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STRONG…or Not

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a rabbit but you don’t need to sit in a litterbox everyday to know that something is wrong with our country when bigots can serve openly in political office but our kids can’t openly be taught science and history without exaggerated myth impinging upon their curriculum. As President I’ll end the blasphemous war to distort religion and I’ll fight fear-based attacks by “religious” fanatics against the religious diversity and freedom of thought guaranteed by our Constitution. FREEDOM of religion and, in fact, just plain freedom, made America strong. It can make her strong again. I’m a rabbit and I approved this message.

And Another Thing…

Faith isn’t like “Twilight.” It isn’t Team Jesus vs. Team Muhammud vs. Team It’s None of Your Business. Faith isn’t about being seen sitting in church and it isn’t about slapping a fish on the back of your car. The back of your car is where you should be slapping truly excellent bumper stickers like these from Bunny Whipped but I digress.

faith |fāθ| noun

1 complete trust or confidence in someone or something

2 strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

• a system of religious belief

• a strongly held belief or theory

Faith is…well…FAITH. It’s the faith to believe there is room for other beliefs, that a God big enough to create what YOU already think he created is big enough to have created much, much more – like the laws of nature, science and other ways of thinking and believing. Faith is the security to know that God is big and that is alright. Faith is even the security to believe that if the person next to you doesn’t believe in God she is either right or wrong but it does not have any bearing what-so-ever on your faith.

Faith is also the ability to understand that faith is not diminished, or under siege, or in any way weakened by the beliefs of others. This is why the founding fathers of the United States made, as a cornerstone of our nation, freedom of religion. Yes, Christianity was the faith of some of the founders but they very purposefully left Christianity out of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Both they and the Supreme Court have been pretty specific on this point so I won’t be droll. Had the founders specified Christianity as the state religion than we would be in the very same boat as Saudi Arabia or, frankly, any communist country. Specifying what religion people will or will not worship is the exact opposite of the intentons of ALL of our founding fathers. It is one of the very few things they all agreed upon. What they gave us was FREEDOM of religion and if you can’t understand why it’s the “freedom” part and not the “religion” part of that which sets this nation apart, than I have this lovely hutch for you right out back.

Another thing about faith is that faith is often, very often, confused with force. Instead of feeling secure enough in their faith to practice it in their hearts and homes, some people, using  _____________ as their excuse, (and here you can fill in the blank with the name of almost any major religion) believe that forcing others to openly bow, with their hands over their hearts and “under God,” to the professed religion of the majority makes faith stronger. NEWS FLASH:  God doesn’t need your vote. God is God (or not – for all you atheist bunnies out there) no matter what and forcing others to bow and recite words they do not believe or backing children of different faiths into a corner so that they feel less-than for not agreeing with the dominant religion, evidences not faith in God but the exact opposite. If you think you need to force someone, anyone, then you are testifying that your beliefs are not strong enough without that other person and that your God needs both you and them in order to be God. You need to know that the Great Bunny is there no matter what any of the rest of you believe. I am at peace with that. I have faith.

And One Last Thing…

On this, the eve of Christmas Eve, I’ve been thinking about innkeepers. As the story goes, Mary and Joseph returned to Bethlehem, for the census of Joseph’s family, having, foolishly, not made prior reservations. Since the rest of the line of David was there as well, there was, as they say, “no room at the inn.” Increasingly worried about the impending birth, Joseph and Mary went from inn to inn and every single time they were turned away. Even two thousand years later we think about those innkeepers and we shake our heads but here is what we forget. One man, and I guarantee you it was a man given the place of women at that time in history, said “yes.” He wasn’t an innkeeper and all he had available was a stable, but one man said, “yes.”

