Of course that's what the problem is. It couldn't possibly be that signing up is now synonymous with shipping out, and that shipping out = getting your arms or legs blown off, but surviving to see that your veterans benefits won't cover your medical problems. It also couldn't be that the the War Cheerleaders are all total assholes who won't put their money where their mouths are and go fight (or send their children to fight) in this stupid, counterproductive and unnecessary war that they only like because they think it will make them rich or powerful, because they know they'll get their asses shot off, but good.
Nooo, those couldn't be the reasons.
Pomegranate Juice May Protect Babies' Brains
So will formaldehyde, but I don't recommend it if you want to keep the brain in the baby.
This is the only way I can explain the fact that the Anti-Flag-Burning Amendment (well, actually anti-flag desecration*) has once again gained traction.
I mean, what other possible reason could there be for trotting this out now? It definitely does not solve any of society's current ills--it doesn't even claim to. Flag burning in this country is quite the rare event, surprising given the activities the flag has been made to stand for in the last few years, but it really is rare. Nobody on the streets is calling out for this amendment, because they don't see the supposed offense happening anyway. The only times I see a flag getting burned within our borders is when Congress brings up this fucking amendment. It also flirts pretty seriously with converting an icon of patriotism into an icon merely of nationalism--If they have their way, you won't treat the flag with respect because it's worth it, because it stands for something, like freedom. You'll treat it with respect because you have to. By law.
Hell, there's a better than average chance that this won't even make it out of the Senate, much less get ratified.**
So why do we have to go through this again? So Representative Red District can go home and make a big deal of his vote on the "issue," that's why. In a year when Republicans are looking more and more like a bunch of inept crooks out to line their own pockets and hand over the country to big corporations to plunder, they need something that looks clean to drape around their shoulders come election time. And they need it worse than ever. So it's to be the flag. Again. Who's "desecrating" what here?
Or as it might be mentioned on Fark.com: "All American problems solved, Congress turns to flag burning amendment."
*I take issue with the term "desecration" also. In the amendment (and it's VERY terse), desecration of the flag will (actually just "can") be prohibited by Congress. The very term "desecration" suggests that the flag is sacred. Out of six definitions I've found for "sacred," only one could be construed to apply to the nation's flag, out of a sea of religious definitions. Now maybe it's just me, but I'm offended by the existence of things that are supposed to be sacred or otherwise beyond reproach or question. If the supposed reason is religious, I'm even more upset by the idea. I reject the idea that defacing, burning or even folding, spindling and mutilating the American flag is desecration. It's just defacement, burning, folding, spindling or mutilation.
And let's face it. The only reason flag burning is shocking is because the flag is supposed to stand for a country where people have freedoms. Take away some of those freedoms to protect the flag, and suddenly there's no need to protect it, because it doesn't stand for anything anyway.
**OK, sure, this time around it has a better chance of passing in the Senate than it ever has (and this is trotted out every major congressional election cycle by the way), but still, the pro-amendment folks still can't actually claim a solid majority. They're just closer than last time.
Yesterday at lunchtime, I saw a group of people standing outside our building smoking, and noticed (it's short sleeve weather here) that at least three of them were wearing LiveStrong bracelets.
At first I thought it was ironic, but then decided that it was probably smart--after all, if they're lucky one day they'll be cancer survivors themselves.
I gotta tell ya. Living in the DC area, where smoking is being banned from more and more places, I've gotten to the point where I'm always a little surprised to see anyone smoking. I'm not sure how I feel about the societal good or ill of smoking bans, or the quality of the science behind them (there's plenty of evidence it's kind of shoddy and slanted), but I like not having to deal with cigarette or cigar smoke. In the Maryland county in which we live, you can't even smoke in bars.
So while I do like a smoke-free environment, I noticed something. Having been forced outdoors, smokers look less and less like carefree people enjoying their own thing and more and more like pathetic junkies huddling in the cold and rain to shoot up.
Makes you wonder just how nasty and uncool smoking has to get before nobody takes it up anymore.
I think most of us have seen people drumming on their steering wheel--jamming with the radio, what have you, slapping away at the wheel with their hands. The more artful might use a single finger per hand.
Last night on the way home, I saw someone actually drumming on his steering wheel. With drumsticks. In traffic. I shit you not.
I'd like to comment more on that, but really--where do you start?