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Another year, another oil spill. This time it’s the whimsically named “Pegasus” pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas. The 850 mile pipeline is 65-years-old and was originally designed for thinner oil to flow in the opposite direction. With the great tar sands boom, oil companies are desperate to get the heavy bitumen to the market. Since it’s thick asphalt, they need to dilute it with all sorts of chemicals to get it to move through pipes. When one bursts in your neighborhood, presto bango, your yard’s all fucked up.
The extent of the damage is not known at this point, and ExxonMobil is doing its damnedest to prevent anyone from knowing by instituting a no-fly-zone over the spill. And thanks to the fact that this is bitumen pumped with chemicals, the mess doesn’t technically qualify as “oil,” so ExxonMobil’s exempt from paying for the cleanup.
As for Monsanto, one of the congressmen (Cough, Bloy Runt, cough) who’s attached to agribusiness’s teat slipped an anonymous rider into last week’s appropriations bill that has been colloquially dubbed “The Monsanto Protection Act.” This’ll expire in September, and isn’t the end of the world, but shows how disproportionately influential a company with deep pockets can be.
Despite what the final gag in the cartoon might imply, I’m not reflexively against all genetically modified foods. I just wanted to draw Audrey II from “Little Shop of Horrors.” GMOs have done wonderful things like improving yields in drought-ridden parts of the world, and making tomatoes that don’t turn to shit on their way to my grocery store. My beef with the rider is that it blocks any oversight or regulation on untested GMO crops. Factor in their aggressive protection of their GMO “intellectual property,” even when it’s their crops breeding with their neighbors’, disregard for damage done to the environment, and their resistance to labeling GMOs, Monsanto is as bad as any oil company.
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This is a popular topic among political hacks and dull water cooler conversation aficionados. I felt like weighing in anyway, and I needed a single panel idea to help me out after my ankle and a work trip slowed me down this week. The reality is that gas prices should be higher, enough to reflect its true cost, both on the environment and on the last 30 years or so of our fucked-up foreign policy.
After years and years, the Facebook fan page for Big Fat Whale is about to top 1,000. Help get it over that number! This is an important milestone for things that don’t matter at all, yet I check anyway, like the Red Sox’ 2012 spring training details. Oh boy, this is gonna be one stinker of a season.
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Here in New England, the hinterland beyond New York most people forget about until some shitty movie about Southie comes out, it usually gets cold with a few flurries around the end of October, beginning of November. But last week’s freak October snowstorm that hit most of the northeast meant an early start to climate change denial season throughout the nation.
I was reluctant to do a cartoon that made so many parallels to the holiday season; I’m a post-Thanksgiving traditionalist. But Starbucks already changed their cups, and TV ads are already filled with elves and shit so I figured it’s fair game.
While reading up on climate change denial, I came across this funny song from Sydney band, Men with Day Jobs:
I also saw this great graph that illustrates how the deniers perceive the incontrovertible climate change data.
If unemployment figures and other important economic statistics were plastered on easy-to-read signs at every intersection, maybe dum-dums would finally realize how bad income inequality has gotten in this country and get mad for the right reasons. Of course, that would require them to understand the difference between average and median, so I’m just gonna stop that line of thought.
Put your diaper-pants on tomorrow morning! A shit joke is coming up in Friday’s cartoon!
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10% unemployment is really awful. Democrats are so scared of being called names, they’re never going to mention that more government spending is the only thing that can create the massive amount of jobs that are needed.
The country’s infrastructure needs lots of work and people are running out of unemployment benefits. So why not hire them to do the shit that needs doing? The military and the census can only hire so many people. Or we can listen to the deficit hawks and slash budgets and watch everything crumble, just in time for the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Also, the oil disaster sucks. Let’s hire a few million people to build some windmills and solar panels so they stop drilling for that shit.
Next Week: Crappy Carnival Rides