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Ted Rall and Michelle Malkin get into blogging tiff

According to E&P editorial cartoonist Ted Rall and conservative Michelle Malkin got into a bit of a tiff on their blogs as Malkin called a recent Ted cartoon a “troop-bashing tantrum.” See the cartoon here.

In her blog post she writes:

Unhinged cartoonist Ted Rall is throwing another troop-bashing tantrum. Normally, I would not feed this troll. But I agree with Noel Sheppard that this has to be the worst of the worst. Click for larger image-and make sure you do it on an empty stomach:

Rall is beyond contempt. He has accused our troops of being murderers for Halliburton, mocked soldiers as sexual deviants, and derided the late Pat Tillman as an “idiot” and “sap”. Now, all in one cartoon, he shows his naked contempt for the very traits of the American soldier that helped give birth to this country and secured it for 231 years: willingness to sacrifice, faith, courage, respect for the commander-in-chief, and determination to complete their mission.

In defense, Ted posted this on his blog (you may have to scroll down to the post entitled: Why I Don’t Care):

Saturday’s cartoon “Profile of a Suicide Bomber” prompted pro-genocide, fascist racist blogger Michelle Malkin to launch into one of her whiny pro-censorship tirades. It’s a fairly straightforward cartoon; I was reading a list of character traits ascribed to Muslim suicide bombers and was taken by the obvious similarities to traits required to serving in the military: blind obedience to authority, religiosity, etc. Both the suicide bombers and the soldiers are victims of a vicious con: die for someone else’s benefit, without questioning whether the sacrifice is worth it (which, in the case of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, it isn’t).

Sigh. That’s all I can say.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Lester
July/24/2007
@ 3:15 pm

That Ted Rall and I have had our moments is well known in the AAEC circles but my defense of and our soldiers defense of his right to sedition is unquestioned. Then I came across this little number :

http://www.cafepress.com/tedrall.25523550

If you can’t read it: ‘SUPPORT OUR GOON” trucker hat.

Anti-Americanism takes on a whole new definition w/ the “hawking” of anti-soldier merchandise. It’s called “capitalism”.

Mike Lester

#2 DT
July/24/2007
@ 3:48 pm

In the words of “Everybody Loves Raymond”‘s Marie Barone: “Unfortunately, this is America…”

#3 Carl Moore
July/24/2007
@ 3:55 pm

Ted Rall is that scourge of the cartoon world – a no-talent, leftist hack.

#4 brian
July/24/2007
@ 4:01 pm

Wow. He’s really losing it now. Can you imagine if the safety of your kids depended on someone like Rall.

I’ll have to let my friends in the service know that they don’t need to worry about who they are – Ted can tell them.

Imagine if he could actually draw?

#5 Jeff Koval
July/24/2007
@ 4:27 pm

Doesn’t Ted Rall know anyone in the service? I have friends who are, including one in Iraq, and despite my political views, I would never write such a tactless cartoon. Maybe Ted doesn’t have any friends to care about.

#6 Rick Stromoski
July/24/2007
@ 4:56 pm

It’s most unfortunate that we reserve our outrage over what a cartoonist draws versus properly directing it to the incompetent war profiteers that conjured up this fiasco.

I think Ted Rall has a point. That the same allegience to cause, blind obedience to authority, belief that a diety is on your side and a willingness to die for the policies innacted by others can be found in both sides of a conflict. Soldiers are not allowed to think. An Army couldn’t function if they did.

War is a Racket

by Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient:

Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC [Retired]

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

#7 Larry Rabb
July/24/2007
@ 5:06 pm

Thanks for the link to the trucker hat. I just bought one!

#8 brian
July/24/2007
@ 5:26 pm

Wow. Sad. Really sad. Lot’s of disturbed people out there.

#9 Charles Brubaker
July/24/2007
@ 5:45 pm

I have differences (and even objections) with Rall’s cartoons sometimes, but to me, though, supporting a war that just make things worse is equally offensive as, in this case, bashing troops.

#10 Rich
July/24/2007
@ 7:46 pm

It’s not really fair to say that our troops don’t think things through. On the job, they follow orders, but they are not unthinking nor uncaring … the fact that they choose to serve is often because they care very much. Their cause is not religious zealousness so that comparison is not fair either. The ones I’ve spoken with do tend to believe very much in a cause, but it has to do with the ideology of freedom and many of the nobler principles of this country. That their politicians are often misguided really isn’t their fault.

Ted Rall certainly has the right to espouse any position he would like, but likewise others have the right to agree or disagree with it. I’m amazed that he acts so surprised that his view can be challenged. I don’t see anything in Malkin’s argument that suggests censoring Rall, only that it was beyond contempt. Rall jumped into personal attacks, but Malkin’s only attack was to say Rall was unhinged. She seems to be the more reasonable one of the two … by far … in my opinion.

#11 Mike Witmer
July/24/2007
@ 8:37 pm

Speaking as someone who spent a good portion of time serving for the military, I find it a little ill-informed and near-thuggish to take aim at the American military soldier. Sure, say what you want about the government. Say what you want about the President or the folks on The Hill calling the shots.

But the fact of the matter is this: Some soldiers joined the military because they believe in the country. Some joined because it was an alternative to four years of college. Some joined because they knew they had to get out of whatever situation they are in. But the bottom line is this: ALL of them signed a contract to blindly follow orders. They go where they’re told or they go to jail…plain and simple.

I’m sure none of them want to be in this situation any more than we want them over there. I don’t support the war. But I DO support our troops. When someone says “Support Our Troops” I don’t see it as a call to support the cause. I see it as way to say “good luck and come home safe.”

So, to Mr. Rall and the rest of the camo bashers out there, I’d say this: Put the sites of your angst rifle on the right target.

#12 Eric Burke
July/24/2007
@ 9:29 pm

Mike, great points, great post.

I manage a large vitamin store and help soldiers that have just come home several times a week, as well as having a few friends/aquantinces that have served. Most didn’t want to go, most don’t want to go back, but all were/are willing to fulfill their obligation.

That “Support our Goons” hat is one classless piece of crap…

#13 JeffM
July/24/2007
@ 10:39 pm

Ted Rall hasn’t had anything worth saying in a long time. Someone above said it best, he is just a leftist hack.

The ironic thing about leftist is they take advantage of the rights won and protected by the same people they hate. I think leftist would be better served under leftist regimes they so admire. Their right to freedom of expression protected under the 1st Amendment would all but disappear.

Would Castro or Kim Jong allow them the creative freedom to criticize their governments? I think not. One day in one of these leftist utopias and they would be crying like the whiny little children they already are, begging to come home.

#14 JeffM
July/24/2007
@ 10:44 pm

BTW, that cartoon is disgusting and not even worth the newsprint it’s printed on. Hey Ted, Matt Groening called. He wants his style back.

#15 JeffM
July/24/2007
@ 10:52 pm

Wow, Ted is clueless isn’t he. Last time I checked, secularist governments like the former Soviet Union, China, Kampuchea, Cuba and North Korea have killed more people than all the wars in the past 200 years combined. Is worshipping and blind obedience to the “State” (as leftist seem to do) any different?

It really does seem Rall would be better served living under regimes that hunt down and kill religious peoples of their countries. At least his fantasies drawm through his cartoons would be realized.

#16 Danny Burleson
July/25/2007
@ 1:21 am

Was Ted Rall ever even IN the military?

I just love it when people can create garbage like this, then be appalled that ANYONE can attack their opinion, but then sit back on their “it’s a free country I can do whatever I want just like every other American, except the right-wing, ALL nutjobs that believe in God (because, of course, it’s not like one of the founding premises of this country was religious freedom from Britain or anything), people who do what they agreed to do and anyone not named ‘Ted Rall'” laurels, that ironically only exist, because troops lay their lives on the line…

For me, the ones most out of line were “Poor Education” and “Blind Obedience”. For Poor Education, I’d love to see Ted say that in a room full of marines (heck, say it in front of A marine.) I think they’d rather go to jail for kicking his butt that disobeying their deployment orders. Which brings me to Blind Obedience: Like Mike W. said, it’s in the contract. Always has been. Always will be. Otherwise, I think we would have been speaking Deutsch for the last 60+ years.

There’s a HUGE difference between censorship and choosing not to cross a line. Now, unless someone ordered him to, there’s no excuse for creating this hateful of a cartoon, except his own Blind Ignorance and Immaturity.

#17 David
July/25/2007
@ 9:18 am

What’s interesting and disturbing to me is that such a consistently hateful person as Ted Rall is in charge of picking the new comics for United Media. God help any of us cartoonists who might submit something pro-family, pro-American values. Imagine Charles Schulz, with his decent and often religious nature submitting Peanuts to Rall.
I served in the military during the time of the first Gulf War. while short-lived and very different than now, I’m here to tell you that I was not a robot or a blindly-obedient goon. I simply stood for something. Ted should THANK all those poorly-educated, blindly obedient goons who fought and died in WWI, WWII, the many police and firemen (same types of people – people of SERVICE) on Sept. 11, and now even around the world (whether the war is right or wrong), who secured and continue to try to keep safe, his freedoms to dish out such hatred, and then sell it on Cafepress. While entitled (and rightfully so) to his opinions, Ted Rall stands against everything a decent, hard-working family guy like me does. And he’s a syndicate editor at a major syndicate. Screwy.
And by the way, Ted, I am shamelessly educated, in many parts thanks to the military’s paying for it, in exchange for my service. And that service is a little something called personal integrity and values. Does Ted have children to think about? Their futures? If he does, poor them. Ted strikes me as the type who would make milk and cookies for, and try to understand, an intruder who’d break into his house. What a mindset.

