Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Nailed to the wall in Louisville: Testicle Wars rage on Preliminary reports from Louisville showed that Cheri Hamilton Bryant and the Democratic Metro Louisville City Councilmembers pulled a classic bait-and-switch in the wee hours of the morning. Disregarding the property interests of all Louisville's dog owners, blowing off the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments to the U. S. Constitution, Bryant--a lawyer--and her Democratic Party cohorts stuck to their guns and furthered an agenda offered to them by the Humane Society of the United States. This morning's Louisville Courier-Journal reported that the City Council enacted yet another revised version of Councilwoman Bryant's mammoth dog law proposal. A summary of the various shiny new requirements for all Louisville dog owners follows. The portions of the proposal allowing breed profiling were dropped, but the Testicle Wars continue unabated, now in Louisville. Dog owners and lovers, we've been sucker punched once again. Louisville residents get ready for a visit from the Gonad Nazis The new ordinance includes the following:

Pet limits on dogs outdoors--3 dogs on up to .5 acre; 7 dogs on up to 2 acres and no limit on tracts greater than 2 acres.

Revaccination/relicensing requirement for all dogs/cats removed from a kennel or cattery at any time.

Prohibits use of invisible fencing for unaltered dogs.

Requires 6 foot fence with one foot underground for "dangerous" and "potentially dangerous" dogs, 4 foot leash, and microchip for unaltered dogs.

Defines "potentially dangerous" dogs as any dog that bites, scratches or bruises a person "in an aggressive manner."

Mandates spay/neuter for any unaltered dog that is impounded for any reason before the owner can reclaim the dog.

Requires vets to report rabies shot information to Metro Animal Services so that dogs which got a rabies vax but not a license can be impounded.

Allows dogs to be impounded for "irritating" or "perturbing" ANYONE.

Prohibits ownership of ANY animals by anyone who has two violations within 5 years-no matter how minor.

Requires reporting of all litters, including brief description of all puppies.

Requires reporting of all sales of all dogs, with buyers name & address to be sent to Metro Animal Services, even if buyer is not local.

Requires dog license # to be published in paper in any advertisement.

Watch your balls, boys.

The Testicle Wars are coming your way. Will the Democratic Party continue to be the greatest asset and ally of Best Friends, HSUS, and other animal rights organizations dedicated to eliminating domestic animal ownership? The Republican Party looks better each day to this born-to-vote-Democratic resident of a very blue state.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Louisville's Dirty War On Dogs The latest version of Louisville, Kentucky's massive animal control proposal has been published. And the American Kennel Club and its local ally, the Louisville Kennel Club, duly released their analysis .

This ordinance will have a devastating effect on dog owners and breeders in Louisville and may have a dramatic impact on the Kentuckiana Cluster, the largest dog show cluster in the country.

They're right, of course. The proposed changes will have a devastating effect. But they are too kind. And way too polite.

The "dramatic effect on the Kentuckiana Cluster" doesn't mean jack to me.

Let's get down to it. This ordinance will. . .

Screw the average dog owner to the wall

Its painful to watch Metro Louisville City Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, a woman with a law degree, a person of color, a Democrat representing a district that is both predominantly black and predominantly poor try to strip the citizens of Louisville of their civil rights and take their dogs away from them.

Cheri Bryant Hamilton hates dogs.

You knew that. She's a client of the Humane Society of the United States.

But she hates her constituency, too. Her proposal invents more ways to take their dogs away from them than you would have thought possible.

For example:

Limit laws: 3 is the magic number

Under the proposal, no matter how well you care for your pets, the limit is three dogs if you live on less than half an acre of land.

Now, I ask you: Who, generally speaking, lives on the smallest properties in Louisville and will be disproportionately affected by this limit law?

What option will caring and responsible dog owners have for pets they have loved and cherished over the years when, under the new Louisville ordinance, they are "over the limit"?

What will happen to those middle-aged, blameless pets whose owners can't afford more land? Many of them will be surrendered to shelters. Most of them will die there. Its very hard to find new homes for older animals. And if Louisville's limit law goes into effect, there will lots of older, displaced pets looking for new homes.

How "humane" is that?

Limit laws have been found unconstitutional in a number of places. Depriving people of their pets (their private property) based solely on the number of animals they own is wrong. There are fairer, more democratic ways to address any sanitation or noise issues, through nuisance noise ordinances and enforcement of sanitation laws.

But Cheri Bryant Hamilton isn't interested.

She's too busy making it hard for poor people to own a dog.

"Tethering": How much does good fencing cost in Louisville, anyway?

Tethering is a huge buzz word in the "animal protection" biz at the moment. And let's face it, no one likes the thought of a dog tied up 24/7.

On the other hand, good, solid, dog-proof fencing is expensive. Really expensive. Many caring dog owners-- who worry about their dogs getting over or under a shaky fence-- tether their dogs. And like many things in life, there's a "good way" and a "bad way" to do it.

