Thursday, March 5, 2015

Q Toon: St. Patrick's Day Off

Nearly every March for years and years, I've drawn something about St. Patrick's Day parades, always about the one in New York. I'm happy to announce that this year, I'm doing something different.
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✥Mar 5, 2015

Immaculate Heart of Mary School, a small Catholic school in Harvard, Massachusetts, has announced that it is canceling its participation in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade because parade organizers, the Allied War Veterans' Council, are permitting OutVets, an organization of LGBT military veterans, to march.
"We can't associate with that,” Brother Thomas Dalton, principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary School, said in a phone interview. "It would appear we were condoning it."
In the past, parade organizers have excluded LGBT groups from the parade, citing antigay Catholic religious dogma; but last year, the beer companies who are the major sponsors of the parade withdrew their support because of the policy.

The thing that gets me about Brother Dalton is that it's not as if his marching band is being required to follow directly after RuPaul's Drag Race, Topless Dykes on Bikes, Twinks Wearing Little More Than Glitter, or 50 Shades of Latex. It's a veterans' group, fer crying out loud -- men and women who have served our country and lived to tell about it -- who might not even have staged anywhere near the Immaculate Mary Marching Band for all we know.

Given the 100" (2.5 m) of snow Boston is dealing with this winter, one wonders how organizers plan to march anyone down the snowbound streets of Southie anyway. One imagines spectators clinging to the tops of plow berms high above the parade as it is forced to march no more than three abreast down the constricted streets.

They might have to postpone the parade until Mothers' Day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

R.C. Bowman on the German Vote

It has been ages since I've posted any cartoons from The Minneapolos Tribune Cartoon Book for 1901: Being a Collection of Over One Hundred Cartoons by R.C. Bowman. So let's take a look at an ethnic voting bloc that you hardly ever  hear about any more:
How Teddy lost the German-American Vote While in Milwaukee.

Clearly, Mr. Bowman was being facetious with this caption; as noted before, he was solidly in favor of the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket in 1900 and would hardly have crowed about a setback to its prospects. Here, the Milwaukee G.O.P., wearing wooden clogs and pants with a pretzel motif, is trumpeting "We're with you, Teddy, man for man" and "Hoo-rah for hoo-rah and high wages!"

Given the party's determination to torpedo wages here in Wisconsin these days, there have clearly been some drastic changes in the state G.O.P. in the last 115 years.

Milwaukee was known as the "German Athens" for its large population of German immigrants, who ranged from farmers to brewery entrepreneurs to outspoken socialists. Generally speaking, German-American voters in 1900 tended to oppose both Bryan's "repudiation" policy (allowing holders of government bonds to "repudiate" the terms of the bond and to demand payment in coin for a bond purchased with paper) and overseas expansion under McKinley as a result of the U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War.
The German American Vote: "Well, wouldn't that jar you? Some old geeser up there takes me for a sucker."

R.C. Bowman here remains confident that the German-American vote will go Republican, rather than be tempted by William Jennings Bryan's proposed 16-to-1 exchange rate of silver coinage to gold, or his campaign against American imperialism. The lure in the cartoon is labeled "16 to 1," and the worm is labeled "Imperialism bait."

Aside from Milwaukee, major German-American communities included Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago, New York, Baltimore and the Northern Kentucky area along the Ohio River. By 1900, the populations of the cities of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Hoboken, and Cincinnati were all more than 40% German American. Omaha, Nebraska and Dubuque and Davenport, Iowa had even larger proportions. Of the states in which these communities lie, only Kentucky and Missouri -- the ones in the "Solid South" -- went Democratic in the 1900 presidential election.
Carl Schurz: "Mister, don't you want to buy a dog? He's tame as a kitten (if you keep the muzzle on)."
Uncle Sam: "Carley, you may not know it, but you're an awfully funny feller."

German-born American Carl Schurz was a revolutionary who had moved to Wisconsin after the failure of Europe's 1848 liberal revolutions. By 1900, he had been Lincoln's ambassador to Spain, a brigadier general in the Civil War, chief editor of the Detroit Post, Senator from Missouri, and Rutherford B. Hayes's Secretary of the Interior. He was also a frequent cartoon target of Thomas Nast. A liberal Republican "Mugwump," he supported Democrat Grover Cleveland over Republican James Blaine in 1884; and while he did not support Bryan in 1896, he was won over by the Democrat in 1900 for his anti-imperialist policies.

The muzzle in this cartoon is labeled "Republican legislation"; Schurz was not a fan of the economic policies of William Jennings Bryan, who peers out from behind a log in this next cartoon.
"Too old a chick to be caught by chaff."

Those wooden shoes are back as a signifier of German-Americans in this cartoon. Today, they would only be associated with the Dutch, if anyone. I have no idea whether there was some association of pigeons, grouse, plovers, or whatever kind of bird that's supposed to be with German-Americans, but I guess Germans may have tended to walk around Minneapolis wearing poofy hard-billed caps and oversize bow ties.

