If Not for Hate, then Killing for Nothing is Better?

February 12, 2015

By Cole

So Craig Hicks in Chapel Hill, NC, a father of two, shot in the head, execution-style, three college students in his condo complex: a 23-year-old man, his 21-year-old wife of only a few months, and the wife’s visiting 19-year-old sister. All the victims happened to be Muslim, and the women wore traditional Muslim dress. They were murdered inside the condo the newlyweds shared, presumably after letting Hicks in the door.

Hicks later turned himself in to police and his wife made a statement that the murders weren’t because her husband hates Muslims. No, her husband’s beef was over a parking space.

Oh, OK. That sounds SO much more reasonable.

By all appearances, it was a little of both. We may learn that Hicks is a man who pays attention to just enough news or right-wing propaganda to think all Muslims place no value on human life because they allow an Islamic lunatic fringe group (ISIS) to rampage among them in the Middle East, destroying towns and killing mostly other Muslims.

And Hicks has the good fortune to live in a country where any idiot can own a gun and think it’s a good idea to murder THREE people over a parking space because they shouldn’t mind being dead.

There’s plenty of blame to go around here, but I place most of it on a cowardly Congress for allowing the NRA to bully it into continuing to give even the stupidest humans the right to bear arms.

Just like in the Muslim world with ISIS, when is the body count in the U.S. ever going to be high enough for decent people to start demanding strict federal gun control laws to rein in the madness?

I say “federal” because the states can’t handle it. In Virginia, it’s perfectly legal for kids UNDER AGE FOUR to shoot firearms.

So what will we tolerate next, toddler-inflicted fatalities over who gets to ride the swings at daycare?

 


Is Brian Williams Finished?

February 6, 2015

By Cole

So Brian Williams suffers from fantasy flashbacks of getting shot down in a helicopter in Iraq in 2003, and talks as if it really happened. And soldiers who were flying with Williams in safety, and those in the helicopter actually shot down, had no luck ever setting the record straight.

I have nothing against Brian Williams. He can be a funny guy, personally. But as a trusted purveyor of “news,” he’s become hopeless. This “bombshell” revelation that he makes stuff up to stay in the game is unsurprising.

It’s sad if NBC considers Brian Williams “the face” of NBC news. Obviously, NBC, in trying to attract a younger audience that won’t sit still to watch TV news anyway, doesn’t realize it has reduced the Nightly News to a useless pile of lint.

These days, if Williams is having a good night, he’ll report current events for about 12 minutes, until the first commercials, then spout entertainment or human-interest garbage the rest of his time. We defected permanently after his leading the broadcast with football “news” seemed to become habitual. Regular Cats Working readers know why.

When it comes learning what’s happening out there, you can’t beat BBC World (with Katty Kay, naturally). For the American perspective, we now watch Scott Pelley on CBS. His delivery style can dry paint, but at least his priorities seem straighter.

Pelley talks about what’s worth knowing usually for about 18 minutes, through the second commercial break, and sometimes even for the whole half-hour.

In contrast, BBC World on PBS always fills 30 commercial-free minutes with solid world events, giving maybe 3 minutes at the end to a feel-good story.

So, to answer my original question, I’d say yes, Brian Williams is finished. But not for lying about his exploits in Iraq. He’s been irrelevant for quite some time.


What Makes a Comeback Next? Polio?

February 3, 2015

By Adele

Parents who buy in to the nonscience that getting their children vaccinated will turn the little darlings into idiots should be much more concerned about the effects of heredity on brain development.

The last thing they needed was New Jersey governor Chris Christie adding his two cents by saying that, although he had all his kids vaccinated, “parents need to have some measure of choice.”

Granted, parents should be able to choose whether to let the kids have a puppy. Or at what age they’re mature and responsible enough to use the stove, stay home alone, or start dating.

But parents deserve NO “measure of choice” when it comes to letting their kids become walking public health hazards.

Measles, which can be deadly, was virtually extinct in the United States until the “anti-vaccers,” as they’re called, spurred on by “medical experts” like Michele Bachmann and Rand Paul, chose to ignore scientific fact and go exposed.

