Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Next–Debtor Prisons for Christmas?

Ah--the 53% speak--don't pay any attention to the guy with his hand up their...

Ah--the 53% speak--don't pay any attention to the guy with his hand up their...

Normally, I’d devote today’s cartoon to a Hallowe’en theme, but frankly, I’m not in the mood. I’ve just had another disastrous car repair bill–on top of more bills, bills, bills than you can shake a stick at. The car’s still at the shop–so I haven’t bought a pumpkin to carve. And yesterday, I managed to lose $50 … in the HOUSE. For the next 12 hours, I couldn’t find it and when I did, it was sitting right out in the open on the bed, where it was conveniently camouflaged by matching the colors on the bedspread. So instead, that gave me plenty of time to read about the latest Republican IDIOCY that they’re hoping will make sense to the yahoos.

The 53%. Ahhh, catchy name! That should make everyone forget about the 99%ers all right. Seems they now want everyone to get mad at all those people who don’t pay ANY income taxes. No, not the huge corporations and multi-billionaires who get REBATES from the government. They want you to get mad at the people who don’t pay any taxes BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE A JOB! Or who have one that pays just enough to make KETCHUP PACKET SOUP! How unfair! The Freeloaders! Make them pony up! Yes, sir! That will solve our deficit problem! This latest piece of lunacy is right up there with “Cutting Taxes Raises Revenues” and “Cutting Spending Creates Jobs.”

Now, please, I’m not blaming the 1% for not paying enough taxes. They’re paying what we tell them to. And a lot of the 1 percenters know damn well they’re not being taxed enough and ought to be asked to contribute more. But we’re not going to do it, not as long as there is an obstructing minority who believe that Scrooge’s ideas of how to treat the poor in the first few pages of A Christmas Carol are a F@#$%^& GOOD IDEA! Debtor Prisons! Workhouses for the Destitute! Let’s grind them down with our heels because they deserve it for not having the gumption to inherit their money like we did!

These people claim to love America. They just don’t like AMERICANS. Americans ought to be another exploitable resource and if they want jobs, they ought to be competitive with the Indians and Chinese who we can get to work for pennies a day.

So you see, I’m not really in the Hallowe’en spirit. But I’m getting closer and closer to the Guy Fawkes one. Hey, it’s better than Michael Myers :D

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Commies, Muslims and Nazis! Oh, My!

Bankers think they are a superior species to the rest of us.

Father and Son Day at First Global Megabank, N.A.

The latest news in wingnut circles is that Occupy Orlando (and by extension, the entire Occupy Movement) is being directed by (drumroll) The Muslim Brotherhood! Wow, militant Muslims AND the Nazis! No wonder they’re so anti-Semitic! After all, [irony alert] The JEWS run the banks!. [/irony] (Never mind those Yom Kippur services that were held…)

DUN DUN DUUUUUUNNNNNNNNN!

Not to mention evil-smelling HIPPIES doing marijuana and having SEX all over the place! And Communists. And Socialists. And thrill-seeking college kids with nothing to do (ummmmm, could that be why they want JOBS?)

And they’re all WHITE PEOPLE–when you don’t catch anyone else on camera. Not enough diversity! Like there is in the executive suites of the banks and brokerage houses (KOFF!).

Let’s turn the question the other way. Who runs the banks? Sociopaths. Sociopaths are people who think that they’re ABOVE the rest of the world and that the rules don’t apply to them. Like Skeletor, people who think they are Masters of the Universe. People who think regulations are made for losers. You know, losers like you and me.

Why are we losers? Well, let me tell you. Back in my youth, the banking interest rate paid to depositors was a standard 3%. That’s 3, not 0.3 or 0.03. The inflation rate in those days kept steady at or below 3%, meaning your savings actually made money compared to inflation. What’s the inflation rate today? About 3%. And what’s the going interest rate on savings for the big banks? 0.5%. One HALF of a percent! The banks take that money, lend it out and make profits on it. Very large profits because … we are actually PAYING THEM to hold our money for us. If we took our money out of the banks and invested it practically any other way, we’d get bigger bang for the buck. But we need to keep it in the banks so we can write checks and have credit and debit cards, so they have us over a barrel.

Think about that the next time someone smears the Occupiers…

Hey–why do they call them brokers? Because that’s what you are when they speculate with your money! Why did the banker cross the road? Why shouldn’t he–what are you trying to do? Regulate the banks? What’s the difference between a banker and a tapeworm? You can remove a tapeworm!

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Escape from New York

The politicians: Attack or Co-opt Instinct

The politicians: Attack or Co-opt Instinct

So, the #Occupy Movement decided to hold a world-wide demonstration on the weekend of the New York Comic Con. AAAaaaauuuuggghhhh! as Charlie Brown would have said. Or as Dick Cheney said, other priorities. I’d already spent mucho bucks not just for the convention tickets, but add in train fare to and hotel in New York City and oops, sorry, I have to be a cartoonist this weekend, not an activist. Please don’t hold anything important on the weekend of AnimeUSA, thank you.

