Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/5/22: Medium, The New Yorker, Brandons, Not-So-Dumb Dogs, And Carlin [Corrected, And Corrected Again!]

I’m pretty sure that’s a setting rather than a rising sun, but as you recall, Ben Franklin mused that where the U.S. was involved, the two were nearly indistinguishable.

Here’s part of the apocalyptic rant of a writer on Medium last week:

I don’t get the acceptance of what is happening to our nation and how so many people can be so utterly clueless. Right now, though, I am not writing about the fascists on the right — and that is what they are, folks. I am writing about people who will for the most part agree with this article and yet do nothing to prevent the end of our great experiment. Many have no idea that these few weeks in June launched the end…

Let’s do a quick run through the past five years: A stolen Supreme Court seat; Trump’s presidency; COVID is just the common cold/anti-vaxxers; the Big lie/January 6th; two impeachments; Republican silence in the face of Trump’s crimes; Republican continued obstructionism; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine thanks to Trump presidency; SCOTUS June coup; and, let’s add for good measure another five years lost in the battle to slow the effects of climate change…. Embedded in all of the points above is the right-wing hatred of everyone not aligned with Trump and his racist views. Embedded also is the hatred and fear the right expresses about queer and transgender America. Embedded is how Colin Kaepernick was declared an America-hating terrorist by the right for his peaceful protests…

[T]oo many of our fellow citizens now believe that America can only be great if it is aligned with Jesus, “their savior.” .These “other Americans,” the ones I tell you probably failed American history in high school, also believe that corporations have the same rights, if not more, than humans. They believe that a zygote has more rights than a child living in abject poverty. They believe that it’s okay kids get slaughtered in schools by armed teens…

This hard-wired ideologue actually has the gall (or lack of self-awareness) to write in his or her profile, “Be curious, not judgmental at least until you have all the facts.”

Such people are almost certainly beyond help, reasoning, persuasion, education and reality. And the relentless, barely-countered propaganda from mainstream media is producing more of them every day.

I know, I know, I could write a 10,000 word debunking of just that section (who called Colin Kaepernick a “terrorist”?), and so could you, I suspect. But Sock Drawers Matter….

1. Here’s a fun game: find the bias in the New Yorker cover!

Based on my exploration of my own neighborhood, I would say that the woke households displaying virtue signalling “BLM” or the leftist virtue-signalling “we believe” signs are truly representative of the species, while the allegedly equivalent signs on the “conservative” lawn are unusual. (I’ve never seen one.) One trait of conservatives is that they don’t believe they have to thrust their political beliefs in their neighbors’ faces, because doing so is obnoxious and rude. That’s why the occasional conservative jerk who posts “Fuck Biden” signs makes the news. Personally, I regard “Black Lives Matter” signs as equally offensive. The other fantasy is that both of these two homes would be equally likely to display a flag on the Fourth. As anyone could discern by perusing the op-eds and web, the progressive community increasingly rejects the values the flag stands for, as well as the Fourth of July. A rainbow flag would be more accurate.

2. Awwwww! Here’s a heartwarming story about how an 8-year-old autistic child named Brandon was cheered by “Let’s go Brandon!” signs because he thought they were directed at him. Brandon Brown, the NASCAR driver whose name became part of a code for a vulgar anti-Biden chant, has met with the boy and his mother, who wrote a children’s book called “Brandon Spots His Sign.” Brown, of course, was a random victim of a biased and unethical NBC reporter who lied on the air, telling viewers that “Fuck Joe Biden” chants (that viewers could hear clearly) were not what they were. [Pointer: JutGory]

3. Speaking of “Brandon”…the spin appears to be that Biden shouldn’t be blamed for last week’s brain-dead tweet declaring gas stations responsible for ameliorating high prices at the pump, and ordering owners to lower them. A low level employee or intern is being blamed for the idiocy. Two points: the President  said almost the same thing word for word in a speech a few weeks earlier, and a President shouldn’t be allowing interns to issue orders to companies and citizens under his name. The intern spin is either a lie, or a damning admission of incompetence.

