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Forbidden words and symbols in “The Land of the Free”

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  • Tue, Jun 30, 2015 - 06:51pm



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    Forbidden words and symbols in “The Land of the Free”

The "thought police" seem to be out in force in recent weeks in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Groups are gathering on July 4th in NYC to burn American flags, demand the disarmament of the NYPD, and in general advocate for the complete transformation of US law and culture. No doubt, armed NYPD officers will be present to make sure the protesters are not harmed by anyone who might disagree with their message or methods.

All of a sudden, there's a surge of interest in banning the Confederate flag, not to mention statues, plaques, and toys that have anything to do with the US Confederacy.  Walmart, that freedom-loving bastion of Constitutional wisdom, got into the act by banning the Confederate flag (on a cake!) but had no trouble with the ISIS flag on a cake.  Perhaps they should publish a list of forbidden words and symbols, and update it by the hour.

James Madison and Thomas Jefferson are rolling over in their graves.

But there are still plenty who understand the wisdom and values undergirding the Bill of Rights and stand up for them, though it seems our numbers are shrinking.

From John Whitehead:

And from Bill Whittle:

The "center cannot hold." Indeed.

  • Wed, Jul 01, 2015 - 06:24am



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Your post oversimplifies a couple of things, such as:

1.  people burning American flags = thought police

While I don't support burning the flag, nor is it something I would do, the Supreme Court has ruled that burning the flag is part of our 1st Amendment Rights.  So, how is flag burning by individuals (no matter what we may think of them) an example of forbidden symbols or thought police?  If anything, flag burning seems like an extreme example of how the Bill of Rights protects people's freedom.

2.  The Confederate flag example.

No matter what you or I may think about how the Confederate flag is used as a symbol and what it means, Walmart's decision to ban the Stars and Bars is the decision of a private company.  They also banned Dixie Chicks CD's after that band made some unpatriotic comments during the time of the Iraq War.  Whether Walmart decides not to sell something is their business, and since I try not to shop there anyway, I tend not to be overly concerned about what they do.  

To my knowledge, the Stars and Bars is still flying on the ground of the South Carolina state capitol bldg.  Where are the thought police that you refer to, seeking to take away people's right to display a Confederate Flag?

3.  WWJD (What would Jefferson do?)

People like to assert that Jefferson, Madison, and other US founders would have liked this or disliked that.  The reality is more complicated.  Are you talking about the Jefferson who wrote that all men are created equal, or the Jefferson who supported the French Revolutionaries, much to the chagrin of Adams and many of the other founders, the Jefferson who borrowed money to fund the Louisiana Purchase, the Jefferson who allowed his political operators to engage in deceptive and slanderous lies about Adams (who, to a great extent, returned the favor) during the campaign of 1800, or the Jefferson who not only owned slaves but mismanaged his estate to the extent that they had to be sold – not freed – when he died in order to cover his debts?  Each of the founding fathers, like all of us, were complex people, especially when you look at them over time.  

I'd like to know why you think that Walmart banning Conf. flag sales would have Jefferson or Madison rolling over in their graves.

4.  The video

Um, it's more of an angry tirade than any type of deep and educational look at the background of political correctness.  If you're trying to help people understand the origins of PC, I would offer a more reputable source, as this one is clearly not attempting to understand or explain, but rather to convince and inflame. 



  • Fri, Jul 03, 2015 - 08:49pm



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    Some businesses NOT free to NOT serve some people

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a preliminary ruling today ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple they denied service.

“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” Avakian wrote. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.”

In the ruling, Avakian placed an effective gag order on the Kleins, ordering them to “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs.

“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which has since closed, wrote on their Facebook page. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech…”

“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Avakian wrote.

(Photo: Alex Anderson/Facebook)

(Photo: Alex Anderson/Facebook)

The Kleins’ lawyer, Anna Harmon, was shocked by the provision.

“Brad Avakian has been outspoken throughout this case about his intent to ‘rehabilitate’ those whose beliefs do not conform to the state’s ideas,” she told The Daily Signal. “Now he has ruled that the Kleins’ simple statement of personal resolve to be true to their faith is unlawful. This is a brazen attack on every American’s right to freely speak and imposes government orthodoxy on those who do not agree with government sanctioned ideas.”

Maybe if the bakers were a huge multinational corporation like Walmart they could get away with such a blasphemy.

  • Fri, Jul 03, 2015 - 09:32pm



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    deceptive article

Though the fine seems excessive to me, the injunction does not.

