Friday, June 12, 2009

Goose Steps

If you see something, say something.

Humankind, I’m sorry to say, has its limits.

We can assassinate suspected terrorists in Afghanistan from the safety of trailers in Arizona, and we can repair sophisticated telescopes from the ships we’ve launched into space, but we simply cannot design anything to prevent a jet airplane from crashing if it flies into a Canada goose.

Or it least we don’t want to.

Apparently it makes far more sense to us to devise a $100,000 plan to shoot, gas, and deploy falcons to annihilate some 2000 geese who have made the mistake of coming within five miles of JFK and La Guardia airports.

(As for all the other airplanes and all the other airports…well, never mind.)

This is not a time for reason. We are embroiled in a conflict that had no beginning and will have no end.

As previously noted, I find it revealing—and ludicrous—that it is the dead birds, rabbits, deer, and turtles that are categorized as having conducted the “strikes” when planes fly into or run over them.

Suicide missions were something I’d never before taken seriously as a major aspect of animal behavior.

This morning I awoke to hear someone on the radio confidently outlining the plan to “capture and interdict” the geese.

Here’s the definition of interdict, per Merriam-Webster Online: “to destroy, damage, or cut off (as an enemy line of supply) by firepower to stop or hamper an enemy.”

I’ve heard that word before: it’s a favorite bit of lingo in the war on terror and the war on drugs.

The strategies that reflect this kind of thinking haven’t won those battles yet—and I’m not too optimistic about the war on geese, either.

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