Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Thought For Today

"An unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates

The Hard Truth From Orlando

I’m former military. I have worked with law enforcement all my career. I support the 2nd Amendment. I support “Stand Your Ground” legislation and responsible gun ownership. I don’t believe that every American should own a gun any more than I believe that every American has to own a house, drive a car or go to church.
I am vehemently anti-assault type weapons for private ownership and/or access to the multi-round, extended magazines. These weapons and ammo accessories have nothing to do with home protection, hunting or any other legitimate civilian purpose. It’s time we acknowledge that allowing these types of weapons to be sold, exchanged, or bartered by any Joe Snuffy the Ragman has little to do with personal ownership rights or safety and everything to do with profiteering by gun manufacturers at the expense of the American public, under a spurious claim of protection by our Constitution.
This Sandy Hook nightmare is just the latest example of the damage done by these weapons being readily accessible to mentally damaged individuals with no oversight, no regulation – and the only real consequences for those unfortunate enough to be on the front sights of the barrel end.
The knucklehead politician from Texas proposed that the Sandy Hook massacre wouldn’t have happened, or would’ve been mitigated, if the principal of the school had had her own assault weapon with which to defend herself and her school. What century does this twit live in? He’s apparently an idiot with no real sense of community or civic responsibility.
I’ve lived in countries were firearms were few and far between. The sense of community was astonishing because everyone felt they could stop and help without being worried about someone else misconstruing their intent and shooting them. Americans don’t come out to help someone being victimized because they don’t know if the other guy is armed. Americans don’t step up because they risk more than a punch in the eye. Americans live in isolated little “forts” and prepare for an apocalyptic future that is self-generated because of the promotion of violence by a paranoid gun-culture, sponsored by the weapons manufacturers’ burgeoning profits camouflaged by the fa├žade of the NRA’s massive propaganda and lobbying machine that purports to protect the right to bear arms.
I propose that the NRA address its public perception of being pro-violence, anti-community and deal with the very real challenge of limiting weapons access by unsuitable, irresponsible and dangerous individuals -- citizens or not. This organization has demonstrated its lobbying power to systematically defeat every gun control measure for decades. Now, maybe it can lobby for better protection for American citizens who want to live free without having to send their kids to school in Kevlar vests or establishing bunkers for every mall, theatre and public building.
It’s long past time for American taxpayers to demand reasonable, rational gun-control legislation and tell the NRA to back off or be prepared foot the bill for the victims of their ill-conceived and self-serving anti-gun control policies. We need to recognize that the 2nd Amendment has morphed from a civil right to bear arms into any modern mental defective’s license to kill. Grow up, America!
   Florida Cracker

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Thought For The Day

"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle"  —  George Orwell

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Thought For Today

"Music is well said to be the speech of angels." - Thomas Carlyle

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Thought For The Day

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all"  - Noam Chomski

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rec: Pumpkin Pie

Buy one at the store. It's so much easier that way. They'll already be impressed by the dinner.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Thought For Today

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's time again...the Ultimate Holiday Card!

The censored version. You can find the uncensored version over at Google Images.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Thought For Today

"Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Thought For Today

"I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way." - Franklin P. Adams

Sunday, November 04, 2012

University Of The People

"The Worlds First Tuition-Free Online University, Dedicated To The Democratization Of Higher Education.  Founded in 2009 by educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef, University of the People is the world's first tuition-free completely online university, offering Associate and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science. Students are asked to pay a one-time application fee ($50), and $100 end-of-course final examination fees. Aside from that, there is no tuition and all courses, books, and resources are provided free of charge online. UoPeople is approved to grant degrees by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), and is currently working to seek accreditation."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Thought For Today

"A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought" - Ronald Reagan

Saturday, September 22, 2012

In case you need one......

Need some human remains? Or a freak animal perhaps? The nuclear mermaid is appealing.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Well, Romney makes his contempt for the 99%-ers more and more obvious as reflected in his not-for-the-unwashed-public remarks to his super-PAC wealthy donors. Polls show that 47% of American voters support Obama at the moment, therefore, according to Romney, 47% of American voters are freeloading ne'er-do-wells looking for a hand-out. Romney says he wishes he had Latino blood because apparently he thinks he could play a race card and win because that 47% are so bigoted and ignorant they would only vote for Obama because of his minority heritage.
Romney sneers at Americans he says don't contribute their fair share of taxes, but he and his buddies stash their piles of cash in off-shore banks, impervious to the scrutiny to which most Americans have to submit. He says the 47% are looking for hand-outs and freebies while he and his corporate buddies collect government subsidies on one hand to generate business, while inflating and gutting companies started and maintained by others into bankruptcy with the other hand, putting thousands of middle-class citizens out of work and driving them into the welfare safety net he derides.
He says government is bloated and he wants to cut 10% of government workers, but he's not cutting the specially appointed and elected fat cat expatriates of an insider corporate world who can do him and his buddies favors by looking the other way on Wall Street banking and accounting shell-games. No, Romney wants to cut the 10% of worker bees at the bottom who work for significantly lesser wages than their corporate counterparts on the legally contracted promise of a pension after 30 or more working years; a pension system he and his Republican buddies are doing their best to dismantle before public servants can collect for that lifetime of service.
Romney wants to continue to de-regulate and give himself more tax breaks, which means he and corporate raider culture buddies can continue the same financial games they've been running for nearly three decades, generating the Savings and Loans collapse of the 80's, the Baptist Foundation bankruptcy, the Enron scandal and thence to the global toxic mortgages mess compounded by the derivatives "bucket shop" scams perpetrated by Romney's corporate ilk.
He's all for taking apart Social Security and Medicare without addressing the rampant insanity of the insurance businesses which are the source of the cost inflation for the services both of those funds provide. Those insurance businesses and the handful of men who run them are the same ones who gambled their middle-class stockholders' investments on the toxic mortgages and derivatives games and then put their hand out to the disdained 99%-ers to bail them out for their greed and arrogance, then granted themselves extravagant personal bonuses for their incompetence.
I agree the welfare system needs an overhaul. I think unemployment assistance needs an overhaul. I think food stamps and other social services need an overhaul. I think the cost of a college degree is completely out of proportion to the quantity and quality of what's being paid for nowadays. I agree that fraud in our "entitlement" government programs is rampant and needs to be curtailed -- and harshly.
But I also think Romney is a self-serving, arrogant, sexist jackass and I'd vote for Joe Snuffy the drunken ragman before I'd vote for that delusional robber baron.
   Florida Cracker

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Music for the Season

Chances are you won't be able to get this out of your head. And the graphics are pretty nifty, too.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Thought For Today

“Since mankind's dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We've seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

"Do You Have a Photo ID, Young Man?", from Slate. Even more assholes running/ruining things.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Well, it looks like the worthless idiots are at it again.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

And Deano Sez: Zeitgeist!

