Wednesday, December 31, 2003


What's your plan for today? If you are interested in what I have been up to, read my post, SMOKING, SPARKLING & BUBBLING...

Read Scott McConnell's article, What Is the Meaning of New Year's? Here is an excerpt:

"What then is the philosophic meaning of New Year's resolutions? Every resolution you make on this day implies that you are in control of your self, that you are not a victim fated by circumstance, controlled by stars, owned by luck, but that you are an individual who can make choices to change your life."

Tuesday, December 30, 2003


If you are interested in the "transformation" of the world of politics, go to Christopher Lydon's site, The Blogging of the President: 2004. For more on politics, read the article, Freewheeling 'bloggers' are rewriting rules of journalism. [Via InstaPundit.]

Monday, December 29, 2003


I hope that the $1 million bounty on the remaining names on the Iraqi Most Wanted list (the "Dirty Dozen" + Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri @ $10 million) will pay off well... You will get back that kind of money, if you find the money Saddam has "deposited in Switzerland, Germany, Japan and other countries."

Sunday, December 28, 2003


Who will Dean pick as his running mate (if he wins the nomination)? Wesley Clark, Bob Graham, Paris Hilton, or "Jesus"? For more on religion and politics, read Andrew Dalton's post, News flash: Howard Dean sucks even more, and Andrew Bernstein's article, Religion and Capitalism Are Antithetical: The Defenders of Capitalism Should Invoke Secularism and Reason, Not Religion and Faith, as Their Justification.


What do you think about this statement by Jahanbakhsh Khanjani:

"The Islamic Republic of Iran accepts all kinds of humanitarian aid from all countries and international organizations with the exception of the Zionist regime."

Read the statement, Tragedy of the Earthquake in Kerman Province, by the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran.

UPDATE 12/30/03: Here is an excerpt from Amir Taheri's article, Iran's political quake:

"The earthquake also focuses attention on the nuclear power plant that Iran is building on the Bushehr Peninsula. The plant is on the same geological fault line that destroyed Bam. Each year, thousands of tremors of various degrees of intensity are recorded on that fault line.

Bushehr itself has thrice been destroyed by earthquake in recent times (1877, 1911 and 1962). It is not hard to imagine what an earthquake that destroys a nuclear power plant could do to the entire Persian Gulf area." [Via]

For more on the Bushehr plant, read my post, NUCLEAR THREAT BY THE AXIS OF EVIL.

UPDATE 01/06/04: Here is an excerpt from Geesou Atasheen's article, Iranians Begged the US Aid Workers to Stay:

"The Iranian National Seismological Center had provided the regime with report after report and data upon data stating that the repopulation of the area could prove to be disastrous. But the mullahs had responded by saying that the 12th Imam, who is "invisible," would shield the residents of the city from harm!"

For more information on the earthquake in Bam, read Allen Forkum's post, Earthquake Diplomacy.

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.

Friday, December 26, 2003


I wonder if Howard Dean's campaign leaders are watching Jon Stewart's "Spider Hole 101" video at this moment... Mr. Dean has to be prepared before he is crawling into his "spider hole of denial." The word "spider-hole" is ranked #7 on the list of "Top Phrases of 2003" by By the way: the word "blog" is #2 on the list of top 10 words.

In the news: Press and pundits have gotten tangled up with 'spider hole'.

Spin Control (05/20/02) by Cox & Forkum [Black & White World, page 65.]

Thursday, December 25, 2003


It will be interesting to follow the media coverage of the forthcoming Democratic caucuses in Iowa and the primary in New Hamshire. I will focus on the European newspapers and their coverage in future posts on my other blog, Lukeion.

Is it possible that one of the "nine dwarfs" will give G.W. Bush a real fight? I think they have to watch out for the cowboy... The other day I got an e-mail from "Blogs For Bush" with an invitation to join the blogroll. I am not a Bush supporter, but I must admit that I am glad that Gore didn't win in 2000... Do a Google (bomb?!) search on "bad presidents." [Hat tip to the Politburo Diktat. Editor: Is this the new "commie" version of a "Molotov cocktail"?]

For more politics, check out WatchBlog and Dick Morris' new project, The Official Internet Primary�.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003


Today I have enjoyed a sm�rg�sbord of many different dishes, e.g., ham, herring and meatballs, together with beer and snaps. We have exchanged plenty of gifts.

My post, X-MA$, is included in this week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities. This time it is hosted by Winds of Change.NET. Joe Katzman has done a great job, putting together a compilation of more than 50 different posts.

Read Wayne Dunn's article, It's a Wonderful Commercial Life.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003


Go and read Dan Darling's special analysis, Holiday Terror Alert. The section "Decentralized? Think Again" is very interesting. Here are two articles with information on Osama Bin Laden's whereabouts:

Bin Laden in Iran. Islamic leader says terror kingpin staying in nation with 'consorts'.
Discerning Terror Chatter.


UPDATE 12/29/03:
US seeks bin Laden here, there and everywhere.
Al-Qaeda chief, aide in Iran: UK Report.

UPDATE 01/05/04: Tape probably Bin Laden, CIA says. Click here for a translated transcript of the tape.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Sunday, December 21, 2003


Time for my weekly post on Iran. Read Jesse Elve's (BlogsCanada) interview with Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan (Editor: Myself). [Via InstaPundit.] Did you watch the "Hardtalk" interview with Nobel Peace prize winner, Shirin Ebadi?

Saturday, December 20, 2003


Are you ready to celebrate X-mas, winter solstice and Yuletide?

Stan (South Park) knows about the true "spirit of X-mas." I am not a huge fan of South Park (I got a dose of the show during my years at college...), but I would prefer to watch an episode of South Park's political incorrectness instead of socialist propaganda � la Robin Hood in Christopher's Christmas Mission on Swedish television. Here is an excerpt from Jason Roth's editorial, The True Meaning of Xmas:

"Despite all the commercialism, childish greediness, spiked eggnog, and endless gift-wrapped mountains of materialistic extravagance, there's a lot not to like about Christmas." [, 12/25/02]

Tune in to the History Channel for the real story of Christmas. If you want to get in the right mood, put a Yule log on the fire, get your favorite drink, and then take some time to read Leonard Peikoff's column, A consumerism Christmas. Celebrate capitalism with joy, not shame.

If you want to be a true capitalist "pig" (read: trader), read "Francisco's Money Speech" from Ayn Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged. I look forward to the day when capitalism is a well-known ideal.

I have illustrated this post with an artwork by Jerald Rough'. If you want to buy some Christmas presents, check out the gift shop @ Quent Cordair Fine Art.

[Holiday by Jerald Rough' � 2000]

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


My post, INTERVIEW WITH JOHN COX & ALLEN FORKUM, is included in the 65th edition of Carnival of the Vanities. This time it is hosted by Drumwaster's Rants!

"Martin Lindeskog manages to score - big time! - with an interview with John Cox & Allen Forkum (of Cox & Forkum fame - whose book can be found in major bookstores across the country and on-line). They are a daily 'Must-Read'..."

Go to Silflay Hraka for more information on the carnival.


It is true that Wright Brothers' Flight Principles Still Rule After 100 Years (David McAlary, Voice of America News), but I also agree with Heike Berthold's philosophical statement: "America has abandoned the cultural values that made the Wright brothers' great achievement possible." Here is an excerpt from her article, Grounding the Wright brothers:

"The symbol of flight in America today is no longer the Wright brothers, but Icarus. Where once we venerated the bold exploration of new frontiers, we now condone bureaucrats putting shackles on anyone who seeks to test the untried � to soar too high or succeed too well."

A few days ago, I saw the first episode ("Heroes and Daredevils") of the TV series, Chasing the Sun. It is based on the book, Turbulent Skies: The History of Commercial Aviation by T. A. Heppenheimer. For more information on "the invention of the aerial age," read Heppenheimer's book, First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane.

Fly over to The Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company and Museum of Pioneer Aviation.

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.

For great inspirational fuel, go to Quent Cordair Fine Art - Celebrating 100 Years of Flight.

UPDATE 12/30/03: Read Hannes Hacker's article, First-Handed in Flight.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003


I am playing around with something called "Rich Site Summary" (RSS) in order to give the readers the opportunity to syndicate my blog. You could subscribe to my blog with Bloglines. You could find the EGO blog profile @ BlogStreet.

Related link: The Atom syndication project.

UPDATE 12/18/03: Click on the "XML" logo and get EGO RSS feed. Please send me tips on news sources with RSS feeds. For more on syndication, read Paul Festa's article, Battle of the blog.

Sunday, December 14, 2003


It's time to put the spotlight on Iran. When will Mohammad Khatami and the mullahs receive the same treatment as Saddam Hussein? I will keep writing posts on Iran, until the ayatollah regime is gone. It could take a long time, because they are "smooth talkers" compared with "Baghdad Bob." President Khatami said at the UN digital summit that they have blocked 240 "websites that are not compatible with Islam."

Read about Ahmad Batebi in the article, After 2 Visits to the Hangman, More Horror for Iran Dissident.

From Cockroach & Mullah, a match made in heaven.

UPDATE 12/16/03: Read Nicholas Provenzo's post, Saddam Down, Iran Next?


I have picked some of my "greatest hits" posts and added them to the "Posts from the Archives" category. I hope both my long-time readers and new visitors will enjoy the selection.

* TAX PRESSURE - Comparison of the tax systems in Sweden and America.
* WAR NOW! - Covering the anti-war demonstrations.
* AMERICAN IN SPIRIT - Standing up for the ideals of the Founding Fathers. Join the American In Spirit Webring!
* DECK OF CARDS - The complete Iraqi Most Wanted list.
* ANNUAL BLOG REPORT - My "blogiversary."
* THE LIBERTARIAN ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT - Ideas have consequences.
* STEEL TARIFFS AND RUST BELT VOTES IN 2004 - Bush the protectionist & pragmatist.
* INTERVIEW WITH JOHN COX & ALLEN FORKUM - EGO interview with the creators of the Black & White World.

If you want to spread the good word, please scroll down to the Support category and click on the "tell-a-friend" button!


Great news! The #1 of the Iraqi Most Wanted has been checked off the list. Saddam Hussein has been captured (alive) in Ad Dawr, about 8 miles (~13 km) south of his hometown Tikrit. He has been hiding in a "spider hole" under a farmhouse.

Ace of spades (#1) - Saddam Hussein (Husayn).

For more information, go to the Command Post.

UPDATE 12/15/03:

In the news: Report: Saddam Tells Interrogators 'No WMD'.

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.

Check out the slideshow to General Sanchez's brief on the Operation "Red Dawn." Watch the movie, Red Dawn.

Saturday, December 13, 2003


Is it payback time for the "Axis of Weasels"? G.W. Bush is giving first dibs to the "friendly coalition folks" in bidding on the reconstruction contracts for Iraq. The members of the "Axis of Weasels," i.e., France, Germany and Russia, are excluded to participate. I agree with the authors of the article, Contracts for Iraq: Reverse the Pentagon's Decision. I think Bush has not acted in a smart way, to say the least. Bush, Cheney & company should not be involved in this kind of business. Let private enterprises take care of the matter instead. Read Robert Garcia Tagorda's post, Excluding the Unwilling.

UPDATE 12/15/03: Payback time for the axis of weasels by Mark Steyn.

Friday, December 12, 2003


Right now it is a huge split between certain European countries, e.g., France and Germany on one side and Poland and Spain on the other side. The parties are not in agreement on what things should be included in the European constitution. I don't mind the deadlock.



Allen Forkum has a great post on the situation in Taiwan. Bush acts like a wimp and doesn't seem to have the guts to stand up against the dictatorship in communist China. Bush follows the same steps as Nixon on this issue. Do you think that the dictators in Peking will pull off the same stunt regarding Taiwan as they did with Hong Kong in 1997? Read Chen Shui-bian's (President of Taiwan Republic of China) interview by New York Times.

Additional reading: Taiwan Relations Act.


Thursday, December 11, 2003

Wednesday, December 10, 2003


Zeyad (Healing Iraq) writes in his post, Great day for Iraq, about the anti-terrorism demonstration in Baghdad. [Via InstaPundit.] Now is the right moment to read C. Bradley Thompson's article, An Open Letter to the People of Iraq. If you are curious to see what the opposite side has to "offer," read (Nota Bene: for your own safety, please have a sickbag handy) the proposal by Lyndon H. LaRouche (Presidential candidate, Democratic Party). (Interesting that his proposal has been posted at,, and in his own publication, "Executive Intelligence Review")


Support the management of H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) against the attacks by the union called Unite. Dennis Kucinich and Hillary Clinton have jumped on the bandwagon... Here is my suggestion: Go to H&M and shop until you drop! The supermodels Naomi Campbell, Angie Everhart and Daniela Pestova could give you assistance and inspiration! H&M knows how to use the A.I.D.A formula!

Book recommendation: Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003


I got very interested in reading Edwin A. Locke's book, The Blackwell Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior, after reading Mark Da Cunha's (Capitalism Magazine) review. Here is an excerpt from Edwin Locke's keynote essay, The Epistemological Side of Teaching Management: Teaching Through Principles:

"My goal in this article has been to show the productive role that objectivist philosophy, specifically epistemology, can play in teaching. Everything I have said here is the diametric opposite of today's "in" philosophy, postmodernism, which asserts that there is no reality to know, the language (concepts) have no objective or fixed meaning, that language creates rather than represents reality, and that certainty is impossible. Postmodernism is the dead end of philosophy and therefore of all attempts to gain knowledge. It would necessarily lead to disaster if applied to the field of management." [Edwin A. Locke, Editor, Appendix, "Conclusion," page 450.]


I have written several separate posts on taxes and militant Islamists lately. What would you say if somebody tried to combine militant Islam with tax reform ideas?! Read Frank J Gaffney's article, A Troubling Influence. [Via InstaPundit.] I wonder if Grover Norquist of "Americans for Tax Reform" would be interested in a bank account in Bahrain � la Shari'ah rules...

Sunday, December 7, 2003


Time for my weekly post on Iran. What has Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, done with Pentagon's Rolodex? Maybe some contact cards are missing? Rumsfeld: You shouldn't be listening to Powell!

In the news: Iran Students Rally for Free Speech, Prisoners.


Read David E. Kaplan's detailed cover story in the latest issue of the U.S. News & World Report, on how the Saudis are sponsoring a global terror network. [Via Little Green Footballs.] It is scary reading on how Saudi Arabian officials and diplomats have been spreading their religious dogma - Wahhabism. Luckily, it looks like the clerics of the "Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America" will have a bit harder with their activities in the future... For more information, go to The Search for International Terrorist Entities.


UPDATE 12/12/03:

What do you think Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, will say at the City Club of Cleveland, on December 15?

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.


Today in history: The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Read the editorial in the New York Post, 12/7 and 9/11: America & the world, and then Onkar Ghate's article, Blame Unprincipled Foreign Policy for 9/11. Here is a quote by Dr. Ghate:

"At home, we treated our attackers as if they were isolated criminals rather than soldiers engaged in battle against us. In 1941 we did not attempt to indict the Japanese pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor--we declared war on the source. Yet we spent millions trying to indict specific terrorists--while we ignored their masters."

Saturday, December 6, 2003


Moxie wants to have a discussion on alternative tax methods. I thought that Steve Forbes' flat tax plan was a pretty good idea back in the day, but I changed my mind after I listened to Leonard Peikoff's interview with Bill Archer (The Leonard Peikoff Show, 06/17/96) and came to the conclusion that a retail sales tax is a better idea. Bruce Bartlett thinks that the flat tax makes a comeback. I wonder if the tax reforms in Slovakia could be implemented in other countries in Europe. For information on the situation in Sweden, read my post, TAX PRESSURE.

UPDATE 12/09/03:
Thanks for the comments! I agree with Aaron that "Anything is better than the quagmire we have now" and I think that the consumption tax is the best way to go.
Brian Yoder correctly points out: "Unless the income tax is completely and permanently obliterated, we will end up with both a national sales tax and a national income tax and things will be worse than they are now." That is what happened in Sweden. The VAT started out as a temporary sales tax at a level of about 3% and is now 25% (20% off the total price) and a progressive income tax.
Moxie: Here is an excerpt from Edwin Feulner's article, Simplify the Tax Code with a Flat Tax:

"The income-tax system began in 1913 as a two-page form backed by 14 pages of law. Today, we struggle with 742 different forms and 254 separate publications, backed by more than 17,000 pages of law." [Capitalism Magazine, 12/04/02.]

I look forward to Tax Freedom Day! In Sweden you have to wait until August... (Click here for the PDF version.)

Friday, December 5, 2003


Today I got a shipment of EGO products. But guess what? I had to pay a total of >40% in different taxes (import VAT, customs, and Value Added Tax on the freight charges).

Remember: December 7 is Celebrate Capitalism� Day. I look forward to Dr. Andrew Bernstein's book, The Capitalist Manifesto.

Related: My post, FREE TRADE.


Are you American in Spirit? You are welcome to join my webring - American in Spirit.

Thursday, December 4, 2003


I have enjoyed Cox & Forkum's editorial cartoons in The Intellectual Activist for a long time and it was therefore very interesting to read Robert Tracinski's interview with the dynamic duo in the March 2002 issue of TIA. I was one of the first individuals who had the pleasure to find Cox & Forkum's virtual home in cyberspace. I have enjoyed their book, Black & White World, very much.

I hope this interview will give you additional insight to the interesting online interviews by Dean Esmay and John Little.

EGO: First of all, I want to thank you very much for your work with the EGO logotype. Do you want to tell my readers how you came up with the logotype?

FORKUM: The initial idea for the logo was a graphic solution using the word "ego" to form a person's face, but the results didn't really connote egoism strongly enough. I knew John could illustrate a heroic, proud man so that is the tack we took. The original drawing had a square border around it. We eliminated that so the man would be the highest graphic element in the logo. The sphere was meant to connote a lofty peak or even the world itself.

COX: Heroic was what I was shooting for. There was power in his stance that I think captured a sense of joy and determination. I really wanted to work simple, simple, simple. You put the logo on a jersey and I've worn that shirt out. [EGO Editor: How about sending a X-mas gift to John & Allen?] I really liked the understated size of the artwork, yet its intent is a real attention-getter. That logo was a fun project.

EGO: Your first war cartoon, "Blend," was created on September 20, 2001. Please tell me your reactions to what happened on 9/11.

FORKUM: Disbelief, horror, fear, anger, grief ... and under all those feelings was a dismay at my own ignorance that such a threat even existed. Of course I knew that militant fundamentalist Muslims hated America and that they regularly attacked us overseas, from Lebanon to Africa to Yemen. I knew they had attack the WTC once before. I knew the Taliban had destroyed non-Islamic statues in Afghanistan. I recalled the name Osama bin Laden. But I never imagined Islamists' willingness and capacity to commit an atrocity on the scale of 9/11. It was a wake-up call for me, to better educate myself on the threat and how to defend ourselves against it. In particular I wanted to fight the battle against Islamist jihad ideology. That desire is fundamental to our editorial cartooning today.

COX: That day changed America. It changed me. How could it not? Now, all I want to do is take the fight to the horrific ideologies that fueled such anti-Americanism. We're editorial cartoonists, so the battlefield is there.

FORKUM: Along those lines, I elaborated about the "Blend" cartoon in our book: Islamic terrorists share an irrationalism with certain activists in America which results in a common bond -- a willingness to use force against those who disagree, a willingness to place their causes above individual rights.

EGO: I think that your cartoon, "Censorship, Berkeley-Style," is showing how the leftists of the academic world are trying to use dirty tricks as a method in order to stop the freedom of speech at universities. For a background, read my post, ANTI-REASON AT UC BERKELEY. Have you been in contact with many students through your blog?

FORKUM: Yes, they've contacted us. University students have asked permission to use our cartoons on flyers advertising demonstrations and lectures. Some student newspapers have published our cartoons. The cartoon "Affirmative Racism" even caused somewhat of a controversy at Texas A&M. So there's definitely some interest there.

And I would add regarding the Berkeley cartoon that it also shows what many college leftists are in essence: intolerant, anti-free-speech thugs.

EGO: What's your favorite source and inspiration for new cartoons?

FORKUM: Mainly current events, though sometimes we "lead" by commenting on issues we think are important. I spend a lot of time checking the latest news online at CNN, FoxNews and Google News as well as surveying information in the blogosphere, which is abundant and useful. I often wish that I had more time just to keep up with the blogosphere. The op-eds at The Ayn Rand Institute are also inspiring.

EGO: What's your view on today's media?

FORKUM: My general view of them is pretty negative. There's seems to be a gross lack of objectivity that leads to biases of every sort, from editorializing in "news" articles to the total evasion of important events. Some of this may be laziness, some may be political sympathizing, and some may be out and out propagandizing. But whatever the reason, it is not good journalism. This is not to say that all journalists and every media outlet are corrupt in some way. I don't know enough to comment on the extent of the problem. But when you have major news organizations like Reuters that even after 9/11 refused to call terrorists "terrorists," it's an indication of deep problems.

EGO: During a panel discussion at the Oslo Objectivist Conference, one question was about the fact that several individuals have learned about Ayn Rand's books and philosophy, through listening to a rock group called Rush. Do you know if you have inspired some of your readers to check out literature by Ayn Rand?

FORKUM: Yes, a couple of people have mentioned to me that they've looked further into Objectivism, and I find that immensely rewarding even though it is not the primary purpose of our cartoons.

EGO: What kind of different feedback have you got from your readers?

FORKUM: The overwhelming majority of our feedback is positive, but we also regularly receive criticism, from the full political spectrum -- conservatives, libertarians and leftists.

COX: The biggest kick I get out of our work is opportunity to hear from folks so fast. I've stated it before, but the time between airing the work and hearing what fans think of the work is now down to virtually nothing, and I truly dig the vulnerability... laying it out there and experiencing the response.

EGO: It was very interesting to read the interview in TIA on how you developed an idea for a cartoon. You refer to Ayn Rand's book, The Art of Nonfiction. How have you been able to achieve such clarity in your style?

FORKUM: That's a tough question. It's partly a matter of practice. I used to write editorials for my own publications as well as write letters to editors of other newspapers. Effective op-eds and LTEs boil an issue down to its essence and comment on it concisely, often using analogies and metaphors to drive home a point. Creating cartoon ideas is a similar process. Beyond that the execution of the drawing must clearly communicate the idea, which is where John's skills are so important.

EGO: Could you compare an op-ed with an editorial cartoon? What are the differences and similarities?

FORKUM: I've already mention some similarities above. Of course the main difference is that an editorial cartoon concretizes an opinion with an image. Metaphors and symbolism that are merely handy for an op-ed become essential tools in cartoons. The better editorial cartoons are the ones that emphasize visuals over words and dialogue. That doesn't mean that word-oriented editorial cartoons can't be effective -- we do those type all the time. But the strongest cartoons essentialize an idea to a quickly perceivable concrete.

This strength in editorial cartoons is a weakness compared to op-eds, which can present full arguments, refer to multiple sources and contexts, and deal easily with high-level abstractions. It's basically the difference between a book and its cover. One
advertises an opinion; the other explains it.

EGO: Have you read Ayn Rand's book, The Romantic Manifesto?

FORKUM: Yes, I highly recommend the book -- all of Ayn Rand's books are worth reading. The Romantic Manifesto is an excellent, philosophical analysis of art, from television to novels to painting.

COX: The Romantic Manifesto was a fun read. It kind of gave me a beginning point to justify my "throwback" aesthetic. Instead of being an unimaginative hack, I could be a messenger bringing back the joy of Realism. I found her words to be very invigorating. Now I had something to say to all those stiff-necked modernists who prefer barbaric paint globs over humanist values.

EGO: John, for how many years have you been a painter of fine art? Who's your favorite artist?

COX: I've been showing my paintings for 10 years, and I hope to do it for the rest of my life. I consider my fine art goals to be the engine for my cartooning. A lot of the adrenaline rush I get from a sharp cartoon is found in the experience of selling a very personal painting. I've come to realize that my two loves are inseparable, and I want to pursue them both with equal passion.

Who are my painting heroes? Andrew Wyeth for his elegant use of the figure in large expanses of landscape. Edward Hopper for his sense of solitude in his work. He found a dignity in physical isolation that I find very romantic. Maxfield Parrish for his sense of design and his magical take on Realism. But for pure bravura and lust for the human experience, I'd have to say writer Ernest Hemingway's life is the most inspirational. Not his outrageous fame per se, or his shameless irresponsibility, but how he reveled in physical and intellectual pleasure. I really admire his sense of adventure and the courage to see it through. Although, I think I'll pass on the shotgun thing.

EGO: Allen, could you provide us with a gag cartoon from your magazine, Automotive Report? How about something on the topic "Amish versus Technology"?

FORKUM: This cartoon is from 1996 and, if I remember correctly, it was entirely John's idea.

COX: Yeah... the Amish thing. Loaded with paradoxes that lead to some really funny ideas. Granted, the cartoon was also skirting the meaning of progress, but when I hit upon the idea of a horse crunched in a garage door, it became pure slapstick. The cartoon represents my tendency to make fun of religious dogma... and dumbfounded farm animals.

EGO: What are your plans for the future? When could we purchase your next book? Another Cox & Forkum product?

FORKUM: We're still striving for syndication. We recently sent out submissions and are waiting for reactions. In the mean time, we're producing cartoons as if we're syndicated. Publishing a second book is a strong possibility, perhaps sometime next year. But first we want to sell more copies of "Black & White World." I have too many stored in my garage! We'll likely add more t-shirts to our line. And we're considering selling some of our original artwork.

COX: Ultimately, I'd love to see our work in a big gallery show. Think of a nice airy room with cream walls and hundreds of original drawings all matted and glassed. Bottles of cabernets and pinot grigio piled near a bandstand oozing delicious jazz music across the room. Kind of a celebration of art and ideas. Until then, though, I'm thrilled with the possibilities of where the drawings can lead us. I tell everyone, You ain't seen nothing yet.

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.

Monday, December 1, 2003


This Book of the Month is John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty by C. Bradley Thompson. Read Eric Daniels' review of the book in the November issue of The Intellectual Activist. Listen to Bradley Thompson's speech at the Ashbrook Center.

For further information on John Adams, go to the Internet Public


I wonder if GWB's advisors have read my post, STEEL TARIFFS AND RUST BELT VOTES IN 2004... Read Mike Allen's and Jonathan Weisman's report, President To Drop Tariffs On Steel, in today's Washington Post. [Via Rule of Reason.] But maybe Bush will make a political compromise after his fund-raising visit in "Steel city"...

If you wonder about the title of this post, check out Andrew Bernstein's book (Cliff Notes guide), Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Sunday, November 30, 2003


Today's episode of Alain de Botton's TV series, Philosophy: A guide to happiness, was about Friedrich Nietzsche. Click here to watch a clip.

I listened to John Ridpath's lecture, Ayn Rand versus Friedrich Nietzsche: the cause of, and the cure for nihilism, in October.


The Commissar @ the Politburo Diktat has created a map of the blogosphere ("Commonwealth of Blogosphere States"). Dean Esmay thinks that Everything Going According to Plan. Hmmm, I am not sure about the map. I think that the Commissar has omitted one important place on the map... ;)

Btw: As I promised in a previous post, a few of the individuals who are located on my guestmap have received a Caf�Press discount coupon.

UPDATE 12/03/03: The Commissar has added EGO on the map ("Commonwealth of Blogosphere States"). The Politburo Diktat has picked EGO as a city of "Kolkatastan" (a.k.a Kazakhstan). EGO will not follow Suman Palit's suggestion and "sneak into Reynoldssia." The plan is instead to announce "Aqta�" ("Aktau") as an independent city after the oil deal.


I will join the Blog-Iran campaign by writing regularly posts on the situation in Iran. For daily news updates, go to "Doctor Zin". [Via United Blogs Directory @]

I have added Blog-Iran to the War on Terrorism category and my List of Links.

In the news: Iran: Rights Monitors Concerned Over Fate Of Iranian Student Who Spoke With UN.

Related: My post, "UNCLE SAM TOUR": AFGHANISTAN 10/07/01, IRAQ 03/19/03, IRAN XX/XX/04?

Saturday, November 29, 2003


Did you buy something on the so-called "buy nothing day"? [Hat tip to I.S.T., FSO mailing list.] I am heading to Gothenburg city and I will purchase some luxury items such as cigars and cognac. More on this event later on...

In order to get in the right X-mas spirit, read Leonard Peikoff's editorial, Why Christmas Should Be More Commercial.

Thursday, November 27, 2003


Visit the Berkeley plantation in Virginia and celebrate America's First Official Thanksgiving in 1619. [Hat tip to HBL.] Read my post, THANKS! (11/28/02).

UPDATE 11/30/03: You could read Harry Binswanger's post @ Dollars & Crosses.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003


I have added freelance writer Scott Holleran's newsletter, The Concord Crier, to the Objectivism category.

If you are interested to learn more about what happened on April 19, 1775, go to the Library of Congress. For more history, read the third chapter, Concord Memories, of Charles Burr Todd's online book, In Olde Massachusetts. Sketches Of Old Times And Places During The Early Days Of The Commonwealth.

Sunday, November 23, 2003


I have added American Digest to my List of Links. Read Gerard van der Leun's post, An Idea Whose Time Has Come... Again. Who would be on your list for an online Committee for a Free World? [Via InstaPundit.]


Is it time for Bellona to enter the stage? Blogger Salam Pax is complaining about America's (nicknamed "Georgie") "room service" in Iraq. I think that S.P. should cut the crap and shut up. "Georgie" (GWB) has no obligation to take care of the Iraqi people. The main task was to protect America by removing outside threats, e.g., Saddam Hussein & company. Salam has been protected by a "Guardian angel" for some time and recently been on British TV. Read N.Z. Bear's post, Salam Pax: A Fine Whine, and Mark Wickens' comment on James Lileks' hard-hitting answer to Salam Pax. Here is a comment by Zeyad:

"Come one Salam, if it weren't for that jolly old chap you refer to as Georgie you wouldn't be enjoying your freedom in London writing for the Guardian now would you my friend? Nevertheless enjoy your trip and wish you a safe return."

Read Mark Glaser's article, Reading Between the Lines in Iraqi Blogs and Newspapers.

Friday, November 21, 2003


I heard from a friend in America that Fox News had a report on O.B.L. and his whereabouts. Did you watch this program? I tried to do a search on the web site, but I couldn't find anything. Debka filed this story on September 8: Iran Helped Bin Laden's Lieutenant al-Zawahiri Escape. Reporter Massoud Ansari thinks Bin Laden is in Pakistan.

Today is "Qods day" in Iran. The mullahs are pushing the "Palestinian issue" in the following way: "every Muslim and freedom-seeking person ought to pay his debt to Palestine." I wonder what kind of "payment" they are talking about...

Here is quote from Michael Ledeen's article, Nothing to lose but their chains:

"Iran has always been the most powerful and the most lethal of the terror masters (Hezbollah is an Iranian creation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Islamic Republic), but it also holds another record of sorts: it is the first example of a totally failed Shiite Islamist state." [Via iranFilter.]

In the news: Al Qaeda vows "big strike by February"

Related: My post: IS SAAD BIN LADEN IN IRAN?

UPDATE 11/26/03: Special Report with Brit Hume (Fox News): Explosive New Bin Laden Evidence.


I have added Dare Balogun to the Blog category. For an example of an active mind ("nous poetikos"), start with reading his first post, The Future is Here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Looking at my guestmap (25 entries so far), I am happy to see that I have readers around the world (America, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Germany, Sweden, and Australia).

I will place an order for some EGO products in the near future and then send an email with a Caf�Press discount coupon to a few of the individuals who have signed my guestmap. If you want to add webtools to your site, check out Bravenet.

Talking about globalization, 150 cities in 45 countries have enrolled in Prodos' Celebrate Capitalism� campaign.


I have added Tom Wright to my blogroll. He started the Inter Relay Chat channel #GeekSpeak in 1994.

Monday, November 17, 2003


I have watched a couple of episodes of a TV series called Philosophy: A guide to happiness. Last time it was about Michel De Montaigne. The series is based on Alain de Botton's book, The Consolations of Philosophy.


Here are some of the comments I have received lately:

Apollo (11/02): Thanks for the book tip, Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia by Mike Resnick.
Jim Woods (11/13): Thanks for your answer to my question about what has happened to Nucor. I read Jim Collins' book, Built to Last : Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, during the Organizational Leadership course. I will look into his book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. I have created a new category called Literature @ the EGO Forum.

Stan (11/12): Thanks for informing us about Gore Vidal's latest outburst. Read Damian Penny's post, Gore Vidal keeps digging and digging. This topic belongs to the Founding Fathers category.

PCM (11/14): Thanks for the scary article on the ugly situation regarding modern art. For real sculptures, go to Quent Cordair Fine Art and then continue the Art thread.


