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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:38 PM
Original message
Anybody else seeing this "patriotic" billboard?
Edited on Tue Oct-28-03 10:44 PM by nu_duer
Is this nationwide?

I drive by this one every day:



The message I get is "don't question, just wave your flag and follow."

The people who put this billboard up do have some inspirational, almost anti-war billboards, but this one, using children (this girl looks like she's seen God or something) to sell "patriotism," this billboard bothers me. (if the wind is blowing hard enough to fly that flag, could that little girl really hold it up with one hand?)

And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in resenting having the flag shoved down my throat at every turn. Its my country's flag, not a "can you hear me now" catchphrase.

You can see the other billboards here:
http://www.forbetterlife.org/main.asp?section=billboards&language=eng
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frank frankly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. oh no
no no no no no

how stupid. how awful and stupid. what the fuck does that kid know about anything?

ugh. the police state tightening under the rush of hatriotism...
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bif Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
54. How about this one?
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #54
73. Yes. DISSENT. Boy does this topic brings out the capital letters in me...
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loudnclear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
74. Was there a "Clear Channel" logo underneath?
I have seen many boards like this and they all have the "Clear Channel" logo.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #74
79. Clear Channel is an outdoor advertising company too.
Most likely, the billboard is owned by CC, Inc. Who pays for the ads is another story...
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. I have not seen this in the Bay Area
:shrug:
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. flags didn't bother me... but now they do...
The nationalistic zomby thing really makes me sick. Nationalism before all else and above all things. It's pathetic.

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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
32. who are you calling...
a nationalistic zomby? ;-)
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TimeLord Donating Member (122 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
41. It's what's required for Facism....
n/t
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. There are lots of these around Portland
They have been up for at least 6 months in various locations.

I recognize the fireman one, the quadraplegic one and the basketball player one.
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Sushi_lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. A suggestion
The little girl in that picture? Let her develop some faith in her country. Let her wave the flag before she even knows what it means.

Sure, nationalism is often a disease. But there's nothing wrong with being proud of your country if you're not a bigot about it.

Here's a suggestion:

Any time you feel like the flag has been hijacked by the ClearChannel Chickenhawk crowd, go buy a flag.

Put it next to your "Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home" bumper sticker. Wear it on a baseball cap when you sport your "Dump Bush" T-shirt.

Remind yourself that REAL patriots stand up for what's right, even in the face of widespread ignorance. You belong to this country. It's your flag too.

That's what works for me.
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pasadenaboy Donating Member (877 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I agree
there is nothing wrong with this billboard. I don't think there is anything particularly right either. Seems like a waste of money to me.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. Right on.
I wish more people would take your attitude instead of allowing our flag to be hijacked by right-wingers. We need to show em our pride, too.
"....with liberty and justice for all."
That's what the flag represents.
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
24. Cool
Edited on Tue Oct-28-03 11:31 PM by nu_duer
Like the ideas, think I'll do something along those lines.

Thanks.

Hmmm. back window of my car should go something like: flag, W w/slash, Support the Troops, vote Democratic (or Dem nominee), W w/slash, flag.

That might be too much, maybe just flag in one corner and Dem sticker in the other...
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. Im not sure anyone could develop faith for this country growing up now
nt
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
30. Bingo
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
59. Good suggestions
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elfwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
84. Nationalism = Religion of the state
Nationalism and patriotism are like religion. Belief in an abstract. Rampant version of either are just as bad as fundamentalist branches of any religion.
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DrGonzoLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-31-03 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
89. Right on!
You said exactly what I've always thought. Patriotism is not a bad thing - zealous nationalism is.
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maveric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. A blonde haired blue eyed little girl. Promoting the Aryan agenda
once more.

What do repugs have with blondes? The media whores, pundits, and Fox news especially. Are they ordered to bleach their hair?

