Tag Archives: government

Got an emergency? Don’t dial 911

…if you are a California resident.

Several municipalities are trying to close their budget deficits by enacting fees for 911 emergency calls.

In the town of Tracy, 60 miles east of San Francisco; local government officials have decided to enact a once-a-year $48.00 per family fee for “unlimited” calls for 911 emergency services, $300.00 per call for residents who opt out of the service and as much as $400.00 for “Good Samaritan” callers in an attempt to close the $9 million budget deficit.

Kevin Martinez of the WSWS.org website writes “At of the end of 2009, unemployment stood at 9.5 percent in Tracy. The city’s population has been significantly affected by the jobs crisis in Northern California. The area has many residents who commute to San Francisco for employment, with workers choosing Tracy as a place to live because it offered lower housing costs compared to cities closer to the metropolitan region.”

Read more here.

In Ventura, residents will be expected to pay a monthly fee, or be charged up to $50.00 for emergency services.

It would seem to me that perhaps government officials could think of another way to reduce the bloated deficit.  Like I dunno, maybe taking a pay cut?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Beuhler?

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Filed under The Absurd, WTF??

Trolling for Puppies: The TRUTH??? To be filed under Gimme a $%^& Break

Grand Opening of Woof Worx in Los Angeles features animal shelter rescued pups. Purebreds no less…..

In their sincerest belief that they are providing assistance to “puppy mill dogs” and shelters purportedly overrun with unwanted pets, they are offering purebred puppies for sale, er ‘adoption’ through a sanctioned pet store.

A Puppy-Store-Free LA‘s tag-line “…is to end the sale of puppies at pet stores in L.A.”

But it’s OK if they do it, right?
___________________________________________________________________

Excerpts from the article follow, anything within the parentheses are mine.

“Eight months ago, Best Friends LA launched A-Puppy-Store-Free LA to stop pet stores from selling puppies because, sadly, that doggie in the window comes from a puppy mill. Not only is this a heartbreaking situation for the dogs being forced to breed in deplorable conditions, but for the new pet parents, as well.”

(Sadly, there is still a doggie in the window, but this one is BETTER because you are SAVING it from the horrors of being sold in a pet store. Do you honestly think that the source is any different or any better for these pups? What is THEIR source for dogs? Have they started their own captive breeding program???)

“A puppy purchased from a pet store can cost up to $1,500. More often than not, these sweet new additions have congenital disorders and may die with in the first two years of life due to inbreeding and unhealthy living situations. Few families can afford the thousands of dollars on unexpected vet bills and many puppies are surrendered to shelters, where they are euthanized or wait in vain for a new home. Most never get that second chance.”

(But a puppy purchased, er ‘adopted’ through us is an endorsement of our belief that all breeders are bad and that our pet shop is different and somehow better than other pet shops. Cuz we sell designer pet clothes and green products, and and and, puppies!!! Yeah. Ok. Uh Huh? But few families can afford the undisclosed vet costs for unforseen events from your puppies either, can they? Or have you specifically selected for genetic defects in your shelter dogs and screen for congenital defects in your neonates and follow the most astringent health conscious protocols available? I want to see a guarantee that the buyers, uh, ‘adopters’ of your pound pups are contractually bound to return the dog to YOU if something goes wrong. What’t that? As an agent of the shelter who provides your product, you can’t make such a guarantee? Indeed. And you are better than the Hunte Corp and PetLand how?)

“Best Friends has been hard at work to find an alternative, and collaborated with Woof Worx (formerly Pets of Bel Air) on the idea to sell wonderful, healthy, purebred puppies that come from local shelters. For a mere fraction of what it would cost at a traditional pet store, people can adopt one (or more) of these dogs, support a business that’s doing the right thing, and save a life.

(An ALTERNATIVE? Are you nutz? Wonderful, healthy purebred puppies from WHERE? Where are the local ‘shelters’ getting them from? Oh, oh Sorry I forgot! From the confiscation of animals by the new ordinances being passed like wildfire in your state and others thanks to our pals at H$US. For a ‘mere fraction’ of the cost at a traditional pet store! YOU ARE A TRADITIONAL PET STORE!!! Adopt my ass. Buy. Face it. You offer a commodity and people are paying you MONEY for that commodity. But of course, under the protection of the law that should come as caveats for anyone falling for this bunk. What is your guarantee that these pups will not fall victim to congenital defect, hereditary defect, communicable disease or die by the age of two? Are you going to take them back? Are you going to pay for their vet care when it is discovered that your product is as defective as PetLand’s? What is the recourse for the consumer, er, ‘pet parent’? Adopt one or more? What happens if one gets returned at say, 4 or 5 months old because it is a behavior issue or the owners are ‘moving’ or whatever the lamest excuses that shelters usually get. What then? Where do the puppies go? Hold on a minute there Nelly, in a community that is endorsing the limitation of pets owned by it’s citizens, are you actually telling me that your employees are going to do ‘home visits’ and all that? Riiiiiiiiight….. And the save-a-life thingy. Sounds like a marketing ploy to me…..)

