Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blow Up

We're having these frightening thunderstorms for the past several days. They roll in towards twilight, from the southwest. Here in the cabin the southwest quadrant is a towering wall of hardwood forest, climbing uphill as well. In the winter one can see the moon, now and then, disappear through the tree trunks when it is setting. Of course by winter the sun has moved to the south anyways. But here at the height of summer it's thick green, and the storms burst upon us with only approaching thunder as their herald. This morning there's a cool breeze still coming in the window where the cats sit and watch the day, and the air is bright and clean, sun and shadows across the big trunks of the oaks and hickories. Last night, just as we were going out to catch our son-in-law playing a late gig at the Cave in Chapel Hill, the storm broke on us, hard blowing rain misting into the kitty ledge, hail I think (at least it sounded like it). After we left we drove just in the wake of the storm, watching constant lightning and the various roiling shapes the clouds formed and reformed. As we turned onto 15-501, about 20 minutes into our trip, I thought I might have spotted a funnel cloud back-lit by flashes, then it was gone, or never was.

About then the cell rang and it was our daughter telling us the Cave was flooded as were the streets of Chapel Hill. How bizarre. An indoor gig rained out. It was a very thoughtful call, and we turned around and headed back home, where we watched a documentary about belly-dancing women touring with the rock show Lollapalooza. The general theme of today would be, if you look closer things aren't the same as what you thought.

Sheila O'Malley has a very nice blog about movies and art and other things and posted the following the other day, apropos Zelda Fitzgerald's birthday. The post is long and very much worth reading and thinking about. There's this conventional view of Zelda, poor crazy southern belle Fitzgerald married, who then broke his heart and drove him to ruinous drink with her insanity. And indeed, as O'Malley's post makes clear, Zelda did have some questionable moments. But she also wrote this, which O'Malley quotes in her post:

Excerpt of review Zelda wrote about her husband’s book "The Beautiful and Damned":

It seems to me that on one page I recognized a portion of an old diary of mine which mysteriously disappeared shortly after my marriage, and also scraps of letters, which, though considerably edited, sound to me vaguely familiar. In fact, Mr. Fitzgerald – I believe that is how he spells his name – seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.

This is wry, droll humor of the highest order. It is written by a smart and delightful person. It is the sort of paragraph a writer could fall in love to.


I'm reading E.C. Pielou's great book, "After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America." Only a few pages will show anyone who can think that the work of science is not really to be countered by the airy backhands of people who just say stuff like "I don't find the arguments for human assisted climate change believable." It's similar to the situation with regard to Third Parties. In an important sense--the most important sense--there aren't any third parties in the United States political system as we find it. There is an incredible mass of factual evidence which tells a particular story of how much of the North American continent was covered in ice, then uncovered, with countless specific details concerning the return of life to vast places where there was for many centuries, no life. There was a time when huge land areas existed which are now under the ocean, such as an area called (by scientists) Beringia, which was a cold desert, was populated with animals and plants, and was a refuge from the ice sheets of North America and Asia even as it connected those two great continents. One can say "but I believe something else, something quite different." Such a statement does not offer a counter argument to facts as plentiful as grains of sand on a beach. Nor are the grains of sand merely an elaborate hoax concocted to cage grant money. As I've probably said here more than once, Bishop Berkeley is not to be read in the primary grades. Kick the stone first.

Ms. Pielou makes the following statement in her book:

There is a wealth of evidence, however, showing that climate change is never ending. Even if major climatic "steps" are comparatively quick, it is almost certain that the climate in the intervals between steps undergoes continual lesser changes. In the light of present knowledge, therefore, ... disequilibrium in ecological communities is much commoner than equilibrium...

