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.”

  • Ross Thompson

     

    “chick fill LAY” – as though it were spelled “filet”, American pronunciation.

    As a Briton living in America, that bugs me. In Britain “filet” is anglicised (final T pronounced), but in America, it’s pronounced the French way (final T silent).

    And by comparison, “tourniquet” is the other way around; pronounced as if it’s an English word in Britain, but French in America.

  • Tonio

    Heh! The first time I saw the logo, I didn’t recognize the final letter as an A, and it looked like “Chick Flix.”

  • Isabel C.

    …I am adding this to my theoretical eightiespunk book, thank you. ;)

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    As a Canadian transplant to the east coast, I must say that I’m utterly baffled by the appeal of In -n- Out. We ate at one outside of San Francisco a couple years ago. The restaurant was mobbed with people, so obviously a popular place indeed, but the burgers were not exceptional and the fries were downright bad.  Fellow east-coasters suggested that the appeal was a combination of nostalgia and insider knowledge of how to tweak the menu – does anyone else have thoughts on the matter?

  • Lori

    Their standard fries are bad. I have no idea why they’re the company’s standard because I’ve only met one person who actively likes them. IMO they taste better if they’re cooked longer so they’re not so limp. I usually got them “light well” or “well”.

    IMO In-N-Out’s meat tends to taste better than a lot of other fast food burger places. At least in the LA area they grind their own and the plant is really close by, so the meat is always fresh instead of starting it’s journey to your tray or bag as a frozen little hockey puck thing.

    The menu tweaking probably refers to the various ways that you can modify the stuff you get on the burger. People refer to them as secret menu items, but I never saw the point. Asking for grilled onions or an extra beef patty is not my idea of a secret. I think some people just like to say “animal style”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-N-Out_Burger_products#Secret_menu_variations

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin


    IMO they [the fries] taste better if they’re cooked longer so they’re not so limp. I usually got them “light well” or “well”.
     

    Surely this qualifies as “menu tweaking”?

  • Tonio

    While I’ve never been to an In-n-Out, I had the impression they were more like Fuddrucker’s or Red Robin or Five Guys than like McDonald’s or Burger King. I’ve heard West Coast transplants sneer at Five Guys and inordinately praise In-n-Out.

  • Ursula L

    As a Canadian transplant to the east coast, I must say that I’m utterly baffled by the appeal of In -n- Out. We ate at one outside of San Francisco a couple years ago. The restaurant was mobbed with people, so obviously a popular place indeed, but the burgers were not exceptional and the fries were downright bad.  Fellow east-coasters suggested that the appeal was a combination of nostalgia and insider knowledge of how to tweak the menu – does anyone else have thoughts on the matter? 

    In general, I think people tend to like local chain businesses.  

    A local business with a single location can become a favorite, but since it is just one location, it takes up a smaller piece of your sense of location.  Big regional and national chains are everywhere, so they don’t really evoke a sense of place or “home” either.

    But a local chain becomes part of the landscape.  Always nearby when you’re home, and a noticeable absence when you’re away. 

    Bill Grey’s.  Abbot’s Custard.  Wegmans. Ted’s Hot Dogs.  Anderson’s Roast Beef.  I’ve lived my life in Rochester and Buffalo NY, and places like these are part of the landscape.  Some are excellent by any standard, while others, I suppose, are a taste that is comfort food when it’s your local version, but unremarkable to someone who didn’t grow up with it.  

  • Emcee, cubed

    Yeah, the fries at In-N-Out are terrible. It is honestly why I don’t go any more. The burgers are good, but not good enough for me to endure the fries. (And fries are important to me, have been since I was a kid. I can make a whole meal of just having fries. Don’t judge me.)

  • Emcee, cubed

    While I’ve never been to an In-n-Out, I had the impression they were
    more like Fuddrucker’s or Red Robin or Five Guys than like McDonald’s or
    Burger King. I’ve heard West Coast transplants sneer at Five Guys and
    inordinately praise In-n-Out.

