Tag Archives: cats

Counterbalance: Good News Wednesday, Cats & Dogs Edition

Because nothing brings a smile quicker than kitties and doggies.

Aside #1: Yeah, I know it’s a rather lame idea, this post, but I just needed a break from humans today.  I’m sick again, with new symptoms, and it’s got me feeling somewhat depressed.  I promise next month’s good news will be more interesting.  Stick with me.  Next week I will be back to political commentary.

First up is a story from the Sunny Skyz website about the Cat Pawsitive program, an effort by The Jackson Galaxy Project.  This program trains shelter cats in order to make them more adoptable and confident.  The example in this article is workers teaching cats to “high five” the humans!

Also from the Sunny Skyz website, a story about a 17 year old dog – who is blind and deaf – who led his family to their missing 3 year old daughter.  He stayed by her side all night, leaving only to run to rescuers as they came near, so he could lead them to the girl.  Both girl and dog are fine (“17 Year Old Deaf and Blind Dog Help Searchers Find Missing 3 Year Old Girl”, Sunny Skyz website, 4/21/18).

“Dog Ownership Linked To Living Longer, Study Finds”, reports an article on The Independent website (Josh Gabbatiss, 11/17/17).  The benefit of dog ownership is apparently linked to lower levels of cardiovascular disease.  Hey, makes a good argument if you need to convince someone that the puppy your spontaneously brought home is a life saver!

Not to be outdone, the Health Fitness Revolution website lists 10 health benefits of being owned by a cat, which include reducing stress, decreasing risk of strokes, providing therapeutic help, boosting immunity, lowering blood pressure, and even reducing your carbon footprint.

Aside #2: I can’t confirm the lowering blood pressure thing, possibly because my cats are all the time causing mischief.  Running after them while saying, “No, don’t do that!” is not a calm experience.  Except for them.  They seem to think it’s amusing to watch me.

Here’s a cat who prevented mischief – “This Just In: Angry Cat Foils Burglary”, posted by someone named Andrea, LifeWithCats website, 4/10/18.  Cat parent in Maryland was woken up by his kitty, who was meowing while looking out the window and watching someone steal things out of the parent’s car.  Good kitty!

From the LifeWithDogs website, here’s a funny video of a dog who really, really loves pizza!  Now I know what “zoomies” are.

Here are some brief and funny stories about cats from a website called “Dog ‘N Meows” (“7 Funny Overheard Cat Stories to Crack You Up”, 9/9/17).  I like the one called “Sneaky, Evil Queen”.  I had a cat who always used to get my dog in trouble that way.

Funny dog pics. Enjoy. These are from BarkPost.

And finally, from my most favorite site “ICanHazCheeszburger(LolCats)”, this:

No matter what kind of day I am having, ICanHazCheezburger? always cheers me up!

Aside #3: If you have any favorite happy kitty/doggy sites that do not focus on “hurt/near death animal saved by humans” stories – because those make me cry, even though they have happy endings, and I don’t need more crying in my life right now – please let me know so I can enjoy them right along with you.

Weird news of the week:  The Japanese have invented a “shadow man” that is a projection of a man on your curtains, doing things like boxing, doing karate, or vacuuming (to name just 3).  It’s designed for people who live alone, to make others – like burglars – think there is another person there.

I think this is a great idea.  I would buy this.  In another, more urban place I lived, I once had a guy knock on my door, claiming to be a neighbor needing help.  I stupidly let him in, then got suspicious, and told him to get out (which he did).  I called the cops and they told me the guy usually beats people up and takes their money.  Needless to say, I got a lecture about opening my door to strangers.  The cops told me he probably had been watching the duplex to see if I lived alone.

Recommendation of the week: Code Black resumes tonight.  It’s a medical procedural drama.  Pretty good, if you like that genre (I do).  Another good medical drama is The Resident.

Be good.  Be kind.  Back to my serious self next week.

 

 

 

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Clear Waters and 1% Mud: Social Division in America

 

I stated last week that I would provide the transcript link to Maxine Waters’ response to the State of the Union address, so here it is.  You can also see the video on the same site.

It was not a long speech, but it was right to the point and straightforward.  That’s not surprising, as Rep. Waters (D-CA) has never been one to mince words, nor has she ever backed down when others – mostly white men in Congress – have tried to shut her up.