If this isn't an excuse to learn how to use Torrents, I don't know what is....

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How To Hack NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

Something with a touch of humor from PCMag. Thank you Nick.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Hard Truth From Orlando

And the battle for resources explodes...
CNN reported that with a reported official population of about 10 million, Greece has an estimated millionillegal immigrants living in that country. Some 100,000 illegal immigrants are estimated to come into Greece every year. So it seems ludicrous that Greece, with its current fiscal disaster, should be censured by outsiders and some liberal political Greek parties for a massive round-up and detention, pending deportation, of some 1,600 illegal immigrants which it can ill-afford to house, clothe, employ and feed -- when it is hard-pressed to care for its own citizens in the current economic climate and the country itself is teetering on collapse.
The CNN article states:
The uncontrolled influx, which coincided with a recent spike in crime, contributed to the sharp rise of an extreme-right political party which uses aggressive rhetoric against immigrants. Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said Monday the rounding-up of illegal immigrants would continue, arguing that their unchecked entry has brought Greece "to the brink of collapse." "The country is being lost," he told private Skai TV. "What is happening now is ( Greece 's) greatest invasion ever. Since the Dorian invasion some 3,000 years ago, the country has never received such a flow of immigration."
Ancient tradition linked the invasion of Greek-speaking Dorian tribes with the end of the heroic Mycenaean age, although historians believe that the Mycenaean palatial civilization was brought down by financial and social unrest.
Golly that sounds like a familiar scenario doesn't it?
Why are the immigrants, largely African and Asian, flooding into Greece (and then to other European countries)? That's an easy one. Tunisia , Egypt , Syria , Afghanistan , Pakistan , Somalia , Saudi Arabia ...with the rampant political unrest, war, climate/agricultural disasters, sectarian violence, why not run to the democratic countries where they might claim asylum? Why not rely on those countries' social services until the illegals can get their feet under them and become assets instead of liabilities? Greece , however, is fighting for its own survival, economically and politically. The human tide overrunning its shores is no longer something that can be ignored. The affluence that allowed Greece to close its eyes to the invaders before no longer exists. It's now a battle for resources, with the Greeks trying to hold off the overwhelming tide and still retain such intangible luxuries as due process under the law. But when you consider that one-in-ten walking around in Greece might be there illegally, a literary critic might consider that the Greeks failed to learn that the Trojan Horse ploy can be used by anyone and the enemy is already within the gates.
We here in the U.S. need to quit watching and start making some realistic self-evaluations. The threat facing Greece COULD happen here in the U.S. -- and has been in motion for years. Our leaders need to quit examining their political platforms and start looking to see the thin economic and financial ice under all our feet or it WILL happen here. It's time to get serious about protecting our borders, rebuilding our infrastructure and promoting self-reliance among our citizens. We need to act like we're at war, grow community gardens to get through lean times, regional resources so we're not reliant on transportation and other communities. We have to turtle down and regroup so that we can survive to rebuild.
And for our nation's sake, until we have a little more solid economic ground under us, SOMEBODY shut the door!

   Florida Cracker

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Thought For Today

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King

9 Things You Absolutely Must Do to Keep Your Online Identity Secure

Free from Gizmodo. Well, what are you waiting for? Get right on it!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Thought For Today

"A man who limits his interests limits his life." - Vincent Price

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Have you seen it? had the video today of the 9-year-old Mississippi boy systematically punching and kicking pre-verbal toddlers in the daycare. It's a hard thing to watch, but thank whatever powers may be that his sadistic behavior was caught by the surveillance cameras. You should watch it, though, to see for yourself instead of having the evidence "interpolated" for you by the pundits of spin and the talking heads on the nightly news.
You'll see the child repeatedly, consciously look to see where the adults are before he inflicts hurt on the tiny children around him. He stops in his attacks several times to quiet the child, see if the adults are looking and then resume the assault. He is specific in his targets. There are older children around, but that's not the ones he goes after.
Some of the generally idiotic people among us, many in the field of educational administration, will point out that the child's behavior is definitely "learned." He has learned this brutalization by being brutalized or watching someone else brutalizing another or both. I don't doubt that. They'll also point out that the smaller children aren't supposed to be with older children and there's supposed to be an adult supervising them -- and there wasn't. Also true. (The article says the worker was fired because she plainly WASN'T where she was supposed to be, supervising the children. Just watch the video). They'll say he needs treatment and he needs therapy and has special needs which must be met, just like a child with a cleft palate or scoliosis or asthma. And like a child with a cleft palate or scoliosis or asthma or near-sightedness or in a wheelchair, he has the right to be "included" with other children in a scholastic or daycare setting.
They're wrong. He needs to be put in a cage or taken out and shot immediately for the protection of every child, animal or helpless adult around him. But I can almost guarantee you, he'll be one of those tagged with a "learning disability" or "conduct disorder" due to the very real injuries he has sustained, physical and psychic but not inherent, while being brutalized by whomever his tutor in sadism was. I'm sure he's been tagged for this violent behavior long before this incident, but the administration still allowed him in a daycare with children who cannot speak for themselves, much less protect themselves from a monster like him -- and then did not make an issue of supervising him at all times.
And whatever damage he does to others, until he reaches an age recognized by Mississippi as eligible for criminal prosecution, the educational administration, social services and political correctness will undoubtedly continue to insist that little freak be included as a special needs child in regular classrooms with regular kids, putting ALL of the children around him at risk, instead of shunting him off to the nearest high-risk mental institution for violent offenders now for the safety of the community.
Fortunately, Mississippi still has the death penalty. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has ruled that it's unconstitutional to sentence juvenile offenders to life in prison. Frankly, that's the only thing that's going to keep other children safe from this monster. He’s broken and there's no fixing him. I wonder how much damage he'll do before someone decides he's not worth the powder to blow him to hell.

