Thursday, March 30, 2006

God Hates Coral Reefs

What's the big schmeal about coral reefs? They're just big stupid rocks. Yet crazy environmentalists want to save them, as if they have value to anybody outside a few tax-and-spend tie-dyed coral-hugging scuba divers. Now there's this:

Caribbean Coral Suffers Record Death

Who knew stupid rocks could die? Besides, even if coral is "alive," it's not like you can take it home as a pet. It doesn't have big brown tender eyes and soft fur, and it doesn't make cute sounds like "meow meow purr purr" and junk. It just sits there in the cold, wet, filthy ocean doing nothing. BO-RING!

Even worse, coral typically changes its sex several times in it's lifespan! My children are stupid. How am I supposed to explain this to them? What if my son decides to "come out of the coral?" Coral reefs are orgies of sin and debauchery and deserve to go to Hell. Rocks should not be allowed to have sex. Coral does not love Christ (except possibly Coral growing in Baptismal water, but even that's sort of a grey area.) The Bible doesn't say anything about coral, especially transgender coral, and so it is clearly not part of God's plan.

What really matters is microscopic masses of undifferentiated human stem cells. The "ecosystem" depends on every one of them becoming a full-grown, Christ-loving human Christian. Babies are cuter than coral; therefore, they're more valuable to the world. Therefore, we can kill coral and it won't matter. I say good riddance. The less coral, the easier it is for me to force my children into the correct gender roles.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #85 - Untitled

I have nothing to say about this strip. Read it.
The Invisible Life of Poet

Constitutional Violations Are Catching On

2006 is quickly becoming the year of constitutional violations!

Like pierced tongues and tattoos before them, blatant constitutional violations are gradually entering the political pop culture of this country. The trendy new activity is being driven in large part by a totalitarian President driven mad with power. He's a total badaaaaass gangsta, that guy.

First, back in January, Bush issued a signing statement to an anti-torture bill passed by Congress, claiming he had the right to ignore a law if he deemed it necessary. This blatantly violates Article I, Section 8, which states in part that Congress has the power "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers." The president does not have this power. But Bush thinks he does! RADICAL!

Next, the Bush administration fully admitted to having spied on domestic phone calls without obtaining a court's permission to do so. Not only does this violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a law passed by Congress, it also violates the Fourth Amendment in the awesomest of ways: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Dude, that amendment is LA-AME! Bush is SuperCOOL!

Then, Bush signed a Budget bill into law that had not been approved in the same form by the Senate and the House. Evidence indicates that top level aides and advisors knew of the discrepancy, and went ahead with the signing anyway, clearly violating the Presentment Clause (article I, section 7), which is a totally sucky clause! You rock, Mr. Bush!

Then Bush issued another signing statement for the most recent version of the Patriot Act, saying that he was not bound to the meager rules set forth by Congress to protect civil liberties. Totally AWESOME-UM TO THE MAXIMUM!

Meanwhile, two totally square Democratic representatives are trying to bring down the president's kick-assiness, demanding that Bush obey the laws. No way, narcs!

Bush's trendiness is already catching on nationwide, and nothing could beat the hardcore coolness of violating the very first sentence of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." But the Georgia state legislature are clearly as cool as rockstar gangstas. Their new law, passed almost unanimously in both chambers, establishes voluntary Bible classes statewide in public schools. Off the hook, yo!

The next cool thing would be for Bush to bypass Article II, Section 1, and declare himself "Emergency King" due to our unending state of warfare. That shit would be SICK!

If you are an American, take twenty minutes out of your life and READ THE FUCKING CONSTITUTION YOU SWINE!!!! Please click here for a complete hypertext of this crucial document.

Monday, March 27, 2006

How Progressives Can Talk National Security

Conservatives in power do not care about this nation's security. "Security" to them does not mean saving lives or protecting our homeland. "Security" to them means unnecessary preemptive warfare built on a foundation of lies and deceit. It means no-bid contracts to their corporate buddies for supplying the war effort. It means appointing unqualified or incompetant cronies to positions on which lives depend. It means violating FISA, the Fourth Amendment, and a proud history of civil liberties for an unregulated program of surveillance. "Security" to them means a culture of fear and xenophobia. It means hatred and racism. "Security" to them means torture.