Read Daniel Drezner's post, A marriage made in protest, [via Andrew Sullivan] on how Jacques Chirac's administration is supporting the activities at the European Social Forum in Paris. Eduardo Montero is one of the participants. He is from Stockholm, Sweden, and is a member of the League for the Fifth International. His group has been attacking Attac for being too "soft" against capitalism. Here is a quote from the "Workers Power Global" web site:

"Attac is the centre of the right wing and reformist attempts to politically tame and organisationally hobble the anti-capitalist movement."

In the news: Leftist protests jam Paris streets. Nota Bene: For your own safety, get hold of a "sac vomitoire" (barf bag) before you click on the outgoing link to Al "JihadTV"

Saturday, November 15, 2003


Read Stephen Goode's interview with Thomas A. Bowden. I look forward to read C. Bradley Thompson's article, The Nanny State, in the current issue of the Insight on the News magazine. [Hat tip to Harry Binswanger mailinglist member Tom Bowden.]

C. Bradley Thompson's book, John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty, is a potential candidate for the next Book of the Month.


Call me an "armchair general", a "warblogger", or a "chickenhawk", or whatever name you could come up with. I don't care about the different labels. The important thing to understand is that we are fighting a war of ideas. For a better understanding of the situation, go to the Ayn Rand Institute's MediaLink section, America at War, and read Dr. Leonard Peikoff's article, End States Who Sponsor Terrorism (10/02/01). Read it again, chew and digest it, and let it sink in. You should now be ready to speak out against the anti-war crowd and pacificists of all stripes, and at the same time be able to defend the ideals of the Founding Fathers, America and Western culture!

Read the post, Chickenhawks And Other Interest Group Politics, over @ Winds of Change.NET [via Little Green Footballs] and military blogger Greyhawk's (Mudville Gazette) post, Chucklelinks for Chickenhawks.

Day By Day cartoon, 11/13/03, by Chris Muir.

Related: My post, "UNCLE SAM TOUR": AFGHANISTAN 10/07/01, IRAQ 03/19/03, IRAN XX/XX/04?

Friday, November 14, 2003


My current status in the Truth Laid Bear's Blogosphere Ecosystem: "Crawly Amphibian" (rank: #1765). It could be hard to "survive" in the blogosphere with a rough "league of liberal linkers" and "frog-eaters", but I will "bite" back!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


It will be interesting to see if George W. Bush really is a supporter of free trade, or if he is going after the voters living in the rust belt states. I think that Sebastian Mallaby hits the nail on the head with the conclusion that Bush and his representatives have made a huge mistake by thinking "they could buy the allegiance of protectionists, whether they are big farmers or the steel industry, to make some advance in their long-term trade policy and not become captives of the protectionists." [Elizabeth Becker's article, For Bush, a Janus-Like View of Trade.] Here is another excerpt from the same article:

"The "red states" territory in the Midwest and South that voted for Mr. Bush in the 2000 election are some of the biggest recipients of those subsidies, and it is unlikely that he will upset those voters with a new free trade agreement soon before the presidential election."

I wonder what went wrong with Nucor after the glory days of Ken Iverson? Look at this statement by Daniel DiMicco, vice chairman, president and CEO of Nucor:

"The steel industry is a test case for problems facing all sectors of U.S. manufacturing. The way to send a clear message that the U.S. is truly committed to a level playing field for domestic manufacturing is to keep the president's steel tariffs intact. This is the tip of the iceberg and all of America is watching." [Ineffective Steel Tariffs Now Illegal, Too by Dan Ackman.]

You will have some great time of reading if you could get your hands on the following books:
American Steel by Richard Preston.
Plain Talk : Lessons from a Business Maverick by Ken Iverson.

I recommend you to read the following articles on Capitalism Magazine web site:

$ Laissez-Faire: The Right Cure For Steel by Aaron Schavey.
$ Let the Steel Tariffs Die by Bruce Bartlett.

In the news:
US considers severe new steel penalties.
Q&A: US-EU Steel Dispute.

UPDATE 11/14/03: News flash & action alert!
George W. Bush: "I'm in the process of reviewing the extent to which the industry has been restructured. I'm going to make a decision within a reasonable period of time."

Read Outlaw the Sun by Fr�d�ric Bastiat. How about sending an early X-mas present to GWB? Maybe the President will change his mind if he reads The Law and Economic Fallacies...

Steal Industry

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.

UPDATE 11/15/03: Bush's Steel Opening. [Via The Intellectual Activist.]


I have added a couple of new features on my blog:

� Tell-A-Friend. Go to the Support category and click on the button. Thanks for spreading the good word!
EGO Forum. Write a message, start a new thread, send suggestions and tips on other blogs, web sites, news sources, events, topics and issues, et cetera.


I have added Score Bard's Periodic Table of Bloggers [via InstaPundit] to the Resources category. Don't you think it is that InstaPundit is "I - Iodine"? Shouldn't I - EGO, be in this place instead?! Maybe it's time to join the Alliance of Free Blogs, or maybe not... ;) [Via InstaPundit.]

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


I want to thank reader Jennifer for the nice gift I received on Monday! She purchased William J. O'Neil's book, 24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success: Learn the Most Important Investment Techniques from the Founder of Investor's Business Daily, from my wish list @ Jennifer: Thank you very much for the book and your nice note! :)

Yesterday I went to an investment fair arranged by the Swedish Shareholders' Association. For more information on investing, check out the World Federation of Investors and the National Association of Investors Corporation.


Here is an excerpt from Edwin Locke's commentary, Giving Real Meaning to Veterans Day, @ Cybercast News Service:

"The best way we can honor our veterans and give real meaning to Veterans Day -- aside from ceremonies honoring their past and present dedication and bravery -- is to promise that we will go to war only when America's interests as a free nation are threatened."

Friday, November 7, 2003


I am not sure that Allahu Akbar "is in the House"... He hasn't answered my calls. Maybe Bruce Almighty [hat tip to Venting Steam] has a hotline to Yahweh? I have added Yahweh is in the House to the List of Links category.


A few days ago, I was walking across the Iron Square (I call it the "red square" because of all the labor union headquarters, the "people's house", socialist bookstores, et cetera, located around the square) and a man approached me with a flyer. It was announcing a lecture by Hal Mayer, founder of the Hartland Institute. The title of the speech: "September 11 and the Demise of Religious Liberty." Here is quote from Hal Mayer's article, Terrorists and the Demise of Religious Liberty:

"Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson pointed the finger. They said that the reason for the terrorist attacks was the tolerance of homosexuals, the purveyors of pornography, and the abortionists. There was a media outcry against this supposedly illogical conclusion, and these men withdrew their statement. In actuality, even though they didn't see the whole picture, Falwell and Robertson had identified a Biblical principle." ["EndTime Issues," December 2002.]

Check out cartoons on Falwell and Robertson's Stupid Comments @ Dary Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index. Read Mark Morford's column, Jerry Falwell Blames You. [Via Little Green Footballs.]

Courting Trouble

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.



I must say that I am pleased with President Bush's speech at the National Endowment of Democracy. (But G.W.B. doesn't understand the link between faith and force due to his born-again Christian beliefs. He thinks that altruism, i.e. sacrifice, is a virtue, and he doesn't understand the real danger of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia.) Here are some good excerpts from the speech:

"Dictators in Iraq and Syria promised the restoration of national honor, a return to ancient glories. They've left instead a legacy of torture, oppression, misery and ruin." ... "The regime in Tehran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people or lose its last claim to legitimacy."

Here is "diplomat" Wesley Clark's "solution" to the problem in the Middle East: "Right now, governments like Syria and Iran believe that if the United States is successful in Iraq, they might be next. We have to change that dynamic and have some kind of a constructive dialogue with those governments." [Via Andrew Sullivan.]

From Voice of America News: Iran Accuses Bush of Interfering in Internal Affairs.

Sunday, November 2, 2003


I wrote in a post that I was thinking of adding a new feature to my blog. I have picked Thomas A. Bowden's book, The Enemies of Christopher Columbus as the Book of the Month. The book is written in a Q&A format, including appendices with historical texts and commentaries, endnotes, bibliography and afterword (133 pages). Here is an excerpt from the answer to the first question - "Who are the enemies of Christopher Columbus - and why do they seek to destroy his reputation?":

"The chief purpose of this book is to warn that the enemies of Christopher Columbus are serious, and that the ideas they endorse, if not refuted and rejected, will end in the death of science, the destruction of the cities, and the impoverishment of the human race." [Page 5.]

You are more than welcome to give me suggestions on books for the month of December.

Saturday, November 1, 2003


Jonathan Hoenig will defend the concept of greed on the Fox News program, Cashin' In. The show airs at 11:30 A.M. EST (repeat on Monday at 5:30 A.M.). Read Jonathan Hoening's article, The Difference Between Us and Them (, 09/13/01).

Monday, October 27, 2003


I have added some blogs to the List of Links category:

Exposing the Exposer. (Zachary Cohen: I haven't received the "Zionist check" yet...)
Allah is in the House. (Allahu Akbar: I can't find my name on the list of Little Satans...)
The Politburo Diktat. (Stephen, the Commissar: I am a Radical Capitalist!) (By the way: I wonder why Michael Moynihan's blog, The Politburo, hasn't been updated for a long period of time.)

UPDATE 11/17/03: Michael Moynihan's blog, The Politburo, is back! [Hat tip to InstaPundit.]

Sunday, October 26, 2003


I wonder how many people showed up at the demonstration in Gothenburg against "U.S. occupation of Iraq". I am sure that the anti-war crowd was smaller than last time. Check out ProtestWarrior's updates and Anna's report @ Belligerent Bunny. [Via InstaPundit.] Strangely enough, I am in agreement with the demonstrators on one point; America should leave Iraq, but with the following addition: ATTACK IRAN NOW! Am I a warblogger, or what?! I don't believe in "nation-building", and with the latest terror attack in Iraq, I definitively think it is time to move on and go after the next member of the "axis of evil."


If you haven't done it yet, please take some time and sign the petition, Support America and the War Against Terrorist Nations, and vote in the EGO Poll - "Which Country Should Be Next?"

"To Victory"

UPDATE 10/28/03: Read Glenn Reynolds' article, "Anti-war?" Or just on the Other Side?

American Haters

For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


Cyber-terrorists have attacked (distributed denial-of-service attack) Aaron Weisburd's Internet-Haganah @ Hosting Matters. For more information, read Joe Katzman's post, Special Report: Cyber-Attack on Warbloggers. [Via Andrew Sullivan.]

Related: My post, JIHAD ON WWW II.

UPDATE 10/22/03: Support freedom of speech, read Steve's post, Osama Sucks Flatulence out of Dead Hogs @ Little Tiny Lies (backup: Anal Probe, Emergency Home of Little Tiny Lies). [Via The Laughing Wolf (backup: The official emergency site of the Laughing Wolf).] Read Charles Johnson's post, Another DOS Attack.

UPDATE 10/28/03: Another attack on October 30? Read Jim's post @ Snooze Button Dreams. [Via InstaPundit.] I have added Internet-Haganah.US to the War on Terrorism category.