February 28, 2007



A little break from politics ... From The Mercury News: Moving tech support jobs closer.

Some of Silicon Valley's largest technology companies, in an effort to cut costs and address a mounting stack of customer-service complaints, are embracing an offshoring trend known as "nearshoring."

Unlike the traditional offshoring that flung U.S. customer call centers halfway around the world to India and other faraway countries, nearshoring sends white-collar jobs to Costa Rica, Mexico and other countries in the Western Hemisphere.

The allure of nearshore sites is their ample supply of knowledgeable, low-paid workers who speak the customers' language fluently, understand their cultural nuances and perhaps even live in the same time zones. For big U.S. tech companies, shifting jobs to closer locations can avoid the operational bumps that would otherwise occur in the more distant, more popular offshoring destinations in Asia.

"It's important that the world knows that it's not just China and India," said Diane Burton, an associate professor of management at MIT's Sloan School of Management. "It is truly a more global phenomena where there are skilled and talented people around the world who are ready, willing and able to do the kind of work that (represents) good jobs."

Language fluency was a big reason some of Sun Microsystems' technical support jobs were moved from India to Nova Scotia. Customers in the Americas who needed tech support had griped about having a difficult time understanding the English typically spoken in India. "This move offered a better fit for our customers," said Sun spokeswoman Dana Lengkeek.

Posted by Forkum at 06:27 PM

February 27, 2007

C&F T-shirts and More!


You can now buy Cox & Forkum apparel and merchandise in our new Cox & Forkum CafePress Store -- t-shirts, mugs, mousepads, and more. Not only do the products feature some of our favorite editorial cartoons, but there are brand new designs as well (some of them featured below).

Over the years we've had requests for various cartoons to be put on t-shirts, but there wasn't an economically feasible way for us to do so using traditional silkscreen methods. Which colors, sizes, styles? How many? Would they even sell?

CafePress offers an excellent alternative. To apply the images on apparel in one-off orders, CafePress uses heat transfers and what they call "direct printing." After purchasing a number of our own designs from them, we found that the production quality met and often exceeded our expectations. In addition, CafePress offers a 100% money-back guarantee on all products. It's not silkscreening, but it's a method that allows us to offer products that we couldn't otherwise.

So take a look around our new store. Maybe you or someone you know can't live without an Uncle Sam Jersey or a Moonbat Mousepad.

Below are some of our new designs (click on image to go directly to products).

This C&F collage features characters from over 20 of our editorial cartoons (even Mohammed snuck in):


John's design for the televangelist of the First Church of Global Warming (also see The Goracle):


And we thought it was time to reclaim the Victory Sign from leftists:


Lots more to see at the Cox & Forkum CafePress Store.

Posted by Forkum at 05:20 PM

February 26, 2007

Martin Scorsese


From AP: Martin Scorsese finally gets his Oscar.

It took 26 years, six directing nominations and two screenplay nominations, but Martin Scorsese finally has his Oscar.

Righting an injustice that had swelled with each snub of his illustrious career, on Sunday the Academy honored him with the best-directing Oscar for "The Departed."

After receiving a rousing standing ovation from the Kodak Theatre crowd, the fast-talking filmmaker didn't make a fuss about his long-awaited Oscar win — but acknowledged the sentiment.

"So many people over the years have been wishing this for me," Scorsese said before rattling off encounters with strangers in elevators and dentist offices. "And I'm saying thank you."

Still, after Scorsese accepted the statue from presenter Steven Spielberg, he joked in disbelief: "Could you double-check the envelope?"

One of the stars of the film, Jack Nicholson, waited offstage to emotionally hug the director after his speech.

It was a matter of minutes before Scorsese experienced another first — a best picture win. While Scorsese looked on from the wings, "The Departed" was announced as best picture.

The story of rival mob and police moles remade from the Hong Kong thriller "Infernal Affairs" was the most popular film at the box office ($128.6 million) among the best-picture nominees. It also won for best adapted screenplay and best editing.

In years past, Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas," "Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator" all lost their best-picture bids.

As the losses mounted, Scorsese had clearly sought the statue, and seemed likely to finally win it two years ago for directing "The Aviator." But he lost to Clint Eastwood, whose "Million Dollar Baby" and some wondered if Eastwood would again spoil Scorsese's chances this year. Eastwood was nominated for directing the esteemed but little-seen "Letters from Iwo Jima," which was also up for best picture.

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 07:02 PM

February 25, 2007



From CNN: Iran: Atomic program has no brake.

Iran has no brake and no reverse gear in its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday, while a deputy foreign minister vowed Tehran was prepared for any eventuality, "even for war."

The tough talk comes ahead of a meeting this week of officials from the U.N. Security Council plus Germany in London to consider possible further steps after limited sanctions were imposed on Tehran in December.

