A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The proprietors of this fine blog regret to announce that Mummy's popped her clogs. Therefore, unless Ms. Manitoba and FoTPC step up to the plate, this blog is on hiatus for a week or more while I fly home to organize details.

Anyone with experience in handling the death of a relative, please feel free to leave any advice.

Many thanks. Sorry about the inappropriate humour.

Be well, all, and don't abandon us. We'll be back.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Politics: FISA Roll Call

Blogger jazzfan76, over at DailyKos, has posted a list of the people who voted to give the telcos immunity for their illegal act of spying on you.

Just in case you want to contact the miserable sons of bitches and give them an earful.

Although it would probably be more useful to be able to contact their constituents.

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This is what happens when you're unemployed. You forget the date.

So here we are, a day late, extending our best wishes for a happy Juneteenth to all African-American and black people in the United States.

Miffed because we missed the downtown parade and the FOOD!!! that comes with it. All those cool Papas and Mamas doin' the street-vendor thing, good, greasy, hot, salty junk food.

OTOH, let's be honest. It's been in the 90s all damn week, and you'd need a refrigerated bodysuit and a bad case of insanity to want to go downtown and walk around on the hot asphalt.

Guess we can put up a cat pitcher:

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Environment: China Drilling Off The Coast

If we have to listen to this bullshit one more time, we're going to scream.

Hello, people? You know the Republicans lie about everything, right? They lied about the war, they lied about WMD, they lied about 9/11, they lied about the Clintons, they lied about their own compassion, they lied about military casualties. So why do you believe them when they tell you that China is drilling off the coast of Cuba?

Because that is NOT HAPPENING, people. No, no, a thousand times no. Dick Cheney, the father of all lies (in his other incarnation as Satan) started this particular lie. Think about all the times over the past five years this moronic monster has told you that the Iraqi "insurgents are in the last throes" of their insurgency. How many times was it true? Once? Even once?

Nope. Not even once.

Now, it's true that China has signed some deals with Cuba allowing it to explore Cuban LAND for evidence of oil that might, ultimately, be worth drilling for. But for Dick "DICK" Vampiris to use the Yellow Peril Red Menace Energy Scare to rally the troops is the usual substitution of sound bite and immediate return that will make him and his minions rich while you (the whole nation) pay the cost and continue to bleed dry. Dickie and his minions are hoping to scare us into saying, "Yes! Let's drill the whole country for oil!"

Incidentally, Florida's Republican Senator Mel Martinez refuted Dick on the alleged Chinese offshore drilling.

So let's look at the idea that drilling for oil in the U.S. will help the American consumer, shall we?

First off, who profits from higher oil prices? Oh, let's see, Halliburton maybe? Remember Halliburton? Unca Dick's former bosses? Who have been mysteriously winning no-bid contracts by the fistful ever since Unca Dick became President, er Vice?

From citizen x's fine blog, hitherto undiscovered

That's OK, you say. America is a capitalist nation, not socialist. We want our businessmen to make profits. Good, good. So consider this. If we open up our coastlands and shorelines for the oil companies to drill in &mdash where is the guarantee that oil will be sold to the U.S. consumer? After all, these companies must make a profit. Japan and China and India have money. Lots of money. They can afford to pay more for the oil than we can. Now put yourself in the businessman's position. You just drilled up a whole bunch of oil, and that cost you money in equipment, wages, taxes, leases, whatever. Along come the Chinese and say, "Hey, we'll pay you $150 a barrel for some of that sweet light crude."

American consumers are screaming about having to pay $140. You gotta make a profit, right? Are you gonna sell that oil to those goddamned screaming Americans? Or to the nice Chinese who will put cash on the nail? Do you really need to think about that for more than two seconds? Because if you do, please don't quit your job and go into business.

Now, let's pretend there are no Chinese wanting the oil more than Americans. Let's pretend we have all the money we used to have and we're the richest and we can somehow force those businessmen to sell whatever they manage to get out of our coastal waters. How long will it take before the first barrel appears? You're screaming about the price of oil, better get yourself some throat lozenges, because you'll be screaming for at least another FOUR YEARS before the oil companies can even begin to explore, says the Seattle Times.

See, drilling for oil is not like buying stuff from the store. When you want something &mdash throat lozenges, say &mdash you climb into the car and drive to the store, or get on your bicycle and bike to the store, or walk to the store. And you look for the thing you want on the shelf. You whip out your wallet, hand the money and the product to the clerk at the register, and whammo, scalammo, you're done. Right away, you got an ample supply of lozenges to soothe your screaming throat with.

Drilling for oil, that's a bit harder. See, you need specialized equipment. Like these deep-sea drill rigs. And, guess what? Every single goddamned fucking drill rig in the whole wide world is booked solid for the next five years. They can't even START drilling for your oil till they finish all those other booked contracts.

No probs, you say, let's build some more! Well, the U.S. isn't in the business of shipbuilding and shiprepair any more. All those jobs got outsourced (remember Bethlehem Shipbuilding?) to Asia and Europe in the 1970s. It requires specialized technology and equipment and skillsets to build ships. Little Johnny who just finished high school would need a couple years' worth of training before he could even start to work on one of those monsters.

A single deep-sea rig costs approximately half a billion (that's BILLION) dollars to build. They used to cost less, but hey, yaknow, shipbuilders are businessmen too, when they saw that the oil companies were making record profits, they decided they needed to make more too, so they raised their prices. A single day's worth of drill rig operations costs a little over half a million. Those businessmen need to make their money back too, yaknow.

Shipbuilders are working overtime to build more vessels, but even those vessels have already been booked, for up to four years. And they're not even completed yet. So don't let these filthy crooks rip you off yet again, America. We're in the shit here, y'all better grab yourselves a paddle and start paddling like crazy. The shore's a long ways off.

Nope, we're all gonna have to learn to make do with less. Use public transportation more, cut down on driving, move back to the city from the suburbs, buy bicycles. Because even after all those years, even if we start drilling in 2012 when we finally get our mitts on some drill rigs, guess what? The U.S. government estimates that there are 30 billion barrels of oil in the ANWR and off the coast of the U.S. All told. Total.

The U.S. government also shows that Americans use 20 million barrels of oil PER DAY. So after all that waiting and suffering, we're gonna use it up in three years. Assuming, of course, that the oilmen bother to sell it to us at all.

Don't even ask about Brazil. Yeah, they found the oil, but they don't have the equipment to retrieve it either.

And another thing: Thanks to the Bush Misadministration's disastrous mishandling of Hurricane Katrina, refinery capacity dropped precipitously (from 111% to 103%, says the Asia Times). It takes a little over three years to get a refinery built and operational. Since the RubberStamp Republican Congress of Tom Delay and Denny Hastert were busy colluding with lobbyists to bleed the Treasury dry, it wasn't until after the Democrats won the elections of 2006 that Congress passed laws to assist in building refinery capacity. So the first increases in refinery capacity should occur sometime between 2010 and 2011.

