POSTER ART, designed to resemble Nazi propaganda posters of the 1930s and 1940s, is the focal point of this project. But now, with American sabres rattling toward Iraq, parallels with American WWII propaganda posters emerge. Must we relive that war from BOTH perspectives?
Our purpose is to use the themes of the past to avoid errors in the present -- by alerting Americans to the threat early enough for them to exert political pressure on our so-called leaders. We already have a number of designs ready for you to use in your local area. Here are "thumbnail" copies of each, with a brief description. You can click on the thumbnail image to see a larger version (but still not full-size or original quality -- we want them to download quickly for you). From the page with the larger version you can then download or view the "real McCoy" in all its full-size and crisp splendor.
THE SITE GOES LIVE, November 2001!
Captions: Back By Popular Demand -- Homeland Security -- "Freedom is Compliance" (then, almost hidden in darker type, our website URL and the challenge, "Got Liberty?")
I had been doing political art for years prior to 9/11. The "Remember Liberty" armband design you'll see below dates back to 1997, when I realized that Clinton's War on Militias was really a series of opening shots in a war for subjugation of the American people.
This eagle poster was conceived of almost immediately after the 9/11 attacks. While few Americans were thinking beyond the carnage and their pure hatred for those responsible, I couldn't help but think ahead to the event's predictable consequences -- and about why those consequences might be the real motivation for the attacks.
The very next day, September 12, 2001, my letter to the editor appeared in the Los Angeles Times and several other papers. Here it is:
Tuesday's horrendous events have produced immediate devastation unprecedented in our short history of domestic terrorism. Tens of thousands of lives may have been snuffed out. As hard as it may be to contemplate, these losses were probably not the primary goal of the terrorists. More likely they were merely bloody stepping stones along which to prod the U.S. toward becoming, irretrievably, a police state. Those who truly hate America will be most interested in watching our government pull the plug on our Bill of Rights--already in critical condition as "collateral damage" in the war on drugs and the war for votes. The sweetest revenge against America will be watching the "land of the free and the home of the brave" become, by our own hand, the "land of papers, please, and the home of staying home."
Anticipating TSA, November 2001: For my part, as soon as the government started making noise about internalizing airline security operations, the future of air travel was pretty obvious. I produced this poster "anonymously" and sent copies where they would find their way into the nooks and crannies of websites and emails.
Take the airport security people who were then already being criticized for shoddy and lax security measures. Pass a law saying that their employers, the private security firms, can't any longer engange in their business of providing airport security, and "transferring" their employees to the rolls of government service. Bump their wages from near minimum wage to something "competitive." Deck them out in federal uniforms. And.... Voilá! Instant professionals! We feel safer already. Don't you?
"New Anthem" MP3 audio 03/15/03: This is a first for WHS -- using audio rather than visual media for our message! Click on the singer here to listen to a 30-second segment of a recording session. These guys are recording a newly modified version of "The Star Spangled Banner" that reflects today's political realities. Loads of fun! Send this file (or recommend it) not only to friends and family, but to talk radio hosts in your area. As always here at WHS, this material is free for distribution and use by one and all, and as often as anyone wishes.
NEW! Homeland Security Advisory Codes -- Updated Historical Tribute Version 11/23/03: We're having some fun now! They'll laugh; they'll groan; they'll scream bloody murder! Bottom caption: "NEW! This updated color code key for Homeland Security Advisories recognizes the masterful achievements of the great pioneers of homeland security policies. We aim to live up to their professionalism!"
We already have shirts, posters, mouse pads, and more with this design at our Codes Shop, too!
NEW! "End It." Poster 11/01/03: Taken from a poster appealing for Americans to buy bonds and finance the end of World War II, this pleading lady in the liberty cap now longs for an end to America's new police state. Behind her are police decked out in riot gear, controlling the streets of some nameless city. Above them, the Constitution goes up in flames. The "End It" caption is the same as in the original poster.
The bottom caption alternates descriptive phrases of today's America with typical attitudes of government officials: "Suspicion without cause. We don't need a warrant. Decades in prison for hurting no one. Presumed guilty! Property confiscated without trial. Jurors may not vote their consciences. Militarized police. Help us nail this guy, we reduce your sentence. Inflated charges terrify the innocent into pleading to a lesser offense. Papers, please. Government control of almost everything. Got permission? Indefinite detention; no trial. Just following orders. Challenge the law only on appeal. Security requires compliance."
