Cartoon for January 17, 2009

No one fears for the future of our once-great, now collapsing, country more than me. But if everything falls apart, Americans certainly won’t be able to claim it came out of nowhere.

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23 Responses to “Cartoon for January 17, 2009”

  1. Timo Says:

    Look at the bright side Ted, this is our chance to be a part of the Next Greatest Generation! 🙂 15+ years of unrelenting crap raining down upon us.

    Survivors will get a plastic medal and a t-shirt “I survived the Great Smackdown”. Trust me, it will be all good by maybe as soon as 2028! (that is, for the unborn children).

  2. Timo Says:

    Look at the bright side Ted, this is our chance to be a part of the Next Greatest Generation! 🙂 15+ years of unrelenting crap raining down upon us.

    Survivors will get a plastic medal and a t-shirt “I survived the Great Smackdown”. Trust me, it will be all good by maybe as soon as 2028! (that is, for the unborn children).

  3. Jesus X. Crutch Says:

    It’s apparent that many Americans believe that this nation will forever be pre-eminent in the world, never to be called to account for it’s actions or those of it’s proxy states. But it may or may not happen in our lifetimes, there are consequences to all actions and a reckoning is inevitable.

  4. Greg Says:

    A sentiment I’ve heard, “We have elected Obama and thereby made amends to the world.”

    Not good enough.

    When has a year passed when someone with real authority and legal obligation stopped the Bush Regime?

    2000: Election fraud and an overly helpful Supreme Court and Congress.

    2001-2002: Gross incompetence and violating the civil rights of thousands of people who have Middle Eastern-sounding names. Congress? Supreme Court?

    2003: Bush should have been impeached for attempting to start a war of aggression.

    2004: How about the UN stepping in? They did! with blue-helmeted Brazilian jack boots to “restore order” after we kidnapped Haitian President Aristide. Hey, they’re still “restoring order” to this day!

    2005: Bush’s “reelection” was a fraud, but this is not investigated by Congress until after he was sworn in.

    2006-2009: On-going war crimes, violating the Constitution. Impeachment? On the table? Hmm?

    How bad does an elected official or a political party have to be before you take some small action? I live L.A. County with 13 million people. Maybe 8 million possible voters. 2008? about 2.6 million showed up. And anti-war protesters? I’ve seen about a maximum of 50,000 (though the LA Times reported 500 to 1500 that time) out of the same population.

    So, about 5 million or so Americans are carrying their own weight as citizens. As for the rest of you drags-upon-justice sheeple, you would have made great East Germans.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    “…As for the rest of you drags-upon-justice sheeple, you would have made great East Germans.”
    – Greg

    It’s always like this; the tiny miority of politically-conscious people trying to push the rest into doing the right thing against the backstabbing a$$hole governments and their corporate sponsors…you have to admit, however, that the DDR had a great anthem.

    – Strelnikov

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Hi,

    I like this idea – but here is another take:

    two panels
    two arms sticking up out of the rubble one on each side
    one thought ballon
    We shouldn’t have been bombed for what our government did

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Hi,
    Please add to last comment.
    One panel is 9/11 Ground Zero
    One panel is Gaza

  8. Angelo Says:

    Hey Incitatus,

    I just got back from Germany. They are now more developed than we are.
    Do you really think Mt. Pelerin and the Chicago School are responsible for this?

    Also, do you believe too much planning is the problem in Argentina and Brazil? No one is still making the argument that less planning leads to economic development. That wave came and went.

    Ditch that rubbish already. We should look at is the one that actually raised the US from our last depression.

    Remember, Hayek was against doing anything about the Great Depression. He failed to foresee that liquidationism does not necessarily lead to a redeployment of that wealth into the economy. Even though he was from Austria, he could not foresee very obvious problems, like, say, capital flight. That is why Hoover regretted taking his advice and doing nothing about the depression.

    I doubt that economists like Hayek are sincere in their naive belief that international capitalists will do what is best for the country.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    >Trust me, it will be all good by maybe as soon as 2028! (that is, for the unborn children).

    Timo-
    They’re born aleady, mine’s 2 years old. If stuff keeps going like this for another 10 years, I’m gonna feel like a total schmuck telling her how easy my life was when I was her age…

  10. Aggie Dude Says:

    Hi Ted,

    I have to voice my extreme opposition to this tack of blaming the nation as a whole in such a personal manner. The individual German citizens who suffered enormously because of the TRAGEDY of World War II did not deserve the terror that Hitler imposed on them, and did not deserve the brutality that foreign occupiers imposed on them either.

