Monday, December 24, 2012

It Isn't Really Christmas Until...Snoopy!

via Krby84

One of my best friends says that it isn't really Christmas until you've heard this song. I think he's right!

From the Royal Guardsmen, I present Snoopy's Christmas!

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

The news had come out in the First World War
The bloody Red Baron was flying once more
The Allied command ignored all of its men
And called on Snoopy to do it again.

Was the night before Christmas, 40 below
When Snoopy went up in search of his foe
He spied the Red Baron, fiercely they fought
With ice on his wings Snoopy knew he was caught.

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ring out from the land
Asking peace of all the world
And good will to man

The Baron had Snoopy dead in his sights
He reached for the trigger to pull it up tight
Why he didn't shoot, well, we'll never know
Or was it the bells from the village below.

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man

The Baron made Snoopy fly to the Rhine
And forced him to land behind the enemy lines
Snoopy was certain that this was the end
When the Baron cried out, "Merry Christmas, my friend!"

The Baron then offered a holiday toast
And Snoopy, our hero, saluted his host
And then with a roar they were both on their way
Each knowing they'd meet on some other day.

Christmas bells those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man

Here is another version, with the lyrics!

via mdragon180

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Inspiration - Little Drummer Boy, Bowie/Crosbie

Many people love this version of the Little Drummer Boy performed by the aging, but still velvet-voiced Bing Crosbie and a young, charismatic David Bowie.  I had no idea there was an actual video of this!


Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth

David & Bing:
Come they told me pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
A new-born king to see pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
Our finest gifts we bring pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum

David: Peace on Earth, can it be
Bing: Come they told me pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: Years from now, perhaps we'll see
Bing: A new-born king to see pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: See the day of glory
Bing: Our finest gifts we bring pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: See the day, when men of good will
Bing: To lay before the king pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: Live in peace, live in peace again
Bing: Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum
David: Peace on Earth,
Bing: So to honour him pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: Can it be
Bing: When we come

David & Bing:
Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can

David: I pray my wish will come true
Bing: Little baby pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: For my child and your child too
Bing: I stood beside him there pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: He'll see the day of glory
Bing: I played my drum for him pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: See the day when men of good will
Bing: I played my best for him pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: Live in peace, live in peace again
Bing: Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum
David: Peace on Earth,
Bing: And he smiled at me pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
David: Can it be
Bing: Me and my drum
David & Bing: Can it be

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Netherlands or Holland? Now You Know!

via CGPGrey

For your Saturday inspiration and edification: 
the difference between Holland and the Netherlands.
Four fun-filled minutes packed with information and history. 
Learn something new today and amaze all your friends!

"Welcome to the great nation of Holland, where the tulips grow, the windmills turn, the breakfasts are chocolatey, the people industrious and the sea tries to drown it all...except this country isn't Holland." (watch the video and learn more! It's cool!)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thank Gods It's FreyaDay!

Good Morning, Humans.

What a to-do around here!

People hustling and bustling!

Paper flying, legs running, horns honking in the street below.

My stars! It's beginning to look a lot like something around here!

I will sit quietly under this lovely decoration.

My Human put it here just for me!

Happy Holidays, Humans!

Thank gods it's FreyaDay!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thorsday Tonic - A Wave of Reason

Another inspiring video from Symphony of Science.

When you are studying any matter
Or considering any philosophy
Ask yourself only: what are the facts,
And what is the truth that the facts bear out

Science is more than a body of knowledge
It's a way of thinking
A way of skeptically interrogating the universe

If we are not able to ask skeptical questions
To be skeptical of those in authority
Then we're up for grabs

In all of science we're looking for a balance
between data and theory

You don't have to delude yourself
With Iron age fairy tales

The same spiritual fulfillment
That people find in religion
Can be found in science
By coming to know, if you will, the mind of God

The real world, as it actually is,
Is not evil, it's remarkable
And the way to understand the physical world
is to use science

