Skip to main content

I don't pimp my blog here, even though kos has expressly said it's okay. This is not blog pimping, though I need you to go to my blog. Here's why.

Yesterday I was hiking my dog. I'm in a sling 58 days after shoulder surgery that I posted about here. When I walk my dog, I still have to stick to paths where I'm not likely to slip or trip. I pick up stray dogs all the time, and yesterday, there was a loose coon hound on the trail. The story is at my blog, and I need anyone who cares about animal abuse to please read it.

I never ask this, but in this case I will: that story needs to receive as many facebook likes and especially shares as possible because the woman abusing the dog WILL be hearing about it. Nothing but fear of shaming will get some people to stop abusing animals. The rescue mentioned in the story is getting involved.

If you reddit, tumble, pin, whatever, please do those things for that story.

Again, I have only re-posted anything from my blog here when it has been relevant to DK. Almost everything I post here is just for here. I'm asking for your help on this one, so that there is a centralized point of disgust in order to out this abuser.

The story is here.


Thirty-five years ago, I was cleaning a bathtub in my apartment in New York when I slipped and tore the bejeebus out of my right shoulder. Over the next couple of years, it dislocated more and more. Anything would do it. Applauding mildly at a Yankee game. Getting punched in the mouth. Moving a pot the two feet to the sink in the kitchenette. Pop!

A surgery was called for. It was drastic, the kind of thing more appropriate as a punishment in Game of Thrones than as a modern medical procedure. A muscle transplant was performed though a big incision. For the six months following surgery, my arm had to be taped to my chest. Then, as I describe in this blog post, another six months of horrific physical therapy that involved the loud ripping of scar tissue. Ouch.

After that, the shoulder kept dislocating. It got to be like a party trick you'd do in a carnival sideshow.

And so was born a pre-existing condition. There came a time in the 90s when my health insurance was interrupted by lengthy periods of travel in Asia, and when re-applying later, anything to do with that shoulder or my back - that whole thing was excluded, top to bottom, for life because I had had been paralyzed by a spinal cord tumor that dinged things up a little when scooped out - was written out of the policy.

A few years ago, another shoulder injury rendered the arm nearly unusable. I spent a couple of months negotiating prices with surgeons, operative facilities, anesthesiologists. It was absurd, trying to get everyone to knock a few bucks off here and there. The fifty bucks here and the thirty bucks there added up to real money for me. For the doctors and their billing offices, of course, this was the act of a subhuman unworthy of their attention.

And in surgery, when it came (cash up front, no checks, please) the doctor seems to have wanted to teach me a lesson. He did something that every doctor I've talked to since has been shocked at. He removed 100 percent of the cartilage in the glenohumeral joint.

Now, that's the ball-and-socket that needs to move smoothly for your shoulder to work. Without cartilage separating the ball from the socket, there's nothing but bone rubbing on bone. Bone on bone is a good way to get a prisoner to tell you anything you want to hear. It's not so good if you want to use your shoulder.

By now, I am unable to use the right arm because every movement feels like someone has snuck up behind me with an axe and planted it in my upper arm. Then their accomplice twangs the tendons in there like a washtub bass. The shoulder has withered away and become misshapen. The upper arm is restricted to a bizarre position flat against the side of my torso. I am crippled, and sick of it.

The only solution, and I've known it for years, is a total shoulder replacement. This is a pricey deal. It's big surgery. And, of course, as a precondition, not covered.

Actually, I was covered for almost nothing. In California, where I was living at the time, I had been declined by all insurance companies and could only qualify for the state's high-risk pool. That was $18,000 per year in premiums, another $18,000 out of pocket and a $70,000 cap. In other words, it was a fuck-you policy, designed by Republicans to assist in the killing-off of a large swath of voters while transferring their assets to one of their favorite constituencies, the insurance companies. All it was good for was to save you whatever came between $36K and $70K. I went with the more straightforward Republican health plan. Don't get sick.

Along came Obamacare. The online application process in the beginning was tantalizing. Because of the initial web site difficulties, it was hard to get to the point where I could believe that it wasn't going to flash the word DENIED at me. When it worked, I couldn't believe it. I had insurance.

Fast forward to today. Literally today. In four hours, one surgeon will hold my humerus in place while another uses a hammer and chisel to whack the humeral head (the top of the arm bone that goes into the shoulder socket) off. Oh, yes, this reminds me: you might like to stay away from YouTube videos of any upcoming surgeries you might be considering, so you don't see how they're going to hollow out the bone and press-fit a spike into it, a procedure requiring great athleticism on the part of the surgeons. The spike has a titanium ball at the top. This will nestle against a plastic cup that will be pinned into three holes drilled through a jig into the glenoid - the part of the shoulder blade that extends to the side, like a little elephant's ear and serves as the socket of the joint. If all goes well, a few weeks of not using it all all, a few months of rehab, and presto-chango! A new shoulder.

In order not to think about the fact that my arm will be being severed and reattached - all but a little skin at the back, some tendons and nerves (I can hope, can't I), I'm here, writing this quick diary.

Me and my arm are off. My apologies to any Republicans who preferred the sight of someone crippled out there on the hiking trails. Sorry not to be able to accommodate you any more.

[Sorry for any typos or bad edits - can't be late to get up to date.]

Continue Reading

That's the main lesson from tonight.

Around here, there's no shortage of recognition of the fact that running away from Dem accomplishments is nearly as stupid as the average Republican voter. Which is saying quite a lot.

It never, ever works. And Hillary has already demonstrated repeatedly - before even declaring; oh, boy, wait till she does - that she thinks putting distance between her and PBO is a good idea. She trashed him in her book and then went on every talk show in the land to mince words about it. Her message was clear: I may have worked for him, but it was awful watching him screw things up that I would have done better.

It's a losing strategy, and one she is not equipped not to adopt. She will shoot herself in our foot over and over again and show that Dems lack backbone and commitment and instead stand ready to apologize and beg for another chance to do better.

Alison Lundergan Grimes refusing to answer if she voted for Obama? What a hamhanded over calculation that was.

If she didn't want to utter the curse word 'Obama,' she should at least have said, "Who do you think I voted for? I voted for healthcare for Americans. I voted for an end to the wasteful wars that have sucked two trillion dollars out of our economy. I voted against the vast corporate welfare structure that siphons your tax dollars off and hands it to big oil, big health, big banks, big bastards in general. I voted for poor children to have lunch in schools - and I don't mean a packet of ketchup I voted for seniors not to have to eat Alpo. I voted for the millions of Americans facing foreclosure because of a rigged banking system not to end up on the streets. I voted for children to get an education. I voted for a Supreme Court that isn't packed with the personal attorneys of billionaires. You figure out who I voted for, asshole."

Hillary has already started badmouthing the president who, instead of consigning her to the background, as he could have, instead magnanimously made her Secretary of State.

The only candidate who makes any sense is Elizabeth Warren, a woman of conviction and principle.

If we don't run on conviction and principle, we're toast. We should have learned that by now, and if we don't learn it tonight, we have it coming.

Hillary in 2016? We'll have another night like tonight to look forward to, just much, much worse. We need a real Democrat.


Who would you suggest?

35%40 votes
64%73 votes

| 113 votes | Vote | Results


Crossposted from my otherwise harmless dog blog. I thought some of you might enjoy witnessing the sort of outrage that makes Republican subscribers cancel their free subscriptions in droves. Believe you me, it takes more than a little restraint not to send them acknowledgements reminding them not to let a tubeful of electrons hit them in the ass on the way out.

By way of background, my blog is mostly about my dog, Roo, but I thought one or two of you might get a chuckle out of this.

Continue Reading
A few months ago, before the current child refugee crisis on the border became one of the stories of the moment, I found this shoe while walking in the Arizona desert. The size is that of a small child. It was about right for an eight or 10-year-old.

Why was the shoe missing from the child's foot? Was it because the rest of the child was missing out there in the desert? Did some animal carry the boot off? Or carry pieces of the child off and leave the boot? Did the boot slip off when the child was running? Running too hard to stop and pick it up? Or did it have something to with that cut at the back or that scratch on the front? The boot could have just been split from too much time in that sun, because that sun those kids walk under for a thousand miles comes down like razor blades on fire and will split your boots and anything else you've got in two if you're out in it for too long. Abandon a car under it and see how long it takes for the paint to start peeling.

What led up to the time the adult-sized sole was stitched on? How long might some kid have had to march through the desert with the cheap sole and busted threads it came with from Wal-Mex flapping? Did some little boy or girl tie a rag or some string around it to hold it together so they could keep up with a coyote yelling at them to hurry the fuck up? Maybe it was just too difficult to keep trudging on with that big sole and barefoot was better, though I doubt that. You don't go barefoot in that desert. Not with sand spurs sharp enough and hard enough to puncture mountain bike tires. Not with blown mesquite thorns three inches long and cactus buried in dirt and tumbleweed ready to tear your foot in half. It would be hard to make it ten feet barefoot, let alone across any stretch of the Sonoran Desert. There is no barefoot out there.

