Monday, August 29, 2011

There Is No Truth To The Rumor That He Kicks Puppies For Fun

We're coming to you today from the You Thought I'd Never Amount To Anything Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. YTINATA is a division of the Short Man Syndrome Corporation in partnership with Heart Like A Raisin, LLC.

By way of a little background and context we need to tell you that the unemployment rate in Ohio is 9%, or if you're State Sen. Tim Grendell, another way of saying it is one in ten people in Ohio are drug addicts freeloading off the public dole.
“Hard working taxpayers of the state of Ohio should not have to pay for the drug habits of illegal drug users,” Grendell said in a press release.
 Right. Because lord knows if these people wanted to work, they could, what with jobs practically falling out of the trees around here.
Those seeking state aid would have to pay for the drug tests but would be reimbursed if they pass, the release said. Those who fail a second time would be banned from receiving aid for three years.
Grendell is also sponsoring a Bill to charge people who are eligible for food stamps because, hey times are tough. Why should we be giving food away?
The proposal is patterned after a aw already in effect in Florida, Grendell said.

Hmm...Hey Timmy, might want to look into that just a tad more before you save the hardworking taxpayers of Ohio from subsidizing the drug addicts you apparently see around every corner.
The Department of Children and Families' central region has tested 40 applicants since the law went into effect six weeks ago, and of those 40 applicants, 38 tested negative for drugs. The cost to the state of Florida to reimburse those 38 individuals who tested negative was at least $1,140 over the course of six weeks. Meanwhile, denying benefits to the two applicants who tested positive will save Florida less than $240 a month.
Well, it's not really about saving the people of Ohio money anyway, is it Timmy? It's about payback for all those people who were mean to you in middle school isn't it? We mean, just look at this guy and tell us he wasn't shoved in his locker on a daily basis.

Grendell currently is seeking cosponsors for the proposal. 
But since the other legislators won't let him sit with them at lunch he's had trouble getting support.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

You know, we're used to getting mixed messages from the overlords, like how much they luuuuvvvvs them some greyhounds...except when they're killing them, but we seldom get those messages in the same article.
The gates on the starting boxes snap up. And they’re off! As the dogs round the first bend they have one thing in their sights. The lure. The imitation hare jerks ahead of them, circling the track. The dogs buffet each other in their bid to get to the lure. As they near the finish line the racecaller’s excitement is peaking.
"Buffet." Heh, heh. That's a pretty word. This look like buffeting to you?

By the way, Starz was killed in that "buffet," but back to our story.
For 10 years Angela Rowland experienced the ups and downs of the industry. The highest number of dogs she trained at her Ballan home was 25. Her hard work paid off in 2005 when she was named Greyhound Racing Victoria Young Trainer of the Year.
Trainer of the year? Now that's something. Got to be some big time benefits going along with that title right Ms. Rowland? Endorsements? Speaker fees? Movie roles?
About two years ago she gave it all up. ‘‘It’s very hard to make a living training dogs full-time because you’re not getting a guaranteed wage every week.
 Oops. Heh heh. And this is from the "Trainer of the year." Think what it must be like to be an ordinary trainer. Kinda like being the fourth three stooges we figure.
‘‘It’s a really great sport and there are some really great people," said Melton greyhound owner Brian Treloar. "On a Saturday night a lot of families come. We’re in the middle of doing some major works to the area.’’ From the end of the grandstand down 500 metres to the end of the starting boxes is going to be converted into a huge picnic area. ‘‘It’s always been family oriented because a dog is so accessible, unlike a horse. You can’t put it in the back of a car can you?
Well, we certainly can't argue with that, Mr. Melton. And what are these families going to see when they come and enjoy your 500 meter picnic area?
In April, Banger Harvey shattered his hock beyond repair and was destroyed.
Ah, well there you go then. Nothing says family fun like subjecting the kids to the trauma of the violent, painful death of an innocent animal right in front of them, don't you agree Annie?

Annie is a sweet little girl. She is being treated for heartworm and her foster mom is keeping her quiet during her treatment. She is very affectionate. She will approach her foster mom for kisses. She loves treats. She likes to collect her foster mom’s shoes and puts them in a pile (she leaves the other family member’s shoes 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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Texas! Motto: We Don't Call It Graduation, We Call It Parole

You know, years ago when we were inmates of the local educorporate training facility we weren't what you might call model students. Now, in our defense we have to say we weren't overtly disruptive...well there was that one time we flicked a booger at Dale and it got caught in Elizabeth's hair, but that was an accident due to our lack of familiarity with the aerodynamic principles of asymmetrical objects. Besides, who could have known a person as small as Elizabeth was capable of a noise like that?

Aside from that our activities were pretty much confined to those you might expect of a budding scholar with a short attention span and not enough adult supervision. Things like opening the window at the back of the classroom and scattering breadcrumbs left over from lunch to attract pigeons in the hopes that one might fly into the room (Hey, it could work); trying to steal all the teacher's chalk before math class, or writing fictitious names on the attendance sheet passed around by the substitute.

Well, we tell you this by way of establishing our credentials as miscreants, and to confess that while there probably were some activities we engaged in that were definitely not conducive to the harmonious learning atmosphere we're sure our educational technicians were trying to create, at least we never broke the law.
In a small courtroom north of Houston, a fourth-grader walked up to the bench with his mother. Too short to see the judge, he stood on a stool. He was dressed in a polo shirt and dark slacks on a sweltering summer morning. “Guilty,” the boy’s mother heard him say. In another generation, he might have received only a scolding from the principal or a period of detention. But an array of get-tough policies in U.S. schools in the past two decades has brought many students into contact with police and courts — part of a trend some experts call the criminalization of student discipline.
First of all we feel obligated to point out that because this kid acted out in Texas he probably should thank his lucky stars he wasn't shooting spit wads, or sticking his gum under the seat. We hear you can be executed for stuff like that. Second,  since it's a well known fact that children who can't sit quietly, not ask questions and always color inside the lines are not going to do well on the tests and pull the school's score down, it's just as well this young ne'er do well is hustled off to the pokey. We mean, he's a fourth grader and this is how he behaves? What hope is there for him?
In Texas police issue tickets: Class C misdemeanor citations for offensive language, class disruption, schoolyard fights. Thousands of students land in court, with fines of up to $500. Students with outstanding tickets may be arrested after age 17.
Darn straight. Look, a kid swears in class, it's only a short trip from there to robbing a bank, so we might as well get him in the system now, while he's cooped up in a school building. Beats chasing him around the neighborhood after he's knocked over the local liquor store, no?
Now, such practices are under scrutiny nationally. Federal officials want to limit punishments that push students from the classroom to courtroom, and a growing number of state and local leaders are raising similar concerns.
Now see, this is why governor Perry wants to secede. Here comes the federal mommy government interfering with the state's right to utilize its resources as it sees fit. Seriously, do these kids work? No. Can they buy TV's or cars or houses? Not. Do they in any way contribute to the enormous cost of taking care of them? Never. So aside from the few who do well on tests and thus help raise property values in their neighborhoods, there aren't a whole lot of reasons for putting up with much. Besides, when teachers are busy organizing test prep sessions, they don't have a lot of time to be fooling around with kids who just don't see the importance of making the adults look good by scoring well.
Gregg Anderson, president of the Texas Association of School Resource Officers, said that tickets don’t get written every day or for every offense but that when a problem is repeated or severe, "it’s another tool in our belt.”
Right on Mr. Anderson. See, you bleeding hearts are getting all  upset over nothing. These tickets are being given only in certain severe circumstances, not at any little infraction. What do you think, we hate kids? Come on, we're professional educators fer chrissakes. Kids are what we are all about.
In one highly publicized case a middle school student in Austin was ticketed for class disruption after she sprayed herself with perfume when classmates said she smelled.

In Houston one recent day, a 17-year-old was in court after he and his girlfriend poured milk on each other. “She was mad at me because I broke up with her,” he said.
Well, in the schoold districts' defense we have to say it was cheap perfume, and as far as the milk incident...those were both free lunch kids, so it's not like they were going to amount to much anyway.
Research shows that students who have been arrested or appeared in court are more likely to drop out of high school, said Gary Sweeten, an Arizona State University criminologist. Dropouts, in turn, are more likely than graduates to be incarcerated or unemployed.
Hey, win win. We get the kids who don't do well on the big tests out of school, and create job opportunities in the Corrections field.

Monday, August 22, 2011

We Knew She Was Guilty, Except For That Innocent Part

Hooray! It looks like this country is going to hang together long enough to get another school year started, although South Dakota has decided to hedge its bets in case this whole public education thing turns out to be a bad investment. Oh sure, sure, Thomas Jefferson said, “To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education,” but he wasn't, like, infallible or anything, you know? Dude broke his wrist chasing chicks around Paris, fer chrissakes. So the people of South Dakota are just saying, "Hey, should we be listening to some horn dog when we can be cutting taxes on businesses so they'll hire more people for minimum wage, no benefit jobs? Don't think so."

Well, despite the fact that we all may just be going through the motions of being an actual country as the society Jefferson helped lay the foundation for crumbles down around our homeless, jobless ears, we here in the marbled halls can't help but be a little excited about the prospect of more students to annoy.

Then we read something like this and it occurs to us that with colleagues like these, perhaps South Dakota has the right idea.
A southwestern Missouri school district has denied accusations in a federal lawsuit that officials failed to protect a middle-school girl from being raped, calling the lawsuit "frivolous" and saying the girl "neglected to use reasonable means to protect herself." The girl, identified as a 7th grade special education student, was raped twice during the course of two school years, according to the lawsuit filed July 5 against Republic School District in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
"Hey, we got AYP to be worried about," said school principal Patricia Mithelavage. "We can't be watching these kids every minute. Besides, she's one of the short bus riders, if you get my drift. It's not like she's going to be raising our scores anyway."
The girl was first raped at Republic Middle School in the spring of 2009, according to the lawsuit. After the mother notified the school, the girl described the rape and "multiple sexual assaults" she'd experienced at school that year to school resource officer Robert Duncan, Mithelavage and school counselor Joni Ragain. They then told the mother that they thought that her daughter made it all up.
When asked why the school didn't request that the girl be examined right away to determine if an assault had occurred, Duncan replied that "it was a Friday afternoon before a long weekend."
During subsequent meetings described in the lawsuit as "intimidating interrogations," the lawsuit says the officials told the girl that they thought she was lying about the rape. The girl's mother was later told that her daughter recanted her story during one of those meetings. The family's lawyers note in the lawsuit that the girl's school file contains a psychological report describing her as adverse to conflict, passive and "would forgo her own needs and wishes to satisfy the request of others around so that she can be accepted."
"Yeah, what's your point?" Ragain asked.
Following instructions from the school, the girl wrote an apology to the boy she accused of raping her and had to personally give it to him, according to the lawsuit. She was then expelled for the remainder of the 2008-09 school year. The school also told "juvenile authorities" that she filed a false report.
We think it's very important to teach students to take responsibility for their actions. It's one of the guiding principles of our school," said principal  Mithelavage.
The school district denies all of the family's claims, saying that if anything happened it was the "result of the negligence, carelessness, or conduct of third parties over whom the District Defendants had neither control nor the right to control."
"Well, every rule has exceptions," she added,
The girl returned to the middle school for the 2009-10 school year and tried to avoid the boy, according to the lawsuit. It didn't work. She was sexually assaulted again but didn't tell anyone because she was afraid of being expelled again, her lawyers wrote in the lawsuit. She was allegedly raped a second time Feb. 16, 2010. School officials were notified of the incident and allegedly doubted the girl's claim, saying they'd "already been through this," according to the lawsuit. The girl was also examined and found to have been sexually assaulted. However, she was suspended from school for "disrespectful conduct" and "public display of affection," her lawyers wrote in the lawsuit.
 Mithelavage defended the school's action" "Hey come on. Once, OK, but twice? That's just a little bit slutty don't you think? We have pretty high standards of behavior around here."
A boy pleaded guilty in juvenile court to unspecified charges after the family notified police when the girl was raped a second time.
"Oh, he is so on detention," Mithelavag said, "Kid lied to us. Can you believe that?"
Local prosecutors found out about the lawsuit Monday night and were reviewing police reports to see if the school district violated any laws requiring abuse allegations to be reported to authorities.
"Yeah, we're thinking that whole call the girl a liar, never get her examined and throw her out of school  policy? That's probably not the way to go," said an official from the prosecutor's office who declined to be identified.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

