portland independent media center  
images audio video
promoted newswire article reporting portland metro

corporate dominance

Shameless Exploitation of 9-11 Tragedy for Fun & Profit - forced flag-waving in NE P-town

A local real estate broker decided to litter EVERY SINGLE HOME in my neighborhood with a flag that represents a murdering, racist, sexist, gay-bashing government. Cheap little plastic USA flags adorned with the broker's business card proclaimed her allegience to the fascist white patriarchy, and were placed in people's property without permission, like spam or junk mail. [ Read More ]
So what else could I do but gather up all the disgusting USA flags in a garbage bag. I only covered my street. Other streets were similarly littered. It's plastic, so burning them will make the birds cough. Anyone want a bunch of junk mail-quality flags? You can have them if you have something progressive in mind as far as utilising them to undermine people's idiotically-thoughtless support of a genocidal government. So far I only have about 50 of them. Since they were put in people's yards without permission, taking them away without permission seemed to be the proper thing to do.

The banner around the business card that proclaimed "Never Forget... United We Stand" seemed to imply the seemingly pervasive reality-television-war mentality that since 9-11 we must rally behind "our" government. How disgusting to exploit people's (sadly one-sided) sense of tragedy in order to broker a few extra real estate deals.

The mere fact that people would place a sign that represents a civilian-raping-and-murdering Empire on my home is disgusting enough. Apparently Elaine Johnson hadn't considered how offended some people might be. Placing Iraqi flags all through the neighborhood would probably provoke outrage, and yet the USA is by far the more powerful and dangerous government. The Iraqi government was an iconic and repressive regime, yet the USA has been far, far worse. And now the Iraqi governemnt will become an iconic and repressive puppet regime, thanks to the "Good Americans" so similar to the "Good Germans" of 1930's and 1940's Germany. Compare the body counts; Iraq's most recent regime has only killed tens of thousands, while the regime that started in the 16th centuray here in the US boasts tens of MILLIONS of dead victims, an overwhelming majority of them civilians, women and children. And Iraq is only the latest victim of the USA Empire's lust for oil, power and wealth. http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ http://www.americanstateterrorism.com/AmericanStateTerrorism.html

I hope others join me in calling Elaine Johnson in letting her know how vile and sick it is to force a flag on people - a flag that is hated all over the world, and with very good reason. She can probably be reached during the day at (971) 570-0831.

big whoop 04.Jul.2003 00:57

anand

If you are so pained to see the flag. Pick up and leave. Big deal.

UNITED WE STAND™ 04.Jul.2003 02:04

9-11 Reichistag Fire

This Elaine Johnson sounds like a typical Mainstream American flack mindlessly spewing and repeating whatever Patriotic Slogan America is pushing next. "United We Stand,"™ "God Bless America,"™ "Let's Roll, "™ blah, blah, blah.

These Patriotic drones remind of the Stepford Wives with their plastic hairdos, their Polyester Pants suits, and their Whitebread way of life in general. Just take a look at this Elaine Johnson in her business card photograph. I bet ol' Elaine would make a great date! NOT.

You want to know how to really mindfuck these people, Gringo Stars? Instead of just protesting Elaine Johnson's Patriotic Kitsch of a business card, challenge them on the issue of US Governement SPONSORSHIP AND INVOLVEMENT in 9-11 itself.

That will really drive the Patriots into a patriotic frenzy when they face the fact that their own Government most likely did 9-11, and that the Patriotic Propaganda campaign which has been launched since 9-11 (including the various Patriotic Catchphrases like "United We Stand"™ ) are all based upon a horrific Big Lie.

You're right, it is no big deal - a flag is just a flag, after all 04.Jul.2003 02:14

GRINGO STARS

But I'd rather nail this corrupt empire to the wall instead of leaving. I like the Willamette Valley. It's beautiful. The entire country (indeed the whole world) must be taken back from the amoral plutocracy that's been rigging elections and buying officials since day one.

Isn't the 4th of July a celebration of REVOLUTIONARIES? Or is it the celebration of docile, obedient, thoughtless people who believe everything they see on TV?

good work Gringo 04.Jul.2003 09:59

gerry

You definitely did a good thing. Ms. Johnson's acts not only highlight how people pray on others' fears, as you correctly mentioned, but also literally emblemize the constant barrage of advertising trash we're all subjected to no matter how unplugged we might try to stay. After all, when I ride my bike around PDX, I can't help but see the vile billboards, etc.

