Friday, March 31, 2006


Haven't posted in a while because I've been getting ready for Emerald City Comicon... Seattle folks come on down to Qwest Field (fka Seahawks Stadium) Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-5 and stop by to say "hi!"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More on Stevens...

Read more about Ted Stevens' latest underhanded ploy to "get his drill on" here and here.

This time, Stevens is trying to dangle the money from oil leases in front of Katrina victims for the purpose of coastal wetlands restoration projects, the "natural levees" that will be absolutely vital if the residents of the Gulf Coast are going to be adequately protected from hurricanes. This is ironic for many reasons, mainly because Stevens had earlier threatened to resign in a huff if money allocated for two bridges in Alaska was diverted to help pay for repairs to the I-10 bridge across Lake Ponchartrain. One of those Alaska bridges was the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," which would have connected a small town to a tiny island with a population of 50. Stevens has made his career by claiming that the people of Alaska, who are the recipients of more per-capita federal pork-barrel dollars than any state in the country, are somehow being discriminated against. Meanwhile, he apparently has no problem trying to wrest control of local decisions away from the people of other states such as Washington, i.e. the residents around Puget Sound (although he recently abandoned his plan to increase tanker traffic here as a political favor to Mike McGavick, the Republican challenger for Maria Cantwell's Senate seat).

For me, the ANWR issue is not as much about the ANWR land specifically, or the particular peoples or animal species who depend on the land for subsistence, although that in itself should be a sufficient argument in favor of preserving the area. In my mind, this issue is more about drawing a line in the sand, and saying that we will finally exercise a little self-control as a society and stop ruining every last piece of untouched land, and that we will at least make an attempt to break our dependence on non-renewable sources of energy. Ted Stevens not only has his bizarre jones to destroy ANWR, he also routinely votes against funding renewable energy sources, ethanol requirements, hydrogen-powered vehicle targets, limiting mercury emissions from smokestacks, limiting road building in national forests, and just about every other environmental cause imaginable. He has been given a rating of 5% by the League of Conservation Voters.

Monday, March 27, 2006

3/27/06 Cartoon

"Gremlins 3: Gremlins Go To Washington!"...

More on this 'toon later...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

March "Madness"

Well, that's the SECOND major sporting event in the last couple months that a local team had STOLEN from them by the officials. Thank you, NFL and NCAA...

Apparently, the major sports leagues don't like it when a team from the Northwest (the perceived "black hole" of the national sports media) wins a national championship.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Nice Going, Guys...

Apparently, the Washington Post felt that it was falling behind the New York Times in the race for "Most Embarrassing, Reputation-Killing Episode."

They've got a ways to go before they equal these shining examples of complete journalistic ineptitude, but they're well on their way...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


From E&P, a fellow Flak Magazine cartoonist has decided to stop doing political cartoons because the excuses used and lies told by the Bush Administration are "creatively limiting to satire."

I can surely sympathize with his frustration, and I agree that it is possible for satire to be rendered obsolete in a world where "villainy" has become the norm. But I don't think we're there yet... and our human society, in its entire history, has yet to reach that point of total disaster. Satire, as a literary tool, may evolve and the modes of delivery may change, and it may veer more towards straight criticism in times when hypocrisy is wide-spread (such as now), but the end goal remains the same -- social pressure. We just have to work that much harder. I would hope that we are quite a ways away from the point where we just give up, as long as we still have the will to fight.

I think cartoons, as a form of satire used to effect social change, still have some juice left in them too, as long as we don't allow ourselves to stagnate or to be compartmentalized. The proof is just a few stories down on the E&P site, where the buzz is that the "I" word is finally being uttered freely in the mainstream media thanks to a Doonesbury cartoon. Lo and behold, we turn on the Situation Room, and Bill Schneider is dissecting the cartoon frame-by-frame.

That is cool... and it's a good example of what you can do if you're in 1400 papers around the world.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Meanwhile, Back On Planet Earth...

Speaking of Howard Zinn, the sheer arrogance of a demogogue like Rumsfeld and an academic ignoramus like President Dumb-as-a-Brick to lecture us on United States history perhaps necessitates a lesson in actual history from a guy who knows what he is talking about.

By the way, in that second link, President Peanut-head is actually quoted as saying: "I read a lot of history, by the way..."


Monday, March 20, 2006

3/20/06 Cartoon

"Fuzzy Followers"...

President Nincompoop's approval rating among Republicans "plummeted" recently to 74 percent, with his overall rating around 33-37 percent (all depending on which poll you look at) -- so you do the math... Democrats are around 9%, Independents at 26%. There's a pretty incredible gap there between "Republicans" and everyone else.

I would take this as a sign to stop hammering on the guy, but I am inevitably reminded that he is still the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and, as such, constitutes a grave threat to everyone everywhere...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Like a wart that won't go away...

Just in case you weren't aware: Ted Stevens is a vile piece of sub-human filth who will exploit the victims of Katrina so he can satisfy his sick environment-screwing fetish.

But you already knew all that...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hail to Thee, Stupidity

Also via Cursor, several students at a high school in Bainbridge Island, WA (where I was working in a coffee shop just this morning) are being privately tutored in American History because their parents have objected to the school's use of perhaps the most important book of our time, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. This book has been the source material for a number of Fighting Words cartoons, including the now rather ironic "Billy, the Boy Who Knew Too Much."

Ah to live in the great Pacific Northwest, this oasis of political and social enlightenment...


Greg Saunders at the Tom Tomorrow blog has a great post illustrating just how utterly worthless congressional Democrats are these days, in light of the staggering lack of support exhibited for the Feingold censure of the administration's illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

Also, Molly Ivins once again skillfully articulates my disgust at the Dems (via Cursor).

