Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Jersey. Bear Hunts. Star Ledger Editorial. Trash Unfit for Bears.

Do you feel alarmed or distressed whenever you come to the realization that the dullest knives in the kitchen wear a uniform, a badge, and enforces the law on the street? It's a silly question to ask, I know. Well, some of them get their very own column in a newspaper, both print and electronic, for all to be influenced by. That's pretty dangerous stuff, and so I am seriously alarmed. When in power, one must act and think responsibly. Take the Star Ledger's editorial board, for example.

The editorial board at the Star Ledger came out with a piece on bear hunting in New Jersey---they are for it---where they made assumptions that struck me as unfounded or illogical. A link to their piece is provided below.

First of all, how did the editorial board of the Star Ledger know that bears from New York and Pennsylvania are pouring into New Jersey? We know very well that no one tracks every bear in these states and their migration from state to state is a matter of conjecture. They may be bears who cross state lines, yes, but we need to see concrete evidence that a wholesale migration into New Jersey is actually taking place. The Star Ledger's editorial board, certainly, makes it out to look that way. You don't have to be Gary Kasparov to recognize this as a scare tactic meant to alarm their readers particularly those who don't practice critical thinking. I think it is highly irresponsible for the board to employ this tactic. If it is true, let's see some incontrovertible evidence. Of course, they conveniently left out the reciprocal--- how many NJ bears actually leave the state for New York and Pennsylvania? This would be an antithetical and so they were quiet about it.

The editorial board also concluded that public education on securing trash bins is unrealistic because there will always be uncovered trash bins that will attract bears. Hello? The point of the program is to get everyone to secure all their trash bins. The board's argument, obviously, alludes to human frailty. But if we were to give up on something because presumably some humans can't get it right anyway, then why even attempt anything in our lives and in our world? Securing trash bins is one significant way in controlling bear visitations. No open trash, no bears in your property. It's a pretty good equation and something we should adopt nevertheless. As I have stated on my online comment, the imbecility of some humans should not condemn a perfectly good measure against bear intrusions. But the Star Ledger's editorial board has once again been caught in a one-sided argument. They have gone gung-ho on bear hunting, but were not ready to pledge a war against those incorrigible homeowners who still keep their trash unsecured.
Well, those homeowners can speak, argue, and subscribe or unsubscribe to newspapers. So, that option will take some courage. Bears, after all, can't defend themselves and thus become easy targets.

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