Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

Hmmm...looks like governors and greyhound exploitation racing is becoming a theme here in the marbled halls of IM Central. Last week we told you about overlord Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia who was elected governor because, hey why not? Have you seen the idiots we sent to Washington? How could this be worse?

Umm..we really don't have a response for that. Well anyway, Earl Ray gets to be governor of West Virgina, so can we expect improving life for the innocent living creatures suffering and dying in the greyhound racing gulag? As an overlord with first hand knowledge of the greyhound racing industry will he step up and put some teeth in the claim that overlords make abut putting the welfare of the dogs ahead of all else? Will he use the power of his office and the Bully Pulpit of his position to speak out for the dogs?

Sure he will. If his momma lets him.
Tomblin’s mother, Freda, owns Tomblin Kennels, a breeder of greyhounds for the state’s two dog racing tracks: Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming Center and Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center. According to a article published Aug. 18, 2008, in The Wheeling News-Register, Tomblin Kennels received $263,604 in 2007 from the West Virginia Greyhound Breeder Development Fund, which rewards in-state breeders.
Hey come on. Could you take money away from your momma? Didn't think so. So life for the helpless victims of greed, neglect and abuse isn't likely to get much better in the near future, but we're sure Freda Tomblin is a nice lady and a good mother who wouldn't hurt a flea. Especially the fleas living on the greyhounds in her kennel. Ticks too.

But we told you the theme this week was governors and that brings us to the Governor of Pennsylvania who is most definitely not an overlord.
Pennsylvania moves to ban simulcasting of greyhound racing, Gov. Tom Corbett to sign bill.
Whoa. This is like adding insult to injury for the overloads because Pennsylvania outlawed greyhound racing in 2004.
This means that after the bill is passed, greyhound races taking place in other states will not be broadcast in the state, causing loss of viewership and ultimately loss of profits to the industry.
Wait. The industry has profits? Quick, somebody tell Victoryland!
This loss of profits is in fact one of the motives of the bill as it aims to restrict individuals or businesses from receiving any financial gains through the broadcasting of the race.
Now that's a little bit harsh there Pennsylvania. Don't expect a visit from Earl Ray Tomblin's momma anytime soon.
Sponsor of the bill, state representative, Curt Schroder, said, “As the owner of rescued greyhounds, I have seen the devastating effect the racing industry has had on these dogs”. He further argued that greyhounds make great pets and he is pleased to know that Pennsylvania will not promote an industry that causes harm to these gentle animals.
 "...devastating effect the racing industry has had on these dogs"? Obviously Mr. Schroder doesn't know what he is talking about. He needs to talk with Jim Blanchard, District 1 (Florida area) Director, National Greyhound Association President, Southern Florida Greyhound Association Bonita Springs, see because he knows the greyhounds are high level athletes who represent enormous investments in time and money and can only perform if their treatment is maintained at the highest level.
A press release by Senator Stewart Greenleaf regarding the bill says, “The General Assembly should ban simulcasting for the same reasons it has banned live races. The racing industry still destroys an average of 9,000 greyhounds per year when they are no longer profitable”.
Oh yeah. Treatment is maintained at the highest level until they stop winning. Then they're dropped faster than scruples at a republican caucus. We forgot about that part. Bet you never did, huh Rosie?

Rosie is very friendly, happy and well adjusted. She is affectionate and likes to give kisses. She is playful and likes to play with toys. She will entertain herself. She likes to “shop” and will find things to play with. She does not chew things but likes to find things. She moved the bar of soap from the bathroom to the living room. Rosie would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 7 and up. She is good with other 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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To Comment On This Post Fill Out The Participation Form, Which Doesn't Allow Commenting

Frequent reader(s) of this blog take comfort in the  impending heat death of the mean know that as educational technologists ourselves we often comment on the adventures of  colleagues laboring alongside us here in the garden of reason. And sometimes, the content of said adventures makes us wish we'd enrolled in that long distance truck driving school instead of the College of Education.
A high school southeast of Little Rock would not let a black student be valedictorian though she had the highest grade-point average...Kymberly Wimberly, 18, got only a single B in her 4 years at McGehee Secondary School, and loaded up on Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She had the highest G.P.A.
Apparently the administration of  McGehee Secondary School is made up of former Band and Phys-ed teachers so let's see if we can help them out. The "Valedictorian" is an academic title conferred upon the highest ranked student among those graduating from an educational institution in the USA, The Philippines. The term is an anglicized derivation of the Latin vale dicere ("to say farewell"), historically rooted in the valedictorian's traditional role as the final speaker at the graduation ceremony. The valedictory address generally is considered a final farewell to classmates, before they disperse to pursue their individual paths after graduating.

