. I am a free man, nobody owns me and I am not subject to the rituals of blind devotion to the State because of a pledge written by a socialist decades after our Republic’s founding.
The United States of America came to be after the Thirteen Original Colonies successfully used the God-given right to self-determination in unshackling themselves from the chains that tied them to King George’s England.
Ron Paul in a 2009 CNN Interview said:
The biggest surprise to me was the outrage expressed over an individual who thinks along these lines, because I heard people say, well, this is treasonous and this was un-American. But don’t they remember how we came in to our being? We used secession, we seceded from England. So it’s a very good principle. It’s a principle of a free society. It’s a shame we don’t have it anymore. I argue that if you had the principle of secession, our federal government wouldn’t be as intrusive into state affairs and to me that would be very good.
We as a nation have endorsed secession all along. Think of all of the secession of the countries and the republics from the Soviet system. We were delighted. We love it. And yet we get hysterical over this just because people want to debate and defend the principle of secession, that doesn’t mean they’re calling for secession. I think it’s that restraining element of secession that would keep the federal government from doing so much. In our early history, they accepted the principles of secession all along.
As far as I’m concerned the Declaration of Independence clearly set the precedent and Texas v White is an unjust ruling that no free people should abide by. While the outcome of the Civil War did rightfully end the greatest evil ever perpetrated on mankind, the practice of slavery, it does not end the precedent set forth by the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence.
Walter Williams, libertarian professor of economics at George Mason University wrote:
On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, “Any attempt to preserve the Union between the States of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty.”
The Northern Democratic and Republican parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace. Just about every major Northern newspaper editorialized in favor of the South’s right to secede. New York Tribune (Feb. 5, 1860): “If tyranny and despotism justified the Revolution of 1776, then we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861.” Detroit Free Press (Feb. 19, 1861): “An attempt to subjugate the seceded States, even if successful, could produce nothing but evil – evil unmitigated in character and appalling in content.” The New York Times (March 21, 1861): “There is growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go.”
There’s more evidence seen at the time our Constitution was ratified. The ratification documents of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island explicitly said that they held the right to resume powers delegated, should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution never would have been ratified if states thought that they could not maintain their sovereignty.
With all that being said, as I have previously noted, while I believe in California’s right to leave the Union I seriously doubt that it will happen. Even if the #Calexit folks somehow manage to collect the required 585,407 valid signatures from registered voters over the next 180 days, they still face a long uphill battle in their movement.
However as long as the odds are, I do tend to agree with Marcus Ruiz Evans, one of the Founders of Yes California, who said “America already hates California, and America votes on emotions.”
The election of Donald Trump sure proved that.
While on the campaign trail last October after then-candidate Trump insinuated that he may not accept the results of the election, the main stream media and the democrats rightfully attacked him for it. Sen. Hillary Clinton said “…by doing that he is threatening our democracy.“
That was on the campaign trail, the day after the election democrats were singing a different tune. On the night of the election, after Trump had surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the victory, Clinton refused to come out and address her supporters at her election watch party. All her distraught supporters heard from the campaign was a statement from John Podesta saying there would be no comments until all votes were counted.
Finally, only after President Obama has called her urging her to concede and after Trump had delivered his victory speech, did Clinton call Trump and offer her concession.
For the next few weeks many on the American left proceeded to attack our republic’s system of government calling for the end of the Electoral College.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein raised millions of dollars to pay for recounts in Wisconsin and Michigan, only to end up deepening her campaign’s coffers while strengthening Trumps margin.
Then they claimed that Russia interfered with American democracy by affecting the results. They didn’t mention that the only “interference” was exposing the lies and deceit of the Democratic Party. They basically said, pay no attention to the truth about their actions that the Wikileaks emails exposed, just pay attention to Russia.
The same people who openly mocked Trump for suggesting that he may not accept the results, were now saying that Russia “rigged” the election in his favor.
Imagine their reaction had Clinton won, Gary Johnson had raised money for recounts and the Republicans has insinuated that the election was “rigged” in Hillary’s favor.
