Tiger Tale Journal -- Cat Thoughts on Life, Religion and Politics

The greater part of what my neighbors call good, I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well? --Henry Thoreau

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Location: Frostbite Creek, Minnesota

Can you ever really know a cat?

Friday, February 24, 2006

What Did Bill Clinton Say About the Danish Cartoonists?

I'm amazed that some of my smartest friends missed this one.....

Bill said what I've been saying.

Throw the bums in jail.

He said it here in Islamabad.

I do think Bill is correct.

As We Ready for Corporation Appreciation Week.....

As we ready for Corporation Appreciation Week, visit the UCC Take Action Site.

Here's an easy way to add your voice to a multitude of other voices.

Join in now. Let this site be a part of your activism. Stay informed about urgent and immediate issues and speak out through the UCC Take Action Site.

Current issue: Bush Budget Morally Bankrupt!

"While increasing spending for the Pentagon and continuing wars, the Bush proposal plans to cut $183 billion from domestic programs, including benefits for veterans, aid for students, and services for the poor and elderly."

Yes, that's $183 billion. Join in the fight.

Hoop Dreams Came True For Autistic High Schooler

Before we move on to the grim and grimmer topics of Bushwar and the burgeoning civil war in Iraq and the necessary ugliness of Corporation Appreciation Week.....let us do a just for fun thing.

Here's some video that will bring a happy tear to your eye.

(Scroll down just a bit and video clip is on the right side of page.)

Thanx to Xn Forums for finding this.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Look Out !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We're coming now, we're coming to reward you.... (Apologies to Leonard Cohen.)

You bastards.
We're coming to get you. Be very, very afraid.

Corporation Appreciation Week is ON THE WAY.

Monday, February 20, 2006

DONE WITH CHENEY SHOOTING! Now......On to More Important Things.

Ok......so I just happened to glance at my shampoo container and had to come back here and ask about this.....


So......does that mean it's being tested on me?

CHENEY HUNTING ACCIDENT! Ballistic Science Reveals Truth!

This is not satire.....it is as real and substantial as a large, cold, dead turkey riddled with number 7 1/2 shot pellets from a 28 gauge shotgun.

No, I repeat, this is NOT satire. We should have known this would happen.

Tests have been done to verify the effectiveness of the 28 Gauge Shotgun at various distances. Chickens, pigs, turkeys and melons are being shot full of holes by Liberals and Conservatives alike (no chicken hawks were shot in these tests).

Still, the metaphors suggested by the targets are most intriguing.

First Test proves the Conservatives are right (and shows that Conservatives are also FAR more creative in target choice).

Second Test proves the Conservatives are right and that the Liberals don't know much about guns, but DO know how to use smoke and mirrors (and are far less gifted in choosing symbolic targets).

Neither group used the more powerful hunting loads that I mentioned in the post below (in fact, the Liberal group must have used very special and impotent ammunition as they could not get it to penetrate wallpaper at 30 yards, thus "proving" that Cheney's gun could not even put out the eye of a baby robin at that distance).

BTW, all my conclusions below are based on my many years of experience in hunting with shotguns of ALL gauges and backed by several books on shotgun ballistics, the foremost of which is "The Shotgun Book" by Jack O'Connor.

No animals were harmed in my efforts, but my conclusions are validated by the tests done by the more creative group (they actually punched a fist sized hole through a watermelon at ten yards even without using the heavy Winchester Super-X load that I mentioned in my post below).

This more exhaustive and thorough testing (which also included totally demolishing a cornish game hen at five yards and ripping a huge hole in a turkey at five yards) ended with the conclusion that Whittington was probably shot at a distance of 20 to 30 yards (exactly what I had concluded).

Maybe some still have doubts as to how pellets ended up in Whittington's heart and liver. Here's an interesting tidbit: The doctors said that the pellet they saw in his heart was larger than the rest--they called it the size of a number four shot instead of 7 1/2 shot. Or they called it the size of four size 7 1/2 shot.....the account is not clear and people have such difficulty with ammunition terminology.

