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Using the "L" in Public. Just When did 'LIBERAL' (freedom) become a Dirty Word?

Updated on January 25, 2016

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USA Circa 1975 Liberty bell postage stamp
USA Circa 1975 Liberty bell postage stamp | Source
Our national flag a symbol of freedom and liberty
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fireworks mark independence day july 4th
liberty depiction on Gold coin
liberty depiction on Gold coin
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U.S. statue of liberty

When did "liberal" become a dirty word

Find out why i am proud to be called an American liberal.

The attacks on liberals by their opposition is a shameful display of anti American values. America is known for diversity and progression. Conservative stagnation that opposes progressive values and promotes the bigotry of religion is a blight on this great country.

I will always promote innovative, progressive, and equality minded people over the staid, stagnant, ignorant, and lost in some religious fantasy world of the ancient past, known as conservatism.

{I am sure God must be a progressive, a liberal and quite a jokester for putting a cannabis plant on this planet for such enjoyment (and its medicinal properties) and watching the moralists fighting over it.}

Since i have been writing on this site, i have been called many 'negative' names for my controversial writings (these are a few of the more colorful ones):

{fag, socialist, communist, liberal, crazy democrat, hypocrite, anti-christian, satanist, referred to as 'you people' , had my life threatened (by professed ''God's servants"), told i do not deserve to be alive and that i should commit suicide, or have someone else do it for me; all of which i find rather amusing - and at the same time quite disturbing. (these are all from comments left for me on my "controversial" articles.}

The only thing that confounds me is that "liberal" is now being used as a dirty word, a slur on one's character. ???? It is as odd as those who use it inappropriately are.

"Liberal and Proud"

I am a liberal in mind, thought, beliefs, etc..., and am proud of that fact. I am also in my 70's, retired, anti religious craziness, and long time Republican until a few months ago when i had to switch to the Democratic party. Seeing those who are currently representing the GOP is an embarrassment to me, and to the the rest of the world.

Let me define liberal for those of you who think of it as a dirty word, then i will gladly tell you how, and why i consider myself liberal.

LIBERAL: According to Websters dictionary: one who is open minded, not strict in observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways. An advocate of individual rights, individual freedoms and equality.

