Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Time Off From Bad Behavior


Hope n' Change is taking Wednesday and Friday off this week to enjoy a "staycation" and attend to various boring (but refreshingly nonpolitical) chores here at the office complex. There are desks to clean, whiskey bottles to put in the recycling bin, and checks from the Koch brothers to deposit.

Of course, if the world does something even crazier than usual we'll jump back into the hotseat. Although considering the rampant insanity which has become the norm, that's setting the bar pretty high. Currently, the plan is for our next cartoon and commentary to be on Monday, July 13, assuming that the jute mill don't explode...

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, pogo, jute mill, exploded
By the way, the Pogo strip above is over 60 years old but brilliantly captures both the volatility and unreliability of what goes on when people react to alleged "news" these days.  It's a funny but profound reminder that we'd all do well to sort out which issues du jour are actually important and which are imaginary exploding jute mills.

With that in mind, the comments section will remain open for whatever free-for-all discussions people want to have over the next few days. See you there!

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have a nice staycation!

George in Houtx said...

the jute mill exploded? somebody is gonna get throgged to a wortbane. Pogo was one of my favorites! always politically current without actually naming names.

Berferd said...

I too loved Pogo. The relevance today is uncanny. Thanks Walt Kelly and Stilt

Ken Tickner said...

Cut my reading teeth on Pogo. Favorite quote (often useful) is from Churchy
"Get goin! I'll create a diversion by screamin' and faintin'!"

REM1875 said...

Doc you must be mistaken, why just this week alone I got the following e-mails, green peace asked for money to save jute forest from jute mills, The dnc asked for a hefty donation to shut down down the evil Koch brother's jute mills empire, I was asked to sign a petition (and send a donation) to have have president obummer issue and executive putting most of the western US off limits for the National Jute Forest and another petition (and request for cash) to have the epa regulate jute mills out of existence?
I kinda suspect though it is a demonRat attempt to corner the burlap sack industry because they know with their help a bunch of us will dressing in em soon.

Boligat said...

Wait a minute. Aren't jutes those young people that live in the ghetto? Wouldn't that make the ghetto a jute mill? If the jute mill exploded... Holy Mackerel! I didn't know Pogo lived in Baltimore.

I miss Pogo, too.

Fred Ciampi said...

Ahhhh, I remember Lyndon B Johnson (Stepmother of socialism) portrayed as a bullmoose.... The memories...... I'll have to go to my Pogo archives now and find that strip.

Geoff King said...

Twine the world are jute gonna abandon us, Stilton?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Nice to see all the Pogo fans! Walt Kelly was a true genius, both verbally and artistically. When you look at newspaper cartoons these days, they mostly amount to characters standing still and talking. But in Pogo, things were always on the move in wildly kinetic fashion (in part, perhaps, because of Kelly's experience working in animation).

But as much as I loved the art, I love Kelly's use of language even more. Hilarious, musical, poignant, and wise. And seriously, for all of Shakespeare's massive output, I don't think he ever produced a line as good as "Wooohee - the jute mill is exploded!"

Chuck Baker said...

@Boligat - I think those are "yutes" (as per My Cousin, Vinny)

@Stilton - enjoy yourself. I find peace and solace in the mundane at times.

Chish McFicken said...

I sent you a couple of my deposit slips to help you avoid a higher
tax rate from those evil Koch Brother's checks....

Enjoy the vacay.

Glenn Wilson said...

Thanks for sharing and have a good staycation.

David in SoCal said...

Dr. J.: Glad to see you are taking a break from all the 'insanity de politica'. May your liquor cabinet be full, and your recycling bin overflowing with empties. I had a 5 day staycation last week, and had many to-do's on the list, but a lot of 'not-done's' at the end, due to too much time spent stressing over the latest scandals and distractions. I begged Mrs. SoCal to call my Dr. and schedule a 'Frontal Lobotomy', as I'd just had enough. She then offered up that it was better to have a 'Bottle in Front of Me' instead. Now y'all know why I love her so much.
Rest up, and stay hydrated my friend!

Anonymous said...

The "Dukes of Hazzard" meets Pogo in the USSA.

Juanita The Icon said...

"Jute Mill" is racist.

John the Econ said...

It's impressive how Pogo doesn't age. In fact, that cartoon is more relevant today than it was 60 years ago. "Social Media" now spreads non-news and hyperbole at near-light speed to billions, getting amplified and less relevant at the same time.

For example, thanks so social media outrage, we've now banned the "General Lee", but yet at the same time are considering racist eugenicist Margaret Sanger as a replacement on the $20 bill for Andrew Jackson.

Speaking of, personally I think it's rude to dump the father of our currency. I suggest that instead of dissing Jackson, the Treasury should issue a new bill to feature a woman, the $15.40-dollar-bill, since the President argues that women make only 77-cents for ever dollar a man does. That way, everybody wins.

The comics pages died for me about the time "The Far Side" and "Calvin & Hobbes" retired. Too little to bother with since, IMHO.

John the Econ said...

Ha! I predicted this. Hillary finally takes an almost-stand on something that the left holds dear:

Clinton, California lawmakers condemn San Francisco's 'sanctuary' policy

"Clinton chided law enforcement officials in an interview with CNN, saying the city was wrong to ignore an Immigration and Customs Enforcement request to hold Francisco Sanchez for federal authorities. Sanchez is accused of killing a young California woman along a pier last week.

"The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported," Clinton said. "So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on."


And SanFran uber-liberals DiFi & Boxer concurred.

It's impressive how things can change when Progressives are finally confronted by the stupid realities of their agenda.

This is getting interesting. The Washington establishment & media cohorts are doing all it can to mock and neutralize Trump. And don't get me wrong; Trump is a jester. But he's a very useful jester. Remember, in Shakespeare as well as any royal court, the jester is the vital character that is actually free to speak the truths than nearly everyone in the court knows, but for whatever reason cannot say aloud.

Last week's shooting of a random citizen in San Francisco by an illegal alien repeat felon that weeks before had been held by San Francisco police but released instead of deported because San Francisco considers itself a "sanctuary city" could not have been better timed. They can mock Trump all they want, but none but the most brain-dead will fail to make the connection. The left likes to argue that our prisons are too full, but beyond drug users they don't like to discuss "full of whom?".

At some point, the citizens of San Francisco will have to ask each other if it's worth it to be a "sanctuary city". Oh, they won't seriously for some time; since it's such an integral part of their far-left identity and political agenda, they'll remain in denial for quite some time. But perhaps they will start to reconsider when it's no longer possible to hide the escalating crime statistics and tourists start taking note of how safe it really is in such "sanctuary cities" and start deciding not to go there anymore. Although I'd never live there, I love visiting San Francisco. But at it's current trajectory, I'm not so sure how often I'll be visiting in the future.

My biggest fear now is that as San Francisco becomes uninhabitable even for the wealthy, the rich uber-liberals responsible for this nightmare will move to my neck of the woods and start to ruin it as well.

Rod said...

My elderly mother was injured in an accident and the last 8 days have been a major education in the way our healthcare system works now. There are a lot of talented and very caring people out there to which we owe many thanks... but meanwhile I hardly have words to describe how screwed up, fragmented, polluted with wrong information, non-communicative and full of questionable rules the overall emergency and healthcare system has become. It's truly alarming when you get into it. All I can say now is be well prepared; and NOone should be at a major medical institution without the almost non-stop oversight & involvement by a personal guardian who can assure the system actually works. It's like when I worked in major overseas projects elsewhere: nearly everyone in the system can stop the machine; but there are few that understand the entire machine ensure correct records and necessary communications, and can make it work. PS: It seems just now that Mom will be OK eventually, but it will take a while and she very lucky to still be with us.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Hmph. Not sure if I'll be able to stick to my guns and not post on Friday with monumental, society-changing crap like this going down...

@Rod- So sorry about your Mom, but I'm at least glad to hear that things are looking promising for her recovery. You're right that everyone now needs a round-the-clock advocate when in the hospital to make sure that nothing awful happens. There have always been horror stories, but I'm hearing a big increase in them from friends and acquaintances.

John the Econ said...

It will be interesting to see how Obama's "Fair Housing Rule" will go down in exclusive Progressive enclaves like Chappaqua or Santa Cruz. It either won't go down well at all, or it just won't go down at all. (I suspect the latter, as some pigs are more equal than others)

As for navigating the health care jungle: I feel for you @Rod. Anyone in the system who is either clueless as to how it works or lacks an aggressive advocate on their behalf is road kill. And if you lack your own resources, you are totally at the system's mercy, which is getting thinner every day.

Popular Front said...

'The jute mill exploded'? That surely is a variation of "Curses! The postilion of my uncle has been struck by lightning!"

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Somehow I get the idea that the playgrounds of the rich won't be the first neighborhoods to be redesigned by quota. And since Barry's plan is to withhold federal funds to areas which aren't perfectly integrated, why doesn't he start by NOT taking our tax dollars to Martha's Vineyard next month? Why not vacation with the family in some community that has a mix of people that "look like America?" I'm told Baltimore is beautiful this time of year. Detroit offers some bargain tour packages. And as long as your cars have bullet-proof glass, you can't go wrong with Chicago.

Regarding health care, I think sheer inefficiency and miscommunication is probably one of our nation's leading killers. But add to that the fact that every time a patient dies, some number cruncher in Washington can calculate how much money is saved by not having to pay any more medicare or social security to that individual. More than ever, death is becoming one of the government's handy tools for balancing the books. That's why the "end of life counseling" has reappeared in new Medicare rules - to let people know that they can become burdens to their families unless they sign a directive saying they want no extraordinary (ie, expensive to Medicare) medical services to prolong their lives.

@Popular Front- My postilion was once hit by lighting. I had to pee sitting down for a month.

Boligat said...

@Chuck Baker- I knew that. Just a lame attempt at humor. :-)

@John the Econ- Did you notice that Hillary soft pedaled her "rebuke"? "So I have no support..." What's wrong with, "What the h*ll were you clowns thinking? Your absolute stupidity cost this young woman her life. You and all your ilk have turned this once beautiful city into a sh*thole. If I were president I would send in the DOJ with orders to crucify everyone of you worthless pissants!"

No wonder the media report used the word "chided." What she said wasn't much of rebuke or even a criticism, much less a slap upside the head. Wouldn't want to lose too many votes.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, if there's one characteristic of the Obama era, it's the ever expanding and glaring hypocrisy of the Progressive elite class. For awhile, they at least felt compelled to buy "carbon credits" as atonement to correctness. But now, not even that is necessary. Today, it's just enough to spout fealty to the cause, and if you feel compelled, perhaps tossing a couple of bucks at the Clinton Foundation for good measure.

So yes, while mainstream America will be denied fences, guns, and safe neighborhoods, thoroughfares, and vacation spots, the elites will keep theirs.

Isn't it interesting that the Federal government is prepared to precisely re-engineer individual communities via finely-combed statistical data, but nobody can seem to come out with even rough demographic data confirming the number of illegal aliens inhabiting our prisons? Am I the only one to have noticed that the left and media have been working overtime over the last week to discredit everything that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth on illegal immigration, and yet does not deem it relevant to refute him with any actual statistics of their own to discredit him?

Once again, to Progressives, the best debate is the one that never takes place. And until a week ago, it wasn't. Yes, Trump is a loud-mouthed goofus. But he is doing the middle class a service that has been denied them by both the Democrats and GOPfor a very long time. Even NBC tool Chuck Todd had to admit last night that absolutely nobody would be discussing the immigration situation if it weren't for Trump. And notice that Trump is trumping the other Republicans in the polls. It's not because people like his hairpiece.

Once again, I plead for any journalist to ask this question of ANY candidate: "How do you reconcile America's open-borders policy that is responsible for the 8-figures of illegal aliens with your pledges to improve the pay level and number of jobs available to the middle class?"

50 years ago in America, it was possible for most blue-collar workers to support a family on a single paycheck. (And that includes a stay-at-home mom) And then in the mid-60s, the Democrats changed America's immigration paradigm. It's no coincidence that everything changed after that. I'd like to see every candidate on both sides answer to this.

Popular Front said...

@John the Econ

In Australia, back in the late 50s & early 60s a bank would not give you a home loan where the repayments were more than 25% of your take-home pay. That was a firm rule and encouraged savings so you had the maximum possible deposit before you went for a mortgage. It worked, certainly for my father's large family it did. He had a small mortgage for a modest rural property, worked hard to pay it off quickly and did so and never looked back, trading up to better properties on better ground, without outside finance.
Today however, you can borrow 120% of your required capital with practically no assets. Sheer madness! Locked into perhaps 50 years of repayments, assuming of course you'll remain in gainful employment in all that time. Guy across the lane is a perfect example, he only moved in late in 2013. Big house with all mode cons, 20 acres, two big top of the range vehicles etc etc and his old lady just started full time work a couple of months ago because they're not making ends meet. In over their heads but as she's always complaining about my workshop stereo I couldn't care less. I own my 17 acres lock stock and hitching rail and owe nobody anything except the yearly rates (land tax).
Drive into town from my place (about 10 miles out) and as you roll in you'll pass a piece of vacant ground that on the weekend is crammed full of vehicles for sale. Near new stuff too, not clunkers plus jetskis, dirt bikes, trailers you name it. They're all somebody's toys bought on easy credit which have to be sacrificed to pay the bills and taking them to a caryard will just get you taken down.
I was brought up believing that if you didn't have the dollars in your pocket then you couldn't afford whatever it was you were looking at. I still firmly believe that. I have a credit card for online transactions but it is a Visa Debit card so it is only MY money I'm using, nobody else's. Interest rates? Never heard of them!
This insidious 'entitlement mentality' that so many are falling victim to has an even darker aspect, that is the lure of easy credit which by my jaded observation is ruining more lives and family units than it is improving. Easy credit may seem groovy to some but just remember - YOU HAVE TO PAY IT BACK! Greece take note.

John the Econ said...

@Popular Front, I agree wholeheartedly. It's amazing how in the "land of the free", so many people are slaves to both the stuff they buy which they cannot afford, and to the lenders who enslave them by making it possible. Want to know what I think "freedom" is? It's being able to afford what you want, but then only buying what you need and staying that way. I've never financed a car. The Econ family owns its home outright. We'll never live in fear of someone prepossessing a car, or foreclosing on our house. (As financial personality & advisor Dave Ramsey likes to say, "100% of foreclosures happen to those with mortgages") During the boom times, we could have easily bought McMansions, and many of our friends did. It's absurd the amount of money that we could have borrowed to do so. Some of those friends suffered dearly when times weren't as good, and are still suffering the consequences today. I sleep well at night knowing that if my fortunes should turn tomorrow, at least I won't be losing my home. Or if we wanted to, we could sell and move tomorrow. We have freedom that people who are tied down to debt do not. If I sell a possession, it's because I no longer need or want it, or want to use the money on something else. It won't be because I'm forced to. That's all "freedom".

Unfortunately, one of the consequences of free-market capitalism is that people are free to enter into bad deals that will ultimately hurt or ruin them in the long run, like zero-down real estate, loans that well exceed the value of the asset being purchased, and balloon payments, etc. I don't consider this a "fault" of capitalism, but a failure in educating people starting at a young age the implications of consuming more than 100% if what you're worth. I know of few schools that fundamentally teach this; something that kids should have a solid understanding of long before they leave high school. We spend years indoctrinating kids about all kinds of hypothetical threats, but can't seem to spend a mere semester teaching them about the very real perils of accrued interest. Perhaps if we did, we wouldn't have so many kids who've cumulatively racked up over a trillion dollars in student load debt on useless college degrees. I can only assume that the reason it's not taught in schools is because the schools themselves are mostly run by highly indebted education professionals who don't know any better themselves.

As for Greece taking note: They clearly don't care. They won't have to pay it back because everyone knows they couldn't even if they actually wanted to. So instead, they're playing the "victim card"; crying about how the "cradle of democracy" will lose their sovereignty, and demanding that the "rich" countries support them forever as welfare dependents, basically just because.

It's the rest of the world that should take note. This is what welfare does when a whole society is eventually converted to it. It infantizes them. It makes them willingly vote for slavery. Greece has the potential to become a human disaster, as they have to import most of the basic necessities for survival, such as food. If they don't come to some agreement, they could literally starve.

John the Econ said...

I've always admonished my Progressive friends, that their real problem isn't that we disagree, but will be when I give up and join them by ceasing to be a "net producer" to society, and instead become a "net consumer" as just another citizen seeking out benefits. It's the "Atlas Shrugged" scenario, and when enough of us quit, as they long since have in Greece, it will be a messy world indeed.

I find what's going on now fascinating, and I wish I had the time and energy to study and write about it full time. We have so many economic lessons going on at the moment. (What's going on in China is actually the bigger story than Greece, btw)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Popular Front & John the Econ- Good stuff. Like you guys, I've lived well below my means for ages, and don't have debt of any kind (other than property taxes, etc). In my youth, I indeed took out loans for my college education, my car, and my home - but I didn't borrow extravagantly, and I paid everything off in less than the maximum time. Now it's inconceivable that I would borrow to pay for anything.

That's not to disparage anyone who needs a loan; only those who borrow foolishly to buy more than they can realistically hope to pay back.

John, you mention the "Atlas Shrugged scenario" and I confess I was thinking about that when reading about Obama's new "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" edict. It seems that in the very near future, there will be two ways to move into a good neighborhood: by working to get there, or by not working. Of the two, guess which choice a lot of people will decide on?

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, I think much of the problem is that we've turned "debt" into some sort of game one plays. People no longer think of debt it terms of something that is to be paid back, but just something that one acquires based upon whatever "payments" they can afford at the moment.

As for our new "neighbors", I've found that I prefer the company of people who've worked to get places verses those who just get to show up. Let's see what happens when Trump says that out loud.

wheels said...

My favorite line from Pogo, which is pertinent to the end of your vacation (although not applicable, I hope), is "Friday the 13th done come on a Monday. We gonna have a whole week of bad luck!"

JustaJeepGuy said...

It's sad that the "progressives" never learned that "Animal Farm", "1984", and "Atlas Shrugged" were supposed to be warnings, not instruction manuals. I guess the fact that their "intentions" are so well-meaning is somehow supposed to make it all work out in the end, rather than those "intentions" bringing on the end. But they'll never see that. Who is John Galt, indeed!

John the Econ said...

@JustaJeepGuy, I re-read "Atlas Shrugged" during the first year of the Obama Administration. Every so many minutes, I'd scream "That's already happening!". You're right. It's as though these guys are following it not as a warning, but as a script.