The Aryan Jesus is the one that gets me!
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer!
n/t
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leftyandproud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #25
36. SHIT like this...
Edited on Wed Oct-29-03 02:21 AM by leftyandproud
is why the left gets labeled unpatriotic...part of the "hate America" crowd...Jesus Christ...When I see people literally GAG at the site of the flag, it pisses me off. At most, you should be indifferent to this picture...but to be PISSED...to be SICKENED...to compare a girl waving a US flag after 9-11 to Nazi germany is just ridiculous. Please don't call yourself a democrat.
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Resistance Is Futile Donating Member (693 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. It's not the flag
Look again



Note the motto:

"What makes us great. Unity"

This is nothing more than pro-GOP propaganda combined with the stench of Naziism.
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. SO? we could be united in throwing Bush out of the WH
unity comes in all flavors.
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Brian Sweat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #37
50. You just jump to the conclusion that by unity they mean
you shouldn't question the Bush Administration, but if you look at their website it is clear that this is not their message at all.
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sexybomber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #25
49. Ein Bushfhrer, more accurately (n/t)
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Pontus Donating Member (284 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #25
61. She's cute and it's a good message.
So please, why shouldn't this be as much a Democratic poster as a Republican?
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Character Assassin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
53. Please. Go buy a clue. Or perhaps steal one. It could only help
Promoting the Aryan agenda.

What an stunning deconstruction of a nefarious, hidden agenda.

You just overlooked the Bilderberger/CFR angle.
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ShaneGR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
7. Actually, I like that ad..... I think it's fine
Edited on Tue Oct-28-03 10:55 PM by sgr2
Why can't we be proud about being Americans? And the unity thing could just as easily be interpreted to mean "come together to make the world better." The truth is that Bush is a lameduck president now, and everyone knows it. That doesn't mean we can't be proud to be Americans. Bush doesn't own that flag.

Look at their news stories.... it's kind of a nice website too:

A 4-year-old Atascadero boy already knows what he wants to do in life

Nonprofit Groups Help Build Affordable Housing

Grads Helping Poor Schools

Vail students - vacation volunteers




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karlschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Why should anybody be "proud" to be an American? Isn't "pride" one of
the 'deadly sins'?

If you were born in America, that is an accident of birth. No reason to be 'proud'. (If you earned an honest B.A. degree in college, you can take pride in that...not the same thing.)

Would you also claim 'pride' at being ...'white'?...'black'...'left handed'?

I, for one, am not "proud" to be an American. I am proud to be a very excellent pilot and engineer, both of which I worked very hard to achieve. I am an "American" simply by virtue of the fact that I emerged from my mom's uterus in Illinois (where, as in many other venues, people whose ancestors lived and died for thousands of years but became 'savages' and fourth-class citizens thanks to the 'civilization' brought by my own and others' ancestors.'

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ShaneGR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Answer to your question
Would you also claim 'pride' at being ...'white'?...'black'...'left handed'?

I don't see any problem with being proud to be black. What's wrong with someone being proud of their black heritage? On the racial flipside, is it wrong for someone to be proud they're Irish? Is it ok for British people to be proud of being British? What about the Chinese? Can they be proud of themselves? The Russians? I am sure there are millions of proud Russians.

So what exactly is so wrong about being proud to be an American? Were you proud to be an American before Bush took office?
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. I may not be "proud"
but I'm grateful.
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Blitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
64. So, is it your position
That only naturalized citizens and others who had to take proactive steps to become members of a nation can be proud of their nationality? Thus, French people can't be proud to be French but if I move to France and work to become a French citizen I have a legitimate reason to be proud? But, then, if I had children in France they couldn't be proud to be French but, if they moved to New York, could become proud Americans. Nice logic.

For the record, I'm proud to be an American.
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. Eye of the beholder I guess - Isn't UNITY incompatible with DESSENTION?
And if Unity is what makes us great, dessention must make us weak. Don't like it. Don't like the image, don't like the words, don't like the message.

Btw, I am proud of many things the US has done, but very, very ashamed of this nation's actions under the bush regime. And they have perverted the flag to no end.

And that is a cool site, otherwise, I agree. They even have a billboard of Gandhi.

But this "Unity" billboard? Makes me feel like I should learn to march or something in order to be "unified" with all the other good Americans. No thanks.
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Isome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #7
31. Highlighting the good works on behalf of the poor...
seems so innocuous, so goodhearted. But, I have a strong suspicion it's little more than a way to promote the idea of eliminating government social programs.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. Patriotism=Unity
Patriotism does NOT equal Nationalism or Jingoism

I refuse to cede the symbols that represent myself and my neighbors.... my extended FAMILY to the GOP or to let thme be degraded.
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frank frankly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. unity=don't ask questions
President Stoopid says so!
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Brian Sweat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #10
55. In A Moment (Collective Soul)
The walls came up as the thoughts went down
To the hush of disparity
Sure we know the problem lies
With some insecurities
But we'll never see eye to eye
As long as our tongues are tied
we'll never be seen as one
Until we find love


