Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

This week in appalling…

Students protest the football coaches being suspended--before the end of the season.

After the bowl games, heck, cut 'em loose...

Hey, did you hear about Penn State? They’re leaving the NCAA conference to join NAMBLA (ba-dum-tishhhhhh!) 2000 students rioted because of the firings, suspensions and resignations over the child rape scandal. Hey, we didn’t know this was a Catholic school! (ba-dum!)

In other news, Michelle Bachman thinks that poor people ought to give up two Happy Meals so that rich people don’t have to pay 3% more taxes. Unfortunately, that will wreck the Republican jobs program. Social safety net? We should look to the example of Communist China! They don’t do anything so socialistic!

Happy Veteran’s Day! Mitt Romney thinks you haven’t done enough to serve your country. Let’s privatize the Veteran’s Administration so that you can have the glory of paying American health insurance companies and help them make … even bigger profits. It’s only patriotic.

Waterboarding? Seven out of nine Republican presidential hopefuls agree it isn’t torture. Let’s rehabilitate those Japanese who were hung for it after WWII–oops, they did that against Americans–damn, they should have been drawn and quartered as well!

Berlusconi steps down in Italy–he wants to spend his time helping to defend Herman Cain. I was right last week, more harassment accusations popped up out of Herman’s woodwork. “My wife will tell you–she never heard of any of these things.” Right, Herman.

Last we heard from Rick Perry, he was trying to remember his name. Pick Peary? Rick Rarey? Wait a minute, I almost have it.

Frank Miller thinks the Occupy movement is nothing but hookers and rapists and thieves. Oh, my! Methinks Frank has gotten the United States confused with Sin City… and forgotten about the corruption that pervaded his creation. Things aren’t always black-and-white with splashes of color and good guys aren’t only sweaty, semi-naked men with painted-on muscles, Frank. Oops, that was 300. Maybe Frank is ignoring all those people who have extra time on their hands to protest–because they have no jobs! Perhaps he thinks they can get jobs at McDonald’s? They won’t be hiring–the word is that sales of Happy Meals is expected to go south.

Let’s really get some attention: OCCUPY THE SUPER BOWL!

President Obama killed the tradition of wearing “Aloha” shirts at the APEC summit in Honolulu. “Hey, I’m from Hawaii and even I think those things are awful!”

And finally, Penn State lost its first post-scandal game. Students said, “We knew they should have waited until after the season.”

Next weekend I will be attending AnimeUSA at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency. I’ll be participating in two panels on Saturday, one I will be giving on traditional and digitial inking at some ungodly hour in the morning, and the other I’ll be supporting my friend Alicia at her traditional post-midnight Yuri drawing panel. I’ll be in costume some of the time (courtesy of Alicia), but the rest of the time, I’ll be in my traditional purple “I NEED INTRAVENOUS CAFFEINE” shirt. So say hi, if you see me.

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The Officer was confused–he thought he was in Oakland, Not DC

A DC policeman apologizes for the finish being ruined after a man runs over a pedestrian in his LexusThe Republican Party continues its search for the dumbest candidate that isn’t Mitt Romney–who unfortunately seems to have demonstrated a few brains back when he was governor of Massachusetts, for which the Tea Party refuses to forgive him. Now, of course, the emphasis has shifted to how dumb the constituency is as we try to determine how many people actually believe Herman Cain. Herman, of course, wants everyone to believe that he never sexually harassed those three women–maybe four or five by next week. That’s not the stupid part–the stupid part is that he wants people to take his word for it. “Trust me,” he says. “Trust my wife–she was so upset about the allegations that she can’t come on the TV and tell you how upset she was about the allegations.”

I have no doubt that that’s good enough for some people. After all, lots of people thought that Hermie’s 9-9-9 plan made a lot of sense–especially those whose tax rates would have dropped. And most of them didn’t know who the president of U-beki-beki-beki-beki-(do I have the right number of beki’s?)-stan-stan is either. They also believed that the harassment allegations against Arnold Schwarzeneger were just a lot of hot air too. Cute kid your housekeeper has, Ahnold–kinda looks like you.

But the more important news is in banking. Seems Bank of America decided to relent on its avaricious move to charge a monthly fee for debit cards and the other megabanks are following suit. They and the media are surprised that Occupy Wall Street is still continuing–hey, wasn’t THAT what they wanted? On the other hand, Wells Fargo, candidate for the most evil bank in existence, has decided to open a NEW bank for the super-rich…something called Abbot Downing, named after the church official most likely to have his hand in the till: “The abbey keeps getting these donations and the monks can’t use it, so …” You can bet THEY’RE not getting 0.5% interest on their savings.

Police in various cities have started more repressive measures against the Occupy groups, bolstered by anonymous sources claiming that they are using and selling drugs, having illicit sex, holding cookouts and entertaining substantial rodent populations. In DC over the weekend, a guy in a Lexus struck several protesters whom he claimed had dived in front of his car, so the police let him go without a ticket. The police gave citations to the protesters who’d been taken to the hospital for injuries and then tried to explain the incident as “Drunk Diving.” Without having taken statements from the injured protesters. Obviously, the DC metros think they’re in Oakland. When asked if the motorist had the right to run into protesters, the police spokesman was ummm spokeless. He couldn’t say that guys in Lexuses have more credibility than the people they’d run over, now could he?

Thank God, the finish wasn’t damaged!

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Commies, Muslims and Nazis! Oh, My!

Bankers think they are a superior species to the rest of us.

Father and Son Day at First Global Megabank, N.A.

The latest news in wingnut circles is that Occupy Orlando (and by extension, the entire Occupy Movement) is being directed by (drumroll) The Muslim Brotherhood! Wow, militant Muslims AND the Nazis! No wonder they’re so anti-Semitic! After all, [irony alert] The JEWS run the banks!. [/irony] (Never mind those Yom Kippur services that were held…)

DUN DUN DUUUUUUNNNNNNNNN!

Not to mention evil-smelling HIPPIES doing marijuana and having SEX all over the place! And Communists. And Socialists. And thrill-seeking college kids with nothing to do (ummmmm, could that be why they want JOBS?)

And they’re all WHITE PEOPLE–when you don’t catch anyone else on camera. Not enough diversity! Like there is in the executive suites of the banks and brokerage houses (KOFF!).

Let’s turn the question the other way. Who runs the banks? Sociopaths. Sociopaths are people who think that they’re ABOVE the rest of the world and that the rules don’t apply to them. Like Skeletor, people who think they are Masters of the Universe. People who think regulations are made for losers. You know, losers like you and me.

Why are we losers? Well, let me tell you. Back in my youth, the banking interest rate paid to depositors was a standard 3%. That’s 3, not 0.3 or 0.03. The inflation rate in those days kept steady at or below 3%, meaning your savings actually made money compared to inflation. What’s the inflation rate today? About 3%. And what’s the going interest rate on savings for the big banks? 0.5%. One HALF of a percent! The banks take that money, lend it out and make profits on it. Very large profits because … we are actually PAYING THEM to hold our money for us. If we took our money out of the banks and invested it practically any other way, we’d get bigger bang for the buck. But we need to keep it in the banks so we can write checks and have credit and debit cards, so they have us over a barrel.

Think about that the next time someone smears the Occupiers…

Hey–why do they call them brokers? Because that’s what you are when they speculate with your money! Why did the banker cross the road? Why shouldn’t he–what are you trying to do? Regulate the banks? What’s the difference between a banker and a tapeworm? You can remove a tapeworm!

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Escape from New York

The politicians: Attack or Co-opt Instinct

The politicians: Attack or Co-opt Instinct

So, the #Occupy Movement decided to hold a world-wide demonstration on the weekend of the New York Comic Con. AAAaaaauuuuggghhhh! as Charlie Brown would have said. Or as Dick Cheney said, other priorities. I’d already spent mucho bucks not just for the convention tickets, but add in train fare to and hotel in New York City and oops, sorry, I have to be a cartoonist this weekend, not an activist. Please don’t hold anything important on the weekend of AnimeUSA, thank you.

I’m not sure NYCC was worth it tho. There were so many people there, it’s a wonder I found anyone I knew, let alone make any contacts–which, besides seeing the new Makoto Shinkai anime, was the reason I went for. One woman I heard talking was saying she had a panic attack from the crowd and I believe her. The convention now takes the entire Javits Center and was completely filled, wall-to-wall, with people in or out of costume. Not to mention so many exhibitors that I don’t think you could have seen all of them if you’d been there for the entire 4 days–not if you had any other things to do–like eat. Shoutouts to my friends Brad Guigar, Murder Nurse and Moxiecat–and if anyone else was there that I know: What? didn’t you see me wave?

Now, the last time I’d been to New York for any time over a hour had been 2 and a half years ago. I grew up in New Jersey. I KNEW New York was expensive. I knew what the hotel cost. I knew what the train cost. But I had no idea HOW expensive it had become until I actually arrived there. You can’t take a step outside the hotel without spending five dollars. Seriously, a little man comes up to you and collects a “breathing charge.” If you actually do anything–like buy a hot dog–you’re out 10. Down here, panhandlers come up to you and ask for a couple of bucks because they need busfare. One came up to me outside Penn Station and asked for $20 for the train.

The reason, I think, has something to do with trickle-down. All the money in the world has trickled down–to the southern tip of Manhattan. And just like in a gold rush, the closer you get to the mother lode, the more expensive things get, just because they can, because that’s where the money is. One politician said recently that $150K a year in New York wasn’t wealthy because of the expenses. It’s true. And at the same time, that’s just f#$%^& insane. He has my sympathy. But I have no sympathy for the conditions that make that true.

The Occupy Movement has reached an extremely crucial stage–it’s been going on so long and has achieved world-wide status that the politicians can no longer afford to ignore it. The robber barons and their Republican minions have started attacking the protesters as unwashed hippies, college students looking for a thrill, commies and socialists. This kind of thing is un-American (not like the Boston Tea Party). The Democrats are now trying to co-opt the movement so they can lead from behind in the hope that this will result in votes. But what they don’t get is that this isn’t about politics as they are in the US. This is about a totally corrupt culture where money talks and both political parties jump. The Republicans may be the primary abettors, but the Democrats are the enablers. After all, when the Supreme Court decided that money was speech and that corporations could not be fettered in their exercise of free speech, they legalized bribery–as long as it was disguised as a campaign contribution.

In 1984, Orwell predicted perpetual warfare. What he didn’t foresee was the perpetual election, a feature peculiar to these United States. In the UK. a national election can be held within a month of its necessity. Here, the campaign for the next election begins the day after the voting. The need for campaign contributions doesn’t end, but like a junkie’s addiction, grows as the amounts needed for campaigning grow less effective, so that you need more and more, until the purpose for holding office and the need to raise cash for it are indistinguishable. Politicians are addicted to the process and the only cure is cold turkey.

And that’s why we need to Occupy Wall Street. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the YouTube of Sgt. Shamar Thomas at Times Square, scolding the NYPD for their lack of honor :

[Occupytimessquare] 1 Marine vs. 30 Cops (Marine Wins)

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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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