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

Saturday, January 31, 2009


From the ICHC LOLCattery

Yes sirree, it's that time of week again. Caturday!

Frankly, I'm more than a little zonked on nice, strong painkilling drugs, so bear with this incoherent post, if you will.

Today's treats include a cute little Fluffster named Maru, after one of my favorite bloggers:

I'm sure I'm late to the Maru Admiration Club, but hey. I like.

It's been a tough week. Next week brings? Who knows? There's a little possibility of some much-needed rain. Dare we put in the tomatoes? The cats were all winterized, with a thick secondary and primary coat grown out when we got hit by unseasonably warm weather. They spend a good portion of their time attempting to evade grooming, spreading vast quantities of hair on the bedclothes, yarking up hairballs, and making little slitty eyes of hate at us when it's too warm for them to move. Lousy little buggers. You'd think they'd have SOME gratitude for what we do, but NOOOO. Not them. Fortunately, the attempts to put each others' eyes out have diminished. Somewhat.

Unfortunately, they appear to have rediscovered a small cache of toys under the bed, as a result of strange workers entering the house to fix the fireplace wall, which leaked during the whole two days of rain we've had this winter. The little sods, who tread on us as freely as if we were doormats marked "Property of Los Gatos de La Casa de Los Gatos," dash under the nearest piece of furniture the minute they hear a stranger at the door.

Imagine, if you will, 23 lb. of Zingiber, who is tall as well as wide, and fat in the extreme, trying to squeeze himself under approximately 4 inches of bedspace. The frantic kicking of his podgy little legs is well worth the cost of catfood in terms of amusement. Especially since touching either leg or tail results in frantic shrieks.

One of my favourite LOLs over at ICHC

I know. Y'all had no idea I was so cruel. But hey, apart from his fevered imagination, no one really actually gets hurt, or anything. Besides, he's put holes in every inch of my body this month. What about my needs, eh? I did take pictures of them — less than flattering pictures, to be sure, but pictures nonetheless. In the event, I thought I'd upload them today, but that is not to be. It's all I can do to keep my eyelids separated and my fingers working.

Incidentally, I should post this over at CultureVultures, but I'm a lazy bugger, so here goes: If you have Netflix (and even if you don't), you really ought to pick up the BBC series, Wire in the Blood. Excellent. Really. Plus, there's a fat ginger cat in it.

Have a wonderful weekend, all, and don't forget to give your beasties all the love they need and want!

Extra-special bonus completely and totally unrelated to Caturday, but I just love this gal and she has a good voice:

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Concept by Skippy and Jon Swift, graphics by Skippy

That's right, folks, don't touch that dial. It's Blogroll Amnesty Day, a day of celebration of the diverse voices in the blogosphere! Thanks be to Skippy B. Roo and Jon Swift, two of the leading lights of Blogtopia (y,Sctp!), we celebrate this day in memory of the Thinning of the Blogherd by those who would like to believe they are herders. Details here. Many thanks also to BlueGal, Queen of Activism and of Blogtopia.

Rules? Simple. Find five interesting, new, or whatever blogs that have less traffic than you do, and link to them!
  • She doesn't post very often, but each post is a delicious mouthful. Check out Virginia at I Love Karl Rove. Teh icky pink background is just another plus. Oh, and the hearts.

  • Lebanese Political Journal offers a glimpse at life in the Arab world, well, the relatively progressive multi-culti enclave of Lebanon. I like her blog and give it Two Severed Thumbs and Four Severed Digits Up. Check it out.

  • Kevin Keith blogs on some heavy topics over at Sufficient Scruples. I don't remember how I found his blog and of late I haven't visited as much as I wish I had, but he always leaves me with something to think about.

  • El Cabrero blogs over at Goat Rope about economic and social justice, both in West Virginia and the rest of the world. Some interesting thoughts about capitalism!

  • J.A. Baker describes hirself as "a random schmuck mouthing off about the state of the world," always seems to find the issues that madden me most and blogs them well and faithfully at JABbering Stooge.
I'd love to include a dozen more of my fine denizens of Blogtopia (y,Sctp!), but my medications are calling in threatening voices. Nevertheless, thanks to you all, and the weekly B.A.D. Stroll throught teh Blogroll will resume this week.

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Economy: Well, That Didn't Take Long

Today's NYT is reporting* that Wall Street brokers are fighting to retain their $18 billion worth of bonuses and, oh yes, they hate President Obama. Srsly.
“My bonus is ‘shameful’ — but I worked hard to get it,” said John Konstantinidis, a wholesale insurance broker, lunching Friday at Harry’s at Hanover Square.

[...] however [...] President Obama is substantially less popular on Wall Street this week than he was last week.
No! Really? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked. He must be doing something right.

As one investment banker interviewed for the article said,
“I think there’s a disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street.”
No shit, Sherlock. And how did you come to this amazing conclusion exactly? Was it by checking the increasing numbers showing up at soup kitchens? Or did you read about the number of Americans on food stamps increasing? Or the job statistics, which are showing rising unemployment rates coupled with increasing layoffs?

Somehow I suspect these shitheads who yawp about how they're owed their bonuses haven't yet realized that if that money came from taxpayers, then they'd better start suing their employers to get them to disgorge their profits, because they ain't fucking getting it out of us, I can tell you that.

You hear me, motherfuckers? There's only so much blood you can squeeze out of a stone, assholes. You're responsible for creating these toxic securities, these financial instruments that are basically a piece of shit wrapped in gilt paper. You thought if you sold enough of these your employers would reward you and life would be fine? Well, go ask your employers, your corporate CEOs, to fish into their deep pockets to reimburse you, because the rest of us are too busy scraping off our homes and bodies the poisonous mold that you threw at us all.

The utter gall of these people is unimaginable. This reminds me of an old friend's definition of chutzpah: When a man comes to your house, shits on your doorstep, then rings your doorbell and asks you for water to wash his ass.

If I had a pair of uber-longtoed cowboy boots, I'd be sticking the tips up each and every one of your fat asses, you greasy pate-fed champagne-swilling profiteers. Each and every one of you needs to be "employed" by the taxpayers at the noble and necessary task of breaking big rocks into little rocks. Or, better yet, repairing our antiquated sewage systems. Goodness knows you ought to feel right at home doing that. Sure, it might temporarily ruin the $100.00 manicure jobs y'all are used to getting. But a few honest calluses from hard labour never killed anyone.

OTOH, maybe we can send you to Iraq and Afghanistan to take the place of all those poor and working-class kids who've been getting their individual pubes shot off by the victims of our "war on Terra." Surely we can rustle up, I dunno, 65,000 of you? The infuriated Iraqi and Afghani insurgents will be doing the rest of us a great favour if they can fertilize their dry and hungry fields with a few of you. Y'all might just have an opportunity to make the deserts bloom. What a legacy!

In the meantime, assholes, try to find a better line of work. The economy don't look like it can support too many of you for too much longer.

* This link takes you to the New York Times' article. Registration is required, but it's free. Make what you will of that.

Bonus anecdote: While getting the old fangs sharpened and cleaned, I engaged in what is commonly known as "small talk" with teh toof lady. It's not something I have a whole lot of experience with, especially since you can't talk too much with all that metal in the gob. Try boiling down how you feel about the financial situation into a grunted phrase of six words or less. Get my drift?

