FLAG DRENCHING UPDATE
The most recent case of flag drenching occurred in Flagstaff, Arizona. The 35 year old defendant, Stan Dowser appeared before Superior Court Judge William Garble. The defendant’s court appointed attorney looked rather despondent. Off the record he was heard to say, “Why do all my clients have to be crack pots?”
Mr. Dowser is accused of extinguishing the flames on an American flag which was set on fire by the plaintiff, Gerald Blaze. The prosecution seems to have a watertight case. Mr. Blaze purchased the flag with his own money so it was obviously his to burn. Furthermore Blaze was merely using his constitutional right of free expression. He was burning the flag, as he said, “Because some knuckle head police officer unjustly gave me a parking ticket.”
Judge Garble first used the fatherly approach with Dowser. He was explaining that flag burning was as American as baseball, apple pie and alcoholism. But Dowser went into some incoherent babble about the flag representing every citizen of the Republic and the noble values of it’s patriots. At that point Judge Garble silenced Dowser and took a sterner approach.
“Young man,” said Garble, “don’t you realize that I can give you up to 6 years in prison and $45,000 in fines for drenching a fire on an American flag?!” Mr. Dowser, by drenching the fire on that flag you show yourself to be a rebellious hoodlum, one who scoffs at the American way and is insensitive to the rights and feelings of flag burners.”
The defense is trying to put together an insanity plea. At any rate both defense and prosecution agree that Dowser may need serious reprogramming.
As a side light it should be noted that Judge Garble was hospitalized last night with second and third degree burns to his scalp. The Judge set fire to his hair in order to protest a bad haircut. He hoped this gesture would teach his barber a lesson. Garble’s neighbors speak in admiring and reverential terms of the venerable judge. Mrs. P.W. Doodle said the judge is a man of consistency in and our of the court room.
Steven C Johnson
PS President Obama has said that burning a Koran is “completely contrary to our values as Americans.” Yet, as Senator he said to prevent people from desecrating the American flag “would destroy part of freedom itself.”