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David Horsey says…


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« on: April 26, 2020, 01:55:26 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

The contagion of conspiracy theories

For some Americans, conspiracy theories explain the world better than facts.

By DAVID HORSEY | 11:46AM PDT — Tuesday, April 21, 2020



IT IS NOT a new phenomenon in human history that a significant number of people choose to believe wild fantasies over straight facts. For some, it seems the wilder the theory the more readily it is believed.

There are a number of psychological and cultural explanations for this, but a big reason for this rejection of rationality is that some events are just so monumental that it is hard to accept that they came about by chance or through simple, natural causes. From the JFK assassination to 9/11, conspiracy mongers on both the right and left have filled books, blogs and gullible minds with elaborate, dark fantasies about what really happened.

The novel coronavirus pandemic is no different. It has been variously called a media hoax, a Chinese plot and a Democratic Party scheme to wreck President Donald Trump's re-election chances — memes that have been seized upon, not only by fervent supporters of the president, but by the president himself.

The truth is so much simpler: Viruses happen, so be prepared.


__________________________________________________________________________

• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/the-contagion-of-conspiracy-theories
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2020, 01:56:30 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Extra! Extra! Democracy needs us.

If the free press is allowed to die, democracy will soon follow.

By DAVID HORSEY | 9:13AM PDT — Friday, April 24, 2020



IT CAN feel a little awkward for a person like me who works for a newspaper to plead the case for saving newspapers. Working for a newspaper and a newspaper syndicate is, after all, how I pay my bills. But it is not just me and my compatriots in the press who have an interest in keeping the newspaper industry alive; it is anyone who cares about preserving a free and democratic society.

Sure, there is plenty of anger directed at the media these days, but when most of those upset people are picturing the media, it is commentators on cable news or national political reporters who are a thorn in the side to certain politicians that they have in mind. They are usually not thinking about local newspapers; and that is where a calamity looms that will harm everyone, no matter their political beliefs.

Local newspapers, from small weeklies in rural areas to metro dailies in our bigger cities, are American citizens' primary source of information about state and local government, schools, crime, sports, the arts, neighborhoods, local businesses and just about everything else in public life. When they do their jobs right, local journalists keep politicians honest, warn about scams and con men, celebrate local heroes and give a voice to people who are mistreated or cheated or defeated by powers bigger than themselves.

That indispensable resource is rapidly going away. Since 2004, as many as 2,100 local newspapers have gone out of business. Many more have been taken over by corporate entities who don't give a damn about good journalism or individual communities and just want to squeeze the last drop of profit out of withering newsrooms. Much of the country has become a news desert where citizens are either under-served by the remnants of once thriving news operations or are not served at all.

Small towns have been hit especially hard, but it is not just those communities that are going without news. Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. recently cited the example of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a once proud newspaper, that has now been reduced to covering a metro area of 2 million people with just four reporters.

So far, Seattle has done better than most cities, thanks to dedicated local ownership that cares more about quality journalism than cutting to the bone to pump up profits. But even The Seattle Times, in one of the richest cities in the country, cannot avoid debilitating reductions somewhere down the line if things continue as they are. There are many good ideas for changing the economic equation for newspapers. The first thing that might help a great deal, though, is for the citizens and the civic leaders of this region — and every region in America — to understand the utter necessity of preserving and resurrecting independent, local news organizations.

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, and it was no accident that the founders of this country put that guarantee first. They understood there is no possibility of a free nation without a free press.


__________________________________________________________________________

• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/extra-extra-democracy-needs-us
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2020, 01:57:43 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Armed and ignorant

In the face of a pandemic, anti-government protesters want
to trust luck, not Washington State Governor Jay Inslee.


