Luke warm off the press! My reactions to news items in the April 19, 2014 Gainesville (FL) Sun. Stupid News Saturday.

Item One:
A recent attack on a resident in a gated community by a Black Bear, leads to concerns by Florida residents about the latest scourge of attacks by these black beasts. According to an article from the Orlando Sentinel “Dallas Smith thinks he has the answer to Central Florida’s Black bear threat, and he’s ready to lock it and load it.” The article quotes Smith as saying “I think the fear of God needs to be put back into them.” The 47 year old Smith wants restrictions that prohibit bear hunting, even on private property, lifted by state authorities. However Smith asserts “I love bears. I just don’t like where they’re going”.
Concern about bears prompted Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to provide comment cards asking “How do you feel about bears in Florida?” One response was “People are more important than bears.”
My thoughts upon reading this brought me to the obvious conclusion. Nothing warm and fuzzy here in Florida. We like to keep bears where they belong: out of gated neighborhoods. The only good bear is a dead bear. Why can’t the good citizens of Florida simply use the Stand Your Ground law? Bears are clearly a threat! There are close to 19 million (19,000,000) people in Florida and bears, which are exploding in growth to nearly 3 thousand (3,000), are increasingly encroaching on the habitat of the humans. Why can’t “they” stay where they belong which is certainly not in a gated community. Unlike certain members of the population who do pose a serious threat, black bears are no longer a threatened species in Florida, but that still means it is illegal to injure or kill a black bear. So to all those important people in Florida remember that if you see a bear, it is illegal to kill it, but you can take it to church to put the fear of God back into it. If you feel threatened by something other than a bear, and you don’t like where “they’re going” lock it and load it Buddy!

Item 2:
From the Associated Press comes a review of The Kind Mama, a book written by “Clueless” actress Alicia Silverstone. The book contains “…sometimes controversial ideas about mothering”, and Silverstone gushes about her wonderful pregnancy, her wonderful son, and her wonderful vegan diet. Her mothering techniques are all well and good, though not particularly new, but I wonder what makes her an expert after three years of experience with one kid. Why anyone cares leaves me clueless. What she seems clueless about is her recommendation that there be a “lying-in period after birth, where a mother can bond with her baby.” Silverstone took ten days after birth to stay in bed with her son. How Wonderful!
She should tell her wonderful experience to her housekeeper, or to the person or people who had to take care of her and her household while she bonded. Maybe the women who took up the slack or made all the products she used while in bed could benefit from ten days in bed, but they probably are lucky to have a day or two in the hospital after giving birth before going back to work so they don’t lose their job, or the income from that minimum wage job.
Now that her son is the ripe old age of three, he loves beans, green vegetables and blueberries which Silverstone declares to be “a miracle” and a distraction from candy. She gushes on to say of children raised with her ideas: “So if they never know candy and they only know blueberries, isn’t that a great thing?” Sure, blueberries and vegetables are great but tell that to the immigrant or migrant worker who slaves long hours in the fields harvesting these healthy foods, and who after a long day, needs to run to the market to feed her own children, and without benefit of Silverstone’s book, runs harried through the store with kids in tow quieted by candy which is cheaper than the blueberries and vegetables that this worker can’t afford on her meager income. Maybe Silverstone could do a book signing on the side of the road for the working and homeless women who could really benefit from learning how to parent.

Item 3:
I conclude my stupid Saturday remarks about a question posed to Rabbi Marc Gellman in his weekly segment “The God Squad”. Despite being decidedly non-religious myself, I rarely miss a week of reading his responses to all manner of questions, my small testament to his interesting take on spiritual matters. His astute, relevant, and kindly answers to this week’s question are a decided contrast to my thoughts and make clear why I don’t have a column devoted to inquiries from the public. Rabbi Gellman’s considerate response provides a religious and historical background to this week’s question about apocalyptical ideas and concludes with a calming prayer from the “deepest place” in his heart.
The questioner is a woman who, after watching the awful news and weather reports from the US, asks “I’m scared to death. Is the end of the world coming? How will we know?” My answer to the first part may be simplistic, but if you’re scared to death, you’re dead, so you won’t know if the world ends. According to scientific predictions, the earth will come too close to the sun in about a trillion-zillion light years which means, according to my calculations, that the end of the world will come then if not before. The end could come in accordance with some biblical prophecy, or we may simply blow ourselves up. The final question is the one that stymies me, the one that makes it hard to hide the sarcastic REALLY? I shout at nothing as I read: “How will we know?” Open your eyes, and mind, and pay attention. According to your question, the news you’re watching is all about the bad things that are happening in the US, as if there are no problems in the rest of the world. Maybe only the US will come to an end, but either way you’ll know it’s coming or has come, because you’ll be DEAD!