   Florida Cracker

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Thought For Today

"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." - Ernest Hemingway

The Hard Truth From Orlando

First it was the giant Buddhas that the Taliban decided to mortar and deface. Now another Islamic fringe is destroying historic Islamic and archeologically significant sites in Timbuktu -- those of an opposing and older Islamic branch. It's kind of like the old Catholic Church burning the Protestants at the stake for heresy. Of course, then the Protestants burned other Protestants and anyone of an opposing view at the stake for so-called heresy. And when they finally got tired of killing everybody else, they decided to kill their own for a while. And while they were conducting their "holy war," they were padding their pockets by looting everything anyone else had.
But religion and faith have nothing to do with it. It's rampant hooliganism in the name of religion with a more sinister goal for the behind-the-scenes organizers.
This is at least the second World Heritage site, respected by all religions, all nations, for what it represents to our global culture that is being destroyed by a bunch of functional illiterates whipped into a frenzy by demagogues with delusions of godhood. It's not enough to deface every painting, every depiction of human form with a spurious claim of religious sensibilities, these fanatics have to erase anything that doesn't coincide with their personal belief, their personal interpretation of the Quran. And when it's over, they expect everyone to whom they have shown such disrespect and contempt to bow down and kiss their feet.
We've seen these people before, in different guises, different countries, different eras. "Totalitarian regimes are characterized by a commitment to a specific ideology. The ideology serves the state by defining the past, explaining the present and predicting the future. It establishes guidelines for remolding society in the image held by the rulers."
Make no mistake. They're not seeking to establish a theocracy. They're not seeking to establish a kind of heaven on earth, all people are one in Islam, etc. They're after control, total control, over everyone and everything, according to rules that only they have the power to establish and to which everyone else is subordinate.
"To control the behavior of its citizens, totalitarian regimes recognize no limits to the means by which their ends are achieved. Totalitarian regimes will use any techniques - physical or psychological to achieve absolute control over society."
These fanatics want to erase history, because it's from history that we learn. It's from the lessons of the past that we have come to cherish freedom and choice.
If we look at this historically, we're at the "Brown Shirts" beginning of the totalitarian regime. We're experiencing in several countries simultaneously a kind of "Kristallnacht," an Islamic version of coordinated attacks against different Islamic and non-Islamic believers, while the governments in those countries, purportedly Islamic nations, are closing their eyes to the destruction.
The test will be how long the other Muslims in every country will tolerate the terrorists in their midst. If they think for one moment, as the German people did, that so long as they are quiet, mind their business and congratulate themselves that THEY are not the target of these terrorists that they'll be all right, they are deluding themselves. The German people learned this bitter lesson. You pay for your indifference. You pay for your silence. You pay with your property, your lives, your heritage and your freedom. You children pay with a heritage of shame that you allowed this to happen and graveyards full of the unjustly persecuted and murdered.
These men tear down; they do not build. And when they're finished, if they're allowed to accomplish their goal of destruction and subjugation, they will leave nothing but ashes. The world's citizens needs to identify these destroyers and put a price on their heads like the bandits they are. And when they are identified, caught and tried, they need to be erased from the world, as they have tried to erase the rights, freedom and history of everyone else.
What's the Quranic equivalent of "wake the hell up, people!"

   Florida Cracker

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Rec: Marinade Recipes

Marinade Recipes - Home Cooking

It's summer and the time for grilling is now. Between the grill and the oven, these should keep you busy for a couple of days. And make everything tasty and tender.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Thought For Today

"'Tis a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own." - Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Thought For Today

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it." - Russel Baker

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Deano Sez: DVD Easter Eggs

This one is an old fave of mine....they're revamped a bit.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homeland Security Theater

Enjoy the cartoons and the TSA related Links.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Thought For Today

In the battle of the Wilderness during the Civil War, General John Sedgwick led Union troops against Confederate lines at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in Virginia. As the Union line began to waver under rebel fire, Sedgwick rode out in front to rally his men: "Come on, men!" he called out. "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist-" (These words proved to be his last.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Thought For Today

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” -  Mohandas Gandhi

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Oh, no! People of color can't be racist! That's just a white person's problem!
Apparently, that's the indoctrination that the politically correct camp has drilled into everyone's head for so long that even when the obvious is kicking you in the face, you can't admit what you're looking at. Hitler said it, repeat a lie often enough and it will become the truth.
We have two blatant cases of white victims being victimized because they're white in the news just this week: the two Virginia Beach white reporters being beaten by a mob of black teenagers which the victims' own public service employer (and the police) failed to identify as a racist attack and the equally disturbing sex trafficking and abuse of young white girls by a group of Pakistani men in England, where the local police chief vehemently denies race was a factor -- despite the open acknowledgement in the Pakistani community that race was precisely why the girls were targeted for abuse.
To quote from the BBC report:
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, accused Pakistani community elders of "burying their heads in the sand" on the issue of on-street grooming. There is a significant problem for the British Pakistani community," he said.
"There should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals. They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behavior that is bringing shame on our community."
The asininely oblivious Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood of the Greater Manchester Police denies that ethnicity or race is a factor in the case. He says it's not a racial issue, it's just about adults preying on at-risk children. They just happened to be Asian men and the victims were all white non-Asian girls.
Duh. What turnip truck did he fall from and how hard did he hit when he landed?
Only in the industrialized predominantly white nations have women achieved any kind of foothold for equality. Only in industrialized predominantly white nations have women achieved near-equality under the law. In the Asian world these perps came from, white girls not restricted by insane religious edicts of every aspect of their lives ARE trash. Their white parents will not avenge their daughters with blood. Their white communities will not retaliate by burning their abusers' houses or crops or mutilating the men or raping their wives and daughters in the never-ending get-even tribal warfare that is the norm of their Asian culture. So these men felt they could do what they wanted -- and they did it for so long and to so many because the white community won't acknowledge it's about race or ethnicity when the perps select their victims.
Sure. Under the British law, you can't count on convicting these arrogant freaks of hate crimes against the girls. After all, even under the America judicial code, rape is not a violation of your civil rights. You can't charge someone with a hate crime for demonstrating his inherent bias by raping, beating or killing only female victims.
And just because a mob of black teenagers decides to target a pair of white reporters because they're white and they're at hand, you can't really try them for a hate crime -- even if they are claiming the attack is in retaliation for the alleged murder of a youth (who has nothing to do with their community at all except for his skin color) by a guy they claim is a white bigot but who denies this because he's Hispanic, not one of those bad racist white people.
Wow. Not a good time to be white, I guess, especially as the victim of a hate crime, because apparently EVERYONE knows that people of color can't be racist. That's just a white people phenomenon.
Won't it be nice when we really have equality and we can tell the unvarnished truth for a change? I hope I live to see the day. Meantime, I think I'll see if I can get a tan as dark as Leather Mom and pass myself as something else and shed that racist tag...

   Florida Cracker 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum


The Thought For Today

"We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity." - Marie Curie

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Hard Truth From Orlando

The end of an American icon: Outlawing the American Pit-bull
The American pit bull: loyal, tenacious, affectionate -- the RCA dog, the Little Rascals’ Petey (AKA General Grant/Jiggs buried in Maryland . How’s that for irony?), the first American War Dog -- is about to be eradicated. They aren't any where near the greatest number of dog-bite perpetrators, but the greatest number of dog attack-related fatalities involve the pit-bull or pit-mix. That's a fact.
So the reaction by the Maryland Court of Appeals is to do everything possible to end the ownership of pit bulls, and therefore prospectively end the breed, by increasing financial liability to the point that its in your best interest to take your pit or pit-mix pet straight to the shelters and have it put down and get yourself a goldfish or some other non-liability causing pet instead. So we can anticipate a glut of surrendered or abandoned pit bulls or supposed pit-mixes dumped at shelters to be euthanized in Maryland over the next few months. And when other locations enact similar rulings, thousands more pets will be abandoned or killed.
So what's the malfunction here? The malfunction is 30 years of idiot owners, pet over-population and little regulation or enforcement of owner responsibilities. The statistical dates of the dog bites and dog attack fatalities correlate directly to the rise of the American drug culture and rampant immigration. That's when we had a resurgence of breeding pit bulls for increased aggression, a resurgence of dog baiting and dog fighting, breeding attack dogs to protect drug dealers and their property. But a lot of aggressive dogs don't belong to criminals or immigrants from dog-fighting cultures. They belong to lazy, dysfunctional or just plain ignorant dog owners who consider pets an entitlement rather than a privilege.
Back in the 50's and 60's, everybody had German Shepherds -- popularized by Rin-Tin-Tin. And then we had a glut of dog attacks in the media by Shepherds until you don't see Shepherds as the family dog nearly as frequently as you used to. Shepherds went out of favor because of mishandling, misunderstanding and injuries. But we didn't eradicate the breed; we acknowledged they were working dogs and that's largely where you see them today.
I have a rescue mutt; optimistically labeled by my vet as a Lab-mix, though I think they fibbed because of the incredible number of abandoned and abused pit bulls and pit-mixes bred by our extraordinarily prolific immigrant and ethnic dog-fighting population here in Orlando . They save what they can with labels and services.
She's not my first dog. She's not my first big dog. But she's my first with some pit bull in the mix.
The fact is, I knew my puppy was going to be a big dog. I knew she would be able to do some harm if I didn't have some control. I had her neutered at four months of age. We went to a formal Obedience School at five. She's 2 1/2 years old now and weighs a whopping 77 pounds. She goes on a short leash with a pinch collar or Gentle Leader collar always. If I have her in a park around children, she is muzzled. She is allowed to play in a fenced yard with a play buddy (a neighborhood dog she adores) but under my direct supervision. She is never left alone in the yard unsupervised. She is not tied or chained. She is allowed the run of my small apartment and my gated porch. She goes with me in the car on routine errands. She's kennel-trained and well-behaved when left alone.
I do not allow roughhousing with her by family or by neighbors. Having had a couple of bad experiences with other people's unsupervised pets (probably the source of her dislike of other big dogs), I do not take her to dog parks. We work continually on basic behavior and training techniques on her five to six daily walks and when visiting friends and family.
It grieves me to see all these good, loving animals which are going to be put down because of this court's ruling. I think it's hideous the mistreatment to which we subject these and other animals -- and there's no real effort to stop it. And pit bull eradication won't stop dog bites or fatalities. We need corrective regulation across the board for pet ownership; mandatory micro-chip to establish ownership of all off-leash pets, mandatory spay or neuter of pets for non-breeders, limitations and regular compliance inspections for licensed breeders, dog handler training for children and adults with insurance incentives to encourage compliance. Dog fighting and dog-baiting should be prison-level or deportation offenses. Landlords should know what kinds of pets are appropriate for their property and lease to compliant tenants only.
But animal welfare has always taken a backseat to human entitlement. The dogs will be dumped, tortured and killed; the twit-heads who wouldn't do the minimum to keep their pets from harm or harming others will find something else to mistreat, misuse and neglect. Such is the nature of the human beast and it will not be legislated away.

   Florida Cracker

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Gun Facts

This site came up in an email conversation with Eric recently. A handy reference to have when some pantywaist is trying to convince you what a good idea it would be to have stormtroopers roll in and confiscate (or legislate away) perfectly good and useful firearms....

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Enjoy Your Freedoms

Via Ned. Interesting stuff...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Deano Sez: Sometimes the old ways are best...