Donald J. Trump has done something that a whole lot of people, myself included, never thought that he would even come close to accomplishing. He has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. The biggest reason this has happened?
The hypocrisy of the so called “progressive” American left.
Not only did they sit by and cheer on Obama as he continued doing all of the things that they hated George W. Bush for, things that they called Bush “literally Hitler” for — they gave him a fucking Nobel Peace Prize and painted this fake narrative of him as this honorable and respectful man of peace and justice. They were completely quiet for 8 years of endless war, drone strikes and bombings in more countries than his predecessors, the killing of more innocent civilians than his predecessor. Not a peep as the Obama administration doubled down on the illegal, anti 4th Amendment spying of American citizens by the NSA.
They continue to spread the ridiculous and completely false notion that his was a presidency full of transparency and devoid of scandal.
They were quiet as he used the power of the Federal Government through the IRS to attack political enemies, even after they were caught destroying the hard drives with evidence. Not a hush from the American left as the Obama Administration was caught selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels. Crickets, when they were proven to fabricate a story that the Benghazi massacre was a response to “some video.” They ignored the fact that his secretary of State bypassed National Security protocols and set up her own private email server and destroyed the evidence when caught. Actions that would at the very least would not allow anyone else to ever hold the position of mailman yet alone the highest office of the land.
The American left applauded the growth of government through Obama’s bypassing of congress and appointment of czars, his vast imperial powers through his unprecedented use of executive orders and the growing activism via the legislation from the bench of his judicial appointees.
Now that someone you don’t like has those same powers at his disposal, you “peaceably protest” by throwing rocks at banks and spitting in the faces of law enforcement officers?
The “progressive” American left has poisoned the waters of political discourse by screaming false alarms of racism, sexism, any other “-ism” you can think of and so-called privilege at every turn.
When you continue to irresponsible label half of the country as racists and bigots don’t act all surprised and proceed to cry like spoiled little babies when they don’t vote along the same lines as you.
I didn’t vote for Donald Trump either, I opted out of being forced to choose between the eviler of two lesser’s and voted for Gov. Gary Johnson. In that my conscience is clean.
That being said the way leftists are reacting over Donald Trump is sickening. I am embarrassed for you.
If the “progressive” American left really wants to know why Donald Trump is President?, all they have to do is to look in the mirror.
I am, at least as of the time that I am writing this post, a registered Republican. Truthfully however, at this point that is only because of the ridiculous ballot access laws and Ohio Senate Bill 193. I am not currently a member of the Libertarian Party, nor do I have any sort of affiliation with any member of the Libertarian Party.
Recently I have seen an article by a former legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul, that was posted at the Ron Paul Institute make the rounds on libertarian leaning social media sites. The title of the piece, “Libertarian Party Chairman Denounces Ron Paul’s Support for States’ Rights” caused an eruption in comments across Facebook.
The article was loosely about an interview that Nicholas Sarwark, the current chairman of the Libertarian Party had on a Lions of Liberty podcast recently. I say “ loosely” because the entire basis of the article was a completely taken out-of-context piece that used one line out of a forty minute long interview.
I even saw a liberty minded Facebook friend of mine re-post the article with the comment “Looks like the Libertarian Party is being destroyed by socialists.” I can understand given the title of the posting at the RPI how a liberty minded individual might get upset , I mean denouncing Ron Paul and for supporting States Rights of all things.
The thing is, if you listened to the actual Lions of Liberty podcast, you would see that at no point did Nicholas Sarwark ‘denounce’ Ron Paul or Ron Paul’s support for States Rights.
But hey, let’s not allow things like facts to get in the way, no one can speak ill of muh Ron Paul.
The Ron Paul discussion in the podcast started at about 25:30 minutes into the interview and came after a discussion about the Gary Johnson campaign and how Bill Weld displeased many hardcore libertarians. Sarwark himself admitted that many of the things that Bill Weld said during the campaign were not things that he would have said, or things that he necessary agreed with. His point was however, in growing the Libertarian Party as a viable third option — do you want a pure ideological person standing on a soapbox speaking to ten people or do you want a slightly less pure person with a giant microphone who is able to reach millions?
