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

Monday, August 31, 2009

Congress Has Medical Benefits -- Why Not Us?

From today's Leah Garchik column in the SFChronicle:
"Can you believe these congresspersons with lifetime free medical benefits saying how the rest of Americans don't need guaranteed health care?" asks Janice Hough. "Sort of like guys on their second and third wives voting against gay

To read the entire column, click here.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Politics: In Memoriam

Teddy Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, and youngest of the ill-fated Kennedy brothers who have contributed so much to make America a great nation, is dead.

To leave a message for his mourning family, you can go here.

Now that he is no longer with us, we must work harder than ever to pass the legislation that Senator Kennedy has fought for for so long. He wanted health care reform, and although we have lost his guiding hand, we cannot falter. We should reform health care, as we all know too well. In its own way, the legislation will be a fitting memorial to Senator Kennedy's memory.

Rest in peace, sir. Your lifetime of dedication to the causes of the common people will not be forgotten. Nor will your, and your family's, long tradition of service to the nation.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Politics: Health Care


Out in the middle of nowhere, new friend and fellow-blogger Elizabeth Mika has issued a challenge to those who oppose government-run health care in the form of the public option. The thunderous lack of reaction thereto has led her to propose a wonderfully refreshing idea for the pinheads and astroturfers who have been screaming and pooping their pants about Socialism and government-run health care.

Go ahead. Click the link and take a look. And, if you're as tired of these boors and idiots as I am, click the image to enlarge it, print it out, and take it to your next Town Hall and hand it to these dumb motherfuckers with instructions to fill it in and take advantage of this fine offer immediately.

Because you know what, those stupid fuckheaded "Socialism R coming for mah Grammy" trolls really need to erase every trace of Socialism from their lives. Don't take Social Security — it's Socialist! See that word "Social" in there? It's government-run and comes from the tax money of hardworking citizens who would prefer that you retire onto a diet of dog food, now that we've abolished pensions and the Bush years have et and shat all over our 401(k)s and 403(b)s and anything else approximating retirement funds.

Get out of the public libraries and public schools, stay off the public roads, and don't accept those 'flu shots that the CDC sends out to save your life, and all, yaknow? To quote Elizabeth herself:
Think about it: with one signature, we will relieve you of the burden of having to participate in everything that has even the slightest whiff of anything socialisticky-ish: health care, for sure, should it come to that, but also Social Security, fire department, police, K-to-12 education, public parks and libraries. And, oh, while you're at it, would you please be kind enough to get the heck off our public roads? Thanks. You can use your jets or whatever it is that you use to get around without cluttering the stinky public streets and highways.
Feckin' eejits.

I'll bet they bend themselves into pretzels explaining why it's OK for them to benefit from some socialistic programs even as they make a backwards bridge of hands and feet trying to shove their own heads up their arses to resist "socialized medicine."

Hey, ambulatory turds, guess what? Any day now, hordes of Chinese teens or scary looking brown, not to mention hirsute, individuals like these will be airdropping over our cities attempting to garotte your Gran.

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Politics: Health Care

Yes, the debate goes on, end-fucking-lessly, except we've got Jon Stewart who gets the boot in today and shows those worthless PoS media workers, once known as journalists, now known as asslicking toadies, how to fucking do an interview, yaknow?

Watch and listen well, my children, as Jon skewers Batshit McCaughey, former Lt.-Gov. of the state of New York:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Betsy McCaughey Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

See? It's that simple. You call them out for their lies. Page FourHundredandTwenty-X saith the lying whore, and Jon made her find the fucking page and read it in front of her and said, "So where exactly does it say what you claim it says, lying sack o'shit?" or words to that effect.

But I paraphrase. Jesus Fucking J.H. Christ on a Fucking Crutch and his Black Fucking Brother Harry, people, when are the lying sacks o'shit in the media going to grow a fucking pair o'nuts, or ovaries, of steel, and ask these questions? Meanwhile the Waaah!Poo, Katie Graham's once-fine paper which now arranges pay-for-play sessions with lobbyists and Congresscritters and publicly fellates the Repuglican Party on a daily basis, is too busy gargling with someone's balls to ask any questions at all.

No link, but we hear that they're citing upChuck Grassley's pointing and sobbing at the so-called "Town Hall protesters," i.e., the astroturfers paid by the health insurance lobby to come scream incoherently at meetings on one of the most serious issues facing the nation. Yes, sirree, Bob. They're actually repeating Grassley's blithering idiocy about how the Left started it by talking about death panels (um, hey, Waaah!Poo, Grassley himself is the person who started these shenanigans by telling his constituents they should worry about Gramma, which you'd know if you'd hire researchers and reporters instead of ballgarglers); and how the astroturfers are the reason we shouldn't have this debate, even though their acts are directly in contradiction of anything approaching the workings of a democracy.

So if you're a constituent of that worthless windbag Grassley, for Chrisake, primary the bastard right out of the Senate, please. Let him go find health care at someone else's expense.

Oh, and here's some truly enjoyable "Jon Stewart pokes fun at yet another worthless windbag" moments:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Glenn Beck's Operation
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Eternally memorable line: "The hole that they stitched up in Glenn Beck's ass hasn't healed enough for him to stop talking out of it."

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Health Care: What YOU Can Do


If you've been following the increasingly manipulated state of discussions on health care lately, you're probably — like some of the inhabitants of La Casa de Los Gatos — alternating between raging furiously and slumping-down-drunk depressed. (Awright all you "clean and sober" AA types, this is obviously not directed at you, and I don't even want to know about how you're dealing with it, OTAY?)

So today we looked around for something we could DO, because, you know, action is always, like, such a fucking terrific antidote to sitting around depressed (or raging manically, for that matter). And lo and behold! NYCEve, whom we've blogged about in the past as a terrific activist on health care issues, has joined forces with the brilliant Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake to Make Things Fucking Happen. Awright! Two powerhouse women, and they're taking names and preparing to kick some (Congresscritter) asses.

This is good. Ass-kicking is something we here at La Casa de Los Gatos indulge in frequently. OK, it's mostly virtual, verbal, and vituperative, but hey. When you only have one working leg, there's only so many ways to adequately boot booty.

La Casa de Los Gatos' trademarked Golden Bat o'Clue

So go sign the fucking petition already, and donate to the cause. Jane and Eve are doing the real work, and helping them out with money will make it a tad easier for them to do what they gotta do, on behalf of you, me, and all the others out there (76 per cent of your fellow-citizens, remember) who think the current state of health insurance sucks some seriously wet stinky monkey butt.

