Livingston Enterprise via AP

How Did I Miss That? Yellowstone Fish Kill; Political Parasites

Steve Russell

The Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department has closed 183 miles of the Yellowstone River because of a fish kill where they lost count at over 4,000 and expect it to be in the tens of thousands. The culprit appears to be Tetracalsula bryosalmonae, a microscopic parasite that causes kidney disease.

High temperatures and slow water aggravate the parasite. The object of taking humans out of the mix is to remove stressors from infected fish. It is not thought to be a danger to humans but an FWP veterinarian cautioned people to keep pets away from the dead fish.

My cousin Ray Sixkiller wondered why they didn’t just declare fishing closed, but then he had to admit that tourists taking pictures would probably stress the fish…they do stress Indians. So far, the fish kill has not extended into Yellowstone National Park.

In a less deadly heat issue, Fernanda Santos published a “news” item in The New York Times titled “The Curse of a Phoenix Weatherman.” English is not the problem, since Spanish would not help.

In Spanish, you might say food is hot with picante (spicy) or hot because the fry bread just came out of the grease with caliente (temperature). The Phoenix problem is all temperature.

The cursed Phoenix weatherman is Matt Pace, who is not merely a show horse. He has a Ph.D. in meteorology and his workhorse job was making the fly/no fly call at Sky Harbor Airport. Now his job as a TV weatherman is to find some way to say “it’s hot today” just about every day.

My son Paul, who did two tours in Iraq, where a two-digit temperature is a cold snap, was LOL. I said Iraq would have been good training. “Yeah,” Paul commented, “except GIs didn’t describe the heat in Iraq any way you could use on TV.”

Parts of this planet are going to be too hot for humans, but there is no word yet on how long before we should leave the solar system.

CNN reported that Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has gotten a strong nibble from HD 164595, a star 94 light years from us. Scientists observed that if it is an artificial signal, then the strength of it means it has to be a civilization more technologically advanced than our own, at least Type II on the Kardashev Scale.

Cousin Ray said there’s no truth to the rumor that when the message was decoded, it was a demand that we build a wall between Earth and HD 164595 and Earth pay for it.

The Washington Post reported that Martin Blackwell, 48, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after a jury took about 90 minutes to convict him of pouring boiling water over a gay couple as they slept. One of the victims spent several weeks in a medically induced coma and needed skin grafts on 60 percent of his body; the less injured victim must wear compression garments 23 hours a day for two years.

Blackwell was not charged with a hate crime because the assault took place in Georgia, one of five states with no hate crimes law.

The Donald Trump has now made a foreign jaunt to prove he can do this diplomacy thing. Everyone was surprised when the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, invited Trump to visit and more surprised when Trump accepted. Trump started demonizing Mexico and Mexicans in his announcement speech and it was downhill from there.

Why the invitation from a Mexican president who is polling 23 percent among Mexicans to a man who is polling two percent is unclear. By comparison, Kim Jong Un—who has threatened to cast this nation into “a lake of fire,” polls nine percent in the U.S.

And then it gets curiouser when the two men meeting privately---the Mexican leader and the U.S. wannabe--- disagree about what was said.

Cousin Ray wanted to know if I’m sure Trump is so unpopular? “I heard Trump is the most popular piñata in Mexico,” he snickered.

I didn’t tell him that Rep. Linda Sanchez had tweeted “You cannot get your hands on a Trump piñata because they are sold out.”

Dolly Parton, 70, is on tour to promote her new album, Pure and Simple. Pressed by a CNN interviewer to express an opinion on the election, Parton said of Sec. Clinton and Mr. Trump, “I think they’re both nuts!”

The Hill reported that Hillary Clinton just polled the highest unfavorability ratings in the 25 years she has been a public figure. Fifty-six percent of adults in the U.S. view her unfavorably. So how can she run for President? Sixty-three percent view Donald Trump unfavorably.

During the speech after he returned from Mexico, Trump was complaining that Clinton does not wish to deport the Dreamers---persons brought here as small children who have stayed out of trouble. The complaint drew a shout from the audience, “String her up!”

My Republican Cousin Ray mumbled something about wishing he had bid on the tar and feather concession for the Trump campaign.

Trump has been getting in trouble with the Twitter machine again. He tweeted about Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade losing his cousin to a random gunshot: “Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”

No condolences. He misspelled Dwyane Wade’s name. I can’t imagine why blacks aren’t getting in line for made in China “Make America Great Again!” gimme hats.

The opinion among the talking heads is that he is not really making a run at the black vote. Rather, he’s trying to stop bleeding college educated white people, who do not wish to be associated with racism.

Fortune reported that the Trump hats claimed to be made in USA did not check out according to a fiber analysis that showed the cloth from the Trump hats did not come from the U.S. supplier claimed. There’s no evidence where it did come from, but the market is flooded with knock-off “Make America Great Again!” hats that are made in China.

An article in the Tulsa World about the new Oklahoma license plates drew lots of comments, most of them negative. The design—light blue with a white outline of the state bird, the scissortail flycatcher—was announced as a fait accompli, with no public input.

Oklahoma has had poor luck with public reaction to license plates. There was the meme that trashed “Oklahoma is OK” on the ground that just OK was nothing to brag about. Then there was the plate that reproduced a statue called by the sculptor “Sacred Rain Arrow,” that got the state sued on the claim it was an attempt to establish “Native American religion,” a claim that went nowhere. Many years ago, I wrote a bitter poem about “Indian America” on the tags contrasting the slogan to the actual treatment of real Indians.

Arizona is one of those states where first responders are used to a “snake call,” but CNN reported that firefighters in Scottsdale got a break from their usual rattlesnake wrangling. On July 30, they caught a 10-foot albino python. On August 23, in the same area, they hauled in a 9-foot albino python. The trifecta came August 29, with a 7-foot red tail boa constrictor.

It turned out that all three reptiles escaped from the same owner, a technician in a dental lab who had placed the snakes in their new enclosure at his job before the enclosure was properly secure. He will get his slithery friends back, but they are not going to work with him now that the other tenants in the building found out what was going on.

The Cherokee Phoenix reported that a Cherokee citizen, Wagoner County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Standifird, saved a man’s life last week. Approaching a vehicle he found parked with the back hatch open; he saw a person’s leg hanging out.

The individual inside was bleeding from a head wound and not breathing very well. Standifird called for EMS but before aid arrived, the man—later identified as Robert Potter, Jr. stopped breathing. Standifird administered CPR and got him breathing again but blood was obstructing his airway. Potter stopped breathing again but the deputy was able to turn his head and get enough blood out of the way that another CPR attempt got him breathing a second time.

He was breathing on his own when EMS arrived and at last report was in a Muskogee hospital in intensive care but expected to recover. Neither the Phoenix nor another report in the Tulsa World gave a clue how Potter was so severely injured in the first place.

The lawyer in me knee jerks that the Cherokee deputy may have made the difference between a murder charge and an aggravated assault charge if they find the perpetrator.

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