In any event, she told me a supposedly heartbreaking story about some rich bitch she knows from her church, whose husband is a stockbroker. Apparently, the couple owned a hugely expensive house in a hugely expensive gated community in our very expensive tiny slice of Terra. Which is now being foreclosed on anaconda HubbyPoo lost his lucrative job and can't find another one, and WifeyPoo has never worked a day in her well-manicured life.

Teh Toof Lady was full of sympathy for this unfortunate couple (hah) for whom she claims the whole fucking church is praying. Call me a blackguard, but I couldn't rouse a drop of the required sympathy. All I could think of was, "Hey, the guy is fucking gambling with other people's money for a living, shouldn't he know enough about money to put away a nice comfortable wad? Didn't he see this recession coming?" Whatever. I'm sure the Richie Riches will have parental units to glom on. They'll survive, with a little help from their friends. The rest of us — get used to a diet of rice and beans, kiddies, that's a mighty long tunnel and the light at the end of it is but a faint beam from where I'm standing.

Bonus bonus: A Senator to keep an eye on: Claire McCaskill. How's this for telling it like it is?
Sen. Claire McCaskill — steaming mad and not going to take it anymore — on Friday called Wall Street executives “idiots” and proposed limits on some of their salaries.

Her proposal would force companies taking federal bailout money to limit compensation for any employee to what the president of the United States currently earns: $400,000 a year.

“Is that so unreasonable?” the Democrat from Missouri asked. “It’s eight times the median household income in the United States of America. … I don’t think that sounds like a bad deal.”


The compensation cap would cover salary, bonuses and stock options.
No foolin', ma'am. Pardon me while I fall in love with you.

Natcherly, to no one's surprise, professional ghoul impersonator and public cross-dresser (honey, no fishnets, please. You just ain't got teh gams for dem.) Rude Ghouliani came to the defense of excessive compensation everywhere with the following statement:
“If you somehow take that bonus out of the economy, it really will create unemployment,” Giuliani said on CNN. “It means less spending in restaurants, less spending in department stores, so everything has an impact.”
Rudi, you dumb fuck, you're really going to try and convince us that these people who make $22 million in bonuses alone do their shopping in Target and Macy's? Give it a rest, you miserable fuckwit, the American public is NOT that dumb. We rejected YOU as potential President, remember?

Sheesh, where does that lying sack of shit get off with lines like this?

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Economy: My President Don't Mess Around

What a difference an election makes! Remember back when Hope Steffey was assaulted by the very police that she called for help, and we at this fine blog opined that when our leaders refuse to obey the law of the land, every small-minded fool in the country goes along?

Gee Dumbya and his Bush-league myrmidons felt perfectly justified in crapping on the constitution and wiping their collective tush on it, and that behaviour percolated down through the ranks with every ha'penny-two-penn'orth of crookdom and liarment leaping on the old bandwagon headed straight to hell.

They raided the treasury and shat all over the middle class and the working poor. They took trillions of dollars of our money and disappeared it through various hidey-holes. One memorable example would be the airdrop of some US$12 BILLION in cash over the war zone of Baghdad, back in 2007 before ethnic cleansing rendered the city reasonably "safe" for those who might want to, I don't know, run around with fistfuls of US dollars. You know, like us working people who've been screwed so hard and for so long, we're just walking bags of lube.

We don't even need to mention Halliburton's endless run of no-bid government contracts and obscene profits, or KBR's repeated attempts to electrocute the whole fucking US army in Iraq while billing us taxpayers (yes, that would include those of us unfortunate enough to be serving at the time) in the hundreds of thousands for their "services." There is some hellish level of irony involved in knowing that you and your family and everyone who loves, or even just likes, you is paying through the nose to have you killed, yaknow?

So when those evil motherfuckers raised the whole notion of TARP (the Troubled Assets Relief Program), there was much muttering on the part of residents and friends of La Casa de Los Gatos. I mean, hey, Bush has fucked up EVERYTHING nine ways to Sunday, yaknow? You could give that man a nice cold popsicle and instead of enjoying it, he'd put his eye out with it. Or, more likely, yours. Or even the whole nation's.

Dumbya vs. Pretzel, Pretzel Wins

I mean, have you ever in your life BB (Before Bush) heard of anyone getting beat up by a pretzel? Yet there was the man, our (thankfully very) ex-Preznitwit, showing up with bruises and what-all anaconda he nearly lost a battle with an edible treat. Geesh, Christ fucking Criminy. That's gotta take a little work, yeah?

For the record, I myself was for the bailout. I judged, based on my minimal understanding of economics and the economy, that frozen commercial paper was very very bad indeed, in terms of the collapse of the market. I just didn't want to see the Bushleague vultures administering it. I mean, Hank Paulson? He looks even more like Skeletor than Michael Chertoff. Where do they find these assholes? Every single one of the Bush appointees looked like they had recently escaped the pages of some really bad comic about Evil Men. Evil, and let me quickly add, incompetent men.

My fellow-bloggers, to give them their due, were against the bailout. I put it down to their naivete (though not to their faces, I'm not dumb enough to invite that kind of ass-kicking).

Later on down the line, we find (Surprise! NOT!) that the League of Incompetent EvilMen actually threatened our elected congresscritters with martial law if they didn't approve the bailout of Wall Street and its legions of fat, slobbering, greedy bankers. Pig man, pig man.

They put all that money — a trillion dollars or more — in the paws of that James-Bond-style bald villain, Henry Paulson. Who promptly spread as much of it as he could among his friends on Wall Street. I know. You're simply shocked. Scandalized. Nobody could have foreseen, yada yada yada. See Danny Schechter for details.

It was only by the great good luck of President Obama winning the election that we were spared further assault upon our collective economic anatomy, you know, the kind of butt-reaming we've had for the past eight years.

So, Bush and his minions managed to distribute more than two-thirds of the bailout they requested before President Obama ever even took office, and Paulson was trying to get his greedy mitts on the remainder before the new brooms came in to sweep the People's Houses clean of his and his cronies' corruption. All that money went to Wall Street, mind you.

And what, exactly, did Wall Street do with that vast handout? Did they try to clean up those toxic securities, did they propose any plan to limit the damages for which they were responsible, the toppling of the entire world's economy due to their Credit Default Swaps, instruments so toxic that no one has yet been able to assign to them a value? Huh? Did they?

Fuck, no. Lemme tellya, I put off taking my pain meds today (yes, I AM in screaming agony, however did you guess?) because I wanted to feel the rage, the burning pit of fire in my gut that makes me want to singlehandedly garrote the entire bunch of bloodsuckers. Fortunately, my leg no work, so I couldn't even get within shoe-throwing distance of these motherfuckers, plus, you know, I'm kinda a foodie, and frankly prison food is the shits, and I might not even have access to a computer, and THEN how would I get rid of my frustration? Eh?

Wanna take a guess what they did with that money? Huh? Even as hundreds of thousands of people are getting the rigid digit in terms of getting laid off their jobs or taking pay cuts or having their company plain old fold beneath them, cutting them off from health insurance, an income, and possibly the roof over their heads? Yeah? Take a guess.

