Cats Adore, Manipulate Women

* Relationships between cats and their owners mirror human bonds, especially when the owner is a woman.
* Cats hold some control over when they are fed and handled, functioning very similar to human children in some households.
* While the age, sex and personality of owners affect these relationships, the sex of the cat doesn’t seem to matter.

Although there are isolated instances of non-human animals, such as gorillas, bonding with other species, it seems to be mostly unique for humans to engage in social relationships with other animals.

The bond between cats and their owners turns out to be far more intense than imagined, especially for cat aficionado women and their affection reciprocating felines, suggests a new study.

Cats attach to humans, and particularly women, as social partners, and it’s not just for the sake of obtaining food, according to the new research, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Behavioural Processes.

The study is the first to show in detail that the dynamics underlying cat-human relationships are nearly identical to human-only bonds, with cats sometimes even becoming a furry “child” in nurturing homes.

Read more here.

And the Tea Party Rolls On….

First impressions from the Tea Party Patriots Policy Summit are that the 2,000-plus attendees are older than CPAC-goers, and much more focused on policy than personalities. I don’t think the Donald would rock the house here. Too many TPPers know the Aaron Burr story far too well.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was very wise to agree to keynote the gathering, and future meetings of TPP — the most vibrant, transparent and authentic branch of the broader movement — should be “must makes” for GOP House leaders even though they know that the movement believes their first pass at serious budget-cutting is viewed as a half-swing and a miss.

As Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler, two co-founders of the group, told me on air Friday, they are disappointed but resolute. The self-organizing and selfless activists from around the country did not march across 2009 and 2010 to victory on Nov. 2 for the purpose of abandoning their agenda to long-serving appropriators of either party.

Nor is this a group to limit itself to old solutions in familiar packages. Its HealthCareCompact.org initiative, for example, is aimed not only to increase the political pressure to roll back Obamacare via state action, but also to renew and re-educate activists on the basic constitutional structure of dual sovereignty as expressed in the often-used but still largely unknown state compact process. This is serious policy wonkery, but deeply appealing to a new generation of grass-roots volunteers.

That new generation, by the way, has one large element which is definitely past 55, and in those numbers are the seeds of a revolution. AARP has long masqueraded as the friend of senior citizens in America while pushing a growth-of-government agenda that is now leading as night follows day to the destruction of the value of the dollar, the unleashing of inflation that ruins lives on fixed incomes, and an energy policy that holds Americans hostage to soaring gas prices.

AARP’s brand was so badly damaged by its sell-out on Obamacare that it has taken to peddling NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon as its new face, much to the amusement of the two racing fans I dined with after the first day of the summit.

“Gordon’s the only liberal among all the drivers,” one summit attendee said. “The gear heads all know this, and they know AARP’s as fake as John Kerry when the Massachusetts senator showed up at a NASCAR race in 2004 and got booed.”

All of the TPP attendees know this, as do all of the Tea Party affiliates and members and spin-offs or parallel groups across the country. AARP is like the Titanic after it hit the iceberg but before anyone did a damage assessment. It really is doomed to sink because it is at war with the people it is supposed to serve.

The legions of agenda-carrying, seminar-attending TPPers who have crossed their own, personal 50-yard line may have AARP cards in their wallets, but as new groups such as the Association of Mature American Citizens gain traction and thousands of new members every month the only reason to belong to AARP — group discounts on insurance programs and various other goods and services — vanishes.

The national network of seniors is quickly absorbing all the technologies of communication typically identified with the young, but gramps and grams are using them to push demands for serious reform of the government before that government swallows their life work and destroys the inheritance intended for beloved grandchildren.

AARP, like the public employee unions, has yet to realize that the new media has destroyed its ability to bend messages from what the public knows to what the special interests want them to focus on.

Read more here.

Wis. Police Defy Orders: Is It Anarchy?

An occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol by protesters fighting efforts to strip public workers of union bargaining rights carried on Sunday after police decided not to forcibly remove demonstrators and end a nearly two-week-long sit-in.

The state agency that oversees the Capitol asked the throngs of demonstrators who have camped out inside the building since Feb. 15 to leave by 4 p.m., saying the building was in dire need of a cleaning.

But in the hours before the deadline came and after it passed, it was clear most protesters did not intend to leave voluntarily and police had no immediate intention of forcing them to go.

Late Sunday night, Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said no demonstrators would be arrested as long as they continue to obey the law.

“People here have acted lawfully and responsibly,” Tubbs said. “There’s no reason to consider arrests.”

Tubbs said demonstrators who have occupied all three floors of the Capitol will have to relocate to the ground floor. He added that anyone who leaves the building will not be allowed back in, although police will allow union officials to bring food into the building for the protesters.

Demonstrators began camping out inside the normally immaculate Capitol two weeks ago in an effort to fight legislation proposed by Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, Scott Walker, that would strip most of the state’s public employees of the right to collectively bargain.

Labor leaders and Democratic lawmakers say the bill is intended to undermine the unions and weaken a key base of Democratic Party voters.

Read more here.

3M May Leave Country Because of Obama Regulations

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The head of one of the US’s biggest industrial groups has launched a scathing attack on Barack Obama’s attempts to repair relations with companies, dubbing him “anti-business”.

Manufacturers could shift production out of the US to Canada or Mexico as a result, warned George Buckley, chief executive and chairman of 3M.

“I judge people by their feet, not their mouth,” he told the Financial Times. “We know what his instincts are – they are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business.”

The Obama administration has struck a more conciliatory tone towards business since the Democratic defeat in November’s midterm elections.

Last month, the president created a jobs and competitiveness council, chaired by Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive of GE, and including chief executives such as American Express’s Kenneth Chenault, DuPont’s Ellen Kullman, Antonio Perez of Kodak and Southwest Airlines’ Gary Kelly. Mr Obama also convened a meeting this month with technology chief executives, including Steve Jobs of Apple, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Mr Buckley, who has run the diversified manufacturer since 2005, said: “There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.”

He added: “Politicians forget that business has choice. We’re not indentured servants and we will do business where it’s good and friendly. If it’s hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We’ve got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada and Mexico – which tend to be pro-business – or America.”

The 3M chief also criticised US immigration policy, saying the difficulty of obtaining visas was forcing companies to move research and development overseas. “About 68 per cent of our science PhD candidates are from outside the US,” he said. “Many want to stay here afterwards but we’re not allowed as many visas as we would like.”

“We are now exporting science overseas to China, India, Germany, building labs there. There’s a good strategic reason for it, but we also have no choice – if we can’t get the people here and we’re competing with the people there, we have no choice but to do it locally.”

Mr Buckley struck a gloomy note on the US economy. “The macro numbers seem to be improving but when we look at the micro numbers – at what’s going on in housing, automotive, in manufacturing in general – it’s hard to get enthusiastic about it,” he said.

Obama to God and America: You’re Wrong About Marriage

It’s a good thing Barack Obama is not in charge of defending the law of gravity, or we’d all be floating up to an airless death. Allow me to take off the gloves. As one who helped draft the first version of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), I regard Mr. Obama‘s order to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to abandon DOMA’s legal defense as lawless, reckless, arrogant and a violation of his oath of office. I think it is an impeachable offense.

I’m just warming up.

Mr. Obama, plus Hillary Rodham Clinton and countless other prominent Democrats – and some useful-idiot Republicans – have been pretending to support marriage while doing everything in their power to undermine it.

If you doubt what they intend, check out Brian Camenker‘s shocking expose “What same-sex ‘marriage’ has done to Massachusetts.” Mr. Camenker, who heads the group MassResistance, is warning the nation that there will be no quarter for those who think homosexuality is wrong and that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Putting Catholic Charities out of the adoption business was just the beginning, followed quickly by brainwashing children in government schools and denying people jobs.

Mr. Obama and his minions are counting on our being so shellshocked by the trillions in debt and the spectacle of public-employee union mobs that we won’t notice their ongoing effort to homosexualize America. As newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would say, “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste.”

Of course, when you’re doing things that demand a powerful moral response to match the offense, it helps to face such rhetoric as House Speaker John A. Boehner‘s reaction:

“While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the president will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation.”

How about: “This is wrong. This is tyrannical. And we will not allow it on our watch.”

Why do so many Republicans, when faced with brash evil, respond with concerns about timing or procedure? Where is Ronald Reagan when you need him?

Read more here.

Next up for Maryland legalization — polygamy

And so, with one vote, the Maryland Senate swung wide open the doors to polygamy in the state.

That’s where the 25-21 vote making gay marriage legal inevitably has to lead. This assertion will no doubt infuriate gay rights activists — the very idea of equating a union between two gay men or two lesbians is not equivalent to polygamy, they will rightly argue — but polygamy advocates will no doubt use the logic gay marriage supporters used to great advantage.

That logic was basically this: Gay marriage is a civil rights issue. Restricting marriage to heterosexuals is discrimination. Gays and lesbians are citizens, and should be entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals. And one of those rights is marriage. Those 25 senators who voted to legalize gay marriage in Maryland would claim that they in no way meant the same to apply to polygamy.

Those senators simply don’t get it. They now have to apply the same rule to those who believe in polygamy. Aren’t they citizens? Shouldn’t they have the same rights as heterosexuals, gays and lesbians? Why is it legal to continue to discriminate against them?

The anti-discrimination argument is the one that puts gay marriage proponents on really thin ice. Yes, it’s discriminatory that a heterosexual couple can get a big break by filing jointly on their federal tax return while a gay or lesbian couple has to pay through the nose.

But, back when I was single and my filing status was the same, I had to ask myself this question: Why is it OK for the federal government to bust my hump for not being married while giving a tax break to married couples? I mean, we’re all citizens, right?

That, proponents of gay marriage have to realize, is discrimination. If the Maryland Senate members who voted to legalize gay marriage because banning it is discriminatory, then their next order of business must be to introduce legislation eliminating the single, married filing jointly, married filing separately and head of household categories for Marylanders filing their state tax returns.

Gay rights activists and their supporters will, I’m sure, be quick to whip out their “homophobe” card upon reading this column. They’ll be half-right: I do have a fear, but it’s neither of gays, lesbians or their marrying. No, my fear is not of the bill that the Maryland Senate just voted to pass, but ones they might pass in the future.

At a panel discussion on gay marriage a few years back, one moderated by a friend of mine who just happens to be gay, I told him how I felt: You liberals, I said, have a way of asking for one reasonable thing and then trying to sneak in something completely unreasonable or, in some cases, downright unnecessary.

In the early 1960s, the late Hubert Humphrey, a champion of civil rights long before it was fashionable to do so, and a fine Minnesota senator who later became vice president, promised to eat the 1964 Civil Rights Bill if there was anything in it that might lead to quotas.

Read more here.