Then, "Can't we just have FREEDOM back?"
NEW! "Americans Will Always Fight for LIBERTY ... or CONTROL. Whateverrr...." poster 10/08/03:
The left-hand illustration is merely a cleaned-up version of the original WWII poster. Its slogan was the same, too -- except it stopped after "LIBERTY," of course! On the right we see what 50 years has done to America, as concern for liberty has been almost completely replaced by concern for control over others, as exemplefied on April 19, 1993, at the Branch Davidian church in Waco. Thanks to James Neff of www.rense.com for the burning Constitution component of that image! The burning Waco "compound" and the gloating fed on the tank are taken (via intermediate sources) from government footage acquired via the Freedom of Information Act by enterprising Americans.
The original poster art is shown along with the larger poster -- just click on the thumbnail image.
Bottom caption: "You're a Sovereign Country? Guess again, Pilgrim! When we say 'Jump,' you say, 'How high, Boss?' Because what's good for America is good for the world. And anybody who isn't for the world will answer to us! Especially sick-in-the-head, evil terrorists who believe that freedom is about being left alone, instead of doing what the Government of The Land of the Free requires! We're the new sheriff in town ... er ... on Earth ... and we ARE the law! Don't like it? Tough. We'll give you freedom, like it or not."
NEW! "Don't Let the Shadow Touch Them!" poster 09/18/03: Here's a switch! The very kind of police state represented by the swastika shadow in the original U.S. Treasury poster (available below the enlarged version linked here) is touted as the REMEDY for the dangerous freedom we have in America!
"One Ring to Rule Them All!" postcard 03/15/03: Sorry to keep you waiting; this one has been out on the net for a while. A glowing gold ring floats high above the continental U.S. at night, whose lights glow dimly in the dark. The caption reads, "One ring to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them." And if you look closely, you'll see an inscription on the inner surface of the ring that says, "SECURITY." If you miss the reference, you've been in a cave for the last couple of years ... or decades! This design was created for the web, so there isn't a hi-res version available. Still, it's perfect for postcards ... and, of course, EMAIL. Send this bad boy far and wide!
"Look What They Made Us Do to America!" Poster 11/22/02: We depart from satire with this poster to make a straightforward plea for freedom. The losses directly due to terrorism were bad enough ... now our ham-fisted government is finishing the job. Americans used to be willing to die for liberty, but now Liberty is doing the dying.
Caption: "September 11, 2001. 3,000+ dead. About $100 billion in property damage. America is targeted! WHAT WILL WE DO? Hey! We can deny freedom to the terrorists! Make sure that here in the U.S. they can't do bad things. Legally, that is. Restrict their movement, eliminate their privacy. No secrecy, no conspiracy! No unmonitored mobility, no surprise attacks! Of course, any freedom denied the terrorists must be denied you and me. BECAUSE ANYONE CAN BE A TERRORIST. We can't let terrorists be free, so we can't let ANYBODY be free. You and I must be carefully scrutinized in everything we do. Forget privacy. Forget the presumption of innocence. There's simply too much at stake! Freedom is too great a threat to security! NOT! Freedom shouldn't go away when times are tough. That idea used to BE America. Not the land. Not even the people. A shared love of liberty. Amazing, isn't it? A few thousand lives and about a hundred billion dollars are lost, and we can't be America anymore."
The source poster (shown below a larger version of this design linked to the thumbnail image here) is a "Remember December 7th!" memorial to the lives lost at Pearl Harbor.
"Be Not Afraid!" Poster 11/18/02: "Just be compliant. Then you have nothing to fear." Right. Time is of the essence on this one! The Homeland Security Act is pending right now in the Senate, and it needs to be deep-sixed. You can help by spreading this poster (and the next one) far and wide. When our government gets every power needed by a totalitarian state ... well, you can bet it won't bode well for liberty!
The original poster art is shown along with the larger poster -- just click on the thumbnail image.
