Since things are slow and I’ve been quiet ….

Paul Goldman I think Paul Goldman running his political consulting business on the “side” while employed by the City of Richmond is/was wrong. I think the Kaine campaign hiring him was a bad decision and that they should admit it was a mistake. That said, I think Goldman’s punishment–suspended for six weeks without pay–was unduly harsh. Apparently, the city wanted to make an example of Goldman, but I think plenty of city employees have been running businesses on the “side” and a less severe punishment would have been enough put everyone on notice. There’s a difference between Goldman and some poor Department of Public Works schlub who hauls brush on the “side.” I would hope the city would offer a disclosure/approval policy and a prohibition from marketing or performing outside work on city time.

Blog the Budget Not many takers on our opportunity to comment on the budget Governor Warner recently submitted. That’s not surprising–it is the holiday season and people are busy. Of course, maybe that’s why so little of the budget has ever been challenged. By the time folks get out of holiday mode, the session has started and the budget goes into committees where the real action takes place more or less out of public view. Meanwhile, high profile abortion, “droopy drawers,” or open container debates are reported breathlessly.

Special Elections I hope bloggers in the districts where special elections are being contested try to get interviews with the candidates. While I don’t think candidates in special elections should be any more forthcoming about their views than the candidates we elected in November, it would be nice to know if they have some familiarity with the just introduced budget and some degree of passion on the major issues of transportation, education, and public safety.

Pit Bulls I love dogs–my mutt “Rags” is one of the joys of my life. However, I will support proposed legislation regulating dangerous dogs such as pit bulls and I believe the woman on trial in Fredericksburg, if it is proven she owned the dogs that killed an elderly woman, should be put in jail for a long time. There are so many choices of dog breeds that to own a breed that is constantly in the news for aggressive behavior is unconscionable.

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8 responses to “Musings”

  1. Lucy Jones Avatar

    I promise… I’m on the 3rd budget document. First time I’ve ever looked at one… It’s sticker shock to see the amounts! I’m trying to tread through the Technology document but I’m having a hard time seeing exactly what the money is really going to.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    There are no such things as bad breeds, only bad owners.

    Jonathan Mark

  3. Will Vehrs Avatar

    Jonathan, I agree, but for some reason, the bad owners who have pit bulls are much more likely to have someone killed or maimed than the bad owner of a schnauzer.

    If I could ban bad owners, I sure would.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    People who should never own a dog want to get what they think is a violent breed and make it mean. So they think, I want one of those pit bulls.

    But if you ban pit bulls such people will buy German Shepherds or other large breeds that have in the past had bad reputations. Decades ago no one had heard of pit bulls, and German Shepherds had bad reps.

    At least pit bulls are small. It is better for the unfit dog owners to be trying to make pit bulls mean than German Shepherds mean.

    Mastiffs in 2005 in the U.S. are the most gentle dogs you can find. I once saw a 180-pound mastiff lying on its back wanting to have its belly rubbed. Mastiffs are big, but people who want mean dogs don’t buy them.

    But what if after banning pit bulls the bad owners start buying mastiffs and training them to be mean?

    Ban pit bulls and maybe the bad owners will start buying mastiffs.

    I would be vehemently against anyone who tried to ban certain breeds. In fact, I would sooner vote for Jim Moran than someone who wanted to ban a particular breed of dog.

    Jonathan Mark

  5. Lucy Jones Avatar

    Oh, I definitely agree. Our neighbor has a mastiff and she is a big teddy bear. Doesn’t even bark when strangers come by. We have a lab-shepherd-something mutt and he’s afraid of the cat! On the other hand, our little sheltie barks and nips at any strange heel close enough to to nip. Not that we’re mean to him. Good grief, he sleeps in our bed and eats nilla wafers at night-night time(groan)….

    My point is all dogs will defend themselves or get excited and nip but when they are large or power-jaws like certain breeds, they can be pretty destructive. Owners need to take special care to keep them from being in a situation where they can cause damage. I can even understand how these dogs in the news became so violent. It’s my understanding they were pretty much running free and packed with other dogs. Of course, they’re going to go back to the hunt.. No excuse for the owners to allow it though.

    I wouldn’t support banning any dog breed either but our homeowner’s policy does… I guess there must have been enough attacks that they are considered too high risk.

  6. Not Guy Incognito Avatar
    Not Guy Incognito

    Will, you wonder why the budget gets so little attention from the press. Well, here’s your answer.

    It’s boring. Look, an offhanded comment about dogs rapidly progressed into some of the longest posts I’ve ever seen.

    Yes, the press should be stewards of the public. However, they are businesses with stockholders.

    Imagine you’re Joe Consumer. You see two newspapers: “State Budget Grows Again” and “Putting a Leash on Dogs who Attack”. Which newspaper do you buy?

    You’re sitting down to the local TV news. You flip around and see some old men sitting around in suits and ties. You flip and see a snarling dog about to make a small child into mince meat. Which one do you watch?

    Find a way to make the budget INTERESTING to the common man, and then you’ll go a long way into educating the public.

    BTW – Pit Bulls get a bad rap because certain owners get them for that reputation, and encourage violent behavior. Most any dog put on a few feet of chain for its life will end up not too nice.

    Anyway, most “Pit Bulls” are actually mongrel crosses of a variety of breeds.

  7. I’m a dog lover, and my dog is a huge animal that I suspect is part foxhound, part St. Bernard, and part Pit Bull. The other dog is a German Shepherd. The big dog can go through marrow bones as if they were dog biscuits. Watching her go through a bone is truly scary.

    Big Dog was adopted at six weeks after someone dumped her in a grocery parking lot, The Shepherd was rescued from a shelter. Both of them are scared of their own shadow.

    I once had an enormous Dalmation that was so scary looking I named him Lawsuit. I used to take him to the dog park. In about five monutes I ususally had the par to myself. The effect of calling “Lawsit, Come.” was amazing. He was also a wuss.

    Even though I’m used to big dogs, I don’t trust Pit Bulls, even though I have friends with ones that seem OK. I understand they were originally bred to grab and hang on: to them that behavior is as natural as a hound traveling with his nose to the ground.

    I still don’t trust Pit Bulls, they seem pigheaded and unpredictable to me.

    There are a lot of socially irresponsible people, as we can see any day on the road. I guess I agree that the bad dogs aren’t inherently bad, the owners are. just as on the highway, there are a lot of accidents that aren’t accidents at all, but the unintended result of an action deliberately taken.

    As a general rule, I tend to believe that we should let people do as they please and at the same time make it clear that if you screw up, you pay.

  8. I'm Not Emeril Avatar
    I’m Not Emeril

    Honest, Will, I intend to spend some time looking at the budget. Really, I do. But I am Stretch Armstrong at work right now and Christmas is here already and I ain’t done any shopping to speak of and I just can’t get a handle on my time.

    But I have a beagle. It doesn’t matter how you treat them, beagles simply cannot be made to be aggressive. I do agree that any dog owner who has an animal that attacks and injures soemone, or even worse as in this case, should be liable for criminal prosecution.

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