Band Of Rebels

Here’s a fun game you can play while reading or watching the “news”: every time you see a report from Libya and hear the phrase “Libyan rebels”, insert the phrase “supported by US and NATO airstrikes” after it, to get a more accurate picture of what’s going on.

Then, when you get bored with that, ask yourself this question: why is the US so gung-ho to intervene in Libya while totally ignoring an equally vicious and horrific regime in Syria? Here’s a hint: it’s got three letters, it’s black and goopy, and there’s a whole goddamn’ lot of it under the ground in Libya… and it sure as hell isn’t freedom.

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We Are All Ferzat

Whenever political dissidents anywhere are disappeared, imprisoned, tortured or murdered, it affects me personally — but nothing has affected me quite as personally as the kidnapping and torture of Ali Ferzat, well-known Syrian cartoonist, by agents of the Syrian regime. This cartoon is in solidarity with Ferzat, standing with all of my comrades at Cartoon Movement and with artists around the world who put themselves on the line to speak truth and challenge authoritarian rule.(Pictured at left: Ali Ferzat recuperates in a Damascus hospital; foto via CNN)

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What Was That – An Earthquake?

OK, kiddies, time for some more of that good old-fashioned old-skool editorial cartooning.

So, early this past Tuesday morning, while poring over the news, I found the report that shows President Sparkle Pony’s approval rating at an all-time low of 38%. The 5.9 tremor hit at around 1pm-ish, and later that evening, a 4.0 aftershock was reported, although we didn’t feel it here in DC. At around 10pm, as our cat finally decided to come out from under our bed, my mind began to wander from the wretched network TV “coverage” of the quake and back to President Carebear’s tanking approval rating, and reports that he received the news of the quake while playing golf near Martha’s Vineyard, where they presumably couldn’t feel it.

Yesterday morning on MSNBC’s horrid Morning Joe shitfest, they were doing the early segment where they read the op-eds to us on the air, and the morning’s featured op-ed was Thomas Friedman’s latest bilge in the New York Times, this one using a golf analogy, including references to Tiger Woods. They followed up with an interview with Democratic Party punching bag Screamin’ Howard Dean, who pilloried Friedman’s spewage six ways from Sunday. While it was true that yesterday’s Friedman column in the NYT was the lamest piece of crap ever, what was even lamer was The Screamin’ One’s excuse-making and apologia for President Hope, containing all the usual clownshit, such as that people expect the President to be able to solve the problem all by himself, and the all-time classic — Obama inherited this mess from George W. Bush. Yeah, that’s right, here we are going on three years into the Hope’n'Change Administration, and Screamin’ Howard is still blaming everything on the GOP.

Consider this cartoon to be the second aftershock.

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Walk Like An Egyptian – Bash Back Like A Brit

I really can’t come up with any words this time to go with this one; everything I’ve got to say about the uprisings in London and across Britain I’ve already said in this cartoon.

So, instead, I’ll just throw it over to Daniel Hind, writing at Al Jazeera in an op-ed entitled Nothing “Mindless” About Rioters:

Civil disturbances never have a single, simple meaning. When the Bastille was being stormed the thieves of Paris doubtless took advantage of the mayhem to rob houses and waylay unlucky revolutionaries. Sometimes the thieves were revolutionaries. Sometimes the revolutionaries were thieves. And it is reckless to start making confident claims about events that are spread across the country and that have many different elements. In Britain over the past few days there have been clashes between the police and young people. Crowds have set buildings, cars and buses on fire. Shops have been looted and passersby have been attacked. Only a fool would announce what it all means…

We can dispense with some mistakes, though. It is wrong to say that the riots are apolitical. The trouble began on Saturday night when protesters gathered at Tottenham police station to demand that the police explain the circumstances in which a local man, Mark Duggan, had been shot dead by the police. The death of a Londoner, another black Londoner, at the hands of the police has a gruesome significance. The police are employed to keep the peace and the police shot someone dead. This is a deeply political matter. Besides, it is conventional to say how much policing in London has changed since the Brixton riots of the early eighties – but not many people mouthing the conventional wisdom have much firsthand experience of being young and poor in Britain’s inner cities.

More broadly, any breakdown of civil order is inescapably political. Quite large numbers of mostly young people have decided that, on balance, they want to take to the streets and attack the forces of law and order, damage property or steal goods. Their motives may differ – they are bound to differ. But their actions can only be understood adequately in political terms. While the recklessness of adrenaline has something to do with what is happening, the willingness to act is something to be explained. We should perhaps ask them what they were thinking before reaching for phrases like “mindless violence”. We might actually learn something…

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Standard And Poor

After years of sucking up to Wall Street and giving out AAA ratings as if they were Cracker Jack prizes — becoming an accomplice in the United States’ economic meltdown — Standard & Poor’s suddenly turns around and knocks an “A” off the United States’ AAA debt rating after the recent debt ceiling pro wrestling match on Capitol Hill. Who’da thunk it?

Am I the only one here who thinks that outfit should change its name to Substandard & Piss-Poor?

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Chef Barack's Democratic Diner

Come join the winner of the 2009 Nobel “Iron Chef” Prize on a culinary review of three years of the Hope’n'Change Administration. Bon Appetit!

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Assembly instructions:
1. Print two-sided on 11×17 “full-bleed” color printer.
2. Fold in thirds so that the panel with the old Metro car and the title “Chef Barack’s Famous Democratic Diner” shows as the front cover.
3. Et voila!