Phyllis Schlafly confuses urban legend with truth, Arlington with Europe

Phyllis Schlafly says that President Obama is planning to remove the crosses at Arlington Cemetery:

You were talking a minute ago about Arlington Cemetery; if you haven’t been there, I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of all the crosses there and I just wonder if the day is going to come when they want to take down all those crosses.

This is Arlington National Cemetery. Those are not crosses.

The reference is to this urban legend — usually told about the ACLU — debunked by Snopes here.

Snopes also notes that this image of a cemetery filled with crosses has nothing to do with Arlington. That’s a picture of Arlington there on the right. And below it is the picture often circulated with the lying-spam email recounting the urban legend Schlafly is repeating. It’s also apparently the picture in Schlafly’s head — confusing a European cemetery with the national cemetery in Arlington.

The implication in [the urban legend] — that the ACLU’s opposition to religious displays on state property extends to its advocating the removal of headstones and burial markers from federal cemeteries in the U.S. (although the message is accompanied by a photograph of a cemetery in Europe where American World War II servicemen are interred) — is another example of one group’s exaggerating its opponent’s position in order to mobilize support through political outrage.

This is not Arlington National Cemetery. This is not even in America.

Or, in other words, Phyllis Schlafly is a liar who doesn’t know what Arlington National Cemetery looks like but enjoys denouncing the patriotism of America-hating liberals who refuse to accept the picture of it she has in her head.

This seems to be a habit for right-wing faux patriots busily condemning others’ patriotism — they have no idea what the gravestones at Arlington really look like. Here’s an item from August of 2000: “Cheney speech got Arlington Cemetery wrong.”

Contrary to the emotional picture painted by Dick Cheney in his speech at the Republican convention Tuesday night, there are no crosses in Arlington National Cemetery.

In accepting the Republican nomination for vice president, Cheney closed  his speech with a moving description of the helicopter ride he used to take from Andrews Air Force Base to the Pentagon when he was Secretary of Defense.

He described the power of the various monuments of Washington in the order the chopper passes them, ending with the famous military cemetery that abuts the Pentagon.

“Just before you settle down on the landing pad, you look upon Arlington National Cemetery…its gentle slopes and crosses row on row,” Cheney said.

… Cheney would appear to be confusing Arlington with Flanders Fields, a poem written by John McCrea about the World War I battlefields of Northern France: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow/ Between the crosses row on row.”

  • Lori

    But that’s part of your contract with the company, not legally required, right? A company and a contract employee are free to negotiate that, but it’s my understanding that for legal purposes a contract employee =/= a FT employee and the company isn’t required by law to provide you with any benefits.

  • Cathy W

    Expanding on what Lori said – there is no legally mandated set of benefits that must be given to qualifying employees.  Not all full time employees get health insurance (even after the Affordable Care Act kicks in, some employers will still be exempt), and quite a few who theoretically can get it can’t afford to buy into their employer’s plan (I’m looking at you, Wal-Mart). Hardly anyone in the private sector gets a traditional pension anymore, and there’s no requirement for an employer to offer a 401k (a favorably-taxed  investment account, subject to the whims of the market, to which the employer may contribute), and I don’t think there’s any required level of employer contribution if one is available. A  food service or retail worker below management level who gets paid sick days or paid vacation has a truly generous employer. Some employers used to offer paid maternity leave as a benefit (but never much, and the idea of “paternity leave” was laughable) but I think most have stopped doing that in favor of allowing employees to take time off under the Family & Medical Leave Act (no requirement that it be paid time, limit of 12 weeks).

    Long story short, without a union contract or some other form of negotiating leverage, you get what they feel like giving you.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Yeah, I know. It might be futile, but I like to call out the implicit understanding that “Christian values” = “particular standard of behaviour about sex and religiosity and nothing more” whenever I see it. It’s my way of saying “No, you move”.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I say they have no business even believing that everyone should be straight, or that legal marriage should be limited to straight couples. That’s no different in principle from me deciding who Fred or you or any other individual should marry. The only opinion they’re justified in having on marriage is who they themselves as individuals should and shouldn’t marry.

