Sunday, May 17, 2015

Book Review

Misunderstood Nanny Dogs.
Author:  J. Thomas Beasley

Published on May 2, 2015
Misunderstood Nanny Dogs?(http://amzn.com/150872671X) the new book by attorney J. Thomas Beasley, examines the horrors of pit bull maulings and fatalities and proposes common sense solutions to the "Pit Bull Problem."

 

I read this book, not once but twice.  First time, a page here a page there.  Second time, read end to end in one sitting. 

Me, being who I am, I would like to review the other reviewers.  Consider this:


The above indicates a very contentious social issue.  There are 2 reviews:  1) Those that consider it the Book of the Dead, and 2)  Those that consider it the Greatest Story Ever Told.  Did any of these people actually read the book?  Not ONE 2, 3 or 4 star review.  Anybody?

Hell, *I* will be the first to give a third point of view.  Perhaps I am the only person to actually read the book.

I will give it 7 out of 10.  3.5 stars.  In my magnanimity, I may round that up to 4 stars.

The author wrote a very good, very readable primer on the dangerous dog problem.  The writer has a good writing style, and I would read other books by this author.  His research and statistical analysis is excellent.   I would not debate anything presented in the book (unless paid to do so LOL!).

Any potential reader should consider that this is a primer.  If you have been following this issue, there is not much new here.  It does not delve into related social issues or root causes.  The purpose of the book is to initiate the general public to the problem.  The over-arching point is, these dogs do create a disproportionate amount of carnage, therefore prejudice against them at both a personal and societal level is wise.   So, with that said, it serves its purpose well. 

This is where I waver a bit... why a 7 and not an 8 or a 9?   While this is a primer, I think that reporting on this issue without tying it to the larger dog culture (even if just briefly) short changes the reader.   To the non-initiate, reading this book leaves the impression that this problem came out of nowhere and exists in a vacuum.  

For example, at one point in the book (spoiler alert!) the author makes the point that toys such as "Jarts" have been recalled from use after causing 3 deaths in 18 years.  Juxtapose that with the fact that Pit Bulls probably kill 3 people every month or so.  However, the author does not delve into why Jarts are banned and Pit Bulls are not only still available, but promoted as great family pets?   The "Pit Bull Lobby"!?  What about the "Jart Lobby" promoting those toys as perfectly safe for kids?   What Jart lobby?   Why is there a Pit Bull lobby and not a Jart Lobby?

The Pit Bull problem evolved, and persists, because dogs are granted a ridiculous amount of social and legal capital.  And, Pit Bulls are DOGS.  For example:  The one bite rule - it is a non-breed specific law designed to protect dangerous dogs and their owners from victims and complainants.   The problem persists because dog attacks are protected behavior.   Indeed, our society considers the victims the problem, NOT the dogs.

The author refers to the "Blame Machine":  Victims of pit bull attacks are summarily blamed for the attack.  I don't argue the existence of the "Blame Machine", merely that the exact same "Blame Machine" protects ALL bad dog behaviors!   Consider this essay from a few years ago.   Note that the dog in question was NOT a Pit Bull, yet the same Blame Machine launched a vicious attack against the victim, parents, authorities, and critics.   Anybody who complains about any dog for any reason is mercilessly pounded to dust by the Blame Machine.   I have been there many times.

In an equitable universe, the vile creatures would have been summarily banned decades ago.     Farm animals are zoned out of most places, and the largest cat I can own without restrictions is a Maine Coon (avg. weight ~18 lbs), yet I may own a back yard full of 150 lb canine supermaulers?  Anybody know why THAT is?  Anybody?  Bueller?

In any case, I digress (as I often do).   Again, the book is an excellent primer for the non-initiate.  Not everyone has the wherewithal to investigate all of this on their own.  

So, buy the book and don't forget to visit my blog.  THANKS FOR READING!