Now, while it's true that traditionally, Latin speakers who invented the term were white dudes, that doesn't mean you have to be white to be a valedictorian today.  It's not, like, you know a requirement or anything. It's all about the G.P.A.'s brother, you grok?
Wimberly says that despite earning the highest G.P.A. of the Class of 2011, and being informed of it by a school counselor, "school administrators and personnel treated two other white students as heir[s] apparent to the valedictorian and salutatorian spots."
OK we think we see your problem. You don't inherit valedictorian, you have to earn it.  That's all right. It's a mistake anyone could make. Well, anyone with the mental acuity of tap water that is.
McGehee Secondary School is predominantly white, and 46 percent African-American, according to the complaint. Wimberly's mother says that McGehee Principal Darrell Thompson, a defendant, told her "that he decided to name a white student as co-valedictorian," although the white student had a lower G.P.A.
When asked why he would name a student with a lower G.P.A. to share an award for highest G.P.A. Thompson replied, "Because I'm an idiot, and I have to do idiotic things. It's right there in the idiot's policies and procedures manual."
Wimberly's mother says she tried to protest the decision to the school board, but defendant Superintendent Thomas Gathen would not let her speak, because she allegedly had "filled out the wrong form. Instead of 'public comments,' Gather [sic] said Wimberly's mother should have asked for 'public participation.'" The superintendent told her she could not appeal his decision until the June 28 school board meeting; graduation was May 13.
Well, there you go then. What kind of valedictorian doesn't even know to tell her mother what form to fill out?  We mean, come on. This kid's supposed to be the smartest kid in school and she can't even explain to her mom the difference between commenting and participating? Cripes. Everybody knows that if you want to comment on a school policy you have to participate, and when you're participating, you aren't allowed to comment. It's right there in Robert's Rules of Order. Chapter six. The one written by Jim Crow.
The last African-American valedictorian in McGehee School District was in 1989.
Forty six percent African American students in the school leads to 9% of the valedictorians in the last twenty some years? Well,  you can't blame the school for that. It would probably be higher if the African American students took harder classes like AP and Honors.
Wimberly says the school discourages black students from taking honors and advanced placement classes, "by telling them, among other things, that the work was too hard."
 Oh. Umm...see the school can't be put in a position of rewarding this girl's behavior when she went against the advice of her counselors, now can they? What kind of message are you sending the the kids?
"Because of defendants' continuous disparate treatment of African-American students, defendants' actions toward the plaintiff can properly be classed as intentional," the Federal complaint filed on Wimberly's behalf  states. "Defendants did not support African-American students, and did not want to see Wimberly, an African-American young mother as valedictorian."
 Hey, "disparate treatment of African-American students" is a little harsh don't you think? We mean Jeebus, now you've...whoa! Wait a minute. Did you say "African-American young mother?" This kid got pregnant and had a baby? And she still managed to graduate with the highest G.P.A. in her class?

Aw man, we have to side with the school now. Think of all the white girls who got knocked up along with her. They're probably going to spend the rest of their lives in a trailer park trying to complete that cosmetology correspondence course while the state tries to get back child support from the father. Then along comes this girl--a black girl no less--who not only overcomes the challenges of being a teen parent, but leads the entire school with her accomplishment. Now she's off to make a better life for her and her baby. Is that the kind of role model you want out there? Well is it?

Didn't think so.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gimme Shelter

We're coming to you today from the Bait and Switch Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. B&S is a division of the I'm From The Government And I'm Here To Help Corporation, in conjunction with You Must Have Heard Us Wrong, LLC.

It seems the good people of St. Louis have been contributing their pennies to a fund in support of the local animal shelter. Now, you would think this is a nice thing the folks are doing to help out the strays and you would be right, but it seems this outpouring of community goodwill has caused no small amount of consternation among civic betters.
City leaders are trying to come up with a compromise over what to do with a quarter of a million dollars donated for an animal shelter.
OK, we think we can help you out here city leaders. See, the money was donated to the animal shelter by people who thought they were donating to the animal shelter so they could, you know, help animals and stuff. With a shelter. So why not give the money to the animal shelter because, like, that's where everybody thought it was going and whatnot. Pretty complicated we know. Would you like us to explain it again? We could use smaller words.
When the idea of building a new city shelter fell by the wayside, the mayor and others supported the donated money going to Stray-Rescue, which has already been performing shelter duties.
Whoa! That mayor guy, he's one sophisticated problem solver, no? When you don't have a shelter, you give the money to the shelter you have, not the shelter you want because it's still...wait for it...a shelter! See, this is why we never went into politics. What kind of highly developed analytical skills must a person have to be able to figure out  what to do in situations like this? Our hat's off you good sir, or madam.
A committee voted down a proposal to give the money to the non-profit Stray Rescue. Some alderman expressed concerns in a committee meeting Thursday, including accountability for the money and what would happen to strays once the no-kill shelter fills up.
 Hmm...guess we didn't realize the mayor was just going to take a suitcase full of cash over to the shelter. We thought the typical safeguards and policies the city uses for all its money transactions would apply to this transaction as well. And as for the shelter filling up, well, see the idea is you bring the animals into a safe place, then invite people to come in and look at them. They go "Awww look at the nice doggy," or "look at the nice kitty," then you say, "Would you like to take that little cutey home with you?" They say "sure" and you have this thing called "Turnover" which means a new space opens up. That's why it's called a "shelter" and not a storage facility. Any questions? We could explain that again with smaller words.
Alderman Quincy Troupe says the City of St. Louis should start killing dogs again or maybe donate them to science. He was one of the 'no' votes, denying a quarter of a million donated dollars to the new Stray Rescue facility.
Yeah, well,  it seems Alderman Troupe is a little unclear on the concept of "shelter." See, the idea is to get the animals off the street and adopt them out--for a fee of course, so you're taking this liability of animals wandering around the streets and turning it into an asset as people pay to take them off your hands. So you "invest" in a shelter and you get a "return" in a continuing stream of adoption fees. Now, we realize for a fellow whose philosophy it shoot first and try to understand the problem later, that might be a bit of an intellectual leap, so let us put this a little more simply: You're a heartless dweeb with the intellectual acumen of an eggplant.
Alderman Troupe said, "People, the dog lovers, took the position the dogs are more important than public safety."
 {Sigh}Wrong again Alderman. See the shelter actually contributes to public safety because...guess what?  Less strays out amongst to public. Plus when people know there is a place they can give up a pet they're less likely to just abandon it which means...ready? Less strays. And less homeless dogs out wandering the streets where they might get hurt, or hurt someone makes the public safer.
The Health Department says Stray Rescue is taking more dogs off the streets than the city ever did, while housing them humanely and getting more people to adopt them. Alderman Troupe doesn't believe the packs of dogs are really gone.
[Troupe] "How have some just mathematically disappeared?"
[Investigator Chris Hayes ] “So you're arguing with the city's numbers.”
[Troupe] “I'm saying the city, this outfit, is abdicating its responsibility to catch, secure, these mad, crazy crazed dogs.”
"Mad, crazy crazed dogs?" You been watching those werewolf movies again? We told you, they're just movies. Yeah yeah, we know, the neighbor's Shih Tzu barks and growls at you every time you walk by, but that's not because it's mad, crazy crazed, it's because dogs are good judges of character.
[Hayes] “So the solution is to kill them?” [Troupe] “If that's what it means, yes.”
[Hayes] “And I understand you said shoot them?”
[Troupe] “I didn't say shoot them.  I said by any means necessary.”
[Hayes] “Including shooting them?”
[Troupe] “I said by any means necessary. When the police are attacked by humans they kill them don't they?”
Actually, no, the police generally don't kill people who attack them. They tase them. You really need to quit watching Walker, Texas Ranger reruns and get out more often.

