NeVaDa state laws in regards to FLAG BURNING

Postby TomServo » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:40 am

quote is probably wrong.. but..
Id rather see someone wrap themselves in the constitution, and burn the flag...than see someone wrap themselves in the flag and burn the constitution.

addendum: Id rather see someone burn the flag to accentuate a noble cause or protest, than see someone burn the flag to put the spotlight on themselves.

Burning an effigy of Bush or Dick would seem much more appropriate
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Postby mikenmar » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:56 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:1. flag burning should be legal or illegal depending on the will of the democracy expressed in the form of laws at the local level. The framers of the Constitution used words much more precisely than 7 of 12 Supreme Court justices when they protected "speech" as opposed to "attitude" or "actions."


Well I'm not one of the world's preeminent First Amendment scholars, but I did take First Amendment law from one of them. And they all agree that the language of the First Amendment is remarkably imprecise.

Nowhere does the Amendment define "speech". To me, "speech" means "spoken word", but obviously that's a ridiculously narrow interpretation that leaves out the written word, sign language, braille, and countless other means of explicit communication.

More importantly, if you try to read the Amendment literally, you face not only the ambiguity, but the fact that it cannot possibly mean what it literally says. For example, there are no exceptions listed; the statement of "no law abridging freedom of speech" is perfectly absolute. Yet that cannot possibly be what the Framers intended, because they were well aware of (and approved of) laws against perjury, libel/slander, conspiracy, and hundreds of other speech-based crimes.

Of course, this does not mean the Framers were being obtuse. They were quite capable of precision when they wanted it. (For example, see Article II, Section 1, setting forth with abundant, exact detail the means for electing the President.) The only natural explanation is that the Framers intended for the courts to have a major role in interpreting words like "speech", and other ambiguous words in the Bill of Rights.

So you can disagree with the Supreme Court's take on it, but don't blame the Court for somehow abrogating the Framers' intent or meaning in this case, because that's a completely predictable necessity given the sparse wording.

After all the Framers were quite comfortable with the idea of courts interpreting and making law in this fashion. The Framers were born into a centuries-old tradition of common law (i.e. court-made law), and the states actually incorporated English common law into their respective constitutions. So when they set up the Judicial Branch and gave it the job of interpreting the inherently-ambiguous words of the Constitution, they knew exactly what the implications were.

Indeed, that was the very genius of the plan.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:45 am

The people get the very regime that they deserve.
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:08 pm

can we all agree that it would be kinda fun to burn the FRENCH flag?









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ps. dude, flip flops are NOT flag burning shoes.....DUH!~
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:19 pm

Maybe we can get some people to protest Apokaliptika by burning a Soviet flag outside the guard tower...
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:42 am

mikenmar wrote:Well I'm not one of the world's preeminent First Amendment scholars, but I did take First Amendment law from one of them. And they all agree that the language of the First Amendment is remarkably imprecise


Even if I were inclined to do so, I couldn't quibble with anything in your post. I, too, studied Constitutional Law from a preminent First Amendment scholar--"Big" Earl Schreibstein--who also happened to be my bench-press instructor at the YMCA night lawschool I attended. (Full disclosure: I ripped a tendon in my quads and had to withdraw before getting my degree, but was able to get a certificate from a correspondence school in Idaho.)

Any written constitution will have play in the joints given the inherent nature of language. You dont have to be French or a deconstructionist to see that. But even Umberto Eco knows that there are limits (imposed by logic and reason, and agenda, admittedly) to interpretation. So, as intended, our courts supply the common law mortar to fill the gaps in the language of the Constitution. Sometimes the common law has been applied perfectly. Sometimes, the limits of interpretation have been exceeded.

As many scholars more reknown than Big Earl have argued, "speech" in the context of the First Amendment was refering to conduct that conveyed ideas and information. The free-flow dissemination of ideas in the public and political marketplace of thought, particularly contrary on conflicting views, was correctly viewed as healthy to a democracy. Spoken words, sung words, written words, words in Braille, all excellent ways to convey reasoned thoughts and ideas.

Fornicating on the front steps of the US Capitol or burning a flag convey no thoughts or ideas. If the person burning the flag refused to utter a word or write a sentence, the act would be meaningless. (Was the flag burned because the man was insane, the flag contained dust mites, the man was against the government, or the flag was a gift from his ex?)

