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Dizzying Intellect » Current Events

Category: Current Events

Basics

Ok, this blog is turning into all bad news all the time.

I’m not sorry for sharing my crap days with you (it’s my blog and I’ll vent if I want to). But I am sorry for not showing up when things are going well, or at least neutral — it’s been a bad year — and letting you in on the good stuff too.

I saw this on the way home last night, and remembered to stop and get a picture today. It’s one of those digital billboards that have like ten different ads in rotation, so I had to park and wait for it.

How insanely cool is that?! Many thanks to whoever paid for that, or to the billboard company, if they did it themselves. Awesome.

Me, me, me. Them. You.

I haven’t mentioned it on here, but many of you probably know from twitter that I’m a volunteer at the Humane Society of Missouri.

And that same group of you also knows about the pit bull rescue. I don’t know how much this has made national news — I’m sort of in an echo chamber, here, and it feels like it’s not getting nearly enough coverage. The hsmo broke up a multi-state pit bull fighting ring last month, and it was the single largest dog fighting raid and rescue in US history. They rescued over 400 dogs, who had never known anything but fighting and torture and abuse.

I know that pit bulls have a terrible reputation, but if you’ve never met one in person, you owe it to yourself to do so. They are extremely affection-driven and will do anything for their beloved family — even if it means fighting to the death. This, in itself, makes the dog fighting “sport” obscenely cruel.

Perhaps the one benefit of this heartbreaking ordeal is the opportunity to prove to the public that these dogs aren’t monsters. Some of them have been bred specifically for aggression, but the vast majority of the breed has not. They’re just dogs, who want nothing more than love and affection, and a friendly face to lick.

If you have any way of helping us, please do. We need supplies and money to care for these dogs every day until their case is finished. (Amazon has amazing prices on extreme kongs — and you could buy three and get free shipping to the shelter! Or toss your old mismatched, unwanted bath towels in box and send it, that’s great too.) If you can’t give money or supplies, please contact your local government offices and encourage them to make stronger laws about dog fighting and animal abuse. And if you have the time, visit your local Humane Society and cuddle with a homeless pit bull for a while. I promise they’ll change your mind.

Give or Take a Zero or Three

This makes me sick. When Leona Helmsley died, she left her entire estate, worth roughly five billion dollars (that’s billion with a ‘b’), to dog-related charities, in her will.

While this makes me happy, being a dog-lover and avid animal shelter supporter, I don’t think it’s entirely normal. But she was “of sound mind and body,” she earned that money herself, and that’s what she wanted done with it.

Right.

Trustees of real estate baroness Leona Helmsley’s estate say they’re giving $136 million to charity - with just $1 million going to the dogs.

Helmsley’s estate announced its first round of charitable grants on Tuesday. The largest, $40 million, goes to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The majority goes to New York City hospitals and other health care systems across the country.

Helmsley’s estate distributed $1 million to 10 animal rights groups, including $100,000 to the ASPCA.

So, instead of all of it, her skeezy trustees are allowing her selected charities to have only 1/5000th of what she left them. That’s just disgusting.

The moral, I guess, is to tighten up your will to show exactly who gets what, dollar by dollar. And make sure your trustees aren’t sewer-dwelling scumbags. But who in the real world can afford to create a more airtight will than freaking Leona Helmsley?

On the “Fringe”

Oh, Meghan, Meghan, Meghan. I do not understand why this girl is still talking.

[B]etween you and me, many of the people in this business tend to take themselves entirely too seriously. I wanted to break out of that.

I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican.

You know, all of this describes me too. Except she apparently thinks it makes her so very, very unique. (I thought that too, once. When I was twelve.) I would guess that at least 15% of Republicans under age 50 fit this mold. Take out the (aware of) gay friends part and you’re up to about 25%.