 

She began by saying:

Yesterday, Donald Trump had the audacity to call upon people to set aside differences, when in reality, he has divided Americans in ways no other modern president has done. We must look at his State of the Union address in the context of all of the ways he defined himself during his campaign and throughout his first year as President. (“Maxine Waters Delivers Scathing SOTU Response: ‘Make No Mistake, Trump is a Dangerous Racist’ “, Tess Koman, Cosmopolitan website, 2/1/18)

She then listed how 45 has defined himself: his response to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville (“violence on many sides”), his travel bans targeting Muslims, his description of Mexicans as rapists, his mocking of a reporter who is other-abled, his tendency to blame people of color for the problems in the US, his attack on NFL players and their mothers, and his disrespect for women.

She went on to relate his policies that alienate our allies around the world: withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement, his refusal to certify the Iran nuclear agreement, and his tendency to insult other democracies while cozying up to Putin.

She mentioned 45’s refusal to acknowledge that he inherited many economic gains from the policies of our first Black president Barack Obama (for example, the unemployment rate drop to 4.7%).

She finished up with stating what the Democrats stand for:

We as Democrats are committed to a growing economy that leaves no one behind. We’re committed to an economy that protects consumers and provides good jobs with fair wages, quality health care, and affordable housing. These are the policies for which I have worked all of my life and on which I will continue to work despite the constant chaos and distractions of this administration. (Ibid)

You know what I wish?  I wish that the Democrats had made one televised response, featuring Joe Kennedy III, Bernie Sanders, and Maxine Waters.  I wish they had split it up and each taken a point or two to expound upon.  I think that would have shown how much unity there is in the party (yes, I know Bernie is not technically a Democrat).

Right now, the Democratic Party is feeling the heat from the (mostly) younger, more progressive members.  I think we progressives make up the majority of the base right now, and it would behoove the party to move along into the 21st century with us.

Considering how the hard right, and even the moderate right, are dwindling in numbers, it makes no sense for the Democrats to even entertain this ridiculous notion of “but what about the white men over 40” anymore.

Look at how society, in general, has moved in terms of how the majority of Americans think.  Most Americans support DACA, think racism is bad, think women should have equal pay and not be sexually harassed, aren’t afraid of people of other religions, support the Constitution (and not just some parts of it), and support legalization of marijuana – to name just a few.

Our society is generally liberal and tolerant.  Why should we cater to people who don’t like change, don’t like progress, and who hold onto disgusting and hateful ideas about their fellow human beings?

One big reason – ha, and you thought that was a hypothetical question, didn’t you? – is because it serves the 1% to keep the divisiveness and hatred going.  Stoking this fire of reactionary ideology is what 45 and the GOP do…and it serves them well, when they can pull it off.

The 1% funds candidates.  Divisiveness serves the interests of the 1% because it keeps people from focusing on understanding how wealth is generated, and keeps them from concluding that some form of redistribution of wealth is necessary for the good of all Americans – even under capitalism.

As long as the GOP, or any other politicians or parties (I’m looking at you, Libertarians and Greens), continue to turn Americans against one another, the 1% is safe.

Bear in mind, the 1% will not tolerate any redistribution of wealth, no matter how small.  They want all the wealth.  And the easiest way to get the populace to give it up is to convince each class that the other class “deserves” to lose income and benefits.

When you consider all the wealth that is generated in this country, really consider it, we could ensure no one lived in poverty, everyone had enough to eat, people had homes to live in, everyone had access to healthcare, and opportunities such as jobs and/or education were available to all.

We could do that, and there would still be rich people.  They just wouldn’t be the filthy, unnecessarily “I-have-10-cars-and-5-homes” kind of rich.

You know, they could still buy Gucci handbags and Tesla cars, they just wouldn’t be able to buy one for every day of the week.

Think about it.

Weird news of the week, speaking of Tesla’s…Elon Musk sent his red Tesla into space – yes, the actual car – with a dummy sitting in it.  Playing “Space Oddity” by Bowie as it travels, headed towards the asteroid belt.

Recommendation of the week: Here’s a site that lists things for cats and their humans, everything from “Da Bird” toy (string and feathers) for $10 to an $800 cat tree house.  They even list a how-to book for making your cat an internet star…hmm…might look into that myself!

Be good.  Be kind.  Think, and do it often.