The Sorensen Monologues

Pretty in Pain

As a wide-footed, cranky-toed woman, I have always been incapable of wearing high heels, and I’ve had doctors instruct me not to wear them. Of course, this sometimes makes me the least-fancy woman in the room.

More info on the study here.



TPP: Fast Track to Oligarchy

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or “TPP,” may sound like a boring subject to some Americans, but the details are alarming. Leaked documents show that the agreement would allow multinationals to sue any country whose laws they claim stand in the way of profits. These companies’ challenges to environmental regulations, worker safety laws, and other protections, would be hashed out in private tribunals that operate outside of established legal systems. Obama has staunchly defended the secret agreement and is pushing for fast-track approval, alienating many in his own party. Which makes me wonder: WTF?

Paul Krugman’s column from a couple weeks ago explains why concerns about threats to national, state, or local laws are not unfounded. Canada’s finance minister is challenging the Volcker Rule under NAFTA. Jim Hightower also has more on the Investor-State Dispute Settlement process, and how it’s being used by Phillip Morris to challenge anti-smoking laws in Australia and Uruguay.

Gigantic corporations already have more than enough power. Obama shouldn’t be pushing to give them even more, or belittling those who argue otherwise.



Comic on marijuana legalization

Over on Graphic Culture, I’ve been working with ace comics journalist Andy Warner on this excellent piece about a grower in California trapped in legal limbo. It’s a fascinating look at entrepreneurship while walking a very fine line until full legalization (probably) happens.

GrowerDan550


Facetime Fools

From the AT&T survey mentioned in the comic:

When you see the driver next to you looking at their phone, it’s no longer safe to assume they’re texting. New research from AT&T shows nearly 4-in-10 smartphone users tap into social media while driving. Almost 3-in-10 surf the net. And surprisingly, 1-in-10 video chat.

Great! Because 32,719 motor vehicle deaths a year — or 10.3 out of every 100,000 people — certainly isn’t enough.



US to Boko Haram rape victims: You WILL have the terror spawn!

From the Global Justice Center:

Hundreds of women and girls have been forcibly impregnated by Boko Haram. Unofficially, 214 of the recently rescued girls have been reported pregnant after facing horrific circumstances of sexual slavery and violence. Organizations like the UNFPA are working as best they can to provide for the women, with a spokesperson saying, “We look after them and ensure they get antenatal care and that they deliver properly and that they even get cesarean section when necessary.”  While UNFPA are doing good work helping these pregnant women and girls, they are hamstrung, by a decades old US policy, from providing the full range of medical services these women and girls require.

Yes, thanks to the late Senator Jesse Helms, and the persistence of this deadly, utterly retrograde foreign aid policy, these survivors of war may have to bear their rapists’ children. Not that it’s being discussed much in American media.

Guttmacher has more.



One fine day at The Great Hall of Iraq Whoppers



Science for Sale

It was hard to fit all the relevant details into this cartoon, so I suggest reading this ThinkProgress article for background on the questionable Smithsonian exhibit, which reportedly presents a far too cheerful and uncomplicated view of the challenges posed to humanity by climate change.

An interactive game in the Koch Hall actually asks visitors to design a future human body adapted to “really hot” temperatures. “How do you think your body will evolve?” it asks. “Will you have a tall, narrow body like a giraffe? Or more sweat glands? Touch to choose the one you want.” This phrasing seems to imply that your own body is capable of magically transforming itself into a sweaty giraffe-person. This puts an awfully nice spin on the “death” part of natural selection. Moreover, dramatic temperature changes are predicted well before we’d be seeing those extra glands dominating the gene pool.

David Koch sits on the boards of both the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Laughable exhibits aside, our scientific institutions should avoid even the appearance of corruption by mega-polluting donors such as the Koch Brothers.

 



When your college degree is garbage: A comic by Jackie Roche

Undermployment-insomnia-600
I wanted to share a comic by Jackie Roche that I’m proud of having edited — it’s a beautifully-rendered look at the disappointments of graduating college only to find soul-crushing job prospects that utilize none of your skills. In Jackie’s case, that involved weighing garbage, among other things. Check it out.



Texas Takeover

For more info on the “Jade Helm 15″ set of conspiracy theories, this TPM article offers a nice rundown. Fears are so widespread that Wal-Mart literally just issued a statement denying involvement in a U.S. military invasion of Texas.

To think we could have had Wendy Davis as Governor instead of Greg Abbott… it is to weep.



To Protect and to Sever



Bikes and Cars

I’ve long been meaning to do a strip about the incompatibility of bikes and cars, and Earth Day week seemed as good a time as any. Besides, it was either this or making fun of the clown car that is the field of Republican presidential candidates, and I’m not quite up for that yet.

I dream of a dedicated bike path between me and the Post Office. I would do everything by bike if it didn’t involve competing with 5,000-pound missiles. Let’s not even get into what those missile operators are doing while they’re supposed to be watching the road. A friend told me he saw someone crocheting on the highway during stop-and-go traffic the other day.

My truck grille-drawing skills seem to have improved since I moved to Texas. Clearly there’s some R. Crumb influence creeping in here too. I named the truck in the last panel a Ford Glacier because we’re always naming giant vehicles after things we’re destroying (See also: the Tundra).




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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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