Friday, October 31, 2008
Nancy Fisk is a dog lover, but don’t dare call her an animal rights advocate.
OK. Does that mean she loves dogs...for dinner?
The longtime breeder and dog show exhibitor would like to see greyhound racing continue — partly because she feels the dogs love it, partly because she fears its death could mean that dog shows and other competitions would get axed next. “Our concern is this is an incremental step toward stopping what we do,” said Fisk.
Oh. Well, we're certain the dogs will be most happy continuing to get injured, killed and sold to medical research by the thousands so you aren't inconvenienced.
Fisk, an Akita Inu breeder whose kennel club meets in Raynham, said she supports animal welfare but not animal rights. “Animals are not people with fur suits,” she said.
Oh, yeah? You haven't met our friend Ned.
“I think somebody who has a fundamental problem with racing is going to have the same fundamental issues with other sports,” said Holly Stump, a Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners board member from Ipswich. "I mean, sure we don't kill the dogs like the racing people do, we just breed all sorts of life threatening conditions (pdf) into them so they can have pretty coats."
Well, at least no one cared what you looked like as long as you ran fast, huh Ellie?
Ellie is quiet, friendly, gives kisses, snuggles, & lays down by you. She will let you spoon her and will move to be with you. She is a very sweet & quiet girl. Ellie would be great in a home where she is not alone more than 6 or 7 hours. She is good with well-mannered children, 6 and up. She is good with other dogs and is 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, October 30, 2008
The very first day that Chalace Epley Lowry started working at Wal-Mart Stores as an administrative assistant in the communications department she went through a day-long orientation with a heavy emphasis on ethics. "We were told that even if we see something that has the appearance of something unethical we should report it," says Lowry. Now, two weeks after filing a complaint against a more senior executive, the 50-year-old mother of two finds herself looking for another job.
"When we say 'report'"said one Wal-Mart spokesperson. "We mean ignore. She apparently didn't pick up on all the winking the trainer was doing."
"I thought he had something in his eye," Lowry said.
I acted in good faith, just pointing out that there might have been some wrongdoing," Lowry said.
"See, there's the problem ," responded the Wal-Mart spokesperson. "We don't need people looking for trouble. We need people looking the other way when trouble appears."
"The Ethics Office determined the same day the complaint was filed that the document that created Ms. Lowery's (sic) concerns had nothing to do with stock trading and that there was no violation of Wal-Mart's ethics policy," said David Tovar. "Which was actually a foregone conclusion because we don't, you know, really have an ethics policy."
Soon after Lowry filed the complaint, her identity was disclosed to Mona Williams, the vice-president for corporate communications who was the target of Lowry's complaint. Lowry said it was impossible to remain in the department since Williams was stalking her, so she asked to be transferred. Wal-Mart has said that Lowry now has 60 to 90 days to look for a job within the company, but she may not get one. If she can't find another Wal-Mart job in 90 days, human resources officials have told her that they would have to discuss "next steps."
"And by 'next steps' we mean booting her little tattle tail behind out in the street," Tovar said. "That's what we mean by ethics. Know what I'm talking about?"
For Wal-Mart's own communications department to be dealing with an issue like this is particularly poignant. Williams and the department have been the key people trying to protect Wal-Mart's reputation over several difficult years.
Yes. Well, if by "poignant" you mean the ironicus is approaching its maximus.
The company has come under scathing attacks for its workplace practices from union-backed groups, as well as from several politicians including Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama. Wal-Mart has also taken heat from shareholders as its stock price has stagnated.
OK, so increasing shareholder return on their investment is an ethical issue. We think we see your problem.
Most recently, the issue of ethics at Wal-Mart has been in the spotlight because of the firing of a high-profile marketing executive, Julie Roehm. Wal-Mart says that the company dismissed Roehm because she violated the company's code of ethics by accepting gifts from vendors and because she had an affair with a subordinate. "You don't sleep down at Wal-Mart," Tovar told reporters. "You sleep up. What was she thinking? We promoted the subordinate."
All of this has also led to something of a consumer backlash: Some people won't shop at Wal-Mart because they don't want to support a company that they perceive as unfair to workers or bad for the economy. As early as 2004, a confidential report prepared by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that 2% to 8% of the company's customers have stopped shopping there "because of negative press they have heard." Another document, prepared in October, 2006, by Wal-Mart's former advertising agency GSD&M Advertising, found that the segment of Americans who say the chain is their No. 1 destination for discount shopping fell from 75% two years ago to 67%. The ad agency suggests that besides competition, Wal-Mart's image could account for this drop-off. The report also says that Wal-Mart's rating as a company that consumers trust and respect has "steadily declined" in the last two years.
"Hey. You want your toothpaste seven cents cheaper than the competition or not," Tovar said. "We got a business to run here, not a church."
Wal-Mart prides itself on ignoring one of the strictest and most stringent ethics policies in the industry. Buyers are not allowed to accept even a cup of coffee from their suppliers. And its 1.3 million employees are encouraged to report any ethics violations that they might suspect or see.
"Funny story there," said Tovar. "See, we hired this lady who was stupid enough to believe that. Stop me if you've heard this one..."
"In spite of the fact that Ms. Lowery was not treated any differently after making her report except for moving her desk to a broom closet and "Squealer" written on the door, and was in fact praised for bringing her concerns to her supervisor's attention by being singled out at a meeting as "That one," Ms. Lowery (sic) indicated that she was uncomfortable continuing in her current position and asked to be transferred," said Tovar in his statement.
Lowry says that a human resources officer she met soon after her identity was disclosed brought up issues related to team dynamics and alleged that she didn't get along with co-workers. "The officer said all my co-workers had complained about me after the boss told them to," Lowry explained to reporters.