With refinery capacity running at 103 or 104% in the meantime, any combination of unfortuitous circumstances &mdash natural disasters, wars, maintenance downtime, blockage of shipping channels &mdash could cause the price of oil to spiral higher.

Not that Dick "Dick" is complaining, since every dollar increase in the price of oil represents a few more pennies in his bank account.

Meanwhile, idiots like Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois continue to lie about the Chinese drilling off the coast of Florida and offer to shoot Obama on sight.

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Politics: FISA

Grrr. That miserable ass-kissing creep, Steny Hoyer, has rolled over on the telco immunity for the FISA bill. McJoan at DailyKos has the agonizing details.

If you have any interest in knowing just how much the telcos spied on you, and what the government did with this information, please do as McJoan says and call these telephone numbers:

Call Barack Obama and urge him to make a public statement reiterating his opposition to telco amnesty. His opposition could kill this deal: Phone (202) 224-2854, Fax (202) 228-4260

Call Steny Hoyer and tell him this is a bad deal: Phone (202) 225-4131, Fax (202) 225-4300

Call Nancy Pelosi and urge her to pull the bill from the House schedule: Phone (202) 225-4965, Fax (202) 225-8259

Call your representative and tell them to vote no on the FISA rewrite tomorrow.

McJoan has the telephone numbers of the Blue Dog Dems who voted for this bill, and those who had the courage to vote for the better version. If you value your right to be free of intrusive Government surveillance, please go to the link and do as McJoan asks.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Politics: Mmmm, Peach Mint

My favourite flavour.

You will be happy to hear that House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan and Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sanchez today displayed their solid steel gonads to the White House. Which were so big, they needed a goddamned wheelbarrow to schlep them!

No, really. Conyers basically told the Gang of Thieves, Crooks, and Liars that they had better get him the documents he had requested, including unredacted FBI reports related to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s probe into the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Operative quote:
“Both the rules and our previous oversight activity concerning the Fitzgerald investigation plainly encompass the current inquiry, and the notion that our oversight concerning criminal law enforcement should somehow stop at the gates of the White House has no proper basis.”
Um, YOW? Yowza, yowza, yowza? Been a long time since we heard such ass-kickin' plain talk from the representatives of We The People, yes?

(Pant, pant, pant, gasp)

And as if that wasn't enough, in a further display of gonadal wherewithal, Chairman Conyers and Chairwoman Sanchez went on to tell reptilian slime repository and FAIL-laden human impersonator KKKarl Rove, through his lawyer, that said maggot had better drag his pasty segmented behind before the committee on the date stated or the crack in it might be widened by lawful but forceful means. Operative quote:
“As Committee staff made clear, and as we indicated in our May 1 letter, the proposal that we somehow seek to separate the Siegelman matter from the broader issue of politicization of the Justice Department is unacceptable,” the two lawmakers wrote.
This hearing is related to the important matters of the unlawful prosecution and imprisonment of Governor Siegelman and the politicization of the Department of Justice.

In related news, Dennis Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment are now before the committee, and The Mighty Munchkin of Justice is pressuring the committee to consider them forthwith. If you want impeachment, help Dennis out by letting Conyers and Sanchez, and Dennis, and your Rep know that you support his request and they better get off their ass and review the damn thing. You have 21 days to take these actions. Also please contact all your friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, even those who don't support impeachment - the mood of the country is changing, and they may have changed their minds. Operative quote:
The Ohio lawmaker said that it is now “incumbent” for the Judiciary Committee to review evidence he presented. He promised that if the committee failed to hold any hearings on the resolution within thirty days, he would repeat his efforts. He told one reporter Wednesday, “Leadership wants to bury it, but this is one resolution that will be coming back from the dead. … I will be bringing the resolution up again, and I won’t be the only one reading it.”
Don't forget to call, write, or email &mdash or do all three. If at all possible, impeachment may be the one thing that could prevent Winky McMonkeyBrain from starting a third war with Iran.

From the fine folks at ICHC

Given how successful we've been lately in Iraq and Afghanistan, we DO NOT WANT or need to start the next Presidency and Congressional Session tied up in foreign disasters. We have plenty of domestic disasters to deal with. So please, please, please, call, email, and write!

Kucinich has also warned the Judiciary Committee that if they don't get to it post-haste, he's going to present 60 (SIXTY!) articles of impeachment on the next go-round. Please thank him for his efforts. YAY Dennis! You rock! Operative quote:
“The minute the leadership said ‘this is dead on arrival’ I said that I hope they believe in life after death; because I’m coming back with it,” Kucinich vowed in an interview with the Sleuth this week. “It’s not gonna die. Because I’ll come back with more articles. Not 35, but perhaps 60 articles.”


For Kucinich, impeachment is more than simply a political windmill at which to tilt, he says. It’s about preserving the sanctity of the republic’s founding document.

“What we’re witnessing here,” he says, “is the not-so-slow-moving destruction of our Constittuion.”
Raw Story has the videos, copies of the letters, and more information at each preceding link.

Meanwhile, further displays of courage continue to erupt from other quarters. McClatchy, one of our few actual news organizations left, is reporting that Major General Antonio Taguba, who spoke out against the Bush regime's routine use of torture on detainees, is accusing the Misadministration of war crimes, and calling for those responsible to be held accountable. Operative quote:
"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," Taguba wrote. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
Be still, our beating heart! Our collective goddammit beating heart!!

And Amy Goodman over at Democracy Now! tells us that former Senator Mike Gravel is calling for an independent investigation into 9/11 and the prosecution of Stupie O'Stutters and Demon McVampire, otherwise known as our not-at-all-esteemed Leaders.

Dang! It never rains but it pours, yes? Let's hope all these separate actions with a common goal bear the kind of fruit we want &mdash that these criminals receive their just desserts of investigation, impeachment, and imprisonment. Personal Responsibility! The people demand they take some!

These hypocrites and liars were so willing to call for personal responsibility on the part of the sick, the weak, the poor, the suffering, the helpless, the ill and disabled. When it comes to their own responsibility for anything, the only thing they're quick to show is a clean pair of heels. It's time to turn that around now.

Crossposted over at Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus

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Quote of the week

Possibly even of the year:
"One of the things that I will leave behind is a multilateralism to deal with tyrants, so problems can be solved diplomatically," he [Gee Dumb!ya, who else? Ed.] said.
Response of a lifetime:
That iconoclastic take didn't convince everyone present. "The man's going to be remembered as a blithering idiot," said a distinguished British journalist [...].
Thanks to Maru over at WTF Is It Now?!? for the discovery.

As reported in Time magazine.