In a moment it could happen
We could wake up and be laughing
In a moment it could happen
We could forgive and be happy

It's a shame our world responds to life
As a puzzle in disguise
I wish our course would lead us towards
The peace and loving kind
But we'll never walk hand in hand
Until we let old wounds mend
And we'll never sing songs as one
Until we find love


In a moment some wisdom could be learned
In a moment new voices could be heard
In a moment we could make heads turn
In a moment we could change


If the idea of unity frightens you, then the fascists have won.
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graphixtech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
13. on balance
this patriot was seen at the Kansas City protest on Saturday.

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fla nocount Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
14. I agree. It's a flag, not a rag. New meme? n/t
*
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Scott Lee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
15. Yes, it was in my face every damn day
I just moved away from Salt Lake City (thank the GODS), where that billboard was placed prominently downtown. It was really mild compared to all the rest of the mindless flag waving probably still going on there. I worked as a graphic artist there and I can't tell you how many clients wanted flags somewhere in their advertisements.

Talk about crass "patriotism". It was nauseating.

As an end note, at the launch of the War Against Iraq, some brave soul in Salt Lake decided to hang the UN flag on his balcony instead of join the throng with all the red white and blue. Someone stole it in the night.



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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
16. We have it on I-94 here in Detroit.
Unity....heehee, and if not call the FBI on your neighbor.
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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
20. This little girl was "famous" right after 9/11. Her parents appeared in
Newsweek and everything. This was a solidarity demonstration right after 9/11.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
21. I just don't like the sound of the name of that foundation.
Anything as vague as "the Foundation for a Better Life" prolly has real fine print under it saying "without the Jews" or something like that.
Don't trust these guys.
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Brian Sweat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #21
56. Go to the web site. Do a little research.
Nah, that's too much work. Just jump to conclusions.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #56
60. Somebody else did it for me.
Yup, sounds like I was right.
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Room101 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
22. In the Bay area when driving on the Bay Bridge...
There are two huge murals of United We stand also two Savage and one Hanity billboard.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Savage lives in Marin or something, right?
Somewhere around there.....
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #22
42. I see Savage's ugly mug every day coming home from work
in the east bay

:puke:
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
27. I'm very suspicious of this organization
Edited on Tue Oct-28-03 11:55 PM by BrotherBuzz
The Foundation for a Better Life

http://www.forbetterlife.org/main.asp?section=about&language=eng

Sounds like they have a Straussian bent....

Patriotism
Unilateralism
Celebration of inequality (Leo Strauss)
Right of a moral 'elite'

'To rule into a single unifying ideology'

Heck, why don't they just come out and say - My country, right or wrong

I'm curious, who owns the billboard, Clearview?
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
28. These guys seem pretty vague
From their website:

The Foundation for a Better Life is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The programs and projects of the Foundation are non-commercial and are solely humanitarian endeavors; the Foundation does not seek contributions or donations of any kind. The Foundation supports the belief that each individual is entitled to personal dignity and self-respect and that most individuals are willing, when given the opportunity, to take personal responsibility for their actions and well-being. The Foundation also believes that capable people may also benefit from encouragement and reminders from time to time. Generally people who have the opportunity and the ability will make appropriate common sense decisions which will have a positive and uplifting effect on themselves, their market-segment, and their country.

The mission of The Foundation for a Better Life, through various media efforts, is to encourage adherence to a set of quality values through personal accountability and by raising the level of expectations of performance of all individuals regardless of religion or race. Through these efforts, the Foundation wants to remind individuals they are accountable and empowered with the ability to take responsibility for their lives and to promote a set of values that sees them through their failures and capitalizes on their successes. An individual who takes responsibility for his or her actions will take care of his or her family, job, market-segment, and country.

The Foundation for a Better Life creates public service campaigns to communicate the values that make a difference in our market-segmentsvalues such as honesty, caring, optimism, hard work, and helping others. These messages, communicated utilizing television, theatres, billboards, radio, internet, etc., model the benefits of a life lived by positive values. The Foundation encourages others to step up to a higher level and then to pass on those positive values they have learned. These seemingly small examples of individuals living values-based lives may not change the world, but collectively they will make a difference. And in the process help make the world a better place for everyone. After all, developing values and then passing them on to others is The Foundation for a Better Life.


