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7 Reasons to Distrust Patriotic Snowmen

This week I received an odd piece of mail — one of those solicitations asking for a donation to some cause while providing a small, token gift. That strategy came from social science research indicating that the provision of a small gift leads to the feeling of obligation, which in turn leads to a higher […]

Should You Have To Get Permission To Make An American Flag?

This week, U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Ted Poe introduced H.R. 3713, a bill that would allow the U.S. federal government to place trademark registration protections on the American flag.

If the government claimed ownership over the trademark rights to the flag, they could require permission, and perhaps the payment of a fee, for anyone […]

Flag “Defenders”: Is this a Desecration?

This morning, while breaking up camp on Mount Desert Island, I noticed that someone had placed a small polyester American flag next to a water spigot. In the course of regular use, the water spigot had hit the soil, kicked up some of that soil, and in the process placed dirt on the American flag. […]

The Peace Flag Still Waves

Seen today: The flag of the united states of peace. As I took this photograph, a passerby stopped and asked, “What country is that from?”

“It could be from our own country,” I said.

Jon Tester Wants To Put The American Flag In A Cage

Across the USA, American flags are flying, unprotected.

The thought gives me shivers. What could happen to all those flags, and what would happen to the United States of America if it didn’t have those flags? It would be a disaster, a catastrophe. It would be worse than Godzilla tromping all over Dallas. Babies would […]

Conservative Media and Blogosphere to Nail Romney on Flag Pin Issue… any day now…

When Barack Obama failed to wear a lapel pin during the 2008 presidential race, FOX News went ape over it:

The conservative blogosphere couldn’t stop talking about it for months. Flag pin, flag pin, flag pin, flag pin, flag pin.

So surely Michelle Malkin, Pamela Gellar, FOX News and the gang will be rolling […]

The Irrational Racism Of Theodore Roosevelt

It’s not just current politicians who have spoken in code to appeal to sentiments favored by the KKK. Theodore Roosevelt used the meme of One Country One Flag One Language so habitually that he eventually began to roll the ideas out automatically without realizing the absurd inconsistency of demanding loyalty against foreigners while insisting on the use of a language of foreign origin. […]

Where the Hoaxes Live: the overlapping Geography of Obama Urban Legends

Google Correlate is a new research tool used to find out where in the United States the entry of certain search terms is concentrated, and which search terms’ levels of popularity are correlated with one another across the 50 states. The first idea is pretty straightforward: where are people more or less likely to be […]

Flag Fun With Sarah Palin

This week, Sarah Palin signed her name on an American flag, and endorsed a West Virginia politician in an election in Pennsylvania. […]

Free Speech Joe Wilson Opposes Free Speech

In response to Rep. Joe Wilson‘s shout of “You Lie!” to President Barack Obama during his health care reform speech last night, right-wing Americans have come out of the woodwork to defend Wilson’s right to free speech:

Pat:

Actually, I applaud Joe! We still have FREE SPEECH in this country

Say Anything:

Now we can […]

Preserving Freedom of Expression or Property Rights? For GOP, It Depends

There are circumstances in which the rights of Americans come into conflict with one another, and when that happens people will tend to differ on the priority of one right over another. Take property rights and freedom of expression, for instance. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees Americans’ freedom of speech. But […]