Friday, January 29, 2010

Plant a Tree (2010)

Dry Bones cartoon: Tu B'Shvat 2010 new year of the trees.
I, like my cartoon alter ego M. Shuldig, get mushy in a Zionist way, at holidays in the Jewish State. Tu B'Shvat is one of those times. And so, through the years Mr. Shuldig has been picnicking on Yom Ha'Atzmaut, "dressing up" at Purim, and planting a tree on Tu B'Shvat, etc.

And then there's Doobie. Doobie is Shuldig's dog. He "balances" Shuldig. Doobie's realist/cynical view is a kind of mocking of my own (and Shuldig's) sometimes overly sugary holiday views.

* * *
. I drew this cartoon a few days ago. I thought of it as a sweet New Year of the Trees greeting card. But I just looked at it again. It seems to me that Shuldig's smile and the eager smile on the face of the sapling both reveal their thoughts about the replanting of the land. But Doobie has a different look on his face. A look that I did not consciously put there. What is he thinking?

Your thoughts?

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tu B'shvat (1998)

(1998) Dry Bones cartoon: Tu B'shvat.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon thet was done for Tu B'Shvat in 1998. The holiday this year, in 2010, is January 30.

I picked this cartoon because I think it communicates something that lurks deep within our culture. It's why we fall for every "cause". It's why we're in Haiti. It's why we plant trees. We feel a unique and genetic sense of responsibility for just about everything.

It's what we call Jewish Guilt.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Armchair Adventurer

Welcome to the Future. Mr. Shuldig feels like a time-traveler : Dry Bones cartoon.
Back in the 20th century, a husband and wife team of "futurists" wrote a revolutionary book. It was a best-seller that excited us all about the fast-moving and confusing world of tomorrow that was rushing towards us.

It was a book of prophecy that was a hot cocktail party topic. The book was called Future Shock. Although published as the work of Alvin Toffler, his wife Heidi is now credited as co-author.

Future Shock
Those of us who are old enough to have read Future Shock when it was first published are now amazed to find ourselves living here, in the future that was described.

Some Toffler Quotes:

"Future shock is the dizzying disorientation brought on by the premature arrival of the future."

"Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate."

“The future arrives too soon and in the wrong order”

* * *
If you're interested in the history of "futurists" and "futurology", here's something from "Wikipedia:

"in the mid-1940s the first professional "futurist" consulting institutions like RAND and SRI began to engage in long-range planning, systematic trend watching, scenario development, and visioning, at first under WWII military and government contract and, beginning in the 1950s, for private institutions and corporations. The period from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s laid the conceptual and methodological foundations of the modern futures studies field. Bertrand de Jouvenel's The Art of Conjecture in 1963 and Dennis Gabor's Inventing the Future in 1964 are considered key early works, and the first U.S. university course devoted entirely to the future was taught by futurist Alvin Toffler at The New School in 1966" -more

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jewish Holidays (1994)

(1994) Dry Bones cartoon: Angels discuss Jewish Holidays.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon done back in 1994.

I posted this cartoon today because this Friday evening ushers in Tu B'Shvat. The New Year of the Trees doesn't usually get a lot of pre-holiday publicity. and yes, it falls on a Shabbat this year (January 30).

For a whole lot of "hot" Tu B'Shvat links just click on: Jacob Richman's Hot Tu B'Shvat Links , and hug a tree!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Middle East Pride

Dry Bones cartoon: Israeli Rescue Operation in Haifa.
Media coverage of Israel's humanitarian efforts in Haiti have produced some interesting backlash. Here's a blogger who claims that Israel caused the earthquake:
"Besides the obvious benefit to Israel’s image resulting from such an event where she morphs from a bloodthirsty killer of dark-skinned Palestinian and Lebanese women and children to the rescuer of dark-skinned Haitians, there is the other possibility to consider–that this was used as a demonstration to the rest of the world that a new weapon of war had been developed, one whose devastation could not be attributed to another country but rather would be seen as an “act of God” to everyone but the leaders of a particular country in the crosshairs of Israel and the US.

Would Israel, working in collusion with the US Defense Department go so far as to cause an earthquake by strategically placing nuclear weapons in certain geologically-sensitive places, thereby causing the deaths of tens of thousands in order to gain a PR victory from it at a time she is universally despised around the world?"-more

And for even loonier hate-mongering you could click HERE to take a peek at what Iranian-based Press TV suggests under the headline: "Israel harvesting organs in Haiti?"

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Israeli Rescue Operation

Dry Bones cartoon: Israeli Rescue Operation in Haifa.
Here in Israel we've been beaming with pride at our rescue operation in Haiti. Our newspapers are filled with photographs and first-person reports. And every now and then we are surprised to catch sight of main stream media acknowledgement of what we are doing. For some examples check out a posting called "Look! There's Hebrew!!!" at the Shiloh Musings blog:
"We've been watching the news, and of course it's about what's going on in Haiti since the earthquake. Even when Israel isn't mentioned, you can't miss the Hebrew on the uniforms, vests etc." -to see the posting and the videos click here.

and while you're at it click here also.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Did He Win? (1977)

(1977) Dry Bones cartoon: Knesset Election Results.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon from 1977, 33 years ago!

Mr. Shuldig, my cartoon alter ego, had been campaigning in a Knesset election which was then being held. I've had Shuldig run for office a number of times over the years. The fun was always how to create an ongoing comic strip fantasy joke and interweave it with the "real world elections".
Shuldig, of course, had no chance of winning in the "real world elections"

. . . sort of like a guy named Scott Brown, a Republican conservative who just came from nowhere to win Ted Kennedy's Senate seat!

He's turned American politics on its head. Folks are now talking about this inexperienced, good-looking, sexy, hunk as the next Republican candidate for the Presidency. If you want to know something about the guy they're now calling the White Obama just click on 20 things to know about Scott Brown

* * *
By the way, in case you were wondering, Mr.Shuldig was not elected. Because of an unfortunate bureaucratic mix-up.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smart Phones, Dumb People

Smart Phones, Dumb People : Dry Bones cartoon.
In America it is apparently not uncommon these days to see drivers resting a BlackBerry on top of the steering wheel while using their thumbs to tap in a text message. Legislators across America are debating and developing "anti-texting-while-driving" laws.

A recent study by America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows that 80 percent of car crashes involve some form of driver distraction occurring within three seconds before the vehicle crash. According to the study,the principal distraction that led to vehicle crashes include:

•Cell phone use.
•Reaching for moving objects inside the vehicle.
•Looking at an object or event outside of the vehicle.
•Reading while driving.
•Applying makeup."
Life in the 21st Century is becoming more and more bizarre. That's why I fantasize about time travelers returning to 1958 with reports about what it's like here in the future.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Natural Disaster (1998)

(1998) Dry Bones cartoon: heavy rain in Israel, Flood Disaster in Nicaragua.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon done 12 years ago in the winter of 1998. Back then the weather had suddenly turned rough and we were caught in freezing downpours. We were cold and wet, but on TV we saw the devastation that a brutal hurricane had caused in Nicaragua.

Israel's balmy Spring-like weather disappeared today. We were caught in thunderstorms and forced to face leaking roofs. A computer that sits in my living-room has gone dark. Apparently it's been damaged by a power outage caused by a lightning strike. Of course it is impossible to complain at the "suffering" I've been put through by Mother Nature in the face of the horrifying natural disaster that just hit the people of Haiti.

But today's cartoon was about Nicaragua in 1998. Below is a contemporary report from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center on that disaster:

"An estimated 3800 dead with perhaps as many as 7,000 others still missing. Two million people directly affected and 500,000 - 800,000 homeless. Intense near-stationary rain bands over western Nicaragua on Thursday and Friday (October 29-30) caused tens of inches of rain to fall. The crater lake atop the dormant Casita volcano filled and part of the walls collapsed on Friday, October 30, causing mud flows that eventually covered an area ten miles long and five miles wide. At least four villages were totally buried in the mud that was several feet deep. Over 2,000 of the dead were from the areas around the collapsed volcano near Posoltega. In many cases, survivors had to wait days before the mud had dried enough to walk to rescuers."- more

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Haitian Earthquake

Haitian Earthquake: Dry Bones cartoon.
We humans are a strange and dangerous species. Our missions of mercy are outnumbered by acts of organized human cruelty, aggression, violence, and war-making. But that, of course, does not make our missions of mercy any less noble or important.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Things to Come

xrays and body scans merge in airport security: Dry Bones cartoon.
Here's a cartoon that should give you a chuckle ...unless you happen to be flying this weekend.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Economic Crisis (1985)

(1985) Dry Bones cartoon: Economic Crisis.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon done 25 years ago in 1985.

Back then who would have thought that 25 years later Israel would be financially stable and that it would be the government of the United States that would be trying to explain to its population that they were, indeed, on the road to recovery?!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Airport security after the Christmas Bomber: Dry Bones cartoon.
Wanna know how old I am?
Well, I'm so old that I can remember when it was fun to fly!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Freezing Weather (1985)

(1985) Dry Bones cartoon: Inflation, Freezing Weather, the Ethiopians, Lebanon, and the Bank Shares crisis.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon done 25 years ago in January 1985.

Back then, we in Israel were treated to television coverage of freezing weather hitting Europe as we basked here in our lovely local weather. The news today, 25 years later, is that both Europe and much of the United States are in the grip of freezing weather ...and yes, it was a lovely, balmy day outside my front door.

* * *

Note: Back in '85 I was doing Dry Bones for an English-speaking Israeli audience. That meant that I could play with our Hebrew-polluted version of English. In Hebrew slang, the word for a "screw-up" is a "fashla". So in the next-to-last panel of this cartoon I did NOT make a typo. I did NOT mean to say Ethiopian Falashas, but was making a cross language "almost pun" joke. The off-screen member of the public shouting at King Solomon on his balcony was referring to the government's screw-ups in the rescuing of Ethiopian Jewry. Our Ethiopian "fashlas".

Oh and if I were speaking to another Israeli in English I'd never say "balcony". The correct word in our local pidgin English is "mirpesset".

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Obama's Security Record

Obama's Security Record and George Bush's Katrina Response Record : Dry Bones cartoon.
The insane flubbing of the Nigerian Christmas Bomber affair seems to me (and others) to be a turning point in the Obama Presidency. Here's some comment by one of the "others" (Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post):
"As the new year commences, two facts emerge: George W. Bush is officially retired as the fault-guy for the nation's ills, and Barack Obama owns the game.

Whether he wants to or not.

Every president deserves a year of grace to adapt to the job and adjust to its Himalayan learning curve. As Obama's first year ends — almost with a bang, thanks to a lonely Nigerian who found love in jihad — his grace period is up.

Indeed, depending on how he responds to the security breach that almost brought down a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam, Obama's presidency is at risk of being rendered prematurely impotent." -more

Your thoughts?

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Outstretched Hand

In 2009 Obama Stretched out his hand, in 2010, he's counting his fingers : Dry Bones cartoon.
Obama has projected an image of a weak America to the world.

He, the 44th President would be wise to heed the the words of the 40th President.

Back in 1984, when accepting the Presidential nomination of his party, Ronald Reagan said:

"None of the four wars in my lifetime came about because we were too strong. It's weakness that invites adventurous adversaries to make mistaken judgments. America is the most peaceful, least warlike nation in modern history. We are not the cause of all the ills of the world. We're a patient and generous people. But for the sake of our freedom and that of others, we cannot permit our reserve to be confused with a lack of resolve."

Your thoughts?

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Land For Peace (2000)

(2000) Dry Bones cartoon: Sukkot.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon done 10 years ago in the first month of the 21st century.

I picked this cartoon because, having just finished the first decade of this century, I wanted to see where we were at the start of it!

Yup, there's been no change in the Syrian position. and yes, there's also been absolutely no change in the double standard that the nations use to judge the Jewish State.

Your thoughts?

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Low Blow

Obama government hit a low blow by Yemen : Dry Bones cartoon.
President Obama ended President Bush's "War on Terrorism" but, apparently America's enemies have not ended their terror war against the U.S. And although it takes two to tango, it only takes one to make war.

President Obama at first called Abdul Mutallab, the Nigerian terrorist, an “isolated extremist,” but al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack, while the Nigerian terrorist boasted to authorities, “More bombers are coming from Yemen”. Meanwhile two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees, released into Yemen several years ago, are suspected of being responsible for planning Mutallab’s failed bombing of Flight 253.

You've got to feel sorry for the well-meaning but naive American President. He's been hit below the belt.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Jimmy Carter Apologizes

Jimmy Carter Apologizes To the Jews : Dry Bones cartoon.
So Jimmy has apologized to the Jews. And just one day after Jimmy's letter of apology was published, his grandson, Jason Carter, announced his candidacy for the Georgia state senate.
* * *
The proper response to the former President's letter of apology to the Jews for his defamation of the Jewish State is summed up in this letter by CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)
"Dear President Carter:

We at CAMERA have been outspoken in our criticism of the many factual errors and distortions about Israel in your book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, as well as in various Op-Eds and media appearances. We've been greatly concerned that false allegations you've made damage Israel, promoting misunderstanding, enmity and prejudice against that nation and its people.

It is against this backdrop that we sincerely welcome your recent letter to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in which you ask forgiveness from the Jewish community for statements that may have stigmatized Israel. As you may know, in Judaism the process of repentance also entails action to reverse any harm caused.

In this spirit, we urge you to join your promising words with concrete actions to redress troubling false statements you have made only recently about the Jewish state. In a Nov. 6, 2009 Op-Ed in the International Herald Tribune entitled "Goldstone and Gaza" you made false and exaggerated charges concerning the UN's Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict. You referred erroneously to the "destruction" of 40,000 homes in Gaza and claimed "several hundred thousand homeless people suffered through last winter." You refer to the "destruction of hospitals" and claim the Gaza Strip is "surrounded by an impenetrable wall." You claim "the Goldstone committee examined closely the cause of deaths of 1,387 Palestinians who perished. . . "

All these statements are factually false and contribute to inflaming negative perceptions of Israel. Efforts to redress the errors via communication with IHT editors failed with their saying you have refused to correct the false statements.

We do hope you'll set the record straight and affirm your commitment to undo any wrongful stigmatizing of Israel. Below is the factual detail corroborating our concerns about the errors made:

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year 2010 - rosh hashana : Dry Bones cartoon.

Happy New Year to us all!

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