Archive for March, 2006

March 25, 2006

Right-wing logic betrays a singular lack of basic information about the way the world works.

Referring to my column this week about the testimony of Hurricans Katrina victims’ testimony, Conservative Dialysis asks:

hang on a minute here. If there’s one thing that you can count on from people who feel that some authority figure has injured them or mistreated them is that a lawsuit is going to be filed. The people Rall discusses here, if there stories are actually true, all have good causes of action against the City of New Orleans and/or the Federal Government. Why haven’t they filed these suits?

Because, genius, lawyers are expensive. The victims were poor to begin with. Now they’re homeless too. They can’t afford to hire a a lawyer and, despite the belief of some that many lawyers work on a contingiency, that’s only true in asbestos litigation and similar torts.

Why aren’t they cashing in on what would seem to be a lottery-type situation? I’ll tell you why: because there isn’t any evidence to back up these stories. In a time where people in government routinely loose their jobs for the slightest act of political correctness, why isn’t “Tammy” yelling and screaming about how the police called her a “black monkey bitch”? If true, she could and should have that officer hung from the highest flag pole.

Except, how would she do that?

Among the great ironies of my life was being temporarily arrested (!) for jaywalking in Los Angeles. I jaywalk every day, but that time I actually happened to be crossing with the light, in the crosswalk. An African-American cop cuffed me, threw me up against the wall and roughed me up before writing me a ticket and letting me go. I was polite. I didn’t resist. I’m not stupid; the guy has the legal right to shoot me. Anyway, I filed an Internal Affairs complaint. Guess what happened?

If you’re black and reading this, you know the answer: Nada. Cops get away with murder all the time. There’s no recourse against them. If you’re white and reading this, ask a black man.

March 25, 2006

From One “Steaming Pile” to Another

Actually I prefer to reserve that term for the speech Bush gave at Ground Zero. But the news that the Washington Post has just fired the blogger who called me a “steaming pile of pus” for plagiarism is too delicious to pass up.

March 16, 2006

Afghanistan: All About Oil, Just Like Iraq

I know, I know—I already wrote the book on the energy-based motivations for the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Guess what? Not only is the pipeline project originally conceived by UNOCAL moving forward, Afghanistan has lots of oil too:

Scientists Find Big Afghan Oil Resources
By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer Tue Mar 14, 5:29 PM ET
WASHINGTON – Two geological basins in northern Afghanistan hold 18 times the oil and triple the natural gas resources previously thought, scientists said Tuesday as part of a U.S. assessment aimed at enticing energy development in the war-torn country.
Nearly 1.6 billion barrels of oil, mostly in the Afghan-Tajik Basin, and about 15.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, mainly in the Amu Darya Basin, could be tapped, said the U.S. Geological Survey and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Industry.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai described the estimates as “very positive findings,” particularly since the country now imports most of its energy, including electricity.
“Knowing more about our country’s petroleum resources will enable us to take steps to develop our energy potential, which is crucial for our country’s growth,” said Karzai, whose government was created after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 and later won national elections.
The $2 million assessment, paid for by the independent U.S. Trade and Development Agency, was nearly four years in the making, said Daniel Stein, the agency’s regional director for Europe and Eurasia. The total area assessed was only about one-sixth of the two basins’ 200,000 square miles that lie within Afghanistan.
Interior Secretary Gale Norton, whose agency includes the U.S. Geological Survey, said the assessment would help Afghanistan better understand and manage its natural resources.
Afghanistan’s petroleum reserves were previously thought to hold 88 million barrels of oil and 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, based on Afghan and Soviet estimates for 15 oil and gas fields opened between 1957 and 1984. But just three of those have operated recently.
“There is a significant amount of undiscovered oil in northern Afghanistan,” said Patrick Leahy, the U.S. Geological Survey’s acting director. He said the other oil fields were abandoned, or the equipment there is damaged and rocks have filled the wells.
More work remains to assess petroleum reserves, conduct seismic exploration and rehabilitate wells, say government and industry officials.
Companies could drill relatively quickly, potentially bringing in billions of dollars in revenue to the transitional government, said H.E. Said Tayeb Jawad, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States.
“Within two to three years, the prospects are there for companies to start exploring oil and gas. The legal infrastructure is in place for the companies to come in,” Jawad said in an interview.
“As far as security, they may have to take some additional precautions. But the country is much safer than what’s perceived in the media,” he said. “But of course we are fighting terrorism, it’s a phenomenon, it’s a danger, but it’s not limited to one country.”

March 13, 2006

Ted Rall at Panel Discussion in New York City

I will join fellow contributors cartoonist David Rees (“Get Your War On”) and Mark Green (2001 Democratic candidate for NYC Mayor) to an anthology of essays titled “Proud to Be Liberal” for a panel discussion about the state of liberalism at Housing Works. Please join us at:

Wednesday, March 15th, 7:00PM
Housing Works Used Book Cafe
126 Crosby St
New York City
(212) 334-3424

March 10, 2006

Rall v. Coulter: No Pledges Needed, for Now

Thanks to hundreds of generous pledgers we now have enough money committed to launching a slander and libel suit against Coulter for her remarks falsely claiming that I had entered Iran’s Holocaust cartoon contest.

Now I’m working with my lawyers on minutiae and legal research to make sure that those funds are used wisely.

I will be in touch all the pledgers next week. Of course, should this move forward, I will rely upon those of you who have not contributed to keep the lawsuit going all the way to the end. As for now, however, we probably have enough to get started.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to listen to the Ted Rall Show on this Sunday from 10 am to 12 noon Pacific time!

March 8, 2006

Condi Ramone!

Is Condi Rice about to make a career change to punk rock? If her new hair style (click on the photo to enlarge) is any judge, America’s biggest reason to hurl all over the morning paper is jonesing to replace Joey, Johnny or some other dearly departed ember of the fabulous Ramones. Hey, ho, let’s go!

March 3, 2006


The third volume in the ATTITUDE collection goes to the printer next week, so now’s the time to place your advance order. Everyone who has had a sneak peak at this anthology of cartoons by and interviews with 21 of America’s funniest webcomics creators says they’re knocked out by the breadth of creativity reflected in these pages.

You can advance order ATTITUDE 3 now.

March 3, 2006

Ann Coulter Update

We’re almost there.

March 3, 2006

Ted Rall on Fox News’ “Heartland w/John Kasich

I’m scheduled to appear Saturday night at 8 pm East Coast time on “Heartland” with John Kasich (Fox News) to discuss the case of an Aurora, Colorado schoolboy who secretly taped his high school geography teacher’s complaints about Bush.

March 1, 2006

More Pledges, Please

I already do radio but I’m almost ready to to NPR what with all this pleading for cash.

Seriously, though, the Sue Ann Coulter Pledge Drive is kicking serious ass. We’re over $21,000! In other words, we’re almost there–but we need more to do this job right. If standing up against slander and libel by right-wing nutjobs doesn’t make you pry open your wallet, consider the look on Coulter’s face when she meets my process server!