Monday, October 24, 2016

This Week's Sneak Peek

If you have things that go bump in the night, perhaps your poltergeist just needs glasses.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Campaign 1916

As we draw tantalizingly closer to the end of the 2016 campaign, Stumpback Saturday takes a look over its shoulder at editorial cartoons of the issues of the final weeks of the presidential election of 1916.
"Troubles of a Good Natured Man" by Luther Bradley in Chicago Daily News, 1916
Luther Bradley's Woodrow Wilson seems nonplussed by pups bearing his own foreign policy slogans of Watchful Waiting and Too Proud to Fight, here joined by his decision to stay out of arbitrating the railroad workers strike.

The Wilson campaign slogan that lived on in popular memory was "He kept us out of war," which inspired Republican John Darling to draw the following cartoon. Uncle Sam smarts under a barrage of bricks and planks representing national humiliation, the Lusitania, Mexican insolence, British naval blockade and opening of U.S. mails, 1914 hard times, Democratic extravagance, and "After the War?"
"He Kept Us Out of War" by John "Ding" Darling in Des Moines Register, 1916
I like a couple of John McCutcheon cartoons from late October. In the first, he flips "He kept us out of war" on its head; and indeed, as the Zimmerman telegram would show, the German foreign office would have been perfectly happy to keep us out of their war, too.
"He's Curious to Know" by John McCutcheon in Chicago Tribune, October 20, 1916
In the second, McCutcheon grudgingly acknowledges Wilson's claim to prosperity and peace (signed "World War" and "Watchful Waiting" in reference to the president's initials), but begs to attribute problems of national prestige, Mexico, pork, patriotism and paper preparedness to him as well.
"The Ones He Exhibits" by John McCutcheon in Chicago Tribune, October 24, 1916
At the Duluth Evening Herald, where they were confidently predicting a landslide victory for Wilson, C.F. Naughton, repeating a frequent image in Democratic cartoons, sees Hughes haunted by Wilson's question "What would you have done?" regarding American response to the war in Europe.
"The Republican Tam O'Shanter" by C.F. Naughton for Duluth Evening Herald, October 23, 1916
The Republicans at the New York Evening Sun weren't fazed by that question at all.

"He Never Had to Ask That" by Robert Carter in New York Evening Sun, 1916
Up the street at the New York World, Rollin Kirby depicts, for the umpteenth time, Hughes as a patsy for the German Kaiser. Hughes had given up a seat on the Supreme Court to accept the Republican nomination, so Kirby draws his replacement robe as a patchwork quilt of former presidents Taft and Roosevelt, the Republican old guard, Wall Street, jingoism, pacifism, women's suffrage, and hyphenated Americans (especially German-Americans).
"In Place of the Ermine" by Rollin Kirby in New York World, 1916
In fact, Hughes proclaimed himself neutral regarding whether to support Europe's Allied or Central Powers. For that matter, Wilson actively pursued the German vote; German-speaking surrogates promoted the incumbent president to German-American audiences. In the end, German-Americans did not vote as a bloc, and were not a significant factor in the election's outcome.

Sid Greene's summary of the campaign probably resonates as strongly today as it did a century ago.
"You Poor Fish" by Sidney J. Greene for New York Telegram, October 28, 1916
The label on the fish reads, "Catostomus commersonmii  in plain English, this means sucker."

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Q Toon: Gays for Trump

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Oct 20, 2016
I watched most of last night's presidential debate. I was driving with it on the car radio as it began, then called it up on an iPad once I got home (my husband had the Cubs-Dodgers game on TV). I tried reading the transcript to catch up on what I missed between car and what they were live streaming, but deciphering the Verb8im Inc. account was rather challenging. Editors have fixed it now, but I kid you not: last night, it had Donald Trump praising the late Justice Coolio.

Anyway, an hour into the debate, my iPad got so upset that it severed its internet connection and refused to go on. So I missed the last half hour of the program; please excuse me if I make some statements below that would be proven false by the final thirty minutes of the debate.

There hasn't been much attention paid to LGBT issues this election cycle (Republican primary roadkill such as Mike Huckabee notwithstanding).

Hillary Clinton mentioned her support for LGBT issues such as marriage equality very early in the debate last night, but discussion for the evening quickly snagged onto her emails, Trump's boorish behavior, whether she lied, and whether he'd accept defeat. Chris Wallace had questions about other things, but nobody is going to remember what they were.

Which is a shame, since there have been so many important issues that have been entirely ignored by the candidates and most of the media. The Veterans Affairs system is a complete mess, even as the nation's endless wars are still producing more and more demand for its services. Or, given how heavily our banking, infrastructure and election systems rely on the internet, what would the candidates do toward shoring up the nation's cyber-security? And how do you solve a problem like Korea?

No, the media are all talking about how Donald Trump wouldn't promise to accept the results of the election. If the question had been whether he thinks it's responsible to keep telling his rabid followers that nefarious forces ("You know what I'm talking about!") are plotting to steal the election from them, that would be one thing. But as phrased, it was just another version of the question every candidate who is behind in the polls gets: "Are you ready to concede the election today?"

Well, at least Trump had his sniffing and snorting under control last night. For the first sixty minutes at any rate.

Monday, October 17, 2016

This Week's Sneak Peek

There comes a day when you wake up, look in the mirror, and realize that your days as a svelte, satin-skinned twink are over.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hearst v. Great Britain

The Brits would not have been pleased with this August 3, 1916 front page of the Chicago Examiner. 
Hearst newspapers openly supported the Irish cause.
This week in 1916, friction between the British government and William Randolph Hearst's media empire came to a head. The publisher of a chain of newspapers including the New York Journal-American, Chicago Examiner and San Francisco Examiner, Hearst opposed U.S. entry into World War I; his International News Service was repeatedly censored by the British government over its coverage of allied reverses and criticism of British policy at sea.
"Freedom of the Seas" by Harry Murphy for Chicago Examiner, September 18, 1916
Not that Hearst was a pacifist by any means: he had famously used his newspapers to prod the U.S. into the Spanish-American War, and he was presently promoting American military activity in Mexico. His was more of an "America First" policy against entanglement in European alliances.

Hearst praised isolationist Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan for trying to keep the U.S. out of Europe's war after the sinking of the British RMS Lusitania. While Hearst papers did express outrage over the torpedoing of the Lusitania, they argued that it wasn't worth our going to war over it (unlike, say, the Maine).
"A Corking Affair" by Harry Murphy for Chicago Examiner, October 6, 1916
Hearst denounced the Allies' naval blockade of the Central Powers as an unfair restriction of U.S. trade. He editorialized that the British were opening some U.S. mails in order to uncover trade secrets in our dealings with China and Japan. He supported opening American ports to shipping from any country, including German U-boats. Rumors even circulated that Hearst was a spokesman for the Kaiser — when the British government banned Hearst's International News Service from sending dispatches from England, Hearst had reporter (and alleged German propagandist) William Bayard Hale arrange for INS dispatches to be transmitted by wireless to Long Island from Nauheim, Germany.

This Chicago Examiner cartoon by Harry Murphy mocks the British for being thwarted at sea by the German U-boats; Uncle Sam looks on, safely bemused, from behind his three-mile sovereignty limit.
"The Goat-Getters" by Harry Murphy for Chicago Examiner, October 10, 1916
Complaining that Hearst was peddling fictitious war reportage — often from equally fictitious war correspondents — the British government banned his International News Service from sending news dispatches from England. Hearst responded with this full-page, flag-festooned editorial, "A Reply to the Malignant and Lying Accusations of the British Government That We Distort and Garble War News," in the Chicago Examiner on October 11:

From the editorial:
"The action of the British government in ordering the British censorship to refuse the International News Service the use of both mail and cable facilities for the dispatch of news to America was excused in the fashion characteristic of the British government. ...
"The unforgivable sin of the International News Service was that it would not willingly suppress true news, distort true news, AND DISSEMINATE FALSE AND LYING NEWS to suit the British censorship and the British government.
"The unforgivable crime of the great newspapers owned and conducted by William Randolph Hearst — at whom this petty exhibition of official spite was aimed — is that they are American newspapers, honest newspapers which tell the truth without fear and without the least concern as to whether the truth is agreeable or not to the British government or to any other government on Earth."
There follows paragraph after paragraph of examples of how the British government and press had previously castigated the French, Belgians, Russians and others whom they now heralded as heroic brothers in arms in the fight against Germanic tyranny.
"WELL THERE YOU HAVE THE BEST example of British press agitating — and Judas and Ananias rolled in one could not equal it."
"Busy on All Fronts" by Harry Murphy for Chicago Examiner, October 13, 1916
A postscript here: I had wanted to use cartoons and coverage from Hearst's New York Journal-American in this post. I would assume that Hearst's hand was heavier on the editorial till in the Big Apple than in the Windy City. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find Journal-American source material from this period on line.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Q Toon: Hubba Hubba

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Oct 13, 2016

"Padre" in this cartoon is Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, who three years ago was telling us that "we need to dispel the myth... that a person's private morality has no effect on his ability to run for office or to serve in office. Look, character is what counts, and a person's judgment in his private life spills over into his other life."

Yet Jeffress was one of the first professional evangelicals to endorse a thrice-married casino mogul who stiffs his workers and contractors; and now that we know Trump thinks sexual assault is an acceptable way to say hello, Jeffress is standing by his man. "Look, I might not choose this man to be a Sunday school teacher in my church, but that's not what this election is about."

Other professional evangelicals such as Ralph Reed and Gary Bauer continue to defend Jabba the Trump in a triumph of partisanship over principles. If you missed last night's The Daily Show segment on this, it's well worth a watch.

Pat Robertson gave this weird explanation on his 700 Club: "“A guy does something 11 years ago, it was a conversation in Hollywood where he’s trying to look like he’s macho. And 11 years after that they surface it from The Washington Post or whatever, bring it out within 30 days or so of the election and this is supposed to be the death blow and everybody writes him off, ‘Okay, he’s dead, now you’ve got to get out of the way and let Mike Pence run the campaign.' The Donald says no, He’s like the Phoenix. They think he’s dead, he’s come back. And he came back strong. So, he won that debate.”

“Coach” Dave Daubenmire, a failed candidate for the Ohio legislature and founder of Pass the Salt Ministries, argues that he can support a candidate who grabs vaginas as long as they are not her own: “I think it’s pretty clear that the Bible teaches us that women should not be in authority over a man. ... Rather than worrying so much about the immorality of a sinful man, what about the biblical principle that when a woman rules over a man … it’s a sign of judgment of the Lord?”

Billy Graham's Christianity Today this week editorialized, however, that while it is committed to being officially neutral in the presidential race, and cannot support Hillary Clinton, it urges Christians to stay as far away from Trump as possible.
"What Trump is, everyone has known and has been able to see for decades, let alone the last few months. The revelations of the past week of his vile and crude boasting about sexual conquest—indeed, sexual assault—might have been shocking, but they should have surprised no one. ...
"Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord. They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us—in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us."

Monday, October 10, 2016

This Week's Sneak Peek

This is one of those week's when I think my rough pencil sketch has advantages over my polished ink finished drawing.