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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

2008 Elections: More Entertainment!

Ms. Manitoba's favourite — well, one of Ms. M's favourite — comedians, the incredibly funny, talented, deadpan Samantha Bee explains why she will be voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin:

Liquid Alert: Please put away any sprayable food or drink before viewing.

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OK, we have to inform y'all right off the bat that we are not big into rap music (we've listened to some, the cats don't like it, one hoominz does like some, not all). We're also not, like, huge fans of entertainers' political opinions, not because we don't think entertainers should have political opinions (all art is political), but because, you know, Jon Voight, fer cryin out. Charleton Heston. Like dat.

But our Digg-buddy Jeff Lombardo posted this YouTube clip at his site. It's Diddy, making a vlog post. It's fucking hysterical, ok? Just ... watch.

Incidentally, if you want information about Sarah Palin, you can go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, or here.

If you just want laffs, go here.

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Hurricane Katrina

Photo courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

This entire week has been spent worrying for our friends in NOLA and Louisiana in general and all the other good people who live on the Gulf Coast. Gustav is now a Category 4 hurricane, and given the last horrible fiasco, we are on tenterhooks.

For a beautiful (and sad) photo memorial of Katrina, please drop by Gilbert Mercier's blog. The man has both the photographer's eye and a wonderfully developed sense of irony.

We hear the Republicans might reschedule their convention. They claim it's because of Hurricane Gustav, but we greatly doubt that. Those mean motherfuckers couldn't give a shit about New Orleans, and more specifically, poor black (or any other shade in the fucking rainbow) Democratic voters in New Orleans. We secretly suspect they're postponing because so many Reputzlicans have weaseled out of attending that it'll be a gigantoflop.

Of course, Nero II is babbling about how "better days" lie ahead. We assume his poorly developed sense of irony does not permit him to realize that the "better days" the whole world is looking forward to are the days after he leaves office, hopefully in chains, hopefully for the Hague. Hopefully, his good buddy Johnny MacNuts will be eating cake in one of his many mansions, but NOT the one in which we seat our President.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008


And we're still not ready for our long-awaited Caturday guest!

So we leave you with a Gustav story for your amusement.

Gustav with his momma, Greta

Gustav and his Mum, Greta came to stay at La Casa de Los Gatos some seven years ago. Gustav's story is quite sad, really. Some idiot adopted his mother Greta but never had her spayed and, when she got pregnant, dumped her on the streets to fend for herself. You see why we don't approve of teenage pregnancy? Some other nasty soul, when Greta went into labour, kicked her into a drain and poured some sugary substance over her. Fortunately, a kind hoomin came along and found ants trying to eat the mother and her babies alive (ugh!) and rescued them all.

The kind soul took them home, cleaned them off, and proceeded to find homes for them all. Gustav was not the best looking of the bunch, so he was placed together with his dear sweet Mum, in a home with a young lady who liked cats.

Unfortunately, the young lady had a boyfriend who didn't like Gustav. He's never been an "easy" cat. He's loud, jealous, clingy, possessive of his mother, possessive of his hoomins — he was really meant to be an "only" cat. Unlike Bandicoot, he doesn't have a friendly open temperament and a sweet nature. The Coot visits all our neighbours fairly regularly and introduces himself to their guests as well, and offers to jump on anyone's lap for a quick belly petting or ear-scratching. Nor is he like Madu, who is basically an indolent catloaf and won't move if a stranger comes into the room. Actually he won't even open an eye to see who it is, sometimes, but, if petted, will purr loudly enough to be heard a couple of rooms away.

Gustav isn't gorgeous like the lovely Gojira, whom everyone falls in love with at first glance. She can be as difficult as she likes, with her plush, silvered gray fur, her lithe and delicate figure, her long, pointy paws, acid-green eyes, little pink sticking-out tongue. She's too beautiful to expect anything but indulgence. Nor is he a big silly fluffito like Zingiber, who runs away screaming from strangers (but they laugh rather than get annoyed because he's so big and fat and fluffy and looks so ridiculous waddling as fast as he can to get away).

No, Gustav is nervous and twitchy and shy and suspicious. He won't come when called. He won't make eye contact. He leaps away when touched. He has a loud, raucous, Siamese-type voice. He also has herpes, which makes both his eyes kind of pinkish and watery. He's a scrawny fellow. He cries a lot. His markings aren't exceptionally beautiful or distinguished.

So, of course, the boyfriend didn't like poor Gustav. And is the wont of some cruel hoominz, he would kick or hit Gustav whenever the poor kitteh was in the room. (Nasty jerk, we sincerely hope he comes back as a cockroach for his next seventeen lives and is beaten and eaten by cats!)

Some months of this, and the saint who placed Gustav heard about it and insisted on taking both Gustav and Greta back into her own home. But, like our dear friend Lizzy, of 922Cats fame, she had more beasts than house to house them in, numbering in her menagerie this handsome fellow:

Corky at home

as well as several tortoises, some of them maimed; a veritable herd of cats of various ages and sizes, mostly rescues from horrible fates; several drop-in ferals (to whom Gustav did not take kindly); birds; and deity only knows what else. Fish? Frogs? Could well have been.

In the event, Saint Francis Assissi II was getting ready to move to a far and distant land and could not take the entire menagerie, so we were asked to please take Corky, Greta, and Gustav. Having burdened ourselves, at that time, with SIX indoor cats, three ferals, three rescue opossums, and a family of skunks (not to mention the raccoons and that goddamned herd of deer that come by and eat our tomatoes, roses, and wisteria to the fucking ground alla time) we debated long and hard. But what could we do? What would you do?

So we got on a plane and filed the paperwork and paid for the vet visits and special carriers and flew for hours and came back with two cat carriers and one very upset dog. And thanks be to the deities of furry beasties, we managed with the help of Madame X and her wonderful partner to schlep the beasties up the stairs and into the house. Greta was wonderful and easy, but Gustav attacked all the other cats (though never us) from day one.

It has been some seven years now. A year after she came, Greta threw a blood clot and almost died on the spot. We took her to the emergency clinic and they did not think she would make it, so we said goodbye to dear, sweet, beautiful Greta.

Then, two years ago, Corky lost control of his bladder and his back legs. We helped him get up and down and cleaned him and tried to give him the best life we could (and he had a horrible pre-adoption story, too), but in the end none of us — not the poor doggie nor ourselves — could take it anymore. So we said goodbye to the best little doggie in the whole wide world. Goodbye, dear Corky. You were such a good dog, dear.

Corky getting ready for walkies

Gustav was still on tranquilizers owing to his habit of suddenly attacking any cat within attacking distance. One of the indoor cats (the mother of Madu and Gojira) decided to uphold her lifetime feral status by running out of the house at high speed and refusing to return; another outdoor inhabitant took off one day and has yet to return (dear Simona, please come home, all is forgiven, love, tpc). Bob-the-almost-Bobcat also took off, never to return. And Faridah left for a trip across the rainbow bridge. The possums moved on, the baby skunks grew up and moved away, the raccoons moved over the hill (one family recently returned, to Madu's great chagrin).

