by SL’s Rant (Stephanie Land)
Burning the American flag is not “speech”, it is an “act”! It is not “symbolic speech. Symbolic speech may be expressing emotion- crying, screaming, cheering, waving, scowling, etc.. But starting a fire is in no way, shape or form – “speech or expression”!
Our great flag figuratively represents our “UNITED STATES”. As citizens and legalized immigrants we “PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE to the FLAG of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God…”
Each of the stripes represents the 13 original colonies, each star, a state. When a person burns the American flag, they are figuratively burning down & destroying, our country!!
It is a destructive act against this country’s primary symbol of freedom and patriotism that the men & women in our military have historically looked too with pride, giving them the additional courage and motivation to stand and defend our homeland (and others), and all it stands for as outlined in our constitution and associated documents, when things are the most dire (e.g. The Iwo Jima Memorial).
Patriotism is a country’s greatest weapon! Those who wish to destroy our country know this very well.
Remove patriotism and you no longer have a military willing to defend the country. With no military to defend it, you soon have no country.
That’s been the effect since the law was passed, in 1989, making it legal to burn the flag.
For 213 years it was ILLEGAL to burn the American flag (for the reasons I stated)! It’s been legal for the past 30 years and look what’s happened to our country since then! People have not only lost respect for our country, they have lost respect for each other. When the flag is respected, citizens are proud to be Americans and they respect fellow Americans.
If a person’s reason for burning the flag is that it’s their freedom of expression then they are idiots, because they are burning the symbol that represents their freedom of expression!
By burning the flag, the “symbolic expression” being voiced is a protest AGAINST our freedoms, against our rights! That’s idiotic!
If there is an issue to protest or something can be done to make our country better, address THAT issue directly -not symbolically with acts of hatred! Hatred never results in anything positive.
Laws prohibiting the desecration of the flag were only RECENTLY struck down by the US Supreme Court in 1989! Since that time patriotism in our country has also been “struck down”.
On June 21, 1989, a deeply divided United States Supreme Court upheld the rights of protesters to burn the American flag in a landmark First Amendment decision.
In the controversial Texas v. Johnson case, the Court voted 5-4 in favor of Gregory Lee Johnson, the protester who had burned the flag. Johnson’s actions, the majority argued, were symbolic speech, political in nature, and could be expressed even at the expense of our national symbol and to the affront of those who disagreed with him.
Since then, there have been 7 attempts to amend the United States Constitution to prevent the desecration of the flag, but those attempts and others, like legislation then-Senator Hillary Clinton co-sponsored in 2006, have failed.
As Mackenzie Celum said:
“I consider flag-burning to not only be an ineffective way to express disagreement, but toxic as well. More than that, I believe it to be a hate crime. Yes, it makes an obvious statement, but at the heart of it, all it truly exhibits is hatred for our country. I would even go so far as to question if flag-burning ought to be judged as treason. Furthermore, this act could be considered a form of violence, as it encourages a “mob mentality.” Could this easily lead to even more violent actions? I would argue that yes, it easily could. This quickly sparks a chain reaction of chaos that cannot easily be contained.”
Our troops sacrifice their lives to defend our rights. There is no greater action of disrespect and disregard towards them and the institution of our military than to burn the epitome of those rights.
“Reverence for the flag is ingrained in every schoolchild who has quailed at the thought of letting it touch the ground, in every citizen moved by pictures of it being raised at Iwo Jima or planted on the moon, in every veteran who has ever heard taps played at the end of a Memorial Day parade, in every gold-star mother who treasures a neatly folded emblem of her family’s supreme sacrifice.”
— TIME’s Walter Isaacson
It’s wrong that the above is no longer true for some well-meaning, but mis-guided people.
I’ll end here with a link to an article that describes the meaning of the American flag.
05/29/2014 by Tyler Durden
While the “use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” The Washington Times uncovering of a 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans. As one defense official proclaimed, “this appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens.” Meet Directive 3025.18 and all its “quelling civil disturbances” totalitarianism…
Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” was issued Dec. 29, 2010, and states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”
“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.
“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances” under two conditions.