"Security" to progressives, and to the Democratic party, means taking care of our ports and inspecting incoming cargo. It means securing loose nuclear material worldwide. It means obeying the Nuclear Arms Nonproliferation Treaty. It means returning to the power of diplomacy, not senseless acts of war, to secure allies and confront our enemies. It means working with the UN, not against it, to fight world tyranny and poverty. "Security" to us means following the Geneva Conventions, it means being a global leader in human rights, not a consummate offender of human rights. It means a strong, efficient, and economical professional military, not a force sent into war only for the benefit of Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed-Martin. "Security" to us means protecting ourselves, and our friends around the world, from death and destruction, and that's all it means.

The United States is the richest and most militarily powerful nation in the world, but we are not the only nation in the world. And in the past six years the Republican administration has shown not a scrap of humility, not a scrap of compassion for our neighbors. In five years they have taken the compassion and spirit given to us by the world after the September 11th attacks, and turned it into hatred. It is a fool who believes that hatred directed at our nation proves the ethical character of our actions.

As an American I no longer want to see my nation walking around the world with its fists raised in preparation for a fight. I want to see my nation walking around shaking hands, securing new friendships and renewing old ones.

In a world where terrorists can roam and hide anywhere, from East to West, from North to South, and all parts in between, it is impossible to truly secure your nation from agression without global help. It is time to stop pounding our military chest in macho displays of anger and warfare and start admitting this nation made a mistake in invading a sovereign nation almost unilaterally, regardless of the ethics and actions of a hated dictator. Humility is on the march. Compassion is on the march. We are the rich older brothers to the world - it's time we stop acting like bullies and start acting like mature adults.

George W. Bush and his Republicans do not care about American lives. American lives could be saved on our highways and in our clinics through preventative medicine. They care only about money and an egotistic belief that their actions are mandated by God Himself. If their God has asked them to subject secret detainees to water boarding, then perhaps they worship a different God then the rest of us.

It is time for real security in this nation. The neoconservative philosophy has been proven not just incorrect, but morally unjustifiable. It is time for a new progressive security.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Time Has Come for Specious Reasoning

The raver culture is completely out of control.

Last night in Seattle a raver walked into a party and fired a shotgun into a crowd of fellow ravers, killing six of them, later turning the gun on himself. Some are calling it a random killing, but it is anything but. The raver culture emphasizes freedom of expression, casual sex and drug use, and dancing to music that can only be described as "lustful." This is what happens when freedom of expression is allowed to roam free. Without strict rules of order and morality, innocent people die needlessly.

It is clear that raver culture must be stopped before its practitioners sweep the country raping and murdering and feasting upon the brains of their victims. Their music is designed to send people into a frenzied madness of killing and that is exactly what happened. Someone contact Rick Santorum.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #84 - The Endgame

I believe the script for this strip was written on a short deadline, and thus it still feels undercooked to me, and I have no idea what the message is here. I look at it now and I could have changed the frame order and added some more action. If I had to do it over again I probably would file this away as not quite up to my standards. Yet amazingly, it still manages to be better than all other comic strips currently produced put together, including "Funky Winkerbean."

The Endgame
Life of Poet Mainpage

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Osamaphobia

The attacks of 9/11 caused 2,752 deaths on US soil. Since that day, our government has filled our minds with warnings that al-Qaeda could strike at any moment with dirty bombs, anthrax, and poison gas. The United States has been gripped with fear for almost five years, and we've launched warfare in two unrelated theatres.