The half-blind deer vanished, probably victim to our local cougar. One of the males, with a fine set of antlers, has also disappeared, but one of the boy babies now has a nice, if small, antlerage and fair bids to replace the old fellow. At least we've seen him leaping about on the hillside with a couple of does and some of the cutest fawns. They took some herbage out of the tomatoes, but we responded with chicken wire, so we've had a good tomato crop this year. Although we still mourn the loss of the Sterling rose. (pigs!)

Gustav discovered toys. We took him off his meds, and one night we heard the strangest sounds coming from downstairs. We put all their toys in an old milk crate under the dinner-wagon. Sneaking downstairs, we found Gustav carefully lifting several toys out of the milk-crate before finally settling on a fluffy to play with. The yellow fluffy was the toy of choice for some months, although he would still take his terrycloth bunny and blue racoon out. Finally, he settled on the terrycloth bunny and began taking it upstairs to bed with him every night.

This was good. He had never played with toys before, and it was good to see him enjoying himself. Also, the more tired he is, the less aggressive he is.

The high point of Gustav's life with us came during the catnip incident.

We used to put the catnip on a high shelf in the closet, in a ziplock bag. Periodically, we'd take out a few pinches and sprinkle them on the floor, and everybody would go wild. We figured the catnip was safe high on the shelf because the two fatties were way too fat to climb up there for it, and Gojira (the only other climber) was too intimidated by Gustav to try for it.

Imagine our surprise when we walked through the front door to find the entire floor of the house covered in catnip and five cats lying around on the floor, paws-up, looking blissfully stoned! Apparently, Gustav had climbed up and "liberated" the nip, ripped the bag open, and shared generously with friends.

We now keep the 'nip in a glass bottle in the freezer. Even if he gets the damn door open, he's going to rue the lack of opposable thumbs.

He's totally rehabbed, by the way. He now sleeps close to us — still nervous and twitchy, but happy to get ear rubs and chin scratches, and mostly good to everyone else. Mostly.

To everyone on the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Gustav prepares for landfall: May you all be safe and protected and may your furry friends be safe with you. Gustav apologizes for the coincidental naming. This is one thing you can't blame the poor fellow for.

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2008 Elections: Oh, Dear

This is the "town" of which Sarah Palin, Oldy McMoldy's Veep candidate, was Mayor:

Photo courtesy of Alaskan blogger Mudflats

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. This "town" is smaller and less, um, what's a good word? Busy? Bustling? Well-appurtenanced? than the village down the road from us.

The local village is more populous, has about ten times the number of roads, approximately 100 times the number of buildings, and is usually well-populated with strollers, shoppers, people running errands or taking their kids to the library or park, teenage gadabouts, and people conducting business. Oh, and there is no salon, nor too many available parking spaces, but there are stores, banks, pharmacies, supermarkets (note plural), a tennis field, fire station, library, two parks (one a miniature kiddies' park), two schools, several gas stations, a parking lot, restaurants, and often, street vendors and a farmers' market. Craft fairs are held about once a month. And believe this, it's a very, very tiny village. As in, the town in which it's located is an unincorporated entity that has no police force and relies on its neighbours to provide police assistance.

It's still about a hundred times larger than that ramshackle conglomeration named Wasilla. Does that dump have anything? A hospital? Schools, libraries, a park? Any of the accoutrements of civilization?

And this is who you want a heartbeat away from the presidency, Oldy McMoldy? Sheesh, your trophy wife probably has a hundred times the experience this dimbulb has.

One more thing: Why does Sarah Palin's husband (who holds no executive or governmental post) sit on on many of her meetings? Who's the real power here? Is she just a front woman for her husband? Or is she actually an executive?

A comment from an Alaskan on Mudflats' site:
You don’t see the irony here…?

Politicizing of a branch her government (law enforcement via a cabinet oversight)… Bush Admin politicizing the justice system for their own political agendas…

This nomination reminds me of when Bush tried to make Harriet Miers the AG with zero qualification.

PS- Palin has 67% approval, not a 90% like you Lower 48′ers want to believe.

PSS- She had been governor for a year and has basically done nothing. Governor of Alaska is a part time job, it’s pretty boring and quiet up here (I like it that way), and the only thing really going on is oil. We are nothing like the lower 48, there is no cross compatibility. We are basically like our own country which has little in common with the rest of country on a state level.

And… Before that she way a mayor of a village (not a city) that you could liken the one you watched in show Northern Exposure. I’m not kidding.

In terms of being president… I bet at least half of the readers here have just as much if not more qualification, judgment and morality. It would be interesting to have someone from Alaska as VP, but it’s not in the country’s best interest unfortunately, especially not this person.
Oldy McMoldy has displayed very very poor judgment by picking this neophyte. Actually, what we're really pissed off about is that he picked this woman who really has nothing to bring to the table except a cute face and body. He could've picked a dozen other Republican women who have far better credentials and will bring substantive experience and electoral votes with them. It's infuriating. It's like dumping your loyal aging wife for some rich young blonde. A cynical ploy and a slap in the face to all women, telling them that one vagina is pretty much like another.

You wanted a vagina with Hillary attached, how about I give you one with this hottie attached? Sure, she'll vote against every right for which Hillary fought, and sure, she'll vote against everything you hold dear, but hey, she's got a vagina, doesn't she? That's gotta count for something. Fuck you, Johnny Mac. You fool, you just made your age and health a central issue and blew your best argument against Obama right out of the water.

We really shouldn't mind that you've shot yourself in the foot again, but the cynicism of this pick is insulting, infuriating, and breathtaking.

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McCain Picks an Amateur

Joe Conason in has expressed my sentiments exactly ... I really couldn't say it any better:
It is hard to think of a more cynical and contemptuous political act this year than John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Having served as governor of Alaska for less than two years -- and as mayor of a small town before that -- her qualifications for national office are minimal.

Palin is the epitome of tokenism, exactly what conservative Republicans have always claimed to scorn, until today, as the politics of quotas and political correctness. Even Rush Limbaugh is a feminazi now (at least until Election Day).

But if Palin's résumé is limited, to put it politely, she possesses the only two qualities that McCain now seems to consider essential: She is a right-wing religious ideologue with female gender characteristics. Suddenly that is all anyone needs to qualify as a potential commander in chief of the world's most powerful military. We probably won't hear so much from now on about "experience" and "judgment," McCain's vaunted standard for the presidency until ... today. We certainly won't hear again about the "person most prepared to take my place," the phrase he has used more than once to describe his main criterion for a running mate.
These politicians are playing at democracy and it makes me sick. They are so cynical it makes me look like a four-year-old on Christmas Eve.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary, NOLA

La Casa de Los Gatos believes that McCain made an attempt to commemorate the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall on the great and beautiful old city of New Orleans three years ago. He was wise enough not to go eat cake with Jor Jee again, though. This time, he decided to kill (how apt) two birds with the same single stone: he named a running mate in an obvious pander to the Vagina Voters; and he ate cake at the aptly named Nutter Center in Ohio.

