Saturday, May 27, 2006

Zack Space on the Rachel Maddow Show (Transcript)

Crossposted at My Left Wing, Daily Kos, ePluribus Media, and Booman Tribune

I first heard about scandal-ridden Bob Ney's bigoted robocall against opponent Zack Space in this post at Buckeye State Blog. It seems Bob Ney, who is constantly in the news due to investigations into his possible ethics violations and ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is falling back on the standard tactic of the truly desperate Republican--appealing to people's fears and prejudices. (Side note: see editorial Nervous GOP focuses on hot buttons) Rachel Maddow has a rough transcript of the robocall, as well as her own commentary on the matter posted here.

"Hello, my name is Juanita (?) and I am very concerned about what I've heard recently about Congressional Candidate Zack Space. Zack claims to care about Ohio Values. He has been spending a lot of time lately with national liberal and gay rights leaders to raise money for his campaign. Just last week Zack was on an ultra-liberal radio show from New York City hosted by a cross dressing lesbian when he told me that social values are no longer that important. Zack Space claims the 18th District wants a progressive leader. But we all know that progressive is nothing more than a code word for higher taxes, more gun control, more abortions, and more gay marriages. Tell Zack Space that social values do matter to those of us in Ohio. Even if they don't matter to his ultra-liberal friends in the rest of the country. Paid for by Bob Ney for Congress"
Read the transcript of Zack Space's interview with Rachel Maddow on Air America below to see how the call is (duh) a gross misrepresentation of what was actually said. Also--something that was news to me since I'm not in his district--it was heartening to hear of a case in Ohio where a candidate won the primary in spite of not being the one supported by the national Democratic poobahs.

Maddow: Zack Space is the man tasked with removing Bob Ney from Congress in the midterm elections this November. You may know Bob Ney. "Representative Number One"--that's how he's described in *five separate* criminal corruption plea agreements. He's a man who the House Ethics Committee yesterday said they were launching an investigation into, the Justice Department has already launched an investigation into him. Zack Space is the nominee in Ohio's 18th Congressional District, running as an underdog against Bob Ney. Zack Space joins us on the phone from Ohio this morning. Thank you very much for joining us!

Space: Thank you for having me! Good morning.

Maddow: I'm cognizant of the fact that my introduction may have made you a little bit uncomfortable. Your campaign has not been about Bob Ney being a corrupt guy. You really haven't made that the centerpiece of your campaign.

Space: Well, we really haven't had to. (Laughs) When we pick up our newspaper it's the front page story, even here in the district which, incidentally was the last media network to pick up on it. But people here at home are finally getting what kind of guy Bob Ney really is.

Maddow: Now, he has argued--Mr. Ney himself has argued--that people *in* the 18th District are *not* concerned about those ethics question, that's not the kind of thing that's going to be driving their vote this November. He says people are more concerned about Iraq and gas prices, and he's confident that he's going to be re-elected. What's your response to that?

Space: Well, he's also argued he's done nothing wrong. People are talking about the corruption. And there's a sense--this is a good thing--there's a sense that the high gas prices, or high health care costs, even unfair trade policies...these are all a product of a system that's corrupt. Bob Ney's corruption is bad enough in and of itself, and that alone may end up bringing him down. But it's the cost of that corruption, Rachel, that people are beginning to get a sense of.

Maddow: So you think people are beginning to make a connection between Bob Ney being investigated for taking bribes from lobbyists like Jack Abramoff, and then the lobbyists, in turn, pushing bills that aren't good for the American people.

Space: I don't think there's any question about it.

Maddow: Yeah, it's not a very big leap to make. And my personal take on the way the unfolding corruption stuff has been covered in the last couple years is that the Republican take in it has been "You know what? All of these scandals are complicated, and the rules that people are breaking are hard to understand, and if we can just muddy the waters enough, people won't be able to connect the dots and come up with a moral, values message here. I don't think that's true. I think people think "bribery" and that's why we're not getting the right thing out of our government.