45 comments:

  1. i agree with your review of the reviews. my only real criticism, the author was too kind and too fair to pit bulls and the lunatics who defend them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, there is another good reason why people adopt these dogs - specifically due to the fact that pits are a great way to project aggression if someone has the initiative to do so.

      Delete
  2. love the video. i didn't see it before now. thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have to agree with you. It's not that pit bulls are the ONLY problem dog, just the most common and most serious problem dog. Dogs have become such a problem because people with psychological issues like fragile or overblown egos and people who do not get along with other humans, like sociopaths, cling to the groveling, ego enhancing properties of DOG and live vicariously through DOG. They can't behave any damn way they please without consequences-but most of the time their walking meat grinder can! They were bullied when they were kids so now they stick up for a breed they erroneously believe is being unfairly victimized. Dog is power by proxy for people who can't feel it any other way, like through their own personal achievements. Rescue a dog and no matter how ill behaved it is you will find plenty of people willing to pat you on the back for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Ka D. It's gotten to the point where, if I meet a dog owner, I start wondering about the psychological issues they may be having.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the honest review and constructive criticism. I agree with you on many points. I was trying to reach a broad audience and therefore deliberately left out much of the more controversial aspects of the debate. However, after personally witnessing, and being victimized by harassment, including at least 2 online petitions to have me disbarred (https://www.change.org/p/louisiana-state-bar-association-louisiana-state-bar-association-diciplinary-counsel-investigate-j-thomas-beasley-esq-for-crimes-involving-moral-turpitude AND http://www.thepetitionsite.com/150/802/838/remove-attorney-j-thomas-beasly-from-the-bar/#) I am planning a sequel that will focus on the pit bull apologists, and their campaign of hate, harassment and intimidation directed at anyone who dares to publicly malign their killer dogs. Thanks again for the review! Shared on Twitter and Facebook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Pit Nuts are good at anything, that would be empty threats. IANAL, but this "campaign" to get you disbarred is a complete joke. Since when is critiquing a breed of dog justification to remove someone's professional credentials? Lawyers have 1st amendment protections the same as everyone else. Dogs are not above criticism.

      If any lawyers should be disbarred, it should be St.Mickey's representation. That situation is a literal volcano eruption of ethical fails.

      Thanks for writing.

      Delete
    2. The level of harassment IMO is the equivalent of organized crime. I see no reason why RICO shouldn't be used against these fanatics.

      Delete
    3. Ka D. Something needs to happen to rein the internet posse in.

      Delete
    4. It's time for a book that takes on the Cult of Dog.

      Delete
    5. It's time for a book that takes on the Cult of Dog.

      Delete
    6. Counselor, I think that as you get deeper into this you are going to find that a majority of people who adopt these dogs know EXACTLY what they are getting. They have not been duped by propaganda. Sure, some are fools who simply want a great family pet, many are not.

      Many of these people are criminals and thugs. Some are even evil. This is why (and based on the book, you and I may have a disagreement here) I support VERY severe criminal penalties for owners of dogs that maim and kill. I thought 15 years in the McDevitt case was too little, in fact. An attack dog is a weapon - why should it be contemplated differently than any other weapon?

      Some people will argue that a dog is "automated", it is not like a gun or a knife. A good allegory would be a time bomb or a land mine. Lets say I have me a land mine - I am going to bury that on a local hiking trail. Now, when an unsuspecting person triggers the device and is blown up, should I be held criminally liable for that outcome?

      I could throw out all kinds of affirmative defenses - I was not at the scene at the time, I didn't force him to go hiking there, I did not select that person as a victim, I have no motive for killing him, a chipmunk or some other inconsequential creature might have triggered the device, I am not responsible for the laws of physics and so forth.

      IANAL, so I am not going to get into a debate on standing law. This is a discussion of ethics and accountability. Murder by dog may be legal, but it isn't right. The bottom line is, by turning an animal loose in the community one creates a risk. They need to own that risk.

