Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Lesson in American Absurd

Before you watch the wee video below (about 2 min), please read the update on the jaguar's court case presented by The Center for Biological Diversity (my all time favorite kick butt group) .

You know, I have been at what I do for a long, long time--over 30 years now. The folks at the Center for Biological Diversity, as you will read here (short), have too. How we can EVER explain what happened to jaguar Macho B is a mystery to me and a tragedy of great and sorry proportion.

But note: The Center's post holds a VERY positive note and possibility. Read the very short piece here.

It is important to ME to understand that the world, in all its glory, be protected and treated kindly. That means everything. EVERY THING.

I think most of you agree.

So what the $(%* was the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) doing in injuring this jaguar to begin with, then lying about his cause of death (link corrected)? And WHY aren't people screaming from the mountain tops that we have an agency that harms and kills AND lies all under the guise of supposed endangered species protection? Why? Why? Why?

The US Dept. of Interior (which oversees US Fish and Wildlife Service) is SOOOOO screwed up (and the last eight years haven't helped and, frankly, neither has Obama's weak appointee DOI Secretary Salazar whose first major decision allows the killing of wolves in the Rocky Mountain States. I really, really, really am disappointed in both Obama and Salazar, though far more the first given the second was an early call).

This was the LAST known US Jaguar. The very last one. There ARE no more. None.

And talk about use of good judgment... watch the lesson in absurd.

Save a life, get a ticket.

This entire mentality just HAS to change.

What the hell have we become in this country that we tolerate this crap?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Having A Busy Week! + Bish. Gene

I am doing my 40-hour classes for the census this week, so ... will be briefly posting (hopefully) but not much more. Killer when you have 25 animals to care for!

Read the article on Bishop Gene Robinson here. Not a long piece, but an optomistic one!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nifty World Volcano Photos and "Stuff"

NBC has a nifty slideshow of world volcanos that is really beautiful. Thankfully, none of them that are (or were) erupting are near our dear friend Leonardo.

This is a REALLY interesting ABC news piece sub-titled, "New Research Suggests Brain Grew to 'Get' the Idea of God". It brings up a lot of interesting questions about the relationship between evolution and the human ability to be ABLE to understand the concept of God.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bishop Gene Robinson Interview with SOV

This is a good interview and I bet you will enjoy reading it. Here is one of Bishop Gene's statements:

Robinson: Really my argument is that we believe in the separation of church and state, and I believe in that wholeheartedly, and what I perceive in the secular movement towards equal rights for gay folk is that we have an instance where the state is impinging on the secular society.

Normally churches worry about the state impinging on them. But this is a case where beliefs about homosexuality amongst Jews and Muslims and Christians are actually affecting the secular debate over gay civil rights. If you factored out the religious opposition to our civil rights, I think we would be there...

Yes, I think religion could do everyone good, but my argument is not that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have to be religious. But even if they are not religious, they have to pay attention to the religious arguments, because that really is what is holding us back from equal rights.

He sure got THAT right! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All Kinds of News! Pick One!

Interesting news day though no wars began, no nukes went off...

I would suggest if you are at all politically savvy, shooting down the "pipe" straight to the "funny Bill O'Reilly news". I debated on what to call this. The runner up was the cultural hypocrisy news, but heh... The religious right should have a ball with this. eh-hem.

First, the good news:

  • The EPA put the bite on Mountain Top Removal coal mining. And about time! Read here, and here.
  • Sniffles was adopted, and looks like Skunkie may have a great prospect (not all adopters cut it!) as well! Go here to see these cuties (with nice music).
  • President Obama kicked butt last night in his presser.
The odd if not extremely weird liars news:
  • Just no explaining this from a certain Bishop of Nigeria and if you could have seen my head tilt in reading this...
We are especially concerned about those who are using large sums of money to lure our youth to see homosexuality and lesbianism as normative. We must consistently and faithfully teach about God’s commands on this ungodly practice and help those with such orientation to seek deliverance and pastoral counsel.

The tiring news:
  • [AKA The Bush-like phrasing nonsense news (warning... this is from She From The North)]:
"No, things have changed," she continued. "But complaining? Or whining? Absolutely not. But I am going to call it like I see it. It doesn't do any good to whine about any of this. But I can call it like I see it. Sometimes it gets me in a lot of trouble when I speak candidly, and I speak from the heart and I do such a thing. But I am going to."

