Saturday, December 24, 2005

Egypt joins Iran in Holocaust denial

A bad wave on the horizon...

Muslim Brotherhood chief (opposition party leader, it must be noted) Mohammed Mahdi Akef publicly claims the Holocaust to be a myth:

Egypt Opposition Leader Denies Holocaust

A lot of the current wave of anti-Semitism seems to stem from hatred of America or the West in general. Funny thing, that - our President sure as heck isn't Jewish, let alone Zionist.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Man or Mouse? There's a reason we have three branches of government, Mr. President.

"One more last" for today... (my, aren't we verbose!)

As you've most likely been shocked to hear (or not), our Dear Leader, El Presidente Bush II (aka. SuperShrub), has admitted to ordering Americans to spy electronically on Americans in America without the bother of a court order. He protests less that this is being opposed than disclosed.

As with past leaders in our country and others, he chafes within his channel of Chief Executive and lends a blind ear (sounds right for him, no?) to countless cautious critics who decry a selective spy empire built upon a shadow government.

One of many^3 recent articles commenting on the situation: Bush vows to pursue controversial spy program.

To paraphrase Lord Acton: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." The full quote is here. Whether bad or not, President Bush is not "great".

This man should NOT be allowed power beyond that granted to the Executive branch. Nor should any other man - or woman - who holds our Seat of Power. If our own President won't follow our laws and treat our citizens to the rights accorded us in our very own Constitution (and Bill of Rights, natch), then what sort of leader is he?

Foie gras, veal, astrakhan, and other extreme ways to hurt animals for your dining or fashion pleasure

Animals can be tasty, and their skins can be useful, but we don't have to be cruel and/or inhumane if and when we do take their lives and their bodies for our use.

Foie gras:
Liver of fatted goose.
Generally created
by force-feeding geese.

See this recent Christian Science Monitor article on a foie gras ban proposed in Chicago.

Meat of extremely young calves - ~16 weeks or younger.
Often produced by taking the calves away from their mothers when they are just a day or two old, feeding them a milk-like formula instead of their mothers' milk and then solid food, and confining them to tiny areas in which they can't move around. This is called "white veal" or "milk-fed veal". Nope, you were wrong! "Milk-fed" is *not* when the calf drinks its mother's milk!

See the HSUS' veal fact sheet for details.

Astrakhan, aka. Karakul:
Skin of newborn or even fetal "Persian lamb".
Soft and curly fur; used for coats and other garments. Warm; soft; drapes well. The Mistress' mother had Persian lamb coats twenty-some years ago, and the Mistress always loved the way the coats felt. She only found out what these were really made of this year, 2005.

See the HSUS' article 'Astrakhan: Hot "New" Fashion is the Same Old Cruelty'
The earlier, the curlier. Yuck! The veal of furs.

No, the Mistress is not a vegetarian. She likes steak a bit much to make that leap.

See the HSUS' article on humane slaughter.

Foie gras: geese are pretty stupid, but it still sounds nasty to force-feed animals so we can kill them to better enjoy eating specific organs.

Veal: the calves should have their mommies, and they should be allowed exercise. Period. If you must eat veal but are trying to be humane about it, ask for "pink veal". Reject "white" or "milk-fed" or "formula-fed". Cows may not be very smart, but they know enough to get upset when they are forcibly separated from their moms/calves.

Astrakhan, aka. Karakul: double ditto veal. Their origin is such a shame. Let's have some faux Persian lamb coats! Appreciate the look and feel without killing the lambs!

Suckling pig: not mentioned at top, but the Mistress avoids this and other fetal/newborn dishes like the Plague. The Mistress gets creeped out of late when rinsing (supermarket-purchased) chickens or small turkeys for roasting. Maybe now you will too.


Extrapolate. People crated from birth and force-fed liquid diets (or high-fat foods) would be awfully tasty to someone... or our skins would be extra-soft and appealing... This is *gross* - to us. Imagine if there were some animal on Earth that likes to eat people, or that likes to use our skins to decorate themselves - that's not as far out. This may seem absurd since we don't have alien overlords or billions of baby-eating, farming-minded lions on the prowl, but just do the gedanken. Stew on it for sixty seconds.

We're lucky to be at the top of the food chain. Very lucky.

Danger! Will Rob-Iran-soon?

Ah, the news from the Middle East just gets better and better. Not only does Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hate America and Westernisms, but he is trying to convince people that the Holocaust was made up (!!!) and has called for Israel to pick up and move somewhere else. Actually, he wants Israel to be "wiped off the map". Yikes!

Iran's President Bans All Western Music

He was elected in August 2005. We (ie. the USA) didn't help to put him in power too, did we?

This guy is *DANGEROUS*.

Santa's big helper in El Cajon, CA

[with an introduction in silly verse]

If you think the world has gone to pot
And Santa Claus is coming not;
If Congress' excesses make you quiver
And wars abroad cause you to shiver;

If you despair when hoping
To find someone who's coping
Without selling out sometimes,

If bird flu worries
And holiday hurries
Are heavy on your mind,

Then read this article. Don't fear -
The Toy Maker is here!

The article:
El Cajon craftsman gives Santa's elves competition

Three huge cheers for craftsman and Santa's helper Don Riley! Approximating the wonderful words of Bob Graham in his kiddie book "Max", Riley is "a small hero doing quiet deeds. The world needs more of these."

We do indeed.

Corn syrup redux: high-fructose diet BAD

This past Thursday, HealthDay summarized two articles published in medical journals about the effects of fructose on the human appetite. The research underlines and extends what I said earlier about corn syrup being awful for you. Alas, truth is worse than hypothesis: fructose seems to cause insulin problems and may make you feel HUNGRIER! So much for fruit-based diets?

Read the HealthDay article here:
Fruit Sugars Might Speed Obesity

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Baltimore quint family needs help for the holidays and beyond!

Single babies are plenty of work. Parents of twins tell me they're hard to juggle. A family friend's daughter had triplets (after an older child) and somehow kept her sanity, but only with a *lot* of help. I couldn't imagine having that many or more at once. Yet it happens, and more than once in a blue moon.

A Baltimore family had *quintuplets* on September 21st and is still stumbling along, mostly on their own, because they've gotten more ridicule than assistance from the media. They're happy to be parents, but they weren't even trying to have kids - the now-mom was taking fertility drugs to fix a hormone problem, not because she was trying to get pregnant...

These parents deserve more than they're getting. Compare where they are with the magazine-cover quints of other years.

See Courtland Milloy's November 13th article in the Washington Post: "Few Answering Quintuplets' Needy Cries". Mr. Milloy's followup on November 27th: She's Taking It One Diaper At a Time gives contact info for the mom and for a fund to help support the quints. Thankfully, some help materialized in the interim but the hard-working parents could still use a minivan (to hold all five car seats!) and nanny service - not to mention financial and other support for their brood in the years to come.

If you or your company is looking for some end-of-year charitable contributions or has a hand to lend in the Baltimore area, I bet this family would appreciate your assistance.

Keep that holiday spirit alive!