1600 Love Bites.

Even when he’s almost being kind his motives are a little self serving.

It’s funny, all weekend I basically watched the Nazi discussion going on without contributing. The funny thing about it is that it kind of proves my point in that practically everyone is an expert on Nazis in their own minds. In the US our History Channel evolved into basically a continuous documentation of Nazis before switching to ghosts and pseudo science almost exclusively. I suspect that the average American could tell you almost anything about the Nazis, Area 51, and the most haunted locations in the world, but not pass a basic history test. Those other subjects are interesting and often horrific, which sears them into your mind, whereas the signing of the declaration of independence is way harder to present in an exhilarating way. Which is kind of unfortunate because it’s very interesting if you look past the names and dates and into other aspects of the document and how it came to be. Although more so the constitution than the declaration. The US constitution is one of the most weasel worded documents in existence, which is what makes it work. It has to be everything to everyone, so it’s often vague, and written in that legal style that is intentionally hard to pin down. It’s written to evolve with the people who agree to live by it. When people argue about what the founding fathers intended they’re kind of missing the point of the document. It’s set up so we can change it to suit us without having to tear down the framework constantly. I suspect that most of the people involved didn’t think it would last as long as it has. Several of them said as much. But it works really well. On balance people like how it’s set up because we can tinker with it and it doesn’t require a full scale war every two decades. The civil war pretty much got all the bullshit out of our system and we’ve been doing okay ever since comparatively. Hopefully things will continue on like this for a long time to come. I don’t think most Americans have a concept of how good we have it compared to someplace like Syria. In addition to that our legal system is better, in a few key ways, than England’s or even Australia’s. Although I feel like some of those points may get addressed before long since the loopholes are being abused to aggressively now.
Anyway the long and short of all of that is it’s hard to make history interesting, but Nazi’s are stylishly evil and people remember that shit. We barely blink at atrocities along similar lines because the people doing them aren’t slick bastards with a savvy PR department. At this point the best we get is a thug in a suit like Putin, and Assad, or a fucking cartoon like Kim Jong-un. I’m guessing that Trump or Clinton will be a cartoon in a suit/pantsuit. We had eight years of a cool young president so now it’s back to the more or less status quo.


Ugh, the History Channel. It and the Discovery Channel used to be my favorite things to watch. I’d fall asleep watching Wild Discovery talk about tigers and meerkats and dolphins, and listen to treatises on the Great Depression to learn how thankful I am that things are better than they once were.

Now? Pawn shops, crab fishing, and reality television. Is it any wonder I haven’t had cable in over a decade? Ugh.

Do you remember the Learning channel? I remember seeing an hour long show about how toilets work.

I do indeed remember the channel, though I sadly recall very little about it since I never really watched it much. Mainly I watched nature and industry documentaries and Mythbusters, as well as actual history. Speculative history or alternative history (also known as bullshit history or ‘shtories’) held no interest to me, so History Channel rather quickly lost me.

I saw that exciting program. I was very flushed! ;D

I never took the plunge and saw it since I heard the setting was a real dump …

Sometimes, TV programs seem to go down the tubes.

[Warning, folks: this collection of puns might not be very high brow]. :D

Well, with some subjects you are doomed to run into a Crapper.

[ I’m sure we’ll be bowling people over with our … output … just as seen with TV …

… I mean, I’m sure it won’t be number one on most peoples lists, but number two is a sure thing! ]

Your puns are amazing!
I’m not sure about mine. Should I put a lid on them?

You definitely deserve a seat in this … outhouse … and I’m having a gas exchanging puns with you so I sure hope not!

Thank you. :D Multi-person outhouses. Man! I try to forget stuff like that…like that MP outhouse-type things also existed in ancient Rome.
Sometimes I hear about stuff like that, but usually that’s info. that I’m not privy to.

Just going to disagree with you about the Constitution. Respectfully, I hope. But it is not full of weasel words; most of the terms that seems uncertain to us were, in fact, very specifically defined in the English Common Law at the time, and where there was confusion, the Founding Fathers did indeed spell out in speeches, debates, letters, and editorials, precisely what they meant. It’s not just “the Founders intent” but more so “the working definition of the words in question”. They did this because the Constitution was NOT meant to change; in fact, that was the entire point. There is an English Constitution, but it was basically the collective history of legal decisions in Britain, which naturally DID change and alter over time, which resulted in what was once a clear-cut right or defense no longer working because…well, reasons, and people were getting screwed by that lack of reliability. Our Founders wanted the opposite of that, to, if I may paraphrase Jefferson, bind down the government with the chains of the Constitution. It is of course possible to change the thing, they knew it was sometimes necessary, but they made it very difficult on purpose and we’ve only done it a few dozen times, properly. The rest of the time, we just twist and ignore what were very clear, very specific rules.

Sorry, the subject just bothers me. Many people think it was only meant to deal with the structure of government and the rest of was just fluff, but there is no actual basis for that assertion; the debates in the Convention and surrounding the ratification were very, very detailed, specific, and well-reasoned, going into the minute details and precise meanings and arguing over any ambiguity. The Bill of Rights was made solely because those opposed to signing wanted a more robust enumeration of certain points; it’s hardly likely that those same people, after demanding that, wanted a shifting, changing Constitution like the one they just rejected.

What changed in the American legal system vs the British system was not so much the wording but the application. The British & Commonwealth system makes judicial decisions based on the *intent* of the law, and the American judgements are based on the *letter* of the law. How that discrepancy came about, I admit I don’t know, but you make a good case for it being there intentionally at its inception. What it means in practice is that a Commonwealth court can ignore loopholes (or create them) for individual cases, where an American court is bound by the law’s wording even if a loophole is being exploited. There are plusses and minuses in each system, and miscarriages of justice in both.

Well, sadly, that’s what it has devolved to anyway. Things that the Framers would dislike or even publically DID dislike and rebelled against, quite literally, are now considered to be Constitutional because one POSSIBLE interpretation of the words allows it, so it’s okay. It’s really become a game; both sides go to the Supreme Court, one gives the narrowest interpretation possible, the other gives the broadest one possible, and the Court just picks whichever one agrees with it’s majority sentiment. In lower courts though, intent does get brought up. There’s a fight right now over whether Congress intended for trans-specific issues to be included under the umbrella of “discrimination based on sex”.

One thing that has occurred is the US Constitution is allowed to evolve *without* being amended. US Supreme Court Justices simply agree on what is now Constitutional.

There’s a quote from, I think Warren Burger: “What does the constitution mean? Anything 5 or more Justices say it means.” There are times that chills my blood. The US Constitution has a definite meaning and definite procedure for being altered and updated, which is designed to be hard to use and time-consuming so as to make political faddishness harder to enact.

That procedure is not “Supreme Court Ruling that arbitrarily says something different”, but with the Supreme Court as the final authority on what is/isn’t “Constitutional” there’s no mechanism to stop the Supreme Court itself from chasing political faddishness in its rulings. The Judiciary is too poorly defined in the Constitution. The term “judiciary” may have one conjured up an exact set of duties and limits but no longer.

And there is where constitutional literalism comes in. The document *says* this. Why is the Supreme Court ruling some other way?

We could sorely use a Constitutional amendment that spells out the power of the Judiciary and how the other branches of government check its power.

Apparently we get our information from different sources, but you speak with conviction and I don’t care about being right or wrong. I’ll probably never be able to check anything you’ve said, but I’m willing to accept that you may have the better sources.

“The civil war pretty much got all the bullshit out of our system and we’ve been doing okay ever since comparatively.”
Jackie, I luv ya, but that’s not just inaccurate, but pretty much180 degrees off. We’ve been utterly ignoring the Constitution since the “Civil War” and pretty much functioned by “executive orders” since. Executive orders are only supposed to be issued in wartime, or a “state of emergency”. Ever heard of the “War” on poverty, or the “War” on drugs. We’ve been in a continual “state of emergency” since Lincoln.

As to our legal system, no question. We have the best money can buy.

Also, if the framers had left it,”Life, Liberty and Property” it should have been obvious that if you could own property you couldn’t BE property.. Property ultimately comes down to owning yourself. Murder, rape, and assault are property crimes.

Mostly spot on. I have to disagree with you regarding the self as property though. If you don’t own yourself, how can you lease, rent or give yourself away?

One rents one’s time when you take a job that pays hourly. You lease yourself when you do piecework or hold a salaried position. Anyone who’s ever donated a kidney or bone marrow has certainly given part of themselves away.

No, the question is not whether people are property; the question is whether or not it is legal (read, opinion) to own people other than yourself. The state certainly seems to feel that IT can own people, it seems to dislike anyone challenging that monopoly though.

When the Tomas starts sweating you know shits real. Reggie has been around long enough to know this fact. Tomas is glue of the place and if he falls apart that’s it for the store

Hi. Not wanting to start a troll, or flame war, but I really don’t think Putin should be put in the same bandwagon as Assad or Kim Jung Il.

I mean, sure, he uses war liberally, and nearly certainly uses political assassinations and imprisonments, too. He’s by no means a “good” guy. However, I do think he does what he believes is needed for Russia to remain “great”.

So, yes, he protects Russian interests, aggressively if needed, like in Chechenia, or in Ukraine, or in Syria…

… but don’t forget what he’s up against. I mean, the head of the state, in Georgia (not the US state, the country near the Black sea), unilaterally declared independence, while, if memory serves, insulting Russia. Well, that was a clear casus belli, there.

In Syria, Assad is a traditional ally to the USSR, then to Russia. The US and their allies (which include Turkey and Israel, and, to my shame, France – along with a lot of other UE countries) wanted to change this. This is why they sponsored the rebellion, even the more fundamentalist factions (part of which are now known as AQMI…), by offering them weapons, bombing the country (WITHOUT a UN mandate to do so, etc.)
Now, a lot of people weep at how Syria is torn asunder, at the number of civilian deaths, etc… I do NOT condone Assad’s methods, and I wish he could be removed by DEMOCRATIC means, but those do NOT include civil war. Plus, the Baas party may be a “communist” party in the middle east, but, at least, it’s not favorable to muslim extremism…

As for Ukraine, the country has two distinct parts: one, on the west, which is rather pro-Europe, where people speak mostly Ukrainian, etc… and one, on the east, where people are rather pro-Russia, where people speak mostly Russian, etc (because those lands were given by Stalin, maybe 50 years ago, from Russian lands). The insurrection against the Russia-aligned government started quite peacefully, and the police did NOT fire at the people. Then, one day, everything went awry, a lot of deaths in the protesting crowd, AND deaths in the police force (shot down). So, who shot first ? And why have the police deaths been that soon after the start of the firing ? I mean, had there only been peaceful protesters, which, outraged by the killings, had retreated, and came back with weapons, it should have taken time, right ? It’s almost as if at least SOME people, in the crowd, were already armed – maybe to ignite the powderkeg, and force a violent revolution.

Now, in Ukraine, people tell you that separatists are bad rebels, and that the rest of the country is protecting itself against Russia… but the truth is that, once again, it’s the Cold War reinstated… The new Ukraine governement (pro-UE/US) declared that, from now on, only Ukrainian was to be used in official documents (when a lot of the population don’t even know how to speak it !) – instead of, say, initiating a great “let’s teach Ukrainian in school” plan, and putting a reasonable deadline, like, maybe, 20 or 30 years away, where Russian would, indeed, no longer be a valid official language.
They also revoked the rights of occupation for a major Russian navy base (Sevastopol, I guess it was – this is from memory), there again with a very short delay, instead of giving a reasonable timeframe – maybe a few years, to allow Russia to relocate it in good order.

So, all in all, coupled with aggressive anti-russian talk, and with skirmishes between supporters of both camps, it lead to a full-on rebellion. After it started, it seems hard to begrudge Putin defending russian-speaking populations, on used-to-be-russian lands…

So, yeah, he’s hard, ruthless, and in no way a saint. But I’d agree he’s, in a lot of ways, like some presidents the US had (the CIA is not known for its kindness or its love of democratically-elected opponents to US policies, and sending troops on foreign land to protect “vital national interests” is, unfortunately, a sport much practiced by big countries – yes, you may include England, France, China, there, and, if you go a bit further in the past, you’ll see Spain and Portugal doing it, too, along with the Netherlands, or the republic of Venice, etc… or even ancient Rome. All powerful countries feel the need to protect their influence and their prerogatives, and do so either diplomatically, or by waging war. Usually using the latter when the former fails.

So, you know, just wanted to set a few things straight, here. (French reader, here).

Ah, and, to end on a lighter touch (and, also, because it’s true): I love your comic, please keep doing it ^^

(I can’t edit, but AQMI is the French acronym for DAESCH. I should have used the English one)

Hi Kzwix. I just would like to offer my point of view on some things- I don’t mean to appear argumentative or as someone who is trying to irk you, I apologize if my post sounds or appears that way. (By the way, an American reader, here).
I can’t say, with my knowledge, if the US Govt., in Syria and in the Syrian civil war, has supported proto-AQMI groups. I personally hope that this support did not happen, but that is just my personal hope- and nothing more or less.
However I do question whether the US Govt. did [effective and needed actions] to oppose and dismantle these groups. That’s just my view of that subject.
Similar events probably have happened in history, before: the US Govt. and the US military has probably found out, to their chagrin: that in dealing with some rebel groups- “the enemy of my enemy”, is not always my friend…or, in this case, not always a government’s friend.
Anyhow, you have brought up some very true and valid points, in your comments. It’s cool to see them here in these discussions. Later on, TRA.

History Channel, ugh: “What if climate change were really caused by space aliens?”

Well, there are plenty of Christians who think climate change is just Gods judgement on mankind and nothing to do with the sun or anything scientific.

I’m not trying to tell people what to believe, also I’m not telling people what gods or goddesses to believe in, or what ppl. should or shouldn’t believe in, in this statement, however-
I do agree with the idea, that the God of the Christians, Jesus Christ- doesn’t punish people with natural misfortunes, or diseases, or natural disasters.
If I understand the basic beliefs of the Christian religion- The Christian’s God is not a punishment God. Or in other words- Jesus Christ does not punish people for bad actions that they have done,…while they live in the physical universe.
That is my understanding of that topic. Later on.

Well, if this is about Carol’s training of Mike, then at least someone else would know. You let one person have too much power, and tyranny swoops in swiftly.

I’ve been thinking the History Channel should adapt the Ring of Fire books (Appalachian hillbilly town gets dumped in Germany in 1632 and everybody goes to war with them all at once). Or Axis of Time (20XX military fleet accidentally transports itself into World War II, and the Axis scramble to invent the Atom Bomb first). Alternate history stuff that could get people to look at actual history. They’d never do it though.

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