Haggar the Zookeeper

Bengt Holst is having a bad month. The death threats, the incessant media requests… you kill one giraffe, and the world goes absolutely apeshit.

I like animals. I willingly share a house with at least two, of whom I am aware at least. I understand why people are mad about this. But seriously. People need to sit down, shut the fuck up, and listen: Continue reading


The most dangerous pet in the world…

This is my cat, Pollux:


Let not the little pink nose and the googly eyes fool you: he’s a ticking time bomb.

In a three-year retrospective study published in the February issue of The Journal of Hand Surgery, researchers reviewed records of 193 people who came to Mayo Clinic Hospital with cat bites to the hand.

Thirty-six victims were immediately admitted to the hospital, where they stayed an average of three days. Another 154 were treated with oral antibiotics as outpatients, although 21 of them eventually had to be hospitalized. Complications included nerve involvement, abscesses and loss of joint mobility.

While canine bites are more common and more immediately traumatic, as dogs are able to tear flesh, and in some cases break bone, feline bites pose a much greater risk of infection. The cat’s narrow teeth create cavities in skin, muscle and tendon that are not easily cleaned.

The most common cause of infection was Pasteurella multocida, an aggressive bacterium found in the mouths of many animals and up to 90 percent of healthy cats. Amoxicillin is commonly used to treat it.

“Redness, swelling, increasing pain, difficulty in moving the hand and drainage from the wound are all signs that there may be an infection and that treatment should be sought,” said the senior author of the study, Dr. Brian T. Carlsen, a hand surgeon at the Mayo Clinic.

“The tendon sheaths and joints are superficial in the hand, and cat bites penetrate easily, seeding those spaces with the germ, ” he added. “Once it’s in there, it can grow quite rapidly in fluid-filled spaces that don’t have blood circulation, and surgery is often required. That’s an important message: don’t ignore a cat bite.”

Looks like I’ll be sleeping with one eye open tonight…

Gay conversion therapy false advertising?

Writing for The New York Times, “third year law student” Jacob M. Vitter provided to one and all his solution to ending gay conversion therapy for good:

Despite the nearly universal consensus — including the professional associations that represent America’s pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, school counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists — that “conversion” or “reparative” therapy is ineffective, harmful or both, its practitioners, many of them affiliated with religious groups, continue to advertise messages like “change is possible.”

Under commercial law, this is the very definition of a deceptive trade practice. Victims could sue practitioners for damages in state courts. With support from the Southern Poverty Law Center, several former patients did just that in 2012, seeking damages under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act from an “ex-gay” group called Jonah (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing). The plaintiffs cited Jonah’s false promise that it could “cure” their homosexuality — for which it charged $100 per individual therapy session. Last July, a state judge refused Jonah’s request to throw out the case, which could soon go to trial.

Lawsuits? Sounds like a conflict of interest to me…

If suggesting the mere possibility of results in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary is enough to justify a false advertising suit, then what’s stopping skeptics from suing the snot of out every acupuncturist, chiropractor, and Mona Vie peddler in the lower 48? Couldn’t we do the same to preachers who promote prosperity doctrine, or the power of prayer? Can’t the same rationale apply to any peddler of woo?



Ted Cruz is an asshole

It isn’t often I extend a congratulatory hand to the likes of Texas Senator John Cornyn. But today is a special day, and everyone — left, right or middle — should be prostrating themselves before Cornyn, thanking their lucky stars for his intestinal fortitude. If it weren’t for him, the United States government would have defaulted for the first time in history.

But it didn’t. The debt limit was raised, we paid the bills, and it is back to business as usual. All because Senator John Cornyn of Texas, his grim face belying the apoplectic rage brewing beneath his brow, changed his vote from “no” to “yes”.

Virtually no one — Democrat or Republican — wants the United States to default, so raising the debt limit is par for the course. It should have been an easy vote. With a slim majority in the Senate, the Democrats could all vote “YES” and pass the bill, even with every Republican voting “NO”, if only to placate their austerity-pushing bases. Everyone could have walked away happy. Continue reading

Sportscaster schools NFL bigots

I like sports, but not enough to endure the endless droll monotony of sports journalism, so I have no idea who Dale  Hansen is.

But I like him, and maybe you will too.


You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You’re the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy’s welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they’re welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We’re comfortable with that.
You love another man? Well, now you’ve gone too far!


That’ll do, Mr. Hansen.


Republican thugs threaten VW

The hypocrisy of Republicans knows no bounds.

Here’s the skinny:

  • Workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant want to join the United Automobile Worker’s Union.
  • Plant management, desiring to implement a Germanic “worker’s council” to facilitate collaboration between white-collar and blue-collar workers, doesn’t object.
  • State Republicans threaten to take away financial incentives if VW doesn’t block the move.

State Senator Bo Watson, who represents a suburb of Chattanooga, warned on Monday that if VW’s workers voted to embrace the U.A.W., the Republican-controlled Legislature might vote against approving future incentives to help the plant expand.


“The members of the Tennessee Senate will not view unionization as in the best interest of Tennessee,” Mr. Watson said at a news conference. He added that a pro-U.A.W. vote would make it “exponentially more challenging” for the legislature to approve future subsidies.


A loss of such incentives, industry analysts say, could persuade Volkswagen to award production of a new S.U.V. to its plant in Mexico instead of to the Chattanooga plant, which currently assembles the Passat.


So much for the “free market”. So much for “individual liberty”. Clearly, politics trumps ideology… so much that state Republicans would rather commit economic seppuku than give U.A.W. an ounce of influence in Tennessee.


Rant: Good call, Mr. Inslee

For a nation of misanthropes, we certainly put a lot of faith in juries. Most of us wouldn’t trust twelve complete strangers to give us gardening advice, but a majority seems to take no issue with them assigning guilt and doling out punishment. Not me. If I’m ever accused of a crime, there’s a good chance I’ll stand before the judgement of six Republicans, three Evangelicals, two anti-vaccination nuts, and some loony tune who wears a tin foil hat and thinks the judge is a skin-changing reptile from the planet Klaatu. It may be the best system we know of, but I’ll be fucked sideways with a morningstar before I’d willingly let any of these clowns decide my ultimate fate.

But I don’t have much choice in the matter. We, as a country, have a hardon for the death penalty. We love it so much, we’re willing to keep it on the books even when we know for a fact innocent people are going to wind up on the chopping block. Even when we know those innocent people could be us. And in our usual clumsy way, we rationalize this shit in much the same manner we rationalize dropping daisy cutters on residential neighborhoods: “Oh, well. If you want an omelette, you have to break a few eggs.” Continue reading

Let’s get ready to bumble

There are some days I wish MTV’s old claymation standby Celebrity Death Match was a real thing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Hanson and the Jonas Brothers claw each other to bloody ribbons over the ecstatic jeering of a live audience? Sure sounds like entertainment to me.

But George Zimmerman versus DMX?

I’m not sold on this one. The whole point of a brawl is to watch two grown men pound each other into hamburger over the course of an hour or so, and Zimmerman’s Pillsbury Doughboy-like physique simply isn’t built for that kind of endurance. But George has never been one to let his obvious limitations inhibit his undeservedly elevated opinion of himself. Apparently, this boxing thing was his idea.

CNN reports:

Zimmerman said the celebrity boxing match was his idea. Boxing was his hobby, he told Radar Online last month, even prior to the “incident.”

The incident, of course, is the February 2012 encounter in which he shot dead an unarmed Trayvon Martin, 17. He stood trial for murder, but was acquitted.

“Prior to the incident, I was actually going to the gym for weight loss and doing boxing-type training for weight loss,” he told Radar.

“A mutual friend put me in contact with Damon [Damon Feldman of Celebrity Boxing] and provided me with an opportunity and motivation to get back in shape and continue with my weight loss goals and also be able to help a charity out.”

It could also give Zimmerman the opportunity and motivation to shoot another unarmed black man. Given X has already threatened to “beat the fuck out of” Zimmerman, and then whip his “dick out and piss on him… right in his motherfucking face”, I’d say Zimmerman actually stands a pretty good chance of a second acquittal… assuming he’s tried in Florida, of course.

An Advertising Axiom

Cute as they are, and while a welcome relief from the usual alpha male macho bullshit typical of beer commercials, no amount of Clydesdale horses and golden retriever puppies traipsing in tandem will take away the wretched, unloving, hydrous flavor of Budweiser. If Anheuser-Busch wants to sell me a beer, all they need to do is brew one worth drinking.