Hi Humans,

Don't be shy. If you want to comment on my blog entries, please do so. You don't have to be a dog to say what you think. or if you have a pet dog and want to have your dog speak for you, that's also OK. I would like to hear from you or your dog.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Which Gunmen are the Most Dangerous?


Hi Humans,
The NRA says that more guns will mean less murders because they say law abiding gun owners provide protection from criminals. I assume they imply that vigilante amateur gun owners will provide quicker protection than professional police. Actually the opposite is true as demonstrated by scientific study instead of the B.S. that the NRA pulls out of the air. The states with higher gun ownership have higher homicide rates as demonstrated by a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Also statistics published by UNODOC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) report that only 5% of homicides in the USA occur in the course of robberies. Most homicides are committed by relatives, friends, and neighbors. This means that one is more likely to be shot and killed by a gun owning neighbor or relative who goes beserk or angry than a robber, and therefore one has more to fear from the "lawful" gun owners than criminals. But what do I know. I'm just a dog.

Friday, June 27, 2014

In the Neighborhood

Hi Humans,
When Dad and I go strolling around the Streeterville neighborhood in Chicago, most buildings (including residential ones) either have a no gun sign like the one pictured above or no sign one way or the other. But the Board of our building, in their great wisdom, choose to display a sign which says guns are allowed in the common areas of the building. They are out of step with the community. To say that allowing guns in the halls of the building prevents crime is not true. If we dogs were on the Board, we would have more common sense.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Gun Ownership and Gun Homicide

Hi Humans,
The NRA says more guns in the community creates greater protection from gun crimes. It doesn't make sense to this little doggie, but many humans with their big human brains believe that stuff. We dogs are not so gullible. Anyway, a research study was done last year at the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health and published in the American Journal of Public Health which correlated gun ownership with homicide rates in each state in the USA. And surprise surprise, more guns = more gun homicides!
Here is a copy of the abstract in PUBMED (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health )

Am J Public Health. 2013 Nov;103(11):2098-105. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301409. Epub 2013 Sep 12.
The relationship between gun ownership and firearm homicide rates in the United States, 1981-2010.
Siegel M1, Ross CS, King C 3rd.
Author information
Michael Siegel is with the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Craig S. Ross is with Virtual Media Resources, Natick, MA. Charles King III is with Greylock McKinnon Associates, Cambridge, and Pleiades Consulting Group, Lincoln, MA.
We examined the relationship between levels of household firearm ownership, as measured directly and by a proxy-the percentage of suicides committed with a firearm-and age-adjusted firearm homicide rates at the state level.
We conducted a negative binomial regression analysis of panel data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting Systems database on gun ownership and firearm homicide rates across all 50 states during 1981 to 2010. We determined fixed effects for year, accounted for clustering within states with generalized estimating equations, and controlled for potential state-level confounders.
Gun ownership was a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates (incidence rate ratio = 1.009; 95% confidence interval = 1.004, 1.014). This model indicated that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%.
We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


As an American Jewish doggie, I am concerned that the Presbyterian Church recently voted by a narrow margin to divest itself from stock in 3 companies (Hewlett Packard, Motorola, and Caterpillar) because they do business in Israel including the West Bank. I do not agree with the minority of Jews in Israel (and outside Israel) who favor increasing settlements in the West Bank. I think the settlements are a burden that Israel doesn't need. Having said that, divesting in Israel simplistically ignores the fact that the problem goes 2 ways. In the 1990s Israel created the Palestinian Authority as a first step in a process that was aimed at creating a Palestinian State (2 state solution). During that time an atmosphere of trust was developing in both the Israeli and Palestinian people. In 2000 Ehud Barak, the prime minister of Israel, offered the Clinton/Barak Plan to Yassir Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian Authority which would have created an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It would have removed the vast majority of settlements. However, it would have required the Palestinians to compromise by ceding Jerusalem to Israel and giving up the return of the descendants of Palestinians from outside to Israel. The return of Palestinians was and still is impossible because it would change the demography of Israel. There are many Jewish refugees in Israel from the Arab countries. They have moved on with their lives. As for Jerusalem, Arafat didn't even counter offer with a compromise. His answer was an intifada with suicide bombers. This destroyed the atmosphere of trust that had been built up between the 2 peoples. Later Barak tried a unilateral approach to the 2 state solution by removing the settlements from the Gaza Strip and unilaterally withdrawing. The result was the election of Hamas which totally rejects the existence of Israel and started shooting rockets over the border into Israel. The failure of liberal governments to make peace resulted in the election of right wing governments in Israel, first under Ariel Sharon and now Benjamin Netanyahu. The fence (wall) built to keep out terrorists from the West Bank along with targeted assassination of terrorist leaders (really terrorists) has brought relative peace and security along the West Bank border (compared to the Intifada). So, what do you want the Israeli people to do? Attempts to hand over territory to an independent Palestinian state have resulted in war and terrorism, not peace. The surrounding Arab countries (Iraq, Syria, Egypt, etc) have descended into terrible chaos. The Arab Spring has been a disaster. Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan have remained for now an island of relative peace and prosperity compared to their neighbors. I don't think the leaders of Israel or Palestine really want change right now. The Palestinian leadership is able to play the victim without any responsibility.
So, divestment will accomplish nothing except possibly creating a good opportunity for investment in the 3 targeted companies. One wonders why in the tumultuous Middle East, the Jewish state is the focus of divestment. In the long run, some changes will have to occur, but I don't know what. I am just a little dog with a little doggie brain, so I don't know all the answers.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Priority, Dog or Gun

