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Saturday, October 11, 2003

Adventures in Reading

In case you didn’t read today’s papers there were a few things you shouldn’t have missed. There were two front-page articles exploring the lower depths of the Bush administration’s contempt for the environment. Other than that you could have skipped everything else in the papers and gone out and enjoyed your day. That is unless you’re a baseball fan. Baseball fans need to take a half hour out of their day to read every word printed about the four teams still vying for the championship.

In an article that seemed like some horrible Onion parody of the news, the Bush administration is trying to ease laws prohibiting the sale, trade, and hunting of endangered animals. American endangered species will be unaffected by the legislation but foreign animals need to take cover. The Bush people said that the revenue poor nations will receive from hunting permits for their nearly-extinct wildlife will help them protect said wildlife. Evidently some rich assholes (friends of the administration I’m sure) want to hunt down and kill—for sport--some sort of endangered goat in Afghanistan. The new legislation will also allow circuses to capture and imprison foreign endangered animals to use in their American productions.

I am not making this up. I could not make this up. This is too fucked-up to make up. You can look it up. Someone please tell me that it was all a big hoax and the joke is on me. Hello?

In an unrelated but equally repugnant article the Bush people also want to undo a lot of conservation laws that will make it easier for strip mining companies to desecrate public land in their search for precious metals. Yes, we really need to get the government off of our backs so we can kill off all of the wild animals that threaten us and so we can strip away that pesky crust of the planet earth to find shiny metal for our jewelry.

Thank God I could escape this insanity in the sport pages. I read every word about the baseball series going on now. The Seattle Times has an excellent baseball writer in Larry Stone. My passion for baseball borders on the absurd this time in October, especially with play off games as exciting as we’ve had so far. We also have the Cubs and the Red Sox in contention who haven’t won a series in forever--one since 1912 and the other since 1918. A Cub fan at the game had a sign that read “If we win this one we can relax until 2098.” With our own team staying home for the play offs everyone in Seattle has become rabid Sox and Cub fans. People clap at the TV’s when either team scores.

With our executive branch selling permits to kill endangered animals you need something like great baseball to keep you from losing it.

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