By DAVID HORSEY | 11:43AM PDT — Friday, April 24, 2020



URGED ON by the florid rhetoric they were hearing on right-wing media, more than 2,000 flag-waving, gun-toting, sign-carrying protesters gathered in front of the state Capitol building in Olympia on Sunday, April 19, to declare that Governor Jay Inslee's pandemic-fighting stay-at-home order is an intolerable violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Like similar small groups of demonstrators at several other state capitals across the country, the rebellious folks who gathered in Olympia resent being told to stay home from work, to avoid crowds, to skip church and temporarily refrain from activities that might expose them and the people around them to the novel coronavirus. Among the agitators were three Republican legislators, one of whom — Robert Sutherland of Granite Falls — had a sharp warning for Inslee.

“Governor, you send men with guns after us when we go fishing, we'll see what a revolution looks like,” Sutherland said. “You send your goons with guns, we will defend ourselves,”

It is not clear about which goons Sutherland was talking. The only guys with guns who answer to the governor are the fine men and women of the Washington State Patrol. It is more than a little startling to hear a state legislator refer to state patrolmen as goons, but such is the rhetorical style of those who glean their version of reality from the rants of Alex Jones, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

Agree with them or not, anyone who caught a view of the demonstrators on TV had to wonder about one thing: In that packed crowd of angry people, was there at least one asymptomatic carrier of the deadly virus? And, if so, how many in that crowd would end up sickened or worse? Perhaps they will all be lucky and dodge that particular bullet, but trusting to luck is a dangerous way to deal with a killer disease, though that seems to be exactly what the demonstrators would have us all do.


__________________________________________________________________________

• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/armed-and-ignorant
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2020, 01:59:28 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Gates versus the goon squad

Bill Gates is the victim of right-wing conspiracy theories and human stupidity.

By DAVID HORSEY | 2:23PM PDT — Friday, April 24, 2020



IN THE real world, Bill Gates is the scion of a prominent Seattle family who, as a very young man, led the computer revolution by founding Microsoft, thereby becoming the richest person on Earth, and who, in his later life, has chosen to be one of the planet's leading philanthropists by spending his fortune trying to eradicate menacing diseases across the globe. In the darker universe of the internet, though, Bill Gates is something entirely different: the venal creator of a pandemic.

Utterly absurd and totally fake conspiracy theories about Gates are being spewed from right-wing web sites and fringe media, such as QAnon and Infowars, and are being given credence by conservative provocateurs, such as President Donald Trump's felonious henchman, Roger Stone, and FOX News rabble rouser Laura Ingraham. There are several variations on the theme, but the gist is that Gates cooked up the virus and loosed it on the world so that he could make a gazillion dollars marketing a vaccine and set up an oppressive surveillance system to track everyone on the planet.

It is totally nuts. Can anyone believe that a guy with so much money that he has to work hard to give it away would want to pad his wealth by secretly committing global genocide? It defies the most basic rational thought. And, yet, millions of people are flocking to Internet sites that sell this lunacy and to right-wing media sources that say it just might — might — be true.

Humans have believed myths and fairy tales since the dawn of civilization. For most of that time, it may have been excusable since serious science was unobtainable and access to broader knowledge was a privilege available only to an elite few. We do not have that excuse anymore. We have scientists who can tell us where viruses come from. We have a free press to investigate facts. And we have the internet, which makes knowledge open to anyone with access to a computer. Unfortunately, millions of people continue to think like primitives and use that technology to create and chase after scary stories and heinous legends instead of the truth.


__________________________________________________________________________

• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/gates-vs-the-goon-squad
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2020, 12:47:53 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

No crowning achievements

Trump is no tyrant, just a big-talking incompetent.

By DAVID HORSEY | 11:30AM PDT — Friday, May 01, 2020



LIBERALS who have long been freaking out about President Donald Trump's authoritarian rhetoric should relax. Trump really doesn't want to be king; he just wants to play one on TV.

