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Wednesday, June 28, 2006



The flag is a symbol of our nation - what it is and who we are.

The Supreme Court erred in it's 1989 ruling that flag burning is a protected form of free speech. The Supreme Court has made serious errors before: Dred Scott and Roe v Wade come to mind.  The Supreme Court is not infallible.

Americans have died,  are dying , and will die, for what the flag symbolizes and represents - our Nation , our political system and our way of life.

Flag burning is a hateful, inflamatory, violent act that is an affront  ,and an act of disrespect, to those who have died so that we may live in freedom. It is an affront , and a threat, to all who call themselves American.

Flag burning is only the beginning. It will lead to more violence. What will be next?Books? The Koran, Bible or Torah? The Cross? Buildings? Cities? Will we hear again the cries of " burn, baby, burn" in our city streets ?

Fire leads to explosions. Will the Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument and other national landmarks, monuments, bridges and public buildings be next ? Have we forgotten 9-11, the destruction of the World Trade Towers in New York City, the attempted destruction of the Pentagon and White House in Washington DC? The loss of thousands of American lives and the health impact on tens of thousands of police, firefighters, construction workers, National Guard members, EMT's and others who volunteered for rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site?

Symbols have great significance, particularly to foreign terrorists and their domestic allies: social malcontents,  prisoners, criminals and gang bangers, who  pose a real threat to our safety and the very survival of our nation.

Our enemies are the foreign terrorists and and those native born,  who have citizenship by accident of birth, but who are not Americans in spirit, belief or practice.

America stands at a cross roads. What we do now, or do not do, will determine if we will survive.

The Supreme Court erred. Now it is up to Congress, the states , cities, and towns, to legislate, making flag burning the hate crime that it is.  The House has made the effort, but the Senate has failed. Will the Albany Common Council be the first to step forward? How about the Albany County Legislature? Our local candidates for State Assembly and State Senate? Candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and Congress?

When you dutifully go to vote (if you do), forget blind allegiance to the donkey or elephant. Look carefully at the voting records and positions of the candidates on vital issues of the day. Flag burning is but one, because it symbolizes so much more; and because to tolerate flag burning will only lead to greater violence and destruction by those who are set on destroying us as a nation and as a people.

As you celebrate July 4th..reflect on it's true meaning.

                                                                                         J P Sullivan

                                                                                         Albany, New York