      Delete
    7. IMO the level of denial and negligence it takes for someone to allow their dog to kill someone is equivalent to the level of denial and negligence it takes for someone to get behind the wheel drunk and plow into a family. Drunk drivers don't get off with a slap on the wrist like they used to. People who CHOOSE to have a dog and particularly a known dangerous breed shouldn't get a slap on the wrist either. When you CHOOSE to own a dog then you need to CHOOSE the responsibility that goes with it. NO excuses.

      Delete
    8. If you haven't got any death threats yet-just wait longer. On a public forum I was disagreeing with a pitiot, and linked to studies to support my position. Her answer was to look up my (fortunately old) address and post it on the forum with instructions to 'come and get me'. On another occasion I said something anti-dog and a whack job woman told me she would drive the two thousand miles to kill me-AND my Mother.

      Delete
  5. I left this on the bait and switch post (I wasn't sure whether it was appropriate to post off topic on the Jordyn Arndt post), which seems to have gone dead so I'll repost it here.

    It's from a little while ago, but I thought it might interest you since I think you've written on the problem of "service" dogs in the past:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/mother-wins-legal-fight-to-have-her-disabled-sons-service-dog-go-to-school-with-him-10075475.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't get a chance to read that. If the dog has been specifically trained in such a way that the handler cannot function without it, then I'm OK with it. If it hasn't, then it isn't.

      Delete
    2. That dog looks like it might be a Staffordshredder, and it doesn't fit the definition of a service dog at ALL, at least not the US definition. All it does is bark. This nonsensical, outrageous use of fake service dogs whose sole function is to make the parents of disabled kids feel better about their shitty luck needs to stop.

      Delete
    3. If its behavior is anything other than impeccable, then it is a fake.

      Fail.

      Delete
    4. Since common sense is totally absent in the Service Dog ranks all of them should be fitted with a high quality muzzle, and the dogs too.

      Delete
    5. It is a Staffordshire, according to the article:

      "Monica Alboniga says Stevie the Staffordshire Terrier has “changed her life” after he was brought in to help her seven-year-old son Anthony Merchante, who has cerebral palsy, spastic paralysis, a seizure disorder and can't speak.

      "I feel completely safe every time he is with the dog because I know the dog will look for help,” she told The Miami Herald."

      The article also describes the functions the dog allegedly serves:

      "“Stevie lets me know when he has seizures or problems breathing. He pushes me toward Anthony, he barks. When Anthony is having convulsions, he starts barking and goes looking for us. Then he goes back to Anthony and stays with him.”

      The dog also wears a service vest containing vital emergency medical supplies and has been trained to stabilise Anthony’s head so his airway isn’t obstructed.""

      I'm not sure why the teachers/carers at the school couldn't and shouldn't be doing these things and why a dog, no matter how purportedly well trained, would be an adequate substitute for close adult supervision of this child.

      The school was allowing the dog to be at the school in any case. The dispute was over the fact that they were asking her to get it vaccinated and insured and required an adult handler to be with it at all times:

      "Ms Alboniga submitted a formal request to the school to allow Stevie to accompany her son, who allegedly responded by saying she must obtain a host of vaccinations, liability insurance and a “handler” at her own expense.

      Ms Alboniga’s lawyer, Matthew Dietz, claimed these requirements amounted to “an impossible barrier,” and therefore violated his legal rights as a disabled person.

      For the first four months that Anthony attended Nob Hill Elementary School, Alboniga worked as Stevie’s handler herself until the school board appointed a handler.

      However, the school board argued it was not their responsibility to help Stevie stay at school because staff were trained to perform the same duties as the dog."

      Delete
    6. Staffordshredders are mauling people on a daily basis. That thing shouldn't be permitted anywhere near a school or child. Might as well have a 'servus lion'.

