caught this morning on Reuters: “China says toy recall scare shows protectionist agenda”
They’re right. We’d like to protect ourselves from lead paint and poison.
Here’s a second cartoon for you this week.
Pick up some of my collections in the store.
Newsweek reported last week that China has banned reincarnation without a permit. At first glance it may appear that they are trying to create the ultimate example for Libertarians as to how governments want to control our lives (and our afterlives!) but it has a specific political purpose: controlling who becomes the next Dali Lama.
The Dali Lama has always been adored by many on the left and those wanting to see the Beastie Boys and Rage Against The Machine in concert, but I never really got it. Here’s a man who declares himself to be the reincarnation of the Dali Lama with some inherent right to govern Tibet and issue bizarre dietary edicts based on nothing. I suppose many people in Tibet accept him as their leader, but it took this Lama 40 years of exile before even proposing something resembling Democracy. By two thirds vote of the people he can be removed from power. It wasn’t put up to a referendum or anything–he just declared it to be the rules.
And to be fair to his silly views, he is a lot better in the human rights arena than many countries leaders. But past Lama’s weren’t all peaceful bald men. For centuries Tibet was a peasant country where most of the population lived in abject poverty while their Monk Overlords sat in lavish temples governing their lives. Maybe thinking your current lot in life is a deserved result of actions in a past life has something to do with this.
Granted, China has been that nice to Tibetans and I think they should govern themselves, but at least they introduced plumbing and split up the land a bit.
Thor’s Day: Baghdad Survival Tips
Check out a new one page comic I did for the Boston Phoenix which wonders what the debates would be like if candidates were as eager to profess their love and understanding of science as much as they are faith.
One thing I love in the whole wiretapping debate is the argument that FISA is sufficient for what the President wants to do. Of course it is! It’s a secret court that rubber stamps nearly every single request made for surveillance. The evidence is allowed to remain secret and be shown days after spying has commenced. By “shown,” I mean physically held up and declared to be evidence. It doesn’t have to be perused by a Judge–for all he knows it’s a stack of drawings from a three year old child of a NSA employee who want to unload some crappy art in the shredder rather than deface his fridge.
Bush wanted, and the Democrats granted him, more power. For what?
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I’m listening to Rush Limbaugh while I work (it’s part of my relaxation plan). He is talking about Darfur, which he pronounces “dahr-fer,” and why the Democrats want to go there. His theory is that they are black there and Demoncrats need the black vote. So, we go over there, invade, and take pictures with happy black people in the background and Black Americans (apparently too dumb to think for themselves) will automatically vote for Democrats.
That’s it. That’s their sole motivation.
After my comic a few weeks ago on Competitive Shitting, I started seeing competitive eating everywhere. First, I ran into the book Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream at Powell’s while picking up Emily Flake’s new book on smoking. A look through her recent archives of Lulu Eightball led me to her take on the sporting phenomenon.
And another bad idea to come out of LA is the Tofu Eating Contest that took place this weekend. Competitive. Tofu. Eating.
I’ve never heard anyone in real life talk about Barack Obama’s degree of blackness, but then, I am a near-hermit so I might not be the best judge of the “National Discussion.” I do know that most pundits and writers seem to make an ass of themselves while talking about it.
Here’s Time back when Biden made the “articulate” comment:
Obama is biracial, and has a direct connection with Africa. He is articulate, young and handsome. He does not feel the need to yell “Reparations now!” into any available microphone.
Because, you know, people with two black parents do that a lot.
Then there is this segment from Tucker Carlson highlighted by MediaMatters. He took up the question of blackness with two other white pundits. It’s odd they didn’t ask any black people to come on while trying to figure out what the debate is all about. But MediaMatters draw your attention to some rather droll exchanges:
TUCKER: This week, a meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists will confront the very topic. The conversation comes before Obama addresses that group on Friday. What exactly do people mean when they talk about Obama’s quote, “blackness”? Is it a fair question? Is it an understandable reflection of American society, or is it a racist jab by its very existence?
The bold type is supposed to represent a controversial statement MediaMatters want you to write the show and gripe about. I’m not sure what was so uncouth about that line.