Mark Clair, the host of the podcast, responded by saying that he thought a lot of ideologically libertarian leaning people got spoiled by Ron Paul and his manner of speaking libertarian ideas. Clair, then went on to say that “…we still have to look at Ron Paul and what his… success was, I mean he floundered out of the Republican Primary.” Clair followed up with talking about how the bigger thing to look at Ron Paul was at how many people he turned on to the idea of liberty, partly because of his ‘ideologically pure’ libertarian message. Moving forward Clair wondered how do liberty minded people turn on more people to the liberty message as not everyone can be Murray Rothbard.
Sarwark, in talking about Ron Paul, commented that you ‘run a very dangerous line’ if you get too caught up with any one personality, be it in politics or any other aspect of life.
His point was that there is no one true pure as fresh snow ideological libertarian and everyone is capable of being wrong on some things. He had mentioned how he had spoken to Ron Paul supporters who if you were to mention an issue that Ron Paul was not a pure libertarian on they would twist themselves up into pretzels while trying to say otherwise because “Ron Paul could do no wrong.”
Sarwark also pointed out that the strength of libertarianism is that the principle doesn’t care who the messenger is. It is either a libertarian position or its not, no one is perfect and its okay to not be pure and it is also okay to be able to call out the things of libertarians that are not really libertarian positions.
Sarwark was particularly talking on same-sex marriage, citing Ron Paul whom for a long time said that it should be up to the States. His point was that “States rights” do not trump individual rights or civil liberties.
Clair, even agreed mentioning how you see people get caught up in personalities, such as opposing something, but then supporting it because Obama does or opposing something but then supporting it because Trump does. Then saying that he agrees with about 95% of what Ron Paul says but “heaven forbid” you mention that other 5% and then the name calling ensues.
That is exactly what happened with the reaction after the article was posted on the RPI website.
Nicholas Sarwark did not “denounce” anyone and “the socialists” are not taking over the Libertarian Party.
I swear libertarians are more often then not, their own worst enemy.
Also, in regards to the whole “States Rights” issue, the 10th Amendment provides that the “powers” not delegated to the Federal Government are reserved to the States and/or the people.
States don’t have rights, we the people do.
Nicholas Sarwark, rightfully stated that you can’t use “States Rights” to allow government to take away individual rights based on gender, race or [in this case] sexual orientation.
The 10th Amendment does not provide for allowing the States the “right” to trump the natural individual rights of American citizens.
Early this morning, President-elect Donald Trump took to social media to announce his desire to take a piss all over the Bill of Rights. “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Is what he posted to twitter.
That belief is a slap in the face to those who truly value our liberty.
In the 1989 US Supreme Court case, Texas v. Johnson, a split court (5-4) held that burning an American flag as political protest is a form of symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment.
At a demonstration during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Gregory Lee Johnson, a member of the evolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, was involved in a political demonstration that turned violent. The demonstrators marched through the streets, shouted chants, destroyed property, broke windows and threw trash, soiled diapers, beer cans and various other items, and held signs outside the offices of several companies. At one point, another demonstrator handed Johnson an American flag stolen from a flagpole outside one of the targeted buildings.
Johnson was charged with violating a Texas law that prohibited the desecration of a venerated object. He was convicted, sentenced to one year in prison, and fined $2,000. He appealed his conviction to the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas, but he lost this appeal. On appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals the court overturned his conviction, saying that the State could not punish Johnson for burning the flag because the First Amendment protects such activity as symbolic speech.
The case eventually made it’s way to the Supreme Court and in their decision the court found that the right to free speech does not end at the spoken or written word, but also includes “symbolic speech.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, in his concurrence expressed the sentiment that sometimes standing up for liberty, means standing up for things that you don’t agree with.
The hard fact is that sometimes we must make decisions we do not like. We make them because they are right, right in the sense that the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result. And so great is our commitment to the process that, except in the rare case, we do not pause to express distaste for the result, perhaps for fear of undermining a valued principle that dictates the decision. This is one of those rare cases.