4. On the Highland Park  Fourth of July shooting: Look! A new barn door!  Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, the now-arrested suspect in the Highland Park parade shooting, is 22. I guess that new 21-years-old limit on gun ownership doesn’t work so well. Better raise it to–what, 25? That should do the trick. He also posted violent videos and fantasies about shooting people on social media. That will be enough to block him from carrying a gun in New York under its new law. This is how “doing something” about crazy shooters will eventually undermine speech rights for non-crazy law-abiding citizens.  Meanwhile, you just had to look at this guy to “red flag” him as a threat to society. In fact, look at Bobby, Adam Lanza, and Jared Loughner, the guy who shot Gabby Giffords. Those three faces will live in my nightmares forever. How long before “looking crazy” will be considered sufficient for the government to block someone’s Second Amendment rights?

5. Another reason why so many people are so ignorant about dogs. I had to click on a web slide show with the tag, “Ranking The 25 Dumbest Dog Breeds” because a breed I know well, the English Mastiff, was pictured in the introduction. (Patience, our Mastiff, was the quickest study of all our dogs.) The list was not only absurd on its face, none of the explanations mentioned intelligence at all. Having a strong will doesn’t make people dumb, and it doesn’t make dogs dumb either. Neither does stubbornness, independence or a resistance to being “trained.” The characteristics this feature equates to stupidity would nicely describe my father, my wife, my son, and especially me.

6. Signature significance: George Carlin’s anti-cop and fireman rant. This disgusting bit was finally released on the posthumous  Carlin album, “I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die” in 2016. Carlin buried it after 9/11, because he was, at heart, a bully and a coward. The thing was just as miserable before the attacks as before. I see now that Carlin, who certainly had his moments of brilliance, was a precursor of today’s America despising progressives. He would have been doing an anti-Independence Day riff last week, if he were still alive.

Carlin’s hate in this routine could be forgiven if it were even a little bit funny. It’s not.  Listen:

39 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/5/22: Medium, The New Yorker, Brandons, Not-So-Dumb Dogs, And Carlin [Corrected, And Corrected Again!]

  1. I wonder how many people in the US, when hearing of a mass shooting, are more concerned with the race of the shooter than anything else about the shooting.

  2. Jack,

    I am confused. Why are you calling the Highland park shooting an “Akron 4th of July” shooting? First, while my geography that far East is horrible, I thought one shooting was in Chicago and the other in Cleveland. I also thought there was a whole state between the two cities and that it wasn’t basically one big city like most of the eastern seaboard.

    Second, I don’t see anything on the several sites I have read that says the motivation of the Chicago shooter was the police caused death (I’m willing to, without other evidence at this point, call it a suicide due to resisting arrest) of the guy in Cleveland.

    Am I missing something really important?

  3. 1. Clearly, you don’t live in my neighborhood.
    4. So we must automatically reject any regulation that solves only part of a problem? Isn’t that anarchy?
    6. I turned off the Carlin bit after two minutes because it was boring. I presume there was something later that was actually offensive in some way. But it was also recorded when he was 20. Few of us would choose to be remembered by what we did when we were post-adolescents. And isn’t it just possible that he “buried it” because he knew it wasn’t up to his standard? I’m not it a big hurry to publish my undergrad honors thesis, for example.

    • 1. In what respect?
      4. Great question. One issue is when such measures become incrementalism. Another is when a measure with seeping implications and opportunities for abuse becomes justifiable because it may solve part of a larger problem.

      6. Carlin only buried that routine when i knew he would get too much backlash. He didn’t refgret it during the “cops are pigs” Sixties, when he was on the rise. You have to at least listen to the part where he accuses firefighters of stealing from the houses they enter.

      • #1, presumably he sees “Let’s Go Brandon!” and other conservative talking points on lawns signs in his neighborhood. Myself, I see them fairly commonly in rural areas, but rarely in urban/suburban areas.