But, by my calculation, 9/11 happens every 23 days. In 23 days, approximately 2,700 people are killed in automobile accidents in this country (based on 2004 numbers). Since 9/11, nearly 200,000 Americans have died in their cars and motorcycles, and not a single person has died as a result of a terrorist attack on US soil.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a phobia as "A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it..." I know a thing or two about phobias. I spent 8 years from 1997 to 2005 grounded with a phobia of commercial airlines. A common question I heard from friends and family in those years was "why aren't you paralyzed with fear over driving?"

Americans, and conservatives in particular, are suffering a mad case of Osamaphobia. They fear that at any moment terrorists could strike US soil, killing thousands, and only George Bush, wiretaps, and a policy of unending war in the middle east can stop them. But this fear is completely irrational. You hear over and over again that Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and all the rest are advocating policies that save American lives. If they were truly interested in protecting American lives, they'd put those wiretaps in our cars, to root out dangerous drivers.

The "protecting American lives" argument for war and domestic wiretaps is phony. It's smoke and mirrors. Maybe these policies are not, in fact, about American life, but about power, control, and money. Pay no attention to your personal safety. Continue to purchase new automobiles. Continue drinking. Don't worry about your health insurance. It is the TERRORISTS who want to kill you. LET'S GO TO WAR!!!

Do Something In Pursuit of Good

Today Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin introduced a resolution in the Senate to censure President Bush for his warrentless wiretapping program. This resolution is not an impeachment. It is simply an official rebuke from the Senate to President Bush that he is overstepping his power, breaking the law, and possibly violating the Constitution.

The bill is expected to fail, but this is a great opportunity to send a message to your government with a simple email. Spineless Democrats and Partyline Republicans have repeatedly said that they cannot vote for these types of measures because they do not feel that their constituents are interested in such matters. With an email, you can help change their minds.

I have written to my Senators here in Rhode Island to vote in favor of this resolution. I encourage you to do the same, then forward this message on to friends and family. I have attached the email I sent after this message, and you are free to use it. To find your Senator's email or web form, go here.

President Bush has shown that his policies are a matter of life and death and it is possible to influence the actions of your government. Write your Senators immediately. The Senate may be voting on this bill very soon.

Late edit: You can also sign Russ Feingold's petition for this resolution here.

Letter follows:
Mr./Mrs. ______,

Today on the floor of the Senate Russ Feingold introduced a motion to censure President George W. Bush for warrantless wiretapping, in plain violation of FISA and the Fourth Amendment.

As a resident of the state of ______, I support this motion, and ask you to vote in favor of Mr. Feingold's resolution.

I understand the importance of wiretapping in combatting domestic terrorism, but it has been made clear by Mr. Feingold and many others since this program was revealed that a simple process already exists to gain approval of wiretapping within the confines of the law. While I am fearful of the actions of terrorists, I am far more fearful today of an executive branch that is willing to tread upon the Constitution of the United States.

Please vote to pass the resolution to censure President George W. Bush for his illegal actions.

Thank you,
_________

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #83 - I Heart Stem Cells

You must have known that eventually Poet would get around to abortion. While this does not solve the abortion issue per se, I am very pleased at how it portrays the "compassion" of radical Christians. If you yourself are a Christian, and feel this comic strip grossly misrepresents your viewpoint, I'd like to hear from you. Just remember that right now, somewhere in this country, people like this are doing things like this, and making a whole lot of noise about it. To atheists like me, they are the face of contemporary American Christianity. But then, you probably hate atheists like me, too.

I Heart Stem Cells
Life of Poet Mainpage

ATTENTION CITIZENS: YOU ARE ABOUT TO DIE!!!

The Associated Press has just released a story that a cow in Alabama has tested positive for mad cow disease. Your initial reaction may be one of shock, alarm, fear, and panic. This is the correct response. Although you are many millions of times more likely to die as a result of heart disease, preventable types of cancer, complications from diabetes, auto accidents, and alcohol-related incidents, it is crucial that you ignore these convincing statistics and concentrate on the very-almost-real possibility that mad cow disease will turn into a global pandemic of epidemic proportions. Your family, your children, your friends, but especially your children are all at risk. They may, in fact, already have Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, which is at least as horrible as it sounds, if not more so. And even though only a few hundred people have been infected by the disease since it was discovered, it is critical that we devote all our attention to this story as it develops.