Oh, and by the way, there are mad, crazy crazed cats that the shelter would help as well as the dogs who scare you so much. Not to mention the people who adopt them.
The psychologists surveyed 217 people on such variables as depression, loneliness, self-esteem, activity level and intra-personal relations with other people to determine whether there was any difference between the responses of pet owners and people who do not have pets in their lives. Their finding: pet owners tend to be less lonely, have more self-esteem, get more exercise, are more extroverted and were less fearful about closeness to other people.
"...less lonely, have more self-esteem, get more exercise, are more extroverted and less fearful about closeness to other people." Hmm...Hey Alderman, you ever think about owning a pet?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the chill that comes in the deep night when silence rains down like death and the future looms before you, ominous, a wraith clad in robes of disappointment and despair...erm...we mean know that we like to point out that as a group the overlords are about as useful to a functioning human society as a screen door on a submarine. There's the third grade drop out thing, the tick-like existence, sucking their meager sustenance off the backs of the world's oldest breed of dogs. Dogs who were once companions of kings and Pharaohs, and of course the whole born without souls problem.

Well, it turns out every rule has its exception and so does the one that says to be an overlord you either need to be dropped on your head multiple times as a child, or be raised on a diet of mercury and lead based paint because it turns out there is at least one overlord who has broken the bonds of  cruel  fate. The governor of West Virginia.
Our Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin grew up inside the family's ongoing greyhound racing business which has made his parents one of the top winning owner-breeders and trainers in this state. And according to state records, their greyhound dog operation is the primary source of income for Freda and Earl Tomblin Sr. Tomblin also has many friends and political support from members of the greyhound industry and the casino’s too.
Now, we're not sure what that says about the quality of candidates for office in West Virginia, but it does explain this
  • Overall health ranking: 43/50 
  • Prevalence of obesity 45/50
  • Prevalence of smoking 49/50
  • Immunization coverage 43/50
  • Preventable hospitalizations 50/50
  • Premature deaths 47/50
We could say that all in all, the people of West Virginia generally don't feel well (at least the ones who haven't died prematurely) and that may be affecting their judgment. Also, too, the state ranks 50/50 in educational performance. Just saying.

But let's not rush to judgment here. After all, the overlords are always telling us that the animal rights wackos don't know what they're talking about because they don't know the depth of commitment and affection the overlords have for the Now an overlord is at the helm so to speak. An insider. A man with direct experience and knowledge of the industry and the power to make sure, as overlord Blanchard told us last week, "Greyhounds are canine athletes who must receive excellent care in order to perform at their best. This includes good nutrition, plenty of water, frequent outdoor exercise and prompt veterinary care when needed."

