Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Caturday Post

IN ONE MARATHON burst of unwonted energy yesterday evening, I put the window A/C units (a.k.a. room refrigeration) in their several windows. I’d been resisting the move, dead-certain that the current heat wave is not the ultimate one, presaging the full-on plunge into summer, a time of unbearable heat and humidity in these parts. Once the A/C units are in the windows, they do not come out until fall is well along. (We can bear a few days of Indian Summer, but no more.) Surely, there’ll be cool weather during the month of June, in which we would regret having to shut the house up so.

All of which is true, but doesn’t make the current discomfort any more bearable. Once resistance is worn away to the mere difficulty of the task — schlepping the units from storage and man-handling them into their assigned windows — it becomes no longer possible to delay.

The upshot of it was that we slept well last night for the first time in what seems a month. No racing fans struggling desperately to cool us in the fetid heat. A comfortable white noise blocking out the sounds of the city around us. Dry air, unladen as the natural, outdoors stuff is with what folks around here call humdiddity. Cool air on bare skin. Snuggling under blankets and even a quilt.

The cats appear to be enjoying the cooler “weather,” too. Instead of lollygagging around like limp, wet, dishrags, they’re showing signs of life — puttering around the house, playing hockey with toy mice, foam balls, and various other bits of detritus. (The less like a toy in intent and design, the more interesting it is. In the pix shot below (Thursday’s entry.) the three kittens are focussed intently on a penny that fell off my desk. Plastic wrapping out of the trash cans promises hours — or, at least, minutes — of fun.)

This morning, I walked into the study and found Aqua curled up asleep in my desk chair. I picked her up (The trick to holding her without her squirming to be let down is not to uncurl her; scoop her up like a bun.) and set her on my lap as I took over the chair. I stroked her a bit and she stretched and decided it would be good to be petted by this large human for awhile. She seems to like belly-rubs. Not a lot. Not like a dog, who will roll over on his back and demand them, but like a cool, sophisticated Siamese lady. (Do not remind her she’s only a mix.) She tolerates it, never betraying any eagerness for the attention.

I explained to her, “We have to figure out how to tell you from your brother.”

I imagined she might reply as would Loralei Lee Long, “Easy! I’m always here. Sometimes he goes away.”

Which works from her perspective, but not for the rest of us.

Jazz is getting easier, if anything, to tell from the other two. Not only are her lighter points readily apparent, but her body shape appears to be diverging from theirs. She’s more rotund and stocky, whereas they look like, when they outgrow their lanky coltishness, they will be long and lean — built for speed.

But Aqua and Sky, despite all our searchings for distinguishing characteristics, are still too much alike. We keep a collar on Sky. Otherwise, his (empty) scrotum, which bears fur the color of his points, is about the only way to tell the two of them apart without a close genital examination. We keep watching. They’re developing tabby stripes on their cheeks and rings on their tails — telltales of that mixed blood. But the patterns aren’t distinctive enough, nor visible enough from all angles. Sky’s mask is a bit tighter to his eyes — or is that Aqua? (see?) — but that’s hard to see unless they’re both at rest and next to each other.

I suspect that, as Sky gets older, he’ll be bigger than Aqua (though there’s no surety in that — they’re pounds lighter and smaller than a littermate who lives with Number One Daughter). But until then, it’s the collar for the poor little guy.

The three of them on my credenza/counter/windowsill/cat seat, taken a week ago yesterday. Clockwise from UL: Jazz, Aqua, Sky.

In the time it’s taken me to put this post together, (about a half-hour), they have exhausted themselves and are now sacked out for the day.

Loki and Oliver.

Jazz and Sky.

Loki, Aqua, and Oliver on the windowsill a week ago.

Overheard in the Study

AT CASA d’Alger…

With apologies to Tam K and Bobbi X for the borrowing of their “overheard” même.

TONI: No blog?

ME: Nope.

TONI: How come?

ME: Nothin’ t’ say.

Good thing she didn’t come back with the axin’ how this time’s any different.

You are neither too old nor too big to spank.

‘M jus’ sayin’s all. And: Oh, goody! Please?


Not really a Quote of the Day, Per se

BUT MORE OF a quotable passage.

The Kantian sense of “Critical,” it should be noted, is unrelated to recent uses of the term in “critical” literary theory, “critical legal theory,” “critical race theory,” or even in “multicultural” textbook treatments of “critical thinking,” in all of which the word is usually a dissimulating substitute for “Marxist” — where all analysis is about “power” and class relationships, is contemptuous of “bourgeois” values and freedoms, including freedom of speech, and where the “voices” of other cultures are always coincidentally about oppression by capitalism and/or globalization. Considering the millions murdered, tortured, enslaved, and impoverished by Marxists in the 20th Century, one would have to consider continued true believers among the most uncritical people, let alone the most naive or dishonest, in intellectual history — a description that is sadly all too applicable to much academic culture in the United States, where Marxist doctrine and Leninist behavior are alive and well. These recent uses of “critical,” meaning the dogmatic application of ideology rather than any genuinely critical attitude, are thus oxymoronic examples of Orwellian “double think,” just as when terms like “people’s republic” and “democratic republic” were used to mean, not popular sovereignty and responsible government, but totalitarian statism and dictatorship. Now, combinations of Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and others, as developed by Sartre, Marcuse, Foucault, Derrida, etc., is promoted under the term “Theory,” and scholarly work that doesn’t invoke the canon and its jargon is dismissed as “under-theorized.” Thus, a miserable and largely exploded fragment of 20th Century philosophy comes to be accepted, mainly outside of philosophy, as the equivalent of essential and unproblematic method and truth. Since this preserves a small flame from the moral, political, and economic debacle of Marxism, it is a nice irony that one of the signers of Karl Marx’s own doctoral dissertation on Democritus was none other than Jakob Fries.

–Kelly L. Ross
Proceedings of the Friesian Society

The Caturday Post

Quote of the Century

While conservatives have been working to improve our democracy and our free-market economy, liberals have been working to replace our democracy with a dictatorship, and our free-market economy with a command economy controlled by the government. The liberals couldn’t say this aloud, because if they did the American people would have tossed them out of office on their ears. So the liberals worked covertly, feigning support for democracy and for the free market while working diligently to undermine both.

This is why our politics has been so partisan, so vicious, and so deadlocked. This is why words have lost their meaning in Washington, why we can never get to the bottom of anything, why we lurch from one manufactured scandal to another. It’s all been part of a decades-long effort by the liberals to throw sand in our eyes — to keep us from seeing clearly where they really want to take us.

–Herbert Marcus at American Thinker

(Hat tip: The Barrister at Maggie’s Farm.)

FINALLY. Somebody with a loud enough voice in a position to say it. Now. It’s out there. Watch the usual suspects try to ignore it.

YOU need to read the whole thing.

Just this evening I ranted to the wife that Obama is a traitor. That’s not hyperbole. The man is making war — politics by other means — on the People and the Constitution of the United States. He is foresworn of his oath of office. About the only thing he hasn’t done is personally take up arms in the struggle. Nor is he alone. I would submit to you that it would take a trial with much forensic data entered in evidence to determine the guilt of any elected or appointed offical at the national level over the past century-plus. And the rest, if not directly culpable, are accessories before and after the fact.

People need to face this fact. They need to have their noses rubbed in it.

Dave B Ragin’

AND OUR CURMUDGEON, too. Dave here, and Fran here. RTWT.

Quote of the Day

TO ALL YOU Obama supporters out there.

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

–Roger Waters, David Gilmour
Wish You Were Here

Schadenfreude can be your friend.

As Usual, Insty

IS TOO ECUMENICAL when he writes here “…you can’t just take their word for it” about putative antiwar vets in support of Democrat political campaigns. While that’s true, it is insufficient.

There is a far more fundamental truth in play, here: Democrats cannot be taken at face value on any subject whatsoever. They may not always lie. They may not always cheat. They may not always try to rig the game or move the goalposts. But current, recent, and historic behavior indicate that assuming any and/or all of these behaviors to be the case in play at any given moment is a pretty safe bet.

As Roger I, The Real King of France, puts it, “…[I]f your goal is to change minds and influence people, it’s probably not a good idea to begin by asserting that virtually all elected Democrats are liars. But what the hell.”

The Caturday Post

NO PIX just news. The kittens went in for their 3,000 mile checkups today…

Surely you exaggerate!

No, I do not. And stop calling me Leslie.

Ha! And again: Ha!

