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8-Year-Old Girl Shoots Bear

   Here's one that somehow wound up inside the Metro section: An 8-year-old girl bagged the first bear of the bear-hunting season in Maryland. Who says kids today only want to go to the mall? Some want to hunt! And not just with make-believe guns! This isn't some game where you take a stick and run around going "Pow! Pow!" No, Sierra Stiles, all of 8 years old and 54 inches tall, got up at 4:58 a.m. Monday in the high-country town of Kitzmiller, Md., and marched out into a field on her family farm -- loaded for bear.

    She had a permit to kill a bear, won by lottery. There are some cynics who think that a child of 8 shouldn't be wandering around in the pre-dawn darkness with a loaded rifle, and indeed, there are kids in my neighborhood who I wouldn't trust with anything more lethal than a container of Gogurt, but Sierra passed some kind of safety test (multiple choice?), scoring a 98.

    Right about dawn, as she and her father and granduncle waited in a cold rain, the granduncle saw a dark shadow in the distance. He wasn't sure what it was. Perhaps it was Karl Rove fleeing from authorities. [Obligatory Rove reference.] Somehow they concluded that it was probably a bear, and thus was fair game.

    Nelson Hernandez writes:

   Sierra stood behind a tree, waiting until the bear was about 50 yards away, she said. Then she took careful aim and squeezed the trigger. The bullet struck the bear behind the shoulder. Unfazed by the rifle's light recoil, she said, she ejected the casing, reloaded and fired another round. It hit. The bear ran about 150 feet before collapsing."I was really, really, really happy," Sierra exclaimed. "They won't eat now. They won't eat a thing."

    The berries in the mountain pastures are safe now. [Obligatory sarcastic city-boy commentary.]

    The truth is, children are capable of much more than we give them credit for. Why not put them into actual combat? We are not meeting our recruitment goals. The reserves and the National Guard are tapped out. Hello, Mr. President: Time to send in the kids!

    One line in the story -- "Her father remembers carrying her out to hunt raccoon with him when she was 1 month old" -- makes the reader wonder if these folks are the most safety conscious people on the planet. Did he let the newborn pull the trigger? Or use her as, you know, bait?

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 25, 2005; 9:13 AM ET
 
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Next: Laser Focus on Rove and Libby

Comments

[Oops:
"when seh was 1 month old" (in the last para.)]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 25, 2005 9:24 AM | Report abuse

They must have stout kids in Maryland. I would have thought a rifle with a caliber big enough to kill a bear would have put her on her butt. Must have been a weenie bear.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 9:31 AM | Report abuse

That is such a horrible story! And the satisfaction she had with killing the bear "I was very very happy" what kind of child are they raising to be so into killing. It's not like I'm a fanatic animal lover like Gene Weingarten or anything but this is just creepy.

Posted by: omodudu | October 25, 2005 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah imagine that, kids learning to hunt at a young age, Im just creeped out.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 9:48 AM | Report abuse

There are still a surprising number of Americans that depend on the land and its animals for significant portions of their diet.

I think that it is important for our kids and especially our girls to experience life and if part of life is killing game, then so be it. After all, if our girls just sit in their little bubble wearing pretty dresses and playing Bach on the piano, we may just end up with lots of Condi Rice's (re: Eugene Robinson's Op Ed)

Of course, if I remember correctly, last year's WaPo bear season story was about how small the first bear was that was taken. I guess what we are seeing is the WaPo writing stories for its readers.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a legend in the making.

"When she was just a baby she was racoon bait,
Killed her a bar when she was only eight,
Sierra! Sierra Stiles!
Queen of the Wild Frontier!

[sung to the tune of Davy Crockett]
[1958 Walt Disney Productions]
[All Rights Reserved]

Posted by: CowTown | October 25, 2005 9:54 AM | Report abuse

A little CG cheerleading-diversion:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/printout/0,8816,1122007,00.html

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 9:56 AM | Report abuse

maybe she could carve "Sierra killet a bar here" in the tree she stood behind.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 10:03 AM | Report abuse

It's difficult to know how to respond to a story like this. I'm opposed to hunting, and the idea of a needlessly dead bear -- and a person who is so obviously gleeful about having killed that bear -- disturbs me. But I'm not sure that I have the right to be angry. People with a particular mindset -- and we *all* view the world in a unique (but by definition limited) way -- see nothing wrong with hunting and other forms of animal abuse and environmental destruction. According to a particular view of the world, animals are inferior beings that are on this planet solely for the benefit and amusement of humans. And we all buy into this view to some extent: We eat meat, we use bugspray, we wear leather shoes. We each have our own threshold in terms of what is acceptable and what is not. (Personally, although I was saddened by this story about the bear, I must admit that I do indeed eat cows, pigs, chickens, fish, and various other creatures who live miserable lives until they are slaughtered for human consumption. And I have on occasion swatted a mosquito.)

Ultimately it comes down to the value we place on each type of animal. We are shocked when an innocent bear gets shot, but not so much when someone kills a snake; we somehow believe the snake deserved it.

As with many things, I don't know what the answer is.

Posted by: Dreamer | October 25, 2005 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The poor bear! What if it had cubs? I'm very animal sensitive. I cried like a baby after I saw My Dog Skip. (I only saw it after continual prodding from my grandparents after I told them repeatedly I don't watch animal movies. They saw why and they promised never to pressure me into watching another animal movie again.)

"They won't eat now. They won't eat a thing." It sounds like something out of a horror movie. It's kind of like The Shining and "redrum."

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha, Sara! That *does* sound like something from a horror movie:
"We all float down here"!

Posted by: Achenfan | October 25, 2005 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Sierra recounted here how she shot the 211-pound bear from 50 yards away with her .243-caliber rifle." From the article, it sounds like she hit it with each of two shots. At least nothing is mentioned of any other shots. Sounds like great marksmanship, especially from an 8 year old. She's going to get some serious respect at her elementary school. Can someone get Stephen Hunter to post a little analysis on the blog? Shooting a bear on your farm...it's such an ancient story.

Where I grew up, hunting was very common, and many of my good friends went hunting, mostly for boar. May sound kind of uncivilized to city-folk, but things are different out there in the country; hunting and fishing are just part of the culture out there among the nicest folks you'll find anywhere in the world. And it is true, though, that it can be dangerous. Shooting on your own farm is probably the safest way to do it. Back about 20 years ago, one of my friends accidentally shot another of my friends while out bird hunting. The shooter saw some movement in a bush and fired, hitting this poor guy (with birdshot, thank goodness)! The injured friend yelled and dropped to the ground just in time to dodge another shotgun blast that passed over him! He recovered, still has some shot in him, though. My perforated friend recovered and went right back to hunting. We all thought the shooter was an idiot for doing this, of course, very nice guy though. Later, both friends became policemen. As you can imagine, when the shooter became a cop, there were a lot of jokes made in our little town.

But even if you think that hunters are horrible savages, they seem to be necessary horrible savages, at least according to the Audubon Society. I get their magazine, and they've published a couple of good articles on the subject recently.
http://magazine.audubon.org/incite/incite0507.html
http://magazine.audubon.org/incite/incite0509.html

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Ha! Achenfan! That's such a creepy line.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 10:15 AM | Report abuse

How many people would be upset if the child in question were a boy? I am willing to bet that it wouldn't have made the news.

I'm from the country and when I was in school it used to be devoid of male students (at every grade level( on the first day of deer season.

Anyhow, I guess I'm of two minds: one half of me is creeped-out, the other half is singing to herself, "Anything boys can do, girls can do better!"

Hmmm. Dilemma.

Posted by: ajw93 | October 25, 2005 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Oops -- that was meant to be a close parenthesis. (at every grade level)

Posted by: ajw93 | October 25, 2005 10:19 AM | Report abuse

LB, she is somewhat stocky - here's a picture: http://derenegade.blogspot.com/

I'm not a hunter and don't come from a hunting family/community, but I think Dreamer is right to point out the hypocrisy of leather wearing meat-eaters saying "Eeewwww" to this kind of thing.

Posted by: suecris | October 25, 2005 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey Sara, you need to watch Old Yeller

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Thanks suecries, yeah, a .243 doesn't have that much of a kick.
Sara, the Yearling is another movie you need to catch.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 10:24 AM | Report abuse

What bothers me are hunters who kill animals just to mount the head or entire animal for their "trophy" room. Remember that scene in ARTHUR where Dudley Moore has a mandatory meeting with his creepy waspy fiancee's even creepier father? They're in the father's trophy room. Dudley looks at the mounted moose head and says "You must have hated this moose!"

Posted by: Nani | October 25, 2005 10:27 AM | Report abuse

well Nani, after you butcher the animal, there is no reason to throw the head away.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 10:29 AM | Report abuse

No. No, LB. No animal movies. None. Not even those feel good movies like that new "Dreamer" with Dakota Fanning.

And I'm with Dreamer and suecris, I do have something leather somewhere though I can't think of it right now and I do on occasion eat a piece of chicken or a hamburger, but I'm still really creeped out by "They won't eat now. They won't eat a thing."

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Lots of deep, heavy breathing going on this morning in the punditocracy:

Terry Neal's Talking Points in the WaPo this morning--end 'graph:
"The same, however, could be said of the various Clinton scandals in the 1990s. Perhaps before rushing to judgment on either side of the aisle, the best thing to do would be to sit back, take a deep breath and let the rule of law prevail."

Nicholas Kristof in the NYT Select this morning--beginning 'graph:
"Before dragging any Bush administration officials off to jail, we should pause and take a long, deep breath."

Everyone is getting their muzzle loaded, gunnin' for b'ar--over Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's remarks on Sunday's "Meet the Press" about the "perjury technicality." (I would italicize technicality if I could.)

NYT columnist Frank Rich pretty much shot down Hutchison's remarks by the end of Tim Russert's show, calling the Republican strategy that Hutchison was floating on Sunday the "Twinkie defense."

Oh, the days of Dan White, Harvey Milk, Mayor George Moscone and the San Francisco city council.

Is the subject of perjury really fair game?

Posted by: Linda Loomis | October 25, 2005 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Sara, look at it this way, it was a quote from an 8 year old, and maybe the bear had been getting into the corn crib on the farm or something.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Meat doesn't come on styrofoam trays?

A .243 (I think it was?) is a pretty small, fast bullet. Shouldn't kick too bad. Would still throw most 8 year old girls I've known for a loop, though.

I've only had bear meat once. It was in a stew and I wouldn't have known it wasn't beef.

One of my friends showed me the 'Old Yeller' episode of Friends a while back... I laughed.

Hmmm.... And I've been doing the autocross thing this past year (time trials in big fields of traffic cones). One of the locals (who won nationally this year in his class) has an eight year old son who has been doing carts for the last few years. That boy can pretty consistently get around the course in a shifter cart faster than I can in a full sized car. (Yes, shifter carts *are* faster than cars, but the youngster is good....)

Posted by: Les | October 25, 2005 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I think you're grasping at invisible straws with the corn thing, LB. But maybe.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I figure the bear was probably a nuisance around the farm or something

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Sara,
Probably no need to be too creeped out by the comment, "They won't eat now. They won't eat a thing." They live on a farm, so bears are probably nuisance animals to them. Bears' propensity to eat, well, anything, often brings them into conflict with people, so that's probably what Sierra was talking about. I'm sure Sierra'a parents weren't too thrilled about a bear running around with a little 8 year old on the farm. Heck of a way to teach your little girl not to be a victim.

For best romanticized hunting scene, how about that deer hunting scene early in "The Last of the Mohicans?" And jw, that cw article was terrific. Thanks for posting it.

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 10:43 AM | Report abuse

People are taking me way too seriously.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, CG (Coast Guard) article.

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Could anyone recommend a small "spider rifle" for Sara?

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 10:47 AM | Report abuse

On animal heads; Growing up, these folks I was friends with in New York had a grandparent pass away, their fathers' father. There was a lot of guilt, I deducted, in that relationship between father and son, and when all was said and done the grandfather's prized deer head went up on the wall, complete with fore-hooves, which held up the very same bow that had been used to kill it. We were city kids, and our food always came from the grocery store, and everyone in the family thought this thing abhorrent, but there it stayed. One year around christmas one of our friends threw a santa hat on it, and the santa hat is probably still there, if only because no one can get themselves close enough to this thing to take it off.

Posted by: LP | October 25, 2005 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Ha! kt! That would be great. Or a rocket launcher.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking of some recent 'boodle comments about children on Death Row, the recent Amnesty International report (I think it was AI/Human Rights Watch, anyway) about how the US is the only democratic country that reports having thousands of children being sentenced and treated as adults in prison, about how children become soldiers in war-torn countries, the "Curtis" cartoons that were not printed in the Was Post last week (but Gene W has thoughtfully put in this weeks Chat page), John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, MS-13, gang violence in general, the creepy twins doing the Neo-Nazi songs, and "Lord of the Files", and "Ender's Game".

Kids are generally capable of a lot more than we give them credit for.

As human parents, we raise our children as best we can, and hope that our all-too-human mistakes don't destroy any chances of our kids being happy.

Good thing kids like poop and flatulence jokes, otherwise I'd have nothing to talk about with them.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 25, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Joel, bears are omnivores, not herbivores. They are as likely to eat carrion and fish as berries. They will eat people too if their habitat is encroached upon and they feel threatened.

Posted by: dr | October 25, 2005 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Well Sara you seem like such a gentle soul, I would hate to think of you being creeped out by Sierra's quote. I think a rocket launcher might be a little overkill for spiders, stick to rubber bands or fly swatters.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"Right about dawn, as she and her father and granduncle waited in a cold rain, the granduncle saw a dark shadow in the distance. He wasn't sure what it was. Perhaps it was Karl Rove fleeing from authorities. [Obligatory Rove reference.] Somehow they concluded that it was probably a bear, and thus was fair game."

Does this mean I can get a permit to hunt me some Karl Rove? Where do I sign up?

Posted by: William | October 25, 2005 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove? Doesn't sound like good eatin'.

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I suggest a snake charmer.

http://www.snake-charmer.net/

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 25, 2005 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Les, I used to autocross a lot, still do from time to time for fun and occasionally help friends out with setup and T&S when it's their 'club' event. I do more club racing these days, though. And I do know the family of which you speak, FWIW. Nice folks, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

Kids who are immersed in a given field and learn a trade from successful parents and are given a leg up at an early age; whether it's Marco Andretti, Peyton and Eli Manning, Ken Griffey Jr., Angelina Jolie, George W and Jeb Bush, etc. have advantages to being successful.

Of course, there is the occasional Todd Marinovitch.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 25, 2005 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Grew up next to a hunter. Once he was complaining about a rabbit in his vegetable garden. I said "rabbits are cute". He said "they taste good, too." I'm sure he enjoyed my expression.

I'd read Field and Stream over at his house while his hunting dogs barked.

He'd make bird feeders and feed a ton of birds in winter, and no, he never shot THEM.

He raised a PhD in biology and he and his wife helped me love nature as well.
It IS possible to hunt and love nature.

It beats "loving nature from a distance" and then freaking out when it comes inside-- Bats, squirrels, etc. Birds! I've seen people freak out seeing a bird stuck in a garage.

If you're a nervous nellie about this:

1) The bird's not going into your hairdo to get nesting material. The bird's scared, not suicidal.

2) If you are in front of the best exit route, the bird will not exit because it is scared of you. It is not going NEAR you to escape.
You should move to the window and try and be between the bird and the window. The bird will move away from the window. Then you just slowly chase it out of the door. If a dog can figure it out, you can.

3) Don't put flypaper outside, period. This includes porches, garages, anyplace a bird may fly in. I once had to free a poor sparrow off flypaper, his tail was totally denuded, looked like a tiny chicken butt-- he couldn't steer when he flew away. I always hoped he managed to survive until his tail flew back, but the odds weren't good. After that I threw away all the flypaper.

