Rescued from a kill shelter in Manteca, Petey Pumpkinhead III entered
our lives 7 years ago. Abused by a previous owner he was skittish and
nippish. That changed with love, affection and attention.
He was a majestic furry orange tabby. His coat emitted a perpetually
lovely fragrance. He had the sexiest strut with an ever present erect
tail and endearing behind.
Petey had simple needs. Belly rubs topped the list. He loved resting in
his backyard igloo. He would prance out when I entered the yard and
open wide for belly rubs and rolly polly.
He bonded with Klimey who also was rescued from a shelter. Klimey loved
licking Petey and taught Petey how to love back. They were inseparable.
Petey-Weedy (as we called him) evolved into the sweetest and most
gentle of companions. When hungry, he would jump into bed and
delicately place his paw on my face. No histrionics, just a love tap
and breakfast was on.
He loved sleeping inside the space between my legs or alongside the
curve of Clara's thigh. His body language suggested the most delicious
of dreams. He also had the squeakiest yawn when awakened.
Petey had a ravenous appetite and wore his weight well. That changed
last October when he dropped 2 pounds in short order and was diagnosed
with congestive heart failure.
He continued to lose weight but his sweet demeanor never changed.
Although not a lap cat during his youth, lately I would place him in my
lap in the back yard and we would stay together for long periods. These
were cherished moments. Klimey would join us and stay by Petey's side.
Strong medication was required every 8 hours to dissipate the fluid in
his lungs. No matter how much lasix was dosed, it could not stay on top
of the progression of his heart disease.
Last week Petey hit a low point and could hardly breath. He hadn't
eaten for 2+ days. We upped the lasix and he recovered miraculously.
His breathing appeared normal and he started eating - but only food
fresh out of the can. He ate more than he had in months. He had playful
sparring sessions with Klimey, tons of rolly polly and belly rubs, his
tail was erect and he slept next to my face the other day.
Today he had a good appetite in the early afternoon. I didn't see him
the rest of the day. When the thunder rumbled and the rain came pouring
down I went outside.
He was in the igloo. I tipped it and he ran inside. But something was wrong.
His breathing was labored. Petey could not catch his breath. He had
breathing attacks before and I had feared the worst, yet Petey always
An hour or so later when Clara came home, Petey's condition had
worsened. When he walked from under a table to lie down in the litter
box that was an alarming signal. I picked him up and he let out a cry.
Petey went under the bed where Klimey was and continued to make
We left him alone. Petey soon emerged and we put him in a blanket by the heater.
He wanted to be left alone.
Petey-Weedy barely could walk and stumbled out the bedroom and down a
few steps to the cat door. Somehow he pushed himself through. The igloo
was two feet from the door.
We let him be.
An hour later Clara checked on Petey.
His fur was gorgeous. His body still warm.
But Petey had passed.
He never made it to the igloo.
October 5-21 2014
Only 2 Spaces left!
Click for Testimonials
2013 Itinerary in review
Sumru Agiryuruyen and Cenk Erdogan
performing at an intimate venue during the May 2013 Tangents Turkey Music Tour. Our group sat a few feet from the performers.
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2014 Tangents Turkey Music Tour Sampler (click here for playlist)
not only immerse ourselves with the locals but even wild boars as this
one approached us in a
friendlly manner as we picknicked by the Aegean
during the May 2013 tour.
"Best Turkish Music Tour!
I can't imagine a better way to explore
the richness of Turkish culture than through its music. A guided music
tour led by World Music expert Dore Stein would be unforgettable. Dore
opens doors that music-lovers who travel on their own don't even know
Tom Brosnahan, Turkey Travel Planner
TTP is the best on-line resource for all things Turkish.
is the dean of Turkey travel writers who wrote the first five best selling Lonely Planet Turkey guides.
Listen to Tangents
Sat. nights, 8-mid, KALW 91.7 FM, S.F.
Streamed live at kalw.org
also webcast on Berlin's multicult.fm
The most recent Tangents show
is archived on KALW
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(click for details)
Shares the Tangents philosophy that nothing beats experiencing music at its source.
Serbia - Guca Brass Band Festival
August 7-12 2014
Romania - At Home with the Gypsies
September 20-28 2014
India - Rajasthan Musical Adventure
October 7-21 2014 & October 10-21 2014
Senegal - Never Mind the Mbalax
November 21-30 2014
Cuba - New Year Celebrations
December 29 2014-January 12 2015
Tangents House Concert Israeli guitarist Itamar Erez Friday August 15
(click above for info)
Daily Update as of July 22: 11/40 28% sold
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Click above for 'Gaza Corner' archive
(Archve does not view in Google Chrome)
Click headlines below for full stories
Music Feature: Gaza Corner
11pm, Tangents, 91.7 fm, SF, kalw.org
weekely feature includes news from the Middle East often ignored by the
mainstream press coupled with music from the region.
Gaza Corner was conceived to help focus attention on relieving the
humanitarian crisis in Gaza which has been under a severe economic
blockade imposed by the Israeli occupation since 2006.