#18 Josh
July/25/2007
@ 9:20 am

I’m reminded of the recent Elizabeth Edwards/Ann Coulter incident. And I think Ms. Edwards’ words are as applicable here as they were there: it all amounts to “…a dialogue that’s based on hatefulness and ugliness instead of on the issues and I don’t think that’s serving … this country very well.”

#19 josh
July/25/2007
@ 10:13 am

(I’m a different josh than the one above)
I think comparisons between troops of different nations is well justified. Think of the storyline in “Syriana” about the young man who becomes a suicide bomber. Think of Walt Kelley’s “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Suicide bombers want the same things that American troops do: the ability for their respective nations to go on thriving. They’re all fighting for a cause, or at least told to fight for one. Whether that cause is justified, or “good”, is another matter entirely.

Art is all about what you leave out. Ted Rall could have written a thoughtful, researched essay comparing American troops to fighters from other countries, but how many of us would have taken the time to read it? Plus, essays don’t have funny pictures.

#20 David
July/25/2007
@ 10:41 am

josh said: “Suicide bombers want the same things that American troops do”
â?¦ josh, with all due respect, do you realize that in this sentence alone (let alone the rest of your comment), you are equalling individual soldiers, both men and women with kids and families, with SUICIDE BOMBERS, and in the same breath actually DEFENDING suicide bombersâ?¦ and if you intended to do so, thatâ??s the most idiotic and disturbing analysis Iâ??ve seen yet. Listen, we all know the war is a waste and a sham, but to call out individual soldiers like theyâ??re the exact same as evil, murderous suicide bombers is pathetic and completely ill-informed.

#21 JoshM
July/25/2007
@ 10:45 am

I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, josh, and my own political leanings are not far off from Rall’s. But his approach is too divisive in my opinion. There is vast middle ground between broad-stroke insulting stereotype and dry dissertation, and I think his point would have been better served had he been a little less provocative.

#22 Danny Burleson
July/25/2007
@ 10:54 am

“I think comparisons between troops of different nations is well justified.”

Which has absolutely nothing with this cartoon. Suicide bombers are not “troops”. This isn’t U.S. soldiers vs. German or Japanese soldiers in WWII. This is: people who commit suicide to blow up a few dozen other people (often in NON WAR zones!) vs. trained American soldiers who have an infinitely higher survival rate.

“Think of Walt Kelleyâ??s â??We have met the enemy and he is us.â?”

Um, as I recall, he was talking about littering.

#23 David
July/25/2007
@ 11:03 am

Danny: “Um, as I recall, he was talking about littering.”

…HAHA – Littering! I forgot that was what he was talking about!! Good recall, man!

#24 Neal Obermeyer
July/25/2007
@ 11:03 am

It’s far too easy to just look at this cartoon and say “Ted Rall hates the troops” and “Ted Rall hates America” when the underlying point is clearly the ambiguity and relativity of moral superiority, where one nation’s freedom fighter is another nation’s terrorist.

Michelle Malkin is right when she suggests the cartoon will turn your stomach – not many people are willing to let themselves comprehend what it’s actually saying, in favor of just blindly calling such a discussion “Troop hate.”

#25 David
July/25/2007
@ 11:14 am

I respectfully disagree, Neal in one way: This cartoon is EXACTLY about any given soldier (or mindless goon, as Ted refers to them), and his uneducated, blind loyalty to a futile cause. That’s exactly what Ted is saying. You are saying that you read it as a comment on nation building and moral superiority over others (which is the beauty of cartoons, they can be read many ways by an idividual) … Having served in the military right next to Marines and Navy, I can tell you that individual soldiers/military personnel don’t give a rat’s-a-tuiie about exercising their moral superiority over the bad guys. They just wanna survive, talk to their parents, their wife, their newborn daughter, and make it home for Christmas… just like you and me. The “president’s” ill-fated maneuvers are one thing, but to point the finger at these individual humans who are doing what many, Ted especially, would never have the guts to do is, well, offensive and sad. Those are real people, good people, dying over there. Whether the cause is right or wrong is moot in this instance and subject of this cartoon. While you and I are more interested in whether Lindsay Lohan is gonna go to jail, some kid who’s trying to do right by himself and his heritage is getting shot to death. He doesn’t care if the bad guy thinks he’s more moral than he is. Ted draws a lot of his cartoons, I think, simply to tick people off. He represents the ever-growing level of total disrespect and civility in our society towards others who are just trying to do something good.
Hey, howsabout that new Mort Walker magazine? (gotta talk cartoons SOMEWHERE in here!)

#26 josh
July/25/2007
@ 12:08 pm

It’s funny, David, because I agree with some of your points. I’m sure Ted Rall is drawing his cartoons in part to “simply tick people off.” I’m sure he gets a real kick out of discussions like these. I also think that to “defend” a suicide bomber would be insane. No, I’m just pointing out that the reasons different people go to war are often done using similar jusifications by their leaders.

JoshM says “there is vast middle ground between broad-stroke insulting stereotype and dry dissertation” – so true. I wouldn’t have drawn the same comic as Ted. Comics have long been dragged down by the use of stereotyping and just plain lazy writing. What Ted does do well is show his point clearly and visually, which makes good comics. Better a strong opinion (on either side of the debate), well-executed, than a hazy argument drawn with a scribble.

Danny, how many Iraqi civilians have died so far in our war? How do you think the Chinese felt about the Rape of Nanking, which was perpetrated by Japanese troops? How about the Trail of Tears? Are any of these incidents “better” or “worse” than suicide bombing? No one is beyond reproach in war. No one is squeaky clean, morally speaking.

#27 Rich
July/25/2007
@ 12:21 pm

While there is a lot of disagreeing going on here, I’d just like to observe how well the dialog is going! I appreciate that! That distinguishes this blog from so many! Kudos.

#28 David
July/25/2007
@ 12:24 pm

josh, good points here. And on the cartooning aspect, I will definitely agree that Ted certainly has a way of making his points crystal clear, which is his right, and his talent. As upsetting as something like that cartoon (and many other comments and toons by Ted), I’ll say this… he’s satisfied the mantra of editorial cartooning… we’re all here talking about it!!
But I digress… as far as the “squeeky clean” comment, no, we’re not all morally squeeky clean. But at least, at our core, Americans do try. And that is our true evil in the eyes of those we’re defending ourselves against (not Iraq, but extremeists/terrorists) … they hate that we are what we are, and that we don’t believe and practice what THEY believe. And it’s our duty to our kids to protect and fight against it. There’s a difference between citing visually one’s disdain for a war. But it’s just plain bullying to attack individual soldiers just doing their best, and dying, and to portray them individually as incompetent hillbilly boobs who deserve what they got because they’re stupid goon idiots, which is the farthest thing from the truth. If those like Ted were to ever get held up in a dark alley, I promise you it’d be a policeman, firefighter, or marine on leave from the war who’d be the first one to jump in, protect him, and take a bullet. On principle.

#29 Jeff Koval
July/25/2007
@ 1:28 pm

Just a couple odd points – I know several military folks, friends, who are not at all religious. In fact, one is atheist. I may not completely agree with it, but the military mindset is more about a theoretical, philosophical political viewpoint or a need for elevated authority in your personal life, to get away from excesses and destructive lifestyles. All in all, despite the “blind obedience” to the cause, I’d say that everyone who joins does so out of some personal need to improve their life or their position in life, be it just for themselves or for their family (the pay is good, Ted’s got that one right). Compare that to the suicide bombers willingness to kill innocents to improve their death, you know, with the virgins and all. This is all summed up in the last panel, which is despicable to say the least. Some believe in the cause, others don’t give a shit about what country they are stationed in and just want to make something of themselves and be able to afford an EDUCATION to boot.

Clearly, Ted has no personal connection to the whole thing, which is kinda sad because I don’t know ANYONE who doesn’t have friend or family overseas.

#30 Chris
July/25/2007
@ 2:00 pm

I am thoroughly disgusted by Rall’s cartoon. It’s one thin to be anti-war, but to actually attack the American troops that are williung to sacrifice their lives for this country and everyone in it, including Rall. It’s just horrible.

#31 JeffM
July/25/2007
@ 2:42 pm

I agree. It’s not totally un-American to be anti-war and I don’t agree with the war now, but he did cross the line. I am a veteran of the US ARMY Special Forces and Ted enjoys his freedom of expression because of me and the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have done the same for him.

I am totally shocked and disgusted to hear he has a position of power at United Media.

#32 John
July/25/2007
@ 3:20 pm

The cartoon is terrific. It’s obviously not to be taken literally, and I’m surprised a bunch of cartoonists, who presumably comprehend communication outside the literal, can’t understand that.

