CSotD: Hot Villain vs Villain Action!

Watson rouses up my ambivalence for the story of how George Santos reportedly/allegedly ripped off some “Amish dog breeders” with bad checks. I have no reluctance in comparing Santos to Dr. Doom in regard to his reported/alleged theft of funds for a veteran’s ailing dog, but I’m conflicted on this one.

The reason I put quotation marks around “Amish dog breeders” is that the coverage of this story is the first time I’ve ever heard them described with such sympathetic innocence. It does, certainly, reflect poorly on Santos, but I’m just not sure you need to fancify your language to make him look bad.

“Amish dog breeders” are generally just called “puppy mills,” and this map from the anti-puppy mill site, Bailing Out Benji, shows such a concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County that they had to stick the name of the county in the margin.

As another dog-lover site with the plain-spoken name Stop Online Puppy Mills explains, not every Amish person who breeds dogs is running a puppy mill, but, then again, there sure are a lot who are.

Now, let me disclose that I was born just up the road from Lancaster, in Lebanon, which is still well within the confines of Amish Country and I’m all in favor of Lebanon bologna and pretzels and shoo-fly pie. But I don’t think you have to be either a Pennsylvanian or a professional journalist for this CNN report to set off what Ernest Hemingway famously called your shit detector.

Don’t be distracted by the fact that Anonymous Fred drives a buggy but has modern equipment in his milking parlor: Some Amish are strict in clinging to the old ways, some make exceptions.

The important factor is that the transactions with Santos, and the interview with CNN, happened in the milking parlor and not where the puppies in question were bred and housed.

That’s #3 in this list of 10 ways to spot a puppy mill: The breeder doesn’t want you to see his layout, and note that he also doesn’t show either parent, which is Clue #1 on the warning list.

In the three and a half minute segment, we see two unidentified dogs for five seconds as assurance that Fred loves dogs. Pardon me if I’m not assured, but, if I were doing a story about puppies, I’d damn well show some puppies and for more than five seconds.

None of this lets Santos off the hook, mind you. He’s still an alleged/reported thief.

Still, I can’t help feeling that it would sure be nice if supervillains like Dr. Doom confined their activity to ripping off other supervillains.

Big Brother Update

No real surprise that charges were dropped against that reporter who was jailed for committing journalism in front of the head of The Ohio National Guard. It was a stupid confrontation that the governor denounced virtually as it was happening.

As I noted here a few days ago, there are occasional flare-ups between journalists and first responders, but they generally don’t amount to much. Even when I had my interview notes (unsuccessfully) subpoenaed in a murder case, the chief investigator approached me at a later press conference and said, “We know you were just doing your job.”

However, we shouldn’t forget that George Floyd would have died unknown if Darnella Frazier had not been standing by with a cell phone camera, while mandatory body cameras on police are why we know what happened to Tyre Nichols.

Big Brother may be watching, but he’s not the only one out there keeping an eye on things.

And they don’t all carry press cards. How big are your jails?

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Matt Wuerker — Politico)

(Nick Anderson)

(Bob Gorrell — Creators)

As Wuerker suggests, there’s something farcical in Nikki Haley being the second to announce her presidential candidacy, because we all know that those other fellas are just waiting for someone else to step into the jaws of the first announced candidate.

And as Anderson puts it, the gesture is beyond futile. Haley is counting, I suppose, on the support of the four or five Republicans who aren’t already rooting for either Trump or De Santis.

Her only possible hope is that, (A) as Gorrell points out, there are a lot of Republicans who have had enough of Trump, if only because he’s backed so many losers lately, and (B) that De Santis may self-destruct once he leaves the Sunshine State and steps onto the national stage.

However, she’s already annoyed a couple of her fellow Indian-Americans.

Perhaps Haley is just hoping she’ll get a boost from having an Anti-Semitic homophobe give a prayer before her announcement, and saying she hopes to be just like him when she grows up.

Yeah, well, I have a feeling she’s about to grow up, and real fast.

New Hampshire’s primary is now second in the nation rather than first. Think she’ll still be around by the time the candidates start showing up here?

Speaking of racial issues, Greg Kearney comments on a bit of history that Kansas is attempting to wipe from the books: In this case, the books of deeds rather than the history books. The legislature is contemplating a bill to allow restrictive covenants to be stricken from land records.

Covenants forbidding houses to be sold to Black, Asian or Jewish buyers were relatively common in the first few decades of the 20th Century, though they largely disappeared after the Supreme Court declared them unenforceable in 1948.

I remember a kerfuffle in the late 70s when I was living in Colorado Springs and the covenants turned up there. Everyone tut-tutted and it was an embarrassing reminder of our ugly history, but it was dismissed as ugly history and I don’t recall anyone proposing to rewrite the documents.

But I also remember Realtors there in the late 80s being angry that the government was sending out white and black testers to see if they would be treated the same, which, BTW, is how Donald Trump and his old man got nailed for racial discrimination.

I’m less concerned with trying to reform history than trying to reform the present day, though I suppose Florida children might be made to feel guilty if they learned of such things in their past.

My guess is that Gov. De Santis won’t be allowing any history classes to screen A Raisin in the Sun, which we studied my junior year.

2 thoughts on “CSotD: Hot Villain vs Villain Action!

  1. And the puppy miller’s insistence to do business only in cash is a big fat tax-evasion red flag.

    What the devil is/has Santos done with the 9 dogs? Resell them?

  2. Interesting to hear Haley touting her heritage and femininty. One might think there is no such person as Kamala Harris ?

    Some of us Ohio residents are a bit suspicious of The Guard anyway.. Not long before May 4 1970, the Guard was deployed at a Teamsters Strike. They were not issued live ammo. When they went to Kent State they had live ammo.

    Some of us think that if they had shot at a teamster, they would have had their weapons stuffed where the sun didn’t shine.
    So arresting a reporter for reporting doesn’t shock some of us KSU journalism majors, even all these many years later.

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