    I think In-N-Out is above McD’s or BK, but certainly closer to that style than Fuddrucker’s, Red Robin or even 5 Guys. (though maybe closer to 5 Guys. But 5 Guys has the best fries EVER. So…see above comment.)

  • Lunch Meat

    Personally, I am in love with In-n-Out fries. Their meat is good and the bread tastes like actual bread, but the fries are my favorite.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    Emcee, cubed: I was going to disagree about your classification, but now that I think about it, yeah, 5 Guys as a restaurant is closer in style to In-N-Out than to Red Robin or Foddrucker’s – order at the window, and then sit or don’t sit, as opposed to sit and wait for a waitron to serve you. But, closer only by degree – I think the product from 5 Guys is superior. Thicker patties, better toppings.

    Ursula L – we are contemplating a relocation from Binghamton to Buffalo – any suggestions as to networks of non-profit employers?

  • Mark Z.

    The exact opposite.

    As hamburgers go, I think we can talk about a “restaurant – fast food” axis.

    The fast food burger:- a grilled or broiled beef patty, optionally with cheese.- standard toppings: lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, mayo, mustard.- an unadorned white-bread or potato-bread bun.- accompanied with fries.- served in a paper wrapper or box.- prices in the $1-$4 range.

    The chain restaurant burger:
    - more menu options: usually a basic burger, a chicken sandwich, a tuna melt, probably a bacon burger with barbecue sauce, maybe a veggie burger, occasionally a pulled pork sandwich.
    - a sophisticated bun: sesame seeds or other topping, unconventional types of bread like whole wheat or sourdough.
     - fries are always available, but are usually steak fries, and other side dishes can be substituted (green salad, fruit salad, and onion rings are common).
    - served on a plate, with one of those toothpicks with the little flags to hold the burger together.
    - prices in the $5-$10 range.

    So Red Robin, Fuddruckers, and their ilk are definitely toward the restaurant end. Somewhere in the middle are Jack In The Box and Carl’s Jr. McDonald’s and Burger King are further toward the fast food end but have been steadily moving away over the last twenty years.

    In-N-Out is all the way at the fast food end, along with White Castle (though their product is quite different). The basic burger, fries, and soft drinks are literally the entire menu. It’s very minimalist, and if you like that sort of thing, then it’s the sort of thing you’ll like.

    (Of course you understand that some of the sneering at Five Guys is really directed at the existence of places other than the West Coast, and people with the bad taste to live in those places, God help them. Having looked up Five Guys, another likely source of sneering is that the visual design of the restaurants looks very much like In-N-Out, which naturally leads to a sense of competition between them. Plus, what Ursula L said about local chains–we’re inordinately proud of In-N-Out, and, in the San Francisco area, even prouder of Nation’s Giant Burger, because it’s ours.)

  • http://formerconservative.wordpress.com/ Formerconservative

    We don’t have In-N-Out here, but Five Guys is delicious.

  • http://formerconservative.wordpress.com/ Formerconservative

    I don’t really do boycotts, but I am boycotting Chick fil A.  I have been for about a year or so.  The reason is not so much what they said, but the causes they donate to.  I don’t want to give them more money for them to pass on to Focus on the Family or Exodus International.  If I buy a sandwich from them, I feel like a portion of that money may go to one of those causes and I can’t handle that.

  • Tonio

    Five Guys doesn’t seem to belong in either category, and from your description, neither would In-n-Out or White Castle. True fast-food establishments are geared not just to getting the food to you as quickly as possible, but also to getting you out of there quickly as well. Michael Palin made the latter observation on on his first trip to McDonald’s, with the seats being uncomfortable enough to discourage leisurely dining.

    My real line of demarcation is whether the establishment has a drive-through. McDonald’s and Burger King can diversify their menus all they want, but as long as the items are designed to be delivered as quickly as possible, the quality is going to suffer. At a couple of fast-food places that shall remain nameless, I noticed
    that the meat tasted pre-cooked and microwaved, which is hamburger
    heresy.

