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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Politics: Supporting The Troops

You know how we're always shooting off our mouth here at La Casa de Los Gatos, about how we should be doing more for our troops?

Because, you know, it's like the conservatives, ReUglycans, and teabaggers seem to have co-opted that issue right out from under us.

And we don't like that one fucking bit. All kinds of people end up in the military. Some of them are very rightwing, some of them are pretty fucking leftwing. As far as we here at La Casa de Los Gatos are concerned, their politics ain't the issue. Face it, you can't get most people to whistle a tune in fucking harmony, how the hell are you going to get an entire fucking military to have a single point of view on politics?

No, for us, the issue is, when you ask someone to go get killed because their Commander-in-Chief said so, then you owe them something. Maybe you don't need to wipe their fucking ass for the rest of their natural-born days. But you sure as hell don't kick them to the curb and treat them like bumwad, either.

Because once these guys join the military, the only way they can disobey orders (regardless about how they might feel about the righteousness or justice of those orders) is to risk the loss of their career, their benefits, few as they are, and jail time.

And you know how anxious the world is to hire a jailbird, especially these days when you're lucky to be underemployed, at best.

So it turns out that there's an organization that builds homes for vets who are severely injured in the line of duty.

And it warms the cockles of our shriveled black heart to hear that they're doing this for one Frank Pierson, who lost one leg and a significant part of another in Iraq. And the most touching part?
"Many people who volunteer to work on these homes are Vietnam veterans," Thomas said. "They said they've sworn that they wouldn't have another war where veterans were treated as they were when they returned from Vietnam."
Kudos to those VN vets who, after all they went through, still found room in their hearts to help their fellow soldiers out.

You know we don't support the war in Afghanistan, we didn't support the war in Iraq, we were opposed to the bombing of Serbia, and we utterly despised, resisted, and demonstrated against the war in Vietnam. But these guys who get their asses blown off and their heads fucked up? They're not the ones who are getting rich off any of this. They're not the ones making the decisions. Just like the rest of us working stiffs, they got hired into this organization which pays them in "pride" and "honour" rather than, you know, filthy lucre, aka money.

It suckers them into this whole ethos of "serving the nation" (even though that hasn't been an issue since WW II, the last "righteous war"), and then pays them squat to go out and be cannon fodder. It imposes a strict training system that creates lifelong bonds between these people who, depending for their very lives on their comrades, are more tightly tied to them because of shared danger and trauma than most people are to their spouses and children.

If they make it back less than whole, it does its best to deny them care for any suffering they might have undergone.

And those same assholes of the rightwing who scream the loudest about "Supporting Teh Troops" are the same motherfucking pig-diddlers who vote against any funding for the VA, for educational opportunities for vets, for any improvement in servicemembers' lives. They're the assholes who won't volunteer, who find ways to vote for every war that every existed and ways to avoid getting their own worthless asses shot up. Those are the same dicksuckers who piss and moan about how "the troops volunteered, they need to suck it up."

Well, suck this, assholes.

As for the rest of youse, if you want to lend a hand, donate money, supplies, or labour, get your ass over there and do your thang. You'll find them here.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Stumble It!

Entertainment: Cats!

Well, it's a parody of that 300 movie, but, as always — it's better with CATS!

OMG. It is to laugh hysterically.

Labels: , ,

Stumble It!

Saturday, February 20, 2010



The alarm of choice appears to be small woolly mice with bells on their necks this week. Curse the day we ever bought them toys. Especially noisy little toys. Bandicoot has now adopted one of Zingiber's more obnoxious habits — every night, as soon as the lights are out, he waddles downstairs, "catches" (yeah, right, fatso) one of the mice, and begins the loud trilling call that cats use to signal other cats regarding the imminent massacration of a particularly choice or tasty piece of prey. Shaking the poor mouse vigorously, he ascends, with a muffled meow and a heavy tread, all accompanied by the tinkling of the mousie's bell, scandalized at the failure of the hoominz at La Casa de Los Gatos to notice, admire, and praise his mouse-dispatching skillz.

We am dem culpritz

Note small woolly mouse in foreground with red wool tail and golden bell attached by red wool.

This usually gets the other cats all excited. Some come to praise in loud tones. Others come to admire. Still others come to steal the prey. Soon, the chase is on. Two twenty-pounders thundering around the bedroom, cannoning off furniture and other obstacles, while the other three, lighter fellows engage in some hearty face-punching, mouse-stealing, tail-biting, and the like.

