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15 June 2010


RL Crabb

Thanks for the plug, George. Some conservatives may be surprised at some of my chicken scratchings. There is quite a bit of my original art hanging on solidly Republican walls. Of course, there are others that won't pass muster at the CATO Institute, but I'm just doing my best to be fair and balanced. The one thing that my friends on the left and right agree on is that this trait is my worst character flaw.

George Rebane

Great cartoon, it started our day with a good chuckle. I had forgotten all about beer and slugs/snails. In the 70s our family had a worm farm in the back yard, lots of fun. I had a thought that you might write/draw a book on home gardening using natural bug killers, fertilizers, etc in this same humorous vein. I predict it would sell like hot cakes.

Yes, your pointing out the foibles of the various extremes of political thought is priceless. I agree that ‘balance’ does bring out critics from all over the spectrum. I do a bad job of it myself, feeling no great impulse to level the scales even though, as a free market capitalist who believes that wealth redistribution is unavoidable, I don’t fit the ideal of either end of the spectrum.

No matter what I write, there is a certain cadre of local illiterati who miss the point completely in their enthusiasm to attack, and in so doing they further illustrate and illuminate the state of affairs I attempt to describe. And in that vein, I just plow ahead.

Now ‘fair’ is a quadruped of a different hue. The assessment of fairness is so specific to a person’s culture and how well he is read. The notion that ‘fair’ enjoys a broad and common embrace among the world’s peoples is blatant pap, disproven both by observation and academic study. I cannot say that I have a reliable eye for what is fair in most affairs of man. But I constantly run into people who claim to have no problem in such assessments; they abound and will fight to impose their indelible brand of fairness, to the death of the recalcitrant party if necessary. To me such statements as Fox News’ “Fair and Balanced” are a parody of reason.

I do have some training and applications experience in the field of fair division, and the algorithms that are used to implement it among contesting parties. Such algorithms almost always are attempted in the inevitable noh dramas of institutional negotiations, and sometimes even used when enlightened parties chance to sit across the table. The literature of this field is usually an eye-opener to the entering novice and, often for the first time in his life, makes him realize that he has had not a clue about what the notion of ‘fair’ really is.

In the interval, we usefully impose the term on others, especially when we feel the wind of high moral dudgeon at our backs. Years ago I had a friend who was a high school coach and always had to adjudicate indictments of unfairness that flew between his highly competitive young charges. His wise counsel to them was, "Never seek justice, only mercy." And what is more, the kids understood this deep dictum.

RL Crabb

While I don't have your academic background, I did manage to learn a lot about human nature in my sixty years on this planet. I certainly don't claim to have all the answers to the world's problems, but I've always tried to use my abilities to exact a smile from my audience and maybe jog their preconceived notions a little more to the other side. Call me naive, but I believe the things we have in common are far greater than those that divide us.

George Rebane

We are all woefully short of "all the answers" but can only offer our best and then learn as best we can from our critics. You continue to "exact" and "jog" with the finest of them Bob, and our only hope is that the things we have in common will count the most. Well said.

Steve Enos

Bob... can't wait to get my copy, Thanks for putting your book together!

RL Crabb

People always ask me why I'm not syndicated nationally? I looked into that route, but found that the format was too narrow for the stories I wanted to tell. These strips reflect the national conversation played out on a local stage. During the last twelve years I was able to do what my national counterparts could never do, and that was to get to know the players personally. It's not like taking potshots at a politician you only see on TV, and some would say it might lead me to pull my punches. Not too likely.

It's my take on a brief window of history in Nevada County. You can be the judge as to how well I captured the moment.

That is, if you buy the book. (hint-hint)

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