Saturday, July 6, 2019

Five Toons in Search of a Theme

Having dealt with Stonewall, the end of World War I, and the start of Prohibition over the past couple weeks, this edition of Surveyback Saturday rummages through my own cartoons from 1989 for the Racine, Wisconsin Journal Times.
in Racine (WI) Journal Times, February, 1989
Most of my cartoons for the JT were about transient local issues and local persons, but here are a handful for which I guess you didn't have to have been there. I don't remember how the furor over Health: Choosing Wellness turned out, but you can probably easily imagine how the story shaped up: educrats select a sex ed textbook that accomplishes teaching kids important information about sex, vs. religious conservatives who don't want their kids learning about sex until their wedding night.

There was sex ed in Racine before 1989; I remember my dad taking me to what was called "Sixth Grade Boys' Hygeine" one evening, where the school showed us a film strip about (among other things) how babies are made. I also remember that I came away from that evening with a completely erroneous understanding of how babies are made.
in Racine Journal Times, April 7, 1989
1989 was the year Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds was accused of gambling on games in which he played or managed. For those of you younger than us baby boomers, my cartoon riffs on a series of TV commercials for a brokerage firm.
in Racine Journal Times, June 2, 1989
I drew these last three cartoons to accompany editorials the Journal Times announced ahead of time and invited readers send in their comments to be printed on the same day as the editorials. "Training wage" was one of those Republican counter-proposals to raising the minimum wage, the idea being that employers could offer new employees a less-than-minimum wage for some set period of time.

The Democratic proposal at the time was to raise the minimum wage, then at $3.25/hour since January, 1981, to $4.35 per hour; the 60-day "training wage" was supported by President George H.W. Bush and Governor Tommy Thompson. But as one letter-writer pointed out, why wouldn't "unscrupulous employers hire unskilled people at the lower training wage, retain them for a few weeks and then fire them when they are eligible for an increased wage and fringe benefits. Then these employers hire another group of unskilled workers at the lower, training wage"?

Bush and Congress agreed to raise the minimum wage to $4.25 in stages over the next two years, with a training wage of $3.35 in 1990 and $3.61 in 1991, restricted to laborers aged 16 to 19.

in Racine Journal Times, July 20, 1989
In July, the Journal Times invited readers' opinions of Wisconsin's child support law determining what non-custodial parents are expected to provide to custodial parents in cases of divorce. Responses were numerous and strong; the JT quoted one non-custodial father who showed up at the newspaper office in person but who didn't want his name used: "All I need to do is say how I feel about it and my ex-wife will haul me back into court faster than you can imagine."
in Racine Journal Times, July 4, 1989
Since it's a long Independence Day Weekend for many of you, how better to close today's installment than by resurrecting the 1989 controversy over flag burning. The Supreme Court had ruled that burning the flag in protest was protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, so Bush and the GOP proposed adding another amendment to criminalize that form of protest.

That amendment never got very far; it was far more effective as an issue to whip up the Republican base than as actual legislative policy. And they soon found railing against gay people was more effective still.

Which is why you would be free to burn your Betsy Ross Flag shoes from Nike, but tossing them at Colin Kaepernick can get you charged with assault and battery.

And wearing them might also be illegal.

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