        • Precisely, Rich. When your Congresscritter is Louie Gohmert, the right wing slogans are thick on the ground. I suspect that wherever you are, it’s easier to put up a yard sign you think the neighbors will agree with. Affirmation is easier than confrontation.

            • They are confrontation, but it’s far easier to be combative when you think you’re in the majority. That’s why you rarely see competing yard signs in any given neighborhood. Those who share the dominant ideology in that area feel comfortable putting up their signs, secure in the knowledge that most of their neighbors agree with them. But those with the minority view feel outnumbered and fear being ostracized and vandalized. There are plenty of conservative yard signs available, but conservatives don’t generally put them up if they’re surrounded by lefties. The attraction to mob mentality runs deep in the human animal.

    • 4) “Dosomethingism” without significant proof or expectation that yet more new regulations will do anything but hamper the sane and law-abiding is unethical.
      To quote Mark Glaze, the former executive dirctor of Blooberg’s Astroturf organization Everytown for Gun Safety: “Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting?”

  4. Yawn (not at you, but at the rant). There really isn’t anything new in this rant. I wish there were. At this point I am bored rather than horrified by reading it. Hopefully enough intelligent people have heard it enough times that they are also bored rather than horrified or inspired.

    1. The likelihood of those two folks living next to one another in the same neighborhood is not very good. Obviously the illustration is making a point that liberal people are more interesting and imaginative than conservative people. It’s nonsense, of course, and who’s to say that a garden of leafy and flowering plants is necessarily better than a manicured lawn and hedges? Actually both liberal and conservative signs are pretty rare in my hometown, since generally it’s considered rude to shove your views in the faces of everyone who walks by your house and it could be an invitation to vandalism. However, I will say this, on my occasional walks across town with my camera, I think I have seen the “In this house we believe” sign once, as opposed to about a half dozen support our troops/back the blue signs. It is considered less rude to express your support for friends and neighbors serving overseas and those who help others and are frequently friends and neighbors as well than to tell everyone who walks by that “this is a woke house.” Rainbow flags are also pretty rare here, but I agree they often take the place of the stars and stripes for progressives. Remember that teacher who took the stars and stripes down from her classroom because she said it made her feel uncomfortable, but she said to one of her students that if he wanted to pledge allegiance he could pledge allegiance to the rainbow flag?

    2. Shrug. Why rain on the kid’s parade?

    3. Either way, it’s yet another major embarrassment for this administration, which is increasingly looking like it barely knows its left foot from its right, doesn’t give a damn, and doesn’t give a damn if everyone knows it. Like I said before, Biden is one third your out-of-it grandfather weekend that he told you last weekend because he doesn’t remember he told it to you already, one third your creepy uncle who kisses your college age cousin on the lips and tugs on your 10-year-old niece’s shorts, then claims it was all in good fun, and 1/3 the punch-drunk boxer at the bar whose best days are long past but who still thinks he can take anyone on, and might try to pick a fight with a guy twice his size if he had enough alcohol in him. He belongs in a rest home, not in the White House.

    4. The next “do something” is likely to be mass confiscation if the Democratic party gets a little more power.

    5. I beg not to comment here, as what I know about dogs wouldn’t fill Snoopy’s supper dish.

    6. George Carlin is one of a few people who actually made a handsome living from being a jerk and deliberately offending others. You yourself said that he was at heart an asshole, and I don’t disagree. There is a certain amount of value in humorously pointing out hypocrisy and truths we’d all prefer not to acknowledge. However, as you pointed out, things like that are a break from the serious stuff. George made the mistake of thinking his brain effluvium WAS the serious stuff and that he had this great insight into the human condition that no one else had. Frankly he had no more insight into the human condition than Gene Roddenberry or H.P. Lovecraft or others who wrote to entertain and maybe provoke thinking. He certainly was no Hegel or Nietzsche.

    Even great philosophers or writers misfire now and then. It’s the mark of a truly great one to acknowledge when he has misfired. It’s the mark of a coward to hide the fact that he did. This drivel was not even a misfire, though. It was a thought out and calculated vicious attack on the emergency services, saying cops and firemen are incompetent at best, bullies and thieves at worst, and most people don’t ever need them. It also wasn’t even a tiny bit humorous. There is not one scintilla of humor in that bowel movement in spoken form.

