Friday, August 31, 2007
The Michael Vick story has pushed illegal dog-fighting to the top of America’s news and social media agenda. It’s also generated numerous articles, columns and blog posts arguing that greyhound racing deserves the same condemnation. That may explain why the American Greyhound Track Operators Association (AGTOA) announced its annual impact economic impact study on August 23 — several months before it usually does.
Ah, typical overlord cluelessness. The Michael Vick tragedy is about the unnecessary, heartless, inhumane exploitation and destruction of dogs that were bred for no other reason than to satisfy the perverted appetites of a few soulless individuals. So how do the overlords defend themselves when people point out the obvious connections between them and the Vickster? They say, but we pay taxes!
Yay! As long as you give that state a cut, it's not immoral or inhumane. But wait. There's more:
"While this economic contribution to the states where we do business is substantial, our sport could not exist were it not for our greyhound athletes," said Richard Winning, president of AGTOA. "We have a special responsibility to ensure greyhounds are well cared for from the time they are born until they retire."
Riiiight. If by "cared for" you mean this:
Up to 400 greyhounds are being killed each year as Macau's only dog-racing track struggles to survive.
It is hard to think of someone abusing greyhound dogs, but that is exactly what the state is investigating after dogs tested positive for cocaine and three others died from heat exhaustion.
The same trainer at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club cared for all of the dogs.
Thousands of greyhounds are killed each year as the declining dog-racing industry struggles to stay alive. Some puppies are killed in the name of "selective breeding" before they ever touch a racetrack.
Oh, yeah, and these too:
Within a period of a few months three stud dogs died from unidentified causes, as well as five puppies during birth when their "extremely thin" mother apparently suffered a stroke while whelping.
With "care" like that, you're lucky you got out in one piece, huh Luna?
Luna is very sweet and loving. She likes to follow her foster family around the house. She is very alert and pays attention to her surroundings. She is easygoing and mellow. She wants to be near people. She has very expressive ears and wags her tail often. She enjoys playing with people. She likes to snuggle. Luna would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children. She is good as an only dog and is also good with other dogs. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Anyway, what inspires these flashbacks to our somewhat checkered career as Casanovas, followed closely by our rather more successful, if less enjoyable career as punching bags is this:
An elementary school has banned tag on its playground after some children's lawyers complained their clients were harassed or chased against their will. "Clearly my client is being singled out for aggressive pursuit," said an attorney for one child. "Calling Jimmy Johnson 'four eyes' is not an invitation to him to engage in unsolicited high speed approaches towards my client."
"Running games are still allowed as long as students don't chase each other," said Cindy Fesgen, assistant principal. When asked what kind of running games students could play if they couldn't chase, she replied that, "Dogs chase cars and they seem to enjoy it. Maybe the kids could try that."
At a PTO meeting to announce the policy, one parent asked if chasing would be allowed between consenting children. Fesgen explained that in those cases children would be moved to the "chasers only" section of the playground and asked not to interact with the non-chasers. "Chasing is a lifestyle choice," Fesgen explained. "And while we don't wish to single out children who may show certain, predilections, it would be intemperate of us to allow them to mix with the general population in these situations."
Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the ban but most parents and children didn't object. "It may seems like we're overreacting," Fesgen told parents, "But one parent chased me to my car after school one day. It was terrifying, until I found out he was just trying to return the wallet I had dropped."
In 2005, two elementary schools a nearby district did away with tag and similar games in favor of alternatives with less physical contact. School officials said the move encouraged more students to play games and helped reduce playground squabbles. "Of course it also helped that we put Ritalin in the water supply," said a spokesperson for the district.
In a related story, the school student council adopted a policy of regularly beating up the two students whose parents complained.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
That being said, when we read this from the Edwards campaign, it gave us pause. What drew us to this post was a small flickering of interest in what Edwards had to say about New Orleans, having spent many evenings in the company of good friends, fine food and excellent music in that particular region of the country. Some good, if fairly typical ideas were broached, but what gave us pause was this:
Edwards will enact a new requirement - "Brownie's Law" - ensuring that senior political appointees actually are qualified to perform the job to which they are appointed.
OK, present administration excepted, do we really need a law that says people should be able to do their jobs? We mean, isn't that like a given or something? Do we have mechanical engineers doing brain surgery? Are accountants flying the space shuttle? Are sanitation workers programming computers? Are idiots and bigots running for elective office? OK scratch that last one. Now, we understand that there are certain people currently...erm...serving in government for whom this might be a revelation, but has the rest of the country suddenly come down with a terminal case of the flaming stupids?
When did it become a mark of intellectual acumen to state the blindingly obvious as if it were the grand unifying theory of everything? Is this what we have to look forward to in the campaign:
BREAKING: Senator Hillary Clinton announced today that, if elected she would become the first woman president in the history of this nation. In other news, up is still above you and down still below.
