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DAVID ROSMAN: Legislature ignores will of the people

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 5:37 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Voters as nuisances: Missouri lawmakers thumb their noses at direct democracy."

"Is democracy dead in Missouri?"

Both are opinion page headlines from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of Jan. 27. I would like to add, "Columnist diagnoses Missouri legislature: Paranoid with schizophrenic tendencies."

Here are my proofs that the Missouri GOP and its legislators are paranoid of the Missouri voters, the citizens of the state of Missouri, the president of the United States and anyone who may be designated as "liberal." Damn, that includes me!

Let's start with Proposition B, the 2010 doggy mill initiative. It was approved by the voters, requiring dog breeders in Missouri to treat their animals more humanely. I did not support this in 2010, but the majority of the state did. I care about that. Yet it seems the Republican-heavy legislature does not. They think you were foolish to pass such a law, and they want to gut it or kill it.

The Republicans have introduced seven House and Senate bills in this attempt. They want to eliminate the limit of 50 breeding dogs. They want to allow kennels with serious violations to go for six months before even thinking about criminal charges. One proposal wants to eliminate the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act completely.

These are the same Republicans who said they would listen to the people. The people have spoken, and the Republicans ain’t listening. As Kathy Drinnin told the Post-Dispatch, "The move to overturn Prop B makes a mockery of the ballot initiative process."

Republicans are afraid of the citizens of Missouri … very, very afraid.

Their second target is the 2008 voter-approved “Renewable Energy Standard." The law requires the Public Utilities Commission to write some very complicated rules so the state’s dependence on fossil fuels would be reduced by 15 percent in the next 10 years. This is a good thing. The GOP leaders do not think so.

On Jan. 27, the Senate GOP leadership permitted the bill SCR 1 to “disapprove a final order of rule making by the Public Service Commission with regards to the Electric Utility Renewable Energy requirements,” thus preventing the commission from writing any new rules. The GOP has sent Missouri back into the dark ages; more air pollution, more planet destruction and more opposition to the modern world of renewable energy laws. Not to mention the voting public.

So much for Republicans listening to the citizens.

The real target of this plan is Robin Carnahan, secretary of state and former senatorial candidate, using her brother Tom's Wind Capital wind-energy farms as the straw-man target. This has nothing to do with the welfare of the citizens of this state. It is political bickering and a dislike for President Obama and anyone he endorses.

Third, the "Big Government Off My Back Act." Really, that is the name. It is the propagandized phrase used in attempting to negate any federally mandated regulatory enforcement by requiring the Missouri legislature to pre-approve the federal law.

Here is the problem. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled against nullification laws since the Civil War.  Nullification laws have not, will not and cannot survive the legal challenge of the Constitution, which the Republicans hold so dearly to their hearts. Article VI, clause 2 says that the Constitution, the laws made by the federal government and all treaties are the law of the land.

I guess the Republicans only remember what they want.

And then there is the multiple personality disorder. HB114 would allow motorcyclists age 21 or older not to wear a helmet. HB 93 would prohibit anyone of any age from texting while they are driving. The Senate Transportation Committee is considering raising the fine for not wearing your seat belt from $10 to $50.

Telling motorcyclists it is OK to kill themselves and other drivers they cannot is proof of disjointed thinking. By definition, schizophrenia.

Who are these people and why did we allow them even to get into office? It’s not my fault; I didn’t vote for them. Did you?

David Rosman is an award-winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at InkandVoice.com and New York Journal of Books.


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Comments

Terry Ward February 2, 2011 | 7:06 a.m.

"Legislature ignores will of the people"?

The answer lies in semantics.
How the legislature defines 'the people' appears to be the root of the problem.
The Missouri legislature has made it most clear that 'the people' are actually 'the people who AGREE with us'.
Here's a idea!
The legislature should simply ABOLISH the voting rights of the 'people' who do not agree with them.

They could then go along their merry way, unchallenged, doing whatever they wanted, and LARGE bags of money would be saved in the process.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 2, 2011 | 7:20 a.m.

Has it occurred to you that the legislators are a little more far-sighted than the voters? They see what Prop B will do to Missouri's economy. All the voters could see (and hear) was those HSUS heart-wrenching commercials, the HSUS-crafted lies, and the words 'puppymill' and 'cruelty prevention' on the ballot.
When the voters mistakenly pass a bill that will be so economically devastating to our state, our legislators have a duty to repair the damage before the bill becomes law. It is not about the 'will of the people'. It is about the 'manipulation of the people' by out-of-state organizations with an agenda. HSUS (et al) purchased rural Missouri with over 4 million dollars. Our good legislature is working hard to rectify the huge mistake of the voters.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 2, 2011 | 8:47 a.m.

When legislatures begin to 'rethink' the results of a democratic vote, claiming they are more 'far-sighted' then the majority,
they prove they are more in thinking with the former Soviet Republic than they are with established democratic principles.

We do not believe the American people signed up for this.

Possibly Ms. Keezer is unaware of political history.
We will not assume that Ms. Keezer wishes to adhere herself to the philosophy of previous dictatorships.

We would remind Ms. Keezer that dictatorships have a way of turning on those who advocated for them.

(Report Comment)
David Loignon February 2, 2011 | 10:09 a.m.

Dear Ms. Keezer,

Are you familiar with the term representative government? We elect people to represent us, not do whatever they decide is best for us. It's just like the religious right to impose their will on the masses whether the masses agree or not.

If democracy is so unimportant to you you will eventually lose it.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock February 2, 2011 | 10:39 a.m.

Everyone keeps talking about the "will of the people." The will of the people have been wrong from time to time throughout history. If the will of the people decided to drain the bank accounts of everyone who made more than 50K would that be morally right? What about if the will of the people wanted to outlaw owning cattle all together? What if the will of the people wanted to outlaw a certain type of dog like pits? Sometimes the people can be fooled with the proper marketing. Just look at some of our elected officials.

(Report Comment)
William Monroe February 2, 2011 | 11:06 a.m.

Good article David. Nuff said....we need to vote out these fake representives of the lobbyists. Thank God MO has a Dem GOV with a veto pen (if he will use it).

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 2, 2011 | 11:20 a.m.

David Loignon, my representative is doing exactly what he was elected to do.....represent HIS constituency. Prop B failed by 80% in our county. My rep would be doing a disservice if he did not fight to correct a wrong done to rural Missouri and save our jobs.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 2, 2011 | 11:50 a.m.

I like the specific items you targeted in your writing. Because of Proposition B, I've been following the legislative activities and have felt my jaw drop many times recently because of some of the bills.

There's also new bills to modify the State Constitution to deny the citizen initiative for any legislation related to farm animals, and another to prohibit any new bill that would require any expense to any agricultural operation. In other words, to exempt agricultural from any new business regulation.

I'm not sure either would actually beat out the Get Off My Back Act. Or Representative Lembke's recent quote that he doesn't need nine Supreme Court Justices telling him what's Constitutional or not.

http://www.firedupmissouri.com/content/l...

But I'm not sure if the issue really isn't more of the rural versus urban divide. For instance, there are Democratic state representatives working on repealing Proposition B. However, they are also considered a rural representative.

Regardless of dividing lines, It's time for _all_ representatives to stop with the grandstanding and get down to real work. I've seen little of anything useful come from the current session. Waste of taxpayer money.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 2, 2011 | 11:56 a.m.

David Loignan, are you familiar with the reasons why states added the ability for people to bring about citizen initiatives?

The concept arose in the late 1800s, early 1900s. They were added to State Constitutions to provide a means for the people to bring about legislation when the existing state representatives would not do so themselves, primarily because the representatives were catering to special interests.

They are the last recourse for a populace.

Are you saying that you want our state representatives to deny the State Constitution? You want to deny the citizens of the state the ability to bring about legislation when faced with representatives who filibuster or use other devious techniques to prevent concerns from being heard, and addressed?

My, how easily people are willing to give up their rights in this state.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 2, 2011 | 12:01 p.m.

Ruth Keezer, your representative is working on undermining the vote of all people in Missouri in order to placate special interests?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 2, 2011 | 12:17 p.m.

Ms. Keezer yet again misunderstands the nature of democracy.

If every elected official acted ONLY in the interest of his local constituents, there would be no 'United States'.

There would be instead, innumerable disconnected 'city states' battling each other and within themselves at each and every issue.

