Category Archive 'Patrick Burns'

13 Jan 2010

Is Pat Burns Even Worth Responding To?

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Personally, I think wasting a post on him is a bad idea. L’aigle ne chasse pas les mouches and all that. But I think some readers might be disappointed if I did not respond, so…

Basically, Burns today simply takes the same not-very-informative Inquirer article I quoted and linked, and applies a massive sedimentary layer of subjectivity to it, creating a fantasy of his own in which a real judgment of the accuracy of PSPCA complaints was made by the judge on the basis of firm evidence, guilt established, and PSPCA vindicated.

Hardly.

What obviously happened is the lawyers negotiated a deal involving the return of at least one dog to Ms. Willard, and what is being referred to as PSPCA “consulting” with Ms. Willard on the placement of other dogs, which sounds a lot to me like an unarticulated deal to return dogs originating from a different organized pack to their pack of origin. In return, PSPCA gets to save face by coming back and “inspecting,” thus relieving them of culpability and confirming their legitimacy and authority.

To believe those inspections are really necessary, you have to believe that organized hunting packs with ten person staffs and dozens of active members need external supervision to make them clean their kennels, give hounds water daily, or assure veterinary care.

You have to be inclined to accept the validity of violations charged by persons in authority trained to intimidate people into surrendering some of their animals by threatening to take and euthanize all of them, who achieve submission by threatening to apply enough complaints to cause someone to lose her home.

You have to be the kind of person who sneers at other sportsmen for being overweight and aged (when you look like Pat Burns) and who ridicules organized hunting by hound packs in uniform from the superior perspective of the glorious pursuit of vermin with pick and shovel.

Mr. Burns’s mention of a “Mad Woman of Shiloh” [since corrected… ha!] was clearly an inept attempt to allude, in a defamatory comparison of a person he does not know, to Jean Giraudoux’s La Folle de Chaillot [Madwoman of Chaillot]. In that two-act play, the senile and eccentric heroine, “the Countess,” rallies her bohemian neighbors to defend their Parisian suburb against corrupt authorities and opportunists proposing to turn it into a polluted oilfield. Since the madwoman is the heroine and in the right and the authorities are malevolent and corrupt and in the wrong, perhaps Burns’s illiterate attempt at metaphor comes accidentally closer to the mark than he could possibly have realized.

13 Sep 2009

NYM Editor Stalked by Crazed Groundhog Blogger

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A month ago, I used the above photo of Mr. Patrick Burns (Burns is the ugly one in the middle) to illustrate a rejoinder to one of his postings defending the intimidation of their owner and the confiscation and imprisonment of eleven hounds belonging to a Philadelphia basset pack.

Last night (talk about l’espirt d’escalier!), Patrick sent me an email with a link to his blog, where, in a fashion worthy of 3rd grade, he accuses me of theft, for using his photo. Burns, by way of retaliation, it seems, also “stole” my Twitter photo (colored green like that of many conservatives on Twitter as an expression of support of the recent pro-democracy insurgency in Iran) using it on his original posting, and even as the basis for an extra web-page demonstrating just how crazy he really is.

In that posting of his, Patrick claims to have sent me some kind of previous demand about that photo, but I never received any such thing.

I wrote Mr. Burns back last night, offering him NYM’s (generous) standard photo use fee. If he declines to accept payment and continues to insist on my removing his photo, I suppose we’ll just have to do without it.

12 Aug 2009

SPCA Outrage in Philadelphia 10: Answering Pat Burns

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Burns is the dumb-looking one in the middle

When NYM published the first blog coverage last week on the Murder Hollow Basset raid by the PSPCA, fellow field sports blogger Pat Burns of Terrierman’s Daily Dose, went into investigative mode, took Amy Worden’s essentially PSPCA-dictated damage control press release in the Inquirer as gospel, and proceeded to dismiss me as a paranoid rightwing blogger and Murder Hollow’s Master Wendy Willard as a “nutter” and a dog abuser. Burns’s publicly-performed Snoopy dance of triumph on this one was sufficient to make readers think he had the Pulitzer Prize in the bag.

