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America... What a country!

This evening while I was watching the news, I saw some video of a young man somewhere on the west coast burning an American flag in protest of some situation that he didn't believe in. In those 10 seconds or so, I realized two things.

First off, I realized that I had no respect for that man or his cause. That, and that I hated what he was doing. Both of my grandfathers and my father all spent a lot of time risking their lives in defense of that flag and everything that it stands for.

Secondly, I realized that the United States has got to be the best country in the world.

OK. I know that this is an odd juxtaposition of emotions. As I watched this kid burn the flag, I realized that he was exercising more rights as an American than most of us ever do. Sure, most of us exercise our right to vote. And some of us may actually write a letter to one of our representatives to express an opinion. A few actually decide to make a real jump and run for office. But how many of us have stood up and expressed ourselves in this, or any other way? This guy took a position and decided that the best way to get his point across about his unhappiness is to burn the flag. While I, and quite a few other people in this country, despise his act, we have to realize that the Constitution does give this bonehead the right to express himself in ways that make the most of us want to pound him into the ground.

The funny thing about this whole situation is that the guy was burning the flag to protest the fact that the U.S. military is in Iraq and working to free the Iraqi people from a dictator that would have strung him up if he were to do the same thing there. While he has a right to do it here, maybe Sadam Hussein had the right idea in some respects. OK. Not really. But it is an interesting thought.

America... What a country!