Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tuberculosis Scare on Airline: Today's Cartoon

The only thing that makes a dangerous strain of tuberculosis more difficult to treat is when the patient is actively trying to avoid being put into quarantine, by hopscotching aircraft across Europe and into Canada, while potentially exposing everyone around him in the process.

Now I don't know about you, but it seems to me that if airport security insists on using "profiling" in this so-called "post 9/11" world, then instead of just focusing on every brown-skin person, they may want to pay a little more attention on the individuals with "green-skin" who are trying to sneak onto the planes.

Yet, as frightening as this potential health crisis has been presented by the media, I can't help but think that if an American citizen is going to fall ill under their current medical system, federal isolation is probably the closest thing to "Universal Health Care" they can experience... just as long as they can recover enough to enjoy the benefits.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hugo Chavez Shuts Down Opposition Media: Today's Cartoon

It has often been said that most television programming is designed to appeal to the "lowest common denominator"; yet somehow I get the impression that those critics were more likely referring to examples like "American Idol" and wrestling fans, rather than leftist leader Hugo Chavez and the people of Venezuela.

The decision by Chavez to shut down his country's main opposition media outlet has sparked days of protests and serious international concerns over the limiting of certain freedoms within Venezuela... the same freedom which permitted the now defunct RCTV to openly endorse a coup attempt against Chavez in 2002.

Now, I'm not one to support media consolidation, especially as a means of marginalizing political opponents and limiting the perspective of the population; but if this is what a "liberal media bias" is supposed to look like, then why hasn't the United States pulled the plug on FOX News yet? ;)

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

US and Iran Meet Over Iraq: Today's Cartoon

When two countries that have not held diplomatic relations in almost 30 years meet face-to-face for the first time to discuss a situation even worse than their own bitter rivalry, then regardless of what was said, the mere presence of both parties at that meeting automatically sets the bar of success at "positive" to begin with. So, to still be at that point despite talking for four hours to me indicates that while not a whole of progress was actually made, at least they still had an encouraging sound bite to fall back on.

I think an indication of the sort of difficulties which lay ahead for Iran and the US over the handling of Iraq, is determining exactly what each country's role is suppose to be. The United States has repeatedly accused Tehran of supporting the insurgency by supplying militias with weapons and training, yet Iran has also offered to train and arm Iraqi forces and form a trilateral security commission (with Iraq and the U.S.) to deal with the continuing crisis.

To me, it seems rather ironic that after nearly 30 years of diplomatic isolation, the U.S. and Iran traveled to Baghdad to try to reach "common ground", in the middle of a civil war. I guess it's a clever way to disguise any breakdown in talks between to the two nations. I mean, with all the sectarian fighting going on around them, who would notice that they couldn't agree on anything either?

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Star Wars 30th Anniversary: Today's Cartoon

If you think about it, 30 years isn't really that long a period of time when you consider that you probably spend about 10 years of it sleeping; which in perspective, makes dressing up like an Ewok and camping out in front of a multiplex to buy Star Wars tickets not seem nearly as much of a waste of time, as it actually is :)

I think for me, what makes Star Wars so special is its ability to capture the impressionable minds of young children and freeze it in carbonite, until long into their adult years. But the real magic of the series is that it does more than just entertain; it touches the heart and stimulates the imagination of its audience, while making the money in their wallets disappear, through the telling (and re-telling) of a timeless story with dated special effects that need a good "tweaking" every few years.

I'll admit, I still enjoy the original movies now as I did when I was a kid, the only difference is that it took a "Special" Edition and three prequels for me to realize just how good those movies were, when they were released 30 years ago.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Bush Draws Fire From Sparrow: Friday's Cartoon

If you believe in reincarnation then it probably comes as no surprise that a bird took a dump on President Bush during a Rose Garden press conference. And while that in itself may not be that significant, the symbolism of it is undeniable; suddenly the sparrow has become the new "carrier-pigeon" of America's displeasure with the Bush Administration.

