Friday, March 30, 2007

U2's Bono Knighted: Today's Cartoon

Although he is now officially a knight of the British empire; because he is an Irishman, U2's Bono will not be granted the title of "Sir"... but will instead be given a choice of either "Paddy" or "Mick", depending on which drunken English noble he accidentally bumps into at the next gathering ;)

Even though British officials claim that the title of is reserved solely for British citizens, I wonder if the name "Sir Bono" would have ruffled any feathers within the English aristocracy. After all, it's been 10 years since Paul McCartney was knighted... and Ringo Starr is still waiting patiently by the phone.

Bono's humanitarian efforts have earned him recognition and awards, from around the world. Add that along with his illustrious music career and it makes me wonder if the real reason why he decided to accept a British knighthood, despite being Irish, was because he needed to be deceased in order to be canonized.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Detained British Sailors Appear on Iranian Television: Today's Cartoon

The outrage expressed over 15 detained British soldiers appearing on Iranian television, eating food and complimenting their captor's "hospitality" is the EXACT reason why the United States doesn't want the world to know what actually goes on inside those secret CIA prisons. I mean, if terrorists knew just how well they would be treated by the Americans, I'm pretty sure they would kick themselves for not declaring jihad against them sooner ;)

Make no mistake, the public display of captive British sailors by the Iranian government was purely for propaganda purposes; but then again, so were those "GPS co-ordinates" released by the British government. Truth be told, neither side would be willing to admit fault, which is why it is so difficult to believe either one of them. Look, a recorded prisoner's confession by the captors is about as convincing as a few random co-ordinates displayed on a map, but that doesn't seem to stop either government from trying desperately to make us form a "opinion"… one that is based completely on their "evidence", which favors their side of the story.

The way I see it, there is about enough information available on this to reinforce one's preconceived notion… and that's about it. However, since we are dealing with the credibility of the British and Iranian government, perhaps our gut-instinct is the most reliable source of information we have.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

U.S. Senate Sets Deadline for Iraq Withdrawal: Today's Cartoon

Knowing that President Bush is going to veto ANY bill which endorses any sort of withdrawal from Iraq, I'm actually a little surprised that the Senate vote, approving this particular one was so close.

I mean, if at the end of the day, Senate Republicans knew that this piece of legislation would be regarded as nothing more than "political theater" by the White House, then one might think that more of them would want to play it “safe”, by lending it their "support". At least then, when the wheels eventually do come off Bush's war-machine, they can save their own back bacon by claiming to have tried everything in their power to end it and pin the blame solely upon the Bush Administration... just like the Democrats.

Although this particular Iraq spending bill is not likely to get passed the President's desk; by pressuring the White House into a position where it must veto the wishes of the Congress and the majority of Americans, it in turn forces the Bush Administration accept complete ownership of this debacle... while presenting everyone else with an opportunity to get some distance away it.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Northern Ireland Catholics and Protestants Reach Historic Deal: Today's Cartoon

While it is certainly great news to have Northern Ireland's main political/religious rivals set aside years of hostilities to form a unity government; as an appreciator of "artistic expression", these good intentions kind of make me wonder what will eventually become of all the painted political murals, if and when there is a lasting peace between Catholics and Protestants.

So much of Northern Ireland's "Troubles" have been chronicled through these works that they themselves have since become landmarks and symbols of the entire region. Yet, their passionately pointed political views serve as a constant reminder of the deeply-rooted distrust each side has for the other and as a confirmation of the anger that went into these paintings, when they were first made.

The way I see it, the real "symbolic breakthrough" in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics will not be in the Stormont Parliament Building, but rather on the streets of Belfast; when the public finally begins to decide just how much of the past it's willing to let go, in order to embrace the future. The problem is that the quality of the work that the artists put into these murals not only makes them hard to remove from an "artistic" standpoint, but nearly impossible to erase from a psychological one, as well.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

British Servicemen Seized By Iranian Forces: Today's Cartoon

So, Britain claims that 15 of its servicemen were seized from within Iraqi waters by Iranian forces, during a UN approved mission; while on the other side, Iranian officials have stated that the sailors were detained for "illegally entering" its territory...

Well, look on the bright side, with all the distrust and misinformation surrounding the escalating tension between Iran and the West, at least here we have a situation where one party is actually being truthful... the only question is, which?

