Cast of Characters:

Enkidu (AKA Slim)
Beowolf (AKA Wolfie)
Blaze (AKA Blaze)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bad Chaos! Bad!

I hope that Chaos associated his recent bitter apple shower with his mastication of my as yet unopened (though very much chewed up) copy of Logan's Run.

After he ran away, I picked him up and cuddled him so that he wouldn't feel afraid of me.

Since he lost yet another bell, he's now wearing two bells, taken from a string of them bought at one of those places with all the India imports.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not so heavy-weights

Ratboy is weighing in at about 2lbs 4oz and Fuzzball at 2lbs 2oz. That's rather light for a male (males can get to about 4lbs, but Chaos is done growing now), but average for a female.

Chaos' fur is starting to come back

Here's Ratboy's tummy. His fur is starting to come back after his operation.

Headless Fuzzball!

Oh no! Headless Fuzzball!

Oh, there's her face. I guess she's not headless afterall.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Silly Fuzzball

I will never understand Fuzzball's fascination with hanging out by the litter box. She often rolls around between the litterbox and the wall/cabinet in the kitchen.

Today, I found her sleeping wedged between the litterbox and the base of the cage, rather than in the cozy bed or hammock, just a few inches to the left.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Offensive Music

Another article at has caught my attention. It's hard to resist a title like "The Culture of "Bitches, Hos, and Niggas"" by Michelle Malkin.

Basically, she says that it's a bit silly to get upset at non-black people for making comments degrading to black women (Let me make it clear, though: I think that Imus should never have said what he did!), when the top rap-songs in the charts for months in a row have very offensive terms in them, speaking about making women slaves of the desirable men.

I think I need to agree with her, insofar as to say that people should take their outrage further than just condemning Imus. While I don't think that white people or anyone else has the right to denigrate others, it's hard to respect a group of people (in this case, those who embrace abusive language; whoever subscribes to the rap culture embraces the disrespect expressed towards women) if they don't show respect for themselves, which is demonstrated in rap-music by the abusive language regarding women. I should make it clear, though, that this "group" does not include all black people or even the majority - just those who participate in the abusive rap culture.

I find it particularly hard to understand black women who like this abusive rap. I would hate for a girl to grow into a woman believing that she is nothing but trash for some man to do with as he pleases.

On the other hand, one asks, what is the solution? It's part of the culture, or at least the subculture, of many black people in America today. Is it part of their racial identification? Would they feel too white if they separated themselves from the abusive part of the Rap culture?

And on the other hand, there are plenty of black people in America who have nothing to do with the Rap culture. Perhaps they should be the role-models.

I don't have the answer. As a white person, I wouldn't want to be the one to suggest it even if I did. I guess I've been sufficiently indoctrinated to want to avoid racial/cultural imperialism.

(Should I even address the non-blacks who like abusive rap? I'll leave it, for the simple reason that the subculture doesn't seem as dominant among young whites.)

I guess I should say at this point that I think that music by white people that attacks the dignity of others would best be done away with as well. Can't we all just get along???

*disclaimer: There is nothing wrong with the rap beat or spoken word. It's the abusive language that I object to.

**another disclaimer: This has been a difficult piece to write, because it's much more complicated than black and white. There are other ethnic groups involved as well. I just chose to write about black rappers since they are the most visible group involved.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

On "Real Hate Crimes"

I read "Real Hate Crimes" by Nathan Tabor. I've got some real issues with the premises of his piece.

Here are a few excerpts:

In recent years, it's become fashionable in America to talk about the need to stop hate crimes. But, all too often, "hate crimes" are defined as speech which questions the legitimacy of the homosexual lifestyle.

True hate crimes, however, are acts of violence perpetrated without cause but with a tremendous amount of malice. A perfect example of this is something that happened in Florida recently.

A couple of thugs attacked a homeless man, causing him to sustain serious bruises. What makes the incident newsworthy is that the assailants were ten years old.


To begin with, the conservative sees violence as being the opposite of love and the God who is love. The conservative reasons that, when prayer was taken out of schools, God was too. Since nature abhors a vacuum, hate filled the space that should have been occupied by love of neighbor.

A young person who can't even check in with God at the place that he spends the majority of his day isn't likely to ooze compassion to other people—especially the poor. A heart which lacks prayer is a heart which lacks love.

The conservative also knows that young people believe life is cheap. For this we can credit the abortion-at-all-costs crowd, who never met an abortion they didn't embrace. Young people are smart—they know that abortion is murder. And they figure, if you can go ahead and end the life of a baby in the womb, what's to stop you from clobbering the homeless guy down the street? Abortion is violence and violence always begets violence.


Meanwhile, Florida legislators are working on a measure that promises more protection for the homeless. But for the homeless to truly be protected, we'd have to return to an America in which prayer is welcomed in public schools, the Ten Commandments are welcomed in courthouses, and legalized abortion is shown the door.

So, now I'll tear into it. While I completely agree that it is horrible to beat up homeless people, I think it is inappropriate to suggest that violence against homosexuals is any less serious. Violence against homosexuals should be considered a hate crime. So should violence against any group of people, if it is based on their belonging to a specific group. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need any protected groups. Violence against anyone is wrong, be it against homosexuals, homeless people, or anyone else! (To quote Tabor, perhaps against his own meaning: "violence [...] being the opposite of love and the God who is love.")

The main premise of this article is that youth are not taught to love, because religion has been removed from the schools and because abortion is legal. I'm not going to comment on the abortion issue here. However, I will discuss religion.

I do not think that it is necessarily bad to have religion (read: Christianity because really, Tabor is talking about Christianity) in the schools, if it is done in a way that respects others. However, this is almost impossible to accomplish, so the safest route is probably to just keep it out of the schools.

