Should Flag Burners Burn?

Human Rights Constitution of the United States (1787) Is refusing to stand for the National Anthem an appropriate protest? Judicial Mandates •     Words and meaning of the law should be understood as they were understood by the people when the law was enacted. •     Activist judges should not invent new law, but they should respect the constitutional prerogative of the people to pass laws through their representative legislatures. Preamble Articles I - VII Amendments I – XXVII Amendment I: freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition in general: justices: The Next Supreme Court Justice > Law | about | Center for Constitutional Studies & Citizenship | Amendments: Amendments 1-10 Bill of Rights | Amendments 11-27 books/films: freedom of the press: Rosewater Stewart | interpretation: America's Unwritten Constitution Amar

by scott pickard

Should burning the flag be a protected form of free speech? Consider this:

  • Was the flag burner trespassing?
  • Did the flag burner hurt anyone?
  • Did the flag burner catch anything else on fire?
  • Did the flag burner burn a public flag that they did not own?
  • Was it an act of treason, in and of itself?

If the answer is “no” for all five questions, then the flag burner is not a criminal. They were just someone that took their own flag onto public property where they are entitled to go, and they burned it (unfortunately they don’t have a flag anymore) but didn’t hurt anybody or anything in the process. If we’re going to send a person to jail for this, then we will have to reevaluate thousands of actions that people perform every day that should be equivalently considered obnoxious, disturbing, anti-patriotic, or criminal.  There will be social accountability enough from family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues that the flag burner will have to face, and possibly realize that “I will never do that again!”

Come on, we’ve got to get a grip on ourselves, take a step back and get some perspective, and not be so mentally and spiritually brittle! This is America. We are tough, flexible, resilient, and open-minded, so we can absorb the actions of a flag burner. We can’t rule-make a person into being civil and/or patriotic – it’s either in their heart, or it’s not.

What do you think?


China’s Social Credit System

World Since 1920 / East Asia in the 20th century China since 1912 When America China sneezes, the whole world gets a cold. Long term, is it a good idea to take China’s money? Will China’s model for growth which extracts a heavy sacrifice and toll from its people, be sustainable? Development of republic 1912-20: old order disintegrated Interwar years 1920-37: growth of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) War against Japan 1937-45: 2nd Sino-Japanese War after 1st 1894–95 Kuomintang: anti-communism, Chinese nationalism, reunification Chinese Communist ideologies: dynamic to safeguard the party's rule Emergence of the People’s Republic of China economic reform: 60-point plan Internet  social credit: Sesame Credit > Gamification | e-Commerce: alibaba | internet sovereignty | messaging: tencent | search: Baidu orphans: Half the Sky social radar: dissent 2015 population: two-child policy | economy: market meltdown | October: Conflict in South China Sea in general: communist propaganda hip-hop…what!?: rap-aganda | food safety | buy anything: lightinthebox | consumer marketing: prcdirect      books/movies: propaganda: Propaganda Bernays | #1 movie: Monster Hunt | fragile: Red Capitalism Walter | history: In Search of History White | investing: The Chinese are coming, and they’d like to buy your house Francis

China’s social credit system (BBC)


Big Brother

As AI accelerates, is our organic thinking declining?

Computer Science Artificial Intelligence (AI)  As machine intelligence accelerates, is our organic thinking declining? Can we build a super-AI that won't kill us? big ideas Is Moore’s Law sustainable? What is the mind? in general: algorithm deelopment: Deep Mind, Machine Intelligence Research Institute, Vicarious | artificial general intelligence: strong AI | biomimetics: models for design of machines |  frame-based systems: recognition and description of objects and classes | portals: Deep Learning | semanitc networks: a set of concepts that are related to one another | turing test: Computing machinery and intelligence | thought experiments: Chinese Room expert systems: chess: Centaur Chess | cognitive computing: IBM Watson | automated complaint resolution: cognicor | decision making: decision-making | machine trading: Dark Pools Patterson, Flash Boys  singularity: about | IBM Watson | moore’s law | Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence books/movies: rise of machines, decline of humans?: What to Think About Machines That Think Brockman > Future | ethics: Machines of Loving Grace Markoff | Accelerando Stross | cyborgs: Ex Machina | risks: Superintelligence Bostrom | Smarter Than Us Armstrong | The Emperor's New Mind Penrose | singularity: The Singularity Is Near Kurzweil Enterprise

Politicians are consummate performers

by scott pickard

Human Society Politics and Government The conflict between justice and tyranny occurs in every political order because it occurs in every human soul. Marini Political Theory National state as viewed in political theory Political action as viewed in political theory political will History repeats itself, in that sometimes it takes a catastrophe. sp Political concepts, ideologies, and problems Political Institutions: create, enforce, apply laws that represent populous Political parties United States: occupations > Values Democrat Republican Libertarian Political Process The ways in which political power is exercised On the government shutdown …more sp regular order: just get it done Crime & Corruption Government's role in production / consumption Methods for change and reform firedoglake budget: REINS Act policy: dynamic scoring Geopolitics What is the red line, and what happens when it is crossed?  How will shale gas impact geopolitics? | Water Peace and War Politics of international relations International treaties and agreements Foreign policy & diplomacy: nations achieving ends without resorting to war Intelligence/counter-intelligence cold war: A Most Wanted Man le Carre | Outsourcing | super spy: Carlos the Jackal Peace War in general:, | accountability & fact checking:,, PolitiFact, Sunlight Foundation, thepublicnotice | local: patch | movers and shakers:, world leaders | news: politico |social networking: votizen | Whitehouse legislature (US): Is political incivility eroding our national and political promise? | Federal budget and key documents: | Federal Register: | legislation: trackbill |Legislator Search Engine: | Legislative Source Book: | Thomas Legislature Search: | US House: | US Senate: lobbying: consultant: | corporate record: | grassroots campaigns: soapboxconsulting books, articles, jouornals, movies: conservative: The Limbaugh Letter, The Public Interest | The Perfect Dictatorship | The Prince Machiavelli | Time for Outrage! Hessel | Zero Dark Thirty

Politicians are consummate performers…

When it comes to politicians, let the citizen be on their guard. Successful politicians are consummate performers possessing a good sense of humor, a flair for the dramatic, a winning smile, a talent for schmoozing, good timing and how to work the moment and the crowd, a gift for gab, and quick on their feet. With these talents, a politician can talk about anything from technical to non-technical; local to global; silly to important; a topic they know something about to a topic they know nothing about. They may not always know what is best, and they may not always be good decision-makers, and they may not always be truthful or trustworthy, but they ARE determined and clever survivors and will always tell a majority of the voters what they want to hear to sustain their position.

- sp -