Now, we all know that Iran has been a little on edge since the release of the film "300", so perhaps what we are dealing with here is nothing more than a simple overreaction to what Tehran may have interpreted as 15 Britons (instead of 300 Spartans) against the entire Persian army. Or maybe they were correct in their assumption and that military enlistment in the UK has fallen short to such a degree that this is the army it now has left to go to war with.

Either way, it makes for a fairly short movie.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Ban Ki Moon Shaken By Baghdad Blast: Today's Cartoon

After just a few short months as Secretary General of the United Nations, it now appears that South Korea's Ban Ki-Moon will probably be replaced, with Iraq's "Ban Ki-BOOM!” So just remember, if the mainstream media decides to run with it, you read it hear first ;)

You know, I always thought that a "ringing endorsement" was supposed to mean an expression of validation, but apparently, when it comes to Iraq's new security measure; it can also refer to the shock waves from thunderous explosions that seem to accompany such declarations. I mean, what's the point of the UN even considering boosting its presence in that war torn nation, if it's being decided upon while cowering behind a podium?

It's unfortunate, but Ban Ki-Moon panicked reaction to nearby rocket blast all but erases any reassurances he made to the Iraqi government (and the world) about the improved security situation in Baghdad. Although you can't really blame the Secretary General, after all he is in a war zone; and chances are that if it were a car backfiring instead, he probably would have done the exact same thing.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Al Gore Discusses Climate Change on Capitol Hill: Today's Cartoon

At this point, I think that if Al Gore were to NOT run for U.S. president in 2008, there would a torch mob of angry Americans who would be jumping off his environmental bandwagon, just so they could take their collective "carbon footprint" and plant it firmly on the former V.P.'s backside.

In my opinion, the main reason why so many people desperately wish that Gore would run for president (regardless if he truly wants to or not) isn't because of his efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of global warming; but rather it’s over their own personal desire to be able to wake up the morning after the election and pretend it's still the year 2000; and that the previous eight years were nothing, but a bad dream.

Of course, Al Gore is smart enough to know that as long as the Bush Administration keeps getting rocked by all these corruption and ethics scandals, he can continue running his campaign, without even saying a word. This is truly great news for Democrats, who only seem to increase their troubles with the more words they use.

So, with regards to the Democratic candidates for the 2008 Presidential elections; the way I see it, "Less is Gore".

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

President Bush Vows To Fight Subpeonas For Top Aides: Today's Cartoon

Hmm... I wonder why President Bush seems so eager to go to court to prevent any congressional orders that would force his top aides from testifying under oath about the dismissal of federal attorneys. I don't know; maybe it has something to do with there not being any prosecutors left to go against the administration, because they've already been FIRED!

The way I see it, by only offering unsworn testimonies, in private and with no transcript, the Bush Administration has made it perfectly obvious that while it has absolutely nothing to hide and every intention to tell the truth ;) there is still a strong possibility that Karl Rove might burn his hand on the bible and accidentally yell something unbelievably profane. So it's completely understandable that the White House would want to protect the American public from being exposed to such a wild spectacle.

President Bush has described the Democrats effort to obtain sworn testimony as a "partisan fishing expedition", which if it's anything like the fishing trips he's probably used to, is like being with someone who actually wants to go out in the boat, instead of sit at the dock and drink beer ;)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Now Available! Beyond the Punchline: 2006 Year in Review

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you all know that the first full year of my "Beyond the Punchline" web-comic is now (finally) available in print.

From Jack Abramoff to cloned meat and all points in between; every major news story and media event of 2006 has been chronicled in this collection of 260 individual cartoons, making it the perfect gift for any humor enthusiast, news junkie or history buff.

Thanks again to everyone for your continuing support and encouragement. It really means a lot to know that my work is being enjoyed and appreciated by so many. And it definitely keeps me motivated to carry on working hard to bring you the "news", as we slowly creep closer to next year's edition ;)

Also, be sure to check out "American Soil: Terror is on the March!" A hilarious horror/satire, filled with gruesome zombies and obscene rhetoric :)

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Tainted Pet Food Scare Prompts Mass Recall: Today's Cartoon

You know, as insensitive as this may read to other pet owners, I was actually somewhat relieved to hear that the latest contaminated food scare to hit North America, did not effect humans. It seems like every other day there is some new health crisis being played up by the media, as a means to scare the wits out of the public; all in pursuit of higher ratings. So, it was kind of nice to not be the one who had to be afraid for a change.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a responsible and loving pet owner; but something tells me that my dog isn't going to get bent out of shape, constantly worrying if the food she's eating is going to make her sick. Heck, half the time she doesn't even know if what she has is food, at least until she starts chewing it; and at that point, she no longer cares. Look, all I'm saying is that pet's are either too dumb to realize what threatens them, or way too smart to constantly obsess over it, like we do.

To put this in perspective, out of the millions of dogs and cats in North America, only 10 have been fatally affected (thus far) by the tainted food; plus an additional 7 through direct testing with the contaminated product. Now, compare that with the number of pets that are hit by cars on a daily basis and you'll see that in reality this "crisis" ranks somewhere between FDA tainted pet-food tester and Lassie’s stunt double.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Fourth Anniversary of the Iraq War: Today's Cartoon

The Iraq war is growing up before our very eyes. Why, I remember back when it was just a twinkle in the eye of an administration, eager to take advantage of the opportunity presented to it by 9/11; as a mean of spreading its "seed of democracy" across the Middle East. But of course, in the heat of the moment, when emotions take over and one fails to engage in "safe-sects" (especially when dealing with multiple partners), good intentions can often yield horrific results.

What was originally diagnosed as the "birth pains" of Iraq's fledgling democracy, turned out to be something much more serious; and as the symptoms steadily got worse, so too did the bills and the excuses needed to justify them. Until finally it was revealed that what they were dealing with was not an allergy to "freedom"... but complications resulting from being the severely retarded lovechild of the "Project for the New American Century".

So as yet another birthday is marked in its tragic existence, the only sort of celebration this illegitimate deformity is used to, are the cries for it's handlers to finally put it out of its misery. But unfortunately none of them can hear it because they are too busy drowning their guilt, by getting drunk on their own kool-aid.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Al Qaeda Suspect Confesses to 9/11 Plot: Today's Cartoon

I guess Khalid Sheikh Mohammad's "confession" to virtually every terrorist act ever suspected by "Al Qaeda" means that the U.S. can now call off its hunt for Osama Bin Laden. So, as it turns out, it was actually a GOOD thing that America could never catch him, because could you imagine the embarrassment the Bush Administration would have felt, had the interrogators ended up torturing a confession out of the wrong guy ;)

Now, I know that there are some of you out there who are little suspicious about the manner in which this “testimony” may have been extracted. Apparently, some people don't believe that torture is an effective way to gather reliable information; well, let me just say that if any of them were to be "interrogated" mercilessly over a number of years, I am absolutely certain that eventually they too would "confess" to being WRONG!

They say that "justice is blind"; which if it's anything like saying "best kept to the imagination", might actually explain the secrecy surrounding Mohammad's military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. And if that's the case, then the only thing left for us to know is when it comes time for the U.S. to throw the book at him, are they just going to use the same one they beat him with?

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Alberto Gonzales Called To Resign Over Attorney Firings: Today's Cartoon

Over the course of his presidency, one would assume that serving at the "pleasure" of George W. Bush wouldn't be all that difficult, considering his "frat-boy" demeanor and personal penchant for flatulence humor. Then again, not everyone in Washington is so eager to pull the Administration's finger, just because it tells them to; which explains the politically motivated purging of eight federal prosecutors by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

You know, it must be extremely frustrating for attorneys who have worked their entire careers to become federal prosecutors, to end up in jobs that have less security than Wal-Mart greeters, with a boss that has less credibility than a used Yugo salesman.

Basically, by removing prosecutors who are not loyal to the President, remaining one step above the law for the Bush administration has literally been reduced to just ONE step.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Zimbabwe Cracks Down on Political Protests: Today's Cartoon

It seems to me that if the Zimbabwe is actively enforcing a strict ban on all political protests within the country, then wouldn’t that in itself be considered a form of “political protest”; and therefore shouldn’t the Mugabe government also be getting rounding up, as a result of its own policy?

Oh sure, the suppression of dissent through police brutality may not be the first thing that springs to mind when one thinks of a “political demonstration”, but when those actions are orchestrated by the government as a means of demonstrating its absolute authority over its opponents, a protest AGAINST politics remains a “political protest” all the same.

Look, say what you will about Robert Mugabe, but for a leader who has kept Zimbabwe on the verge of failed state status for years, not only has he guided the rate of inflation up about 1700%, but reports of abuse being committed against main opposition leaders have now raised the country’s “interest rate” just as much; by bringing the plight of Zimbabweans to the front (web) pages of the newspapers around the world. Coverage which I'm sure other troubled regions of the continent would love to have.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Comedian Richard Jeni 1957-2007: Today's Cartoon

I think for a lot of people around my age, Richard Jeni will probably be best remembered as the host of TV's "Caroline's Comedy Hour" on A&E. For those starting to watch stand-up comedy for the first time, Jeni was the main fixture on a show that also introduced many of us to the early work of some of today’s top comedians. And though despite not achieving the same breakout success as some of the acts featured on that program, Jeni's weekly M.C. duties on national television (plus numerous re-runs) easily made him one of the most recognizable stand-up comics to the teens of my generation.

