Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dems, dawgs and civil rights Part One: Can you say. . .DUE PROCESS ? Markos Moulitsas, essayist, blogger, lawyer, political whiz kid, and liberal/progressive/Democratic Party cheerleader now in residence at dKos said a mouthful recently in an essay published in "Cato Unbound": ". . .[T]here’s a whole swath of Americans who are uncomfortable with Republican/conservative efforts to erode our civil liberties while intruding into our bedrooms and churches. . ." Uncomfortable? Man, you have no idea. But where, oh where, are the Dems? AWOL? Case in point follows below. Its a tangled web, but stick with it--there's a prize (not) at the end of the story just for Dems who believe their party is all about civil rights. Vigilante justice in Freedom, Pennsylvania On September 11, 2006, Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better unlawfully removed a dog from his owner's Freedom, Pennsylvania backyard. The exact chain of events leading up to her actions are disputed, but, stating that she was concerned about the dog's condition, Ms. Grimes freely admits that she trespassed and removed the dog. She now refuses to return the dog to his owners, to hand the dog over to the authorities, or to allow them access to the dog. Originally charged with theft, receipt of stolen property, criminal trespass and criminal mischief, at arraignment Ms. Grimes was bound over for trial on charges of theft and receipt of stolen property. Now out on bail, newspapers indicate that Ms. Grimes is next due in court on October 27. Its worth noting that the local chief of police and the local humane society director both indicate that no charges against the dog's owners are contemplated. Investigation of the dog's condition, and hence any wrong-doing on the part of the owners, is not possible, since the prime evidence--the dog--has been taken by Ms. Grimes. Throughout it all, Ms. Grimes was afforded her constitutionally guaranteed rights--including the right to due process we all expect from the U. S. judicial system. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the "animal welfare organization" with an income of roughly $20 million per year has been one of Tammy Grimes most outspoken, steadfast supporters. The dog owners in our story have not fared anywhere near as well. Essentially, they have been stripped of their property (their dog), without benefit of judicial due process. Presumption of innocence flew out the window. Trial by jury, protection from unreasonable search and seizure--all of these benefits of life in the United States have been denied them. Ms. Grimes made herself the sole arbiter of justice, and punishment. In short, she's a vigilante. Presumably Tammy Grimes will appear in court to answer charges and justice will prevail. So why beat up on Democrats? I have two words for you: Joe Trippi Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the money and brains (such as they are) behind Tammy Grimes and her Dogs Deserve Better Inc. organization, went fishing for some political expertise at some point. Guess who they landed.

Yup. And its Democratic Party heavy lifter Joe Trippi's role in the Best Friends Kindness Revolution that's got my panties in a knot. There's nothing kind about denying people their civil rights. What's Joe Trippi doing fronting vigilantes? Its nice that Katie Couric takes his calls, but geez, why pull strings for people who have no interest in the rule of law? Not that Joe, or Tammy Grimes for that matter, is particularly knowledgeable about dangerous dogs or animal legislation, but he's is scheduled to share the stage with Tammy at BF's end-October conference.

Picture it: Joe Trippi will be up there thumping the podium along with a woman whose actions are supported by the Animal Liberation Front. The Animal Liberation Front is characterized by the FBI as a domestic terrorism organization. In his day Joe Trippi worked for Howard Dean--managed his presidential campaign--Walter Mondale, and Dick Gephart. Joe is currently associated with the campaigns of several highly placed liberal Democrats. I wonder what they would make of this legislative proposal that Best Friends Animal Law Coalition is floating to back up what Tammy Grimes did in Pennsylvania: "Any person who has a reasonable belief an animal is injured, in pain, sick or otherwise in need of assistance to protect its health or life shall have the authority to enter upon the property of another for the limited purpose of taking the animal to a veterinarian or otherwise providing emergency care to the animal, provided that, reasonable efforts have been made to report the animal’s condition to the local humane officer and the animal’s owner or custodian. A person offering assistance to an animal under this section shall be immune from civil or criminal liability." Say what? Anyone at all can take my dog off my property? I don't know about you guys, but my civil rights, including due process, are precious to me. They were hard fought, and hard won. I want to see a court order before my property is taken away. I have an issue with "any person with a reasonable belief" running off with my dog. And you can bet I want my day in court. Tammy forgot that no matter now ugly the accusation, we are all guaranteed civil rights in this country. Hellloooo? Joe? Progressive-minded Democrats? Is this the crew you really want to hook up with? Because from where I sit, they're about as unDemocratic as you can get. Since when have civil rights been unfashionable with the Democratic Party? Are Dems so very intent on capturing a demographic that they're willing to remain silent on domestic terrorism? Denial of due process? Weakening property rights? Are vigilantes hunky dory with Democrats? I sure hope not. I live in a Blue State, and I was born to vote Democratic. I come from a long line of liberal thinkers. In fact, I'm a freakin' stereotype. But these are NOT my values.


Anonymous said...

Tammy Grimes did what all of us have wanted to do at one time or another. Lets face haven't we all at one time or another done something that wasn't right or wasn't legal because we felt we had to do it. I know I have and I would do it again but only if I had too. All through history there are examples of people who broke the laws, drawing attention to those laws that need to be changed.

