Rush Limbaugh-What He Does Wrong, What He Does Not Explain; Pampered Pets-the Dog Who Wants to Play With Cats

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Where Rush Limbaugh Gets It Wrong

I love Rush Limbaugh. Love everything about the man, love his show, love his wit, love his fluid reading voice, love his talent. A week without Rush is a sad week is I see it.

But for so long I’ve had some thoughts about Rush, thoughts about some things he doesn’t explain to my satisfaction. Also, I think Rush Limbaugh lacks something major in his program and I’d like to take this opportunity to lament.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBeyond my love of Rush, a moment of solemn appreciation for the incredible talent the man possesses that will likely never be equaled, much less excelled, by any radio personality of our era. The man is good at what he does and a bow to excellence is warranted.

Of course many despise Rush Limbaugh, as would be the case with such a polarizing figure. I expect brickbats and rabid anti-Rush comments might accompany this post. Which is fine but anti-Rush zealots are not who I am writing to here. I write to those who listen to Rush Limbaugh, enjoy his show, humor and wit, but might too want this beloved commentator to dwell more on specific issues that trouble me.

This audience of Limbaugh’s would be the fine conservative women of our country. Who constantly get short shrift from this paragon of talk radio excellence.

As I understand it, Limbaugh’s audience demographics consist mostly of males. I don’t know why this is so but if true, then I can certainly think of some ways Rush could get some more female listeners. The hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world, as the saying goes. By breezing over conservative female listeners, and they are out there, Rush’s influence will always be lacking something major and beautiful.

I have some ideas how Rush could boost his female audience but for now, my first soft complaint about Rush Limbaugh’s show and how it leaves me empty at times.

It’s the “Liberal” rant.

Yes, I understand the concept of idealology and firmly subscribe to Thomas Jefferson’s theory of “countervailing forces”; the notion that this country will occasionally go through swings in idealology that will ultimately move the idealogical pendulum from right to left and back to center- as social, legal, even international needs warrant. During the sixties the country was undergoing serious changes to civil rights and racial inequality. There was a strange war in a strange land that required conscripted soldiers to fight. The situation during that era was rife for change. It was a scenario screaming for needed change and through Liberal thoughts and ideas, needed change came. In this new century, and especially after that attack on our peaceful citizens on 9-11-01, comes the time to pull the pendulum back a bit by applying more conservative thought and stern policy to insure this country’s peace and prosperity.

This is the part that bothers me about Rush Limbaugh. He goes on and on about the mysterious “Liberals” and I must wonder who they are. Is there some sort of secret cabal out there, a cabal of card-carrying Liberals who regularly meet to exchange ideas and plans to achieve their ends? Rush goes on and on about “the Liberals”. Who are they? What is their motive? How can we stop them?

Of course I understand the notion of “Liberals” and, at times, refer to them as “Moonbats” such is my exasperation. It’s frustrating to know that there are people out there who are against democracy of all things, in the Mideast. How could democracy ever be a bad thing? While many might argue, intelligently, that it is not America’s job to go all over the world delivering democratic ideals to those who do not want it, I must argue back that once those despots and dictators managed to create a citizenry who cast their eyes of hatred towards a peaceful United States- then proceed to hijack our legal airplanes flying in our legal air space to kill our citizens whose only crime was going to work in their pursuit of happiness- then America’s decision to install democracy in those countries is a sound and sane choice.

We did the same thing with Japan and Germany, did we not? Once Japan got it into its head to bomb the hell out of our ships sitting peacefully in our lawful harbors, well we took action. Once Germany decided to murder all of its Jewish citizens to create a united Europe governed by the Third Reich and purged of Jews, we took action. Both of these countries are now democratic and have they attacked us since?

With a bit of common sense I can figure out that oil money is a big lure. The Saudis, the Iranians, the former dictator Saddam, all have or had control of big oil bucks and they rather like it that way. If their citizens get uppity then direct their hatred to the big Satan across the Atlantic and let us keep our power. Time for these thugs and thieves to go is what I’m saying here. And we’ve got Hugo Chavez bringing up the rear and is it any coincidence that Venezuela has major oil wealth that the lovely Hugo rather enjoys controlling? Follow the money, always a tried and true method.

“Liberals”, whoever they are and whatever their motive, seem to be on the wrong side here. At least as I see it but let’s get back to Rush Limbaugh. He’s the fellow who should be explaining this to us yet somehow he has managed to glom onto the word “Liberal” and uses it indiscriminately and without explanation. Leaving this listener ready to scream: Who are these Liberals and what’s in it for them? At times I’d like to slap Rush and snap him out of that comfortable niche he’s settled into and beg him to get a little more specific. I cannot fight “Liberals” when I don’t know where they’re at and why they do what they do. Rush leaves me empty on this one.

As for Rush’s sad lack of appeal to the females of our country, well the guy is a male. Right there is a problem. I daresay Limbaugh would the first person to readily admit that there’s differences between males and females. Inherent differences governed by nature, differences that might not be fair but are provided by nature and our genes so there’s no sense denying it. Yet this female feels that Rush Limbaugh gives no womanly perspective; that he doesn’t even try.

Though as I understand it, Rush Limbaugh’s producers go to great pains to put female callers through, perhaps for this very reason, it’s still almost impossible to get through to Rush Limbaugh. If sitting and waiting for female callers is the only methodology used by the Limbaugh staff to encourage feminine input, then it’s a lost cause. While I know that Rush doesn’t normally have guests on his show, it might be wise to once in a while, have a conservative female join Rush. On perhaps Rush’s staff could do some research and find conservative females, unknown and uncelebrated, i.e. go out and find some feminine input.

Women are notorious for declaring themselves “Liberal” when the process of managing a household and raising a family is itself a conservative activity. It’s time to educate these kind ladies who consider a “Liberal” a person of great compassion and love and thus choose the title based solely on this perception. Hey Rush, over 50% of this country is female and so long as they choose the prized title of a “Liberal” well, you lose.

After I’d already written this post Rush Limbaugh did have a female caller on his program (Friday –1/27/06) and it was a disaster.

The lady was not a conservative, definitely, but I don’t know I’d call her a liberal. Rush encourages liberals to call and take him on. I thoughts she was a bit of a nut as she asserted that George W. Bush knew the attack of 9-11 was coming and did nothing about it. She also said that President Clinton stopped a terrorist attack in 2000 when an alert FBI agent caught a fellow coming in from Canada with a car load of explosives in his trunk. Now it’s history here that we were attacked in 1993 in the World Trade Center, then the U.S.S. Cole, then many attacks on our embassies in various countries. Clinton failed to stop any of these attacks but the slightly off-center lady mentions that incident with the bomb in the car that had nothing to do with Clinton. Clinton also failed to bring in Bin Laden when offered by the Sudan. So that female callers grip of history is a bit bent.

But Rush decided to engage the woman and then he did the really dumb. Proving my point about Rush. He called the lady “Honey”. Her immediate response was “Don’t call me honey,” and I don’t blame her.

Even though Rush Limbaugh is a master of his craft and can make love to the spoken word, how dumb is it to engage in a serious conversation with a woman and first thing, you call her “honey”? In a rather condescending tone at that because I heard it with my own ears. That would infuriate me in the same circumstances, much less a batty woman who thinks President Bush bombed the World Trade Center. The incident proves to me that Rush is out of touch with conservative women, indeed women in general.

No I have never tried to phone into Rush’s program or do I intend to. I made the transition from Liberal to Conservative my own self, more as part of Thomas Jefferson’s countervailing forces more than anything else. It’s been the manner of our country’s social development since its inception and nothing will nudge that pendulum more than an attack on our own soil. Women get this. If nothing else, women want to protect the children, maintain the families, spread love or sternness, as the need requires.

Yet Rush Limbaugh, maestro of talk radio, continually ignores this segment of the population that could push the concept of conservatism even more than his own fine self.

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The Dog That Wants to Play With Cats

She ain’t nothing but a dog. She was born a dog, live a dog, will die… a dog.

I tell this to our three year old Belgian Malinois all the time. For she is a dog what picture should be under the word “dog” in the dictionary.

Not that there’s anything wrong with this. Being a dog has been an honorable occupation since man first stood on two legs. Dogs regularly prance around show rings, heads held high, flanks smooth and combed, eyes bright and proud. All across the fruited plains Americans share their homes with various and sundry types of canines and they do with it with love and good will.

A dog is NOT a cat.

Now the Belgian Shepherd knows this, please understand. In fact, all of our life we’ve lived with both cats and dogs, usually in multiples of each, and they somehow claim their spaces, make their rules, and get along.

The former big dog of the household, a mutt of indiscernible origin, accepted cats as part of her life with magnanimity and indeed, often interceded in the occasional cat fights that we should all just get along.

Jo-Ann is still working on certain dog issues that have not yet matured.

For one thing, she is a big galoot of a dog that regularly can be seen carrying five, six, seven, eight toys in her mouth at one time, however many fit. This does not make for canine gravitas. Another thing, as characteristic of her breed, Jo-Ann has a temperament that has her swinging from chandeliers and bouncing off the walls.

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She’s three years old now. She wants to play with our four cats desperately. Yet the dog genes kick in and no matter what the situation, inevitably Jo-Ann ends up chasing the cats.

The cats, for their part, do not take the big galoot seriously at all and as I tried to pierce Jo-Ann’s dog brain with my words, cats can JUMP!

Heh. Well that pretty much puts an end to any games upon as the 70 pound shepherd has no access to high cat poles with shelves just below the ceiling.

It’s a dog thing, the chasing instinct. I’ve never met a dog that didn’t consider wheels the enemy, whether on roller skates, lawnmowers, even cars. They move fast, you see, and go round and round. Dogs chase balls more because the things are moving and dogs, well they chase stuff. Including cats that run.

Once Jo-Ann chases a cat, which is pretty much anytime they move with any swiftness beyond a crawl, they jump up high. Then, from high over the galoot dog and safe on a shelf, they look down on the dopey dog and the game, as I explain to Jo-Ann, is pretty much over.

Now and again the cats are up for a game with the dog. They will walk around her slowly and once they have her attention, they begin to run. Which, as expected, causes Jo-Ann to chase them. The cats, as expected, jump up high and as a group they gaze down on the fooled dog and who knows, maybe they laugh amongst themselves.

We have a new kitten. Jo-Ann desperately wants to be friends with the kitten. As for the kitten, after an initial fear of the great big dog compared to her very little self, she got a clue from the other cats and soon enough figured how to jump and indeed, joined in the teasing game with the other felines.

Jo-Ann’s big brown eyes fill with the pain of any school child when confronted by mocking bullies.

She only wants to play. Being little more than a child herself, Jo-Ann watches the cats engage in their cat games and would like to join in. Heh. The other cats know Jo-Ann is nothing but a dog.

So with a huge black nose pressed against the window of cat play, Jo-Ann becomes the kid never picked to be on the team.

Instead of joining in on the merry cat games, Jo-Ann BECOMES the cat game.

I try to explain this to her but she ain’t nothing but a dog.

On Keeping Cats Healthy

Better food, more check-ups help cats live longer
By Jill Bowen
Source: Roanoke Times & World News

Q: You have written recently about old cats. I have two 15-year- old cats that appear to be in good health. How much longer do you think they will live? Is there anything special that I ought to be doing for them? I read somewhere of a cat that lived to 29 years. What are the chances that mine will live to that age?

A: Cats are living longer than ever before and, by and large, they are living healthier lives thanks in a large part to advances in feline nutrition and veterinary medicine.

While heritage plays a part in longevity, better commercial cat foods, early neutering and regular veterinary checkups including vaccinations play an important part. A complete balanced diet is important, as is palatability, as cats are fastidious feeders. As cats get older they lose some of their sense of smell, and consequently, a diminution in the sense of taste, so the brand of food you feed them may have to be changed to accommodate these deficiencies. Dry food is convenient and cheaper than wet food. However, as most cats enjoy wet food, it can be used to tempt them when dry food looses its appeal. Any cat that has had an urinary tract problem needs to be fed wet food, as well as an increased amount of water, to reduce the risk of formation of bladder stones and crystals, which can be a serious problem in male cats.

Diseases affecting older cats can be difficult to detect as their onset is usually slow and many times owners think that the signs of an insidious disease are just those of normal aging. If your cat shows any of the following signs, a trip to the veterinarian is suggested to check that there is not an under lying correctable problem:

- Joint stiffness and loss of flexibility, which may be a sign of arthritis.

- Weight loss, which may be a symptom of gum inflammation and tartar plaques on the teeth. This interferes with eating and may make it painful, causing a decrease in appetite.

- Obesity and increase in appetite. Overweight cats are at risk for a number of medical problems, especially diabetes, respiratory and heart problems as well as joint problems.

- Increased thirst and urination, often a sign of diabetes or kidney disease.

- Poor coat hair quality and lack of grooming. Older cats that are stiff find the effort of maintaining their coat in good condition a great effort, but they appreciate a daily grooming from their owner. Lack of grooming may also denote a tooth problem such as tartar or periodontal disease.

- Vomiting, diarrhea or constipation occur more often in older cats, which can be a symptom of hairballs or a more serious systemic problem.

Spaying female cats before six months or their first heat reduces the chance of them developing mammary cancer as they age. This cancer is nearly always malignant and lethal in cats.

If a cat is overweight, care must be taken in dieting, as cats that are on a reduced diet can develop a fatty liver if the dieting is too severe. A gradual reduction in food will be more beneficial. Producing a weight loss of approximately one pound a month is good and will mean that the cat is not permanently crying by the fridge. To prevent overeating, feed the cat twice daily rather than allowing dry food to be fed ad lib.

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Cats that are prone to tartar build up on their teeth need dry food, as this helps to prevent tartar build up, though it may be necessary for a professional teeth cleaning at the veterinarian's at least once a year. This cleaning can be arranged to coincide with the annual check up and visit for booster vaccinations.

Not so long ago the average life span of a cat was considered to be 12 years; nowadays it is quite common to have cats living to 18 years.

Cats that are totally indoor cats are said to live longer as a rule than cats that go outside, although my last three cats, which are both indoor and outdoor cats, were all in their upper teens before they were put to sleep as a final act of kindness after their long and happy lives. One having even accompanied us from England in the late seventies lived to be nearly 20.

On Fleas and Other Pests

NEW YORK /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Despite veterinarians' efforts to educate clients about the damaging effects of heartworm disease, both dogs and cats appear to be under-protected from this potentially fatal disease. In fact, nearly 40 percent of U.S. dogs are not on a heartworm preventive medication(1) and 95 percent of cats leave their veterinarians office without a heartworm prevention prescription(2). And although many cat owners believe their indoor cats are not at risk, one study showed that 25 percent of cats diagnosed with heartworm disease were indoor cats, according to their owners(3).

"Heartworm disease not only can be life-threatening, but can cause disease in dogs and cats, and make them more susceptible to other diseases down the road," said Byron Blagburn, DVM, PhD, professor of parasitology, Auburn University. "Because every unprotected dog or cat is at risk for heartworm disease, I'm a strong advocate for year-round preventive medication."

Georgette Wilson, DVM, veterinary operations, Pfizer Animal Health, explained that if a pet is not on heartworm medication year-round, there is a window of opportunity for a pet to be infected with heartworm. Additionally, when heartworm disease isn't treated, it's often fatal.

"Pet owners need to understand that once their pet becomes infected with heartworm, the treatments currently available for dogs have potentially serious health complications -- and are expensive. Even worse, there are no approved treatments for cats, so the end result may be a serious chronic disease or death," said Wilson. "Weigh that risk with treating a pet for 12 months a year."

Wilson added, "Heartworm is so easy to prevent and so hard to treat. It's one of the few diseases out there like that."

Two critical facts about preventing heartworm that pet owners might not know:

1. Heartworms go through five larval stages in the mosquito and dog or cat before reaching adulthood. Because commercially available canine heartworm tests only detect the adult stage, dogs may test negative if the heartworm is in the immature (larval) stages.

2. If a pet is placed on a monthly heartworm preventive and the L5 larvae is already in its system, adult heartworms could develop because preventive medications are only effective against the L3 and L4 larval stages. This pet, even while on a preventive medication, would subsequently test positive once the L5 larvae develop to mature adults.

FLEAS - Once fleas take up residence in your house, eradicating them can be a horrendous experience. And it's no wonder why, considering:

-- Once an adult, female flea lands on a pet, she can lay 50 eggs a day and more than 2,000 eggs in a lifetime(4).

