Apple pulls Civil War games with Confederate flag; Americans ironically slaves to the past

Civil WarIt only took the U.S. one week to move from the horrific actions of a lone racist who killed nine churchgoers in South Carolina to companies banning “Dukes of Hazzard” collectibles and Civil War games. Millions of Americans are, ironically, slaves to the past. They are slaves to an inanimate object. They cower in fear of a flag, even though common sense tells them that symbols can only be infused with meanings we permit.

Kotaku reported June 25:

Today, Apple decided to start yanking games that use the Confederate flag in any way (via TouchArcade). For example, you can now no longer buy the strategy iOS games Civil War: 1862, Civil War: 1863, Civil War: 1864, and Civil War: Gettysburg, which, as you might guess, use the Confederate flag because they’re video games about the Civil War.

Andrew Mulholland, director of these Civil War games, told me this morning that Apple pulled them today without any warning.

“It seems disappointing that they would remove it as they weren’t being used in an offensive way, being that they were historical war games and hence it was the flag used at the time,” Mulholland said in an e-mail. “At the moment we’re reworking the games to replace the flags that are deemed offensive. We’re going to use the Confederate flag from 1861 and 1862 as the one that’s considered offensive wasn’t introduced until late 1862.”

The note Apple sent, according to Mulholland: “We are writing to notify you that your app has been removed from the App Store because it includes images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.”

What is happening here is only a few steps removed from book burning. It is the second cousin of book burning. We have found ourselves in a place where it is permissible to use a tragedy to target goods and services totally unrelated to the event. In an attempt to expunge certain elements of the past from our collective cultural consciousness, Civil War games are now deemed “mean spirited” merely for being about the Civil War.

This behavior indicates that the United States is culturally insane or a slave to its past. Businesses are beholden to the bottom line, and right now the bottom line is that prudence and reason are dangerously unprofitable. When a company looks out at its potential customers and it preemptively engages in absolute lunacy to please them, then red (not Confederate) flags should go up.

The nation would be wise to consider the words of Saint Francis de Sales, who said:

“‘Know thyself’ — that saying so celebrated among the ancients — may be understood as applying to the knowledge of the greatness and excellence of the soul (so that it may not be debased or profaned by things unworthy of its nobility); but it also may be taken to refer to the knowledge of our unworthiness, imperfection, and misery.” — Saint Francis de Sales, The Art of Loving God.

“Know thyself” is not high on America’s priority list these days. To the extent it is, Americans only want to think about their “greatness and excellence.”

Only sad people avoid confrontation with the worst parts of their nature, and only sick and twisted souls seek to live in complete denial of sins past. No matter how you slice it, America is in a pathetic place in 2015 — and it has nothing to do with slavery.

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Rand Paul to Congress: Instead of yelling at Apple, you hypocritical losers should put yourself on trial

Who has done more for the world: The men and women at Apple, or Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY? Who would you trust with your money: the CEO of Apple or Chuck Schumer? That's what I thought. And that's why Rand Paul wins kudos for publicly sticking it to a bunch of hypocritical politicians.
Who has done more to raise the standard of living for the world’s population: The men and women at Apple, or Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.? Who would you trust with your money: the CEO of Apple or Carl Levin? That’s what I thought. And that’s why Rand Paul wins kudos for publicly sticking it to a bunch of hypocritical politicians.

Ron Paul may be a crazy enough to think that China and Russia would swear off espionage if only the CIA closed up shop, but at least he was sane enough to raise his son Rand with a proper understanding of free market economics.

During Tuesday’s Senate subcommittee hearing on Apple’s offshore tax practices, he lit into Congress and demonstrated that he might have been the only politician in the room with his head on straight.

Behold, the awesomeness that was Rand Paul, Tuesday, May 21, 2013:

“Frankly, I’m offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing. I’m offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America’s greatest success stories,” Mr. Paul said.

“Tell me one of these politicians up here who doesn’t minimize their taxes. Tell me a chief financial officer that you would hire if he didn’t try to minimize your taxes legally. Tell me what Apple has done that is illegal.

