December 31, 2003

December 30, 2003

Faces of Dean


FoxNews reported this weekend: Analysts Question Dean's New Discussion of God.

Dean, a member of the congregationist church whose wife and children are Jewish, now says he will talk more about Jesus Christ when he campaigns, but only in the south.

"Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised, people who were left behind," Dean told the Boston Globe in Christmas Day editions. "He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything ... He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2,000 years, which is pretty inspiring when you think about it."

"He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything"? One guess as to who candidate Dean really wants to you think about with that class warfare comment.

Today FoxNews reports: Candidates Criticize Dean Attack on DNC.

"Howard Dean has spent the last year criticizing me and other candidates at every opportunity. Now, as he makes a series of embarrassing gaffes that underscore the fact he is not well-equipped to challenge George Bush, he suddenly wants to change the rules of the game," [Democrat presidential candidate Dick] Gephardt said.

Posted by Forkum at 07:21 AM

December 29, 2003

Udder Nonsense


Democrat presidential candidate Howard Dean has already told us that his foreign policy response to 9/11 would not include going after all terrorist-sponsoring states. He said that he would somehow "focus on terrorism." Recently this article (via LGF) indicated what he meant. Osama bin Laden is (or was) the head of a multi-national terrorist organization responsible for killing thousands of Americans. How would Dean treat bin Laden if caught? Why, like an American citizen!

"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said. "I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials. So I'm sure that is the correct sentiment of most Americans, but I do think if you're running for president, or if you are president, it's best to say that the full range of penalties should be available. But it's not so great to prejudge the judicial system."

Posted by Forkum at 07:43 AM

December 26, 2003



Posted by Forkum at 08:08 AM

December 24, 2003

'Tis The Season


There will be no cartoon posted on Christmas Day.

There are thousands of U.S. troops in the Middle East and other parts of the world who will not be able to celebrate this holiday season with family and friends. They are in our thoughts. We wish them best and thank them from the bottom of our hearts for the protection they provide us. Here are some organizations that help make their work more enjoyable (also click on the "Support Our Troops" banner at right):

Operation Gratitude
'Any Soldier' Care Packages
Hero Miles
Let's Bring 'Em Home!

For a capitalistic perspective on the importance of Christmas, read The Ayn Rand Institute op-ed by Leonard Peikoff: Why Christmas Should Be More Commercial.

Christmas in America is an exuberant display of human ingenuity, capitalist productivity, and the enjoyment of life. Yet all of these are castigated as "materialistic"; the real meaning of the holiday, we are told, is assorted Nativity tales and altruist injunctions (e.g., love thy neighbor) that no one takes seriously.

In fact, Christmas as we celebrate it today is a 19th-century American invention. The freedom and prosperity of post Civil War America created the happiest nation in history. The result was the desire to celebrate, to revel in the goods and pleasures of life on earth. Christmas (which was not a federal holiday until 1870) became the leading American outlet for this feeling.

Posted by Forkum at 07:56 AM

December 23, 2003

Lord of the Ring


Last month, Orson Scott Card made some good points in an op-ed about the Demorats' anti-Bush obsession: The Campaign of Hate and Fear (Hat tip Rich Chandler).

We have enemies that have earned our hatred, and whom we should fear. They are fanatical terrorists who seek opportunities to kill American civilians here and Israeli civilians in Israel.

But right now, our national media and the Democratic Party are trying to get us to believe that the people we should hate and fear are George W. Bush and the Republicans.

I can think of many, many reasons why the Republicans should not control both houses of Congress and the White House.

But right now, if the alternative is the Democratic Party as led in Congress and as exemplified by the current candidates for the Democratic nomination, then I can't be the only Democrat who will, with great reluctance, vote not just for George W. Bush, but also for every other candidate of the only party that seems committed to fighting abroad to destroy the enemies that seek to kill us and our friends at home.

Posted by Forkum at 07:40 AM

December 21, 2003



FoxNews reported this weekend: U.S.: Al-Qaddafi Eager to End Weapons Programs.

President Bush said the downfall of Saddam Hussein and U.S. efforts to crack down on North Korea's pursuit of weapons helped influence al-Qaddafi's decision...

Priorities & Frivolities points out someone not affiliated with the administration who has a similar assessment.

Ashton B. Carter, an assistant secretary of defense under President Clinton who is now co-director of the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project, agreed that Iraq was a turning point in convincing Colonel Qaddafi to give up his weapons.

"One certainly hopes that what we did in Iraq put countries like Libya on notice that we're really serious about countering proliferation," said Mr. Carter, who has been advising [Howard] Dean. [Emphasis added.]

What does this mean for Iran and North Korea? The Sunday Herald (Scotland) reports: Libya's fatal blow to axis of evil (Via InstaPundit).