As for those idiotic "America, love it or leave it" statements, I usually respond by asking them to define "it." I then explain that "it" is a constantly evolving state of things, rather than a static object like the newest Radiohead CD that you have a choice about buying (amongst thousands of others, or not buying it or any). And second, aside from the fact that most people can't just leave for many obvious reasons, why the fuck should we? I have a different vision of what "it" should represent. That's why we agitate in our various ways, including developing our own alternative medias and communities. Approaching it any other way allows the reactionaries to define the terms for us.

Call and Thank Her 04.Jul.2003 11:35

Ed Harley

Everyone should give Ms. Johnson a call and let her know how much you appreciate her litter meant to profit from the bizarre nexus of fantasy and tragedy gripping Amerikkka since 9-11. Her number can be found on the above business card.

Temper tantrum 04.Jul.2003 11:44

Postman

While Gringo Stars continues to stomp his feet, holds his breath until his face turns blue, and spew forth his pack of lies, I hope this real estate agent makes a TON of money courtesy of her mailings. Or, would you rather that we rip down all those anarchist flyers around Hawthorne in response to your little tantrum?

4th of July - Postman celebrating the *temper tantrum* heard 'round the world 04.Jul.2003 12:37

GRINGO STARS

It is a "temper tantrum" that you have to thank for your precious empire, Postman. Do what you want, but the fact remains that in the USA's revolutionary era you would be a shill for the powers-that-be. As a British sympathizer you would have been perhaps killed by those dirty revolutionaries that you so hate. You can't even be integral with your own beliefs, so don't feel so threatened by someone trying to improve their own life. You would have also fallen for Goebbels and Hitler's little Reichstag fire stunt. You are a dupe. Go back to your idiot box; it's calling you. Your favorite pundits are spewing corporatist soundbites you can mindlessly parrot here on IMC.

Hawthorne has Large flags 04.Jul.2003 13:44

non

on aluminum poles, just inserted into holes in the concrete sidewalks. gather as ye may.

she should be ashamed 04.Jul.2003 15:11

someone who lost family on 9/11

Postman can go ahead and tear down anarchist flyers, but it misses the whole point: anarchist flyers aren't trying to use the memory of people's loved ones who died in a tragic way in an act of self-promotion and personal profit. I've been disgusted since the first day of 9/11 when people began using 9/11 as a marketing ploy to sell people more worthless crap that they don't need. Anyone who does this is not an american, they are merely a capitalist with no sense of decency, respect, or morality. All they want to do is capitalize on a tradgedy to make more money for themselves. And people wonder why the anti-capitalist movement is growing so quickly... With capitalism like this, who needs enemies.

Shameless Capialists! 05.Jul.2003 01:59

Y&T

& Tommorrow

haha - nice photoshop skills, Y & T! 05.Jul.2003 11:23

GRINGO STARS

Thank you. Now I know precisely what I will do with the flags I "confiscated."

I'm a "troll" 06.Jul.2003 18:32

Padams

I was just reading your comment/article. Now, I may only be 17, but I find your remarks to have no factual evidence. You can speak of any action, and stretch the truth, which you have done. The former Iraqi-regime has hundreds if not thousands of dead (which has been recored), but of course, your comment says "Iraq's most recent regime has only killed tens of thousands." ONLY? One life is too many. That comment right here blew your opinion to hell.

Now, with the Iraqi-regime comment, you said "most recent." Yet, with the "regime that started here in the 16th centuray" you use a much greater time span. Of course there will be more people dead over time--yet with Iraq, you use a time span of up to 30 years, possibly 40. But with American history, you use 500 years? That is no comparison.

You are just an Anti-American liberal. I feel nothing but pity for you.

It is your right to not have someone put something on your property without your permission, but you have taken it past that. You could have simply taken it off of your property. You did not, you said that you "covered my street" in removing the flags. What gives you the right in taking the flags off of someone elses property? Maybe they wanted it there, maybe people have a different opinion than you. Maybe you want to live under a Hitler-like regime, maybe you want to be a dictator. Trust me, I do not. You taking the flags away from other people's property is just as bad. Two wrongs do not make a right.

I would love for you to find one country that has not made mistakes. America ain't that bad. But you will never understand that. That is why I pity you.

