This image has been photoshopped

Currently making the rounds:

I was suspicious, though. It’s too good to be true. So I snooped about, and found the original on the ADL website.

OK, now, really — who thought they needed to edit the original sign to make it less evil and more obviously stupid? That was a waste of effort. Just an unretouched photo of these clowns in their costumes with their traitor’s flags and their blatant anti-semitism is appalling enough, don’t you think?


  1. says

    Here in Europe we are celebrating 75 years after VE Day, and the defeat of these bastards in Germanic form. Now your nation is infected with these lice. Freedom of speech needs modulation and education to eliminate them. Absolutely no apologies will be forthcoming for any upset my language my cause.

  2. wzrd1 says

    @Chris Phillips, I guess they moved from Slovak lands to the US.
    For half a decade post VE day, pogroms were regular occurrences there.

    Still, I fully support their right to free speech – while inside of a cloud of VX.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    Our conception of “freedom of speech/press/religion” is an artifact of the Enlightenment of the late 18th Century. While it’s certainly was an improvement over the policies of the absolutist monarchies and aristocracies, free speech suffers from a fatal flaw: It’s built upon the premise that human beings are inherently “good” and “rational” and will naturally gravitate toward ideas that are beneficial and intelligent and reject the nonsensical and malicious. (i.e. “The Free Marketplace of Ideas.”)

    Well, the last two hundred years that followed has proven that to be a load of bullshit. Human beings will happily embrace the insane, the monstrous, and even the demonstrably false and will defend those beliefs to the death while no amount of “calm, reasoned discussion and debate” will change their minds. We’ve seen how they can spread and fester, and we’ve seen how they can harm people and civilizations.

    And yet, we do nothing to stop it because we’re so afraid of what would happen if government tried to rein in the superstitions and bigotries, and popular outright lies that are destroying us.

  4. says

    @ Saad & Crip (btw that looks like a great name for a buddy Cop series)
    They, hovering in uncertainty between “Bible” and “Bibel”, kleverley covered both: it’s “BIBLEL” from now on for me….

  5. Allison says

    Here in Europe we are celebrating 75 years after VE Day, and the defeat of these bastards in Germanic form. Now your nation is infected with these lice.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Actually, “these lice” have been here all along. There was a lot of support for Hitler in the USA in the 1930’s. And the anti-Semitism has been around a lot longer — it was open and socially acceptable for most of US history, and it never went away. When my parents were looking to buy a house (after WWII), certain neighborhoods were touted as being “exclusive,” meaning that the land there was covered by covenants that forbade the sale of the property to Jews, and it was well-known that the elite country club in the city I grew up in would not allow Jews to join. When knowledge of the concentration camps (e.g., Dachau) and the annihilation camps (e.g., Auschwitz) became widespread, right after WWII, people found openly admitting to anti-Semitism embarrassing, but it didn’t go away. And now it is no longer seen as embarrassing.

    These people are simply expressing more blatantly the attitudes that an awful lot of people here in the USA share.

  6. blf says

    I took the manipulated Jeans as a sarcastic comment on teh pictured morans (to quote from memory another eejit’s poster, albeit not manipulated).

    it’s “BIBLEL” from now on for me — yeah, I’m very probably also stealing that one too…

  7. blf says

    In addition to Allison@9’s points, there was — and perhaps still is — a faction who insists the States joined the wrong side in WW ][; that is, the States should have sided with teh nazis in Europe. Reason? Because teh nazis fought teh commies. There was a fairly prominent States über-conservative loon — very possibly a john bircher — in the 1960(?)s pushing that view, but both my memory and my Generalissimo Googel™-fu are currently failing to recall the name (Sorry!).

    Another group — famously including Charles Lindbergh — insisted the States should never have entered WW ][.

  8. Walter Solomon says

    @blf #11

    There was a fairly prominent States über-conservative loon — very possibly a john bircher — in the 1960(?)s pushing that view…

    George Lincoln Rockwell perhaps?

  9. blf says

    Walter Solomon@12, No, not George Lincoln Rockwell, who seems to have been a fairly common nazi and antisemite. Someone more like Pat Buchanan or William F Buckley — but I’ve not been able to find any confirmation for either of those two (albeit my Google-fu isn’t quite fu-ing at the moment).

  10. Walter Solomon says

    blf #13
    Revilo P. Oliver may be who you’re looking for. He was a Bircher in the 60s, a white nationalist, a Holocaust denier and an editor for the Institute for Historical Review.

  11. blf says

    Walter Solomon@14, Doubt it, I’ve no recollection of ever hearing of that loon before. If my recollections are correct, looking for a prominent nazi or nazi sympathiser of the time (c.1960s) may not uncover much, except by accident. The über-loon I’m (obviously imperfectly) recalling was a extreme anti-communist, perhaps even more so than Joseph McCarthy and his goons. I have no recollections at all on the cannot-recall-the-name eejit’s opinion on nazis, Jews, or so on… only that he was a rabid anti-communist, fairly prominent, who claimed the States should have joined the nazis in WW ][ to attack the Soviet Union. (A vague recollection is he said / wrote something along the lines only hitler had the guts to attack commies.) It’s this rabid anti-communism which makes me speculate (perhaps more than recall) he was a john bircher.

  12. Pierce R. Butler says

    blf & Walter Solomon @ #s 11-15 – I suspect y’all are thinking of fascist-sympathizer (that last word can be omitted with minuscule loss of accuracy) Pat Buchanan’s book Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World – except that he published that in ’08.

