The Cherokee Nation, like the Muscogee Creek Nation where I was born and raised, is situated in what weather reporters call “tornado alley.” The thunderstorms that often birth tornados have been active this year, and Cherokees were recently reminded that those storms can cause damage without throwing off funnel clouds.
One of the poles on a stickball ground in Tahlequah sustained a direct hit by lightning leaving just a few splinters standing.
On Facebook, Cherokee Rick Fields speculated on the significance of the stickball lightning strike:
Scientific view: Lightning will strike a high point in an open field.
Extremist Religious View: This is God showing disapproval of pagan ways.
Cherokee View: We need a new pole for stickball. Probably a new fish, too.
The Texas Legislature only meets every two years for 140 days, which means it must get right down to business and take care of the important stuff.
That must have motivated Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) when he noticed the lack of a Texas flag emoji on the internet and how people were taking advantage of the similarity of the Chilean flag. In response to this crisis, Oliverson introduced House Concurrent Resolution 75:
RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby reject the notion that the Chilean flag, although it is a nice flag, can in any way compare to or be substituted for the official state flag of Texas and urge all Texans not to use the Republic of Chile flag emoji in digital forums when referring to the Lone Star Flag of the great State of Texas.
While I’m glad to see the Texas Legislature keep on top of the important issues of the day, I did wonder out loud why they did not just produce a Texas flag emoji?
My Republican cousin Ray Sixkiller shot down a flag emoji produced by the state, calling my idea “socialism.”
Investopedia reported that Amazon has been granted a patent on an “aquatic storage facility,” which is fancy talk for using a body of water as a warehouse. A package would be charged with enough air to keep it from floating or sinking. It would remain at Goldilocks depth until summoned by a signal that would set off a kind of reverse parachute. The parachute would wind up protruding on the surface, easily snagged by a drone or a human.
Amazon already patented the “Airborne Fulfillment Center,” a warehouse in the sky that would circle cities at 45,000 feet and hand off deliveries to drones. The AFC could be moved to sporting events to peddle swag carrying the logos of both contending teams.
Cousin Ray thought it would be a natural for Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic.
At another outdoor event where Amazon could have sold paraphernalia if they had an Airborne Fulfillment Center ready to fly, The Washington Post printed photos of some of the best homemade signs at the rally for science on Earth Day. I’m old enough to remember the “Sputnik scare” that led to the country bearing down on science education and the “speed reading” fad begun by JFK when he showed how he was able to read so many newspapers. Both science and reading were popular.
Things have changed when the occupant of the White House does not get his information from print sources and whether the earth is warming, the existence of the greenhouse effect, and the efficacy of immunizations are all matters of opinion. So it is that scientists have a demonstration that is part of an attempt to reclaim a position that informs policy. At that demonstration, these signs were photographed:
“Alternative Facts” are Not Statistically Significant
Got Plague? Yeah, Me Neither. Thank a Scientist
Make America THINK Again
Make Earth Cool Again
In Peer Review We Trust
I caught it on NPR but found it was everywhere in the news that President Trump traveled to Walter Reed to personally present the Purple Heart to Sgt. Alvaro Barrientos, who left one of his legs in Afghanistan. Trump’s remarks were brief:
When I heard about this I wanted to do it myself. So congratulations. Tremendous.
This remark is an example of what sets my teeth on edge about Trump’s claim that he learned as much about war in his military prep school as I did in boot camp. Or my son or my father or my grandfather did in their boot camps. I wonder what he learned in prep school that made him say that he “always wanted” a Purple Heart or think that a soldier should be congratulated upon being wounded?
My pal Alan was a combat medic in Vietnam. I must ask him if he remembered to congratulate every GI he treated.
Former Republican Congressman turned newshound Joe Scarborough remarked on the fact that FBI Director James Comey announced the Clinton email investigation was reopened when new emails were found but at the same time kept mum about an investigation of the other candidate for political collusion with Russia:
On the day Americans went to vote in the presidential election, one candidate was being investigated by the FBI. And it was not Hillary Clinton.
CBS reported on conflicts with words that threatened to become conflicts with fists over the removal of four monuments to the Confederate States of America in New Orleans.
The first one removed was described by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as the most offensive. It honored the Crescent City White League, the organization behind an abortive attempt to overthrow the biracial Reconstruction government in New Orleans. An inscription on the so-called Liberty Monument added in 1932 noted that the Yankees eventually withdrew and “recognized white supremacy in the South.” That inscription was covered over in 1993.
The work of removing the monuments is done at night by masked workers to minimize conflict, with mixed success. Supporters of the monuments are having candlelight vigils and the workers, in response to threats, are wearing masks and flak jackets and are watched over by police snipers.
The other three monuments are in honor of P.G.T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis, all important Confederate historical figures.
“I guess they are important,” Cousin Ray whispered grimly, “if your taste runs to treason.”
Newsweek reported that Saudi Arabia has been elected to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.
Hillel Neuer of U.N. Watch told Newsweek the secret ballot election “is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief.” Greta van Susteren pointed out that women die in Saudi Arabia because they must have a related male to take them to a doctor and that male must give permission for a mammogram. Should the mammogram show something suspicious, the male relative must give permission for a biopsy.
“Saudi women wanted to protest,” Cousin Ray snarked, “but they couldn’t get permission.”
WTVF reported that Christine Humphries of White Bluff, Tennessee, had trouble sleeping on a stormy night. When she finally got drowsy, she went to bed. Just as she was nodding off, she felt something touch her arm and thought it was her cat. She woke suddenly when it flashed on her that her cat had fur.
A scream, a leap out of bed, a call for help, and deputies were removing a three-foot chicken snake from her bed. The snake—a harmless species—was released in the woods.
The woman was no longer drowsy.
KXAN reported on a more dangerous snake that had a facedown with a house cat in Laguna Vista, Texas. It was a very large rattlesnake, and the Laguna Vista Police Department broke up the ruckus with the cat, captured the rattler with a snake pole, and took it away in a sack for parts unknown.
Honestly—and understanding this will upset some people—rattlesnakes captured in cities are most often killed. Snakes like the one in the previous item, lacking venom, will not harm people and they generally feed on animals human beings would as soon not have nearby.
The Laguna Vista PD took the opportunity opened by breaking up the fight between the snake and the cat to warn the public that it’s the time of the year that the snakes are waking up and people need to be careful out there.
Normally, if there is any way to relocate a troublesome animal, the relocation will happen. Last year, Parks and Wildlife officers were called over an alligator that was terrorizing a wildlife refuge near Houston. The officers called in professional gator hunters, who caught the largest gator recorded in Texas at about 14 feet and 900 pounds. It may now be visited at Gator Country Wildlife Park near Beaumont.
The Comanche Nation News carried an ad informing tribal citizens of a free rabies clinic and self-service flea and tick dip “for Indian owned pets only.” There is a clinic on May 6 and two more clinics on May 13. See the News or contact tribal government for locations. Before each pet is served, papers must be produced.
Cousin Ray was disappointed because his dog is a mutt he adopted from the shelter and it has no AKC papers. He perked right up when I told him the papers requirement is for the humans—as in CDIB—not the dogs.