A great poet once said that no man is an island. He was more right than he could possibly have known. Each one of us is not an island, but a community, an ecosystem, if you will. Each one of us has a number of creatures who depend on us for a meal, or a place to live. Most people despise these dependants who live off us as disease carrying parasites and seek to get rid of them at any cost. Roger M. Knutson might disagree. Roger Knutson is a biologist who has written Furtive Fauna, a field guide to the creatures that live on us or near us. Knutson asserts that our dependants are more to be pitied, even respected, than hated. After all, the human body is not exactly an easy environment to live on.
In Furtive Fauna, Professor Knutson catalogs the many creatures that live with us. He starts with the occasional visitors, like ticks, flies and mosquitoes who like to drop by for a quick snack. He then moves on to some of our neighbors, bedbugs, fleas, and others who live in our clothes and bedding. These neighbors, like any good neighbor, often visit us, and like good hosts, we provide them with food and shelter. Then, there are our friends and companions; lice and mites, who like to live with us and keep us company. You can never feel lonely as long as you know you have mites living on you. Finally, we have the friends that are too small to see, like bacteria. They are everywhere and we could not live without them.
Roger Knutson’s descriptions of the various furtive fauna are brief, humorous, and fun to read. You may never come to love the little beasts that live off you, but after reading Furtive Fauna, you will never think of them in quite the same way.
I must say that I am a little surprised that the jury found George Zimmermannot guilty. It was the right decision as far as I can tell from the way the trial went, but I was sure the jury would be intimidated by the threat of riots into finding Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter, at least. I guess our criminal justice system still works, sometimes.
President Obama called on the nation to honor Trayvon Martin a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of his murder by asking “ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence.”
His comments came as family members of Zimmerman and Martin, as well as pundits, celebrities, and court observers had strong reactions to Saturday’s not guilty verdict, with those reactions taking various forms — from joy and outrage to Shakespearean references and calls for peace.
“I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities,” Obama said in a statement on Sunday.
“We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”
That is actually what George Zimmerman was trying to do, reduce crime and violence in his community. Considering what he went through, why would anyone take steps to stop crime in their neighborhood if they are the one who will be punished. Meanwhile in the President’s home town of Chicago, where they have some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, the murder rate is at record highs. Most of the victims in Chicago are young black males, just like Trayvon Martin. Since there are no political points to be made about their deaths, nobody cares about them.
“Well, I think that this is an atrocity,” said Sharpton. “I think that it is probably one of the worst situations that I’ve seen. What this jury has done is establish a precedent that when you are young and fit a certain profile, you can be committing no crime, just bringing some Skittles and iced tea home to your brother, and be killed and someone can claim self-defense having been exposed with all kinds of lies, all kinds of inconsistencies. … Even at trial when he is exposed over and over again as a liar, he is acquitted. This is a sad day in the country. I think that we clearly must move on to the next step in terms of the federal government and in terms of the civil courts. Clearly, we want people to be disciplined, strategic. But this is a slap in the face to those that believe in justice in this country.”
The man who was behind the Tawana Brawley hoax, the Crown Heights riots, attacks on Jewish owned New York businesses, and other despicable and racist acts of violence does not have the right to say anything about justice. His whole career is based on injustice. It says something that this man is taken seriously by the mainstream media and the Democratic Party.