restlessknights

The knights are restless and for good reason.

We Shale Overcome

As a Restless Knight, lying awake, thinking about our food and water safety, I wish I could be sitting around the fire with a bunch of old hippies, singing that song. But evidence gives me no confidence that that will soon happen. We are not overcoming shale; it is overcoming us.

In a recent story in the The Nation Magazine entitled, Fracking Our Food Supply, Elizabeth Royte painfully points out just what’s wrong with the energy industry’s methodology for extracting natural gas from shale deposits.

Don’t get me wrong. Despite my preference for renewable energy (Gas is far from being a clean green energy source. As the World Wildlife Fund energy team points out: “The idea that gas is the solution to climate change is a myth put out by vested interests.”), I am not dismissing natural gas as a temporary alternative to the dreaded coal — it is the way it’s being done that makes me restless. And if you happen to be a farmer near land that has been leased to hydraulic fracturing interests, you’ve got real reasons to be restless, and even scared manureless. I’m also restless over the distinct possibility that Americans will believe that shale gas is the answer to all of our problems, and the need to develop sane, clean, renewable energy sources will no longer be an imperative.

Some time in the not-too-distant-past, our nation lost the political will to guaranty the delivery of safe food to its population. By defunding judiciary agencies like the FDA and EPA, congress has made it inevitable that the vested interests will win out over food safety. In the case of corn, we shut our eyes to an agra industry becoming an energy industry, whose desire for profit dictates that we fill gas tanks, not hungry stomachs. Well, thanks, but no tanks. Can we please find another fuel for our cars and trucks other than what was once the product of the “Great American Bread Basket?”

But it’s all politics. It was suggested (I’m sure by a disinterested party) that corn-based ethanol could replace gasoline or at least become part of the mix that is now mandated to go into your fuel tank (Can we still call it a gas tank?). Which of out 50 states always begins the Presidential selection process? Hint: It is neither the political nor the financial capital. And don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are Iowans. In ten years, corn price per bushel rose from $1.97 to over $7.00, a jump of over 75%. I couldn’t find another food commodity having that rate of inflation.

But I digress. I switched to a related subject of food degeneration from my original topic, Shale and its impact on the food supply.

healthyCattle

Healthy cattle – before hydraulic fracturing

Tails of Woe

What caught my attention to this story was the reporting of farm animals, located near a fracking site, having their tails fall off. I guess we humans have nothing to fear from that alarm bell, as our ancestors lost theirs eons ago.

But perhaps we men should be concerned about what other of our body parts could meet the same fate.

Elsie, as shown in this undoctored photo, has become one of the casualties from a hydraulic fracking blow out, on a parcel of land a half mile upwind from where she and her sisters graze.

noTailOfWoe

Here is Elsie, after a good fracking.

In addition to the non-standard rear appendage, she and some of her fellow bovines began limping, with swollen legs and infections. Some lost over sixty pounds in a single week, preventing them from lactating. Calves take umbrage when their moms fail to deliver milk. Bulls did not escape the wrath of fracking. One $5,000 breeding bull had to be put to death after veterinarians were unable to treat him.

After testing the water, it was learned that it contained sulfate levels of up to 4,000 parts per million (ppm). The Illinois Department of Health (and they should know) states that 30 to 40 ppm of this additive is safe for drinking. High levels of sulfate can cause polio in cattle. But if you feel you’re not ingesting enough sulfides from your water, come to Schilke’s Farm in North Dakota (Elsie’s home), and enjoy a long soothing sip. Don’t let it bother you that other animals around the farm, such as cats and dogs had elevated levels of selenium. They drink from the same water supply as the rest of the farm population (including the humans). Incidentally, toxicity from this chemical is cumulative in the body.

snarlingDick

Cheney tells the U.S. to go frack itself

And speaking of water, a commodity in short supply in many places in the world, including the U.S., fracking a single well can require up to 7 million gallons of potable water. If that’s not enough, thanks to former VP Cheney, fracking interests are not required to report every nasty chemical they intend to use to accomplish their task. Ah, good old Dick Cheney. He was the first to receive a heart transplant when there was no evidence that he ever had one in the first place. I don’t suppose his connection to Halliburton (a major player in the hydraulic fracturing business) had anything to do with this industry secret, do you? By the way, that same great American got fracking excluded from violations of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water Acts, the Toxics Release Inventory, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. So shooting a lawyer as quails are released from their cages is not the only act he can take credit for.

