Cartoon: Unions Are Imperfect


Transcript of cartoon:

Panel 1
Two angry-looking men are talking to each other in a house. A window in the background lets us see that it’s snowing outside. One of the men is wearing glasses, suspenders and a striped necktie; the other man is wearing a bowtie and smacks his fist into his palm.

GLASSES: I just realized: Unions are imperfect!
BOWTIE: Then let’s get rid of unions!

Panel 2
Same scene. Glasses is looking down at his clothing with an expression of distress; Bowtie is yellling.

GLASSES: These clothes aren’t perfect either!
BOWTIE: We’ll get rid of them too!

Panel 3
Same scene, but now the guys are naked (“censor bars” have appeared in front of their naughty bits). Glasses is looking around at the room, and Bowtie is holding a can of gasoline.

GLASSES: Hey, our house isn’t perfect!
BOWTIE: Burn it down!

Panel 4

Still naked, Glasses and Bowtie are now standing out in the show, shivering and looking sad. In the background, we can see their house burning down.

GLASSES: I just r-realized: Something imperfect can st-still be c-c-crucial.
BOWTIE: Y-y-ya think?

Posted in Cartooning & comics | 5 Comments  

Open Thread and Link Farm, How To Toothpaste Edition


  1. “Take On Me” but it keeps getting faster.
  2. Feminist Groups Are Right to Rally Against the Brock Turner-Inspired Crime Bill
  3. The TSA is a waste of money that doesn’t save lives and might actually cost them – Vox
    When more people choose to drive, the result is more automobile deaths – in exchange for which, we’re not actually any safer while flying.
  4. The Truth About the Biggest U.S. Sex Trafficking Story of the Year –
    Very long read, and the accompanying photos – cheesy pin-ups of Asian women – were a bad choice. But it really does appear that a “sex trafficking” bust was actually the police and the press ginning up a sex slavery story out of consensual sex work, and making things worse for sex workers in the process.
  5. Thoughts On Victim-Blaming Rape Survivors | Thing of Things and the followup post: Why Everyone Is Irrational About Victim-Blaming and Rape.
  6. Elizabeth Warren Asks Newly Chatty FBI Director to Explain Why DOJ Didn’t Prosecute Banksters
  7. How The University Of New Hampshire Chose To Waste An Alum’s $4m Gift
    Answer: A million-dollar football scoreboard.
  8. BBC – Future – The benefits of having a babyface
  9. Why Color-Blindness Is a Counterproductive Ideology – The Atlantic
  10. Italy grapples with suicide of woman taunted over online sex video | World news | The Guardian
  11. This crossword puzzle, with several clues with more than one right answer, is really neat.
  12. [re]Assignment review: gender-switching hitman thriller is staggering misfire | Film | The Guardian
    This transphobic b-film with a bewilderingly good cast might be the year’s worst film.
  13. Did You Know We Are Having the Largest Prison Strike in History? Probably Not, Because Most of the Media Have Ignored It | Alternet
  14. Chelsea Manning Told She Will Receive Gender Transition Surgery, Her Lawyer Says – BuzzFeed News
  15. How Donald Trump Exploited Charity for Personal Gain
    It’s bewildering that Trump illegally using charity money to donate to a politician who then gave Trump’s business a favorable ruling, is much less of a scandal than Clinton’s emails.
  16. Artist-in-residence stuck on bankrupt container ship that no port will accept / Boing Boing
  17. BBC – Earth – A Soviet scientist created the only tame foxes in the world
    Amazing how few generations it took to turn foxes into, essentially, dogs.
  18. Some Republicans Acknowledge Leveraging Voter ID Laws for Political Gain – The New York Times
    Including Republicans, in leaked documents, plotting to gin up claims of voter fraud just in case an election turns out to be false.
  19. Men Caught Catcalling Their Mothers in Disguise – YouTube
    Thanks Grace!
  20. Shakesville: Media Agree: Clinton’s Policies Are Stellar—So No Need to Cover Them
    And, again, thanks Grace!
  21. People Are Sharing This Photo Of A Young Woman in Chile Standing Up To Police – BuzzFeed News
    And here’s a bit more info about the protests.
  22. “Supergirl” stuntwoman and “Ninja Warrior” star Jessie Graff on the Emmy Awards red carpet is my new favorite thing:


