Tuesday Reads

Good Afternoon!!

I’m extra late today, because I was talking to Dakinikat on the phone. One of her cats, Keely, had two seizures in the middle of the night. They were apparently petit mal seizures, based on information we found on-line. There haven’t been any more seizures this morning, and Keely is behaving normally.

There are apparently multiple possible causes for seizures in cats, including epilepsy, contagious diseases, and brain injuries or brain tumors. Keely has never been outside, so a contagious disease seems unlikely. The problem is that Dakinikat can’t get to a vet today, because everything in New Orleans is shut down for Mardi Gras. I thought I’d mention this here in case anyone has had experience with this.

Now for today’s news . . .

From Kevin Liptak at CNN:

President Joe Biden on Tuesday marked a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by celebrating the strength and resilience of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people.

In a second major address from Warsaw, Poland, in less than a year, Biden pointed to his trip to the Ukrainian capital a day before as evidence that the democracies of the world are growing stronger in the face of autocracy.

“One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv. Well, I’ve just come from a visit to Kyiv and I can report Kyiv stands strong. Kyiv stands proud, it stands tall and most important, it stands free,” Biden said.

The speech comes hours after Putin delivered a major speech to the Federal Assembly, again falsely claiming that Ukraine and its allies in the West started the war and offering no signs he is pulling back in his ambitions.

According to senior US and European officials, Putin’s aims have not changed since he launched his invasion a year ago. Despite humiliating setbacks for his military and an apparent power struggle between the mercenary Wagner Group and the Russian defense ministry, Russia has recently made gains in the east. Putin’s troops appear poised to take the city of Bakhmut, the first significant Russian military victory in months.

Visiting the region this week, Biden hoped to again provide a rallying cry for Ukraine, demonstrating to Putin and Russia that Western resolve isn’t weakening. Harkening to the start of the war, Biden said the challenges of the invasion extended beyond Ukraine’s borders.

“When Russia invaded, it was not just Ukraine being tested. The whole world faced a test for the ages,” he said. “Europe was being tested. America was being tested. NATO was being tested.”

Some video from Aaron Rupar:

See more coverage from Rupar on Twitter.

Last night, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will halt its participation in the START Treaty.

From The Washington Post article:

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a state of the nation address Tuesday that Moscow is “suspending” its participation in the New START nuclear nonproliferation agreement, the last remaining arms control treaty between the United States and Russia.

Putin said that Russia will not “withdraw” completely from the treaty, which has been extended to run through Feb. 4, 2026, but that Russia would not allow NATO countries to inspect its nuclear arsenal. He accused the alliance of helping Ukraine conduct drone strikes on Russian air bases that host strategic bombers that are part of the country’s nuclear forces.

The 2011 treaty placed “verifiable limits” on the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads deployed by the countries.

“Our relations have degraded, and that’s completely and utterly the U.S.’s fault,” Putin said.

“If the U.S. conducts tests, then so will we,” Putin said. “Nobody should have any illusions that global strategic parity can be destroyed.” Other nonproliferation agreements, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty have fallen apart in recent years.

Western officials reacted with alarm at Putin’s decision.

“The announcement by Russia that it’s suspending participation in New START is deeply unfortunate and irresponsible,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters. “We’ll be watching carefully to see what Russia actually does.”

Blinken noted the Biden administration’s role in extending New START in 2021. “We extended New START because it was clearly in the security interests of our country and actually in the security interests of Russia,” he said, adding: “We remain ready to talk about strategic arms limitations at any time with Russia irrespective of anything else going on in the world or in our relationship.”

Another large aftershock has hit Turkey and Syria.

BBC News: 

Rescuers are once again searching for people trapped under rubble in Turkey after another earthquake hit the country, killing at least six people.

A 6.4 magnitude tremor struck near the city of Antakya near the border with Syria, where massive quakes devastated both countries on 6 February.

