Tuesday, November 28, 2006

We Have A Lot of Thought Police These Days....


I'm sure there are incidents many of us never hear of, but two situations of recent times have become high profile enough to make the news.

On a 3-2 vote, the town council in Pahrump, Nevada, (town of about 30,000 near Las Vegas) passed an ordinance that makes it illegal to display a foreign flag unless an American flag is flown above it. Those in violation face a $50 fine and 30 hours of community service.

Meanwhile, in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, the Loma Linda Homeowners Association decided Lisa Jensen could not keep her holiday wreath with a peace sign on her home. Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association sent her a letter that said the association "will not allow signs, flags etc.That can be considered divisive." He has threatened to fine her $25 a day until she removes it.

Have we not progressed any further than this? That people in roles of authority are still trying to mold everyone into the same shape, the same thought process and tell us what is and isn't "correct"? Can a great nation lacktolerancee? Isn't that what this nation was founded upon? People came here because they did not want to be told how to worship.

I expect this kind of rule in closed societies. Such coercive measures as censorship and forced subordination are trademarks of totalitarian rule. In thesesocietiess, free expression, the arts, the free exchange of ideas and knowledge arecontrolledd or restricted altogether. Yet, there are people who seem to feel this is the only way that they can protect this country. They feel the urge to "clean" and "purge" it of whatever they fear. Have we not learned lessons from the past? From the histories of Hitler and Stalin?

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*[Note - picture above is a photo taken recently along the bank of the Missouri River]
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