For a world leader who is known for choking on pretzels and falling off his bicycle, getting dumped on by a bird seemed about as inevitable as the U.S. invasion of Iraq; which incidentally, was the topic of conversation during his news conference. President Bush cautioned the media that withdrawing from Iraq would invite fresh terror attacks upon America before warning one reporter in particular that "Al Qaeda" was a threat to his children. Of course, nobody can say for certain what the future has in store, but it seems to me that instead of trying to invoke "terror" into the heart of the press corp, he should have been focusing on the reality of the situation on the ground... namely the birds circling overhead :)

You see, the problem it seems with President Bush is that everything he discusses is a hypothetical based solely on his desire to frighten the American public into submitting to his foreign policy agenda. I mean, with all the warnings, predictions and promises that this administration has made, its a wonder that it wasn't a pig that took a dump on the President; of course in order for that to occur, something he says would actually have to come true.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Birth Control Eliminates Periods: Thurday's Cartoon

By the sound of it, it appears that women have now been given the option of permanently trading in their maxi pads... for a set of goalie pads :)

I think its pretty obvious that this new birth control medication was designed by men. I mean, not only does it prevent pregnancy by eliminating a woman's menstrual cycle, but in doing so it also eliminates the use of PMS as an excuse for having a rotten temper ;)

Now call me old fashion, but I believe that birth control is solely a woman's issue; not because I think men should bare no responsibility, but if medication was introduced that suppressed ANY aspect of the male's reproductive system, they simply would not take it. After all, men buy pills like Viagra to enhance their ability; not hinder it by eliminating their erections altogether.

Look, if men were the one's having periods, there is no way that medication would be made to prevent it. Instead, there would probably be pills introduced to increase the volume of a man's monthly blood flow and super sized tampons for guys to brag about to their buddies :)

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Britain Seeks Ex-KGB in Litvinenko Case: Wednesday's Cartoon

Well, if this isn't one of the creepiest constitutional loopholes, I don't know what is. Not only is the Kremlin not willing to extradite a former KGB spy to face criminal charges in Britain; but according to article 61 of its constitution, NO Russian citizen can be handed over to another state for committing a crime... any crime!

Now I don't know about you, but I find this more than a little disturbing; especially since their World Cup soccer team has struggled ever since the break-up of the Soviet Union. I mean who knows; maybe the fact they didn't qualify in 2006 was actually a good thing for the other teams because it spared them (and their fans) a horrible fate... after eliminating them in the opening round ;)

The mysterious case of Alexander Litvinenko has been made practically impossible for the British courts to prosecute, now that the Russian officials have refused to hand over the investigation's prime suspect. So, as long as he remains shielded by Russia, the actual motive behind the former spy's poisoning could remain a secret indefinitely. However, since we already know that Mr. Litvenenko was an outspoken critic of the Putin government at the time he was "silenced", maybe the only thing British officials have to do is "criticize" the Kremlin as well; and Moscow would be more than willing to send their suspect back to Britain ;)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lebanon Forces Pound Palestinian Camp: Tuesday's Cartoon

Is there such a thing as being a "refugee" of a "refugee camp", or is the status simply revoked as soon as the conditions becomes worse for the person there than it is where they came from? Then again, displaced Palestinians have been living under such difficult conditions for so long that Lebanon's bombardment of one of their camps only serves to remind them what drove them there in the first place.

The situation in Lebanon is seen as the nation's worst "internal conflict" since the end of its civil war in 1990; which as far as accomplishments go, isn't really all that noteworthy considering last year's "33-day war" with Israel. If anything, this dubious distinction lends support to the opinion that not only was the Israeli conflict unnecessary, but so too is nearly all Western influence in Middle Eastern affairs.

The way I see it, there is already plenty of suspicion and distrust between nations and religious sects in the Middle East without the West coming in and aggravating things even more. Basically, I believe that if left on its own, the Middle East would be in a much better position to finally start addressing its own problems. You see, without any reckless U.S. foreign policy for Muslims to react against, fairly soon the region would tire of these radical militias and turn against them in the same manner they resist the West; by viewing these extremists as a direct threat to their daily way of life.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Tony Blair's Final Visit To Iraq: Monday's Cartoon

Wow, when Tony Blair said that he had no regrets invading Iraq and would do it all over again, he really meant it… by going on yet another surprise visit to Baghdad; and sadly (as usual), instead of being greeted as a “liberator”, the British Prime Minister was received in the “Green Zone” with the now customary incoming mortar round “salute”.

Tony Blair’s final visit to Iraq as Britain’s Prime Minister is an opportunity for him to take stock of the situation he helped to make and offer a few empty words of encouragement before hopping back onto his plane and getting as far away from the whole mess as humanly possible (both physically and professionally); because it seems that the only real signs of “progress” Mr. Blair witnessed on his trip, were the ones leading him back to the airport.

