Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Gift for Nardo

Our Maximum Leader has a gift for Nardo.

She's trying to communicate with him psychically to let him know.

For more feline fun, be sure to visit this week's Carnival of the Cats.

I Volunteer to be Marques Colston's Publicist

This week saw the Terrell Owens Carnival break new ground as his publicist called the police fearing he had tried to commit suicide by taking too many painkillers. That got me to thinking.

Since when does a wide receiver need a publicist? What would a publicist do for a wide receiver? Announce every catch? Put out press releases describing the number of one-handed catches in double coverage? Hand out photos?

Whatever the job is, I am hereby naming myself, Jacob the Syrian Hamster, Marques Colston's Unofficial Publicist.

Marques Colston is the New Orleans Saints rookie wide receiver who was drafted in the 7th round from Hofstra. From everything I've read, he's an all-around nice guy and has played extraordinarily well.

My first job as his publicist will be to...

Jacob, what are you doing?

Why KT, I'm glad you could stop by. I always welcome a little help from our Maximum Leader.

Thanks. Now what is this I hear about you naming yourself Marques Colston's Unofficial Publicist?

I just did.

Does he know?

Errrr, not yet.

And just when were you going to tell him?

I figured he'd find out the next time he Googled his name.

Jacob, you're a hamster.


You're nocturnal. You don't even see him play.

I saw the Monday night game.

Sigh. Whatever. Just don't call me if his people get upset with you.

What do you mean "his people?" As of now, I'm one of "his people." I may not be on the payroll, but I'm a big fan.

I hope you know what you're doing.

You'll see. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Marques is doing a great job for the Saints. Let's just see how he stacks up to Mr. Terrell "I Can't Walk Across the Living Room Without Drawing Attention to Myself" Owens.

Marques Colston: 15 receptions for 204 yards, 2 touchdowns, 36 yards is his longest and his average yards per catch is 13.6

Terrell "I Keep My Pills in a Sock Drawer" Owens: 9 receptions for 99 yards, 1 touchdown, 21 yards is his longest and his average yards per catch is 11.

After three games, Marques Colston is outplaying one of the highest paid receivers in the game. I think more people should know about this. Maybe he needs a publicist after all. Marques, call me, baby. I work for sunflower seeds.

Tampering with Bleach

I just bought a bottle of bleach at the store. I brought it home, unscrewed the cap and found a tamper-proof seal underneath the cap. How do you tamper with bleach? What would you put in it? More bleach?

Did You Miss Me?

I just got back from a three day business trip to Virginia. This time I did not take my laptop and other than a quick stop at the hotel lobby PC to read and comment on various blogs in the Feline Theocracy, I was off the grid. I thought it would have more of an affect than it did. I pictured stunning new vistas of real life opening before my eyes like the curtain of a smash hit on Broadway, but no such thing happened. Instead, I spent the time beating myself into the ground.

I flew in from San Diego on Wednesday and got to the hotel by 10:30PM or so. On Thursday I woke at 4AM (1AM to my San Diego body) to drive from Alexandria to Norfolk for an 8AM meeting. I worked in the Norfolk-Portsmouth area for the whole day and then jumped back in the car to drive back to Alexandria for meetings the next day in and around DC. I was so trashed on the trip back north that I had to pull over and park in some hotel parking lot to sleep for half an hour. After a fine meal at Buz and Ned's BBQ in Richmond (with a perfectly dreadful beer that I will describe in a later post) I drove the remaining two hours through a huge thunderstorm, trying to stay awake.


I got some photos that I'll share in a later post and submit to the Carnival of Virginia.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

World of Good Blogburst, Caribbean K.I.D.S. Style

Acts of kindess are all around us. I woke up this morning tired and uninspired. I got my cup of joe and googled aimlessly and in no time at all I had uncovered a group of Hilton hotels that raise money for children's charities in the Caribbean.

The ease with which this was found underscores once more how common acts of kindness are. The drumbeat of bad news and evil you get from the news media gives a false impression of the way the world works. This is a vanity link, but here is a very short post I wrote about the economics of bad news and why the news media blasts you with it day and night.

Enough of that. On to another World of Good (WOG) here at The Scratching Post!

Hilton Hotels in the Caribbean has a very simple and easy donation program for their guests. Just let them know you want to participate and they will add $1 to your bill and donate that to Caribbean K.I.D.S. $1? How hard is that? Apparently, it's pretty easy because Hilton has raised quite a bit of money and done some great things.

Officially called Kindness in Donations and Services, K.I.D.S. is Hilton Caribbean’s way of helping non-profit organizations devoted to children on the islands where its’ resorts are located. Hilton Caribbean guests and team members play significant roles in raising money. Guests help by voluntarily adding $1 a night to their account when they check out. Team members contribute by donating the time and effort in organizing events that benefit the children and generate funds.

Since implemented, Hilton Caribbean’s K.I.D.S. Charity Program has raised more than $1,000,000.
They've got a great newsletter that describes their work.

Aaauuuggghh! I can't take the cuteness! I'll sign, I'll sign. Here's your $1. Just stop being so blasted cute!

Here's an example of one of their charities.
In San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Caribe Hilton often sees more than $70,000 USD raised annually through events such as a fashion show and gala dinners throughout the year. A donation of more than $25,000 USD was given to Fundacíon Esposas Rotarios Pro Niños con Impedimento, an organization dedicated to raising funds to purchase orthopedic equipment for physically challenged children who have scarce economic resources.
Sigh. Such hard work. Honey, could you get me a daiquiri? I feel a whole lot of charity coming on.

I would like to recommend that we all support this charity, not just by thought and prayer, but by deed. Let's all take a vacation in the Caribbean and help those kids! Who's with me? I call dibs on the hammock by the volleyball court!

Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices to improve the lives of others.

You want more World of Good? We got more! Go to this link to get more. If you're a blogger or know a blogger, being a member of our WOG Squad is a great way to get links and traffic. Drop me an email and I'll be happy to add you to the list.

A few minutes ago I was tired and uninspired. Not any more. WOGs always cheer me up. I hope they do the same for you.

For more good deeds, please visit the Carnival of the Catholics.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hurricane Katrina in the Mind

Last night I watched my beloved New Orleans Saints totally dismantle the Atlanta Falcons, 23-3. The Saints played a disciplined, energized game in front of a frenzied crowd in the first home game in the Superdome in over a year. Throughout the broadcast, ESPN showed images of the devastation across the city, much of it still unrepaired. I don't get that at all.

