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 December 2011

Uncommon Commentary #234: The Crazy Doth Protest Too Much

The "Occupy" protests have well illustrated how it is possible to abuse the constitutional rights to free speech and to assembly.  The purpose of these protections is to allow people to make their opinions known, not to become a public nuisance or a public menace.

27 December 2011

Uncommon Commentary #233: Invert the First Digit of "65?"

If retirement at age 65 were mandated in politics, at least three of the greatest men of the Twentieth Century, viz., Sir Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and Konrad Adenauer, would never have become world leaders. It is possible to become too old to do a job effectively, but such a situation will become apparent, and can then be dealt with tactfully; the ending of someone's career is too important a matter for himself, and for others, to be compelled arbitrarily.

17 December 2011

Imperialism Was Imperative (And Still Is) addendum

Slavery is often invoked as a discredit to modern imperialists, but the arrival of Europeans in Africa merely provided a new market for the traffic in those unfortunates whom their fellow Blacks had already enslaved, as they had been doing to one another since time immemorial.  When you won a battle in primitive times, you simply put all your captives to death; not until later did the victors begin to permit the vanquished to live in order to serve them.  This practice was universal in Antiquity, but died out in parts of the world where society evolved beyond the "need" for it; because most of the Dark Continent still had a low level of civilization at the time of the Partition of Africa, the slave trade continued there until the establishment of rule by Christian powers enabled them to enforce its abolition.

16 December 2011

Uncommon Commentary #232: Imperialism Was Imperative (and Still Is)

Many readers might consider the retreat of imperialism—at least of overt imperialism; see below—a good thing, but it has had cataclysmic consequences. The rise to power of indigenous leaders, in what we used to call the Third World, produced more tyrants (which term, by the way, I do not limit to malevolent "dictators," but in which I include all politicians, elected or not, who behave tyrannically) than did probably any other process in history. Pol Pot, Saddam "Hussein," Ne Win, Mao Zedong, Masie Nguema Biyogo, Mobutu Sese Seko, Ho Chi Minh, Idi Amin, Kwame Nkrumah, Ferdinand Marcos, Plutarco Elias Calles, Gamel Abdel Nasser, François Tombalbaye, Habib Bourguiba, Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar, Rafael Trujillo, Manuel Noriega, Hafez Assad, Juan Peron, the Duvaliers, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Fidel Castro, Manuel Cedras, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Gaddafi, Allende, Sukarno, Samoza, Romero, Toure, Zelaya, and a host of others all held power in lands formerly within either the empires or the spheres of influence of European powers; other noteworthy criminals occupy office right now, in such places as Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, India, Sudan, and Iran. Christ gave his followers the responsibility and the privilege of preaching the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, and our ongoing fulfillment of this Great Commission was greatly facilitated by the age of European supremacy, since, for the first time, missionaries and their converts could have confidence that their efforts and their lives would be protected by the home government; even atheists ought to consider this proselytizing worthwhile, for the missions have provided not only spiritual but also tangible benefits, such as education and medical care. (The spread of Christianity would alone outweigh all other considerations, but European administration benefitted its foreign subjects in other ways, as can be seen below.) Conversely, systemic persecution of Christians, which the tin-horn strongmen and other objectionable elements of native populations could not have gotten away with in the days when Christians controlled their countries, largely owes its alarming spread and intensification to the "achievement" of political independence by true colonies (i.e., places for settlement), trust territories, and protectorates.
Few, if any, would deny that the rise of developing-country despots is a lamentable situation, but most would see it as a result—maybe an unavoidable one—of something that was necessary: the advancement of "freedom." I, on the other hand, challenge the hubristic assumption that people have a "right" to govern themselves. Nor, though, do I believe that people have a right to govern others; imperialism, self-rule, and so on, in my opinion, have nothing to do with the question of "rights," but should rather be viewed in terms of good versus bad governance. To put it another way, imperialism is neither innately bad nor innately good; what matters is whether the imperial power governs justly. Akbar the Great, the Mogul emperor of India deemed by many the model of an enlightened ruler, was of a Mongol (whence the name "Mogul") dynasty based outside the subcontinent; one of the highest-respected Kings of England, Canute the Great, was a Dane; Persian Shahs Darius and Cyrus, each also given the sobriquet "the Great," were much esteemed by the authors of the Old Testament for their compassionate policies toward the Jews within their dominions; Alexander (the Great) had a similar reputation, resulting in the tradition of giving this Macedonian conqueror's name to the third male child in a Jewish family. There are many other such illustrations.
The United Nations has proclaimed that every ethnic group has the prerogative of self-determination, but the UN is wrong. Its position is: 1) hypocritical, since nearly all its members, including all those that have permanent seats on the Security Council, have minority nationalities (for instance, American Indians and native speakers of Spanish in the USA, and Bretons and Occitans in France); and 2) totally impractical, since the ethnicities or nationalities in the world number in the thousands, and most of them are so tiny that sovereignty would be economically (as well as, of course, defensively) untenable; many don't even inhabit contiguous territories, but dwell in populations isolated from one another sometimes by hundreds of miles. Most former overseas possessions are themselves de-facto empires, as exemplified by the fact that Africa is home to only a few dozen sovereignties but to over 800 ethno-linguistic groups. Unsurprisingly, there were few significant states in Africa prior to European domination of that continent; that might still be the situation, had said domination never occurred.
Anyone who takes the Bible seriously, as I do, has further reason to disagree with the UN on this issue. Jeremiah 27-29 gives an instance of God's instructing the King of Judah, through the prophet from whom that book takes its name, not to rebel against the Babylonian overlord of the Holy Land; in the New Testament, the chief reason for the rejection of Christ by his own people is that they had expected the Messiah to be a political deliverer, who would free them from the Roman yoke. It must be borne in mind also that Moses' initial call to Pharaoh was merely to permit the Hebrews to serve Yahweh on the Sabbath (Exodus 5:1); only after the denial of this request did Moses' mission become one of ending the Egyptian bondage.
Among the nationalities that hoped to build sovereignty from the junkyard of defeated belligerents (in this case, the Turkish and the Russian), at the end of World War I, was the Armenians. At Armenia's own request, the League of Nations offered this reborn state as a mandate to the USA, meaning that it would be governed by the USA until that country deemed it fit for independence. US rejection of this offer doomed Armenia to seven decades of Soviet misrule.
Similarly, the transformation of a part of the globe into a protectorate of an European country was usually carried out in response to the proposal, or the repeated entreaty, of a local ruler or rulers. The creation and maintenance of such protected states, which commonly burdened the imperial power financially as well as militarily, played the decisive part in ending slavery and the slave trade in Africa (which, along with piracy, another of the many evils that succumbed to the imperial forces, is making a comeback in our more "enlightened" times.)
The worst irony and inanity of the notion of "independence" for formerly-European-controlled territories is the fact that most of these new states don't even survive sans economic and military (as well as humanitarian) aid, which often come from the very country that bestowed official independence.
The Hispanic countries of the New World take their "freedom" and "independence" just as seriously as does the USA, to judge from the number of their places with such names as "Liberdad." One might wonder why, minding their pathetic post-colonial record of multiple coups d'état, some of which had a felicitous effect, but most of which simply replaced one unjust caudillo with another. After all, the USA has mythologized its own history, but at least its government has had stability during that history (albeit perhaps too much stability for it to have been really effective; more on that, some other time). Are any of the polities of what's called "Latin" America really any better off than they would be had they never separated themselves from their former masters?
There are other things that I could mention, such as the fact that nearly every city, railroad, and university in Sub-Saharan Africa originated with Europeans, that those Christian overlords prohibited savage practices like infanticide, and that the political unity bestowed bythe creation of empires prevented inter-tribal warfare, but, to conclude: Today, people typically deplore the Westernizing influence that is changing traditional indigenous cultures, but this attitude is largely romanticism. It's not as if we Caucasoids live the same way that we did during, e.g., feudal times; we can recapture anything of that lost world only by visiting a castle or by attending an historical recreation such as a mock jousting-tournament. Also: I don't suggest, with a few exceptions, that former overseas possessions actually be put back under foreign control. It would be nice if this were currently a feasible option, but right now the old imperial powers (including the USA) can't even govern themselves eptly, and so how can they govern anyone else?

15 December 2011

Uncommon Commentary #231: The "1%" Is Inspiration; the "99%," Perspiration

Has it occurred to the "Occupy" reprobates that Emperor Nerobama and nearly all the other left-wing politicians and Holly-woodheads who espoused their cause are themselves members of the vilified "One Percent?"

08 December 2011

Miscellaneous Musing #39: She's Not Too Good at Telling the Truth, Either

If Hillary [sic] Clinton is so smart, why can’t she spell her own name correctly?

07 December 2011

Miscellaneous Musing #38

Over the years I've observed that, no matter how ignorant someone might be on any given matter, and often even if he admits that his knowledge of the topic is far inferior to that of a person whom he's debating, he always thinks that his opinion is worth just as much as that of somebody who has expertise in the subject.

05 December 2011

Uncommon Commentary #230: A Suggestion That Makes a Lott of Sense

Considering what lies behind the misleadingly positive report for November on hiring and on lack thereof—you can get the details in this article, by the invaluable John Lott—I think that it's about time for the Department of Labor to abolish the current method for determining the unemployment rate, and begin to do something simple: report periodically on the percentage of US citizens as a whole, not just of those who have sought work over the past month, who are unemployed. (Annotations should be made concerning mitigating factors, such as unpaid furloughs and the reduction of employees from full-time to part-time status.)  Not all those who are unemployed will have either lost jobs or failed to find work because of the 2007-2009 recession and quasi-recovery from the same (among others, retirees, most children, and many students will be included in this category), but the statistic will provide a point from which to track future fluctuations (and will much more accurately track the shrinking and expanding of the workforce than a system that gives the impression that the economy had a relatively good month, when in reality almost half a million job-seekers gave up on finding work).

02 December 2011

Uncommon Commentary #229: Most of Them Ought to Resign, Whether They Run or Not

A governor or congressman who announces his candidacy for the office of president of the USA really ought to give up his present office.  The US senators who missed the most votes during the prelude to the catastrophic 2008 election were Obama, Clinton, and McCain. (To be fair to Obombast and Hillary [sic], their legislative absences actually benefited our country.)  Considering how many issues currently face the leaders of a state that many expect to lead the world, it's hard enough for a politician to do his own job without devoting most of his time and resources to seeking another.

19 November 2011

Uncommon Commentary #228: Secretary of the Dense

As if it weren't bad enough to expect somebody else to carry out the task of crippling Iran's nuclear program, Secretary of Defense Panetta is now warning Israel against employing her military to do the rest of the world this favor, saying that to do so could or would have "economic consequences … that could impact not just on our economy but the world economy."  This bizarre justification for inaction raises questions that I would like to ask Mr. Panetta:
  1. Why should there be any economic consequences even for Iran (which, as one of the most petroleum-rich countries on Earth, has no real need of peaceful atomic energy), still less for anyone else?  Perhaps you think that a strike upon Iran would lead to an end of that state's petroleum exports; that, however, did not happen in the case of Iraq, whose reactor Israel wiped out three decades ago.
  2. If your thesis were valid, what financial ramifications could outweigh the disaster of Ahmadinejad-and-company's acquiring nuclear arms?
  3. Has it occurred to you that, in attempting to dissuade Israel from using force, you are accidentally revealing to the Iranians that Obombast and his minions lie when they say that "all options are on the table?"
  4. Why are you, instead of the US ambassador to Israel, even communicating this message?
  5. Don't you realize that the policies of your own political party have been adversely affecting our economy and that of the world for over four years now?

17 November 2011

Uncommon Commentary #227: Maybe It's His Brain That's in Asia

In the year of his election to the presidency, Obama, whom his worshipers and even some sane persons have credited with extraordinarily high intelligence, said that there are 57 US States; during this week's recent press conference in his native Hawaii, he made a reference to being "here in Asia." (Hawaii, which actually lies closer to North America than to Asia, is not considered part of any continent.)  Perhaps the deficiencies in his geographical knowledge explain why he behaves so autocratically: all this time, he may have been under the impression that he's the ruler of the authoritarian People's Republic of China.

16 November 2011

Uncommon Commentary #226: Penitential State

Here are some more thoughts on the scandal at the Pennsylvania State University:
  1. If Sandusky is guilty of the charges against him, he needs help just as truly as he does punishment. (Those things are not mutually exclusive.) Incarceration alone may teach him that it was wrong to engage in pederasty, but will do nothing to cure him of the psychological affliction that motivated his behavior.
  2. The mere fact that Paterno was head football coach while misconduct allegedly took place in the football complex doesn't mean that he somehow shares in the responsibility for it.  It seems that nowadays here in the litigation nation, even being esteemed one of the most highly moral public figures over a span of four-and-a-half decades doesn't earn one immunity from judgmentalism; this I find just as disgusting as the reputed offenses of Sandusky.

11 November 2011

Uncommon Commentary #225: Bored of Trustees

Specifically, I'm bored of the trustees of the Pennsylvania State University (which is the correct name, you know, as opposed to "Penn State"). Of course, I'm actually more than bored; I'm indignant at that body for dismissing head football coach Joe Paterno. Mike McQueary, a member of Paterno's staff, says that in 2002 former defensive co-ordinator Jerry Sandusky and a 10-year old boy were on campus in connection with Sandusky's charity, and that he witnessed Sandusky sodomize the boy in the shower at the football complex.  He reported the alleged incident—Let's not forget (although I'm certain that this fact didn't even occur to most of us, in this age of guilty-until-proven-innocent mentality) that this is, so far, only allegation—to Paterno, who relayed notice thereof to athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, who told the university president (who also has been sacked).  The university barred Sandusky from campus, but apparently failed to alert the police, as State law required; Curley and Schultz have now been charged with that crime, as well as perjury.  Sandusky is accused of molesting eight boys over a 15-year span; Paterno is not suspected of any wrongdoing. Curley, Schultz, and Paterno have all testified that what they heard about Sandusky's behavior in the purported incident paled in comparison with what McQueary related to a grand jury.
On Wednesday, Paterno said "I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: to serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today. That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season." (He also said "I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief" and "with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more," and that he is "absolutely devastated by the developments in this case," which he called "one of the great sorrows of my life.") Why wasn't this acceptable to the trustees, who, later that day, made the termination of his illustrious career effective immediately?
Paterno reacted with far more grace than was demonstrated by those who had sacrificed him, saying: "I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property, and all that we value. I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players, and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt."
And so, the same institution that elected to retain corrupt scientist Michael Mann, even when the Weathergate scandal was yet fresh, has discharged the most famously scrupulous personage in US collegiate sports, even though his departure was less than two months off. There's nothing trusty about those trustees.

02 November 2011

Uncommon Commentary #224: Perhaps He Meant to Say "Unprecedented Level of Brokenness …"

Current policy is that if our government (theoretically only when acting in the interests of security and when it considers a document exempt from the Freedom of Information Act) does not wish to produce something to which someone has requested access under the FOIA, then it may respond that it will neither confirm nor deny that the said thing is extant; Emperor Nerobama's Injustice Department proposes that an agency that withholds materials "will respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist."  The proposal has come under deserved criticism for violating Obombast's promise of "an unprecedented level of openness in government," but what's worse than that betrayal is the administration's likely motive, which is to shield its officials from prosecution for purposefully misleading seekers of the truth.  I wish I could deny that the Obama presidency exists.

30 October 2011

Uncommon Commentary #223: A Tirade Against Tiresome Attire

I have previously opined about the slovenly and often provocative way in which people now dress, but here I want to address the specific issue of appareling oneself thus even to attend church.  It's unlikely that anyone who received an invitation to Windsor Palace would have such poor taste as to show up at the affair in something like blue jeans or a halter top; and if we want to look our best to be in the presence of an earthly monarch, how much more so ought we to clothe ourselves respectfully to go the house of the King of Kings?

29 October 2011

Uncommon Commentary #222: What They Should Occupy Is Prison

Isn't it ironic that leftists who condemned TEA party rallies for "racism," despite having no evidence whatsoever to support the allegation, turn a blind eye to the documented anti-Semitism in the "Occupy" protests?

25 October 2011

Uncommon Commentary #221: A Strongman and a Weak Claim

President Obombast and his administration (though repeating the mantra "Gaddafi must go") maintained that US intervention in the Libyan civil war was an "humanitarian" mission intended to protect civilians, not to bring about the fall of the Gaddafi regime, which anyway, had already taken place weeks before the strongman's demise.  Furthermore, Gaddafi, though no less repellent than when this object of Islamist hatred was an enemy of the USA, served as an ally of ours in the fight versus jihadists (just as the monster Stalin did in that against Hitler's Germany); see the final two paragraphs of The "Arab Spring" Spews Blood.  How, then, can anyone who hasn't been living on some other planet for the past decade characterize his capture and death as a US "foreign-policy victory?"

15 October 2011

Uncommon Commentary #220: Tehran, Iran, We All Ran When Ahmadinejad Got Atomic Weapons

Why did Iran think that it could get away with plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the USA, and to blow up the Saudi Arabian and Israeli embassies, all in our capital?  Probably because it can.  If we won't take effective action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms, neither will we do so to punish that country for scheming to kill foreigners.

14 October 2011

Uncommon Commentary #219: Trite Makes Right? Not at My Site

The following are the catchphrases that currently annoy me the most (in no particular order). I forbid visitors to the Doman Domain to use these clichés under any circumstances.

  1. game-changer
  2. sea change
  3. game [sic] the system
  4. endgame [sic]
  5. 24/7
  6. 9/11
  7. Ground Zero
  8. cutting-edge
  9. high-tech [sic]
  10. hi(gh)-def [sic]
  11. high-res [sic]
  12. state-of-the-art
  13. brutal(ly) murder(ed)
  14. carbon footprint
  15. wake-up call
  16. heads up
  17. food for thought
  18. the brink
  19. _ community
  20. -friendly
  21. -bashing
  22. (multi)cultural diversity
  23. multi-task
  24. max out
  25. e-
  26. bio-
  27. Euro-
  28. mega-
  29. -gate
  30. -cam
  31. zero tolerance
  32. here goes nothing
  33. walk the walk (and talk the talk)
  34. next level
  35. next generation
  36. extreme (sports, &c.)
  37. Got _?
  38. got game
  39. over the top
  40. A-list
  41. perfect storm
  42. go big
  43. go viral
  44. demonize
  45. marginalize
  46. empower
  47. Red Zone
  48. comfort zone
  49. new normal
  50. nonstarter [sic]
  51. no-brainer
  52. fail [used as a noun]
  53. leverage [used as a verb]
  54. partner [used as a verb]
  55. dialogue [used as a verb]
  56. app [sic]
  57. it's not a question of "if"; it's a question of "when"
  58. moral compass
  59. the elephant in the room
  60. both sides of the aisle
  61. off the charts
  62. bucket list
  63. so [followed by a noun]
  64. fracking [sic]
  65. flash mob
  66. robo-call [sic]
  67. boots on the ground
  68. at the end of the day
  69. _Care [sic]
  70. push back /pushback
  71. zero-sum
  72. man up
  73. iconic
  74. Greatest Generation
  75. Tea Party

07 October 2011

Uncommon Commentary #218: Rot at the (Grass) Root

The "occupiers" of Wall Street, and their counterparts elsewhere, are not average folk in financial straits; they are far-leftists who would overthrow the US government if they could.  If you don't believe me, ask them: the organizer of the protest has proclaimed that "this is the beginning of revolution" and that "this is revolution, not reform"; their means of purveying pinko printed propaganda, a pseudo-newspaper titled "The Occupied Wall Street Journal," blazes the headline "THE REVOLUTION BEGINS AT HOME."  If this is a "grass-roots" movement—ironically, the word "radical" derives from the Latin for "root"—it deserves to be uprooted.

06 October 2011

Uncommon Commentary #217: Perry "A"? On Immigration, He Deserves a "C"

Governor Perry would probably make an above-average president (perhaps even as good a president as anyone can be under our political system), but his position on illegal immigration is troubling, and for more than one reason.  The first reason is simply that his stated opinions on this subject are erroneous: he (objecting that what we need are "boots on the ground," as if the deployment of guards and of agents were an alternative rather than a complement to the erection of a stationary defense) opposes a border fence as "idiocy," and he signed into law a program that reduces tuition for students who are children of undocumented aliens, thereby giving Mexicans yet more incentive to cross the Rio Grande illicitly.  The second reason is his possible motivation for this position: the fact that Texas has one of the highest Hispanic populations of any State makes it hard to avoid the suspicion that he is sacrificing border security and cultural cohesion to appease that segment of the electorate.  Anyone who's going to be chief executive of this country not only needs to be in the right; he also must be willing to oppose the majority of the people when they are in the wrong.

30 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #216: Giving the Phrase "Criminal Lawyer" New Meaning

The rôle of a defense attorney is merely to ensure that his client's legal rights are respected; he is under no obligation to try to get the client acquitted of charges against him, or, should the client be convicted, to have the severity of the sentence reduced. How many criminal lawyers are even aware of this fact, and how many tacitly disregard it?

27 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #215: Obama Should Execute Laws; We Should Execute Him

The reason why the US president is called our "chief executive" is that his proper function is not to make laws but to execute laws made by the legislature.  For the presidential administration to participate in formulating legislation, as the current one habitually does, is to violate the Constitution's principle of separation of powers.  (For uncommon commentary on a similar subject, see here.)

22 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #214: How Many Years Are There in Ten Months?

Emperor Nerobama is determined to raise taxes, even if it kills him us.  Wasn't his capitulation to the opposition in December, hailed as a triumph of the Republicans, supposed to have prolonged the Bush-era tax rates for two years?

21 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #212: "Intelligence?" What a Misnomer!

The w.w.w. site of the Central Intelligence Agency, under the heading "Diversity," actually says:
"In order for the CIA to meet our mission of protecting our national [sic] security interests, we need to emply a workforce as diverse as America [sic] itself—the most diverse nation [sic] on earth. Diversity reflects the unique ways we vary as Intelligence Officers—our nationality, race, ethnicity, gender [sic], age, language, culture, sexual orientation, education, values, beliefs, abilities, and disabilities. These assorted attributes create different demographic, functional, and intellectual views, which are so vital to our innovation, agility, collection, and analysis."
Are we therefore to assume that, were the CIA not so "diverse," it would botch the gathering and analyzing of intelligence even more often than it does?

20 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #213: Get Rid of Obama! Get Rid of Obama! Get Rid of Obama! (et cetera)

In the epochal week that began with his proposed demanded solution to the ongoing economic crisis (that is to say, stimulate the economy by spending hundreds of billions of dollars—What originality and imagination!), Emperor Nerobama reportedly said "Pass this bill!", or used a close variation of the phrase, over 100 times. There is, however, one major distinction between him and a broken record: one can dispose of a broken record immediately, whereas one can't dispose of Obombast for more than another year yet.

19 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #211

The USA is threatening to suspend nearly half-a-billion-dollars'-worth of aid to the Palestinian Arabs if they continue their quest for statehood in a way so exclusive of Israel, rather than use the preferred US method of continually restarting talks with that country for a two-state "solution" (even though President Obombast said, earlier this year, that "the international community is tired of an endless process …"; for what I think of this diplomatic boondoggle, see here.) Why don't we cut off our aid in any event, and do so permanently?

11 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #210

A decade after the terrorist acts of 11 September 2001, our land (as opposed to those individuals in this land who were actually affected by the events) does not, in my opinion, still need "healing"; what it needs is to grow up.  To pronounce the date of those occurrences to be the day when the world changed forever, simply because they happened here rather than in some country where a suicide attack is almost routine, is to have a parochial attitude and an exaggerated sense of our importance.

06 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #209: We Will Never Forget What?

In the immediate aftermath of the disasters of 11 September 2001, many of the people of the USA solemnly proclaimed "We will never forget"; within weeks, though, people did forget all about the attack upon the Pentagon, and were using "Ground Zero" to refer exclusively to the site of the remains of the World Trade Center. (That tragedy wasn't even the first attack upon the World Trade Center, and the 1993 bombing of the twin towers wasn't the first incidence of terrorism on US soil; in 1954, Puerto Rican separatists murdered five Congressmen on the floor of the US House of Representatives.  It's astonishing how few Yanks have any knowledge of this.)  The calamity at the headquarters of our armed forces may not have been as deadly as that in New York, but that doesn't mean that it ought to be ignored.

03 September 2011

Uncommon Commentary #208: Taxation Isn't Our Cup of Tea

It's ironic that the TEA Party movement (the name whereof, by the way, should be spelled with the "T," "E," and "A" all capitalized, since they form an acronym from "Taxed Enough Already") evokes our mythologized Revolution, which was supposed to improve life for the colonists by abolishing the so-called tyranny of "taxation without representation"; now that our land is a republic, we are subject to taxation with representation (at least in theory; no one votes for politicians who admit that they favor higher tax rates for most of the populace, but candidates for office overcome this handicap by simply concealing their intentions from the electorate), yet said movement has arisen in opposition to the government of our independent country. Doesn't this mean that the Founders' experiment was ultimately futile, that we're no better ruled—in my opinion, much worse—than before?

27 August 2011

Uncommon Commentary #207: The "Arab Spring" Spews Blood

A recent news article read in part:
"Outside his [i.e., Gaddafi's; see below] Bab al-Aziziya compound, which rebels captured, there was another grim scene -- one that suggested mass, execution-style killings of civilians. About two dozen bodies -- some with their hands bound by plastic ties and with bullet wounds to the head -- lay scattered on grassy lots in an area where Qaddafi sympathizers had camped out for months. The identities of the dead were unclear, but they were in all likelihood activists who had set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Qaddafi in defiance of the NATO bombing campaign. Five or six bodies were in a tent erected on a roundabout that had served as a field clinic. One still had an IV [sic] in his arm, and another body was completely charred, its legs missing. The body of a doctor, in his green hospital gown, was found dumped in the canal."
As I recall, NATO entry into the Libyan civil war was justified for the sake of preventing massacre, specifically that of the rebels who were then bottled up in Benghazi. It seems that what the Western intervention has really done is substitute one bloodbath for another.
Some might say that such atrocities, though regrettable, are a price worth paying for the sake of supposedly bringing "democracy" to Libya. I, on the other hand, have never seen the point of helping to end the regime of Gaddafi (this being probably the most accurate spelling of his name). He was a tyrannical ruler, but not a jihadist; it has been reported that "Libyan rebel hierarchy mostly constitutes members from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—a organization on the US State Department's list of foreign terrorists," which means that Gaddafi's overthrow is actually undesirable in relation to the War upon Terror. (This doesn't mean that we ought to have propped him up, but merely that we ought to have adhered to the limits in the UN Security Council's "no-fly zone" resolution, which authorized military action only for the immediate purpose of preventing an humanitarian crisis; see the above paragraph.)  President Yo'Mama's (see the list of domanisms) de-facto commitment of our forces to the anti-Gaddafi cause, thus effectively aiding the opposite side in the battle with terrorism, may well be remembered as the worst of all his blunders.

