Monday, June 17, 2024

Do You Feel a Draft?


I never thought I'd say this, but Der Furor's crowd has finally suggested something I could support. 

Recent reports indicate that some conservatives have suggested that mandatory "national service" may be necessary to ensure that our Armed Forces are sufficiently manned for the challenges posed by an uncertain world, the growing power of China, and an aggressively resurgent Russia. The loaded term "draft" isn't being used yet, but if Der Furor and his ultra-conservative advisors come to power, you'll be sure to hear it.

As much as it pains me to agree with anything our modern fascist wannabes advocate, I don't think some form of mandatory national service ... not just military, but perhaps also civil or social ... is necessarily a bad thing. Here's my reasoning ...

Growing up in a middle-class, almost completely white, neighborhood, I didn't have much routine daily contact with anyone not white and "Christian" until I went to college and, in 1973, graduated via ROTC with a BA in Linguistics and a commission as an Air Force Second Lieutenant. I spent the next 23 years moving from assignment to assignment, working alongside (and frequently for) blacks, women, asians, hispanics, gays, lesbians, "Christians," Jews, Muslims, atheists, and every combination thereof. It didn't take long for me to realize that everyone was pretty much the same under the skin. There were good and bad, smart and stupid, strong and weak people of every kind working side-by-side. Color, religion, and sexual preference were no guarantee of worth. Daily experience drove the lesson home.

And this is why I think some form of mandatory national service could be a good thing. It would force people to work with and for people who are different. It would give people an opportunity (which, sadly, some would resent) to learn that the despised "other" is a person, too.

Obviously, there would be problems with a mandatory national service program. While it might have a voluntary aspect, it would still cost money to administer ... how would we fund it? Should anyone be able to refuse mandatory military service in a future draft? Who? How could it be enforced? What types of service other than military should be considered? What legal and Constitutional roadblocks might prevent such a program?

I think we should find out the answers. It's time for people to realize that citizenship involves not just rights, but responsibilities.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Musical Sunday


Today is Fathers' Day, and it's only appropriate that we honor our fathers with Dan Fogelberg's salute that never fails to bring tears to my eyes ... 


Not all fathers are as good as the one I was lucky enough to have ... he left us nine years ago and I miss him every day. If you have a good father, today would be a good day to let him know you love him, before it's too late.

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Cartoon Saturday


It's been a long week, and we surely do need an infusion of cartoons to help get over it ... 

President Biden's son Hunter was convicted by a Delaware jury on weapons possession charges ... as expected, Republicans found a way to claim the conviction as proof of the President's abuse of power; Attorney General Merrick Garland was charged (in a party-line vote) with contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to a Congressional subpoena ... unlike Congressman Jim Jordan, who has ignored a Congressional subpoena related to his involvement in the 2021 insurrection for 760 days; the Supreme Court unanimously rejected an attempt by antiabortion activists to prevent the prescription and sale of the abortifacient drug mifepristone*; New York police arrested a man in Queens after recovering a 9mm Glock handgun, nine loaded magazines, heavy body armor, handcuffs, NYPD uniform items, two axes, several knives, a stun gun, a weighted whip and an expandable baton from his vehicle; and in Salt Lake City, police are searching for a $234,000 Lamborghini stolen from the city airport after its owner left it in a short-term parking lot, unlocked, and with the keys still in the ignition. 

This week, since the GOP is evidently planning to replace our current form of government with an absolute monarchy, I thought a collection of cartoons about kings, queens, and the pleasures of royalty (at least for the royals) might be appropriate ... 

It's good to be the king, especially because you get to sit in that neat chair. First up, a few cartoons about thrones ...

He must have bought this one from La-Z-Monarch ...


It's never good to overlook things like that ...


The royal picnic can't have just any folding chair ...


It may be ergonomic, but it's not the same thing as the traditional model ...


Moving on from the throne room ...


He may be a while ...


Those pesky homeowners' association rules ...


Remote working works for royalty, too ...


Divide and conquer has a long and storied history ...


It may not be what the realm needs, but if the king wants it ...


Hear ye, hear ye ... the cartoons for this week are hereby completed, and thou are commanded to have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts shall be forthcoming when the royal musicians arrive on the morrow to celebrate Musical Sunday.

