It's Schwagfest Time!

Happy New Year, gang, and it’s getting to be that time again — that time when every major politician who’s sociopathic enough to want to be El Presidente announces their intentions to run, kicking off the Presidential campaign season for the elections of 2012 — or, as any Democrat will tell you, The Most Important Election Since A Large Disk Of Dust And Proto-Planetary Matter Accumulated Around Our Sun.

This time, though, there’ll be a chance for all you betrayed, irate Lefties out there (or, “purists” and “whiners”, as The Most Progressive President Ever might refer to you) to get the jump on all the Liberal appeasers, Fauxgressives and other assorted Democratic Kool-Aid drinkers out there with this suitably cynical and ironic set of images mocking Shepard Fairey’s iconic 2008 “Hope” poster — available on T-shirts, stickers and fridge magnets, each in nine delicious flavors at the Cartoon Schwag Shop.

T-shirts, $25; 3×5″ stickers, single $4, 10-pack $30; 2×3″ fridge magnets, $5.

Downloadable images, 550 x 905 pixels, 72dpi jpeg:
“Aw, C’mon”, 44kb | “Whiners”, 48kb | “Purists”, 68kb | “Appease”, 68kb | “Centrism”, 64kb | “Pwned”, 68kb | “Compromise”, 64kb | “Caved”, 64kb | “Civility”, 52kb


Uh Oh, It's Herblock Channeling Time Again

Sorry, gang; can't help it. Sometimes a portrayal of a situation defies all subtlety and poetry, and forces me to "go Herblock" on it.

If you’ve been paying any attention to the news lately, you’ve probably heard all about the big CEO get-together up at Obummer’s Place, with all the attendant worried blather from the boss media chatterers about whether or not El Presidente is being seen as “pro-business” enough. Well, let’s see… there’s the bank bailouts, the health-insurance industry bailout (aka “Healthcare Reform”), the latest round of bailouts of the banking industry (aka “Financial Reform”) and, of course, the latest sellout to the rich in the form of the extension of tax cuts for the rich under the thin disguise of “tax cuts for all”. After all this, how could there be any doubt about how “pro-business” our Glorious Boy Emperor is? Seriously, the guy’s been pro-corporate since day one, and even before. What the hell are all these big shots on CNBC bitching about? He’s pretty much given them everything they want.

What I’ve enjoyed, though, is the defensive, pushed-button reactions of the White House and Democratic Party “leadership” every time any Progressives or Lefties call bullshit and point out how he’s sold out to corporations on every major issue; they go into the pre-programmed “compromise” rap and brand anyone who objects to “compromise” as an unreasonable zealot or “purist”. What Obummer fails to point out, however, is how all of his “historic reforms” are weak, watered-down half-measures at the very best, and how his “spirit of compromise” involves caving in to corporate interests at every opportunity, appeasing right-wing neofascists and wannabe theocrats, and colluding with the very same class of people who are responsible for the trouble this country’s in now. Y’know, if our side actually got something out of all this compromising, it might not be so bad, but we’ve gotten absolute zero.

So, if being appalled at crass opportunism, cowardice and hypocrisy makes me a “purist”, then, hell yeah, I’m a purist. If wanting an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the closure of Guantanamo and Bagram makes me a “purist”, then, hell, yeah. If wanting the control of the healthcare system taken away from corporations makes me a “purist”, then, hell, yeah. If wanting an end to warrantless spying and intimidation and the restoration of the Bill Of Rights makes me a “purist”, then, hell, yeah… just like Frederick Douglass was a “purist”, and Eugene Debs was a “purist”, and Emma Goldman, and Nelson Mandela, and Abbie Hoffman, and Bobby Seale.

11×14 color .jpg image, 808kb.


No Labels: Not Left, Not Right, Not Nothing

"He's a real Nowhere Man, sitting in his Nowhere Land,
making all his nowhere plans for Nobody!"

--the beatles.

So, a few days ago, I read about some so-called “post-partisan” or “anti-partisan” or “centrist” or whatever the hell kind of outfit they’re supposed to be called “No Labels” that’s just had its big launch with all manner of bland corporate politicos and media hacks boosting it, including MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough — that’s right. one of the most right-wing howlers I’ve ever seen on the tube lending his gushing endorsement to an allegedly “centrist” group. You know when some emerging astroturfers use the phrase “common sense” in their press materials, it’s time to look the fuck out.