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi took the decision to renounce all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on Friday night, but while at first it was thought this only had implications for Libya it is now clear that his decision has scuppered a secret partnership between Libya, Iran and North Korea formed with the intention of developing an independent nuclear weapon.

New documents revealed yesterday show that the three were working on the nuclear weapons programme at a top-secret underground site near the Kufra Oasis of the Sahara in southeastern Libya. The team was made up of North Korean scientists, engineers and technicians, as well as some Iranian and Libyan nuclear scientists.

And Steven Den Beste has an analysis worth reading: Another Hammer Blow.

Diplomacy can accomplish much. Those who claim that now are not wrong. What's wrong is what they're leaving out: diplomacy is usually much more effective when backed by a credible threat of force. [...] What the Chinese/Russians/et-al are trying to do is to downplay that aspect of this diplomatic triumph, and to ignore the fact that what finally made Qaddafi capitulate was not ferocious scowling from continental Europe or years of trade sanctions. It was naked fear of the US Marines, and the realization that the 9/11 attack had made America willing to use them or other forces it has against nations it thought were non-imminent threats. (Like Libya.)

In our "Your Attention Please" cartoon, we opined that taking out Saddam would make other Axis members more attentive. Unfortunately we ran out of room, and the one Axis of Evil member we choose to leave out was Libya (Bush added Syria, Cuba and Libya to the Axis of Evil in May 2002). So this cartoon is an addendum of sorts.

UPDATE: FoxNews reports: Libya OKs Nuke Inspections.

UPDATE Dec. 26: Dare Balogun has an excellent post on why Gaddafi is not to be trusted despite his apparent concessions: The Truth vs. Moammar Gaddafi: The Case for His Elimination.

Prior to September 11, 2001, terrorists were trained and harbored in hellholes like Afghanistan. The danger to the West is that much of sub-Saharan Africa may be turned into one giant terrorist camp. The Libyan tyrant fulfills this threat on all counts: he is spreading (militant) Islam; he hates the West; and he is amassing the wealth that will buy him time, weapons, and willing soldiers. ... America's shortsighted trust of Gaddafi is hinged largely on Gaddafi's widely-reported disassociation from other Arab nations. [...] But, a disdain for the Middle East is not equivalent to a love of the West.

Posted by Forkum at 09:49 PM

December 19, 2003

A Jury of His Peers


FoxNews reports: Saddam in the Slammer Pix Cause Stir.

"The Iraqi people are eager to see Saddam in a defeated situation; he looks defeated, he looks little compared to his pictures where he is wearing his uniform ... with ranks on his shoulders, acting like he's the king of the universe," said Entifadh Qanbar, the spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress. "Now he's just a normal person -- not even a normal person but a criminal who's been caught ... and is waiting for his punishment."

This cartoon was inspired by a suggestion from Steven Den Beste.

Posted by Forkum at 06:14 AM

December 18, 2003

Military Injustice


Democrat presidential candidate Howard Dean made a speech recently in which he revealed who he thinks should control American military interventions.

Dean said he "would not have hesitated" to launch an attack on Iraq "had the United Nations given us permission and asked us to be part of a multilateral force."

In other words, in matters of self defense, Dean expects the U.S. to ask permission from an organization that harbors the dictators and tyrants from whom we seek to defend ourselves. (Saddam's Iraq was a U.N. member).

But Dean wasn't the first candidate to tout his willingness to sacrifice America's sovereignty to other nations. There was also this comment from Wesley Clark.

Well, if I were president right now, I would be doing things that George Bush can’t do right now, because he’s already compromised those international bridges. I would go to Europe and I would build a new Atlantic charter. I would say to the Europeans, you know, we’ve had our differences over the years, but we need you. The real foundation for peace and stability in the world is the transatlantic alliance. And I would say to the Europeans, I pledge to you as the American president that we’ll consult with you first. You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have. We’ll bring you in. [Emphasis added]

Can you imagine France and Germany agreeing to let us attack any terrorist-sponsoring nation? Of course not. And that's exactly the goal of Clark and Dean: to humble the American giant before the world. Bush certainly has his multilaterist tendency that are cause for great concern. But these two would apparently relinquish control of our military as a matter of principle.

(Stories via two Little Green Footballs posts found here and here)

Posted by Forkum at 07:55 AM

December 17, 2003

Wright Brothers 2003


"If you are looking for perfect safety, you will do well to sit on the fence and watch the birds." -- Wilbur Wright

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight. There have been many great achievements in aviation in the intervening years, from trans-Atlantic passenger jets to moon landings.

Unfortunately, cultural changes have gradually turned against the innovative spirit that makes such technological strides possible. The above quote is included in an Ayn Rand Institute op-ed by Heike Berthold: America Has Grounded the Wright Brothers.

