Pam's Points: The goose problem, tea party terror and champion kids

Pam's Points: The goose problem, tea party terror and champion kids

August 17th, 2013 in Opinion Times

Bird eradication lays a goose egg

What a shock! Chattanooga State Community College has geese again. It could have something to do with the pond/water feature in the center of campus, don't you think? Without that fine geese-magnet, the not-easily-frightened birds might think Chattanooga State's big front yard would be entirely too hot and dry and cluttered with useless vehicles and people. They might decide to stay near the river at the back of the school, and leave the driveway to the perpetually late students who need to speed to parking places.

But now, after last month's debacle of about 100 geese being rounded up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the school's behest and killed to the public's horror, some 25 new geese have flown in to the newly vacated Promised Land.

School officials said they hope the birds don't bring in more friends or, worse still, reproduce.

"We try to make them uncomfortable," said Eva Lewis, associate vice president of the college.

But in addition to using strobe lights in the pond, dummy coyotes and mesh wire around the pond that geese don't like to waddle on, campus workers also want to oil the eggs to prevent them from hatching.

Wait, is that not a bit like geese abortion? Coating a young goose egg with food-grade corn oil prevents oxygen from passing through the surface of the egg and keeps the embryo from developing. Eewwww.

Guys, instead of paying an egg oiler, why not just put those birds to work? Then sell your students and faculty some scrambled eggs or egg salad.

Hixson football champs!

If you want to gain renewed faith in education, good sportsmanship and today's young people, look for Friday's Chattanooga Times Free Press and read the front page, centerpiece story about the Hixson High School football team and its down-syndrome teammate Austin Clark.

Clark has only abilities, not disabilities, as he constantly, smilingly encourages a team that already is champion in its acceptance, respect and friendship for the 4-foot-2, 135-pound freshman lineman that Times Free Press staff writer Stephen Hargis dubs "the heart and soul of this year's Wildcats."

They all already are champions. Go Wildcats!

Tea party logic and other myths

It's a tough day when a liberal feels compelled to defend Republican Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander from his fellow conservatives.

Matt Collins, who describes himself as a Republican activist and was a Hamilton County Ron Paul organizer in 2012, authored an open letter to Alexander that is signed by 20 political groups in the state, mostly tea parties.

The ultra-right's total and complete disconnect is exemplified by this one paragraph from the letter:

"Our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous," Collins wrote to Alexander.

In a nation of 314 million very diverse people, compromise is the only way a government can operate. The tea party thinks government shouldn't operate at all. We see what that ultra-right induced gridlock already is bringing us -- the slowdown of an economy that was, for the first time since 2007, on the rebound.

Throwing the tea overboard in Boston to launch America's Revolutionary War in 1773 was a statement. Bringing American leaders to agreement years later on what this country's Constitution would embody to provide our bedrock required compromise -- and, no doubt, lots of it. Keeping that bedrock will require more, not less.

But all the tea party seems capable of doing is throwing dynamite onto that bedrock.