Scheels and the Blood of Tyrants

Scheels and the Blood of Tyrants
by
David Schlecht

I was saddened when I opened my local newspaper on Independence Day and found a half page ad quoting and taking Thomas Jefferson quotes out of context. I’ll run through the list of quotes they have poisoned our newspaper with and give you the context so you can know what is really being said. One must ask, why would Scheels spend money on such a deceptive ad. To come up with a list of quotes, they must have spent the time to actually read the context, right? Right?

I just can’t believe that Scheels intended to disrespect the readers and America by publishing a biased political screed, but it’s hard to believe they didn’t research the quotes before publishing them. Shame on you, Scheels.

Here are the quotes and the context is described below.

  1. My reading of history convinces me that most bad governments result from too much government.
  2. I predict future happiness for Americans if they prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
  3. The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
  4. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle if acted on would save on-half the wars of the world.
  5. To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
  6. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
  7. When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

Let’s start with the list as a whole. One would think from this list that these are the only things that Jefferson believed and never expressed views contrary to these. Obviously he has. No one is that one sided. Hence, just the fact that Scheels decided to only print quotes that are biased proves they have an agenda and are deceiving us.

Let’s take these quotes and look at them in debth:

  1. My reading of history convinces me that most bad governments result from too much government.
    This sounds simple and true on the surface but as we’ve discussed in a previous post, we need to know the right size of a government and not just strive for smaller and smaller government. Only the rich, greedy, and unethical benefit from too small a government. Worse, still, this is the dog-whistle call to the unthinking tea baggers who chant all government is bad. Believe me, Jefferson didn’t think “We The People” was bad or too big.
  2. I predict future happiness for Americans if they prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
    This is a misquote and in the context means something quite different than is implied in the context of the Scheels’ ad. Here is the real quote:

    As men become better informed, their rulers must respect them the more. I think you will be sensible that our citizens are fast returning, from the panic into which they were artfully thrown to the dictates of their own reason; and I believe the delusions they have seen themselves hurried into will be useful as a lesson under similar attempts on them in future. The good effects of our late fiscal arrangements will certainly tend to unite them in opinion, and in a confidence as to the views of their public functionaries, legislative & executive. The path we have to pursue is so quiet that we have nothing scarcely to propose to our Legislature. A noiseless course, not meddling with the affairs of others, unattractive of notice, is a mark that society is going on in happiness. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.

    You can read the entire text of the letter. As you can see here, Jefferson is talking about the country’s citizens becoming smarter and not feeling they need the government to make decision on their behalf. And, yes, we are happier when we don’t rely on the government to make our decisions, hence, “taking care of us”. This has nothing to do with taking care of our poor and mis fortunate. It has nothing to do with “We The People” uniting to fix the broken health care system.

  3. The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
    Sorry folks. This is just a lie. Jefferson never said any such thing.
  4. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle if acted on would save on-half the wars of the world.
    Wonderful statement. Too bad republicans didn’t complain when the republicans were building up this debt, but only now find it appropriate to complain about it. Those who complain about the debt when the democrats are in power but are silent when the republicans are building up the debt are not just fools but are harmful to America.
  5. To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
    This is a misquote as well. The real text says:
  6. That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.

    This is a quote from his rant on freedom from religion. This quote has nothing to do with taxes. In fact, the idea of taxes to pay for what the majority votes is the founding principle of a democracy. To refuse to be part of a system because you can claim you don’t agree with how part if of it works is foolishness. If that were the case, no one would pay taxes and America would cease to exist. Not too bright, but it plays straight into the hands of the rich who don’t want to pay their fair share.

  7. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    This is one of the most over-quoted and deceptive quotes one hears from Jefferson. Jefferson was not condoning violent revolution as a way to fix problems in a democracy. In fact, later in life wrote to say that a democracy does not need such forms of correction since we have elections. There is a good comment on this at Huffington Post.
  8. When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
    As sad as this comment is, we have become much more corrupt than Europe. Few nations have allowed corporations to take control of their governments. Big business has corrupted our country. Still, I agree. It’s time to reverse our over-population problem.