  • I believe in freedom of speech, but not hate mongering as recently seen on TV where the radical right wingers carried signs of protest, picketed, and yelled obscenities at the family members, and attendees, of the funeral where they were grieving for a young military man, because he was gay. And the new funeral picketing of ANY ex military person. This kind of cruelty is unfathomable, and must not be endured or tolerated by anyone. I do not believe that the freedom of speech as defined in our constitution was ever meant for this kind of cruelty and hatred spewing.
  • I believe in the right of choice by the individual woman to make an informed decision, along with her doctor, about having an abortion, and choosing her own health care options. The decision to bring a child of incest, rape, or that is known to be deformed, or not, is not the business of any government or religion's attempt to mandate morality. A healthy pregnancy terminated for birth control reasons should be avoided, and alternative choices for the pregnant mother, through counseling and involving her doctor should be explored first. (ex: adoption option).
  • I believe in a government for the people, by the people. I do not advocate a plutocratic government , or one owned by Corporate America, as this one has turned into today. (Government by the wealthy, for the wealthy).
  • I believe that lobbyists should not be allowed in Washington in their current form and influence over our lives and safety, and special interest groups (religion and big business) have no place, or say, in making (writing) their own laws to serve their own agendas, as is the common practice today.
  • I believe this government is not idiomatic or was it ever meant to be. (Peculiar to a particular group, individual, or style - especially in its representation of any religious entity).
  • I do NOT believe that the supreme court should have the right to declare corporations the same rights as an individual. They do not have the same rights. This kind of government corruption should not be tolerated. And yet we have a governing body that stands by and allows this atrocious behavior to occur unchallenged. It is hard for politicians to point a finger at the supreme court for being bought out by big business, when they are doing the same thing. We are putting politicians in office that are selling their loyalties to the highest bidders instead of representing the people who put them in office. Most importantly: The supreme court members should never have a lifetime occupancy.
  • I believe the quest for knowledge should never be compromised for the quest of money and power. Putting a prohibitive price on education that can only be affordable for the wealthy is wrong at any level.
  • I believe that the Jewish faith should be banned, by law, from mutilating male babies at birth for some antiquated religious ceremonial belief. (Circumcision). It is barbaric and equivalent to those third world countries that are still doing circumcisions of female babies.
  • I believe that religion should never be taught in schools. This "indoctrination" technique has gone on for way too many centuries and takes away the freedom of choice. It is like a cancer in our society. Teaching children to fear and hate anything that is different is destructive at all levels. It is a self perpetuating blight on society that is counter productive and thwarts spiritual growth by worshiping stagnant ideas based on fear and unfounded guilt.
  • And i strongly believe that spirituality should be fostered (that the body incorporates an essential spiritual factor as well as a physical).
  • I believe that marijuana should be legalized, as it is less destructive than alcohol, both physically and mentally. Maintaining it as illegal has become an enormous financial drain on society. It will never be eradicated, and the cost to try to stop it, is prohibitive to say the least. Legalization would significantly lessen the border tensions, and taxing it would be an excellent source of revenue for the government. Hemp production for making cloth, paper, and as a source of oil, both for private and commercial use would provide states with jobs, less dependence on foreign imports, and stop the destruction of our forests. The benefits far out weight the imagined destructive qualities. And i do not believe that it is a "gateway" drug to addiction any more than alcohol use.
  • I believe that love should be the foundation of our society, not hatred. And the individual having the right to the freedom of choice of who they will love and who they will spend their lives with. This is not a decision to be made by any outdated religion or government ordinances. In spite of all the hateful rhetoric spewed from any text: love is a gift from God and should be cherished and exalted. Some people go through life never finding it and some people want to manage it as a commodity and take it away from others who feel, and deserve it, just as surely as those who would ban it (probably more so). If we spent as much time trying to eradicate hate, as we do fighting to have it (love) only for the chosen few, this would be a better world for it.
  • I believe that Christianity has fallen along the wayside and lost its true meaning according to the purported teaching of Christ. Nowhere in the life time of Christ did he condemn love in any form, or in any fashion, promote hatred, intolerance, or judgmental-ism. (except against government corruption)
  • I refuse to follow any religion, or government policy, that does not embrace the good of all people: that does not enforce equality for everyone: and allows this hatred and discrimination to continue as a means of control.
  • I believe that quality health care should be universal and affordable for ALL American citizens, and the only way to successfully do this is to put restraints on an industry that has shown no interest in doing this. This particular industry, above all others, should be devoid of greed for greed's sake, at the expense of denying health care to the people who cannot afford it, and it should be a public service agency that is NON-PROFIT.
  • I believe that self regulation by any business, corporation, or monopoly is not an option, as long greed is the motivator for our society. (This is like putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house)

Lies from the Dark Side - liberal fascism - Conservative propaganda

The belly of the beast

These are what are called "liberal ideas".

I stand my grounds.

And i stand by my convictions.

Everyone has the right to their opinion as long as it does not restrict the rights of others.

Following a narrow minded illogical idiomatic group is certainly the right of those that do - but for God's sake keep it to yourself. Take your narrow mindedness into your homes and stop trying to convert everyone else to your narrowed view of how God intended man to behave.

I would sooner believe that our Creator is way more wise, diverse, (and yes even "liberal") than any of you who think and preach otherwise.

??Give me liberty, or give me death??

I don't think that statement was made by someone who would impose the restrictive laws on others that the Conservatives , or their religious counterparts, would have us do today.

Call me a "liberal" if you must.

I find it a compliment and thank you for it.

I accept this recognition with gratitude and graciousness.

