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So, there’s a wallaby in Highgate Cemetery

That sounds like one of those Monty Python bad English phrasebook sayings, like “my hovercraft is full of eels.” Or “my nipples explode with delight.” But no, there really is a wallaby loose in Highgate Cemetery in London. None of the local zoos have reported one missing, but expert say the photos look like a Bennett’s wallaby, and there are colonies of those known to live wild in the UK.

Yes, it’s true: there are wild wallaby colonies in Britain. The climate is so congenial — it seldom rises above 85° and never spends long below freezing — that stowaways and escapees find it easy to live off the land. It’s a real problem here.

Like the tiny, terrifying muntjac deer, AKA the vampire deer. False widow spiders. Hungarian laughing frogs.

London is so stuffed full of feral budgies they’re having to shoot the bastards.

Did I say “congenial”? I guess I meant survivable. For a laugh, I used to visit the meerkat cam at the Bristol zoo (camera link didn’t work for me when I tried it just now, but it feels wrong not to link). Bristol. Ah, poor bastards. I’d watch those old meerkats standing disconsolately in the rain, water dripping off their fur. Generations removed from the Kalahari Desert, but the looks on their little faces plainly said, “something is terribly wrong with my life.”

Anyway, back to the wallaby. Let’s hope he shits on Karl Marx’s grave.

Update: Obamacare.gov is still boned.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 25, 2013, 1:07 am

Nice photo, one that ought to be carved in wood and hung up over the door to a pub (the sort that probably are going extinct). “Mary, I’m going down to the Fox and Wallaby for a pint!”

It’s beginning to bother me just how much attention is being paid to the failure of the O-Care web site. Yes, it is indeed entertaining and amusing, but the program itself is the abomination. We should be focused less on the FUBAR and more on teh EVIL.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 25, 2013, 1:10 am

(Hmph. I can’t imagine what it was in my previous post that triggered the rabid spam wolverines, but nevertheless it has not appeared. Pity.)

Comment from AliceH
Time: October 25, 2013, 1:10 am

Okay, I’ll start.

DC Zoo baby panda sneezed today. This was Big News on twitter.

It’s time to reassess who I follow, I think. Speaking of which… You don’t tweet enough, Sweasy. Nothing since September 8, and THAT was a RT. I find that surprising, somehow.

Comment from Nina
Time: October 25, 2013, 1:23 am

What does the wallaby say?

Comment from David Gillies
Time: October 25, 2013, 2:09 am

Enough wallabies escaped from Robin Hill country park in the Isle of Wight where I grew up to establish a breeding population. Once in a blue moon you’d see one lolloping along at the side of the road.

I was taught how to say “my hovercraft is full of eels” in Norwegian by an astoundingly beautiful girl in Bergen. It’s “min luftputebåt er full av ål”. Also “sitte på ansiktet mitt og si at du elsker meg.” (“sit on my face, and tell me that you love me,” as the song has it.) Big Python fans, the Norwegians, for some reason.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: October 25, 2013, 2:47 am

There’s a colony of feral parakeets in Chicago (in Hyde Park, the area around the U. of C.).

And Burmese pythons are taking over the Everglades. Even the alligators don’t mess with them.

Comment from Deborah
Time: October 25, 2013, 2:56 am

A television station in San Antonio does a “critter cam” segment during the nightly news. Last night: a wallaby loping down the bar ditch. Also saw a raccoon riding on the back of a pig, which was a first. No weasels or badgers yet. But deer season is just around the corner, so that wallaby better high-tail it for the most remote canyon he can find.

I heard an awful noise this morning; it sounded like something had crashed into my house. I ran outside and it was two bucks tangled up and tearing up the dirt underneath my house (a typical vacation-style lake house set high off the ground).

Comment from mojo
Time: October 25, 2013, 3:16 am

“TOP. Men.”

Comment from Nina
Time: October 25, 2013, 3:48 am


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 25, 2013, 11:49 am

I have mixed feelings about Twitter, AliceH. I check in on it far more often than I participate. I just don’t like to tweet anything unless I think it genuinely adds to the conversation; there’s so much more noise than signal in there already.

One thing I learned early, for example, is that famous people are almost always boring. I would guess their accounts are manned by nonentities at their publicist’s office.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 25, 2013, 11:57 am

Sorry about that, Uncle Al. I don’t know why Akismet hates you, either.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: October 25, 2013, 7:47 pm

Uncle Al:

It’s beginning to bother me just how much attention is being paid to the failure of the O-Care web site. Yes, it is indeed entertaining and amusing, but the program itself is the abomination. We should be focused less on the FUBAR and more on teh EVIL.

Not discounting either the EVIL, or the amusement value. However, the failure of the site gives the opportunity for Patriots to counter attack. Unfortunately, while Patriots will, Institutional Republicans will focus on rescuing the Democrats. The intent of the whole program is to force the adoption of the British National Health Service model here. I have encountered that, and it is a combination of tyranny and mass murder.

But the plan was to have the imposition take place after they had achieved total power. It is failing too soon for the regime. There are points of attack based on this:

1) If they cannot get the key website up; a) how do they plan to enroll the entire bleeding country, and b) it does not speak well for their abilities to run a far more complex than the website medical system.

2) Vital to making this thing work for a while is to get younger, healthier Americans to voluntarily sign up to be forced to pay higher premiums than they can ever afford. Absent that, the system will collapse earlier than they planned. If computer literate younger Americans cannot sign up, it collapses quickly.