"Iran has obtained the technology to produce nuclear fuel and Iran's move is like a train ... which has no brake and no reverse gear," Ahmadinejad said, ISNA news agency reported.

The United States repeated its call for Iran to halt uranium enrichment, a process Washington believes Tehran is seeking to master in order to build atomic bombs.

Iran, which insists its only wants to make fuel to generate electricity, ignored last week's U.N. deadline to stop the work.

"They don't need a reverse gear. They need a stop button," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Fox News. She said her offer to meet Iran's foreign minister or other Iranian representatives still stood if Iran suspended enrichment.

The United States insists it wants a diplomatic solution to the row but has not ruled out military action if that fails.

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said on Saturday Iran's atomic ambitions must be curbed and said "all options" were on the table. Iran says Washington is in no position to attack when its troops are bogged down in Iraq but says it is ready in case.

UPDATE I -- Feb. 26: This FOX News headline says it all: Iran: We Will Never Give Up Nuke Program, but We Are Ready for Unconditional Talks. Nonetheless, the West will keep trying to negoiate, until it's too late.

UPDATE -II: From Ardeshir Dolat: Don’t negotiate with the terrorists.

There would have been a path to peaceful resolution had it not been for the terrorist element in the Islamic regime that now has the full control of the country. That element is not only anti-Western, anti-human, anti-modernity, anti-democracy and anti-Iranian, but also seeks to implement its fundamentalist Islamic ideology in every country of the world, i.e. the Islamic rule as promised by the Koran and return of the hidden Imam and by use of force if necessary. The terrorist element of the Islamic regime unilaterally declared and waged their war against humanity decades ago. If there is any hope of ending that war, it should come from the terrorist element of the Islamic regime and that will never come. Furthermore, It is inconceivable to accept the Islamist terrorists’ medieval ideology in the 21st century and therefore the answer to the question is no, there is no path to peaceful resolution.

Posted by Forkum at 05:33 PM

February 22, 2007

La-La Land


From FOX News: Hillary Clinton, Obama in Hot Exchange Over Hollywood Heavyweight's Comments.

The war of words between leading 2008 Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spread Wednesday night, after the campaigns had earlier exchanged heated words when Clinton suggested Obama return funds to Hollywood bigwig David Geffen, who insulted her in a newspaper article.

"We aren't going to get in the middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters. It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom," Obama campaign communications director Robert Gibbs said in a statement that was e-mailed to the news media. ...

Geffen, a former "Friend of Bill," co-hosted a star-studded, $1.3 million fundraiser for Obama on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills with Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Among the 300 contributors who forked over $2,300 each were George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Morgan Freeman. Also in attendance were Dixie Chick Natalie Maines and director Ron Howard.

Geffen became a former FOB in 2001 after Bill Clinton refused to pardon Leonard Peltier, a Chippewa Indian convicted of killing two FBI agents in a 1977 shootout on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. ...

Geffen is apparently still holding a grudge against the Clintons. In remarks to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that appeared in Wednesday's edition, the music producer suggested that the Clintons have had their day and it's time for new blood in the White House. ...

UPDATE I: Roger Simon speculates Why Geffen Said What He Said. (via InstaPundit)

UPDATE II -- Feb. 23: From CNN: Analysis: Clinton-Obama tussle reveals some real issues.

Posted by Forkum at 04:25 PM

February 21, 2007

Zionist Enemy


The cartoon was originally posted on January 6, 2006, and is one of over 400 illustrations you'll find in our latest book Black & White World III, which can be ordered via Cox & Forkum, The Steyn Store, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

From The Boston Globe: Israel warns Abbas that a Hamas tie would end talks.

Israel warned yesterday it would stop dealing with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if he goes ahead with plans to join Hamas in a new government, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Arab allies sought a way to break the Hamas logjam and push forward the stalled peace process.

Jordan's King Abdullah II, after separate meetings with Rice and Abbas, urged the United States to continue seeking to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. But Israel said it would stop dealing with Abbas on larger peace issues if he went ahead and formed the coalition government with Hamas.

After the meetings Abbas acknowledged for the first time that sessions on Monday in Jerusalem with Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Rice had been "tense and difficult" but said "it was not a failure and it will be followed by other meetings."

Abbas said Israel may have "misunderstood" the agreement reached in Mecca between his moderate Fatah faction [See comment below. -- AF] and the militant Hamas group, according to Jordan's official Petra news agency. ...

The planned Palestinian coalition government fell far short of what the United States and Israel wanted, and also disappointed Sunni Arab states -- many of them US allies -- that had hoped Hamas would soften anti-Israeli policies enough to satisfy the West and restart the flow of vital international aid.

Not only are Abbas and his Fatah not "moderate," one year later and Abbas still has not disarmed Hamas.

