Thursday, September 27, 2012

Free Rider Problem

Ever feel like someone else was the unfair beneficiary of your efforts?  Even better, have you ever felt relief when the efforts of someone else solved your problem without any effort, expense, exposure or risk taken on your part?

Free Rider Problem explanation from Wiki.  A good excerpt from the article:  “In economics, collective bargaining, psychology, and political science, a free rider (or freeloader) is someone who enjoys the benefits of an activity without paying for it. The free rider may withhold effort or resources, or may impose the costs of his or her activities on others.” 

Many of my neighbors got a complete “free ride”, courtesy of me, when I engaged the rescuer/puppy miller across the street, their landlord, and authorities.  Many of the other neighbors flat out hated what was going on over there, as they were exposed to the same hardships as I.  They would complain bitterly about the barking, dog at large, dog pee and dog crap everywhere, etc…  However, NONE of them would lift a finger to go after the miscreants. They wouldn’t call authorities; they wouldn’t complain to the miscreant, they wouldn’t complain to the landlord.  They refused to even co-sign any of my complaints!  However, they sure did benefit BIG TIME from my efforts!  They didn’t thank me, and there was no need to given that if my efforts benefited only THEM I wouldn’t have bothered!

So, it was ME, completely on my own, who had to:
-          File repeated complaints with AC, police, and code enforcement.
-          Dealt with excuses from above.
-          Perform a significant amount of legal research on my own time and dime.
-          Write and mail certified letters to dog owner, landlord, and authorities.
-          Face down the miscreant *in person* and thereby enduring the most extreme belligerent behavior on multiple occasions.  My friends and family were concerned for my safety.
-          Threaten both the dog owner and landlord with lawsuits.
-          Threaten my landlady with breaking the lease AND suing her for a rent abatement (THAT got her moving!).

So, now peace reigns upon the neighborhood (for now).  Again, my useless-ass neighbors didn’t have to lift a finger to get peace restored to their homes.  I did that for them!  Some of them even saw fit to CRITICIZE me!   I was TOO HARD on the poor couple, they said!

Of course, NOBODY is complaining about sleeping through the night!  Nothing like “Hey man, I really miss laying awake all night listening to those dogs bark!”.  No, it is armchair quarterbacking in its full, insipid glory!

Of course, this is only what I did in relation to the pet problems *on my block*.   My dealings with the larger issues are a similar but much larger story.   I won’t go into the gory details again, but as I noted in this essay and this essay I have made significant efforts to ameliorate the pet problems apparent in my state’s natural areas.  I built significant political credit via my activities in my state trail association, and I have had to BURN most of that credit working a problem that never should have existed in the first place!  I have also engaged my county executive and county attorney directly and those efforts have had some effect.  These efforts include, but are not limited to:

-          Engaging my state park system director directly regarding barking dog problems.  In addition to the letter sent, I have followed up by phone and email on this issue and the director is interested in ameliorating the problem.  Indeed, the pet regulations have become MUCH more strict recently (wonder why!).
-          Engaged individual park managers and park rangers regarding the problem.
-          Engage State Police at planning meetings.  They also seem interested.
-          Engage National Forest Service managers at open houses.  They seem interested in solving the problem.
-          Engaged my county executives and county attorney directly via certified mail and I have followed up with emails and phone calls.  They took my issues seriously enough to shelve an objectionable change to barking dog legislation.  So far, this appears to be a “Korean War” type outcome.  Hey, at least its only difficult to go after the nuisance barkers and not impossible!  So, now you do NOT need a neighbor to co-sign the complaint and the dog can only bark for 10 minutes.  YOU ARE WELCOME!

Why do these people even listen to me?  BECAUSE, I am active and engaged.  See, I don’t spend all my time blogging, I am actually OUT THERE doing useful things.  These people respect me because I cut new hiking trails in Florida in June.  They respect me because they know I do the right thing, and without the support of people like me their jobs would be very difficult, perhaps impossible.  They respect me because I am face to face with them and don’t snipe at them from some internet forum.  They respect me because they know I don’t have to get out of bed at 5am on a Saturday and work all day for free so Florida hikers can enjoy a safe hiking experience, but I do it anyway!   

See, these are the people who make the rules and enforce those rules.  THOSE are the people you have to engage directly and convince.  Preaching hate to a bunch of converts on some obscure web-page won’t do SQUAT.

So, you may ask… why do I have THIS forum?  Primarily to organize all of my thoughts in a place that can easily be accessed.  This forum is a tool, but only one tool of many at my disposal.