OK, if that's the way they want to play it, we plan to give as good as we get. We are hereby announcing a condition to be known as "Bush Syndrome." Sufferers of "BS" are incapable of explaining sophisticated concepts, cannot grasp any kind of complexity, and often resort to stating common truths with the wide eyed innocence and wonder of three year olds. As a public service of this blog and when we feel like it, we will bring to your attention outbreaks of BS along the campaign trail.
Umm...when we start paying attention that is. Hey, you aren't the boss of us.
Oh, and apparently one of the side effects of BS is that the infected like to run for public office, but the really scary part is we elect these people, making us sufferers of Bush Syndrome by Proxy. Hooray for America!
Monday, August 27, 2007
So while we're out bringing solace and vicodin to the professionals (the kids have their own sources) we thought this was appropo of the moment:
Friday, August 24, 2007
As Michael Vick plummets from celebrity to our national symbol of animal cruelty, there is an unsettling question unanswered in all of the press coverage. Was he uniquely brutal or merely a spectacular outlier for canine atrocities we allow every day?
Spoiler alert for any overlords reading--wait---who are we kidding? Overlords? Reading? Hahahahahaha!!11!1!! We crack us up.
OK, spoiler alert for anyone reading this to an overlord: FHB is about the inhumanity of greyhound exploitation. Michael Vick is an inhumane monster. We're going to put them together. This is not going to turn out well for you.
You can go down last month's 18-page federal indictment against Vick and his codefendants and see plenty of snippets such as these: "train and breed . . . for. . . competitions"; "destroying or otherwise disposing of dogs not selected to stay"; "executed at least one dog that did not perform well"; "executed at least two dogs that did not perform well"; "Vick possessed. . . approximately 54 American Pit Bull Terriers, some of which had scars and injuries."
Of course, you can apply the same phrases or similar ones to greyhound racing.
Man. And the overlords used to think they had it bad when people would see them coming and cross over to the other side of the street.
Yet dog tracks operate in about a quarter of our states.
So if the overlords are like Michael Vick, are the people that go to the races like Michael Vick wannabes? Just asking.
The California-based Greyhound Protection League estimates that in the two decades from 1986-2005, 606,633 dogs from the industry were killed: 184,604 puppies judged to be inferior for racing and 421,129 after their "careers" ended, usually by 4 years old.
Man. Must have taken a lot of Michael Vicks to get rid of that many dogs. Who says the overlords aren't hard working?
The Greyhound Racing Association and industry defenders deny there was ever any mass abuse. They say that 90 percent of greyhounds are either adopted or kept alive for breeding. But over the years, there have been dreadful stories, such as the man in Alabama who was arrested in 2002 for slaughtering up to 3,000 used-up or losing dogs from the Florida tracks over a 10-year span.
Yeah, but at least that guy wasn't Michael Vick.
Throughout the 1990s, there were several news reports of mass killings, dog abandonments, and squalid kennel conditions. One trainer said that alleged dog electrocutions at one Idaho track were akin to Auschwitz.
Come on now, Michael Vick had to learn inventory control procedures someplace, right?
There is no difference between this and what Vick did, other than that dogfighting is illegal and greyhound racing remains legal in many states. Yeah, well, we're working on that, right Annie?
Annie takes the toys and carries them around the house. She plays Frisbee and ball inside and outside with foster family. When she’s in the mood she will go after it, other times she won’t and she will look at you, as if to say, “don’t bother me with that.” Annie would do well with a working family with well mannered children, 8 and up. She is good with other dogs and would be fine as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
But not today, for we have found something we have in common with the bandersnatch in chief: neither one of us paid attention in history class. Although in our defense, we have to say that given how things turned out, our lack of historical recall has only resulted in our occasional embarrassment when trying to keep up with contestants on Jeopardy which we would argue has done far less damage to the planet than, say, blowing up a country and killing its residents. Not to mention over 3000 of the citizens of the country you were sworn to protect and serve.
But we digress. Experts say that president Bush may be misrepresenting history when he drew a parallel between the bloody wars Americans fought in East Asia to the current US "war on brown terror" to back his case for maintaining US troops in Iraq. "We say 'may' because we're not sure the president even remembers Viet Nam and we're pretty sure he thinks Korea was the backdrop for a TV show starring Alan Alda," said a spokesperson for the group of historians.
Bush likened the "terrorists" who wage war in Iraq to the communist forces in Korea and Vietnam and imperial Japanese army. "Now, technically the people we fought in those wars were yellow and not brown," said White house Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "But that's OK because we're just going for the non-white motif here."
"Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left," Bush told a group of dozing American war veterans in Kansas City, Missouri. "But I don't know anything about that so I"m going to come up with my own reasons.
"My understanding of the history of the Vietnam war and the lessons of that differs rather dramatically from Mr Bush's," Robert Hathaway, an Asian expert at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. "Of course that could be because I didn't spend those years drunk and high."
Hathaway said that despite the eight-year US military involvement and its heavy casualties in Vietnam, Washington was still unable to create popular support in the south for a government that was widely considered to be corrupt and unpopular. "Sort of like Iraq now."