    I don’t agree with you on this. I think same-sex couples definitely should be able to marry, but not because I think marriage is something that society has no right to set boundaries around.

    For example, I don’t support the idea that a child should be able to get married (whether to an adult or another child), even though one could argue that what happens to a child I don’t know is none of my business.

    This is where the US usage of “liberal” confuses things. From what you’ve written on a bunch of topics, it seems to me that you might be a real liberal in the international understanding–holding the view that you have no right to have an opinion on anything that doesn’t directly affect you. (Correct me if I’ve read you wrong). I’m definitely not a liberal; I’m progressive left. We agree in practice on a lot of things, but often come from a different premise.

    If you’re not in the mood for this conversation, feel free not to carry it on, but if you are–do you object to child marriage? If so, on what grounds?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Last I heard, In-n-Out paid their starting employees $10/hour in California. And “last I heard” was several years ago. I think that’s pretty cool.

    What’s the minimum wage in California?

    For a comparison, Australia’s minimum wage is currently $15.96/hour, which at current exchange rates is about $US16.70.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    If I may ad, they are all about preserving the hegemony of *Wealthy* (publically) straight men.

    Thanks for adding that, Hawker. Class is most often left out of power/privilege discussions on the ‘net, but let me assure you that wealthy white men show no solidarity with their poor counterparts.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    If you’re a full time employee you are entitled to whatever benefits your employer provides to full time employees.

    Wait wait wait wait: so an employer can say “I have decided not to provide my full time employees with sick leave, superannuation (401k?), or penalty rates for nights/weekends/public holidays/long shifts” and that would be perfectly legal?

  • Tonio

    While society can set boundaries for marriage, the boundaries should be grounded in the moral principles involving harm. I object to child marriage because it’a a form of harm to people who aren’t yet capable of informed consent. (I also recognize that in many cultures, families choose this only because the other alternatives for women are prostitution or rape – the real problem is that all the options involve being dominated by men. That doesn’t make the child marriage any less wrong.)

    My position is that one has no right to an opinion on private behavior that doesn’t harm others, which is different from not affecting the person holding the opinion. Such opinions are uninformed ones, and I agree with Harlan Ellison that the right extends to only informed opinions. I’m talking not about legal rights but about moral rights. Even with behavior that harms others, there are times when judgment is unwarranted because others don’t know the whole story. 

  • Lori

    Overtime and holidays are governed by state law, so no, an employer can’t simply decide not to pay OT. Rules about when OT kicks in vary from state to state though. I was used to California OT rules which say you get time & a half after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Here in the glorious new “right to work” state of Indiana time & a half is only after 40 hours in a week. That was a lovely surprise when I started my current job* and was working 12 hours shifts, 2 days one week and 5 days the next. I earned no OT during the 2 day weeks. During the 5 day weeks OT only kicked in a third of the way through day 4.

    Employers are not required to provide health insurance, paid sick time or 401(k) benefits. That’s why the ACA debate has included a lot of scare talk about employers simply opting to drop their health coverage. The rule about FT vs not-FT employees is strictly to keep an employer from creating seperate classes of FT workers, some of whom get benefits and other who don’t. Like I said earlier though, employers can get around this if they chose to by hiring temp workers or contract workers who get no benefits.

    In practice I’ve never had a regular FT job that didn’t have paid sick leave, although the details of the company polices about it have varied quite a lot. All my FT office gigs included health care, but again the details & costs have varied quite a lot. (One of the reasons that I support some kind of national health care is that the cost of health coverage should vary wildly based on nothing other than who your employer is.)