In any case, I put forth the effort to earn all this “political credit”, but unfortunately I have to burn it all up in this unending war against the “dogtopians”!  These efforts benefit others:  Thanks to me and people like me, you are now more likely to experience an outdoor adventure in peace and safety… that did NOT happen by itself!  Likewise, wildlife has a better chance of “making it” without constant harassment from out of control pets!

The alternate title of this essay was “Freedom ain’t free”, because it SURE ain’t!  A while back I wrote that to hold a right, one must demonstrate the ability to assert that right.    What that means is:
-          Get OFF YOUR DEAD ASS!
-          TAKE SOME RISK!

To change the subject just a little.  Dog owners enjoy a huge advantage.  Why do you think that is?  Did that happen ALL by itself?  NOPE… it happened because THEY are going to government planning meetings and open houses.  THEY are staging protests.  THEY are confronting executives and law enforcement.  THEY are “packing” planning meetings, town halls, and open houses.  THEY are out there actively promoting their interests.  AND, those interests are often in conflict with YOURS!   This is a WAR and THEY are shooting at YOU!  WHAT are you going to do about THAT?

Know what, if you won’t assert your rights, YOU do not deserve them!  They do not exist!  Look, ANYBODY can sit and complain!  Was it complainers sitting on their asses who won world war II or ended slavery?  NO!  If peace in your home were truly one of YOUR rights, you would do whatever you must to defend that, as I DID.  If you won’t do whatever you must to defend that right, then that right simply does not exist.

Whats even worse is, some of you make a POINT of doing nothing useful!  You have institutionalized worthless whining!  Your position is, “I flat out, pointedly refuse to do anything useful but I will sit here and hurl insults at anyone who does!”.  Wow, how could the world turn without the likes of YOU?

Furthermore, you whiners do NOT have the right to criticize ANYBODY.  You have not earned that!  How DARE you sit in peace and comfort and criticize those who fight your fight for you!  YOU go out there and do what I did and THEN come back and criticize!  The fact that I am making our neighborhoods and parks better for the likes of YOU makes my bile rise… again, if it benefitted only YOU I would not bother!   I respect the dog-nuts more than you because THEY at least put forth the effort!  You want to mix it up?  You want to “take me for a walk”?  If you want to sit at the adults table, you need to act like one and any 3 year old can bitch and complain!!

Put up or shut up!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Monsters Among Us

There are monsters among us, and many walk on 2 legs.  On 20 September, Donald Thomas was brutally killed by 2 Rottweiler dogs while retrieving his mail.  Consider the article for more details.

Key Players and pertinent details of the situation:
-          Donald Thomas, Victim.  Killed by 2 Rottweiler dogs while fetching mail.
-          Sally Thomas, wife of victim.
-          Jerry Lenton, dog owner.  Lenton was housing 31-35 Rottweilers (!!!) on his property to facilitate an apparent breeding operation.   I believe this is Jerry Lenton’s FaceBook Page.  
-          Both dogs involved in the attack were shot dead by police after the dogs redirected aggression towards police officers.
-          As of today, 23 September, no charges have been filed against Lenton, nor have any of the other dogs been confiscated.

I am currently attempting to find out if any of the other neighbors had complained about the dogs prior to this tragedy.  The 2 dogs involved in the killing had escaped several times in the past, but apparently had not behaved dangerously on any of those occasions.  In any case, a breeding operation of this type presents a clear safety and health hazard to everyone in the vicinity.  In addition to the potential dog attacks, an operation such as this presents a serious noise hazard (I’m sure the dogs made their presence known to ALL throughout the day and night) and the disposal of dog feces ALONE would present a major logistical challenge!

The true outrage here is that there is minimal focus on the 2 legged monster that orchestrated this event:  Jerry Lenton!  Get this: Lenton is supposedly a Pastor at the “New Life Fellowship” Church.  What DO you guys worship at New Life, Jerry?  SATAN!?!

While everyone else is debating if Rottweilers should be legal, or how many dogs should be allowed in a household (if any), and the 2 dogs involved got a well deserved “dirt nap”, the true monster still walks among us!   Again, as I have written about in the past, what is unbearably frustrating in these cases is that the focus is PRIMARILY on the dogs, which is NOT where it belongs in my opinion. 

Face it, if it weren’t for the HUGE legal double standard protecting dog owners, Lenton would be in JAIL facing a negligent homicide charge AT A MINIMUM.  If the dogs had displayed vicious behavior in the past, then he should be facing MURDER charges!  It wouldn’t even be debated!  The fact that he has been free even THIS long is an outrage!  What does he have to do, kill the chief of police with his dogs?

OK, super, the dogs involved are dead, but SO WHAT.  Lenton is FREE and he STILL has at least 30 Rottweilers!  THIRTY ROTTWEILERS!  And, this is a dog owner that ALREADY facilitated the killing of another human being with his dogs!  I can barely imagine 30 Rottweilers…That is an entire PLATOON of Rottweilers!  It is a SWARM of Rottweilers!

