Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

“This land is mine…” Bite me, Scott Walker

Ironic movie poster for the Wisconsin protests reflecting the movie EXODUS

Coming to a statehouse near you...

Despite an auspicious opening for my manga parody BLECCH! at Katsucon this weekend, this old man has to admit that the con played knick-knack paddywhack on his whole body and that he needs his head examined for taking on the grueling task of convention sales when he’s at an age when most people are thinking of doing nothing for the rest of their lives. I’m fighting off the con crud–that odd disease you get from being in close proximity to thousands of similarly under-rested people for 3 straight days–and I’m looking out at a dusting of snow here in Alexandria VA and hoping it melts before I need to go out for anything (let alone shovel it). So I’m going to be brief today so I can go hide under the covers in the hope of staving off what seems like the start of a sinus infection.

But I can’t go without expressing solidarity and support for the civil servants, the state employees, police officers, teachers, firemen and everyone else who are in danger of being totally shafted by that A–hole of a novice governor out in Wisconsin. On a personal level, my dad was a civil servant in DOD his entire career, and my wife is a recently retired one. So I have witnessed government workers being dumped on for every government shortfall and seen their cost of living increases and benefits slashed all my life as if paying them a decent wage was responsible for the national debt, instead of wars that didn’t have to be fought, paying for jet fighters that didn’t have to be made, bailing out banks that posted record-breaking profits within months of the supposed emergencies, etc., etc..

In case you didn’t know it, Rick Ungar and Mother Jones News are reporting that the infamous Koch brothers are behind the effort to destroy the bargaining power of public sector unions. Daily Kos seems to have their finger on the Koch pulse in order for THIS to get passed:

SECTION 44. 16.896 of the statutes is created to read: 16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state.

Naturally the rightwing rearguard has been trying to cover-up the fact that the only budget shortfall in Wisconsin was created by Scott Walker’s tax decrease and has been trying to stir up non-civil servants against civil servants, but no one’s buying it, thank God. I hope the democratic legislators who’ve fled to Illinois can hang tough. In my humble effort to help, I am publishing my graphic today without the ironic quotes over here so anyone who wants to use it for posters or anything else can do so. Just click on the small embedded image for the larger version. You may have to click on THAT image for the full size one depending on your browser.

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Will Sanity Be Restored? Not if WE can help it…

A screenshot from Fox News showing the Stewart-Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear snowed out--in October

And FoxNews viewers from DC swear they saw it--but forgot their names


Well, it’s not a cartoon, but damn, it’s been so long since I posted anything, I just had to post SOMETHING. First of all, my bronchitis is “mostly” gone. I feel better but my strength isn’t up completely back to where it should be. It will be by the end of the week. Thanks to my well-wishers who expressed good wishes. We won’t mention what I wish for those who wished the opposite :D

I DID get to the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear on Saturday. Wish I’d done more to publicize it, although the boys certainly did not need MY publicity. The subway (errrr Metro–how gay is that? –Samantha Bee) was incredible. There were lines 20-30 minutes long to buy tickets and then olive oil was spread on the riders to get them all squeezed into the cars. When the doors finally opened at L’Enfant Plaza, it was like projectile vomit as the trains disgorged their charges.

By the time I actually made the rally location–and I admit I was moving slowly due to my energy levels–you literally could not get two blocks from the mall before foot traffic slowed to a shuffle-along. The DC police had wisely shut down several streets. My own uninformed crowd guesstimates said there was at least 150k people there and possibly as high as 300k. I think the TOTAL number of people who came to the Rally was close to the latter, but because of the difficulty getting within site and sound of the stage–and there were video feeds with huge sound systems to relay the proceedings to the further away, BUT THERE WERE THAT MANY PEOPLE THERE–that the back of the crowd was very fluid with people arriving, staying for a while, and then leaving to get a better view ON THE INTERNET. In fact, I couldn’t stay to the end because I couldn’t find a good place to both see and hear what was going on. The CBSNews paid for crowd count said 215,000. That’s a reasonable number for the amount of people who were there at any single moment in time.

It was odd to see how the news media handled it. Although pre-rally shows began at 10 am, and some people had been there since the night before, I could not find any crowd estimates on the cable news stations. It was as if nothing was going to happen. Contrast that with the ballyhoo that characterized Glenn Beck’s revival meetin’. By Sunday, the coverage rapidly evaporated after 6 am–yesterday’s news. DId they get wind of what the main point of the Rally was? That the media, fanning the flames of partisanship, is one of the major contributors to the chasm that is seen between political viewpoints today? As people, we work together everyday despite differences–Jon Stewart likened it to merging into the lanes of a tunnel–a very apt simile for someone in the NY/NJ area. Yet in politics, there is this perception of near civil war, at least the way the news media provides soapboxes to the MOST extreme elements.