Space: Well, I agree. Things are bad here in southeastern Ohio. Our economy is down, jobs...the manufacturing base has left, and people are having a hard time making house payments, certainly sending their kids to college. You know, there may be a higher tolerance for that sort of activity when the trains are running on time and people are satisfied with their situations, but that's just simply not the case.

Maddow: Tell me a little more about the 18th District. I know geographically where you're at, I know a *little* bit about the economics there. It's considered a district that leans Republican. Why do you think that is?

Space: Well, kind of on a related note, in the past, social issues have been hot buttons that often times, people in this area have based their votes upon. But they're more willing to do that when, again, things are going well for them. But when they can't balance their checkbooks, and the banks are foreclosing on our homes, those social issues are no longer so important.

People in this area have every reason to be Democrats, every reason to be progressive, and I think now that, I just sense a change in direction.

Maddow: I want to ask you about how you got here, because you were not the favorite, from the way national polls were talking about your election in the primary. The Democratic "powers that be" had thrown their money and some support to a guy who came in third in the primary, not to you. You were kind of the surprise winner there. Do you feel like you've got an uphill battle to fight in terms of getting Democratic support and getting your name out there?

Space: At this point, no. We've been assured by those important people in Washington that they're on board. And they're good people, they're smart people, and I think one of the reasons that they took the position they did early on is that it's difficult to understand this district unless you live here. It wasn't a surprise to us that we won. We won because of a very strong, broad-based, grassroots effort. We spent less money, certainly didn't have the national recognition or support that one of my opponents did, but we did it the right way. We touched people, we communicated our message, we invested people in the process--

Maddow: Did you go door to door? How did you beat them with the money disadvantage.

Space: We did that. We did a lot of door to door. I knocked on a lot of doors myself personally. We worked the phone banks with our volunteers, we did lit drops, we just went out and communicated with the people. And we understood that there was a need to do that, we did it very aggressively, and it paid off.

Maddow: When you're looking ahead at November, the prospects for someone in a race like yours, as best as I can tell, really have a lot to do with what the overall tide is in the country. Obviously every election is local, and every voter makes a decision based on local issues, but if there's a tidal wave of Democratic sentiment in November, obviously that's going to be good for you. And I wonder, given that you're running from a pretty conservative district that's been represented by a Republican who's in trouble now, I wonder if you could give some advice to the national Democratic party for how to run the elections in November--what the message should be. What kind of national Democratic message would help you out in your district?

Space: Well, it goes back to that corruption, and not just the corruption but the cost of that corruption. Ohio has been plagued by corruption from all different segments. We've got a governor who's been convicted, we've got people in his administration have been tied to the--I'm sure you've heard about the Tom Noe Coingate scandal--

Maddow: Oh yes! I've done a lot of ill-informed ranting about that, because it's so scandalous!

Space: And we've been barraged with that stuff here. I really think the message is that special interests, big business, large corporations have been calling the shots for far too long, and there's a price that's being payed for it now, and it's a matter of priority. And the corruption is a manifestation of a larger, more insidious problem. And I think that's the message--that this government is supposed to be here for us!

Maddow: Yeah. And if you're not getting out of your government what you want to be getting out of your government, maybe it's because your government isn't working for you. The government is working for the people that have gamed the system.

Space: That's exactly right, Rachel.

Maddow: Zack Space--good luck!

Space: Hey Rachel, can I give myself a plug?

Maddow: Please!

Space: I've got a web site your listeners might be interested in. We've got a chance of capturing a seat. We need 15. This is one we can get, and I need help. We're raising money but we need help. We're up against some big institutions, and if we're going to win it's going to be because people recognize the importance of putting a progressive candidate in office, not just in my district but around the country.

Maddow: Yeah.

Space: My web site--

Maddow: And, of course, you're helped *immeasurably*, at least in the web world, by having *the* single most memorable congressional candidate name in a generation!

Space: And you know, that's a real name--it's not a stage name.

Maddow: (Laughing) Well, you know, if you ever wanted a career in, like, New York cabaret after this is all over, you don't have to change your name to do that either. Zack Space, thanks a lot!