Bottom caption: "As your Department of Homeland Security protects you against terrorist threats to freedom, here are some things you need to understand. We don't want terrorists to be able to move freely or to keep any secrets. But terrorists can be anyone. So we'll be checking your papers frequently for the next few decades, monitoring your communications, examining your bank accounts, private transactions, etc. For freedom. Against the tyranny of fear, the totalitarian ambitions of terrorists. We hope you won't feel too uncomfortable at seeing how we deal with those who resist us. We recommend just looking away, or repeating to yourself that in times of crisis no dangerous disloyalty or disobedience can be tolerated. For your safety we'll be removing suspected collaborators and dissidents for questioning and possible punishment. Their confiscated assets will then help us serve you better."
"You Are Suspected" Poster 11/09/02: Yeow! This swipe at the insidious Homeland Security Act now before Congress is a real hoot! Sorry, but this legislation sucks. Which basically means that it's no different than most other legislation recently passed by Congress.... Bummer.
The Feds want to use DARPA (the name is an acronym for an innocuous-sounding but totalitarian agency) to keep tabs on practically everything that happens in America. Why should government do that? Well, because people can't, even on average, be trusted to behave!
Be very clear about this. Government doesn't care about your welfare. It cares only about its surivival. If government is essentially about governing people, then the autonomy of people isn't important to government at all. But the autonomy of people is the only possible reason that government has any real purpose!
Bottom caption: "Hey, don't worry! It's nothing personal. We just need to know who is loyal to our Government and who isn't. In case you haven't noticed, our Government needs you to agree to everything it does. So we are seeking authority to examine everything you do. It's the "Homeland Security Act" before Congress, and we'd like your support. Please send the message that you'd rather guarantee that nobody can oppose your Government than have your own rights to privacy and the presumption of innocence preserved. After all, how can we keep control of everything if we can't keep control of the people? Thanks!"
"War Will Work!" Poster 11/09/02: If this seems "off topic," consider the many costs to our security that our many wars have incurred. Much of it comes in the form of damage to our economy, which struggles to pay for the huge combined load of wars, both foreign and domestic. Much of it comes in the form of direct threats to our security, such as the explosion of crime and the erosion of rights required by the War on Drugs. Some comes in the form of threats from foreign peoples who hate us, for whatever reason. (Surely none of that could be because of the wars we've brought them, could it?!)
The original poster art is from one of the many, many appeals for Americans to buy bonds to help the war effort. You can see it along with the larger image of our knock-off -- just click the thumbnail image.
Bottom caption: "If there's one thing we've learned in America, it's that people will abandon their hopes, desires, and principles if you just threaten them with death and destruction. It works on foreign governments, and of course it works on you taxpayers. Which reminds me ... you'd all better get extra jobs, 'cause fighting all these wars is getting expensive!"
"Amerikan Troika!" Poster 11/07/02: We took the gloves off for this one! Well ... all but one (sorry!). The clasping hands image comes from a poster encouraging management and labor to come together for the war effort. Who knew then that it would be a perfect symbol for 21st Century American politics? This may be the most controversial poster we've provided so far -- because we think most Americans haven't noticed how the Socialists, the mercantilists, and the apparatchiks have joined together to create a government that no longer honors principle ... only results that please some constituency.
Bottom caption: "Our Power Is Secure. Greetings from your Government. Not the flimsy excuse for government set forth in the U.S. Constitution, but the real thing. Not new government; we've been running things for decades, gaining power bit by bit as Americans relinquished more and more of their rights in exchange for the goodies and security we promise. Now the process is complete. We can reveal ourselves without fear of effective opposition. The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of Constitutional government have become our tools. Your Constitution now has no force without our permission. Who are we? We are government of, by, and for Special Interests. We are a working alliance of three factions: the Socialist welfare mongers, the corporate mercantilists, and the politicians and bureaucrats who create and enforce policy. We have now achieved a perfect balance of power, and we are here to stay. You may join any one of these factions -- but you may not oppose us. That is no longer allowed. We have denied many of you the use of weapons that might serve to help you resist us, and those of you who remain armed are too gutless to offer resistance. The final collection of arms will commence shortly. You may join, submit, or die."
Doesn't that just send chills up your spine?