  • Lunch Meat

    In-n-Out chops their potatoes in front of you. That’s amazed me ever since I was a kid (I was inordinately fascinated by moving things when I was a kid, and they have a pretty cool potato-chopper-thingy).

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    A few weeks ago, I was on a two-week long road trip from Seattle to Minneapolis, then from Minneapolis to San Diego.  I and a roommate were accompanying my SO to help her run her vendor booth at a couple of conventions.  On our way back from San Diego to Seattle, we stopped at an A&W chain for lunch in some small town in the California mountains.  

    Stepping inside, we were met with an otherworldly chill as we realized that the place was papered with revival-tent style trappings.  Most of it was of a Messianic Jewish bent, talking about Jews coming to Christ and all that.  My SO, who is a reformed Jew, did not care for it.  We all felt a little uncomfortable eating there, but there was no obvious elsewhere to go in that town for a sit-down meal.  

    We ate quietly and left quickly.  

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Sure, at nearly twice the price. That’s my biggest issue with 5 Guys. Yeah, it’s a good burger, comparable to In-N-Out. But, whereas a Double Double, fries, and medium drink will cost a little under $6 ( 
    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/prices-297781-costs-year.html ), a 5 Guys full size burger, fries and regular drink (a near identical meal, calorie-wise) costs about $10.50 (
    http://gofiveguys.com/Order/Order.aspx?VendorId=1324 ). nd that’s a So California $6 compared to a No Colorado $11.

    SmashBurger has the same issue for me: great burger, but way over burger joint prices, when In-N-Out is your standard.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    Ahhh, but I never buy the full sized burger, because the small is as much as I can handle at a single sitting – and I always split the fries, because I’m no longer a 15 year old boy. So that comes to $8.50, but splitting the fries, call it $7. Which is about even, really.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    But if you split the one meal, you should split the other, to make the comparison valid, no? So, single cheeseburger and 1/2 order of fries from In-N-Out comes to $4.30. About the same as the larger meals, proportionally speaking ($1.75/$1 versus $1.63/$1), though the Five guys meal does provide more calories.

    Yes, I did do the math. Shut up. :-P

  • PJ Evans

     I went to Fuddrucker’s once. It was like eating in a stamping plant: very loud, very noisy. And the burgers weren’t that special.
    The fries at In-n-Out are inconsistent, but that’s because they aren’t precut and frozen, like the ones at most chains. (They come as bags of potatoes. I’ve seen their delivery trucks.)

  • PJ Evans

    The basic burger, fries, and soft drinks are literally the entire menu.
    And the drinnks.
    Basically, the only part of the menus that’s changed since In-n-Out first opened is the addition of diet soft drinks, and the item prices. (Now they include nutritional information also.)
    Try their pink lemonade….

  • Jenora Feuer

    So, in other words, it’s another example of ‘See how clever I am?’ naming.

  • Lori

    Yes, but when most people talk about menu tweaking they’re talking about the changes they request for the burgers, not the fries.

    Actually, now that I think about it I’m not sure how much of a tweak it counts as when the company itself tells you that you can change how long they cook the fries and tells you what to call how much longer (or less) you want them cooked. Do you consider it menu tweaking if a steak place defaults to medium, but will cook your steak any other doneness you want if you just ask them to?

  • Lori

    I’d say they’re similar to Five Guys, which I also liked.

  • Lori

    You’re the other person who likes their fries. I knew there had to be more than one :)

  • Lori

    Are there Fuddrucker’s with table service? At ours you ordered & picked up at the counter.

  • Lori

    The problem is that after they chop the potatoes they don’t soak out the excess starch and then they don’t cook them long enough so they’re limp. Fries should be crispy on the outside and sort of fluffy on the inside. They should not flop over when you pick them up.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    What I’m confused by is how everyone is acting so surprised about Chick-fil-A. 

