This comic is based on something I read on Daily Kos about the Longmont fracking ban ruling. The phrase “sincerely held beliefs” caught my eye, since that’s been in the news a lot lately, thanks to the Hobby Lobby ruling. While the judge in the fracking case cited a conflict between the local ban and state law and opened the door to further appeals, it seems like Longmont’s concerns about the health effects of fracking go beyond mere “beliefs.” You’d think such concerns might be accorded more gravitas than Hobby Lobby’s pre-Enlightenment worldview, if a corporate charter can indeed be said to have a cosmology. It is frightening how little power communities seem to have to decide very basic public safety issues when they come up against energy interests.
On an unrelated note, Hobby Lobby really needs a better logo. The Lord hath created an abundance of attractive fonts. Go forth and use one!
Dow Chemical wants to put out a new herbicide called Enlist Duo to combat so-called “superweeds” that have grown resistant to Roundup and are now spreading like… weeds. It’s an absurd arms race (farms race?) against nature, which the Union of Concerned Scientists, among others, has been warning about for years.
Meanwhile, an enormous pro-industry propaganda arm muddies the debate with pseudo-scientific websites like the “Genetic Literacy Project” (part of the right-wing STATS organization) to fool clueless journalists. It’s 1984-level disinformation trying to ensure that chemical companies can do whatever they want.
Farm workers are already exposed to ridiculous levels of toxic stuff, with predictable results, which rarely gets discussed in these debates. Hence panel three.
Pioneering editorial cartoonist Etta Hulme, who worked for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram for decades, passed away recently at the age of 90. She drew cartoons well into her eighties, retiring in 2008. Hulme was, at times in her career, the only female political cartoonist working professionally in the entire country. She was a great artist and a political iconoclast in Texas, in the Molly Ivins and Ann Richards mold.
It’s puzzling to me how this amazing woman flew under the radar of the powers-that-be for her entire life. She never won a Pulitzer, despite her high-caliber talent that, in my opinion, exceeded that of many Pulitzer winners. Her Wikipedia entry is only a few lines long. Apparently she didn’t merit a New York Times obituary — unlike many obscure businesspeople, authors, and filmmakers who populate that section. But you can read remembrances of her on the Washington Post’s Comic Riffs, which interviewed several cartoonists, including me. The Star-Telegram has more.
You can see a graphic comparing the 35-foot clinic buffer zone with the Supreme Court’s luxurious 252-foot buffer zone here.
I’ve been to a couple national political conventions now where the “free speech zones” can hardly even be found by convention-goers. This has always struck me as questionable. And yet the slender measure of security afforded to visitors of Massachusetts’s abortion clinics, which have been subjected to horrific violence in the past, is unconstitutional? Seems like the justices are playing legal Calvinball here.
the First Amendment shouldn’t be a Trojan horse that swallows every other right that we cherish. I think the First Amendment and I need to see other people for a few days.
And yes, things have only gotten worse in the 24 hours since I drew this cartoon.
Belatedly sharing this CD cover project for classical label Meyer Media. Relâche is collective of musicians in Philadelphia that has been performing avant-garde “Downtown meets Dada” compositions since 1979. I was honored to be asked to illustrate the cover of their latest album, “Comix Trips.” It’s a good album, too! Really quirky, fun, modern compositions that cartoon fans would appreciate.
Ugh, doing cartoons about Bush administration neocons and Iraq is giving me terrible flashbacks of the early oughts. I never thought I’d spend time thinking about the ill-groomed John Bolton again, but there he was on Fox News, saying that past decisions are “irrelevant to the circumstances we face now” and that he’s “happy to discuss the past 10 years and we can start 10 years before that if you want,” but that it’s “not the question that America faces today.” I also happen to be reading The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen, which contains reflections on Buddhism. The hotheaded Bolton is probably the farthest a person can get from a Buddhist monk, and yet he shares a Zen master’s single-minded — some might say insistent — focus on the now.
Relevant article showing photos of the London spikes here. Apparently the number of homeless there is increasing:
Katharine Sacks-Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Crisis, said: “This is happening in a context where rough sleeping has gone up massively. Over the last three years rough sleeping has risen by 36% nationally and by 75% in London. More than 6,400 people slept rough in London last year.”"The reason for that increase is the continuing economic downturn, the housing shortage, and cuts to benefits, particularly housing benefit.”
Yay austerity! Why not add a dollop of hostile symbolism while you’re at it?