The conditions include military support needed “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order.” A second use is when federal, state and local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”
A U.S. official said the Obama administration considered but rejected deploying military force under the directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters.
“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” the directive states.
Military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft. The directive states clearly that it is for engaging civilians during times of unrest.
There is one silver lining (for now)…
“Use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” the directive says.
And the full Directive is below…
BP announced it will commit $4 million to launch a new strategic partnership with The University of Texas at Austin to support several leading-edge oil and gas industry research projects, with the potential for increased contributions as new studies are identified in the future.
The unique collaboration between the two institutions, which highlights BP’s ongoing commitment to higher education and research, aims to develop real-world solutions to a number of technical challenges facing the global oil and gas industry, both onshore and offshore.
One initial area of focus is related to Project 20K™, a multi-year initiative announced by BP in early 2012 that seeks to develop next-generation systems and tools to help unlock the next frontier of deepwater oil and gas resources, currently beyond the reach of today’s technology. Accessing these resources is a key part of BP’s commitment to U.S. energy security.
The University of Texas’ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will work with the Project 20K™ team to study the impact of “human factors” on the drilling process and the potential for new systems that can enhance safety and efficiency. A second area of activity will be to develop a reliability assessment process for BP’s project team to use in quantifying the “system-level reliability” of Project 20K™ concepts.
Other joint research projects include one that seeks to improve recoveries from shale gas and oil formations through a deep investigation of fracturing fluids’ impact on well productivity. Another focuses on enhancing early detection of “kicks” – the sudden influx of hydrocarbons into a well – by using real-time well data and predictive models to better inform operational decisions, in support of BP’s commitment to safe and reliable operations.
“This is not just theoretical research,” said James Dupree, BP’s Chief Operating Officer, Reservoir Development & Technology. “Under this partnership, we are tackling real-world challenges that, if better understood, could have far-reaching impacts not only on BP but on the future of global energy development.”
Administered by a joint governance board, the program has established a rigorous process for selecting research projects that play to the university’s world-class strengths in engineering and geosciences as well as meet BP’s strategic business needs.
BP is funding research in the Cockrell School’s Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering.
“This partnership allows our faculty and graduate students to solve challenging, relevant problems in global energy development, to work collaboratively with leading scientists and engineers from BP, and to see how their solutions are implemented in a real-world setting,” said John Ekerdt, associate dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. “We look forward to the new interdisciplinary opportunities our researchers will have to develop technologies that will have a far-reaching societal benefit.”
While the agreement is initially focused on several specific research projects, the intent is to establish a long-term partnership between BP and the University of Texas that is beneficial to both and that could later result in increased funding. Successes in early projects will help build the basis for future collaboration, with the ultimate goal of taking the research and technologies developed through the program from the lab and into the field.
Press Release, November 01, 2013
W&T Offshore, Inc. announced that it has made a subsalt discovery in a deep shelf exploratory target beneath its Ship Shoal 349 “Mahogany” Field.
The SS 359 A-14 well has exceeded the Company’s expectations and is currently producing from the targeted T-Sand (in excess of 17,200′ total vertical depth), at an initial flow back rate of 3,030 barrels of oil per day and 5.6 million cubic feet of gas per day, for a total of approximately 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day (3,310 Boe per day net of royalty to W&T) with a flowing tubing pressure of approximately 9,400 psi surface pressure. The T-Sand is the deepest sand discovered in this field, as there is additional pay identified in the M-Sand, N-Sand, and O-Sand, all of which represent future reserve additions to the Company. The well also penetrated a thicker than expected P-sand interval (the main field pay sand) which will also serve as a future recompletion. In total, the A-14 well logged over 370 feet of net oil pay, with the T-Sand accounting for 108 feet of the total net pay. Success from the A-14 T-sand will stimulate additional drilling in 2014 to exploit the four newly discovered oil sands that were encountered in the A-14 well. W&T holds a 100% working interest in the field.
