A horse is a horse, of course, of course

I suppose it is not surprising that the death of a horse is front page news when the horse in question is Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who only a few weeks later at the Preakness suffered a catastrophic leg injury on national television. Horses are often immediately euthanized at the race track after suffering injuries like that, but Barbaro was only reluctantly put down today, and only after months of extraordinary veterinary care and multiple setbacks.

But more extraordinary than the efforts to save Barbaro — his owners are Rockefeller heirs after all, and his sperm was worth millions — was the outpouring of support from thousands of people, directed towards, well… a horse.

Almost immediately, fruit baskets filled with green apples and carrots, elaborate flower arrangements and get-well cards arrived by the truckload at the veterinary hospital. Online message boards were swamped with Barbaro news, and became a virtual waiting room.

I suppose the crusty, cynical response would be to berate the American people for lavishing so much love and affection on a freakishly talented $30 million race horse, at the same time our nation is busy spending its blood and treasure on a brutal, dehumanizing war in Iraq. During the months of Barbaro’s failed rehabilitation, how many Iraqi civilians and US soldiers lost their lives or limbs? How many children lost their parents? How many parents lost a son or a daughter?

For that matter, how many children slowly starved to death in Darfur while distraught animal lovers sent fruit baskets to a horse?

Yup, that would be the cynical response. And it is so overwhelmingly tempting to go there.

But I see another side to this seemingly misprioritized compassion, and while it may not paint our species in the most flattering light, it does portray a human quirk that I find oddly endearing. I’m talking of course about our innate ability to distract ourselves from the horrors of everyday life, and to find beauty in a world filled with ugliness… much of our own making.

It’s almost charming.

In The Leviathan Thomas Hobbes famously describes the condition of war as one of “every man against every man,” a condition in which life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” This is the condition in which our species surely evolved, a harsh existence in which our ancestors found themselves not only in dire competition with other species, but with each other. This the condition that is so deeply ingrained in our species that one is tempted to define humanity by the inhumanity we wreak on our fellow man.

And yet us humans are equally capable of incredible displays of empathy and compassion. We can be filled with a love so immense and ungainly that following our heart is like squeezing a water balloon: it either uncontrollably oozes out between our fingers in every direction — or suddenly and irreversibly bursts.

We are an odd species, that can love animals and eat them at the same time. Hypocritical? Sure. But it also means that when it comes to us humans, anything is possible.

While thousands of Americans weep at the news of Barbaro’s death, countless Iraqis will die unnoticed from a war of our own making. But rather than view this cynically, I choose to view it as a sign of our humanity, and as a sign of hope. For if we can grieve for horse, surely we can learn to grieve for our fellow man.

Comments

  1. 2

    rhp6033 spews:

    My daughter used to love the cows at our friend’s ten-acre ranch near Silver Lake. When we would go visit, she would pick bunches of grass and feed the two cows by hand.

    One day she didn’t see the cows, even though she went to the fence and called for them. This wasn’t too unusual, as the cows may have been off by the creek, and out of sight.

    So we went in and had a lunch. As she ate her cheeseburger, fresh from the charcoal grill, she asked: Where is Bessie? Our host replied, matter of factly: “That’s her you are eating!”

    My daughter put down the hamburger, and wouldn’t eat beef again for the next two years.

    Then later, at the same farm, I saw her eating the fried chicken. I asked her how that was different. “I saw this chicken. He was picking on the other chickens, pecking at the ones that were hurt and stealing their food. He was a bully. I don’t feel bad eating this one.”

    Our host winked at me, and said: “Yep, we only pick out the bad ones when it comes time for dinner”.

  2. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The outpouring of compassion and grief for an injured racehorse is understandable. After all, Barbaro was an innocent warm-blooded animal with big brown eyes like me, not some fucking thief or warmonger!

    And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with charity and private giving — until wingnuts use it as an excuse for eliminating the government-sponsored safety net.

    Precisely because it is discretionary and subject to the whim of the giver, private charity is NOT a substitute for entitlement programs. I don’t want to depend in old age on strangers deciding I’m worthy of support and care. I’d rather spend a lifetime paying taxes into Social Security knowing that I’m entitled by law to the benefits I’ll need to live on when I can’t earn anymore — and, having paid into Social Security since the 1960s, I damn sure don’t appreciate the attempts by Republicans to fuck with my Social Security! Fuck them, not my Social Security!

    Like I said, charity is fine in its place. But I want taxpayer-funded public broadcasting (which costs each of us less than $1 a year) IN ADDITION TO the private publications funded by Richard Scaife and “Rev.” Moon — for that matter, it’s fine with me if the Scaife and Moon publications just fucking GO AWAY.

    I don’t think it should be up to people like Ken Hutcherson or Joe Fuiten to decide who eats, and who doesn’t. I want a taxpayer-funded food stamp program that desperately poor people are entitled to as a matter of law, enforceable in the courts. And I want taxpayer-funded legal aid organizations to exist, to enforce those rights.

    And, last but not least, medical care should be a right — not something that people who can’t afford it should be required to hold their hands out for, hoping that some private foundation or donor will deem their life “worthy” of saving.

  3. 4

    Brenda Helverson spews:

    Objects are easy to love. They don’t ask anything in return and rarely disappoint you. You can treat your cat as athe Perfect Intelligent Person and your cat never objects.

    People are a lot more challenging. They bite back, they can be ungrateful, they can disappoint you, and they can really break your heart by being someone other than the person that you made them out to be.