It has been said that Tony Blair’s legacy will actually be determined by the actions of his successor Gordon Brown; which if true, would sort of make his previous 10 years in office seem like a complete waste of time. I mean, if Blair’s tenure is defined solely by the actions of those who come after him; then did Britain really need him to be in power in the first place? Well, judging by the public’s opinion of him, my guess would be “no” ;)

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Paul Wolfowitz Resigns from World Bank: Today's Cartoon

Well, I guess it turned out to be a pretty smart move by Paul Wolfowitz to secure that high-paying promotion for his girlfriend, because it looks like she's the one paying the bills now.

By agreeing to resign as President of the World Bank, Mr. Wolfowitz may have avoided being officially "fired" from the institution; however, I still don't believe that this "technicality" would look very good on his resume... but fortunately for him, being a crony of the Bush Administration does. And while being a friend of the White House may help get people's feet into some pretty impressive doorways, more often then not they usually end up catching someone else's foot on the way back out.

It appears that Wolfowitz isn't the only Bush appointee with career woes at the moment. But rather than just throwing its unwaivering support behind these embattled loyalists, what the White House should really be doing is rotating these troubled individuals between jobs, as a sort of occupational "musical chairs". For example, instead of working for the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz could take over as Attorney General for Alberto Gonzales, who in turn could replace Tony Blair as Prime Minister of Britain... and so on. That way no one loses their job and loyalty for the Bush Administration remains intact, which as a result reduces the risk of anyone needing to write a scathing tell-all to help pay the rent.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Prince Harry Denied Iraq Tour: Today's Cartoon

Let me get this straight... Prince Harry is no longer going to Iraq because the "terrorists" he would be sent to fight have stated that they would go after him and thus put the troops around him in danger. So, rather than risk having a "soldier" encounter actual hostility in a war zone, British officials have decided to keep the Prince out of action and send some poor bloke over, in his place. I mean, where did they think he was going... on a fox hunt?

Now, I'm not one to encourage anybody to go off to Iraq; in fact, I think they should be pulling people out instead of sending more in, but if Prince Harry's presence would threaten to bring out the "terrorists"... isn't that kind of what the British forces are wanting? I'm no military strategist, but the way I see it, if I had possession of something that was guaranteed to lure my elusive enemy out of hiding, I'd be a fool not to use it.

You know, it surprises me that instead of scurrying Prince Harry away from the combat he apparently desires, British forces not only deploy him but advertise his whereabouts; daring the the "terrorists" to come out and try to take him. Think of it as a sort of Middle East version of the Old West.

Oh well, I guess instead of going to Iraq, Prince Harry could always "shock and awe" Margaritaville again ;)

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jerry Falwell 1933-2007: Today's Cartoon

Over the course of the last 30 years, the Christian conservative movement in the United States has played a dominant role in shaping the political landscape of that entire nation; and few seemed to show more influence over that group than the Reverend Jerry Falwell. From Ronald Regan to George W. Bush, members of the "religious right" have been encouraged to put their "faith" before everything else when marching out to the polls to elect the country's next Republican leader.

So, for frustrated advocates of the separation of church and state, the passing of Jerry Falwell might be seen as a bit of a compromise; as while religion may never fully be separated from politics, it was only a matter of time (and a few election cycles) before God removed Mr. Falwell from both.

Now I'm not a religious man, but if there is a Heaven and it is the kind of place that Jerry Falwell envisioned for himself, I think it would be awfully odd to see a man of his "stature" flapping about with only a "right wing" to guide him. Yet fortunately for him (and unfortunately for his critics), only those who follow his strict personal interpretation of the bible will be privileged enough to bare witness to such a spectacle ;)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Daimler Sells Chrysler to Private Equity Firm: Today's Cartoon

It seems to me that with heightened oil prices and environmental awareness, the only way for a car company like Chrysler to become profitable once more is for it to somehow figure out a way to manufacture automobiles that are both cheap on gas and low on emissions. While under the ownership of the German-based Daimler corporation, these consumer concerns were actually being address; however, most of that was due of the company producing vehicles which never left the dealership.

Daimler's decision to unload Chrysler to a private equity firm appears a lot like someone trying to sell a badly used SUV for parts, but first has to pay to get it towed off of the driveway. Sure, it would be great if the new owners were able to get the thing running again, but all that really matters to the people selling it is that the rusted-out embarrassment is no longer seen parked in front of their house.

Too bad really, I was hoping "Dr. Z" would eventually get around to answering my question about what to do when life gives you "lemons", in one of his commercials ;)

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Taliban Lose Operational Commander: Today's Cartoon

I think there is something awfully ironic about the Taliban having an "operational commander", who only "operated" on one leg to begin with. I mean, how much ability does it actually take for someone to tell their subordinates to go blow themselves up?

