A Tweet a Day, Keeps Rationality Away

In the latest tirade from the Commander-in-Chief, the President whined,

Why was the FBI’s sick loser, Peter Strzok, working on the totally discredited Mueller team of 13 Angry & Conflicted Democrats, when Strzok was giving Crooked Hillary a free pass yet telling his lover, lawyer Lisa Page, that “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming President? Witch Hunt!”

Aside from the blatant inaccuracy and disingenuous nature of these words (let alone the second-grade grammar), there is something more troubling on display. In the words of William Shakespeare, a man who knew the power of words, there is this,

“There is no darkness, but ignorance.”

words-have-powerThe mark of a person is not made by their words but by their deeds. Yet, words offer a window on a person’s character. How one expresses yourself—the tone and timbre of the language—is an elementary part of one’s approach to life.

With emotional and intellectual maturity comes the wisdom to understand the necessity of choosing words carefully. A rational and respectful person learns to make a point without resorting to infantile name-calling.

It would seem with the president we see evidence of intellectual dystrophy and emotional immaturity. Not generally a concern for most who have little international influence, frightening in the case of a man with sole determinant authority to launch nuclear weapons.

History is the arbiter of success and failure. When history reviews the Trump Presidency, the self-serving blaming of others for all things he’s failed to accomplish or been taken to task for will rise to the surface as one of his most glaring defects.

To stand idly by, wringing his hands in-between writing sophomoric tweets, as children are torn from their families is the epitome of disingenuous cowardice. If he seeks to be perceived as even the least bit Presidential, issue a Presidential Executive order halting the policy of separating the children and see who challenges the order in court.

I can guarantee it will not be a Democratic challenge.

The one truth is nothing is permanent. This too will pass.

The President, for all his braggadocio, claims of success, and superlative laced tales of his performance, along with his constant complaining about everybody not on Team Trump, would do well to heed the admonition of Ozymandius by Shelley.

Ozymandius

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

 

Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

An Omnivore’s Dishonesty

I am not a hunter. I often say I have no opposition to those who hunt, but it is unenthusiastic support. There is some resistance or insincerity to it.

Now, after reading several interesting books, I have to wonder if those who hunt are more supportive of a humane treatment of animals than those who try to stop them.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind describe the world of food production in all its cruel and mechanistic gory. From dairy cows restrained in pens, forced into continuous pregnancy to increase milk production, to conveyor belt chicks being sorted by gender and physical quality (the males and malformed are destroyed to maximize egg output) the food most of us consume comes from concentration camp levels of horror.

No one would argue that animals experience joy and sadness.  Anyone who has ever had a dog knows this to be true. The animals we have bred or, more accurately, genetically modified, are enslaved in a world devoid of any joy or happiness. They are the raw material of production to satisfy the needs of one race of beings, humans.

Now there are exceptions to this. The small family dairy or beef farms that care for their animals. Cage-free poultry farms that raise their birds in a more open environment. But the overwhelming amount of dairy and beef and pork and ham come from an Orwellian world of total control to maximize growth in the shortest amount of time with high yields.

Devoid of any opportunity to live.

A hunter pursues a creature born into its natural environment. It has the opportunity to live a life for which the species evolved. And, if it is ultimately harvested by the hunter, it is then used in a much more natural way than mechanized food concentration camps.

The end result may be the same. The creature is still dead.  But I can’t help but think there is something infinitely more natural about this.

I have to wonder how many of us who enjoy a good steak or ham or chicken dinner would be able to dispatch one of these animals, gut it, clean it, and then eat it.

My guess would be not many.

Perhaps we need to redefine what humane means. Change the sign to “Billions and Billions executed to satisfy your appetite.”

I do not have the answer.

The overwhelming demand for food at low cost is hard to ignore. But maybe, if we understood the cost to those creatures we consume by thinking about such things, we might realize that because something is affordable does not make it without some great cost. To ourselves and our fellow creatures.

Next time you feel revulsion about seeing a deer strapped to the roof of a car, think about this.  The only difference between you and that hunter is he or she had the courage to go out and face the creature, kill it, and bring it home to eat.

You hired mercenaries to do your dirty work, wrap it in plastic, and conceal it in the grocery bag in the trunk of your car.

How to Cook a Zebra

My wife and I are wandering around San Antonio, Texas visiting various sites and enjoying the warmer-than-New England weather.

We decided to take a ride to Fredericksburg to explore one of the numerous caverns in the Texas Hill country. On the way back, we passed one of the many large ranches that dot the area.

We spotted a herd of zebra grazing along the fence. We got excited by the prospect of a new experience.

Always on the lookout for things to do, we decided to research this “refuge” and add it to our sites to visit.

Such naiveté.

This is Texas. This was not a refuge, it was a guided exotic hunting ranch. One can plop down a large sum of money and SHOOT the zebras, or water buffalo, or gazelle, or pretty much any non-native exotic animal one can name.

As far I as I can tell, there is no human hunting ranch. But from the looks of society, it may be available soon.

I am not a hunter but I have a number of friends who are. They enjoy journeying into the woods to hunt Bambi and other native creatures. I do not have any desire to do this, but I also do not condemn those that do. The hunters I know use all of the meat from the creatures they kill. There is some sense of fairness in that.

But zebras?

The idea of importing animals for the sole purpose of killing them seems, well, barbaric. Yet, I wondered, is there a recipe for zebra? I turned to the all-knowing Google.

Turns out there is.

http://www.danslowbutchers.co.uk/recipes.htm

Exotic Meat Recipes found online.

  1. Cooking Kangaroo
  2. Cooking Ostrich
  3. Cooking Camel
  4. Cooking Zebra
  5. Cooking Wild Boar
  6. Cooking Wildebeest
  7. Cooking Buffalo/Bison
  8. Cooking Lion
  9. Cooking Crocodile
  10. Cooking Reindeer

Who knew?

In the brief time we drove by the zebras, they just stood there munching away on the grass. Doesn’t seem like much of a challenge to me. Hunting a zebra is as challenging as shooting a horse.

I also checked with Google on the risk of death from zebras. I didn’t find specific numbers of human fatalities but one has to assume there are at least a few. One thing was certain, there has never been one recorded Death by Zebra in Texas.

Ever.

Zebras have been known to kill lions. They do it because they do not wish to be eaten by the lion, not for the fun of lion killing.

In the wild, zebras run away from humans. Wise choice.

They have resisted efforts to be domesticated. Who can blame them?

The fact that some of us would pose proudly over a recently killed zebra says a lot about how far humanity is from deserving the title Homo Sapiens.