Please ignore the FBI agent climbing your telephone pole. Turn away from your president dropping napalm on innocent Muslims. Pay no mind to the activity of harmless megacorporations. And don't worry that you don't have a job.

The real danger is beef. It may already be in your very own house. The only way to protect yourself is through paralyzing fear.

Not convinced? How about bird flu? Or worse, AVIAN bird flu. The really unlucky ones will get Creutzfeldt-Jacob Bird Flu and die alone, horribly disfigured, in a pool of their own diarrhea. Please lock your doors, stay inside, and tune out the armed stormtroopers goose-stepping down your block.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Americans Won't Accept a Draw, EVER

When you play a game of chess, there are three possible outcomes: you win, you lose, or you draw. In a tournament of chess, you score one point for a win, zero points for a loss, and half a point for a draw. Savvy players, if sufficiently ahead in points, can opt to play for a draw if caught in a difficult game, and still win the tournament.

Americans, in any game except chess, never play for a draw. To an American, a draw is as bad as a loss. If you don't win, you're considered a loser.

This is part of why Americans do not like professional soccer. It is unbelievably frustrating to us to watch 90+ minutes of guys running only to see the game end with both teams being equal. They might as well have just run onto the field and had a big wet soccer-circle-jerk in center field (football-circle-jerk to you Euros.) The National Hockey League used to have ties as well, but the new rules this season say NO TIES. So games go to a shootout so there is a clear winner, even if just by a lucky shot.

Americans do not believe in competitive egalitarianism, and we loathe compromise. When you're the richest, most militarily powerful nation on the planet by such a wide margin, it's understandable that you expect to always be on top in everything you do. It's egotistical, yes, but no wonder: if things go wrong, we can always buy more stuff to make ourselves feel better. You can be the ugliest loser dork in the country, and you can still pay to fly to the Ukraine and bring home a gorgeous wife.

Americans won't accept a draw, and so it goes with international politics. It's been this way with Bush's mystical "war on terror," in which the United States will never accept anything except complete annihilation of every last living terrorist. Unfortunately for Bush, the only people who are NOT potential terrorists are rich white American fundamentalists. Even I could be a potential terrorist. If the National Republican Socialist Party started goose-stepping around my town, parading tanks around the streets, and overturning desks at Planned Parenthood, I might have to think seriously about blowing something up.

The latest "threat" to international politics is that Iran is seeking to enrich some Uranium. They say it's just for power plants, while Dick Cheney says it's most certainly for blowing up Israel and your baby. Considering the level of credibility with the Bush administration at this point, I tend to lean toward the word of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But that's beside the point here.


There has been a bit of one-upmanship as the US seeks to stop Iran from enriching Uranium, and Iran threatens to break their promise not to, just to show us that they refuse to be strongarmed. It's an understandable response. They just want to be left alone, and maybe flatten Israel. But in this modern world, who DOESN'T want to flatten Israel anymore? Even Quebec is talking about it (that may just be a rumor.)

Iran is maintaining it's diplomatic ties to the outside world. They clearly want to find a compromise. And a draw is possible in this game. But Bush and his chickenhawk friends are black-blooded Americans, and that means NO DRAWS. Judging, too, by the domestic political success of the war in Iraq, at least for the first year after the invasion, I have to believe that military action against Iran is inevitable. Bush's approval ratings are dismally low and his disapproval ratings are reaching recond highs. He needs a war to get people excited about flags again.

This is terrifying. Iran is not the twin brother of Iraq. It's much bigger, much more powerful, and has access to a much wider array of resources. If we start levelling anything we think is a nuclear facility, Americans will become walking targets wherever they go. Invasion of Iran is totally out of the question. To invade might set the stage for the next world war.