Yup, that's right. They handed it out in bonuses. To the same fucking villains who laid off all their workers and "downsized" their employees and "reorged" to secure current profit margins, and — worst of all — who created this whole fucking mess in the first place with their abominable greed. Yes. Wall Street paid out bonuses to the executives who threw us all in the pit wherein is much wailing and gnashing of those teeth as we have left. $18.4 billion dollars in bonuses.
The state comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, said it was unclear if banks had used taxpayer money for the bonuses, a possibility that strikes corporate governance experts, and indeed many ordinary Americans, as outrageous. He urged the Obama administration to examine the issue closely.
To add insult to injury (hey, mere bleeding is never enough for these guys. They have to indulge in a little haruspication or, better yet, anthropomancy) these same mother-and-father-fuckers had the gall — the unmitigated gall! — to take our money, we the working people who support the economy, and attempt to screw us over by defeating bills that might benefit labour. As JerseyJo might say, "If yer gonna screw me, at least kiss me first, or bring the lube, or something."
Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community's top legislative priority.
The level of chutzpah demonstrated here is, is, is ... ARGH!! WHAT?!? Not only are they screwing us without lube or protection, they're using our own dick to do it!

Thank TPTB for our new President. Because, lemme tell ya, he's been doing some major buttkicking already, in case you missed it. Oh, yes. You don't have to tell this man a thing. He's been working around the clock since the day after he got elected, bar two very short "vacations," laying the groundwork to keep us from falling any deeper into the pit that Shrub Dumbwit et al have dug for us.

And he does not mess around. A lot of people mistake his calm demeanor for evidence that he's a pushover, that he's soft, and won't stand up to them. I see him more as a guy who likes to get stuff done with minimum fuss and pother. He requested, and received some $820 billion that he has pledged to use to benefit working people, help homeowners stay in their homes, and create jobs.

Thus, when he found out that Citibank was dicking around with consumer funds to buy themselves a brand-new $50 million corporate jet, our President put the kibosh on those mofos so fast, their heads are still spinning.
The jet, the epitome of corporate prestige and privilege, can carry 12 passengers in elegant comfort.

ABC News has learned that on Monday officials of the Obama administration called Citigroup about the company's new $50 million corporate jet and told execs to "fix it."
And then, just because these moronic assholes are so bred-in-the-bone greedy, The Man had to take to the airwaves to kick some more ass publicly, because you just know some dumb motherfucker was going to try something similar a couple of days later.

Shameful, he called it. Irresponsible. Outrageous. Appalling. When was the last time you remember corporate greed being called on the carpet? These assholes would happily wring the last drop of blood out of your dying child so they can spend it on hookers and champagne. Go ahead. Click this link and listen to your new President tell 'em.

Meanwhile, your Congresscritters of the Republican persuasion, who lined up to publicly fellate Gee Dumbya and their corporate masters on Wall Street over the multibillion dollar giveaway of our money, are all knicker-wadded that President Obama is actually going to take some of that money to help working people and homeowners.

After insisting on packing the final bill with various porklike tax cuts for their business buddies, they all ran away screaming with their underwear over their heads. Not a single one of those pathetic weenie bastards voted for the money to create new jobs, the money to keep working people in their homes, the money to give quick relief to the non-billionaires among us. Not fucking one. From teh article:
Complicating matters is a feeling among some conservatives they squandered their reputation for being careful with public finances under President George W. Bush, Obama's predecessor for eight years that ended on January 20.
No shit, people. That finally dawned on you guys, huh? That you had broken the locks on the bank doors and basically run naked through the streets throwing fistfuls of dollars at any friend or relative you could spot?

And, to provide further merriment:
A new Diageo-Hotline Poll finds that 66 percent of Americans, when provided with specific details, support the current proposed stimulus package.
That's gotta hurt, huh, Mitch "Closet Queeniest of teh Queens" McConnell, John "Yes, I'm Named After a Naughty Body Part" Bo(eh)ner.

Finally, to prove that they can't get anything right, the Repugnicans have put out their own "alternative" economy-stimulating bill. That's right. Only problem is, it raises taxes for a whole lotta soon-to-be-very-angry Americans. Yes, sirree, bob. Y'all know that AMT thingamahoochie that had so many hardworking taxpayers' shorts in a big old knot? The "alternative" bill isn't gonna change nothing for those guys 'n gals. Let the shrieking begin!

Jesus fucking J.H. Christ and his black brother Harry, ya dimwits, can't you even get something this simple right? It's not like ya can't pay other people to crunch the numbers for ya, just in case yer all from the "Math is Hard" school of taxpayer-screwing, yaknow.

Something tells me the Rethugs will be a regional party for a long time to come. Not that this means y'all should relax your efforts to ensure an ignominous end for them or anything. We've all seen that they can lie, cheat, and steal their way out of anything. So go right ahead and mash them into obscurity. Let there come a day when nobody remembers the word "Republican," unless it's in one of those Dan-Savage-style definitions, like, yaknow, Saddlebacking. (Google it.)

More good news: Senator Chris Dodd has announced that, as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, he's going to do what he can to confiscate bonuses paid out on Wall Street. Write the man a nice letter, wouldja? I've always liked him. I know, I know, "some say" he benefited from his position, but I looked at the issue and he really didn't get anything more than any savvy consumer with some knowledge about the banking/mortgage industry would. Really. Plus, you want him to do this, right? So. Give the man a little love.

This is the kind of trickle-down I like to see. The man at the top says, "No, you're not doing that shit on my watch," and the people down the line say, "Hey, yeah, while we're at it, how about that stuff y'all stole last month? Give it back." And like dat. Srsly.

Now, Andrew Cuomo, NY AG, is going after Merrill Lynch and BofA to disgorge those "surprise" bonuses John Thain of Merrill Lynch paid out early to his minions after securing government financing for a takeover by BofA.
“No longer will this country stand for wasteful spending of tax dollars on bonuses for executives whose companies have taken huge losses and required taxpayer bailouts,” Cuomo said today in a statement about bonuses paid at Wall Street firms that received funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP.
Well, hallelujah, motherfuckers, welcome to the Greased Pole of Impalement. I wanna hear what you sad sagging sacks of shit have to say about your shenanigans. Stand up in front of the people who are struggling to afford a roof over their children's heads and tell them why you thought it was OK to take $18 billion of their money for your bonuses.

Let's start with John Thain, who earned a salary of $750K and a cash bonus of $15 million in 2007. Satan only knows what the motherfucker earned in 2008, may his nuts fall off and be stolen by a squirrel.

Don't fuck with MY PRESIDENT, boys, he's been to the rodeo! Time for some pain meds followed by meditative drooling now. Feel free to tell me what you think.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009


Today is the birthday of a very special woman who chooses to disguise her identity on this blog as Friend of TPC. I am so lucky that she chooses to call me a friend!

A very happy birthday to you, dear FoTPC, and I hope you're thoroughly enjoying today (right through the weekend — no need to stint on this celebration thing!).

I'm not saying how many years ago this beautiful woman was born, a sweet little girl who grew into the promise and the fullness of her years. But she has been a good friend to all fortunate enough to be in her circle. She's a brilliant, talented, beautiful creature with a heart full of love and a willingness to take on and chew out all those nasty little wretches who would put their own welfare before this country. Her passionate commitment to human rights, to equality, and to all things that comprise our beautiful earth and our living environment inspired me to start blogging. She's a scientist with a brilliant mind, a committed atheist who managed to survive a conservative family and emerge graceful, loving, and caring despite her trials. Thank you for keeping this blog going, thank you for all your terrific posts, and most of all, thank you for being in my life!

Lift a glass of champagne for me, girl! Happy birthday!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Have ya'all seen this website?

Bartcop, yeah. Just scroll on down the page and enjoy.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Irony is Dying A Slow and Painful Death

The UN Crime Chief is saying that this financial crisis that's affecting us (remember? The one that started when the Bushies finally admitted they'd been lying out their asses about the "great shape" our economy was supposedly in?), yeah, well, it apparently affected banks so badly that they've been kept afloat only by the timely intervention of drug money. You know, money laundering, and all that. Illegal acts. Drugs, gambling, prostitution. At least so says the International Herald Tribune in yet another mind-boggling revelation.

My mind is so boggled right now, I think I need a drink. So, what, are they saying I shoulda gone into business wit' Uncle Vinny or "Dragon-Leg" Chau? Supported Benny the Frog and Willy Da Pimp in their endeavours, and I'd now be recession-proof? Like, if only I'd agreed to invest in Dadabhai Chor's money-schemes and Wilmington "We Break Knuckles So You Don't Have To" Szetoh's gambling parlor, today my 401(k) would not be looking like a 101(k)?

I mean, seriously. You can't make this shit up.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa was quoted as saying. There were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way."
Look, I know it's a little early to start hitting the bottle, but, goddammit, it's 5 o'clock SOMEfuckingwhere.

From ICHC, your source of cattitude

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Have a little tot with a birthday coming up?

And you want to teach them about life in these perilous times for good Americans? Then you'll want to buy them the new Scan-It Operation Security Check Point toy XRay! Hey! Check out the reviews, they say it better than I can!


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Entertainment? Say WHAT?

The Gothamist is reporting (along with about half a dozen other papers, so the caca will hit the fan right soon, I'm thinkin') that some ambulatory turd by the name of Ted Kefalinos, proprietor of Lafayette French Pastry, a bakery in Greenwich Village, NYC (yeah, I know. Who'd'a thunk?) decided to make "Drunken Negro Face" cookies to ... um, honour? ... the election of our new President, Barack Obama, and commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday at the same time.

To add insult to injury, the dumb shithead had the gall to ask a (no doubt former) customer, "Would you like some drunken negro heads to go with your coffee? They're in honor of our new president. He's following in the same path of Abraham Lincoln; he will get his."

What the fuck is the matter with these people? Does anybody know? Because there's bound to be some good money in uncovering the, what, gene that causes this kind of ass-enveloped-head stupidity. What, he thought the whole country was gonna be so tickled they'd each order a case and he'd be set for life or something?

I mean, Christ Criminy, what a fucking IDIOT! Figuring he hadn't stuck his foot deep enough in his mouth, he went for the kill when some other hapless customer showed up, and used the N-word (I'd love to use it myself to illustrate what an asshole this guy is, but you know, a whole lot of black people have asked everybody to please not use that word because it's racist and derogatory and they really don't like it, and I'm usually quick to oblige those wot ask nicely) and repeated that twaddle about the President will get what Lincoln got — to which all I gotta say is, Mr. Kefalinos, I sure do hope with all my heart and soul that the Secret Service pays you a not-so-secret call and you get a lengthy interrogation out of this.

It's one thing to call your President a dweeb and a jerk — free speech is enshrined in the Constitution, after all. It's quite another to hint around at threats on his life.

Let's hope that Greenwich Village and the fine city of New York respond by boycotting his store until he makes a public apology. Fool!

Oh, I almost forgot: the miserable blivet* says he's not a racist because his brother-in-law is Cuban. Huh?

*blivet is defined as 10 lb of shit in a 5-lb bag. Maybe we should rename it a Kefalinos.

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Diary of A Trapped House Cat

From La Casa de Los Gatos, a few fragments of a diary titled "Political Cat" have surfaced. They make for sad reading:
I am no longer mobile, unable to navigate the steep stairs leading up to my place of rest (or, let's face it, more meaningfully, down to the kitchen for food) without the aid of massive quantities of untrendy chemical accoutrements. A layer of cat hair on the already slippery hardwood of the floor and stairs, far from ensuring a soft landing, only contrives to add to my fear of slippage. Although food is brought up daily by my captors, I long to run, free and wild once again, over the carpet of slugs infesting what I once fondly thought of as MY garden. Life sucks. Six weeks left to surgery. I think I need better pain meds. Unfortunately they make it tough to function, and drooling meditatively has never been one of my favourite competitive sports. In the event, I must offer up this morsel for the amusement of all of us who really loved and admired Hillary Clinton before she went over to the Darth side and are so grateful she's back among the light. Notice, please, that the imprisoned myrmidons of one Bootsie Ferragamo, who last dominated the dungeons of the State Department, are celebrating their release with a fervor heretofore unseen in career diplomats.

To quote the late, great John Lennon, Labia and Genitalmen, I give you Secretary of State Hillary Clinton! Three cheers to the auld girl for pulling it off. Doesn't she look great? And sound great?

Yeah, yeah, I'm an unabashed Clinton supporter, have always been, probably always will be. She put me off for a while with her underhanded tactics, but yaknow, she wanted to win and although I didn't agree with what she was doing, nobody can say Baby don't got no balls. Hers are bigger and brassier than anybody's, and yes, that includes Rahm Emanuel. I'm still really glad President Obama won. He has the breadth and depth of vision to benefit the whole country and his "no-drama" style is more reassuring to us wot been beat down by 12 years of the screamfest that started with the Clintons and ended with Drunky McStaggers.

So, enjoy this clip of Hill getting lauded publicly by hand-kissing celebrants. You'd be kissing her hands too if she'd saved you from that gap-toothed thigh-booted Dominatrix Bootsie Ferragamo.

The news is this coming couple of weeks is surgery prep. First week of March is surgery. After that, ten days of recovery, and I should be back home by the end of the third week of March. Then it's physical therapy, at home for 8 weeks and at the PT's office for 8 weeks. I'm told replacement knees are tough on old farts, but anything has to be better than sitting around semiconscious and unable to enjoy anything but food, cigarettes, and the occasional sip of booze. Fuck me, fellas, sitting around on the old situpon smoking, drinking, and stuffing one's face is NOT all it was made out to be. What would I like to be doing? Hiking! Goddammit. Hiking. The weather is springlike, sunny with a little nip in the air, and if there was justice in the world I'd be down the hill checking my plum tree for blossoms and rooting out the sorrel grass by hand. Pfaugh!

Blogging occasional till surgery; restricted to the kindness of Ms. Manitoba and FoTPC and Sirenita Lake for about 4 months post-surgery; resuming again in full and aggravated mode sometime in late April or May, I think.

Don't desert me, goddammit, y'awl. It's pretty damn uninspiring crushing one's coccyx in a bed however comfortable. And people keep getting me books to fucking read!

Your comments, however rude, welcomed. No threats, please, unless they involve some lively slap-and-tickle in a humorous manner.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Entertainment: Inauguration/Farewell

OK, I'm really not into cutesy kiddy stuff, but yaknow what?

She's saying exactly what I'm thinking. Thanks, little girl!

I guess I don't need to tell y'all that the conservatives have their knickers in an almighty wad over this. Some skank named Amanda Carpenter is saying the kid will never get a job because of this video clip. Hey, Amanda! Let's hope they lay you off right soon so you can feel what it's like to not have a job. It's not something most of the rest of us joke about. It's part of our reality, thanks to Gee Dumbya McDrinkerson. Also, hopefully our recent turnout at the polls is going to take away from assholes like you the ability to threaten our gainful employment.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Stunning Inauguration Photos

Some absolutely stunning photos of the inauguration and people's reaction to it, go here.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Politics: You Owe It To Yourselves

Go on. Take Yahoo's bullshit InnerTubes poll and let them know how you feel about Bush's (Who? Yeah, I know, smartass.) performance as your President for eight (long, painful, endless) years.