And then go read what Donald Sutherland (one of my favourite actors for his intelligence, articulateness, and clarity of thought) has to say about the issue. He's right, yaknow. Max Baucus needs to go, quite frankly. Primary the worthless piece of shit. Out with the fucking Blue Dogs, throw the whole lot of them into the deep end of the pool.

And then go join the Single Payer Voting Bloc.

And then, let Jon Stewart and Barney Frank make you laugh your fucking ass off:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barney Frank's Town Hall Snaps
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

SSSSSAH-NAP!!! Oh, Barney Frank, please gay-marry me, dude. You just rocketed to teh top of my Congresscritter Wiv Coolth list.

Srsly. This is the only way to treat these fucking jerkoffs. Rep. Frank is absolutely right. It's like trying to have an argument with a dining table, talking to them. They're not interested in hearing anything or learning anything, they have absorbed some worthless shit or other from some worthless piece of shit or other, committed it to memory, and swallowed it whole, without question or thought.

At least if she was from another planet, she would display signs of rudimentary intelligence — you know, enough to, for example, design and build something capable of getting her from there to here.

Sorry, Human Race. She's one of ours. Blech.

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Monday, August 17, 2009


To Bri, Cephalopod Master Extraordinaire! Spreader of Sim City and other time-wasters, lender of books, friend of 15 years, victim of many culinary, uh, attempts, and silent sufferer of various hikes. Fellow lover of Science, Personal Tech Support minion, myrmidon of the Geek Revolution, and all-round general Good Guy.

Happy Birfday, Bri! Science weekend full speed ahead.

And to my very special friend of 37 years, VN vet, who survived and went on to make contributions to the mental health of Cats everywhere, political or no! You know who you are, and this blog thanks you and your fellow vets for your service to the nation.

And speaking of Vietnam Vets, Motormouth Murphy, wherever you are, goddamn it, Sunshine and Q would like you to get in touch!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Belated Caturday!


Those lazy little slackers never did remind me to post my regular Caturday diatribe. Hairy fuckwits. As the not-so-happy beneficiary of their hairball disgorgement (thanks to the summer weather, they're shedding like deciduous trees in Fall; also, brushing and combing? Not on their menu of preferences), I'm posting belated Caturday greetings to all in the hope that they'll at least leave off my pillow, deity.

In the event, apart from hairballs, life at La Casa de Los Gatos has been uneventful. Regular pissing in the hallways followed by teh employment of teh Scooba for removing all traces. Regular sleeptalking by Madu of the endlessly twitching tail (he holds it down when he sleeps; probably to keep it from twitching and waking him up). Regular threats of violence from Gustav who, after eight years with us has finally mellowed enough to not actually offer violence anymore, although he still has serious Tail Envy. (Gustav is a Japanese bobtail; his tail is best described as "looking like a chrysanthemum bud.")

Regular sproinging about the house by one Gojira Helen Wheels, who seems to think the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B is by bouncing off an intervening wall. She is also largely preoccupied with assassinating the local birdlife through the curtains. Why she doesn't actually try to do it from the other side of the curtains, where the birdies actually are, is beyond us. Somewhere in her tiny, demented brain, she probably considers the curtains part of the general birdishness of the Great Outdoors.

Late-night excursions by Bandicoot. Lying about in the mud aplenty. (It's August. One must water. Mud ensues.) Attempts to clip his copious bellyfur have led to naught. Also, pokeage. The boy has huge snowshoe paws with exceedingly long, strong claws, and he is fond of using them. When demanding pets.

Meanwhile, Zingiber, our favorite Cat of Very Little Brain, has developed a new fondness for his recently-laundered cloth doggie. (The damn thing must be stuffed with catnip.) Every single day it is thrown downstairs to reside with all the other fucking cat toys, fer crisake, you'd think he'd get a clue. But no, every evening, he lumbers up the stairs with it clasped firmly in his jaws, trying not to trip over it, while vocalizing much in the manner of a mother cat trying to demonstrate (and call her young'uns to) a fresh kill. Eeejit. Feckin' eejit. Will ye no leave the puir thing alone, ye great gob?

Guess who

What the hell, at least the lazy fucker is getting some exercise. At 23 lbs., he desperately needs it.

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Book List 2009 August Update

The updated book list has been posted over at the sisterblog, together with a review of the books read between May and now. For earlier book reviews, see here. The original list in all its glory.

And no, I really don't want to hear about what a pitiful fucking twit I am for adding endlessly to the fucking book list. This was such a good idea when it started out a few years ago. Discipline, we said. Making a list will help, we said. At last we'll start getting some of those fucking piles of books off the floor, and out of the clothes closets and strange plastic storage bins. We won't have monster piles of books all over the tables and chairs and other random furniture, we said.

Yah, right. No matter what happens, I always find the middle of the year arrives and there's an additional twenty books on the reading list, yaknow? Yes, most of the piles are off the floor and the bed and the closet and (mostly) the furniture. But is it so wrong of me to feel like King Canute, trying to hold back the sea?

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What would you do if you lost your job?

About the healthcare reform bill ...
  • What would you do if you lost your job and was unemployed for quite a while and couldn't afford COBRA?
  • What would you do if you got cancer and your health insurance dropped you?
  • What would you do if your health insurance deductible became too expensive for you?
  • What would you do if you applied for private health insurance and they refused your application because of a pre-existing condition?
  • What would you do if you got fired and the only job you could get was NOT full time and you didn't get health insurance with it?
Don't you want a government-run option?

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Politics: Health Care


There are lots of voices out there ululating their viewpoints on the topic of health care reform. As our President has pointed out repeated, those who LIKE their existing health coverage are free to stay with it. If an insurance company can't compete against a government healthcare option the way DHL or UPS compete against the USPS, then they're probably not a very efficient company and we should allow the free market to push them out of existence. Competition is healthy, it's good for the consumer, and we all benefit from it.

Meanwhile, here are some of the points from the new health care reform legislation that President Obama is seeking to implement. Please look at them carefully and ask yourself whether your existing health care provides these protections, and if it does not, whether you would benefit from these protections.
  • No Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions

    This means that insurance companies cannot refuse you coverage because of your medical history. If you know anything about your medical plan, then you know that most insurance companies will not insure those who have pre-existing conditions, and those that will charge exorbitant rates. This is because most health insurance companies are for-profit entities and their CEO salaries are exorbitantly high. That money has to come from somewhere. Guess what, it's coming from you. If you have an illness that will cost more money to treat than you can pay in premiums (cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes), the insurance company will not make a profit from your premiums, or not enough of a profit to pay their CEO $23 million a year just in salary (remember, s/he gets a bonus, a pension, lifetime healthcare, and a ton of other benefits, so his/her real compensation package is much larger than the annual salary.