But that is only the beginning. The World Wildlife Fund has documented the many organs, including the kidney and liver that have been affected by the 632 chemicals used in natural gas production.

The Catskill Mountainkeeper lists on its website some of the chemicals found in water after hydraulic fracturing. Have you enjoyed some fine barium lately? How about cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury? This resource is on the alert, possibly because NY State Gov. Cuomo is under pressure and is yet to make his decision on permitting fracking on the state’s vast Marcellus shale deposits.

I stated in the beginning of this piece that I am troubled by the possibility, and even the probability that our citizens will become complacent about fracking and all of its evils. Yes, shale gas will bring us a certain amount of energy independence – but at what price? Is it worth having cheap fossil fuel in exchange for endangering the safety of our food supply?

Are the earthquakes that have been reported throughout areas in which hydraulic fracturing is taking place acceptable? As of this writing, fracking-suspected quakes have occurred many areas, including the following:
Dallas, Texas
Basel Switzerland
Colorado
Oklahoma
Youngstown, Ohio

I don’t know about you, but the possibility of an earthquake can make me pretty restless.

Advertisements

Restless Knight Finally Gets Some Rest

Some view life as a glass half full, and others as a glass half empty. I, on the other hand, experience the glass as broken.

Obama waving to an enthusiastic crowd in hometown, Chicago.   The look on his face suggests that he might get that anniversary gift from Michelle, after all.

That’s why I was shocked to learn that the President had actually won the election. And if you look at the electoral vote, it was a respectable trouncing, with the President receiving almost 100 more electoral votes than his alien opponent, the man from Romnesia.

Romney pondering the failure of his magic underwear

Well, we won’t have Romney to kick around anymore, as his political career has been mercifully ended, except for a possible post as dogcatcher, a job where his experience in animal transport would give him an edge.

And we won’t have the women of Indiana or Missouri to kick around, either. In those states, despite Romney having defeated Obama in the Presidential contest, women wisely let Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock know that it was better to elect candidates to the Senate with IQs higher than 60, and voted accordingly.

The women of the states that brought us such notable intellectuals as Dan Quayle and John Ashcroft* are not the only ones spared the wrath of misogyny. All women can rejoice in knowing that Mr. Obama’s second term virtually guarantees that the Supreme Court will not add another conservative member for at least four years, protecting the fragile Roe V Wade decision that gave women the right to set their own reproductive agenda, rather than having to follow the dictates of religious pro-fetus fanatics.

My rest may be short lived. Just as I was breathing a welcome sigh of relief with the knowledge that the longest Presidential campaign in history was at end, I started hearing the sounds of pundits chirping in the night as to who the likely candidates would be in 2016. Puleeze!

Although we have a decided winner for the executive branch, challenges similar to those plaguing Obama in his first term will probably persist in his second. Unless the least popular congress in history decides to end its do nothing status, and work with the White House to actually accomplish something, we will be no better off in 2016 than we are now. Of course, the extreme right-wing is well aware that this, and will probably use it to promote the inevitable Presidential campaign of Paul Ryan, another staunch defender of women’s rights. Lucky us.

*You might recall that Ashcroft was beaten in the 2000 Senate race by a dead man. The voters correctly judged that a corpse would serve Missouri more effectively than Ashcroft could.

Which Romney?

He steals from the middle class and gives to his offshore bank accounts.

There are some obvious questions that Obama should have asked his opponent during his debatable performance. Maybe he’ll ask this one at the next debate.

Governor, before we start our debate, I’d like to ask you, which Romney will be debating me, tonight? Because last time we met, I was confused as to which one was up there on the platform with me. You see, you look so much alike, but that’s where the resemblance ends.

The Romney with whom I debated on October 3rd was obviously not the same Mitt that tried to out-conserve his conservative challengers. That Romney, you remember him, boasted that he was a STRICT conservative, as opposed to the other contenders, Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and the two Dicks, Perry and Santorum, the not–all–that–strict conservatives.

The live audiences that witnessed those debates applauded loudly when the Texas Governor boasted of his state’s execution record. Yet, that Mitt Romney easily defeated Pistol-Packing Perry and all the others to the right of Genghis Kahn.

That Mitt Romney assured his billionaire base that he would lower their taxes, because their effective rate of around 14% was too much to pay, and was coming dangerously close to half the tax rate their secretaries pay. That Mitt asked us to trust him on just how he intended to pay for that boondoggle. But, like Nixon’s secret plan to end the Vietnam War, we’ll just have to wait until January 20 to see how you will achieve this.

And I was so glad to hear that you love Big Bird. I was worried about that. You don’t intend to fund him, the News Hour, and other public interest shows. And why should you? Federal outlays for public broadcasting are about .012% of our total budget, and we would have to beg China for the money to pay for it (their egg roll budget for an entire year). But you prefer K Street over Sesame Street and the Downtown Lobby to Downton Abbey. You think that the Koch Brothers, Exxon Mobil and Big Corn should fund public broadcasting because that would ensure fair news coverage when those giants of industry do something nasty to the planet.

The Running of the Bulls at Pamplona

Your positions have changed more times than a baby’s diaper. And we know what’s inside that diaper.

The Running of Bull at Denver

I’m asking you this question because I am now awake, which I was not rumored to be during our last debate.

Keeping It Bottled Up

You know that nothing makes a knight more restless than keeping things bottled up inside. When that happens, they get sloppy with their lances; there is a reduction in the number of saved damsels in distress, and new leases on life to the endangered dragon population are granted.

But what should stress out even the non-knight population is the amount of detritus in the form of empty plastic bottles seen on the side of roads. Since there seems to be no moral compunction against littering, the road is a convenient place to toss that empty beverage bottle, after it has done its damage to your liver with the world’s fastest sugar delivery system. In fact, soda delivers sugar even faster than Mitt Romney fired people at Bain.

If bottle debris is not a problem for you, think about the waste associated with plastic bottles and all of its negatives on society.  Incidentally, they are estimated to be about half the waste stream.

First, plastic bottles are a petroleum product. Last time I checked, petroleum is the commodity for which we sacrificed four thousand lives, a trillion in un-budgeted military expenses and the wrecking of an entire country that did nothing to us to provoke such an invasion. And, despite the fact that there is a surplus of oil supply compared to demand, prices for this viscous goo are always threatening to rise meteorically. This is especially true when tensions are heightened in the Middle East (like that ever happens).

Making more bottles out of this scarce resource seems a waste unto itself, especially since most of those plastic containers could be reclaimed.  This would obviate the need to use even more of that sludge for which we send young people to die. Did you know that in 2006, Americans purchased over 31 billion liters of bottled water that took 17 million barrels of oil to produce, with a carbon footprint of 2.5 million tons of CO2? That was five years ago, and I doubt if those numbers have diminished since then.

In my adopted state of Florida, a bill is being considered that would place a deposit on each plastic bottle purchased. The legislature and governor has not always acted in our best interest, so they need to hear from you.  Would you mind that much, paying another nickel or dime for your bottle of sugary poison, or the more fashionable Evian, so that there would be an incentive to return those bottles for re-use? You could personally reclaim that deposit, or let the many unemployed folks in our state gather them from the streets and otherwise pristine beaches to earn a few bucks. Would you like to join the forty other U.S. states (and Guam) that treat plastic bottles sustainably? http://www.bottlebill.org/legislation/usa.htm

If you agree, please join me in signing this petition now!

We could all be doing our part to reduce plastic bottle use by doing a few simple things:

  • Carry a refillable water bottle. There is a vast selection available at most retailers, from $10 and up. These can replace the many plastic bottles for which you paid up to $1.25 per pint of water (gasoline is only 72 cents a pint by comparison).
  • Store water in much larger containers. If your tap water doesn’t taste quite right (and it probably doesn’t), think about a service that delivers quality water at regular intervals, and carts away the original for re-use.
  • Talk to the event handler at your business or organization. Suggest pitchers of water instead of those tiny throw-aways sitting in front of each guest.
  • Think twice before consuming that next bottle of soda. The teeth you save may be your own, not to mention the empty calories, or worse, the artificial sweetener to which you are exposing your organs.

Okay, I’m through ranting (for the moment). Now that I know my message has gotten through, loud and clear, my night might not be quite as restless going forward.

For more on the environment, check out my non-profit website, OurNeighborhoodEarth.org.

Exceptional US

It has been quite awhile since my last post to this blog. Maybe it’s due to my nights being sooo restless that I lack the energy.

So, to paraphrase the Passover Seder’s primary question, why are these nights different from all others? I think it’s the steady bombardment of exceptionally negative political campaigning (from both sides). Just once, I’d like to hear a politician state a positive thing he will do (and mean it). There are exceptions: Mitt wants to repeal Obromney Care, and since he is no longer running for Governor of Taxacheusetts, and wants to clear himself of any memory of it, he can do it without a wince. With backing from his exceptionally loaded buddy, Sheldon Adelson, he will positively see to it that this major contributor (up to $100 million major) is happy, by carrying out a first strike against Iran. This will not ease my restlessness (or the price of gasoline).

The political messages on TV, particularly in the swing states (one of which I happen to live in), come like a speeded up baseball pitching machine. It’s hard to get the bat around before the next one is in your face. I never thought I would welcome a pharmaceutical commercial as respite from the political deluge.

Our condition as citizens of this once great nation is another major cause of restlessness (if not out and out depression). We listen to those guys and gals vying for our votes, espousing rhetoric that we are an exceptional people. If you define exceptionalism as having exceptionally high prison incarceration rates, exceptionally low math and science scores, exceptionally low literacy rates and highly armed with exceptionally dangerous arsenals, then we fill the bill, nicely.

My question to those folks begging for our votes is, how did we become this exceptional, and what will you do to reverse this trend? Judging from how you operate, once you have achieved office, you give me little hope that we can crawl back into the twenty-first century to join the rest of the civilized world.

All former empires were exceptional at one time, owing to their success. What they all have in common is that they became complacent, thinking they were still exceptional. They spread themselves too thin, neglected the well-being of their people, thus opening the door for their successors. How exceptionally naive is that?

The Meat of the Matter

I was born into a household where my father did not consume animal products, at least not from dead animals. He did eat eggs, cheese and other dairy products.

As a young adolescent, I thought this policy was strange, as no other family I knew, had followed the principle. Vegetarianism was certainly not new, as a list of vegetarians from history will attest. Those figures include dudes from Ancient Greece, such as Pythagoras and Plato, religious giants like Saint Francis of Assisi and Martin Luther – Luther: who knew? There were also those who chose science over superstition to arrive at their non-carnivore dietary preferences. Who would have suspected that Ben Franklin took time off from hell-firing to settle down with a nice veggie burger? The writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hans Christian Andersen, Charlotte Bronte and Henry David Thoreau were meatless, and Tolstoy made War and Peace on meat and the vegetable comestible, respectively.

Some times I was embarrassed when our family went out to dine, as I heard Dad clumsily explaining to the waiter at Tung Sang that he didn’t eat meat. He was only trying to ensure that his vegetable–only request would be strictly observed, by a wait staff whose mastering of English was questionable.

My father did not impose this restriction on the rest of our family, and at the time I was grateful. After leaving the household, I spent the next forty-five years consuming all the mammals I could get my teeth into. I was one of Burger King’s best customers (McDonalds was off-limits because of Ray Kroc’s Nixon campaign contributions).

A good friend told me how she gave up the consumption of meat shortly after a visit to a slaughterhouse. She described, in vivid detail, the suffering of animals scheduled for slaughter. She could have only been revulsed further if the slaughterhouse she had visited used the Kosher process. God is happy if you kill an animal in this fashion. The cow? Not so much. Neither of us was aware of the inhumane conditions, which was the ordeal of all animals selected to provide us with life-giving sustenance. Since that time (about twenty years ago), conditions for animals in factory farms have gotten much worse. You can imagine how restless the nights and days of these hapless creatures must be, born into captivity, and constantly living within inches of their fellow cage-mates.

One day I just quit, cold turkey (although poultry is still something that I consume, at least temporarily). Since making that decision, five or six years ago, I have learned more of the reasons why my choice was a correct one – for me.

The other morning, I learned that in addition to the hormones and antibiotics that are added to the diet of beef cattle, some factory farms feed chicken manure to their beasts of unspeakable burden. This is to keep a competitive edge, against producers who treat their animals a little more humanely (as if that were even possible). The idea is produce the product at the cheapest possible price, ignoring health threats to human consumers of beef. It seems that one of my favorite corporations, Walmart, which practically owns the food retail business (as well as the souls of its employees), mandates this cheapest pricing structure. So if you believe that you ARE what you eat, and someone accuses you of being chicken shit, you can respond affirmatively.

