If you like, why not sign up for more?
The article contains all those things I have spoken of above, including the re-homing of dogs that should be in most cases put down. It is a very misguided way of thinking when you find a home for a potential killer believing all will be well ‘because there is no such thing as a bad dog’.
I remember many years ago talking to a dog trainer in the army. At that time, I can’t say what the situation is now, they had dogs for specific purposes. One of those were the site protection dogs, those that would guard facilities and be based between two sets of fencing; their sole job was to protect the site and attack any intruder. These dogs, all German Shepherd Dogs if my memory still serves me, knew nothing else and unlike the other dogs could not be re-homed when they were retired for safety reasons and were put down.
This from 2012 tells the story of dogs that cannot be safely retrained. If the army can’t retrain them safely then the general public should never be allowed near such dogs, yet those hand-wringing appeasers would have you believe otherwise, always at someone else's expense.
There are even cases of kennels having to take back unsuitable dogs and then re-homing again. It takes a strange mind set to think this is safe practice.
The headline is wrong as it calls it a scandal then goes on to explain why they are put down; nothing scandalous about it, simply safe if sad practice.
Keeping that in mind, why are the general public owning dogs bred to fight in a domestic situation and in most cases with owners who have not a clue what they are doing or taking on. We have all seen the young mum pushing a pram along with a pit bull on a lead alongside; stark staring mad, anything for a fashion statement.
I remember the first time I saw such a stupid scene. It was in Haverhill, Suffolk that was near to the village we lived in at the time. I was waiting outside of a bank for the wife to emerge and on the opposite corner was the stereotype hard case or thought he was, standing wearing boots, a vest, carrying a baseball bat and a pit bull on a lead with the other hand; he was talking to some other dim-looking youngsters who thought it was all terribly macho. That was thirty years ago, we have gone backwards as this is sort of behaviour is an almost commonplace sight in certain areas.
The Dangerous Dogs Act is like dangerous driving, only a good law if it is enforced. Lack of staff and will or both means that nothing will change and lessons will be learned after the event, except they won't.
The act (linked above) is full of will-be’s and cannots, but how do you enforce any of this. You can’t, and the cases of incidents just keep rising.
The issue of breeds that are cross bred deliberately and so are not covered by the legislation is an insurmountable problem that is exploited by those wanting to circumvent the law.
This article in the Mirror from 2020 shows the increase in attacks to that time over a period, and the attacks on children have escalated. This area we can put down to the feckless who believe one of these dogs or any dog can just become one of the family unsupervised; dumb and dumber.
Dog attacks on kids surge with 1,700 reported last year - with 37 babies mauled
The PDSA blames irresponsible owners; yes fine, but there is absolutely nothing there to stop anyone going out and buying any breed on a whim and putting that dog into a potentially life-threatening environment. We live in a time when many simply say 'I will do what I want' without ever considering the consequences. Saying that ‘Buster’ has never been a problem before when we left him alone with our one year old, after the event/death, is not the comment of a sane person but still it goes on.
It is difficult to find any videos other than a few police ones depicting the dim denial responses of owners to any criticism of owning these animals. I would not normally put up Judge Judy as her show is about entertainment value more than the outcome, still this compilation does show the sheer stubborn stupidity of owners of dangerous dogs when faced with the truth:
This one is interesting as it includes a police dog handler who quite frankly shouldn’t be allowed out, a complete idiot.
Is there a solution? The PDSA and the Kennel Club plus others call for education of owners; the naivety of that statement can’t be underestimated as there is no way the hundreds of thousands who buy dogs are obliged to listen to anyone and they don’t.
Yes, it would help if all potential dog owners were obliged to undergo some sort of awareness training regards dog ownership. That is not going to happen and the logistics prohibit it anyway; and will those wanting a banned breed for whatever purpose be listening? As they used to say in my old neck of the woods, 'You're having a giraffe.'