Brilliant photoshoppery also stolen, er, borrowed from Maru

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It's straight down the primrose path to hell for this blog. Blame TheJedReport, and blogger Wonk over at Hillaryis44, now known as Obama is 44 (yeah!).

Your daily McCaincient amusement:

Every single beer? Wifey won't be happy to hear that.

OTOH, McCaincient has already made abundantly clear he doesn't give a damn what that c*** and trollop thinks.

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Economy: The Housing Crisis

Anybody out there remember Charles Prince? Charles O. Prince III, to be exact? The CEO of Citigroup. Well, the former CEO of Citigroup, actually. See, like many of us, Mr. Prince ("Chuck" to his friends) is currently unemployed. Bad timing, Chuckie. You should've kept your job.

May we say, with extreme bitterness, that our sense of irony would be greatly gratified if it had been outsourced to India, or better yet, Nigeria, which is proving itself so efficient at large-scale widespread scammage?

In any event, having lost his cushy CEO job, Chuck has, to his own everlasting regret, been forced to place his very expensive house on the market for sale. And, he's having trouble selling it. In fact, he's already reduced the price by a whopping $300,000.

Of course, the fact that most of us live in homes that are priced at or below what Mr. Prince considers a "discount" probably leads us to feel less inclined to whip out the old hankie and shed a few tears for Mr. Prince.

Yup, he's reduced the price to a $5.85 million, and its been on the market for six months now with nary a nibble. Of course, he only paid $4.48 million to buy it, so maybe he should resign himself to making a little less profit, the greedbag.
Prince first listed his home in January, two months after he stepped down from Citigroup, then the biggest U.S. bank by assets. His departure followed $5.9 billion of mortgage-related writedowns and credit losses in the third quarter and came as the bank prepared to announce another $18 billion.
We're going to be mean here and say we find this news heartening. Not because we dislike Mr. Prince, or anything so trivial. We despise Citigroup, his former employer, with a passion thanks to an excruciating experience with their Visa card, but we'd prefer not to give that memory a second of brain time. No, we find this news heartening because if the housing market crisis that has driven so many of us out of our houses and homes is affecting the super-wealthy &mdash and, let's face it, CEOs of banking conglomerates are the very definition of super-wealthy &mdash then it is to be hoped that the rotten bastards will develop a grain of sympathy, however tiny, for those of us who have been thrust into the same position by their fiscal imprudence.

Have a heart, bankers. You can lose your cushy jobs and be forced out of your multi-million dollar homes, too.

Meantime, if you're weeping over Mr. Prince's supposed sufferings, don't. NNDB informs us that his exit package is pretty damned healthy:
His exit package, including share awards, share options and pension entitlements, totals about $95-million.
Most of us don't have pensions anymore, thanks to people like Chuck.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2008 Elections: He Called Her WHAT?


It's all Cliff's fault. Really. Or maybe WaterTiger's. La Casa de Los Gatos would NEVER, EVER, EVER subject you to such dreadful language &mdash OK, we lied. We so would.

Because this is too howlingly funny not to watch:

Blame WaterTiger. Blame Cliff. Blame us. But watch it anyway.

If this got a tenth of the airtime the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright did, all those hatemongers at Hillary is 666 dot org would already have vanished into the woodwork.

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Justice Department Scandal

Yowza! Jon Stewart interviews David Iglesias, former U.S. Attorney who was fired for refusing to prosecute dubious cases of "voter fraud" based on weak evidence. Raw Story has the details.

Obviously, we need to watch all those Star Wars episodes we skipped, because here is Mr. Iglesias' operative quote:
Stewart ended by asking Igleaias, “Is the greatest disappointment for you that you were a guy who believed in what they were doing? … Do you feel betrayed in that sense?”

“I thought I was working with the Jedi Knights and I was working for the Sith Lords,” Iglesias acknowledged, as the audience broke into applause.
Iglesias has written a book that has just hit the stands, titled In Justice, which details the politicization of the Justice Department.

When your own nation's highest legal authorities engage in selective prosecution and use the law to penalize those who speak out against one party, one administration, or one group of politically powerful and wealthy people, how can you ever again criticize fascist or communist dictatorships? Ask Hope Steffey, Angie Garbarino, and the countless other victims of creeping fascism in America about their experiences. These are just the ones who got attention from the media. We have no idea how many more people have stories to tell.

People, we can never relax our vigilance. Think about it. How many people do you know who put their country first, their community first, their neighbours first? We are all inclined to be selfish, and if we know there are no consequences, most of us reach for whatever we can get and ignore everyone else. So if you don't want your rights stolen, if you don't want to live in a dictatorship, then it's your job, our job, every one of us, to scrutinize our leaders carefully, to make sure they don't steal our rights as well as our jobs, health, lives, and money.

We already know our government has no shame about performing medical experiments on us and lying about it.

If there's one good thing to come out of the Justice Department Scandal, it's that we now know, with evidence, that our government can be politicized and used against us. We know that the ensuing investigation might include liability for those higher up the food chain. We know that Alberto Gonezales will have to pay for his crimes. He's already paying: after Shrubya dumped the ineffectual little liar, he shopped his resume around in search of a job. Result? Zilch, nothing, nada, zero, zip, says the NYT (login required, registration free).

Maybe this will inspire the little worm to feel some sympathy for the large numbers of unemployed who lost their jobs thanks to his buddies.

In other truly heartening news, ambulatory wastebucket Bradley Schlozman will probably face prosecution for his role in the Justice Department scandal, the trumped up charges that led to the firings of so many dedicated U.S. Attorneys and the illegal filing of voter fraud charges on slim evidence and timed to influence the elections. The Wah!Poo reports that Schlozman's testimony is under examination by a grand jury.

May we just take this opportunity to add that it couldn't have happened to a more deserving bunch of schmucks.

Bonus question: Why do these guys all look like they just cheated your 90-year-old Aunt Agnes out of her life savings, or seduced your underage daughter?

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Politics and Entertainment

Jon Stewart reports on the mainstream media echo chamber of incredibly stupid stuff:

You know, given how stupid the Foxes and right wingnut bloggers are, we would not be surprised on the least if some of these "rumours" got churned out over the InnerTubes.

It is to larf, though. Really.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

LGBTQ: Congratulations!

To all our gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and queer friends!

Today, y'awl can get married in California. Let the weddings begin!

Here, some good advice from your friendly neighbourhood Lesbian blogger on how to buy wedding rings for you and your best gal.

And Wilkes Bashford has what you guys need to take your vows with Boyfriend stunningly attired.

This is a happy day for y'awl, so get out there and get married, dammit.

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2008 Elections: A Mashup


Enjoy! From those witty devils at TheJedReport.

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2008 Elections: The Right Temperament

It's important that whoever sits in the White House have a calm demeanor and not allow themselves to be provoked into lashing out, because there will be plenty of provocation on the job.