Frankly, Oldy McMoldy, you're not fooling anyone with the nomination of Alaska governor Sarah Palin. She can't hold a candle to Hillary Clinton, who has academic honours and international honours to her name. Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the First Lady of the State of Arkansas for 12 long years and as the nation's First Lady for an additional eight years. She was distinguished by academic excellence, attending two of the best schools in the country. She is an accomplished lawyer and a powerful speaker in her own right, who has earned the respect of feminists, lawyers, and political activists around the world.

Hillary Clinton is a policy wonk with a deep knowledge of many issues from children's rights to healthcare policy to missile systems and alternative energy. Nominating Sarah Palin, who is under investigation for some rather dubious shenanigans, to stand one heartbeat away from the presidency of an aged cancer survivor with multiple melanomas is not the best thing you've done lately, John. This woman's experience is beyond scanty.

She was on her local PTA, she served four years on the council of Wasilla, a city of a whole six or seven thousand people; two terms as part-time mayor of that same benighted city, whose primary concerns seem to have been centered on a sufficiency of snow for the dog-sled races; she began her tenure by firing city appointees who had supported her opponent. She subsequently ran for the office of Governor of the state (with a population of a whole 600,000. This woman is not even qualified to run California Rep. Lynn Woolsey's congressional district.

She is not known for academic excellence, did not (unlike Rodham Clinton) attend one of the prestigious "top ten" schools, doesn't appear to know what the duties of the Vice President are, she is anti-science, a creationist crackpot who actually wants that garbage taught in taxpayer-supported schools, as viciously anti-choice as they come (exception ONLY for life of the mother, not for maternal health, rape, incest, or fetal health), a homophobe who believes gay people should not be entitled to health care for their partner, she is not a feminist, does not support women's rights to their own bodies let alone anything else, and she has used her position to retaliate against those who oppose or displease her. She doesn't even know the names of foreign leaders (sweetie, that would be one of the duties of the Veep - to make largely ceremonial but necessary diplomatic visits to foreign nations. It helps to know their names, ya lunk).

If nothing else convinces you that McCaincient is a losing proposition, this has to do it. What a slap in the face to Mittens (whom we don't particularly care for but admit is multiple times more qualified for the post), Pawlenty (don't like him much, either, but that's not the point, is it?), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (one of many Republican women who are far more qualified for the position). We may not like Republicans much (excepting Chuck Hagel, Dick Lugar, and Lincoln Chafee, and maybe a few others), but there has to be at least a hundred better qualified candidates for this job. Picking this nobody is a slap in the face to all the Republicans who have worked so hard over the years for Party and country.

Needless to say, the WaPoo is reporting that Mittens and Timmeh are none too happy about being blown off. There's a rumour that Charlie Crist might be cancelling his wedding. His beard must be so relieved. We did warn ya, Timmeh, about praising Barack the way you did. We knew Johnny Mac wasn't going to pick you. He doesn't like anyone disagreeing with him. And now he's got someone with the identical mindset to be his partner in crime.

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Catur — um, pre-Caturday!

Lucky Tinkerbelle, this cute kitty with the schmutzy nose, is on his way to the UK. Why, you ask? See, Tinks — mind if we calls yeh Tinks, darlin'? — Tinks here was either dumped by his people or wandered off and got lost (yeah, right), and decided he needed some people to take care of him. So he showed up on the doorstep of a very nice English lady who was in Florida for her niece's wedding.
"He was lost. He was hungry and he really needed some support and someone to take care of him,"
said Sue Watts of Birmingham. You're a nice lady, Sue, and Tinks is very very lucky to have met you.

Sue dropped him off at the SPCA shelter on her last day in Florida. Well, you know what happens to little kittehs at shelters — they get put on the death list. If they're not adopted or claimed within a specific period of time, they get the needle. Or the gas chamber, or whatever they're using these days.

So there was little Tinks, with the sands of time running away through his alloted hourglass when — blessings on your kind head and heart, lady — Sue Watts telephoned the shelter. Had Tinks been adopted, she wanted to know. "No," said the shelter. And that's all she needed to know. Quick as a flash, she shelled out $3,000, filled in the required paperwork, and saved Tinkerbelle's life.

Tinks will be in quarantine for 6 months in the UK, but as soon as he gets out, it's off to a lovely home, double Devon cream and scones for tea, and all the loving care a kitty's heart could hope for.

And, in a brief public service message, we at La Casa de Los Gatos would like to remind you all: Please spay and neuter your pets. Because if you don't, you just create pain and suffering for all involved. Tinkerbelle was lucky. Many, many cats and dogs are killed every year because no one can afford to adopt them all.

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World: Russia, Georgia, and South Ossetia

Vladimir Putin doesn't fuck around:

The chronology of the conflict. Dick "the dick" has his ugly greasy pawprints all over this one. And McCain wasted no time climbing on the bandwagon.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Too Damn Hot

to blog today. Temperatures in the 100s, computer overheating, cats now measurable in yard-lengths.

We're all going out in the garden and turn on the hose and sit under it. Maybe it'll cool off some by evening.

Please to forgive dear readers. We shall attempt to provide our usual high-quality depression-inducing gross-out programming as soon as possible.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stupid People

La Casa de Los Gatos might have to start a new category for posts: Stupid People. We admit to being curmudgeonly and misanthropic by nature (you know that old line, "I love humanity, it's people I can't stand"? We said it first. In utero.).

We believe (los gatos included) in fairness and freedom, rights and responsibilities, equity and social justice. But we also would really, really, really like to part some people's hair with the trademarked Golden Bat o'Clue. You know, the kind of people who don't believe other people have, or should have, rights? The Taliban types? The fundie wingnuts? The AFA?

Here, for example, we present today this fine specimen, one JoAn Karkos of Lewiston, Maine. Ms. Karkos got her knickers in a big ole knot about sex education on account of a book titled "It's Perfectly Normal." Interestingly, several of her fellow citizens, including a Catholic parent who is homeschooling her youngsters, found this book so tasteful and informative that they have purchased it for their own sproggen. But not Ms. Knickerwads, oh no.

This pathetic walking colostomy bag claims she was "horrified" by the book. Fine. Everybody has a right to be offended, even if some people, like Ms. Knickerwads, are just offense kleptomaniacs, taking it wherever they can find it. So, it's offensive? Don't read it, or look at it, keep your sprog away from it, and like that.

But that's not enough for Knickerbags. Oh, no. She has to go check out every copy she can get her dimwitted paws on, and refuse to give them back. From the pertinent articles on this infuriating twit:
JoAn Karkos made her feelings known in letters to the Lewiston and Auburn public libraries. Each letter was accompanied by a check for $20.95 to cover the cost of the book, "It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health."

In one letter, Karkos wrote, “I have been sufficiently horrified of the illustrations and sexually graphic, amoral, abnormal contents. I will not be returning the books.”
Hey, ignoramus — one is not horrified "of" something, one is terrified of or horrified by something. Obviously, reading is not something you do a whole lot.

