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“…. Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good as well as by evil men. Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon but at other times and places the ends have been racial or territorial security, support of a dynasty or regime, and particular plans for saving souls. As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accomplishment must resort to an ever-increasing severity. As governmental pressure toward unity becomes greater, so strife becomes more bitter as to whose unity it shall be. Probably no deeper division of our people could proceed from any provocation than from finding it necessary to choose what doctrine and whose program public educational officials shall compel youth to unite in embracing. Ultimate futility of such attempts to compel coherence is the lesson of every such effort from the Roman drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of its pagan unity, the Inquisition, as a means to religious and dynastic unity, the Siberian exiles as a means to Russian unity, down to the fast failing efforts of our present totalitarian enemies. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard….”

“….If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us….”

– Justice Robert Jackson, WEST VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION ET AL. v. BARNETTE ET AL., 319 U.S. 624 (1943).

Last night:

Oregon Ducks hoopers hold hands up during national anthem before game against Ole Miss

December 07, 2014 at 5:28 PM, updated December 07, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Two Oregon Ducks men’s basketball players held their hands up during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner before a game against Ole Miss….


The actions are thought to be demonstrations linked to recent federal grand juries decisions to not indict police officers who had slain two African-American men, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York….


The self-righteous indignation in some of the comments under the news story are priceless.


Barack Obama and “The Star Spangled Banner” (October 24, 2007)

Those who ignore history are, well….stupid (October 25, 2007)

And you shall know them by their deafening silence (July 1, 2009)

Back home again in Indiana: a modest solution to our universal school funding crisis (January 1, 2012)