Angry McAncient has just shown himself, once again, completely unequal to the task. While the current resident is a buffoon who rambles incoherently through scripted talking points, at least he is either too drunk or too stoned most of the time to understand what's being said. Thus, he is not likely to be provoked. Or maybe he's just too stupid. After all, this is the genius who looked deep into the eyes of ex-KGB operative Vladimir Putin and discovered the man's good soul.

On the other hand, McSenile thinks Putin is the President of Germany. Hmmm. Plus, he's famous for having a lousy temper. In high school, he was known as McNasty. While the NNDB site claims this was because of his willingness to fight, that doesn't ring true to us. All highschoolers like to rumble, or did, back in those days. This guy must have been fighting dirty to be singled out for such a monicker.

He has publicly called his wife a trollop and a cunt. He actually got into a shoving match with one of the few Senators older than himself, Strom Thurmond. He publicly assaulted Rick Renzi until that distinguished greedbag offered to kick his heinie. And he's gotten into it with so many of his colleagues that few of them supported his run for the Presidency. Most of them have publicly expressed trepidation at the thought of him in high office.

Now, he's refusing to return the $300,000 raised for him by that charming fellow who thinks women should just lie back and enjoy a friendly rape or two.

Is there really a woman on the planet who can find it in her to vote for this creep? A man is known by the company he keeps. That's a valid and valuable truism. Is there a man on the planet who loves his mother, wife, lover, daughter, or sister, who can vote for this creep?

An act of violence against the person of another should never be condoned by a Presidential candidate. Nor should a Presidential candidate accept funds from such a misogynistic and bigoted source. Return the money, McCaincient!

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B.A.D. Stroll Through The Blogroll

Concept credit skippy and Jon Swift, graphics credit skippy

We haven't been as diligent lately about promoting our blogbuddies, apologies to all. Between parental illnesses, one's own illnesses, work on several projects, and the like, time's been in short supply. We like to read blog posts before linking to them, and that's a time commitment. So, on to the blogroll, friends, and devil take the hindmost:

  • First up, our good buddy Rocky over at Alien Trucker remembers Katrina in the light of the flooding in the Midwest. Mercy. Rocky will be on hiatus briefly as he undergoes surgery for the spinal injury that disabled him. Show your love to our fellow-gimp by returning to his blog periodically to check that he's back in action. Go to his home page to check out his music selections.

  • Seth, over at B12 Solipsism, has a show and tell on sidewalks. Learn something every day! Note, if you have B12 bookmarked, that he's moved his blog, so please rebookmark him. Seth also has some excellent music information, checkidout on his home page.

  • Fearguth keeps the visual snark coming over at Bildungblog. Affectionately known as "Teh Art of Teh Caption," by us.

  • One of our favourite bloggers, Chuck Butcher over at Chuck for ... has two posts that we like and recommend: One on Gitmo and one on Fighting Dems. Go, Chuck!

  • DeRosaWorld serves up teh snark. Check out the clown face in that shot. No, we didn't spot it at first.

  • We're happy to see our blogbuddy, Stephen Herron, back in form over at Drinking Liberally in New Milford, as he proves with this post on blogger arrests. If you don't know Stephen, he's one of our brave men and women in uniform who served his country well and lost his home to the subprime mortgage crisis engineered by the Coward and Liar-in-Chief and his service-avoidin' buddies. Happily, Stephen can turn the sourest lemon into good lemonade: he found another place in New Milford. Buy the man a beer, someone!

  • belledame of Fetch Me My Axe takes it to the men who find themselves obliged to tell women how they feel. About rape.

  • Heywood, over at Hammer of the Blogs, applies the hammer to Fredo.

  • We confess to an exceeding weakness for Henry, of Henry's Travels. These posts had us roaring with uncouth laughter.

  • Dammit! Sungold over on Kittywampus reminds us that we missed Female Desire Week. Mmmm, them desirable females! Take a look at what they desire back.

  • Brad Jacobsen at MediaBloodhound points out the recent failings of our mainstream media in a heh, biting, post.

  • Another blogging buddy, Pygalgia, is having internet connectivity problems, as in, problems getting the wherewithal to afford the internet connection. So please, to keep the Friday boobie thing going, if nothing else, drop by and express a little support, eh?

  • Kenyan feminist Rebecca blogs over at School For The Girls about her recent visit to a mental hospital. She's a courageous little trooper. Go by and see what she's doing to make the lives of Kenyan women better.
That's today's roundup, folks! We'll try to do a couple more this week to make up for our sad neglect of our blogging comrades. We note that a great many of them seem to be on hiatus for various reasons. If they do not return, we'll take them off our blogroll, but for now we continue to hope. Only by making a community of all our voices can we find the wisdom of the commons and share learning. This is a tool that benefits all who use it whether they come to sip a little or stay to share the feast.

La Casa de Los Gatos thanks you for your attention, and hopes you will return often!

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

2008 Elections: Who Do You Want

On your side when the next natural disaster hits?

And, make no mistake about it. We are on the cusp of seeing the serious damage that global warming will bring. Massive changes in weather patterns resulting from human interference with the environment will result in more flooding, drought, fire, cyclones, typhoons, hurricanes as the planet attempts to cope with shifting quantities of heat and carbon expended by human endeavour.

La Casa de Los Gatos votes for the man with the shovel. The man who is not afraid to go to the site of the disaster and pick up the tools and work alongside the affected people.

Where is FEMA? These people have lost access to clean drinking water. They need portable toilets and water, medicine, clean food, supplies, health care, temporary shelter. Where the fuck is FEMA? Why aren't they on the ball? Where is Michael Chertoff? Why hasn't Georgee cut short his taxpayer-funded jaunt in Europe and headed home to pick up a shovel, the worthless PoS?

Senator Obama's Website features a plea for help for the victims of flooding in the Midwest:

Click to embiggen

Ancient McInsane's site features a cheesy picture of the egomaniac with his Daddy and a cheesy Father's Day message.

Listen up, McSenile: Lots of fathers in the Midwest are worried about being able to take care of their children now, and in the future, thanks to your best bud's policies, which you promise to continue if elected. Now is the time to get your ancient, pasty, wrinkly behind into gear and help some of those people. Not flit between your eight or nine multi-million-dollar houses with a paid staff of servants waiting on you hand and foot.

Oh, it looks like we forgot to whom we were speaking. John McBush wants you to know how he feels your pain, Midwesterners:
Statement by John McCain on the Midwest Floods

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement on the flooding in the Midwest:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by the flooding throughout the Midwest. Cindy and I would like to extend our sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones, and stand ready to help those in the Midwest to recover and rebuild."
Standing ready doesn't cut it, Mr. Multi-millionaire. How about shelling out a few shekels?

That's right, we forgot. The last time a natural disaster hit, you were pictured doing this:

Iz mai birfday! Wut hurrykains?