As a progressive, I would prefer LESS war, not more. Granted, I have no vested interest in Raytheon or Lockheed-Martin or Halliburton, and certainly the men making these decisions do. Every brown man they kill means one more ivory backscratcher. Nonetheless I think America needs to walk away from this one. Accept a draw and let Iran have their stupid uranium. If we walk away from the fight, we live to blow them up some other day. We know our government is tapping every telephone line in the world at this point, so I have sufficient confidence in our global intelligence network that we're going to know if Iran starts building a nuke. If so, fine, blow it the hell up.

Until then, give our troops a break between stupid wars.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #82 - Valentine's Day

I hate Valentine's Day. I used to be alone, and I hated seeing stupid idiots buying flowers for their superficial idiot girlfriends. Now that I have a girlfriend, I hate Valentine's Day even more because my girlfriend hates it so much. But it is possible to make Valentine's Day fun, as Poet demonstrates in this week's episode. If you're wondering why this strip is a month late, you should move to Dayton, Duluth, Jackson Hole, or Oberlin, to see the latest, freshest strips published in local newsweeklies.

The Invisible Life of Poet #82
Mainpage

South Dakota Rubber Stamps Rape/Incest

You've probably already heard the news that Governor Mike Rounds today signed into law a bill passed by the South Dakota legislature banning abortion. What's more, the law makes no exception in the case of rape or incest.

I heard an abortion opponent justify this by saying that while the pregnancy may have been brought about by horrific means, the fetus is itself an innocent victim, and must still be protected by law. In other words "it's not the baby's fault daddy raped you. Get over it!"

Lawmakers are saying, in effect, that while rape and incest are wrong and illegal, the effects of rape and incest are quite okay. They give a tacit nod to rapist and incestists (incestors?), and it's no wonder. Look at who led the charge to pass this law:

SD Representative Roger Hunt, man
SD House Speaker Matthew Michels, man (pictured above)
SD Governor Mike Rounds, man

Men, like myself, cannot truly empathize with women about rape. We want to be raped by dozens of hot girls every day. It's one of our hottest fantasies that a gorgeous 19 year old with long dark hair, pouty lips, and ample cleavage would drag us into their van and fuck us hard for hours. We want to be tied up and gang raped by a classroom of horny college sluts. Even if the girls were a little chunky or kind of ugly, most of us would still be into it a little.

Women do not work this way. It doesn't matter if Brad Pitt and George Clooney went tag-team on them - women do not like to be forced to have sex. It can be someone they know, or a guy they've been crushing on for years, and rape is still a no-go.

But South Dakota men approve of rape because, to them, rape is sexy. And if you look at the photographs of the legislators who passed this law, you'll know why. It may be the only shot they have to procreate.

As for incest, I suppose that's just a midwestern thing.

A Government of Crackheads

The conservatives running the US government are crackheads. But their crack isn't crack-cocaine, it's bombs and futuristic technologies that kill. And they'll walk over their own grandmother to get more. They need it daily to get high -- on political success -- because Americans love to kick some ass.

At the beginning of Bush's first term as president, I remember Paul Krugman remarking that the secret conservative plan was to cut taxes and run deficits up so high that domestic entitlement programs, and anything else conservatives didn't like, could be cut back to make up the debt. The attacks of 9/11 turned out to be a windfall for these policies, because the public could be terrorized with rhetoric about dirty bombs and ricin attacks in our libraries and waterparks. Simply by keeping the citizenry on edge, the Bush admininstration and associated Congressional cronies were free to spend as much as fiscally possible on the "war on terror," which for some reason includes unmanned swimming spyplanes and cyborg sharks. Bush might say "you can't put a price on homeland security" to justify the ridiculous armed forces and security budgets (now 53.6% of our government's spending, even BEFORE we pay for warfare in Iraq and Afghanastan), and with that in mind, anything else can go out the window. From Pell grants to veteran's benefits to environmental satellites - they're cutting and slashing to bring the deficit down. You can go to the fiscal year 2006 budget for the United States government and see for yourself whose budget is being cut, and whose expanded. Paul Krugman was right.

