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Iowa lawmaker pushes measure on flag desecration at military funerals!

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posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 09:54 AM
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Source


The Iowa Legislature has passed laws against flag desecration before. But twice in recent years the laws have been struck down by a federal judge.

Now an Iowa state representative is pushing a more limited measure — one he thinks will pass constitutional muster.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, has introduced a bill that would prohibit using an American flag, a military flag or a prisoner of war flag in such a way that it would provoke another to commit assault within 1,000 feet of a funeral.




Good news in my opinion!




The law, Kaufmann said, would curtail protesters, such as members of the Westboro Baptist Church, from trying to disrupt the funeral services of Iowa soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen.




More good news!




“We have fundamental concerns with any bill that tries to ban flag burning and any type of free speech, free expression,” she said. “This has pretty clearly been ruled as free speech and covered under the First Amendment.”


Said someone opposed to the legislation...

But does it really?

Let's take a closer look at that 1st Amendment...

Shall we...




Amendment I (1791)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The first ten amendments comprise the Bill of Rights. The first amendment protects religious freedom by prohibiting the establishment of an official or exclusive church or sect. Free speech and free press are protected, although they can be limited for reasons of defamation, obscenity, and certain forms of state censorship, especially during wartime. The freedom of assembly and petition also covers marching, picketing and pamphleteering.



Source;
www.senate.gov...



So when we take the bold, into consideration...


How does someone describe burning flags and picketing obscenities at Funerals of Soldiers, Gay people...
Or anyone for that matter...

As "peaceably" demonstrating?


I don't think it does...

& hopefully this passes fully.


Fowler said the argument over flag desecration should have ended long ago. In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled flag burning was constitutional, and covered under the First Amendment.
“It clearly spelled out that use of the flag for expressive conduct,” she said. “Expressive speech is protected by the First Amendment, and these types of laws are unconstitutional.”




Sounds like the SCOTUS got it inherently wrong with that decision!!!



Free Speech is protected...

But in the case of "obscenity" can be disregarded quite easily...



Protest/Picketing is protected...

But in the case of "obscenity" can be disregarded quite easily...

& I guess both can be disregarded in a situation that is tantamount to incitement.

But even if not, the above still stands.




What do you think ATS...

Should this have been sorted out 26 years ago?
edit on 9-3-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: Silly source!!!

edit on 9-3-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: Bold obscenity!




posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 09:57 AM
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While I do not condone buring the flag it is protected as free speech.

Freedom of speech means accepting both what you agree with and what you do not.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 10:04 AM
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a reply to: GV1997

Did you read the exceptions to that protection!!!


Such as it having to be peaceably done...
& not obscene...


So what's peaceable about harassing funerals?
What's peaceable about screaming God hates "****" at the funeral of a murdered Gay person?



That's not the way to "peaceably assemble"...


So how is it protected?



Edit: This is about flag burning at funerals...

Not flag burning in general.
edit on 9-3-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 10:11 AM
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Crumbling infrastructure, child poverty and hunger, justice system run amok...
So many elephants in the room no one wants to mention.
what difference does it make if someone burns a flag that was most likely made in a chinese sweatshop? Priorities...



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: the owlbear

Makes a big difference to funeral goers who are targeted with this behaviour!


Maybe if it happens at one of your own loved ones funeral, you may say the same!



The other things you mentioned are discussed ad nausaum in a great many threads...

Preferably not this one which is nothing to do with them.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 10:28 AM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
Edit: This is about flag burning at funerals...

Not flag burning in general.


As already mentioned, flag burning is protected and that it is at a funeral does not prevent this from happening.

We allow neo-Nazis to march with their flags and make racist comments, this is part of having a First Amendment.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: the owlbear
Crumbling infrastructure, child poverty and hunger, justice system run amok...
So many elephants in the room no one wants to mention.
what difference does it make if someone burns a flag that was most likely made in a chinese sweatshop? Priorities...


Yeah, huh? So many problems and this is what our illustrious leaders do, give us a law against burning a rag with some colors on it.

I couldn't care less if someone burns the flag and it's not as if there's a epidemic of flag burning happening.

So why do we need this law now?



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 10:37 AM
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Why not just come up with a law that prevents funerals from being picketed.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

And as already stated in the OP and the reply to the post you're talking about...

How does harrassing funeral goers count as "peaceful assembly"???
How is it not an "obscenity"?

Clearly that's not the case...

& as such there is no protections for such being guarunteed.



Your thoughts!



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
How does harrassing funeral goers count as "peaceful assembly"???



If there is no violent action on the part of the protesters it is peaceful.


How is it not an "obscenity"?


The Supreme Court has ruled on this multiple times:



The basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be (a) whether the "average person, applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest …, (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.