-- The complete life cycle of the flea can be completed in as little as 12-14 days or prolonged up to 180 days(3).

-- Adult fleas cannot survive or lay eggs without a blood meal, but may live in the pupal stage from two months to one year without feeding(5).

-- Only 5 percent of a home's flea population are adults, which are easily recognizable to the naked eye(4).

-- It can take four to eight weeks or longer of topical medication use to completely eradicate all flea life stages from the home(5).

-- In the flea life cycle, intermediate stages spend up to 90 percent of their time off the animal(6). However, the adult flea prefers to spend its entire life on just one host. And for every six adult fleas seen, there are 300 more in immature stages in the environment or on the pet(7).

"Fleas are malleable, adjustable and amazingly adaptable creatures," said Byron Blagburn, DVM, PhD, professor of parasitology, Auburn University. "They will adjust to whatever situation they have to in their environment to survive - cooler weather, lack of moisture, lack of stimulus - that's why they're such a big problem."

"The fleas' stages of life extend way beyond just the adult fleas and maybe an egg or two. In fact, for every adult flea you see, there are about 50 more in immature stages in the environment," said Georgette Wilson, DVM, veterinary operations, Pfizer Animal Health. "That's why it's so important for pet owners to commit to a year-long preventive medication - when fleas invade, they invade beyond what the naked eye can see."

Only 5 percent of a home's flea population are adults that you can see. Since there are no products effective against all flea life stages, it is important to use a monthly preventive medicine to eliminate the chance of infestation.

"Just a low level of infestation of fleas in varying stages in the environment can take a considerable amount of time to overcome," added Blagburn. "I recommend keeping pets on a flea preventive medication year-round to never allow for those parasites to take off."


Although veterinarians continue to educate pet owners on canine and feline parasite protection, it seems that some pets are still unprotected for months at a time, seriously threatening their health as they become a walking target for fleas and other irritating parasite invaders.

"Year-round protection is the best medicine, because there are factors beyond our control such as travel schedules, exposure to other animals, and aberrant weather patterns that result in high parasite levels at off-times of the year," explained Georgette Wilson, DVM, veterinary operations, Pfizer Animal Health. "Pet owners shouldn't take any chances. It's much more convenient, and in the best interest of the pet, to administer parasite control year-round."

Additionally, the necessary level of parasite protection for "indoor" cats continues to raise questions. Although the majority of indoor cats may stay indoors, the outdoors, such as mud, insects and rodents, can easily find its way into the home. These outdoor elements might harbor parasite eggs or larvae, disease-carrying organisms, fleas, ticks or heartworms. In fact, one study showed that 25 percent of cats diagnosed with heartworm disease were solely indoor cats, according to their owners(2).

"In my clinic, when a pet owner comes in with a cat they consider 'exclusively' indoors, I always say first, 'your cat is here today,' and second, 'have you ever seen a mosquito inside your house?'" said Wilson. "Situations like that are eye-openers. Think about when your cats go on the porch, out on the balcony, windowsill or in the backyard - anywhere they can become exposed to other animals or other diseases."

Wilson added that pet owners need to understand that even if their pet may not have direct contact with other animals, they may have been exposed to parasites before they were born or when they were nursing from their mother. Parasites have unique ways of hiding in the body and they may not show up for some time.

Parasites are more than just irritating to the pet. They can also cause disease in the animal and even cause zoonotic diseases (disease agents shared by humans and animals) in surrounding family members. In fact, it is estimated that 3 to 6 million people are infected with roundworm each year(8).

The good news is that parasite prevention is easy. However, the only way to ensure complete protection against some of the worst parasitic enemies, including fleas, heartworm, ear mites, hookworm and roundworm, is to administer year-round, broad-spectrum protection, ringing true for dogs and both outdoor AND indoor cats.

"Year-round parasite protection is the fool-proof way to keep your pet healthy and happy," explained Wilson. "Preventive medications today are very safe, very convenient and very effective - there is no reason pets should be under-protected, or not protected at all."

Talk to your veterinarian about staying on a steady parasite protection routine for your pet and ensure healthy years ahead.

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