Collective blame, police, dogs, objectivity, perspective

Posted March 5th, 2015 in Parallels, Prejudice by Josh

I support the police. They are each human beings. There’s thousands and thousands and thousands of them from all across the country and they are each individuals with their own lives but who also happen to work for a larger department. Some of the policies and tactics that these departments may use I definitely don’t support. But even so, most officers will go their entire career without ever having to fire their weapon on the job. There’s probably a fair amount of cops who actually follow this page. I do support you. I wish you each protection and good health and clear minds. I stand against the collective blame that you will ultimately suffer when a bad apple police officer goes out and abuses his power to whatever degree. We’ve seen egregious examples of this, both the abuse of power and the sad statements that are made against all police in the aftermath. Many people in the public domain will react to such incidents with anger and thus say things that scapegoat all cops. That’s not fair. It damn sure isn’t right. I’d guess it’s mostly emotion-driven and primarily comes from a place of frustration, and from a sense of a lack of justice being served.

This page, being a Pit Bull-centric page, knows all too well how collective blame works. The ideology of collective blame is the enemy to humanity and to the truth and to justice, not all cops or all Pit Bulls or all whatever else that you’d want to add to this list. I’d say to the readers of this page, be consistent with your point of views and with your arguments on issues and with your tones, or else they intellectually cancel each other out.

Now with all that being said, there’s a loony and loud fringe of society (mostly online and mostly repetitively fake) that absolutely hates Pit Bull-type dogs and any dog that looks like what they’ve determined a Pit Bull to look like or any other dog that they may vitriolically fear by appearance or learned bias alone. They devote their entire lives to highlighting the less than 0.1% of dogs that have ever killed or seriously injured a person or another dog. They ignore the 99.9% that prove daily they’ve done nothing of the sort. They shout from rooftops that x-amount in whatever calendar year have killed people! They subjectively categorize these things by breed when on most occasions they are strictly going off of media statements and nothing further.

Did you know that at least 91 people were killed by police in January of this year alone? That’s more than 2x the amount of people that were killed by dogs of all breeds in the entire year of 2014. At least 85 more people were killed by police in February. Looking backwards, there was at least 1,106 people killed by police in 2014. By that figure, that’s almost 27x the amount of people that were killed by dogs. To further crystallize my point, there’s many (many) millions more dogs in the United States than there are police officers.

I say all of these things solely for objectivity. Not to demonize the police as a whole. Just scaling something for perspective. Look at Sgt. Mills from the Tampa PD who just yesterday was photographed saving a Pit Bull who had been shot and tied to the railroad tracks (to link these subjects). These are human efforts. Cops are mostly really good people. And to those that are acting in an opposite way, remind them of their humanity, don’t just vaguely give them more reason to forget that.

Should we be looking at individual officer conduct? Yes. Should we be allowed to call for changes in police policy and take issue with the almost robotic move to always justify use of force after the fact? Yes. Should we be asking for wearable lapel cameras in an effort to get more transparency? Yes. Should dog owners be asked to keep their dogs on leashes and not let them freely roam around neighborhoods? Yes. Should dog owners be asked to treat their dogs like living beings and not lawn ornaments or alarm systems? Yes. Should individual dogs who have proven that they are indeed vicious then ultimately be treated as such? Yes.

None of this should be offensive. What’s offensive is when certain folks move to blame completely uninvolved entities for the actions of an individual anything. That’s offensive, and ignorant, and completely pointless.

Police brutality, towards people and animals, continues to mostly go unchecked

Posted December 7th, 2014 in Community, Parallels, Prejudice by Josh


Godspeed to Tata and her unborn puppies. This is so horrendous. These cops had no business in that yard. Some members of the “law enforcement” community just seem to think that they can violate every law in the book. It’s certainly a paradox. Chances are that this dog didn’t do much of anything to them, yet these officers get to claim whatever they want now, and no one can ever question a police officer’s word after the fact, right? It’s like a sacred cow. What a ridiculous notion to continue to allow. Police officers are just as fallible as any other person. They are people, after all. Even if Tata did go to protect the yard, it’s her yard! She was also very much pregnant, and possibly in labor at the time they entered the wrong property!

