You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2007.
Short on time but wanted post a link to a story about the head of China’s Food and Drug Agency being sentenced to death (there is a video included). I’m also including the press release regarding the recall of Nutra Nuggets 40# Lamb Meal and Rice formula dry dog food.
China Tackles Food Safety Problems-ChinaDaily.com
China’s Food and Drug Agency Chief Sentenced To Death-Guardian.co.uk
China Sentences Ex-Top Drug Regulator To Death-globeandmail.com
China Food Boss Sentenced To Death-english.aljazeera.net
Nutra Nuggets Recall Press Release
Diamond Pet Foods Recalls Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
in 40 Lb. Bags Due to Melamine Cross Contamination
Meta, Mo. (May 23, 2007) – Diamond Pet Foods announced that it has recalled a limited quantity of Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food in 40 lb. bags because of melamine cross contamination. To date, no animal deaths have been reported.
This action is limited to Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food in 40 lb. bags with production codes of NLR0404A2SL or NLR0404B2SL, “Best Before” Oct. 9, 2008. The recalled product was manufactured at the company’s Lathrop, Calif. facility and sold through retailers in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada. No other Nutra Nuggets products are affected.
The recalled product was manufactured at the same facility following production of other products that contained rice protein concentrate later found to be tainted with melamine, which is not an approved food substance. Pets who may have consumed the affected product should be monitored closely. Affected pets will usually drink a lot of water and will vomit within 24 hours after eating the food. Affected pets may exhibit the following symptoms, including but not limited to loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting. Consult your local veterinarian if your pet is exhibiting these symptoms.
Consumers who purchased Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food in 40 lb. bags with production codes of NLR0404A2SL or NLR0404B2SL, “Best Before” Oct. 9, 2008, should stop using the product immediately and return unused portions to their retailer for a full refund. Consumers may also contact the Diamond Pet Foods Customer Information Center toll free at 1-866-214-6945 for further information. The Center, which is staffed by veterinarians, is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CDT.
I cannot WAIT for the release of Michael Moore’s SiCKO on June 29th! I’ll include a trailer for SiCKO, along with the email he sent out after the movie premiered at Cannes. Click here for the scoop on the ridiculous U.S. government’s investigation of Michael related to SiCKO, and here is a post including Michael’s email prior to Cannes. See you at the theater on June 29th!
Here’s Michael’s response to the Bush administration and the investigation.
Is there a doctor in the house?-VillageVoice.com
“The other thing that makes Sicko Moore’s strongest film in years—if not ever—is its steadfast refusal to turn health care into a polarizing political issue, except to say that pretty much all American politicians, regardless of rank or affiliation, have left us to fend for ourselves.”
“Well, when a reviewer for Fox News (!) calls a Michael Moore film “brilliant and uplifting,” as was posted online after the world premiere of “Sicko” at the Cannes Film Festival, you know Moore is onto something.”
“America’s Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignagni said that the film might encourage the government to provide more funding for health care for the uninsured.”
A Letter from Michael Moore: ‘Sicko’ is Socko in Cannes!
May 23rd, 2007
Well, as you may have read by now, our premiere of “Sicko” at the Cannes Film Festival has been an overwhelming success. The 2,000 people inside the Lumiere Theater were alternately in tears and laughing during the two-hour film — and when it was over, they gave it a standing ovation that seemed to go on for nearly 15 minutes! Many came up to me and said (and critics seem to agree) that this is my best film yet. I don’t know about that, and it seems weird to compare any of these movies in the first place. But I do feel safe in saying that I am very, very happy with this film and I can’t wait to show it to you when it opens on June 29th.
Cannes is a crazy place. There are film lovers here from nearly every country in the world. And then there are the people in “show business.” These dark forces have virtually ruined this art form (invented by the French and nurtured to brilliance by the country I call home). There are so many bad, awful films now and less and less people are going to the movies. Many who run Hollywood believe that the American people are too stupid to enjoy a film that respects their intelligence.
At the press screening for “Sicko,” the Wall Street Journal reported that hardened reporters and critics wept. Even those who have been harsh to me in the past, or who have not agreed with my politics, were moved. Aside from my stated desire that “Sicko” ignite a fire for free, universal health care (and a larger wish that we, as Americans, do a better job of treating each other with a true sense of solidarity and respect), I continue to hope that I can make a contribution to the art of cinema and give people a good reason to get out of the house for a few hours.
At my festival press conference, the only negative word came from the Canadians. Two critics didn’t like all the nice things I said about their health care system. Yes, Canadian health care has its flaws, but when I asked the two critics if they would exchange their health care cards for mine, they said “No!” Of course they wouldn’t. Canadians live longer than we do and their infant mortality is not as high as ours. Their system is underfunded because their leaders have been trying to push for more American-style health care.
The rest of the week has been good and I am now on my way back to the U.S. The New York Post reported Sunday that the Bush administration, in addition to going after me for filming scenes in or near Cuba, may now go after the 9/11 rescue workers I took with me to get the medical care they were denied by our own government. I couldn’t make up irony like this if I wanted to, and I will do whatever is necessary to defend the human right of these true American heroes to receive the medical attention they deserve.
We’ve also received word that the HMO and pharmaceutical industries are gearing up to fight “Sicko.” We received so many great whistleblower letters while we were making the movie from employees of these companies. We’d like to hear from you again! Send us the internal memos and any other plans you run across at the company copying machine or internet server. It will help to stay ahead of whatever they are up to, and it will also give us a chance for a bit of fun at the industry’s expense.
I will soon have a special section of my website devoted to “Sicko.” Until then, we’ll move forward toward our June 29th release date. Hope to see you all there that weekend!
Sometimes people need to just keep their mouth shut, and from what I’ve seen and read of Clinton Portis today (and Chris Samuels wasn’t much better), he is one who would be wise to think before speaking.
When told that dog fighting is a felony, Portis replied, “It can’t be too bad of a crime.”
Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Portis, but it IS a crime, and it IS a bad one. Perhaps you’d like to trade places with any of the dogs used in dog fighting? We’ll see how you feel about how “bad of a crime” it is after that, okay?
Portis, Samuels defend Vick, ridicule dog fighting as a crime-AP-DailyPress.com
In an interview with WAVY-TV, Portis said that if the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is charged and convicted of being involved in a dog fighting operation, then authorities would be “putting him behind bars for no reason.”
Um, no reason? If Michael Vick is charged and convicted then that means he broke the law. Sounds like a reason to me.
For more information on animal fighting and the recent legislation aimed at penalizing those who take part in it, click here. For the Humane Society of the United States response to the situation, click here.
Chenango Valley Pet Foods previously recalled products containing melamine-tainted rice protein, but now they have added foods to their recall which do NOT contain rice protein due to the possibility of cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. This is the first time I’ve seen ferret food included in any of the recalls.
Recall — Firm Press Release
FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.
Dennis J. Bobita
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 17, 2007 — Chenango Valley Pet Foods previously recalled dry pet foods manufactured with a shipment of rice protein concentrate supplied by Wilbur-Ellis that possibly contained melamine contamination. Chenango Valley Pet Foods is now expanding the recall action to include those pet foods that do not contain rice protein concentrate but were manufactured during periods when rice protein concentrate formulas were processed. The recall of these products is precautionary due to the possibility of cross-contamination.
