We’re All Hugging Pandas Now.

As you’re reading this story, you’re going to be tempted to laugh, but you might want to hold your chuckles for a few minutes,

A college student in southern China was bitten by a panda after he broke into the bear’s enclosure hoping to get a hug, state media and a park employee said Saturday.

The student was visiting Qixing Park with classmates on Friday when he jumped the 6.5-foot (2-meter) -high fence around the panda’s habitat, said the park employee, who refused to give his name.

…The student was pale as he was taken away by medics but appeared clear-headed, he said.

“Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him. I didn’t expect he would attack,” the 20-year-old student, surnamed Liu, said in a local hospital, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Liu underwent surgery Friday evening and was out of danger, but will remain in the hospital for several days, Xinhua said.

…The same panda was in the news in 2006 when he bit a drunk tourist who broke into his enclosure and tried to hug him while he was asleep.The tourist retaliated by biting the bear in the back.

You may think this is just a story about a complete moron and a panda, but to me it’s a metaphor for much of modern civilization. There are people, not just in this country but across the West, who’ve been shielded from real danger for so long that they can’t even identify a threat when it’s looking them in the face.

They believe that the government can run large deficits from now until doomsday without any consequences. They believe the government can force banks to lend people with almost no money the capital for $500,000 homes without it coming back to bite them on the behind. They think unions can be empowered to get so much money for their members that they bankrupt the companies that are paying them. They think we can talk out any difference we have with our enemies. It goes on and on and on.

And who’s really more foolish: someone who doesn’t understand that it’s dangerous to hug a wild animal or someone who doesn’t understand that it’s dangerous to our future to have the government giving away so much taxpayer money that we go hundreds of billions of dollars deeper into debt every year? At least the moron who tried to hug the panda was only hurting himself…

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