Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ship of Fools: Dems do animal law Do they have a any clue at all about where they're headed? New York: Full speed ahead, straight into HSUS's hands New York's new governor, Eliot Spitzer, arrived in Albany with the backing of a whopping 69% of the vote, and he promised a "new brand" of politics to true blue New Yorkers. Saddled with the most dysfunctional state legislature in the country, Spitzer promised no more "pay to play" in Albany! Lobbying and campaign finance reform! That was steamrollin, cement-mixin Spitzer's commitment to the people of New York. But a funny thing happened to Eliot on his way to the work one day. HSUS acolyte League of Humane Voters-NYC, and the seduction of the New York State Democratic Committee Earlier in May, the New York State Democratic Party signed on to a "resolution in support of animal protection legislation." Unable to restrain the purple prose, animal extremist-affiliated League of Humane Voters-NYC, gushed: In a move which the League of Humane Voters of New York City is calling "historic" and "precedent-setting," the New York State Democratic Party adopted a resolution at its spring meeting on Wednesday affirming its commitment to the humane treatment of animals. . . the state Democratic Party's precedent-setting action in support of animal protection is not only the right thing to do, it's also intelligent politically. . . Animal protection roller coaster revs into gear: intelligent politically? or bullshit, panderingly? The Humane Society of the United States is the world's largest, wealthiest animal rights , animal welfare , animal protection conglomerate. HSUS owns the "animal protection" business. So, let's just take a look at the resolution adopted by the New York State Democratic Committee at the request of the League of Humane Voters of NYC. The resolution reads. . .
  • ". . .hundreds of thousands of animals are tortured and killed in New York each year. . .
Say what? "Hundreds of thousands" of animals tortured and killed every year? Just in New York? We're not talking bugs squished on windshields, are we? If this vision of carnage were substantiated in any way, it would be a screaming indictment of the ASPCA. New York's network of privately controlled, privately managed societies for the prevention of cruelty contract for humane law enforcement across the state. New York suffers from an unsupervised animal control and humane law enforcement system that needs an ethics overhaul yesterday. Or maybe LOHV is making a not-so-sly reference to hunting, particularly deer hunting, in New York State? There are around 650,000 deer hunters in the state, and they already have problems with some high-profile Democrats in New York. The resolution continues. . .
  • "there are too few laws to protect animals. . ."

In New York? Arguably the most over-legislated state (second to California, naturally) in the country? Hello? Competent, impartial enforcement of animal welfare provisions, not to mention training, oversight and funding for both staff and programs, are different issues altogether. But not enough laws? Give me a break. No one is shy about putting pen to paper in New York. Twenty three pages on cruelty to animals, and I think the site needs updating.

Stereotyping 650,000 New Yorkers as maniacal sociopaths: political intelligence?

The NYS Democratic Committee signed on to a resolution which profiles hunters as sadistic blood-thirsty drunks competing in slaughter contests. It conjures up the image of trophy-hunters killing drugged up, elderly, trapped circus animals.

The resolution is an animal extremist wet dream. Was signing on to it "political intelligence" on the part of the NYS Democratic Party? Or is something else going on here?

Republicans are from Mars. Dems? What's PETA's home planet?
Ed Boks Partitions the Universe

Ed Boks, the General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Animal Services, is a huge proponent of Lloyd Levine's draconian, counterproductive proposal to surgically sterilize every pet dog and cat in the state of California at 16 weeks of age.

But you knew that.

Edward R. Murrow, MacNeil & Lehrer, and now. .Ed Boks?

Turns out that Ed Boks also does political reporting and commentary. He's a political pundit! Who knew?

Boks explains that Levine's AB 1634 "squarely aligns with both Republican and Democratic core values" and writes:

I personally appreciate Republican core values of fiscal responsibility, smaller more efficient government, and the protection of personal property rights. . .[but] Pets are not like refrigerators or motorcycles. Pets can suffer.

So there you have it: Republicans = Cash. Democrats = Love, truth, beauty and all that is good in the world.