Honestly, the officers that killed this dog by shooting it 3 times in the head give police officers everywhere an unjustified bad name. Lapel cameras now! These would serve all sides. Not all cops are bad, nor are they hellbent on using quick-triggered force. Quite the opposite. But using this kind of force, especially in a situation where they are trespassing into a contained dog’s area, is an outrage.

So as we grieve Eric Garner, and Kaldrick Donald, and Aiyana Stanley, and Akai Gurley, and Ty Worthington, and Tamir Rice, among others–all unarmed and all recently lost to reprehensible acts of police brutality and overreaction–keep in mind that the same exact things happen to animals, too.

Obvious common threads are that some officers may observe certain types of people (and certain types of dogs) as a threat, either by how they appear in that moment and/or by convicting them with a stereotype or a belief system in that moment. Only fools can discard this parallel. Fools and useful idiots.

To support Tata’s owner and stay up-to-date on what is happening, please consider signing this petition and liking this Facebook page. Also, to those that will just blanketly move to condemn “Pit Bulls” or condemn Tata’s owner for having a pregnant dog or condemn all police officers for the actions of individual unnamed officers, y’all are jackasses.

PETA ideology showing itself in the concerns over artificial intelligence expansion

Posted August 22nd, 2014 in Parallels, Prejudice by Josh

Speaking to a conference room full of people in Sweden, engineer Nell Watson sought to ring the alarm on the ever-expansive use of artificial intelligence in the future world. She and others believe that droids, once developed to a certain level, could eventually come to kill human beings out of both malice and kindness.

Teaching machines to be kind is not enough, as robots could decide that the greatest compassion to humans as a race is to get rid of everyone to end suffering.

Yikes. That sounds like a national security issue and not a path that any rational person would ever want to go down. In regards to dogs, this concept mirrors the PETA mantra of killing dogs (primarily Pit Bulls) before they ever find themselves in a situation where there’s a chance of being abused by someone, thus “saving them from abuse.” Even though most all dogs won’t ever be abused. But that doesn’t matter to a group like PETA, who will lobby for legislation ensuring these deaths anyways. They will then say that they did it out of the kindness of their hearts. Death is so loving, right? Wrong.

Parallels: How the Israel-Palestine conflict promotes collective blame, hate

Posted July 10th, 2014 in Community, Parallels, Prejudice by Josh

Some of the rhetoric coming out of the Israel/Palestine conflict is so disparaging and reminds me of how hateful individual people can talk so terribly about entire groups. It’s a poisoning of the well.

I’m specifically talking about a Facebook post that was made by Israeli politician Ayelet Shaked on 6/30 of this year, 1 day prior to the kidnapping and subsequent murder of a Palestinian boy named Muhammad Abu Khudair. It’s claimed that his death was a random revenge killing that came in response to the murder of 3 Israeli teenagers. Within this post by Shaked, which cites an article by Benjamin Netanyahu’s former advisor Uri Elitzur, she promotes the idea of eviscerating the Palestinian people in a move of mass genocide. This post declares that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy,” that “in wars the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure,” and refers to Palestinian children as “little snakes,” while attempting to justify the universal destruction of their homes, or else “more little snakes will be raised there.” Terrible sentiments to be sure.

Just to be clear, I’m not implying that Shaked is ultimately to blame for any awful action that was committed by someone else. But the promoting of open genocide and hatred needs acknowledged, and surely adds to whatever energy that’s out there that’s incrementally moving some of us backwards. How this may play out in the public domain, especially when there’s further “support” for the hateful ideas (this particular comment was “liked” over 5,000 times at the time of me writing this), tends to then lead to the misrepresentation by some of pitting 1 group against the other, sweeping everyone up in a bitter and false feud of having to represent a side. This is a continuous perpetuation of divisiveness. Promoting that idea. Leading to that end.

