Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Bad Migraine

Bad Migraine this afternoon and evening–see you next week.

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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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Portman Switches Chained CPI Stance: “I just found out my parents are old!”

Grandpa says, 'It's MY turn for the Fancy Feast.'

On the table again--tip--invest in Mars, Nestle and Colgate-Palmolive--that's right, they make most of the cat food

Senator Rob Portman has announced that he no longer supports chained CPI as a means of saving Social Security. Ohio’s junior senator said that his change of heart came from a personal discovery.

“I found out over the weekend,” Portman explained, “that my parents are old. I did not realize that they were on Social Security.”

Portman recently changed his stance on gay marriage about a year after his son came out. “I would have changed my stance sooner, but I had been hoping that Mitt Romney would tap me for his VP running mate. Fat chance–that asshole suggested we send my son to Tuvalu until the election was over. Tuvalu? That place is under 2 feet of water these days!”

“I always believed that all old people had socked it away and were taken endless Royal Caribbean cruises in their twilight years. And then when they couldn’t get on the boats anymore without vomiting, it was the fiscally responsible thing for their children to loot their bank accounts and put them into a home so they’d be covered 100% by Medicare and Medicaid.”

“But the parent-child relationship doesn’t exist for most Republicans. After mating, the female lays 1000 eggs and after spawning, the young eat each other to ensure survival of the greediest. They never know their mother, let alone who their father is. What happens to the mating pair with no children to put them into the nursing home? They’re left to fend for themselves. And I’ve seen a recently made study that shows that at the present rate of inflation, the price of filet mignon today will be the price of Companion cat food in five years time.”

Senator Portman added, “If this passes, I’d invest in Mars, Nestle and Colgate-Palmolive. Pet food stocks are sure to go through the roof.”
_________

Too late to do anything with: Run on the banks in Cyprus over the weekend? Only seeing news about it now that the European stocks have been affected? Tut-tut, America, that’s a little country–it’ll never happen here…

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Black Smoke, White Smoke

On the other hand, perhaps it was a good idea not getting the Vienna Boys' Choir to perform for the conclave...

The Vienna Boys' Choir was rather thrilled at the exclusion


With the retirement of Pope Benedict, following the example of the Emperor Diocletian and going off to tend a vegetable garden, the Catholic Church is at a crossroads again–namely, how to look like they’re dealing with the problem of priestly and episcopal pederasty while selecting in the conclave of the College of Cardinals a colleague who tacitly condoned the problem by doing nothing about it. One thing for certain–he will be from the conservative wing of the Church in order to complete the return of Catholicism to the 19th century after Vatican II dragged it, protesting and screaming, into the 20th century. Ahhh, decisions, decisions. God forbid we have another Pope like John XXIII who’d actually done things like save Jews in the Holocaust, visit a prison on the 2nd day of his Papacy, and had a predilection for sneaking out of the Vatican to talk to people and find out what they thought.

Father Roncalli (John’s real name) was no saint–and won’t be if the Church has anything to say about it. But he was probably the closest pope to one in the last few centuries. His stance to pederasty was pretty clear–and at the same time muddled. On the one hand, he expressly taught that those seminarians who showed a tendency to homosexuality and pederasty were to be barred from ordination. That was back in 1961 and the world’s attitude about homosexuality has been thoroughly revised. Given the misunderstanding of the time, the connection between the two is understandable since the greater bulk of priestly crimes of this type have been with boys rather than girls.

On the other hand, there is a document from 1962 issued under Pope John’s seal that instructs that the investigation of cases involving “‘worst crime’, described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with ‘youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)’” to be dealt with in absolute secrecy. While the penalties for priests involve suspension from celebration of the sacraments through defrocking, (which are not mentioned in the news article but can be found in the linked pdf) nonetheless, there you have the paradox in a nutshell. The horrible nature of the crime is admitted, yet the door is opened to the cover-ups that have exploded in the last 20 years.

My bet is that if John XXIII knew how his instructions would be used to justify the cover-ups, he would have made sure that the cover-up of crimes was dealt with with equal severity. At least, one hopes.

PS: I hate Daylight Saving Time.

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Sorry, Fred C. Dobbs–The Supreme Court gets to put one over on EVERYone

Bandito Scalia says, 'Voting Rights Act? You got no voting rights act! Who needs your stinking voting rights act.'

When you're the Supreme Court, you can definitely put one over on Fred C. Dobbs--'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (revised)'

The latest battle in dismantling the 20th century is about to be lost in the Supreme Court. Maybe. We’ll soon find out. The Voting Rights Act–the law that forbids discrimination against voters based on race or color–not just black people, mind you, Asians, Hispanics, native Americans, Alaskans–is in danger of being overturned. There’s very little anyone can do about it. Justice Roberts makes snide and objectively false statements about there being more discrimination in Massachusetts than anywhere else. Nino Scalia calls protecting voting rights, a “racial entitlement.” OMG the E-word! Entitlements are bad–except when they benefit rich old white men. Hey Nino–Italians were a discriminated against minority as recently as the 1930s–and Sicilians were barely considered white men by substantial numbers of people in the US. Perhaps the “original intent” would mean that you only have to ensure the voting rights of 3/5 of the non-white population?

Among the other conservative four, Alito has been wisely keeping his mouth shut, but we know which way his tail blows in the wind. This leaves Clarence Thomas. OK Clarence. Is protecting the voting rights a racial entitlement? Just remember–if it is, you may never have made it to those robes. In fact, you may never have voted Republican. Or Democratic. We really want to see how you’re going to come down on this one.

Still, it could be a 5-4 one way or the other depending on which side of the bed Kennedy, the usual swing voter, got up this morning. But let’s hope that Roberts gets one of his “Do I really want my court to come off as the worst court since the Dred Scott Decision” moments. And maybe one or two others will be so disgusted at Scalia’s blatant bigotry.

And remember–race is the first step. Property ownership is the next.

“Hey, mister, can you stake a right to vote to a fellow American what’s down on his luck?”

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