Volume 3, Number 11, Page 4

Exclusive Interview With Hugh Grant!

Just kidding, it's really another pleasantly informative OUMMCBNOM article. Please read it anyway.

	As you know, Congress has recently decided that issues such as crime, education, 
Bosnia, the budget, and a whole slew of other topics simply can't compare in gravity to one
issue--flag desecration, an epidemic so startling and experiencing such growth that, 
according to many members of Congress, a Constitutional Amendment banning it is being 
given more attention on the floor of the House and Senate (and in the OUMMCBNOM) than 
most other issues.
	To be blunt, this is stupid.  Flag desecration is less of an epidemic than the 
flesh-eating virus was a year ago.  In other words, although it occurs, it is extremely 
rare.  In the past few years, annual occurrences of flag burning have ranged from about 
zero to five.     
	"What about other types of desecration?" you ask.  To answer that, one must be 
able to define desecration and determine what qualifies as a flag, which is the next 
problem with the proposed amendment.  Should a woman in a red, white, and blue bikini 
be sent to jail?  Should cakes with their frosting designed to look like a flag be 
confiscated?  Should Mr. Barna be prosecuted for using his flag as a fly swatter?
	Then there is the tiny little matter of the first amendment--freedom of expression.
Flags carry powerful messages.  People don't just desecrate a flag because they are bored, 
and have nothing better to do.  People do it because it makes a strong statement.  
Abridging this right would violate freedom of speech.
	To look at this in terms of  "What terrible things can it signal for the future of 
the United States," may be a bit much, but this aspect of the issue deserves to be addressed.
Perhaps Congress will decide that people should not be able to write negative things about 
the Unites States in their semi-underground newsletters.  This writing, it seems, is just 
as dangerous and perhaps more rampant than flag desecration.  Should putting an end to it 
be next on Congress' agenda?
	It seems that Congress is faced with a choice between protecting the flag and 
protecting the freedom that the flag stands for.  We hope that they will not choose to 
make the symbolic gesture of passing this amendment, because stopping flag desecration 
means little if the flag itself means nothing.


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