The current global crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed Trump at his most bombastic and most feeble. One the one hand, he has loudly asserted that as president he has “total authority” and can order state governors to do his bidding and even shut down Congress if he is so inclined. On the other hand, he has run away from making the hard choices a capable leader must make, leaving it to governors and mayors to create their own plans to get safety gear to hospitals and organize the kind of comprehensive testing program that is imperative before the economy can be revived. He is all talk and no action.

The good news, if there is any, is that Trump is a fake tyrant. The bad news is that he is also a fake president who shuns the difficult duties of his job.


__________________________________________________________________________

• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/no-crowning-achievements
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2020, 01:16:32 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

You can't make this stuff up, folks

Trump is pushing the limits of political satire.

By DAVID HORSEY | 11:37AM PDT — Friday, May 01, 2020



SINCE first becoming a contender for the presidency in 2015, President Donald Trump has been a gushing fount of inspiration for political cartoonists, late-night TV hosts and the entire comedy industry. His bizarre public pronouncements; his toxic-tweet flurries; his malevolent, mendacious persona; and his coterie of sycophants, mediocrities and right-wing weirdos provide so much material for satire that people assume this is a golden age for those of us who make a living making fun of the powers that be.

The truth, though, is that Trump gives us far too much to work with. The specialty of political cartoonists, in particular, has always been to take note of the flaws and foolishness of the movers and shakers in society and to exaggerate those elements to create edgy, jugular art that declares to any who will listen that “the emperor has no clothes”. But what does a satirist do when the emperor very proudly boasts about being naked?

Or, more specifically, what can be said in a cartoon about a president who, on live television, suggests that a cure for COVID-19 might be achieved if people ingest disinfectant and expose their innards to light? How can any cartoon get more exaggerated or more shockingly weird than that?

Cartooning Trump has become a mere act of illustration, not comedic exaggeration. Trump cannot be cartooned; he is a cartoon.


__________________________________________________________________________

• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/you-cant-make-this-stuff-up-folks
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2020, 01:57:44 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

How we got here: One country, several nations

The way we confront today's societal choices — right down to who we choose for president
in November — depends on which collection of American nations prevail over the rest.


By DAVID HORSEY | 3:08PM PDT — Friday, May 01, 2020



WASHINGTON, OREGON and CALIFORNIA have banded together to coordinate policies for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, as have states in the Northeast. Meanwhile, several states in the South and the Mountain West have gone rogue, relaxing social distancing rules and allowing massage parlors, barbershops, bowling alleys and beaches to open up for business.

It is easy to interpret these contrasting approaches merely as red states and blues states running off in predictably opposite directions. However, the way regions of the country have responded differently to the current national health crisis may be evidence of enduring cultural values that go far deeper — as far back as the first colonies in North America and even to the English Civil War.

In his 2011 book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Regional Cultures of North America journalist and historian Colin Woodard notes that the United States is not just one big, homogenous cultural lump. Similarly, journalist Joel Garreau wrote in The Nine Nations of North America, the continent could easily be divided into nine distinct countries, including a cohesive coastal society running from San Francisco up through Seattle to Vancouver and beyond. Garreau called that elongated land Ecotopia. Woodard identifies the same area as the Left Coast, but he takes his premise beyond Garreau's observations into recurring patterns of history.

Woodard's central premise is that the founding cultures that colonized North America have not vanished in the American melting pot. By his reckoning, the diverse philosophies and ways of organizing society that guided European settlers as they established communities in the New World still drive powerful undercurrents in our fractured federation.

In our time, we are experiencing one bitter political clash after another — about the right to bear arms versus the right to safety in public spaces; about tightening borders versus welcoming immigrants; about protecting property and wealth versus extending health care and a living wage to all; and, yes, about employing the coercive powers of government to save lives in the middle of a pandemic versus risking those lives so that businesses can stay open and individuals can roam free. If Woodard's premise is right, those searing debates and many more are merely the latest manifestations of a long historical dynamic. The way we confront today's societal choices — right down to who we choose for president in November — depends on which collection of American nations prevail over the rest.

The oldest of Woodard's “nations” is El Norte, the borderlands of northern Mexico and the United States, where descendants of Spanish conquerors and indigenous people are now a resurgent political force from California to Texas.

New Amsterdam's obsession with commerce and openness to people of all ethnicities and religions in the 1600s is still the hallmark of New York City, an urban nation Woodard calls New Netherland.

The often belligerent, individualistic, independent spirit that lowland Scots and Scots-Irish immigrants brought from the violent borderlands of the British Isles to the 18th-century American frontier remains potent in Greater Appalachia, a region that runs from West Virginia along either side of the Ohio River and down into northern Texas — a cantankerous spirit that shows up at any gathering of NRA members or Tea Party patriots.

In the nation Woodard calls the Midlands, the live-and-let-live attitude of William Penn's 17th-century colony has been sustained in political swing states from Pennsylvania into the Midwest heartland.

The once-influential nation of Tidewater, composed of Maryland, Delaware and the eastern halves of North Carolina and Virginia, was founded by royalist Cavaliers who took the side of the king in the English Civil War. Today, the region's long political alliance with the rest of South has faded; Tidewater has joined the Obama coalition.

Most enduring through the course of American history has been the rivalry between two very different nations: the Deep South and Yankeedom.

The Deep South came into being when wealthy English slave owners relocated from the Caribbean to Charleston, South Carolina. They were an aristocratic elite who believed in their God-given right to rule and prosper on the backs of enslaved Africans and poorer whites. Over decades, their slave society spread through the Gulf Coast states into Texas. Even when crushed by Yankee armies in the Civil War, their racist, hierarchical system was reconstituted and prevailed well into the 20th century.

Does the callousness of the old slave masters reverberate in the actions of the current governor of Georgia? His rush to reopen businesses disregards the threat to disadvantaged black communities where the coronavirus is particularly lethal.

Yankeedom arose from Puritan New England. Having overthrown a king in their homeland and governed through Parliament until the Cavaliers forcibly restored the English monarchy, the Puritans were on a mission to create a more righteous society in virgin territory. Over time, their intolerant religious beliefs fell away. What remained was a conviction that society could be made better by the earnest efforts of well-educated, free-and-equal citizens working together for the common good.

During the American Revolution, Yankees allied with the slaveholding leaders of Tidewater, but thereafter, as the Deep South agitated to extend slavery to new states in the West, abolition-minded New Englanders were themselves tempted to secede from the union.

Yankee culture expanded into the upper Midwest and eventually sailed into the San Francisco Bay, the Willamette River Valley and Puget Sound. Though far from being a majority on the West Coast, Yankees were cultural and political leaders who encouraged education, entrepreneurship and devotion to civic duty. Even the old Puritan dream of creating a more perfect world echoed in the Left Coast's latter-day utopian dreams, from the hippies of Haight-Ashbury to Earth Day environmentalism.

Politically, the Left Coast has long allied with the Yankees of the Northeast and the Upper Midwest. Well into the 1970s, Washington's Republican Party leadership was in sync with the GOP progressives of Massachusetts and New York. However, once the state's Republicans began to realign with a national GOP increasingly dominated by the Deep South, they began to lose elections. It has now been 40 years since a Republican was elected governor in Washington.

It has also been a long time since a Democrat has found favor on the east side of the Cascades. In 1994, voters ousted two Democrats representing the region in Congress — Speaker of the House Tom Foley and a young freshman named Jay Inslee. Woodard describes Eastern Washington as part of another nation, the Far West, a vast area long exploited by eastern industrial interests where an abiding resentment of the federal government is dominant. Is it any surprise then that, in Left Coast Seattle, business leaders have rallied in good Yankee fashion to support hospitals and Governor Inslee's social distancing measures while, over the mountains in the “Far West” counties of Benton and Franklin, officials have tried to defy Inslee's stay-at-home orders?