Space: Appreciate it, Rachel.

You can donate to Zack Space's campaign through the Howard-Empowered Act Blue page by clicking the link below.

Howard-Empowered Act Blue Page

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Saturday Comics

Here's this week's comics:

And my favorite for today: It Takes A Village Idiot Box

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Smile, the CryptoKids (TM) are our friends

Have you seen the NSA kids' page?

I'd like to take this opportunity to say to any little tykes who are spying on me at the moment that I'm really glad you're on the case. It makes me feel all safe and cozy. And that saluting eagle does not look disturbing at all. Really.

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Friday night linkage

Just some links I wanted to frontpage...

Transcript and video of Howard Dean on Hardball

Also, the folks at Media Matters take note of Chris Matthew's obsession with the Clintons' marriage.

This morning, I felt the need to do a good old fashioned rant, and I did so over at Buckeye State Blog: That "D" next to your name gets you my vote...period

And, in case you missed it, George Bush has admitted that it was a mistake saying "Bring 'em on" back in 2003. See the response at the DNC site: Our Troops and the American People Deserve More Than Bush's Regrets

Remember that State of Belief show I transcribed earlier, about the right-wing war on mainline denominations? There's a related story on the front page of Street Prophets:

Waging War On Behalf Of Republicans By Misusing The Gospels

The Republican Party-aligned Institute on Religion and Democracy sent out a press release today attacking Jim Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, for a speech he gave in March of this year critical of President Bush.

Click here for the rest.

Remember the game Frogger? I know I wasted many hours on that game as an undergrad. There's a version of it available online. I just tried it.

Yep, I still suck at it.

By the way, I just discovered that jc has posted some new designs over at her blog.

And, as long as I'm here, a few links to news stories here and there:

Scientists ponder invisibility cloak
Bizarre Wash Post suck-up story on Bill Frist
Spirited Barbaro Revels in VIP Visits
Update 1: Recovering Barbaro Shows Usual Feistiness

Just found out about this book over at Cute Overload while looking for a new picture to post.


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Comments from Dean at the Mayor's press conference on C-Span.

Since the other post I put up and then deleted, came back to life and still had all the weird figures and errors which are not there in the DailyKos post just like it...well, I am just posting another post to move it down and make it not so obvious.

Couple of things from the Mayor's press conference on C-Span last night. It was excellent, and it showed how the local people including mayors are getting a chance to talk to the party leaders in DC.

Dean criticized Frist for being divisive

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democratic Party leader Howard Dean criticized the top Republican in the Senate on Wednesday, complaining that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has put socially divisive issues ahead of more pressing matters such as rising gas prices.

"The majority leader of the United States Senate wants to spend time on flag burning and gay marriage attacks, we want to spend time on what to do about Iraq, how to reduce gas prices for people, what to do about health care," Dean said at a news conference.

The Democratic National Committee chairman hosted a daylong session with
Democratic mayors.

More on the conference from First Read at MSNBC:

First Read at MSNBC

Dueling political scandals
DNC chairman Howard Dean refused to comment today on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's call for Rep. William Jefferson to give up his seat on the Ways and Means Committee, but said that if he is indicted, the Democratic party will "condemn" his actions. Dean hastened to note that Jefferson has not been indicted and that the actions (if they are indeed illegal) of one person within the party do not compare to what Democrats charge is a track record of unethical behavior within the GOP. Echoing what Pelosi told NBC News yesterday, Dean said if Democrats take over the House and/or the Senate in the midterm elections, they will quickly enact "real ethics legislation."

Democrats have been using legally-challenged Republicans Tom DeLay and Randy "Duke" Cunningham as the poster boys for a "culture of corruption" campaign alleging that the GOP is infected with morally and ethically inept members who need to be swept out of office in November. DeLay is quitting Congress on June 9 and Cunningham gave up his seat before going to jail a few months ago. When asked by First Read if the Jefferson probe affects that strategy, Dean quickly sought to distinguish Jefferson from the other. "There really is no comparison between one errant congressperson who may have done something wrong and again has yet to be indicted. But certainly, if he is, we would condemn that," Dean said. "There is a Republican culture of corruption and we will stand for honesty and openness in government," he later added.

