I was having flashbacks to a horrible experience from my judicial career last week when KXAN reported a tiger was found walking the streets of Conroe, Texas. I had spent months trying to avoid a “pet” tiger being euthanized because it had a stupid “owner.” It’s not a matter of just calling the nearest zoo.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are more tigers in private hands in the U.S. than in the wild in all of Asia. The unfortunate cats are rare in the world but not among the idiots who think they are house pets.
The Conroe tiger is living today because animal control officers noticed she had a collar and a leash and the young cat conducted herself like an animal used to humans. I did not say “tame,” but she willingly hopped into a truck for a ride to the animal shelter.
Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge stepped up to offer a home for the big kitty, who turned out to be named Nahla and was claimed by Cody Tibbits, who told The Houston Chronicle, “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.”
Texas does not ban keeping tigers for pets, but it appears there may be a Conroe city ordinance that does. At this time, “ownership” of Nahla is contested and a criminal investigation just arose when a masked individual was caught on surveillance video attempting to break into the animal shelter that was keeping Nahla while the legalities are sorted out.
Judge Michael Davis awarded temporary custody to the City of Conroe, which placed Nahla at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary near Ft. Worth. It appears to be coincidence that this drama plays out where the high school mascot is a tiger. That would be an artist’s rendering of a tiger and not (so far) a live one.
Nahla’s kitten-like disposition saved her from being shot in the street and now there are not one but two places willing to take her in if the judge falls into my situation with the authorities wanting to kill the animal because there was no safe place to keep it.
In another misadventure that threatened only humans, the BBC reported that something went horribly wrong at a St. Kentigern College performance of Sweeney Todd in Auckland, New Zealand. Two boys were transported to a hospital when an antique straight razor that was supposed to be blunted for use on the stage actually cut their throats. This brought to mind incidents in Tombstone, Arizona and Hill City, South Dakota, where people where actually shot in fake gunfights put on for tourists.
“How’s that?” My cousin Ray Sixkiller was curious to know if “they didn’t know the razors were loaded?”
Neither injury was life threatening, but I thought it had to be scary. Cousin Ray, a Republican, pointed out that there’s been a lot of purposeful throat cutting over the 2016 election—mostly the Republican establishment cutting their own throats.
“The Republican Primary,” Cousin Ray mumbled, “now that’s scary.”
Speaking of scary, Politico reported that Donald Trump has world leaders “terrified” and President Obama’s assurances that Trump is not going to win are not helping. A British pol was quoted as saying the problem is not that Trump is stupid but rather “he’s disdainful, unscrupulous, prepared to say anything to harvest the populist vote. And that makes people frightened.”
“Trump could be all those things,” Cousin Ray pointed out, “and still be stupid.”
Newsmax reported that Trump has lent his campaign $14 million. The fact that it was a loan is some evidence he does not really plan to be self-funding.
Cousin Ray understood right away. “Seats on the political late train are really expensive, and the Trump late train is going to be packed.”
The other Republican candidate not born in Canada, John Kasich, told The Washington Post editorial board “my Republican Party doesn’t like ideas.” This is what you have to live with when you set out to be “the party of No!”
Challenged with the fact that his proposed tax cuts, like all the GOP tax cut plans, failed the arithmetic test, Kasich defended his fantasies. What set him apart was his admission that “if we find out that we’re getting off the path, then we’ll have to adjust.”
That’s the kind of realism that led to tax increases by President Reagan, who got away with it, and the first President Bush, who did not.
Ted Cruz rallied in the Indiana gym where Hoosiers was filmed but lost a lot of roundball cred when he referred to the rim as a “ring.”
Political role model Donald Trump snagged the endorsement of basketball role model Bobby Knight. I said it that way because Cousin Ray looks funny when he shoots coffee though his nose.
Normally, we let all kinds of publications have a pass for anything published on April 1, and I would be the first to point out it gets harder every year to pick satire out of the real news. I wrote an April Fool column this year and few noticed. Breitbart, however, has such a track record of sleazy distortions April Fools’ Day is just another excursion into their alternate reality.
This year, they carried “news” about a guy dressed as a woman who was filming women using the bathroom in Palmdale, California. They related this incident to the ordinances that allow trans individuals to pee in public restrooms.
The problem? The incident occurred four years ago and the man was not trans and the ordinance did not exist. Misunderstanding? Not when Breitbart said “over the weekend” in the story.
Breitbart was also the source of another false meme claiming that “the guy leading the fight for gender neutral bathrooms in North Carolina is a convicted sex offender.”
Snopes did a sweep though North Carolina media looking for evidence to rebut the claim of all the organizations involved that the man in question was not “leading the fight.” All they found was a year old quote from Chad Sevearance, who was convicted of sexual contact with teenage boys when he was 20 years old. The quote was lamenting the defeat of a Charlotte civil rights ordinance in 2015 because "someone can ask me to leave a restaurant because I’m presumed to be gay or transgender."
The resulting stink about his criminal history led to his resignation as president of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce. But what really frosts the cake is they are trying to start a meme about men molesting little girls in the ladies room by attacking a man who was convicted of sexual contact with persons of the same sex.
The Washington Post reported Prince’s brother in law claimed the superstar had been awake for 154 hours just before he was found dead of as yet unknown causes. A teenager in San Diego set the Guinness world record for staying awake in 1964 at 264 hours. Guinness no longer tracks staying awake because it’s too dangerous.
It figures a teenager would hold the record.
When I was 18, I got stood up on a Friday night date. I couldn’t decide if I was more pissed off or hurt but I was not sleepy, so I thought I’d go to work and get a jump on the next week. The military computer room was under guard but open to cleared people 24/7 because it was in a command headquarters.
The week’s work for my entire swing shift crew was ten reports. I got so into it that when I noticed it was almost Sunday, I took it as a challenge. I couldn’t leave to eat while running several machines by myself but I did clean out the vending machines and rolled on a junk food high. When my boss showed up Sunday evening, report number ten was being spat out of the printer. I had made one mistake, but I managed to recover with a bit of re-programming even after I was getting fuzzy.
Without that error, I would have had a clean finish of the full week’s work for four guys. As it was, they had to stand there for a couple of hours and change the printer paper when it ran out.
I was not fit to drive back to the barracks, but I love the feeling it gives me to remember having done it over 50 years later. There was a series of rat experiments on sleep deprivation and the rats died. They never did figure out cause of death, but they must not have used teenage rats.
Foreign Policy reported that U.S. forces executed a “roof knock,” where a bomb is detonated directly over a house to scare the occupants away. It failed when a woman ran from the house in Mosul but re-entered before the missile arrived. The target? Approximately $150 million in cash destined for the ISIS troops’ payroll.
“We’ve been burning our own money in Iraq for years,” Cousin Ray grumbled. “About time we burned some of theirs.”