We've been thinking about the plight of the overlords lately. We mean, here they are trying to convince people with souls that exploiting innocent animals for racing is fun for the whole family in the hopes that they can lure more to the track to lose the rent the exciting and lucrative world of greyhound handicapping. So far, it's not going so well.
Greenetrack is fighting a $75 million dollar tax bill from the state. In court papers, it says the assessment far exceeds the track's assets.
When asked to describe the track's assets a representative listed the three coke machines--although one was non-functioning,  the fax machine and three five gallon buckets of pickles, left over when the concession stand closed.

See, here' the problem: If you don't have races you can't make money, so you just need to schedule more races and you can grow your way out of this dilemma, right Sally Briggs, general manager of Gulf Greyhound Park.
Gulf Greyhound Park has delayed applying for live race dates in 2012 and part of 2013 as the state racing commission ponders ways to recoup about $1.7 million in annual funding taken from it by the Texas Legislature. While the commission said it’s too early to know how it will try to recover the money, it’s clear operators at the dog racing track, 1000 FM 2004 in La Marque, expect they will have to pay more to the state in fees and won’t schedule lives races until they know how much.
Aw nuts. Money, money, money. It's always about the money. If only there was a venture capitalist out there, and investor with a love of brutality animal athletes who would step forward and finance the overlords through this rough patch. It couldn't be just anybody though, it would have to be someone knowledgeable in the travesty sport, cruel beyond hope of redemption experienced, and most of all of fine upstanding character to preserve the high moral tone with which the overlords carry themselves. Or a mobster, whatever.

Crime clan head Eddie Lyons has gone to the dogs ... in the world of greyhound racing. Lyons, 53, is the proud owner of two dogs which he pays to be kept in training. The serial gambler frequently visits his prized dogs at the Stirlingshire kennel. One source said: "Eddie is never out the bookies and has been a big punter for years."
OK this looks pretty good. The guy's already paying money into greyhound racing so he can't be very smart, he's a "serial gambler" so he's used to losing, and he apparently can get to the track on his own without getting lost. Win win, no?
"More recently, he's become a massive fan of dog racing and often attends race nights at Shawfield in Glasgow. "There's some decent money to be made for the top owners but he's not in that league yet," the source continued.
Well, if by "decent money" you mean bus fare home with enough left over for a pack of smokes, then yeah baby, let's get us some of that sweet, sweet "decent money."
"These two dogs could hardly run the length of themselves but I think the plan is to breed them one day," the source said.
OK wait a minute. The guy is spending money to train dogs that can't race in the hopes that he will be able to breed them someday because people will be looking for racing dogs that come from a line of dogs that can't race, is that it?

That seems to be it.

Perfect! You couldn't find a person more suited to invest in greyhound racing if you built them from the ground up. Happy days are here again, right Audrey?

Audrey is a loving, playful, outgoing, friendly girl. She loves her tummy and ears to be rubbed and she has no problem locking her big brown eyes with yours to let you know that she trusts you. She is curious about everyone and everything that she sees. Audrey is like a puppy she is very energetic. She likes to sleep on her back, like playing dead. Her foster mom hasn’t caught her playing with toys, but she can be in the basement and she can hear Audrey playing with them. Audrey is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Audrey would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 8 and up. She is young and playful and would do well with another dog to keep her company, or as an only dog in a family that will exercise her often. 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, August 18, 2011

BREAKING: Romney Agrees With You. In Other News, Ocean Remains Salty

Well here's a headline that didn't need to be written:

Of course Romney's "in sync" with the Tea Party. He's also "in sync" with moderate republicans (both of them) business interests, labor, the poor, Cubs fans, vegetarians, Rastafarians, Mayans, people who call soccer football, insurance companies, people shafted by insurance companies, left handers, people who believe the designated hitter rule killed baseball, astronauts, base jumpers, voice activated computers, Billy Budd, the NFL, the Baader-Meinhoff gang, Chuck Norris, Gamers, organic chicken farmers...whew. It'd be easier to put together a list of  things Romney isn't "in sync" with. Laws governing the transportation of companion animals perhaps. We can't think of any more.
Many Tea Party members don't see themselves as "in sync" with Romney, however. In Massachusetts he helped author the statewide healthcare mandate that was an inspiration for President Barack Obama's 2010 national health reforms
Oh now that's just unfair right there. We mean, do you know how much work it takes to be on all sides of an issue? Do you realize the strain that gets put on Romney's back from bending every way the wind blows? Can you even imagine the size of his chiropractic bill? And we're not even going to get into what years of talking out of both sides of your mouth does to you. We seriously think you need to reconsider there Mr. and Ms. Tea Party members. Governor Romney is being totally sincere here.