But the Louisville proposal makes it impossible. Under Councilwoman Hamilton's proposal:

It would be illegal to use anything shorter than a 10 foot tether. So if you're in the habit of tying your dog's leash to a parking meter while you go in to pick up a loaf of bread, forget it. That would be illegal.

It would be illegal to use anything other than a tether with a swivel on each end. So if you like to take your dog with you when you picnic in the park, tying her to a tree or bench while you eat, forget it. Also illegal under the Louisville proposal.

Do you enjoy tying your dog to the nearest tree while you work in the yard? You had better work fast. Under the proposal, your limit is one hour out of each eight. Anything more than that is illegal.

It would be also be illegal to tether a dog between the hours of 8:00 a. m. and 6:00 p. m. So if you want the dog outside while the baby naps in the afternoon? Forget it. You have to build a fence.

So start saving up for fencing now, Louisville residents.

Over 100 pages of proposals: a disaster waiting for every Louisville dog owner

There's lots more in that proposal. Fees go up dramatically. Negative profiling and stereotyping of not only dogs, but DOG OWNERS is perpetuated. Allowing your dog to "irritate" people is against the law. Police state powers for the Metro Animal Services. Due process rights of dog owners discarded. It goes on and on and on.

The Humane Society of the United States suggested and endorsed the breed specific laws and has guided Cheri Bryant Hamilton at every turn. HSUS remains one of the very few organizations which actually support the proposal.

Louisville will become a war zone for dog owners, and HSUS isn't complaining about any of the above proposals. HSUS is leaving good dog owners to scramble for cover.

It will be a long, long time before I donate to the HSUS.

And longer still before I vote for Cheri Bryant Hamilton.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dems hate dogs, love profiling Louisville Dems are profiling us because of our dogs Negative stereotyping of dog owners: business as usual for Democrats in Louisville. Just what the hell is the Democratic Party thinking? Is the dog owner equivalent of "driving while black" now official Democratic Party policy? While Republican members of the Louisville City Council stand up for the civil rights of law-abiding and caring dog owners, Dems seem too busy snuggling up to the Humane Society of the United States' bank account to notice that they are pissing off their own core constituency. Forget sticking up for the little guy! Cuddle up to special interests instead? Dems are whizzing in their own cornflakes ! Let me spell it out for Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, sponsor of the 100+ page long Louisville dog ordinance proposal that would enable authorities to profile dog owners based on what their dog looks like. And as of the last round of revisions, also. . . Make it almost impossible for the owners of hunting dogs to participate in trials. Prohibit veterinarians from treating sick or injured dogs if the dogs aren't licensed. Prohibit people from finding new homes for dogs they can't keep. And more. Much, much, more. A recent opinion survey conducted by My Dog Votes found overwhelming opposition to dog-breed based profiling among registered voters. In fact, 92.9% of respondents reported that they would cross party lines in a local or state election to preserve their right to own the dog of their choice. So take a good look at your constituency, Cheri. I bet at least 45% of them own a dog. And I know they don't support negative stereotypes like the drug dealing, gangbanging, urban thug Pam Rogers of the Humane Society of the United States used to scare legislators into supporting your proposal. Hero of the Day: Republican Metro Louisville City Councilmember James Peden Maybe its his background as a teacher and student of history. I don't know. But when it comes to civil rights, James Peden, accompanied by his fellow Republicans, is eating the lunch of Metro Louisville City Council Dems. Councilmember Peden gets it: Discrimination is wrong. Its just plain wrong. And a 100+ page long dog ordinance that makes owning a dog more complicated, more onerous, and subject to more restrictions than operating a day care center, is ridiculous. Its no substitute for reasonable and fair laws for everyone. No matter what HSUS's Pam Rogers says. Democratic Party politics leave dog owners out in the cold The Louisville Courier reports: "Democrats forced the vote over the objection of Republicans, who wanted to continue talking about the ordinance at a future committee meeting. . .But the Democrats, who hold a 4-3 advantage on the committee, blocked an effort to table the measure and then passed it on a party-line vote. Peden said he expects his GOP colleagues to try to send the measure back to committee when the council meets next Tuesday. Short of that, he said they will try to amend the legislation on the floor of the council chamber. " Boots are made for walking

Former Clinton advisor on domestic policy Bruce Reed got it in a heartbeat.

His November 16 piece in Slate Magazine explained that the demographic reached by the My Dog Votes survey was--listen up, Metro Louisville City Council Democrats, cause this is important--the group that put you in office.

The My Dog Votes survey respondents were primarily middle-class women between the ages of 25 - 54, representing an almost even split of political party affiliations. Most viewed themselves as moderates, regardless of political affiliation.

Do I have your attention yet, Cheri? Still think that discriminating against parts of your own constituency is such a hot idea?

Louisville: Take it to the steps of City Hall.

I mean it. Take your dogs. Take your kids. Take your sleeping bags. Light candles. Make posters. Do it NOW.

And let's not kid ourselves. Its not just Louisville dog owners in trouble here. This 100+ page long, animal rights-inspired train-wreck of an ordinance is a problem looming on the horizon for all of us, wherever we live.

Don't live in Louisville? Write to the members of the City Council and let them know you don't support the politics of scape-goating and discrimination.

Lend a hand, everyone. Do it today.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gentlemen: Start your engines (and hang on to your balls!) The Tacoma, Washington Gonad Battle is ON! Quick update to the Testicle Wars: The American Kennel Club advises that the December 12 Tacoma City Council meeting will address the issue of mandatory spay neuter of all dogs in Tacoma, Washington. You're going to feel a little pressure Actually, you're gonna feel a LOT of pressure. Particularly in the vicinity of your Bill of Rights guaranteed protection of private property. The U.S. Constitution says the government cannot simply strip you of what you own. Like that quivering little chunk of your dog. You might feel a significant twinge around your WALLET, too, if -- for any reason whatsoever -- you don't want to have your dog(s) surgically sterilized. Bidding begins at $55 for an annual "intact animal license". And then you have to pay for a breeder's license (at a yet-to-be-determined additional cost). Yup. Even if you have no interest whatsoever in breeding your dogs. The idea is to make you pay until it hurts for the privilege of leaving your dog the way he or she was born. Cash strapped? Fixed income? Putting your kid through med school? Tough shit. The privilege of owning intact dogs apparently does not extended to people with a limited income. Ya gotta pay the piper in Tacoma Now there's a "liberal" idea: discriminate against the poor. Good going, Councilwoman Anderson! Excellent! Does being poor mean you aren't good enough to own certain [intact] dogs? Is that the idea? Cause I got a problem with that. I'm also wondering if the Gonad Nazis will be going door-to-door inspecting dogs for the presence of unlicensed balls in the nicer parts of town. Or will they mostly scrutinize dogs in the poorer neighborhoods of Councilwoman Anderson's new, improved and de-testicled Tacoma? I sure don't see them ringing doorbells and peering between legs in the high rent districts. Do you? Doling out testicles, one by one. . .

There's plenty more to dislike about the Tacoma proposal. For example:

Limit laws would be testicle-specific. Four balls per household. Two intact animals per customer only, please. If you're a little old lady for four elderly Pug dogs that happen to have their balls still attached to their bodies. . .you've got a problem. Or two out of your four dogs sure do.

By the way, will Tacoma foot the bill if your dog(s) don't make it out of surgery? Cause I really don't see that happening, either. One strike and you're out in Tacoma Dogs picked up stray will be surgically sterilized in Tacoma. Doesn't matter how they got loose. Even if you have invested in all the permits and whatnot. Your property rights will NOT apply. The dog that goes into the pound will NOT be the same dog that comes out. Now where have I heard that idea before? Was it. . .the Institute for Animal Rights Law's website? Or maybe Animal Farm Foundation? Cause their "Five Point Approach to Community Safety" is just about in lock step with Tacoma's master plan to rid the city of gonads. Is everybody on the same page? Hell, no. The most comprehensive source of funding for spay-neuter programs, Maddie's Fund, does not fund government-mandated programs. Maddie's Fund only does voluntary programs. So who's gonna pay for all that surgery? The tax-payers of the City of Tacoma? Cause someone sure is. What's the plan, Councilwoman Anderson? Inquiring minds want to know! Write the City of Tacoma a letter. The sooner the better. Folks, I believe the Tacoma City Council is waiting to hear from you on this matter. And don't forget to drop Julie "owning-an-intact-dog-is-no-longer-a-right" Anderson a note, too. I don't understand how or why Julie thinks that blowing off property rights guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution is no big deal, but she does. She needs to hear from people just like you:

Monday, November 27, 2006

Screwing the pooch Are campaigns to "protect animals" all about negatively profiling people? Seems the Humane Society of the United States, income $125 million in 2005, outgrew the "animal welfare" biz. HSUS tweaked its homepage tag line and language to appeal to donors on a whole 'nother level.

Its all about "protecting animals" now.

Question is: protect them from what? Whole lotta love The Wall Street Journal confirms that through its associated political action committees the Humane Society of the United States spent more money on the 2006 midterm elections that Exxon Mobil did. HSUS spent nearly $3.4 million on the recent elections and ballot initiatives. HSUS donated more than $150,000 directly to Congressional candidates. In other words, HSUS outspent Halliburton. Whoa. That's a whole lotta money for protection. Personally, I'd like to know what Wayne Pacelle's HSUS is getting in exchange for all that cash. Cause I got a suspicion or two. Negative profiling for dog owners in Louisville, Kentucky Last year Democratic Louisville City Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton proposed a nasty revision to Louisville's animal control ordinances including breed specific requirements which unavoidably will discriminate against law-abiding and caring dog owners based on what their dogs look like.

In other words, Councilwoman Hamilton set up certain Louisville residents for discrimination.

The you-know-what hit the fan pretty quickly in Louisville following Coucilwoman Hamilton's proposal. A year and eight drafts of the animal control proposal later, the Louisville City Council is still arguing.

The current draft proposal is more than 100 pages long, and its a disaster.

