Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dog Attack

Our friends at one of the big news networks carried the story of another attack on a human by a pit bull dog. This time the aggressor was a pack of pit bull dogs and the intended victim might have been a disabled person’s caretaker dog, but the pit bull dogs attacked the disabled person instead. The dogs entered through a pet door intended to let the caretaker dog out to handle their business without intervention by their master. Once they attacked the woman she began shooting them with a pistol and they only became more aggressive. After the lady reached her car in the garage she was able to lock out the dogs and call 9-1-1. The dogs left the house and killed a small dog outside.

The police arrived to find the dogs still in a pack and unwilling to submit to capture. Pepper spray did not seem to help and the police claimed they almost had to terminate the dogs at the scene. I don’t understand why there was any question on termination. But, the poor owner of the dogs would probably file suit against the police department for such an “exaggerated response.”

An interview with the neighbor revealed the dogs belonged to a homeowner about three or four houses away. The dogs had been an investigative target of other incidents.

The local television station reporting the incident asked for comments. Pit bull dog owners cried overwhelming support for ownership of what is overwhelmingly documented as an aggressive beast. One owner claimed their child helped deliver pit bull puppies. Let’s be realistic. Most murderers don’t kill everyone they see. The murderer probably supported and obeyed traffic laws on the way to kill their victim. You’ll find no sympathy for the owner from me.

My view of owning a pit bull dog is about the same as owning a high powered gun that can break loose of its own lock, provide its own motility, picks its victims, and shoot without command. I have never filed suit against anyone and I don’t support frivolous lawsuits. But this case calls for both criminal and financial ramifications that exceed mere compensation. If the case is proven, as I think it will be, the owner should be assessed punitive damages to the fullest extent possible. Only by setting an example will animal owners begin assessing the value of owning an aggressive animal.

About a year ago I purchased my wife a small dog for a companion while I am away at work. I am not sure who cares more for the other. But my family knows that dog only needs to show serious aggression once and he will be reconciling his actions in doggy heaven. No, I don’t believe in abuse of animals and I do think Michael Vick deserves strict and severe punishment. His case is different in allowing dogs to suffer for human entertainment. He actually trained the dogs for aggression which places him in a worse category than a normal aggressive dog owner. But our friends at the Humane Society and other animal organizations must realize, human life comes first.

Pit bull dogs are the popular breed for dog fighting. Why? Because of their strength, courage and dog-aggressive tendencies. My answer for those who must own one: keep the dog in the house; keep the yard fenced and locked; and keep the dog muzzled when in public. Otherwise, you may face the consequences and, worst of all, live with the knowledge your dog took the life of an innocent creature. If you can live with that knowledge then I wouldn’t be surprised if you owned such an animal. You will find no sympathy here.

Taxed Again

Yesterday afternoon my friend dropped by my office to relay the unfortunate news of a screw in one of my truck tires. According to my last visit to get my oil changed (over three months ago) my tires are just shy of the legal definition for “bald.” My look at the tires saw plenty more life in them. Bald is when the tread does not reach Lincoln’s head on a penny. But this new situation convinced me to proceed with the new tire option even though I leaving this state in about a week.

There are several things you should realize when calling for comparative prices on tires. (1) When the salesman says buy 3 tires, get 1 free remember the price is adjusted like you see on most any sales gimmick. (2) Prices quoted may or may not reflect valve stem, balancing, road hazard, and any other miscellaneous sale that may add five or six dollars per tire. (3) Prices quoted do not have the mandatory disposal fee added, another buck fifty. (4) Prices quoted do not include 6.5% sales tax. (5) And best of all prices do not include the new Ohio tire tax they call a fee.

Just what I need, a new fee. A hidden tax designated as a road use fee to help keep the road repaired. I already pay federal income tax, state income tax, city income tax (without any deductions allowed), property tax, and sales tax. Somewhere in all those funds one should be able to maintain the roads. But have you driven down Ohio roads lately? If you have you already know the roads need more maintenance. So where do all the other taxes go? I know three million went to a recent embezzlement. If government benefits aren’t enough, some people need to steal more cash.

As mentioned, I leave Ohio for Tennessee in about a week. There I face 9% sales tax. But there is no city income tax and no state income tax. All I need to do is control my spending. Why does Tennessee have roads in good repair? Don’t say gasoline tax because I pay that in Ohio too. Maybe I will have something new to learn in Tennessee about another secret method to extract more funds from my pockets. Until then I just open my wallet and ask the fine folks in Ohio government just how much money they want? If it happens the same way it did when I left North Carolina they will audit me next year to make sure they drained every single cent they can find.

I guess I shouldn’t complain. If we didn’t have all those folks down at the various government tax agencies and the various contracted private companies to oversee the agencies then we would have more people to support on unemployment. So we should conclude it is a self sustaining system. Just more sustaining in Ohio than other places. Let’s just hope they don’t implement a new expensive poll tax before we get the chance to vote the tax initiators out of office.