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He might be an anti-war activist, but he’s also a money-grubbing sob

The phrase “Bush Lied” was superimposed over the names. As the casualty count grew, the bumper sticker became a T-shirt, and Frazier added the words “They Died.”

It is a pain to be able to see both sides of this argument. The LAT has a writeup about it, and I was perusing their email edition newspaper this morning when I came across the story. Dan Frazier is making money off the names of dead soldiers. First off, that bothers me the most…its not like Mr. Frazier is running a non-profit agency, he is making and selling his T-shirts to MAKE money. He rationalizes it by saying he is doing this to end the war..wrong dude..your doing it to line your pockets. If you were doing it to end the war..ALL the proceeds would go to an Anti-war group or groups.

A mother of one of the dead soldiers, Margy Bons is also against the war. She tried to keep her son from enlisting but to no avail. He actually sought out a battalion that was shipping out to Iraq when he enlisted. He really wanted to go and sadly he did..and he was killed. Margy Bons is still very anti-war..bu t she is angry that Mr. Frazier uses her dead sons name to make money and knowing as she does, her sons feelings were still going strong supporting the war when he died, she thinks its a travesty that Mr. Frazier continues to use the names of dead soldiers even after the parents or relatives have asked him to cease and desist.

I consider Mr. Frazier a vulture and opportunist. I can not support an endeavor that makes money off dead people in this fashion. Mr. Frazier likes to call it ‘defending his right to free speech’. Thats all well and good, but buddy..

Your not giving away those T-shirts are you? They aren’t free by any stretch of the imagination. The money isn’t even going towards any anti-war efforts in any appreciable amount. He could offer them at cost and then I might be able to support him..but I am not even sure that would do it for me. The money is going to support Mr. Fraziers lifestyle.

And that’s where I get mad.

There is an old saying..the Dead can’t sue. Perhaps Mr. Frazier is banking on that assumption. But there are states that have taken notice of Mr. Frazier’s activities and passed laws against it. Five states — Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida — have since passed laws requiring permission from members of the military or their next of kin before their names can be used commercially . A version of the law has been introduced in each chamber of Congress.

I also see Mr. Fraziers pov vaguely..tha t he wishes to end the war is a noble idea millions of us have. He says he gives $1 for every shirt sold to a group that supports the families of dead soldiers. But the shirts sell for $22 a piece. That is a tiny percentage that is going back into the community. He advertises on leftwing sites which of course costs money. He is paying his rent with the money he makes from the sale of his T-shirts. I think its called blood money.

In the end..he is simply making money off the dead..and I just don’t think that’s right..regar dless of the cause or the reason. No matter what rationale Mr. Frazier uses, its wrong to me if the relatives of these dead soldiers want their names removed, Mr. Frazier should comply. Here is what he says about the matter:

“I’m not losing any sleep over the fact that I’m trying to make a living while doing good,

Tags: Dan Frazier

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13 Responses to “He might be an anti-war activist, but he’s also a money-grubbing sob”

  1. It’s not just this guy… It’s the whole left wing bumper sticker people. There is a Prius down the street that is just plastered with all the anti-war stuff. I get the guy driving the Prius’s right to free speech. But dude, when the war is over… who ever makes those stickers is going to be laying off some people.

    Probably actually made in China with lead paint though.

  2. Whatever steve.

  3. What? My theories too obtuse?

  4. steve,
    No, your theory is pretty obvious. Shame you don’t apply it to all the people who have yellow ribbon bumper stickers, or pro-military bumper stickers. No, you just have to single out the left wing, don’t you? So, no, your theory isn’t too obtuse, just a bit too transparent.

  5. Paul,

    The yellow ribbons are magnets.

  6. I don’t think those laws that are being passed have a snowball’s chance in hell of holding up in court. Free speech and press is free speech and press. Like his money making or hate it but until they repeal the first amendment, that’s his right.