    That some people at Chick-fil-A have anti-gay opinions isn’t surprising.  Or, really, any of my business.  I want them to provide chicken, not agree with everything I believe.  That they decided they’d go out and make a crusade of it is a problem…

    No, this is common for politicians; they just don’t use those exact words, but instead make it clear that their opinions are based entirely on the opinions of their constituents. To quote Rahm Emmanuel on why he’s barring Chick-Fil-A from Chicago:

    Also, this is kinda-sorta what politicians are supposed to do.

    Very true. And I’ve long found it hilarious that classic American cookout foods include hot dogs (German), hamburgers (ditto) and french fries (Belgian or British, depending on who you talk to).

    Nation of immigrants and all.  We wiped out anything that might be considered originally ‘American’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    Okay, this thread has officially convinced me that I have to swing by Five Guys at some point this weekend.

    Last week, I had to fly to Austin for work.  It was an evening flight, so I worked from home that day to allow myself time to get packed and prepared for the trip, and between working and packing I never managed to find time for a proper meal.  I decided I’d head to the airport (Dulles) early enough to get something to eat there before my flight, and I thought, “Hey, isn’t there a Five Guys in the terminal?”

    Unfortunately, circumstances were such that I got there too late to swing by the Five Guys. 

    When I got back last Friday, I cast a lingering gaze at the Five Guys as I made my way to baggage claim, but I was too eager to get home (from Austin, I had to fly on to Syracuse – talk about going from one extreme to another – before finally returning to Virginia, so I was pretty wiped out after cramming that much travel into four days), then I never got around to getting to a regular Five Guys over the weekend.

    Yesterday was my regular “movie night” with a friend, and typically we either order pizza or Chinese food, or else he picks something up on his way to my house.  I meant to text him to suggest that he pick up Five Guys, but didn’t get a chance.

    So, dammit, I’m getting Five Guys this weekend.

    (The only burger I’ve ever had that’s better was at a bar in the middle of nowhere* back home in Michigan.  To be fair, I’ve never had In-n-Out, but while I know a lot of people who prefer it to Five Guys, I know a fair number who prefer Five Guys.)

    *That’s kind of redundant: every place back home is in the middle of nowhere.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    That some people at Chick-fil-A have anti-gay opinions isn’t surprising.  Or, really, any of my business.  I want them to provide chicken, not agree with everything I believe.  That they decided they’d go out and make a crusade of itis a problem…

    Pretty much. When I knew that they were a company whose leadership was homophobic, I didn’t like that, but that was not itself a reason to avoid them. 

    Now, I know that if I give them my money, they will use that money to fund attempts to deprive people of their rights. I don’t want them to have money to do that, so I am not going to give them any of mine. 

  • Ursula L

    Ursula L – we are contemplating a relocation from Binghamton to Buffalo – any suggestions as to networks of non-profit employers? 

    Alas, I can offer no suggestions as to networks of non-profit employers. 

    If you’re in the area and looking for food, however, I can, with confidence, suggest Bill Rapaport’s restaurant guide.  http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/restaurant.guide/  He reviews restaurants, and anyone can e-mail him with their report of any local restaurant.  The project started as a printed list of suggested restaurants at an academic conference, and has grown geekily out of hand.  (Any reviews with a star or a minus-sign reflect Rapaport’s opinion, while everyone else’s contributions are posted but not assigned a star level. So an absence of stars/minus-signs merely means that the fellow running the site hasn’t been there yet.) 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I’ve never heard of Chick-Fil-A (how the hell do you pronounce that?) but I see they are a company based on Christian values. So, anyone know how much they pay their front line staff? Cleaners? Suppliers? Obviously they’ll be paying penalty rates to staff who work on evenings, Sundays and public holidays.

    Any CFA staff lurking?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I see my first question has been asked and answered already:

    “chick fill LAY” – as though it were spelled “filet”, American pronunciation.

    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.

  • Hawker40

    The local (San Diego) Chick-Fil-A pays minumum wage, no benefits, makes it impossible to get over 30 hours a week to avoid having to pay benefits, and is closed on Sundays to prevent people from claiming overtime.

    I mean, they’re closed on Sundays so people can get time with thier families, of course.