The following dry pet foods are involved in this recall action:
- DOCTORS FOSTER & SMITH LAMB & BROWN RICE FORMULA ADULT DOG FOOD, NET WT. 6 LBS. (UPC 25141 28244), 15 LBS. (25141 30074), and 30 LBS. (UPC 25141 06043); Date Codes: Best By Feb 09 09 and Best By Feb 26 09;
- SHOP RITE REDI-MIXT DOG FOOD FOR DOGS, NET WT. 25 LB. (UPC 41190 00555), Date Code: Code C7107;
- LICK YOUR CHOPS KITTEN & CAT FOOD, NET WEIGHT 4 LBS. (UPC 32976 25915), and 18 LBS. (UPC 32976 25925); Date Code: Best Used By April 29 08;
- SHEP chunk style dog food, NET WT. 20 LBS. (UPC 41498 14142); Date Code: Best By March 14 08;
- 8 in 1 Ferret ULTRA-BLEND ADVANCED NUTRITION DIET, NET WT. 20 LBS, UPC 26851 00413, Code: C7072;
- Bulk Lamb & Brown Rice Formula Dog Food, Date Code: Feb 09, 08, sold to one consignee SmartPak.
- Health Diet Cat Food Chicken & Rice Dinner NET WT. 1.81 kg/4 LB (UPC 78198 01594), 4 kg/8.8 LB (UPC 78198 01599), and 8 kg/17.6 LB (UPC 78198 01585); Code C7072;
- EVOLVE KITTEN FORMULA, NET WT. 3 LBS. (UPC 73657 00250) and 7 LBS. (UPC 73657 00251); Date Code: Best Used By Sept 13 08. Evolve has recovered 99.5% of the product from its distributors and is working with dealers to recover the remaining inventory.
No illnesses or injuries related to these products have been reported to date.
Pet owners who have purchased the pet foods listed above should immediately discontinue using the products and return them to the place of purchase for full refund. Pet owners should consult with a veterinarian if they have any health concerns with their pet. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-610-821-0608.
This has to be one of my favorite lines from Michael Moore‘s 5/17/07 email I’m copying below, “There are only two people in need of an investigation and a trial, and the desire for this across America is so widespread you don’t even need to see the one’s smirk or hear the other’s sneer to know who I am talking about.” Gee, ya think? 😉 Here’s my previous post on the topic. Best of luck in Cannes, Michael!
“Sicko” Is Completed and We’re Off to Cannes!
May 17, 2007
It’s a wrap! My new film, “Sicko,” is all done and will have its world premiere this Saturday night at the Cannes Film Festival. As with “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” we are honored to have been chosen by this prestigious festival to screen our work there.
My intention was to keep “Sicko” under wraps and show it to virtually no one before its premiere in Cannes. That is what I have done and, as you may have noticed if you are a recipient of my infrequent Internet letters, I have been very silent about what I’ve been up to. In part, that’s because I was working very hard to complete the film. But my silence was also because I knew that the health care industry — an industry which makes up more than 15 percent of our GDP — was not going to like much of what they were going to see in this movie and I thought it best not to upset them any sooner than need be.
Well, going quietly to Cannes, I guess, was not to be. For some strange reason, on May 2nd the Bush administration initiated an action against me over how I obtained some of the content they believe is in my film. As none of them have actually seen the film (or so I hope!), they decided, unlike with “Fahrenheit 9/11,” not to wait until the film was out of the gate and too far down the road to begin their attack.
Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, launched an investigation of a trip I took to Cuba to film scenes for the movie. These scenes involve a group of 9/11 rescue workers who are suffering from illnesses obtained from working down at Ground Zero. They have received little or no help with their health care from the government. I do not want to give away what actually happens in the movie because I don’t want to spoil it for you (although I’m sure you’ll hear much about it after it unspools Saturday). Plus, our lawyers have advised me to say little at this point, as the film goes somewhere far scarier than “Cuba.” Rest assured of one thing: no laws were broken. All I’ve done is violate the modern-day rule of journalism that says, “ask no questions of those in power or your luncheon privileges will be revoked.”
This preemptive action taken by the Bush administration on the eve of the “Sicko” premiere in Cannes led our attorneys to fear for the safety of our film, noting that Secretary Paulson may try to claim that the content of the movie was obtained through a violation of the trade embargo that our country has against Cuba and the travel laws that prohibit average citizens of our free country from traveling to Cuba. (The law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their first amendment right of a free press and documentaries are protected works of journalism.)
