Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pelosi

C’mon Nancy, be reasonable. Nancy Pelosi has got her dander up (so to speak) about Tibet and the way China is violating Tibertan civil rights and such. Perhaps that is very commendable, but what about civil rights here at home? Bush/Cheney are known war criminals. Virtually the entire world knows this. It is quite clear-cut, not doubts about it. But Pelosi has gone out of her way to protect these war criminals. Her famous line, “impeachment is off the table,” is well known. One might well ask, isn’t it just a teeny weeny bit hypocritical to be so worked up about a dispute between China and Tiber over civil rights while actively protecting such violations here in the U.S.? It might also be pointed out that had Pelosi and Congress acted two or three years ago (or even more), thousands of lives would have been saved and millions of people would be by now far better off than they are. Not only has she refused to consider impeachment (which, I believe to be a violation of her Constitutional duty), she has also been complicit in funding and refunding this illegal “war.” Congress could have, and should have, cut off funding long ago which would have ended this miserable and unnecessary business. Our troops could have been home and our much depleted military could have been revitalized instead of barely hanging on and doing repeated tours of duty (now having to fight alongside 10% of troops that shouldn’t even be in the military). Perhaps she believes that by fussing about Tibet she can draw our attention away from her disgraceful performance as leader of the House. Bush/Cheney are war criminals. Pelosi has been defending them. What does that make her?

Billions of dollars have been wasted in Iraq. Even assuming that the billions that have actually been spent for tanks and planes and such, have not (in some sense) been wasted, billions more have truly been wasted. No one even knows where they have gone. Most of those billions can probably be traced to war profiteers of one kind or another, wasted in that way. But there are some that literally are unaccounted for. Indeed, the Pentagon loses a billion or so this way every year. It just seems to vanish. With that in mind, reflect for a moment on the fact that at this time 44 cents of every tax dollar is going for defense. Well, you say, defense is important. Well, yes I agree, it is important. But it is also important to know what it is we are defending ourselves from. While I am hardly an expert on national defense or the military I simply do not believe we need to spend almost half of all our tax dollars defending ourselves from “terrorists,” probably armed with box cutters or screwdrivers, or perhaps even a small explosive device in the heel of someone’s shoe. In fact, it is obvious that all that money is being spent on armaments and equipment to defend us from threats that don’t even exist. No nation on earth is preparing to attack the U.S. with planes, submarines, battleships, or nuclear bombs. None. And as it is highly unlikely we are about to be attacked from outer space by squadrons of flying saucers, perhaps we should reconsider how we are spending our money. Of course with unemployment rising and people losing their homes and the price of oil and food escalating to the speed of sound, if not light, soon no one will be able to pay taxes. So hurrah! The problem will solve itself. The free market has a way of making things right, right? Right.

Another feature of American culture I find absurd has to do with venison and wildfowl, especially Canadian geese. You very rarely can find a restaurant that serves venison in the United States, and if you do the venison probably comes from New Zealand. Yes, in New Zealand deer are raised commercially and pretty commonly served in restaurants. Even in Germany and Austria and other countries you can often find venison on the menu. You can also find wild boar. Why can we not have venison in our markets here, along with pork, beef and lamb (and wild boar)? You can once in a great while in specialty restaurants but they are few. Surely this is not because we have a shortage of deer. Indeed, thousands of deer are killed on the highways every year, many thousands. In some parts of the country, like here in North Idaho, there are so many deer they are basically just pests. It’s true that people hunt them both for food and sport, but this doesn’t seem to keep their numbers down. Why shouldn’t people be able to raise them for food? We do, of course, have a few Elk farms but, interestingly enough, you hardly ever see Elk on a menu either. Part of this, I guess, has to do with their designation as game animals. So you can hunt and kill them for sport or food but you cannot sell the meat (even though road kill is often picked up and donated to various restoriums and such, and I’m sure it is even illegally sold at times). As there is such a surplus of deer it seems absurd that we cannot enjoy venison. A similar situation arises in the case of Canadian geese. There are so many of these delicious creatures that they have become a genuine nuisance in many areas. People have tried all kinds of ingenious ways to get rid of them but they continue to thrive and foul parks and gold courses and lawns and whatever. They are very different from domestic geese in that they have virtually no fat and thus are much better for you than the domestic variety. Why should they not be raised commercially? Of course if you were to allow people to hunt and kill deer and geese for sale it would have to be regulated. People, being what they are, would otherwise quickly bring them to extinction like we did with the Passenger Pigeon and almost succeeded in doing to the bison (we’re doing a pretty good job of extinguishing the salmon, too). Anyway, we have these creatures in abundance, even in superabundance in some areas, so why not. I chalk it up to just another of the absurdities of American culture. By the way, we have succeeded beyond expectations in bringing back wolves. People here can’t wait to get out and kill them. We don’t eat them, we just kill them after we bring them back from the edge of extinction. This is considered “sport.” I guess the sport consists of find one to shoot. If you find one it’s like shooting a dog. Oh well, I guess hunters who get their jollies by shooting captured Elk and other “game,” in game farms, probably do the same by shooting dogs. Hey, now that I think about it, how come we don’t raise dogs for food? Some people do. Go figure. We do raise some horses for food. We don’t eat them, we just ship the meat to France. Oh well…

LKBIQ:
“The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.”
Frank Zappa

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