I well remember one case at our dog training club, of a family who brought in their Old English Sheepdog for basic training and bit by bit the sorry tale unfolded: the dog became possessive of the kitchen which he slept in and ended up attacking the family when they tried to enter. As they had young children they were at their wits' end as to what action to take and ended up at the club for help.
On this particular night the dog attacked the owner totally unprovoked, and somebody suggested as it was my breed? that I should take charge of the animal while they went for the first aid kit.
I made the dog sit by my side with no problem then out of the blue after a couple of minutes he went for me. I was prepared for to this and pulled up his lead to limit his movement and the lead broke, allowing the dog to bite me. He then sat back quietly as though nothing had happened. I held his collar while someone went and fetched a suitable lead and I handed the dog back; they had it put down the following week.
The reason I relate this tale is that a dog does not have to be one of the categorised dangerous breeds to be dangerous. Any breed can have the odd genetically flawed version in its ranks; that is nature, regardless of what those may say that never see any fault in any animal.
Unfortunately you can breed for those characteristics in dogs as you can for any other. Nearly all breeds have come from stock that were bred for some specific task and that includes guard dogs.
We were in the ancient port town of Rye, West Sussex, staying at the Hope Anchor Hotel up a cobbled street at the top of the town. We'd topped off our celebration with some overpriced whiskies in the small bar downstairs.
The weather was beautifully warm - almost too much so for our non-airconditioned room - and so to bed and a heavy sleep.
I very rarely have nightmares, and never one like this. It was blood, blood everywhere, a dream coloured red. It was horrible and felt significant.
When I woke next morning, shaken, I turned on the TV as much to restore banal normality as anything, and got rolling news on a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena the night before, killing and wounding many children as well as adults.
I don't claim psychic powers, but to me the dream seemed connected; as though a signal had been broadcast, of outrage at being robbed of life so early and unexpectedly.
I remember reading that many people contacted the FBI before the 9/11 attacks, with descriptions and drawings of dreams and visions that troubled them enough to make that effort; it's hard to find links on the search engines now.
Some will hurry to discount all this; but then there are two kinds of explanations: ones where you come up with various hypotheses and test them to see which one fits best; and ones where any explanation will do and no evidence is required so long as it explains away the phenomenon, like putting St Paul's blinding light down to an epileptic fit, despite there being no reference to his ever having had another one before or since.
I just don't know.
Last Friday (the 13th!) I was checking emails and then browsing for more music videos and I felt something on my head. Put my hand there and it was blood, lots of it. What the .....
I grabbed a small hand towel which very quickly turned red. I realised that I must have had another epileptic seizure, first for ten years, because there had been a momentary very intense 'aura' surrounding the screen and a blurring of vision. I had fallen off my chair, banged my head on something and then got back onto my chair without any memory recall of what happened. That pattern has happened before where I had a blip in my vision similar to seeing a film projector jump a frame in the reel.
So I dialled 999 and called for an ambulance after explaining the situation and two paramedics arrived within about twenty/thirty minutes. They went to a house further up the street but I was by then sitting at my open front door and I went out and waved them back down the street. They patched me up as best they could and loaded me up into the ambulance. They had a quick word with my neighbour who had just then got back from work and away we went with siren blaring and they delivered me to Cramlington Emergency care hospital. Meanwhile I'm lying there trying to work out what had happened.
They wheeled me into the 'arrivals lounge' which is just a long row of curtained off beds, a bit like a field hospital. Doctor arrived and started to assess the damage and eventually I ended up with ten stitches in my scalp. Must have been a hell of a clout to leave such a deep and extensive wound (but more of that later)
Waited for a while longer and then they moved me onto a ward, told me not to move or try to get up. They checked my BP which was dangerously low and eased me onto a waiting bed then threw a pair of NHS 'luxury' pyjamas which turned out to be 'one size fits all' in style. Almost wearing these ill fitting garments I lay on the bed while a nurse put my bloody (literally) pullover and shirt into a bag. 'Bloody' trousers and not so bloody underwear were on a chair in the bath/WC.
