USA Today reported on a Phoenix “Renaissance pooch.” Hope, a goldendoodle, is a certified therapy dog, visiting hospitals and working with autistic children. She branched out from science to art when she played Sandy for 32 performances in a local production of Annie, only to get a call from another production whose Sandy “got stage fright” and stepping into the role again for 22 more.
I was reminded that the dog who played Sandy in the movie production last year was Marti, a golden retriever-chow mix shelter dog that the New York Post reported arrived to the red carpet in a chauffer-driven Mercedes and strutted the carpet with Will Smith and Jay Z.
Photo courtesy history.army.mil
“So,” my cousin Ray Sixkiller arched an eyebrow, “you expected the New York dog to drive a Mercedes? And what’s so special about the Arizona mutt?” The goldendoodle is a “designer dog,” crossing a golden retriever and a poodle, but Hope is special because she’s a tripod. A hit-and-run victim, she almost lost her life and did lose a leg. You might say she overcame her handicap.
Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1930. He became a giant of bebop, instrumental in that reimagining of the jazz idiom, and the inventor of what he called “harmolodics,” which is better experienced than defined. Like bebop generally, his career started avant-garde and ended establishment. He walked on at the age of 85 in New York City, leaving a body of work for which “seminal” would be an understatement. Jazz horns weep.
Half a dozen popular science publications reported on remarks by Penn State University Food Science Professor John Coupland he called “seven reasons to eat insects.” The short version is bugs are high protein and low fat, abundant, environmentally sound, and tasty. “You mean,” Cousin Ray sputtered, “that we paid an exterminator when we could have sold this guy a hunting license?”
KLTV reported that the sentencing hearing for Andy House, 39, had to be reset by the federal court. House pled guilty to fraud charges after paying $1 million for a 2006 Bugatti Veyron and insuring the car for $2.2 million. He drove the Bugatti into the Gulf of Mexico and left the engine running, causing it to take in salt water. House reported he had lost control while using his cell phone and, the next day, he filed an insurance claim, not knowing that another motorist had videoed the entire thing and posted it on YouTube (sound NSFW). He faces up to 20 years in the Club Fed.
The New York Times offered a video report on the ultimate vehicle for virtual sex, a hyper-real, anatomically correct doll that is being programmed with a personality. The developer claimed that the personality was the hard part because, “If you get the doll confused and she says something inappropriate, you think she’s dumb and you don’t even want to go in the bedroom.” Cousin Ray was highly amused. “Think of the real world applications! A beautiful woman who can sit on the next bar stool all evening, totally focus on you, and never say anything dumb no matter how drunk she…er…you…ah…never mind.”
The last GOP presidential primaries will be remembered in history as The Year of the Clown Car when all the bozos took turns playing the not-Romney. This year is not like that. They have a deep bench of potentially serious candidates, people who have governed in the real world. But the clowns are still clamoring, and if the Republican establishment does not figure out some way to narrow the field to something the voters can get their heads around, the embarrassment of riches will wind up being just an embarrassment.
Speaking of embarrassment, a kind and understanding soul from FortWorth, Texas, Jennifer Bradford, has started a Change.org petition to the International Olympic Committee demanding that it revoke Caitlyn Jenner’s gold medal won for the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics. The argument is that her undisclosed gender dysphoria violated the Olympic rules because she was a woman competing as a man. This is, of course, the precise opposite of the usual argument deployed against transgender people…the one they would hit her with if she wanted to compete as a woman, the one that conflates sex and gender.
The object is to leave persons who disrupt the sex binary no place to go and simply deny the existence of gender. At last report, about 14,000 people had voted to expel Caitlyn Jenner from their idea of human. “There is no truth to the rumor,” Cousin Ray whispered sadly, “that they are demanding recall of all those Wheaties boxes.”
The Standard of Kenya reported that lawyer Felix Kiprono has offered the Obamas 50 cows, 70 sheep, and 30 goats as a bride price for daughter Malia. Results of the offer so far have been a firestorm of criticism by the Kenyan public, the most civil claiming Kiprono is a publicity hound, and a rumor that he would be offered a gig as a political analyst on Fox News.
