Archive for the 'commentary' category

I support the 2nd Amendment as well as the rest of them…

Mar 09 2013 Published by under commentary, Safety

I support the 2nd Amendment and oppose any more restrictive gun laws.

You may ask yourself what does this have to do with dog walking? Well I’ll tell you. Dog walking is a risky job which requires you to be out in sometimes remote areas and at odd  and/or regular (predictable) hours and after dark. This opens you up to potential assault and victimization. If you are a woman (and many dog walkers are) the risks are obviously even greater.

We have enough laws on the books already and there is no evidence that these mass shootings would have been stopped by any of the currently proposed laws (the gunmen broke dozens of laws including murder). Capacity limitations? That sword cuts the other way as well, reducing the ability of a defender to adequately deal with a critical threat. There have been many cases where the assailant(s) was not stopped because the defender lacked adequate firepower even though they were armed, either because the rounds weren’t powerful enough, or they didn’t hit the attacker(s) in vital areas and ran out of ammo. Armed security in the schools is a better answer. Plenty of returning vets could perform this function with proper training.

We have stupid politicians telling women to “buy shotguns” and “rape whistles” and inferring that they aren’t capable of defending themselves. Funny, the political party that holds itself out to be “pro-women” and “equality” wants to ban the great equalizer. Have you ever seen a woman shooting a shotgun? It is way too powerful for many women to handle. An AR-15 on the other hand can be easily handled by almost anyone. See this video for some much needed perspective…

Enforce the laws we already have and look at other ways to secure our schools. Addressing mental health issues should be of prime concern. Disarming law abiding Americans is NOT the answer. The 2nd Amendment is NOT the Right to Hunt it is the right to defend oneself against attack, tyranny, and oppression.

“Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” – Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446.

Yup. Even Gandhi. I feel good about the company I keep.

Rant off.

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Winter Storm Warning! Blizzard Warning!

Feb 08 2013 Published by under Business, commentary, Gear, Safety

North_American_blizzard_2010_Feb_6_0531_UTCAs the North East braces for one of the biggest storms it has seen in years, I feel it is always a good time to remember that our furry friends are not invincible to the elements. O.k. maybe the northern breeds like Huskies and Malamutes can take it, but most other breeds cannot.

I hope you have already  let your clients know when and if you will be cancelling service. If you haven’t heard from a client yet, be sure to call them and confirm. Many I suspect are already calling you to cancel.

If you absolutely MUST go out, be sure to be prepared with all-wheel drive, chains, a sleeping bag or very warm blanket in your car, a space blanket, energy bars, a full tank of gas, jumper cables, and LOTS of warm clothes!

If you can’t go out prepared, don’t go out at all! This storm is looking pretty bad.

Also, I hope you spelled out in your agreements your inclement weather policy 😀

Stay safe, warm, and happy!

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The Nose Knows, or Does It?

Oct 29 2012 Published by under commentary

Court BuildingThe Supreme Court will be deciding whether the use of drug sniffing dogs by police constitutes unlawful search, possibly paving the way for “reasonable suspicion” AND “probable cause” (preferably in that order) to exist prior to the deployment of a canine asset for a scent search. In other words police would need to obtain a warrant under certain circumstances.

At present, a police officer can deploy his/her dog at their discretion, with, or without, probable cause. In fact, if you were to be pulled over by a helpful officer and they “asked” if they could search your car…

“Mind if I have a look inside your car?” You don’t have anything to hide do you? Is the inference.

In any case, should you refuse (and you should), the officer can then deploy their canine asset to “inspect” the vehicle, bag, or your person. If the dog alerts the officer to the possible presence of an illegal substance that is then grounds for a search (probable cause)… Sounds pretty great to police officers… but what about when the dog makes a mistake, or tries overly hard to please it’s handler or worse, and unethical handler who lies? Much of the legal president for the use of drug sniffing dogs was based on the presumption of the infallible nose of a dog. Let’s call it the infallible nose theory. However, no such dog exists as evidenced by common sense as well as empirical evidence:

“Most strikingly, the handlers were most likely to claim their dogs picked up a nonexistent scent when they saw a piece of red paper. The researchers concluded that handlers cue their dogs, deliberately or not, and this affects the animals’ accuracy.”  Slate.com

The traffic stop example used above could easily apply to a preliminary “scent search” of your home if an officer were to visit your front door with his canine asset in toe based on nothing more than “reasonable” suspicion or a “tip” as basis for stopping by, as in the case which is now coming before the Supreme Court.

This case has real ramifications however beyond the invasion of privacy to further the war on drugs, this could also affect how police deploy their assets to search for explosives in the very real world of international and local terrorism within U.S. borders.

I, for one, am a proponent of the idea that freedom isn’t free. In order to be free we must acknowledge that reasonable risks must be accepted in exchange for freedom. Soldiers sometimes sacrifice their lives to defend freedom but should any less be expected of civilians? Our brave men and women don’t march against our enemies to protect our freedom only to have it taken away by those within our own government. The end result is still the same (loss of freedom) the difference is in who takes it away. Freedom is not defended on the battlefield alone, it is defended in our court rooms, airports, living rooms, voting booths, and on the sides of our highways.

To alter our way of life and limit our personal liberty in the service of efficiency and toward nebulous ends is a grave mistake. We do not usually spend our hard-earned currency so thoughtlessly and yet the rarest and most precious commodity on our planet is personal liberty. So hard-won and so irreplaceable. Any exchange should be made only for the sake of the preservation of our national identity, the source of which emanates from a piece of paper written by those that knew the cost and more importantly, the value of freedom, the U.S. Constitution.

In other words any exchange should be short (never permanent) and only if not doing so would represent a very CLEAR and PRESENT danger to our national sovereignty (the war on drugs doesn’t fit the bill). The idea being that we don’t win the battles only to lose the war… Ultimately it is up to us to decide how much liberty we are willing to exchange for security. Tread carefully and act conservatively.

 

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