"So one of the lessons, at least for me, is the American tragedy in Vietnam is that military force by an outside power -- a power that many people in Vietnam viewed as an occupying force -- was not sufficient to create the political conditions for genuinely popular government in South Vietnam nor the political will to fight for that government," Hathaway said. "Again, sort of like Iraq. Hmm...maybe the president does have a point."
"We were in Vietnam for 10 years. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did in all of World War II in every theater. We lost 58,700 American lives, the second-greatest loss of lives in a foreign conflict. And we couldn't work our will," he told the Los Angeles Times "What is Bush suggesting? That we didn't fight hard enough, stay long enough?"
"OF course not," replied Snowjob. "The president is making the point that we have to stay in Iraq at least 10 years."
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Actually the source of our discontent with the little urchins around IM Central comes from the fact that we're continually chasing them out of our garbage where they insist on sifting through the Stoli empties trying to collect enough to derange themselves even further. Cripes! Don't their parents have liquor cabinets?
All that being said though, we must confess that even we find the president's latest attempt at compassionate conservatism to be, well, somewhat lacking in empathy. Or compassion. Whichever. Sympathy? Understanding? Concern? Kindness? Caring? Humaneness? The ability to relate to human circumstance that doesn't start with rich, and white? But enough idle speculation. Let's hear from the horses' a...er...mouth:
The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families. Ann Clemency Kohler, deputy commissioner of human services in New Jersey, said: “We are horrified at the new federal policy. It will cause havoc with our program and could jeopardize coverage for thousands of children.”
"How is that 'havoc'?" asked White House spokesperson Ebenezer Scrooge. "When you can't provide any services to the needy, that makes your job simpler, doesn't it? You can just ignore them, like we do."
In a letter sent to state health officials Dennis G. Smith, the director of the federal Center for Slowly Strangling Medicaid and Dismantling State Operations, set an unrealistic standard for states that want to reach uninsured children not currently covered by the child health program. Before making such a change, Mr. Smith said, states must demonstrate that they have “enrolled at least 95 percent of children who have ever lived in the state since it joined the union.” Deborah S. Bachrach, a deputy commissioner in the New York State Health Department, said, “Smith makes the Grinch look like that guy who said 'Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.'" What was his name again?”
Scrooge detailed several reasons for the veto threat from the White House:
"The legislation dramatically expands federal spending far beyond what is necessary to make it look like we're helping people when really we aren't."
The proposed expansion "essentially extends a welfare benefit to middle class households which will unnecessarily cut into the profit margins of private insurance companies, unless those households can't afford private insurance, in which case, who cares?"
"It transforms the program into an effectively 'unlimited entitlement program'. Which is code to our base meaning the protections will go to the ethnics because they're having kids like rabbits on speed."
As another obstacle, Mr. Smith said, states wanting to cover more children must show that “the number of children in the target population are at least white, and preferably from republican households, although we have some flexibility there if the parents register as independents but mostly vote with us. Hey, we're all about equity in this administration, you know?"
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
So we've decided to see if we can help out this overlord wannabe, after all, even though he put his request on a horse racing site, we have to believe he'd recognize a dog if he saw one. Let's start with Colorado. Mountains, clean air, lots of parks to sleep in after you're evicted from the trailer park. And the job opportunities?
Mile High is the only Colorado venue left offering live greyhound racing but drawing sparse crowds. Hmm..."sparse" is not a good word when one is seeking long term employment opportunities.
OK, let's try Florida, the biggest racing state. Good weather, lots of beaches to sleep on, old people with social security and dementia. Got to be some opportunities there, right?
Tampa Greyhound will end live racing of dogs at the Sulphur Springs track after Saturday, August 18. Dang! OK, let's not panic. We're pretty sure we can keep him from having to go back to school to learn a trade like shoe salesman or something equally technical. What about New Hampshire?
The Hinsdale Greyhound Park recently announced plans to cut back on live racing, switching from a year-round schedule to a summer-only calendar and perhaps just 50 days a year, the minimum required by the state to stay in business. Double Dog Dang!
Umm...You wouldn't, like have any skills or anything, would you, little overlord? You know, just something to tide you over until something opens up. Or you retire.
Didn't think so. Wait. You say you want to work with greyhounds. Why didn't we think of this before? It's about as close as you're going to get, right Sadie?
Fury Lin AKA Sadie is very affectionate and has a lot of spunk. She’s so friendly, social and lovable. She really enjoys attention, but she doesn’t actively seek it out. She’s playful and fun loving. She likes to be near her family and will stay close to your side. Her foster family needed someone else home to take picture for the website. She has a “helicopter” tail that spins in circles. Sadie would be best in a home with children ages 13 and older. She likes the company of the dog in the home; it might be best for her to have another dog in the home, as she’s very social. She would probably be fine in a working family that could let her out mid-day. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The United States is expanding the use of spy satellites for domestic surveillance, turning its "eyes in sky" inward. "It's the next logical step of conservative, small government philosophy to totally intrude into every aspect of your life," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "Oh, and Nancy in Salt Lake City, the wig is nice, but it's not fooling us."
The change will allow more federal and local agencies to collect information that is totally useless in the war on terror, but may be fun to know anyway. It also will expand the kind of intelligence that can be made available to include measurement and signature intelligence, which is used to identify and track targets by their particular physical characteristics, like their voting patterns. "You there, yeah you, the one with the scar over your left eye. You're reading a little too much Glenn Greenwald. Word to the wise, that's all we're saying," US officials said.
Charles Allen, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for intelligence analysis, said the main priority is to make more robust use of intelligence capabilities for civil defense purposes. "The least of my concern is law enforcement," he said in a telephone interview.
Eds. Note: Yes folks, he really said that, but you aren't surprised, are you?
He said spy satellites already have been used on an ad hoc basis to guard against terrorist attacks at political conventions. "And by terrorist attack we mean keeping Cindy Sheehan at least a half mile away from the president."
The Department of Homeland Security envisions using spy satellites to keep closer watch over borders, ports, bridges and other key infrastructure such as librarians, college professors, scientists and of course democrats.
They would use them in responding to disasters like the September 11, 2001 attacks or Hurricane Katrina. When asked how domestic surveillance would help is a disaster like Hurricane Katrina a spokesperson for Homeland Security admitted that it wouldn't but said, "It's fun to watch all the people running around. They look like ants."
The expanded uses raise questions about the implications for US civil liberties, whether the government's intelligence apparatus should be available to use to spy on people inside the United States. "Oh, come on," said Snowjob. "You've been losing your civil liberties for almost six years now. What's a couple more?"
A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the changes have been vetted throughout the US government and appropriate congressional committees have been briefed and approved a budget re-allocation for the new program. "And by that I mean Cheney said it's OK," he added.
"There is no new legal ground being broken here," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Nothing to see here. Show's over. Just move along. Go on about your business. White women missing over there. Here comes Paris."
As a result of the changes, the Department of Homeland Security plans up to create a National Peeping Thomas Office around October 1 to handle requests for access to intelligence capabilities from civilian agencies. "We were going to go with Voyeurs R Us, but the president can't spell voyeur," said a spokesperson for Secretary Chertoff.
"The NPTO will rely on existing, longstanding practice and procedures established last week to ensure the appropriate protection of privacy and civil rights," a press release issued by the Department of Homeland Security said. "Unless of course we screw this up like we do everything else."
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Intriguing, thinks us. If no republican runs for office does that mean the whole thing will be called off? Will Hillary and Obama will go at it with Edwards and Gravel as respective vice presidential candidates? Can the republicans nominate Reagan even though he's dead? Would anyone notice? Could we borrow Canada's president?
We're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's find out why the republicans won't nominate anyone:
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is personally popular and has a solid core of support. But, it is easy to argue that America's Mayor can't win the nomination because his views on social and cultural issues are out of step with a more conservative political party. Plus he's insane.
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is looking good as a non-candidate and has soared in early polling. But it is easy to envision Thompson tanking once he formally enters the race and is forced to endure the grind of debates and other routine challenges. Lord knows republicans hate having to actually work for anything. How bourgeois, how proletariat, how...ethnic.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney looks good on camera, on his resume, and in his bank account. But, he has failed to gain traction with GOP voters nationally. Well, that's not surprising since you need a scorecard to keep up with his positions. Plus it's OK with republicans if you hate minorities, but you better be nice to your dog.
Finally, there's Arizona Senator John McCain. Of the four candidates in double digits, it's the easiest to show why he won't win the nomination. Within his own party, McCain is viewed favorably 54% and unfavorably by 40%, and a large majority (65%) believe the constitution prohibits electing a president over 100 years old.
So, if none of the top tier can win, who will it be? Someone from the second tier? Someone from the outside? Alan Keyes? Well, by outside we meant someone outside of the current gaggle of candidates, not outside reality. But let's see what the article says:
But, while it is easy to explain why each of those men will not win the GOP nomination, one of them will.
We're sorry. Did you just say the people who can't win will win?
But, while it is easy to explain why each of those men will not win the GOP nomination, one of them will.
That's what we thought you said. Excuse us a moment. We're going to check on the Stoli.
McCain is certainly the least likely. His only hope at this point lies in the fact that the other three may all be kidnapped by aliens.
It's also tough for Romney to win without some help. However, if Thompson falters, Romney might be in the right place to pick up the pieces for Republicans who want somebody other than Giuliani. By this time, republicans who actually want somebody competent or at least consistent will have left the party or committed suicide.
It's easier to see a path to victory for Thompson or Giuliani. Thompson has to show he's for real after entering the race while Giuliani has to demonstrate he can reach out to some GOP voters who don't share his position on cultural issues. In other words, both men have to violate their personal standards, abandon any scruples they might have and madly pander to clueless people they secretly despise. In other words, become typical politicians. The one who does that best will win.
