May 272016


A cat uses its tail not only for balance and as a rudder, but also as a method of a pretty sophisticated sign language all their own.  And amazingly enough it’s pretty consistent between all different breeds of cats.


The Flagpole Tail

When your cat’s tail is sticking straight up like a flagpole, it’s a sign your cat is feeling confident and content.  It’s a sign of happiness and a desire to be friendly with you.  And if you see the tip of an erect tail give a little twitch, it means they’re enjoying a particularly happy moment.

This is particularly prevalent in kittens – it’s like they’re saying their first word, and it’s “Momma!”

And the mother cat uses this position when she wants her kittens to follow her.  Just like those guides holding up their sign when leading a herd or tourists around museums and other crowded venues – it makes them easier to spot.

But sometimes the upright tail can be given a brief, forceful and sudden jerk forward.  This is a sign of irritation or derision – similar to giving someone “The Finger”.


The Question Mark Tail

When it’s curved like a question mark or shepherd’s crook, this tail signals a friendly, playful mood.  Your cat is relaxed and ready to share some fun with you.  He’s saying: “Some head scritches and ear rubs would be most welcomed!”


The Low-to-the-Ground Tail

When your cat’s tail is held horizontally straight behind it, s/he is not certain what is going on, and is signaling that she’s ready to either pounce or play.  Probably best to go very slow and let your feline friend make the call of what her mood will be.


The Fish Hook or Horseshoe Tail

When the tail is held either horizontally or angled down a little and has a hook at the base, it’s an early sign of defensive aggression or at least feeling feisty – like running around like crazy for no apparent reason.

(Sorry … Couldn't find a good example)

Swishing Tail

A tail that moves slowly and methodically from side-to-side is seen when your cat is focusing on an object – a bug or a toy.  It’s frequently seen right before they pounce.


Thrashing Tail

This is a sign he’s preparing for offensive aggression.  When that tail whips back-and-forth – or slaps the floor – the critter is either irritated or fearful, and it won’t take much to provoke full-throated aggression.  Consider yourself warned!


The Bottlebrush Tail

We’re all familiar with this iconic tail – a tail of defensive aggression.  The tail is poofed out as much as possible, and frequently the back is arched and the hackles are up.  (Hackles are the special hairs down the middle of the back of animals – particularly cats and dogs.)

They do this in order to make themselves look bigger to their aggressor or perceived threat in hopes he’ll back off – but is ready to take action if necessary.


The Tucked Tail

We’ve all heard the expression about someone slinking away “with their tail between their legs.”

So when your cat tucks its tail between its legs, it indicates submission – or at least uncertainty. 


The Entwined Tail

Those cute kitty pictures we’ve all enjoyed clearly demonstrates a feline feeling of friendship.  So when your critter wraps its tail around your leg or wrist, he’s simply saying “I like you – let’s be friends” … OR “How about feeding me some noms?”


The Vibrating Tail

With its tail straight up in the air and quivering, your cat is telling you she’s not only happy – but excited because she anticipates something good is coming … like FOOD!

The Stretching Tail

This is a two-part process …

Cat_Tails_Stretch_A Cat_Tails_Stretch_B

The Fireplace Cat Tail

While sitting or lying down, their tails are wrapped around themselves – a sign of comfortable content … “All’s right with the world.”


And this is the "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" variant …




May 262016

In politics it is said, that when not fueled by hope there is a vacuum for fear to fill. Since artists turn to the muses, Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania and Calliope we are exploring what they can offer us for inspiration to have the hope fueling politics. This time you get to choose which muse would claim the story-enjoy! [Reminder of who claims what is at the end].

“Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.”

– Calvin Coolidge                                                                                              forgotten-muses-1226788


“Beware how you take away hope from another human being.“

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Pope Francis might jettison idea of a ‘just war’


There's a chance Haiti might join the African Union. Do you know why?

