The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

May 15, 2006 by scott (2)

The LA Times sends us an anniversary card from A. Mitchell Palmer:
May 15, 1923: Upton Sinclair, a crusading writer, climbed the steps of a platform that striking dockworkers had built atop what they named Liberty Hill in San Pedro.
As someone held a candle for illumination, Sinclair began reading the Bill of Rights, making no reference to the 600 dockworkers who had recently been arrested for striking.
Sinclair only got as far as the first three lines of the 1st Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, before he was arrested. The incident would lead to the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
Generalissimo Arbusto
When presented with the first ten amendments to the Constitution at the end of a recent fundraising dinner, an irate President George W. Bush called the Bill of Rights “outrageous!” and said, “I won’t pay it! Why, I can get half these rights in Uzbekistan for the same price, and they’ll throw in the dissident-boiling for free!”

4 Responses to “plus c’est la meme chose…”

I can see it now:
“Bill Of Rights: Was 10, now discounted to 9.99!”
Gives a chilling new tone to the oft-heard informercial question:
Now how much would you pay?
Wasn’t that a famous story from the 1960s? I remember some teenagers typed out the Bill of Rights and tried to get people to “sign our petition”. Chillingly, they did NOT all do so!
It’s worse than that. It’s been done more than once where a teacher would send students to malls with the bill of rights written in the form of a petition and people not only wouldn’t sign, but called them communists.
Maureen Farrell wrote a piece last year citing competing quotes from media, congress, Bushco, historians and the founding fathers. In the course of the article she mentions this:
In the early 1950s, Madison’s Capital Times editor John Patrick Hunter took to the streets with a petition, (which was actually the Declaration of Independence, along with portions of the Bill of Rights) and tried to get people to sign it. Only one in 112 did. The rest found it too subversive.
* In May, 1956, Senator A.V. Watkins (R-Utah) “was almost bowled over” when, during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on a new sedition law, an attorney for Americans for Democratic Action cited one of Thomas Jefferson�s more colorful quotes: “I hold that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing.” Watkins responded, “If Mr. Jefferson were here and advocated such a thing, I would move that he be prosecuted.”
* After some California state employees refused to allow statements from the Bill of Rights to be posted because they were too controversial, Chief Justice Earl Warren admitted: “It is straws in the wind like this which cause some thoughtful people to ask the question whether ratification of the Bill of Rights could be obtained today if we were faced squarely with the issue.”
* Years ago, historian Charles S. Beard noted that, “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.”"
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