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First Chris Christie, now Tom Reed. Is this a new Republican strategy? The two politicians – Christie, the governor of New Jersey, and Reed, the Southern Tier congressman – have had weight loss surgery this year, shedding an estimated total of 110 pounds so far.

Reed had gastric bypass surgery, which is both more invasive and more effective than the gastric band surgery that Christie chose. Both were frustrated – and worried – by their weight.

Congratulations to them, and to a natural ticket for the 2016 presidential election. Christie and Reed: They know how to cut the fat.

Philosopher’s Corner: Is it illegal to kidnap a polar bear, and if so, should it be?

This is not mere philosophy, but a real-world conundrum, as Kali the orphaned and irresistibly cute polar bear cub (he’s a boy) has arrived for what may be only a temporary visit with Luna, Buffalo’s incredibly cute polar bear cub. She’s a girl. You see where we’re going here?

Kali was flown here because of the space available at the Buffalo Zoo and the region’s enthusiastic adoption of the lovely Luna.

But: a problem. It appears that St. Louis, Mo., may have first dibs on Kali and he could be sent to its zoo this summer, thereby breaking Luna’s tender heart and dismaying thousands of Western New Yorkers.

Ergo, the initial question and its obvious followup: What does St. Louis know about polar bears, anyway?

There are crises and then there are crises. It’s trouble enough if you’re unable to pay the rent, or if you’re a violinist and you break your fingers or if it’s 20 below zero and you can’t pay the heat bill. Those are legitimate emergencies that fortunately have emergency solutions.

But what, pray tell, do you do when there’s no toilet paper? Not just in the bathroom or in the closet or at the corner store. We’re talking about no toilet paper anywhere in an entire country. Or almost anywhere. That’s a crisis.

Such is the calamity that has befallen poor Venezuela. Fears of a panic are spreading, despite the socialist government’s promise to import 50 million rolls.

There are lots of cracks to make about this, but better if you come up with your own.