When we wonder why Americans seem so disunited, even in the midst of a pandemic that threatens us all, the answer may be simple: We are one country composed of several nations that have seldom seen things eye to eye.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/how-we-got-here-one-country-several-nations
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2020, 02:32:13 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Thirsting for local news

As newspapers wither, information deserts expand.

By DAVID HORSEY | 3:34PM PDT — Friday, May 15, 2020



BEFORE coming to The Seattle Times in 2018, I worked for six years at the Los Angeles Times where I frequently heard newsroom veterans lament that things were just not as good as they used to be at the West's largest newspaper.

As recently as the mid-1990s, the L.A. Times reporting and editing staff numbered over a thousand people. Paintings by Picasso adorned the walls of the upstairs dining room. The yearly in-house awards ceremony rivaled the Golden Globes in opulence. The newspaper had bureaus scattered all over the world. The Sunday paper, thick with advertising, had as many pages as a book. By the time I joined the team in 2012, though, the news staff had been cut to 500, the Picassos were gone and so was the big awards dinner, most of the foreign bureaus and much of the advertising.

Now, 2012 is the new good old days. Hammered by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, L.A. Times management and staff this week negotiated a work sharing agreement to avoid major layoffs. Rather than some people losing their jobs, everybody will take a cut in hours and a consequent cut in pay.

But weep not for the L.A. Times. The newspaper has a billionaire local owner and a big circulation that will get it through the economic disaster that has befallen the newspaper industry. Your tears should be shed, instead, for the scores of much smaller newspapers serving cities and towns of all sizes that are dying day after day for want of financial resources.

Information deserts — regions of the country without any healthy local newspapers — had already been forming before the virus hit. Now, those deserts are growing much bigger. If something is not done soon, the free press in America will wither away, leaving only a few large survivors like the L.A. Times to soldier on. Citizens in most places will be left to rummage through the propaganda and paranoia on the Internet to find snippets of factual information about their local communities.

That would truly be something to weep about.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/thirsting-for-local-news
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 02:32:28 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

A portrait in incompetence

Trump has no desire to do the hard work of the presidency.

By DAVID HORSEY | 1:37PM PDT — Friday, May 22, 2020



FROM the very first weeks of his stay in the White House, President Donald Trump has made it obvious that he enjoys the theatrics of campaigning for president far more than the hard work of actually being president.

He has never done his homework. He does not read the security briefings provided to him by the nation's intelligence agencies, preferring to get his information from his favorite right-wing TV hosts or from his own gut feelings. He does not bother to learn the details of major legislation, as evidenced by his public boasts that bear no resemblance to actual bills put forward by his Republican allies. Even some GOP members of Congress privately acknowledge that Trump seldom knows what he's talking about.

On Tuesday, Trump reviled a medical study that found patients in Veterans Administration hospitals who suffered from COVID-19 did worse when treated with hydroxychloroquine. He called it “a Trump enemy statement.” This was after revealing that he was taking the drug himself. Numerous respected entities in the scientific and medical world have warned that hydroxychloroquine can be dangerous and that its use by Trump sets a terrible example for the public, but Trump's cheerleaders on Fox News have touted the drug, so why would he listen to anyone else?

At a dark time when the United States needs a sober, skilled leader at the head of government — a Roosevelt or a Lincoln or a Washington — we have someone who loves the ego-building exercise of playing president on television but who spends his days and nights nursing grudges, obsessing about his re-election and tweeting inane messages by the hundreds, all instead of doing his job.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/a-portrait-in-incompetence
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2020, 02:32:46 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Righteous protests hijacked

For protesters, the challenge is getting their message heard when they get lumped in with rioters.

By DAVID HORSEY | 7:14PM PDT — Monday, June 01, 2020



SEATTLE's downtown suffered a blow this weekend when legitimate protests sparked by the death of a Black man, George Floyd, in the custody of Minneapolis police were overtaken by rioters and looters who created havoc. On Sunday, Bellevue got hit by a similar group that rampaged through Bellevue Square, carting off merchandise like it was Black Friday.