Believe it or don't, it's currently running at, like, half and half. Half thinks he stinks and there's enough braindead bots who sharply disagree and think the sun shone out of his arsehole (to which all I can say is, y'all are Blinded by the Light).

You just know you don't have to ask how I voted. But I will tell if y'all asks nicely. Yaknow, with sugar on it.

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We got President!

Finally at last, we have a President. For the last 8 years we had a crime spree. For the last 8 years I didn't have a President. Now Obama, you are my President. I have high hopes and dreams for your administration. I don't expect miracles from you. I do expect leadership. And my hope is you will lead us into a better future. I believe that America in the past has had a "can do" spirit that let us do great things. Let's do it again. Go Obama!


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Monday, January 19, 2009

Entertainment: Inauguration/Farewell

Tom Tomorrow nails it. Go check it out on Salon.

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Just in case you might have doubts in your mind, we here at The Political Cat are sooooooooo excited about President-Elect Obama's inauguration.


Our tired weary souls have been so looking forward to this ... for eight god-forsaken years.

Here's a video from The Huffington Post ...

Bless you, Obamas.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Caturday! Enjoying the sunshine ...

Willy, aka Wills, Willy Billy Button, William of Orange, Willykens, Big Red

Sorry, folks all around the U.S. who are suffering with frigid weather. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are enjoying the sun. We have been sitting in the direct sunshine and soaking it in on this Blessed Caturday.


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The President-Elect's Admistration: Photos

Wanna get to know some of President-Elect Obama's staff? The New York Times has a wonderful collection of portraits taken recently. To see them, go here.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

World: Enough!

Image from AliyaAllZionists

Enough of what's going on in the Gaza strip. For all of you upset by the Israeli military action against the mostly civilian population of Gaza, we have to come up with something to do. It's useless wringing our hands and moaning and mourning. Israel has gone too far, this time.

Today, the Israeli military bombed the UN headquarters in the Gaza strip,
[...] engulfing the compound and a warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees.
It was bad enough that, after the ceasefire ended in late December of 2008, Israel attacked Gaza which has suffered for nearly two years under an Israeli embargo that has prevented basic supplies like fuel, food, water, medicine, even concrete for the burial of bodies, from reaching the Palestinians of Gaza.

Despite the fact that the so-called "free and fair" elections held in Palestine resulted in the election of Hamas, Israel and its supporter and military paymaster the United States have refused to recognize Hamas as legitimately elected political leaders of Palestine. Had the US not pressed for the elections at the time that they were held, it is quite possible that Hamas would have lost the elections. However, once they were held, Hamas became the legitimately elected government and, as such, should have been accorded the basic courtesy extended to every elected government.

Why is it that we are willing to sit down with murderous dictators like Mugabe and Ferdinand "we love your adherence to democratic principles" Marcos, but refuse to negotiate with a fairly elected democratic government just because we don't like them?

For the record, I know quite well that Hamas once held the view that the State of Israel had no right to exist. But that State of Israel is long since gone, having gorged and bloated itself on Palestinian territory and squeezing the Palestinians into two tiny corners of what was once their land. At this point, Hamas is not capable of wiping out the State of Israel, and the more pragmatic among their leaders recognize that fact. These people SHOULD be courted and given a seat at the table while all the countries of that region sit down with the funders of this ludicrous and soul-destroying conflict to determine how to best effect a peace. There is no question of being unable to do this because the alternative is to murder every Palestinian alive no matter where they are to be found, and that is not a viable course of action.

Regardless of the willingness of Israel to engage in such acts, we can no longer afford to, financially, morally, intellectually, or socially, support such acts. Firstly, we don't have the money to keep paying the Israelis billions every year in social welfare and military supplies. Israel cannot survive without American taxpayer dollars at this point because a wartime economy does not thrive. The state of Israel needs to find a peacetime footing in which currency can be stabilized, economic prospects realized, jobs created, and monies exchanged. Then it can safely get off the American dole because heaven knows, Americans need their money to start repairing the damage that has been done to their own country. We would like, for example, to have a health care system just like Israel's. But we can't afford it because a lot of our money is paying for Israel's excellent medical system. Which I don't begrudge, unless it's at our expense.

Worse yet, our dollars are paying for bombs that blow up Palestinian babies, guns to shoot them, concrete walls and armed soldiers that forbid humanitarian assistance to them, checkpoints that harass and humiliate them multiple times daily as they walk to work or school. Jobs don't exist any more in Gaza. If we were to stop paying for these murderous crimes, we would have more money to repair our broken bridges and roads and give our own children health care. The Israelis could then be forced to negotiate with the Palestinians. Instead of financing the building of luxury homes for Israelis in land unlawfully seized from Palestinians, we could finance our own homeowners who are losing their homes.

We could make aid to Palestine and Israel conditional upon a peace settlement, a two-state solution, acceptance by Israel of multiple world court decisions that were preceded by free and fair trials and findings of fact and that have found against Israel and for the Palestinians. It is not too much to ask that Israel be a law-abiding member of the international community instead of a gangster, thug, and murderer that only gets away with these horrible crimes because we are playing their bully enforcer.

The process has begun in the EU. The EU is Israel's largest trading partner, and activists in European nations are calling upon their governments to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement (petition here). We here in the US can do the same.

Please take a moment or more to write, call, email, or fax your Congresscritters, both in the House and in the Senate, and tell them that you want them to ensure that your tax dollars do not go to Israel until Israel agrees to abide by the law and ceases bombing civilians, the UN, the Red Cross, schools housing only refugees, humanitarian aid stockpiles, ambulances, and the like.

Here is a list, compiled by activists in the UK, of brands that are either made in Israel or made by companies that unquestioningly supply Israel. Here is another that appears to focus on American companies and brands. Adbusters is calling on citizens and consumers to join in the boycott, pointing to the ever-inspiring Naomi Klein's call as a fine example. Professor Ilan Pappe has also said that the only way to stop this humanitarian crisis is to impose financial sanctions on the Israeli State. If anyone knows of any other information that should be widely distributed, please, pass it on to us and one of us will try to spread it around on this blog and in other fora.

The Global BDS Movement is calling on everyone to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel for its violations of human rights laws in Palestine. I believe firmly in wallet pains as an instructive action. People who don't give a fuck about human rights suddenly care a lot if they start losing money as a result. We managed to overcome apartheid in South Africa through a combination of boycott, divest, and sanction. We can bring peace to Palestine/Israel the same way. As a consumer, please boycott anything made in Israel, or by companies that have ties to Israel. Check with your local manufacturers whether they support Israel. Not Israel's right to exist, which we at this fine blog support wholeheartedly, but Israel's current and past violations of the precepts of international law and human rights.

Note: Look for the digits 729 at the beginning of the bar code on any products you buy. 729 indicates that the product was manufactured in Israel. Talk to your local grocery store or deli if they carry such products. Do not buy them and tell your store why you will not buy them. Tell your friends to look out for this barcode as well.

Here are many other sites involved in the boycott, with helpful hints about how to go about registering your feelings about the Gaza situation.

