The Watering Hole, Monday, August 19th, 2013: From Baseball to “Cracker”

It’s a good thing I was paying attention during the Mets game today, otherwise I’d have had to think of something else to write about.

The Mets were playing the San Diego Padres, and Keith Hernandez, announcer for the Mets and California native, was talking about the California state flag with, as Keith said, the grizzly bear as the state’s official animal. I wasn’t quite sure if it was a grizzly, so I decided to look up the official state animals and, sure enough, Keith was right…

…and here we are.

On the “State Mammals” list from, poor Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Rhode Island don’t even have their own state animals (mammal or otherwise); a couple of states didn’t have photos/videos of their state mammals, so I have provided them.

New Hampshire's official State Dog, the Chinook

New Hampshire’s official State Dog, the Chinook


Washington's official "State Endemic Mammal", the Olympic Marmot

Washington’s official “State Endemic Mammal”, the Olympic Marmot

The list is fun to delve into for us animal lovers, and for history buffs, too – after all, a state wouldn’t pick an official animal that wasn’t integral to the history and development of that state.

I noticed that several states have horses as either the official state animal, or in a separate official ‘State Horse’ category. When I was little, horses were my first love, then dogs – it took a while for me to get to cats. I have yet to pore through some of more intriguing and unusual official state dogs. But I digress.

Zooey, whatever you say about Idaho, they’ve got the best State Horse, the Appaloosa. I always found them fascinating, not only because no two are alike, but because the foals are born dark brown/black and develop their spots later.

Appaloosa mare and foal

Appaloosa mare and foal

Appaloosa colt

Appaloosa colt

What suddenly caught my eye among the state horses was the “Florida State Heritage Horse” – the “Florida Cracker Horse.”
According to the website, “Florida designated the Florida cracker horse (or Marshtackie) as the official state heritage horse in 2008 (expires July 1, 2018 unless renewed).”

A handy video explains the history of the Florida Cracker Horse: as with many early American horses, their ancestors came over with Spanish explorers, including Ponce de Leon. After roaming wild for generations after the Spanish left, the horses were utilized as part of Florida’s overall agricultural development, and were essential to their cattle ranching industry. According to the video, the Florida Cracker Horse was named after:

“Florida cowboys, nicknamed ‘Crackers’ because of the sound of their whips cracking in the air.”

Hmmm…”Florida”…”Cracker“…where have we heard a kerfuffle over the word ‘cracker‘ recently? Oh, yeah, that travesty of justice in which the murder of an unarmed 17-year-old black teen was turned into a distracting and disgusting game of ‘Who’s the Real Racist?’ (Sigh)

This is our daily open thread — Sorry for the rant. Enjoy the animals!

67 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, August 19th, 2013: From Baseball to “Cracker”

  1. Hmm. The Florida. Cracker. Horse. If they would use only the Horse’s Ass as their symbol, it would perfectly describe Florida’s Crackers AND a great many of her politicians, esp. her worthless Cracker Governor, the quintessential Cracker Horse’s Ass.

    I vote for that.

    • Lessee: his mother was a white Amurkan, his father a brown Cubano, and he was born in Canada.

      Obama’s mother was a white American, his father a Black Kenyan, and he was born in the United States.

      Looks like the wingnut freak-out over Obama’s birth certificate should amount to absolutely nothing in comparison to what they’ll surely do over the Canadian birth certificate of a presidential hopeful whose father came from COMMUNIST Cuba, and is NOT WHITE, and . . . well, you know. I’m thinking this whole Ted Cruz thing is an obviously well-thought Communist plot, probably in consort with the United Nations, the New World Order, and all those public bicycles in Denver and New York to destroy Amurka.

      • Similar circumstances which will be met with very different responses from the rightwing nuts. They really don’t have any reasonably sane person to run in 2016 — the teaparty nuts have taken over – I can only hope that this foretells a GOP minority party for the next decade.

  2. Speaking of Marmots, whilst hiking on Mt Ranier several many years ago, we came upon one, standing up, sniffing the air (smelling us, evidently). We stood watching it for several minutes. It never flinched, twitched or otherwise made any motion.
    As we walked away, his head turned to watch us depart. I was very impressed with its demeanor. Calm, cool and unperturbed by our intrusion into its space.

  3. Chuckle of the day:

    America’s Survival, Inc. (a fringe right-wing “public policy organization” that operates this lunatic-conspiracy website) has a new report out. It’s 92 pages long (PDF) and was written by the president of a group called Americans for Truth about Homosexuality. It opens by stating that Fox News host Megyn Kelly is the “new hero to the ‘gay’ lobby” and goes on to demonstrate how and why the right-leaning cable network is increasingly in the pocket of morally corrosive gay activism.

