Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

FINALLY!

A tank leaves Iraq--a little bit more peace on earth.

Going home--now let's wind up Afghanistan

Four score minus 72 years ago–the length only SEEMS Lincolnian–eight, nearly nine years, to be exact, the United States armed forces gave up the hunt for bin Laden when only a football field away from his cave to go into Iraq and do–something. It was never too clear what that something was. It was supposed to be to disarm and save the world Saddam Hussein, the mad dictator who possessed thousands of WMDs in a country that had been under UN economic sanctions for over ten years. The world was treated to visions of mushroom clouds, dancing over their heads, if this action wasn’t taken. For some reason, the French, Russians and Chinese weren’t impressed. We focused our indignation on the French and named them “surrender monkeys,” and without imprimatur of UN resolutions, blitzkrieged our way to Baghdad.

Funny thing, turns out the French were right. No WMDs. That’s OK, they’re still surrender monkeys to the vast numbers of Americans who were convinced that Saddam Hussein was going to nuke their mall in days if we didn’t invade. Turns out the country was broke–that decade of economic sanctions had done its work. The troops who faced the American-led onslaught barely had shoes, let alone WMDs. The country was SO broke in fact, that Saddam Hussein was using his reputation for insanity and for once having WMDs to protect his country from being attacked by one of his neighbors! Talk about a strategy being too successful!

The war, we were told, would pay for itself. The oil that we’d get first crack at would lower the energy bills for the United States 10 times over. Hmmmm, I wonder how THAT worked out. Forty-five bucks to fill the tank of a Honda CIVIC??? We were also told the war would be so cheap that it wasn’t worth putting on the budget. Nearly a trillion dollars later we can chalk that up as another miscalculation.

Lives? Only about 5000 American, British and “coalition of the blackmailed”. But over 100,000 Iraqi lives. The wounded figures are far greater and the wounds they suffered are far more severe because we can save lives better than we can save limbs or protect heads from explosions. The number of Americans with PTSD number in the hundreds of thousands.

A little over 8 years ago, I began a cartoon series, Hail Dubyus! lampooning the Bush administration in the hope of being even a small voice of sanity. Like the WMDs, my influence was vastly over-rated :D When the Bush era finally ended and the new era of hope began, I changed the name of my cartoon. I was under no illusion that things would be immediately better. In some significant ways, they are. In others, we’re in worse shape than we were before, mostly due to Congressional obstruction and economic advisors whose loyalty to Wall Street has been greater than their concern for Main Street, a chief executive who thought that good faith negotiations were possible with people who have pledged themselves to his destruction, and a Supreme Court that thinks that while all men are created equal, dollar for dollar they’re not quite as equal as corporations. On top of that, as our troops finally leave Iraq in accordance with our word to the government that we set up, these same Congressional obstructionists ask if we shouldn’t stay there a little longer to better fulfill our goals.

WHAT GOALS?

I lift my voice in thanksgiving that some of our forces will be home for Christmas, Chanukah, Yule, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, Solstice and whatever other year end celebrations they will be able to partake of without being shot at. Happiest of holidays for them and their families! My wish for the New Year is that soon we will be able to finish whatever it is we started in Afghanistan and bring those troops home as well. And so we shall be able to say ourselves, as GIR observed when Invader ZIM told him that he could now self-destruct:

FINALLY!

Happy Holidays to Everyone. We shall take a winter break until January 23 to have time to update the website and work on other projects and get fat on Christmas cookies.

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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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Another one bites the dust (UH!)

Muammar Gaddafi orders takeout for the bunker.

Delivery may be delayed by the fighting in Tripoli

Well, with Congress in recess, we usually take a few weeks off in August, but we will leave that for next week and the Labor Day weekend. As luck would have it, the rebellion in Libya looks like it is finally going to get rid of dictator Gaddafi.

Now I know some people opposed aiding the Libyan rebellion because we had no business mucking around in a country’s internal conflicts–as if we had any business mucking around in Afghanistan’s and Iraq’s internal affairs when there wasn’t even a resistance in either country when we shot our way in. And other people thought that while this adventure was justifiable, we had no business getting ourselves into a THIRD quagmire (and I know, I was one of those). But it’s beginning to look like those fears might have been groundless, now that the rebellion has taken most of the capital and Gaddafi is nowhere to be found.

We did one thing right to ensure we would not be getting into Quagmire 3. No boots on the ground. We gave support to the people who had taken the responsibility into their own hands and were fighting to free themselves and their people from a despot. Sure, he became our friend sometime in the Bush Administration. But remember, this is the guy who ordered the bombing of Pan Am 103 (the Lockerbie bomb). Kinda hard to give bro-hugs and become chums with, yanno?

Anyway, Gaddafi blamed the rebellion on hallucinogens. Or al-Qaeda. Or a bunch of other things. Sometime today (or maybe later this week), the rebels should take all of Tripoli and we’ll find out that Gaddafi has 1) skipped town, 2) buried himself in a spider hole, 3) gotten captured, 4) pulled an Adolf, or the Libyans have 5) pulled a Mussolini. In any of those cases, good riddance.

Hey Muammar, how you like how them hallucinogens now?

I will be off next week and the following week for Labor Day. I’m expecting to be at Anime Mid-Atlantic 1/2 in Richmond VA on September 3 (hopefully running a table in Artists Alley) , so come on by, buy a T-shirt or a book (or even a button!) and say hi.