What are some of these health threats, I hope you are asking?

Let’s start with antibiotics. Each time you swallow a mouthful of non-organic beef product, you’re ingesting some of those. Eventually, you, and the cow you are eating, will develop immunity to the diseases these agents seek to prevent.

What about those hormones? About two thirds of all slaughtered beef are injected with “growth enhancements”. Leave it to the Ag Industry to think of this euphemism for poison. The idea is for the animal to attain maturity before nature had intended, to achieve the obvious reward – less time on the farm; quicker to your stomach. These additives to your food are potential health risks. Most adult men have a little less to fear from growth hormones than women who are pregnant, or one day, hope to be, and young children. But they are only a small majority.

Now my favorite of these additives is chicken manure, mentioned above. My doctor told me I wasn’t getting enough of this in my diet. She also told me I was deficient in Pink Slime, which the industry now calls “Finely Textured Beef.” Why they would change the name from the original is beyond me. A better question is what idiot named it that in the first place? A marketing genius, I’ll wager.

These guys are trying to tell us something.
-Courtesy of 2050 Magazine

So what are some of the pitfalls of feeding this to cattle? We’ve all heard of mad cow disease (who could blame them for getting mad?). Chicken manure in the feedlot has been known to cause this malady. The industry is probably putting heads together, as we speak, to euphemize this term to something like, “Poultry Poopular.” And while they are at it, they should take a whack at the name “Mad Cow,” and call it “Slightly Perturbed Bovine,” or ”Disturbed Herd Mentality.”

I could just see the ad now: A young child, with a white bacteria-infested mustache appears, smiling, as she utters (or udders) the line, “Got salmonella?”

So, other than human health, and inhumane treatment of animals, what were my other reasons to avoid meat?

Global Warming: Cattle is said to be the greatest emitter of methane, a greenhouse gas considerably worse than CO2 (and I thought that my best high school buddy was the greatest emitter.)

Food Security: With over 7 billion mouths to feed (and that’s just from the Octa-mom), and until now, population has increased exponentially, how can we justify raising crops that could be consumed by humans, in order to feed animals? No matter how you slice it (or chop it), there is no question which method of consumption gives you more bang for the buck (sorry, Bambi). It’s bad enough that much of our agricultural output is put in gas tanks instead of stomachs, but that is a subject for a future discussion.

The demand for meat protein rises with affluence. As emerging economies such as those lately seen in China, India and others, this protein source becomes more competitive, putting the poor at a severe disadvantage. Yes, there will always be poor people, but do we have to make their lives even more miserable? Even caring candidate Romney has addressed this, stating, “I love poor people. They’re just the right height.”

According to an expert at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, it requires 41 million tons of plant protein to produce just 7 million tons of animal protein. That’s about a 5/6 hit to the supply. It’s only logical that eliminating cattle as a source of food would be a far more efficient use of dwindling resources.

Celebrity Status: I can eat in the same restaurants as Michelle Pfeiffer.

Social is Not a Dirty Word

“Social” is not a dirty word.  But it makes some people restless (I’m not one of them). And judging from the condemnation it receives from those sages on the right, you might as well be yelling, “Damn” at Santorum rally.

Social Security, Social Safety Net and Socially Responsible are terms you are likely to hear quite often during this election year. Thanks to the largess of the Koch Brothers, and their ilk, the airways are already flooded, with no Arc in sight.  Incidentally, Citizens United could not have happened without the help of the Charles and David Koch, whose father was a co-founder of the John Birch Society (I just thought I’d mention that). That anti-social Citizens United ruling, by the most right-wing Supreme Court in U.S. history, enables a few rich folks to exert political influence never before possible in America.

Supreme Court Right Wing

Why are these men smiling?

We already knew the evils of “socialized medicine”, because Presidents Harry Truman (1945), Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were chastised for attempting to saddle the country with this horrible handicap. The very idea! Strangely enough, Carter’s biggest opposition to Universal Healthcare came from none other than Ted Kennedy. You remember him. He was from the state that now has Obromney Care. Despite her husband’s failed attempt, early in his Presidency, Hillary proposed it during her 2007 election campaign.

