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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

On this week's short-fingered Independent comics page: Red Meat considers asking for a raise; Jen Sorenson watches as the U.S. Supreme Court ponders abortion restrictions; The K Chronicles experiences segregation; and This Modern World goes through the craziness of Trump mania.

Published in Comics

Dear Mexican: What are Mexico’s residency requirements, and how do you apply for their version of a green card? Because if that racist fuck Trump gets elected, I’m outta here.

We’ve gone too far in the past 40 years (20 if you’re from the South) to go back to the days of Jim Crow. Eight years of Bush was bad enough.

Not Gonna Put Up With That BS

Dear Gabacho: The detailed answer is in my book; the short answer is Mexico’s probably going to end up building the border wall to keep out gabachos like you who didn’t do enough to defeat the Drumpf.

Dear Mexican: Do you think that maybe television is part of the reason for this mass migration of people from Mexico and elsewhere to the United States?

For example, since you’re from there, you probably know the show The O.C.—and what is it we see on The O.C.? We see bikini-clad babes and buff lifeguards who live on the beach in nice houses with green lawns. They have exercise machines that look like UFOs and fancy sports cars. They have lots of food, good booze, lots of sex—and most important of all, lots of money.

On TV, we advertise the U.S. 24/7 .We have rock ’n’ roll, gangsta rap, reggaeton and WWE. We got those brave detectives from the NYPD keeping order in the streets, and the NYFD, who will show up at your door in 15 minutes or less after you dial 911. We’ve got Russell Crowe, Sharon Stone, Madonna, U2, Sly Stallone, Daddy Yankee, Snoop Dogg, George Lopez, Cheech and Chong, Larry the Cable Guy, J-Lo and all our ambassadors and politicians smiling in the camera saying, “Come on over and play with us. Come on over and get some of this! Come on over to Fantasylandia with your host, Barack Obama.” Hey, it’s only just across the border.

I Watch Too Much Glenn Beck

Dear Gabacho: American television? The only thing Mexicans ever picked up from it was The Simpsons, which remains one of the most popular gabacho shows in Mexico, even though Homer’s name is Homero, and Bart goes by Bartolo.

Other American shows are popular, but that’s not what drives Mexicans to come over; it’s the jobs, estúpido. And given there ain’t many right now, not as many Mexis are crossing over.

You want a better conspiracy? Go investigate whether Thomas Alva Edison was really Tomás Álvaro—the answer may surprise you!

Dear Mexican: My mom has long thought it cute and fun to quiz waiters in Mexican restaurants on how to say things in Spanish. When I was a girl growing up in an incredibly non-diverse area (Oregon), she said it would help me learn Spanish, and that I should take advantage of these rare opportunities to talk with native Spanish-speakers. But I’ve always felt it was a little rude, and maybe even condescending, to impose upon service people in this way. Is it?

Medford Maiden

Dear Gabacha: Todo tiene its time and place when it comes to learning Spanish. Getting it on with a Mexican? He’ll teach you the language of love. Protesting Donald Trump? You’ll learn so many ways of saying chinga tu madre that you’ll be able to walk the streets of Tepito with ease.

While a Mexican is working and serving you? Proceed with respect. If business is slow, quiz away; if they’re occupied, leave them be. Otherwise, they’ll tell their fellow meseros in the back of the kitchen about the loud gabacha and spit in your chips—as they should.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

On this week's unseasonably warm Independent comics page: This Modern World has just one regret; Jen Sorenson finds business as usual in the new normal; The K Chronicles takes a look at Team Trump; and Red Meat gets a response from God Himself.

Published in Comics

On this week's timely Independent comics page: Jen Sorenson offers advice on how not to be sexist this election season; The K Chronicles checks out the Colossal Colon Tour; This Modern World has a chat with Sparky the Penguin, circa 2014; and Red Meat eats breakfast while Mom reads the paper.

Published in Comics

There’s a man with a dark complexion hocking “Bomb The Hell Out of ISIS” lapel pins. His heart’s not really in it.

The next vendor over from him isn’t legitimately feeling the energy, either, his long hair and thick Boston accent a dead giveaway that he’s a foreigner in Trump country. In any case, the prices on “Make America Great Again” merchandise are non-negotiable—for hats, $20 or $25, depending on whether the letters are embroidered or ironed on, and $5 for flags. There’s no bargaining with these leeches.

