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A Little Light Gatling Music

Mr. Gatling's Terrible MarvelThere was once a time in our recent past when people earnestly believed that it was possible to develop a weapon so devastatingly powerful that it would make armed combat meaningless. A device of such unimaginable fury that war, as then practiced, would be reduced to senseless slaughter.

The Gatling gun was famously one of these weapons. It was a hand-cranked, multi-barreled gun capable of firing an astounding 200 rounds per minute, though later incarnations reached 1200 rounds per minute. They were first used in the American Civil War but to limited effect.

We as a society don't think in such noble terms any longer because we all know there's no hiding from nuclear weapons. Mutually Assured Destruction has kept us alive for the past 50 years but even the deepest bomb shelter won't make the landscape any less poisonous for the lucky survivors should worldwide nuclear war break out. And we all know it.

On the plus side, most countries have agreed that chemical weapons have no place in civilized warfare, though such agreements haven't stopped both the U.S. and its little doppelganger Israel from using white phosphorus bombs on their foes for fun and profit.

Meanwhile, the Gatling gun has been reinvented as the M61 Vulcan, a monster capable of spitting out almost 100 bullets per second. Why the NRA hasn't yet promised two in every pot and one in every garage is anyone's guess.

=Lefty=

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Note 1: Just when you thought Donald Trump couldn't get any more odious his equally-odious progeny recently travelled to Africa to hunt endangered species. (Hey! Let's ALL go kill us some leopards! What could be the harm?)

Note 2: A Redditor decided to watch only conservative news outlets for a week. The results were not pretty.

Note 3: In my last comic I lampooned the very lampoonable PATRIOT Act. By some vast coincidence information became public  that very day revealing that our government is using secret interpretations of the Act for their own benefit. <Insert screaming noises here.>

Note 4: As though the Israeli government isn't already practicing discount genocide against the Palestinians they're now planning to demolish renewable energy installations in Palestinian villages.

Note 5: And, semi-finally, some atheist levity in comic form.

Note 6: Say "Hello!" to Rick Santorum!

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And now our Chart of the Day: College completion by income. (America: Where stupid and rich beats smart and poor.)

college completion by income chart
Somewhat more immense version here.

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Republican Job Creation Update

republican job creation3-19-2012: The House is theoretically in session. They're back in Washington but nothing much is scheduled this week except for hearings. They might as well be painting their bedroom's black and listening to Led Zeppelin albums.

View the entire two-year list of non-job-related House activities here.

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Dump Fox News

Fox News Lies! Fox News' Sean Hannity, in defense of Rush Limbaugh, says he knows of no conservative who would go after the president's kids. He, uh, forgot about Rush Limbaugh.

Click here to help Drop Fox from your cable system.


end rant

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Mike's Video Vault

Gatling gun versus rifle squad.


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Today's Google Chow.

St. Peter: Hello and welcome home, Brother! I hope your time on Earth was spent wisely.
Richard Gatling: Indeed it was! I invented a weapon so deadly that it made war itself unthinkable.
Peter: Splendid! Go right on in! Oh, by the way. Out of curiosity, what did you say that weapon was called?
Richard: The Gatling gun.
Richard in Hell: Crap..