“Jamie Katz, owner of Woof Worx, proudly opened the doors last weekend to over 150 supporters of this new concept. Veggie hors d’oeuvres and wine were served at the beautiful, high-end pet store in the heart of Bel Air.”

(I bet she was proud. Came up with a really good way to make money, uh, stay in business, er help the plight of puppy mills being sold in pet stores and make it look like she was doing something good for the community. To 150 supporters no less. At the beautiful, high end PET STORE in the heart of Bel Air!!! Who is buying this crap? Are the people of this Nation so indoctrinated that they can no longer see the forest for the trees?)

“Available dogs were there to celebrate their new lives, as well. This is not a typical store where puppies are kept in cramped confinement on newspaper or plastic flooring. Think of it as an indoor dog park. The puppies had toys, individual soft beds, even an indoor pet potty. A comfy couch is in the puppy room for anyone who wants to get acquainted with their potential new family member or just be covered with puppy kisses.”

(Available dogs are everywhere, like at traditional shelters who could really benefit from this kind of BS PR. This is not a typical store. OK, then mandate that all pet stores, just like your pet store, are as wonderfully equipped. Tell me. After operating hours, where are all the dogs housed and how are they cared for? Is there someone there to clean up after the potential family members overnight and on days where the shelter, uh, non puppymill supplied pet store is closed? Lemme guess, they are ‘free range’ in the indoor dog park.)

“We are so thrilled to be partnering with Jamie Katz, the owner of this beautiful store, and to support her in her efforts,” says Elizabeth Oreck, BFLA manager. “We truly believe that traditional pet stores that sell dogs from puppy mills will soon be a thing of the past, and that a store like Woof Worx will become a national model for cities all across the country.”

(Oh I bet! Especially that part about traditional pet stores being a thing of the past, since yours will represent a new age income stream because instead of your product coming from puppy mills or from unscrupulous dealers who will find a way to continue to supply the new niche you have just created, it will be stocked with purebred puppies born…where? Are shelters going to start their own breeding program for purebred dogs? Gonna have to if HSUS has it’s way and effectively shuts down hobby breeders who actually care about the quality, health and longevity of the animals they create.)

“This is not only a great way to showcase rescued animals who need homes, and to help lower the number of dogs and cats in our drastically overcrowded shelters, but an opportunity to educate the public about animal welfare issues. And we are so grateful to Jamie for taking that leap and being willing to show the rest of the country that a successful pet store can be modeled on compassion rather than cruelty.”

(A better way would be to stop offering purebred puppies and bring adult shelter dogs of ANY breed or mix of breeds and sell, uh, adopt them instead!! Drastically overcrowded shelters? C’monnnnn! Stop importing dogs from the islands, overseas and focus on the ones in your own back yard!!! And besides we all know that shelter population numbers are an amalgam of both cat and dog numbers when in fact the cat populations outstrip dog populations in shelters 3 to 1.*
Thanks for making a cunning business decision and finding a way to keep the doors open and showing the rest of the country how to game the system and still make a profit!! Sure the store is nice, with all of the high-end Californication trappings of wealth and do-goodery, but thanks for admitting that it’s still a pet store.)

Katz was an employee of Pets of Bel Air when BFLA began its peaceful protests.

“I always knew in my heart that selling puppies this way was wrong,” she says. “I’m a huge animal lover and advocate of animal welfare.”

(And probably had really good grades at business school)

Katz acquired the store when the original owner of Pets of Bel Air lost his lease, due in part to Best Friends’ protests.

(Whalp, waddya know? And this was on her own capital or through funding of BFLA?)

“Jennifer Krause, puppy mill campaign coordinator, thanked all the volunteers, supporters and Jamie. “This is a huge victory, and we couldn’t have done without them. Jamie just gets it.””
(Why Shore it is, for all of the MBA’s in business, let this be your model.)

____________________________________________________________________

Here’s the thing. I hate pet stores that sell pets, and I hate the suppliers who provide them with product at such considerable cost and sacrifice to living, breathing animals.

I also hate duplicity and being wanked by the absolute bullshit that surrounds a campaign by those who allegedly (new favorite word) are in it for the animals.

I hate that the gubmint is trying to dictate to me the number of animals I am allowed to own, that they have bits and pieces that are their birthright and that this movement is being endorsed by people who claim to have the best interests of animals at heart.

