Saturday, April 28, 2007

That's Good Coffee...

Every now and then I'll come across a product that I just have to gush about. While in San Francisco for A.P.E. last weekend, I grabbed a bag of coffee beans at a local co-op to take home with me. Didn't even really look at the bag, just noticed a sticker that said "Fair Trade" and "Organic Columbia Dark."

Best freakin' coffee I've ever had. Even the beans smell good enough to make you weak in the knees. Vasquez Coffee Co.... check 'em out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More on Rove, various scandals...

Some articles that inspired Rove Ninja:
  • On Rove's role in the email scandal, check out Dan Eggen, Michael Abramowitz, Daniel Schulman, and Michael Isikoff. As you probably know, Rove's "role" was pretty cut-and-dried: he intentionally deleted about four years' worth of emails, probably containing information on his role in such schemes as the outing of an undercover CIA agent and the firing of U.S. attorneys for political reasons. Apparently, he was using an RNC email system to evade legal requirements for document retention and to avoid having to turn the material over to Congress. Rove's deleting got so out of hand during the Plame investigation that the RNC had to take away his "erasing privileges"... after which, they probably made him stay after class for a half-hour to clean the blackboards.

    Patrick Martin also suggests that the White House is preparing to sacrifice Alberto in order to save Rove's ninja ass. Any day now... maybe...

  • Can you spot all the contemporary movie references in this week's 'toon? Rove's teacher, of course, was based on Pai Mei from Kill Bill. I also just re-watched Batman Begins the other night... so that's in there. I think there's a Spiderman reference or two in there, too...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fighting Words News: Commercial Art...

Personally, my output of actual artwork is a bit lower than some other cartoonists (they're machines, I tells ya!). However, I have been doing a bit of extra commercial artwork lately in an effort to make ends meet. Here's a sneak preview of some of my work (please excuse the watermarks):
  • Here's a T-Shirt design I did for a coffee shop chain and maker of handmade chocolates in Seattle, Chocolati (owned by a friend of mine). Not sure when these are going to be available, but I believe all profits will be going to charity... also they make the best damn truffles on the planet:

    (Click on thumbnails)

  • I did a couple of shirt designs for another coffee shop in Kingston, WA... not sure when these will be available either, but it's a cool little joint, if you ever find yourself in Kitsap County:

    Here's a company logo I did for Coastal:

  • I'm doing a whole line of shirts for my pals at Not A Number in Seattle (1905 N. 45th) featuring some of the possible and confirmed Democratic candidates for President in '08. This may be a much bigger line (including some shirts making fun of Republicans), but it looks like we're going to start with a couple out of these:

    Here's another design for Not A Number, for Hempfest in Seattle:

  • Here's a couple versions of a highly customized design I did for a gift shop in the Pike Place Market:

  • I did a shirt design for a big summer seminar hosted by my Aikido dojo. Here are some different backs and fronts:

  • Some designs I did for a contest held by Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films:

  • Here's a logo and street sign design that I did for a new restaurant in Kingston, WA called "The Grub Hut":

  • I'm doing Flash slideshows for clients of my dad, a wedding photographer. These shows are perfect for freelance photographers looking to add a new product or promotional item:

  • MARCH 2009 -- I've moved my design work postings to my website... check them out here from now on!

More on detainees, torture...

Quick list of articles for this week's 'toon, as I'm getting ready for a trip to San Francisco on Friday for Alternative Press Expo (more on that later).

If only for a diversion from CNN's increasingly bad coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings:
  • The cartoon was mostly brought on by reports that perpetual detainee and U.S. citizen Jose Padilla has been tortured to the point where he can no longer assist his attorneys in his defense. George Monbiot reports that "his mind is no longer there," and that he "appears to have been lobotomized: not medically, but socially." Monbiot also makes an excellent point that I've seen echoed elsewhere:
    This has nothing to do with obtaining information: torture of all kinds - physical or mental - produces the result that people will say anything to make it end. It is about power, and the thrilling discovery that in the right conditions one man's power over another is unlimited.
    Every other citizen of this country should be in absolute horror that our own government has done this.

  • A funny note on the Wikipedia entry for Padilla that I had never heard before, that Glenn Beck and other right-wing commentators subscribe to a conspiracy theory that Padilla was involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, based almost solely on the fact that Padilla sorta looks like a police sketch of an alleged associate of Timothy McVeigh.

