about "The Best Comic Strip Ever!"

The characters in my strip, set in Africa's Western Rift Valley, are: the Foolish Pride of lions (Leon, the haughty and lethargic King of Beasts; his queen, Leona; and their cub Lionel, an unpromising heir to the throne); Secretary Bird, a liason between the Royal Court and the rest of the animals; cerebral, man-imitating Ape, a reader of the Substandard; peevish Rhinoceros; harmless but senseless Ostrich; Crocodile, resident of the much-frequented Watering Hole, and his dentist, Crocodile Bird; Honey Badger (alias Ratel), the "Meanest Animal in the World", and his one associate, Honeyguide; Mumbo the elephant, a descendant of Jumbo and a butt of jokes about his weight and the size of his ears and nose; Duncan the dung beetle; ill-favored and unwashed Warthog; the craven, henpecked male and shrewish female hyaenas, both of them foul-smelling and perpetually at war vs. the lions; the mistaken-identity-plagued zebras; slow and superannuated Tortoise; Oxpecker, a companion of large herbivores; Hugh the chamaeleon; and walled-up Mrs. Hornbill.

The Best Comic Strip Ever!

If you "click" the present cartoon, whizbang technology will take you to the "The Best Comic Strip Ever!" Archive.

30 September 2009

Uncommon Commentary #76: Bowls, Polls, Field Goals (&c.)

There are a number of reasons why I no longer watch the game that we in the Usa call "football," including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. It has the option of a two-point conversion attempt after a touchdown, but a game also goes into overtime if tied at the end of 60 minutes of playing time. Not only do these rules cause redundancy, since the purpose of both is to prevent ties, but they also often defeat their own purpose. If the U. of Northern South Dakota Locusts trail the U. of Southern North Dakota Polecats 7-14 with seconds remaining, but then score a "touchdown" (see below), the Locusts won't risk the outcome of the entire game on a two-point conversion attempt, but will simply kick the extra point and send the game into overtime; if, on the other hand, they trail 6-14, they'll have nothing to lose by going for the two points, thus, should they succeed, sending into overtime a game that would have ended after four quarters if a two-point attempt were not permissible. Having both two-point conversions and overtime thus makes it more likely that a game will go into overtime, needlessly prolonging what may have already become a tedious contest. (Overtime also, in my opinion, cheapens victory, since it means that games that a team really ought to have tied are recorded as wins.)
  2. In order to score a "touchdown," it is not necessary to actually touch the ball down in the other team's end zone (as it is in the ancestral sport Rugby; from this fact derives the name of this scoring play, and perhaps the celebratory spike) but merely to "break the plane of the goal line," which is not very satisfying for spectators to see happen. Further, how many times have you seen a receiver jump to catch the "ball" (see below) and land so that said ball is out of bounds by two yards or even more, yet, because he managed to extend the big toe of each of his feet to the turf in the end zone before falling onto his rump, the referee calls it a touchdown? As I see things, in order to score six points, it should be necessary to actually ground the "ball" at or beyond the opponent's goal line.
  3. If your team begins a possession at your own 20-yard line, and ends up with, let's say, a fourth-and-five situation at the other team's 33-yard line, you are faced with three unpalatable choices: try to pick up the first down, which effort will probably fail, and give the other team above-average field position; attempt a field goal, which effort will probably fail, and give the other team above-average field position; or punt, hopefully pinning the other team deep in its own territory. The third option not only guarantees that your 47-yard drive will yield no points, but also carries the high risk that the "ball" will be downed in the end zone, resulting in a touchback, which means that the punt has netted your team all of 13 yards. There ought to be, as is true in the Canadian version of the game, no touchback; in other words, a team's inability to return a missed field-goal attempt, or a punt, out of its own end zone should result in a score for the other team. (In Canadian "football," this score is called a "rouge," and is worth one point; I think that it ought to be called a safety, and be worth two points like the safety with which we Yanks are familiar.)
  4. It's bad enough that violations of NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules are as common as they are in intercollegiate "football," but even some actions that do not violate those rules, such as the awarding of so-called athletic scholarships up to the licit limit, are actually abuses. As the term suggests, athletic scholarships were intended to be bestowed only upon athletes whose scholarship (in another sense of the word) merits grants-in-aid; in practice, however, it is not the recipients' academic performance but rather their prowess on the gridiron that matters. (Some self-described reformers now even want players at the university level to be paid openly, as if exemption from paying for education weren't compensation enough.)
  5. Any sport should have competition to determine which competitor is the best; polls of sportswriters obviously are an inadequate substitute (since they give teams incentive to run up scores, and the voters may be prejudiced), but something that hardly anyone understands is that the NCAA does not recognize them or anything else as even an inferior means of determining the champion of U.S. "college football." According to that governing body, there thus has never been a Division I-A (now "NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision") "national champion"; the introduction of the pretentiously titled Bowl Championship Series, which arranges postseason matchups between the teams ranked as best and second-best, is irrelevant in this regard. The professional league in this country does have a real championship game, but the hyperbole that accompanies it is too nauseating to watch.
  6. Finally, why is the sport that I've critiqued even called "football?" The game involves neither the foot (unless your position is that of kicker or punter) nor a true ball (which is, by definition, a sphere). My new name for it (as well as that for the Superbowl) is on the list of domanisms, below.

24 September 2009

Another Vital Link

Even in the Obama Nation (see the list of domanisms, below), the subject of this article (to which you are linked by the title of this post) is almost beyond belief. (I recommend that you also re-read the second paragraph of "Education Made Me What I Am Today: Evil and Incompetent!", and note in this connection that the next-to-last paragraph of the news story recounts Obama's disingenuous praise of US public education.)

