Saturday silliness – The only thing more ridiculous than ‘Eli Rabett': the required USDA rabbit disaster plan

Eli_rabett_Josh_Halpern

Eli Rabett in his lair, er, lab

People send me stuff.

Here at WUWT, we all tend to laugh at Dr. Joshua Halpern who fancies himself as a rabbit and writes in tongues third person as ‘Eli Rabett‘ about the evils of global warming to show everyone how smart he is, while twitching his nose at everyone else. He’s one of the more colorful characters of the warmist side of the debate who pretty much personifies that clique, though has strong competition from SUNY’s Scott “super” Mandia when it comes to being the most ridiculous of college scientists. Seeing how these folks tend to self-parody, I see that as license to poke a little fun at them. After all, he endorses this as a valid tactic with the “Eli Rabett approach on climate communication with deniers,”.

This episode of government stupidity about needing a rabbit license for a magic show, followed by a “disaster plan” for severe weather that may harm the rabbit, made me think of him, because what else could pop into your mind when you think of such things? Now with extreme weather aka #poisonedweather™ making bigger weather disasters every minute, we all need a disaster plan for props pets. Right?

I’m going to get right to work on one for the most prestigious member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

I get word that David Burge (Iowahawk) writes on Facebook about a magician that is required to have a “disaster plan” for his rabbit, no this isn’t a joke.

I swear I am not making this up. In the annals of government stupidity, this story may very well be the Mount Everest. Bob McCarty Writes:

My USDA rabbit license requirement has taken another ridiculous twist. I just received an 8 page letter from the USDA, telling me that by July 29 I need to have in place a written disaster plan, detailing all the steps I would take to help get my rabbit through a disaster, such as a tornado, fire, flood, etc. They not only want to know how I will protect my rabbit during a disaster, but also what I will do after the disaster, to make sure my rabbit gets cared for properly.  I am not kidding–before the end of July I need to have this written rabbit disaster plan in place, or I am breaking the law.

Source: http://bobmccarty.com/2013/06/28/usda-tells-magician-to-write-disaster-plan-for-his-rabbit/

It gets even weirder, from the start of the episode with the USDA:

Finally, it was time for the  inspection at the Hahne’s home. Marty decided to ask some questions.

“My friend has a snake,” he said. The inspector quickly told him they don’t regulate snakes.

“No,” Marty said, “I mean he feeds his snake rabbits. He breaks their necks and drops them in the cage for the snake’s food. Does he have to have a permit for that?” Again, she told him there’s no regulation for that.

“So I could break my rabbit’s neck and feed him to my friend’s snake and I wouldn’t need a license?” Marty asked.

“Correct,” she said, “But you need a license to use him in your magic show.”

The obvious question (besides the snake food licensing one) is: does Howard University need a license to keep ‘Eli Rabett’ around for entertainment purposes and does Howard University have a disaster plan to keep Eli Rabett safe in case the university is flooded by accelerating sea level rise or flattened by an errant derecho? Inquiring minds want to know.

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70 thoughts on “Saturday silliness – The only thing more ridiculous than ‘Eli Rabett': the required USDA rabbit disaster plan

  1. What with Independence Day coming up, my disaster plan for my rabbit is to let Nature and Nature’s God take care of him.

    I did have a rabbit for a pet as a child, named Usagi-san. Long ago.

  2. I’ve seen that picture of Eli Rabett before but I just can’t seem to place it …….. thinking …… OH YEAH!! He’s the cover boy for Mad Magazine!

  3. Time for some Darwinian Awards! First one goes to USDA. Maybe the magician can shrink the big government- or make it disappear! The other part of the story illustrates the state of America’s universities. Unbelievable.

  4. Crazy. Aaand the government should run the healthcare industry. Right.

    (assuming the magician doesn’t want to just break his rabbit’s neck and spare the rabbit that way)

    Write this on a sheet of paper:

    Disaster Plan for My Rabbit

    A. Place rabbit in a small dog carrier.
    B. Place container in back of pick-up truck along with 3 bags of rabbit food and 5 gallons of water.
    C. Get into truck.
    D. Start truck engine.
    E. Put truck into gear, step on gas, drive away from the disaster.
    The End.

  5. “He’s the cover boy for Mad Magazine!” [Dave]

    LOL.

    “Maybe the magician can shrink the big government- or make it disappear! ” [R2Dtoo]

    LOL — I wish.

  6. Marty, I’m a problem-solver. On July 28th, turn your rabbit loose (or feed it to your friend’s snake) and switch over to a Gerbil. This should buy you several more months. Then, switch back to a rabbit, a different rabbit. Etc. I think this would be a gas for your audiences and even build up your business. Alternatively, you could write in your rabbit disaster plan that upon the arrival of a disaster, you would feed the rabbit to your friend’s snake. I prefer this solution since you may never have a disaster (low probability) to deal with and could keep your rabbit. A subsidiary solution would be to get a list of all pet owners in America that don’t have snakes and report them to the USDA for processing.

  7. Gary Pearse says:
    June 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm
    ” A subsidiary solution would be to get a list of all pet owners in America that don’t have snakes and report them to the USDA for processing.”

    Well I went to http://www.nsa.gov and entered “rabbit owners” in their search box.
    I think I have tripped them up. That’s the slowest search engine I’ve ever seen. Maybe Deep Thought now ponders what business this non-American has searching for rabbit owners in the NSA’s database.

  8. Disaster Recovery Plan. Make sure rabbit is in good shape. He may be needed for rabbit pie.

  9. I have been called a paranoid conspiricist for suggesting that the ultimate goal of our New Overlords is to control every possible aspect of our lives. This rabbit license-disaster plan story may not constitute final total smoking gun proof of my assertion, but you must admit it is getting dangerously close. It also suggests that those who claim that I’m the paranoid may have finally formed a group that truly merits the D-word appellation.

  10. From Mike McMillan on June 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm:

    I did have a rabbit for a pet as a child, named Usagi-san.

    You had a rabbit named Rabbit?

  11. Sure, KD, makes it easier to distinguish various animals. Btw, the rabbit in Winnie the Pooh is named Rabbit.

    I would actually submit a recipe for hassenfeffer (sic?) as my plan.

    Oh, and wow, Eli must be in his late 40s or early 50s and he acts as childishly as he does?

    Mark

  12. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: June 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm
    From Mike McMillan on June 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm:
    I did have a rabbit for a pet as a child, named Usagi-san.
    You had a rabbit named Rabbit?

    Hai. Mr Rabbit, more precisely.

  13. It is my sad, sad duty to inform America that I now know why your founding fathers insisted upon a right to bear arms. It is so you can all blow your poor freaking brains out when this all just gets too much! This sort of madness in the land of the free! You poor, poor pack of sad bastards. Talk about democracy gone mad. Actually it would be the Democrats gone mad … but that would be tautology, methinks.

  14. Ursus Augustus says:
    June 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    “…This sort of madness in the land of the free!…”

    And you are from the EUSSR I presume, from which, evidently, all economists have either fled or are in hiding.

  15. Eli, along with the stoat and the rat sometimes drops by WUWT. Usually to defend Mickey Mann.

    Henry wonders if MM will return the condiment?

  16. For a smart guy, he sure does teach in a woefully undistinguished chemistry department.

  17. Rabbits eh … very successful species. I don’t think the USDA really needs to worry about them.
    UK, Australia tried to wipe them out with Myxomatosis. UK summer hillsides white like frost with rabbit bones. Disused gas works in Oxford UK comprehensively gassed 1970+. Two days later on the same site ? hophophop … In the 1990s at least, at JCU (of Bob Carter “fame”) it was difficult driving round the campus at night there were so many of them. Some staff reckoned they were bandicoots, but I know a rabbit when I see one. The local dingoes made no difference, seemed their favourite feeding place was the bins behind the student canteen. The only dog I have seen run one down in the open was a lurcher.
    Not sure if it is still the case, but at one time in Queensland it was unlawful to buy a rabbit – but not unlawful to sell one.

  18. Having raised a few house rabbits over many years (Holland lops carrying the rex gene), I can assert that the normal rabbit disaster is waking up to find eight more than were there when you went to bed. So now I only have girl bunnies.

  19. No doubt they will reject any plan he comes up with. They will prosecute him to the Supreme Court and lose and then threaten to sue him until he gives being a magician.

  20. Well one of the most popular breeds of rabbits, that you see at County Fairs, or 4-H clubs, in the USA, is called ” The New Zealand White Rabbit ” ,and everybody knows that there are no native land mammals in New Zealand. No ! seals and sea-lions are not “land” mammals, nor are dolphins (Pelorus Jack), nor are bats (they’re birds of the air).

    So yes, New Zealand DOES have a disaster plan for rabbits.

    Each rural community, has a “Rabbit Board” , which meets once a month, to discuss the list of the ten most wanted rabbits, in the territory.

