Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

NoKo On the Mogogo A-Go-Go!

North Korea rattles its saber again

Quick--Send for Commando Cody!

I’m still having eyestrain and headaches and waiting for new eyeglasses that will hopefully stop some of them, so this will have to be short. I was considering doing an Obama/chained CPI cartoon that was evil, offensive and right on target. I decided not to do it, but I will if I have to.

So let’s turn instead to North Korea and Kim Jong-un. Rhetoric and saber rattling have been indulged in along the 49th parallel for some time and it has recently been ratcheted up several notches. Kim Jong-un, boy wonder leader of NoKo and Cartman cosplayer, has been shouting that a state of WAR exists between NoKo and SoKo, having pictures taken of him seriously watching serious operations through serious binoculars, photoshopping landing operations, shooting off his mouth…errr missiles that seem to go nowhere near their targets, and … was that seismic bloop an atomic bomb test? South Korea has shown how serious they think this is by telling us how serious it is, and serious President Obama has taken it seriously enough to send two serious stealth bombers to fly over NoKo and back just to let them know that they could be seriously obliterated without the US breaking a serious sweat.

First of all, Little Kim isn’t doing this for anyone’s benefit except his own people’s. He needs to be taken seriously by them as a dangerous warlord like his father and grandfather before him. Is Kim Jung-Un really as Ill as Kim Jung-Il? He’s hoping to wring out some concessions by convincing the South and the US that he’s as crazy as his late nutbag of a father. But…

Look at the pictures of the Korean “computing power?” Have we seen anything that antiquated since the 1950s? Look at those missile tests–if Kimmy lobbed a missile at Japan, he’d be lucky if it hit Mongolia! And those “atomic bomb tests”–all underground and only the first showed any low level radiation escaping the test area–are in such a low kiloton range that they could have easily been caused by (drumroll please) 4-5 kilotons of TNT being exploded. Right–lots and lots of those red sticks you see in the movies! Enough raw power to wipe out a neighborhood! Call Commando Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen! We need a hero worthy of a Republic serial–or defunct rock band.

Of course, our “pacifist” President Obama–a Democrat who actually makes Richard Nixon look like a liberal–has to show we mean business. So we’re again stuck in a serious military situation with a pissant dictator of a pisspot country. What wouldn’t have needed to be sequestered if we didn’t have to act like the megapower of the universe?

BTW–why hasn’t the CIA sent a drone over to Pyongyang? Or do we only do that to Muslims?

Oh well, my ranting has never affected anything. In other news, the person who with Ronald Reagan, that’s right, the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, was responsible for turning the world from the high point of Western Civilization to the crapfest we’re in today, has died. The 1980s are finally over.

Long live the Gatsby era.

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An Anniversary Nobody Really Cheered About

Well, at least we kept Peoria from being nuked by Saddam Hussein...

Please Note: the Anniversary Cake is Yellow

Last week, we saw the passing of the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq war—ooops, excuse me, Congress never declared war, so, ummmm, what do we call it?

When the airplanes struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, somewhere amid the horror of what I was seeing rose an additional realization, “Oh, my God, we’ve just had our Reichstag Fire.” I could see with horrifying clarity that this would be the defining moment that turned the United States from its democratic principles to something totally antithetical to the dreams of our nation’s Fathers. We have resisted the impulse of creating concentration camps for Moslems–we incarcerated many, but mostly exiled them for visa transgressions. We have created gulags where we gathered a mostly hapless group of alleged terrorists whose major crime seems to have been being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the wrong person wanted to collect a reward. We HAVE built massive PRISONS, but these are privately run camps to provide slave labor and corporate profit and anyone can enter. We passed the grossly obscene “Patriot” act through which almost any crime can be considered to be an act of terrorism–when the need arises.

Our incursion into Afghanistan almost looked legitimate. We claimed the head of, what was his name, Osama bin Laden? Yes, he was there, later on he claimed credit for “9/11″, which our government was already doing within minutes of the tower falls–since it had pointedly ignored the warnings from the intelligence community of terrorist actions inside the US. He was there, but the Taliban government had the nerve to ask for evidence before they would consider handing him over. So like a western posse, we went in and cleaned up the corruption in Rock Ridge and hunted down bin Laden until we were just yards from his hiding place in the mountains when…

Wait, what? The real danger is from Iraq? The country which had been under UN sanctions for a decade? Whose dictator, Saddam Hussein, couldn’t even afford to buy shoes for his army? HE had weapons of mass destruction? Yes, we had the ominous YELLOW CAKE requests–which turned out to be forgeries. We had George Bush and Tony Blair smirking their way into war. We had Dick Cheney and Condi Rice promising us mushroom clouds of doom if nothing was done immediately. We had a mountain of evidence that Colin Powell presented at the UN. I remember listening to him and being absolutely convinced by the man’s sense of sincerity… until the next morning, when I realized that all that evidence had no context. That if you believed it was something bad it was, but those conversations about hiding things could have just as easily been hiding the porn when the inspectors arrived.

