Sunday, March 9, 2014

RE: Smithsonian Study suggesting the Eradication of all Feral Cats

RE: The Smithsonian study on feral cat colonies.

There are a few things you need to know before you start exterminating feral cats and it has to do with Scientific Studies which sound so very accurate and pristine. They are neither and Scientific Method, though the holy grail of science, is fraught with the same problems any theory has when you try to practically apply it. It simply doesn't work a lot of the time.

The number one problem with Scientific Method and Studies is their scope. By definition when you start a study, you create a statement of purpose which is to prove let's say a certain substance is a good moisturizer. You then choose a representative number of subjects from YOUR available pool. This is very important because if you are doing the study in Iowa, your pool is liable to be more limited than in Miami and have very different previous exposures to sun and weather. Right there you can see how the study is going south, no pun intended, fast. You then have to balance the study, and that is an art that most scientists do not excel at that makes or breaks the study, because if it is not balanced between the test group and the placebo group, you have just skewed the study toward a single conclusion.

The secondary problem with these studies is once begun (paid for) they cannot be altered. So, if while studying how effective this substance is as a moisturizer, you happen to notice it cures skin cancer, no where in the documentation or final study can you make a statement of any kind saying it seems to cure skin cancer. That is when it becomes more diabolical. You would then have to take the part of the study which indicates it cures skin cancer (and cannot be published in the study) to present for another study but your study belongs to the company who PAID for it so you have to get their permission. Are you beginning to see a problem? If they stand to make more money using this as a moisturizer, why would they allow this substance to become a cure for skin cancer that now requires a doctor and prescription and a complete loss of the money they put into the first study and their new product. You work for them and you get paid by them and they own your work. Not only that, but in the great world of pure science it is publish or perish and whether you get published or not is dependent on whether you agree with the University or Museum's stance on a particular issue and whether you go along with the prevailing attitude because in the short, no study happens without money and you don't get money unless you agree with the people (those wonderful philanthropists like the Koch brothers) giving the money out for grants. The last thing you want to do is publish or do a study that offends your big donors over in the sports department.

Now let me move to the Smithsonian study which is badly skewed. I love all animals even rats. They are very intelligence, social creatures with a history of disease and destruction all the way back to black death in Europe and throughout Africa and Asia. I bring them up because rats are not native to North America and neither are house cats. Neither is your common house mouse native to North America. Both of these rodents cause millions of dollars in damage and cause disease. Both rats and the house mouse, were imported and the common house cat is their biggest predator. Both of these rodents are capable of living outside, so they are not just found in a dirty house. Quite the contrary, they push out the native species of mice, the most common being the white footed deer mouse from their natural habitat.

You may not recognize the white footed deer mouse but it has gotten a lot of press lately. It is only carrier of hantavirus identified so far.

In mid-1993, the deer mouse (P. maniculatus) was first implicated as a potential reservoir of a type of hantavirus responsible for an adult respiratory distress syndrome, leading to several deaths in the Four Corners area of the United States. Subsequent isolations of the virus thought responsible for this illness have been made from several Western states. The source of the disease is thought to be through human contact with urine, feces, or saliva from infected rodents.”

The white footed deer mouse has moved into the house mouse category and proves to be a bit more destructive as they really do eat anything.

This study was designed to focus on songbirds alone and not the other species that feral cats predate (eat).

So let's look at your songbirds, many of which are also invasive species introduced to North America that push out the native birds that the Audubon society will scream their lungs out about the feral cats eating but fail to mention who and what is taking over their territory, pushing then into areas they are not able to live in and making them easy prey. Let me just give you a reference from a government study which if you read the whole thing will have you wondering just how many “native” birds are left.

Between 1872 and 1874, the Cincinnati Acclimatization Society spent $9,000.00 (a small fortune at that time) to set 20 species and 3,000 individual song birds loose. Henry Ford set 400 to 500 European song birds free on his estate in Dearborn, MI in April of 1913 but because it was a private estate, no data is available. The study is available at and you can skip to page 49 for the songbirds. You might want to peruse the game bird section which is the first 48 pages.

The domestic feral cat was and is the main predator of both the introduced rat and mouse and the song birds. Both the rats/mice and songbirds are decimating the native populations of mice and songbirds. Are you beginning to see what the study did not cover?

There's more. The big scare tactic in the study was toxoplasmosis. The study neglected to mention this little tidbit from the CDC:

Toxoplasmosis is considered to be a leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States. More than 60 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry theToxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.
However, women newly infected with Toxoplasma during pregnancy and anyone with a compromised immune system should be aware that toxoplasmosis can have severe consequences.”

I know this because I am a carrier. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that is also carried by rats and birds and just about every warm blooded animal. It is capable of reproducing only in the cat but the cat gets it from eating infected birds and rodents and you can get it from other sources that the cat, unless you are eating cats and cat feces (poop). Without the birds and rodents, the cats couldn't get the parasite unless they suddenly became cannibals.
Contrary to the inferred method that all you have to do is touch something that is contaminated, the truth is, you have to swallow the parasite.

Human infection may result from:
  • Blood transfusions or solid organ transplants
  • Carelessly handling cat litter, which can lead to accidental consumption (eating) of infectious particles
  • Eating contaminated soil
  • Eating raw or undercooked meat (lamb, pork, and beef)”

I most likely got mine not from cats but from a love of raw beef. Too bad it took me 62 years to become a vegetarian.
And before you really go panic, you should know the Mayo Clinic says: “Toxoplasmosis (tok-so-plaz-MO-sis) is a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. This organism is one of the world's most common parasites.” or in other words, it is everywhere and you aren't escaping it.
In short, a none native species (cats) are predators for two destructive and disease carrying non-native species (rats and house mice) and native species of song birds are caught in the middle. No one is studying the effects of the non-native species of song birds on the native species because most people don't know their little finches and sparrows don't belong in this country.
Remove the colonies of feral cats and watch the colonies of rats and mice bloom. Now you may ask how badly....and I say, ask the Australians. With no natural predator for mice and the Aborigines killing and eating the cats, mice overran a section of Australia. The one documentary I saw, a rancher reached his arm into a feeding trough for his horse came out covered in mice. They were a dozen deep where ever there was a seed or anything they could eat. They left the ground without a stem of a plant because they eat the whole plant down to the roots if they can't find enough seeds.

Once those rats and mice bloom, you can kiss the birds goodbye because rats eat eggs and baby birds. They can easily climb into nests whereas a cat is too heavy to crawl out on the thin limbs where the bird nests. Rats attack in mass and are very intelligent. They hunt and scavenge all night and the list of diseases they carry make toxoplasmosis look like a walk in the park. Ground nesting birds will be the first to go and are, of course, the easiest prey for feral cats. But, most ground nesting birds are also the prey of hunters and if cats reduce their population, you just might have an outcry to kill all feral cats.

Unless you have a way of controlling the population of rats and mice (which so far, no one does) you might consider patting that feral cat on the head instead of killing it.

Now, let's see a study on non-native snakes as they really, really love a nice bird for dinner....

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Birthdays were Great! ONCE upon a time.....

The Importance of Ritual and birthdays......
Since yesterday was my birthday and for the first time in a decade it passed without a disaster (someone is slipping up), this morning I was thinking about birthdays, the things we dread as we get older as we are one more year closer to death.
Well, I know death better than some acquaintances and we are on a first name basis, so he doesn't scare me and I think he actually likes my coffee. So, instead of dwelling on that, I started remembering birthdays as a child. Do you remember them? We all thought we were one year closer to freedom. Nah, that's not what we thought at all. It was our special day!
I'm going to do a generic birthday because my life was never even close to generic or “normal”. Now, if your birthday fell during the week, you might have to wait until Saturday for the “special day”, but the anticipation made it all the more special as you had no idea what the parents had planned for you and your friends.
You would spring out of bed early because you knew you were getting the special breakfast filled with everything you loved to eat and didn't even stop to consider it was unhealthy to have half a bottle of maple syrup on those waffles with the chocolate chips. Nope, it just tasted really good. If you were really young, this might be the day you got to taste coffee! That was a real let down but you plowed ahead because in the afternoon your friends were coming over, there would be cake and ice cream, as much as you could stuff, and you never thought about how sick you were going to be as you skipped lunch to make room for that CAKE! You played silly games until you finally got to the important part which was tearing into those gifts most of which were worthless because kids only had a few pennies allowance. Then everyone was lying around, half sick in a sugar coma and there was always one who couldn't hold his cake but there was no yelling or blame as he was passed off to knowing parents apologizing for the mess he made. You probably got to even stay up late as this magic marker made you a year older and gained you, and only you, admittance to the special place of the year older. It may have moved your bedtime which would take you half a year to get used to, again. BUT, it was your special day. Tomorrow, you would return to the same world, same routine and everyone would be the same, even throw-up boy as he was now known.
What went wrong? Well, someone told you how silly it was and how let down you would be the next day so let's just keep it low key. We weren't let down the next day. Someone always pinned the tail on someone other than the donkey but we didn't hold them responsible..they were blind folded and what's a little pin prick? Someone always got sick. There was usually one fight. How is this different in adulthood? We survived, commiserated the next day and had a good laugh until someone else's birthday party took its place in the good old days' remembrances on afternoons.
Do you remember when afternoons after school were spent sitting outside with your friends, talking. You know, actually moving your lips face to face. We ran out of school, freed from books until after dinner and chores like clearing the table were finished and then we went to work on homework. Do you remember crickets chirping and cool breezes? Do you remember making your own fun?
We worked our little arses off. We washed and dried dishes and progressed to mopping and sweeping and dusting. I even progressed to cooking. Can anyone remember helping a friend with the cleaning up so they could come out and play and never once....NO, NOT ONCE...thinking about what was in it for you because all you wanted was to enjoy each others' company until the sun went down and dinner was served. I used to help my neighbor babysit his little sister and keep her entertained until his mom and dad got home from work. We all thought he was weird (not in a bad way) because he had to go to Catholic school and we went to public school but it didn't start a religious war. She got to play with the big kids, a treat, and no one worried we were going to drop her off a roof or something. She was HIS sister and we took care of her, walked her across the street and taught her the fine points of being our golden age. We fell, got skinned up and got into fights. Goddess knows, I decked many a little boy who thought picking on someone smaller and female was the right thing to do. As my cousin will tell you, I taught him respect for women in five minutes and how much a broken nose hurts to set in the doctor's office when the man is really upset his dinner was interrupted and the doctor is laughing his ass off that a little girl half his size broke his nose and one rib. I looked so very angelic back then. My uncle was so embarrassed and my father was just smirking. Can you imagine that happening today without a law suit? We settled our own differences and hence, we learned how to do it. We didn't need a conflict resolution team.
What happened?
You think you are shielding your children but what you are really doing is criminal. You are preparing them for the world you live in which is obey the rules, fly under the radar and work your ass off so your kids can do the same. Your parents' parents thought they were giving their children a better world and a better life. Your goal is to keep the world the same and maybe they will manage to live. That is the definition of stasis which leads to atrophy and final death. When all things, even rocks, stop growing and changing...they die and decay making way for the next thing that will eat them and take their place. That's something you might want to think about. Can the whole Universe be wrong about that? I doubt it.
Why can't you have that special day? It's not going to ruin the rest of year, though you have been convinced of that. You've been convinced it is going to ruin your children. It has become a monetary extravaganza where parents try to out do each other and the TV show that is popular. Pin the tail on the donkey was an expensive party. Parents loaned that donkey out until it ceased to resemble anything like a donkey. New tails were cut out of paper. Every kid took something home even if it was the dreaded pencil or eraser. Candy was the favored treat because you could “hide” it in a pocket for that special time you needed a treat and discovered what mold was; something to scrape off and eat the candy underneath. Guess what? No one ever died from moldy candy. What it does is give you something to look forward to the rest of the year when things are really crappy. You WILL have another special day that is all yours and no one can have it but you and it will feel good.
It doesn't feed the Pharmaceutical companies with money from antidepressants. That memory is your happy pill. It doesn't feed the Medical Company with pills and office visits due to stress diseases. It is your relaxer. It doesn't kill you at an early age.
What do your children have to look forward to coming home with a load of books every day? Are they afraid to make friends because you are afraid everyone is going to hurt them? Are they unable to go to the new kid's house until you Google their parents and get a background check? Do “play dates” have to be scheduled a week or two in advance? Does every sleep over, party, or interaction require a TV or Movie theme? Are you their parents or their social secretaries/jailers? Adults had adult things to do and kids had kid things to do that we hoped the adults didn't find out about but they already knew because they had been kids. Have your kids ever been kids?
Let's all have more birthdays; that wonderful, magical day filled with gooey treats and surprises. Let's stop the fear which is just hate in sheep's clothing. The whole world will be a better place and you just might know your neighbor well enough to borrow a cup of something without wondering if they poisoned it. Let's go back to thinking the neighbors that were a different religion, color, sexual orientation or ethnic group were a little weird rather someone threatening our very existence and planning on killing us and destroying our way of life. Yes, there have always been gay people and they lived together as “old maids or bachelors” in the very towns we lived in and everyone knew but no one said anything or kept their kids blindfolded when they walked by their houses. They were just honorary aunts and uncles. We wanted to destroy our own way of life because we wanted our children to have a new, better world with a better way of life.
The people next door are just people like you are people. They may be different but if everyone was the same, it would be a really boring world.
Who does same benefit, my friends? It benefits a government that collects taxes and provides generic everything. It benefits big companies that only have to produce the same things and hire the same people who won't rock their boat by asking for new things. It benefits religions that get the same twenty in the same collection plate from the same people who parrot Amen while glancing at the score on their smart phone and having no idea what you just slipped into their subconscious that they agreed with by rote.
It does not benefit you. You just remain the same and die and give your children the same old world with the same old problems they tackle in the same old ways because everything is always a new version of the same.
Are you bored yet, because I am?

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Vision on My Birthday

I had a vision this morning and I am not fond of 6 in the morning visions. That is my best time for sleep but never-the-less, here it was.
First let me tell you about my question I went to sleep on as that is how I usually get information. I asked what the pineal gland does.
Why I asked this question was an article about a small town in England that has resisted fluoride in their water. Since they refuse to fluoridate their water, the town fathers have decided to add fluoride to the children's milk. Yes, they actually are going to make special cartons of milk with added fluoride in it and force the children to drink them. It was a very well done article and immediately drew fire in the guise of....we are sick of hearing about fluoride, shut up already..and that is a pretty accurate quote. No one attacked the science quoted in the article that fluoride doesn't work. If fluoride works, someone explain to me why I, who grew up with fluoridated toothpaste and water have a mouth full of caps. I reread the article and hit upon one sentence that gave the side effects of fluoride and one of them was calcification of the pineal gland. So, what does this gland really do? And more importantly, why are the town officials going to such expense to force fluoride on children?
Think about it. They cut pensions, food assistance, veteran's aide, medical care and housing and they are worried about our TEETH? It makes no sense.
In my vision, I was watching a war torn area. There were the usual two lines of soldiers at stalemate and a young woman who was captured by one side. I could hear this sound coming closer and closer. She asked one of the soldiers what it was as you couldn't make it out. He said it had been getting closer and closer and that now it was even with the other line of soldiers but they didn't know what it was except that no one had shot at them in an hour or two.
As the sound came closer, you could make out it was some sort of chanting and the word Om. Most of the soldiers started standing up and holding their hands over their ears and then dropping to the ground, unconscious. That was when I could see an irregular line of people dressed as monks with other ordinary people and soldiers coming over the horizon. They were chanting Om and something I could not make out but I knew it meant “join us in peace”. The soldiers that were still standing dropped their weapons and as the people passed them, they turned and joined in the chant and the march.

The interesting thing was not everyone was chanting at the same time. The chant was being done in a cascade and people in random positions would start the chant, overlaying other groups of people chanting so it seemed as though it was coming from everywhere. Nor was the line of people regular. It was simply a random group but I knew everyone, no matter when they started the chant or how progressed they were with the chant, or where they were in the group which stretched from one side to the other, was connected to everyone else in that moment and they could not be stopped.