No pocket knives. No guns. No food. No water. No pepper spray. The guy in front of me snickers at the instructions, and asks his friends to hold his place in line as he presumably goes to stash one of the above items—probably not a bottle of water.

The woman in front of me is the principal of a middle school.

A reporter approaches a couple behind me from Wells, Maine, and asks if they have an opinion on Tom Brady’s relationship with Donald Trump. The guy says, “They’re both winners. I know that. They’re both honorable.”

The journalist returns: “Who do you consider less honorable—Roger Goodell or Obama?” Guy goes, “Goodell, because you’re in Patriots country.”

Then on through the metal detectors. You have to pity a Secret Service agent who studied hard and dedicated her life to protecting dignitaries, but got stuck on the Trump detail.

Inside, a 50-something bumps into the son of a friend. “Hey, aren’t you in college? You should be at the Bernie rally—free tuition!” The lad chuckles awkwardly, then skips back over to his gaggle of goobers.

As I pound details of the scene into my cell phone and eavesdrop around the fast-filling gymnasium, in front of me, a white guy in an Under Armour cap resembling a du-rag unfolds his USA Today and begins to read an article titled, “Barack Obama: Muslims ‘Part of Our Family.’”

If anybody sees the president, be sure to tell him that his pre-primary trolling of conservatives worked. That mosque visit was like gasoline to this dumpster fire.

A veteran opens the show by claiming that under President Donald Trump, vets will be able to go any hospital they want. He then leads the crowd through through the Pledge of Allegiance, with a couple of markedly eager folks pledging especially loud like annoying kindergarteners.

Next up, a co-chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party explains how Trump helped revitalize the Wollman Rink in Manhattan—a routine story on the campaign trail—and how that means he can make America great again. The next surrogate goes even further, promising jobs to the hundreds of young people on hand.

Trump is the kind of guy who makes loud entrances. On top of that, he seems to have an extraordinary number of supporters who cup their hands when they clap, all together sounding like firecrackers popping in a metal bucket. It’s every asshole uncle from every family in New England, all in one place, feeding off mutual stupidity.

Then a message comes over the loudspeaker. It says Donald Trump respects the First Amendment as much as he adores the Second Amendment, but this is a private rally, the voice says, so protest isn’t allowed. Should a demonstration break out, the crowd is told, Trump supporters shouldn’t touch or harm the group or individual, but rather, they should stand beside them holding a placard in the air and chanting, “Trump. Trump. Trump.”

An hour and 45 minutes after the scheduled start time, there’s still no sign of Trump. Meanwhile, his supporters and sycophants are using Donald lines on one another. “You’re fired,” a woman says to her husband after he fumbles his cell phone onto the floor.

Trump walks in at 7 pm, a whole two hours after the scheduled arrival time, and jumps right into the rapes and killings being committed by illegal immigrants. In your apartment. Right now! The candidate gives props to Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and then rails about the border and undocumented (“illegal”) immigrants. “It’s very unfair to those who legally go through the process,” Trump laments.

Then the Paris attacks, sleazebags, and ISIS using the Iternet that Americans founded to recruit our children. Our children!

Also: Mexicans are paying for the wall on our southern border, because Trump “has a great relationship with Hispanics.” He’s going to get their jobs back from China. He can do this in an hour, since “everyone in Washington agrees” that it’s the right thing to do.

Bowe Bergdahl. Then back to immigration. Then health care. “I want to get rid of Obamacare and give you something great.” The crowd goes nuts. “We’re going to make our country rich again.” Add bananas to the nuts.

I sneak out the back.

As I’m exiting, perennial fringe candidate Vermin Supreme and a small platoon of misfits slide in the side door.

So much for the metal detectors.

This report was produced by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and is part of their “Manchester Divided” coverage of the madness leading up to the 100th New Hampshire presidential primary.

Published in Politics

On this week's highly desirable Independent comics page: This Modern World talks to some political commentators; Jen Sorenson chats with a union member who supports Trump; The K Chronicles discusses some stuff he didn't get at first; and Red Meat finds Milkman Dan being a bully.

Published in Comics

On this week's zingy Independent comics page: The K Chronicles receives an unexpected honor; This Modern World watches as Invisible Hand of the Free-Market Man visits Flint, Mich.; Jen Sorenson peeks in the Trump Girl Group tryouts; and Red Meat tries in vain to help polar bears.

Published in Comics

Words have meanings.

In the hyped-up atmosphere of the presidential campaign season, words are being used as political weapons—apparently assuming the audience is ignorant.