Our colleagues in dissent advance powerful arguments why respondent may be convicted for his expression, reminding us that among those who will be dismayed by our holding will be some who have had the singular honor of carrying the flag in battle. And I agree that the flag holds a lonely place of honor in an age when absolutes are distrusted and simple truths are burdened by unneeded apologetics.
With all respect to those views, I do not believe the Constitution gives us the right to rule as the dissenting Members of the Court urge, however painful this judgment is to announce. Though symbols often are what we ourselves make of them, the flag is constant in expressing beliefs Americans share, beliefs in law and peace and that freedom which sustains the human spirit. The case here today forces recognition of the costs to which those beliefs commit us. It is poignant but fundamental that the flag protects those who hold it in contempt.
This morning after seeing, Chairman of the Libertarian Party, Nicholas Sarwark post his own brief thoughts on flag-burning to Facebook, I went ahead and shared my own updated version of that
I want to make this clear, I believe that the act of burning the American flag is a sick and disgusting thing to do. Furthermore, I believe that individuals who purposely desecrate the flag are asshole’s of the highest order.
I just believe that, you either believe in liberty or you don’t. Those flag burning assholes have the same right to burn Old Glory as I have to think they are assholes for doing it.
I will defend their right to be assholes until my dying breath.
In a conversation about the topic with a co-worker, I was accused of being “lukewarm” on the issue and told that burning a flag is disrespectful to the brave soldiers who died for that flag.
To that I said, only tyrants lock people in jail for the victimless crime of burning a piece of cloth. No man died for a piece of cloth, they died for the idea that that piece of cloth represented. Amongst those ideas, as our founding fathers so eloquently put it is that we “… are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
To lock someone up for burning a flag, makes us no better then the type of despots we claim to have opposed, if we start doing that… then those soldiers who many claim “die for the flag,” will truly have died for nothing.
Member’s of the Cuban population of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood (as seen in the picture above), Cuban ex-patriots and lovers of liberty everywhere can rejoice that an evil, vile, tyrant has passed on to the thereafter.
For nearly six decades Cuba has been a totalitarian island, filled with forced labor camps, firing squads, imprisonment of political dissidents, religious repression and many more crimes against the basic rights of humanity.
Castro’s death, sadly does not erase the crimes against the people of Cuba that his regime committed, nor does it end the oppression still going on today as his 85-year-old brother Raul, who has been in charge since 2008, is still alive.
Cuba still has a long way to go, but there is nothing wrong in taking the time to celebrate the death of a tyrant.
During the 2012 Republican Presidential primary, when Donald J. Trump flirted with the idea of entering his name into the race, but ultimately decided not to run, I did not give it too much thought. He’s the type of person that loves attention and the flirtation was just a way to drum up some extra viewers for his NBC Reality television program.
Then early on in this year’s cycle, I didn’t take his candidacy seriously “He’ll drop out before the debates,” I thought. Then the debates started and I thought, “he’s a circus clown, no one is going to take him seriously as a candidate.”
Boy was I wrong.
Not only was Donald Trump taken seriously as a candidate by the American people, not only did he win the Republican Party’s nomination, something this #NeverTrump Republican thought unfathomable — he actually went ahead and won the whole damn thing.
On Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. I of course will have to learn to like the taste of crow, because I thought there was a snowball’s chance in hell of him getting elected.
At no point in the election process did I even entertain the thought of supporting Donald Trump. As an American citizen that values our sacred duty to cast our votes in our republic’s election process, staying home was just not an option.
Despite some misgivings with him and despite a whole lot of misgivings with his running mate Governor William Weld, I cast my vote for Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and for that I hold no regrets, my conscience is clean.
One day later, its morning again in America. Today the sun still came up over our already great nation, that doesn’t need to be “made great again,” because it already is. Today also, the day after the elections are over, there is another sacred duty that we, as a people have. That is to gracefully, respectfully and with honor accept the results of our Republic’s election process and to wish success to our new President.
There will be plenty of time to hold President-elect Trump’s feet to the fire, there will be plenty of time to fight some of the anti-liberty beliefs that he has expressed, but that is not what this post is about and that is not what this day is about.