Posted by Forkum at 07:54 PM

February 20, 2007

Throw Down


From FOX News: Ahmadinejad: Iran Will Stop Nuke Enrichment If You Will, Too.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Iran would only halt its uranium enrichment program and return to negotiations if other Western nations do the same.

Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands in northern Iran one day ahead of a U.N. Security Council deadline that it was no problem for his country to stop, but that "fair talks" demanded a similar gesture from the West.

"That ... we shut down our nuclear fuel cycle program to let talks begin. It's no problem. But justice demands that those who want to hold talks with us shut down their nuclear fuel cycle program too. Then, we can hold dialogue under a fair atmosphere," Ahmadinejad said.

The Security Council has set Wednesday as a deadline for Iran to stop uranium enrichment or face further economic sanctions.

Ahmadinejad spoke in a far more conciliatory tone than the one he usually adopts, avoiding fiery denunciations of the West with a call for talks.

UPDATE -- Feb. 22: From FOX News: Iran Refuses to Budge On U.N. Security Council Demands.

With the stage being set for a fresh showdown between Iran and Western powers, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that the U.S. and its allies would use the U.N. Security Council and other "available channels" to bring Tehran back to negotiations over its nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency was expected to report Thursday that Iran has expanded uranium enrichment efforts instead of meeting international demands to halt them. The finding could lead to Security Council sanctions broader than a limited set imposed by the council last month.

In addition to the sanctions, the Bush administration has been raising the pressure on Tehran on other fronts, from arresting Iranian officials in Iraq to persuading European governments and financial institutions to cut ties with the Islamic Republic.

Posted by Forkum at 05:06 PM

February 19, 2007

Al Franken


From The Daily Tribune: Franken to challenge Coleman.

Minnesota native Al Franken, known for hosting Air America Radio’s longtime flagship program, “The Al Franken Show,” kicked off his campaign for the U.S. Senate in northeastern Minnesota Friday.

Franken announced Wednesday that he will challenge U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman in the 2008 Senate race. ...

“I grew up in a hard-working middle-class family in Minnesota, and while I may have spent my career as a comedian, I’m serious about making government work better for families like the one I grew up in,” said Franken. ...

Franken, who has traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait and met with troops that are serving our country, said “you can’t go there and not take this real serious.”

“You can’t go there without being in awe of and inspired by our troops,” he added. “It’s unbelievable how great our men and women are there and we have to honor them.”

Franken said one of his plans while in the Senate is to honor the veterans.

“One of the things I think we have to do in this election is hold accountable those Republicans, who are in the majority, who gave this president a blank check for the last four years and did not do their job,” he said.

He also pointed out it is important to create renewable energy sources, keep social security as a safety net and have universal health care for everyone, starting with children. He added that the Senate needs leadership.

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 08:09 PM

February 18, 2007



From The Washtingon Post: Not the 'Real Vote'. (via InstaPundit)

[Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.)] would stop the surge by crudely hamstringing the ability of military commanders to deploy troops. In an interview carried Thursday by the Web site MoveCongress.org, Mr. Murtha said he would attach language to a war funding bill that would prohibit the redeployment of units that have been at home for less than a year, stop the extension of tours beyond 12 months, and prohibit units from shipping out if they do not train with all of their equipment. His aim, he made clear, is not to improve readiness but to "stop the surge." So why not straightforwardly strip the money out of the appropriations bill -- an action Congress is clearly empowered to take -- rather than try to micromanage the Army in a way that may be unconstitutional? Because, Mr. Murtha said, it will deflect accusations that he is trying to do what he is trying to do. "What we are saying will be very hard to find fault with," he said.

Mr. Murtha's cynicism is matched by an alarming ignorance about conditions in Iraq. He continues to insist that Iraq "would be more stable with us out of there," in spite of the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that early withdrawal would produce "massive civilian casualties." He says he wants to force the administration to "bulldoze" the Abu Ghraib prison, even though it was emptied of prisoners and turned over to the Iraqi government last year. He wants to "get our troops out of the Green Zone" because "they are living in Saddam Hussein's palace"; could he be unaware that the zone's primary occupants are the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy?

It would be nice to believe that Mr. Murtha does not represent the mainstream of the Democratic Party or the thinking of its leadership. Yet when asked about Mr. Murtha's remarks Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered her support. Does Ms. Pelosi really believe that the debate she orchestrated this week was not "the real vote"? If the answer is yes, she is maneuvering her party in a way that can only do it harm.

And from Hot Air: Video: Hume smacks down Murtha; doesn’t know “what the heck is going on in the world”.

Posted by Forkum at 07:58 PM

February 15, 2007

Limited Engagement


Three weeks ago, President Bush made it clear that engaging Iran militarily was not being pursued:

"Some are trying to say that because we're helping ourselves in Iraq by stopping outside [Iranian] influence from killing our soldiers or hurting Iraqi people that we want to expand this beyond the borders," Bush said. "That's a presumption that's simply not accurate. We believe that we can solve our problems with Iran diplomatically."