I believe what scares you all is that the numbers are not on your side. President Bush has stong support, and you all hate it. When I am 18, I am voting for him, you can count on that. I love America, and even though I may not agree with your radical opinions, I respect them.

Thanks for your article, it let me vent. Being a teenager during these times is tough.

Think for yourself, Padams - and vent away 06.Jul.2003 21:38

GRINGO STARS

Don't believe everything that you're told, Padams. Don't take what your teachers, parents, preachers, celebrities, professors, authors, journalists, or ANYONE tells you without questioning them, without checking the sources and the sources' sources. Think for yourself. It's the best defense in a predatory world, especially when you're a teenager.

For example, the President that you want to vote for claims he is doing everything that he does because God told him to do it.
 http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2003/06/27/120.html

There are SO many reasons NOT to vote for George The Second (since when did the Presidency become heriditary, like a monarchy?), that someone took the time to list over one thousand reasons NOT to vote for the President:
 http://thousandreasons.org/

I took the flags away because I am offended that, like a ghoul, someone wants to PROFIT from the tragedy of 9-11, and also that people are rallying around the flag to kill civilians overseas, as if humans that aren't of US citizenship aren't as worthy of life as Americans. I personally believe that life is sacred, regardless of where you live. What do YOU believe?

Elaine Johnson didn't ask anyone before she planted these flags on people's private property. That is the equivalent of emailing spam, or sending junkmail. As I took the flags and put them in my garbage bag, I only saw one neighbor, so I asked his permission before taking the flag. He was all for taking the flag away, and even mentioned that "We have to take this country away from the white patriarchy" - and this coming from a white male! If anyone wanted their precious flags, I wouldn't have taken it from them.

How you can compare me rather than George The Second to Hitler is beyond me. I am not killing anyone - Bush is. Did you know that Hitler created an office called "HOMELAND SECURITY" and that, because of Hitler, Germans STILL don't call their land the "homeland" but call it the "fatherland" instead? And then, decades later, Bush has the arrogance to actually create a new office here in the USA called "HOMELAND SECURITY?" Truth be told, Bush is guilty of war crimes and should be charged with them;
 link to www.freepress.org

True, in comparing body counts I used a US period of time 20 times greater than Iraq, but the body count is 1,000 as much as Iraq, so do the math; the US is more or less 50 times more murderous as Iraq. So my argument still stands.

You are wrong about me. I am (since you are so eager to pigeonhole me) a radical, not a liberal. Liberals are, like you, interested in the status quo. I am not. I do not hate America; I hate ALL governments, old Iraq included. I see Saddam as no different than Bush, it's just that Bush has more power to actually carry out his megalomaniacal plans. And if there is one thing that power-mad tyrants liek Bush hate, it's OTHER power-mad tyrants like Saddam.

You also refer to America's "mistakes" as if they were an anomoly, and people said OOPS. But these "mistakes" that you refer to are policy - policy that still stands and will be repeated. America doesn't make mistakes; America commits crimes.

America "ain't that bad?" So it's OK to rule the world without regard for anyone else's wishes? Know what the Nazis said after they were in big trouble after WWII? They said "We were merely following orders" as if they had no brain, like thoughtless puppets. More evil has been committed in this world in the name of obedience than in the name of disobedience. Think about that.

You are right that even one life is too many when governments are killing people. I was comparing the regimes. But keep in mind that in Afghanistan (a war still being fought right now) over 10,000 Afghanis have been killed by Americans. And now thousands have been killed by Americans in Iraq;
 http://www.iraqbodycount.net/
(Keep in mind that one is too many - STILL want to vote for Dubya The Liar?)

Bush's ghoulish use of 9-11 to crush personal freedoms is scarily similar to Hitler's use of the Reichstag fire in Germany. I think it is sick and wrong to use the memories of the 9-11 victims to wage MORE war, and so do many relatives of the 9-11 victims;
 http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/03/20/sprj.irq.911.reaction/

I'm glad you vent your frustrations, Padams - it's a good thing to do. But you do not have all the information. Read about our country's history in Howard Zinn's A PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. Read about WWII in Michael Zezima's SAVING PRIVATE POWER. And consult the graph above showing how George The Second has driven our country into debt. Voting for Dubya is practically treason. Do you think killing civilians aroundthe world will make MORE or LESS 9-11-type attacks happen to the US in the future? Georgie II will be the death if the USA.

