CSotD: Say Anything

I saw the first corgi cartoon on the funny pages today, so I guess that tells us the time lag and, no, I’m not going to feature it here.

But I will feature Martin Rowson’s farewell to the topic, which only has two corgis, which is quite a few less than you would get in corgi corgi corgi sausage egg and corgi.

I like Rowson’s curtain call, because there’s poor King Charlie and it seems like a long wait only to find out that nobody really gives a damn after all.

As mentioned here before, reading “The Guns of August” brought the odd realization that, back in WWI, we cared what kings and queens thought about things. They weren’t just for waving at tourists and opening shopping centers.

It makes an outsider wonder if Britain might not imitate other countries and just pension off their royalty or, to be more accurate, pension them off at a less splendiferous level.


The question does come up from time to time, at least in parts of the Commonwealth if not in the UK itself, and Matt Golding speculates that perhaps updating Australia’s money might include doing more than making the Queen look progressively more mature or, now, plunking Charles on it in her place.


But “in her place” is the operative phrase, because, as Harry Bruce suggests, this recent spate of queuing up to deposit piles of flowers and marmalade sandwiches suggests that a lot of people were besotted at least with Elizabeth if not with her problematic spawn, such that, if there were a time for another referendum on the monarchy in Australia, it isn’t right now.


Well, I’m not Australian, and, as they say, not my queen, not my country. Or words to that effect.

But First Dog on the Moon offers a solution I would embrace, or at least pat on the head.


However, there are farcical takes on the news that don’t seem as funny. Conservative cartoonists like Steve Kelley (Creators) are currently attacking Stacy Abrams for pointing out that a six-week old fetus can’t have a heartbeat because, at that stage of development, the heart has not developed.

That’s science. You can have a religious debate over when life begins, and you could, perhaps, argue that the term “heartbeat” is like the term “sunrise,” in that it describes something we know doesn’t actually happen.

Then again, nobody (sane) uses “sunrise” to insist that — whatever the Bible says — the Sun actually revolves around the Earth, while they are using “heartbeat” to suggest a level of development that justifies their religious belief.

And it is more than a stretch to spin a factual statement about science into a claim that pro-choice people favor abortion of healthy fetuses up to the moment of birth.


Perhaps not as much of a stretch as Gary McCoy’s suggestion that California is ignoring its homeless population in favor of letting people make up their own choices about their sexuality.

Again, it’s not an issue of “spin.” The facts are simply not with him.

Maybe he feels the state’s spending level is not sufficient, and, if so, I’m sure he would find plenty of advocates for the homeless who would agree with him. But possibly not with his suggestion that medical conditions which offend his personal beliefs should go untreated.


Meanwhile, addressing both positions in those cartoons, Paul Berge wonders why the party that talks so much about freedom can’t manage to keep its mind — and its legislative hands — out of other people’s pants.

Though I think maybe what they’re aiming for is socialized non-medicine, where the Central Government decides who doesn’t get treatment. They once went nuts over mythical “death panels.” Now they advocate them.


Though, as Ann Telnaes points out, it’s not like we’re the only country whose government seeks to impose certain limitations on their people, right?


Iranian cartoonist Nahid Zamani notes that hijabs and burkas are only a symbol of the limitations being imposed on Iranian women by the mullahs, and her accusation may be more metaphorical than actual: It is my impression that Iranian women have more options in education and work than their Afghan sisters, at least in the urban center of Tehran.

But that’s more reason for them to push back against the medieval dress codes being imposed.


I love the graphics of Morten Morland’s commentary on the uprisings in Iran, because he captures both the nature of the rebellion in the beard-and-hijab mashup, and the drama both in their facial expressions and by dressing her in revolutionary green.


But I wonder if Cathy Wilcox isn’t closer to a reportorial take, with her more restrained portrait of a bare-headed woman using her hijab to set fire to the old regime.


I will confess that, while I remember 2009, when the authorities shot down demonstrators in the streets of Tehran including Neda Agha-Soltan, I haven’t remained up to speed on their struggles.

But five years earlier, writing for an upper-elementary school audience, I covered the sad death of what had seemed like promising reform in Iran:

My research then left me with two impressions that I suspect have not changed.

One is that, while Westernizers are a powerful group in Tehran, the Iranian countryside is far, far more socially and religiously conservative, so that, while the Guardians Council may find itself on shaky ground in the city, it has plenty of support in the rest of the nation.

The other is that opposing the mullahs does not equate to renouncing Islam. Besides the vast number of observant Muslim women around the world who wear Western dress, there are also plenty of Muslim women around the world who like the hijab, and wear it not because they are ordered to but because they want to.

Which leads us back to Telnaes and religious extremists, in any nation, who seek to force women to behave in certain ways, while fairness and human decency cry out for freedom and free choice, even when it’s not the choice we’d have made.

Finally, I note that the brave feminist reformer who resigned from Iran’s parliament in 2004, continues to carry on the struggle in exile.

As others have, as others must.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Say Anything

  1. The Kelley cartoon may be a stretch and more than a stretch, but it’s an important sign post for Democrats. It’s one that, strategically, they can’t afford to ignore. It shows how the abortion issue can be turned against them. There are a majority of Americans who oppose abortion bans starting at conception, but there are probably at least as many who would oppose no cutoff at all. What that means is that when the governor of a red state proposes to ban elective abortions after, say, twenty weeks, that has to be understood as a negotiating point. The same with exceptions for life of the mother, say, but not for rape or incest. These are (or should be taken to be) things to be negotiated. In many red states (I believe) something close to Roe can be reached through negotiation. The left’s stance just cannot be, “That’s not good enough,” without saying what would be good enough. It’s time now to turn down the heat and focus on what can reasonably be achieved.

  2. Mike,
    Before you consider the time frame of abortion bans in red states to be a negotiating point, remember that the Kansas constitutional amendment that ‘merely’ stated that there was no right to have an abortion and that the legislature COULD enact laws to prohibit abortions was overwhelmingly rejected.
    Instead of accepting that the majority of the voters in a strongly red state were opposed to such legislation, a number of Republican politicians claimed that the reason the amendment failed was because it was not strong enough and did not go to the point of actually PROHIBITING abortion.
    The time frame after conception has long been the major point of negotiation, yet conservatives keep moving the goalposts.

Comments are closed.