published Thursday, March 24th, 2011


about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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SavartiTN said...

This seems funny at first but then it becomes painfully apparent that this may be where Coolidge Park is heading.

March 24, 2011 at 2:02 a.m.
fairmon said...

This may work if the objective is to prevent violence at Coolidge park by moving it elsewhere. What about a plan to get at the root cause and prevent it from happening any place. Could drug use and distribution be one root cause? Is a lack of responsible parenting a root cause? Does the education systems lack of discipline and authority contribute? Does the mayor and council view the latest tragedy another "flash crowd" event?

March 24, 2011 at 6:06 a.m.
woody said...

I guess it could have been worse. They might have opted for a "Full Body Scanner." Better still, take a page from the Tennessee Legislature and have them 'card' anyone who doesn't look at least 60. Oh wait..I'm over 60 and still get 'carded' for beer purchases..but not when I buy my favorite 'single malt'. What's up with that??

Go figure..Woody

March 24, 2011 at 7:16 a.m.
dude_abides said...

Three straight cartoons with no discernible national political message. How will the neo-nazi-cons manage to twist this issue into proof that all libs are satanic communists? Hope nobody stirs them up. Oops.

March 24, 2011 at 7:17 a.m.
GreenKepi said...

When are you going to draw one about your man who ran for president as an anti-war candidate which now owns his very own war?! I guess "I'm stirred up"....

March 24, 2011 at 8:02 a.m.
potcat said...

Oh My God...I did'nt know we were at war.I sure as hell can't tell! Every one on this site had rather talk about that sand pit sh.. hole than whats happening right in their own backyards.Its really easier talking about LIBYA!I personaly don't give a damn. My concerns are... Job,Gas,Electric bill,Water, House Payments and if any things left, something to eat.

March 24, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Why did I leave Chattanooga (East Lake) for North Dakota 30 years ago. Let's see: I never look behind me walking in parks at any time. I never see gang-bangers or wannabees. I leave my doors unlocked and the car running in the parking lot when it's really cold. I trust my neighbors. And yes, we have running water and electricity. I feel sorry for you guys.

March 24, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

"neo-nazicons"? you lefties come up with the best labels ....i simply call you lefties anti-americans, that's says it all. it's a given that you're all either communists, socialists or authoritarians. you have no problem sacrificing freedom to further your agenda.

not all libs, dude, just extreme the ones who have taken over the democrat party.

there's no need for that type of scanner...simply profile and go after them. just like you need to do with terrorists. we're too politically correct to say it the way it is. if someone robs a bank and they're indentified as either black, white, hispanic..then that's what they look why not in this case? 100% of the people causing the violence and shooting in coolidge park are young black men, probably with some gang why punish a few teenage girls who want to ride the carousel and shop on frazier avenue....without their parents around?

here's some good ideas for bennett.... if he were really an editorial cartoonist and not just a prop- agandist/democrat party loyalist. ...

obama returning his nobel peace prize......

joe biden threatening impeachment for bush for bypassing congress on iraq..which was a lie.....then being mute when obama truly does it with libya

the horror shows in the congo and sudan being ignored, yet we go into libya.

obama unable to to admit it is about oil in libya..and not just "humanitarian"...

obama encouraging brazil to export oil to the u.s...and to drill off shore there, while doing everything he can to stop us from using our natural resources.

the abu graib -like situation in afghanistan now with the soldiers and photos and how it's being ignored by the white house and the white house controlled liberal media...double standard and hyocracy....

and so on and so much out there for a "real" editorial cartoonist to sink his or her teeth into.......but if you're only interested in propping up one party then all you get is propaganda and no brainer cartoons like the one today

March 24, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.
OllieH said...

Boy, SeaMonkey, those are some GREAT ideas. Do us all a favor, and leave the editorial cartooning to the professionals.

March 24, 2011 at 9:50 a.m.

harp3339 said...

“What about a plan to get at the root cause and prevent it from happening any place. Could drug use and distribution be one root cause? Is a lack of responsible parenting a root cause? Does the education systems lack of discipline and authority contribute?”