4) Keep your cats inside. They're driving a toxoplasmosis epidemic, driving up schizophrenia rates, and so on. Not to mention that they kill birds faster than a bear goes through a corn crib. 40% of all americans carry antibodies to toxoplasmosis, and marine animals are getting infected as well.

Cats are the only animals that shed toxoplasmosis through feces, so they are a major spreading agent. They catch it from other cats or infected prey (mice). Keep your furry force-multiplier inside, please.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=786731
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol9no11/03-0143.htm

This has been a PSA for our feathered friends and foes. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming as soon as that darn cottontail's out of our garden.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2005 11:17 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "his tail grew back", NOT "tail flew back."

Please pardon all other typos.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 25, 2005 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Last week, my husband and I were on vacation in the mountains. We took a ride down a dirt road and came upon a bear hunt. Not knowing what was going on, we stopped and, lo and behold, a big bear crossed the road 50 yards in front of us, in a dead run, chased by a couple of dogs. One of the hunters, a real, honest-to-goodness good old boy, wandered up to chat. He said they often just tree a bear and call off the dogs, and they never kill one less than 250 pounds. Much of the land belongs to his family, and they are managing the population, which is a reasonable thing to do. Later, it dawned on me that he was justifying the hunt, but he didn't have to do that. I don't have a problem with hunting, although it's not something I'd care to do myself. Our attitudes and skills have really changed; a century ago, practically every woman in American could kill and pluck a chicken. I don't even cut chickens up, a task I watched my mother do many times. To look down on or condemn those who hunt is indeed hypocrisy, unless we are willing to give up all the stuff that comes from animals.

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2005 11:21 AM | Report abuse

LB, I think it depends on the spider. If I had a mini spider rifle and a rocket launcher, I would have options and I could judge on a case by case basis.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that you would always opt for the rocket launcher.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 11:29 AM | Report abuse

slyness--

Good points, thanks, I think our hunting and gathering mode now comes down to such deep questions as paper or plastic.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 11:37 AM | Report abuse

It would be a mini spider rocket launcher, though. There would be minimal damage to surrounding structures.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 11:38 AM | Report abuse

glad to see you are concerned with collateral damage

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Do bears eat spiders?

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Dolphin Michael, paper and plastic have impacts on the environment too...not all positive either.

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2005 11:45 AM | Report abuse

And the poor bear-- maybe it was just taking a, you know, poop in the woods.

Posted by: Matt | October 25, 2005 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Funny blog item, JA. 211 lbs bear is not a big bear. An eight year-old girl is not a big girl. At least she was picking on something her own size.

THe primo technology, next to fire was hunting implements, in the whole primate-spinoff drama. From gathering, to hunting, to agriculture, technology is what put men in their place, women in their place, and city folks on their way to freedom from earthern toil, acceptin to cultivate their gardens.

Posted by: fishman | October 25, 2005 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm still a primate

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I was a bit thrown by the "paper or plastic" question when I first came to live in the U.S. I thought the cashier was asking me how I wanted to pay, so I said, "Cash, please." (What a nitwit!)

Another time, I tried to pay for $20 worth of groceries with a $1 bill (because all the notes look pretty much the same, don't you think?) The cashier said, "Nice try!"

And please don't get me started on salted-in-the-shell peanuts . . .

Posted by: Achenfan | October 25, 2005 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm giggling at my desk about the "mini spider rocket launcher" sub-thread. People are going to think I'm weird.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I moved fron the DC area to South Central Pennsylvannia. My kids had the Monday after Thanksgiving off from school. When I asked why, I was told it was for the first day of buck season. I laughed and asked: "Really, why do they have off?".
Once again, I was told it was for deer hunting.
I do not hunt myself but I am in no way opposed to hunting. But this 'holiday' did throw me for a loop...

Posted by: esskay | October 25, 2005 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. I was in Colorado on vacation the first time I got the paper or plastic question. I responded with "I'm paying with cash money!"

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 12:21 PM | Report abuse

My mini spider rocket launcher says "Reebok" on it!

Posted by: esskay | October 25, 2005 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Audubon article cite, kt, it makes me glad we have Whitetails Unlimited in Flyoverland.

Posted by: CowTown | October 25, 2005 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about all those bear gettin' shot. As soon as all the DC folks extend their urban sprawal as far as the mountains there won't be no bear habitat (or bear) for ya'll to go worry your pritty liddle heads about.

Posted by: tl | October 25, 2005 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about all those bear gettin' shot. As soon as all the DC folks extend their urban sprawal as far as the mountains there won't be no bear habitat (or bear) for ya'll to go worry your pritty liddle heads about.

Posted by: tl | October 25, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about all those bear gettin' shot. As soon as all the DC folks extend their urban sprawal as far as the mountains there won't be no bear habitat (or bear) for ya'll to go worry your pritty liddle heads about.

Posted by: tl | October 25, 2005 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Okay I'll admit, maybe I overreacted by calling it a horrible story. And I do eat meat and I honestly don't care that much for animals in general. However, the tone of the story turned me off, the girl seemed to enjoy killing the bear a little bit too much. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up around hunters.

Posted by: omodudu | October 25, 2005 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel needs to assign William Faulkner's The Bear as required reading.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 25, 2005 12:48 PM | Report abuse

bc: Well, if you're at a WDCR-SCCA event next year, look for the black C Stock Miata #68. I'll be the one ten seconds behind the competition. (Workin' on that.)

I was able to run about half this past season. So I still suck, but I'm starting to know why. And I am continually amazed at the calibre of the people and the quality of the events they put on. Six months of keeping up with these folks and I've barely heard a discouraging word from anyone about anyone else. I could contrast with some other groups I'm a member of but I won't.

Posted by: Les | October 25, 2005 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Stop me if you've heard this one: The town paster plays hookie from church and decides to go bear hunting instead. While climbing a mountain trail, he suddenly encounters a bear on the other side of a turn. He turns around and runs for his life, but trips, loses his rifle, and slides down the mountain slope, the bear fast behind him.

As he lies (lays, lay) helplessly in the brush, he calls out to God, "Lord, I'm sorry to have offended you, but, please make this bear a Christian."

And, lo, as the bear approached the helpless pastor, in suddenly dropped to its haunches, looked to the heavens, and said, "Lord, Thank you for the meal I'm about to have..."

Posted by: CowTown | October 25, 2005 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know that Washington Post hard news reporters Peter Baker and Jim VandeHei were becoming humorists, too...

"To deal with what they consider the darkest days of the Bush presidency, White House advisers have developed a twofold strategy -- confront head-on problems such as the Iraq death toll, ...

"Anticipating a barrage of criticism when the death toll hits 2,000, Bush will try to put the sacrifice in perspective by portraying the Iraq war as the best way to keep terrorists from striking the United States again, the official said. He will make the same case in another speech Friday in Norfolk."

(As I recall, most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis...) Perhaps Bush should do some more reading on the subject? This just in, coming across the wires...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A tragic fire on Monday destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. Both of his books have been lost. Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said the president was devastated, as he had not finished coloring the second one.

Posted by: Loomis | October 25, 2005 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I guess one could look at the bear-hunting dilemma as a question of how much we humans take from the environment versus how much we actually need:

"The community of life on this planet has worked well for three billion years . . . The green plants are food for the plant eaters, which are food for the predators, and some of these predators are food for still other predators. And what's left over is food for the scavengers, who return to the earth nutrients needed by the green plants . . . the species are not naturally at war with one another . . . The lion that comes across a herd of gazelles doesn't massacre them, as an enemy would. It kills one, not to satisfy its hatred of gazelles but to satisfy its hunger, and once it has made its kill the gazelles are perfectly content to go on grazing with the lion right in their midst . . . All this comes about because there is a law that is followed invariably within the community, and without this law the community would be in chaos and would very quickly disintegrate and disappear. Man owes his very existence to this law. If the species around him had not obeyed it, he could not have come into being or survived . . . It is the peace-keeping law . . . It's the law that fosters life for all . . . And about ten thousand years ago one branch of the family of Homo sapiens said, 'Man is exempt from this law. The gods never meant man to be bound by it.' And so they built a civilization that flouts the law at every point, and within five hundred generations -- in an eye-blink in the scale of biological time -- this branch of the family of Homo sapiens saw that they had brought the entire world to the point of death."

-- from "Ishmael," by Daniel Quinn

Posted by: Dreamer | October 25, 2005 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I learned to safely handle and shoot a shotgun and rifle around age 9. I was allowed to hunt on my own around age 13.

I've turned out to be a calm and peaceable person. In fact, I'm a pacifist in every sense and no longer hunt.

Given supervision and teaching, learning to hunt early in life is a fantastic tool for developing conservationists and environmentalists. Most of my adult life has been dedicated to preserving and protecting the wild lands of this country. This is in large part due to the respect of nature that I learned through hunting at such a young age. Not coincidentally, most of the most pragmatic and effective environmentalists that I know share a history of hunting at an early age.

Posted by: irregardless | October 25, 2005 1:20 PM | Report abuse

SCC: too many to mention in previous post. Ugh, the redundancies are atrocious.

Posted by: irregardless | October 25, 2005 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't resist the fake news Reuters report/wise-crack about the fire at President Bush's library. Tom Friedman wrote such a great fake news story as an op-ed a week ago, that it still has me thinking about it. Of course, Friedman can't write that kind of piece each and every time he does a column. But perhaps on occasion...I liked the novelty.

As for today's JA bear column...parents will pass down their values to kids, and it happens at tender ages. Doesn't the girl's name of Sierra give us a clue?

And the story really shouldn't be about gender. Who cares if she is perceived as stocky, as one poster commented? Would he say the same thing if the little boy were stocky? It's O.K. by me that a female is gun-toting--one has only to think of Deborah Sampson's role in the American Revolution (Google this, if you please). I can now prune a tree far better than my husband, because I saw my father do the same task almost every year as a kid. Not that I was running around with pruning shears or lobbers at a young age.

So, I think it becomes a matter of age-appropriateness: the question of putting a gun in an 8-year-old's hands. I'll let you argue this point, but she was under adult supervision.

It also has to do with your feelings about hunting. My dad traded his photo skills one time for about eight frozen pheasants--and as a kid, I thought they were delicious. I've also eaten bear meat as a novelty, as I've eaten buffalo, snake and alligator.

But I practically dug in my heels when my in-laws visited us in Texas about a decade ago and thought it would be a fun day's outing to go to Sea World. Little did they know of my inner revulsion of seeing wild animals kept captive and taught to perform tricks.

Posted by: Loomis | October 25, 2005 1:24 PM | Report abuse

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Posted by: lollerskates | October 25, 2005 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh my -- what pretty wrapping paper.

Posted by: Tom fan | October 25, 2005 1:38 PM | Report abuse

CowTown,
Great joke about the pastor and the bear. How about the kid who was asked what his favorite hymn was, and answered, "Gladly, the cross-eyed bear." About "Flyoverland"... I heard Tom Wolfe on Book TV joke about this saying something like, Those aren't blue states, they're parentheses; and the part in the middle, that's America.

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It does have quite the hypnotic quality to it.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 25, 2005 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, while realizing that hunting is a legitimate sport, my reaction is: that's just what we need, more kids learning how to shoot guns. I wonder if an 8-year old is capable of knowing that she took the life of another living creature, or only parotting what she's been taught.

Posted by: Ernie | October 25, 2005 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Gladly, the Cross-Eyed bear. One of the best hymns around.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Well Ernie as soon as she walked up on its carcass she probably figured out it was dead.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 1:56 PM | Report abuse

A .243 isn't a lot of bang.

A friend's brother was driving to work one day out in Washington State when he came around a curve and hit a bear.

The injured bear wandered into the woods, limping.

When the brother got to work, he reported the incident to the police. "Will you send someone out to put the bear out of its misery?" he asked.

"Are you nuts? My 9 mm will just make it mad," replied the State Trooper. A .243 is a hair bigger than a 6 mm.

Good shootin' there, Tex.

Posted by: Dave R | October 25, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

irregardless, no need for SCC. What you said is perfectly sensible and reasonable.

Dreamer, I've always thought that naming us Homo sapiens sapiens was rather arrogant. Who's to say that we are wise?

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2005 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I always liked Homo sap as an abbreviation (or maybe, sap sap?)

But, I understood it to mean "thinking man" not "wise man." Since I never took Latin and never looked it up, my opinion carries little weight. How unwise.

Posted by: Tim | October 25, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the parents spent as much time exposing Sierra to an art museum as to hunting rifles . . .

Posted by: holly | October 25, 2005 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Lets see what we have here,

A kid doing a out door sport and what her fore fathers have done for centuries.

Bob

BTW, MickyD Burgers don't grow on tree's

Posted by: Bob ex USMC | October 25, 2005 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Tim, you're probably right, my Merriam-Webster on line dic was no help at all. But the ability to think hasn't saved us or kept us from despoiling the earth, has it?

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2005 2:16 PM | Report abuse

As admirable as art museums are, it's not a fair comparison to say that the girl's parents are uncultured rubes because they teach her how to kill an animal rather than going to art museums. I just don't do art museums, but I'd call myself an intellectual. Art museums are just too concentrated for me, and they are too much the style of museum that says "Here's an artifact: admire it, without understanding its meaning in regard to the artist, or the time, or the themes expressed in it, or its imagery." Ho, and also hum.

I'd call myself a hypocrite, because I eat animals occasionally, but I'm too squeamish to render a living animal into food. Since I don't anticipate getting over my squeamishness, I'm moving to a more vegetarian lifestyle. I don't know that this makes me more moral than a person who hunts. I'd say it makes me more moral than a person who hunts but does not eat his kill. But I still don't go to art museums.

Posted by: Tim | October 25, 2005 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"that's just what we need, more kids learning how to shoot guns"

yeah, you know, cause people get murdered with hunting rifles all the time.

Posted by: Krupa | October 25, 2005 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure little Sierra can discuss impressionist art as well as shoot bears.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Les, if I see you, I'll be sure to introduce myself. If I could tell you which car I'll be driving, I would. You're definitely in the deep end running C Stock. As you've found out, *being* fast isn't the same as driving fast.

All this Rocket Launcher talk is making me think of Bruce Cockburn's old tune, which is really creepy in post-9/11 context.

I don't have a problem having kids insructed on the safe and proper use of tools - computers, firearms, hand tools, mahcine tools, cooking equipment, etc. if they're interested in learning. It seems a reasonable argument to me that the more comfortable and competent kids are handling tools and situations, the better prepared they might be handling life.

Dreamer, liked the Quinn quote.
Made me think, "Thou art God?"

bc

Posted by: bc | October 25, 2005 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I never cared for the circus, even as a child. It was obvious that the animals were being forced into ridiculous, humiliating activities. Don't tell me animals can't feel embarassment.

Posted by: Nani | October 25, 2005 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It's not size, it's velocity. A 9mm doesn't have a lot of stopping power. A law enforcement issue 9mm round has a muzzle velocity of 1,263 feet per sec, while a .243 round has a muzzle velocity of 3,120 feet per sec. Velocity times mass equals...more penetration.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 2:29 PM | Report abuse

LB, I think you nailed it. The bear was an adherent to socialist realism, a philosophy that art should reflect the wisdom and grandeur of the nation's political establishment. Sierra, being a follower of progressive art, believes that art should not be fettered by political ideology - though it should always have a point of view - and that the bear's world view posed a danger to free expression everywhere.

It's clear the bear had to die.

Posted by: CowTown | October 25, 2005 2:30 PM | Report abuse

weenie bear-slayer -- 50 yds away, and a rifle

i'ld be more impressed if she crawled into the bushes with a Bowie knife in her teeth -- but i'ld still root for the bear

Posted by: kp | October 25, 2005 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least the animal she killed was a dangerous wild animal. You'd be surprised how many grown men shoot and kill cows and Great Danes during hunting season. Not to mention that idiot in Maine who shot and killed the young human mother of two because she came out of her house wearing white gloves. He apparently thought he was seeing the tail of a whitetail deer.