[This fact, of disequilibrium] should lead in time to a much needed change in popular thought. The notion espoused by so many nonprofessional ecologists--that the living world is "marvelously" and "delicately" attuned to its environment--is not so much a scientifically reasonable theory as a mystically satisfying dogma. Its abandonment might lead to a useful fresh start in environmental politics.
(p. 101)

Let it be noted that Ms. Pielou is not offering a critique of any theory of global climate change. Her point, rather, is that the entire conversation is mostly concerning the wrong things. As it's not pertinent to her subject, she does not address the "mysticism" emanating from the denier crowd, who tend to say things like "CO-2 is only a green house gas at the surface of the planet," and "how can CO-2 make any difference, it's only a tiny fraction of the gasses that make up the atmosphere." Much less does she engage with the plain fact that, mostly, denialism is a strategy aimed at stalling all governmental efforts to attack the problem of climate change by raising doubts in a voting public which has little time for a serious scientific look at the subject--or any subject. Obviously, her readers will have already overcome that shortcoming and so might manage to intake her deeper observations.

"Well," Libby said, raising her umbrella as we left the three boys to their own devices and squished down to the Toyota for our soon to be aborted trip to Chapel Hill. "We'd be talking about the drought otherwise."

The photo is called "Broken Shade," of an oak tree on my road, which used to shade a little farm house that burned down several years ago. It had been empty for years, and the tree was partly killed by the fire, but the one living branch soldiered on, and its weight against the dead trunk finally took it down. Buzzards like to roost in the top in the morning, but they weren't there last week when I took the photo. If you look carefully you might see a glimpse of crepe myrtle, a sure sign of human habitation.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


[image from ]

Digby puts up the following post:

The thing is, the actual business of being a legislator involves rational analysis of the conditions that pertain for reelection. This analysis is done in a scientific-ish fashion, using various poling techniques together with a serious and detailed attempt to understand the meaning of election outcomes. Thus, when a candidate is defeated, his defeat is eventually "understood" by the professionals who must run campaigns as reflecting truths, at least of the moment, about the views of the electorate. And once those truths are accepted, the sort of situation described by the professional in Digby's post pertains. This is simply logical--sensible. And of course now and then someone decides to test the pertaining theory, and if they succeed then the theory is shaken. And if they fail, the theory is even more "confirmed."

One faint hope is to start out by trying to reframe the conversation, as Mr. Obama did last night at the Urban League's conference, where he simply stated some things that, indeed, most people, including gun owners, surely would agree with--such as that "most gun owners think AK-47s are weapons for soldiers on a battlefield, not people on the street" (I paraphrase). Mr. Obama's argument last night was so commonsensical that were it restated again and again, it might eventually turn the body of public opinion enough to undercut the current common wisdom which Digby reports.

But this happy turn of events leaves out--of course--the fact that there is an ongoing, relentless, full-tilt propaganda campaign aimed at raising the fear-level of at least all "gun lovin' voters" to the degree that they will be certain to vote against anyone who might suggest any sort of gun legislation. The NRA, for example, has already suggested that the Aurora shooter was actually a hypnotized operative of gun control forces who want to get new international gun treaties ok-ed--"the timing is rather convenient," one apologist suggested yesterday, raising his eyebrows and winking at his listeners.

The world must indeed cringe at the spectacle of us'n. Mr. Romney's pathetic response to Aurora was remarkable--a 16th century astronomer who'd seen the rings of Saturn could surely have done no better when questioned by the red-robed Vatican authorities, assuming he wished to save his head.

And as a tangential note appros of nothing much beyond my continuing homage to Mr. Peckinpah, of course Bishop Pike carries a 1911-A on his hip, as is noted with interest by the German military advisor aiding Mapatche in his campaign against Villa. Just sayin'. It's a fact merely historically accurate, even if the movie is "really" about Vietnam. And what is Vietnam "about," if not, in the end, us.

Sunday Update
: From the Rude Pundit no less:

He do have a point.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Brief Report from Houdahenianlandville

The picture was taken last weekend. This is one of the boys' favorite spots, as I think I've mentioned. Here they can sit and watch the cavalcade of nature at its North Carolina summer best. I looked out, over their heads, to see what was up, and saw two turtles walking single file down the path to the shed where the boys were born. Squirrels taunt the boys from the wood piles, or even stand on the race car and shake their tails. I'm planning on teaching the boys "Rock Salt and Nails" some winter moment when I have some free time. They are a three-part harmony waiting to happen.