I’m not sure what the short term solution is, but I can almost guarantee that whatever makes the headlines will be “political” in the sense that it will be directed toward legal restrictions, and will not address the root causes to which you allude. The answer lies with individual citizens 1. who frequent the park and 2. who have the courage to interact with the responsible parties. It reminds me of Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s criticism that the west has lost its “civil courage” …

March 24, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.

from "A World Split Apart" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“… Any conflict is solved according to the letter of the law and this is considered to be the supreme solution. If one is right from a legal point of view, nothing more is required, nobody may mention that one could still not be entirely right, and urge self-restraint, a willingness to renounce such legal rights, sacrifice and selfless risk: it would sound simply absurd. One almost never sees voluntary self-restraint. Everybody operates at the extreme limit of those legal frames. …

“I have spent all my life under a communist regime and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either. A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities. The letter of the law is too cold and formal to have a beneficial influence on society. Whenever the tissue of life is woven of legalistic relations, there is an atmosphere of moral mediocrity, paralyzing man's noblest impulses. And it will be simply impossible to stand through the trials of this threatening century with only the support of a legalistic structure …”

Anything short of addressing parental responsibility, education, and spiritual self-sacrifice (love), will fall short.

March 24, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.
potcat said...

Whatsnot, you are kidding right! You would have to literally force me at gun point to give up TN. for North Dakota.I don't know where in North Dakota you live but from what i have seen and read lately its not what you are describing. I saw a good documentary on the Rose Bud Reservation in South Dakota and it was really dreadfull. North Dakota is having a boom on gas drilling and with it every kind of Vice one can think of. I will take Tennessee any day.

March 24, 2011 at 10:02 a.m.
Tmbrwlfofga said...

Unfortunately, the sadness of this cartoon is the reality of the situation. There is no shortage of people to point a finger at for this problem. If we expand security at a public park, that will pass on a bill to the taxpayers. On the other hand, if we do nothing proactive (which is our current plan) the problem will continue to swell and we will lose Coolidge Park to lawlessness and gang activity. In finding solutions, there are examples for us to follow.
Several years back, Lake Winnie was the scene of a "flash-mob" and a near riot involving over 200 teenagers. Their solution involved not allowing anyone under 21 admission into their park without a parent or guardian. This all but eliminated their problem. Hamilton Place Mall has instituted similar policies that yielded positive results. Even nightclubs, Chattanooga Drink comes to mind have instituted policies aimed at restricting access to unsupervised minors. The new policy at Coolidge Park is a fresh start. In a world where parents want to be their child's friend and not their parent, we as society will have to control the youth for them. This park is a integral part of our city and as such we should do what we can to protect the sanctity of the area. Those seeking problems and disorder will simply find another location to conduct business and leave the park to those who intend on enjoying it.

March 24, 2011 at 12:01 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

of course you don't like those ideas, ollie, because it would reveal the hyopracy of the democrat party and your liberal agenda and it exposes bennett for the pure propagandist that he is.

you just like it the way it is, don't you.....having bennett put on his cute cheerleader uniform and cheer the team on. no questions asked.


March 24, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

when glaring hypocracy is ignored, that begs to be commented on...then you know you just have a political hack instead of an editorial cartoonist.

regarding the shootings.....we're dealing with criminal activity in coolidge park over the last couple of years. shootings, drugs and fighting....parental involvment is a nice topic..but this is beyond that.....when gangs or gangster wannabe's take guns into coolidge park, the root causes don't's criminal.

the facts are guns are being brought into coolidge park and citizens trying to enjoy the park are in dangers....that's all that matters.....

sorry..profile...profile...if a bunch of black teens come into the park with their pants hanging below their asses..and the rest of the standard outfit.. search them and question them...since they're the ones doing the shooting, they pay the price. it's criminal and treat it it as such

black families, white families..everyone is being children, white children..etc..etc.

March 24, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...

I think Clay just enjoys getting Francis'/Seamonkey's dander up. Maybe Clay should draw Francis an Avatar?

March 24, 2011 at 1:58 p.m.
hambone said...

WOW, FrancisTrollMonkey, 2 post in a row without blaming it all on OBAMA!

March 24, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

actually, hambone..obama has a lot in common with the thug/gangsta mentality....he tried it because it worked for him in chicago..but the nation rejected it on nov. 2nd 2010....and not just republicans, hambreath, but democrats and independents to.

you libs have to think beyond party loyalty.......i can think of dozens of cartoons i would do blasting republicans for their lack of backbone and contribution to the mess we're now why can't bennett do the same with democrats........?...the answer, of course, is that he's a party hack.