Its all so neat and tidy.

And so freaking twisted.

You're either with "us" or against "us". Rank and file Democrats walk the plank

As the Democratic Party creeps its way towards an animal extremist agenda, long-time Democratic voters are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Forced to choose between (a) providing for their beloved pets and companions according to their own best judgement, or (b) extreme, irrational "remedies" like Lloyd Levine's vision of a testicle-free California, jumping ship is looking better every day.

Do I have to buy into the whole "hunters are demented maniacs driven by bloodlust" thing to be politically correct?

Can I still wear leather and vote the party ticket?

Do I have to give up my dog? My Dog Votes, and he's not liking what the Democratic Party has on offer these days.

So, am I still a Democrat?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hey, Jersey grrls and boyz! Ready to give up your dog? NJ State Assemblyman Neil Cohen: Confused? Misled? Or just one more animal extremist lackey Democrat? Democrat sells out dog owners. Again. Neil Cohen, the staunch Democrat representing blue collar, ethnically diverse Union Township and Elizabeth, New Jersey--just across the river from Staten Island--strayed from his trail of bread crumbs in a big way. Cohen recently sponsored a proposal allowing owners to sue for compensation for their own emotional pain and suffering if their pet gets sick or dies after eating contaminated pet food. Under the proposal, owners could sue veterinarians, groomers, pet food stores and pet food manufacturers, and there are no limits to the amounts they can demand. To a many, this might sound like a good thing. The recent outbreak of melamine contamination in some pet foods caused illness and even the deaths of cherished companions. It scared pet owners everywhere, and exposed a need for oversight and quality control in imported food stuffs. But Cohen's bill has devastating implications for dog owners. Neil Cohen and the Law of Unintended Consequences Introduced to the New Jersey legislature on May 14 and heard in committee almost immediately, Cohen's A4217 would shake the foundations of pet ownership if enacted. Things don't always turn out as planned. The proposal sets up a dramatic increase in veterinary care costs, because vets would be forced to dramatically increase their malpractice coverage. It would also increase the cost of pet food and pet services, since any business that manufactures, sells or dispenses pet food will also need to increase their liability coverage in a big way. The cost for all of this will inevitably be passed on to the consumer. The pet owner. You and me. Does Democrat Cohen, whose district's per capita income falls far below the average for New Jersey, have any concerns about the impact his proposal will have on the wallets in his own constituency? Any at all? Or does he believe that only "people like us" should own pets? But in addition to pricing people out of owning a pet, and making it even more difficult to afford veterinary care, A4217 has another special feature buried deep within language attached to the original proposal. Enslavement? Chattel? I treat my dog like a slave? Are you freakin' kidding me? A4217 included language that reasoned. . . “establishment of a statutory right of legal action to recover economic and non-economic damages …..would overcome the antiquated common law notion that a pet animal is chattel…..” Translation: the bill's supporters endorse guardianship. Hand your dog over to the State of New Jersey Assemblyman Cohen might be hoping no one noticed--or maybe he didn't notice himself--but that's what the bill is all about. Here's the hitch: it may sound kinder and gentler to insist that pets are not lowly "property". But think about it: if you don't own your dog. . . who's in charge? If the State of New Jersey decides to seize all pit bulls and kill them--like they do in Denver and Miami--guess what? If your dog doesn't actually belong to you, there's not much you can do to stop them. The last defense, the last hope of stopping the State of New Jersey from marching into your home and seizing your dog in this scenario would be the protection of private property afforded by the U. S. Constitution. Which Neil Cohen and his supporters, under the reasoning provided for A4217, undermines. Elizabeth, New Jersey. . .Vegan paradise? I think its fair to say that veganism is not a traditional value in places like Elizabeth and Union, New Jersey. Local residents are going to be pretty surprised to learn that their Assemblyman listened to animal extremist organizations like the Animal Legal Defense Fund and sponsored a bill which will make it harder--not easier--to bring home the bacon. To quote the ASPCA's reasoning on their endorsement of guardianship and their shift to a clearly animal extremist position:

“By viewing animals as more than mere property, the focus shifts from the ownership interest in the animal to what is in the best interest of that individual animal. . . For example, can we continue to use animals in medical research and for human consumption and still consider ourselves their guardians? These practices certainly are not in the animals’ best interests, nor do they respect them as separate and unique entities. . ."