    Depending on the level of infestation, they get out their guns and dogs, and ferrets, and they go out and hunt down those varmints. The ferrets boldly go, where guns and dogs have not gone before.

    If the pestilence is more wide spread, then they go up in a helicopter, and spread poisoned carrots over the infected area.

    Those are probably the same helicopters they use to machine gun the deer herds, from the air: deer eat grass, sheep eat grass, nyet on the deer !

    Well they got rid of the bulk of their rabbit plague by spreading myxomatosis, also probably by air. There ain’t hardly nothing that Kiwi, won’t spread from the air. Fence posts, barbed wire, you name it, if it fits, it goes by air.

    So there simply is no such critter as “the New Zealand white rabbit”, next time you see one, at your county fair.

    But as to Dr. Joshua Halpern, what are his official climate credentials; I’ve probably read it somewhere.
    I thought he was Foster Grant, or am I confusing him with Papagena, or izzat Papageno probably ?

    But Eli sometimes posts at WUWT but quite seldom.

    PS NO mammals; ergo NO predators; ergo NO need to fly,

    That’s bad for kiwi, weka, kakapo, tuatara, etc. etc.

  21. There is something called “gamma rabbit”, which is iconic.
    Now we have “SUNY Bunny”.
    Perhaps your cartoonist…

  22. Eli Rabett, Connolley’s side kick on Wikipedia: when the infamous Willy cannot order the erasing of a living scientist’s page, Eli does the job for him.

  23. If there is a major power outage, the best rabbit disaster plan involves a skewer and hot charcoal.
    If there is huge destruction from a tornado, and there is a food shortage, the best plan involves a skewer and hot charcoal.
    If there is a huge snow storm event, the best disaster plan involves sewing rabbit skin mittens, a skewer and hot coals.
    I there is a flood event that strands the rabbit and its owner, the best strategy involves finding some dry ground, a skewer and hot charcoal.
    I think that about covers it.
    And they claim skeptics are the flat earthers.
    If this is actually a USDA demand/policy, we tax payers deserve a refund.

  24. Australia has a licensing system for rabbits designed to make sure you have a damn good reason to keep any rabbits at all and here’s why.

    If you want to know what Australian’s think of rabbits and why just google “australian rabbit plagues”.
    From the late 1800’s through to the 1950’s and the introduction of myxomatosis, those rabbit plagues in numbers everywhere that you can see in the photo above, covered over half of Australia, australia in total area is almost exactly equal to the 48 contiguous states of the USA.
    As small boy in the early 1940’s I can still recall seeing the ground in an emerging wheat crop almost covered with acres of rabbits so the very ground seemed to move as they scattered to their immense warrens covering many acres in a lot of cases, They just literally were eating every one of those emerging plants down to the roots.
    In some of the plagues in the dry outback the rabbits burrowed down around the roots of trees , stripped the roots of their bark covering to get the moisture and killed the trees which in some outback areas those clumps of dead tree trunks can still be seen standing.
    The damage to Australia’s native ecology and plant species caused by a hundred and fifty years of the introduction of the european rabbit is almost incalculable.
    To make matters much, much worse, the Fox was also introduced to give a further flavour of Old England with further utterly devastating consequences for Australia’s ground dwelling native birds and small mammals. The fox of course in it’s huge numbers, made no impression at all on the plague rabbit population.

    There is a great deal of breast beating today about how we are suposedly destroying the planet. Well they ain’t seen nothing until those same breast beaters who really haven’t a clue about history or about the past go back in that history and see where the true devastation occurred and why
    Considering our numbers on this planet, our impact today is remarkably small compared to the past with it’s human numbers which were only a quarter of what they are today..
    Today thankfully, we have through research and the world wide communications network have a far better idea on just what damage can be done by ignorant do-gooders of every type and description who are going to change the world to what they personally believe is the true and correct image and society has imperfectly perhaps, put in checks and balances to try and prevent those gross environmentally destroying mistakes of the past..

  25. “I just received an 8 page letter from the USDA, telling me that by July 29 I need to have in place a written disaster plan, detailing all the steps I would take to help get my rabbit through a disaster, such as a tornado, fire, flood, etc. They not only want to know how I will protect my rabbit during a disaster, but also what I will do after the disaster, to make sure my rabbit gets cared for properly.”
    —————————————
    This reminds me of the impossibly detailed lists of questions the IRS was requiring Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status to fill out in order to harass them.