Wha?

Pretty vague concept for a 'foundation'. But I didn't see anything that promotes a political agenda. Unless it's the Libertarians softening their approach.

I did see a strange billboard today. It was from "Pro-life America", and showed a baby and the words "I'm alive and I was BORN IN THE USA (the bold words were in really big letters). A bit stale of them pulling the ol' Ronnie Reagan trick of trying to co-opt a Springsteen song for a right-wing viewpoint. Especially considering "Born In The USA" is one of the most anti-right wing songs in rock history.
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LearnedHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. Hmmm...
...remind you of Ayan Rand's Objectivism?
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-03 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
29. Christopher Reeve & Whoopee Goldberg are Liberals...
...and they appear on the other bilboards...

I see nothing wrong with the messages portrayed, on their face..."Patriotism" is not an exclusivly RW value, and we on the left would do well to embrace/incorporate "patriotic" imagary- so long as the context is proper, and it is intelligent and in good taste...
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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #29
63. As public figures, I think a nonprofit can use their images w/o permission
correct me if I'm wrong.
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #63
65. Interesting...
...but the burden is not on me to prove your facts for you! The duty is on you to verify your own claims!!!

If this is true, then that is very interesting...
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
33. The Main problem I have with "Flag Wavers"....
....is the times that I have talked to them about:

1. National Health Care (Naw...Who wants socialized medicine or
We have the finest health care in the world)

2. The homeless. (The people who are on the street are just lazy)

3. Minimum wage (How are we gonna compete with other countries?)

4.Gays ( they just want special treatment)

5. Crooked Cooperations (Oh, the liberal media makes a big deal out of it all..)

There's a lot more but the point is that these folks "Walk the walk" and "Talk the talk" about us being all together but
when it REALLY comes to helping your fellow citizens out all
they say in so many words is "Fuck Um... I got mine".
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
35. That one was on the Jersey Turnpike.
Edited on Wed Oct-29-03 01:39 AM by TreasonousBastard
It bothers me.

From the tone of the website, I guess it's supposed to be inspirational, but I see a little girl with far too much determination than a little girl should have. A little girl who knows things it's best for little girls not to know yet.

She's looking for something, but I don't know what it is she's looking for. It's one of the photos that means something to those who took it and chose it, but has so much more in it that they perhaps missed. Is the object of her desire arriving, or leaving?

It's just disturbing seeing that much gravitas in a child, if it is gravitas. It could just as easily be a new puppy or Daddy leaving on a two-week business trip.

Beats me and, because I don't know, I get the creeps when I see it. I'd admire that picture in a gallery where it could be pondered,but on a billboard....?



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Sushi_lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
38. Unity is good
Unity is not squelching dissent. Unity accepts our common humanity. Unity doesn't deny diversity, it thrives on it.

Don't confuse unity with lockstep consensus. Unity isn't invading Iraq. Fearmongering is.

Think of unity as the uniting of forces for a greater cause. Unity is what will bring us together next November to get that bastard out of the White House.
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Kamika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
39. I dont think this one is bad
I think its true.. America has a nice unity
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Sushi_lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
40. I'm proud of my kids. I'm proud of my country.
I'm proud of Al Gore and Al Sharpton. I'm proud of Ralph Nader and Howard Zin. I'm proud of the Peace Corps and the Sierra Club, the ACLU, Jimmy Carter, Amy Goodman, Richard Avedon, Howard Finnster, Miles Davis, Aaron McGruder and the list could go on for hours. I'm proud of those good Americans who are capable of putting good thoughts into words and art.

Pride is a deadly sin? I'm no Bible scholar, but I'm betting it is talking about the bad side of pride, the kind of pride that comes from bigotry, selfishness, egotism.

Pride can also mean level-headed self esteem. Nothing wrong with that.
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #40
76. "Level-headed self-esteem"? That's called humility. Reparations needed.
Edited on Thu Oct-30-03 10:27 AM by JohnOneillsMemory
The best analogy for Americans to me is that of a hurting and dysfunctional raging alcoholic in the 'family of man' who needs to get into a 12-step program, apologize to those who they have harmed and make reparations.

