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Yep. Right on, Mark! So true and so pathetic what the USA has turned into. What a bunch of idiots in the Media that keep these inane political games and ploys front and center and gives them legs. If the Media wisened up and refused to cover these political shenanigans, I bet the candidates would knock it off.
I'm pretty sure that these immature political tactics only happen here in the USA and not in other countries. The USA is just way too babyish in temperament. Look how the Media covers the primaries and then the pre-election day campaigning as a horse race or a sporting event! He's up! He's down. He lost ground in Indiana but made up for it in North Carolina. Etc. So ridiculous!
Why don't the reporters stick to asking them questions on substantive issues like how they will fix the economy in recession, er, excuse me, in a downturn? Yeah, a downturn into another Great Depression! How will they solve the energy crisis as cheap oil is becoming scarcer and scarcer? How will they solve the growing food prices that will soon turn into a full-blown, worldwide famine?
Instead, the questions they focus on are about flag lapel pins, low bowling scores, being elite and not a shot drinking beer chugging blue-collar regular Joe, bitterness at what a sucky life we have and clinging to God and guns, and of course fiery sermons -- which I say is absolutely right on!
The chickens ARE coming home to roost! The USA DID deserve being attacked at 9/11 for what it has been doing to people around the world -- acting as the new imperial 20th and 21st Century Rome! It's no wonder the oppressed got fed up and finally retaliated the best way they could against the big, bad bully that Uncle Sam has turned into.
You are certainly right that the Media really is distorting what all the issues are about, when they're not focusing on completely irrelevant issues. The media has become another simple form of entertainment, focusing on scandals and all those fun things that the average American seems to enjoy so much. It's way easier to distract oneself than to focus on the real, big, scary issues like global warming, failing global economies, natural disasters, etc. Of course, the media also likes to make every little thing a huge story. "The stock market is the lowest it's been since 2007!" That was one year ago, but they try and market it like it's a huge historic moment. "Long Term" now seems to mean 3 to 6 months, not decades. It's like the media is looking for filler, even though there is enough environmental issues to fill every news broadcast every day. But that wouldn't fit the average American attention span, so the media creates a new scandal or fact-less speculation everyday. And since there aren't that many genuine scandals, they go to ludicrous relationships to keep the news stories going.
However, the USA did NOT deserve 9/11. The people who were killed in the attacks and their families are not the ones who were guilty, and it is ridiculous to blame them for the nation's mistakes. Even the media and those who are guilty still don't deserve that; nobody does, and it's not helping any of the world's problems to be supporting irrational violence.
We're heading for environmental disaster, economic meltdown, we've been in Iraq longer than we were in World War Two, and we're freaking out over what some guy's pastor says?
Man, do I ever miss John Edwards!
Old Italian Political Saying: The conductor changes, the music remains the same.
Couldn't agree more and I miss John Edwards a lot, but the corporate owned media decided they wanted a celebrity dog and pony show and that the real issues were not what this campaign was going to be about. Don't get me wrong, I'm for either Hillary or Obama over McSame, but it's really a shame that voters missed such an opportunity in Edwards for he brought out the real issues that affect Americans and it has to do with corporate power; fighting insurance companies, drug companies, and their lobbyist and preserving our protections in the Constitutions when it comes to consumer rights as well as seriously ending the occupation which none of these candidates really plan to do, but at least we have hope that they will compared to McSame.
Anyway, I'm happy to see another Edwards Democrat here on Mark's excellent site.
Funny. True as well
As usual, you hit it pretty spot on. Now, if only all the neo-confederates, "blue collar elitists", and "alleged" religious values voters will acknowledge their own "guilt by association" we can get past all the "fear" having a legitimate black candidate for president seems to have created among the "non-college educated", blue collar voters that are backing the two "white" candidates for president. Or better yet, maybe they will wake up and realize that those two "white" candidates are connected to the "old guard", status quo politics not by association, but by their own actions and political careers. Perhaps then we can refocus on the real issues at hand and be able to understand how the "least experienced' candidate is perhaps the "most likely" to effect change among the "old guard" politicians.....
Great cartoon, Mark!
