Archive for July, 2005

July 29, 2005

Tarantoad, cont.

John Davies asks:

I admit, I am opposite of you politically. But today you completely suprised me. How can a little twerp such as yourself physically threaten someone? I mean, do you really consider yourself a threat in a dark alleyway? Maybe to Marvin Hamlish or Stephen Hawkins.

“Little twerp”? How do you know if I’m little, big, or medium?

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July 28, 2005

James Taranto, America-Hating Coward

This isn’t the first time that the Wall Street Journal’s most far right editorial writer has targeted me as un-American because I respect the Constitution, decency and U.S. as well as international law–unlike the lunatic Bushites whose ass his tongue gracelessly graces. Now, as part of a retrospective of his heinous “Best of the Web” column–nothing more than a poorly-written cover for his neo-fascist rants–he casually dashes off this gem:

On Oct. 23, 2001, we started a feature called “Stupidity Watch” chronicling such nonsense; it began with contributions from America-hating cartoonist and commentator Ted Rall…

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it now: that turd Taranto had better hope he never encounters me in a dark alley, poorly policed subway station or New York media party, because casually smearing someone as “America-hating” is some serious fucking shit that I won’t sit still for. It’s wrong, it’s libelous and, as my readers well know, it’s exactly the opposite of the truth.

By the way, letters to the Wall Street Journal go to: wsj.ltrs@wsj.com.

July 21, 2005

Some People Don’t Remember Clinton—MY Clinton

William writes:

Dear Ted,

I hate America.
I know that you likely get many letters prefaced with that. I don’t care. In fact, I’m close to not giving a fuck about a lot of stuff,
given that a) history repeats itself, and b) things move in cycles. Both of these rules give me little cause for comfort, especially when I keep an eye on political matters.
I suppose as a concerned citizen who occasionally speaks out, which is better than average, I could consider myself a participant in a democracy. Yet we both know we live in a de facto oligarchy where only the well-connected (read: rich) may participate in running for candidacy. We both know that machines, not citizens, win elections. We both know that southern Democrats and Northern Republicans are the same species. And we both know that the American Experiment has been dead since Washington died and the two party system took its place.
That said, I’m disappointed in you. You’re obviously smart and funny. I agree with you more times than not. Yet as I continued
to read your articles and cartoons, I must admit you make a better cartoonist than a columnist. Your stuff on Tillman was dead on.
But then I had a friend die in Iraq. And suddenly it wasn’t funny anymore.

Of course not. There’s nothing funny about it, really. Absurd, yes, but it’s not really the same thing. Still, I wonder–why did it only hit home after William’s friend died? Why didn’t the deaths of previous US troops affect him the same way? Why not the far greater number of Afghan and Iraqi deaths? Humanity’s inability to empathize is staggering.

I’m not trying to one-up you in moral outrage. I’m sure you know tons more people who are dead now. I know you think about it a lot. But I’m afraid that in hunting for Ann Coulter and Karl Rove, you have become part of the problem, not the solution. You have engaged in partisan hackery. Please do not deny it, Mr. male Ann Coulter. Yes, Bush has done pretty shitty things. But then again, so did Clinton. So have a lot of Democratic presidents. What makes Bush different? Party affiliation?

Long-time readers of my work know that I’m an equal opportunity politician basher, and that I’ve paid a high price for that. I called for Clinton’s impeachment while my peers were defending him, I attacked his response to the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa, I declared his presidency the greatest example of squandered opportunity in American history. But these things do have a scale. It’s not partisan to note that Bush is the first American leader to have seized power by coup d’état. Right there, that makes him the most evil man to have ever participated in our political system. Previous presidents have started wars, even wide-scale conflicts, but few have done so with such glee or callous disregard for the loss of life and limb caused by their actions. Previous presidents have failed to defend America, but few have refused to do anything about an attack as large and monstrous as 9/11–yet that’s exactly what George W. Bush has done: nothing.

Bush has built a network of concentration camps to house thousands of Muslims kidnapped off American streets, where they are routinely tortured and murdered under direct sanction by the White House. He has transformed our record surplus into a record deficit.

Have other presidents fucked up? Sure. But none as spectacularly or with such abandon as Bush. So yes, he is different–and I’d be saying that if the dude were a Democrat. Count on it.

Can you forgive all of Clinton’s sins, yet scream non-stop about Bush? Granted, he deserves nearly all of it…just like TV, each successive president provides a new low standard of behavior. But then again, you’re not the Daily Show. You don’t make fun of EVERYONE. You don’t tell the truth about EVERYONE. So I can’t trust you anymore. You’re selective, just like any Beltway insider. I could quote Pogo or Neitchzie [sic] here, but you get the picture.

I get the picture, but I don’t recognize myself in it. And neither, I suspect, do people who were reading my work before 2000. Why don’t I go after the dumbass Dems as much as Bush? Because, quite frankly, they’re not responsible for most of what’s going on nowadays. They’re out of power. They’re impotent. Me, I attack those in power because they’re the ones to blame.