      Delete
  6. Since it's dog bite "prevention" week, I thought I'd share this little tidbit. Note the passage about the dog trainer and his oh-so-sweet pit bull: http://www.npr.org/2015/05/17/407466339/helping-postal-workers-fend-off-an-age-old-problem-dog-bites

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or as I've seen it called, Dog Bite Prevention WEAK.

      Delete
    2. They should just be honest - call it dog bite PROMOTION week.

      Delete
  7. I'm one of the people who give the book five stars. It's exactly the book we needed to reach the uninitiated. Including all the stuff we, the initiated, know would only have confused and bored many, lost them half way through. A single book can't please everyone, you have to know who you're writing for -- and Beasley did an superb job of writing for the uninformed general public.

    Also, a book doesn't have to repeat everything that's already been published on a subject. Referring to other sources so readers can find those is enough. Canadian journalist Barbara Kay has written an excellent sociological - cultural analysis of the pit bull fan and its lobby. It's in her 2013 book 'Acknowledgements', and the essay (47 pages) is called 'Our dogs, Ourselves: The mysterious and disturbing world of pit bull advocacy'.

    http://www.amazon.com/Acknowledgements-Cultural-Memoir-Other-Essays/dp/0988169177

    It's true that the pit bull fans are capitalizing on a general dog culture, but pit bull fans aren't dog or animal lovers. They're compensating for an entirely different lack than dog idolizers are. Both are part of the narcissism epidemic, with the pit fans adding participation in the Macho Cult of Violence (ie, the latter are in the segment that both has Narcissistic Personality Disorder or traits and lies in the area of overlap between NPD and Anti-Social Personality Disorder). But there you go again -- a single book can't cover everything, and I think Beasley chose well as far as what he did cover.

    See also:

    http://www.amazon.com/Narcissism-Epidemic-Living-Age-Entitlement/dp/1416575995/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431926664&sr=1-1&keywords=twenge+narcissism

    http://www.amazon.com/Sociopath-Next-Door-Martha-Stout/dp/0767915828/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431926697&sr=1-1&keywords=stout+sociopath

    As far as YQN's comment about a book on the Cult of Dog -- yeah, we need a book about that. But the fact that Beasley didn't write that one doesn't make the book he did write any less excellent. AU, I love your stuff. Maybe you and YQN can get together and write that other book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that *some* pitbull people are not general dog lovers, i.e. "If it ain't pit, it ain't shit".

      There are also some pitbull people who are realistic about their pet's capabilities and take the proper precautions (not many, but they do exist).

      That said, many are. Eileen pointed out that many of the St. Mick worshipers have a non-pit, even a toy dog in their profile picture. I know many dog owners, even CAT owners, that defend the pit breed.

      Why?

      Again, its the cultural axioms at play:

      Dogs are great, and....
      Pitbulls are dogs, therefore I conclude...
      Pitbulls are great!

      If you inject nuances into the formula, you just get them confused. Aren't we supposed to love all dogs unconditionally? Isn't it true there are no bad dogs?

      Delete
    2. Hey, Uncontrol, how 'bout it? Let's write the Cult of Dog book!

      Delete
    3. I have at least one good idea for a fiction book on the topic - I wrote some short-short stories along those lines a few years ago. I intend to flesh out that idea into a full length novel.

      Personally, I would avoid a non-fiction book. Non-fiction on controversial topics can get one into a lot of trouble. You have to fact-check everything to death, and no matter how good a job you do your ideological opponents will pick a nit and sue you over it.

      Fiction can be very powerful. Books such as The Jungle, 1984, and the like demonstrate the fiction can be a very powerful way to get the point across.

      Delete
    4. You've got me excited. Fiction is a powerful thing, and it allows us the psychic distance of an imaginary world that addresses real issues. Do tell if you guys make these books.

      I've entertained the idea of writing a combination between fiction/creative nonfiction, and maybe a script for an animation (I can't animate) that address the pit/dog culture and some overarching aspects of pet culture. It would be a long time coming, though. It's an ambitious project, and might actually be harder for me since I'm fortunate enough to have never had a bad experience with a pit. We'll see.