  • No Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays

    A yearly cap will be set on how much the insurance companies can charge consumers for out-of-pocket expenses. Currently, most plans force the consumer to pay between $10 and $50 for each visit to the doctor and might well pay more for each prescription filled. If you're unlucky enough to have a "co-insurance" plan, the cost of a doctor's visit is much higher, as it's based on a percentage of the fee, and your share is the larger portion of whatever the fee is. A family of four, under their employer-provided or self-provided insurance coverage, could easily run up several thousands in co-pays. As for deductibles, most dental coverage limits dental work to a few thousand a year, and for orthodontia, to several thousand for life. If you've got two kids and are paying for orthodontia and regular dental, medical, prescription, and opthalmological, you're in a bad bind. The orthodontia limits alone will eat up your savings. $5K for a lifetime limit on orthodontia will barely cover one kid's braces. So, how can you lose with this protection? Answer: you can't.

  • No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care

    Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics. Think about it, folks. We all know (and if you don't, you ought to) that diseases like cancer and diabetes are diseases of old age. The older you get, the higher your chance of contracting one or both. We all also know that the earlier you treat any disease, the less it costs to treat. If you can do a lumpectomy on a suspicious breast lump, it's a hella lot cheaper than performing a double mastectomy, complete with anesthesia costs and hospital stay. Regular checkups are essential as preventive medicine. We are a nation of potential diabetics, and if blood is regularly tested as preventative for diabetes, consumers can learn early enough about proper diet and exercise to prevent or at least slow insulin resistance. That is MUCH less expensive than catching diabetes by the time someone is forty pounds overweight and firmly in its throes, and shows up at the doctor because they can no longer avoid the expensive visit.

  • No Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill

    Insurance companies cannot drop, or water down coverage for, those who become seriously ill. Remember Nataline Sarkisyan. Once they found out the girl would need a liver transplant to stay alive, the insurance company dawdled until she died. Don't worry about President Obama's "death panels." Because your insurance company already has one for you. Worry about that.

  • No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage

    Insurance companies cannot set annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive. Think about this one. If you die before you reach your 50s, you don't need to worry about a "lifetime cap." But if you're hoping to stay alive to see your grandchildren, or even your children, for a little while more, you're going to go through expensive health crises. You're going to need joint replacement, you're probably going to suffer from some sort of cancer, you might well get a degenerative disease like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. The older you are, the higher your chances. No matter how "good" your current health care plan is, it already HAS a cap, or a rider that says you're on your own if you get any of these problems. There are 11 million American cancer patients who have no health coverage. Don't be one of them. Support the public option, if only to protect yourself and your loved ones in case the worst happens.


  • Extended Coverage for Young Adults

    Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26. This is a no-brainer if you're paying for your kids' college. Did you know that many employers are "cutting costs" by going through their employees' records to find out if any of them were using the employer-provided health care to cover their children over the age of 18? Yes, they're going to make you pay back any of that money on the grounds that you committed fraud. Chances are, they'll then find a way to ease you out of employment if they can, leaving you to try and get your own damn insurance, which is so unlikely if you've "committed insurance fraud" by trying to keep your kids healthy. Also, despite Bible Spice's yawping about her disabled kid, as any parent who has a child with ongoing health problems knows, employer-provided health care will not cover that child once they turn a certain age, as determined by the insurer. What do you do if you have an autistic child, or a kid with Down's? If they're covered through age 26, you get at least eight years or more of relief from the expensive alternatives.

  • Guaranteed Insurance Renewal

    Insurance companies must renew your policy as long as you pay the premium in full. They cannot refuse to renew because you, or your dependents, became sick. If you've been paying your premiums, why the hell should they be able to suddenly stop insuring you? Many of us have paid insurance premiums for thirty or forty years, only to suddenly be told that the company will not renew. Why? Because after taking between $200 and $2,000 of your money every month for thirty years, they figure you're going to start costing them more than you already paid for their CEO's gold-trimmed toilet. So suddenly, you're out on your ass. Is this what you want, for yourself, your kids, your grandma? Hell, no. I mean, HELL, no.
If you think your insurance company is going to take care of you, fine. Stick with them, give them your money, nobody's going to stop you. But if you want some real protection from companies that could yank your insurance like Blue Cross/Blue Shield did for Cynthia Campbell, or CIGNA did for Nataline Sarkisyan, then get behind the public option and fight until it's implemented.

This is no laughing matter. If you're young and healthy now, here's some news for you: that won't last forever. Sooner or later, you're going to need some major healthcare. If you're unlucky and get in an accident, it's gonna be sooner. Read the research. Google is your friend. Look around and see how many people have a car crash and suddenly find that their health insurance won't pay for their ride to the hospital in an ambulance because they "failed to notify the company" that they were injured, in a coma, unable to speak, or whatever the hell else happened to them. Read about Cynthia Campbell. Read about Nataline Sarkisyan. Then do the right thing. Call Max Baucus and Charles Grassley (or write or email them). Tell them they'd better get the public option available for people like you and me and everyone else who needs it. Tell them you want it NOW.

Go here and educate yourself on what the proposed bill will do to help you. You owe it to yourself and to the people you love. It is a shame and a disgrace that a little girl has to die so some greedbag, who could pay for what she needed out of his pocket change, wants his profits more than her life.

According to Paul Krugman, lack of health insurance kills 27,000 Americans each year. Do you want their blood on your hands? If not, then learn about what your politicians are doing, make sure they do the right thing, and fight like hell to get it done. It's your duty as a citizen in a democracy to participate. A democracy is only as strong as its citizens. If Iraqi and Afghani citizens can risk their lives for their democracy, you can risk missing a couple of hours worth of television.


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Entertainment: Because You Need It

If you've been watching the screaming hyenas of Rightwingnuttia taking over the health care debate, then this one's for you.

Because nobody, nobody delivers Teh Skewer of Troof like Jon Stewart does. Take it away, Jon:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

You'll never find this level of troofz on Faux Noise's "Fairly Unbalanced" coverage, will ya? And the rest of the mainstream media is complicit by framing the debate in terms of controversy. A controversy ginned up by those who stand to profit from the status quo — health insurance companies, with their overpaid CEOs, lobbyists, and their like.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Politics: Republicans

we can respect. That's what we want. Is that too much to ask?


We have to listen to Bible Spice yawping her endless lies. Senator Charles Grassley, who really ought to know better, is giving credence to the fears of the elderly with his yawp about "death panels," nothing but lies. Tom Coburn, a Repugnantcan't from Oklahoma who specializes in indoctrinating his young interns into abstinence by showing them gross STD slides while serving them pizza (hello? Visuals here?) flaps his gob spewing the same lies. Then that pathetic cross-dressing liar, Rudi Giuliani, opens his yawp and spews yet more lies.

