Nine years later, the Second and Tenth Amendments are in pretty good shape, but the other eight have taken something of a beating (unless you count corporate free speech). Americans spent this month arguing about which religions it's okay to discriminate against and which religious texts it's okay to burn.
Have to say, I'm glad that the dilbert who wanted to organize a good old-fashioned Quran-burning (a nobody who would have remained a nobody had not the shocked, shocked media swarmed him like flies) finally backed off, but I'm not pleased that the argument that may have turned the tide was that he was endangering the troops -- the universal Bush-era argument for stifling every form of unwelcome speech. The argument that should have been used to squelch the guy -- but was, alas, too seldom heard during the whole mess -- is that America was invented to be the place where book-burnings don't happen. It always amazes me when the American media -- the greatest beneficiaries of the First Amendment -- have to be reminded how important it is.
Oh yeah. And we're still at war in Afghanistan.
What the hell. Let's move on, starting with Daryl Cagle's toon round-up for the week.
p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Luckovich, R. J. Matson, Bob Englehart, David Fitzsimmons, Jimmy Margulies, Larry Wright, Bob Gorrell, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: Daryl Cagle.
p3 Award of Exceptional Merit: John Darkow.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Eric Allie.
p3 "Paul Conrad Tribute" Tribute: Bill Schoor.
p3 World Toon Review: Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), Cam Cardow (Canada), Stephane Peray (Thailand), Ingrid Rice (Canada), and Tjeerd Royaards (Netherlands).
Ann Telnaes is back from vacation, and she brought a little First Amendment irony with her.
Mark Fiore points out that clever is overrated sometimes.
Here's Barry Blitt's for this week's Frank Rich NYTimes column urging Obama to get tough on the people pulling the GOP strings.
Two words you really don't want to see together: "leak" and "urologist." But the Comics Curmudgeon bravely goes there anyway.
Tom Tomorrow points out the seven words that always mean something dumb's going to follow.
The K Chronicles looks at evolving business strategies in the tourism and hospitality industries.
And speaking of business plans, Tom the Dancing Bug shows how to succeed at cartooning (among other things).
Portland homeboy Jack Ohman examines the anatomy of a burn-out.
I've reached the bottom! "The Anvil Chorus Girl, directed by Izzy Sparber in 1944, is one of the best of the war-time Popeye shorts. It's standard Popeye-and-Bluto-competing-for-Olive stuff, but it has a good share of sight gags and puns (starting with the title; and don't miss the sign on the tree in the opening shot). Olive gets some pretty funny bits of her own before the plot settles in.
p3 Bonus Toon: Jesse Springer follows the latest complications on the route to the long-awaited Dudley-Kitzhaber gubernatorial debates.
Remember to bookmark the daily political toon features at Slate's Slate, Time, and About.com.
Test your toon-captioning chops at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)