So obviously it came as a huge shock to read of Richard Jeni's sudden passing at the age of 49; only then to receive an even sadder jolt, with regards to the way in which he decided to check-out.

Now, I'm not going to speculate as to reasons why someone of that status would ultimately decide to claim their own life; to me, the whole topic seems as alien as grown-ups who diddle children. But the message it seems to send out is a rather sobering one; especially to those who grew up watching Jeni's comedy on television and were inspired by it to follow in his path into the wonderful world of show business :(

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Jacques Chirac To Not Seek Re-election: Today's Cartoon

Personally, I believe that whenever a politician decides to either retire or not seek office, they should be obligated to "prove it"; not by delivering some long-winded speech, but by saying or doing something so abhorrent that even if they wanted to run they couldn't because of the taint that they have brought upon themselves.

So often we hear elected/former officials waver as to their future plans; unwilling to either confirm or deny any rumors involving their political intentions to the public. And then, even when they do give a "direct answer", it's always done in such a manner as to leave the door slightly open, in case they decide to "change their mind" later on; but of course we all know that a politician's mind is already made up... that is unless it hasn't been purchased yet. I mean, saying one thing and then doing another is the nature of politics; so why would the process of getting in or staying out of it be any different?

The way I see it, the only way to trust a politician at their word, is if that "word" leads directly to the end of their career in public service. That way you know for certain when say that they are not running for office, they’re telling the truth... because they will be far too busy "running" from all the people they slurred during the resignation speech ;)

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Democrats Propose Iraq Withdrawal By August 2008: Today's Cartoon

Now, do you suppose President Bush would have been so eager to oppose the Democrats pullout plan for Iraq, if it were set for sometime after he leaves office?

While for American troops there appears to be no getting out of Iraq anytime soon; for the President of the United States, all he has to do is wait out the next 20 months and the war will be over... at least for him. So as he now tries to coast to the finish line of his presidency, the only obstacles that remain ahead of him are the ones designed to pin "accountability" squarely upon him and his administration; which is precisely what the Democrats intend to do with their new legislation.

You see, not only does their proposal set a firm date for ending a conflict that should have never started in the first place, but it is also designed to bring about its conclusion while the main architects of that campaign are still in power; thus, labeling them with the distinction of both starting and losing the war in Iraq.

It also potentially brings home about 150 thousand US servicemen and women, who were misled into such a brutal and open-ended conflict, by an Administration that expected to be long gone by the time they ever got back.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Captain America Bumped Off By Sniper: Today's Cartoon

While details remain "sketchy" on the fate of the Captain America series; I can't think of a better way for a comic book company to create some much needed publicity for their characters, then by having them bumped off altogether. You see, in the open ended world of comic narratives, nothing is definite; especially the fate of one it’s most beloved and iconic superheroes.

If anything, these kinds of "publicity stunts" serve merely as a way for the studios to gauge the popularity of their characters as well as generate a lot of interest and anticipation towards their inevitable resurrection. Actually in a way, it's sort of like the reverse of what Al Qaeda does, every time it releases a new audio/video message.

In fact, just as the fate of comic book heroes tend to be judged solely in response to their popularity, so too are those of the "super-villains"... both on the page and in real life ;)

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scooter Libby Convicted In CIA Leak Case: Today's Cartoon

Despite being convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the Valerie Plame/CIA leak investigation; I think the ONLY thing that will prevent "Scooter" Libby from receiving a full presidential pardon, would be the fact that President Bush doesn't like to read newspapers and may not even know that Libby's in jail until sometime after he leaves office... when it's a question on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" ;)

So now that the verdict is in, all focus has shifted from Libby towards his former boss, Vice President Dick Cheney; and speculation over his possible role in the outing of a covert CIA agent. However this time instead of an obstruction of justice preventing investigators from peering into Cheney's secret world, an "obstruction" of his lower left leg may threaten to shut it down permanently, due to "poor health".

