The Stiff Leader
The semaphoric web comic, by Mike Stanfill
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The Invention of the Flag.

The invention of the flag was trickier than you'd think.

No Cake For You!

"Flags were invented to help the dumb guys know who to kill." -Mike Stanfill

I'm sorry, boys and girls, but with circumstances in the world being what they are I'm afraid that it's History Time.

The following is a list of startlingly familiar occurances which incited the French Revolution:

• Louis XV fought numerous wars bringing France upon the verge of bankruptcy, while the support provided by Louis XVI to the colonists during the American Revolution further exacerbated the precarious financial condition of the government. The national debt amounted to almost 2 billion livres. The social burdens caused by war included the huge war debt, made worse by the monarchy's military failures and ineptitude, and the lack of social services for war veterans.

• An inefficient and antiquated financial system unable to manage the national debt, both caused and exacerbated by the burden of a grossly inequitable system of taxation.

• The continued conspicuous consumption of the noble class, especially the court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette at Versailles, despite the financial burden on the populace.

• High unemployment and high bread prices, causing more money to be spent on food and less in other areas of the economy.

• Widespread famine and malnutrition, which increased the likelihood of disease and death, and intentional starvation in the most destitute segments of the population during the months immediately before the Revolution. The famine extended even to other parts of Europe, and was not helped by a poor transportation infrastructure for bulk foods. (Some researchers have also attributed the widespread famine to an El Niño effect, or colder climate of the little ice age combined with France's failure to adopt the potato as a staple crop)

As George Santayana is famous for saying, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Now go look up "doomed"


Raging Pencils is a massive conceit courtesy of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Illustration • Animation • Web Design

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Like Crap Through An Orwellian Goose:
The Editorial Excretions of Mallard Fillmore
mallard fillmore
4-24-08: In order to definitively prove that Raging Pencils isn't the worst editorial comic in the world allow me to present Mallard Fillmore.

If it's not in your local paper then consider yourself lucky but this example is pretty much typical of its style, which is generally little more than name-calling. It doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to see that this 'gag' is only one step above drawing a dog turd and calling it a "Brown John Mccain".

Without sounding too bitter, how does this strip warrant syndication? Through King Features, no less. Surely there's a Conservative out there with a better sense of... oh, wait. Never mind. What was I thinking?

In a nutshell, this is what a Conservative thinks is funny. Keep that in mind when they talk about Social Security.

The invetion of the flag.