The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for September, 2020

A Flock of Fanatics

Bill Barr is fond of blaming “militant secularists” for all of society’s ills, which result from unbridled “individual rapacity,” and insisting on a faith-based “natural law” as the only way to control these instincts. Fun fact: Did you know Bill Barr is worth $40 million? After serving in the first Bush administration, he went to work for Verizon (then GTE), and when he retired, received a $17.1 million income deferral payment and a $10.4 million separation payment according to Forbes. Is it just me, or do I detect a little unbridled individual rapacity?

A couple other relevant links: More on Bannon’s feud with the Pope and the establishment of his creepy nationalist “gladiator school.” I almost missed this bit about FEC chair James Trainor III making some very unsettling remarks that sound suspiciously like, oh, a theocrat trying to establish a state religion. Anyway, he’s only in charge of the election — no biggie.

And for more on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Ms. Magazine has a rundown, including the source of that quote. The secretive sect she belongs to believes that women are spiritually inferior to men. As one former member put it, “[Husband and wife] cannot meet as equals, because the husband always has divine authority on his side.” Okay, then. Bring those sex discrimination cases ON!

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How to use Twitter without getting angry

Twitter can be a tool for activism, giving a voice to the powerless. On the whole, though, it’s destroying our brains, making people crazy, and dooming us all.

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‘Burbs of Chaos

The Trump campaign and its media surrogates have been pushing the false narrative that America’s cities have become dystopian hellscapes, and that crazed mobs of Those People are headed to the suburbs. It’s a barely-updated version of 1970s “white flight” rhetoric that ignores the changes in cities and suburban demographics over the past 50 years. It is fair to say, though, that suburban and exurban areas are now home to many far-right extremists, one of the most infamous examples being AR-15-toting QAnon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Greene, who will almost certainly win her Congressional race in Georgia.

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Find the villains

One of the standard techniques of authoritarians is to invert the reality of who is doing the most harm in a given conflict. Police who abuse their power are portrayed as restoring law and order in the face of chaotic mobs. Scale is distorted; actual cases of destructive protesters (or bad actors trying to make protesters look bad) are given constant attention, ignoring the overwhelming majority of peaceful activists. Fox and Tucker Carlson and many other American right-wing figures are literally operating at the level of Belarusian authoritarianism, using the same arguments and distortions and defenses of indefensible police and vigilante violence.

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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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