OK, let's recap. No one can win, but someone will win because everybody has a chance to win. We hope you are enlightened now. This has been a public service of Ironicus Maximus brought to you in part by the Corporation for Stating the Blindingly Obvious in cooperation with the Office of Brain Numbing Articles Reporters Get Paid To Write.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Well, anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah. Regular readers of this blog will remember that on the odd occasion we like to poke a little good hearted fun at state legislators. There's Virginia, for example, and Kansas, and South Carolina and, well Virginia, and...erm...Virginia. OK, moving right along, the point is, life here in the winter water wonderland is not without its, how shall we say, legislative high jinks and wackiness.
After a post went up on Blogging For Michigan about the wrong-doings of one of Michigan state senate majority leader Mike Bishop's cronies, out-of-touch Senator Bruce Patterson, Bishop's Chief of Staff Matt Miner, called Secretary of the Senate Carol Viventi and instructed her to block access to all blogs from the Senate offices. "It's just not right that Mr. Patterson's cynical attack on universities be subjected to this kind of scrutiny." Miner said. "I mean, come on, he got elected fair and square. Why should you care what he does now?"
After quickly realizing that all blogs also included the blogs on the Republican leaning, The Detroit News, they specifically only blocked Blogging for Michigan. "'Blocking' is such a harsh word," Miner said. "We prefer to call it selective acceptance."
Hmm...nice try, but what else you got?
The story, according to Bishop, was that the site was run by Democratic Senate staffers. "This is a political ploy by the democrats to make the do nothing republican senate look like it does nothing. Wait, let me rephrase that."
OK, you think about that senator Bishop. Got anything to add Mr. Miner?
"I don't think it's appropriate," Miner said. "I'm not blocking them (blogs) all because some are informational, like the ones I agree with. Oh, and puppies. Those puppy blogs are really cute."
Careful, you may have just alienated the cat vote. What about you Matt Marsden, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Bishop, what's your take on all this?
The site is of "questionable political matter" and "overtly political." Surfing such a site "is an unacceptable use of state time and funds," Mr. Marsden said. When asked to define "questionable political matter," Mr. Masden replied that anything that "says bad things about us" is questionable. "Senator Bishop is very sensitive, " Masden said. "He cries at movies all the time."
Yeah. Movies like Roger and Me, The Corporation, Who Killed The Electric Car. Real tear jerkers. Anyway, it turns out this whole thing is much ado about nothing because senator Bishop caved and unblocked Blogging for Michigan saying it was all just a big misunderstanding. "When the republicans in Washington did away with the constitution, we thought that we could do that too. Turns out voiding the first amendment is a federal power. Boy, do we have egg on our faces."
Yeah. Well, take your time cleaning it off because the state runs out of money October 1, and while the democratic governor has been trying to get the republican senate to do something about the budget, they've been on vacation and are only planning on being in session nine days in September.
Virginia is starting to look pretty good.
Monday, August 13, 2007
What to do, what to do? Well, if you can't make people like you by trying to be what they like, find someone they used to like, and be that person. Brilliant!
Democrats and Republicans alike are frequently invoking the words of Theodore Roosevelt, the nation's 26th president and renowned political maverick as they project a take-no-prisoners image in a time of protracted war and continuing terrorist threats. Clinton campaign aides refused to confirm or deny rumors that their candidate will start wearing a monocle on the stump.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney managed to mention Roosevelt twice during a recent GOP debate. When reporters pointed out to Romney that Roosevelt's 7-1/2 years in office were marked by efforts to break up business monopolies, help working men assert their rights, build the Panama Canal, improve the quality of food and drugs, expand U.S. power in the world and conserve natural resources, Romney replied that "What Teddy Roosevelt did for this country — his vision, enthusiasm, passion and character — are still inspiring to us today. If by inspiring you mean he got to be president. That's inspiring to me. What did you say about working people again?"
One of the most quoted lines — "Speak softly and carry a big stick" — was a West African proverb Roosevelt first tried out as vice president and later adopted as a personal mantra. Rudy Giuliani uses the quote to say the United States must stay on offense against terrorists while reaching out to the rest of the Muslim world. Romney borrows it to describe his plan to boost the size of the military by at least 100,000 troops.
Such references reflect a shallow study of Roosevelt's foreign policy, said Eric Rauchway, a history professor at the University of California, Davis. "Hey, shallow is what we're all about," said spokespeople for both campaigns.
Roosevelt was a deft compromiser who avoided war, said Rauchway, author of "Murdering McKinley: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt's America." "He was much less likely to wield a big stick than to try desperately to shake hands on almost any terms," he said. "It's more like, 'Speak loudly and carry a ready handshake.'"
"I can shake hands," said Romney.
"I can shake hands twice as good as you on 9/11 or any other day, responded Giuliani.
Senator John McCain, meanwhile, could be trying to associate himself with Roosevelt's youthful vigor. "I quote him as often as I can," McCain acknowledged in a brief interview last month. "The main reason is because he was a straight talking maverick like I was. I mean like I am. Anyone see where I put my keys?"
For Democrats, Roosevelt is useful to those who want to be seen as tough reformers. Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden have praised Roosevelt for breaking up financial trusts and industrial monopolies. "Boy, he had a pair, didn't he?" they asked reporters. "It would be so dreamy to have someone like that around today."
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has been using a Roosevelt quote — "The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us" — in laying out economic and ethics reforms. "He favored the growth of government to fetter business and to aid the poor, but he didn't use a kind of what we might call a bleeding-heart rhetoric," Rauchway said. "He used a very manly, forthright rhetoric. He put a kind of macho face on American liberalism."
"Hey, who better to put a macho face on American liberalism that Hillary," said a spokesperson for the Clinton campaign.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Sedgwick County voters decided not to allow a resort casino in the county or add slot machines to Wichita Greyhound Park. "I don't get it," said Doug Lawrence, the Kansas Greyhound Association's executive director. "Greyhound exploitation is such wholesome family entertainment. I can't understand why people wouldn't want us to prop racing up by adding more ways for them to lose their rent money."
Lawrence said Greyhound Park owners plan to close it within 90 days, eliminating around 300 jobs. "And no, I'm not counting the dogs in that total," Lawrence said. "But yeah, the 300 counts all the people who ever worked here. We only got about six working right now, well if you count the drunk ones too."
Man. Add to that the folks in Massachusetts who are working to kick the overlords out of that state all together and you've got the perfect srtorm of rejection. But wait. The Empire Strikes Back:
This letter was created by the hard-working, tax-paying Massachusetts greyhound kennel operators, owners and trainers responding to a letter recently published in newspapers across the state by Wayne Pacello, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.
OK, we're going to overlook the fact that it took a whole industry to write a letter to the editor and instead respond to that "hard working" adjective by asking, who is it that runs around the track again? Who dies if they don't win? Inquiring minds want to know.
We would like to clear up some misconceptions, written by Mr. Pacello, about our business in Massachusetts with cold, hard facts:
Facts are best when cold, and hard. Steely eyed facts whose gaze sends shivers down the spines of the factless. Determined facts, who have a job to do and aren't afraid to do it. Facts that park in a no parking zone and just don't care. Facts that are packing heat. Lets meet the facts.
Why would owners who have invested thousands of dollars in each of these athletes (greyhounds) treat them cruelly or inhumanely?
Umm...last time we checked a question isn't a fact, but let's see if we can help you out. Since the industry is dying anyway, and the pool of available money is getting smaller and smaller it's more cost effective to dump a dog that isn't profitable and replace it with another. So as the money dries up the pressure to perform or else mounts up...on the dogs.
The animals conscripted into this industry often spend up to 22 hours a day in confinement — in small kennels that do not allow them to move around or socialize.
Now that sounds like a fact. What say you industry that doesn't apparently have any one person capable of writing a letter?
Racing greyhounds in Massachusetts are housed in climate-controlled buildings consisting of relatively large crates, in relations to the size of greyhounds, with the dimensions written into the existing rules and regulations by a committee comprised of representatives of the Massachusetts State Racing Commission, its veterinarian, MSPCA and Grey2K. These crates are comparable to the largest crate sold at PETCO for dogs like Great Danes and St. Bernard.
So, if the dimensions are "written into the existing rules" why is "relatively large crates" the best you can do? And even though they are "comparable" to the crates for Great Danes and St. Bernards, how many Great Danes and St. Bernards spend 22 hours in their crates? Ever fly coach? Ever fly coach for 22 hours?
The most important part of a greyhound's day is his or her recreational time in the kennel yard.
Well, duh. Sure it is if you're spending 22 hours in your crate. Heck, prisoners get more time out than that. Even prisoners in Iranian prisons.
There has been no documented evidence of cruelty by an owner/trainer to a greyhound in Massachusetts since racing was legalized in 1935.
Erm...Racer C.G. Dude had a heavy gauge wire inserted into the sheath of his penis without anesthetic by trainer John Duncan at a track in Raynham, Massachusetts, supposedly to keep the dog from sexual arousal that might alter his racing performance. Duncan reportedly performed the procedure regularly on male dogs in his care.
Boston Globe / Larry Tye, Robin Romano
November 8, 1992
Well...Six greyhounds were reportedly found in serious neglect in an unheated kennel near Rayhnam Greyhound Park. Kevin Holloway of Halifax, Mass, a former kennel worker at the track, was charged with six counts of cruelty to animals following a month-long investigation by the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). According to an ARL source, a total of nine malnourished greyhounds were found at the kennel and showed signs of long-term neglect. Holloway reportedly told investigators that he 'got in way over his head…and did not feed them all the time.' A Raynham track official claimed to have reported the deplorable conditions to the National Greyhound Association, the industry's breeding association, a year earlier.
Sources: Taunton Daily Gazette, The Boston Globe (2/9/00); WFXT-25 - Fox 25 News Ten
Uh...87 greyhounds burned to death in a fire at the wooden kennel compound in Lynn, Massachusetts when flames ignited the shredded paper lining their cage. The independently-owned compound houses an estimated 1,000 dogs racing at Massachusett's Wonderland racetrack. The state has no restrictions in its racing rules and regulations regarding housing and general treatment of the dogs.
Boston Globe/Bryan McGrory
February 14, 1992
OK, negligence isn't necessarily cruelty, we'll give you that one. Dogs are still dead though. Just saying.
Greyhounds were born to run. As "bird dogs," they see, hear and chase. They are at their happiest going to race.
No, you are at your happiest when they are going to race because you're anticipating being able to make another trailer payment. Greyhounds like to run, but they're just as happy running in a park or around a backyard where their lives aren't at stake. Right Pluto?
Decaf AKA Pluto is very well-mannered, easygoing and mellow. He has funny ears. He enjoys attention, but is also fine to be resting alone. He enjoys finding a sunny spot on the floor. He doesn’t like it when his foster mom takes a nap on the couch; he wants her to wake up and he will push his head against her. Pluto would do well with a family working part-time or a stay at home family. He needs a home with no children. He is good with other dogs and he’d be fine as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
UPDATE: OK, we're guilty of a little Ironicus reader profiling. One guy's life did turn out the way he'd hoped. Stop by and wish him and his lovely bride a happy tenth anniversary. As for the rest of you...Stoli's in the freezer
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
So, as a public service we here in the marbled halls of IM Central are going to simplify your life by telling you to vote for Hillary. She's going to win anyway. It's in all the papers, and she's the only one of the clot of candidates that has successfully been on all sides of every issue, but hasn't had the press look past her cleavage. In other words, the perfect choice: A president who agrees with everything, and a Em Ess Em with four years worth of booby stories. Check out her latest defense of lobbyists:
The subject of lobbyists' contributions came up. Edwards and Obama do not take such contributions, and Clinton was asked about why she does. "Well, duh. Because that's where the money is," she responded. "Why do you think we have elections anyway?"
Clinton said she has fought against special interests for many years. "My record on standing up and fighting for people really speaks for itself," she said. "Well, when it's not speaking for Morgan Stanley."
Clinton added that "A lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans such as nurses, teachers and others who need a voice in the halls of government." Speaking as professional educators, we'd like to thank senator Clinton for her work on our behalf. Umm...what was that you did for us again senator?
Well, no matter. You can get back to us on that. See, the point is, whatever the issue, Clinton agrees with both sides, so who better to bring this fractured nation together. As long as she doesn't have to actually do anything other than agree, but hey, look at the last seven years. Do you really want another president who does stuff?
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
But it looks like we were mistaken because they had a debate, or a prayer breakfast or whatever the other day and talked about how something something is like something more and something else isn't and anyway vote for me because I hate George Bush, but I voted for the war which isn't like, a contradiction at all unless you stop to think about it, and hey, I'm not in jail or under investigation. Plus I'm holier than the rest of this bunch.
Good thing Fred Thompson wasn't there. He could have put them all in their places because didn't he play a minister or something once? Maybe that was Newt Gingrich. No, he's the Scientologist. Wait, who's the Moron...er...Morman? That's Brownback, right? No, he's the Papist. Oh, it's Romney, the animal rights activist. OK, now that we got the important stuff figured out, let's see what Romney's positions are.
The former Massachusetts governor was asked to grade himself as a conservative on a scale of one to 10 if Reagan were a 10. "Probably a 10 as well," Romney said. "Wait. Is being like Reagan an good thing? If not then I'm a one. A minus one even."
Romney ran as a moderate in his failed 1994 bid to unseat Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and in his winning gubernatorial campaign eight years later. In a 1994 debate with Kennedy, Romney defended a woman's right to abortion and sought to distance himself from Reagan. "Was that not a good thing?" Romney asked. Because if it wasn't I probably don't believe that today." Romney had an aide bring out his policy notebooks and after a few moments of searching announced he was planning on adopting several "snowflake children" if elected.
My positions don't talk about the things you suggest they talk about; this isn't a political issue," Romney said at the debate. When asked to explain what he meant by that, Romney referred reporters to his director of communication Mushmouth.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Sigh. What children we were, how naive, how innocent, how unnecessarily sober.
The House handed President Bush a victory Saturday, voting to expand the government's abilities to eavesdrop without warrants on basically anybody. "Look, the only way to secure our constitutional freedoms is to destroy them. But just for a little while," said one leading democratic representative.
The 227-183 vote, which followed the Senate's approval Friday, sends the bill to Bush for his signature. "Man, this voting stuff is sure cutting into our meaningless hearings," said an aide to one democratic senator.