Thus, the flag burning was an attention getter, but not "speech."

Should flag burning be illegal? It depends on context. If you want to have a party in your backyard and burn your flag, go for it. Should you have the protected right to march down the middle of a veteran's day parade with a flaming flag? I say "no." Should you have the right to stand up at public debates, or at the shopping mall, and say the President is an idiot, our system of government is totally whack. Definitely "yes."

Okay, I gotta get back to my arm curls.
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Postby mikenmar » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:08 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:Fornicating on the front steps of the US Capitol or burning a flag convey no thoughts or ideas. If the person burning the flag refused to utter a word or write a sentence, the act would be meaningless. (Was the flag burned because the man was insane, the flag contained dust mites, the man was against the government, or the flag was a gift from his ex?)


Well, if you recall from the facts set forth in the Texas v. Johnson opinion, the defendant was burning the flag outside the Dallas City Hall during the Republican National Convention in 1984. He was a part of a group of protesters who were demonstrating against the policies of the Reagan Administration.

It was clearly a political protest, and Johnson was obviously communicating an anti-Reagan protest message. Such a political protest message lies at the very core of what the First Amendment was intended to protect (although by no means exclusively).

The Court very clearly considered this question in deciding whether the action qualified as "speech" - that is, whether the action was designed to convey a particularized message given the context. Seems to me that they quite clearly decided it correctly, by that standard.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:30 am

mikenmar wrote:The Court very clearly considered this question in deciding whether the action qualified as "speech" - that is, whether the action was designed to convey a particularized message given the context. Seems to me that they quite clearly decided it correctly, by that standard.


Again, I didnt study con-law with Father Drinan, but I don't think burning fabric is "speech" because it contributes nothing to the "marketplace of ideas." As I stated before, its just an indiscriminate "fuck you" flung in the face of others. Protection afforded by our ultimate document and by our Judiciary Branch should be reserved for more worthy endeavours.

But I bet we agree that criminalizing forms of protest against the government is a dangerously slippery slope that could lead to a repressive government. Since we live in a democracy, even stupid unimaginative and inarticulate grunters must be given the right to protest. For them, maybe flag burning is the best they can muster.

But for Burning Man, burning an American flag is clearly appropriate. First of all, the flag burner would be surrounded by one of the highest concentrations of imaginative people who could instantly conceive of much more intelligent, articulate and creative forms of protest. Secondly, the flag burner would be surrounded by a high concentration of armed law enforcement personnel who may not have the sensitivities of the City Lights bookstore crowd. Finally, all Burning Man really needs right now are images on the national news of un-hip flag burners burning old glory on public land. That's sure to secure BM's future!

So where did you go to lawschool? I bet my lawschool graduating class had a lower body-fat mass index than your law school class!
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:35 am

Liberty is what you can get away with.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:43 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Liberty is what you can get away with.


Or an SUV made by American Motors
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Postby Timezone LaFontaine » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:47 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:The people get the very regime that they deserve.


You know, I've heard people expressing similar sentiments to this occasionally and I just wonder who came up with it. Sounds like it would be the motto of the people who are in power, not an accurate analysis of the integrity of the common folk. It sounds reminiscent of blaming the victim to me. Zimbabwe just held a "vote." Do the people there deserve Mugabe? Did we not have some election problems here? It just seems all too pat to me.
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How to protect the flag

Postby Marscrumbs » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:07 pm

I alway thought if Congress wanted to constitutionally protect the flag from burning, they should copywrite it as intellectual property of the US, then charge burners with copyright infringement.[/u]
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Postby mikenmar » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:12 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:Again, I didnt study con-law with Father Drinan, but I don't think burning fabric is "speech" because it contributes nothing to the "marketplace of ideas."


What if Johnson had held up a sign that said, "Reagan sucks!" It's basically the same message, given the context. How does that fare under your standard?

Conversely, what if his sign said, "Reagan is awesome!" Still not protected?

Teo del Fuego wrote:Protection afforded by our ultimate document and by our Judiciary Branch should be reserved for more worthy endeavours.


In my opinion, substantially narrowing the rights granted by the document actually weakens it; this strikes me as less respectful, not more.

Teo del Fuego wrote:So where did you go to lawschool?


