Thursday, May 16, 2024

Q Toon: 86ing Title 9 Day 1

On the campaign trail last week, Donald Berzilius Trump joined the cabal of Republican governors threatening to undo President Biden's new Title IX rules for education facilities that benefit from public funding. These rules cover matters such as responding to reports of sexual harassment and misconduct, accommodating pregnant students and protecting students from sex-based discrimination.

What has right-wingers' panties in a bunch is that the anti-discrimination rules protect students who are LGBTQ+ — particularly since many Republican-run states have recently passed pro-discrimination laws explicitly targeting transgender persons.

So far, officials in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and South Carolina—most of them governors—have said in letters, statements, press conferences or executive orders that their states will not follow the new Title IX regulations. The rule applies to every school at the K-12 and postsecondary level that receives federal money. So far, most state officials have either focused on K-12 schools or made general statements that their state will not comply, while others have specifically mentioned colleges.

Texas and Louisiana are among the GOP-run states and school boards that have filed challenges to the Biden rules; their cases will go before radical right-wing judges appointed by Trump. That includes the virulently antigay activist Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk (whom I featured here last September and here in November, 2022).

Given the hostility to LGBTQ+ persons of Trump and Dubya Bush appointees taking these cases, not to mention that of the doctrinaire theocrats on the current Supreme Court, transgender student rights could well be doomed whether Trump gets to issue his Reichstag Fire Decrees on Day One or not.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

This Week's Sneak Peek


In writing the part in last Saturday's posting about disaffection of Blacks in Indiana with that state's Republican Party, I summarized the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution as guaranteeing civil right to all.

Then I had to stipulate that they only applied to men.

Within a generation, they didn't apply to Chinese men in this country.

And before the civil rights amendments turned 50, they didn't apply to Japanese men here, either. Or Hindoos, or Musselmen, or Filipinos...

Just wanted to note that I would have mentioned this before, except that it was beside the point then.

Anyway, as you were saying ... ?

Monday, May 13, 2024

Toon: My God, It's Full of Stars


We've stepped outside several times over the weekend in search of the aurora light show. I don't know whether it's light pollution from Foxconn, or from Milwaukee to our north, but we haven't caught the display everyone else on Earth seems to have.

Even with the clouds that came in Saturday night, some people in our area got some nice photographs, so we must simply have not waited outdoors long enough.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

1920's Want Me (But I Can't Go Back There)

Let's catch up on the 1924 presidential race, shall we?

On the Republican side, President Calvin Coolidge had his party's nomination all sewn up. Republicans brushed aside a challenge by progressive Senator Hiram Johnson (R-CA) in nearly every contest.

"Had You Noticed That Suspicious-Looking Couple in the Stagecoach" by J.N. "Ding" Darling in Colliers, April 26, 1924

Meanwhile, Senator Robert LaFollette (R-WI) was seriously considering a third-party run for the presidency. A group calling itself the Progressive Party was interested in being that third party.

"That's Just Like How Theodore Acted..." by Wm. C. Morris for George Mathew Adams Service, ca. May 5, 1924

Teddy Roosevelt had gotten more popular and electoral votes than incumbent President William Howard Taft when the former President ran for a return to office on the Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party ticket in 1912. The party renominated Roosevelt in 1916, but he refused to run, and most of its members returned to the Republican Party or defected to the Democrats.

The Progressive Party of 1924 was a completely reconstituted affair, created by an umbrella group of sixteen railroad workers' unions, the Conference for Progressive Political Action. The new party, pulling together some members of the Socialist Party of America and the Farmer-Labor Party, was thus well to the left of its 1912 iteration.

"A Change of Shirts Doesn't Change a Man's Heart" by J.P. Alley in Memphis Commercial Appeal, May 30, 1924

Some of Sen. LaFollette's views were well to the left, too. He believed in governmental regulation of private corporations, and opposed the tax cuts proposed by Secretary of the Treasury Mellon. He was against the League of Nations, but urged self-government for Ireland and Egypt.