Besides, I’ve written an ENTIRE BOOK talking about what’s wrong Democrats. It’s called “Wake Up, You’re Liberal!” I suggest you pick up a copy before you accuse me of hackery. Besides, I do tackle dumbass Dems quite frequently.

Argue all you want about how the Republican party is evil and deserves to be destroyed. And what about the Democratic party? For example, what the hell has the Democratic party done for blacks? They get the black vote, but do they deserve it? No more than the Republicans deserve the religious right vote. It’s all pandering and half-promises which are not fulfilled.

True. But it hardly compares with the systematic slaughter of 200,000 innocent people, now does it?

So in the end, save some of your venom for Ted Kennedy, who surely deserves it. Or the entire Democratic party, which has done a fair impersonation of a convulsing, headless snake. In the meantime, please try to convince me that Northern Democrats aren’t as insane as Southern Republicans.

Ted Kennedy is worthy of criticism, sure, but he’s not a neo-fascist fuckhead like Bush and his gang of traitors. So, given the three cartoons and one column I have to draw and write each week, where do you think I should focus my attention? Fox news et al., moreover, already have the TK-bashing well in hand.

PS oh and also, referring to the subject title which made you open this message, don’t print anything about Roberts. See her [sic] most recent article for more details.

Thanks, but I’ll write what I like.

On Roberts, though:

We would be well-advised to give John Roberts a quick confirmation since he’s going to get one anyway. Focus on Rove, Libby, and the other White House traitors–they’re the key to bringing down the whole shebang.

July 21, 2005

Prepenultimate

Walt provides today’s vocabulary lesson:

The word for third from the last is prepenultimate (at least in linguistic circles). Keep fighting the good fight. You’re a voice of sanity in a country that’s become a madhouse.

July 21, 2005

An Anagram, a Little Forced

Steve writes:

Put a leg on the “P” in “patriot.” Scramble up the word. Sooner or later
You’ll make “traitor.” Isn’t that absurd?

July 20, 2005

Stewart, Maher, TV

Charley writes:

Looks like I’m a bit late writing this (I see you have a new related entry on your blog), but I wanted to add
something: isn’t the point of the Daily Show to bring on people that Stewart can argue with / expose, rather than like-minded individuals? That’s precisely why they bring you on Fox.

That may in fact be the case. Only their bookers know.

I don’t watch TDS daily, so I don’t know, I’m just asking: Has Stewart ever invited Michael Moore, etc.
etc., or is it always conservative popular pundits? If the latter, then it doesn’t seem like an insult, but a compliment, that you haven’t been invited on. I’m glad you made the Goldberg list! 😉 Not sure why John Edwards had the honor though! As a sellout to GOP non-values, Edwards is not even in the same league.
Now, hopefully Bill Maher has had you on Politically Incorrect. Not sure what venue he has now (since his free speech was unceremoniously taken away), because I’ve been an expat for several years, but if he is doing anything similar with guest mixing, that would be the spot I would expect to see you on, more likely.
At any rate, continued good luck with the exposure.

Bill Maher, who wrote the introduction to “To Afghanistan and Back” a few years ago, had me on PI and his current show “Real Time with Bill Maher” (on HBO) a few times, most recently several years ago. During my last appearance, the subject of Bush’s military “service” prompted me to refer to the C-in-C as a “fucking pussy.” Maher’s eyes got really, really big when I said that, and I haven’t been invited back since. On the other hand, maybe they just lost my phone number.

I don’t watch the show since I refuse to pay for HBO, so I don’t have any insight as to the sort of guests who appear on “Real Time” now.

July 20, 2005

Worse Than a Horror

Judge Roberts seems so…reasonable. As a fellow Midwesterner with bad hair, I even sort of empathized. On the other hand, there he was, next to Piehole. Anyone who has anything to do with That Man, as American women call him, can’t be all good. Or good at all. Thing is, we don’t know exactly how he’s evil.

Bush has brilliantly nominated a cypher. With hardly a record to look at, the one thing we can sure of is that Bush is sure that Roberts is a right-winger. Which should be reason enough to oppose him. One reason Democrats suck, by the way: they view a justice to the left of Hitler as a success for their side. If they knew dick about bargaining, though, they would have demanded a liberal Supreme Court nominee. That’s right, from Bush. And why not? During countless Democratic presidential administrations, right-wing Republicans have been named as federal judges and cabinet members as symbols of their boss’ bipartisan spirit. If the GOP wanted to send a similar message beyond their usual empty propaganda, Dems might have argued, the court could have been balanced out by a nice, normal liberal.

“Balanced”? Yes, balanced. Because Sandra Day O’Connor cast the deciding vote in Bush v. Gore, because she did it only to retire under a Republican president, because that decision installed an illegitimate wannabe dictator where President Gore rightfully deserves to preside. That decision alone makes her the most right-wing, and most dangerous Supreme Court justice in U.S. history. Surely a liberal should have replaced her, if for no reason other than to set things right again.

Obviously, I like to dream.

