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Not clear on the concept

Not clear on the concept

I suppose that it is possible that this newspaper clipping is a hoax – people do clever things with photoshop and similar programs. Still, it’s quite possibly real. There are an amazingly large number of people who are that unaware of the world they live in.

Perhaps that is the wrong way to put it. They are aware of the world that they live in. We all are aware of the world that we live in – a world defined and constructed within our minds. As a species we have manufactured and reshaped reality for our own convenience in ways that reflect our most primitive needs.

We are animals; like other animals we eat other living things, either while still alive or freshly killed. The life we eat may be plants, animals, or fungi. (We also eat stuff that never lived that we manufacture, but mostly it is all products of the biosphere.) We live and we die like all other animals.

Unlike other animals who live within natural environments we create our own, and, if you live in the large people nests called cities, you are divorced from the realities of the biosphere. This has an effect on how we think about other animals.

A dog has a simple view of other animals. There is the pack (faux dogs), prey (dinner), and creatures to be avoided or ignored. We humans have a similar scheme. There are humans (not really animals despite our biology), pets (faux humans), domestic food animals (yum), wild animals (bambi), and pests (creepy crawlies).

Residents in the people nests who get their food from supermarkets don’t see food animals. Meat comes in wrapped packages. Species used as pets are taboo – eating cats and dogs is a variety of cannibalism. And wild animals are part of the entertainment package – they live in national parks which, after all, are simply zoos written large.

Programmer’s day

In Russia the 256th day of the year, September 12 in leap years, September 13 otherwise, is officially Programmer’s Day. Now this is, ahem, a government program I can get behind.

God Wants You – Right Now

Austrian crushed after popping in to thank God
By Lester Haines

A devout Catholic who popped into church to thank God for a his rescue from a lift was crushed to death by a 860lb stone altar, the Telegraph reports.

Police spokesman Roman Hahslinger explained that Gunther Link, 45, was “a very religious man and had been scared when he was trapped in the lift and had prayed for release”.

He continued: “A short while later he was pulled out of the elevator and he went straight to the church to thank God.”

Link was reported missing by his cousin, and found the next day by parishioners going to Mass at the Weinhaus Church in Vienna.

Hahslinger concluded: “He seems to have embraced a stone pillar on which the stone altar was perched and it fell on him, killing him instantly. We have found his fingerprints on the pillar. We are now investigating the case further.”

To be honest, this story may be another urban legend. In one of the comments Gunther was referred to as a KERTZLSCHLICKA which can be translated as someone who licks votive candles. The whole thing doesn’t sound very good to me.”

Ron White on vegetarianism

I did not climb to the top of the food chain just to eat a carrot.
– Ron White

The great health care kludge

The status of the great health care reform bill has not been settled as of this writing. I had supposed that it was a sure thing – after all the Democrats had a lock on congress, a President who is as close to a socialist as you can get away with in this country, and what passes for a mandate in these parts. How could it go wrong? Well, apparently quite easily.

The path to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory begins with our glorious leader, He Who Keeps On Campaigning, passing the buck to the Democrats’ answer to Daffy Duck, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who are officially in charge of making the Democrats look bad. In turn they passed the buck to the back room gnomes, a gaggle of anonymous red hots who pumped in every gadget that caught their enthusiasm and produced a thousand pages of bibble babble.

This was to be a bi-partisan effort – the Republicans part of the effort was to roll over, play dead, and say “Yes, sir”, “No sir”, and “Jolly good, sir” on demand. Strangely enough, they screamed dirty pool, and threw away their scripts. They have no complaint. They demanded the same sort of bi-partisanship from the Democrats back in 2000.

Still, it should have gone through if only they had pushed it through on cue. They didn’t. Too much time went by. The Right raised various alarums and the defenders folded like cardboard. The marks, er, the public caught on to the fact that this was a very expensive proposition with lots of obscure details. The great alliance started crumbling.

Now all of this was predictable. As Will Rogers said, “I don’t belong to an organized political party – I’m a Democrat.” The Democratic Party is a congeries of special interests and enthusiasms glued together with faux populism and enthusiasm for the cause du jour. Democratic politicians, much like Republican politicans, are beholden, albeit to different interests and different raving lunatics, ah, partisans.

The essence of the matter is that getting anything sensible through Congress requires a master cat herder. Our former glorious leader understood this quite well – he pushed agendas through with paper thin majorities. The trick is simple enough – select a destination for your cats, point them in the right direction, and don’t let them stray. It helps to have plenty of cream.

Our present Glorious Leader seems not to have quite understood this. I opine that something will finally be passed. It will be a kludge, a Rube Goldberg monstrosity. It cannot help but be. There are reasons why every player in the health care world is signing off on it. In the end it will be worse than what we have now, which is really horrid.

The real tragedy in this farce is that there was a magic moment when we could have done the right thing. The truth is quite simple – the health care insurance system is broken and is unfixable. If Obama had pushed through a single payer system when he had the votes and the momentum something decent might have happened.

Just remember, I’m an optimist.


Did you hear Mayor Blumberg has forbidden bankers from swimming in the East River. They’ve been leaving a ring around the piers.
– Walter Bushell

Justice for Dually

Back in July there was a rodeo in the city of Fort Pierre. They do that sort of thing in Fort Pierre. During the rodeo somebody made off with a horse named Dually. Dually was not just any horse; Dually was a trained barrell racing horse belonging to Wendy Halweg. She had performed with Dually in the Fourth of July rodeo and had left him in his pen at night.

It is alleged that one Flint David Dahl, age 22, absconded with Dually early that morningand abused and mistreated the horse – seriously abused and mistreated it. A Stanley County arrest warrant has been issued for him.

Duallyā€¯ was reported missing by his owner, Wendy Halweg, on the morning of July 5. She had kept her horse in a pen at the fairgrounds after the pair had competed in barrel racing at the Fort Pierre Fourth of July Rodeo. She reported him missing around daybreak on July 5.

The horse was reunited with Halweg a few hours later after authorities were told he was in a pen behind the city utilities shop. Court paperwork says the horse had lacerations or rope burns on his legs and was injured in the area of his right eye. Dually also had injuries to his rear foot and would not put pressure on it. He was held at a Harrisburg veterinarian clinic for more than a month and continues to recover from his injuries.

Dahl attended school in Hyde County, aka Outlaw County. One wonders what he learned here.

We’re not bigots here!

A computer without Microsoft is like a chocolate cake without mustard.

This page was last updated September 30, 2009.

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Collected editorials