In reality, we are all people, and also individuals in our own right. The horrendous actions of select Palestinian individuals do not represent the entire population of Palestine. They simply represent the person(s) who committed the act. To the same point, the horrendous actions of select Israeli individuals do not represent the entire population of Israel. They simply represent the person(s) who committed the act! Further, those horrendous actions do not represent every person who practices a specific religion, or any other conceptual separator. In a rush to blame, or react, people should not promote these evil ideas of collectively punishing entire groups for the actions of specific people. That is tyranny and the brazen incitement of hatred. It emboldens the draconian ideas of death and destruction. It pushes others to enter a primal state of me vs. you, and at whatever cost, and by using whatever means. As a matter of fact, collective punishment for the acts of a few is a war crime according to the protocols and treaties that came out of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Having this mentality, in any realm, leads to the worst possible ends. This is not what life is all about. 12 million people live amongst these 2 countries. 12 million people.

To relate my thoughts to Pit Bulls: In reality, dogs are all dogs, and also individuals in their own right. Except there’s a certain faction of folks out there who exist only to push collective blame, vilify breeds/types/groups, and promote extermination by any means possible. These are not the same concepts? You explain to me how.

People should try to love each other. We are all that we have. Don’t let evil elements who deal in darkness affect your individual heart and your state of mind. Let’s love the Israeli people and the Palestinian people. Let’s not add to the divisive fervor, turning our backs on the uninvolved (innocent) from both sides in the process. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

Parallels: NFL cheerleaders and the shelter system

Posted July 2nd, 2014 in Parallels, Rescue, Shelters by Josh

So this past week I was watching Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and there was a story that Andrea Kremer did on NFL cheerleaders that I found especially interesting, mostly because of the system structure and how I found it to be eerily paralleled with that of the shelter and rescue worlds. Bear with me as I lay this out and then I’ll get to my point soon enough, if you won’t already have seen it coming for yourselves…

Kremer interviewed Lacy, a girl who’s been cheerleading her entire life and is now a member of the Oakland Raiderettes, cheerleading squad for the Oakland Raiders. Her 2013 Raiderette agreement outlined how they’d be paying her a paltry $125 for each home game. Lacy stated that in the moment that was a secondary concern compared to the excitement that she felt after making the team…

So I get the contract and it’s like, where do I sign? I was over the moon.

Being a former cheerleader for the Golden State Warriors, Lacy viewed this Raider job as the pinnacle of her profession. Andrea Kremer described her life as “young women growing up wanting to be them and grown women fighting every year wanting to join them.” It was made abundantly clear that there were an endless array of girls lined up and waiting to fill any void left by someone who may have taken issue with any portion of the job. Regarding the lackluster money, keep in mind that the Oakland Raiders payroll is close to $125 million per season and the NFL is both the most popular and wealthiest sports league on the planet.

With the season now behind her it’s detailed how they practiced 3x a week, did 9 months worth of photo shoots and team meetings, as well as 9 months worth of workouts. They were paid for none of this. Each girl made barely over $1,000 for the entire season, much of which was soon gone because they had to come out of pocket for all of their own expenses (hosery, eye lashes, makeup, tanning, nails, amongst other things). Lacy soon learned that this wasn’t the exception but practically the rule for all of the other NFL teams as well…

You don’t make money. You’re better off serving beer and hot dogs in the concession stand than you are performing on the field as a cheerleader.

Then we meet Alyssa and Maria, 2 members of the Buffalo Jills, who cheerlead for the Buffalo Bills. They didn’t even get paid for their home games. They both went into debt to cheer, 1 girl using her student loan money to pay for the $650 uniform. These girls had to routinely perform a “jiggle test,” equating to jumping jacks in very little clothing, so that their coaches could see if their body was “tight enough” to be on television. Either Alyssa or Maria (it wasn’t made clear in the piece) actually failed 1 of the jiggle tests and they were actually held back from cheering for numerous games…

We’re just thinking, who are we to question this contract? We just made the Bills cheerleading squad.

They spoke about how the squad leaders wanted “total control.” Some of the “glamour requirements” that are present in the Buffalo Jills handbook speak to such an accusation…

11) Never use a deodorant or chemically enhanced product. Simple, non-deodorant soap will help maintain the right PH balance for your vagina.

12) When menstruating, use a product that is right for your menstrual flow. A tampon too big can irritate and develop fungus. A product left in too long can cause bacteria or fungus build up. Products should be changed at least every 4 hours.

