Fred Klonsky, the best under-published cartoonist on education issues:
Cartoonist Randall Munroe at XKCD demonstrates ice age issues.
Of course it was a cartoonist. Where else does one go to find the truth these days, but the cartoons?
Enric Sala wrote about our disappearing ice for the World Economic Forum — a post worth reading.
Twenty kilometres in 20 years. That’s how much the Ilulissat glacier has retreated as this mighty, flowing river of ice crumbles into the ocean. It sounds like a lot. But I did not fully realize what this meant until we flew over the Ilulissat icefjord. It takes 10 minutes for the helicopter to fly over the amount of ice that has been lost because of global warming – in this glacier alone.
The speed at which the glacier moves has doubled relative to that in 1998. My scientist brain, accustomed to working with numbers and large scales, had a hard time absorbing this information. If I was rationally aware of the consequences of global warming from scientific reports before, now I felt it emotionally. This is what my trip to Greenland with a group of World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders did to us. It made us move from knowing and caring to be desperate to do something about it.
The experience also made us realize that all the international negotiations and agreements to date are not going to help avert the imminent catastrophe. Not even the boldest targets to reduce carbon pollution put forward by the smartest nations are going to move the dial. It’s all an illusion of movement, kind of like Alice in Wonderland’s Red Queen, running and running but not going anywhere.
Truth on ice.
There is a difference, though. Ice thins, gets weaker, and covers less area. As that happens, as the planet warms, the density of denialists does not appear to decrease, at least not fast, and not toward greater understanding and less insanity.
Who was it who observed that Bugs Bunny is the guy we all hope we are, but Daffy Duck is the guy we fear we really are?
Bugs Bunny is 74 today, having debuted this day in 1940. Read more here, from last year’s commemoration.
Interesting tribute to old soldiers, quite touching — and thought provoking.
As with too much other good stuff on the internet, the attribution to the creator or creators has been stripped away in a thousand repostings.
Who created this image? Do they have other thought-provoking stuff we should know about?
This is the cartoon:
One of my old high school classmates, Shaun McCausland, ran for the U.S. Senate in Utah in 2012, on the Constitution Party ticket. Nice kid, I felt an obligation to pay attention to what he was trying to do, even with his running against my old boss, Orrin Hatch.
I was surprised to find in his campaign materials he e-mailed me, a call for the repeal of the 17th Amendment.
What? That’s the amendment that gives us direct election of U.S. senators, instead of letting the state legislatures select them. Why repeal?
Shaun sent along an explanation, from Constitution Party materials, as I recall, claiming that the 17th Amendment was a “power grab” by industry and other oligarchist groups, to take power from the states. It was a move towards corruption, the material explained.
Seriously? People think that today?
History takes a different view.
Prior to the 17th Amendment, state legislatures selected the U.S. senators. Big corporate interests — the monopolists — figured this out in spades, and proceeded to buy state legislatures, thereby getting the right to name their friends to the U.S. Senate, in the perfect picture of a corrupt bargain (the charge originally aimed at the supposed deal between John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster, in which it was alleged Webster got the House of Representatives to name Adams president, and Webster was in turn appointed Secretary of State, the president-in-waiting post of that day).
Look at the cartoon. You’ll see the fat “bosses” sitting around the back of the senate chamber labeled, “Copper Trust,” “Steel Trust,” “Oil Trust,” and so on.
Consider Montana, Utah and Arizona. In each of those states, huge copper mines were among the leading businesses. The domes of the Arizona and Utah capitol buildings are capped with copper, in honor of the leading role the ore and mineral played in early state history.
Who got elected to the state legislatures in those states? Copper company-approved and -supported candidates won.
So, who was elected to the U.S. Senate, by the state legislatures? Copper company-approved senators.
In 1913, when Arizona joined the union, one could make a case that copper controlled at least 6 senators out of 96.
And so it was for other trusts, in other states — or a mixture of trusts in some states. Think of the trusts of the time — the copper trust, the steel trust, the steel beam trust, the nail trust, the coal trust, and many others.
The rich guys ruled.
While this system technically violated no laws in those campaign-contribution-limit-free days, it clearly affected legislation. The Progressive Movement arose as a grassroots movement, from farmers and laborers, from downtrodden immigrants, from the prairies, mines and mills. When enough people got involved, they could out vote the trusts in a few things — but it still took more than a quarter century to change the election process for the U.S. Senate, to keep the corruption out.
Politics of the 1900 to 1920 were complex, and can be oversimplified easily. Running that risk, let us note that by the time Woodrow Wilson took over the White House, reformers were maneuvering to fix problems in lots of areas, sometimes with great overreaches like the 18th Amendment and Prohibition, but also with long-needed reforms, and reforms headed in the right direction but not strongly or fast enough, like the creation of the Federal Reserve.
The 17th Amendment was intended to get corruption out of the U.S. Senate, especially the senator selection process. Instead of leaving the selection in the hands of corporation-captive state legislatures, the 17th Amendment expanded democracy, making the selection of U.S. senators a choice of the people of the state, at the ballot box.
Keppler’s cartoon, originally published in Punch Magazine, tells the story in one panel. It shows the U.S. Senate — very astute historians may be able to pick out and identify particular senators — with the chief door labeled “Monopolists’ Entrance.” Coming through the door, and lining the back of the Senate, are the “Bosses of the Senate,” moneybags with legs, or in one case an oil barrel with legs, and with the name of the trust written across the front of their nattily-dressed girths.
The senators turn to their bosses, awaiting instruction.
Inscribed on the wall at the back of the chamber is a twisted rendition of Lincoln’s stirring description of the government intended by the Constitution: “This is the Senate of the Monopolists by the Monopolists and for the Monopolists!”
There is a door to the galleries of the Senate, labeled “The Peoples’ Entrance.” It is barred, bolted and nailed shut, keeping out the American people.
Keppler’s cartoon was published January 23, 1889. Earlier reform attempts failed, in 1828, 1829 and 1855. Progressives including William Jennings Bryan, George Frisbie Hoar and Elihu Root pushed for reform in the 1890s. By 1910, some 31 states had passed resolutions asking for reform; some of them initiated direct primary elections, though that didn’t generally affect the selections by the legislatures. Partly to avoid a states-led convention to amend the Constitution, which could easily run rogue, critics feared, Congress took up the issue. Congress passed the amendment, submitting it to the states on May 13, 1912. By April 18, 1913, three-fourths of the states had ratified the proposal, and it was declared the 17th Amendment. Ironically, by that time Bryan had assumed the office of Secretary of State, and it fell to him to proclaim the amendment adopted on May 31, 2013.
The fat cats lost.
Please remember that.
- Somehow, National Review in its drive to be arch-conservative on everything, comes out in FAVOR of killing the 17th Amendment
- Slate, “Why the Conservative movement to repeal the 17th Amendment makes no sense” (No surprise: Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz wants the corruption back)
- Charles Pierce at Esquire, noting the rise of the 17th Amendment issue in Texas politics, “Everyone’s trying to out-crazy each other in the Texas Primaries”
Another cartoon, by Spencer, for the Omaha (Nebraska) World, poking fun at the time required to get the 17th Amendment; from the U.S. National Archives, collected by Robert C. Byrd, Senate Majority Leader:
Cartoon from Tom Toles at the Washington Post, April 2, 2014:
Why you need to know a little history to get good jokes:
Yogi Berra is famous for his sayings, some of which sound foolish at first, but which generally pack a lot of wisdom or sharp observation.
Berra grew up in St. Louis, which has many famous restaurants. On some occasion, someone suggested the group should go eat at Ruggeri’s, and Yogi’s reply became famous:
On why he no longer went to Ruggeri’s, a St. Louis restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
How do Labor and Capital differ? They differ in two key ways: First, in the burden they carry; and second, in the way they carry that burden.
Illustrations from a book I would definitely like: Monash University Publishing, Drawing the Line, Chapter 6. ‘All the World Over’ The Transnational World of Australian Radical and Labour Cartoonists:
This view of Capital and Labor was not unique to the anonymous source; from the same year:
Capitalists appear to have all eaten well, well enough in the eye of the public that a fat man with a vest was quick, cartoonist shorthand for “capitalist.” If it did not apply in every case — see John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and the younger Cornelius Vanderbilt, for example — it applied often enough that “the fat guy” was instantly recognized as the capitalist, the factory owner, the boss.
Click over to that Monash University site; there are a score of great cartoons in that one chapter.