Thursday Reads: The Boston Yeti, A Zombie Cat, and Other News


 Good Morning!!

The good news in my world is that a very nice man who lives across the street from me volunteered to shovel my car out yesterday. I had managed to clear my front porch steps and sidewalk, but I never could have finished the driveway by myself. I would have had to keep shoveling today. The bad news is that more snow is expected tonight and there’s a possibility of another big storm on Monday. But for today, I’m happy that I don’t have to shovel and I can get to the store and stock up on supplies before the next onslaught.

I’m a little bit punch drunk from the Blizzard of 2015 (which definitely wasn’t a “bust” in Massachusetts), so I hope you’ll forgive me for beginning with some lightweight stories today.

Did you hear about the Boston Yeti? As the blizzard ramped up on Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported sightings of a strange creature wandering around town, enjoying the snow.

BOSTON (AP) — The monster storm in Boston has brought with it another monster – a yeti.

The white, furry phantom has been getting laughs by walking through the blizzard in a sasquatch suit.

One was spotted in downtown Copley Square. Another was sighted trying to hail a cab in suburban Somerville.

New England Cable News reporter Tony Sabato tweeted a photo of the not-so-elusive creature. Above a snapshot of the yeti looking rather pensive, he wrote, “Found the yeti in the blizzard at Copley Square in Boston.”

From The Boston Globe: Boston Yeti on the loose during storm.

While the identity of the Boston Yeti remains unknown, the user behind this Twitter account appears to have created it on Monday ahead of the storm, amassing more than 4,700 followers by Tuesday evening. The hashtag#BostonYeti2015 took on a social life of its own as Twitter users reacted to Boston’s surprise monster of the storm.

With all of the city’s instructions to stay off the roads, the Boston Yeti didn’t appear to listen, at least in Somerville during the start of Juno. But this abominable snowman did seem to want fellow Bostonians to be careful, telling folks on Twitter that “BostonYeti2015 loves the snow, but wants everyone to be safe.”

Here’s one sighting of the Boston Yeti:

Who was this mysterious snow-lover who even showed up on Twitter? His identity has not yet been revealed, but Boston Magazine got an interview with him.  An except:

Where were you hiding before it started to snow?

Here and there. The woods, mainly.

What have you done in Boston since emerging?

Waving to kids, bustling through the snow showers. Trying to make as many people smile as possible….

Have you eaten anyone’s cat? We know you need nourishment.

I’m a vegan.

Have you shoveled at all for anyone?

Yes, two separate families that needed an extra claw…I mean, hand. They promised not to take my photo if I shoveled. I was more than happy to help….

What do you say to the people who think you’re nothing but a guy in a costume walking around? You know, the non-believers.

People will believe whatever they want. I know my existence has been debated for decades. In some ways it’s fun to think some don’t believe. All I can say is that I’m very real and love everyone—even those non-believers.

Okay, it’s a corny story, but anything that can make people laugh during a giant storm is a good thing in my mind. Those of us living inland need to keep in mind that for people along the coast this storm was no joke. Here’s just one scene of coastal flooding in the South Shore town of Scituate.

Winter Weather

Now another strange but heartwarming story from Tampa, Florida: the tale of a zombie cat. CNN reports: ‘Zombie cat’ presumed dead found alive five days after burial.

Bart, or “zombie cat” as the feline is now being referred to on social media, was discovered “unresponsive” by his owner last week lying in a pool of blood. His body was cold and his face was severely disfigured.

“If we’d seen that cat on the road, we’d assumed he was dead,” Nash McCuthchen with the Humane Society told CNN.

Bart’s owner, Ellis Hutson, along with the help of a neighbor, buried his beloved pet in his yard.

Five days later, a different neighbor found Bart walking in her yard, after he seemingly clawed his way out of the grave.

The neighbor returned the cat to Hutson, who called the Humane Society for help.

Bart was in bad shape, McCutchen said, with maggots covering open wounds on his body, and he had difficulty walking. The cat was dehydrated, his left eye ruined.

But remarkably, McCutchen said, the kitty had no internal injuries, making the Humane Society able to treat him. Bart had surgery Wednesday to remove his left eye and wire his jaw shut.

