Above the Fray

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Righteous Theft

It's rare that I get to note some good news.. a bit funny too if you think about being in a situation where you have to negotiate with an animal that weighs a ton or so and has a prehensile nose..

Thai herd redefines term 'rogue elephants'
By Sutin Wannabovorn December 26, 2004

KHAO-ANG RUE-NI, Thailand – These pachyderms aren't just going after peanuts.

Elephants in a wildlife sanctuary in eastern Thailand are using their oversize bodies as roadblocks, ambushing vehicles transporting sugar cane, tapioca and fruit, the sanctuary's chief says. The estimated 200 elephants in the Khao-Ang Rue-Ni sanctuary turn desperate and wily in the dry season, when water and food supplies shrink. It's then that the animals stage their heists, Yuo Senatham said.

Conveniently enough for the elephants, the dry season is also when hundreds of trucks travel through their lands, laden with newly harvested tapioca and sugar cane.

According to Yuo, a herd leader usually emerges from the jungle at dusk to block the road. When a vehicle stops, other elephants move in for the feast.

Signs urging motorists not to feed the elephants don't seem to be doing the trick.

"It's like the drivers are bribing the elephants – otherwise the elephants won't allow trucks to pass through," Yuo said

The elephants, who have never hurt a motorist, sound a general retreat when wildlife officials arrive to scare them away with spotlights.

The sanctuary chief says he can't prevent the elephants from roaming near the road because the area used to belong to them.

"What we can do is prevent them from getting hurt and hurting people," Yuo said.

The Thai army cut the road through the 270,000-acre sanctuary in the 1980s to help ferry supplies to insurgents fighting the Cambodian government, Yuo said.

There are some 3,000 wild elephants in Thailand, according to the Forestry Department.

I say "Good on them..LOL'
San Diego Union

As an after thought, I think that this should be considered a Righteous Road Tax instead of theft...busy busy busy

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Another Quote

Now the he has his 'man date', I guess he thinks he can rip off any ole thing that comes to his mind. These may seem like innocent remarks, however other folks take his remarks as guidance and policy. Sorry, but that is the price of leadership..keep your snarky humor for private sessions

Look, you can be smart, and snide – or you can be stupid, and humble. Neither is very good. But the worst of all is to be stupid and snide. Apart from all the policy disasters and political dangers this president represents, for all the things I deeply disagree with him about, the fact is that at base I simply find him a snotty, arrogant little man..[Nick Burbules]

George W. Bush, international economist: "There's a trade deficit. That's easy to resolve: People can buy more United States products if they're worried about the trade deficit."
From comments just now in the Oval Office with Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi. And I'm told it was a bit difficult to tell whether or not he was joking. Josh Marshall

It is not clear whether this was just an inappropriate joke or a policy statement. Perhaps this is the 'letum eat cake' leadership style. If so, a few more of these and folks will begin to wonder about his 'compassion quotient'.

I can see the PPPundits headlines now: Is it Compassion or is it Contempt.. we report, you decide.

BTW the quote was picked up over at the Progressive Blog Digest. One of the best agregator sites, includes Nick's pithy observations.. free too!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Outrageous Quote

History is one of my hobbies. Usually it makes for interesting comarisons in the present. Sometimes it makes for dismal comparisons of the present. What stuns me is that no one seems to find this General's attitude remarkable, that is something to be remarked upon.. not a peep, except in an independent writers attempt to compare Bush with Don Quixote.

...No one even blinked when Fox News military "analyst," retired Lieutenant General Tom Mc Inerney recently diagnosed what our mission in Fallajua should be -- "We must be ruthless, especially in the area of collateral damage," he said self-righteously.

"We shouldn't be concerned about collateral damage. All the good civilians are gone. If we must make Falluja Carthage, then let's make Falluja Carthage..."

Another quote comes to mind:

Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoset

Kill them all. God will know His own

Here is the source:

In the 13th century under the authority of Pope Innocent III, it was ordered that France be cleansed of the Cathar heresy by a crusade. The town of Beziers was besieged, but the citizens of the town, 99% Catholic, refused to surrender the few Cathars amongst them.

When the town fell, the leader of the crusader army asked advice from Arnaud-Armaury, the Abbot of Citeaux as to how to identify the heretics. He answered "Kill them all. God will know his own." All 20,000 residents of the town were slaughtered, including perhaps 200 Cathars.

As to Don Quixote:

As Cervantes said of his ludicrous hero -- "The encounters between the ordinary world and Don Quixote are encounters between the world of reality and that of illusion, between reason and imagination..."

Cervantes explained that Quixote got away with it because "There is a powerfully imposing quality about Quixote's insanity; his madness always had method, a commanding persistence and coherence. He makes us feel a sense of inevitability beause of the spectacle of remaining so unflinchingly faithful to his own vision..."

Sheila Samples: 'Mr. President de la Mancha'