Alcoholics in recovery are taught to learn why they were so unhappy that they took up self-destructive behaviour, forgive themselves for the wretched condition they are in and work hard to make reparations for damage done to those their actions have hurt. But understanding why and how they suffer is key to healing. And History brings that understanding.

The more you know about the history of this country the harder it is to be proud of the people and the government which is supposed to represent them.

The more you know about the ignorance, irresponsibility and disengagement from the 'family of man' of the American people whose lifestyle's are destroying the planet and allowing mass murder and widespread suffering, the harder it is to be proud.

But we have all been lied to from the time we were tiny helpless children and have been born into a lifestyle that is the result of thousands of years of dysfunction to lead destructive lives that profit a power structure that feeds on our patriotic emotions.

So I do not villify American nationalistic pride, I wish for a better life for them as well as the victims of their spiritual illness.

It seems to me this is a time for contrition and repentance fueled by humility and compassion, not pride. Self-esteem from justice and responsible engagement is desperately needed, not 'big-foam-finger-ism' when considering our effect on other people's lives.

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Sushi_lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #76
78. I'm still proud

Of course I'm not proud of our country's record of exporting our violence, pollution and repression on the rest of the world.

I'm proud of our country's ability to produce great art and great voices of reason such as those I listed above.

"Why do you hate America?" the conservatives ask. I don't. I hate what our power structure has done. But still our culture produces goodness as well.

Like Clinton said, "We can do better."

Don't let the flag become only a symbol of the bad. Keep it our flag too.
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Loonman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
43. If they knew anything about unity
They wouldn't be calling dissenters traitors.
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Brian Sweat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #43
57. Who is they?
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
45. There are a series of those billboards, and they aren't all patriotic
One has a picture of Whoopi Goldberg and it is about overcoming dyslexia. It's a cute little girl on that one.
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grannylib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
46. I think this ad may be misread...
If you look at the other billboards they have at the link provided on the original post, and also look at the things the organization claims to value (at the bottom of the page) you will see that "Diversity" is one...
I "read" this billboard as meaning that we are united as a nation, not necessarily united in our viewpoint. It is unfortunate that they chose a blonde white kid though...I think it does make it possible to look at it as though it's promoting blind allegience to the state...
Just MHO...
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. "Diversity" or "Divisive"?
individually they don't look all that bad but I feel there is a subliminal message when you look at the total picture. "The Foundation for a Better Life" is using fuzzy good feeling buzzwords that offer something for everyone, and in the process, sucking people into an ideology that they may not believe in. The message is a mile wide but an inch deep and I find it interesting that this mystery organization (according to its mission statement) spends all it's energy putting out the message but doesn't do anything constructive for society; i.e. Food banks, Affordable housing, Health care (including availability of family planning options)...the list is long. I wonder where all this money is comming from? If this organization wasn't divisive, we would have heard of it before this. Just my opinion.

I suspect we will see more billboards of this ilk as the 2004 election draws near and they will have the same Straussian message....

Patriotism
Unilateralism
Celebration of inequality (Leo Strauss)
Right of a moral 'elite'

'To rule into a single unifying ideology'

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Brian Sweat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
48. First I think you are overreacting.
If the sight of a little girl holding up a flag bothers you, then you are either letting the other side get to you or they are right about you in the first place.

As far as the strength of the wind goes, did you ever consider that the girl iswaving the flag and that is why it is spread out like that?

There is nothing wrong with this billboard. The message is unity, not "let's go murder a bunch of foreigners."
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #48
62. Unity for what?
Maybe you should read into this stuff a little more. Use some critical thinking.
I had a look at the website (not that I really needed to) at the behest of a rude poster, and found this:

"The mission of The Foundation for a Better Life, through various media efforts, is to encourage adherence to a set of quality values through personal accountability and by raising the level of expectations of performance of all individuals regardless of religion or race."

I like the terms "adherence" (the loyal kind) and "quality values" (pre-determined by those on the board of FBL) and...here was the really interesting part- "raising the level of expectations of performance of all individuals regardless of religion or race." Regardless of religion or race? What on earth do they mean by that?
Maybe it's not "kill the Jews," but it's something to turn over in your mind.