Since then even more evidence of Iran's maleficence in Iraq has been revealed, yet Bush continues to evade the necessity of truly confronting Iran. From CNN: Bush blames Iraq weapons on 'part of' Iranian government.

President Bush said Wednesday that "a part of the Iranian government" is involved in sending deadly explosives into Iraq ...

But the president Wednesday rejected as "preposterous" suggestions that the United States was creating a basis for conflict with Iran.

"My job is to protect our troops, and when we find devices that are in that country that are hurting our troops, we're going to do something about it, pure and simple.," he said "... Does this mean you're trying to have a pretext for war? No. It means I'm trying to protect our troops. That's what that means."

"Protect our troops"? What's preposterous is leaving the Iranians completely unmolested while they kill our troops in Iraq. Here again are articles indicating Iran's war-making in Iraq:

Rumsfeld: Iraq bombs 'clearly from Iran' (CNN, August 10, 2005)
EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran? (ABC News, March 6, 2006)
Rumsfeld accuses Iran of troublemaking in Iraq (AP via Army Times, March 7, 2006)
Casey cites Iran hand in attacks by Iraqi Shiites (The Washington Times, June 23, 2006)
Barbero: Iran training Shiite insurgents (AP via Army Times, August 24, 2006)
Donkeys harboring weapons stopped at Iran-Iraq border (Army Times, November 2, 2006)
Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack (CNN, January 31, 2007)
Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran (The Telegraph, February 13, 2007)
U.S.: Large Cache of Weapons Discovered in Iraq Traceable to Iran (AP via FOX News, February 26, 2007)

From the Ayn Rand Institute: How to Truly Support our Troops by Alex Epstein.

[A]lmost everyone wants to give our troops the resources they need to do their jobs: the best weapons, armor, provisions, and training available -- as well as praise, gratitude, and encouragement. But for our government to truly support our troops, it must do far more than help them do their jobs; it must give them the right jobs to do -- the jobs that will effectively defend America while minimizing the risk to their lives. Our government must place soldiers' lives at risk only when American freedom is threatened, and during war it must give them the objectives and tactics that will defeat the enemy as quickly as possible.

The conservatives' Iraq war does not meet this standard. It could have--if the war had been undertaken as a step in defeating the anti-American, terrorist-sponsoring regimes of the Middle East and thus rendering the region non-threatening. Instead, President Bush made the war's primary focus the welfare of Iraqis--above all, their "freedom" to elect whatever regime they wished, no matter how anti-American. Further sacrificing Americans to Iraqis, Bush and his subordinates imposed crippling "rules of engagement" (also supported by liberals) that place the lives of civilians in enemy territory above our soldiers. Our hamstrung troops in Iraq have not been allowed to smash a militarily puny insurgency; instead, they have been forced to suffer an endless series of deaths by an undefeated enemy, while Islamic totalitarians worldwide rejoice in our defeat.

One does not support our troops by sending them to fight wars of self-sacrifice and then thanking their corpses. The conservatives' call to "stay the course" in Iraq--or to add 20,000 troops to that course--is harmful to America and its troops because the mission has been conceived and conducted in defiance of American interests.

If the conservatives do not support our troops, then do the liberals? Absolutely not.

Observe that while liberals criticize the Iraq war for killing our troops, they propose no alternative policy that would protect America against Islamic totalitarianism and its state supporters, including the militant, terrorist theocracy of Iran. Liberals' only policy proposal is that we not take military action in Iraq or in any other country beyond Afghanistan.

Also see Washington's Make-Believe Policy on Iran by Elan Journo.

Related: Dead Ball.

UPDATE I: From Hot Air: Video: Troops tell Geraldo they support the surge. Notable comments from two different soldiers: "untie our hands" and "let us take the gloves off."

UPDATE II: From The Moscow Times: Iraq Closes Border Crossings With Iran, Syria for 72 Hours.

The U.S. military said Wednesday that the aim was to choke off the flow of weapons and foreign fighters into the country.

The flow will find another way if we don't stop it at the source.

UPDATE III -- Feb. 26: From FOX News: U.S.: Large Cache of Weapons Discovered in Iraq Traceable to Iran [added to list above].

Posted by Forkum at 04:32 PM

February 14, 2007

Must-See TV


This cartoon was posted one year ago during the height of the "cartoon jihad." And while the scene depicted in the cartoon is still far from a reality, there are people taking some important first steps:


The Secular Islam Summit will be held in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 4-5. Speakers include notable experts Ibn Warraq, Walid Phares, Amir Taheri, Nonie Darwish, and Irshad Manji, among many others. From the press release:

Where are the secular voices of the Muslim world? Until now, they have been largely stifled and silenced. Now, bold critics of orthodoxy are calling for sweeping reforms from inside Muslim societies. With the intent of catalyzing a global movement for reason, humanist values, and freedom of conscience, delegates from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Bangladesh will assemble March 4-5 in St. Petersburg, Florida for an unprecedented Secular Islam Summit (see www.secularislam.org).

