Political Opinions# 7: The Demise of Obama Care

INTRODUCTION :

Every now and then, through out the course of human history, we take erroneous turns that end up stirring us down the wrong path. I Would have to say that the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was one of those wrong turns. In my opinion it was one of Obama’s biggest follies as president. It only did this piece of legislation did it fail to provide affordable quality care , but also penalized those who did not have health insurance. Which could be construed as the federal government over extending their authority into the healthcare choices of the citizens. As a Libertarian I find to be reprehensible, however, hearing the news that this horrid piece of legislation has been repealed, gives me faith for the future.

NEWS STORY:

In a landmark turn of tides for healthcare coverage in the United States, Obama Care has been repealed. The vote was finalized early Thursday at approximately 1:35 am eastern standard time. The 2010, piece of legislation was repealed on a 51-to-48 vote. In turn terminating the legislation in its entirety, including penalties for noncompliance. It is important to not the only Republican to vote against the measure was Kentucky senator Rand Paul. Paul cited the lack of a replacement plan and lack of consideration for the national debt as criticism towards the measure. As to be expected the vast majority of democrats voted against the measure. Republican Senator Cory Booker did express congruence in opinion in regards to the simultaneous repeal and replace. However, did express how this legislative amendment would assist the incoming administration with formulating a better healthcare plan.

(http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/12/vote-rama-senators-corker-portman-withdraw-amendment-set-derail-rapid-obamacare-repeal/)

VIDEO:


Sent from my iPad

CONCLUSION:

I am glad to see that our United States Senate has ignited the spark for positive change in healthcare reform. While some may argue that some Americans may lose coverage to the repeal, you need to look at the negatives of the current legislation. The 2010, Affordable Health Care Act, allows the federal government to penalize citizens who do not have health insurance. If we live in a free society, how can our government bully us into having health insurance through lofty fines? That is definitely an example of over extension of the authority of the federal government. Also, if you have no other choice than to utilize Big Gov’t health insurance, it isn’t cheap. See, I was looking into procuring health insurance through the government to avoid all fines. Due to being laid off from my previous job. Thank god, I found a job that offered benefits not long after being laid off. I believe that the cheapest plan I saw was approximately 300.00 a month!!! Absolutely reprehensible, especially with all the taxes that had come out of my pay checks, good riddence. Glad to see it abolished, down with socialism. However, I would also like to note Senator Paul’s concerns in regards to the repeal measure that just passed. I commend him for not being hasty with accepting the legislation as is and questioning the economic ramifications of it. Knew his father Ron Paul was a good guy, however, as the saying goes father like son. Wouldn’t mind seeing Rand Paul on the ticket for 2020.

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Political Opinions#5: The Day Racial Identity Politics Went Too Far

INTRODUCTION:

In 2017, you would think that the topic of Race would be a bygone issue. However, unfortunately it as prevalent as ever. The flames of bigotry are further excelerated by racial identity politics. Through racially divisive rhetoric and race baiting, racial identity politics are undoing much of the progress of the civil rights activism of 1960s. The most prevalent of these divisive organizations are Black Supremacy groups such as Black Lives Matter.

While society has already widely as a whole rejected White Supremacy groups, Black Supremacy groups are still supported by the media and pending being condemned by the general public.Such groups not only promote racism, but also incite violence against Caucasians and police. To the extent, Black Lives Matters have even inspired murders of police officers. However, for me the straw that broke the camel’s back was the incident that transpired in Chicago, IL ,last week,where an  18 year ago disabled man was toutured by a group of Black Supremacists.

NEWS STORY:

According to source Breitbart.com, the incident began on December 31, 2016. The victim was picked up by classmate, Jordan Hill, 18, from a McDonalds in a suburb of Chicago,IL. The victim and his parents thought that Hill was picking up the victim for a sleepover.However, Hill and the three other assailants had more malicious motives. It is also should be noted that the victim was a man who suffered from disabilities. Instead of a slumber party, Hill drove the victim around in a stolen van for several days and was brought to a residence in Chicago. There the victim was tied up for hours and subjected to hours of psychological and emotional torture.The victim endured everything from being taunted with racial slurs, to being forced to drink toilet water, to physical violence,etc. The victim did eventually escape and was later found by police. The suspects are now  facing charges for the incident.                       (https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/05/police-chicago-victims-parents-received-taunting-messages/amp/)

 

VIDEO:

Here is the video of the incident as it was broadcasted by the propertrators via Facebook live. Please note the nature of the video is graphic.

