On this week’s show:
Benedict takes a very special 4th of July quiz.
NPR Tweeted the Declaration of Independence and Republicans were having none of it.
CNN blackmailed a racist, or didn’t.
In the main segment:
The Travel ban is still shit.
Kris Kobach will not comply with Kris Kobach’s request for voter information.
The New York Times has a great piece on every lie Trump has told since inauguration day.
In the ABT:
Germany’s beer pipeline is a pipeline we can finally all agree on.
We’re still safe from North Korea and increasing the military budget is still a waste.
Liz Crokin thinks Steve Scalise was shot because of Pizzagate.
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So I want to take a few minutes today to talk about something that some of you may not agree with me on. Burning the American flag. You’ve all seen it happen in protest footage, and I’ve seen it happen in person plenty of times here in Berkeley. On the 4th of July this year I got into a pretty heated argument on Twitter over Flag burning, and I still stand by what I said, not only is burning the flag acceptable, it is patriotic in many cases.
You see, ever since Texas v. Johnson, laws that make desecrating the flag illegal are unconstitutional. The court recognized that symbolic speech, like burning the flag, is protected under the first amendment, the same as any other speech. And expressing our freedom of speech is at heart the most patriotic thing we can do.
For expressing my thoughts on the matter I was told repeatedly “Love it or leave it” the second cry of the moron after MAGA. You see, they falsely associate burning an American flag with not loving the country. Well I do love this country, I love this country so much that I am willing to yell and scream at the top of my lungs when a President with the body of a failed professional bowler tries to take us back to the dark ages.
There is much to love about the United States, there is no doubt that we have done some great things as a country that benefitted the entire world, we fought World War II, went to the moon, produced countless inventions and great thinkers, but we cannot forget the terrible things this country has done as well, we cannot become so enthralled by pointless patriotic fervor that we forget that just 50 years ago we still had segregation in this country, that we just gave people the right to marry anyone they love, and that a segment of our society wants to rip away healthcare from millions just to give the already wealthy more tax breaks. No I love this country, and I want remember both the good and the bad. I will cheer when we do the right thing, and yell when we do wrong.
Now, back to the issue of flag burning, what I suspect really angers the people who oppose it is that they don’t agree with the reason. They don’t understand why people are angry and would choose to burn a symbol in protest. They seem to think that doing so does irreparable harm to the country, but the flag is not the country. If you burn a flag, the country does not disappear, the people do not lose protection of our laws, when you burn a flag, literally nothing happens. But to me, burning a flag is the ultimate symbol of gratitude, because it is those laws that allow us free speech that we love, not a piece of dyed cloth. If we were to replace the constitution and the centuries of laws and practices that this country has formed collectively with the flag, we would have nothing, and if we didn’t have the freedom to burn that same flag, we would also have nothing. To me the supreme court case that gave us the ability to burn flags is a far more patriotic symbol than the flag itself, because speech is everything to me. Without the freedom of speech I wouldn’t be able to do this show, and we wouldn’t be able to collectively work together to demand that our country do the right thing for its citizens and the world.