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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You Have To Hit These Semantic Points JUST Right!

Barack Obama prepares to smack down Mitt Romney with a giant debate point/mallet

Where'd he get that mallet from?

Well, Barry was on point the other night. He not only went toe to toe with Mitt, but he managed to call one of his remarks “offensive” and look at one point like he was going to slap Willard silly. Americans are ALWAYS impressed by that kind of stuff. He got in the point about the 47% Romney doesn’t care about at the very END of the debate when Romney couldn’t make a comeback, AND he scored the rhetorical point of the evening.

Now, all the critics have pointed out that Obama’s score was a semantic point. Yes, Willard was right that it took us two weeks to determine if the Benghazi incident was a terrorist plot and this was because we got caught with our pants down. With all the cost-cutting, we didn’t have the security in an area where our diplomats were well-liked. Or the intelligence. And President Obama DID call the incident an “act of terrorism” while speaking in broad generalities in the Rose Garden the next day.

But let’s look at this a bit closer. What was Mitt comparing it to? Well, the most likely event that he was comparing it to was that horrible incident some 11 years ago when a bunch of terrorists flew some airplanes into some really big office buildings–that’s right, “9-11″. And we knew then, moments after it occurred, that not only was it an act of terrorism, but we knew WHO was responsible. And why did we know this?

Because Bush and Company had been asleep at the wheel. Intelligence had been advising them since day one of the administration that al-Qaeda and Bin Laden were planning something big, something within the borders of the United States, something that involved stealing jet planes, and the official response was, “Yeah, yeah, you covered your ass–now let’s get on to more important stuff like cutting taxes.”

How many times has something rotten happened that you snapped your fingers and said, “Man, I KNEW THAT was going to happen.” And why did you know? Because you’d screwed up and not taken it into account. So sometimes, speed in declaring something a terrorist act is NOT a very good thing–like when it’s an an indication of stupid complacency. So I’m more than willing to let Barry score on this one. Mitt deserved the mallet from Hammerspace.

What is Hammerspace? Glad you asked–it is the critical name for that extra-dimensional portal out of which a cartoon character grabs a giant mallet to smack down his opponent. I think we can thank Tex Avery for the discovery of the portal as a cartoon device, usually accompanied by a boi-oi-oing sound effect as the mallet strikes and loud music from Carl Stallings, but the name for it is much more recent and too obscure for the wiki to say who first used the term. Anyway, Mitt, welcome to Hammerspace–when you walk into one, you deserve it.

Now let’s see what happens in the next one.

And another sad event. Our condolences to the family of George McGovern, another lion who acted on what he stood for. The last generation of politicians who weren’t all completely beholden to financial interests is fast fading into memory.

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And the Magic Word is: al-Qaeda

What? We're still fighting 'al-Qaeda' in Afghanistan?

Say the magic word and we can have troops there until doomsday.

“You Bet Your Life!” “Say the magic woid,” Groucho would say, but our answer today is, “and we can have troops anywhere until doomsday.”

President Obama made a surprise trip to Kabul the other week as part of his up-and-running campaign against the Mittster to emphasize that HE was the one to have success in our Middle Eastern snafu, that the troops supported him and–possibly an afterthought–shore up some agreements about our post-2014-withdrawal presence in Afghanistan. What? you say–we’re going to keep a presence in Afghanistan? You bet your bippy. We still have a “presence” in Italy, Germany and Japan, 67 years after the end of WWII, much to the dismay of the Japanese although, except for the Okinawans, nobody is saying it very loud.

So the issue is, how many troops will we keep in Afghanistan after we remove all our troops from Afghanistan? I bet you thought “removing all our troops” mean “removing all our troops”! How cute! Don’t you know? According to the President, we’re still fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

AHhhh, the magic word! Al-Qaeda! Everything is justified after 9-11 by the use of that name! It justifies almost 11 long hard years of wasting countless dollars and thousands of American lives–not to mention the 100s of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan lives–and is the ne plus ultra raison d’etre for this morass (and I do mean MORE ASS!).

Now you may argue that there’s really only two al-Qaeda operatives IN Afghanistan since almost all of the left for Pakistan. We don’t really know what we know about al-Qaeda levels–it’s one of Mr. Rumsfeld’s unknown knowns. But that’s the way we are. We can’t make war on an ally, so we do the next best thing and make war on their next-door neighbor to prove how tough we are. That doesn’t mean we can’t break the rule sovereignity by pulling an assassination raid in Pakistan to get rid of Osama bin Laden–al-Qaeda again justified it!

Now our friends on the Republican side of the aisle and Fox and Friends have been raising a stink lately (a year later) over whether or not Obama SHOULD have authorized a raid that THEY would have authorized in a New York minute but now have to be critical of since Obama led the charge. AND getting upset that Obama is “spiking the ball” for having accomplished it, forgetting that George W. Bush spiked the ball on first down before we’d gotten anywhere NEAR the endzone. But that’s the way it is. Remember, they were FOR killing Osama before they were against it!

The I Ching says the superior man’s actions are both good AND correct. Unfortunately, superior men seem to be in short supply in politics today.

I will be in the Philadelphia area next weekend for ZENKAIKON, specifically, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA, May 11-12. I’ll be returning on Sunday, so I won’t be doing a cartoon next weekend, but will return on the 20th. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

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To the shores of Tripoli (if that’s all right with you)

Muammar and his all-blonde bodyguard.