I want to change that, particularly with regard to words like “sexist” and “feminist” and “enabler” and “abuse.”

If a wife defends a philandering husband, is she an enabler? Not necessarily. If a man is a womanizer, is he therefore an abuser? Not necessarily. Can someone be a feminist AND be sexist? Unfortunately, yes, and that can describe either men or women. These words are not interchangeable.

Sexism is an attitude based on traditional stereotypical gender roles. (All definitions used are consistent with both dictionary.com and Webster’s Dictionary.) When someone, male or female, judges another on the basis of the role they’re supposed to play, they’re being sexist. Donald Trump is sexist when he denigrates a female candidate’s appearance based on the stereotypical assumption that women are supposed to be, first and foremost, attractive. Criticizing a woman for her tone of voice not being soft and sweet is sexist. A woman is sexist if she believes that the husband in a relationship should be the breadwinner, and the wife should fulfill the role of mother and homemaker.

Feminism is the advocacy of social, political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men. A woman who believes in equal pay for equal work (feminism) can simultaneously believe that women should stay home (sexism); they expect fair treatment out in the world, but they still hold sexist attitudes about what goes on inside a relationship.

A philanderer, or womanizer, is a man who has relationships, often of a sexual nature, where he cannot or has no intention of having a lasting relationship—a man who carries on flirtations regardless of his marital status. A womanizer is the guy almost every woman knows, from junior high school on, who has the compulsion to pursue every woman as a potential sexual conquest. They can be married or single; they flirt with every woman they meet. Some are insecure; others just like women. They’re not necessarily sexist and may be feminists.

When a woman acts in that same manner, constantly flirting whether married or not, she is called a slut or a nymphomaniac—a woman with unquenchable, even “abnormal” sexual desires. Where a man is described as a shameless flirt, a woman with identical behavior is considered abnormal; after all, “boys will be boys.” Sexism is evident in these definitions.

During the 1970s sexual revolution, I knew a couple who believed in open marriage, in which each partner was allowed to have sexual relations with others; they drew the line if the outside relationship included dinner. For them, the sexual act was purely physical, but dinner implied a relationship, an intimacy that would threaten their marriage. One of my friends recently dated a man who was quite happy to periodically “service” the wife of one of his old friends, a man who had become ill and could no longer satisfy his wife sexually. The woman’s husband knew of and was not threatened by his wife’s “affair.”

There are couples who stay together for financial reasons, or who stay married but live separately. Some couples no longer relate to each other with sex as an essential part of their intimacy. There are couples who, despite their partner’s flirtations or affairs, stay together “for the children,” or for financial reasons, or because they love each other in ways that those outside the relationship cannot understand. Some spouses don’t want to know what their partner is up to, evidently believing that “ignorance is bliss”—if they knew, they’d have to do something about it, and they don’t want to change the status quo.

I respect people who have figured out their own relationships and seem satisfied with their arrangements. How they work it out is their business—and shouldn’t be part of a political campaign.

We live in a time when 1950s rules no longer apply in the workplace. Harassing is persistently disturbing, bothering or pestering. What at one time seemed acceptable, or was tolerated, is now sexual harassment—meaning unwelcome sexual advances, especially if compliance is a condition of continued employment or advancement.

“A ha!” you might say. “That means Bill Clinton was a harasser. After all, Monica Lewinsky was a subordinate working in the White House.” But the Clinton/Lewinsky relationship was consensual, not unwelcome, and she was an adult. Did he act inappropriately? Of course he did, and I can’t forgive him for the public humiliation of his wife. Yet his wife seemed willing to forgive him, and they worked out their marriage in their own way, so who am I to judge?

“What about all the other women with whom Clinton was involved?” It’s clear he was a philanderer, but however inappropriate, his extramarital activities were consensual with adult women. (A claim of rape has never been substantiated.)

A good case can be made that Bill Clinton is a feminist and is not sexist. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Donald Trump, who does judge women differently that he judges men, based on stereotypical assumptions. Trump would probably not want to be labeled a feminist, but by touting equal treatment for women, he’s a shining example of how one can be both feminist and sexist at the same time.

Trump says Hillary “enabled” (condoned or facilitated) her husband’s extramarital affairs and thus cannot stand up for women. Wrong. Accepting and even defending a spouse’s infidelity does not mean one is not still a feminist regarding public policy.