Now, the nice library director sends her check back, and encloses a form to request that the book be removed from the shelves. Does she fill in the form? Hell, no. So the library board addresses the controversy at its regular meeting and Knickerwads shows up to defend herself. On the plus side, the library has received email and phone calls from people wanting to donate money or copies of the book. On the minus side, Ms. Knickerbockermop defends herself, claiming she's done nothing wrong, and brags about how she's getting interview requests from media outlets all the way to New York City. Yeah, they just can't believe anyone as dumb, bigoted, and narrow as you can actually breathe without assistance, honey.

The book itself has been translated into many languages and is sold around the world. The author, when interviewed, said:
“Our kids already know about 99.9 percent of this stuff. What concerned me is that they have a lot of misinformation, no matter how much they tell us, and I wanted them to get accurate information. So I think the litmus test for me was, ‘What’s in the best interest of the child? What’s going to help a child stay healthy?’”
Sounds good.

The library told Knickerbogs it would file a complaint against her with the local flatfoots if Knickerbags didn't forthwith hand back their book. But, of course, Miss "The Media is More Important To Me" has blown them off, and actually had the unmitigated gall to file a complaint against them for obscenity.

She's been summoned to court. Teh judge sez return teh book, pay a $100 fine for wasting the court's time, you're in contempt, and if this shit ain't done by Friday, lady, you're in the hoosegow, too.

Now here's the part that really, really will make your head explode: Karkos maintains she didn't commit a crime. Excuse me, lady? You did. When you take something paid for by our tax dollars and refuse to return it? That's called stealing, you pathetic biological miscarriage. If the library says they want the book back, the book is what you have to give them. Not your lousy check. They said they want the goods, not your money, and since you committed a crime against them, they can specify the restitution of their choice.

We really, really hope she does go to jail. Why do these horrible Aunt Noseys think it is their right to censor what the rest of us may see, hear, read, or see? What business is it of hers? If she doesn't want to see it, or have her children see it, she can always request that the librarian shelve the book in the adult section. To which, no doubt, she never goes. Geez, what a fucking pinheaded Nosey Parker.

And, before you ask, yes, we have cut down our meds. They make us too happy but also too spazzed out to do anything.

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2008 Elections: Wake Up Call

The Mighty Munchkin of Justice, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, issues America's wake-up call:

Y'all better pop yer peepers open and listen to the man. It's time for the tide to turn. Jobs, prosperity, health care, retirement benefits, peace, what's not to like?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary's speech

Is it just me or does anyone else feel the same way? I thought she gave one hell of a great speech! I could have done without all the God stuff but nonetheless, I thought her delivery was immaculate and the content was perfect. As far as I am concerned, Hillary hit an out-of-the-park grand slam! Great speech! What say you?

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Politics: The Police State

And you don't even have to be a police to enforce it. Of course, AssPress describes this as a story about a woman wearing a tee shirt that "promotes lesbianism." Lots of people we know would really like to find out how to "promote lesbianism." We ourselves believe that some are born lesbian, some achieve lesbianism, but nobody has lesbianism thrust upon them.In the event, Page Q is reporting that some woman goes to a Federal building to pick up a social security card for her son and a petty little tinpot tyrant employee of DHS (that's the Department of Homeland Security to youse) decides that her tee shirt is "inappropriate" and boots her out.

What did her tee shirt say, you might ask? Simply this:

Now, the Supreme Court has held that tee shirt slogans represent a form of free speech entitled to the protections of the Constitution:
In Tinker v. Des Moines, the Court recognized the right of public school students to wear black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War. [...] Other examples of protected symbolic speech include works of art, T-shirt slogans, political buttons, music lyrics and theatrical performances.
You know what that means, you DHS employees and contractors? It means that, even if she wore a tee that said "Dip me in honey and throw me to the lesbians," y'all are shit outa luck trying to boot her off federal property. Like any other citizen, she has the Constitutional right to free speech.

Damn, what's happened to this country, land of the free and home of the brave?

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Animal Stories: Important Warning

Image courtesy of The Chai Story

La Casa de Los Gatos has no idea if this story is true, but — as all of us who might have four-legged friends know — better safe than sorry.

If you have a dog, and if you purchased this dog toy — pimple ball with bell. (Item #20227-001, UPC Code 0 4566320227 9) — please, for the love of dog, get that toy away from the dog at once and dispose of it responsibly.

This woman's dog was horribly injured by the toy, she says. Well, you know, on the internet, nobody knows if you're a — er, dog. We checked with Snopes, but they're still researching the story. The Consumerist has issued an alert, and the story is starting to appear in the news. No guarantee of its veracity, but there might be some fire behind the smoke.

In any event, as we said, better safe than sorry. The poor animal was, apparently, horribly injured. We who are guardians for our four-legged friends do everything in our power to make them happy, safe, and comfortable in return for their love, loyalty, and companionship. So if you have this toy, or if you know anyone else who has dogs and loves them, you might want to spread the word.

If your dog has been injured by this toy, you might want to contact Chai's owner and share your story, or you might want to contact the company itself: Best to all you dog people out there, and to your doggies also, long may they remain safe and uninjured. Many thanks to dear friend KD for sending me the tip.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Politics and Entertainment

Jed Report does it again:

And Hillary apparently does not care for the way Oldy McMoldy's supporters refer to her. (Honestly — first they call her a bitch, then they invite her over for drinks? Get real.) Besides, McCain is the guy who joked about Hillary's then-teenaged daughter, "Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno." Lemme tellya you wizened, wrinkly, pasty-faced little prick, if you insulted my kid like that you'd be lucky to still have one of your two heads.

In the event, the RNC is sponsoring a party for Hillary supporters tonight, and they're picking up the tab. Go run it up for them, if you want. From The Nation:

RNC "Happy Hour For Hillary"

8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. MDT
Paramount Cafe
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And, by the bye — once again, Jon Stewart and the topnotch team at The Daily Show nail it, in welcoming the Republicans to their convention in Minnesota:

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Politics: Daily Show

This is why Jon Stewart still totally rocks our world:

While the worthless talking heads of the media continue to writhe and spasm and orgasm live about everything being bad for Obama, while they continue to ignore John McCain's obvious mental impairment, ignorance, and bad temper, while they continue to print negative news about Obama (75 per cent of Obama's coverage is negative), what's really happening to this country continues to be buried under sound bites and flimflammery bullshit.

Yes, they're hurting America. If you're watching or reading any of these pathetic shills, remember that they are no longer the Fourth Estate that the Founding Fathers mandated in the Constitution. They have long since given up the role of giving the citizens information. Now, they serve as the myrmidons of the mighty — pages filled with ads exhorting the American "consumer," no longer a citizen but a passive vehicle for their bottom-line profits, to consume. Pages filled with the windbaggery of the David Brookses and David Broders, V.D. (how apt!) Hansons and Peggy Noonans.

More of us should take responsibility for this great democracy. One thing you can do: write to these fine representatives of the defunct Fourth Estate and let them know what you think about their shilling swill instead of news. From a DailyKos diary comes this information: Chris Matthews
MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, CNN All Politics CNN Viewer Comments
CNN Viewer Comment Line 404-827-1500 Nightly News
Chuck Todd- Political Director at NBC
Steve Capus, President NBC NEWS - Margaret Carlson NPR "All things Considered"
Let them know what you think of their coverage. This democracy is only as strong as each of its citizens. If you don't want your rights and your money and your freedom and your life taken away by the minions of the rich and greedy who have been bleeding the country dry for the past eight years, now's the time to make your voice heard. It may not do any good, but, as Jon said, at least you can sleep at night, knowing that you did something.

And don't forget your local fishwrap, either. Your local paper or TV station may be breathlessly echoing Ron Fournier (AP's acting Washington bureau chief), who interviewed for a job in McCain's campaign and basically serves as McCain's mole embedded in the press. He never has a single positive thing to say about Democrats, but can't find enough praise for Oldy McMoldy. Is it in the interests of unbiased journalism that AP allows him to cover the election? Shouldn't he be forced to remove himself, and work some other beat instead? One where he won't get or lose a future job based on how much toadying he does?

Given that AP's services are used by almost all the media, Fournier's lickspittling is doubly insidious. Between Nedra Pickler and Ron Fournier, AP is proving itself utterly objectionable, rather than objective as a news organization ought to be.

Incidentally, if you use Google or Yahoo to catch up with the news, you can specify that you don't want any AP feeds. GrannyDoc over at DailyKos will tell you how. AP will only respond if we put the hurt on them. Otherwise, they will continue to shovel down our throats whatever they think we'll swallow.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Pets 10 Commandments

This came in my inbox this morning and I rather liked it and thought it fitting for a blog also devoted to cats.


1. My life is likely to last 4-8 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments, but I have only You.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand Your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt You, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

~Take a moment today to be thankful for your pets. Enjoy and take good care Of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without these critters~

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Politics: So Much For

Our "shared Judaeo-Christian values." The WaPoo is reporting that the FBI investigation of Army Engineer David Tenenbaum was racially (religiously?) motivated.

Photo courtesy of Patricia Beck, Detroit Free Press

In other words, Tenenbaum was targeted because he is a practising Jew. Of course, it took the Pentagon 11 long years to exonerate the man. Eleven years of living under suspicion with the FBI tailing you, the press reporting it, and the nutbags crawling out of the woodwork to threaten your, and your family's, lives.

Does the right hand know in whose pants the left hand is rummaging? Half our congresscritters are owned body and soul by the rabid Likudnik hawks of AIPAC; yet our military and our intelligence agencies, while failing to unearth the recipients of AIPAC largesse, are running around harrassing ye regular olde citizenry.

Joe LIEberwhore is pole-dancing to AIPAC's tune, putting Israeli hawks' interests before those of his constituents' and being invited to speak at the Republican convention. Mr. Tenenbaum, a man with little power or influence and no lobbyist money connections, is followed, threatened, searched, harassed, and spied upon. The effrontery of the officials conducting the surveillance of Mr. Tenenbaum is shocking:
The examiner also threatened him, Tenenbaum said. " 'I want you to confess,' he was yelling at me," he recalled. "I've done other Jews before and gotten them to confess, and I'll get you, too."
What the fuck is this, the Third Reich reborn? Where do these people get off with comments like this?

Somebody needs a few whups upside the head with La Casa de Los Gatos' trademarked Golden Bat o'Clue. So hawkish AIPAC Jews with money get their ass kissed by all and sundry and religious practising ordinary Jews with no money or power get the third degree? Muslims who happen to be members of the Saudi Royal Family get their money laundered by the current Idiot-in-Chief's uncle, but Muslims who happen to be powerless ordinary guys get dragged into the White House interrogation chamber for roughing up and questioning because they're using an iPod?

Mr. Tenenbaum better get a nice long letter of apology from the fucking schmucks who have made his life a hell. And we the people need to crack down on these various "authorities" who are making all our lives hell, shooting our dogs and our wives, tasing our children and our friends, and sending our neigbours and our relatives to die in pointless foreign wars.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008


Apologies for the late Caturday post — we were too busy researching McCaincient and the Keating5 scandal.

More cats! Although we still haven't got around to putting Cyrano of 922Cats in his very own Caturday guest post, we still have some leftover Buddy to share with you. Not LOLcatted. Enjoy!

Buddy wiv his best girl, Cloud

Buddy gets a kiss from his best girl, Cloud

Cloud gives BF Buddy a baff

And finally: Cloud really gives Buddy a baff

Buddy sez "Halp!"

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2008 Elections: John McCain's Terrible

horrible, really really bad, like, stinking week. Truly, it stunketh. And let La Casa de Los Gatos assure you, we here thoroughly enjoyed it. Or, in LOLcat:

This may be the game-changer that puts Oldy McMoldy right out of the running.

What brought this on, you ask? Why, Oldy McMoldy himself, with his patented Gaffe-a-Minit conversational brilliance! Alas, how his handlers must rue the day this idiot learned to talk. First it was the comment about how you had to earn $5 million a year to be considered "rich." How out of touch is that? Given how all our jobs are flowing overseas faster than lava from a volcano, most of us would consider ourselves very very lucky indeed to make anything over $50,000 a year. Of course, Johnny Mac himself has a rich, rich, rich sugar-mommy with $100 million to her name. This is how you live when you have $100 million to play with.

Then it was "Open mouth, change feet" with that comment to Politico that he didn't know how many homes he owns. Duuuude! The housing market has crashed big-time, we're in the middle of a recession, and you don't know how many houses you and sugar-mommy own? You think working-class and middle-class Americans who are watching their friends and neighbours lose their jobs to other countries and their homes to foreclosure are going to like hearing that?

Oh, wait, your economic adviser Phil Gramm and you think that we're all imagining this recession, and our economic woes are all in our heads, don't you? Guess you can believe that when you own seven houses and pay a quarter of a million dollars a year in salaries for the help! And look at these houses!
One of the many McCain houses, with a theater room and a seven car garage with a four bedroom guest apartment, for total living area of roughly 14,000 square feet with 13 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, is back on the market this month, with an asking price of $12 million.
Tip o' the topper to the lovely laydees at Women for John McCain.

And then the candidate tried fitting both feet in his mouth, just to see if he could:
McCain’s campaign responded by raising Obama’s ties to Tony Rezko, a former Obama fundraiser who was convicted this year on corruption charges unrelated to the senator. Obama and his wife bought their $1.65 million home in 2005 after getting advice from Rezko.
Senator, a word of advice: Don't make these types of accusations. Because Senator Obama may have bought his house for less than the seller's original price, but the seller has officially confirmed that the Senator's price was the highest offer he received. The money came from Senator Obama's royalty earnings (a mere $4 million, which doesn't qualify him as "rich" in your book) from the sale of two of his books. And Tony Rezko was tried in a court of law which failed to find any link or even a hint of wrongdoing by Senator Obama in the purchase of his home.