Germane to Alley's cartoon, LaFollette had supported Russia's Bolshevik revolution, although the lack of freedoms he saw there when he toured Europe in 1923 compelled him to reassess his support.

"Aw What's the Use" by Ed Gale in Los Angeles Times, May 13, 1924

As for the Democrats, there was still no clear front-runner in May of 1924. Party rules required that the Democratic nominee receive two thirds of the votes at their convention.

"All for the Horse" by J.N. "Ding" Darling in Des Moines Tribune, May 22, 1924

William McAdoo led the delegate count, but it was only a plurality in a crowded field. Some state delegates were pledged to "favorite son" candidates or to no candidate at all. His opponents played up his tenuous connection to the Teapot Dome scandal because of his association with the oilman who was head of the California Democratic Party.

"I'm Just Beginning to Sense the Meaning of Destiny" by Clifford Berryman in Washington (DC) Evening Star, May 7, 1924

Clifford Berryman's cartoon sums up the issues hampering some of the leading candidates. Opposition to the Ku Klux Klan probably cost Senator Oscar Underwood of Alabama much of the southern support he was hoping for. A fractious battle for leadership of Tammany Hall was a distraction for New York Governor Al Smith, who, as hero to the Wets, was anathema to Prohibitionists. William McAdoo, conversely, courted the Drys and was rejected by the Wets.

Tom Marshall, Vice President under Woodrow Wilson, shot down speculation that he was interested in the top job; which Berryman took to be a good omen for the presidential candidacy of Marshall's fellow Hoosier, Sen. Samuel Ralston.

I'm sure you remember Sam Ralston, Man of Destiny. Of course you do.

Speaking of Indiana, the state held its primary elections just this week and 100 years ago.

Grover Page in Louisville Courier-Journal, May 11, 1924

Indiana Secretary of State Ed Jackson won the May 7, 1924 Republican gubernatorial primary with the open support of the Ku Klux Klan. Election Day reporting in the Indianapolis News characterized the campaign as a predominantly Klan-vs.-anti-Klan affair. The Indianapolis Freeman, a Black newspaper. alleged that poll workers actively suppressed the Black vote, which was presumed to favor the anti-Klan candidate, Indianapolis Mayor Samuel Lewis Shank. 

In the first place it was demonstrated . . . that the Ku Klux Klan has captured boot and breeches, the Republican party in Indiana and have [sic] turned what  has been historically an organization of constitutional freedom into an agency for the promotion of religious and racial hate. Nobody now denies the Ku Klux Klan is the dominating power in Indiana Republican politics. In fact, the Republican party  exists in Indiana today only in name. Its place has been  usurped by the Klan purposes and leadership and issues. The fight in the future will  be purely a  contest  between the Klan  and  anti-Klan  force.

In the years after the Civil War, Black voters tended to be a reliably Republican voting bloc, the party having been founded as an explicitly anti-slavery organization. Republicans had passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, supposedly guaranteeing civil rights to all men. The "Solid South," on the other hand, was dominated by Democrats, whose passed Jim Crow laws, literacy tests for voting, and poll taxes to discriminate against Blacks appealed to the Klan.

But by 1924, it had been almost half a century since the Republican Party had given half a shit about those 1860's Constitutional Amendments, so they were as welcome in the Klan as any Democrat. Indiana would be the Klan's opportunity to prove that its influence was bipartisan.

"Seeing Things" by Tom Foley in Minneapolis Daily Star, May 21, 1924

The Klan celebrated Jackson's victory by doing a march through the black areas of Indianapolis that may have attracted as many as 100,000 onlookers. D.C. Stephenson, Grand Dragon of the Indiana Klan, declared at the march that "We must put over Jackson our very right to existence" and "The fiery cross is going to burn at every crossroads in Indiana, as long as there is a white man left in the state." Stephenson claimed to control 85% of the delegates at the state Republican convention, and the state Republican Party came to increasingly be viewed as little more than a Klan organization. (Wikipedia)

As a result, Blacks in Indiana left the Republican Party twelve years before  the realignment of the Black vote toward the Democratic Party in the rest of the country.