UC Berkeley.
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Postby DaddyMassive » Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:04 am

Does anyone know if they're going to take down all the flags on the BM tower before they burn the man?
Or are they going to burn every nations flag at the same time?

What have the Maldives ever done to deserve their flag being torched?
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Postby TomServo » Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:40 am

Their's an idea! see if we can piss off every country in the world!..not a smart assed remark, just sparked a thought.Some out of towners might not like us burning their flag.

This years theme seems to provoke alot of animosity and protectiveness.. if thats even a fucking word.

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Postby TomServo » Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:53 am

Thinking about it...seeing "your" flag on every corner, in your home town, may seem mundane and sometimes irritating...until you see it in a foreign country.

Driving over the road, even if I was in Illinois, being on I-80 was comforting....because I knew it went right by my home, in Crockett California
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Postby Queue » Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:01 am

Instead of looking at it like you are burning flags look at it like you are creating something new from the old or change the flags up enough to pass copyright code. Or use compliment colors

American flag Red white and blue to Green. Black, and Orange

French to Orange, black, and green. And so on and so on. That may work.
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Postby TomServo » Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:14 am

or all flags Black!? Seems we need an identifiable symbol. I don't mind flags..crosses, stars and crescent moons worry me.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:38 am

Fuck the discussion. Let's just burn something.
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Postby DaddyMassive » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:47 pm

Isn't that what Colin Powell last said to the UN security council on 19th March 2003?

HA!
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Postby TomServo » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:34 pm

speaking of burning.. how can one get homemade napalm to spread evenly?
Mines all chunky...styrofoam balls?
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Postby DaddyMassive » Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:58 pm

14 gallons of gas station nacho cheese, an industrial microwave and a three quater sized trebuchet normally does the trick.
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Postby ZaphodBurner » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:17 pm

TomServo wrote:speaking of burning.. how can one get homemade napalm to spread evenly?
Mines all chunky...styrofoam balls?


Try a little bit of Dawn detergent. It may not work anymore. Styrofoam-and-gasoline "napalm" gets pretty sticky otherwise.

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Postby Teo del Fuego » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:25 am

mikenmar wrote:UC Berkeley.


Oh, I see. :roll:
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:38 pm

i kinda like the whole pissing off the rest of the world thing...


can we burn some cartoon images of Mohammed as well?


or are we all a bunch of free-speech but not TOO free pussies?


i mean, we all know that Larry Harvey is actually Salman Rushdie in Disguise.


wher the fuck do you think he's been hiding for the last 20 years?

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Postby Teo del Fuego » Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:53 am

Rushdie isn't hiding. I drank a few Guiness with him last month
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Postby atomosk » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:18 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:Be careful... remember, Nevada is a red state, worse, you're in "cowboy country" up in Pershing county, and as liberal a bias as you may have, the locals... and the fuzz there... won't share your sense of artistic freedom. Or your assumed right to break their red-state laws with regards to flag-related activity.

Be careful, OK?


I haven't read all posts so I'm not sure if this was addressed, but as a Nevada resident I'll have to deny that Nevada is a 'red' state. Nevada elected Clinton and Carter and every single president who's been in office since we were established as a voting state. We're more a popular vote state than a red state.

Those who would look at small towns of onion farms, mines, and taxidermists and determine that the residents are all conservative 'cowboy' types would be promoting an insulting stereotype. Here it's land management, environmental protection, infrastructure and education that are the issues that really get votes regardless of partisan affiliation, and if you sat and got to know us you'll find as many hard core democrats as republicans. We're split right down the middle as a state even in the most rural of areas.

I hope those who'd derisively label rural Nevadans conservative cowboys to stoke their personal sense of artistic prejudice and ideological victimization are themselves a small percentage of the burning man population.
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Postby help » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:28 pm

As a very small percentage of the burningman community, I would like to use my freedom of expression to state how deeply saddened I am that you consider the terms "conservative cowboy" to be "derisive."
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Postby atomosk » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:23 pm

I felt her tone and framing of the terms "cowboy country" and "red state" were derisive lables. I don't mean to make them derisive labels myself.
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:28 pm

Rushdie isn't hiding. I drank a few Guiness with him last month


yes, i know. He spoke at the University of Rochester about 6 weeks ago.

i was there....he wasnt wearing "The Hat"....
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