Bullies Crack Down on Critics, 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
targeted by
 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!"
" 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`s
lawyers. 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
merchandise be removed from the store.


: "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,
nor anyone affiliated with MoveOn."

Acceptable speech to Likening President
Bush to

Adolf Hitler
, as they did in


Unacceptable speech: Little old mugs and hoodie
sweatshirts gently satirizing the thin-skinned,
left-wing mafia.

The pretextual copyright infringement claims are
downright laughable. This isn`t about protecting`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
journalist to

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 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
group`s products."

CafePress refused to give in on several of the items.
But the speech-chilling message is clear: Parody and they`ll threaten to hunt you down and sue
you. The PoliStew Cafe operator took down the pro-Petraeus, shirts and replaced them instead with
merchandise referring to

An army
of MoveOn mockers online has published photoshopped
logos ("," " 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,

: "For several years I have found 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
the rich."

Dissent-silencing tactics approved, apparently, by
the 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

for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click

for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.