    I have seen this attitude when following the Kim Family disaster in Oregon. The Kim Family seem to be treated either as heroes without defect or as fools without sense. There has been little room to treat Mr. & Mrs. Kim as normal people who made logical decisions that, in hindsight, turned out to be the wrong decisions. But they were people and they deserve to be treated as people and not as objects.

    That doesn’t mean that Barbaro was nothing but an object, but his image is a projection that had little to do with the actual horse or its medical treatment. Loving Barbaro was easy. Dead Iraqis are hard.

  4. 5

    Dave Gibney spews:

    Why’s his sperm worth a dime? He busted his leg in a race for chis’ sake! THat’s a trait well worth breeding again :)

  5. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Remember the Gary Larson Thanksgiving cartoon? Farmer with axe in hand is looking over his turkey flock and musing, “Who’s it gonna be? Whoooo’s it gonna be?” And one of the turkeys has an exceptionally long neck and his head sticks up way above the crowd …

    Yep, it’s usually better to “blend in.”

  6. 8

    Brenda Helverson spews:

    Roger Rabbit said “Precisely because it is discretionary and subject to the whim of the giver, private charity is NOT a substitute for entitlement programs.”

    Will someone please inscribe this on a tablet and mount it somewhere that everyone can see it?

  7. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 Yes, I can see where some people might have no feelings for Iraqis, even though they are completely innocent of anything besides living in their own country.

    One of the most important skills required of a warmonger is the ability to set aside not only reason, but also feeling and compassion, for the innocent people you are about to shoot, burn, blow up, decapitate, delimb, lacerate, puncture, rip apart, stab, slash, and disembowel.

  8. 10

    Ragnar Danneskold spews:

    \”countless Iraqis will die unnoticed from a war of our own making. For if we can grieve for horse, surely we can learn to grieve for our fellow man. \”

    How myopic of you. How incredibly biased and wrong.

    How about celebrating the millions of Iraqi\’s that voted for their own freedom?

    How about celebrating the Kurds and their flourishing society and economy?

    How about celebrating the millions of Iraqi\’s fighting and more importantly surviving and defeating the few jihadists/activists seeking to make the government they chose unstable.

    Just as Iraq has those few jihadists/activists seeking to destabilize a burgeoning government, we have a few home-grown of our own seeking to destabilize our way of life.

    Do you celebrate your own country or in your own sneaky way, are you trying to harm and destabilize it for political reasons? Many of us already suspect we know the answer.

  9. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Do you really believe this rose-colored view of what is actually happening in Iraq? Are you actually this stupid and ill-informed?

    The Iraqi people have voted, all right. Yesterday, in a previous thread, I posted a bunch of links to polls of Iraqis about the U.S. occupation. Executive summary: Two-thirds of Iraqis feel less safe since the U.S. invasion, and over 90% want U.S. troops to leave their country. Nearly 99% believe attacks against foreign troops (i.e., American and British) are justified.

    This is not just one poll, these attitudes show up in EVERY poll, among the numerous polls done by news organizations, universities, and government commissioned polls that the Bush administration tried to suppress but leaked to the press.

    Does this tell you anything? Or are you just another wilfully idiotic wingnut who intentionally insulates himself from facts, reality, and reason?

  10. 12

    proud leftist spews:

    Fine piece, Goldy. The human capacity to grieve for the loss of a stranger, even an animal known only through television, is truly a source of hope. Such capacity shows that humans can step outside themselves and put themselves in others’ shoes. Even I, a dedicated antihorse person given horses’ propensity to want to throw me whenever I ride them, was really rooting for Barbaro.

  11. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Too bad most of you humans treat horses better than you treat each other. I’m not saying we rabbits don’t quarrel, but — one bite and it’s over! We don’t hold grudges for 200 years.

  12. 14

    sgmmac spews:

    Well, I teared up when I first read about Barbaro. It would be hard not too root for Barbaro considering how much he went through against all odds………..

  13. 15

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    ACCORDING TO WINGNUTS LIKE PUDDYBUD, IF INNOCENT IRAQIS DIE FROM OUR BOMBS AND WEAPONS FIRE – THAT’S JUST TOO BAD, THAT’S WAR. WE OPENED A “FRONT ON THE WAR ON TERRA”. SHOULD WE ASK THE PERMISSION OF THE NEWLY LIBERATED IRAQIS IF WE WANT TO OPEN THIS “FRONT” IN THEIR BACKYARD – NAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

    WE AREN’T CREATING NEW TERRORISTS CUZ’ FAUX NEWS TOLD ME WE’RE WINNING – SO BELIEVETH THE BRAINDEAD WINGNUT.

  14. 16

    spews:

    dave@5……..the fact that the horse broke his leg has nothing to do with his breeding. he was in many many tough races previously and he didn’t break his leg…..it just happens sometimes. i had one of my horses fracture his cannon bone during a race and fortunately it was a hairline fracture in a front leg so through rest and therapy [swimming] he recovered. his racing days were over but at least he was alive and could stand at stud. barbaro’s chances of ever being a stud were slim. it was his hind leg after all and thoroughbreds are not allowed to be bred through AI.
    so, most likely you are correct in one way…..his sperm wouldn’t be worth much because it couldn’t be used. these owners were trying to save the horse because they cared about him. not because he would make money for them later.
    a more common problem that should be thought about when breeding thoroughbreds is the “bleeder” problem. most hoses these days are on meds for it…that’s what the “L” stands for after their name on the racing form. i never bred any of my horses that were bleeders because i think it’s a shame that this trait is being allowed to spread.

  15. 17

    spews:

    goldy…it never cease to amaze me how you can draw ridiculous comparisons between ANYTHING and the war.
    scarcity thinking……..you are a slave to it.