Several times in my life I've found myself with almost no discretionary cash at all and huge jobs to do. I'm currently landscaping a barren yard on a very, very narrow shoestring budget. Your own labor can make up for a great deal of money. It takes effort, but all of that debris can be hauled away and those lots can be cleared off if you're willing to set yourself to the task and just do it. My little pickup truck is worth about $500 and with that, some work gloves and a hand saw, I didn't see much in those pictures that couldn't be hauled away.

Turn off the TV. Get your work gloves. Clean up your frickin' yard.

All of this is a long wind up to suggest some amount of experience behind my libertarian economic leanings. I just don't believe that the government is an efficient tool for much of anything. Defending the country, building roads, providing emergency services and maintaining order are crucial jobs for the government. Most of our current social services are not. The debris still left over from Katrina proves that. For some reason, the people who lived in those houses haven't cleaned their places up yet. The videos shown by ESPN showed sunny days and no one working. That makes no sense at all.

That's an even longer wind up to this. I would be willing to pay a very, very steep price for socialized mental health services. Today's Wall Street Journal has an article written by Gary Fields (subscription may be required) that describes training programs for police officers to deal with the mentally ill homeless. Included in that article is part of a training video that gives you an idea of what it's like to be schizophrenic. It shows a bus ride from the point of view of a mentally ill person, complete with hallucinations and disembodied voices. It's very, very sad to see.

Here are some key excerpts. First, we don't care for these people. We imprison them.

The problem follows the shuttering of state-run mental-health facilities a generation ago. Prisons helped pick up the slack. The Justice Department estimates that about 330,000 of the nation's 2.2 million inmates are mentally ill. When released, they usually end up back in prison, in part because of a lack of outside treatment options.
We're not talking about criminals who can rationalize crimes. We're talking about people who are tormented continuously by mental illness.

We endlessly increase funding for the education industry while people like this are left to die.

The article goes on.

(The officers) learn about psychiatric disorders and listen to firsthand accounts from mentally ill patients. A student at Arizona State University told the officers he had heard voices "every waking moment" for nearly 10 years. "It wasn't about the weather. They say your life's not worth living, kill yourself," said the student who asked not to be named. "The voices told me to kill a friend once. I told him. It made him nervous."
Unable to function in society, the mentally ill are left to their own devices. This next segment brought tears to my eyes. A man who is so hounded by inner demons that he clings to a stuffed animal for support.

The first visit of the night was with a regular who frequents places near the airport, including a bank where he has parked five grocery carts of trash and trinkets. Wheelchair-bound because of a leg infection, he tried to outrun the patrol car when he spotted the officers, until Officer Beauchamp got out. The officer had tried several times to get the man into a shelter, but he refuses because he doesn't want to give up the grocery carts and one of his prized possessions, a 20-year-old stuffed animal.
I was going to go on with a few more examples, but why? What is wrong with our society that we cave in to every aggrieved, hypersensitive special interest group, spending billions and billions of dollars, but we can't open our hearts to sick guys in wheelchairs living on the streets, seeking comfort from raggedy stuffed animals?

I would bet that one could run a very successful presidential campaign on this platform: Before we tackle lesbian marriage, let's take care of our helpless sick first.

Next time you hear someone go on and on about how their special interest group is oppressed or needs buckets more cash, tell them to shut up and go donate their time at a shelter and lobby for modern, efficient mental health care.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Because If Anyone Lays a Finger on Australia, We Will Turn Them to Slag

Our College of Cardinals points out a wonderful piece in the Sydney Morning Herald by Adele Horin, an Australian lady who will soon be entertaining a young French woman. She prepares for the inevitable discussion of foreign policy.

It is never easy to explain to the French, even when they wipe the smirk off their face, why Australia is involved in the Iraq quagmire. Australians strike them as an irreverent lot. So why, the French ask in that earnest manner born of too many years at university, does Australia act like America's … ? They wave their hands about, in that Gallic style, seeking a word they never learnt at the lycee.

"Lap-dog," I offer helpfully. And, over wattle-seed pavlova that I press on them, I embark on a long-winded explanation of our sycophancy towards the US.

The ANZUS treaty, our fear of the Japanese, Chinese, and Indonesians, and of course the terrorists, all get a guernsey. We need the US on side just in case …

You know how superior the French can sound. "Perhaps if you were not so close to America, you would have less to fear," a young French house-guest once suggested.
Adele is describing the US as an insurance policy. Insurance policies are not taken out to remedy damages done in a fender-bender. They're taken out so that when the out-of-control semi crushes the rear half of your car while a school bus swerves into the front and you end up with ashtray-sized pieces of car and yourself in the hospital for two months, someone will take care of you.

"Perhaps if you were not so close to America" is a gamble, like driving without insurance. Being our close ally is not.

The USS Bunker Hill leaving my home town, heading for waters near Australia.

Given what a great group the Aussies are, insurance adjuster is a role I don't mind playing at all.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thomas Edsell Flops Around on the Dock

This is a very oblique approach to the subject, so bear with me.

I am a big fan of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and I have been for decades. Way back when, they came out with the album Time. Their popularity was waning and despite Jeff Lynne's prodigious songwriting talents, they just weren't able to successfully navigate the change in music from disco to arena rock. They got one big hit off of the album, Hold on Tight to Your Dream, but everyone knew they were on their way out. At the time I heard an interview with their drummer, Bev Bevan, where he talked about the band being just where they wanted to be and appreciating the support of their fans. That was PR code for "well, at least we still have the hard-core ELO fans even if we aren't growing in popularity."

He had no one fooled, least of all the DJ interviewer and he was putting the best face on what was clearly the downside of their careers.

I thought of this as I listened to Thomas Edsell and his interview with the Feline Theocracy's Patriarch of the Airwaves, Hugh Hewitt. Mr. Edsell was honest and forthcoming and Hugh did an absolutely stellar job (as always) with the interview. I found Mr. Edsell's performance akin to a caught fish, flopping around on the dock before it is cleaned and eaten. "Yes, well, I'll make a few last attempts at escape, but really, I'm exhausted and this is just about it for me."

The editorial boards of the WaPo, the NYT and the LAT gather together for a photo shoot.

The interview is a great read. Here's my money quote.

TE: I agree that whatever you want to call it, mainstream media, presents itself as unbiased, when in fact, there are built into it, many biases, and they are overwhelmingly to the left.

HH: Well, that’s very candid.

TE: Well…

HH: Have you ever said that…in the course…when you were working for the Post, would you tell people who you voted for, and how liberal you were?

TE: You mean people people?

HH: Yeah. You ever write a column about…you know, I’m a left wing Democrat, but you can trust me. I won’t mess around with the candidates?

