Is it prudent to be wary of an unfamiliar/unknown pitbull dog? EDIT: Juan Williams fired from NPR for remarks about Muslims.

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    Oct 21, 2010 1:44 PM GMT
    Pitbull dogs are powerful dogs. They can really harm you if they attack. There are reports of how these dogs can attack, even their owners. When in the presence of an unknown or unfamiliar pitbull dog, is it prudent to be wary of it until you know how it us going to react?
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    Oct 21, 2010 4:33 PM GMT

    The truth is that it is prudent to be wary of any dog until you know it. Lately discussion around pitbulls seem to be rather polarized - with the 'anti-pitbull camp' claiming that the breed is incorrigibly vicious and blood thirsty - and the 'pro-pitbull camp' literally touting photos of full grown pitbulls posing with sleeping babies.

    Having worked with over a thousand dogs in the past six years, the ones that have bitten me hard enough to leave a mark are: two pitbulls, a cocker spaniel, a rat terrier, a pekinese, and a doberman. My son has been bitten by a german shepherd, a border collie and a cocker spaniel.

    The dogs that I have known to inflict serious bites on my clients or employees (i.e. enough to send someone to the hospital) are: cocker spaniels and portuguese water dogs.

    The only breed I can say that I am more than usually wary of is the cocker spaniel. Statistically, they are not all that likely to inflict a maiming bite, but I have known them to land several people in the hospital and I consider most of them kind of unstable. The 'official list' of breeds that are likely to bite is topped with dachshunds, jack russell terriers and chihuahuas. While it is true that none of those breeds is known for often inflicting life-threatening bites, they are more than usually prone to bite and it is worth bearing in mind that any dog bite can maim depending on wear the dog bites, with how much force and whether the dog twists its head and body while biting.

    My own experience of pitbulls is that most of them are lovely, level headed suitable pets. However, the breed is popular with a group of people who raise them for fighting and breed for qualities sought in fighting dogs. So it helps to know where the dog came from. Also, even run of the mill non-fighting pitbulls seem to have some traits that are worth bearing in mind. If they are pushed beyond their tolerance of frustration, pain or fear, pitbulls tend to react explosively. (Pushed beyond those limits, almost any dog will react, it is the vehemence of the pitbull's reaction that sets them apart.) Virtually all dogs give non verbal signs that they are stressed and want to be left alone, but pitbulls seem to move through those signs a lot faster than other breeds. Also, when they explode, pitbulls tend to do so very forcefully (on account of their size and strength) and they tend to take longer than most breeds to cool off again and break off their attack.

    Bottom line: I let my kids play with pitbulls if I know the dog's owner and I know the dog is well socialized and trained. I also ensure that I am near enough by to watch my kids with dogs and that I can intervene if I need to. When I work with pitbulls, I treat them like any other dog - i.e. I assume they may bite, until I have seen them under a variety of situations. And, at the end of the day, I accept that still they may bite - simply because they are dogs, not because they are bad.

    I would link to some of the studies on breed specific human bite statistics, but it is very hard to find quality studies that take into account whether the breed of the dog that bit is accurately identified, whether the statistics are adjusted for the prevalence of the dog in population and whether the bite was made in the course of police action, etc. Almost all of the data that is out there has been compiled or funded by one side or the other of the pitbull debate. But, no matter how you slice it, you are more likely to wind up in an ER because of a bedroom slipper than because of dog. And you are more likely to be killed by a refrigerator tipping over on you than to be killed by a dog.

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    Oct 21, 2010 5:20 PM GMT
    The few I've encountered on the daily trips to the dog park have all been very friendly but as mentioned above when they do bite it's a serious bite, plus they may not release so I'm always wary and I keep my dogs at a distance just in case.

    The worst I've seen though was only a few weeks ago when a small fluffy dog came into the park gate, all the dogs as usual rush over to greet new arrivals but then a greyhound (ex-racer) saw it, rushed over, picked it up, shook it like a rag doll to the point blood was flying. I don't know if it survived or not after they took the pup to the vet. The greyhound was later put down I heard.

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    Oct 21, 2010 5:53 PM GMT
    Ok, along those lines: Juan Williams was fired on NPR for saying the following:

    "..."I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."..."

    [url]http://mobile.washingtonpost.com/c.jsp?item=http%3a%2f%2fwww.washingtonpost.com%2fwp-syndication%2farticle%2f2010%2f10%2f21%2fAR2010102101474_mobile.xml&cid=578815[/url]

    Should he gave been fired? Are noit many peole nervous and wary of Muslims on a plane? Not because they are bigots, but because it has been Muslim extremists that have attempted to destroy planes and kill everone onboard. So might not someone who is overtly presenting himself as Muslim not make people nervous?

    MunchingZombie, I expect you to go into your hissy fit about lumping all muslims together, but please refrain your kneejerk reaction and carefully consider the limited venue being addressed and the fact that Juan was only saying it made him nervous, not kick the him off the plane.
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    Oct 21, 2010 5:58 PM GMT
    Somones been smoking the cat nip
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    Oct 21, 2010 6:07 PM GMT
    beneful1 saidSomones been smoking the cat nip

    I don't think so.

    Just like I don't go up to a pitbull and assume he's a cute little dog and stick my hand in front of his face, but wait until I know this is a peaceful dog, likewise, I don't think it is unreasonable under these particular conditions not to be wary, nervous, and concerned that an overtly dressed Muslim might not be a peaceful person, especially when the consequences if being wrong are so severe. I don't think Juan said anything that many people don't feel.
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    Oct 21, 2010 6:17 PM GMT
    Caslon16000 saidOk, along those lines: Juan Williams was fired on NPR for saying the following:

    "..."I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."..."

    [url]http://mobile.washingtonpost.com/c.jsp?item=http%3a%2f%2fwww.washingtonpost.com%2fwp-syndication%2farticle%2f2010%2f10%2f21%2fAR2010102101474_mobile.xml&cid=578815[/url]

    Should he gave been fired? Are noit many peole nervous and wary of Muslims on a plane? Not because they are bigots, but because it has been Muslim extremists that have attempted to destroy planes and kill everone onboard. So might not someone who is overtly presenting himself as Muslim not make people nervous?

    MunchingZombie, I expect you to go into your hissy fit about lumping all muslims together, but please refrain your kneejerk reaction and carefully consider the limited venue being addressed and the fact that Juan was only saying it made him nervous, not kick the him off the plane.

    It is very unfortunate he was fired, and it is NPR's loss. Juan Williams has had a distinguished career, and I think has earned the respect from those of many different political viewpoints. His comments were in the context of whether there is too much political correctness. Based on NPR's comments, it is clear that out of total political correctness, they are loathe to recognize the danger that we face from Muslim extremism.

    On the dog question - I agree that any dog should be approached with some caution. I have a doberman and have had dobermans before. I know the breed and am very comfortable with them. Although they are very sweet, I would still recommend anyone not very familiar with dogs in general and the breed in particular, to be careful approaching.
  • GQjock

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    Oct 21, 2010 10:56 PM GMT
    "..."I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."..."

    See the quote ?

    Take the EXACT same quote and let's change the operative words

    "..."I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in African garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Blacks, I get worried. I get nervous."..."

    or..............................

    "..."I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Gay attire and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Homosexuals, I get worried. I get nervous."..."


    They OK ?
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    Oct 21, 2010 11:05 PM GMT
    Caslon16000 said
    beneful1 saidSomones been smoking the cat nip

    I don't think so.

    Just like I don't go up to a pitbull and assume he's a cute little dog and stick my hand in front of his face, but wait until I know this is a peaceful dog, likewise, I don't think it is unreasonable under these particular conditions not to be wary, nervous, and concerned that an overtly dressed Muslim might not be a peaceful person, especially when the consequences if being wrong are so severe. I don't think Juan said anything that many people don't feel.


    I'm slow today ( with a cold) but hoping to be back up to speed tomorrow.

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    Oct 22, 2010 12:19 AM GMT
    GQjock said"..."I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."..."

    See the quote ?