Many questions emerge:

1) Who is supplying this new demand for purebred dogs if all of the breeders are put out of business and shelters are advocating spay and neuter for every animal that crosses their doorsteps?

2) Dogs are going to be the new crack cocaine if this comes to pass. How can this organization reconcile the belief in an overpopulation problem and turn around and endorse the continued sale of purebred dogs in pet stores? I would LOOOOOOOOOVE to have seen THIS business model!!!

3) Why can’t they make this believable, even palpable, by just creating a storefront in affluent areas to elevate the consciousness of the wealthy elite to the plight of dogs of every stripe, not just purebreds, not just puppies?

4) What do you think is going to emerge from this new business model?

*Statistically, this figure bears out across the nation. Stray cats comprise the largest single number in shelter populations for both animals housed and animals euthanized. But we are dealing with California here, so I am using a California statistic. More info can be had here.

The question arises about the actual accuracy of supplied numbers from a variety of recognized sources. Usually the number of animals in a shelter is defined as dogs AND cats as opposed to dogs, then cats. Statistics can be parsed to say anything and should be viewed with concern for their accuracy in accounting for the segregation of the total numbers.

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Filed under Animal Rights, Animal Shelters, Animal Welfare, Breeding Dogs, companion animals, Dog Adoption, Dog Genetics, Dog Politics, Mutts, Puppies, Puppy Mills, Rescue dogs, Shelter Dogs

For Barter or Trade….

Won’t be too long now before we hit the streets looking for ways to make a dime or two to pay our mortgages and feed our families.

This whole racket with the ‘bailout’ of Wall Street (which incidentally is being manipulated by the very people who got us into this mess in the first place, and I don’t mean just Democrats or Republicans) is plucking my one last nerve.

As a Sole Proprietor and heavily taxed business owner I am appalled at the actions and activities of our Nations leaders and wannabe’s.

I swear if I hear the term “fundamental” used one more time I am going to scream.

Fundamentally, our only saving grace is that for the day, oil is still under 90$ a barrel and this may save us fossil fuel burners who heat our homes even partially with it. Unless of course you live in the great state of Maryland where it seems that the elected officials deemed it necessary not only to raise taxes but increase the cost of energy.

It is fundamentally NOT OK to strip the nation’s only steadfast resource, the taxpaying public, rendering the ability to save anything impossible with the ever increasing cost of living.

It is fundamentally NOT OK to openly deceive us with this load of crap about the 700 BILLION dollars as being necessary out of one side of their mouths, placing one of the biggest offenders to head it up and tell us we NEED THIS. IT WILL BE GOOD FOR US.

Everyone knows what it’s like going to the dentist as a kid to hear the guy say “Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit”. We all know what it’s like to be lied to. What are we going to do about it now?

Tell me, where was due process? Who discussed this and when? They can filibuster on the allocations for Viagra to prisoners in Federal Penitentiaries but go behind closed doors in the dead of night to figure out a way to foist this garbage onto us?

And then have the unmitigated GAUL to load the second attempt with enough ‘sweeteners’ for our ‘leaders’ to be inclined to vote for it. Even after it was criticized by the public (that would be you and me) as not acceptable.

It is fundamentally NOT OK to support a community of people who are within the borders of this country through MY TAX DOLLARS AND YOURS with health care and education incentives when they themselves are not contributing and are at the very least, here illegally to begin with.

It is fundamentally NOT OK to burden the honest, legal citizens of this nation with the cost of a welfare program that rewards drug addiction, poverty and criminal activities as opposed to incentives for obtaining or continuing education and rewarding good honest effort.

It is fundamentally NOT OK to allow the corporate heads of these failed financial institutions to reap the benefits of their failures by rewarding their poor judgment and questionable practices with enormous bonuses, when many in combination exceed several billion dollars.

Puhleeze.

I may be a lot of things, but stupid ain’t one of them.

What’s that about lipstick on a pig? Seems like the US Gubmint just got a whole load of porkers to dolly up for the Wall Street Ball.

What our politicians have handed us is not salvation, it’s another way to squeeze yet another drop from our wallets into their greedy little hands. This incestuous relationship with Wall Street and Washington dates back for more years than I have been alive and there is not one of them who has not benefited from the excesses from liberating the credit market to individuals and institutions that had no business borrowing in teh first place.

I take personal exception to that. I scrimped and struggled and saved my entire life for what I have and I am deeply resentful of the many who just hold out their hands and expect me and everyone like me to cover their insolvency.

IT IS NOT THEIR RIGHT TO TAKE THE FRUIT OF MY LABOR.

