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.