Whereas you, Senator McCain, committed actual crimes in the Keating Savings & Loan Scandal, as did your wife. Your wife also stole prescription drugs from a charity that she set up and fraudulently filled prescriptions in the names of her staff for her drug addiction. Her wealth and social position ensured that she didn't even get a slap on the wrist for her crimes, just as they ensured that you escaped the consequences of shilling for Keating who stole the life savings of so many elderly people. Thanks to you, Senator McCain, the taxpayers had to cough up $3.4 BILLION dollars to cover the losses brought about by your friend Keating. Meanwhile, your wife bought a property from Keating for chump change and sold it later for $15 million. Nice work. If you can get it.

What exactly did Senator Obama do? Nothing illegal, criminal, immoral, or unethical. The total extent of his wrongdoing was having a friendship with a guy who gave him some real estate advice and was later found to have committed fraud and money-laundering. If having friends who do bad stuff were a crime, the entire Bush clan would have been in jail for years, based on their grandfather's illegal and treasonous dealings with the Nazis; G.H.W.'s funding of drug runners and the Iran-Contra affair; Uncle Jonathan's involvement in money-laundering for the Saudis (including the Saudi princess who partially funded the 9/11 terrorists); Neil Bush's involvement in the Savings and Loan scandal which his daddy papered over by charging the taxpayers $126 billion to cover up the crimes of his son; and the like. We don't even need to discuss the flouting of international law, human rights, war crimes, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the blatant crapping all over the U.S. Constitution and its guarantees of free speech, civil rights, and open government.

And of course, both you and CindyLou would be in Club Fed. Between the drug-stealing and the bookkeeping for Keating (how convenient that she could never find the receipts and checks related to the Keating debacle), your wife has a nice little rap sheet. Or would, if she weren't filthy rich.

Of course he hasn't learned his lesson. The Vicki Iseman business was more notable for the lobbyists he surrounds himself with and their disproportionate and improper influence on him than for any hint of romance with yet another anorexic bottle blonde.

Here's Johnny, once again proving that he has no idea what regular people's lives are like these days. Watch him offer people $50 an hour to pick lettuce:

Commenter hnsez sez:
McCain must wipe his nose with $50 bills. Most of the rest of us would work our asses off for that much money! Hell that's more than a tank of gas! I'm starting to think McMoneyBags is even more out of touch with the general public and the economy than George H.W. Bush was! SIGN ME UP!
Then, of course, there's the always delightful Eugene Robinson's take on McCain that sums up much of the unease the denizens of La Casa de Los Gatos experience with this guy. We liked him better when we didn't know him as well.

In further news that might be making McPain unhappy, the Whores Street Journal is reporting that things are not looking good for McCaincient over in Nevada. We hadn't anticipated the candidacy of Bob Barr, who is likely to beat McCaincient like the old man's hired help beats the rugs.

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Politics: Obama Inspires

Dave Stewart to offer up this prayer:

Oh, my. Oh, man. I think La Casa de Los Gatos is over the bout of the (pain-induced) grouchies, now. Why, I haven't wanted to strangle a single person since I saw this.

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America's War Economy

Paul Ferrell over at the Market Watch website has written one of those must read, no more than that, required reading articles about America's outrageous war economy. Read it and weep. This is what we have become.

Paul Ferrell comes at it from the perspective of finance but he doesn't shirk the morality of it and at the end asks:

"What will it take to wake up America, get citizens, investors, anybody mad at "America's Outrageous War Economy?" "

"Why don't you rebel? Will the outrage come too late ... after this massive war bubble explodes in our faces?"

And it will explode. It is the ultimate bubble.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Crime: Oh M'Gawd

Okay, we have determined by unanimous fiat that everyone involved in this is so stupid as to defy possibility. How do these people manage to breathe? Do they really have functional autonomic nervous systems? We want proof.

The authorities in Hidalgo County, Texas, are pondering the difficult question of how to bring a 1,000-lb bedridden woman to court, county jail, and trial for her role in killing her nephew. The child's mother has been arrested (presumably she weighs much less than Aunt Mayra) for her role in the crime.

First off, why on earth would anybody leave a child with a bedridden woman who has multiple medical conditions and weighs nearly 1,000 pounds? The kid was two years old, and anybody who's been around kids knows that that's not a good age to be dropping the sprog off with someone else, because not only are they ambulatory, they're curious as all hell, plus they're passing through the defiant stage where they've finally learned the word "No!" and are determined to use it.

And leaving the kid with someone who can barely get around — not a recipe for success. Mother awarded Thirty Points of Sheer Stupid for this one.

Next, why do we put people in jail before we try them for crimes? So they can't run off and escape consequences. Now, seriously, Mister Sherriff of Hidalgo County — a woman who can't fit through the doors of her own home and is barely able to walk is not, like, a huge flight risk, if you get our drift. Surely Hidalgo County can spend its time and money in better ways. It's not like this woman can jump in a car or on a bicycle and speed off someplace. She has multiple debilitating medical issues. If nothing else, you can always track her down by the trail of drug prescriptions and doctor visits she'll require.

So there's no need to put her in jail. She is already in jail, the prison of her own failing body. Yes, she committed a crime, and like everyone else (except our rich and powerful leaders), she should pay for her crime, but you can put her under house arrest. Because to attempt to move her into the county jail would be an exercise in futility and a most cruel and unusual punishment in that she would probably die just from being moved. Plus, the taxpayer will be saddled with the unnecessary cost of breaking her house down in order to get her out of it, machinery to move her (a regular ambulance couldn't handle someone her size), she'll probably need a new cell to accommodate her, and the taxpayer will then be stuck with the cost of her health care until her trial is concluded. So leave the malign creature where she is. It's just as good as jail. Sherriff awarded Forty Points of Sheer Stupid to be shared with the courts and anyone else wanting this woman jailed.

Finally, as to the criminal herself: Woman, what on earth possessed you to kill that child? You're his aunt, goddamn you, you share some of his genes. Your first duty should have been to protect him. OK, the kid was probably being a pain as kids at that age often are. Why did you accept custody of him, knowing that you're bedridden? Stupid, stupid creature. Now your sister? cousin? relative and the boy's father have lost their child, and your sister (or whatever) is sitting in the county jail waiting to be tried for her part in this crime. Your family is mourning the loss of this child, and they'll lose his mother (for some time at least) and his aunt, thanks to you. You may have killed yourself in killing this kid, because some people are going to want you in jail (because stupid, unlike common sense, is endemic).

And, finally, how does someone get to weigh so much? We can understand being "overweight," everbody we know has a panza and nice squeezable quantities of flesh, except for the druggies, exercise addicts, and born scrawnies, but sheesh! You really have to work at it to be this huge, and look what it's done to your health. This one's probably not your fault, so you get Sixty Points of Sheer Stupid for all the other stuff, but we're giving you a pass on the weight thing. It's gotta be something medical.

Why Sixty Points? She claimed the kid died because she rolled over on him. That, plus, why the hell would a non-ambulatory person agree to look after a very active little sprog? Lying to the family, lying to the police, taking responsibility for the kid, killing the kid, all adds up to Sheer Stupid in Spades. The only plus we see here is, at least her genes are not going into the pool.

