Friday, April 06, 2007

Dog Control

Dear Indigna,

I understand that Texas may finally implement a tougher "vicious dog" law. Up until now, a dog's "first bite" was passed off as canine exhuberance or something, and if the animal killed someone the crime was treated as a misdemeanor. Isn't it about time we moved to protect innocent people from out-of-control pets?

Dallas, TX

Dear Animal-Hater,

I vehemently oppose any additional dog control laws. Dogs don't kill people, people kill people. Except when their dog does it, in which case the people should be off the hook. Listen, once we start passing laws that penalize pet owners for allowing their pit bull-Rottweiler guard dog pack to roam the streets at will, protecting their homeowner-masters from any random threat posed by elderly ladies or deceptively "innocent" children, who knows how far down the slippery slope we will fall? Will we regulate the number of pet rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters one can keep, lest they decide to rise up en masse and slaughter their human overlords? Should I be prohibited from raising black cats to prevent them from committing witchcraft to ensure my neighbor has hung his last windchime? Shall we throw people in jail just because their python swallowed some threatening infant? If we outlaw guard pets, only outlaws will have guard pets.

In fact, I support a concealed pet permit, to allow law-abiding homeowners to protect their families and themselves by carrying a guard pet in their purse, pocket or holster at all times. People get robbed at ATMs and other public places all the time. That would never happen if people could carry a miniature Dobermain. Whip that puppy out and it's game over, bad guy!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

An Immodest Proposal

Dear Indigna,

Our local high school participates in a "teen pregnancy prevention program" that provides girls--but not boys, of course--with an animatronic "baby" that cries, spits up, poops and pees, and generally acts alarmingly like a real baby, while recording how the "mom" responds to it. The girls are instructed to care for the child for a week or so, and are "graded" on their quality of care.

Putting aside the fact that this program teaches boys that they are completely off the hook, here's my problem with it: recently one of these teens had an accident on the freeway because her "baby" started "crying" while she was driving, leading her to drive off the road or just abandon the wheel and turn around or something of the sort. In another instance, a teenager with one of these "babies" disrupted a ballet performance that cost my husband and me $100 a ticket (no doubt the reason the teen and her mother (!!) failed to leave the performance)! We've also been traumatized in movie theaters by these "babies" whose "mothers" feel absolutely no obligation to leave the premises to "comfort" the little plastic monsters.

Are these programs even effective? What can be done to replace them with a program that does not make everyone in the vicinity suffer from the incompetence of the teen "mother," who, without the benefit of hormones, instinct, or any real consequences obviously has no motivation to act "motherly"?

Enraged Grandma
Cranks, KY

Dear Granny,

The obvious solution is sitting right there in front of you! It's both more effective and more economical than the undoubtedly astronomically expensive "babies" that are currently used. Listen, aren't a lot of babies abandoned each year? Give those babies out to teens (girls and boys) to nurture--for, say, six months or so. That will give the teens the real world experience of chronic diarrhea, colic, seizures from cocaine withdrawal, dropping out of school, and applying for welfare. I predict a 100% graduation rate for these teens once the babies are relinquished to foster parents who will care even less about them.

If sufficient numbers of abandoned babies are not available, hold all-night alcohol-fueled raves at the high school. Combined with "abstinence-only" sex ed, this should result in a greatly increased supply of babies, which can then be requisitioned to provide important "abstinence" lessons to the student body.

Foster care too crowded? Too many babies have "aged out"? I have a suggestion that can provide a much-needed revenue stream for cash-strapped public school districts. Did you know that there is an active market for babies in many countries, both for children or spare parts? For more suggestions, see Jonathan Swift's definitive essay, "A Modest Proposal."

Monday, April 02, 2007


Dear Indigna,

Recently an Aryan German judge in Germany denied a "speedy divorce" to a German-born Muslim woman who was savagely beaten by her Moroccan husband, on the basis that wife-beating is "common" in Moroccan culture and the Quran specifically condones wife-beating.