Muammar plans a courageous last stand fighting his own citizens.

Well, I’ve been fighting the con crud all week and I have a doctor’s appointment in an hour and a half so I’m going to rush this in. Our favorite insane dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, certainly has his hands full this week. Seems his entire citizenry has said, enough is enough, and is not just demonstrating, but fighting for his ouster, with “rebel” forces fighting loyalist troops. Gaddafi ordered the troops to fire on protestors, bringing him not only the condemnation of the UN, but al-Qaeda and, finally, the US government. Pretty soon he’ll be down to Muammar and his all-blonde bodyguard. Now, I can appreciate a nuanced approach, unlike John McCain who seems to want to replay the Marine hymn and send them back “to the shores of Tripoli.” But there’s a difference between nuance and sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what everyone else is going to do. However, now that the world has given its permission, we are at last suggesting that Muammar step down. Before he’s given the Mussolini treatment by the populace.

Passing on to more important things, the feel-good movie of the year, “The King’s Speech”, won best picture at the Oscars. I’m so surprised. Other surprises included Natalie Portman for Best Actress and Colin Firth for Best Actor. Ho-hum. The most interesting moment in the whole thing (not counting Melissa Leo’s “bleep” and Banksy not showing up) was when “Inside Job” director Charles Ferguson used winning the Best Documentary award for his movie indicting the greedy bastards who caused our economic meltdown to deliver a scathing condemnation of the fact that none of them have gotten indicted by the justice system, but instead are living in the gated communities and off-shore retreats with billions of ill-gotten gains stolen from the citizenry of the United States. I hope you were watching the Oscars, Barry. Hollywood has spoken. Permission has been granted to at least get a few token bastards in jail. After all, we don’t want what is happening in Libya and Egypt and Tunisia to be happening here.

But if it does, you can bet we won’t hear about it. Seems the only backlash that gets any airplay is the Tea Party–you know, the chumps that wanted the rich bastards to get tax breaks as well? Over 100,000 people gathered outside the Wisconsin State House to protest the railroading of the unions by Governor Scott Walker and scant word was seen on the cable TV news programs. Scant mention on Fox, predictably, except for Shep Smith admitting the real issue was union-busting not a deficit, but CNN and MSNBC seemed to think that the Tea Party anniversary and Charlie Sheen’s meltdown were more important than the biggest rally held since the Vietnam war protests. The People Magazine-ification of News in America!

You know, sometimes I wonder if we get what we deserve?

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Who’d'a Thunk The Belgians Would Be So Creative?

Young Frankenstein homage, exhuming the Belgian archbishop with ties to the child abuse scandal..

The Belgians thought it would be better to hire local labor to exhume the Cardinal...

Well, it has been an eventful week. General MacArthur shot his mouth off again to the press and Harry Truman was forced to sack him. Oooops, I mean General McChrystal shot his mouth off to a reporter from Rolling Stone and Obama, after months of McChrystal’s badmouthing and leaking, was finally forced into firing him. McChrystal’s boss and predecessor, General Petraeus, will take over operations in Afghanistan that, suprise! surprise! we’ve been told will probably take even longer. After all, those 50 al-Qaeda in the mountains need to be kept from rejoining the rest of their crew … in PAKISTAN. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’re trying to keep out the Taliban too so we can keep our friend Karzai in power–who, it has been speculated, has already joined the Taliban. Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows, but the United States will continue to waste money and troops there because we won’t accept defeat in a war that lost its meaning 5 years ago.

Anyway, on to the real story…no, not the one about Fox and Friends wondering what that BP robot was thinking when it accidentally knocked the cap off the Gulf gusher–Jon Stewart already handled that. Hey, guys, The Terminator was just a MOVIE. No, I’m talking about the latest development in the ongoing story of Churchly pederasty. Holy Hercule Poirot! The Belgian fuzz raided church offices to seize evidence about priestly child abuse and its coverup. You gotta hand it to those Belgians. They ain’t sitting on their hands with this one. But the icing on the cake was the opening of two Cardinal’s tombs–what, did they think they were going to catch them in a smoking erection? Evidently, somebody thought that evidence might have been buried with the prelates, instead of being burned like anyone with half a mind would have done. On the other hand, the Church is full of bureaucrats, better photocopy those papers before you burn them, just in case we need them again!

While giving the Belgian police high marks for energy, initiative and creativity, I have to ask what they were smoking. Did someone read/watch The Da Vinci Code one too many times? How about Young Frankenstein? In any case, Our Holy Father is in a state of Righteous Dudgeon–something he forgot about doing while HE was in charge of investigating priestly child abuse–How DARE they act like the Church was full of bankers? I mean, criminals! “Huff! Huff!” he huffed, “Thou Shalt Not Hear the end of this!” And the former Hitlerjugend member from Bavaria (in what was to become WEST Germany) called the Belgian cops worse than Communists!

The Belgian church is now thinking of suing the Belgian police if the Jesuits can torture out a legal basis for the suit.

Finally, as we heard this morning. Robert Byrd, longest serving Senator in US history, passed away last night. Byrd was a living example that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, having turned from a member of the KKK to one of the most reliably liberal members of the Senate. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family, the Senate and the people of West Virginia.

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