A century ago Americans understood that progress comes at a price and were willing to pay it. Orville Wright was hospitalized after a crash that killed his first passenger; Clyde Cessna, the founder of Cessna Aircraft Company, only earned his wings after 12 crashes. [...] But the risks these early aviators took were calculated and deliberately accepted. They stemmed not from irrational folly, but from their willingness to accept the responsibility of independent judgment. ... Today, we seek to escape the responsibility of judgment while demanding that progress be risk-free. New products are expected to be instantly perfect, to last forever and to protect us from our own failings—or else we sue.

Berthold argues that government regulations have also stifled aviation innovation.

[B]y the 1930s the government had begun regulating the airlines, master planning route structures and suppressing competition. Today, innovation has ground to a halt under the weight of government control. Unlike the first 25 years of flight, the last 25 have seen few major advances -- and regulatory barriers suppress the adoption of new technology. For instance, most FAA-certified aircraft today are still the same aluminum-and-rivets construction pioneered more than 50 years ago, while for at least a decade non-certified experimental aircraft builders have preferred composite materials, which make their aircraft stronger, roomier, cheaper, and faster at the same time.

(Coincidentally, Boeing just announced plans to produce their first new jet design in 13 years, one that utilizes composite materials.)

But utopian product safety is not the only cultural battle being fought. The Wright Stuff by Thomas Sowell examines how even the Wright Brothers have fallen victim to "political correctness."

Man had dreamed of flying for centuries and others were hard at work on the project in various places around the world when the Wright brothers finally got their plane off the ground a hundred years ago, on December 17, 1903. It didn't matter how long or how short the flight was. What mattered was that they showed that it could be done.

Alas, Orville and Wilbur Wright are today pigeon-holed as "dead white males" whom we are supposed to ignore, if not deplore. Had either of them been a woman, or black or any of a number of other specially singled out groups, this hundredth anniversary of their flight would be a national holiday with an orgy of parades and speeches across the length and breadth of the country. [...]

Many of the great breakthroughs in science and technology were gifts to the whole human race. Those whose efforts created these breakthroughs were exalted because of their contributions to mankind, not to their particular tribe or sex.

In trying to cheapen those people as "dead white males" we only cheapen ourselves and do nothing to promote similar achievements by people of every description. When the Wright brothers rose off the ground, we all rose off the ground.

Think modern culture could get an lower? You betcha. Just yesterday, one George Monbiot opined that airplanes should be reviled as weapons of mass destruction. (Via Tim Blair)

For a rational perspective of the Wright Brothers' achievement, here is the Smithsonian Institute's tribute: The Wright Brothers: The Invention of the Aerial Age. (Though this FoxNews story notes a serious omission by the Institute.)

FoxNew also reports: Bush to Honor Wright Brothers on 100th Anniversary of Flight.

UPDATE Dec. 18: Quent Cordair Fine Art has a photo of the Wright Brothers' first flight as well as aviation-related art.

Posted by Forkum at 07:34 AM

December 16, 2003



This cartoon was intended to run yesterday but was displaced by news of Saddam's capture.

Pro-democracy/anti-terrorism demonstrations occurred in Baghdad last week, but you might not know that if you only watched network news. Except for the FoxNews channel, the major media did not give the demonstrations significant coverage. The blogosphere, however, did a great job of taking up the slack. In particular, InstaPundit provided a number of good links (here, here, here and here). Highlights include:

Report from Iraqi blooger Healing Iraq with photos, photos, and more photos.
Report from Iraqi blooger Iraq the Model with a follow-up comment on his disappointment with the media, western and Arab.
Donald Sensing posted screen captures of FoxNews television coverage.

As we noted yesterday FoxNews reported that Iraqis were celebrating Saddam's capture. Michael J. Totten has more pictures of the celebration (via InstaPundit).

Capitalism Magazine has an An Open Letter to the People of Iraq by C. Bradley Thompson with important advice about writing their new constitution.

The particular difficulties that you face in establishing a new constitution are awesome. If you are to have any chance at creating a prosperous, just and free Iraqi future, you must confront and overcome your own history. This means two things. First, you must face directly the uncomfortable fact that you have no useable tradition of self- government. Yours is a nation long governed by traditions of fascist-like political rulers, medieval forms of tribal and ethnic justice, and warring religions that are hostile to freedom. Second, you must reject the political anarchy of your ethnic chieftains and the religious tyranny of your Islamic mullahs. In a free Iraqi society, neither tribe nor mosque must be able to gain governmental power.