Initial reports suggest the mob was composed of the quasi-anarchists who have been showing up at political events with infuriating regularity, organized gangs of thieves and assorted knuckleheads looking for cheap thrills and free clothing. The intrusion of these troublemakers presents a problem, both for legitimate protesters and police.

For protesters, the challenge is getting their message heard when they get lumped in with the rioters. For police, the challenge is finding a way to stop lawless people without creating a larger confrontation with an entire group of demonstrators.

Seattle police opted for restraint at the cost of major damage to downtown businesses. In the future, both cops and protesters will have to be smarter and more organized if they want to insure that the violent, thieving mob does not take over again.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/righteous-protests-hijacked
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2020, 02:33:01 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

A win for science

SpaceX launch success should give us faith — in scientific facts.

By DAVID HORSEY | 4:42PM PDT — Tuesday, June 02, 2020



THOUGH terrestrial life gets more dire and dispiriting by the day, Americans should have gotten a lift from the successful launch of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on Friday and the subsequent docking with the International Space Station. It was a sign that the country still has the capacity to pull off great technological and visionary achievements.

SpaceX has put NASA astronauts back in Earth orbit without having to hitch a ride with Russians, as they have had to do for the past nine years, and they have done it with a capsule that, inside, looks more like a sleek Tesla than a cramped airplane cockpit stuffed with dials, switches and gauges. It still took a massive booster rocket to get Dragon beyond the restraints of gravity, so the Millennium Falcon of Stars Wars fame could still beat it off the ground, but the Millennium Falcon is a figment of imagination. Dragon is real.

That's the difference between fiction and science. Science is the actual thing, or at least the closest we can get to knowing what is real until scientists can deepen their knowledge and come up with more complete explanations. Unfortunately, there are quite a few people in the political world these days who prefer convenient fictions to unfolding scientific facts.

When scientists said COVID-19 was a deadly pandemic that will kill tens of thousands, there were certain people who insisted it would be no worse than the flu. When scientists say climate change is an existential threat, there are some Republican political leaders and right-wing commentators who say the scientists are just pushing an anti-capitalist agenda.

I think we know who has the agenda. Take it from the astronauts, trust the scientists, not the politicians.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/a-win-for-science
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2020, 02:33:13 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Taking a page from despots

Trump emulates autocrats in his response to protests.

By DAVID HORSEY | 10:48AM PDT — Thursday, June 04, 2020



SOMEWHERE under his perfectly coiffed hair, President Donald Trump harbors a vision of what leadership should be. Unfortunately for all of us, his vision conjures up Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un, with heavy doses of George Wallace and King Henry VIII.

Like many presidents before him, Trump this week was faced with protesters gathered in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House. Unlike any presidents before him, he ordered police units under his authority to aggressively drive these legally assembled citizens out of the park. His motives were entirely personal. There was no threat; he just wanted to prove he is a tough guy, like the authoritarians he so admires.

Then, in the wake of this violent action, he took a stroll over to St. John's Church — not to worship or pray, because that is not his thing — but to pose for photos as he held up a Bible like a brick. Asked if it were his Bible, he replied, “It's a Bible,” as if any prop would do.

In a time of profound disruption in American society with much of the country still locked down because of the COVID-19 pandemic and many cities on curfew because of sustained protests against police brutality, Trump has responded with bellicose threats, petty personal insults and wild accusations of conspiracy. Apparently, that is what he thinks a leader should do.

He ain't no Lincoln.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/taking-a-page-from-despots
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2020, 02:33:28 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Dear white people, think before you tweet

Twitter is a terrible place to address the complexities of race.

