DumbStuff: The attempted murder charge

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One of the dumbest aspects of our US court system is the attempted murder charge. It’s the Get Out of Jail Free card for murderers.

So an individual can go after a target, with the full intent to kill them – after all, it’s attempted murder – and just because the victim somehow manages to survive the attack, the punishment can be much less severe.

Maybe the murderer is a merely a bad shot, so he gets off easier. Maybe the victim just happened to turn away in just the right way, as to have the bullet or knife slip by a vital area. Maybe the victim was just lucky.

And because of any and all of that, the criminal, who was out to kill, gets a lesser sentence.

I agree that the charge should be classified as attempted murder, but the punishment should equal that of a murder charge.

Letting a killer off easy is just idiotic.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Daily Pack Log on the Blog: 7.13.14 – Selfishness and Greed

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There have been times in our nation’s history when there were mass outcries for justice, when mass numbers of Americans stood up as one and fought for something bigger than their individual selves.

While we still have individuals and groups who battle for something bigger, I fear we have too many in our society and worldwide who have become consumed by selfishness and greed. So the needs of others, from those oppressed or struggling – to the suffering of innocent people and animals, become nothing more than a news story to be watch, but ignored or avoided.

For too many, life has become nothing more than a route to getting what THEY and they alone want, too often at all costs. Selfishness and greed have become too accepted in our society.

And we need to admit that this basic mentality runs the gamut of the socioeconomic ladder. From gang members to some CEOs – from crack dealers to some stock leaders – from the husband who abuses his wife and kids to the scam artist who goes after the elderly to the thief who breaks into homes to the politicians who care more about their campaign donations than their constituents.

For corporations and businesses, sure, I get it that profits and their privately-held beliefs are part of it. But what happened to the ideal that caring about the needs and beliefs of others is important too.

If we loose compassion for others, we’ve lost our way.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Daily Pack Log on the Blog – 7.11.14

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I was up for a good portion of the night, with one of our rescue dogs who is very fearful of thunderstorms. Petey is a Basset-coon hound mix (we think) who is very friendly, has a high-octane personality and is high-energy.

But if he hears rain on the roof or fireworks or thunder, he starts barking and jumping up and down off the furniture. Lightning also frightens him.

The one thing that does calm him down is soft music. So at times like last night, I turn on the cable music channel. I tried turning off the music when things go into a lull around 12:30 a.m., but Petey sensed more thunder nearby and I had to turn the music back on.

Finally, somewhere around 3 to 3:30 a.m., I was able to fall asleep. No telling what happened in Petey’s previous life on the streets. So I can’t get too upset about the sleep depravation.

If you dog shows signs of fearing storms or fireworks, try soft music. It might also help for dogs with separation issues, for times when they are left home along.
I know companies are also selling body wraps that are advertised to help calm a stressful dog.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Media focused of late on the end of greyhound racing in the US

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Good news this week. The media has flashed a scattering of pieces across the web of late, on the end of greyhound racing. Some of the articles basically go into the possibility that the market could ultimately spell the end.

It would be a bit of justice for the unpopularity of the industry to finally lead to its downfall. And the dog racing insiders know it. They are battling hard for the few states that still allow dog racing to continue to actually require that it exists. These insiders know that without a coupling of casinos with dog tracks, the industry would crumble into the basement of history.

The Associated Press ran a story Wednesday reporting on a “couple dozen” people at a recent race at the 7,000-seat Flagler Dog Track in Florida. And the owner is quoted in the article as saying on a so-called “good day”, only about 100 people attend.

So some of the elected officials in the state of Florida continue to fight to force casinos to hold events that are extremely unpopular. I’ll ask it again – What other industry, especially one so unpopular and one dipped in a history of dog deaths and abuses, enjoys a total protection to exist from states?

Why are these same elected officials not fighting for struggling stores or other industries to get these unparallelled and unprecedented state protections and subsidies and requirements that they get to remain in operation, no matter what?

AP has a news video posted about the coupling issue in Florida. Coupling – or requiring casinos hold dog races to operate as a casino is one of the most idiotic laws in the nation. And those who argue against the effort to shut down dog racing as a gambling option – with the claim that the effort is a push to expand gambling – are dizzy beyond words.

The Washington Post offered a review Wednesday from the AP on the current states that still allow dog racing.

As we see more from the national media and local media sources, we can only hope more people will be educated as to the horrors of greyhound racing.

But while the trend is moving in the right direction in most areas, in New Hampshire, some elected officials are trying to push the state backward.

The SentinelSource.com ran an article July 5 with the following troubling paragraph:

A local man who plans to open an off-track betting parlor helped lobby the N.H. Legislature to pass a law not only allowing, but requiring, live horse racing to return to the community if his business gets up and running.

So the state legislature has passed a law requiring that he gets to operate his business. Where is the state offering equal protection for other businesses?

And then we have this from the story:

During the 36 months Faucher has to open a racetrack, New Hampshire officials would escrow the taxes collected from simulcast wagering at Hinsdale OTB, according to state law.

That money would fund certain parts of live horse racing, including supervision of the races, judges, stewards and labs for tests, which can be expensive, McLaughlin said.

So am I reading this right? – Taxes collected will go back to the business, to fund the very business where the taxes are collected from?

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Editorial suggests the US needs to expand sources for puppies

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I received the link today on the Pack News Wire to an editorial that ran Monday on the DVM360 website. I was so stunned that I had to read over it several times.

