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.

29 November 2012

Uncommon Commentary #306: We Only Demonstrate Our Apathy

This past week, Egypt's popularly elected Mohamed Morsi proclaimed that his state's executive and legislative branches, both controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, are not subject to what we call "review" by the independent judicial branch.  This further demonstrates the futility of political revolution, but my uncommon commentary is not directed at Egyptians; it's directed at us Yanks.  After all, the people of Egypt are at least resisting the assumption of unconstitutional power by their president and his allies (although many of them are doing so with violence, which ought not to be imitated); why aren't there demonstrations in our country, against the arrogations of our chief executives?  Where were the protests by "we the people" when Franklin Roosevelt attempted to neutralize judicial review with his "court-packing" scheme, and where are they now that Emperor Nerobama has issued nearly a thousand "executive orders" (greater than the number of those by all our other presidents combined) that usurp the lawmaking function of Congress?  The year of Hosni Mubarak's fall also witnessed the "Occupy" movement here in the USA, whence it spread around the world like a pandemic, but that ugliness was embraced by Obama and his fellow malfeasants. (The TEA Party movement had of course exerted influence before then, but its rallies concerned economics rather than the exercising of authority not granted to the president by the US Constitution.)  Do we who pride ourselves in supposedly being the freest and most freedom-loving people on Earth, and whose Constitution putatively guards us against overweening government, simply not care whether our president behaves more like an autocrat than a democrat?

28 November 2012

Uncommon Commentary #305: Even Calling Them Immodestly "Dressed" Seems an Overstatement

The conventional expression "half-naked" no longer adequately describes immodestly dressed girls and women.  These days, the extent of nakedness is often closer to 95 percent.

22 November 2012

Uncommon Commentary #304: It's Better to Idolize a Saint than a Pop Celebrity Anyway

Prayer is not the same as worship.  When a sinner prays to a canonized saint, he's not worshiping that person, but, rather, asking (v.i.) somebody who's in the presence of God to intercede for him before the Deity, just as Moses interceded for the Israelites when he was in His presence. (To "pray" means to entreat or implore, and was formerly used, in a derived sense, as a function word equivalent to "please".)  It ought to be noted also that the Church Militant (that is, the believers still on Earth) can ask friends in person or over the telephone or via electronic mail or in some other way to pray for them, but that high technology still doesn't enable us to send our petitions to Heaven, where dwell the Church Triumphant (viz., those who have died in the state of divine grace), and so we have no means other than prayer for communicating our requests to our celestial friends the saints. (I'm not arguing that no one overdoes devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary; many Roman Catholics, in my opinion, exaggerate the rĂ´le of the BVM, but they still stop well short of committing "idolatry", contrary to the opinion of most Protestants.)
Nor is veneration the same as worship; the former means "a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of character, association, or age", to quote Webster's dictionary.  I've never seen a holy relic in person, but I've seen pictures of the Shroud of Turin, which is unquestionably the burial cloth of Christ. (Its authenticity is questioned by some, but their reasons for doing so are very poor.)  Viewing something that actually touched the body in which God became incarnate, and looking upon not just an artist's representation of the Savior but the actual image of His face, inspires awe and reverence in me; in other words, it's an aid to worship, not an object of worship.
Neither prayer to a saint nor veneration of a relic therefore qualifies as idolatry; anyone who says otherwise effectively accuses thousands of persons over the ages, who are themselves considered to have attained sainthood, of having been idolaters.  That's enough to make the Church Triumphant militant!