14) Do not be overly opinionated about anything. Do not complain about anything.

Other requirements for the Jills ran the gamut of having to attend fundraisers in skimpy clothes, getting auctioned off at these events and then having to ride golf carts around while sitting on the laps of men, and being routinely groped and touched in unwelcome ways. This exchange was both obvious and sad…

The glamour requirements, is it really about how you insert a tampon? What do you think it all comes down to? Control. Why do it? For the love of cheering.

The cheerleading squads, which are owned or contracted out by the teams and not the league, generally make below minimum wage. By contrast, the team mascot usually makes between $35,000 and $65,000 a season. Lacy is now suing the Oakland Raiders for failure to pay minimum wage…

I just felt I had to do it, no one’s done it. What if no one ever does it?

This has prompted more lawsuits (Bengals, Jets, Buccaneers, Bills), and Alyssa and Maria are part of the lawsuit that’s currently going forward against the Buffalo Bills and its squad manager Stephanie Matheson. Here’s how Matheson views the situation…

These girls were never made to do anything they never wanted to do. We were creating a team of well-rounded young ladies and they could have resigned at any time. They are told right up front what is expected of them. If you think it’s going to be too much you don’t have to do it.

Matheson said that she oversaw and ran the cheerleading squad by herself, and with no financial support from the Bills, which is why she didn’t have any resources to actually pay her cheerleaders. The Buffalo Bills lawsuit has “forced” Matheson to suspend the entire Jills team “indefinitely.”

Shockingly, the Raiders and the Bills, as well as the NFL, declined to be interviewed for the segment. Also worth note: This season the NFL will allow fans to use their cell phones to order up cheerleaders to their seats. WTF!? -Dead-

Now before I go into the many directions that my brain was firing on while watching, why has no NFL franchise player put a stop to this/shined a light on this? Someone making $20 million a season could easily bankroll his entire franchise’s cheerleading squad for the year and probably receive the world’s most powerful PR while doing it. How has this not happened? Maybe because they’d embarrass their team/employer? But I mean, this entire story is embarrassing! Also, allowing drunk fans to order cheerleaders to their seats? Wow. Just wow. Anyways…

So, after reading #14 from the Jills handbook you should probably know where I’m going with this… “Do not be overly opinionated about anything. Do not complain about anything.” This type of a statement always seems to coincidentally find its way into shelter volunteer applications and rescue partner “contracts,” as well as other types of papered agreements that serve to grant people a certain level of access. This could not be a bigger red flag.

Viewing the story as a whole, the normal question is WHY? Of course, why would you put up with x, y and z? Well, the girls already answered that and I think their answer would serve to represent many other people (in many other forums) as well. Love. Love for whatever you may be interested in.

With that, if people truly love something, anything, why must others sometimes feel the need to take advantage of them while holding what they desire in front of their nose like a carrot? This is so relative to the sheltering system. Do you know how many people enter their jobs with great attitudes and aspirations, only to be desensitized and covered in red tape? You shouldn’t have to shear off half of your principles just to do something that you love. That goes for anything. You shouldn’t have to make internal deals with your conscience in order to justify staying around for the access to the animals. The access is the cheerleading job in this parallel.

Just as potent, animal rescuers have all the dirt on the most poorly run shelters, not compassionate managers, and blatant violations of basic operating procedures. Yet many will not talk. Why? Because they have a certain level of access and they don’t want to be retaliated against, thus having their access taken away. Some are surely shills for the system, but many others dislike whatever system but have made an internal barter of silence in order to save as many animals as they can save. I totally understand this point of view! It makes perfect sense to me. But it also allows the injustices to keep happening, and that can’t be ignored in the context of how do we change (insert here) system. Why doesn’t a cheerleader for the Raiders rock the boat? Because there’s 500 other girls who would gladly take her place. To hell with feminism and women’s rights, proper pay, decent work conditions or general respect. That’s why.

Some will say: “Well, they signed the contract.” To that I say, so what? Wrongs are wrongs, violations are violations, indecency is indecency. None of that gets repackaged or justified simply because you “signed a contract” not to say anything. To hell with that cowardice, minion way of thinking.

