Wednesday, February 28, 2007

James Cameron Claims To Find Jesus' Remains : Today's Cartoon

In James Cameron's new documentary, he claims to have found the physical remains of Jesus Christ; which for Christians, is like saying that the Easter Bunny can’t exist... because there is no such thing as Easter.

The way I see it, speculation over whether not this is indeed the tomb of Jesus and his family will probably do nothing to change any one's views on the Bible; because after 2000 years and the countless conflicts which have been fought over it's interpretation, most people's minds are already made up.

People will always believe what they WANT to believe above anything else; especially if they've already devoted the majority of their lives towards a certain way of thinking. So much in the world has been built around Christian beliefs (both good and bad) that the fact that an important event in which that faith is based may never have actually occurred, will not deter those from continuing to make a profit... out of the prophet.

To some, religion is more than just a blueprint for living their life; it's a way of forcing obedience and asserting control over others. To those, Cameron's documentary may be viewed as threat because it challenges the very foundation of their authority; but ultimately, it is impossible for anyone to actually authenticate the remains of the "son of God", because either he ascended to heaven as described in the Bible (or Wikipedia), or he never existed in the first place... So either way, he’s not there.

This is why religion is always referred to as "faith" and not "fact".

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Martin Scorsese Finally Wins An Oscar : Today's Cartoon

Some people have suggested that Martin Scorsese's "Best Director" Oscar for "The Departed" was given more out of sympathy because he had never won, despite creating some of the most popular and critically acclaimed American films of the last 30 years. Well, if this is true and Mr. Scorsese is being awarded for his body of work, then I think it's appropriate that it be assigned to his best work... because the fact that he won for "The Departed" REALLY makes me wish he had won for "Goodfellas" instead.

Now don't get me wrong, "The Departed" is a pretty good movie; but I'm just not sure if it's "Best Picture" quality. Granted, I haven't seen the other nominated films, but you have to figure that in the same year in which Clint Eastwood directed two Second World War epics (and one almost entirely in Japanese), either Hollywood had already decided to give Scorsese the Oscar no matter what, or Eastwood must have made the Battle of Iwo Jima look like a sorority house pillow fight. Because from a "directorial" standpoint, it would seem that Dirty Harry was carrying the much heavier load.

Of course, Clint Eastwood was already awarded an Oscar over Martin Scorsese, two years ago. So, for Hollywood to do it again would have seemed crueler than Joe Pesci's character in "Casino". But I guess after five nominations, the members of the academy must have figured that they either give Marty the nod, or they enter the witness relocation program; because if there is one thing that's certain about a Martin Scorsese's picture, it's that he definitely knows how to get rid of a body ;)

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Ailing Iraq President Flown to Jordan: Today's Cartoon

As unfortunate as it may be; suffering a stroke in Iraq appears more like a luxury, when compared to the other more prevalent forms of human misery, which are occurring on a daily basis... especially if this means that the person gets to leave the country, as a result.

Perhaps it is because most of the doctors have fled the war-torn country that Iraq's president Jalal Talabani must now be flown all the way to Jordan in order to be treated by them; or maybe it's due to the increasing risk of being shot or abducted within Iraqi hospitals that most citizens simply refuse to use them.

Either way, for those Iraqis who are ill, yet fortunate enough to be flown out of the country; the time they spend in the hospital may turn out to be the best "vacation" that they've had in a very long time... provided that they can recover, of course.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Iran Defies UN Nuclear Deadline

Just as America's diplomatic effort to get North Korea to end it's nuclear program was seen as much needed boost to the Bush Administration's perceived credibility, the UN's attempt to get Iran to abandon it's nuclear ambition, could be viewed the exact same way; with the only difference being the result.

Regardless of whether or not people agree that Iran should be permitted to advance it's nuclear program; the IAEA has seemingly staked its entire reputation on the belief that not only should Tehran not be allowed to pursue nuclear technology (of any kind), but that they will somehow be able to deter the Iranians from doing so diplomatically and thus prevent any military confrontation with the US and Israel, in the process.

