Does The Fourth Make Republicans Of Us?

Jonathan Turley offers a Harvard study that says YES:

Harvard has released a study in its own unique way of celebrating the Fourth of July with America. Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam argue that Fourth of July celebrations tend to turn people into Republicans and help advance the GOP in elections. I would differ. I think Harvard studies tend to push people toward conservative candidates.

The study suggests that Republicans benefit most from patriotic celebrations: …

Meanwhile, the ACLU regrets to inform us that the predictable-as-clockwork anti-flag-desecration amendment to the Constitution has appeared once again in Congress:

Two bills currently pending before the House and the Senate — H. J. Res. 13 and S. J. Res. 19 — would allow Congress to enact laws banning desecration of the flag. We have heard this all before , and the Supreme Court has firmly struck down any statute that would criminalize “desecrating” the flag. As Mr. Savage famously explained in the quote above, limiting the freedoms protected in our Bill of Rights does not make us more patriotic but instead threatens our core belief system.

Meanwhile, I still have an American flag that is extremely tattered from my having flown it from my car radio antenna right after 9/11/2001, and I was looking into proper disposal of a flag worn past all use. offers the following advice:

The only definitive answer is found in the US Flag Code. TITLE 4 > CHAPTER 1 > Sec. 8(k). It states: “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning”

In other words, the only difference between one form of desecration of a flag and the ceremonial proper disposal of that same flag is the content of your heart and mind as you burn it. Take care, non-Republican Americans, as you celebrate our Independence Day: burn your flag with honor and respect in your every thought… or Big Brother will deal with you!

AFTERTHOUGHT: If you burn anything at all in Texas under these conditions, you are a damned fool, and probably in violation of one or more statutes. That is certainly true of fireworks; even the big displays are being called off. Just don’t do it.


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  • MandT  On Monday July 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    OK, we’ll just stand by as Gov. hairdo’s on fire, because in our heart we know it’s good. lol

    • Steve  On Monday July 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      MandT, I believe that’s his pants on fire…

      Or, considering the number of grass fires recently, maybe it’s plants on fire…

  • Bryan  On Monday July 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    The displays over here are all over water along the coast, and most of the counties have burn and fireworks bans inland. The Okefenokee is on fire again, as was the edge of the Everglades earlier.

    We have had several fires that were caught quickly, and it has been weeks since there has been a live fire mission at the local ranges.

    • Steve  On Monday July 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      Bryan, I went to one of those “Freedom Over Texas” events (now that’s a choice I’d make any day!) one year. It was over downtown Houston, literally above the skyscrapers; everything below was either a building, a paved street or water (one of the major bayous goes right through downtown). That fact, plus no fewer than 30 fire trucks stationed every couple of blocks in any direction within downtown, made it feel fairly safe. I saw only one incident, and HFD had it out within seconds after it landed.

      The thing that concerns me is that Houston, like all large cities, is gradually becoming a city of downtown-dwellers. Lofts, hi-rises, townhouses of all sorts, and refurbished older buildings are housing more and more people every year. At some point, it seems to me it simply wouldn’t be a good idea to set off major fireworks over an array of… increasingly… people’s homes. But no one has asked me what I think. 🙂

      • Bryan  On Monday July 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm

        To be clear on my meaning, the only displays that are being allowed to go forward this year, are those by the coastal communities that are launched from barges off shore. That means that most of the county seats on the Panhandle are not being permitted to have fireworks displays.

        It doesn’t take much in a primarily pine forest area to set things off. While the trees are now used for wood pulp, they started as turpentine forests, so they burn quickly and easily. It wasn’t so bad when there were a lot of mature trees, but the second growth pulp forests are really bad news.

  • Bryan  On Monday July 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Steve, you are not supposed to notice that the only dignified way of disposing of a flag is by burning. It can get messy with the exploding heads of wingers when you point that out. They really can’t deal with paradoxes, most of them can’t spell the word, much less comprehend the meaning. This is why Repubs keep passing self-contradictory laws.

    • Steve  On Monday July 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      “They really can’t deal with paradoxes…”

      “At common sense she gaily mocks,” although I wouldn’t call the wing-nuts’ paradox “most ingenious” or their ways “quaint.”

      This year, at least, I am spared the decision whether to burn the tattered flag: having no fireplace, I will not burn it indoors, and considering how little water has touched that grass (it gets one dose from a hose every two weeks when the lawn man comes, but effectively no ordinary rainfall), I will not risk burning it outdoors, either. Next year is soon enough, if it’s even possible then.

  • c  On Friday July 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I think you’re allowed to bury them too . . . But I agree for the sake of irony you should absolutely wait until you can dispose of the flag by burning.

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