I was floored when our lawyers told me this. “Are you saying they might actually confiscate our movie?” “Yes,” was the answer. “These days, anything is possible. Even if there is just a 20 percent chance the government would seize our movie before Cannes, does anyone want to take that risk?”
Certainly not. So there we were last week, spiriting a duplicate master negative out of the country just so no one from the government would take it from us. (Seriously, I can’t believe I just typed those words! Did I mention that I’m an American, and this is America and NO ONE should ever have to say they had to do such a thing?)
I mean, folks, I have just about had it. Investigating ME because I’m trying to help some 9/11 rescue workers our government has abandoned? Once again, up is down and black is white. There are only two people in need of an investigation and a trial, and the desire for this across America is so widespread you don’t even need to see the one’s smirk or hear the other’s sneer to know who I am talking about.
But no, I’m the one who now has to hire lawyers and sneak my documentary out of the country just so people can see a friggin’ movie. I mean, it’s just a movie! What on earth could I have placed on celluloid that would require such a nonsensical action against me?
Ok. Scratch that.
Well, I’m on my way to Cannes right now, a copy of the movie in my bag. Don’t feel too bad for me, I’ll be in the south of France for a week! But then it’s back to the U.S. for a number of premieres and benefits and then, finally, a chance for all of you to see this film that I have made. Circle June 29th on your calendar because that’s when it opens in theaters everywhere across the country and Canada (for the rest of the world, it opens in the fall).
I can’t wait for you to see it.
P.S. I will write more about what happens from Cannes. Stay tuned on my website, MichaelMoore.com.
Recall — Firm Press Release
FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.
Eight Sensible Choice Dry Dog Food Products, Seven Kasco Dry Dog And Cat Food Products Recalled Nationwide by Royal Canin USA Effective Today
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — St. Charles, Missouri — May 11, 2007 — Royal Canin USA is announcing today the voluntary nationwide recall of eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products and seven Kasco dry dog and cat food products.
This announcement is based on the company’s ongoing extensive review of its manufacturing and quality assurance testing procedures, which identified trace amounts of a melamine derivative from tainted Chinese rice protein concentrate provided to the company by domestic ingredient supplier Cereal Byproducts, headquartered in Illinois.
“We deeply regret the concern and anxiety this announcement today will cause our loyal customers and the entire pet community,” Olivier Amice, President and CEO of Royal Canin USA, said. “While a very limited number of Sensible Choice and Kasco products in this recall tested positive for trace levels of a melamine derivative, Royal Canin USA is voluntarily withdrawing these products out of an abundance of caution and because we are fully committed to the welfare of our customers’ pets.”
Royal Canin USA has no confirmed cases of melamine related illness in pets eating Sensible Choice and Kasco products affected by this recall. Last month, Royal Canin USA announced it will no longer use any Chinese vegetable protein suppliers.
The following eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products and seven Kasco dry dog and cat food products with date codes between July 28, 2006 to April 30, 2007 are being voluntarily recalled:
SENSIBLE CHOICE® (available in pet specialty stores nationwide)
- SENSIBLE CHOICE® Chicken and Rice Adult (Dry Dog Food)
- SENSIBLE CHOICE® Chicken and Rice Reduced (Dry Dog Food)
- SENSIBLE CHOICE® Lamb and Rice Reduced (Dry Dog Food)
- SENSIBLE CHOICE® Chicken and Rice Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
- SENSIBLE CHOICE® Chicken and Rice Large Breed Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
- SENSIBLE CHOICE® NATURAL BLEND Adult (Dry Dog Food)
- SENSIBLE CHOICE® NATURAL BLEND Senior (Dry Dog Food)
- SENSIBLE CHOICE® NATURAL BLEND Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
KASCO® (available in pet specialty stores nationwide)
- KASCO® Chunks (Dry Dog Food)
- KASCO® Hi Energy (Dry Dog Food)
- KASCO® Maintenance (Dry Dog Food)
- KASCO® Mealettes (Dry Dog Food)
- KASCO® Mini Chunks (Dry Dog Food)
- KASCO® Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
- KASCO® Cat (Dry Cat Food)
Based on today’s announcement, pet owners should stop feeding their pets the eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products, seven Kasco dry dog and dry cat food products listed. Pet owners should consult with a veterinarian if they are concerned about the health of their pet.