    I also think he’s got a point with his being against the war. The point of the t-shirt is to bring front and center for everyone who sees the shirt that lots and lots of Americans are dying in Iraq, real people, not just an ever growing number of dead in the war but names. The names make the numbers real. The names make the dead personal for all who see the shirt. It makes people think, “All these sons and daughters are dying…and why?” I think it has an effect, even without giving proceeds to anti-war groups or giving more money to groups that support families of the dead.

    Hey, this is America. Being against the war doesn’t necessarily mean being anti-capital ism.

    As for making money from t-shirts with the names of the dead, newspapers print the names of the dead. So do some tv news programs…or at least they did at one time. They are for profit organization s. They make money from a product wherein are printed the names of the dead. I don’t see a whole lot of difference.

  7. The newspapers print the names of the dead soldiers as news. This bag of batshit uses their names to pay his rent and put gas in his car.

    If free speech is all you got its a thin argument to me. If he said something libelous about them he could be sued. I personally think its disgusting to not honor the wishes of the dead or their living relatives.

    He is a disgusting opportunist. .and nothing more.

  8. Dusty,
    You and Craig are probably both right. It is disgusting, but it might not be illegal.

  9. Dusty,

    Argument from the first amendment is thin? Um…Ooooookaa aaaay. I was certain that, here in America, with a war and administrati on protesting liberals that argument from the first amendment would be rock-solid. Just goes to show how wrong a guy can be.

    Yes, if he said something libelous, he COULD be sued but I don’t see anything libelous, either toward the fallen soldiers named on the shirt or toward the administrati on. The shirt designer could argue that he’s printing news, too. How many Americans can name so many as one fallen soldier (unless, of course, the soldier was a family member or acquaintance  )? He’s keeping alive the memory of people that, to most of us, are completely anonymous.

    You think it’s disgusting that he ignores the wishes of the family members; I imagine that he thinks it’s disgusting that most Americans can’t name so many as one fallen soldier.


    Why do you say that it’s disgusting? I don’t see anything in the shirt that dishonors the dead in the least bit. Anti-war people were up in arms when the administrati on said that flag-draped coffins being shipped state-side should not be depicted in news-papers and television news-casts. The protesters recognized that the administrati on feared that those pictures might heighten the anti-war feelings among the populace. Now we have an anti-war protester using names rather than images for exactly that purpose and anti-war protesters are protesting the protester. I don’t get it. Ok, he’s not honoring the families wishes; he’s honoring the fallen by identifying them by name, personalizin g them, keeping their memories alive and in the front of the American people’s minds and, further, providing us another opportunity to discuss genuinely important issues to boot. I think the guy’s doing everyone a favor.

  10. Craig, if you can’t see why I think this guy is a opportunist bag of batshit far be it for me to explain it to you.

    It’s amazing to me that you of all people support this guy..but think the war is worth it too.

    He isn’t honoring any one Craig. He is making money off the dead soldiers, most of whom probably believed in their mission. I am sure they would not be happy about being on an anti-war Tshirt.

  11. Dusty,

    Opportunist? Okay, sure. All capitalists are opportunists . Without a market, they’re dead in the water. I like capitalists… well, honest capitalists, capitalists who don’t prey on people but make an honest dollar with honest work with a business model that benefits everyone involved, or tries to. I just don’t see anything dishonest or exploitive about what he’s doing.

    Yes, I support the war, think it’s worth it but I also support the first amendment, free speech and press. Think the ACLU defending neo-nazis’ right to march in Skokie, Illinois, defending the North American Man-Boy Love Association’ s right to exist and lobby for the lowering of the age of sexual consent to 12. Whether I support the guy’s politics is irrelevant. I support the guy’s right to his politics. In the words of the old saw, I will fight to the death for his right to say what he’s saying.

    I also support capitalism.

    He’s making money off of people whose political point of view are the same as his: his customers. The people who buy his product are people who represent a market that he is filling and think that his product is reasonably priced or they wouldn’t buy them. I just don’t see how putting names on a shirt with a message that says that Bush lied and that those named people died dishonors anyone except Bush and if Americans can’t dishonor their president, well, what was that that Teddy Roosevelt said? “To announce that there must be no criticism…” Well, surely you must be familiar with it by now.

    Now, as a matter of fact, I don’t believe that Bush lied about Iraq but there are no shortage of people that do believe that he did, including most of the people here at BIO! and, of course, those people died as a result of the sales job (some would say snow job) that Bush made to gain the support of the nation and of Congress for the Iraq War.

    He doesn’t say anywhere on the shirt that those who died did not believe in their mission. Indeed, for the purposes of his message, whether they were firm believers or dissenters who nevertheless followed orders and died as a result (and certainly there must have been some of those, just ask any member of Iraq War Veterans Against the War) is irrelevant, it seems to me. They’re dead. What they would or would not have appreciated is unknowable. Whether one believes in an afterlife or not, and I’m pretty sure that you do, if they are in an afterlife, it is likely one from which they are unlikely to be greatly concerned whether some anti-war type prints their name on a t-shirt or not. If they’re in heaven, they’ll forgive him. If not, they’ve got far greater concerns than whether some anti-war type prints their name on a t-shirt or not. If there is no after-life, it cannot possibly matter to them one way or another.

    That leaves the relatives and other loved ones. Believe me, I am not insensitive to their feelings. However, when it comes to freedom of speech, first amendment issues, feelings are not dispositive. Unlike some, I do not think that being the loved one of someone who died either vests one with unquestioned moral authority such that a Cindy Sheehan, as sympathetic as she is for losing her son in a war she detests, is beyond all criticism for anything she says, nor that it means that their wishes must always carry the day.

    For example, the authorities, when circumstance s require it, perform autopsies on those who died under suspicious circumstance s whether the family wishes it or not. Likewise, the dead are sometimes exhumed for further examination when suspicion arises that a death, formerly thought to have been due to natural causes, is later suspected to have been due to fowl play, regardless of the families wishes. Wills are sometimes set aside, even when there is no doubt about the authenticity of the will. The point is, sometimes other principles displace both the will of the deceased and the will of the deceased’s loved ones. Certainly, protesting the war, at least for this war protester and for his customers, ending the war is one of those principles. For me, the first amendment is one of those principles, too.

    As for whether he’s honoring anyone, well, we disagree on that score.

    In any case, it isn’t that I don’t understand why you think what you do. I understand completely. I just don’t agree with you.

    Craig R. Harmon

  12. Well no shit Craig..did you think I thought you agreed with me? You love all things capitalistic and money making in nature. That wonderful freedom to be a capitalist thing..I get it..I just think its sickening on every level to continue to use the names of soldiers who’s family has asked him to cease and desist. The all-mighty dollar trumps the feelings and desires of the deceased soldiers families. Its the american way!

    Interesting that all the anti-war folks who have read this piece which I posted on both my personal sites have agreed with me that the man is living off blood money..only you, a conservative thinks its fine.

    Plenty of parents of the dead soldiers also agree with me..even the anti-war mom in the writeup.

  13. Well, disagreement is what makes fora like BIO! so darn interesting. If everyone agreed, how boring would that be?

    Anyway, I’m not one to count up the numbers of people who agree with me or not and adjust my thinking accordingly. I say what I think using the best, most reasonable arguments I can muster for my point of view and let the arguments speak for themselves. I can’t control who thinks what. All I can do is argue my case and hope to influence some. Whether I succeed or not is less important to me than thinking through the issues, listening to the arguments of others, evaluating those arguments and responding.

    But as a matter of fact, I do not love all things capitalistic and money making in nature. I am not a laissez faire, Ayn Randian, capitalistic libertarian. There are lots of money-making ventures that are shady or even downright criminal in nature which I do not love but hate. My only point here, is that I think that what this guy is doing is Constitution al and that laws against what he’s doing are unconstituti onal. Along the way of my arguing that, I’ve also talked about my belief that keeping the names of the dead, far from dishonoring the dead, honors them but that’s really a side issue. My main point is that laws outlawing what he’s doing are, in my opinion, unconstituti onal. If he or someone else challenges those laws, as I believe he ought to if he’s arrested for his business, those laws will be struck down on first amendment grounds.

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