Gray Flannel Dwarf


Dear GOP: For July 4th… Flag Etiquette

An open letter to the GOP:
Hey all… so man! How about that! I know it’s got to be frustrating. One vote short for the flag burningdesecration amendment. I mean, sure, one would think that, just in time for Fourth of July and a mere few months before the 2006 midterm election, people would be energised over this flag issue, right? Man, tough beans.

Well, tell you what. I’ll compromise with you. I agree with you that the American flag is a very important symbol of America, national identity, and what we stand for as a people. For that reason alone, I think now, so close to our nation’s birthday, that it would be a good time to examine what US Code Title 4 might tell us about proper flag usage. Because none of us would want to to be on the wrong side of things regarding such an important national symbol… we’d never dilute the importance of our flag, or be caught doing anything that could be construed as such, right?

Right. So just to be sure…

US Code Title 4 Chapter 1 § 8: Respect for the Flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

(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.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(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 napkins 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.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart. (k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

So, um… we’re on the same page right? Great…

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 9:28 pm


Family Values and Wishful Thinking

The GOP is all about “traditional values”, a term which has been perverted into being family values. I’d wager that personal privacy and indivdual rights are traditional values, and indeed are rights that the the GOP perhaps used to espouse. However, it seems that large bastions of the conservative constituency are quite oblivious to the planks in their own eyes. According to this New York Times article, there are a interesting differences between lifestyle choices between different regions in the US, regions which also happen to encompass a political divide.

Now, I can already see the GOP harping about this… hell, it’s been a favourite for years:

Generally, the study found, states in the Northeast and the West had a higher percentage of unmarried-partner households than those in the South, In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, unmarried couples made up more than 7 percent of all coupled households, about the twice the proportion of such households in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Oh, dear heavens. Living together… unmarried… in sin!! What to do??

Oh, wait a second, though…

On teenage births, the same differences become clear. In New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, about 5 percent of babies are born to teenage mothers, while in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming, 10 percent or more of all births are to teenage mothers.

The study also found that the percentage of births to unmarried mothers was highest in the South.

Compare this to the study that came out a few years ago indicating that the highest divorce levels in the US tend to be in the south (some numbers can be found here), and things become ever more interesting.

Family values, indeed.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 12:48 pm


Balls and Cheney

Washington Post:

Cheney said he “probably” used an obscenity in an argument Tuesday on the Senate floor with Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and added that he had no regrets. “I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it,” Cheney told Neil Cavuto of Fox News. The vice president said those who heard the putdown agreed with him. “I think that a lot of my colleagues felt that what I had said badly needed to be said, that it was long overdue.”

Of course he has no regrets. Why should he defend dropping the f-bomb? After all, they’ve already shown to be pretty adept at dropping thousands of other ill-conceived and unnecessary munitions over the past year.

Pompous prick. Personally, I don’t particularly care that he dropped the f-bomb; everyone has moments where their tempers get the best of them. Hell, I even got ejected from a kickball game the other day for needlessly pegging the ball at some guy who decided to intentionally fly through the air at me, kamikaze-style, while running to third base. But you won’t see me claiming my response was either righteous or well-deserved.

It is too bad, however, that this wasn’t publicly aired; I’d loved to have seen the FCC’s reaction to this one.

CNN’s coverage of this story.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 1:57 am