The boys' momma comes around about every morning when I get up, wanting breakfast. This was the hope, and I'm delighted to feed her. The boys sit in the window and stare at her. She doesn't much like that, but will eat. (Conveniently she usually likes their left-overs, which is a bit of a money-saver.) I'm not sure anyone "recognizes" anyone. She looks like one of them now, in length, so maybe they think maybe one of them got out, like all of them kinda want to--till they do. There are occasional "kitty leaks," and with three sometimes we don't even notice till we make a head count. (Libby finds my head-counting ways somewhat annoying, as they imply to her that she wouldn't notice on her own. My current job enhances my tendencies to back-seat drive, since it requires almost hyper focus at times.) When we have noticed a missing crew member, a quick look outside will find the boy standing bemused on the other side of the door he went out. They'd rather be with us. Much rather. Bed time is an adventure, since "being with us" does not equal "lying quietly in bed and purring" in every case. Now and then it means pouncing with vehemence (and a loving heart) on our feet, or engaging in a big three-way tag-team match just between the bed and the precipice down to the stone floor below. If it gets too difficult, we get up and carry them into the living room, where they can all play in the big pile of CDs that used to reside on a nice shelf, in some vaguely logical order (fiddle tunes on the third shelf down, that kind of thing).

Maybe when I get to teaching "Rock Salt and Nails," I'll start out by finding Utah's CD down in the pile, and that'll inspire me to go ahead and put all the discs back up on the shelves. I'm thinking that the kitties are mostly bored with the simple idea of just going back behind the shelves and pushing the CDs out in big blocks, just for the fun of the clatter. Why bother with that. Now they can climb the big book case on the opposite wall all the way to the tippy top and explore the cobwebs and spiders that live with Kant and Wittgenstein and Dave Hume, absorbing their deep lessons as only spiders can.

Anyways. It's laundry Saturday, and a long way to Halloween. But it's great we have two black cats. I'm definitely going to put out a pumpkin this fall. Also maybe some tiny beware signs for the field mice that always invade when it gets cold. These guys may be indoor cats, but they do not lack for interest in tiny movements, and definitely have no problem with killing small things. Gray boy was a bit ill just the other day after eating some sort of large bug he found.

Last night I dreamed that some people had brought me a white and yellow kitten. I told them to take it back and they just laughed and left. About then one of the boys decided to taste my big toe, and I got up to write this and assemble the laundry. The kitty alarms are always on. We do not have to worry about electricity out here, as far as that goes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Meanwhile, Some Real Stuff

My former and occasional band-mate, Dr. Barbara Garrity-Blake, spends a lot of time talking to fishermen who work the sounds of the NC Outer Banks. Here's a youtube posting she did of an interview with a guy named Rex O'Neal, who is a fisherman living and working in Ocracoke, NC, where Libby and I lived for about 9 years back when Clinton was President and we thought we could more or less do what we wanted, i.e., play music, build a foundation, make some glass art, play some more music.

Rex, as you can tell, was hard at work, then as now. He's a good man, and has caught a lot of fish in his day. Listening to his story, I can smell the salt air again. Ocracoke is a little sand island sitting 23 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean. The best time to be there is probably in the middle of January, with a cold north wind at your back, standing at the Swan Quarter Ferry Dock and looking at the white caps on the sound and the gulls swirling around. You can hear your own thoughts pretty well at such a moment.

Libby worked for a time at the little gallery, "Island Art Works," shown in the photo at the top. The artist who runs the place is married to Ronnie O'Neal, another Ocracoke fisherman, Captain last time I was there of the "Miss Kathleen." There are two big families of O'Neals who live on Ocracoke. Neither family says they are related to the other family. Back in the early early days of European settlement of America, Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard, lived on Ocracoke part time, when he wasn't working for the Governor of North Carolina, who resided in the village of Bath, across the sound (and not far from where the Swan Quarter Ferry now docks up on the sound-side). There was a tiny war between North Carolina and Virginia because Mr. Blackbeard was picking off shipping from the islands which was headed up to Virginia. A naval force commanded by one Captain Maynard came down to the Pamlico, caught Blackbeard at low tide, and eventually boarded his ship and killed him, cutting off his head and taking the trophy back to Virginia. Legend has it the skull became a goblet, possibly residing to this day in Gimghoul Castle in Chapel Hill. Legend has it that Blackbeard's body swam ten times around his ship before sinking beneath the waves.

