Category Archives: Americas

US & continental news and happenings

Appeal: Stop “green” Toyota from killing the US climate change bill

Toyota is the world’s largest car maker. Its Prius is the definitive green vehicle. But disturbingly, Toyota is not as green as its reputation. In the US, it is one of the lobbies attempting to kill the US senate bill on climate change.

Please read this and then spend a moment of your online time to send a message to Toyota please.


Tell Toyota: Stop Blocking Clean Energy!

The Chamber of Commerce is using the member dues of companies like Toyota to kill the clean energy bill.

Other companies have quit the Chamber in protest, but Toyota refuses to act.

Our goal is 20,000 petition signers by October 30th.

Add your name now to ensure your letter gets hand-delivered to Toyota’s US headquarters!

There are only a few days left to add your name before deliver the letters to Toyota’s US Headquarters in New York City.

Click here to sign now and help us reach 20,000 signatures by October 30th.

This is a message you can send to friends concerned with the environment:

Of all the companies that might help defeat the Senate climate bill, I never thought it would be the maker of the Prius hybrid!

But it’s true. Toyota is helping fund a campaign to block clean energy, and I need your help to stop them. Click here to get the story:

Here’s the deal… Toyota is a prominent member of the Chamber of Commerce which has launched a massive campaign to kill the new climate change bill. The Chamber’s campaign is funded by its members – including Toyota.

As one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, the Chamber of Commerce’s war on the climate change bill poses a very real threat to the future of our planet.

The good news is that many companies (including Apple, GE, PG&E, Nike and Levi Strauss & Company) have already resigned from the Chamber in protest. But so far Toyota has refused to join them.

Personally, I find it shocking that a company that has made millions on their reputation as a leader in green technology would so brazenly oppose climate change legislation.

That’s why I just signed a petition urging Toyota to put its money where its mouth is and quit the Chamber of Commerce now.

It would mean a lot to me if you’d consider adding your name as well. Will you check it out?

Click here to find out more:

Thanks so much for anything you can do to help me to expose Toyota’s hypocrisy!

More background info about the workings of putting the climate change  legislation through the grind of the US Senate here on


Horses: Blinkers in New York

Filched off Dawn’s blog.

Horses do work very hard for people… it’s a crying what we do to them. Flog a dead horse indeed.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I was just sent this video about horses that are used for carriage rides in New York City. Incidentally, I went by a horse show today and saw some horse rescue groups. Some of the horses were kept in such horrific conditions that they are now blind. One was tied to a stall for so long that even though it is no longer tied by its neck, apparently it doesn’t know it. You can visit the Horse rescue group at Horsenet They also have a bunch of cats on the premises, almost all of which are already sterilised..

BaltimoreSun 20090311: Federal Hill house auction to benefit animal shelter

No one lives forever. In facing our mortality, this is something that should bother any responsible pet parent: What happens to your animals after you die?

Friday, March 13, 2009

What happens to your animals after you die?

Here is an interesting story about a man stated in his will that he wanted his house sold after his death. The money raised is to go to a charity to look after dogs whose owners have died. That’s one of the issues facing older pet owners – they may want to have dogs or cats with them but worry what happens if they should die before the animals.,0,2836709.story

Federal Hill house auction to benefit animal shelter

Man leaves property to help care for dogs whose owners have died

By Jacques Kelly

March 11, 2009

Only a few Federal Hill neighbors knew Kenneth Munzert’s idiosyncrasies. He owned a silver-blue Bentley but preferred to walk in Baltimore. He sailed on the Queen Mary 2 but collected soap from hotels he visited. He lived in a $1 million house but wrote numerous letters on old fliers.

Munzert, who died last year at age 88, had no close family and left his principal asset, his home overlooking the harbor, to an animal charity pledged to protect his German shepherd, Beauregard, a former stray with whom he sometimes slept on the floor.

“He was an eccentric person, and he did what he considered was right,” said the Rev. Holger Roggelin, the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, where Munzert attended services twice weekly. “He also loved to pick a fight on any issue, politics, religion, anything. I think he actually enjoyed doing this. It was hard to gain Mr. Munzert’s confidence. He had a dry sense of humor. You never knew what he was going to say next.”

Although Munzert had worried about Beauregard’s care if his beloved dog outlived him, the animal died shortly before Munzert, who then directed that his 19th-century home be sold to protect other dogs whose owners had died. The house at 405 Warren Ave., whose facade appears in the Al Pacino film And Justice for All, will go to auction March 31 to benefit the SPCA of Richmond, Va.

“I had not made a practice of accepting responsibility for people’s pets after their death, but, after I spoke with Ken, I agreed to do so for Beau,” said Robin R. Starr, head of the Richmond SPCA. “When I heard Ken talk about his love for his dog and his fear that Beau would not be cared for were he to die first, I realized that Ken was just the sort of pet owner that we wished everyone would be.”