I disagree that religion is the indicator of moral compass, nor does it define a moral code, especially not Christianity. Some of the most deplorable events in history have be committed at the "behest" of a god. Children have been sacrificed to please the Old Testament God. So many people that attend church regularly have connived, cheated, stolen and killed to the amazement of their pastors. Some of the most pious acting members of the Catholic Church have abused children. But on the other hand, all of us likely know someone that would worship a spaghetti monster sooner than they would any religion's god and have spent much of their time and money helping others, have lived a decent life and have behaved morally every day of their life. I would prefer to be led by someone who does the right thing for itself than someone who is doing the right thing because they believe they will be rewarded with a heaven, be it one with 72 virgins or not. Remember, those people who crashed planes into those buildings did so because their faith required it.
And IQ is a key factor in a person's electabilty. It shouldn't be the only one, they do need to be able to inspire, to communicate and to make us believe in the better good. I don't want someone who can convice people to do something, but is too stupid to think through any ramifications. And they need to be able to take advice from others.
I think nearly every person in the world knows someone who is unbalanced, immoral, a racist, a hater or is just not a nice person. Heck, most of us have someone like that in our family, be it distant cousin or sibling or parent. So following the line of thinking of the people clinging to Rev. Wright as an issue, there's probably nobody clean enough who can become our leader.
Since I can't inline a reply to every word, here are some of the worst offenders:
> ...especially not Christianity. Some of the most deplorable events in history have be committed at the "behest" of a god. Children have been sacrificed to please the Old Testament God. etc. etc.
That's tantamount to saying that science is rubbish because the Nazis experimented on the Jews. Or saying that America is rubbish because some of the early Americans were slave traders.
The bible deplores the act of human sacrifice. It spells out infanticide as the purest evil, in no uncertain terms. If people clearly contravene the laws of a religion to commit atrocities, firstly, how does this bode ill for the religion itself, and secondly, what better reason is there to rigorously ensure that a candidate's words match up with his/her actions?
Christians have also been marked for great acts of charity and bravery throughout the years, often venturing into places where no other aid organizations will go. The fact that religion is used as a guise for tremendous cruelty is a testament to the sheer power of religion rather than to any inherit evil. Not all of us are spiritually fulfilled eating, drinking, and listening to Britney Spears, as it appears some people are.
> But on the other hand, all of us likely know someone that would worship a spaghetti monster sooner than they would any religion's god and have spent much of their time and money helping others, have lived a decent life and have behaved morally every day of their life.
You throw around the spaghetti monsters and pink unicorns as though Christians somehow don't realize that people have worshipped everything under the sun. Ancient societies have worshipped far stranger things with greater fervour. The Bible has a lot to say about the flying spaghetti monsters. The joke's 6000 years old. Move on.
> I would prefer to be led by someone who does the right thing for itself...
So would I.
Have you even read the bible? (Scripture doesn't describe the afterlife as floating off to heaven for a free ride.)
> And IQ is a key factor in a person's electability.
'a' key factor. Not 'the' key factor. And we agree. (Although in Canada the last ivy-league-educated Prime Minister we had has gone down in history as an unmitigated disaster.) :P
If you're making the point that a person claiming to follow a religious doctrine doesn't actually have to follow it, you're perfectly correct. It's one of the reasons people come down so hard on these things. Still, having a religious moral code means that people can hold you to it. The code itself can't break down or degrade (as so many ad hoc moral codes do under pressure).
-Religion is a belief system where America or Science is not such a system. Also, the Nazi's invoke Religion as much as they did Science. The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther's book: On the Jews and their lies is a precursor to the 3rd Reich in which . Hitler borrowed heavily from this "theology". So one can place more blame on Religion than science using Religion as fuel and science as the means.
What civilization has benefited from Christianities "Charity" and "Courage"?
Religion's moral code does break down, it's called dogma. There are countless biblical laws that are obsolete and just plain ridiculous (Leviticus 19:20-22, Deuteronomy 22-25, and plenty more crap!) "Ohh its out of Context"! I don't know how many times I have heard that excuse. Christians cherry pick the moral codes out of the scripture.
Religion is very powerful but as the saying goes: absolute powers corrupts absolutely.
> Religion is a belief system where America or Science is not such a system.
Science is the study of repeatability. Although I am a research engineer by trade, I hold no grand delusions about the scope of scientific thinking. Questions that cannot be boxed into a hypothesis/experiment framework are automatically excluded from scientific understanding. Questions that do not admit infinitely repeatable results are also, by their nature, excluded. It isn't difficult to see why faith, miracles, and God can't fit entirely inside this limited framework. If they could, faith would be useless, miracles would be commonplace, and man would be able to command God to do whatever he wanted with the push of a button.