      Delete
  8. Pit Bull Pimp 911, S2 E13. Denial in action.

    ReplyDelete
  9. As victim's advocate, I am quite tired of the online Pit bull mafia making attacks to my computer. Yes, they do it all of the time. it's why good security on your computer is necessary. Now tell me that the amount of hate that goes into actually hacking people's computers is normal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Over WHAT? Your opinion on a dog? IF someone was actually hurting dogs then maybe I could understand that but over a difference of opinion? Because you don't agree with their skewed view of a killer breed? No, NOT normal. A troubled breed attracts troubled people.

      Delete
    2. Anon @ 4:52am - Do tell. Do you know who did it? The activity is probably illegal - if you can, track down the little shits and have them arrested.

      Delete
  10. To speak ill of a dog is to be singled out for personal attacks. To speak the truth about the pit bull type dog the fanatics have many of the traits as their meat grinders.
    I personally know humans who have brought home pits that tested pet safe only to have the family cat shredded and they keep the dog. You have to be a really special person to keep a dog that killed your pet cat on the living room rug.
    For all the praise of the pit bull online I have never met an owner that didn't know full well the capacity and the unpredictability their weapon of choice is gifted with.
    The tolerance and reasoning behind normal pit behavior is we have to learn how to live with these dogs. We have to learn to live with each other. Every child learns from birth not to take a bone from a dog. All dogs bite. The child was riding his bike. Running and playing. The fool knows my dog hates them and they still walked in front of my house instead of crossing the street.
    We are all supposed to tip toe through life and make allowances for dogs. We are not allowed to react by leaving a store or park when unleashed pits are running at large. To do so is an automatic conviction of being racist by dog nuts.
    I no longer shop at petdumb since the staff refused to do anything about an unleashed insane pit bull running loose in the store. To the owners of Gingy. I hope you purchase some of the toys your dog was shredding. They aren't getting my money any more.
    To the woman in wally with three large dogs on leash with service vests saying in training. In what world is a service dog in training that you are supposed to be desensitizing encouraged to crotch sniff and jump on people and solicit pets. Liar liar liar. I call it as I see it. Your dirty look has no effect on me.
    I'm under the heading of mad as hell and not taking it anymore.
    The thing to remember is not to be the rude person in the confrontation. Dog owners happily melt down and resort to mindless name calling and do most of the work for you.
    I make exception for my neighbors dogs. They named it ca-ca. That is open season for creative name calling of their dog. Besides she's a very good christian and swear words hurt her purity. Breaking the law by letting her mutts run loose and bark until I called the cops though seemed to have been morally fine.
    Again religion confuses me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The good news is, from what I can tell the Mickster's parole was denied. The whole thing was very hush-hush, but that appears to be the gist of it.

      Of course, not one's to take no for an answer, I'm sure the foamies will be back in court again.... and again.... and again.... until they get the outcome they want.

      Delete
    2. They have a decision already ? I figured next week at the earliest.

      Delete
    3. Those are the rumors - not much to go on.

      Delete
    4. The Truth About the Lexus Project FB page.

      Delete
    5. Your comment reminds me of this opinion piece. "Pit bull apologists define a responsible dog owner as someone whose dog remains contained on their property. They do NOT consider it "irresponsible" to own a dog that, if it gets loose, will attack and kill a neighbor or another pet. They have labeled unprovoked aggression in pet dogs as normal dog behavior -- just "dogs being dogs". If a pit bull gets loose and puts a meter reader in intensive care, the dog is excused for just "protecting his territory". If a pit bull chews through a wooden fence to disembowel the neighbor's collie, he was "just being a dog" and "some dogs don't like other dogs." They deliberately put "dog bites" in the same category as "dog maulings". For them, a border collie that nips the heels of playing children is just as aggressive as a pit bull that breaks bones and causes limb amputations.
      In the world of the pit bull fanatic, society must change to accommodate their fetish for a dangerous dog breed. They excuse the right of pit breeders to continue to breed dogs with the genetic drive and physical ability to kill other dogs. They consider the occasional dead child or permanently disabled adult victim of pit bull attacks a price worth paying for their right to keep aggressive dogs as "pets". They insist that pit bulls represent the "new normal" in our relationship with domestic dogs, and we Americans had better just get used to it. For many of us who remember what owning a dog used to mean, remaining silent is no longer possible." http://blog.dogsbite.org/2012/01/saving-mans-best-friend.html