    The droves of widowed young mothers and teenage girls who were gang raped and shipped off to Soviet gulags to be used as sex slaves merely for being in the way of the Red Army as it marched across East Prussia, Poland and Germany did not “have it coming.” And it is absolutely disgusting to see a well educated, well informed person like yourself who claims to be compassionate and progressive making such an adolescent and nationalistically simplistic argument. It is a ‘total war’ mentality that labels people with guilt by association.

    I think of a single mother I know, dealing with the pain of being molested and raped as a child, trying to raise and protect her two preteen daughters (she voted for Obama, by the way). This woman is doing all she can just to get by, and doesn’t have the luxuries you and I do of a profession that affords us the opportunity to explore deeper meanings of events. Is she guilty by association of her citizenship? Do her children deserve the fate of hundreds of thousands of German girls in 1945? Did their abuse assuage the crimes committed by the government of the country they happened to be born in?

    I think it’s shallow, narrow, and lacking in basic human compassion to make the argument that an entire country “had it coming.” Would you also execute the mother of a murderer because she obviously did something wrong in raising her child to be a murderer?

    Ted says “No one fears for the future of our once-great, now collapsing, country more than me.”

    I’ve read your material for years, and I don’t get the sense that fear enters the equation with you.

    I think it’s a thin line to walk between satire and ugly cynicism, and it sends shivers through me when I see someone make the claim that an entire group of people “had it coming,” just as it makes me shiver when I hear someone talk about a person or group of people “knowing their place” or being “put in their place.”

    Of course events don’t come from nowhere, but sometimes I get the feeling that liberals in America feel vindicated and validated by tragic events. I know this because I definitely have that sensation of “it’s about damn time.” Though, I fight against it.

  11. Aggie Dude Says:

    Hi Ted,

    I have to voice my extreme opposition to this tack of blaming the nation as a whole in such a personal manner. The individual German citizens who suffered enormously because of the TRAGEDY of World War II did not deserve the terror that Hitler imposed on them, and did not deserve the brutality that foreign occupiers imposed on them either.

    The droves of widowed young mothers and teenage girls who were gang raped and shipped off to Soviet gulags to be used as sex slaves merely for being in the way of the Red Army as it marched across East Prussia, Poland and Germany did not “have it coming.” And it is absolutely disgusting to see a well educated, well informed person like yourself who claims to be compassionate and progressive making such an adolescent and nationalistically simplistic argument. It is a ‘total war’ mentality that labels people with guilt by association.

    I think of a single mother I know, dealing with the pain of being molested and raped as a child, trying to raise and protect her two preteen daughters (she voted for Obama, by the way). This woman is doing all she can just to get by, and doesn’t have the luxuries you and I do of a profession that affords us the opportunity to explore deeper meanings of events. Is she guilty by association of her citizenship? Do her children deserve the fate of hundreds of thousands of German girls in 1945? Did their abuse assuage the crimes committed by the government of the country they happened to be born in?

    I think it’s shallow, narrow, and lacking in basic human compassion to make the argument that an entire country “had it coming.” Would you also execute the mother of a murderer because she obviously did something wrong in raising her child to be a murderer?

    Ted says “No one fears for the future of our once-great, now collapsing, country more than me.”

    I’ve read your material for years, and I don’t get the sense that fear enters the equation with you.

    I think it’s a thin line to walk between satire and ugly cynicism, and it sends shivers through me when I see someone make the claim that an entire group of people “had it coming,” just as it makes me shiver when I hear someone talk about a person or group of people “knowing their place” or being “put in their place.”

    Of course events don’t come from nowhere, but sometimes I get the feeling that liberals in America feel vindicated and validated by tragic events. I know this because I definitely have that sensation of “it’s about damn time.” Though, I fight against it.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    “I have to voice my extreme opposition to this tack of blaming the nation as a whole in such a personal manner. The individual German citizens who suffered enormously because of the TRAGEDY of World War II did not deserve the terror that Hitler imposed on them, and did not deserve the brutality that foreign occupiers imposed on them either.

