ITEM--In a shameless display of bullying, China, who holds almost 800 billion dollars of the United States' debt, has decided to flex a little of its leverage muscle and ask for its pandas back. Especially upsetting to patriotic panda lovers is the imminent return of Tai Shan, the cub resident at D.C.'s National Zoo in our nation's capital. Tai Shan, who was born at the zoo in 2005, will be shipped to China early next year, despite the fact that he is American born--a naturalized citizen of these United States! Plus, let's keep in mind that we're giving the Chinese not the old, hand-me-down pandas that they originally gave us! No. They are getting a brand, spanking new panda. How is this fair? I am also assuming that Tai Shan does not speak Chinese. He has been around American keepers his whole life, and I am also assuming that his parents, who have been in this country now for nine years, have entirely assimilated and are pretty much Americans, too. He is ill-equipped, at the tender age of four, to go off to what will be a foreign country and live among strangers. I am worried about his wellbeing and his happiness. You should be, too, if you are serious about pandas.
ITEM--More bad press about cows, and this time, it is all conjecture and forensic revisionist literary history bullshit. Thank goodness again for my Google News Alert feature, or I would never have been aware of this travesty. This inflammatory headline, of course, drew my ire right away, and I knew right then that I had to take the bull by the horns: WAS JANE AUSTEN KILLED BY COWS? "Of course not!" I shouted at my computer screen. Jane Austen is one of the most beloved of all Victorian novelists, and certainly in the sacred pantheon of woman writers. The last thing cows need is her death on their heads. They've already been saddled with global warming, and now this? The headline leads the casual news skimmer to assume that she was perhaps trampled or gored by rampaging bovines. One has to get past an entire lead paragraph and well into the second to finally read the far more tame and tepid crux of the theory: "Austen may have succumbed to tuberculosis contracted from cows." Oh, is that all? A glass of milk? Yawn. Listen, people, in this day and age we can die from eating spinach. Or drinking water. Lay off the cows, already. But, really, they still have it better than the camels. Read on.
ITEM--Listen, I am not a big fan of camels. I rode one once, and it was okay, but by and large, they don't do a thing for me. Still, no animal deserves this. Okay, maybe snakes. Or the dogs in my neighborhood who never shut the hell up. Or maybe certain republican radio show hosts. But not these poor camels. True, no one wants to be invaded by 6000 rampaging anything looking for a drink--that's for sure--but to round them up by helicopter and then pick them off and allow them to rot (read: die in agony if not killed, only wounded) sounds just terrible. First of all, these camels didn't ask to come to Australia; they were brought to the continent. Is it their fault that the experiment didn't go as planned? Why didn't the conservationists and wildlife experts there control the population before the feral herd topped a million? Why hasn't Camel Control been a priority? Besides, look at the photo of that camel opening a door by using the knob! That camel did that without being trained! Don't tell me that some of those camels don't have a future in the Entertainment Business! Why can't Australians look into Camel Exporting? I feel like there are any number of solutions that just haven't been explored here, the least of which might be: Camel: The Other White Meat.
I think you're all up to speed now with our friends in the Animal Kingdom. Remember, they share our planet. When it's all over, who do you think will come back first? Better be nice!