Monday, March 31, 2003

 

Oh sweet holy Jesus

Tom just mentioned it on his site, but I had the link sitting in my inbox and it's too good to not mention here as well. Here you go.

To add to Tom's mention, here's the loving description of the collectible as well:

No matter where his mission takes him, he'll never be beyond the reach of God's protection. As the brave members of the U.S. military head out to defend our freedom, it's comforting to know that each one is sheltered in the loving hands of God. Keep this radiant tribute near as a brilliant reminder of all those who proudly serve our country. Meticulously crafted by hand, this limited-edition Hamilton Collection collectible figurine is filled with authentic details. Please hurry to order now.

The ad page also notes how this is the first item in the "America's Guardian of Freedom Collection" and how detailed it is in it's included helmet and assault rifle. Truly, the equipment that all should find necessary when literally being held in the hands of the almighty himself.
 

   
 

My brains!

Despite claims from CENTCOM, Geraldo Rivera is now denying the recent news reports that he has been kicked out of Iraq for disclosing troop position information.

This leaves us, fellow Americans, to make a decision on which one of these two entities is telling the truth: the United States Military Central Command, or Geraldo Rivera.
 

   
 

Oh yeah

My other Salon-related comment of the day, which we shall file under the "John's most-regretted-afterwards posts ever" category. But I digress. If by any chance considering your interest in Salon you just, you know, happen to be the ridiculously gorgeous blonde girl in the personals ad currently on Salon's home page, would you be so kind as to e-mail me right now?

Oh, screw all y'all. It's worth a shot.
 

   
 

Good stuff on Salon today

First off, that's where I first heard the recent news about NBC canning Peter Arnett for speaking badly of the army in an interview with Al-Jazeera. What I find so interesting about this is that the news channels are basically saying they canned Arnett for his statements as "a lack of journalistic credibility."

...As opposed to O'Reilly, Carville, Begala, Rivera, Chung, Hannity, Colmes, Zahn, Donahue, Savage, Brown, Blitzer, Hume, and all the others who label themselves as "journalists" yet have been proven to have blatantly lied and/or distorted facts on a near-daily basis. I think it gives perspective into who real "journalists" are, agree with their political leanings or not.

I'm loath to give a detailed reaction to this, since I missed Arnett's interview and know only what I've read in this morning's news, but what strikes me as weird, or rather somewhat hypocritical of NBC, about this specific event was that Arnett did not give his opinion in an NBC report, but rather in an interview for another network. Tom Brokaw did the same thing two months ago on Letterman. I understand the difference between Dave and Al-Jazeera, but I'm just sayin'.

(Dave's back tonight, by the way.)

Other fun things from Salon today include Keith Knight's latest comic, which had me laughing before I started even reading the dialogue. Good god, that's some of the funniest artwork I've seen in a while.

As always, Salon's got the usual high-quality selection of viewpoints on the war and whatnot, as well. Enjoy.

Update: Don Macfarlane informs me that the interview Arnett made was with Iraqi state television, which is emphatically not Al-Jazeera. My bad. I guess I was looking at... umm.... other things on Salon at the time.
 

   

Sunday, March 30, 2003

 

Blogger doesn't support Cyrillic characters that would have allowed me to make a witty title in Russian

More than a few readers have sent me links to this Russian news site. I haven't checked it enough to take a full stance on its accuracy, but considering that more than one of you alerted me to it I'm assuming there's pertinent opinion within, if not interesting fact as well.

While we're on the mail subject, a few have also asked about the Senator/Congressman asking about public opinion for impeaching George W. Bush. I didn't address it because 1. The name given was different in a few e-mails, questioning the authenticity of the story, and 2. By the time I was going to post about it, one of the origin links already updated with a message that the rumor was false. Much as I'm sure many in the government are interested in getting Bush the hell out of there as soon as possible, it appears that no one is yet rationally calling for impeachment in public. Most likely they're all renaming food.
 

   
 

Chains of events

Ted Rall and Gary Trudeau both used a similar theme in their most recent strips; both are staggeringly brilliant.
 

   
 

Please note

A reader just sent me an e-mail notifying me that apparently a spam-bot somewhere out there is sending people e-mails with "www.xoverboard.com" as the subject line.

I'm sure anyone who gets it would see by the ad content that it's obviously not from me, but just a heads up in case you get anything with this address as a subject line that's even more hazardous, i.e. mysterious file attachments or something. I don't know why my site address is being used as an e-mail subject, so if anyone else got one, my only answer to any of your questions about it is "I have no idea." Sorry.
 

   
 

Admittedly

My friend Shiraz sent me a link to AICN (which leans, admittedly, on the edge of veracity) which linked to a report from UPI (which, admittedly, leans over that edge even further) about Michael Moore's newest film project plans.

I'd love to see this film come out, but I think given the time frame he's shooting for it might be difficult, considering that Moore's weakness is, admittedly, in the fact-checking department. In addition, I'd much rather be hearing about the animated film he's been trying to get off the ground with Tom Tomorrow and my boss at FlickerLab, Harold Moss. For my sake, admittedly, as well as the entertainment value.
 

   
 

So long, and thanks for all the fish

Anyone remembering the news about the government training monkeys and dolphins to hunt for mines will reflect in many ways on this recent annoucement that Takoma, the trained U.S. Marine mine-hunting dolphin, is missing.

Takoma, the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin, had been in Iraq for 48 hours when he went missing on his first operation to snoop out mines.

His handler, Petty Officer Taylor Whitaker, had proudly showed off Takoma's skills and told how the 22-year-old dolphin was among the most pampered creatures in the American military.

Takoma and his fellow mine hunters have a special diet, regular medical checks and their own sleeping quarters, which is more than can be said for the vast majority of the military whose domestic arrangements are basic, to say the least.

Takoma has now been missing for 48 hours and the solitary figure of Petty Officer Whitaker could be seen yesterday patting the water, calling his name and offering his favourite fish, but there was no response.

So, it's one of those stories where you read that last paragraph and you get a little choked up picturing this naval officer who's literally heartbroken over the loss of an animal he trained and raised like a child, while at the same time a little excited about the idea that the dolphin possibly escaped from captivity while at the same time worrying that, you know, maybe the dolphin is now in many little pieces as a result of doing his job too well.

I hope that the dolphin is alright. And I hope that in being alright, it means that technically, the dolphin has now followed the actions of our commander-in-chief as far as it pertains to commitment to military service. Oh, come on, it's an AWOL dolphin. You all saw that one coming.

Update: Dolphin found. Business as usual.
 

   

Saturday, March 29, 2003

 

Arg

Another work-filled weekend. Sorry for any delays, I'll try to get some updates in and some mail read a little later.
 

   

Friday, March 28, 2003

 

Oh Jesus.

Hey, American lawmakers! When you're deeply rooted in an overseas war against an Arab state to which Muslim fanatics are using as an excuse to validate their outrageous claims that the United States wants an all-out war against Islam, what's the best thing to do in the eyes of the government and the national media?

That's right, create a national day of prayer.

I'm sure American Muslims would enjoy this day too, except of course for the fact that they're all on massive lists of "suspects" for the Justice Depatment. I have a feeling they're not too interested in gathering anywhere anytime soon.
 

   

Thursday, March 27, 2003

 

This is sarcasm's brother: This is satire

Blogcritics posts a parody apology from Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks (found via Eric Alterman's site):

....I hope everyone understands, I'm just a young girl who grew up in Texas. As far back as I can remember, I heard people say they were ashamed of President Clinton. I saw bumper stickers calling him everything from a pothead to a murderer. I heard people on the radio and tv like Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott bad mouthing the President and ridiculing his wife and daughter at every opportunity.

I heard LOTS of people disrespecting the President. So I guess I just assumed it was acceptable behavior.

....I realize it's wrong to have a liberal opinion if you're a country music artist. I guess I should have thought about that before deciding to play music that attracts hypocritical red necks.