A fairly tall order for an organization which possesses no real authority and must rely entirely on the willingness of countries to cooperate with it, in order to work... And depend completely on the acceptance of other nations, in order for that work to actually mean anything.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi Resigns

Well, it looks like the United States is responsible for yet another "regime change"; except now they've gotten so good at it that the US no longer needs to actually invade other countries. Instead, it seems that all they have to do is simply get that nation to re-affirm its commitment to the "War on Terror" and their government is as good as gone.

Some people may view Italy's record of 61 governments since World War Two as an indicator of the country's long history of political instability, but not me. Instead, I prefer to view these incidences of scandal, corruption and non-confidence votes, as mere opportunities for the Italian people to celebrate their love of the democratic process, by giving each of them the chance to serve as Prime Minister, for about six weeks ;)

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Tony Blair Announces Iraq Troop Withdrawal

Tony Blair's decision to announce a troop withdrawal from Iraq comes mere months ahead of his own retreat from Parliament. So, with no more campaigns to run or foreign leaders to suck up to, it has obviously become the Prime Minister's new priority to focus more on his legacy; and how he'll be remembered by an angry British public.

While the American media will most likely try to spin a more positive interpretation behind Britain's departure from Iraq; one only needs to look at President Bush's recent decision to send more troops into combat to understand that after three long years, the Bush Administration's "mission" is far from "accomplished". However, the fact that British troops are to be withdrawn completely, instead of redeployed to assist US forces, would imply that not only does Tony Blair no longer believe in that mission, but perhaps even resents getting "yanked" into it in the first place.

If after a decade as Britain's Prime Minister, the best that Tony Blair can do in his last few months in office is remove the moniker of "Bush's Poodle" from his tarnished public image; imagine what a "good boy" he could have been, had he decided to slip that leash a few years earlier.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Today's Cartoon: United Nations Urged To Act On Asteroid Threat

If scientists want the United Nations to take action against asteroids hitting the planet, then they had better pray that none of them are headed for Africa, or else we're all screwed.

Personally, I'm not sure which is scarier; the idea of an asteroid wiping out the Earth, or us loading weapons into space in an effort to prevent it. Either way, the outcome would probably be the same; but at least on the bright side, we’d all be checking out together.

The way I see it, the United Nations should be reacting to the threat of asteroids the same way the US does to "terrorism", by launching preemptive strikes to eliminate perceived dangers before they have a chance to become reality. Then again; by that logic, the best way to destroy an asteroid would probably be to blow up the moon instead ;)

With forecasts predicting a possible asteroid hit in 2036, the UN has less than 30 years to come up with some sort of strategy to address this problem. Now, this may seem like a long time; but this is also the same organization that has been dealing with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for a lot longer than that. So, maybe instead of just focusing on one issue at a time, the UN may want to consolidate its effort in order to achieve the same objective.

Talk about your "two birds with one stone" eh? ;)

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Troubled Britney Spears Shaves Head

You know for someone like Britney Spears, who hasn't put out an album in years, yet somehow manages to remain in the public eye; perhaps a nervous breakdown isn't quite the career-slayer that one might anticipate. In fact, I would say that because of it (and her recent string of various booze-related mishaps) she is probably more popular now then she ever was making music; and it only took a fraction of the effort.

While she was once dubbed the "next Madonna", I think it's become evident that Ms. Spears is more likely to end up the heir apparent to Anna Nicole Smith's title as the media's favorite train wreck/distraction. But even if she ends up bottoming out and losing everything; it must be somewhat comforting for her to know that although her singing career may be over, she can still make loads of money by selling her "crazy hair" on eBay... that is, if it grows back first.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Hamas and Fatah Form Unity Government

It would seem that the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas which brought an end to months of fighting between the two political rivals would be embraced as a positive step in the right direction; not just for the Palestinian Territory, but for a Middle East that is already overrun by conflict. But apparently US officials do not see things the same way.