We could be looking at the beginning of greyhound nirvana, right Dan Adkins; Executive Owner at the Tri-State Track in Cross Lanes?
He said there were only 25 deaths in more than 43,000 racing starts last year. According to Adkins, “If you compared these numbers to the NFL or even horse racing, this would be a very low percentage.”
OK, see we're not statisticians or anything so this sort of sophisticated analytical stuff confuses us because we didn't realize that we kill NFL players. We thought they were just ignored until they were reduced to helpless dementia patients, or became so depressed they committed suicide.
According to the most recent state records available, at least 3,208 greyhound injuries have been reported at Adkins track since 2005, and nearly 200 dogs have died. Further, it’s likely that the actual number of injuries and deaths is even higher because we learned during our investigations back in 2008 that the majority of off the track incidents go un-reported.
See what we mean? Now when we apply our admittedly meager mathematical skills to this issue we find that there are six years between 2005 and 2010 (we're going to assume the figures for 2011 aren't in yet). If you divide six into 200 you get  about 33, which--and again we're not experts so take that into account--is more than 25. And we're sure the 3,208 injuries just slipped Mr. Adkins' mind or he would have explained to us that if you compare those injury rates to the injury rate at the Battle of Gettysburg, you would find greyhounds are injured at a very low percentage.
At the Wheeling WV dog track, 707 greyhounds were reported injured between January 2008 and September 2009. More than one hundred of these injuries involved broken legs, and other reported injuries included dislocations, broken ankles, lacerations, fractured skulls and spinal injuries. Additionally, 62 dogs died or were euthanized during this period. 
Hmmm...Mr. Adkins is reporting 25 greyhound deaths in a year, while at a similar track just down the road, they are reporting 62. That's more than twice what he said. Why would the Wheeling track inflate their death rate like that Mr. Adkins? Perhaps you should apply some of your advanced statistical analytical skills to their records. Well, anyway, that was then and this is now. Overlord Tomblin is at the controls and like all overlords, the welfare of the dogs is his first concern so we're sure things are about to change. Right governor Tomblin?
Does Governor Earl Ray Tomblin have a close-vested interest in keeping greyhound racing in WV? It’s not a political decision; it’s about family and friends who depend on dog racing to live. Bottom line, to ban racing would take away his parents primary source of livelihood.
Well, you might think that but there was that time when his parents locked him in the barn for a month because he kept telling the neighbors his parents were breeding greyhounds for racing and not in the used car business like they wanted everyone to believe. What do you think Rusty? Time for a little payback?

Rusty AKA Hemi is very friendly and outgoing. He is playful, but calms quickly. He is very easy going, well-mannered and adaptable. He is so gentle and sensitive that he would make a great therapy dog. He is a happy boy who wags his tail often and gives kisses. He loves attention from everyone. He follows his foster family around the house and he is his foster mom’s shadow when she is home. He chatters his teeth when he is excited and he likes to talk when his foster mom comes home. He loves toys and likes to toss them in the air. He is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Hemi would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 6 and up. He is good with other dogs and would love another dog to snuggle with. 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 for Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In Which Ironicus Engages In Projectile Prognostication

We don't mean to toot our own horn, although we feel obligated to point out that if we were to toot a horn it would necessarily have to be ours. Well, you wouldn't expect us to toot your horn would you? We don't know where your mouth has been. You kiss your mother with that mouth?

Where were we? Oh yeah, a few weeks ago we used our Madd God Divinin' Skillz to explicate the apparent dilemma posed by the fact that it appeared The Big El Jefe In The Sky had told three different people, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum to run for president when even the most unmedicated Tea Bagger knows you only need one person to replace the Kenyan usurper. Truly a puzzler for those good christian folks doing the holy wordsearch out in the lobby while they wait for their hoverounds to be serviced, no?

Well, as a public service and to save those folks some time so they could get back to trying figure out where Casey Anthony is hiding, we offered a catechismically inspired explication using our finely honed canonical knowledge, a random number generator and most of the Stoli left in the freezer. Our take: God's screwing with you man!

So how did we do?

Michele Bachmann. Well, maybe god did tell her to run, but that part of the republican party that realizes you actually need votes to win elections apparently didn't get the memo because they have set about pointing out that even though the women is crazier than a dung beetle in a manure pile, what really disqualifies her for the position is she pops so many pills she makes Elvis look like the guy who invented the D.A.R.E. program.

Herman Cain. Come on. Really? The guy's campaign consists of Herman standing out on his porch in his robe shouting "Hey you mooslims! Get off my lawn!"

That leaves little Ricky Santorum who, if you recall from our previous post appeared to win the coveted "Yahweh Inc." patch for his racing coveralls by default. Right? Meh. Not so much.
A poll released earlier this month showed Santorum stuck at below 1 percent. On Friday, his campaign said he has raised $582,000 for his presidential bid and had less than a quarter-million dollars banked heading into next month's crucial straw poll in Ames, Iowa.
 OK, when you're stuck below 1 percent, that's pretty stuck. In fact, "stuck" doesn't seem to adequately describe your situation in this regard. Going belly up comes to mind. Road kill. Ready for the buzzard buffet. Wholeheartedly endorsed by Mr. Rigor and Mr. Mortis. Maybe you should change your slogan to Santorum 2012! Stick A Fork In Me.

Which brings us back to the tootable moment with which we opened this missive. See, you're thinking "Oh Ironicus, we know you're more interested in the temperature of the Stoli than keeping your fingers on the pulse of political and cultural movements in this once great nation state."

Yeah, that's true, but come on man, law of averages, you know? Besides, we're about to tell you who god really wants to run for president. You ready? Why it's Rick Perry of course. Didn't see that coming did you?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Representative Government Would Be Great If It Wasn't For All That Representing

We're coming to you today from the Department Of Things To Come here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The DOTTC is a division of the You Were Warned Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Inmates Run The Asylum, LLC.

You may have noticed that recently the country has taken a turn to the turn to the conservative as Tea Party members and unmedicated republicans won majorities in the US House of Representatives, as well as many state legislatures across the land. "Holy crap," you may have thought. "These people are completely off the rails. It's a good thing there are still a few sane folks left in government who realize the highest priority is protecting corporate profits, otherwise, well can you imagine if they were totally in charge?"