Hillary accurately described some of Donald Trump’s boorish statements as indicating a “penchant for sexism.” Trump responded with, “If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband (on the campaign trail), with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women’s card on me, she’s wrong!”

In an editorial responding to Trump, The New York Times said that Trump’s aim is clearly “to dredge up an ancient scandal and tar Mrs. Clinton with it in a clearly sexist fashion.” In other words, holding a wife complicit in her husband’s behavior is based on the underlying belief that if a man strays somehow, his wife is at fault. Her role is to keep him satisfied. According to Trump on Fox News, “She’s not a victim. She was an enabler.” Enabling would mean Hillary facilitated her husband’s behavior, rather than merely tolerating or forgiving it.

How does the general public see all of this? A Fox News poll indicates that voters see Bill Clinton as more respectful of women than Donald Trump—50 percent for Clinton, and only 37 percent for Trump, so Trump’s play may backfire. We’re not ignorant.

Spouse attacks were tried against Sen. Dianne Feinstein and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro based on their husbands’ business dealings, and against John McCain for his wife’s alleged drug use. All of this is nothing more than dirty politics—an attempt to put an opponent on the defensive and dominate the news cycle.

We should not reward such sleazy attacks.

Words have meanings.

Anita Rufus is also known as “The Lovable Liberal,” and her radio show airs Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on KNews Radio 94.3 FM. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Know Your Neighbors appears every other Wednesday.

Published in Know Your Neighbors

Dear Mexican: Isn’t the acceptance of illegal immigration by Latino politicians insulting to generations of Mexican Americans who paid taxes, built communities and worked hard for their families and their country (military service, public service, etc.)?

Legal Smiegel

Dear Gabacho: Nope, mainly because people sin papeles also pay taxes, build communities and serve. (Google “Jose Angel Garibay OC Weekly.”) But nice try in attempting to pull a Donald Trump by trying to divide and conquer between undocumented Mexicans and “legal” Mexican-Americans. Sure, you’ll always have the stray vendidos insisting what you just babbled—but the stats don’t back up your premise.

A 2014 Pew Research Center survey showed that while the immigration views of native-born, English-dominant Latinos aren’t as Aztlanista as, say, a Mechista, they’re pretty close. On the question of whether they prefer a pathway to citizenship, better border security and enforcement, or a combination of both, 48 percent of U.S.-born Latinos favored the former, while 34 percent liked the latter. That’s probably because 23 percent of them personally knew someone who had been deported in the past year.

Unlike gabachos, whose ancestors got onto Ellis Island then promptly pulled the plank so that the Greeks couldn’t come over, Mexicans don’t forget our roots—and we ain’t hypocrites, save for Eva Longoria.

I want to review a hole-in-the-wall spot that apparently makes the best tacos. Yelp reviewers keep commenting on how run-down the space is, but somehow equate “doesn’t look like much” with the authentic Mexican food experience.

Is this all just pendejadas (my gut says “Hell yes!”), or is there something to it?

Detroit Dama

Dear Pocha: First off, why are you bothering with Yelp when it comes to Mexican food? Yelp is many things, but a guide to great comida mexicana, it ain’t. This is the site, for instance, where a gabacha once left a one-star review to a Tierra Caliente-style spot in SanTana that offered amazing huchepos (sweet corn tamales), aporreado (awesome Michoacán breakfast dish) and spectacular pozole verde. The restaurant’s sin, according to the pendeja? It didn’t offer burritos—never mind that burritos are as much a part of michoacano cuisine as a Rick Bayless airport torta.

It’s the same prejudice that you describe, although yours is of a different sentido—that “true” Mexican food can’t possibly be high-class, and can only be properly prepared by women named María who slave over a comal grinding out the nixtamal themselves with their pigtails. That’s an extension of the classic American expectation that Mexicans are perpetually in poverty, and it’s bullshit. From Enrique Olvera in Mexico City to Javier Plascencia in Tijuana to Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria in Costa Mesa (named as one of Food and Wine’s 10 Best New Chefs for 2015), Mexican cooks are showing the world that alta cocina is as legit as two-tacos-for-a-buck-with-free-pineapple-juice specials.

What’s the true litmus test of a great Mexican restaurant? Great food—oh, and a calendar from the local tortillería or grocery store with an illustration of an Aztec maiden, of course.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

On this week's extra-savory Independent comics page: This Modern World gets some schooling from the future; Jen Sorenson examines an accidental bombing; The K Chronicles goes to home school; and Red Meat builds a nest for a special visitor.

Published in Comics