Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We Make Vroom Vroom Long Time

Going to be turning off the lights and putting the cat out for a few days here in the marbled halls of IM Central while we go off and roam about the countryside in search of adventure and the perfect tuna sub.

FHB will be on hiatus while we're gone, but if you just can't face the day without being reminded that as bad as your life might get from time to time, at least you're not an overlord, you can visit our greatest hits here. Also, if you find your couch just doesn't look right unless it has a needle nose draped across it, you can window shop through the qualified candidates here, here and here.

Oh, and before we go, we'd like to introduce our traveling companion:

Say hello to Mr. Davidson, shown here in his road attire.

Play nice while we're gone.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

America! Motto: We Coulda Been A Contender

Frequent reader(s) of this blog realize the ultimate futility of rational expectations...erm...we mean know that our rather ragged and desultory career path has taken us through several of the institutional educorporate training facilities in this once great sovereign nation of ours, and that in so doing we have touched the lives of untold thousands of America's youth.

And yes that should concern you, however our point today is to metaphorically throw up our hands and say to the forces of backwardness, ignorance and cultural death by a thousand cuts of stupid, "You win."
Schoolchildren in Louisiana are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real in a bid by religious educators to disprove Darwin's theory of evolution. Thousands of children in the southern state will receive publicly-funded vouchers for the next school year to attend private schools where Scotland's most famous mythological beast will be taught as a real living creature.
This is how great nations become historical afterthoughts. Think about it. America, the single country that has been awarded the most Nobel prizes, the first nation to put men on the moon, to invent the mechanical reaper, the Internet, the MRI, hot pockets, is now reduced to telling children that the Loch Ness monster is real because to say otherwise would confirm what scientists have known for more than 150 years.

We're told there is a Bill in the Louisiana legislature that would make it a misdemeanor to tell children that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are not real.
Critics have damned the content of the course books, calling them "bizarre" and accusing them of promoting radical religious and political ideologies.
"Bizarre?" Is that the best you can do? How about "fatal?" Look, 98% of Climate Scientists agree that human generated greenhouse gasses are affecting the earth's climate, and we may in fact already be too late to do anything about it. We are years past peak oil, yet have not come to grips with what a post petroleum society might look like. Capitalist economic systems have been shattered by greed and corruption and none of the current crop of leaders seem to know what to do about it. We have become so ethically bereft that hardly anyone sees a problem with using robot bombs on civilians and creating a government hit list that rivals anything Al Capone ever came up with. And to prepare the next generation to step into this world, you're telling than that monsters live under the water.

The deficit as a burden on future generations is going to be the least of their problems.

Monday, June 25, 2012

That's Father Goombah To You

We're coming to you today from the Birds Of A Feather Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. BOAF is a division of the Every Jack Has His Jill Corporation, a wholly owned subsidy of Any Port In A Storm, LLC.

It seems the Prada'd One has decided to reach out to the modern media mogul world in an attempt to re-brand the public image.
In an effort to shore up its communications strategy amid a widening leaks scandal in a troubled papacy, the Vatican has hired the Fox News correspondent in Rome as a senior communications adviser.
We have to admit this caught us by surprise because we didn't even know Bill O'Reilly was looking for another job.
The correspondent, Greg Burke, 52, who has covered the Vatican for Fox since 2001. Mr. Burke is a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, and his hiring underscores the group’s role in the Vatican.
Oh. Well, that makes sense, we guess. After all, falafel is probably not on the menu at the vatican commissary. Plus Billy has a bit of a temper, and if he were ever to go off on Consigliori of State Tarcisio (The Red Hammer) Bertone and called him a pinhead, well, how do you say "sleeps with the fishes" in Latin? And for those of you keeping score at home, Opus Dei is Latin for SchutzStaffel so expect big improvements in message discipline.
Some Vatican watchers called the move a power play by media-savvy Americans — including Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — inside a Vatican hierarchy run by Italians.
Power play? That can't be good. Just ask the Strangio-Nirta and Pelle-Vottari-Romeo families. Or maybe Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Well, come to think of it, St. Valentine is a catholic icon after all.

In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Burke, the Vatican’s first communications expert hired from outside the insular world of the Roman Catholic news media, said that he would not replace the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, but would advise officials on how to shape their message."Yeah, that Frederico, he's still gonna be the Button man," Burke continued. "But if you wanna speak to the Capo, you come see me."

“If you look at what the White House has, every Jamook knows who the spokesman is, no one knows who the Wise Guys are,” Mr. Burke said. “It’s a very similar job. It’s a strategy job. It’s very simple to explain, not so easy to execute: to formulate the message and try to make sure everyone stays Omertá. Oh, and just so you mortadellas don't misunderstand, I use the word 'execute' on purpose.”

