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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 19, 2012/ 29 Sivan, 5772

We mustn't let America be buffaloed

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | While the American public has been otherwise distracted by trivial matters such as the presidential election and the possibility of nuclear war with Iran, a great peril has descended upon us that threatens our very fabric as a nation. And like all great existential perils, it can be summed up in one single, solitary word: The National Bison Legacy Act.

The NBLA, which has been introduced in the Senate and which already enjoys the support of lawmakers from eight states, would designate the Plains bison the Official Mammal of the United States. There is so much wrong with this proposal that it is hard to know where to begin. So let's begin with the bison itself. First off, the bison — or "buffalo," as it is sometimes called — is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, metaphorically speaking. Bison were hunted nearly to extinction in the 19th century because frontiersmen could shoot them by the dozens while the rest of the herd stood around, oblivious:

First bison: "Did you hear that? Sounded like a shot."

Second bison: "Probably just a car backfiring. Say, Phil sure looks tired, doesn't he?"

Second, there is the bison's Latin name. Most North American animals have sensible Latin names. For instance, the bobcat's is Lynx rufus (literally, "cat named Rufus"). The grizzly bear's Latin designation is Ursus arctos horribilis – from the Latin horribilis (horrible) ursus (snarling thing) arctos (outside your tent). But the Plains bison? Its Latin name is — ready for this? It's not a typo — bison bison bison (literally, "we can't think of any other words").

Some people like the bison, to be sure, especially with a little garlic butter. There is even a National Bison Association, along with a bunch of state bison associations, and you will not be surprised to learn they are all in favor of the free marketing that official-mammal designation would bring to their industry.

In fact, it would not be surprising to learn that someone in the bison industry put the senators up to this. After all, that is how these things usually work: Once a political entity has an official flag and song and perhaps an official seal or coat of arms, the folks in charge are usually content to let the matter rest. But then someone in, say, the dairy industry hits upon the bright idea that having the legislature designate milk the official state beverage would be a swell way to boost the third quarter's bottom line.

So the milk-industry lobbyist invites the relevant lawmaker out for a few drinks and whatnot, and after the lawmaker has been sufficiently lubricated the lobbyist slips him a bill that the industry has so thoughtfully drafted for him, and then the lobbyist asks: Oh by the way, how is your campaign treasury looking these days? Of course the lawmaker cannot do what he would like to do, which is tell the dairy industry to kiss off, because he is facing a primary challenge and needs the cash. So pretty soon the state has a new official beverage.

The next thing you know everyone is getting in on the act. Retirees who spend every weekend going to square-dance conventions start a campaign to have the square dance designated the state's official dance — just as it has been in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and 19 other U.S. states. Then the fishermen demand to have the bluegill (Illinois) or the crappie (Louisiana) named the official state fish. Pretty soon you have an official state butterfly such as the two-tailed Swallowtail (Arizona) or the Karner Blue (New Hampshire) – along with an official state dinosaur (Hadrosaurus foulkii, New Jersey), shell (Crassostrea virginica, Virginia), soil (Harney silt loam, Kansas), sport (jousting, Maryland) and potato festival (the Albemarle Potato Festival in Elizabeth City, N.C.).

Then the schoolkids join in. According to the official state website of Colorado, "In 2007, Jay Baichi's 4th grade class began the process to get the Western Painted Turtle designated as the Colorado State Reptile. His 4th grade class the next year completed the legal steps and Governor Ritter signed HB 08-1017 on March 18, 2008." Oh joy. Before you know it, the drunks and practical jokers have had their way and you end up like Nevada — which has, kid you not, an official state artifact: a 2,000-year-old Tule Duck Decoy made out of bulrushes that was found during a cave exploration in 1924. Second prize is two Tule Duck Decoys.

This is what America has in store for it, if it goes down the buffalo road. And it cannot end well. Gibbon wrote all about it in "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," and we are repeating the mistake again 2,000 years later. It's all on the Internet, you can look it up yourself.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:




05/31/12: Drop and Give Uncle Sam 20
05/15/12: The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video
05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

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