Well, I'm an old zoology major, so animals and biology are always interesting, and that took me to the following, from Wiki: "The bat is sacred in Tonga and West Africa and is often considered the physical manifestation of a separable soul. Bats are closely associated with vampires, who are said to be able to shapeshift into bats, fog, or wolves. Bats are also a symbol of ghosts, death, and disease. Among some Native Americans, such as the Creek, Cherokee and Apache, the bat is a trickster spirit. Chinese lore claims the bat is a symbol of longevity and happiness, and is similarly lucky in Poland and geographical Macedonia and among the Kwakiutl and Arabs.
In Western Culture, the bat is often a symbol of the night and its foreboding nature. The bat is a primary animal associated with fictional characters of the night such as both villains like Dracula and heroes like Batman. The association of the fear of the night with the animal was treated as a literary challenge by Kenneth Oppel, who created a best selling series of novels, beginning with Silverwing, which feature bats as the central heroic figures much in a similar manner as the classic novel Watership Down did for rabbits. An old wives' tale has it that bats will entangle themselves in people's hair. A likely root to this myth is that insect-eating bats seeking prey may dive erratically toward people, who attract mosquitoes and gnats, leading the squeamish to believe that the bats are trying to get in their hair.
In the United Kingdom all bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Acts, and even disturbing a bat or its roost can be punished with a heavy fine.
Austin, Texas, under the Congress Avenue bridge, is the summer home to North America's largest urban bat colony, an estimated 1,500,000 Mexican free-tailed bats, who eat an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects each night and attract 100,000 tourists each year.
In Sarawak, Malaysia bats are protected species under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 (see Malaysian Wildlife Law). The large Naked bat (see Mammals of Borneo) and Greater Nectar bat are consumed by the local communities."
Now, if bats can bring the Kwakiutl and the Arabs together in a single paragraph, do we really need Tony Blair to restart a dialogue on Peace With Justice?
I'm laughing at myself and my loose connections, and wondering what my great grandparents would think if they could see how far we've come from the shtetl.