"My experience was not what I perceived the ethics line or open-door policy to be, and I would think twice before going that route again," she says.
"Well, she learned something after all then," Tovar said.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Palin calls for break from Bush energy policy
Our first thought was, Bush has an energy policy?
Then we remembered, he was an oil man, well until he bailed anyway. Hmm...get into a company, run it into the ground, then get out before the rafters fall down around your ears. Sort of like what he's done to this country, no?
But we digress.
Sarah Palin called for a "clean break" from the Bush administration's energy policies, which she says rely too much on importing foreign oil.
OK, here's our question, could you import domestic oil?
She cast energy independence as a national security issue, saying dependence on oil from the Middle East made the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorist threats.
Now, we're not quite sure how that works. Perhaps at some point the terrorists call us up and say "Nice little SUV you've got there infidel. Be a shame if you had to run it on ethanol." Or something.
"We not only provide wealth to the sponsors of terror, we provide high-value targets to the terrorists themselves," Palin said. "Across the world are pipelines, refineries, transit routes and terminals for the oil we rely on. And al-Qaida terrorists know where they are."
Rats. That means the CIA's plan to disguise refineries as theme parks isn't working.
Palin spoke after touring Xunlight Corp., one of a handful of solar technology startup companies in Toledo, but made only a passing reference to solar power in her speech and instead renewed her call for more drilling in U.S. coastal waters. She repeated her signature anthem, "drill, baby, drill."
Drill, baby, drill...where have we heard that before? Oh yeah.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska was not the only place where the Bush administration was hoping to find more oil. It is also encouraging drilling at more than 50 new sites in the lower 48 states, particularly in the Rocky Mountains.
So, let's get this straight. We're breaking with the Bush energy policy by accepting it? Now that's mavericky!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Might be time to start packing up this blog since the last thing we need is serious deliberation, consensus and compromise. It's been fun, except when it hasn't, but every ride comes to an end. It's a bittersweet time, we guess. One the one hand the nation appears to be on the brink of being turned back over to the adults, but on the other, standing on the bow of this great ship of state taking the full on gale of crazy that has been the last eight years has had its moments and will be missed.
Wait a minute. What's this?
Sarah Palin may soon be free. Soon, she may not have the millstone of John McCain around her neck. And she can begin her race for president in 2012.
Umm...don't pull those books off the shelf just yet.
Sarah Palin “has absolutely earned a right to run in 2012,” says Greg Mueller, who was a senior aide in the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes. Mueller says Palin has given conservatives “hope” and “something to believe in.”
When asked what the something was Mueller replied that "a pretty face and an empty head will take you places. Well, if you add wiggling your butt in front of a bunch of horny old white guys too."
And even if the McCain-Palin ticket does win on Nov. 4 — and Mueller says it could — “if McCain decides to serve for just one term, Sarah Palin as the economic populist and traditional American values candidates will be very appealing by the time we get to 2012.”
Not to mention that by then she will have learned to read.
McCain praised Palin but went out of his way to point out how little he knew about her before he chose her as his running mate. “I didn’t know her real well,” McCain said. “I knew her reputation. I didn’t know her well at all. I didn’t know her well at all. So she turned out to be an idiot. OK, my bad.”
John McCain is blaming Palin for demonstrating her inexperience and lack of knowledge because she is inexperienced and lacks knowledge.
Palin is blaming McCain for running what she views as a bad campaign. "The campaign never played to Sarah's strengths," said one Palin aide who asked not to be identified. "You know, sniping, innuendo, character assassination. The things she's a natural at."
All that negative stuff about her? Charging Alaska taxpayers a per diem allowance for 300 nights she spent at home, flying her kids at state expense to events they were not invited to, accepting wildly expensive clothes from the Republican National Committee and, according to one ethics panel, having abused her office as governor?
"Just being a republican, you betcha," Palin replies.
Mueller thinks Palin would make a strong candidate. “She would run in 2012 as the empty headed, ill informed, untalented Barbie doll that she was originally introduced to the country as,” Mueller said. "The base will eat it up."
Mueller also argues that Palin could run a more convincing campaign on traditional conservative issues in 2012 than McCain has in 2008. "I mean come on, if she has even one idea she can stick to for more than a week, she'll have McCain beat."
“One weakness in McCain’s campaign is not campaigning on strong, pro-life, traditional values issues,” Mueller said. “Of course the republican party has only paid lip service to those issues for the last eight years anyway, but if those people are stupid enough to keep buying the same pig in a poke, Sarah's the one to sell it to them.”
Hmm...maybe we should consider an addition to the marbled halls of IM Central.
Monday, October 27, 2008
You'd better sit down for this.
Of course you are aware of the pride the overlords take in the high ethical and logical standards they set for themselves when defending their...ah...let's go with sport from those who through no fault of their own mind you, have come to the mistaken conclusion that greyhound racing is a barbarous vestige of a less enlightened time before people had...um...souls we think, but we may not be remembering correctly.
Anyway, it has become a dictum in overlord land that all arguments brought against them were to be countered with logic, rationality and a firm sense of intellectual rigor.
Now it turns out that fine tradition, that bulwark of ethical strength, those dazzling rhetorical heights have been based on a foundation of lies.
An Ohio-based researcher is accusing greyhound racing supporters in Massachusetts of misrepresenting her human sports-injuries study to counter the argument that dog racing is dangerous to the animals.
We are shocked we tell you, shocked.
A graphic published on the Web site of the Massachusetts Animal Interest Coalition, the group opposing ballot Question 3 to abolish dog racing, lists injury rates for sports like “boys football” and “girls volleyball” as a percent — a figure out of every hundred. But her study, according to co-author Dawn Comstock, measured the rates per one thousand. “It’s quite a bit of a misrepresentation,” said Comstock, a researcher for the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
There's that pesky math again.