Being a teenager... 06.Jul.2003 21:42

anonymous

Being a teenager is always tough. It is a confusing time during which you have a lot of feelings, and not much experience or knowledge on which to base your judgements.

We all go through this. The thoughtful ones grow out of it. I hope you grow out of it and wish you the best of luck.

Oops forgot to post that graph 06.Jul.2003 23:29

GRINGO STARS

Dubya probably can't balance his checkbook, let alone the US budget.

And check out this link, as well;
 http://www.americanstateterrorism.com/AmericanStateTerrorism.html
Who Can Seriously Vote for Bush II?
Who Can Seriously Vote for Bush II?

Get a life 07.Jul.2003 00:14

Proud American

I don't blame you for being upset about her putting the flag in your yard, I gotten mad at people running for a spot in the government, or school board, or something along those lines putting a sign in my yard. What do I do, I take it out and throw it away, I don't mess with my neighbor's yard b/c as far as I know he/she wants it there. An example for you would be I would want the flag there and if I found you taking it out I would tell you to stop and if you refused I would resort to violence. Yes I am a very patriotic American.

You keep claiming how horrible America is, yet you live here. If you hate this government so much why do you stay here, I'm sure other countries would welcome your loving and patriotic personallity towards the USA. You should be so lucky to post and say such comments, I would like to see how far you make it in the middle east or China. I won't lie, I don't agree w/ everything that goes on in our country, but I make a good living and I can say what I want and for the most part do what I want (yes, this is a form of a government, not an anarchy). I don't think you realize how good you have it here in the USA, you can vote for the president and yes your voice can even be heard. Most of those sites you posted too wern't what I would call accurate sources (expect for the cnn one). No matter where you get your information its always going to be sided one way or the other. For me I get my facts from books and the news. Every country has its problems, you won't be able to go back and not find a date to where there was a country who didn't have a problem. Another thing I don't think you know how much America helps this world, yes we may do it for all the wrong reasons but many countries around the world today would not be able to support themselves if it wern't for all of the aid we give out....even China gets aid from us.

So instead of sitting around bitching about this GREAT country why don't you get off your ass and do something about it, if you can't or feel you can't move to another country to where you'll be happy. I honestly don't think you'll find a better country, but if you disagree go ahead and name them off and then live there for a year or so and tell me what you think of it then.

Geez, Proud American 07.Jul.2003 03:43

anonymous

Geez, Proud American, on one hand you tell Gringo Stars to get off his ass and do something about it, when that is exactly what he is doing. And on the other hand you tell him he should stop what he's doing, and love it or leave it.

You love it or leave it people are nuts. Every "proud American" should want his/her country to be the best that it can be. There will always be varying opinions on what the best is, but nobody should tell another American to just leave if he doesn't like it. That's so un-American (American ideal not American reality).

I research 07.Jul.2003 07:36

padams

Gringo Stars:
I have researched, and have reached my own conclusions. Trust me, no one is telling me what to believe. I live in Massachusetts, a highly Democratic state, and I really have no one here who agrees with me. Yes, I know about Hitler, I have been to Germany quite a few times. Let's face it, we will never come to a middle ground. I am more than likely, as extreme as you, but on the other end of the spectrum. Which is okay. At least we can talk about our ideas respectfully.

I did look at your links, which were one sided and I found rather disgusting. But, believe what you may, and I shall respect it. I am very glad though that you did provide your evidence. I am still going to vote for George Walker Bush. I do not believe he is attacking 'civilians' around the world. Civilians die in war, that's a very horrific fact. We have suffered loss (not that I am saying I value American life more than anyone elses), and if President George Walker Bush does not go around cleaning up these thugs, we will have more September 11th style attacks. I know, and it's sad, that I fear for my life every day. I have come to a conclusion that that is how it is going to be from now on. I know that we are targets, I know that anything can come at anytime. I guess I am prepared for that. I am seriously thinking of joining the United States Air Force after I graduate (with highest honors, National Honor Society)--and I will be very happy to serve my country, to protect you and everyone else.

I lost a family friend in the September 11th attacks, and I feel that George Walker Bush is genuine and he really cares for the American people. I am sure that you are laughing at that statement, but from my own research and conclusions, I seriously think that. I have come to the end of my reply, and I would just like to say one thing--I have visited many countries, and everytime I come home it is the best feeling in the world. I love America, and everything or most things she stands for. I am blessed to live in this country, and I wish everyone in this world could have the same opportunities as us. Thank you, and please have nice day.

