Pen vs. swords

For the killers, on behalf of Stéphane Charbonnier, Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac.


47 Responses to “Pen vs. swords”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Its a war out there, and its about time we all agreed to that. I had not seen the Times video.

  2. Jim isaacs Says:

    It is time the west got serious about this cancer and did something about it. A needle in the vein is to quick, it needs to be very slow.

    • Steve O Says:

      “Cancer” implies its a new, foreign body. This shit has been with us since Cain took a shot at Abel. The other 99.99% of the species on this planet kill when they’re hungry. Humanoids kill cuz we’re bored.

      Been talking lately about how the easiest way to get elected in this country is to say you’re going to get tough on crime. But getting smart on crime is the easiest way to lose reelection. Along those same lines, I’m waiting for the first guy with a smart solution instead of a tough one.

      • khal spencer Says:

        True enough, Steve. Its never a good idea to be dumb about a war. Dubya proved that, and Barry has been a scant bit better. But with people being mowed down in Paris (are we next–we have some dumbasses here as well?) its not like we can afford to be nice, either. Smart, and ruthless if need be.

        BTW, there is someone who posts as SteveO on the NPR site. Is dat you? Didn’t seem like the same POV I see here, but not sure.

      • Steve O Says:

        Thinking of Sean Connery right now, circa The Untouchables. They bring a knife, you bring a gun. They send someone to the hospital, you send one to the morgue.

        Problem is, every time a suicide bomber goes up in smoke, there are two more filling out applications. Meanwhile, we can’t make enlistment goals without gutting our standards. Whatever the proposed course of action is, it has to acknowledge that there are a lot more of them willing to die for the cause then there are of us willing to go kick down some doors.

        It’s a pay-to-play world. Lots of folks writing editorials. Not too many calling Uncle Sugar’s recruiting office asking how much an E-1 starts out at.

      • Steve O Says:

        Absofuckinglutely no reason smart has to equal nice. But we’re conditioned to think that because we lump tough and dumb together so often.

        Smart only has to mean effective. Efficient would be nice, but isn’t required. Cost effective is in the eyes of the beholder.

        But at the end of the day, are we making the situation better or worse?

      • Steve O Says:

        Someone told me there’s a Steve O on MTV. Jackass maybe? Nope, not me.

        I’m on pretty much a media boycott. Because I’ve never been confused with smart, I trust the Humble Mad Dog Moderator to keep me up to date with the news I can use.


      • khal spencer Says:

        Mad Dog hit the jackpot on this one. I imagine there are going to be a few Froggies out there tonight in and around the Paris area who will not be taking prisoners. I just hope no innocents get caught in the crossfire.This can get ugly fast. Or as you say, it can get really dumb really fast.

    • khal spencer Says:

      IIRC, the last times people were ready to sign up and move out were 7 Dec. and 11 Sept. I guess it takes a real blow to the ego to get enlistments up.

      I hate to say it, but I think the wise course of action is excellent intel (NSA?) and wise use of it. Decapitation as well as pacification. I’m not sure how one imposes a second Age of Reason on these guys. Have no idea.

      • Steve O Says:

        Reason is a non starter

        There are some seriously fucked up parts of Islamic doctrine and tradition.

        But think about trying to reason with a pro football fan that painting his face, dressing up like pig in drag, or donning Mad Max gear is a strange way to spend a Sunday.

      • khal spencer Says:


        Hope O’G didn’t sell his Mini-30…..

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Aw, nobody cares about shooting me. I’ve been making fun of a wide range of sensitive sorts for decades now and haven’t even been punched.

        I have been fired, but have yet to be fired upon, unless you count incoming in the in-box. Sticks and stones, etc.

        That said, I haven’t sold the Mini-30 yet.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Steve O notes:

      “Whatever the proposed course of action is, it has to acknowledge that there are a lot more of them willing to die for the cause then there are of us willing to go kick down some doors.”

      There it is. And their way is so cheap, while ours is so expensive. All the crazies need is a couple dudes who don’t give a shit, armed with box cutters, IEDs or AKs, in the right place at the right time. Kapow, instant headlines. Just add blood.

  3. karen Says:

    Frogs and frogs activation !

  4. bromasi Says:

    All religions suck.

    • tj Says:

      Two things I think about at times like this.
      If we all lived by the 10 commandments, the major, and violent religions wouldn’t stand a chance.
      Religion’s goal is self perpetuating , science is self correcting.
      I’m with science.

  5. Sharon Says:

    Extremely religious and otherwise rigid dogmatic peoples blind themselves to logic, reason, human experience and facts. It’s very hard to negotiate, have meaningful and effective discussions and build community with those who cannot process logic, reason, human experience and facts.

    It’s sad to think how this all may eventually play out. My hope is always that we will make it to the next generation who may become more globally educated and feel connected to the rest of the world. I think women worldwide can play a big role in this if we can allow them access to education (and internet).

    • khal spencer Says:

      “Extremely religious and otherwise rigid dogmatic peoples blind themselves to logic, reason, human experience and facts….”

      Dogma can be religious or secular, i.e., political extremism. Somehow, the rapid improvements in education and communication, rather than producing a more understanding and peaceful world, seems destined to fratricide.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’d like to think that women would be a little less likely than men to resort to the Kalashnikov as a debate tool. There’s something awfully toxic about testicles.

  6. Libby Says:

    Thank you, Patrick, for your powerful response. I’m grateful that you and other cartoonists and visual artists can weigh in with incisive and thoughtful images. CNNI had a segment on cartoonists responding to the attack.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Libby. I started out planning to draw that image, but then decided to do a little Photoshopping instead. Frankly, I don’t doodle as much as I used to, and I’m not nearly as quick to crank out a cartoon as I once was. Too much time writing, I guess.

      I suppose we should have seen this coming from a long ways off, given the vitriolic reaction to earlier cartoons about the Prophet. But the worst we wiseasses expect is a harsh letter to the editor, or maybe one of those painful chats about decorum and taste with an editor or publisher.

      Some days the world seems a decidedly unfunny place.

  7. khal spencer Says:

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Been off the inter tubes a while setting up a new iMac. I haven’t watched or read anything about the murders. I heard the news on the radio on the way back from Tucson. Patrick’s response is a good one. Perhaps a Hellfire from a Predator will take care of the folks who ordered this and convinced the ones who did it that it was right. Eye for an eye and all that bullshit. Can’t wait to hear what Chicken hawk Cheney has to say tomorrow.

  9. md anderson Says:

    And a middle age white male driving a possibly white pickup truck is a “person of interest” in the bombing of the NAACP office in Colorado Springs. But it’s barely getting any coverage beyond local (partially because thankfully no one was injured or killed). But any coverage it does get is bound to be of the “lone wolf acting on his own” type. No freaking out about potential white supremacist terrorist networks, no blaming extreme white western christian rhetoric for fomenting this behavior.
    The cognitive dissonance, it burns

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Bibleburg was a festering sinkhole of right-wing lunacy long before I got there in 1967. I think an outbreak of lovingkindness might make news, but not one feeble bombing attempt.

      Shucks, we had assholes painting swastikas on temples in the neighborhood not that long ago and it barely rated a few column inches in the local fish-wrapper.

      The Klan, the Birchers, Industrial Christianity, Amendment 2 … all found a home in Bibleburg. The Southern Poverty Law Center names two hate groups in my old hometown, and I expect there are a few that fly under the radar. It’s a shame, really, because there are some truly honorable people living in town and doing good works there.

      As regards coverage and the lack thereof, I think part of the problem, frankly, is the national sense that Bibleburg is a rat’s nest of deranged Bible-banging, gun-toting, gay-bashing, mouth-breathing racist rednecks, and thus an IED that doesn’t even work is more or less par for the course. (Of course, little escapes the eagle eye of Charles P. “No Sparrow Shall Fall” Pierce.)

      The rest of it is institutional Alzheimer’s. More than slightly ironic, considering that among the various brown bombers enjoying the hospitality of The State in ADX Florence, a.k.a. The Supermax, just a few miles to the south, are Tim McVeigh’s old buddy Terry Nichols and Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph.

      • mountainhigh10200 Says:

        From the damage, the dude could not make a even a proper explosive. The Molotov Cocktails the eight year old kids in Newark used to through at us did more damage.

  10. Larry T. Says:

    “How many of these mofos do we have to kill before they understand violence is not the answer?” has rarely worked well as a solution to these kinds of problems. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Especially since martyrdom seems to be an excellent recruiting tool.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      We need to take away their excuses. First thing is to get the hell out of Iraq and Afghnistan. I have heard all the arguments to stay, but historically staying has never worked. The puppet masters working in the background (Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel for starters) have been playing us for too long.

      • Larry T. Says:

        They might oughta bring back the draft too. When your kid could be obligated to be a grunt in one of these military adventures, you might not be so gung-ho on the idea? How much better might things be at present if ol’ Dick-less Cheney hadn’t schemed up all his deferments and instead gone off to war only to return in a box? We should stop paying out all the “foreign aid” to countries you mentioned as well as others like Egypt. Next, cut the Pentagon budget down to only double what the #2 country spends. We could do a lot with the $400+ billion we’d save each year!

      • khal spencer Says:

        Draft is an excellent idea. Suddenly, the public would care about war again. Two, it would end the revolving door deployments that result from the manpower shortage.
        Remember this one?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’m all for bidding adieu to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some lessons just refuse to be learned, apparently.

        But a draft? Can you imagine anything like that passing the Congress that just got sworn in? It’d have more holes than Albert Hall for anyone with influence and money, which are the same thing.

        The regular Joes would do the killing and the dying, as usual. The Cheneys would always find a way to stay home.

        Here’s another musical interlude.

      • khal spencer Says:

        As the Cheneys always did, Patrick. But Everyday Joe and his parents might notice. I may be naive but think that a draft full of loopholes would be the best thing this country could have right now to expose the corruption. But then again, we all know what Larry’s wife says….

      • khal spencer Says:

        Oh, Lord. That song hurts. One of my good friends at college came back from Vietnam with some serious collateral damage. Took him 20 years to shake it off. He’s cleaned up now and living in the southwest, having fled Rochester on a motorcycle to leave the devils behind.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Yeah, I knew a few Vietnam vets who didn’t come all the way home. Interesting how my focus changed — I was fascinated by World Wars I and II, and don’t recall hearing much about what they called “shell shock” when I was a kid, other than in a pejorative sense; anyone who didn’t get back up, dust himself off, and take another swing at Adolf, Benito and Tojo was a lily-livered chickenshit, ripe for a puck on the gob from Patton.

        I only learned later that the horrors of WWI apparently turned my maternal granddad into a drunk, eventually killing him long before my mom graduated high school. And WWII croaked my dad’s dream of becoming a veterinarian. Instead, he became a veteran. Also a drunk, and likewise dead.

        This is why I have doubts about whether we’d learn much from the revival of a draft. Despite our national wealth of experience it seems to me that we’re still prone to rushing headlong into mischief and only afterward realizing that we’re in a box canyon with a shitload of hostiles holding the high ground.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        You guys got it. A draft with more loopholes than the federal tax code would accomplish nothing. Vietnam is a prime example.

        Every time we go to the Chiricahua National Monument or the Cochise Stronghold I can imagine some asshole telling a rifleman to go up in there when there was a Apache warrior behind hundreds of rocks above them just waiting for a shot. That shows that the Tao principle that victory will go the the one who knows how to yield is true.

        As far as personal experience goes, and I think I have said this here before, we sure knew how to ruin, for decades, a beautiful country. I think of this when I put on my “made in Vietnam” cycling rain pants.

        As far a brain damage goes, most folks I know think I am damaged beyond repair. Don’t know what gives them that idea. Probably the blarney that escapes my lips after a few beers. But, I have made it a goal, almost completely reached, to avoid that behavior.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Aw, Pat, you’re no loonier than the rest of us. Though I’m not certain that’s reassuring. …

      • Larry T. Says:

        Whoa cowboys..where did I write anything about deferments other than the ones Dick-less got? A new draft would be a couple of years of service, period. If a war was ginned up, the grunts would ship off to be shot at while in peace they’d do useful service projects like the ol’ WPA. No excuses, you do your two years and you’re done. As long as the old farts in DeeCee resist starting any military adventures, everyone’s kid comes home having done some useful work and maybe learned a thing or three. With all those patriots taking over the House and Senate, this oughta pass in a heartbeat!!! Call your Senators and Congresspeople!!!

      • khal spencer Says:

        Great in theory, Larry, and I would vote for that but I think Pat and Pat have it right. Any public service/draft requirement would have more holes in it than cheesecloth–we might even revert, in this age of crony capitalism, to the Civil War practice of buying someone in your place. Of course, there were the New York Draft Riots, too.

        Still, it would be an improvement over the all volunteer/poor people’s army that the public could care less about. Compared to the hell raising we had in the late sixties (I was too young to be drafted but old enough to read the paper and watch TV), today’s protests over war are a collective “meh”.

      • khal spencer Says:

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I need a little more of this.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Nice, Pat.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Thanks Khal. That is a Playing For Change episode. I found out about Keb Mo late by watching two new Eric Clapton guitar festival Blu-rays that I bought. Excuse me Patrick if I plug Mo and PFC one more time. Similar theme in the song but going back instead of forward.

  11. Opus the Poet Says:

    Your post on Charley Hebdo was a lot better than mine, but then again you are closer to the crisis as a cartoonist. I just do a bike blog.

  12. mountainhigh10200 Says:

    I am supremely glad of the innertubes. I am about to leave Bibleburg myself I think, which worries me or NJ still scares me. The ability to connect to people in places you have been is pretty amazing and confidence-inspiring. Even after you left I am still connected to this amazing group of people. Geography overcome. Allez innnertubes.

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