America, on the other hand, is a belief system. It is an experiment in freedom, with the belief that open democracy is the 'best' form of government. As of yet, not fully tested or validated. Sadly, if current trends of deficit financing and social decay continue, the experiment may yet fail.
> Also, the Nazi's invoke Religion as much as they did Science...
My point being that just because someone 'invokes' something doesn't mean that it's evil. And say what you will, the national socialists of Germany were an overwhelmingly secular party. In fact, many of the senior officers (including Himmler, second in command) were heavily involved in the occult.
> What civilization has benefited from Christianities "Charity" and "Courage"?...
What rock have you been living under?
We could go back five centuries and talk about the hospices of the Jesuit order (millions saved).
Or go back two centuries and talk about the Irish potato famine and the Puritans (hundreds of thousands saved).
Or go back one century to the establishment of modern social welfare under the pressure of 'Christian radicals'.
Or even consider Myanmar today, where World Vision (a Christian charity) has donated more money and more people to the relief effort than the whole of the U.S. federal government.
You might also have noticed that the Mustard Seed, YMCA, Salvation Army, etc., etc. have a bit of a Christian flavour to them. Even secular organizations like the Red Cross have their origins in Christian charity.
Name any time and any place, and I'll give you an example of charity and courage. Get out from under your rock, please, sir.
> Religion's moral code does break down, it's called dogma. There are countless biblical laws that are obsolete...
Some of the metaphors are obsolete, necessitating that people... I don't know... actually study the bible as opposed to reading it through like an Ikea instruction manual.
I'm running out of room in this post and an analysis of scripture isn't really relevant to Mark's toon, and so if you'd like to know more about all that 'crap', I'd welcome an e-mail at syonidv [A.T.] hotmail [D.O.T.] com.
It isn't right that scripture should be cherry-picked. And you should note that 'dogma' concerns adding worthless things to religion rather than the taking existing things away.
> Religion is very powerful but as the saying goes: absolute powers corrupts absolutely.
Here's another: "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." --Benjamin Franklin
"Or go back two centuries and talk about the Irish potato famine and the Puritans (hundreds of thousands saved)." -Champion
"In view of the fact that the potato is a pernicious substance whose use can cause leprosy, it is hereby forbidden, under pain of fine, to cultivate it." -16th century Besançon, France, on potatoes and how horrible these tools of the devil really are, even if you're starving and broke.
Eh, I think superstitious belief systems have sold arms to both sides of the Potato Wars.
I suspect that the peasants were probably scarfing down the spuds anyway. That, or the potato teetotallers wiped themselves out in the mass 'potato prohibition' suicides of the 16th century (that have left a stain on many a European history book).
We agree: dogma is bad. Bad dogma!
If you go digging for nutcases that try to sell people into ideas with no scriptural basis at all, you could probably do a lot better (worse?) than a potato ban.
In the 12th century, there were actual mass suicide cults--thousands of people in some cases--based on a guy spewing out some cobbled-together 'Christian' mishmash. His followers would subsequently throw themselves off of tall cliffs with the hope of getting to heaven a little sooner. Like a demonic game of 'Lemmings'.
You'd think at least one of 'em would have actually read the bible.
Sorry, Om Champion, but Christianity played a large role in Hitler's Germany. Hitler himself was a Christian and invoked Christianity in many speeches. (next time I'll get you a link)
That thing about Hitler being an occultist is a myth. In America, we didn't want to see Hitler's Christianity, so the myth was created about his religious leanings.
These historians would tend to disagree with you:
By all means, post your links. It's always good to get both sides of the story. I find it hard to believe that Christianity was a deeply intrinsic part of Nazi doctrinal thinking (given that Christ himself was a Jew and openly lived according to Jewish custom).
Supposing that it was, however, it's important to analyze how doctrine can be twisted to serve an evil end. The savage wolves coming among us, not sparing the flock and all. Nobody here's arguing against the need for vigilance. Case in Point: Wright's soapbox. And those words are being hurtled down straight from the pulpit. I suppose the more powerful a doctrine is, the more vigilant we must be.