Atallah hadn't been able to talk to his daughter for 2 years. Then NetHope came along.


The power of engaging young people in community organizing


After getting sick, this 15-year-old missed her favorite band — until they surprised her.


The most beautiful voice in the world! This girl started CRYING.


The Amazing Kid Guitar Player


Ever wish you could live inside your favorite book? You can at this incredible new place.


What does it take to rebuild a coral reef?


Sean & Luke: Teen Duo Tap Dance to "Classic" by MKTO – America's Got Talent 2014


I spent a few minutes digging in my yard all in the name of cancer research.


The Twist – Chubby Checker


Judges stopped her because they couldn't believe it's her real voice!

Thank you dear reader for joining me on this journey of discovery and quest for hope–I found some, how about you?


Nine Muses are:
1. Clio: The Muse Clio discovered history and guitar. History was named Clio in the ancient years, because it refers to “kleos” the Greek word for the heroic acts. Clio was always represented with a clarion in the right arm and a book in the left hand.
2. Euterpe: Muse Euterpe discovered several musical instruments, courses and dialectic. She was always depicted holding a flute, while many instruments were always around her.
3. Thalia: Muse Thalia was the protector of comedy; she discovered comedy, geometry, architectural science and agriculture. She was also protector of Symposiums. She was always depicted holding a theatrical – comedy mask.
4. Melpomene: Opposite from Thalia, Muse Melpomene was the protector of Tragedy; she invented tragedy, rhetoric speech and Melos. She was depicted holding a tragedy mask and usually bearing a bat.
5. Terpsichore: Terpsichore was the protector of dance; she invented dances, the harp and education. She was called Terpsichore because she was enjoying and having fun with dancing ( “Terpo” in Greek refers to be amused). She was depicted wearing laurels on her head, holding a harp and dancing.
6. Erato: Muse Erato was the protector of Love and Love Poetry – as well as wedding. Her name comes from the Greek word “Eros” that refers to the feeling of falling in love. She was depicted holding a lyre and love arrows and bows.
7. Polymnia: Muse Polymnia was the protector of the divine hymns and mimic art; she invented geometry and grammar. She was depicted looking up to the Sky, holding a lyre.
8. Ourania: Muse Ourania was the protector of the celestial objects and stars; she invented astronomy. She was always depicted bearing stars, a celestial sphere and a bow compass.
9. Calliope: Muse Calliope was the superior Muse. She was accompanying kings and princes in order to impose justice and serenity. She was the protector of heroic poems and rhetoric art. According to the myth, Homer asks from Calliope to inspire him while writing Iliad and Odyssey, and, thus, Calliope is depicted holding laurels in one hand and the two Homeric poems in the other hand.”

May 262016

If you want to goose step in lock step behind a fascist Reich that is always wrong, sell out to the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich.  On the other hand, if you want to walk in harmony next to a Reich that is virtually always right, choose the Reich on the left, Robert Right.


Robert Reich posted a message about the ‘Bernie or Bust’ concept on his Facebook page on May 19, 2016. He received mixed reviews. To read his original post, click here. One week later, Reich posted another status facing his critics. Here are his thoughts:

Robert Reich, May 25, 2016

Last week I suggested Bernie supporters do three things: (1) fight like hell for Bernie until he either gets or loses the nomination, (2) if Hillary gets the nomination, fight like hell for her, and (3) regardless of who wins the nomination or the election, continue to build a powerful progressive movement.

Several of you disagree with (1), saying Bernie has no chance, and his continuing candidacy is just hurting Hillary, so he should bow out of the race. I’ll get back to this point in a subsequent post. 

Here I want to address those of you who disagree with (2). As I understand your arguments, they fall into four categories: 

1. Some of you say that by refusing to fight for Hillary (if she gets the nomination) you’ll show the political establishment you want the changes Bernie has been advocating. The problem with this logic is the “political establishment” is nothing but a bunch of people in comfortable and often privileged positions who will continue doing what they’re doing because they like the status quo, and won’t even be aware you’re not fighting for Hillary – unless, that is, Hillary loses to Trump. Which leads to the next argument.