March 24, 2011 at 4:20 p.m.

After all that shooting and folks acting a fool like they did this cartoon has hit it right on the mark. Something should be done before somebody with some big money who is a tourist speanding some money in that area gets hit by one of those stray bullets. Then the city will be in a big fat lawsuit over the death of that person.

March 24, 2011 at 5:47 p.m.

Ron Littlefield is just waiting until somebody gets killed and then he'll annouce a big plan to curb the crime in that area but not until somebody gets killed that has big money.

March 24, 2011 at 5:54 p.m.
canarysong said...

Francis/SeaMonkey/BoreMeToTears wrote;

"obama has a lot in common with the thug/gangsta mentality"

Yep, those are the ones you have to watch out for, alright ..... those Harvard-educated gangsters .......... (insert eye roll here)

March 24, 2011 at 7:11 p.m.
dude_abides said...

independentlighthouse said... Some of these people in the south can not drive worth a lick.

lighthead... the above comment (pertaining to a man killed while trying to warn fellow motorists of danger) makes me sick. Please change your name so that every time I see your posts I don't visualize an ugly, cynical, bitter, heartless wretch.

March 24, 2011 at 8:16 p.m.
dude_abides said...

There is nothing law enforcement can do about this situation on the front end. Does anyone remember the initiation "rushes", usually for female service clubs in high school, and usually after football games, that were the place to be and unannounced (you had to be connected to find out where/when)? I recall the in-crowd mentality that is the base of this flashmob stuff. They can flit around like flocks of birds and land wherever they choose. I assume the vast majority are not thugs, just observers. There is no quantitative solution for this game. A peripatetic party stops when it feels like it. It is the cause celebre. Reminds me of the t-shirt emblazoned "I dress this way to annoy you." Just wait until the thugs figure out what 10 mac-10's on 10 motorcycles could do. Pretty scary.

March 24, 2011 at 8:50 p.m.
bpqd said...

The cartoon is inaccurate. There is no way that Mayor Littlefield would pay for --two-- police officers.

March 24, 2011 at 9:42 p.m.
hambone said...

What is a "SeaMonkey" ?

A SeaMonkey is a beady-eyed little SHRIMP !

March 24, 2011 at 10:27 p.m.
trburrows said...

i have been told by matt dillion that i must go away. this is ur man not mine. to hell with the first amenment. when we cant say what we want then to hell with you libs. i might not say what you want to hear but i do have a right. you also have a right to speak but not to stop my word. people, look at this, i dont like or believe what most of you say but i do have the right to speak my mind. clean up your back yard

March 24, 2011 at 11:12 p.m.
chattreb said...

If the kids can't behave themselves at the park I'm all for it. If they need to search them like they do at the airport, do it. Why not if it keeps them from killing each other or some person just trying to enjoy the beauty of the park. I say take the park back from the hoods.

March 25, 2011 at 1:15 a.m.
fairmon said...

Clamping down on this park only changes the location of bad acts. People that dress weird with tattoos all over, piercings and pants hanging below their crack having to hold them up to keep them from falling off are probably weird. When we started criticizing police for using common sense by calling it profiling we lost something.

Parents are so used to "dropping the kids off" and abdicating their responsibility they object to requiring kids to be accompanied by an adult. They fail to realize some of us don't like the spoiled brats and prefer they behave properly when in public instead of annoying the hell out of others around them.

Some places are avoided by a lot of people because of "rug rats" with parents that don't insist on them behaving or taking their leave with them. I will immediately leave any place where the parents of a screaming youngster can't get them to quieten down and don't take the kid out of the place.

Other parents are so irresponsible they don't know and possibly don't care where their kids are. Then, when the kid gets in trouble they are on the news crying about how poor little Johnny is being mistreated and his behavior is the fault of someone else.

Too bad we can't restrict gang members to certain areas, assure they are well armed then instigate gang wars so they take each other out.

I do believe when you "spare the rod, you spoil the child". When teachers can't punish kids for disruptive behavior it is harmful to kids that want to learn and participate in their education. The education system can't rid itself of bad teachers or bad kids, not a winning combination.

March 25, 2011 at 7:03 a.m.
woody said...

