Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Revolutionary Grrl 5–How to deal with surveillance …

As the two police units leave, Revolutionary Grrl comes back out of hiding.

Dealing with surveillance...

How does Revolutionary Grrl deal with surveillance? Find out next week!

In the meantime, it’s Hallowe’en. Trick or Treat! and boy, does NSA have a trick for you! Not just Angela Merkel–who has been thinking twice about that shoulder rub der Dubbley├╝ gave her–but 35 other national leaders (at the last count I can remember) have had their phones tapped by NSA! Not only that, but 60 million phone calls a month from Spain to add to the 70 million from France. Well, 50 million Frenchmen can’t be wrong, but we’ll add 20 million more to make sure.

The treat is that it’s making the world safer for the US. After all, they claim that it saved us from over 50 terrrrrrrrrist plots already. HOCKEYPUCKS! With that amount of data, I don’t care how much computing power you have, you’re never going to find important information–UNLESS you already know what you are looking for. Is that how they’ve been getting all those al-Qaida targets? Playing 6 degrees of Osama bin Laden from his old cell phone contact list? Now we know why that pizzeria in Islamabad got droned–someone who Osama called, called someone who called someone who called someone who called someone who ordered a pizza with everything–they must have been terrorists–no pork sausage.

This isn’t about protecting America. It’s spying on people just because WE CAN. Do they honestly think they can find out anything about a terrorist plot just by sifting through several billion phone calls a month? Hell, no. This isn’t a tool for protection, it’s a tool for prosecution. Once they find out who the terrorist is, they can track down any accomplices who are stupid enough to use their throw-away phones more than a week.

And the congresspeople who defend this tool? They’re just a bunch of tools themselves! Besides, we already have a network for spying on people. It’s called the Internet. Except that’s only useful for finding out what kind of porn the terrorists have been watching.

And cat videos.

Unless you’re Angela Merkel. We got everything on her. Who ya gonna call, Angela? Make it Ghostbusters–you got too many spooks on the line listening in…

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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.


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