Cartoon: Vigilante Justice

Cartoon: Vigilante Justice

That the Supreme Court would not intervene to stop this radical embrace of vigilante justice hearkening back to the Fugitive Slave Act should send chills down everyone’s spines. To be clear, I am not advocating for vigilantism against the Supreme Court in the cartoon, but rather imagining how they would feel if this sort of “justice” were applied to them, and showing the absurdity of bounty hunting everyone who “aided or abetted” them.

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The Sorensen Monologues

Horse Sense for Pandemics

I don’t see how humanity can solve its problems with this degree of misplaced trust, bad-faith manipulation, and poor critical thinking skills. Also, what about the animals with parasites? I’ll bet there are some angry cows out there with four stomach chambers filled with worms, just waiting for pills that have been bought up by the stupid humans.

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Ironies of Afghanistan

I find it challenging to boil the whole Afghanistan situation down into a simple cartoon. When the war began, I thought it was overkill that would just inspire more terrorism. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were clearly not to be trusted. But I also felt a certain amount of ambivalence since there was, in theory, a human rights component of stopping the horrific treatment of women. One thing that seems clear is that the Trump administration pretty much gave away the store to the Taliban in the Doha negotiations — you can find that photo of Mike Pompeo with Taliban leader Mullah Beradar here. Now the Trumpers are acting like Biden didn’t follow the terms of their “peace deal.” 



“Virtue Signaling”

Simply put, “virtue signaling” is a noxious term that provides a false explanation for people’s motivations to do the right thing for themselves and others. Sure, there are a few corporations pretending to be socially conscious while supporting racist, anti-LGBTQ politicians. But framing all attempts at ethical behavior in this way is a kind of mental trick that benefits the bullies and fascists. It’s yet another way to demonize progressives and sound policies without engaging on specifics. 

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Rental Breakdown

Whenever I look at Airbnb listings, I’m amazed by how expensive some of them are. People are apparently paying big bucks these days for flashy, Instagram-friendly “experiences.” In many tourist areas, long-term renters are getting priced out. Part of this is due to the raging real estate market — though the money to be made these days from short-term rentals can quickly outpace income from traditional tenants. This isn’t exactly helping to stabilize things for working people who just need a home, not an experience.



Viral Spiral

So the Delta variant is surging across the US, with Florida actually breaking last year’s hospitalization records. While the vast majority of those hospitalized are unvaccinated, this variant does have the unfortunate effect of turning people into highly-explosive virus volcanoes. By ending preventive measures prematurely, we’re creating ideal conditions for ever more dangerous variants to evolve. 

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She’s so fined

Given the increased respect for women’s sports, it was especially absurd to hear that the Norwegian women’s beach handball team was being fined €1500 by the European Handball Federation for wearing spandex shorts instead of bikini bottoms. To be clear, the team wore shorts at the European championships in Bulgaria, not at the Olympics.

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Back to normal

I’m not suggesting that the climate crisis would end if billionaires abandoned private space flight. I am saying that they are the grotesque embodiment of a sociopathic gilded age, narcissistic pig-men who have a moral obligation to end the system that enabled their stupid fortunes in the first place, as Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott is admirably trying to do. 

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Alito Inconvenienced

Arizona has a terrible history of suppressing Native voters that bears more than a little resemblance to the Jim Crow South; it was one of the states required to get preclearance from the Justice Department to make any election law changes under the Voting Rights Act, until that rule was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013. The laws that were recently challenged forbid ballot collection by third parties (who had assisted Native voters living in remote places far from polling centers) and invalidate all ballots that go to the wrong precinct. This apparently happens with some regularity among reservation dwellers who do not have a regular street address. This Washington Post article about the obstacles faced by Native voters provides some useful background.

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Egalitarian Wave Theory

We’ve seen the right do this over and over, repeating a phrase until it becomes conventional wisdom. Eventually mainstream media outlets and even progressives start using these concocted frames, as Professor Cas Mudde eloquently argued in The Guardian this past weekend.

The GOP has long been at war with academia, and now they seem closer than ever to achieving their dream of shutting down teachers and professors’ ability to teach history, social science, and basic critical thinking skills. Several states already have ridiculous bills pending that would chill academic freedom. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Hungary!



How to Relax this Summer



Welcome to Vultureville

This cartoon was inspired by a Wall Street Journal article about big investment firms buying up homes — sometimes entire subdivisions — to rent out or flip. Obviously rentals are necessary as many people cannot afford to buy, especially in places like NYC. But corporations hoovering up whole middle-class or working-class neighborhoods serves no public good — it’s just driving up prices and exacerbating inequality, continuing ye olde wealth transfer to the already well-heeled (and almost certainly well-housed, for that matter).




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Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

 

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