And so we went off and destroyed a country within weeks. Killed several thousand Americans and maimed 10s of thousands. Killed 100s of thousands Iraqis and destroyed the infrastructure of the country. Wasted around two trillion dollars (when asked about the loss of a trillion dollars from the Pentagon budgets, Donald Rumsfeld remarked, “I’ll have to look into that,” and didn’t) which the Tea Party is now trying to collect from the poorest among us. For which sinful errors of judgment or outright acts of war-mongering for profit no one has been held accountable.

Many of us felt powerless to do anything to stop it. Only after the deed was done did I decide that I could do a political cartoon series against these criminals. I was scared too–protesting the war COULD have been considered an act of terrorism according to the Patriot Act.

HAPPY F$%^&*G ANNIVERSARY.

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First, an earthquake, then, a hurricane, then, a Deluge …

The author after the Deluge.

Damn, that iBook works underwater (don't try this at home)

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am sharing my studio/office with three industrial blowers and a matching dehumidifier. My wife is trying to say something to me from the stairway … WAYYYYYYY over there … I can barely hear a word. HUH? I yell. She takes a few steps closer. Now I can actually hear a stream of unintelligible wife sounds. HUH? Finally, she gets next to me and I can finally hear her question. I just can’t understand it because there’s too much @#$%^&*( noise to THINK!

Ahhhh, the last few weeks. An earthquake, a hurricane–and then a deluge. The earthquake was relatively fun for me. I’d never been in one before and I was taking a nap for a headache on a bed with one of those memory foam mattress pads. Suddenly, I awoke to find myself on a huge square of Jell-O. As consciousness seeped into my brain, I wondered if it was an explosion–nope, lasting too long, OMG is THIS what an earthquake feels like? Should I get up and stand under a doorwa…whoops, it’s over. I understand it was scary if you were in one of the highrises in the area or one of the areas with a nuclear plant, but from my vantage, it was a very brief theme park ride. Whheeeeee!

The hurricane was more serious for more people, but again, we had it easy this far inland. Over-prepared. Took more time to undo the storm preparations than the storm actually lasted. But last Sunday, the start of the Deluge from the storm in the Gulf. FOUR DAYS of torrential rain and on Wednesday night, the drain in the back stairs silted up and the water started coming into my basement–where my office is. It’s Nowell’s flood. Whose?? You’ve heard of Noe’s flood–well, this one’s Nowell’s.

Now, some people will tell you that I am all wet anyway. And I don’t wish to dampen any opinions of my work, but this week I will throw a sop to my critics and admit that my wit is not very dry at the moment. The plumber came quickly and re-opened the drain, but my new roommates have been going full blast all weekend. It sounds like an airplane hangar.

Obama gave a speech about doing something to create jobs. I’m afraid I didn’t listen because I was in the middle of flood recovery at the time. Not to worry, Eric Cantor said they would only pass the parts that our corporate overlords liked. That should really help things. That is, if you really want an unemployment rate above 10%–which the Republican party wants because they think it will all be blamed on the Democrats–and especially Obama–and more people will be willing to take jobs at ridiculously low wages–which they won’t get because those have all been sent to India. This is because the Republican Party loves America.

Speaking of loving America, we’ve just had the 10th anniversary of the horrible event that caused ten years of national insanity. For a week, everyone wrote about 9/11. We’re still fighting two wars, neither of which were particularly useful in solving the cause of 9/11. And both of which actually made our reputation worse. We’ll probably be throwing money away on both of them for the next decade. We’re still taking our shoes off to get on an airplane. Which means we’re still #$%^&*( insane.

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Too Soon? Not for our nuclear expert, Ann Coulter!

Ann Coulter takes a dip in Japan's latest hot spring, while a Fukushima engineer rails at her from the sidelines.

Dear Ann: Why don't you go over and show us how beneficial a little radiation can be?

Well, the big news about someone finally helping the Libyan rebels after they had been driven back to Benghazi has pushed the Japanese situation off the headlines. While I’m generally not very much in favor of militarily sticking our noses into other countries’ affairs, I’m even more against pussyfooting around when it’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and (drumroll) WE WERE ACTUALLY ASKED TO DO IT. I mean, instead of being suckered into it by someone who’d tell any lie to get us to attack his country to a bunch of people who’d tell any lie to to convince us we needed to start a war against it. The Libyan rebels were actually in danger of overthrowing Gaddafi a few weeks back, but I suppose, it was better to wait until they’d been hammered to near defeat so there could be a much more protracted and expensive war. Gotta keep those arms factories busy–they’re our only dependable export!

