Thursday, August 31, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Well-Endowed Dog Spotted In IKEA Catalogue

Alright, so it may not be "Breaking News" but the way I see it, if the ongoing controversy surrounding a dog's "layout" in an IKEA catalogue is actually important enough to make the national news (and the majority of blog searches) then it's certainly good enough to make my web comic ;)

I actually have this IKEA catalogue and after closer inspection of the family "member" in question, it is in my opinion that the dog may not be a greyhound after all, but instead could very well be the elusive "Israeli Wiener Dog". Which begs the question, how much extra do you tip a rabbi for circumcising your dog? :)

All kidding aside, what I find even more ridiculous than the fact that this story was actually featured on the national news here in Canada, was the fact that they wouldn't even show the image on TV. Instead, they kept the disputed portion of the IKEA dog (most likely its leg) "censored" underneath somebody's thumb while they tried to explain to the viewer what it was that we were not supposed to be looking at. It was like they were saying "Here is something SO crazy that we're not even going to show you, but take our word for it... it's NUTS!"

I mean, if they were going to waste national news time to cover a silly story like this anyway then they might as well go all the way and show us the image and save themselves the time describing a dog's penis to describe something a little more important.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Today's Cartoon: CNN Anchor Kyra Phillips Leaves Microphone On In Washroom

For those of you who don't know who Kyra Phillips is, she's the CNN news anchor who comes in to read the teleprompter on weekdays between one and four in the afternoon. Her job as a "news presenter" is quite simple (or so I thought), look pretty while reading the "news" and oh yeah... make sure her microphone is switched off when she goes to the washroom!

So Ms. Phillips has a problem with "control freaks" eh? Well, I'm pretty sure that if there were a few more working for CNN, her Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't be as awkward as it's no doubt going to be this year. Hey I know, maybe they could hire her sister-in-law to make sure that she turns her microphone off whenever she goes to the washroom to take a dump on her ;)

While I'm quite certain that this was all just an honest mistake, which will immediately be "remedied" on some poor underpaid intern; it's kind of revealing as to just how much respect the media has lost for President Bush, when they are using his speech on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to go and gossip in the ladies room.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Today's Cartoon: JonBenet Ramsey, John Mark Karr and the Emmy Awards

I wonder how long it's going to take for the mainstream media to start blaming "the public's obsession" of the JonBenet Ramsey case, in response to the wave of criticism that is about to hit them, over their relentless, round the clock coverage of John Mark Karr's incarceration; now that he has been cleared of any involvement in the JonBenet Ramsey Case.

The media's responsibility to the public is to keep "us" informed as to what "they" determine to be the most important "news" stories. The public has absolutely NO say as to what the mainstream media decides to be "important". All that we can do is criticize their decisions, which are routinely ignored... Or, we can rely upon the internet to stay informed ;)

In my opinion, the "public's obsession" with the JonBenet Ramsey case is a non-entity, simply because we have no control over the press or the decisions that it makes. "Ratings" are no excuse for excessive (and unnecessary) coverage, because if the media were to provide the same amount of attention any other story, more people would tune into that mainly because they trust in what the media believes to be "important".

Unfortunately it is becoming more and more apparent to me that either the mainstream media can no longer determine what is actually "important", or they are completely taking advantage of the public's trust in them, by using it as an opportunity to use "tabloid journalism" to distract the viewer/reader's attention away from much bigger and more important issues.

Either way, it would appear that the mainstream media has been hijacked by itself; and thus, only has itself to blame... which means that they owe the public a HUGE apology for wasting its time.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Two Kidnapped Fox New Journalists Released

Regardless of what people may think of FOX News, the release of two of it's journalists kidnapped in Gaza almost two weeks ago is definitely "great news". It's great because nobody got hurt... and because it allows me more freedom to draw a cartoon "directly" about it; now that I have the peace of mind in knowing that the situation has concluded peacefully :)

Unfortunately though, it probably will not be the last time something like this happens in the Middle East (and especially in Gaza). Now that this Palestinian group has decided (or was convinced) to release their two prisoners, they will obviously be expecting something for it in return; and while I somehow doubt it will involve the release of all Muslim prisoners from American prisons (as they originally demanded), I'm pretty sure that it's probably something a lot more substantial than the satisfaction of forcing their captives to convert to Islam at gunpoint.

