American Elephants


A Wake-up Call. Will Anyone Pay Attention Before It’s Too Late? by The Elephant's Child

The marvelous Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist Michael Ramirez has posted his top ten cartoons of the year.  He is an absolute master of the visual metaphor.  If you enjoy his work as much as I do,  I recommend his book — Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion — available here.

You can not come up with a good visual metaphor unless you have thought through the issue carefully.  Good cartoons call for more than just amazing drawing ability.  They call for a clear understanding of the details of a policy or event.  A clever interpretation badly drawn is as much a flop as a beautifully drawn cartoon done without understanding.  You can follow Mr. Ramirez’s commentary every day here. Yesterday’s cartoon is another riff on the same theme. And Investors’ editorial comment on the news is always worth reading.



Happy New Year! by American Elephant
January 1, 2010, 2:49 am
Filed under: Pop Culture | Tags: ,

One very good reason to stay home on New Year’s Eve…

A Sturgis woman had a blood-alcohol level of .708 percent, possibly a state record, when she was found earlier this month behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle parked on Interstate 90, according to Meade County State’s Attorney Jesse Sondreal.

A South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper discovered Marguerite Engle, 45, on Dec. 1 passed out behind the wheel of a delivery truck reported stolen in Rapid City.

Her blood-alcohol level was almost nine times South Dakota’s legal limit of .08 percent.

Checks with local and state labs where blood-alcohol levels are tested suggest Engle’s reading may be the highest ever recorded in South Dakota, Sondreal said.

Sondreal said a state chemist recalled a sample that tested .53, but nothing higher, in his more than 30 years on the job.

Dr. Robert Looyenga, who recently retired from the Rapid City Police Department’s forensic laboratory, told Sondreal that the highest blood-alcohol sample he tested measured .56 percent.

Sondreal’s research indicates that a blood-alcohol level of .40 is considered a lethal dose for about 50 percent of the population.

“Engle’s was almost double that,” Sondreal said.

After she was found, Engle was hospitalized and freed on bond.

She failed to appear in court on Dec. 15, but Sturgis police located her Monday evening in another stolen car sitting in a ditch along S.D. Highway 34 near Fort Meade.

Whatever you do for the holiday, be careful; there’s tons of Mad-Dog-Marguerite-Engels on the road.

And I hope the New Year brings you excellent health, lots of wealth and happiness, and conservative Republican majorities in both houses of congress with subpoena power!




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