Thursday, October 23, 2008

Are you sure?

This flier was handed out on Suffrage Day, April 24, 1915.
Notice that there are only 11 reasons listed. Also, the last line of text reads,
"Give this to a friend and ask him to vote for it."

Massachusetts 2008 Ballot Questions
Ballot Question 1: A Proposed Law to Eliminate the State Income Tax

Question one.. I am 90 percent sure I am voting No. It comes down to simple math and common sense. Income tax accounts for 45 percent, on average, of our state budget and that money has to come from somewhere. Losing the State Income tax will not get rid of blight or welfare or pork barrel programs. If we don’t pay it on what we earn we will pay it at the store, at city hall, excise tax, property tax, higher registry fees. I find it much more reasonable to pay tax on what I earn.. If I make 500 a week and you make 1000 a week it makes no sense for us to both pay say.. 300 bucks to renew our drivers licenses. It makes more sense for us to both pay a percentage of what we earn.

Ballot Question 2: An Act Establishing a Sensible State Marijuana Policy

Last year I was approached to sign the petition to get this question on the ballot.. and I refused to sign. I come from a family of heavy duty drug addicts and I was once a heavy pot smoker myself. Those of you who know my oldest son and how smart he is .. would you ever guess I spent the early months of that pregnancy high as a kite? I’m still thanking god for his health every day. The day I found out I was pregnant I never did another drug. What I am saying is that I know first hand what drugs are and what they do.. Pot is not harmless.. it’s NOT like a beer or cigarettes. My instinct is to vote no.. no no no.
On the other hand I would vote to make pot entirely legal and taxable. If it were legal and taxable it would become like alcohol and could be more controlled and dealt with by the public. We can teach responsible use like we do for drinking. Right now all we can teach is ‘No, Pot is bad! Stay Away!” Which is right.. but if we make a little bit ok.. it just seems to me like it makes us hypocrites.
“Drugs are bad!.. but you can have a tiny bit.”
Seriously? Who can say that to their kids?
“Stabbing people in the face is bad! … but you can stab them just a little.”
Ok so I am exaggerating but you get my point, no?
I can’t make up my mind.

Ballot Question 3: An Initiative for an Act to Protect Greyhounds
I didn’t even know about this question. Excuse me while I go look it up.

This proposed law would prohibit any dog racing or racing meeting in Massachusetts where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occurs. The State Racing Commission would be prohibited from accepting or approving any application or request for racing dates for dog racing. Any person violating the proposed law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000 to the Commission. The penalty would be used for the Commission’s administrative purposes, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature. All existing parts of the chapter of the state’s General Laws concerning dog and horse racing meetings would be interpreted as if they did not refer to dogs.
My grandfather adores greyhound racing and as long as dogs are not being abused I’m not really sure why this is a problem. People race and enjoy it.. Why is it bad for dogs? And why are we so much more concerned, as a society, for animals then we are for people? What about homeless starving children in our own towns? What about abused babies?
Greyhounds? Really? Let ‘em race. I’m more concerned with the decline of the climate and toxins in our food to be too worried over a dog race.


Magic said...

Most of what is said is out right lies. The Racing Commission has laws in place for protection of the dogs. Here is where they can be found:

Also the State Police and state vets are on site and can make unannounced visits to the kennels.
Another thing if there was so much abuse why doesn't the MSPCA have any written and verified complaints?

Ask and you can visit one of the kennels any day you would like. I did and this is what I found out:

An Eye Opener
Back in June of 2008 we were presented an opportunity to make a visit to one of the two remaining greyhound racing tracks Massachusetts. We had adopted Magic four years ago thinking we had "saved" or "rescued" him from a miserable existence. I was ready to get a first hand look at how our "poor puppy" had been treated.

We were met by the volunteer coordinator and given an overview of our day and then brought to the weigh in area where all the dogs are brought before racing. Here I learned that the dogs are weighed in and checked by both the track veterinarian as well as the state racing commission vet. After they are weighed and examined, they are placed in kennel crates-- one dog per crate with the measurements which were set by the MSPCA and Grey2K USA-- to await their chance to race. I was shocked at the level of security and the regulations that help to insure the safety of the dogs.

We were then taken to the post race area where the dogs are brought to cool down. They are walked by their handlers after the race so that they can relax their muscles, get some fresh cold water, a bath to clean any dust off their coat, paws. They even get their eyes washed out as well. There is another area sectioned off and controlled by the state racing commission. This is where they bring dogs selected at random for urine testing.

We were told about the training and schooling that the dogs go through, the selective breeding process which is also very tightly regulated to prevent inbreeding and over breeding. We were given an opportunity to ask questions and express our concerns and receive honest and straight forward answers.

We took a break for lunch and had the opportunity to watch a couple of the races. This was a first for us. We had seen our own retired racer sprint and run with some of his greyhound friends. Nothing compares to the beauty of these dogs at full speed. It is truly amazing and even more so that they really seem to enjoy doing it. As we watched the dogs walk to the starting gate I could see that they were excited. It was a beautiful sight-- seeing these dogs do that which they were created to do.

After lunch we paid a visit to one of the kennels. Now I was ready to see the horrible conditions we have been told about. The turn out area was clean and free of any piles of waste. There was an odor of dogs, we were, after all in a a kennel, but it was not a foul smell. The trainer allowed us to let several of the dogs out of their crates a couple at a time. All of them were very happy and playful. Not one seemed skittish or scared at all! If a dog is abused, you can usually tell by the way it acts around its owner, and also around strangers. Happy, friendly and playful. Every last one of them.

The trainer told us about his days, often twelve to fourteen hours long. You can see his love for the dogs and their love for him in their interactions. The kennel and the crates are cleaned every day. (I wish our house was cleaned that often!) They are subject to unannounced inspections by the State Police and MSPCA.

I came away with a different opinion that day.

If Ballot Question 3 passes, Massachusetts will lose over a thousand more jobs, an average of 4 million dollars per year in taxes and fees, the businesses surrounding the tracks will also also experience negative effects. The Greyhound breed as we know it, will eventually cease to exist, and it is this that saddens me most of all. Greyhounds are unlike any other dog I have ever had.

Please, vote NO on question 3.

Reducing in HM said...

Thank you for adding that, it was incredibly helpful. I am sure there are some sad cases of abuse but I do not think the majority of greys are being horrible treated. They seem to be better treated then my kids! lol

Good luck to you and Magic! I liked your blog as well.

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