“Woodstock For Moderates” I heard it being called; that was such a horrid notion to imagine that there was only one thing I could do, and that was to hit the search engines. As I suspected, it was some weak-assed corporate centrist astroturf outfit being co-led by none other than Mark Penn, the Democrats’ famed Campaign Manager Of Losers and his socialite wife, and dragging along with such glittering moderate luminaries as Evan Bayh and a gaggle of GOP flunkies including former Rudolph Giuliani speechwriter John Avlon and McCain campaign advisor Mark McKinnon (hell, how does he rate?). Along with the eye-glazing politics of “civility” they’re pimping, it sure doesn’t help that they’re still being cagey about who’s signing their checks.

But, let’s just see what Salon was able to dig up…

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that seed donors to No Labels include Loews Corp. co-chair Andrew Tisch, Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich, and ex-Facebook executive Dave Morin.pro-corporate Democrat. Ditto for Tisch, a former tobacco executive who has given money to Sens. Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, and Kirsten Gillibrand over the years. It’s not clear where Morin, a young Silicon Valley investor, is coming from politically...

Ewwwwwww. Lieberman. Bayh. Facebook. Eeeeeewwwwwwww. Anti-partisan, my ass.

11×17 medium-res color .jpg image, 492kb.


There Will Always Be More Of Us Than There Are Of Them

"I am Spartacus!"

At last count, there were 1697 mirrors of Wikileaks available online. The mirror URLs shown in these posters are working as of today, 12.11.10.

Good luck, Senator Lieberman.

11×17 medium-res grayscale images:

1 of 3, 964kb

2 of 3, 956kb

3 of 3, 956kb


Whatever Happened to Civility?

Bite more, bark less, I always say.

If you’re like me, you’re probably at your wits’ end with the “civility” crowd. You know who they are, the people with stickers on the cars reading “choose civility” and “wag more, bark less”.

Do these people honestly believe that our reaction to the injustices, indignities and brutalities of the past decade should be in the manner of a UN bureaucrat drafting a resolution?

Are the corporations and the State being “civil” when they arrange for huge bailouts for themselves while the rest of us are scrambling for work or being thrown out of our homes? Is the State being “civil” when it seeks to cut back on Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age to 70 — essentially, working us to death? Is the State being “civil” when it strips away our Constitutional protection and basic dignity for the sake of cheap security theater at the airport? Is BP being “civil” by destroying ecosystems and livelihoods on the Gulf Coast and continuing to evade prosecution? Is the Democratic Party being “civil” when it panders to “progressive” constituencies in order to secure their votes, then spends the next two years publicly abusing and mocking them?

If you ask me, we need less “civility” and more people willing to organize and act on their own behalf instead of whining about how Liberal politicians are doing such a bad job of fighting their struggles for them, and how there’s so little “civility” these days. Take a tip from the British and the French. They’ve shut whole cities and countries down, with strikes and “incivility”. They’ve made their countries nearly ungovernable over issues — like corporatized healthcare and retirement “takebacks” — that make your average American shrug for a moment and go back to watching Top Chef. This is what needs to be happening here, instead of a bunch of Liberals bitching about “civility”.

Something else, too, that I found extra double-yum ironic about the Liberal “civility” crowd. If you — like me in ‘96, ‘00 and ‘04 — were or are a supporter of Ralph Nader and/or the Green Party, try this simple test on your average “civil” Liberal: bring up how hard the Democrats worked to prevent voters from having any real choice, and how the Democrats really lost the ‘00 election — and see how “civil” their reactions are.

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Alternate Wikileaks Links Available!

Thorn In Imperialism's Side Not Deterred By Cowardly Hosts, DNS Providers

It’s often been said, ever since the days of Usenet and Tiananmen Square, that the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. As it was in those bygone days, so it is today, as the US State pressures Wikileaks’ “cloud” provider and DNS service to take steps in an attempt to silence dissent.

The problem is — at least, if you’re the US State, it’s a problem — Wikileaks can still be reached on the Web via any number of alternate links, such as through its numeric “dotted quad” IP addresses here and here. It can also be reached through its alternate domains in Switzerland and the Netherlands.

I’d like to encourage everyone reading this to follow that grand old Web censorship-defeating tradition of “mirroring” and passing alternate links around, and post these links to your blog or Web site:

Wikileaks is also mirrored at over 200 sites worldwide.

Tough luck, Barack. Better luck next time, Hillary.