Credit: George Danby / BDN

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No redeeming features in comic

I read with great interest the opinion piece in the Feb. 6-7 BDN concerning the Mark Trail comic. I was interested because it is the first positive comment I have seen regarding the new strip, which to me has absolutely no redeeming features.

Reading it, one would never connect what is being said with the new Mark Trail — the author seems to be expressing what was hoped for rather than what is. Praise that is far over-blown for both artistic skill and content make sense, however, when you notice that the author is the editorial director for comics at King Features Syndicate.

Speaking of comic strips…

Sue Shaw


Cancel culture or simple consequences

An out-of-control fan screams at officials during a high school basketball game, and continually uses inappropriate language at opposing players and coaches. At the request of the athletic director, he is escorted from the gym and banned from attending further home games for the rest of the season. Most would agree the incident was handled properly.

Is it “cancel culture” or simple consequences for unacceptable behavior? With this in mind, I am amused at the claims of “cancel culture” by some people as they face a public backlash from their comments, actions, or unveiled threats.

By laying the blame on cancel culture, they avoid accountability and make themselves the victim. However, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be distracted from the real issue. What some call cancel culture is simply facing consequences. Eventually, all debts come due. Are we not taught as children that consequences are part of life? Should those lessons not be applied to political and public figures? Are the lines between provocative speech and inflammatory rhetoric that difficult to discern?

When public officials incite people to violence, threaten to kill someone or use racist epithets, consequences are appropriate and necessary to a civil society. The Supreme Court has ruled that free speech has limits and no one has carte blanche to slander, libel, or incite.

When someone hears people scream about “cancel culture” and “thought police,” they should

remember that in most cases they are talking about the consequences of their irresponsible,

uncivil behaviors.

Don’t be fooled by their obfuscations; we don’t accept them from six-year-olds, and we shouldn’t from so-called leaders who’ve never grown up.

Tony Hamlin


Someone is not listening

So many veteran commentators have identified the disconnect between blue and red America that we can take this for granted. Tectonic plates are rubbing up against one another, and as with tectonic plates, they don’t meet head-on but one slides under the other. That’s what’s happening here. We’re talking past each other, neither side giving credence to the other.

Famously, 70 something percent of Republicans believe there were shenanigans in the election. Blues say this is G eorge Orwell’s lie repeated over and over.

I watched Eamon Javers of CNBC report at the scene of the Capitol protests. He stood at the edge of the crowd. A middle-aged couple with an American flags strolled by, within hailing distance, as if they were spectators at a rock concert. Normally, an aggressive journalist would go for an opportunistic interview to add color to their reporting. Javers — a real pro, mind you — missed the opportunity. Did he not recognize the couple as being human?

A few days later, as President Joe Biden was disengaging from a presser, one of the alert journalists tossed him a soft ball, how does it feel living in the Withe House?

It feels like going home, Biden answered.

For blues, Washington, D.C. has been home for 80 years, since FDR came to town to lead the country out of the Great Depression. They are appalled that an intruder has been sleeping in the master bedroom.

From the red’s perspective, the Capitol insurgency is pitchforks at Versailles, tearing through the Hall of Mirrors, ransacking the private quarters of Marie Antoinette … or, in this case, the office of Nancy Pelosi.

Let them eat cake, say the blues.

Tom Deegan