Friday, September 28, 2007

Phil Spector Judge Declares Mistrial: Today's Cartoon

Thanks to the highly publicized O.J. Simpson case in the 1990's, celebrity trials have become a mainstay of the American mainstream media, with attention and resources frequently being diverted from other events in order to saturated their 24 hour "news" cycles with coverage of these judicial spectacles.

Yet with so many celebrities getting into legal trouble nowadays, even some celebrity trials are starting to get preempted, in favor of the more asinine of these media distractions. Such was the case with Phil Specter, whose trial for the shooting of Lana Clarkson barely registered a "blip" on the radar (or at least an hour on Larry King) next to the legal woes of such troubled stars as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and especially the "franchise" player himself, O.J. Simpson.

At first when I heard that the Spector trial had ended in a mistrial, my immediate thought was that the case was canceled due to poor ratings, rather than fact that the jury couldn't reach a verdict. However, despite the apparent lack of round-the-clock media attention, the judge is still demanding a re-trial and is determined to bring this case back as a mid-season replacement... in between Michael Jackson trials ;)

The way I see it, a second Spector trial is great news for the "news", which may have been too distracted by the Anna Nicole "baby-daddy" saga to properly obsess over this case the first time around; and with that, give it the kind of media attention it doesn't deserve... but is entitled to anyway ;)

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Myanmar Protests Turn Violent: Today's Cartoon

By opening fire on pro-democracy demonstrations led by thousands of Buddhist monks, not only does it appear that Myanmar's military rulers have no respect for human rights and freedom of expression, but apparently they don't believe in "karma" much either.

In what has become an unavoidable clash between the nation's two most influential authorities, the fact that public support overwhelmingly favors the monk's passive protest of the nations oppressive dictatorship just goes to show that the world does not need violent military interventions and occupations to spread the good word of democracy... just a few thousand Buddhist monks.

Perhaps the Bush administration should have consider this before shoving its forces into Iraq and Afghanistan (and now probably Iran). Hmm... I wonder if it's too late to get a bunch of these monks to go into Baghdad.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Release of Halo 3: Today's Cartoon

I wonder, if the anticipation surrounding the release of “Halo 3” is any indication of young people’s passion for these first-person shooting games, would the line ups outside army recruitment offices be any similar to those at retail stores if the US military were somehow able to construct body armor that made their soldiers look EXACTLY like the character from the video game… but didn’t get soggy every time it got wet.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad Visits Columbia University: Today's Cartoon

You know, I can understand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reluctance to answer some of the questions he fielded during a speaking engagement at Columbia University; I mean, why should he be made to account for his country's actions, when other nations apparently don't have to, right? But the way I see it, if you're going to "dance" your way around a question, you'd better have some slick moves; otherwise you'll end up looking as awkward as Britney Spears at the Video Music Awards.

Such was the case with Ahmadinejad's effort to dismiss accusations that his country executes homosexuals, by claiming that Iran doesn't have any gay people... to execute.

Now obviously it's pretty absurd to believe that in a nation of over 70 million people, not a single Iranian has ever initiated a homosexual encounter in the third stall of an airport's men's room, even by "accident"... Then again, I guess you would need TWO gay Iranians for that.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Marcel Marceau 1923-2007: Today's Cartoon

In some of the media tributes to Marcel Marceau, it was mentioned that the world-famous mime was a huge "inspiration" to pop-star Michael Jackson. Now, I have to admit that at first I was a little taken aback by this disturbing revelation... until I finally realized that they were actually talking about the "moonwalk" :)

Much as it seems to be the case with Luciano Pavarotti, the passing of Marcel Marceau is more than just the loss of a great performer, it is the loss of a symbol for an entire medium. Like Pavarotti, Marceau's talent was not just his ability to perform, but to showcase a classical art form in such a manner that was both accessible and influential to an entirely new generation.

For his part, Marceau was credited for helping to inspire "breakdancing" in the 1980's, which went on to evolve into a key component of today's hip hop culture... Not bad work for a pasty-white frenchman.