I, myself, don't see a need for hunting. I get all the food I need from Safeway or Giant. But there is some inverse relationship between testosterone and brain cells and loaded guns 'round this time of year. My younger brother when he was about 7 or 8 went hunting squirrel with my Dad. He shot and winged a squirrel that fell over, but not dead. Dad told him to shoot it while it was down. My brother shot the squirrel, but said later he was hoping it would get up and run away instead. He never went hunting again.

Posted by: Styrofoam peanuts | October 25, 2005 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Joel, It seems clear to me that you have issues with bears.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 25, 2005 2:34 PM | Report abuse

And, as for the prudence of letting an 8-year-old handle a rifle, ever hunter I know is extremely cautious about firearm safety. They also tend to be very respectful of the outdoors.

It's not the hunters you have to worry about, it's the accountant that lives next door to you and keeps a .40 semi-automatic in his nightstand. How many safety courses has HE taken?

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 2:34 PM | Report abuse

And, for perspective--in VA, in order to get your first hunting license, and every time a 12-15 year old gets one, you have to prove you have taken a state-approved hunter safety course.

As long as you don't have a criminal record, you can walk into any gun shop and walk out 30 minutes later with a semi-automatic handgun, 8 round magazine, and box full of ammo. Same day.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 2:40 PM | Report abuse

CowTown! Very funny!

I was at the British Museum a year ago. They had a lot of ancient artifacts/art/sculpture taken for safekeeping (plundered) from various parts of the world along with a flyer justifying their removal and continued refusal to repatriate these items. I think bear hunting might be easier to explain to a little kid.

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 2:40 PM | Report abuse

JW -- good point on stopping power. The 9 mm is set up to limit collateral damage, if memory serves.

And that the accountant next door is a greater danger to himself and others than a properly trained kid under adult supervision.

Posted by: Dave R | October 25, 2005 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I've been a hunter all my life, and while I don't believe in hunting predators, I respect the rights of those who do it legally. If you object to hunting, speak to the lawmakers, not to the law obiding and skilled hunters. I just have to laugh at those who say "I'd still root for bear". They have obviously not spent a lot of time in the woods...and certainly don't understand that wild black bears are not cuddly little fur balls. I respect the girls right to take a bear and congratulate her on her success!

Posted by: jim | October 25, 2005 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Better be nice to those hunters, we're going to need them when the gas runs out and trucks stop filling up the supermarkets.

My redneck neighbor with all the shotguns is going be my best friend if it's between eating berries or Bambi.

After all, we'll need the berries to make wine. :-)

Posted by: bob | October 25, 2005 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Cowtown writes:
LB, I think you nailed it. The bear was an adherent to socialist realism, a philosophy that art should reflect the wisdom and grandeur of the nation's political establishment. Sierra, being a follower of progressive art, believes that art should not be fettered by political ideology - though it should always have a point of view - and that the bear's world view posed a danger to free expression everywhere.

It's clear the bear had to die.
***

Cowtown, your post is making me howl with laughter. I have a journalist friend, and he and I exchanged some e-mail over Michael Moore's film, "Fahrenheit 9/11." He ranted and raved and ranted some more, "Michael Moore's film isn't journalism, Moore's film isn't even good film, he doesn't have the facts right, he distorts things, he's silly...blah, blah, blah."

To make a long story short, I said, "Ahh, but you've pegged the round Moore into a square hole. He isn't a journalist; he's an artist, a pure Dadaist."

(Maybe you don't know the Dada movement, and even if you do, I can feel the jokes coming.) Hopefully, little Sierra will have the skill set or gumption to do whatever she wants in life. I just hope the family has plenty of bear burgers over the coming winter.

Posted by: Loomis | October 25, 2005 2:46 PM | Report abuse

This 8 year old girl and her parents are more ethical than almost everyone here who is criticizing her. I give vegetarians a free pass here.

If you eat meat and criticize this girl then shame on you. Ever look into exactly what kind of life most chickens and pigs experience in a factory (I hesitate to use the word 'farm') before being killed and sent to the grocery store? It's like pig Auschwitz.

The bear that she's probably eating for dinner tonight had a good life in it's natural habitat. All of you who eat meat from the grocery store have a lot more to be ashamed of than she does. Ethically, the typical hunter is superior to the typical suburban shopper.

Criticizing the fact that the 8 year old has a gun is ridiculous and speaks of ignorance. In DC, your relationship with firearms is very different (in a negative way) from the relationship that most Americans have with them. Guns plus kids in large cities usually means a kid finding a handgun, having no idea how to handle it and winding up shooting himself or someone else. Children in families that hunt are generally taught gun safety from a very early age. The gund are usually rifles and shotguns rather than handguns. The rifle in this situation is a tool with a level of danger on par with power tools.

I say all of this as a liberal Democrat. Your fears about this girl handling a gun stem from your own urban and suburban neuroses and the failure of urban societies to raise responsible children. The problem is that you think you can just hide the guns when it would be better to foster education about how to safely handle the guns that you inevitably have. This girl, like most children from such families, is smarter and more responbile than your childen are. So please don't judge her or other rural children by the standards of your shuttled-from-soccer-to-ballet and doomed-to-adolescence-until-age-35 children. The free-range kids just turn out better.

Posted by: Jack Landers | October 25, 2005 2:54 PM | Report abuse

As a mom and someone who has only recently learned how to fire a weapon, I have to say I have a new respect for firearms--even a .243 that wouldn't have a lot of kick. My husband grew up in a family that hunts and he wants to at least provide the opportunity for his daughter to learn how to shoot a gun (hunting rifle and the like) safely. I respect that, and also want to continue to learn, myself. I don't know if I'd be comfortable with any sort of gun in my house, yet, though. We'll see. But living out in the country in Maryland, there's definitely a lot of hunters and lots of kids are being taught (hopefully safely like Sierra here) to fire hunting weapons. I congratulate her not just on getting the first bear of the season, but on her knowledge of gun rules and safety, obviously learned from parents who care about those things, which is really good.

On an unrelated topic, I am shocked and appalled at the overly generous severance package offered to ex-President Ladner at American University. Talk about a slap in the face!

Have a good rest of the afternoon, all.

Posted by: Erica Snipes | October 25, 2005 3:00 PM | Report abuse

jw: It's not size, it's velocity. A 9mm doesn't have a lot of stopping power. A law enforcement issue 9mm round has a muzzle velocity of 1,263 feet per sec, while a .243 round has a muzzle velocity of 3,120 feet per sec. Velocity times mass equals...more penetration.

The momentum of the slug is mass times velocity. The energy of the slug is 1/2 mass times velocity squared, which means that even if the slugs were the same mass, the .243 bullet would carry over 6 times the energy. Speculating here ... but the hydrodynamic shock that the bullet creates in the body I think would have to be dependent upon the energy, thus the higher-velocity slug would do a lot more damage, so long as the momentum is sufficiently low for the bullet to actually get stopped. A really high-momentum bullet would pierce right through the body and do less instantaneous damage. Still, the bleeding would do the job pretty fast. This, at least, is my theory. I await comment from the experimentalist community.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 25, 2005 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, this story is just about teaching thrill-killing to children. Next she can bag the obese outside her local Micky Ds and happy exclaim, "They won't eat now. They won't eat a thing."

Posted by: hominid | October 25, 2005 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Anecdotal support for ScienceTim's analysis:

A common complaint within the US military is that the 5.56mm round of the M-16 rifle is not an adequate substitute for the 7.62mm round that the M-14 rifle used. Although most of this is anecdotal, soldiers complained that the M-16 took many more shots to put a target down than the M-14 did. M-16 muzzle velocity: 2,800 feet/s. M-14: 2,800 feet/s. But the 5.56mm round weighs about 1/3 what a 7.62mm round does.

And I've totally scared everyone off.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I feel compelled to comment (rather than do my real work) on the argument that hunting animals and eating meat from the grocery store are morally equivalent. Not quite. Consider the case of kosher meat.

Kashrut maintains that the animal must be handled humanely and slaughtered with a minimum of pain. Whether this is actually accomplished is somewhat beside the point, I'm addressing the intent -- for example, the halachim (laws) governing what constitutes humane and (relatively) painless slaughter were derived prior to the development of the gun, so the animal is slaughtered by quickly slitting the throat and bleeding to death, rather than the non-kosher but now-standard method of an automated gun that shoots the animal in the back of the head, right through the brain (at least, I recall reading that this is standard in the US). To be kosher, the animal should be raised in a non-abusive environment, and killed without torment. Veal, for instance, is pretty treyf (sp? that's "un-kosher" for us goyim).

An accurate shot to the brain really would have to be the most painless method of slaughter. The gun really is more humane, in this case, but it derives from a hunting tradition. Hunting is not kosher. In the real environment, it is practically impossible to bring down a large animal painlessly, certianly not with the old-fashioned methods of arrow-hunting before powerful bows were invented. Consider that it took little Sierra two shots to kill the bear. I'd suspect, by the way, that Dad and Granddad were also packing heat of considerably greater caliber and stood ready to take out a pain-crazed bear if Sierra hadn't been such a good shot.

Posted by: Tim | October 25, 2005 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Good point about stopping power versus lethality. Law enforcement use hollow point slugs that expand when they contact hydrous mass, like flesh, usually bad news for the bad guy, but good news for bystanders. Hollow points pancake when they hit rigid mass like concrete and metal, should Johnny Law miss. Then the risk of penetrating barriers and hitting bystanders is almost zero.

High velocity cartidges used in the military and hunting pack a punch intended to kill. These hard point missiles, usually small caliber .223 and up, cut a wake like a cigarette boat through the target's mass, and usually keep going. So if you're shooting into a pack of wild boars, you might get lucky and hit two oinkers for the price of one.

Posted by: fishman | October 25, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

hominid,

Ha! Like I said earlier, it's like a line from a horror movie. Like the halloween version of Super-Size Me.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I am disturbed by this little girl. I think her exclamation that she was very very happy had less to do with a bear dying than it did with her elation at success. She had done something completely adult, that many accomplished hunters had not done. That said, I don't necessarily agree with hunting, although I do buy into the idea that it helps control the animal population so they're not running on the highways or acting as predators to people.

And I certainly don't agree with stuffing an animal. The animal died because of you and you don't have the respect to eat it and give the remains a proper and natural burial? Gary Larson put it into perfect perspective in one of his cartoons. It's of a deer or bear (I forget which) showing off the human trophy on his wall to his buddy.

Posted by: TA | October 25, 2005 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I hope they cook that bear welldone, you can catch something that starts with a T that I can't even spell from eating those critters.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Sara, seriously creepy.

I just don't buy the argument that hers was some sort of teachable moment about respecting nature.

BTW, that should be "happily exclaim."

Posted by: hominid | October 25, 2005 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Or,as my mother called me, 'Waste of Space.'

I didn't say I bought meat from Safeway and Giant -- I said I bought food. I am a practicing vegetarian since I read "Fast Food Nation" and "The Jungle."

My Dad worked at a meat packing plant after WWII in order to put food on the table. He never ate hot dogs or lunch meat, either. He knows what's in that stuff. He later went on to build houses for rich people, although he never got rich at that. He was the carpenter; the contractor became the rich guy.

Ever see the cartoon of a fortune out of a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant that read "That wasn't chicken."

Anyway -- as for 'kosher' meat being killed painlessly: Yeah, right! My dad said he hated it when the rabbis came to kill the cattle because the cattle was hung up by its hind legs, still alive and stuggling. The rabbi mumbled whatever prayers they say and slit the cattle's throat. Still stuggling, scared, mooing, bleeding to death, upside down. Until it bled to death, a long horrible time to be conscious, hanging upside down.
Think on that the next time you sit down to a brisket, you humane kosher meat eaters.

Posted by: Styrofoam peanuts | October 25, 2005 3:32 PM | Report abuse

JW
That's why I bought an M1A (civilian version of the M-14) to shoot pigs with. The next time I get into a herd of ferral hogs there are going to be snouts and tails and hooves flying everywhere.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever eaten those packing peanuts made from starch? They're kind of tasty, in a weird packing material sort of way. And it really seems to disturb people who see you snacking on them.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever eaten those packing peanuts made from starch? They're kind of tasty, in a weird packing material sort of way. And it really seems to disturb people who see you snacking on them.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm *really* confused -- edible packing peanuts? (Are they salted?)

Posted by: Achenfan | October 25, 2005 3:41 PM | Report abuse

they soak them in salt water and then they roast them

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan,
(Are they salted?) Tee hee.

Posted by: TA | October 25, 2005 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Yep, I've eaten them. The packing peanuts, that is. I agree, they're kind of tasty. But they have been swept up off a warehouse floor, you know?

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 25, 2005 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Even in the shell... Heh heh...

No, really they're kinda cool. They get all over the place like the other ones, but you can scoop them all into the sink and just wash them down the drain.

Posted by: RA | October 25, 2005 3:46 PM | Report abuse

It feels good to be back within the safe confines of legume humor.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 25, 2005 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Dude. jw. What? ARE they edible? Or are you just filled with styrofoam?

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 3:46 PM | Report abuse

They're made from edible food grade starch and extruded on a machine just like Cheetoes (sp?).

I do agree though, they're better out of a box than off the shop floor.

Legume humor... ahhh

Posted by: RA | October 25, 2005 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Edible starch packing peanuts? Makes sense. They're just corn starch. They should flavor them. Nutritionally (sp!!?) they're probably the same as Cheetos.

[Now we'll just wait for the Cheetos lawyers to check in]

Posted by: CowTown | October 25, 2005 3:50 PM | Report abuse

As far as the morality of hunting versus buying shrink-wrapped meat at Safeway, the hunters may have something there. I had the opportunity to see a cow and goat slaughtered for a Muslim holiday while in West Africa and I consider the experience significant to my own personal growth and maturity. The goat was easy, but watching the cow be slaughtered was very unpleasant because there was so much blood to drain. I don't want to gross anyone out here, so I won't go into any more detail than that, but the whole experience gave me a new respect for the animals I eat. I do my best not to waste food, meat in particular, and I do agree that the quality of life the animal led prior to its slaughter for food makes up for a lot in my conscience.

Posted by: TA | October 25, 2005 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Nooo. They're pure starch. I don't know how they make them. They're completely biodegradeble--like RA said, they just melt into nothing in water.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Mr. Landers, but I don't believe the ability to handle firearms = intelligence and responsibility. Yes, guns in rural America are common, so knowing about firearm safety if you're a country kid is a good thing. Does it make you a better human being? I think not.

As someone who grew up around guns and used to hunt, I respect them. Doesn't mean I have some moral or social obligation to teach my kids how to use them. My son and daughter are turning out pretty well, too. Without guns.

Posted by: hominid | October 25, 2005 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I just came up with an idea for a candy bar casserole. Each layer would be a different kind of candy bar, and you'd heat the oven just high enough so the everything got gooey and melted together. A quick Google search makes it seem like I'm the first person to think of this.

I think it's time to go home.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 4:00 PM | Report abuse

This whole conversation thread has me mad yet again at myself for being too lazy to be vegitarian... It is what I want in my heart but excuse myself by being 'too busy' with work to put the effort required.

Of course there is always my mom's comment to fall back on:

"Just because you can't hear it, doesn't mean the vegitables aren't screaming"

Posted by: sad... | October 25, 2005 4:02 PM | Report abuse

That sounds like something Kramer would come up with, jw. Better call Kramerica Industries!

Posted by: Achenfan | October 25, 2005 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I've always wondered that--how can you decide that plant life is worth less than animal life? Really, the only ethical thing to do is to live entirely on fruit and legumes (what category do peas fall under, because they're ok too). Just the products of the plant. Don't eat the plant itself because that's just mean and cruel.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I should add that it's only ok to eat fruit if you then return the seeds to nature by deficating in the plant's native environment, as Observer intended.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Vegetables are people too. Like a line from a Zappa song, "Call any vegetable and the chances are good.....that the vegetable will respond to you." I think it was the Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I should add that it's only ok to eat fruit if you then return the seeds to nature by deficating in the plant's native environment, as Observer intended.

Posted by: jw | October 25, 2005 4:09 PM | Report abuse

jw,

Have you ever had Snickers salad? It's apples and snickers and whipped cream and grapes and nuts or something. It's so good.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 4:09 PM | Report abuse

jw,
Legumes won't work either, at least, peanuts won't. The entire plant is dug up and flipped over to dry in the sun at harvest. That must be a miserable death of dehydration for those peanut plants.

Posted by: TA | October 25, 2005 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I love that scene in "Notting Hill" where the Hugh Grant character is being set up with a woman who claims to be a "fruitarian." She will only eat food that has fallen from the tree all by itself, not anything that has been pulled from the ground. He asks, "So these carrots?" She replies, "Murdered."

Posted by: Achenfan | October 25, 2005 4:11 PM | Report abuse

jw,

Have you ever had Snickers salad? It's apples and snickers and whipped cream and grapes and nuts or something. It's so good.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 4:11 PM | Report abuse

jw,

Have you ever had Snickers salad? It's apples and snickers and whipped cream and grapes and nuts or something. It's so good.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 4:11 PM | Report abuse

What was that line from that one movie???

about the frutopian.

She lived on fruit that had already fallen off the tree...

Posted by: sad | October 25, 2005 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan,

Feel free to call Legume Humor in my absence.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"as Observer intended"!
Ha!

Posted by: Dreamer | October 25, 2005 4:13 PM | Report abuse

My post about Snickers salad isn't showing up. I'll give it a minute before trying again.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Glad I waited. There it is. Twice.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 4:14 PM | Report abuse

beat me to it achenfan

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2005 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Sara,

Your post probably got stuck in the system.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 4:15 PM | Report abuse

One can never go wrong with legume humor, Dolphin Michael, can one?

Posted by: Achenfan | October 25, 2005 4:15 PM | Report abuse

You morons. A columnist writes an inflammatory article to drag the tree-huggers out of the forest...and you all fall for it.

Posted by: Tex | October 25, 2005 4:17 PM | Report abuse

If I ever get lost in the woods, I want that little girl to protect me!

Posted by: Fred | October 25, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

No, Achenfan, not at all. In fact, this blog may lead the world in Legume Humor. If we keep it up, we may be raising Joel's Google points. In some little way, we may get Joel some CRED.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Fred, that was what the bear was thinking moments before he found out that he was sadly mistaken.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Tex, for your thoughful and carefully nuanced contribution. Please be sure to observe the conventions of the boodle regarding the judicious use of capital letters the prohibitions against vitrolic language. Thank you!

Now, could you explain what you're talking about?

Posted by: CowTown | October 25, 2005 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I got lost in the woods when I was 6. Found my way to a road by walking perpendicular to the mountain slope (it seemed logical that there would be a road because I remembered passing several on the main road), then down that road to what I called the main road, then luckily I had noticed a weird tree on the road we turned up, so I walked up that road. Got back to camp. What's weird is that I wasn't scared. Lost in the Utah Rockies, but I knew I'd find my way back because I had a whole lot of faith in myself. If I got lost in the Rockies today, I'd cry.

Posted by: Sara | October 25, 2005 4:25 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong hunter who feeds the birds all year long, loves dogs, tolerates cats (they make me sneeze) and just last week freed a monarch butterfly from a spider web, I say, hooray for Sierra! As for the self-proclaimed "environmentalists" who oppose hunting, I would contend that I and many of my brethren do more for the environment than someone who lives in a city and writes an occasional check to Greenpeace. I saved for much of my working life to buy 15 acres of woods that I have preserved as a habitat for deer and the other creatures that take refuge there. Yes, I hunt deer, and when I kill one it is with a mixture of sadness for taking a life and satisfaction that I will have a freezer full of organic meat from a critter that lived a far better life than some poor steer in a feedlot somewhere. And what quality meat it is. Mmmmmmm ... backstraps ....

Posted by: Jimbo in Delaware | October 25, 2005 4:27 PM | Report abuse

You tell 'im, CowTown. (Besides, we're not morons. We're maroons.)

Posted by: Achenfan | October 25, 2005 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Yup, Tex. We're a bunch of maroons.

Wait! That 8-year-old girl didn't kill a tree, did she?! Gosh.

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2005 4:30 PM | Report abuse

jw wrote:
"I should add that it's only ok to eat fruit if you then return the seeds to nature by deficating in the plant's native environment, as Observer intended."

So, we consume Joel's Kit, and...

...as Observer intended, indeed.

I'm SO busy at work these days, it's nice when I can drop in and catch up with today's... well, you know.

bc

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2005 4:30 PM | Report abuse

bc: Well, in my case the driver runs out of speed way before the car does. But I did have a near encounter with a deer a few weeks back, and I truly think my new autocross skills made the difference between holding the car steady while braking and either sliding into the deer or the treeline. So there's one example of burning gas to save the environment.

One note on military bullets is that if I understand correctly the standard issue for infantry is required to be full metal jacketed. Hunting rounds won't be. A jacketed bullet will go through someone and is unlikely to kill unless it hits a vital organ, a hunting round will turn into a little mushroom and put all its energy into the thing it hits, and is therefore more likely to kill.

A friend's cat used to eat styrofoam peanuts. I found this out while cleaning said animal's litterbox while catsitting. They have since added a dog who likes to snack in said litterbox. I think they need another dog just to see how long that styrofoam remains unchanged.

Posted by: Les | October 25, 2005 4:32 PM | Report abuse

LES~!~~~~~~

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I like to cut up the backstrap and pound it for chicken fried steak. I don't really care for the taste of the rest so I have it ground with beef fat to use in spaghetti sauce and the such.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 4:35 PM | Report abuse

A bunch of maroons that are extreeeemly well educated, dedicated, verbose, and together could probably run NORAD whilst writing for Leno. It's what makes this particular blog so much fun.

Posted by: RA | October 25, 2005 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Jimbo in Delaware -

While I don't hunt, I do occasionally help drive (i.e., walk the woods to drive deer toward the hunting party), and I have a lot of respect for local hunters. They're willing to do the hard work of tracking and waiting to bag a deer. And they'll comply with the state resources people and take antlerless deer to help manage the herd. They provide a benefit to society (ref. kt's audubon post, earlier) by reducing the occurence of deer damage to forests and deer-auto collisions, and they supply a wonderful gray market of venison.
I hate to generalize, but the complaints I hear are about the "city types" who sit in deer stands all day and drink, and later complain that there aren't enough deer to hunt. And, now I know from reading this Boodle that there can't be Kosher venison.

Tex, your thoughts?

Posted by: CowTown | October 25, 2005 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I go hunting in the fall, but since I am a Druid, I also like to hg trees.

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 4:44 PM | Report abuse

hug

Posted by: LB | October 25, 2005 4:45 PM | Report abuse

This is much more worrisome than a bear shooting: Not a milestone, Army director says
The chief spokesman for the American-led multinational force called on reporters covering not to look at the 2,000th death since March 2003 as a milestone, describing the number as an "artificial mark on the wall."

Posted by: Boxie | October 25, 2005 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Holly - and did you're parents spend as much time exposing you to hunting rifles as they did to art? Being well rounded cuts both ways...

Posted by: aflapr | October 25, 2005 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Now that we are all coming clean on our hunting feelings, I would say that I have nothing against hunting except that I don't do it because I have heard that hunters are a common target for alien abductions. I would say that hunters get abducted more than any other group other than for druids.

I would think that Joel has the exact numbers.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9772398/

Posted by: Boxie | October 25, 2005 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Regarding hunters' clothing: I understand the orange vest, but I just don't get the orange vest on top of the camouflage suit.

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2005 5:02 PM | Report abuse

TBG, aren't deer colorblind?

The hunter that you have described looks like someone left a suit vest on a shrub to the average deer.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Next time I see a suit vest on a shrub I'm getting the heck out of there!

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Beef, it's what's for dinner!

Posted by: Chucky Heston | October 25, 2005 5:20 PM | Report abuse

kt,

Not a bad move... especially if the shrub is holding a rifle with a scope. If the outfit has been upgraded from a vest to a full Ghillie Suit, then be doublely worried.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 5:21 PM | Report abuse

You know, being in the fire service and all, I hear some funny stories. The best was the guy - he was a fire captain and majorly weird - who was out hunting turkey and got shot in the butt because he was making turkey noises and his buddy mistook him for the real thing.

Posted by: Slyness | October 25, 2005 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I'll say this--she's a good shot. I remember shooting with some other National Guard guys when I was in the 29th division and hitting something moving at dusk is no easy trick.

Posted by: Annandale, VA | October 25, 2005 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I remember my 4 year old tells me vehemently that she doesn't like eskimos. I'm pretty shocked - our own family is what you would call culturally diverse and she's certainly been raised to not only respect difference between people but to celebrate it. "Why on Earth don't you like Eskimos?" I say. "Because they eat seals," she says. And I say, "Yeah, so? How is that different from us eating cows?" She gives me this completely bewildered look and says, "Huh?"
I say, "Cows. How can you say it's wrong for someone to eat a seal when you eat cows?" By now she was indignant. "I don't eat COWS! How gross." I say "What do you think steak is? What do you think the meat in your spaghetti sauce is?" Slowly her look changes to one of amusement. "Oh. Ha. Ha. Ha. Oh, right Mum - I get it. We eat cows. Yeah. Right." She runs off laughing to her big sister's room. "Hey, guess what Mum said? She said we eat COWS! Hahaha!" Big sister says, "Yeah, so? Get out of my room."
It was funny. It was cute. It also shows how far removed from what we view as the unpleasant aspects of reality we are. The kids get further away from it every generation. Myself - I couldn't kill unless I was in a life or death situation and I have to say I find it kind of creepy too that a little girl would get such pleasure from it but the world's a big primitive place and all of us are just critters with tools.
My sister works at a boarding school. The government of Papua New Guninea, what we would consider a primitive society, sends it brightest students to Australia to board while they get a first world education to take back to their third world homeland hopefully one day to help raise it out of poverty. The students, some of them who have been raised in totally stone age conditions, work hard and do well, very appreciative of the opportunity denied to most of their countrymen. In the New Guinea highlands, there is a long running border war with neighbouring Bouganville which is largely fought with spears and arrows. When her students returned from a holiday back home in PNG, my sister said to one of them, an incredibly bright highland boy with a heart of gold, "Hey, buddy - good to see you? How was your holiday?" He replied, 'Oh it was great, Miss - I killed my first man!"
"Hmmm," she said "Alrighty then."

Posted by: clang | October 25, 2005 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The orange vest is so the dumb hunters who shoot too soon can see you are not a deer. As to the orange over camo - simple. The fabrics they use on all hunting gear is very, very good. It will generally keep you dry and will not be noisy in the bush like many other fabrics. I know it dries almost instatnly, I wash and hang it.

My husband is a hunter, an extremely ethical one. All the hunters I know understand more about the land and its creatures than most people do. You have to to be a successful hunter. Most of them don't put it in the category of sport. Sport is games, and this is not a game.

To those who posted about whether her parents exposed her to museums, ask the question in reverse. Do highly cultured museum goers expose their children to nature, and not just the glorified park kind? These are two very different worlds, but I'd be willing to bet you'd find more hunters exposed to art, than the other way around.

Posted by: dr | October 25, 2005 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Loomis-
love the comment about the coloring book, still laughing.
the little girl and the bear. I am really at a loss on that one. The idea of a child and a firearm does not appeal to me in any way. Too many guns already. Wasn't there some other grown up thing she could have done besides killing? Within the realm of moral decency? Her parents are teaching her to hunt. At least she's not killing another human, yet. In my community we kill each other, so I can't say too much about this situation. I don't have a moral leg to stand on.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 25, 2005 5:54 PM | Report abuse

You know, it's definitely possible to be an environmentalist and a hunter. Sure it's had it's problems in the past, however sportsmen are a bit less likely to wreak havoc on the populations since most of them get their food in the supermarket. Since hunting wiped out all natural predators along the eastern seaboard years ago, we have a vegetarian problem. That is the natural balance has been disturbed and the veggie eaters will eat themselves into overpopulation. This of course causes the smeared carcasses on our by-ways, and a few dead people as well (deer hooves are pointy). Compared to a 30-06 shell through the lungs, this can be quite a lingering death. Yes, hunting is brutal, but what is sick is somebody who never deals with mortality. To eat meat is to kill, or subsidize killing, but you are, in essence, paying a hitman armed with a captive bolt. Maybe if they put cute fuzzy little cow faces on your T-bone that would prevent you from eating them-- and if that doesn't work, if each piece of steak came with a little bit of feces-filled entrails would probably do the trick. That's part of the reality those of us who choose to hunt in the supermarket miss out on.

You (who live in the city) may also be unaware that the bears of Western Maryland are getting into people's trash and hanging around waiting for scraps. Bears are cute in pictures, but they can be quite unnerving when they're right next to you or your house.

The obvious problem here is that people are building their homes in the mountains. In some cases, they've been there, in others, it's city people trying to get a little piece of quiet land.

Solve that problem, and we'll only have to start killing the bears and deer when they're walking down I-66... My idea is to get rid of cars. Think that'll work?

Also, if you consider yourself an environmentalist and drive your Escalade to Old Rag in the spring time... could you stop?

Posted by: Neil | October 25, 2005 5:56 PM | Report abuse

About Syness' post:

About 12 year ago, when I lived in Baltimore, I went on one of those "Owl Prowl" things at Gunpowder Falls State Park. We sat on benches in the woods and waited and waited and heard only maybe one owl call. We expected to hear the calls of Barred owls. Then the rangers started playing Barred owl calls on a cassette deck and they and people in the group started hooting to try to attract a response. After a while, I closed my eyes and was thinking about work when something heavy landed on my head and scratched my face. I thought a racoon fell off a tree onto my head and I got up waving my arms trying to get this thing off of me. It was no racoon. It flew off, landed on the ground about 15 feet away, and looked back with what seemed to me was a puzzled look. It was a Great Horned Owl, one of the biggest owl species there is. (Typical length 20 in, wingspan 55 in) I ended up with a talon scrape from my brow to my chin. I'm sure it didn't mean to hurt me since these guys are capable of doing real harm if they want to. It turns out that the Great Horned Owl hates Barred Owls and chases them out of its territory whenever it detects them. This was probably why we heard no Barred Owls, they had probably run off. By playing Barred Owl calls, we just ticked off that big guy. I assume it thought my head was a Barred Owl and that it was pretty confused when it turned out to be this weird feather-less thing. There were a bunch of Cub Scouts there and they thought my getting slashed was pretty cool. Another person had been taping the whole thing on a DAT recorder, and he let me listen to the incident. Out of the silence there was a soft whoosh and then there I was saying, "Son of a bitch!" Pardon the language, but I was really thinking, "Son of a bitch, get this racoon off my head!" So I guess even avian hunters can misidentify targets.

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 6:04 PM | Report abuse

So, what do you guys think? Is tomorrow Fitzmas Day?

Posted by: TBG | October 25, 2005 6:15 PM | Report abuse

kt, That is one of the best stories I have ever heard!!! Even better than all those brushes with fame.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 25, 2005 6:22 PM | Report abuse

So Jim and Fred are walking in the woods when suddenly they see a huge bear directly in front of them.

Quickly, Jim takes off his hiking boots and puts on his running shoes.

Fred says: "Jim, what are you thinking? You can't outrun a bear!!"

"No. But I can outrun you...!"

Posted by: Off Topic | October 25, 2005 6:28 PM | Report abuse

i'm over here crying from laffing! i'm the self-admitted city girl and i hate the idea of hunting but understand that it must be done. i was a die-hard vegetarian for 7 years (i was even a vegan for a year) while i was in high school/college - i refused to wear leather and i was a peta and greenpeace supporter. One day the smell of a burger made my mouth water so bad that i caved in! i ate meat every day for a month after that! (yes, my stomach was in knots but my tastebuds were in 7th heavan). my idealistic nature has changed much but i still hate throwing food away that an animal had to die for (thus the sneaking out of the half eaten burger at the last bph)
suecris - your site is HILARIOUS! i've linked it in my blog!
kt - i had an avian experience at a school outing myself - unfortunately, being a city kid, it was on the mall in dc and a pigeon pooped on my head cuz all the other kids were feeding them. humiliating experience but i didn't get slashed so...