Either that or the recruitment drive for "Jihadists" must be about on par with America's recruitment drive to find soldiers to fight them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Pluto Loses Planet Status

So let me get this straight, "Men" are from Mars, "Women" are from Venus and apparently... "Dwarves" are now from Pluto.

Well, it appears that the world's leading astronomers have finally decided to end their debate over whether or not Pluto is actually a "planet", by agreeing to revoke its status by redefining it as a "Dwarf Planet". In other words, in return for losing its status as a "planet", Pluto has been given the unique distinction of becoming the adopted home world of Earth's "Little People" population.

If you ask me, this is an amazing trade-off! I mean let's be honest here, as a "planet" Pluto wasn't all that impressive. It was smaller than Earth's moon, completely covered in ice and took 248 years to rotate around the Sun. Basically, the solar system barely even knew that it was there. But as a "Dwarf Planet" it suddenly becomes the far off distant home away from home for millions of the Earth's "Little People" to think fondly of whenever they feel sad, lonely or out of place. Look, just because none of them have actually been there doesn't mean they can't embrace it as there own. Think of it as an intergalactic version of Ireland :)

The best part about this is that it is not just the "Little People" that benefit by receiving Pluto as their adopted home world, but everybody around them benefits as well by being able to tell their friends that they've had a close encounter with an actual "extraterrestrial"! ;)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Tom Cruise and the Two Abducted Fox News Journalists

While I in no way condone the abduction of journalists, I really don't understand why anybody would want to kidnap anyone from FOX News. I mean, it's not as though that organization is particularly well known and respected for its unbiased accuracy in journalism. So, when two of their employees are kidnapped in Gaza and forced to appear in front of a camera to claim that they are safe and being treated humanely, most people are not going to believe them, simply due to the fact that they work for FOX News.

Seriously, whatever group it was that abducted these two journalists is better off just releasing them, because the American mainstream media (including FOX News) seems far too busy following the JonBenet Ramsey case to even notice; and those who do are particularly critical of the fact that it's an "unfamiliar" Palestinian group that is (supposedly) holding them.

It seems to me that if this mysterious "rookie team" HONESTLY wants to negotiate the release of Muslim prisoners in the United States, then it must first establish a reputation for itself as an organization that can be reasoned with; and the best way to do that is by releasing their two captives as a sign of good faith. That way, in the future if they ever tried to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the West (which sadly seems almost inevitable), the world would remember them not as the group that abducted the two FOX News journalists, but rather as the organization that released them unharmed... which therefore, cannot be all that bad.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Iran Calls for Serious Talks Over Nuclear Program

It appears to me that somebody wants to have their "yellow cake", and eat it too. Honestly, who needs nukes, when you've got balls the size of, well... Iran? :)

I guess it should come as no surprise that Iran has refused to suspend its nuclear enrichment program. After all, had they done so, there would have been absolutely no reason for the Security Council to actually go forward with the negotiations, because they would have already achieved their objective. At least this way everyone still has something to talk about ;)

I wonder, at this point is there any country that is not trying to make the most out of the United States weakened standing in the world? While you can make the argument "for" or "against" Iran's right to possess nuclear technology, the fact remains that if the U.S. was not currently bogged down with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and the Bush Administration wasn't SO unpopular throughout the world) the Iranian government would not be as defiant (and outspoken about it) as they appear to be.