According the chair of the meeting, the rationalist critic of Islam and acclaimed author Ibn Warraq, "What we need now is an Age of Enlightenment in the Islamic world, of the Islamic mind-set or worldview. Without critical examination of Islam, it will remain unassailed in its dogmatic, fanatical, medieval fortress; ossified, totalitarian and intolerant. It will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality; originality and truth."

Said one summit delegate, Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble with Islam Today, "This summit is proof positive that reform-minded Muslims are creating a movement. We no longer exist in isolation. Those who hate our message of free thought in Islam will keep trying to pick us off individually, but collectively we're not going anywhere except forward."

Glenn Beck along with others in the media will be covering the conference, which is being held in conjunction with The Intelligence Summit.

Hats off to our friend Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi who has helped organize this important event.

(The cartoon was originally posted on February, 2006, and is one of over 400 illustrations you'll find in our latest book Black & White World III, which can be ordered via Cox & Forkum, The Steyn Store, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.)

Posted by Forkum at 07:36 PM

February 13, 2007

Nuke Boost


From FOX News: North Korea Agrees to End Nuke Program.

North Korea agreed Tuesday after arduous talks to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its atomic weapons program, just four months after the communist state shocked the world by testing a nuclear bomb. ...

Under the deal, the North will receive initial aid equal to 50,000 tons heavy fuel oil within 60 days for shutting down and sealing its main nuclear reactor and related facilities at Yongbyon, north of the capital, to be confirmed by international inspectors. ...

If Pyongyang follows through with its promises, they would be the first moves the communist nation has made to scale back its atomic development after more than three years of six-nation negotiations marked by delays, deadlock and the North's first nuclear test explosion in October. ...

Making sure that Pyongyang declares all its nuclear facilities and shuts them down is likely to prove arduous, nuclear experts have said.

North Korea has sidestepped previous agreements, allegedly running a uranium-based weapons program even as it froze a plutonium-based one -- sparking the latest nuclear crisis in late 2002. The country is believed to have countless mountainside tunnels in which to hide projects.

Already before its adoption, the deal drew strong criticism from John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., who urged President Bush to reject it.

"I am very disturbed by this deal," Bolton told CNN. "It sends exactly the wrong signal to would-be proliferators around the world: 'If we hold out long enough, wear down the State Department negotiators, eventually you get rewarded,' in this case with massive shipments of heavy fuel oil for doing only partially what needs to be done."

Jule Crittenden has more.

UPDATE I: Claudia Rosett explains how Nuclear Blackmail Pays: "This deal is no achievement, and it won’t buy peace. It is tribute paid to a murderous tyrant, it is a complete betrayal of what America stands for. And it won’t work." She also has an article at The Weekly Standard about the many ways Kim funds his communist prison state: Cash for Kim.

UPDATE II -- Feb. 15: From Hot Air: Video: Bolton slams Bush over North Korea deal.

UPDATE III -- Feb. 17: Macker at Macker's World has turned this cartoon in to a radio commercial. Click here to hear. And it's not the first time (see the link).

Posted by Forkum at 04:42 PM

February 12, 2007

Rudy Giuliani


From The Boston Globe: Giuliani gets warm reception in Calif..

Rudy Giuliani went west over the weekend to learn whether his brand of Republican politics had a chance among party members significantly more conservative than he . By the time he had received a fourth standing ovation Saturday at the California Republican Party convention, the answer seemed clear.

Comparing the US fight against terrorism to the Civil War and the Cold War, Giuliani told about 750 of his party's faithful that failure in Iraq would turn that country into a "massive headquarters for terrorism."

"Having had a job where I didn't have any choice but to make a decision," said the former mayor of New York, "prepares you as best you can be prepared to be the president of the United States."

Asked in a subsequent news conference when he would formally announce his candidacy for president, Giuliani quipped, "If you go back to my speech, I think you'll find one. We'll figure out how to do it in five places so we'll get more attention."

As mayor during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Giuliani gained worldwide recognition for his leadership in the face of a tragic disaster, propelling the former federal prosecutor onto the national political stage.

Giuliani stands high in polls of Republican voters, but the Brooklyn-born son of a former convict has significant obstacles in his quest to become president.

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 07:46 PM

February 11, 2007

Funny Valentine


From FOX News: Ahmadinejad: Iran Won't Give Up Uranium Enrichment.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad struck a defiant yet vague tone on Sunday, telling Iranians during the 28th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that their country would not give up uranium enrichment but was prepared to negotiate. ...

