Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jenna Bush Leaves the Country

From the Washington Post:

Jenna Bush , the nation's most famous public-school teacher, is skipping the country and bidding a happy adios to the young-Washington social scene she once ruled. Uh-oh, what do we do now?

Friends say that the blond, younger-by-minutes First Twin has been quietly making plans over recent months to leave D.C. for a teaching job in Latin America, most likely around the end of summer.

Instead of Latin America, shouldn't she be headed to -- oh, I don't know -- IRAQ?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"The Daily Show" = Enemy of Democracy?

A recent study shows that college-age viewers of "The Daily Show" tend to be more cynical about politicians and the Media than non-viewers. Keep in mind, that's all their data shows.

Why, then, does the mainstream conservative Media conclude from this study that this effect is likely to lead to citizens deciding not to vote? Sure, the study's authors posited that as a possible outcome, but they also said the opposite -- increased voter participation, is just as likely. In other words, they have no idea what this study means. Yet the Media has been spinning it entirely in the negative, an action that pretty much validates our allegedly Jon Stewart-inspired cynicism.

Some alternative news sources have reported both possibilities. Oddly enough, one of those sources was Fox News. Of particular interest is one of their last lines, where they -- again, without even a trace of irony -- point out that The Daily Show is a "fake" news program.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Well, at least the Stalinists love us...

I wonder if anyone else is disturbed by a recent Seattle Times article...

But the atmosphere of goodwill during Bush's meeting with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel and other EU officials was tested when European reporters pressed Bush on widespread anti-American sentiment in Europe.

"I thought it was absurd for people to think that we're more dangerous than Iran," Bush snapped when asked, in general terms, about the poll results. His irritation grew when an Austrian reporter read him some specific poll numbers.

Now, the fact that Europeans view the U.S. as a threat to world peace is not actually the disturbing part (a fact which, in itself, is disturbing). Here's what disturbed me (emphasis mine):
[Bush] later flew to Budapest, Hungary, for another day built around his effort to explain the reasons for the Iraq war in the more politically friendly territory of post-communist Eastern Europe.

Does it disturb anyone else that this was written with a complete lack of irony?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Candorville on MySpace

In the hope of connecting even more with readers, long-lost friends, long-lost enemies and the NSA, I've set up a page on If your Myspace screen name is "rummy911," please stop trying to add me as a friend -- it's not gonna happen.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Will Ferrell on George Bush on Global Warming

Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was fascinating and scary, but this one's just a little bit funnier:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Reader mailbag - "Do you hate everything Bush does?"

A G.I. posted a comment on the blog from overseas, and for the benefit of our Stars & Stripes readers, I thought I'd answer it here, point by point.

Staff sergeant (name witheld) said...
Please don't mind me for being rather blunt, but do you hate EVERYTHING Bush does and try to twist it in a way to look bad?
Can you point out anything Candorville has presented as fact that wasn't true? Can you point out any specific incident of Candorville "twisting" something to make Bush look bad? When I comment on the Bush administration, I remind readers of the President's actions and promises. If he looks bad, it's not because of any twisting, its because his actions and unkept promises have not been good for the country.

Also, sometimes when your strips come out, the topic becomes old.
I accept blame for many things in life, but the nation's short attention span is not one of them. I remind people of what they'd rather forget, sometimes. That's why nearly a year later, Candorville still brings up Hurricane Katrina, and four years later Candorville continues to bring up the lies that led to the Iraq occupation. Our leaders would rather we forget. I'm not going to help them accomplish that goal. You should resent it when you're told that events don't matter because they're "old news." That's an intellectually lazy way to conduct a debate.

They don't go to that extent with spying such as the NSA guy writting on his notepad what Lemont says.
First of all, that's satire. Satire always exaggerates - everyone knows not to take satire literally. Secondly, how do we know that? A year ago, nobody thought they would go to the extent of wiretapping thousands of Americans, or of data-mining 200 million Americans. We have no reason to trust that they aren't violating the Fourth Amendment in other ways.

Have you ever thought what good the Pat. Act did? They caught bribes at the border, child abuse, lies, porn, and others.
And absolutely none of that has anything to do with terrorism. Placing an armed FBI agent in every American home would also produce positive results, but those results are not worth weakening our Bill of Rights protections. The Patriot Act allows the President to disregard the Bill of Rights -- the Bill of Rights, incidentally, along wih the rest of the Constitution, is what you (or at least your commanding officers and the Commander in Chief) are sworn to defend.

You also don't give repubs a fair chaance of sspeech, such as the Rep black guy sitting next to Lemont saying he's glad the USA Pat. Act is there because he might be a terrorist.
What's unfair about that? Again, it's satire. The man at the busstop represents Americans, such as yourself, who don't mind trading their hard-won civil liberties for a little more imaginary security.

Most importantly, shouldn't you only fear the Act if you've done something bad?
If our system were perfect, you would have a point. But no system is perfect, especially when it's being run by an administration with a history of breaking laws, locking up people who haven't committed any crimes, and violating the Constitution. They're trying to use the Patriot Act to go after reporters who expose government crimes, such as the leaking of an undercover CIA officer's name and the repeated violation of the Geneva Conventions. That is un-American.