The writer, Mark Cushing, JD of the Animal Policy Group is suggesting an expanding US market for dogs needs to look overseas for breeding sources for puppies, as our human population grows.

Cushing lists what he feels are US sources for dogs, which includes hobby breeders (he states the volume there isn’t enough), large-scale breeders (but he notes puppy mills are an issue) and “Untreated feral dogs in the American South and Midwest producing litters for delivery by local shelters to urban markets around the country.”

On the latter “source” he goes on to write that is “difficult to view this as an intentional, humane source of the volume needed, although it is a steady source now.”

It is a strange take that I’ve never seen worded so oddly. In reality, it is not so much feral dogs who are adding to the homeless ranks.

How he lists “untreated feral dogs” as a source to fill what he states as a growing US demand for pets, without mentioning homeless adult dogs and puppies that are ready for adoption is stunning. How he writes an editorial about the demand for pets without noting millions of homeless pets are dying in shelters every year – before they find homes is stunning.

And it is stunning that Cushing fails to mention that by far the best “sources” for pets in the United States are your area shelters and rescue organization.

I’ll give Cushing the benefit of the doubt, to a degree, in that he might have been focusing on puppies. But again, new homeless dogs are being born every day all over the nation. Rescue is the BEST source for pets.

We absolutely do not need anyone suggesting families should look to overseas breeders for puppies, while millions of dogs are dying in the US without homes.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Can’t we pull back the curtain on the real anti-animal welfare agenda?

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Here we go again – to a ramped-up degree. Those who want to protect puppy mill operations and factory farming are out to pass a Constitutional amendment in Missouri to shut down new measures to protect animals from abuse and neglect.

But the folks backing the amendment are couching it as a movement to defending farming.

No – No – No. We are not within any universe where farming is going to be shut down. Sure – “Dawn of the Planets of the Apes” is going to a popular movie. But is anyone going to walk out of the theater and rush to their elected officials to ask for laws against apes taking over cities?

We can go outer space or we have a reasonable debate about animal welfare. What animal-welfare advocates are asking for is reasonable protections for animals. Those who abuse animals as they are being raised for sale or farming should be shut down.

What is so hard to understand about this? And why can’t some on the other side just be honest? It seems the real goal – from protecting puppy mill operations to criminalizing the acts of recording cruel acts on factory farms with Ag-Gag laws – is to protect the abusers.

It hasn’t been about protecting the traditions of farming and dog breeding. It’s more about hiding the abuses that go on behind the scenes.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Unfounded claim of the day: Farm cruelty is rare

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I just read an editorial on the StarPhoenix website, under the headline: “Animal welfare poses economic consequences.”

The focus is on recent news out of Canada concerning cruelty on factory farms and the animal-welfare movement to improve conditions for the animals.

While the piece is somewhat balanced at times, the writer tosses out this unfounded tidbit:

But make no mistake; farmers are true stewards of the land, and displays of such cruel behaviour toward any farm animal is rare.

Just a few paragraphs above this statement, the writer noted Cargill was moving away from gestation crates. Gestation crates are cruel and not at all rare. So on this single aspect of factory farming alone, how can it be that cruelty is rare?

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Propaganda Alert: Killing to preserve endangered species?

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I am sick of reading quotes from trophy hunters who claim they are killing endangered species to save endangered species. And sometimes these people claim they’ve killed an endangered species to feed the starving people in the particular local region.

This is PROPAGANDA of the worst sort.

If anyone with the expendable income to travel to Africa or some other continent wants to help feed starving families, they can offer regular donations of food and water. That money will feed far more people than the gunned down animals would. And the money can go for fruits and vegetables as well.

The newest case in the media centers on Kendall Jones, a young woman who is clearly uninformed in matters of science, logic, endangered species and the suffering of animals.

She is quoted in a USA Today article as once writing, “Although I had many other opportunities to shoot animals I wanted to save it for the Big 5, so the first animal I ever shot was a White Rhino with a .416 Remington!!”

Rhinos are being wiped off the face of the Earth by poachers and trophy hunters. We may soon reach a point where children will grow up learning the species no longer exists. Killing rhinos and bragging about it is a horrible and inexcusable.

Some are claiming the proceeds from the sale of trophy-hunting packages goes to local villages and to conserve the very endangered species they are gunning down. This is off-the-charts idiotic.

If these people were truly concerned about saving endangered species, they would send the funds directly to the effort, as opposed to killing the animals for no other reason than to reach some sick goal of marking the animal off their kill list and staging a smiling photo op.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

A wacky claim that bans on selling dogs in pet stores is unconstitutional

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A pet store in East Providence, RI is challenging the city’s ban on selling dogs in stores as unconstitutional, as reported Wednesday on the Courthouse News Service website.

The store is pointing to the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution and equal protection. Equal protection? What about protection from suffering for dogs housed in puppy mills.

There is a very good reason for banning the sale of dogs and cats in stores. Pets should not be sold like toasters, where people buy on impulse and later discard the pet. There is a real cost in lost lives and suffering and there is real monetary cost to taxpayers in caring for these discarded pets in shelters.

The dogs and cats, taxpayers and consumers need the protection – not store owners. The owners can sell supplies and food toys. My home city has numerous pet stores – from major chains to locally-owned and they are doing great without selling puppies or kittens.

This idea that pet stores have to sell puppies was proven wrong years ago. Sell the supplies and host adoption fairs by local rescues and shelters. It works and it shows the store owners really care.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic