CSotD: Facts and opinions and truth and whatever

Before we get into all the issues in this country, an appreciation for Jordanian cartoonist Osama Hajjaj (Cartoon Movement)‘s take on the flooding in Pakistan. I’m dubious about those cooling towers, since nuclear is a potential alternative to energy sources that contribute to climate change (UPDATE: See comments), but I like the cause-and-effect framing of industrial blindness and the helplessness of the victims.

International cartoons can be metaphorical to the point of saying little beyond “Here it is,” but Hajjaj offers a statement that amounts to a challenge, particularly since (A) he’s some 2,000 miles from Pakistan and (B) the causes of climate change are equally, if not more, distant.

Now, the denialist response is to quibble over whose fault it is, but that’s a distraction, because it sure isn’t the fault of those 1,400 people killed in the floods, and we’re getting to the point where the disasters are coming at a speed and level where the most fervent foot-draggers and reality-avoiders are having trouble coming up with historical parallels to prove that we should do nothing.

Though if they continue to drag things out long enough, the glaciers will all melt and we won’t be able to obtain any more of the ancient core samples that prove them wrong.


Joel Pett continues that discussion on a domestic level: A lot of people here don’t care about facts, or, at best, cannot distinguish between fact and opinion.

I don’t know how you correct for that, because a person who watches only Fox, Newsmax and the twisted shards of OAN, and listens to talk radio, and only friends and follows fellow MAGAts on social media, will likely never hear dissenting information and, when it does pop up, will be comforted by having it slammed and denied.

Granted, there’s little difference between the delusional idiots who believe in JFK Jr and the pizza parlor pedophiles and the delusional idiots who think Ivana Trump was murdered and buried with top secret documents. But I know which ones are running around with AR-15s and threatening murder.

And I know who is encouraging them, which brings us to this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Bennett — CTFP)

(Ann Telnaes)

By issuing a naked threat of violence if the laws are enforced, Lindsey Graham leaves cartoonists with little to exaggerate. As Bennett suggests, it’s no more than the gangster extortionist threat of “Nice country you got here,” while Telnaes points out that Graham is throwing raw meat to an audience of slavering idiots with guns and a strong sense of victimhood.


Graham — who seems to think he can’t be prosecuted because he’s a Senator — is echoing the increasingly delusional messages from Dear Ex-Leader, who is barred from Twitter and Facebook but whose nutty statements are regularly shared by both his loyalists and his critics.

I think I heard less from Trump before he was kicked off the main sites.

Graham’s craven sycophancy reminds me of the silver tag around the neck of the dog Alexander Pope presented to the Prince of Wales, which read “I am His Majesty’s dog at Kew. Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?”

However, it reminded Doug Jones of something considerably less humorous:

The positive aspect, I suppose, being the number of “likes” Jones received, though likes are not nearly as effective as shares and retweets in spreading the word. But 501 is a pretty good number, too, when sanity is fighting a battle with people who absolutely reject it.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Gary Varvel — Creators)


(Deb Milbrath)

Here’s where facts and opinions tend to blend: Both cartoonists cherry-pick the facts that back up their politics, but Milbrath sticks to actual accomplishments, or at least, if you don’t think they qualify as “accomplishments,” actual facts.

Varvel digs deeper and includes rumor and innuendo as well as issues that Biden inherited from the previous administration.

Not all facts are free from debate. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disaster and the clean-up there remains a work in progress, but we can argue all night about Trump’s promised date and whether Biden should have honored it, as well as the astonishing collapse of the Kabul government and so forth and so on.

Supply chain and gas price issues happened under Biden but they happened in every other nation in the world, so it’s problematic to pin them entirely on him. Also I bought gas yesterday for $3.76 a gallon, which isn’t as cheap as it once was but then neither is it as expensive.

In the end, however, I’d rather argue over Varvel’s facts than Milbrath’s, because it’s easier: Her facts are more directly attributable to the Biden administration and thus a little harder to pull apart.

(That was intended as analysis, not a challenge.)


Meanwhile, Dana Summers (Tribune) continues the Class Warfare theme, in which he contends that college graduates don’t pay taxes.

I’d criticize Biden’s plan for extending the forgiveness to people making up to $250,000, because that’s into the elite stratosphere, but there are plenty of other people struggling to get by with the combination of student loan payments plus the same taxes we all pay.

It’s shameful to suggest otherwise, unless your goal is to divide the nation and join Lindsey Graham in fomenting a war of aggrieved terrorist attacks.


Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Jeff Danziger — Counterpoint)


(Jack Ohman)

It isn’t all coming up roses for rightwingers, as the aftershocks of Dobbs continue to reverberate.

Danziger not only indicates that the Republicans are running away from the backlash, but leaving their car — their hopes in the midterms — stalled on the tracks in the path of the coming train.

As for Ohman, he does enough local/regional material that I’m never clear if he’s referencing some specific California thing, but he certainly has a parallel over in Arizona, where Senate candidate Blake Masters began his campaign with full-fledged calls not only for an absolute ban on abortion but for a legal determination that fertilized eggs are people.

Then he suddenly went back and scrubbed all those deeply, sincerely felt beliefs from his website.

I reckon what he deeply, sincerely believes is that he wants to win the election.

Hey, we all need goals.


8 thoughts on “CSotD: Facts and opinions and truth and whatever

  1. Interestingly, I’ve not seen or heard anyone stating, “If you DO NOT prosecute drumpf, THERE WILL BE RIOTS IN THE STREET!”

    If nothing else, that is indicative of the difference between the two political parties.

  2. Although cooling towers are iconic shorthand for nuclear power plants, they’re also used in coal-fired and other types of power plants, so the cartoon still works. In fact, the first Google Image I turned up could have been used as reference for it (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/aug/12/national-grid-fires-up-coal-power-station-for-first-time-in-55-days).

    I haven’t heard anyone championing my solution to the student loan problem, so I’ll put it out here, on a comic strip blog, where the powers-that-be will be sure to see it. The government should refinance all outstanding loans, adjusting their interest rate to something sane and low. Any borrower who’s paid back their loan plus, say, 10% in interest, has paid in full. So if you borrow $100,000, you still have to pay that $100,000. But once you’ve paid back $110,000, you’re done. Seems to me that’d fix most of the “I’ve been paying $1000 per month for 30 years and still owe more than I borrowed” issues.

  3. Just to complete the thought on cooling towers: All that spews out of the tops of cooling towers is steam. (Mostly) pure clean water. It’s those smokestacks in the background that’ll get you.

  4. Thanks for the clarification on towers, and I agree with your student loan solution. I had to declare bankruptcy a decade ago when I was unemployed, but in the 20 years or so of needing credit cards as a single parent, I’d repaid principle and reasonable interest several times over. Just never could catch up with the 28% they wanted.

    Your solution also avoids the fact that $10 is a drop in the bucket for too many young people, and not the “elites” but the kids who had few choices. And, yes, who worked while they were in school.

  5. Late reading the blog. Brian covered my thoughts on cooling towers – not limited to nukes; not all nukes have them. One nitpick – steam, which is invisible, does not come out the top of the cooling tower; that’s water vapor.

  6. Water vapor is the gaseous form of water, and is invisible. Fog and clouds are visible because they are made up of small drops of liquid water; “steam” might refer to either vapor (invisible) or the cloud of droplets formed as the steam cools (visible).

  7. Mark, maybe confusion stems from the way people generally interchange the terms (and I note that different web sites will support different definitions), but the way I learned it, “Steam is an invisible gas, unlike water vapor, which appears as a mist or fog.” I know in power plants, there is a lot of emphasis on the dangers of steam leaks since they can’t be seen.

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