Gray Flannel Dwarf

6/27/2006

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

2/22/2006

Henry Rollins now ‘person of interest’ in Australia.

Well, if there’s one person I wouldn’t suspect of terrorism in the US, it’s Henry Rollins. Outspoken? Yes. Loud? Yes. Angry? …probably. Hater of western civilization? Not at all. However, it seems he’s caught the ire of the Australian authorities for reading a copy of Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia on the airplane. This raised the supicions of the passenger sitting next to him… and by all accounts, the end result raised Rollins’ hackles, too. In typical Rollins fashion, he sums up the event in a succinct and candid manner. From this bit on MTV.com…

“The guy phoned me in to their, like, anti-terrorist board, and they found me – they looked me up,” he said. “They looked up the flight and found out who was sitting in seat 10A and they got to me. And they said, ‘OK, you’re now a person of interest. The man next to you does not agree with your politics and he didn’t like the book you were reading.’ This kind of provocation, I don’t respond very well to. I was furious. And so I wrote back, ‘You can tell everyone at your office, including your boss, to go f— themselves. This book has been read by a ton of people – I am not a threat to your state or any state or any republic.’ ” In the actual text of his online response, Rollins added: “Baghdad’s safer than my hometown, and your PM is a sissy.”

A capsule of this event was apparently reported as far back as February 16th in Australia’s News.com.au. Furthermore, Hank himself recalls the account to some degree in his Dispatches. Rollins, who opposes both the war and the current administration, nonetheless supports the troops insofar as he feels they do their duty in serving their country and that they’ve gotten screwed over by their government; he has done several USO tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and even Honduras. In that light, it’s a shame to see that Australian officials have consumed enough of the White House kool-aid to unquestioningly paint someone with the same broad brush. Hank won’t take it sitting down, however…

“He didn’t even leave his name and address [when he called], and that, to me, is pretty cowardly,” Rollins said. “The next time I get out to Australia — that is, if they let me in — I am going to talk about that guy in every interview I do. And it will get to him. It’s a small country, in that there aren’t a lot of people there and most of the country’s just sand and flies. So it will get to him.”

… and really, I think he could teach us all a lesson with this one. For far too long, those opposed to this war have allowed itself to be stereotyped as unpatriotic… and sans a bit of whining, navel-gazing, and weak, “but, but”-laden denials regarding such accusations, no one has stood up and made a bold statement against such claims. Will anyone have the cojones to tell these warmongers to step down next time the accusation is hoisted? Will you? When will we hear something like:

I don’t support the war or this President, but that doesn’t make me patriotic. And I would recommend that you think twice before questioning me again.

Or -

Opposing the war is not ‘treason’, and to say otherwise puts your own well-being at risk.

I’m sure some of you can come up with better slogans.

If the attacks on those who oppose the war continue to succeed, it will be due to the continued passivity, as opposed to pacificism, of the anti-war crowd. One can oppose the war without being afraid to stand up for one’s self, in a defensive posture if necessary, amidst personal attacks. In closing, I’ll quote Rollins one more time, from his account of this event, as to how he feels about rabid accusations:

I really don’t take kindly to that kind of shit. I like it though. Love it. Confrontation. Tension. Adversarial relationships. More please. It’s the only time it gets real.


Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 10:59 am

6/12/2004

Installing Democracy

Jess, a.k.a. “Mr. Political Science”, would you be able to shed any light on this article? Specifically, the following quote:

We should remember that since World War II, in 35 U.S. attempts to promote democracy around the world none have succeeded.

I am trying to do a quantitative and qualitative analysis of this statement. As it stands, I know I can’t name thirty-five US interventions, mostly because I don’t remember enough history concerning American foreign policy; I’d like to know what criteria Rep. Paul used to come to this conclusion.


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 4:49 pm

3/2/2003

Doesn’t that bug you?

Thanks to chaley for this link from the Observer (UK)

Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war

Five-cent synopsis: NSA plans/planned to plant devices on UN delegates, in an effort to have the most up-to-the-minute information on any given nation’s voting intentions.

Granted, as the article says, UN members, to some degree, speak with the assumption that they’re being bugged, but still… not good PR for the NSA.

You’d think they’d at least encrypt their email :>
(more…)


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 7:01 pm

4/8/2002

Gulf Fiction II

(Not to be confused with my first fit of creativity)

Says George W. Bush, “I meant what I said to the prime minister of Israel. I expect there to be a withdrawal without delay.”

So George W. is really reiterating that Israel back the hell off of Arafat and friends. I dunno, I just keep imagining the scene from Pulp Fiction, when Butch and Marcellus end up in the Mason-Dixie pawnshop, except this time, it’s Israel who has the Palestinians pinned to the floor, beating the crap out of ‘em.




Israel: So you like terrorizing people, huh? Well guess what, big man, you’ve terrorized me –United States: [Wielding a pump-action shotgun, aimed at them]

– hold it right there, godammit!

Israel: Look mister, this ain’t any of your business –

United States: — I’m makin’ it my business! Now toss that gun!

Israel: You don’t understand, man –

United States: No, you don’t understand, drop the gun and let the Arab go!




Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 4:28 pm