Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Greek Collapse

When I worked at Catholic Charities, we used to get lots of elderly customers coming in for food who had too much month and too little money. When I saw the scenes below from Greece on YouTube and lots more like them elsewhere, my heart went out to these people.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Since they chose not to have many children, there aren't a whole lot of young Greeks to take care of the elderly. Without pension checks, they're going to suffer a great deal.

When I was in Russia about 16 years ago, there were lots of elderly people begging on the street. Looks like that's coming back into fashion in Greece.

I could make snarky comments about the progressives and how they've excoriated "greedy" people like me for voting and arguing against welfare programs and big pensions, but these images are too sad for that. Suffice it to say that this is what happens when you separate earning from receiving, at least at the macro level.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Katie The Cat, 1998-2015

I had to put our Maximum Leader to sleep yesterday. Failing kidneys, a very unhappy pancreas and probable cancer on top of arthritis in her front knees made life worse every day. It was time and she was appreciative.

I'm a bit loopy right now from lack of sleep, emotion and a few other things, but I will say that over the last 16 years, she was a true friend through many tough times.

I remember one time when I was so poor I couldn't heat the house half the time, the outdoor temperature got down into the high 30s. That meant the indoor temperature was in the high 30s, too. She came to bed with me, stared briefly at me with a look of, "You've got to be kidding me" and crawled under all the covers and spent the night snuggled against my thighs for warmth.

Then there was the time she brought a mouse into the laundry room to play with it. She threw it up in the air and then caught it over and over. Until it landed in the hamper. Then she wandered off. Someone else found it in the hamper and shrieked...

We had an arrangement over the last 10 years. She was given one nighttime snack each night at a time of her choosing. People who heard about this thought I was crazy, but it worked for us. Any time she wanted, she would come into the bedroom and make some noise - pushing the door against the wall, plucking the carpet, whatever. I'd get up, go downstairs and give her a snack. Midnight, 1 AM, 2 AM, it didn't matter. If she came in and tried to do it again, she'd get a pillow thrown at her.

She always had a loud purr. I remember her sauntering down the hall to my bedroom, purring. It sounded like a freight train as it echoed off the walls. It was beautiful.

My wife was never a cat person and Katie was affectionate in her own way, which was to say that I understood her acts of love when no one else recognized them. She knew my wife needed something special and so would come out of the house every day to say hello when my wife came home. It truly touched her that this little cat changed the way she did things to let my wife know she was loved. A few head bumps, a brief pat and that was that, time to go inside for food. Katie was still a cat, after all.

Katie was a holy terror with the vet. She tore them to shreds every time they tried to take samples of any kind. My son and I would laugh and say, "3 dead, 2 wounded. The last one managed to pull the fire alarm as he sank to the floor, unconscious from loss of blood." She was all cat, our Katie.

Incidentally, that's where I took my nom de plume. K T Cat was Katie The Cat, her full, proper name. I liked the play on words as KT sounds like Katie.

I'm running out of coherence and I'm sure you've lost interest in the whole thing. Katie and I loved each other dearly. It was hard to see her go, but at the same time, it was the right thing to do.

I'll miss her ever so much.

Her last day, spending a little time in the garden.

Bodie, the larger Catican Guard, was a loving friend to the end.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The ECB Takes A Hard Line

... and the Greeks have drained their ATMs. The Greek government has shut down the banking system, too. Looks like I was wrong on this one. The ECB will go out for lattes after they whack the Greeks. I still don't know if they've decided to let the Greeks leave, though. After this, it seems like the decision has already been made by the Greek people who are trying to get their money out of the country as fast as possible.

Meanwhile, some Greeks are not getting the hint that the government is kaput.
On Athens’s rainy streets late Sunday, many ATMs had already been emptied. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s announcement that he would call a referendum on the economic terms that Greece’s creditors want for fresh aid sent many Greeks scurrying to bank machines over the weekend to grab what remaining cash they could.

“How can something like this happen without prior warning?” asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood in the drizzle after arriving too late at one empty ATM in the Greek capital. “I want Tsipras to tell me how I am going to make it through the week with €10 in my bag with rent coming up. It has never been as bad as this.”
Angeliki, dude, Tsipras has nothing. You might as well talk to the empty ATM.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Maybe Secession Is The Goal

... for the secular left.

Just think, they already view the people of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma as sub-literate, racist trash. In the words of the Journolist crowd, they're "NASCAR retards." If those states were forced, err, allowed to secede, the left would never lose another presidential election, would never lose control of the Senate or Congress and would soon have an unimpeachable majority on the Supreme Court.

Think that's crazy? Dig this.

How well is that kind of thing going to go over in the South?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

It's Not The SSM

... it's the way it was done. Had California, for example, voted to approve SSM, I'd be unhappy, but not terribly so. If my fellow citizens want it and legally enact it, then I must render unto Caesar. I'm a Catholic who chooses to live in the US and I have to accept the outcome of elections.

When elections no longer matter because the government can make laws on whim and simply disregard the rules, the voters and logic, then I've got a real problem with that. That's happened over and over lately with ObamaCare, our now-open borders, gay marriage and much more. We voted against all of these things, but they happened anyway.

Or is the problem still my own because Caesar has decided to become a dictator?

Friday, June 26, 2015

It's On A Stick, Too!

We went to the Del Mar Fair to see Rend Collective deliver another fantastic concert performance. While there, we saw all manner of fair foods, but this one looked the best.

Bone-in pork chops already have a stick of sorts, but I guess you can never have too many sticks.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Appeasing The Gods

... is what the whole Confederate flag "crisis" seems like to me. Once we tear down and burn all Confederate flags and then smash all Southern war monuments, we will have ... what?

Driving past a Confederate flag or monument isn't causing anything at all. Our social ills are pretty well documented and none of them have Confederate memorabilia as a first-, second- or even third-order cause.

This is just a sacrifice to the gods of racial righteousness in the hopes of appeasing them that they might cause good things to happen here in America.

On the plus side, we must run out of books, flags, businesses and statues to smash and burn eventually. One would think that at that point, people will realize that our problems are still with us and will conclude that the causes lie somewhere else.