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I guess this is old news in Britain, but I learned about it for the first time this morning:

Thirteen years ago, Stuart Manley stumbled upon a slightly faded red poster tucked at the bottom of a box of books he had bought at auction. Unfolding it, he found himself staring at a relic of World War II, a long-forgotten piece of government propaganda bearing the logo of the British crown and this pithy message:

Keep calm and carry on.

….The Manleys and other traders are caught in a spat with an enterprising Englishman who, after launching his own line of “Keep calm and carry on” products, trademarked the phrase with European authorities two years ago….The businessman, a former TV producer named Mark Coop, insists he’s simply protecting the interests and brand of the company he has worked hard to build since 2007. His foes accuse him of trying to monopolize a piece of history.

….After Coop was granted his trademark, an online petition campaign quickly sprang up calling for it to be revoked — and for nasty fates to befall him….”The trouble and everything it’s caused has not been worth it,” Coop says. “I didn’t expect that people would react in such a venomous, vicious way.”

Right. Who could have guessed that anyone would react negatively to such an obviously predatory bit of trademark abuse?

In any case, I have decided to popularize and widely market a set of kitschy objects emblazoned with the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.” I figure I can make millions, and thanks to my upcoming trademark of the phrase, all the rest of you are forbidden from ever using it again. Don’t like it? Well, you should have come up with the brilliant idea of putting it on toilet seat covers first. But you didn’t, did you?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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