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How Did I Miss That? Dolphin Busts Ankles; KKK vs. MLK

Dirk and Chrissie Frickman and their kids were celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary and Father’s Day with an idyllic cruise on their 21-foot boat, racing beside a romping pod of dolphins, when one of the sea mammals smacked into the boat’s rail and landed on board, breaking both of Chrissie Frickman’s ankles. And yes, there's some video.

The Orange County Register reported that Frickman hightailed it to Dana Point Harbor while calling the Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol on his radio. The deputies got Chrissie and daughter Courtney (who had been less seriously whacked) on their way for medical treatment and then managed to manhandle the bloody dolphin—500 pounds according to CNN; 350 according to the Register—back into the ocean. It swam off appearing no worse for the experience except for cuts on the nose and tail.

The Register quoted Mr. Frickman on lesson learned: “From seven years watching them, dolphins have been so precise in their movements, but you just never know. Maybe you want to stay a bit farther away.” Kudos to the Frickmans for understanding that wild animals can be unpredictable and ought not to be killed for it.

Predisposed to side with our own species, most of us would say that saving wild animals is admirable behavior and saving human beings is even more admirable, especially when combined with sacrifice and risk. These would be the values underpinning Robert D. McFadden’s New York Times obituary for Nicholas Winton, who walked on after 106 well-lived years. Winton compares to the better known Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler. Those men were British, Swedish and German respectively, but they had in common that they risked lives and fortunes to rescue as many fellow human beings as possible from the Shoah.

Winton’s work was particularly heartbreaking because he rescued children whose parents entrusted them to strangers. The United States, to its eternal shame, maintained strict limits on Jewish immigration, even after Kristallnacht.

Felix S. Cohen, revered by Indian lawyers for authoring the Handbook of Federal Indian Law, floated a plan to resettle Jews in Alaska, but he could not make the political lift. The U.S. response to impending mass murder was dramatized in the book and movie, Voyage of the Damned, based on an actual attempt to rescue Jews, who were not allowed to disembark upon arrival in Cuba or in the United States. The Nazis had allowed the ship to make the attempt as a propaganda exercise, confident that this country would not accept Jewish refugees.

The Shoah brought out the worst in humanity. Hitler’s conflation of the Jewish religion with “race” was not particularly controversial among the Allies. Noses rubbed in the result, we now lionize Oskar Schindler and teachers illustrate situational ethics by asking if it would be ethical to lie with the SS at the door asking “Have you seen any Jews?”

The Shoah also brought out the best in humanity. Britain had a program called Kindertransport, under which Jewish children could be admitted if they had a host family and a guaranteed return ticket. Sir Nickolas Winton exploited Kindertransport to rescue 669 children from Czechoslovakia ahead of the Nazi onslaught. Never has an honorary knighthood been more appropriate. R.I.P.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) interviewed on Morning Joe, opined that the marriage equality debate has been misunderstood. “It’s not about the marriage; it’s about the equality.” My cousin Ray Sixkiller mused, “That’s exactly how the bigots understand it. It’s the equality part that scares the Christian mullahs.”

I wanted to complain that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality but Jesus did denounce divorce, but the mullahs don’t care.

If his latest Chris Christie joke is a tell, Jimmy Kimmel needs some new writers. Here you got a candidate who tells voters to “sit down and shut up,” who bullies New Jersey mayors to endorse him, who treats the Port Authority as a patronage piggy bank….and the best Kimmel can do is fat jokes?

Another political joke, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, told Sean Hannity that the Supreme Court decision failing to strike down Obamacare over a drafting error, “some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.” Cousin Ray, never missing a chance for a shot at Cruz, deadpanned, “From his point of view, this is the worst thing the SCOTUS has done since Brown v. Board of Education. I would say Cruz should go back where he came from, but Canada has even more health insurance.”

Manu Raju published a piece in Politico on Ted Cruz’s forthcoming book, A Time for Truth, that Raju said “unloads on” other GOP senators, particularly Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. Cruz also claimed that compromise with Democrats is “surrender.” Funny, I thought it was governing.

Chris Christie, already reeling from accusations that he used his office to cause traffic jams in the city of a mayor who did not endorse him, picked up his first major endorsement from Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who is facing impeachment for….using his office to punish a political enemy by withdrawing state funds from a school unless it rescinded a job offer. Christie’s 30 percent approval rating in New Jersey is second only to Bobby Jindal’s 27 percent in Louisiana for lack of hometown advantage.

LePage could help Christie look popular because LePage’s numbers are dropping like a rock in Maine. The most well-known Mainer, novelist Stephen King, tweeted “Paul LePage has become a terrible embarrassment to the state I live in and love. If he won't govern, he should resign.”

Hearing about Stephen King’s tweet, Cousin Ray cracked a sly smile. “Endorsements are Needful Things,” he advised, “and LePage is definitely a Firestarter. The Stand by LePage might look like Desperation, but Christie’s in The Dead Zone right now.”

This election, I admonished Ray, It is about the White House, not The Black House, and these Stephen King references are causing Misery.

The only election news item more ridiculous than the battle of the Stephen King references arose when The New York Times printed a recipe for guacamole with English peas. The price of avocados has been so outrageous that Chipotle Grill is threatening to quit offering guacamole temporarily. That’s bad, but not as bad as sullying the treat with an alien veggie. The Republican Party of Texas tweeted that the Times had “declared war on Texas.”

A rare show of bipartisan unity followed.

@JebBush: You don’t put peas in guacamole.

@POTUS: respect the nyt, but not buying peas in guac. Onions, garlic, hot peppers. classic.

Christy Hoppe, writing in The Dallas Morning News, expressed the prevailing view in Texas and the nation: “All we are saying is don’t give peas a chance.”

In Dalton, Georgia, (the second-least-educated city in the U.S., according to the Census, behind only Kingman, Arizona), a parade of 35 trucks was supporting the idea that treason and slavery were not so bad when they managed to make a redneck sandwich with their vehicles (sound NSFW). The bystander who got it on video was highly offended until the crash, when he commented “God don’t like ugly.”

USA Today reported on another ugly when Jeff Amyx, owner of a hardware store in a suburb of Knoxville, Tennessee, responded to the SCOTUS legalizing gay marriage by posting a sign, “No Gays Allowed.” Amyx, a Baptist minister, claimed he expects “more persecution than (gays),” and he changed the sign to read "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion."

Several GOP candidates are stoking the fears of the constitutionally illiterate by claiming that ministers will have to marry gay couples. No. Many priests will not marry Catholics to non-Catholics; many rabbis will not marry Jews to Gentiles. There are plenty of evangelical Protestant bigots who still will not marry interracial couples in spite of the SCOTUS legalizing interracial marriages in 1967.

State and local governments are bound by both the interracial and gay marriage decisions, and a couple of justices of the peace still get disciplined every year for refusing to marry interracial couples, so we can anticipate some sworn to uphold the law will defy the law. But the idea that the government can dictate the content of a religious sacrament (as opposed to a civil contract) comes from the deepest pits of ignorance…where some candidates with no shame will troll for votes.

Time reported that the historic Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina became the eighth black church to burn in the last ten days. Only three of the fires have been officially determined to be arson so far, but the KKK burned the Mount Zion Church in 1995 during a two-year plague of arson that burned 30 black churches. The KKK is about to have a demonstration in Charleston in support of keeping the Northern Virginia battle flag, currently a symbol of white supremacy, as a state symbol.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that lightning caused the Mount Zion fire. State and federal investigators both contradicted her, saying no determination has yet been made.

The two convicted murderers who escaped from a New York prison were shot, one fatally, and so will fade from the front pages. While the two escapees focused U.S. media for three weeks, some 1,200 prisoners escaped from a prison in Yemen, according to Reuters. “Context is everything,” Cousin Ray commented.

The Hill, reporting Pentagon figures, gave the tab for the war on ISIS at almost $3 billion since last August, or $9.2 million a day. Congress still can’t be bothered to authorize military action against ISIS or ban it.

In Pryor, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, the Times reported that the Northeastern Oklahoma Klavern of the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK has distributed flyers calling for the boycott of Mexican restaurants for talking “trash about white people in Spanish” and “employing illegals and sending our American currency back to their homeland.”

The KKK also wants a local credit union boycotted because it celebrates Martin Luther King Day, apparently innocent of the fact that the Federal Reserve considers MLK Day a banking holiday, just like the U.S. Post Office does no regular deliveries that day. “It’s hard to read with a pillowcase on your head,” Cousin Ray chuckled, turning back to his plate of enchiladas.

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