The style at Cramlington is a circle of individual rooms radiating from the central nurses desk area. They brought some food and the essential cuppa char and then checked my BP again which was too high this time and then the usual fussing about and sundry poking and examining etc and I just lay there and waited. Not much else happened, nothing of importance that I remember anyway. Around 3 in the morning nurse wheeled in the BP machine and it was 124/77 which is good. All subsequent BP measures were in a similar range so perhaps my BP problem has been resolved accidentally. Well, you never know!
Saturday morning and weetabix for breakfast. Where's the all-day-breakfast? That comes at lunchtime. Well it's obvious innit. They wheeled me around for a CT scan of my brain and later another room another machine for a chest X-ray. And then more waiting around lying on the bed and talking to the various nurses who wandered in and out to do whatever they were doing. Eventually a proper consultant arrived and he turned out to be better than average simply because he was willing to say "I don't know." which was one of the three options for what had happened to me; the other two being the epileptic seizure and a diabetes related episode. Finger prick for diabetes being one of the tests the nurses were doing.
And then they signed all the bits of paper for my discharge. While I was sitting waiting for one of the nurses to put a fresh dressing on the head wound I was idly peeling away the tapes around the cannula on my hand which had not been necessary but they do it as a matter of routine. I had managed to extract the valve and the needle without doing any damage to the skin or hand just as a nurse came in to do it. She told me off and said something about germs as she put a plaster on. Oh, I've met lots of germs in my life the only germ that worries me now is this one -
And the into an ambulance home wearing my bloody trousers and the jacket of the bile green NHS pyjamas, carrying the bloody pullover and shirt in a bag. And back in time for the end of the Cup Final which was as bad as my sore head.
I think I've worked out what happened. Looking at the mess on the floor which now resembles a Jackson Pollock painting, I must have fallen off the chair and cracked my head on the radiator, ending up lying on the floor. That would explain why the backs of my pullover and shirt were soaked in blood and the front was splattered with blood dripping from the wound. I cannot remember falling or getting back up. My auto-pilot, the subconscious part of the brain which controls the functioning of everything in the body, took over and restored me to the last known conscious position before switching me back on. That is my understanding of it and is the best way I can explain it. If anyone has some other way to describe it I would be glad to hear it.
That was very strange sensation and explains how I didn't realise anything had happened until I felt that trickle of blood from the wound. The more I think about the auto-pilot function and how it works the more I realise that those who advocate the fusion of man and computer, the transhumanists, are insane. They haven't the faintest idea of what they are dealing with. The brain is not a computer, in fact it is nothing like a computer or any other mechanical device. I have learned a little bit from my experience with epilepsy; enough to know that I haven't the faintest idea of what goes on inside my head or anybody else's head! And neither does anyone else.
So it must have been an almighty blow on the head which is why they kept me in hospital and why the nurses were so keen to monitor my movements to the toilet and back.
The nurses were very good and there seemed to be a lot of them. One of the more senior nurse offered to take a photo of my wound as a souvenir; cheeky monkey! I talked to her quite a lot and I directed her to visit Broad Oak Magazine where she would find lots of wonderful posts. And during my brief stay I picked up a 'vibe' of exasperation with the management and stupid systems of the NHS. Just a few comments now and then which I overheard. It is the nurses who keep it running, the management is an impediment.
I rang my GP Monday morning to arrange for a nurse to call and inspect and clean up the wound, there had been a bit of leakage with a trickle of blood onto my scalp. A nurse arrived about twenty minutes after I had phoned. She said she had been doing her rounds and received a text message or something and she added me to her list. She cleaned the wound and changed the dressing and arranged to return the following monday.
When I read some of the tales about the NHS and people's experiences it can be alarming even frightening at times. I have had my own bad experiences to add to the list. But at the moment I seem to be blessed with the prompt arrival of the ambulance on friday and with a very good GP, having ditched the previous GP two or three years ago, plus a day visit to the local hospital recently has shown it to be much improved since I was last there about ten years ago. The previous GP once told me that the NHS has many problems but money is not one of them. A guarded reference to the NHS management, obviously. We deserve better.