2. Some of you say there’s no real difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The problem with this logic is it’s wrong. Regardless of what you may think of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is a true menace to this nation and to the world. He’s a narcissistic, xenophobic, hatemonger who, if elected, would legitimize bigotry, appoint Supreme Court justices with terrible values, and have his finger on the nuclear bomb. Need I say more? Which brings us to the third argument. 

3. Some of you say a Trump presidency would be so horrible it would galvanize a forceful progressive movement in response. The problem with this argument is twofold. First, Trump could do huge and unalterable damage to America and the world in the meantime. Second, rarely if ever in history has a sharp swing to the right moved the political pendulum further back in the opposite direction. Instead, it tends to move the “center” rightward, as did Ronald Reagan’s presidency. 

4. Finally, some of you say that even if Hillary is better than Trump, you’re tired of choosing the “lesser of two evils,” and you’re going to vote your conscience by either writing Bernie’s name in, or voting for the Green Party candidate, or not voting at all. I can’t criticize you for voting your conscience, of course. But your conscience should know that a decision not to vote for Hillary is a de facto decision to help Donald Trump

What do you think?… [emphasis added]

From <Daily Kos>

The Reich on the left is right!  Failure to vote blue, even if it’s "voting your conscience" is selling out to the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich.

Vote Blue No Matter Who!!

May 262016

Please Pardon my brevity.  I want to finish in time for a nap before it’s time to go prison.  I won’t return until late tonight, so please  expect no more than a Personal Update tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:01 (average 5:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Me: Our Next First Lady


Since yesterday, I showed you what kind of nekkid first lady Rump Dump would bring to the White House, it’s only fair that I do the same for Hillary.

From Daily Kos: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals began hearing ​a case Tuesday on the legality of the Texas voter ID law. It’s viewed as the most restrictive such law in the nation and the circuit court’s ruling could have impacts well beyond the Lone Star state…

…To prove how twisted it is: If all you have is a college student ID, that’s not acceptable for voting. But if you’re a college student with a gun permit, they will happily give the nod to that and let you cast your ballot.

So for voting in Texas, having a gun is more important than having a brain.

From NY Times: A bitter divide over the Middle East could threaten Democratic Party unity as representatives of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed to upend what they see as the party’s lopsided support of Israel.

Two of the senator’s appointees to the party’s platform drafting committee, Cornel West and James Zogby, on Wednesday denounced Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and said they believed that rank-and-file Democrats no longer hewed to the party’s staunch support of the Israeli government. They said they would try to get their views incorporated into the platform, the party’s statement of core beliefs, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

Bernie’s delegates could not be spot-on!



May 252016

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been relatively quiet this campaign season.   I suspect she thought she could do more to promote progressive positions by remaining neutral  on the Democratic side.  That disappointed me, because Jeff Merkley (D-OR) could sure use some company!  But since Rump Dump Trump became the presumptive Republican Nominee, Liz has been all over him,.

0525elizabeth_warren_rantElizabeth Warren continues to carry her torch for the Democratic Party as both a Massachusetts senator and party super delegate. After engaging in a brutal Twitter war with the Republican “presumptive nominee” Warren is taking on the Republican billionaire every chance she gets.

“Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap,” Warren said Tuesday night at a Washington, D.C., gala for the Center for Popular Democracy.

“What kind of a man does that?” Warren asked rhetorically. “Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, to end up living in a van?”

Progressive Warren warned the crowd that Trump’s economic policies would not only make America less great—they would throw the country into a recession…

From <Alternet>


And I would add: What kind of man does that? A Republican!!

Every Republican in office

Is one Republican too many!