Bart prepares for surgery.

Bart prepares for surgery.

Amazingly, Bart is expected to fully recover from his injuries, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“He’s doing well,” said Sherry Silk, executive director of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, which is caring for the cat after a nearly two-hour operation Tuesday.

Nash McCutchen, the organization’s marketing coordinator, said Bart will recover with rest following a blood transfusion Wednesday afternoon.

“He’s been through a lot,” said McCutchen, who said a shelter cat will be donating the blood to get Bart back up to speed.

See some video of Bart at the link.

In other, more serious, news . . .

The battle between Democrats and House Speaker John Boehner over a scheduled speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been ramping up over the past week. The New York Times reports that the White House has signaled its “outrage” over the unauthorized invitation issued by Republican House leaders by harshly criticizing Israel’s Ambassador, Ron Dermer, for helping to  arrange the invitation.

Today Reuters reports: Pelosi says Netanyahu speech to Congress could hurt Iran talks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to the U.S. Congress in March could damage the Obama administration’s attempts to broker a deal with Iranon nuclear weapons development, the senior U.S. House of Representatives Democrat said on Wednesday.

“Such a presentation could send the wrong message in terms of giving diplomacy a chance,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi during a news conference on the sidelines of an annual retreat for Democratic lawmakers.

But Pelosi stopped short of saying that the invitation to Netanyahu should be withdrawn by House Speaker John Boehner.

Earlier this month Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of the House and Senate and the speech is scheduled for March 3, just two weeks before the Israeli leader stands for re-election on March 17.

Boehner, who did not consult with the White House before extending the invitation, has defended his surprise invitation.

A spokesman for Pelosi said she spoke by telephone on Wednesday with Netanyahu, but he did not provide further details.


Here’s some commentary on the controversy by Jonathan Chait: Why Benjamin Netanyahu Lost His Mind.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in one of his trademark gestures of narcissistic venality, decided to set up an address to the United States Congress without notifying the executive branch of the American government. The maneuver is so unusual that Netanyahu’s former ally and ambassador to the U.S. called on him to reverse course. Even Fox Newshas questioned him. Jeffrey Goldberg attempts to understand what Netanyahu might have been thinking. “Why doesn’t Netanyahu understand that alienating Democrats is not in the best interest of his country?” he asks. “From what I can tell, he doubts that Democrats are — or will be shortly —  a natural constituency for Israel, and he clearly believes that Obama is a genuine adversary.”

Netanyahu’s behavior might be best understood as the expression of a kind of apocalypticism that has always colored right-wing Zionist thought, but which has gained force over the last dozen years or so. Right-wing Zionists have grown increasingly convinced of a series of interconnected propositions: that Israel (or the Jewish people) faces an existential threat; that opposition to Israel is a pure function of anti-Semitism and therefore cannot be mollified; and that liberal Zionists are at best useless as allies and at worst detrimental to the cause of preserving Israel from the onslaught.

One obvious cause of the Zionist right’s deepening millennialism is Iran’s quest to obtain a nuclear weapon. In comparison with other military threats to Israel, right-wing and liberal Zionists think of this development in strikingly different terms. Moderates and liberals consider a nuclearized Iran a serious strategic problem. But they also consider military options useless to stop it, and further believe that a nuclear Iran can be deterred. (Kenneth Pollack, a former Clinton aide most famous as an Iraq hawk, has made the case for the possibility of deterring Iran.) In this view, Iran’s nuclear ambitions represent a threat to be avoided, if at all possible, with sanctions and covert sabotage. Conservative Zionists see the matter much more starkly. The Iranian nuclear program is an existential threat best understood in the context of the Holocaust denialism of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Read the rest at the link.

At The Hill, Brett Budowsky sees the Netanyahu invitation as just part of “The great GOP overreach.”


While Republicans bask in the glory of their victories in 2014 and continue their hyperpartisan onslaught in the new Congress, some early numbers should keep GOP strategists awake at night.

According to a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, Hillary Clinton would defeat Jeb Bush in 2016 by 13 percentage points. She would defeat Chris Christie by 13 points, Rand Paul by 13 and Mitt Romney by 15.