"Day Two" of this very profound 'toon' has reminded me there are certain undeniable facts of life we are doomed to live with...

We were all teens once ourselves (some of us held on a little longer than some others) and that teens, like the cockroach, have always been around and will likely be "...the death of us all...."

Get used to it..learn to deal with it..or find yourself a nice dark hole and crawl into it and pull it in nice and snug over your head.

Removing tongue from cheek now..Woody

March 25, 2011 at 7:24 a.m.
Leaf said...

I don't buy the argument that preventing crime or violence in one place automatically just makes it happen in another. It isn't a zero sum game. It's not like there is a set amount of crime and violence that has to occur every day, and you just have to decide where. Don't use that kind of thinking to give over any amount of turf to criminality. Police the park if necessary. Adults and families should continue to use the park and set norms of behavior that we want to see. Google "broken window theory."

March 25, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.

SeaMonkey I normally read your comments and laugh them off but I can not sit back and let you post such garbage about profiling. First let me start by saying by advocating profiling you are contradicting everything this country stands for. Some of the founding principles of this country are innocence until proven guilty, equality, and freedom of speech. By profiling black males in the park you are infringing on their civil rights when you approach/ search them for no reason other than having sagging pants or baggy clothing. No matter how tacky it may appear their clothing is a form of expression and I know you of all people wouldn’t recommend doing anything that could hinder our amendments. Searching people (without probable cause other than for being a group of black males) is not where this needs to go. Search one, search us all when entering into the park. With your “guilty first, questions later” approach you risk sending this country down a VERY slippery slope and we’ve seen in the past where that has lead. SeaMonkey you never have realistic solutions to contribute. Do you have another solution that wouldn’t send us all back to the Jim Crowe era? Here’s my solution: why don’t we all ACTUALLY get involved with Chattanooga youth programs (yes, even the inner city youth programs) and educate/mentor our young people instead of ranting with our keyboards. For the one’s that already gone astray then they deserve punishment but as a society we can’t fail young people (mainly starting with the lack of a better/equal education system for all) then wonder why they cause havoc in the community. Even if, God forbid, profiling became the standard of when/where to apply our laws we wouldn’t have the funding or police power to implement it and it would surely require some sort of tax increase on citizens which then would make you cry socialism!

As far as the complaints about the new curfew, I think it’s marvelous!The curfew is 10:30 p.m. on school days for children 16 and younger and 11:30 p.m. for those 17 and younger. The curfew is one hour later on weekends. I don’t know about you but I personally wouldn’t want my 16- child in a park at that time of night alone anyways, REGARDLESS OF RACE. Also your comment that “100% of the people causing the violence and shooting in Coolidge park are young black men”…where exactly are you getting your statistics? You’re taking certain incidents and painting a very broad picture about the black youth in Chattanooga and the last time I checked the suspects were all underage so no photos were released, how do you know all the suspects were black?

Lastly, to everyone else THANK YOU for not turning this into an “us vs. them (mainly inserting race above criminality)” like SeaMonkey (aka Francis) has attempted multiple times.

March 25, 2011 at 5:16 p.m.
mymy said...

Littlefield has Saturday Night Specials at Cooliage Park:

March 25, 2011 at 5:53 p.m.
dude_abides said...

leaf... if upping police presence at any location lessens the likelihood of crime occurring there, then by extension it would leave other areas that much more vulnerable to crime. So your solution actually calls for more police, period, and we know that won't happen. I'm afraid the only thing we can do is stay home and dislike SeaMonkey.

March 25, 2011 at 6:38 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone---insert warm fuzzy hugs here---would get together and support the youth programs in this city?

I was many shootings have occurred when large crowds of predominately white people gathered in Coolidge Park?

March 25, 2011 at 7:08 p.m.
dude_abides said...

cool avatar Savarti

March 25, 2011 at 7:33 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Likewise, dude. Luckily, the praying mantis wasn't camera shy.

March 25, 2011 at 8:16 p.m.
RufusTFirefly said...

...Patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) experience these thoughts as ridiculous, absurd, repugnant, and quite illogical; the thoughts may even be quite foreign to the person’s core values and beliefs. Given these characteristics, one begins to understand why many patients do not report these symptoms or seek treatment for fear of ridicule and embarrassment.

March 25, 2011 at 10:40 p.m.
fairmon said...


