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December 09, 2004

Last call

Friday is the last day to order a signed print. After that, I won't be filling any more orders until next year.

And after this, I'll shut up about the swag.

Swag reminder

Over at Great Lakes, they're running a little contest--order a set of ornaments and you're entered to possibly win one of their political marionettes.

Just so you know, I'm not making huge money off these things myself--I just genuinely think they're really cool. And judging from the responses, so does everyone who's ordered them:

--A little bit of liberal sunshine in a gloomy world.  Thanks!

--Doggone (and penguin-gone), they're great! I only hope my office gets a tree good enough to hang them on.

--I just wanted to let you know how lovely your ornaments look. My husband and I enjoy your strips in the Village Voice and I read your blog regularly. When I saw the ornaments I had to order them for him as a christmas gift. They're really nice, and beautifully presented.

-- just got my ornaments and all I can say is a gigantic WOW! They looks great, have real HEFT to ‘em, they’re lovingly painted (not by Chinese convicts, I trust) and most important, they smell like the plexiglas project I did in metal shop in 7th grade! better than ditto smell, better than gasoline and turpentine together! Just kidding – they are absolutely the coolest. Plus the customized 2004 packaging with your logotype is a nice touch. I hope you sell a million of ‘em!

--Just wanted to drop you a note about the Christmas ornaments, which I ordered a while back and received late last week. Not only are they larger than they appear in web photos, but they are also much cooler. Much MUCH cooler. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay cool. And probably underpriced, too.

Photos here.

Been busy

As Atrios wrote recently, somehow people manage to hear about stories published on the front page of the New York Times even if I don't link to them. I assume you're up on the soldiers questioning Rumsfeld about adequate equipment and stop-loss. The right wingers--remember, the guys who support the troops--are trying to downplay this in various ways. Spent some time listening to Limbaugh and glancing over the righty blogs--the main arguments seem to be that (a) the fact that soldiers are scrounging junk piles to try to protect themselves adequately is just proof that the system is working well--i.e., decent hardworking American boys don't want anything to go to waste; (b) no amount of armor can protect them from RPG's, so why bother to have any armor at all; and via Drudge, (c) the question was planted by some damn liberal reporter anyway. (As to that last point, only one question is relevant--did the reporter also engineer the spontaneous roar of applause from the rest of the troops in the audience?)

Limbaugh went on to liken the troops wanting decent equipment which might help them live out their tours of duty to his own employees whining because they want bigger computer monitors and the dishes in the break room aren't as nice as they would like. Yes, that's right. The fat junkie blowhard thinks that the life-and-death situation for troops in Iraq is no more serious than the size of his assistant's computer monitor. It literally infuriates me, thinking about it. What a worthless piece of human debris this guy is.

As for the question of whether or not any amount of armor is necessary, I simply suggest you go read this. Read to the end. It'll break your heart.

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December 08, 2004

For what it's worth

Prosecutors in Amsterdam are charging an arms dealer as an accomplice to genocide for selling lethal chemicals to Saddam Hussein between 1984 and 1988.

The suspect, Frans van Anraat, a 62-year-old chemicals dealer who was arrested Monday in Amsterdam, will face charges for "violating the laws of war and involvement in genocide," said Wim de Bruin of the national prosecutor's office.

Prosecutors said he had been a suspect since 1989, when he was arrested in Milan at the request of the United States government. But he was later released and fled to Iraq, where he remained until 2003. After the American-led invasion in 2003, he returned to the Netherlands, via Syria.

"The man is suspected of delivering thousands of tons of raw materials for chemical weapons to the former regime in Baghdad between 1984 and 1988," prosecutors said in a statement.

Here's a list of materials exported to Iraq from the United States around the same time.

(Edited: typo).

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December 07, 2004

Signed prints...

...will only be available for three more days. I've learned that I have to do this at Christmastime, to keep from being inundated with last-minute orders I can't possibly get out in time. After Friday, I won't be filling any more orders until 2005, so if you want to order one for a present, you need to take care of that soon. (The link is over to the left at the bottom of the text links.)

Somebody call Bartlett's

"On the Right, batshit-crazy is the new polyester."

--Roy Edroso

Idiotic
Citing that material contained therein constituted “clearly piratical copies” of registered and recorded copyrights, a shipment of comics bound for Top Shelf has been seized by US Customs in Charleston, SC. The books in question are copies of the Stripburger anthology containing the stories “Richie Bush” by Peter Kuper, and “Moj Stub” (“My Pole”) by Bojan Redzic. Top Shelf has asked the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to look in to the matter, and as a result, the CBLDF has retained counsel to challenge the seizures.