I also realize now that I'm supposed to just sing and look cute so our fans won't have anything to upset them while they're cheating on their wives or getting in drunken bar fights or driving around in their pickup trucks shooting highway signs and small animals.

And most important of all, I realize that it's wrong for a celebrity to voice a political opinion, unless they're Charlie Daniels, Clint Black, Merle Haggard, Barbara Mandrell, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt, Hank Williams Jr, Amy Grant, Larry Gatlin, Crystal Gayle, Reba McEntire, Lee Greenwood, Lorrie Morgan, Anita Bryant, Mike Oldfield, Ted Nugent, Wayne Newton, Dick Clark, Jay Leno, Drew Carey, Dixie Carter, Victoria Jackson, Charleton Heston, Fred Thompson, Ben Stein, Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Bo Derek, Rick Schroeder, George Will, Pat Buchanan, Bill O'Reilly, Joe Rogan, Delta Burke, Robert Conrad or Jesse Ventura.

Kudos for a few names mentioned in the final paragraph. Just to keep the record straight: saying truthfully your opinion of the President of the United States: horrible. Writing a song ignorantly blaming Saddam Hussein for the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th: numer one on the charts. Folks, this is why I don't listen to country music. Well, that and most of it sucks.
 

   
 

Random thought

With my upcoming graduation and likely re-evaluation of this site in general that I'm going to have to make in regards to that, I think I need some kind of definitive Top 10 list or something of the best/funniest posts and/or comics I've made on this site. It might be just my own opinion or partial to reader opinion (hint hint.)

As it stands, from the 14 months of content here I think my personal favorites include Gunther IV, the strip about Overboard thinking he's Kyle MacLachlan, and of course, the now infamous "COCK!" post.
 

   
 

This is sarcasm

OMFG! THEY FOUND A PICTURE OF A PLANE CRASHING INTO A BUILDING IN IRAQ! Clearly this is the rock-solid proof that Saddam Hussein was responsible for September 11th.

Rest assured, America, that our news media will in no way spin this as if to imply something that a rational person would consider outrageously devoid of tact and credibility in any way whatsoever.

Yep.
 

   

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

 

I made a friend!

You know, folks, for some reason your day just gets better when you get e-mails like this one. (Reprinted in full with no editing)

From: (No name provided, Go fig)
Subject: Poor Patriot

I have little respect for someone who can't draw or spell and then smashes the President of the United States and even relates him to Hitler. A more accurate comparison should be Hitler to Saddam Hussein. But liberals such as yourself are too stupid to realize that Hussein is evil and should be stopped. His own people don't have the means to stage a revolution as our fore-fathers did in the late 1700's so we help them get rid of a dictator who doesn't hesitate to kill his own people to test bio-chem weapons or because they don't agree. I must say that you leftist slime are fortunate (sorry, too large a word for you, fortunate means lucky) that this country doesn't crack you guys in half for the brain-less things you are saying. You are lucky that congress did not declare war and the President is just using his authority as C-in-C, otherwise the Sedition Act would be in effect and you could very well be on your way to Mexico or scribbling your heiroglyphs (whoops, there i go again, heiroglyphs are ancient symbols that Egyptians used to communicate, with no relevant meaning today.) in a prison cell. Just keep that in mind next time you try to crack a joke insulting this horrible, imperialistic (sorry, that mean dominant), country that I love. If you want to complain about imperialism, why not enlist in Hussein's Corp of Human Shields?

In light of today's "heiroglyph," I'll say it again: voices of democracy, here. However, my newest fan has raised a valuable issue, to which I must admit I have no counter to. As such, I wish to apologize to all my readers for the treasonous acts of misspelled words which have occasionally appeared on this website. I would blame Blogger's lack of a spell-check, but no, President Bush has demanded a new era of accountability.

Update: Thanks to the many who asked me to alert my new reader from the Webster Estate that it's hieroglyph. But I was sort of hoping everyone would go with me in spelling it the way the guy attacking my spelling spelled it. Consider him now notified.
 

   
 

Note.

The origin of the aforementioned "Enlarge your Coalition" e-mail has identified himself as editorial cartoonist J.P. Trostle.
 

   

 
Newest comic posted - "Voices of democracy."

I drew the strip a few weeks ago before leaving for spring break, but I think it happens to be topical considering this weekend's protests and Michael Moore's speech at the Oscars. For a group that loves to note the ludicrous things the anti-war left says and does, the pro-war right has a stunning greatest hits list of their own.

The hypocrisy I tend to notice in the war debates, especially clear in the blogging world, is the one-sidedness the pro-war bloggers take with their commentary. For example, the anti-war side tends to passively admit that for all the reasons to be against this war, there is definite turmoil in Iraq, and vast quantities of Iraqis would love to see Saddam gone. The pro-war side, however, rarely seems to admit that there are Iraqis that don't want the American troops there. The left's tradition is its willingness to concede opposing opinion; the right's is the belief that it can do no wrong.

Perhaps that's ultimately the reason for the boos during Moore's speech. Roger Ebert took offense at Moore's comments, claiming they were out of line and inappropriate. (This comment was made on Leno Monday night, a mere two minutes after praising the standing ovation a convicted child molester had recieved from the same crowd.) I think the real offense the right took was that among Sarandon, Bono, Streisand, and all the other declared-by-the-right-as-"Hollywood Liberals," Moore was the only one the entire evening who had the balls to say, good or bad, rational or rambling, exactly what was on his mind. As today's strip proves, the right doesn't have the ability to do something as powerful as that, because it's a lot more frequent that what bastions of conservative thought are "really thinking" is completely inane and irrational.
 

   

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

 

A ha. This isn't petty and sad at all

New York Press has printed an article pretentiously titled "The 50 Most Loathesome New Yorkers," because when you want the moral clarity of common decency and civility as a judge of human character in New York, by god you just turn to the New York Press, don't you.

At a suprise to perhaps the three cockroaches under my fridge, Micheal Moore came in high at number 3, beat only only by the publisher of Maxim at #1 and at #2... oh yes... Ted Rall.

Now, I'm sure with such bastions of intellectual thought like the Daily News and the Post flying around, one can obviously understand that everyone in New York actually knows by name Ted Rall. I do, because I'm a huge fan of his work and I hold most of his more rational opinions in high respect... but as one who knows a lot about Ted Rall, I also know that he's in a legal feud with a member of the Press' own graphics department, and is an established writer and comic contributor to both the New York Times and the Village Voice, the latter of which is most certainly construed as the Press' vastly superior (in both content and circulation) rival.

Saturated in the media pool as he is, the idea that Ted Rall has more name recognition and or presence of opinion in public dialogue than Michael Moore, the crown prince of the NeoCon whipping targets, is proof that the writers of this article made the list a personal hit. In other words, a peice as petty and self-centered as "The 50 Most Loathesome New Yorkers" actually compounded on its pettyness by using part of the article to, essentially, make a catty swipe at a cartoonist they don't like. Personally, I'm glad to see Ted on TV and in interviews, because frankly that means the media wants to talk to cartoonists and listen to their opinions.

I note this only because, as mentioned in previous posts, Ted Rall seems to be a favorite among many of the whiny righty bloggers, so it's worth warning in advance just how petty the likely self-gratifying link-fest this hand job of an "article" is going to be.
 

   
 

Payback's a bitch

Although the protests are mainly symbolic, waiters in dozens of bars and restaurants in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Bonn and other German cities are telling patrons, "Sorry, Coca-Cola is not available any more due to the current political situation."

The boycotts appear to be part of a nascent worldwide movement. One Web site, www.consumers-against-war.de, calls for boycotts of 27 top American firms from Microsoft to Kodak while another, www.adbusters.org, urges the "millions of people against the war" to "Boycott Brand America."

"Americans only pay attention when money is on the line," director Heiko Mueller told Reuters, whose firm buys $300,000 worth of supplies from half a dozen American firms each year.

"We wanted to make a statement against this war and told our American partners that unless they renounce what their government is doing we won't do any business with them anymore."