Today, you wish to keep your 'elected official' as he 'agrees' with you.
Tomorrow, when he DISAGREES with you, you would have his head.

This sort of primitive local 'rule' inevitably leads to disharmony, unrest and often bloodshed and no doubt was, in the minds of the designers of the American system, something to be avoided at any cost.
Ms. Keezer would perhaps think twice before dismantling the intentions of people who were much smarter than any of us.

(Report Comment)
Gary Franklin February 2, 2011 | 12:25 p.m.

I think the issue of not including shelters and rescues has opened the eyes of many in the state including several who voted yes. They handle thousands of small animals each year and are not held to the same mandates of prop B? They do receive money for those animals that are adopted. You cannot put humane treatment standards on one group without including those who wrote the proposition. These groups are hiding under the non-profit excuse. How many people in these groups actually have any animal husbandry skills? How many of these facilities would be able to withstand compliance to prop B? Fair is fair.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 2, 2011 | 12:32 p.m.

David says, "We elect people to represent us...."
______________________________

Circular argument.

Because then there is no room for initiatives.
Which Prop B was.

PS: It is odious for you to stereotype the entire Republican party (conservatives) as the religious-right. What does that make ALL liberals? Atheists? Anarchists? I can assure you, they are not.

(Report Comment)
Renee from KC February 2, 2011 | 12:34 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Gary Franklin February 2, 2011 | 12:47 p.m.

There were several blantant lies told in this campaign and our legislators know this. During the hearings, proposition folk got up and declared that they know there are faults in the wording. You have only yourselves to blame for the actions of our legislators. Let's put a limit on your income and see how you like it. Let's enter your lives and tell blantant lies about you and how you conduct your businesses and see if this stirs up any emotion in you. I've read several comment sections and as of late I have seen "lazy" farmers being a comment made. You want to know why our legislators are ticked off? Look at yourselves.

(Report Comment)
Gary Franklin February 2, 2011 | 1:01 p.m.

This appeared in our local paper. Pretty much sums it all up.

Regarding the Prop B issue, the act referred to as the "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act", is getting some attention in the Legislature. As Representatives of our districts throughout the state, we have an obligation to honor the intent of Proposition B. We also have an obligation to protect the law-abiding businessmen and businesswomen who have played by the rules, and have invested large amounts of money into their operations. Now some of these Missourians stand to lose their businesses, their means of a livelihood, and the money they invested, due, at least in part, to influences from outside of the state and to the fact that the wording on the ballot did not convey the many aspects and consequences of the bill . As a legislative body, we have made jobs our number one priority. This means not only creating new jobs, but just as important, sustaining those jobs already existing. Included in our agricultural industry in the state in the canine sector which has many reputable breeders. These breeders produce jobs and a quality product that people want to purchase. The intent of Prop B, to assure that dogs are cared for approprriately by breeders in our state, should certainly be respected. It is my intention to help find a balance between honoring the initiative petition process and the right of legitimate, law abiding citizens to operate in our state.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand February 2, 2011 | 1:01 p.m.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Some have forgotten we live in a Republic, but those are the same that have kept prayer out of our schools and continue to fight to have "One Nation, Under God" erased from our pledge and currency.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 2, 2011 | 1:10 p.m.

Prop B is a bill, not a law until it is passed or modified by the legislature and signed by the governor. Refining a bill is part of the process. Why are you (living in Pennsylvania) and Shelley Powers so desperate to protect Prop B? Did you fight as hard to protect other initiatives? I think not. This is not about the 'will of the people'.
HSUS and other animal activist radicals (the special interest groups) shoved this 4-million dollar initiative down the throats of unwary voters who did not know that the intention of HSUS was to destroy the legal dog breeding community in Missouri.
I believe that, even today, many supporters of Prop B do not realize or will not admit that Prop B WILL destroy the legitimate breeding industry, WILL result in the death of thousands of dogs, WILL decimate the economy of rural Missouri, and WILL NOT affect the illegal breeders at all. All they know is that they wanted to help those poor dogs in the bogus HSUS commercials.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 2, 2011 | 1:56 p.m.

Gary Franklin, then I look forward to the state representatives rolling back the Adult Entertainment law that has severely impacted on this type of business.

Once the state legislature begins to discriminate based on type of business, it opens all legislation passed to regulate or restrict businesses to Constitutional challenge.

As for your comment on shelters, as has been stated an infinite number of times, there is a vast difference between shelters, who hold dogs hopefully a short period of time while they seek to place them in new homes, and commercial breeders who hold these dogs for the purposes of profitably breeding them for all their lives...or until no longer useful.

There is a vast difference between a non-profit shelter and a for-profit dog breeder. At a minimum, the shelter's primary focus is the dogs; the breeders focus is on the money.

As for your "lies told during the campaign"--since you and others never seem to be able to provide specifics, I count your comment an example of wishful thinking or selective memory--your choice.

Ah, Jessica. Here you have someone who is saying she believes that our vote, and our State Constitution, should be invalidated, because we dared to vote counter to the agribusiness industry in Missouri.

What I find ironic, and Mr. Rosman can hopefully verify that I am using the term correctly, is the same representatives pushing against Proposition B, are most likely the same ones gloating about Proposition C.

Either the people's right to vote on ballot initiatives is sacrosanct, or it is not.

Ruth Keezer, you need to become familiar with how Missouri state government works.

Citizen initiatives do not need to get "modified" or "passed" by the Missouri General Assembly, nor do they need to be signed by the governor.

Helpful info:

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/La...

The state representatives are making a deliberate decision to alter a law passed by the citizens of this state, and doing so against our wishes. There's no pretty way to wrap this one up.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 2, 2011 | 2:03 p.m.

If the economy of 'rural Missouri' has fallen to such depths as to be dependent upon the hawking of puppies, it is possible that you should be having a different discussion.
With whomever ALLOWED such a sorry economic plight.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 2, 2011 | 3:20 p.m.

Shelley, you are perpetuating absolute lies!
“At a minimum, the shelter's primary focus is the dogs; the breeders focus is on the money.” How dare you pretend to know what the breeders’ focus is on! We care for our dogs 24/7. Their health and welfare is our PRIMARY concern. You have NO clue what the breeders’ focus is on. How many licensed dog breeders do you know personally? And why will shelters refuse to take in some dogs that are not sellable if their primary focus is the dogs?
You want specifics on lies told during the campaign? How about this one. On a public radio debate, HSUS employee Barbara Schmitz accused Jim Foster, respected DVM, of having a hidden wife and 500 puppy mill dogs. That was a LIE.
Initiatives CAN be modified if necessary (and it is necessary) and changes signed by the governor. Just another example of how you twist things to suit your agenda.
What about the almost 49 percent of voters who were NOT duped and were wise enough not to fall for HSUS’ BS? Should our reps just allow a law to pass that they KNOW will cost rural Missouri thousands of jobs, kill thousands of dogs, cost millions in lost tax revenues and property, and damage the economy of rural Missouri? The representatives from rural Missouri would be irresponsible NOT to do something to prevent the disaster to happen.

(Report Comment)
mark edwards February 2, 2011 | 3:31 p.m.

Rosman -you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about with regards to SCR1. The PCS did not follow the request by the Joint Committee on Rules. SCR1 does not stop the PCS from proposing new rules. And FYI - neither Robin or Tom have been playing in these decisions. You need to quit making accusations about the General Assembly and other legislative proposal because it clear that you simply make it up as you go. If you want to help, stop writing your inaccurate dribble. This is just another example of your lack of knowledge about the subject. This may sound harsh but you consistently misguide with less than accurate assertions.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 2, 2011 | 3:35 p.m.

As usual, Terry Ward, your comments seems to have only one theme…..ridiculing the people who actually do the 'hands-on' care of the animals in this state. Missouri can be thankful that you don’t live here. Is your life in Pennsylvania so boring that you have nothing to do but to intrude into Missouri’s affairs?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 2, 2011 | 3:57 p.m.

Ruth Keezer, commercial dog breeders are primarily interested in money. If they were primarily interested in the dogs, or the breed, they would be show or hobby breeders.

Commercial dog breeding has one primary focus: the production and selling of puppies. Unless they get some kind of kick selling puppies, we can safely assume they do so for the income.

You may not agree, but that does not make me a liar.