Why is that word, “Social”, not condemned by European democracies? They don’t seem to have a problem with the concept that health care is a right, and not a privilege. And listen to this terrible idea: When a German or other European citizen loses his or her job, the loss of healthcare does not accompany it. That’s why they call it their social safety net. It prevents their family from being wiped out, while they train for new jobs. It’s actually easier to fire an employee in Germany, because the state ensures that the citizen and his or her family are protected from disaster. The company can rid itself of employees who do not perform satisfactorily, and keep those more productive. Nor are they responsible for employee healthcare insurance.

The idea of universal healthcare is not new to the twentieth and twenty first centuries. It actually began in central Europe in 1883. Source

Germany can also boast of one of the highest pay scales in Europe. Why is this good? Because a robust middle class is the best guarantee against economic depression.  Paying fair wages, instead of seeing how little you can cajole employees to accept, is the socially responsible thing to do. In certain U.S. states, governors and legislatures lure corporations to re-locate to their state because these companies won’t have to worry about polluting the environment or respect the right to unionize. These elected officials are not creating jobs, they are stealing them from states that are more socially responsible. There’s that dirty word again.

If we had Single Payer universal healthcare in America, we wouldn’t have some members of Congress calling the Affordable Healthcare Act, the “job-killing healthcare bill,” as they try anything they can to repeal it. They may be getting some help, shortly, from those aforementioned men in robes, very soon. That’s too bad, because most folks don’t even know about the good things this bill will bring, should it be allowed to come to full fruition in 2014.

“Obama’s the most socialist president in history,” shout his political opponents, whom, by the way, never let facts get in the way of their stated opinions.  I believe FDR has that title locked, because unlike the Fox ditto heads, I’ve actually read some history.

The Slippery Slope


What could cause a more restless night than knowing that marriage, the way God defines it, could become obsolete?

Mitt Romney believes, as did his grandfather, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and is willing to shave the head of any one who disagrees. Only in the Grandpa version, marriage might be defined as a matrimonial bond between a man the sister wives.

But Mitt finds it hard to believe that a man would move south of the border just to evade those arcane laws forbidding polygamy. More likely, Grandpa’s move was inspired by an opportunity to take Taco Stands De Mexico private, fire most of its employees, and take a handsome fee for his services.  To paraphrase the Governor, “Just because they lived in a polygamist commune in Mexico, it doesn’t mean they engaged in polygamy.” This is as true as the expression, “Just because you work in a cat house, it doesn’t make you a cat.”

President Obama has been evolving in his stance on gay marriage, something that Romney can’t do, because he doesn’t accept evolution as a scientific principle.

The family values right has been warning us all along that gay marriage can be a slippery slope. I’ve known a few gay people, and to them, the slippery slope has a whole different meaning, but I won’t get into that (so to speak). Bill O’Reilly is convinced that sex between members of the same gender can lead to inter-species relationships.

I don’t think that Bill’s conclusion is so absurd. In fact, I believe that inter-species marriage could be a good thing. What could be better than marrying your best friend?

Take this hypothetical scenario:

A crowd begins to gather in the Church of the Latter-day St. Bernards. The groom has agreed, despite his parent’s wishes, to have the service at his bride’s church.

As guests file in to the sanctuary, it’s easy to tell which side is the groom’s and which is the bride’s. If you’re from the Groom’s guest list, just avoid the side of the room where attendees are licking their private parts and smelling their pew-mate’s rear ends.

Within minutes the room is full of wedding guests eagerly awaiting the start of the ceremony.

The groom, resplendent in white tux and cummerbund, stands at the foot of the alter, next to the Best Dog, Foxxy (no relation to the bride). The reverend, Bull Teriay, who is, himself, the product of a mix-species marriage between a woman and an English Bulldog, stands ready, bible in paws, to perform the ritual.

Music fills the room. It is Bach’s “Sheepdogs May Safely Graze.”

All eyes face the rear of the temple as the Flower Puppy begins a lively prance down the aisle, stopping at each row of pews for a little whiff.

Then the moment arrives. The bride appears, dressed, despite several previous litters, in a magnificent white gown (available at Sarasota Bridal and Puppy Wear for $999.99 – no paw me downs for this bride). She strains at her leash, tightly held by the proud father, about to give her away to the waiting groom.