The right-wingers who think any communication that bears even microscopically negatively on the soldiers’ missions is treasonous are in fact themselves the whole problem. The sending of naive kids to their useless deaths is the genuine treason, and the Mike Lester/Michelle Malkin gang are all in favor of it. And, to top it off, as is clear here, they are afraid of discussion of the matter in any mature, complex terms. All they can say is “put one negative word within sixty paragraphs of the word ‘troop’ and you’re Satan incarnate”. Such is the sophistication of the Malkin/Lester group’s discussion.

Rall describes exactly the situation in this country where the rich powered elite line their pockets while sending the poor, uneducated to die for them. A broad generalization, yes. But undeniably largely true. Dick Cheney’s and George Bush’s children don’t spend a lot of time around Army recruiters.

Rall feels sorry for the underprivileged who get sent to their negligent deaths by the criminals Mike Lester so vehemently supports. These righties don’t feel sorry for these human beings. They just call them “heroes” and think that makes it all better, then send them to their demise without a second thought.

Indeed if you looked for an illustration of the concept of “hypocrite”, you couldn’t find a better example than these right-wingers who attack Rall. If they actually gave a hoot about the troops, they wouldn’t support the leaders who treat the troops with such reprehensible disdain, neglect and contempt. They’d come angrily to the troops’ defense and make sure they got treated right. Democrats would join them, and then maybe our troops could actually have body armor, actual health care when they return, and a prayer of being treated with an iota of decency by the government who sent them into hell.

Instead the Lester/Malkin crowd sit around and whine about cartoonists who are trying to make allegorical statements and engage in serious discussion about how to maybe, just possibly, get out of this nightmare the L/M crowd have driven this nation into.

#33 nealo.com - cartoons by Neal Obermeyer » Blog Archive » Ted Rall hates America
July/25/2007
@ 3:29 pm

[…] all about it here: Daily Cartoonist: Ted Rall and Michelle Malkin get into blogging tiff &#187 discuss this in the forums […]

#34 Danny Burleson
July/25/2007
@ 3:30 pm

Jeff K: “…Compare that to the suicide bombers willingness to kill innocents to improve their death, you know, with the virgins and all.”

HA! That’s a really good point!

#35 Danny Burleson
July/25/2007
@ 4:10 pm

“The right-wingers who think any communication that bears even microscopically negatively on the soldiersâ?? missions is treasonous are in fact themselves the whole problem.”

If this was about soldiers MISSIONS, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash, in fact I would probably have AGREED with it, but this was a disgusting commentary unfairly, and untruthfully aimed at the SOLDIERS themselves. And that makes all the difference.

“Rall describes exactly the situation in this country where the rich powered elite line their pockets while sending the poor, uneducated to die for them.”

Where? I don’t see that in this cartoon. This was aimed at the soldiers, not Bush and Co. And there’s that ‘uneducated’ thing again. Do you honestly believe soldiers are blind to the fact their orders are more than questionable? Or do you subscribe to Rall’s theory that all military men are zealous, walnut-brained, money-grubbing hillbillies with nothing better to do?

“These righties donâ??t feel sorry for these human beings. They just call them â??heroesâ? and think that makes it all better, then send them to their demise without a second thought.”

I don’t really even know what to make of that. It’s clear from your venomous, anti-right vernacular (righties don’t car about human beings? Then why are lefties so pro-abortion?) that you’d rather stick to your liberal guns that any and all anti-war sentiments, no matter their context, are socially acceptable. Even if those comments are aimed squarely on the one group of people that can’t do a damn thing about the situation? What do you expect the soldiers to do? Rebel? Frankly, that would make more of a mess on so many levels.

Further, while I don’t have an all-encompassing, Daily Cartoonist list of who’s Democrat and who’s Republican and who’s somewhere in between, but based on previous commentary from the individuals on this blog, unless I’ve misinterpreted their, um, political sentiments, I don’t believe a lot of the folks commentating here that think that cartoon was wrong can be labeled right-wing.

#36 Alan Gardner
July/25/2007
@ 4:15 pm

BTW, can I just say how impressed I am that we’re now 36 comments into this thread and we’re still talking about the cartoon. Tremendous. Thank you all for staying on track!

And, no there is not Daily Cartoonist list of who’s a Dem and who’s a Rep. :)

#37 Danny Burleson
July/25/2007
@ 4:23 pm

“And, no there is not Daily Cartoonist list of howâ??s a Dem and whoâ??s a Rep. :)”

How unfortunate. :( lol

“BTW, can I just say how impressed I am that weâ??re now 36 comments into this thread and weâ??re still talking about the cartoon. Tremendous. Thank you all for staying on track!”

Which leads me to my next point about Harry Potter 7 spoilers….

#38 Alan Gardner
July/25/2007
@ 4:44 pm

You mean that spoiler when it’s revealed that Lord Voldemort is actually Ted Rall?

Sorry, couldn’t help it. Back to the conversation at hand.

#39 Pat
July/25/2007
@ 6:15 pm

The fact that the raving lunatic Mike Lester doesn’t like this strip is just a mark in it’s favour. Mark Lester has proven to be a blind, clueless Bushie in every one of his strips. He can’t see that Dubya has, indeed, turned the US military into a goon squad. It takes a certain amount of self-deception and lack of self-confidence to be a soldier in the first place; and the American government is just aggravating those problems by turning those poor stoops into murder machines serving a capitalist, imperialist agenda

Support your troops. Bring them home where they belong.

#40 Rich
July/25/2007
@ 6:17 pm

Dang it Alan, I haven’t read the book yet! Now what’s the point! ;)

#41 John
July/25/2007
@ 6:33 pm

Danny Burleson said: “Or do you subscribe to Rallâ??s theory that all military men are zealous, walnut-brained, money-grubbing hillbillies with nothing better to do?”

See, that’s the abhorrent level at which people like Danny/Malkin debate this. He knows this war’s a disaster, and can’t possibly win on the merits, so he spews ridiculous garbage like this statement. Does he genuinely think that’s how Rall feels? Of course not, he’s simply being vituperant and hypocritical, the one coherency of the Burleson/Malkin gang.

BTW this isn’t about politics. I happen to be an independent and have voted Republican in a number of elections. This latest batch of Republicans has changed the rules entirely, however, and have as little to do with true conservatism as the Democrats do.

Danny, why do you think many soldiers are uneducated? Of course it’s not their fault. Everyone knows that. It’s that in this system the uneducated populace are handpicked and sent to do our fatal bidding for us. The cartoon, in pointing out that they’re uneducated, isn’t blaming THEM, it’s blaming the system that gives these poor people few options in their lives, but to go die for your hypocritical sloganeering.

The debate about this cartoon is about the ability to see the shades and nuances that are the truth of what this war is. Rall’s cartoon is extremely nuanced and clever, and as many good cartoons do, tells the truth about the situation as it currently exists.

No one in this country blames the soldiers, or thinks little of them. No one. Find me one person who blames the soldiers.

Didn’t find anyone, did you? All right. Now shut up with that crap.

Those on the right who, when their tenuous positions get attacked, make the claim that the left “hates our troops”, are just pulling it out of their butts because they have no legitimate arguments left. No one hates, or blames our troops, and everyone knows that.

Again, the attack on this cartoon is just pure whining.

Danny’s right about one thing. The soldiers can’t do anything about this. Indeed, that’s the whole point of the cartoon.

That’s why he and the rest of the “shout slogans” crowd would do something for these soldiers if they actually cared. But of course they don’t. They sit and write blogs while better kids die for no good reason.

#42 JeffM
July/25/2007
@ 6:59 pm

Pat said “It takes a certain amount of self-deception and lack of self-confidence to be a soldier in the first place”

I don’t even know how to react to that ignorant, moronic statement. How dare you.

Even the worst soldier that is or has ever been has more confidence in his little toe, than you in your whole body. Sorry Alan for slinging an insult, but being a veteran, I have to defend myself.

Stand with Ted Rall Pat and prove just how spinless you really are. It’s times like this I wish the Bill of Rights were conditional because you don’t deserve the luxury of the 1st Amendment you sheepishly hide behind.

Imperialism? Pat, get a life. Marxism is dead. It doesn’t work. It’s vile, as are those that believe in it.

#43 David
July/25/2007
@ 7:07 pm

Wow, John, you really believe this stuff you’re saying, as much as Rall does (scary, ain’t it?). If you can’t see the cartoon Ted Rall created for what it is in front of your face because you’re so incredibly blinded yourself by your personal disdain of the “Lester/Malkin/Whatever crowd” as you keep stating and grouping people into, no one here is gonna say anything right, until we all agree with your obvious biased view (which is what many here have stated): You, as does Rall feel soldiers are uneducated, poor dolts who are to be “pitied” (you really revealed this a lot) because they’re so incredibly stupid. Which makes me wonder – if YOU are indeed Ted Rall hisself!
And for the record, I have followed Rall’s career, and his many interviews, and his own site commentary, including his spot on the O’Reily Factor some time ago, and it’s my educated view that yes, Ted Rall means every scribble, line and word, as it is stated, in his cartoons that he says. I submit to you an educated answer to your question: “Do you really think that’s how Rall feels?”
Damn right, I do.
And funny, no one has really driven home the issue of all us writers here being of one political side or the other based on our comments, until you, which reveals your incredible bias against everyone who disagrees with you, and in turn, invalidates your comments.
The cartoon stands. Some mother who’s son died last week cracked open her newspaper and saw that cartoon and got a fat slap in her face, because Rall and the likes of you are mean-spirited and more bias than any righty or lefty in this forum.
Ohmigod, I swore to myself earlier I wouldn’t rant anymore on this!!

