Isn’t It Legal To….?

Imagine a zone, a Twilight Zone, where you think you heard…


Today, after a grueling month’s schedule, I met a friend for coffee and intellectual discourse (I could have done without the coffee, but can’t go long without intelligent conversations…)

Imagine my shock, while waiting for said friend to arrive, of a conversation overheard from the nearby patrons:

Guy 1: So how much does a polar bear tag cost?

Guy 2: Mumble, Mumble

(sorry folks, I’m deaf enough in my old age, but not deaf or old enough to warrant a hearing aide…)

Guy 1: So, you’re saying, I can get a tag, shoot it, but I can’t bring it back down with me?   What kind of scam is that?

Guy 2: Mumble, Mumble

Guy 1: But there are tags for ’em, right?  I mean, if I get a tag, I can hunt polar bear,  Legally, right?

Guy 2: Hell yeah! You just have to mumble, mumble, mumble

Guy 1:  Is that just in place because Americans are so crazy about endangered species?  Cuz if it’s legal, who cares?   I mean, why can’t I mumble, mumble… I ship it somewhere up there and then collect it and then drive over the border?

Guy 2: Well, yeah – – I had a friend in 2004 that mumble, mumble…

Guy 1: Well, as long as it’s legal, I’d like to get a tag..


Okay.  I admit, I thought surely I’m hearing wrong.  I’m old, I’m crochety, I’m lookin’ for a fight….surely that SOB didn’t just make his decision based on if something is legal or not, did he?

Sadly, I think he probably did.

And there’s the problem.

As all great philosophers will tell you, it’s not so much the answer you need to consider; rather, whether you are asking the right question or not.


I ponder upon why this 20 something (or maybe 30 something – I admit, the older you get, the younger everyone else looks….) is financially fit enough to be able to AND why he would want to hunt polar bear.   I’m guessing it’s not to put meat in his fridge for the winter, because he’s considering doing this even if he can’t bring the body back.

I also imagine it’s not to have a stuffed polar bear in his house – because if that’s what he wants, he can just wait til the after Christmas sales and get a life size stuffed polar bear for less than his tag and airfare are going to be for this venture….

Nope, in my infinite wisdom and experience, I’m sure there’s one reason and one reason only he is doing this….

He needs to prove he is smarter than a polar bear.

He already lost the contest, if you ask me.


When will we quit asking if something is “Legal” and start asking if something is “Just” or “Right”?   When will we learn that just because the collective powers that be have said, “Do such and such and the law will not stop you” it does not guarantee that certain motivations and decisions are justified and in tune with the greater good?

I’ve immersed myself in social, political, spiritual and economic history of the time span from 300 B.C.E. to 1698 A.D for the past 6 months – (go ahead you history PhD’ers, laugh at my 6 month immersion program)

History reconstructed through a variety of sources and taught by a variety of individuals from a milieu of perspectives tells me what I already suspected…

We never learn.


On the plus side, I’m starting to think our insane striving for immortality might be on target.   If a large portion of the population could manage to live in peak condition for 300 years or so, perhaps our civilizations would evolve more quickly and we could quit making the same stupid and insane mistakes every 30 years or so.

But I’m not betting on it…

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