Friday, March 10, 2006

Logic in the Mail

It's not often you can describe a letter to the editor as devastating with a straight face, but two such letters appear in this week's issue of The New Yorker. They're both written in response to Malcolm Gladwell's piece about legislation against pit bulls and, by extension, the human folly of racial profiling. Gladwell's almost always provocative, but I did think there was something more than a little troublesome about his argumentation in this case. In part, he wrote about a test for dogs that measures the aggressiveness of their character: "Eighty-four per cent of the pit bulls that have been given the test have passed, which ranks pit bulls ahead of beagles, Airedales, bearded collies, and all but one variety of dachshund." And as Tony Foley of this fine city writes into the magazine: "Of course, most people would take a hundred-per-cent chance of being attacked by a dachshund over a sixteen-per-cent chance of being attacked by a pit bull."

Indeed.

For those of you keeping track at home, here are the participants we're talking about, dachshund on top:



6 Comments:

Anonymous dread master p said...

This post does not interest me nor will your upcoming piece on the perils of kangaroo boxing.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strange News Printable View
Psycho Killer Dachshunds Terrorize Olympia

From Associated Press

August 22, 2006 8:04 PM EDT

OLYMPIA, Washington - A fierce group of wild-eyed wiener dogs has killed 42 cats, over a hundred dogs, attacked a small car, and bitten at least one pedestrian who had to get rabies shots, residents of Olympia say.

Some have taken to carrying pepper spray to ward off the midget marauders. The woman who was bitten now carries an iron pipe when she goes outside at night.

"It's a new breed," said Tamara Keeton, who with Kari Hall started a neighborhood wiener watch after an emotional neighborhood meeting drew 95 people. "They're urban killers, and they're not afraid."

Tony Benjamins, whose family lost two cats, said he got a big dog - a German Shepherd-Rottweiler mix - to keep the dogs away.

One goal of the patrol is to get residents to stop feeding the little beasts with their pets and pet food outside.

Lisann Rolle said she began carrying an iron pipe when she goes outside at night after being mauled when she tried to pull seven of them off her cat Lucy. She was hospitalized and underwent a full battery of rabies shots after the attack.

"I was watching her like a hawk, but she snuck out," Rolle said. "Then I heard this hideous sound - a coyote-type high pitch ... It was vicious. They were focused on ripping her apart."

The attacks have been especially shocking because they came within five feet of a group of toddlers playing in the street, Benjamins said.

"We used to love these little wild wieners. They'd have their babies this time of year, and they were so cute. Even though we lived near the city, it was neat to have wildlife around," he said, "but this year, things changed. They went nuts. They are just evil."

In one case five wwd’s carried off a small goat, which managed to escape and survive when several of the dogs were blown away by a volley from a wildlife ranger’s shotgun.

The attacks, all within a three-square mile area near the Garfield Nature Trail in Olympia, are highly unusual, said Sean O. Carrell, a problem wildlife coordinator with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, adding that trappers may be summoned from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove problem animals.

"I've never heard a report of 10 cats being killed. It's something were going to have to monitor," Carrell said.

Meanwhile, residents have hired Tom Brown, a nuisance wildlife control operator from Rochester, Washington, to set traps, but in six weeks he has caught only one dog, and it was a hairless Himalayan Yapper. He and Carrell said the little critters teach their young - and each other - to avoid traps.

Brown said he had seen packs of the wild wiener dogs numbering in the mid-thirties, but none so into killing until this year. "They are in command up there," he said with a trembling voice. “An ominous blanket of silence is the only warning you will get.”

It is suspected these dogs migrated north from Colorado, which is plagued with the largest population of the animals. The dogs were originally used to kill rats in mines, and were just left behind when the mines closed. They formed packs and survived by working together to take down big game. With plentiful prey and the mines for shelter, the population exploded. It is estimated there are now more than forty-thousand wild wieners infesting the mines in Colorado.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was an attack in Leadville Colorado back in the 1900's when a bunch of dogs were run out of a mine system with poison gas. These dogs were taken into the mines to kill the rats, and just stayed there when everybody left. They go wild and will hunt in packs.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Grandfather worked in mines in Leadville, Colorado. He had a picture about twenty wiener dogs that had been shot and killed. He said they attacked some miners that stumbled into their lair.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a creature described in the Nez Perce American Indian lore that is a cross between a dog and a snake. The animal lives in family groups in the ground, but hunts above ground in small packs to hunt and kill prey animals much bigger than themselves. They have especially sharp teeth and a ferocious demeanor. Their name in folklore is "Wai-Wie-Nah Dohs". Sounds kind of like wild wiener dogs. I think the mythical creature has returned.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former WWD tracker and hunter I can attest to the ferocity of the beast. Don't be fooled by their stature. They will rip your throat out.

2:34 PM  

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