    I could give another Jack Webb-style monologue about what being a cop or a fireman entails, what they risk each day, what they sacrifice, what they can potentially lose and often do lose, and what they sometimes save and the value of that. However, I won’t do that.

    Instead, I’m going to share a prose poem I wrote about a year ago, based on the biker poem about who didn’t and who did see who.

    THROUGH BLUE EYES
    By Steve-O

    I saw you tell your child how my brothers, my sisters, and I would just as soon kill him as look at him because of the color of his skin, and how we need to be defunded,

    BUT

    You didn’t see me walk into a dark house, not knowing who or what I might face, to save a child who looks just like yours from his mother’s drugged-up boyfriend who looked just like him but was still going to beat him, while you sat home safe.

    I saw you sneer about how we work only one day of three, have it too easy, and worry more about our pensions than the community we’re supposed to be serving,

    BUT

    You didn’t see me, grimy, sweaty, soaked to the skin, sore in every muscle and ready to fall asleep on my feet after being up all night fighting a factory fire and saving lives, property and jobs, while you slept until your alarm told you it was time to get up.

    I saw you grumbling and cursing as we passed through the intersection, lights flashing and sirens screaming, about how you were going to be a few minutes later picking up your kid,

    BUT

    You didn’t see us, racing to save the head injury victim for whom every second counted and every moment lost was a chance he would die or his faculties would be impaired, while you continued on your only slightly inconvenienced way.

    I saw you snicker at us, our boats, our equipment, and say we’re just a bunch of overgrown kids who never stopped playing pirate games,

    BUT

    You didn’t see me head my boat and my crew into wind and waves that could turn it over like a bathtub toy to save a cocky speedboater from his own foolishness, while you pulled the blanket over your head.

    I saw you spout off about how we’re baby-killers, licensed murderers, overgrown video game players, racists who get off on killing black and brown people, and idiots serving the rich,

    BUT

    You didn’t see me, dodging bullets to save a young brown man so that he might grow up in a free country with some kind of representative government instead of an oppressive theocracy, while you rolled your eyes and changed the channel.

    We saw you tapping your steering wheel and muttering as you waited impatiently for our brothers and sisters to march by, but you didn’t see us… because we weren’t there.

    We are the cop who fell to a thug’s bullet, the fireman who fell to his death when the roof collapsed, the paramedic stabbed by a crazy addict, the coastguardsman who went out into the storm but didn’t come back, the soldier blown up by a roadside bomb, and all the other helpers and protectors that paid the ultimate price to keep you safe, keep you free, and get you out of trouble that might or might not be your fault.

    Just you remember, as you’re lying in your nice warm bed, some of us are lying in our final beds before our time.

    As you’re saying hello to your colleagues at work, some of our colleagues are continuing on with one place in the ranks empty.

    As you’re saying goodnight to the family you take for granted, somewhere a widow is crying herself to sleep for the third time this week, because it doesn’t matter how much help or support she gets, there’s still an empty place in her heart that nothing and no one can fill.

    We went into this with our eyes open, we knew what we were getting into, and we knew the risks involved. We wouldn’t have chosen our path if we didn’t want to help others and try to make this world, or at least our small part of it, a better place. We don’t expect honors, rewards, or even thanks, they aren’t part of the job description.

    However, hatred, bitterness, and opposition are not part of the job description either. If you won’t stand with us, then don’t stand against us. If you won’t help us on our way, then don’t get in our way. If you won’t treat us better than your fellow citizens, then don’t treat us worse.

    • The next “do something” is likely to be mass confiscation if the Democratic party gets a little more power.

      How would they react when the first Black man is killed in a mass confiscation campaign?