      Delete
    6. Good deal. The court order was pretty straight forward. The conditions set forth were the only reasons he would not be put down. I hope they have to pay for the courts time.

      Delete
  11. I've been busy the past few days. A Staffy for a disabled child is such a bad choice. So when Stevie kills Anthony, will it be because the poor little doggy got confused? I feel for the child, but the adults deserve whatever happens.
    Eileen, we do cross the street and my son is not allowed to ride his bike near the monster maulers house. I still can't get anything done about JR, after all, he hasn't attacked anyone yet. I know it's a matter of time, I hope it isn't my son. I mentally prepare to kill the dog any time either of us is outside. They try telling me the dog won't hurt anyone as long as you don't knock on the door. I fail to see the purpose of a dog who doesn't allow you to let visitors who knock on the door in. I also don't feel safe with their lie. The dog who "won't hurt" me has snarled at me merely for being in his sight line. I don't think I can count the number of dogs I've seen in my lifetime. Out of the many only a few have snarled or otherwise scared me. Normal dogs either leave you alone or like being petted. Abnormal ones snarl or try to attack for no reason. I don't consider riding a bike or walking provocation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone who claims their dog will not bite are right up there with the idiots who sell a horse they claim is bomb proof. Just itching for a lawsuit. I hope you have invested in a legal knife with a guard on the handle and the most extreme OC you can legally purchase. You might want to get a good walking stick with a massive knob on the top. I had a friend weld a hammer head on a pipe for me.
      We are after all intruding into the dogs territory by using public sidewalks, roads and parks.
      Perhaps a trolley that takes you down the road with wire screens welded on and a sign that says keep your hands inside the ride at all times.
      Of course you know there are at least 3 pibbles in fake service vests on that trolley with you. Sit near the emergency exit at all times.
      You could also invest in one suits used for training attack dogs. I mean in one of those your child would be reasonably safe if they also wore a football helmet and mask. It might get a bit sticky in the summer but those pibbles have a right to be out there having fun in the open unleashed and ready for pit bull type fun.
      The pitwits will post endless clips of their darling wiggle butt just giving your kid a good shake in his protective suit.
      We;re going to need something for babies...

      Delete
    2. To a pit bull, being on this earth is a provocation.

      Delete
  12. I take my knife everywhere but the library. Fortunately that's in the opposite direction of the monster's territory. A walking stick is a good idea, one for my little guy too. It was snarling behind the damn fence when I went to get my boy from the boys and girls club this afternoon. I didn't see or hear anyone out other than myself. He probably won't bite, he'll rip us apart instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They only place I don't take my knife is the airport, and I live in a place where pitshits are banned. There are four in my immediate area. Two days ago one was loose in front of a neighbors house while it's nitwit owner was calling. Right across from an elementary school. I even saw a stick thin girl walking a 160 pound Dogo Argentino, as if that is going to work out well. The guy on the corner has a pit SO aggressive it comes flying through the house and slams into the GLASS door-one day it will go through and provide someone or their pet with a real mauling. This idiot has also let the dog run unleashed between the house and car. He regularly has kids over and was offering 'drum lessons'. I have yet to see anyone I'd consider a responsible pit owner. Most of them have no chance since they won't even admit what these dogs have been BRED for.

      Delete