I hadn't thought about the incident involving black kids until I read your post, still not sure. Are you assuming they were? I was thinking about the white kids I see with pants they can't keep up, tattoos and piercings by both sexes. This indicates to me parents that don't care, are irresponsible or have no influence with the kids. This is not ethnicity limited, some gangs are very diverse.

Education opportunities with parental like support where it is missing and youth groups will help but there is an element that will have to be dealt with by authorities.

Be as liberal as you want to be but quit borrowing money to support all those social agendas. Borrowed money has to be paid back and governments are about to hit the wall. Tax everyone enough to pay as we go but quit increasing the debt, we are rapidly approaching the worst dilemma this city, state and country has ever known. Taxes should be increased or decreased annually based on what is spent, no credit cards.

March 26, 2011 at 12:17 p.m.


"I hadn't thought about the incident involving black kids until I read your post, still not sure. Are you assuming they were?"

-- The only reason why I mentioned race is because that was the main argument SeaMonkey was making in his post. I did NOT assume they were black, I was addressing his blatant assumption that the perpetrators were black. Sorry, I'm too smart to fall for that one so don't try and turn this around on me to make it look like I'm the one that brought up race. And I am aware that a lot of gangs are very diverse so thank you for furthering my point to SeaMonkey.

"...there is an element that will have to be dealt with by authorities."

-- I welcome the authorities getting involved, the point I was making AGAIN was that SeaMonkey is calling for action that is very unlikely, dangerous, and frankly irresponsible. I am a peaceful non-violent person as well so I have no problem with criminals being punished but his approach is "criminal first, possible innocence later" and that is not right. What ever happened to the golden rule?

"Be as liberal as you want to be but quit borrowing money to support all those social agendas..."

-- This is where you lost my attention.

March 27, 2011 at 11:44 p.m.
fairmon said...

I agree with your position about the limits and methods of enforcement. It is not "all of them" whoever "all" is. There are multiple needs and as many approaches required to effectively address the issue.

My comment regarding borrowing money refers to the national debt. I would prefer adjusting the tax tables to collect whatever is to be spent plus 3% to reduce the debt. If we want it or if enough people want a federal program we should pay as we go. Why ask future generations to finance our benevolence. Conservatives don't want anything good or bad and liberals want things but don't want to pay for it but have someone else pay more.

If your being liberal refers to socially I am good with that. Pro-choice, gay marriage, equal opportunity for an education and jobs, the behavior of two consenting adults, I have no problem with these. I view these as no business of any politician unless there is a government expense that we need to pay for.

March 28, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.


Thank you for clarifying, and yes my position as a liberal is socially :)

March 29, 2011 at 8:25 a.m.
fairmon said...


:) I think we may be more realist than liberal. Are you willing to quit using credit cards and help me pay as we go. Require anything you desire but let's quit going in debt and pay as we go. Do you already have plans for the evening, Dutch treat pay with cash of course? LOL, just kidding, thanks for the response, have a great day.

March 29, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.

No, I like the sound of liberal better haha. I have only one credit card sir and that's just about paid off. I think credit cards are acutally a wonderful thing in the hands of proper consumers such as myself that make regular payments, pay more than the minium monthly balance, and they can help in building positive credit scores (again when used properly). I actually wouldn't mind an evening out (sorry, I carry debit, no cash) but I would worry that we'd aruge the entire time. Adding more info to your profile anytime soon?

March 29, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
fairmon said...

When I figure out how to do the anwar and profile thing I will add to it. I also have only one credit card, have never paid interest and have no plans to. I like the 1% rebate on purchases. I admit I use it for anything I can and I track it on line and as you say pay a little more than due.

Please, we may debate, I refuse to argue. On second thought if not too aggressive perhaps we should argue. Making up can be fun to do, remember that song? I may be revealing my age without a profile?

March 29, 2011 at 5:29 p.m.

harp 3339

Nice work on the credit card,you financial guru you :) Glad to know you'll be updating your profile soon, you've peaked my interest which is no easy task so I look forward to reading your comments from this point forward. I don't remember that song my self persay but I've heard my parents playing it before, no pun intended haha. I do fancy that song though so you've got some points in my book, just might have to take you up on that dutch offer.

Hope you have a great day!

March 30, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.
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