Hi Humans,
In our condominium building in Chicago, there are stringent restrictions on where dogs may and may not go in the common areas. There are no restrictions on where guns can be carried. Does that make sense to you in your big human brains? It doesn't make sense to me in my little doggie brain.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Gun Anarchists Here and There

Hi Humans,
You know I live most of the year in Southern California in the district of Scott Wilk, the state representative who opposes gun control and misinterprets the Second Amendment for that purpose. However part of the year we live the urban life in a condominium apartment in a large building in downtown Chicago. It is a little confining in a small apartment compared to the freedom of my doggie door and side yard in California. but the advantage is that Mom and Dad (the humans with whom I live) have more time to spend with me when we are in Chicago.
Recently Dad noticed a disturbing sign which has appeared next to the front door of our Chicago building. The sign essentially says that guns are allowed in the common areas of the buildings. This allowance is not limited only to home owners but only says the gunman may not commit a crime. It says nothing about the mental health of the gunman and does not say how one can tell an OK gunman from a criminal. Then it goes on to say that a criminal should be aware that if he commits a crime in the building he does so at his own risk because there are people with guns in the building. This sign was apparently approved by the Homeowners Board. Now there has been a controversy in the community between those favoring gun control (including the Mayor and Police Chief of Chicago) and those opposed to gun control (the NRA and other gun anarchists). Dad sent an e-mail to the Chairman of the Board of the building requesting removal of the sign because the only purpose it serves is to present a certain political point of view which is not the point of view of all the homeowners (and certainly not ours). The Chairman of the board gave a standard anti-gun control answer. He was concerned that a guest of a homeowner might feel uncomfortable carrying a gun through the common area on the way to a visit. Why should a guest be carrying a gun? Why shouldn't he feel uncomfortable? The building has a great security system and there are plenty of police in the area, but the Board Chairman feels that his vigilantes make him feel more safe. Really? Even a little dog like me can see through this crap.
Humans, it seems these gun anarchists are everywhere and will continue to impose their will on you if you don't say anything.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pseudoreligion in Iraq

Hi Humans,
I see on the television that a group of Humans who call themselves ISIS (whatever this acronym stands for) and are members of the Sunni branch of Islam posted movies on the internet showing them shooting and killing their prisoners who are adherents of the Shiite branch of Islam. It is said that they posted their cruel misdeeds to encourage the Shiites to retaliate which will further divide Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites, thus promoting their cause of creating a Sunni state in Iraq and Syria. This is all being done in the name of religion (supposedly for God). But is this really religion? Does God favor one side over the other? It depends which side you happen to be on. I suppose the best approach to objectivity in the matter is to ask why Human people believe in God in the first place. It seems that as humans developed language and the ability to look at the past and wonder about the future, it became obvious that each creature (Humans included) has a limited life span. This leads to the question of what happens after life, or is there any meaning to existence, any order, any purpose? So humans developed ideas of deities, entities with human qualities and endless life who rule over all us mortal creatures. They also came up with ideas of an after-life where humans go after death. Of course they weren't always clear about what happens to little dogs like me and other creatures. They found it enough to account for themselves. As time went on they refined belief to be of one God which seemed to make more sense than multiple ones. Also they developed science which gave progressively developing partial answers to what is going on but to this day has no clue as to why. So modern religion remains the best we have for why (or in other words the purpose of life), and science is the best shot at what (the details of what is going on). Science and religion each has its purpose and are very compatible as long as each sticks to what it can do best. Unfortunately there are Humans in either discipline who use that discipline for ulterior motives. The ISIS criminals (and they are criminals) did not do their crime for God. They did it to gain power over others. They did it to provoke the Shiites to desire retaliation against Sunni tribal leaders who they believe will now have to depend on ISIS for protection. I would call this perversion of religion pseudoreligion. Historically it is not unique in Islam. Others have used it in the past. But nowadays it seems to be most perfected by certain Moslem groups.
The question for America is what to do now. There is no good answer. The previous Republican administration foolishly pulled America into the mess. Bush broke Iraq and the American people have spent a decade trying to fix the damage. President Obama has won back some of America's power and stature in the world in spite of obstruction by the Republican Congress. But as for Iraq, it has been like putting Humpty Dumpty back together.  So at this point, how much is it necessary for the U.S. to participate in continuing to reassemble the Humpty Dumpty of Iraq? What is now in America's interest?
Who can America depend on? Of the 3 major groups in Iraq, the most reliable, stable, and friendly to the U.S. have been the Kurds. Their military successfully beat back ISIS. They have been consistently friendly to America and America’s allies (including Israel). They have also come to terms with Turkey and produce oil which they ship out through Turkey. Of the other 2, ISIS is definitely America's enemy because of their behavior and alliance with Al Qaeda, the guys who attacked the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. As for the Shiite government in Iraq, they have done a lousy job of creating a united Iraq in spite of all that America has done to prop them up. Let Iran spend their money and lives to support their fellow Shiites in Iraq. From the point of view of America's interests, the only reason to help in supporting the present Iraqi government would be to deny an ISIS sanctuary for the Nine Eleven enemy. On the other hand, an ISIS nation of bad guys in Western Iraq would provide an address that could be bombed when they do bad things, as opposed to a shadowy unfindable terrorist group.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This Should Be on the Door of Every Public Building in America