When I was a child, I was sheltered from religion at school. As a Jehovah's Witness, I was pulled out of anything that was even remotely religious. However, I think that I got a pretty firm moral base from my family. My cousins were raised by an agnostic and an atheist. They also seem to have turned out just fine, despite not having any sort of Christian education. In fact, one of them chose to become a Christian in her teens (I guess all kids rebel in some way).

Suggesting that Christianity is necessary for being morally grounded is flawed. There are many non-Christians (ever heard of a guy named Ghandi? among others) who are incredibly moral and non-violent. There are also plenty of belligerent, violent Christians (I'm thinking King Richard the Lion-Hearted, George W. Bush, the many members of the Inquisition, etc).

I think that the problem is not the lack of religion. The problem is the lack of respect for themselves and fellow man. I would suggest that the main responsibility for this rests on the family. When family does not fulfill this obligation, then the community needs to step in to provide moral direction. Teaching the Golden Rule, reiterated by many cultural groups, is something that is not religion specific. Teaching a child that they should treat others as they wish to be treated is not something that can only be found in the Church.

Please do not try to equate morality with religion!

Just what does Iran want?

To quote John Stewart:

Hey Iran, what are you doing? Do you know how hard we're working over here to keep President Bombs-A-Lot from throwing down on you guys?

Victor Davis Hanson
has the following to say:

It's probably a good rule to do the opposite of anything the Iranian theocracy wants. Apparently, this government is now doing its darnedest to be bombed. So, for the time being, we should not grant them this wish.

Hanson suggests that Iran is trying to get attacked by the West in order to get others in the Middle East to like them again. Apparently, Iran's popularity is lowest, second only to Israel, at least according to Hanson.

So, it would seem that if we don't do anything, then Iran gets to demonstrate how it can take hostages and free women whenever it feels like it. If we attack them, then it's seen as another Western attack on Islam. It seems like there may be no good solutions here.

(BTW, one of the Western fears about Iran has been that the Iraqi Shia would align themselves with the Iranian Shia. I have an Iraqi Shia friend, who explained to me that while there are radical Shia fundamentalists, who may in fact have such intentions, the average Shia on the street really dislikes the Iranian Shia.)

Pet tax

I was just listening to a piece on the radio about the overpopulation of dogs, leading to a lot of otherwise unnecessary euthanization. The problem usually is a result of personal pets having puppies, rather than an over production from professional breeders.

I would like to propose a pet tax. Each veterinarian should be required to examine animals to determine whether they have been spayed/neutered. If the animal has not been altered, then the owner should have to pay a tax in excess of the cost of a spaying/neutering operation that would be put into the budget of the local humane society. This would help the dogs that are already in circulation and prevent other puppies from being born, but not loved.

Hopefully, this would encourage pet owners to spay/neuter their pets and prevent unwanted puppies. That way, humane society workers wouldn't be forced to euthanize otherwise healthy, sociable animals.

Of course, those who can't afford to spay/neuter probably wouldn't be taking the dog into the vet anyway. However, if dogs were required to have a tag on their collar registering their spay/neuter status (tax paid or altered), then police and humane society workers would be able to pick these animals up off the street and spay/neuter them if they didn't carry a tag.

It would also be advisable to provide free/low-cost spaying/neutering for those who couldn't otherwise afford it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I just wanna know...

Why does the William Clinton Memorial Library website have Google ads on it???? Is Clinton now so poor that he has to generate funds by earning a fraction of a cent each time that an ad on his site is clicked???? Is any fraction of a cent worth having this ad featured prominently on the site? I'm not really sure that I would want anything about a new girlfriend on my memorial library site, especially with the wife running for the presidency!

The answer, is that it is a spoof site! It's very strange, but if you do a search for "Clinton Memorial Library" at, the spoof site is the first to pop up. The actual official William J. Clinton Presidential Library doesn't come up anywhere in the first 10 pages of might come up sometime thereafter, but I stopped looking. It would seem that the folks over at the official site need to update their meta-tags to include "Clinton Presidential Library".

So, surfers beware! But to be fair, the fact that the first site is a spoof is almost immediately apparent if one starts reading the content. The first paragraph of standard sized print on the spoof reads
The atomosphere of the Clinton administration from the beginning was generally one of usurpation and departure from constitutional compliance. Bill Clinton began his reign in office cloaked in a exaggerated economic crisis, promising a financially beleaguered populace to bring change to the economy.

Anyway, now we know.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Anne Rice and Role Models

I recently read Anne Rice's Blood and Gold.

She tells the story of Marius, a former Roman Imperial Senator. Marius' story is full of personal honor and tragedy. He speaks of three loves, who he claims to love whole-heartedly, despite their eventual abandonment of him. (Though I guess it says something that there are only three of these loves between Imperial Rome and the Renaissance.)

I started thinking about how many people take Anne Rice's vampire characters as role-models. I guess if you really needed a role-model, of the whole cast, Marius might not be the worst. However, I wouldn't recommend him either. There's all the back and forth about his noble murders of the Evil Doer (a vampire's got to eat!) and his erotic/homo-erotic love for each of the people who he makes into vampires. It makes it sound like life is a constant struggle for twisted honor and passion. The seduction of an adolescent boy is romanticized - not exactly praise-worthy, but perhaps the dream of many of Rice's young readers. How many lie awake at night, waiting for Marius to sweep into their beds?

I don't really know what more to say about this. I enjoyed the book as something to read before bed; to passively let the story unfold for me. Beyond this passing thought about how sad it is that some people try to be these vampires, I hadn't and don't intend to give it any more deep thought.

The figures all have major character flaws, though, so I really wouldn't recommend trying to emulate any of them.