Nationally Syndicated Cartoonist: “Only idiots signed up; only idiots died. Back home, the average I.Q. soared.”

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Nationally Syndicated Cartoonist:  “Only idiots signed up; only idiots died. Back home, the average I.Q. soared.”

If you’ve never heard of Ted Rall, consider yourself blessed.  I’ve been following him for quite a long time, but only because he is so absurd as to be almost comedic.  That quote in the title is only part of the ridiculousness that spews forth from this guy on an almost daily basis.

 What brought him to my attention again recently was this column he wrote about the SEAL raid on OBL:

President Obama’s Sunday evening announcement, timed to fill Monday’s papers with a sickening orgy of gleeful triumph but little information, prompted bipartisan high-fives and hoots all around. “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chanted a mob of drunken oafs in front of the White House. Blending the low satire of two Bush-era classic send-ups of a nation allergic to self-reflection, “Team America: World Police” and “Idiocracy,” they set the tone for a week or a month or whatever of troop-praising, God-blessing-America, frat-boy self-backslapping. “So that’s what success looks like,” wrote New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley in the paper’s special ten-page “The Death of Bin Laden” pull-out section.

The whole diatribe is worth reading for the sheer humor (or, more likely anger) that you get from it.  But, I decided that I would plop down my personal credit card and purchase his silly book Anti-American Manifesto on Amazon.   Ranked #280,416 in Books, (100,000 places behind Frommer’s Guide to Delaware for instance) it would seem that most folks missed this piece of fiction masquerading as intellectual thought, but your humble blogger managed to read it in a bit under 3 hours.  (I’ll never get those hours back, but I suppose I could have spent it in worse ways, watching Army Wives or Teen Moms for instance.)

This review was a dead giveaway on what I would find:

The Anti-American Manifesto is a "wake up call" for all Americans to stop deluding themselves with all that American Dream drivel and propaganda. Our country is fundamentally collapsing around us as once cherished institutions frantically fray about trying to maintain a minimal sense of order. We need to start a serious dialogue amongst ourselves about how crappy things really are in our country and take action. The Anti-American Manifesto is no Declaration of Independence and Ted Rall is no Thomas Jefferson, but the spirit and remedies of both resonate the same. The concept of "revolution" shouldn't remain unmentionable or considered subversive. The Great Recession is the culmination of decades worth of mismanagement, corruption and chicanery by the "powers that be" and WE THE PEOPLE are the victims (or chumps) of this bold face malfeasance. I recommend this book to any American who loves their country and who are willing to rise up and save it before it's too late. When words won't win action will.

 The book was all I expected, flush with tropes about how much America sucks.  The most succinct statement he makes on the intent of this trash comes at the end:

We must rid ourselves of our shitty, worthless, incompetent, evil-doing, planet murdering government and its corporate and media allies.  (Page 271)

But, he must mean through non-violent actions, right?  Like Ghandi sort of marching in the street stuff….  Um, nope:

Of course, nonviolent protest can effect change.  [Whew, I was worried he might go off the rails…]  But not by itself.  [uh oh]  We must understand that, in these cases, neither the demonstrations themselves nor their nonviolent nature is what prompts leaders to modify their policies or behavior.  It is only the credible threat of violence, the possibility that opposition could escalate to the next level, that makes “nonviolent” protest effective.  You don’t have to hit someone if they believe you will hit them.  Therefore, after a revolution runs its course and “normalcy” returns to the streets, it will be possible for people to demand and obtain changes.  (Pages 260-261)

And, how does the US compare to say, Nazy Germany?  Not well per Herr Rall:

The United States is the most efficient fascist state ever created – even more ruthless and effective than Nazi Germany.  Think that is an exaggeration?  Consider the most obvious point: It has no internal opposition.  (Page 227)

 Reminds me of the classic scene in Dumb and Dumber where the lady tells Jim Carrey’s character that the chances of them dating is one in a million and his character responds “So, you’re saying there’s a chance!”  I read Rall’s statement here to say: “So, you’re saying we are efficient and effective!”

And how do we stack up against Soviet Russia?  Alas, not well there either:

America’s form of government, masquerading as liberal democracy is actually more formidable a political adversary than a totalitarian state.  We can see this clearly in post-Soviet Russia, where the authoritarian pseudo-democracy of Vladimir Putin cracks down with greater ferocity and efficiency on political dissidents than the Soviet State did.  (Page 228)

 Just how post-Soviet Russia proves that the US sucks is open to speculation.

One might (and I suspect our commenters here will) assume that Rall is a standard leftist.  Oh no, my friends, he hates the left with the same vehemence as nearly everyone else.  Take for instance this passage in which he quotes another guy whose books I am ashamed to say I have read:

“The illegal wars and occupations, the largest transference of wealth upward in American history and the egregious assault on civil liberties, all begun under George W. Bush, raise only a flicker of tepid protest from liberals when propagated by the Democrats,” the journalist Chris Hedges complained in early 2010.  “The timidity of the Left exposes its cowardice, lack of a moral compass and mounting political impotence.  The Left stands for nothing.”

Therein lies the opportunity.  Hedge’s solution – supporting the Green Party and other third parties – is bullshit.  No one thinks that will work.  Revolution will.  What matters is that Obama has exposed the two-party system for what it has always been: ineffective [wait?  I thought we were effective?], disconnected, and removed from the people.  Populist rhetoric aside, both parties serve the rich.  Now everyone can see that.  The next step is to convince people that the answer isn’t new parties, but a different political system.  (Page 129)

Anyway, you get the idea on his general Anti-American ideas.  What drew me to the book though is his view of veterans and military service-members in general.  The comic I used above is from October of 2007, and yet inexplicably he is still featured in over 100 newspapers around the country.  Why?

Anyway, here are some gems on his military/veterans views and Foreign Policy:

 Over the course of four hundred years, Anglo-American foreign policy has created and expanded one of the most willfully aggressive and genocidal modern nation-states in history, killing and stealing on a scale that rivals Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.  Conservative estimates put the number of Native Americans murdered by British colonists and their American successors at more than ten million people.  More recently, American bombs claimed more than two million Vietnamese lives and at least one million Iraqis and Afghans.  The United States has covertly propped up scores of vicious dictators around the world who loot their nations’ treasuries, brutalize their people, and leave nothing but death and destruction in their wake; it is impossible to count all the victims of such regimes.  (Page 71)

…to say nothing of the fact that America also invented Reality TV Programming and Spongebob, both of which committed genocide on gazillions of brain cells….

So, how have we done at making war?  Well, apparently we are efficient at killing but not winning, per General Rall (comparing the US once again to what Lennin called for):

First, the United States has suffered military defeat.  And not just one, but a whole half-century plus of clusterf***ery!  Since 1945 every major military conflict has ended in either a draw or a loss: Korea (loss), Vietnam (loss, with a generous helping of total humiliation) and the Gulf War (draw).  Afghanistan and Iraq appear to be headed into the decisive loss category, although some optimists hold out for a draw in Iraq.  Whatever.  (page 216)

Whatever?  Really?  So, you don't really care if peace is achieved in those countries?  Bit cavalier aren't you?

 There is only one other passage I want to address, and only that because he manages to accuse the Legion of trying to seize power from the Federal Government, albeit in 1933.  It’s the same accusation I get occasionally from the wackjobs at Veterans Today who implored me to look into it and then do the right thing by quitting immediately. Just why I would quit a great job over some nefarious plot from before my Dad was born is (again) not explained.  Nonetheless, I decided to look into it finally. 

First, Rall:

Do not assume that these sentiments [subverting the national government] are limited to fringe militia types living in the middle of the woods in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  “Mainstream” right-wing Republicans have been itching to seize power from what they perceive as a vast Jewish communist liberal cabal that has controlled the media and the government for many years.  (Page 242)

As an aside, Vets Today is anything but right wing, and argues daily that a vast Jewish conspiracy is running the gov’t and media.  In fact, they were arguing just this week that Osama was killed 10 years ago, and some vast conspiracy of CIA and Mossad kept him frozen until now, and that we actually killed an Osama clone and then dumped the frozen body.