While Iran insists it will not give up uranium enrichment, the United States and some of its allies fear the Islamic republic is more interested in enrichment's other application — creating the fissile core of nuclear warheads. Iran insists its program is peaceful and to generate electricity. ...

Ahmadinejad's comments Sunday were part of a speech that was broadcast live during nationwide rallies marking the 28th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians gathered at a Tehran square, chanting slogans including: "Death to America!"

UPDATE I -- Feb. 12: Iran is turning on the charm today, and no doubt people who want to believe their lies will, despite all evidence to the contrary. From FOX News: Iran Denies U.S. Charge That It Is Arming Terrorists in Iraq.

Iran on Monday rejected U.S. accusations that the highest levels of Iranian leadership have armed Shiite militants in Iraq with armor-piercing roadside bombs, a day after U.S. military officials in Baghdad said they had traced the weapons to Tehran.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a televised interview aired Monday that his country was opposed to conflict and bloodshed in Iraq and that problems in Iraq should be solved with dialogue, not the use of force. ...

The deadly and highly sophisticated weapons are known as "explosively formed penetrators," or EFPs, which have killed more than 170 troops from the American-led coalition. Three senior U.S. military officials in Baghdad said the "machining process" used in the construction of the deadly bombs had been traced to Iran.

Iran is trying to make it seem like these charges are new. But here are reports going back a year and a half indicating that weapons, explosives, and trained fighters are coming into Iraq from Iran:

Rumsfeld: Iraq bombs 'clearly from Iran' (CNN, August 10, 2005)
EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran? (ABC News, March 6, 2006)
Rumsfeld accuses Iran of troublemaking in Iraq (AP via Army Times, March 7, 2006)
Casey cites Iran hand in attacks by Iraqi Shiites (The Washington Times, June 23, 2006)
Barbero: Iran training Shiite insurgents (AP via Army Times, August 24, 2006)
Donkeys harboring weapons stopped at Iran-Iraq border (Army Times, November 2, 2006)
Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack (CNN, January 31, 2007)

UPDATE II: The White House is sticking to its charges while also reassuring Iran they have nothing to be concerned about. From FOX News: White House Stands by Iran Munitions Evidence, Plays Down Talk of Military Action.

The White House stuck to its guns Monday, insisting it had clear evidence that Tehran approved the shipment of weapons — including deadly bomb-making materials — to Shiite militants for use against U.S. forces in Iraq. At the same time, Press Secretary Tony Snow said critics are using the evidence presentation to try to "whip this up" into a story about the United States being on the verge of armed conflict with Iran.

UPDATE III: From VOA: Top American General Disputes US Military Claim on Iran.

UPDATE IV -- Feb. 13: From The Telegraph: Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran.

Posted by Forkum at 05:29 PM

February 08, 2007

Who Goes There


From CNN: Gunfire erupts on Israel-Lebanon border.

Lebanese army troops fired Wednesday on Israeli troops hunting for explosives along the Israel-Lebanon border, Lebanese army and Israeli military sources said. ...

Lebanese army sources said their troops fired at an Israeli bulldozer that had crossed the Blue Line into Lebanese territory in Maroun a-Rus about 10:30 p.m. There was an exchange of fire, they said, but there were no casualties on the Lebanese side.

The situation on the border is "very tense," the Lebanese sources said.

So the Israelis are trying to protect themselves from Hezbollah only to be fired at by the Lebanese army. Meanwhile, another report indicates that there are border violations that the Lebanese army doesn't mind. From FOX News: Israeli Official: Foreign Sources Arming Hezbollah, Hamas at Alarming Rate.

Hezbollah is presently receiving a "constant stream of armaments" from Syria, Iran and other foreign sources, senior Israeli officials said Tuesday, and the terror group is "preparing for violence" in an increasingly radicalized Middle East.

"They are getting all kinds of rockets, advanced anti-tank missiles, command-and-control systems, training, finance," an Israeli official said. Asked if the group has fully reconstituted back to where it was before the war in terms of military capability, the official said: "They are certainly on their way." ...

Enabling Hezbollah's rearmament, the official said, is the "open border" Lebanon shares with Syria, and the lack of "real teeth for enforcement" in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718, which established a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hezbollah war last August.

UPDATE -- Feb. 9: For the latest from inside Lebanon, read Michael J. Totten.

Posted by Forkum at 05:09 PM

February 07, 2007

Image Problem


This cartoon was originally posted on January 31, 2006, and is one of over 400 illustrations you'll find in our latest book Black & White World III, which can be ordered via Cox & Forkum, The Steyn Store, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

From Independent Online: Cartoon row goes to French cournt. (via Little Green Footballs)

The row over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed will be replayed in a French court next week when two influential Islamic groups sue a Paris satirical weekly for inciting hatred against Muslims by printing the caricatures.