  16. 19

    Dutch spews:

    16: Ghost…nah, Goldy just wants to be loved and accepted by his few followers. So he brings up the same thing over and over again…original thought ? Nah…maybe we can send him some more carrots as part of his “save me pledge drive”
    :-)

  17. 21

    spews:

    Thank you for saying this. It’s too intense to think of the real stories of our times — if you don’t want to be haunted. And, at a distance, proportion distorts. The way we get our information seems to me inherently confusing to feeling and sense. For an American TV consumer, what’s the emotional parallax between Barbaro and a hungry injured child in Iraq?

  18. 22

    rhp6033 spews:

    RR at 6: I don’t remember that Gary Larson cartoon (there were so many good ones), but I can imagine it easily.

    The Japanese have an expression for it. “It is the nail that sticks up that gets hammered down”. Imagine hearing that most of your life! I guess it is no wonder that they are under such pressure to “conform” in their society.

    I am told that it goes back to the pre-Meji Restoration days, when Shoguns and Samurai ruled Japan (what was that – the Tokonaga era?) Anyway, if there was a dispute between citizens which arose to such a level that it gained the attention of the Daimo (sp?) of the area, he would call the rival parties before him, and execute both of them for “spoiling the peace”. I guess a few generations of that would tend to breed out the troublemakers in society. Unfortunately, it only tended to reward some people who were able to get their way because the others were afraid to cause a disturbance by objecting.

    Come to think of it, that is pretty much the White House line these days. According to them, (and I paraphrase): “Anybody who questions the Bush Administration’s policies in Iraq is giving aid and comfort to the enemy”. I suspect Cheney would have dreams of having the ability to get rid of a few “disrupters of the peace”.

  19. 23

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Ah, yes, his few followers. . .check the sitemeter. . .some of those international hits are for feeds. . . .

  20. 24

    Right Stuff spews:

    Why doesn’t it ever register with anyone that before we removed Saddam, there was no free press, polling, reporting of deaths etc. The fact that the Iraqi’s are able to express their opinions freely and openly is proof of our victory.

  21. 25

    rhp6033 spews:

    Gee, on the news some 86 year-old guy in Missouri just won the Powerball lottery. 280 million dollars if he takes it over 30 years, or 130 million in a lump sum (before taxes).

    Anybody want to bet which choice and 86 year-old man will make?

    The article also said he was going to split it with his “kids”, two of whom lost their jobs this past year. Of course, his kids are in their 50’s. I wonder how many others in their 50’s worked their whole lives, but lost their jobs just ten years short of retirement. It’s hell trying to find a job after you are 50 (unless you are a corporate CEO or a lobbyist). At least these guys won’t have to worry about it.

  22. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 You force horses to run as hard as they can, risking life and limb, for your own personal gratification/profit? ANIMAL ABUSER!!! You should be ground up as dog food.*

    * Just kidding — another example of liberals mimicking Ann Coulter’s hilarious jokes!

  23. 27

    rhp6033 spews:

    23: Yep, Saddam is a bastard, all right. He ruled with an iron fist and crushed any opposition.

    But then, the average Iraqi could go to the market without the real possiblity that they would be blown up in sectarian violence, or having to carry two ID cards with them and hoping they can guess which militia is manning the checkpoint ahead so they can show the correct one.

    On of my old political science professers said that security has to preceed democracy in any nation’s political development. Being young at the time, I didn’t believe it. But now I think he has a bit of a point.

    You might want to read about Manslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, which is generally accepted and has been taught in Freshmen Psychology and Socialogy classes in college for the past sixty years or so.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....y_of_needs

  24. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @17 Yeah, somehow one gets the feeling that she could wander into the Sistine Chapel, look at the ceiling, say “how nice” — and it would fly right over her head, so to speak.

  25. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 Last time I checked, Goldy didn’t ask for your love and affection, he only wanted your money. So what? Republicans don’t ask us to love them either — all THEY want is ALL of our money.

  26. 31

    proud leftist spews:

    RightStuff @ 22
    Given such compelling “proof of victory,” you must agree that it is time to bring the troops home. I mean, hell, why hang around and continue losing troops when we’ve already won?

  27. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @22 It must be very gratifying to wingnuts like you to know Iraqis are using their freedom of speech to tell anyone who will listen they hate us.

  28. 33

    ArtFart spews:

    22 That sure is significant to the half million or so Iraqis so far who’ve perished consequential to this war. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know your response is likely to be that Saddam killed even more of his own people (maybe, sooner or later if we keep going we’re going to beat his record), but guess what? Saddam was largely our own invention, a convenient “useful idiot” to hang onto to maintain our presence and influence in the Middle East after our dear friend the Shah got kicked off the Peacock Throne. So the blood of all those poor folks is all over American hands.

  29. 34

    Colonel Tucker "Biff" O'hanrahanrahan spews:

    re 9: You are an idiot. The glass is NEITHER half full or half empty.

    It’s just half a glass. Like Iraq.

  30. 35

    spews:

    roger @24……that’s how much you know about horses and racing. you can’t stop them from running…they love it. they love the competition and are treated like kings and queens. we should all eat as well as they do!do you, roger, have a personal valet[groom] and workout boy at your beck and call? you wish!LOL.
    good immitation of coulter. and here’s something we actually agree on….coulter is crazy.

  31. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 I wouldn’t say it’s hell trying to get a job over 50. No, it’s not hell at all. It’s fucking impossible, that’s all — unless you’re willing to work in retail, on your tired old feet all day, for minimum wage.