 

FURTHER DISCUSSION:

 

While it isn’t completely conspicuous that this whole incident was influenced by racial identity politics the rhetoric and conduct does seem to mirror such. Per Breitbart, the Chicago police stated that there was not enough evidence to link the incident to BLM. However, the properterators did use racial slurs against the victim and taunted him with other supremacist comments. Even, if these  cretans do not have formal ties to the organization they are definately still influenced by their venomous propaganda. While racism is really an abhorrent paradigm, to abuse an individual with disabilities in such a manner is that much more reprehensible. How is Michael Moore going to justify the actions of these four men and women? Will he pervert sociological theories to justify such actions ,similar to a biased college professor? In my opinion, this Black Supremacist nonsense is a hangover from the Black Panthers movement of the 1960s. It seems as every 20-30 some odd years later it is seems to resurrect itself (e.g. 1990s, popularity of Nation of Islam). However, our strides towards racial equality have never been made by racist and radicals extremists, but rather by color blind altruists such as Dr. Martin Luther King J.R. Hell, I’ll even include post Mecca Macolm X  in that list. Never have the radicals on either side of the fence have done anything other than make matters worse. Either way the media needs to stop  glorifying BLM supporters and stop lying about their agenda. They are a racist group, however, if you state the obvious facts you are in turn a bigot.

Lil Wayne and Morgan Freeman please weigh in:


Sent from my iPhone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Political Opinions #4: Letter To The Boston Beer Company

Please note the letter of concern that I sent to the Boston Beer Company, who are the parent company of Samuel Adams beer:
Dear Mr. Koch,

My Name is Peter and I am an avid fan of craft beer, let me expound upon my journey as a beer drinker. Sorry to say sir, I started drinking beer as a teenager, up until I tried the Boston Lager, I absolutely despised beer. This very turning point not only converted me to a beer drink, but rather a craft beer enthusiast at the tender age of 17. So essentially, I do owe my appreciation of beer to you and your company. However, Mr. Koch, I am severely disappointed in your efforts to stifle the legalization of recreational Cannabis in Massachusetts in this past election. Granted, I no longer reside in Massachusetts, considering that I moved to Arizona in 2013. However, I fundamentally find such actions as being hypocritical, due to the fact that alcohol much like Cannabis is an intoxicant. Considering that you have been quite successful selling what is an intoxicant, how can you oppose the legalization of one that has been proven to cause minimal harm? Couldn’t quality Marijuana be savored responsibly as a connoisseur marketed product such as fine cigars, IPAs, single malt whiskies, etc.? Jim, I highly doubt that you would lose considerable business considering that nationally your company is a solidified fixture and a pioneer in the craft beer movement. Even, the states most densely populated with craft breweries (Oregon, Colorado, etc.), that have legalized recreational use prior to 2016; those breweries have not experienced a dire loss of business. So why continue to support ineffective and unjust drug policies that penalize otherwise productive citizens? While I understand that the ship has already sailed and that ballot question #4 has already passed, I still find your opposition to reprehensible. Do you really think our founding fathers would have voted to prohibit Cannabis in the first place? Well Sir, I believe not. I am sorry to say Mr. Koch, after ten years of my business (I am 27 now), you will be losing me as customer for good. I personally believe that both a craft beer market and recreational Cannabis market could both successfully co-exist. As a Libertarian, I am not even a Cannabis user, can only patronize companies that do not seek to curtail our freedoms and rights. Sorry to say, I will be doing business with more Cannabis friendly breweries such as Lagunitas from this point out.