Enter stage left: Humane Society of the United States

Some "dog advocacy" organizations have celebrated the HSUS's stance on breed profiling (BSL). For example, Animal Farm Foundation quotes HSUS as opposing BSL.

Sadly, Animal Farm Foundation is dead wrong. HSUS doesn't oppose negative stereotyping and breed specific legislation. Not any more, at least. HSUS suggested it and actively encouraged it in Louisville.

In a letter dated July 5, 2006 and addressed to the members of the Louisville City Council, Pam Rogers, the HSUS's Kentucky Legislative Coordinator, made a series of recommendations. Through her letter. . . the HSUS endorsed BSL for Louisville: ". . .legislation requiring their [that is, "pit bulls"] mandatory sterilization could be a benefit to the breed and to all dogs in the community." and then the HSUS negatively profiled pit bull owners for the Louisville City Councilmembers:

["pit bulls"] are likely the most popular dog in the country, but unfortunately, they are also the dogs of choice for drug dealers, gang members, and anyone else who is looking for a dog to be a status symbol."

HSUS advocates discrimination Yup. HSUS tweaked more than just their homepage tagline. They're now apparently okay with negative profiling--for dogs and people. Here's a clue for the Humane Society of the United States. (Write this one down, Pam.) Discriminatory laws that encourage negative stereotypes are never a benefit. Never. Fear-mongering language calculated to deepen apprehension among politicians and the public cannot be rationalized. You do not "protect animals" by profiling them, or their owners. Temporary, limited, or "just a little" discrimination of any sort is. . .discrimination. Negative stereotypes promote deeper levels of misunderstanding. Fear. Bigotry. Hatred. Latest news from Louisville You would have thought that "you can't judge a book by its cover" would have resonated with someone like Cheri Bryant Hamilton. After all, she's a member of the NAACP. And the NAACP has quite a problem with negative stereotyping. Councilwoman Bryant Hamilton identified "reducing crime, criminal opportunities and the fear of crime" as a crucial issue during the recent campaign season. Does she really think that discriminating against certain portions of her constituency and attempting to force them to castrate their dogs is a step towards her goal? Is a 100-page-long dangerous dog law supposed to be a substitute for impartial enforcement of good laws? Is she hoping that dog owners, particularly those that own certain breeds, will just give up and leave? Or did Cheri Bryant Hamilton just swallow what the Humane Society of the United States has on offer--hook, line and sinker? Cheri toes the (HSUS) line The Louisville City Council was ready to vote against the breed specific language on November 13th--in fact, they did vote against it--but Councilwoman Bryant-Hamilton and another Democratic City Councilmember stomped out of the meeting. Without them, there was no quorum and the vote didn't count. Other Louisville councilmembers were quoted in the press expressing their amazement at the disrespect she showed them. Sounds to me like Councilwoman Bryant Hamilton is pretty heavily invested in the Humane Society of the United States' program for negative profiling. I'm just wondering who's been investing in her.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Its the data, stupid. Crap, political corruption, privacy and microchips The Bush administration and its cronies took a jackhammer to privacy rights with legislation like the Patriot Act. That's the good news. What the hell's it got to do with your dog? Does the Patriot Act extend to our pets? Are the Dems gonna save us? (Not freaking likely. ) Quick! What unites the USDA, the Humane Society of the U. S. and ex Bush cabinet Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson ? Answer: a plan to force you to microchip your dog and database your household information

Shamelessly peddling compulsory plans as a way to return lost pets to their owners, but not hesitating to shaft the millions of ordinary, law-abiding citizens whose private information would be captured and distributed through comprehensive microchip-based databases, diverse organizations are lining up on compulsory RFID microchipping for dogs and other pets. Through its support of Rick Santorum's PAWS bill many felt that even the American Kennel Club aligned itself with animal rights organizations, and the USDA's NAIS plan, and against the privacy interests of animal owners.

The push is definitely on to get pesky dog owners on board with requirements for mandatory use of radio-frequency identification microchips for dogs and other domestic animals. Privacy concerns?

Funny. No one seems to be hearing them.

Are they in it for the money, honey?

Let's get down to it. Microchips are a BIG potential market. HUGE. Just for dogs in this country--

Sales of microchips at $35/insertion on the estimated 65 million dogs in America? $2,275,000,000

"Aftermarket" sales (which would be the mandatory database registration fees) at $13.75 each? $893,750,000

Database of the household information on the 45% or so of U. S. homes that include a dog? Now, that's priceless.

But its not the windfall profits that's got me crazy. Nope. Its the people who keep saying. . .

"I've got nothing to hide."

Oh, yeah?

Wake up! That's a fox in the hen house! With mandatory microchipping of dogs and cats in place, the household information of about 63% of the U. S. population would be funneled into a huge database of people who have committed no crimes. People not accused of any crimes. We're talking about people who simply own pets. The database would hold the details on an estimated at 69.1 million U. S. homes. My home would be there. Probably your's would, too. Individuals and organizations with access to that database could run reports on who owns a big dog. Which households have "too many" cats. Where dogs and cats with their reproductive parts intact are located. Addresses. Phone numbers. Names. Shit, the NAIS regulations would require that your home's global positioning coordinates go into the database.