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May 9, 2011: Osama Still Dead! Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due…

Not to mention 6 years of birthday greetings to all 26 of his children, all ending with 'And Death to America'

Not to mention 6 years of birthday greetings to all 26 of his children, all ending with 'And Death to America'

Well, a week later and no Osama doubles have shown up, which is probably a good thing. Pakistan has been alternating between blustery protests of “You shouldn’t have done that,” and hiding behind the egg on their faces. The people on Osama’s block have collectively said, “Really, they seemed so quiet, we just thought they were very religious.” Rush Limbaugh was forced to choke out credit to President Obama, but he recovered quickly. We also discovered that the only things we really knew about the mission is that it was in Pakistan and bin Laden was shot–everything we’d been told on the first night EXCEPT President Obama’s announcement turned out to be pure fantasy.

Now Obama offered former President Bush an invitation for them both to appear at “Ground Zero,” but George declined because, at least we were told, he didn’t think he was getting enough credit for his effort in trying to capture bin Laden. One commentator said, this was kind of like the guy who didn’t open the jar saying he loosened it when you opened the top. But this isn’t quite accurate. Bush is the guy who screwed it down too tight in the first place and THEN couldn’t open the jar and needed someone else’s help.

What can we credit Bush with? Ignoring Clinton’s outgoing advice that al-Qaeda was the biggest threat we were facing? Ignoring Richard Clarke’s warnings when he was head of Cybersecurity? Ignoring the CIA memo that bin Laden was intent on striking within the US and dismissing it as covering their asses? Flying around the country in a panic on 9/11 thinking the terrorists were after him after Ari Fleischer tried to convince us that we had “credible intelligence” that the White House was the other target within hours of our being caught flat-footed? Perhaps turning down the Taliban’s offer to hand Osama over (if we gave them the evidence of his involvement which we didn’t have until he kindly took credit for it a few years later) because they didn’t say “Mother, may I?” Giving up the search in Tora Bora yards from bin Laden’s hideout because it was time to invade Iraq and deal with the REAL threat (koff!) How about seven years of “not finding him” because it wasn’t particularly important and bin Laden had been marginalized, hiding out in some cave in the mountains of Afghanistan–when he was really living in a Pakistan suburb?

You’re right. I think President Bush deserves credit for all of those things.

Michael Moore and several others, on the other hand, have been complaining about the lack of due process and how we should have brought bin Laden to trial to show the world something or other about justice. Oh hogwash, Michael, it wasn’t a strictly legal mission to begin with. You know, something about not respecting Pakistan’s sovereign territory (like Shep Smith was ignored about). What would holding a trial have accomplished–shown the world that we can hold a kangaroo court as well as anyone else? I mean seriously, even if his defensive team included Abe Lincoln, Clarence Darrow, Johnny Cochran, F Lee Bailey AND Perry Mason, there was a snowball’s chance in hell that a jury could be convinced there was a reasonable doubt that he’d authorized the 9/11 attacks and isn’t that REALLY the purpose of a trial? Did he need a forum to present his side? It wasn’t as if he hadn’t had nearly 9 years of issuing pronouncements that gave the justification for the attack. I agree, in the best of all possible worlds, it would have been a good idea to put him on trial and give al-Qaeda the present of a ceremonial execution or a living martyr in a US prison to inspire them. But we live in this one and a trial would have just been a theatre piece, a ritual piece of mumbo-jumbo to keep the bad mojo off our actions, an anticlimactic last reel that would only have made sense if bin Laden leaped up out of Silver Lake wearing a hockey mask.

Be thankful that this part is over. Now we can get back to the REAL problem–getting the hell out of two wars we shouldn’t have been in in the first place.

Oh, yes. Thanks, President Bush.

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Marshmallows, anyone?

We'll show them Muslims they can't hate our freedom!

We'll show them Muslims they can't hate our freedom!

Once again, the anniversary of 9/11 is upon us and once again, it’s time for good old-fashioned idiocy to commemorate it. Leaving aside the fact that we have fought two wars against two countries that had nothing to do with it, the American thing to do is to blame an entire religion for the acts of 19 lunatics. After all, Islam isn’t a real religion, it’s just some whacko death cult, isn’t it?

So some asshole preacher, Terry Jones, has decided that the best way to honor the lives of the unwitting martyrs of 9/11 who died because all Moslems hate our freedoms is to use that freedom to hold a good old-fashioned book-burning of the Moslem holy book. Yessireebob, we’re gonna practice our freedom of speech by kicking freedom of religion down the crapper. After all, freedom of religion means you have the right to worship Jesus in any way you want–even Catholics! Joseph Goebbels would have approved!

On the other hand, it’s the first time both the Tea Partiers and Afghans have united in calling for President Obama’s demise. Now that is truly a hands-across-the-aisle moment!

Well, it seems that General Petraeus thinks that holding this wiener roast MAY actually hurt our chances of success in those wars which we won BUT ARE STILL GOING ON. How DARE he disrespect our troops in this way! Let’s all show our troops respect by showing our contempt not just for our enemies, but for any friends we might have had in the Middle East. Because we’re fighting a mighty Crusade to rid the world of Mohammedans and rebuild the Temple so the world can end in a fiery blaze of Glory. HALLELUJAH!

Or something like that.

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