Are You Fricking Kidding Me?

Republicans are turning American into a third world nation. Proof:

Rather than spend money on cutting grass, the Carlisle School District has brought in 7 Romney sheep to tend the fields. “They’ve done a good job so far,” says Superintendent John Friend.

The sheep come free of charge, since they belong to the principal of the middle school. Friend estimates that they will save the district about $15,000 this year in mowing costs.

Another budget-cutting tea party crank, Governor Tom Corbett, is to blame for this nonsense.

Effing sheep! Cutting the grass!

We're seriously a few more sheep and a Thunderdome away from becoming Bartertown.

UPDATE: I think the pro-sheep commenters are missing the point. The point is the budget cuts. The people who formerly maintained the grounds at that school were fired because Tom Corbett decided to cut public school funding to the point where those jobs were replaced with sheep because no one was around to cut the grass. There's something very wrong about that -- and especially where it leads.

  • gescove

    I can think of a problem or two with this “solution” and some of them have been noted already. Sheep shit is nasty and they make a lot of it. Who gets to clean it up? What about the inevitable boom in the fly population? What about sheep shit getting tracked around the school? What about diseases — there are at least two that can be transmitted from sheep to humans? Does the principal just pocket the money he/she would otherwise spend to lease pasture? Does this deny access to playing fields for students? Who pays for the fencing and, if it is powered, for the electricty to run it? Who chases down and returns escaped sheep? What happens when loose dogs decide to harass or kill the sheep? If there are good answers to concerns like these, then maybe it’s OK to fire the guy who took pride in maintaining the grounds for the benefit and enjoyment of the students and community. You can bet he wasn’t in it for the awesome pay.

    • Tim Neuenhaus

      A few positives here gescove, their skin makes for a warm and toasty coat. Free coats for all the kids (the flies wont get through those coats), people won’t need to worry about feeding their dogs, people won’t walk on the grass much and we can take photos of our kids with flies on their faces and ask the top 1% for donations….FREE MONEY!

  • D_C_Wilson

    I have to agree with the commentator on Think Progress who said if they need more sheep, they should just go to a tea party rally.

    • nicole

      lol. :)

  • nicole

    The pro sheep commenters also aren’t thinking long term.

    Yeah, okay, environmentally it MAY be a better way to go. Really?

    Sheep contribute to global warming. They contribute quite a lot.

    What about the impact of a lawnmower on the environment? A person can mow the lawn with a hand mower. They still sell them. They work.

    But the major problem i have with this is that we keep finding more and more ways to do tasks/jobs without human beings.

    Do we really want to go there?

    I don’t think so.

    Edited for clarity.

    • Justin Cohen

      “But the major problem i have with this is that we keep finding more and more ways to do tasks/jobs without human beings.

      Do we really want to go there?”

      Thanks for raising this point, Nicole. This is a critical topic of discussion that needs to be addressed. One can imagine a future where technology / robots can take over more and more human jobs.

      If we are going to go there, we’ll need to make sure that we distribute the fruits of their labor across society rather than give all the wealth to the robot makers and corporations while letting the displaced humans starve.

      • nicole

        Exactly, Justin.

  • Tim Neuenhaus

    Nothing wrong with using Sheep to maintain the grass. I can’t wait until the winter when they shovel the snow off of the sidewalks and spread the salt on the ice. Sheep are so versatile and they work cheap too. Who needs expensive benefit sucking people when you have sheep. I heard that in our schools here they are replacing the cafeteria staff with chimpanzees, they can be trained to make cheese sandwiches and hand out milk. Of course you might lose the occasional kid to a face removal by one, but they are cheaper than those cafeteria ladies.

    • Bob Cesca

      Bonus points for Tim! Nice.

  • Bill Skeels

    “I think the pro-sheep commenters are missing the point. The point is the budget cuts.”

    Actually, I think the pro-sheep commenters are on point, meaning that though your larger point re: budget cuts is true, you have picked a particularly bad example.

  • muselet

    I understand and share your outrage, Bob. Cutting education funding is eating the seed corn. No good can come of it.

    Given the reality of such breathtakingly stupid budget decisions, however, there exists a stark choice: cut classroom expenses or cut something outside the classrooms. The Carlisle School District found a clever solution to (a tiny part of) a problem created by penny-pinching idiots. (Now watch those idiots cut the district’s budget by the $15,000 saved by using the sheep.)


  • exconnie

    this one I have to disagree with you! (shock, really). This is a great win win deal-I’m guessing you missed the Colbert Report episode that had a similar situation, classic Stephen-complete with an irate Eyetalian landscaper bitching about the sheep taking his clients. But seriously, pick something worth complaining about- y’know like the voter suppression in full swing in the red states. One of the many many many truly scary things not covered by the lamestream librul media.

  • notoriousbob

    Here is where the tea party mentality breaks down… they look at this and say ‘hey there is $15,000 we saved’, I look at this and say, ‘that is $15,000 that didn’t get paid to a mowing vendor, who didn’t pay it to their workers, who didn’t spend that money at restauraunts/clothes/groceries, etc, who didn’t spend that money , etc, etc. So you’ve ‘saved’ 15K, but the economic impact of not spending that 15k is much greater than that.