Who was that guy? History has denied him his rightful place but one has to wonder, given the general population of Bethlehem at the time, was he a Palestinian? He wasn’t a Muslim, because Islam was still hundreds of years into the future, and he could have been a Jew, but Bethlehem was a diverse place and he easily could have been any of several other faiths which were popular at the time. Was the man who put a roof over the Lord of all Christians on the night of the birth of our faith, was he a Palestinian? We don’t know. No one does. Still, he was a man of goodness, a man of kindness, a man who did all he could at a time when no one else stepped up. So, does it matter? Does who or what he worshipped matter? This was a man who changed history with his heart and, no matter his faith, he deserves the thanks of all Christians. He even deserves the thanks of doves and sheep and fatted calves and, this is just conjecture, but quite possibly more than a few rabbits, because Christianity put an end to so much of that sacrificing of members of the animal kingdom on alters (see “Leviticus” for more detail on this). Christianity changed a lot of things – including adherence to the many laws and rituals imposed in “Leviticus”. (Make a note, Rick Perry.)

It is my hope on this eve of the Eve that Christians find a way for faith to open their hearts in the same way that man, of unknown faith, opened his stable. It is my hope that on the Holy Night and on every night we are each secure in the faith that we are each secure in the hands of God and that no human force, or law, or religion can change that.

Merry Christmas.

Yours in the Great Bunny – Arliss

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So, during the late summer of 2010 a group of kids were sitting around and one of them said, “Let’s put on a show!” Everyone thought is was a great idea so they cleared out the garage, set up some chairs and off they went…except not…. What really happened is that given the vicious political climate in the late summer of 2010, a group of funny people decided to work together to encourage Stephen Colbert, of “The Colbert Report,” to hold a rally called “Restoring Truthiness.” After about 30,000 other people joined in the effort, they put out a call for correspondents to interview “people and rodents” from across the country about their thoughts on truthiness. Well, as we all know, bunnies are NOT rodents

Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. There are seven different genera in the family classified as rabbits, including the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), cottontail rabbits (genus Sylvilagus; 13 species), and the Amami rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi, an endangered species on Amami Ōshima, Japan). There are many other species of rabbit, and these, along with pikas and hares, make up the order Lagomorpha. – Wikipedia

but Arliss, being an intrepid sort of bunny, responded to the call with the courage and gusto befitting a Disapproving Rabbit and was selected as the National Rabbit Truthiness Correspondent. For more on “Restoring Truthiness” visit their website. For more on Arliss read other blog posts further down this page.

Arliss is a bun of VERY strong opinions but she doesn’t mind if your bun has equally strong opinions. Arliss is pro-strong-willed buns. In her role as a correspondent, Arliss has been asked to make a YouTube video in which she interviews other rabbits on their views on truthiness. This is how it will work. Arliss will have her film crew film her as a series of cartoon-style talk bubbles are held up behind her which translate her questions into English so that humans can understand them. The questions are listed farther below. Participating buns will have their staff film them with answers to one or all of the questions held up in clearly written talk bubbles. Like so:

Bunny with Talk Bubble

Bunny with talk bubble.

Arliss will select bunny respondents for the final video based upon how much they bring the funny. Views of all kinds are hoppily accepted. Arliss will then have her production staff edit together various responses into a single video and submit the whole thing to “Restoring Truthiness.”

Arliss’ Questions:

1. What does truthiness mean to you, the Average American Rabbit?

2. Of the multitude of ways in which restoring truthiness will improve each and every moment of your life, which is the most important?

3. Is the direct connection between carrots and truthiness as obvious to you as it is to me?

4. Is the grass always truthier on the other side of the fence?

5. Do you view truthiness as THE umbrella under which the lop-eared and the uppie-eared can live together in perfect harmony?

6. Agree or Disagree:  the vicious, rabbit-eating eagle is an excellent symbol of truthiness.

7. Final Question, Agree or Disagree:  the best way for any future Presidential candidate to prove his or her commitment to truthiness would be to select a rabbit as a running mate.