May 252016

I’m running late, because Julie was here.  I invited her to lunch after our session.  I’m fluffed, buffed and stuffed.  Both she and killer dawg like γέεννα chili.  Tomorrow, i should have time to post, before my volunteer session at OSP.  It’s an annual banquet for the second half (> 50) of my guys.  However, I will probably have only an Personal Update on Friday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5::25 (average 5:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Well there you have it…  He thinks he is King of the World and she poses like she in an auditon for a James Bond movie.  The NRA endorsed Trump..  HA.  totally classless and  they call themselves conservative.  Hypocritical  right wing trashed our First Lady because she bared her arms differently.


That’s nothing. It took me 30 seconds to Google this one.


Typical Republican family values.

From Bloomberg: House Speaker Paul Ryan has begun telling confidants that he wants to end his standoff with Donald Trump in part because he’s worried the split has sharpened divisions in the Republican Party, according to two people close to the lawmaker.

Ryan aides say nothing has been decided about a possible Trump endorsement. But Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told a small group of Republican lawmakers Thursday that he expects Ryan to endorse the party’s nominee as early as this week, according to two people in the meeting.

If Ryan were to endorse Trump, the move would end a nearly unprecedented standoff between the House speaker and his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, and remove the biggest remaining obstacle to Trump’s efforts to unite Republicans around his campaign.

What can I say? Lyin’ Ryan and Rump Dump are a match made in hell.

From YouTube: Progressive platform wins big in DNC


This could be a basis for coming back together.



Yes, I know that a Chimp is an Ape, not a Monkey.

May 242016

The 2016 primary season is almost over, and looking back, my most honest reaction is to scratch my head and say ‘WTF?!!?’.  When it’s over, both parties will have chosen the worst presidential nominees in my lifetime.  That said, the presumed Republican nominee is so much worse than the Democratic, that electing her is imperative for the survival of this nation, and perhaps this earth.  John Oliver satirizes ten ways in which the system is broken.


Presidential primaries and caucuses are, according to comedian and explainer John Oliver, “the electoral foreplay that we’ve been engaging in since February which will culminate in the mass ball ejaculations of this summer’s convention.”

He does have a way with words.

"Both parties nearly have their nominee and it looks like the two parties will be choosing between Donald Trump, America’s walking, talking brushfire and Hillary Clinton — the woman who exhibits either too much or too little of every human quality depending on who you ask," Oliver stated. But there’s still a lot that can be improved in our primary and caucus processes.

Oliver explained in one of his more brilliant and clearminded rants:

1. It’s possible for winners to take fewer delegates.

In the Wyoming Democratic Caucus Bernie Sanders won Wyoming but took only 7 delegates to Clinton’s 11. And in Louisiana, when Trump beat Cruz by 3%, “he was upset to find out that Cruz could potentially get as many as 10 more delegates.”

“We have voting booths for the same reason that Friendly’s has restaurant booth – so that we can have relative privacy while we choose from a deeply unappetizing menu," Oliver said.

From <Alternet>

That’s the first of ten. Either watch the video or click through for the other nine.

Not only is he funny, but also, he’s spot on. 

However, I do have to say that the Republican Party deserves Rump Dump Trump.  Starting in the seventies, they have courted, embraced, and provided a platform for an ever-widening assortment of people who hate one group or another, and who endorse violence.  They thought they could control those people, but this time, in their lust for individual power, they fielded seventeen serious presidential candidates.  The most extreme hate mongers all rallied around Rump Dump, and to a lesser extent, TRUS pervert Cruz.  The rest split about half the electoral pie fifteen way, and none survived.

May 242016

I had a rough night last night.  I was awakened by an intermittent sharp stabbing pain in my left ankle, and it remains.  What make it particularly difficult, besides ruining my night’s sleep and my morning nap, is that my left ankle is made of titanium and is about three feet away from me.  On the plus side, I called my medical equipment company and told them to come pick up my O2 tanks and concentrator, because my Pulmonologist told me that he doesn’t think I need them anymore.  I really needed that good news.  My turn for some was overdue.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Think Progress: Climate education in Oregon just took a big step forward.

