In a June 27 Dept. of Defense press service article, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was questioned about a "guerrilla war" in Iraq and answered by saying, "I don't know that I would use the word." We're not sure why there is a reluctance use the "guerrilla" label on the remnants of Saddam sympathizers (or "dead-enders" as Rumsfeld aptly dubbed them), but it was the most accurate label we could fit on a scorpion. Also in the article, Rumsfeld referred to efforts to recruit a "de-Baathicized" Iraqi army, which was good to hear; Iraq should be de-Baathicized the way Germany was de-Nazified.
The good news this weekend was that U.S. forces launched a massive operation to root out insurgents. Excerpt: "We can no longer stand for our guys getting killed like this," Col. David Hunt, U.S. Army Ret, and military expert for Fox News said Sunday.
UPDATE July 2: Fox News reports: Bush Pledges to Deal Harshly With Iraqi Resistance.
This cartoon was inspired by an advertisement at NewsMax for a DVD titled, Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged (Making Evil Look Innocent).
Then CNN reported that author Rowling hints she may kill Harry. I don't know if it's premeditated, but this is an excellent way to keep the suspense alive; it makes the life-and-death situations in the series more threatening. An interesting quote from Rowling: "I really don't believe in magic. I believe in some kinds -- the magic of imagination and the magic of love. But the magic of waving a wand and making things happen, no."
The Ayn Rand Institute has a good editorial by Dianne L. Durante on the virtues of the Harry Potter series: Vitamins, Minerals and Harry Potter. Excerpt: "By means of the theme, plot and characterization -- particularly as they involve the hero -- every children's story implicitly addresses such broad questions as: Is the world fundamentally a benevolent or a malevolent place? Can one rely on one's own mind or not? Is life to be eagerly embraced or fearfully skirted? Can the good succeed or does evil ultimately win? ... The Harry Potter series appeals to so many children (and, adults, too) because the answers it gives to these questions are overwhelmingly positive. It shows a world in which happiness can be achieved, villains can be defeated, and the means of success can be learned. When my seven-year-old races around the dining room table swathed in an old bathrobe, with a broomstick made of a mini-blind wand and cardboard, she is not expressing an interest in witches or the supernatural. Rather, she is trying on the personality of an independent, courageous, intelligent individual who conquers evil."
According to a CNN article, "The Supreme Court ruled Monday that race can be a factor for universities shaping their admissions programs, saying a broad social value may be gained from diversity in the classroom."
Though the Bush Administration rightly opposed quotas, it did not take a strong, principled stance against the 'politically correct,' racist notion of 'diversity.' In fact, Bush praised the court for recognizing the 'value of diversity'.
In a January editorial titled The Racism of 'Diversity', The Ayn Rand Institute's Peter Schwartz wrote about affirmative action and the Michigan case. Excerpt: "The essence of racism is the idea that the individual is meaningless and that membership in the collective -- the race -- is the source of his identity and value. To the racist, the individual's moral and intellectual character is the product, not of his own choices, but of the genes he shares with all others of his race. To the racist, the particular members of a given race are interchangeable. [...] If racism is to be rejected, it is the premise of individualism, including individual free will, that must be upheld. There is no way to bring about racial integration except by completely disregarding color. There is no benefit in being exposed to the thoughts of a black person as opposed to a white person; there is a benefit only in interacting with individuals, of any race, who have rational viewpoints to offer."
Here's something a little different ... John and I created our first cartoon together about 13 years ago, a gag cartoon designed to accompany a humor column in an automotive business newspaper. The column is titled "Spare Parts" and is written by a man named Buster McNutt. This monthly cartoon project came to be known by John and me as "the Buster cartoon," and we still create one every month. Occasionally you'll be seeing Buster cartoons here, and we hope you get as much of a kick out of them as we do. (Above is a recent Buster cartoon. To see one of our first ones, check out the bottom of our recently-added About Us page.)
The Ayn Rand Institute's Robert W. Tracinski has an excellent editorial that puts the Stewart case into perspective: Martha and the Tall Poppies. Excerpt: "Why do so many people hate Martha Stewart? How does a home-decorating expert with a wholesome public persona come to be portrayed as a major cultural villain? [...] There can be only one explanation for this tone of malicious glee. Martha is hated because she's a tall poppy. I have been told that there is an Australian saying: 'You have to cut down the tall poppies.' In other words, anyone who dares to poke his head above the crowd must be attacked, denigrated, and brought down to the common level."
Mark Steyn also weighed in the topic in The Wall Street Journal: Martha Stewart Surviving. Excerpt: "...I can't see Martha Stewart Living going down Evasion Avenue and emerging as MSL or Elegantia. Let me suggest a third option: The brand won't be able to shrug off the founder, and it will survive and eventually prosper. The prosecutors are at the very least overreaching and in some ways attempting a wholesale redefinition of the concept of 'fraud.' Who's to say it won't be the SEC brand that comes out of this looking like unreasonably demanding control freaks?"
UPDATE June 26: Robert W. Tracinski is scheduled to appear on The O'Reilly Factor on Friday, June 27, to discuss the Martha Stewart case. The show airs on the Fox News Channel at 8pm ET.
Doug Weinberg at ThoseShirts.com recently asked Cox & Forkum to illustrate an idea of his. What you see above is the result, and you can now order this image on a t-shirt (just click here). There's even a coffee mug for the caffeine-addicted political junkies among us. Either product should be handy for irritating leftist co-workers.
Presently no Democrat appears to pose a real threat to President Bush for the 2004 elections, so the spirit of the idea depicted above is probably closer to journalism than propaganda. But this does not mean that we're letting Bush off the hook. Just the opposite. You will continue to see us take him task on many issues foreign and domestic. But as for the ’04 elections, Doug says it best at his Web site: "Democrats, Watch Your Ass!"
Fox News reports: Bush: We 'Will Not Tolerate' Nukes in Iran. Excerpt: As for recent demonstrations by students against the Islamic government, Bush offered protesters a warm embrace. "I appreciate those courageous souls who speak out for freedom in Iran. They need to know America stands squarely by their side," [Bush] said. Violent clashes that began last week against clerical rule in Iran have for the most part died down in the last few days.
The BBC is posting letters on the subject of the student protests, with many good ones apparently from Iranians who want the Islamist tyranny stopped. Sample: "The problem of Iran is not 'democracy' because there is, in many senses, democracy in Iran. The Problem is 'Freedom' which is not considered fully in the constitution and I hope soon Iranian people will change it ... to a better future!--Saeed, Iran" (Hat tip LGF)
Fox News reports: Democrats Push Issues All Over the Map.
Tomorrow is United States Flag Day. The Houston Chronicle reported this week that War veterans salute Flag Day. Excerpt: "When I talk to high school students about World War II, I tell them that if the American flag had not been raised around the world, they would be speaking German or Japanese right now," said [WWII veteran Ben Muller]. "It is very important."
UPDATE: The Ayn Rand Institute has an excellent editorial on the subject by Edwin A. Locke: On Flag Day Celebrate America's Core Values: Reason, Rights and Science. Excerpt: "In this age of diversity-worship, it is considered axiomatic that all cultures and countries are equal. Western culture -- and its most consistent and highest expression, America -- it is declared, is in no way superior to that of any other culture, not even to tribes of cannibals. To deny the equality of all cultures, claim most modern intellectuals, is to be guilty of the most heinous of intellectual sins: 'ethnocentrism.' It is to flout the 'sacred' (and false) principle of cultural relativism. But the relativists are wrong -- absolutely." (Hat tip Martin Lindeskog. Be sure to check out Martin's line of EGO products featuring a logo designed by Cox & Forkum.)