    Attention Eric Holder: initiate a criminal probe to determine whether conservative magicians and rabbits are being singled out for this treatment.

  26. Maybe Howard University have a friend with a large python and a secret ‘feed the friends python’ plan in readiness for such an emergency.

  27. David Ball says:
    June 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm
    “Cook, bring me my Hasenpfeffer !!!!” – Yosemite Sam

    __———-_———————————————–

    Beat me to it ;-)

  28. So Eli Rabbett takes a trip down the rabbit hole to the alternative World of Alice in Climatic Drama Land.

  29. george e. smith says:
    June 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    PS NO mammals; ergo NO predators; ergo NO need to fly,

    That’s bad for kiwi, weka, kakapo, tuatara, etc. etc.

    Umm, so the New Zealand Harrier and the bush falcon are not predators? That’s news to ornithologists. Plus please don’t forget the fortunately extinct Haast eagle, but of course that was not a predator either.

  30. What about my jackalopes? Will the USDA require a disaster plan for *horned* rabbits used for entertainment purposes?

  31. The few cases of magicians attempting to use jackalopes in place of rabbits have all ended in tragedy, so moot point.

  32. I suspect the USDA is in on the no animal in any circus type err derr think..
    like only humans can perform in circuses, if they get their way..
    nothing to be caged made a pet of, rules n reg on pet dogs breeders etc are all leaning this way already., funny how embedding a sharp pronged RFID chip into muscles for life is considered a nice caring thing to do?
    so they can track n trace the OWNER more than their pet.
    mind you OUR turns coming, and the elders in homes with memory issue ARE already being chipped too,.
    best bunny is on a plate, stewed or baked!

  33. This has been a hot topic at a Petting farm website.
    Best Plan
    1. Consult FEMA
    2. Follow directions given by FEMA

  34. The new, politically correct Looney Tunes cartoon:

    Shhhh. Be vewy, vewy quiet. I’m fwom the USDA and I’m wegulating wabbits. Hahahahahahahaha…..

  35. Licensing for Eli Rabbet would depend on whether or not the University can be held to have “exhibited” him. I don’t think that a license is required if the rabbit is doing the exhibiting even if he is an exhibitionist. Then again, John Roberts might have a different opinion based on interpretation of the law, regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, mandates of the UN and oh, say, Venezuelan law, treaties, and prior court rulings. Clear enough?

    Thanks for posting. Technically, it’s a two-page letter and an enclosure. That’s a bureaucrat’s way of writing a 13-page letter. And don’t be fooled when the Department says you don’t have to file the disaster plan with them and that they aren’t in the business of approving the plans. That brochure is full of musts all of which will be enforced if and when you are inspected. And if you ignore their findings, there are both expensive and forceful ways of making you comply.

  36. 51 responses and I don’t see what I thought would be the obvious disaster plan:
    Feed the snake.

  37. Yet another example of government with more money and time to do mischief than it should.
    .

    http://www.cato.org/blog/farm-bill-todays-gop-left-bush?gclid=CNvumcmPjLgCFWNp7Aod7FAAqA

    Congress is moving ahead on another farm bill this year, with the Senate recently passing its version and the House to take up a bill shortly. The Senate-passed bill would spend $955 billion over 10 years—49 percent more than the 2008 bill that was too expensive even for Bush.

    The farm bill to be considered by the House would spend $940 billion over 10 years, and thus is almost as irresponsible as the Senate version. Despite what farm bill supporters are saying, this year’s bill represents a huge spending increase, not a cut.

  38. george e. smith says:
    June 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm
    Well one of the most popular breeds of rabbits, that you see at County Fairs, or 4-H clubs, in the USA, is called ” The New Zealand White Rabbit ” ,and everybody knows that there are no native land mammals in New Zealand…………..
    ——————————————-

    But an honorary mammal though :)

    http://neurophilosophy.wordpress.com/2007/02/07/the-kiwi-birds-status-as-an-honorary-mammal-is-confirmed/

  39. I am sure that this report must be utterly correct. You simply couldn’t make up this sort of insane rubbish. This sort of insane rubbish forms the very foundation of the Religion of Warmism.

  40. Maybe he should submit his disaster plan is to break the rabbit’s neck and feed it to a snake?

  41. Good Lord, don’t you guys and gals have better things to do with your time? There are lawns to be mowed, beer to be bought and barbecues beckon. Anyhow, thanks for the carrots and an excellent Independence Day to all.