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Entertainment: Stupid People

The thing about pain is, it makes you want to pick on others. OK, let's rephrase that. It makes me want to pick on others. Which is why all our good friends know to either make us get some really strong pain meds or give us a wide berth when we're in pain.

But hey, don't blame us, man. The world is full of truly stupid people who daily beg and beg us to pick on them mercilessly.

Here, for example, we offer you today's (deserving, we might add) victim.

Heidi Dalibor

This young woman decided she was not going to return two library books. In her own words:
“I said, what could they possibly do? They can’t arrest me for this… I was wrong,” Dalibor said.
Mind you, the library extended her every courtesy, sending her repeated notices, calling her on the telephone, and writing her several letters. Nevertheless, Miss Genius Mugshot here decided she could blow off the library (and its many patrons, and the taxpayers who fund it and keep it going) and didn't bother to respond.

So they turned her case over to the cops. But, has she learned her lesson? Hell, no. That would require something by way of a brain, which this chiquita simply does not possess. She got slapped with a $170 fine, and she thinks this means the books have been paid for. No, honey. That fine just paid the court's expenses, and possibly the PD's for having to deal with your stupidity. The library is still out two books and the cost of the time that was required to follow up with you and the police on the matter.

This woman's selfishness is simply unbelievable, but at least it's dwarfed by her sheer stupidity. People, if ever you want a book for your very own, to keep for all time? Go to your local bookstore, or get on Amazon, or Bores and Ignoble, and pay list price, you know, somewhere between $7 and $25 for both. Or, better yet, borrow a copy from your friends (and return it promptly, or you'll soon be out a couple friends) if you simply must read it right away, and then pick up a second-hand copy for a couple of bucks. There is no earthly need to pay $170 for a pair of novels.

Do not, not, not, earn yourself a criminal record while simultaneously irritating the holy living shit out of your fellow library patrons by simply stealing the fucking book, you know? Did your parents raise you to be a thief? No? You did it all by yourself? Fer cryin' out loud, people pay taxes so that the library can stock all the books the unmonied classes might want to read (we can't all be John McCain and own seven houses and spend $500 on a pair of shoes, after all). So out of basic common human decency, return the goddamn books when you're done reading them. So other people can read them too. That's why they're in the library. Idiota.

Wonder if chiquita realizes that her little brush with the law is going to show in her records for at least a few years?

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Regular visitors — and thank you all for your kind thoughts and good wishes — may have noticed, being uncommonly perspicacious, that blogging has been light in these parts.

The inhabitants of La Casa de Los Gatos experienced a sudden crisis when the (relatively strong) OTC painkillers we're on for various episodes of gimpitude quit working, while a bout of carpal tunnel syndrome and a "tennis" elbow tendonitis simultaneously decided to play havoc with the usual bodily decrepitude. Goddammit. It's not easy being a gimp. But pain can always be fixed, and indeed, the drugs are good, if incredibly powerful. Spending a couple of days as a puddle of mush will fix the most recalcitrant pain. And our woes are small indeed compared to others'.

We refer to our dear companion-in-arms, Ms. Manitoba, who has not stepped up to the blogging plate due to a death in the family. Having lost multiple family members over the past five or so years, she — while not totally incapacitated by or unexpecting of this latest — is nevertheless devastated and occupied with the wherewithal of death.

This has been a bad year all around, methinks. In the event, back to blogging, at least for me, and of Ms. Manitoba, more later, when she returns.

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Monday, August 18, 2008


Brief hiatus caused by tendonitis and unacceptable pain levels not responding to medication.

To doctor: Doctor, it hurts when I do this!

Doctor: Then don't do this.

Very helpful. More, and better, drugs are needed.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

World: South Ossetia In Graphics

Found these on a Russian site (who knows? We don't read Cyrillic):

The short version of what happened in South Ossetia/Georgia.

Remember when Emperor Jor Jee told us this?

The Biblical version.

Today Emperor Jor Jee accused the Russians of "bullying" Georgia. Is he fucking shitting us? How, like, irony-deficient do you have to be to even open your festering gob on this issue? HULLO? Earth to Chimpius Tardibus!

Iraq was severely damaged by the first Gulf War, the long war with Iran, and the decade-long embargo finally lifted in 2003 (by Resolution 1483 in the UN). Iraq had nothing at all to do with the events of 9/11. In fact, there was so little evidence linking Iraq to any possible action against the US that the Dick who has his hand up Li'l Boots Teh Glove Puppet's arse had to order a forged letter to create the excuse to take us to war. Iraq, after years of war and embargo, had hardly any army worth mentioning. Iraq was much too far away to make invasion or attack easy.

Georgia, on the other hand, shares a border with Russia. Georgia's nascent military was being armed, outfitted, and trained by U.S. military and Israeli advisors. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has recently lost almost half his countrymen's support he originally enjoyed when he took power. Georgia's Minister of Defense is an Israeli citizen.

South Ossetia has been an autonomous region (as has Abkhazia) since the days of Imperial Russia. It joined Georgia during the Russian Revolution because it (unlike North Ossetia) supported the Mensheviks. However, it is not, and has never been, part of Georgia. Although intermarriage is common, South Ossetians are a distinct community, ethnically, politically, and religiously, with strong affinity with their Russian neighbour. South Ossetians hold Russian passports, although they speak their own language (Ossetic, an Indo-Aryan language related to Iranian).

So, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, Russia responded to defend its citizens (and, undoubtedly, to kick Saakashvili's ass around the field as a message to other nations in its "sphere of influence" that they'd better not mess with The Bear).

The Israeli military advisors who were training the Georgian army were amazed at Saakashvili's decision to tangle with South Ossetia. He has made a disastrous mess of things, and is responsible for the deaths of all the South Ossetians and Georgians in this conflict. He really should be taken in chains to the Hague and charged with war crimes. Unfortunately, stupidity is not a crime, or that could be added to the count as well. Ha'aretz is quite blunt in its assessment of the situation:
Saakashvili's statements are part of his government's attempt to bring other countries into its war against Russia. During the briefing, Saakashvili noted that he is in constant contact with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He promised that U.S. warships would be docking in Georgian ports within a few days to make sure they remain open.
Apparently, the Pentagon has different ideas.
"We do not need nor do we intend to take over any air or seaports in order to deliver humanitarian assistance to those caught in this conflict," said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell on Wednesday.
If it wasn't obvious before, it clearly is now. Saakashvili is doing his best to drag other countries, beginning with the US, into his war. Someone needs to take him out to the barn and administer six or ten of the best with the Golden Bat o'Clue(tm). His situpon should be rendered unsittable-upon for a few weeks. How dare he presume to get not just his own countrymen but total strangers killed for the sake of his ego? Who does he think he is, George Bush?

