Poll: Threats and Menaces

SteelyKid’s nearly over her coxsackie virus, but has just enough spots left that we can’t take her to day care. Which means another day of baby wrangling, and another poll question chosen by the dog:

Emmy is convinced that we’re insufficiently serious about home defense.


  1. #1 becca
    July 2, 2009

    Aren’t Global Warming, Terrorism and the tanking Economy all the result of the nefarious plots of squirrels?

  2. #2 Rajesh
    July 2, 2009

    I agree totally with the Queen of course – but hereabouts it’s an infestation of Bunnies in suits and ties aka Jehovah’s solicitors.

  3. #3 Eric Lund
    July 2, 2009

    Mosquitoes. There is a small stream in my back yard, which at times has had a beaver dam on the downstream side. I’m a block away from a swamp and two blocks from a small dam.

    Climate change would be a close second. I don’t own oceanfront property yet, but I will if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts–the aforementioned back yard is about 3 m above sea level.

  4. #4 Rhett
    July 2, 2009


    followed next by robot bears.

  5. #5 chezjake
    July 2, 2009

    Not to play down the threats of bunnies and squirrels, but is Emmy even aware of a very insidious menace? The celery stalks by night!

  6. #6 Gaspode
    July 2, 2009

    I have to go with climate change, as this will cause all the squirrels and bunnies to migrate north. And lizards are just no fun, with their detachable tails and everything

  7. #7 Kate Nepveu
    July 2, 2009

    chezjake, oh, no, don’t tell Emmy about Bunnicula! We’ll never hear the end of it!

  8. #8 Tom Renbarger
    July 2, 2009

    Those damn kids who won’t stay off of my lawn!

  9. #9 Natalie
    July 2, 2009

    I went with inferior dogs, namely SmUDs – Small Ugly Dogs. I’m sorry, but if a cat can beat you up, you don’t deserve to be called a dog. Definitely an insidious menace.

  10. #10 cicely
    July 2, 2009

    The squirrels keep eating my house. The compromising of the house’s structural integrity is going to make us more vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change; in the Current Economy, the repairs bill is going to cripple us. They’re probably shedding disease-causing organisms all in our attic this very minute, potentially exposing us to Pandemic Disease, and since I know they’re doing it on purpose, to sow fear and panic among us, there is obviously also an element of Terrorism involved. Heck, they’re probably breeding their own infectious agents specifically for use as bioweapons.

    I’m sure that, if I think about it long enough, I will see how Bunnies, Inferior Dogs, and The Mail Carrier are involved.

    Because you know they are.

    It’s a conspiracy.

  11. #11 Electric Landlady
    July 2, 2009

    My dog says it’s people walking past the house on OUR SIDEWALK. Although “inferior dogs” is definitely included in the category.

  12. #12 Art
    July 2, 2009

    The greatest threat to household security, and all other forms of security, is the deadly combination of greed and stupidity.

    Burglars would rather spend eight hours casing the house and breaking in to greedily snap up a TV set and a watch, sold for $20 combined, than earn twice times the money at a minimum wage job. He risks being shot and spending three to five in jail. Greed and stupidity.

    The housing bubble, over-leveraging of assets and investor fraud are good examples of greed and stupidity combining into a major threat.

    The lack of affordable health care comes down to greed and stupidity, private insurance and health care demand that there be no public competition while demanding that they make an exorbitant profit on what little they are willing to give, combine to make the inevitable diseases and consequence of aging traumatic.

    Domestic terrorism would be less an issue if there were not greedy and stupid people making a profit demonizing people who fail to agree with them and providing easy excuses for violence.

    International terrorism would be far less an issue if Reagan hadn’t paid, trained equipped and motivated a Muslim terrorist force in Afghanistan in a greedy attempt to drive out the Russians and weaken the USSR.

    Again and again I find stupid people who want quick, easy and cheap answers that profit them in the short term. When the solution blows up they seek out the next quick, easy and cheap solution. Never quite getting around to realizing that the reason they are always falling short, getting blind sided by consequences and desperate has to do with their preferences in solutions rather than a defect in any particular solution.

  13. #13 featheredfrog
    July 2, 2009

    Other: That thing that makes noises from the closet.

  14. #14 Bruce
    July 2, 2009

    If you live near wetlands, you have much to fear from these varmints.

  15. #15 NewEnglandBob
    July 2, 2009

    Midwest congress people!