  42. Oh yeah, fair warning. Ms Rabett came across this story yesterday
    ———————————–
    Resting from his labors after rearranging the geography of Europe in the aftermath of the Peace of Tilsit (July 7-9, 1807), Napoleon proposed that the Imperial Court engage in a rabbit hunt, entrusting the arrangements to his brilliant chief-of-staff, Alexandre Berthier.

    Using all the energy and attention to detail with which he normally managed the Emperor’s campaigns, Berthier soon had everything in order. The Imperial hunting party, numerous enough to be mistaken for a regiment, would be sustained by a logistical train to provide a Lucullan repast under an elaborate tent, while large details of gun bearers, game keepers, and beaters would be available to lend a hand. Leaving nothing to chance, Berthier even arranged to insure the supply of rabbits, procuring some hundreds, lest nature fail to cooperate in providing sufficient targets for the Imperial pleasure.

    And so, on the designated day, the Emperor proceeded in his coach to the appointed place, escorted by Guardsmen, Equerries, and various others of his household, and followed by a host of kings, marshals, barons, generals, counts, and lesser folk. But something went wrong. As the Imperial conveyance approached the designated killing fields, the game keepers began releasing the rabbits. When the Emperor dismounted, much to everyone’s surprise, the lepine horde, rather than fleeing in all directions, made straight for him, in all their hundreds.

    Confronted by this flood of rabbits, the Emperor’s escort formed a skirmish line to protect him. But, in the words of historian David Chandler, with a finer understanding of Napoleonic strategy than most of his generals, the rabbit horde divided into two wings and poured around the flanks of the party. As the Emperor fled to the relative safety of his coach, the rabbits pursued, some allegedly even leaping into it, so that he had to lend a hand in ejecting them even as his coachmen whipped up their horses.
    ——————————
    [snip. Not interested in what 'Sou' or Russell Seitz think. — mod.]

  43. Avid outdoorsman are aware that a person could not survive long eating only feral rabbit. The meat, although tasty, lacks nutrients necessary for long term survival.
    One should seek better food sources. Rabbit is a waste of precious energy.

  44. If one is facing a disaster, nothing tastes better than fresh rabbit.
    Snakes can go weeks without eating.
    Magicians have to feed daily.
    The interesting questoin is why is the FDA cocnerned about the welfare of a domestic rabbit?
    Escaped rabbits do not last long on the loose. Feral cats, house cats, dogs, etc. all like rabbit just fine.
    Rabbits, however, are not anything like endangered.
    Our civil service, as demonstrated by the IRS and NSA, are not really understanding whom they serve. I guess the FDA is working to get on that list as well.

  45. You won’t have to read very far to come over to my way of thinking on what should be done to people who write such laws:

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2009-title9-vol1/xml/CFR-2009-title9-vol1-chapI-subchapA.xml

    “Animal means any live or DEAD dog, cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, HAMSTER, rabbit, or any other warmblooded animal, which is being used, or is intended for use for research, teaching, testing, experimentation, or exhibition purposes, or AS A PET.”

    Yes, we need BIG GOVERNMENT to regulate dead pet hamsters. (Maybe I broke the law when ours died? He was ‘buried at sea’. Oooops, now the NSA knows about it! )

  46. Remind us again what “USDA” means re: developing “a ‘disaster plan’ for severe weather that may harm the rabbit”

    US Disaster Aid?

    US Disaster Assistance?

    US Disaster Agency?

    US Dept of Acrimony? (They are working this way!)

    US Dept of Aridity, Acridity, Acerbity, Adjudication, Allowance or Aquaculture ?

    It can’t be the “US Dept of Agriculture”; Overseeing the licensing of rabbits for use at magic shows!? Gimme a break!

    .

  47. ROM says June 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Australia has a licensing system for rabbits designed to make sure you have a damn good reason to keep any rabbits at all and here’s why. …

    Lack of natural predators?

    Dingos don’t go for rabbits? We’ve plenty of predators here that go for rabbits, incl. Cats ( e.g. pet cats, lions, lynx, bobcats, mountain lions, tigers), Dogs (e.g. pet dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes), Large birds, birds of prey (e.g. hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, kestrels), Weasels (e.g. stoats, mink, ferrets, wolverines, badgers), Bears, Racoons, Snakes, Humans, and probably any carnivore or wild animal that’s hungry and can fit the rabbit in its mouth.

    .

  48. 1. At onset of disaster, put rabbit in hat.
    2. After disaster, pull rabbit out of hat.

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