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This monument to Nelson Mandela is by Marco Cianfanelli.

Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning for 2013

CCRI announcement

Mr. Joel Pett, President of the Board of Directors of the Cartoonists Rights Network International announces that the recipient of the Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning for 2013 is Syrian cartoonist Akram Raslan.

Mr. Raslan was arrested by Syrian authorities at the offices of his newspaper, Al-Fida in the city of Hama, Syria approximately 6 months ago.  He has been held incommunicado since then.  A reliable source reports that he has been tortured and abused, deprived of any legal counsel, and is now to be put on trial in a special court that has been created for enemies of the state.

CRNI gives Akram Aslan our annual Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning in recognition of his extraordinary courage in confronting the forces of violence with cartoons that told only the truth.

The cartoonists are coming!  The cartoonists are coming to my town!  

AAEC 2013 Convention  The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists

Pat Bagley: Editorial Cartoonists Convention On his process, the convention and cartooning in Utah

City Weekly; Rachel Piper

Brace for scrutiny, Salt Lakers: The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists is holding its 2013 convention here at the end of the month (June 27-29,

You’ve been on hiatus from your daily cartoon in preparation for the conference. Is it odd?

I was listening to the radio on the way over, and I heard something about Nelson Mandela. And I was thinking, “If he dies, and I’m not there to do a cartoon about it, that would be bad.” There are things that could bring me to do another cartoon.

What’s your process for generating a cartoon every day since 1979?

As you go through life, you stash away information-whatever you read, whatever you watch on television, what you see in the movies, it’s just more material that goes in your attic. The messier your attic is, the more material you’ve got to go through. You think about this and that, and you can maybe make some odd connections. But it’s hard to say what makes that connection. All I can say is, expose yourself to a lot of stuff, intellectually. I like history, and I read a lot, and I think that helps.

I do it all kinds of ways. Sometimes I just want to draw a dinosaur that day, and I’ll doodle until I come up with a caption.

Has there ever been a day when you’re just like, “I got nothin.”?

Oh God, yeah. It’s only happened four times in the 30, 40 years I’ve been there. You can always do a bad cartoon.


It’s not easy being a woman in protest

Hurriyet Daily News; Emrah GÜLER

Erdoğan has repeatedly encouraged and blatantly asked women to have three children, his attempts to pass restrictions on abortion were a major topic in one of his speeches in the midst of the protests.

Violence against women has multiplied during the AKP government, with a Cabinet boasting all men but one. Ironically, it was Erdoğan who had promised a lift on banning women from wearing headscarves at universities and government agencies. So it was no surprise to hear him talk about his “headscarved sisters,” who were apparently harassed by the protesters, during many of his speeches since the escalation of the protests.

While the pictures emerging from Gezi Park, and other cities where there were protests, showed pictures of many proud young women with headscarves, the rumor mill in social media hinted at harassments aimed at headscarved women, one especially chilling. Once again, women were at the forefront to pay a price when many blamed the woman for fabricating the story, disregarding a woman’s right to privacy in the face of harassment. Women writers and bloggers came to her rescue, urging some of the protesters not to further harass a woman just to back their ideologies. Fighting for freedoms seems to be harder for women, whether headscarved or in bikini.

Because all of our political and protest news should be in “Sub Categories: » HOMEPAGE / ARTS-CULTURE/ EXHIBITIONS”

Gunmen kill nine foreign tourists and their guide in Nanga Parbat; Agencies | Zahir Shah Sherazi

Gunmen dressed as paramilitary police killed nine foreign tourists in an unprecedented attack in the Himalayas of Nanga Parbat on Sunday, in a security failure bound to embarrass the new government just weeks after it took office.

The bodies of the victims were shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) in Islamabad for post portem and other legal formalities.

The night-time raid – which killed five Ukrainians, three Chinese and a Russian – was among the worst attacks on foreigners in Pakistan in a decade.

One of the victims also held a US passport, a US official said, without giving further details.

The deaths of the Chinese are a particular blow for Pakistan, which hosted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last month in a bid to boost trade ties with the Asian giant via their shared border in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Punishing the Needy: Russian NGO Law Hurts Nazi Victims

Der Spiegel; Matthias Schepp

Expansion of ‘Foreign Agents’ Law

Today, Sashina’s interactions with Germans are much more positive. Some 700 Volgograd residents who either survived concentration camps or were shipped to Germany during the war to serve as forced laborers, continue to benefit from an aid program set up as part of Volgograd’s partnership with the German city of Cologne.