But if you ask me, there really isn't much of a need for any further investigating, when so much of the publics’ assumptions about the Bush Administration have already been proven to be accurate. I say, instead of federal prosecutors wasting all that time and money collecting evidence, why not just gather a roomful of comedy writers and conspiracy theorists and just base their case solely on that? I mean, if the truth is indeed stranger than fiction, than the visual of "Darth Cheney" sitting in his Meditation Chamber; feasting upon the blood of stray cats while awaiting further instruction from Emperor Palpatine, may actually seem pretty tame by comparison.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Outrage Over Conditions At Walter Reed Hospital: Today's Cartoon

With all the money the Bush Administration has allotted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, you'd think they would have tossed the military hospitals a few extra bucks to care for its wounded soldiers; then again, according to their prewar rhetoric, the worst the White House was anticipating were allergies resulting from flowers being thrown at the troops, when they were supposed to be greeted as "liberators". I mean, who knew that so many Iraqis and Afghans would also express their "appreciation" with bombs and bullets as well?

Sadly, the reported condition of U.S. military hospitals shouldn't really come as much of a surprise to anyone who has been chronicling the mishaps of Bush and company since they began actively enforcing “Democracy” upon the Middle East. While initially their intentions may have been to showcase their nation as a shining model of freedom for other countries to embrace; over the course of the past few years, things haven't quite turned out as predicted. However, instead of just giving up, the Bush Administration has stubbornly stuck by its agenda and now finally appears to be making some progress overseas... simply by cutting a few corners back home.

You see, if the end goal is to create a western-style society in Iraq and Afghanistan, then all the White House really has to do is re-define its own interpretation of what a "western-style society"is; so that it can better reflect the conditions in those war-torn countries and make it easier for them to declare victory and get the heck out.

So now instead of complaining about the deplorable conditions of their hospitals, Iraqis can rejoice in the glory of their newly installed "US-style" medical system.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Ann Coulter Drops F-Bomb on John Edwards: Today's Cartoon

You know, secretly deep down inside, "liberals" must absolutely love Ann Coulter; because every time she opens her mouth to insult them, she accidentally pays them a compliment by reinforcing just about every negative stereotype there is about "conservatives".

The way I see it, it's actually quite an accomplishment for Coulter that out of the diverse range of Democratic hopefuls she COULD have offended, she ends up going after the straight white guy, instead. I mean, in an election cycle where there are candidates for the first Black, Latino and Woman president, who would have thought that John Edwards would be the one experiencing the most prejudice?

Of course, if Edwards was really smart, not only would he use Coulter's comments to his advantage by shifting the focus of his campaign towards speaking out against bigotry and prejudice; but he would also use it as an opportunity to shift the focus of the media away from Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama, by coming out of the closet and announcing his intentions to become the first "gay" president of the United States ;)

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Friday, March 02, 2007

John McCain Announces Candidacy For US President: Today's Cartoon

John McCain seems like the kind of politician who would say anything to get elected president... that is, if he weren't too busy apologizing for all the things that won't.

The way I see it, rather than trying to pander to every single special interest group that he can milk a vote out of, McCain may want to consider that there are about 186 million eligible voters in the United States, with their own "special interests”; and simply stand by what he actually believes in, instead.

Every time John McCain speaks his (unscripted) mind, it always appears that he ends up apologizing for it later. Whether it's the war in Iraq, Dick Cheney or his personal views on the Vietnamese; McCain seems to be in constant fear of accidentally letting his true feelings ruin his chance at becoming president. So rather than risk offending anyone with what he stands for, he offends everyone with who he stands with.

Who knew that after five grueling years in a North Vietnamese POW camp, it would be six years of the Bush Administration that gave him "Stockholm syndrome"?

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

British Mom Retains Custody of 200 Pound Eight-Year Old: Today's Cartoon

Now I'm no parent, but one would think that if the international media was camped out in their kitchen to watch them prepare greasy meals for their morbidly obese 8-year old, they would throw in a celery stick in junior's feeding bag; at the very least for the cameras.

You know, it's hard to believe that for a country with such a bad reputation for it's food, obesity has become such an epidemic in the UK; so much in fact that Prince Charles has even expressed a desire to have McDonald's "banned" altogether. You see, back in the old days Britons never had to worry about their weight because their food was either boiled or revolting. They were lucky just to keep it down, never mind get fat off of it. But now that more American fast food chains have been introduced to the British people, they have become like deprived children, experiencing the wonders gluttony for the very first time.

Sadly though, in such extreme situations (like this), the only real difference that I can distinguish between starving a child and overfeeding it, are the number of pallbearers it's going to take to carry the casket.

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