Heir to Ignoramus

Ignoramus, Merriam Webster Dictionary tells us, is the title character in a 1615 farce by George Ruggle. In Latin, the word means “we do not know.” Ruggle set up Ignoramus as a lawyer who fancies himself to be quite shrewd but is actually foolish and ignorant, a metaphor for the British legal system of the time. Thus the word applies perfectly to President Donald Trump, who visited Cedar Rapids last week for one of his rallies devoid of fact but full of snark. In the heart of Iowa, the greatest generator of wind energy per capita in the nation, the Ignoramus in Chief was talking up the dying coal industry and said, “I don’t want to just hope that the wind blows to light up your homes and your factories.” Then he paused, and added: “as the birds fall to the ground.”

First, to the dead birds.

Have you heard the crows? They are everywhere, in the fields and the parks and around the windmills. The police were shooting at them in a coordinated attack. The pigeons. They poop downtown. The geese rule the Storm Lake Marina, the Lake Trail, Scout Park and every other park. They grease the sidewalks and the docks. They escort their little goslings down the greasy runway into the lake when the dog chases by. The red tail hawks are said to be killing the pheasants. These damn birds are everywhere, mulberries purpling the Sunset Park path.

This just four miles from North America’s largest wind turbine complex.

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Art Cullen