I’m not sure NYCC was worth it tho. There were so many people there, it’s a wonder I found anyone I knew, let alone make any contacts–which, besides seeing the new Makoto Shinkai anime, was the reason I went for. One woman I heard talking was saying she had a panic attack from the crowd and I believe her. The convention now takes the entire Javits Center and was completely filled, wall-to-wall, with people in or out of costume. Not to mention so many exhibitors that I don’t think you could have seen all of them if you’d been there for the entire 4 days–not if you had any other things to do–like eat. Shoutouts to my friends Brad Guigar, Murder Nurse and Moxiecat–and if anyone else was there that I know: What? didn’t you see me wave?

Now, the last time I’d been to New York for any time over a hour had been 2 and a half years ago. I grew up in New Jersey. I KNEW New York was expensive. I knew what the hotel cost. I knew what the train cost. But I had no idea HOW expensive it had become until I actually arrived there. You can’t take a step outside the hotel without spending five dollars. Seriously, a little man comes up to you and collects a “breathing charge.” If you actually do anything–like buy a hot dog–you’re out 10. Down here, panhandlers come up to you and ask for a couple of bucks because they need busfare. One came up to me outside Penn Station and asked for $20 for the train.

The reason, I think, has something to do with trickle-down. All the money in the world has trickled down–to the southern tip of Manhattan. And just like in a gold rush, the closer you get to the mother lode, the more expensive things get, just because they can, because that’s where the money is. One politician said recently that $150K a year in New York wasn’t wealthy because of the expenses. It’s true. And at the same time, that’s just f#$%^& insane. He has my sympathy. But I have no sympathy for the conditions that make that true.

The Occupy Movement has reached an extremely crucial stage–it’s been going on so long and has achieved world-wide status that the politicians can no longer afford to ignore it. The robber barons and their Republican minions have started attacking the protesters as unwashed hippies, college students looking for a thrill, commies and socialists. This kind of thing is un-American (not like the Boston Tea Party). The Democrats are now trying to co-opt the movement so they can lead from behind in the hope that this will result in votes. But what they don’t get is that this isn’t about politics as they are in the US. This is about a totally corrupt culture where money talks and both political parties jump. The Republicans may be the primary abettors, but the Democrats are the enablers. After all, when the Supreme Court decided that money was speech and that corporations could not be fettered in their exercise of free speech, they legalized bribery–as long as it was disguised as a campaign contribution.

In 1984, Orwell predicted perpetual warfare. What he didn’t foresee was the perpetual election, a feature peculiar to these United States. In the UK. a national election can be held within a month of its necessity. Here, the campaign for the next election begins the day after the voting. The need for campaign contributions doesn’t end, but like a junkie’s addiction, grows as the amounts needed for campaigning grow less effective, so that you need more and more, until the purpose for holding office and the need to raise cash for it are indistinguishable. Politicians are addicted to the process and the only cure is cold turkey.

And that’s why we need to Occupy Wall Street. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the YouTube of Sgt. Shamar Thomas at Times Square, scolding the NYPD for their lack of honor :

[Occupytimessquare] 1 Marine vs. 30 Cops (Marine Wins)

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The Other Day At #OccupyDC

I WILL BE POSTING A NEW CARTOON ON TUESDAY OCT 18, TO RECOVER FROM THE NEW YORK COMIC CON.

No cartoon this week because it is the October 12th holiday (celebrated on October 10 this year). It’s not very PC to like Columbus Day anymore and for some very good reasons, like celebrating the introduction of slavery and genocide to the New World. On the other hand, it is the official start of Western civilization in the Western Hemisphere and that, for good or for ill, is something worth remembering. In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I have an emotional attachment to the holiday since it is my birthday and I LOVE to get a day off for my birthday, even if the actual date falls on a Monday only once out of every seven years–3 out of 7 if you include the weekend. Nevertheless, I do not have any emotional attachment to Columbus himself, since he seems to have been something of a jerk, so I would not be adverse to anyone changing the celebratory intent of the holiday. Unfortunately, no one is going to call it Greg Day, so let’s call it American Culture Day. Just leave it in the second week of October, thank you. I don’t want to have to go changing my birth records to make my birthday July the 4th–you not only get a day off ON the day, but you get fireworks too! And Happy Birthday to all the other October 12ers out there–you’re special people since you partake in MY DAY!

Anyway, since I knew I was going to take some time off today, I decided belatedly to try to find out what was happening at #OccupyDC sometime BEFORE whatever it was they were going to do got done so I could actually get down there and do it with them. #OccupyDC is our local version of the #OccupyFillInTheBlank movement that is slowly gathering momentum throughout the country. The most well-known of these is, of course, #OccupyWallStreet which was finally discovered by the mainstream news the other week when some cop decided to randomly pepperspray some of the protestors on camera and then several days later when 700 people were induced to take paddywagon rides at the City’s expense. I have mentioned OWS a few times in here, but well, quite frankly I was kind of unaware of the DC branch until it had been in existence for a few weeks. This is what I get for getting so much of my news from the Huffington Post–there weren’t any Kardashians taking part in it so it never made the Front Page (THX Arianna for selling out to AOL).