So, I guess the thing to do right now for leaders of "developing" nations who wish to appear strong in front of their people (and the world) is to act defiant, by thumbing their nose at America's foreign policy while trying to get as much done as possible... For at least as long as the current Administration remains in the White House.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Saddam Hussein and Kevin Federline Try To Beat A Bad Rap

I don't know about all of you but after watching a clip of Kevin Federline's (aka. Mr. Britney Spears) debut at this year's "Teen Choice Awards", I must admit that despite all of the negative feedback that his performance has received, I for one have become a HUGE fan of this aspiring "talent".

As you can probably tell by reading my daily web comic, I am quite fond of satire; and much in the same way that Stephen Colbert uses satirical parody to poke fun at "personality driven" news programs, it appears to me that "K-Fed" is trying to do the exact same thing, by becoming the "Spinal Tap" of "Gangsta Rap".

However, the problem with "Satire" is that it is not always as easily identifiable as other forms of humour (like say, a kick to the groin). This quite often leads to a lot of confusion from those who are not "in" on the joke. Therefore, in order for Kevin Federline's "work" to truly be appreciated for what it is, people need to embrace his music; not as the obnoxious, self indulgent ramblings of a guy who has a seriously distorted self image, but rather as the obnoxious, self indulgent ramblings of an entire industry that suffers from a seriously distorted self image ;)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Irish Company Steorn Claims To Create Free Energy

If Ireland was smart, it would not want to brag about this newly discovered method of producing "free energy" too much. It appears that the United States already doesn't like countries that begin with the letter "I", especially those that are capable of producing their own energy. So, if Ireland doesn't want to be on the receiving end of a "Pre-emptive Liberation", they may want take a page out of Iceland's playbook and play it "cool" :)

Now, I'm no expert in "thermodynamics", but apparently Steorn's concept of harnessing the Earth's magnetic field to create an endless abundance of "free energy" defies the basic Laws of Physics, which states that "you cannot get more energy out than you put in". It also contradicts the 80's glam metal band "Ratt", who claim that "Nobody Rides for Free". For his part, the CEO of "Steorn" Sean McCarthy has issued a challenge to the world's scientific community to examine the technology and prove him wrong. This has lead to more than 400 applications from scientists willing to test it; however, there is still no word if "Ratt" was among the applicants :)

While this idea of perpetual motion being achieved through the use of magnetic fields may stand in stark defiance of what is generally accepted as the basic "Laws of Physics", it may comfort Sean McCarthy to know that while physicists are hard at work trying to prove their theories again his own, there are still plenty of "other theorists" out there who would be more than willing to lend him their support in the case that his theory is disproved. Namely the "Pessimists", who will be positively ecstatic over the validation of their belief that when it comes to "free energy"... "You get what you paid for" ;)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Today's Cartoon: NSA Wiretapping and Snakes on a Plane

It looks like those darn "activist judges" are at it again! First, they try to legalize same-sex marriage and then when that didn't work, they order the Government to end it's "illegal" domestic wiretapping program, just so the Gay community can wed in secret ;)

The way I see it, it's kind of difficult to know for certain if the Bush Administration's "Terrorist Surveillance Program" is actually "unconstitutional", simply because it is SO secretive that nobody seems to know exactly how the information collected is being used (or abused). I mean, just because President Bush gave the NSA complete authorization to secretly spy on Americans phone calls and emails without warrants doesn't necessarily mean that they are, right? ;)

The US Government claims that their domestic eavesdropping program is an essential tool in their ongoing "War on Terror", but nobody knows if that's true or not because nobody ever gets to see the evidence. So, if the White House is going to use the program to credit for things that they don't have to prove, then why not just go ahead and use it to take credit for absolutely EVERYTHING?

