This little story is about how we humans give away and then set fire to our basic freedoms as a society, a nation, and a people. But first the destruction begins on a grass roots local level. It begins in our neighborhood.
Once there lived a massive German Shepard dog who whenever he saw me or my wife drive up to our new house, rushed up to the wrought iron fence to bark, bark, bark. Quite a paradox in fact, because we were next door neighbors, actually. He had seen us come and go and stroll about our backyard as we planted flowers, trees, and threw the bouncy blue racquetball for our 15-pound Bichon Frise, Quinn. The big dog barked and tried to get through the iron bars on several occasions to eat Quinn, no doubt about it. Viciously. Threateningly. Slamming his muzzle against cold steel bars.
He was telling us in dog trash talk that he was out to hurt us, given the chance. He had been doing this rush up to the fence and threaten us drill with us for over 7 months at that point. And shucks, we were the epitome of docile, non-threatening, neighbors. You would have thought that by then he might have become bored and regarded us as non-threats to him and his territory. Yet when you tried to befriend and speak softly to him, he snarled and bared his canine teeth all the more and nipped menacingly at the air between you and the iron bars. He wanted to bite you, to scare you, and to put you on notice that he would do you harm if ever got the chance. Even though I had owned many dogs in my 71 years, including 3 German Shepherds, for the first time in my life I had become afraid of a dog.
He wanted to eat our 15-lb. Bichon Frise, Quinn who wanted only to stroll about our own property, unmolested, minding his own dog business, and chasing bouncy blue rubber racquet balls.
The barking in itself had become a grand annoyance. It was a blatant violation of the rules, deed restrictions, and covenants of our wooded, country subdivision in the woods.
“No animals, livestock or poultry of any kind shall be raised, bred or kept on any Lot in the Subdivision except that dogs, cats or other common household pets and two (2) horses per acre may be kept on Lots consisting of at least one (1) acre, provided that they are not kept, bred, or maintained for commercial purposes and do not become a nuisance or threat to other Owners.”
But forget all of the above. Those rules are hollow and empty and a private joke laughing matter of Sheriff’s Departments all over America simply because there is no one willing to enforce these covenants and deed restrictions and printed rules of any subdivision from Oregon to Florida. I can sympathize with law enforcement and their larger priorities to chase and apprehend criminals and other more serious matters needing attention where a civilized society lives and breathes.
So what about the Property Owners Association Elected Officers? One might think that they are elected to office to help homeowners with issues and problems that occur from time to time. You know, to serve us property owners, what? But barking dogs? Think again. Don’t make them laugh; it’s an inside joke, barking dogs, O, Geez, ya know what I mean (wink, wink)? But aren’t the POA Officers supposed enforce the deed restrictions and rules in the By- Laws and Covenants of the subdivision? Well, yeah. But honestly, bottom line is that they will even tell you that they have no power to enforce stuff that is written into by law or onto any official or unofficial paper when it comes to barking dogs. Why they will tell you they cannot even collect past due POA dues from property owner human beings, do you love it? Try Animal Control, the POA will tell you. Tell them you feel threatened by the animal in question, they advise. That you are afraid. But don’t try to put the buck on my desk because I will pass it on and tell you to contact the County Department of Animal Control.
You got to understand. The POA exists to thwart the logical solutions to problems by arbitrarily prohibiting you from building something that just might improve the community and the neighborhood, to wit, a privacy fence NOT in conflict with existing County Building Permit Guidelines, plats, rules, laws, surveys, building deed restrictions, or anything else for that matter. When 2 neighbors agree that a privacy fence just might help or cure a barking dog nuisance problem one of them has and the other one owns why would a local POA try to thwart it? Why would they try to keep it from happening? Public servants, dedicated to the betterment of the community, my ass.
So what about talking to the owner? Tried that. No soap. The owner said that his dog was a part of his family. You mean, like, a dog has the same rights as humans, I asked him? The air-ringing sound of the silence said it all: yes, the dog did have the same rights as humans, it went without saying. But on further investigation, I found that in essence, the dog actually had more rights than us humans. Why he could violate the subdivision rules and animal control agencies within the structure of local, county, and state government, and no one would step up to the plate to enforce any rules, regulations, or laws about nuisance animals that posed a threat to people or a community. Sure, if you jumped through a bunch of hoops, could prove that the dog barked with witnesses or videos as evidence, maybe someone might listen. But bottom line, nobody in the appeal process got all that excited about it. After all it was just a barking dog. But what about human rights? What about us? Must we grin and bear it when we know that the rules have been violated? That despite written laws on the books a dog can continue to bark our stress levels up to the Stratosphere every day of our lives? What about our human rights? That’s when the other shoe dropped. A dog has more rights than a human!