But the rest of us aren’t asking the whole party to conform to our beliefs. We know we’re the outliers. And we also know that running a moderate as our leader doesn’t work — the moderate we ran last time (I believe Meghan may have met him once or twice) couldn’t even beat a man with ties to domestic terrorists and no leadership experience.

Asking the entire Republican party to be like us, that’s like being the only vegetarian invited to a party, and demanding that the entire menu be changed so that no one else can eat meat either.

It’s not just stupid, it’s rude.

Update: One last thing, she actually said “My hair stylist, Josh Rupley who is here tonight and a proud new member of the Log Cabin Republicans.” Come on, really? She couldn’t find anyone except her freaking hairstylist? You ponderous, stereotyping hag. Please stop trying to sound outré. You’re not helping.

[Cross-posted at the Green Room]

Renaming the Unnamed

For the record, I never liked that “Freedom Tower” name choice. It’s smarmy and pointless, just like that lame “Freedom Fries” campaign.

You can’t just slap a word like “Freedom” on something and expect it to stick. That land, and that memory, they already have a name, and “Freedom” isn’t it. That place is the World Trade Center — it retained that identity even when we were all calling it Ground Zero, and that’s what it should always be called.

We’re all perfectly aware that it symbolizes freedom, among other things — bravery, sacrifice, strength — and the monsters who wish they could take our freedom from us; they know it, too. There’s no reason to be maudlin and redundant about it. Call it what it is. Changing the name is too much like forgetting history, and that’s one event that we don’t ever need to risk repeating.

*meaningful head tilt*

I actually found the region one DVD set gift to the British Prime Minister gaffe to be funny, if sad, and sort of telling. But this is just rude:

The [State Department] official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.”

To one of our closest allies? Who still has troops fighting alongside ours, in harm’s way? Really?

And wasn’t this the guy whose biggest campaign promise was that he’d make the rest of the world like us again?

We can do nothing about it, of course. But it made me think, does this deserve one of those magical “We’re Sorry” websites that the left loves so much? Thousands of people in photographs, holding handwritten signs that say “We’re sorry our President is a tactless clod, P.M. Brown. Better luck next administration! We U!”

Who’s with me?

Grrr.

Also?

Obama Signs Order Lifting Restrictions on Stem Cell Research Funding

Yes! Why shouldn’t taxpayers foot the bill for research that private corporations and donors are perfectly willing to fund and support?! We’re made of money!

*tosses Obama a bucket full of hard-earned cash*

[Shut up. I know I'm a day late. I have a lot of leftover angst to refocus right now. I should've known this "trying to be nice" thing was a bad idea.]

Shuttering

I think I’ve made it pretty clear in the past that I don’t exactly love our local dead tree rag, the Post-Dispatch. It’s just about the only place for moderately up-to-date local news online, so I read it, but the editing is painful in its lack of, well, existence. Also, with very few notable exceptions, the writers tend to be unapologetically ultra-left wing, and the commenters are just plain toxic. So it pains me to say this, but I learned something there today.

I never even thought about this:

Could St. Louis lose its Catholic hospitals under new federal abortion legislation?

Abortion’s not my issue. I’m very wishy-washy on it, so I try not to discuss it — since it tends to be one of those not-wishy-washy-at-all kinds of topics.

There’s a big Jewish hospital in town with an amazing heart center (which gets a lot of press, which is why I’m even aware of it), but before I moved here, I never really thought of hospitals being affiliated with specific religious denominations. Which, in retrospect is a little odd, what with the “Saint” in so many hospital names. I have the constitution of a horse, so maybe that’s why? I’m never in hospitals (er, knock on wood.) so I don’t give them much thought.

Anyway.

A proposed bill promising major changes in the U.S. abortion landscape has Roman Catholic bishops threatening to close Catholic hospitals if the Democratic Congress and White House make it law.

The Freedom of Choice Act failed to get out of subcommittee in 2004, but its sponsor is poised to refile it now that former Senate co-sponsor Barack Obama occupies the Oval Office.