“I’m offended by a government that uses the IRS to bully tea parties, but I’m offended by a government that convenes a hearing to bully one of America’s greatest success stories. I’m offended by the spectacle of dragging in executives from an American company that is not doing anything illegal,” Mr. Paul continued.

“If anyone should be on trial, it should be Congress. I frankly think the committee should apologize to Apple,” the senator said. “I think the Congress should be on trial here for creating a bizarre and Byzantine tax code that runs into the tens of thousands of pages, for creating a tax code that simply doesn’t compete with the rest of the world.

“This committee will admit that Apple hasn’t broken any laws, yet we are forced to sit, Apple is forced to sit, though a show trial. … I say, instead of Apple executives, we should have brought in a giant mirror. OK? So we can look at the reflection of Congress because this problem is solely and completely created by the awful tax code.”

Steve Jobs may have been a hard ass (to put it nicely), but here’s what I wrote about him when he passed away in 2011 (has it really been that long?):

For the sake of argument lets say that Steve Jobs was a greedy guy. Let’s agree with the liberal premise that the majority of businessmen are in it for some weird Machiavellian desire to exploit “the masses.” Even if that was the case, at least guys like Steve Jobs have raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions (perhaps billions?) of people! As ReasonTV notes, “Sultans and students now have iPhone 4′s.” …

Steve Jobs never set out to end poverty, but through his inventions the definition of poverty changed. The federal government set out to END poverty, and has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars to do so. How’s that working out? Instead of throwing trillions of dollars at an impossible task, the world would be much better if we left that money in the hands of men and women with a knack for inventing products we didn’t know we wanted.

Instead of seriously addressing the problems that face the nation, politicians host show trials, where they drag in businessmen and berate them for being successful. Apple invented quality products that changed the world, and instead of saying “thank you,” a bunch of self-righteous losers, whose only goal in life is to sit in the halls of Congress for as long as possible, read its CEO the riot act. It’s despicable, but at least there are men like Sen. Rand Paul who are willing to put it all in perspective.

Allahpundit over at Hotair wraps the story up and puts a bow on it:

Apple saved $44 billion since 2009 from tricks like this, which, averaged over four years, means the lost tax revenue last year could have paid for a single day of federal spending. But again — all perfectly legal. Even if you think it shouldn’t be, you run into Paul’s [second point], namely, why not just have a Senate debate on tax reform rather than try to shame Apple with hearings for doing what literally anyone else in their position would have done (potentially at the risk of being ousted by shareholders if they didn’t)? (emphasis added)

If Congress doesn’t like what Apple is doing, they can change the law. Fine. Do that. And then watch what happens when it takes its bat and ball and goes to Ireland or China for good. But what you don’t do is essentially drag in an American success story and demonize its leadership for legally trying to keep as much of its money as possible.

Al Gore thinks He’s Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap. He’s Not.

If even the shareholders at Apple are calling him joke, I’m not sure if many more Al Gore blog posts on him are needed. As the good folks at Hotair point out, it’s rather interesting that a man who views himself as an “instrument of human redemption” (Yes Al, you are a tool…) doesn’t like answering questions. This, coupled with the IPCC’s ongoing troubles stemming from another debacle, in which the world’s leading scientists thought global warming was so important to the survival of mankind that they threw out their raw data, does not bode well for the president that never was.

Scientists keep detailed records on the immune systems of dung beetles, but apparently Al Gore’s number crunchers, who are willing to shell out $1200 to not shake his hand, thought throwing out raw data was consistent with the scientific method when the statistics keep giving you headaches.

In this case I think the most interesting thing to take away is the instrument of human redemption line. It’s not that I don’t think laws can be used to right wrongs like Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap, but I do have an issue with small groups of elites that think they can plan complex economies based on a few computer models and the word of their friends who–again–throw out raw data the rest of us could use to cross-check their claims. And besides, we know Scott Bakula, and you sir Mr. Gore, are no Scott Bakula!

I HIGHLY SUGGEST reading living legend Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed. It will change you life.