Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Let's Play Nice Mr. Chocolate!

I spend all summer with bears – although I almost never see them. Each night before I retire to my room of heavy logs, three stories above the forest floor, I kick the crew out of the lodge and send them out to their tents and tepees. Then I make my daring dash to the generator shed. It’s at that time that I think most about bears. I know they are out there just beyond the circle of light, with slobbering jaws, big empty stomachs and long, long claws. I flip the breaker, and wait a couple of minuets for the oil to settle out of the engine. I pull the door shut – just in case. Then I switch off the generator and make a mad dash back to the safety of the kitchen door; the giant grizzly of my imagination lumbering behind me.

Now let’s talk about Timothy Treadwell. For thirteen years this “fellow” spent his summers sitting a few feet from some Alaskan grizzly bears. He claimed to be protecting them from poachers – though the park authorities who had charge of them say they were never in danger. And for five years he filmed the entire idiocy; a kind of Crocodile Hunter of the tundra. I have not seen the movie so I must quote from Louis Witting of the National Review Online’s article “Grizzly Love” Aug 24, 2005:

“He [Treadwell] crouches in the bushes as two behemoths tear each other apart, then creeps up on the loser, within easy range of a paw swat, and gives it his post-fight analysis. He crawls within whispering distance of the bears, calls them by their names – Mr. Chocolate, Aunt Melissa, Sergeant Brown – and tells them how much he loves them . . . At the end of his 13th summer among the bears, federal park rangers found the majority of Treadwell, and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard, in the gastrointestinal track of a male grizzly.”

Mr. Chocolate I believe – who had to be executed to retrieve the four garbage bags full of body parts.

I have four bears of my own, all dead. I love them – they make great decorations. Two are skulls; one at home the other on one of my classroom book shelves, and two are hides for hanging on the Lodge wall at camp. I also have a bear scalp, I souldn't forget that! I have eagerly contributed to the capture of two bears at Camp over the years. I enjoyed very much seeing them hauled off in traps made of chunks of culvert to parts of the forest where hunters would soon turn them into pot-roasts and wall hangings.

I spend a good deal of each summer keeping the bear attractants of 250 campers locked up in big steal boxes, and tamping bags of ash and rot into the bear resistant dumpsters a mile up the hill from my nice safe bed.

My point in all this – any eleven year old Boy Scout knows that bears are deadly dangerous – not cuddly friends for pet names and petting. Those who are dumb enough to make touchy-feely with grizzly bears will end up in garbage bags.



Anonymous said...

Interesting comparison. Unlike bears, however, it is as likely that those who don't choose to cuddle up to the Islamic fascist world will end up hurt as those who do choose to do so. The consequences have much more breadth.

Miximus said...

Now Lysis,
For you to make the jump from bears to members of fundamental religious groups is quite a discredit to your usual reasonable posts. Although I do agree there are dangers of "snuggling up" to fundamentalists of any type, I can't agree with your apples and oranges comparison. Perhaps some reasoning about specific dangers of Islamic fanatics and their views would better strike a chord between the dangers of bears and fanatic Muslims?

There is just one last point which has nothing to do with your post here. I think your normally thorough writings could better serve us on less of what we should watch out for politically (at least for this request only), and speak some thoughts about Rights and Reason in times of catastrophe- whether that be war or natural disaster.

Lysis said...

Miximus, that was a little harsh wasn’t it? I agree that grizzly bears and terrorists are as about apples and oranges as fruits can be, but my point wasn’t about the bears and terrorists – I meant to get us thinking about the idiots that think that “playing nice” with either will make such monsters our friends.

As for “rights and reasons” you are right – we should all be searching!

Anonymous – there is a sad truth that bears made bad by idiots hurt innocent people, even ones that follow all the rules!!! I guess these apples and oranges are still both fruits.

Anonymous said...

Indeed bears made bad by idiots hurt innocent people. However, there are many ways that the innocent are protected (also mentioned a bit in your post). The point is that a few idiots curling up to terrorists does far more harm to the innocent than cuddling up with a bear.

Ares said...

Somewhere it is written that all Muslims should kill the 'infidel.' Gratefully the vast majority of the Islamic community does not take the same view as these few facist groups, but if that is so, how could anyone presume to snuggle up to a group of people that would just as soon cut your head off as look at you. Or maybe they would rather cut off your head!