Oh, meanwhile Dana Perbimbo, White House airhead and spokesghoul wants those of you confronting the billion-dollar damage of the flood to know that your Preznitwit expressed his concern about you. That and a couple of bucks might get you a hot coffee. Maybe.

Hasn't anybody told the stupid fucker that when your country is suffering from a disaster you cut short your pleasure trip and get your ass to the scene pronto? That's what the Chinese Premier did. That's what Senator Obama is doing.

If anybody still wants to vote for Senile McInsane after this, they have got to be so stupid as to need daily watering.

Our future President appeals to his huge volunteer base to help those in the Midwest affected by the floods.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

2008 Elections: Women and McCain

Dear women,

Here is what Planned Parenthood would like you to know about John McCain's position on issues that affect women's health:

Remember, your right to vote was dearly bought. Exercise your best judgment and vote in the best interest of your sisters, daughters, lovers, and friends.

In case you're not sure what the issues are, or not convinced that a vote for McCain is a vote against women's rights, please register for an account at the NYT, log in, and read this fine article, brought to our attention by Susan of EasyBakeCoven (via the incomparable Maru).

Because it must never again come to this:

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2008 Elections: McCain is Proud to Call Hillary "Friend"

In his own words:

That is, when he's not cracking up because one of his supporters called her a "bitch." Or making cracks like:
Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
Because Janet Reno is her father.
Nice work, McAncient.

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Leo gets a little love

This week's Caturday Guest Star is Leo of Casa de Charlotte della Luna.

Lucky Leo had the foresight to be born in Charlotte's neighborhood to a feral Maman. Obviously, Maman is not as dumb as some would believe, because she has managed to elude Charlotte, who's been trying to capture her for ethical and feraltarian spaying reasons. AND smart enough to convince Charlotte to continue feeding her and her litter through three such kitten-producing escapades. Pretty damn smart, say mi gatos, and we concur. Poor Charlotte admits as much:
Mamma cat is smart - too smart for Silly Charlotte.
Poor little Leo, though! In order to hook up with Charlotte, he had to get beaten bloody by the fan and fan belt on which he was sleeping.

Charlotte found poor little Leo under said vehicle after work on Friday, shivering and wet with a bloody, swollen eye. Silly Charlotte took Leo in, wrapped him in a warm towel and administered a saline drip and he made it through the night.

The handsome redhead in Charlotte's life shows off his cast

Wow! That Charlotte is one competent, caring hoomin! We here wouldn't know the first thing about administering a saline drip. All that, and she's quite the artist and photographer, too. Not to mention one of the best things to happen to New Orleans. Just reading her blog will make you want to take the next plane there.

Leo's little adventure left him with two broken legs. Fortunately the damage to his eye was not as bad as it looks. He got a splint for one leg, pain meds, oral antibiotics and otic antibiotics. And he got himself a hoomin who was bringing him meals in bed. Is that a sweet deal? Way sweet!

Leo gets his munchies on

Despite his many injuries and medications, Leo decided to be extremely feisty, which led to poor Charlotte having to hold him and pet him and watch him, as she says, like his maman should have. At any rate, all the luvin' had a soothing effect on Leo, who is smart enough to figure out when he's got a good deal. He has decided he luvs Charlotte right back (good move, dude).

Leo succumbs to Charlotte's charms

Charlotte took Leo to a kitty specialist to get his poor damaged legs fixed. We bow our heads in respect, having a few gold-plated gatos right here at La Casa. It's not cheap fixing what ails them.

Charlotte's description of that demanding little kitten's life right now:
Silly Charlotte has been holding Leo in her lap since she got home from work today. If SC puts Leo down he meows loudly and belligerently. He cranes his neck to keep SC in sight. He only hushes when SC puts him back in her lap and strokes his soft orange fur. Leo doesn’t want anyone other than SC.. Leo luvs SC and SC luvs Leo.
Does that sound like a silly kitty to you? He's got it all figured out. Charlotte's wrapped around Leo's little paw.

Lucky Leo has a caring hoomin

He's had surgery on his two broken legs at Southeast Veterinary Specialists in Metairie. (They deserve a plug for fixing Leo!) Leo had a break near his right hip and in his left front leg between his elbow joint and shoulder. Dr. Rose Lemarie was his miracle-working surgeon.

Poor, shaved Leo

Latest report on Leo's condition:
He is doing great since his surgery. His back right leg has a steel plate and screws, his left front has a steel pin and screws. The vet stressed especially not allowing him to pull with his front let and, let me tell you, that's harder than I had imagined to prevent! He is getting stronger everyday and wanting to run, jump and play like any normal kitten. He's like a little eel for twisting and slipping out of my grasp and making a run for freedom. It's a struggle and a challenge to keep him quiet. One good thing is he LOVES our dog, Bijan, so when he gets too hyper I put him in the pet taxi with the dog and he'll curl up next to him and go to sleep.

Leo captured briefly between wriggles, wiggles, and struggles

For more details on Leo's story and undoubtedly further updates (especially if you nag, we'll bet), here's Charlotte's Leo archive.

Leo, you lucky little kitty, La Casa de Los Gatos wishes you, and your wonderful hoomin, all the very best. Long may you make each other very, very happy!

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LGBTQ: An Activist Addition To The Blogroll

La Casa de Los Gatos welcomes Queers United to the blogroll and thanks them for this very interesting post on the formation of the LGBTQ Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The post links to all the LGBTQ Caucus members so you can thank them yourself, and includes such progressive stalwarts as Fortney (Pete) Stark, Lynn Woolsey, Robert Wexler, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Niki Tsongas, Henry Waxman, and our very own dearly beloved Barbara Lee!

You rock, Reps! Fifty-two members, count them.

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2008 Elections: They Deserve Each Other

Rude Ghouliani has just announced to the desperate Republicans (imagine that, they're having trouble raising money! Broken economy don't sound so good now, does it, boys?) that he'll help them out with fundraising if he gets to keep a cut. Caveat: That link is to the NYT, so you'll need to log in.

Isn't that just special? See, Rude-y apparently has $3.6 million in campaign debt. That includes half a mil that he lent to his campaign out of his own pocket. The greedy schlub wants it all back.

Hey, Rudesby! You're a millionaire, you asshole. You can write off some of that debt.
Mr. Giuliani’s move has irritated some of his Republican colleagues, who say that the arrangement would put an additional strain on candidates who in many cases are struggling to raise money. Some say rather than making a generous gesture, the former mayor is seeking to tap local candidates’ donors.


The fact that Mr. Giuliani — who had an estimated net worth of at least $30 million in 2006, according to financial disclosure forms filed last year — has loaned his campaign money gives the fund-raising a particular urgency. [...] if any portion of a personal loan to a campaign is unpaid by the end of an election cycle, the maximum amount that can be repaid with money raised after that is $250,000, according to Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the Federal Election Commission.