Lady, as she awaits her big moment.

After delivering their touching wedding bow-wows, the Reverend administers the oath. And by the powers vested in him, pronounces them Man and Bitch.

You many now lick the bride, says Reverend Teriay.

The groom’s mom, frowning in the first row, turns to her husband and says, “Couldn’t he at least have married a white dog?”

Racism and Restlessness

I know we should go along with the First Testament, with all of its sound ideas, but somehow, slavery doesn’t seem quite right to me.

Knowing the Lord was offended by the wearing of mixed fibers (Leviticus), and aware of the recommended treatment for such an offense was the very reason I donated my leisure suits to the Salvation Army. But He found no quibble with the owning another human being?

This could explain the tolerance for slavery that began a little more recently, as in the 17th century (CE), when several Abrahamic religions conspired to steal Africans from their villages, and send them on a cruise to the New World.

Their accommodations were not exactly posh. And I don’t think they were allowed to take part in Smorgasbord Sundays aboard ship.

So, when we overthrew our British masters and declared that all men were created equal, we seem to have interpreted that as some being more equal than others. As a matter of fact, slaves were 3/5th equal to whites, as was written in the Constitution.

The racism that lives on in America is probably rooted in the idea that God thinks owning slaves is swell. I hate to break this to those engaged in hatred and/or violence toward another, purely based on skin color, but we did eliminate slavery back in 1863, or thought we did. We were a little late getting started, as the Brits, the very slave-mongers we became free of, emancipated theirs in 1833, by an act of Parliament. France first did it in 1789, but a little fella named Napoleon decided God was right, and reversed the decision of the First Republic Convention. But they did eventually come around, beating us to the punch by some 15 years.

How can you say America is racist, you ask, especially since we elected a partially white person to be our President? Well, I believe that Obama’s election served as a catalyst for the racist tendencies many ignorant Americans still hold.

Knowing that we are all products of our time, I asked myself this question:
If I were alive during the early 18th century, would I have thought that it was cool to own another human being? Obviously, this is an unanswerable question, but I would like to think that given the knowledge that the human race consists of many variations (including within each racial group), and that no one race is genetically superior or inferior to another, how else should such a question be answered?

But we are in the 21st century, much to the disbelief of certain Republican candidates, and we know those facts to be true.

I’ve heard some cry out against the injustice of declaring George Zimmerman guilty before he’s had his day in court. But Trayvon Martin didn’t exactly have his day there either.

I suspect that the Stand Your Ground law that protected his (alleged) murderer, passed in Florida (again, so proud), and in a multitude of states across America, is rooted in racism. Martin was convicted by a court of one for WWH (Walking While Hooded.) What would Zimmerman have done to an Imperial Wizard? Not giving him a restless night, I’ll wager.

So, come on, walk a shoeless mile in the garb of a slave and try to have some empathy.

Evolution Shmev…

Evolution Shmevolution.

Who do these so-called experts think they are, equating their scientifically accepted theory of Evolution with Creationism? No wonder my nights have been so restless.

The next thing we’ll know, those same geniuses will say that the Earth and the Heavens are way more than 6,000 years old. Now, anyone who has visited one of the many Creation Science museums can attest to the fact that the earliest man coexisted with dinosaurs and other so-called prehistoric creatures. So don’t let the alleged Sciences — Astronomy, Biology and Anthropology fool you.  And if you haven’t been to one of the aforementioned institutions of greater learning, get your child’s school to organize a class trip so that he can become as enlightened as you. You won’t have trouble finding these museums. There are two in my state, Florida (I’m so proud), four in Texas (what a shock!), and others in California, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Montana, Tennessee and Washington.

And speaking of Tennessee, I’d like to thank their legislature for not bowing to science, and keeping the Scopes trial alive. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-201204121125usnewsusnwr201204110411whisper.evolutiapr12,0,7419331.story

If I ever succumb to the crazed and overrated notion of critical thinking, I might be forced to believe that most of the Republican Presidential candidates in the last two elections might not have gotten evolution exactly right. And judging from some of those examples of God’s perfection, it’s hard to defend the notion that man descended from the apes. According to the latest poll of Chimps, Gorillas and Orangs, they are insulted by that suggestion. Using sign language, they declared,  “If that is where evolution is headed, we’d rather remain as we are.”

Post Navigation