Once again, I want to say — no, not that some of my best friends are Jewish — that I have been pro-Israel all my life from the time I was a child, when I first heard about the Holocaust from my father, who told me that it was my moral obligation to ensure that such a thing would never happen again. I cannot support what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, but that does not change my support for the right to existence of the Israeli state. I cannot condone crimes against Israel or against Jews based on what the criminals in the IDF and the government of Israel are doing. Many Jews and many Israelis are also protesting and calling for a boycott. Please do not direct your anger at Jewish people, whether religious or secular. That helps no one, and especially not the Palestinians. What we need is to do something. We need to do it in a peaceable and law-abiding manner, but we also need to let the Israeli government and its puppets in the United States know that we are neither blind nor stupid and we want an end to the conflict in Gaza and to the flagrant murder of civilians.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009


From ICHC, your Center for LOLCattitude

We've been bad, bad little bloggers here at La Casa de Los Gatos, ignoring the very reason for our being — CATS! How could we? Between three out of the four of us, we have ten cats, fer cryin' out, and we're not even counting the ferals we feed, or the cute catlike little skunks, possums, and raccoons.

So for this Caturday, we have a veritable explosion of kitteh for y'all. Let's start with longtime friend and blog-visitor SGTG, also known as your local terrorist guerilla nun:

Gabi in the Box

This here is SGTG's beautiful dilute girlcat, Gabi, who is trying to cut back on the cat toy bill by finding herself the perfect low-cost cat toy. Yes, it's a box. Gabi was rescued from a life of deprivation and brought to the SGTG household, where Mr. SGTG gets to treat her to the occasional gourmet recipe, SGTG junior gets to love and hide her from pestiferous little brother Reggie, and SGTG gets to distract Reggie by keeping him in her bed so Gabi can get a decent night's sleep occasionally. Reggie doesn't know any of this being a pinhead cat — very sweet, but not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Reggie freshly bopped by Gabi

This here's Reggie. You can see how he got his reputation (for being a bit of a dim bulb). Just remember, the dumber they are, the sweeter and more loving they are. It's the smart ones that are a royal PITA.

Guess Who?

And finally, your bonus LOLcat for the day:

Iz fum ICHC, and I apuve tihs post

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Politics: Your Happy News For Teh Day

Kit Bond — Barely 70 and already looking like a corpse

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Another one bites the dust!

Yeah, it should make you happy. If it don't, there's something wrong witchu.

Missouri Senator Kit Bond announced yesterday that he's not planning to run for reelection. He was singing quite the different tune last year, so his rage of Hunchmen (and Hunchwomen, thanks Frank Zappa!) have been caught sorta kinda flatfooted by the whole thing.
Bond spokeswoman Shana Marchio said she had been "preparing for him to run. We were going full-throttle."

Why, you might ask, am I waxing so lively at this news? Because it would appear that as each day dawns we are moving closer to the goal of a filibuster-proof Senate so that our President, Barack Obama, can implement the goals that will save our jobs, our lives, our homes, and our dignity both at home and abroad:
Bond's decision will force the GOP to launch an expensive and competitive campaign next year to hold onto the Missouri Senate seat, as well as the seat in Florida being vacated by Republican Mel Martinez, who is retiring. Senate Democrats, who need 60 votes to stop Republican filibusters, hold 58 seats and could have 59 if Minnesota upholds Al Franken's recount victory.
And nothing delights me more than knowing that the sleazeball Norm Coleman will soon be gone, the sleazeball Mel Martinez (who passed around the Terri Schiavo memo in Congress) is retiring, and now Senator Kit Bond, the man responsible for passing the Defense Authorization Act which basically killed Posse Comitatus dead, is about to be Gone, Baby, Gone.

How can y'all not erupt in whoops of joy and spontaneous knicker-showing can-can dances on the streets, dayum!

From ICHC, your Premium source of LOLcattery

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Johannes Mehserle: Do the Right Thing, Don't Follow Dan White's Path

The Napa Valley Register has published an article and is posting comments supporting the BART officer, Johannes Mehserle, who graduated from New Tech High School in 2000 and Napa Valley College Police Academy in 2006. Yes, I agree the shooting is a tragedy for both families -- Oscar Grant’s and Johannes Mehserle's. But the article and most comments are ignoring the fact that Mehserle is acting like a coward. When you make an enormous mistake like that (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt -- that it was not premeditated and that he really meant to use his taser -- which I’ve said previously the situation didn’t even warrant using a taser ...) so ... when a person makes an enormous mistake like that and then walks away, he or she will be haunted for the rest of his/her life. One of his supporters acknowledged that -- that Johannes Mehserle is now haunted from this incident. But that's natural ... for anyone with a conscience. Perhaps what has happened is that Mehserle's union representative and lawyer have talked him into doing somethng that he may regret for the rest of his life?

Johannes Mehserle, you need to come forward, explain what happened, and make amends. Don’t take the path that Dan White took. He was haunted too -- and look where that led him. True, it's not the same situation. Dan White deliberately shot his victims. But he never really made amends for it. And it haunted him. Till the end.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

World: Gaza Brings Out Teh Stupid

Wherever they've been hiding. Although, being stupid, most of them are publicly flaunting their stupid in great revolting gobs.

For those of you who just can't bear to read the depressing news, we have Serious Cute at the end of this post. Go ahead. Skip to the video. See if I care.

Here, for example, walking dildo and successful Zippy the Pinhead impersonator Bill Kristol, a Wingnut Welfare recipient if I ever saw one, bleats about how Israel's invasion of Gaza is a great favour to Obama. I mean, c'mon, you worthless impostor of humanity. Why not pull off the mask and bodysuit and tell us all about relationships on your planet, someplace far, far away from our galaxy (I fervently hope)? Because by all that's holy you haven't a fucking compassionate bone in your body to come up with shite like this.
"If you care about the peace process you should want Israel to embarrass and humiliate Hamas. That's the only chance -- there would be no peace process if Hamas were governing Gaza.
You pathetic little pig. I can't wait for you and Bush and Dick and all of you worthless ambulatory turds to fall off the world stage. Break a leg, fella. In fact, break all of them. Jeeze!

People are dying in their hundreds and you and your fellow Neocons are burping up this crap. Meanwhile, your associates in the halls of power have used their remaining muscle to prevent an immediate ceasefire, preferring to turn a blind eye to reports of Israel firing on Red Cross personnel and vehicles, of Israel refusing to allow medical aid to reach the victims of their bombings, many of them little children.

Even as your other dirtbag friends are running ads on American TV networks begging for aid to Israel, which is the major recipient of US taxpayer money. Which they're using to bomb little children, pregnant women, sick, elderly, and disabled people. Meanwhile, protohuman slime molds named Jack Abramoff and Xtianist pastor Hagee are behind this whole ad scam. Knowing the two of them and their dubious associations, chances are if you send them any money it's going directly into their own bank accounts. People like Hagee could care less if the Jewish people are wiped out in a second holocaust, since that will bring them closer to the Rapture they all work towards and pray for.

Even as our 401(k)s are turning into 101(k)s, Raw Story reports that
The administration of President George W. Bush alone has provided over 21 billion dollars in U.S. security assistance over the last eight years, including 19 billion dollars in direct military aid as freebies.
So while we, the taxpayers, are cutting back on all our expenses, begrudging money for the movies or dinner out, forgoing new clothes, selling stuff we don't need or use, putting off vacations and needed home repairs, and even our goddamned health care — the Israeli government is getting billions of OUR dollars and! AND! using our latest and greatest military offerings to slaughter others in our names.

They're using our top-notch military hardware to retaliate against home-made rockets and bombs that "traumatize" people. Their response to these pitiful weapons, which are the epitome of FAIL, is to kill. For every Israeli killed so far, over 100 Palestinians have paid with their lives. The entire country is being punished for the acts of a few.

And you wonder why there is an al Qaeda. The article also states that while the U.S. military gives the latest weapons and weapons technology to Israel, it also sells such weapons (after they're tested on the Palestinians and the Lebanese by Israel) at hugely inflated prices to the Arab nations. That's a bitter pill to swallow, eh, knowing that you're subsidizing the killing of your co-religionists, or tribe, or fellow ethnics, or whatever you want to call them?

We don't even need to remind ourselves of the Israeli military's readiness and willingness to attack American troops, unarmed American protestors, and humanitarian aid workers and medical teams.

Meanwhile, malcontents in Lebanon have begun firing rockets into Northern Israel. Holy quacking duckshit. I can't entirely blame them, it's gotta be a small group or even random individuals who are sick of seeing what's happening to Gaza. The Israeli elections will be held in a month and the leaders are trying to terrify the people and play on their fears to win by outdoing each other in killing Palestinians. I guess some Lebanese feel strongly enough to do something about it. Hezbollah was quick to distance themselves from these acts, as was Hamas. Given the fact that in the last encounter between Lebanon and Israel, Hezbollah conducted a very disciplined campaign, I tend to believe them. Besides, it's a lousy three fucking shells, yaknow?

Meanwhile, our Congresscritters strive to prove that they have but one neuron between the lot of them, by offering "staunch and unwavering support for Israel [...] recognizing its "inalienable right" to defend itself from attacks by Hamas."

Give it a rest, you feeble fucks. You can't even take care of the shitload of business that's been dumped on your workdesk, and now you're all fighting to get up on the nearest table so you can wave your teenie weenies at the press. Shut the fuck up already. Get ready to prosecute Bush, Cheney, and the entire criminal cabal. Figure out what to do about the totally fucked military situation. Come up with green alternatives to the transport money cities and states are demanding. Figure out how more of us can get decent fucking health care. Close the tax loopholes that allow these fucking CEOs to assrape us all without the benefit of lube even as they send our jobs overseas in the fucking hundreds of thousands. Jesus fucking J.H. Christ and his black brother Harry! You've got me so fucking mad I can't even stop to take my pain meds. You worthless POS just voted your own selves a sweet fucking pay raise out of our pockets. Work for our goddamned money, you louts. The free ride is SO over.

That limpdick closeted fairy queen Mitch McConnell is prancing around on the stage allowing as how the war and deaths are all the fault of those nasty nasty Hamas Islamists. WTF is that about? Can't someone put a cork in him? Mitch, you ambulatory rectum, don't you have enough work to do?

Meanwhile, that motherfucking asshole (man, I'd love to put HIS dick in a box. I'd throw the rest of him into the compactor and mail the box to his Mrs.) Richard "Dick" Cheney has the outright fucking GALL to tell us that Bush's actions are not illegal because if they were he would've been impeached. What kind of circular logic is THAT, you infernal spawn of Satan? Wipe the blood off your chin before giving us your answer. Foul, ancient, walking rottenness. He demeans everything good, noble, admirable, and beautiful about humanity just by his existence. Dick, you and your rotten brood should be swept aside, root and branch, into the dustheap of history.

But wait, here's the best part: Darth has the unmitigated gall to tell us that he's a "warm, lovable" sort of guy who had hardly any influence at all in the WH. Georgie made all the decisions, he says now. Remember, this is the guy who admitted authorizing torture. Somebody must've put acid in his metamucil.

And as the number of Palestinians, mostly children, killed in Gaza climbs over 700, Tom Cruise had this to say about the death of Jett Travolta, son of his friend John Travolta. All death is horrific. Why aren't more people speaking out about the parents in Palestine who have to bury their children? Not to take away anything from Mr. Travolta's pain, I'm sure he's a terrific father and absolutely loves and adores his children, but are American children more valuable than Palestinian children? Where are all those "pro-life" people now when babies are being slaughtered halfway across the world? Starved to death, denied medical care, torn apart by bombs. Won't you people speak up? Or are only some children deserving of life?

Enough with ranting. Here's a cute chick we can all ogle:

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Meta: Gimpy Gams

Image copyright The Yorkshire Knee Clinic

Well, we're back from viewing MRIs of the troubled knee and off to court tomorrow to fight once more for the (naked-eye-obviously-needed) replacement. It will be a full replacement, titanium, both upper and lower. Looking at the MRIs was interesting. There is absolutely no, zero, zilch, cartilage left between the femoral head and the tibial head, and none behind the patella. So they'll have to take out all the gritty bits that are floating around in whatever's left by way of synovial fluid. Hopefully it'll stop looking like a cantaloupe afterwards.

A little anecdote about pain medications. Our dear Dad, a gentle if somewhat confused soul, was on the battlefield in WW II. For reasons I've never been able to fathom, he didn't care much for pain medicine and was always quite stoic about pain. For example, when he fell through the roof, landing on the car on his head, scalping himself quite significantly (he had 22 stitches holding his scalp to his face, afterwards) he insisted on driving himself to the hospital (not much choice there since Mother was screaming hysterically and having quite the pother, and we young'uns were much too young to drive). He insisted on having the stitches without any pain medication because he wanted to "drive the family home, you know." The doctor was simply scandalized but since Mother was still screaming, and quite loudly at that, he did the necessary and handed Dad a bottle of pain medication to be taken later. Dad threw it away the minute he got home. Didn't want to throw it away in the hospital, you know, might hurt the doctor's feelings.

He suffered many accidents over the 90 years of his life, being a dedicated gardener and also the kind of husband who believes that men are good for a few tasks, carrying heavy things being at the top of the list. Never took anything stronger than the occasional (very occasional) aspirin.

When he had a hernia in his 80s, he simply didn't complain until things were so bad he could no longer get up. Then he told Mother to call an ambulance. Mother, as is her wont, decided to cut his hair instead. (The woman's batshit raving insane, as everyone has always known.)

In the event, she was finally persuaded by some decidedly ungentle and ungenteel words from me to get the fucking ambulance already and quit mincing around worrying about cleaning the house before the ambulance guys got there. Like Emergency Med Techs haven't seen it all before from corpulent corpses to maggot-infested wounds, fer Chrisake.

Before the surgery, he asked the doctor if he could please have "some aspirin for the pain." The doctor, a geriatric surgeon in a hospital that caters only to geriatric patients, was nonplussed, but only for a minute. Then he said, in Dad's good ear (the other has a perforated eardrum from shrapnel during the war), "Mr. X, the war is over, you know. These days we use anesthesia." Poor Dad.

This is by way of letting y'all know that I am decidedly NOT stoic. However, like Dad, I prefer not to take medication, especially pain medication. Like Dad, in all my life before I injured my knee, I took only aspirin for pain. 80 mg enteric coated, one pill every 8 hours, two at the most. So when I injured my knee, initially I tried to keep going with the aspirin. Over the years, the pain has become so goddamned fucking awful that I have been forced to take stronger medication.

I'm currently taking an opioid that serves for post-surgical and "mild to moderate" pain. It's starting to lose its effectiveness, and I might need something stronger soon. Of course, this medication (which I try to limit to one pill a day when I can no longer stand the pain) makes me feel like somebody rammed through my skull with a potato masher. I can't talk, and when I do, I make no sense. I can't remember words. I repeat things, over and over. It's quite tiresome. It's hard to read because I can't concentrate.

