Four Ethics Dunces And An Unethical Quote Of The Week Double Feature: The Wallingford, Connecticut Mayor And The Anti-Defamation League

Beware of Nazi fleas!

Beware of Nazi fleas!

“I had to check with the chief over what is actionable and what isn’t,” according to the mayor. “Unless something violates state or federal law, there’s no jurisdiction for government to do anything. We had to ask, is it something controlled by law?”

—-Wallingford, Connecticut Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr, explaining why his ignorance of Constitutional rights compelled him to check with the police after a hysteric freaked out over a flea market that was selling Confederate and Nazi themed items, and called 911 and the mayor’s office in a panic.

“It’s unfortunate that under the law people have the right to sell these things; but it doesn’t mean they should sell these things.” 

—-Joshua Sayles, assistant regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Connecticut, expressing his regret that the Constitution includes the First Amendment and a right to Free Speech.

The Wallingford resident who called 911 said he “was shaking and almost vomiting. I had to run.” He told 911 there were helmets with swastikas, images of Hitler and other historical Nazi items.  He complained that the Confederate items were “not authentic” and were replicas of flags and weapons.

The appropriate response to this individual is: grow up. People do things, like things, say things, believe things, sell things, buy things and think things you may not like, and your proper response if you are offended is to leave the scene,  put it out of your mind, make a personal complaint to the individual or individuals in question to express your disagreement if you feel you have to, and then go away.  You have no right to sic the law on them. You have no right to stop them. Calling 911 is an abuse of the service. Ethics Dunce #1.

The police should not have responded, though they did. There is no free speech or expression  if a citizen risks police harassment just for upsetting some political correctness-addled mental defective. Police chief William Wright said that “the reason no one was arrested was because the items were being sold on private property.” Well, the police already knew that. The caller had not alleged any threat or illegal activity. Ethics Dunce #2.

The Mayor, meanwhile, should have his high school diploma revoked. He has to ask whether selling stuff with swastikas and Confederate symbols is illegal? What is he, a Democrat? Ethics Dunce #3.

The worst is the Anti-Defamation League official, who know about the First Amendment, but just thinks it’s unfortunate. Ironic, since the Nazis had the same basic contempt for free speech that he does.

Ethics Dunce #4.


Facts: American Mirror

41 thoughts on “Four Ethics Dunces And An Unethical Quote Of The Week Double Feature: The Wallingford, Connecticut Mayor And The Anti-Defamation League

  1. It turns out that William W. Dickinson Jr. the Mayor of Wallingford is a Republican. What does this fact say the gratuitous comment: “What is he, a Democrat?” Some times you just have to resist the temtation for a cheap shot. Clinton and Obama provide more then enough material on their own!

    • The current mania to strip all offensive or supposedly offensive symbols, words, team names, school names, statues, jokes, etc., is overwhelmingly Democratic/progressive in theory and practice. Hence the comment. I knew he was a Republican. If he was Democrat, I wouldn’t have put it that way. Glad you got it. But there’s nothing gratuitous about it. There really are only two options for a mayor who acts like this: a Republican who’s an idiot, or a Democrat. Right?

  2. ““was shaking and almost vomiting. I had to run.”

    This kind of indoctrination cannot be undone.


    That people become physically ill over the sight of something “offensive”….I can’t even comprehend anyone, let alone an adult doing this, unless they were somehow the direct victims of nazis or confederates…

    • According to the article the guy’s grandmother was a holocaust survivor. All well and good, but the fact that your relative suffered seventy-five years ago doesn’t give you the right to dictate to someone now what he can or can’t have or do. This is like Maureen Dowd saying that the frankly insane Cindy Sheehan had “absolute moral authority” because her son chose to join the army and subsequently fell in the line of duty. Perhaps there should be a special category of dunce-ness for those who pimp out others’ suffering against those who didn’t actually inflict the suffering.