Shenanigans increased by the slippery smoothness of the hardwood floor which often sends one or more of the offenders caroming under the bed to hit a wall (that runs close by our ears) with a resounding thud. You wonder if they're wearing protective gear that we don't know about. By rights, they should all, at this point, have multiple broken bones. I would, if I crashed into a wall with so much noise.

In the event, the desired effect is achieved. We are wakened, furious, and unable to go back to sleep for quite a while. Time we spend smoking frantically on the front porch with a glass of wine, while thinking the nastiest possible thoughts about pets, cats, people, sleep, and politics in general.

Life with cats. Often more entertaining than TV, until it comes time to pay the piper.

Labels: , ,

Stumble It!

The best movies I have ever seen

Over at the sisterblog, the definitive list. Feel free to add your own.

Yeah, yeah, I know: Ridley Scott's Alien, Alex Cox' Repo Man, and a couple dozen others belong on that list, and I just fuckin' forgot them. And it's kinda heavy on Kurosawa (he was fucking great! Just fuckin' great!) and Zhang Yi-mou and Satyajit Ray. So sue me.

And, for your edification, the 50 most racist movies that you might not have thought were racist.

Labels: , ,

Stumble It!

Politics: Forgotten "Heroes" of a Forgotten War

It's heartwarming, to say the least, that despite the unpopularity of both the Iraq and the Afghanistan wars, the troops who are doing the fighting have not faced anything like the hostility and condemnation that Vietnam veterans faced when they returned from that unfortunate military episode. Despite the fact that the Vietnam "war" was never actually a war (that is, Congress never actually declared war) and that it was originally sold to the public and the military as a noble attempt to "contain" the "communists," it was, at least initially, quite popular with the American public.

It was not until later in the prosecution of this terrible adoration of Moloch that the American public, seeing their sons come home in body bags, turned against the war that was not a war. Some 58,000 dead sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, and friends later.

The legacy of that military orgy remain with us today. It'll be gone soon enough, when we sweep the last of the bodies under the rug and continue with the foolish militarism that Eisenhower's warned-of "military-industrial complex" continues to indulge in, at the expense of minds and bodies worldwide.

In the interim, what we have are incidents like these:

The elderly man in this clip is one Thomas Bruso, known throughout the Bay Area as "Tom Slick," or "Vietnam Tom." He is apparently well known throughout the Bay Area, having been involved in at least one other videotaped altercation. He swears like a fucking longshoreman, and as you visitors and friends at this fine blog can testify, that makes him exceedingly popular with los gatos de mi casa, given as we are to the fine art of fucking swearing.

Mr. Bruso is, some say, 62 years old, or perhaps 67. Nobody seems to know exactly. The other incident that brought him to the attention of the authorities involved an A's game. Mr. Bruso apparently brought his own alcohol to the game and sat in a seat that he was not entitled to deposit his arse in. Some irate motherfucker or the other called the police, and multiple pigs descended on this elderly gentleman and proceeded to taser the fuck out of him.

To the credit of the fine people of Oakland who were watching the game, the crowd pretty universally booed the pigs, and they have been forced to defend their use of a taser on an elderly man whose only apparent crime was to flip them a finger for interrupting his enjoyment of the game.

Of course, Mr. Bruso may be elderly but he is a motherfucking big guy, and apparently scares the shit out of a lot of people when he starts cussing. Buncha fucking pussies, if you ask me. Actually, los gatos de mi casa would like to repudiate the use of that term and refer you, our fine readers, to cats of your own acquaintance who, in the middle of a fight, have been known to call each other things that would make a longshoreman faint dead away.

In the event, it is not clear to us that Mr. Bruso actually *is* a vet, or actually served in Vietnam, but it appears to be the case, and we take the man at his word. As for his encounter with this dumbass, some people — a lot of people, sadly — are trying to make this about race.

To that, and to those people, let me just say a hearty "Fuck you." Black, brown, and white, all of us who saw this saw an idiot messing with a guy that he should have left alone. And he got his fucking ass kicked, and that's fine by me, and, apparently, by a huge honkin' slice of Oakland's nonwhite community. So don't try to make this about no white people's shit, because it ain't. Kudos to the black lady who tried to calm everyone down and keep the situation from escalating. And a heartfelt kick in the ass to the bitches who kept egging the parties on.

It's about acting tough and trying to fuck people over and getting what you deserve.

The people who videotaped this whole escapade apparently stole (as seen on the video clip) Mr. Bruso's bag, and although police returned it to him some time later, it was missing the money that had been it. I hope the thief develops the world's worst case of crotch rot that will only be alleviated by returning the money.

The upshot of this little incident is that Mr. Bruso was taken by the police to a psychiatric facility to be evaluated. Apparently, he had gone off his medication.

In the event, it ended reasonably well for Mr. Bruso. He was released, and his assailant has refused to press charges. I guess it's just too embarrassing to admit that someone your granddad's age fucking kicked your ass even though you were armed with a knife. It should keep the idiot, at least temporarily, from pulling knives on elderly bus riders.

Here is Mr. Bruso telling his story:

You can tell from listening to him that something is not quite right with Mr. Bruso. He might be developmentally disabled or delayed; he might be mentally ill. Nothing has been confirmed as yet. But there was no call for that bratty little thug to treat him the way he did, and I'm glad that Mr. Bruso escaped unhurt.

In the meantime, he's become an Internet sensation. Apparently, a lot of people are really really pissed off about the thug shit they see going down every day, and the unfortunate characters involved in this YouTube episode have attained the status of a meme. Mr. Bruso is now Epic Beard Man, although I'm not sure he understands any of it. Whatthefuckever, yaknow?

Just please note that if he actually is a Vietnam vet, Mr. Bruso represents a generation — some 3 million young men (mostly) and a few young women — who answered their country's call and (mostly) volunteered to serve in Vietnam because their leaders told them that they were protecting America and keeping her safe. And many of those who fought in that "war that was not a war" came home to a lukewarm welcome at best. More to the point, many of them came home severely fucked up, to a country that did not seem to want to address what they had gone through.

It's too late, probably, to fix whatever went wrong with most of the boys who were shipped over there with their young heads stuffed full of lies. But it's not too late to help the men they have become. If you know a vet who served in that war, thank them for their service. Give them a little respect. Understand that they've seen things, and lived through things, that would have you screaming from nightmares for the rest of your life. They didn't ask for it and they didn't know, but they and their families have had to deal with all kinds of toxic fallout — physical, mental, and emotional — for decades. So give them the kindness of your attention and your respect.

Note: As always, the jackals and vultures are already hovering. Someone's selling "I Am A Motherfucker" teeshirts and advertising it via YouTube, claiming they'll give some of the money to Mr. Bruso. I kind of doubt that. But who knows? We'll try to follow up on Mr. Bruso's story. In the meantime, if anybody tells you this is about race and white people kicking black folks' ass, or black "thugs" owning public transportation, please tell them to just go fuck themselves. The man is not quite right and I hope no one takes advantage of him.

That is all.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Stumble It!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Caturday: Goodbye Reggie, Darling

Reggie The LoveBoot

Normally, our Caturday posts are happy posts. Goodness knows, there's plenty of shit happening in the world out there that's just plain depressing (Haiti, Darfur, North Korea, South Africa, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kazakhstan, ... do we need to go on?), if not actually suicide-inducing.

But every now and then we have to say goodbye to one of our sweet little four-footed friends, here at La Casa de Los Gatos.

Clue? Wut?

Although Reggie never lived with us, we met him in his wild adventurous yoof, when he was found by none other than SGTG, longtime friend and general terrorist nun. He lived very happily with the SGTG household for many years, curling up in bed to spoon with his hoominz and demanding belly rubs in his generally sweet, if somewhat clueless, way.

The Famous Belly

Goodbye, Reggie, darling. Be sure to say hi to all the others waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. We'll come see you soon, you sweet little lover boy.

Labels: , , ,

Stumble It!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Entertainment: It's Satire, Honest!

Which makes it all right. Babble Spice says so, and who are we to argue?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Sarah Palin Uses a Hand-O-Prompter
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

Oh, Stephen, you fucking kill me, guy.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Stumble It!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Politics: Helping Americans in Need

No, it's NOT South Dakota.

OK, Haiti is rapidly falling off the radar, which is terrible. And we have plenty to say about that situation.

Meanwhile, the recent winter storms are cruelly mistreating a group of Americans who have been ignored and mistreated and exploited as much as the Haitians, and it's hardly being reported.

Why the fuck is that? Don't First Peoples make good news? The Sioux in South Dakota are fucking freezing their asses off, without power, without water, without transportation in one of the worst fucking storms, and where the fuck is the reportage??

Here's the skinny from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe:
Eagle Butte, SD (January 30, 2010) - The Cheyenne River Reservation located in the State of South Dakota, homeland of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is currently facing an emergency situation due to an ice storm that crippled the electrical and water infrastructure. Though the ice storm has passed, the water and power system remains challenged and several Reservation communities have been without power for over ten (10) days. Moreover, a bitterly cold weather system is expected to come in by Sunday evening.

Therefore, the Tribe continues to operate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate communications, relief efforts, and resource distribution. The phone numbers for the EOC have been changed to (605) 964-1313 and (605) 964-1314 and the location has moved to the Cheyenne River Sioux Cable Television office on Main St. in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

Though some communities have a water supply, please be advised to boil all water before drinking. The Tribe has organized an emergency water distribution to the East End of the Reservation today. Tomorrow, an emergency water distribution will be coming into the West End communities. More information will be forthcoming regarding emergency water distribution to the communities outside of Eagle Butte over the next week. Any resulting sewage or pipe damage from the breakdown in the water system should be reported to the Emergency Operations Center.

Emergency shelters in Eagle Butte, Cherry Creek, La Plant, Swiftbird, Red Scaffold, Takini, Bear Creek, Timber Lake, and Whitehorse have been converted into Emergency Shelter/Distribution Centers. These Centers will distribute goods and supplies that are essential to surviving the winter and the impending cold front. A large amount of supplies will be delivered to these Centers tomorrow.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been opened up for business for all qualifying residents of the Reservation. Please call the office directly to address your energy needs.

As of Sunday, January 31, 2010, the (605) 964-7711 and (605) 964-7712 telephone numbers will revert to their regular use for the Indian Health Service Ambulance Service and will direct callers to the new phone number for the EOC. For all other emergencies such as medical or law enforcement emergencies, please call 911.


Randolph Runs After, Information Officer, Incident Command
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
(605) 964-1313,

Anita Thompson, LIHEAP Director
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
(605) 964-8384 office
Note that this is dated a little less than two weeks ago. We all know we've had a Snowmageddon since then.

Are you out there? Can you help? Write a letter to your local paper? Call your local news station? Ask your Congresscritter why there isn't more noise being made and help being sent to a people who have had their entire country stolen from them? OK, maybe you can't phrase it that way. Those motherfuckers get awful testy about Teh People communicating honestly with their reps.

But if you can get off your ass and do something for some suffering people right close to hand, then, please. Please do. And please, if you can find it in your heart to organize a group, to raise funds, to engage in some kind of activism ... because we're all real good at getting on the Internet and typing our way into carpal tunnel, but that's not going to do shit for these folks.

For a full report on charities that are assisting, maps of the worst-hit areas, Congresscritters who really really need to hear from you, go here.

The linked post will tell you how to pay a reservation family's heating bill, or who you can send warm clothing to that might really need it, or, fuck, a zillion other things you can do to help. Let's not forget our own. Charity begins at home.

Labels: , , ,

Stumble It!

Politics: Torturing Your Children

This is what making war does to us, people. This is what it's done historically, except we just can't seem to learn, can we?

What's "this," you ask? Yeah, I know, nobody wants to click a link anymore because you just don't know what kind of malware or spam or really depressing shite is on the other end.

See, what we have here, in today's story of the military and war and chickens coming home to roost is, we have a 27-year-old soldier admitting to the cops that he pushed his four-fucking-year-old daughter's face into a kitchen sink filled with hot water and held her under because "she could not recite her alphabet," and didn't know her colours and numbers.
The child had "severe bruising on her entire back," "scratch marks on her back made in a downward motion" and "bruising on both of her arms, her legs and her buttocks," the police report said.
Jesus fucking J.H. Christ. A fucking four-year-old. Oh, and, he
allegedly told police he'd chosen a water-based technique because his daughter was terrified of water.
I wonder why. He did it three or four times. He has sole custody of his daughter.

Now, why would a man do this to his own kid? I don't know. Lots of parents abuse their kids, and the things they do to them are often so horrible as to make you wish for the immediate destruction of the entire human race because, by god, what the fuck happens to a kid who has to live through something like that, can they ever trust in the goodness of any human being again? Do they all turn into malevolent little psychopaths themselves, lighting their little classmates on fire, or raping men or women at random or breeding their own little next generation of victims?

It is enough to choke a person with the bitter taste of despair.

But why I bring this story to your attention, dear ones, is: what he did to his kid, rather than why. Which is, something very close to waterboarding.

Technically, there are a few differences. The kid was not tied to a flat surface, did not have fabric covering mouth and nose, did not have water poured on those until it experienced a simulated drowning. I'm not sure, though, that it's a hella improvement. I am pretty sure that poor child really would not care to dispute the finer points of the difference.

This is why we, as a nation, should eschew torture: because we risk finding it used against ourselves, not just by "bad guys in black hats." Not just by terrorists. Not just by those who capture our troops on the battlefield, and, having heard of our despicable actions in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, want vengeance for our rape and sodomizing and beating and blinding of their brothers and sisters, whether biological or religious or cultural.

But because, worse yet, when we stand up and say that what we are doing is not wrong, we are giving permission to all those people that we train in these methods, or who hear about or read about these things, to practice them on us. On the civilians to whose supportive embrace they return after getting their heads well and truly fucked up out there, wherever they've been simulating drowning anybody they identify as "bad guys," regardless of whether those are defenseless women like Aafia Siddiqui or teenage boys. Or their own four-year-old daughters.

Who knows why this little girl is in her father's sole custody? I see many people blaming the mother, speculating about how much "worse" she might be than the father. We don't know. The mother might be terminally ill. Or mentally unstable. She might be a drug addict. She might have lost her job, or her home, or have no source of income. She might be so afraid of the child's father that she did not contest custody.

He was, after all, arrested for threatening to break his neighbours' windows with his Kevlar helmet.

Maybe he's psychotic. Maybe that resulted from his deployment. Maybe PTSD has finally broken him and made it impossible for him to distinguish anymore between the four-year-old child of his own body and the last guy he waterboarded.

According to his estranged wife, the guy has "anger management issues." Yeah, I'll just fucking bet he does. His current girlfriend agrees. When the police showed up at his home at 2 am, they had to coax the little girl out of the bathroom, where she had locked herself for fear of her father.

The child is now in the custody of her maternal grandparents, and has said she never wants to leave. Her mother flew in from Kansas to get the child, but the maternal grandmother apparently filed to assert custody. The father is out on bail, but restricted to base (Fort Lewis).

Somebody please get the father some help now. And the mother, too, if she needs it.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Stumble It!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Stupid People Part 2240: Must Be The Phase Of The Moon

First off, if you're a foreign person traveling in a country where you don't know the language, just don't assume every woman on the street is a prostitute dying to have sex with you for money, OK?

Because you could seriously get your fucking ass kicked BIGtime.

Apparently, this idiot decided to ask these Thai ladies their price, and it was an asskicking. His ass. He's just lucky nobody else joined in. Dumbfuck.

Secondly, if you're in the mood to play practical jokes on your mom? Make sure the joke doesn't turn deadly because your head is embedded so deeply up your ass that your testicles and tonsils are, like, best friends. OK?

Also, you should know if she carries a gun; if she's gonna recognize you in your all-pranked-out state; and if she's likely to aim for your crotch when she shoots.

Yonder fine specimen apparently donned a ski-mask and made to rob his mom, who promptly shot him in the crotch with a .357. Maybe it's all for the good and he won't be contributing his seriously stoopid genes to the pool.

Unfortunately, the police, who are familiar with Dude due to his previous arrests for drug and robbery type offenses, are not buying his story. He's under investigation.

I know being stupid kinda makes you a natural candidate for an asskicking, but geez, y'all, can't you dial down teh Stupid a notch or something?

Stumble It!

Entertainment: If You're Getting Tired of Democrats

Constantly and consistently snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, you might want to send them this:

Goddamn you, Democrats, you fucking RETARDS (like Rush Limbaugh, I'm using this in a satirical way, like Sarah Palin says Rush did, anyway, which makes it OK, says Sister Scare-ah). Get off your fucking asses and vote in some fucking health care reform!!

And you Republicans, you assholes, you really think the American public doesn't see through your shenanigans? Vote for health care or may each and every one of you develop an incurable case of buboes, for which your insurers, to a weasel (for men they are not, nor women either) dump you forthwith off your FUCKING SOCIALIZED MEDICINE healthcare rolls, and may it be exacerbated with much pain when your constituents proceed to run you out of office, which they should only do come next elections.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Stumble It!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

John Edwards: FEH!

We respected you once.

Stumble It!