Sincerely,
Peter

Political Opinions#3: Merry ****ing Christmas

The plague of political correctness has infected and tainted much of our communication and discourse in American society. The most salient question then becomes where is the line is drawn? Where do we as a nation say enough is enough with skirting certain topics to spare the feelings of other? In a sense political correctness is extremely invasive and in my opinion has forced us to engage in an insurmountable amount of self censorship. Might I add, which seems to be extrapolated into absurdly irrational terms. The politically correct vocabulary seems to change day to day, week to week, and year to year. Even to make matters more absurd, sometimes defunct terms once again become acceptable labels for specified groups of people. However, I am not here to address politically correct labels and their schizophrenic variance, but rather the absurdity of its attack on Christmas. It all started with altering the phrase “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays”. Then the P.C. Nazis decided to pressure municipalities and private business from having Christmas displays. Now as of the 2016 Christmas Season, I have heard rumblings of the phrase “Happy Holidays” now being considered offensive. Why because Jehovah’s Witnesses choosing to abstain from any type of celebration? This is completely absurd and it is connected to my previous post on Flag burning and free speech. As I previously mentioned about the “Domino Effect”, once one variation of self-expression is aimed to be prohibited others have a tendency to follow and then we head down a very slippery slope of self-righteous censorship. One thing that we need to remember here folks is that the constitution gives us freedom of expression not freedom from being offended.

 

Now, please note that I am relatively a young man (I am currently in my late 20’s); I do not remember Christmas being such as controversy as a child. When I was in Elementary School we use to have Christmas parties at School (gasp, I know the horror). These gatherings coordinated by my school had candy canes, Christmas trees and other holiday specific decorations, Christmas cookies, etc. Also, to further confirm the absurdity of this “War on Christmas”, let me state, I had non-Christian classmates. Never once, did any of the parents express their grievances about the school arranging an in-class Christmas party. I had classmates whom were Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists and not once were there any issues. So my guest becomes what in the hell happened? What is the drastic paradigm shift that has transpired between the 1990’s and 2016? It seems like within the past 10-15 years Christmas has been demonized and perceived as an insensitive holiday to celebrate. My non-Christian classmates and their parents/Guardians didn’t seem offended 15-20 years ago, something just doesn’t seem to be adding up here. My cognitive dissonance is really contorting seven ways to Sunday with befuddlement; something is really non-linear from the stand point of sound logic. It felt like just yesterday, no one really viewed Christmas as bigoted and marginalizing holiday.

 

Now, today, December 27, 2016, I am going to surmise why a holiday about joy, giving, family, kindness, love, peace etc. is now public enemy #1, which is the liberal agenda. Before I continue, yes I understand that it is theologically significant holiday for Christians; however, the spirit of the holiday itself can transcend theology. Now, why does the left want to prohibit displays that commemorate this holiday, well it seems to be heavily connected to political correctness. From my observations, it is essentially a self-righteous pissing contest, who ever can appear to be the most liberal wins. What do I mean by that, is most likely what you are asking yourselves? Well, each year the anti-Christian rhetoric seems to become more intense and more in extreme in the denial of this holiday. It has been a steady progression of “Your ignorant for saying merry Christmas, it should be Happy holidays”, etc. To the point where now that term is perceived as being obsolete and offensive. This same logic has been applied beyond our language but as seem to have been extrapolated to holiday displays as well. This variety of rhetoric is reinforced and encouraged by our media, press, and institutions of education, all of which are infamous for their Left-wing ideology. Individuals of this mindset promote this train of thought like a fashion statement, it’s was cool to deny the existence of this holiday by doing (blank) this year, that was so last year. Then the comments become “I thought you were more progressive than that, I guess you are nothing more than an ignorant knuckle-dragger”. Through this shifty adaptation of peer-pressure , liberals always feel the need to one up each other and push these insane beliefs upon the general public. As I stated earlier, please keep in mind the ideological biases of the individuals whom present information to the public (media, education, etc.). Especially, in age where most of the information we are bombarded with is filtered through this very paradigm.

 

While in the previous paragraph, I detail how the liberals approach spewing anti-Christmas rhetoric, did not address what their agenda is. At its basic core it is essentially what I describe as cultural homogenization, were we pretend as if there are no cultural differences between cultures. They attempt to do so by deny the validity of the predominate culture of the United States by denouncing and censoring it. From my observations, it is essentially “Guilty White Liberal Syndrome”, essentially demonize the dominate culture then condescendingly speak the virtues of the minority culture. They do so by promoting minority culture and denouncing the culture of the majority, to the extent of refusing to acknowledge Christmas , however, promoting Hanukah, Eid-al-Adha, Kwanzaa, etc. While speaking from the other side of their mouth stating “ We are all people, we are not all that different”. While this is a valid statement, because we as humans essentially all want the same things in life, the execution is essentially reverse discrimination. Essentially, attack the majority holiday due to the fact it is the majority holiday , state that minority cultures are superior, and then pretend as if this rejection of majority culture makes up for all of the inequalities of the world. The liberals believe that justice will be served through fusing all of the minority cultures together and rejecting the majority culture. However, those skilled in logic will see a major flaw here, through the fact that discriminating against the majority culture being equally as wrong as doing so to the minority culture. So I hate to break it to the Leftists, however, reverse discrimination does not atone for the sins committed by a very slim minority of Caucasian Christians. Not only is their logic flawed, their goals are disingenuous and are self-serving (done only to make them feel better about themselves).