And anyone who finds the 'liberal minded' evil, i will pray to MY "liberal" God for YOUR enlightenment.

by: d.william 10/21/10

Who are these liberals anyway?

the radical liberals
the radical liberals | Source


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    • GARH608 profile image

      Pathways thru life 

      17 months ago from Mid West

      Ditto....I agree....

      From a fellow Liberal

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      vortrek: Thanks for reading and leaving your comments. As a true liberal i do recognize the rights of others with dissimilar beliefs, and honor their rights to do as they please. Where i do differ, however, is when those beliefs are forced onto others without their consent. Adults have the option of listening to religious crap being preached at them, but children do not have that same privilege. They are brainwashed without their consent and without realizing the psychological harm being inflicted on them. Most adults can selectively believe what they want, but that indoctrination can never be reversed in their lifetime. There will always be some residual guilt for opposing the religious idiocy they were born into.

      I do reserve the right to take umbrage against those whose freedom of speech rights hurt others without any rhyme or reason other than being assaulted by religious zealots who have never learned how to think for themselves.

      Most "religious" people doubt much of the carp they were taught, but would rather err on the side of not offending their gods of wrath than embrace logic and common sense.

    • Vortrek Grafix profile image

      Vortrek Grafix 

      2 years ago

      Good article. It does seem like liberals get a bad rap. If one supports socialized medicine, one is confronted with ill-informed anecdotes about 'it doesn't work', 'waiting lists', 'why should I pay for you?', etc. The fact is, almost every European nation, Canada, and select other modern day nations already have a better national health system than the USA. I applaud Obama for pushing a system through - but frankly it is too expensive, deductibles and copays are way too high, and coverage is marginal at best. Hopefully the system stays but gets revamped for the better.

      Retorts such as the above are typically from conservatives, and are spun in such a way as to place a liberals on the defensive against something being misrepresented. Waiting lists? That happens in the USA too. So the alternative of no public insurance at all, would somehow improve waiting lists? 'Why should I pay for you?' Again the conservative puts the liberal on the defensive as though the liberal is the only one whom can get ill, disabled, or befall upon harsh times, while the conservative inevitably has to bail them out. Wrong. We can all lose our jobs, have debilitating accidents, get sick long-term, etc. Solution: we ALL (conservatives, centrists, liberals, etc.) chip in when we have the means to do so, to ensure a socialized medicine system exists when we are not able to so.

      The same holds true for education. The student loan system in the USA is OK, but the debt loads graduates carry afterward are hefty. Why not subsidize universities with public money (from collective taxes) and reduce the costs to make them more affordable? I'm all for free enterprise, and there are sound arguments to be made for prosperity enabling charity, but free enterprise has turned health care and education into a major divide between the haves and the have nots.

      I agree with you stand point on campaign finance reform - probably the root of most problems in the USA staying as they are. Special interest and lobbying is the only thing that makes a difference anymore. The little guy only has some voice if they group together in very large numbers.

      On the flip side, I find some of your positions on religion do not reconcile well with true liberal thought. Rather than banning something as indoctrination, why not offer a variety of perspectives, including that of the non-believer, and treat each on a neutral basis. In a multi cultural society that makes more sense to me.

      My way of dealing with conservative retorts is to disperse the notion that its an us against them situation. By definition a true liberal recognizes anyone's right to say or do as they please, up to the point doing so impacts another person. That includes the rights of conservatives. At that point, the conservative is at a disadvantage for to concede that conservatives don't tolerate liberals in the same way compromises how they are viewed as citizens f a nation that purports to advocate freedom, equality, and liberty for all. All being the key word.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks for reading a commenting. As far as the reference to the Jewish tradition of circumcision goes, it is barbaric and on a par with those other third world countries that perform circumcisions on young females so they will not enjoy the physical pleasure of sex in their life time.

      Circumcision in the male population does little for health reasons, but most people have to learn on their own how to clean themselves properly. When the foreskin is removed from a male child, it desensitizes the glans penis and diminishes the sexual pleasure of the male adult. Those who have been circumcised do not know what they are missing and never will. Just as those unfortunate female babies will never know what they have had stolen from them in their adult lives.