Jackson won the governorship in November. And when Senator Ralston died the following year (of course you still remember him), Jackson relied on Stephenson's advice in appointing Arthur Robinson to replace Ralston.

"Bedfellows' by Grover Page in Louisville Courier-Journal, May 23, 1924

"Jim" Watson in this Page cartoon was Indiana's other Senator, Republican James E. Watson. Senator Watson was on a Senate committee investigating ties to the Klan of Senator Earl Mayfield (D-TX, the subject of these stops on the Graphical History Tour a couple years ago); but that didn't stop him from endorsing Ed Jackson for Governor.

In 1926, Klan kleagle William M. Rogers would testify before Congress that in 1924, Senator Watson presented his Klan credentials during a conversation between the two. Senator Watson's denial of Rogers's allegation would have a There Are Very Fine People On Both Sides flabbiness to it:

"I have not denied that I am seeking the votes of the Ku Klux Klan, but have coupled it with the statement that I wanted the votes of all other orders, churches and creeds."

Rogers later recanted the testimony, and still later sued Watson, claiming that the senator had coerced him into recanting. In any event, the allegation doesn't seem to have hindered Watson's political career, and he was even elected Senate Majority Leader during the four years of the Hoover administration.

I find it interesting that the cartoons I found about the highest Indiana elected officials' association with the Klan in May of 1924 were drawn across the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. The topic appears not to have interested Indianapolis News cartoonist Chas Kuhn.

There were six months left until Election Day, so perhaps Indiana's hometown cartoonist would find something to say about it eventually.

Stay Kuhned.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

After Prayerful Consultation with His Wife

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) voted last week to lift its bans on clergy performing weddings for same-sex couples or being openly gay or lesbian.

The policy change comes after some 7,600 U.S. congregations left the UMC because, while their church officially held that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching" and prohibited same-sex weddings and homosexual clergy, church leaders had indefinitely delayed implementing a 2019 vote to defrock an married lesbian bishop, Karen Oliveto. Their departure from the UMC was facilitated by an agreement allowing congregations to take their church properties with them. (In the UMC and many other denominations, it is the national church that owns a member church's real estate, not the individual congregation itself.)

UMC General Conferences convene every four years. The 2019 conference was extraordinary, called specifically to address the Mountain Sky Conference's election of Bishop Oliveto. The regularly scheduled 2020 conference was cancelled just as the whole world was shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UMC's new policy does not, of course, require member clergy to perform same-sex weddings; the 447 to 233 vote indicates that their will continue to be some dissenters. The change will be more forcibly protested by Methodist clergy in Africa, many of whom apparently failed to attend this year's General Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. They could stay within the UMC, but most likely will be afraid that gay cooties will keep them out of heaven if they do.

Will the United Methodist Church end up becoming the Divided Methodist Church?

And whose side will get to run the DMC?

Monday, May 6, 2024

This Week's Sneak Peek

Someone left a comment on one of my old posts, saying that editorial cartoonist Robert Carter was his great-grandfather, and including a little more family information. I was going to reply something to the effect of "Interesting!"

But even though I was already signed in to Blogger to approve his comment for publication, it wanted me to sign in again with a Google ID in order to reply. 

Does everybody who wants to make a comment here have to sign in with a Google ID first?

It doesn't seem to bother the bots who leave comments advertising quack HIV treatments or voodoo enhancements for your love life, most of whom seem to originate in Asia and Oceana. 

Well, anyway, did you know that Robert Carter was married to Countess Hildegard van Walterskirchen of Austria? I didn't. I do know that you can find out plenty more about Robert Carter at Allan Holtz's Stripper's Guide.

And I'm not ignoring you, Ted Carter. Google doesn't like my browser configurations.

Sunday, May 5, 2024