...especially if you're running an older computer or do your own programming... (Sometimes reruns are good, too.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Split that hair! Split that hair! Duck the whole argument because she left out the phrase "outside of the home." Hilary Rosen, Democratic strategist, said that Ann Romney, Mitt's wife, doesn't understand working women because she's never worked -- forgetting that "critical" phrase -- outside of the home. So of course, all the Republicans are declaring that Rosen meant women who stay home and have kids and take care of their husbands and all the household stuff aren't really working, that doing these things doesn't take effort, etc. And this entitles the Republicans to ignore the entire anti-women message of their political policies.
Rosen was right, though, despite her omitting the defining phrase. Ann Romney isn't likely to get it. She's the stereotypical Republican woman; wealthy, white, married her whole life to the same man, stay-at-home mom and homemaker, big member of her church, never had to scrounge around on her own for an income or figure out how in the world she's going to take care of herself and her children without "her man" and his income to carry her along. She doesn't get it because she's done all the so-called traditional things and had all the resources that are no longer the statistical norm in today's economy and society. An unexpected pregnancy or loss of a job or serious medical condition isn't financial disaster for her household. It won't mean food on the table for her children and herself, it won't be a choice of abortion or college and better incomes for herself or her family. Ann's a dinosaur poster-child for the 1950's American womanhood, who went from her father's house to her husband's house and never had to survive all by her lonesome.
But we're decades past that standard. Statistics show that the "nuclear family" consisting of a married couple with their own children -- long considered the average or norm family unit for the U.S. -- now constitutes less than 1/4 of all U.S. households. In fact, marriage has declined across the board and is clearly divided along racial lines. Per NYT writer Sam Roberts, statistics, based on the most current census, reflect that 70 percent of African American women are unmarried, 51 percent of Hispanic woman are unmarried, 45 percent of white women (non-Hispanic) are unmarried and 40 percent of Asian women are unmarried.
And the trend toward marriage shows an ever-increasing decline. Women nowadays know that they're probably going to spend most of their lives alone and they alone are going to have to provide for themselves and any children they might have. They can't count on the magic income of some man, much less that he'll be able to provide sufficient income to support her or children they might have together. Even if she marries prudently, she won't realistically have the option of being a stay-at-home mom -- not if she wants to be able to feed and clothe any of her children -- and forget about sending them to college without substantial debt and hardship.
And that doesn't touch the economic realities suffered by average Americans as incomes continue to decline across the board -- except for the likes of Ann Romney's husband and the other 1 percenters.
In the U.S. , about 55 million households are living on $46,000 or less a year with nearly 47 percent of their income going for housing alone. And recent studies have shown that the average American household needs two incomes to achieve a middle-class lifestyle. The median income is $24,000 gross annual income per household member. In 2010, the cost of taking care of a child was up to $13,830 per year -- in some cases, nearly 30 percent of a working woman's income.
Reportedly, the average American, age 25 or older, earns $32,000 per year, does not have a college degree, has been, is or will be married and divorced at least once during his/her life, lives in his or her own home in a suburban setting and holds a white-collar office job. That's a far cry from Ms. Romney's world; she probably counts $32,000 as a day's pin money for maintaining multiple households.
But the real determining factor for poverty, which Ms. Romney will never understand due to her rarified situation, is gender bias. Women in America are routinely denied equal access to employment opportunities, denied equal access to healthcare, by law allowed to be paid less then men for equal work, continually denied the fundamental right to decide on the number and spacing of children, bear an unequal share of the responsibility for raising children, and so do not have the same ability to earn a living income and to protect themselves or their children from poverty.
Ann Romney's husband represents the Republican Party, which has espoused for decades a party platform denying women's rights to equal pay, denial of a right to equal access to healthcare, reproductive choices, denial of social and economic issues which adversely affect most of the U.S. population based entirely on gender. Ann isn't likely to see a disparity between her life and the lives of other American women. In her world, hers is the "right" way for a woman to be. She married one of the 1 percenters. She had his children and she could afford to raise them and get them whatever they want or need. She works hard to maintain that marriage and care for "her man's" family. That's her job, for which she does not collect a paycheck per se, and I'll never say she doesn't earn whatever she collects.
But 99 percent of the women out there won't get to marry a 1 percenter. They have to earn their own income or be prepared to supplement a 99 percenter husband's income in order to survive in today's economic reality. Without a woman who understands modern reality to represent women's interests in our country's government, to protect our fundamental rights as human beings and citizens of this nation, we'll always be second-class Americans with only the thin right to vote between us and chattelism.
I'm sure Ann doesn't feel second-class. I wonder how she'd feel if Mitt had a mid-life crisis and cut her off? Would she be as complacent about the issues of women in America then?
The bottom line is, I don't care who represents the Republicans while they continue to espouse a denial of equal rights for women. My one vote will be for anyone who runs against them. And for those white, married, wealthy women who say, I got my man, what's wrong with you? Better hope he doesn't change his mind. It's a hard world out there when you're all on your own and everything's stacked against you because whatever's between your ears doesn't count as much as what's between your legs.