There is a new wave of reason
Sweeping across America, Britain, Europe, Australia
South America, the Middle East and Africa
There is a new wave of reason
Where superstition had a firm hold

Teach a man to reason
And he'll think for a lifetime

Cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries
With questions that were once treated only
in religion and myth

The desire to be connected with the cosmos
Reflects a profound reality
But we are connected; not in the trivial ways
That Astrology promises, but in the deepest ways

I can't believe the special stories that have been made up
About our relationship to the universe at large
Look at what's out there; it isn't in proportion

Never let yourself be diverted
By what you wish to believe
But look only and surely
At what are the facts

Enjoy the fantasy, the fun, the stories
But make sure that there's a clear sharp line
Drawn on the floor
To do otherwise is to embrace madness

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Isn't That Just Ducky!

Hello There!  Happy Holidays!

I am getting very excited for the holidays!

My Human will be home in just four more days and then the holidays will be really and truly happy!

I can't wait! I am so excited!

See this ball?  ------>

It has a picture on it of where my Human is right now.

See how far she will travel to come home to me?

My Human is coming home in four days

and I am getting very excited for the Happy Holidays!

Isn't that just Ducky!

Christmas Dog By Shel Silverstein

Tonight’s my first night as a watchdog,
And here it is Christmas Eve.
The children are sleepin’ all cozy upstairs,
While I’m guardin’ the stockin’s and tree.

What’s that now--footsteps on the rooftop?
Could it be a cat or a mouse?
Who’s this down the chimney?
A thief with a beard--
And a big sack for robbin’ the house?

I’m barkin’ I’m growlin’ I’m bittin’ his butt.
He howls and jumps back in his sleigh.
I scare his strange horses, they leap in the air.
I’ve frightened the whole bunch away.

Now the house is all peaceful and quiet again,
The stockin’s are safe as can be.
Won’t the kiddies be glad when they wake up tomorrow
And see how I’ve guarded the tree.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday Inspiration - Thank You, Christopher Hitchens

For your Saturday Inspiration, a tribute to Christopher Hitchens on the anniversary of his death from Theramin Trees.

Thank you, Christopher

I became aware of Christopher Hitchens through an unfortunate route — namely his conservative christian brother, Peter. I found — and still find — Peter Hitchens's views obnoxious. One of many repugnant strands has been his consistent championing of special privileges for some christians to act out their prejudices in professional and official forums, on the grounds of religious freedom. He likes to dismiss his opponents in these matters as Thought Police — gingerly sidestepping moral discussions he hasn't a hope of winning, and instead favouring the dirty path of appeals to paranoia.

Suffice it to say Peter provided a dubious introduction to Christopher. But, families often contain huge differences — that's certainly the case in my own family. And my approach to Christopher, as with any new individual, was to view him on his own terms.

It soon became clear that here was a Hitchens with a much deeper vision of life. An empathic grasp of the experience of the disenfranchised. A disdain for false respectability and social artifice, which allowed him to comment on public figures, sacred cows and indeed himself with a candour the likes of which I've rarely seen. Anyone can be irreverent. Anyone can get up on a stage and shoot their mouth off. What set Hitchens apart is that he'd actually bothered to do the research first. He didn't wing it on guesswork, and he didn't insult his audience with rhetoric, or what he thought he could get away with. He'd got his facts together. And in a lot of cases, not being one to rely on the common press, that was through his own firsthand experience. He also possessed a muscular sense of irony — something notably lacking in the majority of his opponents, who were often left standing there prissy as dusty old schoolmasters, while Christopher graced the stage with an easy, natural humanity.

The term humanitarian suffers from an image problem. Some folks seem to expect humanitarians to be all touchy-feely. To console and comfort. For my money, the best humanitarians don't coddle us. They challenge us — sometimes aggressively. To be our best selves. They confront us with our stupidities, our pretences, our self-delusions and deceptions. Not with the agenda of diminishing us, bringing us into line, herding us into some grubby little flock. But in fact the opposite — shaking us out of our complacency, our groupthink, our self-indulgence and pig-ignorance. Though his use of the term 'comrades' invited his audience to join him in a sense of fellowship, there was never any obligation to agree with him, or toe any kind of party line. His concern for the masses came from a position of fierce independence from all things partisan.

I became aware of Christopher Hitchens very late in the day. It seems like it was only a matter of months before he announced the cancer that would eventually kill him. I'm grateful that so much of him and his work is preserved in print and on film. Though it could never compensate for the tremendous loss of this beautiful mind, there's a bittersweet solace in knowing that I have so much Hitchens still to experience. And through that sprawling legacy of writing and video clips, Christopher Hitchens will continue to give confidence to individuals to step outside the intellectual prisons they were born into.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: people who don't want you to think are never your friend. Whether you know it or not — and I know vast numbers of us do know it — folks like Christopher Hitchens are our very best friends.

Thank you, Christopher. (TheraminTrees December 23, 2011).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thank Gods It's FreyaDay!

Freya is perplexed, but remains patient, as always.

Good Morning, Humans.

There is no snow. Still.

My Human has been playing holiday music, but there is still no snow!

Today, she left before dawn. No cookies, no music, no snow!

I am going to wait right here until she returns.

Then, we will listen to holiday music together and pretend that there is snow!

Thank gods it's FreyaDay!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thorsday Tonic - The War on Christmas!

Those damned atheists are threatening poor, persecuted Christians again!  (via The Carapace)

From my favorite cephalopoet, The Digital Cuttlefish:

The War on Christmas

From the Cape of Good Hope to the Newfoundland islands,
The sands of Iran to the Panama isthmus;
From Outback Australia to Inverness Highlands
It’s time to take arms in the War Against Christmas!

My weapons are mistletoe, Christmas trees, holly,
A yule-log, and caroling out in the snow;
Sleigh-rides and snowball-fights, eggnog and Jolly
Old Santa Claus, laughing his loud “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

We’ll make them forget all the Truth of the season—
The sacrifice planned by a god up above—
And have them believing some bastardized reason
Like giving, or kindness, or caring or love!

I’ll cruelly and callously help out a stranger
Who’s down on his luck or has suffered some loss,
I won’t even speak of the babe in the manger
Whom God sent to Earth to get nailed to a cross;

When the winds of December conspire to freeze us
I’ll help collect sweaters and coats for the poor,
Neglecting to make any mention of Jesus,
Whose torture is really what Christmas is for.

My hatred of Christmas will focus my labors
On weaving an atheist fabric of lies—
For instance, I’m giving to all of my neighbors
Gift baskets, cookies, and fruitcakes and pies!

I’ll say “Merry Christmas!” I’ll say “Season’s Greetings!”
I’ll say “Happy Holidays—Joyous Noel!”
Intending of course, that with each of these meetings
The Truth About Christmas can just go to hell.

The truth is that Christmas is not about presents
It’s no time for songs, It’s not time to be nice
It’s not time for feasting on turkeys or pheasants—
It’s sin, and redemption by blood sacrifice.

No time to be jolly; no time to be merry
It’s time to be solemn, and grim, and devout!
The heathens might find it depressing or scary
But that is what Christmas is truly about.

Yes, Jesus is really the ultimate reason
And Christmas is really redemption and sin;
The war against Christmas is early this season—
For God’s sake, let’s hope that the atheists win!

'Tis always the season for heart-warming CuttleVerses!  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yes, It Is Rape.

Today's post is a Nifty PSA that I hope my readers will pass on far and wide. Let's make it go viral on Facebook. There is no banner photo on this post because the subject is too serious and I do not want the TRIGGER WARNING* that this post discusses rape culture to be missed.

