Links: Immigrant experience science fiction; principal calls FBI over flag-tossing; Sriracha doesn't want trademarks


That student should be charged with First Degree Fabric Hurling.


Trademarking Sriracha would be like trademarking Ketchup. It’s not a proper noun; it’s a thing.

I read a while back that in Asia, Sriracha is made a little differently–tangier, and less spicy. Indeed I bought some “Uncle Chen” brand, and it roughly matches that description. It’s pretty great in its own way. I’m not always in the mood for that exact flavor, so it’s nice to have different Sriracha-like options handy.

I say bully for Tabasco for expanding their product line. I may try it just to see what their interpretation is like. Could be interesting.


Litterin’… And creatin’ a disturbance.


Another great headline. The principal apparently didn’t call the FBI, he only threatened to.


“That’s a paddlin’…”

I shook my head over an author unaware of US Flag Code, and over a ton of commenters who seem to think that the best way to appreciate their freedom of speech is to desecrate the very symbol of those freedoms and disparage anybody who wants to care.

You lost me at “desecrate a symbol”. That’s ISIS/Daesh talk. A symbol of a human institution is not sacred, so it cannot be desecrated. And in the absence of proof of the existence of the god of any particular religion, symbols of that religion are not sacred and can’t therefore be desecrated either. Desecration is a concept that belongs with prescientific societies (and is often used, as in Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and under Daesh as a method of social control by the old men in charge.)

Two things:
First, a quote which I was going to add to the original story but had already been beaten to:
“A moth eaten rag on a worm eaten pole,
It does not seem likely to stir a man’s soul.
'Tis the deeds that were done 'neath that moth eaten rag
When the pole was a staff and the rag was a flag.”

And, second, the Zen Buddhist story of the Zen teacher who turns up at a monastery and is invited to deliver the sermon, which he announces will be about the perfected beings (Arhats).
He climbs into the pulpit,surveys the audience, and announces
“What can we say about the Arhats? They are like a dirty toilet!”


You forgot to quote George Carlin out of context also.

Anyhoo… your argument makes perfect, scientific, world. Which rather makes it not work in the one we live in. By their nature, people assign meaning to things and it’s a fools errand to convince them they are wrong. Try it with a married woman (or her husband if you prefer), then introduce her wedding ring to a hammer; then explain why symbols are meaningless.

Meaningful is not the same as sacred, unless you are completely devoid of religion. The fact remains, those who would sanctify the US flag must first repeal the Bill of Rights. Also, the FBI is not in the business of enforcing either patriotism or faith.


I never understood the flag burning dilemma. The flag is a symbol that represents an principle. Destroying or harming the symbol does not hurt or destroy the the principle. If one went to the New York subway or the London tube and stole a sign would the trains stop? There is no greater sign of the principle of freedom than a government being unable to stop you from burning a flag. Burn a hundred and the principle is just reinforced. I hope all veterans do not think they served a piece of cloth, because that can be destroyed. What they fought for can only be destroyed by forgetting our principles.


I don’t for one moment think symbols are meaningless. I could probably write you an essay on the significance, religious, social, cultural, economic and political of wedding rings, though I doubt I would get as many marks for it now as I did when I sat my finals. You have completely missed my point:

The US flag is a political symbol, a symbol of a country which separates (in theory) politics and religion. I happen to think this is a splendid thing to do, and I think any attempt to bring religion into politics via the backdoor is regressive. Calling a political symbol sacred is doing exactly that. Some politicians try to do that all the time to get the less thinking Christians on their side. They must be opposed, or one of the key planks of the US program that entitles it to think of itself as an advanced country is threatened.


“They shall not give Valerius
To the eagle and the kite
For aye Valerius loathed the wrong
And aye upheld the right.
And for your wives and babies
In the front rank he fell
Now play the man for the good house
That loves the people well.”

Macaulay nailed it, nearly 200 years ago.

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If I remember correctly, the section that would apply here only says what “should” be done, applies no penalties, and is provided “for the use of” civilians. Since it’s a little difficult to have a law against something that doesn’t have any penalty, the author’s description would be essentially correct. And that’s before considering the court rulings that applying a penalty would conflict with the first amendment.


The anger comes from a desire to protect, and demand respect for, something that is of the most incredible importance to oneself, and receiving scorn and ridicule from those who have been the beneficiaries of what that symbol represents. Recognizing the irony of the situation (First Amendment and all that) doesn’t really help in accepting it all that much.

[quote=“kupfernigk, post:12, topic:51910”]

I agree, 100%. In regards to the flag and it’s symbolism, ‘sacred’ is simply the wrong word.

To use your wedding ring analogy, if someone grabbed my wedding ring and smashed it, it would demand a response because it was my property, and had a tangible connection to me. My wife presented that ring to me. If that ring was smashed, my feeling for my wife would be unaffected, but my ring is gone. If someone cast an exact duplicate of my wedding ring, and then, in my presence smashed it, that would not move me at all.

The next point to remember is respect can never be demanded. Stopping flag burning does not mean people respect your nation. No flag burner, or sign carrier has ever harmed American, or any countries ideals.


You do know that the US Flag Code is essentially a set of suggestions. There are no penalties for not following it, and Supreme Court has said that any attempt to apply penalties would be in violation of the 1st Amendment.

And to quote a former Commandant of West Point (as best as I can recall) when asked about flag burning, “Every American soldier who has ever died in any war, died for the right to burn the flag.”

He got it. You don’t.


It appears that there is common ground, then? We agree that the flag is not sacred, that it is a political symbol, and that elevating the flag to untouchable status is a stance that defies the underlying tenets the flag represents?

Listen, I also would not destroy the flag. I would not destroy it just as I would not destroy my own wedding ring. But that’s a personal choice, born (in both cases) from love and respect. By foisting a requirement for the same on others, I diminish the ideals on which my love and respect for the flag is founded.

Independence means something.


I agree with this sentiment. For the same reason I personally wouldn’t destroy anybody else’s symbol. I might argue against their beliefs, vote against them (I’m too old to fight…) or ask my government to stop them doing bad things, but when we start destroying symbols we start confusing the sign and the ideology it represents.
The correct answer to some Iranian crazy burning a Western flag is “does your country allow you to do that to its flag? What does that tell you about the commitment of its rulers to your freedom?”

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