Anyway, back to the Legion portion of the conspiracy:

 In 1933, for example, top officials of the American Legion, the military veterans [sic] organization, approached a popular retired general, Smedley Butler, and offered him the support of five hundred thousand armed veterans to forcibly install him as a so-called Secretary of General Affairs – a de facto dictator.  FDR would have remained president, but as a figurehead.  (Page 242)

 Naturally there is no footnote or anything else to suggest the source on this.  So, I did some digging.  The clearest exposition of what happened is found in a book entitled “For God and Country: The American Legion, 1919-1941” by William Pencak.


 So. Ted Rall’s “top officials of the American Legion” were not top officials, and the plot made no sense for the Legion as a whole.  Further search revealed the House transcripts on the investigation into this plot.  It is interesting, if a bit long.  For instance, the “INVESTIGATION OF NAZI PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES AND INVESTIGATION OF CERTAIN OTHER PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES” found that:

According to Butler's testimony, MacGuire and Doyle suggested to him that he become a candidate for national commander of the American Legion at its convention at Chicago to be held in October 1933 and further stated that he told him that he was not interested and realized that he could not be elected commander.

According to his further testimony, they discussed ways and means of his becoming a delegate, even suggesting that he might be named from Hawaii. This is the only conferences Doyle attended.

Butler further testified that MacGuire returned on several other occasions and suggested to him that he go to the Legion convention at Chicago and make a speech urging a resolution, the import being that the United States return to the gold standard.

Butler testified that he told him that "I don't know a damn thing about gold."

Butler further testified that on this occasion MacGuire showed him a bank book, the pages of which were flipped, indicating deposits of approximately $42,000.

Doyle was a Department Commander (Mass), but didn’t attend any of the meetings with Butler that were alleged to have been in furtherance of this plot.  In fact, he was a Democrat, and supporter of the President.

And the high office that MacGuire held in the Legion?

The CHAIRMAN. You are a past department commander in the American Legion?

Mr. MacGuire. No, sir; never held an office in the American Legion. I have just been a Legionnaire—oh, I beg your pardon. I did hold one office. I was on the distinguished guest committee of the Legion in 1933, I believe.

Our Library Director informs me there were 20 members of that Committee in 1933.

 Anyway, you get the general idea: Ted Rall hates America, hates veterans, hates service members, REALLY hates the government, and thinks all of us who served are idiots.  Fair enough, I hate him back.  (So there, in your face Ted Rall!)

 Want just another example of why you should hate him too?  How about this piece he drew where he intimates that the then-recently deceased Pat Tillman was a racist moron:


This “cartoonist” is still featured in 100 newspapers across the country if Wikipedia is to be believed.  According to his employer, “Universal Uclick”:

 Ted Rall writes for a generation unjustly maligned as a pack of lazy slackers. He voices Generation X's frustration and resentment at the excesses of baby boomers who left a wheezing America in their mammoth wake. Ted's irreverent attitude and deft use of satire combine to make his work thought-provoking and enjoyable to read. Ted's ability to connect with current culture gives his work a fresh, informed perspective.

Actually, seems to me that his work is less a “fresh, informed perspective” and quite a bit more “bullsh*t written by a narcissistic a-hole who wrote a book read by about 37 people”, but your mileage may vary.

Posted in the burner | 187 comments
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though it annoys me greatly that this hater is still featured in 100 newspapers around the country, i take solice in the fact that like his book, very few people actually read newspapers these days. this was a terrific blog post -- thanks for reading his book so that i don't have to.

Apparently there are idiots left back home. Ted Rall is still here.

Perfect point!

This guy who I've never heard of has about a much talent as the lunchtime comic at a NW Washington restaurant with live entertainment in the early eighties--I hope both have real jobs. I do agree with you, RES, Ted Rall's presence made his own comment factual.

As the mother and grandmother of THREE, yes count that, THREE Army service members, I hope there is a special place in Hell for this !@#%$%^&*()!!!!!

I'm sure there is. Those like him reap what they sow.

I also have three sons serving in the Army. One is a college educated teacher. Another, an Engineer and the youngest is still in college. I find this strip offesive. However, all of my son's have committed themselves to defending this idiot's right to spew.

The great irony, of course, is that if he were actually right, if our soldiers were nothing more than mindless, murderous morons, then one of them would surely have put a bullet through his empty head by now. That they don't illustrates just how wrong he really is. Quite the paradox.

Read the statistics - military men have twice the chance of suicide than a civilian male - military women have THREE times the chance of committing suicide as a civilian woman. You think they're doing this because they're HAPPY?

Suicide, Depression, Unhappiness, Fear...Death. Military service is not easy in any branch of service and it's more stressful in a combat zone. And not everyone is cut out for it. Add to that the number of troops that served more than one tour - not by choice, and you have the makings of a new reality show in which mental stress exceeds the limit of tolerance. Washington could correct this problem but it would not be popular with voters and doing so would certainly be political suicide. Enact the draft, with out deferments, and mandate a minimal service period of 2 years. No more than 12 months in a combat zone unless one volunteers for extension.
If the war on terror is so crucial a national threat why have we not enacted the draft? If our military is so thin and at the brink of exhaustion why hasn't the draft been pushed? One reason. It's political suicide and the voters don't want it. We support the troops alright...where's the relief?
Army '72 Vet

I agree Forest... BRING the DRAFT on... It is done in many other countries as well...

Bush should have jailed this son of a bitch when he posted Wanted Posters with rewards for kiling American troops in Iraq. When our leaders refuse to step up their cowardice opens the door to chaos. I'm fed up with this bullshit about freedom of speech for my enemies. We need to stop being so damned tolerant. I'm not qualified to do the job but I pray someone delivers max pain to this a*%hole ASAP.

"I'm fed up with this bullshit about freedom of speech" Freedom of Speech is NOT bullshit. It's in the CONSTITUTION - something that I swore to uphold and defend, against **ALL** enemies, both foreign and (like you) domestic.

Don't trash my Constitution again, you traitorous piece of crap.

Surely even you see the humor at getting angry at someone for exercising their first amendment rights. We fight for everyone's rights, not just the people we agree with, and being a jerk isn't a crime. Yet.

-Semper Fi


He forgets that were attacked!.. any sane society when attacked, fights back. Unless you are part of the weak that we (I am a 26year Army Veteran) in this society are charged with protecting. All NCOs that I served with have a degree and we were Army Infantryman, Rangers, SF, Paratroopers. I lose no sleep over the cowardly few that talk bad about those that provide your security.
As a famous actor spewed in a movie (have to give him something he can relate too, cause you will never see people look fight back) If you have a problem with the protection I provide, pick up a rifle and stand on a wall!.. friggin loser!

Anyone who has ever served knows that line is BS- very few NCO's even did well in high school-
claiming they all had a degree must mean you only served with one or two NCO's.

I have degrees in Math and Chemistry. The other NCOs in my S-3 Section have degrees from the Citadel, UVa or Clemson. The NCO Corp is strong and intelligent. I'm not sure what branch you are talking about, but the Army NCO Corp is well represented.

I served this country and went through 5 deployments, and everywhere I went the NCO"s I met and served with all had multiple college degrees. So wherever you got your info from I would suggest printing it, go to the bathroom and re-read it. Then wipe your ass with it.

Please note the date and time after the 2000 election that Iraq attacked us. Or Afghanistan, for that matter. Al Qaeda (btw) has been found more in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia than in either of the two countries we ended up going to war with. And yet...

At least someone tells the truth!!

Come to Cuba!!

Write me and I'll tell you how!!

yes, please take him to cuba, then he will learn real intolerance and stupidity

Next time you absolutely must read the writings of a dirtbag like this, hie thee over to and plunk your money down, so that you may utter then every author's 4 least favorite words to hear about their book: "I bought it used."

Thank God he has the right to say what he thinks; idiots gave that right to him and sustain it. Not the politicians and not generation X slackers who have grown up under the illusion of instant and costless gratification. My roots come from those who fought in every major war in US History (me in RVN and my son in Iraq) since the revolution. None of us great but all dong what was needed. May some life altering event come into his life where he recognizes that no matter how screwed up the US appears to be; it is still the best thing around and he recognizes who really keeps this country going, the citizen soldier.

"Thank God he has the right to say what he thinks; idiots gave that right to him and sustain it."

So you're saying the Founding Fathers were idiots?

He's saying the people this guy thinks are idiots are the same people that authored his right to free speech into the Bill of Rights.

I was going to comment ,but thought ..why bother ..He would never understand anyway .So I can be self assured that his day will come.

Let's face it, the guy is a low life puke. I've never seen his work in any of the local papers, but any paper that carries his crap should be boycotted until his column is dropped. Then he can pen cartoons on welfare people. The American servicemen are the best and brightest and he wouldn't make a pimple on a recruit's butt. enough said..........

Just ignore this peasant. That will show him .
Please tell me, Why did we invade Iraq ? Why did over 4,000 of our American troops die and keep on dying ? I just love seeing those silver coffins come off those silver planes. For what did they die? To bring democracy to a people that don’t want it and never had it.
The cartoonist used his Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression. "Enough Said"

All government hatred aside, what do you have against a military member? What did they do except what you are afraid to do? Hate the government who sent them there, not the member who is willing to do what it takes to get a mission accomplished, to protect not only your rights but the rights of people he/she has never met. Whatever your political preference, it does not matter to the military member. You lack of practical education shows Mr. Rall shows through. As a ten year veteran of the United States Army with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have seen the good we have done in both countries. Mr. Rall from your comments, I can easily venture to guess you have never set foot in either country. You view has been gained through the media, which only shows half of the story. For every bad story shown in the U.S., there are ten others not shown, about the schools being built, the civil liberties being reinstated. I thank you for using your constitutional right to free speech, I thank you for showing how democratic our country really is, however, next time you thank god for your life, take a second and thank the veteran who ensures your continued constitutional right.

"As a ten year veteran of the United States Army with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have seen the good we have done in both countries."

Guess you must have missed the depleted uranium munitions we spread over their country but didn't clean up. Guess you missed the mass graves of the women and children (over hundreds of thousands) that were killed in the war we started in Iraq - FOR NO VALID REASON WHATSOEVER. Remember? NO WMD were found. The ones they had INCONTROVERTIBLE PROOF OF - remember that?

Yes, good soldiers follow orders. Then again, that wasn't a good enough defense of the Nazis when they were being tried in Nuremberg, was it?

First off we were in Iraq well before 2003. Obviously you missed the little Desert Fox incursion, the no fly zone and various border skirmishes. Second, my guess is you never were in Iraq or Afghanistan. I was and guarentee that we did more good than bad. And comparing American Soldiers to Nazi's, there is no comparison at this point. The Nazi's tried in Nuremberg were tried under the prefix of mass genocide and war crimes. We do prosecute our soldiers under, ie Abu Gairib (sic). So trowser monkey please educate yourself and then slap your dad for not pulling out.

They did have incontrovertible proof, ask the people of Halabja. Oh, wait, you can't, Hussein gassed them. That's all the proof you need. Add to that Russian President Putin telling Bush that his agents in the country warned that Hussein was planning on attacking America (right after 9/11, mind you), and you have all reason you need.

And as for your "good soldiers" comment...DIAF.

You're right we got ourselves into a mess and allot of people have died in between it all. War is unfair and unfortuantely the innocent sometimes get caught in the middle. We got into this mess because Bush failed to recognize the three factors one should consider before going into war; idealogy, national morality and strategy. He focused on idealogy with no significant strategy to exit a war nor the morality of the people. Getting out of these wars is expensive in terms of cost and lives. Ours and theirs. However, its academic at this point and to retreat now would be to repeat the errors of Vietnam. The best we can hope for is a truce in which terror is kept at bay and contained by the local government.

There is no comparison between the actions of our troops and those of Nazis Germany and I for one see it has an insult to even suggest there is. Nazis selected to eliminate a people and did so as an adversion to Hitlers true agenda - world domination. He needed to unify the Germany people and he did so by creating a hatred for a people. He did it by getting the Germans to place blame for all of their woes on the Jews versus taking responsibility for their own actions.