Full article here.
 

   
 

And now, a random pondering from your resident Big Dumb Single Male

An interesting juxtaposition of programming was noticable last night if you were, like me, flipping through channels, only to notice that NBC had a very... let's say unique... blend of programming content across their networks. I'm sure the irony was lost on them over the fact that NBC was showing Donald Trump's Miss USA pageant at the same time some talking heads on MSNBC were having a discussion about women in combat.

With the tragic events surrounding the recent capture of American soldiers in Iraq, one of whom is female, the debate has yet again opened over the question "should women be allowed to serve in dangerous combat situations?" Now, I am obviously upset that American soldiers were captured and I offer my sincerest sympathies to their familes, but after going back and forth between these two channels I had a thought. It involved Miss Alabama and is unfit to print here, but then a second, and vastly more important thought came into my head once she wasn't on screen anymore, and that was: when did an issue like this get marginalized to women?

In other words, why are we suddenly asking "should women be in dangerous combat?" Umm.... I don't think anyone should be in dangerous combat. In the sense of equality, it seems ludicrous that the capture of a woman over that of a man begets a conversation about how that specific person shouldn't have been in a situation that led to her capture.

It goes without saying that the state of the world we live in makes women more vulnerable to physical harm, in many ways that men are not as likely to experience. But that's not just a danger that occurs in Iraq; women are abused and mistreated in their own homes by their own spouses, by drug-popping perverts at frat parties, and threatened both physically and psycologically in sweatshops. Let's not even get into the political ways women are persecuted in this world. I don't see a revelation in stating that keeping women soldiers out of Iraq will lessen their chance of getting harmed. Duh. So will keeping men out of there.

If anything, NBC's multi-channel options package last night proved that a woman can be whatever the hell she wants, from a beauty queen to a military officer. If women want to be in the army and put themselves at risk, they have every right to do it. I want to prevent women- and men- from the chance of such a risk in a much more understandable way- keeping them all the hell home.
 

   

Monday, March 24, 2003

 

Argh. Yet another one... more. Thingie.

Rob Strong sends me this reminder that the Republicans aren't racists anymore. Nope. Note at all. No siree.

Okay, they are.
 

   
 

Okay, one more

This arrived in my e-mail a few days ago with a From: tag of J.P. Trostle, but my attempts to reply to him to tell him he may or may not be one of the most brilliant people alive fell flat when the e-mail reply to him bounced back. Therefore, I have no idea if this is just really, really funny spam or just a full inbox or something. Whatever. Here's the funny.

[Subject: "ENLARGE YOUR COALITION! GUARANTEED!"]

Want a big international COALITION? Tired of getting spurned by hot European girls because of your "unilateralism"?

Now, YOU can experience the COALITION ENLARGEMENT you've always wanted with a MASSIVE accounting breakthrough!! 100 GUARANTEED!!!

THE APPEARANCE OF SIZE DOES MATTER!

With the help of our GUARANTEED plan you too will go from being a little bush to a THICK, MIGHTY LOG in no time! Best yet, our plan has NO Painful and Hard-To-Use international pumps like the UN, and NO annoying allies who might actually try and assert themselves!

With our plan, you can GROW that HUGE THROBBING COALITION in just THREE EASY STEPS!!!

1) Get one of your buddies at the health club (or in England) to SING PRAISES of how MIGHTY your Coalition is, then simply COUNT EVERYONE AT THE HEALTH CLUB (or in England) AS BEING PART OF YOUR COALITION -- WHETHER THEY WANT TO BE OR NOT. Remember to use the phrase: "Everyone down at the gym (or England) says I have a huge coalition" often.

2) MOCK anyone who questions the size of your coalition, especially if they ask for measurements. Be quick to say: "I don't have to measure it because everyone KNOWS it's HUGE." Better yet, ask them how big THEIR coalition is. That usually shuts them up real fast. If it doesn't, simply change the subject or walk out of the room.

3) Tell possible MEMBERS they can hang with you and the cool kids down at Club NATO after the show. If that doesn't work, promise to slip several billion dollars into their economy (Don't actually give them the money, just promise it.)

4) You can DOUBLE and TRIPLE the size of your international thang by padding it with SEXY sounding places like Latvia, Uzbekistan and, ooh baby, Eritrea. And if anyone wonders what good the Marshall Islands are when they can't even field 2 guys at the Olympics much less an army, you just shoot back "HEY, even with MICRONESIA on my side I'm still bigger than the French! HAR!"

5) And finally, when all else fails just tell people 1/3 or more of your coalition is HIDDEN and flatly refuse to pull out the whole length. Insist real gentlemen don't talk about such things in public and that they'll just have to trust your word as to how MASSIVELY THROBBINGLY HUGE the whole coalition is. Then cite security concerns and have them arrested.

If you follow the above 4 steps, you will be GUARANTEED to ERECT a bigger coalition that will leave them all too WILLING to drop trou, bend over and do ANYTHING YOU TELL 'EM TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For more details, contact Ari Fleischer at http://www.whitehouse.gov/

"'Enlarge your coalition' made me a man!" - George B.

   
 

Overflowed inbox

See, this is what happens. You leave for a week, war breaks out, people have opinions about it- I mean, who knew? (Not, apparently, the president, of course)

For a site that was mostly dark and occasionally completely down because of a server problem, I still got a ot fo mail over my break, so countless apologies to the even-larger-than-usual number of you who didn't get replies, post-ups, or any form of recognition. I'm graduating from college in about seven weeks, so you'll understand my free time right now sort of falls in the "what's that?" category. If it's any consolation, please accept my statement that I did indeed read every single piece of e-mail sent to me... I just can't reply to all of them.

Before we get to the war stuff, a quick one from Thad Boyd, who has alerted me to total documentation of the fact that Hilary Rosen has gone absolutely bonkers.

With the war just starting, Ashton Treadway noted the offer of exile for Saddam in Bahrain... Ashton's comment was worthy to reprint here:

If this story is right, does that mean that the reign in Bahrain may mainly help Hussein? By George W., I think he's got it!

Robert Cook has this one-liner about my comment on identifying Saddam's possible doubles:

Trying to confirm Hussein's death is simple enough; they just need to get some DNA scrapings from Rumsfeld's hand.

(Several noted the ridiculousness of the doubles issue, though one did note that an easy way to identify a post-.... umm.... living Saddam would be to match the DNA against that of his children. Of course, we could end up vaporizing him and all of his family, but where would we get a giant 21,000-pound bomb to do that? Oh, right.)

From Lida Sparer, in regards to my soda-spitting over CNN's "did the power of prayer rescue Elizabeth Smart?" comment:

I actually believe (maybe?) in the power of prayer (not like you can say "I want something," and you get it, it's more complicated, I'm not going to get into it, and also I try to be careful what I pray for (mainly sticking to "Thank you" and "Help me,") because I don't think I know best and also if God brought back Elizabeth Smart then where is Etan Patz (you're probably too young to remember but ask anyone over 40, he disappeared from the village 20 years ago)) but you do have to wonder why all these people who believe in the power of prayer don't just pray for Saddam to be good instead of bombing the **** out of him.

Finally, Alexandra Manglis notes that Terry Jones is being brilliant again. Oh good.

Whoosh! That was fun. I feel like Cursor, only without the readership.
 

   

Sunday, March 23, 2003

 

Quick moment of celebratory awesomeness

Congratulations to Michael Moore for actually pulling it off. Next time, though, mention the studio I'm interning for that helped with the movie so they can get more offers and therefore need to hire me for projects. Just sayin'.

Along with "Chicago" and "Spirited Away" winning their respective picture categories, every other one of my guesses were wrong. Good thing I lost all my bettin' money last week in Atlantic City already.

And before we all hear the garbage from the Right about the audible boos during Moore's speech- gimme a break, guys. Everyone in that theater knew who Michael Moore was, and last time I checked Best Doc doesn't usually get a standing ovation.
 