Last week, the Portland Public Schools board voted to eliminate the use of any textbooks or other materials that are “found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.”

“A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” Bill Bigelow, a former Portland public school teacher, told the Portland Tribune. “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”

In his testimony to the board, Bigelow quoted from the book Physical Science, published by Pearson.

“‘Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming,’” he read. “This is a section that could be written by the Exxon public relations group and it’s being taught in Portland schools.”

Other books have also been found to cast doubt on climate science: A review of sixth-grade textbooks in California, for instance, found that the books “framed climate change as uncertain in the scientific community — both about whether it is occurring as well as about its human-causation.”

No doubt the problem of Republican skience replacing science in many of our nation’s textbooks stems from the influence Texas exerts on the publishers. Kudos to the Portland School Board. Oregon leads the way!

From American Bridge PAC: Donald Trump Profited From Companies He Blasted For Outsourcing

Barf Bag Alert!!


Rump Dump Trump remains Republican in all the ways that count. What he says bears no relationship to what he does.

From NY Times: Palestinians, settlements and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rendered him effectively unwelcome in Washington and toxic to Palestinians. Yet to shore up his coalition in the Israeli Parliament, Mr. Netanyahu has now offered Mr. Lieberman the office of minister of defense — widely considered to be the second most powerful position in the Israeli government, with a critical role in dealing with the United States and the Palestinians.

Mr. Netanyahu may think his political needs are more important than relations with the soon-to-end Obama administration, relations that are already severely strained by the nuclear agreement with Iran. But the administration had at least established a working relationship with Moshe Yaalon, the tough but pragmatic defense minister who resigned once the offer to Mr. Lieberman became known. The timing of this changing of the guard is particularly sensitive because a critical 10-year defense agreement establishing new levels of American military aid for Israel is in the final stages of negotiations.

All US military aid to Israel should be suspended, as long as Bibi the Butcher continues to slaughter Palestinians, while ignoring Israel’s treaty obligation to pursue a two-state solution.



May 242016

I have stayed true to my promise to be good to myself and I have been relaxing this Victoria Day long weekend.  The sinusitus is definitely almost gone!  Woo Hoo!!!  It has been cloudy today with temperatures around 14 C (58 F) and intermittent rain.  This week is another busy one so I'll have to remind myself not to do anything stupid to re-aggravate the sinusitis.  The babies have been napping around me all day, but as soon as I announce "bikkies", they will be fully awake and running downstairs to their food dish.  I can smell my neighbour's bar-be-que, probably fired up for steaks, which is making me hungry.  Chicken and salad for me tonight.  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Short Takes

Daily Beast — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for $120,000 worth of campaign donations from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang. …

Wang, the individual at the center of the investigation, also contributed $2 million to the Clinton Foundation. The investigation is ongoing. 

This investigation along with the SCOTUS decision on gerrymandering in Virginia has brought Virginia into the fore.  It will be interesting to see what happens with the DOJ investigation and how it impacts Democrats in this federal election year.  Also of concern is the perceived influence of Wang Wenliang, a Chinese businessman, on Hillary Clinton with his contribution to the Clinton Foundation.  I hope this does not turn normally blue voters away from the polls in November.

NYTimes — Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees on Wednesday as part of an effort to quell concerns that he would not select conservative jurists.

The unusual move comes as Mr. Trump is looking to unify the Republican Party behind him and win over critics who remain skeptical about his candidacy. While some Republicans who oppose Mr. Trump have considered supporting Hillary Clinton or sitting out the election, he has regularly reminded them that the future of the Supreme Court is at stake.  …

… but Mr. Trump has previously said that he was seeking guidance from conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

Mr. Trump’s selections consisted of six federal appeals court judges appointed by President George W. Bush and five state supreme court justices appointed by Republican governors. All are white, and eight of the 11 are men.