   Florida Cracker

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Thought For Today

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love." - Carl Sagan

The Hard Truth From Orlando

According to an article in ABC news today, there are currently 79 people in the United States serving life without parole for homicides they committed at ages 13 or 14. The article discusses whether there should be parole for juvenile offenders receiving life sentences, because the death penalty for juveniles has been ruled unconstitutional but life without parole has not.
The question currently pending is, should these criminals be permitted parole just because they were juveniles when they murdered? And what about justice for those victimized by young thugs?
I am an advocate of the death penalty. I don't think it's equably awarded. I do think the appeals system is completely out of control; 20 or more years on Death Row pending appeals and case review is beyond ridiculous. In almost all death penalty cases today, once convicted and sentenced to death, it should be entirely possible to march the defendant out behind the courthouse and execute the sentence immediately and rest easy that justice was served.
I believe that we do more damage by hoping that these young nightmares might magically evolve into worthwhile, contributing citizens, instead of recognizing we've got a poisonous viper in our midst and crushing the life out of it expeditiously. We keep playing the "catch and release" judicial system with youthful offenders, with the result that more and more people are victimized and all the kids get is the improved criminal skills to perpetrate wider swathes of destruction.
The current argument is that juveniles' brains aren't sufficiently developed to allow them to understand the consequences of their actions. They aren't able to truly control their impulsive behaviors. Allowances should be made for their mistakes due to their immaturity -- and treatment, not punishment or incarceration is the best option.
And they're partially right. Kids are impulsive. They are inclined to act first and think later. That's why they're supposed to have parental supervision. That's why they're supposed to be taught discipline and what is and is not socially acceptable behavior. Most kids learn this. Most kids have parents who care about them and make them comply with rules. The ones who don't -- well, my question is, how hard should we try to retrain them when parents fail and where's our limit? What are we willing to lose as a society in order to preserve a problematic potential for positive return on our investment? How much and who are we willing to sacrifice if we're wrong not locking them away when we have the chance?
There's a case currently in the media we should look at in terms of these very issues. A pair of juveniles deliberately, maliciously threw a shopping cart off of a walkway in a busy mall, striking a woman below and causing life-threatening head injuries from which she is unlikely to ever fully recover.
"Charged as juveniles, the boy and a now 13-year-old friend pleaded guilty to assault in the Oct. 30 prank. It seriously hurt a woman who was shopping for Halloween candy to give away.
"The younger boy was the one who came up with the idea of tossing the cart off the walkway for kicks, and he gave the cart the final shove, city Law Department attorney Leah S. Schmelzer said.
"He arrived at that moment freighted with years of familial and emotional turmoil.
"His home life has been chaotic, punctuated with frequent moves, parental neglect and violence, including an episode in which the boy saw his father attack his mother, Manhattan Family Court Judge Susan Larabee said. The judge noted that the boy has been suspended at times from school, once after he started choking a girl, and she told the boy he has serious anger and mental health problems and a lot of catching up to do in school."
You see the problem. Advocates on behalf of the unsupervised, pre-teen juveniles want you to believe that these little monsters didn't fully understand that tossing a cart off a walkway in a busy mall might hurt people down below. They label a demonstrated intent to kill or cripple someone as a "prank." They want you to believe that this kid, with a pronounced history of violence, aggression and murderous intent, isn't exactly the kind of nasty little animal who should be locked up or put to sleep. They want you to believe that it's possible to remold this kid into a facsimile of a functional, trustworthy human being who might actually learn not to hurt anyone else -- if we throw enough social programs at him and spend enough taxpayer money for therapy.
Meantime, a conscientious, hardworking good citizen is facing years of disability and medical treatment and crippling financial hardship for herself and her family. Her injury and decreased contributions are a painful loss to society as a whole. Her attacker's continued presence in any community is a bleeding wound of resources, and a physical danger to others.
But we're going to inundate this little freak and his friend with special programs and therapy. We're going to funnel ridiculous amounts of money and resources into assistance and counseling for him and his family in the hope of somehow miraculously converting him into something other than fodder for the adult criminal justice system. But we're not going to take him away from the pee-poor excuse for parents and family that created him. We're not going to remove him from the neighborhood and demographical sewer that produced him or his parents.
Nope. We're going to leave him in right there in the familial/community toilet, pouring resources on him and pretending like there's something that can be salvaged, while all our efforts at redemption get flushed. And when he and his family finally run through everything the system has to get his life in order, when he's finally damaged or hurt enough people, when he's finally aged out and can no longer camouflage murderous intent behind a facade of juvenile incomprehension, then we can ship him off to the adult prison system, leaving a wake of waste and destruction behind him like a bloody EF5 tornado.
Do I think that these 79 murderers should be paroled? Sure. Do we still have Alcatraz ? Can we send them to a Siberian Gulag for rehabilitation? In short, can we lessen the negative impact of them on the community if we let them out? And how many people damaged, injured, killed before we say "Enough" and do a little trigger-pulling of our own?
It's not the age of the perpetrator that determines punishment. It's the crime. Age alone is not an excuse for murder -- and it should NEVER be the only criterion for opening the cage and letting a murderer out. Some crimes are beyond forgiveness. Some children are beyond repair and need to be locked away for everyone's safety. You don't keep risk the lives of good productive citizens for a proven murderer's improbable redemption. You just don't do it.

   Florida Cracker

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Hard Truth From Orlando

The Rutger's Verdict
By now, anyone who reads the news even occasionally knows that Tyler Clementi committed suicide after his Rutger's roommate Dharan Ravi decided to post Tyler 's sexual encounter online for the amusement of Ravi 's friends. Fewer folks have followed the case to find out that Ravi was found guilty of a "hate" crime and other charges for his actions. Jurors apparently didn't believe Ravi's claim that this was a one-time action and he wasn't targeting Tyler for further invasions of privacy or that he wasn't targeting Tyler because Tyler was gay.
One news item also indicated that jurors weren't told that Ravi's action led Tyler to kill himself (although everyone knew the case probably wouldn't have come to anyone's attention if Tyler hadn't taken his own life) and Ravi wasn't charged for Tyler's death, but the implication is that Ravi was convicted for causing Tyler to take his own life anyway. Defense attorneys are reportedly now attacking the bias law that Ravi was charged under as being too vague, poorly written and that the jury selection was rushed so the proper impartiality of a juror couldn't be established.
I believe Ravi was convicted for causing Tyler Clementi to commit suicide. I also think Dharan Ravi and his nasty little friend Molly Wei didn't target Tyler just for being gay. I think they targeted Tyler for being white, blue-eyed, fair-haired, awkward and a scholarship kid -- and assigned to Ravi 's room, which made him fair game. The fact that Tyler was gay was just the angle Ravi used to break a little geek and webcams, Twitter and the Internet were the tools Ravi employed to crush him.
I don't think the real issue in this case was about gay-bashing. I think the real issue in this case is the loss of privacy and respect for others. I think it's a clear message that we've armed youngsters of all ages with some of the most emotionally and socially destructive weapons ever devised and we've sent them out sans armor to combat armies of like-weaponed, conscienceless contemporaries.
We wring our hands about the damage done by kids, impulsive and with no concept of real consequences, when handling guns, knives, bats -- weapons of all kinds -- but we don't seem to see the bloodless but vicious warfare being waged between kids on social media with technological gizmos. They slice each other's reputations and self-esteem to ribbons with words, images. They destroy futures, their own and others, with sexting, the electronic equivalent of "poison pen" letters, defamation and out-right criminal threats.
If parents had to pay as much in civil and criminal damages for the harm their children do for slander, assault, defamation of character, voyeurism, pornographic or implicit imagery as they routinely shell-out for their children’s IPads, cell phones, laptops and Internet access, they’d be a whole lot more motivated to supervise their child’s online activities, and if necessary, to shut it down entirely.
If anything comes of this verdict, it’s that Ravi and Wei are reaping what they sowed with humiliation, loss of prospects, reputation and self-respect. And hopefully the message is getting out to the rest of the cyber-bullies that it’s not a joke, it’s not a game, it’s not funny to harass and deride others online. It’s destructive, mean-spirited, cruel and criminal –and you won’t think it’s still funny when your every move is being scrutinized by that same merciless public armed with appropriate legal authority to put everything you thought was private, secure and personal up for the most casual of onlookers. Ravi ’s getting the message. Are you?