While they're at it, they should probably change the name of their "Terrorist Surveillance Program" to something a little less invasive (and insulting) to Americans; something that would imply its absolute effectiveness, yet in a non-threatening way. Might I suggest "Spidey Sense"? ;)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Suspect Arrested in JonBenet Ramsey Case

Wow, has it really been 10 years already? Why it seems like only yesterday that the cable news outlets were competing with each other to provide us with the most comprehensive, round the clock coverage of JonBenet Ramsey investigation; by exploiting that family's tragedy in an effort to re-live the glory days of the O.J. Simpson trial a couple of years earlier. My, how things have changed since then ;)

Maybe it's because the JonBenet Ramsey investigation has long since fallen into the realm of "infotainment" that it never really seems to be out of the headlines for any long period of time, which may be due to the fact that stories like this are not only good for ratings, but they are also a great way for the mainstream media to slack off; by keeping the public distracted from the bigger issues that are happening in the world ;)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Thousands Of Bags Go Missing At British Airports

Forget "Snakes on a Plane", if you're flying through Britain you'd be lucky just to get ANYTHING on a plane at the moment.

The thing that I really don't understand about the whole "terror scare" that occurred in Britain last week was why did security officials feel the sudden need to force ALL airline passengers to dispose of ALL liquids or gels that they may have been carrying, when they already knew EXACTLY what they were looking for because they had suspects under surveillance for months.

In fact, it was the United States that had to pressure the U.K. into making the arrests because British officials were still wanting to wait and gather more information/evidence from the "cell", which to me implies that the "threat" must not have been as "immediate" as the countless scenes at airports of passengers disposing of the contents of their carry-on luggage would lead us to believe.

These security measures (whether necessary or not) designed to avert a disaster have in itself become one, because thousands of pieces of luggage which have been held onto since the "terror alert" began are now beginning to disappear from British airports. Now, not every passenger is a suspected "terrorist" with a suitcase full of explosive "Gatorade" to worry about; however, most travelers do carry such items as house keys, car keys, cell phones and passports, which in reality makes THIS the most "immediate threat" facing airline passengers in Britain.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Israel and Hezbollah Claim Victory After Ceasefire

I really don't see how either side can make the claim that they somehow "won" the war in Lebanon. If anything, I would say that both sides "lost" the conflict; but then to even put it into some sort of "win or lose" framework is misleading, because at NO point during the last month did the situation in Lebanon ever seem "winnable" for either side.

You can't claim "victory" unless you've actually achieved your "objective", which for Israel and Hezbollah was supposedly to gain the release of their prisoners/abductees from the opposing side. Everything else that became an issue (ex. Hezbollah's missile attacks and Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon) did so during the conflict, which means that a ceasefire resolution that only addresses those issues, fails to bring an end to the actual crisis because the main catalyst for the conflict remains unresolved and in full effect.

That being said, it's great to hear that both sides have finally agreed to stop blowing up civilians... if only for a little while. Let's just hope that while Israel and Hezbollah revel in their "victory" over each other, they quickly use up the rest of their ammo shooting celebratory gunfire into the air ;)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Today's Cartoon: New Photos Of Fidel Castro Released On 80th Birthday

Well, it's nice to see that freelance photographer Adnan Hajj has been able to find employment so quickly, after being fired from the Reuters News Agency last week for doctoring photos. I guess if the rumours are true, he is just the kind of guy that the Cuba media is looking for right now ;)

The new pictures of Fidel Castro are obviously meant to let the world (and especially the American government and Cuban people) know that the (former) Cuban leader is alive and well, and healthy enough to pose for pictures and talk on the telephone. But here's the thing that I don't get; if Castro is healthy enough to pose for pictures and talk on the telephone, then why not just shoot a video of him instead?

It seems to me that the Cuban media's attempt to convince the world that Fidel Castro is on the mend just serves to raise even more suspicion that his condition is much worse than they are letting on. I guess until he is actually well enough to make a public appearance, a lot of people are simply going to dismiss these photographs (or any others) as being either fakes, or ones that they were taken while Castro was still healthy (with the current newspaper headlines added later, in "Photoshop")

I mean seriously, what kind of dictator doesn't want to wish himself a happy birthday?!... A very sick (or deceased) one, that's who.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Today's Cartoon: London Heathrow Terror Plot Thwarted

While details remain somewhat sketchy about the alleged "terror plot" that was supposedly foiled by British police, one thing IS certain... that George W. Bush is going to milk this for all it's worth.