BUT… if you think it’s an exaggeration that three itty bitty kitties can go 3,000 miles between checkups, you obviously must be sleeping when — like now, a midnight — they’re running relay races through the house at Warp Factor Ten.

WHAT. Everrrr.

Pleased to report they all seem to be in good health and have broken the four-pound mark by an ounce or three each. And, as noted above, are feeling in fine fettle and rambunctious. They’ve even got Oliver wound up as they scurry, scamper, bound, lope, gallop, run, and b’doop around the ol’ Casa.


Sure. Haven’t you seen that little maneuver they do that’s sort of a cross between a scamper and an Olympic triple-long-jump? Where they hop crabwise across the floor: b’doop, b’doop, b’doop. Stop. B’doop-b’doop. Like a cartoon cat sneaking up on a giant mouse.

Oh, that. Yeah. Now’t y’ mention it, I’ve seen ’em do that. Cute li’l suckers, ain’ they?

That’s kind of their reason for livin’. Cute is their profession.

Just Wanted to Make Sure

TO NOTE DOWN this phrase so I wouldn’t forget it when I needed it.


Well, there certainly is a lot of that going on lately.

Of course. You think it just popped into my head out of nowhere?

Don’t they usually?

Um… Ah… Yeah. I guess they do.

A Vague Notion in Law

CHECK THIS: The Roe v. Wade decision in part affirms that The People have a right to privacy, right? Correct, I mean?

So does that mean that Roe v. Wade rules unconstitutional such government actions as IRS access to bank records, Medicare Administration access to medical records — at least, not without probable cause that a crime has been committed and on presentation of a warrant?

Leftist heads exploding in: 3…

The President Spammed Me

Good afternoon,

You are receiving this email because you signed up at My staff and I plan to use these messages as a way to directly communicate about important issues and opportunities, and today I have some encouraging updates about health care reform.

The Vice President and I just met with leaders from the House of Representatives and received their commitment to pass a comprehensive health care reform bill by July 31.

We also have an unprecedented commitment from health care industry leaders, many of whom opposed health reform in the past. Monday, I met with some of these health care stakeholders, and they pledged to do their part to reduce the health care spending growth rate, saving more than two trillion dollars over the next ten years — around $2,500 for each American family. Then on Tuesday, leaders from some of America’s top companies came to the White House to showcase innova

tive ways to reduce health care costs by improving the health of their workers.

Now the House and Senate are beginning a critical debate that will determine the health of our nation’s economy and its families. This process should be transparent and inclusive and its product must drive down costs, assure quality and affordable health care for everyone, and guarantee all of us a choice of doctors and plans.

Reforming health care should also involve you. Think of other people who may want to stay up to date on health care reform and other national issues and tell them to join us here:

Health care reform can’t come soon enough. We spend more on health care than any country, but families continue to struggle with skyrocketing premiums and nearly 46 million are without insurance entirely. It is a priority for the American people and a pillar of the new foundation we are seeking to build for our economy.

We’ll continue to keep you posted about this and other important issues.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

P.S. If you’d like to get more in-depth information about health reform and how you can participate, be sure to visit

I trust all good Americans are well-prepared to shout until they are hoarse, “NO, THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT! KEEP THE CHANGE!”

I trust all good Americans are geared up to let their Congresscritters and Centaurs hear it until their ears bleed, “DON’T DO THIS TO US! DON’T VISIT THIS PLAGUE ON AMERICA!”

We may have to turn this tide back in 2010 and 2012, but the effort starts here. Do. Your. Part.

I’ve Got A Name

FOR THE PHENOM that Beldar notes in Richard Posner here. That is, putative Republicans who mouth nonsense — an utter lack of understanding of the nature of the beast — on conservatism.

What are these people? Where did they come from — Posner, Colin Powell, John McCain, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, et al? They are Stealth Leftists, in-place for years — decades, even — only to awaken and take action at some strategic moment. Call them Sleeper Cell Republicans.


HAHAHAHAH ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !


I love the smell of scorched ass in the morning. It smells like… schadenfreude.


SO APPARENTLY David Frum thinks we lost in Iraq. This from Republicans is why America lost at the polls last November.

David [Frum] opined that there should be room in the Republican party for Powell. He added that, after all, Powell is the only general in our recent history to have won a war.