In 1987, the Supreme Court modified the "contemporary community standards" criteria. In Pope v. Illinois, 481 U.S. 497, 107 S. Ct. 1918, 95 L. Ed. 2d 439, the Court stated that the "proper inquiry is not whether an ordinary member of any given community would find serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value in allegedly obscene material, but whether a reasonable person would find such value in the material, taken as a whole." It is unclear whether the "reasonable person" standard represents a liberalization of the obscenity test. Source



Clearly that's not the case...

& as such there is no protections for such being guarunteed.


Clearly it is as the Supreme Court has indicated that this is protected speech and the protesters, despicable as they may be, are operating under the same protections as other citizens.

With a First Amendment we have to take the good with the bad as free speech should not be an echo chamber for what one person thinks is 'right' or 'sensible'.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 11:09 AM
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originally posted by: WilsonWilson

Why not just come up with a law that prevents funerals from being picketed.


Because that would impinge on others right to assembly and protest.

I found the solution where counter protesters assembled and blocked the Westboro scumbags from getting too close to the funeral and family.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 11:15 AM
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Whatever they can scrounge up to shut down Westboro suits me just fine.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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originally posted by: the owlbear
Crumbling infrastructure, child poverty and hunger, justice system run amok...
So many elephants in the room no one wants to mention.
what difference does it make if someone burns a flag that was most likely made in a chinese sweatshop? Priorities...


Yeah, I agree. The flag burning thing being "not legal" or whatever, is odd in the sense that you can be punished for destroying a banner which represents the land, but if you destroy the land it represents, chances are you're rich. Quite stupid IMO.

That said, funerals are sacred and should be private and free of harassment. No matter what the dead did while alive, they are being laid to rest. That must be respected.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Ok thanks Augustus I see how they're playing with the definition of peaceable now...


Strange...

I'd have thought anything that incites violent reaction would also count as non-peaceful...


ie a group at a murdered gay teenager's funeral screaming obscenities to me...
Doesn't really sound too peaceful...

& I'd have thought if that's what the Founders wanted, they'd have just said non-violent protest rather than peaceable...

Leaves a lot of room for manoeuvre, that keeps being shutdown.



Thanks for the insight!



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 11:40 AM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
Ok thanks Augustus I see how they're playing with the definition of peaceable now...


Those are older rulings and the definition of 'obscenity' is rather narrow.



I'd have thought anything that incites violent reaction would also count as non-peaceful...


Calling people 'fags' or burning a flag is not inciting violence. It is considered socially unacceptable but if non-protesters attack the protesters over it then they are the ones breaking the law.



ie a group at a murdered gay teenager's funeral screaming obscenities to me...
Doesn't really sound too peaceful...


They are just words, as long as they do not resort to physical acts of violence then it is protected speech and not violent.


& I'd have thought if that's what the Founders wanted, they'd have just said non-violent protest rather than peaceable...


One of the beauties of our checks and balances system is it allows judicial review of these situations as new legal challenges are made.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 12:32 PM
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The people from Westboro Baptist Church are far from peaceful from what I've seen. There was a funeral in Indiana for someone that was killed in Afghanistan and they showed up. The city banned them from a 20 block area where the funeral was going to take place. About 500 bikers also showed up to make sure they didn't come near.
This is about flag burning; though. That's one thing guaranteed to make a stir at a funeral for a military person. I really don't know why anyone would want to disrupt a funeral. I think it's sick.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 12:38 PM
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Amusing, because as long as there are no racial slurs, it's fine, we can drag each other through the mud because of possible orientation, but it's fine because it's not racial.

Flag burning never bothered me, it shows more on the person who is doing the action, then to the people who see it.

Some days, humans are the worst thing I've ever discovered, other days, absolutely stunning.

There was a time, where common decency and respect of one another, etc, was a thing. Not so much anymore.

I guess one learns to take the good, with the bad. To what end tho, remains to be seen.
edit on C151234050 by Cygnis because: (no reason given)

edit on C151234207 by Cygnis because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 12:44 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark


I think it's sick.


You think it's sick because it's sick.

They showed up in my town a few years back at a football game to demonstrate God hates us because we like football too much. I didn't go, but my nephew did, and he said everybody pointed and laughed at them, and they turned out to be a big joke, so they left.

But the things they do at military funerals are not funny, they are inhumane. That is what I take issue with.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 12:49 PM
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a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

If sewing the flag across the ass of your jeans isn't considered obscene then burning the flag cannot be considered obscene either. I must be missing your point or we have vastly differing ideas on what constitutes obscene.



posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 01:01 PM
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To that end a business owner who's employees go on strike might see the picket line in front of his business which discourages customers from entering as not peaceable as long as no physical fighting takes place the picket line is legal. As long as Westboro doesn't engage in physical violence they do have a right to express their views. Like the business owner, we may not like it but they are within their rights. The constitution doesn't cover hurting someone's feelings.



reply to: CharlieSpeirs



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