I am Owned by a Cat…

And I find this story quite alarming.  Last Friday in the Wall Street Journal (sorry, behind a paywall so I won’t link here), there was a story about cat owners making their cats vegan.  Now, I think that people who adopt the vegan lifestyle are a bit deranged (since God made us omnivorous for a reason), but I don’t deny them the right to eat whatever they want to, as long as they don’t make me adopt their lifestyle.

But this attempt to make an animal that is designed by God to be an “obligate carnivore” into a vegan sounds to me like animal abuse.  When we got our aristo-cat Kikyo,


we went to a kitten class at our vet’s office for tips about how to best make her a member of our family.  One of the things we learned in that class was that cats do better on an all-wet-food diet, with as much meat protein as possible.  We learned that cats normally do not eat vegetables, and should not be routinely fed vegetables.

That’s why this article alarmed me so much.  Especially, when I read this paragraph in the article:

Hank Rothgerber, a social psychologist at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, conducted a survey that found high levels of guilt among vegan and vegetarian pet owners who feed their pets meat.

So these pet-owners are taking their own guilt out on their pets!  These people are responsible for the well-being of their feline companions, and they are knowingly feeding them food that the animals are NOT designed to be eating if they want to maintain their pets in the best of health!  This sounds like animal-abuse to me!

Coming back to bite them in Seattle

Coming back to bite them in Seattle

On my favorite KOMO Web site today, there is a sad story about a King County worker assaulted, right outside the King County Courthouse in (used-to-be) beautiful Downtown Seattle.  This is so disgusting that I am going to copy some of that story for you here.  This is what the City of Seattle and County of King have become. Please do follow the link and read the whole story.

In September, Kara was assaulted just outside the King County Courthouse after leaving work to head to the train.

Surveillance video shows a man cross the road, mumbling to himself. He steps in front of Kara, she goes around him, and then he hits her in the back of the head, leaving Kara with a concussion.

Those are the facts of the case.  County employee, just walking down the street minding her own business, gets jumped by a street vagrant and injured.

But the worst of it is what happened later, when the good reporters at KOMO News try to find someone in City and County Government to address the issue.  Again, from the article:

It’s been nearly two years since we (of KOMO News) first shared concerns from King County employees about the scene outside the courthouse – people drinking and abusing drugs; people in crisis, shaking and screaming.

Plus, county employees and jurors are being assaulted. Many of them no longer feel safe walking in and out of the courthouse.

King County judges have been asking police to ramp up patrols during high-traffic times for county workers and jurors.

“It’s hard to say the needle has moved much,” Judge Sean O’Donnell told KOMO about conditions outside the courthouse.

“Members of the public deserve to feel safe coming to their courthouse,” Judge Jim Rogers added.

Judge Rogers believes some jurors aren’t even showing up because they’re so concerned about safety.

County council members are also asking for more support from the city.

KOMO spent hours outside the 3rd Avenue entrance to the courthouse, only seeing an occasional Seattle police bicycle patrol despite several emergency calls.

“I want them to come here and experience this,” Kara Armatis said about city leaders.

KOMO brought those concerns to Seattle’s City Hall and received very little response.

Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez chairs the public safety committee. She ignored KOMO’s request for comment.   [Emphasis Mine.]

So it looks to me like the members of the Seattle City Council are walling themselves up in their fancy new headquarters, and positively ignoring the plight of their city residents just outside their doors.  Who gets more consideration in the City of Seattle?  Taxpayers, or criminals and vagrants?  This story answers that question, doesn’t it?

 

A Trip to Hillsdale College, 175 years!

The first week of October, Hubby and I flew to Michigan, to attend the Hillsdale College 175th Anniversary Gala, and the dedication of the new Christ Chapel.  The weather was fine on the flight out, and we got to see Mount Rainier from above.

Mt. Rainier

We arrived in Detroit, picked up the rental car, and headed south toward the town of Hillsdale.  It was a beautiful day for a nice drive.  We stayed in the town of Coldwater, about 30 minutes south of Hillsdale, due to the fact that Gala attendees had taken up ALL of the available hotel rooms for miles around!  We learned that there were about 800 people there, and around 600 on a waiting list, which just blew our minds.  The Hillsdale Campus had never entertained that many people at once.

When we arrived in Coldwater, this retail store caught my eye immediately, and I told Hubby that I just had to get a picture.  What with Dick’s Sporting Goods publicizing their decision to stop selling guns, this was an interesting sign in the front windows.

GunsSoldHere

Our Second Amendment-supporting friends got a kick out of this.

The following morning we were rousted out early, since the first program started at 9:30AM. We grabbed a bite to eat before they finished up the breakfast buffet, and headed over to the Searle Auditorium to hear a presentation on the new Hillsdale Master’s Degree in Classical Education.  Hillsdale is doing their best to encourage real education, not the progressive indoctrination most kids get these days in government schools.  This new program will help train the right kind of teachers.  Next, we heard a great presentation on the School of Government.  Would that all politicians could be educated at Hillsdale!

Lunch that day was quite elaborate (like all the meals at the conference), with carefully-plated dishes that looked very artistic. Are we supposed to eat this?

175thDessert

We were fortunate to meet up with our Ricochet friends Susan and Jerry from Florida.  We got to sit with them at all the meals except the last one.  You can get an idea from this picture of how many people there were at this celebration.

LunchWithSusan-Jerry

And that’s only half the room!  There were almost as many tables behind us!  The lunch speaker was Victor Davis Hanson, whom we had met previously on two Hillsdale Cruises. His topic was Nationalism Good and Bad: Lessons from History, and as usual he spoke without notes.  Mr. Hanson is a veritable treasure, and every word he speaks is golden.

After lunch, we boarded a bus for the short ride over to the Performing Arts building to see a short selection from the college’s presentation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.  The student actors were wonderful, and got a standing ovation from this audience.  I had never actually seen any of the play before, and I was impressed by how well it was done.

We learned that this production included the senior project of one of the students of stage design.  I was very impressed!

MerchantOfVenice-stage

The student cast was also pretty impressive.

MerchantOfVenice-cast

On the last night, we actually went to see the full production, with some other Ricochet friends, and at the end, the cast got standing ovations, cheers, and whistles from the mostly-student audience.  They sure deserved it.

We finished the play and chose to walk back to campus rather than ride the bus.  Smart, because it was only a two-block walk!  The bus had driven a lot farther than that to get there.

We then got back in the car and drove to our hotel to dress for dinner and the evening’s activities.  First there was a reception in a building described as a tent.  Well, it was bigger and more permanent-looking than most tents we’d seen before!

OutsideBigTent

Inside the tent, there was a nice bar setup, and tables of finger food.  The decorations were pretty elaborate, too.

InsideBigTent

And there was a student group providing entertainment.  They were very good!

StringQuartet

After the reception, we went in to dinner.  After the meal, there were two speakers.  First was Dr. Larry Arnn, the President of Hillsdale.  Dr. Arnn is quite a remarkable guy, and everyone loves to hear him speak, on whatever topic.  Tonight’s speech described the 175th Anniversary, and the History and Purpose of Hillsdale College.  Or the Reason for the Season.

Next was everyone’s favorite Rush Guest Host, Mark Steyn, speaking on American Academia.  He got lots of laughs, and some groans, as everyone in this audience is pretty familiar with the horrid state of most modern universities.  After dinner, it was back in the car to the hotel, to rest up for the Big Day.

At 9:30AM the following day, we proceeded to the new Christ Chapel for the formal Dedication Ceremony.  We had seen the outside of the Chapel the previous day, and it looked amazing.

ChristChapelFront

We proceeded inside for the dedication, and we were a bit late, so seated way on the side in the back.  But we did have a view.

ChapelGallery

The first speaker was Dr. Arnn.  But it was the second speaker who inspired everyone, and that was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

JusticeThomasSpeaks

After the Dedication Ceremony was over, everyone left the Chapel, and was standing outside waiting for the call to lunch.  That included Board President Pat Sajak, Dr. Arnn, and some Hillsdale students.

Pat,Larry,pals

With the Chapel empty, we walked back up the stairs, and got some time with the organ master, who described the features of the Fritts Organ, made by a company in Tacoma, Washington, and got to hear some samples of what it could do. Remarkable!

ChapelSanctuary

That’s Hubby in the foreground.  Now, the Organ:

FrittsOrgan

OrganPipes

And get a load of all those switches!  Even the pedals have extra switches.

Switches-organ

Then we all trooped back into lunch and more speakers.  The lunch speaker was Mollie Hemingway, whose talk was about the political divide in America.  We all had extensive experience with that.

After lunch, we went to a presentation on the Barney Charter School Initiative, with which we were already familiar.  See who was there:

Thomas,Steyn,Arnn

That was as close as we got to Justice Thomas.  His Security was everywhere, although this audience was about the most congenial and welcoming he could ever ask for.  After that, it was back in the car to the hotel to change for dinner.

The dinner speakers were Dr. Arnn, Mr. Sajak, and Stephen VanAndel, Vice Chairman of the Board, introducing the new Four Pillars Campaign, to raise zillions of dollars for Hillsdale.  There was an excellent video, of Hillsdale students and faculty describing the school.  I can think of no worthier place to donate than to Hillsdale College.  We are so proud of what they are doing, and we are endowing a scholarship for a music student.

After dinner, it was back to the Chapel, for a concert by the Hillsdale Symphony Orchestra.  They were magnificent!

HillsdaleOrchestra

But the best part of all was the end.  The conductor had promised us a big surprise, and that it was.  The Choir all trooped up to the front, and the orchestra and choir played and sang the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.  I tell you, there were few dry eyes in that audience, as the student musicians and singers praised the Lord in song.

After the concert, there was a reception in the Tent, and music by Hillsdale’s Jazz Band.

NightChapel

JazzBand

And that was the official finish of the 175th Anniversary Gala.  However, we stayed another day, so we could do some shopping and sightseeing.

We parked on the edge of Campus, and we saw an animal that we last saw there in 2010. I don’t think we have these in Washington.  Have you ever seen a black squirrel?  They were very pretty.

BlackSquirrel

We next went to the Grewcock Student Union to do some shopping in the bookstore. And guess who we met on the way?  I just had to get my picture taken with the guy.

RB-Churchill

When we were done with our shopping, we went over to the Music Building, so we could see where our money will be going, when we endow our scholarship. I guess you can tell that this must be the Music Building.

MusicBuilding

It was a school day, so we did hear various ensembles, and a student taking a private violin lesson.

Then we got back into the car and did some sightseeing before returning to our hotel to rest and pack to leave the next day.  We saw a fair amount of fields with already-harvested corn, with the stalks still standing.

MichiganField

This was an excellent trip.  We renewed our commitment to Hillsdale, and we look forward to visiting again soon, before another nine years go by!

 

Grocery Shopping used to be fun for me.

It no longer is, due to the advance of the Bag Scolds.  You used to be able to go to the grocery store, get your cart or basket on the way in, and put your purchases in there.  Then, when you got to the checkout line, you placed your items on the movable belt to be scanned by the checker, and bagged by a high-school student in either “paper or plastic”, according to your wishes.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.  The Progressive Scolds have, in their infinite (un) wisdom, and in the interests of “Saving the Planet”, or “reducing waste”, banned disposable bags.  They initiated the ban on plastic bags, due to their belief that plastic bags invariably end up in the Sacred Oceans as evil Pollution. [just in case anyone wants to know, the US is one of the least polluting sources, far behind the countries of Southeast Asia, and mostly China, which is the largest source of junk in the world’s oceans].  In my town, not only has the City Council BANNED single-use plastic bags, but they have MANDATED a special FEE that grocery stores MUST charge for Paper Bags, too.  All in the interest of making citizens bring their own, reusable bags whenever they go to the grocery store to shop. [as another side note, those reusable bags are proven to harbor all kinds of harmful bacteria and viruses. You do what they say, and you get sick!]

Now, when I reach the self-checkout in my local store, I get out my reusable bag, tap the “I brought my own bag” button on the screen, and put it down in the “bagging area” to receive my purchases.  However, when I do that, a whiny voice of the computer says “Unexpected item in the Bagging Area! Please remove item from the bagging area!”, not remembering that I already told the stupid thing that I Brought My Own Bag! I proceed to scan my own items, and put them in My Own Reusable Bag. When finished, I tap the “Finish and Pay” button.  But no, I still have to answer the  question “How many bags did you use?”, in order that they may CHARGE ME THE BAG FEE.  I have to tap the ZERO button three times before it finally spits out my receipt so I can take my groceries home.

Yes, grocery shopping in a store with zillions of colorful, nutritious items and multifarious choices used to be fun for me.  I have always liked grocery stores.  No more, since it is now simply a chore, being nagged six ways from Sunday to bring my reusable bags.   By the way, NO plastic bag is single-use in my house.  Every one is eventually used as a trash bag, to take out the trash from the second floor of our house (hubby does the downstairs, I do the upstairs every week).  It makes me very angry that those who know better than I, are determined to change my behavior.  Well, they have.  I will never vote for any of them again in future elections.

I WANT MY PLASTIC BAGS BACK! And I have bought 500 single-use “white t-shirt bags”, to use at those grocery stores in my town that have banned single-use bags.  You ban them?  I bring my own!

You have GOT to be kidding! Nope, it’s Seattle

Further insanity from the People’s Republic of Seattle.

First, we have the Seattle Public Schools considering a “Social Justice Math” curriculum requirement.  Yes, that’s a Mandate that K-12 teachers in the Seattle Public Schools teach Math with a Social Justice slant.  (I urge my readers to click on that article-it will make you want to scream). All the way through from elementary to high school.  This would be laughable, if it weren’t so dangerous.  [A big Hat Tip to the Washington Free Beacon which published this article] The poor children of Seattle have been indoctrinated with Progressive ideology for 40 years now, and you can see it in the horrible test scores and shrinking graduation rates.  Seattle students have been indoctrinated with White Privilege garbage for years, and now they want to teach Progressive math.  It’s a wonder any Seattle student can get a job at all, with their useless “knowledge” curricula.  This is going to make it even worse.  And the Radical Environmentalism taught in what pass for Seattle schools, is having another effect.

That would be the new Heating Oil Tax due to take effect next summer.  Those in Seattle with old heating-oil tanks (probably many in older, sometimes historic, homes, which abound in the city), will be forced to dig them up, dispose of them, and buy a new furnace that uses another source of energy.  That is many thousands of dollars’ worth of work needed, even before factoring in the high cost of a new furnace!  And I can just see it now, the five companies in the area who specialize in this kind of work will be booked solid for years, thus denying many families the ability to get the work done, even if they can afford it!

“Tax increases on fuel, such as Seattle’s tax, penalizes families and households who can ill afford the latest and greatest efficient home heating systems,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy” told the news organization.  The city says the poor will be subsidized for this work, meaning those who are not quite poor will be paying for their neighbors to get new furnaces, while also shelling out the big bucks for their own new furnace and oil-tank disposal.

And Mayor Jenny Durkan will just go on, in her nice little enclave, totally unaware of how the citizens of her city are being buried in costs that just pile up higher and higher with each Environmental Wacko mandate.

I find this thoroughly disgusting, and just two more reasons to stay the hell out of Seattle.

FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY!!!

FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY!!!

HK-USFlag

Stand with, and support the Brave Hong Kongers demonstrating, at much personal risk, in the streets of their City, for months now.  Every demonstrator is taking his or her life in their hands to do this.  Would we have such courage if we were faced with the Heavy Hand of the Chinese Communist Party?

We here in the United States of America should count our blessings, and do our best to ensure that the Democrat Party does not secure absolute power again.  If they do, this might be necessary for us.

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc, Seattle?

That phrase is commonly called a fallacy (after this, thus because of this), but you can judge this instance for yourself, with a couple of stories from KOMO-Seattle.

First, there is this story about the low morale at the Seattle Police Department.  In recent years, there has been an increase in low-level street crime, and many cases of neighborhood-dwellers who shout and jeer at police officers while they are trying to do their job.  The incidents in Ferguson, Missouri and the rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement have led to distrust of the police, and the feeling in some communities that the police do not serve them, but are a threat.  The city government has not dealt well with the rise of homeless and drug-dealing people living in broken-down, unsightly RVs in city neighborhoods, among other things. Some neighborhoods have to hire their own private security, when the City ignores their plight.

Then, there is this story, of how one local company has responded to the conditions above.  Street Crime Forces Environmentally-conscious company to Flee Seattle.  Seattle prides itself on being very “green”, funding companies such as this one, banning those evil plastic bags and plastic straws, and building street-narrowing bike and bus lanes where automobiles are not allowed.

In these cases, Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc is NOT a fallacy, but very true.