Now don't get me wrong. Even though I eat meat and I wear leather, I'm a truly pro-choice Democrat.

I believe that what's for dinner is a matter of personal taste and opinion.

Not a matter of law. To each his (or her) own, right? Will the voters in Cohen's district mostly agree with me on that? I think so.

So what's going on here? Who got to Neil Cohen? Bada-bing bada-boom, Neil!

Better get out the magnifying glass and find that trail of bread crumbs fast, Assemblyman Cohen. You sponsored a proposal that is not going to go down easily with your constituency. In fact, special interests and animal extremism fall clear off the party platform. Or they used to, anyway. Stuff like this, plus Lloyd Levine and his antics in California, really makes me wonder. Are we still Democrats?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Crying Crocodile Tears for Pit Bulls Best Friends Animal Society's Pre-emptive Strike on Massachusetts Lining up behind misunderstanding, fear and bigotry. Its like taking candy from a baby. Especially when you've got a mother lode of junk science to back you up, and the ready cash to do it in style. Best Friends' Pre-emptive Strike Best Friends Animal Society, the chaotic, incoherent "largest animal sanctuary in the country" with a reported income of over $32 million in donations and Democratic Party strategist Joe Trippi to light the way, is churning out misinformation on both dogs and dog owners.

So get ready, Massachusetts. It's your turn at bat. Best Friends is offering their guidelines for a pre-emptive approach to dangerous dog control to your elected representatives.

And don't be fooled by the pious rhetoric about how breed bans just aren't right. Best Friends "acknowledges that there are dangerous breeds" that have "aggressive tendencies bred into their genes [sic]."

Truth in Advocacy?

Not this time. Pandering to the public's worst fears, and hiding behind the smokescreen of junk science and twisted statistics, Best Friends joins the ranks of institutional killers-with-kindness PETA and HSUS, all to further their own agenda.

And by the way, Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States may have gotten caught in a little fib delivered to the U. S. Congress last week. A little science can be a very dangerous thing indeed.

Best Friends Animal Society's May 14 press release lip-syncs PETA/HSUS lies and misrepresentations almost perfectly by presenting a list of out-of-context, unsourced statistics and one-time-only studies, along with correlations which prove nothing. Best Friends is trying to pass off a nightmare of conjecture and manipulation as hard fact.

Repeat after me: correlation is not causation

As a wise man pointed out, colored lights placed on homes in mid-December don't cause snow to fall. Even if colored lights precede snowfall 99.9% of the time.

Science? Puh-leeze. Best Friends tells us that. . .

82% of all dog bites occur when dogs are off leash or not confined in some way.

Wrong. The often-quoted, rarely read CDC study on dog bite related fatalities mentions that 82% figure. But the study covered fatalities, not all dog bites as Best Friends would have us believe. Its conclusion specifically warns that since dog bite-related fatalities are rare, the data should not be used as a primary factor in determining public policy on dangerous dogs. Tricksy Best Friends. Trying to scare us with misquoted data. Was the intention to heighten fears of loose dogs (and interest in Best Friends' plan)? Or did they just get it wrong? 90% of fatal dog attacks are by dogs that are not spayed or neutered. This "fact" appears to stem from statistics created by Karen Delise, a licensed veterinary technician who received a grant from Animal Farm Foundation. Animal Farm Foundation supports mandatory spay-neuter legislation. The 90% figure does not coincide with anything released by the CDC. So, Karen Delise, the licensed veterinary technician, or the peer-reviewed studies published by qualified researchers and Centers for Disease Control. Which would you quote? Dogs that are chained are 2.8 times more likely to be aggressive. Spokespeople for both the CDC and the AVMA reject this popular piece of internet scholarship. It appears to derive from a single study that did not rule out the possibility that the dogs were tethered precisely because they had demonstrated behavioral issues, and identified several other stronger correlations for frequency of dog bites. That correlation/causation problem. Again. So, who's at fault ? Dog OWNERS Of course, of course. Nicely mimicking logic from the ASPCA (an organization which just recently stepped out of the animal rights closet itself) , Best Friends does a good job of placing the blame for dog bites at the feet of, who else, "irresponsible, criminal, cruel" dog owners.

