Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog are aware the jauntily colored balloons of youth dancing on their tethers against an azure sky full of hope and promise are now blown away by the harsh winds of age to lie deflated and crumpled under the inexorable tread of time...erm...we mean are aware that on occasion we have been accused of presenting a one sided view of the wholesale commodification and systematized abuse of innocent living creatures for (no) profit...uh...we mean greyhound racing.

Well, we take reader comments very seriously here in the marbled halls of IM Central (no we don't) and we constantly strive to be fair and balanced in our coverage of industrialized cruelty (who are we trying to kid?). Anyway, to counter the perception that we are anti-racing, animal rights wackos (which is actually quite accurate) we present the following interchange between the editorial staff at The Charleston Gazette and the overlords, but first a bit of back story. It seems the editors at the Charleston Gazette were a bit put off by the fact that the state had forgone $29 million so the overlords could stay out of the labor pool and they penned the aforementioned editorial titled Waste: Millions For Greyhounds. Now, the overlords may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer, but even they could tell this was not to be a puff piece on their vocation so they took to the comments to school these clueless upstarts in the finer points of animal exploitation. We present for your edification and intestinal queasiness that discussion. First up, the editors:
Betting on dog racing has almost disappeared in America. So far, 39 states have banned such tracks — mostly because animal-lovers protest that greyhounds spend their lives confined in cramped cages and suffer lethal injuries during wild gallops. Four other states have ceased racing, without prohibitory laws.
Right off the bat overlord Elaine Miller Summerhill takes issue with the blatant falsehood being perpetrated:
What is illegal is betting on LIVE RACING.
 As the kids say, oh snap! Overlord Elaine corrects a common misconception. In those states which the editors so erroneously characterized as having outlawed greyhound racing it is perfectly legal to race greyhounds, it's just that no one can bet on them. We tried to find out if there were any plans to open these bet-free tracks in any of the 39 states, but we were unable to determine if there were any such projects on the drawing board. Back to the editors:
  A few months ago, a West Virginia study ordered by the state Senate showed a colossal downturn: In 1990, gamblers wagered $64 million on dogs at the Cross Lanes track — but the sum dropped below $5 million in 2013. Yet the state gave a $29 million subsidy to dog breeders.
 Well, overlord Jaime Leach Narke (why do overlords always have three names?) is having none of it:
What that article fails to point out, because facts and the truth would get in the way of an agenda, is the money given to greyhound (and horse racing!) breeders DID NOT come from taxpayer money, it came from gambling revenue.
 Well said overlord Jamie. The $29 mill is a handout from the casinos to keep the overlords off the job market. Now, that's not to say that if the casinos didn't have to provide welfare for the overlords that money couldn't go to the state for useful things like roads or education, or public welfare, but let's not get caught up in the details here. The editors again:
The same report said 162 greyhounds were killed by West Virginia racing between 2009 and 2013, while 3,331 were injured. An opposition group, Grey2K USA, examined reports and announced that the Mountain State gave $10.2 million to a handful of breeders over the past two years. The largest subsidy, $1.4 million, went to McMillion Kennel at Alum Creek. Next was $1.2 million to Monroe Racing at Wheeling. Logan’s Tomblin family kennel, which was operated by the governor’s mother until her death, got $580,000.
Sharp eyed readers will note that Grey2K did not do the report, but merely "examined" it. As we all know though, just the mere mention of Grey2K is enough to drive the overlords to dizzying heights of apoplexy. Overlord Jamie again:
I don't think spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbyists and executive salaries a good use of donations when actual adoption groups are struggling to meet their needs. Grey2k is an anti gambling group disguising itself as an animal welfare group.
An overlord  from the Alum Creek Kennel put it a little more succinctly: "They should be in jail." He didn't specify the charge, but as you can see no assertion is made about the veracity of the facts reported, no critique of the report methodology is brought forward, no counter narrative is offered concerning the issue unless you count Grey2K! Argle Bargle Fweet Freet Blek! as a retort.