  16. #16 CCPhysicist
    July 2, 2009

    Our squirrels are a major threat. Sometimes they sit by the “bird feeder” and stare into the house demanding their tribute so they won’t eat the flowers in the garden.

    True, they do their best to drive the consumer part of the economy, but the threat is there. The squirrel threat is followed closely by the pigeon threat. Emmy would have a field day in our yard.

  17. #17 jj
    July 2, 2009

    Jehovah’s witnesses

  18. #18 Rosie Redfield
    July 2, 2009

    Drop bears!

  19. #19 Doug Alder
    July 2, 2009

    Definitely squirrels – damn ninjas they are. Go out in the morning and look at the bird feeder and you see three squirrels dangling from a branch to form a chain – one greedy little paw to the next ones tail and so on until the last one reaches the feeder and stuffs his mouth full of seeds and nuts. Moved the damn feeder and I swear the buggers have been trying to read Origin of the Species and now think they can force evolution by running full tilt along a branch in the general direction of the feeder , leap off, spread their limbs and glide toward the feeder’s new location. I think we know now how flying squirrels came to be.

  20. #20 Paul A.
    July 2, 2009

    With our industrial base decaying in northeast Ohio the bad side of town keeps getting closer to where I have lived for the past 50 years. I’m worried some crackhead is going to seek financing in my house some night.

  21. #21 BruceH
    July 2, 2009

    Zoey, my dog, told me to vote for squirrels. She has to chase them off several times a day, so I must defer to her experience in the matter.

  22. #22 AliceB
    July 2, 2009

    My dog’s most hysterical outrage is usually reserved for inferior dogs, specifically the two that live on either side of our house and have done absolutely no harm to anyone in creation — except that they may have raised their legs near out lawn. Enough said, as far as Speedy is concerned.

  23. #23 Cuttlefish
    July 2, 2009

    There are chipmunks and one or two moles
    Eating berries, and digging their holes;
    They have ruined my crop
    And they won’t likely stop
    Till they’ve plundered the depths of my soul!

    (Ok, it’s actually worse than that, since I have no soul. They have eaten the vast majority of my strawberries, planted along a retaining wall where they hide; my onions are being eaten from below, and I only find out after it is much too late. The worse is yet to come, because I know how chipmunks feel about popcorn.

  24. #24 ardisia
    July 2, 2009

    Birds! (so says my cat)

  25. #25 Kylinn
    July 2, 2009

    My dog is of the opinion that we humans pay far too little attention to the grave issue of Other People Walking On Our Sidewalk. Especially when they are being walked by Inferior Dogs. Or when they are Noisy Kids.

  26. #26 Greg Laden
    July 2, 2009

    Becca is right: It’s squirrels all the way down.

  27. #27 DuWayne
    July 2, 2009

    Squirrels, hands down…Solution?

    More Guns!!! Really big guns that can get more than one at a time…Possibly the development of biological WMD’s that target their DNA…Yeah!!! Big, Bad, Anti-Squirrel Viruses!!!

  28. #28 JMG
    July 2, 2009

    Terrorist squirrels carrying pandemic diseases and mail to inferior dogs.

  29. #29 Alex
    July 3, 2009

    It’s clearly housemates buying poor quality booze around here.
    Though the drop bears come a close second. Maybe the two will solve each other?

  30. #30 John McKay
    July 3, 2009

    Definitely ninja squirrels.

    Jake, Only a higher power will save us from the celery. Lettuce prey.

  31. #31 Aranae
    July 3, 2009

    Woodchucks. Can’t even talk the dog into not being on the lookout long enough to pee anymore. There’s usually not a lot of sympathy for “my dog saw a woodchuck three days ago” as an excuse for always being late for work.

  32. #32 dhex
    July 5, 2009

    there is sadly no “local, state or federal government” option, but i must stand up for the good name of those most honorable and dignified of rodents, the squirrels. squirrels provide free entertainment while teaching us the deep truth of the buddha’s observation that the material world is a burning house, an illusion created by the draw of sleep and misdirection. squirrels, being deeply spiritual creatures, understand this instinctively, and help pull us away from the hypnotism of the ownership of things and into the greater truth of the ownership of ourselves.

  33. #33 Eliza
    October 15, 2009

    The only time I thought the house was surely about to be invaded by every officer of the law in the state of California was when the racoons came into the kitchen.
    My gentle loving dogs became Cujo insane.

    I vote for racoons.

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