The coalition’s campaign manager, Glenn Totten, said he was unaware of the mistake but stuck by the contention that greyhound racing is "safer than high school sports regardless of what some pencil necked researcher found using all that fancy statistics and science and stuff."
The greyhound injury rate has been a cornerstone of the anti-racing campaign, which continually points to state records reporting more than 800 injuries at tracks in Raynham and Revere since 2002. Their opponents seeking to keep dog racing alive have sought to downplay those numbers, saying that when viewed in the context of the fact that they occurred over thousands of races, the injury rate is less than 1 percent. "Look they're just going to be killed when they can't win anymore anyway," Totten said. "What's the big deal if a few of them get hurt first?"
Comstock, who is also a professor at Ohio State University, said she did not agree with the pro-racing group’s decision to group greyhound injury rates with high- and medium-contact sports, such as football, wrestling and basketball. "Kids who play sports do so voluntarily, and they have protective equipment and adult supervision. I don't see any of that at a race track. Especially the adult supervision part. Is anybody sober at those things?"
“It would be more appropriate to compare greyhound racing to collegiate track and field,” Comstock said. "Well, except for the fact that we don't kill somebody for losing the 100 yard dash."
Totten, the pro-racing group’s campaign manager, conceded the comparison was “asymmetrical” but maintained the greyhound injury was too low to merit the criticism it has received.
“The fact is that our opponents are saying we’re running a canine demolition derby,” he said.
You mean like this?
Hey Batman, how would you like folks to vote on Question 3?
Batman is a beautiful dog with sleek a sleek black coat, with a grey face and white chest patch. He is a bit shy at first, but when he gets to know you is “the love of your life,” his foster mom says. Batman loves to have his neck scratched all over and will crane it from side to side while thumping his leg with delight. He is very quiet and calm in the house, and will sometimes offer to shake a paw. He is also a “collector” and will gather all of the dog toys and old chew bones in the house and put them around and under his bed. Batman would do well in a working family or single home environment, with or without other pets. He is good with well-mannered children. 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.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Anyway, as you might imagine, claims and counter claims have been flying thick as fast in the Bay State resulting in all kinds of confusion amongst the populace. Should a paltry few ne'er do wells be allowed to continue a cruel and abusive practice that is dying out anyway?
Truly a quandary, no?
Not to worry, oh concerned, but somewhat slow public, the Salem News is on the job. They sent crack journalistic reporter Lois La...er...Barbara Anderson to a recent debate where she used her highly honed journalistic reporter skills to ferret out the truth like a...well...ferret. Let's listen in, shall we?
Chip Ford and I were there because he was arguing for "Yes on 1" and I was trying to decide about Question 2. I thought I had already made up my mind to vote for Question 3 because I'm an "animal nut" who always votes yes on animal rights issues.Oooh, a complication. As an "animal nut" she automatically likes animals (probably a vegan too), but as a journalistic reporter and graduate of Bill's School of Journalistic Reporting and HVAC Repair Academy she can not let her personal feelings get in the way of her single-minded march to the truth.
As I watched proponent Christine Dorchak accusing greyhound owner and trainer John O'Donnell of inhumane treatment, I began to wonder: Why would people who had invested in a dog to win races mistreat him in ways that would prevent his maximum performance?Umm...because it's easier to bring on a new dog in the hopes it will win right away, than invest in a dog that is losing. See, greyhound racing is sort of like buying Lotto tickets. If this week's ticket doesn't win, you don't save it until next week, you throw it away and get another one. (This is the foreshadowing we warned you about. Pretty fancy huh? Wait until we get to the chapter on sarcasm)
I read the voter information booklet, noted that dogs are sometimes injured while racing. The little quote about the sailboat kept returning and transforming itself: A greyhound who doesn't run won't be injured, but what are greyhounds for?Oooh! Oooh! We know! Pick us! Pick us! See, greyhounds are just as happy running around in your backyard, or in a park and in those places there's a lot less of a chance they'll get hurt because there isn't a highly electrified rail on their left, they aren't running on a track that may not have undergone proper maintenance and there aren't seven other greyhounds inches away from them running just as fast who may bump them or fall in front of them. How'd we do?
I wondered: If greyhounds could vote, how would they vote on Question 3? So Chip and I went to John O'Donnell's kennels to ask them.See, that's something she learned in journalistic reporter school--go to the source. We just hope she knows how to speak greyhound.
As O'Donnell opened the doors to the stacked cages, each dog walked or leapt into the one with his name on it. For sure, cages make me uncomfortable, but I have friends who keep their pet dogs in crates; though I'd never do that with my own, I'm getting used to it.Oh, well as long as you're getting used to it, we guess staying in a crate for 18 - 22 hours a day isn't so bad. As long as you're not the one in the crate, huh?
Some cages had a number — the ideal racing and health weight — controlled by weighing the food, which looked good enough to share.Really? What are they paying you at the paper?
I learned that it is illegal in Massachusetts to euthanize a greyhound until a reasonable effort is made to place them for adoption, and that effort seems successful because many people want these gentle, retired "athletes," as the trainers call them. This makes them more protected than shelter animals.That's true. OK, don't count the chances of getting killed or injured on the track, sold for medical research or shipped off to a low grade track and an uncertain future, but other than that, these dogs are living the life of Riley. As long as Riley keeps winning that is.
Honored as hunters and pets by ancient Egyptians and British royalty, the greyhound was brought to America in the late 1800s to help Midwestern farmers control the crop-eating jackrabbit; coursing events soon followed.That's true too. It's only in the last few years they've lost that honor and become profit centers for people unable to be trained to say "Welcome to Walmart."
Official racing may be in decline already; with the many protections built into Massachusetts regulations, but I can't bring myself to vote to end it now.OK, we're guessing she doesn't speak greyhound, or at least doesn't know the cuss words. What do you think, Bongo?
Bongo is very sweet and loving. He follows the Foster Mom all around the house and pushes his way in between other greyhound in house for all the attention. He loves to look at himself in the mirror and throws his toys all around the house when he plays. He loves his squeaky toys. He’s always looking for squirrels in the yard. He jumps up and catches a toy and he likes to play tug-of-war. He will catch toys if you throw them up in the air. He enjoys playing with people and the family dogs, running through the house and having a great time. Bongo would do best in a home with another average to larger size dog to keep him company, as he tends to be vocal when left alone. For that reason, he needs a single family home with someone home more often. He is good with well-mannered children, ages 5 and up. He would okay, as an only dog if someone were home more often to give him attention. He can jump a standard 4 foot fence if he really wants to do it. 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, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Then we met this lady.
OK, not so bad, we think. Come on, there's 300 million people in this country. Some of them were bound to have been dropped on their heads as children. Then we were introduced to a member of the United States Congress elected by a majority of voters in her district to serve in the same institution that had once seen the likes of Henry Clay, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and heard the speeches of people like Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.
And speaking of speeches:
If you need us, we'll be down in the basement whimpering.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"We're focusing on the economy," the Arizona senator said. "Listen to me. I'm the candidate, not Caribou Barbie and this campaign is about the economy. Especially the part where Bill Ayers is collecting acorns to be turned into bombs and shot by slingshot at republican voters on election day by Kenyans brought into to this country illegally by George Soros. "
McCain said "it's absolutely not true" that the economy is a losing issue for Republicans. "If we didn't think we could win on the economy do you think we be talking so much about why Obama will choose a Muslim for Secretary of Labor? Did I mention he's black?"
McCain has been using a remark by Obama that he wanted to "spread the wealth around" to criticize the Democrat as favoring socialist economic policies. "Do you want the federal government nationalizing private institutions?" McCain asked the 15 people gathered to hear him at a recent rally. "Too late," someone in the crowd shouted.
Senator Biden, in a rush to commit his eighth verbal gaffe of the day and thus establish a new personal best, told democratic campaign donors that when a crisis hits, they would have to stand with them, because it wouldn't be apparent Senator Obama would have the right response."
"Forget apparent," McCain said. "Senator Obama won't have the right response, and we know that because we've seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign. I've called him every name I can think of, impugned his patriotism, and even threatened to kick his you know what, and all he does is keep talking about the economy, jobs and our wars. Is that the kind of person you want in the White House?" But by then most of the people had wandered away after realizing Sarah Palin wasn't with McCain.
It was unclear whether McCain might step back from his attacks after Obama's campaign announced that he will suspend campaigning for two days later this week to visit his gravely ill 85-year-old grandmother in Hawaii. "We probably will," said a campaign spokesperson. She's the white one isn't she?"
Monday, October 20, 2008
No indeed. What caused our concern was the increasingly spittle flecked, bug eyed, off the meds howl rising up from McCain Palin rallies. Now, perhaps this is just a measure of McCain finally finding his base, or perhaps there is something inherently attractive about a septuagenarian and a snow monkey to voters who have given themselves over to the voices in their heads. We'll leave that to the academicians. Or Mental Health Officials. Whatever.
Our point is that with each passing day it appears more and more likely that people who actually tend to vote for their own best interests are going to carry the day and even among the more, shall we say loosely constructed population, it appears that the Moen faucet stem and cartridge puller are beginning to put the squeeze on the Single, Double & Triple Bowl Sinks for the Kitchen & Bar of delusion. Or more simply, when Joe the plumber is to plumbing what Britney Spears is to singing you got a problem even Cindy McCain can't help you with.
With poll after poll showing Democrat Barack Obama widening his lead over Republican rival John McCain in the race to the November 4 presidential vote, conservatives are fretting. "We have a sense of foreboding about what it looks like right now ... It certainly doesn't look good right now," said Barry Creamer, the host of a talk show on conservative Christian radio station WWJD in Dallas. "I mean, Obama wants to help the poor and the middle class. He wants to make education more affordable to all and insists we pay according to our abilities. Where are the Christian values in that?"
"I get this sense from my callers. Some have a sense of resignation but prayerful hope for divine intervention because the last thing Jesus wants is a fair and equitable society. He actually told me that last night when I prayed to him asking if I should go for the Mercedes or the Audi."
Other hosts of talk radio -- a staple of U.S. conservative culture -- have tried to rally the troops. "They're trying to depress you; they're trying to dispirit you; they're trying to make you think ... that the election is finished," talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh said this past week in reference to polls showing Obama with a commanding lead. "But we've been living in our own world for the last eight years, do you really think Obama can make us live in his?"
"I don't believe it's over until it's over," said Ron Osborne, a Southern Baptist pastor in a suburb north of Dallas. "I also don't believe in evolution, gravity or the United States Postal Service."
"I believe it's catastrophic. Obama's leaning toward socialism and Marxism in many, many areas," said Sunny Turner, who heads an anti-abortion rights group in Tucson, Arizona. "I mean just look at the financial crisis. When Obama gets in there he's likely to nationalize the banks. You can't get much more socialist than that." When told that Bush had already OK'd a policy that could lead to partial nationalization of the banks, Turner replied that it was OK for Bush to do that "because he's protecting the womb babies."
"I think that under an Obama presidency, every safeguard of the unborn will go to the wayside under the guise of freedom of choice," Osborne said. "Of course under Obama I'll get to keep my house, so there is something to be said for that."