Speaking of minions…

In this HBO segment Stephanie Matheson represents herself like a total sellout in every aspect. Her flippant and dismissive attitude of compartmentalization and abandonment of any cause is quite literally what’s wrong with this country. Way to lead by example Matheson! Dismissive literally defines her person… Telling the girls that they could leave at any time, and that they know “what is expected” from them. What do you think goes into the process of interviewing/hiring someone to be an animal control officer with the L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control? Hmm. Then, when her girls get the courage to file a lawsuit attempting to address the many wrongs that they all face (including Matheson), Matheson fails to stand beside them and instead suspends them indefinitely! Sound familiar? I know Carson shelter volunteers that have been forced out, just like I know Rancho Cucamonga volunteers that have been forced out, and this isn’t a rare concept. Control.

The tactic of collective blame in another realm

Posted June 29th, 2014 in Parallels, Prejudice by Josh

Many of us know the tactics used by the anti-Pit Bull hate group Probably the most notable is selectively highlighting certain happenings and then using those specific incidents to push an all-encompassing ideology of demonization onto the “group” that is being targeted or alleged to be committing the incidents. This is the concept of collective blame.

So with that, I’m going to use this same type of tactic to highlight individual police officers who have acted criminally, maliciously or unlawfully; in an effort to then mirror the vilification process of what groups like DogsBite try to do to Pit Bulls. This is obviously done for example purposes only…

Below is a snapshot in time that aims to focus on April 16th through April 30, a mere 15 days. I easily come up with 17 highly egregious incidents carried out by individual police officers in less than 1 hour of research, and another (which is noted but happened in March) that’s present for further context. This wasn’t hard, this was easy. In reality, this list probably signifies less than 5% of all highly insane actions carried out by differing police officers from across the United States in the same time frame.

4/16 ~ A Riverside County police officer entered a fenced yard and accidentally shot himself after trying to kill a “very large” dog that he said was “threatening his life.” The dog’s owner refuted this version of events and said that the dog simply barked at him after he entered the fence. Live news coverage showed the dog, a much smaller Pit Bull-type dog named Precious, playing with the family’s 3 children.

4/18 ~ A Green Bay police officer threw a bar patron up against a car, slammed him onto the ground, and all for simply questioning the arrest of 1 of his friends. They’ve since charged the man who was assaulted with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

4/19 ~ Buffalo police brutally beat a man after he willingly submitted to them after exiting his car and running across the street. This was all brought upon after an undercover officer began tailing the man, causing him to fear for his life and attempt to speed away. As the handcuffed man is being roughed up he is seen repeatedly apologizing and asking them to stop. He was charged with resisting arrest.

4/21 ~ Jurors finally began deliberations on a 2008 police raid of a wedding party where more than a dozen guests were beaten with batons, tazed and pepper sprayed. This happened after an off-duty cop thought that he saw the bride’s brother walking outside with an alcoholic beverage and called for backup. Incredibly, none of the almost 40 cops who were eventually present reported any use of force.

4/21 ~ An elderly Missouri man dialed 911 to get an ambulance for his wife who has dementia. When the police showed up they proceeded to throw the man down, beat him and handcuff him.

4/21 ~ A 19-year-old New Mexico woman was shot and killed after being suspected of stealing a truck. She allegedly pointed a gun at someone. This came on the heels of the U.S. Department of Justice having released a report on their police department, Albuquerque, in which they detail what was defined as “patterns of excessive force.” Since 2010 the Albuquerque police department has shot 38 people, killing 24 of them.

3/16 ~ A month earlier an Albuquerque police officer shot and killed a homeless man after he was found to be “illegally camping” on a hillside in a rural part of the city. He was not resisting their advances but was still shot at least 7 times in the back after being told to “get on the ground” by numerous officers who were pointing guns at him. The police chief later said that the shooting was “justified.”

4/22 ~ A Texas man called the police to report that his home had been burglarized. Upon arrival, 1 of the officers promptly shot his dog, a Blue Heeler named Candy, in the head for no reason. They then mocked the dog’s owner and threatened to taze him as Candy lay dying on the ground. The dog was actually shot behind the ear, indicating that she was shot from behind.