But is this puzzling? No. Shotgun pellets can clump together and actually adhere to one another. That is not uncommon and happens in the manufacturing process. Such clumps would penetrate much deeper than the other pellets. These things usually are not noticed by hunters (unless they "pepper" a partner).

Odd things happen with ballistics, but very few are puzzling with the proper investigation.

I rest my case. NOW can we leave Cheney's unfortunate accident and get on to more important things?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Ok, I Give UP! I'll Talk About Cheney's Hunting Accident!

This is a response I left on another blog today. It got so detailed and time-consuming that I decided to bring it over here at the same time.

It goes like this.........


Please don't get too upset. I love Liberals and am myself left of Liberal, but I have to address your rather haughtily expressed errors.

Yours is a perfect example of the multitude of well-meaning, outraged and totally misinformed attacks on Cheney that I have seen over the last few days.

Have you ever hunted upland game birds?

Ever patterned a shotgun?

While some of what you wrote may make SOME sense.....your statement that the distance between Cheney and Whittington was "ten feet" marks you as being in total darkness about shotgun ballistics.

At ten feet the pattern of a shotgun will have a diameter of four or five inches (yes, that includes the 28 Gauge shotgun).

The premier quail hunting load for the 28 gauge is the Winchester Super-X that carries a full ounce of size 7.5 lead shot pellets. That's about 350 round lead pellets moving at over 1200 feet per second. And at ten feet they are bunched tightly together in a round mass with a diameter of about four inches.

This is a deadly and densely packed cluster of fast-moving lead.....almost like a huge bullet.

That means that at ten feet it is so concentrated and powerful that it would either have missed or done traumatic damage (like almost entirely severing a limb or killing the victim immediately with a direct hit in the torso).

I haven't heard an official statement as to exactly how many pellets actually HIT Whittington, but I'd guess from the estimates I've seen (and from looking at his face and neck) that he was caught by the crescent-shaped edge of that round shot pattern of pellets in excess of three feet in diameter.....meaning 60 to 90 feet is a perfectly reasonable distance estimate depending on the choke of that particular barrel of that particular shotgun.

I'd also guess he was hit with fewer than 50 pellets (one doctor's puzzling and bizarre estimate was "5 to less than 150,") and it appears that mine is as good a guess as any.

Generally in a high quality 28 gauge under/over designed for hunting, the lower barrel (which is usually fired first) is a fairly open choke (between improved cylinder and modified). This makes for a larger pattern for closer birds.

Remember, we are talking about a high quality hunting gun.....not a skeet gun. There is a significant difference in the chokes.....skeet is wide open (which could account for results on that goofy film that has been going around the internet).

The upper barrel (which is usually fired second) is choked a bit tighter (between modified and full). This makes for a smaller pattern to more effectively kill birds that are a little farther away. Maximum range for sure kills on quail is about 40 yards.

These barrels can be selected to fire either barrel first by choice. Penetration, of course, is the same with either barrel--only the diameter of the pattern changes.

At 20 to 30 yards (60 to 90 feet) this load and the more open choke would be consistent with Whittington's wounds if the crescent-shaped edge of that large round pattern hit him coming from the side and slightly to his front (he was turned almost so his right side was toward Cheney).

As for penetration, the Winchester Super-X mentioned earlier will penetrate feathers and tissue to get to the vital areas of quail at up to about 40 yards.

There is a bogus video being circulated on the internet where they used ammunition that would not penetrate a plucked chicken (no, I'm not kidding, these clowns were actually shooting at a plucked chicken) at 30 yards.....and that means bad (old or non-hunting) ammunition or sloppy measurement of distance.

You are also misinformed about hunting safety routines. Hunters are not all "Bubbas," as you seem to think. Maybe you should check with some that are better informed.

Whittington was at fault when he rejoined the hunting party without communicating that he was doing so.....and thus he bears a large portion of the blame for this accident.

He was right to apologize, because IF he had simply called out to Cheney that he was coming back....this unfortunate accident probably would never have happened.

He was certainly "first cause" and he has rightly apologized.

It's all over.....case closed.

Cheney has come out of a firestorm of thousands of ill-informed and far-fetched moonbat attacks and is now vindicated.

How screechy, stupid, unattractive and crazy does that make Liberals look?

Meanwhile, many other critically important issues have been forgotten in the rush to join the mob to lynch Cheney.

As to your other points....

Yes, those good old boys may have had a couple of beers.

But we don't know that.

Yes, they may cheat on their wives.

But we don't know that either....and, it's really none of our business.

Somehow, trying to damn a war criminal for having a minor hunting accident strikes me as being very close to the ultimate silliness.

And Liberals really can't afford to indulge themselves in the silliness area.

Let's get back to important issues.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

America is in Violation of EVERY 'Just War' Principle

As much as I yearn to join the massive and mostly moonbat rush to blog about Cheney's misadventures in bird hunting.....I will resist and talk about something important.

This is mainly because there is nothing of interest in Cheney's conduct or any of his actions. Elderly men hunting slow-flying, pen-raised game farm birds and doing more driving than walking is normal and logical. I hope I can do even that when I'm 78 years old.

And I sympathize with Cheney in this one thing. It could happen to anybody. I know......when I was 12 my best friend stepped in front of me as I was squeezing off a shot at a ruffed grouse.

I jerked the gun away and missed him by inches. He jumped in because he wanted to shoot the grouse before I could--which he then did--and thought it was funny.......but I was the one who was sick for days thinking about how close I came to killing him.

Cheney, for all his evil, is still human and I'm sure he feels awful about shooting his friend......that, for a hunter, is the ultimate mistake. The big one you dread more than anything. You can never live it down. You can never call back that shot once unleashed. You will have nightmares about it and wake up drenched with sweat.

No, this is a big deal for Cheney and the rest of us should stay out of it.....he will have to deal with it and remember it the rest of his sorry, pathetic life.

I only wish he could care one tenth as much about the victims of the war he and Bush have engineered in Iraq.

The "Just War" principles were drawn up by Christians so that we would have an orderly way to decide whether or not to go to war.

I'll be discussing some "Just War" principles over the next few days.

I want to discuss a real issue rather than join the lynch mob that will be chasing Cheney.

First Just War Principle:

The Preeminent criterion for a just war is that it can only be waged as a last resort, with all non-violent options exhausted.

It is clear that America rushed to make war upon Iraq BEFORE we were even close to exhausting all non-violent options.

What about the other side? These "terrorists" that Bush and his media sycophants keep talking about? These "homicide bombers" as Bush and Fox News call them?

Ah, here we have some history.......what have they been up to?

Well, they were asking, begging, pleading with the British to stop forcing Jewish immigrants into Palestine even before World War ONE.

Yes, that's over 100 years ago.....they were asking, begging for peace.

They were begging us to stop meddling in their politics just prior to World War Two as well.

They begged the West to end support for the Zionists and even went to war with the British in 1938.....to no avail. The British (assisted by the growing Zionist militias) crushed them and exiled all their leaders--making Palestine easy prey for the Zionists ten years later.

America and England needed a dependent friend.....a surrogate power in a region where we were hated. The illegitimate state of "Israel" was formed to be exactly that and we poured money and weapons and technology into it to make sure it would survive......and it did.

We also helped the Fascist Shah of Iran to take power in 1941 and keep that power until 1979 through much domestic unrest and a coup that chased him out at one point. We assisted him in taking back his throne. He murdered, tortured and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of his people until they finally had their way and got rid of him.

They too, had begged us to stop meddling in their affairs and finally released their pent-up anger by taking our embassy staff captive and holding them for 444 days to try to send us a message.

We got the message......but ignored it in our arrogance--blaming the victims.

In Lebanon, the French turned over power to the Christian political party in 1943. Of course, civil war soon broke out between Christians and Muslims and the Christians were supported by French and American military might until 1983 when 241 American Marines were killed by a suicide bomber who drove a truck loaded with explosives into their barracks.

The begging had stopped. The Muslims had, by the 1980s, tried everything to get the Western Colonialist Powers to quit murdering, torturing and imprisoning them to facilitate the theft of their oil.

Actually, the patience shown by Muslims was amazing.

They had begged for many years--clearly as long as could be expected or longer.....and exhausted all hope for peace.

The war was on in earnest.....we were on the road to 9/11 and the Twin Towers.

By "Just War" principles......America was wrong--and still is.

By these same Christian principles, the mostly Muslim nations of the Middle East must be judged innocent.....and acting in self-defense.

Shame on America.....and a special shame on the religious people who have sold their souls for oil and hegemony.

Other "Just War" principles to discuss: (Please leave comments on one or more of these.)
Weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants.

Violence used in war must be proportional to the injury suffered.

The attackers must have legitimate authority sanctioned by the society they profess to represent.

The peace to be established must be a clear improvement over what exists.
The shameful reality continues to blare at us: America in violation of every single "Just War" principle.

And the Muslim nations we have consistently attacked are blameless.....fighting courageously in self-defense only......and with almost NOTHING in the way of modern weaponry.

Shame on America.

And a special shame on the religious.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Does Religion Cause War?

It is Sunday.....a day that many God-fearing, pancake and sausage-eating, SUV-driving, Fox News watching Christian people GO TO CHURCH. Thus, it happens, we devote this blogging day to encouraging some discussion about religion.

I have noticed in my Atheist friends a burning need to blame religion for war. One recently offered as proof--the fact that Atheist internet forums and blogs were and are overwhelmingly AGAINST the war on Iraq.....while the FundaGelical Christian forums and blogs were and are overwhelmingly FOR the war on Irag.

I can't buy it. That analysis is remarkably shallow. It does, however, deserve to be analyzed.

If true, it only demonstrates that Atheists are usually better educated and wiser than FundaGelicals.....and less likely to be controlled by Faux News and other CryptoFascist media.

Yes, a tsunami of brainwashing convinced the NASCAR Demographic that we needed Iraqi oil to keep our pickup trucks running......and "Thou shalt not kill" and "Love your neighbor" were not enough to keep them from approving, and supporting, war crimes to get the oil.

Even a lot of seemingly normal, nice people.....even a few Atheists--were seduced by the allure of oil and hegemony.

Greed starts wars....and impotent, failed religion fails to prevent them.

But true religion (the religion that walks out "Love your neighbor") DID cause many people of many diverse faiths to protest the war (and they still do).

The Christian Bible (in the words of Jesus and James) tells us that true religion is caring for, protecting and helping--the orphan, the widow, the poor, the weak, the marginalized.

If only the FundaGelicals (and many other Christians) had listened to their own Bible......but their hearing is selective.

No, religion does not cause war, but impotent and failed religion fails to prevent war.

In war, one side has something the other one wants.....it's as simple as that.

Consider the case of little Jimmy.......a beautiful, fair-haired tot, who--at the age of two--has NO idea if he is an Atheist or a FundaGelical or a Muslim, Jew or Liberal Presbyterian.

Little Jimmy bonks little Joey over the head with his sturdy steel Tonka Truck. Little Joey sobs and rages.

Little Jimmy did not bonk little Joey over the head because little Joey is of another faith......he bonked little Joey over the head because he thinks little Joey wants to take his favorite Tonka Truck (little Joey WAS eying that truck).

So I ask, do you believe that religion causes war?

(Or is war about Tonka Trucks?)

Do you ascribe to a particular religion?

Is the so-called "religious" war in Ireland about religion or is it really about Tonka Trucks?

Do you think that true religion brings peace?

Did true religion have anything to do with Atheists protesting the war on Iraq?

And the most important question......do you think true religion can ever overcome the amazing willingness in most people to bonk each other on the head over possession of material things like Tonka Trucks?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Part III: Wadena Fishes the Big Hard-Hearted River (The Cabin)

It is good now to move away from the ugly mire of religion and politics for a while and back to the topics of life and relationships (of people and of cats) in the ongoing tale of Wadena and the Big Hard-Hearted River.

(If you haven't read the preceding episodes yet, better click here for background.)

The Cabin:

"It's a bobcat," Wadena said. Her cat voice was a bit muffled, speaking from within the backpack.

I wasn't listening. I was looking up from the riverbank through the heavy brush, stepping slowly sideways and thinking I was seeing things. It was a darker shape against the sky at the top of the hillside above, screened by the brush and trees. And that shape had squared off lines.....like the roof of a cabin. There were no cabins on this part of the river, I was sure of that.

We were miles from any road. The sun was already low in the west and dark came quickly in September. We were cold and wet, tired, hurt and hungry and a cabin was exactly what we needed. But there couldn't be one here. "You're imagining things," I said to myself.

The muffled cat voice from even deeper within the backpack answered me. "No, I'm not. It's been following and watching us. And bobcats will kill and eat cats like me, you know.....if given a chance. I saw it on Animal Planet." There was a pause. And then, "Of course......we wouldn't give them a chance, would we?"

I was walking up a little hill and pushing brush aside and seeing......what was definitely a cabin, and only about 75 yards away. "It IS a cabin, " I said.

Wadena popped her head out of the backpack. "You're not listening to me! What ARE you talking about?"

"There's a cabin up the hill. We're going up to check it out," I said.

I planted my walking-stick and moved up the hill. Going uphill was putting new strains on my bad ankle and I moved sideways as I climbed, leading with my good leg, pushing against the walking-stick and taking small steps and stopping often. I was trying to take a direct route to the cabin but I had to detour around some deadfalls that created a tangled and impassable jungle of fallen tree trunks, brush and branches. I was just beginning to realize how tired and wet and cold I was. The rain had stopped, but the leaves were still throwing off chilling droplets when I moved them. My clothes were soaked. It would be dark in about an hour and there was no way we were going to get out of the woods tonight without help.

"I don't see any cabin." Wadena had her front paws out of the backpack, straining to see ahead.

"It's here, all right." And, as I pushed through and parted a clump of high-bush cranberries, scattering drops of water and dark red fruit as a way of making an entrance, there it was.

It was a solid little cabin, set on a pretty island of high ground in the middle of a swamp. It was a primitive native, made mostly of material cut and gathered right there in the woods.....logs, hand-made wooden shingles, and some boards for siding that must have been hauled in through the swamp in winter. It stood secure and protected by a few old-growth maples and oaks that grew close around it. It was, I realized, also protected by the swamp in a wet year, because getting here involved a long and difficult passage through that swamp.

As we came around to the front we were surprised to see that the cabin faced a tiny lake. It was little more than a pond, roughly the size of a football field. The surface was mirror-still and swamp-water dark and the shores showed no hint of the work of humans. A solitary beaver left a flowing v-shaped wake as it paddled home along the shore and several small rings on the water showed that trout were present.

White birch trees on the other side glowed, tinted gold as they reflected the fleeting rays of a sun that had come from behind cold clouds and mist just in time to glide below the horizon for the day. Red sky at night meant good weather tomorrow. Maybe.

I took a bucket and walked down to get some water. A time-tested and dust-covered old Grumman canoe was resting bottom-up beside the path to the lake. Both path and canoe were overgrown with wildflowers and brush and looked like they hadn't been used for a long time, at least not this year. There was no one around. The cabin door had no lock, only rusted wire twisted through a latch. There was firewood piled under a lean-to outside and that made me think of how nice it would feel to be dry and warm.