There is absolutely nothing, nothing, to substantiate your claims of "costing thousands of jobs", "costing thousands of dogs lives", and especially about costing "millions in revenue".

Can you substantiate anything you say? Anything at all?

You're a commercial dog breeder. This makes you a businesswoman. Business people have to face new regulations. That's one of the costs of being in business. Other businesses in Missouri have to adapt to new regulations. Why are you and others in your profession so privileged as to be exempt from new state laws and regulations?

And what message is such privilege sending to other business owners in this state? Perhaps the message that the only type of business some of the state representatives will support in Missouri is agribusiness.

Perhaps that's why we lost a seat: the state isn't even attempting to diversify our industries. Perhaps this is also what these rural representatives hope for: kill all urban industry so that it drives people out of the cities to other states, and the rural reps can keep their control over the Missouri General Assembly.

Why else, when you consider all the challenges facing this state right now, so many of the state representatives are busy countermanding citizen initiatives and telling Supreme Court justices they know more about the Constitution.

How far down will these state representatives take this state in their obsessiveness for control?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 2, 2011 | 4:17 p.m.

Ms. Keezer, if you feel that we have 'ridiculed' you , you are simply ignoring what we have said before.

"Argument' does not constitute 'ridicule'.

..............................................................
Terry Ward January 14, 2011 | 12:48 p.m.
Ms. Keezer, I have said MANY times that you are obviously a responsible breeder.

I have said MANY times that the responsible breeder is vital to the protection of companion animals
I did NOT say that you ' approve of ‘despicable and abusive dog factories’.

I said you are protecting them.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance February 2, 2011 | 4:56 p.m.

Republicans are very selective in their arguments. Some people will state that the 2-3 urban areas decided what rural Missourians do with Prop B, but these people have no problem letting those in the rural part of this state dictate the earnings taxes for those in the urban areas. Also someone actually mentioned the influence of HSUS, but had made no mention of Rex Sinquefield nearly funding the entire Prop. These is to be expected from conservatives and libertarians on this board.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand February 2, 2011 | 5:07 p.m.

Mr. Rosman clearly just happened to forget Prop A and how KC and St. Louis are fighting the votes for Prop A and how they wish to change the "will of the voters."

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 2, 2011 | 5:10 p.m.

Tim:

I thought one of the main features of the earnings taxes thingie was it simply gave the citizens of those cities WITH earnings taxes the right to vote on whether to continue them.

No?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 2, 2011 | 5:18 p.m.

Michael, Tim doesn't let things like facts get in the way of his attempting to tar the R's and L's in the state, nor will he call out Democratic legislators like Jolie Justus trying to make it harder for citizens to pass initiative petitions.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance February 2, 2011 | 5:55 p.m.

Mike. Then only those in those cities should of voted for Prop A. What i was pointing out is that these rural breeders were lamenting that us city folk were telling them what to do, while having no problems dictating tax policy for the city folk. Hypocrisy.

John, I wasn't even talking about the process of getting signatures. Please stick to the facts and quit putting up losertarian strawmen.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 2, 2011 | 6:18 p.m.

Shelley, how many licensed breeders do you know personally? Have you even seen a licensed kennel in operation? Your statements about commercial breeders are outrageous, considering your limited knowledge of the subject. Just what facts do you base your ‘opinion’ on? Your statements are insulting to all professional breeders.
I tried the show ring for several years, long ago, but the ‘fame and glory’ of showing was not my thing. I preferred raising puppies.
Have you ever experienced the birth and rearing of anything? If not, you have missed the miracle of life. I doubt you could ever understand an experience so precious….the first breath of a new life, nurturing the tiny being, watching and helping it develop and grow into a totally adorable little puppy. THAT is what drives many, many breeders. That is why we chose a profession that demands 18-hour days, sleepless nights at times, no weekends off and little pay for the hours spent.
The reward is the pleasure in helping to create a precious life and the pride we feel in placing that puppy with its new owner. The money is the measure of our success. Personally, I would do it for free (and sometimes have), but it takes a lot of money to raise puppies properly (and I don’t mean to Prop B standards!).

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 2, 2011 | 6:31 p.m.

Terry, I was referring to your constant belittling of Missouri on the many sites you frequent. I and many other rural Missourians do not appreciate your Lil-Abner-type remarks. You might be surprised how many college-educated dog breeders that there are in MO.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 2, 2011 | 7:31 p.m.

Again Ruth, we have never implied that you were anything other than a reputable breeder.
We have never ONCE stated that we believe all breeders to be bad.

If you choose to take every comment personally even when it has nothing to do with you, that is your choice.

If you feel you must continue to demonize us in order to argue your case, so be it.

In regard to our 'belittling Missouri', our comments were directed at fools and liars and twerps who toss the 'terrorist' word around like M&MS and Neanderthals who consider animals as nothing but property and the bozos who claim we are on the HSUS payroll and the knuckleheads who contend that we wish to destroy 'agriculture' because we seek a more humane life for companion animals and the dunderheads who think humanewatch is something other than a corporate lobbying front.

As we was born, raised and educated in Missouri, have family in Missouri own a house in Missouri and have two dogs rescued from Missouri puppy-mills, we DO feel we have some say in this matter.

And as most of the country is stuck with the task of cleaning up- as best they can- the abominable MESS Missouri has made, EVERYONE has a stake here.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 2, 2011 | 8:57 p.m.

Tim: Well, as a rural citizen, I sure had problems with the earnings tax thingie. I thought it was a very poor law. Somebody put two things together, and they shouldn't have been together. No one other than KC and STL citizens should have voted on whether they should have the vote to get rid of their tax.

But, do you know if KC or StL citizens have "initiative" power? If not, a statewide vote may have been the only way to get it on the ballot. If so, that would be wrong. All gov't "blocks" need to have a way around their "representatives" if said "representatives" aren't doing what citizens want. However, in the interest of "balance of power", I think "representatives" should have the ability to modify passed initiatives if bad law results. After all, we voters have the ultimate power to vote their rear-ends out.

Now, in similar manner, I think KC and StL should have had no votes on Prop B unless there are breeders in those counties/cities. In fact, I think the whole thing should be regulated at the county level. Where possible, I support "local rule". I think this is one of those "where possible" cases. The state should not be involved at all, and neither should HSUS nor any knuckleheads from Pennsylvania..

(Report Comment)
Ed Smith February 2, 2011 | 9:23 p.m.

CWIP!!!!!!!

You forgot to mention Ameren wants lawmakers to repeal consumer protection laws that prevent utilities from rate increases on consumers until power plants begin production. They financed the first nuclear power plant without rate-hikes on consumers but this time they want ratepayers/taxpayers to hedge this risky gamble for their private investors. They want us to fund the nuclear power plant because the free/private market will not finance such a risky endeavor. Moody's called building new nuclear "a bet on the farm". Thanks SB50 for sticking it to consumers.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Drinnin February 3, 2011 | 12:27 a.m.

Ms. Keezer, I assure that I do not need anyone, including the HSUS, to tell me what to think or how to vote on this issue. I find your comments insulting to the many Missouri citizens who worked very hard to get Prop B on the ballot and to educate voters on the issue. These Missouri voters have spoken.

I seriously doubt that tightening the regulations on commercial breeders, and enforcing these regulations, will bankrupt Missouri. As long as people are willing to pay exorbitant prices for poorly bred dogs, there will continue to be a market for them. It is not unreasonable for a civilized society to expect that these puppies, as well as their dams and sires, be treated humanely.

If you are a responsible breeder, you should be actively involved in cleaning up this industry, instead of insulting the intelligence of many of your fellow citizens.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Drinnin February 3, 2011 | 1:04 a.m.

Ms. Keezer, the issue is not whether a so-called breeder has the right to experience the "miracle of birth" hundreds of times, and flood society with even more dogs that will likely end up in shelters or worse, while taxpayers pay the bill. The issue really isn't even Prop B. The issue is that when the voters of Missouri, or any other state, exercise their right to vote, we are entitled to expect that our vote will stand. We have the right as citizens of this state and the United States of America to have a voice in matters that are important to us as individuals.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 3, 2011 | 5:38 a.m.