TE: No, because I’ve screwed over as many or more Democrats as I have Republicans.
That's pathetic. The whole premise of this part of the conversation, accepted by Mr. Edsell, is that the mainstream press is getting killed because it is biased. To now go and claim that his body of work isn't biased is hopelessly silly. Of course he hasn't given them equal treatment. None of his comrades at the WaPo have done that. That's why Hugh Hewitt has a successful radio show. Hugh fills a need caused by the left-wing bias of Mr. Edsell and his comrades.

Re-reading the quote, one could also argue that Mr. Edsell was throwing his colleagues under the bus and trying to save himself. "The MSM as a group is biased, but I'm not." Whatever. It was a listless and flimsy defense of an intellectually exhausted movement. The MSM and the biased press is running out of gas as more and more people turn to alternative sources of news precisely because Mr. Edsell has not "screwed over as many or more Democrats as I have Republicans."

Flop. Flop. Flip. Gasp. Flop. Gasp. Urrrrrrgggghhhhh.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Stoning Scene

While mucking about looking for a part of the script from The Life of Brian, I came across this. I've got tears running down my face still.

Communist Monopoly

The Feline Theocracy's College of Cardinals tipped us off to this great YouTube video.


One of my favorite new blogs, Starling Hunter's The Business of America is Business, has a post about a new energy drink called "Cocaine". Here's his introduction to the product.

A Las Vegas-based company, Redux Beverages, has launched a new product- a highly-caffienated cola with a highly controversial name, Cocaine. Redux bills Cocaine as a "legal alternative" to the real thing and claims it is "350 percent stronger than Red Bull" yet lacks the "sugar crash". According the The Daily Mail (UK), the drink is being marketed in Los Angeles and New York and primarily to teens.
In his post, Mr. Hunter asks the following question.

A final question which I have not seen raised yet is whether Cocaine will be marketed disproprotionately to minority teens the same way high-potency malt liquors have been to minority adults - with the help of rappers.
I'd be shocked if that didn't happen. Once you've jump started your marketing effort by tying it to an illegal drug, the best way to use that momentum is to go where that illegal drug is used and prized. If they had named it Whale Blubber, then I'd suspect they would target the Aleuts. With a name like Cocaine, I'd look for marketing tie-ins with thrash metal, punk and rap artists.

Looking at the situation from the point of view of the bands, this is a great opportunity to get free publicity. By endorsing the product you might be able to catapult yourself into the limelight as protests against Cocaine occur. Your band could gather all kinds of credibility as it flips off the white bread losers that are trying to repress your freedom of speech.

Write a song about it and add plenty of obscenities and references to the hopelessness of growing up in an oppressive country that holds you down and you might just have a hit on your hands.

Update: The Business Innovation Insider tells us that the distributers are nicknamed "dealers." Cool!

Cocaine also has a MySpace page. Like you didn't see that one coming.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


What do you suppose our Maximum Leader was watching on KTTV?

While changing channels on the blogosphere, be sure to see this week's episode of the Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

World of Good Blogburst, Floral Style

Welcome to another weekly World of Good (WOG) here at The Scratching Post.

This WOG was inspired by my mother. All through her life she has been active in charity organizations and has generously donated her time to others. She is an accomplished and talented woman in many ways. She is a flower show judge, has won countless awards for her flower arrangements, has been president of garden clubs just about everywhere we've lived and has been repeatedly asked to participate in the San Diego Museum of Art's annual Art Alive program where floral artists produce and display flower arrangements suggested by the paintings in the museum. She brings beauty and grace into the world every day.

My favorite charity work of hers were the times she and some of her colleagues from the local garden club went to a foster home for abused children and spent the day doing flower arrangements and crafts with them. The children had survived horrible atrocities by their families and had been placed in the foster care system. My mother and her friends brought tranquility and love into their lives by introducing them to a gentle art that taught them to see their world in a different way.

Today's WOG is about Mary McLanathan, a woman much like my mother, who does volunteer flower arrangements in the town of Los Altos, California. I came across an article about her in the Los Altos Town Crier.

Mary McLanathan's love for flowers blossomed during her childhood on an apricot and prune ranch in Los Gatos.

"My mother loved flowers, especially cabbage roses," McLanathan said. "The Japanese nurseryman who helped with her big flower garden always said, if you have $1 to spend on your garden, spend 75 cents of it on fertilizer."

Today, the down-to-earth McLanathan is "retired" but leads a life powered by flowers.

She rises at 3 or 3:30 a.m. every Friday, drives herself to the San Francisco Flower Market on Brannon Street, and purchases enough seasonal blooms and foliage to fill 15 buckets...and over the next day and a half creates three huge flower arrangements - one for St. William Catholic Church in Los Altos and two more for chapels located on the grounds of the Seton Provincialate in Los Altos Hills.

"Her arrangements help identify who we are," said associate pastor Kathy Schlosser of St. William. "A picture of one of them is on the cover of our membership directory."

Rev. Michael Burns, pastor of St. William Catholic Church, calls it a labor of love. "She's fantastic," he said. "She uses absolutely every kind of flower, branches of fruit trees, sometimes nothing but beautiful greens - but she doesn't want anyone to watch her arranging and she's never completely pleased."

"I sit there during morning Mass, critique what I did, and I see how I could make an arrangement better, and I can hardly wait to go up and change it," McLanathan said.

Her high standards made her the respected dean of biological and health sciences at Foothill College for 18 years, where she taught biology, bacteriology, zoology, anatomy and botany.

McLanathan is modest to a fault - "Please keep any story about me low-key; I just do whatever I can," she said - and she doesn't keep exact track of her own volunteer work. As far as anyone knows, she has been arranging flowers at St. William's for more than 15 years, because that job preceded her volunteer flower arranging at the Seton Provincialate, off Altamont Road in Los Altos Hills.

"One day I was watering my arrangement inside the St. William's sanctuary and I heard a knock on the door. It was two nuns from Seton saying they liked my arrangement on the altar that week and asking if I would do a special arrangement for their celebration of their patron saint, St. Vincent de Paul, on Sept. 27 that year. I did that one and then have been arranging for them ever since."

"Mary has been making beautiful, graceful arrangements at our Provincialate Chapel and the Laboure Chapel for about 15 years," said Sister Cecilia Van Zandt, Seton's director of hospitality. "Her flowers create the kind of atmosphere that enriches our worship. They make our people eager to see what she has done each week."

She pays for all of her own flowers and supplies.

"If the church had to pay for arrangements like hers, it would cost us a fortune," said Olivia Haley, St. William's office manager.

McLanathan has also volunteered for years with the Mountain View-Los Altos Community Foundation Alpha Omega program, which provides shelter, food and a structured environment for the homeless who are working or seeking work. In recent years, when Alpha Omega clients are staying at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Los Altos, she works every evening for a week, usually with her friend Mims Munro.