I can't even get my head around 30 Rottweilers in a suburban backyard.  If someone “Sics” 30 Rottweilers on you, you are DONE.  You are FINISHED.  I don’t care WHAT you are “packing”!  Even if you had an AK-47 with select fire, you would be overwhelmed by 30 Rottweilers!  It would be a massive, unstoppable, wave attack!  You don’t even get to die with the comfort that you took several beasts to the grave with you, as LENTON would just pump out another litter!  Or, TEN litters!  Nuts, he could turn those 30 Rottweilers into 50!  Or 100!   Again, nobody is restraining HIM.

As per the course, my head explodes because not only is there no restraint BEFORE the fact, there is none AFTER the fact, either! 

Lenton has created and unleashed a PLAGUE upon his community, and Thomas was the first fatality.  As with any biological weapon, you want to take steps to prevent the plague in the first place and take further steps to STOP the plague once it has started.  What is most important is, you MUST restrain those who create and deploy living things as weapons!   You don’t ban the plague and let the biological weaponeer go free!

Biological weapons are indeed the most dangerous and insidious weapons ever devised.  ANY other weapon, including a nuclear weapon, has limited destructive power and can only be deployed at the discretion of a human handler.  The biological weapon on the other hand, has 2 characteristics that make it unique:  1)  It will act on its own volition, including turning on its owner/handler, and 2) It can multiply on its own thus granting it unlimited power.   A single breeding pair of Rottweilers can, by itself, turn into a platoon, or even a Division of Rottweilers!

As per “Your Quiet Neighbor” we MUST start contemplating these things for what they are.  Lenton assaulted and murdered Donald Thomas with a home-grown biological weapon!

If Lenton had whipped up a batch of home-grown Ebola virus and killed a neighbor with it, there is NO QUESTION he would NEVER see the light of day again!  Forget about a “mere” murder charge!  He would be declared a terrorist and he would be OWNED by the government!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Proto Nuttery

I am often fascinated about the origins and evolutions of languages, cultural norms, machines and policies.  How did this start, and how did we get here?  Sometimes, it is difficult to draw a line in the sand and say, “OK, this is where it started”.   When, exactly did they start speaking English in England, anyway?   How different was Old English from what we speak today? 

It is interesting to me to analyze exactly how the animal uncontrol problem has evolved.

Here is an interesting case that occurred in my county a little over 2 years ago.   Obviously, there were incidents decades, even centuries before this, but it’s a good proto-example of how this problem has evolved.   It would almost be like witnessing DNA molecules spontaneously form from base materials in a lab setting.  Or, perhaps, watching a couple of bicycle enthusiasts build a crude aircraft in their barn.

Here is the story:  A 5 year old boy “driving” a toy jeep was allegedly assaulted by a shih tzu dog and sustained what I would consider “moderate” injuries:  He had to be taken to the emergency room where he received 10 stitches to close a laceration on his head and there were bite marks on his arm.

Here is the initial news item, and Here and Here are a follow up items.  This was the final outcome.

If you consider the first 2 articles indicated, it is interesting to read the comments.  While not nearly as vociferous as Pit Bull aficionados, it is demonstrable that the defenders of “Cyrus” are following a similar dialog:

1)   Deny, deny, deny, DENY.  It worked for OJ Simpson, and it’ll work for US, too!  The incident could NOT have happened the way it was reported.  Such a thing could NEVER happen.  It is not even within the limit of possibility.  To even consider that there is any truth to this story is beyond absurd!

2)  Discredit, disparage, and blame the victim.  OK, if something DID happen, and it couldn’t have because it is simply impossible, then the victim MUST have done something to deserve it.   ALL dogs and their owners are by definition completely just in all of their actions, therefore the victim had it coming!  This evil little boy deserved to get bit!  Furthermore, the parents are to blame and the boy’s mother was abusing her position in the county government!   Proceed to disparage everyone else involved:  Make sure you attack the credentials and competence of ER doctors and other hospital staff, Police, AC authorities, Veterinarians, witnesses, etc… etc… ANYONE who does not follow YOUR narrative is an evil, stupid, dog hating Nazi!!!

3)  Pile logical fail on top of logical fail.   What you say does not need to make sense, as long as you say it often enough!  Make sure you follow this narrative:  “Look, my [breed of choice] never bit anyone (so I say) therefore it is a GIVEN that any [breed of choice] would NEVER bite!  Furthermore, the dog in question hasn’t bitten anyone since being taken into custody (so I say) therefore that stands as absolute proof that it NEVER has bitten anyone!”.   