Lysis, I would just like to say to you on a side note, that I used the line from JRR Tolkien about "those who refuse to wield swords..." in my English essay you told me about. My teacher, in his infinite wisdom, told me that it was the wrong word to use when I said wield. I thought about telling him that it was probably one of the most famous writers in the whole world's line, but I stopped myself, thinking that I could let him know later. Thanks again.

Aeneas said...

Last week, I stole away from work for about an hour to take my family out to lunch at a park near the water in San Francisco Bay. Just as we were finishing up our hamburgers and chicken nuggets and preparing to go for a walk along the beach, a couple arrived with their pitbull. At first, the man kept the dog on a leash, especially when a small group of joggers came running by. But, once they had passed, the man looked around to make sure no one else was near by and let the pitbull loose. I, of course, refused to let my family out of the car, which cut short our already short excursion to the park. I was angry, not so much for the fact that our trip was cut short, but because I could tell the man knew his dog was dangerous but kept it anyway and deliberately exposed the public to it simply for his own convenience and pleasure.

Now some may say, "how could you know that this dog was one of the dangerous ones?" My reply is that I don't know, but I can't take the risk of exposing my family to something that has proven time and again to be a very dangerous animal. How many people must be attacked and or killed by pitbulls before we wiseup and conclude that pitbulls are an especially dangerous animal and should not be kept as ordinary house pets?

Now, bears, pitbulls, and Islamic Fundamentalists are all different...apples, oranges and pears. However, they appear to have similar characteristics, danerous, unpredictable, and unreasonable. I agree with Lysis, we shouldn't make the mistake of presuming we can safely get too close to any of them.

Anonymous: I think your point is that keeping Islamafascists at arms length is not enougl. I agree, but too many in this country are eager to invite the pitbull or bear into our own livingroom, which appears to be not only ignorant but willfully ignorant.

Reach Upward said...

Although some will recoil at this grizzly suggestion, I think a lot of people would like to see Osama's skull on a shelf somewhere.

Reach Upward said...

By the way, the only time I ate bear meat I found it greasy, stringy, and not too pleasant. Apparently, Mr. Chocolate developed a taste for nut cases prior to his untimely demise. Maybe bear tastes different if it's Mr. Cholocate on the outside with an environmentalist nut center.

On the terrorist thing -- you can't reason with unreasonable people that want to kill you simply because you are not one of them. All of the outreach efforts, holding hands, and singing Kum-By-Yah in the world won't render them safe to us.

Anonymous said...

"'Women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy,' says Reuel Marc Gerecht,who insists 'we need to put (women's rights) into perspective' when considering the new Iraqi constitution (Meet the Press," Aug.21).
As a former CIA middle East specialist and current director of the Middle East Initiative at the proudly conservative Project for the New American Century, Gerecht must know best.
Gerecht reasons that Iraqi women do not need social rights because American women did not have the right to vote until the 20th century. Using that standard, Iraqi men who do not own property also do not need guaranteed rights.
After all, originally only 'landed' American males could vote. And since slavery was part of our early democracy, perhaps Iraq could designate either the Kurds or Sunnis as slaves without too much objection from the Bush Administration.
Or is it only women's rights than conservatives deem expendable?
All the while U.S. military women and men daily risk and lose ther lives in Iraq for 'democracy'".

What a waste of "heroes" -- lives thrown away so Iraqis can learn how to use a democracy to disenfranchise and brutalize their fellow man.
What will Lysis say of the justice of this war when Islamic fundamentalism becomes the democratic theocracy of choice in Iraq? When Al queda finds a new democratic homeland? When civil rights are quashed as thoroughly as under Sadam?

Lysis' tells us not to get too friendly with Grizzleys. What do you do when you find you've al ready curled up with one?

Lysis said...


First of all Gerecht does not speak for me, for the Bush Administration, nor for the New Democratic Iraqi government. Women voted at a higher rate than men in the last Iraqi election and will vote in the referendum to ratify the constitution. Please give us some specifics of the oppression of women under the New Iraqi constitution that you imply.

Your attack is a typical relativist assault. First you invent a fact – that Iraqi women are oppressed – then expand it to the most ridicules end - that only landed men will vote – that some portion of the Iraqi population will be enslaved - these are unreasoned speculations.

It is the terrorists that are killing in Iraq today. It is the liberal agenda which props them up and gives them hope by concocting falsehoods and voice spouting such tripe, that is snuggling with the monsters.