   Florida Cracker

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Amazing Sand Art!

I missed this when it came out originally, which is too bad because I would have sent it out to a few people. However, I get to offer it to you guys. Although I appreciate looking at completed art, it's never quite so much fun, or quite so amazing, as watching artists create their works. Herewith an example, animation sand artist Ilana Yahov, with Love 2008. This is simply super, super cool!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Thought For Today

“You can dress a pig up and call it a pony, but it’s still a pig.” - Circuit Court Judge Anthony H. Johnson

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Should Limbaugh's show be cancelled? I guess I don't care one way or the other if Limbaugh keeps his show. I don't listen to him and never did. Rush Limbaugh is the sterling example of what I dislike about the extreme Republicans. Like Santorum, he wants to go back to the good old days, when men were men and women were supposed to shut the hell up and stay in the kitchen or the bedroom, depending on where their man wanted them. Women were wives or mothers in that world; they weren't people with the power to make decisions outside of the house.

And guys can argue it anyway they like -- there is no going back to that mythical world of stereotypical norm. We don't have the financial resources to allow one partner to stay at home full-time anymore. Almost every household (including single folks) now have to have two incomes just to survive. And the single biggest denominator in a woman's earning potential over her lifetime is whether or not she has a child. The average woman loses over $500,000 in income if she has a child, married or not, because of the disruption to her career, time off for child-care matters, paying for child care...

Guys don't face the same loss; child support notwithstanding. But married guys with children face some real hardships nowadays if they do pull their fair share of the financial burden.

Limbaugh represents that old stereotype of blaming women for wanting intimacy and guys aren't responsible for the consequences. Like sex even between the most ideal of married couples isn't sometimes a matter of letting him do what he wants just so he'll quit whining, and then it's her fault if she gets pregnant.

And all of this contraceptive business is just Republican smokescreen for the real issues. We are frankly facing a 25 year gutting of the American middle-class for the profit of the few at the top, looking down the barrel of the end of easy energy and suffering the early stages of a potentially catastrophic environmental change on a planet overburdened with human population.

The illegal immigration flood was allowed because big business made money out of the cheap labor and it kept legal workers' salaries depressed because of the competition. Big business doesn't pay the same taxes as the legal workers so they didn't feel the pinch of the drain of social services to "undocumented" laborers and their families. And so long as they don't feel the pinch, they don't care if we're overrun. None of this mattered until the terrorists rode in on the tide. Now we're trying to play catch-up.

Fuel alternatives weren't explored because petrol is the biggest business out there and anything that challenged the oil monopoly on energy was quashed by lobbyists, paid for by big business.

Environmental factors are discounted, always in the name of jobs. Like the Northwest lumber business having a fit because of spotted owls, etc. The real truth was, the lumber in one of the last American rain forests was acquired by miles of devastation to a non-replenished eco-system -- and the lumber was going overseas to Japan, not for the U.S. And once the forests are gone, the jobs would be gone anyway.

The Republicans need to quit jamming their heads in the Bible and rhetoric and start looking long-term at their decisions. All of the politicians need to quit telling people what they want to hear and tell them what they need to know to stay alive. And fat-bellied hypocritical bigots like Limbaugh and Gingrich should be ignored like the loud-mouthed embarrassments that they are.
   Florida Cracker

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Thought For Today

"I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be." - Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Read. Those Stupid Assholes are at it again.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chicks With Guns

I'll be sure and write up a review.....though bear in mind, this isn't one of those "swimsuit"-type books....

I think I reviewed one of those elsewhere in the Blog.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Faith Hill Is, Uhm ... Like, Gorgeous?

Okay, so Faith Hill is gorgeous. Nevertheless, the blogger at this site took it upon herself to obtain a copy of the unretouched photograph of Faith Hill that Redbook magazine used on a recent cover. I expect you've seen this sort of before and after, as have I, but what makes this one so much fun is the before and after animation. Instant reveal! Click on the "annotated guide" to the photo while you're there because it's quite funny.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

End of the Internet

Well, I've finally found the end. So, with nothing else to do, I found a wonderfull recipe for peach Sangria:

1 bottle dry white wine (ie Sauvignon Blanch)
1 cup peach puree (made from about 2 medium peaches)
1/2 cup peach brandy
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 peach, pitted and thinly sliced
4 slices of lime
Mint sprigs fro garnish

Stir together the wine, peach puree and brandy in a large glass pitcher. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add fruit slices, pressing slightly to release some of the juice. Refrigerate for 2 hours. DRINK.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Thought For Today

"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." - Samuel Ullman

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Hard Truth From Orlando

When the Mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada, issued the challenge; can you live off of less than $5 a day for food, responder Ms. Cottrell said what I’ve been saying for several years.

Ms. Cottrell said:
“Absolutely. We can make meals that will feed both my husband and I for at least two, sometimes three, meals for less than $10. Meals that are delicious! In fact, we eat better than a lot of people I know. The trick is knowing HOW TO COOK. I'll admit I am not as creative as my husband. I can't believe the meals he can put together on just a few dollars. What we need are more community programs to each people how to make delicious meals on a strict budget. (Now for the bad news, you're going to have to give up your coffee, sodas, cookies, and daily McDonalds runs. I know, what a horrible life).”

Ms. Cottrell has it exactly right. A bag of dried black beans is 89 cents. An onion and a can of stewed tomatoes (or raw, in-season vegetables/fruits) can both be purchased for less than a dollar. A small bag of rice can be purchased for less than a dollar. Most people have salt and pepper on hand. Most people have cooking oil on hand. If you know how to cook beans and rice, add the onion and stewed tomatoes, salt and pepper, and you’ll have a dish that is easily two or three meals, very nutritious, tasty and less than $5. You can buy a “tube” of ground turkey for $1.65, box of spaghetti for under $1, a can of Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauce for 89 cents, an onion if you like, and make enough spaghetti for one person to eat for up to four meals.