    Note that the idea goes back well before the ’60s, notably when Allen Dulles (then OSS agent in Switzerland, later CIA head) tried to trick the Germany Army leader occupying Italy to switch sides for a joint American-British-German surprise attack on the USSR (the general didn’t fall for it, but a Soviet spy in his staff relayed everything to Stalin, exacerbating his distrust of his “allies”).

  13. says

    B-b-but confederate flags and white hoods are part of their history! They’re just showing their pride. I mean, they’ve been through so much, what with being called racist idiots and everything…

  14. nomdeplume says

    Also worth noting that in “Ratlines” the new Philippe Sands book he outlines how the Americans (with Catholic church help) in Italy, immediately post-war were helping Nazis escape Europe. Because, as others point out above, Nazis were certainly reliably anti-communist. Fascism is, after all, good for big business.

  15. blf says

    Pierce R Butler@16, Yeah, like I said in @13, Pat Buchanan is one of my prime guesses — he fits my recollection almost perfectly — but for two things: His book, as mentioned, is way too recent; and — and I’m emphatic on this — the cannot-recall-the-name eejit said(? wrote?) the States should have entered WW ][ on the side of the nazis so as to attack the Soviet Union. I cannot find any hint Buchanan ever stated any such thing; instead, he said (as in that book) the States should have never entered the war (along with lots of other nonsenses).

    (What’s really frustrating is I have a recollection of this coming up before, either here at Pharyngula or maybe at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, possibly back in the SciBorg days, but have been unable to locate my own damn comment!)

  16. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Shame on whoever made the altered version. They should know better than to denimize their opponents.

  17. nomdeplume says

    Another thought that occurs to me, having seen the two guys in the photo, is the often remarked difference between the Nazi mythology of the uber mensch Aryan gods – tall, blond, fit, virile – and the actual physiques of leading Nazis like Goebbels, Himmler and indeed Hitler!

  18. Walter Solomon says


    the often remarked difference between the Nazi mythology of the uber mensch Aryan gods – tall, blond, fit, virile – and the actual physiques of leading Nazis like Goebbels, Himmler and indeed Hitler!

    The aryan type — A blond man like Hitler, slim like Göring, tall like Goebbels.

  19. nomdeplume says

    @22 Strong like Himmler… I’m guessing that when these guys looked in the mirror they saw what they wanted to see!

  20. chrislawson says

    John was Jewish. Luke was probably Jewish. Notwithstanding that probably neither apostle wrote a word of their eponymous gospels, this shows the depth of the man’s ignorance.

  21. chrislawson says

    Akira Mackenzie@5–

    I agree with your central point that freedom of speech, for all it problems, is way better than what came before (i.e. “on pain of death, you are only allowed to say what the King or the High Priest approve”). But I don’t think it comes from a naive view of people being good and rational.

    Voltaire’s famous quote is about defending the right of people to say things he strongly disagrees with. He wasn’t crediting his putative opponents with goodness or rationality — he actually thought his opponents were stupid, venal, pathetic creatures. He was genuinely of the opinion that it was better to suffer bad speech than to limit it. I don’t fully agree with him (I don’t accept that hate speech should be free, for instance).

    My favourite concise definition of free speech came from the French Revolution’s Declaration of Rights etc…: “The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.”

    It leaves undefined what speech is acceptable to punish, but it certainly concedes that free speech is not automatically a wonderful thing despite its central importance to human rights.

  22. KG says

    Another group — famously including Charles Lindbergh — insisted the States should never have entered WW ][. – blf@11

    It didn’t really have a lot of choice, given that Japan launched a surprise attack, and it was Hitler who then declared war on the USA, not vice versa, saving Roosevelt a lot of trouble, since there was obviously a (fallacious) argument for focusing on Japan. Of course, the USA could have refused to help the UK in the period before Pearl Harbor, but it was clearly in its interest to do so, to avoid a single power dominating Eurasia.

    Incidentally, why “WW][“?

  23. paulparnell says

    Free speech is not founded on the assumed the goodness of people. Most of the people most of the time would do themselves and the world a favor if they would just shut up. free speech is founded on the principle that the thoughts in your head and the words from your mouth should not be subject to government regulation.

    In the past America has on occasion failed to live up to this principle. Oliver Wendell Holmes famously ruled that it was fine to make it illegal to distribute flyers protesting the draft. This was the “falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic” case. How protesting the draft is like shouting fire is beyond me. And then there is the grand daddy of them all, the alien and sedition act. Journalists were jailed for saying mean things about the president.

    Hate speech in American law is not really about speech at all. It is about an act that is likely and probably intended to cause an immediate violent response. Words that are legal say on radio, TV or across the internet may be illegal if I stand toe to toe with you and scream them into your face. See the difference? It is the act, not the words themselves that are the problem.

    If you really want to make hate speech generally illegal how exactly would you define it? I hate the catholic church. This nonsense about wine and cheap crackers turning into god flesh is insidious crap. But if I were obtain some of these crackers and show that they had not turned into god flesh and generally make fun of the whole idea, would that be hate speech? For most of the history of civilization it effectively would have been.

    And how has this “hate speech” idea worked in other countries? Well check this out:

    At best this is the Infantilization of the population. At worst a Donald Trumph with a more functional brain could effectively end free speech. The problem is that there is no principled way to define “hate speech” other than “stuff that I really really don’t like.”

    I remain amazed at how easily the right has trolled the left into abandoning free speech. Scary.

  24. Saad says

    paulparnell, #29

    The problem is that there is no principled way to define “hate speech” other than “stuff that I really really don’t like.”

    You sound like a cis het white man.

  25. paulparnell says

    And you sound like someone who needs to visit Russia where a Donald Trump with a functional brain is limiting free speech in order to repress the gay community.

    If you become as authoritarian as those you oppose then what have you gained? Good luck with that.