      • Yeah, I didn’t mention that specifically, because, frankly, I don’t see its relevance. My analolgy would be someone who demands the Red Skins change their name because their ancestors were slaughtered at Wounded Knee. OK, we get why you are emotionally unable to deal with certain concepts, opinions, tastes, images and ideas but that still doesn’t give you special powers of censorship to make the entire culture as pleasant as possible for his admittedly understandable neuroses.

        I had a very good friend who had been blacklisted as a screenwriter in Hollywood during the Red Scare. All of the Hollywood conservatives at the time were complicit in his eyes, and he would fly into a rant at the very mention of John Wayne. His existence in the culture infuriated him….I learned not to mention the Duke or any of his movies around him. The offense was deeply personal, and my friend was irrational about it—but if “Stagecoach” came on the TV, he didn’t call 911, causing an idiot police force to raid the studio to “investigate.” He changed the channel.

        • Gotcha, and I’m not second-guessing your decision as to what to mention initially, but, at least the way I see it, that’s additional context that I thought I would bring out before one of the local liberal ah, luminaries did and used it to attack you.

          I really despise people who act like your friend did. No, I take that back, he at least was personally affected by the Red Scare. I know third and fourth generation Irish Americans who are still fighting the Battle of the Boyne and hate the English. They are idiots, and your friend was acting like one. That’s the kind of person you allow to rant ONCE, and if he starts another rant, you cut him off, you tell him yes, you already know how he feels, you don’t need to be told again, and to either put a sock in it or leave.

          • I had a friend who’s distant ancestor came from Scotland. Probably around the early 1800s. For some reason she was madly in love with her Scottish “heritage”, though I’m certain not very much of her “pedigree” was Scottish.

            I know my Scottish ancestry is probably next to 0.

            Well, I was informed that her “clan” was loyal supporters of the Jacobites (whatever they are) in the early 1700s and that “my clan*” apparently supported whoever it was they were fighting against, and that my people are apparently disloyal because of it.

            All I could do was look at her with a stupid look on my face. I don’t think a rational comment would have made a difference.

            *she determined this based on last names or whatever and somehow my last name “belonged” to a “clan” or something. Really? That was 300 years ago and not only that it wasn’t America you loon. Plus, they wear dresses and pretend like they aren’t dresses by giving it an ethnic term like “kilt”. Nope. It’s a dress.

            • (To cut a solid peeyimlawrencing of this off at the pass, I know what Jacobites are and I know who they fought against and why, my comments opposite of that are designed to emphasize how little I cared in the context)

            • Hahaha, frankly it would shock a lot of Irish people if they knew their last names fell under Scottish clans (Lambe, Nesbitt, Sharpe, McFadden, etc.), and what is more, a lot of those Scottish noble clans: Bruce, Lamont, Balliol, et al, weren’t even native Scottish – they were French, part of the Norman invasion.

              The Jacobites are a long story, but permit this walking encyclopedia of history to explain briefly. Literally that means “supporters of James,” in this case James II, last of the Stuart kings, who was driven from the throne of England in 1688 by the Glorious Revolution. There continued to be support for the Stuarts’ return to the throne among the Highlanders and other Scots, also in certain areas of England, even after the last hope for a Stuart return ended with the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Both sides committed atrocities, like the Glencoe Massacre of 1692 (memorialized in a song).

              So, Tex, apparently your clan, whoever they may have been, or at least the name, were attached to the Hanoverian cause, meaning those who sided with the incoming House of Hanover and eventually ended the Stuart cause 250+ years ago. Your friend is gnawing on some pretty old bones, although the cause of Scottish independence was enjoying a resurgence last year.

              • “Hahaha, frankly it would shock a lot of Irish people if they knew their last names fell under Scottish clans “

                When Braveheart came out, there was a micro-burst of “Celtic Fad” for a short period of time, and I seem to recall there being a rush to hastily associate as many names with clans as possible to help sell more tartans and crap. I’m certain it didn’t pay off…

                It is amusing that a brief snapshot of Scottish history has been frozen in time and we assume that ALL of Scottish history (including the make believe they engage in now for tourist purposes) reflects that brief snapshot. (I have a theory that most cultures go through this process)

                “Your friend is gnawing on some pretty old bones, although the cause of Scottish independence was enjoying a resurgence last year.”