Tracy Krohn, W&T Offshore’s Chairman and CEO, stated, “Our exploration team utilized our subsalt imaging technology to identify and deliver this subsalt discovery which is a deep shelf exploration extension to our producing Mahogany Field. This new oil discovery is part of our organic growth plan and adds substantial value to the Company. We found a very high quality oil sand in the T-sand reservoir with great flow characteristics. Another key value driver on this project is our ability to produce this discovery immediately through our existing infrastructure at Mahogany. We are evaluating additional targets in this highly prolific field based upon our continuing success and look forward to our next exploratory well at Mahogany, the A-15 well, which should begin drilling in in September.”
The platform rig at Mahogany is currently working on a major recompletion in the A-4 well, designed to bring a behind pipe P-Sand interval into production at an expected rate of 1,000 Boe per day, net of royalties to W&T with an anticipated production date of August or September. Following the A-4 recomplete the Company expects to spud the A-15 subsalt exploratory well, a multi-horizon target that is anticipated to encounter multiple stacked oil sand targets. The A-15 well is scheduled to reach total depth near the end of 2013 or early 2014 with a target IP rate of 1,390 Boe per day, net of royalty to W&T. The unrisked reserve potential associated with the A-15 well is anticipated to be in the range of 1.8 to 6.2 million Boe.
Shell’s massive Olympus tension leg platform (TLP) set sail from Ingleside, Texas on 14th July, for a 425 mile trek to its final home on the Mars Field in the Gulf of Mexico.
For 10 days, tugboats will transport the over 120,000 ton platform to the location where work will begin to secure the platform in place. The Olympus TLP will be moored to the seafloor by tendons grouped at each of the structure’s corners and will float in approximately 3000 feet of water.
The Olympus TLP is Shell’s sixth and largest tension leg platform and will provide process infrastructure for two of Shell’s deep water discoveries, West Boreas and South Deimos. The project also includes pipelines that will be routed through West Delta 143C, the recently installed shallow water platform.
The Olympus TLP is expected to start production in 2014, producing at a rate of 100k boe.
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. announced plans to construct an office building in downtown Houston to accommodate its business growth and expanding workforce in the world’s energy capital.
The 50-story, 1.7 million-square-foot building will be located at 1600 Louisiana Street at Pease. Together with Chevron’s existing properties at 1500 Louisiana and 1400 Smith, the buildings will comprise an urban campus with indoor and outdoor common areas, enhanced dining facilities, a fitness center, training and conference facilities, and additional parking.
“This announcement underscores Chevron’s long-term commitment to Houston and its role as the epicenter of the global energy industry,” said Bereket Haregot, president of Chevron’s Business and Real Estate Services division. “Houston plays a vital and growing role in Chevron’s global business. The new building and expanded urban campus will provide a first-rate work environment for our employees and help us remain the employer of choice.”
The headquarters of Chevron Corporation, the parent company of Chevron U.S.A., will remain in California, where they have been located for more than 130 years.
Final investment decision for the project, designed by HOK, is expected in the second quarter of 2014. Groundbreaking will follow final investment decision, and occupancy is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Press Release, July 4, 2013
Shell announces a successful exploratory well at Vicksburg in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well is located 75 miles (120 kilometers) offshore in the De Soto Canyon Block 393 in 7,446 feet (2,269 meters) of water. It was drilled to a total depth of 26,385 feet (8,042 meters) and encountered more than 500 feet (152 meters) of net oil pay.
In total, the Vicksburg “A” discovery is estimated to hold potentially recoverable resources of more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). It adds to the more than 500 mmboe of potentially recoverable resources that have already been discovered and appraised at the nearby Appomattox discovery. Vicksburg “A” is a separate accumulation from both Appomattox and the 2007 Vicksburg “B” discovery.
“The results of the Vicksburg well strengthen our existing deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration portfolio and should contribute to the nearby Appomattox discovery,” said Mark Shuster, Executive Vice President Shell Upstream Americas Exploration.
Shell (the operator with a 75% interest) and Nexen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, (25% interest), are following up the Vicksburg “A” well with a sidetrack well to test the Corinth prospect, a separate fault block from the Vicksburg discovery. Further exploration drilling targeting tie-backs to Appomattox will follow.
Press Release, July 03, 2013; Image: Shell