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 2010

Uncommon Commentary #131: Atheists, Agnostics, and Heretics? P-ew!

A poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has found that believers in various faiths to be found in the spirituality spectrum of the USA are actually more ignorant about religion nowadays than are atheists and agnostics.  Atheists, and agnostics, if the latter are organized, doubtlessly will claim these results as proof that knowledge leads to the spurning of religion, but the truth is more complex.
Columnist Cal Thomas (a Christian) wrote in his 28 September column that the fact that nullifidians scored highest on the survey (correctly answering an average of 20.9 out of 32 multiple-choice questions) doesn't surprise him, for "To reject religion you must understand what you are rejecting."  Thomas ought also to have pointed out the glaring deficiency of the Pew poll, which is that the categories of people surveyed (from highest to lowest rank: "Atheist/Agnostic," "Jewish," "Mormon," "White evangelical Protestant," "White Catholic," "White mainline Protestant," "Nothing in particular," "Black Protestant," and, with a median of only 11.6 correct answers, "Hispanic Catholic") do not distinguish between persons who actually live their professed faith and those who don't take it very seriously.  In the analysis of the survey results, Pew Forum associate director for research Alan Cooperman—who shares Thomas's assessment that atheists do not reject religion without serious consideration—observed that "People with the highest levels of religious commitment – those who say that they attend worship services at least once a week and that religion is very important in their lives – generally demonstrate higher levels of religious knowledge than those with medium or low religious commitment," but he failed to specify how much higher.  Jews as a whole scored only four tenths of one percentage point lower than atheists and agnostics, and so it's completely justifiable to presume (especially given the large number of their brethren who are Jewish in name only) that devout Jews fared far better on this test than did the poll subjects who don't believe in anything; much the same must be true of Mormons, who finished a close third with an average of 20.3 correct answers, and, at least to a lesser extent, of members of Christian denominations "other than" Mormonism (which, sadly, is heterodoxy), the highest mean score for whom was 17.6.  Note also the low performance of the "nothing in particular" [in their heads?] crowd.
Unbelief does not proceed from superior intelligence and wisdom.  It's illogical not to believe in some sort of deity or deities, although the quest for understanding the supernatural does not necessarily produce the concept of a benevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent god, which is why we need divine revelation.  Don't invoke the cosmogony of Stephen Hawking, either; the scientific fact that the universe has a beginning argues for the existence of God, Whom theologians, long before the "Big Bang" theory, were already designating by the term First Cause, signifying an uncreated creator.  Truly did the author of Psalm 14, verse 1a, write that "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'"

Uncommon Commentary #130

To follow up on the previous uncommon commentary: I’ve nothing against the TEA parties—except for their invocation of Revolution mythology; the Boston “Tea Party” was an episode of pure vandalism, carried out by a besotted, self-serving mob, and wholly undeserving of its magnification into one of the decisive moments in the reputed struggle of "liberty versus tyranny"—but it is lamentable that the partiers concern themselves exclusively with government spending.  If an election were to come down to a choice between a fiscal conservative who holds un-Christian views on moral matters (i.e., someone like former US Representative Chris Shays), and a socialist who is a true Christian, I would have to vote for the socialist.

28 September 2010

Uncommon Commentary #129

(Big) government is a problem, but not the problem, as if all other problems depended upon it.  The problem is, and always has been, sin.

26 September 2010

Uncommon Commentary #128: And the Average Usan Woman's Girdle Can Be a Temporary Shelter

Have you heard about the "emergency bra?"  This brainchild of I-don't-know-whom is a brassiere that doubles as a pair of oxygen masks.  Apparently the idea is that, when she needs to cover her nose and mouth, a woman who had the foresight to wear this can take it off, separate the cups from one another, and use the straps to secure one of them to her head; the other can be given to someone else.  This presents more than one interesting scenario.
It evidently is possible to remove a brassiere without taking off the garment that one is wearing over it, but, in the panic of an emergency situation, would the average woman take the time to do it that way, or would she simply strip off her outerwear and then do the same with the "emergency bra?"  Will it occur to male pilots to fake a crisis during a commercial flight, and then, snickering, peek through the door that leads from the cabin toward the passenger section, to see whether any of the female passengers have bared their breasts for the sake of saving their lives?
Is there significance in the bright-red color?  That is to say, is it designed to show through a blouse, with the result that someone who lacks a mask will (acting under the same panic that I mentioned in the preceding paragraph) accost a woman, saying "I don't want to die, Lady!  Give me your bra!"  Might men tear off the clothes of women dressed in opaque outfits, in the hope that those women are wearing the "emergency bra?"
Since about half the world's population is male, and the "emergency bra" has two cups apiece, it would seem convenient for all of us if every woman in the world were to wear this item of lingerie.  I suspect, though, that many a woman would feel some discomfort at the prospect of a man's putting over his nose and mouth something that, only a moment earlier, was covering one of her breasts.
Finally, it should be noted that the "emergency bra" has actually won an award.  Since when is there an award for "Weird Invention of the Year?"

05 September 2010

Uncommon Commentary #127: Their "Alarm" Needs Repair

There was a report on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly about alarm on the part of some over (what they perceive as) the increase of "Islamophobia" in the USA.  I don't know whether "Islamophobia" is actually growing (or whether the concept is even valid, since the definition of a phobia is an irrational fear or hatred of something), but, even if it is, I have difficulty getting concerned about it just now.  Anti-Christian sentiment has manifestly been rising for decades; why don't people become "alarmed" over that?

04 September 2010

Uncommon Commentary #126: There's Nothing First-Class About This Private

After a year in the US Army, Private, first class (Pfc.) Nader Obdo has "discovered" that the Koran forbids him to perform his duty as a soldier, and so he is applying for conscientious-objector status.  I don't object to the granting of this to him—so long as he reimburses the government for the cost of his training, housing, equipment, clothing, food, medical care, &c.