Assuming the quote from Avakian is correct, it says 

“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” 

Their free speech rights about their beliefs are not affected.  They could post signs saying that they disagree with homosexual lifestyle and that they would prefer not to do business with such individuals.  They just can't refuse to do business with them, nor can they say that they will not do business with them.

They maintain freedom of religion and speech, they can believe however they want and they can express those beliefs.   What they can't do is assert that they follow a commercial behavior that is contrary to the law.  A parallel would be that you can't post a sign saying you won't serve blacks.  You can hang a confederate flag on your wall, you dress in a KKK costume behind the register and you can spout whatever racist nonsense you want.  But, when a black person enters your store you have to serve them.  

We had a computer repair shop in the town where I live that was situated at the center of a major "T" intersection.  The proprietor started posting extreme right wing slogans in his store window.  His location was such that virtually everyone in town saw it every time they went downtown.  Many people found it offensive.  I know people who were offended enough that they took their business elsewhere.  After a couple years he closed up shop.  I have to assume that his business fell off enough that he couldn't keep it going.


  • Fri, Jul 03, 2015 - 10:00pm



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    “Freedom” of Religion

Well, it's going to get interesting when someone asks a Muslim baker to bake a cake with an image of Mohammad on top.  Heck, if I knew a Muslim bakery I might even make the request myself just to see if the progressives are willing to hold the standard to all.

  • Sun, Jul 19, 2015 - 03:56pm



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    Wesley Clark Comments on What We Must Do….

I'd like to ask others what they make of this:

The interview appears to be a "set piece" where the question is scripted and giving the interviewee a chance to carefully think through his resonse.  What is the function of this comment.  A trial balloon?

Is a shift in policy being set up by another "lone deranged gunman" story?

  • Sun, Jul 19, 2015 - 04:13pm



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    Yeah, it kind of strikes me that way too, Sand_Puppy

Yeah, it kind of strikes me that way too, Sand_Puppy.

Welcome Minority Report to a democratic country near you!

  • Sun, Jul 19, 2015 - 11:16pm



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    Dept of future crime?

For all the surveillance that goes on we sure have a very poor record for identifying mass murderers in advance (Islamic or otherwise). We only seem to catch the occasional loser who it appears the FBI practically has to lead by the hand with an undercover "coach" to make an arrest. I'd like to ask Clarke if he can point to even one case in which our surveillance and security assets caught a legitimate threat in advance whose success we can build on. And my follow up question would be: factoring in all the costs associated with these efforts, how many billions of dollars does that average out to per plot stopped?

My rhetorical question regarding Chattanooga is: "Whose flag do we take down in response?"

And I have one correction for Clarke. Islamic extremists are in a war against us. We haven't really committed to waging war against them (despite all the rhetoric). How else can one explain our military personnel being unarmed as a (politically correct) policy in a situation where our enemy has promised these attacks and has been keeping that promise over and over?

  • Mon, Jul 27, 2015 - 10:37pm



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    Thought crime crusade by Gen. Clark

Couldn't have said it better myself:

Gen. Clark isn’t a fascist, or a Fox News fire-breather: he’s a conventional liberal. He was a critic of the Iraq war, a favorite of the Daily Kos/Netroots Nation-types, and he once ran for President. Thankfully his campaign never did get off the ground.

The award-winning liberal blogger Heather “Digby” Parton is shocked by the General’s remarks: “I’ve always liked Clark,” she writes, scratching her head at how in blazes he could’ve said what he said. And apparently others of that crowd found it hard to believe as well: “People are arguing with me on Twitter that he couldn’t have said this,” Digby writes, “but he did.  If you still don’t believe me go watch the tape yourself.” 

Which just goes to show how clueless today’s liberals are about the authoritarian rootsof modern liberalism. They don’t know the slightest thing about the history of the New Deal and the war years: they don’t know that the “left” constituted the core of the War Party of that era, and they would rather not remember that it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt – the chief icon of paleo-liberalism – who set up the first and only internment camps in America into which he herded the entire Japanese-American population

Clark is here mis-stating what the camps were about and who was interned: the Japanese-American population as a whole was deemed a potential fifth column. It wasn’t necessary to express support for the Japanese empire as against the United States: their disloyalty was assumed simply because of their race. (For a visualillustration of how the liberal-left pushed this racist canard, take a gander at the wartime cartoons of Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Seuss Geisel, that icon of liberal “tolerance.”)

However, the Roosevelt administration did indeed prosecute American citizens because of their opposition to the war, and in doing so they created a unique legal theory in order to make the charge of “sedition” stick to anti-interventionists. The great “sedition” trial of 1944 saw 32 dissidents of various ideological colorations, including Lawrence Dennis, a former writer for The New Republic, charged with trying to cause insurrection in the armed forces.