This should be on the door of every public building in America. And it should be strictly enforced. Americans, stand up and free yourselves from the gun anarchy of the NRA. Vote out politicians (like Wilk) who pander to the gun bullies and hide behind the Second Amendment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yet Another Gun Murder

Hi Humans,
Yet another gun murder has happened in Oregon. It has become common place nowadays for the mentally disturbed to act out in this way. This time it was an insane teenager who terrorized a school, killing another teenager and wounding a teacher with his gun before killing himself. The story is too common. How can this happen? Insanity is not more common in America than in other civilized nations. Most American people are not barbarians or more vicious than the people of other first world nations. America is for the most part a progressive innovative country constantly invigorated by the addition of hard working upward striving immigrants. But the American people and cowardly congressmen (like our Mr. Wilk in Porter Ranch) have somehow allowed themselves to be pushed by the gun bullies into the present gun anarchy which allows any screwball to obtain a gun. Even in the more progressive states, there are enough loopholes that allow crazies to obtain guns at gun shows, online, from aquaintences, or by gift. Still the NRA and the other gun bullies push against gun control. They hide behind the Second Amendment (which they misinterpret). Humans of America, it is time to take back your freedom from the NRA. Elect congressmen who will support universal background checks and make modern gun control laws to keep guns out of the hands of screwballs and criminals.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Freedom, Safety, Anarchy, Government


Hi Humans,
You humans many years ago got together and invented the idea of government. You realized that there was a disadvantage to having everyone run amuck and not sharing, especially as humans increased in number and started living closer together and competing. Some governments went too far and made the advantages of government only for the most powerful people to the disadvantage of the less powerful. So not so very long ago (in the grand scheme of time) some humans came up with the idea of democracy which is a compromise between anarchy and government. Now there are a small number of people called Libertarians who want to return to a minimum of government bordering on anarchy in every aspect of life (at least they are consistent). There are a larger number of people in a political group called the Right who are selective in their desire to limit government. For example the gun bullies want absolute anarchy when it comes to guns. They value their guns above the safety of their fellow citizens. Some Rightists favor no regulation of business and industry even when their business practices are detrimental to the common welfare. However those very same business anarchists look for every way to take charity from the government (their fellow citizens) in the form of tax advantages and industrial subsidies. Those very same gun anarchists and industrial anarchists promote the strictest government control over personal ideas of what is moral and what is not.
I guess you guys will have a continuous debate over what is the appropriate role of government. We dogs have no say in the matter. We just live in your world and  hope it doesn't affect us too much.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Gun Violence in Las Vegas

Hi Humans,
Yet another deadly episode of gun violence occurred today in Las Vegas, Nevada. A male and female of the humans species shot and killed 2 policemen who were having lunch, then shot a civilian human. Then the female killed her male partner and then herself. This insanity keeps going on and on. Yet it does not stop the gun bullies and the NRA from promoting gun anarchy and claiming that it is their right under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The Second Amendment provides for "well regulated" state militias (the National Guard), not anyone can own any kind and as many firearms as he or she chooses without regulation. Crazy people exist, but we don't have to create a gun anarchy that allows them to arms themselves for any purpose. When will the American people stand up to the gun bullies? How many more senseless massacres have to occur? When will the cowardly senators and congressmen who pander to the NRA be voted out of office?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hooray for the Wisconsin Center

Hi Humans,
Today I would like to heap praise on a human institution. As you enter the Wisconsin Center (a major convention center) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there are signs on the doors that say that guns, knives, and weapons of any kind are prohibited inside the Wisconsin Center. I guess the people of Milwaukee don't agree with the NRA that more guns create more safety.

More Gun Violence

Hi Humans,
More gun violence in the news. One crazy human killed and wounded people at a university in Seattle before he was subdued. Another screwball started shooting at a court house in Georgia until he was shot and killed by a deputy. In both cases the offender was a private individual with a gun. Private gun ownership did not stop violence. In Seattle the gunman was stopped with pepper spray and people jumping on him. In Georgia, the gun that stopped the offender was used by law enforcement. The irrational NRA idea that private gun owners will somehow stop gun violence is not true. The gaping holes in the gun laws of the USA allow mentally disturbed humans from obtaining all kinds of guns. As long as that deficiency continues, so will the gun massacres.