Seeing the MRI kinda absolved me of my guilt about the pain meds, though. It's obvious that I do need them. I have given myself permission to take them every 4-6 hours, as recommended, instead of waiting until I'm ready to saw my leg off myself.

Dad would probably think I was being a godawful wuss, and he's probably right. Sorry Dad. I can't live up to your high standards. The first surgery was painful enough. I'm determined that this time around will be better. I'll take my pain meds. I really need them. The bone's grinding on bone and splintering little bits off. And that fucking hurts.

So it's off to court tomorrow (at eight fucking am, these people are clearly both insane and uncivilized), and hopefully a new knee in March! (That's not as far away as y'all might think - barely two months now.)

All those years of watching The Bionic Man decades ago. Did we ever think we'd end up being part-metal?

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Like most Oaklanders and others in the Bay Area, I am mourning the loss of a young man who was shot in the early hours of New Year's day. What a way to start the new year.

My heart goes out to Oscar Grant's family. Please know that many many people in the Bay Area are mourning the death of Oscar. Small comfort, I know. His life was precious and something must be done so no one else falls.

BART officials have acted with incompetence and coldness. Where were the heartfelt condolences? They acted like they just wanted to shake the blame off of themselves. I have not seen one official who looked shaken and upset by this tragedy. Yes, yes, I know ... you must look professional. But really now -- this is a tragedy. Can't you show some emotion? Most of us in this city are feeling a lot of emotion about this.

It also looks like the BART police need some anger management training. In my opinion, they did several things which escalated the problems on that platform. From the videos that I saw, it looks like the folks “in custody” were much more subdued than the BART officers. I believe that the situation didn't even require the taser gun ... never mind a real gun. And the officer who did the shooting looked downright shocked that his gun went off. What's up with that?

Plus, why hasn't BART released some kind of substantive statement? Yes, the officer who did the shooting has resigned but BART officials have gotten statements from the other officers and eyewitnesses on the platform. So ... tell us what happened.

The BART officer who shot Oscar Grant has not been questioned yet. Why? Why wasn't his statement taken right away? Again, this smells of "well, they protect their own." Plus, it seems to me like this officer is a flight risk. Shouldn't he be charged with ... negligence? Manslaughter? You can't shoot a man who's down on the ground and walk away. A crime was committed.

Was racism involved? Yes, of course. In the plain fact that we all know that black and brown people's sacred lives are devalued by authorities and in all kinds of systematic ways. They are not offered the same level of safety as whites are offered. (Although I'm starting to feel that that's on shaky ground too. When it comes to police, it often ends up with an "Us" and "Them" mentality. And, folks, I am not one to put down police in a general way. I've had some neighborhood problems and called the police. They were helpful and respectful. Which shows that the potential is there in every community for police to really be our helpers not oppressors.)

Also, this seems to be a big problem in the U.S. of A. Why? How do other countries handle crowd control? Why don't we hear about more incidents of police shooting innocent people -- in other countries? What do they do differently there? Do we need to take away their guns like the bobbies in the UK of old? I know. Ridiculous when you think of gangs with automatic weapons. But, how can we change this dangerous system?

Things You Can Do Right Now About the Oscar Grant Shooting

These actions were inspired by a list on compiled by Makani Themba-Nixon. I added to Makani's list.

Watch the videos. Don't buy into the BART officials' statements that watching the videos doesn't give you the real story. There's a lot you can pick up from the videos. Here are some places to watch videos:
YouTube [you must have to register and sign in]

Talk about this tragedy to friends and neighbors. Some people may not be aware of it. Blog about it. Make sure your blog gets the widest exposure. Please keep in mind that Oscar Grant's family has requested that we protest PEACEFULLY. I know, young folks like to get rowdy -- I did. But now's not the time. We want lots and lots of folks to listen and do something. The fires and broken glass do not help teach folks. And, yes, of course, I am definitely aware that those things might have been caused by agent provocateurs of all colors.

Write letters to editors of the Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers covering the story.

Contact the Mayor’s office:
Mayor Ron V. Dellums
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
3rd Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
T: (510) 238-3141
F: (510) 238-4731
Note: Mayor Dellums looked more passionate today than I've seen him since he's been in office. So, maybe there's some smidgen of hope that The Quiet Mayor might do something.

Contact the district attorney’s office:
Tom Orloff
1225 Fallon Street, Room 900
Oakland, CA 94612
Telephone: (510) 272-6222
FAX: (510) 271-5157

Contact BART -- tell them how incompetent and shady they have been; tell them what you expect them to do. For example, they should release a statement based on the information they have gathered from the other officers and eyewitnesses on the Fruitvale platform. Remind them of their own damn slogan on their website:
"The Bay Area is your home and BART is going your way. Whether you're headed to work or meeting friends, catching a flight or catching a game, BART brings the Bay Area together."
BART police
Toll-free: 877.679.7000
To call any of the persons or sections below, call this toll-free number and press the last four digits of the phone number you wish to reach.
BART Chief of Police:
Gary Gee 510.464.7022,

Internal Affairs:
Sergeant David Chlebowski 510.464.7029,

BART Board of Directors
P.O. Box 12688
Oakland, CA 94604-2688
(510) 464-6095

Note: indicate whether you're contacting the full Board or an individual Director. Their website is here.

Contact the Oakland City Council members:
To find your city council member, click here.

You might want to especially contact these council members:

Jane Brunner, voted in as new president
Phone: (510) 238-7001
Fax: (510) 238-6910

Desley Brooks
Phone: (510) 238-7006 (office) Fax: (510) 238-6910 (facsimile)

Rebecca Kaplan

Stay tuned for other actions, protests, etc., especially if you are in the Bay.

Related news
An extremely chilling piece of news reported by Judith Miller of Fox News about the New York City Police Department training their officers in the use of machine guns:
Another change, initially reported by The New York Post, is the decision to ensure that more police officers are trained to use machine guns and other heavy weapons. In mid-December, for the first time, recruits at the police academy received basic instruction in the operating systems of three types of heavy weapons. Prior to this, the testimony says, only the Police Department's Emergency Service Unit was given such training. Now it will become a standard feature at the police academy.
On a Fox program earlier today, Miller mentions that other city police departments are considering this as well. They claim that the reason for training in even heavier weapons is to protect citizens from terrorists.

But what do citizens do when the protectors become the terrorists?

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Politics: Teh News Sucks

If you're reading the news today, you know that it seriously sucks hind end. We'll get around to our usual high-quality reportage and venomous snark after the doctor's appointment. In the meantime, some not-so-sucky-news:

Blogger hunter for justice announced recently that South Africa's President Mothlanthe has appointed an openly gay man to the nation's highest court.

Hunter notes parallels with other nations and that this is a historic first. Thanks, Hunter, so pleased to hear something positive!

Digg friend AMiller sends good news about Africa. According to PRI, wherefrom comes the article, a majority of those on the African continent are moving towards democracy, better economic situations and improved health. To think that that dreadful little wart, Bill Gates, is in large part responsible for this! I only wish the jerk made better software. Still. Give the devil his due. In a world as plagued as ours by random violence, widespread insanity, and acts of cruelty, every little bit of good news helps.

And finally, for those of you as really needs a picker-upper, here's something worth fighting about — broccoli!

At least Captain Pugwash, the adorable kitteh, seems to think so.

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