The project aims to foster reconciliation between Russians and Germans, who fought against each other in two world wars. It pays for six social workers, a consulting physician and a full-time assistant. “Suddenly we’re all supposedly foreign agents,” says Irina, one of the social workers. “And that’s just because the Germans donate money for us.”

Last summer, the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament, passed a law forcing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that are politically active and receive funding from abroad to register themselves as “foreign agents.” The term “agent” was consciously chosen for the way it can mean not only authorized proxy, but also spy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has used the law to criminalize opposition elements outside of parliament and to depict America and the West as enemies of Russia.

Putin and his political apparatus originally pushed through the NGO law to undermine those of his government’s opponents who received funding from abroad. But now, the law is seeing extensive use even against non-political organizations, such as against the “Angler and Hunter Club” in Yaroslavl, a major city some 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Moscow. This expansion has also come to threaten the broad network of German-Russian partnerships that have sprung up since the end of the Cold War, such as the Cologne-Volgograd project.

Irish-bred sheepdog ‘Bob’ is auctioned at a record-breaking €11,000


The top bid was taken over the phone from a buyer who wanted to remain anonymous, although it is believed the dog is now destined for a new life in the United States.

Bob was bred in Ireland by Ivan Stevenson from Broughshane, Ballymena, Co Antrim. Bob is by Ivan’s own dog Jim. Ivan described the sire as “my best dog ever”.

Mr Stevenson is a renowned breeder of dogs, as well as a successful trials competitor, having been a member of the Irish team on five occasions.

No let up in pilgrims’s spirit, over 1,500 from Surat to go for Amarnath Yatra this year

No pilgrim from the city for the ‘Baba Amarnath Yatra’ that begins from June 28 has cancelled the tour out of fear subsequent to nature’s fury in the hill state of Uttarakhand, which has left several hundred pilgrims on the ‘Chardham yatra’ dead.

Private tour operators have been taking thousands of people from Surat every year on the ‘Chardham and Amarnath yatras.’ It is estimated that of the 10,000 pilgrims, who go on ‘Amarnath Yatra’ from Gujarat every year, about 2,000 are from Surat.

There is extensive coverage at Times of India on these catastrophic floods.  

Palm oil makers take aim at global ‘smear campaign’

Mail & Guardian; Christophe Koffi

Countering their increasingly vocal critics was the main aim of producers attending the first African Palm Oil Congress, hosted by Côte d’Ivoire’s government in the economic capital Abidjan last week.

“For some time, the aggressive attacks against palm oil have been multiplying and they are degrading [the sector’s] image,” Christophe Koreki, president of the Interprofessional Palm Oil Association (AIPH) told delegates.

“The smear campaign accuses palm oil of destroying the environment or causing cardiovascular disease,” he said.

Fires currently burning in Indonesia, that have cloaked Singapore in record levels of smog, have brought more negative publicity for the big palm oil companies-Indonesian, Singaporean and Malaysian-which deforest vast swathes of Sumatra.

The companies have been accused of starting fires to clear land through the practice of slash-and-burn, which is illegal but still frequently used because it is the quickest and cheapest way of preparing land for plantations.

Aust makes final bid to stop Japan whaling

The Australian; AAP

FEDERAL Attorney General Mark Dreyfus will head a last-ditch attempt by Australia to halt Japanese whaling in front of the International Court of Justice next week.

The hearings, set down for three weeks from June 26, mark the final stage of proceedings initiated by Australia in 2010.

Mr Dreyfus will go to The Hague to put Australia’s case forward in the last week of the hearings.

“Australia’s view on commercial whaling are well known,” he told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

“We want commercial whaling to stop and that includes the so-called scientific whaling program that Japan has been carrying on for many years.”

It always seems strange that it should be so hard to stop bad behavior.  

I saw a tweet about something in Bulgaria – protests of some kind.  Also in Egypt, there was a Salafi attack on a Shia minority, but I don’t have anything in English.  Oh, and the Greek government is less stable – I wonder how long the austerity cult will press down on that country.  


Medicaid-paid abortions need governor’s OK

Des Moines Register; Jason Noble

Gov. Terry Branstad will sign one of the most significant bills of the year into law during a ceremony Thursday morning in Mason City, extending government-paid health care to tens of thousands of Iowans and earmarking $1.7 billion for the state’s various social service programs.

But tucked in on page 33 of the 214-page bill is a social-issue hot button for Branstad himself to press – a new provision giving the governor final say on whether the state will fund medically necessary abortions for poor women.

