When ‘Baaaa Means No’

See this is what Tom Wolfe is talking about when he writes about the need for writers to ‘plunge into the irresistibly lurid carnival of American life today.’ One of Wolfe’s favorite writers, Carl Hiaasen, has some fun in his latest column with one of those real-life lurid tales [tails?]. An excerpt:

Last week, our state Senate boldly took the first step toward making it illegal for a person to have intimate relations with an animal.

Although such a law might thin the dating pool in certain counties, it should ultimately serve to protect household pets and domestic livestock, which evidently are at far greater risk than most of us had imagined.

The cry for justice first arose from the small Panhandle community of Mossy Head, where in 2006 a 48-year-old man was suspected of abducting a neighbor family’s pet goat and accidentally strangling it with its collar during a sex act.

I wish I were making this up, but the story is true. The poor goat’s name was Meg.

It gets sadder and funnier, as in, ‘DNA samples collected from the crime scene proved inconclusive.’

But I’d like to point out the politics in the column, which may not be obvious. The shrill Keith Olbermann had made fun of State Sen. Bullard earlier in the week. [Olbermann, like Jon Stewart, essentially act as Obama vanguards nowadays, turning their attention to those who may criticize Obama, like Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer.] I’m not suggesting Hiaasen wrote about this because Olbermann had it on his show [this story was made for a writer like Hiaasen], but the fact that Olbermann had it on his show makes it more, not less, likely that Hiaasen would write about it. It’s the cycle part of the news cycle.

Hiaasen describes Nan Rich as a ‘longtime advocate for animal rights.’ Another description could have been, future State Senate Democratic leader and ‘tireless liberal.’ [Bullard is a Democrat as well, which I think accounts for his kid glove treatment of her. Can you imagine his response if some Rush Limbaugh-fan legislator had said the same thing?] Then comes this:

Given the many urgent matters confronting the Legislature, it’s easy to make light of the bestiality deliberations; lots of Internet correspondents have been chiding lawmakers for wasting time on such a silly subject.

Yet Rich asserts it’s anything but silly, citing “a tremendous correlation between sexually deviant behavior and crimes against children and crimes against animals.”

I’m not familiar with those statistics, but it’s safe to assume that anyone with a burning sexual passion for farm critters has insurmountable psychological problems, and would not be a welcomed presence in most neighborhoods.

I submit that it is highly unlikely that Hiaasen is not familiar with the statistics being touted by Sen Rich. Wouldn’t that have been the only research associated with the column, Sen Nan or her staff, being his source for the rest? More likely is that he is aware of them, but is unconvinced as to their merits. So he does what he can for a fellow liberal, an unsubstantiated [‘not familiar … safe to assume’] endorsement of her legislative agenda, sure to find it’s way into her campaign literature.

By the way, it strikes me as a safe assumption as well. But the reason laws should not be passed based on ‘safe assumptions’ is because of another law, the law of unintended consequences. In that law, we learn ten years from now that the anti-bestiality law of 2009 was surprisingly effective and men who had confined their sexual assaults to animals, were now preying on ….

Column referenced is copied in full at end of post.

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Strange doings down on the farm By CARL HIAASEN

Posted on Sat, Mar. 14, 2009

Sometimes it’s not easy to admit that you live in Florida.

Last week, our state Senate boldly took the first step toward making it illegal for a person to have intimate relations with an animal.

Although such a law might thin the dating pool in certain counties, it should ultimately serve to protect household pets and domestic livestock, which evidently are at far greater risk than most of us had imagined.

The cry for justice first arose from the small Panhandle community of Mossy Head, where in 2006 a 48-year-old man was suspected of abducting a neighbor family’s pet goat and accidentally strangling it with its collar during a sex act.

I wish I were making this up, but the story is true. The poor goat’s name was Meg.

After outraged citizens demanded that the suspect be arrested and locked up, local authorities were alarmed to discover that Florida was one of only 16 states that had no laws against bestiality.

While our moldy statute books still prohibit “unnatural and lascivious acts” between consenting adults, there’s apparently nothing you cannot do with a four-legged partner.

More unwanted publicity came to Mossy Head when a local entrepreneur began selling T-shirts that said, “Baaa Means No!” Residents demanded that the suspected goat rapist be charged at least with animal cruelty, but DNA samples collected from the crime scene proved inconclusive.

Shortly after the fatal encounter with Meg, the same man was arrested while trying to sneak off with another goat. This time he was sentenced to 364 days for theft.

Enter Sen. Nan Rich, a Sunrise Democrat and longtime advocate for animal rights. Soon after the bizarre abductions in Mossy Head, she set out to write a law imposing tough criminal penalties on those who seek out animal companionship with carnal intent.

Although the bill died in the 2008 legislative session, this year it has a better chance of passing. A Senate agricultural committee has approved a version that would make bestiality a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

However, the discussion among lawmakers of this rather delicate topic already has provided a few uncomfortable moments.

As Rich’s bill was being amended to make sure that some common animal-husbandry practices were exempt, Sen. Larcenia Bullard of Miami spoke up in puzzlement.

”People are taking these animals as their husbands? What’s husbandry?” she inquired.

The committee chairman, Sen. Charlie Dean of Citrus County, patiently explained that animal husbandry was a term used for the rearing and care of domestic animals.

Still, Bullard appeared confused.

”So that maybe was the reason the lady was so upset about that monkey?” she asked, an apparent reference to the recent incident in which a pet chimpanzee was shot by Connecticut police after it went berserk and mauled a visitor.

Bullard has taken some ribbing about her loopy comments, but in fairness she represents a big-city district in which neither goats nor chimps often make an appearance. (Miami does have a scattered population of chickens, which the proposed law would presumably protect from human sexual advances.)

Given the many urgent matters confronting the Legislature, it’s easy to make light of the bestiality deliberations; lots of Internet correspondents have been chiding lawmakers for wasting time on such a silly subject.

Yet Rich asserts it’s anything but silly, citing “a tremendous correlation between sexually deviant behavior and crimes against children and crimes against animals.”

I’m not familiar with those statistics, but it’s safe to assume that anyone with a burning sexual passion for farm critters has insurmountable psychological problems, and would not be a welcomed presence in most neighborhoods.

As fervently as we might hope otherwise, the goat-sex attack in Mossy Head wasn’t an isolated incident. Rich says other disturbing acts against animals have been reported throughout the state, including the molestation of a horse in the Keys and of a seeing-eye dog in Tallahassee.

The latter case involved a 29-year-old blind man who four years ago was charged with ”breach of the peace” after admitting to police that he had sex on numerous occasions with a yellow Labrador named Lucky, his guide dog.

You needn’t be an animal lover to be left aghast by such accounts. Sure, we all knew Florida was crawling with sickos — but boinking a seeing-eye dog?

OK, Sen. Rich, you win. We definitely need a law.

And a drink.
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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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