“Romney for the most part is inaccessible,’’ said Hemingway, a Bristol resident who is chairman of the state’s Republican Liberty Caucus. As the former Massachusetts governor lays the groundwork for a possible second presidential run, he has largely shunned Tea Party activists in key primary states, including the state he must win if he enters the race, New Hampshire.
Well, sure but that was like six months ago. How long does a guy have to stick with a policy before you start to call him rigid in his beliefs. Say what you will about Governor Romney, but rigid in his beliefs is not something you'll ever be able to utter without soiling yourself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

America! Motto: Women And Children First? Who You Trying To Kid?

Man. Things have gotten so bad in this country even the president has to take a bus to get around. Well, on the bright side at least we got the debt ceiling crisis resolved before it cut into Congress' vacation time. Now those elected representatives are about to come home to hear from the voters who sent them to Washington to do the people's business. least the ones who live close enough to public transit because hey, who can afford gas to drive around? Plus, if you're living in your car you don't really want to move it, or you may not get your mail anymore.

What's that you say? There isn't any public transit anymore? Well, no matter. Who has the $15 price of admission to open-to-all Town Halls anyway?

You know, maybe it doesn't matter. We mean, these Congress people know what the problems are. They don't need us to tell them that the country needs to cut back on domestic spending so we can be ready for the next terrorist threat in Wangdangistan, or wherever. Just think what another aircraft carrier will do to the morale of those goat herders living in Pakistan, huh?

See, in America it's all about hard choices, and the folks we sent to Washington are all about taking on that responsibility and have been doing it since before this whole mess started.
Across the nation, the research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009. As a result, 14.7 million children, 20 percent, were poor in 2009. That represents a 2.5 million increase from 2000, when 17 percent of the nation's youth lived in low-income homes.
Now, you might think that's  an alarming statistic since in a democratic society children's fundamental value is their potential to expand and improve on the society we leave them because open societies like ours are as much about the individual legacies we leave to those who come after as they are about any other accomplishment. You probably heard it all the time in your Civics class (well, before Civics was replaced with math test prep class). Your teacher would say, "What do you want your tombstone to say? 'Here lies so and so who made a million', or 'Here lies so and so who made a difference'?"

What a bunch of baloney. See, our elected representatives, who are tasked with making the hard choices know that children, by and large, don't work (not to worry though, the president's on it). And since they don't work, they don't have any money. No money, no money to contribute to campaigns, so it's like they're little leeches on the body politic anyway. Now let's get real here. Do you know how much money it costs to educate just one of these little resource hogs today? Sure we try and dump as much of that on the parents as we can, but yeesh. Public schools. Whose idea was that?
"People who grew up in a financially secure situation find it easier to succeed in life, they are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to graduate from college and these are things that will lead to greater success in life," said Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "What we are looking at is a cohort of kids who as they become adults may be less able to contribute to the growth of the economy. It could go on for multiple generations."
Oh boo hoo. Look we have it on good authority there's going to be an increased demand for domestic help and custodial staff in the near future. And the good news? It's going to happen off shore, so by the time these little ragamuffins grow up we'll be exporting them faster than corn to China.

And you know what the best thing is? None of this would be possible if it wasn't for our representative form of government.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MasterGender: We Know What's Best For You

Coercing a woman into having an abortion if you are her husband, or parents: $5000.00

Coercing a minor into having an abortion if you are the father: $10,000

Coercing a woman into having an unwanted pregnancy by taking away her access to legal abortion: priceless.

There are some things money can't buy. For everything else there's the Michigan legislature.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Michigan! Motto: Hey Look At Us. We're Stupid Too

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know despair is all that is left of the democratic mean know that on occasion we here in the marbled hall have been know to point out the comic foibles of legislators in the various state houses around the smoking ruin that was once America. Take anti-gay state senator for Indiana Phillip Hinkle who "offered $80 to an 18-year-old man he met on Craigslist, "for a couple hours of your time," plus a tip "for a really good time."

Yep, that's right. Anti-gay, crusading, family values, upright republican is gayer than Liberace's closet.

Or how about Ohio legislator Robert Mecklenborg who by day stands in the well of the Ohio Legislature and as a "Catholic boy from the west side of Cincinnati" -- champions the most radical anti-abortion legislation in the country. And by night drives around drunk, pumped with Viagra with a stripper in the car.

And of course you know he is violating church doctrine because the stripper is over 18.

Well, we could go on, but it occurred to us that as we point out the wacky misadventures of lawmakers in neighboring states you could get the impression that we here in the Water Winter Wonderland are immune from whatever it is these other bozos are drinking.

Not quite.
Muslim leaders are saying a piece of legislation proposed by Rep. Dave Agema (R-Grandville) is actually an attack on Islam. In June, Agema proposed legislation that would ban the implementation of foreign laws. While the language of the proposal does not say it directly, it would ban Sharia or Islamic law. Agema told the Detroit News that the law is intended to preserve American laws. “No foreign law shall supersede federal laws or constitution or state laws or constitution,” Agema said. “Our law is our law. I don’t like foreign entities telling us what to do.”
 OK, first of all, how does a guy whose name sounds like you are clearing your throat get elected in the first place? Hey people of Grandville, what were you thinking? Well, in their defense we have to say Grandville is over by Grand Rapids which is Amway/Quixtar/Alticor country. Yeah, that Amway. Got some crazy mofos up in there.

Anyway, it seems the good Mr. Agema of Grandville is a little short in the history department. You see, Davey, may we call you Davey? Every time we say Mr. Agema we hock a lugie onto the computer screen. You see guy, American law is based on English common law and the last time we checked England was still a foreign country.

