Dec 12

Editorial Cartoon: Don’t Count Your Chickens. . .

Illinois has 180 days to enact some sort of concealed carry legislation. Given the fact that Illinois has long preferred to protect criminals from law-abiding citizens, there’s no imaginable way that Springfield (read Chicago) will do anything but enact the strictest, most cumbersome law imaginable.

I just hope this cartoon doesn’t give them any ideas.

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Oct 12

Editorial Cartoon: The cost of higher education

Some debts can never be paid back — student loans can.

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Aug 12

Editorial Cartoon: Is it time for gun control yet?

Full disclosure: I’m not against owning guns, but with the number of legal guns being used to commit mass-murder, it’s hard to say that guns are a good idea. Of course, you can swing the other way and say that more guns are the solution. Take that notion to its logical end and it would make the wild west seem pretty much like a Disney movie.

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Jul 12

Editorial Cartoon: Of Course YOU Don’t Need a Safety Net…

After listening to the right wing talk about self-reliance and hard work, I wonder how these guys and gals would feel if they ever had to choose between baby formula and a flu shot. There’s a fine line between a welfare state that encourages people to be less productive and providing the basic building blocks that allow people to go out and do the things they need to get a bigger piece of the pie. I suppose that I (and fellow voters) would feel much more secure if the far-right actually came out and admitted what the policies they espouse are designed to do: old people dying in the street, higher infant mortality, debtors prisons, resurgence of long-dormant plagues — you get the point. Then, we’d never have to worry about one of these types ever getting elected.

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Copyright 2012, Story. All rights reserved.

Jun 12

Editorial Cartoon: Sodanomics 101

Thank God someone is addressing the issue of obesity by limiting options for both sellers and buyers in a free-ish market. Freedom to use your money and time in a way you choose is way too much responsibility and I hope this is just a baby step toward relieving me of all choice–there’s something really appealing about never needing to make a choice or expose myself to risk of any kind.

Oops, I though it was opposite day.

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Sep 10

Editorial cartoon: Distracted driving.

There’s an old-school diversion out there that still puts people at risk — maybe we could pass a law for this problem as well.

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Apr 10

Editorial cartoon: Airlines charge for everything?

The recent announcement of Spirit airlines to charge for carry-on luggage may open the doors for charging for everything. Even emergency air.

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Nov 09

Editorial Cartoon: Marketing fear

The new breast cancer screening results are out.


















The news didn’t go over so well. Of course, when you actually listen to what the news is, it doesn’t seem so outrageous. Using fear to market this or that seems to be very popular of late — we need to fear terrorists so please do whatever you feel is needed to protect us. If you smoke you will DIE (real soon), don’t drink or you’ll get wrapped around a tree. For the love of God, don’t have sex and Swine flu will kill you unless you get the vaccine. 

It is true that there are women under fifty who will not get screened (unless they have a known predisposition for breast cancer) and some of them will die. The problem is: many more women will get mastectomies and endure cancer treatment for masses and abnormalities that would not have resulted in death by cancer and, in the absence of detection, may not actually have been a detriment to their health at all.

Fear and emotion are powerful motivators. Knowledge advances over time. By my understanding, the results simply indicate that the overall value of early mammogram and self-exam are eclipsed by the potential harm of false-positive detections. This knowledge only comes with time and reasearch. For otherwise healthy women who do not have risk factors for breast cancer (or cancer in general), the probability of contracting breast cancer is less dangerous than the possibility of false-positives and the treatment that follows. In this litigious society, do you really think a doctor is going to walk into the recovery room after your preventative double mastectomy and tell you that the mass probably wouldn’t have killed you, but it’s better to be "safe than sorry?" What about an informed decision?

The study claims that cost was not considered as criteria, only effectiveness. Just about every time that cost is not considered, the results seem to point to less treatment rather than more. This is a giant red flag telling us that the people who make money from this (and other fear marketing) are more concerned about profit than actual care. I heard a news report on NPR where a woman stated that this was an attack on women. Isn’t it an attack on women to be fearmongered into unnecessary tests that could lead to more unnecessary tests up to chemotherapy and mastectomies? Christina Applegate had a double mastectomy as prevention. In her case, there is a history of cancer in her family, but there is at least anecdotal evidence that other women without risk factors are choosing the same option because it is better to be safe than sorry. The real attack on women is that the organizations who stand to make money money from the detection of, treatment of and the folks who sell pink ribbons have so entrenched themselves in the psyche of American women that they have lost the ability to make an informed decision about their own lives.

Yes, there will be women under the age of fifty who will die from breast cancer. If the new guidelines are implemented, even more may die. That is sad and unfortunate, but the real efforts should be undertaken to find ways to better detect and prevent cancer, not to defend methods and practices that have been shown to be inadequate. In the end, however, this is an opportunity for our wives, daughters, sisters and mothers to stop being a profit center and start being proprietors of their own care?

If you are a woman and you want a mammogram or want to learn how to administer a breast self-exam, then do it. If there’s a fight to be had it is the fight to ensure that the tests remain available and covered by insurance for those who choose to have them. Demand information that will help you come to reasoned and informed conclusion about what’s best for you, and not what’s best for a doctor, clinic, or pink-ribbon pushing activist.

Knowledge is power.



I just did some data mining at the National cancer institue web page. According to their own data, at 95% confidence, they report about an eightfold increase in diagnosis/death in women over fifty versus women fourty-nine and younger. For women under fourty-nine, regardless of risk factors, the chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is around .008%. According to Wikianswers, your 50 year chance of dying an automobile accident is roughly 1%. Perhaps more effort should be spent on protecting women from cars.

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Nov 09

Editorial Cartoon: Thanksgiving

Give thanks while you can.




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Oct 09

Editorial cartoon: Happy hand sanitizer day (AKA halloween)



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