Posted by: mo | October 25, 2005 6:29 PM | Report abuse

i hate guns of any kind - again, i understand why they need to be around and are a more "humane" way to kill an animal than, say, mowing it down with a car and waiting for it to die... but guns scare the poop outta me...
i have a snake as a pet and he eats mice. i'm such a wuss that i buy the mice that have been "humanely frozen" and thaw them out to feed him (and no i don't watch him eat them).

Posted by: mo | October 25, 2005 6:33 PM | Report abuse

There's a bear and bunny-rabbit taking a dump in the woods. The bear turns to the bunny-rabbit and asks, "Rabbit, you ever have a problem with poop sticking to your fur?"

The rabbit says, "Why no, Mr. Bear."

So the bear picks up the rabbit and wipes his ass with him.

Posted by: Eddie | October 25, 2005 6:39 PM | Report abuse

kt wins the spew coffee at the monitor award for today. Great job.

Posted by: CowTown | October 25, 2005 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry I am late with my half assed comment but I have to say compared with the entitled palm carrying $800 stroller riding, four star establishment eating, Prada wearing, Ashley Simpson idolizing, children living in tribeca nyc. She is my kinda child. At least she could help protect me against another 9|11 or fight the powers the be during a class struggle (which side is she on). One way or another she rocks.

Posted by: marko | October 25, 2005 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Great story, kt. You're lucky you didn't lose an eye. I wonder what it thought you are. Must have been just a landing area, not prey.

That's a big bird. It must have scared the poop out of you when you saw what it was.

Posted by: pj | October 25, 2005 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I was too astonished to be afraid. I just thought, "Wow." It was so unexpected. It was the most personal encounter with wildlife I've ever had, and since I didn't lose an eye or anything (not even a scar), I'm kind of grateful since it was one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me. I'm even more grateful that he missed the eye. I bet the whole "Give a hoot, don't pollute" campaign would be a lot more effective if Woodsie Owl and a few friends got into the enforcement business.

Posted by: kt | October 25, 2005 8:18 PM | Report abuse

This isn't at all important, but does anyone else get these black rectangles covering a few lines of comments once in a while? Usually on a boodle that's been around at least 6-8 hours? It won't go away. I think it's an old ad box that gets stuck over some text. Is there some way to make it disappear?

Posted by: suecris | October 25, 2005 11:39 PM | Report abuse

my pale hose wanna thank the umps for game two. history is on white sox side like a scar-leaving hysterectomy. we get the job done, hombre. bring some pride to the south side.

Posted by: ozzie guillen | October 26, 2005 1:35 AM | Report abuse

kt, wonderful story! I'm glad you escaped without permanent damage. Thanks for sharing...

Posted by: slyness | October 26, 2005 7:36 AM | Report abuse

kt
Great story. And something you probably think about a lot. Nothing like the realities of nature to wake us up to what it is really like in the land animals and plants. I find it really interesting how far we've distanced ourselves from nature, and that we even have these little outings to see nature up close, when there was a time that nature was all we saw, up close and personal.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 26, 2005 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Suecris,

Try a different sort of browser. I can't read the Achenblog in my Compuserve account (ads cover things, there's no comment function, it's weird), but if I open up Internet Explorer everything is just fine.

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Nature up close and personal (Good morning Cassandra S.)My most beloved childhood memories are of the summers my sister and I spent on Aunt Dora and Uncle Claude's farm in Karnes City, Texas. No electricity, no running water (there was a windmill), no refrigerator or telephone. Wood burning cookstove. No clocks. We did have a battery operated radio and on Saturday nights, we'd listen to The Grand Ole Opry. Uncle Claude grew alfalfa and was out in the fields from sunup to sundown; Aunt Dora milked the cows, tended the vegetable garden,fed the chickens, slopped the hogs, washed clothes, baked bread, churned butter, canned vegetables,sewed our dresses and bonnets from flour sacks, crocheted tableclothes and blankets. We kids gathered kindling, picked bugs off the termater plants, fed the chickens, gathered eggs. The house was quite humble; tin roofed, kitchen, parlour, 2 bedrooms, no bathroom. We had "meat" once a week, chicken on Sundays, but never realized that these were the same chickens we fed because Uncle Claude was too sensitive to let us find out that he had to kill them. There was one lone object d'art in the house. In the parlour, a colorful oil painting of a Texas Cowboy mounted on a saddled giant jackrabbit, herding cattle. I loved that painting.

Posted by: Nani | October 26, 2005 10:02 AM | Report abuse

no new kit and the boodle is dying out... *sigh*

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 10:47 AM | Report abuse

no new kit and the boodle is dying...
*sigh*

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 10:48 AM | Report abuse

oops... my bad!

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I know, mo. Where is everyone today?

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 10:51 AM | Report abuse

From a cell phone, dictated but not read:

Joel is in Atlanta today going to the CDC to try to "wrassle" passages. Currently he is lost on some road. He feels bad he hasn't posted to the blog but since they have no internet in the deep south there is nothing he could do about it. That is all for now....

Posted by: Achenbach via Mike | October 26, 2005 10:54 AM | Report abuse

dunno but work is slow today so i could boodle up a storm...
btw sara - lovin the new look on your blog!! isa very nice...

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of storms, it occurred to me that we haven't heard from Reader in awhile. I hope she's OK, what with Hurricane Wilma and all.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 11:00 AM | Report abuse

TBG wrote:

So, what do you guys think? Is tomorrow Fitzmas Day?

They're saying sealed indictments are being issued today, press conference tomorrow to confirm. Indictments may stay sealed for some time, though.

I'm doing a little happy dance.

Posted by: suecris | October 26, 2005 11:01 AM | Report abuse

An abandoned Boodle is a terrible thing to see. A desolate wasteland. Duststorms. A stray tumblewood rolls by, pushed erratically (sp??) by a hot furtive wind. A lone coyote whines in the distance...

"No internet in the Deep South." You'll get letters...

Posted by: CowTown | October 26, 2005 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking about Reader earlier today. I'm thinking that maybe she evacuated and doesn't have internet access or is just too busy what with the storm and everything. I hope she's okay, too.

Thank you, mo. I got tired of all the spunkiness of the green and the yellow and the dots. I'm more calm with the tranquil greys, blacks and whites. I don't get tired of the neutral colors. Spunky is good once in awhile, but that once-in-awhile-ship has sailed for the moment.

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 11:07 AM | Report abuse

No new Kit today
(Joel is wrassling passages)
Guess I'll do some work . . .

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Is "wrassling" a word?
Actually, I don't think so
And yet, it makes sense

Posted by: Tom fan | October 26, 2005 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"Wrassling" is Deep South for "wrestling." Actually, if you're going to be technical, I think it should be "wrasslin'."

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Dum dee dum dee dum. [plays with pencil]

So, suecris, I hear you have a blog? or a website? Would you like to share it with us Boodlers?

Thanks for your kind attention and cooperation.

Posted by: CowTown | October 26, 2005 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Wait, wait, don't work for heavens sake. Joel is gone and the boodle can play. We've been a kitless boodle before, we can do this.

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2005 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Cowtown writes:
"No internet in the Deep South." You'll get letters...

Shroder writes:
Joel is in Atlanta today going to the CDC to try to "wrassle" passages. Currently he is lost on some road. He feels bad he hasn't posted to the blog but since they have no internet in the deep south there is nothing he could do about it. That is all for now....
***

I can only imagine that Joel must be on his way to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. What do you think his assigment might be ("passages")? Avian flu? Chimeras? Mousepox manipulations? Malaria in Africa? The recent polio outbreak among the Amish in the upper Midwest? Do you think he'll be talking to Gerberding? The CDC did have some fairly recent horrible issues regarding computers and network connectivity, much like the Colleen Rowley/FBI story. Joel has my curiosity piqued with his Georgia "voyage," to be sure. Do you think that with the hint of "passages" that Joel is trying to wrangle a trip with the CDC "disease cowboys" (a sometimes used nickname) for an overseas "Hot Zone" trip? Or is just down there fishing for quotes?

Lost on some road? I've only been in Altanta's airport, but the freeway system must be huge there? I think the CDC is on Peachtree, but aren't many Atlanta streets named Peachtree? No Internet in the Deep South? Surely, Shroder threw that in just to stir the Boodle?

I have much I could Boodle, starting with Howie Kurtz's column today, but errands come first.

Posted by: Loomis | October 26, 2005 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Yes, we *can* do this
Even without the great Achz
We've done it before

Posted by: Dreamer | October 26, 2005 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mike? Who is Mike? Fresh blood, it seems.

Can you write the kit today, Mike?

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2005 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Joel's right about there being no Internet in the deep south. I'm not even sure how I'm here, but it has something to do with paper cups connected by string.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 26, 2005 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Cowtown,

No, I don't have a blog. I do occasionally try to encourage people to read Watertiger's photo captioning blog site, called Dependable Renegade. I gather Mo liked it. It's

http://derenegade.blogspot.com/

A word of warning, however. She's often raunchy and in very (VERY) bad taste. The funny ones make the bad ones worth it, though.

Posted by: suecris | October 26, 2005 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Loomis:
Shroder? Oh no -- Shroder's first name is Tom. As in THE Tom. "Achenbach via Mike" ain't no Shroder.

[Would that Tom *were* here to stir up the 'boodle. You wish, Tom fan; you wish.]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 26, 2005 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me while I adjust the paper cups and string that stand in for my Internet connection.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 26, 2005 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Say, am I the only one who has trouble with this site?

Sometimes it locks up on me. Sometimes it takes forever to load. Sometimes -- and I swear this is true -- it looks at me funny.

Or is it just my makeshift Internet thing?

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 26, 2005 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This is strange. I opened the boodle about 15 minutes ago and there were no new postings since 7 this morning (the number was 194) and now I check it again and there are 217. The cyber world is not as it appears.

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 12:00 PM | Report abuse

oh suecris - i thought it was you! durn... it is quit the witty site!
guess there's no wifi in the south? i guess in the deep south a blackberry really is a fruit?

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 12:00 PM | Report abuse

LB, I believe I was lost for awhile in that ripped section of the space/time continuom

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 26, 2005 12:02 PM | Report abuse

My internet connection consists of me going, "Beep beep-beep-beep-beep beep beep," into a ballpoint pen, and then staring at everyone suspiciously.

And I don't know about everyone else, but the boodle's VERY suspect today. Most of the time all I see is some weird code, which must be some secret transmission from the Chinese.

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I had to crawl through a worm hole to get here

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Back to the original Kit; from Gene's update today:

Bear Hunt, IN: I just read that article on the 8-year-old bear hunter, and it mentioned activists dressed as bears protesting the hunt. It also mentioned that the limit for the whole hunt was 40-55 bears, 200 permits were issued, and last year the limit was met on the first day. Now, I like animals and all, but doesn't dressing up as a bear during a quick and hasty hunt seem like kind of a bad idea? I would have stuck with some signs and a bullhorn.

Gene Weingarten: Good point! I remember seeing a hilarious picture a few years ago during the first day of deer season in, I think, Michigan. It was a cow upon which the farmer had painted, in big white letters, "COW."

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2005 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Everything is fine on my end. Party at my internet-friendly office today!

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 12:12 PM | Report abuse

i ocassionally have problems with typepad - like everyone else - but other than that everytin's been a-ok

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

i ocassionally have problems with typepad - like everyone else - but other than that everytin's been a-ok

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Hello, hello. I am here to inform Achenfan, Sara, and anyone else worried about Reader's safety in the wake of Wilma, that she is all right. A large chunk of South florida lost power, and may not be back up for something like four weeks. House is a little damaged, and traffic lights and billboards are down all over the city. So I suppose I'll be the go-between. Who knows, maybe I'll even start posting.

Posted by: A.B. | October 26, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Hello, hello. I am here to inform Achenfan, Sara, and anyone else worried about Reader's safety in the wake of Wilma, that she is all right. A large chunk of South florida lost power, and may not be back up for something like four weeks. House is a little damaged, and traffic lights and billboards are down all over the city. So I suppose I'll be the go-between. Who knows, maybe I'll even start posting.

Posted by: A.B. | October 26, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Hello, hello. I am here to inform Achenfan, Sara, and anyone else worried about Reader's safety in the wake of Wilma, that she is all right. A large chunk of South florida lost power, and may not be back up for something like four weeks. House is a little damaged, and traffic lights and billboards are down all over the city. So I suppose I'll be the go-between. Who knows, maybe I'll even start posting.

Posted by: A.B. | October 26, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

As coinkidinks would have it, last night's Seinfeld re-run on Fox was about eschewing meat:

Jerry was on a health kick and, when on a date with Elaine's cousin, ordered a salad. He later worried that this wasn't very manly, so he allowed Elaine's cousin to cook mutton for him. He didn't enjoy the mutton, despite exclaiming, "Salad's got nuttin' on this mutton!" So he discreetly spat it out and wrapped it in some cloth napkins that Elaine's cousin had inherited from "Grandma Mimma." He placed the wrapped mutton in the pockets of his jacket, which Elaine, who was also at the dinner, borrowed to walk home in. She was chased down the street by a pack of stray, mutton-hungry dogs and sought refuge at the home of her boyfriend, whose dogs soon discovered both the mutton and the napkins, which he later used to make doggie bandanas. When Elaine's cousin saw what had happened to Grandma Mimma's napkins, she almost had a conniption.

[I had to look up "conniption" in the dictionary, because I wasn't sure how to spell it.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I didn't mean to triple post that. I guess it just works slow, and I should have been patient. Okay, roger that.

Posted by: A.B. | October 26, 2005 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Yay! Reader is OK!

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 12:24 PM | Report abuse

So A.B. is Reader's 'Mike'--this is a "channeling" boodle today. Let's all get someone else to boodle for us!

A.B.: Please tell Reader that we're glad she's OK and hope her life gets back to normal soon.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2005 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Is this the infamous Artist Alice? Glad to hear that Reader's ok.

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I could ask my boss to boodle for me, but then again probably not

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 12:27 PM | Report abuse

i ocassionally have problems with typepad - like everyone else - but other than that everytin's been a-ok

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 12:29 PM | Report abuse

HAH~ just when i said everything was ok i broke the boodle again...

reader isn't k is she?

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, A.B.! I've been worried.

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 12:33 PM | Report abuse

By the way, new Sara blog about idiots and grammar and coughing and bling.

http://discoveringsara.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Scanning the papers today and noticed something weird: Things have gotten so bad that George Will is now a moderate!

When did that happen?

JAG

Posted by: JAG | October 26, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse

If I asked my boss to boodle for me on a blog, I would probably be fired for harassment...

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I would get someone else to boodle for me, but there is not another soul in my department today. I could actually accomplish a lot, but that would be such a waste when no one can see me.

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2005 12:42 PM | Report abuse

mo:
Yep, Reader is k.

To be even clearer, but without actually spelling it out, Reader is ***** ********.

Posted by: Tom fan | October 26, 2005 12:44 PM | Report abuse

ahhhhhhhhh... but she's been to mojoblog! hmmm...

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 12:46 PM | Report abuse

She hit up mojoblog a few days ago, mo. Sometime over the weekend, I think.

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I think it was pre-'cane.

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 12:56 PM | Report abuse

These hurricanes prove that terrorists are controlling the weather.
Why else would Chertoff be down there investigating?!!

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of calm at the center of the hurricaine, notice how calm the White House is right now.

I'm completely swamped these days, I'm glad to see the 'boodlers keeping things going while JA's in GA doing sciency stuff (I was thinking Avian Flu, too, Linda).

bc

Posted by: bc | October 26, 2005 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I had a busy day yeasterday but was able to skim through and read most of the posts on wildlife (although not much opportunity to comment). And then, on my way home last night, I almost hit bambi running across the road!