This cartoon was published in April 2002. What has changed? Only the number of innocent Israelis who have been slaughtered. The Jerusalem Post reported eye witness accounts of yesterday's bus bombing that killed 16 and wounded 100 ('People burned like torches') and compiled a recent history of terror bombings in Israel. (Via Little Green Footballs and LFGer Yossarian)
President Bush condemned the attacks but is still going on about his obviously failed "roadmap to peace." In his condolences, he invokes "the desires of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority and others [for] a peaceful state, living side-by-side with Israel"! See our entry from yesterday, the one about the Palestinian Prime Minister who refuses to stop Palestinian terrorists.
Meanwhile, Powell sets out to save 'road map'. What's left to save?
This cartoon is in our book, Black & White World.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas refuses rein in Palestinian militants, while Hamas and other terrorists kill Isrealis over the weekend. (Abbas Says Force Won't Be Used Against Militants)
The Israelis respond in self-defense by trying to kill the Hamas leader. Unfortunately, he survives. (55-Year-Old Rantisi Is Voice of Hamas)
And how did President Bush respond? He reprimanded Israel! (Bush Warns Israelis About Retaliation) This should be no big surprise. After all, Bush is treating Abbas as "untainted by terrorism" even though he is a puppet of Arafat. Referring to his "roadmap to peace," Bush said "...I emphasize that all parties must behave responsibly to achieve that objective."
This is why Bush's "roadmap" is so reprehensible and doomed to failure: it treats Israeli self-defense and Palestinian terrorism as morally equivalent.
At least Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is making no apologies for the strike. (Israel Defends Hamas Strike Despite Bush's Reprimand)
The Ayn Rand Institute's Robert W. Tracinski has a new editorial that explains why current "peace talks" are doomed:The Road Map to Hell. Excerpt: "Despite the big smiles, strong handshakes and profuse waving to the cameras by President Bush, Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan [last] week, the 'road map' to a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is doomed to failure. Why? For the same reason that every Middle East peace plan of the past has failed --because there is no 'road map' for achieving peace by negotiating with terrorists. [...] Legitimate diplomacy can only take place between those who are open to settling their differences through persuasion and who recognize each other's right to live. Yet for decades the Palestinians have consistently adopted brute force and mass murder as their primary means of pursuing their 'diplomatic' goals. And their ultimate goal has never changed: they seek the destruction of Israel."
The above editorial made this prediction last week: "Predictably, Abbas's 'crackdown' on terrorism is also a sham. Over the weekend [of June 1] he negotiated a 'cease-fire' with Hamas, under which the terrorists will temporarily stop killing -- but their arms and organizations will be left intact, to be unleashed on Israel later, after it has made itself more vulnerable."
Hamas later walked out of talks and started the murdering again this weekend: Four Israeli Soldiers Killed in Gaza Attack. Excerpt: "Three Palestinians -- one each from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade -- slipped into an Israeli army post Sunday and killed four soldiers before being killed by troops."
LGF recently pointed out this item from IMRA: Arafat tells kids to die on Int'l Children's Day. Excerpt: "Arafat devoted his remarks to encouraging the children to be 'shahid' (die for the cause), noting that one shahid who dies for the sake of Jerusalem has the power equal to 40 of the enemy dying."
LGF also noted this Palestinian Media Watch documentary: The Indoctrination of Palestinian Children to Seek Death for Allah-Shahada. Their summary: "'Ask for death' is the message that the Palestinian Authority [PA] has been conveying to its children since the start of violence in October 2000. In June 2002, two articulate 11-year-old girls were interviewed in the studio of official Palestinian Authority TV. Among other topics, they spoke of their personal yearning to achieve death through Shahada -- Death for Allah -- and of a similar desire they said exists in 'every Palestinian child.' It is striking that their desire for death was expressed as a personal goal, not related to the conflict with Israel. Having been convinced that dying for Allah is preferable to life, their goal in living is not to experience a good life, but to achieve the proper death -- Shahada."
As LFG's Charles Johnson put it: Tell me again about the "roadmap to peace."
This cartoon was created in April 2002 and is from our book, Black & White World. For more cartoons like these, please click on the book link and consider making a purchase. Funds from book sales help keep this site going.