There Oughta Be a Law

Massachusetts is cracking down on canines, with proposed new ordinances ranging from requiring dogs in cars to wear seatbelts to regulating ownership of pit bulls the way they regulate the ownership of firearms.

I wrote a piece for Fox News last year examining the pit bull hysteria and the problems with breed-specific legislation.

Disclosure:  I have a dog that's sometimes mistaken for a pit bull. 

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  • VM||

    Great puppy pics!
    Thx!

  • ||

    Reminds me of a story my driving instructor told me. He said he sometimes drove the learner car around town. With a complete set of peddles on the passenger side, he could sit his dog in the drivers seat and prop his front paws on the steering wheel. He could drive from the passenger seat and steer reaching over to the underside of the wheel. I can't remember if he said he had a hat and scarf for the dog, but thats the picture I have in my head.

  • ||

    Let me just say that dogs are all members of the LP. In other words, they will refuse to comply with the seat belt laws.

    Fight my canine brothers! You have nothing to lose but your leashes!

    joe, be ashamed for oppressing dogs, mankind's best friend.

  • ||

    Have you ever tried to get a pit bull to fasten his seatbelt? Good luck enforcing this one.

  • ed||

    As long as those friggin' dogs aren't talking on cell phones while they're driving.
    Maybe they can teach the humans a few tricks.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Maybe that's why the second puppy in this picture looks nervous. He doesn't have a seatbelt :

    http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/PuppyMover.html

    (I just wanted an excuse to link to the Puppy Mover.)

  • steveintheknow||

    Someone died in a freak pit bull(s) attack near my hood last year. In this case the owner clearly was a fucktard and deserved to be punished. Of course no new nanny laws were required for this.

    This didn't prevent my natural instinct upon hearing of a tragedy however. My first thought was "oh fuck, now I am going to get fined if my dachshund gets out".

  • ||

    Seatbelts on dogs. Gotta love MA

  • ||

    Cats, on the other hand, are free to fly threw the windshield.

  • ||

    uh, that would be through the windshield.

    It might be time to cut back on the martinis at lunch...

  • ||

    Speaking of cats, I've been observing them, and I have reached a conclusion. They're dumber than rocks. Our hamster is ten times smarter than our cats. Only through a complex web of anthropomorphism can any person assign the slightest degree of intelligence to a cat. Of course, dogs can be goofy and idiotic, but they can also exhibit signs of intelligence beyond mere instinct. If we primates must go, I recommend handing the Chief Species reins to either dogs or hamsters. Not to the squirrels, though, our natural enemies.

  • Timothy||

    We put a seatbelt on our dog, but only because that's the only way to keep her from jumping all over in the car.

  • ||

    Book recommendation re pit bulls: Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog, by Vicki Hearne.

    Pro L -- Cats are nature's libertarians.

  • ||

    There should be a law
    Pitbulls are dangerous creatures
    They should wear seatbelts

  • ||

    Pro,

    You either have really dumb cats or don't watch them very closely. If my cat had opposable thumbs I might fear for my life. I wouldn't chalk up the incredible hunting and stalking abilities cats have to just instinct. I wouldn't take my cat over a really smart dog like a German Shepherd or a Border Collie, but I bet it could outsmart a golden retriever (the dumb blond of the canine world) or a dalmation (the dumb jock of the canine world).

  • ||

    Cats are automatons, incapable of understanding the concept of liberty. Being too stupid to learn that I'm going to throw your feline self outside when you jump on the counter is not independence, it's, well, stupidity.

    Goldens aren't stupid, they're just insanely emotional.

  • Viking Johnson||

    SamB speaks the truth
    Quoted in Sun Times Paper
    But we can't find it

    Gabby Johnson is
    right about Emil Johnson
    being right. Rev'rend!

  • ||

    Ron Bailey is a shill for Big Dog!

  • ||

    Not that I'm a cat hater. They're okay, though incredibly stupid.

    Speaking of cats, if you're a cat owner and haven't done so, buy a laser. Shine it on the ground in front of your cat and observe the greatest cat toy ever invented. We've made one of our cats spin in about fifteen consecutive circles with our laser.

  • highnumber||

    Re I have a dog

    and obviously no kids.

  • ||

    Cats are what God would have to be in order to exist. Their intelligence is so far above ours that we can't begin to make sense of their actions.

  • ||

    Goldens are not emotional. They have the same happy blank stare at all times. They could be happy or suicidal and you couldn't tell. Loving wonderful dogs and beautiful to boot. Like I said, the dumb blond of the dog world. Think Suzanne Summers reincarnated as a dog.

    Cats are not automotons. Not in the least. Watch a cat play with a mouse sometime. If they were just acting on instinct, they would kill the mouse. Instead they will bat it around and play with it and even walk off and let the mouse try to escape only to pounce and start the proces over again. They are really sadistic little killers and hell on local wildlife if let loose, but they are not stupid.

  • ||

    Sorry, no. Cats have the brain power of a burned out bulb. In fact, I think there are bacteria that are smarter.

    Speaking of libertarian animals, the hamster comes to mind. Ours spends at least half of its non-wheel awake time plotting her escape. I swear that I'm moved to free her at times, only stopped by the knowledge that she'd be dead from something or other if I did so.

  • thoreau||

    I swear that I'm moved to free her at times, only stopped by the knowledge that she'd be dead from something or other if I did so.

    So you think it's OK to oppress another creature "for its own good"?

    :)

  • ||

    Exactly, thoreau. I'm no bibertarian, after all. What is a good libertarian to do? I swear, if she writes "Live Free or Die" or "Now in the course of hamsterian events. . ." in her shavings, I'll let her go to her doom with my blessings and the cry of "FREEEE-DDDDOOOOOMMMM!!!!!".

  • LarryA||

    Dogs v. Cats

    Your dog looks at you and thinks, "You provide everything I need to live a comfortable life. You must be a god.

    Your cat looks at you and thinks, "You provide everything I need to live a comfortable life. I must be a god.

  • ||

    Ah, PL, but would you feel the same if your hamster writes "Patria o Muerte!"?

  • ||

    When you start outlawing dogs,
    only outlaws will have dogs.

    Let me assert my firm belief that the only dogs we have to fear are.. tiny little toy dogs being carried around by half-dressed pop-tart celebrities.

    And never forget...
    Dogs don't kill people...
    oh, wait a minute... they do... nevermind.

  • ||

    Pro,

    I bet your cats would like to see your hampster roam free. As a matter of fact, I bet they are big donators to the hampster freedom movement.

  • ||

    It's not so much that cats are dumb, it is that their brains have been partitioned.

    One large part of the brain controls only the tail which does whatever it wants regardless of what the body is doing. The remaining part of the brain is left to control all the remaining functions of managing a mammalian body.

    This leaves very little leftover capacity for any form of emotional response.

  • VM||

    hier is all you need know about Kittens...

    and this classic
    hier

  • ||

    It's an anecdote, but I'll contribute to the cats vs dogs thing.

    My fiance and I have a Basenji named "Foxy" due to her fox-like traits (reddish hair, white ends of tail & paws, etc). This dog loves to play mind-games with me...and she knows just how to do it. A while back she was in the habit of putting dog food in her mouth, walking away from her dish, and placing the food on the carpet prior to actually eating it. After a while, I grew tired of this. One day I got "tough" with her (as tough as I can get with a cute-overload little dog) and decided I would smack her nose a little every time she placed the food on the carpet. I think it only took her a couple of times to learn her lesson. However, after she learned her lesson, she would grab food out of her dish, walk up right in front of where I was sitting, and place the food on the carpet. As soon as I would get up, she would pick up the food, swallow it, and run. She did this for a while until I decided to ignore her plea for attention. Afterwards, she only ate at her dish. That, my friends, is smarts...at least in my opinion :)

  • ||

    If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

  • M||

    Every unrestrained body in a motor vehicle collision becomes a potentially lethal intra-vehicular missile.

    I'm still against government intrusion, though.

  • ||

    Let me assert my firm belief that the only dogs we have to fear are.. tiny little toy dogs being carried around by half-dressed pop-tart celebrities.



    I call foul. Remember the rule.

    If you can punt it, it's not a dog

  • VM||

    "Every unrestrained body in a motor vehicle collision becomes a potentially lethal intra-vehicular missile.
    "

    only if said unrestrained body has enough mass...

    or whatever the Mythbusters found!

    :)

  • ||

    Ah, PL, but would you feel the same if your hamster writes "Patria o Muerte!"?



    jimmydageek,

    Of course! I support freedom for Spanish-speaking rodents, too.

    Our indoor cat will attack and bite its own tail if we use the tail as a play toy. That's just brilliance at work. "Um, why does this hurt? Don't know, better bite it again. And again."

  • M||

    VM - Are you saying mass for a dog?