 

Let me state for the record , I am not a Christian and that I personally do not participate in any form of organized religion, therefore do not cite me for bias. Also, these statements above are based purely on my opinions and observations and I do not purport them as object facts. However, while not a Christian, I personally belief that this attack on Christmas is absurd and really is an example of Political correctness run amuck . Based on my observations the vast majority of non-Christians do not find Christmas displays, greetings, etc to be offensive, so why behave in a knee-jerk and reactionary manner? That the real reason for this attack against Christmas is a self-soothing and hypocritical attempt by liberals to atone for the injustices committed against minority groups. However, does this absurd string of logic really accomplish what it strives to achieve? I would say no, I can’t even name a non-Christian (not connected to the trendy liberal inner circle) that feels as if this denial of Christmas is justified. Guilty Liberals, please just go to therapy if you cannot cope with the fact that you were born Caucasian and raised as a Christian. For the rest of us Merry F&$#ing Christmas, if you do not celebrate this holiday, celebrate whatever holiday you wish to celebrate, that is your right as an American.

Philosophical Rants#1: Manifestation In The Physical World.

We live in a world where ideas and concepts govern our perception and behavior in ways that we are so blasé that never really analyze it. Abstract ideas are perceived in manner that they are absolute, while it could be argued that they are merely held as important due to the fact that a value is attributed to them (by society, the individual, or an institution). Many of these concepts that find themselves manifested within the physical world are merely constructional concepts that are reinforced and passively accepted. We tend to see this reflected in the form of symbolism, and national or territorial boundaries, that tend to have no real reciprocal justification within nature or the physical world. In my opinion symbolism, laws, and national boundaries are merely enforced by group consensus upon these abstract ideas. Only due to the fact that as we as a society view such entities are they valid, if it was not for the intervention of our perception all of above would have little no significance.

SYMBOLS:

Let’s first examine the concept of symbolism; one of the most pervasive examples of this in Western Society is in the form of branding logos for commercial goods and services. For this example I will use the very familiar and almost universally known “Golden Arches” of the Mc Donald’s Corporation. Their globally recognized symbol/logo of the “Golden Arches” M is perceived as being inarguably the symbolic representation that is unique to that fast food chain. Due to the decades of close association with that symbol, no other lettering or explanation is required for most people to perceive it as the indication of an item, object, establishment, or service associated with this specific establishment. Once a building has this symbol represented to some capacity on its premises takes on a whole other meaning. It transcends being merely a building or an object and all of its composing parts, but rather takes on the identity of a Mc Donald’s restaurant. Through the merely incorporating the symbol of the “Golden Arches” into the architecture the building and surrounding premises, the building then absorbs all of the perceptions that we as a society have about this very establishment. That also includes all of the expectations that we have about the establishment, e.g. (serving various fast food meal options). In the absence of the “Golden Arches” the building no longer holds the same significance; it is merely just a building at that point. The symbol almost serves as our perceptual justification for see this building as something of significance. This is due to the symbol connecting our perceptions of the successful fast food establishment with its physical manifestation.

 

However, if you examine the symbol of the “Golden Arches” themselves, while represent the abstract concept of a Mc Donald’s establishment, they are merely a geometric pattern. Essentially they, are two half oval arches, intermarrying at the center, merely forming a circular top letter M. Now, my question becomes, is there any significance to this symbol and the natural world? In my opinion, no. Essentially, this symbol is based off of a character within the English language, which again is concept developed by man, which is not reoccurring in the natural world. So essentially, the symbol like the character M is only significant and has meaning due to the fact that we attribute meaning to it. In the case of our perception of the “ Golden Arches”, we only attribute a meaning to the symbol due to the fact that marketing staff for the establishment gave the symbol it’s meaning and we as people perceive it to have that intended symbolic representation. The symbol without the external cognition established through marketing, society’s perception of, and or an individual’s perception of the establishment in relation to that symbol it is merely a geometric pattern. The symbol of its own volition is to what makes it significant and recognizable; it is the value or significance we place on it. There is no such natural law stating that the character M illustrated in such a manner automatically represents that fast food eatery. For Americans in particular, it is so ingrained in such to associate that very symbol as representing Mc Donald’s, we passively perceive as such, with little to no question of its representation.