"I just have a lot of energy," McLanathan said to explain her life of service, but Burns sees it differently.

"She is a loving, dedicated woman you can't help but like and admire," he said.
That sounds like you, mom.

For more information on our WOG posts and how you can help spread a World of Good, please visit this link.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Arr! 'Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Avast there, mateys! I nearly forgot. Today 'tis Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Since I be going to jury duty today, ye can be sure I'll have the scallawags swingin' from the yardarm by two bells. Arrrr!

When it comes to pirates, there be but one that be my captain. That man be Errol Flynn! We've weighed anchor and set sail for the Spanish Main with Captain Blood himself at the helm. And now on to plunder and pillage! Arrr!

Fairly warned be ye, says I!

CAIR Misses the Lecture on Cause and Effect

The Feline Theocracy's Prelate to the Primates at Blue Crab Boulevard pointed out a press release by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) about increased anti-Muslim bias. They're being picked on, poor dears. Unfortunately, like most civil rights groups, cause and effect are sloppily connected in an effort to deny any responsiblity for the way people react to them.

"We believe the biggest factor contributing to anti-Muslim feeling and the resulting acts of bias is the growth in Islamophobic rhetoric that has flooded the Internet and talk radio in the post-9/11 era," said CAIR Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, the report's author.
It wasn't sawing peoples' heads off with scimitars while shouting "Allahu Akbar!", blowing mosques into tiny bits or flying airplanes into buildings, it was the Internet and talk radio.

Darn those bloggers! I just knew they'd come to no good.

CAIR has made some attempts at distancing themselves from the troublemakers in their midst.

Iftikhar said the report also outlines CAIR initiatives taken in the past year designed to decrease anti-Muslim prejudice. The report cites CAIR's coordination of the fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, by U.S. Muslim scholars repudiating terrorism and religious extremism, the "Not in the Name of Islam" public service announcements (PSA) and the "Explore the Quran" and "Muslims Care" educational and volunteerism campaigns.
I'd add the links they have in their article, but they've disabled that feature, the morons. You can't give trackbacks if they don't let you.

In any case, their press release ignores the evidence we see every day. If I were them, every single press release would admit culpability. Every one would have language in it describing how Islamophobia is understandable given how many homicidal Moslem maniacs there are. Every press release would discuss how CAIR was trying to drag Islam out of the spasms of violence that beset it and achieve the same level of peaceful coexistence enjoyed by, say, the Lutherans.

Until they do, they've got no one fooled with this trash. When cartoons make some of your believers go bonkers in raging mobs and burn things down, it's a waste of time to act all pure and innocent.

A Message from Overseas

The Feline Theocracy's Knight-Protector and Defender of Yarn Balls has been sent overseas by Uncle Sam to defend the Theocracy and spread the Good News of Feline Freedom to the world. His blog is being updated when he can borrow a computer. He leaves us this thought for the day.


Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:

1. Jesus Christ
2. The American G.I.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
It might be nice to visit his blog and leave him a note. He's a good and courageous man.

Thanks, Lawman.

Monday, September 18, 2006

How Come They Didn't Tell Me?

September 14 was World Hearing Voices Day.

Towards the end of last year Louise Pembroke came up with the idea of HVN having a world wide day to raise awareness of and de-stigmatise hearing voices experiences. Well the idea was spread around and greeted with enthusiasm, the result being that September 14 2006 has been declared World Hearing Voices Day.
All this time The Voices have been telling me to mop the floor with ketchup, wrap my head in aluminum foil and talk in Greek to my Gerbera aurantiaca, but they never told me about this? No wonder they were silent on the 14th. They were all at a special party just for them and they didn't invite me! Lousy ingrates. I'll fix them. Next time they tell me to wave whole catfish at passing airliners while dancing an Irish jig, I'll show them. I'll do a waltz instead. Ha! That'll show 'em.

H/T: Blithering Bunny.

Hurrah for Drew Brees!

Yesterday the New Orleans Saints had a very Saints-like first quarter against the Packers. Two fumbles by the QB deep in their own territory and an interception a bit later. At the end of the quarter, the Saints trailed 13-0. It looked like the Same Old Saints. The Saints Report gameday message board was filled with electronic screams of agony. Then something strange happened. The Saints came back.

Drew Brees, apparently ignorant of New Orleans Saints' history and tradition, calmly and professionally led the team back to an exciting 34-27 victory. He never gave up and played with poise and intelligence. He was actually seen on the sideline discussing the game with his receivers and looking at in-game photos with the coach.

For most of you who root for other teams, you make think this to be commonplace, but for us Saints fans, it's a miracle. Now we go into next week's Monday Night Football game in the Superdome 2-0. I can't wait.

I'll leave you now with a tribute to our storied past. It's a YouTube video of a software error in the European edition of Madden 2007. It's the way we used to play before Drew Brees showed up.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Vote for 1933 Pacifism from a Neo-con

Make no mistake, I am a huge fan of both Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn. That having been said, I must suggest that they both stop using the Oxford Union's 1933 vote not to fight for King and Country as an example of pacifism and appeasement gone mad. I firmly believe that our decision to go to Iraq was the right one and that our strategy of bringing democracy to the Middle East gives us our best hope for survival in an existential battle with Islamofascism. Had I been a member of that debating society at Oxford in 1933, I would have voted for pacifism with the majority.

What's missing from the discussion is the context of that vote. That same context which influenced their ideological ancestors is also missing from the current anti-war crowd. There has never been a war like World War I. It changed Europe forever.

I just finished Robert Graves' Good-Bye to All That: An Autobiography and am in the middle of Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory. Another great book on the subject is Richard Watt's Dare Call it Treason about the French army mutiny of 1917. There are simply no parallels to the Great War. Kings and Countries all across Europe slaughtered an entire generation of young men to feed the imperial ambitions of the aristocracy.

King and Country

Over the top, boys!


Wars in support of royal ambitions had been fought before. Thousands had died on the battlefields of Europe before. Never before had a war been fought over the same ground for four years.

Here's what the British public was told of the Battle of the Somme by The Daily Chronicle on the July 3, 1916.

Ist July, 1916: At about 7.30 o'clock this morning a vigorous attack was launched by the British Army. The front extends over some 20 miles north of the Somme. The assault was preceded by a terrific bombardment, lasting about an hour and a half. It is too early to as yet give anything but the barest particulars, as the fighting is developing in intensity, but the British troops have already occupied the German front line. Many prisoners have already fallen into our hands, and as far as can be ascertained our casualties have not been heavy.
Here's what it was really like, as told by George Coppard who was a machine-gunner at the Battle of the Somme. In his book With A Machine Gun to Cambrai, he described what he saw on the 2nd July, 1916.

