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.

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.