And what the hell is THIS supposed to mean?-

"The Foundation supports the belief that each individual is entitled to personal dignity and self-respect and that most individuals are willing, when given the opportunity, to take personal responsibility for their actions and well-being. *The Foundation also believes that capable people may also benefit from encouragement and reminders from time to time.*" Encouragement and reminders. Heh.

Yeah. This is way too vague for them not to have some kind of angle.
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lolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. Angle?
Sounds like code for "welfare loafers are just too lazy to go get a job"

"Regardless of religion or race" often a preemptive cliche against charges of racism. If you announce loudly and often enough that you don't care what race someone is, it must be true.

I'd be less suspicious if the billboard promoted acceptance than "unity," which, frankly, has become code for groupthink.
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #62
67. It sounds like Mom or Big Bro, I can't decide which...
I don't like the propagandistic quality of the message. It's ambiguity. Republicans believe the poor need "to take personal responsibility for their actions and well-being." "Encouragement and reminders" could mean anything from kind words to cattle prods.
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #48
68. Wow. disagree, agree
Edited on Wed Oct-29-03 08:58 PM by nu_duer
The sight of the girl with the flag PLUS the message bothers me, and still does after reading the different interpretations here.

To unify is to be as one. To oppose or be counter to that destroys the unity. And the unity is "what makes us great." That still says, the more I think about it, that dissension (learned how to spell it) is unpatriotic. The little girl reinforces that, but I haven't put my finger on just how, other than the flag, of course.

Maybe the coninuing atmosphere of flag-waving self-proclaimed patriots who question the patriotism of those who fail to praise bush has clouded my vision to the point that I can't recognize a harmless billboard. I'll certainly agree that is possible. I don't think that is the case, but possible, yes. Yet there are many who see it the way I do. Fascinating, isn't it?


And the strength of the wind thing was an afterthought on my part, and I didn't consider that the flag might be being waved - you're right about that I'm sure.
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DealsGapRider Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
51. I don't see what's wrong with it.
I think a lot of DUers mistakenly equate any flag waving with either jingoism or hollow, reflexive patriotism. Who says this girl is being "used." It's just a cute picture. And there's nothing wrong with either being patriotic or trying to inspire patriotism in others.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
52. I saw one in the "borscht belt"
Wawarsing, NY.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
58. That pic is a famous one from the 9/11 wake
It was a snapshot taken of a crowd. I have one of the original copies. It was a very popular picture and the little girl is indeed holding the flag just like that.

It does fall flat now, though, since Bush has squandered the outpouring of public opinion that was present when this little girl took part in the public grief of 9/11.

Click Here To See Fair & Balanced Buttons, Stickers & Magnets
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
69. Not what I'd intended, but fascinating - (No, its a vase!)
To me this sign says dissension is unpatriotic. Unity meaning being as one, dissension being opposed, the flag waving, the future at stake (little girl, some might say the future of the white race) - clear as day to me.

I will say, based on the other billboards these people have put up, its possible that effect was unintentional. But I'm obviously not the only one to have it. And with the state of advertising today, its kinda hard to believe a somewhat-semi-widely-percieved message was unintentional.

When I posted this yesterday, it hadn't occurred to me that others here would see this billboard so differently than I did. The fact that so many here can look at the same thing and get two distinct, almost opposite meessages is just wild, far more intriguing than the billboard, imho.

:smoke: (no, that doesn't explain it)
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-03 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
70. Yep!
It's been on US Hwy 10 just outside of Waupaca, Wisconsin since 2002, I think.

There's another with a firefighter who died on 9/11 also
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
71. One of our local
elementary schools has just changed its team names from the Rusk Raiders to the Rusk Patriots.

My suggestion was why not go all the way. Change the name to the Rusk Republicans.
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Mike_from_NoVa Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-31-03 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #71
87. Was it named after Dean Rusk?
Just curious.
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
72. Unity? No! JUSTICE>which requires couragous DISSENT=CHANGE!
This billboard illustrates exactly how indoctrination fills our heads from the beginning of life to make us believe in Nationalism, Racism, Sexism and Religious Intolerance.

Us vs Them thinking is imprinted on us to keep us in the herd and moving with them or get trampled.

Patriotism=Nationalism=War Machine Acceptance.
Prussian education tactics+Patriotism+Fundamentalism=Nazi America.

I put this in another post about psychological warfare. It belongs here as well:

Psychological warfare? Yup. This is the story of Civilisation. Only its very scientific now.