Pet owners, BY LAW, must vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies. Yet any idiot human today can pop out a child and knowingly let it become a carrier or victim of any number of serious, even fatal, illnesses, including chickenpox, mumps, whooping cough, hepatitis, bacterial meningitis, diphtheria, and polio, to name a few.

It makes absolutely no sense.

President Obama has said all parents should get their kids vaccinated. OK, then he should work with Congress to make vaccinating children the national law.

Leave it to parents to decide whether or not to make their kids wear tags showing they’ve had their shots, just like pet owners do.

This is a nonpartisan matter of homeland security — and the threat is coming from the inside. To safeguard public health, we need to mandate common sense to those who lack it. Who needs foreign terrorists when we can decimate ourselves with our own germs and viruses?

 


One Inch of Snow, Richmond Paralyzed

January 27, 2015

By Cole

It’s noon and I’m sitting on my cozy kitty perch watching snowflakes meander down, even though our local weather gurus said the snowfall would end by 9-10 a.m., tops.

Their inaccuracy aside, I’m kind of embarrassed to be a Southern domestic shorthair today.

Richmond must have really, really, REALLY wanted to be part of the “big snow event” that just whumped the Northeast. When we woke up this morning, local meteorologists on the 3 major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) refused to cede to the national morning shows, which were, presumably, discussing actual blizzard conditions north of here.

Instead, our guys stood steadfastly in front of maps showing puny and fast-dwindling snowstorms across the area, trying to whip us all into a frenzy that there was something life-threatening afoot.

They had reporters in thick parkas and knit caps posted all over town with little rulers, futilely trying to find somewhere to measure an inch of snow.

Even the school districts embraced the madness and canceled school at the last minute so the little darlings could stay curled up with their toasty Xboxes, rather than battle “treacherous conditions” in some feckless pursuit of an education.

Richmond “International” Airport canceled some flights. Morning commuters were urged to stay off the roads unless they absolutely had to go out, so many vacation days were probably called in for nothing.

I say “nothing” because, by 11 a.m., our residential backstreet had no trace of snow. Karen didn’t shovel because the driveway was already clean, too.

People, get a grip. We got less than an inch. OK, maybe an inch in some spots. But a blizzard?

Adele calls this a classic “head up our own ass” moment. There’s nothing more embarrassing than watching fellow Southerners throw a hissy fit over a mere dusting, while those who are seriously butt-deep in snow aren’t whining.


Afterthoughts on “The Taste” Season 3

January 26, 2015

By Karen

Yes, I swore off Anthony Bourdain’s cooking competition, The Taste, after Season 2, but it pulled me back in. But I’m no Bourdainiac like Vanessa, that creepy fan girl on his team who cooked only to please her Tony.

Season 3 wrapped up last week, and I saw it all. Bourdain was a contender, but his last team member, Eric, got knocked out just before the grand finale, leaving it to Ludo and Marcus.

The premise is still ridiculous, but ABC’s pumping the hyperbole, calling Bourdain a “culinary legend” and the show an “international juggernaut.”

Bourdain’s too young to be legendary, but I’ll give him juggernaut. The Taste format is being reproduced worldwide. I hope Tony and Nigella get a nice slice of all that franchising.

What I liked…

  • Bourdain as host. He comes across as reasonable, likable, caring, the perfect foil for tantrum-throwing, trashcan-kicking Ludo.
  • The person who does Tony’s hair deserves an Emmy for confiscating his hair gel and ending the wet, mangy dog look.
  • Marcus Samuelsson. What’s not to like? He’s a cordial, articulate guy with an interesting background who knows his stuff.
  • Gabe as winner. He had the skills and the most favorite spoons. It was a nice touch that the judges allegedly didn’t know the winner themselves until they pushed the last button for their favorite.
  • They let us get to know the cooks better, although I felt like I knew Jen, Ludo’s token home cook, too well. At times I wanted to slap her even more than he did.

What left me wondering…

  • Where’s Bourdain’s wedding ring? He never wore it once, and it’s been missing elsewhere I’ve seen him. I hope it’s just a jiu jitsu thing, now that he’s in training.
  • Why doesn’t Nigella look in a mirror and kill the person who dresses her? In one early episode, her neckline was so low, her bra hung out. By mid-season when she was plumping up, she wore big horizontal stripes. And for the finale, they dressed her in full-on Morticia Addams. Nigella’s got a beautiful face, but she’s voluptuous all over and looks like haggis on legs poured into tight dresses she can hardly walk or sit in.
  • Why is every episode 2 hours long, even after they’re down to a few cooks? Didn’t ABC learn anything from over-milking Dancing with the Stars?

What I still don’t like…

  • Ludo, the once and future douche. He was more dickish than ever.
  • Home cooks pitted against professionals. Once again, Nigella was rendered moot almost immediately because her team of home cooks got creamed. No home cook has ever won.
  • A finale that dragged on for three rounds. Two would have been plenty.

So, I ended this season OK with The Taste, and I’d watch Season 4, although I don’t think it’s renewed yet. But I’ve got a new favorite: Master Chef Junior.

Stay tuned…


ENOUGH About the Footballs Already!

January 23, 2015

By Adele

Here we go again with another big “scandal” in football. The New England Patriots won a game playing with soft balls. Oh, the horror, the stain on humanity!

It was the top story last night on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. It was the top story this morning on the Today Show and CBS This Morning.

If the United States’ shameful absence from the recent mass demonstration in Paris wasn’t a clear enough signal to the world how far up our own asses our heads are these days, then anyone tuning in to what’s passing for “news” here right now would see it.

While Americans agonize over whether beloved Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knew his balls were soft, here’s what else we’re largely ignoring…

  • Netanhayu’s in cahoots with Boehner to make Obama seem out of the loop on foreign relations (as if Obama needs any help)
  • Islamic terrorists are about to behead 2 Japanese hostages
  • Measles are making a comeback because we allow idiot parents to not get their kids vaccinated

Yeah, yeah, I know. “Deflategate,” “Air of Deception,” or whatever cutesy name you want to call it, has big implications for the upcoming — oh, gasp, swoon! — SUPERBOWL!!!

And once again I’m going to remind you that football is a GAME, people. It’s not real. Never has been. Anyone who makes a living off football is one lucky SOB and a leech whose “job” is sucking bucks out of fools willing to pour money into it (i.e., fans).

There’s NOTHING about football that has any business dominating the news — ever.

Fine, anyone who must waste time on sports nonsense, go ahead and hash out with your ilk your burning “issues” on the sports pages of newspapers or in online forums. Discuss it all you want on ESPN. But the mainstream media needs to STOP rubbing the rest of our noses in this crap.

Any country that inflates men in tight little pants who prance around a field carrying soft balls into a national crisis is a country that’s going downhill fast.


Only One Appropriate Response to North Korea

December 19, 2014

By Cole

Does North Korea’s childish hijacking of the satirical comedy, The Interview, remind anybody else of that annual Dr. Seuss holiday special, How the Grinch Stole Christmas?

If you’ll recall, the big, bad Grinch whose heart was two sizes too small crept into the village of Whoville on Christmas Eve and stole all the trees, decorations, and presents.

And what did the Whos do when they woke up robbed? They celebrated Christmas anyway.

As Americans, we need to take a page from the Whos’ playbook.

Granted, The Interview’s best moments may have already been shown in the promo clips before Sony shelved the film. But since when do we let a Kim Jong-un tell us what’s entertainment?

Or cower at a threat from faceless hackers that reads like a satire of itself:

Warning

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.

Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.

The world will be full of fear.

Remember the 11th of September 2001.

We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.

(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)

Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

All the world will denounce the SONY.

More to come…

George Clooney is right. If we let North Korea win this point, where does it end? We might as well shelve the First Amendment.

The movie chains and Sony need to grow a pair and release The Interview on Christmas Day — in theaters, on DVD, and on demand. And movie-goers should make like Whos and watch it — and laugh even at the lame parts.

If Kim Jong-un can’t find it in that shriveled little raisin he calls a heart to laugh with us, then we can laugh at him.

PS to the hackers: If you want Americans to take your threats seriously, learn English.


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