The hobby-Psychoanalyst Michael Williams would CONTINUE to advocate for the fools and liars and twerps who toss the 'terrorist' word around like M&MS and the Neanderthals who consider animals as 'property' and the bozos who claim we are on the HSUS payroll and the ACTUAL knuckleheads who contend that we wish to destroy 'agriculture' and the dunderheads who think humanewatch is something other than a corporate lobbying front.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 3, 2011 | 7:58 a.m.

Ruth Keezer always neglects to mention the secretive nature of dog breeding in Missouri, and how they frequently don't even allow potential owners to visit the kennel, much less journalists and other folk.

But I have read USDA inspection reports, and I have seen dogs after they have been rescued from breeders, and I have heard the stories from those who have participated in rescues and seen the photos and videos.

More importantly, what I've done is read the Proposition B regulations and agreed with them. They all sound imminently sensible, and the minimum we can do for dogs in commercial breeders. To me, any breeder not willing to meet these standards is a puppy mill.

As for Proposition A, the only bill on this was one to change the voting frequency to every 20 years rather than every 5. It is a modification, unlike the Proposition B bills, which are repeals no matter how they're worded.

And the person who is initiated the bill to modify the term on Proposition A did so because she was concerned about the bond rating for St. Louis and Kansas City, and how a five year vote could negatively impact on this.

However, I doubt that her bill will progress in this legislature. That rural dominance thing again.

http://www.westendword.com/NC/0/1746.htm...

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock February 3, 2011 | 9:40 a.m.

Shelly the argument of breeders not allowing buyers to visit their operation is a little weak. If I was a buyer and I wasn't allowed to see the where the dog came from then I wouldn't buy from the owner. That wouldn't be a effective way to operate. I don't know of anybody who after being denied to see the dogs would go ahead and buy from the breeder.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Drinnin February 3, 2011 | 9:49 a.m.

At the risk of getting way off topic:

Ruth, judging by your comments on the joys of raising puppies, you are either very naive or totally clueless. Possibly you just don't care.

Millions of dogs are euthanized in shelters in this country every year, including a significant number of purebred and "designer" dogs and their offspring. If not for rescue volunteers, the number would be much, much higher. How you can sleep at all at night, knowing you are contributing to the problem, is beyond me.

The miracle of life indeed.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 3, 2011 | 10:48 a.m.

Kathy, Shelley, they could care less.

What happens to these dogs could not be of less interest to anyone here.

When you see responsible breeders and their assorted cronies defending irresponsible millers, what DOES that say?

They are more interested in inane nitpicking and yammering terrorism! and farmer destruction! and agriculture elimination'!

They could care less.

They smear and snicker in order to deflect the reality of their pre-civilization agendas.

To these folks, 'Humane' is an evil and nasty word used by communist humaniacs intending to Take Away Their Freedoms.

Ask that animals be given the right to live a life free from abuse
and voila! "YOU are an anti-American criminal who would take away my Constitutional Rights"

...................................
"I'll give you my cold dead puppies when you take them from my cold, dead hands!"

....................................

Ah, but the world is changing.
There are no more 'secrets' in the world.

EVERY case of animal abuse, EVERY mill that is exposed to the public, EVERY nasty thing that people do to animals brings us closer to a place where it will be harder and harder to get by with such things.

And even if the Neanderthals manage to gut Proposition B?
The world is watching.

Stay tuned.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 3, 2011 | 11:47 a.m.

Kathy, your insistence that the licensed dog breeding community is responsible for the euthanasia of dogs at overcrowded shelters is ludicrous!
Shelters have been importing puppies and dogs from other countries for years to fill the demand. They routinely transfer dogs from slow-selling areas to shelters that have more buying activity. They also BUY pregnant dogs from breeders, whelp them and sell the puppies. I would not be surprised if they even (accidently?) bred their own.
Rescues and shelters are big business. They buy dogs and puppies at EVERY dog auction. They beg or buy reject pups and older dogs from breeders all the time! Check out the rescue in St. Louis that has a store front that looks just like a pet store. Sells puppies for more money than the breeders sell them for.
If the 'rescuers' were concerned about dogs being euthanized, they would quit BUYING purebreds from breeders, and concentrate on finding homes for the needy homeless dogs.
I do not contribute to (supposed) pet overpopulation. My puppies end up with families who want a purpose-bred quality puppy, not a shelter dog.
Somehow, I knew that my description of my feelings and reasons for breeding dogs would be trashed by someone who has no real understanding of or heart for humans. That response is typical of someone who cares more for animals than people. Reminds me of a hoarder mentality; people whose self-worth is totally dependant on their relationship with animsls.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 3, 2011 | 12:00 p.m.

"Shelters have been importing puppies and dogs from other countries for years to fill the demand. They routinely transfer dogs from slow-selling areas to shelters that have more buying activity. They also BUY pregnant dogs from breeders, whelp them and sell the puppies. I would not be surprised if they even (accidently?) bred their own. "

And therein we have the anti-Proposition B side in all its dubious glory.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 3, 2011 | 12:13 p.m.

Timmay! You obviously missed the connection between Jolie Justus' legislation and her fear that mean, evil Montgomery Burns, I mean Rex Sinquefield, could change state law and the state costitution in ways she doesn't like, didn't you? Why else would she propose such a change, one that odddly enough would have kept Prop B from passing I believe?

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 3, 2011 | 12:16 p.m.

Shelley, just telling the truth about shelters. You know, FACTS, that you are always asking for.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 3, 2011 | 12:29 p.m.

Unfounded, unproven, unbelievable assertions, trying to tear down good organizations in order to defend what is basically a disreputable business, Ruth Keezer. That's what you're doing.

So where are the photos of your kennel, Ruth Keezer? Where are the pictures of the excellent, roomy homes of the dogs you so obviously love?

You say your puppies end up in loving homes--is that because you sell to the people directly? You invite new owners to come in, meet the adults, check out the puppies directly?

Seriously, the thing that would have shut down the Proposition B effort is to just open up your businesses, and show us how wonderful the dogs' lives are.

There's only been a handful of breeders willing to allow journalists to visit. Out of how many? And your operation certainly hasn't invited journalists to visit, to see for themselves how great the dogs' lives at your place.

One breeder actually tried to run a camera crew over.

Yet I can go down to the Humane Society of Missouri right now, see the dogs and the cats, see how they live. They don't have anything to hide -- why do the dog breeders have something to hide?

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 3, 2011 | 12:59 p.m.

Shelley, feel free to google the facts I have provided about shelters. I don't know why those facts offend you so much. It is a business of selling dogs (or do they give them away now?). I have no problem with shelters until they try to dictate how I run my business while exempting themselves from the same rules.
You praise the dog-selling shelters yet call other legal, licensed dog-selling businesses disreputable.
I personally, would not call a shelter 'disreputable' or anything else derogatory, but they operate a business not unlike a kennel. Think about it.
As for transparency, I have sent photos of my kennel and my dogs to my legislators along with a letter in support of changes to Prop B. Many other breeders are doing this as well.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 3, 2011 | 1:28 p.m.

Yo Ruth!

You got any money-making pointers for OUR rescue group?

Cause we are STILL in the red BIG TIME from our LAST batch of mill-rescues, what with the advanced heartworm and the eye infections and the broken jaw and the mast-cell and mammary tumors and the patellar luxations........

Plus we got a little guy doused in battery acid and one tossed out a car and one with an untreated broken leg which had to be removed.

We got a senior girl with mouth tumors and a pup with diabetes.

We got diagnostic tests & x-rays & long term hospitalization& IV therapy& endoscopys and gosh, does that add up!

We also had a sweet little girl who was set on fire, but after a week at the vet she couldn't hold on any longer...

So! Ruth!
Expert on shelter and rescue profits!

Share please!

Can't WAIT to hear your input on how OUR rescue group can start earnin' those big bucks you be talkin' about!!

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 3, 2011 | 1:46 p.m.

Terry Ward, my advise is to call Wayne Pacelle. He is the expert at factory fund-raising. Although HSUS doesn't like to give much to shelters, I'm sure, with your gift of gab, you could convince Wayne to let loose of some of those millions they waste on idiltic legislation. Hey, he could have sent you the millions wasted on Prop B! It would have been used for a much more worthwhile purpose.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 3, 2011 | 2:11 p.m.

Aw Ruth, PLEASE share.

Wayne's too busy out there trying to destroy agriculture.

You DID say 'Rescues and shelters are big business"
You must be the expert.

You gotta know something we don't, otherwise you wouldn't have said it right?
Right?

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 3, 2011 | 2:32 p.m.

Sorry, Terry. There is no more effective fund-raiser than Wayne. That is HSUS' specialty. Wayne pretends to care about animals publicly (although he admits he has no hands-on fondness for dogs...in fact doesn't even want to see another one born), but you may have to make up something about a disaster (like flood in New Orleans) to get him to come. Mention photo ops. That will help. OR if you mention that you are defending Prop B, you may get even quicker action.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 3, 2011 | 3:19 p.m.

Aw, Ruth, better to Wayne-bash than to help a rescue.

By the way, who DO you guys do with the dogs like the ones we have...
too old to breed, tumors expensive illnesses, luxating patellas and other congenital defects broken limbs and so on.

Do you sell them to another breeder, maybe, or auction them off?

Or do you just shoot them?

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 3, 2011 | 3:32 p.m.

Aw, Terry. You should be asking a veterinarian about ill health and injuries to dogs. Why are you asking me?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 3, 2011 | 3:55 p.m.

Don't blame you Ruth, for not answering.

Unprofitable and unsellable dogs GOT to be a problem, especially in big kennels.

Who's gonna admit they shoot them?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 3, 2011 | 3:56 p.m.

Ruth, why not the people? Why not provide links to photos here? You can get a facebook account and post the photos there and provide a link.

Why not invite all the representatives to your place. Not just the agricultural committee, some of the folks from Kansas City and St. Louis.

If you're going to work to deny the right of the people to vote, don't you think you should at least show us what we're going to be living with from now on?

Show everyone what the alternative to Proposition B will be?

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 3, 2011 | 4:32 p.m.

Shelley, when there are reports of arson in kennels (killing dogs), stealing dogs, trespassing, threats, and bogus complaints to law enforcement, why would you expect breeders to welcome the radical animal rights activists into our lives and kennels?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 3, 2011 | 4:48 p.m.

What reports, Ruth? The Missourian doesn't mind people linking articles in comments. You reference reports--what reports?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 3, 2011 | 6:30 p.m.

Ruth Keezer has Homeland Security on speed dial.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Drinnin February 4, 2011 | 3:42 p.m.

Oh Ruth, you are truly delusional and very ignorant of the topic of which you speak. The idea that shelters and rescues in Missouri have to import dogs is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. I had to laugh, in fact. And I'm curious as to how a 501(c)3 rescue/shelter is able to make a profit with Uncle Sam breathing down our necks. Care to enlighten me? You suggested that your detractors should tour a commercial dog breeding facility. (I'll pass, thank you very much.) I suggest you take a tour of Missouri's animal control facilities. Make sure you get there on euthanasia day. Anyone who thinks that young, adoptable, and purebred dogs don't get euthanized in shelters every day has been living under a rock.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Drinnin February 4, 2011 | 3:45 p.m.

Allan, the fact is that most of the puppies in commercial facilities and are loaded into trucks and shipped hither and yon and end up pet stores - those that make it alive, that is. Sadly, many people who buy these puppies have no idea where they came from and innocently believe the store owners when they lie and say they all come from local small-scale breeders.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Drinnin February 4, 2011 | 4:01 p.m.

On the subject of the lack of transparency in the puppy breeding business, I'd like to add that with pet stores closing due to lack of business in this economy (and I would hope due to an educated public), many commercial breeders are selling puppies on the internet. They have some very cutsie websites, too, but they mostly want to meet the customer somewhere with the puppy or ship the pup. Or they bring the puppies in the house, while the kennels are hidden on the property somewhere. I wonder why?

I understand California prohibits selling animals on the internet. There's also a growing movement to prohibit the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores. Several cities in other states have done so. Now there's a couple of ideas I, for one, could rally behind!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 4, 2011 | 4:07 p.m.

I am going to address the notion that these Kennels should be open to the public for inspection. And here is how I am going to address that: B.S.! Big, huge, steaming pile of it!

By what authority would these inspections be held? Why in the world would anyone let someone that is not authorized by the state come in and "inspect" their business?

It would be like me allowing some NITWIT off of the street to come into my office and inspect my files and then proceed to tell me how to run my P.I. Business. The notion breaches the boundaries of ridiculous!

I'd put up a sign saying "Tespassers Will Be Thrown Off Of The Property, And Activists Will Be Thrown To Land Hard"!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Drinnin February 4, 2011 | 4:15 p.m.

Hey, Ruth! I have a standard longhaired dachshund sitting at my feet that our group got at an auction last Spring. You know, one of the dogs we're gonna make lots of money from? I even have her AKC and ACA registrations, for what it's worth. She's still here with me. She's still very timid, just now catching on to housetraining, and is a little slow in the back legs so she doesn't get around too well. She might have a bit of brain damage as well. She came from Tammy Rader's kennel in Bucyrus, MO, bred by B.F. and Donna Chambers. Her DOB? November 10, 1998. Yep, TWELVE years old and being auctioned off. Guess they couldn't get any puppies out of her last year. Friends of yours?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 4, 2011 | 4:50 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ricky Gurley February 4, 2011 | 7:30 p.m.

Terry Ward: "RickyG will swear that she is having an unnatural relationship with Shelley and us."
--------------------------------------------------------

Are you making an accusation of having a fantasy, Terry?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 4, 2011 | 9:39 p.m.

ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 4, 2011 | 10:07 p.m.

I don't have to prove anything here, Terry......

Transit umbra, lux permanet!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 4, 2011 | 10:45 p.m.

Rickyg proves he has a wikipedia widget.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 4, 2011 | 11:02 p.m.

Nope! I use Google! HAHAHAHA!

Aut disce aut discede!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 4, 2011 | 11:34 p.m.

Fezzik, tear his arms off.

(Report Comment)
Yvonne Boudreaux February 5, 2011 | 12:15 a.m.

Ruth Keezer thinks this should be about jobs no matter how reprehensible they are. Why not switch to porn or human trafficking? There is no job worth the misery and pain these animals endure. It just proves that all the people who voted for Prob B are altruistic and care for those weaker than ourselves and those who didn't are against minimum care for animals for their own selfish self interest.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 5, 2011 | 5:47 a.m.

Yvonne Boudreaux wrote:

"There is no job worth the misery and pain these animals endure"

Which animals? If you're talking about unregulated and illegal operations, probably. If you're talking about the minority (perhaps only a few percent) of licensed breeders that have animals in need of veterinary care or warmth/cooling, yes. But the vast majority of breeding dogs are well fed and well cared for. You'd eliminate those jobs too for the sins of a few bad breeders.

Kathy Drinnin wrote:

"Anyone who thinks that young, adoptable, and purebred dogs don't get euthanized in shelters every day has been living under a rock."

Hm. Terry seems to think so:

Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 12:56 p.m.

"2 Young 'purebreds' are 'desirable' and leave shelters like a shot..."

Which is it, guys?

I tend to agree with you (Kathy Drinnin). Now, if prop B takes effect as written, shelters and rescues may have to deal with over 100,000 dogs. How many of those dogs will be euthanized?

Ms Drinnin, do you have any feeling for the percentage of dogs rescued that have to be euthanized? I suspect it's proportional to the number of dogs that need placing at any one time, and also their age and condition. I'm not looking for an exact percentage, just a rough figure. I'm suspecting it's over half even in slow times.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 6:26 a.m.

Terry,

I don't know what makes you think you are smarter than everyone else? As if I would not know what a Latin Phrase is without Wikipedia... What’s wrong, a P.I. can't know some Latin? LOL.

The truth is I am probably a little smarter than you think I am, and not as smart as I think I am; and probably somewhere in the middle of the two...

I really don't care what your "preferences" are; you and Shelley could get together for a "Saturday Evening Ho Down" for all I care. Ask anyone that really knows me, I don't care.

I have not decided how I feel about Kathy Drinnin yet, I'll give her the same opportunity to post enough for me to get a fair idea of what I think about her as I did Shelley and yourself. Based on your posts here, and in other places on the Internet where you advocate "Focused Action"; I'd say you are a "Militant Activist". In my opinion, that is the most dangerous type of person that can be involved in any cause. Perhaps why I don't think anyone should take you or Shelley too seriously...