Finally, overlord Elaine sums the whole thing up:
Who ever submitted this POS editorial doesn't even have the courage to put their name to it.
 We think we can help here overlord Elaine. See, when a newspaper editorial staff writes a position, it's the position of the paper, not any one individual, so traditionally those editorials do not carry a byline because it's assumed the opinions expressed therein represent the views of the staff. Hope we cleared that up for you. It's fun to help people isn't it Banini?

Banini is a six year old female who has just been rescued so we don't know a whole lot about her personality yet. 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.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging (Thursday Edition)

Well, the official start of summer is upon us and it's time to engage in that yearly ritual of glad handing and giving lip service to the men and women who've actually had to pay the price for America using war as an instrument of foreign policy since the end of WW II.Then, on to the important business: Who Wants Barbecue!? Oh, and speaking of WWII, occasionally we'll trot out a veteran of that war to remind ourselves of what we once were, but those folks are leaving us faster than Louis Gohmert leaves Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader. It's all good though since we've been at war for almost 40 of the last 65 years, and it looks like no end is in sight so we'll have homeless Vets to avoid on the street for a long time to come, and that's the real tradition because we've been ignoring our veterans since the Revolutionary War. So the next time Congress votes not to support veterans, don't be mad at them, they're just the latest in a long line of hypocrites, liars and ingrates. It's the American way, after all.

As for us, we're going to be spending the day with some friends who've left various body parts in far flung corners of the world, so we thought we'd wade into the fetid swamp that is home to overlord toads and skinks a day early so the smell has a chance to dissipate a bit before the holiday. And we weren't even ankle deep before we noticed there was great excitement rippling through the turgid waters, as if all the toilets had flushed at once.
This year's live greyhound races in Dubuque started Saturday in front of hundreds at the newly renamed The Iowa Greyhound Park.
 After much discussion the overlords chose Iowa Greyhound Park as the new name because it's the only track in Iowa and their second choice, Oh Crap, Will Somebody Please Come Out Here And Lose The Rent Money So We Don't Have To Get Jobs, was too long to fit on the sign.
The turnout is a sign that dog racing in Dubuque won't fade soon, said one park official. "If it's fading, you're going to have to tell all the people that are standing in line now," said Brian Carpenter, racing director at the park. He said at least 400 people were at the park.
Four hundred people huh? Well, let's see, there are about 60,000 people living in Dubuque, so 400 is about  0.6% of the population or about 1/6 the number of people who attend the Dubuque Fighting Saints hockey games. Oh, and about those lines? Could you point them out to us? We can't see them in this photo:

Maybe all the people who had been sitting in those empty benches got up to go to the restroom at the same time so the lines are over at the Portapotty.
"We're very excited. We're very happy," Carpenter said. "A lot of people didn't think they'd see this day of us reopening, and here we are."
Well said overlord Carpenter. Courage in the face of adversity; tenacity in pursuing your goals; and a $32 million handout from the casinos to get you off their backs. It's the classic rags to riches story, is it not? Well, except wholesale abuse and cruel treatment of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is more a riches to rags story, but let's not quibble over details on such a momentous day.
Carpenter said the Dubuque track will hold fewer scheduled races this year but "little by little" he and others with Iowa Greyhound Association will build up interest in the sport. "We'll have a little bit of a lesser schedule, but we just have to get through this year, and then next year we'll build it back up," Carpenter said. "It'll take a couple of years, but we're trying to work on making a better product."
 Umm...Mr. Carpenter sir? We don't mean to rain on your parade, but haven't you got that backward? We mean, the first year you open is likely to be your best because you attract people who might just come out of curiosity as you are something new, like when a restaurant opens and everyone comes to check it out. After that things tend to drop off a bit, and we have to say, a drop from 400 is not likely to be a long one if you get our drift, so in a "couple of years" you're less likely to be greeting race patrons and more likely to be saying "Welcome to Walmart."
Joe Recker, of Dyersville, Iowa, said he has bred dogs for racing for more than 20 years.  "A very good turnout, very enjoyable for people," Recker said. "I think this is great. I know it was a tough struggle for the Iowa Greyhound Association to get this lined up, but they made it work and I think it's going to be a good deal." Recker said other gambling venues across the region have hurt dog racing, something he said is regrettable. "We've got too much other gambling that hurt us," he said. "If it wasn't for the other gambling, this would still be the top-of-the-line deal."
 Yeah, uh, Mr. Recker sir? If it wasn't for other gambling you'd be the only deal. He seems a little confused don't you think Coil?

I am a very sweet. For being almost four, I’m very puppy like. I am an active boy but not hyper.I love to follow my foster mom and dad through the house. I am a little clingy but I should outgrow that once I have adjusted a little better to being in a home. I get along with dogs my size and smaller dogs but definitely no kitties for me. I am housebroken. I love to play with my squeaky toys and run in the yard. I have already learned how to go up and down the stairs. 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, May 08, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Let's see. What fresh hell has descended on the overlords this week? Overlord treating his canine charges to the highest level of care because they represent such a large investment of time and money and thus deserve only the best?
An Austin man is charged with nine counts of animal abuse after finding 14 severely underweight Greyhounds in his care that he was supposed to be training to race.
 Nah, overlord training techniques and care philosophy have been well documented. So it looks like just another week of innocent living creatures trapped in the death camps as an ever dwindling subset of barely sentient swamp lichen strive to avoid gainful labor by subjecting more helpless greyhounds to potential injury and death in the cruel and heartless pursuit of (no) profit. But wait, what's this?
Lawmakers consider folding on West Virginia’s greyhound industry.
Whoa. That can't be good. What's up Mountain Staters?
When Sam Burdette first visited the Tri- State Greyhound Park in Cross Lanes in the mid-1980s, he didn’t even know how to read the program. The sheets of paper were filled with an overwhelming array of fractions and decimals, arranged in almost indecipherable rows and columns.
And now he's the head overlord in the state.  What a success story! What commitment! From barely understanding what the sport of wholesale greyhound abuse was like to becoming its chief spokesman and advocate. We salute you Sammy boy. Tell us more of your journey.
Burdette was a civil engineer, comfortable with crunching numbers. He started keeping a notebook, making hypothetical bets on races based on the handicapping numbers in the program. “Each day I’d tally it up and see if I was ahead or behind. I was approaching it from an analytical standpoint.” The experiment ran for three months. By the end Burdette realized if he had used real money, he would be $200 behind. “I said, well, you can’t buy groceries with that. My object was to take money away from the racetrack, not leave it there,” he says. “To this day, I don’t bet.”
 How inspiring! Wait, what? Sam, are you sure that's the message you want to send? We mean, when the head overlord in the state says the first thing he learned about greyhound racing was it's a scam, that really isn't helping the industry's public image.
Nationwide interest in greyhound racing started declining. In 2001 there were greyhound tracks in 15 states around the country. West Virginia is now one of only seven states that continue to race dogs, and the sport has grown increasingly unpopular in this state as well.
See what we mean? OK, sure the decline is probably more due to the fact that you abuse, injure and kill man's best friend than the rubes figuring out losing the rent money two dollars at a time is not a ticket to riches, but still it can't be helping.
In early 1994 the West Virginia Legislature legalized video lottery terminals—better known as slot machines—at state greyhound tracks. But over time, the slot machines that were supposed to help the greyhound industry began to overtake it. “People switched over from racing to slot machines. They and sit there in a trance and push that button,” Burdette says. He likes to joke—not incorrectly— that it used to take all night to lose $50 at the dog track. With a slot machine, it can take just a few minutes.
Well, Rubes B Rubes Sammy boy, but you gotta give 'em this: They're efficient.
Although it was clear the greyhound racing was suffering, no one had collected the evidence to prove it. So in 2014 the legislature ordered a $68,000 comprehensive study of the industry. The Spectrum report found live wagering on races fell by 55 percent between 2004 and 2013, from $35 million to $15.8 million. Researchers also found the greyhound industry now largely relies on video lottery and table games revenues for its purse awards. The additional revenue still wasn’t enough to stem the decline in purses, however. 
Well sure it sounds bad when you say it like that, but we all know the brutal commodification of defenseless greyhounds for (no) profit is poised for a comeback. Just ask the overlords in Des Moines. Uh, you'll have to leave a message though, they're off begging for another $5 mil on top of the $32 mill they already got so they can open without going into debt for the first week or so.
As surprising as some of the findings were, the report only confirmed what many people—lawmakers, greyhound breeders, and track officials—already knew. “It’s not only decreasing in popularity, it’s dead,” says Danny Adkins, vice president of Mardi Gras’ parent company, Hartman & Tyner, Inc.
Oh Jeez, that's a little harsh don't you think Mr. Adkins? Usually when death comes up in relation to racing we're talking about another dog, not the whole industry.
Burdette says members of his organization are well aware of the state of their industry. “As times change, as technology changes, they have to change their business model. If it’s no longer beneficial to have greyhound racing, fine.”
Oh sure, that's easy for you to say Sammy. You quit pouring your money down that rat hole years ago. What about all the stupid people, what are they going to do? Just take their social security checks and set them on fire? That's no where near as exciting as watching trapped greyhounds flying around a track breaking bones. And what about your fellow overlords? What other career values a skillset that includes lack of empathy, willful ignorance and levels of dishonesty and disconnectedness from reality that rise to sociopathic levels? What's that you say Gunner? Maybe they could get jobs with Comcast?


I am like a gigantic puppy. I am very friendly and sweet. I love to get a lot of attention. I love to be petted and cuddled. I am very smart and learn things quickly. I listen well. I love to play with my toys and run in the yard. I get along with dogs my size but no small dogs or kitties either. I am housebroken and I don’t mind being in my crate. I walk well on the leash.  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, May 01, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Mixed Messages Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The MMD is a division of the WTF Corporation, a wholly owned subsidy of Say Whaaa? LLC. First we direct your attention to this little tidbit that drifted across the intertoobz earlier this week like a dry fart on a calm day.
A racing greyhound from a farm south of Abilene has made a name for himself in the National Greyhound Association’s auction record book. PJ Burninitdown sold for a record $85,000 at an auction for first-time greyhounds Friday.
 Now, our first thought was there's no way an the overlords could come up with $85,000 unless everybody chipped in a buck, so how's this poor dog going to have any kind of a career with that many owners' fingers in the pie? Then we thought, no that can't be right so we checked to see if any banks in the Abilene area had been robbed recently. No luck. Lotto winner? That didn't compute because someone would have to spend a buck on a ticket, then there'd be no way that person could have thrown anything in the pool. Inheritance? Not likely. The only thing passed down from one overlord generation to the next is bad genes. Truly a puzzler. But just as we were struggling to wrap our heads around that idea, this little nugget came along:
For the first time in Mobile Greyhound Park's history, its evening races have been cut.  Races will now only be held 4 times a week, and only from the hours of 3 to PM (sic).  The changes were made to offset a decline that's been seen in dog racing across the country. 
 OK, so the overlords got their hands on some real cash, cash that could have been used to give a whole bunch of them a free ride scholarship plus stipends to Walmart Greeter School, and instead they plunked it down for a dog that pretty soon won't have anywhere to race. Does anyone see the flaw in this plan?
“It was magical,” said Gary Guccione, the association’s executive director. “It just all came together. It was the opposite of the perfect storm. Everything jelled.”
 Well, there's nothing magical about finding stupid overlords there Big G, it's sort of like finding sand on a beach, but since last year's auction took in $14.27 we understand your confusion. Don't you Mattie?

I am still a little puppyish as I am only a little over two years old. I love Frosty Paws for a special treat. I am not shy around people but I am not overly outgoing either. I love to play with my foster brother and sister but I will also entertain myself. I am inquisitive as living in home is very different and wonderful. I am housebroken and do not mind being in my crate. I get along with dogs of any size and kitties too. I love to play with toys. I love the squeaky ones and will squeak them until I “kill” the squeaker. I can go up and down the stairs and easily walk on all types of floor surfaces. I love to go for walks and do great on the leash. I have learned the word “no.” 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.