CSotD: Analyzing the Analysts

Critiquing cartoons is the point of this blog, but I try to be constructive, because pointing out good work is also “criticism” and that’s more in line with my intentions.

But the knife cuts both ways, and, while I generally like Michael de Adder‘s work, this one seems to beg for someone to point out that, no, WWII veterans fought Nazis but they didn’t have to fight draft dodgers, and not only did Donald Trump lie his way out of the draft in Vietnam, but his father managed to avoid service in WWII and his grandfather came here to avoid military conscription in Germany.

So, while de Adder is right to point out that being Anti-Fascist was considered a mark of character back then, he slips a bit on this one because our anti-fascist troops in WWII didn’t have to fight against cowards and draft-dodgers.

Hitler had his faults, but at least he had served his nation before seeking to lead it. Not every authoritarian wannabe can make that claim.


On a related note, I know what Bob Gorrell (Creators) meant in celebrating Youngkin’s victory over Critical Race Theory and whatnot, but I had to look him up to confirm that Virginia is indeed his home base.

Hence, however you feel about his politics, he can perhaps be forgiven for not realizing that, for most of us, “Sic semper tyrannis” is not remembered as the motto of Virginia but as the cry of John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

With the exception of a small-but-vocal crew of SJWs, most of us still think of Lincoln as having been a pretty good fellow.

We’ll get into the Yankee/Confederate divide at the end of today’s posting.


I also had to confirm Michael Ramirez (Creators)‘s home base, but knowing he’s lived mostly in Southern California only adds to my not getting this one, because there is a border there and it plays into local politics dramatically.

I spent time as a journalist on the other border and, while we were often called in when the officials wanted to celebrate a big catch, we also realized that the border was very long and quite porous, and that those dramatic captures were a combination of luck: Good on the part of the Border Patrol and bad on the part of the smugglers.

You might compare it to a sieve, which lets the good stuff through and catches the bad stuff, though I realize — from hockey games, not reporting — the metaphor is that a sieve stops nothing.

It’s a problem even in authoritarian nations, which is why Belarus is rushing the military to its borders to keep refugees from getting through en route to the European Union.

I’m not sure there is such a thing as a secure border, even among the harshest regimes. I had a friend in grade school who had moved to America from Hungary during the uprisings of the 50s.

Her parents told her crawling under barbed wire was a game, and that the flares were simply fireworks.

But it’s a free country: You can sympathize with whichever style of government you prefer.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mike Luckovich – AMS)


(Jack Ohman – WPWG)

This is a fairly harmless but amusing coincidence, though I’m willing enough to analyze them to the extent of preferring Luckovich’s take, because it suggests incapacity, while Ohman’s suggests, rather, distraction.

I don’t know that Garland has anything distracting him from smiting Bannon with the full majesty of the law, though I’d like to think maybe he’s getting everything lined up for a major blow of some sort.

I’d like to think that, but it’s becoming harder to do so. Charging Bannon with contempt of Congress would not only be a sign to the nation that the government is serious about investigating January 6, but it might strike a little fear into the other reluctant witnesses and conspirators.


Mind you, I’m not as quick on the draw as everyone, since it turns out that I’m an Establishment Liberal who wants change but retains trust in the system to bring it about. If you’d like to see where you stand on the Pew Research Center’s scale of political types, here’s a quick test to place yourself.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2


(Steve Kelley – Creators)

(Christopher Weyant)

Inflation has hit, as we knew it would, and those of us who handled family budgets in the ’70s are getting a bit of deja vu, not just in the grocery store and at the gas pump, but in hearing the jokes about taking out loans to buy food and gas.

There’s also a lot of deja vu in blaming the president, but that’s how we’ve always done it, I suppose.

You only have to remember back to the Bush administration to recall a time when gas prices were worse than they are now. If it’s Biden’s fault now, it was Bush’s fault then.


Meanwhile, the Dow is healthier at the moment than it ever was under Trump, the point being not that Biden is an economic genius so much as it is that people mostly bitch about things not out of logic or knowledge but simply out of political loyalties.

As for the price of meat, if you remember the Nixon years, you may also remember 1973, when shoppers got together and boycotted meat over high prices.

Of course, in those days, shoppers were already used to supporting the Farm Workers Union by refusing to buy lettuce and table grapes.

It was a different world.


And then there’s this flashback

While I was poking around for the artist of the “No Armistice Day” cartoon in yesterday’s CSotD, I stumbled onto the Anniston Daily Star from 1959.

It’s more evidence — as if we needed any — of my frequent complaints about cloth-eared editors who run cartoons they don’t understand.

But my goo’ness gracious, it’s not like Herblock was being subtle!

Why in the world did these white supremacist knuckle-draggers publish the piece in the first place???

The cartoon ran Sunday, August 16.

The letters, and the heartfelt retraction, ran on Tuesday.


Sic semper douchebaggis

7 thoughts on “CSotD: Analyzing the Analysts

  1. What I noticed first about the letters is that not only did they have the names of the writers, but also their addresses. Different times…

  2. I’d love to track down the descendants of those letter writers to ask what they think about their grandparents now. I may not like the answer.

    I’m also reminded of the insightful meme that goes “The people who threw rocks at Ruby Bridges are trying to keep their grandchildren from learning that they threw rocks at Ruby Bridges.”

    That’s an arch critique of the de Adder cartoon. Of course you know what he meant, but your objection that Trump wouldn’t have had the guts to fight in the first place, even on the side of evil, is sharp and funny. “I’ll be walking right beside you,” he told the mob on Jan. 6, immediately after which he did a U-turn and hid in the White House, a regular profile in courage.

    I don’t know what to say about the Gorrell cartoon. As the physicist Wolfgang Pauli said in dismissing an idea he wasn’t impressed by, “It’s not even wrong.” Wrong can be interesting; nonsense is just nonsense.

  3. @Brian—

    Re: the Gorrell cartoon—It was pretty easy for me to understand. Ever read the comments on any right-leaning blog? Or maybe the FB comments for any local news story? This cartoon is the encapsulation of current conservative thought—“the left” is a faceless enemy (as opposed to the fellow humans that you might share a school district with) who must be ground underfoot until the whole country is made up of Real Americans, just the way Jesus intended.

  4. I understood the de Adder cartoon as saying Trump has many of the characteristics and beliefs as the Nazis that we fought against in WW2.

  5. Um, I believe *Poland* is rushing the military to its borders to keep refugees from crossing from Belarus, which has been accepting refugees, encouraging them to go to the Polish border to enter the EU, and then deploying their military to keep the refugees from leaving the border area. It’s all part of Lukashenko’s counter-pressure against EU sanctions over violations of human rights and international law.

  6. Ah, right, Mark. Both nations have rushed military into action, but the (unwanted) flow is from Belarus to Poland. Serves me right for not providing a link to the news stories, which would have given me the straight scoop.

    FWIW, my original thought was to cite “Three Came Home,” a memoir by a woman who was in a Japanese prison camp in Borneo during the war. The men were in one camp, the women and children in a separate place, but she wrote of sneaking under the wires — out of hers, into his — to visit her husband.

    It occurs to me that, if people could filter in and out of Japanese prison camps, given the risk and the level of supervision, fascist dreams of impenetrable borders are even more obviously absurd.

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