At least the bird isn't wearing pretzelhosen.

Monday, March 2, 2015

In Like a Sneak Peek

It's March! A time for springing ahead yet being wary of ides; wearin' the green while still shovelin' the white; coming in like a lion but going out like a lamb; honoring women's history and reading Little Women.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Q Toon: Dogpatch, Arkansas

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Feb 26, 2015

Last week, the Arkansas legislature passed SB202, a bill by State Senator Bart Hester (R-Benton Co.) nullifying any local anti-discrimination ordinances which include LGBT Arkansans.
Arkansas on Monday banned local governments from expanding anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, becoming the second state to adopt a measure opponents call a thinly-veiled move to discriminate against gays and lesbians. ... The measure was introduced in reaction to a Fayetteville ordinance that voters repealed in December expanding the city's anti-discrimination protections. Eureka Springs in northwest Arkansas enacted a similar measure earlier this month, and Little Rock elected officials are weighing expanding that city's discrimination protections.
Sen. Hester is one of those Big Government Conservatives; he previously co-authored a bill requiring houses of worship to admit handguns into their sanctuaries. He claimed that SB202 was needed to prevent a patchwork quilt of anti-discrimination laws hindering business and industry, in spite of the thundering silence on that count from business and industry.
The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce told ThinkProgress last week, “We have no position on that piece of legislation.” Walmart, which is based in Arkansas and has corporate LGBT protections, only spoke out on the bill Monday evening, mere hours before it was to become law without Hutchinson’s signature. Tyson Foods, another prominent Arkansas business that protects its gay employees, remained silent on the legislation.
Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-Of Course) expressed "concerns about the loss of local control," but allowed the bill to go into effect without his signature anyway.

Meanwhile, a similar pro-discrimination law is already on the books in Tennessee, and another has been proposed in West Virginia.

Monday, February 23, 2015

This Week's Sneak Peek

We're keeping to an animal theme this week. Yesterday's cartoon was for everyone in Boston who finds this winter hard to bear.

Tune in in a couple days to find out what else has got my goat.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Toon: Whatever the Weather

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Feb 22, 2015

It has been a brutal winter up and down the East Coast of the U.S. Boston, Massachusetts is suffering under almost 100" (2.5 meters) of snow as we seem to be stuck in a loop this year of one storm after another pounding New England.

Meanwhile up in Alaska, the starting point of this year's Iditarod dogsled race will be moved for only the second time ever due to a lack of snow. (And I'd like to point out that I only read the story at that link when I was writing this blog entry, after drawing this cartoon.)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Q Toon: Ten Moore Commandments

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. “Ginny” Granade ruled that Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Alabama's chief justice, Roy Moore, responded by instructing his state's judges and civic officials that they were to ignore the federal ruling. Moore's theory is that federal courts "lack authority" to rule on state laws.

In a later interview, he went so far as to pledge to defy the U.S. Supreme Court if it should rule in favor of marriage equality this year:
“This power over marriage, which came from God under our organic law, is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court,” Justice Moore told “Fox News Sunday.” ... “I would not be bound thereby.”
As I noted Tuesday, Moore came to national attention by insisting upon erecting a graven image of the Ten Commandments at the Alabama Judicial Building; so that's where I went for this week's cartoon:
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Feb 19, 2015

The man has been on a lifelong moral crusade to establish a Christian caliphate. In his 1999 campaign for the Chief Justiceship, he charged that the decline of Christianist hegemony
"corresponded directly with school violence, homosexuality, and crime." His message was identical to the one in his previous race: "We must return God to our public life and restore the moral foundation of our law."
Notice how homosexuality is lumped in there between school violence and crime?

Moore's antigay animus returned to the fore in D.H. v. H.H., a custody dispute before his court in 2002. A divorced lesbian had sued for custody of her children, alleging abuse by her ex-husband. A circuit court in Alabama had ruled in favor of the father, but the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals overturned that verdict 4-1, finding that substantial evidence existed of abusive behavior by the father.

But as far as Moore was concerned, the abusive father's behavior was nothing compared to that of the sinful lesbian mother:
"Homosexual behavior is a ground for divorce, an act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one's ability to describe it. That is enough under the law to allow a court to consider such activity harmful to a child. To declare that homosexuality is harmful is not to make new law but to reaffirm the old; to say that it is not harmful is to experiment with people's lives, particularly the lives of children."
One can only hope, thirteen years later, that Moore's little experiment in seeing whether those children would fare well under the roof of that abusive father was not as harmful as any sane person would expect it to be.

And that even Alabama can evolve into a civilized society in which it is the abusive father, not the lesbian mother, whose behavior is considered "an inherent evil, ... so heinous that it defies one's ability to describe it."