Bob Franken

MONEY BUSINESS

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

MONEY BUSINESS

I usually have my brainstorms after it’s too late because
A) the ideas are obsolete or
B) someone else thought of them first.
For instance, it would have been a huge moneymaker to be a clearinghouse for personalized face masks. Or autographed ones, like baseball cards or those from your favorite movie character. For example, I have several depicting Hannibal Lecter’s face covering, in spite of the fact that he was a cannibal and I’m a vegetarian. But then, there’s no accounting for taste.
We could have a special camouflage version for white supremacist militias, although they never indicated any tendency to wear masks, just hoods. Or perhaps masks with a picture of Joe Biden on them featuring a thumbs-down hand gesture, or thumbs-up. Or some other digit. The same for Biden’s predecessor.
In the case of whozit, the design could incorporate a faded spot by his mouth where he tried to swallow some bleach. And with Biden’s picture, it could show him with his foot in his mouth. (Actually, he’s done fairly well thus far, but let’s face it, it’s just a matter of time.)
Brilliant? Regrettably, this particular business scheme occurs to me just after Covid vaccines have spread to millions of arms and the interest in masks has tanked, no matter what Anthony Fauci says. This is one of those rare occasions where people won’t be taking your advice, Tony. Perhaps the next time you throw out the first pitch at a ballgame, they can give away Tony Fauci bobbleheads wearing teeny tiny face masks.
By now, everyone’s breath has been taken away with my entrepreneurial shrewdness, notwithstanding its tardiness.
Here’s another idea that might be a tad late. An enterprising chain of portrait photographers could have worked out a deal with the federal government to set up at every vaccine site in America. They could take a shot of people getting their shot, just like the portrait backdrops at JCPenney or Kmart, where you’d take the kiddies. And just like the youngsters, it could show the vaccine recipient as the needle goes in, bursting into tears.
Come to think of it, there is still a market for pictures … of kids returning to school. They’re going to need yearbook portraits, so they can write those inane comments around them. And they will certainly want to remember the visuals of prom and homecoming, otherwise known as super-spreader events.
In any case, the setup could be a bonus offered by Pfizer or Moderna where you’d get two chances to get the perfect shot-snap in a snapshot. Of course, in Johnson & Johnson’s case, it would be limited to “one and done.” But it at least would pay the severance of the entire J & J corporate public-relations staff after they’ve been fired.

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RACISM, THE DARK REALITY

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

RACISM, THE DARK REALITY

Before we get too immersed in the news that caused national self-congratulations, let’s remember why it was news at all. A Minneapolis jury convicted policeman Derek Chauvin of three murder charges nearly a year after he killed George Floyd. The jury simply could not ignore the fact that Chauvin kept his knee on George’s neck for almost nine and a half minutes, squeezing the life out of a struggling-against-arrest man who had repeatedly screamed, “I can’t breathe!”
Not only that, but Chauvin, a veteran of the force, was almost casual about it. At one point he had his hands in his pockets as he and three other officers subdued Floyd. We know all this because their fatal acts were captured on video. The policemen were emboldened, perhaps, by the fact that law enforcement officials in the United States are rarely convicted of using unnecessary deadly force, particularly if the alleged perpetrator is a person of color. “Alleged” is an important word here, because it turns out all the perp is really guilty of in a disproportionate number of cases is being black.
But this time, in the aftermath of the cop’s egregious cruelty, the jury found Chauvin guilty of all three charges. George Floyd had become a symbol of police violence against minorities over the generations. His desperate “I can’t breathe” gasps became the roar of the millions of protestors worldwide who were finally fed up with America’s signature racism.