      • It probably wouldn’t get that far. They would certainly target “MAGA” type people as the first to be made examples of in any confiscation scheme. This would be a disaster, of course, and the resulting dead bodies (of both the targets and confiscators, most likely) would, let’s say, dampen enthusiasm among the remaining police officers for further confiscatory adventures. They’d never get far enough down the list to be confiscating guns from ethnic minorities.

        • Possibly. Or would seeing enough of their friends lying in pools of their own blood convince the MAGA types to give up the ghost? Some, maybe, but others might just fade further into the wilderness. The IRA gave the UK police and military a VERY hard time in a much smaller area during the Troubles/Operation Banner. Does the left think they can just obliterate all of these folks with relative ease? Plus what will the rest of the country think about what amounts to a politically based democide? (that’s what you call it when a government kills its own people regardless of race, while a genocide is race-specific).

          • Certainly, some, perhaps even a majority, of gun owners would turn in their guns or hide them. But I’d bet the minority who would fight is far greater than the number of police officers willing to take on the task of confiscation. Who do you reckon would be more motivated to fight in that scenario – the group that sees itself as fighting for liberty and defending the country’s founding ideals, or the underpaid civil servants who just want to make sure they go home to their families at night?

            The IRA is an apt comparison. Any real confiscation campaign backed by force would likely result in a horrible situation very much like the Troubles. Not good.

            • A mass confiscation campaign can get public support in the beginning if they chose to staert by doing mass confiscation of guns from gangbangers.

              But of course, we know the same pols pushing for more gun control do not want to do anything to quell gang violence.

  5. 3. “A low level employee or intern is being blamed for the idiocy.” Well, I have seen nothing from the administration making that kind of claim, only from some who are mocking the tweet. In fact, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, pretty much said the tweet was from Biden, stating Biden “tells exactly what he’s thinking in terms that everybody can understand.”
    If someone in the administration is passing the buck to an intern or low-level employee, I’d like to see evidence of that.

  6. “[T]oo many of our fellow citizens now believe that America can only be great if it is aligned with Jesus,
    ‘their savior.’”
    I would counter that too many of our fellow citizens now believe that America can only be great if it totally abandons the moral underpinnings of liberty that have preserved this republic for nearly 250 years, (which have been steadfastly nourished by the influence of the Christian church), abandons the fee market system and becomes more closely aligned with Satan. At least it that’s the view from down here in the very buckle of the Bible Belt.
    “Such people are almost certainly beyond help, reasoning, persuasion, education and reality. And the relentless, barely-countered propaganda from mainstream media is producing more of them every day.”
    Bingo! They are in every town, county and state, although mercifully they are not plentiful in my area. I have one liberal friend (a print journalist) who is still wearing sackcloth and ashes and lamenting loudly over the SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v Wade, and I don’t even bother arguing with her anymore. Hopeless.

    6. I always thought Carlin was a jerk, his occasional “kinder, gentler” efforts notwithstanding. Carlin was 20 years old in 1957 and in his “beatnik coffeehouse” period, where the objective was apparently as much to be thought “deep” as it was to be thought funny. His expressed attitude toward police is somewhat surprising, given that his maternal grandfather was an NYPD officer. He may not have actually meant a word of what he said: like many performers, Carlin was good at “reading the room” and knowing what his audience wanted to hear. He was demonstrably a life-long contrarian and defiant anti-authoritarian; comedy is one of the few occupations where such personality traits won’t make you veritably unemployable.

  7. 5. Yeah, that list is ridiculous. Almost every breed listed is actually smarter than average, making them difficult to control because they would rather do as they please. I have a shih-tzu and they are not difficult to housebreak. Mine was housebroken in about a week. What’s hard to train is that temper tantrum’s are not acceptable. No, doge, you cannot pee outside my bedroom door then lay there for 4 hours watching and waiting for me to step in it barefoot as revenge for that trip to the groomers yesterday! This isn’t the first shih-tzu I’ve had, either. As a breed, they are generally very smart, very bossy, and very manipulative. You have to work hard to make sure you are training the dog rather than the dog training you. That doesn’t make them stupid. Cunning, sneaky, vengeful and scheming does not equate to stupid. They are also adorable, expressive, friendly, loyal, loving, and handy little watch dogs.