NATIONAL AND TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES:

Another example of our acceptance of abstract ideas into physical manifestations is national and territorial boundaries. If you examine the majority of recorded history, often what delineates where one nation begins and other ends is often ascertained by treaty and war. There is often a close relationship/ correlating factors associated with both acts used as justification for national boundaries. Essentially, these delineations are often more generally accepted than are supported by natural land formations (mountains, bodies of water, etc.). For example, is the national boarder between the United States and its neighboring nations of Mexico and Canada separated by such natural delineations? The answer would be no. Also, the rickety fence we use to separate the United States from Mexico does not count as such due to being a manmade object; also much like the terms of a treaty is a physical manifestation of the abstract construct of national boundaries. When we look at the concept of national boundaries they are merely a concept, these figurative boundaries exist due to the fact that we as people chose to see them as valid. If it wasn’t for these the general consensus that they are in fact valid such delineations would not exist in our perception. If anything, these boundaries are solidified by the concept of what a country is treaty, etc. which are all human developed concepts. Much like national boundaries is valid because we believe they are and are solidified by supporting institutions and concepts.

 

If you really want to break down national boarders down to the bare basic reality, they are merely imaginary boundaries. Essentially, lines depicted on a globe or a map, with little to no justification from natural geographic division. Therefore, the concept of national boundaries merely exists due to our general belief in them and the supporting institutions, concepts and documents. That is why they are considered in my view to be a manifestation of a construct in the physical world. At its core an idea that is accepted as being an absolute in the physical world due to general consensus among humans as a whole. While these conceptual lines in the sand may be represented by physical manifestations of walls, fences, and written treaties, they are still are conceptual boundaries versus being validated by nature or other entity outside of the confines of human thought. Not to beat a dead horse here, however, they are only valid delineations because we believe them to be valid. If the concepts of permanent territory were never conceived such boundaries would not exist. Therefore, illustrating how national boundaries and territorial boundaries are essentially abstract and human conceived ideas that are transposed upon the material world.

 

CONCLUSION:

As you can see from the two examples above, that we as humans have a tendency to transpose abstract ideas conceived by fellow humans onto the physical world. While we attribute the meaning and or significance of symbols and national boundaries, there is little evidence to suggest that the physical world validates these concepts. We as a species do utilize supporting institutions, general consensus (we all agree that it is valid), assumptions, and other abstract concepts to justify their validity in the material world. For example, an alliance of nations (e.g. UN, NATO, etc.) Drafting a treaty to validate the national boundaries of a country. Due to the alliance of nations (the supporting institution) drafting the treaty (an abstract concept manifested into the form of a written document) the national boundaries of that nation are then valid (Group Consensus/ Assumptions of validated). The same can be said for symbolism for the example of the McDonald’s log, McDonald’s Market department designs the logo (supporting institution) and the logo becomes associated with the fast food restaurant an abstract concept manifested into the form of a written document). While the examples display a distinct order for justification, that may or may not be the case for the formulation and justification and transposing of such concepts. However, these components have a tendency, from my observations, to be essential variables in the justification process. It really is interesting to see how we as humans perceive symbolism and national boundaries. It is particularly eye opening to observe how such abstract ideas are perceived in the physical world and have the tendency to take on a life of their own due to the meaning we attribute to them.