    A friend just got canned from an insurance company he worked for, for 27 years. They didn’t like the fact he turned 60. He called me wanting to know if he could sue. I told him yeah, but it would be hard to prove, and he’d be lucky to get a year’s pay out of it, before legal expenses. Private employers can do pretty much what they want and get away with it.

    You can put 30 or 40 years in at a company. Working hard for the boss every day, making money for the company. Then the boss retires on his stock options and they bring in some snot-nosed kid fresh out of B-school who decides to make a name for himself in the organization by weeding out the “dead wood.” It’s been my universal experience that young supervisors don’t want the old employees around. Too much risk of someone with that much experience knowing when they fuck up. So all of a sudden the 40-year guy is out the door. They give him a nice lunch party and that’s it.

    And these people wonder why employees have no company loyalty anymore? And these same people want to turn our Social Security over to the tender mercies of Wall Street …

    AND THEY WANT US TO VOTE FOR THEM. Ridiculous.

  32. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    As I’ve frequently stated on this blog, our society has created enormous disincentives against working for a living. Wages are taxed more than twice as heavily as capital gains; members of the Owner Society get lavish deductions for “business expenses” (e.g., yachts, private jets, expensive “business lunches,” even country club fees) while workers can’t deduct a fucking penny of what it costs them to go to work every day; and what is the reward for working? Low pay, no benefits, and they steal your retirement fund. Why the fuck should anyone work? The Republicans figured things out long ago. The trick is to OWN income producing assets and do no fucking work whatsoever. That way, you don’t have to depend on the charity of some asshole who thinks you owe HIM loyalty for giving you the opportunity to work your ass off for 20 years for shitty wages and no job security. Fuck that! When our society gets serious about respecting workers, I’ll consider working again. Until then, I’m gonna live off the land, and Republican business owners can sweep the floors and take out the trash themselves.

  33. 39

    skagit spews:

    rph6033@ 20: the Japanese have a problem with conformity. I remember reading of a young man who for some reason (he didn’t know the reason) was suddenly ostracized at his school. He finished the year with absolutely no peer contact at all. He was totally ignored. He assumed he had said something inappropriate but didn’t really know for sure. As I recall, it continued into the next year so he quit going to school. He had no social contacts and the toll on his psyche was significant.

    Wish I could remember the source of that article . . .

  34. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 “You might want to read about Manslow’s Heirarchy of Needs …”

    This really highlights the difference between liberals and wingnuts. Liberals tend to be well educated, and know about these things. Wingnuts tend to be know-it-alls who actually know very little about anything besides fixing cars and laying tile. Most have never heard of Maslow, know nothing about psychology or political science or history, and are willing receptacles for fascist propaganda — just pour shit into their empty skulls and they digest it whole. You might say their gray matter works like the bacteria in a septic tank. Of course it’s useless to attempt to reason with people who lack cognitive much less reasoning capacity. Best thing to do with wingnuts is incarcerate all of them in institutions for those whose mental functioning is insufficient to live in society.

  35. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @33 “roger, have a personal valet[groom] and workout boy at your beck and call?”

    No, but I have an English butler. Bet you don’t have one of those in your trailer park. Neener neener.

  36. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @37 Sounds like the Amish. Nice people on the surface, but man, they don’t handle nonconformity well at all.

  37. 43

    spews:

    roger @35……i agree with almost everything you just wrote. except…why are you trying to blame it on republicans? who wants to tax tax tax constantly? hint: it isn’t republicans. and how can you say all of this when you are always saying that we don’t pay enough? you and bill gates senior…and talk about an ass that isn’t paying his share of anything!
    you are right about alot of companies….except for one thing. unless your boss has a good track record with his employees don’t work for a company that isn’t traded.for wallstreet traded companies[or companies with government contracts] it is in their best interest to avoid lawsuits that look even a little ‘shaky’…especially ones that seem to be affecting older americans.and document document document.
    why don’t you take his case for free?

  38. 44

    skagit spews:

    I understand they let their kids “go wild” in the general community before making the choice to remain in the Amish society? Seems like those who choose to stay like the conformity.

  39. 45

    spews:

    roger…sometimes you really make me laugh…and this was one of them. love the neener neener…that brings back memories and dates both of us.
    you realize the ‘kids’ on here are saying “what the hell is he talking about?…..is that like the old bling bling?????”

  40. 46

    skagit spews:

    Regarding the difference between animals and people, animals have no choices. We are free to love them because they present no danger, intimidation, threat. We know we have the ultimate choice to let them live or die.

    If a person goes into the woods (the bear’s habitat/home) and a bear attacks that person, a team of twenty will hunt that critter down and kill him.

    But, if that same bear meanders into the community, scurries up a tree in fear, falls down and breaks a leg, that bear becomes the public pet, everybody sends flowers and donations, and they transport the bear to a remote habitat and let him go.

    It is all about people and power.

    And I think the need for absolute power is an American characteristic.

  41. 48

    Right Stuff spews:

    @29 I do agree that it’s time for Iraqi’s to rule Iraq and to step up and provide security. What I don’t think is in our interest is for Iran to step into the void if we leave and Iraq is not able to defend herself.
    @31 you have got to do better. ~60K as direct result of US military action. The Shia majority that was opressed by a sunni minority is rightfully pissed off. I know there is payback going on that dates back generations. All the fruition of Saddam’s death squads and murderous rule. If you are going to blame the USA for Al Qaeda targeting Iraqi civilians, then you are the same person who blames Israel for Hezbollah blowing up buses in Tel Aviv.

