The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Sunday, November 2, 2008

2008 Endorsements

Who to vote for - and against!

I never let anyone tell me how to vote and you shouldn't either! But if you're curious, this is who I hope wins on the Western Mass ballot.

President: Bob Barr

Lame libertarian is still better than what the major parties could produce.

U.S. Senator: Robert L. Underwood.

He may be crazy but he's honest.

Statewide Ballot Questions

Question 1. Repeal the state income tax.


Question 2. Decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.


Question 3. Ban dog racing.


Congress 1st District - Nathan Bech

West Springfielder didn't back the Wall Street bailout like his opponent did.

Governor's Councilor - Mike Franco

Antiquated judicial body should have been abolished decades ago; Franco's election may hasten its demise.

Hampshire/Franklin Senate District - Keith McCormic

Colorful candidate we hope resurfaces if he loses.

2nd Franklin State Rep - Robert E. Parks.

Incumbent Donelan is a bum.

2nd Hampden State Rep - William G. Scibelli

In this Tweedledum vs. Tweedledee race we might as well strengthen the two party system.

3rd Hampden State Rep - Nicolas A. Baldyga

Incumbent Sandlin has distinguished herself only by her obedience to her Boston masters.

4th Hampden State Rep - Donald F. Humason

Everybody loves Big Don.

Sadly, many incumbents who deserve defeat did not have opponents. In races where I didn't endorse someone it is because I was ambivalent about who should be elected. So may the best people win and as they say in Springfield - vote early and often!


Magic said...

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.

Anonymous said...

As a libertarian/republican, vote no on 3. It is an over reaction to the abuse.

Anonymous said...

Even under the best conditions there are certainly aspects of dog racing that are and will continue to be inhumane and cruel.

However, I don't think this is the best time to be cutting revenue sources in the state...

Anonymous said...

First, I was shocked to see the Springfield paper endorse McCain.

I am a libertarian through and through. Bob Barr is an opportunist, not a libertarian.

Second, I have personally been at the tracks and seen how these dogs are treated between races. I have adopted two greyhound retired from the track and have witnessed their behavior. I know enough about abused animal behavior to be able to have an educated opinion on this matter.

It is NOT an overreaction at all to end the kind of treatment these dogs are subjected to. The tracks are not regulating themselves, so it is time for the people to do it for them.