Still think databases are no big deal?

Imagine your insurance company with its hands on that database. In fact, take a moment to download and view this video. Go ahead. Do it. And as you listen to the guy struggling to get his pizza delivered, imagine that he owns a (duly microchipped, as required by law) "pit bull". Or Rottweiler. Or husky. Or mastiff. Or Great Dane. Or Chow. Or German Shepherd. Doberman. Akita. St. Bernard. Bull Terrier. Miniature Bull Terrier. Cane Corso. Malamute. Catahoula. . . .

Here come the Democrats!

Meet New York State Assemblyman and Democrat Jose Peralta, of Queens.

One dark and stormy night earlier this year, Assemblyman Peralta submitted a bill proposing mandatory microchipping and the creation of a database of all dogs over the age of four months in the State of New York. Four other Democrats promptly signed on to it.

What information would go into Assemblyman Peralta's database? Who would have access?

"An amendment that requires dog owners to implant a microchip that includes owner`s contact information and dog`s medical history. A registry of dogs shall be created at the time of dog licensing. This registry will be made available to veterinarians, shelters and kennels for the purposes of identification."

In other words, just about anyone with a little ambition could gain access to your household information, your dog licensing data, and your dog's veterinary records.

Think it could never happen in the U. S. of A.? Think again. Mandatory microchipping is already a reality in El Paso, Texas--where, by the way, both the city and the county vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

New Zealand's regulations just kicked in. Hong Kong already requires microchipping. So does Portugal. The list goes on.

Roe v Wade, Griswold, privacy and your ever-loving dog

Where does our right to privacy come from? Roe v Wade.

A woman's right to choose, protected by Roe v Wade, is the keystone. The decision is all about privacy. In fact, the Roe decision relied heavily on the earlier Supreme Court Griswold decision asserting the "right to marital privacy". Chip, chip, chip away at privacy--no matter what the rhetoric put out by the Tommy Thompsons, American Kennel Clubs, and HSUS's of the world--and guess what?

The tail you swallow will be your own. So-called progressive thinkers who mistakenly believe that they "have nothing to hide" and choose to support agendas sponsored by outfits like the Humane Society of the United States are going to find themselves in bed with some distinctly un-liberal people. Do ya still think threats to privacy, like mandatory microchipping for your dog, are no big deal? I sure hope not.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Testicle Wars:
the Battle for Control of Your Dog's Balls

Plenty of dog owners are oblivious to the whole thing. Others, (ahem) particularly the gentlemen, prefer to squeeze their eyes shut and hope it will all go away. But skirmish lines formed long ago and it looks like the City of Tacoma, Washington, may be the next battlefield in the Testicle Wars.

I'm talking about the battle for control of your dog's balls. The move to force law-abiding dog owners with well-managed pets and workmates to surgically sterilize them.

The concept that the government can invade your home and decide which, if any, of your dogs get to keep their gonads, and which ones don't.

Can a bunch of strangers sitting on your city council determine that your blameless dog must undergo an invasive veterinary procedure which sends a part of your personal property to the garbage can?

Could this be just a minor snip-snip for ol' Rover? (And by the way, before you sign on to that particular theory, know that despite the bedtime story that mandatory spay-neuter advocates spin, the longterm effects of gonadectomies on dogs are not necessarily beneficial. Not by a long shot.)

Or is this an assault on the constitutionally guaranteed property rights of an estimated 45% of the U. S. electorate?

We the People

Turns out that the U. S. Constitution is gonzo about protecting property rights. The Fifth Amendment (which would be part of the Bill of Rights, guys) reads, in part:
No person shall be . . .deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Then there's the 14th Amendment, which reads, in part: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. . .

Like I said, completely gonzo when it comes to property. Talk about a core value. Right?

Ditching our constitutional rights

Meet Democratic Tacoma City Councilmember Julie Anderson.

She's the sponsor of the proposal to require all dogs (and cats) in Tacoma to be sterilized.

How did Julie use her recent media event opportunity? She tossed out a civil liberty, based on the U. S. Bill of Rights, like a used piece of Kleenex.

 [My proposal] basically states that having an unaltered animal is no longer a right or something you can just do.

That was her quote.

Blink. Owning a dog, without submitting it to surgical sterilization, is something I "just can't do" any more? Its "no longer a right"?

Hell you say.

Indicating that she's "sensitive to the property rights issues", Councilwoman Anderson nevertheless came down squarely on the side of PeTA and the Humane Society of the United States. Both are animal rights organizations that want to end domestic animal ownership. Wayne Pacelle, currently the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, phrased it:

"One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."

 There's something about Julie

Here's Julie's pedigree, lifted from the City of Tacoma website:
Political Strategist for Planned Parenthood Votes! Washington
Executive Director of the YWCA of Pierce County
District Manager for the Dome District Neighborhood Business
District Executive Director of Faith Homes
Campaign Manager for Tacoma United For Fairness
Board of Directors of City Club Tacoma
PTA Board
American Leadership Forum fellow

  Tacoma United for Fairness? Do those fine people know how gung-ho Julie is about sending civil liberties to the trash heap and mandating $300 or so's worth of surgery for everyone's dog?