Roberts will probably be confirmed, which is sad because, as a young man, we’ll be stuck with him a pretty long time. My only advice is: if you’re a woman, now might be the time to get that abortion you’ve been putting off.

July 19, 2005

Jon Stewart

Paul writes:

First of all, I love the work that you do, and I have been a big fan of your cartoons and essays for a long time. You obviously push all the right buttons (no pun intended!)
I need to defend Jon Stewart though. You say:
“Still think Jon Stewart’s cool? Consider this: he invited Goldberg to publicize his neo-McCarthyite tripe on “The Daily Show.” He’s never asked me. Or, to my knowledge, Aaron McGruder. Nor Jeff Danziger (the third cartoonist) referenced and slagged in the book.”
The one thing that you neglect to add is that, and this is just purely a subjective view, Stewart trashed Goldberg for the tripe that he published in his book, and basically pointed it out to be irrelevant, and clearly misdirected at the wrong people. You can see by Goldberg’s body language that he was obviously angered by Stewarts comments, and I think that goes a long way in pointing out the “with us or against us” mentality of those that would like to keep the public under their intellectual lock-and-key. I do agree with you that I would like to see more Ralls, Klien’s, and Chomsky’s on the show.
Thanks Ted! Keep fighting the good fight!

Word has it that Stewart went fairly easy on Goldberg, but that’s not the point. The point is that he gave a hatemonger a forum that will help him sell many more books than he would have otherwise. A few insults aside, Goldberg should be pleased that he appeared on “The Daily Show.” Meanwhile, books by progressives—far more intelligent books—die a dog’s death due to poor sales.

Matthew wrote:

Still think Jon Stewart’s cool?
Well, yes.
Consider this: he invited Goldberg to publicize his neo-McCarthyite tripe on “The Daily Show.”
And then, in the deftly teasing manner that makes Jon so “cool”, completely ridiculed Goldberg and demonstrated what a tripe-hyping fool the guy is. (Did you see the show?)

Again, all publicity is good publicity. Which is part of the reason I go on Fox. Liberal ideas languish in obscurity largely due to lack of good promotion and distribution.

Grayson says:

Hey man,

I love your cartoons and all your books (I have all of them exceptt “Latchkey Kids”) and check your site daily to read the Rallblog. Before I knew about your website, I religiously read your column in MRR as well. I read your “Goodies” whenever I need to laugh my ass off, which is about twice a day. I swear, Roach Motel and Fatal Defenestration crack me up every time. Keep it up.

I do, however, disagree with you on John Stewart. I try to catch the Daily Show whenever I can between changing diapers and passing out from exhaustion after work. I agree that he tosses a lot of softballs to his guests (Colin Powell, Ed Gillespe AND Bernard Goldberg, especially). But overall, he does go places other “news” shows won’t dare to. He’s probably the only person on television who has actually said that Bush, McClellan and their cronies “we’re lying” when they denied Rove, Abrams and Libby were involved in the leak of Valerie Plames identity. And he did slam Tucker Carlson and his crew of morons for not living up to their profession’s standards on Crossfire that time. And you can’t argue with his permanent labeling of Bob Novak as “The Douchebag of Liberty.”
I think the fact that his audience is made up of mostly stoner lefties and NYC tourists detracts from the overall effect of his show. And after all, it’s on Comedy Central so no one is going to take it seriously.
You gotta admit though, the Daily Show is fucking hilarious sometimes.
Anyway, keep up the good work. I’ll keep reading it as long as you keep writing it. You’re an inspiration to amateur journalists like myself.

I admit it. “The Daily Show” is hilarious sometimes…though not nearly often enough. And thanks!

July 19, 2005

Bush’s Pick

The smart money says that Piehole will pick a female Supreme Court nominee. I’m still betting on Alberto Gonzalez, because he knows it’ll drive people like me up the wall. But I really have no idea. We’ll see what we see…prepare to shudder in horror.

July 19, 2005

America Does Not Equal the President

GI points out the attitude that afflicts many conservatives, namely that they equate the presidency with the nation itself. This is a distinctly antidemocratic idea, worthy of Stalin, but they don’t get it. Besides, Bush isn’t the president anyway:

Ted – regarding your recent column- ignore that previous email (it was sent by accident)
Anyway- here’s an excerpt from a Sermon that Nixon aide Chuck Colson gave to prisoners in his prison ministry- it’s in the new bio of him by fellow felon Aitken (who wrote a glowing bio of Nixon) This is about loyalty:

“Jesus had Judas. Nixon had John Dean. Because of both of those betrayals, twelve men came under pressure. Those of us around Nixon at that time could have been called twelve of the most powerful people in the world. But we twelve powerful men couldn’t hold a lie together for two weeks… But none of them snitched. None of them copped a plea by confessing to thier tormentors.”
—–
Ted -as you can see, Chuck’s crew had a better record than Jesus’s (Jude betrayed, and Peter denies, and Thomas doubted, etc) But you can see Colson does not mention loyalty to America- but to Nixon, who he equates with God and Country.