Dean was speaking at a press conference with six Democratic mayors from around the country who were there to talk about the local challenges -- increased violence, high gas prices, health care problems -- they say they're facing as a result of the Bush Administration's "misplaced priorities."

A spokeswoman for Frist dismissed Dean's criticism.
Update from Renee: As long as I'm here adding the alternate comment link, I thought I should also post a link to the latest comment from Charlie. He needs help finding a campaign manager. Please help him out if you can.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

In Memoriam: Douglas Adams

From Renee: I've got Towel Day diaries at My Left Wing and Daily Kos.

Douglas AdamsOn this day, two weeks after the date of his death, we mourn the loss of Douglas Adams. He died five years ago, an unexpected and untimely departure.

towelIn memory of this brilliant writer, this passionate environmentalist, this gentle, enigmatic, visionary and much beloved man, we carry a towel with us today. And we say:

Thanks for all the fish, Douglas. You're one hoopy frood. We miss you.

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Happy Towel Day!

Thank you to listener for sending me some links and images in honor of Towel Day. Since I have a long work day tomorrow, I figure my best chance of *not* forgetting about this is to do a quick post tonight.

From The HHG Project:

Just about the most massively useful thing any interstellar Hitchhiker can carry. For one thing it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth on the cold moons of Jaglan Beta, sunbathe on it on the marble beaches of Santraginus Five, huddle beneath it for protection from the Arcturan Megagnats as you sleep beneath the stars of Kakrafoon, use it to sail a miniraft down the slpow heavy river Moth, wet it for use in hand to hand combat, wrap it round your head to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, and even dry yourself off with it if it still seems clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

Update: Check out Another Chance to See for more about Douglas Adams and conservation. And here's an in-depth obituary that appeared in the Guardian (includes a great towel reference).

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Howard Dean at the Mayors' Conference

Update: If you'd like to donate to Ned Lamont's campaign, just a quick reminder that he's one of the candidates on our Howard-Empowered Act Blue page. has a post called "6000 Words" including some pictures with Howard Dean...

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Open Thread (with blog babies)

Update: when I was posting, I was unaware that Caterona was putting up a diary at the same time. Don't forget to check out her post Fast for Peace.

Found this link via Cute Overload--animal sounds in foreign languages. For example, the Japanese way of making the sound a cow makes is "mau mau"--which is my segue into letting you know that Demetrius has updated the page where he's posted Phil*from*Iowa's blog babies. It now includes pics from Thankful and Donna's visit to Phil's farm.

Entirely different topic, but could use some recommends: Right-wing attack on mainline churches. (That link was to the Kos diary. Here are the links for My Left Wing and Booman Tribune.)

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Fast For Peace

Crosspposted at Disabled Americans for Democracy

Code Pink has proposed a new fast for peace, starting on Independence Day.

On July 4, we will launch an historic hunger strike called TROOPS HOME FAST. While many Americans will be expressing their patriotism via barbeques and fireworks, we'll be fasting in memory of the dead and wounded, and calling for our nation to be the democracy it was created to be, not an empire. We're inviting people around the world to show their support for this open-ended fast by committing to fast for one day -- July 4 -- plus as many more days as you can handle. Please sign here to join us and encourage your friends to do the same. Together, we can bring our troops home.
I have signed up for the one-day fast. When the time comes, I may be able to do more; but, certainly, I can do that. I encourage everyone reading this to sign up for at least the one-day fast. Since Independence Day is now chiefly known as a mighty pig-out day, fasting for peace on that day sends a particularly strong message to our friends and families. Please join me and our friends at Code Pink in making this powerful gesture, this sacrifice for peace.

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DemocracyFest Update

The Third Annual DemocracyFest will be held on July 14-16 in San Diego CA.