Who's going to pay for all of that surgery, anyway? What's the plan, Julie?

How are retirees and people with a limited income supposed to come up with the do-re-mi? Will cash-strapped dog owners, fearful of being caught with unauthorized testicles on the premises, try a "do-it-yourself" solution?

Its been known to happen, Julie.

And what if the surgery has an, uh, unhappy outcome? Assuming that ol' Rover even survives the anesthesia, will the City of Tacoma bear the expenses?

Oh, and during your networking sessions with the other fellows of the American Leadership Forum, did you let slip that many studies indicate that mandatory spay-neuter doesn't achieve the stated goal of reducing shelter populations? No?

Julie Anderson is up for re-election in 2007. She can be reached at and I, for one, will be writing to point out the error of her ways.

Love me, love me, love me. . .I'm a liberal

What is so freaking Democratic, liberal and progressive about kissing off our civil rights? I am just not getting this. I don't think Phil Ochs would have, either.

Joe Trippi, one of the Democratic Party's most visible strategic planners, benchmarked the progressive sell out of dog owners and alignment with the animal rights movement when he became Best Friends Animal Sanctuary's hired gun. So much for scruples, huh?

Coming soon to a municipality near you

Previous columns covered mandatory spay-neuter requirements in Albuquerque, New Mexico (with Democratic Mayor Chavez announcing his intention to promote the requirement statewide) and Los Angeles County, California.

The Golden State is a particularly tough place for dogs that retain all the parts they were born with--prime animal rights extremist organization PeTA lists quite a few California locations, including Belmont, Clearlake and San Mateo. Berkeley, Sacramento and Riverside County had mandatory sterilization proposals on the table this year. San Francisco--that beautiful city by the bay and bastion of liberal thinking--links mandatory sterilization with negative profiling for some miserable dogs and dog owners.

Yup. There are plenty of places in the Golden State where the presence of doggy gonads is going to cause major problems. But don't rest easy because you don't live in California.

Here's a little sampling of the shape of things to come across the country: Bloomington, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Buncombe County, North Carolina, have forced sterilization requirements. Austin, and San Antonio, Texas recently saw a mandatory spay-neuter proposal. Indianapolis, Indiana, too. So did the entire State of Virginia.

In New York City dogs that wind up at city shelters must be sterilized before they are returned to their owners. No matter how or why they got there.

Aurora and Denver, Colorado are so-called "no birth" cities.

The above is NOT a complete list of places that will try to force you to neuter your dog. There are more. You can run, but you can't hide. The Testicle Wars are coming to you, wherever you live.

Which side are you on, boys, which side are you on?