An Old Man and a Young Man in Gaza
(Poem by Heathcote Williams with grateful acknowledgements to Angela Godfrey-Goldstein;
courtesy internationaltimes.it; 7/17/14)
“No man can cause more grief than the one clinging blindly to the vices
of his ancestors.” William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust
An old man holds a placard that reads,
“You take my water, burn my olive trees,
Destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, Imprison my father, kill my mother,
Bombard my country, starve us all,
Humiliate us all, but I am to blame:
I shot a rocket back.”
Here are some ungodly chants
From the Zionist Book of Psalms
Which are used to justify
Laying waste to a whole country
And to its inhabitants:
“We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages Destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water”
Eli Yishai, former Deputy Prime Minister.
“There are no innocents in Gaza. Mow them down …Kill the Gazans without thought or mercy.”
Michael Ben-Ari, an ex-member of the Knesset.
Gaza should be “bombed so hard the population Has to flee into Egypt”
Israel Katz, a Minister of Transportation.
The Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Schneerson,
A self proclaimed Messiah
Whose followers await his return from the dead, (As if the Rabbi hadn’t preached
Enough when alive by his making the claim
That his religion heralded a new Master Race) – Has a devoted and powerful acolyte, Rabbi Manis Friedman,
Who declares that the “only way to fight a moral war” Is to “destroy the Arabs’ holy sites” and “to kill them.”
To “kill men, women and children”, and to eliminate anyone Who stands in the way of a Greater Israel.
Ethnic cleansing is Israel’s origin
Netanyahu tells students at Bar Ilan University (1977),
“Israel should have exploited the repression
Of the demonstrations in China,
When world attention focused on that country,
To carry out mass expulsions
Among the Arabs of the territories.”
In front of their Arab neighbours,
A song is sung by settlers at Purim
Praising Baruch Goldstein’s massacre
Of 29 Palestinians at prayer during Ramadan:
“Dr. Goldstein, there is none other like you in the world.
Dr. Goldstein, we all love you… he aimed at terrorists’ heads,
Squeezed the trigger hard, and shot bullets,
And shot, and shot.”
At this settler hero’s funeral, Rabbi Yaacov Perrin famously claimed that even one million Arabs Are “not worth a Jewish fingernail”.
Goldstein’s mass murder created suicide bombers –
Some two hundred amongst ten million Palestinians –
Which led to Israel’s land-grabbing apartheid wall.
The Israeli lawmaker, Ayelet Shaked, calls
For the genocide of Palestinians on Facebook
And she advocates “the slaughter of Palestinian mothers
Who give birth to ‘little snakes,’”
“The entire Palestinian people is the enemy.”
She urges their complete destruction,
“including its elderly and its women.”
Two Israeli girls hold up a banner
“Hating Arabs is not racism, it’s values!”
Placing the Hebrew word for “Arabs”, ARAVIM,
Into Twitter reveals young Israelis desiring
That Arabs die or be tortured to death.
The US House of Representatives
Votes unanimously to reaffirm its full support for Israel.
US jets duly declare war on Arab children
Whose futures they disintegrate.
In the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis,
Eight members of the Al Haj family
Are killed, including five children.
Four Arab children, fishermens’ children
First cousins from the Bakr family, aged nine to eleven,
Playing football on the Gaza beach in July, 2014,
Are shot dead by an Israeli gunboat.
A 12-year-old boy loses 18 members of his family in an air raid
From US planes including his father, a schoolteacher,
A photograph of Abdul Rahman Al-Batsh
Shows his shoulders slumped against a car.
It’s the moment that he’s discovered
That his father is amongst the dead.
Later Abdul Rahman would say,
“They think we are worth nothing. They are killers,
They have no humanity,
And one day I will avenge my father.”
Israel receives more aid from the US
Than the whole of the continent of Africa
Comfortably seated on camp chairs and sofas
Some fifty Israelis gather to eat popcorn
And watch from a Sderot hilltop
As bombs rain down from US-supplied F-16s.
They clap and applaud each deadly blast
From 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs.
The conquerors’ fans draw up their chairs;
Swigging on beers as they tend their barbecue
And watch Gaza burn from their vantage-point
In Sderot (once the Palestinian village of Najd).
Someone points out that Hamas
(Rather than it having been elected)
Is “a death-cult” and Palestinians “enjoy martyrdom”
So “we’re doing the Arabs a favour.”
A lurid cocktail of triumphalist hatred,
Mixed with smoke from burning flesh,
Blinds them to Palestine’s righteous yearning
Their right in international law;
To be unencumbered by occupation
To be free from being Israel’s penal colony;
Free from being stateless in a brutalized Bantustan –
A colonized people who are jeered at and decried
For their minimal attempts to fight back.
Later that night a bomb would land on a Gaza care home
Filled with elderly patients who cannot move
And with children who are already disabled;
Incited by a fascistic atavism,
Israeli Jews go on the rampage
Looking to beat any Arab they encounter
To heighten their sense of victory.