"All are white, and eight of the 11 are men."  Indeed, the future of the Supreme Court is at stake.  A decidedly conservative court would affect generations to come, and not in a positive way.  Along with a Republican White House and Congress, the US will regress socially and economically.

Politico — … President Barack Obama on Monday signed the dissolution of the nearly 50-year embargo on selling arms to Vietnam, ending one of the last vestiges of the Vietnam War.

But what Obama had to say and do about open democracy here was as sparse as the turnout in polling places here just hours before Air Force One landed — despite, of course, government numbers putting nationwide turnout for the National Assembly elections at 98.77 percent.

Suspicious election results don’t usually come together with presidential visits, especially within hours, and especially when the president is arriving with a huge and much desired gift in the form of opening up arms trade.

Hanoi had been pushing Washington for years, as both a point of pride and out of desire for American weapons. The change is potentially huge for American interests, empowering pro-Western forces internally and sending a very charged signal to China, long Vietnam's regional adversary.  …

"I made it clear that the United States does not seek to impose our form of government on Vietnam or any nation … at the same time, we will continue to speak out on human rights.”

It seems that there is a contradiction here . . . selling weapons to Vietnam while at the same time speaking out about human rights.  In a time when the world should be coming together, weapons only serve to divide and destroy.  And the US, like all countries, has troubles with its own human rights record.

ThinkProgress — Donald Trump vowed to get rid of “gun free zones” during the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Louisville Friday, going a step further than his frequent promise to allow guns in schools and military bases.

Despite the fact that many Trump hotels and the convention center where he spoke on Friday are all gun-free zones, the presumptive nominee said he went off his telepromter to promise the NRA members in attendance that he would eliminate gun-free zones altogether. Trump also earned the NRA’s endorsement at the event.

“The Second Amendment is under a threat like never before,” Trump said, repeating the NRA leadership’s claim that Hillary Clinton will dismantle the Second Amendment.  …

This is the most basic human right of all, and Hillary Clinton wants to strip it away,” Trump said. “I’m going to guarantee that law-abiding citizens have the right to self defense, 100 percent.”

Amazing how many times Trump flip-flops on his positions . . . pro choice now pro life; pro gun-free zones now eliminate gun-free zones; irreligious now religious; and there are more.  Trump is an opportunist, changing his stance to suit his goal of becoming POTUS.  I believe the expression is "whatever it takes" or the end justifies the means".

CBC — "I want to be out. I want, want, want, want — please God! — let us be out."

Councillor Yvonne Stevens is campaigning for Britain to vote to leave the European Union.

This is Yvonne Stevens, a local councillor for the U.K. Independence Party or UKIP. Its roots date back to the 1990s and British opposition to the signing of the Maastricht Treaty enshrining key tenets of European integration.

It's also a party that's played heavily on anti-immigrant sentiment, and immigration is one of the key issues motivating those who want Britain to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23. Stevens is no exception.

"Let's say, 'No, let's stop,'" says Stevens, referring to unfettered immigration of EU citizens entitled to live and work in any EU country of their choosing.

The discussion of UK membership in the EU is known as "Brexit".  Whether the UK stays within the EU or opts out, there will be global repercussions.  In another CBCreport, Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has urged the UK to remain within the EU.  He said

"More unity is a path toward greater prosperity. We have a great relationship with a strong and united Europe and certainly hope that that continues," Trudeau said in an interview with Reuters. "Britain is always going to have clout, it's just obviously amplified by its strength as part of the EU."

You can read a short history of the UK's participation in the EU at "Brexit".

My Universe




May 232016

I’m about to leave for my appointment with my pulmonologist.  It’s routine, and I already know the CAT Scan was favorable.  The CAT knows!! Cat face Thursday is probably my last prison-volunteer day until October.  Then, after Memorial Day, medical mayhem kicks in again.  Hugs!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:10 (average 5:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?