Well, imagine no more.
Be careful before starting a Boy Scout troop in Gould, Ark. Or a Harry Potter fan club. Or a baseball team. The City Council adopted an ordinance last week making it illegal to form any kind of group without its permission.
 "We're particularly concerned about the Harry Potter stuff," said one Council member who asked not to be named. "That's witchcraft you know. We got enough trouble around here without somebody learning how to turn the Council president into a toad or something, but mostly we're just mad at the mayor."
Even by the standards of small-town dramas, Gould’s situation is bleak. The town faces nearly $300,000 in unpaid taxes, and there have been frequent clashes among the mayor, the advisory group and the City Council over how to repay it. Those clashes — and a perception by the City Council that the citizens’ group is seeking too much influence — led to the ban on new organizations.
"Where do you think you are, in communistland? This is Arkansas," said another council member. "The last thing we need here is citizen's groups getting involved in government stuff. By the way, you wouldn't happen to have any of that left over stimulus money laying around anywhere would you? We're a little short this month."
Last week, the Council overrode the mayor’s veto of two other controversial measures. One required that the citizens advisory council cease to exist. The other made it illegal for the mayor to meet with “any organization in any location” either “inside or outside Gould city limits” without the Council’s permission.
They're currently debating an ordinance that would require the mayor to go to his room without his supper.
The advisory council, which calls itself a nonpartisan group that educates voters and raises money for public causes, says it will continue its work. But the Council, in one ordinance, accused the group of “causing confusion and discourse among the citizens” by harshly criticizing local officials at public meetings.
It was later learned that several members of the Council had contacted the FBI requesting information on  whether causing discourse was a federal offense.
The mayor said he would go to jail rather than stop meeting with local groups or withdrawing his support from the advisory council.
"And I'm not going to stop hanging out at the DQ after council meetings either," he added. "Even if you ground me and take away my Xbox."
On Monday, the City Council, too, began backing away. Sonya Farley, a councilwoman, said she would probably vote to rewrite the ordinances with more constitutionally sensitive wording.
"We're thinking about something along the lines of 'We're idiots, what did you expect?'" Farley told reporters.
“This ordinance was worded wrong,” she said. “It wasn’t written to stop people from meeting. It was written to treat everybody fairly.”
Right. So when you wrote it was illegal for the mayor to meet with  “any organization in any location” either “inside or outside Gould city limits” without the Council’s permission,  and required that the citizens advisory council cease to exist, what you meant was “the best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You Have To Be Cruel To Be Kind. Plus It's Easier

Oh man have we been misinformed. Last night on the tee vee noose professional journalistic teleprompter reader Scott Pelley told us 17 million kids go to bed hungry every night in the good old USA, Inc.. So we're thinking, "Crap. Bangladesh is still beating the snot out of us. Maybe if we diverted some more of that social safety net stuff to help businesses create more profit jobs we could grab us some of that third world hollow cheeked, flies on the face total despair caché that so in vogue these days amongst those unlucky enough not to be born bankers. 

But then we turn on the inter toobz today and find out we have been mislead by the liberal elite, socialistic, communist America hating media.  There are, apparently, no poor in this country. We are shocked we tell you, shocked.
Census officials continue to grossly exaggerate the numbers of the poor, creating a false picture in the public mind of widespread material deprivation, writes Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector in a new paper.
Daggone Census Bureau! If they aren't trying to send us to FEMA camps their trying to convince us that just because you're living in a third floor walk up cold water flat with cockroaches for neighbors and a week old twinkie in your refrigerator, you're poor.
“Most news stories on poverty feature homeless families, people living in crumbling shacks, or lines of the downtrodden eating in soup kitchens,” Rector says. “The actual living conditions of America’s poor are far different from these images.”
Wait. So those homeless families, people living in crumbling shacks, or lines of the downtrodden eating in soup kitchens aren't really there? They were flown in from some poor third world country for a photo shoot? Oh man, that's some serious liberal elite conspiracy going on right there. No wonder rich people don't want to pay any more taxes. And George Soros is funding it, right? We bet Murdoch wishes he could hack that phone, know what we mean?
Americans might well be surprised to learn from other government data that the overwhelming majority of those defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau were well-housed and adequately fed even in the recession year 2009. About 4 percent of them did temporarily become homeless.
Holy Ramen noodles Batman, that's just wrong right there. If you're poor in the world's richest country you should be living is a drainage culvert somewhere out by the railroad tracks with open sores on your body and a potato sack for clothes. This is America fer chrissakes what are you thinking poor people?

Oh, by the way, one quick question Mr. Rector. Since you never provide any actual, you know numbers or anything, who gets to decide what an "overwhelming" majority is? Just asking.
Data from the Department of Energy and other agencies show that the average poor family, as defined by Census officials:
● Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded, and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.
● Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.
● Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and — if children are there — an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.
● Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care.
Well, first of all let's just say that if you're a poor person and you have a refrigerator, you should be ashamed of yourself. Even if it came with the furnished hovel in which you happen to be staying--with government assistance no doubt. You should be living in an abandoned factory, subsisting on boiled rat and fricassee of asphalt. And quit going down to the goodwill and buying those old Playstations, TV's and X-Boxes all the rich people turn in for tax breaks when they buy new ones.
Rather than report such detailed surveys, Rector and co-author Rachel Sheffield write, the media “amplified” the Census Bureau’s annual misrepresentation of poverty over the past 40 years. News reports routinely suggest that poor Americans typically are homeless and hungry — and U.S. foes and rivals such as Iran, China, and Russia are delighted to report the same.
Ack! Other countries know we have poor people. The terrorists have won! The terrorists have won!
The Heritage Foundation paper is titled Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What Is Poverty in the United States Today?
Hmm...why does the phrase "Begging the question" come to mind?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Deep Thought

OK, so Casey Anthony may or may not have gotten away with murder, but she was given a fair trial and found not guilty. This drives the public into a frenzy and the lady has to have protection. Meanwhile the banksters drove this country into insolvency and economic ruin for which they didn't even get a parking ticket and everyone is all like what. ever.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

You know, you almost have to feel sorry for the overlords. We mean, you got your states outlawing greyhound exploitation racing all together, you got your states outlawing simulcasting of greyhound racing, you got your states that allow greyhound racing, but are trying to get out for under it any way they can...erm...we mean trying to "decouple" institutionalized animal abuse from gaming.