(Necessary comment... heh: Right. This one never whines.)

The fun, happy news:
  • Well, ya just gotta read it, don't want to parrot it.
The interestingly phrased byline news:
  • Canada on Top in Sex Ed (actually, it is an interesting article)
The funny Bill O'Reilly news (perhaps I should have put this in the hypocritical category? Believe me, this is pretty dang interesting for oh so many reasons):

The just piss-you-off shameful sucking news:
  • And of course it involves Bobby Jindal, exorcist and governor (Grandmere, can't you do something about this politically useless fellow and get him out of our hair?).
The hypocritical news:
  • The shocking revelation that teleprompters are used by the very media folks criticizing President Obama for using... teleprompters! (warning: the added video below will make you laugh.. oh noes!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Heh! Jon Stewart Tells Cheney to Shut the...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Interview With a Vampire
Daily Show Full EpisodesEconomic CrisisPolitical Humor

Quote of the Day! This is a Guaranteed Smile!

The GOP has decided their next line of attack against Obama will be that he has too many ideas on the economy and no cohesion. So... the response, which absolutely gets quote of the day!

“I guess when you have no new ideas,
anything more than zero must seem overwhelming. ..."

--DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan

Thanks to whorunsgov.com for getting it out there.

Flea/Tick Products Killing Cats and Dogs? Yep.

This really is a must read for dog and cat owners who use Hartz, Seargent and other flea/tick topicals available over the counter. PLEASE do not use ANY over the counter flea/tick meds for your beloved animals. Please, please consult your veterinarian and purchase non-pyrethroid compounds.

I hope you will watch this NBC report (warning, some of the discussion may upset you):

From The Center for Public Integrity, read here on the topic.

Here is a link to several brands that we do NOT recommend.

Here are links to several good sites/blogs on the topic:

And now that you are thinking, wow, good thing I use Advantage multi on my dogs and cats... beware. The packaging contains warnings about potentially lethal effects of their product, too. READ the packaging information on ALL these products!

Akinola and a Push Back Against Theocracy

Horray for the person that realizes that theocracy is a very, very DEAD end street.

One voice, but read it here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bobby Jindal v. Mt. Redoubt

A while back, I wrote on the absurdity of GOP pres-hopeful Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal coming to the rather bizarre conclusion that volcano monitoring by the US Geologic Survey (USGS) was somehow unneeded (not to mention his figures were wrong) .

Well ya know, apparently if you are a republican, you don't need volcano monitoring or fruit fly research and the economic situation is just a "mental recession" and all that stuff. You just need to look into a camera and talk gibberish as here:

I've been tracking Redoubt volcano for months. Coming from a geology background, I have an interest in much the GOP completely ignores. You know, stuff like, um, everything science.

Volcanos and tornados, unlike hurricanes, don't announce their intentions as openly. Redoubt has gone from yellow to orange to yellow to orange to red. Or something like that, anyway.

And so yesterday, the volcano Gods spoke unleashing their fury at Jindal's political and social malfeasance. I think its personal. Can't blame them, I feel the same way.

The point is this: The GOP has more in common with a volcano than they even realize, and yes, we track both. Both are brainless and toxic. Both kill. Neither gives a damn about anything in its path, neither makes much sense, neither is highly predictable and neither has a plan.

So let me be the first to state that I think there is a GOP/volcano conspiracy.

I'm just sure there is.

Heh, you heard it here first.

The GOP is anti-Christian and in bed with the volcano Gods.

Take that, Rick Warren.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Just Had One of Those "Moments"...

A dear friend sent me the following You Tube video. It is of the Kern County, CA shelter. No, I don't live in Kern County but I have a long-standing interest in their animal shelter system.

In 2004, I saw a rescue room post about the shelter conditions in Kern County. I was appalled. Having worked on the Orange County shelter five years prior, I know what it takes to turn a shelter around. But I needed to see for myself. So the following Saturday, I went for a little 380 mile drive from home to Kern's Bakersfield shelter, then to their Mojave shelter and back to see what was really going on.

I cried most of the way from Bakersfield (the first stop) home. I had NEVER seen such dismal conditions, let alone such bizarre policies.