Ah, but I draw dangerously close to digressing into the topic of the U.S. constitution being hacked up... :P
true. However religion is something that is, to an extent, open for interpretation. The fact that Hitler was christian and invoked his religion in many speeches, doesn't have much to do with Christianity itself, as much as it has to do with Hitler.
It is a shame that because of who you know you're put beside those people and that makes you as bad or guilty as they are. Can we prove Obama gave secret hate filled speeches or wore a mask while giving them?
If we are going to elect people to any position, by the people they are associated with elections will become a thing of the past. Judging candidates by the people in their past or today cannot be allowed while intelligent people can seperate them, others, will question the character of that candidate.
When deciding who will earn your vote character should not be the major reason for your decision. The work they have done and the work ethic is part of the thought process. The type of schools and grades they attended and received, what extra curricular activities did they participate in, is also to be taken into consideration. Have they published anything, if they did, how was it received by their peers, it will give a general view of their inteligent quotient.
Religion should be as important as their favorite Baseball team but, today it has become a point of need to know. Where does he or she worshiep, how many times a week, should not be a need to know but, it is. The spouses have been put under more scrutiny then in the past, I supposed it is important to know if the spouse can run the every day routine of the White House and then plan for any function that would take place.
Candidates have to realize they will be living in a fish bowl, their every move and every sound will be looked at, anylized and explained ten ways from Sunday. As the saying goes, Nothing is out of bounds.
> Can we prove Obama gave secret hate filled speeches or wore a mask while giving them?
This is more of an issue of general trust than GbA. It's a ridiculous accusation all the same.
> Religion should be as important as their favourite Baseball team but, today it has become a point of need to know.
Of course it's need-to-know. Morality isn't something voters cast aside because a candidate has policymaking experience and good academic credentials. Religion, in a powerful way, defines the moral code to which a candidate is openly committed. It is a statement on conviction (or lack of it), and a declaration of the principles and doctrines a candidate will turn to when tough decisions need to be made and 'intelligent' cases can be made for both sides.
The sum of human knowledge is trivial compared to what is needed to fully understand the ramifications of presidential-scale decisions. We muddle through as best we can. Education, eloquence, and experience are good qualifications of a leader, but the truly great leaders of nations have invariably possessed a strong moral compass to guide them. And faithful, dutiful adherence to a religion is a testament to the existence of this moral compass.
If you ask me, considering a candidate's IQ to be the key factor in their electability is ridiculously short-sighted. High IQ has about a zero correlation to leadership ability. (We'll make Bush the exception, since the poor man's IQ was officially tested at 92 [I suspect it's actually lower], and he's obviously a terrible leader.)
And to pre-empt the inevitable 'Well, Bush is a Christian and he...' wailin': Bush is Christian like major league baseball players don't use drugs. People seem to forget that it's remarkably easy 'practice' a religion without actually adhering to any of its tenets. That's largely why this 'religious vetting' process is needed.
A final note: I think the whole Rev. Wright thing is a smokescreen myself, but my understanding is that the people making a fuss over it are doing so because Obama has never clearly denounced Wright in front of a black audience. If he's done so, by all means post the URL. Wright's comments are so 'out there' that Obama saying anything less than 'I love the man, but he's nuttier than a rat in a catbox.' smells of pandering.
A lot of what Wright says is kind of bothersome, but a lot of it needs to be said as well. This is among the richest nations on earth and the level of poverty here is wrong. Not a whole lot is being done realistically to solve that issue. As I have advocated many times here and else where the only way to truely fix this travasty is to implement sweeping Socialistic programs. I will preempt the standard Keyensian reply that it is natural for poverty to occur in wealthy nations by saying that is just a statment to justify ones own preconceived notion and has nothing more than anecdotal evidence to back it up.
Also this nation claims to be among the most religous but all to often disobeys basic tennets of its most predominate faith. I see no problem with a teacher of that faith for critizing it on that topic. And all though I don't personally follow it, (I believe in the Invisible Pink Unicorn, blessed be her sacred hooves), it very much disturbs when people question the vaildity of different sects, ecspeally the cultist Glen Beck. I find his fixation with the issue very unsettling. And, no, i didn't just contradict myself, if you grew up where I did you'd find that assesment accurate.
You're speaking to a Canuck, man.
Preachin' to the choir, man.