#44 Danny Burleson
July/25/2007
@ 7:54 pm

“Danny, why do you think many soldiers are uneducated? Of course itâ??s not their fault.”

So it’s a bone fide fact? Good to know. Your bias is very clear now. Honestly, people are entitled to their opinion, but I seriously can’t believe you believe soldiers are uneducated.

“BTW this isnâ??t about politics. I happen to be an independent and have voted Republican in a number of elections. This latest batch of Republicans has changed the rules entirely, however, and have as little to do with true conservatism as the Democrats do.”

Actually, David put it best, “And funny, no one has really driven home the issue of all us writers here being of one political side or the other based on our comments, until you…”

He’s completely right, the first one to bring up right vs. left was you. I too consider myself mainly independent, I do tend to lean conservative on some issues, but I actually voted Democrat for all but one candidate last year.

So if reading into a cartoon directly attacking soldiers as really being about The System isn’t about political bias, what is it?

“Thatâ??s why he and the rest of the â??shout slogansâ? crowd would do something for these soldiers if they actually cared. But of course they donâ??t. They sit and write blogs while better kids die for no good reason.”

And may I ask, what exactly are YOU doing to bring the soldiers home?

#45 John
July/25/2007
@ 8:12 pm

Danny Burleson said: “And may I ask, what exactly are YOU doing to bring the soldiers home?”

Isn’t it obvious? Doing everything I can to shine the light on you half-brained warmongers who put them in that hell-hole for the dangerous hypocrites you really are.

You Malkinites aren’t the only ones with loud mouths. Some of us smart people can shout too.

#46 Alan Gardner
July/25/2007
@ 8:22 pm

As a warning, this thread is degrading quickly. As American’s we all have the right to think and believe different. Because you believe in one notion or another does not mean you are more or less smarter than anyone else.

Keep comments that denigrate other individuals off of the blog. And as a reminder, here are the rules we are all agreeing to by posting comments on this blog.

Thanks

#47 Danny Burleson
July/25/2007
@ 9:18 pm

“Isnâ??t it obvious? Doing everything I can to shine the light on you half-brained warmongers who put them in that hell-hole for the dangerous hypocrites you really are.

You Malkinites arenâ??t the only ones with loud mouths. Some of us smart people can shout too.”

Just for the record, all I ever said was that Ted Rall’s cartoon’s depiction of U.S. soldiers was sick and wrong. I don’t recall ever saying anything about supporting or not supporting the war itself. Let me review….

….Nope. Nothing. So I’m not sure where your commentary comes from, but it’s misplaced. In fact, what I DID say was, “If this was about soldiers MISSIONS, I wouldnâ??t have batted an eyelash, in fact I would probably have AGREED with it, but this was a disgusting commentary unfairly, and untruthfully aimed at the SOLDIERS themselves. And that makes all the difference.”

Not sure where you get off calling me a warmonger from that, but have a nice day anyway.

#48 Eric Burke
July/25/2007
@ 9:21 pm

Not everyone opposing Rall’s POV voted for Bush. I’d bet that most peeps here, like myself, voted for anyone but Bush.

It’s also funny how anyone opposing Rall’s POV or criticizing his comic don’t “get it”, as if we aren’t smart enough. How about the possibility that Rall just might have done a poor job of expressing his POV?

His cartoon attacked the troops. “Suuport Our Goons” attacks the troops. Rall should focus on the administration that is and has misused our troops.

And Re: some troops re-enlisting…I don’t personally know of many that have willingly done so, but I’ve known a few and read about some troops that have been forced to stay for an extended tour…

#49 Mike Witmer
July/26/2007
@ 6:29 am

Let’s face it: Cartoons are an artist’s opinion. And I believe, like I said before, Ted makes good points. I think his approach leaves a little to be desired (specially when touching a public hot-button like Iraq).

Iraq is a mess and I truly believe that we need to hold someone accountable for it (namely Bush and his entourage of morons). It’s easy to interpret the American military as thugs. Specially when there are a handful of morons out there committing crimes while wearing the uniform.

But I would hope that we don’t use the soldiers as a scapegoat for our outright disgust towards the decisions made by the administration.

#50 David
July/26/2007
@ 9:37 am

Eric B wrote it perfectly: “His cartoon attacked the troops. â??Support Our Goonsâ? attacks the troops. Rall should focus on the administration that is and has misused our troops. ”

Perfectly said. The anger, frustration and focus should be on the administration, taking them to task, and calling for some accountability. That’s our job as citizens. Not the soldiers doing their job as the citizens’ protectors. They’re not stupid fool lemmings. They’re people who live on principle, and believe in something greater than themselves, like John’s and Ted’s freedoms to hate them for not being panzy slugs who let the bad guys walk all over them. But then, if they did do that, Ted wouldn’t be able to publicly denounce them. Ah, the simple ironiy of it all.
And someone said another thing up there that raised a point I hadn’t even thought about … who the heck said Ted Rall’s POV was even delivered well? I mean, do we all agree he isn’t exactly the greatest cartoonist who ever lived? I admit first here – I’ve given him too much credit.

#51 Mike Lester
July/26/2007
@ 10:50 am

An army that knows the why and consequensces of volunteering for war is a phenomenon. That that same army knows it also fights for its’ domestic saboteur’s is unique to the American soldier.

#52 Rick Stromoski
July/26/2007
@ 4:36 pm

I must disagree with my good friend Mike Lester that because one may disagree with the current administrations misguided foreign policy that makes one a “domestic saboteur”. The Love it or Leave it argument was faulty during Viet Nam and it’s just as misguided today.

When our Government diliberatley leads our country and our soldiers into war under false pretenses, it is the duty of the population to oppose it. That my good man is the definition of a true patriot…allegience to your country’s ideals, not it’s leaders.

I for one will always refuse to be a good German.

#53 Matt Bors
July/27/2007
@ 5:44 pm

David wrote: “…Imagine Charles Schulz, with his decent and often religious nature submitting Peanuts to Rall.”

For the record, Schulz was a proud atheist and humaist.

#54 Matt Bors
July/27/2007
@ 5:44 pm

humanist

#55 Darrin Bell
July/27/2007
@ 7:46 pm

The Rall cartoon doesn’t bother me because I’m not assuming, as most of you seem to be doing, that Rall’s talking about all of our troops. What I do find disturbing is the knee-jerk reaction I’m reading here, which comes pretty close to deifying the troops.

I have friends in the military. A good friend of mine served three tours of duty in Iraq. My grandfather, who I respect more than just about anyone in the world, survived a Japanese torpedo and dive bombers at Guadal Canal. But these are people, not saints, and often when they fight, they are not fighting “for our freedoms.” Our “freedoms” weren’t at stake in Iraq, Grenada, Panama, Vietnam, the Phillipines, Mexico, etc… Our soldiers aren’t stupid, they know this going in. They may hope that if they’re called to fight, it’s to defend our freedom, our way of life, or our very existence, but they know that’s usually not the case.

So whenever I hear people saying anti-war commentators should be grateful because our troops in Iraq are fighting for that commentator’s freedom to be a jerk, it rings hollow. We could leave Iraq tomorrow, it could turn into an Islamist state and install Bin Laden as supreme leader, and Rall would STILL have every “freedom” he enjoys today.

What’s more, this deification ignores the glaring exceptions: troops who torture, maim, kill, rape and occasionally take pictures of themselves smiling as they do it.

I would think cartoonists would be the first to realize that cartoons aren’t usually talking about an entire group of people. I, for one, am sick of all the e-mail I get every time I show a thieving CEO or a Black character who wants to be a rapper. “How dare you say ALL CEOs are greedy?” “How dare you say ALL Black people want to be rappers?” Don’t you guys get these e-mails too? Don’t you realize you’re doing the exact same thing here?

Ted’s cartoon doesn’t say it’s talking about all soldiers, it paints a specific picture about a specific type of person who does, indeed, exist in our military, and it’s saying that the story of that particular breed of soldier is fundamentally no different from that of the suicide bomber.

Rall’s not talking about my grandfather there. He’s not talking about my good friend, or my acquaintances. He’s talking about the moronic bastards my grandfather and my friends had to put up with while they were serving.

That’s how I choose to read it. You guys chose to read it differently.

#56 Rich
July/27/2007
@ 8:31 pm

Darrin, looking at Ted’s cartoon, I really think he is talking about most if not all U.S. soldiers.

Matt, when did Schulz become a proud atheist? I thought peanuts got it’s start from characters he drew for a Lutheran newsletter.

Rick, I agree with you “on love it or leave it” being a bogus argument, but I don’t think we went into Iraq under false pretenses as much as flawed intelligence (which both parties and presidents were relying on). I hope that when we do leave it’s a reasonably stable Iraq. I also remember S. Vietnam and Cambodia after our pullout there. That was tragic.

Anyway, back to the cartoon … if papers regretted not pulling cartoon about the police officer who called for too much force, I think this one is far worse. Viva la freedom of speech, but people do not have to like it and have every right to think it inappropriate. However, it likely is consistent enough with the editorial bent of the newspapers that carried it not to be considered inappropriate by them. I’m glad my paper didn’t carry it (not by an editorial decision but simply because they don’t use his cartoons).

