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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21 April 2014

Uncommon Commentary #401: Cry Me a River, Crimea Peninsula

Since "Great Russians" (the people whom we simply call "Russians" today) rather than Ukrainians (known historically as "Little Russians") have long made up most of the population of both the Crimean peninsula and the eastern, industrial belt of the Ukraine, it really makes more sense for these areas to be part of Russia than for them to remain Ukrainian; indeed, when both Russia (as the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) and the Ukraine (as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) were components of the USSR, Crimea was for some time part of the former rather than the latter.
This does not mean, however, that Russia's ongoing expansionism genuinely concerns ethnicity.  Since Great Russia made no attempt to absorb any part of Little Russia while the pro-Russian Yanukovych was in power in Kiev, we can safely assume that Vladimir Putin is trying to compensate for the overthrow of his client by carving off as much of the Ukraine as he thinks he can using nationalism as justification; it may be that what we are now seeing is one step in a divide-and-conquer policy that will lead to the swallowing-up of the entire Ukraine, and it may even be, as some have speculated, that the invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the present situation demonstrate an intention on Putin's part to reassemble the Soviet empire.
Nor does it mean that we ought to ignore the current phase of Russia's aggrandizement or to go on pretending that our pathetic sanctions are an adequate response thereto.  The dissolution of the USSR left some of that state's atomic weapons within the boundaries of what had become the just-plain-republic of Ukraine; in return for the abolition of those nuclear arms, which the Ukrainians could have used to defend their land against what is currently happening, we promised in 1994 to uphold Ukrainian territorial integrity.  This theoretical guarantee justifies taking serious action to oppose Russia's annexation of Crimea and potential further acquisitions; we don't need to conjure hypocritical objections such as the Obombast administration's complaint that the Crimean decision to leave the Ukraine was not "legitimate". (I say "hypocritical" because the Obama Nation is itself a product of a unilateral declaration of independence, which was not preceded by a referendum in which 97 percent of the participants voted for secession.  Historians estimate that a mere third of the denizens of the Thirteen Colonies favored the independence movement.)
Confrontation with Russia therefore is diplomatically obligatory, but it seems to require more nerve than even so egotistical a man as Obama has; perhaps that's why he has referred to himself as a "community organizer" and not as an "international community" organizer.