Well, an overlord can only take so much, you know? And when you reach your limit, you have two choices, abuse drugs, or if you happen to be one of the overlords who can read and write, go on the offensive, right Jim Blanchard, District 1 (Florida area) Director, National Greyhound Association President, Southern Florida Greyhound Association Bonita Springs?
Animal rights groups focus on publicity
See, and that's a major difference between the animal rights wackos and the overlords. The last thing the overlords want is publicity.
A little over a week ago, Fort Worth Animal Care & Control, once again acting on a tip from a concerned citizen, found four badly neglected greyhounds trapped in makeshift enclosures on a vacant lot in South Fort Worth. If you’ve been following along you know that FWAC&C seized 28 greyhounds from this same area of town last July, 11 more last August, and a badly neglected female greyhound just last month.
 Now, you're thinking this looks pretty bad for how the units...erm...dogs are treated, and it sort of makes Mr. Blanchard look like a black hearted liar, or an idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about, but that just shows you don't understand the industry. Mr. Blanchard has a perfectly reasonable explanation for this.
Greyhounds are canine athletes who must receive excellent care in order to perform at their best. This includes good nutrition, plenty of water, frequent outdoor exercise and prompt veterinary care when needed. Greyhound crates must be large enough to allow the dogs to sit, stand, turn around and lie down comfortably.
There you go then. Plain as the nose on your face. Now, Mr. Blanchard, explain to us why all those people out there in front of the track don't really have anything to be upset about:
The fact that greyhounds make such great family pets is the strongest evidence that they've been well managed during their racing careers. Today more than 90 percent of all registered greyhounds are adopted or returned to the farm as pets or breeders when they retire. Greyhound racing is working closely with mainstream adoption groups to reach the goal of 100 percent placement in the near future.
Hmm...looks like Mr. Blanchard had the same math teacher as Gary Guccione. On the other hand, he was spot on in his description of the marvelous treatment greyhounds receive while in the benevolent care of the overlords, so there's really no reason to suspect his analysis of how many dogs make it safely off the track is any less askew. So anyway, what's your point Mr. Blanchard?
Unfortunately, the protests and publicity stunts of groups like ARFF and Grey2K contribute nothing to the welfare of greyhounds. If they focused on actually doing something that benefits greyhounds, they'd have a lot more credibility.
And there you have it. If those people trying to draw attention to the mistreatment and neglect greyhounds suffer on the track would just stop being so public about the mistreatment and neglect greyhounds suffer on the track, then maybe they could get some credibility. you know like Anthony Fowler, right Jetta?

She will put her head in your hand and leave it there. She likes to be near people or the family dog; she shadows her family. She is sweet, happy, outgoing and social. She is a little timid around new people and things, but she warms up quickly. She takes all the toys to her bed and plays with them. She likes tossing toys in the air while in the yard. She will “roo” when her foster family comes home. Jetta would do well in a working family home with another dog to build her grow. She would probably be fine as an only dog in a home with someone who is home more often. She is good with well-mannered, children. She is good with dogs of all sizes. 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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We Knew John Conner. John Conner Was A Friend Of Ours. President Obama, You're No John Conner

We were slooshing through the intertoobz this morning when this headline caught our eye:
Fake Democrats lose in Wis. primary recalls
Our first thought was we need to pay more attention to the news. We didn't even know the Wisconsin primary was this close, let alone that President Obama was in it.

Hey, come on. After yesterday's post you had to see that coming.

Well, anyway, the story wasn't about the President, but about how state republicans had put up a bunch of fake democratic candidates in the primary to screw up the recall election and let them keep their jobs long enough to finish turning the state into a free market enterprise zone similar to Bangladesh, {"living wage" $0.13/hr) or Indonesia ("living wage" $0.34/hr).

Now, we're not election law experts or anything, but this strikes us ah...oh, we don't know...fraud? OK so maybe it doesn't count as fraud if everyone knows the "democratic" candidates weren't really democrats, but the article just sort of reports this as ho hum, another election another slate of fake candidates trying to fool voters into voting against their own best interests. Sameo sameo.

Really? Aren't the republicans the ones who are supposed to be all hyper about "voter fraud?"
An attack on the right to vote is underway across the country through laws designed to make it more difficult to cast a ballot. If this were happening in an emerging democracy, we’d condemn it as election-rigging. But it’s happening here, so there’s barely a whimper. The laws are being passed in the name of preventing “voter fraud.” But study after study has shown that fraud by voters is not a major problem — and is less of a problem than how hard many states make it for people to vote in the first place. Some of the new laws, notably those limiting the number of days for early voting, have little plausible connection to battling fraud.
 So, the republicans are against voter fraud unless it keeps the "wrong" people from voting, right governor Jindall?