4/22 ~ 8 shots were fired in a crowded Utah courtroom, ultimately killing the defendant, after he made his way towards the witness stand while holding an ink pen in a “threatening manner.”

4/22 ~ Philadelphia police officers dressed in plainclothes demand that a pizza delivery driver stop for them while he was walking back to his car on a dark street. He suspected that he was being robbed so he began running for his car. The officers proceeded to shoot the man’s car 14 times, hitting him at least 3 times. The victim could possibly be left permanently blind after the incident, as 1 of the shots damaged his eyesight.

4/23 ~ Virginia police tie up and interrogate a 75-year-old woman after cops mistakenly raid her home.

4/24 ~ Kern County police officers raid the wrong apartment complex, point weapons at a nude mother who was getting into the shower, and this played out right in front of her children.

4/25 ~ Multiple Boise police officers arrested a resisting high school student and then confiscated the cell phones of the many other students who were recording the altercation.

4/26 ~ A Tennessee police officer choked a 21-year-old college student out of consciousness while he was handcuffed and not resisting.

4/27 ~ Long Beach police shot and killed a man as he exited a car and ran toward the beach. They shot him multiple times in the back. The police department first claimed that the man had “assaulted” an officer, but as witnesses began coming forward the story changed to the man having a “large wooden stick,” which caused the officers to fear for their lives. Their story changed again when it was claimed that the man was reaching into his waistband.

4/28 ~ A Louisiana police officer shot and killed a homeless man’s dog, a Black Labrador-mix named Arzy, while it was calmly tied to a leash. The innocent man, who was originally being hassled for trespassing in a park, was forced to sit handcuffed as his dog died.

4/29 ~ An off-duty Baltimore police officer shot a man at least 3 times after getting into a verbal dispute with him outside of his apartment complex. He is being charged with attempted murder.

4/30 ~ Dash cam footage showed a Nevada police officer illegally extorting $50,000 from an innocent driver coming home from Las Vegas.

From my quick research there’s anywhere between 800,000 and 1.2 million members of law enforcement in this country, depending on your definition of law enforcement. By contrast, there’s between 75 and 80 million dogs in this country, many millions of which are Pit Bull-types (and then many millions more which are subjectively and ambiguously referred to as being Pit Bulls with no evidence).

Yet dogs are killing about 30 people per year (even as their population rises), while I don’t think it’s in any way a stretch to say that the police probably kill at least 1 person per day in the United States. For example, In Los Angeles County alone the police department shot and killed 54 people in 2011. At least 12 of the 54 were allegedly unarmed. This, as the overall number of homicides in that area had “fallen to historic lows.” Also equally worth note, many of the police departments across the U.S. don’t release any information on the “use of force” by their police, and the federal government makes no serious effort to collect such data. I state this only to imply that whatever number I put out there is in actuality probably higher.

Using some quick math and the low end of the dog population as well as the high end of the law enforcement population renders out these numbers: 30 / 75,000,000 = 0.0000004% of all dogs have killed someone at any given time within that calendar year. 365 / 1,200,000 = 0.0003% of all law enforcement have likely killed someone at any given time within that calendar year.

I state all of this simply to drive home what the DogsBite tactic looks like in another realm. You can do this over and over again if your focus is simply on scapegoating huge groups of anything for the actions of the select few. Be as it may, it remains a never-ending activity of erroneousness and ignorance.

(Not that it needs to be stated, but I do not believe this sweeping negative connotation of police officers. I do not believe them to be a collective reflection of the incidents that I highlighted. I know that there are hundreds of thousands of good police officers and members of law enforcement from all across the country. At the end of the day they are each individual people, with families, and their own stories and track records.)

But this type of shit and chicanery is the philosophy and ideology. Make absolutely no mistake about it!