Was that sole the cheapest possible way to get a repair? An act of kindness by a cobbler on this child's way? An act of cheapness on the part of a coyote in the interests of getting a kid to move it? Did the boot come off because it was replaced with something better? Or did it come off because a child ran out of water and died?

Maybe it belonged to one of the kids to whom the face of America is that of venomous adults screaming at them to get the fuck out of America, as seen from one of the unmarked white immigration buses with blacked out windows you see barreling down America's desert highways all day. Maybe it belonged to a kid who got off the bus only to find herself locked up in a kennel.

Maybe it's just my imagination, but there was nothing encouraging about that little child's boot.


With all the open carry dumbasses making so much noise lately, I thought someone might enjoy this story from the gunniest corner of Arizona.

My dog Rooki Kahoo and I were adrift, living in motels for a long time in the period after her rescue in Los Angeles. She was profoundly fearful, so I looked for places where she could hike out in open country and work on being a dog. We spent some time in the area around Tombstone, just north of the border with Mexico.

When it comes to the exemplification and glorification of guns and open carry, Tombstone, home of the Shootout at the OK Corral, is America's Shining City on the Hill. The whole place is built on the memory of that shootout, even if its most famous participant, Wyatt Earp, spent the rest of his days trying to forget it. Streets are named for murderers long forgotten for everything but plugging someone. There are billboards featuring dead people with well-dressed gunslingers towering over them. And, of course, there are dozens of re-enactors dressed to the 1880-nines walking around with six-shooters strapped to their waists.

If you're into gun culture, Tombstone is the place to be. This is what happened to us there.

Continue Reading

BBC is reporting that there's a bomb threat at Harvard.

Harvard University in the US state of Massachusetts has evacuated its campus amid "unconfirmed reports" of explosives at four of its buildings.

The university's Twitter feed said there were no reports of an explosion and no indication that any bombs had been placed on campus.

Harvard campus police and local police were said to be on the scene investigating.

The alert comes as final exams are under way at the elite college.

It said in a statement: "The Harvard University Police Department this morning received an unconfirmed report that explosives may have been placed in four buildings on campus: the Science Center, Thayer, Sever and Emerson Halls."

The campus was being cleared "out of an abundance of caution", added the statement.

Perhaps some genius' way of delaying finals. I doubt it's going to work.
Continue Reading

Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 12:15 PM PST

Facebook is Murdering Dogs

by Gottlieb

Facebook is killing dogs.

The lengthiest comment thread in facebook's community forums is about an unannounced experiment they are conducting on some fan pages, in which comments are placed in random order, depriving those Pages of the ability to have conversations in comment threads. Not one user wants it or likes it. As a matter of policy, facebook does not respond to customer or tech support issues.

A disproportionate number of the users complaining are animal rescuers - for some strange reason, the problem seems to be especially acute with dog rescue Pages.

They have described the effect as tragic. Dogs are dying. The rescues have been using comment threads to organize the logistics involved in rescue. Springing dogs from shelters, arranging transport, raising money. That is no longer possible. Many, many dogs who would otherwise have been saved have been killed in shelters as a direct result.

Users have been complaining en masse to facebook for over two months now. Of course they have been vocal in letting facebook know that this is causing a massacre of dogs. Lots of desperate all caps comments.

The reason comments are presented in random order now is because on some Pages - Pages only, not personal pages or Groups - facebook is experimenting to see if randomizing comment order will increase engagement. Facebook never informed any of the targets of this. People flailed about for solutions for months, thinking it was a tech issue. Finally, a facebook exec told the web site Mashable that it was an experiment.

It comes down to the fact that facebook's historic failure in its stock offering some months ago has left them scrambling for ways to monetize their system. Probably they will offer to sell back the ability to have conversations in comment threads.

Facebook has not bothered to answer one single complaint or to allow any entity upon which they are conducting this experiment to opt out.

On a page like mine, it doesn't matter. No one is dying. We can seek other venues at leisure.

On rescue pages - and who knows what other ones that have depended on facebook - it most certainly does matter. Animals, and it appears from the complaint threads on fb and elsewhere, especially dogs, are dying.