Frightened Wife
Munich, DE

Dear "Wife,"

What kind of xenophobic bigot are you? How can you say that German law trumps the law of the culture that the predecessors of the husband of the person in question come from? For example, in the Code of Hammurabi, the losing plaintiff in a lawsuit should be put to death. Would you deny this satisfaction to the descendant or family of a descendant of a Babylonian? Similarly for "thousands of years" in ancient China the entire family of a criminal would be put to death. Don't we owe that much to a crime victim of Chinese ancestry?

Suppose you are sentenced to death in the United States and your (or your blood relative's) forefathers came from either Great Britain or France. Ought you not to be judged by the Laws of William the Conqueror, rather than the barbaric laws of the U.S.A.? W. the C. forbade execution, decreeing rather the far more palatable punishment that the felon's "eyes be put out and let him be castrated. And this command shall not be violated under pain of a fine in full to me" (or, since he's been dead for like, 950 years, to Queen Elizabeth, I guess. Or would she have to share it with Tony Blair, or something? Or might it be payable to French PM Dominique de Villepin? I smell a lawsuit!).

And how about if thy Jewish neighbor hath spotted thee a fiver now and then? Or even given you a mortgage on your house? If you are of English extraction, ought not that Jewish debt (but none of the others, of course) be discharged upon thy death, per the Magna Carta?

What about this guy Warren Jeffs, the polygamist who is being prosecuted--I mean persecuted, of course--for marrying his 10- and 12-year-old daughters to 65-year-old "elders." Who are we to trample on his free expression of religion? Not to mention free commerce--the guy has, like, 50 wives! Do you have any idea how many children he probably has? Neither does anyone else, but no one seems to want to take the boys off his hands so he has no choice but to foist the girls off onto willing partners, and basically no one is interested once they start to "develop," if you know what I mean. It's both a religious and business transaction! What's not to like?

Think about it. Ought we not all have the right to be judged by the laws upon which our forefathers' forefathers' culture was based, no matter how ancient and "inconvenient"? Sure, some of us have "cultural backgrounds" that encompass two, three, ten, even dozens of other cultures. Don't you think the first job of a judge should be to parse all those strands and cherry-pick which bits of each ancient legal system (there really aren't that many, if you go back far enough) should supercede the contemporary law of the nation in question?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Rush to Judgement

Dear Indigna,

Isn't it just awful how John Edwards is choosing to continue his presidential candidacy despite his wife's recurrence of cancer? I'm with Rush Limbaugh and Chris Matthews and other decent Americans: these folks are "announcing" her "cancer recurrence" just to see how it plays in the polls! They should be ashamed! Ought they not instead to leave the race and spend her remaining days weeping and rending their garments? And let some healthy Republican like John McCain win the race?

True Red Dittohead
Athol, MA

Dear Ditto,

I agree completely. This is why I am completely flummoxed by Tony Snow's insistence that he plans to "return to work" as soon as possible, despite his own metastatic recurrence of cancer. I'm even more discombobulated by the lack of a public outcry about Snow's intent. Don't these people know that when cancer recurs the public expects them to retire hopelessly to a monastic hospice far from our squeamish view, to languish and suffer and, eventually, who knows how many years or decades hence, perish in complete anonymity? Don't they know that their illness and the public's opinion about how it ought to be handled should dictate how they live their lives? Who are these people to decide what to do about their diagnosis without consulting the public? (Oh wait--isn't that what Rush's criticism just suggested they are doing?)

Enjoy a Better Fit With a Bias Cut!

Dear Indigna,

So I see that once again a government official has been caught altering scientific reports to suit the needs of the Bush Administration. Remind me again why we have not removed all of these charlatans from office?

Responsible Landowner
Roosevelt Lake, AZ

Dear Traitor to Your Country,

See, that's the problem with you "reality-based" people. You just don't get it! Of course the Bush Administration puts people with absolutely no education or experience in positions such as this. If this woman were a scientist, she'd be biased by all the science-type so-called "fact," "evidence" and "research" propaganda she would have been exposed to! Since she has absolutely no background in biology, ecology, or any other science that could remotely be useful in making decisions in her current capacity, she is completely unbiased! She is able to make decisions based entirely on politically expediency without the slightest twinge of guilt! Or even understanding of the consequences of her actions! DUH!!!