Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rudy Guliani Vs. Ferret Man

Yow! This above animation is of Rudy Guliani dealing with a real telephone interview caller who was concerned about "ferret's rights."

The video below is the same ferret guy being interviewed by Tucker Carlson. Play and watch this one too.

I have NO problems with ferrets, but could it be (possibly) that what we have here are TWO nuts are up against each other here? Just an idea ...

By the way, what the hell is wrong with ferrets provided they are sold spayed and neutered so that they cannot escape and breed in the wild?

More importantly, why is Rudy Guliani so locked and loaded about it? What happened with treating people with a little more humor?


clandauer said...

Ferret-gate gets my vote for the worst political smear attempt ever. SEVEN years later we're supposed to care that Rudi called some guy "sick" for his obsession with ferrets after repeat calls to his radio show?

Every breath wasted on this non-starter is effort that could be used for some real politician bashing.

It's my estimation that the ferret law in New York, just like the new desex or else law in CA, is the result of lefties caving to Animal Rights idiocy, and has about as much to do with Rudy as doggy nads have to do with Arnold.

Gina said...

In California, it's the farm lobby and the state Fish and Game folks that have been fighting ferrets forever.

Nothing to do with AR folks or lefties.

The annual introduction of the legislation to legalize ferrets generally elicits a big sigh from everyone in Sacramento. Wish they'd just legalized the beasties. They're already so common here in the "underground" that you can buy ferret food at the pet stores.

PBurns said...

I don't think the word "smear" is being used properly when the complete audio tape of two people "debating" is being used.

Normally such things are called "the record."

As for it being 7 years ago, that's yesterday when it comes to public office. Remember, no one in middle America even knew Giuliani's name before 9-11-2001, and that's 6 years ago.

I tossed in the video clip of the Ferret Man, by the way, because Rudy cut him off so fast it appeared he was *afraid* of what he had to say. In fact, if you can get past what the Ferret Man looks like (a freak), and past his obvious lefty political positions and anathema for Guiliani, Ferret Man is scoring some very solid points. I suspect that Rudy *may* have been afraid that he would do *exactly* this kind of thing on his NY radio show, which is why Rudy rushed to cut him off and then proceeded to pronounce him deranged. THAT is what can properly be called "a political smear" -- the kind of thing the KGB used to do in the USSR. Oh, you disagree with the State? Then off to the Siberian Mental Asylum with you!

Ferrets are not my personal thing, but what Ferret Man is pointing out is that Rudy favors a VERY heavy state hand when it comes to pet legislation. Where would he draw the line? Would he ban parrots? Tropical fish? Pet raccoons? Would he support mandatory spay-neuter laws? How about a ban on specific dog breeds?

Well guess what? Rudy DOES support a band on specific dog breeds, and campaigned for such legislation in NYC.

Is this an issue for some voters? You betcha! In fact, it's one of the most explosive issues in the canine world today.

Apparently Rudy would like to see more than a ban on Pit Bulls, however: He apparently has a list of animals he does not like and ferrets is one of them. What are the other forbidden critters?


clandauer said...

Gina -

You're probably right, the AR folks probably think that ferrets should be free and wild, not pets, and would likely support a ban on them if only to prevent more of them from being "enslaved." I think most AR has given up the idea that dogs and cats will ever be illegal... but they do seem to support draconian laws for any sort of animal that has a wild population, is a rare or an exotic pet, or is not universally legal.

But what's the deal with NYC? Farm lobby stopping it there to prevent it from spreading to their neck of the country? What happens in NYC doesn't stay in NYC?

As for the farm lobby, I think the vast majority of it is economic abomination. Corn syrup kills (I have a nice beer belly from the crap and the obesity/heart disease/diabetes epidemic of my generation can trace our disease to the magnetic North of the corn lobby, and we aren't even 30 yet). ADM (and the culture of corporate welfare) is evil. It's absurd that tax payers subsidize losses due to predation on public grazing lands. Canola oil is a sham. etc. etc.

As for Rudy. I'm not really a fan. I can see beyond the gushy nostalgic halo of 9/11, just like I can do the same for Senators Hillary and Chucky. It's not hard to have gravitas after tragedy, and everyone bites their tongue and tosses around fuzzy language and any sort of rational criticism is considered heartless. And the re-elections of Ray Nagin, Mike Nifong, and GW Bush are all examples of politicians using a hyped event for political gain, exploiting it long enough to get re-elected, not screwing it up just long enough, and then bombing big time once they have to deliver.

Rudy's best decision was to quit while he was ahead and avoid any substantive criticism for anything and everything that didn't go stellar in the 9/11 cleanup.

But back to the Ferret man. It's a non-starter because joe blow isn't going to make the leap from dismissing a ferret freak to draconian pet specific legislation to their fido.

To me, the entire thing comes off as a guy who can't leave well enough alone and stop calling Rudy on his show. I don't think the incident is much of anything at all, but seen in the light of swatting a fly on the second go round vs. being entirely dismissive of a concerned citizen on the first go round, I think the former fits.

I don't pretend to know what Rudy's true feelings are about fidos or families, but I can guess that what flies in Gotham isn't what would fly in Colorado. For one thing, I would never consider owning a working dog if it was going to be trapped in a pricey loft for most of the day why I had to work 80 hours a week for a big name company just to pay for my man-cage in deep in the concrete jungle.

A ferret might make a nice alternative.

Even if you think the "pet vote" is as powerful as the blogosphere would tell you it is... remember that the blogosphere has been wrong consistently on the next big voting block that is going to sway the vote. Existence of a cache new special interest group and the political success or supremacy of said group are two different things.

And my guess is that us pet libertarians aren't going to be taking our cues from either coast, bet it Gotham or Looneywood.

The Rudy clip is bland and nothing more interesting that you'd see Oprah's pet Dr. Phil say or any number of talking heads. If you're in the O'Reilly or Al Franken camps, you can probably agree that neither man was at his finest when jousting the other. They both came off as petty and the history got in the way of the levity.

What's more interesting that blowing off Ferret man is the question Patrick asked about why is Rudy so touchy? Is it simply the fact that the guy won't stop calling or is there some real passion for this issue, and if there is, what is it and why.

I suspect from the over exposure of this non story that someone thinks that Ferret vetos are to Rudy what Stem Cell vetos are to GW. It's not so much stem cells themselves, but the ability to question the reasoning behind the veto. It's not political candy to bash jebus or the openly religious, but show an example where dogma and sound or popular policy collide and you can make hay.

Most people can differentiate the moral arguments of baby/fetuses and stem cells, but the give-no-ground absolutists (cue theme music: Every Sperm is Sacred) look poor against the hope of stem cell study.

I just don't think Ferrets vs. Rudy is as telling as Stem Cells vs. Bushy.

Maybe I don't get it, but when a non-story gets so much play it smells like smear. And as far as non-story smears go, evoking Vietnam and swift boats had more momentum than the poor Yonkers Ferret. That non-story just grew and grew, this non-story is DOA.

Now, Romney torturing his dog on the roof of his car... that still stinks.

PBurns said...

I will write a post later on ferrets in America. It's actually a pretty interesting tale of wildlife biologists being sensibly cautious AND not doing their homework, all at the same time.

One thing that come out here is that Rudy seems to have no sense of humor. Imagine if he had let the man talk a bit, then turned off his mike, chuckling while saying,

* * *

"Isn't New York City GREAT? You can get anything you want, any time you want here in New York City, and we have it in three colors and four sizes too -- and that includes lobbyists for weasels.

Now let me be clear. This gentleman is a lobbyist *for* weasels -- a very good thing. He is not a weasel who *is* a lobbyist -- a very bad thing.

For the bad thing you have to go to Washington, D.C. The good thing we have right here in New York City.

That's the difference between Washington and New York, and why I am so damn proud to be Mayor of New York, where we have everything under the sun, including passionate lobbyists for weasels. It takes all kinds, and we have all kinds here in New York. This kind of diversity of opinion and concern is what makes America great.

You heard it here first-- Weasel Rights. I'm not sure I'm ready to wear the T-shirt, but I am always happy to have all kinds here in New York.

Ok, now who's our next caller?

* * *


Gina said...

I have always found this Rudy clip amusing since I have been on the business end of phone calls accusing me of not being on the correct side of the "Skunks As Pets" issue.

Yes, I have to admit the words "get a life" did float through my head, but never slipped through my lips, even when the skunk lady was yelling at me about her Constitutional Rights to sleep with skunks. (on the bed! on the bed!)

To each her own, and only in America do people seem to get so incredibly worked up over some relatively obscure issues.

clandauer said...

I think Gina captured in two words what I was basically thinking with a few thousand: "obscure issue."

And when an obscure issue gets as much air time as this Rudy thing has, it smacks of smear. Not a made up smear, but a smear like one a snotty daughter pulls when she points out her brother picking his nose at dinner. MOOOOOM!

But I think Patrick also has a point about Rudy's problem. He's not charming. He's the anti-Arnold. Supporters will say he's diverse and has middle of the road stances, being both conservative and progressive, blah blah blah. But I think it's more like both sides can write him off vs. both sides voting for him.

And, I must correct my statement about what flies on the coasts probably won't fly in Colorado. My thought was that pet control issues in a megalopolis aren't too similar to space loving Coloradoans, but I'm clearly wrong on the issue of coastal bias seeping inward.

Denver is a noteworthy city with Breed Specific Bans. The state has also been a continual victim of out of state special interests since we were made a state. Just look at who owns all of our water and where all of our political leaders were born (CA, TX).

Denver is named for a man who never set foot in the state. Heck, they didn't even film Dynasty in Colorado (the supposed location being Denver), mostly because "Dallas" was already taken and L.A. has better mansions. Funny how CA and TX came together in that one, since those two are the biggest offenders and the very reason more Coloradoans post a "Native" bumper sticker on their cars than any other locality.

The unofficial motto of Colorado is either "Don't Califonicate Colorado" or "The Texas State Park."


Rebecca K. O'Connor said...

Do you really think that outlawing the possession of any wild animal without the proper permits ultimately effects domestic pet legislation? (I'm pretty sure you could still have ferrets at a zoo...)

I asking this as a serious question because I often wish it WAS illegal to buy parrots. It becomes more clear to me every day that your average individual has neither the savvy nor the time to manage the needs of anything that is not domestic. (And even that is questionable.) I keep telling myself that the reprecussions wouldn't be all that huge, after all no one suffers from the fact that you need a permit to keep a larger wild predator...

But then I do love my little fantasy world.

PBurns said...

There is a lot of room between a ban and pet store sales to anyone with $50.

There probably should be some sort of licensing for the large parrots which live very long lives, are extremely noisy, have incredible brains, and are almost impossible to deal with if not handled at a very young age. Put all that together and you are far more likely to have a serious problem than ends in tragedy than a happy ending for all.

People need to know what they are getting into, and they rarely do. We require folks to take lessons and a test in order to do a lot of things (from falconry to driving a car, from shooting a gun to trapping) and so there is no shortage of precedents here.

When I was a kid, a place in Illinois called Stromberg's Pets would send you a black bear cub mail order for $150, flying squirrels for $15 a pair, and a great horned owl for $25. They had everything from Jagarundi's to wood ducks, and I doubt anyone who got an animal from them other than domestic poultry knew what they were doing.


Joan said...

However misinformed Mr Giuliani is, I think the point to get across is not his ignorance, but the education of the public in general.
An earlier post mentioned "provided they are sold spayed and neutered so they cannot escape and breed in the wild.
I'll begin there
Ferrets have been Domesticated for thousands of years, they have virtually no retained instinct of how to survive in the wild let alone find eachother.
Educate and inform!