Saturday, May 31, 2008

The flag, according to Penn and Teller

It's been nearly nineteen years since the US Supreme Court made its historic ruling that flag desecration -- where no intent to cause a breach of the peace entails -- is protected by the First Amendment. In casting his deciding vote in the 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in concurrence: "It is fundamental but poignant that the flag protects those who hold it in contempt."

As the Dems' Rules and By-Laws Committee meets today to figure out what to do with Florida and Michigan's delegates, it's worth thinking about what freedom means. It's hard for a lot of people to imagine that in many other countries, there would even be a debate over such a delicate issue -- because of course there wouldn't be any. The protesters, or even suggesting there should be a protest, would be punished by imprisonment or worse.

Or the meeting would be held behind closed doors; unlike today's gathering which will be televised.

Penn and Teller have a great explanation of the concept of what free thought means to them:

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