The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Spring Has Sprung
Wednesday, April 19th, 2006
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?
THE year 's at the spring,
And day 's at the morn;
Morning 's at seven;
The hill-side 's dew-pearl'd;
The lark 's on the wing;
The snail 's on the thorn;
God 's in His heaven—
All 's right with the world!
Robert Browning

Ahh, spring.  The season of renewal, that time of year when Alexander Pope’s crack that  hope springs eternal in the human breast is nothing but the truth.  In the same poem Pope wrote that whatever is, is right.  As cherry trees blossom on every corner, and roses bloom in every garden, and soft scented breezes brush the brow wherever we may wander, let us take Pope’s dictum to heart, see with fresh eyes, and reconsider our world from his point of view:

The five day forecast in Baghdad calls for hot sunshine and high temperatures nearing a toasty ninety degrees Fahrenheit.  Beach weather, if only Baghdad were by the sea.  Though the visibility is predicted to be poor, what with the swirling dust and smoke from the fires and bombings, Iraq’s capital is enjoying tee shirt weather, sure enough.  If those tees happen to be covered with several inches of protective body armor, well,
c’est la guerre.

That suicide bomber who blew himself up at a busy Tel Aviv food stall on Monday, killing nine and injuring dozens, all unarmed civilians?  Palestine’s Hamas government says it was  a legitimate act.  As Palestine’s thoughtful interior ministry spokesman, Said Seeyam, noted, the bombing was done in self-defense.  The food at the stall, he insisted, was actually very, very bad.  Furthermore, according to the BBC*, a rival food stand owner in Gaza, Talat Hejazi, declared that he was made “very happy” by the bombing, proving that however dark the sky may look, somewhere the sun is shining.

The Sudanese government got a big win at the UN this week.  The United States and the United Kingdom ganged up to try to impose sanctions on Khartoum.  Their reasoning:  the ongoing killing, raping, and terrorizing of hundreds of thousands of civilians, along with driving two million people from their homes in Darfur, is a no no, and Khartoum deserves at least a time-out.  But the Russians and the Chinese came to Khartoum’s defense and quashed all the sanctions talk.  They don’t want to upset the fragile peace talks taking place between the Sudanese government and their opposition in Darfur.  The talks have been going on for two years.

Speaking of the Chinese, that ingenious country has come up with a brilliant solution to the worldwide organ donor shortage.  With some 1.5 million people in jail, a hefty proportion of them on death row, choosing which prisoner to execute next is made far easier by a simple system of matching organ seeker to organ donor.  Send in your request for, say, a kidney, add your blood type, and bingo!  In as little as a week you get your new organ, and China’s death row population declines by one.  The practice has fostered an entirely new and lucrative Chinese industry, and a great source of foreign exchange:  transplant tourism.  Some might carp that with over two million people in jail right here in the U.S., the world’s largest population behind bars by far, why import organs all the way from China?  As the Bush administration economic experts have consistently said, outsourcing, in the long run, is really a good thing.

There’s plenty of other evidence that all’s right with the world here at home.  A woman in Los Angeles was diagnosed with bubonic plague.  That’s right:  the Black Death, the same disease that killed 25 million people in medieval Europe.  What’s so good about that?  Well, at least it wasn’t bird flu.  And getting back to roses, in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, President Bush said "I'm the decider, and I decide what's best."

If that sentiment doesn’t cause hope to spring eternal in your own breast, consider skipping the next couple of springs entirely, and hibernate until January of ’09.

*Facts and citations found herein culled from the BBC web site at

©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2006
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