What better way to prevent this disaster than exposing the possibility to everyone you can? Download this sucker and plaster it everywhere you can get permission from the owners!
Bottom caption: "Forget the old saw about 'eternal vigilance for liberty.' Like any good shepherd, your Government is watching over you so you'll never have to protect yourself. After all, personal responsibility is so ... taxing. Who will watch the watchers? Don't be silly. With shepherds there's nothing much to watch: all they do is shear wool and eat a lot of mutton."
"Never!" Poster 10/06/02: Here's a beautiful image expressing America's resolve to preserve liberty. It dates from one of our World Wars (sorry -- lost the reference), but it is timelier today than ever! We didn't even need to tinker with it beyond providing a "matting" and a brief caption below mentioning its origin and relevance today.
Bottom caption: "Protective custody isn't just for criminals anymore! Due to popular demand, the folks at Homeland Security have at last arranged for you and your family to enjoy the highest level of security, 24/7! Guaranteed terrorist-free, our comfy cells and friendly guards will make you feel right at home. Face it: anyone running around freely could be a threat to you and your loved ones ... so the fewer actual FREE persons are out there, the safer society will be. Worried about the cost? Hah! As always, we'll force your neighbors (and about 30 generations of their descendants) to pay most of the tab. So sign up today for a life of true liberty and honor!"
Side caption: "If you encounter trouble outside your cell, DON'T attempt self-defense. You'd need a weapon, and only people in government uniforms can learn the safe and effective use of things like guns. Just dial 9-1-1 and wait. And wait."
"Do With Less -- So They'll Have Enough!" Poster 9/22/02: During WWII, everyone got behind the war effort, scrimping and just getting by. Today, while we aren't battling Hitler and Tojo, we are entering what looks like a major depression. Politicians won't want you thinking the economy's demise is due to their mismanagement, so it will be really handy to have not just one, but two wars to blame it on!
Bottom caption: "The economy is in the tank. You're thinking 'recession,' but we know better. Depression is imminent. Why? Certainly not due to a failure of government! It is being brought on by the cost of the war we are about to enter ... you know, the War on Iraq, not the War on Terrorism (we know it's hard to keep track). So tighten that belt ... rationing will be a way of life before long."
See below for another version of this theme, this time aimed at the War on Terrorism!
"He's Watching You!" Poster 9/8/02: During WWII, posters alerted Americans to the risk of talking too much. Spies could take that information and alert our enemies to our planned activities. Today, nobody imagines that the cabal of radical Islamic terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks is monitoring you and me for intelligence data. But somebody IS monitoring us: our own government's Department of Homeland Security. So far, their attention has been directed primarily toward immigrants who might be linked to the group responsible for the attacks -- but there is a serious danger that ANY criticism of the American way of life or its political leadership will be construed as suspicious. That's the way we primates tend to organize our thoughts.
Let's anticipate the next intrusion on American liberty, then, by introducing this variant on the old WWII theme.
Captions: [boilerplate and credits]; "He's Watching You" -- "Progress! It used to be that you had to look to nosy neighbors or foreign governments if you wanted somebody to keep a close eye on you. Now our own Homeland Security folks are on the job! Never worry again that your irresponsibility will go without correction. We can detect the tiniest disloyal thought and set you straight. Detention time and survival rates may vary. Remember: FREEDOM IS COMPLIANCE!
"Do With Less -- So They'll Have More!" Poster 9/22/02: Clearly, this theme can be applied to Homeland Security as well as to the economic insecurity threatened by today's foreign policy. So you get two posters for the price of one!
Bottom caption: "The War on Terrorism -- our new way of life -- needs your faithful support. The enemy can be anyone ... anywhere ... any time. Can you protect yourself? No. But don't worry. What used to be the dregs of society is now a corps of professionals who will protect you for as long as it takes. Whatever it costs. So ... scale down, consume less, retire later, so these brave folks can keep you in li ... um ... keep America safe for you and, of course, for the children. Together, on only about 30% of GDP, we can do it! Thanks."