I propose this to every taxpayer across the United States;

Barter or trade your services.

Don’t buy a new car, take what you have and spend it on a used car, spend the additional money to do what work is necessary to keep it road worthy and drive it until the wheels fall off. Force the automakers to make some hard and fast decisions about the products they will be offering in the years to come and the prices they will charge.

Co-op and build community gardens in the spring and raise your own food, or buy local produce from your local farm growers. If you live in urban areas, there are rooftops and window ledges,porches and alleyways that can support vegetable growing even if it’s herbs or one or two tomato plants. Disable the importation of tainted foodstuffs from countries that do not have adequate protocols in place for controlling potential contamination of our food supply.

Grow what your neighbor cannot or does not, and trade.

Purchase your meat in bulk from a local butcher, and co-op it’s purchase with your friends and relatives. If you like your neighbors, include them too. Support the growth of a healthy food supply by controlling what your livestock is fed and how it is cared for.

Pick up a rifle, shotgun or bow and learn how to hunt. Barter for venison from your hunter friends and learn how to cook game meat.

If you have some land or know of someone with some land, co-opt the raising of some livestock for meat and help to support some poultry for fresh eggs. Depending on the county that you live in determines what kind of livestock you can house and how many of each type. Not only are you supporting the growth of a healthier food supply, you get to oversee it’s care in person. No stomach for that? Barter a skill or product to help support it.

If you don’t have access to land but you have a skill; barter or trade the service you can provide for a reasonable percentage of the co-op that it will require to purchase, support and care for the livestock, garden, poultry or whatever.

If you are over 40 and your mother is still alive, pick her brains for recipes that are not only tasty but nutritious, talk to your friends and their families and see if it’s possible to make stone soup once or twice a week. Share.

Support your local businesses and boycott the large box stores or chains. Eat at a local diner instead of a chain restaurant. Take your car to the local garage that your neighbor runs, buy your dry goods at the local market. Recycle things. Instead of buying new furniture, have an upholsterer resurface it for you.

Better yet, if you know a guy who knows a guy who can do these things, ask and trade something of value with him. Or her.

Recycle construction waste from houses being torn down or rehabbed. Take what is usable and create interesting living spaces. Do more of your own work and barter or trade with others for theirs.

Support you local craftsmen or become one yourself. Have a hobby? Exploit your talents for the new free market and trade your goods.

Many years ago when my husband and I first moved to Pennsylvania, we were young and naive but what we lacked in real-world experience, we made up for with the ambition to succeed. For a period of time our lives were pretty rough. We struggled to make ends meet like many young families just starting out and since we had no real network of family or friends having just moved to the area, we struggled with a lot of things. Hell, we struggle now.

We had a nice little bit of ground and planted a garden just about every year. For a while it was just the two of us; I can remember getting creative with rice and beans and what little we kept back from the garden to eek out something over the winters. We never starved. Our big treat would be Ice Cream bars or some other novelty and if we were lucky we could afford to go to the local store and get some “real” food occasionally. We supported the local feed stores, local markets, bought fresh from our neighbor-growers and traded goods and services.

Both of us lost our jobs and things got pretty bad just before the first Gulf War and to make ends meet we sold virtually everything we owned to survive. I cooked Pan Bread and re-baked potatoes to keep us from starving. We ate Pasta Fazule‘ so much I was sweating beans. I learned to cook a feast from rice and sour cream.

And I bartered dog training to repair our furnace, fix our car and even once for a 25 ton load of gravel for the driveway. I bartered photography for vegetables and chickens, dog food and clothing. We shopped at Goodwill and garage sales for everything and in turn sold everything at yard sales and flea markets. The summer before the Gulf War, we sold enough stuff in one month to live for three.

But to do so we had to make the command decision to sacrifice many things.

We used to joke that in the lean times we worked better as a team. It was the times of plenty that got us into trouble.

Here we are having survived the oil embargoes of the 70’s, all of the minor little glitches to the dot com bust at the turn of the last decade and again a humdinger of a problem looms before us.

Again we are faced with the same decisions our parents had to make and their parents had to make during times of great sacrifice and need.

I call it the hierarchy of priority. I won’t be taking that trip to Texas this spring for our annual conference, nor will I be attending too many seminars as a result of the economy. Instead, I will be concentrating on creating some unique ways to conserve finances so I do not have to pass those costs on to my dog training students.

Christmas is before us and although fuel has come down to record low prices since I started this post, it is a hard time for many.

We will celebrate quietly at home, the three of us, feast on grown or captured foods and conserve our money for what may happen at the turn of the new year.

I am plotting my garden now.

Providing of course, we can afford the price of seeds.

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Filed under agriculture, Stone Soup Diaries