*** Please note the above written piece is not being presented as objective fact. These are merely observations. Please feel free to comment below*****

Political Opinions #2: Marijuana and The “Good Book”

Now, folks I need clear cut evidence that cannabis is clearly prohibited by the Christian Bible. I will be honest here that I am personally disappointed in the voters of the state of Arizona for their rejection of Prop 205. Essentially, the voting public chose to further impede their freedoms by unwisely choosing to reject this piece of legislation. I could get into the economic, legal, and health related ramifications for electing to reject Prop 205, all of which will be saved for another blog post. However, why do religious convictions need to play a role in keep the recreational use of this plant restricted? Is it a strong correlation between Christian values and Conservative politics or is it due to interpretations of passages from the Bible? Even if it is found to be a sin, why not allow the sinners this freedom and then forgive? Doesn’t the Bible promote forgiveness of sinners? What prompted this inquire into using Christianity to justify keep cannabis illegal was an article that I read from AZCENTRAL that depicts the views of one such voter:

“Marijuana rots your brain,”….. I love it. It’s a miracle of God The Christians voted the right way on this one”

 

Now, this quote obscures the identity of the individual who was interviewed, however you can see that clearly this individual believes that beyond the health ramifications, it was voted to be rejected due to religious reasons. To me illustrates the fact that, such individuals only can see an issues from their own personal paradigm. They cannot look beyond what they perceive as moral, see that a lot of other wise productive citizens have been incarcerated for possession or usage of Cannabis. What is irrational is that such an individual would stereotypically be against government waste and taxation. Hate to tell all other individuals who share this paradigm; however, you are in fact paying taxes for the living expenses of people incarcerated for Marijuana offenses. Personally, I am a libertarian and I am all for reducing taxation where necessary and legalizing Marijuana for recreational proposes would certainly help eliminate the amount of tax dollars spent on the state prison systems.

However, aren’t there passages in the bible that state we are free to consume the plants of the earth anyhow?

For example:

Genesis 1:29:

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the Earth and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food”
(https://www.openbible.info/topics/marijuana)

However, there are some mighty fine counter points made by some devout Christians such as the gentleman in the link below.

http://www.revelation.co/2010/01/27/what-does-the-bible-say-about-marijuana-is-smoking-pot-a-sin-in-gods-eyes/

I am willing to listen to both sides of the debate; however, I still believe that there is nothing no more sinful of Marijuana than there is with the consumption of alcohol. Seriously, if all of these Conservative Christians feel so strongly about intoxicant consumption, why not aggressive demonstrate for the second prohibition of alcohol? If you are going to be against intoxicants as a whole at least be fair and equal. However, due to my political beliefs I believe that both such are legally accessible to ADULTS and that it is up to the individual to decide, not the state, whether or not they are substitutable for consumption.

Dear readers, please post below!!! Is my logic flawed or do you disagree, please respond I want to create a dialogue here. If you agree, please leave a comment below explaining your stance on the topic.

Political Opinions: The Flag and Freedom of Speech

INTRODUCTION:

Among our constitutional rights as American citizens, no right is more paramount in my opinion, than the First Amendment: Freedom of Speech. While some may argue that the right of gun ownership supersedes this right in significance, due to that right being the one that reinforces all of the others. I would argue that the Second Amendment exists due to the first, by way of having the right to advocate for gun rights. However, even the passive observer can clearly see that our right of Free speech has been constantly under siege in present history. It appears as if these attacks are being coming more constant and pervasive. There are even rumors that far-right pod casts, publications, websites, etc. such as Infowars & Breitbart being censored (I personally do not have enough evidence to substantiate nor deny such rumors). Political correctness has surged to power to become a brutal and totalitarian force in public discourse as well as in private conversations. However, in regards to restrictions on free speech, political correctness is not the only culprit. We have also seen an attack from Conservatives and Liberals on freedom of speech, in regards to the act of Flag burning. The act of Flag burning has been deemed a constitutionally protected form of freedom of speech and should not be outright prohibited. Overall, it seems as if both sides of the political fence are being less than true to Freedom of speech. We all need to put aside our agendas, biases, and opinions of side and allow others to speak their mind regardless of our opinion of their views. Proposing to ban any form of non-violent self-expression is not only hypocritical, but it also is contrary to the very values that are fundamental to the United States.

