Monday, November 11, 2019

Tazi's Annual Veterans' Day Tribute

Dear Readers:

Today is Veteran's Day. Whether your political stripes are Republican red, Independent white, or Democrat blue, today is a day to remember those - living and dead - who put our country and Her interests above their own, and signed on to serve in the U.S. Military.

The jobs of our Soldiers, Airmen/Airwomen, Navymen/Navywomen and Marines are not like our own. They cannot call out sick because the weather is nice and they wish to take a personal day. If, after signing on, they decide they do not like the job, they cannot simply quit - they must honor the multi-year commitment they have made to serve. When they are told that they are being transferred or deployed, they cannot say "no". They go where their leaders send them, be it across the country and away from family and friends or across the world and into imminent danger. How many of us show such loyalty to our employers? 

Whether an enlisted member or an officer, employment in the U.S. Military is more than just a job, more than just a career: it is a way of life. When they leave the "office" for the day - whether the office really is an office or whether it is a ship or a training field or a battle site - the members of our U.S. Military do not stop representing, even if they are out of uniform, and even when they have long since retired from active duty. How many of us show such pride for our profession?

Our country's laws protect our civil rights, preventing our employers from forcing us to complete tasks that we find morally objectionable. The members of our U.S. Military give up many of these protections when they join the service. For the most part, they do not get to choose their job assignment; it is chosen for them based upon their abilities and they do their job to the best of their abilities, even if they would prefer to be doing something else. How many of us are so accommodating of our employers?

If we, as civilians, disagree with a decision our company leaders make, we can openly argue. If a Military Journalist finds the U.S. position on foreign affairs objectionable s/he had better keep that opinion out of the articles, editorials, and opinion pieces they write and keep cheering for the decisions of their Commander in Chief - regardless of their true feelings. The rest of our U.S. Military must also tow the "company line" and keep dissenting opinions out of their blogs and away from the ears of their commanding officers. How many of us are so supportive of our Chief Executives? And how many of us could learn to keep our mouths shut so well?

Being a member of our U.S. Military involves sacrifice that civilians will never understand, but it also provides rewards that civilians will never experience. Being a member of the U.S. Military means you are part of a brother-and-sisterhood that goes beyond self-interest, beyond cultural background, beyond the color of your skin. It is to know that whoever you are and wherever you are, there are those who are willing to put their life on the line to protect the importance of your mission. How many of us can say that about our co-workers?

Whatever your political stripes, whatever your beliefs on war and military spending, please take the time to say "Thank You" to a Veteran for the sacrifices they make to secure, protect, and preserve our American way of life. In the words of one Veteran - who I am certain speaks for more than self - a Veteran of the U.S. Military has "defended those who hate me, fought those who where afraid of me, aided those who didn't know me, and took shots for those who were with me".

How many of us can claim to be so selfless? 

Wishing you all a Happy Veterans' Day, and sending a great big THANK YOU to all of our country's Veterans!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Tazi's Corner #81: Tazi's Final Goodbye

Dear Readers,

It has been said that you never truly die so long as others remember that you lived. Perhaps this is why cemeteries are full of gravestones, so those who are no longer with us will be remembered until the mountains turn to dust? Regardless, this will be my final column...the time has come for me to lay my head upon my paws and go to sleep one last time; when I wake it will be to cross The Rainbow Bridge and be reunited with pets gone before me. I ask that you remember me fondly, as all of you will be remembered.

This column started eight years ago as a two-week writing project for my Mama's online writing class. She was supposed to draft a blog that would update 3 times a week and have the potential to gain a following. If you follow her blogs - or rather, attempts at blogs - you can understand why this was such a frightening undertaking for her! Writing human interest columns on a regular basis is not her thing. I remember how she stared at the computer screen with a look of panic on her face, trying to decide where to start. What was a cat to do? I jumped up on the desk, plopped my butt onto her keyboard, and stared at her. I was greatly relived when she responded, "I know, Tazi; I know!" because for once she actually did know!

The plan was to write this blog for two weeks, three columns a week - a max of six columns and the hope for a good grade as she followed her dream of writing professionally. Little did she realize the power of feline persuasion. When she put out a call for letters on Facebook, she expected a few friends would respond; what she got was an overwhelming response from all over the world that did not stop after just a few weeks. To not so humbly brag, I was an international sensation!

Life takes many twists, and when my Mama's life no longer allowed her to write original content, she sadly had to let go of my blog. College graduation, full-time work, and a marriage to my human Daddy meant less time to take dictation from me. Her desire to continue helping me help my readers never waned, but her free time did. Repeats ran for some time, but broken links and intense updates were needed so we decided together to cease daily updates. My nap schedule was suffering and as I got older, I found myself needing more naps. I turned 16 this past June, you know!

This past Monday night (8/26/19) I wasn't feeling like myself, so I let my Mama know I wasn't feeling well with an abnormal sounding meow. She got me to my vet the very next day, got me some X-Rays, and got the bad news from the vet - I have congestive heart failure, and just a few days - not weeks - to live. The vet praised my Mama for noticing, telling her that we cats (unlike dogs!) are STRONG animals and don't show pain until the very end.

As soon as I got home, I jumped onto my Twitter account (@tazikat) and made the announcement; the response has been overwhelming - messages of support and condolences from the "cats of Twitter" has helped me keep the faith that The Rainbow Bridge is real, that I will see my humans again when their turn to pass arrives, and that The Feline Uprising will continue in my absence; with the very capable @GeneralCattis at the helm, World Cat Domination will happen. Today the house, tomorrow the world!

If you wish to memorialize me, I ask that donations be made to For the Love of Alex, Inc. a non-profit organization that raises money for pets in need of emergency or long-term medical care who would otherwise be put down due to a lack of human finances.

As I sign off for the last time, always remember that you are loved.


King Nebuchadnezzar "Tazi-Kat" Manchester 

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

On #Charlottesville, Hate, and the Constitution

Good Morning.

I return from my self-induced absence to say a few words because I believe that those with a widely heard voice, the platform upon which to speak, and the education to know what is fact and what is fake have an obligation to speak out against wrongdoing – not because it will turn the minds of the ignorant, but because it will show them that the power they think they possess is nothing more than a fantasy they created. Just as the breaking of dawn casts nightmares back to the dark realm from which they sprung, the light of justice can shatter the fantasy that some are more equal than others. In the words of Edmund Burke, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. And so, I use my platform to speak these few words: Chaplinksy v. New Hampshire, 1942.

Click the link. Circulate the word. Hate speech is not constitutionally protected speech.  You do not get to wave a flag with a swastika on it and then complain that your rights to free speech and peaceable assembly have been violated, not in America. The Supreme Court of the land has ruled – and that ruling has been upheld time and again over the last 75 years – that fighting words are not protected under our Constitution; that if you choose to express yourself in a way that you know will incite violence that you are the aggressor, not the victim.

I could go on, but I won't, as I have said all that is needed.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.