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CANNY CANINE DIPLOMACY

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

CANNY CANINE DIPLOMACY

“Diplomacy is the art of saying, ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”
Will Rogers was correct: The world kennel is filled with junkyard dogs yapping and threatening to mount each other as a power play, but stopping short of an all-out fight. Canines raise a leg and let fly. Humans use diplomacy. It’s the same thing.
The rules for people go back to when one cave full decided that before they fought an all-out war with another cave full for the land in between, it was better to sit down and talk about it.
The precepts haven’t changed very much over the eons. In fact, it wasn’t long before each tribe had warriors and talkers. The idea was that before the attack (or even after), you’d use tact.
It could be complex. To avoid violence, you might have to emphasize face-saving. And out of that grew the concept of “proportionality” — don’t go bananas when the other side delivers a sleight.
There are thousands of professional diplomats these days and entire college majors devoted to educating them on every teensy detail of speaking softly while carrying a big stick. But the guidelines are pretty much the same as they were back in the cave days. And, frankly, as silly as some of them are, lip service beats servicemen and -women dying in war, particularly when their nations are nuclear superpowers. Then we’d all die.
So it’s preferable when Moscow and Washington play their juvenile games that they have learned—-over the poisoning of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, and others; involvement in U.S. elections (which is a definite no-no); and hacking of our entire government by Russian intelligence services. Or pretend to.

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REVIEWING TRUMP’S FUTURE

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

REVIEWING TRUMP’S FUTURE

Could it be that Donald Trump is losing his touch? “Who?” you ask, and that’s exactly the point. With the Trumpster sliding from the main stage to lounge act, we may soon imagine a world where he’s traveling from small town to small town in a rickety old bus, playing before a handful of seats in a shabby motel with a dwindling number of old white guys as an audience, all that’s left of his massive base.
The rest will have turned their attention elsewhere, died off or be among the right wing extremists still in prison for their crimes stemming from the Jan. 6 siege of the United States Capitol building. Although the participants who had been released still might be spotted mumbling QAnon theories about the Capitol invaders actually defending the building from antifa.
Nevertheless, for those convicted of conspiracy, the planners of the most violent tactics, their crimes would be considered so serious that they’d end up serving their sentences at the “Supermax” penitentiary in Colorado.
If so, it’d be the rare case where the punishment fit the crime. However, to see the danger in that scenario, we have to go back nearly 20 years, to Iraq and Camp Bucca, a U.S. prison base plopped right in the desert. It grew into Buccamax, where the worst Iraqi POWs were held. Unfortunately, it also threw together a bunch of hard-nosed anti-Americans with substantial military experience. Their organizing abilities contributed significantly to the formation of ISIS. When they were released, they went on a sweep across the vast sands of the Middle East, capturing huge chunks of territory and oppressing the population, particularly women, with their capricious moral laws.

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PUPS AND PERVS (ALLEGED)

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATES
BY BOB FRANKEN

PUPS AND PERVS (ALLEGED)

Up until now I haven’t written about Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) because he’s too pervy for my taste. And by now you know how warped my taste is.
Besides, he is ALLEGEDLY pervy, so there might be a perfectly good explanation for why he’s being investigated by the feds and the House Ethics Committee for, among other things, taking a minor across state lines to have sex with her — a minor, a girl, a kid. That would make him a pedophile, excuse me, an alleged pedophile. That’s why I have not been interested in discussing Matt Gaetz like the rest of the voyeuristic journalists.
Besides, Gaetz closely associated himself with Donald Trump, so to me he’s already a certified scumbag. At one point he tried to intimidate Michael Cohen, Trump’s former legal go-fer, via twitter. He threatened to disclose Cohen’s alleged extramarital affairs and make his existence a living hell, presumably because Michael Cohen was about to spill the beans on Donald Trump.
To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Cohen’s “girlfriends” do not include anyone underaged, so when it comes to allegations, Gaetz still, uh, trumps Cohen.
But back to why I resisted writing about Gaetz, even though I’m obviously having so much fun. It’s just that I should be focusing on more important stuff. Like, the Biden puppy, Major. At 3 years old, he’s the younger of the two Biden dogs and, might I add, a rescue. Unfortunately, he has a bad habit of biting people. He keeps on getting in the doghouse as he roams the halls of the White House. Major has bitten two people so far — a member of the Secret Service and a Park Service employee.

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