How to fix the problem of irresponsible, criminal, cruel dog owners? Well, according to the ASPCA, words count. And the word is guardian.

"By viewing animals as more than mere property, the focus shifts from the ownership interest in the animal to what is in the best interest of that individual animal. This altered view of animals necessarily requires that we treat them with greater respect and compassion . . .rather than [as]an “owner,” who has title to and dominion over the animal for the owner’s enjoyment and benefit as he/she sees fit. The result of this paradigm shift will foster better protections for animals, as well as the development of a more respectful and humane society."

Harvesting the lowest hanging fruit: crackhead criminal gangbanging pit bull owners are easy pickings.

Remember HSUS representative Pam Rogers' letter to the members of Metro Louisville City Council? The one where she smeared pit bull owners, and their dogs, by characterizing them as ". . . the dogs of choice for drug dealers, gang members, and anyone else who is looking for a dog to be a status symbol"? In Louisville, enactment of the worst animal control ordinance in the country started with a move to ban pit bulls. California's AB 1634, requiring the surgical castration of all pet dogs (and cats) in the state? Its precursor was SB 861, which allowed breed specific mandatory sterilization and rolled back California's historic ban on breed profiling. First, and only, casualty of SB 861 so far? Pit bulls. NYC Councilman Peter Vallone's proposal to restrict tethering? Vallone's first move was an attempted ban on pit bulls. Win the pit bull battle, but lose the dog ownership war That's where this is headed, folks. Guardianship. Mandatory sterilization. Tethering and breeding restrictions. Its all in Best Friends Animal Society's pre-emptive strike.

And count on it, "pit bull" owners and breeders: those pit bull-type dogs with their nasty genes are very much on Best Friends' radar. "Bans on breeding and training dogs for aggression"? That one's just for you, baby. Vincent Pedone (D-Worcester): What's his cut in this deal? What's pit bull hating Democrat Pedone's bottom line?

Will he continue to participate in a coordinated attack on dog owners? Does he relish the thought of dog ownership in Massachusetts reduced to conditional custody of sterilized animals like California's Lloyd Levine apparently does? Maybe he aspires to the title of Animal Extremist Poop-boy, East Coast Division? Is Vincent Pedone ready to give up his dog?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Outsourcing Pet Owner Privacy for Profit Lloyd Levine's mandatory castration proposal could lead to record corporate profits -- pet owners are in the crosshairs Has your personal information been databanked ? Read it and weep, California pet owners. Last week we did a little speculating on enforcement strategies for Lloyd Levine's radical proposal to surgically sterilize every single pet dog and cat in the entire state of California. But that was then, and this is now. The beat goes on. The Mother of All Databases is already a reality PetData Inc., a private corporation in Irving, Texas, already collects information on law-abiding citizens who happen to own pets. They say they have already databanked information on 2 million residents in more than 20 U. S. communities, and four entire counties. Matthews, North Carolina, just joined the ranks of municipalities contracts with PetData. Your personal privacy on the auction block If you live in a community that outsourced animal licensing functions to PetData, you may not even realize it yet. When you vaccinate your cats and dogs for rabies, your vet forwards the details to PetData Inc. Your name, your address, your contact information. And your dog's, or cat's, veterinary information--including reproductive status. It all goes into for-profit PetData Inc.'s privately-owned, privately-controlled database. PetData proudly advertises its membership in the Humane Society of the United States. It has no corporate privacy policy. From rabies vaccination to Animal Control at the door --two shakes of a lamb's tail! These California communities already contract with PetData--
  • Antioch
  • Dana Point
  • Fairfield
  • Oakland
  • Riverside
  • San Clemente
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Torrance
  • Vacaville
  • Vallejo
  • County of San Luis Obispo
  • County of Solano

If you live in one of these California municipalities or counties, your local elected officials struck a deal with PetData. For a modest fee, PetData is doing the animal licensing enforcement for your community. If you vaccinate an unlicensed pet, you're going to hear from PetData.

But it gets better.

PetData can kick back and watch the profits roll in

Matthews, North Carolina, is paying them $3.75 for each one year license they collect on.

That's just the beginning.

Its the aftermarket sales that are going to be most valuable to PetData.

Insurance companies, landlords, breed bigots, pet supply marketers. . .Gonad Nazis

PetData is building itself one hell of a marketable databank. Not just for California, either. Check out the website. Albuquerque signed a five year contract with PetData.

But in a world where greed is good. . . who cares? Its the American way. Plus, your dog or cat is already neutered. You're not breaking any laws. Life is good. Right?


The New York Times reports that its virtually impossible to find housing in Manhattan--where housing vacancy rates hover in the very low single digits-- if your household includes a dog that weighs over 20 lbs. If you've got more than one dog or cat? Fuhgeddaboutit.

Gawd knows insurance companies are itching to drop dog owners. They just have to find 'em.

But Gonad Nazis on a mission ? Oooh, baby! PetData is marketing the reports it can run from the data it collects. Need a list of households with intact dogs or cats in Riverside, California? Shazaam!

Not paranoia. Not a conspiracy theory. They are coming for you. And certain sensitive parts of your pets.

The Humane Society of the United States, the largest, wealthiest animal extremist organization in the country--one that is dedicated to eliminating pet ownership-- is already using PetData as a mouthpiece. Will municipalities increasingly outsource law enforcement responsibilities to profit-motivated private organizations? Ones with no public accountability? As a private corporation, PetData's employees are responsible to their own Board of Directors. We the People don't get to vote on what they do, or how they do it. Meanwhile, back at the Nanny-State nursery Poor, clueless Lloyd Levine. Levine -- the pro-choice Democrat, representing a pro-choice constituency in a pro-choice state -- who wants to deny pet owners any choices. Levine-the-liberal -- now turned animal extremist poop-boy-- intent on bringing fascism to the homes of California dog and cat owners. Maybe freedom of choice and the right to privacy really don't matter to Lloyd Levine. Or maybe he thinks its okay to deny these liberties to "certain people", like pet-owning Californians. But I'm thinking the 60+ percent of Californians that own cats and dogs would kick his butt from one end of the state to the other if they knew what AB 1634 really means to them, and to the pets they love.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

When the State of California's Gonad Nazis knock on your door . . . Will you make the grade? Over 15 million second class citizens in California. They own pet dogs. Enforcement of the King of the Nanny-Staters Lloyd Levine's modest proposal to castrate every pet dog and cat in the state of California was left up to local enforcement personnel. Things might get a little out of hand. Somtimes "things that shouldn't have happened" (to quote L. A. Police Chief William Bratton) . . .do. How is Levine planning to detect those unauthorized gonads, anyway? Let's have a visioning session on the enforcement of AB 1634. Shall we? Door to door searches. I hear animal control is already going door to door in El Paso, Texas, looking for un-microchipped pets. Are dog owners in La-La Land going to be okay with a knock on the door in the middle of the night? Or will that only be necessary in "certain areas" ? Not in Malibu. Not in Beverly Hills. But South Central L. A.? Where "certain people" live? Oh, yeah. Diming dog owners. Will veterinarians, trainers and groomers eventually be required to drop a dime on their dog owning clients? Eyes in the sky. Maybe a little surveillance of known pet owner hangouts? Dog parks, feed stores, PetsMart, whatever?