Some of my progressive friends have opined that Jon and Stephen STILL missed the point–after all, the most extreme elements are all ON THE RIGHT. That may be so. But the point of the rally wasn’t to point fingers at THEM. It was to point fingers at the people on the sidelines who are busily asking both sides if they need more gasoline to put out the fire. They are no longer informing us. They’re like the reporter in Ace in the Hole/The Big Carnival who prevented the rescue of the man trapped in a cave to prolong the news story. In the movie, the trapped guy died. But now, we’re the people in the cave. Will we have a release like the Chileans? Or do we go down in the interests of real journalism?

Thanks Jon and Stephen. It was a good rally.

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4:00 pm for America?

The seesaw beliefs of Christine O'Donnell

The seesaw beliefs of Christine O'Donnell

It must be 4 pm for the United States of America with tea parties in full swing and the Republican party is running around with wheel chocks to keep them cannons on deck. Joe Miller up in Alaska doesn’t just want to gut Social Security like most Republicans–he thinks Unemployment Insurance is UnConstitutional! After all, why should we have to pay for those lazy slobs when they could just pick themselves up by the bootstraps and get a job–in India, where so many of our jobs have been outsourced. You think they’d paid MONEY into that so-called insurance. There goes a man who’s never had to worry about his next meal. Funny how that kind of person always knows what YOU should do in a situation they’ve never experienced. Lisa Murkowski, the incumbent he beat out of the primary, may run as an independent.

Then there’s Sharon Angle in Nevada. You know, the one that thinks the Second Amendment gives us the right to an armed insurrection if we think the gummint has turned tyrannical? She evidently parses that out from “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” I wonder what was in the Founder’s coffee THAT morning! She’s also said that the citizens of Nevada need to “take out” Harry Reid and she didn’t mean for dinner. As all people who speak without the intervention of brain cells, she had to retreat from this statement and explain that she meant they had to take him out OF OFFICE. Fine, Sharon, but please, try passing your words through that space between your ears next time.

Then there is our latest darling, Christine O’Donnell. The winner of the Sarah Palin look-alike contest who dated Satanists in high school before becoming a professional Christian. I guess the ability to spin on a moral dime — or on an unholy altar! — is considered a plus in tea party circles–except when it isn’t! So far, the established right has harped on her financial problems and, shall we say, the alleged creative use she’s made of campaign funds to help allay them, but her views on self-gratification have always been right on the spot! That one–there–no, there–yes, mmmmmmmmm. PUNISH ME GOD!

The problem is that American cannot laugh off these tea partiers, no matter how crazy they seem, because some of them are going to be elected. The Republicans might be trying to keep them in the fold, but they aren’t herding sheep, they’re trying to herd cats, and if you’ve ever tried to get a cat into the carrier to go to the vet, you know exactly what I mean. While they might seem laughable, so did a bunch of weirdos that dressed like overgrown boy scouts in Weimar Germany. The good thing about the tea party is it has no leadership, not even Glenn Beck, no matter how hard he tries. The bad thing is that someone WILL come along who understands how to play to it. And that’s when I visit my relatives in Canada for an extended stay.

In other news, I have debuted a collection of my cartoons from the Bush era. BUSHWHACKED: The Wurst of HAIL DUBYUS! appeared for the first time at InterVentionCon last weekend and is 80 pages of high quality reproductions of some of my best Bush era cartoons from the original 300 DPI files. I’ll be hawking it at other cons throughout the year, but you can buy it at IndyPlanet. This blog is not commercial–I’ve been doing it out of a sense of “doing something” to make a difference–so please take a look and help defray the costs of my artistic and satiric endeavors :) If you’re ever at a comics convention where I’m appearing, I’ll be happy to sign your copy!

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I Need to Scream!

Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin make Al Sharpton flip as they co-opt Martin Luther King's civil rights dream

CHIBIS ..... FROM ..... SPACE!

Well, what with Glenn Beck’s 9-12 movement, you’d think he’d have used THAT day to present his plan for America. But you’d be wrong. You see, Glenn has discovered that God is big bucks, and Glenn certainly wouldn’t want people to be working on the Sabbath. He’s right about that. Listening to Glenn Beck is HARD @#$%^& WORK!

So Glenn looked about for another day to hold his political rally–errr religious revival? And lo and behold, God made him chose the very anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech. Purely by accident–or by the Hand of God. Quite frankly, I think Glenn totally capable of not knowing when MLK gave that speech, considering the mish-mash he makes of American history. But considering the low cunning that usually pervades his work, it’s JUST possible that the choice of date was intentional.

