Wednesday, August 31, 2005


WHERE THE FUCK IS THE MILITARY? Where the hell ARE the "paratroopers on every corner?" There should be an entire freakin' brigade in New Orleans RIGHT NOW. The help's been "on the way" for like 3 days now... are they coming in from Saturn?

Can you imagine the federal government allowing this to happen in New York? In San Francisco? In Seattle? In Washington D.C.?!

This is just surreal.

NOLA stories

Unreal. This is from Some of this occurred in the Uptown area, where I used to live. I used to go to the Maple Leaf and Cooter Brown's frequently. Note in particular the references to the utter incompetence exhibited so far by the federal government.

(this won't appear as a quote because apparently Blogger doesn't work well with Safari)

City a woeful scene
Tuesday, 10:14 p.m.

By Brian Thevenot, Gordon Russell, Keith Spera and Doug MacCash
Staff writers

Sitting on a black barrel amid the muck and stench near the St. Claude Avenue bridge, 52-year-old Daniel Weber broke into a sob, his voice cracking as he recounted how he had watched his wife drown and spent the next 14 hours floating in the polluted flood waters, his only life line a piece of driftwood.


Then, in an evening press conference, Mayor Ray Nagin announced that the already crippled city would take yet another blow: Another surge of water from the failed 17th Street Canal levee that could push an additional 10 feet of water into already waterlogged neighborhoods – and possibly flood the remaining dry sections of Uptown.

The expected surge stems from a failure to execute a plan to dump sandbags via helicopter into the 200 yard wide breach. Nagin offered up no culprit but promised to investigate the matter.

"I thought everyone understood this morning that that was the highest priority," the mayor said. "It didn’t get done. Now there’s nothing to slow down the pace of the water."


Those trapped in the city faced an increasingly lawless environment, as law enforcement agencies found themselves overwhelmed with widespread looting. Looters swarmed the Wal-mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, often bypassing the food and drink section to steal wide-screen TVs, jewelry, bicycles and computers. Watching the sordid display and shaking his head in disgust, one firefighter said of the scene: "It’s a f---- hurricane, what are you do with a basketball goal?"

Police regained control at about 3 p.m., after clearing the store with armed patrol. One shotgun-toting Third District detective described the looting as "ferocious."

"And it’s going to get worse as the days progress," he said.

In Uptown, one the few areas that remained dry, a bearded man patrolled Oak Street near the boarded-up Maple Leaf Bar, a sawed-off shotgun slung over his shoulder. The owners of a hardware store sat in folding chairs, pistols at the ready.

Uptown resident Keith Williams started his own security patrol, driving around in his Ford pickup with his newly purchased handgun. Earlier in the day, Williams said he had seen the body of a gunshot victim near the corner of Leonidas and Hickory streets.

"What I want to know is why we don’t have paratroopers with machine guns on every street," Williams said.

Like-minded Art Depodesta sat on the edge of a picnic table outside Cooter Brown’s Bar, a chrome shotgun at his side loaded with red shells.

"They broke into the Shell station across the street," he said. "I walked over with my 12-gauge and shot a couple into the air."

The looters scattered, but soon after, another man appeared outside the bar in a pickup truck armed with a pistol and threatened Depodesta.

"I told him, ‘Listen, I was in the Army and I will blow your ass off,’" Depodesta said. "We’ve got enough trouble with the flood."

The man sped away.

"You know what sucks," Depodesta said. "The whole U.S. is looking at this city right now, and this is what they see."

In the Bywater, a supply store sported spray-painted signs reading "You Loot, I Shoot" and "You Bein Watched." A man seated nearby with a rifle in his lap suggested it was no idle threat. At the Bywater studio of Dr. Bob, the artist known for handpainted "Be Nice or Leave" signs, a less fanciful sentiment was painted on the wall: "Looters Will Be Shot. Dr. Bob."

As the afternoon faded, aggression filled the air on the neutral ground of Poland Avenue as well, as people grew increasingly frustrated with the rescue effort. Having already survived one nightmare, a woman with five children feared going to go to the Dome, saying that some of the men preparing to board transport vehicles had smuggled razor blades with them.

On the other side of the bridge, rescue boats continued to offload as many as 15 people at a time late into the afternoon, with no end in sight. Some said they had seen dead bodies floating by their boats.