                Yeah, well, the “cause of Scottish independence” and is associated screams of “alba gu bragh” or whatever certainly didn’t last long when the Scottish dependent state realized that it would lose all of public dole it was receiving from England. Damn if welfare dependence from other people’s labors isn’t WAY MORE appealing than self-determination.

                I bet if England had taken the vote, the Scottish anchor would have been cut lose in a landslide.

                • Yup, there was a bit of a fad at the time, but it’s long since died down. Another boomlet started in the musical side on PBS when groups like Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder hit the scene. Yes, everyone keeps dredging up the clan era and bits and pieces of the medieval era, just like a lot of Irish-Americans keep dredging up this and that to keep the hate of the English going.

                  Salmond wanted to turn Scotland into a New Zealand of the North Atlantic. Wasn’t going to happen, although the resurgence of the SNP gave David Cameron a solid win this May.

                  • I remember a lot of years ago, more than 50, somebody in my family pointed out that my great-grandmother was a Forbes and, presumably, related to the Forbes clan, and, possibly, the Laird Forbes in Aberdeen. My reaction then and now, “Yeah? So? I ain’t wearing a kilt, period.”

                    • I’ll wear tartan scarves or ties (my mom’s family was from County Cavan, and there is a tartan for the US Navy, which my dad served in) and that’s it. Kilts should only be worn when playing the bagpipes, which I haven’t the foggiest idea of how to do. If you are in Scotland and you see anyone in a kilt, he’s probably on his way to or from a wedding or other special event.

                    • Don’t even know if I’m actually Scott’s, let alone part of Clan Forbes. My background also includes Saxon and Norse (Norway). So, no kilt. Love bagpipes, but, like you, have no clue. Worse, I have no musical talent.

          • Out of principle, I am considering starting a campaign against the Union Jack to illustrate how disingenuous the furor over the Confederate flag is. (Sadly, I won’t, because I fear I would be successful)

  3. It’s all about people’s feelings. They’re just going to have to erect safe spaces all over Wallingford. Isn’t there something in the Constitution somewhere about the right to feel safe? It’s somewhere in there, in a penumbra or somewhere. Or in the Fair Housing Act. That’s where it is. The regs should be out any day now!

  4. Remarkable. So if I have a relative that died of lung cancer, and I walk into a grocery store and they’re selling cigarettes, I can call 911? Or if I lost my wife in a car accident, the police will respond to my call about a car dealership (not only do they sell cars, but that’s all they sell!).

    I love his comment too that the confederate and Nazi items were not “authentic.” So if they were authentic, that would have bothered him less, somehow?

    We need to start charging these people who call 911 for this kind of nonsense or because Wendy’s gave you a single with mustard and pickle instead of a single with ketchup and pickle.

  5. This is part of a larger discussion about offense, somewhere along the mind, a certain subset of people started to assume that if something offended them, they had the right to censor it. Maybe that’s not strong enough… not just the right…. the moral duty. And they attack the source of offense with an almost religious fervor, never not thinking to the logical conclusion of the process: Offense is taken, not given, and we don’t have the right not to be offended, the bar for offense is so drastically different from one person to the next. Think about it: What if the color yellow offend Jewish people, because that’s the color of the star holocaust victims had to wear on their coats? There goes a primary color?

    I don’t know what the answer is… Far too often I hear people tell other people to grow a thicker skin, and I don’t think that’s the answer… Feel your feelings, by all means…. But don’t expect the world to bend to your personal irrationalities. But how do you tell a person that they’re irrational? It’s a hard discussion.