When submitting video, please include the name of the human transcriber, an email address where this human can be reached and the city where the bunny lives. Obviously, we don’t really care where the human staff lives, Arliss is ALL about the bun.  😉   If anything typical of the city where the bunny lives can be included in the video, that would be especially great. Funny answers are what it is all about and Arliss brooks no fools. If your bun would like to participate or you have any questions, please feel free to contact Arliss at arlissbunny@earthlink.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at ArlissBunny or subscribe to her blog, right here at WordPress.

All for Truthiness and Truthiness for All!

Arliss out.

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Before the revolution, meaning before it became more common for bunnies to live indoors and receive the level of health care rightfully accorded to most house rabbits, we lived short and very often miserable lives at the hands of careless, or at the very least uneducated, humans. However, in the last twenty years or so, great inroads have been made. More and more buns are living to be happy, healthy elder buns – including me. I’m nearly eleven. (Mia, next door, is almost twelve and her bonded partner, Moesha, who passed earlier this year, was fourteen.) Of course, the virtues of this are immediately apparent:

1. we have a longer time to hatch and execute our plots to take over the world (or is that just me?);

2. we have the proximity necessary to wrap humans around our little paws and make them dance like marionettes (or, again, is that just me?); and

3. instead of working every day on just staying alive, we have the time to become technically savvy so that we can…. (opps! I may have said too much…. Bwhahaha!).

Anyway, at the heart of all of this is the improved diet and health care afforded the modern house bun. That being said, I have some thoughts on the American health care system. I know, it has been a big subject in the media this year and I am late to the debate but I have been busy with other projects (see list above) and it was not until I was reminded, just this week, of how much I disapprove of  the current health care system that I felt compelled to comment.

Let’s start with the location. How is it that in order to, supposedly, feel better, I must first be packed, unwillingly, into a carrier and transported nearly half way across the known universe in order to receive an appropriate level of care? What’s the deal?!?! The dog who lives here can literally WALK three blocks to get to a veterinarian. Obviously, the education for most veterinarians is grossly lacking and must be completely overhauled. I am clear on the fact that I am both exceptional and notable enough to rate a specialist but that doesn’t excuse the local vet from being absolutely useless (and a known bunny killer, having used the wrong antibiotic on an unfortunate local bun.) Human universities need to get it together and prepare ALL of their veterinary graduates with at the very least the BASICS of bunny care. What could POSSIBLY be more important? Thump!

Now let’s move on to the facilities. What’s the deal with bunnies having to share with predators? This past week I was placed on a scale wich very clearly smelled of both dog and cat. There were no members of those species immediately apparent in the room but they can be shifty, especially cats, and one can never be too careful. (Mia tells me that Moesha’s personal mantra was “everyone eats bunnies, bunnies don’t eat anyone.” This strikes me as defeatist but not unwise.) My response, since the scale was on the floor, was to make a run for it. I got about six hops away before my efforts were mitigated by my being snatched up into the air. Hurrumph! My point being, humans clearly insist upon human-only medical facilities and I think bunnies and other non-predatory species should band together and do the same. Also, would it be so hard to have a scale made of some non-slippy material? Seriously, people, you try to stand there with fur covering 100% of the bottom of your paws! Thump! Thump!

I do find that the doctors and staff at the specialists which have attended to me to be, in the norm, as respectful as possible given the abhorrent circumstances. My most recent visit involved meeting Dr. Rebecca Naas, of Cincinnati’s Glenway Animal Hospital, for the first time. Dr. Naas was kind enough to sit on the floor to examine me and I have to tell you, this is very much appreciated since those examination tables really give me the creeps, not to mention flashbacks to earlier, unspeakably horrible experiences. Dr. Naas gave me a thorough exam and carefully checked my eyes all without having to have me more than one hop up off the ground. She also spoke directly with me. (I absolutely HATE it when doctors talk about me and not to me – it’s SO insulting.) She and I agreed that while my cataracts are much worse, my eyes are both “quiet” with zero indications of infection either there or anywhere else. We discussed the inevitability of aging and I have accepted this as one unfortunate part of the process. She even offered to refer me to a veterinary ophthalmologist should I have any further concerns. I elected to attempt a second escape at that moment so I think I made it plain that I am just fine, thank you, and not in need of another ride in the crate or another doctor poking at me. In general, as far as doctors go, I liked her and would recommend her to other buns. (Mia, btw, tells me that she sees another doctor in that same practice, a Dr. Diana Dornbusch Cron, and absolutely raves about her – as if a veterinarian COULD actually “walk on water.”)

As for the cost of health care, frankly, not my problem directly it still is a matter worthy of disapproval.  I endured several procedures in an attempt to address awful recurring infections prior to having my front teeth extracted (I still have PTSD about that and don’t really wish to discuss it here), have had numerous well-checks and this most recent trip to have my eyes evaluated. My medical expenses, therefore, have been substantial. This, of course, is nothing in comparison to my personal value. It does, however,  speak to the level of commitment necessary from my humans. I have no problem with the jobs they need to work in order to support me in the manner which I so richly deserve and to which I have become accustomed but it is worth saying that the cost of health care is one of the reasons bunny servitude (formerly known as bunny ownership) must not, at present, be undertaken lightly. More importantly, it serves to highlight the urgent need for national health care insurance for all members of the fur-covered community. While it is true that Bo, President Obama’s dog, and I will never be close friends, I do think we share this as a core value. I am expecting Bo to work toward this as a personal goal for the balance of the Obama presidency. I will vote accordingly.

Well, I must hop. An episode of Pinky & the Brain is coming on. It’s my favorite show. I even take notes sometimes. I’m thinking it will save me from making some of the same mistakes as my plans progress for… … …nevermind….

Pinky & the Brain

Pinky & the Brain

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As you, my followers, will recall, my last blog contained a poll and from this poll I learned two important things:  first, the blame rests squarely on the blueberries and second, I am taking over the world. In regard to the former, I should have suspected the evil berries at the outset but they wooed me with their yummieness and, disguised in those little blue jackets, they didn’t seem like they could possibly be at fault. Upon taking a second look (and after drying off *grumble*) it is clear to me that they were of ill intent from the outset. Lesson learned.

You may be wondering, as followers are wont to do, what I mean when I say I am taking over the world. Two words, “social media.” My insistence that my staff provide the resources necessary to connect me to the social masses means that there is now a practically infinite number of bunnies and humans who can readily be exposed to my every thought and comment on all the many things of which I disapprove.

Arliss' Bunspace Badge

Arliss' Bunspace Badge

Just this past weekend, I committed myself to sharing my wisdom on Twitter (ArlissBunny) and I am experimenting with Bunsapce. I am entertained by the fact that my secretary has been tweeting for something like a year and has only thirty-five followers while I have been actively tweeting for three days and already have thirty. I anticipate crushing her in the coming days. Bunsapce seems a bit froofy for me but a number of interesting resources are available there and I do like seeing pictures of all the bunnies and reading their stories.

On social media, a few general remarks are in order:

Twitter: I positively and without reservation HATE the World Cup for screwing up Twitter beyond all recognition. Equally to blame is Twitter for not knowing that little tiny birds can’t carry whales. If that’s your plan folks, try again. You and BP apparently went to the same school for contingency planning.

Additionally, while looking around on Twitter, I learned that I am definitely a liberal. This determination was made based upon the fact that I am a vegan, against human overpopulation of the planet, blame all environmental woes on humans and am pro gun control, though I still stick with the stance I espoused in my earlier blog, “Approval, Grapes and Guns.” The humans who provide my staff services do not necessarily support all of my opinions but that is to be expected. They aren’t really all that bright, after all.

