OKC Zoo Designated Worst For Elephants

The Oklahoma City Zoo has been named the worst zoo for elephants in 2016 by the In Defense of Animals organization.

The organization released its list of Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants, and it comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention that the OKC Zoo ranked number one on the list because of the ongoing controversy surrounding two elephants, Chai, now deceased, and Bambo, both who were obtained from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.

A media release about the list contains some gruesome details about both Chai and Bamboo’s tragic situations. The release states, for example:

. . . Bamboo survives [Chai], and has since had two inches of her tail bitten off by another frustrated elephant in their prison-like pen. Bamboo has been kept in either in solitary confinement with the aggressive female, or in the occasional company of a young male; none of these circumstances constitute even reasonable social companionship. Yet Oklahoma Zoo callously describes this sad elephant inmate as doing great.

I wrote about Bamboo’s tragic situation here back in August, and it ranked as one of the highest read posts on Okie Funk in 2016. A full take about the list of worst zoos from In Defense of Animals can be found here

As you may recall, Chai died in January, 2016 of a blood infection. Another OKC Zoo elephant, Malee, also died recently. Bamboo, meanwhile, has been been attacked and gone on the attack because she can’t adjust to what zoo officials insist on calling a “herd.” It’s not a herd in any natural sense. It’s more like a disparate group of inmates in an abusive internment camp. In Defense of Animals doesn’t mince words about the OKC Zoo: “After being on our list twice, Oklahoma City Zoo, welcome to our #1 worst spot for your part in creating a devastatingly tragic outcome for generations of elephants.”

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For the Record: Inhofe Says Pruitt Is Ideal For EPA

I’ve always had mixed feelings through the years of going through the hassle of noting the right-wing extremism in this place on the blog since it’s so obvious, especially to people who live out of the state, but I’ve always felt it’s important for the historical record.

Now it’s more important than ever. The Internet Archives, for example, recently announced that it’s moving a copy of its material to Canada to protect it from possible censorship by President-elect Donald Trump, who has apparently at least blustered that he might be interested in “closing off parts of the internet.” More on this later in the post.

For the record, then, on the right-wing extremism issue, here’s Oklahoma’s own infamous global warming denier U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe official statement about Trump’s selection to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who is none other than Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, another climate change skeptic:

Scott Pruitt is the ideal candidate to lead the EPA. Pruitt has seen first-hand the abuses of power at the hands of this agency and has fought back to ensure environmental quality without sacrificing jobs. Scott is an expert in constitutional law, and understands the fundamental element of balance necessary between the states and the federal government. I look forward to working with Chairman Barrasso and the EPW committee to move Scott’s nomination swiftly and fairly through the committee and to the Senate floor.

What does this “balance” even mean? This is what I believe it means to Inhofe and Pruitt: States with deep fossil-fuel reserves should be allowed to damage the planet in local ways, such as all the earthquakes caused by the fracking process here in Oklahoma, to the larger concern of rising sea levels because carbon emissions are accelerating the greenhouse effect, which leads to the melting of arctic ice. My argument is that Pruitt and Inhofe believe the profits of oil and gas companies render environmental arguments and evidence obsolete. Maybe they truly believe in their position, despite huge evidence that global warming is harming the planet, or maybe they simply don’t care.

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Mixon Attorney Wrote Rant Against TLO, Okie Funk

The Lost Ogle blog exposed the latent hypocrisy of a local Crowe & Dunlevy attorney who was critical of the blog’s founder, Patrick Riley, and even me in what appears to be a one-post shame rant a while back.

The attorney, J. Blake Johnson, really went after Riley and TLO mainly in a solitary 2015 post more than me, accusing the blog of, among other things, “latent misogyny.” (If you click on the link note the deceptive url.) It turns out Johnson represents OU running back Joe Mixon, who broke a woman’s face at Pickleman’s Gourmet Café in Norman on July 25, 2014. The graphic video of the incident, as just about anyone who is reading this knows, was recently released to the public.

In breaking news, as I write this, Mixon declared yesterday he’s done with Oklahoma, which all makes sense, and is now, in his view, is hopefully headed to the NFL to make lots and lots of money. In other words, he came to this state, revealed how spineless and unethical our leaders remain when he violently attacked a woman and they did nothing significant in response and is now thinking he’s taking all his baggage and athletic talent to the house for a personal, financial touchdown. We’ll see how that goes. I digress.

Actually, to his credit Johnson referred upfront to Okie Funk as “generally thoughtful” in his piece, but went on to criticize my celebration of TLO in a post as writing that adds spice to the dull and conservative media here, a belief I stand by. Johnson tore into TLO, however, with vengeance, calling it “indecent” and “mean spirited,” all of which really doesn’t matter on a larger level. Who hasn’t been angry at TLO or Okie Funk once in a while or even more through the years? Who even cares? Johnson seemed to want to create an internet flame war without any fire. That’s why I ignored Johnson’s post altogether when it first appeared.

I have more to say or maybe more to ask about the Mixon case, University of Oklahoma President David Boren and Crowe & Dunlevy in this post so I won’t rehash the TLO post in great detail. Here’s the link again. The post is irreverent, uses TLO’s colorful, sarcastic language and doesn’t hold much back, but then, as Riley points out, “The hypocrisy is strong with this one.”

The Mixon case, I believe, is just another case of a privileged athlete getting preferential treatment in an abuse case. Although Mixon still faces a civil suit in the case, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received a one-year deferred sentence, some community service and counseling. Under the plea, the charge could eventually be expunged from his record.

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