Monday, March 31, 2003
Oh sweet holy Jesus
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.
To add to Tom's mention, here's the loving
description of the collectible as
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.
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.
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
Good stuff on Salon today
First off, that's where I first heard
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
...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
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
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
Chains of events
Rall and Gary
Trudeau both used a similar theme
in their most recent strips; both are
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
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,
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.
found. Business as usual.
Saturday, March 29, 2003
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
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
a parody apology from Natalie Maines
of the Dixie Chicks (found via Eric
....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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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, 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
[Subject: "ENLARGE YOUR COALITION!
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!!
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
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
"'Enlarge your coalition' made me a
man!" - George B.
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,
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
Before we get to the war stuff, a quick
one from Thad Boyd, who has alerted me
to total documentation of the fact that
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
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
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
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,
studio I'm interning for that helped
with the movie so they can get more offers
and therefore need to hire me for projects.
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......
Friday, March 21, 2003
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.
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
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
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
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
And we learned so much more 'bout the
Won't you stand by the flag? Was the
Won't you join in and fight with the
What could we say...we're only 25 years
With 25 sweet summers, and hot fires
in the cold
This kind of life makes that violence
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
That's where the beach was, that's where
What could we say...we're only 25 years
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
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
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
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
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"
So whether or not they print it, you
can all see it. If anything, I think I
write better angry letters than Charlie
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
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
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
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
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
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."
I can leave for Spring Break happy
...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"
There's an easier way to fix this
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
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
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
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
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
Excuse me, I have to clean all this up.
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
pathetically approved a "partial-birth"
abortion ban today, and I'd be suprised
if Bush didn't have a massive ceremony
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.
"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
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
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
- "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
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
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
That said, it's mentioned more appropriately
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
Not that we'll say this is significant
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
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
...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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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
CARLSON: Well, you say that you are,
and actually I'm glad you brought that
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
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.
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
The United States is providing nuclear
power information.... wait for it....
"It looks... kind of.... not good." -ZIM
Friday, March 07, 2003
Atrios has just reported the news that
CNN is cancelling
See, this is something MSNBC might want
to study one of these days.... you cancel
the bad programs.
Oh, you're going to love this
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
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
(Moonie) Times pointing noting flat-out
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
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
Thursday, March 06, 2003
Creaux- sort of a fat-free alternative
I'll come right out and admit I was,
at least at the moment, dead wrong about
Estrada situation. I predicted a month
ago that, as statistics indicated, the
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
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:
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
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.
Bob Strong took the time out from getting
any woman he wants simply because of his
name to send me this quote reported by
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
The U.K. has absolutely no problems with
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
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.
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
Saturday, March 01, 2003
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
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
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
[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.