    @22 I thought you said that there aren’t any “Iraqi’s” just tribal and religious affiliations…. at least you are now seeing the light. And by the way, “Iraqi’s in the northern part of Iraq like us just fine right where we are. So not all “Iraqi’s” are yelling for us to leave.

  42. 49

    proud leftist spews:

    Roger @ 38
    “You might say their gray matter works like the bacteria in a septic tank.”

    Except for the excerpt quoted, I agree with you. The bacteria in a septic tank is helpful, useful, necessary. It takes shit and produces flowers. Republicans take flowers and produce shit.

  43. 50

    proud leftist spews:

    46
    I thought you said we won. That would indicate we accomplished the objectives we sought to achieve when we invaded. Are you saying we have not achieved our objectives? If we have not, then I’d have to think we have not “won.” At the outset of a football game, both teams have one objective–to have a higher score when time runs out than does the other team. The team that has the higher score at that time has won. The objective at the outset is measurable. Did we achieve the objective(s) we sought at the outset of our invasion? If so, then we have won, and it is time to head for the locker room. You must agree, don’t you?

  44. 51

    Right Stuff spews:

    @38 ok I’ll bite
    “This really highlights the difference between liberals and wingnuts. Liberals tend to be well educated, and know about these things. Wingnuts tend to be know-it-alls who actually know very little about anything besides fixing cars and laying tile.”

    Ahh,,, but this would then fly against the argument that it’s the wingnuts that are rich and who control business. Who control wealth, are executives and worthless overpaid CEO’s. Statistically, the better educated one is, the more one earns. Thus if Liberals tend to be well educated and wingnuts fix cars and lay tile, how then are liberals so poor and in need of entitlements, and wingnuts so rich and want to reduce them?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....ted_States

    Statistically if liberals are well educated, then they tend to be well off financially…..

  45. 52

    klake spews:

    Roger Rabbit says:

    Too bad most of you humans treat horses better than you treat each other. I’m not saying we rabbits don’t quarrel, but — one bite and it’s over! We don’t hold grudges for 200 years.

    01/29/2007 at 2:11 pm
    Roger you have been holding one since Viet Nam, when are you going to deal with it?

  46. 53

    Right Stuff spews:

    @48 yes and no
    To use your analogy, I think we have won 3 of 4 quarters. Most of the objectives have been met. Saddam gone, interim govt., draft constitution, elections, elected representative govt bodies., standing up of new army, police, fire, and emergency services, better power infrastructure, better water infrastructure, better oil output, etc etc. all objectives that have been accomplished. Of course there are turnovers and penalties…..bad intel-no mass wmd’s, disbanding iraq army, 3 times the troop level, overwhelming smashing of Sadr militia or any militia for that matter. The game is not over. I have listed my thoughts on what victory means on this site. It is not a complete game yet.

  47. 54

    Another TJ spews:

    Two quick comments:

    1. Re our ability to be touched somehow by animals, specifically horses – If you haven’t read Seabiscuit, you should. It’s an exceptional book.

    2. Re our willingness to eat animals, even though we form attachments to them – Here is a wonderful blog post from Michael Berube in which he discusses the issue with his son, who has Down Syndrome:
    http://www.michaelberube.com/i.....e_and_bbq/

    He’s not updating the blog anymore, but his archives are still available.

  48. 55

    klake spews:

    Roger Rabbit says:
    @18 Last time I checked, Goldy didn’t ask for your love and affection, he only wanted your money. So what? Republicans don’t ask us to love them either — all THEY want is ALL of our money.
    01/29/2007 at 4:42 pm

    Roger all this venom that you are spurning isn’t encouraging anyone to want to love you. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs you are now in violation of and the sins police will arrest you for violating their laws.
    1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc;
    2) Safety/security: out of danger;
    3) Belongings and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted; and
    4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition.
    5) Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore;
    6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty;
    7) Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize one’s potential; and
    8) Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential.
    Roger you really mean Socialist Democrats not Democrats or Republicans? But on Goldie’s defense he wants to get others to subsidize his cost to support the progressive community while getting your message out to a much focused audience of like-minded customers. Now Reverent John will give us a sermon after Goldy reaches his goal in the eraser park in Seattle.
    http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whu.....aslow.html

  49. 56

    klake spews:

    Right Stuff says:
    Why doesn’t it ever register with anyone that before we removed Saddam, there was no free press, polling, reporting of deaths etc. The fact that the Iraqi’s are able to express their opinions freely and openly is proof of our victory.
    01/29/2007 at 4:17 pm
    Right Stuff check out this web site and read about what this country is doing in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Disregard Roger’s rant because he nerves leaves his burro except to eats out of someone else garden. .
    http://www.michaelyon-online.c.....2-of-2.htm
    Mosul is poised. Mosul is poised to become an example of progress and success. Yet with each passing day here, it becomes clear that Mosul is at least as equally poised to fall again into the wretched chaos of crime, violence and anarchy that define certain other areas of Iraq.

    The small contingent of American combat forces remaining in Mosul is commanded by a lieutenant colonel of limited renown. With about 700 soldiers in his battalion, he commands roughly one soldier for every 3,000 citizens. Most of the outcome of the American effort in Iraq comes down to a small number of anonymous battalions which shoulder the bulk of the combat load in places like Ramadi, Baqubah, Basra (UK), Baghdad and here in Mosul.

    If Americans really wanted to know their Army, American kids would be swapping trading cards of the battalion commanders and command sergeant majors, company commanders and 1st sergeants, and those legions of unknown squad-leaders who earn three Purple Hearts and decorations for valor before they are old enough to rent cars back home.