#57 Darrin Bell
July/27/2007
@ 9:35 pm

“Darrin, looking at Tedâ??s cartoon, I really think he is talking about most if not all U.S. soldiers.”

I know. It’s pretty clear that everyone who’s outraged by the cartoon thinks that. But the operative word is “think.” Rall doesn’t make that clear, so we don’t have to choose to see it that way. I’m sure you’ve all been wrongly accused of generalizing before, by people who are just as convinced of it as you are now.

Unless Rall says he was talking about ALL troops, I’m not going to assume he was.

#58 Rick Stromoski
July/28/2007
@ 5:37 am

>>>>I donâ??t think we went into Iraq under false pretenses as much as flawed intelligence (which both parties and presidents were relying on)

This is another example of how true accountability is being warped by those responsible. It’s an established fact that the Bush administration deliberately cherry picked the intelligence (Downing Street memo) and presented a flawed case to the Congress in order to rush to war. The responsibility lies with the administration. Yet Congress is supposed to share the blame or that the White House isn’t responsible since the intelligence was “flawed”. They deliberately ommitted conflicting facts, lied about facts and inflated a non-existent threat that Iraq represented in order to rush to war.

These people should be frog marched to the Hague.

#59 Dave M.
July/28/2007
@ 7:00 am

“For the record, Schulz was a proud atheist and humaist.”

Exactly what record would that be?

#60 Eric Burke
July/28/2007
@ 7:30 am

I know. Itâ??s pretty clear that everyone whoâ??s outraged by the cartoon thinks that. But the operative word is â??think.â? Rall doesnâ??t make that clear, so we donâ??t have to choose to see it that way.

This is why I say that Rall did a poor job with this cartoon. If his intent wasn’t to generalize all troops, he presented his POV as if he was generalizing…

…and his Support Our Goons hat sure doesn’t dissuade from that POV…

#61 Eric Burke
July/28/2007
@ 7:36 am

One more thing…who in the blue he– doesn’t know that Sparky was a very religious person???

LOL!!

Every see any of the specials or read the strip on a regular basis???

A Known atheist….Bwahahahahahahaha…joke of the day here at The Daily Cartoonist. Thanks, Matt…

#62 JeffM
July/28/2007
@ 8:36 am

[i]I know. Itâ??s pretty clear that everyone whoâ??s outraged by the cartoon thinks that. But the operative word is â??think.â? Rall doesnâ??t make that clear, so we donâ??t have to choose to see it that way. Iâ??m sure youâ??ve all been wrongly accused of generalizing before, by people who are just as convinced of it as you are now.[/i]

Why is it whenever a liberal gets caught, they start backpeddling with statements like “Oh, I didn’t mean it like that”. Does Kerry come to mind?

Rall’s cartoon was very clear.

#63 David
July/28/2007
@ 9:06 am

Matt B, it is a known fact that Charles Schulz gave millions of dollars privately to the Church of God (large Christian church organization, with whom he was associated in his youth), and, if you’ll check out Amazon.com, you’ll find a book of cartoons collecting Mr. Schulz various gag panels he did for that same church group over the years featuring a teenage kid dealing with church life. Charles Schulz was the furthest thing from an atheist or a humanist. You can read a week’s worth of strips to find that out!

#64 David
July/28/2007
@ 9:09 am

Darrin, with all due respect, I don’t think anyone’s deifying our troops here. Again, I was in the military, you’re right, they’re humans, who know the score. It’s no deification. It’s respect. For those who have the guts to do crap they may not even agree with, but on principle, do so, when most of us would never have the guts to even consider it. If you follow Rall or know enough about his work, it’s blatantly obvious Rall disrespects anyone who follows some sort of moral code as being an idiot.

#65 Darrin Bell
July/28/2007
@ 4:15 pm

“Why is it whenever a liberal gets caught, they start backpeddling with statements like ‘Oh, I didnâ??t mean it like that’.”

Probably because they didn’t mean it like that.

.
.
.

“Darrin, with all due respect, I donâ??t think anyoneâ??s deifying our troops here.”

I think phrases like “they’re fighting for our freedom,” which have become mantras these past six years, and have been used as bludgeons to shut down debate on countless occasions, come awfully close to doing that.

“Again, I was in the military, youâ??re right, theyâ??re humans, who know the score. Itâ??s no deification. Itâ??s respect. For those who have the guts to do crap they may not even agree with, but on principle, do so, when most of us would never have the guts to even consider it.”

I get that and I agree with it to an extent, but I believe the slogans blur distinctions we should never forget. We should never forget that not all troops, police, firefighters, doctors, etc., automatically deserve our respect. There are always some who prove they don’t deserve it. And there are many who do fit the mold of Rall’s cartoon. War doesn’t just attract the noble and the selfless, it also attracts the ignorant and the sadistic. I see no reason to ignore or deny that.

“If you follow Rall or know enough about his work, itâ??s blatantly obvious Rall disrespects anyone who follows some sort of moral code as being an idiot.”

Maybe you’re right, maybe not. I don’t follow Rall and I confess I’ve only read a handful of his cartoons. You’ve all apparently seen something in his body of work that I’ve missed. I’m left to judge this cartoon on its own merits, and I don’t see what you all seem to see.

#66 Matt Bors
July/28/2007
@ 4:53 pm

“Matt, when did Schulz become a proud atheist? I thought peanuts got itâ??s start from characters he drew for a Lutheran newsletter.”

“Matt B, it is a known fact that Charles Schulz gave millions of dollars privately to the Church of God….Charles Schulz was the furthest thing from an atheist or a humanist.”

I guess you guys must know better than Shulz himself, who said in an interview:
“The term that best describes me now is ‘secular humanist”

“Though his philosophical views evolved over the years–“The term that best describes me now is ‘secular humanist,'” he explained–his characters continued to quote biblical passages, occasionally musing about the darker inconsistencies of religion.”

“”I despise those shallow religious comics,” he said. “Dennis the Menace, for instance, is the most shallow. When they show him praying–I just can’t stand that sort of thing, talking to God about some cutesy thing that he’d done during the day. I don’t think Hank Ketcham [Dennis’ creator] has any deep knowledge of things like that.”

He cringed when I mentioned Family Circus, the strip by Bill Keane that is strewn with cutesy references to Jesus …”

“Oh, I can’t stand that,” Schulz laughed. “You could get diabetes reading them, couldn’t you?”

You can read the whole article here:
http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/12.30.99/schulz2-9952.html

#67 Matt Bors
July/28/2007
@ 5:03 pm

Also, sorry for derailing the discussion with the info on Schulz. I just thought it important to correct the person who alleged the “religious nature” of Schulz to make a point in a personal attack on someone.

#68 Arnold Wagner
July/28/2007
@ 5:13 pm

Wish I’d found this sooner, but butg I haven’t been very active of late. Very impressed with the overall tone.

I’m not a big fan of either of Rall or Malkin. Their less than objective comments about each other are a part of that.

I think they’re both intelligent types who make a living by letting their emotions over ride reason. I agree with them about 20% of the time (not the same 20% of course). I think they both work at being controversial and play to their base, so take most of this with good sized dose of salt.

#69 Dawn Douglass
July/29/2007
@ 9:13 am

People who demean our soldiers are really just demeaning themselves. They don’t understand higher virtues like sacrifice to uphold personal values, and know they aren’t brave enough to join themselves, and don’t care enough about their own country to help protect it, so they discount soldiers as stupid, unthinking, religious nuts, etc. etc. They scour for any misdeeds of individuals and use them to whitewash the entire service in order to make themselves feel better about their own inadequacies and bigotry.

Sadists? That’s ridiculous. There was somebody in my son’s company that was a very good shot and was always taking leadership roles…the kind of person you’d assume the military would love. But they got rid of him. Why? Because he was too eager to get into battle and kill people. People like that are dangerous to everybody. The stupid and the sadistic aren’t allowed to fight. Yes, there have been a few cases where a few bad people got through and did horrible things, but to extrapolate that out to the military in general is just as disgusting as any form of racism.

Darrin, how would you feel about this cartoon if you changed the soldier to a black man and said that he was stupid, a thief, a rapist, a killer… SOME black men are, right?? So what would be the problem with having a cartoon that compares them to, let’s say, deranged gorillas?

To compare murderous suicide bombers with a U.S. soldier is so offensive and so absurd on so many levels I don’t even want to begin.

As for Ted Rall picking features for United Media, if it were Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter, people would have a bloody fit. It wouldn’t happen.

#70 Rich
July/29/2007
@ 1:06 pm

Well said Dawn. Matt, I don’t know whether Schulz professed to be Christian or not, but secular humanism does not automatically infer atheism. It can depending on how one defines “secular,” but it can be consistent with Christianity too. A Presbyterian minister and college professor emeritus friend of mine describes himself as a Christian evolutionary secular humanist. So if you have something where Schulz declares atheism, then quote that. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it doesn’t seem consistent with what I’ve heard about him nor does what you’ve quoted so far make the case. What you’ve quoted so far sounds more like a Christian concerned that his religion has been cheapened by cutesy references.

#71 Matt Bors
July/29/2007
@ 2:20 pm

From the Institute of Humanist Studies:

“Humanism is a philosophy of life inspired by humanity and guided by reason. It provides the basis for a fulfilling and ethical life without religion.

* Humanists make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values.
* Humanists see no convincing evidence for gods, the supernatural, or life after death.
* Humanists believe that moral values are properly founded on human empathy and scientific understanding.”

http://humaniststudies.org/humphil.html

#72 Matt Bors
July/29/2007
@ 2:22 pm

Rich, atheism merely means a lack of a belief in any god. It doesn’t mean an out and out Christopher Hitchens style assault on faith.

From the Institute of Humanist Studies:

“Humanism is a philosophy of life inspired by humanity and guided by reason. It provides the basis for a fulfilling and ethical life without religion.

* Humanists make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values.
* Humanists see no convincing evidence for gods, the supernatural, or life after death.
* Humanists believe that moral values are properly founded on human empathy and scientific understanding.”

http://humaniststudies.org/humphil.html

#73 Rick Stromoski
July/29/2007
@ 2:54 pm

>>>>Darrin, how would you feel about this cartoon if you changed the soldier to a black man and said that he was stupid, a thief, a rapist, a killerâ?¦ SOME black men are, right?? So what would be the problem with having a cartoon that compares them to, letâ??s say, deranged gorillas?

Well now I’ve seen everything.

#74 JeffM
July/29/2007
@ 8:32 pm

I grew up on Peanuts and Schulz was a hero of mine until I started reading his interviews and comments in various publications.

He was very arrogant and condescending. It was disappointing. But I know he was also a kind and generous man.

I read the interview posted above and this really shows his arrogance. To make such insensitive remarks about Ketcham and Keene and their beliefs, well it’s sad.

Funny, though….after saying such awful things about “religious” strips, he then says “I don’t like to offend people, so I couldn’t be an editorial cartoonist”….what??

#75 Dawn Douglass
July/29/2007
@ 9:38 pm

Instead of highlighting my comments out of context, Rick, why don’t you try refuting my argument that Ted’s cartoon is as indefensible as this racist one would be.

My son was in the Battle for Fallujah for many weeks. He had a good friend die in front of him and then had to go back into the building to take out the people who killed him. His dead friend wasn’t an idiot zealot who had no other opportunities but to join the Marines. He was a young Jewish man whose father is a prominent surgeon.

Later that very day as they were clearing buildings, my son and his squad were blown up by a suicide bomber high on heroin. They always knew they were getting close to the enemy when they’d find drug paraphernalia.

After my son went back into action on Christmas Day, they found torture rooms and the bodies of horribly tortured men, women and children. I can’t even listen to all my son’s stories, they are so horrific.

Killing children is a favorite tool if Al Qaeda. The Marines were told to quit giving candy to the Iraqi children after a child was followed home and gutted alive infront of his parents, the candy pulled from his stomach as a warning not to be friendly with the Americans.

My son’s group lost about 30 people over there, including a Sergeant who was wounded on the floor and reached out to grab a grenade and hug it to his chest so that he’d be the only one killed by it. And you want to equate him with someone who cuts off children’s heads in front of their screaming mothers?

None of the insurgents my son killed were Iraqis. They were from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. These were not “freedom fighters.” They were terrorists who were torturing and killing the Iraqis.

Ted Rall is an hate-filled ignoramus, no different from the person who would draw the cartoon that I mentioned. There is no difference. It’s his right to say what he wants to via his cartoons. I don’t have a problem with that. But it’s my right to refute it, even if I have to give an uncomfortable example of why Darrin’s take on the cartoon’s innocence as a slap in the face to ALL troops is just plain wrong.

#76 Mike Lester
July/30/2007
@ 7:58 am

It’s fashionable and obligatory for American cartoonists to be against any war, Bush, imperialism and exportation of democracy. But we fight for those who can’t. It’s not that I have a problem w/ the 1st amed. rights of the cartoon.

I just want to give the Iraqi people the freedom to have their own Ted Rall.

-and atheists.

#77 Dawn Douglass
July/30/2007
@ 8:35 am

Mike, I’d love to know exactly what you mean by it being “obligatory” for American cartoonists to be politically left.

#78 Rick Stromoski
July/30/2007
@ 9:45 am

>>>>I just want to give the Iraqi people the freedom to have their own Ted Rall.
-and atheists.

From your lips to God’s ea….uh wait a minute….

#79 Mike Lester
July/30/2007
@ 10:24 am

Seems unnecessary but, to answer Dawns question,
How many mainstream regularly published cartoonists can you name who:
-supports the war to free Iraqi’s?
-thinks it’s a crime to execute bull terriers AND babies?
-instead of windchimes and planting a cactus under window sills to guard against home invasion (actual ABCNEWS advice) prefer a pump shotgun (not a criminal on earth who doesn’t know the sound of a pump shotgun)?
-thinks the the biggest threat to America isn’t terrorists but public school teachers?
-thinks minimum wage is for maximum losers?
-want’s to keep gov. out of the bedroom and out of my pocket?
-believes more in tithing than taxes?
-are tired of seeing a crucifix in urine but muslim footbaths on college campus?
-thinks the Presidency shouldn’t be another example of the racist (by definition) program of affrimative action.
-don’t use puns (didn’t draw a Scooter Libby cartoon using an actual scooter)?

sorry about that last one. I was on a roll.

#80 Rick Stromoski
July/30/2007
@ 11:07 am

As a liberal who happens to be a cartoonist I’ll try to answer Mikes points as an excercise in futility…

-supports the war to free Iraqiâ??s?
I’d say none because freeing Iraqis had nothing to do with the initial reasons given as to why we went to war.

i wonder how many people would have supported this war if the initial plan was to free Iraq from saddam?

-thinks itâ??s a crime to execute bull terriers AND babies?

Who executes babies?

-instead of windchimes and planting a cactus under window sills to guard against home invasion (actual ABCNEWS advice) prefer a pump shotgun (not a criminal on earth who doesnâ??t know the sound of a pump shotgun)?

What if the criminal is deaf? Personally I prefer brambles bushes…you know the kind the Romans made Jesus’ crown out of?

-thinks the the biggest threat to America isnâ??t terrorists but public school teachers?

Public school teacher with pump shotguns.

-thinks minimum wage is for maximum losers?

There’s no cause to bring up the average pay scale for syndicated cartoonists into this.

-wantâ??s to keep gov. out of the bedroom and out of my pocket?

Especially if there’s a hole in that pocket…things could get real interesting.

-believes more in tithing than taxes?

Now if we tax the churches, we’d ALL get a tax cut.

-are tired of seeing a crucifix in urine but muslim footbaths on college campus?

Fill the footbaths with crucifix’s and urine and kill 2 birds with one stone.

-thinks the Presidency shouldnâ??t be another example of the racist (by definition) program of affrimative action.

I agree wholeheartedly! No more inarticulate retards allowed to run for office! They ruin everything…

-donâ??t use puns (didnâ??t draw a Scooter Libby cartoon using an actual scooter)?

Puns are the mainstay of my last two syndicated features

#81 DT
July/30/2007
@ 11:57 am

Schulz, reared in the Lutheran faith, had been active in the Church of God (Anderson) as a young adult and then later taught Sunday school at a United Methodist Church. But, he remained a member of the Church of God (Anderson) until his death.

…sounds as though Sparky’s atheist credentials need some editing work, Matt…

#82 Matt Bors
July/30/2007
@ 12:41 pm

DT, your writing needs editing work. You just copy and pasted a line from wikipedia, without attribution or quotations, and ignored the very next line:

“In an interview in late 1999, however, Schulz stated that his philosophical views had evolved over the years: “The term that best describes me now is ‘secular humanist'”.[3]

Schulz was raised into a religion like most of us. He did teach Sunday School. Then, at some point it appears, he moved into Secular humanism.

I’m sorry you have trouble with this the man’s own statement.

#83 Dawn Douglass
July/30/2007
@ 4:57 pm

Let’s face it, as he became older, Schultz lost grip on more things than religion. That happens. But it doesn’t diminish who he was or what he accomplished. A life needs to be evaluated in total. What does it matter what he called himself when he died? He was a good man and a great cartoonist and that’s enough for me.

#84 David
July/30/2007
@ 10:02 pm

To fall back on something Darrin Bell said earlier, I have a confession … that I suppose I am guilty of deifying Charles Schulz, as he was, and is, my childhood hero and the very reason I specifically wanted to be a cartoonist (as is the case for many of us). I’ve literally held many of my career decisions up to what I knew about Schulz and how he handled certain things in his own career… and I still do…
Religion, the way one sees the world, the good and bad things one does, one’s opinions… ah, it changes over a life or at least alters in form here and there… but one thing remained true, a man’s love for cartooning, at its core… raising pen to paper, making funny pictures, and realizing there’s no better thing to do in life, out of all those things that make it. Ah, heck, I’m waxing all poetic.
I’ve read so many Schulz interviews, and it’s funny… for someone I’ve held in such high regard since 5 years of age, the man astounded me, inspired me, motivated me, disappointed me (anyone see that spot he had on Whoopi Goldberg’s short-lived show when he said he didn’t even think he LIKED children? haha) and reminded me that he was human … I think there’s inspiration in that…
I also think that Sparky was often a very depressed and anxious person, and had an affinity for sort of lashing out at things that annoyed him, publicly at times…yet at the same time would spend an entire day of his time with a new, up and coming cartoonist who sought his guidance and advice. Artists operate on so many levels in so many ways. So funny … as cartoonists, we are so much more artistic than we are given credit for.
(Okay, who’s that guy snoring in the back? ;-))

#85 David
July/30/2007
@ 10:07 pm

…And Dawn, I don’t want this thread to end without saying “thank you” to your son for his service and his bravery in what he’s doing. All politics aside, it’s a tough job, and I appreciate the sacrifices your son is making in being part of something bigger than all of us, in trying to make the world a better place.

#86 markt
July/30/2007
@ 10:31 pm

>>>I also think that Sparky was often a very depressed and anxious person, and had an affinity for sort of lashing out at things that annoyed him, publicly at timesâ?¦yet at the same time would spend an entire day of his time with a new, up and coming cartoonist who sought his guidance and advice.

#87 markt
July/30/2007
@ 10:32 pm

Let me try that again…

>>>I also think that Sparky was often a very depressed and anxious person, and had an affinity for sort of lashing out at things that annoyed him, publicly at timesâ?¦yet at the same time would spend an entire day of his time with a new, up and coming cartoonist who sought his guidance and advice.

#88 markt
July/30/2007
@ 10:35 pm

Let me try that one more timeâ?¦

“I also think that Sparky was often a very depressed and anxious person, and had an affinity for sort of lashing out at things that annoyed him, publicly at timesâ?¦yet at the same time would spend an entire day of his time with a new, up and coming cartoonist who sought his guidance and advice.”

I think that descibes just about every cartoonist I know, myself included.

MT

#89 Dawn Douglass
July/31/2007
@ 12:11 am

David, my son is actually out now, but believe me, he has lots of physical and emotional scars. I do appreciate it when people recognize what they go through, so thank you. I’ll let him know.

***This is bizarre…it says 4+9= ? I put 13, but it keeps telling me that I entered the wrong sum!

Okay, I guess I just need to copy this and paste it in a fresh comment field.****

#90 Mike Lester
July/31/2007
@ 7:02 am

“I am guilty of deifying Charles Schulz”
-Mr. David

In other words…WHAT WOULD SPARKY DO?

I feel the same way about Ted Rall.

(and Rick Stromoski is the devil.)

#91 Rick Stromoski
July/31/2007
@ 9:24 am

And Mike Lester is the Tooth fairy.

#92 Charles Brubaker
July/31/2007
@ 10:15 am

Wow, over 90 comments already.

I actually met Ted at the Comic Con and talked about this post a little. Nice guy in person, believe it or not.

A lot of people cringed that Rall works at United Media, selecting comics. Well, I found out about TWO of the comics he will introduce later this year and I can tell you they’re actually good. I promised to keep these strips a secret, however, so don’t pester me or anything.

#93 Rich
July/31/2007
@ 5:41 pm

Matt, I understand the definitions of atheism and secular humanism, but your Schulz quote “the term that best describes me now” really isn’t enough to definitively say that he was an atheist even in old age. If you have more to go on, do pass it along.

Also realize that humanism and secular humanism have many and varied meanings. This site http://www.jcn.com/humanism.php4 comes close to describing how fuzzy the lines are drawn (based on a google search and quick read). Again, it matters not to me if he was or wasn’t an atheist, just don’t think his one quote is irrefutable evidence that he was an atheist. Even though Schulz is off topic, I found the discussion interesting – thanks for bringing it up.

Good discussion all. Dawn, Mike and David, I especially enjoyed your insights.

#94 Elizabeth
August/1/2007
@ 10:57 pm

My husband is currently deployed to Iraq for the 3rd time and yes, that is 3 times in less than 4 years (2003–4 months, 2005-2006–12 months, 2007-? as of now, 15 months is expected). However, I do not recognize him from any of the “profiles” in the cartoon.

I don’t think that reasons for serving can be so “black and white”. It is often a complicated decision to make and a complicated life to live (for the soldier and the family). My husband is an extremely intelligent and sensitive man who is not in the least like the boorish, brainless or fanatical characters in the cartoon.

I do not bash Mr. Rall for his cartoon. He has a right, as much as I do disagree with his methods shown here, to do this. I just don’t think it’s very nice, nor do I feel at all supported by his choice of word or picture. Of course, being nice or supportive wasn’t his intent in this cartoon, but I wonder what really WAS his intent?

#95 Darrin Bell
August/3/2007
@ 11:15 pm

“Yes, there have been a few cases where a few bad people got through and did horrible things, but to extrapolate that out to the military in general is just as disgusting as any form of racism.

Darrin, how would you feel about this cartoon if you changed the soldier to a black man and said that he was stupid, a thief, a rapist, a killerâ?¦ SOME black men are, right?? So what would be the problem with having a cartoon that compares them to, letâ??s say, deranged gorillas?”

The comparison would only make sense to me if there were a draft on. Black people don’t choose to be Black. Soldiers choose to be soldiers. Generalities can be stupid, but they’re not the same thing as racism.

Also, I have a request for the world (please pass it on). Please stop using “black” analogies whenever you have a disagreement with me, as if that’s the best way to get me to understand your point. I’m also Jewish. Can’t somebody just once toss a Holocaust analogy in my face? I’ll even settle for the Pograms.

#96 Dawn Douglass
August/3/2007
@ 11:31 pm

Darrin, I’ve known you for what, ten years? This is the first I’ve heard about you being Jewish.

Shalom. ;)

I think the comparison stands. Hate is hate. Prejudice is prejudice. It doesn’t matter what label or “-ism” it takes, and I don’t see the logic of whether it is chosen or not. You chose to be Jewish, but you can still be a victim of anti-Semitism.

Surely you aren’t saying that if somebody choses a role that’s despised by some, they deserve what they get, so I honestly don’t understand what difference it makes whether or not we have a draft.

#97 Dan
August/5/2007
@ 12:08 am

So what have we all learned from this thread?

Ted Rall sells a trucker hat that says “Support Our Goons”/ Charles Shulz was a humanist and atheist/ Mike Lester is the Tooth Fairy/ Rick Stromoski is the devil/ Darrin Bell is Jewish…and Alan has the best website in the world!

All I can add is “Peace”

#98 David
August/5/2007
@ 9:21 am

Wow, this thread is back! I think this was really a great meeting of opinions, and one of the reasons I’m thankful for the “community” Alan’s site creates for us all… everyone has differing opinions, and that’s what makes this place so cool. But I still hate that cartoon. ;-)

#99 Darrin Bell
August/6/2007
@ 5:18 pm

“You chose to be Jewish, but you can still be a victim of anti-Semitism.”

Actually, I didn’t. It’s an ethnicity, not just a religion.

“Surely you arenâ??t saying that if somebody choses a role thatâ??s despised by some, they deserve what they get, so I honestly donâ??t understand what difference it makes whether or not we have a draft.”

“Deserve what they get” is just another way of saying “it comes with the territory.” I do believe that people have to tolerate snark from people who disagree with the CHOICES they make. The difference between being criticized for your choices vs. being criticized about WHAT you are couldn’t be more obvious, to me. Soldiers have to put up with Ted Rall just as Ted Rall has to put up with Michelle Malkin and his detractors here.

#100 Dawn Douglass
August/6/2007
@ 7:47 pm

Baloney, because when it comes down to it, it’s ALL about choice.

“WHAT you are” — the way you mean it, as in skin color, sex, ethnicity — hardly matters at all in America today. Even 20 years ago, Bill Cosby was “America’s Father.” In South Carolina, formally a very racist state, Obama is polling way above Clinton.

It’s WHO you are, not WHAT you are that matters in 2007. Gay, female, black, Jewish, Chinese…everybody can make it in America. Everybody can be well respected, have a good job, and a safe and happy life.

Being in a gang is a choice. But those who judge all Hispanics badly because of Hispanic gangs are wrong to do so. Men dressing like $5 hookers and groping each other in a public parade is a choice. Those who judge all gay people by the in-your-face few are wrong to do so.

Stereotying and maligning an entire category of people is bigotry no matter what “justfication” it’s based on. And Ted Rall is as bigoted as they get against the American soldier.

I wouldn’t tell any victims of bigotry to shut up and take it.

#101 Darrin Bell
August/7/2007
@ 8:27 am

“â??WHAT you areâ? â?? the way you mean it, as in skin color, sex, ethnicity â?? hardly matters at all in America today. Even 20 years ago, Bill Cosby was â??Americaâ??s Father.â? In South Carolina, formally a very racist state, Obama is polling way above Clinton.

Itâ??s WHO you are, not WHAT you are that matters in 2007. Gay, female, black, Jewish, Chineseâ?¦everybody can make it in America. Everybody can be well respected, have a good job, and a safe and happy life.”

I’m not sure what any of that has to do with what I’ve said, but it’s a very nice sentiment.

“Being in a gang is a choice. But those who judge all Hispanics badly because of Hispanic gangs are wrong to do so. Men dressing like $5 hookers and groping each other in a public parade is a choice. Those who judge all gay people by the in-your-face few are wrong to do so.

Stereotying and maligning an entire category of people is bigotry no matter what â??justficationâ? itâ??s based on.”