    As a temp I’m eligible for paid sick time and vacation from my temp agency at some point, but I can’t remember when it kicks in. A good long while from now. I could also have gotten get health insurance through them but you have to sign up within the first 30 days working for them and at that point I had no idea if my assignment would last long enough to pay the (fairly pricey) premium on my lousy hourly wage, so I had to pass. Now that I’ve built up a little bit on cash on hand and could probably scrape together the premiums I’m looking into the state sponsored insurance program for low income workers, but it looks like I may not be eligible because I could have gotten insurance through my employer and “chose” not to.

    *A temporary job which I have now had for 3 months with no signs of it either ending or becoming a job with benefits. The HR person for the company recently quit. I found out after she left that she was a temp even though she’d had been there for over 2 years. Now when people try to tell me that corporations aren’t evil I just respond by saying, “The office’s sole HR/i> person.  Temp with no benefits at all. Two freakin’ years.” So far I haven’t found anyone who could come up with a defense of that.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    My position is that one has no right to an opinion on private behavior that doesn’t harm others

    I’m assuming that by “an opinion” you mean something like a moral judgment? I mean, I harm nobody when I paint my livingroom, but I would certainly say that you have the right to opinions like “that’s pretty” or “I’m not fond of that shade of blue” or “your color palette is reminiscent of early 14th century Tuscany” or whatever.

    Even assuming that, though… if I spend several hours a day volunteering my services to aid the needy, that harms nobody, but I would certainly say you have the right to moral judgments about that behavior. Do we disagree here, or is this just a question of semantics?

    If there’s a real disagreement here, I’m interested in your reasons for that position.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     IANAL, but that’s my understanding as well. My recollection when I worked for a startup is that courts look a little askance at employers who don’t provide salaries (which does happen), but beyond that pretty much anything goes.

  • Caravelle

    employers who don’t provide what now ? o_O

    I can’t even.

    EDIT: Oh, startups. You mean paying people in stock-options instead of salaries ?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Thanks for the info, Lori. The idea that it’s possible to be a permanent employee with no sick leave freaks me right out. We’re seeing an increasingly casualised workforce here, where casuals don’t quality for sick leave. Coming from a public health background, I think it’s a terrible direction for society to take.

    The insurance thing I understand in the intellectual sense, but it’s so far removed from the reality here that it’s hard to grok thinking about insurance as an employee benefit. As I’ve said before, I find linking health care to employment simply monstrous.

  • Tonio

    I’m talking partly about moral judgments, and partly about the tendency by some to treat personal opinion as a judgment. I know some women whose mothers expressed varying levels of disapproval about the daughters’ choice to pursue careers instead of marriage upon becoming adults, in some cases regularly bringing it up for years,

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Long story short, without a union contract or some other form of negotiating leverage, you get what they feel like giving you.

    In that case, why do I constantly hear of employers playing games with the hours worked of ostensibly full-time employees so that they “never quite qualify” for benefits? If it’s at the whim of the employer anyway, why not just say “You can work 40 hours a week and get no benefits anyway and LIKE IT”?

    That would at least be more honest than screwing around with peoples’ lives, dangling the ever-present bait of the magical holy grail of a straight 40-hour workweek upon which the full flower of those promised benefits will materialize?

  • Lori

    In that case, why do I constantly hear of employers playing games with
    the hours worked of ostensibly full-time employees so that they “never
    quite qualify” for benefits?

    The “ostensibly” part is that the worker assumed when she was hired that she would be a FT worker because she’s required to be available for 40 hours/week of work, but as long as she isn’t scheduled for more than the state mandated number of hours for a FT worker she is not legally a FT employee and the company is not legally required to provide any benefits. That’s the source of the stories about the folks at W*****T and other such places who consistently get scheduled for 31 hours a week.

    If it’s at the whim of the employer anyway, why not just say “You can
    work 40 hours a week and get no benefits anyway and LIKE IT”?  

    Some do. The issue is that if they say that, they have to say it to all the FT people. So, they can’t give the managers benefits and have FT peons who don’t get them. Which they would totally do if they were allowed to.