This seems to me to be a good reason to take the steps necessary to distance TDITC from facebook. Convenience is not enough of a reason to tolerate ruthlessness in blood. It has become hard enough to stomach the greed and ruthlessness being generalized in American business.

I don't know if facebook selected dog-themed Pages to run this experiment on, but dog pages are overrepresented in the comments about this. If the experiment is being conducted on humanitarian or disaster relief pages, too, you can imagine the effects.

Please help get word of this out. Animals are being killed in shelters right now because of this.


This started as a comment in Thursday's J Town diary, and is expanded to a diary at JanF's suggestion.


At Santa Monica Airport on the west side of Los Angeles, there's some pretty unusual dog rescue activity going on.

LA has one of the largest shelter systems and homeless pet populations in America. The shelters are teeming with discarded animals, many of them abused, abandoned, sick or injured and starved. Failure to spay and neuter multiplies the numbers all the time. The shelters are understaffed, overcrowded places, filled with the anguished sounds of hundreds -sometimes thousands - of scared animals crowded into cages. Many of them never make it out for a walk, let alone make it out alive.

Not all of the shelters are kill shelters, but decimated budgets and the sheer weight of numbers mean that some still are. Shelter workers don't like having to put masses of animals down any more than anyone else, but that is their reality, day in and day out.

LA also boasts some of the most dedicated dog rescuers anywhere. It must feel like sweeping sand off a beach sometimes, but they fight on relentlessly to save one life at a time.

Phyllis Smith-Vanboxtel Osh, of All Breed Dog Rescue, arranged for the release of six dogs from the Devore Animal Shelter two days ago. She and her colleague Kathrin Schmidt, who are constantly plotting escape routes for these death-row dogs, arranged for the dogs to be taken in by The Grace Foundation, an animal sanctuary in northern California. There, they will live on a huge ranch, be loved and taken care of, until they are adopted. If they are not adopted, then Grace will become their new home. They will never be discarded again.

Continue Reading

I used to work in aviation. I still have lots of friends who work at airports. Some of them work at LAX.

After Ramadan (last one ended on August 31), there is always a reliable influx of Saudi heavy metal to LAX. One prince comes with four 767s. Several of the poorer relations are reduced to having to travel on a single private 747.

My friends got a tour on one of the 747s. Gold toilets, rare inlaid woods, expensive art, priceless carpets in the bedrooms - nothing out of the ordinary.

Back at the tail of the airplane there was a separate cabin with six seats. This was comparative poverty - just six regular first-class-sized seats in a normal airliney-looking space. No frills. Good legroom. The cabin was closed off from the rest of the plane with a lockable door that happened to be open while the plane was being serviced on the ground.

One of my friends asked what that compartment was all about, and her Saudi counterpart answered, "This is where the live donors sit."

"Hunh?" I asked my friend at this point in the story.

"That's what I said," she told me.

Continue Reading

Coast to Coast AM is right now (10:22 PM Pacific) broadcasting Alex Jones in an interview in which the host is agreeing that President Obama had Breitbart killed. It is over the top, going where even Fox does not dare to go.

The claim is that Breitbart was going to reveal some stunner about Obama attending communist meetings and that this prompted a presidentially-sanctioned assassination of Breitbart. Boneheaded host John B. Wells is going completely along with it.

Coast to Coast has a messaging system they call Fast Blast the host supposedly monitors for readbacks or comments on-air.

I know it's late, but it sure would be good to let them hear what we think.

This is egregious behavior. Even though the show normally runs along CT lines, this ain't UFOs and Bigfoot they're talking about here.

Continue Reading

UPDATE 2024 PDT Compromised Bitcoin accounts are now receiving emails purporting to be from Mt. Gox containing a .exe file claiming to be a "certificate" to be used for resetting password. The Mt. Gox site says nothing about it.

UPDATE 1921 PDT Mt. Gox seems to be taking pleasure in the little things - or how is this for considering yourselves not hacked:

It appears that someone who performs audits on our system and had read-only access to our database had their computer compromised. This allowed for someone to pull our database. The site was not compromised with a SQL injection as many are reporting, so in effect the site was not hacked.

Bitcoins, the first virtual currency traded and valued exclusively among P2P network participants, are crashing and burning right now. The Mt. Gox exchange has been hacked.

Bitcoins plummeted from about US $20 to one cent.

It is impossible to know what actual valuation of Bitcoins will be when markets are back up and running. It's probably safe to say that there will be considerable damage to confidence in Bitcoins.

A whole nascent currency set back by one hack...

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.


Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site