Social Commentary Cartoons

Long-time readers know that, before Generalissimo El Busho seized power, a significant portion of my work was devoted to “social commentary”–observations about relationships, the workplace, etc. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten to do much of that stuff for the last four years. When I write that I haven’t gotten to do it, I mean that it would have seemed irresponsible to draw a cartoon about the foibles of living with a pot-addled roommate while living in a nation that was dropping bombs on anything that moved. There was so much to say, and so few other cartoonists were saying it, that trying to convince people that Bush was evil became something of a chore, a duty. And the media–well, even the altie/liberal media barely scratched the surface of Bush’s evil.

Now that Bush is seemingly installed for another four-plus years (hey, the Constitution is only a suggestion, as Alberto Gonzales and Antonin Scalia know), going after Bush personally won’t accomplish much. After all, he can’t run again. Politics is big picture again. If Bush starts war against Iran, as he is obviously trying to do, I’ll go after him but my focus will be rightly (no pun intended!) on the American public, legislators and journalists who let his gangsters get away with it. And I definitely intend to do more cartoons like the piece that prompted one FOR to write:

Man bites God is the greatest thing you’ve done so far. But I’ve no doubt that there is plenty more where that came from. Keep it up. We need to hear dissenting views, and when they come from deep left field, so much the better.

If you liked Man Bites God, there’s more work like that from the books that collect my 1990s work.

Another Reason I’d Love to Debate Ann Coulter

FOR Tom sends:

Normally we wouldn’t allow such a large picture of Ann Coulter to appear on this website, but we wanted to afford our readers every pixel of Coulter crow. The conservative talking head was being interviewed by Bob McKeown on Fifth Estate on Canada’s CBC in that low droaning voice we’re huge fans of when she got her facts terribly, terribly wrong about the Vietnam war.

Coulter: “Canada used to be one of our most loyal friends and vice-versa. I mean Canada sent troops to Vietnam – was Vietnam less containable and more of a threat than Saddam Hussein?”

McKeown interrupts: “Canada didn’t send troops to Vietnam.”

Coulter: “I don’t think that’s right.”

McKeown: “Canada did not send troops to Vietnam.”

Coulter (looking desperate): “Indochina?”

McKeown: “Uh no. Canada …second World War of course. Korea. Yes. Vietnam No.”

Coulter: “I think you’re wrong.”

McKeown: “No, took a pass on Vietnam.”

Coulter: “I think you’re wrong.”

McKeown: “No, Australia was there, not Canada.”

Coulter: “I think Canada sent troops.”

McKeown: “No.”

Coulter: “Well. I’ll get back to you on that.”

McKeown tags out in script: “Coulter never got back to us — but for the record, like Iraq, Canada sent no troops to Vietnam.”

The full video is available on Crooks and Liars.

Always Complaining

Jorge writes:

I will preface my comments by telling you I consider myself a moderate Republican. I am not a zealots and I do take issue with some of the stances taken by the Bush administration. I have been reading your column now for several weeks and find that you are very good at criticizing all the actions of the Bush administration. In fact I have yet to find one positive thing you have to say about Republicans. All well and good, it’s easy to criticize. What I do not see in any of your work are answers! It is easy to sit back and criticize how the U.S. interrogates terrorist suspects, it’s easy to criticize who they nominate for cabinet positions, and it’s easy to complain about the health care system or social security. Now the hard part….what is your suggestions to address these problems?

It’s my job to criticize, not to parrot the Administration line. Sometimes I agree with what a politician does. For instance, Bush announced during his State of the Union address that he intends to make it easier for death penalty defendants to get DNA testing for their defense. Great! About time, long overdue, and assuming he’s not lying again or doesn’t intend to fund it, I say, “Go, Bush!” But really, Bush doesn’t need me to say that. He’s got the entire national press, most television and of course his party machinery. The role I play is to point out the stuff that people aren’t, but ought to be, saying. And that stuff is mostly critical.

1. In Iraq they captured 3 suspected lieutenants of Al-Zarqawi, how would you get them to talk or would you? What would you allow our forces to do to get the information that may lead to the capture of the leader? What tactics would be OK in your book?

They should be afforded all of the rights and privileges as prisoners of war captured under the Geneva Conventions. That means that they can refuse to answer questions, and may not be subjected to sleep deprivation or other physical means of coercion.

2. You want a national health care system. Ok how do we get one, how much would each American pay in taxes? Like the vast majority of people in the U.S. I live pay check to pay check….I really could not afford too much more than what I already pay for health insurance. Sure you could say well you won’t pay another penny. Fine, who pays for those who do not have employer based insurance…self employed people, minimum wage people, or the unemployed?

We NEED a national healthcare system. I’ve outlined my detailed proposal for financing such a system in my book WAKE UP, YOU’RE LIBERAL. If you’re broke, get your library to obtain it for you. The basics are, however: soak the rich and corporations for the taxes they ought to be paying, and used to pay 40 years ago.

3. It may not be a crisis but it is known that at some point in time SSI will begin to pay out more than it takes in. Ok say it will be OK for another 50 years, do we then just turn our backs and let whoever is in charge then fix it. What is your idea to fix the problem we know is coming or should we just ignore it? Finally, if the privatization of SSI is done on a voluntary basis, why are you so much against it?

The problem, as I wrote in my column a few weeks ago, should not be ignored. That said, it’s not a crisis. We can take our time and carefully consider the options before rushing into or being bullid into accepting the Bush proposal.

Of course privatization would begin piecemeal, on a voluntary basis. Never doubt, however, that that would soon change. Politics is always incremental; just look at the way the elimination of the estate tax was sold as a deal that would expire in ten years, only to see Republicans turn around and call that expiration date (which was their idea!) a Democratic tax increase. Greater and greater proportions of the Social Security trust fund would be privatized on an increasingly involuntary basis. And then the stock market will crash, as it always does, and everyone will be sad and confused and surprised.

Report Alberto Gonzales

FOR Greg writes:

Got an enemy you want to dispatch? A buddy you want to play a prank upon or just fuck with an innocent bystander? Then submit their name(s) to the US Air Force’s Operation Eagle Eyes, their version of Big

Brother in the extremis. Supposedly, when East Germany was still part of the USSR, that country’s internal spy agency, the Stasi, had over 1/3 of the people spying on the rest of the country. Where in the hell is the escape hatch?

Damn Slacker

Dierdre demands:

Ted, update the Rallblog already! I look forward to reading it each week.

Sorry about that. Just got back from civilization, er, France. I was shilling books.

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