   
 

Am I back or not?

Well I have no idea, because I'm back in my home base right now, except the site is down, and I'll be damned if I know why. So I have an assload of assignments due for class, a broken web site, and a few dozen e-mails waiting for me to go through, not to mention, you know, the whole war thing. So bear with me as I try to get through all this for the next day or so.

Update: The site appears to be back up now. Gosh, good thing there's nothing to talk about right now...... Jesus.
 

   

Friday, March 21, 2003

 

Again.... WHAT?

Top US military planners are preparing for the US to use incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed the plans in February 5th testimony before the US House Armed Services Committee. This is the first official US acknowledgement that it may use (bio)chemical weapons in its crusade to rid other countries of such weapons.

Full article here. And yes, I understand the difference between lethal Sarin warheads and tear gas, but from the PR and appeal-to-the-Iraqi-people perspective, why the hell is this a good idea? I'm sure when the Iraqi soldiers see large clouds of toxic gas rising up from the ground they'll really sit there and say "oh, don't worry, it's just the brave U.S. troops and their non-lethal weaponry!" I mean, it's not like these are a people proven to be easily susceptible to anti-American propaganda or anything.
 

   
 

Question.

Just a random thought for the weekend pondering... has anyone noticed the key problem with this "is it Saddam or not?" stuff? I mean, we don't exactly have any Saddam DNA or a copy of his dental records around, and now we're talking about this small handful of people in Iraq who, apparently, serve no purpose in life other than looking exactly like Saddam Hussein.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, exactly what happens when we find a body in a bunker somewhere? What if we find two? What happens if three guys who all look like Saddam Hussein all surrender to an American infantry division at the same time?

Has it occured to anyone else that with this media barrage of "is he?" stupidity, we've essentially removed any chance whatsoever of being 100% sure we've captured or killed Saddam Hussein, ever? I hope Ari Fleischer thought of that, because I'd love to imagine him spending the entire weekend curled up in a fetal position, bottle of Jack in one hand, bottle of Mylanta in the other, wondering how the hell he's gonna explain it if we lose a second evil despotic military leader.
 

   

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

 
Eight hours of arguing left

We got a call to write a song about the war in the Gulf
But we shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings
So we tried, then gave up, 'cause there was no such song
But the trying was very revealing
What makes a person so poisonous righteous
That they'd think less of anyone who just disagreed?
She's just a pacifist, he's just a patriot
If I said you were crazy, would you have to fight me?

Fighters for liberty, fighters for power
Fighters for longer turns in the shower
Don't tell me I can't fight, 'cause I'll punch out your lights
And history seems to agree that I would fight you for me

So we read and we watched all the specially selected news
And we learned so much more 'bout the good guys
Won't you stand by the flag? Was the question unasked
Won't you join in and fight with the allies?
What could we say...we're only 25 years old?
With 25 sweet summers, and hot fires in the cold
This kind of life makes that violence unthinkable
We'd like to play hockey, have kids and grow old

Fighters for Texaco, fighters for power
Fighters for longer turns in the shower
Don't tell me I can't fight 'cause I'll punch out your lights
And history seems to agree that I would fight you for me
That us would fight them for we

He's just a peacenik and she's just a warhawk
That's where the beach was, that's where the sea
What could we say...we're only 25 years old?
And history seems to agree
that I would fight you for me
That us would fight them for we

Is that how it always will be?

-Moxy Fruvous, "Gulf War Song," 1993
 

   

Monday, March 17, 2003

 

FOOD FIGHT!

The French and the Germans fight back against the freedom fries (sort of) with this web site here, sponsoring a donation to charity every time you Buy a Pretzel (Bretzel) for George W. Bush. (Click the upper-right flags for language)

Look, I don't really have anything else witty to say right now. I'm supposed to be on vacation, for crap's sake. Instead I've had my face glued to CNN for three hours and the only thing I know for sure is that Wolf Blitzer is dead serious about this now.... how do I know? He's ditched the tie. OH NO! Blitzer is ready for war, baby!

On a side note, I'm doing my best to make a regular post, but there might be that aforementioned silence soon. I'm not being shut down by Ashcroft or anything, just that my current location has limited computer facilities... my e-mail is still lax in response capability, so again, be faithful in the fact that next week will be a whole lot better.... at least for this site. For the rest of the world, next week appears to be downright screwed.

 

   
 

Cut and paste powers, activate!

To: Editors, Salon.com
cc: (below)

---------------

I have noted on my own site before the fascinating fallacy of otherwise straight-minded Democrats who suddenly verge into the furthest regions of irrational hysterics when it comes to the "blaming of Ralph Nader." It pains me that with Charles Taylor's recent rant that this rhetoric has now come to Salon.

Sites like Media Whores Online have long tarnished their ability to be seen as rational and thoughful whenever they enter a passage of drivel about Ralph Nader and his neo-terrorist attempts to destroy democracy in this country as we know it... riiiiiight.

As a Gore voter, and one who openly refutes Nader's qualifications to be the leader of this country, I still refuse to adhere to the absurd idealism of battered, pathetic Democrats who refuse to accept their own fallacies as to why they have little to no power in the government today.

As always with the fervent "for God's sakes Clinton did nothing wrong, ever" faction, Taylor spins a simple-minded rationale that voting for Nader is the reason Bush is driving this horrible war right now. It's a logic as utterly stupid as that which indicates a direct connection between September 11th and the need to invade Iraq, as utterly stupid as the idea that using drugs makes you a sponsor of terrorism, as utterly stupid as saying gays caused the AIDS epidemic.

These usually incoherent and always obnoxious attempts to ignore the Democratic Senate's support of abortion bans, former Senator Al Gore's prior vote in support of attacking Iraq (in support of a President Bush, mind you), and Gore's controversial loss in Florida that if actually accurate was by a margin that could equally be blamed on the Socialist Party's David McReynolds, and instead turn to Ralph Nader as the witch that must be burned for the blight caused on the Democratic Party. Democrats, and Taylor, would be a lot better off if they started accepting and working on their own fallacies and difficulties instead of finding an irrelevant candidate to martyr.

August J. Pollak
Artist/writer, "XQUZYPHYR & Overboard"
www.xoverboard.com

---------------

So whether or not they print it, you can all see it. If anything, I think I write better angry letters than Charlie Daniels.
 

   

Sunday, March 16, 2003

 

Told you I couldn't keep away

I guess enough was happening today to break the Spring Break-imposed silence. For one thing, of course, there's the fact that the President of the United States has gone, without a doubt, more insane than he ever has before. I would wax poetic about this except Tom has, without a doubt, covered every emotion I am feeling about the possibility of war starting fucking tomorrow evening as an American and a New Yorker already with his recent post.

So, onto unique perspectives then. I attended a lecture... speaking... thingie... sponsored by the CUNY Graduate Center today, involving Bono (yes, that Bono) being interviewed by some guys from the New York Times about his career in both music and humanitarian projects. So in this, day two of my break at home, I'm back on the bus to New York to attend the event. No, I'm not complaining. And on a side note, a ridiculously special thanks to my friend Sue for giving me the ticket to this thing. She could no longer attend as the event had been rescheduled due to the guest of honor's prior back injury, to which Bono noted with a casual "I've been having far too much sex for my age" as his first statement of the interview.

To be honest, little was said that you hadn't heard in TV interviews already. The event was mostly a public-adoring-of-Bono-for-just-being-Bono. Even the ending Q&A was adulterated by a string of "when's the next tour?" and "at all your shows you pull someone up to dance with, can you dance with me?" questions. I have a feeling as a fanatic, Sue (or for that matter my former roomate Chris) would have enjoyed this mass adoration more than I. I'm a huge fan of Bono, but for someone who's done enough work and given enough insight into debt relief to merit two Nobel Peace Prize nominations (yes,just what a man of Bono's humility needs- a friggin' Nobel Prize) you'd think there'd be more interest in hearing what he had to say about debt relief.