Now, astute reader(s) of this blog have probably long since abandoned us to pursue more meaningful goals, like toe nail mean have probably long since realized Davey is no intellectual heavy weight, but we did a little checking and found out he is some sort of pastor in some sort of church. Not really sure which one, perhaps the church of Christ the Protector (motto: It's not really bigotry if you can find it in the bible), so we're thinking he's probably a big fan of the ten commandments--may even believe they're the basis of American law, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which--little known historical fact--were both written by Jesus and Glen Beck.

Ah, there's the rub Davey. See, the ten commandments come from a foreign country. And even worse, that foreign country is in the Middle East. You know, the place where all those scary brown people live?

So your Bill to outlaw foreign laws would pretty much outlaw most laws. Truly a dilemma, no? We'd have to pretty much start over and since most basic laws are already used by countries all over the world it's going to be harder than Representative Mecklenborg's wanger to come up with something truly "American."

Fear not Davey boy because Ironicus Maximus is here to help. A few years ago we had a greyhound who lived his entire life by one simple law. Now, this greyhound was born in America, never traveled to any foreign country and never learned to read--you're feeling an affinity for him already aren't you--so we figure this law had to come solely from his American experience. In other words, this law has to be as American as Mom, Apple pie and idiots in the legislature. We offer this to you completely without expectation of anything in return as a basis for developing a truly 100% authentic American Legal System. This is our American duty to you, our American legislator, legislating for the benefit of all Americans in our American legislature. This simple law stood him in good stead his entire life, and that simple law is, simply, this:
If it moves chase it, if it doesn't pee on it.
Now, we realize it's going to need a little tweaking here and there, but we have to believe when you start with a good American idea and have good Americans apply their god given American talents to it, you can't help but have a good American outcome.

You don't have to thank us, we're just thankful ourselves to be Americans and share this great American country with great American patriots such as yourself.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Those Were The Days Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. TWTD is a division of the Rose Colored Glasses Company, a wholly owned subsidy of Memory Is Faulty, LLC.

It seems that the overlords in Colorado have turned nostalgic thanks to the probing work of professional journalistic reporter Irv Moss who is doing a whole series on sports that killed animals, but have since fallen out of favor (Next week: Bear Baiting: The Pro Wrestling Of The Animal World?)
Mile High Kennel Club in Commerce City was the flagship location of a flourishing greyhound racing business in Colorado that during its heyday in the 1980s filled dates on the calendar year-round.
"Time was you couldn't swing a dead cat in the stands without hitting a celebrity or a politician," said Arden Hartman, a member of the Mile High Kennel Club staff when it opened in 1949. "That was before people found out what happened to the dogs after their racing was finished. Man, if only we could have kept that secret." Hartman gets a far away look in his eye as he ponders what might have been.
"On our closing night, Aug. 31, 1982, our mutuel handle exceeded $1 million," said Hartman. "We were close to $1 million on several occasions."
 We feel obligated to step in here and remind the reader(s) that, as the overlords have said on numerous occasions, the money was secondary and it's all really about the dogs. We're sure Mr. Hartman simply wasn't quoted completely, and that part of his statement was lost.
Today, there is no live greyhound racing in Colorado. The last race was run at Mile High on June 28, 2008. Three other area tracks closed in the five preceding years. "Everybody has their own idea as to what happened," Hartman said.
 That's true, but all those ideas share the theme of mistreated, injured and killed greyhounds.
"It was a fun place to be," said Bill Lee, who started at Mile High as a "lead-out," the person who led the dogs out in the prerace parade. "Our racing dates started after the tracks in Florida closed for the season. Our fans got to see the best racing kennels that were available."

Right. Because the last thing the overlords needed was a bunch of dogs not earning their keep. So after they were done racing in the Flordia heat, they were shipped across country so they could run in the thin air of Colorado.
Pageantry was a big part of the racing scene. At Mile High, a bugler called the dogs to the track for each race and a live band would play between races. In the prerace parade for the Denver Post-Rocky Mountain Empire states event, each racer was accompanied by a flag from one of the Rocky Mountain Empire states.
And the pageantry carried over  into post race events too, like when a dog was taken out behind the kennels and shot because it wasn't winning. It was done with a ceremonial gun. Very tasteful.
"I run into people all the time who say they wish the dogs still were running," Hartman said.
Of course they also say President Obama talks to them through the filling in their tooth, but as long as we're reliving old memories:
One year ago today, my second greyhound Lily died at 12 yrs 9 mos.
 Go read the whole thing. Now that's a memory worth having, huh Pinocchio?

Pinocchio is very mild mannered. He is very loving and affectionate. He likes to follow his foster mom around the house. He gives kisses and loves to be petted and snuggle. He puts his head in your lap and he gets along with the female greyhound in the home. He likes to play with toys. He likes to look at himself in the mirror. He is a curious, happy dog who prances when he walks. He also can sit. He has a pronounced overbite, which probably gave him his name. It is very endearing. He also sleeps on his back with his feet in the air in the “cockroach” position. Pinocchio would do well in a working family home with well-mannered older children, 12 and up. He would probably do best as an only dog, because he gets possessive of food/treats around other dogs. He may be okay in a home with other dogs, preferably female dogs, if the family has dog behavior experience. If he is in a home with another dog, he should be walked together with the dog. He needs a home that will provide structure and boundaries for him. 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, August 10, 2011

Charles Dickens Call Your Office

We have to believe that one of the things that troubles our betters as they move to create a capitalist paradise is what to do with all the poor people they're creating. We mean, after all, there are only so many fast food jobs and probably most people won't even have enough money for a value meal in a few years anyway. Gardening and child care? Nah. Got the illegal immigrants for that. More wars? Now that's a possibility, but what about those who are too young, or too old, or sick?

Well, truly a dilemma that deserves serious discussion over a second bottle of Clos Mogador Priorat, 2007. Waiter, please? See, there's this unintended consequence to creating a society that makes things better for the already well off by abandoning the most vulnerable and needy elements of the population. Those elements tend to get a bit testy.