The safety and nutritional quality of Royal Canin USA pet food is our company’s top priority because we understand that the health of pets comes first. Pet owners who have questions about the voluntary recall of Sensible Choice and Kasco dry pet food products and other Royal Canin USA products should call 1-800-513-0041 or visit our web site at http://www.royalcanin.us.
All Sensible Choice and Kasco products have a satisfaction guarantee and the company will refund or replace the diets that are part of this recall announcement.
Anyone else feel like the past several AGONIZING years of the Bush administration has been one continuous tweaking of a con artist shell game? Under shell #1 is ANY legitimate concern by Americans (and the rest of the world, too!) regarding anything from the mishandling of Iraq, to the shenanigans Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and crew have been doing in the Justice Department. As soon as there is building interest in shell #1, Bush and crew attempt to throw the unsuspecting victims of this con game off with some fancy sleight of hand, and this time it’s Michael Moore’s trip to Cuba with 10 first responders to the WTC on 9/11, who are now suffering debilitating medical ailments. (Keep in mind the trip was taken in March, yet the letter from the government to Mr. Moore telling him of the investigation was dated May 2, 2007, a mere few weeks prior to his new movie, SiCKO being released…hmmm.) I’m sure shell #3 will probably be some “heightened terror alert” since we haven’t seen that lovely rainbow colored item pulled out of the mothballs for awhile. And it’s always been a favorite of this administration, since it’s so easy to pull the strings of the marionette public and create an artificial sense of fear and panic at the drop of a hat.
Let it be known at the outset that I am a fan of Michael Moore, and applaud what he has done to bring issues to light and have everyone engage in discussions pertinent to the welfare of ALL Americans (health care, our government and its falsehoods, outsourcing, gun control, and many more). That being said, I may not always agree with every move he makes (heck, I don’t even agree with every move I make! ;)), but this is a man who I strongly believe has the best interests of America at heart. Personally I’m pretty fed up with either being chastised or made to feel “unpatriotic” just because I strongly disagree with just about everything the current administration has done, so I can only imagine how Michael Moore must feel having such an enormous spotlight on him 24/7. And yes, I realize he brings it upon himself, but that just makes me appreciate his dedication even more. To put yourself up to the possibility of such scrutiny, ridicule, and hate, shows devotion and dedication to your beliefs. And yes, I even feel that way about those with whom I wholeheartedly disagree. Have strength in your convictions, but also show respect for differing viewpoints. Fine line, I know, but one we all really do need to try and walk–sometimes unsuccessfully.
Another reason I’m a fan of Michael’s is because of what he did for my alma mater, California State University, San Marcos. In October of 2003, Mr. Moore was scheduled to be a speaker at one of our CSUSM Arts & Lectures Series events. Due to the horrific wildfires in our area at the time, the engagement was postponed. By the time it was rescheduled it was close to the 2004 election and Karen Haynes, President of CSUSM, refused to allow Michael to speak saying that there wouldn’t be adequate time to schedule another speaker with an opposing political viewpoint. Thankfully students and community members would NOT let President Haynes control everything, and raised enough funds to have Mr. Moore speak at an off-campus area (Del Mar Fairgrounds) to approximately 10,000 of us (yes, I was there! ;)). Here is one story about the entire flap and subsequent venue change.
While hearing Michael speak in front of so many people with such fervor and determination was exciting enough, it was actually a HUGE surprise he shared with us all that really made the evening spectacular. (And mind you, this is an evening that had Joan Baez as a surprise performer!) The fantastic news that Michael shared with the crowd was that he was creating a “Freedom of Speech” scholarship at CSUSM to give $5,000 to a student who stood up to the administration the most. Due to the number of applicants Mr. Moore found outstanding, he ended up increasing the scholarship amount to $15,000, which was divided between 6 students. Here is a news article about his appearance that night and the impending scholarship.
