CSotD: Fathers to the Men

We’ll start with John Cole‘s cartoon and a bit of my own gossip, which in this case I define as anecdotal observations that may or may not reflect a wider truth.

I worked the Primary yesterday from 7 am to noon, and we didn’t have anyone come in who had voted by absentee ballot and wanted to doublecheck by trying to vote in person. We did have one fellow who showed up with his completed ballot and asked if he could vote in person rather than turning it in, which, of course, he could (and did).

We had also set up an outdoor voting area in case anyone showed up without a mask and declined to wear one, but had no takers while I was working.

In fact, we had a few people who gloved up and, of course, they waited until they got to the sign-up to start fumbling for them, which delayed things but not any more than the much larger number of people who waited until asked to begin digging their photo ID out of their purses and wallets.

BTW, I’m philosophically opposed to the photo ID requirement, but when everyone is wearing masks and speaking through a clear plastic barrier, it’s nice to be able to read the name you couldn’t make out when they said it.

And FWIW, our voter books included yellow Highlighter over people whose mail-in ballots had been received and logged in, plus a few pink Highlighters for ballots received the day before and not logged into the system. We checked them off and began running them through the Scantron during the day, so that, by the time the polls closed, we had the bulk of absentee ballots counted.

Other places have other systems, I’m sure, but it’s worth noting that ballots are counted in wards, not at the state or federal level, and Bill Barr’s fantasy of foreign governments flooding us with fake mail-in ballots is farcical.

They’d have to produce real names and addresses, forge and place but not activate requests for ballots, come up with proper barcoding for those forged ballots and then somehow keep the real people from showing up on Election Day.


Not that farcical fantasies are not a part of the Trump Administration’s approach to governance, as Joe Heller points out.

There are all sorts of cartoons pointing out the folly of trusting a Trump-approved vaccine, but I like the way Heller simply reduces it to basic folly.


And, to prove that the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, Donald Trump Jr. inspired this Chris Britt cartoon and sent me to Google News to find out what the damn fool had said this time and how far Britt had stretched it for satirical purposes.

I did recall Little Donnie making an unfortunate comment several years ago, but I didn’t realize he had repeated and expanded upon it for his new book “Everybody Always Be’s Mean To Me.” (Not sure that’s the exact title.)

That link is behind the Washpo paywall, but here’s what Little Donnie wrote about hearing a bugler play taps at Arlington:

In that moment, I also thought of all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed — voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals to avoid the appearance that we were ‘profiting off the office.

And you thought the old man lacked empathy. I think Chris Britt went easy on the brat.


Meanwhile, Not-a-Prince Harry and Meghan Markle take some grief from Paul Thomas for their funding of educational programs and documentaries at Netflix, and he’s not the only one condemning their decision.

Seems to me that investing their money in an attempt to make the world a better place is a good way for them to make a living in the real world, but there’s apparently some cultural attitudes at play in British resentment of Harry’s escape from royalty, though his uncle Andy already has a small role in a Netflix documentary.

I’ll confess that I found something not-okay about his parents’ marriage, which seemed a bizarre throwback to ancient, practical, romance-free matchmaking, and something profoundly sad in her inability to establish a normal life post-divorce, which seemed a combination of the media’s unwillingness to leave her alone and her own very limited experience of normalcy.

But Harry got a peek outside the bubble when he married a real, live girl who helped him connect the dots he’d been struggling with since his mother’s death.

Which doesn’t make for funny cartoons but does prove that you don’t have to have humble origins in order to rise above them.


Mark Zuckerberg is neither of royal blood nor the son of the president, but he didn’t exactly rise from humble roots and perhaps that’s at least part of why Facebook has so much power and so little soul, which Joy of Tech discusses in less than gentle terms.

Facebook seems to be making a lot of political decisions based on cancel-culture tattletales, many apparently coming from the right, though that might just reflect the way I’ve cultivated my feed.

However, what Facebook discovers, and censors, on its own seems hard to track, while many reports go unacted upon.

For instance.

The public resignation of a Facebook engineer details the things he feels the company could be doing and the ways it has fallen short of its own stated principles, and the letter he posted on the company’s internal billboard is scathing and detailed.

Banning all political ads in the last week leading to the election seems like waiting to make sure the horse is gone before locking the barn door, but it does at least carry a notion of impartiality.

Still, appearances matter, and having dinner at the White House and declining to say what you discussed makes for speculation a wise person in Zuckerberg’s position would have avoided.


Oh well. Some of us set our own scenes, some of us simply accept the ones we were given.



6 thoughts on “CSotD: Fathers to the Men

  1. I said it in 2007 and I’ll say it now: Facebook will be the downfall of modern society. Look at all the studies that have shown social media has increased social isolation (and all the negative consequences that come with it) rather than eliminating it. It is a haven for liars and fraudsters, extremists of all stripes, child molesters and serial rapists. Call me a Luddite if you will, but I refuse to participate in anything as corrupt and manipulative as social media. Having to use Google is bad enough. (Are you listening, Google? I knew that you were.)

  2. Sad you say that Phil, because so many new and great cartoonists use social media and many have millions of followers. I myself use Facebook & Instagram to publish my comic daily, among other places online and it is the future. In fact, next week, King Features has a bunch of talks/seminars and one is based on popular social media cartoonists.

    We are not liars, fraudsters or extremists and neither are 99.9% of users.

  3. Suit yourself, but I’ve seen enough to know. When the Russians used it to put Trump in power, that confirmed it for me (see above cartoon.) I wouldn’t bet on that 99.9%, either. Good luck; I think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Read the book “Databanks in a Free Society” and note the date it was published. Scary.

  4. Love Love.

    Sometime in the Eighties, observed to a friend how few people seem to know them, and he replied, “Well, Love was a musicians’ band.”

    I was lucky in the company I kept.

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