The Saturday Evening BBQ - "DEMSTOCK, featuring The Flying Other Brothers":

After a great day of education and enlightenment, it's time to unwind and get the party started with a blast from the past. We are excited about offering more than a dinner... we're offering "DEMSTOCK", our own version of Woodstock, only with no mud, much better food and bar service. Coming all the way down from San Francisco, DEMSTOCK will feature the music and experience of The Flying Other Brothers, a band sure to remind you of the Summer of Love and the music of Haight Ashbury. With a mixture of humor, some classic cover tunes and tasty originals, The Flying Other Brothers are back by popular demand to rock us again like they did at the very first DemocracyFest. DEMSTOCK will be held on the women's softball field at SDSU, with plenty of grass to picnic on while listening to the band, as well as some seating and tables in the back and sides.

Tickets for DEMSTOCK are sold separately and based upon your choice of food. There will be 2 levels of very tasty all-you-can-eat treats for dinner, featuring our Barn Buster BBQ dinner for $30 (includes Tri Tip Steak, Grilled Chicken Breasts, Portobello Mushrooms, Corn on the cob, etc.) or the Mexican Fiesta for $20 (includes Carne Asada, Pollo Asada, Cheese Enchiladas, etc.) There will also be several Bar Stations, where you can purchase any sodas or adult beverages if you wish for something other than the provided coffee, water or iced tea to wash down dinner or to get you "primed for the party".

DEMSTOCK promises to get you pumped up for the evening, with great music, food & libations, the introduction of the Backbone Campaign's eye- popping "60 foot spine" and some other surprises to get you ready for the days' Grand Finale...

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Dixie Chicks CD Goes On Sale Today

The best-selling female band of all time marks the release of their new CD today.

As we all know, Natalie Maines, lead singer for the group got in a little trouble for expressing her true feelings about the imposter in Washington, but that didn't stop her from writing a very blunt and unapologetic song "Not Ready To Make Nice" to him and all the people who support him to a thoroughly ridiculous end.

I, for one, always thought that if Bush were a real President he would have admonished radio when stations took the Chicks music off after Maines' comments. A real President would have said "No one should be punished or have their music banned because they disagree with me.

But alas,that's not the person we have sleeping at 1600 Penn.

More info:

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Monday, May 22, 2006

MViMV Guest Blog

Tonight's MViMV Guest Blogger will be Kety Esquivel from CrossLeft. Kety will answer questions from 8-9pm EDT.

The post is up now if you'd like to comment early:

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Behavior Modification

This is a Public Service Announcement...

The Contrarian Troll

A sophisticated breed, Contrarian Trolls frequent boards whose predominant opinions are contrary to their own. A forum dominated by those who support firearms and knife rights, for example, will invariably be visited by Contrarian Trolls espousing their beliefs in the benefits of gun control. It is important to distinguish between dissenters and actual Contrarian Trolls, however; the Contrarian is not categorized as a troll because of his or her dissenting opinions, but due to the manner in which he or she behaves:

-Contrarian Warning Sign Number One: The most important indicator of a poster's Contrarian Troll status is his constant use of subtle and not-so-subtle insults, a technique intended to make people angry. Contrarians will resist the urge to be insulting at first, but as their post count increases, they become more and more abusive of those with whom they disagree. Most often they initiate the insults in the course of what has been a civil, if heated, debate to that point.

-Contrarian Warning Sign Number Two: Constant references to the forum membership as monolithic. "You guys are all just [descriptor]." "You're a lynch mob." "You all just want to ridicule anyone who disagrees with you."

-Contrarian Warning Sign Number Three: Intellectual dishonesty. This is only a mild indicator that is not limited to trolls, but Contrarians display it to a high degree. They will lie about things they've said, pull posts out of context in a manner that changes their meanings significantly, and generally ignore any points for which they have no ready answers.

- Contrarian Warning Sign Number Four: Accusing the accusers. When confronted with their trolling, trolls immediately respond that it is the accusers who are trolls (see Natural Predators below). Often the Contrarian will single out his most vocal opponent and claim that while he can respect his other opponents, this one in particular is beneath his notice.