    Take the EXACT same quote and let's change the operative words

    "..."I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in African garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Blacks, I get worried. I get nervous."..."

    or..............................

    "..."I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Gay attire and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Homosexuals, I get worried. I get nervous."..."


    They OK ?

    Those other groups arent equivalent.
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    Oct 22, 2010 12:21 AM GMT
    Northern Ireland must have been a rather worry-free place.
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    Oct 22, 2010 12:27 AM GMT
    Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters join chorus urging NPR to rehire Williams.
    News analyst Juan Williams ripped into NPR today for firing him over comments that he gets "nervous" at seeing people wearing Muslim-style dress on airplanes, calling his dismissal a "chilling assault on free speech."

    http://abcnews.go.com/m/screen?id=11937951&pid=4380645
  • LJay

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    Oct 22, 2010 12:33 AM GMT
    Sounds to me like the lesson to be learned here is that one should always prudently beware of gay pitbulls wearing burkahs.
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    Oct 22, 2010 12:39 AM GMT
    I'm wary of anything that moves. Birds, cockroaches, dogs, cats, drunks, priests, German-speaking Jihadists...you name it--if it moves, I get nervous.icon_razz.gif

    The only thing I'm not nervous about is the fish in my aquarium. They can't get out. Magnify that by 100, and that's the policy behind Guantanamo.
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    Oct 22, 2010 12:43 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Caslon16000 saidWhoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters join chorus urging NPR to rehire Williams.
    News analyst Juan Williams ripped into NPR today for firing him over comments that he gets "nervous" at seeing people wearing Muslim-style dress on airplanes, calling his dismissal a "chilling assault on free speech."

    http://abcnews.go.com/m/screen?id=11937951&pid=4380645


    Oy vey!

    Here we go with the free speech thing again.

    Juan Williams can say whatever he wants.

    His employer can fire him for whatever reason they want.

    End of story.


    NPR gets federal funding, which I'm sure will be looked at closely by the next Congress.

    http://dailycaller.com/2010/10/21/williams-firing-soros-donation-spark-new-calls-to-end-npr-taxpayer-subsidies/

    "The firing of National Public Radio news analyst Juan Williams for comments made about Muslims, combined with leftwing billionaire George Soros’ recent $1.8 million donation to the organization, have reignited calls to end NPR’s taxpayer subsidies. ..."

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    Oct 22, 2010 12:50 AM GMT
    JuanPolitical correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality.


    Ya know, I can understand some latent racism or bigotry. I know that I experience it involuntarily and have to work on my own prejudices. If Juan had simply said "I get nervous when I see Muslims on a plane," that would have been quite forgivable.

    But the above quoted line is the real damning part. He is saying we should give in to our prejudices. He is saying that his worldview in which Muslims are indistinguishable from terrorists is reality when clearly that is not the case.

    How can you rely on a journalist to provide unbiased reporting when he is saying it is alright to be bigoted?
  • creature

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    Oct 22, 2010 12:58 AM GMT
    Williams is now under contract with FoxNews, in a multi-year contract worth an estimated $2 million dollars.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/21/juan-williams-speaks-out-_n_771484.html

    He can now be scared however he wants with Fox.
  • MSUBioNerd

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    Oct 22, 2010 1:00 AM GMT
    Really, Caslon? This is your analogy?

    I'm nervous around pit bulls in the way that I am nervous around essentially all large dogs I've not met (less so with labradors and golden retrievers, given that they have specifically bred to be companion animals and not to be aggressive, but unknown ones that aren't wearing service animal gear I am wary of, and ones wearing service animal gear I give a wide berth to because they're not just pets, but are performing vital functions). Large dogs are strong, have powerful jaws, and they're not humans -- you don't reason with them, you simply hope that they've been well trained by their owners and don't decide that you're a threat.

    Terrorists in the US are hardly confined to being Muslim. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the worst terrorist attack on US soil was...the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing, done by a set of white guys from the northern US. That doesn't mean I should have gotten nervous around men like that, and so I don't make the same connection here either.

    Williams may well have said something that lots of people are thinking and not saying. That doesn't make what he said alright. There are reasons why we censor ourselves.

    Williams has the right to his opinions. He also has the right to state them. But with those rights come the responsibilities of dealing with the consequences. And his bosses are perfectly within their rights to decide that he has become more of a liability than an asset -- a view I do not necessarily share but which seems to be a likely possibility of what they feel -- and fire him as a result. This is not even close to being an assault on free speech.
  • GQjock

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    Oct 22, 2010 1:11 AM GMT
    Those other groups arent equivalent.

    Por que ? icon_neutral.gif
  • GQjock

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    Oct 22, 2010 1:27 AM GMT
    Well, for one, I don't think Juan Williams is a journalist. I believe he is a member of the "chattering class." Big difference.



    He is ...... and that's why he was sacked
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    Oct 22, 2010 1:32 AM GMT
    No, he shouldn't have been fired... but yes, he is an utter moron for thinking that way.
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    Oct 22, 2010 1:49 AM GMT
    Also, you complain about others' comparisons, but your comparison is also flawed.

    The key flaw: Muslims are people, pitbulls are animals.

    People's relations with animals is and has always been conflicting; after all, they are wild, can potentially be tames, but still, they are animals. People's relations with people of other cultures, religions and ethnicities is and has always been conflicting; after all, perceptions are based upon social prejudices and influences, most commonly pushed through the media and government.

    When you see a white man in a military uniform, how do you react? You might check him out, think he's hot, think that he is brave, protects America, defends the homeland, etc. When most people around the world see an American military official, it's a sign of imperialist oppression, war and power. It's about perception.

    Also, it might help if you actually KNOW Muslims to know that it is internalized bigotry and propaganda that have conditioned people to think this way when they see someone "overtly Muslim", as if it is something to be ashamed of.

    It's like saying, "I don't care if you're gay, but I don't want to see it."

    "I don't care if you're Muslim, just don't shove it in my face."

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    Oct 22, 2010 1:55 AM GMT
    sxydrkhair saidHe shouldn't say stuff like that about Muslims at his workplace. What was he thinking?

    At Fox, where he made the comments, he is more in the role of commentator, and often gives his opinions. Most of his opinions tend liberal.
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    Oct 22, 2010 1:56 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    GQjock saidWell, for one, I don't think Juan Williams is a journalist. I believe he is a member of the "chattering class." Big difference.



    He is ...... and that's why he was sacked


    Does he do reporting pieces or opinion pieces?

    Reporting pieces at NPR, opinion pieces at Fox.
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    Oct 22, 2010 2:25 AM GMT
    I think Juan was just expressing what many people feel and I dont think it is an unfounded feeling. Yes, all muslims are not terrorists. But in light of 9/11, all the security at airports, and how we are told to be vigilant, I dont think it is unreasonable for one's fears to go up when one sees someone dressed in the manner that the attackers were. It is only natural. And considering the severity of the consequences if one is wrong, it is even prudent. Now I didnt say that these people should be kicked off the plane or anything like that. But it is a natural, almost visceral response, to feel anxiety when you see someone who very closely matches the previous attackers board your plane. I was on a plane once and saw several young muslim men practically swagger as if knowing they were causing unease to others on the plane. Another time I sat next to a young middle eastern man who was fidgeting and fondling his cell phone thruout early part of the flight. I kept an eye on him. Was that phone the detonation device for a bomb in the cargo hold? I dont think Juan said anything wrong....unless the truth is now wrong in America.

    Many people feel unease on an airplane with Muslims flaunting there ethnicity with no sensitivity for the other passengers. We recognize many situations where one is expected to be sensitive to the feelings of others. Muslims in their garb shoulld understand that in the light of recent history and present continued threats and attempts, they are being insensitive to the others on the plane to come onboard in such attire.

    I will prudently keep my hand away from a pitbull that I dont know, and report any suspicious acting person I see when flying....with an emphasis on people in Muslim attire, since there is a history of such people harming, planning to harm, and attempting to harm others.

    It is good to see Whoopi and Baba Wawa come out in his defense,