We're all like... hippies and socialist bong parties up here, man. ;)
Well, not exactly. But you won't find Keyes thrown back in your face quite as often. :)
Actually, we've gone a little nuts on the other end of the spectrum. My tax dollars are paying panhandlers to stay off the streets. (Yes, seriously.) Trust me, you don't have to go too far down the socialist road before you start regretting it a bit.
I agree with you about America's (and who are we kidding, North America's) Christian laxity. Sadly, the bible predicts it too, including several milestones that have come and gone in recent years. :(
And although your logic eludes me as to how you didn't just contradict yourself, I'll trust you. ;)
(Even though you can never seem to remember if you're called 'Casey'.)
P.S. The 'out there' comments that I refer to are more along the lines of 'the U.S. created AIDS to infect blacks', etc. Please tell me that you at least believe that much is Nutty McFrootloops.
Sorry, this is a myth:
All social programs are being dismantled through privatization and de-ruglation. Those in power want you to think that so called welfare queens are driving Cadillac and that any socialistic principle will lead to Communism, but that kind of blatant McCarthyism is simply outdated. The market will not solve anything; that is also a myth. Keynes is right: Governments should work to solve problems in the short term rather than waiting for market forces to do it in the long term, because in the long term we will all be dead. that and we already have a socialism; it's called the police and the fire department. So seriously, that's not true and panhandlers are not staying off the street using yout tax dollars and taxes aren't the boogeyman. You might want to tell that to the tent cities springing up across this nation; Bill O'Reilly is a moron; people in France never complain about paying taxes and they have the best health care system in the world. We pay more taxes than they do, actally, for we are are drained of all our money for worthless junk insurance that doesn't come into effect.
This myth is being sold to you by those who want you to have a scapegoat so you won't see the Bear Stearns elite stealing your money in the night. The same people who lie to you about the Great Society being a failure. That is simply BS. LBJ's Great Society programs cut poverty in half, regardless of who wants to ignore it; it is a fact. So no, going down the road to socialism when it has to do with life or death issues is not a hope and a skip to Communism, no matter what kind of blatant McCarthyism is still running rampant in this country.
Oops, my bad. I read your comment too fast. You are a Canuck, but even still, I don't agree.
Of course what I said to you applies if you were talking about this country, so disregard that, though I still disagree with you.
The reason your country is having problems doesn't have to do with socialism, for your health care system is superior because of those principles; Canada is now trying to mimic the United states in it's failures by implementing a market solution to fix it's ills.
Our market solutions are nothing to behold; why do you think your currency overtake ours for awhile?
Anyway, sometimes I overreact because I hear that kind of "socialism is the devil!" speak to often in this country and that's simply not true.
I will concede that you can go overboard there, but only with complete redistribution of all wealth(but it's not too much to ask that Warren Buffet pay a higher tax rate than his secretary or that corporations pay U.S taxes or taxes in general rather than moving their accounts to the Cayman islands); not issues that have to do with life or death being health care or anything that has to do with well being, because no one should profit off of the detriment of people and market forces don't completely fix those kinds of problems as shown through history.
Anyways, sorry for misreading you at first, man.
These comments can be deleted, Mark. I should wait until I'm awake before posting, sometimes.
Sorry about deleting that "Casey" comment. I accidentally blew away a couple of other good comments that were related. D'oh!
And, yes, I'm guilty too, because I draw guilty people :-)
I shouldn't have linked my real comment to the idiot mistake I made by not paying attention to where the cursor was.
Your new cartoon makes me think of one of the protagonist's replies in the French film "Ridicule": after being ejected from the table during a fine diner, one of the guests told him something like, "Someone's character can be figured out by the types of connections he has!" The protagonist replied, "You are wrong. Judas had very good connections!"
Mark, you are guilty by association too, for you have drawn and animated the likenesses of the not so liked associates you mention. What relationship do you have with them? How do you know what they look like? What are you trying to hide? Yadda yadda yadda. Think about the children! Dibbity dibbity doo! Maybe I should get up and walk out of this Church; the Church of Mark Fiore's brilliant satirical work.
NEVER!!! :D Excellent job. This guilty by loose association thing has always been meaningless and you illustrated that quite well regarding recent events.
I just posted "Guilt-By-Association," the latest animation-- much of it created while watching last night's Hillary squeaker. Let me hear what you've got to say!
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