The next morning we gunners surveyed the dreadful scene in front of our trench. There was a pair of binoculars in the kit, and, under the brazen light of a hot mid-summer's day, everything revealed itself stark and clear. The terrain was rather like the Sussex downland, with gentle swelling hills, folds and valleys, making it difficult at first to pinpoint all the enemy trenches as they curled and twisted on the slopes.

It eventually became clear that the German line followed points of eminence, always giving a commanding view of No Man's Land. Immediately in front, and spreading left and right until hidden from view, was clear evidence that the attack had been brutally repulsed. Hundreds of dead, many of the 37th Brigade, were strung out like wreckage washed up to a high-water mark. Quite as many died on the enemy wire as on the ground, like fish caught in the net. They hung there in grotesque postures. Some looked as though they were praying; they had died on their knees and the wire had prevented their fall. From the way the dead were equally spread out, whether on the wire or lying in front of it, it was clear that there were no gaps in the wire at the time of the attack.
Most of the dead were never buried. The stench of rotting corpses permeated the air. Rotting bodies and body parts littered the trenches and parapets. The front never moved and so as each attack occured, the dead piled upon the dead. Robert Graves wrote of being able to determine the date of the corpses one came across in no-man's land by the equipment lying next to them or the uniform piece rotting off of them.

Constantly under the threat of machine guns, no-man's land became filled with dead bodies that were never removed.

Robert Graves tells of returning to England on leave and hating the pseudo-military atmosphere there and the ignorant, jingoistic nationalism that gripped the country, spurred on by the lies and propaganda from the newspapers and government. Like many others who came home from the front, they actually wanted to return to the trenches to get away from the war madness that gripped their nations.

The Battle of the Somme in the media


The French Army mutiny of 1917 was precipitated by the re-insertion of exhausted French divisions into the trenches after a particularly catastrophic attack. Normally, divisions who had just taken part in an assault were given a certain amount of time to recuperate. After the disastrous 2nd Battle of the Aisne where French troops were massacred by the tens of thousands, the French Army was forced to cut short the rest time of those devastated units and throw them back into the trenches because France had run out of men.

Quite simply, everyone who was capable of fighting was either dead or already in the army. The same was true in Germany and England.

Whipped into a national fervor by government lies, children play acted trench warfare...

...while their fathers died by the thousands in the same muddy trenches year after year.

When the war finally ended, the truth became known as the surviving soldiers returned. There is no modern parallel to this. Comparisons of the modern day Democrats wanting to cut and run and the Oxford Union of 1933 do not do justice to the survivors of The Great War and the pacifists of 1933.

Modern day pacifists can draw a direct lineage back to that union in philosophy only. With milbloggers, embedded journalists, an oppositional press and an all-volunteer army, it's hard to excuse a similar vote being held today. The atrocities attributed to the Germans turned out to have been propaganda while the atrocities of Saddam have been photographed and cataloged.

While the appeasers of 2006 can be roundly castigated for having no sense of the global war against Islamofascism, the traumatized people of 1933 should be left out of it.

Photos from Quotes from this site describing the Battle of the Somme.

Update: Mark Steyn was very kind to reply to this on his site. Here's what he had to say.

I think you’re missing the point I was making. I wasn’t commenting on the merits or otherwise of that vote, but on the symbolism. Now consider the symbolism of Khatami’s Harvard address: it’s not pre-war, but during a war; it’s not students debating, but a keynote address by an invited former head of state whose proxies are second only to al-Qaeda in the number of Americans they’ve killed.

Tony Blair Warns the Euroweenies

The Business of America is Business blog pointed out this article about Tony Blair warning his Continental friends against rabid anti-Americanism. Here are my favorite bits from the article.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair launched a withering attack on Thursday on what he called "mad anti-Americanism" among European politicians.

"The danger is if they decide to pull up the drawbridge and disengage. We need them involved," Blair said.

"The strain of, frankly, anti-American feeling in parts of European politics is madness when set against the long-term interests of the world we believe in," he said.

Responding to those who have criticized the White House, Blair said: "The danger with America today is not that they are too much involved."

"We want them engaged. The reality is that none of the problems that press in on us can be resolved or even contemplated without them," he added.
Meanwhile, the fellows at No Pasaran point out, on a daily basis, the slow collapse of Europe.

We mock the French for their pathetic responses to peacekeeping missions such as Lebanon, but most of us don't fully realize the reason for it. As their economy shifts to service an ever-increasing welfare state and geriatric population, their military has less and less discretionary cash.

Military operations cost money. A decision to send troops to Lebanon is a decision to spend a great deal of money and therefore a decision to cut it somewhere else. What French naval vessel will forgo preventative maintenance this year so the French can participate in the UN peacekeeping force? Each year their budget gets tighter and the decisions get tougher.

You could substitute an example of foreign aid or a subsidy for international commerce for the military one above and achieve the same result. The Europeans' financial and social exhaustion makes all of their anti-Americanism an expensive hobby. Tony Blair is one of the few European leaders brave enough to point this out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Beware of Cat

You dangle the string...

...and I attack!

For more feline fun, please visit this week's Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats.

Steve Foley, Sports Talk Radio and Race Relations

A few days ago, San Diego Chargers' linebacker Steve Foley was shot by an off-duty police officer. You can read more about it here. It was around 3 in the morning and Mr. Foley was absolutely plastered, driving his car all over the road. The police officer tried to get him off the road and ended up in an altercation with him and eventually shot him as Mr. Foley's girlfriend tried to run him down with their car. Yesterday, the police released the results of Steve Foley's blood alchohol tests and it turned out he had three times the legal limit of alchohol in his blood.

Steve Foley is black and the officer is white.

One of my favorite radio stations is 1090 AM. They have covered this story heavily. As I listened on and off the first day after the shooting, the conversation revolved around the racial aspect of the story. Was Steve Foley followed because he was black? Did the officer have a history of racial issues? What is the reputation of the San Diego Police Department regarding race and shootings? The whole line of inquiry suggested the thought process, "racism is out there and we're going to find it."

It turned out that Steve Foley was driving while drunk. According to the officer, his speed varied from 30 MPH to 90 MPH and his driving was erratic. Given a blood alchohol level of 0.23, that sounds about right. As a point of reference, that blood alchohol level is what a normal person gets after about 8 Margaritas.

Imagine your own condition the last time you drank that much. I would have passed out long before then.

Steve Foley also has a history of violence. He is a 6'4", 265 pound professional athlete.