Which side are you on? A recent survey from My Dog Votes indicates that dog owners are more than ready to switch parties in local and state elections in order to save their dogs. Well, count me in! No way will I support a party that will force me to sterilize my dog, or that is willing to toss my property rights into the garbage. No freaking way.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Eyes on the prize Why the "dog vote" matters to Joe Trippi. And Bill Richardson, and Ed Rendell, and Antonio Villaraigosa, and so many other high profile Democrats. More importantly: why, in their pursuit of that glittering prize, progressive Dems are screwing themselves over. But first, let's do the numbers Based on industry figures, close to 45% of the electorate owns a dog. In many rural and semi-suburban areas, the percentage goes to. . . what? 80%? 90%? The pet industry in the US is on target to hit $38.4 billion in sales this year. Billion. An informal poll conducted by My Dog Votes shows that the overwhelming majority of dog owners are ready to switch political parties in local and state elections in order to safeguard their pets. Compared to concerns about their ability to own a dog, taxes and the war in Iraq become background chatter. That's some swing vote. Anyone still think Joe Trippi's got a screw loose? All politics are local Typical pet owners care deeply about their animals. Things get ugly, though, as the animal rights movement increasingly intrudes on civil rights and liberties, including pet ownership. When the law reaches out and threatens what--for many people--is a member of the family, its a crisis. Its up front and its personal. High profile Democrats are in it up to their eyeballs. Trending away from property rights and civil rights in New Mexico Take New Mexico Governor and Democratic Party presidential hopeful Bill Richardson. Cheered on by New Mexico's animal rights lobby, Governor Richardson signed a bill that makes dogs that chase cats "potentially dangerous" in New Mexico. Note that most dogs instinctively chase small animals like cats if they are not trained or restrained by their owners. Prey drive is normal dog behavior. In New Mexico's new and sweeping description of "potentially dangerous" the dogs don't have to actually catch a cat--they just have to chase one. Once. Dogs that bark "aggressively" and look like they can jump the fence may be defined as "potentially dangerous", too. The dogs don't have to actually go over the fence--just look like they could. Under the law that Bill Richardson signed, potentially dangerous dogs can be seized by the authorities. In other words, they can take your dog out of your backyard if the dog barks and looks like it can jump the fence. The dog doesn't have to do anything else--just bark and carry on from behind a fence while on its owner's property. Its kind of like The Minority Report -- that sci fi thriller about profiling, arresting and ultimately imprisoning people who are "precriminal". Except its not science fiction. Its a reality for dog owners in New Mexico. Kind of turns the "presumption of innocence" concept on its head, doesn't it? Jeopardizing the reasonable expectation of privacy By the way, Albuquerque Democratic Mayor Martin Chavez says he'll be lobbying to make that city's new law forcing law-abiding dog owners to castrate their dogs and have them implanted with an RFID microchip a mandate for the entire state of New Mexico in 2007. Sound reasonable? Or does it sound like an intrusion on your right to privacy? Who's holding all that data on law-abiding dog owners, anyway? Who has access to it? What protections exist to protect the details collected on the households of those millions of law-abiding citizens? Lots of questions, and not many answers. Its clear that Bill Richardson thinks he's presidential material. I have my doubts. Forced sterilizations and mandatory microchipping in La-la land Bad enough that one of the Democratic Party's brightest stars, City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, got his finger caught in the animal rights wringer when he made campaign promises to extremists. Threats of violence, protests at the homes of animal shelter workers and acts of vandalism on the part of animal rights activists marked discussions between the mayor and the community on personnel changes and a revision to animal control ordinances. Furthermore, Los Angeles County now has a brand new law, which--like Albuquerque's--forces law-abiding Los Angeles dog owners to have their dogs' reproductive parts surgically removed. The dogs also must be implanted with an RFID microchip. If you live in Los Angeles County, you will lose a chunk of your dog forever under the new ordinance, and then you'll be required to donate your private information to a database. Yeee-ouch. Access to the database remains an open question, but penalties for non-compliance are clear: $250 for the first offense. Second time around is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, or a $1000 fine. Or both. Trippi's Best Friends adventure Joe Trippi already got shellacked on his own blog for his support of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and their scheme to wiggle around the most basic of due process rights by allowing private citizens to unlawfully remove dogs from their owner's property, which is also known as "theft". Was Joe surprised to learn that so many people aren't okay with dog-napping? Were concerns about denying dog owners their due process rights not anticipated by one of the Democratic Party's most visible strategic planners? Stakes are high Errors like these could make many a solid, civil rights-minded Democrat vote the Republican ticket. Dems need to remember their roots--and their constituency--when civil liberties are on the chopping block. Wake up and smell the dog! Increasingly, law-abiding dog and pet owners are feeling the pinch of unreasonable legislation which tramples clearly established civil rights. When will progressive Democrats realize how big a piece of the electorate they stand to lose if this continues?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Chain of fools: "Kindness Revolution" or Animal Rights tool? Best Friends is just another link in the chain Anyone else see the September/October issue of Best Friends magazine? Best Friends says its going on the offensive against "dangerous dogs." And, sure enough, they're going down the same sorry path PeTA and HSUS blazed for them. Despite reassuring statements that "the problem is not an entire breed of dogs", the current Best Friends magazine prominently features a photo of a Rottweiler at the same time BF "acknowledges that there are dangerous breeds". Their position is based on their theory that "aggressive tendencies have now been bred into their genes" (sic). First of all, just what the hell is that supposed to mean? If there are "dangerous" breeds, then Best Friends is saying that the problem is the entire breed. A breed that's dangerous is a problem, isn't it? The Kory Nelsons of the world sure won't have any trouble deciphering that little bit of double-talk. So cut the crap. But the "aggressive tendencies have now been bred into their genes" line sounds so much like. . .California's infamous SB 861. Democratic State Senator Jackie Speier opportunistically teamed up with the Animal Rights lobby to roll back California's prohibition on breed profiling and allow localities to restrict the breeding of certain types and breeds of dog. SB 861 held that irresponsible breeding of animals contributes to the production of defective animals that present a public safety risk. Enactment of the Speier bill promptly led to the forced sterilization of all kinds of "pit bulls" in the Golden State -- and "pit bull" is a pretty flexible term there. It includes purebred Miniature Bull Terriers in some places. Using the provisions of SB 861, San Francisco quickly enacted an ordinance forcing pit bull owners to sterilize their dogs unless they fit a ridiculous set of criteria. It also makes the city's Animal Control department the ultimate authority on which "pit bulls"--if any--may be bred. Again: Animal Control gets to pick which dogs get bred. They don't like you? They don't like your dog? Tough luck. Sounds like they're getting closer and closer to Wayne Pacelle's "one generation and we're out" dream of ending ownership of domestic animals in California, doesn't it? And as for Jackie? Too bad, so sad. Jackie Speier wasn't re-elected. She was just a link in the Animal Rights chain. Following the European model The September/October Best Friends magazine also explains that it should be criminal to breed aggression into the genes of dogs, whatever that means. Best Friends says they want to penalize the breeders of aggressive dogs, rather than the dogs themselves. Such programs have worked well in Europe, they tells us. Oh really? Here's a clue, Best Friends: Europe is a crazy quilt of discriminatory breed specific measures, outright bans on some breeds and severe restrictions making it impossible to breed others, forced microchipping provisions, and useless political finger pointing. Almost every European country bans some other country's dogs. Ireland bans some English dogs. England bans some Japanese dogs. Portugal and Poland ban some German dogs, and Germany and Spain regulate some English dogs. Holland bans some Italian dogs. Just about every country in Europe bans American pit bull terriers. And Italy? Well, Italy considers forty breeds of dog dangerous. Its all politics. It goes on and on, and still "dog attack" stories make headlines in European papers. Sound like a plan? Maybe if you want to end dog ownership it does. What would Aretha say? With its $20,000,000 annual income, Best Friends can buy themselves as many political operatives like Joe Trippi as they need. They can buy themselves access to the Katie Courics and Inside Editions of the world, and stream docudrama-style videos all day every day. Politicians crave a little slice of heaven And politicians know it. In fact, they want a piece of the action. What's warmer and fuzzier than a basket full of puppies, right? What a way to prop up a sagging image! Its gotta be right up there with kissing babies. They're hoping an association with outfits like Best Friends will bring them votes and the money trusting constituents keep shelling out. Too bad they don't bother with the fine print. Best Friends won't admit it, but their 3 point plan actually promotes breed profiling, negative stereotyping, and forced sterilizations. And constituents don't really like that. Just ask Jackie Speier. Best Friends is another link in the Animal Rights chain. Forget the "kind revolution" rhetoric. Forget the slick media blitz. There's nothing kind about the revolution Best Friends has on offer.

