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?


On Electing a President

Development of Technology Trustworthiness How do you measure/validate trust in the cybersecurity of the enterprise? How can big-city police (e.g. Baltimore) and neighborhoods-at-risk rebuild trust in each other? How do you know if someone is trying to win, or lose? Parameters of trust Trust is built over a marriage, a career, a lifetime, but can be lost in a second. sp Confidence Reliability Integrity: trustworthiness over time Privacy Resiliency: Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Taleb Skepticism and Conspiracy Theory Terms of Service: monitoring: docracy | ratings: crowd ratings Truth (correctness) photos: A bullet can kill a man, but a lying camera can kill a nation. lying: There is no defense against lying. sp | white lies vs black lies Technologies of trust big data: cyber-physical systems: terraechos certifications: kikscore drug testing federations: InCommon passwords: keepersecurity products & services relationship mining: intersecting people sp | Relationship Science scoring trust: TrustCloud Fields of Application economy: Economic Anxiety Index human-machine relationships marketing: celebrity DBI DBI= 0.6*(Awareness) + 0.4*((Appeal+ Breakthrough+Trend-Setter +Influence + Trust + Endorsement + Aspiration)/7) Societal Risk Management (SRM): graduate program software: Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors in general: advertising: evidon, doubleverify | medical devices: Open Medical Device Research Library | electronic voting: Do electronic voting machines improve the voting process? | Failed States Index: fundforpeace | financial institutions: credit cards, financialtrustindex | internet |sports: Lance Armstrong, research | wellness: Dr. Oz, Food Babe untrustworthy: politicians: Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton > Politics | priests: Spotlight | investment advisers: Bernie Madoff | corporations: Volkswagen | government: NSA | nonprofits: FIFA, Red Cross books: ubiquitous: Trust is the glue that holds us together sp | Dare: Accepting the Challenge of Trusting Leadership Weiss | Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage Peppers | Just How Fragile Are America’s Bridges? Sofge | Likeonomics Bhargava | The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime Hill

by scott pickard

Kudos to Mr. Pickens for throwing down an idea! We need new ideas and the discussion they instigate is good and is our democratic way. But I think the greater problem than the election process is the accountability process on the back end. If the federal government was a corporation and we were its shareholders, the CEO (President) and board (Congress) are driving our company towards bankruptcy and we have no way to stop it. The best idea I ever heard was Warren Buffett’s idea: “I can end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there’s a deficit of more than 3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for reelection.” You may argue that an idea this radical can never be implemented (the same feasibility of passing a flat tax), but until we have a real financial check-and-balance that does not depend upon politicians, a new election process will not bring us any improved accountability. “Trust” and “accountability” are what we must restore and the irony is that the way our current political system is designed, the overwhelming objective evidence shows that professional politicians cannot get the job done. So how does it get done?

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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.

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