Harambe the Gorilla and Lessons to be Learned

harambe-GorillaA tragic incident occurred recently in Cincinnati that is making headlines and evoking passionate debate among many people.

A young boy willfully climbed into the gorilla pen at the Cincinnati zoo and when a male gorilla named Harambe started to become more aggressive, the zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response team shot and killed the gorilla.

Passions are running high among those who think the zoo did the right thing and those who think the zoo handled the situation improperly. One of the positions I see being taken is that the zoo is responsible for the enclosure not being secure enough to prevent entry and they are to blame. That all the enclosures must be designed to prevent anyone from entering. That’s the argument I’d like to look at today.

What I want to talk about today, Memorial Day, is the commonly stated belief that Freedom isn’t Free. I disagree with that idea. I think Freedom is Free. There is nothing more free in this world than freedom. Don’t get me wrong. I well understand that other people desire to take away my freedom. Those other people include both foreign and domestic enemies and my own government. I understand that to protect my freedom people must make sacrifices. I do not disregard the sacrifices made in order to protect me and others.

That being said, Freedom is mostly certainly free. It’s just quite dangerous. It might be possible to make every zoo enclosure more difficult to penetrate but there is no way to have a zoo and also have it so that a determined visitor cannot gain access to an exhibit. It is in the nature of a zoo where wild and dangerous animals are kept that there will be danger. Certainly the zoo should make efforts to keep the enclosures and wild animals separate from the visitors but if we want to have zoos at all, we must face that fact that a determined child or adult might be able to put themselves in danger. That’s freedom.

We could make it more safe, certainly. We could make zoos illegal altogether. We could insist that zoos spend astronomical sums of money to enclose every exhibit in bullet proof glass.

We could remove all traffic signals and thus be more free to drive as we will without restrictions. Or we could pass more and more traffic laws. We could put monitors in cars to prevent any sort of dangerous driving. The choice between freedom and safety is a serious one.

Those who wish to take our freedom often guise their desires with soothing words about only doing it to protect us.

My point is that we must accept danger if we love freedom. We must understand that terrible things can happen. That the government and the zoo cannot completely prevent horrible outcomes. We must mourn the death of Harambe. We must accept the danger if we are to remain free.

The alternative is to be perfectly safe at all times … in our locked and hermetically sealed chamber.

What will you choose?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Running Bison and how you Can Save Our Country

Bison Running SupervolcanoIn my endless pursuit of fascinating stories to blog about I read an awful lot of news stories and I’ve just come across one that has got a lot of people talking.

Someone took a video back in the middle of March of a bunch of bison trotting down a road. Herd animals do that sort of thing on a pretty regular basis. Meanwhile on April 4th there was an earthquake in Yellowstone National Park.

Herd animals, I mean people, immediately drew an erroneous conclusion. The idea is that the bison knew, back on March 20th, that there was going to be a big earthquake in Yellowstone and were running away from the foretold event. That an even bigger Supervolcano eruption is imminent. That we are DOOMED!

The video has been viewed over a million and a half times since the earthquake and there are a huge number of comments from people telling their own stories about the prescient nature of animals before natural disasters. I’m quite certain a healthy percentage of the people reading this blog actually believe animals have such abilities.

If you’ll permit me to demonstrate a bit of what is called the Socratic Method I’d like to ask those of you who believe such nonsense a series of leading questions.

  1. If animals have this ability and we have tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters on an almost daily basis worldwide, wouldn’t we see such behavior all the time?
  2. Has your pet ever dashed wildly about the house for no reason?
  3. With the regular occurrences of natural disasters and the more common phenomenon of animals acting strangely isn’t it likely the two events will happen near to each other occasionally even if they are completely unrelated?

Now, that’s all said and I’m sure I’m not going to change the minds of the true-believers but I there is an important lesson in all of this. When you give credence to the idea that a bunch of bison running, further into the park as the facts have it, is an indicator of a Supervolcanic eruption are you not scaring people, predominantly children?

Are you not passing along nonsensical ideas. It seems harmless and fun but when we make a statement that has no validity and isn’t supported by any evidence, you are feeding ignorance. Do you want your children to be ignorant?

If we have a nation where people absolutely believe that which is not true; is it not only a matter of time before we make such disastrous decisions that we are destroyed?

When you make a decision about what car to purchase or what loan to take out on your house do you consult a Tarot Deck for answers? Do you look at the facts available and make the best decision possible? People who make good decisions do better in life. Nations that engage in good decision-making succeed.

Bison like to run. They travel in herds. They run in groups all the time. Eventually there will be a Supervolcano explosion at Yellowstone and it’s darn likely that some bison might be running a few days before it happens. Will their running have predicted the explosion?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Coming very, very soon: The Broken Throne