Seriously, who would of thought that 5 years after the attacks of "9/11", the President of the United States would be reduced to relying on "Al Qaeda" to help give him a boost in the polls? Perhaps this is why he gave up searching for Osama Bin Laden years ago. So long as he remains "at large", so too can the Bush Administration; and the best part is that after 5 years, President Bush still only needs to memorize just one speech ;)

To me, it seems that the persistent "threat" of terrorism (whether "real" or "imagined") is practically all that the Republican party has left to rely on, in order to "scare" the American public into submission... or in this case, "re-election". While the results of this week's Democratic primary in Connecticut seems to indicate that there is a strong "anti-war" sentiment among Democrats heading into the mid-term elections in November; Republicans remain firmly in support of the war in Iraq by continuing to embrace (or confuse) it as part of the overall "War on Terror".

Well, talk about timing... No sooner is Joe Lieberman's loss being viewed as potential trouble for the Republican Party, (apparently) along comes "Al Qaeda" to scare the American people back in line and provide Republican candidates with "Talking Points" to last them for the rest of the campaign.

You know, it kind of makes me wonder why the Bush Administration keeps re-affirming its commitment to fighting "terrorism", when time and time again it seems that the "terrorists" are just about the ONLY friends they have left. Then again, with enemies like these, who really needs friends anyway? ;)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Israel Government Appoves Expanding Lebanon Offensive

Just when you thought the ongoing conflict between Hezbollah and Israel couldn't get any more "offensive", it now appears that the Israeli government has given itself the green light to escalate the hostilities, by pushing around 30,000 more ground troops into the Lebanon in an attempt to occupy the southern region, until an "international deterrent force" is put in place.

To be honest, the more I hear about Israel's plan for having some sort of "international force" (that's not even the United Nations) inside of Lebanon, without first agreeing to a ceasefire; the less I think of it as a "deterrent" for violence in the region, rather than a "detterent" for the international community to want to get involved in the region.

Now I'm no expert, but it would seem to me that sending an international peacekeeping force into an active warzone is an extremely BAD idea, due to the obvious risk that your country could end up getting pulled into the conflict. Instead, I think the Israeli government should just go ahead and invite the entire world to get actively involved in their war, because that is what would end up happening if an "international force" was put into Lebanon without a ceasefire being in effect.

Think of it as a casting call for the third World War.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Joe Lieberman Loses Democratic Primary in Connecticut

Probably the only thing that makes Democrats happier than seeing Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman lose the state's primary, is the fact that a "Democrat" actually won an election ;)

Now that former vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman has lost his party's nomination for the Senate in the upcoming mid-term elections in November, he has apparently decided to run as an "independent" and basically play the role of "spoiler" for Democratic nominee, Ned Lamont. By continuing to run for the Senate as an independent, it seems to me that Lieberman's only hope now is to score a moral victory for himself against his opponent (and his former party) by trying to split the Democratic vote, so that the Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger can steal... er, I mean "win" the election ;)

In other words, if this is the end of Joe Lieberman's political career, then it appears that he is not going out without a fight and plans on taking down as many Democrats as he can with him.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Reuters News Agency Accused of Using Doctored Photos

What a relief! For a minute there I thought there was REALLY a war going on in Lebanon; but it turns out that the WHOLE thing was just some elaborate hoax, created in "Photoshop"... Whew! ;)

The "deliberate manipulation" of images by Adnan Hajj, a freelance photographer working for the Reuters news agency, while shocking and appalling to those who expect "accuracy" from their "news", is actually a huge boost for me as a "cartoonist" because it means that my work can now officially be referred to as "photographs" too!