  50. 57

    klake spews:

    Right Stuff says:
    Ahh,,, but this would then fly against the argument that it’s the wing nuts that are rich and who control business. Who control wealth, are executives and worthless overpaid CEO’s. Statistically, the better educated one is, the more one earns. Thus if Liberals tend to be well educated and wing nuts fix cars and lay tile, how then are liberals so poor and in need of entitlements, and wing nuts so rich and want to reduce them?

    Statistically if liberals are well educated, then they tend to be well off financially…..
    01/29/2007 at 5:58 pm

    Right Stuff you expect too much from the Liberals all they want is to lower the bar so they look better. Now education is great but sometimes over sold because I have seen poorly educated people have a better quality of life, and maintain large amounts of wealth. I have notice that the more education you have, the less children you now have, and the gene pool have diminish at a rapid rate. That is why Mexico is out sourcing its poor to this Nation. More Socialist Democrats to vote for states to succeed from the Union.

  51. 58

    klake spews:

    Roger Rabbit says:
    @22 It must be very gratifying to wing nuts like you to know Iraqis are using their freedom of speech to tell anyone who will listen they hate us.
    01/29/2007 at 4:44 pm

    Roger that is one statement I would have to agree with you on and everyone is listening to you about how much you hate America. You friend Osama bin Laudin really loves you for supporting his arguments today why he destroyed the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001. Roger they (al – Qaida) really hates everything you stand for and anyone that supports your arguments. Maybe you should listen to your enemies about what they are saying about your friends. All they want you to do is pray to Mohammad and clean their boots. Make that lick their boots. Roger no good Republican hates you but want to help a misguided person who is in real pain.

  52. 59

    klake spews:

    rhp6033 says:
    Come to think of it, that is pretty much the White House line these days. According to them, (and I paraphrase): “Anybody who questions the Bush Administration’s policies in Iraq is giving aid and comfort to the enemy”. I suspect Cheney would have dreams of having the ability to get rid of a few “disrupters of the peace”.
    01/29/2007 at 3:31 pm

    RHP6003 You seem to forget about World War II the Japanese tried that again but the United States drove that nail in with two atomic bombs. Now that was a little harsh but it seems to be working quite well today and the Japanese make great friends. Yes we do believe you are giving aid to the enemy and al – Qaida thanks you for the support. Now introduce a different plan and you will be seen in a different light. Remember you have only 100 days after becoming into power to produced that PLAN.

  53. 60

    klake spews:

    I suppose the crusty, cynical response would be to berate the American people for lavishing so much love and affection on a freakishly talented $30 million race horse, at the same time our nation is busy spending its blood and treasure on a brutal, dehumanizing war in Iraq. During the months of Barbaro’s failed rehabilitation, how many Iraqi civilians and US soldiers lost their lives or limbs? How many children lost their parents? How many parents lost a son or a daughter?
    For that matter, how many children slowly starved to death in Darfur while distraught animal lovers sent fruit baskets to a horse?
    Yup, that would be the cynical response. And it is so overwhelmingly tempting to go there.
    Goldy when are you going to join the Pease Core and save lives in Africa? When are you going to Iraq and comfort those who lost friends and family supporting terrorist that kill women and children? Ohh! I forgot you are Jewish and they might remove your head and dump your body in the streets.

  54. 62

    spews:

    roger@26..”@17 Yeah, somehow one gets the feeling that she could wander into the Sistine Chapel, look at the ceiling, say “how nice” — and it would fly right over her head, so to speak.”
    roger roger roger…….do you really think this even for a moment or is it just another ‘attempt’ to piss me off? i’m guessing the latter. as an artist i would hardly have that feeling….don’t you think? silly wabbit…….

    and skagit@44……..”And I think the need for absolute power is an American characteristic.”
    you truly can’t be serious??? didn’t you get the memo that the ‘self-loathing’ american schtick is so over???
    so hitler, mussolini, and pinochet [to just name a few] were americans and i didn’t know it?
    damn those lazy teachers! that’s what you get with unions……..nada.
    you know that we didn’t start both world wars ,right? we [nasty] americans just went in and finished them. [hint...it was the g-e-r-m-a-n-s]
    geez….and you left-behind types don’t understand why no one is listening?
    if ignorance is bliss you must be the happiest person on earth……..

  55. 65

    GS spews:

    I tried ta roast a fresh road kill wabbit, carrots an all, an feed it ta ma dogs. Dey bofe took a sniff, an Dey lookd up at me tagather, and I swear on a stack uh Cristin RITE Ritual bibles, de laffed and smillled, I could see’t in der lips, Dey’d a rather be a snackin on som a dat road kill Goodyear radeeeal tires den dat Disgustin Wabbit meal. uckkkkkkkkkkkk

    I had ta feed em a whole bag of some a dat good ole Wal Mart Sam’s club special just to take the stench away from dat roastin wabbit…..had ta thro dat BBQ away…….disgustin

    But bein good ole dogs, dey bofe quickly buried dat wosted wabbit way out back in the land de kno dat Sims took, so no one would ever ever ever dare to walk near that land neer nuf to smeel dat wabbit stinch.

    I gat da best of bot ma dogs I did, cuz I tol em dis dumbocrap potty soon be gonna taxus dem on da Shit dat dem dogs buryd way out back near Sims sepic pool, in fac, dem dogs gonna have Divocraps showin up soon ta inspect wat dat wabbit pooolution did ta Sim’s Land at my site.

    It is deplorable

    But my dogs be a waitin……………an a smilin

  56. 66

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Right Stuff says:

    Statistically if liberals are well educated, then they tend to be well off financially…..