In conclusion, many these comments are wrong, fabrications, and mis conceptions. Why would a major corporation like Scheels feel the need to publish such a biased advertisement?

14 thoughts on “Scheels and the Blood of Tyrants”

  1. Wow, real patriotic there, Scheels. The majority of voters has turned against the republican failed policies that have destroyed the gulf and our economy and now you talk of armed revolution. The revolution has occurred and your party lost. Get over it. That’s what democracy is about. Maybe next time, losers! Maybe it’s time to quit shopping at Scheels.

  2. I applaud Scheels and support their views as stated in our newspaper. Whether they were slightly misquoted or not, they represent the view points of the majority of hard working Americans. Bravo – Scheels has my business forever.

    1. Really? America’s constitution says: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare…

      Scheels has misquoted a president to say taxes are “sinful and tyrannical”, in other words, misquoted him to say an anti-American position.

      And you applaud this unethical and anti-American deception? Believe me, the “majority of hard working Americans” are not as anti-American. I don’t doubt that many have been deceived by Scheels and the republican party but the vast majority know a pig when they smell one.

      1. You should all read the entire ad before commenting – I believe the actual quote in the ad states, “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Call it Anti-American, but I don’t want my taxes paying for schools or any other benefits for illegal aliens (who don’t pay taxes) or other things I disbelieve in like the screwed up health care reform act. I am all for paying taxes that will benefit defense and education for all tax paying Americans. From the conversations at work this week, I believe I am with the majority of hard working Americans. This ad has been floating around nationwide with 100% suppport and was even discussed at a National meeting of legislators this week where it was greeted with overwhelming applause. I firmly believe everyone (including Anonymous above) should get their butts to work and pay taxes so I don’t have to subsidize their laziness. Scheels is a midwest based company, where the work ethic is very strong. My company (with more than 2000 employees signing on) has sent a letter supporting their ad and Scheels responded that they have received overwhelming support nationwide. My bet is that this ad will only help their already successful position. Has anyone considered criticizing the newspapers who ran these ads? The paper I receive, included several editorals supporting this ad. And, BTW I am a democrat and highly embarassed for the United States government.

        1. So are you saying you and 2,000 fellow employees have sent a letter supporting a corporation that either negligently or willfully lies and deceives to say an American president supports their anti-American positions along with numerous other lies? And you’re proud of that? Boy, you must really hate what America stands for since we don’t hate who you hate. If, as you think, the majority of America shared your foolish notions, this country would cease to exist, would already have ceased to exist. Read your American constitution and stop with the hate.

          BTW, there were a lot of really stupid southerners who hated America enough to try to destroy it so they could continue with their unethical slave labor. One day they’re singing, “United We Stand” and the next day they’re supporting unethical corporations. Sound familiar?

          BTW, I don’t know who posted as Anonymous but you’re showing your biases by calling him/her names. There’s no room for hatred or name calling in a solution and if you’re not part of the solution…

        2. Self-proclaimed Hard Worker — It seems blatantly obvious that you have to believe and endorse lies and deceptive advertisements in order to support your position. It should be just as obvious to you that there must be something wrong with your position. Are you unable to see that? It took me a while but I finally realized that I was being taken advantage of by the liars (mostly Fox and the republican party) but I did finally realize it. What will it take before you realize it?

  3. These are the same lies I see all over the Republican and Libertarian websites. The Republican party, the party of superior ethics. I think I’m going to throw up.

  4. No doubt Scheels is pandering to the same fools that believe Obama is coming for their guns. Real smart folks out there! No matter, it’s pathetic.

  5. It’s funny how they would take the founder of the Democratic party and mis-quote him into some sort of anti-American idiot. I agree. No more Scheels for me. They have no place doing business in the country they so disrespect.

  6. Progressive taxation:

    “Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is
    to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the
    higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they
    rise.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785.

  7. This same pack of lies is being spewed all over America media. The “Liberal Media” must be at it again.

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