Anyway, he delivered a plan for America–as short of details as Mr. Beck is short of cards in his deck–with Sarah Palin on hand to rescue the civil rights movement from liberals and black people. Huh? You see, in Mr. Beck’s reformulation of MLK’s dream, Dr. King was fighting for civil rights for ALL people, not just oppressed minorities. He wanted to protect white people’s rights. Like the right of Dr. Laura Schlesinger to say “Nigger nigger nigger” on her radio program. And the right for poor people to stay dirt poor while the rich maintain their right to get filthier rich.

Glenn even found a niece of MLK who agreed with him–not that anyone ELSE of Dr. King’s family had the wool pulled over their eyes. Al Sharpton held a counter-rally to try to uphold Dr. King’s ORIGINAL dream–you know, the one Beck is trying to rescue from progressives who, consarn it, want to extend civil rights to immigrants and poor people. For a while, we had Dueling Rallies down here in Washington. And not very musical.

This wasn’t about politics tho. It was about that old time religion that America lost 240 years ago. 240 years ago, that’d be 1770? What happened then? Perhaps he was rounding up the years from the Declaration of Independence…hmmm, I guess that’s when we abandoned God. Or King George. Or the Church of England. Or somebody. I guess that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” is too progressive for Mr. Beck.

After all, this country was founded by the Puritans–so goes the American myth–the most obnoxious bunch of holier-than-thou’s that ever walked the face of the earth. They left England for the freedom to practice their religion–and made other religions illegal the day after they hit Plymouth Rock. Then they outlawed Christmas and burned a few neighbors for firewood on the grounds that they were witches. The Puritans don’t exist today. There’s a good reason for that. Oh yeah, they held a Thanksgiving celebration–the next year they had a war with the Indians who’d helped them.

See Mr. Beck–you have no monopoly on mish-mashing history!

Glenn wants us to turn back to religion. He has no interest, he says, in becoming President. NOT THAT ANYONE ASKED! No, he’d rather be seen as one of God’s prophets.

Only Glenn spells it with an “fi” instead of “phe”.

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Piracy On the High Seas

60 kilometers out into the sea, the Israeli navy boards an aid ship to Gaza from Turkey and kills 9 unarmed civilians. Let's turn public opinion in our favor, boys.

Aaaaaarrrrrrrrr, this load of medical rubber hoses could be used to make giant slingshots to use against us!

I am somewhat loath to discuss Israel’s latest examples of aggressive self-defense. I belong to an online political discussion group with some friends. We have virtually stopped any discussion of Israel because it immediately devolves from a discussion into an emotion-filled argument with unspoken charges of anti-Semitism directed at any criticism of Israel. Let’s just say for the record that Arabs are Semites too, the cousins of the Jewish race if you believe your Bible stories…or your Qu’ran.

Doesn’t Israel have the right to defend itself? Of course it does. But that right falls a bit short of piracy on the high seas and the murder of civilians (I’m going to keep my criticism to the issue at hand rather than get into any kind of hoohah). Uri Avnery made some interesting points in his own critique on his news site. The arrival of this aid ship wasn’t any surprise to Israel. They’d had months, nearly a year, to prepare a response. And basically, they had three choices. Let the ship go without incident, and undermine their own blockade by doing so. Stop the ship and inspect it for articles of military use…and then let it go, affirming their right to blockade but giving a measured response to a humanitarian effort. Or put their knives between their teeth, drop onto the ship in the middle of the night like a swarm of pirates 35 miles out to sea and when the unarmed civilians aboard try to defend themselves with deck chairs and other improvised weapons, mow them down rather than throw a few canisters of tear gas. Guess which they chose? Arrrrrrrrr, right you are, matey!

Avnery compares the situation to the Exodus incident (a MAJOR motion picture by Otto Preminger from the book by Leon Uris, with Paul Newman as the handsome Israeli!) from Israel’s formative years. Why had the British done something so completely stupid? They weren’t stupid people. No, their actions came from arrogance, Avnery suggests, and that arrogance turned public opinion against them. Israel’s arrogance (and bunker mentality) is fast turning the world against them and they stand to lose their only Islamic ally, the Turks, because of it. Pretty soon, all that will be left to them is the US and as had been noted (in an article I can’t find right now because the net is acting wonky), the new generation of American Jews is not as solidly gung-ho behind Israel as the previous one. Only the Christian right (Glenn Beck IS Christian, isn’t he? We’ll find out when he reveals God’s Plan later this summer) in unquestioning in their support and heck, they’re seeking Armageddon!

The only problem will be finding a replacement for Paul Newman. Hey, Jake Gyllenhaal makes a great Persian!

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