    The droves of widowed young mothers and teenage girls who were gang raped and shipped off to Soviet gulags to be used as sex slaves merely for being in the way of the Red Army as it marched across East Prussia, Poland and Germany did not “have it coming.” And it is absolutely disgusting to see a well educated, well informed person like yourself who claims to be compassionate and progressive making such an adolescent and nationalistically simplistic argument. It is a ‘total war’ mentality that labels people with guilt by association.”
    – Aggie Dude

    You forget that many of these women and girls were in Nazi “Womens’ Auxillaries” and female arm of the Hitler Youth, the “League of German Girls” (aka the BdM.) You forget that German women worked in the female sections of concentration camps, overseeing (inmate) female barbers who shaved the hair off Jewish women and others so it could be processesed into socks for U-boat (submarine) crews. When they had nothing to do with the NSDAP or the Holocaust, women were increasingly working in war factories after 1941 while BdM members assisted Hiter Youths in running anti-aircraft guns, operating searchlights, or operating switchboards for the Luftwaffe (Air Force) as part of the German air defense network from 1942-45. Unlike in Fascist Italy or Vichy France, people could not avoid having something to do with the war in Germany. I don’t think these women deserved to be raped or murdered after suffering rape, but it was a “Totalekreig” in the East and many of the Soviet soldiers had seen entire villages burned to the ground in the Ukraine and Belorussia, or had survived Stalingrad, or the massive battle at Kursk. (Very few Red Armymen had survived from 1941 to 1944; most of the victors had been drafted in 1942-44.) Because the Red Army lacked battlefield psychiatrists, many if not most of the 1944-45 frontline Soviet soldiers were mentally or emotionally disturbed; theft, brutality against the East Prussian population, and murder of captured German or Axis satellite POWs were other problems faced by officers in that army. Some handled it well, others let it go on as a reprisal for the damage the Wehrmacht had done to the USSR. So the issue is not one of black and white but shades of gray.

    – Strelnikov

  13. Aggie Dude Says:

    Look, Strelnikov, I’m not going to tolerate this sort of “there are two sides to the story” argument. I’ve heard it too many times in justifications and dismissiveness over things like Mi Lai.

    You know the point I’m making, you just want to have something to say in response.

  14. Angelo Says:

    aggie fumed:
    “It is a ‘total war’ mentality that labels people with guilt by association.”

    No one forced you to stay here and pay taxes and otherwise support the war machine, aggie. It is not mere “association” that makes you guilty.

  15. Aggie Dude Says:

    “No one forced you to stay here and pay taxes and otherwise support the war machine, aggie. It is not mere “association” that makes you guilty.”

    Not everyone who suffers pays taxes, for one. The most likely to suffer usually don’t (children).

    The main point of Strelnikov’s ‘response’ is this line…
    I don’t think these women deserved to be raped or murdered after suffering rape, but…

    So he agrees. My point was that these people didn’t “have it coming,” even the members of the military I’d argue. The people who were ultimately responsible, and truly “had it coming” were the LAST to actually suffer, if they did at all.

    Strelnikov suggests that this is a gray area and I’m making it black and white. I think that’s an incorrect assessment. It IS a gray area and I think Ted is improperly making it black & white.

    It isn't that reprisal doesn't or won't happen, it's that it is not justified and doesn't exist under a legal framework. Anyone who gets in the way is victimized, and then people try to acquit the perpetrators by saying they were psychological damaged, or temporarily insane due to wartime conditions, or just drunk.

    Those are EXPLANATIONS, they are not JUSTIFICATIONS. If you're going to claim there is something wrong with what I said, or my logic, at least argue the point on the same turf.

    I claim Ted's logic for this piece is adolescent, barbaric and narrow. That's all.

    Angelo, my inability to force a different set of behaviors on the US government is not a reason for me to exile myself from the country.

  16. Incitatus Says:

    BTW, Aggie, great comment on the Soviet Army march to the sea, I mean, through to Berlin. Total war is always a disgrace, no matter how “evil” the other side is later portrayed by official historians.

  17. Aggie Dude Says:

    Point well taken Incitatus, thank you. One of the worst offenses I have seen against the idealism of the United States since World War II is how American foreign policy has moved toward a “no innocents on the other side” mentality. And the comical irony is that Bush campaigned in 2000 on restoring compassion to conservative values. There is absolutely NO compassion in the way many Americans view our ‘final solution’ to the world out there. Overtly annihilationist rhetoric goes unchecked a lot of times. It makes me angry, actually, that an entire nation of people who really have not experienced the random brutality of war inflict it with such indifference (or worse, passionate intrigue) on anyone who gets in the way. It’s sickening.