But the BEST part about it is that I can now begin to refer to myself as a "freelance photographer", which let's face it, sounds a heck of a lot sexier than "cartoonist", despite the fact that we usually do our work in our underwear :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Lebanon and Hezbollah Reject Draft UN Resolution

You know I can't really fault Lebanon for rejecting the draft UN resolution. Nowadays, with the world the way it's heading, my initial instinct is to also reject anything with the word "draft" in it ;)

Well I guess it's about time the United States finally decided to play along and allow the UN to start addressing the situation (officially). I would say "better late than never"; however, after almost a month of fighting and a draft resolution that doesn't even address the main issues (with the exception of Hezbollah's rockets), the former is making the latter appear to be almost a forgone conclusion.

The way I see it, if prisoners were released by both sides while Israel withdrew from Lebanon and Hezbollah stopped firing its rockets into Israel, there really wouldn't be any IMMEDIATE need for a "buffer zone" between the two countries because there would be a "ceasefire" in effect; during which, negotiations could take place (by both sides) to establish an international presence in the region and convince Hezbollah to give up its weapons.

Unfortunately for Israel, the longer the war is allowed to drag on the more Lebanese people will begin to accept Hezbollah as their nation's army (over Lebanon's actual military), mainly because they are the ones who the people believe are defending them (even if they're not really). Thus, getting Hezbollah to disarm would be on par with something like trying to get the NRA in the United States to disarm.

Trying to enforce a "sustainable peace" through the barrel of a gun is the kind of backwards logic that we've seen fail time and time again in recent years; and yet, like some insane person who does the same thing over and over, expecting different results each time, we are forced to listen to "Rainman" deliver "Who's on first" all over again.

At this rate the United Nations has about the same chance of establishing a ceasefire in Lebanon as Israel does getting Mel Gibson to convert to Judaism and be circumcised by his Rabbi.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Hillary Clinton Calls for Donald Rumsfeld's Resignation

Say what you will about Donald Rumsfeld; but one thing that can't be denied is that the man is a "wizard" when it comes to handling his critics. The fact that he is STILL the Secretary of Defense despite ALL that has gone wrong (and continues to go wrong) in Iraq and Afghanistan is a glorious testimony to his talent of being greatest "escape artist" since Harry Houdini ;)

Although some of you may consider his "act" to be nothing more than a crude display of "fibs and fables", I consider his performance as the U.S. Defense Secretary to be more "magical" than "Dungeons & Dragons" on acid. Look, Jesus may have been able to turn water into wine, but could he "polish a turd"? Donald Rumsfeld can :)

Every magician has their trade secrets and Rumsfeld is no different. The key to his "act" is his ability to utterly confound the audience through a well thought out routine that involves taking specific questions that he does not want to answer and transforming them (magically) into a series of broad rhetorical questions directed towards himself. This way he is able to appear as though he is addressing their question, when he is in fact responding to questions that nobody over the age of 12 would even bother asking him.

For example, when Hillary Clinton asked the question "Given your track record, why should we believe your assurances now?" Rumsfeld responded by breaking down her original question into smaller, less threatening questions that were easier for him to work with; such as "Are there setbacks?" to which his answer was "yes"... Ta-da!

Another "trick", is the one where he avoids criticism over a previous statement which he has made, by going back in time and changing its context. For example, when Hillary Clinton tried to call him on the claim he made in 2002 that "the Taliban are gone" and then reflected that statement upon the increasing violence in Afghanistan; Rumsfeld was able to "escape" the shackles of his own quote by implying that what he REALLY meant was that the Taliban had been "replaced" by a democratically elected government, thus loosening his bonds... Ta-da!

You see, in order to become a really successful magician (like Donald Rumsfeld) you must first learn to believe in yourself... even when everyone else around you keeps telling you that you are full of sh*t ;)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Today's Cartoon: New Audio Tapes Reveal Pentagon Mislead 9/11 Commission

While some people may consider the newly released recordings of American Air Defense commanders on 9/11 to contain proof that the military purposefully "mislead" the "9/11 Commission; I do not.