This charge was facilitated with the help of Dillard Stokes, a Washington Postreporter, who, at the behest of the authorities, wrote to the defendants posing as an enlistee, asking for antiwar literature. Prosecutors made the case that the 32 defendants were engaged in a conspiracy to disrupt the armed forces by virtue of their ideas, even though many had never even met or communicated. Yet their lack of physical proximity was deemed irrelevant because their literature and speeches supposedly limned propaganda broadcast and published by the Axis powers, and therefore constituted a seditious conspiracy.

In short, the 32 defendants had committed a thought-crime.

This case was vigorously pursued by the Roosevelt administration at FDR’s insistence: indeed, the President started out many a cabinet meeting by looking askance at his Attorney General, Francis Biddle, and demanding to know “When are you going to prosecute the seditionists?” The left-wing press kept the pressure on a reluctant Biddle, and Biddle finally appointed as chief prosecutor O. John Rogge, a Communist Party fellow traveler who had visited the USSR as Stalin’s personal guest and laid a wreath at CP leader John Reed‘s Kremlin grave.

The trial opened with much fanfare just as the war was drawing to a close, but soon bogged down as defense attorneys made a mockery of the government’s “evidence” – which consisted of endless readings of the defendants’ propaganda, punctuated by presentations of Nazi, Fascist, and Japanese official statements, the idea being to illustrate a “seditious “conspiracy of ideas.”

Ominously, the first and second indictments named several antiwar members of Congress, as well as the 800,000-member America First Committee and several other generally conservative organizations as part of the “conspiracy,” but these were abandoned after the first prosecutor – William Power Maloney, an aggressive publicity hound – was dismissed from the case. The third indictment settled on the 32 defendants, consisting mostly of marginal figures, some outright cranks, Dennis, and Washington lobbyist Prescott Dennett, of the Make Europe Pay War Debts Committee

The trial dragged on for three years: it only ended when the judge died of a heart attack – perhaps brought on by the antics of the defense lawyers – and Rogge decided that the government’s “evidence” didn’t amount to a hill of beans. A mistrial was declared and the defendants were finally freed. Smeared and impoverished by the trial, they never received any restitution.

The same “legal” theory was used by the Roosevelt administration to prosecute the leadership of the Socialist Workers Party, the leading Trotskyist party in the US at the time: the SWP leaders were convicted – to the cheers of the “liberals” and the Communists, who at this time were joined together in a “Popular Front” – and sent to jail

What Gen. Clark is proposing is simply the old “liberal” program in wartime. And it is based on the concept of “thoughtcrime” straight out of George Orwell’s classic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. One doesn’t’ have to actually break the law in order to come up against the authorities: one only has to think “hate-thoughts.” That’s the whole rationale behind “hate crime” laws, and it’s easy to translate that precedent into the “terrorism-prevention” measures favored by Clark. 

It is a settled dogma of modern liberalism that the government has an interest in promoting – and preventing – the predominance of certain ideas. “Tolerance” is to be commended, commanded, and encouraged, while “hate” is to be condemned, outlawed, and, if possible, prevented from raising its head. One can see how this principle was applied by FDR, Rogge, and the Department of Justice in the wartime America of the 1940s. And it’s fairly easy to see how it is applied today, when yet another disdained minority – with whom, as Clark puts it, “we are at war” – becomes the object of a witch hunt.

  • Tue, Jul 28, 2015 - 12:45am


    Arthur Robey

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    The Swastika.

I am of the opinion that the swastika should be allowed to be displayed whenever and wherever with police protection.

If people are offended that is their concern. People often offend me and I am required by law to suck it up and behave. Why should I be singled out for special treatment just because I wish to display an ancient and revered symbol of my people?

Should I rant and rave because the Jews proudly display their Star of David, of which they are rightly proud? Or the Muslims their Crescent?

Why then the ban on My people only?

Before you open your mouth to speak of the horrors of the National Socialist Party please use this video to purge your ingested propaganda.

And don't even think that you have the moral high ground to wave your finger at me and say "tut tut Naughty, naughty."

What was done and is being done to My people is an unspeakable horror, and demands my voice. Anything less would make a mockery of my manhood.

Edit: And before anyone accuses me of supporting Hitler, I would have been an ardent supporter of Hindenburg, being of the firm belief that a nation should be led by an Ancient impartial, rich, aristocracy that has its roots deep in the history of their people. 

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