  • VM||

    thinking of little Paris Hilton dog...

    We could design an experiment. Use the Mythbusters' compressed air cannon. Make a sabot for said PHD, and launch it at a brick wall.

    As technology improves, we could simply beam it into said wall!

    if we use the tail as a play toy

    mein Gott. Santorum's warning about libertarians was right!

    *shreaks! jumps out of window - misses. hits wall

  • Urkobold®||

    LEAVE THE CANINE ALONE.
    FEEL FREE TO FIRE MS. HILTON INTO SAID WALL.

  • VM||

    ewwww. imagine the splatter spot....

    *tries jumping out the window again. hits same spot as before.

  • ||

    Our indoor cat will attack and bite its own tail if we use the tail as a play toy. That's just brilliance at work. "Um, why does this hurt? Don't know, better bite it again. And again."

    I would look a little more carefully at your "cat." Sounds you've got a dog on your hands.

  • ||

    Yes, typical catarian response. Sigh. It's a cat. Like I said, dogs are goofy, but they aren't stupid. A dog biting its tail knows that its doing it. A cat is unaware of its existence.

    Descartes was right.

  • ||

    Um, why does this hurt? Don't know, better bite it again.

    See prior post on partitioned cat brain. The biting part of the brain has no knowledge that the tail is actually attached to the body.

  • ||

    Pro Librate,
    Your slander of felines will not stand. Before I go out and shoot a random dog in revenge, I should remind you that felines are the fastest, strongest, and most capable hunters of all mammals.

    And that your dog is dumb.

  • ||

    I don't own a dog. I own cats, a hamster, and a turtle. The turtle is smarter than the cats, too. So is my robotic R2-D2 toy.

    I'm just guessing here, but I think I could take down a mess o' cats a lot easier than a cat could take down a mess o' humans :)

  • ||

    Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
    -Jeff Valdez

  • M||

    VM - So your saying Mass for a dog doesn't violate cannon law?

  • ||

    "I'm just guessing here, but I think I could take down a mess o' cats a lot easier than a cat could take down a mess o' humans :)"

    That is just because you are thinking of smaller house cats. Lets get some cats that are of your size and weight and see what happens. I just guessing but I think you might have some real problems on your hands when confronted with a few really large cats.

  • catty libertarian||

    can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow

    Except on H&R.

  • ||

    True. Because they're too stupid to do so. The ability to cooperate is frequently a sign of intelligence. Note the success of Homo sapiens sapiens.

    John,

    Guns, armor, lasers, technological know-how, death from the sky. Yeah, your cats stand a chance. Cat people are so weird.

    This is great--a bitchfest without a mention or analogy to Ds, Rs, or G(s).

  • ||


    This is great--a bitchfest without a mention or analogy to Ds, Rs, or G(s).


    I think it's because joe, R C Dean, and Guy Montag haven't made their appearance on this thread yet. John's simply refraining because he would have nobody to argue with.

  • ||

    Perhaps your right. John should be commended, except that he's batshit insane when it comes to cats :)

    By the way, jimmydageek, I just went to Roy's this past weekend. It's very, very good. A little pricey, but not bad for what you get. I had the ahi, but I was eying the macadamia-encrusted mahi mahi in lobster cream sauce, too. Yum.

  • VM||

    "M | May 3, 2007, 3:48pm | #
    VM - So your saying Mass for a dog doesn't violate cannon law?"

    ha ha! :)


    JIMMY! and ProGLib - foie gras? *snif*

  • ||

    VM,

    Tampa is so free that you can have foie gras served to you by naked women.

  • ||

    Cats are too smart to pull a sled through snow. Dogs, OTOH are what Aristotle meant when he talked about natural slaves.

    In all seriousness, an ornithologist I once had a conversation about owl intelligence with put it neatly: "All animals are just as smart as they need to be." In other words, the way an animal's brain works is a function of what it needs to do to survive and reproduce. For that reason, intelligence manifests very differently in different animals. Cats do have problem-solving skills, and some studies indicate that they can learn by observation and imitation. But their (for lack of a better term) interpersonal skills are for shit. They're not social animals.
    Dogs, otoh, are social animals and therefore are better wired to take cues from human beings. Humans see this as intelligence.

  • ||

    My experiments indicate otherwise.

  • ||

    To change the subject back to something more serious, cats are socialists, theists, and support the War on Drugs.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    When I was a kid everybody was scared of Shepherds, than it was Dobies, then it was Rottweilers, then it was Pit Bulls...

    thinking of little Paris Hilton dog...