With regard to those mass graves you might want to ask who created them? Who planted all the road side bombs? Who trained and encouraged suicide bombers? And ask what cowards would kill women and children to drive fear into the populace? Sir, do not compare my brothers and sisters with those that created the condition for war. Rather give them credit for trying to liberate two countries fro intolerant domination.

I worked for a PHD and it was his opinion that anyone that served in the military was to stupid to figure out a way to get out of it. This is a person who got his degree on government money and then worked for the government -Department of Agriculture. He also told his sons not to register when they got of age. I have faced this opinion all my working career around a University.

Wow. Do you think this non-hacker has an ax to grind?

As both a member of Mensa and a veteran, I found that appalling. I never even heard of that guy until now.

Obama wants to take away our 2nd Amendment rights,but it's o.K. for this pig to say what he wants..However my father served during WW2,I served during Korea and my son served for 21 active duty years to give this person the right to say what he thinks.Like the man said"I don't agree with what he said,but I will defend to the death his right to say it"...

Your racist BS about President Obama taking your 2nd Amendments rights is wrong. The Supreme Court should find a pair and tell you losers what the 2nd Amendment really means- not what the NRA pays them to say it means.

Man am I getting fed up with this guy and "Mr. Huh?".

Okay buddy. It is a FACT that the U.S. military of WWII had a higher percentage of high school diplomas and college degrees than the civilian population. The same was even MORE true of the Vietnam era (my era).

Also, just why is criticism of Obama's politics and actions racist? YOU, sir, like most liberals, are the racist for trying to deflect valid criticism in such a way. Of course, the shout "racist" usually means "shut up, I am incapable of intelligent argument". Please also tell us on what basis you know the "real" meaning of the Second Amendment. I agree with the NRA's position, but then I only have an I.Q. of 145 and a law degree with honors. (I easily aced the Con Law class, by the way.)

Oh, by the way, I also have undergraduate degrees in engineering and math ... and I served, and I never found cause to look down my nose at my buddies. I can't say that the same has always been true in civilian life.

Ever read the Heller decision, jackass? They got tired of people like you claiming that the right to bear arms doesn't exist.

I'm sorry, but what did he write that was racist?

He criticized President Obama, duh!

This is so sad that we have, yet another example of one moron (who has no idea of duty, honor and country) mixing the whole idea of politics and false ideaology with service to our country. I come from a long line of veterans and now at 50 years finally realized what an honor it was to serve and that service has nothing to do with politics. Something I'm confident Ted Rall has never experienced. Maybe one day, his youthfulness will wear away and he might just find what he missed out on.

You guys are giving this twerp WAY too much attention. So his scrawl runs in about 2 college papers per state, that's virtual invisibility. You've just made him less so, by featuring this in the Update. Best way to deal with such trollers is to ignore them.

Oh yeah -- Obama doesn't want to take away our 2nd Amendment rights. That's a pure Faux News fabrications.

Way too many ignorant people believe this crap about the govt. wanting to take away our guns. The 2nd Amendment can be repealed only by a vote of 3/4 of the states and that is NOT gonna happen. This Faux Noise b.s. appeals to the most ignorant and useless part of our population and serves only to get demagoagues elected to misrepresent us and serve only corporate fascism. To hell with Rall. I served for 25 years and don't regret a day of it.

Willard- Do you have a link about Fox scaring folks into thinking the President will repeal the second amendment?  I hadn't seen it (don't watch Fox).

I just have two things to say.
1. I served in the army from 2001-2007, two years of which were in Iraq.
2. I am a card carrying member of Mensa.
'Nuff said.

A card carrying MENSA member would know to capitalize MENSA and would know how to spell "enough." Stop lying to make yourself sound good. Enough said.

Maybe he should be introduced to the wrath of a S.E.A.L team for an up close and personal exhibition of their point of view on the topic of IQ

I served in the Air Force for 21 years. Like you, I am a Mensan. While in the sevice, I did a study for one of my PME courses, and the result is that service members are much more highly educated than the geneeral public. Obviously more educated than Ted Rall.


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.