Associated Press reported that Paris police held a six-year-old girl for three days because they thought the picture on her passport looked insufficiently like her. The girl was flying as an unaccompanied minor with all the proper documents and her mother was at the airport to meet her. The girl, born in Paris, had been overseas visiting relatives. “Look at the bright side,” Cousin Ray piped up. “It was Paris, France and not Paris, Texas.”
I was given a stick to beat my Republican Cousin Ray with when the Republican legislature in Texas passed and the Republican Governor signed amendments to the so-called “judicial bypass” for teenage girls applying to get an abortion without getting parental permission.
The teen will now have to file in her home county and provide her home address and phone number. Any readers of this column live in a small town?
It repealed the ability of the teen to get a quick decision, allowing a hostile judge to sit on the case until the abortion gets more dangerous or even illegal.
It removed “emotional abuse” as grounds for judicial bypass. Now it’s not enough that she will be disowned or abandoned.
A confession: I testified against this judicial bypass nonsense in the first place. I am a judge on a level where I might be brought such a case. I would be asked to decide if a teenager is “mature enough” to decide to have an abortion….knowing that if I decide she is not, then I have just of necessity decided that she is mature enough to be a parent!
This is public policy from the state that relies on teaching abstinence as the only method of birth control and therefore “enjoys” the third highest teen pregnancy rate in the country, behind only New Mexico and Mississippi.
Politico headlined “Jeb’s gaffe-free European tour,” contrasting the GOP front-runner with the rest of the field, who found Europe hard to navigate without pratfalls. I wondered about their definition of “gaffe,” but the mishap that defined it for me was covered far down in the story: “Bush … defused a grenade about why he chose to meet with outgoing Speaker of Parliament and ex-Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who’s under fire here and something of a lightning rod after being recorded saying that Poland’s relationship with the U.S. is ‘worthless’ and subservient in a way he equated to oral sex.”
That was a charitable way to describe Sikorski’s industrial strength dissing of the U.S. and it avoided reporting that Sikorski was a bit more than “under fire.” He was run out of office over his anti-U.S. remarks.
And how did Mr. Bush “defuse the grenade?” By blaming the POTUS for Sikorski’s remarks. The reason the U.S. is worthless, according to the GOP front-runner, is because President Obama reversed President Bush’s decision to base missiles in Poland.
“It sure was a long time ago,” Cousin Ray spat, “when politics stopped at the water’s edge.”
Nobel Laureate in Physiology Tim Hunt, 72, made the most important remarks on the underrepresentation of women in the sciences since Lawrence Summers speculated “innate differences between men and women” might be the problem.
Hunt explained the “trouble with girls.” “Three things happen when they are in the lab: You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry.”
“You have to admit,” Cousin Ray snickered, “the attitude of male scientists explains a lot about the scarcity of female scientists.”
The “market” polls—where people bet their own real money on candidates—have a much better predictive record than opinion polls. At this time, they make the crowded Republican field a three-person race, with Jeb Bush leading and a statistical tie for second between Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. Rand Paul clearly leads the second tier, indicating that he has reached the libertarian ceiling within the GOP defined by his father Ron Paul, but Paul the Younger has yet to penetrate that ceiling.
The New York Times found it scandalous that Marco Rubio got four traffic tickets in 17 years. Jon Stewart reported that record got Rubio a plaque in the Good Miami Drivers Hall of Fame. Rubio’s wife got 13 tickets in the same time period.
“Sounds like a crime wave to me,” smirked my sarcastic Republican Cousin Ray. U.S. News & World Report noted that Rubio raked in $100,000 the first day on the website he set up to inveigh against the “elite liberal media.”
“Let me get this straight,” Cousin Ray pressed his advantage. “Clinton’s spouse sells the presidential pardon power on his way out the door and Rubio’s spouse gets in political trouble for speeding?”
I know when Ray got me, but I urge Indians to look at the bright side. If Hillary becomes Clinton II, we could begin a Kickstarter campaign to buy Leonard Peltier a pardon at the end of her tenure.