I see your point, even though it doesn’t technically fit the definition of bigotry.

That said, “being in a gang” (to use your example) isn’t any more of a choice than joining the military. If you criticize all the Hispanic males you’re referring to who decide to join gangs, you’re no different from Ted Rall, and here’s why:

I grew up around gangs and sat next to gang members more than a few times as a kid, in school, on the bus, etc. Many had never started a fight, and only fought to protect themselves, their friends and their neighborhoods. Many (and I’m not just talking about the Guardian Angels) actually helped their communities, as a group. In the absence of police protection, many joined gangs hoping to keep the peace in their own neighborhoods, never stole from or attacked anyone in their own neighborhood, and delivered hell to outsiders who did. Most that I dared get to know had the noblest of reasons for joining.

Yet I’m pretty sure you’d agree with me you have to be either under-educated, immature or misguided to join a gang when you know its leaders are going to occasionally (and it is occasionally, contrary to popular belief) order you to do something wrong.

If Rall is talking about all soldiers, then he probably sees the military as a huge gang. Why wouldn’t he react the same way to soldiers as you and I do to gangsters, if that’s how he sees it?

And by the way, why use “hispanics” in the gang example? Isn’t that a little cliche? I say we talk about Eskimo gangs. They’re neglected by analogy-users everywhere, and it’s about time they got some recognition.

#102 Rick Stromoski
August/7/2007
@ 9:19 am

>>>Isnâ??t that a little cliche? I say we talk about Eskimo gangs. Theyâ??re neglected by analogy-users everywhere, and itâ??s about time they got some recognition.

Actually “Eskimo” is considered a derogatory label by us native Innuits. Darrin is obviously showing his own southern longitudinal bias when he uses such a hateful term.

Nanook of the Crips

#103 DT
August/7/2007
@ 11:50 am

As a former member of the military (30 years Naval officer) I can say that I found Ted Rall’s cartoon to be offensive in the extreme, but not surprising…it’s easy to abuse your freedom of speech (and of the press) when you’ve never done anything to preserve that right.

#104 Rick Stromoski
August/7/2007
@ 1:56 pm

â?¥â?¥â?¥itâ??s easy to abuse your freedom of speech (and of the press) when youâ??ve never done anything to preserve that right.

What I find most facinating about this and similiar arguments is the oft repeated notion that the expression of one’s viewpoints, no matter how unpopular they may be in certain quarters, is tantamount to some as “abuse” of our constitutional rights of free speech and a free press…and the idea that by virtue of a military career, one gains special insight into defining what constitues “abuse” of those rights.

#105 Dave M.
August/7/2007
@ 3:28 pm

It’s pretty simple, Mr. Stromoski.

Disagreement = abuse.

And wrapping yourself in the flag of military service means you’re immune to any and all disagreement, as disagreement with the military means you’re unpatriotic and support the terrorists. Pretty cool deal.

#106 Darrin Bell
August/7/2007
@ 3:58 pm

“itâ??s easy to abuse your freedom of speech (and of the press) when youâ??ve never done anything to preserve that right.”

I think people like Rall, Malkin, Coulter, etc. are indeed doing something to preserve the freedom of speech, by continuing to say what they believe, as unpopular as it may be, in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Freedom that isn’t used is freedom lost, in my opinion.

#107 Rich
August/7/2007
@ 8:37 pm

“… itâ??s easy to abuse your freedom of speech (and of the press) when youâ??ve never done anything to preserve that right.” Generally when I encounter folks using this argument it is simply asking for a little more respect and restraint to go with the freedom (a.k.a., discretion), because they are generally the same folks that have been willing to risk their lives to defend the right to have those opposing views. A very reasonable request. Thanks for your service DT!

Asking an editorial cartoonist not to play on stereotypes is probably unreasonable … often it is the play on stereotypes that is used to make a point. While most in this thread haven’t liked the cartoon, I don’t think anyone’s said Rall can’t do it. Malkin (she by the way), as many in this thread, just find it over-the-top offensive. I agree, but don’t think you have to. If I were the editor, I would not print it … just because Rall has the right to say/draw it, doesn’t mean I’d have to print it. However, it fits with many papers’ and readers’ views (apparently), so those that did print it … that’s the decision they have to live with.

#108 Dawn Douglass
August/7/2007
@ 9:31 pm

When my then 17 year old son was talking about joining the Marines, I said, “Son, you could die.” He replied, “Mom, don’t you think this country is worth dying for?”

Here’s what Ted Rall and the other military haters, and America haters are doing…they’re making people like my son — who has literally been spat at more than once in uniform — think: screw you, go do it yourself.

If Hillary Clinton is elected, we’ll wind up having to bring back the draft, because she has allowed the radical fringe to pull her so far left that many in the military will not accept her as Commander in Chief.

Would you choose to risk your life and live and work in emotionally and physically extreme conditions for a bunch of ingrates back home who think you’re stupid and a wannabe rapist and murderer?

Some of these people who are making American’s not want to serve will likely be drafted themselves, or their sons will be. There’s the irony, or the poetic justice. Then again, theyâ??ll probably run away to Canada.

#109 Rick Stromoski
August/8/2007
@ 6:12 am

Equating disagreement with the current administrations foreign policy and it’s criminal misuse of the military in which it was entrusted with “hating” America and hating the “Military” is a plain and simplistic inflamatory propaganda technique designed to squelch any sort of reasoned examination of the issue.

There are a couple of ways that one can love their country. One way is how a young child loves their Mother. Mommy is all good, I love Mommy no matter what. Mommy can do no wrong.. Whatever she does is always right and if you don’t agree with that then you’re bad and I hate you.

There is another way to love your country, like one would a spouse. You love them and You expect them to always do the right thing, to be fair and just and settle conflict in a reasoned, well mature manner. To be open to criticism and other points of view without feeling threatened. To always tell the truth and when they make a mistake or mislead, own up to it and correct it. And when they are wrong, to admit it and strive be their best.

Given the jingositic climate and near sainthood status enjoyed by American servicemen in the U.S. since the Reagan administration , I ‘m very skeptical of any supposed incidence where a member of the military has been spat on within the last 25 years.

#110 Rick Stromoski
August/8/2007
@ 7:17 am

>>>If Hillary Clinton is elected, weâ??ll wind up having to bring back the draft, because she has allowed the radical fringe to pull her so far left that many in the military will not accept her as Commander in Chief.

I hear and read this sort of blanket condemnation of Hilary Clinton quite often, yet no specific “radical fringe” examples of policy is ever given to back it up. Can we have some examples of some far left radical proposals that are specific to HC? Because from what I can tell, she’s a typical lobbyist courting- business as usual politician. And can you site examples of your claim that the military would leave in droves and the draft reinstated if she is elected? This reeks of unsubstantiated claims one hears on the Hannity-Limbaugh-Drudge propaganda mill.

I think you’ll find if one looks at the actual facts that it’s been Bush that has depleted the military given the rash of 2. 3 and 4 star generals that have chosen early retirement over continuing his failed policies as well as a severe decline in the rank and file re-enlisting as well as a severe depletion of first time enlistments.

#111 JoshM
August/8/2007
@ 1:06 pm

>>>If Hillary Clinton is elected, weâ??ll wind up having to bring back the draft, because she has allowed the radical fringe to pull her so far left that many in the military will not accept her as Commander in Chief.

#112 DT
August/8/2007
@ 1:10 pm

Rich, where did you get your degree in constitutional law…last time I checked, President Bush was still the Commander in Chief, not Hillary and certainly not Nancy. When you accuse the leader of a country with criminal misuse, you should attempt to back it up or you lose all credibility. (Credibility among the liberal left is as likely as virginity among hookers).

But I do agree that the military won’t leave in droves. Unlike the far left, the military loves their country and are not so shallow as to desert her in her time of need. More likely it will be that if Hillary and co. take charge, they will continue Bill’s policy of gutting the national defense and intelligence communities in favor of having more “social” programs.

#113 JoshM
August/8/2007
@ 1:12 pm

For some reason, my comments which accompanied the above quote weren’t posted. Here they are again:

Most military people I’ve met respect the chain of command, regardless of their opinion of the person in command. Our military has now served under two draft-dodging presidents without public spectacle or complaint.

Honestly, to suggest that they would refuse to serve an elected Commander in Chief strikes me as a statement as insulting as anything Rall has put in a cartoon.

#114 Alan Gardner
August/8/2007
@ 1:14 pm

We’re seriously straying off course. Anyone else have anything to say about the cartoon itself?

#115 DT
August/8/2007
@ 1:17 pm

Josh,

There’s Alan’s tie in to the cartoon…same mindset as the misguided cartoon…

#116 Rick Stromoski
August/8/2007
@ 1:35 pm

DT’s and Dawn’s ad hominem reponses just illustrate all of my points. It’s a bullying tactic. They can’t defend the policy … either because they are smart enough to know that they are on shaky ground or can’t articulate a coherent defense … so they launch personal attacks on the critics and feign outrage in the hopes that the thread will derail. I’m not sure how a group can discuss the merits of an inflamatory cartoon such as Ted’s without discussing the politics behind it.

As for the cartoon, the color looks a little flat.

#117 Alan Gardner
August/8/2007
@ 1:38 pm

And with that. Discussion closed.

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