    Here is an excerpt from the accompanying press release titled, “Fox News Goes Gay”:

    “Pushing Sean Hannity out of the 9:00 p.m. slot, to make way for pro-homosexual advocate Megyn Kelly, is another sign of the channel’s left-ward drift and decline,” said ASI President Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic.

  4. Professor Candida Moss suggests that angels are pretty much terrorists:

    “In Genesis we learn that the “sons of God” noticed how attractive human women were and took them as wives. Later Jewish interpretations called these angelic beings the “Watchers” and blamed them for teaching humanity the evils of technology. God is so angry at the ensuing wickedness that he sends the flood to wipe almost everyone out. Perhaps the winged snakes weren’t so bad after all.

    By the time we get to the New Testament, angels have settled into their roles as messengers and heavenly bouncers. They look like human beings. The two young men who talk to the disciples at the empty tomb of Jesus can be identified as angels only from their dazzling white garments.

    They can still be a bit testy though. The Angel Gabriel, best supporting actor of modern nativity plays, is less serene when he announces the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah. When Zechariah protests that he’s getting on a bit, Gabriel replies “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words…you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

    That’s how he delivers the good news. As the poet Rilke wrote, “Every angel is terror.”

    • That was fascinating. It doesn’t surprise me that the angels of the bible should be viewed as something to fear. After all, the god of the old testament was a bit cranky and demanding so it only fits that his “messengers” are a tad nasty, too.

  5. Today is the 60th anniversary of the CIA’s overthrow of the elected Iranian government, for the benefit of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later known as British Petroleum.

    In Declassified Document, CIA Acknowledges Role In ’53 Iran Coup

    The documents, declassified in 2011 and given to George Washington University research group under the Freedom of Information Act, come from the CIA’s internal history of Iran from the mid-1970s and paint a detailed picture of how the CIA worked to ouster Mossadegh.
    In a key line pointed out by Malcom Byrne, the editor who worked through the documents, the CIA spells out its involvement in the coup. “The military coup that overthrew Mossadeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government,” the document says, using a variation of the spelling of Mossadegh’s name.

    • I have a friend that grew up in Iran under the Shah. He was the most hated person by the Iranians. She was arrested while he was in power and to this day, she will not speak of what happened to her. It has had a deep impact on her emotionally as she has difficulty trusting people other than her family. The US has done this to many other countries for the benefit of corporations. It sucks. Our nation was built upon destroying other cultures.

  6. ‘Glenn Greenwald To Publish UK Secrets After Britain Detains Partner”

    And my favorite comment:
    @sean gilday — “God, what an egotistical fraction of a man.”

  7. Ed Schultz Moving Back to MSNBC Weekdays

    MSNBC is changing up its weekday lineup in a significant way, moving Ed Schultz from weekends back to weekdays.

    Schultz will take over the 5 PM weekday slot starting next Monday, while Chris Matthews‘ ”Hardball” will now air only once per day at 7 PM. Before, “Hardball” aired at 5 PM, with a replay at 7 PM.

    You may hear this on Ed in a minute.

      • I anxiously await his ratings in that spot, but unless a significant number have been boycotting since he left, I don’t see Rachel’s ratings moving up as much as when he was her lead-in. Hayes just hasn’t been that good, ratings-wise, but in his defense, we are in a post election year in the summer. As the weather cools and days get shorter, the ratings will go up, except on Monday nights.

        • Btw, since the November election, I’d say I’ve seen Rachel and Tweety maybe three times — combined. I gave up watching all the talking heads. I’m not getting sucked into the neverending vortex of the election cycle just because these people get paid to gin this shit up.

      • “I’ve never understood why we had to endure Tweety twice.”

        MSNBC execs couldn’t believe some of the crazy shiat he said so they had to watch again just to confirm it.

    • In other media related news, Al Jazeera America becomes official tomorrow at 3pm edt, with a one-time introduction show: ‘This Is Al Jazeera’.

      I now have a 24 hour BBC World News channel on my cable.

      Over the weekend Speed Channel became Fox Sports 1. I’ll be watching that space a lot less now. My F1 and Indycar moved to NBC anyway.

      Danica had a decent day yesterday, finishing 23rd, on the lead lap. At one point she was fighting Jamie McMurray for the ‘lucky dog spot’ to get back on the lead lap, but the caution came out after some lead lap cars had pitted, putting one of them in that spot. After that caution she was so much faster than McMurray, she easily pulled ahead of him by several seconds and returned to the lead lap on the next caution. I think she could have finished higher if her team had pitted her for tires and fuel on a caution with 25 laps to go, but they chose to keep her out. She was running 26th and only Kyle Busch’s damaged car was behind her on the lead lap, so she really had little to lose by pitting. After the restart, she was running laps .6 to .7 seconds slower than she ran on a fresh set of tires earlier.

      • And James ‘least untruthful answer’ Clapper will scraf up when you watch and who you watch on nit and what they say…. and then someday you will not be allowed to board a plane or a ferry or maybe a bus…

    • I don’t know where you find these things but that was really interesting. This could give enough time for the proper authorities to reach the shooter and save lives. It’s a shame that it has come to this. Then again, it’s not surprising in a nation that has a love affair with guns and violent videos.

    • Ted Cruz will not be president of the US. He is too creepy and too crazy. Just give him more time in the public spotlight and he will implode just like all the other crazy teapublicans. In my opinion, the only viable person in the Republican Party is Governor Christie and even he has some ‘personality’ issues.

      • And the party actually can’t stand Christie. He worked WITH Obama after Sandy. It would have been better to have left his state in ruins, according to the hard-core GOPers.

    • “The Ted Cruz that I knew at 17 years old is exactly the same as the Ted Cruz I know at 42 years old.”

      The scariest line I’ve read in a long time. *shudder*

      Ted Cruz: All hat, no sanity.

  8. Of course if we had universal health care, no one would actually NEED to steal anything.

    ObamaCare launch creates opening for scammers | Fox News

    Consumer watchdog and advocacy groups like, the Federal Trade Commission’s division of marketing practices and the AARP are just the latest to issue warnings to their members about spikes in scams tied to the October roll-out.

    The Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare, was passed in 2010, but many of its major provisions have not yet taken effect. On Oct. 1, new health plans will be offered through a government-run marketplace or health care “exchange.” There are still many details left to be ironed out, which scammers are banking on.  

    The goal for fraudsters is to steal medical identities – which includes a person’s address, Social Security number, Medicare number and medical history.

    Having access to this information allows thieves to obtain medical care, buy prescription drugs, fake intake forms, order supplies and submit fraudulent insurance claims to the government, Sam Imandoust, a legal analyst at the Identity Theft Resource Center, told  

    Social Security numbers go for about $1 on the black market, but medical records are much more lucrative for con artists and fetch up to $50 a pop. 

    • But if we had universal health care, some people who “haven’t worked hard enough” or who “don’t deserve it” might get care.

      That would be WAY worse.

    • I guess they don’t understand that the giant pictures moving up there on the giant screen aren’t actually happening in real time, or with the actual people involved.

      Oh wait. Nevermind.

      • Yes. Professor Snape was President of the United States, and Hanoi Jane was his First Lady. If that isn’t a tip-off it’s not real, I don’t know…oh, wait…Hanoi Jane dared to play Queen Nancy? Now I see why they’re upset.

    • That’s awesome! The sausage I sell differs from their recipe only by a few spoons of sugar. Perhaps modern taste requires that.

  9. Hi, gang!

    I had another marvelous evening playing with my “toy planes”. Tonight my eager audience consisted of 7 children and a Mom/chaperone and a great time was had by all. Considering that I didn’t even much like children waaaay back when i was a child; these kids are making it hard to maintain my gruff and aloof exterior. Wait a minute. I think my neighborhood food shelves and BBQ’s pretty much spoiled that ruse. Heh! Who knew that I merely spent my life aspiring to being called “Loco Gringo”? I will, until further notice, consider it a badge of honor.

    Now I think I have to get a model airplane that I can let the more eager kids fly themselves. Something slow and made out of foam will suffice and I can even let interested adults try it too.

    I have not, however, been completely ignoring politics and Steven Colbert ran a great bit. Could this gay mayor be more gay? Not likely. Could the fat old preacher be older and fatter? Again, considering the fact that he needs supplemental oxygen just to sit up and talk, I would have to say “not likely”.

    • I love the mental image I have of this, the Loco Gringo surrounded by lovely brown children wanting to fly.

      • Thanks, OIMF. It’s an unfamiliar self-image but I think it’s better than just about any previous self-image I have held. Here’s the surprising part…

        I had assumed that the kids would lose interest the second I told them they can’t fly my current plane. That has not been the case. They are amazed by my flying and they want the knowledge needed to fly any plane. So? I figure my next, best, step is to get a plane that anyone who displays a little passion, regardless of age, can fly. We might have a little conflict when the parents of the really interested kids are asked to fork over $100.00 or so for a plane of their own but, barring any financial setbacks of my own, I figure that I can help out there too. I would not need to make much of a sacrifice to provide a “extra” plane because I could always use a really simple plane that I can fly when conditions suck.

        I will accept my role, in the meantime, of being the “crazy (wise) old Gringo” who lives down the block.

        • Is there any way you could teach them to build (perhaps a communal) plane of their own? I know these things are pricey, but perhaps if all contributed, and took part in the construction, they could both learn and have fun. Heck, if you can organize that you can hit me up for a contribution.

      • It is nice to have co-pilots, Ebb. I didn’t realize how aimless my flying had become before I had a chorus of voices telling me to go: “up, left, around, right, down, up again; and a great many more confusing demands”. Of course…

        The command pilot normally tells the co-pilot what to do so, technically, I have become the co-pilot.

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