That got us to thinking about the republicans' penchant for doing the opposite of what they say. We've long known that whenever a republican starts spouting off about family values, or the sanctity of marriage we can expect that an arrest will be forthcoming when he tries to proposition a cop, or get's caught with his diapers down.  [Interesting side note. While Larry Craig's Wikipedia page contains information about his dalliance in the men's room of the Minneapolis airport, David Vitter's page makes no mention of his...erm...wardrobe malfunction, but now back to our story]

Think republicans are just your run of the mill hypocrites? Maybe it's not that simple. Republicans say they're for small government, but they want laws that would make government so large it can put a camera in your bedroom, maybe even in your pants. They say they're for fiscal restraint, yet they've credit carded us into two wars. They say less regulation creates more jobs and speeds the recovery, but...umm...well they got that half right.

Hypocrisy? Or policy

Think about it. All politicians have a little bit of a split personality between their public self and their private self, but the republicans have become so good at it that they've achieved complete separation. Maybe this split created a third controlling entity that has become self aware like Skynet, and has initiated a sort of personality first strike intending to take out the other two conflicting halves. For example, Paul Ryan proposes a budget called The Path To Prosperity that grinds poor, old, sick and young people into bone dust then heads to his favorite eatery for a nosh and a nip.

It would explain a lot, no?

By the way, we've managed to get a look at Ryan's 2012 reelection poster:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Excuse Us President Obama, But This Is Where We Came In

Hey! Remember when we were winning the Iraq war? Well, now it looks like we're winning the Afghanistan war the same way.
These Marines’ tour was one of the most brutal of the entire war. In its first three weeks in Afghanistan’s Sangin district, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines got into more than 100 firefights, and sustained 62 casualties. The insurgents managed to negate the Marines’ night-vision gear, and rendered their traditional close-combat tactics useless. Things got so bad, the 3/5’s superior officers even suggested pulling their troops back.
Oh yeah baby. The war is going well, except for the part that's going poorly. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, Iraq.   And umm...Iraq. Also too.
The extent of the resistance encountered in Sangin surprised many of the Marines. It was stronger than any Taliban resistance that Marines had witnessed previously in Afghanistan. During prior major Marine operations in Helmand, the insurgents had fought toe-to-toe for a few days and then relied primarily on IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and small hit-and-run ambushes. The insurgents in Sangin kept attacking in large numbers, and regrouped for counter-attacks after the initial volleys instead of dispersing.
 Pesky insurgents. How many times do we have to tell them they're losing before they listen?  Man. Learn your role buddy, OK?
The magnitude of the IED threat forced the Marines to patrol in a fundamentally different way than infantrymen patrol in most counterinsurgencies. As they had learned from Marines with prior experience in Helmand, the Taliban prepared ambush zones by emplacing IEDs in all the places where soldiers were likely to move when under fire. As a consequence, the Marines had to be much more cautious in employing traditional fire-and-maneuver tactics. They had to maneuver more slowly, or not at all.
See? This is why the war has lasted ten years. We'd have won in a week if  if we hadn't had to maneuver more slowly, or not at all.
The prevalence of IEDs also kept the Marines from patrolling at night. The Marines’ night vision equipment did not provide adequate visibility to spot many of the telltale signs of IEDs, so night patrolling would have entailed many additional casualties, which could not be worth the benefits gained since the insurgents themselves seldom operated at night.
Another reason the war has taken ten years. If we'd been able to patrol at times when the insurgents weren't around or areas where they hadn't been the war would have been over in a week, maybe two.

OK, another six months, tops.

Monday, July 11, 2011

In Which Ironicus Discovers That History Does Repeat Itself, But It Stutters

OK here's what we're thinking. You got your democrats like FDR who said the only thing to fear is fear itself, and unleashed the power of government to effect people's lives in a positive way, John Kennedy who brought us together and inspired us to reach for the stars, Lyndon Johnson who inaugurated the Great Society by, among other things, signing the Civil Rights Act and Bill Clinton who got us out of the previous republican deficit.

Then you got your republicans like Herbert Hoover who sat on his hands as the first great depression washed through the country like some kind of economic Katrina, Ronald Reagen who started us down this road, George Bush the younger who...cripes, what didn't he do? Started wars, abandoned the Constitution, abandoned New Orleans, and lead us into economic ruin all while spending the fewest days on the job since Ronnie, and now Barack Obama who wants us to grow up and eat our peas and...oh wait. Obama is a democrat.

Hmm...let's see. If Bush the younger was the republican president who watched the country's economic and domestic levees all break (well when he wasn't on vacation that is) then that would make Obama FDR, the democratic president who came after and fixed things.(OK OK, so Obama doesn't have one big World War like FDR did, but he's doing his best to cover the world in a whole lot of little ones)

Yeah, ah...we just don't see how that's gonna work out. Real Estate catalog from Belize anyone?

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

Ah, summer has come to the greyhound exploitation industry...erm...the exciting and action packed sport of greyhound racing, and that means a lot of the tracks shut down because who wants to go to a greyhound race when the weather is nice. No wait, because the overlords are so concerned with the welfare of the they don't want to race them as often in the heat. OK, not that either. Well, because...because...look we don't have a clue why the tracks close during what you would think should be their busiest time what with vacations and tourists and such, except that nobody goes to greyhound race tracks anyway and we guess even less than that come in the summer when there are more interesting things to do like wander aimlessly in the park looking for returnables. Hey, the rubes have lives too, you know?