Padams... 07.Jul.2003 10:33

Snaggle snaggle97233@hotmail.com

Padams, you have wisdom beyond your years. Thank you for posting here. How refreshing you are.

moving 07.Jul.2003 10:36

Proud American

First complaining on an internet site that seems to think America is the center of all hate isn't doing anything about it, neither is taking flags out of yards. He should contact his senate or whoever he feels has the most power. Yes I know its a slow process but it works, or at the very least he could run for senate or something else and work his way up to president and do what he feels should be done.

If one hates this country so much it amazes me that they elect to live here. I'm not telling him to leave, I'm giving him advice. If I hated this country so much I would leave and go to Canada or some other country. And like I said he should go to another country try it out for a few years and tell me which is better, America or the other country.

You can live here and bitch about our country day and night on a website or you can do something about it that would actually have an impact, or you can leave. Honestly though I don't see how anyone can live in such hate towards anything.

Proud 07.Jul.2003 11:09

Snaggle snaggle97233@hotmail.com

"Honestly though I don't see how anyone can live in such hate towards anything."

Maybe it's just juvenile "angst?"

Not Really Free Speech 07.Jul.2003 11:34

V!

NO we are not allowed to say what we feel about our country. According to the Sedition Act and in a way the PATRIOT act that is illegal. I was arrested just a couple weeks ago for trying to excercise my rights to freedom of speech(no I was NOT doing ANYthing illegal, I was on the sidewalk walking in the direction I was told to go. I had my press pass and that is part of why I was targeted). We are not so free in this country as many people think. We are not any more "free" than any other first world nation. So if I were to leave, where would I go? Hierarchies are everywhere. The failed experiment of "civilization" has spread like a cancer to the habitable portions of the world. No, I will start right here. For a revolution, it has only ever taken a determined minority.

Padams, you read the onesided website yes. But you haven't read Howard Zinn's "A People's History Of The United States". That book is a must read for anyone considering defending this country. You should learn what you're getting yourself into. You can't just read a website and think you've heard the "other" side. Another must read is Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" which is not really political(in fact he doesn't take a political side) but it is very informational about where the concept of war, exploitation, hierarchy, etc. comes from in the history of humans.

It is easy for you, I'm only assuming a sheltered youth, to say that you feel free in this country. You are on top and your comfort comes from those whom you tread upon. Think about how it feels down here. As a person of the working poor class, I do not feel free at all. Working conditions and wages are not up to the legal parr. If minimum wage had maintained the same value as the 70's it would be $13/hr. If we complain or mobilize to do something about it, we are either fired and blacklisted by corporations or beaten, peppersprayed, and arrested by the state. Many of the opportunities available to you are not available to me. Welfare and other such programs are not well designed to suit working poor families(having been designed by wealthy politicians). The welfare system is just a bone thrown to the starving masses to silence dissent and satisfy the guilty conscience of the wealth. Housing is scarce and expensive. If we make minimum wage, 75% of our income goes toward housing(the government recommends housing account for 30% of wages). When we do find affordable housing it is soon taken over by yuppies moving in to "fix up historic homes" and raise our property values so that we can't afford the rent and have to move again. Homeless people are constanly beaten and abused by police. This is JUST the tip of the iceberg of the inequalities in this country. You see without poverty you can't have wealth. If you have wealth it is from the blood of the working poor(whether they be from this country or another). That is the evil of hierarchy. So I can see why you don't wish to give up your seat up there. I bet it feels pretty good. Just remember, when you're feeling all warm and fuzzy about how wonderful america is from up there, who you have to thank as you crush our lives to support your single-minded vision. You have much to learn about how the world works. Live in a ghetto for a week, then you'll see how "free" america is. Spend 6 months there and then you might begin to understand a smidgeon of how people are affected by poverty. The cycle of poverty is a very complicated trap and very necessary for hierarchy/capitalism to thrive. You're obviously so comfy up there you probably don't give a shit what the silenced majority of americans think or feel(80% of the population is below middle class-Kevin Danaher "Corporations Are Gonna Get Your Mama, Globalization And The Downsizing Of The American Dream"). So I'm probably just waisting my time on a spoiled middle class teenager. I wish you luck and hope you don't find things out the hard way.