Besides, we couldn’t do anything about Libya while Japan’s travails were at the top of the headlines! We can only keep our collective national attention on ONE thing at a time! Sure enough, now that we’ve started bombing raids in Libya, Japan gets swept off the headlines–last week’s news–it’s been seven days, aren’t they out of the woods YET? Well, the situation has improved–if you can count finding a few thousand bodies and getting 2 out of 6 reactors stable improved–but there are many more bodies to be found, 4 reactors that still are in danger and Japan is in massive need of rebuilding. But don’t worry! We’ve tied up the world supply of potassium iodide so the people of the west coast and their pets won’t get radiation sickness! Never mind the people who live on the same island! Our chihuahuas must not get sick (except maybe from an overdose of potassium iodide).

Americans are known for over-reacting to everything. So it comes as a shock that Ann Coulter would seem to be a voice of reason. But no, when she said, a little bit of radiation was GOOD for you, she wasn’t thinking about the nervous nellies of California, she meant the people of Tokyo! “… the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer,” she wrote in her Human Events column. Well, Ann, if a little bit of radiation is so good for you, why don’t you hop on over to Fukushima and lend a hand? Oh, I forgot, that would be altruistic and Ayn Rand would never have approved. On the other hand, it’d be great publicity for your next book and remember, your place as the reigning bitch queen of the right wing has been usurped by the Alaskan twitterer! So go on over for the photo opportunity–and do us a favor–take a few photos at the gate of the reactor complex. But don’t get in the way–you might keep some of those engineers who are desperately trying to save their country from getting their proper dose of Vitamin Gamma Ray.

In the meantime, everyone, please keep sending in donations for Japanese relief–I listed a few worthy causes in last week’s column and there are many others as well. With a tragedy of these proportions–over 400,000 people are homeless and in need of food, clothing, shelter and medical attention–even a wealthy country like Japan needs help in the short run and if you can even just afford a few bucks, it will help.

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Kimi de ite, buji de ite (Yoko Kanno) For the people of Japan


Song by Yoko Kanno
Images by Greg Uchrin, Translation by utadafreak22 http://www.jpopasia.com/news/yoko-kannos-message-song-to-japan::5466.html
Please give generously for Japan relief in this time of need
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone
Text MED to 80888 from any mobile phone to give $10.
Text ‘JAPAN’ or ‘QUAKE’ to 80888 to make a $10 donation or visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
Also
Save the Children
Japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief @ Global Giving
Doctors Without Borders
Americares
Shelter Box
Peace Winds
Operation USA
World Vision

A Personal Note

I had just finished watching an online movie late Thursday night/Friday morning when I saw the news about the disaster befalling Japan. Readers will know that I am an anime and J-horror movie fan. The images I saw were worse than any horror movie because they were real. I knew that this was what I would be devoting today’s blog to. But how to do it properly to express the fear, pain, sorrow and yet, hope for recovery that I wished to convey?

It seems that almost every cartoonist has been doing some image based on Hokusai’s famous ukiyo-e “Wave” prints, the Japanese flag, or the Wave AND the Japanese flag. So I wanted to do something different. At the same time, I was trying NOT to react to the idiocy I was seeing like CNN’s Larry David–I mean Larry KUDLOW–opining that we should be grateful that the human toll is worse than the economic toll (which I hope was just a stupid way of saying that it’s amazing that the economic toll isn’t as devastating as the human one), Rush Limbaugh’s asshole opinion that environmentalists would blame it on global warming and cheer that so many car manufacturers were hard hit by the disaster–seriously, that man needs to multiply up his oxycontin consumption so that he’s too opiated to foist his coprophagic bloviating on the world–and idiots on the web cheering that finally Japan was paid back for Pearl Harbor–an event which happened when most of them were probably not even born yet–as if being fought to an unconditional surrender 66 YEARS AGO and suffering the atomic devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to mention the firebombing of Tokyo, didn’t cause enough civilian deaths to satisfy the bloodthirsty cretins. But I won’t mention my reaction to these.

Then I heard Kanno Yoko’s beautiful song. Kanno Yoko, or as she is more generally known in the west, Yoko Kanno, is a brilliant composer and is known mostly for her work in anime and movies, including Cowboy Bebop, the Ghost in the Shell television series, and a personal favorite, the undeservedly little known live action film, Kamikaze Girls. She wrote Kimi de ite in response to the disaster as a means of providing comfort and hope to her fellow Japanese and published it on YouTube without any accompanying video. I was able to read the touching lyrics on Jpopasia posted by utadafreak22, a young fan. Kanno-sama’s song soothed my own feelings about the aforementioned idiots and expressed everything I myself wanted to say about the sad situation.

I had two options. I could accompany the song with photos of the disaster. I felt that this might be too brutal, and I also thought that other people would take care of this option faster and better than I could. Or I could create a video that matched the tone of this song. That’s what I’ve tried to do here.

Please keep the people of Japan in your hearts and thoughts as this disaster continues to unfold. And please give to one of the above charities, or any of the others which are stepping in to help in this time of need.

Thank you.

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