Archive for July, 2011

Summer 2011 and the Debt Ceiling Game…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, July 23, 2011

Sad. I drew this comic 8 days ago, it was published 6 days ago, and it’s still perfectly fresh today….

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Betty Ford…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, July 16, 2011

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My GR6 x 6…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, July 9, 2011

Me trying to be clever with the “My Grand Rapids in six words” contest/social experiment, which itself is pretty clever. Check out http://www.mygr6.com/

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…and we’re back!

The Auchtoon! site is now alive once more. Did you notice it was down? You shouldn’t have. It’s summer — there are better things to do than checking blog sites. But apparently I managed to break it a week ago. Do you want to hear the specifics of what exactly happened? You do not. Summer or not, you have better things to do.

Suffice to say, technology is delightful when it works but a cruel sadomasochistic taskmaster when you make a well-intentioned and seemingly inconsequential mistake. A hat-tip to Andrew at 2G Techworks for finding the right safe word to release me from my bondage. And that’s about as far I think we should go with that analogy….

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Asking the People About Concealed Weapons…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, July 2, 2011

Here’s the thing: I’ve been an American all my life, and I still don’t really understand our obsession with handguns and the visceral need for some to possess them. I think it all likely stems from fear. Fear built upon fear built upon fear over time. And now it’s a societal instinct to get firearms when we feel a threat. I don’t think the answer is to ban handguns. Banning stuff in America typically doesn’t work very well. We like the stuff we like, legal or not. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what to do. But if I were a politician and could create a well-intentioned but completely unenforceable law (the type of reactionary laws that get people re-elected), it would be this: If I wanted to buy a handgun, I would have to wait one week. And during that week, I could do anything I wanted except watch TV news. And if — after that one week of not stewing in the worst of human behavior — I was still fearful, then, yes, I could buy the gun. (Plus, there would be a background check on me. Because who in their right mind would sell me a gun if I had a criminal background? Um, right?…)

I’m sure you all know about the guy in Grand Rapids who snapped last week and killed seven people and then himself. It was a horrible thing. But instead of wasting our energy and money stocking up on weapons or trying to get rid of them all, maybe we should concentrate on improving the health support structure to identify and treat mental illness. Which is to say, reduce the fear for everybody.

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What Brains Think About Motorcycle Helmet Laws…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, June 25, 2011

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