One concern among social conservatives is that the issues that really motivate their ranks, such as abortion and gay marriage, have taken a back seat to the economy. "Avoiding social issues is detrimental to my employment prospects," Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council said.
Now that's reality talking.
Friday, October 17, 2008
People, people people. Where would you get an idea like that?
We here in the marbled halls of IM Central pride ourselves on being as fair and balanced as Fox News, so with that in mind this week we bring you the pensive stylings of one Dave Bergmeier Editor and Publisher of the Abilene Reflector Chronicle Telegraph Press Gazette Times Tribune News Journal Post Dispatch.
Abilene has its welcome mat out for what is the annual fall festivities for the National Greyhound Association. The greyhound industry remains one of the important roots in agriculture and allows Dickinson County to have an added asset in its economic arsenal.Now, to be fair, it should be pointed out that Abilene's "economic arsenal" consists of three bars, a Seven Eleven and, if you want to drive to Solomon, a Krogers that's only about ten years old.
The greyhound industry faces tight economic times, much of which is affiliated with an ever-elusive entertainment dollar. Turn the calendar back to the early 1990s and Kansas had tracks in Wichita and Kansas City, Kan. and there appeared to be positive synergy for developing a track in Pittsburg. Pittsburg has never really been able to develop a track. Meanwhile, Wichita and Kansas City remained open until closing earlier this year -- most notable KCK’s The Woodlands, which ceased operating in late August.Yes. Tracks often remain open until they close and it's that kind of economic acumen that has kept Abilene in the front ranks of towns that have streetlights.
The greyhound industry and its leadership in Kansas and at the NGA has been proactive... telling its positive story to those who are willing to listen.Right. Trouble is, the "positive" part of the story only takes about eight seconds. The rest of the week is usually taken up with explaining why dogs are brutally murdered, left to starve, or sold illegally for medical research.
Abilene and Dickinson County, as well as the NGA members from across the country who return every fall and spring, have every right to be proud of the association and its members. The economic impact is well known and documented.Well, if by "proud" you mean we wish we'd never heard of these guys. On the bright side there is that "economic impact." Why, parking meter revenues go up 20 to 30 percent.
The greyhound industry has evolved into sophistication with the latest in production techniques, much like cattle and swine breeders.We really don't have to add anything to that do we? Pretty much say it all about how the dogs are thought of.
Members of the greyhound industry serve as advocates for animal welfare.Right. Just like swine farmers advocate for the welfare of their pigs and cattle farmers advocate for the welfare of their beef. Hey Remy, how about giving us an oink. No? How about a moo?
Remy is affectionate and loving. He follows you around and puts his head on your lap. Remy needs a family that has someone that is at home most of the day and he would do best with another dog in the home. He would do well with well-mannered children, 10 and up. He can be vocal when left alone, so would do best in a single family home. 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, October 16, 2008
A spokesperson for the Number Two Man Training Facility outside of Mosul had no immediate comment.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
That may be a slight exaggeration.
"You can do yourself a lot of good when you have a debate with that many people watching," South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson said. "But then, this is John McCain we're talking about, so we just hope he doesn't use the N word."
The debate comes as opinion polls show Obama gaining strength nationally and in battleground states after weeks of economic turmoil and plunging stock markets, with more voters saying they trust Obama's leadership on the economy. "If we were at war with a country of baby killing, 60's radicals McCain would totally have my vote," said one voter. "But since I need to, like eat, and have a place out of the weather for my family, I'm going to go with "Obama."
Several recent polls have shown McCain's attacks on Obama's character have largely backfired, increasing unfavorable opinions about McCain among voters looking for solutions on the economy. "We're confident the American people will realize what's important and realize a vote for Obama is a vote for a guy that was a political radical when the other guy was only eight years old," said Steve Schmidt, McCain's chief strategist, and head chauffeur.
"There is no question the negative campaigning just isn't working," pollster John Zogby said. "It's almost like the American people care more about their future than they do about what some old professor did 40 years ago. No wonder this country is in the shape it's in. Don't they know Obama's black?"
McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace said on CBS's "Early Show" the Arizona senator would focus on explaining how he would be the best leader to heal the financial chaos of the last month. "The senator will explain how, if he's elected he will suspend his presidency until the crisis is dealt with," she told reporters.
Now that's leadership we can believe in my friends.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Schmidt said that the campaign is “well within striking distance” of Barack Obama. When reporters stopped laughing, Schmidt explained: "All it would take is one misstep on the part the Obama campaign and we'd be right back in it." When asked what kind of misstep he was talking about Schmidt replied a misstep like "Obama walking in front of a bus."
“We are running in a very difficult political environment, that’s not a secret to anybody that’s out there,” Schmidt said. "We've based our campaign on lies, innuendo and character assassination when people are concerned with the economy, the war and jobs."
"There’s a lot of the media right now that is writing Senator McCain off for the third or fourth time this year," Schmidt continued. "Trouble is, this time we're not matched up against plastic man or Jesus' sidekick."
Schmidt blamed the financial crisis for the campaign’s current state, pointing out that before the crisis McCain was running ahead of Obama. "If people would just go back to caring about things that don't matter, like gay marriage, or the importance of Obama's friends when he was eight years old, we'd be surging."
But while the financial crisis likely won’t recede from the headlines by Election Day, Schmidt still believes the campaign has a path to victory if McCain wins in Florida and Ohio. “We need to win Florida, we need to win Ohio. We feel great about our chances to do that,” Schmidt said. When asked how he expected a victory in states clearly leaning to Obama, Schmidt replied that he was banking "on that bus thing."