Removing the racial aspect, the factual situation was this. An off-duty police officer came across a car swerving all over the road, finally managed to pull it over and was cornered in a cul-de-sac by a huge, violent drunk and his girlfriend who remained in the car and tried to run him down. The officer fired warning shots and then finally shot the drunk in non-vital areas.

Steve Foley did not care if he killed you or me or wrecked our houses, cars and did whatever damaged you could do with a car. The police officer on his way home after his shift, risked his own life to get the drunk off the road and when confronted, disabled, but did not kill him.

Here's where we get into problems with 1090XX. If you are programmed to look for racial angles, you will eventually find them. In a population as large as the US, you can always find examples of racism. If it works one way for 1090XX, then it will work the other way for others. For some, this is an example of a giant, drunk, black thug attacking a white guy.

The problem is that it doesn't work either way. The people at 1090XX do not understand the use and analysis of statistics. Steve Foley's case is an example. Examples indicate mechanisms. They do not indicate trends. Group statistics indicate trends. Finding examples of racism or even racial confrontations in a population as large as San Diego or the US in general tells you nothing about the general situation.

That night, a black man tried to attack a white man and that white man shot that black man. The population of San Diego is more than 2,800,000. That night, 2,799,998 people of various races did not shoot each other.

Inter-racial violence is far more rare than intra-racial violence. It's not even close. However, if you are looking for it and you don't know how to interpret it, it seems as if it is far more common than it is.

The callers to 1090XX that I heard that day focused heavily on the racial aspect. The talk show hosts sympathized with them. When you sympathize with utter nonsense, you give it respectability. There are more than 96,000 blacks in San Diego. One of them that night was driving while hopelessly drunk and turned belligerent towards a police officer. 95,999 did not.

That night, 2,799,998 people of various races did not shoot each other. 95,999 blacks in particular did not disregard our safety by driving while hopelessly drunk and then attack a police officer. One did.

A more reasoned response would be for all of us to ask, regardless of race, "What's wrong with you, Mr. Foley?"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday 13, Insomnia Edition

The Scratching Post is back with another Thursday 13 entry. Lately it seems as if I'm always complaining about the same thing. Sleep. I slept in, I've got jet lag, my toes were out of the covers all night and got frostbite in the frigid San Diego air, our Maximum Leader hogs the bed and so on. Well, buckle in and strap on your helmets, because this is another one of those.

13 things to do when you have insomnia.

1. Prepare for it. I TiVo'd the Monday night Raiders-Chargers game. Talk about boring! Re-watching it at 2AM should put anyone back to sleep. Memo to Marty Schottenheimer: The year is 2006, not 1006. The forward pass is legal. What a dinosaur.

2. After laying awake for an hour (even watching the game) do not decide to just get up because you'll have to get up in a few hours anyway. No matter how pessimistic you are, you can always get back to sleep. That hour or two will save you the next day.

3. Count sheep. Real sheep. Arrange with a local farm to have FedEx deliver sheep to your house in the middle of the night so you can count them. If you arrange them in a circle, you can count up to any number as you will be too tired to remember which sheep you started with.

4. Find the cat and bring her to bed. Imitate her. This is like learning art from Renoir. There is no creature better at sleeping in the world. They are patient teachers, too.

5. Get some regular exercise during the day. If supporting your kids' schedule keeps you in the car and the kitchen all the time, preventing you from working out, teach them to drive and cook. Some say 9 years old is too young for driving a car, but I'm not talking a stick shift here, just an automatic. Handling sharp knives and uncooked pork poses no problems for the well-prepared child.

6. Remember that caffeine is not your friend in the afternoon. While you may have had a hard time sleeping the previous night, its siren song and seductive ways around 3PM when you need to go to a perfectly dreadful staff meeting will rob you of your sleep that night. If you must get a cup of coffee to stay awake while your coworkers travel a verbal Mobius Strip for hours, don't drink it, dip body parts in it instead. The scalding will keep you awake just as well and it's easier to sleep with second degree burns than with caffeine in your blood.

7. Have a book to read on your nightstand. A frightfully boring book. I recommend a Real Analysis text or perhaps a Physical Chemistry book. The proof is left to the reader.

8. Feed your animals before going to bed. When I woke last night, I heard Jacob the Syrian Hamster going at it in his exercise wheel. It was a happy sound until I realized that I forgot to feed him. Getting out of bed insures that it will take an extra 15 minutes to get back to sleep, but the guilt of not having given the little guy his crunchings and munchings is even worse.

9. Make sure the bed is securely made before getting in it in the first place. Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night with your toes sticking out down below and realizing that nothing short of getting up and making the bed will stop it. Even in San Diego, there's a 10-15 degree temperature differential between under the covers and out of the covers and your toes refuse to be treated like second-class citizens. They will keep you awake just out of spite.

10. Do not think about your blog. You may have no idea what you will do for a Thursday 13 post the next morning, but thinking about it will only make you wake up more. Just relax. When you sit down at the keyboard with your coffee in the morning, the post will come to you.

11. Pray. Jesus, Mary and Joseph all had some sleepless nights, too. They understand.

12. Do not watch the clock. That will only stress you out more and keep you from getting to sleep. The endless calculations of "if I get to sleep now, I will still be able to get x hours of sleep before I have to get up" are not restful thoughts.

Finally, I have this suggestion for dealing with insomnia.

13. Give up trying to sleep. Devote yourself to staying awake 24 hours a day. Sleep is over rated.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

World of Good Blogburst, Southern Girl Style

Welcome to another World Of Good (WOG) entry here at The Scratching Post. This week, we thank Southern Girl for her offer to discuss her experiences working with the Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International(BMDMI) organization.

A few years ago, a young lady with a kind heart, a desire to help people and some self-doubts came in contact with a group who encouraged her to go out in the world and share her talents. The result was a series of trips with Baptist volunteer doctors and dentists to bring free health and dental care to the people of Reitoca, Honduras. Southern Girl shares her full description of the trips on her blog.

Before I go any farther, let me pre-emptively respond to a comment I received a while back on a post I did about a similar expedition to bring health and dental care to Chiapas, Mexico. Honduras has a lot more to offer than just an opportunity to do charity work. The people are smart and industrious and the country is beautiful. Honduras can be a lot of fun to visit as a tourist and I'm sure the entrepreneurs among you can find business opportunities as well. For more information, try this site for starters.

Tropical islands, anyone?

Southern Girl's concerns about her own abilities were overstated. Thanks to her friends in BMDMI, she discovered she was stronger than she knew. Her faith and her commitment to help others overcame handicaps of her own.