Here's the problem in this country to many people look at that companion pets as property because that is what the law says they are. So when their property get old and worn out their either turn it into animal control to be killed or just put it out and forget about it.

I saw the video of the chained out dog that could not get up, I heard the neighbor who could not get Animal Services out to check on him crying on the video begging her to take him. I have also seen the video of the dog after she Tammy had him for eight days, it's apparent he is in better shape then he was when he lived with the Arnold's.

Why should she turn the dog over to the police, so he can go back on a chain in the Arnold's backyard? The Vet supplied the information needed to press charges against the Arnold's. Bestfriends aren't he major supporters, there are 10,000 signatures on the Care 2 petition site.

So your worried about your civil rights being violated, who was looking out for the dog who has no civil rights, not you that's for sure.

BlueDogState said...

"Anonymous" writes that "there are examples of people who broke laws, drawing attention (etc.)."

I wonder how many of these people thought to video tape themselves and stream the docudrama on their samaritan act across the internet. How many of them would think to send the tape to Inside Edition?

Was that concern for the dog? Or laying the groundwork for her martyr image?

Sorry, but you've been played.

You are right about one thing, though: my dog doesn't have civil rights. What protects him from abuse and neglect is my legal obligation to properly care for him. If I were to fail, I would expect the full weight of the law come down upon me.

You shouldn't be so blithe about surrendering constitutional guarantees, "anonymous." They were hard fought, and hard won. You might need them some day--Tammy Grimes is sure making full use of hers.

Anonymous said...

I believe if you ever bothered to check that Grimes tapes all of the dogs she takes legally.

The docudrama that you describe came about because she was arrested.

I can tell you all to many times that animal Service doesn't step up and do what is right. A lot of times they come out and give a warning while the animal still suffers.

Simply stated there is no protection for your animal if your line of thinking is this "What protects him from abuse and neglect is my legal obligation to properly care for him. If I were to fail, I would expect the full weight of the law come down upon me". Because we all know the law isn't going to come down heavy on you for abusing your animal, you'll get a fine a little community service and that's about all.

Who's playing who here?

Anonymous said...

BF home state newspaper agrees it's a publicity stunt:

Anonymous said...

Tammy Grimes is a thief. We have no idea how fake the video is. We *presume* that isn't fake crying in the background (didn't sound real to me) we *presume* the dog couldn't get up because the video doesn't show him getting up, but we actually have no idea other than the testimony of a thief as to the dog's condition.
Tammy Grimes thinks dogs should not be safely tied up, penned up, or kept on their owners property. Take a look at your own pets - would you want Tammy stealing them because she doesn't like it that they are safely confined out of harms way on your property?
Long before children were protected under the law animals had laws protecting them in this country.
If you don't like the way the laws on the books are enforced then vote in the tax money to make sure they are properly enforced.
Don't promote vigilante law breaking as a solution instead.

Sandi said...

Yes, Ms Grimes broke the law. Even though it was for a "good cause" in her eyes she still broke the law. Millions of Americans have died to uphold the American way of life which includes upholding the law. I feel bad for the animal in question, but I also feel that Ms. Grimes is not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
It is obvious when you look at the before and after video of the "dog" in question that they are not the same dog. Has the stolen dog died in the care of Ms. Grimes? One could draw that conclusion. I have judged many a dog show and have yet to see a dog change it's markings as the markings on these two dogs are changed. I have talked to many others in the dog world who have all come to the same conclusion, these two dogs are different. They are not the same dog.
So where is the dog that was stolen? Is it in fact dead? Until that dog is produced and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt then no one should be defending the reprehensible actions of one person who broke the law. This dog was stolen from its owner's. They did not give anyone permission to take their animal. They may have, if asked, surrendered the animal but we will never know that.
Here is just one more case of Animal rights domestic terrorism that allowed this dog to be stolen from it's rightful owners. Now even if the dgo is returned the court system would be hard pressed to prove a case of abutse or neglegt against the owners. JMHO Sandi

Anonymous said...

With over 1,600 animals at Best Friends Animal Society, I'm sure they would have no problem finding a believable Doogie look alike for Tammy, their new guest speaker. I guess nobody expected anyone to look too closely...

Anonymous said...

Sandi said...

"so where is the dog that was stolen? Is it in fact dead?"

---If she gave it to the fuzzy wuzzy animal terrori..., er, animal lovers at PETA, it probably is. They love killing animals.

Anonymous said...

When one gets past Democrat rhetoric and examines what the Democrat leadership truly stands for it soon becomes clear that these people have all the concern for civil rights and freedom of Nazi Germany! Many of the animal rights and anti gun ownership proposals they support come almost verbatum from Nazi writings and documents. In fact most of these people (dem leaders),like Nazis, consider themsevles superior to the rest of us. If you believe dems. truly have such great concern for civil rights take an honest, open minded look at the plight of the black people in this country after 50 years of dem. concern.
I too was a registered Dem. up till I was 35, but I could no longer ignor the facts about them-I now am a registered Libitarian-if you truly care about freedom and civil rights come give a hand!
Terry h.