      As a nurse of many years, i cannot tell you the number of nursing assistants, student nurses, new nurse graduates, etc..., that had no clue about how to cleanse an uncircumcised patient properly. And by not doing so has led to the necessity of penile amputations because of infections caused by the ignorance of the caretakers.

      We are taught that paying too much attention to our private areas is an unacceptable practice in our religious idiocy.

      So, the references to this is about taking personal choices away from babies, and denying them greater sexual pleasures as adults.

      It is on the same par as mentally abusing children with constant bombardment of religious dogma from the day of their birth to the day they actually have the sense to think for themselves. But as we all know brainwashing is a powerful tool of control, and most people never get over it.

      So, Jewish babies are getting a double whammy - both physical and mental. No disrespect to the Jewish community is intended, just my pity for their misfortunes of being born into a religion that mutilates their children.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      5 years ago

      I am so thrilled to have read this. I am proud to share this and tweet. Voted this Up +++ to the loving God we believe in. This is amazing writing, and I miss watching the Lawerence

      O' Donnell show. :( I remember when he stated those words one night on his program. Soon after, we didn't see him on the network anymore. I agree with most of what you have stated here. The Jew thing kind of stung a little. I found out last year that I am Jewish. And as far as circumsison, this was done back in the bible days. It is a lot more healthier for the babies (boys). This is a proven fact. But most everything else, I applaud you. I think you are intelligent with a lot of substance and I am proud to have met a new friend. Shalom

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I re-read, and edited to make that statement about the Jewish faith more clear. I am not questioning the faith of the Jewish religion, but rather condemning the out dated barbaric practice of circumcision. As a health care provider for many years, i know that this practice diminishes the sexual pleasure considerably. By removing the foreskin, the glans penis is desensitized over time, thus lessening the sexual pleasure. Those that have grown up being circumcised may not know the difference, but it is still barbaric and unnecessary. If cleanliness is the issue, then the parents should be teaching their children how to clean themselves properly. In the 3rd world countries where circumcision is done to all female children, this mutilation should also be banned by law. In the female, when this is done, these unfortunate girls, when women, may never know the pleasures of sexual climax. Although, one can have an emotionally induced climax it is never with quite the same intensity as the natural way.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Very good Hub. The Republicans and conservatives since the late 60's have been successful in making the workd liberal a dirty political buzzword. The Democrats and the left have never done enough to counterattack that so the implications of the label stuck. The Democrats have been cowards in this way. So now the word progressive is used though it really is the same thing. I agree with all of your points in this Hub except for the banning of the Jewish faith. Circumcision makes me queasy also but all faiths have strange customs and I'm not going to judge. Otherwise this was an excellent comprehensive Hub.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks again for your comments. I don't really intend to try to change other peoples behaviors i just try to point out the reasons for looking at a different perspective, if that even makes any sense at all. I agree that free speech is necessary, but should it really include all aspects, when there are those that take such evil advantage of its existence. Screaming obscenities, and picketing at anyone's funeral goes far beyond the pale. How do we stop that ugly behavior?. Should it be acceptable? Should it really be necessary to hide funerals, weddings, clinics, etc... so that these few rotten people can maintain their own agendas at the expense of other people's feelings. Just who are these rights protecting? Certainly not the innocent at heart. We advocate protecting the hate mongers rights to free speech at the expense of compromising the privacy rights of others. Is that the intent of free speech? Is this really equality? If decent people protest at a rally of tea baggers, or KKK members, then they are chased away for harassment. The other way around its free speech. There is no happy medium any more.

    • drbillfannin profile image


      7 years ago from Atlanta

      Words mean what the public believes they mean, not what the dictionary says. Webster needs to update the dictionary.

