Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog who once cast their eyes over the limitless vista of hope and promise and thought "I will make this mine" now must huddle in the cold shadow of lowered expectations...erm...we mean will recall we reported on the overlords in Iowa and their quest to open a deathcamp for greyhounds with half the money the casinos gave them to go away because if you want something done right, ignore all the evidence that it can't be done, Reality and the overlords seldom travel the same road, however, so the Racing Commission said fine, if that's what you want to do, it's not illegal to be stupid, and off the overlords went to recapture those exciting days of yesteryear before people with souls learned what was happening to the inventory.

So how's that going?
The Iowa Greyhound Association is looking to claim nearly $5 million from a supplemental fund in an effort to help live dog racing in Dubuque.
OK, so you haven't even started yet, but you've figured out you need $5 mill more to pull this thing off? What about when you said "this dedicated fund is more than enough to cover operations for live racing for the first five year lease the IGA will enter regarding the facility?" Oh wait, don't answer that. You were thinking people would actually come to the track when it opened weren't you? Well, don't worry, it's an easy enough mistake to make...if you're an idiot.

But hey, this is America right? Home of Trongs, watermelon strollers and the bottle opener remote, so why not pour more money into the heartless commodification of innocent living creatures for (no) profit? We mean it's got to have at least a good of a chance of paying off as  bacon bandages, right West Virginia?
A study commissioned by state lawmakers says greyhound racing subsidies are a bad investment and should be eliminated.
Whoa. That's kind of cold, don't you think? We mean all that's going on here is the killing and maiming of hundreds of helpless greyhounds every year so that a couple of drunks can lose the rent money and keep the overlords out of the labor pool for a while. What's so bad about that? Right greyhound breeder Steve Sarras?
“You can manipulate statistics any way you want to manipulate them,” Sarras said.
Darn straight. You get those stiff necked Yankees coming in here with all their high falutin' math and such and next thing you know they're telling everybody ain't no future in paying the overlords not to work. Well, somebody needs to tell it like it is and Stevie is just the man for the job, so come on you liberal eggheads, give him your best shot.
In-state wagers dropped 55 percent from 2004 to 2013 at West Virginia’s two greyhound tracks, Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, the report said. In Wheeling, greyhound racing drew 929,000 spectators in 1983, a number that is now down to 13,000 or an estimated 50 people per race day.
 Ha! Just as we thought. You're using fancy pants statistical numbers and such to imply that just because no one is coming to the tracks anymore racing is unpopular and unprofitable. Typical east coast elitist disdain for the good folks out here in flyover country. We wouldn't have expected anything else from a bunch of  carpet bagger snake oil salesmen. What we need is to hear from a good old boy, someone whose roots are here and who knows what we know. What about you Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler? You've lived here all your life. Tell these pencil necked northern geeks where to get off. Go ahead lay a little down home what it is on their pasty white behinds.

“We are subsidizing a sport that nobody’s watching.”

Boom! There it is study boy! What you think of us now? You can just pack your kit into your little Prius and wait what?
Now may be the time, Kessler said, to start rolling back West Virginia’s investments in greyhounds.
 Umm..OK. Jeez Tyler, that did not go the way we expected.

Snuggly and smart, this handsome fellow is very inquisitive. He’s playful and very good company. Tyler has a passion for food, so never trust him, no matter what he tells you!! This boy should be in sales with his schmoozing! ! Did we mention smart? Tyler has been busy learning home etiquette and rules. He’s getting along nicely with his foster sibs. 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 here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall the boundless world that lay before them in their youth now become the harsh and barren landscape of broken hopes and unfilled expectations...erm...we mean will recall we here in the marbled halls of IM Central have been watching events unfold in Florida vis-a-vis the overlords and people with souls. Most recently we told you of the defection from the overlord camp of the track owners, who are basically the overlords' overlords. That coupled with the movement in the state legislature to make the overlords actually report the damage they do to the innocent living creatures trapped in a cruel and heartless (not to mention unprofitable) industry death spiraling into the dustbin of history has meant that 2015 has, so far, not been kind to those who would exploit the oldest recognized breed of dog for personal gain, right state Sen. Eleanor Sobel?
“I think this is a barbaric practice and we are subsidizing a bankrupt sport.”
Whoa, Senator Sobel. Tell us how you really feel. Well, wait. Don't. It's obvious you've drunk the Grey2K Kool Aid here. We mean, the heartless exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is a growth industry. Just ask the Iowa Greyhound Association. They're reopening a track because there's just so much pent up demand in Iowa. Right guys?
Dubuque casinos collected about $113 million in revenue in 2014, marking a 6.5 percent decline compared to 2013.The end-of-year numbers were unveiled today during the monthly meeting of Dubuque Racing Association, held at Mystique Casino. The DRA holds the license for both the greyhound racing and casino-gaming operations of Mystique and is the co-licensee for Diamond Jo Casino.
See? You just need to advertise the product right and then, wait what? Down 6.5%? OK, OK, that's not good, but that's what happened to the casinos. 
Despite slumping revenue figures, Mystique CEO Jesus Aviles said the Dubuque market did see positive developments in 2014.
Right. And we're willing to bet greyhound racing was one of those bright spots. After all, it's been taken over by the overlords themselves and if anyone knows how to make greyhound racing popular it's them, right? So tell us how greyhound racing is a positive development.
“Top billing goes to the elimination of greyhound racing,” he said.
 Yeah, well, not exactly the positive development we had in mind, but still, Iowa is Iowa and Florida is Florida, so Senator Sobel you can't argue that just because racing is bankrupt and barbaric in Iowa the same would be true for the sunshine state.
Greyhound racing is a dying sport. According to a legislative report, the state spends $3.1 million more each year to regulate greyhound racing than it receives in tax revenue. The state Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering reports that paid attendance at dog tracks has dropped 85 percent over 10 years and the amount bet has dropped 67 percent since 1990.
 Hmmm. Looks like when we use the phrases positive development and greyhound racing in the same sentence it means we're positive it's dying and that's a great development. Wouldn't you agree Dante?

Dante is a two year old who can live with cats and small dogs. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the That's Not What I Wanted To Hear Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The TNWIWTHD is a division of the With Friends Like These Corporation, a wholly owned subsidy of This Will Not End Well, LLC.

Whilst surfing around the overlord side of the intertoobz the other day we ran across this particularly distressing headline:
Why do Florida track owners want to stop greyhound racing?
Of course our first response was because they hate America. Ask any overlord and he or she will tell you if the wholesale exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is ended and they are forced to enter the job market, well, the terrorists have won and that's the end of freedom. Those are just the facts.

Now, for those of you keeping score at home, the track owners are the individuals who own the real estate upon which the overlords eke out their tick like existence on the backs of the greyhounds brought into this world for the sole purpose of making them rich.

And therein lies the problem.
What used to be a glamorous, lucrative sport has become a money-losing proposition that brings a black eye from animal-welfare groups. “This is an industry that is dying in Florida and all over the country, and it’s dying because of competition from other forms of gambling,” said Carey Theil, an anti-greyhound racing activist and the executive director of Grey2K, a nonprofit group that campaigns to put an end to dog racing in the seven states where it remains legal. “It’s dying because of concerns about the way dogs are treated in this industry.”
 Ha! Just what we would expect from a well known animal rights wacko like Theil. See, here's the problem with people like Theil: they're not overlords. Anyone in the industry will tell you that until you've actually been an overlord you can't say anything about racing, no matter how much you've read, or seen, or studied. We call this the There is no Australia gambit. And there you go. Since Theil has never personally participated in the institutionalized cruelty that is greyhound racing, he can't talk about it. As the lawyers say, ipso facto, cavet emptor, cave canem case closed. We're sorry. What did you say Izzy Havenick owner of the Naples–Fort Myers Greyhound Track and Poker Room?
“The state of Florida law mandates that we continue to run the dogs in order to keep the poker room open,” he said. “We’re legally obliged to keep a business operating that loses $2.5 million a year.”
Ruh Ro. Sounds like Mr. Havernick has been to Australia.  And he didn't like what he saw.
Betting on greyhounds has fallen by more than half in Florida over the past decade. The dog races now compete for the attention of a generation that came of age with the Internet. “Most people my age and younger have no interest in going to some facility and watching an animal run around in a circle,” Havenick said.
Hey! That's not fair. This is the exciting, glamorous, lucrative world of greyhound racing we're talking about. Fun for the whole family! You can't belittle an action-packed sport like this by calling it animals running around in a circle just because the around in a circle. OK, you may have a point.
Florida state Sen. Maria Sachs said that the state of Florida loses money on greyhound racing, spending $1.8 million more to regulate the industry than it receives in tax revenues. “We, as a state government, should not be putting money into a sport that is actually inhumane and is losing revenue,” she said.
OK, $2.5 million plus $1.8 million. Let's see, 8 plus 5, carry the two, put your left foot in, take your left foot out...Man! That's some serious coin.  Why, that would buy almost 100 teachers, not that we're saying providing subsidies so the overlords can make their trailer payments isn't just as important as educating the next generation of Florida citizens. Not saying that at all, nosiree.
Former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp is fighting for one group that opposes decoupling: the people who own and train the dogs. The track owners, he said, shouldn’t be so quick to throw the dog owners under the bus. “They’ve had a lot of benefits of having a monopoly in this arena and made billions of dollars,” he said of the track owners. “If they don’t want to do it anymore, fine. Relinquish the license. Put it out to bid.”
 Yeah. Where's the loyalty man? In a business where part is making money and part isn't you want to drop the part that isn't. Not fair. You should give up the whole thing. We're all family, right. We all sink or swim together, right? What's that you say Roma? As soon as you finished out of the money you were dropped like a hot rock and replaced by some other dog? Well, that's just business Roma, nothing personal.

Hi, my name is Roma. I am a sweet and beautiful red-fawn greyhound (just look at my picture and you will see). I am currently in foster living with two other greyhounds showing me all the things I need to know about house rules (no accidents on my record!). The best part about being in a home is becoming a part of a loving family! I have a soft bed for sleeping, great food, snacks, lots of toys, a big yard to play in, and I get lots of hugs and kisses. Oh, I love going on walks too! Life is GREYT! I enjoy being close to my family, just in case my foster mom wants to give me a good ear rubbing (look at my cute ears) and sometimes a belly rub. I enjoy quieter times too, like snuggling, and watching TV together. My foster mom calls me her “sweet Roma tomato.” I have to agree, I am pretty sweet (not sure about the tomato thing–what is a tomato)? When she calls my name, my tail wags non-stop, as I rush to get lots of hugs and kisses! I am looking for my forever loving home! What are you waiting for? Come and get me! 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 here.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Hey, we're back! Did you miss us? Did you even know we were gone? Of course you didn't, you have lives. Well, actually if you're reading this blog...Umm we're going to stop there before we say something we might regret.

OK moving on. So how has life been treating the overlords during the erstwhile holiday season? 
It’s all over but the voting as a bill requiring that injuries to racing greyhounds be reported to the state looks certain to pass the state Senate next year. Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said his chamber is expected to approve the bill during the first week of the session, which starts in March.
 Oh crap. More government paperwork. Look, these are injured dogs, right? So once they're injured they lose their value, you know? Why make the poor overlords fill out a form detailing how the dogs went from assets to liabilities? We mean, if you wrecked your car would you take it to the car wash before the wrecker came and got it? Yeesh, these government bureaucrats just don't understand business, you know? We bet no other state oppresses the overlords with all these useless regulations.
It is appalling that Florida is one of only two states that does not require injuries to racing greyhounds be reported to the state. Alabama is the only other state to show such disregard for the dogs’ welfare.
 Alabama huh? OK you might have a point. Being in the same category as Alabama is sort of like saying my highest goal in life is to be a Kardasian. What do you think Jack Cory, spokesman for the Florida Greyhound Association?
Cory said senators instead should pass the “Greyhound Safety Act” backed by Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale. That bill would require injury reporting but also mandates a safe track surface and safety devices to protect dogs, among other provisions.
 We're with you Jackie boy, but here's our question: Shouldn't the tracks already do everything they can to have safe track surfaces and devices to protect the dogs? Isn't that like what the kids call a no brainer? Do they really need the state to tell them to do that? We mean, sure they're overlords and all and sometimes they forget that they need to match their feet with their shoes,, we see your point.
Indeed, lawmakers should consider strengthening the bill as the Florida Greyhound Association proposes. The organization, which represents greyhound breeders, owners and kennel operators, suggests mandating such safeguards as appropriate track surfaces and the use of safety devices to protect dogs. Its officials understand dog safety must be paramount if the industry is to withstand the strong opposition of animal protection groups. But lawmakers should not stop at simply improving reporting requirements and track conditions. Legislators next session finally should adopt a measure “decoupling” greyhound racing from a track’s gambling license. Similar past proposals, unfortunately, have failed to make it through the Legislature. Such a law would put an end to the perverse mandate that forces tracks to run the dogs so they can keep their licenses for card games and other gambling operations.
Whoa! Hey, slow down there Buckaroo. Decoupling? You know what that means?
Decoupling the races from the gambling license would allow the marketplace to determine whether the races should be continued.
Right. And what has "the marketplace" had to say about the continued exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit...erm...we mean greyhound racing?
In Florida, the amount bet on dog races is a third of what it was just a decade ago. Only a few tracks still make money on greyhounds, according to a consultant’s report to the legislature. For the rest, the dogs are a loss leader that allows them to continue operating their profitable card rooms and slot machines.
So let's just cool our jets there a little, or in the rush to make racing safer for the greyhounds we make it less safe for the overlords. You would agree with that, right Ivy?

Sweet-natured little Ms. Ivy enjoys being with people whether it’s time to play or time to relax. Did someone mention getting out the squeaky toys and a ball or two? Ivy never misses an opportunity to have fun, and will need a home with a 6′ fence so she’s not tempted to find fun outside of her yard, and even helps tidy up afterwards by taking all toys to her bed. R&R time is good too, best done with her close by–naturally– since you never know when something might come along which would require some needle-nosed attention. Great company, that’s our Ms. Ivy!! 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 here.