    It occurs to me that Padilla also bears a striking resemblance to Detroit Tigers' catcher Ivan Rodriguez... last I heard, though, Beck et al. have not implicated Pudge in the Oklahoma City bombing.

  • Sidney Blumenthal gives a good summary of Bush's use of torture and his "Quest For Unfettered Power," and Scott Horton writes about the nationalization of "Texas Justice."

  • Check out a particularly interesting article by Stephen Soldz on the use of psychologists by the government to assist in interrogations of detainees, and the resulting split between the professions of psychiatry and psychology. He says that the activities at Guantanamo and other detention centers have effectively turned them into "intentional experimental facilities designed to develop and test new behavior manipulation techniques... designed to break people down, to destroy them, whether they are innocent or guilty, whether they have any intelligence value or not. "

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Yet again, Media Matters makes my point for me...

There are about a half-dozen other idiots I'd rather see off the air first. Imus is a "little fish"...

More on media coverage of Iran...

Articles and sources for this week's 'toon:
  • On the mainstream media's coverage of Iran, check out: Gal Beckerman, Mark Weisbrot and Robert Naiman, Paul McLeary, Greg Mitchell, FAIR, Glenn Greenwald, and Media Matters. The biggest offender so far has been (surprise!) The New York Times, particularly some earlier reporting by former Judy Miller cohort Michael Gordon. Apparently, they've forgotten all of the lessons from the WMD debacle (enumerated by Dan Froomkin).

    Media Matters also has an entry on some weak interviewing by Wolf Blitzer. This week's 'toon was meant to be a shot at all cable and network news, but, of course, the main character resembles Wolf (actually, I meant for him to be a cross between Wolf and Jerry Garcia). Wolf is just so easy to make fun of. The other guy could possibly be CNN goof Rick Sanchez.

  • Noam Chomsky gives us a hypothetical: say Iran had invaded Mexico, had sent a massive armada of naval vessels to the Caribbean, and was making all kinds of noise about attacking the U.S. if we didn't terminate our nuclear programs immediately... what would we do? His point is that "the debate over Iranian interference in Iraq proceeds without ridicule on the assumption that the United States owns the world."

  • Check out Tony Dokoupil on UW professor Doug Underwood's study on the connection between intoxication and journalism (in this case, good journalism... unlike in the cartoon). In particular, this caught my eye:
    Psychologists have shown that neurotics can make good journalists when they project their inner doubts and dissatisfactions onto the world. This is the energy behind investigative reporting and the source of journalism's vaunted distrust of power, the argument goes. "Rage is the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers," (newsman Jimmy) Breslin says.

    Well, that sounds like a pretty good description of... umm... never mind.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fighting Words: 4/9/07 Cartoon

"The Stoned News Network!"...

This one is an extension of "The Drunk Local News"... see those here:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More on Environmentalism...

Not many sources for this week's 'toon... it was mainly based on some of my own older observations and arguments on environmentalism. Often, it seems like the debate gets stuck in the old rut where the pro-environment side will argue that the science is in their favor (which it is), while the pro-business or pro-libertarian or pro-Armageddon crowd (whatever they call themselves to keep from being called anti-environment) reflexively find a way to convince themselves that reductive science is not believable. The end result, of course, is a stalemate... the anti-environmentalists steadfastly cling to their "mind-bottling" ideas about the movement towards conservation, and the environmentalists fail to make the argument in a way that makes a personal connection with the people they are trying to convince. It has occurred to me that there's another aspect of the environmental movement that doesn't get enough attention: the people who act to save it because they simply like to be outside (including a good number of my friends and family). They do so because being in nature provides them with a means for spiritual fulfillment. I believe that our opponents in this fight would be less likely to dismiss the environmentalist position if they were able to substitute the faces and motivations of real people for the "Al Gore political-types" or the "dirty protester hippies" they imagine when they think of "environmentalism."

The quotes of famous naturalist and Sierra Club founder John Muir capture these ideas well.

Anyway, here are some articles:
  • Speaking of Gore, check out Robert Parry and Media Matters on the mainstream media's never-ending vendetta against the former veep.

  • While James Inhofe and others compare environmentalists to the Nazis, the new/old trend seems to be comparing them (and everyone else who disagrees with you) to communists. Amazing how they can span the entire political spectrum like that with a snap of the fingers.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fighting Words: 4/2/07 Cartoon

"Fuzzy Fulfillment"...

See the previous FB/HB episodes with Stanley, the Sheep of Piety: