Friday, October 24, 2014
We cats know it drives our Canadian friends crazy when we say stuff like this. But events in Ottawa this week really proved the meme that folks from north of the 49th parallel are... nice.
Well, if not "nice," at least of a higher caliber than the rest of humanity. Here's how we know:
As cable news began covering the attack on Parliament, the first refrains we heard from Canadian politicians and pundits were a far cry from the chest-thumping you'd get from American talking heads: "We are not going to become a security state." "We value our openness." "We have no idea if this guy is a terrorist or not." "Let's not lose our perspective." Their tone was not only refreshing but, we think, caused the anchors interviewing them to behave better than they intended.
Canadian leaders jumped to draw a distinction between a possible act of terrorism and the Muslim faith. "Canadians know acts...committed in the name of Islam are an aberration," said Justin Trudeau. "Mutual respect and admiration will help to prevent the influence of distorted ideological propaganda posing as religion."
Ottawa police instantly asked leaders of the local Muslim community to report any hate crimes. (So far, we've heard of none.)
The sergeant-at-arms who killed the shooter in the Parliament building had never exchanged gunfire with anyone before — even after a 29-year career in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Passers-by who heard the shots at the War Memorial ran toward the incident, not away from it, to help Corporal Nathan Cirillo. They worked seamlessly as a team to try to save him — because to a person, each one of them had CPR training. What are the chances of that?
Corporal Cirillo appears to have been a lovely young man who rescued homeless puppies. (Sure beats joining Blackwater and slaughtering Iraqi civilians.) And, goodness gracious, he also liked cats.
Yep, pretty impressive, Canada. Jack Layton was right: Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. We cats PURR.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
We cats admit it: This week has belonged to dogs, not us.
It started silly and fun, with a visit to Fala at the FDR memorial, and pups presiding on the Supreme Court. But between the hard-working police officers who took down last night's newest White House fence jumper, and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's bereft pets, the mood has changed.
So we cats salute our pals the dogs, and PURR in their direction. As for you humans, we just have one wish: that you stop shooting each other someday.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
One of the best things about Canada's War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown is that they're smack in the middle of a busy Ottawa street, just steps from Parliament Hill.
There's a friendly Irish pub on the next corner. Cars and buses rumble by. People eat lunch on nearby benches. And on Canada Day, after the parades and festivities, hundreds of people leave flags on the tomb in silent tribute.
We cats are distressed to think that thanks to some lamebrain from Laval, this could change.
Unlike the occupant of the tomb, the Canadian soldier lost at the War Memorial today is known. We cats don't presume to speak for him. But we hope that in spite of everything that's happened, he would be among the first to urge Ottawa to please leave things as they are.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
We cats have been thinking about the Republicans' euphoria leading up to the 2012 election. They were so sure they were going to win that one, weren't they? It wasn't until later that we all found out that not just Team Willard but Romneybots from sea to shining sea had been living in a bad-poll bubble of bliss.
Thanks in part to that Republican embarrassment, we Democratic cats have sworn that no matter how dicey things look, we will never succumb to bubble-itis. So you won't find us pretending that things are rosy electorally when they're not.
At the same time, though, being superior beings, we tend to recall stuff that the highly paid amnesiacs in the political media like to forget.
Such as: Remember how four years ago — after that shocking (to them) loss to Obama-Biden — Republicans licked their wounds by trumpeting their wins in the Governors races? (They did — just click here.) Their basic message? Never mind that Willard won't be moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and that our idiotic Senatorial candidates self-destructed in huge, huge ways. We have the states!
Fast-forward to today. There's no Presidential race, of course, and pundithead salivating over a Republican Senate is in full swing. But, hey — what's up with those Govs?
Funny you should ask. We cats predict that whatever happens with the Senate this year, Democrats will move into the Governors' mansions in Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont — and, yes, in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin.
And should those predictions come to pass, will anyone in the media (or anywhere else) recall the GOP's consoling spin from 2012 — and apply it to Democrats in 2014?
We doubt it. It's maddening, but that's life in the bubble-filled, short-term-memory world of American politics. We cats HISS (but in the end, we'll probably PURR).
Monday, October 20, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
We cats have been away from our computer for a couple of days, but now that we've gotten back for a look at the headlines, we're amazed to see the news that we've missed.
For example, Republicans are apparently now in full politicize-Ebola mode. After all, why not? It's merely a terrible disease that nearly all Americans have absolutely no risk of contracting, and which nobody worried about as long as it was only killing black people in Africa.
And of course the GOP has also cared not a bit about the shrinking research budgets over at the National Institutes of Health. In fact, they presided over the bulk of them. But then, they're the party that doesn't believe in science, aren't they?
We cats are appalled. The Republicans' behavior is not leadership. It's exploitation. We think it's time for somebody to start quoting a famous Inaugural Address from March 1933.
Meanwhile, everybody on the right who's stoking Ebola fears should know that a lot of folks aren't buying it — even people on the "Carnival scare ship" whose fellow passenger turned out to be virus-free. "We weren't worried," one woman said. "We ended up just hanging out and enjoying the rest of the trip." We cats salute that passenger and PURR.
(IMAGE: The FDR Memorial in Washington, which we visited today. While we kinda wish that the sole Presidential pet to be immortalized in an official sculpture had been a cat, we're still glad it's Fala.)
Thursday, October 16, 2014
So Rick Scott was almost a no-show at last night's Florida gubernatorial debate because Charlie Crist had a fan under his lectern. Seems that Charlie, with a long history of campaigning in the hot and humid Sunshine State, likes to travel with fans, and Scott's team tried to forbid one in its pre-debate agreement.
We don't understand why Rick Scott would make such a big deal out of having a fan. It's not cheating. (Not like writing answers on your hand.) But aside from some of the more creative explanations for Scott's behavior, we cats had a thought.
The answer is clearly that Scott is a control freak and stickler for details. Like when he was CEO of Columbia/HCA and the company was committing $1.7 billion in Medicare fraud. Whoops!
P.S.: When will the media mention that a half-dozen Democrats have fought back from three to six points down to even or ahead in the polls? Crist is one. Mary Burke in Wisconsin is another. And Bruce Braley in Iowa and Michelle Nunn in Georgia, too.
Where's the analysis, guys? Sounds like an interesting trend to us. We cats PURR and HISS at the same time.
(IMAGE: Charlie waited. Rick blinked.)