By DAVID HORSEY | 9:03AM PDT — Friday, June 05, 2020



A COUPLE OF local sports figures have gotten in trouble over the last couple of days for sending out poorly worded tweets related to the current nationwide protests over police use of excessive force. It is another cautionary tale about modern America's obsession with sharing every stray thought on social media, as well as the nation's toxic, polarized politics.

Former Seattle Sounders coach Alan Hinton somehow felt the need to reminisce on Twitter about his interactions with Black players way back in his English football days, a tweet that was so odd and confusing that it was too easily read in negative ways. It would not have been a big deal, except for the fact that Hinton is a “brand ambassador” for the Sounders — he was, that is, until they fired him because team management decided the tweet reflected badly on their organization.

Then, University of Washington Women's Basketball Coach Jody Wynn ended up apologizing for a heartfelt statement she put out on social media in which she used two phrases that caused upset — “all lives matter” and “I see no color”. Now, in some circles, those two phrases would seem commendable, but in the hot-house environment of a college campus, they proved to be problematic for several valid reasons.

Hinton and Wynn are both fine human beings, but they waded into a volatile, racially charged crisis without thinking about how their words would be received, something that is too easy to do now that technology allows us to indulge the impulse to instantly broadcast our thoughts to the world.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/think-before-you-tweet
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2020, 02:33:43 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

The misinformation militia

Snohomish vigilantes are part of an army of dupes for right-wing hoaxes.

By DAVID HORSEY | 10:13AM PDT — Thursday, June 11, 2020



A FEW DAYS AGO, a troop of vigilantes carrying assault weapons showed up at a small, peaceful, Black Lives Matter march in Snohomish convinced they were going to be heading off a violent invasion of antifa-led looters. As it turned out, it was the vigilantes themselves who allegedly committed violent acts when some of them roughed up a few local high school kids in unprovoked attacks.

These gun-toting characters came to town with Confederate flags flying because they believed bogus posts on conservative social media that claimed antifa, a tiny, loosely-organized anti-fascist group, was plotting to bring chaos to rural towns across the state and around the West. Federal authorities have evidence that the messages were actually created as a fear-inducing prank by a white-supremacist, right wing organization.

It wasn't just a few conspiracy-crazed people in Snohomish who fell for the hoax. Another freaked out bunch in Forks dangerously harassed a mixed-race family that was merely passing through town, not to riot, but to go camping. Other paranoid patriots fell for the antifa fantasy in Yakima, in Idaho, in Utah and in small towns across the country.

There is nothing new about this. In 2016, a self-professed God-fearing conservative from North Carolina was so upset by right-wing media reports that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring in the basement of a pizza joint in Washington, D.C., that he grabbed his AR-15 assault rifle, drove to the restaurant and started shooting. Of course, the sex-ring story was a ridiculous lie that any person with an ounce of sense would never have taken seriously, but, apparently, a lot of folks lack that capacity for critical thinking.

Take, for instance, the local Republican Party officials in Texas who have been using social media to pass on crazy theories about the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis cop. Three of them are convinced the brutal incident was faked. Another is sure the thousands of protesters in the streets decrying Floyd's murder are on the payroll of billionaire George Soros, a favorite target of right-wing fantasists.

It is a relief to know leading Republicans in the Lone Star State, Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott, have called for these party officials to resign; apparently not all members of the GOP have lost their powers of reasoning. Nevertheless, it is worrisome that so many Americans have mentally barricaded themselves in a social-media silo stocked with dangerous extremism and preposterous conspiracy theories, and that some of them, with guns ready, are eager to act on their delusions.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/the-misinformation-militia
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2020, 02:33:59 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Taking a knee vindicated

Polls indicate that police reform has the support of a majority of Americans, including white people.

By DAVID HORSEY | 9:33AM PDT — Friday, June 12, 2020



WHEN former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to start taking a knee during the pre-game playing of the national anthem, his protest against unjust killings of Black men may have shortened his professional football career, but now his action seems like a harbinger of a police-reform movement that polls indicate has the support of a majority of Americans, including white people.