Now, admittedly the violence churned up by all this inequality isn't really the problem since public transportation doesn't come out to the gated communities of those who create the policies that institutionalize economic injustice, so mostly the poor just end up making a bad situation worse for themselves rather than interfering with the tee times of their superiors. No, the problem is violence creates market instability which can affect portfolios. Now, say you're thinking about buying the third Porsche, you know, the one in a color that matches your eyes? But you can't plan your investments because the market is up one day, down the next then up and down in the same day.

Most inconvenient, and well, just messy--all those ragamuffins roaming the streets putting your dividends at risk. Oh sure, your police catch a few and throw them in jail, but that's not really a long term solution. No, the long term solution would be just to remove the poor, but that's going to be pretty hard to pull off, even with all the Koch Brothers' money.

Hey, wait a minute. Money. Poor people are poor because they don't have any money, so what if you made not having money a crime?
Kyle Dewitt spent three days in jail because he was too poor to pay a fishing fine. Last spring, Dewitt was ticketed and fined $215 for fishing smallmouth bass out of season (Dewitt disputes the charge). But Dewitt, 19 years old with a fiancée and a nine-month-old son, lost his job at a grocery store in 2010 and has been out of work ever since. He couldn’t afford the $215 fine. Instead he offered to pay $100 up front, and repay the rest in a month. But Judge Raymond Voet of Ionia, Mich., refused. The judge sentenced Dewitt to three days in jail.
 It's not like you're singling out an entire economic class or anything, you're just saying there's a price of admission to this country now, and some people don't have it. You know, it's the same as when the elite want to go to the opera, or a museum. Got to buy a ticket. No ticket, no admittance. Now that's actually equality right there because everybody has to pay for what they want. Want to see the new Picasso exhibit? Got to pay. Want to eat? Got to pay.
“Long thought to be a relic of the 19th century, debtors’ prisons are still alive and well in Michigan,” Kary Moss, executive director of the Michigan ACLU, said.
Oh be still my bleeding heart. Look, people need to learn to be self sufficient and self reliant. Those are the strong conservative values that built this country and made low inheritance taxes possible so the sons and daughters of the people who built this country don't have to work for a living.
Using a rule called “pay or stay,” judges in Michigan can decide to keep people in jail who have been found guilty of misdemeanors but who cannot afford to pay their fines. (Dewitt’s case is an anomaly, since he says he wasn’t fishing out of season, and he was never found guilty by a jury.) Other cases involving the ACLU include:

- Kristen Preston, 19, was unable to pay a $125 fine for underage drinking. Judge Voet sentenced her to 30 days in jail.

- Dontae Smith, 19, pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license and was ordered to pay $415 in fines. Smith was given an hour to call friends and relatives, but was unable to raise the money, so Judge Joseph Longo of Ferndale, Mich., sentenced him to 41 days in jail.

- David Clark, 30, was ordered to complete a six-week parenting class and pay a $1,250 fine for spanking his girlfriend’s child. Clark took the class, but he couldn’t afford the fine as a part-time grocery store worker who brings home $150 a week. So Judge Randy Kalmbach of Wyandotte, Mich., sentenced him to 90 days in jail.

- Dorian Bellinger, 22, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession and couldn’t afford the $425 in fees, so Judge Robert B. Brzezinski of Livonia, Mich., sentenced him to 13 days in jail.
 Hey, actions have consequences, you know? Well, unless you're wealthy enough or connected enough to avoid them, then your actions have consequences for others, but you can skate, just as the Founders intended.
“These modern-day debtors’ prisons impose devastating human costs, waste taxpayer money and create a two-tiered justice system,” Elora Mukherjee,staff attorney with the ACLU’s racial justice program, said in a press release.
Well, that's an easy problem to fix, just privatize all the prisons. The rich are already paying too much in taxes to support all those freeloaders anyway.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

After A Long Day Of Chasing The Faithful, Pope Benedict Likes To Relax With An Ice Cold Coca-Cola

You know, sometimes we feel a little bad picking on Bene the pope like we do. We mean, take yesterday for example where we started off with Stephan Hawking and god, then ended up with Bene and the pervs. Admittedly not a hard journey to take, but how many different ways can you say the same thing before people are all like we get it Ironicus, we really do. Church is good at two things, child raping and keeping Latin alive.

