The beach, the surf, and California’s political campaign. Aah.

a make believe oil spill in california cartoon
a make believe oil spill in california cartoon

There’s a good reason I draw a lot of beach cartoons in the summer…because it makes me feel good. I did this in June at the height of the oil spill disaster, as a “what if” it happened in California…

Surfers are pretty passionate here. I don’t think oil would stop them.

And the politics around Meg Whitman vs Steve Poizner were kind of hysterical! They really were screaming on tv and calling each other a LIBERAL, as if that was the worst epithet they could think of! Okay, I agree. (You will recall that both of them are filthy rich, so there were lotsa ads. More cartoons on Whitman and Poizner here.) read more

ESL doesn’t work. So stop it.

Last week someone emailed me complaining that I “explained” my cartoons. Let’s call him “Chris.”

Well, my main issue is that not only do I often not understand them, it’s that you often admit in the commentary below your cartoons that you have grave doubts that your audience will understand them. I think there was one in which you said you didn’t even get it yourself. Other times, you go to great lengths to explain the cartoon and why you think it’s funny. Chris

Another man wrote me to complain about the cartoon above. (We’ll call him Anthony, since his name is Anthony.)

I saw this cartoon and decided immediately that you are out of touch with reality.  For you information, even school districts in Kentucky, (not known as a bastion of education reform) require all students in high school to take Spanish as a second language. It’s obvious from your cartoon your are a RACIST AND BIGOT!

Spanish is spoken by thirty four million Americans in the U.S. and that number is growing. Only right wing, Bible thumping school districts, like those in Texas, would not teach the fastest growing second language in the U.S.!

A little education for you, since it’s apparent you failed your ESL!

Spanish was the language spoken by the first permanent European settlers in North America. It was brought to the territory of what is the contemporary U.S. in 1513 by Ponce de León. In 1565, the Spaniards, by way of Juan Ponce de Leon, founded St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest, continuously occupied European settlement in the continental U.S. …

Your Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh mentality is apparent!

Chris, meet Anthony.

Actually, I don’t normally explain my cartoons – I write about why I did them, and talk about the news. But in this case, I guess I do have to explain it, since you say you often don’t get them, Chris, and for sure Anthony didn’t get a word of this. And Anthony, I don̵

Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are rich and Republican!

Who ya going to vote for in the California Primary?

I thought everyone could use some help on this. I’ve been doing cartoons on California and the upcoming elections for almost 6 months now for CalWatchdog, this extraordinary journalism site for a think tank in Northern California, but haven’t posted many of them here yet. It’s time.

Okay, now this was  a pretty impressive campaign move. This Youtube on Tom Campbell as a demon sheep – or is it all other Republicans in general are sheep? – by Republican Carly Fiorina is classic Hollywood, and it went viral in days! Gather calls it “the most bizarre political ad ever.” And oddly enough, the makers of this video, just set up their own website 2 days ago, calling this a trilogy!

I think Fiorina’s…exaggerating. Plus, it’s not my voting dealie, so no comment on that election. More cartoons below.

I found the California Governor campaign much more shocking!! CalWatch journalist Steve Greenhut (formerly of the Orange County Register, and author of the best-selling Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives) said he thought these exchanges between the 2 candidates for Republican governor were rather silly and much ado about nothing, but I was truly horrified. (the words in the cartoon

Where can I find some juicy Medical Marijuana?

In Los Angeles. It’s all the rage. It’s an evergreen topic on talk radio…will it ruin the city? Does it destroy neighborhoods? Is it really legal?

Oh, that’s interesting. I went to latimes.com to see what was new on the topic and this is the top article:

Peron, a hero to the marijuana movement, started the first dispensary in San Francisco and led the state’s medical marijuana initiative. Now, he and a team of weed-loving friends hope to turn the 106-room Normandie into America’s first pot-friendly hotel.

Well, the article has a particularly boring title, and it must be a slow news day, but you get the idea.

Here’s a poll that says most Americans don’t want legalized pot.

Respondents were skeptical that crime would spike if marijuana is decriminalized or that it would lead more people to harder drugs like heroin or cocaine. There also was a nearly even split on whether government spends too much or the right amount enforcing marijuana laws. Almost no one thinks too little is spent.

Marijuana use — medically and recreationally — is getting more attention in the political arena. California voters will decide in November whether to legalize the drug, and South Dakota will vote this fall on whether to allow medical uses. California and 13 other states already permit such use.

Wow, I didn’t know until I read this that California might legalize it. I can’t stand it on a personal level – druggies are the most boring people in the world, and the smell is nauseating – but I say go for it, get everything legalized, and take your bong and smoke into your bedroom.

LA Curbed has more on the hotel as “stoner-friendly.”

But brownies? I’m up for them any time. Recipes, anyone?

Caption: Medical Marijuana – Sal’s Bakery New: Laugh-a-lot brownies. Crunchy munchies cookies. There! Didn’t I tell you this would happen?

Am I right here?  Will a pot store in the neighborhood lead to better brownies? I did this cartoon for CalWatchdog, the new state watchdog in Sacramento. All my new California cartoons are over there first. They also have comment

Earthquake 7.2 in Mexicali today.

Rarely do I blog twice in the same day, but I have deadlines, and must distract myself…

Anyway, the earthquake shook us all awake on a hazy Easter afternoon. I wrote about it on my Silver Lake blog, (which got linked by the LA Times):

My friend Geri Mars, in Redondo Beach (45 min south of LA)  tweeted:

No wonder such great rolling motion. My large aquarium was sloshing. That woke up the turtles!

There was an interesting link to a science site,  USGS,  called Did you feel it?

I actually did this cartoon in January, right after the Haiti earthquake, for CalWatchdog. Didn’t seem right to list it on Slate then – not PC and more importantly, not funny. read more

California is the place you ought to be – maybe.

I live in a strange, strange state. What’s hiding in all that smog, fog, and detritus, anyway? Is California really the land of dreams, or just schemes? Is it magical, a place to find your success and fortune, and is the weather worth it?

I’m about to find out. I’ve lived here over 15 years, so I have some answers, but what about the heart of it, where all the decisions are made? This month I started my cartoon for a new journalism group that’s covering the state of California, named appropriately enough, CalWatchdog. (Still waiting for a dog in the logo.) It’s connected with – get this – a think tank, called Pacific Research Institute!

fairy in the state capital cartoon

I’ve done cartoons in all kinds of venues, but I have to admit, never a think tank. I’m so excited to be a part of it, and especially to have my name associated with something that sounds so…smart. This is Arnold’s last year, so I’m prepared to have as much fun as you can have with a German, and to explore issues all over California. (JUST KIDDING, German-ophiles!) So keep an eye on it, as I’ll be uploading cartoons about California there before they go on Slate or appear anywhere else.