‘Dissent is what rescues democracy from a quiet death behind closed doors.” (Lewis Lapham, editor 1935- ).

‘Dissent is what rescues democracy from a quiet death behind closed doors.”

(Lewis Lapham, editor 1935- ). Agreed, Lewis, but are the doors still open?

From the sublime…

A fellow named Barry Switzer suggests, “Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they’ve hit a triple,” whereas Scott Adams goes a step further into sublimity with, “Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there,” although anonymous may have hit the ultimate with his/her belief that “the only reason North American families don’t own an elephant is they’ve never been offered one for a dollar down, and a dollar a week.”

…to the ridiculous:

Sabrina’s moment of celebrity was in 2004, but unfortunately it was short-lived.

Do you remember her? I didn’t but had the article. Re-reading it I found she was more interesting than the celebrities paraded before us in their ridiculous minutiae ad infinitum on every conceivable media outlet on the planet day in and day out as if they’d just stepped down from Mount Olympus or some such exalted realm.

Mind you she didn’t have the necessary focal point, an idiosyncrasy and a pile of money, even though she always wore a fur coat.

Our federal government was tossing her out of the country because she could cause “irreparable harm” to Canada.

This was surely front line security stuff. Read on, McDuff.

Colin Freeze tells us in the October 6, 2004 Globe and Mail that two Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials, backed up by two Peel Regional police officers, showed up where Sabrina lived. She had to go.

She wasn’t home at the time.

Foiled again.

This unwanted “immigrant”  was only four months old, weighing in at 90 grams, normal weight apparently for an Indiana flying squirrel.

Her owner Steve Patterson, a naturalist from Mississauga, couldn’t capture one of her Canadian relatives, and there are apparently a bundle of them in Ontario alone. It’s illegal in Canada.

Mr. Patterson dutifully filled out all the proper forms, went to Indiana, bought Sabrina (US$150), performed the proper genuflections at both border camps, received their blessing, and brought her home.

Unknown to Sabrina and her owner, the federal government had passed some anti-rodent importation regulations in the wake of a scare in the US that some imported African animals passed on monkey pox to as many as 80 American citizens, all of whom recovered.

No one accused Sabrina of having monkey pox but she came to Canada after the new regulations had been put in place, and you know bureaucracy — rules are rules are rules, and common sense, like Sabrina, is forbidden.

Oh, I don’t have “the rest of the story” like that guy who says that so well, as he ends his neat stories.

But who knows, Sabrina might be back. Doesn’t she have rights? Are they accusing her of consorting with monkeys, or is this opportunity knocking for the Yukon?

Sabrina was “larger than life” for a day or two; I wonder if she’s still around?

If so, do you suppose she could be enticed by one of our tough male Yukon flying squirrels?

Talk about a publicity stunt. Surely that would get us into the national media celebrity-hungry frame for awhile, eh? But we’d have to watch out for those regulations and those pesky monkeys too.

Acceptance of dissent is the fundamental requirement of a free society.

I agree with you, Richard Royster, though we seem to have more than our share of people in high places who don’t.

A tip of the hat to flying squirrels. It’s a good thing we have our own, although in this matter, I join that fellow Ogden Nash and his purple cow. I’ve never seen a Yukon flying squirrel, and I’d rather see than be one, though I live in hope that I can someday soon photograph one, and send it to Sabrina’s owner. A match made in the Yukon.