That is a tall order. Vatican experts say that the institution is suffering from a deep crisis of leadership more than of communications. Pope Benedict XVI is seen as a Mustache Pete with little interest or skill in governing, and his deputies have been mired in infighting.  "That Bene, he's mezza morta anyway, know what I mean?" Burke said. "He's just wearing it, but that Dolan guy, he's a friend of ours."

Our advice? Don't be late with your Sunday offering.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Hound Blogging

You know, for years the overlords have complained that if the oppressive boot of state regulation would just be lifted from their necks, the industry could soar. Soar! Well, maybe you might want to slip them just a little o' 'dem dead presidents from time to time Mr. and Ms. legislator, you know, just to tide them over until they get up on their feet. Shouldn't be too long.

States like Florida and Iowa are all, "No problem dude, We like pouring money down a rat hole." But Arizona said "Go race as many times as you want. We don't care." And the one remaining operating track in the state immediately cut its racing days, and will probably cut them further next year. We're guessing that's not what the overlords had in mind.

Now Arkansas is wondering if maybe the invisible hand of the free market might by coming upside its head when it comes to greyhound racing.
Arkansas law requires that electronic gaming be located only at racetracks, which is why gamblers have to go to the Oaklawn horse track in Hot Springs or Southland to play Caribbean Stud or Girls Just Want to Have Fun. The greyhounds bring in miniscule profits compared to the electronic games, but theirs are the tails that wag the business, and what a business Southland is: From January to April this year, $607.7 million was wagered, $173.7 million in February alone, on the electric games of skill (EGS). After a payout of $1.23 billion in winnings in 2011, its net in 2011 was $80 million. Compare that to the handle on the dog track: $19 million for all of 2011.
 OK, we're not economists or anything, but when one part of your operation in one month takes in almost ten times as much dough as the other part of your operation takes in all year, that's probably not a good thing, right Troy Keeping, Southland's president and general manager?
Southland is bucking a national trend, Keeping said, describing its track as a "very viable, profitable racing business."
 Now, before you think Mr. Keeping may be a tad delusional, think about this: The "national trend" with greyhound racing tracks is to close up entirely, so the fact that his track is still open is "bucking" that trend. Way to see the bright side, Dr. mean Mr. Keeping.

Oh, and in case you're thinking that nobody coming out to the track, no money coming in and a bleak future might be putting the greyhounds in more danger, well, think again, right Rachel Hogue?
Rachel Hogue, 25, of Memphis, a greyhound owner, assistant trainer and professional photographer. Hogue's degree is in animal science. Does she think the dogs are mistreated? "I wouldn't be here if I did," she insisted. Still, a dog that Hogue had been hosing down after a race collapsed on its back legs when she brought it close for the photographer to get a look. Hogue said the dog was tired and needed more cooling; another trainer quickly took the dog back to the hosing area.
Hey, no problem there Ms. Hogue. A greyhound race takes what, 30, 40 seconds? What highly trained, well cared for elite athlete wouldn't collapse afterwards huh? Happens all the time, we're sure. But as long as we're on the subject, what about those pesky injury reports that keep popping up?
She maintains that the injury rate at the track is "less than 10 percent," and most injuries are muscular...
Gotcha. No biggie. The occasional pulled's almost like it's not even worth talking about. Why, the greyhounds probably don't even notice. We're sorry, didn't catch that last part. Could you say that again? supplied by the state Racing Commission to the Times shows that 14 of the 23 injuries recorded by the state vet through March 19 were bone fractures.
 Hmmm...Hey Jax, want to meet Dr. amd Ms. Pangloss?

Jax is very loving and a social butterfly. She thinks she is a lap dog and loves to be hugged and petted. You can rub her and pet her everywhere except her paws. She is a funny, little kleptomaniac. She loves to find things that interest her and takes them to her bed. If you are looking for anything you lost, she probably has it safe and sound in her personal space. She has adjusted to apartment living, including riding the elevator. Very loving. She does not like the crate. Jax is afraid of small children so she would do best in a home with older children. She is afraid of small dogs so would be best in a home with large dogs or as an only dog. She is also good with cats. 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, June 21, 2012

Your Improving Economic Situation Is Interfering With Mitt Romney's Plans

OK here's the way it works: People want good lives. They want to live in peace, make a decent living, breathe clean air, drink clean water and look out for their children's future. Now, there's no simple way to do all that, no single way either, so in a democracy when it comes to electing people who will be responsible for creating policies that move the nation towards these goals, there's bound to be disagreement.

Candidate A says, I know how to do this, we'll yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah a bunch of suggestions, ideas and opinions. Candidate B says, no that's not it, we need to blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda a bunch of suggestions, ideas and opinions. And the electorate has to say, "Let's see, which of those plans makes the most sense to me?" One thing voters can be sure of though is that both candidates agree with the fundamental goals of the nation, and even though they disagree on the path to get there, they want to make things better for everybody in the long run. It's called public service for a reason, after all.