So a dog then has more rights than a human, and these rights are conveyed from a society that makes the laws then laughs when somebody complains. We fool ourselves into believing that we are rational creatures who make real laws to keep our neighborhoods, our cities, counties, states, and our very nation safe, secure, and environmentally conducive to the pursuit of happiness and then what do we do? We turn right around and we throw it all away. It becomes trash, and we become cardboard people who we created out of indifference and ignorance. We become so puffed up with our unimportance and preserving the bureaucracy that we aren’t even fit for the cardboard shredder that is to be our final and ultimate destination on the road to Dumbassville, USA.
Oh, I know, I know, a barking dog is a small thing, just tune it out. We have become quite good as a people at that. We can tune it out on the smallest level where barking dogs have more rights than people. Or we can tune out how a rogue president like George W. Bush can thrust us into a war with Iraq with cardboard images and drawings of Weapons of Mass Destruction facilities in Iraq as illustrated by the illustrious former General and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Pay no attention to the millions of deaths and casualties. Pay no mind that no Weapons of Mass Destruction were ever found. Pay no attention to the fact that America under the 8 years of George W. Bush as president borrowed and spent an additional $4 Trillion that got added to our National Debt. Shoot, we had to finance the Iraq War and subsequent occupation of a foreign country with boots on the ground for 9 years of self-abuse as a nation and people, dontcha know?
We also tuned it out that National Reserve forces were not trained as combat soldiers nor ever intended to fight in tour after tour of overseas wars. We allowed our president to declare that we had a ‘National Emergency’ what with Iraq pointing nucuylar missiles at American cities, so by George we could and would damn well exercise our right as Unitary Executive to use our State Militias or the National Guard to fight and get blowed up, if necessary, by roadside bombs on the to Baghdad. So who was to argue with Bush? Not Congress, you can be sure. Those Chickenshits wouldn’t even hold his feet to the fire about declaring the Iraq War to be an ON-BUDGET expense. That way nobody could criticize Bush as scathingly as he deserved to be for starting us down a road of horror that has divided us forever. Humans can see the truth even if it lights unexpectedly on our shoulder like a butterfly. Before Karl Rove tries to crush it. We know that attacking Iraq and occupying the country with our own troops for almost 9 years was probably the biggest travesty the United States ever caused to happen. It was sick.
In Reaganesque speak, you got to ask: “Are we better off?” Did we accomplish anything of real value? Did we bring democracy to Iraq? Did we help the Iraqi people by killing all the terrorists that overran Iraq after we toppled Saddam Hussein? No, no, no, and NO! Did we cause great suffering of 100s of thousands, perhaps millions of human beings? Did we borrow enough money off-budget to destroy our country? Is the ‘End of America’ become a reality as many prophets of doom have warned as they pack their luggage to escape to other world latitudes?
It is a disease of the spirit. Denial and destruction of the truth is the order of the day when it comes to us humans when there is a hidden agenda. Usually when one is following the money one stubs his toe on the hidden agenda, but if so, he keeps on walking, unaware and tuned out. Such hidden agendas give credence to the likes of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly and the rest of the slime talkers that promote the hate of Democrats, Liberals, College Professors, Hollywood actors, Global Warming Advocates, and Muslims, not necessarily in that order. Fox News would have us believe Sarah Palin would be the next Einstein if there were a buck in it for the Mad Hatters of Neoconia. But only with millions of Rupert Murdock and Koch Brothers ad dollars spent on media clips to persuade those flabby minds grasping a controller on the couch that she is a true ‘merican who wants to help all us Billy Bobs evolve to higher branches in the tree of Redneck reasoning, Creationism philosophy, and Anti-Obama political correctness.
In short, we lose our basic freedoms from not paying attention to the right stuff, the truth we all know that lives deep within us and never dies, the truth that we as a people have lost the courage to stand up for and defend. And just for fun do we Americans who forgot to show outrage and protest at invading and occupying Iraq have a clue that, thanks to George W. Bush, we borrowed over $4 Trillion that will haunt and hurt us Americans for the rest of our lives? Do any of us Americans know or care what kind of government Iraq has now after the 9 years of occupation? Do we know that the Bush family just bought 200,000 acres in Paraguay, rich in natural resources, water, minerals, and next door to a 400-man U.S. Marine air base? No extradition allowed from Paraguay. Do the BIG DOGS know something about Armageddon the rest of us don’t?
From your own backyard and neighborhood to the world stage in faraway places like Paraguay, the BIG DOGS seem to rule. We are going to the dogs, I tell you.