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May 8, 2019

Are These People Joking?

Patricia A. Kelly

I once had the good fortune to visit Australia. One of our destinations was the Outback, with its’ iconic rock formations Uluru and Kata Tjuta, or, in English, Ayers Rock and The Olgas.


Ownership of these areas was being returned to the Aborigines, to whom they are sacred spaces. Long story short, thoughtless visitors found it great fun to walk up the side of Uluru. Some fall off and die, but most make it in a steady, single line file.


The aborigines call these climbers “the ants,” and that is exactly what they look like from a short distance away.


When I look at current news, and at how people behave these days, not to mention in the past, I am so reminded of my visit to Uluru, and of those “ants” who “filed” instead of admiring sacred Aboriginal cave paintings along the rock walls.


We just can’t seem to think logically, or use the smidgen of commonsense we must have been born with.


Take the environment, for example. Looking at climate charts dating back to the beginning of earth’s measured existence, temperatures have ebbed and flowed. It seems now that temperatures on earth have been rising, and it seems we are now experiencing increased storms, droughts, drenching rains, and weird snowfalls. Although they follow a recurring pattern, these may have been impacted by man’s persistent misuse of our home planet.


The obvious, so missing from discourse on this subject, is that the earth has limited resources, and we should take care of it.


Like the “ants,” we can’t stop following in the line of tinkering with nature, from Bovine Growth Hormone (Just think of the cows dragging those huge udders around (sort of like a poor woman being a double E), to spray on sun protection and those plastic “baby” bottles of water we all carry around, not to mention enough paper towels to sink a ship, so we don’t actually have to bother adding a couple of rags to our already going-to-be-washed laundry.


Some of this tinkering is good, of course, but, certainly as often as not, the consequences are a complete surprise. That’s because we are idiots. Bovine Growth Hormone and increased premature female puberty? I wonder….


Clearly, we should care for our natural resources, air and water, just as we care for the maintenance of our possessions. One can prepare a better meal in 10 or 15 minutes than the fast, processed ones we buy packed in plastic, with just a little planning.


And how about immigration? Duh…Countries have borders. Legal immigration laws should be fair and clear. They’re not. Does compassion for the suffering require us to open our borders? Could we rather “encourage” countries to treat their citizens better with judicious use of foreign aid, sanctions, or increased public awareness of abuse? Could Congress initiate fair, legal immigration reform using information already available?


Last, but not least, little “ants” running amok in our government, media and celebrity world, what the hell has happened to you? Are you making things up on purpose? Or are you just starting your days with “the Kool-Aid?”


Let’s take formerly venerated public servants and drag them through the muck when they take a stand different from ours. Let’s take word four out of sentence three in paragraph two to make it look like so-and-so is lying, and let’s lie ourselves in the process. Let’s believe and promulgate any story, verified or not, that suits our narrative. Let’s blame President Donald Trump for everything from a shooting by a Trump-hating maniac, to climate change, to separating children from their parents because of a law that requires it, without changing the law.


Do you think the misrepresentation of everything from scientific findings on global warming, to the alleged self-serving motives of the president, who donates his salary to charity every year, is helping anyone? Do you think “ordinary” people buy these stories and trust you, or want to vote for you or your programs? Do you think the world will end in 12 years, just as the world’s computer systems were going to implode at the turn of this century? Then you have really lost your minds.


Why not try, for once, to get some real work done. Let’s minimize our waste and resource use. Let’s – most of all minimize our B.S., which is much more dangerous and divisive, by a long shot, than cow flatulence.




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