Well, unless one of those candidates happens to be a republican.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter. 
"We were concerned that people might get the mistaken impression that just because things are improving, they're getting better," said a Romney spokesperson. "This misconception might interfere with Mitt's plan to get Mitt into the White House."
What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy. Republican governors in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin also have highlighted improving economies.
"The last thing Mitt needs is policies that work," said Mac Stipanovich, a political strategist and lobbyist in Florida. "It's almost like you're saying improving the lives of ordinary people is more important than electing Mitt president. Is that the America you want to live in?"
The state Republican party ran a television ad in March crediting Scott, who is a year and a half into a four-year term, for drops in the unemployment rate.  “The first time I saw that ad I initially thought it was an Obama ad,” said Brad Coker, managing director of the Washington-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. “They’ll have to tamp it down.”
"Right," agreed Stipanovich. "Do we really want people voting for candidates who actually want to do something about the problems common people have? I mean, you start down that road and pretty soon there'll be nothing for insanely rich people with too much time on their hands to do. Is that the America you want to raise your children in?"

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Hound Blogging

You know, we may have to reevaluate our whole position regarding the overlords and intellectual pursuits. Last week we were treated to Rory Goree's foray into the world of empirical research, and this week we have a philosophical meditation on the use of the word "rescue" in greyhound racing by one Dennis McKeon, who apparently has been an overlord so long he doesn't even remember the last time he had shoes that weren't slip ons. Let's gather some of the pearls he's dropping, shall we?
I'm one of the more pro-greyhound and pro-racing done well people in the world. Mostly because when I worked in racing I saw far more good than bad.
 Whoa. What a well constructed opening. Notice the qualifier "done well" which separates greyhound racing into two subsets, the subset "done well" and the subset not done well, although we're not quite sure how the distinction operates in reality. Is it like when the dogs are euthanized by a Vet when they no longer make money for their owners as opposed to being left to starve in their kennels? Umm...for the record, we're going to assume you're seeing death by Vet is the "done well" one, just so there's no confusion.
I also worked in racing when adoption, as a formal rite of passage for a retiring greyhound, was actually begun. It was begun by racing people, as early as the late 70s. Trainer, owners, breeders and track operators. The track in Seabrook, NH was the first to have an on-premises adoption kennel, circa 1980.
A formal rite of passage? Wow. What was the ceremony like?  We bet they brought the greyhound out with some sort of special coat, maybe a medallion around the neck signifying the years of service. Bands played, speeches were given, the crowd applauded, maybe doves were released, or at least balloons, huh? Or you could have just stuck the dog in another cage up near the front of the track and waited for someone to come and pick it up. Tomato, tomahto.

We do have a question though. There were 60 some tracks in the country in the 80's. If the only track adoption program was at Seabrook, what happened to dogs at the other 59 tracks? Well, no matter. We bet whatever happened, it was "done well."

Oh, and one pedantic point Mr. Mckeon, sir. "Trainer, owners, breeders and track operators." That's a sentence fragment. Needs one of those verb things, you know like: Trainer, owners, breeders and track operators are all complicit in the meaningless deaths and pointless suffering of thousands of innocent greyhounds. Just an example. "Trainer" could probably use an s too, but we don't want to get picky.
At that time it would have been appropriate and fair enough to have called those early adoption facilities and groups "rescues" or even "rescuers."
Well, when the options are death (which may or may not be "done well"), being sold for research or adoption, we can see your point.
In FL and NE, where most of that racing population was centered, racing people were trying to initiate and popularize the adoption concept and to educate people about the breed. It was also a time when many breeders used to course young greyhounds in training to be racers, after live game, like jackrabbits--which were pests to farmers, and whose natural predators were diminished in our ever expanding development.
 OK, we're not too clear on what setting a pack of dogs on a rabbit has to do with the term rescue, unless you're about to argue for a Jackrabbit rescue program, but do go on.
The anti-racing movement at the time was trying to have the use of live jackrabbits banned in the training of greyhounds. Their main argument was that the practice was cruel---which was an arguable point.
Wait, having a dogs chase down rabbits and rip them to shreds is arguably cruel? We'd like to see that debate: The question before us today is so stated: Is it considered cruel for dogs to be allowed to catch and kill live rabbits solely for the purpose of training them to run on a racetrack for the monetary benefit of their owners? Arguing in the affirmative, St Francis of Assisi. Arguing in the negative: Attila the Hun.
The way they framed the argument, was to insist that the practice caused the greyhounds to be inclined to unpredictable bouts of bloodlust and savagery, because, as they assured the unquestioning media and the uniformed public, they were "trained to kill!!!!!"
Erm...point of clarification Mr. McKeon, sir. They were being trained to kill because they did, in fact, kill, even if it was just an unintended side effect of their owners' quest to get them to run fast so they could make more money. See how that works? So you're point would be?
So the greyhounds not only needed to be "rescued" from an old culture which saw no evil in simply perceiving animals as having a purpose, and once they no longer served that purpose, disposing of them in a humane manner. But the greyhound breed had to be "rescued" from the appalling amounts of mis and dis-information that the anti-racing activists were spewing. That was equally as challenging.
 Ah, more qualifiers. The "old culture" disposed of the greyhounds in a "humane manner," while the anti-racing zealots "spewed mis and disinformation" making those enlightened, forward looking overlords' jobs unnecessarily difficult. Gotcha.