Operation TIPS Poster 7/18/02: The feds want to turn ordinary citizen workers like utility repairmen, delivery people, and store clerks into domestic spies "against terrorism." We don't doubt that's the genuine purpose. We also don't doubt that, once in place, the program will become oppressive. Better nip it in the bud by showing its true nature -- a grown-up Hitler Youth program.
Image: Our president peers from behind a boy (borrowed directly from a Hitler Youth poster!) who is the very image of an idealistic, upstanding kid.
Captions: "Patriotic American Kids Join the Bush Brigades" is followed by an invitation to distribute this public domain political satire widely. At the bottom: "Operation TIPS (Tattletales, Informants, Provocateurs, and Stool-Pigeons) isn't just for adults anymore! Learn the true meaning of citizenship in the Bush Brigades. Does your dad quote the Constitution? Does your teacher talk about the Bill of Rights? They need help, and you can make a big difference. Join the fight against privacy and individual autonomy, and help make divisive political diversity a thing of the past."
"You'll Get Your Freedoms Back -- Honest!"
Captions: Wartime Sacrifice of Simple Freedoms Is Crucial. You'll Get Them Back Eventually. Honest. -- (then, almost hidden in darker type, our website URL) -- and at the bottom, this message: "The professional Homeland Security team will stop terrorism in its tracks with your help ... however long it takes. As great leaders like Lincoln and Roosevelt knew, it's not a strong and free people that ensures peace, but the control of central authority. That's us. So, show us your papers, open your bags and your records, refrain from criticism of the new Federal Authority that will aid and comfort our enemies, and ... who knows? Your great-grandchildren just might know freedom again! Thank you.")
REVISED VERSION! Here is a detail of the retouched background for this poster, contributed by Leon Dionne. If you prefer the sourpuss presidents, click on the detail for a look at the web-sized poster. From that page you can download the full-size version.
More Fun With Tom, John, and George! Time once again to gear up for the big Bill of Rights Day celebration! We have another version of this poster for use after the fact, but this is the one to spread around before mid-December. Image: bottom, left to right, are John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge, and George W. Bush.
Captions: "Homeland Security celebrates Bill of Rights Day!" and
Not much description required here! Right-click on the image to download the full-size (8"x10", 100 dpi) graphic -- suitable for faxing, for small posters, for T-shirts, etc.
No Excuses Department
Here are two designs you can print on an ordinary laser printer. The first, "Remember Liberty," comes in an 8"x10" version for printing on 8.5"x11" paper. Think you can find some of that? Just right-click on the image here to download the full-size version. You can also save this smaller image if you like. Soon we'll have a higher resolution version of this, about 4.25" square, plus a reversed image you can use to silkscreen nifty black armbands (the original inspiration for this design).
"Got Liberty?" may just turn out to be the key slogan in this campaign. This design in its full-size version prints at 5.5"x2.13" -- which means you can gang six of them on an 8.5"x11" sheet, cut them up, and go crazy! Consider using special label stock, such as offered by Avery, with a single large label per sheet. But remember that some of these labels may not remove easily from some surfaces, so be careful and considerate! There are removable labels in Avery's line of products.
And, speaking of T-shirts....
These designs ... any of them ... may be freely reproduced and distributed by anyone, anywhere, provided they are unaltered. That's our official permission for you to use these designs, even for profit. After all, our purpose is to spread a message.
If you don't want to go to the trouble of setting up production yourself, however, we have found a simple way to get shirts, mouse pads, tote bags, coffee mugs, and other items carrying any designs you like. This nifty service is provided through CafeShops.com, and we've used it with great results on other products already. The design just above is featured at our Homeland Security Store. In all cases, our prices there are just $0.26 higher than their base price for each item.
SPECIAL OFFER! Want to buy these products at cost? It's easy. Just open your own CafeShops.com store for free (all we ask is that you apply for your store from the link on our store's page -- that helps fund our effort). You have our permission to upload any of these designs and put them on the products of your choice!
Here are examples of other CafeShops.com stores featuring our freedom-oriented designs:
BROWSE OUR DIVERSE LINE OF MERCHANDISE RIGHT HERE!
That's our project. We hope you'll decide to join in ... and have some fun with it! As grim as the clouds of looming tyranny look, there's always room to enjoy your participation in a creative resistance to oppression.
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