Civilians don't simply *die in wars* - they are KILLED by soldiers 07.Jul.2003 12:12

GRINGO STARS

"TV hacks keep telling us that Saddam places military targets near civilians. We are meant to infer that this exonerates Bush in advance for any massacres of innocents. But consider this - if Washington were attacked would we think it was our evil government that had intentionally placed strategic targets in the midst of a civilian populace or would we think that only evil lunatics would fire missiles into a large concentration of human life? Saddam is horrible despot but the fact that capital cities are strategic locations, full of civilians, is not the result of his evil planning. This is why it used to be considered unacceptable to bomb cities."
-- Barry Crimmins

hey Proud American, you do not understand me at all. I LOVE America - and HATE its government. Try and wrap your mind around that concept. I hate ALL governments, as a matter of fact. And I have been an activist since I was 12. Get it right before you tell someone to leave the land they were born in, and live in. The Willamette Valley is beautiful. I'm going nowhere. Maybe you think that begging for change to a professional grinner will help, but I have too much political experience to pull the wool over my own eyes. Read the respected books I mentioned if you don't trust the links I provided. I have more in common with yoru precious founding fathers than you do. You simply lack the courage to stand up against a mighty empire. Typical.

Padams, you are undoubtedly not in want of anything to think like you do. Enjoy your life to the fullest (seriously) but I think you take CNN and TV news for granted, as if they are not propaganda networks (they ARE). How were the links I provided "disgusting?" You can't trust the corporate media because they are entertainers, dancing for ratings so that they can sell ads for more money. Selling ads is their job, or they get fired. Don't pretend as if journalistic integrity is the rule rather than the exception. Check this link out. It's not a "disgusting" one;
 http://www.fair.org/

Seriously, Padams, considering the deficit Bush created, you're VOTING for him?

no title 07.Jul.2003 12:21

Proud American

Your right, you aren't allowed to say everything you want. But does that suprise you, after 9/11 anything anybody says must me taken in account. As for me, I would call myself middle class and I'm doing fine. I love this country b/c I have yet to find something horrible w/ it yet. As you said if you were to leave where would we go, as far as I know no where, why b/c you won't find another country where you have more freedom then you do here. As for starting up a revolution here....I think thats way off from every happening, and lets say it does you would be lucky to get 20% of the people to follow you.

This is one of the best countries up to date, everyone has opinions on how much better it could be and love to point out everything wrong w/ it. Ever try looking at the good things? This is no perfect form of Government, this is about as close as you'll get to one. Who knows, maybe if we are lucky the entire world will group togather as one Nation under God and war will be a thing of the past. But one thing I think we will always have, no matter who runs the country is greedy people who'll do anything for money even if it means screwing millions of people over....but thats life and I suggest you get use to it.

Go away 07.Jul.2003 12:27

Gunner

eom

What would be a perfect Government? 07.Jul.2003 12:47

Proud American

Since you seem to know how horrible everything is and love to complain about it, please inform me oh great one of wisdom what would be a great government? About the only form left, which isn't a form actually, is total anarchy....we all know how great that would be.

"Maybe you think that begging for change to a professional grinner will help, but I have too much political experience to pull the wool over my own eyes."

It won't always help no, but since you claim to have political experience tell me why don't you go for a high spot in the Government and do something about it...or do you already know that your views won't get enough support? And having more in common w/ our founding fathers huh, go ahead and give me some examples....b/c so far the way you are talking sounds like you want anarchy and that is not what they wanted. And personally I don't care if you were born in America and like I said, I'm not telling you to leave, that is simple advice since you hate the government here so much that isn't going to change for at least another 500 years. And your books you named I'm sure are one sided, just as the books I prefer to stick w/ are one sided. You won't find an author of a book who doesn't lean to one side or the other.

Enjoyable 07.Jul.2003 13:40

padams

I have read everyone's replies and comments. I really did enjoy this discussion. One note: I watch the news now and again, I read the newspaper, I am in the process of reading "A History of the American People" wirtten by Paul Johnson, and doing my AP Homework for the summer. I am trying to research as much as I can, but school does come first. I have looked at all of the links you all have provided, and I thank you for them. They have given me something to think about, and I will do that. I am afraid that this will be my last comment, as I am going on vacation later today. Thank you all again, and V!, you were not wasting your time. I am very sorry for your circumstances my family and I provide to charities and I am big on volunteering. I am not a spoiled teenager, my father works for his money, and that is a trait I have taken in with gratitude. I hope that your life soon takes a turn for the better, and I wish you all of the luck.

Thanks again.

Padams

PS-Snaggle thank you for your comment, it made my day bright. Gringo Stars, thanks for the discussion, it relieved my stress.

Revolution requires only a dedicated minority - a majority is not needed 08.Jul.2003 00:24

GRINGO STARS

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin

* The above quote demonstrates that Franklin would NOT agree with curtailing freedoms in order to be (so-called) secure. I agree with Franklin in that Bush making freedom of speech (an essential freedom for any democratic state) obsolete is foolish.

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
-- Abraham Lincoln

I agree with Lincoln. I have attended countless protests since 6th grade when I attended my first. Proud American, you say "Ever try looking at the good things?" Yes, of course I do. But that is not helpful. In order to be HELPFUL, you must make constructive criticisms. One good thing about the USA is that it is the first nation to utilise the rhetoric that the people are sovereign, instead of leaders. Of course at that time (legally speaking) all blacks, all Indians, all non-whites, all women and non-land-owning white men were all NOT considered "people." Bush works for ME, as well as all Americans. But he ignores protests of all kinds. And he is demanding obedience. Fuck him. I don't bow to liars, especially.

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson understood the damage that such organisations as the WTO could do, and that such treaties as NAFTA could undermine the power of the people. I agree.

"The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government."
-- George Washington's Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

So I don't want to wax worshipful about the USA, especially when all our recent Commanders In Chief have committed war crimes. I want to have GOOD rules that are FOLLOWED, not ignored.

Let's face it, Proud American, you should try and think about what the 4th of July means. Its a celebration of revolutionaries, not smug yes men like you. You don't want to make any waves. And you actually buy all the BS sold you that "everything's AOK." Wake up, dupe.

Padams, your education is tailormade for a people that were once fiercely independant - but are now docile and tame. It's hard to get a 14 hour work day out of independant people. So to fill the factories, Rockefeller and Carnegie and Morgan and all the 19th century "Captains of Industry" decided to make school mandatory - and to teach kids unquestioning obedience. Read this very brief introduction to John Taylor Gatto's book. He is a 30+ year teaching veteran, 3 time NYC Teacher of The Year and New York State Teacher of the Year:
 http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/historytour/history1.htm

I dont think anything makes you happy 08.Jul.2003 00:52

Proud American

First as far as I'm concerned, everything is OK, considering the fact I don't have any beef w/ the Government. The only time I'll ever disagree w/ the Government is when a radical change is made and screws the entire country over. No I didn't get my views from school, as a matter of fact I actually found any history on the USA to be boring. I didn't get my views from my parents who are actually very strong lefties. I didn't get my views from books or news. I got my views when my family and I lived in Europe for about 2-3 years (Germany). I hated the place, I started to see America through other peoples eyes and that is when I started to take America's side. They didn't even give reasons to America's actions, they just basically said hey look they made a huge mistake (normally trying to help another country).

About the quotes on our founding fathers, yes they are all very nice but I promise you even they would let things go from time to time. About the only thing I have ever protested in my life about America would be Affirmative Action, I don't believe that helps equal rights at all...if anthing I think it causes more racsim then anything.

America is the best nation around right now, I'm sure later down the road we'll be lucky enough to live in a perfect area. But you also didnt bother to list how you would see the perfect Government....you seem to think you have all the answers but I bet anyone can find something they disagree w/ about what you would see as perfect.

P.S. This is my last post due to the fact I won't have much time anymore since I just got a new job and will be working twice as much now (18 saving for college). This has been fun to say for the least...I always find it rather entertaining to see how others think who don't agree w/ my views since I mainly stick to right wing sites. My last advice to you is do something about what you hate so much (and by that I mean something that will have an impact...like running for the Senate or something like that). If you don't want to do that then I suggest you let it go like I do most things b/c living in hate/anger is a horrible way to live your life, when I did that I found it very hard to enjoy myself.

Have fun w/ your site.

Proud American, your boredom with history is obvious to all 08.Jul.2003 02:12

GRINGO STARS

Your young age comes as no surprise at all either, given your arrogant head-in-the-sand yes man approach to politics. For some people it takes awhile to become radicalised. And your advice (to become politically active) is good, but very, very late since I have been very active in politics since before you were born. You also assume that I am an angry person, which is bizarre since you've only read a few comments I've made. A couple of my friends were very amused by your characterization of me since it is so far from the truth. They were also baffled at how you actually believe that the school you attended, your parents, news and books have had no effect on your political thinking. If this is true, then you are the first person ever to be so scot-free of such influences. You are fooling yourself. Everyone is affected by such things politically whether they know it or not, and whether they admit it or not.