And yes, I own countless works from Mr. Moore: “Stupid White Men” and “Dude, Where’s My Country?” in my reading library, along with “Fahrenheit 9/11”, “Roger & Me”, “Bowling for Columbine”, and “The Big One” in my media library, and looking forward to catching Michael’s upcoming flick, “Sicko“, as soon as it hits theaters this June 29th. And yes, I realize not everyone shares my opinion of Mr. Moore, but it’s my blog and my opinion, AND I truly believe there are far more folks who agree with Mr. Moore than disagree with him. 🙂 It will be interesting to see how this Michael Moore/Cuba/Bush administration story plays out. Heck, even an online betting site is wagering odds on how far this situation will go!
I’ll leave you with Michael’s open letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson. Take care, folks.
Friday, May 11th, 2007
Open Letter from Michael Moore to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
Secretary Henry Paulson
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20220
May 11, 2007
I am contacting you in light of the document sent to me dated May 2, 2007, which was received May 7, 2007 indicating that an investigation has been opened up with regards to a trip I took to Cuba with a group of Americans that included some 9/11 heroes in March 2007 related to the filming of my next documentary, on the American Healthcare system. SiCKO, which will be seen in theaters this summer, will expose the health care industry’s greed and control over America’s political processes.
I believe that the decision to conduct this investigation represents the latest example of the Bush Administration abusing the federal government for raw, crass, political purposes. Over the last seven years of the Bush Presidency, we have seen the abuse of government to promote a political agenda designed to benefit the conservative base of the Republican Party, special interests and major financial contributors. From holding secret meetings for the energy industry to re-writing science findings to cooking the books on intelligence to the firing of U.S. Attorneys, this Administration has shown time and time again that it will abuse its power and authority.
There are a number of specific facts that have led me to conclude that politics could very well be driving this Bush Administration investigation of me and my film.
First, the Bush Administration has been aware of this matter for months (since October 2006) and never took any action until less than two weeks before SiCKO is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and a little more than a month before it is scheduled to open in the United States.
Second, the health care and insurance industry, which is exposed in the movie and has expressed concerns about the impact of the movie on their industries, is a major corporate underwriter of President George W. Bush and the Republican Party, having contributed over $13 million to the Bush presidential campaign in 2004 and more than $180 million to Republican candidates over the last two campaign cycles. It is well documented that the industry is very concerned about the impact of SiCKO. They have threatened their employees if they talk to me. They have set up special internal crises lines should I show up at their headquarters. Employees have been warned about the consequences of participating in SiCKO. Despite this, some employees, at great risk to themselves, have gone on camera to tell the American people the truth about the health care industry. I can understand why that industry’s main recipient of its contributions — President Bush — would want to harass, intimidate and potentially prevent this film from having its widest possible audience.
And, third, this investigation is being opened in the wake of misleading attacks on the purpose of the Cuba trip from a possible leading Republican candidate for president, Fred Thompson, a major conservative newspaper, The New York Post, and various right wing blogs.
For five and a half years, the Bush administration has ignored and neglected the heroes of the 9/11 community. These heroic first responders have been left to fend for themselves, without coverage and without care. I understand why the Bush administration is coming after me — I have tried to help the very people they refuse to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws helping your fellow man, I have broken no laws and I have nothing to hide.
I demand that the Bush Administration immediately end this investigation and spend its time and resources trying to support some of the real heroes of 9/11.
Mom is one of those folks that keeps saying she’s going to learn all about the internet, but has yet to even figure out how to get past clicking the on button…sigh. And it’s not like I haven’t tried to get her to learn. Oh well, she does peruse the blog when she’s visiting and since she’ll be here on Mother’s Day I thought I’d throw some well wishes out into the universe. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM, even though I know it’s that (gulp) birthday that has a special significance with the government. 😉 Here are a few classic videos of performers you’ve always enjoyed. As a matter of fact I think I’ve sent you and dad off to see each of them over the past few years. Hope the videos at least help make you feel a bit younger…memories, eh? Love ya, Mom!:)
“She’s A Lady”-Tom Jones (1973)
I have amazing friends. Friends I can’t imagine being without. Friends who help keep me sane. (Which isn’t always an easy task. 😉) Friends who have been with me through countless years, some through just a few months. But if you become a friend of mine (and I’m not talking about those “friendly acquaintances” we all have, but a friend that actually knows the real me and STILL hangs around), and we have created that “bond”, then the amount of time we’ve known each other really doesn’t matter.
I’d like to think that I am a good friend, and that my friends know I’d be there for them in a heartbeat, just as I know they would be for me (and boy, have they ever been there for me through some crazy times!). I do know that I have a tendency to go overboard (if it’s possible) when a friend is hurting, and unfortunately that’s the case for a dear buddy right now, hence this post.
While rereading some of my friend’s writing I was struck all over again with the beauty of his words in the following line.
The truth is, when I think about Park Slope or its autumn leaves, or its crisp air that smells of antique stone, I feel not only nostalgia but a tremor in my heart that reminds me of just how vital I am to certain individuals’ peace of mind.
I hope that while he’s going through this rough time in his life, he remembers that he IS vital to peace of mind for more individuals than he probably imagines.
So out of my frustration with not being able to wave a magic wand and make everything alright, I feel the need to go to “The Mushy Zone” and post a video of a song I’ve always loved, along with a great quote from Thoreau. Call me a dork, a softie, a goof, whatever, but both items really sum up the pretty simple ideas of what constitutes true friendship for me. I hope you all have friends you feel the same way about, too. And to my dear bud, you are much stronger than you realize…LYB.
“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?” ~Henry David Thoreau
Sooo don’t have time for a full blog entry, but just HAD to implore you all to hit one of The Cat Empire shows when they’re touring in your neighborhood. The show at the Belly Up last night (5/8/07) was INCREDIBLE, and I wish, wish, wish, I could make their show at The Key Club in Los Angeles on Thursday night, but two “week night” shows just don’t work with my schedule. You will NOT be disappointed in one of their live shows. I’ll write more later, but just wanted to let you know to start making plans! 🙂 Here is my previous entry which lists their upcoming shows (they’re in San Francisco tonight 5/9/07).
A couple cool reads:
Cat Empire busy dancing with ‘Two Shoes’-Examiner.com
Jackson Jackson strikes back-Adelaide Now
“As a member of the Cat Empire, Harry Angus is used to breaking the rules. he is used to people being unsure of how to define the Cat Empire’s sound.”
Someone might need to get the paddles for me because I think my heart stopped the minute I realized I was actually applauding something George W. Bush had done. I’m all for giving credit where credit is due, so (deep breath) kudos to you, GWB, for doing something for the animals. Now can you get the government (FDA and USDA for a start) to get things straightened out with our pet food supply and our human food supply? Of course my “to do” list for you is much longer, but we’ll start there–for now.
Click HERE to read the press release from the Humane Society of the United States regarding the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act being signed into law.
May 3, 2007
Today, President Bush signed into law a bill that will help law enforcement rid the United States of dogfighting, cockfighting, and other forms of animal fighting.
Dogfighting and cockfighting crimes are rampant in the United States, with individuals arrested every week in scores of locations under state laws. The vast underground networks generate pervasive animal cruelty, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, public corruption and even violence and murder. The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which passed Congress with large bi-partisan support, will give law enforcement a stronger tool to crack down on this illegal activity.
“Animal fighting is a barbaric and inhumane practice, and it is fitting and appropriate that we now have a national policy condemning and criminalizing this form of organized animal cruelty,” states Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, which has led the national battle against animal fighting and been the primary advocate for this federal legislation.