UPDATE Dec. 17: Bill Hobbs had some good comments on the lack of coverage of the Baghdad demonstrations, inspired by a Weekly Standard article penned by Healing Iraq blogger Zeyad: Pro-democracy rallies in Iraq, and more.. Zeyad writes:

"The last thing we expected was to be the first to publish anything about the protests. It felt both good and awful at the same time. Good for scooping Reuters, AFP, AP, and other wire services and media stations. And awful for the people that depended on these services for their news. I'm telling you there were reporters from every station in the world at the demos that day and yet only a few mentioned them at all.

Posted by Forkum at 07:36 AM

December 14, 2003

Like A Rat


First of all, thanks to the U.S. troops for a job well done in capturing Saddam. You got 'em!

FoxNews reports:
Saddam Was 'Caught Like A Rat'
Troops 'Vindicated' By Arrest
4th Infantry Division Soldiers Take Victory Lap
Iraqis Celebrate News of Saddam's Capture
Iraqi Americans Celebrate Saddam's Capture
Bush Celebrates Saddam Capture
World Leaders Thrilled at Saddam's Capture

The capture has been blogged by better bloggers than us -- just go click through our blogroll. The Command Post has an good roundup of links, including the elated reaction of a few Iraqi bloggers.

Of course, not everybody was excited about the news: Palestinians Mark 'Black Day' of Saddam Capture and Arabs share little of world joy over Saddam's capture (via LGF). There's probably more than a few leftists who share that sentiment.

I noticed Sen. Joe Biden say on television that the U.S. should "internationalize" Saddam's trial by involving the U.N. so the trial "gains credibility." Mark Steyn noticed an impending contradiction:

A captured Saddam with a tongue depressor in his mouth. His tongue can't be half as depressed as the French, John Kerry, Howard Dean, The Guardian et al. They've all been saying for months that the Coalition needs to hand over more power and authority to Iraqis. Handing over Saddam to be tried in Baghdad is an excellent start. Or do they now want him on a plane to the Hague?

And if you haven't had enough of rats and cockroaches, we might as well re-run this February 2002 cartoon, from our book Black & White World:


Posted by Forkum at 10:28 PM

December 12, 2003



FoxNews reported earlier this week: Memo Says Jacko Was Cleared of Molestation.

UPDATE Dec. 18: FoxNews reports today: Charges to Be Filed Against Jackson.

Posted by Forkum at 07:20 AM

December 11, 2003

Unconstitutional Amendment


Howard Dean was already considered a frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nominee before Al Gore endorsed him this week. Now he's virtually a shoe-in, which is all the more reason to take a close look at the policies he's advocating. Last week we criticized Dean for his unwillingness to deal forcibly with terrorist-sponsoring states. In the same Chris Matthews' interview, Dean also revealed his desire to use the power of the FCC to inject his vision of "democracy" into big media, all at the expense of free speech. This is otherwise known as censorship.

To read the relevant passage from the interview, click the link below.

DEAN: I would reverse [deregulation] in some areas. First of all, 11 companies in this country control 90 percent of what ordinary people are able to read and watch on their television. That’s wrong. We need to have a wide variety of opinions in every community. We don’t have that because of Michael Powell and what George Bush has tried to do to the FCC.

MATTHEWS: Would you break up Fox?


MATTHEWS: I’m serious.

DEAN: I’m keeping a...

MATTHEWS: Would you break it up? Rupert Murdoch has “The Weekly Standard.” It has got a lot of other interests. It has got “The New York Post.” Would you break it up?

DEAN: On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but...


MATTHEWS: No, seriously. As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power?

DEAN: I don’t want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not, because, obviously


MATTHEWS: Well, how about large media enterprises?

DEAN: Let me-yes, let me get...


DEAN: The answer to that is yes. I would say that there is too much penetration by single corporations in media markets all over this country. We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP.

MATTHEWS: So what are you going to do about it? You’re going to be president of the United States, what are you going to do?

DEAN: What I’m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.

MATTHEWS: Well, would you break up GE?


DEAN: I can’t-you...

MATTHEWS: GE just buys Universal. Would you do something there about that? Would you stop that from happening?

DEAN: You can’t say-you can’t ask me right now and get an answer, would I break up X corp...

MATTHEWS: We’ve got to do it now, because now is the only chance we can ask you, because, once you are in, we have got to live with you.



MATTHEWS: So, if you are going to do it, you have got to tell us now.


MATTHEWS: Are you going to break up the giant media enterprises in this country?

DEAN: Yes, we’re going to break up giant media enterprises. That doesn’t mean we’re going to break up all of GE. What we’re going to do is say that media enterprises can’t be as big as they are today. I don’t think we actually have to break them up, which Teddy Roosevelt had to do with the leftovers from the McKinley administration.


MATTHEWS: ... regulate them.

DEAN: You have got to say that there has to be a limit as to how-if the state has an interest, which it does, in preserving democracy, then there has to be a limitation on how deeply the media companies can penetrate every single community. To the extent of even having two or three or four outlets in a single community, that kind of information control is not compatible with democracy.