What Bono did get out during the hour event relating to the Third World was relevant, especially considering our newest venture in the War on Terror. Bono credited Bush's recent pledge for AIDS funding in Africa, and made reference to Bush's devout Christian following with an interesting tidbit of information: "There's 2,103 verses in Scripture about poverty." The fact is, Mr. Hewson continued, that the greatest way to make an entire continent show respect and adoration for the United States is to see our flag on medicine and trade agreements that could, and can, literally save millions of African lives. The cost of trying to eliminate one man in Iraq is several times what we would need to eliminate third-world debt or fund AIDS drugs in impoverished Africa.

On the bus ride into the city, I sat next to Azra, a young girl who was a student at my former high school back home in Teaneck. She enthusiastically chatted with me about NYU and politics. It turned out that Azra was a Bosnian refugee, her family having fled Yugoslavia ten years ago during Milosovic's attempt to ethnically cleanse the Islamic people from the region. It was an amazing experience to talk with her, because I realized that here I am, some suburban wannabe-cartoonist about to graduate college in like six weeks or so, looking at and listening to this beautiful, vibrant girl so enthusiastic about going away to college eighteen months from now and excited about her future in general, having left a region so completely and utterly fucked-up because of war and the general desire of stupid people to do stupid things with stupid weapons.

I think of perspective, and I think how this is possibly one of the last posts I'll be making about the war before it actually starts, and it makes me wonder how the hell a nation like ours- the only nation on earth to have used both chemical and nuclear weapons in combat- gave up a chance to solve this problem without killing thousands of innocent people.

I could get monumentally pissed about this, but I've done that enough this weekend, and with what's likely to come in the next few days I don't want to think about it. Instead, I shall do what all decent and moral red-blooded American men do: think about the cute 17-year old I met on the bus. Happy weekend from your favorite liberal heathen, George Dubya.
 

   

Friday, March 14, 2003

 

This hurts me more than it hurts you

Sorry, folks, but as soon as I hit "enter" and post this, I'm officially on Spring Break. That means home for the next week to Teaneck, New Jersey, from whence all other adventures will radiate. On your end, that means limited access to e-mail, if any. So assume that anything you decide to send me now isn't going to be seen until around the 23rd.

I hate taking long breaks too, but don't worry, I have a half-assed open-ended promise for all of you: I'll do my best to check in when I can and post if possible. I understand that with the looming war, the recent Mideast peace proposal, what's-his-name in the Democratic Party being a dick (pick one) and so many other things that this is the WORST time in the world for me to be away from my base of operations.

That said, may you all have a safe and healthy next ten days. To quote Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall, "I am now officially ignoring you."
 

   
 

Oh, that's a great message right there

They arrested an Easter Bunny. Really.
 

   
 

I can leave for Spring Break happy now

...knowing that this exists. Warning to the dial-up crowd: it's a 7 MB movie, but oh my holy lord is it worth it. Mockery of the president and John Agar movie dubs- all at once? All hail Hercubush- this week's most Awesome Thing Ever.
 

   
 

Quick link from the mailbag

Scott Armstong sent me this CommonDreams article about Bush's hypocrisy in light of his previous views about saving the "poor, oppressed people" of WhateverTheHell.
 

   
 

There's an easier way to fix this problem

There's a great story in Salon today about a recent court ruling in favor of anti-war protestors. To summarize, a couple sued the State of California on the grounds that state law made it legal to hang American flags from highway overpasses, but not any other form of sign (other than road signs, of course.) So you can imagine how this revelation occured: when people started hanging American flags over highway bridges, but forbade the hanging of protest signs.

While I'm glad to hear the courts ruled in favor of the protestors, I'm a little annoyed by the concept inherent in the judgement: that American flags can only be allowed if anti-war signs are as well. In other words, American flags do not equal anti-war. Is anyone else more than upset with this stereotype?

This is an idea that I'm sure has been suggested before, and I hope you can all pass onto others because frankly, it's a damned important idea: people need to start carrying American flags to protest marches. And I don't mean upside-down flags, AdBusters flags (the stars replaced with corporate logos), or anything weird. Just plain, normal American flags that you see hanging in schools and can purchase via mail-order from some Midwestern catalogue company.

When I was at the big rally in New York a few weeks ago, someone safely cowering in their apartment on the parade route put up pro-Bush signs which were, of course, surrounded by American flags. And thinking back to it, I realize that the claiming of the flag for the ultra-right was much more annoying than simply putting up pro-Bush signs. If you support Bush, you support Bush. But I don't like the idea that I don't support the American flag.

Granted, it's not like I'm a proud supporter of the flag or anything. As George Carlin said, "one leaves symbols for the symbol-minded." But I can't be the only one to think that if the American flag was seen in the hands of hundreds of protestors, and if the American flag was seen on giant signs with the words "Not in Our Name" plastered across it, then there would be a hell of a lot less people in Congress wasting valuable time barking about how we need to pass amendments protecting it.
 

   

Thursday, March 13, 2003

 

This one's kinda useful

Slate has an article up right now about the Democratic candidates and their war positions through the ages. It's a great piece of information because of the well-made chart included in the link, indicating where the candidates were literally a hawk, a dove, or a waffle. Trudeau, eat your heart out. (via Get Donkey!)
 

   
 

Jesus Christ politely requests a crutch

A Florida congresswoman is pushing a bill that will allow the government to pay for the extraction and removal of American remains from France for transport back to the United States.

I'm going to repeat that now.

A congresswoman is pushing a bill.... that funds the government... to dig up... bodies... because we're mad... at France.

You know what, I think we've got a winner here. I mean, honestly, the fries and the toast was just pathetic in an "aww, let's look at them sadly" way. But this woman! Jesus CHRIST! I mean, we've got a full-blown case-o'-crazy this time! She wants us to dig up French military graveyards! Shit!

You know, I'm leaving for Spring break tomorrow, and it's just geting easier and easier to say "screw it." I mean, really, exactly why is it good to live in this country right now? I'm one more ridiculous anti-France PR statement away from moving to Germany or something. Maybe I can dye my hair blonde and live with Gunther. He seems much more intelligent than American diplomats, and he's a friggin' dog.
 

   
 

Abortion rights, pt. 2

There's a very slight chance I might officially want Howard Dean to be president now. But there's a long ways to go.
 

   
 

(Spits soda across monitor)

CNN just promoed an upcoming show with this statement: "Elizabeth Smart has been found alive... did the power of prayer save her?"

Excuse me, I have to clean all this up.
 

   
 

Thanks, guys

Well, it finally happened, but as I've mentioned before, not that the news would break away from reminding you that a little white girl you never knew who disappeared is back again to tell you about it. The Senate pathetically approved a "partial-birth" abortion ban today, and I'd be suprised if Bush didn't have a massive ceremony for this.

I can't say anything beyond the fact that I'm disgusted. The left-wing pundits have supported and praised the Democrats for months now about their "tough stance" on Miguel Estrada and they couldn't be bothered to put up 41 opposing votes and a filibuster for the most blatantly unconstitutional and unfair legislation in the last decade. Bravo.

"Partial-birth," which as yet another reminder isn't even a real term. The procedure is actually called "D&X abortion" or in some cases "third-trimester abortion." It occurs in less than 1% of all abortions performed annually, almost always upon the medical reccomendations of a doctor in regards to the health of the mother. In 1996, 650 of the over 1.37 million legally-performed abortions used this procedure.

Likely this bill will get challenged in court, and for the life of me I hope it gets defeated, but I don't know considering the tone of the government right now. But anyone who actually thinks this was about "banning a horrific procedure" is naive to the fact that this ban serves no purpose other than establishing a foothold in the right wing's desire to establish a precedent of limiting a woman's right to choose.
 

   

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

 
Newest comic posted - "So it comes to this."

In what I guess you might call irony, NYU's spring break is next week, which means next week you'll be sans comic and privy to few (if any) posts for a while. Sorry. Winter break is one thing, but for five days off I don't lug the computer home.