The Stars & Stripes (I live overseas in the Army) is a cross of Rep. Dem. Independent, unlike the very liberal papers back home. It points out both pros & cons. on AFN we get Fox News, unlike the heavy heavy VERY heavy liberal CNN or CBS channels you watch or the New York Times and even 75% AP.
None of what you mentioned as "heavy heavy VERY heavy liberal" media is the least bit Liberal. They all supported the war, they all give room to people like Ann Coulter while denying it to people such as Greg Palast.

I myself am an independent but I don't see you give Repubs a fair shot at things. Hey, Over here there are naturalized US citizens from Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. who disagree with liberals at immigration (there are some who agree, however). I would like to point out that S&S got some liberal workers so now I get your Strip (started in Oct 02, 2005) along with other unfair stuff.
My job isn't to be "fair and balanced," my job is to tell the truth as I see it. If the Republicans in Congress start looking out for the average American and the President starts fulfilling his promises and stops violating the Constitution, I'd be more than happy to talk about that. In the meantime, I'm going to cover it when people do things they're not supposed to do, whether they're politicians, thugs, bosses, whatever. Pointing out wrongdoing and injustice is the purpose of social and political satire.

You also downgrade those in the Army, even to those enlisted before the war started. You said we're hopeless in a number of strips and we're doing the wrong thing. Well guess again. Zarqawi was killed, a dictator was overthrown, women have hope and we've even stopped some more hijackings. People die in war, and that's just that. They didn't die in vain (at least those who supported the war) and I'll be wrong if we lose. Bush's popularity has risen, why not include that in a future strip? Even Demos gave him a break (some)!
I haven't "downgraded" anyone in the Army. Can you point out a single Candorville strip that ridiculed enlisted men and women, or even officers or generals? Candorville has never lampooned anyone other than the civilian leadership. Even in the case of Abu Ghraib, Candorville made it clear that those who set the torture policies were to blame, not the troops who carried them out. The troops deserve better, more honest leadership than the Bush administration is providing. You deserve to have leaders who don't order you to invade and occupy a country that didn't attack us and had nothing to do with 9-11. You deserve leaders who don't order you to torture prisoners, and who don't create conditions that lead to an insurgency, which in turn leads to a few soldiers predictably snapping and committing atrocities like the Haditha massacre. The responsibility for all this lies at the feet of the people who ignored generals who asked for more troops, who ignored all the doubts about the intelligence and who presented that intelligence as iron clad - a lie that led directly to the current war. Dont' let anyone tell you that criticism of the President is anywhere in the same ballpark as criticism of the troops. There's nothing but support for the troops in this country, and increasingly condemnation for the civilian leaders who led the troops into this quagmire.

About Zarqawi, Bush could have had Zarqawi killed in 2003 in Northern Iraq. He didn't, because that would have robbed him of a reason to invade Iraq. All the deaths, beheadings and chaos Zarqawi started wouldn't have happened. And had Bush not decided to invade and occupy Iraq, Zarqawi never would have had the opportunity to wreak havoc. You're asking me to praise the President for cleaning up a mess he created.

So all I've said, would you please take it to mind?

PS, this isn't personal, but I just wanted to know: Do you approve of the ACLU (or at least some things). And also, I'm not against all liberals, in fact, you shouldn't be too conservative that you don't help! And last but not least: what do you think of independents?

An American Soldier.
I think most self-described "independents" are closeted Republicans. That's why they spend most of their time defending conservatism and Republicans, and complaining about "liberals" and the "liberal Media." And yes, I approve of the ACLU, who do nothing but defend the Bill of Rights in court. They defend anyone, Left or Right. All Americans who value their civil liberties should approve of the ACLU.

Even Rush Limbaugh probably does, these days.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Don't forget to vote for Candorville

All votes have to be in to the Post-Dispatch by today, so if you want to see the strip in the Post-Dispatch, you have to vote now by sending an e-mail to

You don't have to write anything moving or eloquent. If you don't have much time, you can just write one word: "Candorville."

Friday, June 02, 2006

St. Louis readers - vote for Candorville!

St. Louis readers, now's your chance to get Candorville into your paper permanently (well, as "permanently" as any comic strip, which in newspaperspeak means "until the next comics poll"). For the past few months, the Post-Dispatch has been trying out a few strips to see which will replace The Boondocks while it's on hiatus. Candorville just finished running, and now it's time to vote. THIS MONDAY, the P-D will give readers a chance to register their vote by e-mailing the Post-Dispatch between now and June 11.

Candorville stands a good chance if you vote, and an even better chance if you get your friends, family, enemies, and maybe even your pet dog to vote (assuming he reads the paper). If you have any friends who also liked Candorville, you can all get free signed copies of the first Candorville book, "Thank God for Culture Clash," if you e-mail the P-D asking for Candorville (you must add my e-mail address - - to the "bcc" or "cc" field to prove that you've sent it) -- provided Candorville wins. If you already have the first book, I'll send you the second one, "Another Stereotype Bites the Dust," when it's published this Fall.