That movement has swept the nation, sparked by the murder of Black man, George Floyd, by a Minneapolis policeman. In the past, the protests in cities across the United States that have been loud, long and occasionally violent might have caused a political backlash. In fact, some Democrats have worried the uproar might be successfully exploited by President Donald Trump in his re-election effort, much in the way Richard Nixon pushed a law-and-order agenda during the tumult of 1968 and won his first term in the White House. Trump has, indeed, tried to stoke fear, but, so far, it has not worked.

Instead, making real progress on dealing with deadly police tactics and systemic racism appears to be a popular idea. Even a few cops at demonstrations have taken a knee in support of change. Kaepernick suddenly has a huge team behind him.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/taking-a-knee-vindicated
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2020, 02:34:14 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Confederate monuments come crashing down

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:56PM PDT — Thursday, June 18, 2020



STRANGELY, that clear delineation got erased in the years after the United States defeated the pro-slavery rebels of the Confederacy. By the time the 20th century dawned, the dominant narrative had been skewed by Southern historians. Grant was falsely maligned. States rights, rather than preserving slavery, was put forward as the primary impetus for the rebellion. And the myth of the Lost Cause turned traitors into heroes, even outside the South.

Statues were erected in nearly every town square and city park in the southern states memorializing Confederate generals and slave-owning politicians. Military bases were named for rebel military leaders who fought against Grant and Lincoln and emancipation of the enslaved. The Confederate battle flag flew proudly over state capitols and at public events, from college football games to NASCAR races.

Generation after generation, the descendants of enslaved people and the victims of Jim Crow had to live alongside all these symbols that glorified a traitorous and cruel cause; symbols that also gave justification to many more decades of racial discrimination and savage violence against African Americans.

Now, finally, that is going away. Demonstrators are tearing down Confederate monuments, Congress is talking seriously about renaming military bases and NASCAR — the auto racing sport long associated with a redneck ethic — is banning Confederate flags from being displayed at races.

And, 155 years after the end of the war to preserve the United States, Confederates are being called what they always were. Yes, they may have been heroic, yes they may have sacrificed, yes they may have been devoted to their home states and their way of life, but their heroism, sacrifice and devotion was spent in a traitorous attempt to keep human beings in bondage.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/confederate-monuments-come-crashing-down
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2020, 02:34:30 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

But how do you really feel about journalists, President Trump?

Bolton says Trump talked of executing members of the news media.

By DAVID HORSEY | 12:13PM PDT — Friday, June 19, 2020



WOULD President Donald Trump actually execute journalists? Maybe not. But, according to his ex-national security adviser, John Bolton, Trump at one point called journalists “scumbags” who should be jailed and “executed.”

The president's ire at the news media is no secret. He frequently refers to journalists as “enemies of the people,” a turn of phrase he borrowed from a long line of dictators like Joseph Stalin who, in their time, actually did jail and execute reporters. He rails endlessly against “fake news,” which is any news story that gets too close to the truth about his gross incompetence, chronic self-absorption and perpetual mendacity. He rips into White House correspondents who dare ask him challenging questions and riles up campaign crowds by taunting the members of the media who cover his public events.

All presidents have had complaints about news coverage. Some presidents, including the two Roosevelts and John F. Kennedy, were adept at finding allies in the press corps. Others, such as Richard Nixon, had contentious relations with the media. But all occupants of the White House have understood that a free society cannot function without a free press — all, that is, until Trump.  In Trump's mind, the only legitimate media are those that give him ceaseless praise and loyalty. Like his soul mate, Vladimir Putin, Trump seems to believe the press should be free only to magnify his own magnificence.


__________________________________________________________________________

David Horsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Seattle Times. During a break from working for The Seattle Times for a few years, he created cartoons for the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/but-how-do-you-really-feel-about-journalists-president-trump
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