The New York Times
Dear Mr. Brooks,
As one of our nation's greatest promoters of rural utopianism (the idea that the true America, the most noble America, can only be found in the rural confines of the heartland), you must be very proud of how your ideas have helped shaped public discourse.
Examples of your influence are everywhere. We see it in the elevation of Sarah Palin, a passionately credulous, moose-killing, backwater governor, into a true conservative superstar. We see it in the centerpieces of the traditionalist (secessionist, dominionist, supremacists, and teabagger) movements which hold such great sway within God's Own Party. And we see it in the numbers of those who've so joyously embraced that most cherished of heartland values: livestock love.
For many years, livestock love traditionalists were forced to live closeted lives lest they become objects of ridicule and laughter. But your work of turning rural life into a sacred calling changed all that. People of substance began praising livestock love. Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern offered it as an acceptable alternative to the sin of homosexuality. Compelled childbirth advocate Neal Horsley spoke lovingly about his relationship with a mule. Sen. John Cornyn painted us a picture of turtle tapping. Even the First Lady, Laura Bush, regaled us with tales of the President's attempts at stallion milking.
Now, a judge has ruled it to be legal. It came in a case against Robert Melia, a Moorestown, Pennsylvania cop. His fellow officers had found videos of him, offering up his little policeman to hungry calves. Burlington County Superior Court Judge James J. Morley ruled that the calves were more likely puzzled than harmed:
"If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, 'Where's the milk? I'm not getting any milk.'"Unfortunately, there are still those who hate our most cherished traditional values and want to criminalize them:
Burlington County Assistant County Prosecutor Kevin Morgan was certainly irritated by the ruling, claiming the grand jury didn't see the videos of the alleged incident, including one in which one hungry calf allegedly head-butts Melia in the stomach.Maybe it's time for you to address the superiority of rural life again in a column.
"I think any reasonable juror could infer that a man's penis in the mouth of a calf is torment," Morgan argued.
Gen. JC Christian, patriot
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