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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Never Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Politician.

British lawmakers (Parliamentarians, such a quaint word) want to get rid of the infamous bearskin hats worn by the royal guards. They wish to transition to an artificial fur.

In a letter to her colleagues Conservative lawmaker Ann Widdecombe notes, "Black bears, who are intelligent and curious animals, are slaughtered in Canada so that their skins may be used for ceremonial hats."

Statements like that make me raise my eyebrow so I was happy to see this counterpoint. "Not a single bear is killed (solely) to make a bearskin hat," the army spokesman said. "Both governments in the United States and Canada have policies to keep the bear population under control." Yes we do hunt Yogi and BoBo because too many bears populate the areas we've reserved for them. The army also tries to repair hats when possible.

Bearskin hats are expensive. "The Defense Ministry buys 50 to 100 bearskin pelts a year to outfit its five regiments wearing them. One complete bearskin hat costs $1,197 and can last up to 40 years."

It would be wrong to watch the Changing Of The Guard ceremony if the guards aren't wearing the cool hats.

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