Arrrrrr, me buckos, and that were the way it was. And a good thing, too, that Blackbeard's yacht, Queen Anne's Revenge, didn't have no outboard motor. Arrrrrr. But now I hears Blind Pew a tap tappin, 'n the shadow from the yard arm be near six bells. Begone, ye brats, and to the riggin' wit' ye.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

One Small Step

James Wolcott has a fine critical analysis of the ad. It's been hung up at quite a number of websites, and I'm sure the number is going to grow. All I can say is--it's about time, and it's exactly what the Obama Reelection Team needs to be doing, over and over and over again. Mr. Romney has been lying about the President in every speech he gives. His response to this ad, so far, is: "bbbbut they're trashing 'America the Beautiful,' is noffin sacred?"

Well, who's doing the singing? And, for that matter. Who's doing the trashing?

Elect Mr. Romney and America gets another George W. Bush Administration, but this time on steroids if anything. It's the




Plus a revitalized racism that has always sweltered under America's skin and is about to explode into a pustular cyst that would keep Rush Limbaugh out of two Vietnams and an Operation Grenada to boot.

Bravo Team Obama!

Meanwhile, re the "issue" over when Romney left Bain. You could read this, which is a factual report of what Bain did before 1999:

And you could also consider that in a very real sense Romney was still in charge as long as he signed the legal forms. That's because that's what signing the legal forms MEANS. It does not matter whether he was "engaged" or not. He was legally responsible. So, as is usual with Mr. Romney, he is evidencing his usual craven "truthiness" behavior in this instance as in most of his responses to anyone mentioning anything at all about his history, in whatever venue. He signed the goddam papers. He is liable. It's just like the dog on the roof again--"bbbbut he liked it up there."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

And There Were Those Same Two Men, Again, Beside That Same Stew Pot

Libby and I went on a "Southwest Tour" back in '03. What happened was, Libby booked a dance gig in Tucson and then told me either we go do that gig, or we put some more gigs on the route and have a "tour," but either way we were going to go see the Grand Canyon. I called a few folks, and found us a few nice places to play, starting in Fayetteville, AK, at a great old frame house where this guy lived in an upstairs room and had turned the place into a concert hall whenever he felt like it. We got there about 10:30 pm the night before the gig and ate venison stew in his kitchen. It had snowed just a little, Arkansas snow being kinda like what we get here in NC for the most part. There was a cold wind, and trees were just flowering, and it was the very end of March.

After the concert, we lit out the next morning for New Mexico, driving all day and into the night, our little Tacoma nearly being blown off I-40 a couple of times by the chains of road tractors we encountered going past Amarillo. Earlier, when we'd just crossed into Oklahoma, we stopped at a gas station and noticed there was all this kinda random stuff about Woodie Guthrie we could buy--post cards, ash trays, that kinda stuff. I got a neat Route 66 coffee mug that was the first souvenir to break when we got all the loot home, and we went on up to a little grocery store deeper into the town, where Libby found a nice kid who was getting off her checkout shift and told us, "yes, this was where Woodie Guthrie was born," and then led us in her car to exactly where that was. That's the lot, with Libby standing beside a tree trunk that a guy carved "This Land Is Your Land" into, as a wonderfully fitting memorial. We then drove down to the old main street, where there was another more masonry oriented memorial, erected by Arlo when he started a folk festival in honor of his dad, which still happens I believe.

We took some time to appreciate the little park--as you can see, it's a lot between two store fronts. Then we headed on west, down that ribbon of highway--bits of 66 but mostly I-40, ending up at the Palomino Motel in Tucomcary, NM, which was a pretty nice place to spend the night. Used to be Tucomcary was the midpoint between a trip from Amarillo to Albuquerque, and there were fifty motels lining the main street, which was Route 66. The motels are mostly still there, but I-40 bypasses the little town, and the water's going as well, and you can get from Amarillo to Albuquerque without any need for stopping over.

If I wanted to go somewhere to live for a while, and write a dusty novel about cowboys and detectives with broken hearts and a mystery on their hands involving a blonde who looked too much like Veronica Lake to trust but so far, maybe I'd go rent a room at the Palomino for a while. I could watch the flickering little TV when I couldn't think of the next sentence, and drive out past I-40 to a rise, and watch the trucks all night with a pint of Dewars for company.

Happy 100 Mr. Guthrie. Damn if you didn't try to tell us the way, for all the good it did.

By the time we got to the Grand Canyon the Hopi were having prayer dances for one of their own, who ended up being one of the first casualties of the fresh new Iraq War but at that time was missing, along with the Lynch kid who was later rescued and for a short time made into a somewhat fake war trophy by the Bush Administration. After they knew the end of Lori Piestewa, and with considerable and entirely unnecessary effort (caused by the usual suspects) on the part of the Native Americans in Arizona and the Southwest generally, they got something formerly called "Squaw Peak" near Phoenix renamed for her--the first female Native American soldier killed in combat. A couple of weeks after the Grand Canyon, looping back east, we drove through Pecos, Texas, and saw signs commerating their first casualty, Johnny Mata, a career soldier who'd grown up there. The Dairy Queen where we stopped for a dip cone had a big banner up: "Thank You Johnny Mata." He got a memorial too, eventually, and the Army has named a building after him.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Information Your Pastor Might Actually Use

Here's an interesting post:

I'm sure the initial reaction of your average church-goer to this little musing on the connection between a sociological experiment and a matter of fact regarding the Obama Health Care Reform Act will be defensive. It is natural to feel defensive when one feels criticized. But here are some other things to note:

It is self-serving for big-time media ministers to encourage defensiveness amongst their "flock." Why? Because they remain firmly in control of what their "flock" is thinking and doing as long as there is a sense of fear and a sort of "circle the wagons" mentality at work.

However. I'd think that a person who was trying to keep the question, "What is the Christian thing to do?" in the forefront of their lives would actually be interested in this correlation--between an inclination of church-goers to ignore the accident victim, and a trend in strongly "religious" states to be against the Health Reform Act.

If there's one thing Jesus does, time and again, in his efforts to teach people how to live a moral life, it is to engage people in reflection--to get them to look again. Jesus does not encourage the "circle the wagons" mentality.

Christians ought to reflect, from time to time, on the fact that people like Jesus and Socrates--people who encourage reflection and openness--often get literally and terminally "shut up" by the powers that be. And that is a way of "circling the wagons," so to speak.

Reminds me of the story about the Baptists in Heaven: "shhhh," St. Peter says, "they don't believe anyone else is here." "When this kiss is over, it will begin again, it will not be any different, it will be exactly the same." Thus sayeth David Byrne.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It Was the 8th of July

Hotter'n hell, but there was a decent breeze on stage.

Bren, who runs the web pages on the CHWN Band, took this video. Muchas Gracias!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


So some guy named Zimmerman, who went to the University of Chicago in '58 when tuition was less than a K a year, says:

Yes, you read the URL correctly: "the aftermath of occupy will surpass the sixties." Well, that'd probably be nice, I agree. But I'll tell you, friends, the dreams of movements in the '60s and '70s to effect real and lasting improvements in the lives of all Americans were quite a few tads out front of the current realities, wouldn't you say? It's not just that some of his commenters parrot the gibberish of the Right with the same vehemence with which they down a cold one after a day banging nails in July. It's that grand dreams are almost always forerunners of disillusion and reaction. It's hard to see why people like Mr. Zimmerman are so determined to promise so much, so fast.

The Civil Rights Era of the mid-'60s, which was actually over ten years of real blood, murder, police truncheons, firehoses, and German Shepards, culminating in the assassination of President Kennedy (who was at best lukewarm on the idea of really ending segregation), grounded some good laws making it criminal to surpress voters on race grounds, and criminal as well to segregate businesses open to the public. All these bits of progress are being resisted even today by the Right, including a good number of persons (such as Rand Paul) who have achieved Senatorhood. The vote this fall is going to be surpressed in many swing states on racial grounds--the racists are just legally slicker than they were in the '50s.

And, in a broader historical context, let us recall that the seemingly wonderful Civil Rights victories of the mid-'60s were followed immediately on by the Vietnam War, which was driven by the same Democratic Party that had at last joined the Civil Rights Movement more or less. Yes, that egregious war was finally ended in 1975. And in the late '70s the Equal Rights Amendment, which aimed to establish constitutional equality for women, was defeated in the various state referendae.