But Mr. McKeon sir, that was 1980. This is 2012 and while the "mis and disinformation" about greyhounds has been corrected and now they are seen as loving, friendly companions, they are still being disposed of (and sometimes not so humanely) by the "old culture" of which you speak. Apparently, while the public has moved on, the "old culture" is still in place, no? Did you mistakenly spend all your efforts back then on educating the public out of their misconceptions about greyhounds while overlooking your industry's penchant for offing the dogs when they stopped winning? Well, hindsight is 20/20 huh? Think how many dogs would have been able to live out their natural lives if you'd just decided to educate the people who were killing them along with the people you wanted to adopt them..
Fast forward to today, and most greyhound professionals have embraced the adoption concept. In most cases, retired greyhounds are willingly given to those whose calling in life has been to provide this charitable work. These good people, whatever their feelings about the sport/business of greyhound racing, have managed to sublimate them to the greater good of re-homing retired greyhounds. No one forces anyone to give them greyhounds, and no one forces them to take them. They don't have to break and enter into the kennels to sneak dogs away from an uncertain fate, nor does anyone have to covertly bring the greyhounds to them, under cover of darkness and secrecy. The process of adoption, in the normal course of events, is all done above board and at will, and is standard operating procedure.
Wait, adoptions are all done above board now? No one is forced now? Are you saying there used to be laws against it or something? You had to sneak around to threaten people to get them to adopt? It wasn't always "standard operating procedure?" Were there "covert" adoptions before? It's almost like you're saying legislatures had to pass laws mandating adoption programs to get things started because the industry couldn't. Or wouldn't. Tomato, tomahto again.
So, the word rescue, used as a bludgeon against people whose jobs also entail making sure they can find a timely placement in adoption for greyhounds in their charge, many of whom they have known for years, and were not going to be placed in danger in the first place, is repulsive to them. I think it's understandable.
OK, we see your problem. You see Mr. McKeon, sir, rescue isn't about the humans, it's about the dogs. No matter what happens, the people get to go home to their families at night, but the dogs, they're the ones who are in trouble. They're the ones who need rescue because you know, death and stuff. So we might more correctly describe the humans as the rescuers and the greyhounds as the rescued. See? Now that's not so bad is it, to be known as a rescuer of innocent living creatures whose only fault is they no longer run fast enough to earn the trailer payment for their overlords and are in danger from what you called the "old culture" because of it.

Hope we've cleared that up for you. Anything to add Destiny?

Destiny is a very well-adjusted, happy greyhound. She has discovered the big bin of dog toys and squeaks each one until she tires of it and then gets another. She loves running in her foster home’s big backyard with the other greyhound and then flopping down on a dog bed, crate, or even the middle of floor for a well-deserved rest. If you have stairs, you may need to teach her how to go up and down as she is having a little trouble and prefers to leap up the full four steps into the house. She is ready for her forever home. She would do fine in a home with well-behaved children of any age. She would not do well in a house with cats or small dogs but larger dogs would be fine. 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, June 14, 2012

OK, But We're Going To Have To Change The Team Name To The Droogs

We're coming to you today from the Too Much Money And Not Enough To Do Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The TMMANETD Department is a division of the Money Don't Equal Brains Company, a wholly owned subsidy of Sometimes Rich People Are Just Lucky, Not Smart, NA.