Many stumbled from dehydration as they made their way onto dry land. Several rescue workers said some of the people trapped were so shell-shocked or stubborn they refused to leave their houses. "If you can figure that one out, let me know," said Oscar Dupree, a volunteer who had been trapped on a roof himself and returned to help save others.

The scene called to mind a refugee camp in a Third World nation. Liquor flowed freely and tempers flared amid complaints about the pace of the relief effort, which seemed to overwhelm the agencies involved and the city’s inability to contain flood waters.

As they emerged from rescue boats, at times wobbling and speaking incoherently, many of the rescued seem stunned they had not died. Johnell Johnson of Marais street said she had been trapped on her roof " with a handicapped man with one damn leg." Gerald Wimberly wept as he recounted his unsuccessful effort to help a young girl, who rescuers ultimately saved. Dupree said he had seen a young man he knew drown. "I just couldn’t get to him," he said. "I had to tell his people."

Weber, the man who lost his wife, seemed at the breaking point as he waited, surrounded by anger and filth, for a National Guard truck to ferry him to the Dome. After 14 hours of floating on a piece of wood, volunteers who knew him had fished him out.

"Another hour, I would have just let myself drown," he said.

A moment later, staring ahead to a bleak future without his wife, he said he almost wished he had.

"I’m not going to make it. I know I’m not."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More Katrina

Yikes, it's looking bad. It's pretty tough watching all these great places get destroyed, and it's looking like the human toll is going to be terrible.

I'm sure all my friends got out, but a few of them had just bought or built houses, and they must be going crazy (I know at least one of them is, she sent me an email).

I put some updated Red Cross info on the image substituting for a cartoon this week. You can bet that I'll be volunteering.

I've found the best place for news on the N.O. situation is, which is the Times-Picayune's site.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


I had a new cartoon ready, but I decided instead to put up some info on how to help victims of the hurricane. I lived in New Orleans for a few years, and absolutely fell in love with it. When you live there, you hear a lot of talk about how they keep dodging the "big one" that would leave the city under 20 feet of water and kill thousands. It's not looking too good right now, though.

Once I can track down some more specific links on how to help, I'll post them.

I might still put up the new toon this week if the damage doesn't turn out to be so bad, but as you can see on TV, it doesn't look promising.


Bush came out to supposedly talk about the hurricane, but spent most of the time blubbering out his pathetic rhetoric on Iraq. What a piece of shit.

More to come on Katrina.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

How much you'll pay for Iraq

The New York Times says that if the American military presence in Iraq lasts another five years, the total outlay for the war could stretch to more than $1.3 trillion, or $11,300 for every household in the United States.

Monday, August 22, 2005

August 22, 2005 cartoon

Hi, there... long time no blog. Sorry about that...

For some reason, blogger is not letting me post links. When it does, I'll link to some articles on the people I mention in this cartoon.

I did feel that this was an important point to make, about how certain Republican figures, who make their living by employing ignorant and blatantly racist rhetoric that is quite reprehensible by any modern standard, seem to have been given a certain level of credibility in our public discourse that is unacceptable.

However, after I read and write about these people, and draw cartoons featuring them, I feel like I've been swimming in SEWAGE. Seriously.

I'm going to make every effort in the near future to get back to making arguments on substantive issues!

UPDATE: read about Hal Turner, Wes Pruden and the Washington Times, and the Republican Freedom Calendar.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

James Dobson is completely insane

Influential Religious-Right leader James "God Boy" Dobson says that embryonic stem-cell research is comparable to WWII Nazi experiments.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Need more cartoons?

Readers may notice the ad below my newest 'toon this week. After you read Fighting Words every Monday, click on over to Idiot Box by Matt Bors for more edge-of-your-seat political commentary. Idiot Box is one of several cartoons (including, ahem, Fighting Words) that are poised to take over the world as contributors to Ted Rall's Attitude 3, set for release in February of 2006.

Since I've been pretty lazy about updating my Links page lately, here are some of the other Attitude 3 'toons:

Adam's Rust, by Adam Rust
xOverboard, by August Pollack
Big Fat Whale, by Brian McFadden
Cat and Girl, by Dorothy
Diesel Sweeties, by R. Stevens
Dinosaur Comics, by Ryan North
Fetus X, by Eric M.
the ass-kicking Mark Fiore
HumorInk., by M.e. Cohen
I Drew This, by David Craig Simpson
Idleworm, by Dermot and Caragh O'Connor
La Petite Camera, by Garrot Gaston
Making It, by Keith Robinson
Newshounds, by Thomas K. Dye
Ozy & Millie, by David Craig Simpson
PartiallyClips, by Rob T. Balder
The Perry Bible Fellowship, by Nicholas Gurewitch

...and possibly some others that I'm not aware of.

