Friday, September 21, 2007

Guiliani Should Head FEMA

The sole reason Rudy Giuliani could launch a presidential bid is his performance of 9/11.

Few criticize his actions that day and in the first few weeks that followed. He was quick on his feet and wise in his words. He stayed calm too. For someone who'd just escaped a building that was literally crumbling over his head, that's big. Most significant, Giuliani was effective. He mobilized and directed an enormous network of services for dealing with the crisis.

That's the guy you want heading FEMA. He's competent.

Perhaps Giuliani really thinks he can get the Republican nomination. I doubt it, because when you see him up close you realize he's a colossal jerk. But Giuliani has never been modest. At the least, Giuliani wants a key cabinet appointment. I'd guess he wants Homeland Security, the Big Dawg of governmental command and control.

Giuliani's other accomplishment as mayor was running the ball on crime-cutting measures such as CompStat, the computerized crime-tracking program. As I've said in a previous post, Giuliani has the instincts of a control freak, including a calloused take on civil liberties. He shouldn't be in charge of domestic spooks who are already invading our privacy. We could kiss our freedom of speech goodbye, and probably our freedom of association too.

It might take a few blandishments to get Giuliani to take a lesser role than Homeland Security. He deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom in any case. But what a great FEMA director he would be.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'll Take a Bite for this Principle

Since I was bitten by an unneutered dog, several people have suggested I have my own dog fixed. I'm well aware, too, that many think there should be a law barring owners who are not breeders from having unneutered dogs.

I respectfully disagree. Dogs behave badly when humans behave badly. I think a responsible owner has every right to keep a dog unneutered.

I like the idea of licensing owners rather than licensing pets. The owner who brought his unspayed dog to the run apparently didn't even know the dog was in heat. I think he should be restricted from having unneutered animals.*

However, owners are innocent unless proven guilty. It seems to me that advocates of forced neutering aim to protect the world from humans who haven't screwed up yet.

We can't presume guilt before innocence in a democracy. Otherwise, we're in deep doo-doo.

I'll take a bite for that principle.

*Some people have even told me they think he shouldn't be allowed to own animals at all. I disagree there too. It's the loopy humans who need pets the most.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Love Hurts; or, Scarred for Life

What you love is eventually going to turn around and bite you, sometimes right in the ass. So the cynics say. Now I have the marks to prove it.

I love windsurfing. Three weeks ago I had a terrific sail, but I ended it1 with an injury on the dismount. I'd just placed my right foot on a rock and locked my knee when the sailboard bucked out from under my left foot. I did a nose-to-knee maneuver, shouted "Ouch!" and fell in. I couldn't sit down comfortably for two weeks. Still can't, but at least now don't have to check my e-mail standing up.

I love dogs too, but I got a nasty bite in the dog run last night.

I was on one knee explaining a nuance of deportment to my adorable Cavalier King Charles spaniel when a supersized Basenji came over to say Hello.2 I heard both of them growling, so I started to pick up Beau, and the other dog lunged.

The bite was a complete oval with a puncture for each tooth. It started swelling and turning blue immediately, and bits of fat started protruding from the two deepest wounds. The whole thing looked to be a good five inches long.3

I stood up with Beau slung over my left shoulder by the harness, and the other dog ran away to play some more.

A dozen people converged on me with kind words, clean paper, and antiseptic wipes. One woman came over solely to say, "This happened because your dog isn't neutered!" What timing! I've got blood running down my forearm into my palm and dripping onto my pants, and she's telling me it's my fault.

Three hours later, I had a ridiculously big bandage, a bottle of antibiotics, and a promise that I'll be scarred for life. The ER doctor said sutures would raise the risk of infection.

He also said that since both dogs were growling when I picked Beau up, I was "intervening," and to the health department, that makes it a "provoked attack." It turned out that both dogs are unneutered, and there was a female dog in heat in the run.

This morning Beau could hardly wait to go out. It was all so exciting! I hope I haven't given him a taste for adventure that involves Type A positive blood.

1Since clearly the laws of physics had been suspended.
2A Basenji is an African dog that looks a little like a husky, except it's smaller, sturdier, and short-haired.
3(Ahem.) It was almost 3" long, once I took the bandage off.
4Embarrassing in retrospect. The owner says, "I'll never show my face in that dog run again!" He's already covered my copays.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Can't write till I can sit

'Pologies for the hiatus in posts. I sprained my butt windsurfing.