Posted in Link farms | 21 Comments  

Weekend read! Firebirds, ed. Sharyn November


firebirds I

Barnes & Noble

Firebirds Rising

firebirds II

Barnes & Noble

Firebirds Soaring

firebirds III

Barnes & Noble

Posted in Recommended Reading | Leave a comment  

Open Thread and Link Farm: Slippery Minister Edition


  1. The Armed Protests Outside Brock Turner’s Home Are Dangerously Counterproductive
    “The protest outside Turner’s home is the latest example of a weird sort of cognitive dissonance that has recently emerged among progressives around issues of criminal justice.”
  2. Lauer’s Pathetic Interview Made Me Think Trump Can Win
  3. Strange Horizons Articles: Boucher, Backbone and Blake – the legacy of Blakes 7, by Erin Horáková
    This made me really want to rewatch Blakes 7.
  4. Slate Star Scratchpad — Everything in Medicine Is Like This
    Why perfectly safe patients have to be declared dangerous so they can have an ambulance ride they don’t want or need.
  5. Gawker, Money, Speech, And Justice | Popehat
    The problem isn’t just vengeful billionaires.
  6. Why Scandinavian Prisons Are Superior – The Atlantic
    “‘Open’ prisons, in which detainees are allowed to live like regular citizens, should be a model for the U.S.”
  7. No, it’s not the fans’ responsibility when Marvel cancels a comic book, geez.
  8. In Defense of Melissa Click, Now at Gonzaga University
    People should be able to recover from one relatively harmless mistake. (Note the word “relatively.”)
  9. When tech firms judge on skills alone, women land more job interviews – CBS News
    The increase was reportedly enormous, from 5% to 54%. I can’t find the actual study online, however, so I’m not certain it’s valid.
  10. Corso Zundert 2016 is a Dutch flower parade that features floats made from millions of dahlias.
  11. U of Oregon Removes Name of Klan Leader From Dorm
    But Dunn was the low-hanging fruit; there will be much more resistance to renaming Deady Hall, named after the founder of U of O, an outspoken proslavery racist who later was an important figure fighting anti-Chinese racism.
  12. Rebecca Sugar, Cartoon Network’s first female creator, on writing LGBTQ stories for kids | PBS NewsHour
  13. Unpaid Labor in Texas Prisons Is Modern-Day Slavery
  14. The the Standard European Paper Size System is a beautiful thing.
  15. Phyllis Schlafly in her own words: Her many opinions about women, sex and equality –
  16. U.S. politicians love to attack China and Mexico for stealing jobs. Germany could be next.
    Germany’s trade surplus comes not just from great products, but also from undervalued currency and low wages.
  17. Film studio Warner Brothers has asked Google to remove its own website from search results, saying it violates copyright laws.
    “It also asked the search giant to remove links to legitimate movie streaming websites run by Amazon and Sky, as well as the film database IMDB.”
  18. Blind people gesture (and why that’s kind of a big deal)
  19. Report: Amazon To Open 100 Pop-Up Stores In Next Year – Consumerist
  20. For the first time ever, America’s uninsured rate has fallen below 9 percent – Vox
  21. Fannie’s Room: Another Men’s Issue for MRAs to Solve*: Workplace Feedback!
  22. Phyllis Schlafly is doomed to represent the feminism she hated.
  23. Did Democrats Unfairly “Demonize” Republicans Like John McCain and Mitt Romney? (SPOILER: No.) – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
  24. Reframing the Minimum-Wage Debate
    Long but interesting article from a pro-MW perspective. Pour yourself a cup of coffee first.
  25. Advice Goddess Blog
  26. Examining the Missing Anti-Abortion Footnote
  27. The Politics of Hair — Crooked Timber
    “I recently learned something that I had been totally ignorant about: black and Creole women pre-Emancipation were required by law in many places to wear a headwrap in public….”
  28. Undocumented Immigrants Pay Billions in State and Local Taxes : Immigration Impact
  29. How Horses Think
    “To be concise: all horses, even the most chill horses, on some level believe they are living in a survival horror.”


Posted in Link farms | 15 Comments  

Weekend Read! Accessing the Future, eds Kathryn Allan & Djibril Al-Ayad

Accessing the Future, eds Kathryn Allan & Djibril Al-Ayad

accessing the future

Barnes & Noble

Posted in Recommended Reading | Leave a comment  

Weekend read! DARK MATTER, ed. Sheree Thomas

Dark Matter I

DARK MATTER: A century of speculative fiction from the African Diaspora

Barnes & Noble

Dark Matter II

DARK MATTER: Reading the bones
Barnes & Noble

Posted in Recommended Reading | Leave a comment  

Cartoon: What Have Unions Ever Done?


The beautiful backgrounds for this comic were drawn by the amazing Adrian Wallace! Thanks, Adrian!

Transcript of cartoon:

An elderly woman in a striped skirt, walking a dog, is being spoken to by a friendly young man, who is holding out a petition on a clipboard and wearing an anti-union t-shirt. The dog sniffs at the young man’s leg in a friendly way.

MAN: Ma’am, you should sing our right-to-work petition… What have unions ever done for you?

CAPTION: Outlawing child labor.
The panel shows a young girl in a striped shirt playing on a old-fashioned scooter.

CAPTION: The 8 hour workday.
The panel shows a young woman at work, delivering packages, and whistling. She’s wearing a striped shirt.

CAPTION: Health plans and sick leave.
The panel shows the same young woman, now with a broken arm in a cast. A friend is signing the cast.

CAPTION: Maternity Leave.
The same woman in the striped shirt, now a little older, pushing a baby in a stroller.

CAPTION: Weekends
The same woman in the striped shirt, now older still, at a carnival, being pulled along by her happy daughter, who now looks about 10.

CAPTION: Vacation time.
The same woman and daughter at the beach, the woman now wearing a striped swimsuit, and looking older still, as she walks along the beach with a metal detector. In the background, her daughter, now a teen or young woman, is talking on a cell phone.

CAPTION: Social Security and Medicare
The same woman, now elderly and dressed as she was in the first panel. She has the dog with her, and is pulling envelopes out of her mailbox.

This panel shows the woman and the young man with the anti-union petition again. The woman has walked past the young man, her nose in the air in a “I refuse to even dignify that with an answer” attitude. The dog has the same attitude. The young man watches them leave, not understanding.

MAN: Ma’am?

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Union Issues | 18 Comments  

Quote: The Deep Story of the Right

DALLAS - SEP 04 : A conservative Tea Party Express protest of big government and Obamacare in Dallas. Taken September 04 2009 in Dallas TX.

DALLAS – SEP 04 : A conservative Tea Party Express protest of big government and Obamacare in Dallas. Taken September 04 2009 in Dallas TX.

From I Spent 5 Years With Some of Trump’s Biggest Fans.

What the people I interviewed were drawn to was not necessarily the particulars of these theories. It was the deep story underlying them—an account of life as it feels to them. Some such account underlies all beliefs, right or left, I think. The deep story of the right goes like this:

You are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you. Many of these line-cutters are black—beneficiaries of affirmative action or welfare. Some are career-driven women pushing into jobs they never had before. Then you see immigrants, Mexicans, Somalis, the Syrian refugees yet to come. As you wait in this unmoving line, you’re being asked to feel sorry for them all. You have a good heart. But who is deciding who you should feel compassion for? Then you see President Barack Hussein Obama waving the line-cutters forward. He’s on their side. In fact, isn’t he a line-cutter too? How did this fatherless black guy pay for Harvard? As you wait your turn, Obama is using the money in your pocket to help the line-cutters. He and his liberal backers have removed the shame from taking. The government has become an instrument for redistributing your money to the undeserving. It’s not your government anymore; it’s theirs.

I checked this distillation with those I interviewed to see if this version of the deep story rang true. Some altered it a bit (“the line-waiters form a new line”) or emphasized a particular point (those in back are paying for the line-cutters). But all of them agreed it was their story. One man said, “I live your analogy.” Another said, “You read my mind.”

Posted in Conservative zaniness, right-wingers, etc. | 8 Comments  

Cartoon: The One Thing We Can All Agree On


(I actually created this cartoon months ago, but apparently forgot to post it outside of my Patreon!)

Transcript of cartoon:

Two people – a woman and a man – are arguing on a sidewalk. The woman has long curly black hair, and is wearing sweatpants and a tank top; the man has short blonde hair (shaved on the sides) and is wearing a button-down shirt.

Panel 1
WOMAN: Conservatives have no compassion!
MAN: Why do liberals hate freedom?

Panel 2
Both characters are yelling.
WOMAN: Wingnut! Teabagger! Republithug! Fundie!
MAN: Sheeple! SJW! Moonbat! Totalitarian!

Panel 3
The woman stomps away as the man turns his back on her.
WOMAN: Here’s an idea: Kill yourself!
MAN: Die under a bus!

Panel 4 is a “split-screen” panel, showing two separate scenes divided by a diagonal line. In one scene, the woman is talking angrily into her cell phone; in the other, the man is talking angrily at someone who is off-panel. The two characters share one word balloon, as they are saying the exact same thing.
BOTH CHARACTERS: I tried talking, but those people refuse to be reasonable!