That means that Mr. Giuliani could have to forgive all or part of his $500,000 loan if he does not raise the funds to pay it back before September, when Senator John McCain is formally chosen as the Republican presidential nominee, officially ending the primary elections.
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, this is too rich. So you think he's trying to siphon off a little of that cash that his Republican fellow-travelers' intended marks so generously throw around? (wipes eyes) Oh, Rudesby, Rudesby, who'd'a thunk it of ya?

Maru has a nice, multi-part lineup of other Republicans in the news for similar, um, shenanigans.

Geeze, we're not even going to try to do our usual "What the fuck is wrong with these people?" schtick.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Environment: Recent Natural Disasters

Myanmar continues to writhe under the heel of an uncaring dictatorship as the populace tries to deal with the aftermath of the cyclone. The creeps-in-charge are busy telling the populace lies about the trustworthiness of U.S. relief instead of giving them help when they need it so desperately. If you would like to send a pair of used underpants to the Burmese government as a hallmark of your respect for their dunderheaded policies, you have our blessing. In case you were living in a mountain cave someplace, Insane McAncient has had to fire two lobbyists from his campaign because they were working for the Burmese junta &mdash you know, the guys who are watching their countrymen starve to death rather than giving them food, aid, and medical assistance.

For what it's worth, at least the ASEAN relief teams have been promised access; and experts are en route to assessing the needs of Cyclone Nargis' victims. Over 133,000 have been reported dead or missing, and 2.4 million are homeless. Please keep them in your thoughts and, if you can spare anything, send it their way. At present, the U.N. says only 40 per cent of promised funding has come through.

In other sad news, Burmese comedian Maung Thura, who works under the stage name of Zarganar, is missing, says U.N. HRC's Myanmar investigator Tomas Ojea Quintana. According to Thura's relatives, police took him from his home in Yangon shortly after he made a trip to the Irrawaddy delta to donate relief items to survivors. The police also seized his computer and cash intended for survivors.

Zarganar's family has not heard from him since the arrest. The ruling military junta had given no reason for the arrest. Zarganar led a team of around 400 people, mainly actors, comedians and writers, in distributing assistance in the form of food, blankets, mosquito nets, and other such items, to those affected by the floods.

The team had made videos of their relief activities, and Zarganar gave interviews critical of the government's relief effort to foreign media, including the British Broadcasting Corp., whose news broadcasts are popular in Myanmar.

To donate to the victims of Cyclone Nargis, you can give directly to organizations like Medicin sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), or go here.

China: Zhang Ziyi, star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and many other top-notch Chinese films, recently lambasted her fellow artistes for their ignorance of the devastating quake in China. Zhang, who has been raising money for quake relief efforts, said:
"I was as angry as a madwoman. I said, 'Are you idiots? You are well-dressed people who look like you identify with society, but you don't know what's going on on planet Earth.' It's incredible!"
La Casa de Los Gatos hereby gives Zhang Ziyi its Media Spokeswoman of Teh Month award for speaking up about the less fortunate.

People like this impress us. They could be going their pretty, wealthy, empty-headed way as most of them do. It's always extremely satisfying when those who have a perch in the upper echelons choose to turn the spotlight on the less fortunate. So many people who strive for fame and fortune achieve it and then forget what life was like before they became rich and famous. There is a saying in Malay, "Kachang lupakan kulit," which translates to "The peanut forgets its shell," that we've always liked.

Zhang Ziyi rocks.

It has been one month since the quake killed approximately 100,000 people in Sichuan province and left a further 5.2 million homeless. The Chinese government's swift response to aid the survivors was astonishing in its scope and dedication. However, now that the initial crisis has been handled, the government is beginning a crackdown on protests planned by grieving parents. Reporters are being actively discouraged from seeking the reason behind the collapse of so many schools. Poor construction and shoddy materials have already been alleged as the root cause.

On the one hand, the Chinese government responded better to the disaster than the U.S. government under Preznitwit Winky McBrillo (thanks, Sharkbabe!) did to Hurricane Katrina. On the other, China is not a democracy, not a free country. On the third hand (as a former believer in a pantheon of deity, we appreciate the multiple hands that are a Side Benefit), China has never been a democracy and we wonder whether it is more important to ensure one billion people the benefit of food, healthcare, education, and a functional society or freedom of speech and the right to sleep under bridges and beg for one's bread.

Yes, we know the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. But didn't Mao Zedong once tell some American politico that dealing with the sewage problems of one billion people was not something that admitted of a democratic solution?

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

U.S.: In the town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Raw Story reports, some 4,000 homes have been evacuated as flooding from the recent spate of heavy rains left cars and homes inundated with water and destroyed a bridge. Nine rivers in Iowa are seeing historic flood levels. A man has reportedly died in Minnesota as a result of floods.

Flood-related evacuations are also taking place in the towns of Des Moines, Iowa City, and Coralville. Thunderstorms continue to damage parts of southern Wisconsin. There are reports of flash floods in the area. A man was reported killed in Grand Rapids, Michigan, due to flooding. Northern Missouri is preparing for flooding of the Mississippi River. Weather forecasters are warning of tornado risk and thunderstorm warnings have been issued for areas of Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Lake Michigan. Several tributaries of the Mississippi River are overflowing their banks, and record flooding has hit areas across the Mississippi Valley.

To no one's surprise, the Preznitwit has not visited nor made any statements that we can uncover. We believe the National Guard, which would ordinarily be assisting stranded citizens, is off in Iraq being hated by that country's beleaguered citizenry.

The weather is expected to affect corn and soybean crops in the named areas, which will result in higher food prices. If you live anywhere in the threatened areas, please be careful. Drive carefully, make arrangements for your children and elderly and pets, and take good care of yourselves.

La Casa de Los Gatos wishes each and everyone affected by this nasty weather worldwide safety and a peaceful resolution to their woes, great or small.

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Oh, good gravy! Jon Stewart makes us laugh our collective ass off:

Why on earth would any woman want to vote for a man who calls his wife a trollop and a cunt?

Terrorist fist-jabberwocky E.D. Hill has been consigned to the dustbin of broadcast media, where she belongs.

Here, another notorious terrorist fist-jabs a cute blonde:

Maybe it's not "terrorist" if white people do it?

Sad news about our collective ass: it grew right back. Guess we'll have to keep laughing.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Kamehameha Day!

Day late and a dollar (or more) short, as usual.

La Casa de Los Gatos and Ms. Manitoba and FoTPC (who rarely shows up anymore, dammit) would like to wish all our peeps a very happy Kamehameha Day.

King Kamehameha the Great is remembered, says Wikipedia, for:
the Mamalahoe Kanawai, Law of the Splintered Paddle, which protects human rights of non-combatants in times of battle.
How'dja like them apples, Dumbya-who-will-be-remembered-for-taking-a-crap-on-human-rights?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Consumer Alert: Tomatoes

Panicking about raw tomatoes? Relax.

