MoveOn.org Bullies Crack Down on Critics
MoveOn.org, the left-wing extremists who bashed the
commander of American forces in Iraq as a traitor,
should get out of the political kitchen. The George
Soros-funded hitmen can`t stand even a bit of heat from
Mom-and-Pop retailers who tried selling T-shirts and
mugs on the Internet critical of the
"General Betray Us" smear ads
against Gen. David Petraeus.
I heard from one of the independent T-shirt sellers
MoveOn.org last week. The seller is a lifelong
Democrat and member of the military. Incensed by the
attack on Gen. Petraeus, the retailer
opened up a shop at online store CafePress. The
homemade designs at the
PoliStew Cafe were stark and simple: "Move Away
from Move On!" "MoveOn.org NoFriend to Dems."
"General Petraeus has done more for this country than
For daring to raise a voice and raise some money for
the troops (all proceeds from the sale of his items go
to the National Military Family Association charity),
this T-shirt seller earned the wrath of MoveOn.org`s
lawyers. MoveOn.org chief operating officer Carrie Olson
brought down the sledgehammer. She sent a
cease-and-desist letter to CafePress demanding that
PoliStew Cafe`s items and other anti-MoveOn.org
merchandise be removed from the store.
warned: "We have been alerted to an entire page
of items on your website that infringes on our
registered trademark, and we request that you remove all
items immediately, and ask the poster to refrain from
shipping any items purchased on this webpage. We also
request that you give us contact information for the
company / person who posted the items. This content has
certainly NOT been authorized by anyone at MoveOn.org,
nor anyone affiliated with MoveOn."
Unacceptable speech: Little old mugs and hoodie
sweatshirts gently satirizing the thin-skinned,
The pretextual copyright infringement claims are
downright laughable. This isn`t about protecting
MoveOn.org`s property rights. It`s about shutting up
citizens who don`t have the deep pockets to defend
themselves against frivolous claims by bullies in
progressive clothing. Sane liberals should be ashamed at
such free speech-squelching efforts. As Los Angeles
Times blogger Jon Healey, the only other mainstream
cover the crackdown, notes:
"Trademark law doesn`t
confer monopoly rights over all uses of a registered
phrase or symbol, however, and it wasn`t created simply
to protect the trademark owner`s interests. Instead,
it`s designed to protect consumers against being misled
or confused about brands. The courts have repeatedly
ruled in favor of parodies and critiques; that`s why
www.famousbrandnamesucks.com doesn`t violate
famousbrandname`s trademark. And most, if not all, of
the items targeted by MoveOn were clearly designed to
razz it, not to trick buyers into thinking they were the
CafePress refused to give in on several of the items.
But the speech-chilling message is clear: Parody
MoveOn.org and they`ll threaten to hunt you down and sue
you. The PoliStew Cafe operator took down the pro-Petraeus,
anti-MoveOn.org shirts and replaced them instead with
merchandise referring to
"THE GROUP THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED." An army
of MoveOn mockers online has published photoshopped
logos ("MoveOut.org," "MoveOn.org: Surrender
in Action") in solidarity—daring the far-left
lawyers to sue them.
Edward Padgett, a Los Angeles blogger who spread the
word about MoveOn`s attempt to silence critics,
laments: "For several years I have found
MoveOn.org to be an inspirational anti-war group, but
the past few weeks they have been an embarrassment to
all Americans with their attacks upon President Bush and
General Petraeus. I subscribe to the MoveOn newsletter,
and even considered hosting an anti-war rally in San
Dimas, but now I want no part of this radical group and
will remove my name from their newsletter subscription .
. . I guess to MoveOn, the First Amendment is only for
Dissent-silencing tactics approved, apparently, by
the MoveOn.org Democrats who are too busy
bashing Rush Limbaugh to notice the gagging of
ordinary citizens on their own side of the political
Welcome to George Soros`s America.
Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores.
here for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
here for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "Unhinged:
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."
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