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July 4, 2006

Dick Cheney Does July 4th


The Administration may be prolific in its use of symbolism, but Dick Cheney’s 4th of July weekend photo op at the Daytona auto race was an absolute orgy of conservative, nationalistic, male, southern and militarist imagery.  (By the way, Ken Schrader’s Ford U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command came in twelfth, and Greg Biffle’s Ford Subway/National Guard pulled in at thirty-first.)


And if that’s wasn’t enough, The BAG was taken aback by this shot.  Is this the legacy the Bush Presidency leaves to American youth?  Here’s the caption:

Dwayne Lockett, left, talks to Ryan Lawson, 12, from Guntersville, Ala.,

about his sniper weapons as Lockett served in the security detail for

United States Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to the Pepsi 400 auto

race in Daytona Beach, Fla.

… Just as sad, I can actually imagine a newspaper running this, and then getting slapped by the White House for allegedly compromising the Vice-President’s security.

(image 1 & 2: Rick Fowler/Reuters.  Daytona Beach, Florida. July 1, 2006.  Via YahooNews.  image 3: Glenn Smith/A.P.  Via YahooNews.  image 4 & 5: Alan Diaz/Reuters.  Via YahooNews  Image 6: Joe Ranze/AP. Via YahooNews.)

  • boxcar

    If a case could ever be made for BURNING the flag, the grandstand image is it.
    “The Flag”: Just another Brand awash in a , as Bill Hicks’ would have said: “just another whore at the capitalist gang bang.”
    Do you have a URL where i can get the actual image?
    Searching Yahoo News now with no luck.

  • boxcar
  • Bill

    I also assumed that was the biggest flag they could find. Then I saw it wasn’t, courtesy of UPI. I posted the photo here:

  • Marysz

    Evidently, Cheney is a selfish man who has no qualms about how much he inconveniences the others around him when he shows up for his photo-ops. Supposedly, he also demands that the local hospital be put on full alert and an ambulance put on standby for all his appearances in case his heart gives out. And it’s just tough luck for any other poor souls who might have health emergencies when he’s in town.

  • black dog barking

    One less than 2/3’s of the United States Senate voted yea to forward to the states a constitutional amendment protecting the American flag from desecration. Burning the flag is desecration unless you’ve managed to soil it, perhaps with Pepsi. Custom dictates respectfully incinerating soiled flags.
    The colorful choir behind Richard Bruce Cheney reminds me of two commercially staged pictures from the 60’s, one fun, the other even more fun.
    There’s no parody like self-parody.

  • Annoying Old Guy

    With regard to the second photo, I had never really seen the connection before, but now that TheBAG has pointed it out it’s clear that young boys / men never liked big weapons before the BushCo propaganda machine started trying to create this militaristic legacy. What a twisted sense of ethics, to want to be the guy responsible for boys wanting to fight.

  • floopmeister

    Immature forever? Well, you’re certainly giving it a good shot, AOG.
    I hope your pacemaker holds out.

  • kitchenmage

    What is that big thing dangling in the middle of the flag? I’ve looked around for an image that is a bit clearer, to no avail.

  • Quentin

    The best picture is the one the Bag used for advertising: Cheney and other good, little guys with their hand on the heart and pledging loyalty. It is so touching to see these very, very manly men show their sensitivity. There is nothing more repugnant about all of this than the nationalistic theatricals staged for the benefit of the repugnants. Has anyone every written a study of the U.S. flag fetish? Once I a saw a study about the U.K.’s rubber rainwear fetish, which I wish I had bought and read, even twenty years later.

  • Jo

    I have a bad time with these things. I am at the age when we used to see the pictures of the Nuremberg Rally in the news at the movies and picture’s in Life. All the military and flags are just to much for me.

  • Jim Hilley

    That thing in front of the flag appears to be one of Fox’s camera’s which are moved by arial cables. They get some great shots of the race.

  • Eric Blair

    Utter infantilism and fetishism of the most perverse kind. Regrettably, this arrant yahoo behaviour plays to a significant element of the population within the US (NOT just in the South), and students of semiotics and propaganda will immediately note the juxtaposition of cultic and iconic imagery coupled with a leading political figure…however, Goebbels did it better, as he really had the ultimate “hook” in the person of AH. Using this imagery linked to Bush or Cheney reduces it to sheer farce and boorish political theatre (though not without some effect in certain circles).