4)  Distort the facts as much as possible.  If you lie enough, people will start to believe it.  In fact, in time even YOU will start to believe the lies… making you a True Believer!  Push the narrative as much as possible and tirelessly attack everyone who doesn’t agree with every word out of your mouth.  If anyone presents a counter-example or any proof that the dog or owner was involved, immediately accuse them of incompetence, evil intent, or lying and do that over and over again!  Facts and logic are for sissies and “haterZ”!   Consider #2.

5)  Spare no expense or effort in defending the dog and the dog owner.   Demand that the government take NO action to prevent a further incident.  File lawsuits, stage protests, flood internet forums with pro-dog spam and trolls, and always follow rule #2:  Embarrass, humiliate and disparage the victim, his family, experts and authorities as much as possible.  Don’t worry about telling the truth, as the truth is not relevant.  If facts are not on your side, no worries just make them up!   Just as the behavior of dogs and dog owners must have no limit, there is no limit to how far you will go or what you will do to defend this one dog and dog owner.   This is all out, total war and you are NOT to surrender an inch to the enemy!  The ONLY rule is WIN AT ALL COST!  If you persevere, you will eventually wear out your opponents!  If the enemy does squeak out a win, do whatever necessary to make sure they are so exhausted, disgusted, and broke that they will never try it again!

6)  Stay focused on the end game.   It is absolutely imperative that dogs and their owners have NO restrictions placed on their behavior whatsoever.  Overclass status must be maintained at all cost.  Victims and authorities must be completely crushed, defeated and rendered powerless until the end of time!

As per #6, it is also interesting to consider how the effectiveness of AC has evolved in my county as a result of this incident.  The consequence was, the county’s AC efforts have DE-volved from bad to a complete joke.  The government got the message.  Indeed, there is an authority higher than them, and that is the Dog Owner!  The county got OWNED.   It sends a message to other jurisdictions, too.   In cases where the victims and government “win”, the fanatics will ensure that it is a pure pyrrhic victory.  They ensure that going after them is such a painful, time consuming, and expensive proposition that few will attempt it.

The antics of the Pit Nut and other power breed aficionados are merely an evolution of the narrative indicated above.   The injuries inflicted by power dogs is likewise an evolution.  Of course, the Pit Nut takes it to a new level, as they have added death threats and a few other gimmicks to get their point across.  This makes sense since their pets are SO over the top dangerous, the owners must take their fight to a higher level. 

With that said, it is apparent that the Power Dog “problem” does not exist in a vacuum, nor did it appear out of nowhere.   The framework, or “infrastructure”, for defending Pit Bulls was already established when they came upon the scene.  This defense/offense infrastructure was built and maintained by animal rights and owners rights fanatics.  Again, a Pit Bull is a dog, a Pit Nut is a dog owner and as such their interests are of capital concern.   Therefore, the Pit Bull “problem” ITSELF was allowed to evolve, given that Pit Bulls and Pit Nuts generally enjoy the same protections as the rest of the doggy world.   Any and every excuse used to defend “Cyrus” could have been lifted from the Pit Nut dialog.

A few thoughts on “Cyrus” before I close:   WAS Cyrus “railroaded” by the county?  I’m sure that the status of the boy’s mom in the county government was a determinant.  HOWEVER, that by itself does not indicate that the county acted out of its jurisdiction:  Our law enforcement people may not take it seriously when WE are victimized, but they sure spring to action when THEY are victimized!  When THEIR kids get bit, all of a sudden the laws and the policies line up perfectly!

Did the little boy invent the incident?  Perhaps.  Why would he blame the dog if it were something else?  Perhaps he was trying to cover up some mistake of his own.  However, WHY blame the dog?  Why not blame a raccoon?  Or, another child?  Any dog CAN bite.  In spite of what the fanatics state, he DID have a bite mark on his arm.   If a dog didn’t bite him, then what did?   Was there a 2nd biter high on a grassy knoll??  In spite of what the nutjobs say, A 14 pound dog could definitely knock over and injure a 5 year old.  True or not, the indicated scenario IS very plausible.  Perhaps the laceration on the boy’s head was not from the dog bite, but from the fall, but that would be a direct result of the dog attack in any case.   Another thing that is interesting in this case is that the animal nutters try to turn everything into some sort of massive conspiracy against them and their interests.  It’s clear that they suffer from some sort of paranoid anti-social disorder.

Of course, I was not there to witness the incident.  However, neither were any of Cyrus’ defense legion!

What is interesting here, is not necessarily the actions of the dog and dog owner, but the reactions and political fallout that occurred later.  If Cyrus is going to bite again, it’ll be outside of the county.

Out of sight, out of mind…