16 November 2012

Uncommon Commentary #303: UC #282 Follow-Up

Libertarians have so excessive a regard for "liberty" that, although deploring the overall results of the latest US elections, they actually hail certain States' approval of ballot measures legalizing same-sex "marriage", even though this is contrary to natural law as well as to the moral law of every major religion. This demonstrates the divergence, which I pointed out in Uncommon Commentary #280, between libertarianism and Christianity; the New Testament tells people "… only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh…" (Gal. 5:13b) and "Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil…" (1 Peter 2:16a). I didn't point out in my previous anti-libertarian posting, however, that practicality is also at issue. One problem with a welfare state is that, as Margaret Thatcher once noted, there comes a point at which one just runs out of other people's money; likewise, the granting of more and more "rights" and "freedoms" cannot continue indefinitely, because the exercising of those "rights" and "freedoms" begins to violate the rights and freedoms of others. The Libertarian Party evidently has already entered that area of philosophical contradiction, for its platform of this year recognizes a right to life but also a right to induce abortion; how can anyone who doesn't suffer from multiple-personality disorder honestly reconcile those positions? (There are, of course, dishonest ways to do so, such as denying that an unborn human being is a human being, or acknowledging that an unborn child is human but declaring that he has not attained to whatever is meant by "personhood".)
Not only Christians, but also anyone else who has sense, ought to know that there is no right to do wrong.

Uncommon Commentary #302: His Own Victims Need Help More than Sandy's

(This is not really a new posting, since I've split Uncommon Commentary #298 into UC's #298 and #299; you do not therefore need to read either this u.c. or the previous one if you've already read "old" UC #298, unless you haven't fulfilled your duty of memorizing my mesmerizing words written therein.)
In exit polls conducted by Fox News, over 40 percent of those who voted to re-enthrone Emperor Nerobama said that his "response to Hurricane Sandy" was a major factor or even the decisive one. So the incumbent makes a big show of supposedly aiding those affected by Sandy, and this erases the memory of nearly four full years of abject failure? It's preposterous if true, but I suspect that it's not the actual reason. Remember that in these surveys, people were asked to state why they voted as they did. If you had cast your ballot in favor of Obama, what would you give as justification:—That the US economy is in better shape than it was four years ago? Try again. That the world is in better shape? That doesn't work either, does it? I think that you get the idea. It seems likely to me that Obama supporters had the same problem, and that the nonsense about the natural disaster (as opposed to the man-made disaster of the President's re-election) is just a subconscious attempt to rationalize the irrational.

09 November 2012

Uncommon Commentary #301: Election Reflection

(See the note at the beginning of UC #299.)
I pray for those persons hurt by Obama's domestic, economic, and foreign policies, but, since I’m a philosopher above all else, don't expect me to show anguish over the pernicious effect that the prolongation of his misrule will have on the USA itself.  As I implied in Uncommon Commentary #31, the fact that we choose our leaders means that we generally get the kind of politicians that we deserve, and that our country therefore merits what will happen to it in the coming Obama term.

07 November 2012

Uncommon Commentary #300!

Forget the supposed "Mayan apocalypse" foretold for the winter solstice.  The US apocalypse has already taken place, on Election Day.

05 November 2012

Uncommon Commentary #299: Wouldn't Hitler and Stalin Resent the Comparison?

I have never been among those who have likened Obama to either Hitler or Stalin—thus far, he seems more like Huey Long or Hugo Chavez—but such a comparison is not really so "extreme" as it might seem.  He may not be guilty of mass murder as they were, but he clearly is an unscrupulous, megalomaniacal abuser of power, and that does qualify him as a monster; this is why I often refer to him as "Emperor Nerobama" (see the list of domanisms).  How anyone who hasn't spent the past four years in a coma can approve of the President's domestic, economic, and foreign policies is hard enough to understand; how anyone (with a conscience) who does approve of those policies can not be scandalized by the way that his administration effects and enforces said policies, and tries to intimidate anybody who does not agree with them, is absolutely unfathomable.

03 November 2012

Uncommon Commentary #298: She's Evidently Lost Her Mind as Well

Some Holly-woodhead has filmed an advertisement for Emperor Nerobama's re-enthronement effort, reportedly aimed at first-time participants in the "democratic" process, in which she likens voting for Obama to losing her virginity. (Her tasteless plug for that thug is actually available on the Obama campaign's W.W.W. site!)  I consider her simile perversely appropriate, since neither losing her virginity nor casting a ballot in favor of the current president is something that she ought to have done.  It's not just in regard to her virginity that she's a loser.