There are intermittent shortages of foodstuffs in supermarkets; now I hear from more than one source that they have noticed the sell-by dates on fresh fruit and veg have gotten much shorter and the perishables are looking less than pristine; presumably stocks are running low.
We already know that the harvest in Ukraine is likely to be badly affected by the war there. This post outlines some of the other problems upcoming:https://www.bournbrookmag.com/home/disaster-in-the-rye
Gonzalo Lira is predicting economic collapse and hyperinflation (25%- 35% in Europe 'minimum').
P.S. The Prime Minister has deferred the banning of 'Buy one, get one free' offers in supermarkets, citing the difficulties of poor families. The middle-class finger-waggers are protesting that BOGOF is linked to obesity.
On the other hand a friend told us the other night he has seen mothers bringing used clothes into a shop in exchange for money so their children can buy lunch in school.
Perhaps it is time for overprivileged lifestyle lecturers to get their tanks off poor people's lawns. If the Goodies want people to be slim and healthy they should campaign for better terms of international trade so that the lower classes can earn a decent living.
|Pic: South China Morning Post|
Why are postal votes needed, except for the significantly disabled? It is so easy to vote in person. Voter participation can be affected by the distance to the nearest polling place -
Participation in local elections tends to be much lower than for General Elections: in my own constituency - another densely-populated urban one, in Birmingham - the 5 May turnout was only 27%. Yet in this Tower Hamlets it was 42% (and in 2014, almost 48%.) Perhaps the size of the Tower Hamlets mayoral election turnout is because it was not merely for local councillors but for the Big Man running the borough, the Man who can grant your wishes; insinuations of procedural jiggery-pokery may not be necessary to account for it.
By contrast, in the US, I read, some places deliberately make it difficult to vote by setting up polling stations far from population centres and perhaps not even easily reachable by public transport. Those Americans who suspect that the 2020 Presidential election was 'stolen' by late or fake postal votes should, if their concern is that participation should be fair, look at other solutions to accessibility issues.
But even if polls are fairly conducted, what about how those votes are canvassed? The system is set up to make the aspiring politician focus on what voters think (or can be made to think) matters, rather than systemic problems. The tail is wagging the dog; instead of the people calling their leaders to account, political parties have learned how to cultivate the vote. Billions are spent on psephological analysis, focus groups, opinion polling, advertising, lobbying etc - how can good long-term governance arise out of this mess?
One method currently used to divert the public's attention from domestic policy challenges and cloud their minds with emotion is to wage wars and proxy wars on foreigners. America and Britain are like Lewis Carroll's Walrus and Carpenter, happily prepared to eat Ukrainian Oysters until the last is gone. Such a useful distraction from what Americans need; and so good for the arms industry. Instead of a welfare state, the US has opted for a warfare state.
Yes, the US has a welfare system at the moment, but the GOP is pressing for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.) For their part the Democrats' plan seems to be to encourage the 'undocumented' immigration of relatively poor people, who may look to the Dems for financial benefits of various kinds. There is no plan either from the Republicans or from the Democrats, to help the indigenous lower classes thrive by protecting their work and wages.
The people are waking up to this, when not mesmerised by other 'woke' issues or military drum-banging. Was it not the slow-dawning realisation that in the US Red v Blue has become a 'uniparty' scam that led to the election of the unprofessional maverick Trump (with all his faults)? But the Establishment did everything it could to hamper him in office, and does everything it can to bury him in lawfare now. The uniparty wants Business As Usual until the machine breaks down.
Similarly, here in the UK, although the Northern 'Red (socialist) Wall' collapsed in 2019, Granniopteryx notes that it still far from being rebuilt, despite the Conservatives' difficulties in the last couple of years. We are in a wider political crisis in which Labour has failed to make itself credible but as Peter Hitchens says, 'You need something better than the Tories, and soon.'
We must hope that there will be replacements for both parties before it is too late; but how can they possibly replace themselves, and alternatively, how could we do it, without a revolt?