According to the CBLDF: "Richie Bush," appearing in Stripburger (Vol. 12) #37, is a four-page parody of Richie Rich that also satirizes the Bush Administration by superimposing the personalities of the President's cabinet on the characters from the comic. "My Pole," appearing in Stripburger (Vol.3) # 4-5, which was published in 1994, is an eight-page ecology parable in Serbian that makes visual homage to Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and Woodstock in three panels. Customs seized five copies of the issue with the Peanuts reference and fourteen copies of the issue containing "Richie Bush." The stories were both published in the middle of their respective issues and no graphics from either story appeared on the covers.

Story. Peter Kuper's a friend of mine; many of you will remember his "Richie Bush" ad, which graced this very page until not too long ago. He's doing what a lot of us do from time to time--momentarily appropriating known characters for the purpose of political satire. Sure, you can't do it every week, you can't make a career out of using those characters, or you're on touchy legal ground--but doing as a one-off is pretty clearly falls under acceptable standards for parody.

My wife and I were watching the local news once, several years ago, and a woman who was being interviewed about her troubles, whatever they may have been, looked into the camera and said, "It's like being nibbled to death by duck-billed creatures."

We looked at each other and simultaneously repeated: "Duck-billed creatures?"

So that's become the catchphrase around chez Tomorrow, and it's how I feel, every time some new idiocy like this comes down the pike these days: we're being nibbled to death by duck-billed creatures.

--------------------

December 06, 2004

More Moore

Taibbi:

We've got to repudiate, you know, the most strident and insulting anti-American voices out there sometimes on our party's left... We can't have our party identified by Michael Moore and Hollywood as our cultural values.

—Al From,
CEO, Democratic Leadership Council

You know, let's let Hollywood and the Cannes Film Festival fawn all over Michael Moore. We ought to make it pretty clear that he sure doesn't speak for us when it comes to standing up for our country.

—Will Marshall, President of the Progressive Policy Institute, the think-tank of the DLC

THE FIRST THING I thought when reading these passages—both taken from a "soul-searching" roundtable held by the Democratic Leadership Council—was this: Who the hell is Will Marshall?

I couldn't remember seeing his name at the top of anybody's ballot. I didn't remember which, if any, elections he had ever won. I was a little mystified, in fact, by the nature of his popular support—who he meant, exactly, when he used the word "we" to talk about whom Michael Moore does and does not speak for.

According to the last data I could find, Moore recently made a movie that was seen by tens of millions of people around the world and has grossed nearly $120 million in the U.S. alone. Furthermore, it was, according to exit polls, a much better demographic success than the actual Democratic party. A Harris poll conducted in July found that 89 percent of Democrats agreed with Fahrenheit 9/11, along with 70 percent of independents. That means Moore outperformed John Kerry among independents by about 19 points, if we are to go just by the data presented by bum-licking power-worshipper Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times at the DLC roundtable.

More.

Rhetorical question

I was in the car the other day, running some errands, and had the radio tuned to our local Clear Channel station, on which some lesser Limbaugh was speculating as to who might be the worst home-grown villain in America. Scott Petersen and O.J. Simpson were high on the list, as was Timothy McVeigh. The host and his callers then went on to bring up names like Al Gore, Janet Reno, Barbara Streisand, and yes, Michael Moore, if only to discuss why they weren't quite as evil as Scott Petersen, et al. But the consensus seemed to be that they were pretty darned close.

So here's my question: why do people like Beinert (and the rest of the Sensible Liberals who've been weighing in on his recent essay) obsessively insist that Decent-Thinking Democrats denounce Michael Moore, when right-wing crap like what I heard the other day is being spewed on talk radio at pretty much any hour of the day or night? Republicans don't play this game. You don't hear Republicans whining about the need for Decent-Thinking Republicans to repudiate Limbaugh, Hannity, et al.

Isn't it about time mainstream Democrats stop blaming progressives for their own shortcomings?

A sad update

I can't attest to its veracity, but according this posting, the Hearts & Homes animal shelter is horrendously mismanaged. Some of you may recall, I encouraged readers of this site to donate to H&H a couple of years ago, when they were about to be evicted from their loft space, and together, we raised a decent amount of money for them. Hearts & Homes was a fixture around my old neighborhood in Brooklyn--every weekend, their volunteers were out on streetcorners. The animals with them never appeared to be abused or mistreated, but if these allegations turn out to be true, it looks like I was taken, along with a lot of other Brooklynites, and a fair number of you--and to the latter, I apologize.

There are a number of updates on this page, as well as contact information--though if this is all true, I don't understand why NYC animal control officers haven't simply shut the place down. (There's a lot here I don't understand, actually, like how this could have gone on for any length of time without some volunteer noticing earlier.)

At the time, I wrote that you can't save the world, but you can make a small difference sometimes. Looks like even that modest optimism may have been misguided. At least in this case.

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