Bilbo

* Although they sidestepped the real issue by ruling only that the organizations bringing the suit lacked standing to do so. The issue will keep coming back like a radically religious hydra.

Friday, June 14, 2024

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for June, 2024


We're almost halfway through June, and it's taken this long to get to the first opportunity to recognize a deserving ass clown for the month. Let's get to it ...

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the tinfoil and toilet paper crown of 

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for June, 2024


is presented to

The Authors and Architects of Project 2025


Project 2025 is a presidential transition operation organized and led by the the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, to create a government ready to step into power immediately if Der Furor returns to office on Jan. 20, 2025*. 

The complete agenda for Project 2025 is laid out in a 900-page document titled "Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise." It envisions a government completely staffed with conservative activists, dedicated to conservative principles, and wholly focused on implementing the aims of a conservative president ... even when those aims are at variance with the Constitution. In 30 chapters divided into five sections, it presents a plan to completely replace non-political, professional government employees with well-vetted conservative activists chosen not for their technical skill, but for their absolute dedication to carrying out the orders of a president with unlimited powers.

Conservative Republican efforts to lay the groundwork for quickly overturning more than 200 years of American government and jurisprudence have been underway for decades, stacking state governments with conservatives, gerrymandering congressional districts to ensure conservative candidates win regardless of the ballot totals, and filling state and federal benches with deeply conservative judges. This long-term spadework has positioned the GOP to take complete control of federal, state, and local governments and the judiciary, effectively cementing conservative rule of the nation for generations, regardless of the desires of citizens as expressed in free and fair elections.

You may recall that the GOP did not publish a formal platform for the 2020 election, declaring simply that "... the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda [and] that the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention." As that 2024 convention approaches, Project 2025 uses the candidacy of a popular**, yet fundamentally flawed candidate to implement the most radical change in the direction*** of the nation since Franklin Roosevelt pulled the nation from the Great Depression with the New Deal. You can read a good summary of the Project 2025 effort by the PBS News Hour here

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the June Right-Cheek Ass Clown Award is presented to the authors and architects of Project 2025 - a project that might more accurately be titled, "Blueprint for Eliminating the Constitution and Returning to the Glory Days of the 1930s without Having to Deal with That Annoying and Time-Consuming Amendment Process and the Interference of Those Pesky Voters." If you think a government staffed by sycophants drawn from the bottom of the competency barrel is a good thing, your time has come.

Have a good day and be sure to come back tomorrow, when Cartoon Saturday - in "honor" of Der Furor and those who would put him on a throne - takes a look at kings. More thoughts then.

Bilbo

* An event generally referred to as "The Apocalypse."

** For the life of me, I can't understand why this foul creature, bereft of dignity, compassion, education, and common sense, is so popular. I just don't understand a large chunk of the American population.

*** Forward, into the 1930s!

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Poetry Sunday


Ready to stick a tentative toe into a beautiful poem? Look no further ... 

Your Feet
by Pablo Neruda


When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.

Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.

I know that they support you,
and that your gentle weight
rises upon them.

Your waist and your breasts,
the doubled purple 
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth
your red tresses,
my little tower.

But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.


Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Cartoon Saturday


Excuse me while I look for the reset button on this week ... 

Hunter Biden's trial on felony charges of weapon possession as a drug user continued in Delaware as his father - the President - refused to intervene or comment on the proceedings*; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas updated his financial disclosure report, disclosing - among other things - a 2019 trip to Bali paid for by a GOP megadonor, while other justices reported sizable income from a wide variety of sources; Boeing scored a long-hoped-for win when its Starliner spacecraft successfully launched from Cape Kennedy and docked at the International Space Station; President Biden and European leaders visited the beaches of Normandy in France to honor the 80th anniversary of the Operation Overlord landings during World War II; and in (where else?) Florida, a woman was arrested after calling the local sheriff's office to report herself for trying to steal a car from a dealership so she “could do it legally” ... she told responding deputies she was being trained to steal a car in a "game of Black Ops," but had called the police to make her carjacking "legal."

It's another random cartoon week ... I promise to go back to themed cartoons next week.

We lead off with two looks at medieval warfare; first, a cautionary tale about properly training your troops to use new weapons ...


And second, the importance of actually reading the instructions ...


Well, we've tried everything else ...


Me, too! ...


You can overthink things ...


It's a very well-kept secret ...


When the FBI gets around to searching the garage at Mar-a-Lago ...


Mine are, too ...
 

As I might have guessed ...


First contact will probably look like this ...


Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow, when Poetry Sunday comes to June.

Bilbo

* Strangely, Republicans who have howled loudly and nonstop about Biden's alleged ruthless legal persecution of Der Furor have ignored the President's hands-off approach to the trial of his own son ... hmmm ...

Friday, June 07, 2024

Great Moments in Editing and Signage


It's the first collection of Great Moments in Editing and Signage for June! Let's get right to it, starting with a trio of interesting moments dealing with musical instruments ... 

I'm not sure I'd want to be playing this in the high school band ...


The right tool for the job ...


Is this where the ass clarinet gets placed in the orchestra seating? ...


If you've already gone with the trend of dyed armpit hair, this is the logical next step ...
 

I've been in places like this, though not recently ...


It may be grounds for divorce, but will it stand up in court? ...


Accurately covering the substance of a speech by Der Furor ...


This ought to be an interesting relationship ...


When you really want to go out with a bang ...


Home decor for the discriminating alpha male ... 


Have a good day, and get those teeth colored right away, before the trend changes. More thoughts tomorrow, when Cartoon Saturday returns. See you then.

Bilbo

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Musical Sunday


The 2024 election is only a few months away, and if you're not paying attention already, you'd better get started. You may wish that the Democrats were running FDR instead of Joe Biden, but I'd suggest to you that the choice between Mr Biden and a self-centered, sociopathic, misogynistic wannabe fascist makes the decision pretty simple. And consider the party that's sold itself to Der Furor as you listen to this takeoff from the Parody Project, with apologies to Billy Joel ...


In case you missed them, here are the lyrics:

They insult with a smile, they disdain compromise
They can ruin our republic with incessant lies
And they bully their critics on national TV
They behave like spoiled children, but this is the real GOP

They create a disaster, find others to blame
They follow their Master and never feel shame
They’re changing the rules to rewrite history
Yeah, it’s a disgrace, but this is now the real GOP

Oh, they just think of themselves, they can only complain
Do it all of the time
Oh, and their candidates sound so completely insane
And they don’t seem to mind

They'll promise you nothing, while never conceding
They'll carelessly cut what you need to stop bleeding
But they'll root out their best, leave the worst in DC
Blame it all on yourself, if you voted for this GOP

Mmm-mmm, mmm-mmm
Mmm-mmm, mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm
Oh, they’ve no plans to propose, they can only complain
Do it all of the time
Oh, and their candidates sound so completely insane
They are out of their mind

They never are kind, but they often are cruel
They can do as they please, ‘cause they think we’re all fools
They won't be accused, if they get their A.G.
But the worst they will do is take freedom from you
And this is now the real GOP

mm-mm-mm-mm-mmm
mm-mm-mm-mm-mmm
mm-MM-mm-mm-MM-mm
mm-MM-mm-mm-MM-mm-mm-mmm.

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. Think very, very carefully about your vote this year, and if you are still conflicted, read the "Project 2025 Manual for Leadership" that lays out the world the GOP wants you to live in. Your vote counts more than ever as we look to the world our grandchildren will have to live in.

More thoughts coming. 

Bilbo

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Cartoon Saturday


Did you enjoy the last week of May? ... 

After deliberating for just under ten hours, the jury found Der Furor guilty on all 34 felony charges in his New York hush money trial ... Der Furor, of course, views it as a disgrace; North Korea began sending balloons carrying loads of trash*, some including feces, into South Korea in response to South Korean activists' sending of food, medicine, and propaganda by balloon into the North; in Florida, Federal judge Aileen Cannon** refused to approve a gag order preventing Der Furor from making false and inflammatory comments about law enforcement personnel; as expected, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has refused to recuse himself from cases involving the January 6th, 2021 insurrection, despite widespread concern about his impartiality; and in Florida, a man who got lost in a forest and called the local sheriff's office for help was arrested when the deputies who rescued him discovered he was carrying drugs and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. 

I thought we'd greet June with a collection of random cartoons from my yet-to-be-filed file ... 

It would probably be effective, but not any cheaper ...


Sometimes that seems like a really, really good idea ...


You can't be too careful nowadays ...


Mothers are the same all over ...


I've seen these monster trucks described as "PRVs" - penis replacement vehicles ...


This young man has a bright future in politics ...


Self-driving in the Old West ...


Updating the story ...


Unfortunately, there's no cure for that ...


That's been my experience with warranties ...


And that's the way it is, as Walter Cronkite would have said in earlier times ... I hope you enjoyed this week's potpourri.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow, when Musical Sunday greets the new month.

Bilbo

* Contrary to early reports, the vile and offensive material carried by the balloons did not include transcripts of Der Furor's speeches and requests for campaign donations.

** Last month's Left-Cheek Ass Clown Award winner.

Friday, May 31, 2024

The On-Crack Ass Clown for May, 2024


May is one of two months this year (November will be the other) which offers us the opportunity to name not two, but three Ass Clown awardees, bringing back the On-Crack Ass Clown designation (thanks to fellow blogger John for the name). Having a third bite at the apple, as it were, helps to keep up with the tsunami of ass clownery that sweeps over us every day and leads us to shake our heads and mournfully ask, "they did what??"

Today, we look not to a single ass clown, but to an entire group. This will be the third group award presented this year (not counting the 2023 Ass Clown of the Year award presented to the Republican Party) - the others were the Special Award presented to the American News Media in February and the Right-Cheek Award presented to the Conservative Wing of the Supreme Court earlier this month. Group awards allow us to point out the sort of ass clownery that has become so rampant across entire categories of recipients, and keep me from having to do nothing with this blog but recognize one individual ass clown after another.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, designation as

The On-Crack Ass Clown for May, 2024


is awarded to

Der Furor's Protective Society


As Der Furor's trial on 34 felony counts ground on in New York City, the defendant (he hates to be called that) expressed his anger that (among many, many other things) his sycophants were being insufficiently supportive in his time of self-inflicted trial. As a result, numerous members of Congress took time out from their legislative duties to fly to New York and show their subservience to Der Furor by angrily undermining the justice system they claim is a "kangaroo court" engaging in the "political persecution" of their blameless leader. Florida Representative Matt Gaetz went so far as to parrot Der Furor's notorious admonition to the extremist "Proud Boys" during the 2020 presidential debates, assuring his leader that House Republicans were “standing back and standing by.” 

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson - second in line of succession to the Presidency - made the pilgrimage to Manhattan to call the American system of justice "corrupt," and to whine about “this ridiculous prosecution that is not about justice, it’s all about politics.”

The list of Congressional Republicans who ignored their jobs (in several cases, missing votes in Congress) in favor of flocking to New York in support of Der Furor's plea for aid included: Representatves Matt Gaetz (FL), Lauren Boebert (CO), Andy Biggs (AZ), Mike Waltz (FL), Eli Crane (AZ), Andy Ogles (TN), Anna Paulina Luna (FL), Ralph Norman (SC), and House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (VA), and Senators Rick Scott (FL), J.D. Vance (OH), Tommy Tuberville (AL), and Eric Schmitt (MO). Oddly enough, many of these are angling for a chance to be the Vice President in a potential second DF administration.

As if that weren't enough, three Republican Attorneys General - the highest ranking law enforcement officials of their states - made the trip to New York to rail against Der Furor's trial in a shameful undercutting of the rule of law they are sworn to uphold: Brenna Bird of Iowa, Steve Marshall of Alabama, and Alan Wilson of South Carolina.

I have decided to refer to these despicable characters collectively as Der Furor's Protective Society - a group of individuals who have forsaken their allegiance to the Constitution and the nation in favor of craven submission to a person who would never show them the allegiance and support he demands of them. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the On-Crack Ass Clown for May, 2024, is presented to Der Furor's Protective Society - a deluded group of elected officials who have sacrificed their dignity and honor on the altar of Der Furor's angry ambition.

Have a good day, and think carefully before you cast your vote this November. Be sure the people for whom you vote are more loyal to the Constitution than to an angry, vindictive wannabe dictator.

More thoughts coming tomorrow, with the first collection of cartoons for June. See you then.

Bilbo

P.S. - I wrote this post yesterday morning (May 30th), before the announcement of the across-the-board guilty verdict in Der Furor's trial. We should note that Der Furor's Protective Society has continued to rail against the justice system, although it has delivered a verdict based on hard evidence and testimony under oath ... two things notably absent in the grievance politics of the GOP and the MAGA world.