Well, there's bingo too but we see your point. So anyway, today we thought we'd go the whole fair and balanced route and see if we could find something nice to say about the Draped One and right away we see he's planning a trip to Spain, one of the most catholic countries in the world we might add. Got to be a love fest thinks us, plus he can almost walk there so no one will be getting up in his face about footing the bill like those drunken Irish did. So, who's heading up the welcome committee?
One hundred and twenty priests from Madrid's poorest parishes have added their voices to the growing protest at the cost of Pope Benedict's visit to Madrid next week.An umbrella group – the Priest's Forum – says that the estimated €60m (£53m) cost of the papal visit, not counting security, cannot be justified at a time of massive public sector cuts and 20% unemployment in Spain.
 Now that's nice. See, popey hasn't had a real good year and he's probably looking forward to getting someplace where he can relax a little and not have to answer uncomfortable questions. You know, a place that going to welcome...wait a minute, what?
Evaristo Villar, a 68-year-old member of the group, said he objected to the multinationals the Catholic church has had to ally itself to cover the costs of what he called the "showmanship" of the event.
 "Showmanship?" Dude, that's the boss you're talking about there. Last time we checked you guys didn't have a union or anything so you might want to look up "at will employee" in the priest's polices and procedures handbook. Just saying.
"The companies that are backing World Youth Day and the pope's visit leave much to be desired," the priest said. The more than 100 corporate sponsors of the event include Coca-Cola, Telefónica and Santander.
 Hey that's a little harsh don't you think padre? After all, those World Youth are bound to get thirsty trying to avoid grabby priests and if they chose to pause at a booth and quench that thirst with the vatican endorsed soft drink, and Bene's bank account gets a little comeback because of that, well where's the harm? You think all those lawyers trying to keep the church from losing its shirt in all those lawsuits are doing pro bono work? Is Allah a Presbyterian?
"With the economic crisis we are going through, we can't pay for this. The church should set the example," said a spokesman for the Indignados movement, which has staged high-profile protests in central Madrid. "They propose to spend €60m when the regional government has just cut €40m from the education budget."
 Right. And you're still €20m short so you'd better get on it. You guys got social security over there? We'd lend you Boehner but he's got a golf date with the Koch Brothers and Grover Norquist, or as we like to call them, the Foursome of the Apocalypse.
Interest in the Catholic church on the wane among young people in Spain. A recent survey by the national statistics office showed that the number of believers aged 18 to 24 has fallen by 56% in the past 10 years. The pope's visit to Barcelona last November was poorly received, with the popemobile forced to drive at top speed along mainly deserted streets in pursuit of small groups of the faithful.
Oh crap. Somebody get PR on the phone. The last thing we need is a picture of the pope chasing kids around the city.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Jesus Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Generally Sundays around IM Central are pretty melancholy. You can usually find us ensconced on the couch bemoaning the fact that another weekend is about to expire and no one has come to rescue us from the work-a-day world with the promise of fabulous riches if we will just continue to scatter our blogadacious bon mots across the inter toobz. Sigh.

Then we remember we're one of only about 25 people still working in Michigan governor Rick Snyder's entrepreneurial paradise, so we steel ourselves for another week in the salary-man salt mines, grab the remote and engage in a little desultory tee vee viewing. Thinking we'd have to choose between Ice Road Truckers and Hillbilly Hand Fishing, our expectations almost perfectly matched our mood. But wait, what's this? The Discovery Channel is presenting a program titled Did God Create The Universe? hosted by Stephan Hawking.

Whoa, thinks us, this can't be good for god. We know a little about Stephan Hawking and he's all rational this and evidence that. Even the title of the show, "Curiosity" isn't going to be on god's top ten list of neat things humans do because of the whole stay away from the tree of knowledge thing in the garden of Eden. We all know how that turned out. So we watched the show and it wasn't so much that Dr. Hawking was arguing for not believing in god, or that belief in god had a place outside of science; no, his point was that god is irrelevant.

Oh snap!

Well, after the show they had this panel of folks to discuss what Hawking had said. There was a physicist who we're pretty sure had relegated belief in god to the category of tooth fairies and wood sprites. Another physicist who seemed to be sort of on the fence and a theologian who obviously was on the pro-god team.  The talking head moderator opened the session by asking the theologian what he thought of the whole shebang and after babbling on for a minute or two about something inconsequential finished up with the ever popular god is love and hope thing.

Yeah. Tell that to the people in Somalia, thinks us. So they droned on for a bit, largely missing the implications of Hawking's point when the godless physicist says to the theologian if you're going to argue for god acting in the world, that means you have to produce some evidence, otherwise  your god is floating around out there in the cosmos and he doesn't care anymore what's going on around here than Cubs fan cares about pennants.

Now, that struck us as a valid point and we started thinking about what could be construed as god acting in the world. It occurred to us that if there was a god who wanted to act in the world, he would probably do that through his peeps, you know, his team, his posse, his dawgs. Religious folks and so forth. And who is more religious--or more folksy--than Bene the pope, huh? So what's the draped one and his homies been up to lately?
A child protection official for the Catholic Church has been caught with 4,000 pictures of child porn. Father-of-four Christopher Jarvis was arrested after uploading pictures of children being abused to a website. Married Jarvis, 49, a former social worker, was employed by the church following sex scandals about pervert priests. if this is god acting in the world, god is a perv? Probably better just to be irrelevant don't you think?
His job was to monitor church groups to ensure paedophiles did not gain access to children in the church’s congregations.
Why? So he could keep the kids all to himself? It appears the catholic church could use some help writing job descriptions.
Church spokesman ­David Pond said: “Mr Jarvis was suspended from his position as soon as the diocese became aware in March of the police investigation."
OK, so if god is acting in the world he's doing it through the police? Man. Takes speeding tickets to a whole new level doesn't it?

Friday, August 05, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

You know, we generally don't like to step off our little soapbox out here on the porch at IM Central, particularly on Friday Hound Blogging days when we feel it is our sacred duty to point out for all to see the general state of overlord character paucity. Plus it's fun. However, this Friday we ran across a piece by friend of the dogs Karen Zoldan and we were hard pressed to find a better way to express what happens when dogs perform for soulless bags of wasted protein at the greyhound exploitation facility and we thought you might benefit from Ms. Zoldan's rhetorical effort as well:

Night at the dog races – Tucson Greyhound Park

Last night I went to Tucson Greyhound Park. I know it’s an odd place for someone like me who is anti racing but I wanted to check something out.
It’s not like I had never been to the dog track in South Tucson. I was there once when the adoption groups met with the then GM about rumor control. That was before the 140+ missing dogs’ tragedy. Then I was there a few years later for a kangaroo court of sorts. Neither time was remarkable in the least.
As we pull in to the parking lot, my friend marvels at the size of the parking lot and then cannot believe how big the parking lot is and how few cars are here.
We meander in and wander around. There’s the lackluster snack bar with signs everywhere saying they sell Bluebell ice cream. There’s a rectangular bar with a bespectacled middle-age female bartender and two guys sitting at the vast bar. There are assorted big rooms – even with a wild stretch of the imagination it’s not Casino del Sol by any means. About two to three dozen people mill about – old and young, fat and thin, a few women, and some guy with a grade school daughter; people who appear to me to be the bottom feeders of society.
The ambiance appears to be downtrodden. My friend says it all so eloquently — “pathetic.”
When we arrive, it’s eerily quiet. Rather than sound like a noisy buzzing casino, the patrons seem in a hypnotic trance or back to the word du jour – downtrodden. A lack of enthusiasm pervades the room like a big stink cloud. A few people are spread out over the mostly empty rooms sitting alone studying the program, sort of like being in a big empty library comprised of intent gamblers.
We walk outside and some meager pastel metal benches are there for sitting but hell – it’s hot – what fool is going to be out there? Yet, the dogs are forced to run rain or shine and in 100+ degree temperatures . While my friend takes a seat and starts playing with his phone, I walk to the far left so I can get closer to the starting box as I want to see exactly what will happen.
Young boys probably late teens or high school age walk the dogs out in a straight line. The boys are wearing blue Tucson Greyhound Park shirts and the dogs are wearing racing silks. An announcer who can barely extract an ounce of enthusiasm announces each greyhound’s racing name and number, the kennel operator, and the owner.
I am standing against the rail straining to look at the dogs. They stop in front of me and I hear the boys chat about going to a baseball game and what they will do on Sunday, their day off. They look like nice boys but don’t show any affection to the dogs. I hope they do right by the dogs and treat them kindly.
I came to see the starting box. I wanted to see how small it was. The boys walk the dogs to the back of the starting box, push the dogs inside, and close the boxes. The boys walk away. The dogs start crying in stereo. I am standing on the rail hearing these eight dogs cry. I try to block out their sounds but I cannot. Even as I write this – I cannot block out their sounds. The dogs are standing in these narrow, tight, dark (and probably hot) starting boxes for a good minute to 1½ minutes and I want to scream. My own heart feels like it’s exploding in my chest and I’m on the verge of tears.

Dogs stuffed in these tight starting boxes
Dogs stuffed in these tight starting boxes

Finally, the dogs burst out of the box. I am relieved.
I pray that none of them collide or fall like they sometimes do.
The pro racing contingent have said over and over like a broken record that greyhounds love to race and you can see it when they run around the track. And I say — if you were stuck in a narrow, dark (and hot) box, you would love to run too… run far away from that box.
The race is over a few seconds after it’s begun. We decide not to wait until race number three. I cannot bear to watch more dogs pushed in to the dark, narrow starting boxes and listen to more cries.
We go back inside and see people hunched over their programs and vacantly staring at other races on suspended TVs.
Live greyhound racing exists in seven states. Tucson Greyhound Park is Arizona’s last live dog track. It’s a dying sport.
Greyhound racing is for losers.
(Photos courtesy of Perry Woods)
What do you think Tipsy? that about covers it, huh?

Tipsy is very playful and snuggly. He has a lot of energy for a senior dog. He is friendly and affectionate—he will look for people if they’ve left the room. He will approach to have his ears scratched. He smiles when it is supper time. Tipsy would do well in a working family home with older, well-mannered children, 10 and up. He is good with other dogs of all sizes 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.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I'm From Missouri. I Need Pictures

You know, school would be a great place if it wasn't for all that learning and whatnot. We mean, say you're an average parent with an average kid and you send them off to school so they can learn to sit quietly and not question their elders. And what happens? Those Marxist, communist, democratic, overpaid, secular, unionized public employees go and expose your kid to...forgive our language...ideas.

This is not what the Founding Fathers intended, but what's a poor parent to do in the face of institutionalized godlessness? Well, you got to fight man, fight to keep your kids as stupid as you are.
Two of the three Republic High books singled out in a public complaint last year will now be removed from the school curriculum and library.
Booyah! Take that literacy snobs.
Wesley Scroggins, a Republic resident, challenged the use of the books and lesson plans in Republic schools, arguing they teach principles contrary to the Bible.
OK, first of all, why would anyone listen to someone named Wesley Scroggins? Sounds like you're trying to stifle a sneeze. And second, dude, even the bible doesn't follow biblical principles. Slaves? Raping virgins? Killing innocent people? Any of this ring a bell?
In making a recommendation to remove the two, Superintendent Vern Minor explained that "numerous individuals have read the three novels and provided their feedback." He conceded there wasn't always consensus about what step to take. "We had some differences of opinion, I'll be honest with you," he said.
Right. Some people read Slaughterhouse 5 and argued for its inclusion as an example of classic American contemporary literature. Other read Twenty Boy Summer and argued for its inclusion as an example of a  novel "beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer."

Other people read the books and said, "These buks ain't got no pitchers."
"It was really good for us to have this discussion," Minor said. "Most schools stay away from this and they get on this rampage, the whole book-banning thing, and that's not the issue here.We're looking at it from a curriculum point of view."
 "And then we forget all that and banned the books anyway," he added.
Minor said feedback for "Twenty Boy Summer," available in the library, focused on "sensationalizing sexual promiscuity." He said questionable language, drunkenness, lying to parents and a lack of remorse by the characters led to the recommendation.
Right. Certainly don't want kids exposed to stuff like that in a controlled setting like a classroom with a trained adult present to guide and shape the discussion. Rather that happen out behind the Seven Eleven while they're smoking that there wacky tobaccy.
Board member Melissa DuVall said districts make decisions every day about what to keep and what to exclude and this is no exception. "We are not going to make everybody happy -- and rarely do we," she said. "What we have to be proud of is we took a complaint, we took is seriously and we gave it due diligence."
 "Then we went and nuked those bad boys, Ha. Now, the Left Behind series, there's some good writin' right there. That Tim LaHaye, he's a real Albert Hemingway he is."