Kathy seems to be just posting some of her experiences, we'll see if she will veer over to the "NutSac Side" (you and Shelley's side) in time or not; Yvonne may already be there... I am giving her a few more posts before I decide that too..

But... You and Shelley? You have clearly made your positions known here on this board....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 5, 2011 | 7:36 a.m.

Yvonne, do you think that dog breeding is 'reprehensible' when conducted in a highly regulated (by 22 pages of current regulations), professional (a successful breeder keeps his breeding stock in prime condition knowing that an unhealthy dog won't produce well), caring (a breeder houses and cares for his dogs according to the latest veterinary-guided industry recommendations), and educated manner (a breeder attends continuing education seminars and reads industry-produced literature to be up on the cutting edge of canine care)?
Responsible dog breeding is an honorable and very demanding profession, requiring 24/7 availability. A breeder does not work 8 hours and then go home and relax. Always 'on call' to handle any problem, such as an unexpected trip to the vet for a c-section, an all night whelping session, or a smaller puppy needing a little extra TLC.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 5, 2011 | 8:10 a.m.

I have an interesting question: If Prop B is finally enacted intact, will any surviving dog breeders that manage to rebuild to comply with Prop B rules suddenly be wonderful, humane breeders or will they still be reprehensible, horrible puppy mills?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 8:26 a.m.

No one is denying that there are too many dogs in too many shelters and that many, especially municipal shelters, euthanize dogs. Regardless of breeds.

However, many of the breed dogs do end up with breed specific rescues who work extremely hard to find foster homes for most until a permanent home can be found.

The only solution to this is fewer dogs.

There are rescues and shelters committed to helping to find homes for dogs are breeders having to downsize in Missouri. Breeders have already started to downsize, and rescues have already taken dogs.

The rescues and shelters are helping because they know how important it is to make a difference in Missouri. Missouri's breeders are a significant burden on the dog rescue infrastructure. After all, when dogs are no longer useful in breeders, if the rescues can't get to the dogs, the breeders just kill them. That's a pretty horrid end to a pretty miserable life.

That's because large scale breeders really don't care about the dogs. Most know nothing about dogs. If you look at the APHIS database, many of the breeders just started this last decade, because it seemed like easy money. A whole lot easier than raising hogs.

Or dairy cows. The Lavys, who I will credit for being transparent and open with who they are, got into dog breeding because they couldn't sustain a dairy farm, like the farm of their son next door. They didn't get into dog breeding because they love dogs, or because they have the skill and the experience to raise dogs. They got into the business for expediency, and profit.

That's why so many puppies with so many problems: former hog farmers or the like just throwing dogs together, never testing the resulting puppies for genetic problems, and selling to brokers who crowd the puppies together so they catch communicable diseases.

You don't see a lot of new licensees in the database. I find it unlikely anyone will take up dog breeding in this state, other than a show or hobby breeder. Frankly, it's a pretty stupid field to get anywhere in the country.

So we have to deal with the ones we have now. Proposition B provides a good minimum level of care for dogs in these remaining breeders. Seriously, if a breeder isn't willing to meet these standards, they really aren't the type of breeder we want in business.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 8:29 a.m.

Ruth Keezer, no, it will be a whole lot easier to close down bad breeders once Proposition B goes into effect.

And the dogs in the remaining breeders will have a better chance for a more humane life.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 8:37 a.m.

Mark Foeking

These dogs end up in the rescue infrastructure eventually anyway. If not now, a few years down the road when no longer useful to the breeders.

Except now, in a few years, there are going to be a whole less dogs to have to deal with annually. When the breeders are smaller, the rescue organizations will have an easier job dealing with the rejects.

That dachshund that Kathy rescued -- fewer of them coming from breeders every year.

It will take a nation to help convert Missouri over to Proposition B, but hopefully this will the last time people from other states have to clean up this state's messes.

Hopefully sometime in the future, Missouri won't be a byword for cruelty and greed.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 8:41 a.m.

Speaking of Google, Ruth, did you know that Google has a Street View image of your business address?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 9:01 a.m.

Mark Foeking

Remember that the breeders today can keep dogs in wire cages 6 inches longer than they are; do not have to have a vet check the dogs when sick or injured; can keep dogs in outdoor kennels with only a "dogloo" and a bit of straw for warmth; have an exercise "plan" that they never implement; can 'forget' to fill that food or water dish for hours, maybe even days at a time.

They can get away with a lot and never have a violation. No violation does not mean "good" when it comes to Missouri breeders.

You're defending what is a pretty miserable life for too many dogs in this state.

I imagine because of the work you do that you have to view animals clinically, as something useful. As tools.

The rest of us, though, we're not going to buy into that view. We can't tolerate that our state condones dog cruelty because some state representatives bow to special interests and override the will of the people.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 9:11 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ruth Keezer February 5, 2011 | 9:39 a.m.

Shelley, I did not know about street views, as I am not very computer savvy, but I took a look. What is your point? I am very easy to find, living right on a state highway, not hiding from anyone. It did sound like a thinly-veiled threat, coming from a radical animal rights activist.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 12:05 p.m.

Ricky Gurley, I'm not a licensed business in Missouri but Ruth is. She talks about sending photos of her business to the state representatives, but she won't link any here, because, supposedly, we'll know where her place is and the animal terrorists will come and burn her place or something absurd like that.

What I tried to show is that her address is known, and no one has come to her place and invaded her property. There are some organizations that will film dog breeding operations, but the most many of these will do is legally film the place from the street.

The ultimate interest among the people associated with Proposition B is the welfare of the dogs. I would think that burning the place out and wildly letting the dogs loose is not in the best interests of the dogs. And is illegal and is self-defeating. The vast majority of us DO NOT AGREE with the people who do such things, because they make things worse. And frankly, they don't care about animals, they only care about chaos.

If Ruth is willing to share with her reps, she should share with the rest of us, because it is our vote being overriden. Frankly? I don't believe that she has sent photos to her representative. I just don't believe her about anything anymore. She won't substantiate anything she says. But she's so willing to say the ugliest things about shelters and rescues and imply and indulge in the worst of innuendo.

Terry is more patient with Ruth than I am. I've about had it with her nonsense and evasions.

As for your checking on me Ricky Gurley, I'm not a business. If I were a business in Missouri, though, and I were asking state representatives to override the will of the people, I would expect that people would want to know about my business. I wouldn't expect to be able to keep my operation in secret. I would expect voters to demand proof that overriding my vote is in the best interests of the dogs and the state.

Regardless, everything you've mentioned is material that I've stated online, including an Amazon review for my new computer, except for my address. I find it unlikely that you have my address.

And yes I have degrees in industrial psychology and computer science. I'm also a Dean's Scholar, and graduated Magna Cum Laud.

I've authored 18 books on computer technology, and participated in the same working group that is creating HTML5, the next version of HTML.

As you've also found, I don't work for any animal welfare organization.

Is there anything else you want to know?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 12:08 p.m.

And Gurley, I'm an atheist.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 12:22 p.m.

Here's one bio about me

http://www.blogher.com/women-tech-shelle...

Here's my wikipedia entry (not much)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelley_Pow...

Here's a weblog post talking about a confrontation I had with Michael Arrington, who runs a rather powerful tech web site

http://workbench.cadenhead.org/news/3300...

My Twitter tagline (oh, it's shelleypowers, folks), says, "HTML5 irritant" because, well, I am.

Another interview with me

http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/pub/a/or...

An old interview

http://www.kamath.com/columns/cornered/c...

And here's a story I wrote a little while back when my cat, my best friend of 18 years, passed away

http://shelleypowers.burningbird.net/ref...

Is there anything else you want to know?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 12:28 p.m.

Shelley Powers: "Is there anything else you want to know?"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah! Who does your hair? I saw that picture of you on-line, with the blue shirt on, and that necklace; and I'd think that you could find a hair stylist that might be a bit more creative than that......

Hey Shelley; you have advocated that these Kennels should be open to inspection from the public. You have advocated that you should be allowed to inspect these Kennels.. Well, if you really feel that way; then don't you think that these people that own these Kennels should have an opportunity to know something about who would be doing these inspections?

I would not want you on my property if I did not know anything about you. You could be a murderer or a thief.. Or you would be even worse, like a "Militant Animal Rights Activist"........

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 12:38 p.m.