-Contrarian Warning Sign Number Five: Attempts to condescend. Pursued by Troll Bashers (see Natural Predators below), the Contrarian will seek refuge in condescending remarks that repeatedly scorn his or her critics as beneath notice - all the while continuing to respond to them.

-Contrarian Warning Sign Number Six: One distinctive mark of Contrarian Trolls is that every thread in which they dissent quickly devolves into a debate about who is trolling whom. In the course of such a debate the Contrarian will display many of the other Warning Signs mentioned above.

Contrarian warning sign behaviors may be shared by other breeds.
Click for more--scroll down to read about the Honorable Nitwit and the Old Warrior.

Here's a piece from the Wikipedia article (emphasis mine)...
In general, conventional wisdom advises users to avoid feeding trolls, and to ignore temptations to respond. Responding to a troll inevitably drives discussion off-topic, to the dismay of bystanders, and supplies the troll with the craved attention. When trollhunters pounce on the trolls, ignorers reply with: "YHBT. YHL. HAND.", or "You have been trolled. You have lost. Have a nice day." However, since trollbaiters (like trolls) are often conflict-seekers themselves, the loss usually is not on the part of the trollhunter; rather, the losers are the other forum-users who would have preferred that the conflict does not emerge at all.
You know, I don't like "labels" either, but I wanted to find something written about the phenomenon. There's plenty of stuff out there. I could also go into basic behavior modification stuff, like positive reinforcement and extinction...the way that even negative attention is reinforcing (or rewarding) and actually maintains the behavior one seeks to eliminate. Extinction is when you ignore the behavior you don't like (you are also supposed to reward appropriate, desirable behavior whenever it occurs--"catch them being good").

I'll "cut to the chase", as I need to leave for work. I fully understand people not wanting to let certain factions "win" at BFA. But it's kind of a bummer when that plays out by people mainly posting *there* and only "lurking" here. Whatever else this blog has become, I created it because I wanted to keep the community I had found at BFA and the dialog, without having to endure constant, nasty potshots. There's enough, pardon my French, crap to deal with in day to day life without subjecting myself to bonus crap.

But, yes, it is disheartening, when day after day I come here hoping for the opportunity to have some dialog, and find, instead, hours of dead air. I then peek at my old digs and find that an intentionally disruptive element is being given the nonstop attention he craves.

I'm sure that this sounds like whining to some of you. And "some" will absolutely delight in my admitting to being bummed about this, and will take the opporunity to crow about it. Whatever.

But I need to say one thing--the last thing I am asking for is for anyone to tell me how valuable this blog is. That's nice to hear, but it doesn't help much when it feels like I'm back at square one--not having a place to go (most of the day) for lively, back-and-forth discussion.

Okay, I've said my piece. Off to the salt mines.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 21-27

Crosposted at Disabled Americans for Democracy

The ASPCA offers the following guidelines for helping to prevent dog bites:

* Children should not approach, touch or play with any dog who is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.

* Children should not pet unfamiliar dogs without asking permission from the dog's guardian first. If the guardian says it is okay, the child should first let the dog sniff his closed hand.

* If a child sees a dog off-leash outside, he should tell an adult immediately.

* If a loose dog comes near a child, she should not run or scream. Instead, she should avoid eye contact with the animal and stand very still, like a tree, until the animal moves away.

Read the article in this week's ASPCA Alert.

Update from Renee, who has a web site all about dogs (it even says that right there in the title). I can't bear to pass up such an opportunity to plug the site.

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Dubya's Dashboard

I just discovered this on the Ohio 2006 Elections blog. Sort of a fancier, more in-depth version of the countdown clock. You can get your own here.

I'll have to find a home for it in the sidebar a little later, as I need to leave for church in a few minutes. But I wanted to at least post about it so that the rest of you could share and enjoy.

Update--I have now discovered that this does not display properly when viewed in Firefox, due to some sort of competition from the code for the Cafe Press ads. I can see it fine in Explorer, though. If I can't figure out how to get it to work properly, I may end up not using it on this blog, but I thought the rest of you might like to know about it anyway.

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