PROGRESSIVE PENGUINS?: Can these remarkable birds teach us the importance of working together for the common good? Yes, says op-ed writer Terry Leach, who goes on to declare what we mere humans must learn from penguins: "[T]he individual's needs, be they to eat or stay warm, must come second to the all-important goal of survival of the next generation." She follows that recitation of standard socialist ideology with a case study in class envy driven by rage against anything and everything associated with George W. Bush:
Right now, the Bush administration is extolling the unifying theme that those who "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" (or, more likely, those who've inherited a bundle) don't owe a dime to their less fortunate fellow human beings or to the next generation. The newly rich and the already rich are on a tear, ladies and gentlemen, and God help anyone who gets in their way. Passing their time reading, for example, the Financial Times magazine, How to Spend It, these first-class citizens learn how to buy yachts, jewelry and additional homes along with jets to travel between their residences. But nowhere in this or in many similar publications will the nascent rich philanthropist learn how to establish a foundation or otherwise redistribute his or her wealth. Certainly there will be no discussion of the ruinous economic ramifications of destroying the middle class that provides the lions' share of a society's nurses, teachers and police officers, let alone a discussion of the moral issues inherent in a widening gap between the very rich and everyone else.All this is obvious, Leach says, from watching the behavior of penguins. Conversely, perhaps the species behavior of lemmings stands to teach us important things about the social skills of left-wing activists? But don't let the writer's rant discourage you from seeing March of the Penguins, an excellent documentary about the mating habits of a remarkable species.