Jewish World Review July 1, 2002 / 21 Tamuz, 5762
The United States ambassador accepted the cows on behalf of the American people, according to the Associated Press, and then returned them in exchange for traditional Masai goods, including a beaded American flag.
Now, I'm sure the Masai handicrafts will look good in the Smithsonian, or under glass at the George W. Bush Library, sandwiched between a battered Rolodex and a bag of his Dad's pork rinds. But, I for one, think those cows might have come in mighty handy.
Certainly there are shipping problems involved. I don't know if the United Parcel Service has boxes that big, and I don't know where the cows would be shipped, if it did. The addition of a small herd of cattle roaming the grounds would give the White House a more folksy image. On the other hand, if President Bush had a small herd of cattle on the lawn, it probably would not enhance his reputation in Europe, which already seems to see him as a clueless cowboy. Still, even there, if President Bush right now is "All hat, no cattle," as they say, even fourteen cows would go a long way to correcting that impression.
Failing that, I'd be more than happy to take those cows off the hands of the bureaucrats myself. Who could object? Other than the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or the loons who believe that global warming is caused by cattle flatulence, some of whom, come to think of it, may be advisers to the President.
Because a return to the barter system might be a good thing right now. If public utilities, for example, gave us each a cord of wood in the winter, in exchange for a trinket or a sheep, we might all be better off.
And true, maybe cows are a bit cumbersome, but I like the idea of expressing sympathy or gratitude by offering some kind of edible beast.
As a matter of fact, The exchange of small edible beasts, that might be the
ticket to a whole new economy-- we would eliminate the need for sales tax,
the Internal Revenue Service, accountants, accounting firms, money
laundering, chicanery, fraud-- unless somebody pastes chicken feathers on a
pigeon, and tries to pass it off. The jails would empty, lawyers would go
out of business, and money managers would be panhandling on the street--
Will Handle Your Portfolio for Food. As a consequence, of course the global
economy would collapse, but at least I might get a cow out of the deal.
Frankly, that's a lot more than I have right now.
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