18 September 2009

Miscellaneous Musing #18

There's no question that women can do almost anything, but there's nothing that they do better than serve as wives and mothers.

Uncommon Commentary #75

I think that I know the reason why Obama is naming all these "czars": he wants to make up for the fact that it was his fellow leftists who murdered the Russian Czar and his family in 1918.

Uncommon Commentary #74: Flip-Flops and Simple Flops

Democrats tried to offset their treasonable deeds and words regarding the counterinsurgency in Iraq by saying that Afghanistan was the place where a “surge” was needed. That view might seem confirmed by the fact that 2009 has already seen the highest number of fatalities to coalition forces of any year of the war, but it must be kept in mind that the campaign to drive the Taliban from power ended victoriously well in advance of the US-UK invasion of Iraq, and that not until late 2005 (inspired, no doubt, by Western leftists' opposition to their own polities' war efforts in that country) did the Taliban begin a push to reclaim their authority. (Their position on this issue reminds me of their criticism of George W. Bush for not paying enough attention to North Korea; I also found the President's policy toward Kim Jong-Il inconsistent with his stance toward Saddam “Hussein,” but I disliked their hypocrisy, since, after all, Bush wouldn't have inherited either crisis if his Democratic predecessor had done his job.) Anyway, now that someone who actually knows anything about the situation in Afghanistan (Gen. McChrystal) has requested a greater commitment of manpower in order to implement the strategy that our President proclaimed when he was still pretending to be a hawk, these same Democrats, even with one of their own in the Oval Office, oppose the escalation that they said they favored when our troops were suffering a fraction of the number of casualties that they are now. Perhaps they have no more confidence in Obama as commander-in-chief than I do.
It remains for me in this uncommon commentary to address the question of why the fortunes of the terrorists in Afghanistan have been waxing. Since Afghan police say that the suicide attacks that occur there are not carried out by their own people, one probable factor is that terrorists from elsewhere are now moving into that land rather than Iraq for the opportunity to fight the Infidel. Leftists commonly develop obsessive hatred for any Republican who occupies the Oval Office; I don't want to fall into a similar trap regarding Emperor Nerobama, blaming him for everything that's going wrong in the world, and so I won't go so far as to attribute the negative developments in Afghanistan to his poor leadership. I'll say merely that the attainment to the USA's highest office of someone whose candidacy was endorsed by foreign enemies of the country (Qaddafi, Ortega, the Castro brothers, Hamas), and who has had close associations with its domestic enemies (Jeremiah Wright, William Ayres, et cetera), can only have boosted their morale. I'll also say, to conclude, that the Afghan situation at least demonstrates that Obama’s election to the presidency has not been the “game-changer” in relation to terrorism that many of those who voted for him actually expected it to be (although in a perverse way, they were right: the “War on Terror” was lost on Election Day 2008).

15 September 2009

Uncommon Commentary #73: Don't Trust Any Organization Whose Name Sounds like a Belch

The cover of the latest AARP Bulletin proclaims that this issue contains "the hype, the lies, the facts" on health-care reform. Specifically, the hype is contained on pages 1-5; the lies, on pages 6-20; and the facts are in print that's illegible without a microscope, written in a script that has yet to be deciphered.

Miscellaneous Musing #17

The term "Fourth Estate" ought to be broadened to include not just the press but also the entertainment media. the capacity of fiction to shape opinion is enormous; its tendency to do so, unsettling.

12 September 2009

Uncommon Commentary #72

First, the ruling Democrats warned people that the unemployment rate would rise to 8% and beyond unless the ARRA (or "Stimulus," or APPA; see the guide to domanisms, below) of 2009 were enacted; now, with that rate nearly at double digits, they're telling us that said legislation has saved a million jobs! They ought to have appended to their extraordinary claim the statement "Decide which you're going to believe: us, or the truth."

08 September 2009

Uncommon Commentary #71: "Education Made Me What I Am Today: Evil and Incompetent!"

By the time this is posted, Emperor Nerobama will have delivered his ballyhooed speech to most of the schoolchildren of the USA. Reports are that this oration merely aimed at encouraging our younglings to study hard—Now there's a message that I'll bet they've never heard before!—rather than recruit them for the Obama Youth, as many feared it might. (One can't blame those who had such apparently unrealized trepidations, given the Left's longstanding practice of making children into political pawns, and the White House's recent habit of using ostensibly ideology-neutral situations, for example, that ABC television special on health care, to expound its obnoxious agenda.) If the purpose of his address was not to "indoctrinate" young people, then, what was his reason for giving it? There's nothing wrong or uncommon about urging students to live up to their name, but that's just my point; the pomp surrounding this particular such exhortation is probably without parallel. Did Obama not realize the redundancy or the unremarkability of his message, or the absurdity of occupying their time with something like this instead of having them do something that might actually further their studies, i.e., studying?
It seems to me that the true significance of this episode is that it provides further evidence as to our President's inordinately high opinion of himself. Just as he pretends or believes that he can talk North Korea and Iran out of joining what I call the "nuclear family," he puts forward his alleged verbal magic as the "answer" to the woes of public education: the solution to the problem of inadequate schools is not to improve those schools but for our leader to inspire students to better performance.
On the previous occasions when I called Obama a megalomaniac, I was not presuming to diagnose him as having that psychological disorder, but merely referring to his personality type; if he sincerely feels that his words have the ability to alter reality, though, he really ought to consider consulting a mental specialist. (And if I were he, I'd make the visit before my proposed medical reform goes into effect.)