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 1:23 PM | Report abuse

They keep talking about bird flu as the next pandemic and I would like to know how they decided this. Why this bug over the many many others?

Forgive me for being glib but, what if they gave a pandemic and nobody came, i.e. what if they are preparing for the wrong bug?

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2005 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday Gene W said that the National Enquirer says Bush is back on the sauce. Not surprising. What is surprising is that Gene says "the Enquirer seldomly gets stuff wrong, actually." Terrific, not only incompetent, but a drunken incompetent at the helm. Lord save us all.

Posted by: Jeanne | October 26, 2005 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I always turn to the Enquirer as a solid source for news, that and The Weekly World News.

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 1:49 PM | Report abuse

New mojoblog, continuing Sara's theme of pet-peaves.

www.mojo-blog.blogspot.com

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The WWN had a piece about Clinton and his love child by an alien. Not too far fetched.

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 1:51 PM | Report abuse

dr:
Call me a cynic, but I wonder if this is the bug they're preparing for because it's the one everyone's afraid of. I think a government's response to a given threat is often a matter of crowd control -- of allaying people's fears to avoid mass hysteria and to give the impression of having everything under control. Governments have to be seen to be doing *something*, even if that something doesn't really make sense.

As Joel said in his "Pox Americana" Kit, "Influenza constantly mutates and remains infectious year to year, which is similar to what happens to our fear of a coming plague."

Personally, I never get a flu shot and don't intend to get one this year. The way I see it, I'm just as likely to be exposed to a different bug from the one the current flu shot is designed to protect against -- especially since I usually travel back to Australia, often via various other countries, during winter. I haven't had the flu for a very long time [touch wood -- I've probably jinxed myself now, by stating this in the 'boodle].

But what the bleep would I know . . .

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"pet-peaves."

Hey, there's one of mine, right there.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 26, 2005 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Now now -- that's not very SCC.

Posted by: Tom fan | October 26, 2005 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I had a pet peave once, but had to get rid of it. Got a cat instead.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2005 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Blah blah blah.

I'm going into my pen some more.

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Talk into my pen. Is what I meant. Not that it makes more sense that way.

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I just knew this was going to come out someday, and here it is. From todays Washington Post:

"Now, even as high gasoline prices continue to anger motorists and aggravate financial problems at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the oil companies have begun to report record quarterly profit. Yesterday, British energy giant BP PLC reported a $6.53 billion third-quarter profit, up from $4.87 billion in the same period last year. And tomorrow, analysts expect Exxon Mobil Corp. to show that it earned nearly $9 billion over the past three months -- the largest corporate quarterly profit ever."

Makes me wish my car ran on water!

Posted by: RA | October 26, 2005 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful post, Nani. We are so rich, these days. Are we much happier?

Posted by: kt | October 26, 2005 2:18 PM | Report abuse

buy stock in oil companies

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 2:19 PM | Report abuse

On the significance of Avian Flu:

The Avian Influenza that is currently running around is of interest because: (a) it has become widespread among domesticated fowl in SE Asia, indicating that it is highly virulent within a susceptible population; (b) when it infects humans, it kills a sizable fraction of those who are observed to be infected (maybe most of them, I'm not sure); and (c) because it occurs among domesticated bird populations, which represent many individuals that are in close contact with humans, the odds are especially frightening for the development of a mutant form that infects humans efficiently and that can be passed between humans.

Right now, Avian Flu is devastating to commercial and subsistence husbandry of fowl in SE Asia. Vietnam and Thailand are operating eradication programs in which the observation of one infected bird in a flock requires that the entire flock be killed, but still the flu is spreading.

Avian Flu is, potentially, influenza as we commonly understand it in the same way that the 1918 Influenza was -- that is, it's just like the colloquial form of influenza except that it can kill you with a reasonably high probability, and practically everybody could be exposed.

Is that sufficiently scary for you?

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 26, 2005 2:26 PM | Report abuse

LB

I wish I had... Unfortunately my portfolio doesn't contain any at the moment.

[Note to self: Fire broker.]

Posted by: RA | October 26, 2005 2:27 PM | Report abuse

my daughter said she needed a stock recomendation for her accounting class this semester and gave me a list that she had to choose from. Said she would get extra credit if her choice outperformed the professor's. I picked Chesapeake. needless to say........

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Linda, I have been to Atlanta and yes, they do have quite the interstate system. The interchange of I-85 and I-285 is known throughout the South as Spaghetti Junction because of its complexity. One of the scariest moments of my life occurred when my husband missed the ramp and we spent several minutes in the median, trying to make the turn from 85 to 285. With vehicles whizzing by at 70+, it wasn't a pretty sight. I-75 north of Atlanta is 16 - sixteen - lanes wide, 8 in each direction. That's too many for me, I'm staying home in NC!

Posted by: slyness | October 26, 2005 2:48 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- "The White House is not amused by The Onion, a newspaper that often spoofs the Bush administration, and has asked it to stop using the presidential seal on its Web site."

SNL (Saturday Night Live) has been using the seal for almost 30 years, no? Is this really a big issue for the White House?

Posted by: Off Topic | October 26, 2005 2:53 PM | Report abuse

slyness;

That makes the beltway sound like a picnic. DC is frightening, Atlanta sounds downright awful.

Science Tim;

Thanks for that timely Halloween scare. Now I really don't want to get on a plane. I hope they find a way to keep it from spreading. Could be nasty if they don't.

LB;

Did she beat the Prof's stock? Or did he choose oil as well?
[oops... phone's ringing, gotta work...]

Posted by: RA | October 26, 2005 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The NYT article about The White House vs The Onion says:

'Citing the United States Code, [WO lawyer] Mr. Dixton wrote that the seal "is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement." Exceptions may be made, he noted, but The Onion had never applied for such an exception...

'... But Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, said that "you can't pick and choose where you want to enforce the rules surrounding the use of official government insignia, whether it's for humor or fraud."'

Excuse me, but isn't the fact that one can apply for an exemption mean that the White House does, in fact, pick and choose?

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2005 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what his pick was but my daughter called the other day to thank me.

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 3:08 PM | Report abuse

well, then probably SNL has the exemption. I suppose NBC has a pretty good team of lawyers.

Posted by: Off Topic | October 26, 2005 3:09 PM | Report abuse

TBG;
Isn't there actually a policy that an exact replica of the seal can't be used anywhere except for the President? jw? Linda?

I agree, it sounds like picking and choosing to me but what the heck, anything to divert us from Wilma, Katrina, our um, uh, well leader, drunk as well as bumbling about with the "football". Downright scary.

Posted by: RA | October 26, 2005 3:12 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Science Tim -- that *is* a scary scenario. But the key word is "potentially" -- it will be devastating IF it happens. The problem is, people are very quick to start viewing such scenarios as certainties rather than mere possibilities, and they overreact -- as was the case during the anthrax scare, when everyone wanted to get started on a Cipro regimen even if their risk of exposure was low. Often the risk of harm from these treatments is greater than the individual's risk of contracting the disease in the first place (and the rush on supplies can mean that people who really are at risk miss out). Everything gets blown out of proportion by fear. The relative risks and benefits become distorted. Meanwhile, other threats are all but ignored.

And ultimately, we've all gotta die of *something*.

[There, I said it: We're all gonna die!]

[Gee, I'm really being a jackass today, aren't I? Sorry.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I plan on dying from over indulgence. I don't know what it will be yet, but it will be something that I like.

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 3:21 PM | Report abuse

psst, hey bud, got any Tamiflu?

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

http://www.groundzero.to/pics/snl/pic_snl_clinton.jpg

Clinton impersonator from SNL. Looks like the real seal to me...

Posted by: Off Topic | October 26, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure, I was going to say that when Congress declared war the head of the eagle on the seal reversed. A quick fact-check revealed that to be a myth.

I did find this little rant on some blog: "And I'm glad, because first of all the Onion isn't even a very good news source. I'm pretty sure they just make all that shit up. And putting the official presidential seal on their stories often gave me the impression that the president supported or endorsed the views being expressed. So a big "f--- you" to the onion. And since I'm sure the president agrees with me on this matter, I'm throwing down the seal."

Hmm...the Onion isn't a very good news source? Next thing you know, someone's going to tell me that Jon Stewart isn't really a news anchor!

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a plan, LB. Like that guy who ate himself to death in "The Meaning of Life":

"Better get a bucket"

[Ugh.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...might be a good time to invest in Roche (Swiss maker of Tamiflu)

Stock symbol: RHHVF

Posted by: Martha S. | October 26, 2005 3:30 PM | Report abuse

That's okay, Achenfan. You've already told us that Achenfan is the jackass-y part of your net personality, so I doubt any of us will take offense. Besides, taking offense to "someday you're gonna die" would be kind of stupid. Because someday we are going to.

By the way, revised blog. I forgot to add my usual Random Sara Fact and the CD of the Day and all that stuff at the bottom. So, if you care you can check it out. http://discoveringsara.blogspot.com

I doubt the Avian flu is even going to become a big threat this year. Here's to optimism.

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 3:31 PM | Report abuse

To optimism!

Posted by: Dreamer | October 26, 2005 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Who reads The Onion and actually thinks it's supposed to be a factual news source? This is what I'm talking about today with my "idiots" pet peeve.

I got a really great horoscope from The Onion one month. It told me that someday my happiness would depend on when and whether a large man caught a ball.

There was another one that said the police would laugh at me when they realized that all I had stolen from the vault was the secret pie recipe, not the money. (But I say that if it's good enough to be secret, even though I hate pie, I'm gonna be laughing all the way to the bank once I get rich off of pie-selling.)

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan
I'm thinking more along the lines of sex drugs and rock & roll. I've tried before, but I just need to really get serious about it.

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Roche is up 47% this year...

Posted by: Off Topic | October 26, 2005 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I have never been given any hard evidence that I am not immortal.

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 3:50 PM | Report abuse

This is what I keep seeing when I look at the 'boodle: ?í½©zY?%?IF? ??J???#??ȈMtV}??Ý鋡DU??g^??d윳{?UOvO)3$??옟&???M?x(??&u=ÛŒ?E^'y?y??%?h??=锉纛_} &qY%?6??N6{?m?R?æ—‘?LFO:?Þ©??ñ–¼®&i>??|VT?nϧ?Uy?=??í±–?~ì„¥?=锵"K?I?ԝ?xÒ‰?ì·œ!?ESo?|䤨翲VqY??,???{???g翘Ճ] Fj?'Yß„??zP6Ӿ𣭛˩Pó»›¿?鼯I??誘E????azQ?=?}~Ü™~F㦜Ɏ8Ň????蓮՘θ);ß­m?VYq?:î‹’?,?u|ҙ鰷jܯ}?)??Þ¿?ò¾·†Ñ g????V4Ë¥RÖ¾tñ¦¥¯;?"ڝ????d??q=㧟~ê­½>Ü™Z?bñž½–{䬸?È—??tXO?tz{b@'鸢~顼????|?íº¸?'×·?ß›?Ê¢????Z?l????ȍ̱aүƧóQ{?T3Q?`??Z?+w.T? ??ಏ?Ø¥-jqpߵ܀~Ã…ehߌ??V?~⊤䙈??Lꦌ娈?5?qÇ‘??????De1??????ߟþ㴺qĐK??so?r X#??y:𭱏??/?Aٸٓ;?????ß¾Jkz󋝙Æ«W?瓔䟺틟??Yí¯¾çš»Ý•_ݸ?\??ìµ—????r?Æ•}Ѿ3???מ?ݺ??Ý“'|g㋏sw?W ñ¿«™X??? ?WM?'?CD?~?攥BŨ铗ՙ?󤈧\???ħ?Ѝ??^S?Û¹x?^_!묾ò¦º½*?-D[笸?vyuvuq?Ö•O?Û›Sݱ?ߘ6~å‚”8?Û½?𡘂?{E ?ӝ??階⼚?Ӎò•³›Í”?%?ñµ²Œ?=秿?产U僐??l???g3}ïš‘oâ´ŸaH??[??J?vÛ¸?姃찺???'ܶY?_?Ïž??WÜ£K???,???𶧞Ꮏ??x??Oð»´±??t?[?󭣍?˼܈gh?:?tg?5JÅ€?P??3?ò¡­‘?q9Ns??ê²™ ?_,힢?0????Þ£??w??s^?? ?

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Of course The Onion makes stuff up. That's the whole point!

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 26, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Hi Achenfan,

I agree with you about the foolishness of a panicky reaction to the avian flu. Avian Flu is a real but remote danger. It's not a certainty, meaning that we aren't dead yet and we don't have to die soon, but there is a risk it could happen sooner than otherwise if we behave stupidly.

The best things we can do are not stockpiling personal medications and shotgun shells for shooting our flu-ravaged neighbors as they plead for us to hand them just one sweet box of tissues, and maybe a little chicken soup? The best we can do is to support the scientific organizations (CDC, NIH, and their ilk) researching the virus and its mutations, and to avoid making kissy-face with chickens. Oh, yeah, and to take seriously the ordinary public-health precautions about things like hand-washing.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 26, 2005 3:53 PM | Report abuse

esskay: Maybe you should talk to Ray Kurzweil...

Posted by: Off Topic | October 26, 2005 3:55 PM | Report abuse

There's a beautiful story in the Style section of WP on Rosa Parks. I grew up in the time of separate public drinking fountains, segregated schools, and city busses with crude signs over the doors reading "Coloreds to the rear". Ironically, there were red velvet ropes separating the seats at the back of the bus for maybe 12 black riders from the 50 or more seats for whites. Busses weren't air-conditioned back then. A small child, I remember seeing blacks, men, women, children packed like sardines, sitting, standing, squatting, their faces drenched in perspiration and asking my Mother why they didn't sit in any of the numerous empty seats. She looked sad, sshhhed me and said she'd explain later.

In an HBO special 20+ years ago, the children of the Neville Brothers family performed a song they'd written for Ms. Parks. Simple sweet lyrics:

Thank you Sister Rosa
You are the spark
That started our freedom movement
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks.

So we dedicate this song to thee
For being the symbol of our dignity.
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks.

Posted by: Nani | October 26, 2005 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Tim: I'll probably avoid chicken soup if there is an avian flu pandemic.

Posted by: Off Topic | October 26, 2005 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I have to avoid making kissy-face with chickens? Oh dear -- I'm not sure I can do that. Those cute li'l beaks . . .

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 4:01 PM | Report abuse

There's definitely something weird going on in this 'boodle -- sometimes when I start typing a comment everything comes out double-spaced.

Must be some kind of Achenflu.

(I'm not seeing the weird stuff jw's seeing, though -- I must say, I'm kinda jealous.)

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know ScienceTim. As soon as this pandemic gets cranked up I'm going to start blasting until there are no neighbors left to spread it to me. I think that would be the prudent thing to do.

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I feel so slow. Somehow I missed to irony of eating chicken soup. Calling Dr. Weingarten, I need an irony transplant!

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 26, 2005 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering what jw's going to eat while he's in the Far East.

And Achenfan, I promise not to skimp on the quail eggs.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 26, 2005 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I have five chickens as pets. I suppose they will either be my 'canaries in the coal mine' or my first real hard evidence!

Off Topic - I see that one of Kurzweil's books is titled "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever". Funny, I was named after one of the actors in the movie "Fantastic Voyage"...

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 4:12 PM | Report abuse

As part of his daily routine, Kurzweil ingests 250 supplements, eight to 10 glasses of alkaline water and 10 cups of green tea. He also periodically tracks 40 to 50 fitness indicators, down to his "tactile sensitivity.'' Adjustments are made as needed.
"I do actually fine-tune my programming,'' he said.

***

Evidently, Kurzweil wants to live at least 20 more years - when he says immortality will be possible.

Posted by: Off Topic | October 26, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

your chickens will probably be your typhoid annie

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The boodle has been dead for the last 45 minutes in my world. I haven't seen any comments since 3:46 when Off Topic said something about 47%. Now all the sudden there's a ton of comments. The boodle is crazy today.

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Sister Nani.

Posted by: Off Topic | October 26, 2005 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Do you all remember a few years ago when Reader's Digest printed an angry letter from a woman who wanted to know why the editors had cut out part of her previous letter about the Harry Potter books' bad influence on children?

She had originally stated that J.K.Rowling was an admitted Satanist and that the Harry Potter books had been responsible for over 14 million children worldwide joining the Church of Satan.

She knew this was true, she said, because she had read it in an article in The Onion.

The RD editors politely pointed out that The Onion was satire. I just think it was hilarious that they printed the second letter just so they could point out to the crazy woman that she was also an idiot.

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2005 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Sara
That happened to me this morning

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Obviously Joel is messing with our minds, man. He's probably posted a great new Kit, only we can't see it.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahah! TBG, that is hilarious. I never knew about The Onion's role in that thing.

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 4:34 PM | Report abuse

the invisible kit, probably one of his best

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I am seeing everything hoever, the lower parts of y's and j's seem to be missing.

'Typhoid Annie'? I thought it was Typhoid Mary??

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I just hit 'refresh' and all of the dangling parts of my lower case letters have returned! No more v's for y's!

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh crap. I spoke too soon. yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjgggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg.

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The invisible Kit. Cool.

Speaking of JA, (Were we?)in a sort of Where's Waldo kind of way, I wonder if Mike has an update on JA's wandering. I hope his car has a GPS navigator.

TBG;
I've always suspected the editors over there had a sense of humor. Too funny.

Almost 5:00.........

Posted by: RA | October 26, 2005 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Typhoid Annie is the Typhoid Mary of the chicken world.

[CowTown, there's gotta be a story in this . . .]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I am just glad that Frank Perdue is not around to witness the mass extermination of his flock. It would simply kill him!

Posted by: esskay | October 26, 2005 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Typhoid Mary story. Got to think on that one. Here's one more apropos the Kit:

Karl winced as the surgeon injected the local anesthetic near the wound. "How bad is it?" he grimaced through his teeth.

The surgeon looked up at him, "It just passed through some fatty tissue on your right side. First time I've seen subcutaneous fat come in handy."

"Har, har, har," snarled Rove.

"So, she thought you were a bear, huh?" queried the surgeon as he sewed stitches into the wound.

"That's what I get for wearing a dark suit in a corn field," moaned Rove, adding, "Who would give an eight-year-old kid a rifle, anyway?"

"So what were you doing running around in a cornfield, anyway?" asked the surgeon.

"Long story. You might read about it in the paper," said Rove. "God, that was weird," he added.

"What?"

"The kid, the kid who shot me. She said something really strange." Murmured Rove, almost to himself.

"Which was..." the surgeon stopped stitching and looked up at Rove.

"She said, 'They won't eat now. They won't eat a thing,'" quoted Rove. "What the heck does that mean?"

"Beats the heck out of me," replied the surgeon, "Now, roll over so I can sew up the other bullet wound."

Posted by: OutstandingInTheField | October 26, 2005 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Annie was Mary's sister and she was much worse.

Posted by: LB | October 26, 2005 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Nah, he could take it. Frank Perdue was a tough man.

Posted by: kt | October 26, 2005 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Nah, he could take it. Frank Perdue was a tough man.

Posted by: kt | October 26, 2005 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Nah, he could take it. Frank Perdue was a tough man.

Posted by: kt | October 26, 2005 5:02 PM | Report abuse

that's funny, kt

Posted by: off topic | October 26, 2005 5:03 PM | Report abuse

There is a really nice article in NYT today about people going over the edge with disease obsessions. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/25/health/psychology/25essa.html

I know its not the bird flu but if you hate getting colds, give Cold FX a try. It does work, and if I was buying stock that is where I'd buy. In March it was $1.50, and and just last week, its well over $3.00 and forecasted to go up.

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2005 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, CowTown!

["OutstandingInTheField"! Outstanding indeed.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 5:04 PM | Report abuse

excellent. stock tips! now this boodle is getting interesting!

Posted by: off topic | October 26, 2005 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Friendly tip: I switched from Internet Explorer to Safari and the Boodle now works better for me.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 26, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little worried that I'm going to get to Hong Kong and then customs won't let me back into the country. According to Newsweek's little map, Hong Kong's only had 20 cases since 1997. I don't plan on huffing chicken fecies, so I should be good.

Am I wrong to think that eating cooked chicken is ok? Because General Tsau's is the only Chinese food I like.

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Great article, dr -- thanks for posting the link. I liked this part:

"'I was crossing Third Avenue yesterday and I was coughing so hard I had to stop and barely made it across,' a patient told me last week. 'I'm really scared I'm getting the avian flu.'

"I just looked at him. What could I say?
He has smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for the last 50 years. He has coughed and wheezed and gasped his way across Third Avenue now for the last 10 years. His emphysema is not going to get any better, but it might stop getting worse if he were to stop smoking.

"He made it clear long ago that this is not going to happen. When it comes to the whole cigarette/health question, his motto, apparently, is 'What, me worry?'

"But the avian flu - now there's a health scare a person can sink his teeth into. So scary and yet, somehow, so pleasantly distant. So thrilling, so chilling, and yet, at the same time, so not here, not now, not yet. All in all, a completely satisfying health care fear experience. Unlike his actual illness."

Fantastic; absolutely fantastic ("a health scare a person can sink his teeth into"!)

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 5:16 PM | Report abuse

jw:
You should be able to get some good Aussie beef in Hong Kong (aka "Honkers").

And then there's always the vegetarian option . . .

[Come to think of it, I don't think the Chinese even eat General Tsao's Chicken -- I think General Tsao's is an American thing. You might have to settle for chicken feet.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh well. Maybe if I call ahead they can whip some up for me.

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm off. Night all!

Posted by: Sara | October 26, 2005 5:32 PM | Report abuse

dr, do you mean CV Technologies Inc.? Are they a Canadian company? (stock symbol: CVQ)

What's TSX Venture?

Posted by: off topic | October 26, 2005 5:38 PM | Report abuse

As you see, I’ve waited until the kit closed down for the night before posting the following comment. I’ve waited, in part, because I didn’t want to disrupt the carefree tone here, but mostly because I think my comment, which I’ve been feverishly working on all afternoon, is f***ing brilliant, and I want to call all my friends and say, “Hey! Check out the last post on Achenbach. It’s f***ing brilliant!”

I recently read the novel “Birds Without Wings” by Louis De Bernières. I liked the book a lot, but I was especially struck by one of the author’s notions about wars. Simply put, he believed that wars waged for the sake of “big ideas” usually fail, while those waged for “small ideas” often succeed.

I’ve begun to think he is right, and I’ve begun to think that perhaps the reason he is right is that a “big idea” doesn’t fit well into a good battle cry. Battle cries state an objective in such a succinct and straightforward way that it is easy for the citizenry to decide to give or withhold its support. Battle cries can’t be forgotten and they give the effort a sustaining reason. If they are sufficiently atavistic in effect, battle cries turn movements into mobs, mobs that will fight.

“Remember Pearl Harbor”. No nonsense here about Japanese hegemony or the danger of loss of American influence in Asia. No sir. Just pure revenge, perhaps the best kind of battle cry.

“Remember the Alamo” and “Remember the Maine”. A little less noble perhaps, and one a bit shaky on factual grounds, but both are good “revenge” battle cries.

“Fifty Four Forty Or Fight”. This makes me want to fight and I can’t even remember what the hell it means. Polk won the election though.

“Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death”. You bet! Perhaps a bit too sophisticated for today, but the revolutionaries got it.

WWI was a horror in terms of the total loss of men and materials and ripples from that war plague us even today, nearly a century later. No memorable battle cry came from that war. How could one? The reasons for this war were too complex, far reaching, and utopian to be reduced to an effective battle cry. It was a “big idea”, and the war ended in stalemate and failure.

The battle cry problem of Vietnam was just as bad. It might have been “Stop The Domino Effect And Halt The Spread Of International Communism”, but that’s too much of a mouthful, and, ultimately, the battle cry became “Hell No I Won’t Go”, a far better one as battle cries go. Another failure of a “big idea”.

“Eliminate WMD”. Not awfully catchy, but not too bad. Unfortunately, it was based on falsehoods and had to be scrapped.

“Fight Em Over There So We Don’t Have To Fight Em over Here” and “Install A Democracy In Iraq And The Entire Middle East Will Become Democratic”. Two more “big idea” things that can’t possibly become effective battle cries, so I fear the worst.

Does it take a great battle cry to win a war? Probably not, but having a good one can’t hurt. It may be that it’s more of a question of whether or not a grand idea can be distilled down to some essence that could be used for a battle cry. If that’s not possible, the grand idea, the “big idea, is likely to be a human conceit so filled with convolutions, assumptions, and contingencies that it simply can’t hold water in the first place. And then, of course, there are the “big ideas” which, at their root, are so foolish or vile that layers of grandiose and jesuitical wrappings must applied to them to hide their true meaning.

Posted by: JAG | October 26, 2005 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Ive paid the price for my hubris. All the punctuation screwed up.

Oh well.

Posted by: JAG | October 26, 2005 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Best Onion article ever?

"Klingon Speakers Now Outnumber Navajo Speakers"

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29426/print/

(Sad, because it's probably true, ain't it?)

Posted by: Les | October 26, 2005 5:43 PM | Report abuse

JAG, that comment is Kit-worthy!

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 5:43 PM | Report abuse

[JAG: I don't think the weird punctuation is permanent -- when I refreshed the page, it looked OK.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 26, 2005 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, you are so far beyond me. I only take the stuff as does my husband. They are indeed a Canadian company run by a very very interesting woman. As to their TSX (or other), I have no idea. I leave that to my husband. He was telling me about their stock after the news releases of the last few days.

Its kind of like Safeway for us. We should have bought shares in Safeway when we had 3 teenage boys living at home.

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2005 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan,

What are you doing here this late?

Weird. I refreshed once... no help. Refreshed again... punctuation OK.

I've been reading today. Lots of funny stuff!

JAG

Posted by: JAG | October 26, 2005 5:52 PM | Report abuse

What NONE of you understand, is the financial situation of 80% of the people living in the little girl's area. I am from the same county, and let me tell you, there are a lot of people who still do not have running water in their homes...do not have phone lines. They fill up tons of buckets and jugs at the natural running springs, and do what the frontier-people did. It is the largest county (square miles), and has the LEAST population. Tons of farms...tons of bears! Bears eat our crops, and have actually had to be shot and removed from the inside of 4 homes in the last 2 years! Yes, the bears "broke in" so to speak! People in this area of MD. usually make a COMBINED income of somewhere around 30,000. I know many, many families who depend on deer meat...and now bear meat, to supple the bulk of their meat for the year. You can make fun of Sierra all you want, she just provided her family with meat for the year. Also, the commnet about "They won't eat anything..." she was referring to their crops and her mother's garden...their way of providing veges. and fruits for the family for the year through canning and freezing. Take a drive as west as you can get on I-68...just before the WV border, and check it out if you don't believe me.

Posted by: mt.gal | October 26, 2005 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the facts, mt.gal. Better than a bushel of speculation.

Posted by: kt | October 26, 2005 6:00 PM | Report abuse

achenfan - it cleared up JAG's entry but screwed up cowtown's story!!! and did you hit F5 to refresh??? *smiley emoticon*

Posted by: mo | October 26, 2005 6:05 PM | Report abuse

JAG:

Good job. Lot's of good points. And I'll take a � over a " any day.

mt.gal:

Just saw on the news that about an hour ago a deer found it's way into the Ralph Lauren store in Georgetown. According to Channel 4 News, it was "attracted by the woodsy display in the front window."

(We were just in your area a few weeks ago. It is beautiful there.)

Posted by: TBG | October 26, 2005 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Interesting thoughts, JAG. But the current shortcut battle cry is "War on Terrorism." And that's a pretty good one, in terms of PR and as an ad campaign, even if it's not really that simple.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 26, 2005 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh, all this Canadian content. 'Fifty-four-fourty or fight' was a slogan at the time that our international border was set. There was a great deal of pressure to set the border at that parallel, and not the 49th. Had they done that, I would now be American, but Fort McMurray would still be in Canada. The border was set by the Oregon Treaty, and is of course still in effect today, except for the maritime border which was set slightly later. Strangely in the setting of the maritime border, a tiny bit of the mainland was somehow missed, or miscalculated, and you get the ever so interesting Point Roberts, and on our side Tawassen.

And because of that unlikely border thing, I had the pleasure of watching a boat - I think U.S. Coast Guard, target practise while I sat on the beach on the south end of Vancouver Island just a few weeks ago.

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2005 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Bayou Self,

I thought about that one but decided it wasn't effective because it didn't have a clear objective.

No matter what you think about the Simpson trial I'm sure you'll agree "If it don't fit you must acquit" was better.

JAG

Posted by: JAG | October 26, 2005 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know I could write Chinese. Gosh, you can do ANYTHING in the Boodle!

Posted by: CowTown | October 26, 2005 6:20 PM | Report abuse

From 10/26 WaPo:

"The Vedranis and neighbors moved into the hallway for safety, but when Kelly Vedrani rested her head against the wall and felt it vibrating wildly, she said, "I lost it."

"That's when I really began to cry," Kelly recalled Tuesday, packing a car and preparing to leave.

But she was also angry.

"I kept thinking we wouldn't have been in that position if there'd been an evacuation order," she said."
----
Please, please tell me that this woman has been sterilized before she can pass her idiocy to offspring. Let's see, she lives on the coast, less than a hundred miles, to the powerful eastern side, from the projected landfall of the most powerful hurricane ever measured (of all of which she was well aware), and she's surprised that it got nasty! Hmmm...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2005 6:22 PM | Report abuse

JAG: A Hall of Fame slogan might be "I Like Ike."

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 26, 2005 6:36 PM | Report abuse

mtgal, oh I know how that is. When we farmed there were months where we lived on an absolute routine of deer stew, deer cutlets, deer roast, ground deer. This was supplemented by pea soup (yes, I am back to those stupid legumes), lentil soup, potatoe soup, and bread. All these things you see were grown on our farm or hunted right close to home. Our lowest point was the year we lived on $12,000 (in Canadian funds, at the time about $8500 US.). We had 3 small kids, and the only things we owned, literally, were the clothes on our backs, and a pile of good books, and whatever furniture and toys we made or people gave us. When I look back on it we were desperately poor, funny thing is that there was not one moment where I thought we were poor. Having enough food to eat, and a warm home to live in makes all else seem small.

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2005 6:40 PM | Report abuse

JAG, that was great. You had me laughing at "Fifty-Four Fourty or Fight!"

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 6:42 PM | Report abuse

duh, Off topic, I should have clued in. TSX is Toronto Stock Exchange. Big, big duh.

Posted by: dr | October 26, 2005 6:51 PM | Report abuse

JAG, WWI ended with total allied victory over the axis powers. A popular slogan of that war was, "Making the world safe for democracy." Of course, that didn't happen, but the military victory was absolute. But your larger point is not invalid. If I get you right you're saying that if you want to recruit strong and lasting support for a war, which you need in order to win, you need a justification that is both compelling and simple. A confused or unmotivated public will not be willing to take the inevitable losses. You know your justification is compelling and simple enough if you can summarize it in a catchy slogan.
If the slogan is tight, the people will fight.
Short and sweet prevents retreat.
If rhyme on rhyme follows, there'll be no withdrawals.
I'm having a hard time coming up with a catchy slogan that says something like, "We let the Shia and Kurds die in '91, now we're staying until the job is done."
How about a pro- and anti-war slogan contest? Surely we can do better than, Hey, hey, ho, ho...

Posted by: kt | October 26, 2005 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Is it simply a matter of rousing words,
To entice us to draw our shiny swords?
It is surely the Madison Avenue jingle,
To raise war feeling, rousing the tingle.

