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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Yeah, it kind of strikes me that way too, Sand_Puppy.
Welcome Minority Report to a
democratic country near you!
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?
Couldn't have said it better myself:
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.