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Tuesday thoughts

  • The Michael Bellesiles saga continues. The Chronicle of Higher Education (which first printed the latest Bellesiles baloney) investigated and discovered (no surprise) that the tale of the sad student and his soldier brother is false. But it’s the student’s fault. Um … aren’t historians responsible for checking their “facts”? I mean, isn’t that what they supposedly do for a living? And that tale Bellesiles retailed to the gullible was so obviously too good to be true. It just begged for the half hour it would have required to check it. (Tip o’ hat once again to J.F.)
  • Kudos to jellydonut for being first to spot the development: the shutdown of Blogetery was spurred by a “terrorism scare”. And it appears to be BurstNET that made the xtreme response on its own. But (per jellydonut’s link), could the whole flap have arisen over nothing but a link or two? Still unclear right now. Still reeks.
  • Could this, rather than Obamacare, be the medicine of the future? So far it’s localized. Almost makes a body want to live in Seattle. Almost. Fortunately, Wal-Mart, Target, and others are also helping to return health care to the people. Not to mention all the private practices now switching to non-insurance models. I’ve spent too much time in the boonies. I didn’t even know about the Wal-Mart clinics until recently. When you don’t know what’s up at Wal-Mart, you really do live off the grid.
  • A couple of today’s links came via Rational Review News, the most consistently useful libertarian news aggregator — and currently in need of funds.
  • Finally, to end on a joyful note of personal initiative: when “the authorities” refuse to help, a man puts himself in peril to save a sick, starving dog from slow death. The video he took makes the story all the more astonishing.


  1. naturegirl
    naturegirl July 20, 2010 3:04 pm

    “When you don’t know what’s up at Wal-Mart, you really do live off the grid.”

    Great LOL of the day….

  2. Ellendra
    Ellendra July 20, 2010 8:26 pm

    Every time I think I’m numb to the human capacity for cruelty, something happens that leaves me stunned. Taking a dog down into a canyon and trapping it where it couldn’t leave?? Bravo to Zak for getting him out!!!

  3. Claire
    Claire July 21, 2010 5:38 am

    Ellendra, I had a similar reaction. Even though I’ve seen plenty of cruelty to animals, my first response upon reading Zak’s claim was to think, “No way. Nobody would take a puppy down into a slot canyon and deliberately abandon him there.” I mean, even for the nastiest bully, that’s just too much work. Then I watched the video and realized the incredible verticality of that canyon. Yeah, it’s hard to imagine any other way that poor dog could have ended up there. But what a miracle Zak found him and cared enough to risk his own neck to bring the dog out!

    Sad and typical, too, that “the authorities” wouldn’t raise a finger to help. That’s been my experience in animal rescue, too. I’ve never done anything anywhere near as dramatic or dangerous as what Zak did, of course. But most animal welfare folks I know have learned over the years that if you see a critter in serious peril from abuse or neglect, you’re wasting your breath calling the cops. If the situation is bad enough, you just take a deep breath and do something about it yourself — often with the help of a sympathetic vet or an underground network.

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