The Independent

Cartoon For Utah – DSU’s Latest Rebrand-Aid


A cartoon for The Independent.

I wish I was in the land of cotton. Old times there are not forgotten. Look away. Look away. Look away, Dixieland.

Do you know who picked cotton? Slaves. Do you know what about the old times that are not forgotten? Slavery. So why anyone wants to identify with one of the darkest histories of the United States is puzzling. It’s especially puzzling when the institution that wants to identify with Dixie is not in Dixie.

Dixie State University is in Utah. Not the Southern United States.  There were 11 states in the Confederacy and none of them were Utah. Southern Utah likes to tag itself as the “Dixie of Utah.” Southern Utah, you are not in Dixie. Dixie is in Dixie. You’re an institution of higher learning. You have professors, calculators, books, rulers and other learny stuff. You probably teach history. Get a map. Educate yourself on geography.

I have a friend who went to DSU. It’s weird how many Utah connections I have. She doesn’t want the name to change. I understand not wanting to change the name of something from your past. The university in my hometown of Monroe, Louisiana changed it’s mascot and name. I didn’t mind it changing it’s mascot from the Indians to the Warhawks (most team names are generic. There are three Tigers and two bulldogs in the SEC). I didn’t like it changing its name from Northeast Louisiana University to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Why didn’t I like it? I find it more generic. There’s a University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  NLU (which I’m still used to saying to refer to the university) could have just changed it to the University of Monroe, or Monroe University or had just left it he Hell alone. But at least there wasn’t anything to be taken as racist from it and it’s actually in Dixie. Utah, you have a bigger problem.

In 1987 “the Rebels,” a large bronze statue of soldiers with a Confederate flag was placed on campus. In 1993, Dixie State got rid of the Confederate flag as an official school symbol. Today their mascot is “Big Dee”, who was formerly referred to as “Rodney Rebel.” Now they’re trying to find a new mascot with some of the choices surveyed being Raptors, Mustangs, Wranglers and The Blazers (which is also the team name of my college, Belhaven University, which is also generic. Blazers? We’re a type of jacket?).

DSU needs to take the focus off their mascot hunt and focus on getting rid of “Dixie.” You’re not in Dixie. It doesn’t make any sense. You’re Utah. You have your own identity. You don’t need to glom onto one of another region.

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I drew this for The Independent in St. George, Utah.

I like McDonald’s fair enough. I can’t eat their stuff as often as I could when I was younger. I have walked into the place over the past couple years and changed my mind from the grease smell. Other times I’ve chowed down on a Big Mac. I still love their fries…if I can get them fresh. I’m pretty psyched I can get a McGriddle now after 11:00 AM. I don’t know if I’ll ever do but I like knowing I can.

I don’t kid myself. McDonald’s is not healthy food. Those salads are just for show. It’s definitely not something you want to get your children hooked on. I know as a parent I fed my son way too much of it, but to be honest, he just wanted the toy and would ignore his Happy Meal.

Having a contest to see which kid can gorge himself the most and the fastest isn’t just stupid, it’s destructive. It’s a contest to see which child they can encourage to slowly kill himself.

To be honest, after drawing this I kinda want a Big Mac. Just one. It’s not a contest.

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Iron County Steering Committee


I drew this for The Independent in St. Gorge, Utah.

From the article: Local towing companies, including Cedar City-based All Ways Towing and Mountain Towing, are concerned with what they call “steering.” They allege they are losing business and money to other tow companies and car dealerships in the area because of inappropriate practices of favoritism by law enforcement and the dispatch center. The alleged problem has been occurring over the last 10 years or longer.

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Elementary Mohawks


Here’s this week’s cartoon for The Independent.

When I was a kid, I considered school dress codes as teachers’ punishment for not being as cool as their students. When I was in high school, the biggest concern for teachers was girls dressing like Madonna from the “Lucky Star” video. I was concerned too, but only that those girls wouldn’t ever talk to me.

I understand dress code. I’m not entirely against them. Someone has to tell kids to pull their pants up.

Arrowhead Elementary School in Washington County, Utah, dismissed a seven-year-old second grader last week for sporting a Mohawk. The school administration considered the Mohawk distracting. Check out the link. Does that look distracting? Maybe I’m jaded. I see kids with weird haircuts all the time. The only time I’m concerned is when a child has a mullet, and I’m worried about what type of parents would do that to their child. The Mohawk is kinda cool.

Maybe it is something distracting in the second grade, but I don’t really buy it.

this child is of Seneca descent. That’s a Native American tribe. The school requested a letter from the New York-based Seneca Nation of Indians to confirm the haircut is of cultural significance. Of course they responded and in a much more diplomatic way than I’m posting here, stated, “Leave the kid alone, and stop discriminating against him.”

You would think those in the education business would be educated on such matters. You would especially think those in the education business at a school named Arrowhead Elementary would be somewhat familiar with what’s of cultural significance to Native Americans.

That’s some irony difficult to top in a cartoon.

At the end of the day, it’s just a haircut. The school might want to concern themselves more with what’s in his head than on top.

Lazy Lucy Vs. Polygamist Pete


Here’s this week’s cartoon for The Independent in St. George, Utah.

Reading Horizons is a publisher of educational material in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over 10,000 schools use their programs. They recently published some books with characters such as Lazy Lucy. Lazy Lucy is depicted somewhere in Africa, and she struggles to keep her hut clean. There’s Nieko The Hunting Girl who’s an American Indian hunting Woolly Mammoths. They also let us know that Kenyans can run very fast.

Reading Horizons is catching some heat so don’t hold your breath for the planned children’s story Willy And His Watermelons.
The Minneapolis school board is upset. They called the books “culturally insensitive and unacceptable.” They really don’t like stereotypes in Minnesota. You betcha they don’t.
They also want a refund of the $1.2 million they paid to Reading Horizons, which would buy a lot of Jello (you have to be aware they eat a lot of Jello in Utah to get that joke. It’s probably not as well known of a stereotype as Mormons and polygamy).
$1.2 million? I can come up with some educational material for just half that price. We can start with something like why you shouldn’t purchase educational materials from someone with the cultural and sensitivity awareness of a Klansman….or Donald Trump.

Utah Stomps On Planned Parenthood


Utah’s governor Gary Herbert is trying to defund Planned Parenthood because of all those sneaky (probably illegal) videos made by the Center For Medical Progress. That’s an odd name for a group trying to restore back-alley-clothes-hanger abortions.

These videos are smearing Planned Parenthood and trying to mislead the public. Never mind the fact PP is not doing anything illegal. Five states, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, South Dakota, and Massachusetts, have already ruled that PP is clear of any wrongdoing (chew on that). You won’t read that at Breitbart. Another thing you won’t read at right wing troll sites is that the Center For Medical Progress receives funding from Operation Rescue which has an ugly history of being connected to violence against abortion clinics and doctors.

Being anti abortion is fine. That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. Spreading false information is not fine. It’s disgusting and irresponsible. It’s especially disgusting if you’re elected to serve the public or you work in the media. It’s revolting for journalists to engage in lying. Yes, if you’re in the opinion game in the media, talking head, editorial writer, columnist or even political cartoonist, you’re a journalist.

If you have information that doesn’t help your argument then you tend to ignore it. To ignore it and keep spreading lies is a violation of ethics and it makes you a liar. Unfortunately too many appear not to have any ethics and they don’t have a problem being a liar. I know ethics is something some “journalists” don’t think about but guess what, you’re supposed to have them (I’m willing to venture that the publications that run your work actually have ethics policies. You should look into it). If you have to lie to support your argument then you have a weak argument.

I think what really infuriates me is that lying to support your cause works. It’s been working for a long time. Republicans have been doing it effectively for a long time. It helps their base is stupid. But it does work. Ask Joseph Goebbels.

Here’s the rough.


A Really Nasty River Runs Through It


I created this cartoon for The Independent in St. George, Utah.

The toxic chemicals that leaked into the Animas River in Colorado are now seeping into other rivers into Utah and other states. The leak originated from Gold King Mine which was abandoned by the company that owned it. The EPA attempted to clean it up and inadvertently dumped the toxins into the Animas River. The state government in Utah and others are now threatening to sue the EPA. How come these states aren’t going after the Gold King Mine? Because these states are run by Republicans.