It seems Bill Gates just got around to watching A Clockwork Orange.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has poured more than $4 billion into efforts to transform public education in the U.S., is pushing to develop an "engagement pedometer." Biometric devices wrapped around the wrists of students would identify which classroom moments excite and interest them -- and which fall flat.
The first time we read that we immediately thought of the second Alien movie where the Marines were all monitored up and all their bio-signs could be read in the command vehicle.  That's how the platoon knew the aliens hadn't eaten Sergent Apone and he was being used as an incubator. School is a lot like that.
Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out.
This is great. As educational technicians we'd like nothing better than to intersperse our lesson with checks of the students' bio-signs on the monitor. Or maybe there could just be alarm tones like in the hospital when a patient's heart stops. We can see it now, right in the middle of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet WEEEOO WEEEOO WEEEOO Code Blue! Code Blue! Fourth row, second seat has dozed off!! Pop quiz stat!
Skeptics aren't so sure. They call the technology creepy and say good teachers already know when their students are engaged. Plus, they say it's absurd to think spikes in teenagers' emotional arousal necessarily correspond to learning.
Well, that is a point. We mean if little Billy gets a Tweet from Leslie during the discussion of Paradise Lost that says her parents are going out of town this weekend and she'll be home alone he's liable to be spiking all over the place, but it won't have anything to do with Milton. Unless that's what he calls his...well, never mind.
The Gates Foundation has spent two years videotaping 20,000 classroom lessons and breaking them down, minute by minute, to analyze how each teacher presents material and how those techniques affect student test scores.
They called it the Blind Men and the Elephant Project.
Clemson University received about $500,000 in Gates funding. Another $620,000 will support an MIT scientist, John Gabrieli, who aims to develop a scale to measure degrees of student engagement by comparing biosensor data to functional MRI brain scans (using college students as subjects). A third grant, for nearly $280,000, supports research by Ryan Baker, a Columbia University professor who specializes in mining data about educational practices.
Wow. $1.4 million. That's like Hmm...Let's see, the typical public school library spends about $6,620 on books a year, so $1.4 mil could fund 212 school libraries for a year, or hire almost 40 teachers, or fix a whole bunch of leaky roofs. Well, priorities, you know? If we can keep the kids excited maybe they won't notice the boiler quit working in October.

But we have a couple questions: Let's say you figure out what excites kids in the classroom. Would you want to do that all the time? We mean, isn't it natural for experiences to have peaks and valleys? Sometimes students learn by sitting quietly and reflecting on things. Do you really want all peaks all the time, and if so wouldn't it be cheaper just put vellocet in the milk?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In College His Favorite Answer Was "All Of The Above"

Hey. Mitt Romney is running for president. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say the Mitt Romneys are running for president since all those positions on all those issues is way too much for one guy to handle. So, let's see which issue Team Mitt is on both sides of today, shall we?
Friday, Romney said of the president: "He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin?"
Now, admittedly we didn't follow the events in Wisconsin closely, but we do not recall (we crack us up) anyone saying the people were voting on whether they wanted less police and fire protection as well as reducing the teacher corps, but the Mittster is running for office for Pete's sake, so we're going to assume he has advisers who keep tabs on this sort of thing for him . Well, anyway, that was Friday, so let's check in with Mitt Mob and see if this position made it through the weekend.
Mitt Romney was asked this morning about his claim last week that Democrats say shows he wants to eliminate jobs for firefighters, policemen and teachers. Romney called it a "very strange accusation" and "completely absurd" in an interview on Fox News.
 Hmm...if your going to talk about absurd, there's probably no better place to do it than Fox News, but it looks like another one of Renta-Romney's positions has reached its Sell By date. Normally we would stop here and just chalk it up to the fact that the guy has about the same amount of principle as a scorpion, but like the people who can't look away when they drive by a car wreck, we're going to push on and let the Vapor Meister tell us why his latest self contradiction is really consistent with his long held position that he should be allowed to say anything that will move him closer to getting elected.
"Of course teachers and fireman and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn't pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen," Romney said. "So obviously that is completely absurd..."
You really think Romney is going to personally go around to police stations, schools and fire houses and fire people?  Of course it's absurd. On the other hand, the dude does like to fire people. OK, we'll let that go for now, but here's our question: What does the fact that someone else hires these folks have to do with the fact that you want less of them around?

Oh wait, don't answer that. You'd probably just change the answer tomorrow anyway.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Don Benedict XVI: Why did you go to the police? Why didn't you come to me first?

Oh man, just when you think you're out they pull you back in.

Pope il Padrino XVI called for faithfulness from his followers following a scandal over the leak of confidential papers from the Vatican that has led to the arrest of his butler. "That rat fink Gabriele. He wouldn't know omertà if it came up and bit him on the...I mean let's all pray for his delivery from this ordeal," the pope said.

"I encourage you to cultivate a personal bond with the Vicar of Christ as part of your spirituality," the pope said in a speech at the Vatican Triangle Social Club, the diplomatic school of the Holy See. "Because as the Vicar of Christ, I may need a bond in a few weeks if you get what I'm talking about."

He added: "For those who work in the Holy See, it is of particular importance, since they spend much of their energy, their time and their daily ministry in the service of the Successor of Peter. And as the Successor of Peter I'm telling you spend as much energy, time, and daily ministry as you can shredding documents from the 'red' files."

"God's faithfulness is the key to, and the source of, our own faithfulness. I would like today to remind you of precisely this virtue, which well expresses the unique bond existing between the pope and his direct collaborators. I would further like to remind you that under Italian law, 'collaborators' are equally guilty, so if you're thinking about making a deal with the Carabinieri, remember, as a spiritual organization we can come after you even after you're dead."