      The new definition of liberal: One who believes that everyone should have the rights to free healthcare (supported by the ones who don't believe that, the right to do whatever they want without criticism from anyone (and if you do you go to jail for hate crimes), the right to free speech (so long as it doesn't criticize them and their behaviors), the right to get pregnant and then kill the baby, the right to turn our democracy into socialism, the right to give up our Christian roots in favor of a one world government, to ban the constitution as discriminatory, to tax the crap out of businesses because free enterprise justs rips people off and the liberal government "cares" about us all, and shall I go on?

      You should not call yourself liberal because you attach yourself to all these negatives. Maybe use "free spirit" or "open minded" or something else. I hate calling myself a Christian, because then I become part of the "right wing" which is just as bad as the liberals. I do lean right, but maybe I should become a Libertarian. The only problem with that is our country has split into liberals and conservatives represented by Democrats and Republicans, and if we look at history, neither one operates the same as their founders. So I guess, I am not a Republican so much as I am an American, and I am not a Christian as much as I am a Christ believer and follower. And, no I don't think that Christ followers should be making laws to control everyone else, but then neither should Obama, Pelosi, and Reed. This is supposed to be a free country where we can choose how to live without being controlled. Laws should not be used to take from one group to give to another. They must be equally applied to all. If you want to be gay or a sexual pervert or buy whiskey on Sunday, that is your business. So long as you don't abuse others in the process. Both sides of this have gotten into the mode of trying to control "offensive" behavior by making laws. How stupid. One cannot legislate morality or behavior. People are going to behave the way they want regardless.

      What we can do is suppress free speech and put lots of people in prison, which we are doing. Liberals want to control free speech, the very thing you are being criticized for here. I don't know if conservatives or liberals are behind the comments, but either way, they are soooo wrong.

      Keep doing what you do, and ignore the critics. The rest of us know they need to get a life. Like calling names is solving anything.

      Hey here's a thought: instead of being so negative, why don't they write a hub that rebuts the ideas and content of your hub, but keep your name out of it. That is the right way to refute someone's hub.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank you for your comments. I agree with you wholeheartedly. However, when someone is so obnoxiously blind to that fact and their words are so hateful, in both the aspects of their narrow minded religious and political views, it is difficult not to categorize. We tend to avoid those with such radical and hurtful ideas and it does indeed color our perceptions of that person as a whole being. It IS what defines them, and makes it impossible to find any other side to their nature.

    • SilentReed profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      A person should not be define simply by his political or religious affiliation. That is what got us into the world wars and today's conflagration. Segregating mankind into neatly define labels greatly reduces the possibilities for understanding each man's humanity.

    • SilentReed profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      A person should not be define simply by his political or religious affiliation. That is what got us into the world wars and today's conflagration. Segregating mankind into neatly define labels greatly reduces the possibilities for understanding each man's humanity.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      do you think? I never considered that possibility. LOL. However, being middle of the road, as i am, i can see both ends of that spectrum, and i can assure you that even the most distant left would never be that cold and insensitive. So i reserve that distinction for the far radical right, much like yourself, i would presume. Thank you for your comments. And by the way, i am a registered republican and vote for the candidate that i feel is best qualified for the position for which they are running. Do you? I have never believed in following anyone or anything blindly.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 

      7 years ago from America

      Who said those people were right wingers? I call them radical left wingers! get your story right!

    • J.R. Smith profile image

      J.R. Smith 

      7 years ago from Delaware

      The tax revenue would be staggering. I don't condone it, but economically it would bring great profits.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south Mama

