Cleveland+Cruelty to Animals

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 02/02/2008 - 23:15.

A page 1 article in the February 2, 2008, Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Dogged security guard caused quite the stir", makes light of international concern over a dog photographed sitting alone in the window of an abandoned, boarded-up house in Cleveland, with the caption "Dog Days: Left behind as foreclosure crisis pounds U.S.", which was published in the Toronto Star, leading to local action in Cleveland to rescue the distressed animal, which turned out to be imprisoned by real estate speculators to protect their shit. They don't even own the dog... the article doesn't care who owns the dog... the article is pointless, yet surfaces pathetic flaws in the character of so many in our region.

The article basically said international outrage and concern over the cruel state of the dog's life was unjustified, as the dog was not living in an abandoned house by choice, which the PD would find cruel, but rather was locked alone in the house by strangers to protect their shit, which the PD finds logical.

The PD writer concluded concern for the dog is "How much ado about nothing..." This was, literally, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's official response to the world about our cruelty to animals here, being that it is okay for someone to lock a strange dog in a boarded-up, freezing house for un-told numbers of days (the current owners of the hosue (not the dog) have been renovating it since 2006)... that is how we do things in Cleveland, and our only official newspaper writes on the front page of the Saturday edition that it is okay. No wonder this is such a cruel place.

As a resident of this region and a person who respects the life and well being of other animals I do not believe this is okay - not the locking-up of the dog and not the insensitivity of the Plain Dealer editors and the author of this article. I apologize to the rest of the world for them, but I cannot say this is an isolated situation, as the people of the region and the media here are quite insensitive to modern reality, as so well illustrated by our public commitment to the politically incorrect "Indians" brand for baseball.

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We are judged

We are judged by our civil standards.  And those standards are pretty low. 

Yesterday, the Plain Dealer reported on the sentencing of one child Ismael for the killing of another child Gabriel.   I have a mental picture of these boys, because yesterday a friend, who managed Lincoln Park pool in Tremont, told me that these were the boys thrown out of the pool this summer for their rowdiness. 

These are our kids and they have no value for life. Did Ismael really understand his actions?

Mayor Jackson said he wants his time in office to be judged on “what we do for the least of us.” He says he will know he has made a difference, if his work unites the lives of children, seniors, disabled people, families, businesses and all who share this great City. He will know he has made a difference when we can all see “One People, One City, and One Mission.”

The Orchard School incident and other cries for help should start those kids back on the right track by forcing them to make a public apology before their whole school for the pain they have inflicted.  They need to feel shame. These kids need to learn compassion, before they aim another "toy" gun at another living creature.

"trouble simmered just below surface"

At the Fulton Elementary, most of the problems appear to be the results of poor adult leadership and management, and most of the kids have been lead poisoned and struggling with poverty from birth, against their will, so it is adults who should be apologizing to kids for our stupidity (like combining K w/ 8). For the Fulton mess, the PD headline reads "At Fulton, trouble simmered just below surface, some say". No, trouble at Fulton and in NEO is as in our face as may be. Perhaps writers at the PD need to get their head out of their suburban sandboxes and see the real world around them, live and close-up,  day in and day out, by living and working in the neighborhoods they cover (which would reduce the PD carbon footprint as well).

So, who, now, will be covering all the good news in East Cleveland?

Disrupt IT

Play dead

  Roll over--play dead.

WORD HISTORY   A cynic may be pardoned for thinking that this is a dog's life. The Greek word kunikos, from which cynic comes, was originally an adjective meaning “doglike,” from kuōn, “dog.” The word was probably applied to the Cynic philosophers because of the nickname kuōn given to Diogenes of Sinope, the prototypical Cynic. He is reported to have been seen barking in public, urinating on the leg of a table, and masturbating on the street. The first use of the word recorded in English, in a work published from 1547 to 1564, is in the plural for members of this philosophical sect. In 1596 we find the first instance of cynic meaning “faultfinder,” a sense that was to develop into our modern sense. The meaning “faultfinder” came naturally from the behavior of countless Cynics who in their pursuit of virtue pointed out the flaws in others. Such faultfinding could lead quite naturally to the belief associated with cynics of today that selfishness determines human behavior.

Suburban fantasy

  When I grew up in Rocky River--the middle school was a horrible cesspool of hormones drugs and alcohol.  Not well-publicized, mind you.  I personally knew kids strung out on cocaine, kids who were being sexually-abused by their parents and abused by other teens, kids who were regularly being beaten up for being different "queer," and kids having sex, lots of sex.  I also grew up with two parents, who chain-smoked L&M cigarettes and we lived in the cigarette, alchohol and leaded gasoline haze of the suburbs. 

So, by comparison, today's urban child does not have it much worse than I did in the seventies.   Dick Feagler could be my dad.  In fact, he probably sings "I, Don Quixote" at the top of his lungs, in suburban Bay Village.

NEO, we need to see beyond the surface and we need to grow up.

    The PD also ran a

    The PD also ran a story on February 2 "Twin Bombings kill 91 in Baghdad" A5. I would argue that this one actually deserved front page coverge. An important news story everywhere, I first heard it on the BBC word news while driving home from work Friday evening. Two female suicide bombers attacked crowded Baghdad pet markets. I am throughly desensitized to the violence in Iraq by now, but for me the word "Pet Market" made this bombing stick in my mind and made me ponder the humaneness of people on the otherside of the word. 

    What about the pets!? How many animals trapped in cages died along with those 91 market goers? I never found any mention of that in the news. I envisioned a horrible scene of gore -- of fur and feathers plastered on human remains. Then I began to envision another part of the story, which I heard on the BBC, that described how families would often visit the pet markets as a fun outing. The pet markets were an escape from the bleakness of everyday life in Bagdad and brought joy to the scarred lives of children and adults. Suddenly I felt I could relate to Iraqis. Iraqis care about animals!? Amid a horroble civil war and forgeign occupation people there are still capable of loving a pet!? There are Muslims in Iraq who are not so filled with hatred that they are incapable of petting a puppy or talking to a parrot!?

Compassion for animals and respect for thier lives is something that can unite people that live thousands of miles apart in vastly different cultures. I believe the treatment of animals and respect for their lives is a pretty reliable way to judge a person's character. That said, Clevelanders and Americans are quite immoral and inhumane. Despite having mega pet stores throughout the country with thousands of things to buy to pamper your pet, the legal consequences for abusing or even killing animals are very light and are seldom enforced  to the full extent. And then there is the pervasive attitude Norm noticed in the PD, that animal abuse is acceptable, normal, even humorous. We are a nation that has long accepted the abuse and torture of animals and now we even accept the torture and abuse of humans -- if they are labeled suspected terroists.