  • readytoblowagasket

    I don’t have a problem with the flag — it’s the 4th of July and the flag is ubiquitous. I have a problem with Dick Cheney *flying in* to attend a NASCAR *race.*
    Today, July 5th, oil hit a record price of $75.40 a barrel. “The current woes around the world [Korea, Iran] all have the potential to threaten oil supplies,” said Michael Fitzpatrick. . . . “The higher gasoline prices didn’t slow driving over the weekend. Demand is a big problem.”
    Remember back in January when our illustrious president told Americans we were “addicted to oil” in his State of the Union address? He also called it a problem.
    “And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. . . . We must also change how we power our automobiles.”
    Then why in hell *would* Cheney go to the Pepsi 400? Don’t race cars consume a lot of precious fuel? Wikipedia and E Magazine both have calculated how much is potentially consumed at a typical NASCAR race (hint: it’s a lot):
    And why *is* the bloody Navy (and other branches of the military) onstage too? Turns out the Navy sponsors a car at NASCAR for recruiting purposes. It’s no secret, here’s an interview about it:
    Cheney + military + NASCAR = live bodies for Iraq (and Iran and North Korea)?
    Whatever the reason(s), the flag is just a distraction.

  • zenseeker

    Happy July 4th to all of you. I just made a flash game where uncle Sam is seen throwing knives at Joe Lieberman called Back Stabbing Lieberman. Check it out at my site here: There are also other games there: bush rampage, bush-rice-terror, bush shootout, dancing bush and Blair and other political games as well. Feel free to comment for I plan to make more.
    Anyways, back to the meaning of July 4th for my kids.
    I was watching all the fireworks outside with my kids, and my 8 year old daughter asked me to explain what was Independence day all about. I gave her the story about colonial settlers under British rule and how we united with help to fight off the Brits and finally won our independence for the right to self rule. And when I told her that this is when our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, and she asked me what was that? I did not remember most of the words, but incredibly my wife did and we utter some of those magic words together. I told her that when I was a kid and read those words, I thought that they were the most beautifully written words I had ever read. And I told her that the meaning and values of that document was why I love America so much; this was the country that taught me what it meant to be equal and fair, good and just. But I also told her that half of it is no longer true, and my son, a typical Nintendo kid, interjected: “You mean, like Bush.” I did not even have to reply or convince him, somehow he already knew. In a way I should be glad that even my kids can see what is going on, but somehow I actually felt sad. Sad because they don’t know the full weight and tremendous implications of those words written so long ago. Sad because they don’t realize the power of words and the actions they can generate; and those specific words were so powerful that countless men have willingly died through the eons in their fleeting attempt to manifest and live out those words and its ideals. And sad because I grew up in a world full of idealistic ideas and enthusiasm, teaching us to not only help and improve ourselves, but all of humanity and mankind as well. Reaching the moon and back was just a small sampling of things to come. I am what I am is because of these words and it makes me sad to realize that my kids will not have these words and the absolute belief and trust in those very words (inscribed by our founding fathers) to guide and instill in them a sense of justice and equality. They know the world is not fair and they will never expect it to be fair. I have always hoped the world will be so, but I can no longer say this with a straight face to my kids that the world will be this way when they grow up or if it will ever even get any closer to those ideals; just like the moon is no longer feasible to travel to anymore, there is easy money to be made elsewhere subjugating the people of this planet.
    After reading the Declaration of Independence at this site:, it struck me that I was wrong in telling my daughter that half of it was no longer true. I actually thought that most of it is no longer true. For brevity, skipping the preamble and just going through the grievances, I saw many justifiable grievances then that equally apply to now, the year 2006. Just read them for yourselves and see how many of them our government is guilty of or in the process of taking those very same rights away. I will mark the ones I feel they are guilty of.
    Guilty: He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    Guilty: He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    Guilty: He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    Guilty: He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    Guilty: He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    Guilty: He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    Guilty: He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    Guilty: He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    Guilty: He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.
    Guilty: He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    Guilty: He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    Guilty: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    Guilty: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    Guilty: For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    Guilty: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    Guilty: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    Guilty: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    Guilty: He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    Guilty: He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    Guilty: He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    Guilty: He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
    Ok that is enough for Independence day, and be sure to chech out all the political games at
    Take Care,

  • Randolph

    zenseeker, you’re a hard act to follow.
    Like others here, I can’t tell what that image is in the center of the huge flag. Maybe it IS an aerial camera, but it looks suspiciously like a Pratt & Whitney jet engine. Do they use those on NASCAR cars?

  • JJF

    Just an FYI: the phrase is “Anchors Aweigh” (not “away”).

  • Two Dishes

    I did a double take initially at what looked like a crucifix hanging in front of the flag! (I should probably buy a clearer computer monitor.)

  • michael

    if we didn’t have the soldiers that you so call say are teachin the young 12 year olds about our leaders would be killed and so would you.

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