Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 4, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

INDEPENDENCE DAY CATBLOGGING.... I don't suppose it will come as any surprise to learn that (a) housecats aren't especially patriotic critters and (b) housecats don't cooperate especially well with efforts to pose them. So after several abortive attempts at patriotic photo ops with the furballs, this was my final effort: I filled up a patriotic lemonade pitcher with cat food and tried to get a picture of them eating out of each side. As you can see, even that didn't work so well. In an inversion of our usual morning routine, Domino stuffed her face in the pitcher first and growled ominously whenever Inkblot got close. Result: Mr. Alpha Cat backed off and patiently waited his turn. But at least it's all in a nice, patriotic motif, even if they did refuse to wear flag lapel pins or hold their paws over their hearts.

And with that, I'm off for the day. Lots of craziness this week both in the blogosphere and in real life, and I need a break. It's burgers and brats for me and mine tonight, and I'm going to try my best not to think too deeply about what patriotism really means. As far as I'm concerned, we're all tremendously lucky to live in one of the freest countries on earth, and that means everyone is free to love it in whatever way suits them best. So to civilians and soldiers, citizens and aspirants, and Democrats and Republicans, have a nice 4th one and all.

Kevin Drum 11:47 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

My three "girls" and I are hosting a July Fourth "do" in our new digs.

I adopted - from the Espanola Humane Society - a splendid young - 2 years old - Tabby called "Alice". I added "Obama" to her name, so now she's "Alice Obama". She's getting along beautifully with my two other cats, Phaedra and Emily. It's almost a miracle how well they're doing!

A Happy July 4th to Kevin and his wife and cats and to all readers of the column. May our next 4th be celebrated with our new President - Barack Obama!

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on July 4, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Just lovely, what a beautiful picture. Please have a wonderful 4th of July, Kevin.

Posted by: paradox on July 4, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

So to civilians and soldiers, citizens and aspirants, and Democrats and Republicans, have a nice 4th one and all.

This made me think of:

Happy Fourth of July to all, and to all a good night!

Posted by: pol on July 4, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Beautiful picture. Inkblot is just being Presidential. He can whoop Domino's but if he chooses to, and chooses not to. A great American cat, indeed.

Posted by: thersites on July 4, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Similarly, I can spell "butt" if I choose to, but the keyboard chose not to. Stupid bronze keyboard.

Posted by: thersites on July 4, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Inkblot mews, "Screw symbolism."

How old is he in cat years? Could he qualify as Obama's running mate?

Posted by: Vincent on July 4, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm so old, I remember when when we had Memorial Day and Veterans' Day for veterans, and the 4th of July was for all Americans. It's getting to be like The Simpsons episode where Bart and Lisa have their own TV show. Lisa wants to do real reporting while Bart panders:

Bart "I just feel they deserve a day for themselves."

Lisa "They already have two."

So, I think I'll spend some time today contemplating the real danger the Founders Fathers faced when they signed the Declaration of Independence. The armed forces, not so much.

Posted by: Matt on July 4, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Take your Jesse Helms stuff somewhere else, folks. I'm not going to have to shut down comments on a catblogging post, am I?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on July 4, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I put on two flag lapel pins so I'm twice as patriotic as Blankley. Heh.

Posted by: Jet on July 4, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

"burgers and brats"

Can we assume that the "brats" are sausages, rather than unappreciated children?

Posted by: BarryG on July 4, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Nation-states are a mixed bag. They do offer protection, from the other nation-states. Mostly, I'm happy to live in such a rich country. Livin' is easy here, relative to 80% of the world's population.

And sure, we're also "freer" than 70-80% of the world's population too. (Japan and Western Europe ain't bad places either though).

On July 4th, we celebrate our declaration of independence from Britain. And thanks goodness for it, and the subsequent war asserting that independence from those nasty Brits. Otherwise, we might have ended up like CANADA!

The horror!

Posted by: flubber on July 4, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Deep Thought:

Some Americans have occasionally burned the US flag in protest. But the same Americans would never burn copies of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.

This proves, I think, that even the dirtiest of f*cking hippies are possessed of a deep and abiding love for their country.

Posted by: lampwick on July 4, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK
I filled up a patriotic lemonade pitcher with cat food
I love cats, but you could boil that pitcher twenty times and there would still be no way in hell I'd drink anything that came out of it.
Posted by: navamske on July 4, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

"...and that means everyone is free to love it in whatever way suits them best." Kevin, that's the best Independence Day message I've ever heard! Thanks for taking time to cat-blog today. Best to you and your family.

Posted by: Winslow on July 4, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

lampwick, that is exceedingly well put.

Posted by: thersites on July 4, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Friday scatblogging — Scat and the History Channel

Get a preview of The History Channel’s two-hour show on the history of scat. It runs tomorrow, July 5 at 5 p.m.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 4, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Lampwick. Good idea.

I'll try to remember to print out a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution this weekend and burn them. Photos on my blog.

(I've already burned a flag, and a Bible.)

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 4, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Flag burning, from and by a non-dirty, losing-but-not-long-haired, left-liberal not-necessarilly-a-hippie iconoclast.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 4, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

SocraticGadfly - It doesn't count if you don't mean it. You're not making a point; you're making (at best) art.

Posted by: lampwick on July 4, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

And cheers to you-and-yours, Kevin. Have a Happy 4th - and cheers to Domino & Inkblot - long may they run! (Or walk,as the case may be).

Posted by: Ed Tracey on July 4, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

We don’t have the only historic or patriotic anniversary, today, either

Vive la Québec at 400.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 4, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Lampwick, I was making a point with the flag-burning, though not the normal one. And, it is a relevant one this year, with the flag pins, etc.

That flag, as 102 percent of the flags of less than 5 feet in length that you can buy in America today, was made in China. Burning the flag was not so much an expression of free speech, though it is that, as a commentary on the moral emptiness of most American patriotic symbolism.

And, as all the flag lapel bins that Republicans (and now BO, too) wear are likewise made in China, that point is valid in spades.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 4, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

If we ask politely enough, will the Brits take us back? Pretty please? (But only if we get a piece of NHS.)

Posted by: MattD on July 4, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Am I not a clever and contrary fellow? At times I annoy even myself. But I press on, regardless.

Posted by: dramatic housefly on July 4, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK


It has come to my attention that you have ignored a travesty of justice. Bozo the Clown has been declared as dead... George W Bush, his real identity, is still alive... or what passes for it.

Farthermore (distancing myself), you have adopted a distinctly un-Stalinist position of not allowing loaded guns in the White House. Now, I could understand that position AFTER January 20th or so...

Happy July 4th!

Posted by: Weasel on July 4, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK


It has come to my attention that you have ignored a travesty of justice. Bozo the Clown has been declared as dead... George W Bush, his real identity, is still alive... or what passes for it.

Farthermore (distancing myself), you have adopted a distinctly un-Stalinist position of not allowing loaded guns in the White House. Now, I could understand that position AFTER January 20th or so...

Happy July 4th!

Posted by: Weasel on July 4, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Have a great 4th, Kevin, and that goes to everyone in your house!!! Thanx for the great blog.

Posted by: JohnMcC on July 4, 2008 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's cats' Friday but 40J as well, so below are some ruminations of mine on Democracy. (Similar to comments on other blogs today.)

It is interesting and ironic that despite the interest of “neocons” in “spreading democracy,” the hard-core libertarian/conservative/Objectivist types deride democracy as “mob rule.” The Ayn-al retentive Neal Boortz and the like minded say, (now often not directly acknowledging her as inspiration), that “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.” They also like to say, “The USA is a Republic, not a Democracy.” The latter statement is false because “democracy” is not defined as “direct democracy” which is un-filtered by constitutions, legislatures etc., or both. Well, part of the reason we need a democracy is exactly about what the mob-rule haters reference: because of the power of property owners (and where does the “original justification” of that come from, and why not limited like that of government?), we need democracy so two sheep and a wolf can keep the wolf from eating the sheep on his own.