The law takes effect immediately. It provides felony penalties for interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities, including commerce in cockfighting weapons. It will make it much harder for criminals who engage in dogfighting and cockfighting to continue their operations. Each violation of the federal law may bring up to three years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine for perpetrators.
Cockfighting is outlawed in every state except Louisiana, although there is mounting pressure in that state to ban the practice. Many states still have misdemeanor penalties for cockfighting. The federal law slaps felony penalties on interstate cockfighting trafficking, and this should provide an enormous deterrent for the tens of thousands of people involved in this criminal industry.
The law will have a devastating impact on major breeders of fighting animals, who depend on customers from all over the United States and abroad. Dog kennels rely on transporting their fighting dogs across state lines and across the world to customers. The new law should substantially curb the transport of fighting animals across state and U.S. borders. The HSUS is already seeing some major breeders of fighting roosters cutting back on production.
The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act will help end the export of fighting animals to other countries. Selling roosters to customers in the Philippines and other nations can be lucrative for American cockfighters. The new law puts increased pressure on the airlines to stop shipping roosters to cockfighting hot spots.
The new law had been introduced by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) in the House, and by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in the Senate. It had also been endorsed by more than 500 groups, including all major humane organizations, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and more than 400 local law enforcement agencies covering all 50 states.
George W. Bush’s veto has elicited some powerful statements from six US military leaders. You know, the ones that actually SERVED in the military. The ones that have a clue what is going on in Iraq. Service members who are the exact opposite of our “Commander-In-Chief”.
From the blog of our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi:
May 2nd, 2007 by Karina
“With this veto, the president has doomed us to repeating a terrible history. President Bush’s current position is hauntingly reminiscent of March 1968 in Vietnam. At that time, both the Secretary of Defense and the President had recognized that the war could not be won militarily – just as our military commanders in Iraq have acknowledged. But not wanting to be tainted with losing a war, President Johnson authorized a surge of 25,000 troops. At that point, there had been 24,000 U.S. troops killed in action. Five years later, when the withdrawal of U.S. troops was complete, we had suffered 34,000 additional combat deaths.”
– Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, USA, Ret.
“By vetoing this bill and failing to initiate an immediate and phased withdrawal, the President has effectively gone AWOL, deserting his duty post, leaving American forces with an impossible mission, suffering wholly unnecessary casualties.”
– Lt. Gen. William E. Odom, USA, Ret.
“The rhetoric of Congress not supporting our troops is pure ‘hogwash’. The real non support of our troops is the Presidential Veto. Vetoing this Bill sends a message to our troops, that the President will fund them to fight but is not concerned about returning them to their families.”
– Maj. Gen. Mel Montano, USANG, Ret.
“The President vetoed our troops and the American people. His stubborn commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq is incomprehensible. He committed our great military to a failed strategy in violation of basic principles of war. His failure to mobilize the nation to defeat world wide Islamic extremism is tragic. We deserve more from our commander-in-chief and his administration.”
– Maj. Gen. John Batiste, USA, Ret.
“This administration and the previously Republican controlled legislature have been the most caustic agents against America’s Armed Forces in memory. Less than a year ago, the Republicans imposed great hardship on the Army and Marine Corps by their failure to pass a necessary funding language. This time, the President of the United States is holding our Soldiers hostage to his ego. More than ever apparent, only the Army and the Marine Corps are at war – alone, without their President’s support.”
– Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, USA, Ret.
“Almost 5 years ago, Congress trusted the President enough to give him the power to transform Iraq. Bush violated that trust and deceived us with a misuse of force. Today, the President violated the trust of the American people, our troops, and their families by vetoing this bill and not choosing to do what is right. He has let us down.”
– Brigadier General John Johns, USA, Ret.
Check these out:
- Eyes Wide Open
- Iraq Veterans Against the War
- Joan Baez Unwelcome at Concert for Troops-WashingtonPost.com
VERY powerful video put to John Fogerty’s “Deja Vu”:
Surprise the heck out of folks and spread a little random love today! 🙂