Flag-in-Toilet 'Art' on Display in California Justice Department
Saturday, July 23, 2005
SACRAMENTO — Dozens of works by California lawyers are on display inside the cafeteria at the Department
of Justice in Sacramento. But one painting in particular has caused such outrage that hundreds of people have signed an online
petition to have it removed.
The painting is called "T'anks to Mr. Bush," and it shows a star-spangled United States being flushed down
the toilet. The artist, a Berkeley lawyer, says it depicts his view of where President Bush (search) is leading the country.
The nonprofit arts council put together the annual exhibit, and the attorney general — whose office
is in the building — says it would be un-American to remove this, or any piece, just because it's controversial.
"For those that it offends, they shouldn't look at it. For those that want to talk about public-policy matters
and look at the art, they're free to do so. But it's their free choice," said Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for Attorney General
Bill Lockyer (search).
"They have a right to be upset with that piece, it's their right. They have a right to say that they don't
like it, it's their right not to look at it," said Ellen Taylor of the California Lawyers for the Arts.
But critics say this isn't about censorship, it's about whether partisan political art belongs in the state
"I find it distasteful, and I find it offensive," said Sacramento resident Peggy Bengs, who visited the exhibit.
"I don't like the political implications personally because I believe it is a state building that is financed by the taxpayers."
But another resident, Brian Lavender, said: "I think it's representative of what the Bush administration is
doing right now. I think it hits close to home."
The exhibit itself is privately funded and Lockyer maintains he had nothing to do with selecting the pieces
on display. But critics suggest the high-ranking Democrat would never have allowed art depicting a negative image of
women, for instance, or desecration of the gay pride flag.
"Look, California's top cop should really be focusing on the crime in California, protecting the citizens
of California, and probably spend a little less time promoting controversial, in-your-face, political artwork, which is so
offensive to so many people," said Karen Hanretty, spokeswoman for the California State Republican Party.
STATE POLITICIAN CAMPAIGNS
DURING A MARINE'S FUNERAL
that all Americans find out why Jane Fonda was never charged for treason. Who
has the answers? (She's about to do it again! And America's children are again at risk!)
Bringing Jane Fonda to the attention of the American People is the responsibility of Federal politicians...
not Vietnam Vets! Why was Jane Fonda (and John Kerry) not charged for treason.
The American People should organize and make sure Federal politicians tell them, why Jane Fonda was not charged
With this new
terrorist war, private American citizens own lives are at risk. If Jane supports the terrorists openly in the same ways
she did during the Vietnam War, in the very least America's terrorist enemies will be made out to look like heroes, while our
brave men and women in uniform(s) will be war criminals...
Jane Fonda is on
her comeback. It's not that Jane is expressing her views against the Terrorist War in Iraq; many Americans are against this war. For various reasons, many Vietnam Vets are against
It's just how far; this woman will go to express her views. Jane can get actually treasonous. She openly
supported American enemies during the Vietnam War.
Now, she will be taking her anti-Iraq-Terrorist War bus tour