April 24, 2007

One Wild Ride.

"This isn't flying, it's falling with style!" (Buzz Lightyear)

April 15, 2007

The always funny IowaHawk....

Just when you thought it all you had to worry about was Islamic Jihad, the radical Lutherens declare a fatwah in the midwest and bring the British Empire (?) to it's knees. Read it here...

April 11, 2007

British Hostage Release.

I have to preface this post, as most have about this subject, with the disclaimer that I am not sure how I would have responded if placed in a similar situation. I would hope that if I was being paraded before the press I would maintain a degree of dignity that would not embarrass myself or my country.
What I found most frustrating about the whole affair from the meet and greet with the Iranian president to the bags of parting gifts is the lack of military decorum that the sailors displayed. In the above picture, as the crowd stood waving and smiling for the camera like a bunch of school kids leaving on holiday, we see three of the marines standing somewhat apart and subdued. The second from the right is Capt. Cris Air of the Royal Marines. As senior officer it would seem to be his duty to take charge. It just makes you wish he would step forward and call the group to attention in typical Marine Corp fashion.
It may be that prisoner of war training is no longer a part of the syllabus but at the least the Ministry of Defence should require that all officers sit through a showing of Sir Alec Guiness in
"The Bridge Over the River Kwai."

April 08, 2007

Margery Glickman; Iditarod Redux.

I thought that after my last post on the Iditarod I would tuck the subject away till next March, but anti-Iditarodder Margery Glickman, director of the Sled Dog Action Coalition must have me on speed dial. Only hours after my post about our correspondence she fired off a new comment to the Salmon. Its always hard to judge someones demeanor in a letter but I thought her comments were just a tad snippy and never one to walk away from a pissing match I will reply to it here today.

Margery wrote:
I don't know where you get your figures about how many animals are killed by Miami-Dade Animal Services or why you would presume I am not doing anything to help.

First I would like to apologize for assuming Margery is not involved in a local dog crusade. I'm sure she is a wonderful person and I hear she bakes a mean chocolate chip cookie but the figures I quoted in the last post came from The Dade County Animal Services web site.

ASD's Save Rate is Increasing
The national average Save Rate (animals leaving a shelter alive through reclaim, adoption or rescue) is 28-percent. Miami-Dade Animal Services has reached 46-percent in the month of January and the year-to-date rate has increased to 36-percent.

From the Common Questions page
Why can’t all pets be adopted? 30,000 pets are brought to Animal Services each year. Sadly, there are not enough homes for all of them.

Although they didn't come right out to say how many animals were getting a syringe full of the pink stuff, it wasn't hard to do the math. So lets see... the save rate is 36% so the death rate is 1-.36= .64. 30000 X .64 = 19200 killed critters.

She Continues: But the reality is that wrongs happening in Miami or elsewhere don't justify or excuse the cruelties of the Iditarod.

The old "two wrongs don't make a right defense."
She is right but only if the two wrongs are morally equivalent, which they are not. The mushers, dogs, fans, vets, dog food companies etc. all derive a variety of fulfillment from mushing.
On the other hand, whether it is dogs at the pound or killing an oversupply of horses and dumping them in a landfill because some group of misdirected do gooders think that "by god they shouldn't be exported for food." the wanton waste of any creature is both regrettable and reprehensible. I'm sure I'll be getting hammered by the save the horse loons next. See; "What to do with the Horses"

She continues:
Regarding Ramy Brooks: The Iditarod created an "independent group" to investigate Brooks beating and kicking his dogs. Who is in this o-called "independent" group? Why won't the Iditarod release this information? Whether you can admit it or not, the Iditarod is cruel to dogs.

I will skip the X-Files conspiracy and get to the conclusion which is that Margery and I have two different perspectives that will never converge. She will continue to be a misguided do gooder and I will continue to admire people that still hold that sense of adventure to make the trek across the most wild, beautiful, awe inspiring land in America on the back of a dogsled.

Happy Easter: The Resurrection as Told by Matthew

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow.

The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men.

Then the angel said to the women in reply, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.

He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.' Behold, I have told you."

Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.

April 06, 2007

US Military Capacity

In a press conferance yesterday with Sec of Defense Robert Gates and Chief of Staff General Peter Pace, NBC Pentagon correstpondent Jim Miklaszewski's questioning puts gave GEneral Pace the oportuinty to put to rest the myth that the US military is strecthed so thin that it is incapable of responding to additional threats.
The entire transcript is
available here.