    They’ve been jerks about forcing thier faith on people for a while around here.  I haven’t been there in a couple of years, and feel better than ever for avoiding them.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Also, they’re markedly more expensive than comparable chains.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    So when they say they’re faith-based, they’re being very selective in which bits of the faith they are considering a basis.

    ————–

    After reading this thread I am stunned at the number of hamburger chains there appear to be.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    Except that splitting  In-N-Out fries would not satisfy in the same way. 

    I think this is one of those things that is impossible to satisfy objectively.  I consider the superiority of 5 Guys product to be worth the extra cost, and you do not consider the 5 Guys product to be superior. I think we would need an outside adjudicator – someone who has experienced neither burger.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    My objection to the In-N-Out fries was not that they were floppy. Rather, they had no flavor – they were like styrofoam. They were like deep fried communion wafers. 

  • Lori

    I think the floppyness and the tastelessness go together though. When they’re cooked a little more to me it improves the taste as well as the texture. I’m not sure why that’s true. 

  • Tonio

    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.

  • Tonio

    You’re assuming that “Christian values” as far as the company is concerned are about making the world a more just place, or treating people with compassion. Don’t be silly.  These are all about preserving the hegemony of straight men.

  • Lunch Meat

    The local (San Diego) Chick-Fil-A pays minumum wage, no benefits, makes it impossible to get over 30 hours a week to avoid having to pay benefits, and is closed on Sundays to prevent people from claiming overtime.

    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.
    And the places I’ve gone to don’t sell limp fries, but maybe that’s just different meanings of “limp”.

    (Okay, I’m seriously going to stop evangelizing for In-n-Out now.)

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

    Speaking of benefits.

    Is it actually a law in American States that 35, 40 hrs per week = must have benefits, or is it simply a broad social custom that takes the force of quasi-law?

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin


    I think the floppyness and the tastelessness go together though. When they’re cooked a little more to me it improves the taste as well as the texture. I’m not sure why that’s true.

    Could be. Next time I’m over there on the Left Coast, I’ll have to get myself a native guide to take me to an In-N-Out properly.

  • Lori

    Is it actually a law in American States that 35, 40 hrs per week =
    must have benefits, or is it simply a broad social custom that takes
    the force of quasi-law? 

    If you’re a full time employee you are entitled to whatever benefits your employer provides to full time employees. The definition of full time varies from state to state. In some places it’s 32+ hours/week. In others it’s 37 and in some it’s 40. If you’re a contract worker then you aren’t covered by this rule no matter how many hours you work because you aren’t a full time employee, you’re a contract worker.

  • Hawker40

    @1cfd07d71c70392c27d26165e23b0cf2:disqus “These are all about preserving the hegemony of straight men.”

    If I may ad, they are all about preserving the hegemony of *Wealthy* (publically) straight men.  And to maintain that hegemony, they will sacrifice gays, lesbians, women, the poor, etc. to the mob.

  • Hawker40

    I am a contract employee.  My contract says that I get certain benefits if I am accredited 30 hours a week.  So, if I work, take paid vacation, or federal holiday for at least 30 hours, I get my benefits.  For example, a few weeks back I worked for 16 hours, took 8 hours paid holiday (4 July), and took 16 hours paid vacation, giving me credit for 40 hours worked, so I get my benefits for that week.
    One of my benefits is paid vacation.  I earn 1.5 hours a week paid time off… which I get for taking paid time off.  So I took 16 hours paid vacation and earned 1.5 hours paid vacation.

  • Emcee, cubed

    RE: Five Guys fries vs In-N-Out fries. There is also the question of portion size. A regular Five Guys fries could feed a family of four. (Okay, I’m exaggerating. But I have yet to have met an adult who can actually eat an entire regular fries there on their own.) So it if there are two of you, you only order 1 order, or you end up tossing a lot of fries away. You can’t split In-N-Out fries and get the same portion you can at Five Guys. (Oh, and Five Guys also makes their fries from fresh potatoes. In fact, they usually have a sign in the dining room saying what specific town today’s potatoes came from.)


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