Anyway, I made my way over to McPherson Square on Friday where the Washington Post had said a march to the IMF building was to start. There was a small crowd there, since, I was told, the MAIN group which was actually starting the demonstration was at “Liberty Plaza”, a place I had no idea existed, unless he meant Liberty Square in Manhattan. Which I later found out was actually “Freedom Plaza”, a place I had actually heard about in my 40-odd years in the DC area. We really need some originality in naming our landmarks and parks. What the heck, since it was starting down there, I had time to get new batteries for my camera and a chili dog–it’s my only weakness. Anyway, a few minutes after the introduction of food to my digestive system, the main group arrived and the forces swelled to about 300-400 people and off we went, alternately chanting “Occupy Wall Street, Occupy K Street,” and singing “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.” It almost felt like the 70s–well, a hallucinogenically-deprived version thereof.

We had a big police escort–something like a dozen police cruisers and a few dozen officers on foot or bicycle. But it was not an NYPD situation–there was a respect between the protestors and the police. Partially because the group has not hit the size necessary for over-reacting and partially because, I suspect, many of the police unofficially sympathized with what the protest was about. Besides, most of the bigwigs at IMF had already absconded for the weekend, rather than face all those “people.”

Despite the snide remarks of some of the pundits and professional pooh-poohers, it is not unknown what the demands of the #Occupiers are. Pace President Obama, we are not frustrated with a system that doesn’t seem to work, we are DISGUSTED with one that only DOES work for the top 1%. We are disgusted that the banks which caused the economic mess the entire world is in because of their greed were deemed too important to allow them to bear the brunt of their sins. That they were bailed out to the tune of 3/4 of a trillion dollars while the victims of their greed were allowed to go bust and get thrown out of their homes. We are disgusted that we, the taxpayers, had to bear the brunt of this cost while the banksters themselves were not only not punished, but rewarded themselves with billions of dollars in “bonuses” and didn’t even get their taxes raised or even get regulations prohibiting their worst activities. We are disgusted with “corporate personhood” which has enshrined political dependency on corporate largess. We are disgusted that corporations are so much more important than people that so-called health care reform was formulated around the institutionalization of parasitical health insurance companies. We are disgusted that so much importance is laid on the deficit at a time when government spending is needed for the American people that important job supporting programs like rebuilding the infrastructure and education are being cut left and right to satisfy a small bunch of yahoos who want to “drown government in the bathtub.” And we are disgusted that so much of our resources are being wasted by wars that we seem to be fighting solely so that we “don’t lose.” And finally, but most of all, we are disgusted that no one is listening to us.

Anyway, here’s a few of the pictures I took while on the march. You can see the entire album at my Flickr pages. Have a great holiday and happy birthday to all my astrotwins out there!
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Slut Walks and Mass Arrests–Who Do You Have To (BLANK) To Get Some News Coverage In Here?

The NYPD makes certain our corporate overlords never have contact with THOSE people.

Keeping us safe for oligarchy

It seems a corner has been turned in the 2 week old protest “Occupy Wall Street”–the media has actually discovered that it has been taking place. No, I take that back–the news media has been aware for some time–it’s just that they haven’t said anything about it. After all, it’s not like they were wearing tricorn hats to advertise an anachronistic mindset paid for by the Koch Brothers?

However, this change is due to two events–the eminently nightly-news worthy march titles, “The Slut Walk”–ahhhh, nothing like sluts walking to titillate the cockles of the anchorperson’s heart–and the mass arrest of 700 protestors on the Brooklyn Bridge. Captain Jack McCarthy and Officer Joe Bolton were on hand to explain:

“It was for the kids you know. Them poor children shivering in the park with nary a TV camera on them, except for the iPads and cell phones they brought themselves. We thought a few days ago when we peppersprayed a few and arrested a few others for resisting arrest, the news would finally take notice, but we gave up when we’d arrested 80 and no throngs of reporters descended.”

“So we thought–what if we trick a few of them into stepping off the walkway into the road on the Brooklyn Bridge and arrested them for obstructing traffic? That might do the trick. So we had Officer Joe stand at the entrance of the Bridge with a sandwich board and light stick directing people who didn’t want to be arrested to stay on the walkway, and those who didn’t mind it to walk down the vehicular path to the paddywagons. And sure ’tis, we thought we have 400 of them, but by the time we got them all processed, 700 had been miraculously arrested. That got a little bit of front page–but we suspect nothing more will be noticed until there’s another slut walk.”

I’d like to thank the NYPD for their generosity and altruism in helping to obtain some media exposure. But it isn’t going to help. Last I heard, Wall Street officials were making plans for over-the-street walkways and heliports to ensure that the gods of finance never come in contact with the people who actually earn the money they manipulate. Except of course the help. As one broker explained, “Oh, dear, the noise … and the PEOPLE!”

This is Greg Uchrin for IRONY NEWS signing off for now.

This just in (well, I just noticed anyway) JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. Quelle Surprise!

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