My professor (at Union University) served as a translator in the medical clinic and had been a part of this mission for several years before I came along. One year after she got back from a trip, after telling me about it she said, "Southern Girl, you need to go with us next time." I think I nodded, but inside I had no thoughts I'd be able to go. At the time, I either walked using a walker or I rode around campus on a three-wheeler. Steps were a huge challenge requiring help. The places the teams went didn't have paved streets and sidewalks, and they rode on school buses, with those huge steps to get into them.

I had no faith in myself that I'd be able to handle such a trip physically and worse than the lack of faith in myself, it even extended to God as I focused more on what I would or wouldn't be able to do, and not what He could. But my professor kept after me and it even happened that our university was going to sponsor a team the next year, with members coming from the university community. And I began to pray that God would provide not only the money necessary, but that He'd give me the confidence to take this step of faith.

One after another my prayers were answered. Friends and family sent me checks and encouragement. God used my professor in a mighty way as she had an answer for my every concern and her belief that I could handle the trip never wavered.

Her post describes the adventures of the trip. Here I will touch upon the highlights of her work. I recommend you visit her blog to read more.

After arriving in the villages, we usually set up in an empty school, and the first day saw a few patients from the local community who were going to be helping the team out all week. Then for the next four days, we were up early in the morning and worked until sundown. By the time we arrived in the village there were already crowds gathering, people who had walked literally for hours and hours, sometimes in the middle of the night, just to see a doctor or dentist or attended a worship service. For most of those people, that was the only time they saw a doctor, when the teams came to town.

She worked in the clothing donation center, thinking it would provide an easy transition into the emotional difficulties of the mission. She discovered that a gentle soul finds ways to care no matter where she is.

The first year I went with the team, I started out working in the clothes closet, where we gave away an outfit to everyone who came through the medical clinic...I thought working with the clothing would be less emotionally tasking than in any other area, but after three little girls came in for shoes, and only two walked out wearing some because we simply did not have a pair anywhere close to the size the littlest girl needed, I had nightmares that night about digging through a pile of shoes and crying as I went before having to say, "No, there aren't anymore."

I'll close with a lovely paragraph Southern Girl wrote to close out her own post.

I'm so glad I let God use me, that He is bigger than my all-too-often tiny faith, that I have brothers and sisters in Christ in a far away place like Honduras. Finances, physical disabilities, language barriers...none of it is too big for God to overcome, so if you ever get the chance, expand your world and go ye...
I don't see how I can add to that. See this link for more World of Good posts.

Attack from Space!

This morning I uncovered evidence of an attack from space that was thwarted by our Maximum Leader and, most likely, our Knight-Protector and Defender of Yarn Balls.

Our Maximum Leader has dispatched an attacker and left it on her scratching post base.

Who is it?

An invader from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away!

All Hail, Maximum Leader! All hail Knight-Protector!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

DVDs for Cats

Because my blog is called The Scratching Post, Adsense posts cat-related ads on my site when it can't think of anything else to do. I work hard to clean those up and eliminate them from my rotation since most of them seem ill-suited to my posts. However, in doing some clean up this morning, I came across one that I love. Its title is "View Cat's Watching DVD's" (sic) and it's a riot. I followed the link and I'm considering buying one for our Maximum Leader. They've got sample videos showing bits from their DVDs and some sample videos showing cats watching them.

If I buy one, I'll video K T watching it and post it on YouTube. It looks way cool.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Project 2996 - Margaret Elaine Mattic

Project 2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim. In this post, I honor Margaret Elaine Mattic.

Margaret was 51 at the time of the attack. She was working as a customer service representative for General Telecom in the World Trade Center's North Tower on the 83rd floor. After the building was struck, Margaret made one final call to friend in New York. She told her she was trapped in the building and couldn't get out. She asked her friend to call her mother.

Margaret was an artistic soul and was deeply involved in the theater. She was a 1967 graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit and an acting major at Wayne State University. In 1998, she starred in the 12-Gauge Review production, in New York, of a play called "Oversight."

Margaret loved performing, which was surprising since she seemed so quiet. She studied theater at Wayne State University. After college, more productions followed, including appearances as a guest artist at Dillard University (New Orleans), where she portrayed Alberta in "Sty of the Blind Pig," the 1971 work by Phillip Hayes Dean about a black family in Chicago.

Margaret wound up in Manhattan to pursue acting. She usually took temporary jobs, typically as a receptionist, so she could go to auditions. In New York, she performed with the Rainbow Repertory Arts Ensemble and was the Conjur Woman in The Kompanie! Inc. production of "Dark of the Moon."

Margaret was also a playwright. Several years ago, she said her goal was to have her play, "Mother of Pearl," produced in New York. Recently, she talked to friends about producing and starring in a one-woman play she had written, called "The Vision," about how the gift of prophecy changed several generations of a family.

At 51, she also wanted the comfort of a permanent job, so she became a customer service representative for General Telecom in the World Trade Center. "Every employer she ever worked for always loved her voice," recalled her sister, Jean Neal, 56. "It was so soothing and gentle and soft."

I never met Margaret. I wish I had. In reading tributes to her across the Internet, you can tell she touched many people's lives with a kind and gentle hand. Today my prayers and thoughts are with Margaret.

Many other blogs are paying tribute to the victims of 9/11 and some are listed below. StoptheACLU has a tribute as well.

If you are participating in Project 2996, please add your link. Comments are welcome from all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rovian Robot Rabbits

Our Prelate to the Primates brings to our attention a seemingly innocent campaign of pranks occurring in Vermont where white bunnies are being spray painted on the road. He suggests that this may be a prelude to a bunny invasion of the kind presaged by the attack on the ultra-manly Jimmy Carter.

While we are impressed with his deductive reasoning, we would urge him to consult the Republican Conspiracy Manual, Volume 18, pages 14-218 to 14-220. There he will find the true meaning of these incidents. To save him the time, we have done the interpretation for him.

Original image of the locations on a map.

The proper graphical interpretation.

By using your Karl Rove decoder ring and cross-referencing it with the mold patterns on your bathroom wall tile grout, you will achieve the proper interpretation.

Hint: It involves robot rabbits stealing the upcoming election.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Victory in Glorious Battle!

Today in the offices of the Feline Theocracy, we came across the remains of a mighty combat that took place last night. In her After Action Report, our Maximum Leader told how our Knight-Protector and Defender of Yarn Balls expertly laid down covering fire while she struggled with a hideous intruder. The enemy was dispatched and peace has come again to the Feline Theocracy.

All hail our Knight-Protector! All hail the Maximum Leader!