I untangled the wire and opened the door. The interior was dusty, but dry and neat and a small wood stove against the wall looked usable. There were two bunks with rolled-up sleeping bags on them. The floor was plain wood planks and the room smelled of cedar and pine.

"Ok," I said. "Good news. We're sleeping inside tonight."

"Whoa. What about home? What about supper? What about my bed?"

I put the backpack down beside the steps and grabbed some wood from the woodpile, picking out smaller pieces for kindling. "We can't make it any farther. We'll be fine here. We'll start a fire, get warmed up and see if there's anything to eat."

Wadena climbed out of the backpack and shot into the cabin like a gray streak. "Close that door. That bobcat is still watching us."

"What bobcat?"

"Duh! The bobcat I TOLD you about! The one that's been watching me like I watch the birds outside the windows at home. Only there's no glass between this bobcat and me. You know......THAT bobcat?"

"Oh." Her words came back to me. "Ok. Well, if it is a bobcat you'll be ...."

"No 'if' about it. It's a bobcat. Close the door."

I closed the door. I opened the draft and damper on the old stove and put in some newspaper, small woodchips and bark with larger pieces of wood above. I struck a match and lit the papers. The wood was all nice and dry and the flames spread quickly and hungrily through it. Warmth came fast as I put in two larger chunks of wood. It felt very good to have the fire. The wood popped and snapped. Hearing it roar strongly, feeling the warmth, seeing the bright flickering behind the clouded window in the stove door....all of this brought back long-dead memories of the wonder of fire. I had forgotten how good that wood smoke could smell when you were cold and wet.

It would be a good place to spend the night. And not getting home would cause no problems. One good thing about being recently divorced is that you can usually disappear for a night or two and nobody will notice. That's a bad thing in a way, but it's also a good thing. It did not outweigh the other bad things about being alone, but at least I knew that no one would get upset about my failure to come home. It was hard to know which was preferable--no one caring or someone beset by worry. I found some candles and lit them, because darkness was now fully upon us.

Wadena was stretched out beside the stove, maximizing her exposure to the heat, absorbing as much as she could get. "This is better," she said. "Now, about supper...."

The water was boiling on the stove and I was already rummaging in the pantry. I found instant coffee, crackers, two tins of sardines and a large can of baked beans. It was like finding treasure. We ate like a starving man and a starving cat. The river had not fed us well, but an unexpected cabin had made up for it.

Wadena was soon washing her paws. "A fresh fish would have been better, but this was very, very good."

We had the sleeping bags near the stove, me inside one and Wadena curled on top of the other. My wet clothes were hung and drying. I had to agree with the cat. This was very, very good. My ankle would slow us down, but we'd walk out in the morning. My maps and the lake and my compass now told me exactly where we were. The lake showed up as the lowest part of the swamp on the map, but the shape gave it away. The hard-working beavers had turned it into a lake some years ago.

We had been lost, but were lost no more. We'd have tough going for about a mile, then walk ridges through most of the swamp and then have about a mile of easy walking on high ground to the road and the car. I had wrapped my ankle and it was feeling better.

I put more wood in the stove and blew out the candles. The glow from the smoked glass in the door of the stove threw a soft red flickering light that moved against the dark log walls.

"This is why cats don't get married," Wadena said.


"Because we're free. Free as the wind. That's the way we like it."

I thought about it. "There's much to be said for freedom.........but, there's also a lot to be said for having someone to love."

"I love fish," Wadena said.

I sighed and crawled deeper into the warm sleeping bag. "In the morning, we'll catch a fish in the lake. A big one."

Wadena said nothing. She was asleep. The quiet night sounds outside the cabin and the soft crackling of the fire were soothing me to sleep as well.

More later.