And various old farts who have been enjoying the Socialistic, Government-run and funded Medicare for a good part of their worthless lives, are out in force screaming and yelling and acting like idiots and making the rest of us old farts look bad.

Hey, lookit, you ignorami: If you're THAT het-up about Socialism, get off Medicare! Find someone willing to insure you and pay for it out of your own fucking pockets. The rest of us will take your place. I'd be happy for some government-run and funded Medicare. Die already, you worthless, oxygen-stealing sacks of shit, instead of embarrassing the rest of us who might be in your age demographic. Jesus fucking J.H. Christ, what a worthless lot of louts.

Where the FUCK are the Gray Panthers when you need 'em?

Now the Repugnants are proposing Rick Santorum as their Hope for the 2012 elections. Are you fucking kidding me, people? Rick "My last name is synonymous with fecal matter and lube" Santorum? His eyes are so close together you have to wonder if his parents are siblings. You want HIM for your candidate?

When will we find a Republican with guts and brains and something approximating decency? When will we find a Republican we can respect, like former Colorado Governor Ralph Carr?
Only one state did not take measures to prevent the Japanese from settling within its borders once they began voluntarily leaving the West Coast as they were urged to do prior to evacuation. That state was Colorado. The fact that Colorado was officially open to Japanese was due to the courage of Governor Ralph Carr, who stood firmly against the many citizens and community leaders disagreeing with his position and angered by his refusal to close the state's borders to Japanese. Compared to other states where Japanese could not rent housing or purchase food or gasoline, Colorado was what one paper described as "a haven of sorts."
Japanese could hold jobs in Colorado, but not in many other states. And the Colorado Times was the only Japanese-language newspaper allowed to publish in the United States.
-- Lest We Forget: The Japanese and America's Wartime Mistake, Joyce E. Williams and Alice M. Coleman
Governor Carr's principled stand cost him a chance at the Senate. He was one of very, very few who dared to speak out against the unprincipled herding of American citizens into concentration camps, without trial or even a determination of their guilt.

Today we have Republicans like Giuliani, Grassley, Palin, and Coburn, who lie not to save their lives (which would be understandable) but to save their corporate masters a few dollars. For that, they are willing to peddle lies, infuse the citizens with fear, and betray the basic principles of that very same democracy that they took an oath to defend.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Politics: The Constitution


Until recently, we at La Casa de Los Gatos were of the opinion that only the Idiot Son, our Chimperor from 2001 through 2008, had the temerity to refer to the document on which this nation was founded as "a goddamn piece of paper."

But thanks to literacy and the joy of reading, we find that Georgie Porgie was not the first, probably will not be the last, and is almost certainly not the only one among us who has equated this noble document with bumwad.

Which is why we should fund education, and resist the dumbing-down of the nation to which the oligarchs and corporatists among us seem committed.

Here, for your enjoyment, or at least edification, a quote:
"[...] if it is a question of the safety of the country ... the Constitution is just a scrap of paper to me."
*attributed to Asst. Sec. of War James McCloy, as quoted in Lest We Forget: The Japanese and America's Wartime Mistake, Joyce E. Williams and Alice M. Coleman

The issue in question? The forced internment of Japanese (Issei) and Japanese-American (Nisei) civilians in specially built concentration camps, in blatant disregard of Constitutional protections. Since the vast majority of those interned were guilty of nothing more than being of a different race than the majority of Americans at the time, the manifest injustice of their imprisonment required a contempt for the founding document of this country that is still difficult to believe.

Of course, one has to ask oneself exactly what people mean by "the country." Throughout history, a "country" has been variously defined as that geographical location that has been successfully held by one or more strong men (rarely, women), usually related. More recently, countries have been political entities, comprising people of different ethnicities who make common cause for their mutual protection and success. This particular country can be said to comprise those who regard this particular Constitution as a contract between themselves and their fellow citizens. That being the case, treating the Constitution as "a goddamned piece of paper" bears all the logic and clarity of thought of the statement "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

This type of information — the knowledge that the people who have power over us believe that we have no rights whatsoever — needs to be disseminated far and wide. People need to know that those who climb the ladders of power see the powerless as disposable stepping-stones to that power.

Today, we have a President who believes in listening to his fellow-citizens. This man was democratically elected in free and fair elections by nearly two-thirds of his countrymen. We also have a proportion of certifiable loons talking about bloody and violent revolution to wrest power away from our elected leader. Although they are in the minority they want to violently overcome the will of the majority.

While we agree with Jefferson that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants, we don't appreciate idiots like William Kostric conflating the fairly elected and chosen President of two-thirds of his nation with tyrants like, say, Dim Son. Where was this self-proclaimed "hero" and "patriot" as Bush and his cohorts systemically looted the nation and broke its infrastructure? Cowering under his bed? Peeing his pants for fear of the pigment-endowed and hirsute perpetrators of Terra?

Mr. Kostric, since you're fond of quotations, consider these, if you will:
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
-- Samuel Johnson (Boswell's Life of Johnson)

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.
-- Jonathan Swift
*Note: James McCloy testified in 1981 before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians that he did not make this statement.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Politics: Health Care


Our fine President shows you that he knows EXACTLY what he's talking about.

Here, in his fine speech at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Town Hall on health care, he lays out clearly, point by point, what he's been doing and what he is doing and what he WILL BE doing.

So, listen to our President on CNN — listen to the whole fucking speech, OK? Because he states exactly what his vision of health care reform is. And he is so fucking right. Everything he is saying is backed up by facts, statistics, reports, studies, and individual anecdotes. And he is right, goddamn it, right!

"No one in America should go broke because they get sick," he says. No more ludicrous out-of-pocket limits! Preventive care and routine screening to take care of illness before it becomes costly and unaffordable.

"Our deficit will continue to grow because Medicare and Medicaid are" on an unsustainable path, he says. Within eight to 10 years, Medicaid will go broke. "Change is hard, and it doesn't start in Washington," he says. He's asking for our help. Knock on doors, talk to neighbours, spread the facts. "If health care reform was easy, it would already have been done," says our President. And he's right.

He's got the figures to back him too. He talks about the $177 billion dollar subsidy to the health insurance industry. He talks about the $80 billion in rebates that the drug industry has agreed to give their customers under the Reform Act. He talks about the administrative problems inherent in transitioning to single-payer healthcare. He's thought the issues through. He talks about the need for the reform to be self-sustaining, and about the ability of private insurers to compete with the government as a provider of health coverage, and about the cost to small businesses.

