Friday, June 29, 2007

The Seattle SuperSonics are Dead.

As always, ignore this post if you don't care, but I had to document my displeasure at yesterday's events in the NBA. June 28, 2007: the day the Sonics died. They're done. Over. Bye-bye. Finito.

We go from the high of the #2 pick, to trading Ray Allen for... excuse me, Wally "Whiney-Little-Bitch" Szczczerbiak (or however you spell it)?!?! The guy who, with the Timberwolves a few years ago, bitched and moaned for a whole game and stomped around like a 2 year-old, throwing the ball to the ceiling and not getting ejected... which got him booed heartily at the Key Arena for the next couple years? THAT guy?!

This was the final middle finger from Clay Bennett (the Sonics owner, not the cartoonist!) to the fans in Seattle. We said goodbye yesterday not only to Ray Allen, but to Gus Williams, Jack Sikma, Fred Brown, Gary Payton, and Shawn Kemp.

Go TrailBlazers. You're our local team now.

It's nice being a football/baseball town, anyway...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More on Global Warming skeptics...

Quick list of articles for this week's 'toon:
  • James Wolcott has a good column on Rush Limbaugh as the poster-boy for Global Warming skepticism. See also Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on some of the corporate lackeys who are trying to drive the debate on the environment into the mystical right-wing land of Narnia, where animals can talk, magic is common, good battles evil, and environmentalism equals tyranny.

  • Check out the recent Frontline episode, Hot Politics, which is now posted online. Among the points made in this episode, they suggest that the Clinton administration is as much to blame for current environmental policy as Bush II is. As proof, they cite Clinton's bungling when they were supposed to submit the negotiated Kyoto protocol to the Senate for ratification. George Monbiot makes a similar argument in an excerpt from his book, How to Stop the Planet From Burning.

    It has struck me before, that when all is said and done, in some ways Dubya may end up having been a good thing for this country. Not because of anything he's done on purpose, but just because he so freakin' bad, people now actually make an effort to keep themselves informed on rather obscure issues like environmental policy. Maybe it's just me, but I don't recall a public dialogue of any kind when the Clinton administration was, in Monbiot's words, "destroying the Kyoto protocol as an effective instrument."

  • Check out a SCOTUSblog post on the Supreme Court's recent decision on global warming, and an article on the Dems close-call with a plan that would have blocked California (aka "Cah-lee-FOH-nya") from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Marilyn Berlin Snell has a good recap of a roundtable of intellectuals on global warming, almost all of whom (even the "free-market Republican") agree that there must be substantial government intervention in tackling this problem.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fighting Words: 6/25/07 Cartoon

"The Skeptics"...

Similar previous 'toons on Global Warming arguments:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More on TV "journalism" personalities...

Articles and sources for this week's 'toon, on the media in general:
  • Think Progress is all over the Paris coverage extravaganza, including Katie Couric's hypocrisy on the subject.

  • While Danny Schechter marks the 20th anniversary of Manufacturing Consent, Rupert Murdoch looks to take his lovely propaganda model to the Wall Street Journal. Thankfully, it looks like he won't be successful... not that it would make much of a difference given the leanings of the Journal's editorial page.

    And, just how big of an "asshole" (I just couldn't think of a better word in the cartoon) is Bill O'Reilly? Big enough to stalk you in the parking lot of your local grocery store, whether you want to talk to him or not.

  • For a look at the right way to do broadcast journalism (from two giants in the profession), see a lengthy interview with Bill Moyers by Amy Goodman.
On the media and the 2008 election:
  • Paul Krugman writes about the media's silly obsession with the "authenticity" of the candidates. Every four years, it inevitably turns the competition for a very important job into an adolescent popularity contest, a puerile struggle for the affection of media personalities instead of the hearts and minds of voters.
On the "Dobber" and immigration:
  • Go read David Neiwert's post, titled "Lou Dobbs Goes Off the Rails," on the CNN anchor's propensity for getting his "facts" from white supremacists. He also points out that while Dobbs only claims to get his hate on when it comes to "illegal" immigrants, his bizarre reporting on leprosy and the Spanish-language national anthem would seem to vilify anybody who might be named Hernandez, Rodriguez, etc.

    See also my previous post on the Dobber, and a debate that I had with a commenter. My opinion of Lou has soured considerably since that post.

Plans For the Fourth?

The Cartoonists With Attitude gang storms the capital on July 7 with an edgy satirical cartoon slideshow and book signing!

  • When: Saturday, July 7, 2 p.m.
  • Where: Borders 18th & L Streets NW Washington, DC 20006 ( 202.466.4999)
  • Price: Free!

Celebrate Independence Day weekend with a slideshow and signing with edgy, groundbreaking and controversial alternative cartoonists from around the country! Be there or the torturers, bombers, ex-gays and wire-tappers win! Meet:

And in case you weren't aware, you should really read our group blog (also available as an RSS feed if you want to get all our blogs and most of our cartoons in one convenient place. We also have a not-so-frequently updated Cartoonists With Attitude MySpace page if you want to be our friend.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fighting Words: 6/18/07 Cartoon


Monday, June 11, 2007

More on Mercenaries, "Security Contractors"...

Yeah, so I'm guessing that this week's 'toon is about the zillionth "Bush as Darth Vader" parody you've seen, but I've had Star Wars on the brain lately. Partly because of all the 30th anniversary crap on TV, but also because I've been playing the demo for "Lego Star Wars" on my Mac (where you reenact the movies in a world made of Legos). Totally freakin' addictive game... and the little cut-scenes, with the SW characters as stubby little Lego people, are hilarious.

Here's some articles:
  • There are currently 100,000 civilian contractors operating in Iraq, which is approaching the number of U.S. soldiers there. The so-called "security contractors" there are operating virtually free of any kind of oversight or accountability, and until recently, were not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    Jeremy Scahill is "the man" when it comes to investigating this subject. Check out two articles of his on Iraq, and two articles on the use of Blackwater mercenaries in post-Katrina New Orleans.

    Johann Hari also has an excellent column on this topic:
    In April 2004, mercenaries working for a private militia named Blackwater were guarding US occupation headquarters in Najaf when a protest by Shia Iraqi civilians began to stir outside. According to the Washington Post and eyewitnesses, Blackwater opened fire on the protesters, unleashing so many rounds so rapidly they had to pause every 15 minutes to allow their gun barrels to cool down. A video of this attack made it on to the Web, where a mercenary can be seen describing the Iraqis they are gunning down as "fuckin' niggers".

    He also notes that mercenaries in Iraq have been allowed to use "experimental ammunition" that the military is forbidden from using. The bullets are made from "blended metal" so as to leave wounds that are "untreatable." Nice.

  • So we have mass murder by psycho racist mercenaries... anything else?

    Check out a previous post and cartoon on war profiteering, inspired by Robert Greenwald's documentary, Iraq For Sale.

    See also an AP article on a lawsuit against Blackwater by the families of mercenaries killed in Iraq, which alleges that the men were killed because they were not given proper armor (Blackwater has successfully moved the suit into private arbitration).

    Of course, there's the involvement of CACI Int'l in documented cases of torture.

    The ACLU is currently suing Boeing, alleging the company has facilitated the shipping of detainees to secret CIA prisons.

    And, Zia Mian writes that some contractors have violated laws banning human trafficking in the shipping of laborers to Iraq to do the slop work.

    All paid for by you and I, the taxpayers.

  • I also previously posted on this column by Chris Hedges, where he argues that the radical Christian Right's infiltration of the military and police "signals the final and perhaps most deadly stage in the long campaign... to dismantle America's open society and build a theocratic state." When I first read this, I was a little skeptical, and I felt he was taking the argument a bit far. No more.

    The Founder of Blackwater is a right-wing, Christian conservative named Erik Prince, who is extremely well-connected within the Republican party. Reading Scahill's column on Blackwater's activites in post-K New Orleans, you have to wonder if you're going to be seeing mercenary "security contractors" coming soon to a street near you.

Fighting Words: 6/11/07 Cartoon

"Dark Time For the Empire"...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Lil' Bush"

Speaking of stuff I wish I woulda thought of... oh wait, I did!

A few people have asked me about this. It happens sometimes in the world of satire... people come up with the same idea. But hey, Donick Cary (creator of the show), if you want to give me a job as a writer, I'm a hard-working and conscientious employee...

And, note to Comedy Central: I've got a lot of ideas like that...

More on New Orleans, Racism, Economics...

Articles and sources for this week's 'toon:
  • It's hurricane season again, and the Feds are scrambling to compensate for another winter of half-assing on emergency preparedness in New Orleans. The N.O.A.A. is predicting a whopper of a hurricane season, with a 49% probability of a major storm hitting the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, Sue Sturgis of Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch (an indispensable resource for those still following the situation in New Orleans) reports that "serious weaknesses" have been found in the newly "repaired" levee system, which could cause the system to fail in as little as a Category 2 storm.

    See also a previous post on the ongoing debacle involving faulty pumps installed by MWI (owned by J. David Eller, a pal of Jeb Bush's).

  • For more on the federal government's catastrophic failure of leadership, check out an outstanding column by Rebecca Solnit, who points out that it has not "fully sunk in that the city was flooded not by a hurricane but by the failure of levees inadequately build by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers." Greg Palast argues that this is why the White House has tried to stifle the coverage of this aspect of the issue, because once the federal levees go, the whole thing stops being about an "act of God" and becomes their responsibility.

  • Nothing quite captures the federal government's indifference on New Orleans quite like the war spending-slash-hurricane recovery bill they just passed. Let's see... killing brown people in Iraq and Afghanistan: $99.5 billion... doing "whatever it takes" to rebuild a city right here on American soil: $4.1 billion... ethnically cleansing a major metropolitan area and delivering it into the hands of corporate developers: PRICELESS! (Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the Bush administration turned down $800 million in aid offered by other countries after Katrina.)

    Is it really about racism? Glen Ford says the disaster has revealed a corporate plan to drive out Black populations and bring about a corporate urban "renaissance" in cities across the country.

    For those who think that this kind of racism doesn't exist, I'd suggest you take a look at the amendment proposed by Rep. Jeb Hensarling that would require Katrina victims to perform 20 hours/week of approved "work activities" to receive federal housing aid. Can anybody in their wildest dreams imagine a congressman proposing such an amendment after 9-11? They would be finished forever in professional politics.

    I was struck by the power of a particular phrase that Solnit used in her column:
    New Orleans is recovering from... not just physical devastation, but social fissures and racial wounds in a situation that started as a somewhat natural disaster and became a socially constructed catastrophe. Nothing quite like it has happened in American history. (my emphasis)
  • Yet again, the Daily Show comes up with a joke that I wish I'd thought of:
    Stewart then turned to the indictment of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), saying, "On the downside, Jefferson faces 235 years in prison. On the upside, now we know what it takes for the federal government to pay some attention to a black man from New Orleans."

Monday, June 04, 2007