Cats in Shanghai

Well, this story is a lot less cute than the last one, but it still has cats, and a happy ending. From Reuters:

The power of the Internet has saved more than 800 cats from being skinned and served up on Chinese dinner tables.
About 30 animal lovers rushed to a parking lot in Shanghai after reading an Internet posting sparked by animal rights activist Huo Puyang that said two trucks carrying cats in wooden boxes had been intercepted, Huo said on Monday…
…The felines were on their way to the booming southern province of Guangdong, where some residents pride themselves as gourmets who will eat anything that flies, crawls or swims.

What the story (or similar stories on the same incident from other sources) don't mention is how in China there is a distinction between which cats are prized pets and which are food. Long-hair cats like Persians are to be bred and prized, while the common short-hair cats like those in the photo above, or Luna, are potential meals (not that we want long-haired cats to be eaten, either). But it gets worse, some of these cats may have been pets:

Huo's daughter-in-law had been looking for their missing pets and stumbled into the trucks, one of which sped away. The daughter-in-law called Huo, whose animal-loving friends then sent out an Internet alert last Friday.

The activists ended up buying the cats from the driver, after police said there was no evidence that any of them were stolen pets.

For all we know, the poor kitties were actually destined to become pet food or toothpaste. Or maybe part of some shoddy plastic product at Wal Mart…but for now, there's a happy ending in their rescue:

They now hope to place them in homes after posting their pictures and profiles on the Internet.

“They were so frightened,” the report quoted one of the rescuers, Huo Puyang, as saying.

I'm generally not that into the whole pushing-democracy-in-China thing. I could care less about the Communist Party and such. But it is good to see Chinese activists standing up to the sleeze and corruption, whether its big businesses spiking products with poisons or truck drivers stealing cats off the street. The same article (in the “related link” below) documents other recent internet-organized actions in China.

Fun with Cheney: Halliburton moves to Dubai…and Scooter

A brief break from the cats and synths to note today's news that Halliburton is joining Michael Jackson and others in Dubai, the Persian Gulf Disneyland and neutral zone.

Halliburton (Dick Cheney's former company) has been under huge suspicion and contempt for it's rather lucrative contracts in Iraq. And now it's headquarters is moving to Dubai…


This article in the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel somes up the “hmmm” quite well:

We know now that when Dick Cheney makes a foreign policy or war policy decision regarding Iraq or Iran or Saudi Arabia, he is really thinking about what it will do for Halliburton and Dubai–and for Dick Cheney.

Note that this move comes within days of new suspicion cast over Cheney after his former chief of staff and muppet I Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of perjury:

Why'd you do it, Scooter, why?

Beckett enters California politics

Few political articles reference Samuel Beckett's masterpiece Waiting for Godot, but that's exactly what we find at SayNoToPombo as they cover the recent wave of newspaper endorsements against Richard Pombo.

We at CatSynth dubbed Mr. Pombo California's Worst Representative in an earlier post.

It is nice to see literary references that add a bit of sophistication to what is otherwise an ugly campaign season.