17 July 2013

Cops Shooting Unarmed Black Men

Do you remember the very large, loud, and extended public outcry over the deaths of Jason Kemp, Jordon Hatcher, Ibragim Todashev, David Silva, John Torretti, Daniel Sanez, Roy Jacobs Jr., Thomas Schroeder, Jacob Grassley, Zachary Premo, John Schaefer, and Jerry Waller?

All of these men were killed by the police, all of them just in the past 7 months (2013).  In almost every case, they were unarmed.

Schaefer and Waller were both armed... they were both 70+ year old men, on their own property, with legally owned handguns, which they had out for self defense - one had a pitbull in his yard and had called the cops himself, the other was responding to the same burglar alarm that attracted police attention.Premo also had a handgun  - one which he was carrying legally - though from the police report, he apparently did not touch or reach for it before being shot. 
Hatcher was unarmed, but apparently resisted arrest.
Grassley's cellphone was assumed to be a gun, and he was shot while fleeing police. 
Sanez was in handcuffs at the time he was shot.
Torretti  was hit repeatedly with a baton by officers while pinned to the ground by other officers, unable to move.
Silva was so intoxicated he could barely stand up.  Between 3 and 7 deputies beat him with batons until he dies.  Officers then attempt to collect cellphones from witnesses that may have video on them.
Kemp was unarmed, and not fighting, when he was shot at point-blank range in his home, when he refused to let the police in without a warrant.
Jacobs had called the cops himself, to turn himself in when he found out he had a minor warrant, and the cops shot him in front of his family the moment they walked through the door.

You can be forgiven for not remembering the public uproar, the protests and articles, the petitions and signs, because there wasn't any.  In fact, unless you happen to live in the city in which these men were killed, and follow the local news closely, you most likely have never heard of any of them.

06 July 2013

If I Were Elected King of the Country

My new friend asked me a few weeks ago, "what would you change about the world, if you had the power to?"
She said she tried to ask all new people she met that question.
She said it was surprising how many people didn't have an answer because they had never thought about it.
I couldn't answer, but for a very different reason.
I just couldn't sum up, couldn't choose from the list what to say first.
I've been thinking about it ever since then, and I still can't find any way to tie all the various things together, so, instead of going into the detail about how and why for each one, I think I'll just list as many as I can think of.
(and if anyone wants elaboration on any in particular, ask me as a comment, and maybe I'll make that one its own post)

These are in no particular order:

02 July 2013

Fushi and Saiba

I first met Fushi and Saiba in January of 2004.

They were only about a month or two old at the time.

I had lived with their mother, Midnight - a tiny all black cat who liked to hide under places so she could attack my ankles when I walked by - throughout the previous summer, at a traveling carnival in the midwest.
She was the only cat in the household, and was indoors only.  She got out just once, for just a few hours, but then, that's all it takes.

My aunt Joy, who was Midnight's human, came to New York (where I worked at the time) to visit, since the carnival is closed during the winter.  When we met, she asked if we might want a kitten.  Since me and Aileen (my wife at the time) both worked full time, I said we should get two, so they would have someone to keep them company during the day.
We got one boy and one girl, both with gray and black tiger stripes, and white "socks" on some feet.

They were so tiny I could literally hold them both in the palm of one hand.  We brought them home (to our RV in NJ) in a backpack.  The boy curled up in a tiny ball at the bottom, while the girl stood on top of him so she could reach her head out the top and look around.
That pretty well summed up their personalities for the rest of their lives.

01 July 2013

Cats Were Not Very Well Designed

Whoever built cats, be it God or evolution, some sort of super intelligent space aliens or the ancient Egyptians, they made a pretty serious and, frankly, stupid, design flaw.

If for whatever reason a cat goes just a few days without eating, like all animals, they begin to metabolize their fat reserves for energy.  Like all animals, this fat metabolization (along with many other tasks) is the job of the liver.

But, unlike every single other animal, a cat's liver is actually damaged by the process of metabolizing more than a tiny amount of fat at a time.

And just what symptoms does that type of liver damage cause?  Why nausea, of course!  Which in turn leads to anorexia.  Which in turn leads to not eating.  Which in turn leads to the body needing to burn more fat.  Which in turn damages the liver further.  Which in turn leads to more severe anorexia...

So, even if the original cause of the problem is no longer an issue, this cycle leads to death.

Its called Hepatic Lipidosis, and it can be triggered in as little as 3 DAYS without food.

Often times it is triggered by some other disease or medical condition, but it can also be triggered by stress, (from a move, or a new cat roommate, for example), or by a new brand of food.  If they are wild, perhaps there just aren't any mice or birds around to catch for a few days in a row.

The treatment is regular food.  But since they have no appetite, a cat's human has to manually feed them.
And so the little Chairman gets a syringe-full or two of watered down canned food squirted into his mouth every hour or so, for at least the next couple weeks, or until whenever he decides to start eating again on his own.