I've never advocated that the kennels have open house. But I have asked that the kennels show us their operations. Invite a journalist, or post photos online of your operation.

Show us these great places that don't need Proposition B. The only photos and videos I've seen are places that just show how much Proposition B is needed.

The only really decent USDA licensed place I've seen covered in both video and photos is Santo Hill. And some smaller show and hobby breeders who actually support Proposition B.

We're supposed to just let the representatives take our vote, override our concerns, upend the massive battle for Proposition B--all for people who keep everything about what they do, a dirty little secret.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 5, 2011 | 12:51 p.m.

Shelley, I have always known that my address and other information is available through FOIA. Like I said, I am not hiding and never have. BUT why would I share photos or anything else about my business not freely available, with the very ones who voted to make my kennel illegal and destroy my business? That would be incredibly stupid. You have read my USDA reports. You have seen my home online. You have read everything available about me. You have ‘followed’ me online. Seems you may be becoming a little obsessed.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 1:04 p.m.

Shelley Powers: "We're supposed to just let the representatives take our vote, override our concerns, upend the massive battle for Proposition B--all for people who keep everything about what they do, a dirty little secret."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No! Again, I have not seen anyone here that is against REASONABLE regulation of these Dog Breeders.

But from all that I have read, and even heard from various people, Prop B is not reasonable. It is an impediment to the businesses of the good Dog Breeders that do care about their dogs (which is far greater than the "Bad" Dog Breeders.

You know Shelley, just because there are some graphic incidents out there in which dogs have been abused and neglected, this does not mean that this is how the majority of Dog Breeders treat their dogs.

My "problem" with you is not that I think you are just completely wrong in your stance on this issue. It's not even that I disagree with where your heart is on this issue. My "problem" is that you appear to be willing to go to unreasonable extremes to accomplish something that could be accomplished with some civility and collaboration instead of veiled threats, baseless accusations, and harsh talk.

If you could present your case without accusations, and mean-spirited commentary towards anyone that might disagree with you, you might get a little further along in what you are trying to accomplish. What was the need to let Ruth know that her property was on Google Street View here on this forum? How could she interpret that as anything other than a veiled threat or at least an attempt to intimidate? And while there certainly isn't anything illegal or even "bad" about letting Ruth know her property is on Google Street View; I don't think it was appropriate for this conversation.

You are not doing anything to further your cause by trying to intimidate people.. If I were you I'd be doing what won the vote for Prop B to begin with, I’d be trying to garner support instead of alienating myself from everyone that you perceive as disagreeing with you.

The reason I "make fun" of you and terry, is because in my view that is the best way to deal with extremists. I am certainly not going to offer support to an extremist. Nor am I going to challenge you to try to take your argument to the next level. I think the wisest way to deal with you is simply not to take you too seriously... But, if you conducted yourself with some civility, more people might actually take you seriously..

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 2:45 p.m.

Proposition B was reasonable to the voters.

Ruth Keezer, I don't care about you. But you misrepresent good organizations, you imply that people who support animal welfare are terrorists, and you stress, again and again, about how wonderful your little piece of heaven is.

Right.

By what you're _not_ saying, then yes, I most definitely believe you will be impacted by Proposition B, and rightfully so.

Ricky Gurley states that Terry and I are uncivil. Well, evidently the people who are "civil" here at the Missourian are those who do not challenge Gurley, or who do not acknowledge his ownership of the comments sections here in this publication.

The man who would be king...of the Missouri comments.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 2:59 p.m.

Shelley Powers: "Ricky Gurley states that Terry and I are uncivil. Well, evidently the people who are "civil" here at the Missourian are those who do not challenge Gurley, or who do not acknowledge his ownership of the comments sections here in this publication.

The man who would be king...of the Missouri comments."
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Yes, yes... Now bow down before your King, Shelley! LMAO!

Try to communicate with you in a civil manner, and this is what happens... LOL.

Perhaps the voters did think Prop B was reasonable? Perhaps the voters were mislead too?

Now for God's sake, go do something with that hair of yours!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 5, 2011 | 3:13 p.m.

I am just stunned by Shelley's revelation. How can one not believe in God? Life must be so empty and hopeless without Him. That is so sad. Sorry, off topic, but I just am sitting here trying to imagine a life without God in it. So depressing…… Can't believe it, but I am starting to actually feel sorry for Shelley.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 3:17 p.m.

Well if you find that you can't feel sorry for her, at least you may be able to understand why she is like she is.... LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 5, 2011 | 3:18 p.m.

I'm writing once more just to apologize to Ruth Keezer if she felt intimidated by mention of the street view of her business. That was not my intent. I hope my other comments explain what was my intent. In hindsight, it was a thoughtless comment, and I apologize.

The Missourian's comment policy is such that I won't continue to comment here. This should make you very happy, Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 3:29 p.m.

If I were you I would not leave just yet, Shelley..

It appears that you are having an "awakening"... It would seem that you are coming to the realization that you have gotten so caught up in this debate that your posts to other people here have become "thoughtless".....

Seems like you are on the path to "a better you".. Perhaps you should stay a while longer? This seems to be therapeutic for you...... Who knows? You may even make a few friends.........

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 5, 2011 | 4:41 p.m.

@ Ricky Gurley: "Well if you find that you can't feel sorry for her, at least you may be able to understand why she is like she is.... LOL"
You know, I do feel sorry for Shelley. And I care about her as a fellow human being. Yes, it does help explain her unhappiness and spitefulness. Nothing is hopeless, however. God works miracles everyday!

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear February 5, 2011 | 4:54 p.m.

Does anybody here believe this?

Shelley typed:
++The Missourian's comment policy is such that I won't continue to comment here.++

Shelley is getting more attention than she has ever got in her life from anything, do all of us really believe she will stop?

Still, I have a question. If I wanted to raise dogs to sell them to the Chinese to eat, pedigree dogs, perfect marbled meat, is there a law that prevents me from doing that here in the United States of America?

Is it illegal to eat a dog? Or export them to be eaten?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 5:20 p.m.

I think I see where you are going Yves.. I'd like to see Shelley or Terry take on your questions.....

This might be interesting......

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 5, 2011 | 8:19 p.m.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward February 5, 2011 | 8:20 p.m.

Lev 11:26-27

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 5, 2011 | 8:26 p.m.

Terry Ward: "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
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Jealous? LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
David Rosman February 8, 2011 | 3:03 p.m.

A few questions and statements~
1.Where did I say that every Republican is a Christian? Not in this article. Yes, I believe that the Republican Party kowtows to the Religious Right, but that also includes the Right-wing Jews as it does Christians and Muslims.
2. This article is not focused on Prop B, as is seems you all are. It includes three other proposals to thwart the will of the people. Yes, sometimes the people make mistakes and do not consider the constitutionality of a proposed initiative. But that is why our Founder created an independent court system.
3. Jessica – A small correction – God was not included in our pledge until the 1950s as a propaganda statement to “those godless commies.” God on our coins was also a propaganda move in the civil War and was made official in the 1950s for the same reason. And which God? The Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Native American or Buddhist spirits, or any one of the thousands of “dead gods” who flourished over the centuries? And do you really want your God used as propaganda?
4. Ruth – Prop B became law by virtue of public vote. Sorry to contradict you here.
5. Ruth – Even you, as a breeder, are focused on the health of your animates for the same reason a cattle farmer or dairy worries about their animals – If they are not healthy, they cannot go to market. It is about money.
6. Shelley – “What I find ironic...
Yes, Shelly, there is irony in the statement you make and the positions called for by both parties. Contradiction, however, is the basis of political diatribe.
7. Mark – Please provide your proofs. I did.
8. Terry – Please stop antagonizing Ruth.
9. Paul – Interesting links but they do not provide proofs of either side of the argument.
10. Ricky – Please maintain a civil tongue.
11. Terry – I am asking that some of your comments be removed because of the language or accusations you are making without proof. Name calling is not permitted. Period.
12. Mark – Unfortunately the dog breeding industry has not done a good job at regulating itself. Like the banking and financial industries that have also failed at self-regulation, we know it does not work well when the dollars count more than consumer protection – or in this case, animals.
13. Ruth – (Sorry to pick on you) But the problem with the original Prop B and the proceeding regulations is the lack of money for enforcement. Missouri has more dog breeders than any other state (I believe) and enough inspectors to visit kennels once every two to three years.
14. Ricky – See Comment 11. It concerns you also.