  • Lori

     

    The idea that it’s possible to be a permanent employee with no sick
    leave freaks me right out. We’re seeing an increasingly casualised
    workforce here, where casuals don’t quality for sick leave. Coming from a
    public health background, I think it’s a terrible direction for society
    to take.  

    ITA and so do a lot of other people. I saw an interesting article recently (which of course I can’t find now) asking why people are seriously discussing soda bans in order to supposedly make people healthier but no one will even publicly mention the issue of mandatory paid sick time as a means of increasing health by limiting the spread of illness.

    The answer is obviously that banning soda mostly impinges on the rights of the poor, while mandating paid sick time impinges on the rights of the ruling class.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Wait, so it IS a law law, like a legal statute, that mandates full-time employees must get a standard benefits package?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    The answer is obviously that banning soda mostly impinges on the rights of the poor, while mandating paid sick time impinges on the rights of the ruling class.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    In my workplace’s last collective agreement both sides around the negotiating table (viz., management and the union) opposed two things that are quite common in similar organisations: tying productivity incentives to reducing the number of days sick leave taken; and requiring a medical certificate for single days absence. They also agreed that the organisation would provide annual flu shots to all staff who wanted them–organised and paid for by the organisation, and administered at work on work time–as a core entitlement from now on.

    It was great that we saw eye to eye on this. We’re in the public health industry, so fortunately our management felt that they should be setting an example in this area, at least.

  • Hawker40

    I’m sorry, Lori, I totally mispoke and/or misrepresented myself.
    My company is a government contractor, so I work “for the contractor” or in GovSpeak “I am a contract employeee/contractor”.  But I am actually a hourly full time employee for the contractor, not a contract employee.
    “The Petty Officer Regrets The Error.”

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Thanks. But now I’m feeling foolish, cos I’ve heard people pronounce “filet” as “fillay” a couple of times, and I thought they were doing that thing where we say we’re shopping at Tarjay. Didn’t realise that was the actual pronunciation. Huh.

    ‘Tarjay’ is a joke on pronouncing the name as though it were a fancy French store (or at least with a French name).  ‘Filet’ actually is French.

    I say they have no business even believing that everyone should be straight, or that legal marriage should be limited to straight couples. That’s no different in principle from me deciding who Fred or you or any other individual should marry. The only opinion they’re justified in having on marriage is who they themselves as individuals should and shouldn’t marry.

    I think their opinions are the wrong opinions.  But I’m not sure it’s a great idea to go around telling people what they’re not allowed to think, even if I think that what they think is stupid.  

    Not that I am not a lawyer.  Or an economist.  Or a corporate executive.

    I have decided not to provide my full time employees with sick leave, superannuation (401k?), or penalty rates for nights/weekends/public holidays/long shifts” and that would be perfectly legal?

    I think there might be some kind of mandatory sick leave.  Not 401ks or penalty rates (typically, only fairly white-collar jobs offer 401ks, and penalty rates are basically unheard of – often, you end up with employees having to take unpaid overtime around Christmas/Black Friday on threat of firing).

    Noted what Lori said.  I believe there are laws saying that you can take sick leave (maybe 10 days or so) without being punished.  The company doesn’t have to pay you for it, though.

    employers who don’t provide what now ?

    I’m guessing those employers who pay in wages (a certain amount of money per hour worked), rather than salaries (a fixed amount of money per year).  Or perhaps who pay in commissions (a percentage of sales), which is common for things like real-estate agents, lawyers, and auto salespeople

    Wait, so it IS a law law, like a legal statute, that mandates full-time employees must get a standard benefits package?

