Here's the run down on how MoveOn, a group founded by some liberals from Berkeley who got rich in the tech industry (Berkeley Systems), tried to squelch the First Amendment.
On Wednesday, September 19, 2007, the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of MoveOn.Org, Carrie Olson, tried to suppress free speech by threatening CafePress with litigation over t-shirts critical of their media smear in major newspapers against General Petraeus.
MoveOn.Org demanded the names of the shopkeepers, as well as the immediate removal of all t-shirts bearing the name, "MoveOn." COO Carrie Olson and her staff chose to pick on shopkeepers selling fifteen buck t-shirts while ignoring their own actions of having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars taking out ads against General Petraeus.
Olson wrote to DanPontes, legal counsel for Cafe Press: “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.”
In other words, it was fine for them to exercise their use of the first amendment, but not anyone else.
What MoveOn forgot is that the Bill of Rights is for everyone.
What would be revealed in the media later, and in an article by Robert Cox in the Washington Examiner, MoveOn.Org also pulled the same punches with Google demanding all ads that contained their name be removed. Their claim was the words "MoveOn.Org" were trademarked, and any use of them constituted trademark infringement.
However, this was not true. Dan Pontes, lawyer for Cafe Press, battled back pointing out that political satire has a long history in our cultural history. By being a public entity MoveOn.Org should expect to be subjected to the same scrutiny, criticism and ridicule as any other current or past president, like the cartoon at right.
"While we understand that negative commentary is unsavory, our shopkeepers’ parodies of the MoveOn.org trademark are permissible here, especially when one considers the First Amendment implications raised by the social and political importance of your organization, the policies it advocates, and the countervailing messages conveyed by the parodies." -Daniel Pontes legal counsel for CafePress to Carrie Olson, MoveOn's chief operating officer.
There are links to more of the story on the sidebar.
You will always be able to buy a t-shirt.
On a personal note, MoveOn's misdeeds brought forth that the Democratic party is controlled by very wealthy elites from the Silicon Valley , who have little in common with the working class. Their grab for power is as intense as those of the far right. Their disconnect from the First Amendment was so repugnant, after years of not exactly voting a party ticket, I finally quit the Democratic Party.
Most Democrats think very little about the maneuverings of MoveOn. Instead, they will point out to you all the bad things Republicans have done. In other words, tit for tat. Well, that is how the political world works, however, it doesn't necessarily send anyone in a progressive direction. I have always thought that if you can't criticize your own side, then it's already too late. You should of gotten out of there a long time ago.
Their attack against General Petraeus was an attack against the military. It was a slur against every soldier, as well as the families and friends who support them. If Move On had done their homework, they would have found out that the General was one of the authors of the counter-insurgency (COIN) field manual, which was a collaborative effort by the military, pacifists, journalists, academics, and activists from around the world. It was written at Fort Leavenworth. Perhaps if they knew one iota about him, his work, and his vision, they would have thought hard and deep before going on the attack to belittle his character.
I believe in a strong, well supported military. I know soldiers to be selfless and courageous, and if those from MoveOn were ever threatened by violence, soldiers would fight for them --in fact, they'd die for them. I know from experience many of our soldiers have Baccalaureate, Master's degrees, Ph.D's, Ed.D's --disproving the stereotype the far left brings up time and again.
Soldiers should be treated with dignity, and never used as political pawns at election time. Unfortunately, most on the far left relegate the military to the scrap heap of humanity.
The time for this blog to become an archive has come. People from across the country found out about this due to the gracious efforts of Michelle Malkin, and we all raised money for the NMFA to send military kids to camp. Not only did people buy the shirts, with 100% of the profits going directly to the NMFA, others sent checks directly to their office. I know on our end alone, we raised over $400. Some good came out of this.
So Waitress Polly is hanging up her apron, and serving her last piece of pie. This blog will be a reminder of the sleazy business tactics and threats made by an organization that prides itself on being liberal.
Whether conservative or liberal each side must be their own toughest critic, as demagogues within either party get out of hand.
Please keep working on behalf of the soldiers,