3) Drawing out the process introduces Americans to its reality. Far more Americans are finding out that Obamacare mandates that their current insurance [which they liked] is now illegal, and they are now mandated to pay several times the premium for something that does not pay for anything but 1 15 minute checkup and all the birth control and abortion they can use. If the program worked, somehow, somewhere they could point to a significant number who have gotten a better deal. Haven’t been able to do that. In fact, every claim they have had of people who have successfully signed up is suspect and in many cases proven lies.

I have not signed up [and won’t absent a gun to my head] but from what I have been able to find out it would be catastrophic for me. I cannot afford insurance on my income. That does not change because of a State decree.

I am retired, waiting for Medicare eligibility. Insurance that I could get would pay 80% of my costs after a $1,000 annual deductable, with co-pays of $50 or so. That would cost me $1200 a month.

In my state, from what I can gather [and noting that the costs go up after age 57, which we are] at age 57 the cheapest “Bronze” plan I could get would cost me $1700 a month. For that, it would only pay 60% of my costs after a $12,000 annual deductable [not a typo, Twelve Thousand dollars a year.] Obamacare demands that I pay more than half my monthly income for medical insurance that literally does not save me a cent, because if I need that much medical care before they pay anything I am already dead and/or bankrupt.

4) It is coming out that before Obamacare, there were about 20-30 million who could not afford insurance. After Obamacare, there will be more, except that the Internal Revenue Service will penalize you for not being able to afford it.

The failure of the site gives us tactical and strategic opportunities. Pity that we do not have an opposition party in this country to take advantage of them.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from steve
Time: October 25, 2013, 7:58 pm

Obamacare is the polar opposite of “Too Big To Fail”.

It is “Too Big To Succeed”.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 25, 2013, 8:08 pm

I just went through the shopping process (you no longer have to give a lot of personal detail to shop for plans). I looked for plans for an individual over 50 in Tennessee, and the calculator returned 0.

Comment from My Hovercraft (full of nipples) does 185
Time: October 25, 2013, 9:33 pm

Go Volunteers! just don’t dally… past 49.

Per Fan Belt Inspectors, it is also The Most Dangerous state. One shudders to realize just how much Memphis and Nashville bump up the stats.

In the Old Dartmoor though, NHS being the 3rd largest employer on the planet surely provides the most attentive and Rolls-Royce Corniche’y ride.

About these meerkat cams… do they… perform when you input a credit card? or show them a wriggly centipede?

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 25, 2013, 10:13 pm

Gawd. laughing frogs and Saber-Toothed Deer. No WONDER early Britain is rife with stories about fairies…

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: October 25, 2013, 11:23 pm

I used to visit the meerkat cam at the Bristol zoo (camera link didn’t work for me when I tried it just now, but it feels wrong not to link).

Those Øbamacare coders really get around, don’t they?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 26, 2013, 2:06 am

Excellent points, Subotai Bahadur.

One interesting note: I do not follow R. Limbaugh but saw a link to a show segment of his within the last day or two in which he reported that his accountant informed him that the ACA section dealing with the “tax” penalty to be collected by the IRS for noncompliance is specifically separated from the normal IRS delinquency collection powers. The result is that the only way the IRS can collect is by withholding refund money. They evidently cannot garnish, place liens, etc. Interesting, yes?

I pass this along unverified, but I suspect strongly that with Limbaugh’s income he has a highly competent accountant.

Comment from ed
Time: October 26, 2013, 10:17 pm

1. Yes the IRS cannot pursue you for owing money for non-compliance. But that just means you don’t have any healthcare insurance since Obamacare expressly forbids insurance companies from selling -any- insurance plans that do not meet the minimum requirements of Obamacare.

So no Obamacare? No insurance.

2. About 16 million individual policy holders, people who pay for their own/family healthcare out of pocket instead of being provided by someone else, will have their healthcare plans cancelled. These folks will have to get their plans through Obamacare and the cancellations have already gone out and are scheduled for Jan 1, 2014. So if they don’t have the site up and running like a son of a gun by Nov 31 then you’re talking about a very -very- small window of time to jam tens of millions of people through an excruciating process.

3. One last, amongst many, point to be made is that federally run exchanges are not eligible to give out subsidies for healthcare costs. State run exchanges are the only ones that can do that. This is specifically written out in Obamacare. So for the people living in the 36 or 37 states that do not run their own exchanges, such as Texas, you cannot get a federal subsidy help for paying for Obamacare.

This is one shoe that has yet to drop but when it does you can expect it’ll land like a turd from a flying Roc. And in case you don’t know what that is it is a mythical flying bird the size of a 747.

Comment from Republic of Greater Britain
Time: October 28, 2013, 9:13 pm

Or maybe a Collectivist Enclave of Lesser Druids.

Silly Britishers. Culling badgers and leaving foxes??

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: November 1, 2013, 6:03 pm

The Royal Australian Navy base HMAS Stirling, south of Fremantle on Garden Island, is a wildlife reserve. Some variety of wallaby found nowhere else. And they are… what’s the term? Oh yeah, cheeky buggers. It’s as though they realize they are a protected species.

They are found all over the base and look upon humans with bored equanimity, if not outright contempt. I once walked to within ten feet of a herd (or do they come in packs?) of them, and not one gave ground. In fact, they seemed to be channeling Joe Pesci at me.

I decided not to press my luck when I realized that I was wearing kangaroo skin boots, and perhaps they found them offensive. Getting beat up by a gang (posse?) of wallabies seemed to risk having my Man Card revoked.

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