On July 2nd, 2014,
A young man in Shuafat, Jerusalem,
A 16-year old boy with a knowing, elfin smile
Is pulled into a car
And kidnapped in East Jerusalem
While waiting to go into the mosque.
He is tied and beaten;
He has gasoline poured into his mouth
And he is burned alive.
His body is found in the Jerusalem Forest;
Battered in the head
And with soot deposits in the lungs
Suggesting he’s still breathing
When set on fire.
Ninety per cent of his body is burned.
Another victim of Israel’s slow motion genocide –
A holocaust which, this time,
Is being financed and uncritically supported
By ‘the good guys’,
By the internationally ‘great and the good’,
By the craven chorus of the compliant
Who ritually pipe up to defend
Israel’s right to defend itself –
To defend the indefensible,
And to supply the money
The weapons, and the excuses
To enable it to do so.
Israel’s vision of itself was once
As a “light unto the nations”.
It has no need of the fearful hatred,
Fuelling its bombs and its bullets,
Unless it wishes to fade away –
Putting out the light that might enable it
To see the stranger as a friend.
Click for footnotes located at bottom of poem.
Doctors treating patients in Gaza have accused Israel of using experimental weapons on Palestinian civilians.
Addressing reporters at a press conference on Sunday, Youssef Abul
Resh, undersecretary of the health ministry in Gaza, said, “Medical
teams have registered injuries consistent with those caused by DIME [dense inert metal explosives] and other banned weapons.”
Using Gaza as a laboratory
DIME munitions were developed by the US Air Force in 2006 and have
since been tested repeatedly on the people of Gaza, who have long
served as involuntary lab rats for Israel’s weapons industry.
DIME bombs contain tungsten, a cancer-causing metal that helps to
produce incredibly destructive blasts which slice through flesh and
bone, often decapitating the lower limbs of people within the blast
Renowned Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, who witnessed the horrific
injuries caused by DIME bombs during Israel’s 2009 Gaza onslaught, told
The Electronic Intifada over the phone from al-Shifa hospital in Gaza
City that patients are showing up with DIME-related injuries.
“A good number of the injuries seen here are consistent with the use of
dense inert metal explosives, or DIME, that we saw during the 2009
attack and also in 2006,” said Gilbert. “The bodies are pretty much
destroyed by enormous energy released by the explosives that are shot
near them or at them.”
Gilbert first witnessed the effects of DIME munitions on the human body
during Operation Summer Rains, Israel’s 2006 months-long attack on the
Gaza Strip that killed more than four hundred Palestinians. “Large
chunks of flesh, of muscles were cut away. We didn’t find any shrapnel
and [the wounds] were delivering a strange fume. Gradually we came to
understand these must have been the new DIME weapons developed by the
US Air Force together with the Israelis,” he said.
The experimental weapon was used on a larger scale during Operation
Cast Lead, Israel’s attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, which
killed 1,400 Palestinians, including 352 children.
“We had a large number of patients who came in with these horrendous
injuries where arms and legs were cut off as though a huge axe had
chopped off their limbs with a direct immense force, cutting through
skin, muscles and bones. Bones would be shattered and completely cut
off,” Gilbert recounted. “In addition we saw very, very
destructive burns coming from some extreme temperature that turned
skin, muscle and even bones into charcoal.”
But Gilbert warned that focusing on
the DIME weapons, which are not explicity banned under international
law, risks distracting from Israel’s far more damaging crimes against
the people of Gaza.
“The siege and the constant bombing of civilian targets
— those two issues are much more important than if [the Israelis]
choose to use a traditional shell with a grenade or a DIME weapon,” he
“As a doctor, my prescription is very clear. Number one, stop the
bombing, and that means stop Israel from bombing civilians and
indiscriminately hitting families. Number two, lift the siege. And
number three, find a political solution,” said Gilbert.
“And at the core of the political solution is equity and justice for
the Palestinian people to be treated in an equal way as all other human
beings protected by international law with UN security, dignity and the
right to live their lives in peace.”
I had returned to my small seaside hotel around 4 p.m. to file photos
to New York when I heard a loud explosion. My driver and I rushed to
the window to see what had happened. A small shack atop a sea wall at
the fishing port had been struck by an Israeli bomb or missile and was
burning. A young boy emerged from the smoke, running toward the
I grabbed my cameras and was putting on body armor and a helmet when,
about 30 seconds after the first blast, there was another. The boy I
had seen running was now dead, lying motionless in the sand, along with
three other boys who had been playing there.
If children are being killed, what is there to protect me, or anyone else?
There is no safe place in Gaza right now. Bombs can land at any time, anywhere.
A small metal shack with no electricity or running water on a jetty in
the blazing seaside sun does not seem like the kind of place frequented
by Hamas militants, the Israel Defense Forces’ intended targets.
Children, maybe four feet tall, dressed in summer clothes, running from
an explosion, don’t fit the description of Hamas fighters, either.