About My Blog.

Welcome! This is "Catatonic Digressions."
Most, if not all readers don't understand my blog's title. It's an old inside joke from a forum long gone. I was going to change it, but since it's been "confusing" for so long, I decided to leave it. Don't worry about what it means, the content of the blog is what is important.

Unfortunately, my blog isn't what I set out for it to be. A disturbed and manic online stalker and cyberbully has made it impossible for me to post about family, my son, life in my part of New York...so I stopped (for the most part), and I mostly reblog and repost what I feel is important, necessary or close to my heart. As for the stalking sociopath, she can go to hell for harassing me and my family since mid-2008. You can't scare me offline with a few lame threats and dozens of pages of defamation, abuse, depravity and libel. I'm bitchy like that. ;)
(Anyone who knows me knows I'm not actually a bitch, but let's allow this psychopath to think I'm a bitch to her blackened heart's content—it seems to make her feel she has some sort of control over me…and it does not.)

If you read a story and you feel moved in any way, comment. Comments are more than welcome.

Unlike those online who lie and hide behind fake photos and insanely fabricated stories, I'm a real person. I'm real and I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. After years of putting up with online abuse by manipulative, pathological liars, attention whores or narcissists, I've had it. Don't bother me with pathetic drama. I have no time for these types of people and their need to absorb others' time and attention.

Feel free to email me if you have a story or cause you would like shared, especially if it pertains to animal rights, liberation, veganism, animal welfare, health and well-being, geekery, Macs and computer dorkiness, music, lowbrow art, kitchy stuff, skateboards, the beach, swimming, diving, NYC, beading (it's my hobby), recipes (love to cook, especially if I made the recipe up myself!), VEGAN!, ALF, Sea Shepherd, Action for Animals, NIO, 269Life and/or anything you think I might enjoy or others might—you never know. It doesn't always have to be serious. Hilarious stories, local NY, funny videos or photos, photobombs (especially if they contain pets!)...I might be partially censored, but I'm not closed down!

Please, join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and follow them and The Barbi Twins on Twitter and Facebook.

For the Oceans,
Suzanne

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wayne State research triggers accusations of animal cruelty


Wayne State research triggers accusations of animal cruelty




When an implanted device receded into Queenie’s body, the dog was euthanized, as are all dogs used in O’Leary’s experiments.


The experiments date back to 1991 and have received public funding from the National Institutes of Health.


In a statement sent to The Oakland Press, WSU spokesman Matt Lockwood said the university denies the group’s allegations of abuse.


“Wayne State University is committed to ensuring that all research and teaching protocols using live animals are designed and carried out in a humane manner that complies with all laws, policies and guidelines,” the statement said. A request for an interview with O’Leary was denied.


In the letter to the prosecutor’s office, the animal rights group’s director of academic affairs, Dr. John Pippin, and its associate general counsel, Mark Kennedy, allege that the university has violated the state law by “cruelly working hundreds of dogs, by forcing them to endure lengthy treadmill tests after multiple major surgeries.”
In a phone interview, Kennedy said, “We tend to file this kind of complaint when something seems really outrageous.”


The letter reads that O’Leary is “conducting inhumane experiments by causing dogs ... unrelieved pain and distress without undergoing proper scrutiny required for such experiments.


“Dogs in these protocols undergo multiple major surgeries to have medical devices implanted in their bodies, and are then forced to run exhausting treadmill tests for months before they are finally killed. Up to 25 percent of the dogs die during the surgeries or the experiments.”


A publication of the university’s Division of Research titled “New Science” said that O’Leary is “investigating what causes the reduction of blood flow to muscles and the heart during exercise in patients who suffer from heart failure.”


O’Leary is quoted in the literature: “It is well known that exercise can have extreme responses to heart failure; however, how these responses occur remains unclear.


“Our objective is to shed new light on the mechanisms responsible for these responses, which is the first step in identifying treatment regimens.”


A USDA inspection of O’Leary’s laboratory, which occurred after the administrative complaint was filed, found no violations, Lockwood said.


The USDA confirmed that the inspection came up clean.


David Sacks, a USDA spokesman in Riverdale, Md., said: “We look into every complaint that comes in.”


Wayne State “has not been cited for anything the (group) is contending,” he said.
The inspection report, dated Nov. 2, said, “No non-compliant items (were) identified during this inspection,” and provides no further detail other than the titles of the people present during the inspection.


However, the animal welfare group’s Pippin points out: “What you get in a USDA inspection report is a picture of what you see (at the lab) on the day you show up. The incontrovertible truth is in (Wayne State’s) veterinary records.”