The measure makes the entire $1.1 billion state appropriation for Medicaid, the low-income health care program, contingent on “approval from the office of the governor of reimbursement for each abortion performed under the program.”

The language represents a political compromise, meant to win support from socially conservative Republicans for a bill containing a huge chunk of the state’s annual expenditures and permanently expanding its role in providing health care.

But the extent of its practical effects remains unclear.

You may need a subscription for the full article, DMR allows 10 free views a month.  

Note carefully that Terry Branstad is not approving each and every abortion for a woman on Medicaid.  He is approving bean-counting transfers after the procedure is done.  This fact is apparently hard to see.  

Why Republicans are waging war on food stamps

The Grio; James Braxton Peterson

Yesterday’s overwhelming vote against the Farm Bill signals something more sinister than our dysfunctional government, inept leadership in the house or even the ways in which unelected lobbyists control the entire congress itself.  The legislation’s defeat signals the triumph of inequality and class stratification in modern America.

Some have said the bill deserved to die mostly because of misdirected crop insurance and conservation programs, and, of course, the two billion dollars in cuts to the Food Stamp program now commonly known as SNAP.

Still, many Democrats were willing to stomach these cuts  – which would have affected some two million food-insecure Americans – until Rep. Steve Southerland successfully attached an amendment featuring a state-controlled work requirement for SNAP benefits just before the bill went to the floor.

Millionaires making policy for the rest of us

Also worth noting here is that for some 60 plus Republicans, who also did not vote for the bill – Paul Ryan amongst them – these SNAP cuts were not deep enough to garner their support.

The irony of publicly-elected millionaires controlled by lobbyists who represent billionaire corporate interests voting to underfund the single most effective government program at addressing hunger and poverty in this nation is nothing short of disgusting.

This is opinion.  

Veteran works to preserve his Blackfeet language and land

Montana Public Radio; Sally Mauk

The solace offered by open spaces and beautiful landscapes is part of what prompted the formation in 2009 of a Portland-based nonprofit organization known as the Vet Voice Foundation.

Marine veteran and University of Montana student Jesse DesRosier  is a member of the group, and was in Washington, D.C. recently to lobby for land preservation. In this feature interview, he talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the foundation, and about his own journey from growing up Blackfeet in Browning, to serving his country.

There is an audio file at the link.  

In new immigration deal, a big favor for Alaska

Washington Examiner; Byron York

The bill uses a system of categorizing jobs by skill level. A Zone 1 occupation, like a dishwasher or a waitress, requires no special preparation. A Zone 2 occupation, like a clerk, requires more preparation, usually including a high school degree. A Zone 3 occupation is more skilled. And so it goes through a Zone 5 occupation, like a doctor or a lawyer, that requires extensive preparation.

If a particular occupation in a particular area is designated a “shortage occupation,” then firms employing those workers will be allowed to bring in more low-wage guest workers from overseas. That is where Alaska comes in. The Hoeven-Corker amendment says the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research must “devise a methodology…to designate shortage occupations in zone 1 occupations, zone 2 occupations, and zone 3 occupations.” And then it adds, pretty much out of nowhere: “Such methodology must designate Alaskan seafood processing in zones 1, 2, and 3 as shortage occupations.” The next paragraph reiterates: “Alaskan seafood processing in zones 1, 2, and 3 must be designated as shortage occupations.”


Orem council puts Sunday beer sale vote on ice

Genelle Pugmire – Orem Daily Herald

Lorie Bolton runs the Hitching Post restaurant on Center Street and Geneva Road. She is open on Sundays and she sells beer. Like other restaurants in Orem, they sell beer on Sundays because the state says they can. However, because of a point of confusion in the law and rumors she heard, Bolton paid $200 to petition the city council to amend the city’s on-premise beer ordinance. Typically a simple process.

When Sunday beer sales came up on the city council agenda for Tuesday, Bolton and others thought it would be a no-brainer. However, after some discussion, council members put the beer question on ice until Nov. 13 hoping to get more input — including seeking input from the LDS Church.

“I’m the one that filed and paid the application fee of $200 to have the ordinance changed,” Bolton said. “I’m open on Sundays but I see my customers drive to Pleasant Grove or Provo to buy beer. It doesn’t make sense.”

Councilman Hans Andersen also wanted to know the LDS Church’s stance. In the study session earlier that day he said he had contacted the church’s public relations department to ask whether the church had ever put out a formal statement on Sunday beer sales. It has not.