    01/29/2007 at 5:58 pm

    I think Roger meant he’s a “know-it-all who actually knows very little about anything”. Considering he’s stated that the President can’t be impeached without 16 GOP votes in the Senate.

    http://www.horsesass.org/?p=2412

    Roger Rabbit says:

    we have to be practical — impeachment can’t happen without at least 16 GOP senators’ votes

    01/15/2007 at 12:08 am

    Of course most anyone older than 15 should remember that Clinton was impeached without anyone voting in the Senate because the Senate doesn’t vote on impeachment.

    I laugh when liberals stereotype all conservatives as stupid and backwards and fail to see the irony of their own words.

  57. 67

    Damail spews:

    Hey folks, down here in Portland, there was a 20-pound cat that was reunited with its owner a couple of weeks ago. Do you plan on somehow working that story into some kind of anti-war screed, too? Obsess Much?

  58. 68

    GS spews:

    That would be a reason to tax Kitty Litter for the libs. They tax and regulate everyting that walks or talks, or thinks or stinks.

    Look at their list this year.

    Septic Systems (2 0r 3 bills)

    Inititiatives (6 or 7 bills)

    Income taxes (3 or 4 bills)

    New Taxes (25,000,000,000,000 or 50,000,000,000,000 bills)

    Cell Phones (2 or 3 bills)

    Pay raises and full time employment for them all (10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bills

    Health care for the Children (of course)

    Schools (Of course, Of Course, Of Course)

    Property tax reductions (oops they forgot that promise)

    Brought to you all by the Queen who campaigned on the promise “That She had never raised taxes on the people of Washington”

    Yeah Right!

    Yeah F’n A Right!

  59. 69

    A horse in Enumclaw spews:

    Roger Rabbit says:

    Too bad most of you humans treat horses better than you treat each other. I’m not saying we rabbits don’t quarrel, but — one bite and it’s over! We don’t hold grudges for 200 years.

    01/29/2007 at 2:11 pm

    Speak for yourself. You Seattle liberal come invade my barn and when I F-you until you die I get blamed. Hypcrites!!!

  60. 70

    skagit spews:

    Hmm, CG, still angry over your over-the-top emotionalism on that last thread, huh? Get a grip, girl.

  61. 71

    spews:

    skagit…emotionalism? interesting use of the “word”….
    i don’t remember being emotional at all………
    i was merely posting on a website….that could hardly be considered an emotional activity….except perhaps, by you.

  62. 72

    skagit spews:

    Then you should go back and read yourself . . . out-of-control people are generally unaware of it.

  63. 73

    Ann spews:

    Oh for crying out loud – so now people cant spend their money on what they choose? Barbaro was worth MILLIONs of dollars (and for the record, they do NOT take sperm from race horses) and it was in the owners’ best interest to try to save him. I guess if your family pet was injured, you’d just break its neck in the living room and be done with it?

    How myopic and childish that a country cant do more than one thing at a time (care about the health of a famous horse AND prosecute a war.)

    Idiots, one and all who think such as that.

  64. 75

    rhp6033 spews:

    Christmas Ghost at 43 said: “for wallstreet traded companies[or companies with government contracts] it is in their best interest to avoid lawsuits that look even a little ’shaky’…especially ones that seem to be affecting older americans.and document document document.”

    They don’t avoid lawsuits by not firing people, or by giving those they fire good settlements. They are a bit craftier than that.

    The old-fashioned approach would be just to fire people. After all, employment in Washington State is terminable at will, unless there is a contract that says otherwise, right? Lots of employers still do this, but if a pattern is apparant, they could get into trouble for age discrimination.

    Another approach is to scramble up the accounts or responsibilities, giving the more senior employees the more difficult and time-consuming accounts or tasks, and giving the simpler and more profitable ones to the younger employees. Then announce that you are changing to a “merit-based system” which rewards people based upon their performance, and introduce a measuring system which favors the younger group. After a couple of months give the older employees a “warning” that their work isn’t up to snuff, and the next month fire them.

    Another scheme is to sort out the employees into different work groups. One work group is, by coincidence, composed mostly of older workers. That work group is assigned a task with a specific completion date. At the end of that completion date, the entire work group is laid off, because their job is completed and no other work is “available” to be assigned to that group.

    Another method is the increasingly frequent use of arbitration clauses in the employment agreements. The employee is forced to sign the arbitration clause as a condition of further employment. The company says that this is in order to get a less costly and speedier resolution of any claims. But the arbitration agreement says any arbitrations will be governed by the rules of the American Arbitration Association, or some such group. The key provision of those rules is that an arbitration panel consists of three arbitrators, one picked by each side (usually an attorney), and the third (neutral) arbitrator selected by the two arbitrators already selected. Then before the proceedings can commence, both parties have to pay, in advance, one-half of the fees of the expected arbitrators. Do the math: three arbitrators at $300 per hour X 4 days (two days of hearings, one day reviewing the evidence and voting, and one day to write, edit, circulate, and issue the decision). The total is $28,800, of which you (the out-of-work claimant) would have to put up $14,400 up front, with no guarantee that you would get any of it back. Even if your attorney is taking his or her fees on a contingent-fee basis, most attorneys require costs such as this to be paid up front by the client. If that doesn’t discourage claims, I don’t know what does. And because it is a private arbitration, it doesn’t even become a matter of public record.

  65. 76

    Libertarian spews:

    RE: the old guy who won $280 million

    Let’s assume the guy takes the $130 million up front. The Feds will get about 35% of that for income taxes, so he’s left with about $85 million.