FOCA, as the bill is known, would make federal law out of the abortion protections established in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade ruling.

I mean, they have to do what they think is right, I guess. I can see where you couldn’t have a private Catholic hospital performing abortions. I was Catholic in a former life, and as I recall the rules, that’s pretty high on the DON’T list.

The legislation has some Roman Catholic bishops threatening to shutter the country’s 624 Catholic hospitals — including 11 in the Archdiocese of St. Louis — rather than comply.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki, a Chicago auxiliary bishop, took up the issue of what to do with Catholic hospitals if FOCA became law. “It would not be sufficient to withdraw our sponsorship or to sell them to someone who would perform abortions,” he said. “That would be a morally unacceptable cooperation in evil.”

But that’s kind of scary to me. Again, not a big hospital patron, but 624 US hospitals would just close? Like decent medical care isn’t expensive or hard enough to find right now?

They won’t even sell, they’ll just shut down? Maybe sell the building to a mall developer or something?

Obama had promised during his campaign he would sign FOCA if he were elected.

This just never occurred to me. I figured they’d just excommunicate doctors who performed abortions. Neither side is a done deal, anyway. There are other options on both sides of the argument. So is this scaremongering or a real concern? Read the whole thing.

Right Now

Ok, this was painfully convoluted and rambling and I couldn’t look at it anymore. Let me sum up.

I don’t listen to Rush unless someone posts a clip online, because I believe that radio is for music. So I don’t know if he’s our “leader,” or who would be, if he isn’t. And I know what he was trying to say, with the whole “I want him to fail” thing, even though he said it less than elegantly. But here’s my thing. He’s a radio personality. It’s their job to keep ratings up by stirring the pot and making people angry.

We’re flying under the radar right now. Nobody cares about conservatives except conservatives, for this tiny, brief window of time, and that’s a good thing. Because the S.S. Obama is going to founder, and sink sink sink like a fat, porky stone — there’s no way that could possibly not happen. And if we take this period of invisibility and polish up, we’re going to look really good when we’re suddenly in the spotlight again. Wasting this opportunity by poking them with a stick, and then fighting amongst ourselves about the poking? Not really in our best interest. The poking was done. Now can we please shut up about it and go back to polishing? Thanks.

Fight As You Can

I’ll tell you what’s driving me crazy about the Aasiya Hassan murder and beheading. Apart from the obvious.

If I hear one more “conservative” react to an honor killing with “Gee, I wonder if we’ll hear from NOW this time,” I’m going to smack someone.

Newsflash. NOW is a joke. They’ve always been a joke. Blaming them for not responding to an honor killing is like blaming the UN for not reacting.

They’re useless. GET. OVER. IT.

If you care even the slightest bit about these women — and most conservatives really don’t, they just like bitching about the left’s hypocrisy — quit with the douchy snark, and try doing something about it. You can’t defeat the misogynistic bastards yourself, but you can take a tiny tip from the few liberals who aren’t all talk, and *gasp* volunteer at a women’s shelter. Or donate money or food to the women in your community who’ve had to deal with this religious/cultural fully-sanctioned abuse first hand.

It won’t make you vote democrat or morph into a granola eater, I promise.

Muslim women’s advocates consider the statement significant after years of indifference in a community which has seen only recent progress — for example, the opening of shelters for battered Muslim women in a few major cities.

“This is a horrible tragedy, but it gives us a window,” said Abdul-Ghafur, editor of the anthology “Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak.” “The next time a woman comes to her imam and says, ‘He hit me,’ the reply might not be, ‘Be patient, sister, is there something you did, sister? Is there something you can do?’ The chances are greater the imam will say, ‘This is unacceptable.”‘

Conservatives are the ones who always talk about being able to choose their own charities, instead of being taxed, but I don’t know a single one who actually volunteers. And it’s not like the liberals are busting their asses to help these poor women, either. It’s up to us. Put up or shut the hell up.