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Romney and friends were ‘a pack of dogs’ and still are

"I saw it with my own eyes," said Maxwell, of the anecdote first reported by the Washington Post . Maxwell said Romney held the scissors helping to cut the hair of a student, John Lauber, who was presumed to be gay and who had long hair. "It was a hack job clumps of hair taken off." Maxwell said he held the boy's arm and leg, describing he and his friends as a "pack of dogs." (Full article at Former Romney Classmate Describes 'Bullying Supreme' - A 'Pack of Dogs' Who Targeted 'Different' Boy.

Put your dog-lover on a leash

How about a dog collar for dog lovers? If you find companionship in dogs, and read in their faces such "human" qualities as insight and empathy, why not show some empathy yourself and submit to their leash. I don't mean a collar and rope which your dog can restrict or yank at whim, but a collar tethered to his collar. Why not? I'm guessing it would mean the end of straining at the leash in either direction, if you want to modify your best friend's behavior so radically. Otherwise it might disrupt the imbecilic notion that dogs have inherent civility enough to be taken out in public. Leash-less dogs would be the ideal, un-neutered even, taken to dog parks where everyone is into that sort of thing. Or a free-for-all everywhere. But if you're going to regulate how people use sidewalks and other common spaces, I'd rather not have to negotiate beings not behaving on their own accord. If dogs have the emotional development of a toddler, but an unrestrained sex drive, perhaps you're projecting a little in what you think you're getting out of exchanges with your companion. The good which pet "owners" get from having an animal in their lives sounds drastically one sided. Do we dismiss the domestic pet as just another beast of burden to serve human existence, or should we seek a sustainable balance showing full respect for all beings in a near as possible natural state?

President Obama can’t even buy a dog

NATO CONFERENCE, STRASBOURG- The subject came up again --how cute-- when President Obama took questions from European students in Strasbourg, about whether the White House has gotten its dog. Obama's answer was still "not yet," sidestepping more substantive topics. Let's play into Obama's sleight of hand for a moment because there is something telling about this dog-less pony show. Everyone thought it was our sky-high expectations which made Obama appear stuck at the gate. We count the days for his administration to do this, and undo that, meanwhile Barack Obama can't even buy a dog. It takes only bipartisanship of the domestic variety to establish whether a household can handle a pet, and once the decision is made, who can't go buy a dog before lunch? Obama wants a year to close Guantanamo, more to get out of Iraq. He's on a negative schedule with Afghanistan. Ditto with righting his predecessor's unconstitutional acts. Despite a landslide election and his party's majority in both House and Senate, Obama's insistence on consensus with his Republican adversaries stands in the way of passing anything, as long as the American public accepts that excuse. What is Obama's excuse for not having found a dog, except that keeping the issue up in the air means it remains a convenient doe-eyed diversion? Since his announcement in Grant Park, that his daughters could get a dog, Obama has been able to soften his media appearances with the kitschy sideshow.

The high regard we hold for nobility

The British royal family has shot Argentines, Iraqis and Afghans. Prince Harry is sneaking back to Afghanistan to kill more. You think they won't beat a dog? His Royal Highness The Prince, Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex, Viscount Severn, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, was hunting pheasant this weekend and was inadvertently photographed hitting his hunting companions with a stick.

The Business of Medicine

Does 'your' doctor care? Of course he doesn't! It's simply a business relationship and his 'care' is quantified by money. Don't look to a doctor for understanding Got more money? Then you will get more 'care', though not necessarily care. You won't get it from the nurses either. Being sick, old, or both is a lonely situation. Your paid 'care' givers rarely show genuine care in our dollar society. They are not allowed to really. Our affections are reduced down by the business community to a paycheck at best. If you want genuine care you'd do better to turn to a dog or cat rather than to an American doctor or nurse. Heck, American business even tried to monetarily quantify that real care as a brief trip to a Petco or Petmart will have you lectured about being 'responsible' to their 'companions' whose supplies they want to sell to you. But the dogs and cats don't buy it unlike the nurses and doctors who do. They're not into money and thus can actually deliver the real McCoy... CARE. The doctors and nurses will mainly deliver a business service to you, and badly at that.

Colorado Springs declared Dog Town USA

COLORADO SPRINGS- Are you hearing it here first?! We witnessed the ceremony at today's city council meeting, and it was news to them. DOG FANCY MAGAZINE awarded Colorado Springs this year's title DOG TOWN USA. The decision was based on 27 criteria which measure a dog friendly environment: proportion of hotels which allow dogs, number of restaurants that permit dog dinning, disregard for enforcing leash laws on nature trails, preponderance of female joggers who don't feel safe outside their homes without a big dog companion, regional shortcoming of beauty and/or character? Compared to the rest, Top Dog Springs knows how to heel!

The Germans have their shepherds

I was watching the Westminster Dog Show and learned about the most improbable breed of dog. It's Jewish. Would you believe it? It's called the Canaan Dog. It's named after the biblical lands, and it shares the mystical stewardship connection the Jews have with the Holy Land. Only they are fit to look after it. Who knows why, or who knows if it's really true. The Bedouin keep these dogs, as have the Druze, but because the Kelef K'naani is the official dog of Israel, the exclusive lineage, which we are informed is deserving of preservation, excludes the Arab connections like they were pariah. (Exclusive- Do you think you might have a Canaan dog? Well you don't. They're that exclusive. And the Canaan Dog Rescue is only interested in saving real ones.) In spite of the Westminster Kennel Club's waspish ambiance, the voice-over description of the Canaan was similarly Kosher, which is what caught my attention. Bred in Ancient Judea to be shepherds and watch dogs for the Israelites, the breed suffered a setback when the lands were overrun by the Egyptians. When the Hebrews were scattered in the Great Diaspora their dogs were left to go feral in the Negev desert. There they lived in the wild for, are you ready for this, 2000 years! When Zionism brought the Jews back to Palestine, master and faithful hound were reunited. The Canaan was re-domesticated again in the 1930s [to protect their unpopular owners from their historic rivals]. Bracketed notation mine. Actually, an animal behavior specialist was recruited from Austria in 1934 by the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organization protecting the Zionist settlements in Palestine since 1907. They needed a working dog for what would become the Unit Oketz, the Israeli K-9 special forces. Bred from the pariah dogs which attended the Bedouins, the Canaan dog, actually a Spitz, is noted for its alertness, its bark and its distrust of strangers. I'm reminded of the attack dog trained to be racist in Sam Fuller's 1982 film White Dog, banned in the US. Canaan, by the way, encompassed an area which covered present day Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, and parts of Lebanon and Syria. Who is dragging politics into the dog show?

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