Baby It’s Cold Outside: it really is an insanely catchy, Christmas-themed date rape song. That we sang in seventh grade chorus. Ponder this:
“The neighbors might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s cold outside”
Nothing like fresh-faced middle-schoolers singing about roofies. No need to ban it, but we should own what it is: a catchy song with loads of references to date rape. Of course, our bell choir director had us do a kickin’ bell rendition of Ring My Bell, too. I hope she was a closet subversive and not simply completely clueless.
Of the many places I have been, Zion National Park ranks high on my list of most beautiful and it is certainly one of my favorites. The red sandstone canyons cut through with ribbons of green cottonwood stands in the valley floors are stunning. Zion has some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere and its slot canyons are unparalleled.
The Narrows – “Wall Street”
Zion is one of the national parks where you have to leave the park to get to other parts of the park. On the northwest corner of the park is the Kolob Terrace area. The drive from the main valley to Kolob Canyon is spectacular. And it’s about to be ruined.
This is Kolob Canyon
To get to Kolob Canyon, you drive along Kolob Terrace Road. This is what the drive looks like:
Now picture this drive with endless oil and gas wells. Nauseating, isn’t it? Now picture it with an oil spill. It happens all the time. Here’s a lovely picture of the contamination from an oil well which blew in 2014 just outside the Arches National Park area:
SW Energy Ruby Ranch Road blowout in 2014, Utah
There are some things that should be too precious for drilling. No one of my acquaintance goes to a national park hoping to see drilling rigs all the way to the gates.
So do something. The Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments through March 9 on the environmental review documents for the June 2017 lease sale. Please ask them to choose Alternative B, the “no action” alternative. Bother them until they beg you to stop. Have your friends bother them as well. You can contact the BLM here to express your displeasure and ask them to take no action. Spread the word.
So, as a giant screw you to all his loyal supporters in the Rust Belt states, the Orange One has proposed a 97% budget cut for Great Lakes pollution cleanup. This area is a heavily polluted disaster and it needs our collective attention.
The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh water lakes in the world.They make up 95% of the surface freshwater in the United States. Their collective total coastline is more than the US coastlines of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. That’s a lot of ground. Currently, there are 43 areas of concern within the Great Lakes of which 26 are in the United States and five are both Canadian and American.
So what is an area of concern? An “area of concern” must have at least “one beneficial use impairment which means that it has undergone a change in its chemical, physical, or biological integrity of a water body.” Here’s a fun list of what that means:
- restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
- tainting of fish and wildlife flavor
- degradation of fish and wildlife populations
- fish tumors or other deformities
- bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems
- degradation of benthos
- restrictions on dredging activities
- eutrophication or undesirable algae
- drinking water restrictions, or taste and odor problems
- beach closings
- degradation of aesthetics
- added costs to agriculture or industry
- degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton
- loss of fish and wildlife habitat
So, in simple terms, these are slimy, algae-choked, smelly, nasty waterways you can’t swim in with fish too dangerous to eat and birds and mammals with birth defects caused by chemical contamination. Fun!
The EPA has a page you can read here to educate you on what they do for the Great Lakes. Read it. It’s important. It may also disappear soon, so pay attention to that heading that says “This page is no longer maintained….” So when Cheeto man says he is cutting the budget 97%, he’s stopping all clean up cold and all this will just sit there for residents to live with. Of course, what he really means when he says he is doing away with “job killing” regulations is that he doesn’t care about the people who live there and whether they are slowly dying from exposure to contaminated water. Flint Michigan ring any bells? Step up and support your EPA. Call (don’t email – they ignore them) your government officials and tell them in clear terms that they must oppose the gutting of the EPA. You can find your representative here or your Senator here.
Need some visuals? Here you go:
This is what your future looks like if we don’t act. Do something.
It’s so unfortunate when the subliterate racist trash that populates our world decides to express an opinion that only shows their supreme ignorance. I call this a teachable moment, so let’s all rewrite this together. It’s “Black Lives Don’t Matter and Neither DO Your Votes” you stupid motherfucker. It would probably also read better if the racist pig who wrote this had simply used “their” instead of “your” in addition to correcting the verb tense, but that’s being picky. On the plus side, I think we can all agree that North Carolina would be better served working to educate their indigenous backwoods racist fucking morons than spending valuable resources guarding bathrooms from transgender people.