The McCain strategist expressed optimism over Obama’s “history of closing weakly in his campaigns,” while claiming that McCain historically closes strong in the final weeks. When asked for examples of Obama "closing weakly" Schmidt said he couldn't give one "because I basically made that up in the hope you would just print it without asking."
Later, the McCain campaign issues a statement the said scientists working with a National Science Foundation grant had found a link between voting for Obama and cancer in lab rats.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Three weeks before Election Day, John McCain is unveiling what his aides call a more forceful new stump speech in which he portrays himself as a scrappy fighter on the comeback trail against an opponent who’s already “measuring the drapes” in the Oval Office. "We still don't have a plan for the economy," said one aide who asked not to be identified. "But we're much more feisty about not talking about that."
“The national media has written us off,” McCain says in excerpts released by the campaign. "My friends, we’ve got them just where we want them. Way behind in the polls with less than a month to go, no coherent plan or message and a running mate that makes a box of rocks look like a room full of rocket scientists. My friends it doesn't get any better than that.”
Allies are calling this “hitting the ‘panic’ button” on the campaign, with McCain reemerging after a long Sunday nap with a feisty tack that uses candor and humor, at a time when his rallies have become known for raucous rage and clumsy attacks. "And by 'candor and humor' we mean pleading and begging," said one highly placed campaign official.
"Let me give you the state of the race today,” McCain says in his new speech. “We have 22 days to go. We’re six points down. …
Uh...ten points down Senator.
"Ten? OK, we're behind in the polls."
Well, 12 points in the Research 2000 poll.
"Twelve? Did you say twelve?"
Yeah. It was 13 at one point.
"My friends, that's not change I can believe in. What America needs in this hour is a fighter; someone who puts all his cards on the table, except for his ace in the hole, who will give you the shirt off his back, and isn't afraid to go against the grain. Someone who wasn't born yesterday, and knows idle hands are the devils' workshop. Someone who will leave no stone unturned, and knows which side his bread is buttered on. Someone like me, who calls a spade a spade. Oh, wait. That was last week's strategy."
Over the weekend, McCain advisers said he planned to announce new economic policies, including tax cuts designed to encourage contributors to give him money. But after a tense strategy meeting on Sunday, McCain still could not say 'fiscal responsibility' without laughing. "We really don't get this economic stuff," said one McCain aide who had attended the meetings. Hey, anybody want to come to a barbecue?"
Friday, October 10, 2008
Well, a fella can only take so much and now Mr. Carney has had enough.
With less than four weeks until election day, Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park owner George Carney is launching a counterattack against a state ballot question that would shut down his race track by January 2010. "Come out to the track some afternoon," Carney told reporters at a hastily called news conference. "Take a look at the kind of people who come to a greyhound race, and then ask yourself do you want those people wandering around your neighborhood with nothing to do?"
Carney's effort to defeat the so-called Greyhound Protection Act - Question 3 on the Nov. 4 ballot - is being led by media consultant Glenn Totten, who owns his own computer. When asked
why the late start for those who want to keep the dog tracks open, Totten said, "We assumed the question wouldn't get on the ballot." Asked if the narrow defeat of a similar proposal in 2000, the 150,000 signatures collected to get the measure on the ballot this year and the court decision weren't clues, Totten replied that he "didn't have cable at home so I miss a lot of the news."
Carney has said that his operation has 650 full- and part-time employees and that there are 1,000 jobs supported by dog tracks statewide. "And in this economy, where are these people going to find low wage no benefit jobs?" Carney said last week. "Especially given the fact that most of them don't have any skills."
Both sides are also debating the number of greyhounds that are adopted when they retire from racing. Carney recently paid for a newspaper ad that said 100 percent of the greyhounds that are adopted from his track are adopted. "I stand by my statement," Carney said.
The Committee to Protect Dogs recently released a statement that 800 dogs were injured at Massachusetts tracks since 2002, suffering broken legs, paralysis, and even cardiac arrest. Totten didn't dispute the committee's figures, but said the group doesn't provide the whole picture. "They don't tell you about the dogs that get hurt in the kennels, or in fights due to lack of supervision, or become ill because of poor sanitation and diet." At that point Mr. Careny stepped in a took the microphone explaining that Mr. Totten appeared to be somewhat unclear on the "concept of public relations."
Oh, we don't know. Maybe it's Mr. Careny that's unclear. What do you think Whistler?
Whistler is friendly and outgoing. He loves attention. He is pretty calm and pretty confident. He is very affectionate and loves cuddling and following his family around the house; he’s a shadow. He is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Whistler would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 5 and up. He is good with other average to larger size dogs and would probably 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.
And if you 'd like to know more about the good work the Second Chance at Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
What's that they said a few years ago? Something about how they make their own reality?
How's that working out for you, fella?
Somewhere Karl Marx just wet himself laughing.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Well, that gravy train has pulled into the station.
How you like us now, Pierre?
So, now that we've proved not only can we turn make believe countries into sectarian hell holes, but we can pull down the entire financial underpinning of the world, it's time to ask the aforementioned world for a favor.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged southeastern European leaders to shift their inconsequential military efforts from Iraq to Afghanistan, where their forces should have been in the first place. The sales pitch resonated with the Macedonians who recently completed an update of their tactical capabilities by purchasing a gross of compasses on eBay. Philip T. Reeker, U.S. ambassador to Macedonia, said the small country — which has 77 troops in Iraq and 136 troops in Afghanistan, "Can get six more guys tomorrow."
"Give us a week and we'll have a dozen, maybe 20," said a spokesperson for the Macedonian Department of Defense and Snow Removal Service.
Speaking at a meeting the Southeast European Defense Ministerial Glee Club, Gates said that as the security situation in Iraq is never going to improve, countries should considered filling the "urgent need" for fresh targets in Afghanistan. "We can't hold the terrorist threat at bay by ourselves forever," Gates told the Ministers. "Well, we could, but we decided to invade Iraq instead."
"Your assistance will not only help Afghanistan better protect and care for its citizens that we don't blow up, it will also reinforce your important role in getting the American military off the hook for eight years of policies a sixth grader could have come up with."
In Iraq, all coalition forces combined, other than the U.S., contribute about 6,900 forces. When asked if another 6,900 troops would make a difference considering there are almost 50,000 American troops in the country and more on the way, Gates replied that "someone has to staff the PX's."
The U.S. has made it clear that it will gradually shift more troops to Afghanistan in a last ditch attempt to totally destroy America's military capacity, as force levels in Iraq go down in the coming months, or years, or decades. "Don't hold your breath," said one pentagon spokesperson who asked not to be identified. "You think I want to get sent over there?" the spokesperson added.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Come on now, every politician tries to rally his or her base as election day draws closer. Besides, Americans are tired of hearing about health care, or Wall Street reform, or troop levels. We want politicians who make it hard for us to tell where Survivor leaves off and presidential politics begin.
And what's the point of talking about all these policies anyway? Just to fill the time until another white woman goes missing? We think the McCain campaign may be on to something because we really want to see who gets voted off the island, the grumpy old man and his air head granddaughter, or the streetwise black dude and his angry wife.
And on another note, yes we did change the background of the blog, as a metaphorical representation of a lightening in our mood, but it turned out to be far more work than we anticipated so now we're tired and thirsty and you're beginning to annoy us.
Monday, October 06, 2008
What to do? What to do? Oh, we know. Let's put on a show!
The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government. "We're thinking CSI: Mosul," said a Defense Department spokesperson. "Or maybe Dancing with the Sons of Iraq."
The new contracts -- awarded last week to four companies -- will expand and consolidate what the U.S. military calls "last ditch/hail Mary clutching at straws operations " in Iraq far into the future, even as violence appears to be abating and U.S. troops have begun drawing down. "Well, if by drawing down you mean staying put," the spokesperson said.
The Pentagon still sometimes feels it is playing catch-up in a propaganda market dominated by al-Qaeda, whose media operations include sophisticated Web sites and professionally produced videos and audios featuring Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants. "For guys living in caves, they got the killer apps," Secretary Robert M. Gates often remarks. "We didn't even know there was an Arab word for nerd."
Military and contractor-produced media campaigns like, 'Ten Things I Hate About Insurgents,' "helped in developing attitudes" that led Iraqis to reject al-Jazeera's 'American Infidel'" over the past two years, an official said. "Death To America Or No Death To America killed in Basra," a State Department official said.
U.S.-produced public service broadcasts and billboards have touted improvements in government services. "Our 'Got Water?' campaign seems to be well received said a Pentagon spokesperson. "At least in the areas of Baghdad where we've restored water."
When national euphoria broke out last year after an Iraqi singer won a talent contest in Lebanon, the U.S. military considered producing an Iraqi version of "American Idol" to help distract people from the fact that they live in a war zone. The idea was shelved as too expensive, an official said, and "most people still don't have electricity all day so we couldn't figure out a time to show it." Even so, "'The Amazing Race' is an idea that's popular with Iraqis," the official said. "Especially since in allows them to get out of the country."
One official described how part of the program works: "There's a video piece produced by a contractor . . . showing a family being attacked by a group of bad guys, and their daughter being taken off. The message is: You've got to stand up against the enemy." The professionally produced vignette, he said, "is offered for airing on various [television] stations in Iraq. "So far our surveys indicate that most people who watch the video think the bad guys are us, but we're working on that," the official told reporters.
Some of the new doctrine emerged from General David Petraeus's own early experience in Iraq. As commander of the 101st Airborne Division in northern Nineveh province in 2003, he ensured that war-ravaged radio and television stations were brought rapidly back on line. At his urging, the first TV programs included Nineveh Talent Search. "We had to give it up though," an aide to Petraeus said. "After all, how many different ways can you sing 'Death to the Crusaders' before the whole thing gets pretty boring?"
Defense officials maintained that strict rules are enforced against disseminating false information. "Our enemies have the luxury of not having to tell the truth," Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman told a congressional hearing last month. "We pay an extremely high price if we blame the insurgents when we blow up a neighborhood.
In 2006, the Pentagon's inspector general found that media work that the Lincoln Group did in Iraq was improperly supervised but legal. The contractor had prepared news items considered favorable to the U.S. military and paid to place them in the Iraqi media without attribution. Then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told reporters that his initial reaction to the anonymous pay-to-publish program was "Gee, that's not what we ought to be doing. We ought to be blowing those TV stations up."
"He was very focused," said a pentagon official.
Some inside the military itself have questioned the effectiveness of the defense program. "I'm not a huge fan" of information operations, one military official said, adding that Iraqi opinions -- as for most people -- are formed more by what they experience than by what they read in a newspaper, hear on the radio or see on billboards. "So a nice billboard saying Uncle Sam is your friend over the smoldering ruins of your house? Not so effective."
Friday, October 03, 2008
Our point is the latest slap in the collective faces of the overlords, videlicet: Massachusetts.
Voters in Massachusetts will soon decide whether greyhound racing should continue there, though the real question might be whether the once-popular sport dies a quick death or a slow one.
Ouch. Rock, meet hard place.
Across the country, the legions of blue-collar fans the industry relied on have been lured away by casinos, lotteries, online gambling, better nutrition and improved dental care.
"It’s certainly changing," said Gary Guccione, executive director of the National Greyhound Association. "It has downsized in recent years. We’ve seen a decrease in the number of tracks and dogs being bred. And by decrease in dogs being bred I mean increase. I was never very good at math."
Since the end of 2004 alone, 13 U.S. tracks have closed or ended live dog racing, according to the Committee to Protect Dogs, which is leading the campaign for the Massachusetts ban. It has raised nearly $400,000 since January 2007, nearly 10 times as much as opponents of the ban have raised. "Well, in our defense, it's hard to get money from people when you're responsible for them having to eat cat food," Guccione told reporters. "Kind of complicates the relationship if you get my drift."
Gary Temple, general manager Raynham Greyhound Park in Raynham, is leading the opposition to the ballot question. He calls backers "zealots" who are misleading the public about track conditions and the treatment of dogs. "I am animal lover myself and I would never allow an animal to be mistreated here," he said. "Which is why I make sure slow dogs are shipped off to low end tracks."
Activists say there’s no way to monitor what happens to the dogs sent to tracks in other states — and even Temple concedes that "after they go to another track it’s up to that track. Pretty tricky huh? I learned stuff like that in law school, it's called plausible deniability."
Yeah. Too bad he didn't learn human compassion in law school too, huh Jake?
Jake wags his tail a lot, even to people that he passes by in the park. He plays with a furry squeaky toy on his own. He’s very calm and quiet. He can be goofy. He will push the family dog away at times; when she is right there next to him, he will push her with his butt. He’s very sweet. Jake would do fine in a working family home with well-mannered children over the age of 9. He gets along with other dogs, but he would probably be fine an only dog. Jake can jump a standard fence, so he needs a home with a privacy fence or with a family who will always walk him on lead. 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, October 02, 2008
And speaking of crashes, let's go to the video tape.
Oh, this may be even too good for a drinking game.
Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden share the same stage in a vice presidential debate on Thursday, but the spotlight will be on the untested Palin as she tries to ease doubts about whether she is up to the job. "We feel pretty certain she'll have her shoes on the right feet this time," said a McCain campaign aide who asked not to be identified.
McCain's surprise choice in August of the spectacularly unqualified Palin as his No. 2 rallied conservative support for the Republican ticket and turned the moose-hunting Alaska governor into a political celebrity because it enabled them to forget about who their presidential candidate was for a while, but them McCain started following Palin around the campaign trail, and pulled her favorable ratings down.
Palin hopes a solid debate performance can halt Obama's momentum and erase doubts about her ability to step into the top job if needed. "And by 'solid' we mean she's able to say Ahmadinejad without spitting on anyone," a McCain aide told reporters from in front of the five inch thick glass the McCain campaign uses to keep Palin separated from the press.
"I look forward to tomorrow night, getting to speak to Americans about the very, very, clear choice that they will have on November 4th," Palin told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on his radio program. "On the one hand there's Obama and Biden, imagination and experience, and on the other there's George Burns and Gracie Allen." Later a spokesperson for the McCain campaign explained that Palin had been a joke...er...making a joke.
McCain lashed out in a testy interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board in Iowa on Tuesday when asked about conservative qualms about Palin."I haven't detected that, haven't detected that in the polls, haven't detected that among the base," he said. "Of course I don't read the polls or have a base anymore, so my information may be a little dated."
Palin and Biden have spent several days off the campaign trail to prepare. Palin has been at Professor Higgin's School for the Verbally Challenged and Biden at home in Delaware.
Obama aides said they have studied her debates during her 2006 campaign for governor of Alaska. "Anyone who has watched any of her earlier debates would agree she is a skilled debater," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said. Shortly afterward paramedics were called when Plouffe became short of breath from laughing.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Now, after telling the middle class to stock up on canned goods, what sort of compromise will our elected leaders come up with to save all those CEO mansions in the Hamptons?
Senate leaders have scheduled a vote for Wednesday on the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan rejected by the House.
Yeah, baby. 'Bout time the adults took over. The Senate's got some serious problem solving mojo going on. Whatcha gonna do fellas?
Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell say, however, that they're going to add a tax cut package already rejected by the House on Monday.
Right on. Take that you House of Unrepresentatives. Now we're...wait a minute. You've got to spend 700 billion more than you thought you were going to have to spend a month ago, from a budget that's already redder than a monkey's butt and your solution is to reduce the amount of money coming in even further? That's not economics we can believe in.
The bipartisan move caps a day of behind-the-scenes binge drinking on Capitol Hill over what sweeteners to add to the bill to attract votes from House Republicans. Oh, well lord knows we want to attract republicans. We mean, after all, it's not like they got us into this mess in the first place so we're sure they'll have some good idea on how to get us out.
Senate and House leaders, President Bush and the two rivals to succeed him all rummaged through ideas new and old, desperately seeking to change a dozen House members' votes and pass the $700 billion plan.
Ah, president Bush is involved. We feel much better now.
Congressional leaders hope the half-dozen changes under discussion will be enough to persuade as few as six House Republicans and six Democrats to undo Monday's stunning vote.
Here's an idea: Take out the part that rewards those greedy Bozos for being stupid enough to think they could get away with what amounts to a massive Ponzi scheme in the first place.
Bush renewed his efforts, speaking with McCain and Obama and making another statement from the White House. "Congress must act," he declared. Bush was talking about everyday Americans on Tuesday, not banks or other financial institutions. And no supporters were using the word "bailout."
Right. Because if you call a pig a fox, then people understand why it's wearing lipstick.
Hey, what are you looking at us for? That makes about as much sense as this:
The legislation under consideration, would allow the government to buy bad mortgages and other deficient assets held by troubled financial institutions. Woo Hoo! Got worthless crap? Sell it to Uncle Sam.
Belize is looking better and better.