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londovir- by iamsab

Correcting misleading information on "Loyalty Day" & the "Day of Prayer"

I did some checking, and as it turns out, both Loyalty Day and the National Day of Prayer were both instituted into public law decades ago and have been observed by the sitting president via proclamations ever since.

Oddly, in all this time, we are no closer to a theocratic police state than we were back then.

This only took me five minutes to check. Five minutes.
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*shrug* I wasn't really upset about either of them. I figured they were stupid hold overs from the fifties and the "Red Scare". I just find them amusing. Maybe someone else was confused about it, though.

Thanks for the rationality, hobsonphile.

Much as I respect my European friends and, indeed, all those expressing concern about where America is headed, it's important to remember that there are at least two sides to every issue. Hysteria serves no one but extremists. Whatever's wrong with America can, as of now, be fixed using the methods we've always used: free expression and democracy. Which, would you believe, we still have.

Comment from a hysterical European ;-)

Granted, the freedom of expression is officially still intact and leftist intellectuals are not being thrown into prison for making public statements criticizing government policies. However, if it comes to suppressing unwelcome political opinions, there is also a broad range of *subtle* methods.

Censorship doesn't always have to be enforced with a sledge hammer. In fact, 20th century history is full of cases in which the creation of a political climate indirectly encouraging self-censorship has proven to be way more successful than any official, "real" censorship could ever have been.

(Please believe me when I say I know what I'm talking about. I spent an entire semester of academic research on the subject and also did a summer internship at an international science project on film censorship during the Weimar Republic)

One of the most important aspects involved probably is the power of money. Since publishing houses and film companies largely depend on the commercial success of their products, it is quite reasonable for them to favour only those projects which appear "commercially safe".

Whether there are any connections between Bush and Disney's decision on Moore's film, or not, doesn't really matter. What counts is the fact that Disney *felt* it was financially unsafe for them to support the distribution of Moore's movie under the current government.

Comment from a fascist American. ;)

In fact, 20th century history is full of cases in which the creation of a political climate indirectly encouraging self-censorship has proven to be way more successful than any official, "real" censorship could ever have been.

Indeed, that's true. As a matter of fact, this is happening in America's university system right now- only it's coming from the left. (And believe me, I know what I'm talking about. As I said, I'm a sort of a student of First Amendment case law. Not in an official sense, but for my own interest.) An argument could also be made that the climate on Live Journal encourages self censorship. However, I'm not prepared to argue that the maintainers of Live Journal run a police state.

Feelings and penumbras do not a police state make. And, you know, I was in the Barnes & Noble just yesterday, and from the looks of things, there are a number of publishing houses that are publishing anti-Bush tomes quite cheerfully. Also, a number of Hollywood celebs continue to openly express anti-Bush views. You'd think, if we were truly in danger, that more people in the print and visual media business would be running scared. But in point of fact, many in the media are flying their anti-Bush colors like a banner and so far have suffered no ill effects- except, perhaps, for the criticism of disgruntled Bush supporters.