The possible irony, of course, lies in the fact that we're very likely going to start giong to war during my week off. Not like I'd want to be posting about that or anything. So odds are this was the last chance to do a strip about pre-war opinions before, well, before there wasn't any more pre-war. Enjoy.
 

   

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

 

Who gives a skunk's ass?

Thanks to all of you who sent me the e-mail, as always I appreciate your feedback and heads-ups. That said, I've seen every single website and news channel in America link to the Freedom Fries story and I'm about ready to pound my head into the table.

Listen, I want to reflect on this, really I do. But you know what? I don't care. And you who else doesn't care? The French. They don't give three-fifths of a fuck that a bunch of food they don't eat that everyone in America started calling "French" aren't calling it "French" anymore. I mean, come on... French fries are short for "French-fried potatoes" anyway- "freedom fried potatoes" sounds like we dropped a nuclear warhead on Ireland. If anything, the French are probably wondering why the Americans seem to dislike us so much yet want to associate the word "French" with the word "Freedom." (now put that line in ten thousand e-mail forwards and you'll have this whole mess go away real quick now, won't you?)

In case you missed it, and likely you did since no one is talking about it, Congress is about to finally get the "partial-birth abortion" ban they've been ejaculating in their pants over for the last five years. Why isn't this an issue? Why aren't they trading quips about a ban on a woman's right to choose on Crossfire?

This stupid shit about freedom fries is a bullshit story that will be used to give some quick PR for the xenophobic prick congressmen in their own districts, and that's just about it. At least with the ready.gov site there was a new medium in which we could make commentary and clever mockery... honestly, is there anything about the goddamn fries you haven't already read yet on a message board somewhere? (On that note, I'll hypocritically link to this guy here, who has a great summation of the "French military victory" e-mail I'm sure you've seen on all those said message boards as well.)

Long story short: asshole renamed French fries. He's an asshole. Next.
 

   
 

Bush vs. Bush

I held out on the quote that's been floating around the blog world for the last 12 hours- from this story hyeah- about George Bush Sr. contradicting the viewpoints of his son on invading Iraq sans international approval. It's very likely that this is a quote that has been taken at least slightly out of context of wherever Bush said it- the tipoff being that this isn't from an interview in which Bush Sr. specifically made his opinions of his son the topic. In other words, this is a snippet partial to, admittedly, lefties looking for an opportunity.

That said, it's mentioned more appropriately in this Salon article, which expounds much more clearly on the nature of the two Bush presidents. It also links to the full speech from which the Bush Sr. quot was extracted. There's a level of context after all.
 

   
 

Not that we'll say this is significant or anything

In case it hasn't registered yet, the story of Monday evening was not the aforementioned "smoking gun drone thingie dear sweet CHRIST we need something, ANYTHING to validate a war"story, but rather the aftermath, in which the U.S. flat-out admitted they don't have the votes in the U.N. Security Council to authorize a war on Iraq.

You'd think that something like that would be, you know, important. Let's rephrase this: the U.S. backed off a demand for a war vote because they realized there isn't enough support for it.

Tomorrow's strip sort of sums up the message, so you'll see that then, but I just wanted to say it now that this is, for all the French-bashing it's going to bring via the news tomorrow, a significant kick in the crotch of the war hawks.
 

   

Monday, March 10, 2003

 

Oh yeah...

...I've also noticed that I seem to have hit 2,500 votes on the Top100 Editorial Cartoonist thing. Not bad for a strip that's pretty much got six weeks left to live.
 

   
 

Showdown: that thing

CNN has gone into full overdrive with the U.N. right now... it's like some miniature Election 2002 coverage, with little flags of all the countries on the security council and charts for "those known to support the resoultion" and "those against it" and so forth.

Meanwhile, the issue du jour is this story about how the U.S. wants to claim a "smoking gun" to discredit Hans Blix and therefore gather support for the war resolution. Let's look at how funny this is: we've gone past the issue of wheter or not we're actually going to war. It's sadly an afterthought now, at least according to the way the news is covering this. Now, the issue is this vote on the security council, in which the United States "needs to get the nine votes" in order to achieve a "moral victory" even if France vetoes the resoultion. Since many of you are asking after reading that, I'll make it clear that everyone at the United Nations is, believe it or not, a fully-grown adult human being.

Now, considering the fact that half of what the U.S. has claimed as a "smoking gun" has been questioned as to its full veracity, and the other half has simply been proven to be flat-out bullshit, it seems to me that the only benefit these allegations are going to have over the next few days are in GOP astroturf campaigns to papers across the nation, with perhaps another crack at celebrities thrown in for the hell of it. Oh, those wacky celebrities.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has flat-out issued an opposition to war, which is somewhat significant, and Jimmy Carter has done the same, which is a good read but, oh, like he really needed to tell us he was against war or anything.
 

   
 

Two on the Fox lawsuit

Patrick Healy sends this re the "Fox is allowed to lie" ruling:

------------------
Basically, it [the ruling] boils down the the wording of the Florida whistle-blower protection law. The law specifically limits the definition of "rule" to ADOPTED rules. Therefore, even though the FCC has a policy against distortion of news, since that policy was the result of a series of opinions, and not adopted via the methods available through principles of administrative law and the agency's own regulations, it is not covered by the Florida whistle-blower statute.

The problem with this decision is, it adheres to the letter of the law, at the expense of the spirit of the law, in the same way a limpet adheres to the face of a rock. Public policy, an acceptable ground to base a judicial interpretation on, would certainly be in favor of the FCC policy, and, therefore, in favor of extending protection to whistle-blowers such as Ms. Akre. But the court uses the strict linguistic interpretation as a threshhold question, and never goes on to discuss anything beyond that narrow point.

Normally, if I were Ms. Akre's attorney, I'd suggest that she use the policy as intended, and do everything she can to impair WTVT's license renewal process. But, somehow, I don't think Mr. Powell at the FCC would find the argument persuasive, either.

------------------

In addition, an unidentifiable reader sent me this link to a website apparently run by the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Fox Channel.
 

   

Saturday, March 08, 2003

 

Smacked up the bowtie

You should all read this transcript of Friday's Crossfire on CNN, in which Jeneane Garofalo chooses simple rational dialogue over yelling and screaming and as a result tears the entire panel a new one on the war on Iraq and the myth of "celebrity whining" and organized protest.

---------------


CARVILLE: Let me tell you what a lot of people are thinking right now. That you're just some feminist, liberal, do-gooder, naive, anti-war goofball.

(APPLAUSE)

GAROFALO: Why are you guys clapping for that? Well, first of all, I'm very proud to be...

CARVILLE: Well, that's OK. How many people believe what I just said? Raise your hands.

(APPLAUSE)

CARVILLE: See, all these people think that -- go ahead, answer it.

GAROFALO: But, first of all, I'm very proud to be a feminist. That's irrelevant. I'm very proud to be a liberal. And if I'm a do- gooder, that's great. I don't understand...

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Well, you say that you are, and actually I'm glad you brought that up.

CARVILLE: Let her finish. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). These people agree that you're naive.

GAROFALO: Well, why would they agree that I'm naive? First of all, there's no indication that I'm a naive person. I respect the fact that I have access to the media. I've worked very, very hard to prepare myself, educate myself about this situation.

I spend a great deal of time every day trying to learn about American foreign policy, about Iraq, about the Mideast, about what my government is doing. I'm trying to participate in my own life. I'm trying to understand what's going on.

Words like "liberal," "feminist," those are irrelevant. I can say the same thing like, a lot of people just think you're just a conservative chauvinist. What does that mean? I mean I don't understand.

---------------

Well, so much for that put-down, guys.

Update: Atrios has the link to the transcript up too now, with a reminder of the great paradigm that is Garofalo: how is it that one so smart can make so many, many bad movies?
 

   
 

I think this sort of might be a bad idea

The United States is providing nuclear power information.... wait for it.... To North Korea.

