Charles Manson and Me.

Oh, and Ted Rall, but not all in the same room, please.

Charles Manson cartoons

I’m the luckiest girl in the world, to get to do a cartoon on Charles Manson. Charles has been a bad boy again.

I take special note of news about Manson since something he did affects me personally…The LA Times said:

For the second time in less than two years, California prison officials caught Charles Manson, mastermind of one of the most notorious killing sprees in U.S. history, with a cellphone behind bars.

I took note of it the first time they found him using a cell phone – it’s hysterical both that he is so free and easy and sly, and that the security there is so bad! My editor at CalWatchdog wasn’t so sure about the news item then, but when they found the second phone, and actually admitted they know it was the guards doing the smuggling – yet didn’t try to stop them!…okay, then!

From the Los Angeles TImes:

Lawmakers struggling to keep cellphones away from California’s most dangerous inmates say a main obstacle is the politically powerful prison guards union, whose members would have to be paid millions of dollars extra to be searched on their way into work.

Ted Rall did a cartoon on Charles Manson, too, a day after mine…

Analysis of 2 editorial cartoons

Let’s compare the 2 cartoons.

My first idea was to do something about it being an iPhone – kind of obvious, but popular – but I knew there was something better. For me, I’ve found that although the first idea might be easy, it’s not the best idea. That didn’t stop Ted, however, as he used the iPhone idea, and threw in AT & T.

I did my cartoon for CalWatchdog, a state journalism group from a libertarian perspective. Ted, a cartoonist in NY, was somehow hired by the Los Angeles Times to do local cartoons, so I’m surprised he didn’t hit the fact that the Manson murders were committed in Los Angeles, and the  famous investigation and trial was held here as well.

I included the fact that the state knows the guards are smuggling in thousands of phones, but they do nothing. I also brought up unions, since

No Christmas bells for Bell CA

I don’t care how much money someone makes. I’m a capitalist, and good on you for being rich. I was amused, then, to watch the Bell CA fiasco, when the LA Times Reporters noticed what the ignorant populace there didn’t: just how much money the Councilmen, Robert Rizzo, Police Chief, etc were making. Surprising, but THEY WEREN’T CHARGED WITH A CRIME. Because Rizzo and the others did nothing wrong except reward themselves a lot of money by voting for themselves. Nothing wrong with that. read more

The cop who ordered green ice cream.

Cool creamy ice cream and money for your summer vacation.

My editor at CalWatchdog, Steven Greenhut, like many journalists in many states now, is really interested in pension reform, and what pensions are doing to the rest of the state as they grow more humongous. I haven’t read his new book yet, Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation (I prefer serial killer novels for the summer), but he’s been on the radio and tv talking about it, so it must be great!

Yeah, I had to read up about it to understand the nuances. Or to understand anything, really.  It’s actually very simple: unions (mostly) arranged for moderate to low wages in certain industries, by including benefits on the back end, like retirement pensions, that laborers could feel reassured with.

This makes sense. Until you think about pyramid schemes. I’ve known for a while that the police can retire super young, like 40, and still get a livable pension, while even starting a different career. Since they work so hard, in dangerous situations, it seems fair. But somehow the pensions start to multiply, and with interest rates less than 1%, where will all this new money come from? The city, county and state. Oh.

It becomes more annoying when it’s state workers, who live in cubicles or offices and aren’t in danger at all, unless they jump out a window. I went to a seminar just a couple years ago at the LA Press Club when a smart entrepreneur said that all of us laid off journalists should go get state jobs, with little experience, with wonderful benefits, which you got no matter your age when you started. He teaches courses in Sacramento and other cities, and has a book out on this, too. He made it seem very enticing!

I’m into unions, really – have been in a real Hollywood one, and the NWU, which is sort of a quasi-union. And people should have a comfortable retirement. But I have no idea how to solve this problem, except have people in charge who are economists and realists.

This article by Steve on police and crime isn’t exactly about pensions, but gave me a beginning idea for the cartoon. But the ice screams truck was all mine.

Caption: Policeman: Yes, little girl, I promise to k

The FBI is renting beach umbrellas and sunglasses.

clean up new jersey beaches!

This is one of my most popular cartoons on Slate!

Summer is over! Not in LA, where we always have some beach, and it’s always too sunny. But in my heart, the beach is really New Jersey. Specifically, Ocean City, where my grandmother had a house, was an every summer highlight. And we also tootled over to Atlantic City and to Westwood, and even Cape May…

The “beach” includes the strange skinny pine forests on the car ride there, the steamy, impenetrable quicksand (so we heard) in the swamps, the bay, with the piers and boats, and of course the boardwalks, a world unto themselves. We went to the shore for years, even when Atlantic City first allowed gambling – but aren’t amusement park rides more fun, really? read more