This year, Maryland legislators are wrestling with a proposed mechanism for owners to leave a reasonable bequest to their pets. State law is hazy on the issue.

Munzert was raised on Baltimore Street on the west side. His father, a druggist, sent him to Staunton Military Academy after he and his wife separated. He studied diligently and went on to earn an engineering degree at Harvard University. After graduation, Munzert joined the Harvard Club and regularly rented one of its rooms.

Munzert assiduously read the Wall Street Journal until his death. He also studied German at the Zion church school in downtown Baltimore. Friends described him as a “Southern gentleman.”

Over the years, Munzert held jobs with the Regional Planning Council, the city, the old John C. Legg & Co. and Johns Hopkins Hospital, his attorney said.

According to interviews with friends, Munzert was a proud and private man. He regularly sailed to Europe, and left Beauregard – who could be obstreperous – in the care of others. He also made visits to Toronto, where he had a dentist, and to Richmond.

According to a will filed in Baltimore last month, Munzert left an estimated $990,228 – three-quarters of which is directed to animal protection groups in the U.S. and elsewhere. That amount doesn’t include his Warren Avenue house, which he told friends he bought for $25,000 about 40 years ago.

Munzert had owned properties in several Baltimore historic districts – Dickeyville, Seton Hill and Federal Hill, where he once owned several Warren Avenue houses.

Munzert’s home, one of a pair of houses built by South Charles Street department store owner Henry Wessel, is one of the largest residences in South Baltimore at nearly 4,400 square feet.

“That house is a treasure waiting to be touched,” said a neighbor, Mary Della, who lives in the other home constructed by the department store owner. “He loved it. And I can see him fixing the roof, attired in a summer seersucker suit.”

Restaurateur Wayne Brokke rented an apartment from Munzert in the 1970s.

“As sloppy as he was in that house, he was careful with his finances,” Brokke said. “He also loved making apartments nice for his tenants.”

Starr, the SPCA director to whom Munzert left his personal effects, walked through the house recently and found Beauregard’s ceramic food bowl, inscribed: “To Man’s Best Friend – His Dog.”

It now rests on her desk.

Farewell, Socks. RIP.

Dear former first cat, Socks of the Clintons, late of the Curries, has passed on, aged 20. And it seems the Clintons aren’t the monsters they were made out to be for his ending his days with Betty Currie. Only the people directly involved knows the truth, so let sleeping kitties lie.

Rest in peace, Socks.

(with thanks to this blog)

Black kitties need love too

Did you know?

Black cats and kittens are the most likely to be passed over for adoption? Black cats are also the most likely to be euthanized at shelters and because they are harder to find homes for, the least likely to be rescued.

Click here to read on.

I love the Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Black Cat included at the source page.

Do visit the home site, Kitten Rescue for more, especially if you live in the Los Angeles area.

NYT 20081017: In Hard Times for Humans, Hardships for Pets, Too

The ongoing crisis is causing hardships for all but really, when abandonment is rampant in good times, leading to an annual cat and dog kill rate of 21,000 in Singapore, what more can we expect when poo hits the fan and people have difficulties with money? As a reminder that pets are not ornaments or possessions but members of the family, I quote the closing section of this New York Times article:

But some people may find that as their savings evaporate, their need for companionship may grow stronger. This weekend at Madison Square Garden, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will be holding its annual Adopt-a-Cat day, with hundreds of cats and kittens looking for new homes. Prospective owners can fill out a survey that will color-code their personalities to match with available animals.

On average, a cat costs $1,000 a year to maintain, compared with about $1,500 a year for a dog, Ms. Levine said. Having a pet can bring healthy returns, especially during bear markets.

“They comfort us; they don’t care if your 401(k) lost money today,” Ms. Saul of said. “They’re one of the few people in the family who are not going to be stressed out about what you did with your money.”

(Click here to read full article)

Help Alabama post-office cat keep his home

Apparently, the phenomenon of complainants causing problems for community cats isn’t a Singaporean-only trait, small comfort that it is.

Worse is the stranger phemon of authorities’ willingness to bend like pretzels for 1, that’s o-n-e, 1 sole (not very strong) complainant against an animal who doesn’t bother anyone and is more than tolerated by the silent majority. One woman doesn’t want Sammy in the post office he calls home because she’s highly allergic.

You’d have to wonder: how much time does she spend in the post office compared to Sammy that the U.S Postal Office has to do her will? What would the U.S. Postal Service someone comes along and complains she’s highly allergic to the materials used in the stamps being sold? And I thought it was bad enough that Singapore has a town council chief who advocates a zero cat policy. Bureaucratic tail-chasing isn’t such a uniquely Singapore trait after all. Oh joy.

Go to Dawn’s blog and read Cat banned from Post Office to watch the vid report. Read more reporting here: Post office feline sparks cat fight in small Alabama town

P O Box 173, Notasulga, Alabama 36866, United States of America.