In response to Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, the Bush Administration decided not to recognize the elected Palestinian Authority's right to exist; by imposing heavy sanctions, aimed at undermining the Hamas government and steering its political rivals towards revolt. The result nearly plunged the Palestinian Territory into a full-scale civil war; however, both sides were able reach a resolution and agree to form a coalition government... which the U.S. also plans to not recognize either.

Well, if misery indeed loves company, then Hamas might find some comfort in the fact that even as part of a unity government, it may still be punished for not acknowledging Israel; but at least everyone is on the same page again.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Today's Cartoon: President Bush Unclear About Iran Evidence

So while President Bush remains certain that Shiite militias in Iraq are receiving Iranian weapons, there is still no evidence to prove that Tehran is behind it. This is probably because all of the "smoking guns" in Iraq appear to have been supplied by Austria instead.

Let's face it, war is big business; and as long as there are people who are willing inflict grievous bodily harm onto one another, there will be opportunists who are more than willing to supply them with the essential means to do so. By focusing solely on Iran, the Bush Administration seems to have put the blinders on to other countries' dealing within Iraq (including their ally Saudi Arabia).

If President Bush wishes to make a case for invading Iran based on weapons recovered from inside a war-torn Iraq, then by that logic ANY country with connections to either the Sunni or the Shiite militias could become a potential target of the United States as well; whether the government was actually involved, or not.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Today's Cartoon: North Korea Agrees To End Nuclear Program

Well, they finally have it and with just under two years left to spare, the Bush Administration has actually managed to eek out some sort of foreign policy success for them to hang their hats on. Of course, in order to do it they had to borrow a page out of Bill Clinton's diplomatic play book; but hey, at least they can wash their hands of Iraq and Afghanistan now, right? ;)

The reality is that the agreement made by North Korea to start dismantling its nuclear weapons program is a lot like the one that they signed in 1994, during the Clinton Administration; and promptly abandoned, after Bush jr. rolled into Washington. So, by getting Kim Jong-il to finally recommit to nuclear disarmament, in a way President Bush has been able to put the lid back on the issue and leave it exactly the way that he found it (with the exception of the additional concession he's granted to Pyongyang).

You know, if it weren't for all the other messes the Bush Administration has made during their term(s) in office, you would hardly even notice that they were there ;)

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Dixie Chicks Vindicated By Grammy Wins

In response to the Dixie Chicks latest album, I heard that President Bush was hard at work, on his own rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's classic "The Sound of Silence", but quickly changed his mind when he discovered that the song actually had lyrics ;)

You know, I personally don't think that the Dixie Chicks winning a bunch of Grammy awards is going to redeem them in the eyes of die-hard Bush supporters; after all, this was the exact same ceremony that gave Jimmy Carter an award... and he doesn't even sing!

It would seem that by now, anyone who is still nursing a grudge against the Dixie Chicks, is probably in it for the long haul; or at least until either FOX news or President Bush officially states that it is alright to start listening to their music again. If anything, the group's big win at the Grammys will only serve to add more names to their opponent's growing list of "terrorist sympathizers". Now, one might assume that a result of this might be a boycott of next year's ceremony; however, I think they do that anyway, whenever Ted Nugent isn't nominated ;)

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Today's Cartoon: U.S. Reveals Explosive Evidence Against Iran

Okay, I'm a little confused here... The U.S. is claiming that Iran is secretly arming Shiite militias with hi-tech weaponry to use against coalition forces; meanwhile, the United States is publicly arming the mainly Shiite "security forces" with hi-tech weaponry, which also end up getting used against coalition forces. So really, what's the difference here?

Back in 2003, when Colin Powell made his infamous presentation in front of the United Nations, where he swore on his children's eyes (not really) that Iraq had WMD's; not even he believed it. So here we are, almost three years later (with Powell nowhere in sight) in a similar situation; however, this time the Eye of Sauron has fallen on Iran.

Now I'm not saying that the U.S. is "lying" (because to do so would imply that I know what the "truth" is); but the way I see it, how can people not question the motives of an administration who decides to start wars by "fixing the facts around the policy"? What's to say that they're not doing it again? I mean, if all that the White House is trying to do is look for another foot-in-the-door, then why not just use that whole "pre-emptive strike" justification, which they got away with the last time?

Of course, Iran could very well be supplying Shiite militias with weapons, as the U.S. is claiming. But as be the case with the "Boy Who Cried Wolf"; people simply stop believing after they've been misled and lied to too many times. And once they've determined that those making the claims can no longer be trusted; that is precisely when the "wolf" is free to make its move.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Anna Nicole Smith 1967-2007

Whoever coined the phrase "blondes have more fun" obviously didn't have Anna Nicole Smith in mind (at least during the last six months of her life). But what's even more tragic to me is the fact that her five month old daughter has now lost the only two members of her family whose kinship was not in dispute.

You know, as absurd as it may sound, Anna Nicole Smith IS America's Princess Diana; or at least its semi-literate, drug addicted equivalent. You see, her life was a rags to riches, trailer park-Cinderella story; minus the happy ending. And the circumstances surrounding her passing are almost certain to become the fodder of conspiracy theorists, eager to link it to her ongoing dispute over her late Billionaire husband's estate.

But whatever the events surrounding her demise may actually be, fans of Anna Nicole should find some solace that out of the thousands of tabloid articles they have to remember her by; there are sure to be thousands more to follow.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Ted Haggard Declares Himself Cured of Homosexuality

The Lord might work in mysterious ways, but even he's got to be a little gob smacked by Ted Haggard's revelation that three weeks of "intense therapy" has miraculously cured him of his homosexuality.

Now, I tend to be somewhat skeptical when it comes to claims of "divine intervention", especially when you consider all the more important things in the world that "God" is neglecting, in order to steer this one guy "straight". That being said, if the man says he "feels" heterosexual then who are we to argue… unless of course, he's making an offer.

Despite those who may think Haggard's claims are bogus and that the church is incapable of "curing" homosexuality, I think it's important to note that while some illnesses may be impossible to cure, they can easily be contained through "quarantine"; or by being forced into a closet ;) However, the main issue here is not the fact that Mr. Haggard is gay, but that he acted upon his urge to have sex with another man. Therefore, the only thing the church has to do to prevent him from doing this, is to keep the male escorts away; which they did, for three weeks.

You see, a wolf-man can't be a wolf-man, if there is no moon out to make one ;)

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Today's Cartoon: NASA Astronaut Faces Charges in Bizarre Love Triangle

Talk about your "close encounters". It would appear that had NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak had her way with an Air Force Captain she suspected of "orbiting" around the same shuttle pilot as her, she would have made the alien abduction movie "Fire In The Sky" look like a college road trip. And speaking of "road trips", how strong does the "gravitational pull" have to be for someone to wear adult diapers just so they can get there faster?

You know, at first I thought that this might have been some sort of fallout from one of NASA kinky sex experiments gone awry, but it turns out the astronaut just "hit the moon" when she discovered another woman was also granting her pilot "re-entry".

In her defense, Ms. Nowak has stated that the reason why she attacked the other woman was to "scare her" into talking with her. Well, if that's the case, then maybe it's for the best that NASA hasn't made "first contact" with any extraterrestrials because like the Orlando police department, they too might misinterpret such attempts at "communicating" as an act of hostility.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Super Bowl Ads Disappoint Viewers

Apparently, the commercials during this year's Super Bowl were about as entertaining as the game itself; which for those who hate football but watched the game anyway, was a major disappointment.

Because I didn't see the game, I wasn't subjected to the same let down as those who endured it, just so they could catch the commercials; but that doesn't mean I missed out. You see, some of the advertisements which "premiered" during the Super Bowl were already available on-line; which to me doesn't make much sense, especially when you consider that the same 30 second spot aired during the broadcast cost advertisers $2.6 million.

