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!

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06 October 2012

Uncommon Commentary #291: And You Thought that the IRS Makes Mistakes Only on Your Case

A 1954 amendment to the Internal Revenue Service tax code states that tax-exempt organizations, such as churches, are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” As so often is true, the IRS is in the wrong. Certainly clergy ought to avoid preaching on matters that have nothing to do with religion, but candidates for public office often take ungodly positions on religious or ethical issues, forcing them into the political sphere. It certainly is a prerogative and a duty for pastors to give their charges moral instruction, and that includes instructing them not to elect politicians who, for instance, espouse the legality of induced abortion, which is the greatest evil not only of our time but of all time. (Even if such a politician should hold a commendable position on every other issue, anyone who wants to call himself a Christian must vote against him; Right and Wrong outweigh all other considerations.) When the Western World was much more truly Christian than it is now, the prerogative and duty of ministers of God to get political in some circumstances did not have to be exercised as often as it does currently, but in recent decades it was done by at least one man who has been canonized as a saint: Padre Pio told his parishioners, from the pulpit, to vote against the Communists.
That 1954 amendment therefore ought to be either greatly modified or abolished, but instituting a flat tax, i.e., a system of taxation in which everyone would render the same proportion of his income to the Treasury, would enable us to fulfil every Columbian's dream of abolishing the IRS itself. An economist writing in National Review in the early 1990's recommended setting the universal rate at 17 percent, but I favor 10 percent, if only on a scriptural basis; if that quota satisfies God Almighty, why couldn't it do for Uncle Sam?