Powell never was someone we wanted to welcome into the conservative movement.

Spotted at PowerLine

Stingray Takes a Whack

AT CHRIS MUIR’S strip of Tuesday, taking exception to the exchange between Sam and Skye. I had a similar notion out of an other impetus. I thought Skye’s claim that the Left beat the GOP to be a perfect teachable moment.

No, dear, the Left did not beat the GOP. The GOP beat themselves. Remember that 58 MILLION </dr.evil> people voted against Obama. And that’s with the Republicans running a candidate who could be classed with Hubert Humphrey. Bill Clinton with more morals and less political savvy. The upside-down ticket. If the Republicans had run an honest and vigorous conservative, Obama would have slinked home to Chicago with his tail between his legs. It would have been a landslide.

So, to quote Han Solo, “Great, Kid! Don’t get cocky!” Because your leftist candidates are not all that popular. They don’t lie, cheat, and steal to win elections just because it’s fun. They lie, cheat, and steal to win elections because they have to. If a Republican (or any other party) candidate can get some wood on the ball with serious pro-American virtues on the right issues, it’s over the center-field wall at fifty feet in the air.

Sometimes Hannity

CAN MAKE ME crazy with his mis-steps and missed teaching opportunities. Frexample: Monday drive time. He gets a call from a soldier in Texas who claims that, because the Constitution guarantees you a lawyer, we ought to be guaranteed a doctor — presumably free, since nobody who’s talking much about it is arguing you should pay for one.

I guess it’s a good thing I’m not in Hannity’s shoes, because I would have blasted back, “YOU IDIOT! Go and READ the damned Constitution and come back and tell me ANY where in there that it says lawyer or even attorney. It. Does. Not.

“I’m guessing you’re referring to the Bill of Rights where it says you cannot be denied counsel. But, first, it doesn’t say or even imply that you should get that counsel only from an attorney and, second, it doesn’t say you should get it free. That is, however, I’m guessing, what you mean when you say that health care should be a constitutionally-guaranteed right.

“In one sense it is. Since the Tenth Amendment reserves all unenumerated rights to the states and the people. You have a right to procure for yourself health care any damned way you can. But that doesn’t mean you have the right to enslave me to pay for it or your doctor to get out of paying for it.

“Quit your whingeing to Daddy Sugarbucks and stand on your own damned two hind legs and EARN your fritterin’ health care.


But Hannity?

Oh, he does the usual policy wonk rearranging deck chairs dance. Talking about how in Canada, blah and in the UK bluhr. Totally missed the point that the guy’s major premise is as bogus as the day is long. So the guy goes away thinking he still has a valid point, he just didn’t get it across to Hannity, and Hannity goes away thinking he explained the situation to the guy.

Wrong again, Beagle-Breath.

It’s Obvious to Me

(CONTRA MS ALTHOUSE) why the Administration could misstep so badly as to go to so great lengths to get such a sucky result.

They’re incompetent.

They didn’t think it through. They are so full of themselves that they didn’t or wouldn’t listen to experts who told them so. They think of themselves as Idea People who Leave The Details To Underlings in situations where The Devil Is In The Details — such as making sure to have the equipment, the lighting, the angles to get the shot you so blithely assume can be gotten like pointing an Instamatic at Mickey Mouse in the Magic Kingdom.

After all, they must have thought, the Air Force does this all the time — they take gorgeous pictures of airplanes in flight every day.

As I say: the devil in the details.

Dear Congressman

SANCHEZ; What part of “Congress shall make no law…” escapes your comprehension?

Somebody You Don’t Know

AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL has had a confirmed diagnosis in an unborn son of thanatophoric dysplasia, and is now faced with several alternatives — all unpleasant at their mildest.

I ask that you send up prayers. Not that the child needs your prayers — such is the very essence of pure innocence, and to such belong the Kingdom of Heaven, as the Teacher has said — but because I think it’s important that the society I live in can offer up prayers for the souls of unborn children, no matter their cause of death.

Quote of the Day

Run from the updaters. Try this instead: put something in or on your house that another person — a stranger — would hesitate before they would tear it out or cover it up.

Weasel Word du Jour: Updating

What CNN Really

DISCOVERED IS that people who really know morality are pretty sure you left whingers’re full of shit.