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


An Onion Sports Special Report: Barry Bonds has used steriods, according to EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER WATCHED BASEBALL...

When reached for comment, Bonds insisted that he "[doesn't] have time to deal with all these charges."

"I'm not going to respond to these 228 million allegations," Bonds said. "I don't care what every last person in the entire world thinks. As long as my fans believe me, that's the most important thing."

(thanks to Vic for story link; photo via ESPN Page 2)

Monday, March 13, 2006

3/13/06 Cartoon

"Anthropological Study - The Great American Yuppanzee"... see the study of the people of America's Heartland here, here, and here.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Toast ExxonMobil

This was sent to me by a friend who works for an energy alternatives organization.

If you haven't guessed from all these links to animated shorts, I've also been researching how to take Fighting Words in this direction (as an extension of the static strip). Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


A friend forwarded this to me with the subject line "Something an Artist Might Enjoy."

Monday, March 06, 2006

Fighting Words News!

  • Fighting Words now appears in the print edition of Eat the State!, a very cool bi-weekly political newspaper with some well-known contributors, including Ted Rall and Tom Tomorrow. Readers in the Seattle area should be sure to pick up a copy, which can be found in coffee shops and newsstands around the city (especially in the U-District).

  • A few weeks ago, a Fighting Words cartoon also appeared in a quarterly 'zine out of St. Cloud, MN called "It Takes All Kinds."

  • Ted Rall on the big, upcoming Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists (which is now being offered in a great-looking package deal with the new Tom Tomorrow book):
    Everyone who has had a sneak peak at this anthology of cartoons by and interviews with 21 of America's funniest webcomics creators says they're knocked out by the breadth of creativity reflected in these pages.

  • New T-Shirt designs will be available in time for Emerald City Comicon, where I will have a table in the Artist Alley (I'm just looking for a good local shirt-maker).

  • Speaking of conventions, I am 99 percent sure that I WILL be at SPX in Bethesda, MD this year, where I will hopefully be able to finally meet all the cool cartoonist kids that I have been exchanging emails and "link props" with. I read an online rumor that the dates for SPX 2006 are Oct. 13-15.

  • At some point soon, I will be moving this blog to my website's server and incorporating it into my own template. Just as soon as I figure out how to do it... (anybody who has done this and has any pointers, I'd be eternally grateful).

  • More updates as they come to mind...
  • "Partial Birth Abortions"

    Thanks to Mikhaela, I was made aware of a rather important detail in the federal ban on so-called "Partial Birth Abortions," which the Supreme Court recently agreed to review -- it does NOT contain an exception for the health of the mother (obviously, I don't study this issue often enough).

    However, I have to disagree with Feministe's conclusion about the likelihood that the Court will uphold the ban, which is summed up by the last sentence of the post: "It's over, kids." I don't necessarily think that the Court's ruling is a foregone conclusion in this case. It is clear is that Justice Anthony Kennedy has become the swing vote on a number of key constitutional issues, including abortion, and it is helpful to examine his prior holdings. Many people, like Feministe, predict that Kennedy will likely side with Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito to rule in favor of the ban, based on his dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), where he voted to uphold Nebraska's ban on partial-birth abortions.

    Not so fast, says constitutional law professor Vikram David Amar. He argues that the issue at hand in Stenberg, for Kennedy, was actually how much deference should be given to legislative factfinding, in terms of Congress' power to determine the "legislative fact" that PBA's are never medically necessary to protect the health of the mother. In contrast, the issue in the current case points more towards the standard in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (thanks in part to the precedent on the deference issue established by the majority in Stenberg), which says that a pregnant woman has a constitutional right to abortion procedures that are "necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of [her] life or health." Kennedy voted with the majority in Casey.

    Moreover, Amar says that Kennedy has a history of not reacting too kindly to such Congressional "test cases," when Congress tries to pass laws that directly contravene previous Court holdings because they disagree with those holdings.

    3/6/06 Cartoon

    "More Predictions from the Amazing Madame Zorah"... check out her previous episode here.

    A couple good articles: Sidney Blumenthal on our tantrum-prone prince and the toadies who surround him, and Paul Craig Roberts on our fading superpower status, which he says may very well end up being a "soft dictatorship" at the end of Bush's term.

    Fighting Words news coming up soon.

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    "Well, DUH!" Moment of the Day

    David Gergen is shocked that the President of the United States is a moron (via Cursor):

    The revelation that Bush was warned in advance about Katrina's destructive power is another blow to an administration whose integrity and competence has come under fire for its response to the hurricane, the ill-fated Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination, its handling of a transaction that would let a United Arab Emirates company manage cargo terminals at six major U.S. ports, and its conduct of the war in Iraq.

    "It's devastating that the president would ask no questions," said David Gergen, a former adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton who's now a professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. "If he sat there mum in a full briefing ... that will only confirm the suspicions of a lot of opponents."

    Everybody now: "Well, DUUUUUUHHHHH!!"

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Muhammad Cartoons: Free Speech Issues

    Julie Hilden makes a point in a FindLaw column about the "fighting words" doctrine, in relation to the Muhammad cartoon controversy, that I hadn't considered in my previous post on the issue:

    Although the U.S.'s First Amendment does have an exception for "fighting words," it's generally limited to spoken words. And in any event, it would seem unfair - and playing into stereotypes -- to presume that the cartoons are "fighting words" in the sense that the typical Muslim would respond to them with violence.

    If it is true that violent Muslim extremists make up a relatively small portion of the general Muslim population, then it would be unreasonable to expect that a cartoon would incite a violent reaction by a typical person in that context. Thus, the cartoon would NOT be excluded from protection under the "fighting words" doctrine.

    Of course, American legal doctrines are pretty meaningless on an international stage, but it does shed some light on the free speech debate in general.