So it goes. It seems to me--just sayin', a geezer with a bunch of cats sweltering through the summer--that if the Occupy Movement actually does a bit to simply keep the various progressive actions grounded in the '60s from entirely evaporating in the boiling confusion of the Romney campaign, they'll be doing a great and lasting service to the United States. It is a long way to actually making a dent in the great edifice that is the current economic structure, grounded as it now is in the Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision.

There was a middling flap this week (brought to our attention by Roy Edroso) over the fact that The Google quoted "This Land Is Your Land" as a 4th of July memento. This is also American reality. The fact is, Mr. Guthrie wrote a whole lot of great songs, and some of 'em were a lot more pointed than this gentle anthem to our shared citizenship (and even with "This Land," I do wonder about what the native Americans in Mr. Guthrie's Oklahoma thought about his claims of ownership). My favorite Guthrie lines are these:

As through this world you ramble, you'll find lots of funny men,
Some will rob you with a six-gun, others with a fountain pen.

I'd also be remiss in not quoting Mr. Dylan (another Zimmerman, who probably spent some moments on the streets of Chi-town in the '60s):

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

(from Masters of War, (c) Bob Dylan)

It's a long long road to the top of the mountain, and none of us are likely to live to see that promised land. That's why "Drive He Said" is the best advice for the faint of heart.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Laundry's Dry, Houds are Free, Free

There isn't a better meditation on our current situation that this one, by Driftglass:

In this piece he quotes extensively from the late Steve Gilliard, who quotes from Joe Conason on the perfidy of Ann Coulter. It's worth requoting here, the Conason bit I mean:

Coulter discusses McCarthy's impressive high school record in considerable loving detail. But somehow she neglects to mention McCarthy's first moment in the national spotlight. That was his infamous 1949 campaign on behalf of Nazi S.S. officers who were convicted of war crimes for the massacre of American troops in the town of Malmedy during the Battle of the Bulge. On their orders, 83 American prisoners of war had been murdered by Waffen S.S. machine-gunners. The S.S. officers were sentenced to death, but McCarthy insisted that the entire case was a frame-up, with confessions obtained by horrific torture. He intervened in Senate hearings on the case and lied repeatedly during his defense of the Nazi murderers. His most spectacular claim was that the American investigators had crushed the testicles of German prisoners as an interrogation technique. McCarthy was later shown to have served as the pawn of neo-Nazi and communist provocateurs who were using the Malmedy case to whip up anti-American sentiment in postwar Germany. The main source for his false charges concerning Malmedy was a Germany lawyer named Rudolf Aschenauer, whose closest ties were to the postwar Nazi underground and to American right-wing isolationists, but who has also been identified as a communist agent. Aschenauer testified at U.S. Senate hearings in Germany that he had passed information about Malmedy to McCarthy. The S.S. officers were guilty, as the Senate report confirmed -- although most of them later got their death sentences commuted in a gesture to former Nazi officials who aided the West in the Cold War. But McCarthy had succeeded in his larger purpose, winning publicity for himself and casting a negative light on the war-crimes trials.

As Driftglass points out later in his piece, the question of importance now is, why do people like Ann Coulter still get endless face time on major television news shows, when it is a known and proven fact that Coulter is nothing better than a liar and blatant propagandist whose lifes work is to destroy America's historical memory and replace it with right wing mythologies. Fox simply displays its commitment to the big lies by featuring Coulter, but the rest of the networks?

I've read enough World War II history to know about Malmedy. Yet this fact--the facts about McCarthy and Malmedy--I did not know until today. This is a remarkable black hole, America suffers. It widens daily. We all suffer from its existence.

Today is July 5th. We are on the downhill to November.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July, Liberty Laundromat

The Houds returned from their big trip to Rawleigh in fine fettle, although it was turrible hot in the old S-10, with only minimal air, and them stacked like sardines in their carriers back behind the seats. But they made it back, and are mostly just perturbed that they are not allowed as yet to tussle and frolic as is their wont. Perhaps this is the fundamental lesson we see in the unreconstructed portions of 'Murica. A bunch of people, primarily white men, who just cannot stand the idea that maybe they can't do exactly everthang they want, when they want, as they want, and leap in frustration at the imagined bars of their imagined kennels, howling at figments, conjuring up absurd banshees of fear from nothing but cobwebs and cracker crumbs.

