I love dogs.
I love pit bulls.
I’ve owned several pit bulls over a period of more than 20 years, one of whom was a certified therapy dog, visiting nursing homes, veterans, and so-called “at-risk youth” in her prime, and all of whom were/are great dogs. Not only have I owned pit bulls, but have further been involved with pit bull rescue and “rehabbing” abused pit bulls in an effort to rehome them.
I think that these bona fides make me more than qualified to comment on pit bulls, their nature, and the challenges of owning a pit bull.
Each of us has moments or days in our lives that because of their circumstances are unforgettable. For most of us over the age of about 25, 9/11 was one such day; 9/11 was a day that collectively many of us will never forget. Other unforgettable days are more personal. For example, I’ll never forget the day that my father passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack at age 59. That was more than a two years ago now and periodic waves of disbelief still wash over me regarding my father’s passing. Another such day that I’ll never forget is the day of the assassination attempt on President Reagan.
I was in fourth grade at the time, and we were headed back to class from a newly constructed playground on campus when one of my fellow students reported that “The President got shot!” I recall walking up the stairs to my classroom wondering about the President: Had he been badly injured? Would he survive? As time went on we learned that President Reagan’s injuries were not life-threatening, but that his Assistant and White House Press Secretary, James Brady, was badly injured and might not survive.
Though I was neither a Republican nor particularly religious at that time in my life, I recall being pre-occupied with Mr Brady and praying that he would be okay; that he would not only survive, but would make a full recovery. James Brady’s story held my attention for years after the assassination attempt.
As it turns out, while Mr. Brady was nearly killed and became permanently disabled as a consequence of the 1981 shooting, he did survive.
Brady went on to found The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a non-profit organization named for Mr. Brady, who following the shooting, became an ardent supporter of gun control. The stated mission of the Brady Campaign is “to reduce gun violence…” via “sensible gun laws, regulations, and public policies through grassroots activism, electing public officials who support gun laws, and increasing public awareness of gun violence.”
Rubin was a rescue. Having been seized at a dogfight when he was less than two years old, his history was highly questionable. A good deal of previous experience with abused dogs, and more specifically, a background in working with pit bulls led me to believe that Rubin still could make a good pet. Given that I was in college at the time, unmarried, no children, etc. Rubin, despite having had a questionable history, was a good choice for a dog. He was loving from the get go, but as might be expected with pit bulls in general, and a pit bull that’s actually been involved with fighting on any level, he exhibited a good deal of dog aggression. As days turned to weeks, months, and eventually years, time at the dog park, time with friends dogs, and a good deal of discipline turned Rubin into a reasonably stable dog, great with people, okay with other dogs, but probably never be trusted entirely around other dogs.
And he never was.
As life went on, college turned into grad school, I married, had children, etc. Rubin was there for all of this… really through every experience of my adult life, and given this as well as his history, there is no doubt that he was my favorite pet of all time.
Eventually, we moved to a dead end road in the woods, lots of space, no neighbors… a place where the kids and dogs could run freely.
This was a different environment and living situation for Rubin. Whereas in college, he saw many different people all the time –people were constantly in and out of my college residences– and interacted with many people, people rarely come to the end of my road. What became normal for Rubin after a number of years was to not see people near my home. I suppose that over time, he interpreted this to mean that people were not supposed to be at the end of my road.
Though great with my young children, Rubin gradually became less and less reliable around strangers. It was his opinion that our home was ours exclusively, and that others didn’t belong there. What made the situation worse is that he reacted badly to people being frightened of him. The difficulty here is that people are naturally inclined to be frightened of 80 lb pit bulls that are barking and growling at them.
Numerous readers have pointed out the apparent inconsistency between The Reactionary Researcher (TRR) commenting on Richard Dawkins’ refusal to debate William Lane Craig, arguably the world’s leading and most well-known Christian apologist, while seemingly ignoring another similar inconsistency: William Lane Craig’s refusal to debate John W. Loftus. In all honesty, TRR has not previously commented on this because:
- TRR had not heard of John W. Loftus
Thus, TRR had not heard of Craig’s refusal to debate anyone, much less, John W. Loftus, specifically.
So, exactly who is John W. Loftus?
Interestingly, John W. Loftus is a former student of William Lane Craig’s, and according to his blogger profile:
I have three master’s degrees in the Philosophy of Religion with some Ph.D. work. I majored under William Lane Craig at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1985. I’m the author of Why I Became an Atheist, and editor of The Christian Delusion, and The End of Christianity.
It is also noteworthy that Loftus was recently added to the roster at FreeThoughtBlogs (translation = Anti-ChristianBlogs), a slightly more appropriately, but arrogantly named, multi-author blog, that is a more aggressively venomous anti-Christian spinoff from the already anti-Christian ScienceBlogs, where very little science was actually discussed anyway.
Fans of Stephen King’s The Stand will recall that the story’s engineered ‘superflu’ was created under the direction of “Project Blue” at a U.S. Army Base, and was colloquially known as “Captain Trips”. “Captain Trips” was inadvertently released when a guard and his family were allowed to escape the base as a consequence of a security malfunction. The virus quickly turns into a pandemic and proceeds to kill more than 99% of the world’s human population. The opening scene to the TV miniseries adaptation of The Stand, which is relatively well-done, is shown below.
Let’s hope that reality doesn’t mirror fiction in any way, especially given the news that European researchers have engineered a ‘superflu’ with the potential to kill millions.
Firstly, this entry will be prefaced by noting that The Reactionary Researcher (TRR) has no stake here; TRR has never and will never utilize FoxNews for his information concerning world events. For that matter TRR does not obtain his news from any television based sources.
A “study” has been making a big hit on the internet with its claim that “Some News Leaves People Knowing Less”. Within the first paragraph of this Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll, the authors note that some news outlets,
especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who say they don’t watch any news at all.
This has been enthusiastically picked up by a variety of sources that have gleefully highlighted the point regarding FoxNews:
- Poll: Fox News Viewers Less Informed Than Those Who Read No News
- Surprise! Fox News Makes You Stupid
- Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid
Literally hundreds of other websites make similarly irresponsible, uninformed, and ridiculous claims. TRR is doubtful that any of these sources actually bothered to consult the original FDU poll.
Let’s straighten up a couple of things right off the bat: Firstly, this is no “study”, it’s a phone poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) that asked 612 random people in NJ exactly four questions, the answers to which were subsequently used to extrapolate this information.
Secondly, it is noteworthy that the fact that Talk Radio, the true news source for most conservatives, had an allegedly positive effect on people’s degree of ‘being informed’ went unnoted by any of the outlets that highlighted the story. Go figure.
Irrespective of what the results say, they are an incoherent and indecipherable mess, that as a consequence of being based on flawed methodology, are ultimately, meaningless.
TRR has reproduced some of the actual data from FDU PublicMind Poll below to illustrate the serious flaw in their methodology: