Laughing Yet?

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Anyone. notice that it’s getting pretty creepy around the edges?

First, from the libertarian right, Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, is tallying up the goodies that’ll flow our way if the terrorists blow up D.C.

“Let’s say that Washington really was incinerated,” writes Rockwell. “As difficult and alarming as this sounds, we live in times when horrible realities confront us every day. It is time that we deal frankly and honestly with the ugly prospect.”

And, frankly, Rockwell sees more doughnut than hole if, praise be to Allah, the entire American capital is turned into a radioactive dust bowl: “The first thing that would happen is that your personal income would rise··equal to the 40 per- cent you currently pay Washington in·taxes. Because there would be nowhere to actually send the checks – excise taxes, income taxes, and payroll .taxes would be meaningless.”

He’s serious. And retirement would be better: “Instead of having to wait for politicians to give us ‘private accounts’ for some portion of Social Security, we’d get real privatization with no FICA at all.”

And if the wackos keep coming, to kill us all? No way, says Rockwell, not after they see we don’t mean business: “The country would be immediately vulnerable to attack by terrorists! On the other hand, there would be no one to enforce sanctions against Iraq, pay the troops in Saudi Arabia, or fund the settlements on the Gaza Strip, so the terrorists would lose their rationale for suicide bombings and the like: They might just choose to go home to their wives and kids.”

Imagine that. These single-minded nutballs, after knocking down the World Trade Center, after running a passenger jet into the Pentagon, after leveling D.C., “might just choose” to head on back to their caves to keep a lid on their women and make sure no kids are flying kites.

Granted, Lew Rockwell does hate the government. He hates taxation. He hates all the D.C. alphabet agencies. And he really hates how the bureaucrats have messed up his retirement money. But still, nuking D.C.? That’s one hell of a path to privatization.

And why would the 40% in federal taxes go to zero? Wouldn’t it go to 60%, or 80%, if we had to replace everything? Or do we just bulldoze it all into one giant pile and leave it for the next civilization to clean up?

Just as nuts on the left is an award-winning columnist and cartoonist Ted Rall, busy of late keeping the readers of the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times in stitches with comic strips about the women who lost their husbands on Sept. 11. “Terror Widows” starts with a drawing of a woman with dollar bills flying over her head, and these opening words: “They’re eerily calm. They smile and crack jokes and laugh out loud. They’re the scourge of the media.”

The next frame shows a woman speaking behind a glut of TV microphones. Her words: “Of course it’s a bummer that they slashed my husband’s throat – but the worst was having to watch the Olympics alone.”

Next frame, a sketch of a woman sitting on a couch with armfuls of overflowing cash. Her words: “I keep waiting for Kevin to come home, but I know he never will. Fortunately, the $3.3 million I collected from the American Red Cross keeps me warm at night.”

In the final frame, a woman is being interviewed. “The unbearable grief of the empty spot in your conjugal bed must weigh down your heart with unimaginable pain.” The woman’s answer: “Huh? Oh yes, definitely.” She’s wearing the words “YOUR AD HERE” emblazoned across the front of her sweater.

A week later, RaIl followed up with some fun comics about dead American troops. “Postmodern Heroes” starts with a sketch of two soldiers. The one in the USMC T-shirt says, “The REAL heroes didn’t make it – they died for US.”

Next frame, the two soldiers are looking at a photo of a dead colleague. “That’s my old buddy Joey from Queens. No one knew as many bad jokes. Died in a helicopter crash. . . mechanical problems.”

Next frame, a photo of another dead soldier. Asks soldier one: “Hey! Isn’t that Big Ben? He loved his whiskey.” Soldier two: “Sure is! Ben’s helicopter went down on the way to Afghanistan. Rotor trouble, you know.”

Next frame, a newspaper headline: “First Female Casualty.” Soldier one: “Well, at least Brenda got to die in battle.” Soldier two: “Not quite. She fell out of a helicopter OVER a battle.” Soldier one: “Oh right – she killed Ken when she hit.”

Final frame: “Actually, Ken’s chopper fell apart at high altitude. Brenda took out a DIFFERENT helicopter.”

Laughing yet?

Mr. RaIl’s funnies are syndicated in nearly 100 American cities. In 1995, he won first place in the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for cartoons. In 1996, he was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer. Today, his wrap-up: “I think this country died quite some time ago, and I can’t say I’m terribly sad about it.”

Laughing yet?

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