WTFs of the Week

March 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

There have been a few news stories I’ve heard this week that have given me pause.  I’m jaded enough to usually accept the fear mongering and/or depressing headlines shouted at me from nightly news prompts, but three times this week I have inadvertently let out a string of cuss words simply from reading or hearing a single sentence.  Here are the offending stories:

1.  American Family Association Wants to Stone Killer Whale

You probably heard about the whale at Seaworld that killed its trainer during a show a few weeks ago.  This whale, Tilikum, has actually caused the death of someone before (a man who wandered in after park hours and wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time).  Most scientists agreed that the killer whale (FYI killer whales are not truly whales, they’re actually the largest members of the dolphin family) did not intend to hurt anyone and was simply playing too rough for humans.  This is understandable, as the animal is huge and can weigh up to ten tons.  I’m not saying the trainer deserved to die but it is an inherent risk when you put a large mammal in a tiny tank for years on end.

Anyway, park officials at Seaworld have said that they do not plan on euthanizing the animal and will instead rework shows to make sure no one gets too close again.  According to the American Family Association, that’s not good enough.  They want the whale stoned to death.  The AFA is a right-wing religious group that “stands for traditional family values”.  They’re saying the Bible makes it clear what should be done in the case of the whale, because, “if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn’t kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal.  The ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death” (Exodus 21:29).

They don’t go so far to say that anyone owning the whale should be put to death but they are all for stoning a whale. Besides the obvious technical difficulties, it doesn’t seem a very Christian-like thing to do.  This wouldn’t be such a big deal if we were talking about some small extremist organization with few followers, but this group has over 2 million members.  Here is a partial list of Republicans who frequent AFA events and programs: Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Steve King (R-IA), Trenk Franks (R-AZ), Tom Price (R-GA) and Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Johanns (R-NE), and Sam Brownback (R-KS).

Yeah.  WTF.

2.  Two Die When Cruise Ship Hit by Wave

I was sitting on my couch last night when I heard this story and it nearly scared the tofu right out of me.  I’ve been on a cruise, once, and now I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go on one again.  This wave was 33 feet tall and it crashed into a ship full of unsuspecting passengers off the coast of Spain.  The wave was a “rogue wave” and apparently scientists have no idea why they form or how they become so big so quick.  Talk about scary – imagine waking up and seeing your cabin fill with water while people everywhere are all panicky and full of screams.  I’m shuddering at the thought.  Two people died, which obviously turns this terrifying incident into a full-blown tragedy.

I had never even considered what would happen if a massive wave was to encounter a cruise ship and I think I now have a new irrational fear.  Obviously the chances of this happening are very slim, as cruise ships are constantly floating around all over the place and this sort of thing doesn’t happen very often – but it’s clear that it does happen.  I’m not even sure which swear words rolled out of my mouth when I saw this last night but I know there were many.  And one thing that kept flashing through my head was – you guessed it –


3.  South Korean Child Starved as Parents Raised Virtual Baby

Unfortunately, this is not a headline from The Onion.

A 41-year old man and his 25-year old wife were recently arrested, five months after they reported the death of their baby.  Apparently they became so depressed after they lost their jobs that all they could do was sit in front of their computer and became obsessed with raising an online girl while only giving their actual child one bottle of formula a DAY.  The baby was premature to begin with but not even a full-term, healthy infant can survive on so little nutrients.  Surprise, the baby died.  They freaked out when they realized their giant mistake and went on the run after the funeral.  They were caught though, and I can only hope the South Korean judicial system will give them what they deserve.  Seriously, WTF.

I wonder what the AFA would recommend.  Actually, I don’t think I want to know.

And now I want to move on to something a tad bit lighter  Those stories were so full of crazy it may have put a damper on your day, so here’s a heartwarming tale of a dog named Deacon.

Deacon disappeared from his Virginia home back in December.  After a while his owners assumed the worst and figured he was probably in Doggie Heaven.  Well, this week Deacon turned up in an animal shelter in Florida, about 600 miles from his home.  He had one of those fancy microchip ID’s and that’s how he was identified.  No one knows exactly how Deacon wound up so far away but it’s likely some evil asshole picked him up with thoughts of breeding, and then dumped him when they realized he was fixed.  Either way, the dog is safe and sound and was reunited with his family in one big slobbery lovefest.  All together now – awwww.

See, the news isn’t always bad.  Happy Weekend!


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