Sure, there was that foofaraw in the papers and TV over the past few days, allowing as how all kinds of people were turning their toes up to the heavens and keeling over thanks to the ingestion of raw tomato products contaminated with a relatively uncommon strain of salmonella. The Florida tomato growers wept and beat their collective breast, claiming that their industry was in "complete collapse," their families homeless, their children unfed and deity alone knows what other blather-am-skate.

It was alleged that 40 people had fallen ill in Texas and New Mexico after ingesting raw tomatoes, and some 17 subsequently had been hospitalized. An additional 30 individuals in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, Illinois and Indiana had also suffered illness resulting from the same strain of Salmonella saintpaulia. It was, at that time, unknown whether raw tomatoes were implicated in these additional illnesses. Roughly four people in each of those states. Hardly deserving of panic mode, don't you think?

One person &mdash an elderly Texan &mdash did die as a result of the infection. So, fellow old farts, what lesson can we draw from this? Old farts shouldn't take risks with their food? Hey, you're gonna die anyway, why not choose to go as a result of a memorable caprese salad or a nice salsa? OK, the symptoms aren't exactly delightful, but you'll be dead so you won't have to clean up, right?

In any event, the CBC now tells us that tomatoes from the states of Florida and California are not implicated in the recent illnesses. These tomatoes are safe to eat:

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Grape tomatoes

  • Home-grown tomatoes

  • Tomatoes with part of the vine still attached

  • Tomatoes from California or Florida

  • Cooked tomatoes of any shape or form
So you Florida growers can quit your weeping and wailing and go back to gouging your poor workers (who had to fight for years to get a penny per lb. increase in their wages) and the public. As for the rest of us, this is yet another excellent reason to buy local, preferably organically grown.

In fact, today we learned that farmers have to pay stores to keep their products on the store shelves. (Yeah, yeah, we're hardly as well-informed or as smart as we like to think). So, really, the best way to buy would be direct from the farm. It's time to eliminate the middle-schlub. Instead of paying big corporations obscene amounts of money to rape the land and destroy the air we breathe and the water we drink, how about shopping at farmer's markets?

The farm bills that Congress signs are the worst offenders in draining the resources of small farmers and polluting the quality of the nation's food supply. There is a program available called Community Supported Agriculture\ that tries to get conumers directly in touch with farmers. It sounds like an excellent idea. Much better than being poisoned by tomatoes schlepped from Mexico (which are the current suspects in the salmonella scandal) at high cost of fuel and under, probably, appalling labour conditions.

We're off to examine our options. Eat the damn salsa, already.

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Politics: Too Funny

Pass it on. This is just too good to resist!

Spread the word!

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2008 Elections: Obamacans

Oh, my. Look what we found in The New Republic online:
[...] Larry Hunter, who helped put together the economics passages in the Contract with America and served as chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce [...] concedes that Obama is saying the wrong things on taxes but dismisses it as electioneering. Of far greater importance, in Hunter's view, is that Obama has the potential to "scramble the political deck, break up old alliances, and bring odd bedfellows together in a new coalition." And, what's more important, he views the Republican Party as a "dead, rotting carcass with a few decrepit old leaders stumbling around like zombies in a horror version of Weekend at Bernie's, handcuffed to a corpse." Unless the Republican Party is thoroughly purged of its current leadership, Hunter fears that it "will pollute the political environment to toxic levels and create an epidemic that could damage the country for generations to come."
Gee. We couldn't have put it better ourselves. Dead, rotting carcass. Yup.

More delicious schadenfreudliness here.

We've been saying for years that Republicans are not conservatives but greedbags. Hypocritical greedbags who formed a putrid coalition of greedy, short-sighted corporatocrats and religious nutbags. In their feckless pursuit of power, they threw away conservative principles of small government, good governance, careful fiscal policy, and minding one's own goddamned business, instead of one's neighbour's.

We can only hope that that coalition, fueled by cruel self-interest above all, complete lack of concern for the common welfare or the welfare of others, and a selfish short-sighted inability to see anything but the current financial quarter's bottom-line is gone for good. Although we are not religious, we accept that most people derive their moral compass from religion. Because all religions teach humanity to place the good of others over one's own benefit. Love thy neighbour as thyself, they exhort. To see religious people recognize that the Republican party's appeal to the worst aspects of religion &mdash moralizing without morality &mdash is immoral and wrong, is a very balm unto our heart.

As much as we may be amused by the fate of these corrupt greedbags, we must never forget that the election is still not won. We cannot afford to be complacent. We must not stop working to ensure that we have a President Obama in the White House on January of 2009. Only then can we heave our long-awaited collective sigh of relief and PAR-TAY all night and day~~~!@!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

2008 Elections: Women

This election year for many of us was marked by firsts: the first woman candidate with a good chance of winning faced the first African-American candidate with ... well, no one believed he had a chance, really, till he won. It was also the first time (in our lifetime) that citizens participated so eagerly, with crowds in the tens of thousands showing up to see &mdash well, some of &mdash the nominees.

The misogyny of the media and the Powers That Be revealed itself to a degree that surprised most of us. The racism, likewise. But this past Saturday, Senator Hillary Clinton did herself proud, conceding the race to Obama with unmatched grace, wit, brilliance, charm, and a terrific speech. Nothing in the struggle became her like the leaving of it. We're actually very sad because we've been wanting her for President for many years now.

She has always been a champion of women's issues, and deserves plenty of respect and kudos for that. More to the point, her candidacy, and her loss, had many people worried. Who will speak for women, in the coming Administration? Gee Dumbya and Dick made it clear that, in their book, women keep their mouths shut and their heads down. From the attacks on working women's pay, benefits, families, rights, and bodies it was clear that the Republicans are no respecters of women.

Once Clinton bowed out, it was time to look for evidence of what the candidates had to offer women. We were pretty sure that McCain would not have a lot to offer women. He's a Republican, after all, and most Republicans don't like or respect women enough to trust them to decide on their own damn bodies, for goodness' sake.

Well, here's some of the evidence. McCain opposes the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay for Equal Work act because "it'll lead to lawsuits." Hey, dumbass, there wouldn't be any need for lawsuits if employers paid women equally for equal work.

See for yourself. Pertinent snippet:
McCain skipped the vote to campaign in New Orleans.

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems," the expected GOP presidential nominee told reporters.


The Arizona senator said he was familiar with the disparity but that there are better ways to help women find better paying jobs.

"They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else," McCain said. "And it's hard for them to leave their families when they don't have somebody to take care of them.

"It's a vicious cycle that's affecting women, particularly in a part of the country like this, where mining is the mainstay; traditionally, women have not gone into that line of work, to say the least," he said.
Yeah, well, that was then, Johnny. These days, women work at coal mining too. Sheesh.He's insane. What century does this guy live in? What does he mean, "women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else"? The dog is also a co-head of the household? What, the cockatoo? The cat?