To help is to genuinely try to examine the possible causes

Posted April 11th, 2014 in Media, Parallels by Josh

In a country of over 300 million people, and mixed amongst 70 or 80 million dogs, there is absolutely no perfect universal fail-safe that will guarantee that everything that you come to experience in your vast lifetime will be okay 100% of the time. Although 99.9999999999% of the time it absolutely is, and day after day to boot, there’s still always that remote chance that exists for an accident or incident to happen. This is life. And this goes for anything in life, the few things related to dogs and the millions of other things that have nothing to do with them at all. With that, there’s usually things that you could also do that will further serve to minimize the likelihood of many tragic things from happening, and especially tragic things involving dogs. Even still, nothing in life is perfect. But life is about living, and “living” is to not live in an irrational and exaggerated state of fear.

I open with that paragraph because in the United States dogs kill about 30 or so people a year. The actual evidence (those remaining when you subtract 30 from 70,000,000 or 80,000,000 dogs) then proves beyond any shadow of a doubt their incredible deference to humans. This is indisputable no matter if it goes repeatedly unacknowledged by certain people who would still find it “practical” or “necessary” to ban or phase out entire groups of dogs based solely on the way that they physically appear. Expect no science, no consistency, and very few of the justifications of doing such things to ever be backed up with any actual proof. They’ll say it’s for public safety. I say it’s for giving the illusion of dealing with a glorified bogeyman of their own creation.

For the sake of conceptual comparison this brings me to a very sobering statistic stating that roughly 22 U.S. military veterans are committing suicide every day. EVERY DAY.

While pondering that statement also note that these numbers are apparently only taken from 21 states, which amounts to about 40% of the U.S. population. Amongst those opting not to report any data were California and Texas, the 2 biggest of the contiguous 48. More than 34,000 suicides from these 21 states were also “discarded” from the study because the death records failed to indicate whether that individual was a veteran or not. So that amounts to more than 23% of the recorded suicides from this 40% of the U.S. population that were not counted, meaning that only 77% of that 40% was looked at instead of the full 100%. Also, how exactly are homeless veterans being counted if they potentially have no one to vouch for their whereabouts? And how many suicides just go suppressed due to the family wanting to rewrite a public script as to avoid any stigma associated with such an act? All of these points are mentioned to imply that this 22/day figure is probably low.

Do the anti-dog folks happen to care about why this is happening to our military veterans? Just curious. Would they then care about what things may lead to this circumstance playing out? Or, like with Pit Bulls, is there just a simplistic and formulaic copout concept that can be used to label these individuals in a way that assassinates their character after they’re no longer around? Because that’s most definitely the mentality used by hatemongers wanting to negatively lump all of these dogs together… So would these veterans be vaguely labeled as “weak” or “unfit” by this same crowd that gleefully vilifies all Pit Bulls on the back of any and every (mostly avoidable) tragedy? I want to know, and if not then I want to know why not?! Because if you’re lazy with your thoughts in 1 realm then why isn’t that a consistent reaction to all others? And to the contrary, if you’re capable of critical thinking with regards to what leads to military suicides then why doesn’t critical thinking apply with regards to what leads to dogs fatally attacking people?

If you are reading this and this sounds like you and you’d define yourself as being in any way introspective then you should currently be at a crossroads. Instead, if you have no problem with the confliction of the point then it just serves to show your massive bias against Pit Bulls.

In broaching this difficult topic as to why this is happening to so many of our veterans, well, I’d offer up numerous thoughts that really don’t get much mainstream media attention…

First and foremost would be the devastating realities that some are very likely exposed to, and being haunted by those things that they either saw or quite possibly took part in. The concept of war is the oxymoronic opposite of peace. Our foreign policy of interventionism and desired expansion is literally based in ever-altering forms of aggression. This, depending on the cast of characters involved and their individual mental makeups, has to assist in harvesting a brutal and disconnected violence that may be seen in some of them. How that then manifests itself into the daily lives of differing individuals would obviously vary across the board, but it’s clearly ruined some. At some point a partaker in a horrific act will have to deal with their conscience, right?

Also, mix in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft, Luvox and Paxil. Look at a sleeping pill like Ambien. All of these things are drugs known for treating anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, and many other mental disorders, and they are also all known to cause psychotic breaks. The inserts directly say that these things increase the risk of suicidal behavior as well as an overall level of agitation and hostility. How many members of our military, past and present, are on them?

