I'll start today with the juxtaposition that is, admittedly, a bit of a cheat.
Cartoons that post daily either appear here on date of issue or they don't, but those that are updated at intervals are considered fresh until replaced. So this is more a "Juxtaposition of the Last Couple of Days." Sue me.
I like the pushback against purposeful misinformation, though Jones seems a bit optimistic in his suggestion that the public is aware of it. He could be correct, mind you: The Romney debacle of 2012 seemed to indicate a majority that sat back and let the spin fly over their heads.
That may be a reason not to despair entirely, but I'm not pinning all my hopes on it.
Wuerker doesn't take a stand on whether or not anyone is buying any of this so much as he suggests that, when the facts are so easily found, it's hard not to use the word "lie."
Fact: The Prez takes fewer vacations than his predecessors.
Other Fact: He didn't cut this one short in light of the ISIS murder, which is either being spun as genuinely insensitive or as poor public relations.
The claim of actual insensitivity requires an ability to read the president's mind. If someone gets bad news and responds by going for a long walk, or splitting some wood, or shooting some pool, or playing a round of golf, well, that's how they dealt with it. I'm no golfer, but I've used the other three to decompress at tough moments.
And you don't have to be a mind-reader to imagine the field day the rightwing would have if Obama had responded with tears.
W famously announced an end to golfing out of respect for the dead. Point to him, because public relations matters in politics.
But if the president canceled his personal life every time there was a crisis, well, he'd take even fewer vacations than Obama, and it is ridiculous -- and dishonest -- to spin it otherwise.
Maybe the White House needs a pool table or an indoor basketball court so the press can't see how the president works off his stress.
Meanwhile, I only wish everything were stated as plainly as in Wuerker's cartoon, because I'm sick and tired of quasi-rational explanations that don't hold water.
And here's a related suggestion: Cartoonists should check out the comments on sites where their work appears.
Yes, that's only the most vocal of your readers. But we just said that perceptions matter in politics, right? If the president is "perceived" as insensitive for playing golf, how are you being perceived?
When your fan base responds to your critics with personal insults rather than rational arguments, or salutes your efforts with racist comments, you should ask yourself if you are communicating effectively.
And, if you are, fine. But embrace it or change it.
Cardinal, Eternal Rule of Creative Work: What you meant is secondary to what they perceive. If they didn't get it right, you said it wrong.
On a lighter note:
Password Paranoia seems to be one of the constants since computers first went public, and sysadmins don't help by simultaneously quibbling over how much it matters anyway and demanding ridiculously complex passwords that nobody can possibly remember.
And telling us to never, ever write down our passwords.
Back at the dawn of time, when a lot of gamers got to run systems because they knew more than anyone else in town and it wasn't much, I gave our sysadmin a Simson Garfinkel book on security. I realized after awhile that it was futile because (A) he already knew everything and (B) he had never read a book that thick unless it was written by Frank Herbert.
A larger problem than whether you can create a password that can't be cracked is the problem of sysadmins creating rules that do not line up with human behavior. Creating a rule nobody will follow is the same as having no rule at all.
I worked with a guy at another place who actually did get it, and required me to maintain a putty-colored desktop and had a rule against displays with photos or other artwork, because they would throw off the color balance of your screen.
The rule was ignored throughout the building, but he shrugged it off because "they don't do anything that matters," which is to say, only the people creating graphics and/or laying out pages really needed to worry about color accuracy.
He also did the "duh" innovation of putting a computer in the pressroom at the point where the printed papers emerge onto the belt, so the printers could check what was coming off the press with what the editors imagined it would look like.
Sometimes they could make adjustments at their end, sometimes it required re-plating, but he had this odd idea that what we put on the street should match what we had intended to put on the street.
It was a long time ago. Newsrooms are not the only place where people who know what they're doing have been canned in order to save money.
Anyway, his pragmatic attitude required password changes every 90 days, but most of his frustration was directed at the circ department, where the hurry-up-and-wait schedule gave people lots of time to download sketchy-but-amusing garbage from which the vast majority of our bugs and viruses stemmed.
I'm pretty sure the password 123456 would have gotten you into most of the computers in the circ department, though every 90 days they almost certainly changed it to "password."
Nailing the Triple
The unifying principle in this triple-juxtaposition is "stuff."
I think the Edge City piece may be heading into an arc about tiny houses, which would be cool. I look at Tumbleweed houses and get all dreamy until I look around my three-room apartment and realize how much stuff is piled up and how little of it I can bear to part with.
You already know where that leads, and you've heard it before, and you're going to click on it now so you can hear it all again, aren't you? Of course you are.
'Cause the guy had the Right Stuff.