While I guess from a symbolic perspective the fact that the man in charge of the Taliban's operations is himself no longer "operating" could be viewed as a bit of a "setback" for the insurgents; however, I'm not so sure that this event is going to yield any significant changes to the overall conflict... with perhaps the exception of the next operational commander having two legs, to enable him to escape coalition forces a lot easier.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Tony Blair Announces Resignation: Today's Cartoon

After 10 years as Britain's Prime Minister, I think the legacy of Tony Blair will best be summed up with two words... "bark bark!". Despite his last minute miracle helping to bring peace to Northern Ireland, Tony's place in history will most likely be situated upon the lap of his Iraq war buddy George W. Bush.

You know, it's hard to tell exactly why Tony Blair decided to align himself so closely with the Bush Administration and their "ambitious" foreign policy; even as the rest of the world began to distance itself from the While House, Blair was always front and center like a good English maid, to help sweep the mess under a rug. All of this loyalty, yet for seemingly so little in return... at least while in office.

Now that Tony Blair is stepping down as Prime Minister, it will be interesting to find out just what the reward will be for his years of obedience to the Bush Administration; especially since it came at the cost of his own political legacy. Somehow I get the feeling that it will be something a lot more substantial than a simple Milk-Bone and a pat on the head ;)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dick Cheney's Surprise Trip to Baghdad: Today's Cartoon

You know, I'm not sure which undermines the Iraqi Government more, the insurgency or Dick Cheney showing up unannounced to cancel parliament's summer vacation.

I mean, it seems to me that just about the only thing Sunni and Shiite politicians have been able to agree upon is a date for their two-month recess; so from that standpoint, the eagerness to abandon their post in the middle of an occupation/insurgency/civil war can actually be viewed as a sign of progress for Iraq, because it's practically the only decision made by its government, separate of the United States.

Oh sure, the timing of their break may be not be the best, but at least it didn't come at a "worse time"... That would be what would happen if they listen to Cheney and postponed it until later. You see, in a place as chaotic as Iraq "now" is always the best time to go on vacation because tomorrow's not going to be any better. Besides, when American politicians are able to stop by unannounced whenever they want, it's not like the country would be without any supervision ;)

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Paris Hilton Seeks Pardon From Arnold Schwarzenegger: Today's Cartoon

I assume that even before he was Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was quite used to people asking him for his "pardon"; however, this time it has nothing to do with his thick Austrian accent, but rather a "thick" hotel heiress named Paris Hilton.

While I am yet to figure out what it is that Ms. Hilton actually does to warrant the media attention she receives; it appears that not only is she famous for no reason, but apparently that also entitles her to legal immunity in the state of California... or so her online petition implies.

The way I see it, if Arnold Schwarzenegger really wanted to earn some political capital with voters, not only should he reject Ms. Hilton's request for leniency, but he should tack extra time onto her sentence for wasting his (and everyone else's) time, by making her contemplate this on the "Tree of Woe". I'm sure that if he were to do this, not only might California Democrats be willing to ignore the fact that he's a Republican, but also Mr. Freeze in "Batman and Robin" ;)

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Queen Elizabeth Visits Washington: Today's Cartoon

If President Bush's "folksy" shenanigans during his formal introduction of Queen Elizabeth are any indication of the kind of evening that he has in store for the British monarchy, let's just hope they've brought enough food testers with them; because it looks like they're in for a long night.

While prepping for his swanky state dinner with the Queen of England, I wonder if in addition to brushing up on his etiquette President Bush was also given a copy of Peter Seller's "The Party" to study... just in case he wanted to "mingle" with his royal guests.

The White House has dubbed the Queen's visit as the social event of the entire Bush presidency, which now thankfully replaces Dick Cheney shooting that old guy in the face during a hunting trip. In fact, this is the very first time that President Bush has agreed to host a "white-tie" dinner... well, at least since Saddam Hussein's execution ;)

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Nicolas Sarkozy Wins French Elections: Today's Cartoon

Perhaps when Segolene Royal goes back to the drawing board to plan out the future of her party, the first thing she may want to address is the manner in which her supporters deal with defeat.

While I can understand their frustrations, I'm not so sure that rioting in the street is going to solve the problems of French Socialists, since that was one of the main reasons why Nicolas Sarkozy won the French elections in the first place. It seems to me that if anything, the unrest will only reaffirm the belief that France made the right decision; and make it easier for Sarkozy to enact his conservative agenda.