Just like any big budget Hollywood spectacle, these 9/11 outtakes are merely the "deleted scenes" of the Pentagon's "official" narrative, which were omitted from their "testimony" to the "9/11 Commission" for the simple reason that they believed it would create a much better story for history buffs to read. :)

I mean, sitting around wondering if the hijacks were real or just part of the "exercise" that was scheduled for that morning, is not really the kind of pulse pounding opening scene you want to have in your story; because it kind of makes the audience wonder that if they were already prepared for a "simulated" high-jacking scenario to take place, then why couldn't they handle the real thing happening? So I can completely understand why they would want to remove that scene from the story.

Other scenes, like the one involving fighters being scrambled to intercept the "phantom" American Airlines jet, long after it had already hit the first World Trade Center, are more "Keystone Cops" than "Top Gun", which is probably why they were also left on the cutting room floor.

You know, I must admit that I much rather prefer the "official release" to the "extended cut" of the Pentagon's 9/11 story, mainly because all of the extra footage only serves to make them look bad. I mean, even the "conspiracy theories" at least provide the military with the benefit of appearing "competent", albeit in a sinister "evil-genius" sort of way ;)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Cuban President Fidel Castro Hands Over Power To Brother Raul

There seems to have been a lot of rumors swirling around the internet lately that Fidel Castro has passed away. Even before he ceded power prior to undergoing surgery for intestinal bleeding, there were rumblings that something had happened to the Cuban leader (perhaps they are linked?). Of course, this is from the same source which also brought us such whoppers as "Dick Cheney's Demise" and the "Karl Rove Indictment" ;)

Whether or not the rumors are true, the inevitable passing of Fidel Castro does raise the question of how Cubans are going to react to the news. The one thing we seem to already know for certain is how the Cuban Exiles in Miami will react to the loss of Castro; pretty much the same way they did when the "Heat" won the NBA championship :)

Many of the Cuban living in the United States seem to believe that once Castro is gone, democracy will be able to flourish in their former homeland. As optimistic as that may sound to some, I really don't believe that things would turn out that way. I mean, it's not as though in recent years the United States has actually been a shining symbol of "democracy", which could be used to convince the Cubans to abandon communism.

After all the hardships that Cuba has been forced to suffer through, from US embargoes to the fall of the Soviet Union, Cubans have struggled and survived without the aid of others basically by learning to be more self-reliant. So, once the reign of Fidel Castro does finally come to an end, I really don't think that Cubans are going to be so eager to embrace "Democracy" with open arms... "Firearms", would probably be more accurate.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Rejects Ceasefire in Lebanon

Apparently in the 20 days since this conflict began, there have been significantly more women and children who have lost their lives than actual armed combatants. If this is not reason enough to call for an "immediate ceasefire", then I guess we might as well just go ahead and eliminate the term altogether.

Look, even if you agree 100% with the Israeli offensive and believe that ALL of the civilian casualties in Lebanon are the direct result of Hezbollah using the Lebanese people as "Human shields"; it is STILL (to my knowledge) a "war crime" to target innocent civilians, especially children.

Besides, it seems to me that the Israeli government is no different than Hezbollah in that it too fights from behind "human shields"; by constantly placing it own citizens in harms way, in such "offensives" as it's on-going oppression of the Palestinians and military campaign against the Lebanese. It's seems like the Israelis are purposefully being made to suffer by their own government in the hopes that any hostilities which are inflicted upon them could then be absorbed and transformed by their leaders into the "political capital" needed to "justify" escalating these "offensives" to whole new level; which in turn, deliberately places even more innocent Israeli citizens at risk, in order to continue fueling the conflict.

The way I see it, an immediate ceasefire would ONLY serve to benefit the civilians in Israel and Lebanon, which is what neither side of the conflict truly wants; because they BOTH believe that they still have SO much to gain from so much loss.