      • All silliness aside, HT, there really is no nice way to tell someone they are being irrational, because by the very nature of being irrational they aren’t going to listen to reason. Sometimes a sharp “listen to what you’re saying!” will jolt people back to reality, but in other cases you have really two choices: engage them in a shouting match, or walk away. Engaging in a shouting match is usually counterproductive unless you want to escalate things. When I was younger I was fine with escalating it all the way to fighting if need be, but, as a professional person in my 40s I have little to gain and a lot to lose from acting like that. I have walked away from discussions that turned ugly and I have sent the VERY occasional sharp letter to the effect of further irrational behavior will result in all future communication needing to be in writing. Once and once only, when another lawyer, who I think may have been a bit addled by drugs (she was eventually disbarred for stealing from clients to finance a drug habit) went over my head to my principal without talking to me, did I warn that person that doing that again was going to result in a letter from me to the ethics committee. Best bet usually is to walk away.

        • I think that’s the answer… But I don’t know how to apply it. Ignore it as the craziness it is and let the little darling snowflake cry itself to sleep. The problem is that needs to be a concerted effort on everyone’s part, and there’s a large contingent of idiots just waiting for someone to get miffed so they can make a mountain out of a molehill.

    • Is it? I think more of us had better start doing just that while we still can. Those of us with the sense and sanity to see it for what it is need to loudly deride this nonsense wherever we see it, or not complain when we plunge into the abyss these had jackasses are trying to corral us into.

    • So, yes, I think that saying ” grow a thicker skin” is precisely what’s called for. These fools are getting the upper hand everywhere. No quarter.

      • Yeah… Saying ‘grow a thicker skin’ probably ISN’T wrong. BUT. It’s also not going to make for conversation, they’ll shut down until you and all the other mean people are out of their room, grab a blankie and go on the internet and bitch.

  6. Just an FYI, and I haven’t been in touch with collectibles in a while so I don’t know if it has increased or decreased, but Nazi WWII memorabilia were once very sought after by collectors. The collectors were, by the way, NOT skin-heads.

    • The soldier maker King and Country came out with a whole line of Berlin 1937 figures, including parading SS and all the personalities, including Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Goering, and others. They sold really well, although I myself can’t grasp wanting to have a scene set up with the eagle and swastika, the Nazi banners, Goebbels at the microphone with Hitler nearby, Himmler in black trench coat, and rank on rank of the SS doing the Nazi salute. That said, that’s clear depiction of historical evil. What does everyone think about depiction of history where there’s controversy? Let’s say someone is into the RAF and has a scene set up showing Arthur “Bomber” Harris and pilots as they plan one of the nasty fire raids on Germany. Is that a problem? How about if someone is into the Crusades, as I am, and has a scene set up of the Battle of Arsuf, where the Crusaders crushed the Saracens (are you even allowed to use that term anymore?) in a big armored charge? What if someone is an Irish Unionist, and has figures set up of the RUC and the Royal Irish Regiment? Are all of these depictions of controversial history to be hidden for fear someone will get upset? No dice.

      • There is NO accounting for collectors. I once bought an odd assortment of plates from a Wehrmacht mess hall, at an auction, with the Nazi Eagle on the back. Resold them within a day, for a tidy profit.

    • I’ve been getting slammed on Facebook on the accusation that I am using slippery-slope scaremongering. Does taking down Cosby’s bust in Disney World mean that the Jefferson Memorial is next? No, of course not. But if we accept a principle in one situation where it applies, what will stop the same logic from being applied right down the slope? I think that threat is real. If enough Holocaust survivors—or their families—or people who are offended on their behalf, whether they themselves are offended or even give a damen— are “offended” at the Empire, why doesn’t the “Redskins” argument apply with equal force?

      • How silly of you. Who would suspect the left of using one little incident to embark on a 1st amendment slippery slope? Citations please (ha ha!).

      • I agree wholeheartedly, because it’s been happening for decades now. It’s not as if statists have ever said, “Well, I think we’ve used government to solve all of the problems it can solve. Time to scale back, we wouldn’t want to limit people’s freedom by going too far.”

  7. Urggh…tell me honestly, do you think that the passage of a hate-speech law or, at the very least, a nasty dust-up over whether we should pass such a law falls more into the “question of if” or “matter of time” categories? Every time I hear about an incident like this one, I get more and more inclined to believe the former…

    P.S. Your “freedom of expression” & “political correctness” tags are misspelled (each misspelling also has one other post under it) and I couldn’t find the link to the original story…

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