The other thing I find about Twitter is that it creates in me an urge to pontificate on all manner of things about which I, basically, know nothing, like today’s SCOTUS decision on patent law. I’m my own best creation and I can’t be replicated, so why would I give a flying flip kick about patent law? Twitter is subversive that way.

Bunspace: Bunspace is a whole different warren of bunnies. Instead of being filled with all the sports and political crazies, Bunspace is chockfull of bunny crazies. Ok, I consider this an improvement but still, virtual carrots? I don’t get it.

And here’s the last take away on what I have derived from my experience thus far with social media:  nearly seventy humans took my poll. Seriously, people, nearly seventy of you cared enough to take a poll on what or who was to blame for poopy butt. Doesn’t this cause you worry for your species? I know it does me. Never-the-less, I’m planning to ride my fame to its zenieth, utilize my following to subvert the ruling class and then take over the world. Arliss, out.

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It is incumbent upon me, as a prime representative of my species, to continue to drive us forward, to seek new horizons, to conquer new lands and then to rule over them with an iron paw. This I have done. Here, in Just to the Right of Nowhere, I have expanded the borders of my lands to include the ENTIRE first floor of the house (well, except for that one un-renovated room which doesn’t have air conditioning and is uncomfortably warm this time of year.) I have navigated the furthest reaches of the parlor, front room, laundry porch, master bath, kitchen and the dining room. I own them. Those that live there do so by my leave. I am considering raising taxes.

The most difficult challenge was facing down the large, vicious predator who roams these lands. They call her “Eleanor” and you can tell just by looking at her that she is a killer. You laugh, but her tail can really knock you upside the head. I, of course, am clever enough to duck and keep my ears down. Also, she licked me a once, just a little, and that took HOURS to groom off. Ewwwwwwwwwww!

Eleanor

Eleanor the Goldendoodle

My favorite thing to do during my perambulations around my estates is to hide behind the couches or under chairs. This drives the staff crazy and has resulted in several lengthy searches all of which I consider terribly entertaining and the cherry on top of my day.

Arliss Dines

Dinner is served.

Speaking of cherries, I have found that I approve of both cherries and raspberries though I should say that in the singular because if I have more than one it leads to an unfortunate situation involving my tail which I prefer to avoid. Just last night I was offered some beet leaf and I am taking it under advisement. My usual dinner salad includes cilantro, parsley, kale, endive, Brussels sprout, escarole, green leaf lettuce and Boston lettuce with a mini-carrot appetizer and Bunny Basics-T for dessert. All three courses are paired with a lovely soft water which I very much enjoy. I’m looking forward to the dandelion and other treats that come along with summer salads. The staff here prepares all my salads especially for me by chopping everything up into small pieces so that I can pick them up with my lips and chew them with my back teeth. Not having any front teeth is something of which I very much disapprove as I would be using them not only to eat but to express my disapproval at critical times.

Arliss explores.

Arliss conquers new lands.

(more…)

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There aren’t enough thumps in the world to express how incensed I am about the inability of my current staff to manage time in such a way as to be able to get my latest missive posted. It’s almost as if they have something more important to do! *aggravated ear shake*

Mia, who kindly agreed to assist me in improving my thump.

I should tell you that I have not just been sitting idly by during my absence from the web and while it may appear, based upon past posts, that I think overly highly of myself and diminish everyone else, I must assure you that this is not the case. In fact, late in March I discovered that I had a fault. It was, admittedly, a harrowing realization and an area which I immediately moved to correct. It all started one day when I was minding my own business and borrowing some hay from the other side of the fence. Mia, who happens to live on the other side, took notice and firmly thumped me. I was shocked. Shocked, I say! This was not because of the thump itself but rather its volume and timbre. Mia, who is half my size, put out a thump bigger than any rabbit I have ever heard. The floor literally shook. The humans downstairs jumped. It was the single most impressive disapproval I had ever heard. I was in awe. I simply HAD to learn how she did it.