The Vatican has been shaken by the scandal, which has drawn attention to divisions between senior clergymen lead by Monsignori Bruno Tattaglia in the Vatican and the powerful Consigliori of State Tarcisio (The Red Hammer) Bertone.

In other vatican news, it was learned that it was Captain McClusky who broke Mike's jaw and he's definitely on Sollozzo's payroll and for big money.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the ultimate ambition is born of desperation...erm...we mean know we are leeching our existence off the taxpayer here in our local educorproate training facility indoctrinating young minds with communist, socialist dogma, and maybe Muslim too, we haven't been keeping up with the news. We tell you this to demonstrate our interest in learning and as a background for how intrigued we were to come across overlord Rory Goree, who thinks he's a science teacher. Let's see how he does, shall we?
These days we have access to every conceivable bit of information thanks to the Internet. Websites, blogs, discussion boards, Twitter, Facebook. All fill our heads with...Exactly what do they fill our heads with, Facts, Personal hypothesis, or just made up stuff that you believe as you figure the writer knows from personal experience or interaction what they are talking about?
Oh man, he starts right out with a pop quiz. Pretty teacherly there Mr. Goree sir. OK, since we didn't study we'll use the theory that in multiple choice the longest answer is usually the correct one, we're going with "made up stuff," although  if that is the right answer and now that your little post is now part of "every conceivable bit of information" on the Internet, that means it's made up too, but it's a little early in the lesson to quibble.
When it comes to greyhound racing and the stance of those who seek to eliminate it from the face of the earth, I have found that the information put forth as "fact" is, more often than not, one person's view tossed into cyberspace from the confines of their hyperbolic computer room in the hopes it goes viral.
 Whoa, Hey did you see what he did there? Instead of saying those who seek to end racing, he said "those who seek to eliminate it from the face of the earth." A phrase obviously written in a "hyperbolic computer room." All good teachers teach by example. Yo, Mr. Goree? Do we get extra credit for figuring that out?
Now before you pooh-pooh my line of thought ask yourself...Would you not purchase an item if a stranger wrote a hate blog about it and you had never personally experienced the item?
Aw man, another quiz. This must be short answer essay. That means show your work. OK, so if it was a blog about some consumer good, like say a car, we might say, well that guy didn't like his car, but that doesn't necessarily mean all those cars are bad, so we'd probably still consider purchasing the item.

But if it was a blog about something that's morally reprehensible, ethically suspect and violates basic human tenets of decency and compassion to begin with, like say greyhound racing, then yeah, we'd probably stay away from that, but not because of the blog, just because, you know, souls.
Would you protest something just because a blog told you to and not bother to personally find out what exactly you were doing?
Dude! This is a trick question, right? If we do something, don't we know exactly what we are doing because we're like, the ones doing it and whatnot? This is one of those conundrum things isn't it?
Would you vote for something simply because someone told you to and not bother to learn was the ramifications were?
Depends. Are we republicans?
On June 27, 2011, a Grey2K board member wrote the following regarding Tucson Greyhound Park holding races when the temperature was 103 degrees:

"Take off your damn shoes and run around that track and tell me how hot is too hot."

This statement has bothered me for almost a year. Was this person putting forth a question to others based on something they themselves had already done? Did the writer know for a fact how hot was too hot on the track surface? Had the writer taken their shoes off at TGP? Well, last night I decided to do a bit of personal, first hand research for myself.
 Now, we realize the hallmark of good teaching is creating confusion then leading students to understanding, but we've read this passage several times and the only questions we can find being put forth are yours.
I went to Tucson Greyhound Park on Friday June 1, 2012. The temperature was 105 degrees at TGP when I began my experiment. There are witnesses to my experiment. And what was my experiment? I took off my "damn shoes" and walked the Tucson Greyhound Park track IN MY BARE FEET in the full sun when the temperature was 105 degrees.
 We should take a moment here to point out that the reason Mr. Goree wrote in my bare feet in all caps was to underline the fact that he was wearing his big boy shoes with the laces rather than the ones with the Velcro straps his mom usually makes him wear when he leaves the house. Also, he put them back on and tied them all by himself when he was done. On the right feet too, after a couple tries.
I apologize that I walked and did not run around the track but I am not a trained athlete in top physical shape and, unlike a greyhound, I cannot run a 550 yard track in 30-32 seconds. In any case it did take me approx. 15 minutes to walk the full track in MY BARE FEET and I found the "comfort level" on MY BARE FEET to feel much the same as when I would walk (or stand) along the beaches in California and Hawaii in MY BARE FEET.
EHEHEHHH!!! Oh, Mr. Goree, Bummer! So close!  But thanks for playing Pretend I Know What I'm Talking About. See, the thing about science is if you're going to replicate the greyhounds' experience you have to include all of the relevant aspects of that event, so when you were told to "Take off your damn shoes and run around that track..." well, that means run dude. Now, we understand you couldn't run 550 yards in 30 some seconds like the dogs, but you could have tried just running flat out  for the allotted time because...well maybe not, but the point is heat and exertion and stuff, that's what we're really talking about here, so the whole strolling around the track like you were at the beach thing...not helpful. See, it's sort of like doing an experiment where you are supposed to mix two chemicals, but you just mixed one.