    • staci

      Here lies (in my opinion) the problem with knocking down the unemployment rate. Everytime a company institutes cost-saving measures, somebody loses a job. Every industry that has shifted to computers, robot operated machinery, etc. from real human beings to perform jobs have added to the problem. Yep, it’s great for their bottom line – but it sure is wrecking the working class. Considering this, I’m totally confused on what Obama, or anyone else for that matter, can do about the unemployment rate. Create more “green” jobs – yeah, right. This school district just created a green job. Unfortunately, no person benefitted.

    • Brian C

      The exact point of this post, imho…

      It ain’t the sheep, it’s the jobs…

  • OsborneInk

    If they were connected to an animal husbandry program, it would make perfect sense. But that’s not what this is.

  • Username1016

    Do the kids use the fields? I know there’s no recess anymore, but maybe for organized sports? If so, who rounds up the sheep and gets them out of the end zone? Who clears the poop away so the kids aren’t constantly landing in it? I have nothing against happy free-range sheep, but they aren’t exactly curb-trained.

    Well, whatever. If that’s the worst thing that happens to our schools, I suppose I should be relieved :-}

  • Monique DiCarlo

    “Republicans are turning American into a third world nation”, that is true but not because of sheep, but because of so many other reasons (won’t fit in this box). In Holland many farmers use sheep to “maintain” the dikes that keep the sea out of my home country and save money on mowing (which also burns a lot of gasoline and is bad for the environment). I know a very nice coffee grower in Kona, who uses sheep to eat the weeds around his coffee plants. Nice by product is an awesome coat of wool in the Spring! I think it is a great idea, from a very open minded republican ;-0

  • drsquid

    Sheep. Are very. Dim.

    • muselet

      That evening it was dark early, which was normal for the time of year. It was cold and windy, which was normal.

      It started to rain, which was particularly normal.

      A spaceship landed, which was not.

      There was nobody around to see it except for some spectacularly stupid quadrupeds who hadn’t the faintest idea what to make of it, or whether they were meant to make anything of it, or eat it, or what. So they did what they did to everything, which was to run away from it and try to hide under each other, which never worked.


      From another direction he felt the sensation of being a sheep startled by a flying saucer, but it was virtually indistinguishable from the feeling of being a sheep startled by anything else it ever encountered, for they were creatures who learned very little on their journey through life, and would be startled to see the sun rising in the morning, and astonished by all the green stuff in the fields.

      He was surprised to find he could feel the sheep being startled by the sun that morning, and the morning before, and being startled by a clump of trees the day before that. He could go further and further back, but it got dull because all it consisted of was sheep being startled by things they’d been startled by the day before.

      –Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish


      • Brian C

        I loved that trilogy, especially the 4th book, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

  • theronware

    Two men enter, one man leaves!

  • Sandy Schwarer

    I wonder how much sheep manure is being tracked into the school every day? . Knowing middle school kids, they are not famous for looking where they’re stepping. Janitorial costs will rise Are the PE playing fields full of it? Also, my lawnmower never ran away.

    • nicole

      Good points.

  • Ryan Lothian

    Yeah… what’s the problem here?

  • IrishGrrrl

    Bob, usually I agree with you but I have to be honest and say this isn’t all that bad an idea. It would be better if the animals were owned by the school and part of their curriculum to care for them and learn from them (without cutting them up or experimenting on them, of course). PS: I have family that lives in Carlisle. It has a nice, attractive looking downtown where my sister owns a historic row home.

    • Aaron Wallace

      Totally agree, would love to see more acceptance of Farm animals in urban and suburban areas. Too many municipalities ban hens which only 60 years ago where a staple of backyard gardens. With the continued industrialization of our foodways, taking personal control of your food will become more an issue about safety and ethics then anything. Anyway its better then burning a ton of diesel to power large riding mowers.

      • IrishGrrrl

        Good point about the hens. We had a vegetable garden for a while and I was much more likely to eat veggies than before. Having them fresh and constantly available improved my diet and I knew they weren’t covered with pesticides. So even shared neighborhood gardens would be a great idea. I thought about getting some hens but like you said, city ordinances and all that, ban them.

        And I second what Dave says bel0w….gas mowers, trimmers, etc produce quite a lot pollution relative to their size.

        • staci

          Funny you would bring up hens. There was an article in last week’s Chicago Sun-Times talking about this issue and how many people within city limits are raising chickens in their yards. Totally legal here.

    • Dave Fellner

      I have to say that I agree with IrishGrrrl, it is so much better to have the sheep than the mowers (noise and air pollution generators)

    • gescove

      If the problems noted elsewhere can be addressed, then agreed. 4H is a natural adjunct to the school in my area. Lots of organizing here around establishing school gardens and farm-to-school produce. Industrialized food production is killing our ecosystems and us.