Mark E. Kelly, your wife called.

Mark E Kelly wants to fly, while Gabrielle Giffords lies in her hospital bed
Mark E Kelly wants to fly, while Gabrielle Giffords lies in her hospital bed

I think I liked Mark E. Kelly better before he made his decision to go flying off into outer space somewhere.

We’ve all read the news and human interest stories about the gallant Mark remaining next to the bedside of his fallen wife, Gabrielle Giffords. After she was shot, he left his astronaut duties and spent all his time by her side. And doing interviews with the media. NASA even named a backup, thinking he wasn’t going to go.

Everyone had great sympathy for him, of course. They were really just newlyweds, married barely 4 years. There’s a great picture of them that looks like how I would like to look at my husband if I got married. Daily Beast says they’re always living in different cities, however. Well, that keeps it romantic. 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

Second Amendment cartoon on the 4th of July.

2nd amendment cartoon on the 4th of July
2nd amendment cartoon on the 4th of July

Yay, sparklers! They’re illegal in California, or at least LA. Does that mean I don’t have any? Want to take a guess?

They’re not legal in Philadelphia, either, but they have them in the Amish counties! Yup, Dwight Schrute territory. Right next to the special quilt fabrics and needles.

The writing on the corner is a soupcon of Outsider Art. What crazy people and others do – lots of word and writing to get the idea across.

That little boy looks so happy.

More on gun control to come, of course. read more

My conservative cartoon about illegal immigration.

When I started cartooning for Slate, they labeled me as a cartoonist on the right. I wasn’t totally comfortable with that, and yet I was mostly conservative… Well, no one is totally liberal or conservative, they told me. But cartoonists on the right are rare, and they wanted to put someone else in that category, so…

“You’re fiscally conservative,” my very liberal friend Candy told me.

That’s true. I’m liberal on women’s issues and especially on conservation or animal issues. Yet I often make fun of Democrats – it’s easy, isn’t it? (And every time I do, I lose my subscription ranking in Gocomics, for a week! Well, I used to, but not now.) And I disagree with Obama most of the time. read more

Political oil, immigration, Facebook cartoons for the LA Times for May 2, 2010.

Of course, the two big stories this week are British Petroleum’s lies-and-dereliction-of-duties oil spill, and Arizona’s bill to curb illegal immigration. (Oh, and my car accident, but that’s big only to the people involved, and certainly won’t be mentioned in this week’s news for the Los Angeles Times… )Also, the Greek economy meltdown. I didn’t even know about it until I started reviewing cartoons for my competition here, and it’s kind of obvious that the American cartoonists don’t understand any more about it than I do, so hopefully we can include that next week.

The oil spill got me the maddest, so let’s start with that. The media kept calling it An oil spill, as if it were natural, and not a huge MANMADE disaster by BP, which is cleverly hiding its name: British Petroleum.

Some very good cartoons are starting to come in – Signe Wilkinson perhaps the best so far, and certainly more moderate than mine on Friday! – but I chose this one by Davies for the Times. I just love a little sarcasm with my coffee! And Matt Davies’ style certainly matches the subject. I would have dropped the labels, which I’m sure he added just out of habit. I mean, who can’t tell it’s oil? Nice round edges of the thick chemical crawling up the beach.

It’s funny, Daryl is quite mild-mannered in person, and also reasonable and fair. He’s a good person to run Political, and I’ve told the Times he would also make an excellent cartoon editor there. Yet his cartoons are often rather violent, so there may be another side to him! Here is an excellent example, with a huge nail embedded on the stick held by Arizona, and the destroyed pinata looking like a possible corpse with a sombrero… Daryl is very liberal, and, well, you’ll have to interpret this one for yourselves.

Great colors and design, Daryl! And we certainly need more cartoons about candy.

I found this cartoon amusing! This is the 2nd cartoon of Michael’s that I’ve chosen – he was the last editorial cartoonist for the LA Times before they decided to drop cartoons as a regular, important feature.  Immigration is a huge issue in California, of course, and both Daryl and Michael are locals, so I think it’s only fitting that their cartoons are spot on for this Times roundup. (Michael Ramirez is conservative, and I wanted a take opposite Daryl’s, so that’s why there are 5 cartoons in this collection rather than 4.) Michael is Hispanic himsel

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 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