I’m suspicious of festivals thrown by city bureaucrats in the twilight of summer. It’s all cheap beer and bad bands. All the stinky dregs of society show up to pound Coors, slobber, and litter. Back in Canton, Ohio it was “Hall Of Fame Week,” where people with license plates from far away as Alaska convene to induct football players in the Hall Of Fame, attend the downtown Ribs Burnoff, and washed up has-been bands like Hootie and The Blowfish and Blue Oyster Cult (they played ‘Go-Go-Godzilla twice–100% true). Last time I attended was in High School and I nearly got into a fisticuffs death match with a evangelical christian harassing fat rib lovers (I did not try to de-escalate the confrontation).
But the “Bite of Oregon Festival” that took place over the weekend would lure me to the waterfront in Downtown Portland with the promise of seeing rock legend Patti Smith in a “rare NorthWest appearance” for a mere $7 entry fee. Patti Smith?! I didn’t believe it. She’s not washed up–she was playing a gig at the Showbox in Seattle the previous night and on to San Fran the next. Is Portland that considerate of its music loving populace to have the woman who wrote “Rock N Roll Nigger” would be invited to play its city’s Festival? I was there.
Getting in one of these things is a test of wills. Not because of long lines, squelching summer heat, or exhaustive cavity searches by security but because 100 yards out from the gate begins the gauntlet of pamphleteers, petitioners, product-hawkers, and street preachers. Could I make it in without picking up any “literature” or engaging in pointless debate? Probably not, but I would try.
I waved away the first batch–your standard fare christian pamphleteer couple and an odd man with a clipboard–protecting my girlfriend with the other arm. “No Thanks” I lied. Next up: Jews for Jesus. I wanted to laugh, but did the old “stiff arms at my sides maneuver” as he extended his tracts.
Some Homeless guy looked like he needed money. Planted in the middle of the gauntlet was the worst place to beg. Everyone is high-tailing it past the loons. I felt bad. “Sorry, dude. I can’t stop now” I thought.
Then, free samples of some new energy bar. No spiel, no e-mail list to sign. Just free food. OK, I break protocol and take one, then seven more, stuffing them into my pockets as I try to get back up to a full sprint. I’ll need it to break through the final line. Mennonites, PETA, Chinese Baptists, GreenPeace, Mormons, Renewable Energy petitions all made attempts for my attention. No, No, No, and No. Let the world burn, I’ve got a concert to see!
I had made it to the entrance and walked up to the end of the short line when a woman approached with her son, hand extended with something in it. She looked in my eyes and asked “Are you tired of religious extremists handing you pamphlets?”
“W-why yes. Yes I am!” I said, grabbing what the kind lady had for me.
She turned away and it hit me instantly: I had been duped in the worst way. I looked down. It read “Are you tired of religious extremists handing you pamphlets?” It was the cruelest of pamphlets. I opened it up to confirm what I already knew what was inside. Indeed, it was a pamphlet from a religious extremist–one decrying pamphleting for specific churches as pointless when the most important thing is one developing “a loving relationship with the Lord.” I walked over and stepped between her and another poor sap she was about to deceive.
“I don’t want this” I said, handing it back. The look in her eyes revealed she was neither mentally or spiritually prepared for this role reversal.
“But, aren’t you tired of religious extremists handing you pamphlets?”
“Yes,” I said, “and you–you and your little son there–are religious extremists!”
She grabbed it and we both turned away to more pressing matters. She had to spread Word. I had cheap food and Patti Smith to attend to.
On another note, my cartoons can now be seen every week in the Village Voice, right next to Nat Hentoff’s column. The Alternet blog, PEEK, will also be posting my comics from time to time. This week’s strip can be read here.
An allegedly “callous” cartoon by Tom Toles generated some mail to the Washington Post for using Todd Beamer’s “Let’s Roll” in a way that didn’t promote war. One reader qualifies himself for comment by beginning the letter “As a frequent flier…” and goes on to say “Many Americans have died in battle so that you may publish your newspaper as you see fit.”
This overused retort by conservatives and the military-obsessed always bothered me. These are the same people who say we’d all be “speaking German” right now if liberals had their way (giving Hitler’s Germany an incredible benefit of the doubt in waging a successful Trans-Atlantic invasion of the North American Continent). The truth is, after the Revolutionary War, most rights weren’t fought for in Wars. Sorry.
People did die in battle for our rights, but most of them were in the streets of America and Colorado Mining towns.
(via Daily Cartoonist)
Also, Check out Cagle’s blog for Nate Beeler’s Golden Spike winning comic and a recent cartoon by Mike Lester that was spiked by his Editor.