I went first to the Bakersfield shelter to see dogs and cats. In order to EVEN DO that, I had to sign a form, present a driver's license (this was, at that time, done literally nowhere in the state for a municipal shelter), then be "escorted" through two of the four kennel buildings. The other two (housing hundreds of dogs) were mysteriously "off limits". Reaching the first building, after going through a blinded and locked gate (a huge issue there and one the shelter took down after being sued), I was instructed by a terse volunteer of perhaps 18 years of age that I had to walk the center of the kennel. I was to look to my right and left, never stopping before a cage. It sounded like and felt like I was walking through a high security prison, not an animal shelter where the goals should be to have people fall madly in love with a dog and desire to adopt them. No such thing, here.

I then drove over to Kern's Mojave Shelter. I didn't need an escort, but this little shelter had a different and more dismal problem on the one hand: drop boxes. Drop boxes where, at night, people could abandon a cat, kitten or pitbull, for instance, into one of three boxes and walk away. You can imagine what went on in those illegal boxes (these were made illegal by the state years earlier for very obvious reasons).

I drove home knowing I had to do something. I could not have been more upset and more determined.

So, for the next nine months, every Saturday (and often more frequently) I would rise at 5am, take care of my animal chores, then head out in my SUV loaded to the gills with crates to save some of these dogs and cat. By the end of the weekend, I had often driven 1200 miles crisscrossing the state from Bakersfield south to nearly the California border delivering rescued dogs and cats to willing breed or mixed breed rescues.

The entire time, I was working with a group which was preparing to litigate over the Kern shelters given they were breaking so many California laws it was hard to name them all. The Kern shelters also had NO rescue program, so we had to take animals out at full fee for quite some time. I spent about $40K of my own dollars, and every dime contributed.

It cost me, for instance, $600.00 to take out one mother and four puppies (absolutely NO vetting) who were, as I arrived, being led to be euthanized. I put almost 50K miles on my SUV, went through two sets of tires and at least 10 oil changes (not to mention a couple of flat tires) and being, literally, hit on the grapevine by a flying 10 x 10 foot Cal Trans highway sign that damaged the entire front of my SUV.

I knew every back road when the roads were closed due to snow or accident. I cannot begin to tell you what my cell phone bill was. I drove in unbelievable heat and the worst rain I have ever driven in. I saw some of the most beautiful country imaginable, and met some of the most giving and courageous people on the planet. I learned group's vet staffs first names, and where emergency clinics were along the routes. I made a lot of friends, and, at the shelter, a lot of enemies.

When it comes to the safety of animals, I am hardly shy. In fact, though nice about it, I am their worst nightmare. I was up-front and in their faces. I wasn't going away and neither were the litigators. I knew the law and by damn, they were going to abide by it.

The Bakersfield Californian newspaper had a wonderful reporter (Fred and James: this would be James Berger) who had previously reported on the shelter, as had some television stations. I got to know a few of these media folks by first names. We also developed an entire transportation corridor for animals in the process of doing this. So not only did I transport animals FROM the shelter, I drove them north to meet others who would take them from there to their northerly destinations (some as far away as Canada).

Nine months later, the court case was heard and we won. We had also won a lot of battles in the meantime. But, as with all things like this, it leaves its mark on you.

When you have the duty to save, it also comes with the reciprocal result which is condemning unchosen animals to death by the simple act of passing them by. I call it 'Sophie's Choice" because that is what it is.

People in the animal world have hellish decisions to make, and the shelter puller is by far the most stressed person in the chain given they are "the decider". If they are good, they can see beyond shelter stress and spot behaviors, and if the shelter staff is up-front (and not biased, which MANY are, for instance in Kern I dealt with a person who stated to me that they HATED Dalmatians, a breed I am QUITE familiar with), this can help.

A puller has to know their breed calls--often even the rare breeds--and take into consideration the rescues they are pulling for or might be able to contact to take a purebred, high mixed breed, or complete mutt. It's a pressure cooker, emotionally. AND they have to be able to handle almost every sort of dog behaviorally and by size. So... ya gotta know your dogs!

Eventually, I wasn't in this alone. I had someone who opened a website to help rescues learn about the available dogs. At that time, these shelters were not photographing or listing their dogs/cats and prohibited us even photographing the animals, though the latter is patently illegal. That was also changed during this time and their animals are now all listed on Petfinder.com with almost all other California shelters.

So, when the wonderful man who helped me so much in 2004 and 2005 who built a website around these dogs/cats in the very early days some five years ago) sent me this video, I had a "moment". Some of the shelter staff in the video I worked with.

I literally sobbed through the entire video. I was there, again, and those old feelings came right up. The individual stories I could relate would chill you to the bone. I look back and wonder, sometimes, why I didn't literally crumble. Maybe it is because I can and do cry (often!).

Yet, this video is about the better news. The shelter is cleaner, bigger, better. And the video shows the efforts of a group taking out 100 dogs and 40 cats! Hats off to them! It is a beautiful statement about, again, compassion and determination.

I don't want you to think that this shelter's problems are in any way solved. They aren't. Their euthanasia rate is still sky high, a full 45% higher than where I live and the rate here is still unacceptable (their monthly euth rate for cats remains above 95%, and dogs euthanasia varies between about 68%-85%, depending). The shelters are underfunded and because of their relatively remote locations, are under-visited by rescues. And Kern still lacks any sort of low cost spay/neuter clinic ANYWHERE in this enormous county, let alone a series of them.

But this is a moving video, and I hope you will watch it.

And God Bless everyone that rescues from this shelter and for the staff that works there that, as individuals, really do care because that is NOT all of them by any means. For those of you that have a heart for animals, you may need a hanky alert for this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Killer Speech on LGBT Rights/Marriage

Whew! Gotta listen to this (hat tip to Citizen Crain).

This is NAACP Board Chair Julian Bond addressing HRC last Saturday night in Los Angeles. You'll be cheering!

Oh and I just have to show this new little guy off. He weighs a whopping 4.0 lbs., is 5 months old and just cuter than the dickens!

His name is Kitchi ('Brave' in Alagonquin).

I think he has broken the cute meter.

The Truth About the Alaskan Gas Pipeline

This article, Pipe Dreams, written by Joe McGinnis (just out today on the net), is really excellent reading and very well written.

As you will recall, she from the north of bridge to nowhere fame, repeatedly heaped on the self-praise of having guided a process for a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to eventually feed he "hungry market" (a phrase she used throughout the campaign) in the lower 48. She even went so far as to use the "we are building" words in those self-congratulatory revelations.

The problem with she from the north's limitless ego is is that sometimes things actually need to be true.

This is great reading for many reasons and I highly recommend it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Little Hate From Orange County

... Brought to you by John and Ken, radio personalities from KFI radio, am 640. This was supposed to be a tax rally (The "Head on a Stick" rally) but you can see how some didn't quite see it that way.

Ah yes, my county. Just sort of makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over, doesn't it?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes, This One Gay

Read here.

I feel a sweet breeze blowing through this article and hope you do, too.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cute and Interesting Stuff and Then There's Akinola

I really like this 30-sec PSA from Best Friends Animal Society (Utah) about not buying puppies (from pet stores... they are all puppy mill dogs). Clever. Best Friends is one of the--if not THE--best animal sanctuary and public education group in the country, and recently challenged the US Humane Society to take a look at their policies on pit bulls (and Staffies). Good for them.

Keith Olbermann is one of my media favs on MSNBC, in fact, one of my favs along with Jon Stewart, period. Here he tears into Fox New's Hannity for his support of water boarding in the name of Christianity, and "ear marks" hypocrisy of both "she who comes from the north" and "that loony lady in Minnesota". Then he takes on wacky conservative Fox News Nightmare, Glen Beck who appears to excuse the murderous rampage in Alabama by blaming it on "them" who aren't hearing the political machinations of people like this killer. So I guess the bottom line is this: "Listen to the wacks or they will kill you." Nice.

Watch here:

Gotta love it. If these four are not at the top of the Wack List, I don't know who would be. Oops, well I did leave off a few non-media names.

Oh yeah, and as Olbermann mentioned, about that "crucifix thing"... (and now for the more serious part)...

Olbermann observes that one can say they are Christian, but gee... that whole Christ thing...

Awfully inconvenient when it doesn't match your own rip.

If ANYONE was ripe for that critique, it would be Akinola. Yes, "our" Akinola that should be tossed out of the communion on his freakin fanny RIGHT NOW for (again) advocating harm to lgbt people. But gee, not the first time he has done this.

We cannot expect Rowan to reign him in. That is laughable. Can't reign in a hyper narcissistic personality, but we SHOULD expect the world wide communion to insist on it. If they don't (and they won't) I don't want to be in the damn communion because it will then mean absolutely NOTHING (a little less than it means now, actually) to me.

I don't give a fig for the Communion, actually, and truthfully if the communion is not willing to reign in some misfit like Akinola who squares Christ with prison then we, TEC, are already in the desert.

We're coming up on Easter. Picture a gay Nigerian man on the cross because that is what Akinola is inciting.

That is Akinola's contribution, the best way I can figure, to Easter. Save people from other people rather than themsevles. It's always --->out there somewhere. Never inside. Never separation, always guilt.

I get the Baptist thing, Akinola. Join them, please.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Fond Farewell

One month ago, I got word about the 22 cat/1 dog foreclosure problem (not that this was accurate... it was advertised as 20 cats and no dog) in Los Angeles. Incredibly, I am STILL working on it. There are days I think it will never end.

(Skunkie, pictured)
The two remaining cats in the house were LOCKED INSIDE for NINE days while Coldwell Banker sat on their hands and did absolutely nothing... including feeding or watering the cats. In the meantime, someone broke into the house, which at least provided a means for a trapper who had been working with the family for WEEKS (basically, the family was not helpful, even though they asked for help, and would set the trapper's traps outside or trip them... the cats inside could not be otherwise caught due to the conditions INSIDE--not outside--the house) to toss food in to keep the cats alive. What a nightmare. I could strangle Coldwell Banker. AND I could strangle the family.

There is no way to total the HUGE number of people that worked on this (and we have miles to go before we're through), or the hours put in, let alone we still don't have total costs as Silk will not be leaving the vet for some time to come and has already been there a month).

This is what happens when hoarders get foreclosed on or popped by animal control. There was recently another 100-cat situation which is burying everyone again.

On March 10, Coldwell Banker finally got off their negligent butts and opened the house to animal control and a trapper that has been working with us. The cats were caught, immediately, vetted, and are now safe. They will be put up for adoption as soon as we can find a group with a space, like the remaining 9 still waiting for a space.

(Sniffles, pictured)
Now for the remaining two feral cats they were feeding. Given neighbors have put poison out and two cats have been killed by another neighbor, the cats obviously cannot stay there.
We are almost "there" with these last two living creatures. We have someone to trap them, some one to hold them until this someone gets them into the feral spay/neuter clinic, and someone to take them to someone else who will see if they are truly feral or can be socialized. If they can be socialized, they will be, then adopted. If not, they will be caged for two weeks at the feral colony site, then released into the managed feral colony.

My Dear God, what a job this has been! Who knew that the family would be such a nightmare to work with.

But the GOOD news is that three are leaving tomorrow (from here) to other rescues for placement: Skunkie, Bobbie and Sniffles. This will allow me to get three of the remaining four (Silk is the fourth, but she is nowhere near ready to leave the vet) from the vet and re-review personalities with three of the four most dominant cats gone.

(Bobby, pictured)
I will miss these three. Each has a big personality and are secure and outgoing cats. The thought of them being, again, in a cage isn't pleasant, but it is necessary to find them homes. They have had a lot of down time here, being free, relaxed, well and properly fed, and breathing clean air for literally the first time in in their lives. I'm pretty darned sure that makes them happy.

So, with a tinge of sadness, I will drive them several hours away tomorrow, kiss them goodbye and wish them the best of luck. The rescues taking them are good. I will be doing the home visits for two of them once a good adoption application from the group is approved. The third cat is REALLY lucky, as am I. The group is very strict and will do everything themselves.

Little prayers will follow them each and every day, and I hope you will think well for them too, and say a wee little prayer (and I could use one too, BTW!).

This has been a long, long and exhausting haul.

Often, people comment that it must be so fun to rescue. Well, sometimes it is. Most of the time (at least in dealing with humans and their odd situations) it isn't. The best part of it all is watching the transformations in the cats/dogs themselves as they begin a new life. It can be a lot like watching a baby take its first steps. In a medical animal, it can be watching them move away from death when they are given the opportunity to live.

And some days, like today, it is a mixture of hope and laughter as our new rescue puppy with demodectic mange, which is generally easily fixed, just cracks us up.

IRD Is At It Again!

I don't think I need to explain to anyone reading this blog what the IRD is. Though, if you are interested in a brief refresher course, go here, here, and here.

In the March 28, 2009 (online and copywrited) article, More at Stake: How sexual politics in the Episcopal Church affects churches in Africa (worldmag.com), IRD staffer Faith Mc Donnel, a former Episcopalian (schizmo), makes her case that TEC's road to lgbt equality via baptism (my definition, not hers) is sexual politics. I couldn't disagree more, especially given her apparent equation that "sexual politics" in the U.S. equals:

  • somehow compromising the Christian witness abroad as if some of that isn't being done by themselves and furthermore, are you telling us that people without food and water who don't have the Internet are somehow affected by two lesbians in Los Angeles (for instance) getting married and being considered equals in the society's and God's eye?
  • allegedly exposing other Christians to violence (?) like that isn't already happening by the mere force of inequality here in the US. Hate crimes are up in the U.S:
Although the overall number of reported hate crime incidents remained steady
from 2006 to 2007, of particular note in the 2007 statistics are continued
increases in reported violent attacks against persons of Hispanic origin
and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons.
According to the new FBI report, there were 595 incidents of anti-Hispanic
hate crimes in 2007, an increase of 3.3% from the 576 incidents
reported in 2006. There was also a rise in the number of hate crimes
motivated by sexual orientation bias, with a 5.5% increase in
incidents from 2006 to 2007 (from 1195 to 1265 incidents).
--from Commondreams.org,
Human Rights First Press Release
27 October 2008

In California, 15% of all hate crimes are directed against lgbt folks. Mc Donnell is alleged
to be a human rights advocate. Ms. Mc Donnell, ever heard of young Matthew Sheperd
who was tortured and killed because he was gay?
  • helping Islamics apparently world wide (which sounds like the Bush administration pointing to Iraq War demonstrators and calling their first amendment actions treasonous). More uber-right political hogwash.
Now, let me just rant a moment about the term "sexual politics" as used by Mc Donnell with this example from the nutty Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society (read their "purpose" here) as written by Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.:

Feminism has now positioned itself as the vanguard of the Left, shifting the political discourse from the economic and racial to the social and increasingly the sexual. What was once a socialistic assault on property and enterprise has become a social and sexual attack on the family, marriage, and masculinity. This marks a truly new kind of politics, the most personal and thus potentially the most total politics ever devised: the politics of private life and sexual relations.

Sexual politics is both feminist and homosexual, with no distinct line separating them. Feminism has been the more overtly political doctrine. Until recently, gays asked mostly to be left alone and as such gained widespread sympathy.

If you cannot tell what is wrong with the above statement, you are definitely not a feminist and I would bet that those in agreement aren't gay, either. Equality didn't come from pleasant discussions over lemonade on the veranda for women or for people of color and it won't come this way for the lgbt community, either.

But the worst part of this type of thinking is the branding that somehow women and lgbt folks are not allowed to be who they were born to be, unshackled from the notions of Bibliophiles as it concerns their destiny and wholeness in God's eyes, not the eyes of patriarchal men or those standing in their stead.

If you want to feel bad about your birthright--whatever it may be--you can just google Phyllis Schlafley and that should do it. Not like her? Well, basically, you're screwed, at least by those that really DO play "sexual politics".


I have come to the conclusion, along with many others, that those in the Anglican Communion advocating harm, violence and jailing of lgbt people in Africa through legislation should be tossed from the Communion altogether, and right now. I said this a year ago or more, and I say it again.

Further, the US church, TEC, should just get on with moving forward with same gender marriage vows and blessings (where the state does not recognize same gender marriage). We cannot surrender the rights of Americans to the zealotry of other nations.

Faith Mc Donnell does everyone a disservice in propping up the old notion that two bads make some kind of good. Furthermore, given she is not an Episcopalian, Faith Mc Donnell should keep her nose out of TEC's business and perhaps focus on the ever increasing if ridiculous dogma of the more Calvanist Anglicans that she embraces: Minns, Duncan, Schofield, Orombi, and Akinola for instance.

They like rules. They like lots of rules. They like lots of rules a lot. Mc Donnell should feel right at home. Being anti-American, as she appears, they should love her, too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A New Book on DADT, and Jon Stewart

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Uh Oh! GOP Chair Steele's In Deeper Poo Now!

Not only did Steele say that abortion should be an individual's choice, he said the following:

On whether homosexuality is a choice: "Oh, no. I don't think I've ever really subscribed to that view, that you can turn it on and off like a water tap. Um, you know, I think that there's a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can't simply say, oh, like, 'Tomorrow morning I'm gonna stop being gay.' It's like saying, 'Tomorrow morning I'm gonna stop being black.'"

Oh dear. He's done it now! I for one applaud his honesty, but the GOP is already gnawing on him and soon they will eviscerate him for his honesty. Heck I might even drop him a line! I should note for the record that Steele does not support same gender marriage.

Go here to read the whole interview.

Silk the Cat, Update 4

Still Need Those Prayers!

Well, the news is good and not so good.

The good: She is still eating on her own. Good also that her BUN and creatinine levels are finally lowering [related to kidney disease or CRF (chronic renal failure)... she is only 5, so this may not be a permanent thing].

  • BUN (blood urea nitrogen) BUN is a waste product excreted through the kidneys. BUN is more reflective of dietary impacts than creatinine. An increase in BUN can also be due to dehydration (a symptom of CRF, or chronic renal failure, and many other diseases and syndromes). (so lower levels are better!)
  • Creatinine is a waste product excreted through the kidneys. It is indicative of overall declining kidney function (so lower levels are better!)
The origin of this may be pancreatitis (which often occurs when starvation sets in. This can begin after about 24 hours in some cats, later in others) which can then cause the onset of kidney failure. This can cause intestinal lesions or intestinal ulcers that bleed. She is being treated with antibiotics, is being given fluids (down from 2x/day to once every two days now which suggests her kidneys are functioning better along with dropping BUN and creatinine levels), and also is being given pepsids for her intestines. When cats don't feel well, they don't eat. That makes them more dehydrated and which makes them want to eat even less which then pushes them into starvation mode, which causes then an array of other things, as you can see above. A real Catch-22.

So, the bottom line is that she still has a long way to go after being treated, now, for 28 days. Silks future is still quite uncertain.

We would sure appreciate your continuing prayers for little Silk. She is really giving this a fight and we would sure like to back her up in every way possible.

Thanks, everyone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Has Connecticut Gone Off the Rails?

This is really odd: Two Connecticut legislators were proposing a bill to alter the method of decision making on parish finance spending. Yes you read that right: the government was attempting to legislate how churches operate. Oy.

You can read about the issue here. The RCs went wild, though the original concept appears to have been forwarded by a group called Catholics for Better Governance and according to this article would have applied to TEC and some other national churches as well.

While I can understand why some folks in Connecticut were upset over spending (given the theft and fraud that was reveled there in two RC dioceses), moving towards government intervention in church affairs is not the way to get the situation handled. Of course, the RCC's entirely vertical decision making structure may not be the best (and here let me state that isn't for me to judge or decide, that is for RCs to decide), the concept of government intervention in church structure (versus criminal acts) is unacceptable.

What were they thinking!

And, of course (sigh) some tie this bill to these legislators' support of same gender marriage in the state. Good grief. Is there anything someone won't blame on same gender marriage? If the dog catcher goes wild, I suppose that is the fault of same gender marriage?

A Real Barn-Burner Article From an Ex-GOPer

I've read dozens and dozens of articles on the GOP since Obama took office, but not one with the sting of this one. Hang on to your hats when reading this piece by Huff Post's Frank Schaeffer.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Silk the Cat, Update #3

We're getting there. Please keep up the prayers!
Went to the vet today to visit Silk and see how she was doing. She was strong enough that the techs let her walk around the hospital (the vet here is truly a cat person) and they felt if she wanted to, it couldn't hurt. She has been so very sick that the exercise is needed as the poor girl's little muscles will atrophy soon.

I do have to chuckle at her fur boots. She had so many IVs they shaved a pretty large portion of her legs to find a vein that was usable. She was so sick her veins were literally collapsing.

She is not out of the woods yet, but all of this is VERY encouraging. Didn't eat as well today, but that is okay. If that continues, they can put her on appetite enhancers (though sometimes they do not work, and if they do, they often take days... but one has to try!) and also make sure it is not her tummy or intestines bothering her. She will get another blood test tomorrow.

She lost a pound going into this, but has gained back 13 oz. which is excellent. She is also on a protein powder supplement for cats to try to stop the muscle atrophy which, in cats when they lose weight rapidly, onsets quickly.

She is just sneezing mildly and appears to have picked up a wee bit of a cold, but it is not bad. They are treating her right eye, as well. You can see in the picture it seems to be bothering her. Often, when cats get colds, they get eye problems with it.

So... keep up the prayers. They just adore her and she is receiving great care.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Update on Silk the Cat... PRAYERS please!

I walked in the door of the vet today and everyone was smiling. My favorite receptionist, a peppy and joyous young woman with a face and smile that would stop a train and a heart that is generously in grace, led me back joyously... and there was Silk... eating from a disposable spoon.

She is not out of the woods by ANY means. This has happened before with her, but this is very encouraging.

So... you are obviously a powerful bunch... PLEASE keep praying (and whatever it is you atheists do!) to support her.

You cannot imagine what my vet bill is right now. Really, you cannot. Scares me silly, but I will make it or find it. Goes with the (rescue) territory.

This is a courageous cat that is fighting. She is not willing to go gently into that goodnight--just yet.

Those of you that know and understand dogs and cats, you know when that light is gone and have likely seen it in their eyes. That is where it shows. That isn't happening here right now, though last week she was literally a blob of life in every way.

I held her for 1/2 hour, then had to leave, but the vet staff there, that adores her, is taking GREAT care of her. I could never ask more. The tech told me that when they were transfusing her (the vet went in on a Sunday and so did the tech to do this), they couldn't even find a vein because her blood pressure was so low. But he didn't give up (he's been there 15 years) and he finally got it, and voila!

Believe me, this is one of those miracle cases and my fabulous vet has conferred with specialists, as well.

I believe this cat will live. I really do. But I need YOUR help to make it so. Please continue to pray. Please.

I meant to take a camera today, but this week has been so terrible (for many, many reasons) that I feel, myself, overwhelmed. I will take pictures on Monday.

But for a nicer and updated 1:37 on five of the other cats from this, go here.

This slideshow (with music) is the three week difference between filth, hoarding and a terrible diet to clean, free and on a good diet. I wish you all could actually SEE them and the difference. It is truly remarkable.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request for Silk

I have not been posting much, lately, be- cause of the 22 foreclosure cats.

There are still 11 to find places for, and the family has been using the last two as an excuse not to be evicted ... and foreclosed on. It is a dynamic you would have to be associated with to understand.

Now, I seriously need your help.

Silk, only four years old, one of the cats taken from the home, has been VERY ill. She has had 12 blood/urine tests since arriving at my vet less than a month ago, and one blood transfusion. She arrived at the vet with a serious (perhaps systemic) infection that started with ears that were infected and drowned in pus. Ick. Even I, who has seen just about everything, can safely pen that.

PLEASE say prayers for Silk. My Dear God, she has been through enough.

The vet and the staff adore her. She is loving, affectionate, and SICK. They are doing everything they can for her.

Now, just a warning... anyone religious that comes here that doesn't believe animals should be prayed for... well, you are at the wrong park bench. Get off.

Those of you who are atheists, well figure out a way to help. You are not free and clear from acting, and I am serious about that.

She needs your help, and so do I.

This photo doesn't show the IV or the wee bandaged feet. This is what she looked like after five days at the vet, her ears cleaned up. She looks a lot worse now, but she is a fighter and she is not giving up, and neither are we.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Watch the CA Supremes Tomorrow on Prop 8

This link provides you with options, including internet options. The hearing begins at 9am PST.

I hope everyone will be watching.

Let us pray that the Cal Supremes support equal rights.

Also, here is a Daily Kos piece written by CA Attorney General Jerry Brown on his position, which he will be defending tomorrow.