Now, I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but this is a really good investment idea. You could buy sheets of forever stamps (currently at 41¢ a stamp) and sell them in ten years for a few cents below market value on ebay. With the way postage climbs, my calculations put your returns on par with any mutual fund, mortgage or good night at the craps table.
Here is an illustration I did of Bob Dylan for the Boston Phoenix.
This is the same topic as the recent comic I did with Alan Blum. He wrote that one and I had a few jokes of my own on the subject so here it is.
Philip Morris is opening a $350 million “research” facility to develop “safer” cigarettes. It seems like such a lavish amount of money you’d almost think they mean it. But that’s just the cost of staying in business–smoking bans and other legislation can cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in potential sales. This way they can portray themselves as a responsible corporation (very en vogue these days) and develop new safety measures like the filter that do nothing or next to it. The cigarette market is slowly shrinking with smoking bans and increased health awareness so they recognize the need to adapt to current market conditions, so to speak. That’s why cities like Portland are test markets for smokeless, spitless tobacco pouches that can be consumed in bars and restaurants. (no word on the health benefits of these products yet).
It’s just amazing how much political difference there is between America and Europe in regards to pious politicians.
Tony Blair avoided talking about his religious views while in office for fear of being labelled “a nutter”, the former prime minister has revealed…”you talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you’re a nutter.”
[His former spokesman] has now acknowledged to the programme that his former boss “does do God in quite a big way”, but that both men feared the public would be wary.
They would be
And I like how they add that T-E-R to the end of Nut. Nutter. Hey, you. You’re a nutter.
A Walmart opening in the Cleveland area announced they would be hiring 300 employees.
6,000 people showed up to apply.
Impeachment is off the table.
-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
I understand that ousting Bush from office is not realistic. As we near the next election it becomes less and less likely. But at some point does Congress have an obligation to the country and Constitution to at least try to impeach Bush–to have an actual debate over whether he committed any crimes–to make some historical record that a President should not do this in the future–to send a message that they actually care about the rule of law?
There are a few conservatives who care as much as liberals. Jack Clark, of the Blast The Right podcast, interviewed conservative constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who drafted articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton and supports impeaching Bush and Cheney. In the interview Fein says, “None of the candidates for 2008 have sought to distance themselves from these extravagant claims of the President and the Democrats in the House and Senate or relatively mute as well, which suggest that there is a fear factor at work in the country that is very dangerous to the future of checks and balances and measured government.” Fein, along with other disaffected conservatives, has founded americafreedomaganda.org which has created a 10 point pledge for Republican candidates that includes denouncing torture and restoring habeas corpus. Only Ron Paul has signed it. Looking at the entire list, I have doubts about any “top tier” Democratic candidates singing on.
Bruce Fein supported impeaching Bill Clinton on pure principal, not for political reasons. He lied under oath. While they voted not to remove him from office, his impeachment could have sent a message to all future leaders: Lie about anything–even a blowjob–and we’ll go after you.
The Bush Administration’s actions have to leave people wondering what exactly one does have to do to warrant impeachment these days. If Bush were to physically shred the actual Constitution or personally torture a muslim detainee not charged with a crime on live television, I imagine Harry Reid would send out a fundraising e-mail.
Whether in two years or two hundred, a new power hungry madman or woman will want to gut the Constitution and consolidate power. When they look back at how the country responded to Bush they’ll see the message is clear: Have at it!
Last Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported that John Kerry was readying a response to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group who’s attack ads against his presidential campaign were so vicious and damaging that “swift boat” is now a verb. Kerry did nothing at the time, but years later is rising to defend himself.
One of the groups financiers, a Texas oilman aptly named T. Boone Pickens, recently offered a million dollars to anyone who can disprove a single allegation of the group.
“I welcome the opportunity to prove that you are a man of your word and that the so-called ’Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’ lied,” Kerry wrote to Pickens. “While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt.”
If only Kerry would have responded this strongly the day after their first ad appeared he may be in the White House. Which has higher stakes: A million dollar challenge from T. Boone or the Presidency of the United States?
I’m off to the coast for the weekend for a much needed break from news and computers. I’ll be back Monday with more cartoons.
John Lee Anderson of the New Yorker has written a great article, Inside the Surge, which examines why violence has ebbed in recent months. The three main reasons are the increased presence of American soldiers (which cannot be sustained), the decision by Sunni Tribesmen to turn away from Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia for security (which hopefully lasts), and the Madhi Army’s six month freeze on violence ordered by Moqtada al-Sadr (which ends in about two months).
One of the reasons is that ethnic cleansing seems to have been completed in some neighborhoods so there’s no one left to kill.
Most of the articles details the revenge spree of a man named Amar against the Madhi Army for killing his brother. Many would resolve themselves to find the perpetrators, but Amar thinks big. Like, Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill” big.
That night, Amar told Karim that, at the morgue, he had sworn over his brothers body to take revenge. He had vowed to kill a hundred Mahdi menten for each of Jafaars fingers.
He goes on to murder fathers, brothers, and friends of the killers. He works with the occupation Army and turns over militia men, who think he is sympathetic to them. Other times (with the help of Karim) he abducts them or has them over for conversation and tea, which he drugs. They fall asleep, then I shoot them in the head.
All of this goes on with the mother’s enthusiastic support. The mother, Um Jafaar, isn’t satisfied with a simple report of the killings–she demands body parts be cut off the victims and delivered to her.
Um Jafaar went on to tell me that she took the body parts of Amars victims, wrapped in cloth, to his grave, in the holy city of Najaf, and buried them there. I talk to my son, I tell him, Here, this is from those who killed you, I take revenge. Moving one hand in a horizontal circle, she said, I put them around the grave. So far, I have taken one hand, one eye, an Adams apple, toes, fingers, ears, and noses. (Karim told me that the hand had made the house stink for days.) I asked her how many Mahdi men Amar had killed. I dont know: eighteen, twenty? But still my heart hurts. Even if we kill all of them, I wont have comfort, she said.
With men like Amar working with coalition forces, it’s hard to understand how we are winning hearts and minds. His mother is literally collecting hearts. Millions with the means to leave Iraq have done so. They are the doctors, lawyers, teachers, and others needed to form a civilized country.
On helping with the killing of 20 or so people, Karim employs a Bushian logic saying, “We had to kill these guys, because they were killing too many people.”
A reader writes:
I don’t get what point your trying to make with the november 16th comic. Don’t you know what happened to the native americans once the europeans started settling the americas? I hardly think that illegal immigrants are going to begin systemic genocide of US citizens, but pointing to the early american settlers as a reason for having open border is just…stupid. In your next comic you should point to the fall of troy as why its a GOOD idea to never worry about sneak attacks.
I like most of your comics, but this one has to be one of the worst
you’ve ever done.
Native Americans most likely wished the border was closed back in those days, but I’m not advocating for a closed or open border with this one. I thought I would take this “anchor baby” canard nativists use and apply it to a situation on this continent hundreds of years ago where it might have made more sense, hopefully for humorous purposes. Today, an “anchor baby” born on this soil is a citizen with the same right to be here as a so-called minute man patrolling the border.
As for the “dirty, disease ridden” part, there can’t be much arguing about them beating today’s immigrants in that department. I tried to make the pilgrims as scrubby as possible–they couldn’t have looked any better than modern day Amish who use our hospitals and buy toothpaste at the drugstore. Every reference photo I looked up had these strange people in nicely pressed pilgrim suits like they just picked them up at the cleaners. The guys’ faces look like they’re in a 17th century Gillette commercial.