"It looks... kind of.... not good." -ZIM
 

   

Friday, March 07, 2003

 

Yay!

Atrios has just reported the news that CNN is cancelling Talkback Live.

See, this is something MSNBC might want to study one of these days.... you cancel the bad programs.
 

   
 

WHAT???

Oh, you're going to love this one.

---------------

On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.

In its six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a "policy," not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation.

Fox aired a report after the ruling saying it was "totally vindicated" by the verdict.

---------------
So, just in case you still had any lingering doubts whatsoever about the complete and utter uselessness of the American news media, well be sure to thank Fox, who have now secured legal certification of the right to lie their ass off. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find the will to live.

Clarifying note: The Florida-based Fox Network involved in this story and lawsuit is not, in fact, affiliated with Fox News or Rupert Murdoch. But man, wouldn't that have just made so much sense, huh?

 

   
 

Hey, wait a minute

A lot of folks have been mentioning the right-wing Washington (Moonie) Times pointing noting flat-out the impossible-to-be-a-simple-mistake snubbing of Helen Thomas. The Times did not, of course, phrase it the way many already have, which is of course that George W. Bush is afraid of a 79-year-old woman.

Now, a lot of pundits on the right, possibly Times writers prepping today's editorials as we speak, are gearing up for the "why is this important?" angle... to which you're sort of inclined to ask amidst the Estrada debate, Bush's White House etiquitte policies, and the Pledge of Alligiance circle-jerk: isn't the current GOP the biggest proponent of tradition in Washington?
 

   

Thursday, March 06, 2003

 

Hmm... well this makes sense

Saddam offers to attack self for $30 billion. I don't know why this joke is this funny, it just is.

(via Cursor)
 

   
 

Creaux- sort of a fat-free alternative to crow

I'll come right out and admit I was, at least at the moment, dead wrong about the Estrada situation. I predicted a month ago that, as statistics indicated, the Democrats would roll over like whipped dogs, but for now they've held their ground.

So I guess it comes down to resolve right now. Odds are the Republicans are going to make this a campaign issue as a means of frightening Democratic senators in risky states, which on the whole I think might actually be amusing... I mean seriously, I don't really think that even the media has the ability to spin the racism angle the GOP is trying to push. Any time they put up Bill Frist complaining how "the Democrats are blocking the firsr Hispanic Federal justice" or whatever, you sort of just remind everyone who Bill Frist is and, you know, why he's Senate Majority Leader right now... and then remind them that the guy he replaced for being a racist bastard is still in office. I think the anger over the filibuster courtesy of Bill "wetbacks" O'Reilly can take care of the Hispanic vote.
 

   
 

Oh lord, not this again

Jesse Jackson: media attention neediness. Al Sharpton: overt demagoguery. Bill Bradley: the voucher support. And of course, there's myself with the uncontrollable lust for unnecessary use of expletives. What am I talking about? Left-wing commentators and their crucial near-deadly fallacies. (Okay, so I also have this thing for blonde women, but that's more of a Fox News problem.)

So, amidst a run of fantastic and notably spot-on commentary over the last week or two, it pains me that the most blatant, and most annoying, example of this fallacy issue comes back into light in the form of the ever-angry Media Whores Online. I've gone over this before, but for the few people who haven't figured out what I'm talking about yet, here's a passage from their latest attempt at shattering credibility of being a rational source of dialogue:

As the 3,000 "shock and awe" bombs rain down on Iraq in a period of 48 hours, killing tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and enraging legions of newly-created al Qaida recruits who hope to commit mass murder against you and your family here in America, don't lose sight of the most important thing: All will die for what Ralph Nader has suggested is a good cause -- destroying America in order to drive enough voters to such abject desperation they will stampede to the polls to empower him to rebuild it.

On behalf of the many innocents whose lives would not end violently, painfully, and tragically in the next few days or weeks but for your 2000 candidacy: Thanks, Ralph.

Yes. That's correct. The web site that has been all but essential in such important issues as highlighting Bill O'Reilly's insanity and aiding the P.R. fight against the nomination of Estrada and the smearing of John Kerry has officially blamed Ralph Nader for the war on Iraq.

It bothers me whenever this happens. I like MWO. As I just mentioned, they've got some of the best breaking news and the strongest left-wing attitudes out there. And then every few weeks or so, for no reason whatsoever, the guys running the site over there go batshit insane and randomly spew out some psychotic attack on Nader. Jesus, when Michael Savage has a Tourette's outbreak about the "homosexual agenda," at least we know it's because he's a certified sociopath. What's MWO's excuse for crap like this?

I hate defending Ralph Nader only because it makes it sound like I endorse his candidacy. I don't. I voted for Gore. I'm annoyed Gore got screwed out of the White House. I think Ralph Nader is a notable public advocate and informative social commentator who, like 95% of the nation, just doesn't qualify to be President of the United States of America. Forgive me for the horrific anti-Democratic Party thought crime of considering the notion that Ralph Nader wasn't responsible for manufacturing just enough support from registered voters to let Al Gore.... umm... still win the election (according to MWO, but that was yesterday.) But I also hate having to remind people, MWO contributors included, of the silly little details like how Ralph Nader was trying to bring corporate manipulation of oil industry to light while Al Gore was still in the Senate taking money from right-wing corporate interests. You remember Senator Gore, don't you? You know... the guy who voted to allow this other guy named George Bush to invade Iraq? For a site that wants to tout how no one is mentioning what Bush wants to do in Iraq, they seem to be really hard on a guy who was mentioning what Bush wants to do to Iraq twelve years ago.

MWO claims that they want to dispel some PR myth that Ralph Nader is a saint. That's not the same thing as issuing propoganda-style declarations that he's the devil. Or, as they apparently believe in today's issue, that he's the Butcher of Baghdad.

Update: I took out the James Carville reference in the first sentence after a reader or two interpreted it as an attack on a broader group, which is as far from a point I was trying to make. Still, it made me aware it was a bad analogy. I used Carville's accent as an example of how he can make a fallacy out of intentionally overplaying a character steretype when unnecessary; my apologies for making it sound like an attack on people with Southern accents. Carville's true fallacy, as one reader pointed out to me, should be that's he married to Mary Matalin.

Oh, so it was a cheap shot, file a lawsuit. Dick Cheney did!

 

   

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

 

Say!

Well now. Spontaneous multi-thousand-person anti-war march down Fifth Avenue into Washington Square Park. See, this is what happens when the weather gets warmer. God, I'm gonna miss living in the Village.
 

   
 

Wow.

Bob Strong took the time out from getting any woman he wants simply because of his name to send me this quote reported by Bartcop from an MSNBC executive as to why they booted Phil Donahue (the card-carying liberal) for Michael Savage (the certified lunatic): "We don't want people who just read the New York Times, we've got plenty of those types. We want people who read and understand National Review, the Drudge Report and Lucianne.com."

Anyone remember that episode of Saved by the Bell where the cool kids with those shiny red jackets made Zack do all this horrible stuff and reject his own friends just to gain acceptance only to discover they're just doing it because they want to make fun of him, and that they'd never actually let Zack into their club, but it was so fun just to watch him make an ass out of himself for a false sense of approval? Anyone remember that Saved by the Bell aired on NBC? Just asking.

It wasn't a latent memory issue or anything, just coincidentally the previously-mentioned freshmen in my dorm all love to watch Saved by the Bell downloaded off the internet after smoking their previously-mentioned massive amounts of pot. So I'm aware of the tragic, tragic analogy I just made. But honestly, had this not already been our nation's new low since sentence one? I think not.
 

   
 

Please stop.

Okay, not to be a whiny bitch or anything, but I sort of figured that the appearance and commentary of it on just about every single other website on earth sort of implied to all of you that yes, I heard about the guy and his damned shirt.
 

   

 
Newest comic posted - XQUZYPHYR & Overboard: From the U.S. Department of Homeland Security."