Miklaszewski: So what is this prolonged deployment in Iraq doing to the overall readiness of the force, and what is the state of the readiness of the force today?

Gates Reply.....

Miklaszewski: But in terms of readiness -- General?

Gen Pace:
.... But there's more than one audience here, so let me make sure I got -- I make sure our potential enemies also know that the United States armed forces have enormous power and capacity, and at any given time we have about 200,000 to 250,000 of our troops overseas out of some 2.4 million. We have enormous residual capacity. We have the vast power of our Army -- correction -- of our Navy and our Air Force still available to take on any potential foes. And it would take longer then for the reserve forces to be remobilized and to get to the fight, but there is zero doubt about the outcome. It would simply take us longer than we would like, or than it would if we were not doing anything else, to defeat any potential enemy.

Miklaszewski: Which would potentially increase the number of casualties of the West. ( I assume when he says west he is refering to the United States and Britain)

Gen Pace: You potentially increase the number of casualties on both sides and the amount of damage done on both sides, because you have some of your precision intelligence systems and some of your precision delivery systems already committed, and therefore, you may end up using more dumb bombs, for example, to get the job done. So you would end up using more brute force than you normally would if you could just start with nothing else going on and pick the exact units and exact weapons that you would use.

Iditarod Response.

Margery Glickman, director of the Sled Dog Action Coalition was kind enough to leave a comment concerning my recent Iditarod coverage. She writes: "The Iditarod is cruel to dogs. For the facts: http://www.helpsleddogs.org."
I contacted Margery to inquire why a woman in Miami, which is about as far as you can get from Nome, is so concerned about the state sport of Alaska. Over the course of several days we exchanged our positions on the subject.

I Wrote:
"Hello,Thanks for taking the time for responding to my personal coverage of the 2007 Iditarod. I wouild like to question though, why you would take the time to leave a comment to a blogger that has an obvious appreciation for the sport of sled dog racing and is fan and supporter of the Iditarod and it's place in Alaska culture?"

She responded:
Hi Scott, Thank you for your email. I wrote because some Iditarod supporters don't realize that the race is cruel to dogs. May I send you information, including copies of research studies that are on the National Institute of Health website?

I am afraid this is one of those subjects where our two sides will never agree. I applaud your concern for the welfare of dogs in general but having followed the Iditarod for over 25 years and having personally known mushers and their dogs I find that your anger and crusade against sled dog racing is unfortunatley misdirected.

Margery evidently was not swayed by my argument.....She responded:
If Ramy Brooks is willing to hit his dogs in full view of witnesses, isn't it a good bet that he's done it on other occasions when there have been no witnesses?- Margery Glickman, Sled Dog Action Coalition

I sensed a little animosity growing in my new pen pal and as my wife will tell you there is not a button that I dont enjoy pushing. Just my nature.

Margery, He may also beat his wife and kick the cat but this is a reflection of Ramy Brooks and not of the Iditarod. The Iditarod officials quickly took the appropriate action. Unfortunately it gives you, PETA and others the chance to wail "I told you so."
If you are really concerned about animal welfare and are intent on effecting some change I suggest you spend a few days at your local Miami Dade County Animal Services, where 64% of the 32000 animals they take in per year are summarily executed.
http://animals.miamidade.gov/ Twenty Thousand dead animals is a travesty that far exceeds anything you can compare in the Iditarod but I suspect that the local dog pound is not as glamorous a target as the Iditarod.

I am still waiting for a response.

Catching Up

1. The Salmon has been on hiatus....while I play catch up in the game of life.....

2. A Change Of Plans

At some point during the fall semester here at Tall Corn College and Technical Institute I found myself hating life and wondering what the heck was I doing here. Although the goal was pursuing a degree in bidness, like many students, I was having trouble visualizing what would lie at the end of this trek.

I remember commenting some time ago that if I were younger History or Political Science would be an interesting path After some soul searching and with the support of a very understanding and loving wife I have thrown caution to the wind and have changed horses in midstream. I will be attending the University of Iowa in the fall semester as a history major with a minor in education.

3. Happy Birthday to my little brother in Texass....
I know, it's a day late as usual....