Like scantily clad cheerleaders with double-D pom-poms, these highly anticipated commercials are intended as a way of holding people's interest in an otherwise boring sport. It was estimated that around 90 million people watched the Super Bowl; but I wonder how many of them would have actually tuned in had they known ahead of time that the commercials weren't very good, or had already seen it for themselves. I mean, what's the point of sitting through a sport that you don't care for, just to watch commercials that you've already seen and were disappointed with, the first time you saw them?

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Report Blames Humans For Global Warming

The United Nation's report on climate change has concluded that "we" are the root cause of global warming. Now while this may sound like bad news to some of you; look on the bright side... Your contribution to the planet's destruction practically makes "You" a shoo-in for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" again in 2007 ;)

You know, it surprises me that there are still people out there who simply refuse to accept the fact that humans are the primary cause of global warming. I mean, who else could it possibly be? Well, it certainly couldn't be "God" because on the one hand, most scientists don't even believe in an Almighty; and those that do, wouldn't dare accuse him... even if it was his fault.

So I guess this leaves "nature" as the only other possible main cause for climate change, but the problem is, which species are supposed to "bear" the blame? Oh sure, I've seen bears riding motorcycles before, but that was at the circus; and the only reason they were doing it was because humans were forcing them to ;)

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Marketing Campaign Causes Security Scare in Boston

While there are plenty of things about this story which I find amusing; I think the most ridiculous aspect of this whole incident was the fact that the mainstream media deemed it necessary to censor-out the "middle finger" of a cartoon character that was depicted on a "lite-brite". Perhaps, as was the case with the Boston police department, this was merely an overreaction on the part of the press. Or, they figured that since they had wasted so much time speculating and fear mongering, the "hand gesture" was the only sort of "pay-off" they had to work with. I mean, who knew that four tiny light bulbs could be so controversial?

Despite the panicked reaction of Boston authorities, the bomb scare turned out to be nothing more than a guerrilla marketing campaign for the animated series "Aqua Teen Hunger Force". Now, one would think that since it was all just a big misunderstanding and nobody got hurt, everyone could have a bit of a laugh at the absurdity of the situation; and while the two "suspects" certainly are, I have a bad feeling that they are about to be made examples of.

The one thing I've noticed about public officials (particularly those in the United States) is that they have an extremely difficult time admitting when they are wrong. Instead, they'll usually adjust the context of the situation, warping reality until it custom fits their argument like a glove. The bottom line is that the city of Boston was made to look ridiculous by the way its officials reacted to a marketing campaign that had been ongoing for weeks; and in other cities across the country. Of course, this is not something that can be admitted to, which is why the two guys responsible for planting the devices will probably end up in Gitmo, in order to help the authorities save face.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Hugo Chavez Granted Rule By Decree

I wonder if the Venezuelan Congress' decision to grant Hugo Chavez power to rule by decree was inspired by his revolutionary leftist agenda; or if had more to do with their desire to have a shorter work week... if any at all.

Through the centralization of power, Chavez is now free to pursue his radical economic reforms by stripping the central bank of its autonomy and nationalizing the country's oil, power and telecommunication industries. This obviously does not sit well with some people, namely the President of the United States; to whom Hugo Chavez owes all of his success to.

President Bush contends that Chavez's nationalization program makes it harder for the Venezuelan people to be lifted out of poverty and to realize their "full potential". Of course, by saying that he is also implying that the current business model for Venezuela is what has contributed to the people's lack of prosperity; to the point that they are now willing to embrace socialism, in the hopes of somehow improving their situation.

If anything, President Bush should be more jealous than worried about Chavez' consolidation of power. I mean, here's a guy who was able to take over his entire country and successfully declare himself supreme ruler, to the applause of his own people; all because of some other guy who was trying to do the exact same thing (minus the poor people) but only succeeded in making dictators elsewhere as a result.

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