According to the summary of polling from Real Clear Politics, approval of the Republican Congress is barely 15 percent. Disapproval remains near 72 percent. Control of Congress means ownership of the vast unpopularity of Congress.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s popularity has risen significantly since November. The stage is set for Clinton to begin a 2016 campaign with a significant lead over GOP opponents and run against a highly unpopular Republican Congress.

Voters see Republicans overreaching and underachieving. They see the GOP repeating ritual attacks against Obama and Clinton as though the 2014 campaign never ended. They see Republicans moving to pass political bills they know will never be enacted, such as old attacks against ObamaCare, and opposing important bills voters do want enacted, such as immigration reform. They see the GOP stage phony hearings on Benghazi that are nothing more than taxpayer-financed attacks against Hillary Clinton.

There is a GOP distemper in Washington, an overreaching of aggressive tactics against Democrats and an underachievement of success in governing. The result? Obama rises in favorability, Clinton rises against Republicans.

Head over to The Hill to read the rest.

Two stories of injustices overturned.

Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander Released from Jail.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Marissa Alexander walked away from the Duval County courthouse Tuesday after a judge ruled she will not serve any additional jail time.

Judge James Daniel denied the State’s request for an additional two years of probation and ruled that Alexander will serve two years of house arrest while wearing an ankle monitor, an agreement reached in an November 2014 plea deal.

Alexander claims she fired a gun at her estranged husband, Rico Gray, in self-defense.

I thought she fired into the ceiling . . .

“Four and a half years have passed since the events of August 1, 2010, but today after the sentence imposed the Judge Daniel, my family and I will be able to move forward with out lives,” Alexander said during a meeting with the media in front of the courthouse.

“Although the journey has been long, and there have been many difficult moments, I could not have arrived here where I am today without the many thoughts and prayers of so many people who have voiced their support and encouragement,” Alexander said as she read from a prepared statement.

According to the terms of the plea, Alexander was ordered to serve three years in jail after pleading guilty to all three counts against her. Alexander will get credit for the 1,030 days she’s already spent in jail. However, the second count against Alexander is considered an ‘open plea,’ she could have been sentenced to five years in jail at the hearing.

friendship nine

‘Friendship Nine’: Convictions Overturned For Famed Civil Rights Protesters.

More than a half-century after they were arrested and sentenced to hard labor for sitting at a whites-only lunch counter in South Carolina, a group of African-American student protesters known as the “Friendship Nine” had their convictions overturned and sentences vacated Wednesday.

The moment was met with applause and a standing ovation in the court room.

Circuit Court Judge John C. Hayes III made the ruling. “We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history,” the judge said. He then signed the order, and the prosecutor apologized to the men. Hayes is the nephew of the judge who sentenced the “Friendship Nine” to jail in 1961.

All eight surviving members of the “Friendship Nine” attended the morning hearing in a municipal courtroom in Rock Hill, South Carolina. They were represented in the hearing by Ernest A. Finney Jr., the same man who defended their case 54 years ago. He went on to become the first black chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court since Reconstruction.

The actions of the Friendship Nine established a strategy “breathed new life into the Civil Rights Movement,” according to the article.

These reversals are too little too late, but I guess we have to be grateful for any progress in these Republican-controlled times.

I have more links, but I’ll put them in the comment thread. What stories are you following today?

23 Comments on “Thursday Reads: The Boston Yeti, A Zombie Cat, and Other News”

  1. Fannie says:

    Luv that Yeti lives in the woods and comes out in the City. Thinking about Boehner over reacy with Netanyahu, it’s like getting a knock at my door, and someone telling me they are here to rent my house. It’s wrong, no other way to look at it.

    I stayed up, and listened to Cruz attack Loretta Lynch. As a matter of fact, this idiot was doing nothing more than trying to push his words down her throat. And she was so wonderful, and classy in her response, and he just couldn’t stand it. I knew exactly was he was thinking behind those nasty ass attacks on her. Something along the lines of no woman, and no black woman will be allowed to follow in Holder’s foot steps. He had such a negative attitude, I wanted to puke all over HIM.

    He is a threat at the basic fibers in our society. He’s a decrepit racist, sexist pig.

    • NW Luna says:

      The decrepid racist sexists just hate it when one of their targets refuses to act as crazy and childish as they are!

    • bostonboomer says:

      I heard the Repubs used the hearing mostly to attack Eric Holder.

    • Oh but did you see what Lynch said to Graham? how she handled him? it was beautiful.

      I love the Yeti story too. That interview was a funny break from reality. Here in Banjoville we are at 36 degrees, and you can still see snow up on the mountains, in the higher elevations.

  2. NW Luna says:

    I read Bart’s story yesterday. Poor cat; how horrible to be buried alive — gives me the creeps. Didn’t they have any idea he was still living? I hope his owner takes better care of him.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I don’t know. The vet said anyone would have thought he was dead. That cat had a powerful will to live.

      • NW Luna says:

        I suspect it had a bad concussion with heart rate and breathing extremely slow. There’s some research in humans with brain injuries that controlled hypothermia (cold) may be helpful in preserving brain function and be helpful to recovery.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    USA Today

    Officials: Up to 1K possibly exposed to measles in Ariz.

    I can’t tell if this is part of the Disneyland outbreak or something new.

    • NW Luna says:

      Heh. I was in the middle of formatting my comment with link below and didn’t see yours till now! This infection could blow like wildfire through all the communities with high rates of unvaccinated people.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Even If Your Kid Doesn’t Get Measles, It’s Gonna Cost You

        Measles is not only highly contagious, it’s expensive to contain—especially for cash-strapped local governments. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculated that outbreaks in 2011—a total of just 107 cases—cost state and local taxpayers up to $5.3 million. That may not seem like a lot, but with more than triple that number of cases last year, and a growing number of unvaccinated children, the costs are really going to add up.

        In 2014 there were 23 outbreaks in the United States and 644 confirmed cases—the most since the disease was declared all but eliminated back in 2000.

    • Shit this thing is ridiculous, because it was fucking preventable!

  4. NW Luna says:

    Father of boy with leukemia asks school to bar unvaccinated students

    In the latest salvo in the vaccination wars that have shaken California since a measles outbreak originated at Disneyland last month, the father of a 6-year-old boy with leukemia has asked the superintendent of his Marin County school district to keep unvaccinated children out of school.

    “I respect people’s choices about what to do with their kids, but if someone’s kid gets sick and gets my kid sick, too, that’s a problem,” said the father, Carl Krawitt, of Corte Madera, Calif., whose son, Rhett, was found to have leukemia in 2010. “What we need to do, for all our children, is increase the herd immunity.” Rhett is in remission now, but four years of chemotherapy have left him vulnerable to infection and unable to be vaccinated. Until his immune system strengthens, his best protection from infectious diseases is the so-called herd immunity of a community where almost everyone has been vaccinated.

    But he lives in a part of the Bay Area where an unusually high number of parents refuse vaccinations for their children. Overall, about 7 percent of the children at Rhett’s school, Reed Elementary, are unvaccinated — a rate that is higher than the statewide average but far lower than at some other schools in the county, where fully half of the students are not vaccinated, according to Dr. Matt Willis, the county health officer.

    The legal authority for barring children from school rests with Willis, who said that although he was sympathetic to Krawitt’s concern — and delighted that he was raising awareness of the importance of childhood vaccines — such a measure would not be appropriate, given that there has not been a case of measles in Marin County for years.

    Hey, no measles for years? What could possibly go wrong?

  5. NW Luna says:

    Poll: Most say restore health aid if court kills subsidies

    Most Americans including significant numbers of Republicans would want lawmakers to restore federal aid for buying coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law if the Supreme Court annuls some of the subsidies, according to a poll released Wednesday.

    Overall, the 2010 revamping of the nation’s health care system remains broadly unpopular, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation’s survey. The public disapproves of the law by 46 percent to 40 percent, with most Democrats supporting and Republicans in opposition. But should the Supreme Court strike down subsidies for millions of people who buy coverage on the federal government’s, people in the poll say lawmakers should fix it.

    The finding suggests that a complex political landscape might await Republicans, who want to repeal and replace the law, should the court invalidate a crucial part of it later this year.

    complex political landscape = ordinary voters pissed off at callous Republicans.