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.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Broken promises After Hurricane Katrina devastated much of New Orleans and surrounding Gulf Coast areas last fall, Best Friends Animal Society earned themselves big snaps by stepping in to provide refuge for many homeless animals it left in its wake. With headlines like "Triumph over Tragedy: Best Friends in the Hurricane" Best Friends streamed heart-rending video across the internet. included Best Friends in its "Charity of the Month" announcement in November of 2005. We were all urged to "skip Starbucks and send the money to Best Friends" to help save the Katrina animal refugees. Many wonderful, caring people heard the call and opened both their hearts and their wallets. Dumping Katrina dogs Imagine my surprise at receiving an email recently from Best Friend's Community Programs Coordinator, Randi Bildner. It seems Best Friends, the self-proclaimed "largest animal sanctuary in the United States", raking in more than $18.5 million per year in donations and contributions, needs to get rid of the leftover Katrina dogs. Ms. Bildner writes: Best Friends Animal Society needs help from the best and most reputable Pit Bull rescue groups in the United States. At the moment we are facing the very difficult problem of housing Pit Bulls that we saved during our Hurricane Katrina rescue operations. Over a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and surrounding areas, we are still caring for animals that unfortunately were not reunited with their families and have not found permanent adoptive homes. This situation has forced us to house dogs in facilities that are not in keeping with Best Friends high level of animal care and therefore we are working around the clock to transfer these dogs to more suitable environments." "Facilities not up to standards"? Really? So what was all that money for? And where have those dogs been all this time? When a sanctuary is not a sanctuary Ms. Bildner continues: Best Friends wonderful “Training Partners Program” enlists the best trainers from around the country to foster and rehabilitate dogs (mostly Pit Bulls). We are currently working very hard to get these trainers on board to help the animals. We reach out to you with the hope that you will be able to help us at this time. It will be a tremendous help if you or a foster program in your area could aid us by taking some of these dogs. Best Friends will take care of the travel details and expenses. A stipend may be provided. You will be invited to choose the dog or dogs that you take into your care. Those of us who “get” these dogs reach out to one another during these difficult times. It is wonderful to know that groups like yours exist and do such incredible work. Thank you for your time and your commitment to these terribly misunderstood animals. So, what's the rush? For a day or two I wondered what the hurry was. Why is Best Friends in such a hurry to wash their hands of those terribly misunderstood animals ? Fresh faces! The Best Friends Middle East Rescue Effort! Of course, of course! Its out with the old, in with the new! Best Friends' website proudly features photos of a brand new rescue center built just to house newly rescued dogs from the Middle East. Joe Trippi, Best Friends marketing guru and Democratic Party heavy-hitter, spun the story this way in his September 30 blog post: "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric has launched a new initiative to let viewers decide which stories they cover. Every week, viewers can vote for one of three stories and the one with the most votes gets produced as a segment on the show. This week, our friends at Best Friends Animal Society are one of the choices. They are working on an incredible rescue mission in Lebanon, transporting over 300 animals to sanctuaries out of harms way where they will be cared for and adopted. This is an amazing story that deserves to be heard. So please take a second to vote for Best Friends at the CBS Evening News site." Gee. Katie Couric and everything! All Best Friends needs to do is make a few teensy adjustments to their inventory and they are good to go. Another round of "save the animals" and "donate now." So keep that box of kleenex handy, folks! Looks like Best Friends is getting ready to play us once again. As for last year's "terribly misunderstood animals"? Tough luck, I guess. They're just old news.