So it was, for a time, with Wuzzy in particular. We even brought him up to bed with us, hoping he'd "settle down," as the parents say. All he did was attack our feet. Fuzzy meanwhile was chasing his tail in his kennel. They're all so used to the distractions of each other that, when faced with existential aloneness, they immediately go insane. Fuzzy as a tail chaser--how extremely undignified and unlike Hiz Honor, who of all the three is most Kingly and Patrician, and tends to sit aloof on a table or chair while Wuzzy and Grey Bear roll in a ball on the floor till they tire, or are brought up short by rolling into their water dish and finding themselves suddenly sodden.

I think by nightfall of the 4th they'll be released and back to it. There are no signs of any problems with the tiny surgeries. The vet told us that they were already a bit overweight--no doubt due to our relentless feedings. We'll try to do better. Maybe we can have them outside, where they are absolutely fine to dine on all the squirrels they care to masticate. We'll pay for the wormings to see the squirrel population decline. But really, I don't think that's the trajectory of this. Right at this moment, Wuzzy is sitting quietly in the kitchen window, enjoying the breeze and the view, and not trying to tear open the screen and make his escape. This is exactly what we imagined. This is perfect life with cats. At least in my book.

Now, if they'll all just stop attacking our feet at night, when we're asleep--everything will be perfect in the land of the free. Meanwhile, I'm taking sparklers with me when I go to do the laundry in a bit. What a celebration. What a country, huh?

Update: Here's some serious reading, and an example of why too many American voters have no idea at all what's going on:

Mr. Brooks is easy to read and easy to find. He's even on PBS once a week. What he says is simply accepted by millions of people I'd imagine. But it takes some extra work to find analysis of his columns, such as the work linked above. And the question is, why does PBS and the New York Times allow Mr. Brooks to just propagandize, week after week, on issues of such importance.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Adventures of the Hudahenians

Well, Libby just left the house with the three boys, for their visit with destiny, their irretrievable move to long-term pethood. They will forever miss out on the unreasoning drive to male dominance in the cat world, the battles with other male cats, the ripped ear, the festering bite or scratch, not to mention the joys of sex in the key of feline. Instead we expect that they will enjoy lying in a pile on the sofa, watching teevee and each other and us, keeping an eye on the birds and squirrels, having another bon-bon as they desire. They'll probably gain some weight over time, but hopefully, since they've not known privation, they won't feel like they'd better eat three helpings right now, just in case (as our wonderful little white kitty did after we brought her in). Hopefully the ops will all be successful and they'll be back home this evening safe and more or less sound (if you don't count a very small detail). We're supposed to keep them separated for at least 24 hours. That will not be easy in this house, but I expect we'll manage. Then it's back at it for them. They're still not ready to just crash on the bed with us--we tried that last night and just got endless bouncing and tussling for our troubles. Wake up times. Don't know what that means. Cats have no clocks. They, in fact, are clocks. Tomorrow being the Fourth of July, we'll at least be around. Nice to have a mid-week holiday.

Meanwhile, Digby posted this extremely heartening piece about a young boy who has some sense, even in the face of what must have been pretty hard-core propagandizing from his parents. One can only hope that true things speak out to people--that dogma and doctrine do not simply blanket people's common sense and ability to see what's out there. As Ezra Klein argued last night, the logic of the health care bill's details--the logic of money--should eventually make inroads into the political closets of the various state Republican governments which are now taking absurd and ruthless stands against merely helping their citizens to get better health care. The Houston Medical Center, he said (for example), will not allow the Texas government to reject billions in Federal monies for the sake of a faulty doctrine. Let us hope. The young lad in the story gives actual flesh to the whisper of sanity:

Congratulations to the kid. As well as judgment, he has courage. He ought to enjoy going to college. Ain't nothing more fun than reading about stuff you don't know.

A quick and instant update: momma just popped up on the porch. She'd like more breakfast, if you please. Isn't that nice.