He won't sign a bill that adds to the deficit or the national debt. He points out that the previous health care legislation signed was Medicare Part D, which was not paid for at all and created a huge problem with the national debt, as well as creating the "doughnut hole" that forces seniors to pay for costly medication out of pocket. He wants to pay for the reforms by rolling back the Bush tax cuts.

He points out that 14,000 Americans lose their health coverage each day; that insurance company bean counters currently decide whether people can or should have a procedure or a medication. And you know what? He is right.

Nataline Sarkisyan

This, folks, is the face of our current health care system. Nataline Sarkisyan was a teenager covered by her parents' supposedly excellent health care plan. But when she needed a liver transplant, the insurance company that covered her decided that they wouldn't pay for her liver transplant, in essence condemning this child to death.

So if anyone starts yawping about government-run "death panels" (Yes, I'm looking at you, Bible Spice, you unregenerate attention-whore)? La Casa de Los Gatos recommends you print out Nataline Sarkisyan's picture on some good heavy board, roll it into a tube and stick up their collective asses. Alternatively, a couple of "edjumacations" with the trademarked Golden Bat o'Clue might help them towards a faint hint of enlightenment.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

The Police State

Jesus fucking J.H. Christ and his Black brother Harry. Is this what it's come to? Body-slamming frail, elderly grannies with dementia in the interests of "protecting and serving?"

Who the fuck, just who the fuck are the cops "protecting" when they slam this poor old lady to the ground and leave her bleeding? Like being old and disoriented isn't bad enough?

I thought the last time the cops engaged in a little granny-bashing was, truly, the last time I'd hear about this. But these motherfuckers — hey, that lady cop has got to outweigh the victim by a good 100 lb., at least.

Your friendly local Cat has had to disarm knife-wielding persons before. It happens sometimes in the course of an argument that an overly-excited person picks up something that they think will help them, um, forcefully drive their point, as it were, home. If you're younger and stronger than the other person, you can get the weapon away from them pretty easily. You do risk getting cut, of course, and you might lose a little blood. But, you know, if you're, like, arguing with grandma, it's no big deal to step behind the old lady, grab her wrist, and twist it till she drops the knife. Unless she has a black belt in some martial art, she's not gonna be able to fight back.

So why these fucking proto-fascists felt the need to body-slam Grammy is completely fucking beyond me, OK?

Here's the facts of the case, as reported by Raw Story:
  • The lady in this disgusting video evidence of police brutality is one Virginia Dodson of Whitehall, Ohio;

  • Ms. Dodson is 84 years old and suffers from Alzheimer's Disease;

  • Her daughter, who is her primary caregiver, was running an errand at the local Mall*Wart, and took Mom with her (probably because there is no alternate caregiver, or one wasn't available right then);

  • Understandably, the daughter didn't want to take her into the store, so left her buckled into her seat in the car;

  • At some point, poor disoriented Ms. Dodson lost track of why exactly she was all alone in a car, strapped into her seat, and panicked. She cut the strap with a steak knife she found in the car and exited the car, knife in hand, calling her daughter's name.

  • Thanks to the police, she now has stitches closing the wound in the back of her head, and possibly a broken hand.
Now, some people are all, incensed, screaming, hey, the cops had to take her down 'cause, you know, she had a knife and she threatened some kid, and like that.

OK, you dumb motherfuckers, you wanna live in a police state, move to fucking Afghanistan or where-the-fuck-ever. And ask yourself how you'd feel if that was your Grandma the cops were bashing around. Or you, your very own precious self, some 40 or 60 years from now when you can no longer remember your name or how to wipe your own fucking ass. And don't forget to meditate on the fact that any kid that can't outrun an 84-year-old frail elderly woman who walks with a cane is gonna get Darwinized sooner or later.

Other people are claiming Ms. Dodson's daughter is responsible for this unholy mess because she "neglected" her mom. You lot, form a line to the right. The trucks will be coming any minute now to schlep you off to the local senior home or nursing home or any other place with a high proportion of physically and/or mentally disabled people. You're sentenced to do caretaker duty for them until you figure out just how difficult it is to look after someone with that particular combination of disabilities.

What does this story teach us, boyz'ngirlz?
  • One, somebody is putting something truly sinister in the drinking water in Ohio. Either that or the whole fucking state is in the nth degree of crayzee natural-born fucking fascist loons. Maybe we should send all the other loonies there and build high concrete walls around the state. Eh?

  • Two, Our care of the elderly, especially the elderly with mental disabilities, is fucking appalling. Why is Ms. Dodson's daughter forced to schlep Mom around and lock her in a car while she does the grocery shopping? Why don't we have daycare for the elderly and mentally disabled?

  • Three, The police forces in this country desperately need new, better policy positions. One of the first things I'd like to see is the removal of those glorified cattle prods known as Tasers.

    And yes, I'm well aware of the fact that most cops lose their lives when intervening in domestic violence situations.
Is respect for the human rights enshrined in the Constitution too much to ask of our police? Because if it is, we need to scrap the existing police force and recreate it from the ground up.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

You MUST read Zeitoun. Especially if you live in one of those areas -- like I do -- that can be struck by a natural disaster. Most of us do now, don’t you think? With global warming, there are more fierce hurricanes, more tornados.

... to read the whole review, see our sisterblog , TPC-CultureVultures.

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Politics: Supporting Teh Troops


You know how the 82nd Chairborne support teh troops? They caterwaul about how the VA is a total waste of money (ignoring the fact that it's a socialistic, government-run health care system that gives teh troops teh "best health care" available). They complain that Walter Reed hospital is typical of the VA hospitals (ignoring the fact that the Bushies turned it over to private, "for profit" profiteers who took it to egregious new depths, leaving injured and helpless soldiers lying in pools of their own piss, exposing them to mold and dirt and disease in the interest of making one extra buck or twoi). They fight people like Jim Webb who created the new GI Bill that will acknowledge and reward those who lay their lives down when their country calls, and put their minds and bodies in the line of fire in the name of duty. They try to overturn such legislation while buying enormous American flags (made in China) or those stupid little yellow ribbons (also made in China). They attack vets who might not agree with wars of choice. They attack these people, their homes, and their families. From the comfort of their airconditioned offices.

They think it's totally OK that Blackwater, that crusading Christian bunch of bloodthirsty child rapers, shot and killed Iraqis "for fun" while making tons more money than the troops who volunteered to serve the nation. They think it's totally OK that Kellog, Brown, Root and its parent company Halliburton got "no-bid" government contracts and supplied the troops with rotten food and water while spending taxpayer money on luxuries for themselves.

You wanna know what "supporting the troops" looks like? This is supporting the troops. Friends of this soldier, who served two tours of duty as a medic in Iraq, rebuilt his classic car for him as a welcome home present. FTA:
One of them volunteered to rebuild the rig while Chad was serving his country as a medic, the second of two tours to the Middle East. Chad also served as an active duty member in 1991 during the first Gulf War.

Chad's friends and family spent weeks re-wiring and re-building the 66 Chevy, then surprised him when his deployment ended.
To the 82nd Chairborne: That's supporting the troops, motherfuckers. Not threatening them and trashing them and criticizing them. Fixing the car they left behind. Helping out their parents, or their spouses, or their kids. Sending them things they need. Raising money to buy them decent body armor when Dick "Dick aka Satan" Cheney pulls strings to award taxpayer money to military contractors who give these poor guys and gals body armor worth less than shit. Adopting their pets so the soldier can leave with an easy mind and look forward to coming home to a friend who will probably console them better than most people could.

That's fucking supporting the fucking troops. Sign up, you chickenshit motherfuckers, before attacking those who have the guts to do so. Let's see you slog in the desert heat, live on contaminated supplies, and get your ass shot off a couple of times. Then come tell us about "supporting teh troops."

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Entertainment: Make Your Own

Kenyan Birth Certificate!

At Kenyan Birth Certificate Generator dot com

Yay! You can do it too!

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Women's Rights: Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein

Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein

If you haven't heard of Lubna Ahmed al-Hussain, you need to.

Ms. Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein is a Sudanese journalist who, until recently, also worked for the United Nations. Why does she no longer work for the U.N., you ask?

Because recently, Ms. al-Hussein was enjoying herself in the company of other women like herself at a restaurant in Khartoum when some 20 or 30 policemen arrested her, and twelve of her compatriots, for the crime of — wearing trousers. Ms. al-Ahmed decided to fight this ridiculous charge, and, when the U.N. moved to protect her as an employee, she resigned her U.N. post to fight it on her own.

Brave does not begin to describe this woman. She faces a whipping — 40 lashes — for her "crime." To demonstrate her commitment to her cause — defying this application of the law as "un-Islamic" and not deriving from the underlying authority for Shari'a law, the Quran — Ms. al-Hussein wore the exact same outfit she was wearing at her arrest to her court hearing. The charges against her, FTA:
[A]rticle 152 of the Sudanese criminal law of 1991 [provides that] women [...] wearing clothes that causes “public uneasiness” [or] a “threat to the Sudanese society values and virtues[...]” [are] subject to 40 lashes in public
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) is calling on all NGOs working on human rights issues to get involved.

Ms. al-Hussein plans to fight the charges all the way to the Constitutional Court, if necessary, she says, adding that her plan is to get rid of Article 152, which is more stringently enforced against women, and constitutes an invidious form of discrimination. Ms. al-Hussein has said she is willing to endure 40,000 lashes to fight this discriminatory law.

Some of the other women arrested with her have decided not to fight the charges, and accepted their whipping quietly. Not Ms. al-Hussein. She has printed invitations for the press and human rights activists to witness her trial, and plans to print invitations to the whipping if she loses her court case.

Ms. al-Hussein's bravery has inspired demonstrations by her supporters, according to al-Jazeera. Sudanese police have used tear-gas to disperse her protestors, and the court in which she was to be tried has postponed her case while they verify whether she has legal immunity from prosecution due to her status as an employee of the U.N. Ms. al-Hussein has called this "an attempt to delay the case," since she resigned from the U.N. before the trial specifically to renounce any immunity. FTA:
"If some people refer to the sharia to justify flagellating women because of what they wear, then let them show me which Quranic verses or hadith [sayings of the Prophet Mohammed] say so. I haven't found them," she said.
Two paws up from La Casa de Los Gatos, Ms. al-Hussein! We hope you win your case and get this foolish law repealed.

Note: Sharia law is only applied in the Muslim north of Sudan. The southern part of the country consists mainly of animists and Christians, and the Islamic legal framework does not apply there.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

You did good, Bill ...

Congratulations to former President Bill Clinton for meeting with Kim Jong Il and escorting American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling back to the United States. The Huffington Post reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and staff have been busy negotiating the journalists' release for the past month.

Huffington headline:

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President Obama and Family

It is the birthday of the 44th President of these United States. The 48th birthday, to be exact. President Obama, we at this fine blog know that our voices are joining millions of others in wishing you a happy birthday, and a good year, and a great life. You have done your fellow citizens proud with all the good things you do, great and small.

It is also the birthday of veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas. Here's how President Obama acknowledged her birthday. What a guy!

Happy Birthday, Helen, the last of the true journalists! You keep holding their feet to the fire, no matter their politics, no matter their ideology. Happy Birthday to the First Lady of the White House Press Corps!

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Kiran Bedi: Yes Madam, Sir

Here's a movie I'd like to see:

Want to know more about this fabulous woman? Go to Wikipedia here.

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Entertainment: ZOMFG

Uh ... not sure if this is funny or simply insane. Think of it as an exercise in surrealism. Surrealism as humour. Humour as surrealism. Republicans are teh crazy and they ain't gettin' no better:

So. Is this Bizarroworld Crayzee, or what?

This is the Kitty Pilgrim interview to which O Rly? Taintz refers:

This is the birth certificate that O Rly? Taintz claims is President Obama's "Kenyan birth certificate."

Over at Politijab, some enterprising soul has made an absolutely viral-worthy analysis of said BC.

Kos himself has pointed out some of the major glaring, um, inconsistencies in the document Taintz claims to be President Obama's REAL birth certificate.

The news media has not been far behind in pointing out the obvious forgery, either.

Meanwhile, some enterprising soul has filed a complaint with the State Bar of California (the only state in which Taintz, who received her "law degree" from a mail-order diploma mill, is licensed to practice) against Dr. Atty. Mrs. Taekwondo Black Belt Realtor O Rly Taintz.

They don't come any nuttier than this broad. Does anyone agree with me that this just might be Sascha Baron Cohen in drag working on his next film? I mean, the blonde wig, the huge fake eyelashes, the drugged-looking eyes ...


Yaknow, things are really bad when KKKarl Rove, the "Unseen Hand" behind some of the dirtiest dirty tricks in the Rethuglican Playbook, thinks you're nuckin' futz.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

In Sympathy ... we send condolences to Tel Aviv

Earlier today a masked man opened fire inside a LGBTQ Center in Tel Aviv. Currently, three people are dead, 10 injured. We send our sincere condolences to Tel Aviv's LGBTQ community.