Click on the image for a gruesome close-up. Not for the squeamish.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Civilized Warriors Defending Civilization

USMC Artist Michael Fay visited one of my old haunts, Walter Reed hospital, the other day and created some outstanding art from what he saw. As a part of his typically stellar post, he describes a confrontation he had with a fellow citizen who morally equated the US with the terrorists. He wrote something that everyone needs to read.

Now I had just spent two days with Marines who by and large had been maimed by terrorist IEDs while either escorting a convoy or out on a foot patrol. I've been out on dozens upon dozens of these same convoys and patrols and they all begin with the same thing, THE BRIEF. The brief contains many critical bits of information, not the least of which are the rules of engagement, ie.; Law of Land Warfare and Geneva Convention protocols. The troops are reminded time and time again how to treat enemy combatants while at the same time respecting the locals. To assert that we, the US military, are now using terrorist tactics as a matter of broad policy is asinine........and I told him as much..........and more.
Emphasis mine.

Read the whole thing. His artwork is always worth the visit.

Thursday 13, Blogging Excuses Edition

Southern Girl sent me a wonderful story about which I promised to write a World of Good (WOG) post. I normally do my WOGs on Wednesdays, but I left early and got home late last night and couldn't get to it. I figured I'd do it this morning, but I'm finding that after a 5 week gauntlet of work and family responsiblities, I have all the creative power of an amoeba and I can't do it justice. Plus, her story deserves an avalanche of hits and Thursday won't cut it. Anything posted before the weekend (other than things for the Friday Ark) just get buried by subsequent blog posts by Monday and no one ever sees them.

With this in mind, I need an excuse. I need a bunch of excuses. I even need an excuse for Zeus, who is waiting a special reward I've promised as well. So for Zeus and Southern Girl and anyone else I owe a blog post to, here's this week's Thursday 13.

13 Reasons I Haven't Written That Blog Post Yet

1. I'm tired.

2. I'm cranky.

3. I'm tired and cranky.

4. I'm tired, cranky and am too busy playing Age of Empires on the computer.

5. I am suffering from such severe halitosis that the vapor coming out of my mouth is obscuring the keyboard and monitor. I think the mouse just melted.

6. A Madonna song came on the radio. Since my arms were full at the time, I couldn't get to the off switch and suffered through the whole thing. Overcome by nausea, I spent an hour lying down on my bed with a cool, wet washcloth on my forehead.

7. I let Jacob the Syrian Hamster loose to run around his room and he hid behind the filing cabinet again. It took half an hour, four dozen sunflower seeds and a small vacuum cleaner to extract him.

8. Someone switched my coffee to decaf.

9. I'm currently blogging from my handheld because I'm in jail after threatening to kill the person who switched my coffee to decaf.

10. My daughter left one of her beanie babies on my computer chair and I didn't notice it before I sat down. It was "Stabby the Unicorn." I'm sitting in the proctologist's waiting room right now. Don't ask.

11. After joining Cindy Sheehan's Liquid Fast for Peace, I discovered that Pork Frappe is a liquid. With the proper application of BBQ sauce and hickory smoking, it's also quite delicious particularly when followed with a milkshake chaser. I've gained 536 pounds and can no longer fit through the door of my computer room.

12. In an effort to find more time for blogging, I invented a time travel device. Unfortunately, I can't seem to put the thing in reverse and all I've managed to do is lose 53 hours 16 minutes of my life.

And the final excuse for not blogging is...

13. Our Maximum Leader, K T Cat herself, was on the computer the whole time.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Faster Than Light Blogging

If I do my weekly Wednesday World of Good post on Thursday morning, but back date it as Wednesday night, does that count as a Wednesday post?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Email System Killed by Self-inflicted Gunshot

At work our three-legged dog of an IT infrastructure has been brought to its knees (all three of them) by a blizzard of spam. Spamizzard? Blizzam? Whatever.

Somehow our network, designed to do nothing other than prevent attacks by severing all communications with the outside world, has been infiltrated by a virus which is sending out massive waves of spam emails from various peoples' email lists. This is compounded by recipients responding to "all" and demanding to be removed from these lists. That's followed up by people responding to "all" instructing everyone not to reply to "all". Which, in turn, is followed by a pack of know-it-alls replying to "all", instructing us how to stop these attacks, which sets off another wave of replies to "all" not to reply to "all".

The most hilarious thing of all is that due to our paranoia, the network is absolutely useless for doing anything other than protecting data we cannot access. We've managed to lock ourselves in a tiny room and have just had a cobra slip under the door.


Aboriginies offered to provide us with a network upgrade. We turned them down.

People Unclear on the Concept, Grand National Champion Semifinalist: Someone just did an "all" reply to a request to stop replying to "all" with an "OK."

Relaxing at the Office

Our Maximum Leader relaxes in her office furniture while contemplating our next blog post.

Be sure to visit this week's Carnival of the Cats and Weekend Cat Blogging.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Thanks, Peter

South African blogger Peter very kindly linked to this site as one of his blogs of the day. For such service to the Feline Theocracy, he is hereby granted a dozen Feline Indulgences. When the Rapture comes, he may use these during his judgment in front of the Feline Tribunal to dismiss charges of failing to provide tuna to a cat in need, claiming dogs are better than cats and insufficient petting of felines.

He may also post our logo, created by our Official Artist, Justin, on his blog if he so chooses.

Post-Modern Feline Abstract Art

I'd say this symbolizes feline concern about values lost by the emotional distance caused by our digital society.

Be sure to visit this week's Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats for more furry fun!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

K T Cat's Official Seal

Laurence Simon posted Nardo's official seal and linked to this Official Seal Generator. It's fantastic! Our Maximum Leader's official seal was a breeze. The symbol in the center is called "org-kt1". I found a Latin-English translator here. The seal is appropriate, no?

72 Straight Days of No Vampire Attacks

Laurence Simon can rest easy. Our Maximum Leader is still keeping watch for vampires.

Be sure to visit this week's Carnival of the Cats over at Watermark!

Rodents Don't Like Paparazzi

If you've ever wondered why we rodents run in rapid, random, bursts wonder no more. Some have suggested we do it to avoid owls and cats, which are attracted to movement. They say that when we lay still, we become invisible to predators. That's nonsense.

The real reason we do it is to avoid the paparazzi. Do you have any idea how hard it is to photograph us when we do this? Everything comes out blurry. The human in our house keeps trying to photograph me and I'm usually able to foil his plans, but last night he managed to catch me as I peeked out from behind the filing cabinet.

Is the coast clear?

Argh! He took the picture just as I popped out to look!

The end result is always something like this.

Maybe Feline Empress and Mother Superior of the Holy Order of Ocean Whitefish, Kukka-Maria can give me some advice on how to deal with these people.