Lastly, how many of these men and women are sent on multiple tours of duty? How many multiples? How many are essentially used up and then, for lack of a better term, discarded when they finally (if ever) return home? Have their benefits been limited? Are they getting the proper medical treatment that their body or mind may require? Do they have a genuine support system? Are they privy to an environment that’s allowing them to transition back into domestic society? Have they been sexually assaulted or alienated inside of whatever program, and then silenced or made to feel as though they are helpless in trying to pursue justice?

I know that this is a lot, but for this topic of military suicide it is all relevant. You cannot possibly be saddened by that statistic, want to help lower it, and then proceed to completely ignore all of these points that I just mentioned. I’m sure that there are many more. Yet, when going back to the dog-related human fatality topic this is the type of stuff that is almost always done! Circumstances and problematic happenings leading up to whatever event, that’s then making whatever headline, customarily go ignored. So how do you genuinely attempt to address an issue, be empathetic towards and issue, be part of the crafting of any solution on an issue, if you are at the same time disingenuously covering your eyes and ears to the means that may lead another to that end? The confidence in such a process is non-existent.

Fruitvale Station’s metaphorical scene shines a light on multiple realities

Posted January 1st, 2014 in Discrimination, Parallels, Prejudice by Josh

So over the last week I was finally able to watch Fruitvale Station, the movie that follows the 22-year-old Oscar Grant up until his murder on New Year’s Day 2009. First off, the movie is really good. If you haven’t seen it yet please do. More relevant to this page though is a scene that was included in the movie for metaphorical reasons, as it features a stray Pit Bull having a moment with Michael B. Jordan, who plays Grant, while he gets gas.

*Spoilers ahead*


The camera then cuts back to Grant as you hear a car speed by, which ultimately strikes the Pit Bull and doesn’t stop. The dog is fatally wounded. Grant runs after the car and then turns around to help carry the dog off of the road, where he was left to die. I’ll leave it to them to explain the symbolism…

From Michael B. Jordan:

Black males, we are America’s Pit Bull. You know, we’re labeled ‘vicious,’ you know, ‘inhumane,’ and left to die on the street. Oscar was kinda like left for dead, so many of us, you know, um, young African-American males are left for dead. We get branded a lot.

From director, Ryan Coogler:

When you hear about them (Pit Bulls) in the media, you hear about them doing horrible things. You never hear about a Pit Bull doing anything good in the media. And they have a stigma to them … and, in many ways, Pit Bulls are like young African-American males. Whenever you see us in the news, it’s for getting shot and killed or shooting and killing somebody–for being a stereotype.


Many people apparently love this scene, and others seem to hate it. Not for the metaphor, but for reasons that they feel the scene “misleads” the audience into liking Oscar Grant more. To that I say: It’s a movie! Don’t criticize these men for one aspect of their art. For anyone to sit here and act as though they knew Oscar Grant in full prior to seeing this scene, and then for you to get angry at the notion that this scene possibly tampers with your potentially bad thoughts about Grant, it just goes to show the improper judgment that you are carrying around in the first place! You don’t know him either way, and it’s certainly no crime to humanize someone who we all came to know only from a YouTube clip showing him being unjustly murdered in the back, while laying face down and handcuffed.

Isn’t that what should lead to your outrage? But that doesn’t and Coogler’s artistic choice does? See, it’s stuff like that that makes me shake my head at some folks in a vigorous fashion, certain media “journalists” and otherwise.

As for the comparison: It’s real, and it’s deep, and it’s powerful. Human beings are individuals, just as dogs are individuals. You do not learn someone’s character in a sound bite. Character echoes through life, through existence, through action, through history. Through the seen and the unseen, known and the unknown. Millions of things make up someone’s character, and provide evidence to their track record. No man or woman is all bad or all good. We are all imperfect. But each of us is an individual, and if we act heinously towards another then let us be judged on the crime that we committed, and on the facts. To demonize the group on the actions of the singular is the biggest sham that this system can ever conjure up. To look at someone and say that they are all (insert here), based on how they look and nothing more, well, it’s most definitely the bottom of the intellectual barrel (and the compassionate one, too). The same applies to dogs. That’s the point. And it’s wholeheartedly true.

For those curious, the dog in the movie is named Ian and you can follow him on Facebook.