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Friday, August 29, 2003 
Mink gone wild 
More about the 10,000 ranch mink that were released by animal-rights whackjobs: those that haven't died of starvation or dehydration, been hit by cars, or been rounded up and returned to the fur farm are doing quite well, thank you, on a diet of domestic poultry and house pets. One farmer estimates his losses at $2,000, which, for those of us in the real world, is a lot of money. And I suspect the native wildfowl and other small animals will be suffering a rapid population decline, too. And the native mink will be crowded out or bred out. Yep, those activists did a lot of good for animals.

American mink released in Britain in the 1980s competed fiercely with the smaller native mink, and almost wiped out many species of ground-nesting birds. Nothing like inducing a vicious, predatory non-native species to an isolated habitat for some good clean extinction-inducing fun!

Yeah, I'm pissed off. Regardless of one's opinion about animals raised for fur, meat, or lab experiments, releasing them into the wild isn't doing anybody any favors. Most of them won't be able to survive; and those that do can wreak havoc on the local environment. Even if they're small and fluffy, like mice and rabbits, they can spread diseases (especially if they've been used in medical research) and compete with their wild counterparts; and if they're vicious and predatory, like mink, it's a death sentence for anything smaller or less aggressive. Yes, raising mink by the thousands in cages isn't natural. But neither is releasing mink by the thousands into an unprepared ecosystem. Okay?

Disclaimer: When I say "animal-rights whackjobs," I'm not referring to everyone who supports animal rights; just those who do fucked-up things like release vicious predatory species and firebomb research labs.

[ at 3:14 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Who needs genetic engineering? 
These are supposed to be rabbits. Dear God, what's happened to them? Have they been cross-bred with dust mops? Tribbles, perhaps? Can they see? Can they hop? And how on earth do you keep them clean? Vaccuuming? Dry-cleaning? My God. They've attained such a level of hyper-cuteness that they're not even cute anymore.

[ at 12:12 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Thursday, August 28, 2003 
Quote of the day 
Arnold Schwarzenegger, in an interview with Sean Hannity: "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman."

Did I mention the importance of word choice...?

[ at 12:00 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

The importance of word choice 
From yesterday's New York Times, in the article Two Former Priests Moved by a Massachusetts Prison: discussion of how inmates in protective custody should be kept away from other inmates who are likely to, say, kill them. Which makes sense, and which I'm not debating; I just want to call attention to these paragraphs:
Professor Austin, an expert on classifying inmates, said the two [pedophile Geoghan and the neo-Nazi homophobe who killed him] should not have been in the same protective custody unit. But he added that assigning inmates to avoid confrontations has become the "No. 1 topic of conversation" among prison administrators as a result of mistakes that led to serious injuries and killings...

After serious incidents, several states, have installed computer systems to ensure that inmates who are natural enemies are not assigned to the same unit, he said.
Um..."natural enemies"? I've only heard that term used to describe animals—"the cobra and the mongoose are natural enemies," "use natural enemies like assassin beetles to fight insect pests," and the like. I'm not going to get into a discussion of whether equating prison inmates with animals is appropriate in the grand scheme of things; only that it's not appropriate in a non–op-ed article in one of the nation's leading newspapers. (Since the sentence ends with "he said," it could be inferred that the term is the one used by the professor; but if so, I'd have put it in quotation marks to make it very clear that that was the case.) Personally, I'd have gone with "inmates who are likely to pose a danger to each other," or—as an op-ed piece in the Times today did—inmates with "perceived antipathies." No, that's not as dramatic; but drama and loaded language have no place in a news article.

[ at 11:58 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Tuesday, August 26, 2003 
Oh, shut up. 
First it's O.J. feeling sorry for Scott Peterson, and now we have Mike Tyson expressing sympathy for Kobe Bryant. Boo-fucking-hoo, guys.

Disclaimer: Innocent until proven guilty etc. Still, as I said in the O.J. post, "you're feeling the wrong person's pain."

[ at 12:11 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Two for Tuesday 
Via Jewdez:

1. I totally cannot stand...

Cockroaches, car alarms, my neighbor's dogs, people who step on worms, homophobes, fast food, glue traps for rodents, people who don't vote, hot weather.

2. If I wrote an autobiography, I'd call it...

Not Quite. (As in, "Not quite [whatever] enough...")

[ at 9:37 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Monday, August 25, 2003 
And having writ... 
Okay, yesterday was not a particularly good day. My dad got laid off; none of us are going to wind up in the street, or anything, but it's a definite shock, and will require a lot of mental adjustment and lifestyle changes. Feh.

Assorted impressions:
  • When my mom got the Republican National Committee's request for their usual generous donation, she wrote back "Unable to donate this year because of husband's job loss." My dad asked, "Did you write 'It's the economy, stupid'?" (No, she isn't that direct.)

  • Dad: "When your neighbor loses their job, it's a recession. When you lose your job, it's a depression."

  • My brother (hereinafter B. [his actual initial, not just standing for "brother"]) is a cop, as I've mentioned; he always has his gun on him, although when he leaves Philly he takes out the bullets. Anyway, Dad said, "I decided that I wasn't a suicide risk, so you could bring your gun." B., matter-of-factly: "You couldn't get it away from me."

  • At his now–former company, they don't make you walk out with your possessions in a box. You can go back to your office for your wallet, keys, and briefcase, and then they box up the rest of the stuff and ship it to you. At least it's a more dignified exit.

  • Back at home with J., talking about it: He kept reassuring me that things would be fine; they've saved a lot of money, they own some property they can sell, and my dad will get severance pay until the end of the year. "Nobody's bulletproof, but they're in the Popemobile."

  • Also: "They don't have to worry about supporting their kids anymore. B.'s launched out on a new career, you're doing well at work, and I'm not too much of a disgrace..."
As for me, I'd better not get manic and get $10,000 into debt again, that's for sure...

[ at 12:12 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Yes, that's me.

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