Friday, February 26, 2010

Quick Thoughts on a February Friday

President Barack Obama has concluded after the Health Care Summit yesterday, accord between Democrats and Republicans may not be possible. In other news, the sun will rise in the east, Lassie was a collie, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon and Michael Jackson is dead.

Paulding County, Georgia lost its State House representative, Glenn Richardson, to a familiar political demon last year -- the extramarital affair. On Tuesday voters chose his replacement, Daniel Stout, a 29-year old banker from Dallas, someone who boldly touts himself as a "Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican," and a man who has had to overcome the fact that had an extra-marital affair with his then-mother-in-law 10 years ago. Stout had an affair with his first wife's mother while his first wife was pregnant with their daughter. Stout and his first wife subsequently divorced. Stout later claimed that "the relationship was stopped short of sex." Seriously? This guy's a bigger scumbag than the guy he's replacing. But hey, at least he's not {gasp} gay!

Last night, the Canadian women's hockey team accepted their gold medals and waved to the excited home crowd. And then the real celebration began. The players came back from the locker room after all the fans had left and staged a party on ice – swigging from bottles of champagne, drinking beer and smoking cigars. The IOC is going to investigate the "behavior." Give me a break. These kids just won the gold medal in their home country -- something that's never happened in hockey and they decided to celebrate. That whole role models argument (they're trying to use) is moot, because the fans had left. If not for the photographer, no one would've even known. Furthermore, no one was complaining about the Yankees champagne, beer and cigar celebration last November. Why do we sweat the small stuff when there's such bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

Bill O'Reilly appeared on "Good Morning America" Thursday with George Stephanopoulos and said, "Sarah Palin needs to go to college. Political college, world affairs college, and she is. She's hired a bunch of advisers and they're giving her a whole bunch of tracks to learn, because it is a sophisticated deal." OK, call me crazy, but at age 46 after already being a governor and after already running for Vice President (thisclose to the red button with old man McCain) she has just now decided she should hire 'tutors'? I still want proof she went to high school. I wonder if Canada would be ready for the influx of new Canadians if this wingnut ever got elected?

Speaking of the Wasilla Hillbilly, she will headline the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina this May. Will Saracuda arrive in a helicopter and kill some endangered wolves? Or maybe she will give a demonstration on how to field dress a moose, then cook a big batch of Sarah Moose Stew for the adoring crowd.

On a serious and sad note. On Wednesday, an Orca whale attacked and killed veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau in front of a horrified audience at the Orlando SeaWorld show "Believe". SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs confirmed the whale was Tilikum, one of three orcas blamed for killing a trainer who lost her balance and fell in the pool with them in 1991 at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia (which later closed). Tilikum was also involved in a 1999 death, when the body of a man who had sneaked by Orlando SeaWorld security was found draped over him. The man either jumped, fell or was pulled into the frigid water and died of hypothermia, though he was also bruised and scratched by Tilikum. Talk-radio callers, bloggers and animal activists said Tilikum should be released into the ocean or put to death like a dangerous dog. Brancheau's older sister, Diane Gross, said the trainer would not have wanted anything done to the whale. "She loved the whales like her children. She loved all of them," said Gross, of Schererville, Ind. "They all had personalities, good days and bad days." Chuck Tompkins, chief of animal training at SeaWorld parks, said that Tilikum would not survive in the wild because he has been captive for so long, and that destroying the animal is not an option either, because he is an important part of the breeding program at SeaWorld and a companion to the seven other whales there. I went to the "Believe" show in Seaworld a few years back and it was spectacular...there's no other way to describe it. This tragedy is a reminder that no matter how well these animals are trained, they're still wild animals. I guess my question is, why was Tilikum still being allowed to perform and be within close human contact? He obviously has an agressive nature. Apparently he's the biggest whale in captivity. That's fine, put him in a giant aquarium where he can be admired from a distance. Here's some pictures I took at the show on June 6, 2006 (I don't know if any are of him, but Orca's are quite impressive):

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