The New York Times reports on it. To read more, go here. You need to register with the NYTimes ... but it's free.


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Yes, it's that time of week again, dear friends and visitors. Caturday. The day when all good hoominz, accompanied (one hopes) by their Feline Friends and Overlords, attend to the business of weekend living. Which, at least in the opinion of teh Felines, should be limited to lots of lolling about, far from combs, brushes, and clippers, preferably in a warm spot of sun.

The residents at La Casa de Los Gatos are in various stages of napdom, preparing for the exhaustion of Sleep later. Y'know, they need to get their strength up for strenuous activities such as sleeping.

Geez, for the life of a cat! Eat, sleep, play, sleep, eat, sleep, play, sleep. We, the hoomin inhabitants, are planning to get useful in the garden, which is crossing from the stage of delightful spring bloom to dry brown high-fire-hazard dead material.

Bandicoot, senior Feline-in-Residence, has been unbelievably helpful in the garden. Chewing away at the occasional weed, annoying various species of birds, waving a fat, fur-laden white paw at the many different colours of butterflies (he doesn't want to kill them or hurt them, I think he's just trying to say "Ohai!"), gathering as many types and quantities of dried plant and insect material for stowage in his ample belly folds and fur (whence, of course, onto the hoominz' bed, the little pig), and generally poking the hoomin whenever any attempt at rest (by hoomin, not by himself) is made, with extremely large sharp claws. Pokes usually followed by a swipe at hoomin face-parts, or sinking said claws into thigh flesh.

What is it with these little fuckers, when they're not trying to dig your eyes out or lacerate you into full-scale bleeding, they're licking whatever body part is in convenient reach. I'm'a start renting the kid out for facial exfoliations to rich bitches. Probly have to do something about his fishy breath first, though.

They all got their flea meds this morning. The idea is to sneak up on them while they're sleeping, since otherwise, one is rewarded with the sound of galloping cats and the sight of a small cloud of dust and hair where cats had ere reposed. Needless to say, they're not too happy now, but perhaps a day in the sunny garden, interspersed with the usual huge feedings of kibble, will help.

Huge feedings, no kidding. There's only two of them that weigh less than 10 lb at this point. The two, heh, biggest contenders for King of teh CatHeap: Zingiber, at 23 lb., and Bandicoot at 19 (meaner than Zingiber, but only slightly: he snarls. ZB appears to have lost his voice, probably from howling the car to smithereens on the annual trip to the vet, and is too lazy to fight anyone, preferring the Weighty Squash as a superior method of disposing of opponents).

Queen of the CatHeap, Gojira Helen Wheels, has fled onto the hills above after complaining bitterly about her self-perceived lack of need for flea meds. Fortunately, her claws are tiny, transparent things, hardly capable of a penetrating scratch. And her teeth are like rice grains. UNfortunately, she has a burrowing habit: she burrows beneath the bedclothes, finds the nearest available body part (usually a bum) and fixes her teeth in it with vigor. No sleep for teh hoominz tonight. Bums will be bitten in revenge.

Madu, a typical representative of teh Ginger Cat species (sweet and amiable, but utterly brainless), actually came inside during the proceedings and since he is quite easily caught (not having the wit to wander or, in the interest of self-preservation, flee), was swiftly doused. As a result of which, he has leapt off the bedroom balcony to sulk in the garden below. We may rename him Wamba, son of Witless, in honour of Ivanhoe, a book much favoured by the siblings of teh hoomin, as well as by self. Although unfitted for the post of jester by inability to vocalize in hoomin, the fellow talks to himself constantly, even in his sleep, with variations of pitch and timbre, swooping high and rumbling low. It's like falling asleep in a movie theatre, having the Idiot Boy next to one's ear of nights. OTOH, I suppose we should be grateful he doesn't snore like his rather loud uncles.

The climbing rose is still blooming, way too late in the season. Its normal bloom season is late March through mid-May; the purple wisteria is putting forth a last few late buds; the bougainvillea is a magnificent carpet of magenta soaring as high as 18 feet in some places. Sore knee or no, we must tend to it all, preferably with clippers. Also blooming: white oleander, in two places; Santa Cruz hibiscus, a lovely purple; South African native Crocosmia, a very invasive and well adapted pest with lovely wands of orange-yellow flowers; Dietes vegeta, the kaffir lily, or rain lily, white flowers with purple markings that look surprisingly like an iris; Tibouchina, with its fist-sized purple flowers; a fiery red-and-orange lantana; Buddleias in several shades of purple; California poppies (not flowering very well this year; it's been too cool and foggy); and scabiosa in white, pink, red, burgundy, and purple. Also, a significant quantity of oenothera, pink-flowered and yellow; lavender, fragrant and much-loved by bees; Nigella damascena, with its papery straw-colored seed-heads like large balloons; Gloriosa daisies, bright yellow with dark brown centres; a yellow cosmos; the occasional, mostly hidden dianthus; a few hardy flax plants, blue and red; plenty of dill, dammit; and the echium is trying to push through a few late-blooming heads, all purple and blue, for the enjoyment of the bees.

A lovely day will be had by all. And that includes you. Enjoy teh Caturday!

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Entertainment: Because You Need It

After that very depressing post on Otty Sanchez.

So witness, if you will, some really interesting buggers taking on that wretched piece of subhuman refuse, John Yoo (author of Dick'nBush's War on Terra torture-justifying memos):

People, when the fuck is this war criminal going to pay for his crimes, goddammit? What a fucking pathetic ambulatory turd — getting his elderly secretary to throw these young men out instead of answering their questions. John, don't you believe in the essential rightness of your arguments for torture? Man up, you ball-less nutsack!

Somebody try the motherfucker, and soon. He has disgraced the Law, his ethnic group, his sex/gender, Boalt Hall, the fine state of California, and the human race, in no particular order.

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Human Rights: Why Reproduction Should Be

a licensed activity

Otty Sanchez and her baby

This is Otty Sanchez, a 33-year-old woman from San Antonio, Texas. Otty is in the news today because she killed her only child, a 3.5-week-old boy named Scott Wesley Sanchez Buchholz. Ms. Sanchez then proceeded to skin, gut, and decapitate the infant, and then, according to one or more news reports, eat parts of its body.

This last fact is disputed by Ms. Sanchez' family. Understandably. While the specter of your sister or daughter killing her kid is bad enough, the idea of said person actually cannibalizing the defenseless sprog has to make the toughest stomach churn.