I bolded the silly part for you.  H/t to my favorite conservative libertarian on twitter, @cboyack.  

Utah now screening infants for “boy in the bubble” syndrome

Salt Lake Tribune; Kristen Stewart

Starting on July 1, however, every newborn in Utah will be screened for SCID, leaving less to chance and allowing doctors to catch the disease earlier – when treatment is more likely to work.

Utah was the 13th state to add the rare, genetic disease to its newborn “heel prick” test, alongside 37 other debilitating and lethal disorders, such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease.

Two other states are doing partial SCID screening and another 14 have passed legislation to start testing, said Harper Randall, a pediatrician and medical director at the Utah Department of Health who oversees the state’s newborn-screening program.

My very fuzzy recollection is that this heel-stick screening was not done at the hospital, but at the 5-day checkup at the regular pediatrician.  This is how doctors and parents can catch big problems early when they can be easier to deal with.  

The LDS church is making a major announcement about missionary work this afternoon.  It seems to involves less door-to-door work by 2-year missionaries, and more online work by regular members.  It’s only on twitter right now.  


From One Youngest-Of-Eleven To Another  You may need a hanky.  Or tissue.  

Cross-posted to the orange


  1. jlms qkw

    appealed to me last night and today.  


    also, i can now knit socks and i am pretty chuffed.  

  2. “approval from the office of the governor of reimbursement for each abortion performed under the program.”

    I know you are saying that it is simply a “beancounting” (after the fact) transfer of funds, but that sort of language should send shivers down the spine of every woman.

    What doctor will terminate the pregnancy of a Medicaid patient if they may be denied payment? I am not sure that this is only beancounting.

    The party that decries death panels and government intervention into health care wants to give one man the say-so over a single type of medical procedure.

  3. Boehner’s House Implodes

    The roof fell in on John Boehner’s House of Representatives last week. The Republican leadership’s humiliating defeat on a deeply flawed and inhumane farm bill was as clear a lesson as we’ll get about the real causes of dysfunction in the nation’s capital.

    Our ability to govern ourselves is being brought low by a witches’ brew of right-wing ideology, a shockingly cruel attitude toward the poor on the part of the Republican majority, and the speaker’s incoherence when it comes to his need for Democratic votes to pass bills.

    Dionne reminds us of the roots of the SNAP program:

    The current form of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is, in large part, the product of an unlikely alliance between former Sens. Bob Dole and George McGovern in the 1970s. They were far apart ideologically, but both were horrified that too many Americans were going without nourishment. Food stamps have been an enormous success in curbing hunger in our rich nation, while also serving as a powerful stimulus to economic recovery during hard times.

    Those kind of Republicans simply don’t exist anymore.

    Dionne leaves us with these words: “There is something profoundly wrong when a legislative majority is so eager to risk leaving so many Americans hungry.”

  4. The US Air Force now has the highest ranking out officer in the country’s military.

    In a late May ceremony, Patricia ‘Trish’ Rose was promoted to major general. The proceedings were

    led by her direct supervisor, General Janet Wolfenbarger, the first female four-star general in the Air Force.

    Also in attendance was Major General Rose’s wife, retired Naval officer Julie Roth.

    After the Friday retirement of Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, Eric Fanning became the civilian head of the Air Force, making him the highest-ranking out LGBT person in the Department of Defense.

    Fanning was confirmed as the undersecretary of the Air Force in April, and will serve as Acting Secretary until a replacement is nominated by Obama and confirmed by the Senate.

    According to the Air Force Times, Fanning served as deputy under secretary of the Navy and deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism before becoming under secretary of the Air Force.

    He also let me know the Koch Brothers are planning a new nitrogen plant in Enid, OK. Wish I could find the link to that. The fresh water usage required for the plant is astonishing.

    I’m glad he’s paying attention to these issues.  

  5. for not passing the farm bill. (Morning Joe today.) I read that to Jim and he said, “Who’s in charge?? Who has the majority?”

    “No one,” I said. That’s the problem. There are 3 parties, not 2. And none has the majority.  

  6. IRS chief: Inappropriate screening was broad

    An internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press said that besides ”tea party,” lists used by screeners to pick groups for close examination also included the terms ”Israel,” ”Progressive” and ”Occupy.” The document said an investigation into why specific terms were included was still underway.

    In a conference call with reporters, Danny Werfel said that after becoming acting IRS chief last month, he discovered wide-ranging and improper terms on the lists and said screeners were still using them. He did not specify what terms were on the lists, but said he suspended the use of all such lists immediately.

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