Saturday, June 16, 2018

This, From The 'Greatest Country On Earth'

I guess when you live in that bastion of democracy, the United States of America, you must be mindful, shall we say, of an unwritten set of rules:
Rob Rogers has been working as the editorial cartoonist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for the past 25 years. On Thursday, he was fired.

A little less than two weeks ago, the The Inquirer ran a story about how the Post-Gazette had been shutting down Rogers’ cartoons since March, when Keith Burris took over as editorial director in a merger with the Toledo Blade.

It is unusual for a staff cartoonist to have an entire week’s worth of political cartoons spiked. Signe Wilkinson, the Inquirer and Daily News’ Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, said she has had just one cartoon killed in her tenure — a drawing that was spiked from the Inquirer but ran in the Daily News.

Rogers’ cartoons were replaced in print by the work of syndicated artists and three cartoons by Toledo Blade staff cartoonist Kirk Walters. In last Tuesday’s paper, under a cartoon about gun control by syndicated cartoonist Robert Ariail, Rogers was listed as having “the day off.”

What was wrong with Roberts’ cartoons? He posted them to his Twitter account. Maybe we can find a pattern?

I guess Rogers did not get the memo that freedom of speech is not absolute, especially when it comes to holding 'Dear Leader' to account.


  1. Rogers was not politically reliable, an offence common to despotic regimes. In Erdogan's Turkey or Orban's Hungary and certainly in Putin's Russia, Rogers would be serving a stretch in a rather unpleasant cell.

    Trump is not quite there yet but he's moving in that direction. This article from Foreign Policy reveals how Trump has appointed a former "food and beverage lobbyist" to conduct a loyalty review of employees of the state department and America's international organizations.

    The thing that we need to remember is that these outrages will end only when Trump is impeached or leaves office. There will be more and they will be continuous for they are only manifestations of his character and psychiatric imbalances. Trump has a predatory nature deeply rooted in sadism. He measures himself by how much loss he inflicts on others. This is why he attacks and alienates America's allies while he woos America's adversaries.

    1. As you have written on your blog, Mound, the Republican Party is now the party of Trump. There is nothing to stop him, now that he has laid bare the weakness of traditional checks and balances. If the Democrats win big in the mid-terms, this may change, but I do wonder if Trump, after he is gone, will be replaced by another megalomaniac who would have learned valuable lessons from his example.

  2. .. we (North Americans) are well into the horror show that is Donald Trump, his family, enablers and the GOP.. and their 'base'.. Mueller is picking up the pace' as Paul Manafort has discovered.. and not for a minute do I believe Mueller will only indict to federal courts and trials. I believe he will distribute also at various State levels as appropriate. Thus preventing Trump, Giuliani, Hannity et al from giving out pardons willy nilly. But as we all know' the 'Law' moves at snails pace.. with apppeals and obstruction everywhere. This is just another shameful example of extreme failure and injustice in the journalism world.. and just as Trump et al are also caging children in Texas. These are truly despicable people.. and becoming desperados

    1. I suspect that we have a long way to go before we hit bottom in this sordid episode of American history, Sal.

  3. America has had a continuous sordid period since its inception, as Decarie's blog continually shows
    and he was a history prof for 40 years. Internationally as in meaning overseas, the beginning was the Spanish American war, followed by the trashing and annexation of the Philipines. Lord Douglas MacArthur was emperor at the time of WW2.

    Relying on the typical inarticulate dumbness of its population, the propaganda machine turned America into Big Daddy, the Friendly Guy, and its citizens hold hand over heart in patriotic fervour.

    I'd say Trump is incidental in the march to American world hegemony - all he does is add a new flavour of the week to the steady march. Merely more sordid than usual, empowered by the need for personal gain.


    1. You may well be right here, BM. Trump, at the very least, shows for all who want to see, perhaps the end stages of America's descent.

  4. I have to disagree with BM about American hegemony. That's over. The world has spent the better part of 20 years witnessing that All the King's Horses and All the King's Men can no longer deliver any politically meaningful result for Washington.

    America's dominance in areas of the world that were once its exclusive territory is waning. China is moving in, not so much militarily but economically, industrially. When I began my blog a decade ago, the US military had no presence in Africa. Realizing that it was about to be displaced, the Pentagon created AfriCom, Africa Command. Even then it had to be based in Europe because, for a few years, no African country agreed to host it.

    Even in the land of the Monroe Doctrine, China is making serious inroads. Apparently the two largest foreign banks in South America are Chinese. China now has a military base in Djibouti right next door to America's installation. It also has naval bases in the Indian Ocean.

    Across Asia Pacific Trump has made the US appear an unreliable protector. Even Thailand is re-aligning toward Beijing. The same country that has been the only member to invoke Article 5 of the NATO charter is now wobbly about itself coming to the defence of other members even as it draws ever closer politically to Russia.

    Whether it's Africa, South America, Asia Pacific, even Europe, American hegemony is deflating. Part of that is a distracted president but another part is a disengaged populace. Rome went through something remarkably similar.