You actually believe that the "founding fathers" would "let things slide from time to time?" They were violent types who wanted either liberty or death (Patrick Henry) and nothing in between. Learning from their worse traits (capitalism, racism, sexism) is more important than fetishizing them, since it is much more helpful.

You think Affirmative Action is a big mistake. Well what do you think of slavery? Do you think centuries of slavery has left no mark upon black AND white people? Do you believe that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? The above post was your last here, I guess, so no need to respond. Just think for awhile. Questions are more useful than answers. More questions; by what criteria have you decided that "America is the best nation around right now?" Anyways, It's good you're going to attend college. Maybe you'll learn something good there.

Personally, I would see the best government as an easily influenced (by PEOPLE, not money) skeletal necessary evil. One that gave people an equal starting point with which to live. It would benefit EVERYONE for free health care for all (if Canada can do it why can't we?) and not see corporations as huge persons, but rather as a group of people chartered for specific purposes, the charter revokable when the corporation does not fulfill it's universally-beneficial purpose.

You have also made it apparent, before you ever said so, that you frequent right wing sites. Your disinterest in history (and the welfare of anyone besides yourself ) shined through crystal clear. I'm glad you come to see the other side of the story here on IMC. There are a few things that rightwingers have gotten right, for example their defense of the second amendment (put there to supposedly encourage future revolutions and to keep the government honest) - the right to have a weapon with which to defend yourself is crucial these days. Every major genocide in recent history, including Hitler's holocaust and Stalin's purgings, began with the disarming of the civilian populace. At this moment I can't think of a single other thing that the right wing has gotten right, but maybe later it'll come to me.

I don't live in hate. Bush and his predecessors seem to live in murderous hatred and THEY would be well-counseled to let the hatred go. But anger can be very good. Don't be so afraid of being angry. It is a legitimate human emotion that, when heeded instead of repressed, is as crucial to mental health as euphoric happiness is.

"The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn't angry enough."
-- Bede Jarrett

"To be angry is very good. It burns out things and leaves nutrients in the soil. You should always be ready to be angry at injustice and cruelty."
-- Maya Angelou

"Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear."
-- Zora Neale Hurston

so sad 10.Jul.2003 11:49

someone who lost family on 9/11

It amazes me that anyone who lost family (or friends of family) would support Bush, whose administration was warned repeatedly by many sources of what would occur on 9/11. Bush, after being told of the WTC attacks, did the worst thing a president could do: nothing. He just sat and waited for others to tell him what to do. I think that the reactions we saw from the administration reveals the extent of their knowledge, they knew it was going to happen and didn't care, until they realized that they might be double-crossed, and then you saw them panic and run around like chickens with their hads cut off. Does no one remember this but me? Bush, doing nothing, sitting in a classroom, and then, only after reports of the 4th plane (and unconfirmed reports of others) did the secret service panic and start flying Bush all over the country. The evidence of their knowledge is overwhelming and the congressionaly report will be our shortly, merely reiterating the massive numbers of warnings about who was involved, what they were planning to do, and what their time frame was. All of that information could have easily been used to prevent the attacks, and for some reason it wasn't. And now we watch the executive branch grab more and more power and watch the protections of the constitution whitther away. We watch the friends of the administration and the administration itself increase their net worth by millions of dollars a year. Doesn't this bother people? Doesn't it bother people that they used this tragedy to sell a war unrelated to 9/11 and that every capitalist without a conscience has tried to make a buck from people's lost loves? Doesn't it bother all of us to be facing the wrost economy in decades so that the weathiest 1 percent can receive huge tax breaks? And shouldn't we be ashamed and disgusted by all those who continue to do this and use the deaths of our loved ones as an excuse to cover up their acts of theft and murder? I guess I have more faith that people are more awake then most would like to believe. The only way Bush can hold onto power is through a coup, probably backed by military force this time. And yet there will still be those who support him. But if there was ever a dictator that people didn't support their names would never be known to us. All empires fall, all dictators are overthrown, it is merely a matter of time.