We live in a culture - the culture of virtually all of humankind, not any particular national culture - which refuses to hold men accountable for acts of sexual aggression against women. The sociological term for this is Rape Culture.

Glamorizing rape.
  Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.  Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.
  Rape Culture affects every woman.  The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape.  This cycle of fear is the legacy of Rape Culture. (Rape Culture, Marshall University Women's Center.)

 From very early ages, men and women are conditioned to accept different roles. Women
are raised to be passive and men are raised to be aggressive. We are conditioned to accept certain
attitudes, values and behaviors. Our conditioning is continuously and relentlessly encouraged and
reinforced by the popular media, cultural attitudes and the educational system. The media is a
major contributor  to  gender-based  attitudes  and  values.  The  media  provides  women  with  acomplete list of behaviors that precipitate rape. Social training about what is proper and ladylike,
as well as what is powerful and macho, teaches women to be victims and men to be aggressors.
 The high incidence of rape in this country is a result of the power imbalance between men
and women. Women are expected to assume a subordinate relationship to men. Consequently,
rape can be seen as a logical extension of the typical interactions between women and men. One
way to analyze the power relationship between men and women is by examining some of the
common social rules women are taught. (Defining a Rape Culture, UC Davis web publication.)

Glamorizing violence
Whittling down the definition of rape to such a thin sliver of possible scenarios that it might eventually simply disappear as a "crime" entirely, has become the vogue these days. The impetus behind that social and legislative push is that many men (and many women, too, since we all are immersed in Rape Culture) believe that, in most cases, forced sex is justifiable. Most people agree that it may not exactly be polite, or the smoothest, nicest way to behave, but coerced sex is usually not really rape: it's just a guy doing what comes naturally when he finds a woman attractive. If men don't pursue, the human race will go extinct! She probably asked for it. If she didn't say "No', then she probably meant "Yes", and if she wasn't clear, how is a guy supposed to know anyway? If something happened that she didn't really want, then she ought to have thought of that before going on that date/accepting that drink/asking him in for coffee/smiling and flirting/pick any scenario because they all lead to forced sex somewhere every day.

With very rare exceptions,  not quite consensual sex is seen as the inevitable result of mistakes made by women (leading men on, dressing like sluts, asking for it, etc) and therefore most people are uncomfortable labeling such incidents "rapes". After all, it somehow strikes people as unfair to call a man who uses a woman's body against her will a rapist, when he is otherwise a nice guy and anyway it was a natural reaction by any red-blooded male to female provocation. For many people there is really only one definition of rape: the violent 'bushy-haired stranger' (this imaginary monster is always a 'bushy-haired stranger', ever notice?) who sexually assaults a virgin, leaving visible injuries. 

Violent stranger rape is comparatively rare. If Republican hopes to narrow the definition of rape to so-called "forcible rape" are realized in every state, rare violent stranger rape could become the only kind that will be recognized as criminal, while women actually live in fear of the myriad forms of "not-really" rape that can happen to them at any time, while society looks the other way. Since in Republican dreams the coercive power of the threat of force is not equivalent to the use of physical force, cannot be measured and is probably all in the woman's hysterical, over-reacting imagination anyway, nearly all of the most prevalent rape scenarios would no longer be considered crimes. Women will be victimized by the sexual aggression of men without even the inadequate protection of seldom-prosecuted laws to give them the courage to step out into the world knowing that they have the legal right to not be sexually harrassed - even though that right is assaulted every single day in a thousand little ways. This systemic intimidation which limits women's ability to pursue their lives and happiness as freely as men is sanctioned and encouraged by Rape Culture. 

22 Ways to Stop Violence Against Women
Below is an ad airing in the UK which addresses Rape Culture in a gut-wrenching, all-too-common scenario: a party, probably with drinking, the initial trust of the young woman, the expectations of the young man, and the eventual rape. Rape culture ensures that many young men really do not believe that forcing sex on a person who is saying 'No' is rape, especially if she was initially flirting or drinking at a party or has had sex with him before. This ad underlines the truth that rape occurs whenever one person coerces another into sexual activity against the second person's wishes

*TRIGGER WARNING!  Please be aware that this ad portrays a commonly-experienced scenario where a rape occurs, and though very well-done, it may be painfully triggering to many viewers.

via Love, Joy, Feminism

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Tonic - The War On Christmas

Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's best Christian, reports on the war on Christmas from her embedded position in the enemy's maw - er, the shopping mall.

Quote for the win:

"We stole December 25 fair and square and we're not giving it back!"

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thank Gods It's FreyaDay!



Good Morning, Humans.

I am miffed because we are still without snow.

I have decided to amuse myself by putting my two companions to work today.

Artemis and Apollo will entertain you.

What's that? They are asleep? Well, that makes a pleasant change around here!

Look at them.  Just look at them! (sigh)
Shh! Don't wake them up. Finally, I can survey my domain in peace and tranquility.

Although, they are rather endearing...
in an annoying, kittenish way.

I had decided to amuse myself by putting the A-team to work today, but they are asleep.

(sigh) Do I have to do everything?

Here is a poem. Enjoy.

Thank gods it's FreyaDay!

Two Cats

It's better to be a cat than to be a human.
Not because of their much-noted grace and beauty—
their beauty wins them no added pleasure, grace is
only a cat's way

of getting without fuss from one place to another—
but because they see things as they are. Cats never mistake a
saucer of milk for a declaration of passion
or the crook of your knees for

a permanent address. Observing two cats on a sunporch,
you might think of them as a pair of Florentine bravoes
awaiting through slitted eyes the least lapse of attention—
then slash! the stiletto

or alternately as a long-married couple, who hardly
notice each other but find it somehow a comfort
sharing the couch, the evening news, the cocoa.
Both these ideas

are wrong. Two cats together are like two strangers
cast up by different storms on the same desert island
who manage to guard, despite the utter absence
of privacy, chocolate,

useful domestic articles, reading material,
their separate solitudes. They would not dream of
telling each other their dreams, or the plots of old movies,
or inventing a bookful

of coconut recipes. Where we would long ago have
frantically shredded our underwear into signal
flags and be dancing obscenely about on the shore in
a desperate frenzy,

they merely shift on their haunches, calm as two stoics
weighing the probable odds of the soul's immortality,
as if to say, if a ship should happen along we'll
be rescued. If not, not. 

by Katha Pollitt

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Several news sources are reporting that an opinion poll shows that Hillary Clinton enjoys the highest approval ratings of her long career and that 57% of people polled said that if the 2016 election were held tomorrow, they would support her for President!

Now that is the kind of thing that brightens this long-time supporter's day!

I am more focused on supporting President Obama's efforts right now (which is why I have turned away with steely resolve and haven't clicked on any of those Hillary Clinton 2016 posts on Facebook), but in the back of my mind a little voice is whispering, "Run, Hillary run!".

Run, Hillary, Run: Majority want a Clinton candidacy, Jon Cohen, Washington Post Politics blog, December 5, 2012.

Hillary Clinton is the peoples' choice for 2016: poll, Kristen A. Lee, New York Daily News, December 5, 2012.

Filed under "Who Gives a damn?" but what the hell, I'll include it anyway: Hillary Clinton in 2016: Celebrities who support Clinton, HuffPost Celebrity, December 5, 2012.

And yes, a thousand times yes, let's talk about this question: After Hillary Clinton, who will fight for women? Ritu Sharma, Politico Opinion contributor, December 4, 2012.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Isn't That Just Ducky!


I am at the vet's office for my shots.

I don't think I like getting shots.

I like Doctor Katie, though. She is gentle and kind.

Can I just visit Doctor Katie and not have shots?

We can play! That sounds like a great idea!

I am at Doctor Katie's office and we are going to play!

Isn't that just Ducky!