Saturday, January 08, 2005

From the BIG BAD BLUE State that’s Mostly RED

Look out North Dakota, this could happen to you.

I live in ILLINOIS, Democratic Governor, Two Democratic Senators, mostly Democratic House members (the obvious difference being Dennis Hastert).

At first blush you would think we are a midland Massachusetts. Paul Green, a political analyst in our area made a startling find. There is ONE county in the whole state who voted BLUE in the last election. COOK county. Cook County represents 40% of the state’s population. There are 94 other counties in Illinois.

They virtually all voted RED in spades in the last election. If Cook County had not voted, Illinois would have been overwhelmingly for Bush.

Here’s the rub. One county, one of 95 tilted the whole state. It still does. Cook County is why we have the government we have now. Don’t get me wrong. I like our governor who’s a democrat and I think Barak Obama is going to be OK. Durbin?? I’m not so sure.

I know, dirt don’t vote. But, something must be done to stop the overwhelming influence of the City States developing in this state, or in this country. That’s why the Electoral College is essential to equal representation. I only wish we had it in Illinois. Knowing the polls, I didn’t vote for Bush. Horrors. I voted the libertarian candidate (I don’t even know his or her name). I wanted to send a message since I knew my vote in this case didn’t count. I wanted Democrats and Republicans alike to know that the status quo isn’t right.

I would like to believe that my vote, my interests as a resident of a county other than Cook count too.

I don’t want a crumb. I want a vote.

This problem isn’t just in Illinois; North Dakota my home state suffers from the dominance of city-states. Dirt don’t vote there either. 25% of all legislators in Bismarck at this time are from Cass County.

Legislators from rural counties and even those not so rural must begin to exercise control over the rules imposed on them by city state power brokers. One size does NOT fit all.

Friday, January 07, 2005

They eat wild horses, don’t they??

I read an editorial in today’s Chicago Tribune regarding the overpopulation of wild horse herds in the west. The anguish has always been that if these horses are rounded up and sold to the highest bidder they will end up in France on a butchers hook. Poor Trigger.

I have a radical view that should not be considered radical except for those who don’t understand dominion. I won’t attempt to give the entire theological basis for this but Man was placed here to have dominion. Dominion means sometimes we eat other organisms as part of our dominion. Food chain. Some of those organisms are green leafy, some are kernel (Corn Flakes) and some say MOOO. We often patronize companies with golden arches that serve all three with a special sauce. They call it Big Mac. They could call it the dominion burger.

Here’s the radical part. I have lived and worked around the world in my lifetime. I have eaten lots of things which others might be squeamish about. My theology says, if it’s edible and there’s a place that wants them, let them eat them.

I’m a hunter. I’m not a killer. I only kill what I eat. I have known purists in this, if they killed a crow or a sparrow even by accident they eat it. To kill wantonly is wrong. I saw “Dances with Wolves” last Sunday on TV. The most disturbing and haunting scene is hundreds of dead buffalo stripped of their hides and left for the carrion feeders by money hunters. I despise that kind of waste. I also despise the waste that happens in animal shelters.

Last fall I was hunting with a Pastor from Grand Forks near McVille ND. Late in the day he downed a nice doe. I stood by and helped as he eviscerated the animal for transport to his vehicle. At one point he looked up and said “this is a holy thing”. I understood exactly what he meant. I remembered the scene in “The Gods must be Crazy” when the bushman converses with the dead antelope he has just killed. It is a holy moment as he apologizes for having to take his life and promises to use him well and thanks him.

Millions of deer roam the wooded areas of the US. In upstate New York and parts of Pennsylvania the population is so high (70 head per square mile) that authorities are beginning to consider holding landowners who post their land against hunting responsible for deer auto collisions and the damage that is being done to the under story of the forests by overgrazing. If something isn’t done those who post their land against the adequate harvest of the deer on their land will lose the right to post their land. We must harvest more deer nationwide.