26 August 2011

Uncommon Commentary #206: Joe Biden, Go Ridin'

Specifically, ridin' off into the sunset. (See the last paragraph.) The creep—I mean, Veep—has again put his foot into his mouth, which he does so often that he'll probably contract athlete's-tongue. On this occasion, Vice-President Blatherskate was in the city Chengdu in the People's Republic of China, making prepared remarks—which means that he doesn't even have the excuse of misspeaking—on the entitlement-explosion crisis in the US. He said:
“… But [sic] as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people [sic]. Not sustainable.”
Biden, therefore, voiced no concerns over the PRC's means of enforcing its population-control policy, which include imprisonment, fines, beatings, mandated abortions and sterilizations, and loss of employment or of government benefits; his only objection was on demographic grounds, namely, that if the Chinese kill off too many future taxpayers, there won't be enough revenue to support current taxpayers once the latter have retired. (He reportedly has backtracked on his statements to the Chinese audience, but he can't undo the fact that he made them.)
The whole Obombast administration deserves to be discharged by the voters, but we'll have to wait until November of next year for the chance to bring that about. In the meantime, why doesn't the President improve matters ever so slightly by administering a mercy-killing to the career of his running-mate, as Nixon did in the case of Spiro Agnew?

23 August 2011

Uncommon Commentary #205: Nature Isn't the Only Mother Who's Savage

The New York Times recently ran an article called The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy, about pregnant women who, discovering that they are carrying twins, choose to have one of their unborns aborted. The reason given is nearly always that one makes a better parent if one must parent fewer children. This bureaucratic approach to motherhood has already received comment at LiveAction.org; what I'd like to add is that the trend provides additional evidence that we human beings, made by God to be "only a little lower than the heavenly beings" [Psalms 8:5], increasingly behave more like animals. Many species of bird, especially birds of prey, lay two eggs each mating season; the chick that hatches first will take advantage of its greater size to dominate its sibling, attacking it repeatedly and ensuring its weakness by monopolizing the food brought by the pair's elders. The younger one almost inevitably dies as a consequence of this bullying, but its demise is cruelly logical in our fallen world, for the parents are unable to feed more than one offspring; zoologists tell us that the birds' laying two eggs rather than one makes for an avian insurance policy, since, if something should befall one egg, there will be another to keep alive the dream of successful reproduction.
The birds, of course, have the excuse that they are only brutes acting from instinct; what excuse do we have?

19 August 2011

Uncommon Commentary #204

Two days ago I saw a headline that read "Obama Returns to Call for More Revenue in Pitching Bigger Deficit Plan"; shouldn't there be a hyphen between "bigger" and "deficit?"

14 August 2011

Uncommon Commentary #203: Gore Throws a Temperature Tantrum

If there's any more insufferable twit than Al Gore, I don't know who it is. (There are others, e.g., Michael Mooron, who are as insufferable.) Speaking to the Aspen Institute on, appropriately, Insufferable Twit Day (Obama's birthday), Gore (as related by the left-wing Colorado Independent) said that tobacco companies “succeeded in delaying the implementation of the Surgeon General’s report for 40 years – 40 years! In every one of those 40 years the average number of Americans [sic] killed by cigarettes each year exceeded the total number of Americans [sic] killed in all of World War II: 450,000 per year. [Actually, the purported figure is 434,000.—Doman] My sister was one of them. … It was evil, evil, evil.”
This "model of media manipulation," he blustered on, “was transported whole cloth [?—Doman] into the climate debate. And some of the exact [sic] same people [sic]—I can go down a list of their names—are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: ‘This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanos.’ Bull____! ‘It may be sunspots.’ Bull____! ‘It’s not getting warmer.’ Bull____! When you go and [redundancy] talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you the same crap over and over and over again [redundancy]. There’s no longer a shared reality [?—Doman] on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. … It’s no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the god____ word climate....They have polluted it to the point where we cannot possibly come to an agreement on it.”
And so, a person who (according to the Washington Post article Gore's Grades Belie Image of Studiousness) performed poorly in college science courses joins the likes of Oliver Stone and Hillary [sic] Clinton in charging that a conspiracy of the opposition has invented all the evidence that refutes his position. I cannot agree with Climate Depot, one of the skeptics of the anthropogenic-warming theory whom he accuses of taking part in the alleged cover-up, that "This is psychologically healthy development for Gore [because he's admitting that his side is losing]." Do the false ecological messiah's words (especially the part about paying "pseudo-scientists") sound to you like those of a normal person, or like the ravings of a paranoiac? Gory [misspelling intentional] has been contemptible for decades, but he was also ridiculous; now, he's also frightening.