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

World: South Ossetia

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey thinks the Deciderer really ought to zip his festering gob on this one:
President Bush,

Why don’t you shut up? Suppose Russia for instance declares that Georgia has weapons of mass destruction? And that Russia knows where these WMD are, namely in Tblisi and Poti and north, south, east and west of there? And that it must be true because there is “magnificent foreign intelligence” such as satellite photos of milk powder factories and baby cereals producing chemical weapons and which are currently being “driven around the country in vehicles”? Suppose Russia declares for instance that “Saakashvili stiffed the world” and it is “time for regime change”?
Yaknow, they could do that. They could. Hell, we did.

The time has come to acknowledge that grievous human rights violations occurred in South Ossetia, and that Russia and the U.S. have been planning this little elbowing contest for some time. Saakashvili allowed his country to be used as the catspaw to provoke the conflict.

Let us be clear that nobody wants war except for a small group of crazy people who expect to profit from it one way or the other. Among them, Cheney (Halliburton); other war profiteers, like KBR and Blackhawk; the neocon lunatics who are well paid to trumpet pro-war propaganda (Bill Kristol, Mickey Kaus, Fred Kagan, and their ilk); the arms merchants who will enjoy short but wealthy lives if the next stage of war is set in motion; and, of course, fundamentalist godbag loonies of every stripe who believe/hope/pray that their Deity will take them off to someplace where they will not have to gasp their lives out as a result of radiation poisoning or extreme damage inflicted by guns, bombs, and other such weapons in our arsenal.

Perish the thought. If a Deity existed, it would not have permitted the bombing of hospitals and churches in Tskhinvali. CJR describes Russian citizen-journalists' eyewitness reports from the frontlines.

One last thing: Those why clamour to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war are usually those who have never actually served or seen war. Watching people blown up or hacked apart is a most unlovely, traumatising, terrifying sight. The stink of death is no misnomer.

John McCain was a fighter pilot. He unleashed death and destruction from miles above with no knowledge of his targets. Ask any vet who has actually served in the military, who has actually participated in hand-to-hand combat or had to encounter injured and dying, whether civilian or military.

Now Dick "Five Deferments, I had other priorities" Cheney and John McCain are both making noises about a military response to the events which occurred in South Ossetia and Georgia. Perhaps a USAF plane could drop the two of them on the front lines for some first-hand experience of armed conflict? It would save those soldiers who don't want to be there, while simultaneously getting rid of two of the loudest pro-war voices.

Meanwhile, we have to ask, together with commenter SFAW, over at Matt Yglesias' blog:
Something’s been tickling the back of my mind for awhile, maybe someone can help me with it …

The Georgia/Russia conflict seems to have been building for awhile. Russia sticking its thumb in Georgia’s eye in a non-violent-but-highly-provocative-way, Georgia finally attempting to exert its manhood, but whoops! Russia wanted that to happen and so was massing troops on the border. But what’s a little puzzling is that no one in the Administration - say, someone thought of by Bush/Cheney as an expert regarding Russian/Soviet affairs and their whole world outlook, etc. - raised a red flag awhile ago. Something like “This conflict is going to happen in the next 3-6 months; here’s what we should do to prevent Russia from annexing the Sudetenland (so to speak)” and so forth.
Yeah. What's with that? As far as we can tell, Bootsie Ferragamo is an expert on Russia, the former USSR, Eastern Europe, blah, blah, blah-beddy-blah. How comes it that this eminent scholar did not notice or predict that things were going to blow up in a big ugly stinky mess of poo?

Or did she just think to herself, "Hell, let Jor Jee twist in the wind for this one"?

The astute reader might note that we have not included the Powers That Be in Russia among those who want war. We beg to be excused on the grounds that, unlike the Emperor Jor Jee, we are unable to look into the eyes of Putin or Medvedev, for that matter, and determine the quality of their souls, if any.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Food: Recipe For Lizzy

Don't know if you like okra, but it's a wonderful source of nutritional goodness. High in Vitamins A, various Bs, C, E, K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and with selenium, zinc, copper, and iron, but no sodium. Also low in fat. And a wonderful summer treat.

Most folks who don't like okra say it's slimy. Cooking technique makes all the difference. To make non-slimy okra, use this recipe.

Okra with tomatoes

1 lb. okra
2-3 ripe tomatoes
1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. kalonji
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. red chilli powder, or to taste
salt to taste
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil

Wash okra and spread on a towel, or several paper towels, and let dry thoroughly before cooking (should probably do this 1-2 hours before). When okra is dry, use a dry knife and a dry cutting board to remove the tails and tips of the okra. Slit lengthwise in quarters from about 1/2 inch below the top to the tail. This will cause the okra to open like a flower when cooking.

In a dry container, toss the okra with salt, turmeric, and chilli powder to taste.

Chop the tomatoes roughly and set aside.

Heat oil (make sure you use a wok or skillet with a lid!) until smoking, then add spice seeds and cover for about 2 minutes. The seeds will pop. Carefully lift the cover so that it faces away from you (to protect yourself from overenthusiastic flying spice seeds). Toss in the okra, stir to mix the spice seeds, turn the heat down to low and stir occasionally to keep the okra from burning. When the okra turns bright green, add tomatoes. Stir and cover for about two minutes, then remove the lid and stir and let cook till okra and tomatoes are soft and collapsed, about 15 minutes. The tomatoes should form a very tiny quantity of sauce, but the okra will not be slimy.

If you don't like okra, I'll just have to post you something else. Black mustard seed and kalonji are both available from any Indian grocery store or online at Dean and DeLuca or Penzey's spices.

Cook's notes: Frying spices can be wonderfully aromatic but also irritating to the nose, so have the fan on.

Once you put the spices in, turn the heat down to medium while they fry.

Use Indian red chilli powder, not the Western style chilli powder, which often contains cumin and other spices.

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Religion: Why Godbags Are Dangerous

Well, it's probably good riddance to bad rubbish - Father Philip Magaldi, the HIV-positive and sexually abusive priest, is dead.

We discussed this eminent worthy before. Yeah, yeah, yeah, don't speak ill of the dead and all that. But you know what? That doesn't apply to people who sexually (or otherwise) abuse children.

Not only was the bastard victimizing the children in his care, he was doing it knowing quite well that it might be a death sentence for some or all of them. So if you had any contact with this pig, you ought to know that he's gone. It's a pity at times like these that, being an atheist, we can't feel as if he's gone to his just reward. He's just dead, unpunished but dead as all of us eventually will be.

Pertinent snip from the article:
[Father Magaldi served at] St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills. [Parishioners] learned – through a letter read by current clergy [that] their former priest had been HIV positive since 2003.

Magaldi served at St. Johns from 1993 to 1999. He was dismissed amid the sexual abuse allegations.
If you, or anyone you know, was victimized by this evil man, hie thee to an AIDS-testing facility right quick. The church is, meanwhile, praying for "the repose of his soul." Perhaps they'll be praying for a smaller payout for his erstwhile victims if enough of them file a suit.

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Politics and Entertainment

OK, we're well aware it isn't REALLY St. Stupid's day today, but sometimes ...

Sometimes teh Stupid is so apparent, you just gotz ta celebrate it disirregardless, yaknow?

Oy, gevalt, oy vey is mir!

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