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CSotD: Holiday Eve

The Founders in Christopher Weyant‘s cartoon ask a very good question, though I might like it better if he’d left out the elephant and allowed the question to hang in the air.

It’s his fantasy, mind you, but, of course, the Republicans weren’t around in those days, and we know how people who have never studied history like to pick out obvious details and use them to deny otherwise valid arguments.

Those Republicans, for instance, like to call themselves the “Party of Lincoln” and point out how Democrats defended slavery and opposed Civil Rights, which is true, but, while Weyant plays with history to make a point, that’s not the same thing as playing with it to avoid a point.

 

 

Or simply getting it wrong. Whatever point Mike Lester (AMS) is aiming to make here is obscured by his misquoting Justice Holmes, who noted that it would be a violation of free speech to FALSELY cry fire in a crowded theater and touch off a needless panic.

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with alerting people to an actual danger and several forced-pregnancy states are pondering ways to keep pregnant women from seeking abortions in places where it is legal.

Also, Holmes was only remarking on a decision, not outlining a law. The 1919 decision he was discussing was Schenck v US, in which SCOTUS upheld the conviction of a man for a pamphlet encouraging people to resist the draft.

It seems an obvious violation of the First Amendment — as does the jailing of Eugene Debs for speaking out against the war — and the Court reversed its thinking later.

Well, we see that the Court has the right to change its mind, certainly, but, as noted, and as Holmes intended to note, there’s a difference between touching off needless panic and alerting people to an actual danger.

The latest wrinkle is that Texas Atty. General Paxton wants to fine companies $100,000 for picking up the cost of women leaving the state to seek legally available abortions elsewhere, which is an example of Big Government controlling private industry, or — as those of us who didn’t sleep through eighth grade social studies would call it — “Communism.”

 

Meanwhile, Frank Mariani points out that people have crossed state lines for years to purchase firecrackers, bring them back and set them off in places where they aren’t legal.

I’ve noted the young drinkers who crossed state lines to drink in New York when the drinking age there was 18, who, like those seeking abortions, were not breaking the law in the places where they went, and I don’t know why you should be able to prosecute someone for an action taking outside your jurisdiction.

That’s different than Mariani’s accusation that states wink at people who return in possession of something it is illegal for them to possess there.

If we wink at people illegally possessing firecrackers or marijuana purchased elsewhere, how can we turn around and try to prosecute people who haven’t broken our local laws?

Well, the answer is “hypocrisy” and “Big Brotherism” and stuff like that.

A few years ago, we’d be confident knowing that the Supreme Court would laugh them out of the building, but the Ministry of Truth is currently holding an unbreakable 6-3 majority.

BTW, I wasn’t old enough to take notes at the Birchers assembly in our school, but I do remember that “freedom of travel” was one of the things they warned us the Commies would take away if we didn’t fight the Soviets.

Now we’re being told that Ukraine should knuckle under and so should we.

Times sure do change, don’t they?

 

Juxtaposition of George III

(Michael Ramirez – Creators)

(Pat Bagley)

I didn’t know that there were any restrictions on gun ownership under English rule in the colonies, but, then, I didn’t know George III was the kind of libtard who drank frappucinos. I suspect Ramirez is attempting to resuscitate the old argument that we need guns to fight the Central Jackbooted Gummint.

Y’know: The one that restricts people from traveling to other states, the one that imposes fines and tax burdens on private companies that show disloyalty. The one that wants to outlaw homosexual relationships, restrict reproductive rights, pull books from library shelves and dictate what can be taught in schools.

That Central Jackbooted Gummint.

Bagley is closer, though colonial America had a wide range of religious observances across the colonies, and not all of it Christian. Still, England did “establish” the Church of England in what became the United Kingdom, demanding taxes to support the Church even from those who were not congregants.

So his history remains a little foggy, but at least it’s not patently false, and he’s absolutely right that their experience under England inspired the Founders to demand and create a wall separating church and state, even though they didn’t mention it in the Declaration of Independence.

 

22 Glorious Years!

David Horsey points out the bitter divisions in our nation this Independence Day, and his use of the flag reminded me of a column I wrote back in 1990 about a dingbat in our circle who — 20 years earlier — had tried to burn the flag.

Then, when I went online to find the original date, I discovered how different the world looked 22 years ago, as evidenced by the editorial page of the Press-Republican, June 25, 1990.

The lead editorial was about a noted limelight chasing blowhard and bullshit artist who was defaulting on his debts.

Below it was a column by the always-insightful Pat Buchanan:

Meanwhile, Trump — who, let us remember, was only a gloryhound, not a political figure — was also taking his hits on Doonesbury:

While above my column on the foolishness of outlawing flag-burning was a cartoon by Pat Oliphant, mocking a Senator’s attempt to do just that:

Yes. Yes he did. Here’s the story from back then and here’s a relatively recent update on the attempt.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote then, all of which I stand by today.

 

To which I add my best wishes for Independence Day in an ever-changing, ever challenged, but hopeful and a so-far resilient nation.

 

 

(We’re all normal and we want our freedom!)

Community Comments

#1 Fred King
July/3/2022
@ 9:09 am

Speaking of flags reminded me of this gem from 1991:

HR 2723 IH
102d CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2723
To grant the United States a copyright to the Flag of the United States and
to impose criminal penalties for the destruction of a copyrighted Flag.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 20, 1991
Mr. TORRICELLI introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary
A BILL
To grant the United States a copyright to the Flag of the United States and
to impose criminal penalties for the destruction of a copyrighted Flag.

I’m not going to quote the whole thing, but you can find it at congress.gov. Mr Torricelli apparently forgot that (1) any publication from the US government, which seems to include the US flag, is public domain, and (2) just because it’s copyrighted doesn’t mean it’s illegal to burn it.

#2 Fred King
July/3/2022
@ 9:11 am

P.S. Apologies for the formatting.

#3 Stringer
July/3/2022
@ 11:31 pm

Is that 32 glorious years, in fact?

#4 Mike Peterson
July/4/2022
@ 3:57 am

Hey, Stringer, I weren’t no math major.

#5 Mark B
July/4/2022
@ 8:33 am

Great column. You captured Slim nicely. I can just picture him. :)

Your professor neighbor reminded me of grad school. I rented the bottom floor of an old house. My landlord told me he rented to either all grad students or all undergrads, never both. If he mixed them, the grad students complained the undergrads were too noisy at night, and the undergrads would complain the grad students were too noisy in the morning. :)

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