Oh, come on, Alger! Are you saying your average Bible-thumper is some kind of philosophical genius?

No. I’m saying ANY Bible-thumber — average, above, or below — is better educated on the basics of morality AND reality than your smartest, best-educated leftist.

On My Way Home at

LUNCHTIME I STOPPED in at The Clinic to pick up the new litter boxes from Toni.

New litterboxes.

You see, what was killing Rommie is highly infectious. It’s universally advised for any mutli-cat environment, that, once the source of possible infection has been removed, the environment needs to be disinfected as indicated by the circumstances. Since the most common way a carrier “sheds” virus is in feces, litter boxes need to be disinfected. We decided — well, Toni did and I concurred — that, litter boxes being plastic and subject to being raked by cat claws regularly, their surfaces would provide a magnificent medium for eager-beaver little viri. So we decided to replace all three boxes.

Anyway, we went to PetSmart on Sunday and bought a palletful of new litter boxes. Yeah, I know: possibly jumping the gun. But it was either that or go after work at the end of a long day… today. Tuesday, so we decided to take the risk that Rommie would recover and we’ve have bokoo extra litter boxes. And then we went to Sams and bought three 40-pound cans of litter.

As an aside, have you priced litter boxes lately? I don’t mean the single-cat, single-use, biodegradable pressed-paper ones you can get for a nickel, ninety-eight. I mean substantial boxes in which an 8-12-pound cat can feel comfortable squatting to take a dump. And bury it. With lids to at least make a token effort at containing the odor. Yeah.

By Tuesday, the litter was in the study, but the boxes were still in Toni’s car. So I stopped in to pick them up because I’d be home before her and could get started on switching the old boxes out and putting new ones in.

As I was walking down the front steps of The Clinic toward her car, Toni asked me, “How you holding up?”

I answered — totally off-the-cuff, going with the moment — “Just fine, so long as I don’t think about it.”

Yeah. I buried the lede.

We put Rommie to sleep this morning.

Odd dichotomy. Yes. She was terminal. Hard to take because she seemed to be improving a bit from the palliatives. The steroids talking, as Toni put it. And it feels like I’ve lost a limb or something. But, at the same time, you tell yourself, “You knew this when you went in.” You know when you adopt a cat — or she you — that it’s not forever, that you’ll outlive her by possibly another of her lifetimes, and you’ll know and love myriad others, and she as an individual will fade into the background of your life, giving way to those present in the moment. Yes, it was a mercy. But if you believe in life, finding the line between mercy and selfishness is not easy. Rommie was hiding under the bed in her last days — the old tale of the animal going away to die in covert solitude. So I don’t think she was raging to live. Monday night, when she was snuggling on my chest, she wasn’t purring. She was barely reacting to my attentions. So, when the lab reports confirmed what had been suspected all along, it was clearly time.

But still hard.

Rommie and Siamon as kittens, catnapping on the recliner.

It’s been a hard year — so much loss. The most recent three… Siamon, Murphy, and Rommie.

Do you think the winds in heaven carry such interesting scents?

Or will the birds provide such fascinating prospects of the hunt?

In The Movie

THE JERK, Steve Martin performs a scene running around like a Jack Russel terrier whose owner has just turned off the expressway ten miles down the road, headed for home. His one line, repeated over and over, is, “The new phone books are here!”

I kinda feel that way about this report, from Anthony Watts’ Surface Stations initiative. Over the last couple of years, I’ve watched eagerly as the initiative has rolled up the numbers of stations surveyed, and with growing satisfaction as my suspicion has been confirmed that global warming has not even been proven to exist, let alone had its causes demonstrated, or its prognosis predicted. As Warren Meyer quotes:

We found stations located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat. We found 68 stations located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas.

In fact, we found that 89 percent of the stations — nearly 9 of every 10 — fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/ reflecting heat source.

In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited. It gets worse. We observed that changes in the technology of temperature stations over time also has caused them to report a false warming trend. We found major gaps in the data record that were filled in with data from nearby sites, a practice that propagates and compounds errors. We found that adjustments to the data by both NOAA and another government agency, NASA, cause recent temperatures to look even higher.

The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable. The errors in the record exceed by a wide margin the purported rise in temperature of 0.7° C (about 1.2° F) during the twentieth century. Consequently, this record should not be cited as evidence of any trend in temperature that may have occurred across the U.S. during the past century. Since the U.S. record is thought to be “the best in the world,” it follows that the global database is likely similarly compromised and unreliable.

This is what I mean when I say we neither know nor can we know that there is or has been global warming. I agree that the probability is high, but we have no data to back up that surmise. We can say that the data record shows a warming trend — of, coincidentally, (far less than the number Watts cites as the error induced by bad siting and construction of temperature recording stations) per century. But we cannot say that we know or have demonstrated that the warming actually has occurred.

For “settled science” and a “debate” that’s “over,” this is pretty thin stuff on which to found a church. If Algore wants to be a latter day Saint Peter to the high church of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, I think he needs to, in the words of Ayn Rand, re-examine his premises.

Isn’t It Hilarious

WHEN A LEFT-whinger drops like turds these little gems of colossal ignorance (thinking they’re slam-dunks), only to be bitch-slapped into stunned silence by the overwhelming … well … righteousness of his interlocutor, a person in the right?

The phrase “sputtering like a wet hen” comes to mind.

Oh, sure. But the side step is magnificent.

Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t.
I’ve come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

–Carol Hall
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Listening to Juan

WILLIAMS on Hannity Monday afternoon, two items cropped up.

That’s as opposed to coming acropper.

Er, yes. It is. But Juan Williams.

He kept saying that the problem the economy faces is systemic.

Fair enough.

And what system would that be?

Why, regulation and the tax code — the government, of course!

So the fix can’t come from government. As Ronaldus Magnus put it, government is not the solution, government is the problem.

Second, Williams kept trying to say, “You can’t do nothing” or words to that effect.

On which I call bullshit. Nothing was exactly what the government should have done.

Leaving aside that the government has no business meddling in the affairs of businessmen, there is the inescapable fact that government can only first: do harm. Second: do harm. Third through infinitith: do harm. Government is “x” where x is a value for destruction on a scale ranging from ultra vires regulation on the low end to global thernonuclear war on the high end. It’s a continuum of harm. When in doubt or out of it, government should not do anything, it should just stand there. King Log rulez!!!

Peace out.

That is all.

It’s Pretty Certain

ALTHOUGH THEY’RE GOING to run the test again for complete surety, but Rommie has shown positive for FIP — Feline Infectious Peritonitus.

Rommie came to us almost exactly a year ago. She was a stray living rough around Number One Daughter’s apartment. Toni brought her home and handed her to me and my immediate reaction was “Fizzgig!” because she reminded me of the character of that name in The Dark Crystal. I could not tell you how. She just did.

That’s OK. Nobody else gets it, either.

We’ve had a couple of other torties — tortoiseshell cats. Toni says that Rommie is technically a calico, because she has three colors to her coat — orange, black, and “white” (which is just a tinted-back orange). I get the point. But I’d always heard that calicos were white with patches of orange and black, whereas torties were black with patches of orange and white. Whatever. If you see a picture of Rommie, and you know cats, you think, “Tortie.”

Torties have somewhat of a reputation of being… er, um… idiosyncratic in their behavior. It’s probably sex-linked (the gene for these two coats is present in females only), but it would be sexist and therefore not PC to say so. All the others I have known have been so — solitary, anti-social, one-person cats, more than a bit aloof, and somewhat irrascible.

Rommie is none of these. Not quite. She’s very sweet, and willing to show and accept affection from nearly anybody — if I’m not around. She doesn’t really talk much, but she has been observed at odd moments in the dark of night yowling into the furnace ducts to enjoy the acoustics — a most unladylike behavior which she immediately denied upon being caught at it. On the other hand, she will walk across anybody to climb up on my chest and curl up there, dozing and purring and accepting her due in strokes and rubs.

She’s pretty small, though. We never have gotten an adult weight on her, but it’s doubtful she hit seven pounds before this recent — and apparently terminal — decline. Which make her pretty easy to take curled up on your chest.

Last weekend, she was fine. We interacted both on the couch during TV time, but she also took up residence on a pillow next to me while I took afternoon naps and was generally around at night. BUT… Sky was sick. He only really started showing major improvement that Sunday. So he (and the other kittens) were getting more that what Rommie might have felt was their fair share of attention. So when she started behaving as though she was sulking — hanging out in this one tubular structure in the living room cat tree, lying on her chin on the bed, on the couch, on the kitchen floor — I put it down to a little sibling rivalry, thinking she’d get over it.