    Let’s further assume that the poor guy dies soon (heaven forbid!). Now he’s got an estate with a value of about $85 millions, so, once again, the Feds and the state are gonna be standing there with their hands out, collecting taxes. My estimate would be that about $40 million would go to estate and inheritance taxes.

    So, about $95 million of $130 million, in this hypothetical situation, goes to federal and/or state government, and those entites did nothing to merit any of it. They didn’t even buy a lottery ticket.

    So, my progressive adversaries, you should be buying lottery tickets with reckless abandon because it supports bigger government. Think how much you’ll be helping government gain more power!

  66. 77

    ArtFart spews:

    Meanwhile, while Mr. and Mrs. America are getting all misty-eyed over a dead horse, the Crawford Caligula foists a new executive order putting a new appointed hack in each executive agency with the authority to make sure those nasty civil servants don’t send out any missals that might displease him or his pals.

  67. 78

    Heathen Sinner spews:

    I am Republican – I lie, steal and cheat when I’m not being a family man (fat whaor) or a crying hypocrit. Hail Hitler!

  68. 79

    rhp6033 spews:

    Libertarian at 76 said: “So, about $95 million of $130 million, in this hypothetical situation, goes to federal and/or state government, and those entites did nothing to merit any of it. They didn’t even buy a lottery ticket.”

    Uh, the state provided the lottery, and the chance for him to win. I would count that as something. Besides, are you saying that this gentleman and his family never drove on a public highway, enjoyed the protection of our military and police forces, relied upon the justice system (either actively or passivly), or our regulation of business to protect him from pollution, harmful products, or him or his employer from being swindled?

    So perhaps the state and federal goverments should collect higher taxes upon the wages of working taxpayers so that the occassional lottery winner can take home more in their winnings?

    Besides, there is nothing “fair” about the tax system. Somebody has to pay for it, and the only considerations are how to spread the pain as equitably as possible, and how to collect from those that are in the best position to pay. When Republicans are in charge, they try to set it up so they pay the least and the middle class and lower pay more. When the Democrats are in charge, the opposite occurs.

    Besides, it sounds like he’s already trying to work it out to avoid some of the inheritance taxes. He’s claiming that he and his sons had a “partnernship” whereby each would share with the others if they won. He might be able to get away with a division of the funds without being subject to either estate or gift taxes.

  69. 80

    Libertarian spews:

    I knew rhp would chime-in! That’s as predictable as sunrise.

    The state runs the lotteries to make money, period, dot, end of sentence.

    If the old guy ever bought gasoline or tires, he paid for the highways.

    Since this guy is a WWII vet, I’d say he paid for the military. Plus he probably has paid lots of income taxes over the last 50 years or so, and a lot of that went to our milirtary.

    He has paid property taxes and state income taxes, so he’s got all that for all that police protection covered.

    You’re correct about the tax system not being fair. In order to be fair, we should have a flat, single-rate tax. Everybody should pay. So, I’m with you on that score.

    The biggest beneficiary of any lottery is the federal government. It does nothing and gets to collect taxes from the lottery winners.

  70. 81

    Libertarian spews:

    PS,

    I still like to play Lott and Mega-millions, though!

    I even play pull tabs at taverns!

  71. 82

    spews:

    rhp6033….there are federal emplyment laws that protect people from what you described. specifically. you cannot do most of what you described without falling under scrutiny ….and that’s the way it should be.but, as you say….this costs money. where are the liberal lawyers when you need them? oh…that’s right billing 300 bucks an hour…….
    the best way for anyone to protect themselves from bad employers [and there are alot of them] is to be a great employee….or better still, never work for them in the first place. if you keep up with new technology and do a great job and document everything…they aren’t going to get rid of you because of your age. alot of people assume that they are going to be employed at company “X” because they have been there forever….and so they don’t stay up to date. companies are in the business of making a profit….not baby sitting. that’s just the way it is.
    i really value all my employees. and i have both…older [late 60's]and very young [early 20's]…and everyone in between.
    i must point out that most of the arbitration agreements are not a good deal and that the whole concept was thought up by lawyers……the liberal variety.but the reality of business is that you have to make a profit or no one has a job. so i have an attorney that is going to hell the minute he dies [the only kind to have] direct to the hellivator for him….and he’s a rotten liberal too.but do i throw him around at people or use him against my employees? hell no! he’s like a junkyard dog….he’s there to protect the business from other businesses[ the unscrupulous kind] and patent infringement.
    the best companies [and the most successful] always follow one special rule. the best business is where both parties involved feel they got a great deal. period.

  72. 83

    TikoKat spews:

    I, too, find it heartwarming that people can care so much about a horse such as Barbaro. You see it over and over in the news, too: Abandoned puppies rescued, kittens featured during “Adopt-A-Cat” month immediately given a home. And children brought to the US to be repaired after war damages them (the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been following the story of an Iraqi boy named Hamoody, who received horrible injuries in a shooting in his native country).

    The issue isn’t the horse, the puppies, the cats or the boy. The issue is how personalized they become. A thousand Iraqis, what can we do? Vote against the party in power, march in the streets, donate to causes? But none of it is personal and we feel helpless. We can’t do enough. But we can send a card to a horse, and it feels good because we “know” him. We can rescue the puppy we saw on tv.

    What I fail to see is how responding to the personalized story somehow means we don’t care about the larger picture. Is it a zero sum game? Only so much caring to go around? If Barbaro’s death moves me, I no longer give a damn about better health care for humans? The two are connected only in that I care, and I do what I can.