But it's OK, as a consolation prize we've got some suggestions for your next experiment: How about sitting in a greyhound cage for up to 22 hours a day, or going on a diet of 4D meat? Or have someone haul you and one of your friends down the road crammed in the trunk of a car, you know, sort of like Petey.  It's for science, right Zapper?

Zapper is a friendly, calm, loving boy that loves attention. He is not too playful yet, but is starting to discover toys. He is very self-assured. He loves to go for walks and does very well on the leash. He does well with cats and large dogs but has not had any exposure to small dogs. He loves everyone he meets. He would be fine in a home with children of any age. He would do well with other dogs or as an only dog. As he does well with cats, he would probably also be fine with 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.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Return Of The Jedi Sisters

OK, we've come this far so we might as well go all in and make this The Holy Roman Empire Strikes Back week what with Darth Dolan apparently relying on the force to convince us there were no payments there. Those are not the payments you are looking for.

And this is after he finds the nuns lack of faith disturbing.

But wait, it looks like the rebel alliance is stronger than we thought.
In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised. The bus tour is a response to a blistering critique of American nuns released in April by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which included the accusation that the nuns are outspoken on issues of social justice, but silent on other issues the church considers crucial: abortion and gay marriage.
Thisa bad. Thisa very bad. Nuns going out to highlight the work they do with the poor, hungry and homeless (some of which are no doubt gay and have had abortions). What does Emperor Palpatine have to say about this?
The sisters were reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.”
He's serious sisters. You saw what happened to mean Gabriele.
“We’re doing this because these are life issues,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a liberal social justice lobby in Washington. “And by lifting up the work of Catholic sisters, we will demonstrate the very programs and services that will be decimated by the House budget.”
Wait, the church and the US House of Representatives? The force is strong in this one.
The tour, “Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith, Family and Fairness,” includes stops in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The bus, with a sound system, signs and a podium, will seat only 12, and Sister Simone said she had had to turn away many would-be riders.
Twelve? Like the 12 apostles? Oh sister, brave and a sense of humor! Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

At First We Thought It Was Just A Cookbook

We're generally not big fans of consistency around here, unless you count inconsistency as a kind of bizzaro consistency. We would plead guilty to a consistent inconsistency if that were in fact the charge. And rather proud of it we might add because one does not simply stumble into randomness, but rather must cultivate it with a studied lack of diligence.

Well, the point we're trying to make in our ultimately adorable roundabout fashion is that we don't usually follow topics on this blog, but prefer to be buffeted about by the chaotic winds of the interwebs, crashing from subject to subject like some lunatic Mario Kart, but almost as soon as we finished yesterday's post about cardinal Timmy's most excellent idea, this splattered itself on our digital windshield.
The Vatican has sharply criticized a book written by a US nun and theologian on sexual ethics. The Holy See's orthodoxy office said the 2005 book, Just Love, by Sister Margaret Farley posed "grave harm" to the faithful.
OK, so you're thinking seven years to figure out a book is gravely harming the flock, that explains why they never picked up on Sex in the City, but in defense of the of the weird hat posse we say you need to look at it from their perspective: First, there weren't any pictures, and second, who reads books written by women?

The Congregation for Keeping the Rubes In Line, the Vatican's doctrinal department, said her writings revealed a "defective understanding of the objective nature of natural moral law which clearly states that dudes is primo" and were "in direct contradiction with Catholic teaching in the field of sexual morality, or as it is more commonly known, the don't do as we do, do as we say doctrine."
In a statement, Sister Farley said she had aimed to propose a framework for sexual ethics that "uses a criteria of justice" in evaluating sexual relations. "The fact that Christians (and others) have achieved new knowledge and deeper understanding of human embodiment and sexuality seems to require that we at least examine the possibility of development in sexual ethics," she said.
"Look, the last thing we need around here is more sexual developments," said a spokesman for the vatican Office of Saltpeter. "The sexual developments we have on our hands now have darn near bankrupted the place."