Plain, inexpensive oatmeal, not in individual serving packets but in the quart-size cardboard container, is a good source of several meals. Most Americans have never tried oatmeal as anything but breakfast material or in a cookie. Oatmeal can be cooked with soy sauce, spices, mixed with vegetables, fried and baked. And oatmeal is nutritious, filling and easy to prepare…if you think outside the stereotypical norm.

The problem is people today don’t know how to cook. They don’t know how to shop, and most importantly, they don’t really know how to problem-solve. Most suburban and urban folks have forgotten or were never taught the basics of survival. They don’t know how to prepare food, so they don’t know what to buy in bulk versus what they can onesie-twosie within their budgets to maximize their food supply with what money they have.

Remember home economics? Those of us who are older remember it was mandatory for all the girls to take in junior high and high school. And I’ve always believed it was the beginning of “unlearning” basic survival skills. There was very little cooking taught, but a whole lot of presentation. How to properly set a table, present a centerpiece, decorate, coordinate – but almost nothing of nutrition, food preparation, cooking. Well, in those days, they pre-supposed that you were learning it at home. But we were already in the generation of frozen food and TV dinners. Drive-through windows and fast-food were becoming the standard – not the Leave It To Beaver sit-down dinner that mom cooked and everybody ate.

We’re running out of time to get smarter in our choices. The economic situation is not going to get better. Gas and energy prices are going to drive the cost of food sky-high. Other countries’ citizens spend 80% or more of their disposable incomes for food. We might not reach that point, but ff we’re going to learn to survive in the new economy of making do with less and less, we better re-discover some basic culinary skills – or be prepared to go hungry.

Budgeting for $5 a day in food costs is a good place to start practicing. Take the challenge and be prepared for when it becomes a necessity rather than a personal experiment. Game on.

   Florida Cracker

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Thought For Today

"The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by Homo Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history." - Robert Heinlein

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Neil Gaiman on Fairy Tales

In the wake of the British release in theaters of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, he wrote an interesting piece about fairy tales and their relationship to his novel for Britain's Guardian Unlimited. Of particular note, he makes the point that fairy tales originally were tales of the fantastic for adults. But you knew that, didn't you?

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Thought For Today

"Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't!" - George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012




Saturday, January 14, 2012

User Manual, users guide, operation instruction

User Manual, users guide, operation instruction

Got an older TV, computer, VCR or other electronic equipment whose operating manual got sucked into a black hole years ago? You might be able to find a replacement here. If you're planning on a garage sale soon, having a manual will help sales too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Media Mistakes

Media people goof on occasion, in case you haven't noticed. Regret the Error tells us all about it. Now if only there was a publicly available correction list for all the errors -- not to mention flat out untruths -- that blogsters make...

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Thought For Today

“The truth of that would be apparent to a crackhead wino with one eye.” - Circuit Court Judge Anthony H. Johnson

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Thought For Today

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." - Roger Caras

The Hard Truth From Orlando

I went to Port Orange last weekend. Saw a poor starving hound some SOB hunter had abandoned on Osteen Road . I could not persuade the thing up to me and didn’t have enough treats to sustain it. I did call the ASPCA to report it but I doubt anyone will come to get it. Beautiful animal; white with pale brown spots – and the bones pushing out from under its hide, desperately prowling by the road and watching each vehicle as it passed.

I used to see that all the time up in North Central Florida. Bastards would abandon their dogs in the woods because “that dog don’t hunt,” or it was gun-shy, or they didn’t want to keep it past hunting season, or they stole the dog to use it for hunting season and then dumped it. These dogs don’t survive. They starve to death slowly and hideously unless they’re lucky enough to be struck by a car and instantly killed instead of crippled, maimed, to die an even more painful death by the road.

Sportsmen, my butt. They’re neither sporting nor men who perpetrate this kind of evil. I think hunters should have to have each dog licensed, micro-chipped, collared with GPS, and registered before they get a hunting permit and then the dog has to be produced at the end of the season, either to the regulators or ASPCA for certificate of surrender, or they never get another hunting license again. The viciousness of these people astonishes me. I don’t care if they hunt. I don’t care if they shoot Bambi’s mother to cull the herd. I care if they are irresponsible and cruel.

And you’ll always hear some other hunter who DOES take care of his dogs, has them numbered, tagged and trained, who protests regulation. Well, he’s the exception to this ugly little subculture. Ask any guy who goes out hunting and he can tell you the name of one or more from his hunting clique who has abandoned or does abandon or will abandon a dog in the woods to die. It’s that common.

And the other thing that astonishes me is that it’s most common in areas that are overloaded with churches and the usual Come-To-Jesus hypocrisy. It is hypocrisy. Not because they hunt and are members of the NRA and like to shoot Bambi’s mom. It’s hypocrisy because if they really believed in being compassionate and kind and the sanctity of life, they’d never abandon any animal to a slow death when there are so many more reasonable, legal alternatives – if they weren’t too damn lazy and mean to take them.

If I believed in Hell, I’d want to go there and work for the Bad Guy in that ice-cold level of Hell reserved for traitors, which is where these so-called sportsmen and hunters belong. They’ve betrayed their dogs’ trust in them. They’ve betrayed the best friend most of them could hope to have. They’ve betrayed their four-legged benefactors. There is no salvation for anyone whose heart is so cold he commits this crime – much less does it every hunting season. I want to see them suffer a sentence like that they passed on these poor animals – an agonizingly slow death of hunger, cold, loneliness and misery.

That poor hound still haunts me. I’m going to start traveling with an extra leash and dog food in the car in case I run into another lost creature. I hope to salvage what I can. Vicious Michael Vicks’ dogs were largely saved and went on to good, loving homes; there’s no reason these poor devils can’t be rehabilitated and given to decent people who will show them the kindness, comfort and companionship should have been theirs from the beginning.

And from my heart of darkness, I’m going to pray for a pandemic that makes all dogs precious and few, so that they can never be considered disposable by anyone ever again.

     Florida Cracker