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zuul's Journal
zuul's Journal
November 16, 2015

Need help naming a BLIND FERAL KITTEN I adopted

The kitten was born with a condition called Microphthalmia, which apparently is Latin for ‘small eyes’. She has abnormally small eye sockets and is completely blind. A friend of mine feeds the feral cats in her neighborhood. The little blind kitten, along with her sister and Mother, showed up a few months ago. Blind kitty was starting to run around on her own and getting dangerously close to the road. So my friend trapped the blind one, followed by the mother and sister about a week later. My friend was looking for a permanent home for at least the blind kitten, but I thought it would be best if she had her sister with her. All three (mother, who is about a year old, and the two female kittens, now about 3 months old) are living in my house, along with my cranky old man cat. I’ve had the 3 girls for about a month and the kittens have adjusted well to domesticated life; the mother, not so much.

Anyone have a good idea for names for the kittens? My family has suggested ‘Keller’ for the blind one (Helen is too conservative for such a cute kitten). My daughter wants to name the blind one ‘Stevie’, as in Wonder. I need names for both kittens actually. The mother will probably be returned to my friend’s neighborhood after the winter has passed. Several of her siblings are still there and my friend feeds them daily. I don’t think the mother will ever adjust to living inside.



April 19, 2015

When her time comes, my lovely mother wants me to write a 'funny' obit for her

She is in her 80's and in very good health, but she recently told me to start preparing a humorous obit for her, for when her time comes, hopefully in a couple of decades.

But here's the thing: She is very sweet, kind, considerate and loving, and she has a good sense of humor. But she doesn't really have any characteristics that one could make fun of, even in jest. We laugh together all the time, but how can one make jokes about someone who is so kind and thoughtful?

I suppose I could write some jokes about other family members and their follies, and believe me, there are many, but I can't think of a single, solitary, funny thing to write about my mom. She is just one of those lovely people who never has a mean thing to say about another being. And let's face it, most jokes are about the follies of humans. What to do?

My inclination is, when she passes, to host a block party with lots of good southern food and alcohol, and let everyone tell their own stories about my mom. I have no doubt that they will all be fond memories of a kind, wonderful woman.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks! - Fleur

April 11, 2015

I'm watching 'Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief' . . .

on HBO. I was aware of the basic premise of Scientology, some of the history, and the controversy surrounding it, before watching this flick, but WTF?!?

The lengths to which these nutjobs will go to stop any negative publicity is astounding!

Thank DOG I am an atheist!!!

November 9, 2014

Link to recent DU post regarding millennial who decided not to vote?

Does anyone have a link to a recent post by a DUer regarding an online discussion with a young man who refused to vote? I think it was a Facebook conversation and the discussion entries were chronicled as 'me' and 'them'. I was reading this post on my phone, didn't sign in, and was therefore unable to bookmark it. I've been trying to find it today with no luck. Thanks! - Lisa

April 2, 2014

Why is it not yet Friday? Shit!

Shit! . . . I am so sleep deprived, reeling from migraines, achy from fibromyalgia, etc., that I can't see straight. Seriously, I could not focus my eyes properly at work all day today.

Why is it only Wednesday? Or is it Tuesday? Holy Fuck!!! It's just freaking Tuesday! Somebody put me out of my misery, please!

Or at least post some cute cat pics to ease my mind, dammit! No dog stuff . . . felines only. Dogs stink and exacerbate my migraines . . . and yes, I can smell dogs through the intertubes. Don't even try.

February 14, 2014

I don't want to use pay pal!

I'm trying to renew my subscription but when I select 'one time payment' I am automatically directed to a page for pay pal. I don't want to use pay pal, I want to pay by credit card. What gives?

October 27, 2013

Curing Mississippi's blues with Iranian care?


NBC News / NBC News, An American doctor from Mississippi searched far and wide for solutions to his state’s endemic health problems.

Now, after years of practicing what he calls “health diplomacy,” Dr. James Miller, director of Oxford International Development Group in Mississippi, thinks he may have found some solutions in what may seem like an unlikely place: Iran.

“When you look at health disparities and conditions of the Delta region of Mississippi, and the systemic failures of providing low-cost access to an impoverished region, this has led to health… conditions basically on the same level of developing countries,” Miller said recently in Tehran. “Infant mortality rates in the Delta region in some instances are the same as places like Syria or the Gaza Strip – in the heart of the United States – I was shocked.”

Miller began looking around the globe for successful systems of health care delivery that might be adaptable to Mississippi. Iran’s system stuck out – particularly since it faces similar challenges like a lack of money and medical personnel, as well as vast rural distances and limited public transportation. Mississippi ranks almost dead last in many national health surveys; for instance it tied Louisiana for 49th out of 50th place in America’s Health Rankings 2012 report by United Health Foundation. With challenges like high levels of infant mortality, low birth weight infants, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and obesity – the Mississippi Delta area in particular is on par with many developing countries.

Iran has developed an integrated health system. The foundation of the system is a network of community health houses staffed by locals who create a cultural competency and affinity with the people they are serving.

“I looked at the numbers of what they were achieving and infant mortality dropped by 70 percent, health disparities between urban and rural populations disappeared and they provide care to the farthest villages in rural Iran. To me this was a remarkable achievement,” said Miller.

In Iran’s health care system, remote village health houses are the first line of defense, staffed by villagers known as behvarzes.

The behvarzes are trained to provide basic health services for villages of up to 1,500 people who live within an hour's walking distance. Male behvarzes take care of sanitation, water testing and environmental projects. The women concentrate on child and maternal health, family planning, vaccinations and tracking each family’s births, deaths and medical histories. There are currently about 17,000 health houses across the country serving 23 million rural Iranians. Dr. James Miller, director of Oxford International Development Group in Mississippi, during his recent visit to Tehran, Iran. Miller explained why he thinks the Iranian system is so successful: “It provides easy access to primary health care services.”

He described how even in a dense urban area of Tehran, the health centers fit right into its surroundings. “Located in the middle of a densely crowded block of apartments and shops – with cars parked so tightly packed it would be a miracle to maneuver one out again – the health post is well integrated into the community it serves. Just as the health houses are in the smaller rural towns and villages.” Miller has been working on the project for years, but it has been a slow process because the political climate in the U.S and Iran has not been conducive to cooperation. But, now with the election of President Hassan Rouhani, and President Barack Obama’s diplomatic efforts, Miller said things have started to move quickly.

“Since the election of Rouhani everything has gone into super-overdrive in [terms of] getting things organized,” said Miller. He added that he has sensed a palpable difference during his time in Iran this month.

“Although my experiences in Iran have always been positive and I've found the people warm, open, friendly, and generous, this trip has revealed something more – a strong feeling of hope that relations between the U.S. and their country will improve and the animosity coming from both sides will end very soon.” Miller said there is a great deal of mutual respect between his Iranian and American colleagues.

“Health diplomacy has been going on for many years, it’s a foundation to build on. Colleagues of mine were frightened to come to Iran, but once here, people were so warm and generous it’s like all those misconceptions just flowed away,” said Miller. “The people of Iran and America are natural friends and we can collaborate and generate a lot of good things together.”

June 30, 2013

Zimmerman Trial - Why do cops/analysts not know what actually happened?

Why does forensic information NOT explain where both GZ and TM were when Z pulled the trigger? Between blood spatter analysis, the trajectory of the bullet, gunshot residue, etc., one would think law enforcement would have at least a pretty decent idea of what actually happened, who was on top, how far away the gun was when fired, etc. Or has this been covered and I just missed it?

Before anyone accuses me of watching too much tv, I don't watch any crime scene dramas. None. Nada. Zilch. I read a lot and I've seen a few movies that touch on crime scene analysis, but I never watch any tv shows about the subject. From what I've heard, those shows are bullshit and not much based on reality.

So what gives? From what I have read about the subject, the detectives, the coroner and the crime scene analysts can usually come up with at least a good working theory about what happened. Why is there no conclusive idea from law enforcement about how it went down?

Did the cops do a shitty job of the investigation? White guy kills black teenager . . . case closed?

May 14, 2013

The Vicious New Bank Shakedown That Could Seriously Ruin Your Life

by Lynn Stuart Parramore, posted on Alternet, May 12, 2013:

JPMorgan Chase and other big banks are accused of running a frightening scam collecting on credit card debt.

It’s hard to imagine a more loathsome figure than the mob debt collector, a.k.a the “hired muscle.” It was this bruiser’s job to get the money owed to the Boss, by whatever methods he saw fit. That might include coming to your house in the dead of night to break your kneecaps. Whatever it took. The collector was promised a cut of that money, and he was going to get it.

Gangsta-style big banks have taken up where this character left off. They may not send a guy to break your kneecaps, but they are working in the shadows, chasing down debts from credit cards using methods that are both fraudulent and unlawful. They do this whether you actually owe the money or not.

Here’s the skinny: After widespread outrage over the big banks’ last crime wave against the American consumer – the “robo-signing” scam in which homeowners were hustled out of their houses by banks that sent fraudulent paperwork through the courts, they are at it again. This time, banksters are accused of helping debt collectors pursue faulty judgments against credit card customers by various dirty tricks that include – surprise! – robo-signing.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who filed suit against JPMorgan Chase last Thursday, says that from January 2008 to April 2011 -- just as people were reeling from the Wall Street-driven financial crisis -- the megabank unleashed over 100,000 lawsuits against consumers over uncollected credit-card debt in the state of California alone. That includes 469 lawsuits in a single day. Now, it usually takes time and money to pursue lawsuits through the court system. So how in the world did Chase keep up this breakneck pace? The lawsuit claims that the bank took a number of little shortcuts, like robo-signing, in which bank employees produce sworn documents and other legal filings without bothering to check bank records or examine cases for accuracy.

Another nasty trick Chase is accused of deploying is what’s known, appropriately, as “sewer service.” This means that Chase failed to properly serve notice of debt collection lawsuits against consumers (it dumped the notices “in the sewer”), but then lied and said it did. This means, you, as a consumer, have no idea that a lawsuit has been launched against you. So here’s what happens: you get a default judgment that automatically favors the debt collector. The credit card company can then garnish your wages or freeze your bank account to get the money it says you owe. And you might not even owe it! Banks are sometimes chasing down consumers who have already paid their debts. Other times they are jacking up the size of the debts by adding bogus fees and interest costs.

All of this, of course, is unlawful. But it’s happening on a massive scale.

Last summer, a civil court judge in Brooklyn who presides over as many as 100 credit card cases a day told the New York Times that a whopping 90 percent of the credit card lawsuits that came across his desk were flawed and could not prove that a person owed the debt. Here’s the kicker: The errors in credit card suits often go undetected because the borrowers usually don’t show up in court to defend themselves (how can they, if they don’t know the suit has been filed?). As a result, an estimated 95 percent of lawsuits result in default judgments in favor of lenders.

The really chilling message sent in this new plot to squeeze cash out of hard-pressed Americans is that the big banks are completely undaunted by their exposure in the foreclosure robo-signing scam. Whatever penalties or bad publicity they have received have not restrained them one iota from pulling the exact same fraud again on hapless consumers. Neither has the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which now hangs in limbo with the endlessly delayed confirmation of Richard Cordray as head. The CFPB knows what’s going on, and it sent a friendly little note to Congress saying that “we are concerned about the system-wide problems in the debt collection market…and we want to see good practices come to dominate the market, including improved data integrity.” Well, golly, that’s reassuring.

April 20, 2013

'Reefer Madness', the movie . . .

starting right now on Showtime 2.

I forgot that this piece of propaganda existed . . . saving it on DVR for my grandchildren, lest anyone forget!

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