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Seal Worshippers


“A lynch mob is an example of pure democracy in action. There is only one dissenting vote, and that is cast by the person at the end of the rope.” US Army manual 1928

Recently a woman’s dog got loose near the Carpinteria Seal Sanctuary. No harm was done to the seals or the dog, but the uproar was significant. The hapless dog walker was roundly jeered by Seal Watchers. One allegedly wailed a hundred seal miscarriages would occur. A singular lament in the land of Roe v Wade. None of them offered to help catch the errant dog.

The dog walker was then accosted by two Carpinteria Code Enforcement officers and an armed Deputy Sheriff. According to the dog walker she was offered three or four penalty options. However she was told the most benign option wasn’t available because the Seal Watchers wouldn’t abide such a light penalty. Sounds like vigilantes run the show, not Blind Justice.

There is a palpable air of sanctimony at the observation site far above the rock-dappled sanctuary. It’s as though one has entered the Holy Land. After all, it is called a sanctuary. I wonder if seal predators observe sanctuary rules? Or if seals mourn the fish they consume?

A long time Carpinterian at the scene noted that years ago her dog would swim with the seals. We all wondered why the seals weren’t bothered by the industrial activity and noise from the adjacent Venoco facility.

In a follow up, I read that federal and local law enforcement are weighing their punishment options. Rightly or not, I think: de Sade.

My advice to the dog walker: Plead not guilty. Opt for a jury trial and a change of venue. To a location where reason and rule of law are not crucified on the altar of emotion and animal worship.

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