In Illinois in some forest preserves the act of reducing the deer herds by ¾ is met by crying animal lovers to stop the reduction. And there is the rub. If it’s Deer, Lambs, Cute little ducks, Messy Canadian Geese I can get some agreement from even thinking people that there is a need to allow do a the bushman did, harvest them for the meat they provide and keep the population at a reasonable pre agreed level. It’s when we anthropomorphize Bambi, Trigger, Lassie or Garfield that we get into trouble. There isn’t much anthropomorphism for Black Angus cattle otherwise Burger King would have to go out of business.

Wait a minute, I heard you thinking. Lassie, Garfield? The other day I was hearing someone lament the fate of greyhounds turned out to pasture when their racing days were done. My first impression was to think Oriental. I worked there. Our predecessors the original Americans a hundred years ago if you were to come to their home for dinner they might say, “did down deep, puppy in the bottom”. The meow coming from the back room of an oriental food restaurant may well be dinner preparation. How is it worse to utilize the overpopulated unwanted animal as part of our food chain responsibility? I may not want Lassie on my dinner plate but some people do. Should I be their palate policeman and tell them what they should or shouldn’t eat? That’s what Peta does.

One last thing. I am against “Mercy Killing” of pets. My dog Skip died in my arms at 18 years old. Our cat the same. I know sometimes it is better but for who? Who are we putting out of their misery, us or them? I think some mercy killings are convenience not mercy. I worry about the slippery slope in all this too. Cats, Dogs, Grandma. If killing for convenience is ok…………

You will have to ponder the difference. My position is absolutely consistent in all this. There is no place for killing without reverence for life. I’ll probably get hate mail for this. Welcome to the club.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Lawyers, Maybe Shakespeare was right

You know the quote, “first kill all the lawyers”. Our world would be less orderly without them. We are a nation of laws. The courts are the places where lawyers use the power vested in them to keep order, ask for equality, make justice reign.

That’s most of the lawyers, most of the time. There are some who are less than the honorable workers of the bar that we see in TV dramas.

I have a few examples:

I have in my possession an advertisement torn from the pages of the Chicago Tribune. The title of the ad says, “I am not a shark”. Then this nice looking women, a divorce lawyer representing women, says, “we just want to make that scumbag pay”. Shark is too nice a word. I don’t think this is what the founding fathers had in mind as they began to construct the legal system. Reconciliation is not in her vocabulary. She has a 100% divorce rate among her clients. Destroying your life is not her problem, KACHING is all that matters.

I have been “sued” by an attorney who said I sent his client a fax without his client’s permission. It’s true. I did. But I did have his permission according to the law; I did business with this client. It made no difference. He threatened me with a lawsuit. Of course, if I would agree to pay a decent settlement he would drop the case. I don’t know what the difference is between this legal extortion and when Tony with an ill fitting suit and a baseball bat shows up and lets you know you get to keep your kneecaps if you give him a hundred bucks a week. I got the lawsuit dropped when I appealed to the client.

I have on my desk right now a half dozen class action lawsuits being acted in my behalf right now. I am not participating. The way this works is the lawyers get all the money and I get a 50% off discount coupon for my next $20 purchase. And, corporations don’t pay these settlements, I do, you do, we all do in higher prices, less service and if the corporate attorney is smart he takes everything offshore insulating the corporation from anything like that again. This means jobs are gone. We need tort reform.

I won’t even mention medical malpractice abuses with lawyers helping clients win the Doctor Lottery and I won’t mention the workman’s compensation attorneys protecting repeat performance “injured” ad infinitum.

It’s a mess; it makes companies look for safe haven. Can’t something be done to stop these abuses? It should be the Bar Associations themselves. But sometimes you can’t depend on the wolves to watch the chicken coop.

Shakespeare was wrong, let’s not kill all the lawyers, let’s begin neutering the pirates and extortionists. That might discourage them. Or maybe not!