Archive for October, 2008

Increasingly Annoying Verbal Tics…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, October 13, 2008

It’s at that point, isn’t it? Election season fatigue. When even folks who are the true believers in their candidate are going, “ya know, I’m kinda tired of hearing about this crap.” Well, me too. And I’m supposed to enjoy it. Okay, I do enjoy most of it, but it becomes overwhelming. I get too many ideas, so I have to sort out exactly what I want to do. And then, often, the one I settle on goes stale within a day because fresh batches of audacities and outrages are coming out of the oven.

So I was going to give you a lengthy, detailed essay on whom I’m planning to vote for, but now that idea just makes me weary. Instead I’ll give you the very basic reasons, and if you are feeling all energetic, you can tell me what you think: Obama. He’s an intelligent person. He at least mentions both revenue and spending when discussing budgets. When he deviates from the script, he typically says something sensible. He seems to recognize the world has changed, and the United States’ role has changed. He’s new.

Sarcastic asides that I removed from my endorsement: He’s got white blood so that means, you know, we’ve got like a special bond and we can hang out and stuff. He has never been a governor of a southern state. The liberal media elite have given me my orders and I must obey.


Presidential Debates and Flicking Boogers…


I had an idea for the Biz Journal that I was pretty sure wouldn’t get printed. No biggie. I had a better idea for a local issue (the local GM stamping plant closing). But I wanted to sketch this one anyway — boogers only stay fresh for so long you know….


McCain Campaign Pulls out of Michigan…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, October 6, 2008

When the McCain campaign announced they were pulling out of Michigan, my first thought was, “Wow, we really can’t catch an economic break, can we?” Michigan has been having a difficult time attracting investors, but, dang, when even our votes are apparently of no value…..


So Let This Bailout Be a Lesson to You…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, September 29, 2008

So much to write about, so little time. Perhaps later. In the meantime, this week’s comic is painfully self-explanatory….

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This Makes Sense… I Can’t Work with This!…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, September 22, 2008

These days there is so much low-hanging fruit for editorial cartoon ideas, what with the election, the financial meltdown, the bumbling Congress, etc. This week’s plum that I couldn’t quite get to: Certain Republican Representatives from Michigan posturing wildly on the bailout package, voting against it and claiming it would take us on a ride to downtown socialism — but then within days all quietly voting in favor of a bailout for the Big Three auto companies. This is their free market capitalism? Really? But so it goes.

The comic above was kind of a reflection on, well, there are actually good things going on, too. Recently, business leaders in West Michigan organized a policy conference to not only discuss the economic future of the region but also to try to do something with it. Richard DeVos gave a keynote speech that was stunning in its clarity. He basically said, “Don’t stand around expecting somebody else to come here and save us. The people of West Michigan need take responsibility.” He was calling people out, challenging them to open discussions and develop relationships, trying to move things forward.

It’s true that I have had some misgivings with Richard DeVos and have questioned his judgment in previous comics, and I was somewhat let down that the Conference ended up rating “eliminating the Michigan business tax” and “turning us into a right-to-work state” as their top goals. But I think — and this is an odd thing for an editorial cartoonist to say — that sometimes it’s okay to acknowledge the positive. As another example, there were moments in last night’s vice presidential debate when my intestines didn’t actively hurt. There, that was positive….


Say NO to Orphan Works Act…

As an editorial cartoonist I try, I really, really try to stay away from hackneyed stereotypes. You know, like nefarious politicians in the pocket of well-funded special interest groups sneaking suspect legislation through the system under cover of a larger crisis, say, a Wall Street meltdown. But then this happens:

Last week the US Senate managed to approve something called the Orphan Work Act. Didn’t hear about it? Well, frankly, that’s by design. I’ve read quite a bit about it, and I’ve included some links below if you’d like details but the best summary I’ve seen is this: It’s one of those laws that in attempting to address a minor problem creates a major one. Say I draw a comic and it gets published. Some time later, a magazine or book publisher finds it through Google, but my name has been removed and it isn’t immediately obvious that I’m the author. To them, it’s “orphaned.” As is now under copyright law, the onus is on them to find out who the author is and I have decent legal protection if they go ahead and republish without permission. With the Orphan Work Act, the onus would be on me to find the unauthorized work, and in the unlikely event that I did find it, my legal recourse would be limited and prohibitively expensive.

So off to the House it goes. Hopefully it won’t make it through. If you have time, contacting your representative would help.

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Incessant Need for Reflective Thought…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, September 2008