I was in awe.

With the understanding that I would no longer use her hay for my own purposes, Mia agreed to give me thumping lessons. We started later that day and worked on it over the next week with excellent result. First she would thump then I would try to replicate her technique, then she would go again and then me. We would go back and forth for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time and I must say that my hard work really paid off. I have adjusted my angle of attack and timing just enough to really maximize the velocity and consequent volume of my thumps. I feel I can now say that my shortcoming has been addressed and I can move on with a pristine slate.

The thing about self-improvement is that it really gets one to thinking. Doing all that work on thumping did allow me to recognize that I had my own gifts in that area. I have genuinely excellent rhythm. I have always been artistic, having nibbled many articles on the subject. Additionally, I have always been into interior decoration, putting my personal stamp on every place I have ever lived. It was not, however, until I became focused on my thumping that I realized that I am a musician as well. With the stark realization of my own musical gifts laid right at my paws, I immediately called upon my contacts and went into the studio. The result is my first single,  Hate on Me.  For those of you without the musical ear or facility, my thumping begins several bars into the piece. I feature a double and occasionally a triple thump in addition to my exceptional single thump work. I must say that I am thrilled with the efforts of all of my backing musicians though I am unhappy with the mix because I feel the singer has been brought to the forefront making the less sophisticated listener work harder to hear me. (I have already spoken with my agent about it and I am assured that future releases will not have this problem.)

I find the lyrics to this piece particularly moving because they express my feeling that I don’t really give a flying thump what anyone else thinks. I hope you enjoy it but, of course, if you don’t that’s your problem.

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The thing about being a Famous Disapproving Rabbit is that periodically one simply must approve of something or the human staff loses heart and stops trying with their every breath to curry your favor. With this in mind, I have decided to approve of grapes. I was suspicious at first. Afterall, a grape does look and smell a bit odd and one never knows if the staff just popped a bit of poison in it so that they can live large on bunny money for a year. However, I looked across the room and the other bunnies seemed to be just thrilled with the whole grape thing so I decided to give it a whirl and, what do you know, I approve. My grape was excellent. It was prepared perfectly, they call it “grape on the half shell,” and I plan to order it again in the future.

Something else I have found I approve of – guns. Oh, I know what you are thinking and believe me, I agree with you. Humans can’t be trusted with guns. As best I can tell they actually are so ignorant that they usually use them to shoot each other. When they aren’t doing that they apparently do something they refer to as “hunting” which, as I understand it, involves going out into the woods with a massively over designed weapon to shoot completely unarmed herbivores. Ridiculous. As if the gigantic planet-killing cattle industry wasn’t enough meat for these people. Have they ever even looked at their teeth? They have a couple of general tearing teeth in the front, just like bunnies do (but not as sharp – tee hee) and then in the back they have a whole bunch of grinding teeth, again, just like bunnies. In between that they have one tooth on each side, top and bottom, for pointed tearing. All those cows, pigs, sheep and this whole “hunting” thing for four teeth! Really! Get serious people! Trust me, you don’t need to eat meat to be feared. Two words – Monty Python. That’s all I’m sayin’ people.

But back to my subject…guns. You know why I like them? Because a stupid human hunter (I’m sorry, I know that was a redundant phrase) was out with his dog in someplace called Lyngdal, Norway to hunt, you guessed it, rabbits. The hunter set down the gun and the dog “accidentally” pulled the trigger, shooting the hunter. Unfortunately, the man was only injured a little bit. Fortunately, the rabbits saw the whole thing and immediately obtained a mail order assault rifle. [I got my information from a man named Dave Berry, who I am certain is reporting with complete accuracy and is a genius…for a human that is.] I, myself, have been closely studying my new Winchester catalog and I have pretty well decided on the Model 70 Extreme Weather SS. So just to be clear, since I know some of you are a bit dim, I disapprove of guns for all humans but approve of arming rabbits.

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