Scientists: No link between cats and mental illness

Today I read of a study which concluded something very astounding.

Cats do not drive you crazy.

Cats may not drive you crazy but they could drive you to drink. National Archives/U.S. Information Agency

My reasoning as to why this astounds me stems from the fact that I never knew that anyone ever suspected a link between cats and mental illness. That is not to say more than one cat person has said in a faux exaggerated — okay, maybe no faux — manner something to the effect of “Oh that Whiskers. He’s driving me nuts!” I mean, seriously, where was I when such a parallel developed?

Research had established at one time that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii which may be transmitted through infected cat crap might cause mental illness. Of course, someone who eats cat poop might be suspected to have some sort of mental disorder. The study also said the parasite may also be spread to humans through undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables.

The previous study was found flawed by English researchers. The more recent survey studied 5,000 children who had cats in their households and dispelled the link with mental illness. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children through the University of Bristol tracked the health of people born in 1991-92 found no significant health risks of those studied. Nonetheless, the researchers could not rule out other health risks from the parasite.

While this finding is reassuring, there is evidence linking exposure to T. Gondii in pregnancy to a risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, or health problems in the baby. In our study, we could not directly measure exposure to T. Gondii, owning a cat during pregnancy we recommend that pregnant women should continue to avoid handling soiled cat litter and other sources of T. Gondii infection, such as raw or undercooked meats, or unwashed fruit and vegetables. That said, data from our study suggests that pregnancy or in early childhood does not pose a direct risk for offspring having psychotic symptoms later in life, the study published in “The Conversation,” a website specializing in news for the academic and research communities concluded.

So you lovers of those furry little bundles o’ felinity may breathe easy. Your cat probably won’t cause you to wander off to the depths of insanity. You may, however, develop a strong affinity for balls of twine.


The emperor has no sense

Looking at Facebook a moment ago I was amazed at those folks — most are much more conservative than I — who were fascinated at the long presidential press conference today.

“Have a nice freakin’ day. Big league.”

When I say “fascinated” it isn’t exactly a supportive term.

Those armchair shrinks out there who say Trump acts as if he suffers with narcissistic personality disorder might add manic depressive to their diagnoses. Holy Schamoly! That guy is bonkers. I don’t know how long, or short, the Trump presidency will be, but there is definitely enough there for one or more blockbuster flicks!

People might say I’m bonkers, but I actually feel kind of sorry for the guy. I mean, the president has some long-suffering self-esteem issues. Here he is, supposedly richer than than Midas, and Trump was elected to what many call as the most important position in the world. I suppose his life is such that the old cliche seems apt that money cannot buy you happiness. I wouldn’t need a whole lot of money to be happier, but I would not mind it either. Hey Don, why don’t we exchange places!

It would be interesting to see Trump in that show “Undercover Boss.” Although if he had has normal hairstyle and his unmistakable rambling he would fail at the undercover part.

Were it not that Trump is so arrogant and is an apparent congenital liar, with hardly an attention span — adding the danger he poses to the world — than the 45th president’s would be a story like few others. Well, it is a story like few others, only that isn’t a good thing.

What is so frustrating to me is not any particular actions so far. It is disappointing to see that so many people think he is better than a cold drink on a hot day. His supporters overlook his many shortcomings.

The fact here is that Trump lies. I could forgive him of many trespasses. But his lying and his scapegoating does not cut it. Most of all, I don’t like it that the Donald can apparently see no evil when it comes to Vladimir Putin. This is especially after Trump has treated friends of this country like they stepped on some stinking some or the other.

Then again, were Trump to quit or be removed through impeachment, we would be stuck with Mike Pence or Paul Ryan. At this stage, nothing looks like a good option for our nation.

This lying Trump bunch

It seems that the Trump administration has a new theme song. No it isn’t the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” no matter how much intellectual robbery the candidate Trump used without the band’s consent.

Nope. It’s a golden oldie. If you weren’t around in the 70s you may not remember it.


That’s right the old Rod Argent and Russ Ballard — a.k.a. Argent — song as performed by Three Dog Night: “Liar!” The song is a perfect message as to what Trump and his sleazy crew is all about.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s counselor, put her bonafides front and center by telling MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that the controversial travel ban signed by Trump last weekend could have stopped the “Bowling Green Massacre.” As it turned out, the “massacre” was stopped because there wasn’t a massacre in Bowling Green, Ky. Conway made the whole thing up. She later made a correction saying she meant to say Bowling Green terrorists. Yes, there certainly is a lot of difference there.

“Liar, Liar, Liar!”

This happened only a week after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer ginned up some fake ire when lying into the press and lying about the attendance at the Inauguration of King Donald of New York.

“Liar, Liar, Liar!”

And Conway took Spicer’s lie and made it even worse by using an totally unbelievable euphemism, “alternative facts,” as Spicer had given the press, feigned outrage and all.

Spicer can’t help himself though. He is the biggest lying sack of shit to grace the White House and he certainly is among a treasured history.  Spicer’s latest whopper was his telling reporters that the Iranians had fired upon a Navy ship. Which would have been an act of war. It turns out, he got the Navy part right but the wrong country. The ship belonged to the Saudis.

“Liar, Liar, Liar!”

It seems like the old saying about how you know pols are lying — because their mouths are moving — is a very appropriate description from the Amateur Hour on Pennsylvania Avenue.b

A honest Abe this bunch is not.



Scary Don. If he doesn’t scary you, he should.

I woke up this morning and damned if Donald Trump was still president. So much for the dream theory.

There is so many problems I have with this president I cannot speak to them all. I will say this, he seems to never be far from a camera, even though he loudly contends he is at war with the media.

Trump, if we mortals can understand his gibberish, has made some statements that portend really disturbing events that could harm our republic. An example:

 “And the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential,” Trump said. “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Scary dude. But with that hair …

What he sees as carnage, if I can understand correctly, might telegraph that Trump would like the federal government to intervene in local matters. The president has presented himself as a “law and order” president. Some of this description is meant to put groups like Black Lives Matter on notice that they will be dealt with under the Trump regime. Who kn0ws where that will go.

Banana republics like Trump would like to establish have a habit of arresting people who are never to be seen again. His CIA choice has wavered on the question of waterboarding practices. If the secret foreign intelligence agency can use this form of torture, then why not the FBI, or ATF, or the local police department? This could lead to a situation that happened in my area of Southeast Texas in which local police officers were imprisoned for torture techniques such waterboarding in order to get false confessions from college-aged kids who were busted for insignificant marijuana arrests in the early 80’s.

The Black Lives Matter movement emerged when black Americans finally said that they “have had enough” of the growing number of  young black Americans who were killed in questionable shootings by police. In some cases the police officers were either no-billed by grand juries, were acquitted in trials or not even charged.

Trump also made another frightening pronouncement on Saturday at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va. While the new president announced his war on the media and he was miffed with the news that many more people attended the Obama inaugural speeches than his. His hit man, press secretary Sean Spicer — a professional flack throughout his adult life including service in the Navy reserve as a public information officer — went through a litany of lies in an excoriation of the news media. It was a move that has generally flopped. Trump counselor and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway dug the Trump wagon deeper in the ground on Sunday telling Chuck Todd, NBC “Meet the Press” moderator, explained Spicer was speaking of “alternative facts.” That is a spin-doctor’s way of saying he lied but we won’t admit it.

Also, Trump, seemingly out of thin air, declared that the U.S. should have taken Iraq’s oil fields during our wars there.
“If we kept the oil [in Iraq], we wouldn’t have had ISIS in the first place,” Trump argued. “The old expression, to the victor belong the spoils…. We should’ve kept the oil. But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”

That is even though such an action violates a number of U.S. and international laws. Sticking with Trump’s campaign musings that our military and government should not telegraph what they might do. Spicer said he would not tell the press what the government might do.

An update: I just saw an ad from some PAC on CNN that asks for people to call their senator to express support for the senatorial nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as attorney general. One of many concerns over his nomination should be aired. Sessions is a foe of marijuana or any outlawed drug. More than half of the United States have legalized marijuana in some form or fashion. That doesn’t count states like mine here in Texas that have taken steps to allow for medicinal purposes a  marijuana oil with a low THC content.

Still, federal regulations treat marijuana as a dangerous drug in the same class as heroin. The medical benefits and the taxes pot will generate in local governments will mean local governments will not need to rely so heavily on federal dollars.

Sessions will likely become attorney general. If he goes after marijuana he might find himself taken to the woodshed by our now conservative (to put it kindly) government. Going after pot will be going after what is becoming a huge economic boom. Plus, I know a number of grown-up, conservative types, even professionals who smoke pot, although they disagree with their politicians over weed.

There is so much more I can write and rave — mostly negatively — about the new president. But it seems he will, unfortunately, be with us awhile.



I pity (me) the fool

I think I made a mistake.

Sometime, a year or two ago, I determined that Hilary Clinton was the best choice for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

Later, everyone and their brother or sister decided they should run for the Republican presidential nominee. The good money seemed to say that Jeb Bush was likely the nominee.

The news media found a comical presidential candidate in Donald Trump.

Oh, he is just a fool. We will give him some air time and will have a little fun at his expense.

“Wrong!” as Trump says in his hourly tweets.

The news media were the ones who were fooled. I, a mere mortal, likewise were fooled and I was foolish. Donald J. Trump, the 70-year-old real estate magnate courtesy of his inheritance and a public blowhard, will be sworn in on Friday as the 45th U.S. president.

I think that all the free publicity Trump was given during his daily call-ins to CNN and MSNBC and Fox got Trump nominated as the Republican presidential candidate. Big money and Big Brother, the Russian president and Wikileaks were also successful in electing Trump.

Trump won the electoral college. Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million. Yet Trump won, and became the elephant in the room.

The outgoing President Barack Obama had his legitimacy challenged by so-called “birthers” who questioned the president’s birth site. Heading that call of those conspiracy freaks — who believed Obama was born in Kenya as his father was — was the “Head Birther” Donald J. Trump. About eight-plus-years later, as Republican nominee, Trump finally and curtly admitted that Obama was, as reality shows, indeed was born in the United States.

Trump has refused belief that Russia and his bromancee, Vladimir Putin is behind the efforts by Russia to influence the U.S. presidential election for Trump. The new president does not appear as if he wants to ruffle any of Putin’s feathers. And it makes me wonder, (music from Stairway To Heaven,) does Trump really feel that people are out to call his presidency “illegitimate.” It is not surprising, as Trump feels everyone is out to get him, at least those who oppose him.

The next four years, more or less, should be an exciting time for some. For others, it will just be a crying shame.

Like the A-team star from the 1980s known as Mr. T would say: “I pity the fool.” And I guess I was the fool during the past election. We will see how many millions of fools who supported Trump will join me.