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How Did I Miss That? Warm-Blooded Fish; Apple Watch Dog

Scientific American reported on the discovery of the first endotherm (“warm blooded”) fish, Lampris guttatus aka opah aka moonfish. My cousin Ray Sixkiller is as fond of fish fries as most Cherokees are of hog fries, so when he understood that the news was not about Oprah or mooning, he started thinking about the practicalities of whether warm blood could be hot. “Can they be fish-farmed to fry themselves?” Sure, Ray—just like hogs do.

AppleInsider published a photo from Weibo (the Chinese answer to Twitter and Facebook) allegedly posted by Wang Sicong, the richest man in China. It showed his dog wearing two gold Apple watches. The photo went up on the dog’s personal Weibo account with comment that he ought to have four, one for each limb, but that “seems too tuhao,” using a derogatory term for persons with new wealth and no social graces. “Well,” Cousin Ray chuckled, “now I’ve got a word for kids who get drafted into pro sports and go crazy.”

With apologies to Tom Brady, a new “flatgate” arose this week with a chorus of boos at the Cannes Film Festival over banning flat soles on the red carpet. Cousin Ray thought the most interesting thing about this item was that the honchos in Cannes seemed to think most of the lady stars would bring flats to the festival and so would have to make a decision. I was wondering if the kerfuffle was about the fashion statement or over some women needing flats for health reasons. Then, I thought, nah, it’s Cannes. It’s about fashion.

Sports Illustrated reported on two outstanding catches that elevated the selfie to a whole new level. L.A. Dodgers fan Bobby Crosby has now caught not one but two home run balls while filming the whole thing with a camera held in his non-gloved hand. The last homer came off the bat of Dodger third baseman Alex Guerrero and, for the skeptics out there, other fans filmed Crosby filming himself.

The Texas Observer reported that the law finally caught up with Christopher Duntsch after his patients were “paralyzed, injured and killed one after another as other doctors looked on in horror” between 2010 and 2013, when the Medical Board finally summoned the fortitude to suspend his medical license. Texas victims having been further victimized by “tort reform,” there is no way to make Duntsch pay for the damage he caused by filing a lawsuit. But now he may be punished, sort of.

According to a Dallas police affidavit Duntsch was caught on a surveillance camera changing into a pair of new pants, putting his old ones in a shopping cart, and attempting to exit a Wal-Mart wearing the purloined trousers and pushing the cart containing sunglasses, watches, briefcases and other items for a total of $887 in booty.

Cousin Ray reminded me that Gov. Gregg Abbott called out the Texas State Guard to protect Texans from the U.S. Army, the Department of Homeland Security, and Wal-Mart. “It had to be Wal-Mart joining the conspiracy against Texas that got the governor off the dime,” my Republican cousin said of our Republican governor. “Just look at this case. You got homicide and mayhem and the law does nothing. But the same guy steals from Wal-Mart and the system springs into action.”

I suggested that maybe we should trade in the slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas” for “Don’t Mess with Wal-Mart.”

On May 23, 1934, police officers aimed a fusillade of over 130 gunshots into a stationary car, putting 17 bullet holes in the male occupant and 26 in the woman.

On November 29, 2012, police officers aimed a fusillade of 137 gunshots into a stationary car, putting 23 bullet holes in the male occupant and 24 in the woman.

The 2012 case was in Ohio, the car was a Chevy, and the occupants had petty criminal records. They were both described as homeless, mentally ill drug addicts. A crack pipe was found in the car but they were unarmed and being chased for driving while black. The police claimed they mistook the old Chevy’s backfire for a gunshot.

The other case? That was a Ford in Louisiana and while those occupants were homeless as well, they were involved in too many felonies to count and the killings of nine police officers and several civilians. They died armed to the teeth but without firing a shot. We know them as Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

Nobody will make a movie about Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell. One police officer was tried for manslaughter, the officer who fired the last 15 of 137 shots into the car while standing on the hood after having emptied his pistol once and reloaded. This week, a judge found him not guilty, observing that he could not tell if Williams and Russell were already dead when the last 15 shots were pumped into them.

The headline sent around by Newsmax, which aspires to be to the World Wide Web what Fox News is to broadcasting, was an attention grabber: “ISIS: We'll Be Able to Smuggle Nuke Into US From Mexico Soon.” When Cousin Ray heard this, he sighed, “There goes the neighborhood.”

I was skeptical. The sources, it turns out, are an op-ed in the Islamic State’s propaganda organ, Dabiq and Independent Journal Review, known on the web as the right wing version of Upworthy. So you have three propaganda sources vouching for each other.

The plan is to buy a nuke from a treasonous general in Pakistan and move it overland to Nigeria and a Boko Haram safe house. Then buy a return ticket on a drug smuggling plane that just brought Columbian cocaine to Lagos. Landing back in Bogata or, more likely, Cartagena, they then walk the weapon though “the porous borders of Central America”

Finally, they arrive at another porous border, between the U.S. and Mexico, where Newsmax informed us on the impeccable authority of Judicial Watch, ISIS has two “bases” within eight miles of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and they appear to be targeting Ft. Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Judicial Watch’s litigation history, both as plaintiff and as defendant, can entertain a bored Googler for hours, but they must be right because Newsmax says so and Newsmax is right because Independent Journal Review says so.

“When I said the neighborhood is going downhill,” Cousin Ray clarified, “I didn’t mean Texas. I meant journalism.”

Politico reported that the number of social liberals in the U.S. equaled the number of social conservatives---at 31 percent---for the first time since Gallup began polling on the question in 1999. The trend has been clear for a long time and a similar trend is inching forward on economic liberalism. The Gallup Poll, with a margin of error this year at 4 percent, still shows a clear split between Republicans and Democrats. However, the wedge issues the GOP used to love now cut in the other direction, at least outside the Confederate states.

The results in the Irish referendum on gay marriage left me wondering if the homophobes would have done better with the support of Wal-Mart rather than the Roman Catholic Church? Most of the pundits claimed two reasons why the Church no longer has Irish politics by the throat. One was generational change and the other was loss of credibility from years of protecting Irish child molesters.

The election returns, to my surprise, cut across generational lines, meaning that the Church has lost public policy impact across the board. The New York Times quoted the Irish Minister of Communications, “This marks the true separation of church and state.”

The argument that destroying marriage for gay people protects marriage for straight people appears to have lost traction, and the homophobes were reduced to arguing that having reservations about gay marriage does not make them homophobes. Excuse me? When your “reservations” have been shredded by anybody who passed rhetoric 101 and you don’t back off a policy that hurts others, “homophobe” is an understatement for “bigot.”

GOP Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee appeared to be telling Fox News that he would ignore the SCOTUS if it ruled in favor of gay marriage. “The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being,” quoth Huck. Plainly, Huck is correct. The Supreme Being does not have to write opinions or engage in any argument beyond ipse dixit. (“Because I say so.”) The problem with trusting human government to gods is that history and common experience tell us that gods whisper different “truths” to different people.

I won’t trouble my Cherokee cousin Ray with Huckabee’s nonsense, because we can’t improve on the words attributed to our Seneca cousin Sagoyewatha, called Red Jacket by the yonega, who addressed the colonists about this problem of fickle and inconsistent gods:

Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit; if there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book?