A member of the Sisters of Mercy and professor emeritus of Christian ethics at Yale University, Margaret Farley won an award for her volume in 2008. "Cripes! Don't encourage them you guys," said the vatican spokesman.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Cardinal Didn't Want To Inconvenience You By Having To Deal With His Little Crime Spree

You know, we like to poke a little good natured fun at at PopeMasta B and the boys for you know, telling us they're all holy and stuff while running an organization that looks more like Lucky Luciano's than Patris, et Filii, et Spiritūs Sancti, but we have to hand it to them, this may be one of their better ideas.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the archdiocese of New York is keeping quiet today after his old diocese, the archdiocese of Milwaukee, confirmed that under his leadership the church paid individual sums of $20,000 to priests accused of molesting children.  The archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed that the church paid the priests money to voluntarily sign papers to leave the priesthood because it was cheaper and faster than removing them by other administrative routes, which would have included going through the Vatican.
Now, conventional wisdom says that when someone commits a crime, that person goes to jail, but then along comes cardinal Timmy who says, wait a minute, there's got to be a better way. Now, think about it for a minute. What happens when we put a criminal in jail? Why it costs us money right? A lot of money. Add to that the fact that we lock up more people than anyone else in the world, and you're talking a buttload of shekels diverted from more meaningful and effective uses, like the pope's legal defense fund.

So cardinal Timmy puts his mind to the problem and comes up with an innovative, and we might add, cost effective solution: Pay The Perp. Got caught doinking the choirboys? We'll pay you 20 large to get outta Dodge. No expensive police involvement, no costly trial, no incarceration on the taxpayer's dime. It's your basic win win.

Think about the implications here. If you can get rid of a perv for $20 thousand, and most people in the slammer are in for getting high,  then for $500 and a couple bags of Doritos you could probably get all the pot heads to move to Canada.

Cardinal Timmy for Attorney General!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Friday Hound Blogging

You know, if you were to take the time to look over our little bloggy oeuvre it would very soon occur to you that you need more to do...erm...we mean it would become obvious to you that we aren't what you might call the most religious people in the world. In fact, at certain points in our blogging career we have been referred to as irreligious. Or maybe that was irrelevant, we're a bit foggy. Anyway, the point is that yesterday we had a Road to Damascus moment and it became as clear to us as the ice in our glass of Stoli that there is in fact a god, and he (or she, or both we guess. Or neither. It is god after all) has a wicked, wicked sense of humor.

First a little background. Frequent reader(s) of this blog understand that entropy is the universe's ultimate trump card...uh...we mean will recognize the name George Carney, overlord extraordinaire and frequent subject of this blog. Mr. Carney is the overlord's overlord in Massachusetts, or was until he ran into one Christine Dorchak aka The Evil Sorceress Of Evil who cast her spell (which was evil btw) over the good people of Massachusetts and caused them to go zombie-like to the polls and vote to end greyhound racing in his state. The nerve, right? Well, that's not the half of it. Christine Dorchak aka The Evil Sorceress Of Evil is now loose upon the land and everywhere she goes, from Florida to Arizona it seems overlords are turning into frogs. Coincidence? We think not.

Now, here's the part where god comes in: George Carney created Christine Dorchak. That's right, if it wasn't for George Carney there would be no Christine Dorchak, there would be no Grey2K, there would be no vast underworld army of dark minions about the land doing her bidding. Flying monkeys would not suddenly appear at greyhound tracks and carry off the overlords' profit centers, never to be seen again. Oddly enough there would still be a Carey Theil, but that's a post for another blog.

See what we mean? That Yahweh, is he a scamp or what? Or maybe he's a she, or neither, or both look the point is this couldn't have just happened. And how do we know it happened? Christine told us.
I decided to become a lawyer. This would never have been possible unless good fortune had smiled on me. I was awarded a full scholarship to attend the New England School of Law in 2001. Since I had no money, this was the only way I could ever have succeeded. Ironically, my tuition was paid for by a local track owner who happened to be on the board of the school. (How grateful I was that he did not learn of this until the night before graduation!)
And who was that "local track owner?" You guessed it, George Carney. Want more proof? Check it:

That distinguished looking white haired gentleman in the center of the picture is none other than Mr. George Carney himself, and standing right in front of him is THE EVIL SORCERESS OF EVIL who  is no doubt smiling her evil smile.

Now, you might ask why Mr. Carney doesn't just burst into flames at that moment what with the Evil Sorceress of Evil being right there in all her evil glory and whatnot, and in response we say FOOLS! Why does a cat play with a mouse before devouring it? Why does a lion stalk the wildebeest for hours before leaping on it and ripping out its throat with one vicious bite from its razor teeth? Why does the eagle circle majestically over the stream while the salmon swims obliviously below, unaware of its impending doom?

Why did Christine Dorchak take her newly minted law degree (paid for so graciously by Mr. George Carney) and almost immediately
drafted the Greyhound Protection Act. This became the ballot language which prohibited dog racing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2008. The question passed and the greyhounds had won!
Because god knows how to make the ironicus most maximus, right  Freezing It Off?

He is a very sweet, gentle, happy boy. He loves attention. He loves to go for walks, run in the yard and play with toys. He also loves to play in the kiddie pool. He is housebroken and does not mind being in his crate. He would do best in a home with another dog to play with. He would do well in a home with older well-behaved children. 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.