The Sorensen Monologues

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Archive for 2015

Cartoon Flashback: More things for Islamophobes to worry about

Here’s a comic from 2010 that seems extra-appropriate for current times. If only the me of the past knew how bad things would get in 2015.


Mr. and Mrs. Perkins go gift shopping, Star Wars edition (2015)

A holiday tradition returns, with Mr. and Mrs. Perkins once again searching for the perfect gift for Auntie Perkins. You can see the previous installment (from 2013) here.

The news has been so crazy lately, it feels a little strange not drawing an overtly political strip this week, but I think the degree to which Star Wars has permeated our consumer culture is political in its own right.


The never-ending death spiral

Australia illustrates what a country has to do to solve this problem. The U.S. is doing pretty much the exact opposite.


America reacts to the Planned Parenthood attack

Just in case somebody wildly misinterprets this cartoon, I do not in fact support issuing tracking collars to white males, nor do I blame all of Christianity for the shootings at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. I’m merely illustrating the ludicrousness of the GOP’s recent rhetoric against Muslims.

Between this and their incendiary lies about Planned Parenthood, the current crop of Republican candidates have shown themselves to be dangerously unfit for the presidency. But you knew that already.


Thanksgiving Through the Years


How to Tell the Difference Between ISIS and Muslims

The GOP is demanding that the Democratic presidential candidates use the term “radical Islam” to refer to ISIS. Yet it’s hard to imagine them making similar demands that various acts of homegrown terrorism be called the work of “radical Christians.” Many would argue that simply committing such an act means one is not a true Christian. By the same token, ISIS is not Islamic, as Islam is understood and practiced by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims. So why insist on the label, unless you have an axe to grind about a faith you deem inferior? Why add to the Islamophobic backlash that has already led to a Texas mosque having its front door hit with feces?

ISIS thinks in terms of a “clash of civilizations,” and (surprise!) so do American right-wingers. Anyone framing this issue as The West vs. Islam is playing right into ISIS’s hands.


The Right to an Unfair Trial

This is a huge story that many progressives seem to be overlooking. In 2013 the Supreme Court allowed companies — Netflix, T-Mobile, rental cars, banks, private schools, medical practices, online retailers, etc. — to slip “arbitration clauses” into contracts for services and jobs that circumvent the court system entirely. If you have a legal grievance, you will be shunted into their private kangaroo court, presided over by often-laughably biased officials hired by the company. The NY Times has a must-read three part series on this truly incredible overturning of a fundamental Constitutional right.


Comic essay on trans visibility

Here’s a comic I edited by the talented Dylan Edwards about coming out as trans in the era before social media (or many examples of trans people in pop culture). Entitled “How I told my grandma I’m transgender,” it shows why media representation is so important. Dylan was a pleasure to work with, and deserves more fame in the comics world.

EdwardsTransVisibilityExcerpt


No Limits on Poverty

“Welfare reform” is clearly heading towards forcing people into permanent poverty, and Arizona wants to be in the vanguard. Scapegoating the poor for not earning enough while denying them earning power is one of many paradoxes of the GOP. More here.


U.S. Democracy Recalled

More on the 158 campaign donors here. It may not come as a surprise that they skew heavily Republican. One of them apparently brings home $68.5 million a month. After taxes.


Voter Suppression Funnies

So, Alabama is shuttering drivers license offices in every county in which African-Americans comprise 75% or more of voters, and Kansas has an anti-immigrant zealot as its Secretary of State, who is purging some 36,000 names from a list of citizens who tried to register to vote but could not complete the process (sometimes unknowingly) because they didn’t have a birth certificate handy. This is all supposedly in the name of preventing “voter fraud” — an event so rare as to be statistically nonexistent — while perpetrating the outlandish fraud of disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters.

And much of America snoozes while all this is happening.

(PS: Just saw that the Governor of Alabama has responded to the outcry by offering to open those offices one day a month. This announcement came a day before Hillary Clinton’s visit to Alabama.)


Obama apologizes for bombing of Mayo Clinic

Apologies to the Mayo Clinic for this one. They were on my mind because my aunt recently had heart surgery there (I hear she received excellent care).

While the U.S. may not blow up civilians in foreign lands every single day, many civilians do fear air strikes by the U.S. and our allies every day. These massacres keep happening over and over and over again. Would Americans tolerate drone strikes and other aerial bombings in their neighborhoods because someone thinks a terrorist might be hiding in a nearby house? Can you imagine living this way for years on end?

This case is particularly bad since it seems to be a deliberate strike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital. Glenn Greenwald does a good job summing up the shifting arguments coming out of the military.


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Jen Sorensen is a nationally-syndicated political cartoonist whose work has appeared in The Progressive, The Nation, Daily Kos, Austin Chronicle, NPR, Ms., Politico, and many other publications. The recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, she tweets at @JenSorensen.

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