Pippin said he believes that if the USDA’s inspector had seen dogs with the surgery or instrumentation that Queenie had, the inspector would have found the lab in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.


Queenie was one of five dogs purchased on Sept. 16, 2009 from a Class B animal dealer, R&R Research of Howard City, Mich.


The animal dealer obtained Queenie from the Gratiot County Animal Shelter through a process known as pound seizure.


All of the dogs mentioned in the animal rights group’s complaints came to Wayne State via Class B animal dealers. The National Institutes of Health released a memo earlier this year detailing a plan to move away from using dogs bought from Class B dealers in federally-funded research.


The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain Wayne State’s daily progress reports for Queenie. There are 15 noted instances in the document of the dog defecating and/or having diarrhea on the treadmill during experimentation.


In the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s guide for the inspection of research facilities, “excessive (frequent and voluminous) diarrhea and/or vomiting” is listed as an example of direct noncompliance.


“Defecation on the treadmill shows an extreme fear response and (inability) to control the bowels,” said Dr. Melvyn Richardson, a California veterinarian who consults with advocacy groups and as an expert witness.


Richardson reviewed the records on Queenie, and said “the medication they were giving her was not adequate to control her pain.”
The group’s administrative complaint to the USDA contended that dogs used in O’Leary’s experiments show signs of unrelieved pain, and thus are wrongly classified with the USDA. The protocol for O’Leary’s experiments labels them as USDA Category D, which covers “animals used in research, experiments, or tests where appropriate anesthetic, analgesic or tranquilizing agents are required to avoid pain or distress.”


The animal rights advocates said in the petition for enforcement that the Wayne State experiments should instead fall under USDA Category E, which includes animals used in research where the investigator “is unable or unwilling to administer anesthetic, analgesic or tranquilizing agents.”


According to the protocol form for research that the university must file with its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee,  experiments in USDA Category E must “identify the condition that places the animals in Category E and provide scientific justification for withholding alleviation of pain/distress.”


“I don’t know how anyone could look at (the daily progress report) and not see that this animal was in pain,” Richardson said.


 He also said that records indicate Queenie was given Rimadyl for pain relief, which Richardson said was once used as an over-the-counter pain medication for humans. “They didn’t want to give her anything that would change her ability to run on the treadmill,” such as a narcotic, he said.


In his written analysis of the veterinary records, Richardson said, “while the amount of pain control used pre- and post-operatively appears adequate, the use of Rimadyl for the level of pain and trauma Queenie was experiencing is not.”


Richardson said the chest cavity is a sensitive area, and that the surgeries in O’Leary’s experiments open the chest, in a procedure known as a thoracotomy, to clamp arteries and veins, and tunnel under the skin, leaving “eight to nine tubes hanging out of the dog.”


O’Leary’s research protocol shows that up to five surgeries might be performed on dogs in the course of an experiment. 


“Chest tubes are very painful,” Richardson said. “To maintain one for that long — I don’t know any other word but cruel.”


One local doctor who signed the complaint sent to the USDA said she fundamentally opposes animal testing. “I think we’ve reached a point in current Western medicine where the use of animals can’t teach us anymore about human physiology,” said Dr. Jennifer Giordano, a Farmington Hills psychiatrist.


Another Oakland County doctor, Joyce Feldman, Ph.D., of Rochester Hills, is also named on the petition for enforcement sent to the USDA, but did not respond to Oakland Press calls seeking comment.


Wayne State’s statement responding to the complaints against O’Leary said the professor has “been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health for more than 20 years, he has an international reputation as leader in cardiovascular research, and he serves on the editorial board of major scientific journals. Because his research involves animals, it is subject to surprise inspections, veterinary oversight, and intense scrutiny by the United States Department of Agriculture; his record is exemplary.”


But veterinarian Richardson disagreed.


“It seems like the only people benefiting from this are the researchers getting paid to do it,” he said.

 Follow Dustin Blitchok on Twitter @SincerelyDustin

For the Web:

Queenie vet records: http://bit.ly/vLNJT0

Research protocol: http://bit.ly/s1D7cK

WSU’s response: http://bit.ly/swAMtY

Complaint to Wayne County prosecutor’s office: http://bit.ly/rIJQKr

Complaint to USDA: http://bit.ly/tqcSKX
© Copyright 2012 The News Herald, a Journal Register Property & part of Journal Register MI -- All rights reserved 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sea Shepherd: Where do the Captured Taiji Dolphins Go?

Sea Shepherd :: Where do the Captured Taiji Dolphins Go?

September 21, 2010

Where do the Captured Taiji Dolphins Go?

COMMENTARY BY CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON

In the early part of the 20th Century, zoos around the world paid mercenaries to obtain animals for them. These mercenaries would attack an entire band of mountain gorillas. They would slaughter all the adults and capture the babies for shipment to zoos in Europe and America. They would sell off the parts like the hands and heads to collectors. The meat was referred to as “bush meat.”  
This was acceptable behavior then, although most people would be horrified if zoos continued to do this today.
Zoos have long abandoned the slaughter capture approach to securing specimens. Marine aquariums have not.
This is exactly the method used today by many marine aquariums around the world: Capture an entire pod of dolphins, select the prime specimens, and kill the rest for meat and trophies like dolphin teeth and skulls.
Taiji is a place where dolphins and small whales are captured for sale to marine aquariums. The ones that are not sold into slavery are slaughtered. The zoo collection techniques once so common and now totally unacceptable elsewhere remain common practice in Japan.
The marine aquariums that purchase these captured dolphins are complicit in the slaughter, and any person that patronizes these seaquariums are also complicit in these brutal killings. If you pay admission to such an establishment, you are helping to kill dolphins and whales. It’s as simple as that.
There are nine Taiji dolphins now in Egypt. Four are being held in very poor conditions. They are actually being kept in a private swimming pool. There are five more dolphins from Taiji that have been shipped to Egypt in the last few days.
Other Taiji dolphins have been shipped to Mexico, Turkey, Dubai, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea. Many have gone to the 50 Japanese marine aquarium facilities.
In past years, Miami Seaquarium, Sea World, and Indianapolis Zoo have received captured dolphins. This is no longer happening. Or is it?
And apparently the United States Navy has purchased dolphins from Japan to be trained for military purposes like guarding ports and planting mines.
Sea World has publicly condemned The Cove, and they have stated as nonsense that Sea World would purchase dolphins from Taiji.
Yet just this year Sea World applied for a permit to import a pilot whale from Japan.
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From the Federal Registry, January 4th, 2010 – Summary
Notice is hereby given that Sea World, Inc., 9205 South Park Circle, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32819, has applied in due form for a permit to import one pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) for the purposes of public display.
The applicant requests authorization to import one male nonreleasable stranded pilot whale from Kamogawa SeaWorld 1404-18 Higashi-cho, Kamogawa, Chiba, Japan to Sea World of California. The applicant requests this import for the purpose of public display. The receiving facility, Sea World of California, 1720 South Shores Road, San Diego, CA 92109-7995 is: (1) open to the public on regularly scheduled basis with access that is not limited or restricted other than by charging for an admission fee; (2) offers an educational program based on professionally accepted standards of the AZA and the Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums; and (3) holds an Exhibitor's License, number 93-C-0069, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 - 59).
article_separator_460x1
Source (21 Sept 10):  http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2009/12/02/E9-28835/marine-mammals-file-no-15014

The permit stipulates that the whale must have been stranded. Driving a pilot whale up onto the beach at Taiji is effectively stranding it.
Fifteen pilot whales were slaughtered in The Cove yesterday and yet Sea World has no problem importing a pilot whale from a nation that slaughters thousands of dolphins every year.
This makes every person who purchases a ticket to Sea World complicit in the horrifically cruel slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins.
These dolphins, so cute and so intelligent that spectators applaud and cheer as they perform tricks at marine aquariums around the world, are literally dying a slow death of agony for the amusement of a jaded public that simply does not care what the price of their entertainment costs in suffering and death.
Every time a dolphin jumps through a hoop at Sea World or any other facility that enslaves dolphins, there is a history of horror that brought that dolphin to perform for their amusement.
Not much different really than the animals that died in the coliseum for the amusement of Romans two thousand years ago.
The dolphins of Taiji are just dying to amuse us.

All Contents Copyright © 2012 Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen Found Not Guilty By Japanese Judge

February 21, 2012

Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen Found Not Guilty By Japanese Judge


Erwin Vermeulen Found Not Guilty By Japanese JudgeFebruary 22, 2012, Wakayama, Japan - In a very rare example of extreme bravery the Wakayama Court Judge presiding over the case of Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian volunteer Erwin Vermeulen, has declared the Dutch activist not guilty.  This outcome was completely unexpected from a justice system that boasts a 99% conviction rate.  In the Japanese court system there is a presumption of guilt, not of innocence.  There is no burden of proof for the prosecutor to bear; the defendant must prove his innocence.  Most defendants avoid this injustice by pleading guilty and begging forgiveness.  In the very few cases in which a person dares to declare their innocence, the judge usually decides the case in favor of the prosecutor.  The judge does not consider the facts or the evidence, but rather how embarrassing a loss might be for the prosecutor and how their own personal reputation may be harmed by an acquittal.
Erwin Vermeulen is the victim of a politically motivated attack. The judge himself stated there was no evidence to support the claim against Erwin.  He was held in a Japanese jail for 60 days, in solitary conditions and fed a poor diet. Erwin was prosecuted for being Dutch because the Sea Shepherd ships fly the Dutch flag, and for merely being associated with SSCS.  The charges of “minor assault” were based upon the untrue words of a young man who was caught failing to perform his simple task of monitoring a gate at the Dolphin Resort Hotel.
The Wakayama Prefecture Police displayed their incompetence by the way they handled Erwin’s arrest and the ensuing investigation.  The Wakayama Prefecture Prosecutor’s Office proved itself to be a puppet and pursued a flawed case simply because someone in power told them to do so.  The actions of these police officers and prosecutors is an embarrassment for real law enforcement officers the world over. In a country with a staggering conviction rate and a government that is hostile towards the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, this verdict is a huge victory for both the individual and the organization.
Erwin says that the "judge showed great courage in going against public opinion and ruling fairly. My arrest and 2 month detention generated world-wide publicity for the dolphins in Taiji and I would like to thank the Wakayama prefecture police and prosecutors for generously donating Japanese tax payers money to bring attention to the dolphin slaughter.”
Erwin and Cove Guardian campaign leader Scott West will hold a press conference at The Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo on February 24th at 3:00 P.M.

Please contribute to Sea Shepherd's
Legal Defense and Education Fund

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All Contents Copyright © 2012 Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.


March 23-25
Secaucus, NJ

Friday, February 17, 2012

Facebook goes Twitter on us and will introduced verified accounts and pseudonyms



Facebook goes Twitter on us and will introduced verified accounts and pseudonyms

verifying accounts
Facebook reveals plans to elevate celebrity Internet status much like Twitter and Google+ have.
So much for a quiet period? Even though Facebook recently filed its S-1, the updates just keep coming. We recently learned that brands would be getting the Timeline treatment at the end of the month, and now TechCrunch says Facebook has taken a page out of Twitter’s book and will introduce verified accounts as well as the ability for users to create pseudonyms for those accounts.
The site has long championed a “real name” policy, although enforcing this has been incredibly lax. Many users have defied the system with their user names (points at self), and Facebook has very loosely policed this. Google+ attempted a more severe structure and was quick to oust faked names (and in some cases, real ones it didn’t trust). Of course, by now we know that G+ compromised and eventually allowed users to include a nickname with their profile.
So while Facebook hasn’t been a watchdog about this, it now officially accepts pseudonyms for verified accounts. Selected users (those with very high subscriber numbers) will see an option to verify their accounts. Celebrities and public figures are obviously the beneficiaries here, and Facebook decides who gets the privilege. The site will manually patrol the verified account registrations, as well as registered aliases, and applicants will have to send Facebook government-issue ID or two alternate IDs (which the site will delete later).
It’s all very similar to the process Twitter went through when it first introduced verified accounts (obviously, alternate names were not an issue on the site). The site was plagued by celebrity impersonators, which was hurting its legitimacy — as well as frustrating businesses trying to use the site and its famous users for marketing purposes. The solution was simple, and has since spawned entirely new avenues for marketing via the platform. Google+ went through a similar transformation. 
Facebook likely wants to push the same strategy with its new subscription feature. Once an account is verified, it will be pushed more frequently in the suggested subscriptions section. However, the site will not be using any visual icons for users to identify when an account is verified. So if your name just happens to be Justin Timberlake, some confusion might remain without something notifying users whether they are or aren’t following the more famous Timberlake.
It’s definitely a deviation from Facebook’s original focus, which was very much about connecting real people, not validating celebrity. And while Twitter has become a popular haven for the famous and their followers (and an advertiser’s paradise), Facebook would be wise to remember it has a much more stable revenue model than the microblogging site does. Facebook is really trying to push this idea of subscribing to the more famous among us, but it just isn’t as naturally positioned for this as Twitter. Twitter is more passive and users are more apt to watch and listen, but on Facebook we’re more interactive — something the subscriber feature isn’t really about. 
The lack of pushing celebrity Internet presence (in comparison to other social sites) on Facebook has been somewhat refreshing. Relatively speaking, it’s been much more about “real” people. 
But it’s Facebook’s world and we’re all just living in it. The site’s evolution is unstoppable, and we’ve seen significant change over the last year especially. And how it shapes the platform from now on will have more to do with its investors and financial future — it can’t take as many risks or ignore potential profit. 
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