He certainly made points with the PETA crowd, who happily began quoting Burns as the party line on the story.

I was personally disappointed because I actually read Burns’s blog regularly, but I merely noted in my response that Burns was relying on a single, obviously partisan source, repeating the PSPCA version of circumstances and events. I also identified some reasons why I think PSPCA’s word is not to be trusted.

Naturally, since I had received so much attention in Burn’s blog, I tried forwarding a link to my own posting in response. I had to go through a major log-in procedure to try posting a comment, and in the end my comment was merely forwarded to Burns for approval.

Several days later, it had not gotten into TDD’s comments, and I was rather displeased at what seemed to be a policy of censoring rejoinders at TDD, so I sent Burns a short email commenting negatively.

He responded, claiming to be “away from keyboard,” answering via cellphone, and he and I wound up arguing about all this by email much of the day on Sunday.

I didn’t publish our email correspondence myself, but Burns took a really stupid point of argument which no rational response could persuade him to relinquish as the occasion for another blog article.

I have challenged Mr Zincavage and the 11 “staff members” of the Murder Hollow Bassets to pay for three or four years worth of private (and legal) kenneling for those seized Philadelphia dogs.

There are many commercial kennels in Pennsylvania, and I am sure the the SPCA will have no objection to the dogs being placed in a good private kennel provided that three or four years worth of kennel fees are paid up in full and in advance, plus any veterinary bills accrued.

No, not a month. No, not four months. Three or four years.

After all, these dogs deserve continuity of care, and with 12 people to shoulder the cost of kenneling, it shouldn’t be too big a deal for everyone to pony up the price.

Talk is cheap.

But, of course, so too are most people — a point missed by many conservatives.

They will tell you they are against taxation, preferring instead that everything be done by some mysterious thing called “a Thousand Points of Light.”

Fine. Here’s a chance for Mr. Zincavage and the Murder Hollow “staff” to be a Point of Light. Pay for the veterinary costs plus three or four years of private kenneling for Wendy Willard’s basset hounds. She will still own them — the donors will simply be making a charitable gift to make sure things are done right by the dogs.

As I explained in our emails, nobody wants to lock up 11 hunting bassets away from their home, their owner, their pack, and the out-of-doors in a commercial kennel operated by strangers for three or four years. (How long does Burns think hounds live, do you suppose?) No rational reason or necessity proposes such a course.

Ms. Willard, her ten staff members, and the dozens of residents of the greater Philadelphia area who hunt with Murder Hollow Bassets are perfectly able to provide for those hounds, and if some imaginary tragic circumstance arrived to eliminate from the world every person affiliated with Murder Hollow, that hound pack is part of a national organization of affiliated packs. There are plenty of packs and individual basset hunters out there who could and would give all of Murder Hollow’s hounds new homes.

There is no need to do what Mr. Burns insists on proposing as his own subjective test of bona fides. No one wants such an arrangement. The PSPCA wouldn’t agree to it. And it would not, in the least, be in the interest of the hounds.

One really wonders, reading this kind of idiocy, what kind of understanding of hunting dogs, or dogs in general, the Terrierman possesses. Burns seems to look upon dogs purely as a cost center, a kind of tool requiring fixed costs that anyone can cheerfully stuff away in a warehouse setting for 3-4 years in order to prove a point.

But there is no point. The Murder Hollow Bassets have been an organized hunting pack chasing quarry in the field since 1986, and participating and competing in hound shows and pack trials since at least 1994. If they didn’t meet all the costs Mr. Burns’s fantasy is intended to project, they would hardly still be in operating existence, nor would they be accepted as a recognized basset pack by a knowledgeable community of hound lovers and keen sportsmen or be permitted to be part of the national organization.


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