  6. NW Luna says:

    Thank you Congressman Ryan, but what took you so long?

    A Democratic congressman who is weighing a U.S. Senate run in politically divided Ohio has publicly switched his position to supporting abortion rights, saying Wednesday the decision is deeply personal and unrelated to any political aspirations.

    In an op-ed published Wednesday in the Akron Beacon Journal, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, of Niles in northeast Ohio, wrote that he initially opposed the procedure that ends pregnancy but that his opinion has evolved. He said his stance favoring abortion rights is not new, and has been reflected in his voting record for about five years.

    Ryan wrote that he grew up in a Catholic household and was opposed to abortion, but that stories shared by female constituents over 14 years in public service have led him to believe “the heavy hand of government” should be removed from reproductive decision-making.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Whoohoo! Nature’s children are re-gaining ground!

    The first confirmed sighting of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite National Park in nearly a centurysighting of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite National Park in nearly a century has been confirmed by park officials.

    Park wildlife biologists who were on a backcountry trip to the far northern part of the park documented two sightings since early December. The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, with likely fewer than 50 left.

    The nearest verified occurrences of Sierra Nevada red foxes have been in the Sonora Pass area, north of the park, where biologists say a small population was first documented in 2010. Prior to that, the last verified sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox in that area was two decades ago. The species hasn’t been seen in the park in nearly 100 years.

  8. NW Luna says:

    So glad to hear that Marissa Alexander can be released! Her case was an egregious reversal of the ruling against what should have been one of the few sensible uses of the Stand Your Ground laws: Fire a warning shot to give notice you will defend yourself. Unfortunately, Ms. Alexander had lots of melanin, and she was standing her ground against a male, so she lost. She should never have been charged or found guilty.

  9. Fannie says:

    What a screwy day this has been. I’m really drained. Add the Words in Idaho was voted down by Republicans. It’s sickening to listen to this kind, but the Republicans went with her. And she has a realtor office, and you can just see that she has and will continue to discriminate against gays:

  10. Fannie says:

    Listen to this idiot woman.

  11. Fannie says:

    Here’s the nine democrats voting for XL Keystone:

    Warner, Mark Va.
    Tester, John, Mt.
    McCaskill, Claire, Mo.
    Manchin, Joe, W.Va.
    Heidi Heitkamp, N.D.
    Donnelly, Joe, Ind.
    Casey, Robert, Pa.
    Carper, Thomas, Del
    Bennet, Michael, Colo.

  12. NW Luna says:

    Colleen McCullough: we’ll celebrate a woman for anything, as long as it’s not her talent

    Obituaries are a funny thing. How do you sum up a person’s entire life in just a few words? How do you put their essence on a page, touching on their achievements, and their greatest moments, while also keeping it personal? The first paragraph seems to be crucial. When Bryce Courtenay, one of Australia’s most beloved and successful authors died in 2012, the Australian newspaper started out with:

    BRYCE Courtenay was one of Australia’s greatest storytellers, touching the hearts of millions of people around the world with 21 bestselling books including The Power of One.

    Lovely. In this introduction you understand immediately that he was a best-selling author, a great storyteller, and someone who touched the lives of many people through his work. Seems easy enough. Yesterday, the Australian published an obituary for another beloved and best-selling Australian author, Colleen McCullough. Her obituary opened with:

    COLLEEN McCullough, Australia’s best-selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: “I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men.”

    Now, what do we learn from this introduction? The fact that she was a best-selling author is quickly tossed aside in order to discuss her looks and her success with men. In the first paragraph. Of her obituary. Which is meant to sum up her entire life. McCullough was a woman who penned The Thorn Birds, still the highest-selling Australian book of all time. After working as a neuroscientist in Sydney, she went on to write that particular book during her time in the neurology department at Yale. This is a woman who also wrote an acclaimed seven-book, methodically researched, historical series called Masters of Rome, which won her diverse fans like Newt Gingrich and Bob Carr. She is someone who accomplished an astonishing amount during her life, and here she is reduced, in a moment, to her looks and her ability to attract men.