It was a shivery kind of morning, one that had me wishing I’d put on more clothes, when Koko and I went out walking in the pale light of a newborn day. A steady, straight rain was falling — heavy enough to require an umbrella, but not so heavy as to make Koko dejected — and it had the effect of pulling a fine lacy curtain across the body of the Giant and erasing all the other land forms.
Back in the snug of my house, I was reading some of the articles now being published saying the recent mass animal die offs are no big deal, they happen all the time (never mind that the public has never seen or heard much about them before now), when I ran across this quote, which I liked:
”The irony is that mass die-offs — usually of animals with large populations — are getting the attention while a larger but slower mass extinction of thousands of species because of human activity is ignored," [Harvard biologist E.O.] Wilson said.
Like the dramatic decline — we’re talking up to 96 percent in the last 10 to 15 years — of four previously abundant species of North American bumblebees, which are crucial pollinators, due to habitat loss, pesticides, pollution and diseases spilling out of greenhouses using commercial bumblebees.
And that got me musing about a few other ironies I encountered this week. Like how, after writing a post about rethinking our criminalization approach to addiction, I drove by the hulking new judiciary and cop shop and realized we’d come up with millions to build that monument to Babylon but still hadn’t managed to achieve two mayors’ dreams of establishing an on-island drug rehab center — not even for youth, and not even at the old dog pound, which was abandoned by Kauai Humane Society because it was inhumane to animals.
And how the cops are always complaining they don't have enough officers to properly serve the island, but they had two unmarked cars at the Lihue Fire Station this morning in one of those traps for motorists.
And how the Star-Advertiser earnestly reported that the house Obama stayed in over Christmas got a major historic homes property tax break, while totally missing the bigger story, which Civil Beat just reported, that the residence is an illegal vacation rental.
And how the U.S., after slaughtering at least 100,000 Muslims in Iraq and an untold number in Afghanistan, announced it is “deeply concerned” about what appears to be “an increasing trend” in attacks against Christians in the Middle East.
And how a sanctimonious Baptist minister who backed Prop. 8, the California ban against same-sex marriage, was charged with six felony counts of sexual conduct with a child under 14.
And how the U.S. rushed to develop the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as a relatively cheap (a mere $450 million per ship) way to deal death on our “enemies” in shallow waters, but in the process created death traps for our own troops with a warship that is not expected to fight and survive in the very environment in which it was produced to do so..
And how the Pentagon is making big hay about how even it will be tightening its belt by cutting some $78 billion over five years from its half-trillion annual budget (a whopping figure that doesn’t include the billions spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), in part by laying off some 47,000 troops and increasing the insurance premium costs for military retirees — yet military spending will still increase by 3 percent next year.
And how even as the bloated, pork-ridden, lobbyist-directed, Congressional district-driven military budget staggers forward, the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, was telling NBC News that he doesn’t think the government has a responsibility to help those who “won’t compete” in our competitive society.
Yes, as Alanis Morissette might sing, “isn’t it ironic, a little too ironic?”