But, by Friday, when Toni came home from her away gig, she saw the decline right away and pegged it as lethargy. And she also spotted jaundice (inside of ears, sclera, and gums, for your future reference), which I never would have known to look for, or recognized as such if I saw it. (I saw it, had it pointed out to me, and frankly couldn’t see it.) Toni took Rommie into work on Saturday, had the bloodwork done, and got a range of possibilities as to diagnoses from the vets.

Then, Sunday morning, we heard from Tiny Doctor Tim. The blood tests had returned positive for FIP. We had already started a course of treatment — antibiotics and steroids — but FIP is caused by a virus, and apparently one that mutates pretty readily, so there’s not a lot you can do to really kill the little bugger once it’s in a host without — you know — killing the host.

If you read the linked article above, you know that, although the disease is infectious and highly so at certain stages of development, it seems unlikely that it has passed from Rommie to any of our other cats. Or, at least, we’re telling ourselves that right now. We’re taking the disinfection precautions we can, but all we can really do is watch the others for overt symptoms. Sky, for example, just had all the blood tests and came through clean. It’s unlikely that any of the rescue cats have it. But both Belle and Rommie were ferals, so… we worry.

Sunday, Rommie has shown signs of improvement. Which leads us to hope against hope that the first positive was a false positive and a restest will show all-clear. But, then again, how will we know that the retest is correct? Dunno. If she’s in the clear, and we can nurse her back to health, what does that mean? But what is for sure is that, if she’s found positive again (Is a double-positive self-cancelling like a double-negative? Probably not.), this sudden bounceback makes the decision emotionally harder to put her down, whereas, if she’s miserable and wasting away, it’s a pretty black-and-white, open-and-shut case of pure mercy.

I know Heinlein wrote that you should be prepared to shoot your own dog. But state law won’t let me administer euthenasia, and I’m not really big into shooting cats or whatever might pass for a quick death… But Rommie isn’t a dog. And she’s more to me than a pet. She’s a person — a somewhat retarded person with no communication skills, but one who is capable of showing and accepting affection and having a positive effect on her environment. It’s not easy taking the decision to kill a person, human or not. And that is, after all, what we’re talking about.


Caturday: 2 May 2009

(L-R) Rommie, Aqua, Oliver, Loki (by head location).

Aqua and Loki. Loki was the first of the olders to accept the kittens. He and Oliver get along best with them.

Belle supervises the grocery load-in. (Not really, but if I told the truth, I’d have to admit I stopped before the groceries were all put away to take pictures of the cats. That would make me out to be a lazy-assed slacker.)

Jazz, Rommie, Aqua, Sky in the front doorway at Casa d’Alger. A sunny Saturday morning.

FNAB (Feature Not A Bug) of the Week

STRATFOR Barry’s intemperate release of the “torture” memos has a chilling effect on U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

You mean to say that the Administration did not intend for that result to eventuate?

Color me surprised.

Steve Forbes

ON THE 55KRC morning show Thursday, alluded to a provision in (I believe he said) the three-point-four <dr.evil>trillion</dr.evil> dollar budget bill which would force arbitration in unionization disputes. That is, after your business gets card-checked into the union, by union thugs intimidating your employees (wonder how many non-unanimous votes that’ll bring), if you don’t cut a deal with the union thugs, the Federal government (“… and we’re here to help you”) will send in an arbitrator, who will decide matters for you.

Last week, I asserted that government regulation of businesses might cause an atomization of employment, with the standard business unit being made small enough to fly under the regulatory radar — as long as they can. Right now, that small shop limit is around 30-50 employees. But I can envision a scenario in which the floor will be a tenth that, at best, and most people performing tasks in a business will be independent contractors if any way can be found to make it so.

It’s that or have your business driven under when a parasitic union piles on top of all the other burdens business faces these days.


CERTAINLY DOES diminish your mental image of the scawwy tewwowist to read what gets him talking. St. Ann reports details.

But The New York Times is populated with people who can’t believe they live in a country where people would put a caterpillar in a terrorist’s cell.


(Hat tip: BX.)

That’s BX, not ROMEex.

I’m sure she got it, Dolly.

Well, pfui to you!