9.29.2010

... in which Japan finds a solution to the question of the Senkaku Islands



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Japan-China relations have been (literally) on the rocks for several weeks following the arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain after he rammed his trawler into a pair of Japanese patrol boats near the Senkaku islands, a group of eight uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by both countries (plus Taiwan). Complicating things further, China claims the islands belong to Taiwan, which it also claims, though that claim is disputed by ... the government and citizens of Taiwan.

The Guardian's Justin McCurry provides background here, here and here.

Wikipedia's overview of the issue is here.

9.28.2010

Learn About the Arizona Senate Race with Senator John McCain



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As a regular cartoonist for the Tucson Sentinel, I've developed an unhealthy interest in the political scene in Arizona.

9.27.2010

Guvermint.



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As a regular cartoonist for the Tucson Sentinel, I've developed an unhealthy interest in the political scene in Arizona.

More background on civic engagement (or the lack of it) in Arizona here.

9.25.2010

Senkakus 2: The Next Generation



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Obscure comic on the subject of the recent (and presumably ongoing, until China has finished harrumphing) dust-up between China and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and a Chinese fishing boat captain whose love for his country was so great he rammed his vessel into a pair of Japanese coast guard ships. But I can tell I'm boring you ...

Thanks, Justin, for the photo!

9.16.2010

Papal Visits to Great Britain, 1982-2010



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"The Pope is coming! The Pope is coming!"



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The Metric System



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Interstate highway 19, which runs from the Mexican border to Tucson, Arizona, is one of the few roads in the United States signposted in kilometers. The Arizona Department of Transportation may be about to change that, though, and predictably, locals are split on what should be done.

9.10.2010

Fidel on el Comunismo: Never Mind!



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Cuba's former President Fidel Castro shocked the world this week when he replied to a journalist's question about whether or not the Cuban [economic] model was still worth exporting by saying, "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore."

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg reported his conversation with Castro here, and a less-earthshattering-but-still-interesting report from the previous day's conversation with Castro is here.

Raul Castro, Cuba's current President, who inherited responsibility for administering "the Cuban model" from his brother, is presumably less than pleased.

[Gracias, ASL, por la inspiraciĆ³n!]

9.06.2010

Kenji & Silvia Forever



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The other day I came across an irregular series of self-published booklets called The Imp about comic books, and found myself reading a very comprehensive treatise on Mexican comic books. Included in the essay were examples of Mexican comic book art, and I thought it might be fun to repurpose some.

The images in the above comic are pretty universal, I think, depicting a scene that's undoubtedly played out tens of thousands of times a day all over the globe. I saw it as a mother-in-law story ... and for that I needed a son. I got one with the kind permission of ace Tokyo-based photographer Alfie Goodrich, whose superb work can be seen here and here and is a must for anyone interested in either Japan or good photography.

A little cultural context for the comic: here in Japan, despite the polite face put on things by a society that for the most part prides itself on its polite faces, there's quite a bit of racism, and every non-Japanese who lives here or has lived here has experienced it in some form or another (if you think you haven't, you haven't been paying attention).

Choosing not to sit next to a foreigner on the train is easy, but things get more complex when one's son or daughter announces he/she is planning to marry a foreigner. That's a real homogeneity-spoiler, and is often met with threats of disownment. A sorry state of affairs, but there it is.

After today, though, I think Kenji and Silvia are going to be just fine.

Headless Body in Topless Bar, er, Mexican Desert



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In a bit of fearmongering that would have made Karl Rove proud, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has repeatedly hinted that Arizona voters may be beheaded if they don't vote her back into office in November.

Brewer, who was named to her position when predecessor Janet Napolitano resigned to become Secretary of Homeland Security, gained national prominence when she signed Arizona Senate Bill 1070 into law earlier this year, triggering nationwide protests from those who say the law makes inevitable racial profiling by law enforcement officers.

More on Governor Brewer and beheadings here.

9.04.2010

Politics for Dummies, Jan Brewer Edition



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Wednesday night's Arizona gubernatorial debate was only an hour long, but it contained what Governor Jan Brewer called "the longest 16 seconds of my life".

And rightly so. Brewer, like the other candidates given one minute to introduce herself and her platform, spent 16 seconds of that time in silence, presumably trying to figure out either who she is or what she stands for.

A report on the incident, as well as video of the entire hour-long debate is here in the Tucson Sentinel, and a clip of Brewer's Mute Minute is here on YouTube.

Sadly, Brewer's inability to prepare even a 60 second summary of her position probably won't matter to her election chances. She's the one who signed Arizona Senate Bill 1070 into law this past April, so she's feelin' the love from the Guns & God crowd.

Debating 101



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Wednesday night's Arizona gubernatorial debate was only an hour long, but it contained what Governor Jan Brewer called "the longest 16 seconds of my life".

And rightly so. Brewer, like the other candidates given one minute to introduce herself and her platform, spent 16 seconds of that time in silence, presumably trying to figure out either who she is or what she stands for.

A report on the incident, as well as video of the entire hour-long debate is here in the Tucson Sentinel, and a clip of Brewer's Mute Minute is here on YouTube.

Sadly, Brewer's inability to prepare even a 60 second summary of her position probably won't matter to her election chances. She's the one who signed Arizona Senate Bill 1070 into law this past April, so she's feelin' the love from the Guns & God crowd.

9.01.2010

Liberia



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A few months ago I read an interview with a photographer named Tim Hetherington, who with writer Sebastian Junger had produced and directed a documentary about time the two spent on assignment at an outpost (OP) called Restrepo in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

Hetherington had some interesting things to say in the interview, and I thought I'd like to try to work with him. We're trying to figure out how to do that now, but in the meantime, I grabbed a handful of Liberia photos off his website to make the above comic, which drills about an inch down into the history of the country.

The Fish That Fell To Earth



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Something a bit different today. A true story, from very close to home. From right outside the window, in fact.

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Politicomix by Roberto De Vido is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License