      Thank you for reading and your comments. I did not, nor did i ever, condone smoking in public places. I too, find second hand smoke detestable. My comments about pot was simply that legalization is the right thing to do in today's world. Its use certainly has not made me turn to stronger drugs, or even alcohol for that matter. If one has an addictive personality it doesn't matter if they are drinking alcohol, smoking pot, or too much coffee. So, to use this kind of an excuse for not legalizing it, is kind of ridiculous. I was just saying.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank you for you comments. I do not want to terminate any life, in any form. The crux of that statement was that women are the only people who have the right to decide what happens to them. Not government or religion. It is all about the right to make your own choices. Your comment about the Jewish religion is also flawed. My comments had nothing to do with the Jewish faith. It is rather, to state that just because a barbaric practice is part of a religious ceremony, does not make it humane or right. If i had been circumcised because of an outdated religious belief, i most assuredly would have sued the Jewish religion and the government by now, for allowing this destructive inhumane barbaric practice to continue. And lastly your comment about liberals taking away from the rich, is again incorrect. My beef is with the wealthy wanting it all at the expense of all others, and without having to pay taxes, or give anything back to society. I am sorry that you feel the need to defend the greedy in this world. The wealthy have all the money. influence, and power they need. I doubt if they really care about your opinion, or mine. We are just an annoyance to them.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      7 years ago from New England

      Hi D.William. Well-written hub that voices what many are thinking, but may not have been able to organize their thoughts as eloquently as you have done here.

      The only idea that I would challenge is legalizing the smoking of marijuana in public. I agree with all of its other uses, and growing it should not be illegal. The only thing that affects me is the second-hand smoke. It affects deeply a very primitive part of my brain in a way that turns me into a person who is not very nice. Otherwise, I am pretty friendly and accepting of others...."liberal," one might say. The regulation of alcohol consumption by the person consuming it is their responsibility. But why should I be held responsible for the affects on me of second-hand smoke from marijuana if smoking it in public is legalized? Then my choice in the matter is taken away. Should I not have a public life, then? My right to fresh, breathable air when in public would be taken away, and thus my right to spend time in public places that are pleasing to me if those who are there are free to smoke marijuana there. I feel protected, even from myself, when there is a legal compunction about not being exposed to the stuff. That is the part of government I feel serves me...but one of the few things.

      Otherwise, I do agree with your assessment of how the originally intended Democracy, that was supposed to prevail in our country, has become a plutocracy.

      I do agree with OpinionDuck about the higher burden on the middle class, to hold the tax burden of both the poor and rich, while becoming poorer themselves while making the rich richer. Ugh.

      I did not take D.William's comments about religious to mean that he advocates cruelty to anyone of any religion. I have been leaning more toward expressing my faith with the Unitarians each year. With all the changes in the Catholic mass being proposed, the tipping point for me will soon be reached.

      The termination of the growth of a deformed fetus is tricky to me. I hold much compassion for those who grapple with this dilemma. They are in so much pain over that news, and the Creator I believe in holds compassion for the mother of that life within. I believe that parents who think hard about their ability to provide proper care once that baby is born are being responsible. One of the functions of parenting is to ensure a child becomes an adult that functions effectively in society. If a child who is deformed loses his or her parents due to natural death in old age but has nobody else who loves and cares for him or her, is that not cruelty? A parent who brings a new life into the world is dooming a child with deformaties to a cruel life if they cannot take care of them. They also have responsibility to take care of their other children if they have already brought healthy children into the world. Medical bills related to caring for a deformed child could be crippling, and that could take away from providing for other children in that family who also deserve their parents' love and care. I think it is a separate issue from how we treat others who are already part of the world.

    • OpinionDuck profile image


      7 years ago

      Your premise that all men are created equal is wrong.

      In fact you want to terminate life that you believe is subnormal. I might not disagree with that but it runs a foul of your foundational premise.

      You can't decide the norm, and set it for equality in the country. You can't discriminate against the Jewish culture because they didn't acknowledge Jesus as a God.

      Liberals in this country have not taken from the wealthy to give to the poor, they have taken from the middle class and given it to the poor. The conservatives take from the middle class and give it to the wealthy. No one gives to the middle class.

      There is no equality for the middle class. The poor don't pay taxes, and the rich have the entire Internal Revenue Code that only they can really take advantage of.

    • LRCBlogger profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice, I think your most important points are those related to money in politics. As you said, special interests, corporations, religious organizations, have no business influencing laws the way they currently do. Fix that problem and you have lawmakers working for the American people and not those who fund their campaigns.


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    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)