That being said, when even Americans are distancing themselves from their government, it's kind of surprising to hear a world leader actually express his desire to strengthen his country's ties with the Bush Administration; especially when that country is France. I mean, when Sarkozy promises to wage war on unemployment, is that meant in the same context as President Bush declaring war on terrorism... and if so, would France's own "ideological struggle of the 21st century" be every bit as misguided, mismanaged and unsuccessful as America's?

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Friday, May 04, 2007

David Hasselhoff Drunken Home Video: Today Cartoon

Hmm... I wonder if this was why the producers of "Knight Rider" made the car drive on its own ;)

The disturbing home video of a drunken David Hasselhoff seems to be the latest in a new Hollywood trend of children exposing their celebrity parent's bad behavior, which starting with Alec Baldwin.

In the tape, the popular star of such television shows as "Baywatch" and "Baywatch Nights" is shown shirtless while lying on the floor trying (unsuccessfully) to consume a hamburger. Now, usually an indication of someone having too much to drink is evident by their obvious lack of coordination; however in the defense of Mr. Hasselhoff, a poorly constructed hamburger can be an extremely awkward eating experience, at the best of times. Indeed, had his drinking been as out of control as the media suggests, then he probably would not have had the foresight to remove his clothes before indulging in such a messy affair ;)

It has also been reported that the video was made as part of an agreement between Hasselhoff and his children, to show him (and apparently the world) what he looks like inebriated, so that he may learn from it and get better... or at least get better at hiding it. And while I feel really bad for his children, this is an excellent example of why celebrities (especially with drinking problems) should always let their agents arrange the "deals" for them.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Digg.com Users Revolt Over Censorship: Today's Cartoon

The "revolt" at Digg.com over the removal of sensitive information, has formed a rather intriguing power struggle between the owners and the users of the "social news" web site; over control of its content.

Much in the same way if you tell a teenager not to do something, they are more likely to do it, it appears that the same holds true with regards to what they post on the internet. However, in this case, the proprietors of Digg are trying to deal with thousands of teenagers, at the same place and at the same time; with the end result taking on the appearance of a digital reenactment of "Lord of the Flies", with HD-DVD hack codes substituting for Piggy's specs ;)

You know, I think it's somewhat ironic that for those concerned about "censorship", the struggle to preserve the "integrity" of their favorite web site may in effect "digg" its grave, by preventing the owners from removing content that could otherwise get them into serious legal trouble and eventually force them to shut down the entire operation altogether.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bush Vetoes Iraq Spending Bill : Today's Cartoon

When the history of the 21st century is written, hopefully by then the war in Iraq will be over and historians will be able to look back upon it as a colossal foreign policy blunder, perpetuated by a single U.S. administration; instead of the ongoing shame of an entire nation, which lingers on to haunt the United States for many more years to come.

Americans who do not wish to be affiliated with the actions of Bush Administration may at least find some comfort in the fact that despite vetoing a bill which would have pulled the U.S. out of Iraq, President Bush has made it clear to history that he is now acting on his own. As troubling as this may seem to those living in the present (especially in Iraq), the President's defiance of his own people will ultimately serve to benefit them, when it comes time to write the history of Bush's Iraq war.

Unlike Germans who were ridiculed after the Second World War for failing to resist the Third Reich, Americans have documented proof of their efforts to overcome a repressive regime. This is why I think it is so important that every attempt is made by Democrats and the U.S. Congress, to check the power of a reckless Bush Administration. Even if they fail, at the very least it should be used to validate their opposition, for future generations to see.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Israeli War Probe Criticizes Ehud Olmert: Today's Cartoon

For those who believe that the White House pressured Israel into going to war with Lebanon last year, an Israeli probe into the "mishandling" of that 34 day conflict must therefore seem just as critical of the Bush Administration as it is against its intended target Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who apparently listened to them.

Despite single digit approval ratings and calls for his resignation, Prime Minister Olmert has made it perfectly clear that he has no intention of stepping down; and really, who can blame him? I mean, not only was Olmert a victim of "bad intelligence" as well, but much of the criticism he is now receiving over the war in Lebanon is practically identical to that which President Bush already hears on a daily basis for Iraq and Afghanistan; and yet somehow he gets to stay in office. So why should Olmert have to step down? Especially when there are those who believe it was the White House's fault for triple-dog-daring the Israeli government to go to war with Lebanon in the first place.

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