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By Tom Toles



Computer games

I, like you, spend a lot of time online learning things to make me smart. The fact that I'm not smarter is not the fault of the Internet. One of the things that makes news Web sites DOUBLY worthwhile is that they provide both content and agility training.

First among these, of course is the game of find the "CLOSE" box on pop-up ads. (WARNING: It is important not to close ads on THIS website. Please read them carefully and buy whatever they say to. I'm talking about the "close" buttons on those OTHER websites' ads.) It's often at the top right corner, but sometimes it's at the BOTTOM right corner, unless it's on the left, top or bottom, in readable or micro-size type. When it doesn't say "close," it says something else, like "continue reading" or "add to cart." See if you can find, decode and click before the ad goes away on its own! If you ignore this ritual and just scroll down, the ad will collapse just before you can click on your story and you get to chase the story up the page.

Some sites have so many pop-up indexes that you can't get to where you are going without triggering several that cover up the thing you are trying to open. This results in having to back away with your cursor and, crouching in the margin, plot a maze-like route between all these landmines, then trace it carefully to your destination. Failure means going back and starting over. If you grew up doing nothing but playing video games, this is not a problem, because you are plenty agile and have no interest in online news anyway. --Tom Toles




By Tom Toles  | July 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Congress  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Supreme irony
Next: Didn't see that coming

Other Syndicated Editorial Cartoons:


For me the worst is those ads that obliterate the entire screen, or send stupid animations running across the screen. When this happens I simply hit the back button and don't visit that site for the remainder of the day.

Wish someone would start a HIT THE BACK BUTTON movement. If we all bailed on sites which do this they might get the idea.

Now, who has sufficient audience to get this going?... er, Tom?

Posted by: royce2 | July 29, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

If the comedic point was that we have our priorities screwed up, well, then, you might wanna pick a metaphor with lower fat and sodium content.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | July 29, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh wow, I've stumbled into a bunch of NRA-sponsored posters here.

Well, ok, I'll play.

Here's my question du jour; The topic is the current shortage of .380 ammo. For those of you unfamiliar with the current state of reality: shortly after President Obama took office, the gun nuts ran every store in the country out of every type of ammo. You couldn't, until recently, find any bullets of any sort anywhere. 20 months after Obama took office, the gun nuts have run out of money and all have closets full of ammunition. With one exception - .380 ammo which is commonly used for personal defense type pistols.

But I digress.

Here's the question; Why hasn't the NRA started a rumor yet that it is somehow Obama's fault that there isn't any .380 ammo for sale? I smell a solid 'left wing east coast elitist, yada, yada' conspiracy in the making yet I'm confused why it hasn't bubbled up to the media yet.

Posted by: BattleOffSamar | July 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

But hey Tom, those annoying boxes are what make the WaPo's online version FREE.

Seriously, I'd pay a few bucks for the WaPo online just like I do for some of the other news sites.

Your cartoons are just THAT good.

Posted by: BattleOffSamar | July 29, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Your inside the Beltway mentality is showing Mr. Toles. Panel 1. It is not up to the Federal Government to find anyone a job. But with a 2010 Federal Budget of $3.55 trillion dollars I am sure that there are a few pennies in there to help those who won't help themselves. Panel 2. That 2010 budget includes a 8.8% increase in the Department of Agriculture to $26 billion dollars. There are no starving people in the United States. Panel 3. You should read the Supreme Court ruling on the D.C. gun law. Wow. The majority really ripped into Justice Stevens, calling him WRONG, ouch. The one statement in the ruling that called it was that nowhere in the Constitution does a "right of the people" refer to anything other than an individual right. Why is it that if there comes the rare instance that something can be interpreted more than one way, the Left chooses the interpretation that sides with Government or control, and not freedom of the individual? Why does it bother the Left if someone has a gun in their home for protection? All three of your panels were about Government doing something. Mr. Toles is there any facet of life that you would not have Government involved in?

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 29, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

If you really want to be a strict follower of the constitution (as most tea partiers claim to be) and read exactly what the writers meant, then all we'd be talking here would be muskets, cannon and swords.

Double points for two fallacies in on sentence. Special Pleading AND Strawman.

The definition of arms hasn't changed since the 18th century. Arms was never defined as a specific range of models of weapons.

Posted by: BradG | July 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

gary4books…good point to ponder, which I did in fact while I was out running this morn, carrying my ‘weapon of mass destruction’.

PrairieDog…I do agree with you concerning “military-weapons” in the hands of citizens. Excluding me of course.

Toles, do you not tire of beating a dead horse? There is more to evolution than just the origin of man, is there not? :-)

Posted by: bertzel | July 29, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

After Tom's first pane which reads:
"I can't find a job! Why won't you help??
The second pane might better read:
"We've already spent a couple trillion for stimulus and healthcare so shut up and get to work!

Posted by: spamsux1 | July 29, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Self defense is a natural right no court can take away.

Posted by: insanecommenter |

Only in America does self defense = guns!

Did you shoot the bullies when you were a kid in school? Maybe if the NRA didn't make it insanely easy for criminals and the nuts to buy guns you wouldn't feel the need to live your life fully armed.

Posted by: Trakker | July 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The second amendment wackos here seem to think that anyone in favor of gun control in any way, shape or form, equates to wanting to take away ALL your guns ALL the time.

What we're basically talking about is degrees of the "right to bear arms". Arms can mean a lot of things. The second amendment doesn't say "right to bear night sticks" or "grenades" or "bombs". If you really want to be a strict follower of the constitution (as most tea partiers claim to be) and read exactly what the writers meant, then all we'd be talking here would be muskets, cannon and swords.

But that would be ridiculous, right? So we "interpret" (yes, THAT horrible word) the constitution. We can interpret it to mean many things. Do arms mean nuclear weapons? Do we all have the right to have an H-bomb in the basement, just in case? How about surface-to-air missles? Fully armed Abrams tanks? RPGs? No, we don't. Why? Degrees. Most of us agree that the average person does not need these to defend themselves, and that it would be very bad if everyone had them.

Those of us in favor of gun control (and I grew up hunting pheasants with a shotgun) are usually not worried about a handgun in your house, properly licensed and stored, and the user properly trained. Or shotguns or hunting rifles. What we're worried about mostly are AK-47s, and other automatic weapons that are completely unnecessary by any reasonable standards. Yes, there are bozos out there that will do awful things with handguns and hunting rifles, and that's why background checks, etc. should be necessary for purchasing any such weapons. But these automatic weapons that can empty hundreds of rounds in a few minutes, are not anything anyone "needs", and were beyond the comprehension of the founding fathers, just like RPSs or nuclear weapons were.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | July 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, Mr. Toles, you have the bully pulpit.

Afflict the comfortable!

And quit the kvetching. Who do you think you are--Andy Rooney?

Posted by: HumanistPatriot | July 29, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Evolve, Tom. Get rid of Internet Explorer. IE can't... no, won't block pop-ups. Try FREE Firefox. Add on FREE ABP. No more pop-ups. Learn... Evolve past the forced basics..

Posted by: nimuetre | July 29, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Toles, obviously man has "yet to evolve".
IF and when that happens, guns will no longer be required.
Until then, I'll take my guns and butter thank you.

Posted by: bertzel | July 29, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

The best lie in the world is to tell the truth so people do not believe it.

If guns are to be prohibited in the homes, just change the Constitution. Don't try to tell us "what it really means."

We can read.

Posted by: gary4books | July 29, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Not true, fellow editorial cartoonist! I grew up playing video games and have tons of interest in online news and none in pop up ads.

Also there are plenty of jobs: McDonald's, Wal-mart, etc. What's that you say? Can't survive on those wages? Too bad, capitalist! Maybe you should've thought about starting your OWN business instead of hoping someone would have a living-wage job for you to pay off your student loans! MWUAHAHAHAHAAA

Posted by: obcat | July 29, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

At last, a problem with an easy solution. Just use the free Firefox browser, and the free Adblock Plus extension. Problem solved. At least, I don't see pop-ups when I visit news sites.

Posted by: rick36 | July 29, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Gov. Brewer should go on the offensive and court challenge Obama's recent executive order giving sanctuary status to the one million Haitains living here illegally. That would really hurt Obama because he is planning to use that trumpted up power to give citizenship to all the illegals if he can't get enough Democrats and Wall Street neo-cons like Lieberman, McCain and Lindsey Graham, to do the dirty work for him, during the lame duck session of congress.

Posted by: Americafirst | July 29, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Self defense is a natural right no court can take away.

Posted by: insanecommenter | July 28, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Tom. You say something in you rant that makes sense and funny at the same time then you go a draw a cartoon supporting gun rights erosion. Is there anything about what America is that you like?

Posted by: quiensabe | July 28, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Tommy ol boy, you think our problem is we chose guns over butter? Horse malarkey! We chose guns and butter, that’s why we are knee deep in debt. The only solution your Messiah, the dear Nigerian prince has, is to ramp up the spending full speed ahead!

But I love the left wing swipe at the McDonald vs Chicago, classy.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | July 28, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

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