Also understandably, the tabloid press, or gutter press, or yellow press, whatever you call it, is going hog wild with cries of "Cannibal Mom!" while a large number of Ms. Sanchez' fellow-Texans and fellow-Americans, most likely Republicans from the tone of their comments, are calling for her death, accompanied, preferably, by prolonged suffering.

La Casa de Los Gatos has only this to say to this last pack of hyenas: Shut the fuckety-fucking-fuck UP! You fucking morons. You fucking-fuckety-fucked-up fucking morons. Exclamation points, multiple. Do you seriously think a human being who has been trying to have a baby for something like five fucking years is going to kill and mutilate it just for fun? Do you people have any idea what pregnancy does to a woman's body and mind? No, of course not, or you couldn't make your moronic pronouncements. All you want to do is cannibalize the tragedy, and it is a tragedy, you worthless fucking fucks.

La Casa de Los Gatos is also using this tragedy, but for a different purpose: to point out that procreation is indulged in way too casually by all and sundry, with never a thought to the consequences. To argue for contraception as a basic human right (and, yes, that includes abortion, adoption, birth control, chemical or mechanical, sterilization, and anything else in our population control armory). To call attention to the incredible hypocrisy with which our society yawps about the sacredness of sprog and human life and procreation while ignoring the real needs of children, mothers, mentally ill people, poor people without resources.

This issue is our favourite (if one can grace it with such a description) bugbear.

Otty Sanchez was diagnosed as a schizophrenic approximately a year ago. The father of the baby, Scott Buchholz, is also a schizophrenic. Otty and Scott met at a local college where they were both training for careers as dental or medical techs. It is not clear whether either of them has a job. What is clear is that both of them are seriously mentally ill with an illness that requires them to remain on medication for the rest of their lives, and that, absent regular medication, they are or could be a danger to themselves or others.

So riddle me this, children. What are two seriously mentally ill people doing having a fucking baby? Srsly. We don't know if schizophrenia is hereditary, but the NIMH (National Institutes of Mental Health) has this to say on the topic:
If you have a close relative (parent or sibling) with schizophrenia, you have a 10 percent chance of also developing schizophrenia. In identical twins, the chances are much higher, at 40 to 65 percent.


In July of 2008, a study came out looking at the genetic causes of schizophrenia. So far, it looks as if there are three kinds of genetic material (microdeletions) present in non-schizophrenics and lacking in schizophrenics, and it's thought that this factor can make a person more prone to developing schizophrenia, but may not be the actual cause. These microdeletions do seem to run in families. Other factors thought to combine together with these genes include problems with brain chemistry, injuries to the brain during birth that leave the brain smaller than normal, and traumatic or very stressful events.
NIMH states that one per cent of the planetary population is schizophrenic. That would be some sixty million people who suffer from this mental disease. Most mentally ill people pose no danger to others. However, symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, auditory and visual, and disorders of thought. Schizophrenics might not understand the nature of the thoughts they are having and might not understand cause and effect when in the grip of their personal, let's call them, demons.

This would explain why a woman who wanted and loved her child might pick up a knife and inflict fatal damage on the child and near-fatal damage on herself.

Otty Sanchez was also diagnosed with post-partum psychosis. Post-partum psychosis (PPP) is a rare mental illness that affects one out of 1,000 women who have borne a child. Unlike the more common PPD (post-partum depression), PPP, which results from the same causes as PPD, can cause a new mother to suffer hallucinations, lose contact with reality, and become a danger to herself, her child, and possibly, others.

Ms. Sanchez has been institutionalized in the past for mental illness. And, to the credit of her poor, disordered mind, she tried to get help shortly before she killed her child. Surprisingly, the hospital to which she went released her. Or perhaps it's not so surprising. She went to the emergency room for treatment (let me guess — no health insurance). And, as everyone knows, emergency rooms are not staffed with mental health workers, in addition to being horribly overcrowded, overused, and understaffed. So they sent her home to her baby. FTA:
Had deputies been called to the home, they might have been able to intervene, said Deputy Chief Dale Bennett of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

"Most of our officers have been trained in mental health awareness, so they had a strong probability of recognizing what was going on," Bennett said.

Many of the people involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation initially are arrested by law enforcement officers investigating domestic disturbances, said Kevin McManus, a public defender who works with Bexar County clerk's Mental Health Office.

State law doesn't permit health care providers or authorities to detain a mentally ill patient against his their will unless that person is considered an immediate threat to himself or others.

"A lot of times, the officer is the best person to tell if someone appears to be a threat," McManus said.
Ironic, innit? Would you call the cops on your sister/cousin/kid? Otty Sanchez' family does not appear to be wealthy. In addition, they're Latina, and if a renowned scholar like Dr. Gates gets hassled by the cops in an upscale University town, just imagine the relationships between poor Latinos and the cops in Texas.

I'm guessing the family figured if they called the cops, Otty would be manhandled, thrown in jail, and further traumatized, not to mention the issue of what it would do to her already fragile mental health. So they didn't call the cops. They figured, she had a therapist appointment on Monday, they'd tell the shrink she was "hearing voices," and try to figure out how to handle the whole thing then. Except right before that, she killed the baby.

I know it sounds harsh to say that people like Otty Sanchez and Scott Buchholz have no business having a baby. And it sounds like eugenics to ask for population control measures that prevent people who have inheritable diseases that will permanently and negatively affect a child's health or life from having a child. But how do you propose to protect children from danger otherwise? Implementing such a scheme would undoubtedly raise cries of racism, discrimination, class warfare, undemocratic actions not consistent with human rights and civil liberties, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

But I am so fucking heartily sick of seeing the most defenseless of victims fall prey to the needs and wishes of others. How could this tragedy — like Andrea Yates' tragedy, and countless others — have been prevented? Anybody have an idea? All I can come up with is reversible sterilization the minute people's gonads become active, followed by a reversal only when an individual has shown that they are ready, willing, and ABLE to provide the kind of care a helpless sprog needs. Otherwise, what we're saying to ourselves and each other is that the wishes of individuals to procreate outweigh the basic right to safety of the result of the procreation. If we're not willing to do this, then we should just come out and bag the whole "human life is sacred" crap and start using fetii or even children as food material. Yaknow, Soylent Green, and all that.

For the record, I think abortion is far more humane than killing a child after it's born.

And this is how much the issue of PPD is finally affecting the collective consciousness of this country: none other than Rupert Murdoch catbox litter, aka Faux Noise, is actually calling for mandatory pre- and post-partum screening for new mothers. Good idea, Fox, but won't we need to finance this, as in, have some kind of single-payer health plan in order for this to happen? Otherwise, what's the solution? Screen them and turn them loose? So they can kill their kids?

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