And what about single women without children? Are they not also part of the workforce? Should they be forced to accept lower pay? What about Lily Ledbetter, after whom the damned act was named, who HAD the requisite education and training and was STILL paid less? Doesn't he realize that if you make less during your working years, your pension, retirement, social security benefits will be lower than someone who made more? What an idiot.

The SPTimes thinks women should worry about McCain taking power. No shit. Here's snippets from their article on the issue:
Due to McCain's reputation as a maverick, many voters seem to attach more moderate abortion views to him. In Florida's primary, for example, 45 percent of those Republicans who said abortion should be legal voted for McCain. Whereas the prochoice Rudy Giuliani won over only 19 percent of the prochoice Republican vote.

But McCain's voting record is solidly antichoice. He said directly in South Carolina that Roe "should be overturned" and strongly reiterates that position on his campaign Web site. He told the American Conservative Union that one of the three most important goals that he wants to achieve as president is to promote "a nation of traditional values that protects the rights of the unborn."

In accordance with these views, McCain promises to "nominate strict constructionist judges," which is code for "will overturn Roe if given half a chance."
The article goes on to say that McCain supports the global gag rule, one of the most hideous things to come out of the religious right's attitude towards women as uteri with legs (but not brains, hearts, or minds). Basically, the food crises we're seeing? The starvation, the fierce competition for water, fuel, and other resources? These all result from the death of the Zero Population Growth movement.

Back in the late sixties, people all around the world looked at themselves and the planet they lived on and came to the conclusion that we were soon going to exceed our planet's capacity to feed, shelter, and care for us. The ZPG movement was born with the intent of keeping the world's human population at sustainable levels. Then along came the Religious Right, those fundies who won't spend a penny to feed hungry children or even give their possibly illegal immigrant parents amnesty or an education so that they can afford to feed the fruit of their collective womb.

One of the first rules they forced through was the gag rule. In essence, what the gag rule does is, it prevents providers of women's healthcare services from offering, or even discussing, any alternative options other than forced birth. Clinics or even "barefoot doctors" who offer information about birth control can lose all their funding. Even if their sole abortion-related activity is to lobby to legalize abortion in their own country, or to refer their patients to other providers of services that might include abortion, and even if that activity is funded by other monies, they lose any money that they might otherwise receive from the U.S.

What this has done is turn the world and millions of women into one vast forced-birth experiment. Denied the ability to control the size of their families, women who become pregnant must give birth. While the gag rule contains a supposed exception for rape and incest, anyone who has lived or worked in the Third World knows how unlikely a woman is to allege rape or incest if she becomes pregnant.

In many countries, rape laws don't exist; in those where they do, they are selectively enforced; often, social opinion turns against the victim of the crime, not the perpetrator. Women brave enough to publicly allege rape or incest face penalties including jail, beatings, loss of their family, loss of their children, if any, loss of livelihood, and, often, death.

Thus, they are forced to birth unwanted children. If a woman does not want her child, forcing her to give birth to it can only have bad consequences for the child. Parenting is a tremendously difficult task, and requires a great degree of self-sacrifice. The same mealy-mouthed hypocrites who force women to birth unwanted children cry the biggest tears when asked to fund food, shelter, and education for such children. Even when wanted by their mothers, such children are at a tremendous disadvantage, especially in poor communities where they start off with a single parental income instead of two. In countries where the maternal mortality rate is high, they might not even survive their childhood. A child without a mother is at greatest risk of death through neglect or abuse.

Small surprise that parents who have many children that they cannot feed sell their children as slave labour. Thus is their misery perpetuated, the misery of their parents who have to give up their child, the misery of the children who are exploited by cruel and greedy people.

Now that we are in competition for the very basics of life, and world population has increased by 50 per cent since the ZPG movement, we see how much suffering and misery the Religious Right's attitude towards women's reproductive bits has caused.

John McInsane will perpetuate this inequity leading to even greater overpopulation, greater competition for scarce resources, more death and suffering.
An intelligent person might think that someone as rabidly antiabortion as McCain would be backing approaches to prevent unwanted pregnancies, thereby, ipso facto, fewer abortions. Well, think again.

McCain is an antagonist of sensible family planning and effective sex education. In 2005, he voted "no" on a $100-million allocation for preventive health care services targeted at reducing unintended pregnancies, particularly teen pregnancies. In 2006, he voted against funding for comprehensive, medically accurate sex education for teens.
Those women who claim they will vote for McCain need to look at some of the linked sites here. They might change their minds in a hurry.

Some women have said that McCain's positions on women's reproductive rights and health don't concern them since they're past the age of reproduction. Fine, whatever. What about your kids and grandkids? Is it OK if they die from back-alley abortions? What about your sons and grandsons? Is it OK if they get killed in a war? And unless you're as rich as Mrs. McCain, what about your job? Is it OK if you don't have one, or yours gets shipped overseas? What about your retirement benefits? Is it OK if they tank like the Dow, and our economy? What about your house? Is it OK if you have to live in a cardboard refrigerator box? Is it OK if he privatizes Social Security?

Now, what's Barack Obama's position on women? We went to the candidate's Web site to find out. Here it is.

We already know that he earned a 100% lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, that he is committed to equal pay for equal work for women, that he wants an end to the war in Iraq, that he wrote to Ben Bernanke about the dangers of the subprime housing loan market a year before it collapsed, that he plans to work with Elizabeth Edwards on universal health care, that he plans to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans and give the middle class and working poor a tax break ... What's not to like?

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Mmmm ... Peach Mint

Please let MSNBC hear from you about impeachment.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Natural Disasters: Midwest Flooding

Steve Apps, Associated

Damn. Sometimes it's just not good to be a prophet.

OK, not a prophet so much as ... a good guesser? Attentive? Something.

Just yesterday, we blogged about the looming infrastructure crisis in this country. Today, Raw Story tells us that homes are washing away in the Midwest, and some ten people have lost their lives due to flooding, driven by stormy weather. Thousands have lost power.

Flood warnings have gone out for Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa. In Minnesota, a state of emergency was declared in Houston County, where floodwaters damaged several roads and caused mudslides. The weather service has posted a tornado warning for south-central Illinois and a severe thunderstorm warning for Indiana. A severe weather warning was also posted for Wisconsin.

Six of the ten dead were in Michigan. The AP has announced that a tornado tore through Nebraska.

At least some of the flooding resulted from a broken dam.

National Guard troops are working in central and western Indiana to help people displaced by flooding.

Meanwhile, the East coast is sweltering under a heat wave. Welcome to global warming, children. It's pretty damn hot here, right now, despite the lateness of the hour.

And, before you ask, just like last time when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf coast, Bush is on holiday. Flying around Europe.

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