You know, I always wondered why I found so many hip hop artists annoying, but now it makes perfect sense... they're all descendants of street mimes! ;)

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Canadian Loonie Equals US Dollar: Today's Cartoon

To me, the fact that the "loonie" has hit parity with the US Dollar for the first time since 1976 is not an indication of a strong Canadian economy, but is rather the outcome of America relying on "God" as its financial adviser.

Oh sure, he may have created the Earth in seven day's, but it's been the banks that have controlled it ever since. I mean, there is nothing wrong with Americans putting their faith in the Almighty, just understand that that was never the real reason why so many of them were able to get a sub-prime adjustable rate mortgage, despite having bad credit and poor financial prospects.

So while Canada rejoices in its false "cents" of accomplishment, I think it's important to note that regardless of one home's worth, too many foreclosures on the block will inevitably bring down the property value of the entire neighborhood.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

US Blocks Ahmadinejad's WTC Visit: Today's Cartoon

Personally, I think that if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not allowed to visit the World Trade Center site, then no other politician should be permitted to exploit the location for a photo-op either.

Then again, if the United States is so worried about the threat of terrorism from Iran, then perhaps allowing President Ahmadinejad to lay a wreath at "ground zero" during his upcoming visit to New York would be a good idea, on the off-chance that he mistakenly leads officials to the site of an attack that his government may be planning... Now, how embarrassing would that be? ;)

The way I see it, preventing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from visiting the World Trade Center was a smart decision, since the last thing America needs to be doing right now is linking yet another Middle East country to events of 9/11.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Student Tasered During John Kerry Event: Today's Cartoon

You know, I wonder if these incidents of American university students being attacked and tasered by campus police may have anything to do with the possibility that some of these "officers" are resentful over the fact that they were never quite bright (or rich) enough to actually attend one of these schools, prompting them to use their security certificate from community college to seek revenge on these universities, by venting their frustrations on the "student body".

...Either that, or zapping rich kids with 50000 volts must be a real charge!

In my opinion, the incident at Florida University in which a student was tasered and arrested following his "lively" attempt to get John Kerry to answer a series of personal questions, was appalling; not just in its intent to silence free speech and prevent important questions from being asked... but for making it a crime for a 21 year-old student to act out on a university campus. I mean, isn't that sort of what they're for?

Look, if it weren't for the seclusion of these educational institutions, these impressionable young minds would be carrying on in the public sphere; and in turn, influencing even more impressionable minds. ...Such as those that rely on FOX news.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Iraq Orders Blackwater Expulsion: Today's Cartoon

The way I see it, if the removal of private security firms like Blackwater USA from Iraq were as easy as the Iraqi government ordering them to get out, then they most likely would have done it already, since this isn't the first civilian shooting incident that this company has been involved in. And yet somehow I get the suspicion that by finally doing so, it will be Maliki government that is actually forced to leave.

You see, since the beginning of the war, tens of thousands of private security contractors have operated under a veil of secrecy in Iraq, as part of the Bush Administration's "shadow army". Little is known publicly about the activities of these companies since all aspects of their operations are shrouded in mystery and shielded from oversight. Yet despite the covert nature of these firms, what is known is that unlike conventional forces, a private army is not defeated militarily, but rather by getting their operating license revoked.

Now, if an all-out military assault on Fallujah is any indication of the kind of reaction that the White House has towards an attack against Blackwater employees, imagine their response towards a strike against the company itself. My guess is that these private U.S. security firms won't be going anywhere, without a fight.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

OJ Simpson Arrested In Armed Robbery: Today's Cartoon

Anyone familiar with the whole OJ Simpson saga should already know by now that the fallen sports icons only commits crimes "hypothetically", even when there is overwhelming physical evidence to the contrary.

The way I see it, Simpson's arrest in Las Vegas in connection to a sports memorabilia armed-robbery is just the latest "chapter" in the fictional misadventures of the former athlete turned speculative autobiographer; whose apparent research into his own "imaginary" crimes has apparently misled authorities into believing that he had actually committed an offense. I mean, what better way is there to figure out what you'd do if you did it, than by doing it in the first place?

I guess by getting arrested OJ Simpson has presented himself with the opportunity for yet another hypothetically tell-all, with up to 35 years to devote to writing it.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Bush Addresses Iraq Recommendations: Today's Cartoon

Personally, I think that any political gains that may have been made from General Petraeus' "optimistic" assessment of Bush's Iraq strategy were almost immediately lost by the President himself, when he decided to appear on television and in a prime time address, publicly punt responsibility for his tragically ill-conceived war ahead, for future administrations to fumble with it.

Seriously, how much further can the Bush Administration's expectations for Iraq continue to decline, before they finally come to the startling realization that they are actually doing way more harm than good? I mean, when they are aspiring to achieve a situation comparable to North Korea and it's 50 year stand-off with the U.S. and consider THAT to be their best case scenario, it really makes me wonder who could possibly benefit from it... Iraq, the United States... or perhaps current occupants of the White House?

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Putin Dissolves Russian Government: Today's Cartoon

It appears that Vladimir Putin is so serious about encouraging Russia to boost its birth rate that he used its national "Conception Day" as an opportunity to basically tell his government to "f*ck off". Though I guess it makes a lot of sense that their designated sex holiday takes place on a Wednesday; but who knew that Russia only has one "Hump Day" a year... when everyone else gets one every week.

Talk about sending your nation mixed signals... While on the one hand Putin is pleading with his country to produce more children; on the other, he is busy building and testing the most devastating non-nuclear weapons in the world; which could easily get even the coldest Russian "hot and bothered"... just not necessarily for baby-making.

In this age of heightened global awareness, it's nice to see that Russian officials are carefully considering the environmental impact of their weapons of mass destruction, by stressing the point that their new vacuum bombs pack the wallop of a standard nuclear weapon, without the threat of all that dangerous radiation contaminating the already charred and inhospitable landscape. I guess that way, when all those Russian babies inherit what's left of the Earth, they won't have to worry about any mutant ants and cockroaches starting yet another "arms" race.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9/11, Osama Bin Laden and Britney Spears: Today's Cartoon

So, how is it that Osama Bin Laden can live in a cave, apparently on kidney dialysis for the last six years and still turn up looking better than Britney Spears did, at the Video Music Awards?

To commemorate the sixth anniversary of 9/11, Bin Laden released yet another audio message; this time, to encourage followers to join his "caravan of martyrs"... which if you ask me, sounds like the WORST carpool in history! I mean, good luck trying to get a ride back home at the end of the day.

Who would have thought that six years after the worst terrorist attack in United States history, not only would Osama Bin Laden still be releasing audio recordings, but so too would washed-up (yet surprisingly dirty) former pop princess Britney Spears; who by the looks of it could also benefit from a few years out of the spotlight... in a cave somewhere along the Afghan/Pakistan border.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

General Petraeus Delivers Iraq Report: Today's Cartoon

If General Petraeus' report represents the White House's view of Iraq (or vice versa), then if nothing else, they have certainly done an excellent job at convincing themselves that they are doing an excellent job.

I mean, basically this report is no different than the countless other "war assessments" that are based on shaky statistics, which are nothing more than interpretations based on interpretations favorable to their own. So in the end what you have is not necessarily an accurate view of the situation, but rather a "dramatization" based entirely on how you would like to see it.

Thus, the more that "favorable statistics" are used to paint a picture of Iraq, the blurrier that image becomes... which depending on how optimistic you are in Bush's war policy, can at least provide some with a wonderful escape from a grim reality.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Bin Laden Branded "Virtually Impotent": Today's Cartoon

For those who question the timing and legitimacy of the latest Osama Bin Laden video, statements from the White House calling the Al Qaeda leader "virtually impotent" doesn't really come as much of a surprise; since according to most of them, he hasn't been able to get it up since he passed away from kidney failure, about six years ago.

While the debate as to whether Bin Laden is alive or being digitally resurrected for the purposes of propaganda is an issue that will most likely never be resolved; the fate of his beard already has... it "dyed".

The release of Bin Laden's latest video shows the terrorist looking much younger and healthier than he did three years ago when he encouraged Americans to re-elect President Bush, by warning them not to. And while the Al Qaeda leaders "hope" for a Democrat in the White House may have been dashed, it would appear that the years since 2004 have obviously been kind to the "mastermind" of 9/11, who must be sleeping a lot easier at night knowing that the Bush Administration isn't at all interested in finding him.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti 1935-2007: Today's Cartoon

Well, I guess the chances of a Three Tenors reunion are pretty much non-existent at this point... unless of course you believe in the afterlife, in which case you'd better start saying your prayers and saving your money now, if you hope to score tickets for that event.

The loss of Luciano Pavarotti to pancreatic cancer robs the opera world of its most recognizable "figure", as the man who helped bring the classical genre into the mainstream. Yet aside from being tremendously talented, he was also celebrated for his physical appearance; which for many, embodied their expectations of what a classical opera singer should look like... perhaps explaining why he weighed close to 300 pounds.

Indeed, the passing of Pavarotti is a big deal, not only because there isn't anyone to replace his talent, but also fill the huge void on stage left behind by this "larger than life" performer.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Jerry Lewis Apologizes For Gay Slur: Today's Cartoon

Personally, I think the biggest offense that Jerry Lewis committed during this year's Labor Day Telethon was not dropping an anti-gay slur during a comedy bit, but aborting the act as soon as he said it. I mean, if you know you've already crossed the line, then you might as well make a run for it and hope that you can reach a "punchline" before they yank you off the stage. At least that way there is a "joke" to consider, before the public can tear into you instead.

What I find most shocking about this, is that a word so powerful it's capable of wiping out nearly 50 years of charitable contribution and billions raised for medical research is actually considered "anti-gay", when it sounds anything but. Oh sure, the term carries historical baggage that was once interpreted as being negative towards homosexuals, but if the reaction (and swift resolution) to this incident is any sort of indication of the real "threat" that this remark poses the gay community... then those days appear to be long gone.

Not only did Jerry Lewis' single utterance of the three-letter "f-bomb" completely overshadow an entire 21 hour variety telethon and the 64 million dollars it raised for charity, but it immediately shifted the focus of the event from Muscular Dystrophy to Gay Rights, through groups pressuring Lewis to issue an apology, affirming that he holds no prejudices against homosexuals. Now that to me doesn't seem like a particularly "anti-gay" word. In fact, with these kinds of results, I'm surprised the Gay community doesn't encourage more celebrities to use it.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Adventurer Steve Fossett Goes Missing: Today's Cartoon

Who needs to push their limits by living the life of an "adventurer", when apparently a routine flight over the Nevada desert can provide even more risk than a record-setting balloon ride around the world.

While the condition of millionaire Steve Fossett is not yet known, his situation brings to mind a somewhat similar circumstance when famed "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin passed away; not as the result of some vicious animal mauling (as many would have predicted), but an uncharacteristic lapse of judgment, in a seemingly nonthreatening environment.

Perhaps it's due to all the mental preparation thrill-seekers undertake in anticipation of extreme danger that these "adventurers" tend to lower their guards a little further than they should, during the more mundane moments of their lives, which quite often prove to be their unceremonious undoing.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bush Makes Surprise Iraq Visit: Today's Cartoon

You know, if by "current successes" President Bush means sneaking into Iraq and delivering a speech inside a remote airbase in Anbar province, then that's good enough for me as well... especially if it serves to create a context (in his mind) that will enable him to start thinking about troop withdrawal, without making him feel like a loser.

To me, it only makes sense that if the justifications for going to war were never really valid to begin with, then neither do the reasons have to be for getting back out. The way I see it, since President Bush is the one creating the "objective" in Iraq, only he can envision what "success" should look like... or at least when to apply the term to the actual situation on the ground and call it a V-Day.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Tony Snow Resigns: Today's Cartoon

I think what I'll admire most about Tony Snow's tenure as White House press secretary was that while a recurrence of colon cancer could not force him to resign, being spokesman for the Bush Administration for a measly six-figure government salary could... Now that definitely says a lot about Neocons.

But really, who can blame him? I mean public opinion is one thing, but when even your own body has turned against you, then I believe some added "danger pay" should most certainly be in order.

So apparently, working for Bush Administration is not nearly as "rewarding" as one might think. In fact, Tony Snow made significantly more money defending the White House at FOX News than he did as its official Press Secretary; which begs the obvious question... who's really controlling who?

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