I'm told you can pre-order your copy in November! When I have a link for that, you can bet your ass I'll post it.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Michelle Malkin

Commenting on the Sheehan affair.

Oh, the words to describe Michelle Malkin. A quote from Fight Club comes to mind:

MARLA: She's a monster! She's infectious
human waste! Good luck trying to save her!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"Bush is No Nixon"

While commenting on the plight of Cindy Sheehan, the mother who has been "made to stand in a ditch" in Crawford while waiting for Bush to simply talk to her about her dead soldier son, William Rivers Pitt says that this presents a distinction between George W. Bush and Richard Nixon:

The Nixon and Bush administrations share a number of fascinating similarities. Both inspired stunning vituperation from those who opposed them. Hunter S. Thompson, avowed life-long foe of Nixon, remembered him this way: "Let there be no mistake in the history books about that. Richard Nixon was an evil man - evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusted him - except maybe the Stalinist Chinese, and honest historians will remember him mainly as a rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship."


Nixon, on the other hand, went a different way one interesting and significant night. In May of 1970, right after the Kent State shootings, when civil unrest across the nation had reached a fever pitch and opposition to the war had roared again to the forefront, Nixon woke his personal valet in the middle of the night. He grabbed a few Secret Service agents and set off for the Lincoln Memorial. There, he spent an hour talking with a large gathering of war protesters encamped around the monument.

The Time Magazine article from May 18, 1970, recalls the scene this way: "When the conversation turned to the war, Nixon told the students: 'I know you think we are a bunch of so and so's.'" Before he left, Nixon said: 'I know you want to get the war over. Sure you came here to demonstrate and shout your slogans on the ellipse. That's all right. Just keep it peaceful. Have a good time in Washington, and don't go away bitter.' The singular odyssey went on. Nixon and his small contingent wandered through the capital, then drove to the Mayflower Hotel for a breakfast of corned beef hash and eggs - his first restaurant meal in Washington since he assumed power. Then he withdrew to his study in the Executive Office Building to sit out the day of protest."

There will be a large anti-war protest in Washington DC on September 24th. Is it even conceivable that George W. Bush might remove himself from the White House that day to speak with the people who disagree with his leadership? The idea is laughable on its face.

Cindy Sheehan is not in a large crowd in Washington DC. She is not camped on the Lincoln Memorial. She waits for Mr. Bush in a ditch by the side of the road in Crawford, arguably the safest and most comfortable spot in America for this self-styled cowboy. Yet he does not emerge to speak to this woman who lost her son to his war. Somehow, it seems a safe bet that not even Richard Nixon would keep this woman waiting.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Indispensible news sites

There are two websites that I frequent, without which I would be utterly lost in the murky forest of unreliable media outlets. The two sites are Cursor and Media Matters for America. It doesn't take much imagination to envision a future where "broadcast journalism" has completely run itself into the ground, and has been replaced by websites like these as the sources most people trust for their news and current events.

Most likely, if you get any of your news from the web, you already know about these sites. If not, bookmark them immediately, and maybe shell out a few bucks for Cursor when they do their pledge drives.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ding-dong, the douchebag's dead!

Reaction to CNN's suspension of Robert Novak (via Atrios).

I had a cartoon idea percolating a while ago, that I just never got around to. It would have been a new series, called "People I'd Love to Beat the Living Crap Out Of." In a typical CNN talking-head format, some bloviating pseudo-journalist would come out and spew his wretched propaganda all around, and instead of a response, someone would just slam that guy's head on the desk 8 or 9 times. Novak was to be #1.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Typically, I try to avoid mixing my sports with the "monkeys-throwing-feces" spectacle that is daily politics. I don't like having to start hating a guy who used to be one of my favorite players, just because of his off-the-field political ties.

However... I never really liked Raffy anyway, so I thought this was mentionable:

Chances are that Bush's "good friend" Palmeiro started hitting the needle while a member of the Dubya-owned Texas Rangers, which was reportedly a "crackhouse for juiced players."