Finally, this is a great conversation, as an American reader who now lives in Germany pointed out. However, any form of civility seems to be lost with the dirt being flung. But that is not the point of the column and I would appreciate if you would focus on what is written and not you speculate.

(Report Comment)
Paul Rolfe February 8, 2011 | 5:19 p.m.

If you want to help keep clean energy in Missouri, sign on to this letter to Gov. Nixon:

http://www.renewmo.org/protect-prop-c.ht...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 8, 2011 | 6:38 p.m.

Mr. Rosman,

I can not "maintain a civil tongue"; because I am not a very "civil" person(at least not by your standards, I suppose?)...

I have no patience with: INTENTIONALLY Ignorant Folks, "Bullies" (I try to "bully the bullies"), and Militant Activists (who in my opinion are just right on the precipice of being dangerous).

As for my "speculations"... I sir have a "finely tuned and conditioned Speculation Machine"! It is not the ordinary, unconditioned, and out-of-tune "Speculation Machine"; you see. It is a "Speculation Machine" honed and conditioned on its use for profit! I extrapolate information from what people say, write, and do, and then I speculate as to predict what that person's next move will be, and I construct a course of action to counter that move. And I actually make a decent living doing this....

So, let me give you an example of how good my "Speculation Machine" is, sir....

I SPECULATE that you are a highly intelligent man (one can make this speculation simply from reading your history that is on your bio right here for every one read). I SPECULATE that as a highly intelligent man you are perfectly capable of searching the Columbia Missourian for the term "Prop B" and/or "Proposition B". I SPECULATE that you had to have somewhat of an idea that this topic was rather "heated" (just a little research would bear that out for you). I SPECULATE that as a writer here you had the good sense to do some research on this topic. Therefore, I SPECULATE that you knew when you wrote this article, this forum would become somewhat "emotionally charged" with posts made by people out of frustration and anger. And I have to SPECULATE that your motives may not have been entirely pure in writing this one particular article. But you wrote it none the less, right?

Now, after all of that SPECULATION (and you can send me a check, if you want). I have to ask you two questions. But first, let me preface these two questions.. In a perfect world, we would all say things like "Your hair looks nice today", "Respectfully I submit this", "I respectfully request that you consider this", "Please", "Thank you", and a host of other such niceties.. And I further SPECULATE that you know we are not in a perfect world, Mr. Rosman. People post out of frustration, people get upset over certain topics that are near and dear to them, and people get emotional about the way they perceive the wrongs of the world.

So, my first question to you is, in knowing all of this, how can you possibly find the nerve to try to come onto this forum and act surprised that this forum is not "civil" by your standards?

And my second question is; knowing all of what I have laid out here, how could you ever hope to impose YOUR standards of "civility" on anyone here on this forum?

Now if the Columbia Missourian wants to moderate this post, because I assaulted the delicate senses of one of it's Opinion Writers, then by all means LET IT BE....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 8, 2011 | 6:57 p.m.

David Rosman wrote:

"Unfortunately the dog breeding industry has not done a good job at regulating itself."

I think that's perception and not fact. HSUS did quite a good job at showing people the worst of the worst. Plus, it's also up to the MDA and USDA to regulate the industry, and they already have 23 pages of regulations to enforce. Every sick dog and dirty cage shown in those commercials was against current regulations. We have an enforcement problem, not a fundamental lack of regulations.

Prop B is not the way to deal with the problem. It will take the good breeders (the ones that follow the rules and get minor or no violations) right along with the bad ones, by removing the flexibility in current regs, and specifying kennel design and operation that will make it too expensive for most breeders to stay in business.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 8, 2011 | 9:14 p.m.

I second what Mark said.

(Report Comment)
Karen Krimmel February 9, 2011 | 9:58 a.m.

Possibly we could all consider looking at this conflict from a different perspective.
If we were to consider the greater issue here, and not the emotional 'content' which has divided us all so terribly, might we come together in a wiser place?
The greater issue seems one of the democratic process.
Do we not too often forget how absolutely blessed we are to have this process available to us, however imperfectly we manage to apply it?
There will always be two 'sides' to any issue which we-as neighbors and as citizens- MUST find some consensus.
If we were to cripple or remove altogether the democratic process from our conflicts, what would we be left with?
Do we as Americans wish to have our conflicts decided by EITHER side's 'special interests' ?
If we allow this to happen, no matter what 'side' we are on, we will forever be steamrolled by one or another interest group who simply has enough money to control our collective destinies.
I differ with my neighbor on 'religion', with my co-worker on 'evolution' and my husband on gun control.
If I were to consider these people my 'enemies', their convictions unworthy of consideration, what would that say about me?
Could we not try and come together not as farmers or as dog enthusiasts or as business owners but as human beings who share something so precious as to be the envy of much of the world?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 9, 2011 | 10:17 a.m.

Karen,

What makes you think that Special Interest Groups don't already control the democratic process?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Karen Krimmel February 9, 2011 | 10:30 a.m.

Mr. Gurley, I think we can all agree that the process is imperfect, and I said.
But until a better one, or perfect one, comes along and is accepted by the majority of Americans, I do not see an alternative.

I appear to have offended you.
If there is something in my comment or my manner that you have construed as confrontational, please accept my apology.
I do not do this sort of thing often.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley February 9, 2011 | 11:11 a.m.

Karen,

Did you actually get that I seemed offended from a post that I made that simply asked you a question? Really?

This is what I am referring to when I posted to Mr. Rosman about my “Speculation Machine” vs. most people’s “Speculation Machines” and wrote this: "It is not the ordinary, unconditioned, and out-of-tune "Speculation Machine; you see.". Your "Speculation Machine" is a little out-of-tune and unconditioned to make the right speculations into whether or not I am offended from a simple one question post, Karen. Now you see my "Speculation Machine" would not have flagged the post that I made as being an indicator of any emotion whatsoever. This is why I contend that my "Speculation Machine" is superior to most people's...... ;o)

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield February 9, 2011 | 12:05 p.m.

"There will always be two 'sides' to any issue which we-as neighbors and as citizens- MUST find some consensus. I differ with my neighbor on 'religion', with my co-worker on 'evolution' and my husband on gun control. If I were to consider these people my 'enemies', their convictions unworthy of consideration, what would that say about me?"

All of that sounds perfectly sensible but ultimately isn't feasible. Eventually every debate reaches the point where one side either has to back down on something or everything or be willing to do what it believes is necessary to preserve or achieve something. That's why, for example, some people firebomb abortion clinics, animal research labs and McMansions, while some countries invade others (e.g., Iraq, Germany). If you believe strongly in something -- abortion, animal rights, women's rights, human rights, the environment, democracy, you name it -- eventually you reach a point where backing down isn't an option.

(Report Comment)
Karen Krimmel February 9, 2011 | 3:09 p.m.

Mr. Bearfield, I believe what I was attempting to say is that we must 'believe' in something 'higher', and try to achieve some compromise as opposed to thinking we are 'backing down' if we are ever going to live together in peace.
But I prefer living in peace, possibly others do not care so much to.
However sincere, it is after all, only my opinion.

Mr. Gurley, I have looked at some of your other statements.
It seems that you wish to argue only for the sake of arguing, and you appear to become caustic and overbearing, and wish to silence others who do not agree with you.

I think I will not be a difficult or interesting target for your arrows.

I neither understand the rules nor possess the necessary ammunition for such a game .

So perhaps is is for the best that I say no more.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield February 9, 2011 | 3:24 p.m.

"Mr. Bearfield, I believe what I was attempting to say is that we must 'believe' in something 'higher', and try to achieve some compromise as opposed to thinking we are 'backing down' if we are ever going to live together in peace."

I understand what you're trying to say -- although I don't understand why you keep putting certain words in quotes -- but ultimately there are situations where people will not compromise because doing so would be backing down.

Two examples might be outlawing guns or abortions. In those situations -- such as when the police officer shows up on your doorstep to confiscate your guns, or when the abortion clinic's door is padlocked shut -- someone who believes in the right to have a gun or an abortion will not simply say, "Aw, heck, I guess I'll just go with the flow because making compromises is simply the price one pays for living in a peaceful society."

(Report Comment)

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