    A standard benefts package to the company.  So the company can choose to provide great coverage, or none at all, but they can’t give the executives great coverage and the (full-time) cubicle staff no coverage.  One or the other.  (Of course, there’s nothing stopping the executives from buying whatever coverage they want with their larger salaries.  Or a company doing something like Wal-Mart, where the employee’s share of the cost of coverage is high enough as to make it beyond the reach of most of their employees.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Options instead of money is one way this goes, yes. Unpaid internships in exchange for experience which turns out to be a prerequisite for getting hired is another.

  • Cathy W

    California’s minimum wage is $8/hour. (This is higher than the federal minimum, which is $7.25.)

  • Cathy W

    There have also been (and still are) cases where employers simply didn’t pay wages as promised – not in a “sorry, can’t make payroll this week” sense but in a “what you gonna do about it” sense….and yes, in cases of this that make it to court, the court looked at it askance, but it tends to happen to people who can’t readily access the legal system.

  • Tonio

    I wouldn’t label their beliefs as stupid. The problem is their paternalistic attitude. I don’t have a belief as to who Chick-fil-A’s CEO should or shouldn’t marry. Or for anyone else. He should extend to everyone else the same respect for personal boundaries and individual self-determination. 

  • Tonio

    Remember the adage that your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins? My right to judge whether you should swing your fist begins where someone else’s nose begins.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A standard benefts package to the company.  So the company can
    choose to provide great coverage, or none at all, but they can’t give
    the executives great coverage and the (full-time) cubicle staff no
    coverage.

    That sounds like one of those unintended-consequences problems with laws that are designed to help, because those who wrote the law likely assumed a high percentage of married couples in which a woman working part-time for pin money didn’t need to get health insurance because her husband would be working full-time and already have the necessary insurance.

  • PJ Evans

     I’m in a weird position: I’m on the company payroll, but not an actual employee. I get paid vacation and holidays, but not paid sick time or jury duty. It could be worse: the last place wanted me to tell them, at the beginning of the year, when I’d take vacation.

  • Lori

    No problem. I do sometimes forget that some people become contractors through being employees of companies that provide them with full benefits. Because of my time at Oracle I tend to think of those people as “consultants” instead of “contractors”.

  • Lori

     

    A standard benefts package to the company.  So the company can
    choose to provide great coverage, or none at all, but they can’t give
    the executives great coverage and the (full-time) cubicle staff no
    coverage.  One or the other.  

    This.

    There is some leeway for providing better options to the executives, at least for some things, but broadly speaking if the company offers a benefit it has to be for all FT employees. If some folks get health insurance, everyone does. Everyone gets the same paid holidays.If anyone gets paid vacation everyone does and IIRC correctly accrues it according to the same schedule (IME always tied to length of time at the company).

  • Makabit

    I believe that’s the Normandy American Cemetery. In Normandy, of course. Most, although not all, of the dead, were killed in the Normandy landing.

  • Makabit

    I’ve been saying “Chick-Fill-Uh”.

    The news informs me it is really pronounced ‘Chick-Filet’

  • PJ Evans

     It’s not his beliefs, for me, so much has him giving money to every anti-LGBT organization around, including some that are listed as hate groups by the SPLC (which knows hate groups). Not just against same-sex marriage, but against any rights for LGBTs at all.

  • PJ Evans

    employers playing games with the hours worked of ostensibly full-time employees

    The other thing is laying off (or firing) people just before they’ve been working long enough to get benefits or a pay raise.
    I’ve also heard of parcel delivery companies requiring drivers to buy their own trucks, which means that if they can’t drive, they’re out a lot of money.

  • Tonio

    Cathy wouldn’t be spending his money on those groups if he didn’t believe, in part, that he has the right to decide who other people should marry. The attitude “It’s my opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman” is infuriating. My response to that is “No, it’s your opinion that your marriage is between a man and a woman.” That’s the distinction between the Cathys funding opposition to SSM and the Bezos family spending to uphold it. There’s no equivalence between the two – they might be equivalent if the Bezos’ money went to a hypothetical campaign to oppose opposite-sex marriage. 


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