Blogging4change

 

Congressional shooting and legislative inaction

First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Scalise and his family, and with all the other victims of this senseless ongoing saga of gun violence in our country. It has been often noted that we solve our problems with the ballot, not the bullet, but increasingly it seems that the sheer availability and accessibility of guns make them a go-to-solution for disgruntled employees, domestic abusers and lone gunman terrorists. America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of its peer nations. Thank God that not more people or children were hurt in this incident.

And while our Congressional Representatives were right to stand in unity and not let this deranged radical with a history of violence get his way, it seems that they need to stand together to pass common sense legislation about GUNS. Virginia has some very gun-friendly laws on the books, so having a guy walk around a neighborhood with a rifle would not normally be a cause for concern.

Gun violence is distinctly an American problem. We need to address this issue so that going to the movies, a baseball game or even to work should not become a matter of life or death.


 

James Comey and the Conservative Filter

My biggest takeaway after watching 14 hours of James Comey’s Testimony and political talking heads interpreting what happened was not only how Trumps surrogates tried to spin the day, but how actual Trump voters viewed the news. I know how people interpret politics through their own filter, and how I’m supposed to understand and not judge their views. But man, talk about losing faith in your fellow Americans... Also, and not relevant in this cartoon, John McCain’s senior moment at the hearings was just embarrassing.


 

2017 – A New Era of Doublespeak and Low Expectations

I’d like to say that I was holding off on any Trump-inspired art for something really good, but in all honesty, I couldn’t keep up. Every time when some new story would hit the morning news, by 6:00pm there would be another outrageous incident, tweet, etc. I can’t draw that fast. Seriously. I sketch out my work and then bring it into the computer, play with lines, colors, add type — I’m not one of the pros who has political figures memorized and can sketch them to perfection in one shot.
But after the Presidential Address Tuesday evening, I was blown away on how many people were impressed that he didn’t run off the rails, yell at Democrats, or directly insult anyone in the room. And all the pundits who must be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome by now were actually giving the man credit for remaining calm and composed for an hour.

But didn’t they listen to what he actually said? There were the much-needed rejections of some of the hate crimes being perpetrated against Jews, and some Presidential comments about being one people, who all bleed the same blood… But in-between all that, there was the constant fear of “the other” — illegals, Mexicans, Muslims, all whom are after your job, your wives, your money, your lives. I nearly did a spit-take when he announced the “VOICE” group for victims of crimes by illegal immigrants — really?  Like, crimes by regular average redneck hatemongers don’t deserve a victim’s group? Maybe focusing your efforts on the GUNS being used would prevent said crimes. And that remark about protecting our air and water on the very same day that he moved to gut EPA provisions from the Obama years?

Anyhow, I managed to kick out one of the fastest cartoons I have ever done during my lunch break, with some retouches and sizing once I got home. Odd, how the way I drew Donald from a photo online, very much resembles the Pepe the Frog meme… perhaps he’s morphing into him.


 

2016 Election Art Edition

Wow. That was a kick in the gut. I was literally sick the next day. I bought into the whole narrative from day one. I was certain his candidacy was a joke and he would never win the nomination. That he would never win the election. Part of that was due to the polling that showed no clear path to the Presidency. Partly it was due to the fact that no one "serious" took this guy seriously. And it was, in part, due to after the progress of the past 8 years, with Obama's popularity at an all time high, how could we take such a massive step backwards? I was preparing to celebrate a the election of our first female President.

Boy was I wrong. Myself, most of the country, and most of the world.

This happened once before, when Dubya was elected to a second term. I was sure American were smart enough to see past all the slander and lies and get rid of someone who had messed up so badly. I went to bed nervous, but certain that America would not let me down. The next morning I had a similar case of nausea.

I said it then and I'll say it now, for all the patriotic talk about how great America is and how we pull together, the reality is Americans as ill-informed, selfish, and narrow-minded when it comes to voting. They focus on a particular aspect of a candidate, and inevitably wind up voting against their own interests. This has been documented many times over the past 15 years, most notably in Thomas Frank's book "What's the Matter With Kansas?". Add in healthy heaps of racism, sexism, misogyny, and Fox News, and you have an electorate that can elect the kind of political figure we only hear about in other parts of the world. The kind we look at and say, "how could they elect that guy?" Now the world looks to us and says the same thing.

Just to clarify, I'm not accusing all Trump voters of racism. I know there are many out there who could never vote for Sec. Clinton for many reasons, some valid, some not. But I am saying that Trump's election has no doubt emboldened those with racist tendencies. One only look to all the news reports of hate crimes and ne0-Nazi propaganda on the rise to see the evidence. To quote the wisom of "The Simpsons", "...Not racist, but #1 with racists!"

So my first cartoon to tackle this conundrum is a nod to Hillary's loss, without showing her, while incorporating Trump's business side, and the racism that helped elect him.

Links

The following are links to similar political art websites who have inspired me or have discovered while trying to promote my work. These artists are amazing, so if possible buy and support their work.

AdBusters Culture Jammers Headquarters — The original culture jam!

The Arab-American Comedy Festival — Humor: the great equalizer!

Drinking Liberally — Okay, not artists per say, but everyone needs to vent and toss back a few every now and the. Always better to do it with like-minded individuals!

Freeway Blogger.com — A brilliant exercise in free speech. Use it or lose it!

Illegal Art.org — Collection of works that have been censored or just plain shut down due to their content.

John Langdon — A truly great typographer and designer.

Liberation Graphics — Some revealing and startling images from the Middle East.

Mark Fiore Animated Political Cartoons — Because what is life without humor?

Reach and Teach.com — An educational site that deals in products and programs that promote civil rights; featuring the brilliant CIVIO card game!

Save the Internet — Keep the Internet free and open, away from corporate greed and government restrictions!




The following links are to several Anti-Discrimination sites. The more we learn and understand about each other, the less likely we are to hate. These organizations need your support, both public and financial. Stand up and be counted!

The Arab American Institute — The organization started by James Zogby.

American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee — Working overtime against the discrimination of Arabs and non-Arabs in the US

Anti-Defamation League — Because fighting hate means fighting ALL hate.

Jewish Voices for Peace — It's all about peace and equal justice.

The Southern Poverty Law Center — One of the all-time greats; never get as much press as they should.

The Moratorium Campaign — To stop the execution of innocents on death row, and repair a broken legal system.