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Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 09:06 AM PDT

Cartoon: Burdens

by Ampersand

white mans burden

This is an unusual cartoon for me; I hardly ever think of traditional one-panel political cartoon ideas. Hope folks enjoy it.

Is there a minimum number of words required for diary entries? I always seem to get errors trying to post these cartoons unless I add a certain number of words to the diary. Such as this paragraph. :-)


Sorry I haven't posted new cartoons in the last couple of weeks. I actually have been doing a cartoon a week, but the one two weeks ago is being published by Dollars & Sense magazine, so I felt obliged to let them publish it first; and last week's cartoon didn't seem political enough for posting on "Kos" (you can view it here, if you're curious).

Anyway, this week I'm back to doing political cartoons that no one is paying me for, so I can post it here. :-)



Wed Aug 15, 2007 at 01:33 PM PDT

Cartoon: Free Trade

by Ampersand

Free Trade

This is my third cartoon posted on "Kos." I'm planning to post about a cartoon a week -- although "the best laid plans of mice and cartoonists" being what they are, we'll see how it goes.

Part of my problem with "free trade" is that the fact that there is a legitimate other side to the issue -- and that other side is not "just protectionism" -- tends to get ignored by "serious" policy wonks in the USA. As a result, we tend to view resistance to free trade as purely irrational, especially in how the mainstream media frames the issue.


Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 09:23 AM PDT

Cartoon: White Lies

by Ampersand

Another cartoon, this one from a couple of weeks ago, about racism and white denial.

This cartoon generated a remarkable amount of hate email, including a lot of anti-semitic email, which is a bit of a non sequitor if you think about it.

Despite my simplistic drawing style, this thing took a lot of time to draw. :-D



Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 02:53 PM PDT

Cartoon: It's A Tidy System

by Ampersand

This is my latest political cartoon; hope folks like it. The subject is health care, but more broadly the way our system of lobbyists, money-driven elections and compliant media combines to keep our country from having any sensible discussion of universal health care.

Anyhow, go below the fold to read the cartoon.

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This is a round-up of many good posts that feminist bloggers have written in response to the Supreme Court's upholding of the federal "Partial Birth" abortion ban. About 20 posts are quoted from and linked to in this round-up, starting with Feminist Law Professors:

The majority’s opinion is striking for the almost absolute lack of focus on women. The medical procedure itself is discussed extensively. The role of the physician and medical judgment is discussed extensively. The impact on women and the idea that the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy has something to do with women, however, their right to body integrity, autonomy, liberty, is completely missing from the opinion. Only a reference to "an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child" and the conclusion that "some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained" suggests this majority’s view of women in the context of the issue – we are by-standers to the issue and by-standers to the right ultimately recognized in Roe and Casey, rather than those most affected.

More below the fold...

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Gonzales vs. Carhart, today's Supreme Court decision upholding the Federal "Partial Birth" abortion (PBA) ban (here's an AP article reporting the Gonzales decision, and the text of the decision itself) is a terrible decision for freedom and for women in many ways. But the most destructive element of the Court's decision may be a relatively obscure argument buried deep in Kennedy's decision.

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Led by born-again Republican Mary Black, the City Commissioners of Largo, Florida voted to fire City Manager Steve Stanton. Stanton had been City Commissioner for 15 years, but once his intention to get a sex-change operation become know the good Republicans and Christians of Largo couldn't bear to let him be employed a moment longer.

According to local activist Peggy Schaefer of the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks:

I don’t want that man in office. I don’t think we should be paying him $150,000 a year when he’s not been truthful. We have to speak up. Of course, we don’t believe in sex changes or lesbianism. They have their rights, but we do, too.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 at 03:29 PM PST

The Long Beach Beating Case And Race

by Ampersand

Some right-wingers have been pointing to The Long Beach beating case, in which a group of nine black youths were given a slap on the wrist for the hate crime beating of three white women, as evidence that anti-black racism is no longer a factor in the US judicial system -- or even that racism now favors blacks over whites.

But in fact, the same old anti-black racism is alive and well in the US judicial system -- and is evident in the Long Beach case. Comparing what happened in Long Beach to other cases -- the Billy Ray Johnson case, the Duke rape accusation, and the Central Park Jogger case -- shows that while the details of the cases varies, the judicial system remains eager to railroad young blacks, while whites who are accused of crimes are still given the legal protections everyone should receive.

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 04:08 PM PST

More On Prison Rape

by Ampersand

Ilya Somin, a libertarian, and Mark Kleiman, a Democrat, have been debating prison rape.

Ilya argues that it's not politically plausible for the government to help prisoners. "Government is responsive to those who have political power, and prisoners are the classic example of a group that has almost no power, and is generally unpopular with those who do. ... This is an extreme case of an important broader lesson about the nature of government: it usually can't be relied on to protect the political powerless or even the relatively weak."

Instead, Ilya suggests two (as he emphasizes) "libertarian" measures to reduce prison rape. First, end the drug war. No more drug war means fewer people in prison, means less prison rape. Ilya's second suggestion is to privatize prisons. Privatized prisons means less guard unions; less guard unions might mean less lobbying for pro-imprisonment legislation; which means fewer prisoners; which means less prison rape.

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Via F-Words and Eye on Boise, I learned that Idaho State Representative Bob Nonini has proposed a law "to outlaw the use of threats or physical force to dissuade a pregnant woman from giving birth." I emailed Representative Nonini, and we had this exchange:

ME: My question is, do you also feel that those who coerce women into not having abortions should be penalized?

NONINI: No, I do not believe that coercing a woman into not having an abortion should be penalized.

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Right-wingers are attacking Democrats for scuttling "the Ryan White Early Diagnosis Grant Program," or as they call it, the "baby AIDS" bill. Why are liberals against helping babies with AIDS, they cry? The outpouring of "baby AIDS" anger is led by the Family Research Council's Joe Carter, who virtually all the above-linked bloggers are cribbing from.

Of course, none of this is as simple as conservatives claim.

In fact, the bill Carter is so angry about is almost entirely irrelevant to HIV prevention; the mandatory newborn testing Carter favors is useless for telling us if newborns are HIV positive, is overly controlling of mothers, and will do almost nothing for preventing HIV transmission; and virtually all the effective policies for reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission involve improving the effectiveness and availability of prenatal care.

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