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.
(https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment)

How is it constitutional?:

Let me clear the air, prior to us continuing on with the topic of flag burning, because I want to demonstrate that I am not coming from an Anti-patriotic bias. For the sake of being of transparency, let me state that I am not necessarily a “red-blooded American”. I do not buy into Americana nor do I like to be, simultaneously, fed steaming pile of shit while being sodomized by a crooked bureaucrat with a red, white, and blue phallus. In spite of all of my cynicism towards the propaganda enshrouding Americana, I personally disapprove of flag burning. My reasoning behind my point of view is that I have had many friends who have served in the armed services and I would prefer not to disrespect their service. Also, there are more productive means to express displeasure with US policies, actions, legislation, politicians, etc. Let’s be honest here, the vast majority of individuals that engage in the act of flag burning , are merely doing so to intentionally be inflammatory pricks. However, while America has never had an innocent history (founded on bloodshed by slave owners who wanted to be free), despite the 1950’s flag waving propaganda of the proponents of Americana, I do have the utmost respect for the Constitution of the United States. The almost oxymoronic act of slaver owners crafting a governing document for the country that not only was malleable, but aimed to preserve the basic rights of the citizens was and is incredible. In my humble opinion ,it may very well be the most impressive governing document since the Magna Carta. Due to the significance of the constitution in regards to protecting the right of free speech, I see it as being the best measure to evaluate whether or not flag burning is protected as symbolic expression. While I do not agree with the act, I do believe that it should be a protected form of symbolic free speech, due to the ruling on Supreme Court case Johnson V. Texas.

 

The landmark case ruling in the favor of the act of flag burning being protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution was Johnson V. Texas. The individual at the center of this particular Supreme Court ruling was Gregory Lee Johnson. Johnson was arrested for conducting a flag burning demonstration outside of the convention center during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, TX. Johnson was initially arrested due to violation of Texas Statute of “desecration of a venerated object”( https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/491/397) . However, In March of 1989, the Supreme court ruled in favor of Johnson’s appeal , relinquishing his one year prison sentence (http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-texas-v-johnson) . Supreme court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. stated that the rationale behind the ruling being that the First Amendment being a “bedrock principle” and that “ the government should not prohibit expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable”. However, some may argue that Justice Brennan may have a bit of bias due to his liberal ideology. While such political leanings could be construed as concerning, please note that conservatives such as Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia also ruled in favor Johnson in this case. Johnson’s conviction was over turned by a 5-4 ruling(https://www.britannica.com/event/Texas-v-Johnson). To sum up the verdict in this case essentially, even offensive free speech is still valid and protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

 

I personally agree with Brennan’s response to the case, due to the fact that Self-expression should not be censored due to the fact that individuals find the symbolism or message to be offensive. Hypothetically, let’s say that displaying Christmas were to be outlawed due to non-Christians finding such displays to be offensive. Would that be a just response because the Atheist down the street despises all aspects of organized religion, including religious holidays? I believe that the vast majority of people would say, “No”. However, let me Juxtapose this inquiry here, is it really any difference between the two? Potentially the intend of both forms of symbolic expression, but if one form of expression is prohibited due to being deemed offensive, where does it end? The issue becomes that it is a slippery slope when we as society decide to ban certain forms of speech, and then the fabric of the principle becomes compromised. Prohibiting one form of speech or symbolic expression can be extrapolated to another situation suppressing the views of other individuals. It essentially presents dangerous precedent that could devalue the validity of our constitutional rights. While I typically oppose the intervention of the federal government in state affairs, this would be one of the few exceptions that I approve of. If the state is looking to enforce policies that infringe upon our constitutional rights, someone needs to step in. If we start banning various forms of free expression/speech, it could potentially engender a treacherous domino effect.

CONCLUSION:

Although I personally disagree with the act of flag burning, it should not be banned due to the offensive nature of the act. I personally champion any individual’s right to freedom of speech regardless of how and I feel or the general public feels about the message they are attempting . As demonstrated by the Supreme court’s ruling on the case Johnson V. Texas (1989), the act of flag burning is in fact a constitutionally protected form of free speech. The Supreme Court found that to prohibit such a demonstration would be an unjust attack on our First Amendment rights. The issue is that if we limit one form of free speech due to being offensive in nature, where does the censorship end? It opens up the potential for other forms of valid free speech to be prohibited as well. To the individuals who find flag burning offensive, please respect the free speech of others and let them express their point of view. Better yet, if you see flag burning demonstration, please exercise your First Amendment rights and hold a counter demonstration. Such an act would be a rational alternative to resorting to violence or aggressive tactics to express your displeasure for the act of flag burning. Remember the old saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and that it is unwise to engage illegal actions such as assault to convey your point. Note for all flag burners and individuals in opposition of the act, please put your emotions aside and engage in an intelligent dialogue to attempt to understand the point of view of the other side.

 

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