But the deficit remains at record-levels, and the national debt keeps rising. Turns out that for at least the fourth time in the Bush presidency (it could be more, I can't find a decent article on the subject), the government is breaking through an arbitrary, but legally binding, ceiling for debt, and treasury secretary John Snow (pictured above) is asking Congress to raise the debt ceiling again. But before they get to that point, they've been raiding any stockpiles of cash they can get their hands on, just to keep the government running. As is mentioned in this article they've cut into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, and have already begun eating up investments from the G-fund (Government Securities Investment Fund of the Federal Employees Retirement System). So to ensure the fiscal solvency of the goverment, they've decided to raid the funds that PAY TO RUN THE GOVERNMENT.

What a bunch of crackheads. They steal jewelry and TVs from their own family to pay for their filthy habits. In this case, they steal from their own pension funds to pay for a $24 billion for a fleet of fighter/bombers that have no application in modern warfare.

Bush wants to take away housing for the poor and divert the funds to Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. We all know it.
This is what happens when you vote a bunch of crackheads into office. And when the crackheads run out of money and resources, that's when things get dangerous. They have to start breaking into other people's homes to steal their electronics to feed their habit. Then people get shot and stabbed. In our case, firebombed and tortured.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Do or Die Time for the Democrats

The Democrats are standing on top of possibly the largest heap of scandals, corruption, incompetance, and lies in United States political history, and with an election looming this year, they still can't see over the tops of their opponent's swelled heads.

If the Democratic party cannot collect themselves and start showing some teeth against the worst government we've ever had, if they cannot overcome the Republicans' weakening power in the face of so much evil and blindness and win a significant majority of their campaigns this November, then I will quit the Democratic party and become an Independant. I will refuse to vote for any Democrat whose name isn't Obama, or at least acts like their name is Obama.

The latest is that so many Democrats in the Senate voted to renew the Patriot Act, with only minor changes for civil rights protections. Raw Story has a list of how Senators voted. As you can see, nine Democrats, and one independant, voted against the bill. 33 voted for it, including, as always, King Dick-Suck himself, Joe Lieberman. Clinton and Reid followed suit.

I don't claim to know everything about the Patriot Act. There may be some good parts of it, but I do know that the power to search and seize should not be left in the hands of the Bush administration and the Justice Department, not after all we've seen:
  • Cheney's Energy Taskforcegate
  • Dieboldgate
  • WMDgate
  • Cost of Iraq Wargate
  • Human Toll in Iraqgate
  • Talibangate
  • No Bid Contractgate
  • Halliburtongate
  • Plamegate, Niger Forgerygate, and Yellow Cakegate
  • Torturegate and Abu Ghraibgate
  • Tom Delaygate
  • Duke Cunninghamgate
  • Jack Abramoffgate and K-Streetgate
  • Coingate
  • New Hampshire Phone Jamminggate
  • Guantanomo Prisongate
  • Jeff Gannongate
  • Video News Releasegate
  • Social Securitygate
  • John Boltongate
  • Katrinagate, FEMAgate, and Superdomegate
  • Illegal Domestic Spygate
  • Irangate
  • Cheney Shoots His Friend in the Facegate and Then Makes Him Take the Blamegate
  • Dubai Ports Worldgate
  • Budget Deficitgate
  • Unemploymentgate
  • Medicare Prescriptiongate
  • Stupidgate, Racistgate, Incompetantgate, and Cronygate, with a hint of Evilgate
And this is just a list of scandals, corruption, and lies that have gotten national attention. The list would be unreadable if we looked at Republican scandals at even state levels, and it's damn near unreadable now.

The Republicans are scared, and they're having trouble agreeing on a message anymore. If the Democrats cannot take advantage of this, or at least prove that Republicans have been rigging elections (see "Dieboldgate") then I see no reason to support them anymore, at least not with the leadership that is currently in place. I will start voting for third parties and independants whenever possible. If the Republicans want to turn the US into a dictatorship, at least I'll know I voted for people who saw it coming and said something about it.