Listen people. I have hit my threshold for stupidity. Let us discuss wild animals and where they belong. There are now confirmed Nile crocodiles in South Florida. Let me explain to you what Nile crocodiles do. They eat people among other things. Lots of them. They are not shy, retiring creatures like the American crocodiles which are native to South Florida. Nile crocodiles are bad ass motherfuckers and you don’t want to meet one mano a mano. I spent a lot of time in South Florida swamps and I have never worried about being eaten. You have to be very, very unlucky or incredibly stupid to get taken out by the local fauna. If there are Nile crocodiles in the mix, that’s a whole other thing.
This will be lunch for a Nile crocodile.
So this begs the question, “Why are there motherfucking Nile crocodiles in South Florida?” Answer: Because pretty much anyone can get one, legally permitted or otherwise. Let’s start with the obvious which I will spell in all caps in case anyone misses it: WILD ANIMALS DO NOT NEED TO BE ANYWHERE OTHER THAN IN THE WILD, OR AT THE LEAST, SKILLED HANDS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT MORONS. General citizen Joe who thinks it’s cool to have a Nile crocodile does not need one. Neither really does anyone. I’m not super fond of zoos as I think animals need to be where they thrive and a zoo is not that place, but if you are going to have a crocodile, put it there and make sure the zoo isn’t a roadside attraction. As for the ones that get here illegally, they got here somehow, and I think we need to start screening shipments a little more closely. Crocodile hatchlings will fit in a box, but someone clearly should x-ray the box coming from South Africa if it makes squealing noises when shaken. Note to legislators everywhere: PASS SOME FUCKING HELPFUL LAWS AND STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHO IS HAVING SEX. We don’t need wildlife in the hands of anyone other than that guy that used to be on Letterman and a few like him.
While I am it, let’s talk about large mammals:
1. If you are a rap star or even a wannabe, don’t get a fucking tiger. You probably don’t warrant a dog. Maybe a chia pet. That your posse can remember to water.
2. If you think it would be totally cool to have a wolf, you’re an idiot and you should have your balls or equivalent thereof cut off before you breed. Wolves are not pets and living in a pen sucks.
3. Cervals, bobcats, lynx and so on are not pets. They are wild animals. You look like a tool if you try to keep one. So don’t.
4. Do not even think about chaining a bear up.
Wild animals are wild and they belong in the areas from whence they came. We don’t need Nile crocodiles in South Florida and you don’t need a fucking lion as a pet. Get a grip people.
Apparently, Mr. Stinnett has announced his candidacy for the position of dog catcher in Anderson County, Tennessee. His plans include, as near as I am able to discern, the eradication of mange and dog tags for all dogs. Also, all shelter dogs will now be trained to attack the hordes of Syrian refugees that are massing at the borders of Anderson County, Tennessee, yearning to be free and unleash their fiendish terrorist plots. This will keep the good people of Anderson County, Tennessee, safe and will provide a job for all the homeless dogs of Anderson County. Presumably, the sheer volume of potential terrorists requires that Anderson County have a ready supply of attack dogs as there is no mention in his platform anywhere the need to spay and neuter dogs. Who knew that Anderson County had such genius in its midst?
Blaze the bear was euthanized today by the National Park Service for acting like a bear in defense of her cubs. (See more here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=924599464267558&set=a.102630516464461.3856.100001525382385&type=1&theater).
To borrow the words from someone else who said it much better than I could say
In hindsight, euthanize is probably not the right word. Euthanasia is freeing an animal from a painful and/or incurable situation. The park service killed this bear, and it didn’t have to be this way. I don’t wish to sanitize their actions by using such a kind word, which is the way the park service has described the act.
As the result of the public outcry, the cubs will go to a zoo. They will never see a sunrise as wild bears again, and that is an absolute, fucking tragedy.
Au revoir, Blaze. You may be gone, but you are not forgotten