Would you spit on the Vietnam Memorial

Of course none of you would. But I bring this up because of the current flag burning controversy and the tie in to the Freedom of Expression.

American veterans by and large I’m sure revere the US flag. By burning it or stomping and ripping it must surely hurt them.

So if you support the right to burn the flag, would you support the right to spit on the Vietnam Memorial ?

Does this right presently exist?

The Vietnam Memorial is public property, is it not?

Yes I do, yes I would, and yes, it does.

There are no laws against general assholery. It’s not possible to legislate people into being nice and respectful. The House is setting a terrible precedent by trying to do so.

Do you support my right to take my cock out and shake it around?

My point is, one thing has nothing to do with the other. We can’t be creating specific rights and laws pertaining to every tiny little thing. We’ll use the laws we already have and apply them to any given public impropriety.

I certainly respect your right to speak about this issue, in spite of the fact that you haven’t absorbed the fact that speech found to be offensive is still free speech, as mentioned time and time again in that thread.

Spitting on a public monument is tantamount to vandalism, as is taking the flag down from in front of your statehouse and burning it.

Shaking your cock around is public lewdness.
Burning my own property might violate some public-safety laws, but then, so would burning ANYTHING. Specifically protecting the American flag is overkill and violative of the concept of private property.

Is public spitting legal in the Washington, DC area? If not, what is the debate here?

Seriously, though, yes, I would support the right to spit on the Viet Nam Memorial, assuming, as above, that said public spitting was otherwise already legal. I would personally consider it a disgusting, repulsive and pointless act, but I also would consider it protected speech, and thus permitted.

Spitting on the Vietnam War memorial should be illegal, because it’s vandalism.

On the other hand, if you wanted to make a replica of the Vietnam War memorial and spit on it I’d simultaneously support your legal right to do so and ridicule you.

Spitting on the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial could easily be construed as a disturbance of the peace. So yes, common sense dictates that there is a law against it, and that one should act respectfully when one is there.

Those park rangers who happen to be around aren’t just there to give directions, you know. Notice sometime the handcuffs and the handguns they carrry.

Spitting involves sanitation and health issues, not to mention cleanup costs that flag burning does not. That, not the offense of the message, is the issue with me.

On the other hand, though, flag burning involves public safety issues that spitting does not.

If a community were to ban public burning as a means of fire control, and someone were to burn a flag as a misguided protest, and he were arrested because he was in violation of the Fire Code, would he have a constitutional out?

I don’t think he should.

Bad Anology. Spitting on a one-of-a-kind public monument is nothing like burning something that you own and has 10s of millions of copies (a flag). Besides that, the scenario is purely hypothetical. Why on earth would someone do that? What would be the statement? Has this ever happened?

Nonetheless, if the spitter promptly cleaned up the spittle, I guess I have no problem with it. I disagree with it, but thats part of living in a free society.

You’ve got the right to burn a flag, but not in a public theater. Open flames may be banned wherever the public interest dictates. Implicit in the flag burning is that the burner assumes all liability for injuries or property damage.

(Almost) no such animal.

Where do you get this stuff? If he is in violation of the fire codes, he is in violation of the fire codes, and should be fined. I have never heard anyone argue any case where he shouldn’t.

Well, yes, of course, if burning anything is banned, thats a whole different kettle of piranha. A fire hazard is a fire hazard. Public spitting is a health hazard, so if spitting on the sidewalk is held to be as illegal as spitting on a monument, no prob, Bob.

Selective enforcement of valid restrictions would necessarily be entirely different.

Ah, but let’s be clear about the fire code. It should not be selectively enforced to single out flag burning as being impermissible.

Say there is a “candle light vigil” or something like it, and people are allowed to march with torches as a symbolic way of expressing grief. Say they are something like backyard tiki torches. If this is OK, then flags of a similar size and number should be burnable.

That, and lots worse. The memorial has been physically defaced in the past, to the point where entire sections of stone have had to be reengraved and replaced. I don’t think this has happened in some years, though.

Recently, other veterans memorials have been defaced, including memorials at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific near Honolulu and a Medal of Honor memorial in Indianapolis. I don’t know how much of this can be ascribed to heightened antiwar sentiment, and how much can be written off as general assholishness. It isn’t anything people of good will can support, though, and I think we can all agree on that one.

Cites available, though I think the incidents described are so sadly unsurprising that nobody will really bother.

With all duew respect, I thnk this is where the Democrats are losing ground. They have trouble demonstrating what they stand FOR. The moral relativism doesn’t play well in Peoria.

So if someone spit on the VN Memorial, you would have no problem with it? Maybe it is or is not legal and protected speech, but you wouldn’t call the guy an Asshat, Admiral Class and perhaps give him a quick history lesson about the mostly lower class men who died after volunteering or being drafted and are represented on that wall?

Really? No problem?

The irony of the whole flag burning issue is that the concept that it is an important symbol, that it is disrespectful to Americans, especially those who served, that it’s stature is such that an amendment is considered, that burning the flag (or other acts of desecration)actually makes a very powerful political statement that absolutely needs to be protected. The very fact that so many want to protect it is the very argumet why it should not be.

Well, this pinko would have a lot of problem with anyone spitting on someone else’s gravestone, and I’d have the same problem with someone spitting on the Vietnam Memorial. I’d have the same problem if someone built a memorial to the Vietnamese who died in the war, and someone else came along to spit on it.

However, my feelings about the content of the speech would not influence my feelings about the legality of the act. That’s what it means to be a civil libertarian. Either spitting on a stone in a public place is legal or it’s not: it’s got nothing to do with what the symbolic value is of the stone.

Daniel