Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gary Gucionne! Motto: If I Say It Enough Times I Can Make It True

Frequent readers of this blog are convinced that what remains of the American dream is a feverish, haunted portend of the apocalypse from which we cannot awaken...erm...we mean will remember friend of the blog Gary Guccione otherwise known as the Aristotle of the overlord crowd. If Aristotle had been born a turnip. Anyway, circumstances have one again inspired Mr. Guccione to arm himself with his Word-a-Day calendar and sally forth into the interwebs to do battle with the forces of reason and compassion.
Animal rights groups tend to generate more heat than light on the issues they exploit to raise money and gain publicity. This is certainly true of Grey2K USA, the animal rights group covered in Dave Boucher's September 4 article about injuries and economics in greyhound racing.
Now, if by heat you mean holding your feet to the fire to get you to actually care for the dogs we would agree with you Mr. G, but when you think about it, what groups like Grey2K have actually gained is the outlawing of greyhound racing in 38 states, the closing of all tracks in five state where racing is still allowed and shining a "light" to use your term on the horrific condition in which most greyhounds are trapped, and by that we mean the confinement, the 4D meat, and the constant risk if injury and death, so yeah some heat and some light.
The fact is that only about one-half of one percent of all greyhound racing starts actually result in injury to greyhounds. Of those injuries, the vast majority are so minor that the greyhounds are treated and able to return to racing in a week or two.
Yeah, yeah we know about the "it's all numbers" argument. Your buddy Sam Burdette (whom we still think is the love child of Mitch McConnell and the Sta Puft man) tried it in Boucher's article. As we opined at the time:
Ah, we get it. So if you just think about injuries as occasional statistical occurrences instead of an instance of inflicting pain and suffering on an innocent living creature they stop being acts of meaningless cruelty in the service of profit and become random anomalous events. Well, that certainly does make them easier to think about if you happen to be the one doing the inflicting, but for the rest of us? Meh. Not so much.
We think that pretty much sums up the position of people born with a genetic predisposition to empathy.
On rare occasions, greyhounds experience injuries that end their racing careers. Those that are unable to continue racing are retired into an adoption program, and find loving homes in which to live out their lives.
Well now that's true, except for the ones who are killed and left for someone else to pick up, or the ones who receive no treatment for their injuries. Oh and let's not forget the ones who are just flat out abandoned, but yeah, other than that things are just hunky dory in the greyhound exploitation industry.
Nearly 95 percent of all registered racing greyhounds are returned to the farm or placed in adoptive homes when they retire. It's hard to imagine how any reasonable person could fault this outcome.
Oh, Mr. G, you're attempting to math again. Isn't that special. Now  we appreciate your determination to master the complexities of addition and subtraction, but as we told you before 2 + 2 does not equal 6 even though you may wish with all your black little heart that it did.
It should be obvious that greyhound owners and track operators have a vested interest in doing everything possible to reduce the risk of injury to racing greyhounds. That is why tracks spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on track maintenance, training and research to identify and resolve track surface issues that could contribute to greyhound injuries.
Wow Mr. G. Thanks for telling us that. We were not aware. Perhaps you should pass the word on to the folks at Tucson Greyhound Track. The greyhound caretakers there apparently didn't get the memo:
More alarming is what greyhound caretakers told investigators about track conditions. Among their complaints: people in charge of the track and running the tractors “didn’t care;" unmaintained dirt near the inner rail caused dogs to get their toes broken; and the fast dogs pulled muscles from running on heavy sand.
Yeah, well those injury percentages have to come from somewhere, right Mr. G?
Grey2K also misrepresents the economic reality of greyhound racing. The economic benefits of live racing are not limited to the number of tax dollars generated for state coffers. In most states, racinos have been approved, at least in part, because rural economies benefit from the horse and dog breeding industries that generate jobs, revenue and business activity in farm communities. This is a reality that the urban, well-heeled leaders of Grey2K simply do not understand.
Ah, the old we create jobs argument. Well played G man. Hard to argue with that even though most of the jobs are part time no benefit and wouldn't be there at all if the states didn't subsidize the industry as much as they do, but hey job's a job, right? Although it does seem like the people working in the industry really don't want to be working in the industry. Maybe you were just referring to your own employment future, huh?

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