  18. Aggie Dude Says:

    Point well taken Incitatus, thank you. One of the worst offenses I have seen against the idealism of the United States since World War II is how American foreign policy has moved toward a “no innocents on the other side” mentality. And the comical irony is that Bush campaigned in 2000 on restoring compassion to conservative values. There is absolutely NO compassion in the way many Americans view our ‘final solution’ to the world out there. Overtly annihilationist rhetoric goes unchecked a lot of times. It makes me angry, actually, that an entire nation of people who really have not experienced the random brutality of war inflict it with such indifference (or worse, passionate intrigue) on anyone who gets in the way. It’s sickening.

  19. Angelo Says:

    “Angelo, my inability to force a different set of behaviors on the US government is not a reason for me to exile myself from the country.”

    How many thousands of dollars do you suppose you have donated to the US military, Aggie?

    Can you say your donations to your victims even comes close?

  20. Angelo Says:

    “Angelo, my inability to force a different set of behaviors on the US government is not a reason for me to exile myself from the country.”

    How many thousands of dollars do you suppose you have donated to the US military, Aggie?

    Can you say your donations to your victims even comes close?

  21. Aggie Dude Says:

    Funny, Angelo, how you choose to target me with that argument and not Ted, who is older, more wealthy (and therefore contributes more in taxes), and has a job that affords him the ability to move out of the country. And yet it is up to little ol’ me to bear the burden of US government action? That’s a silly argument, I’m not even going to challenge it.

  22. Incitatus Says:

    Angelo,

    Aggie hasn’t “donated” any more money to the Pentagon than he has “donated” to welfare recipients. It’s not a donation, nor a moral act for which you are personally responsible, if that money is forcibly extorted from you a priori.
    I know most of you are not with me in dreaming of a free market, minimal state utopia, but what about a future where all large scale expenditure, be it “defense” or “welfare” would be submitted to instantaneous electronic referendum? Then you could be held really accountable.
    Direct electronic democracy: I think Arthur Clarke predicted that, actually. Sounds good enough for me.

  23. Aggie Dude Says:

    Incitatus,

    You may not believe me, but I have also dreamt of a free market, minimal state utopia, with a tax system that is itemized (actually France does have an itemized tax system) and expenditures voted on through referendum as citizens explicitly state what they will and will not pay for.

    But, I have also dreamt of a system of democratic socialism (I consider myself a ‘social libertarian,’ we can have a drink sometime and I’ll explain it to you), where the strength of a state that ensures the rights and privileges of all citizens, and attends to the security of all citizens (health, economic, property, personal) provides those citizens with the empowerment and freedom to be true entrepreneurs without fear of destitution if their innovations are not accepted by the market.

    As a realist I have come to accept that neither system is happening anytime soon, and like everyone else make the best decisions I can based on what I perceive real outcomes to be. UNLIKE someone like Rush Limbaugh, I do not want my political opponents to fail simply because I don’t agree with their ideological stance. It’s only that I believe that pragmatism and non-ideological evaluation of outcomes is the best judge of sound policy.

    My critique of the first system (we’ll call it your utopia), is that it puts the cart before the horse. It misunderstands the institutional roots from which personal freedoms and liberties are derived. They are not derived from a free market, but from a government structure that has the legal authority to intervene and impose and act against other private citizens or institutional actors on behalf of the rights of its own citizens. Minimizing the role of this state is a valid argument, but not at all costs. There are some things that truly should be handled by the state, and I’m willing to bet my list of what those are is longer than yours. That’s fine, that’s where citizens negotiate in good faith on the merits of government programs. However, anything that is deemed ‘a right’ of citizens under the law, should at least be heavily regulated by the state to ensure that citizens’ rights are maintained. The market is neither democratic, moral, nor beholden to respond to anything except EFFECTIVE demand (desire + capital; demand alone is not sufficient, the market discriminates against those without money). Further, the market is always embedded in social systems that don’t operate strictly off of rational economic theory. It’s not that this is good or bad, it is that this is a fact. Left to its devices, a non-state market evolves into a feudal system, which is PRECISELY what the architects of 18th Century economic thought were trying to move away from.

    It’s important to understand that there’s practically no difference between a nation-state and a multinational corporation. Only the power to defend its interests.

    I’ll leave the critique of my utopia to you, because I’m sure I wouldn’t say anything you haven’t heard. The critique of socialism is self-evident in the 20th Century.

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