09 August 2011

Miscellaneous Musing #37

One observation that I've made (though not, heretofore, in print) about polytheistic religions is that the deity of the sky is always depicted as male, whereas that of the earth is always female; this can't be coincidence.  Early peoples must have noticed that, just as a woman cannot conceive a child without copulating with a man, the earth cannot bring forth crops (or even crabgrass) without being watered from the heavens.  It was only logical for people in a pre-scientific age to come to think of raindrops as the semen of a god in the sky, coming down to penetrate a goddess who personified the earth; the fact that plants need time to grow up from the soil, just as it takes an average of 274 days for a human baby to gestate in the womb, would have strengthened this identification between the forces of nature and the human sexes.  Of the aforesaid I've no doubt (even though, despite the well-established equation in primitive religions between natural and human fertility, I've never heard of anyone else propounding this theory); one can further speculate that this religious development, by promoting the idea of a god who has masculine attributes and lives in Heaven, may have helped prepare the way for belief in the existence of the one, true God.
(Since I developed this theory, I've received some confirmation of it in learning that, in China, "the earth couples with the dragon"—the dragon being a controller of weather—is a common phrase for rain.)

01 August 2011

Miscellaneous Musing #36

War is a necessary evil in our fallen world, although this doesn't mean that every war is necessary; most wars have been fought for the un-Christian purpose of aggrandizement.

30 July 2011

Vital Link #3; or, There's Nothing First-Class About This Private

The story whereto I here connect you doesn't mention that Pfc. Obdo had previously gained notoriety for what formed the subject of this uncommon commentary. It seems that he's not a conscientious objector in the War by Terror.

28 July 2011

Uncommon Commentary #202: Forgive Us Our Debts, and Spare Us Commercials Related Thereto

It seems as though half the advertisements on television these days are for some weight-loss product or another, and that the other half are for debt relief (or for something to do with credit, which is closely related). Are we unable to live within either our incomes or acceptable ranges of weight? Maybe we could solve both problems at once, if we would slash the amount of money that we spend on food.

27 July 2011

Uncommon Commentary #201

Why do people, especially, it seems, here in the USA, abbreviate any word or term in common usage that comprises more than two syllables or so? Are we so impatient (perhaps to make more money) that we don't think we can expend the additional trice required to say "cellular telephone" rather than to use the insipid phrase "cell phone?"

20 July 2011

Uncommon Commentary #200!: He Even Spells His Name "Jack" Instead of "Quack"

I often watch the cable television network Turner Classic Movies (TCM); one of the programming themes for this month, as seems to be true of one month each year, is "Race and Hollywood." This time, the self-appointed ethnic representative who gets to air not only films of his choice, but also his whining grievances about alleged cinematic stereotyping of his people, is a Dr. Jack Shaheen, author of some book that charges Hollywood with vilifying Arabs. The subject for yesterday night was portrayals of Arab women; among the films that Shaheen chose to illustrate his points on this topic, in his capacity as co-host, was Caesar and Cleopatra! Does this man, to whom the TCM site refers as "acclaimed" and as a "Middle East expert," have so little knowledge of history as to think that Cleopatra (VII) was an Arab? "Dr." Shaheen might find it edifying to learn that the Queen of the Nile was of the purely European Ptolemaic dynasty, and that she lived more than 600 years before there were any Arabs in Egypt. Since the TCM site also mentions the depiction of the Ayyubid ruler Saladin in The Crusader, it seems that Shaheen is equally ignorant of the fact that Saladin was not Arabic but Kurdish. How many box-tops did this guy mail in to get his doctorate?

16 July 2011

Uncommon Commentary #199: Too Big to Bail

Greece has a small-enough economy that its insolvency can be temporarily remedied by entities such as the European Union, but who could do the same for the USA?

12 July 2011

Uncommon Commentary #198

"Wikipedia" is an interesting (if stupidly named) experiment, but an encyclopædia that can be edited by any crank who has access to the w.w.w., and which includes articles on video games—even on characters in video games—will never be anything more than a curiosity.

08 July 2011

Miscellaneous Musing #35

In view of the fact that Adolf Hitler had lived only in the South German areas Austria and Bavaria, one would have expected him to transfer the Third Reich's capital to a city such as Munich (which his National Socialists had attempted to take over in 1923) or Nuremburg (where their infamous rallies took place).  Berlin could not be considered a traditional capital of Germany, since it had served as such for the unified German state for only 62 years before Hitler became chancellor.  Neither was it the most logical location for the seat of power; the sole reason for its selection is that it was the political centre of Prussia, the state that brought about German unification.  One might suppose that der Führer wanted to recapture the glory of the German Empire, which had its capital in Berlin; he did not, however, admire that Second Reich, which was governed by the upper classes that he hated.  Why, then, did he rule from Berlin?