How Did I Miss That? Corgi Orgy; North Pole Walk

Steve Russell
4/17/15

Cute dogs. The content here doesn't matter if nobody clicks it in the first place. Animals increase readership, but I just comment on the news and sometimes there are no good animal stories.

This looked like one of those weeks, when my wife found an animal story covered by too many media outlets to figure out which came first, but CNN ran some great pictures. In 2012, some Californiacs called for an annual “Corgi Beach Day,” drawing all of a dozen dogs that year. This year, there were over 500 of the breed that cannot help it is favored by the UK’s Queen Liz frolicking in Huntington Beach.

I can’t look at a Corgi without thinking of Copper Rain, a companion fit for a king. She was the brain of a four-dog pack formed when my wife and I got married and neither of us considered giving up our two dogs. I’m also reminded of the kerfuffle over the Pope’s comments to a child who asked whether dogs go to heaven.

This column was inspired by my favorite Cherokee, Will Rogers, who often expressed my thoughts better than I can. Rogers said “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

What does the venerable National Geographic have in common with the home of white supremacy on the World Wide Web, Stormfront? Not much, except in this year of Stormfront’s 20th anniversary, National Geographic celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Japanese language edition with a retelling on the front page of a story that was originally front-paged on the English edition, explorer Naomi Uemura’s attempt to be the first human to get to the North Pole by himself. 

Ira Block, the National Geographic photographer, taught Uemura to take selfies with the technology of the day. Uemura reached the North Pole on April 29, 1978, and Block flew in the next day to get pictures and collect the explorer’s journal. “How about,” my cousin Ray Sixkiller asked, “we ship Stormfront to the North Pole and have a nice cup of hot chocolate with the Japanese guy?” I guess it wasn’t shocking to hear my full blood cousin is not impressed by white supremacy.

The Wall Street Journal claimed “the Pentagon” has been massaging its largest bunker-buster bomb just in case the nuclear deal with Iran falls apart. The claim is that the bomb “could destroy or disable Iran’s most heavily fortified nuclear facilities.” It was hard to see any reason for that leak except to push the myth that we could destroy Iran’s nuclear program cleanly. Cousin Ray coined a descriptive term, “bomboozle.”

The New York Times reported about the arraignment of Texas-born alleged Al Qaeda operative Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh in a New York federal court, using his capture in Pakistan to argue that targeted drone strikes are un-necessary because we really can catch these guys. Cousin Ray remembered President Obama’s campaign promise that he could walk and chew gum at the same time. “If we put them on the kill list, do we quit looking for them?”

Slate published a piece by Dr. David Gorski about UK Prince Chuck’s visit to the U.S., referring to the guy who has been waiting to become king all his life as “Prince of Pseudoscience.” Gorski documents how Chuck has been pushing dubious alternative medicines every bit as dodgy as the stuff that moved former GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia from being vetted as Mitt Romney’s running mate in the last election to being fitted with horizontal stripes after a corruption conviction.

Much of Chuck’s fascination involves homeopathic remedies, which are unproven substances diluted at least 30C, meaning 100 fold times 30, a degree of dilution that makes it unlikely even one molecule of the original “medicine” would be ingested. In some cases, that dilution to nothing is a good thing.

Gorski cites, “Oscillococcinum, sold…as a flu remedy, consists of a 200C dilution of Anas Barbariae Hepatis and Cordis Extractum, which are extracts from the liver and heart, respectively, of a Muscovy duck.” Cousin Ray pointed out that hyper-diluted “medicine” from duck innards “ought to be a tip-off that it’s quackery.”

Prince Chuck’s use of his royal title to promote quackery provoked an article in the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology Journal titled, “Homeopathy: Holmes, Hogwarts, and the Prince of Wales.” Cousin Ray opined that it could be worse. “If Liz had kicked the bucket, this wingnut would have been King Charles.”

Speaking of wingnuts, the Kansas legislature has passed, and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign a law that bans the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in, among other places, lingerie stores and cruise ships. Kansas TANF cards do not work outside Kansas. “I can understand the government wanting to control where poor people buy their underwear,” Cousin Ray allowed, “but why are they trying to run Carnival and Royal Norwegian out of those luxury cruises between Potawatomi and Sac and Fox?”

CNN reported that presidential wannabe Chris Christie “declined in March to donate a necktie to the Grafton County Republican Committee charity tie auction. It's a quirky tradition and perhaps only a small slight on Christie's part, but the snub did not go unnoticed.” Cousin Ray wondered what Gov. Christie pays for his ties if he can’t afford to donate one to charity?

Turns out, the proceeds don’t exactly go to charity. They go to the Republican Party. This year, they’ve put the merchandise up on EBay. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio donated the most interesting tie, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana went with gay pride, and Carly Fiorina donated the most interesting scarf from a female candidate. That would be because she’s the only female candidate.

The New York Times recalled that George W. Bush got 26 percent of the nonwhite vote and Mitt Romney got only 17 percent. They need to do better than that or pass more efficient laws to suppress the minority vote.

Enter Marco Rubio. The establishment wants Jeb Bush, but is OK with Rubio. The Tea Party wants Ted Cruz, but is OK with Rubio. Scott Walker seems to be leading right now, but Rubio is everybody’s second choice and also, rumor has it, Scott Walker’s choice for the second spot on the GOP ticket.

Ever wonder what the Republicans are always so angry about? This is from an advertisement sent to GOP Insider Brief subscribers:

Just a few months ago, governments and central banks from all over the world met at the G20 Summit to decide the fate of your savings account should the worlds [sic] banks crash. Their decision? Your savings account is up for grabs.

What’s worse is they may have their eye on your retirement accounts next. That’s right, every dollar that you’ve worked so hard the past 30, 40 or 50 years to save, could be taken from you. It would be completely legal, and there would be nothing you could do about it.

I admitted to my Republican Cousin Ray that I would be angry about that myself, but I don’t understand how I missed that G20 meeting. I try to follow financial news. Ray grimaced and gave me the digitus impudicus.

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