As for Saddam – he is a snuggly bear now – a bear skin rug and his head will soon be on the shelf!!!

Anonymous said...

"Bush says he knows that Iraq's still unfinished constitution will be a victory for women because Condoleza Rice told him so. But if the president were to check in with Safia Taleb al-Suhail he might come away with a different story. According to a Reuters report, Suhail, who is now Iraq's ambassadour to Egypt, believes that the draft Iraqi constitution represents a major setback for the women of her country.
"When we came back from exile, we thought we were going to improve rights and the position of women," she said. "Butlook what has happened -- we have lost all the gains we made over the last 30 years. (that means under Saddam folks) It's a big disappointment."
She is concerned -- as many Iraqis are -- that the draft constitiution allows religious sects to run family courts, likely leaving decisions about divorce, inheritance and other issues important to women in the hands of ISLAMIC CLERICS. This will lead to creating RELIGIOUS COURTS (under Shari'a)," she said. But we should be giving priority to the law."
Suhail said the United States has sold out Iraq's women in the drive to get a constitution -- any constitution -- approved by Iraq's National Assembly. "We have received news that we were not backed by our friends, including the Americans",she said. "They left the Islamists to come to an agreement with the Kurds."

*Suhail was the Iraqi woman George W. Bush trotted out for his State of the Union address earlier this year, the daughter of a man murdered by Saddam Hussein who provided the feel-good moment of the president's performance when, sitting up there in the balcony with Laura Bush, she embrace the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq.
*We wonder if she'll be invited back for next year's speech.

Do not let "wanna be" absolutists, of any kind, co-opt human rights for their own distorted and deluded purposes.

I guess Lysis feels he has to "hang" with any absolutists he can -- even if they are Islamic fundamentalists

Lysis said...

So anonymous takes the word of Suhail over that of Condoleezza Rice? Natural in a mindset where your opinion picks the sources of your facts. Go Reuters!!!!

Here are a few questions the Reuters’ reporter might have asked Suhail if he really wanted the truth.

1. How many women ambassadors did Saddam have?

2. If things were so wonderful for women (for anyone) under Saddam, Suhail, why were you living in exile during his “enlightened” reign?

3. Would you (or anonymous for that matter) give us the provisions of the “new Constitution” which are so dangerous to women?

4. What would have happened to a woman (or any other) ambassador who expressed their disappointment with Saddam in the international press?

As for my feelings; you guessed wrong anonymous. I don’t feel the need to hang with anyone. All I ask for is some facts by which to measure the claims offered by Reuters’ reporters, Safia Taleb al-Suhail, you, or Baghdad Bill.

The truth doesn’t need cheerleaders – it just is!!!

A_Shadow said...

Actually, I think it's about time that I chimed in on this one...

Why do we always have rotten luck with the Anonymous ones? Nevermind my next biting comment, I'll swallow it.

I just wanted to point out that if you're ever going to quote someone, quote them, none of this "Well some nut case reporter - on Reuters! - said that Dubya said that Condie said that..." Do you see that? Where's the ettiquette in that? Where's the properness of the whole thing. I'm only harping on it because it's so far down the chain of accurate sources it's far beyond a tertiary source...

Accurate information will be discussed. Inaccuracies will be pointed out and returned to sender.

Not that I speak for everyone, I just will live by that rule of thumb. I always like to hit the sources before I bother responding to their nonesense anyways.

Oh, and Lysis, allow my pitiful voice to join chorus with the others: welcome back. Missed you indeed.

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P. Maclean said...

Well, about all I have to say about grizzly bears is don't poke them with a short stick. If you have a problem animal coming around camp at night and you decide to chase it off then fine. Just make sure that when you enter the bear den you have a good plan and a big enough gun to put the bear down quick, if that's what it takes. You can probably appreciate more than most Lysis, the fear of getting into a fight with a grizzly bear when you aren't prepared, say, when you are out away from home with no friends around, doing a job you didn't start but has to be done and all you want is to get back to bed as soon as you can. Come to think of it now, maybe there are a lot more people in the world that can identify with that feeling than I give credit.

As for skinning the creature, stuffing it and hanging its head on the wall, I've never been one to decorate that way. If I did I wouldn't be able to wow the parlor guests on Sundays with my true-life fishing stories about the giants that got away and the fat ones I just had to eat on the spot after wrestling with them all day long.

Health Blog said...

And for five years he filmed the entire idiocy;
a kind of Crocodile Hunter of the tundra.