Posted by Forkum at 07:20 AM

December 10, 2003

Status Quash


In yet another presidential disappointment, FoxNews reported yesterday: Bush Opposes Taiwan Independence.

"We oppose any unilateral decision by either China or Taiwan to change the status quo," Bush told reporters, "and the comments and actions made by the leader of Taiwan" -- referring to President Chen Shui-bian -- "indicate that he may be willing to make decisions unilaterally."

The referendum, scheduled for March 20, would let Taiwan's electorate decide whether the island's government should demand that Beijing remove hundreds of missiles aimed at it and renounce the use of force.

Chen's decision to hold the vote, under a new law that gives him power to call a "defensive referendum" when the island's sovereignty faces imminent threat, is also seen as a means of shoring up his own support as a re-election campaign looms.

Chen is a strong proponent of independence for Taiwan, and both Bush administration and mainland Chinese officials say the referendum is an indirect step toward that.

How good can it be when President Bush and the Communist dictatorship of China share the same negative view of another nation's desire to be free from the threat of tyranny? Having earlier this year said that he would do "whatever it takes" to defend Taiwan, now Bush is apparently willing to sacrifice Taiwan. And for what? Supposedly, maintaining the "status quo" with the Chinese dictatorship will encourage it to be part of the diplomatic "multilateralist" pressure on the nuke-seeking North Korean dictatorship -- thus maintaining regional "stability."

Sound familiar? These are exactly the same types of arguments used by leftists who were against invading Iraq.

And who is Bush to condemn Taiwan's unilateral actions to protect itself from an threatening nation? Isn't a willingness to act unilaterally, and preemptively if necessary, a fundamental tenet of America's War on Terrorism? It's not as if Taiwan is proposing to invade China -- they just want to vote on a referendum demanding that China promise not to annihilate them. And this represents some kind of evil "unilateralism" to Bush? Ridiculous. Absurd. Hypocritical.

Bush is saying "Do As I Say, Not As I Do," the type of admonishments he occasionally gives to Israel in its war against Palestinian terrorism. We see where that's gotten Israel.

Bush's treatment of Taiwan is disgusting no matter how you slice it but not surprising. This prophetic Jeff Jacoby op-ed from September 2002 spells it all out: Taiwan is not China. (Via Capitalism Magazine)

Sooner or later, Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, will again say something that suggests Taiwan ought to be regarded as an independent country. The communist government in Beijing will again react angrily, rattling its missiles and threatening to attack if Taiwan moves to declare its independence. Washington will again tsk-tsk over Chen's remarks, again reiterate its "one China" policy, and again intone that it opposes Taiwanese independence. And once again, all concerned will breathe a sigh of relief when the status quo is restored and the Taiwan issue returns to the back burner -- assuming it does.

The script is predictable. It is also shameful.

Taiwan is a free republic, a loyal American ally, a guarantor of civil liberties, and an engine of economic freedom. It does not deserve to be treated as an international pariah, or to be hastily shushed when it points out that it is China's political equal, not a rebellious Chinese province. The United States disgraces itself every time it fails to robustly defend Taiwan's right to freely determine its own future. The disgrace is compounded by the fact that the American unwillingness to embrace Taiwan, a sister democracy, is born of a desire to appease China, the world's foremost totalitarian dictatorship.

Though Bush often, in a very mixed sort of way, advocates pro-American foreign policies -- more so than, say, Howard Dean would -- Bush clearly does not apply those same principles to our allies. He apparently thinks there are some short-term benefits to selling out our allies to appease our enemies. But the long-term consequences of such policies are not in America's interests for the same reason that appeasing hostile Arab tyrannies has proven not to be in America's interests. Does Bush need a Taiwanese 9/11 caused by Chinese missiles to understand this?

If we are to come close to winning the War on Terrorism, we need a consistent, principled, uncompromisingly pro-freedom/anti-tyranny foreign policy. The expedient diplomatic abandonment of Taiwan is yet more proof that we do not have such a policy coming from the Bush White House.

Bush first appeared as "Multilateral Man" in this cartoon created during the run up to the Iraq war. Unfortunately it's probably not the last time we'll see him.

UPDATE: Reuters reports: Taiwan Says Vote Still on Despite Bush Warning.

Brushing aside a warning from George W. Bush, Taiwan's president reiterated his plan to hold a referendum alongside elections next March, but said neither independence nor the status quo with China would be at issue.

At least Taiwan is being somewhat defiant. Hopefully the referendum will still demand that China renounce the use of force, but one commentator in the article above says the referendum may be watered down to merely say that "Taiwan is pro-peace."