Yes, we are a Republic, and a Democracy too - a “representative democracy” which is a sub-class, not like “infrared.” (Conservatives often have trouble with combined categories, multiple causation etc. That is from my experience, not a “prejudice.”) I think the main appeal of the Republic over Democracy meme is the boost it gives the favored Party.

In any case, consider the irony of the Bush Admin/neocons wanting to spread democracy in the Middle East (really the near East) but being served results such as Hamas winning in Palestinian areas, Shiite religious parties in Iraq (now social freedoms are less than under Saddam, bad as he was.) Worse, Coalition forces are stretched so thin from Iraq that we can’t keep the lid down in Afghanistan, and are thus less safe in the long term.

Posted by: Neil B on July 4, 2008 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"
________________

Here is our exceptionalism, our wealth, our past and our future. So long as anyone claims these words as their ideology, the quarrels between us are mere details.

Happy Independence Day, everyone.

Posted by: trashhauler on July 4, 2008 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Here's to Life, Liverwurst, and the Fur Suit of Happiness!

Posted by: lampwick on July 4, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

This is what I love about cats. They just don't give a damn and they don't care who knows it.

Viva Inkblot and Domino!

Posted by: Steve on July 4, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Much thanks to all those along the way from Concord & Lexington to now that made America happen & be the beacon of hope for the planet (not including Bush Handlers, Inc. of course); long live the hope and may reality for all catch up to that hope.

Yum, yum, hot dogs (burp...) & beer !

Now here`s Thomas with a word for us all :

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt..." - Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: daCascadian on July 4, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Domino stuffed her face in the pitcher first and growled ominously whenever Inkblot got close.

Hoarding resources? That actually sounds pretty patriotic.

Posted by: asdf on July 4, 2008 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I'm sure you've mentioned this in the past, but I'm too lazy to look it up, but what digital camera equipment do you use? I'm looking to buy a new high-end digital camera (I'm an avid amateur photog) and was curious.

On another note, to me, patriotism is just pride in your country, regardless of how loud you claim it or how actively you fight for it, there are varying degrees of everything, all that matters is you retain a sense of pride in what it stands for and do your part (big or small) to ensure it persists.

Posted by: tom.a on July 5, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of hot dogs, I see this year's eating contest went to OT.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 5, 2008 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

A wonderful aphorism on patriotism from G.K. Chesterton, quoted in Adam Gopnik's profile in The New Yorker: " 'My country, right or wrong,' is a thing that no true patriot would think of saying. ... It is like saying, 'My mother, drunk or sober.' "

Posted by: allbetsareoff on July 5, 2008 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

allbetsareoff -- what, is that a Russian name or something? Hmm...

I would love my mother, even when drunk, but I wouldn't let her drive.

Posted by: thersites on July 5, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

It was our own moral failure and not any accident of chance, that while preserving the appearance of the Republic we lost its reality. -Marcus Tullius Cicero

Posted by: MsNThrope on July 5, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Love the picture. And yes, cats can be real difficult to get to pose for pictures.

Posted by: JWC on July 5, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Classy post, Kevin. We got together with all the other DFH's in our building and grilled free-range chicken and burgers, drank a few beers and in general gave thanks for fifty-odd troublemakers who put it all on the line 232 years ago to give us a republic.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on July 5, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Letting folks know that Inkblot will kowtow to Domino is detrimental to his chance of being picked as Obama's VP. Maybe you should delete this post? It could come back to haunt him.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 6, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Leave it to Weenie to totally misunderstand.
Inkblot is being a gentleman. You got a problem with that?

Posted by: thersites on July 6, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

this topic for test car

Posted by: Seireebek on July 18, 2008 at 6:09 AM | PERMALINK

tests time mashine

Posted by: gjoppers on July 30, 2008 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly