Monthly Archives: May 2015

Urgent Government Recalls

Urgent Government RecallsThe massive recall of cars with exploding airbags got me thinking about other things that are deadly and/or dangerous either by design or neglect.

The recall of the Patriot Act, or at least the sunset of its most pernicious sections, looks like it could really happen, thanks to Mitch McConnell being incredibly bad at Majority Leading the Senate. Unfortunately, everything else in this cartoon will probably be injuring/maiming/killing innocent people for years to come.

Read the comic at The New York Times.

A Marathon of Appeals

A Marathon of AppealsThe younger Boston Marathon bomber was sentenced to death on Friday. There will be victim impact statements this week, and then the appeals process begins which will drag on until I am old.

I don’t support the death penalty, even for shitty humans like Tsarnaev, and the majority of my neighbors agree. He was tried in Federal court, which sought the death penalty, so only jurors who were open to the idea (or “death qualified” in terrifying legal parlance) of state-sponsored murder were allowed to serve. Those jurors had a terrible job, and I’m sure they performed commendably, but their selection was not representative of the community.

The Richard family, who lost their young son and so much more in the bombing, publicly opposed a death sentence in a moving essay in the Boston Globe. It makes arguments in favor of the death penalty look like nothing more than petty vengeance.

Read the comic at The Nib.

America’s Rapidly Rising Faiths

Rapidly Rising FaithsA Pew survey came out last week showing that the ranks of Christians are declining in America, while the unaffiliated and other faiths are growing. Of course Christianity will remain a super-majority in the U.S. for decades to come, but it offers some hope that in the distant future, the religious right might lose their grip on national politics. Maybe.

Read the comic at the New York Times.

Reality-Based Conspiracies

Reality-Based ConspiraciesThe Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory is a doozy. If you’ve managed to escape the insanity, Jen Sorensen has a great overview.

I’m fascinated with conspiracy theories the same way I’m interested in cryptids. I know they’re garbage, but it’s still fun to see the mental gymnastics the true-believers do to bend the facts to their will. Or maybe they’re all true and my dismissiveness is just proof that I’ve been brainwashed by the lizard people.

Read the comic at the New York Times.

Cryptids on the Campaign Trail

Cryptids on the Campaign TrailUgh, this election. Everyone’s entering the race and they are terrible. At least Bernie Sanders seems cool enough to make the Democratic primaries somewhat watchable.

I’m more interested in cryptozoology. It’s trash, but fascinating trash. One cryptid I wanted to include was the Pukwudgie, which was said to roam the swamps near where I grew up, but his PR team is shit and nobody outside of southeastern Mass has heard of him.

Read the comic at The Nib.

A Tale of Two Baltimores

A Tale of Two BaltimoresFollowing the murder of Freddie Gray, Baltimore erupted into protests and the national media came running. Burning police cars and riot squads storming the streets are much better for ratings than lengthy explanations of the physical and economic violence that has been inflicted on its citizens for decades.

I’m not going to pretend to have a deep understanding of Baltimore’s problems. I was a white kid at Johns Hopkins, living relatively close to the tony neighborhoods surrounding its Homewood campus, but my years there gave me more empathy for its residents than the Baltimore City Police seem to have for them.

Read the comic at The New York Times.