(Hat tip: Stuart Middleton-White)

Posted by Forkum at 07:26 AM

December 09, 2003

Bear Hunt


FoxNews reported yesterday: New Jersey Opens First Bear Hunt in 33 Years.

New Jersey opened its first bear hunt in 33 years Monday with hunters trekking into snow-filled woods before dawn as animal rights activists protested nearby.

Hunters' trucks and sport utility vehicles lined entrance roads to Wawayanda State Park, where hunters were allowed to go out a half-hour before sunrise, said Conservation officer Tom Keck.

A dozen protesters at the park carried signs reading, "No bear slaughter in my state" and "Act now, Governor. Protect citizens and wildlife."

The inclusion of "citizens" on the protest sign is typical leftist camouflage, for when it comes down to a choice between protecting citizens or wildlife, we know which one the animal rights activists will choose. They expect humans to make sacrifices for the sake of wildlife -- not the other way around -- from forcing taxpayers to fund costly wildlife protection measures to forcing citizens to live with the risk of attack. Ultimately it's not the humans they really care about. I suspect there weren't any "No human mauling in my state" protest signs.

Officials have said that bears are becoming more of a menace to people in the state. In Vernon this summer, officers shot one of the animals after it went through the screen door of a house. A woman inside had to barricade herself in the bedroom until police got there, officials said.

And this despite the efforts of Lynda Smith, director of the Bear Education and Resource Group, who has tried to teach residents how to live with bears. Can't we all just get along?

Bears aren't confused in this regard. A hungry bear has no ethical qualms about hunting and killing humans, even humans who've contributed to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

I found no indication that PeTA is involved in these bear hunt protests, though I'm sure they would side with the bears. This cartoon was created a few months back on general principle and was originally titled "PeTA Principle".

Posted by Forkum at 07:43 AM

December 08, 2003

Dudley Fed-Up


How close is the train? Lorenzo Vidino & Erick Stakelbeck give an indication in European Dishonor: Sharia on the Old Continent.

Young women killed for dating. Limbs amputated for petty theft. Makeshift courts deciding the fates of members of local Muslim communities. The Western world has grown accustomed to hearing about the brutalities of Islamic law. However, these primitive practices are no longer limited to the remote tribal areas of Pakistan, the backward kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or oppressive, mullah-dominated Iran. Today, thanks in large part to a massive flow of immigration from Muslim countries, sharia law and medieval customs are becoming increasingly common in the heart of Christian Europe. [...]

Politically correct European politicians, ever mindful not to offend their newly arrived Muslim brethren, have done little to aid in the assimilation process. As a result, immigrants who settle in Europe's Muslim communities are often greeted with the same sharia-inspired mayhem that they left behind in their countries of origin. From England to Holland to Greece, many European Muslims have managed to segregate themselves from society at large and maintain harsh traditions ill-suited to the West. As the number of unassimilated Muslims grows and Europe's elites continue to remain silent, the ultimate victim may turn out to be Western civilization itself.

For example, an article titled Terror 101 by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball reports how German officals cave to Islamist demands.

Local German officials announced their intention to shut the [King Fahd Academy] school down after receiving intelligence reports that Muslim militants from throughout Germany -- some of them with suspected terrorist connections -- were flocking to the area to send their children to the academy. ... But after expressing its own alarm, the German government quickly changed its tune. German Interior Minister Otto Schily recently praised the King Fahd Academy as an “important cultural institution” and denounced the media campaign against the school as a threat to Saudi-German relations.

(Stories via Little Green Footballs)

This cartoon was posted earlier this year at The Intellectual Activist.

Posted by Forkum at 07:59 AM

December 07, 2003

Edmund Duffy


Cartoon title: The One Note Man?
By: Edmund Duffy

This cartoon is from the book The Editorial Art of Edmund Duffy by S.L. Harrison (1998 Associated University Presses, ISBN 0-8386-3766-3)). The caption for the cartoon reads:

December 7, 1941 -- This prophetic cartoon was prepared the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked at 7 a.m. Hawaiian time, early afternoon in the eastern United States. Hitler declared war four days later, his only formal declaration of war during WWII.

If you can find this book (I believe it's out of print), we highly recommend it for Edmund Duffy's excellent editorial art.

This weekend, on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, Little Green Footballs pointed to this National Geographic Web site: Remembering Pearl Harbor.

America's future rest on whether or not we have the will to respond to 9/11 the way America responded to the enemy on December 7, 1941.

Posted by Forkum at 07:57 AM

December 05, 2003

EGO Interview


Cartoon Title: A Dream Becomes A Nightmare

This self-referential cartoon may make a little more sense if you read the latest interview with Cox & Forkum, this one by Martin Lindeskog at his blog EGO: Click here for the interview. Among other things you'll find links about the stir caused by one of our cartoons at Texas A&M, a link to a Web page featuring paintings by John Cox, and a few previously unposted cartoons. Be sure to visit EGO on a regular basis. Martin is so on top of things he'd linked to our blog before we'd officially launched it. Our thanks to him for taking the time to talk to us. We hope that you enjoy the interview.

Even more own-horn tooting ... John Hawkins at Right Wing News recently announced the winners of The 2003 Warblogger Awards. No, Cox & Forkum didn't win a thing. We were, however, mentioned in The 25 Best Blogs That Didn't Win A Thing. We are deeply honored to be among such losers. Thank you, Mr. Hawkins! Be sure to check out the winning (and losing) blogs.

UPDATE: By the way, for those interested, the cartoons hanging in the background of the above cartoon are: King Bush's Wisdom and Peacemaker -- both are included in Black & White World.

Posted by Forkum at 07:30 AM

December 04, 2003

Root Causes


Democrat presidential candidate Howard Dean has made a number of statements recently that give one a glimpse into the dark, multilateralist, socialist corners of his mind. Little Green Footballs noted this leftist conspiracy theory inanity from him: Dean: Bush May Have Been Tipped to 9/11 Attacks. And The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler noted his apparent lust for censorship: Dean: I'd 'Break Up' Fox News.

But what most caught my attention was another scary quote from the Chris Matthews' interview. Dean has been critical of Bush and of anyone who supported invading Iraq. Much of his popularity has been attributed to his "anti-war" stance. But post-9/11, it is crucial to know a candidate's answer for dealing with the threat of terrorism. Dean reveals his in this statement:

"So what we’re going to do is focus on terrorism and not on nation states, unless the nation states merge with the terrorist organization, as they did in Afghanistan. And I supported the action we took in Afghanistan to fight terror." [Emphasis added]

Dean's approach would essentially be a return to post-9/11 appeasement policies, the opposite of the Bush Doctrine, which Bush articulated in his speech on Sept. 20, 2001:

"From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

Unfortunately, even Bush himself has not stuck by his own doctrine, which he violated within a few weeks of stating it by advocating a Palestinian state. But at least Bush is pressuring states such as Syria and Iran who sponsor terrorists -- not just harbor them -- with the implicit threat that America will militarily invaded them if necessary to prevent future terrorist attacks.

Dean, on the other hand, considers this unilateral, preemptive approach morally wrong, except in cases of states openly harboring terrorists, such as the Taliban regime. In Dean's announcement for candidacy he alluded to how he thinks America's military might should be used:

"The idea of America using its power solely for its own ends is not consistent with the idealistic moral force the world has known for over two centuries."

In other words, he considers it more "moral" and "idealistic" to use our military self-sacrificially and not to secure our national self-interests. To him it is better when our soldiers risk death for the sake of other countries than for the sake of America. I can think of few foreign policies more morally atrocious than that. And even Bush is guilty of resorting to such justifications for his military actions (e.g., Liberia).

Terrorists cannot be effective without support from sympathetic states. It's not simply a matter of blatant harboring -- or "merging," as Dean put it. It's a matter of complicity; states who sponsor terrorism are accomplices in terrorism. Soon after 9/11, Objectivist philosopher Leonard Peikoff skillfully explained this and why America should pursue its self-interest: End States Who Sponsor Terrorism.

"There is still time to demonstrate that we take the war against terrorism seriously -- as a sacred obligation to our Founding Fathers, to every victim of the men who hate this country, and to ourselves. There is still time to make the world understand that we will take up arms, anywhere and on principle, to secure an American's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on earth. The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations. Our Commander-In-Chief must decide whether it is his duty to save Americans or the governments who conspire to kill them."

More recently Mark Steyn, in his column 'These five regimes must go' explained not only which nation states should be next in line for regime change, but also why Bush's dithering with the U.N., Colin Powell and Tony Blair contributed to difficulties in Iraq today.

Profound changes in the ... countries [listed below] would not necessarily mean the end of the war on terror, but it would be pretty close. It would remove terrorism's most brazen patron (Syria), its ideological inspiration (the prototype Islamic Republic of Iran), its principal paymaster (Saudi Arabia), a critical source of manpower (Sudan) and its most potentially dangerous weapons supplier (North Korea). They’re the fronts on which the battle has to be fought: it's not just terror groups, it's the state actors who provide them with infrastructure and extend their global reach. Right now, America -- and Britain, Australia and Italy -- are fighting defensively, reacting to this or that well-timed atrocity as it occurs. But the best way to judge whether we're winning and how serious we are about winning is how fast the above regimes are gone.

As president, Dean's basic strategy for dealing with terrorism would be to play the U.N./Colin Powell diplomacy game. Every indication is that he would not go after the roots of terrorism: terrorist-sponsoring states.

Now if we can only convince Bush to do so.

Posted by Forkum at 07:28 AM

December 03, 2003



Little Green Footballs called attention to two appalling articles Monday:

First there's this: UN's Annan announces "solidarity" with Palestinians.

"[Israeli actions] have undermined efforts to curb violence and fuelled hatred and anger towards Israel. They have pushed back the day when Israel will live without fear within secure and recognised borders," [UN Secretary General Kofi Annan] said in a statement.

"I wish to join with those from around the world who today express the deepest solidarity with the Palestinian people in their continued suffering. They remain stateless and oppressed."

Of course he made the perfunctory qualifications about Palestinian terrorism, saying there was "no justification" for it. But this in no way mitigates that he placed primary blame on Israel, the victim. Completely evading the fact that Palestinian leadership is neck-deep in terrorism, he goes on to say:

"Let us resolve not to rest until the Palestinian people finally obtain what is rightfully theirs," Annan said, "the exercise of their inalienable rights in a sovereign and independent state of Palestine."

No one has the "inalienable right" to establish a terrorist dictatorship, which is exactly what Arafat has so far established.

But Annan was merely joining the chorus of anti-Israel sentiment, which was lead by Jimmy Carter: Carter slams Israel, Bush in Geneva speech.

"No matter what leaders Palestinians might choose, no matter how fervent American interests might be or how great the hatred and bloodshed might become, there is one basic choice for the Israelis: Do you want peace with their neighbors or do you want to retain settlements throughout the occupied territories?" [...]

Carter said the main flaw of the US-brokered road map is its step-by-step approach, which he said has allowed Israel to stop its advance by building "an enormous barrier wall" and with "the colonization of Gaza."

Carter, too, had the standard, lame qualifications about Palestinian "violence," but it's clear who he thinks is to blame for it. Like Annan, Carter must evade the full context, which is that Israel occupies those territories as a matter of national self-defense against neighboring Arab nations who have repeatedly launched wars of aggression. The article quotes a senior Israeli government official government official who puts the situation in its proper perspective:

"[Carter] should take a visit to our cemeteries and see what Arafat brought upon us after being offered everything [former prime minister Ehud] Barak offered him at Camp David and Taba."

Posted by Forkum at 07:29 AM

December 02, 2003

Capitalist Holiday Spirit!


Not wanting to be left out of the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, today we're reminding readers of a few gift ideas we have to offer.

As the cartoon above subtlety indicates, our book Black & White World makes a great gift and tastes pretty good, too. The book contains over 100 cartoons from our first year of cartooning. We've posted a number of the cartoons here to advertise the book (such asthis one, this one and this one. Black & White World can be purchased at The Intellectual Activist and Quent Cordair Fine Art.

But that's not all! We also have a line of Cox & Forkum t-shirts that are sure to make the America-lovers in your life smile (and, conversely, make the leftists in your life sneer).

No, there are no Cox & Forkum ginsu knives yet, but don't let that stop you from thinking of Cox & Forkum for your holiday gift list. In other words, order some of our stuff today!

Posted by Forkum at 07:28 AM

December 01, 2003

Hollywood Treatment


FoxNews had a couple of interesting tidbits about the efforts of Hollywood leftists to bring down President Bush. Billionaires Bundle Funds for Democrats contained this:

Defeating President Bush in 2004 has become a central focus in the life of billionaire George Soros, and he's ready to put his money where his mouth is. Soros has pledged $15 million of his personal wealth to activists working to undo Bush's presidency. [...] [E]lectronic pop guru Moby has teamed up with Soros' son Jonathan Soros, actress Janeane Garofalo and other pop stars for a contest urging amateur filmmakers to produce their own 30-second anti-Bush videos.

And FoxNews also reported: Robbins' 'Embedded' Play Not So Realistic.

[Actor and "anti-war" activist Tim] Robbins portrays journalists as Pentagon puppets, U.S. soldiers as thieves and killers of innocent women and children, and the Bush cabinet as war mongers willing to start a war to escape the negative publicity of the Enron scandal.

FoxNews had embedded reporters in Iraq, so the news organization also sent someone to view Robbins' play. Marine Maj. Rich Doherty, who has a Ph.D. from Berkeley, fought in Iraq and worked alongside several embedded journalists, had this to say about the play:

"It was spun to make it look like that leadership started this war simply for its own political agenda … and that can't be further from the truth," Doherty said. [...] "I'm giving you an opinion based on what I saw with my boots on the ground and in the sand."

Of course, it's not like the truth has ever stopped leftists in their propaganda efforts. They even deny it's propaganda. An audience member performed mental contortions in defense of the play:

"It is not propaganda. It is a voice of dissent, which is different than propaganda."

Yeah, right ... and terrorists are "freedom fighters."

Posted by Forkum at 06:51 AM