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08/09/2004 Archived Entry: "Getting back to the war"

Yesterday's cartoon strip "Helen: Sweetheart of the internet," suggests that the Gov't thinks technogeeks have a "Patriotic Duty" to be "stupid." Ted Rall comments on all the "Election Spoilers" who are pulling votes away from Kerry. (Hey, Badnarik made the list!) And...we interrupt this blog for a message from Tom Ridge.

Like many activists of my acquaintance, I have acted in emotional self-defense and turned off the ongoing pacification of Iraq, the civil war that is the Middle East, the destruction of liberty that used to be America... It seems almost too easy to turn it all off and forget the world that's larger than my farm, rather as though that world is a television program -- which is, after all, how all the disturbing information and images about which I can do nothing enter my home. Unless, of course, I seek them out on the Internet. And I haven't been doing *that* either. Until this morning...for whatever reason...I clicked over to TruthOut and AntiWar.com, both of which I am very pleased to see have survived the recent economic crunch that has hobbled so many other worthwhile sites. They provide nice balance, with TruthOut leaning to the left and AntiWar leaning libertarianward.

As one of my distractions from the world, I've been enjoying Gordon P.'s tales of the wolf he's adopted and her new cubs...

Erin is part of a wolf pack at Wolf Park in Indiana, which offers wolf adoptions as a means through which to finance their nurturing of wolf populations, with an emphasis on preserving a diversity of genetic lines. "Through personal updates and extensive biographies wolf sponsors will get to know "their" wolf on a personal level. Our sponsorship program provides a unique opportunity to come to know one of these complex social animals as individuals and to learn more about their lives. This personal bond between a real live wolf and his/her sponsors forms a bridge of concern for wolves in the wild, for which our wolves are ambassadors."

Gordon writes: "Finally remembered to check the Wolf Park website again, and there is now a link to a webpage about Erin's puppies. They are mostly doing quite well --- although sadly, they all appear to be suffering from some sort of metabolic deficiency that was interfering with proper bone development. :'-( However, they appear to be responding well to calcium treatments...They also have a very serious case of "cuteness" ;-I --- and WOW, do they grow fast !!!"

An update: "I've just come back from taking my sisters and nephews to Wolf Park's annual "Dog Days" event. A lovely and educational time was had by all. (The 'Frisbee Dogs,' a team of four spectacularly agile frisbee-catching Border Collies, were a particular hit... :-I)

"I learned one bit of distressing news, though, regarding Erin's puppies: It has been determined that, contrary to what was initially hoped, Wolf Park native Chetan was not the pups' father, but rather Erin's brother, Tristan (who has also firmly supplanted Chetan as Alpha male). Hence, far from representing an outcross that would bring new genes into the Wolf Park line (Erin and Tristan were adopted from the Wolf Hollow pack at Ipswich MA), Erin and Tristan's pups are even more inbred than the Wolf Park lineage was becoming, (which may possibly explain why they all have the same odd metabolic problem that has been interfering with the proper
development of their bones... :-( This unhappy news has left Dr. Klinghammer and the other Wolf Park managers with a heartbreaking decision: They will probably have to sterilize the pups to prevent further inbreeding, and also sterilize Tristan so that he cannot father any more pups with Erin. (They will be sterilized rather than neutered, because the annual mating cycle is essential to maintaining a wolf pack's social cohesion.) As Erin is already six years old, barring the unlikely possibility Chetan wins back "Alpha" status during the 2005 mating season, there will therefore most likely be no further pups born into the main pack. Since none of the other descendants of Wolf Park's founding lineage who are still at at Wolf Park are in a position to breed, this will mean the end of the 32-year old founding lineage --- at least at Wolf Park itself... :'-("

Best to all,

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