The rush, the glee for our nation's glory,
As each generation tells its own war story.
Bullets, bombs: "I served may nation well."
Quiet, the somber truth--war is truly hell.

When the troops start coming home dead,
The war sloganeering I hate, even dread.
Many small white crosses cover Arlington,
Will green sod there hold my beloved son?

(Just playing with rhyming couplets while the steak is on the barbecue.)

Posted by: Linda Loomis | October 26, 2005 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Ha...nice counterpoint, Linda.

Posted by: jw | October 26, 2005 9:14 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "I served may nation well."

"I served my nation well."

Posted by: Loomis | October 26, 2005 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Tim and I had a little dialogue about the death penalty a while back (last Kit, 500 posts ago) and I'd like to respond to his last points-
Me-"Some crimes merit the most stringent penalty society allows.
Tim-I concur. I would even go so far as to agree on what that penalty should be. Where we part company is that I feel that I (and everyone I've ever met) lack the god-like perspective required to dispassionately and objectively administer death. I envy you your certainty. But surely you've noticed that monsters like John Muhammad and Mohamed Atta also have that god-like certainty? I'm not saying that you are a monster, nor that everyone else who supports capital punishment is a monster. I'm saying that it's dangerous even to share the same road with such monsters, even if we are not fellow travelers. Yes, there are some criminals with whom the decision is easy, and I could sleep well having personally shot them in the head myself. That coarsening and cheapening of life makes it that much easier, however, to make the same decision about someone who is much less loathsome. Right now, we have Supreme Court Justices and citizens who have more or less said that one or two innocent deaths due to failures in the legal system is NOT too high a price to pay for safety and 'justice.' That is exactly the systematized corruption that I fear. Yes, at one time, capital punishment was widespread in the U.S., but we grew out of it. This is a terrrifying nostalgia that we now seem more and more eager to embrace again the finality of a death sentence as a way to rid ourselves of our fears. Go read Pogo on the definition of "the enemy."

Are those sufficient bona fides to be permitted to have a dissenting opinion? I forget who mentioned it lately, but there's a good reason that victims do not set the penalty for crimes, because victims want vengenace, whereas the state wants justice. We need to set our standards for justice in calm reflection, so that we have a standard for peace and justice to which we can aspire when times are dark.

Me-One of my biggest gripes about GW Bush is that he has completely forgotten who sent those men to steal those planes and crash them.
Tim-I concur. War is not the same as jurisprudence. Self-defense really is an operable reason for causing death. It doesn't justify every tactic, however -- torture comes to mind."
Well, Tim, I don't claim to have a "god-like perspective", but I'd like to explain a little about what perspcective I do have.
I've seen a fair amount of violence and my sympathies are all with the victims. For nine years as a medical photographer I witnessed and photographed or saw photographs of every death investigated by the state medical examiner of Oklahoma. These included accidents, suicides, and deaths under suspicious circumstances, as well as murders. I saw plane crashes, stabbings, drownings, strangulations, hundreds of gunshot killings, decapitations, serial killings, fatal child abuse, and cannibalism (and you thought Oklahoma was such a nice quiet place).
I've seen the justice system as a juror on five occasions. Two civil suits, one fraud, one drug trafficking, and one biggie- kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape, and attempted murder. I was not anxious to do this, but it is a duty of citizenship and I took it very seriously.
I find it puzzling that you and others who are philosophically opposed to capital punishment do not extend this opposition to war between nations. The justice system is surely more precise and discriminating than a bomb dropped from thousands of feet in the darkness? Mistakes are made. That is tragic and deplorable. But if society has the right to protect itself against an aggressor nation by waging war, doesn't the same right apply to those who attack and kill individuals?
As an ultimate penalty for the ultimate crime, death. Now, define ultimate crime. I think shooting random strangers with a sniper rifle fits. Bombing a building full of people, yep. We can all make our own lists. Personally, mine would be very short but would include fatal child abuse along with mass murder and fatal acts of terrorism.
My point is that if you think ANY crime merits death, then it's just a question of what crime shall be so defined. If you don't think society should administer death under these circumstances, how can you justify the infinitely messy and random act of war?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2005 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, that was me at 11:24pm.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 26, 2005 11:33 PM | Report abuse

JAG: here are some nice slogans...

"Make love, not war"

"Love thy neighbor as thyself"

"An eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind"

"Bush lied, 2000 soldiers died"

Posted by: ot | October 27, 2005 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget "The War to End All Wars"

Posted by: TBG | October 27, 2005 7:02 AM | Report abuse

The problem I have with supporters of the death penalty is that politically, a lot of them all are against the right to choose (I was going to say against abortion, but that phrase is a little inane). And many of those pro-life people take that side because of religion. It always struck me as a little odd that they can reconcile the death penalty with their Christian beliefs.

Pragmatically, I think that the risk of executing an innocent person is too great. Nothing's fool-proof.

Posted by: jw | October 27, 2005 8:17 AM | Report abuse

MT.GAL wrote:

What NONE of you understand, is the financial situation of 80% of the people living in the little girl's area. I am from the same county, and let me tell you, there are a lot of people who still do not have running water in their homes...do not have phone lines. They fill up tons of buckets and jugs at the natural running springs, ....

you can get on I-68...just before the WV border, and check it out if you don't believe me.
Posted by: mt.gal | Oct 26, 2005 5:55:08 PM

... MT.GAL??? Comment number 3 or 4 of this blog has my comment what's this NONE of you????

There are still a surprising number of Americans that depend on the land and its animals for significant portions of their diet.

......

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | Oct 25, 2005 9:54:32 AM

My I suggest that you consider the phrase, Few of you, but keep posting. I totally agree with your point and share your passion that we are all part of this country and we shouldn't forget this when we discuss ways to balance the budget.

I personally think that we are looking at a national disaster if we continue to think that we must protect the income of those people making 100K plus per year and simultaneously cut services and benefits to the less wealthy.

mt.gal, please keep posting. I think Joel should take a trip out to your area and look into those freezers that have to carry the family through the winter.

Your insight is very important. As I mentioned in my post right after this thread was posted is that what we are talking about is the Post's take on the story and also how the majority of the WaPo Readers see things. This is not necessarily the case once you drive 75 miles towards Western Maryland.

mt.gal what gets me is how little time has passed since so many of America lived on small family farms. We harvested our own food; we made our clothes; we took care of our neighbors and worked as a team. We had to.

When we all left the farms to work in the towns and cities, we did more than just CHANGE JOBS. We lost many of the skills and habits that I would contend comprised the strength of America.

For one, we all knew what it took to run a business. We became a well paid employee nation. For decades, we depended on "the man" to watch out for us. Now, this is changing and we are freaking out. We are turning on our neighbors and blaming this group or that group.

IN FACT, this little girl from the story is learning how to fend for herself. She is probably learning how to do this safely AND as one other poster said yesterday, she is probably learning more about nature than those of us in DC who, in a good year, may send a check to a foundation to support the natural habitat.

Please forgive the length. mt.gal made a great point, but mt.gal please don't lump me in on this one.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2005 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh, | in the previous post was Dolphin Michael.... I guess I go into the 4th quarter of this kit carrying 3 fouls. If I am careful, I might make it to the next one without fouling out.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 27, 2005 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I think it was Steve Martin who suggested a way to fight overpopulation: "Capital punishment for parking violations".

On a more serious note, I am not opposed to capital punishment. However, it is in place as the ultimate deterrent to crime. Does anyone believe that it actually deters anything. If I am in a state of mind to commit such an act, I cannot imagine stopping to think about an electric chair. I probably would think that to be the easy way out.

Joel, please put out something to get us back on track!!!

Posted by: esskay | October 27, 2005 8:39 AM | Report abuse

jw, I'm an atheist. No higher power, no afterlife, this life is it. Refusal to believe in a god does not, however, prevent me from adhering to an ideal of morality and wishing to live in a moral society. As far as abortion goes, when I become pregnant, I will then begin to tell women what to do about unwanted pregnancies. Until then, they get to choose as far as I'm concerned. As far as executing the innocent, yes it is a risk. We live in a fallible human society. Every institution, governmental, religious, private, or otherwise, makes errors. Every human being makes errors. Did the Allies firebomb Dresden and Tokyo in WWII because they thought that all the inhabitants deserved to die? Did Truman send the Enola Gay to Japan because he thought that the civilian population of Hiroshima was responsible for hundreds of thousands of casualties all over Asia and the Pacific? Every decision is fraught with the possibility of error. Should we then stop making decisions which might turn out to be wrong? Just the ones which might prove fatal to the innocent? Or should we constantly strive to perfect those institutions to reduce the level of error as much as possible? I opt for the latter.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 27, 2005 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Unless JA gets something going, I'm going to do a lot more work than I planned on today.

Posted by: LB | October 27, 2005 9:00 AM | Report abuse

K-guy-- I agree with you that someone can be a moral person, and also be an athiest or agnostic. But there's a certain group of people (and I'm thinking of one in particular) who claim that Jesus Christ is their "personal savior," but that the death penalty is ok. They must have skipped that day in Sunday school.

As for capital punishment, I'm sure I would feel differently if personally attached to the victim, but I don't see a difference between locking someone up for the rest of their life, and putting them to death. And if someone's locked up for life, you can at least release them when it turns out that they were innocent after all, rather than just saying, "Oops!"


**************NEWS ALERT**************

Harriet Miers has withdrawn from consideration for the Supreme Court.

***************************************

Posted by: jw | October 27, 2005 9:10 AM | Report abuse

jw
I saw a news piece of Richard Speck in prison and he had managed somehow to receive injections that gave him boobs, he was smoking dope with his punk and was having a good ol time. Life in prison was a party for him. After killing 8 nurses, he should have fried.

Posted by: LB | October 27, 2005 9:17 AM | Report abuse

jw, you beat me to it.

"Paging Mr. Gonzales, paging Mr. Gonzales.

Your courtesy car is waiting to take you for your robe fitting.

Paging Mr. Gonzales."

I think that this (Miers being shot down) is part of Rove's Master plan, and I said so before. Well, so have a lot of other people.

On the other hand, tomorrow is another day for Karl, GW and the rest of the Spiders from Mars currently crashing at 1600 Penn Ave.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 27, 2005 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey, kurosawaguy:

I'm going to let go of the death penalty thread. I think we've each made our case and it's time to let the people decide. I haven't convinced you to change your mind, and you haven't convinced me to change my mind. If we go on from here, it's just ranting.

Posted by: Tim | October 27, 2005 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I thought around here we rant until we fall on the ground foaming at the mouth with our arms flailing until we catch our breath then we get up and rant some more.

Posted by: LB | October 27, 2005 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Murders in big cities are not news. Children hunting bear is not news in rural Red America.

Posted by: JB | October 27, 2005 12:04 PM | Report abuse

For the best uncensored news site go to: http://takingaim.info/shows/audio.html

Posted by: Che | October 29, 2005 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Concering the eight year old who "supposly shot a bear"... Ok for one a gun that big would of knocked this kid on her rear end!! whos with me on that one? I mean come on an eight year old in the woods that early in the morning? What parents in their right mind is going to let an 8 y/o in the woods and miss school? HELLO?? STUPID!!! What did her note say? Please excuse her for she shot a bear??? lol.. Personally I think this is a scam to see if they can get money from it or something. Lets see if the next person to check in a deer or a bear gets this much publicity. An eight year old i don't BELIEVE IT!!!!!! If they are going to lie make a better story than pushing it off on your eight year old daughter.

Posted by: never u mind my name | October 30, 2005 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Was it the Papa Bear, the Mama Bear or the Baby Bear? My grandchildren need to know.

Posted by: nocervello | November 1, 2005 10:13 AM | Report abuse

kurosawaguy:
You mean that it is OK to execute innocent people as long as it is done with good intentions, and provided that we promise to say OOPS afterwards? Your litany of historical events is impressive but it has no bearing on the price of tea in China.

Posted by: nocervello | November 1, 2005 11:35 AM | Report abuse


For the best uncensored news site go to: http://takingaim.info/shows/audio.html
of www.onlinejournal.com

Posted by: Che | November 1, 2005 12:04 PM | Report abuse

In order to increase their chances in the hunting permit lottery, some folks enter their entire families. My cousin delights in telling the story or the year that her name was pulled in the elk lottery and she, at the age of twelve, was treated to the special torture of getting out of bed before dawn to go sit in a western Montana snowdrift with her dad and several uncles, so that "she" could hunt elk. They took care to all be carrying the same caliber rifles, even though she was the only one who technically had a permit. But I'm not saying that 8-year-old didn't shoot that bear all by herself.

Posted by: mistersmartyhoohahpants | November 1, 2005 3:51 PM | Report abuse

What does this article have to do with the death penalty?? This commentary got a bit off track, and I'm a latecomer to the section, but for those anti-gun, anti-hunter city-dwellers, this child should be hired by the Washington Post for her command of the English language. Imagine YOUR 8-year old child being this descriptive . . .

"It got a bit brighter as the sun glowed sullenly through a thick blanket of clouds, she said."

Kudos to her family and school system for teaching her to use adjectives and verbal descriptive language this well - raised in a society you clowns consider uncivilized.

While your honor student uses the word "like" twice in every spoken sentence, and have no clue what sullen means, this child put meat on the table for her family.

I can hear your lovely daughter now . . . "Like it was cold and rainy LOL and like I saw something about a mile away and daddy said shoot, so I like closed my eyes and pulled the trigger.."

Whether you chose to believe it or not, hunters are the ambassadors of the forests. Without natural predators, we know when animal populations are getting out of control. Feel-good State controls, such as managed hunts on public land do nothing when the bulk of road kills occur adjacent to private property.

When you hit a deer or and other large mammals with your car, it's because you're driving in what WAS their home before you moved in. If you feel guilty about what we did to the American Indians, there's not much of a difference.

If you eat food, whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore, thank a farmer and look at the big picture before you ramble mindlessly.

Posted by: JJL | November 6, 2005 11:21 PM | Report abuse

To Never U Mind My Name, my 9 year old son is a better shot than I am using the 20 guage. He doesn't hunt, and we don't live on a farm. I assume you live on less than a quarter acre. . . .
I would be more than happy to take him out of school for an educational day in the field to show him the natural habitat of Maryland, the animals that run the woods, their signs, how human development has destroyed their habitat, etc.

It's much better than taking them to the zoo to show them our captive non-indigenous pandas, leopards, giraffes, and how pretty they are. Or how a Rembrandt differs from an Andy Warhole at an art museum, or sending him in late because the Redskins went into overtime on Monday Night football.

And yes - Monday after Thanksgiving was a state holiday in Pennsylvania. It was a bonding tradition with our fathers - similar to Christmas and Thanksgiving. It was probably the only day of the year we got to truly appreciate the environment. We didn't go out to kill animals . . . we THOROUGHLY enjoyed nature for 10 hours - something a field trip could never provide. A humane kill was justification for our venture.

Note: There are a guesstimated 5% of hunters that are jerks. They DO NOT represent the ambassadors of the woods.

When was the last time you sat in the woods and ENJOYED nature silently from sun-up to sun-down? Beats the heck out of reading Shakespear in a classroom. Actually, I've sat in the woods on many occasions with my book and my gun and read Tolstoy, Tolkien other authors.

I cannot appreciate the lifestyle of the consumers - especially if they want to will their lifestyle and attitudes on us . . .

Posted by: JJL | November 7, 2005 12:19 AM | Report abuse

test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test

Posted by: test | July 22, 2006 4:38 AM | Report abuse

oh a little girl hunt? uh how ?

Posted by: emma | September 3, 2006 10:51 PM | Report abuse

oh a little girl hunt? uh how ?

Posted by: emma | September 3, 2006 10:51 PM | Report abuse

oh a little girl go hunting? did her mom know? did her dad know ? a gun? oh uh .................................? MEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: emma | September 3, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

oh a little girl go hunting? did her mom know? did her dad know ? a gun? oh uh .................................? MEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: emma | September 3, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

?????????????????????? a girl ? shooting a bear
from emmma

Posted by: emma | September 4, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

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