The earlier quakes killed 44,000 people in Turkey and Syria with tens of thousands more left homeless.

Buildings weakened by those tremors collapsed in both countries on Monday.

Turkey’s disaster and emergency agency says the 6.4 earthquake occurred at 20:04 local time (17:04 GMT) at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles).

This was followed by a 5.8 aftershock three minutes later and dozens of subsequent aftershocks that were not as severe.

The health minister, Dr Fahrettin Koca, said 294 people have been injured – 18 of them seriously….

Reports from the city of Antakya spoke of fear and panic in the streets as ambulances and rescue crews tried to reach the worst affected areas where the walls of badly damaged buildings had collapsed.

“I thought the earth was going to split open under my feet,” local resident Muna al-Omar told Reuters news agency, crying as she held her seven-year-old son. She had been in a tent in a park in the city centre when the new earthquakes hit.

This is stunning news. Popular Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline is resigning from the House in June.

From CBS News:

Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat who served as a House impeachment manager during former President Trump’s second impeachment process, will leave Congress to be the CEO of a foundation, he announced Tuesday.

Cicilline, 61, will leave Congress on June 1, a year and a half before his seventh two-year term is up, to be president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation. Cicilline was the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, before joining Congress in 2011.

Cicilline’s departure will prompt a special election.

“For more than a decade, the people of Rhode Island entrusted me with a sacred duty to represent them in Congress, and it is a responsibility I put my heart and soul into every day to make life better for the residents and families of our state,” Cicilline said. “The chance to lead the Rhode Island Foundation was unexpected, but it is an extraordinary opportunity to have an even more direct and meaningful impact on the lives of residents of our state. The same energy and commitment I brought to elected office, I will now bring as CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, advancing their mission to ensure all Rhode Islanders can achieve economic security, access quality, affordable healthcare, and attain the education and training that will set them on a path to prosperity.”

A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Judiciary Committee, Cicilline was an impeachment manager for the second Trump impeachment over the former president’s actions leading up to and during the Capitol assault of Jan. 6, 2021.

Bennie Thompson attacked Kevin McCarthy for giving January 6 video to Tucker Carlson.

From The Hill:

House Homeland Security Committee ranking Democrat Bennie Thompson (Miss.) on Monday blasted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for handing over tens of thousands of hours of riot footage from Jan. 6, 2021, to Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

“It’s hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly,” Thompson said in a statement.

McCarthy’s office granted about 41,000 hours of footage of the Capitol riots to Carlson, Axios first reported. A Fox News spokesperson confirmed the development to The Hill on Monday.

“If Speaker McCarthy has indeed granted Tucker Carlson — a Fox host who routinely spreads misinformation and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s poisonous propaganda — and his producers access to this sensitive footage, he owes the American people an explanation of why he has done so and what steps he has taken to address the significant security concerns at stake,” Thompson said.

The Mississippi Democrat headed the select House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attacks for nearly a year and a half before releasing its final report in December. The committee had interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, read through documents and reviewed troves of video footage of the riots during its investigation.

Carlson has accused the select committee of “lying” about what happened on Jan. 6, and has boasted that Fox News did not cover the proceedings, or what he called “propaganda,” on live television.

One more shocking story, before I wrap this up:

From Raw Story: Given a chance to apologize for the theft of a Black man’s heart, Virginia House Republicans declined.

In what can only be characterized as a stunningly callous decision, last week members of a Rules subcommittee of Virginia’s House of Delegates killed a resolution to acknowledge and apologize for the state-sanctioned medical misuse of Black bodies in Virginia, a common practice in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Four of the subcommittee’s five members – including House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, and Del. Kathy Byron, R-Bedford – voted to lay SJ 274 on the table, politi-speak for postponing any action on the legislation indefinitely. The measure had sailed through the Senate with unanimous approval and, at least in the mind of Phillip Thompson, who came up with the idea of the bill, was a no-brainer, low-lift way for the state to recognize the wrongs of the past.

“I thought it had a chance because it’s a very innocuous bill,” Thompson told me. “We weren’t asking for reparations, nothing like that; we just wanted a real apology.”

An apology would be the very least the state could do, considering Virginia institutions’ horrible history of using Black people, living and dead, as guinea pigs.

Thompson said he got the idea for the resolution after reading a Politico article in late 2022 that explained how Black laborer Bruce Tucker’s body was violated in the name of a medical miracle after his accidental death in 1968.

A day after he died from a fatal fall, and without his family’s knowledge or consent, Tucker’s “heart was sewn into the chest of a white business executive” at the Medical College of Virginia, the forebear of what is now Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine, according to Politico’s report. “It was one of the first heart transplants in the country, and it gave the med school the status it had sought at the forefront of transplant science.”

Tucker’s sad fate also underscored Richmond’s record of body snatching, the practice of stealing the bodies of deceased Black people for doctors-in-training to practice dissection. “Resurrectionists” were known to lurk in Black cemeteries in Richmond, seeking to abscond with the remains of the newly dead, according to the documentary “Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies,” directed by Dr. Shawn Utsey, former chair of VCU’s African American Studies Department.

There’s more at the link. The history of racism in this country is so stunning. It’s enough to take your breath away.

Have a nice Tuesday Sky Dancers! I’ll see you in the comment thread.

14 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    CNN plans to give Don Lemon training in sexism and misogyny after he made offensive remarks about Niki Haley–saying that women over 50 are past their prime.

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. Beata says:

    One of my cats started having grand mal seizures in her later years. It was terrifying to witness. Vets thought she had a brain tumor. She took a small dose of diazepam (I think it was 1 mg?) every day for the last three years of her life. That stopped the seizures. She finally died at 21 years of age from kidney failure.

  4. dakinikat says:

    She had one last night that I saw and from the noise of that one I think she had one a few days ago that I mistook for cat wrestling.

    I got some suggestions from folks on Facebook. I’m checking her for fleas and mites.

    • NW Luna says:

      One of mine had a few grand mal seizures but she was very dehydrated. I’d just adopted her and the shelter had her on n.p.o. for 2 days! because their vets couldn’t do all the spay surgeries in one day. I found a vet ER and she was given diazepam, which is Valium. I looked at the dose and then said “Why are you giving my 8-lb cat enough diazepam for a 250-lb human?!” Turns out cats require a larger amount of diazepam than would a human — their metabolisms are quite different in processing the drug. Once kitty was well-nourished and hydrated she had no more seizures.

      Yes, some cats can get epilepsy. As with epilepsy in many humans, the cause is unknown in many cases. Sounds like you’ve ruled out any of the most common causes. Nearly always it can be managed w/meds. In rare cases there’s a brain mass which can be malignant but a benign mass pressing on the brain can cause problems too. Hope Keely has only a temporary cause or that it is the type which just needs maintenance meds.

      It’s scary when our furfriends are ill. An excellent resource for reliable info is at the Cornell Feline Health Center. Cornell is probably the best cat vet school in the country. Here’s the link for Neuro conditions: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/neurological-disorders

    • quixote says:

      I hope this passes and turns out to be just one of those things!

  5. Beata says:

    My 13 year old kitty is fading fast. She’s been sick for about a year now. Soon she’ll be going over that rainbow bridge. It’s breaking my heart to watch her go. She’s been with me since she was a kitten.

    • NW Luna says:

      Oh no. That’s so hard knowing she’s going to be leaving you soon. My oldest is around 16 y.o. w/later stage chronic kidney failure, which takes off so many cats. He’s very deaf and sometimes meows earsplittingly loud because he can’t hear himself. He also seems to have some kitty dementia — or come to think of it, maybe absence seizures at times. I try not to think ahead about him.

    • quixote says:

      So sorry to hear that. I had feather friends rather than fur friends, but each one going was a wrench I still feel sometimes. Thinking of you.