The administration said the measure is needed to speed the National Security Agency's ability to intercept phone calls, e-mails and other communications involving people who talk "reasonably believed to be somewhere on the planet." Civil liberties groups and many Democrats said it goes too far, possibly enabling the government to wiretap U.S. residents.
Yeah. Like that isn't happening already.
"Congress? Oversight? Hahahahahaha!!," Said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "You know, at first we were kind of worried that the democrats might actually try to get in our way seeing as they won the election and all. You know, popular mandate, voice of the people, yadda, yadda, yadda. Turns out we didn't need to worry. Hey American voter. Who's your daddy now?"
The bill updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. It gives the government leeway to intercept, without warrants, communications between carbon based life forms that are routed through equipment on any of the inner planets of the solar system. If a U.S. resident becomes the chief target of surveillance, the government would have to obtain a warrant from the special FISA court. Or not, depending on if the president felt like it.
Many congressional Democrats wanted tighter restrictions on government surveillance, but yielded in the face of Bush's veto threats and the impending August recess. "What's the point of passing a bill that the president would veto," said one democratic staffer. "He'd just threaten to hold his breath until he passed out and we'd just have to start all over again. Plus it's August. I want to get out of here. Just don't use your cell until after the next election, that's all."
If an American's communications are swept up in surveillance of an other American, said Representative Dan Lungren,. "We go through a process called eavesdropping and get rid of the records unless there is reason to suspect the American is a democrat. Or an independent, we're not sure about them either."
Any chance the Supreme Court might find this law unconstitutional? Oh wait, Bush owns the court too. See, if you just get drunk enough so you don't remember who you voted for, you wouldn't feel so crummy right about now.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Wagering is down at Gulf Greyhound Park in what appears to be at least the fifth straight year of tough times at the track, but park officials said the numbers don’t tell the whole story. "Well, actually they do tell the whole story," said general manager Sally Briggs. "But we got a committee working on coming up with some other reasons."
Revenues dropped from $22.8 million in 2003 to $17.7 million in 2006, and the track has posted net losses of $25.7 million in the past four years, according to the Texas Racing Commission. It may not sound like much for a track that’s open year-round, but park officials said the cancellations happened on major race days: the Kentucky Derby, Memorial Day weekend, Independence Day and midsummer nights, when attendance usually peaks. "Those are our big days," Briggs said. "On those days we can get eight, ten people out here. That's twice as many as we get on normal racing days.
Well, you really can't count that truck load of illegal immigrants brought in to mow the lawn and weed, but we're in no mood to quibble, especially when it looks like your future has a Walmart in it.
About 30 greyhound owners and supporters rallied at the Statehouse before walking to the attorney general's office to submit a petition that would put the question of whether to outlaw greyhound racing on the 2008 ballot.
An outright ban on racing could force the closure of the tracks, costing track employees their jobs and the state a significant source of revenue. "If by significant you mean almost enough to pay for the extra cost of overseeing the tracks," said an aide to the governor.
Kimberly Haberlin, a spokeswoman for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Relations under which the Massachusetts Racing Commission operates, declined to comment on the latest effort to ban greyhound racing. "She's over signing the petition," said an aide.
Officials at both Raynham and Wonderland parks did not return calls for comment because their phones had been disconnected for nonpayment.
Bummer. How will they know when to come in for their job interviews at MacDonalds. Any ideas Floyd?
Floyd is very puppy like and friendly. He’s a good dog. He has an odd sounding bark when he finds something outside. He barks at his foster mom when she’s outside watering, not realizing that it’s her. Floyd would do well with a working family home with well-mannered older children, 12 and up. He likes the company of other dogs but would be fine as the only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
His staff drastically reduced and his organization nearly broke, McCain flies commercial instead of on private jets, carries his own luggage and relies on supporters to drive him to events, including one that pulled away from a Rotary meeting last week with a flat rear tire.
Straight Talking Maverick guy: "disputes that anything has changed."
Yay! Four more years ruled by the president of fantasy land. Who needs to drink when you've got a government like this?
Oh, yeah. We do.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Osamabama that he would send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists even without local permission if warranted. "If you elect me president, I'll have my foot so far up Osama's scrawny behind that my toes will be tickling his tonsils."
The Illinois senator warned Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf that he must do more to shut down terrorist operations in his country and evict foreign fighters. "That's right Mushroom, or Mushmouth, or whatever your sorry Arab name is. I'm a bad man. Don't make me come over there."
Osamabama's speech comes the week after his rivalry with New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton erupted into a public fight over their diplomatic intentions. "You want senator cleavage to be president?" Osamabama asked the crowd. "I'm from the streets, man. I'm packing."
Osamabama said he would be willing to meet leaders of rogue states like Cuba, North Korea and Iran without conditions, an idea that Clinton criticized as irresponsible and naive. "I'll meet those dudes, ain't no thang," he said. "I say, 'come on little Kim. Meet me out back. Bring your boys. We'll have a throw down.'"
After the speech he invited the press along to watch him beat up gay guys.