Education and Media indoctrinate us from birth to death with lies supporting the Validity of Authority. Socialization is mind-control and always has been.

Patriotism (nationalism), racism, sexism and religion have always been used to divide and conquer the people/peasants/masses. Now ubiquitous mass media adds repetition of message to the propaganda arsenal. Tragedy ensues.

Quite simply, this spells out the Republican Platform: Sex/pleasure=sin, violence/suffering=justice.

Karl Rove exploits the ignorance of TV Nation by telling Americans they are Superman Jesus in a Cowboy Hat-the strongest, most virtuous lawman in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, promoting celibacy to Africans dying of AIDS, that is, 'dying of their sins as they should, just like the homos.'

Read the 9/03 Harper's magazine essay by John Taylor Gatto, a former NYC and NY state Teacher of the Year, author of the Underground History of Public Education.

In an essay called 'How Public Education Cripples Our Kids and Why,' he details how Prussian culture was adopted when public education became widespread in the 1800s.
>snip<
"...compulsory schooling on this continent was intended to be just what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s: a fifth column into the burgeoning democratic movement that threatened to give the peasants and the proletarians a voice at the bargaining table.

Modern, industrialized, compulsory schooling was to make a sort of surgical incision into the prospective unity of these underclasses...

The actual purpose of modern schooling...six basic functions:
1)THE ADJUSTIVE OR ADAPTIVE FUNCTION-
Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. This, of course, precludes critical judgement completely. It also pretty much destroys the idea that useful or interesting things should be taught, because you can't test for reflexive obedience until you know whether you can make kids learn, and do, foolish and boring things.

2) THE INTEGRATING FUNCTION-
This might well be called "the conformity function," because its intention is to make children as alike as possible. People who conform are predictable, and this is of great use to those who wish to harness and manipulate a large labor force.

3) THE DIAGNOSTIC AND DIRECTIVE FUNCTION-
School is meant to determine each student's proper social role. This is done by logging evidence mathematically and anecdotally on cumulative records. As in "your permanent record." Yes, you do have one.

4) THE DIFFERENTIATING FUNCTION-
Once their social role has been "diagnosed," children are to be sorted by role and trained only sofar as their destination in the social machine merits-and not one step further. So much for making kids their personal best.

5) THE SELECTIVE FUNCTION-
This refers not to human choice at all but to Darwin's theory of natural selection as applied to what he called "the favored races." In short, the idea is to help things along by consciously attempting to improve the breeding stock. Schools are meant to tag the unfit-with poor grades, remedial placement, and other punishments-clearly enough that their peers will accept them as inferior and effectively bar them from the reproductive sweepstakes. That's what all those little humiliations from first grade onward were intended to do: wash the dirt down the drain.

6) THE PROPAEDEUTIC FUNCTION-
The societal system implied by these rules will require an elite group of caretakers. To that end, a small fraction of the kids will quietly be taught how to manage this continuing project, how to watch over and control a population deliberately dumbed down and declawed in order that government might proceed unchallenged and corporations might never want for obedient labor.

That, unfortunately, is the purpose of mandatory public education in this country...the Prussian system was useful in creating not only a harmless electorate and a servile labor force but also a virtual herd of mindless consumers."

Pretty horrifying, isn't it? I went to that school for sure.
A mythology of justification to keep the peasants in line has always been necessary.

American national power came from white men with guns stealing and killing. It is that simple.

Read Chomsky's 'Understanding Power.' It describes how the rich white men who have always owned and run the government have used violence and propaganda to prevent democracy in the US and around the world:

First the Native American holocaust and land grab.

Then African slavery in textiles back when cotton was the oil of its day, the source of manufacturing wealth.

Then corporations and robber barons using wage slaves in mass production factories and sweatshops. Unions were broken up by armed thugs. The Communist Revolution was used to demonize all popular movements as 'anarchists.'

Since capitalism failed in the depression of the 1930s, massive government spending on the Military Industrial Congressional Complex keeps the economy going, those not in these industries are on their own. This is the dictionary definition of FASCISM, the alliance of business with government.

As media became more pervasive and sophisticated, it was used to further propagandize and indoctrinate the population.

The Cold War brought Nazis recruited into the US government and intelligence services to fight the Soviets. A secret government took over from the business tycoons who had been using it for their own purposes.

The Bush family was key in this transition. The Reagan years saw the post-Vietnam re-militarization of the economy and the re-deification of corporations as symbolizing the Puritan Work Ethic in the (fictional) Free Market. Newt Gingrich used viciously partisan tactics to begin to drive back the progress of the 20th century.

Clinton only slightly slowed this process. Now the same people are back in power to finish the job of preventing democracy, looting the federal budget, neutralizing the masses, stealing the world's oil at gunpoint.

Religiousity helps them get away with it by turning racism, fear, and now 9/11 reactionary anger into a Crusade despite their denials.

A large percentage of Americans believe they are 'God's Chosen People In the One True Religion.'

And W. believes he was chosen by God to be President of the United States. Don't forget General Boykin, whose "god is bigger than the Muslim's god."

The Divine Right of Kings didn't go away; it is back with a vengeance. Ask Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. In a speech he said that it is a shame that democracy impedes God's will in choosing leaders. I'm not kidding.

How many centuries back can they take us? It is up to us.

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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
75. Photoshop?
(if the wind is blowing hard enough to fly that flag, could that little girl really hold it up with one hand?)

Take a close look at her right arm around the elbow. It's hard to tell from here, but it looks like she has a hole in her elbow and a discolored area around it. Could be just the reproduction, but were it downloaded onto my computer, I'd zoom in...
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #75
85. Looks like the little girl has bruises on both arms to me.
And I don't understand why some folks want to try to convice others of patriotism and unity by such dumb exhibits like no one has a fucking brain.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
77. If they want unity around MY ideals, then cool!
If it means supporting Bush or his mass murders, then it's bad.

The flag, like any symbol, means nothing but what you already believe, anyway. They are useless at best, and at worst they are used by one side to test for or force conformity, and that is unAmerican.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
80. Just look up their website -- I did, and they don't seem too bad at all
In fact, they are trumpeting values such as cooperation, compassion, appreciation of others, etc. I hardly see that as a bad thing. :shrug:
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
81. I haven't flown my flag since the Iraq invasion,
one, because I didn't want to be mistaken for the Bush herd, and second, I decided I won't fly it until we return to being the democratic republic we were (and my father fought for in World War II).
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
82. The Nazis knew how to do this.








See...they're just pics of children with their flag and their leader. Nothing wrong with this. :eyes:

Oh yeah, speaking of dissent, here's a Nazi postcard. "This card, which I think dates to 1938, is a criticicism of those who criticize. Meckerer translates as complainer, with negative connotations. Four unpleasant looking chaps gather to complain while everyone else happily watches a a Nazi parade."



Check out this page. The parallels to today's America are breathtaking.
http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm#Posters
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Sven77 Donating Member (645 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-03 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
83. one in Worcester
ClearChannel has one of those billboards in Worcester, MA. I've seen others around the state, like the dirty fire fighter(others rushed out he rushed in). This propaganda is disgusting.
What also disturbs me is the cookie message I got for clicking on the page. http://www.forbetterlife.org/ is tracking the picture views.
Who sponsors this Nazi propaganda company ?
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hillaryin2016 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-31-03 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
86. yeah
its not hard to believe...

God knows it's only a matter of time before Bush is sending poor people to concentration camps or gassing the ghettos.
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Sushi_lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-31-03 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #86
91. you're probably being sarcastic

But consider what would happen if the Taliban warlords came into a large sum of money (like this month's opium receipts) and they bribed a few guards in Pakistan to steal a nuclear bomb and decimated New York City.

You don't think we'd have a major crackdown on anyone who refused to recite the Republican party oath?
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Sushi_lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-31-03 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #86
92. like the refugee camps in West Bank and Gaza ?
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Mike_from_NoVa Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-31-03 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
88. Despair
Maybe we need these guys to design some alternative billbaords.

http://www.despair.com/
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Bossy Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-31-03 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
90. Here's what my buddy Paul dug up on these guys a year and a half ago:
Whois says www.forbetterlife.org is owned by the Anschutz Company--Anschutz, NOT Anschluss--(you there in the back--stop giggling!)--an oil and investment company that owns, well, that owns a LOT-- ( http://www.anschutzinvestments.com/group/group.html) and which, not surprisingly is a major donor to the RNC.

The Foundation for a Better Life: Making the world a better place--one khaki-wearing Aryan at a time ...
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