To start, no. You don't have to e-mail me with whatever link to whatever comic or website made fun of the ready.gov site too. I saw one or two come up from guys exponentially more notable than me even as I was inking this strip before last weekend. I went with the joke for multiple reasons, including the fact that despite a recurring theme among cartoons, it's a unique derivation and implication to another recent stupid news event, that (at least in my opinion) it's funny among its uniqueness, and of course, the simple fact that you all seem to love the drug strips. I don't know why. For some reason, every time I've done a strip about the anti-drug campaigns or something like that I've made new friends among the signature-hunters and the LiveJournal crowd. So, to all the pot lovers who just became XQUZYPHYR & Overboard fans, hello there, and I AM THE AGENT OF THE DARK LORD URIEL, OBEY ME AND SEND ME ALL YOUR HOSTESS SNACKS.

Once more for the record, I'd also like to remind all those preparing the traditional chastizing-of-the-pothead-college-student, I'll restate the honest truth of my lackluster social history: I do not, and by not I mean never have, nada, zilch, not at all at any point ever, smoke pot. Hell, I've never even smoked a cigarette. I'll be the first to point out simply by watching all the freshmen in my dorm who apparently have made it part of their diet that pot probably isn't really the best thing to put in your body. Nevertheless, the recent news of the raid on bong sellers (as covered by Tom Tomorrow) is completely ridiculous and an even more ridiculous waste of federal resources.
 

   
 

Well, this might be.... interesting

There is a very, very, VERY low-in-reliabiliy news report going on right now that the Al-Qaeda operative we've been parading the arrest and escorting-to-secret-location of for the last few days could very well have actually died a year ago.

I'm being right out in the open about how little verification there is on this; personally, I've got a feeling that this is a remarkably clever ploy on behalf of a foreign media source to use the U.S.'s own "well how come there's no video of bin Laden nyah nyah nyah" card against them and try to force the U.S. to discredit this accusation by providing the location of the captured Al-Qaeda operative as well as a video proving he both exists and isn't (at least visibily) being tortured by the proud and noble United States government.
 

   

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

 

Really, I actually mean to do some real work on this website

The negligence of this site's original content due to the need to make up lost class-work time as a result of previously-mentioned 13-hour stint of rampant vomiting and other involuntary evacuations of my bodily functions continues. I instantly regret having written that.

That said, here's a few more of your e-mails from the weekend. (I'm not printing any of the get well ones, but thanks for all of them anyway. Gosh, I should eat undercooked breakfast sausage more often.)

From Dewin Bach:

Ever heard of Joe Stiglitz, the World Bank "defector" who used to enforce this trickle-down economic theory upon other nations (like Argentina), until his conscience got the better of him? He wrote this following piece for the New York Review of books, dismantling Bush's tax plan.

It's heavy on details -- might not sustain the interest of somebody who isn't really into tax arcana -- but Stiglitz is a good writer (be sure to read anything else you can find from him, he gives a great interview.)

Just in case anyone asks you for an example of a "serious" economist who opposes Bush's tax plan, well here's one.

From Ben Helford, re the OHS logos:

...[A]nd you notice how the eagle looks dead in logo #5. I'm think the eagle was a terrorist suspect, and it just goes to show the resolve of the DHS. Even the very symbol of our liberty's getting detained and tortured if we suspect terrorist activities. Suck it, Eagle!

From Jaques Beckman:

Having spent most of my life in Europe (28 out of 38 years), I feel I can understand the current irritations (bad feelings?resentment?) towards the US. You talk to elderly people who went through hunger, who lost their families, friends and homes. You see old WWII bunkers when taking a
walk through the woods. You see the "west wall" tank traps when driving through the countryside. Bullet holes in old walls and buildings. Ugly, cheap 50's architecture recklessly put up to fill the gaps left by the bombings. There are so many little reminders that you have to live here to understand how shaken this part of the world was due to a war fought over half a century ago. Particularly the French and the Germans have taken pains to create a spirit of friendship and cooperation - to put to rest the animosities that reached back to the 1800's.

Believe me - both nations know how to wage war - they've done so often enough in the past. They also know what war will mean to the people involved. And they have reached a stage of maturity , as nations, to know that all must be undertaken to avoid an armed conflict. And in comes "W".

When I saw the governments good advise concerning duct tape, the theme song to "duck & cover" came to mind. Dear God, how embarrassing. Is this the level of competence the US government possesses? Is this how low you have to go to reach a dumbed-down US public? Given enough time and patience I could give you any number of reasons for the "Old Europe" to mistrust the US on this one (did I say mistrust? How diplomatic of me... Folks over here by now consider just about anything coming from the white house / the Bush administration to be a load of bullshit - on principle). If they new what was going on inside the US (in terms of political crookery / environment / etc.) they would take an even dimmer view. Damn, I'm slowly becoming ashamed to be a US citizen...

A few readers have pointed me to articles from the Toronto Star, mainly this one about an unfavorable (to Bush) opponent of the war, and this one about the pro-war crowd's "gassing his own people" excuse. Thanks to Fred and Cunnus.

Okay, that should tide you all over until I can at least get back to pretending I have my bearings all back together.
 

   

Monday, March 03, 2003

 

Keep your friends close and your enemies well-armed

The U.K. has absolutely no problems with providing arms sales to countries that are now considered "allies" in the war against terrorism, despite the fact that many of them are known terrorist-harboring countries, and others are flat out ridiculous to be giving weapons to, such as Ukraine- the country IDed as the source of the engines used in the missiles we're forcing Iraq to destroy right now.
 

   
 

You are with our logos or against us

So there's this graphic design site that held a contest for users to submit their ideas for what the logo for the new Homeland Security Department should look like. Here are the finalists in the contest, which just goes to show once again that there are way too many Americans out there with too much free time on their hands. My personal favorites: this one, which you can so just imagine on the Homeland Security officers bursting down your door in, oh, say Hamburg in 1935, and the one apparently designed by Boston Market.

Speaking of time on one's hands, last night I got sidetracked by about a day's worth of work becuase of a wonderful case of food poisoning, which I will spare you the details and say only that I'm writing this post now after quite possibly the most restless and least comfortable night of my entire natural life. As such, the few hours I'm spending today not lying down and wondering when I'm going to be able to put food in me again have to be spent getting some projects done; in other words please forgive the likelihood that you're not getting much more posts or responses to your e-mails right at this moment.
 

   

Saturday, March 01, 2003

 

Weekend mailbag

9 out of 10 conservative pundits who occasionally claim to be economists reccomend a healthy dosage of reprinting reader e-mails as an alternative to actually doing some work for a post given the intense amount of project work one must do over the weekend. So here we go.

From Will Jett:

I've read a lot on the blogs about the radio show coming up with Al Franken. I have yet to read anyone commenting on the non-commercial news offered on tv. On my small dish at 9415 and 9410 I'm getting "Free speech tv" and "World link tv". These are both supported only by public donation and feature news from around the world that you won't see on commercial news.

Living here in Tallahassee I watched the last election go down the tubes from my office window. Our anti-war demonstration Feb. 15th was only about 500 people, but was good otherwise. So alternative news is something I feel strongly about. Otherwise, tv is breeding conservatives.

Is FSTV too liberal? Can you be too liberal these days? Whatever. I'd just like to spread the word that these channels are available and need support. Well worth watching.

Burt Humburg sends this about a similar conservative method of locating "experts" akin to all the so-called-economists endorsing Bush's latest tax plan (mentioned in the previous post):

[J]ust caught your blog post on the nobel laureates who have nixed Bush's tax plan.

Creationists are kinda fond of that kinda thing. Back when they were in Ohio, they collected a list of "scientists" who "dissented from Darwinism." They made up a bunch of flyers and distributed them around, trying to get a gullible public to believe that science was somehow decided on popular vote.

Anyway, the National Center for Science Education had been working on Project Steve, which was a parody of that kind of effort. In short, we amassed a group of scientists who are named Steve (or some variation thereof) and just went public with the results.

Y'all have a great weekend now.