    Saw the picture, which one is the dog?

    I have a dog that's sometimes mistaken for a dog who won't let you come through the gate.

  • ||

    Dogs, otoh, are social animals and therefore are better wired to take cues from human beings

    There was a study recently that compared dog puppies, wolf puppies, and chimp infants.

    The study found that dogs apparently have been bred to instinctively relate to people. For example, if you point to an object on the floor, a dog puppy will look where you point. Wolf puppies and infant chimps will not.

  • ||

    PL,

    By contrast, are you saying my dog is an atheist? Now you're asking for trouble.

    As for Roy's, I've never actually been to it, though I've been entertaining a visit there for a while. Now that you mention the macadamia-encrusted mahi mahi in lobster cream sauce, however, I'll make sure to go there sometime in the very near future.

    [mouth waters just thinking it]

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Actually, cats are not that hard to train. I've had a dozen cats (or more) and each of them have been trained to respond to the loud kissing sound I make when I want them to come to me. My little black retard cat is the best for that. He definitely associates it with chow, which is how you train them in the first place. I've also trained them to stay off the table and the counter tops. Best thing about cats is that they kill rats and gophers and rabbits. That's why eco-fascists don't like them.

    I once had a cat help me move a piano. Had to use a whip though.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Six, I think cats are social animals but in a different way than dogs are. For example Sail Cats aren't very friendly. Speaking of that, can you still get copies of 101 Things To Do With A Dead Cat?

  • VM||

    ProGLib. ooooh!

  • Daffy Duck||

    I support freedom for Spanish-speaking rodents, too.

    Don't be silly. Rodents SHOULD freeze to death.

  • ||

    "cats are socialists, theists, and support the War on Drugs."

    I dunno there is a whole section at the pet store with little bags of green leafy plants for the felines.

  • ||

    The Wine Commonsewer,

    Cats also have a major yen for lizards. At least, they do down here in Florida.

    jimmydageek,

    You must go then! And have the mahi mahi, so I can hear what it's like. They also have a twist on the mojito, involving tequila and pomegranate juice. I had that--very nice.

    Oh, and take VM. He reads hungry.

  • ||

    Dakota,

    In all seriousness, I told my wife that I'm not thrilled with giving the cats nip all the time. They totally freak out, which is amusing to us, but I think cat nip is to cats as PCP is to humans.

  • ||

    kwais wrote:

    felines are the fastest, strongest, and most capable hunters of all mammals.

    Fastest? You've never seen a Rhodesian Ridgeback counter-surf.

    Strongest? I can hear orcas laughing.

    Most capable? Not until the day I see one with a Scout Rifle!

  • VM||

    *drool drool*

  • ||

    No cat ever sniffed out drugs at the airport for the NARCS.

  • ||

    So if there are going to be laws about how many pit bulls you can own, how is the state going to determine which dogs are pit bulls? Is Massachusetts going to have to enact a canine version of the Nuremberg laws, defining pit bulls as those dogs who had at least three pit bull grandparents? Or is it going to follow the "one-drop rule," as in the Southern Jim Crow laws?

  • ||

    Pro,

    When I lived in San Antonio my best friend allowed a couple of reasonably cute geckos run of the house to keep the bugs down, central Texas has roaches straight out of a sci fi movied. That was until he kept my cat. The gecko's disapeared and my cat wasn't very interested in her food that weekend.

  • ||

    John,

    Here's the thing. We're fine with the lizards, which mostly stay outside and eat bugs. Unfortunately, the cats don't seem to eat the cockroaches. I mean, what's the good of that? My wife hates, hates, hates cockroaches.

  • ||

    John | May 3, 2007, 3:48pm | #

    "I'm just guessing here, but I think I could take down a mess o' cats a lot easier than a cat could take down a mess o' humans :)"

    That is just because you are thinking of smaller house cats. Lets get some cats that are of your size and weight and see what happens. I just guessing but I think you might have some real problems on your hands when confronted with a few really large cats.


    On the other hand, I'm willing to pit my 13lb dog against any 13lb cat out there. My money is on the dog :)

  • ||

    VM | May 3, 2007, 4:45pm | #

    *drool drool*


    Oh, quit, VM! You're making me blush and making Noam jealous!

    Oh, you're drooling over the food. Never mind then, nothing to see here...move along.

    /kicks a cat

  • ||

    "When I lived in San Antonio my best friend allowed a couple of reasonably cute geckos run of the house to keep the bugs down, central Texas has roaches straight out of a sci fi movied."

    Friend of mine told me about the geckos in his house in Hawaii.

    He said that they would shit on the couch.

  • VM||

    hrumph.

    um, JimmyDG

    hier

    :)

    don't think for a minute that I don't know that you're a swell looker, but we're talkin' foie gras now!!!!

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Pro, yes the lizard thing is a problem. My cats are working on wiping out the local populace of lizards. It's vexing because the lizards are great at keeping the bugs out of the garden. Except for the snails. How the heck we can have snails is beyond me, but we do.

  • ||

    Cats rule!

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    ...pit my 13lb dog against any 13lb cat out there...

    Hmmmm, maybe you're right. I used to have one of those dinky dogs and he flat kicked the cats butts every time they got out of line. Best thing about that dog was he'd monitor the couch and the carpet. Every time a cat would dare stick out a claw that dog was on it. Had that dog 21 years.

  • Matthew 10:16||

    No cat ever sniffed out drugs at the airport for the NARCS

    Does that speak to intelligence of morality?

  • idem||

    s/b "or" morality

  • ||

    On the other hand, I'm willing to pit my 13lb dog against any 13lb cat out there. My money is on the dog

    I suspect you say that because the dog has more heart. However, a cat when cornered is a dangerous foe. It's the claws. One swipe will lay a dogs face wide open. OTOH once the dog gets a firm bite on, it's all over but the screaming.

  • ||

    Depends on the cat. Warren is right. Cats are very dangerous and get exponentially so as they get larger. I would take a 30 lbs bobcat over any dog alive and a 70 lbs mountain lion over any five dogs.

  • gimee back my bank||

    I'm a wolf o' wits.

  • ||

    TWC,
    Get a duck and your snail and slug problem will be a thing of the past. A goose will work too, and also function as a ferocious guard that unlike a dog cannot be bought off with a hunk of raw meat.

    Beware that every solution is accompanied with new {cough*duck shit*cough} problems.

  • highnumber||

    Fowl are a far bigger problem than slugs.

    I hate geese especially. Hateful, hateful creatures. That's why I try to eat foie gras from only ducks.

  • Ron Hardin||

    Did you see Vicki Hearne's stuff on Pit Bulls, in _Adam's Task_ and then more thoroughly in _Bandit_? You can't put it any plainer than she does, and yet it seems to have no effect. Why? People believe what they read in the papers, when there's any cognitive conflict.

  • ||

    1. On the intelligence of cats: I had a cat in law school who figured out how to answer the telephone, open the closet and cabinet doors, and turn on the television. He also ate mushrooms. When I got married, he moved in with us and we got a buddy for him. The two of them played a version of basketball involving a whiffle ball and the two toilets in the apartment. On the phone thing, he was so well known for that trick my friends and parents would call at the house just to meow at him,and he would respond. Never good get him to take messages, though, the lazy beast.

    2. I also have a friend who breeds and trains bulldogs and rottweilers. She says breed-specific legislation is pointless because its impossible to define "breed." According to her, most deadly dog attacks are by stray mutts, but pit bulls and rotties get the bad press because they already have the tough reputation. I have to say her rotties were the sweetest creatures on Earth if you are her friend. Still, I have to tease about her fear of walking the dogs at night. I mean, she's with THREE ROTTWEILLERS. What kind of idiot is going to mug a woman walking three versions of the dog in Ferris Bueller's Day Off? That's almost Darwin Awards-level stupid. I'm willing to bet money that the dogs wouldn't be quite so sweet-tempered if Mom were in trouble.

  • M||

    I had a cat in law school

    Game. Set. Match.

  • ||

    Pro L,

    Get over it; your cat is a 'tard. Cats and dogs, like humans, have varying intelligence. Your cat is likely on the low end of the bell curve of cat intelligence. (I do agree that hamsters are smarter than most people realize. Rats are even smarter.)

  • ||

    The Real Bill,

    We have two stupid cats. Maybe it's global warming.

    I had a behavioral psychology course where we trained albino rats to do things like jump, lift weights, etc. My rat was very easy to train. Perhaps Planet of the Rats is next if we blow it. Anyway, my rat set the school high-jump record by jumping 28 inches. That's a standing leap from one platform to another. It was unreal and probably a violation of the laws of physics. I still can't get over seeing that. Our rat was only 2-3 inches long herself.

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