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Civility & norms of discourse | 74 Comments  

Open Thread and Link Farm, Smells Like Good Art Edition


  1. Donald Trump’s supporters are LESS likely to be affected by trade and immigration, not more – Vox
  2. New Study Shows Reading Harry Potter Lowers Americans’ Opinions of Donald Trump | Annenberg School for Communication
    “Even when controlling for party identification, gender, education level, age, evangelical self-identification, and social dominance orientation — all factors known to predict Americans’ attitudes toward Donald Trump — the Harry Potter effect remained.”
  3. 30 U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies – The New York Times
    Indirect link.
  4. Ali-Liston 50th anniversary: The true story behind Neil Leifer’s perfect photo.
    The surprisingly interesting stories behind a photo of a knocked out boxer.
  5. How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America – Vox
    I hadn’t realized that (even without another liberal justice) the Court is likely to restrain the use of solitary confinement by prisons sometime in the next few years. Nonetheless, nothing about a Clinton presidency excites me more than changing the direction of the Supreme Court.
  6. Speaking of private prisons: Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency, study finds | The Guardian
    “Cost-cutting measures by private facilities have led to subpar food quality and fewer meals, making noodles a commodity that trades well above its value.”
  7. Helping Rape Victims After the Brock Turner Case –
    “…inflexible mandatory minimum sentences, like the kind the California legislators want, are not the answer to our anger.” (Indirect link.)
  8. Stop Killing Coyotes – The New York Times
    What I find interesting about this is the notion that our attempt to eradicate the coyote has only had the effect of spreading coyotes into more and more territory. I thought the argument about how photos of beefy middle-aged men tarnish middle America’s image was incredibly stupid, though. (Indirect link).
  9. How To Be A Thin Ally On A Plane | Dances With Fat
  10. What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists | Aeon Ideas
  11. Galactic Tick Day – Celebrate Existence
    “The first Galactic Tick Day was one Galactic Tick (1.7361 years) after Hans Lippershey filed the patent for the first telescope on October 2nd, 160.” But do Federal workers get the day off?
  12. ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES: Fun With Economics: The Politics of The Gender Gap in Wages and also the followup post: The Challenge: Prove That Discrimination in Labor Markets Exists
  13. Alex Powell – “You know in Toy Story 3 when Mr Potato Head puts his face bits on a tortilla and escapes? Really bothers me. Where is Mr Potato Head’s consciousness located? Is he an assortment of bits? A swarm?” (More at the link.)
  14. Hillary Clinton has eased one of the biggest doubts about her capacity to be a good president – Vox
    One of my biggest doubts about Clinton was that her campaign organization in 2008 was notably poorly run. But she seems to have learned from that experience.
  15. Brewer Says Calling Clinton A ‘Lying Killer’ Was A ‘Stumble Of The Tongue’
    Not the Onion!
  16. UCB comedy club banned comedian Aaron Glaser for alleged rape | Revelist
  17. Breitbart Editor Milo Yiannopoulos Takes $100,000 for Charity, Gives $0 – The Daily Beast
    I suspect some combination of incompetence and not-giving-a-shit-ness, rather than a deliberate scam.
  18. The gender wage gap isn’t about women’s choices. It’s about how we value their work. – Vox
  19. A Hit Man Came to Kill Susan Kuhnhausen. She Survived. He Didn’t. – Willamette Week
  20. Donald Trump Adviser Al Baldasaro Calls for the Execution of Hillary Clinton – The Atlantic
  21. People are saying Amy Schumer “failed women” because she’s blocking critics on Twitter. That’s silly.
  22. God’s stealing the credit again
    Interesting stats on Alcoholics Anonymous not working.
  23. Trump Encourages His Supporters to Patrol Polling Places, Says He Will Lose Pa. Only If There is Cheating | Election Law Blog
    This is the sort of rhetoric that makes violence after Trump loses more likely to happen.
  24. The Five Worst Roberts Court Rulings
  25. The Cost to States of Not Expanding Medicaid – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  26. Etiquette About Accidentally Misgendering Trans People | Thing of Things
  27. Larry Wilmore on Alton Sterling: the punishment for being a black man shouldn’t be death – Vox
    It’s disappointing that Wilmore’s show has been cancelled.
  28. You can vote for Hillary Clinton and not be too thrilled about it – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
  29. Textbooks and the Civil Rights Movement – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
  30. Box Turtle Bulletin » Today In History, 1948: “Homosexual Ring Broken Up” At Mizzou
  31. New ‘Green Giant’ Mural by Blu on the Streets of Naples | Colossal


Posted in Link farms | 19 Comments