Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

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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The Undeserving Poor–That’s Right, You and Me

Orrin Hatch is late for the tea party...

Orrin Hatch is late for the tea party...

Last weekend, we hit the 235th birthday of our country. July the 2nd. Not July the 4th. July the 2nd was when the Congress voted to accept the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. July the 4th was when they skipped town because the darn thing was being printed in the Philadelphia newspapers. And man, if you thought the British were coming when Paul Revere made his famous ride, as Sarah Palin recently revealed to us, to warn the British that the British were coming, boy, you could imagine the British were coming NOW.

In any case, after 235 years of this noble experiment in the belief that “all men are created equal” (except slaves which were only 60% equal), we have finally accepted the proposition that some people are more equal than others. It all depends on how much money you have. After all, corporations have been considered persons since the end of the 19th century. And now, the Roberts court has decided that corporations should not have any limit on what they will contribute to election campaigns because that would limit their free speech. Therefore, it stands to reason that corporations ought to have more rights than ordinary mortals. After all, they pay more taxes, don’t they?

And that’s the beautiful truth of these United States in the 21st century. “You GET what you PAY for.” Stirring words! My coffee dissolves sugar just thinking about them! Not only corporations, but rich individuals as well. Not only can they incorporate themselves to avail themselves of the enormous benefit of buying senators, congressmen, supreme court justices, and, dare I say, Presidents? But because they pay so much more in taxes than you or I, they deserve better attention from the government.

Let us ignore the fact that most of the biggest corporations are multi-national and hide their profits off-shore so that they have no obligation to pay federal taxes. Or that CEOs usually pay less in taxes than their secretaries because so much of their pay is actually capital gains. You get what you pay for! And believe me, someone who makes tens of millions of dollars a year can pay for a whole lot more than you or I can.

Which makes us, like Alfred Doolittle, part of the Undeserving Poor. As Orrin Hatch said, like Doolittle, we don’t do our share. And yet, we expect things like being paid the Social Security benefits–THAT WE PAID FOR. We expect the Medicare and Medicaid that our tax dollars have paid into. So, now that President Obama is preparing to throw these under the bus (and we shall see how far in the next few weeks) to get the Republicans to agree to raise the debt ceiling–which they won’t unless he throws it far enough AND without any tax increase to the deserving rich.

We have no one to blame but ourselves because we just haven’t done our fair share. Simple economics.

Long live the best democracy money can buy. Now excuse me, I have to follow that White Rabbit to the Tea Party.

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Democracy? Good luck with that, Egypt!

[irony]So glad we live in America where we don''t have to fight for equality.[/irony]

Don't you know that you can count me out/in?

So the Egyptians managed to throw that poor old man Mubarak out into the cold (figuratively speaking) and get themselves a can of whup-ass democracy? Well, thank God. Now we don’t have to watch all those shots of them shaking their fists in the public square on the teevee and get back to what matters most in America–looking for the jobs that we’ve sent abroad!

Democracy! Good luck with that, Egypt! We’ve had it here for over 200 years and people have gotten sick of it. Too much effort. I mean, there we had the most perfect Articles of Confederation that we made even more perfect in the Constitution and what happened? We had to fight a war 85 years later because some silly liberals thought we couldn’t own slaves! And then they went and said that women could vote just as intelligently as men! And just because the stock market slipped a few points and good business required a few layoffs, that Commie Roosevelt started regulating banks and the stock market and putting in “safety nets” for people who were just too lazy to pull on their bootstraps and get rich parents! Then along come that Kennedy and Johnson and we start talking about civil rights for black people–and brown people–and Spanish speaking people–and women–and now even ho-mo-sex-uals! Goddammit–pretty soon there won’t be anyone left to make fun of!

No, we’re tired of all that equality. Let’s turn the clock back to the original Constitution (minus all amendments but the second–after all, Ann Coulter thinks we need more jailed journalists). Thank God for Ronnie Reagan who boldly said to our oppressors, “Tear down these regulations, Mr. Roosevelt!” It’s taken 30 years, but by gum, Ronnie would be proud on his 100th birthday, if he were alive and not chewing on the bedlinens. We’re almost back to where we should be! With the rich running things and the poor on nice clean heating grates in the sidewalk. And the rest of us with the SuperBowl and Dancing with the Stars on, eating our meat and potatos–or at least fries and Taco Bell–with mom and dad working 3 jobs between them so Grandma doesn’t have to make her “Salmon and Ocean Whitefish Feast–F L A K E D–Casserole.” After all, we have a roof over our heads, at least for the next 90 days. Just don’t get sick, kids, we hear they’re starting Debtor’s Prisons and we can’t afford an emergency room visit.

As Justice John Roberts said, (and Clarence Thomas didn’t), “Plutocracy, here we come!”
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Note to ANIME FANS! I will be in Artist’s Alley at KATSUCON this weekend at the Gaylord at Washington Harbor, where I’ll be hawking Part One of my anime/manga parody, BLECCH! (Guess what manga/anime I’m lampooning!) Stop by and say hi, but if you can’t make it, check out its listing at Indy Planet. CU SOON!

ANNOY YOUR FRIENDS! CONFOUND YOUR ENEMIES! PRESS ONE OF THESE BUTTONS--OR ELSE!
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