When oil companies contaminate the oceans, they’re usually (sometimes) held accountable cost wise. At least they get the blame and public scorn as well they should. If you rape land, abandon it while taking all the profit, destroy the environment, then you can wait for the federal government to take the blame and the tab. Of course the ones paying the tab are the taxpayers.

I had fun creating ‘Tale of the EPA and the Terrible Animas Contaminus’ for The Independent. I got to draw a lot of happy little trees.

Wang Dang Save The Name


The university in St. George, Utah is named Dixie State University. That doesn’t make any sense to me but it makes sense to a lot of people in Utah who refer to the Southern region of that state as “Dixie.” Why? Utah wasn’t even a state during the Civil War (admitted to the Union in 1896) and it’s not a part of the region of the country referred to as Dixie. That would be like Atlanta calling itself the Big Apple or Birmingham giving itself the nickname The Windy City.

In fact, the school’s mascots are the Rebels and they used to fly the Confederate flag. Now there’s a movement to change the name.

I don’t have much of with Dixie being thought of as racist. Dixie is not racist and refers to the South, not racism. The Confederacy doesn’t exist anymore but Dixie does. Though that song “Dixie” can be construed as racist (it was big during the Civil War and features the lyrics “old times there are not forgotten”). If Dixie State University was actually in the South I would support them keeping the name (we can’t get rid of everything and not everything is offensive).

I have a problem geographically. It seems Utah, a state with it’s own identity, could come up with a name that’s more representative of that region of the state instead of stealing one from the American South. Why not call it Red Rock University since that’s a big part of the scenery in the area (it’s beautiful and I hope to visit someday). But c’mon! A university should be about education so it should have some basic foundation of geography.

I decided to play on Kid Rock and Ted Nugent’s support for the Confederate flag in this week’s cartoon for The Independent. There’s another pair confused about what region they’re in as both are big supporters of Southern racism while being from Michigan. If Kid Rock and Ted Nugent are on your side, then you’re in trouble.

Oh God. Sometimes the stupid really hurts.

Speaking of changing things that are offensive: As I mentioned above, I don’t think everything should vanish. Yes, the flag of racism, hate and traitors should not fly on government property. Monuments to the Confederacy should be considered on a case by case basis. Some are part of history and education. Monuments to Klan leaders should definitely come down. The Confederate cause should be preserved in Museums. I can’t see all the statues in Richmond coming down (which includes Jefferson Davis). Streets and schools named after Confederate generals and Jefferson Davis should definitely change (unless that confederate hero actually founded the school or served there, like Washington And Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where Robert E. Lee served as president after the Civil War).

A Footlong In Utah


Here’s this week’s cartoon for The Independent in St. George, Utah.

I made a mistake in the cartoon and named the town “Riverdale” instead of Springdale. I must have been thinking of The Archies. There is a Riverdale in Utah and I did a Wiki on that knowing it was Springdale. Duh! Second mistake I made last week (I drew this last Friday).

I actually sent this idea as a joke to the editors at the Indy. I even told them I was sending it knowing there was no way they would ever use it. Well they debated it and wanted to use it.

Editorial cartoonist have a reputation of trying to put something dirty, risque, scandalous and even dangerous in a cartoon. It’s a pretty accurate reputation and it can fit me at times. Usually I’m all gung ho to draw a cartoon with an euphemism for penis but this wasn’t my favorite idea.

Thinking the editors would kill the sandwich idea, I threw another idea at them.

An Iron County (Utah) deputy recently fought being laid off. A committee for the county overturned his firing and reinstated him to the sheriff’s department. A county attorney decided to appeal. I came up with this idea which involved the story of the girl who’s famous (though I’ve never heard of her) who said she hated America and licked doughnuts.

The editors said they thought the doughnut licking story might be too obscure and readers may not be aware of it. They’re probably right. But even though I got to make a slightly dirty joke that’d never be approved by most editors with the sandwich cartoon, I still like the donut licking idea better. Here’s that rough.