Here at the Casa de Animal we maintain a large wildlife feeding station, and for a house in the suburbs we get a lot of traffic. Our close proximity to a huge state park and reservoir means that there is ample wildlife in the area; we have had deer in the neighborhood and in warm weather, when windows are open, it’s not unusual to hear coyotes singing over in the park.
Mrs. Animal has a coterie of tame squirrels that take peanuts from her hands, (unsalted – it’s not at all good for wildlife to give them salted foods) and at the feeder we see a steady stream of English sparrows, house finches, chickadees and blue jays. Lately we have had a flock of mallards coming around in the mornings to enjoy the corn we put down for the jays and squirrels.
While Mrs. Animal grew up in one of America’s major cities and yr. obdt. traces roots to rural Iowa, neither of us cares much for living in town. Having some wildlife around helps, so we encourage them.
Although, I admit, the sight of the mallards makes me hungry for roast duck.
Speaking of America’s major cities, it seems Chicago is closing 2012 out with a bang – literally. The Other McCain points out:
Chicago’s problem is not guns, it’s hoodlums, and unless and until Chicago decides to get serious about busting hoodlums — a zero-tolerance policy that aims at the absolute eradication of the Gangster Disciples and every other dope gang in the city — all the gun-control laws in the world are nothing but a sick joke on the citizenry.
Convicted felons have no right to have guns, so the first step toward disarming the gangsters is to start targeting them for increased police scrutiny and prosecuting them to the max. Throw the book at every hoodlum you catch with a dime bag in his pocket or a busted turn signal on his car. Bust ‘em at every opportunity.
This is of course correct. In the course of my business I spend a lot of time performing and teaching others to perform root cause analysis, to determine the ultimate cause of quality issues. In this kind of analysis, one paramount rule is this: A tool is never a cause.
Problems, be they quality issues or crime, are caused by people; by the actions or inactions of individuals. Chicago will never, say again never solve their crime problems until they address the root cause – criminals. Passing more gun controls won’t help; criminals will ignore those new laws, just as they currently ignore all of Chicago’s oppressive anti-self-defense laws. In the meantime, those laws have created an enormous pool of disarmed victims.
Maybe 2013 will bring some sanity to the Windy City. I’m not optimistic, but anything is possible.
Speaking (again) of (another one of) America’s major cities, tomorrow morning it’s off to Minneapolis, to pick up where 2012 left off in another of the endless cycle of work. Our best wishes to all True Believers for a happy, safe, healthy, sane and profitable 2013! We must live large.