On the bright side, with fewer tracks open, there should be more of a turnout at each one, right? Bigger piece of a little pie and all that. So let's stop in at one of the tracks that is still open and check out the crowds.
The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida staged a protest at the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club in Longwood, challenging bettors and greyhound owners to reassess the controversial sport of dog-racing. Nearly 20 protesters stood outside as race-goers filtered into the stands of the racetrack June 25, brandishing signs with slogans such as "dog racing kills thousands" and passing out informational flyers that reflected poorly upon the racing industry.
 Yes, well not exactly what the overlords had in mind, but maybe they'll at least visit the concession stand. Pointing out that greyhound racing is the heartless abuse of innocent animals leading to needless suffering, pain and death can be thirsty work, you know? Hey protesters, buy a hot dog, get a free medium drink.
According to Vic Harrison, the general manager of the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club, ARFF has held annual protests on the racing grounds for the past few years. "I totally respect their right to meet in public and their views as long as they don't disrupt our business, which they didn't. The signs were pointed more at the greyhound industry than our site specifically," Harrison said.
 A very enlightened opinion you have there Mr. Harrison, although we feel compelled to point out that if you work at a greyhound racing facility, you are part of the greyhound racing industry and your site is specifically a place where the abuse and suffering these people are pointing out takes pace. Glad we could clear that up for you.
Carla Wilson, coordinator for ARFF and Bryan Wilson, who is also a coordinator with ARRF, commented specifically on the poor conditions of the Sanford Orlando kennels, Harrison maintains that their facilities are suitable. "Our kennel area is clean and safe. It's a warm environment when it needs to be, and cool when it needs to be," Harrison said.
Mr. Harrison? You still appear to be a bit confused as to your role in this barbaric You said the protesters were protesting the industry and not your site specifically, but the kennels? They're on your site, see? Industry, kennels. Potato, potahto. Are you getting this at all? Now, we appreciate your eloquent defense of the kennels at your site and coming from someone who's "not in the industry," an impartial external observer as it were, we're sure that should shut up the animals rights wackos, right anonymous Florida state inspector?
According to records, a state investigator that visited the Sanford Orlando kennel compound in April 2006 reported that 18 adult greyhounds were cramped into nine crates designed to hold one dog. The kennel helper stated that they were there for three days, and there was no water in the cages.
 Oops, heh heh. Good thing your site isn't part of the industry or people might get the idea you're either a black hearted liar, or you don't know what you're talking about. Well, could be both we guess, but why quibble over minor things.
According to Harrison, a greyhound's racing career usually ends before the dog reaches five years old. When the dogs are no longer in racing condition, the majority of owners decide to give them up.
Now that's very commendable Mr. Harrison. For someone who's "not in the industry" you know a lot about it, right  Marilyn Varnberg, founder of Greyhound Adoptions of Florida?
Varnberg said that most of the dogs she sees come to her with career-ending injuries. "We do a tremendous amount of broken legs. Most race-dog owners won't pay to repair them," Varnberg said. "It's a constant battle to fundraise and care for these dogs. It has become the norm that it isn't the responsibility of the owner or trainer." appears Mr. Harrison is pretty confused, huh Cara? Doesn't know if he's in the industry or not. Doesn't know the difference between give up and abandon.

Cara is a little shy and reserved. She is starting to seek out affection. She will approach and touch you with her nose. She will also approach when the other dogs are getting attention. She is very quiet and calm. She is starting to show flashes of playfulness. Cara would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 6 and up. She is good with other dogs and would probably benefit from having another dog in the home to help build her confidence. 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, July 01, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Department of Hanging On To Stuff here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The DOHOTS is a division of the Bad Penny Company in partnership with It's Like A Recurring Rash, Inc.

We are possessed of information that indicates the Flager Greyhound Exploitation Facility...erm...Greyhound Race Track is marking it's 80th anniversary. Eighty years, Wow! Can you imagine how many broken greyhound bones, how many needless greyhound deaths they've managed to rack up in 80 years? Not to mention the ongoing suffering of dogs in their cages up to 22 hours a day, or the diseases the overlords manged to spread throughout the kennels because of their negligence when it came to shots, or basic care? Why just the loss of blood from fleas and ticks alone would be enough to float a battleship over 80 years. And we haven't even mentioned...what's that? You say they're celebrating? Like this is a good thing? Oh. Well, guess we missed the spirit of that announcement, huh? OK let's let the Flagler people have their say.
Flagler Greyhound Track, Miami’s oldest racetrack and casino is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year and to mark this event it is re-launching the Hecht Marathon Championship this October. For more than 50 years the Flagler Greyhound Track was the main attraction of Magic City...
Well, we guess it's all in how you look at it, especially if you aren't a greyhound. Wait a minute, if this is their 80th anniversary and they were the main attraction for 50 years, what's going on with the other 30?
...but in recent times the track has stood empty for most part. The track has a seating capacity of 7000 but in recent times spectator numbers have fallen immensely and most of the 7000 seats lie vacant.

OK, "fallen immensely" isn't a phrase you want to hear in an article that starts with the word celebrating. Of course it's all in how you look at it, especially if you're a greyhound, right Bud?

Bud is friendly and affectionate. He will approach people for pets. He is very curious but he has an easygoing personality. He is still learning how to play. He really likes toys and will collect them. He has loving eyes that look at you longingly. Bud would do well in a working family home, with well-mannered children, 5 and up. He is good with other dogs and would probably be okay as an only dog. He needs a single family home, because he tends to bark when he is first left alone. 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.