Report-a-testicle. How about a toll-free "here's your chance to even the score with your pain in the ass neighbor" telephone number?

I'm getting a picture of public service announcements like:

"Do your part to save California! Ratting out your friends is your civic duty! Dial 1-800-CAS-TRATE turn in someone TODAY! All calls strictly confidential. Reports of gonad sightings may be made anonymously."

Miami/Dade used the tactic to locate and kill as many "pit bulls" as it could. Will California communities use Miami/Dade as a model?

Mandatory microchipping, and inclusion in the mother of all data bases. Kiss your privacy good bye, California. Your data will become the property of huge multinationals. You won't get it back.

"Errors" during re-write sessions. Every county and municipal animal control ordinance in the state, all 527 of them, will have to be re-written for AB 1634 compliance. Will due process violations, and other civil rights issues, slip in to the new codes? With 527 opportunities, and municipal governments working at a breakneck pace, its a distinct possibility. Pet owners have fewer civil rights than everyone else

In California under AB 1634, my dog would get the knife. I wouldn't be able to stop it. Chances are, yours would, too.

But some people--those who can afford the intact permits, and who exhibit their dogs at officially acceptable sanctioned events within the specified time frames, and who somehow manage to navigate the layers of local requirements and cross all their t's and dot all their i's . .not that I envy what they'd have to go through, because I don't. . .

It turns out they are "better" than pet owners.

They have more rights.

They get to keep their dogs in one piece if they want to. For the time being, any way.

Pet owners won't. No matter what they say. No matter how good their dogs are, no matter how well they care for them.

That's discriminatory.

This is about civil rights! Not "breeder's rights."

Roughly 85% of dog owners are pet owners. Their dogs are their companions. They aren't "breeders", and they don't want to be "breeders."

Pet owners in California don't know it, but they're about to get screwed over.

Imagine being unable to make your own decisions about the pets under your roof. The pets that you feed and care for.

The pets that have zero opportunity to participate in any illicit matings because you're a responsible owner.

The pets you know better and cherish more than anyone else in the world. . . including the arrogant proponents of Levine's bill that dismiss concerns about expensive, invasive surgery with three words:

"Get another vet".

Dude, where's my California?

What happened to. . . "California has always been at the forefront of protecting our citizens' civil rights. . ."

"WHEREAS, the City of Palo Alto is proud of its long and distinguished law enforcement tradition of protecting the civil rights and liberties of all persons."

"WHEREAS these raids overwhelmingly target Latina/o communities such as those conducted in the Bay Area in the past several weeks, and reveal a racist intent to not only criminalize immigrants, but to also terrorize and harass Latino communities and perpetuate second-class treatment . . ."

Police state for pet owners

Somehow pet owners became second class citizens in the eyes of Lloyd Levine and his supporters.

Lloyd Levine believes pet owners are mentally incompetent. They need the Nanny-State to make their decisions for them.

Freedoms just slip-sliding away in the Golden State

Freedom of choice? Civil rights? Civil liberties in California?

Fading, fading. . .

Faded away? Let's hope not. Caring pet owners are perfectly capable of making good health care decisions for their pets.

Real solutions for real problems: let's ditch the smoke and mirrors

One-size-fits-all "remedies" like mandatory castration at the age of 16 weeks, no exceptions, is as scary as it sounds.

Legislation attempting to force the removal of gonads from pre-adolescent owned kittens won't solve the problem of unowned, feral cats. Alley Cats Allies points out some of the many fallacies and pit falls of Levine's proposal as it relates to homeless cats. To sum it up: AB 1634 may very well do more harm than good.

Young adult dogs, not puppies, are typically surrendered to shelters because they bark, shed, or pee on the carpet. Or because their owners can't find pet-friendly housing. Castration won't solve those problems and unfunded mandates like Levine's proposal may do more harm than good if it forces dog owners to abandon their dogs.

Makes you wonder what "problem" Lloyd Levine & Co. is trying to solve with AB 1634, doesn't it?