The two Muslim associations aim to show that reprinting the cartoons was a provocation equal to anti-Semitic acts or Holocaust denial that are already banned under French law, Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Paris Grand Mosque, said on Friday.

The cartoons, originally published in 2005 in the Danish daily Jyllens-Posten, provoked violent protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East that left 50 people dead. Several European publications reprinted them as an affirmation of free speech.

The weekly Charlie Hebdo, which put out a special edition with the cartoons, argued religions are not beyond criticism and letting Muslims censor the media would curtail a basic right.

Zombie has the ultimate resource for this topic: Mohammed Image Archive.

And LaughYourHeadOff.com recently posted some Mohammed cartoons from a contest.

Posted by Forkum at 07:40 PM

February 06, 2007

What Goes Around


From The Jerusalem Post: Palestinians: We don't deserve a state. (via Little Green Footballs)

As the fighting between Fatah and Hamas continues in the Gaza Strip, many residents here said Saturday that they were concerned that the international community would turn its back on the Palestinians. ...

"Everyone here is disgusted by what's happening in the Gaza Strip," said Shireen Atiyeh, a 30-year-old mother of three working in one of the Palestinian Authority ministries. "We are telling the world that we don't deserve a state because we are murdering each other and destroying our universities, colleges, mosques and hospitals. Today I'm ashamed to say that I'm a Palestinian."

Ayman Abu Khalaf, a 40-year-old businessman, said he was seriously considering moving with his family to Jordan because of the growing state of anarchy and lawlessness in the PA territories.

"The situation is very dangerous and many people are afraid to leave their homes," he said. "I'm very worried about the safety of my children. There are many armed gangs and everyone is afraid. If the situation does not improve, I will take my family and go to Jordan. This is not the Palestine we want to live in."

Meanwhile, from AP: Hamas, Fatah Trade Fire at Gaza Border.

Hamas and Fatah security officials traded fire at Gaza's border with Egypt on Tuesday as Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh passed through on his way to reconciliation talks between his Hamas movement and the rival Fatah group in Saudi Arabia, witnesses said.

And from FOX News: Israeli Official: Foreign Sources Arming Hezbollah, Hamas at Alarming Rate.

[T]he Israeli military officer said, foreign sources are providing Hamas with anti-tank missiles, high-trajectory rockets and missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and their launchers, explosive devices and automatic rifles.

The armament of the Hamas commanders is "intensive" and "incessant," the officer said, and intended for use against both their Fatah rivals and the Israelis.

Posted by Forkum at 04:16 PM

February 05, 2007

Joe Biden


From FOX News: Sen. Joe Biden Expresses Regret Over Barack Obama Comments.

Sen. Joe Biden expressed regret Saturday for describing presidential rival Barack Obama as an articulate and clean African-American, trying to stem damage to his nascent 2008 campaign.

"So, how was your week?" Biden, D-Del., said as he took the podium at the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting. He broke into a wide smile and then a chuckle as audience members laughed. Then he turned serious.

"I want to say that I truly regret that the words I spoke offended people that I admire very much," Biden said. He said he was grateful for the chance to be judged by his story and to be heard in the presidential race.

Biden spent his first day as an official presidential candidate Wednesday explaining his statement that Obama is "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean."

Biden is one of nine candidates in the Democratic presidential race. All appeared for the first time at the same event this weekend for the DNC gathering, and the divisions began to show, particularly on the Iraq war.

From MSNBC: Biden prepares new bill on Bush war powers.

Democratic presidential contender Sen. Joe Biden said this week he’ll propose legislation that would put the Senate on record as telling President Bush he did not have authority to invade Iran or Syria.

But the Biden bill would also tell Bush, “You have authority under international rules to move in ‘hot pursuit’ to respond to direct attack,” Biden said ...

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 06:56 PM

February 04, 2007



From CNN last Monday: Bush vows firm response to Iranian military actions:

President Bush said Monday the United States "will respond firmly" if Iran escalates military action in Iraq and endangers American forces. But Bush emphasized he has no intention of invading Iran. ...

The United States accuses Iran of supplying terrorists and insurgents in Iraq with improvised explosive devices that have become the most lethal threat to U.S. forces. The Bush administration says it decided to take a tougher line with Tehran after months of evidence showing Iran was assisting anti-U.S. forces. ...

"If Iran escalates its military action in Iraq to the detriment of our troops and/or innocent Iraqi people, we will respond firmly," the president said. "It makes common sense for the commander in chief to say to our troops and the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government that we will help you defend yourself from people that want to sow discord and harm. And so we will do what it takes to protect our troops." ...

Bush told NPR he had no intention of going into Iran. "This is the kind of thing that happens in Washington," the president said. "People ascribe, you know, motives to me beyond a simple statement -- 'Of course we'll protect our troops.' I don't know how anybody can then say, 'Well, protecting the troops means that we're going to invade Iran."'

A few days later CNN reported: Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack.

The Pentagon is investigating whether a recent attack on a military compound in Karbala was carried out by Iranians or Iranian-trained operatives, two officials from separate U.S. government agencies said.

[An] said: "We believe it's possible the executors of the attack were Iranian or Iranian-trained."

Five U.S. soldiers were abducted and killed in the sophisticated attack by men wearing U.S.-style uniforms, according to U.S. military reports. ...

The U.S.-led coalition has said a preliminary investigation found links between the detainees and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which has provided funds, weapons, bomb technology and training to extremist groups in Iraq.

Despite the fact that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard "has provided funds, weapons, bomb technology and training to extremist groups in Iraq," Bush has already made a major capitulation to the Islamic totalitarian regime, saying he would accept direct talks with Tehran regarding Iraq on the condition that Iran stop pursuing nuclear capabilities. But this, apparently, is not enough of a capitulation for some. From CNN today: Former military chiefs urge talks with Iran.

Three former senior U.S. military officials warn that any military action against Iran would have "disastrous consequences" and urged Washington to hold immediate and unconditional talks with Tehran. ...

In a letter to London's Sunday Times newspaper, the three former U.S. military leaders said attacking Iran "would have disastrous consequences for security in the region, coalition forces in Iraq and would further exacerbate regional and global tensions," they wrote.

"The current crisis must be resolved through diplomacy," they said. ...

Washington broke ties with Iran in 1980. It has offered to hold direct talks with Iran but only once Tehran halts its drive to produce nuclear fuel through uranium enrichment.

Posted by Forkum at 05:00 PM

February 01, 2007

Un Memoriam


Save The 9/11 Memorial is the latest petition campaign aimed at ensuring the World Trade Center memorial appropriately honors the victims of 9/11. Why another petition drive? Current memorial plans will list most of the victims' names randomly. Of Mayor Bloomberg's plan they write:

Approximately 2,400 victims will be listed in "no discernible order," that is, visitors will see rows and rows of uninterrupted, evenly spaced names without ages. There will be nothing to indicate who they were, where they were and how they were connected to each other. ... None of the names will be in alphabetical order; they will appear random. ...

This, to us, is not how anyone in America viewed them, except perhaps, the terrorists who killed them.

The group proposes including additional information about the victims, such as ages and military ranks, and grouping them by corporate and institutional affiliations. I think such information will provide crucial context for a proper remembrance. Many of the victims died with their co-workers, and they were all murdered because they worked in American institutions like the Pentagon and Cantor-Fitzgerald, a single company that lost 658 people. The 9/11 attacks were an atrocity of such magnitude that it's difficult to comprehend how many people it affected. The added information on the memorial will help viewers better understand that individuals were murdered that day. You can sign the 9/11 Memorial Petition here.

For the latest news on the issue, go to Take Back The Memorial.

The following story sums up the controversy. From WCBSTV: Special Report: 9/11 Memorial Dispute Takes To Airwaves.

Victims' families angry over plans for a 9/11 memorial are officially taking their fight to the airwaves. A 60-second national television ad began airing Thursday morning that calls for changes to the way victims' names will be listed at the sacred site. ...

Edith Lutnick's brother Gary was one of more than 650 Canter-Fitzgerald employees who died on 9/11.

"Fifty years from now or 100 years from now if all this Memorial conveys to you is that a bunch of people died then the message is going to be lost," she said.

(There's another memorial that could provide guidance on this issue. The attacks of September 11 are often compared to the attack at Pearl Harbor. Most of the victims of the 1941 attack died on the USS Arizona, and the USS Arizona Memorial built over the wreckage features the alphabetized names and ranks of those who died, subdivided by Navy and Marines. All other victims are memorialized separately at the Remembrance Exhibit which, as described here, "pays tribute to the men, women and children, military personnel and civilians who were not on the USS Arizona that fateful morning, but whose lives were extinguished during the attack." Civilian names are subdivided by the location of their death. Furthermore, in the article Civilians died on Dec. 7, too, Park Ranger Jack G. Henkels explains why the memorial was updated to include the ages of the victims as well.)

UPDATE I -- Feb. 2: Thanks to Wes Mann at Investor's Business Daily for catching the typo in the cartoon, which is now fixed.

UPDATE II: It's even worse than I realized. Tim Sumner at Take Back the Memorial notes that even more will be left out of the memorial, such as the American flag and any mention of the date September 11, 2001.

UPDATE III -- Feb. 5: A must-read post at Take Back The Memorial: Who died in addition to the 343?.

Posted by Forkum at 05:07 PM