The amount of sadness and anger I have seen over the results of this election is just shear madness. On one end, as a libertarian (with a small “l”) It just proves my belief that the President, ANY President has too much power. On the other end it shows what kind of sore losers we have become.
I’ve seen people, and I don’t mean irrational young millennials, but people in the 60’s who should know better, ending relationships with family members over disagreements. It’s maddening.
I don’t know who the original author is, but I saw the following posted on Facebook today and thought it great.
I am now scared and worried about our children and our children’s future. Not because of who or who was not elected as our next president, but because of YOU. Our children will not have direct contact with whomever is in office. They will, however and sometimes unfortunately, have direct contact with you and the offspring you are raising. The society our children are growing up in is full of coddled, entitled and ungoverned people.
Quit teaching your children to be little cry babies when something doesn’t go their way. Teach them how to learn and grow from an unpleasant outcome instead.
Quit teaching your children to gloat when it does go their way. Teach them to be humble instead.
Quit teaching your children to put blame on others. Teach them they are only truly responsible for their own actions instead.
Quit teaching (or badgering rather) your children they should or shouldn’t believe in things because that’s your political view or religious view. Teach them to believe or feel however they want to. Teach them to be an individual.
QUIT being your kid’s best friend. Teach them the meaning of no instead. Teach them to work for what they want instead. Teach them what rules are and how to follow them instead.
Our children do not look to the president or any other elected official for a leader. They look to YOU, their parent for guidance and leadership. So if you want a better future for them, then start making one. Raise your children into adults you would want to lead our country.
I and many people like me did not want Obama to become President. 8 years and two-terms later, our Republic still stands. When Donald J. Trump leaves office and makes room for his eventual replacement, our Republic will still stand.
It’s a great day to be alive and it’s a great day to be an American.
I put together a little playlist to showcase that, despite what you may think by listening to “country music” radio, watching CMT or seeing the CMA Awards. Honky Tonk & Outlaw Country are alive and well.
It has come to my attention, as of late, that I have been a little overboard in my bashing of the Republican Party Presidential nominee.
So, as a registered Republican and a liberty-loving conservative, in an effort to show loyalty I will use this post to bash progressive Democrats and their idiotic progressive beliefs.
Can you believe the progressive agenda that the Democrats want to push on our republic?
They want to destroy small business and cause the price of goods and services to go up like crazy by increasing the minimum wage? Who in their Conservative loving mind would agree with that?
They believe that “everybody has got to be covered” and show support for the countries of the world that have single-payer health care system. And get this, when asked whose going to pay for it? They say “The governments gonna pay for it.” Who in their Conservative loving mind would agree with that?
They believe in ridiculously burdensome high taxes on the job creators, causing them to not hire as many workers and not produce as much goods. When talking about taxes they even say things like, “If you look at actual raise, some very wealthy are going to be raised…” Who in their Conservative loving mind would agree with that?
How about their hatred of the First Amendment. They say things like “I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws…” So much for freedom of speech under those progressive Democrats huh? Who in their Conservative loving mind would agree with that?
How about their love of the baby murdering organization founded by an evil racist, Planned Parenthood? They say things like it does “good work for millions of women” and they slam the “so-called conservatives” who disagree. Who in their Conservative loving mind would agree with that?
How about the way they want to force private business owners to hand out government forced paid maternity leave? Who in their Conservative loving mind would agree with that?
They want to drastically increase Medicaid, Medicare, social security and infrastructure spending massively. Racking up even more trillions of dollars of debt, and kicking that debt down the line for future generations to have to deal with. Who in their Conservative loving mind would agree with that?
Or how about their silly slogans like “Hope & Change,” or “I’m With Her,” or “Make America Great Again.” We all know that progressives believe that America is not great and only they (through big government) can make it great again. Who in their Conservative loving mind would agree with that?
No Real Conservative Republican in their right mind could support those progressive Democrat ideas. It’s a good thing we have a real Conservative Republican as our nominee… oh wait, those are all Donald Trump beliefs.
Man are we screwed, America.
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