    That article also conflates watch dog behavior with guard dog behavior. Lhasa Apsos are watch dogs, not guard dogs. A watch dog tells you someone is approaching, while a guard dog does something about it. A 15 lb dog isn’t going to be able to do anything to an axe murderer, but it can tell you the axe murderer is in your yard. A Doberman will attempt to eat the axe murderer. There is a difference!

  8. They believe that it’s okay kids get slaughtered in schools by armed teens…

    The writer was right about this.

    From an article by Lois Beckett

    https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/how-the-gun-control-debate-ignores-black-lives/80445/

    McBride supported universal background checks. He supported an assault weapons ban. But he also wanted something else: a national push to save the lives of black men. In 2012, 90 people were killed in shootings like the ones in Newtown and Aurora, Colorado. That same year, nearly 6,000 black men were murdered with guns.

    Many people viewed inner-city shootings as an intractable problem. But for two years, McBride had been spreading awareness about Ceasefire, a nearly two-decades-old strategy that had upended how police departments dealt with gang violence. Under Ceasefire, police teamed up with community leaders to identify the young men most at risk of shooting someone or being shot, talked to them directly about the risks they faced, offered them support, and promised a tough crackdown on the groups that continued shooting. In Boston, the city that developed Ceasefire, the average monthly number of youth homicides dropped by 63 percent in the two years after it was launched. The U.S. Department of Justice’s “what works” website for crime policy had a green check mark next to Ceasefire, labeling it “effective” — the highest rating and one few programs received.

    McBride wanted President Obama to make Ceasefire and similar programs part of his post-Newtown push to reduce gun violence. He had brought a short memo to give to White House staffers, outlining a plan to devote $500 million over five years to scaling such programs nationwide. His pitch to Biden that day was even simpler: Don’t ignore that black children are dying too.

    Later, other ministers who worked with McBride would get an even blunter assessment from a White House staffer: There was no political will in the country to address inner-city violence.

    Obama went over the litany of school shootings — Columbine, Virginia Tech, Newtown — and made a brief nod to the deaths of “kids on street corners in Chicago.” But his plan included no money for the urban violence strategies his Justice Department described as effective. His platform didn’t refer to them at all.

  9. #2: Recenlty listened to a few of Mike Rowe’s podcasts that our daughter had recorded (hadn’t really paid much attention to him previously, but will, now). His take, Jack, was similar to yours in that he thought the main message of “Let’s go Brandon” was not just a rude poke at Biden, but was the people shouting “We don’t believe you!” at being repeatedly told that what they see and hear is actually something else.

    #3: I don’t believe “Brandon” could actually figure out how Twitter works and construct and send a tweet on his own. At best, he may have a vague idea (or be told) that he should say something about an issue, be given a few prepared examples, and be allowed to select the one that the intern sends out.

    • I strongly recommend people watch the Mike Rowe commentary on Let’s Go Brandon.

      I agree on both parts Mike’s assertion. It isn’t just a substitute for vulgarity directed at Biden, it is also a “fuck you!” and “we don’t believe you” to the media. Using it isn’t just done to avoid vulgarity. After all, it is being used by people who put up “Fuck Biden” signs and freely chant the saying. By using LGB, it says even more.

      • Yeah, I probably wasn’t completely clear that Mike meant it was directed not only at Biden, but at the gaslighting media in general.

  10. #4: Maybe I’ve missedit, but so far, I haven’t been able to find any description of the firearm used in Highland Park except for “legally purchased” and “high-powered rifle”. A cynical person might start to wonder if any more detailed description (like, say, one containing the letters A and R) might not advance the current favored narrative.

    • I was discussing this today with a friend and fellow firearms enthusiast. We both are pretty sure it’ll turn out he used a pistol or at least something a bit less than an AR-15. By this point in the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting, we knew the exact make and model of the rifle the guy used, as well as the name of the store where it was purchased. If this Crimo scumbag had used an AR-15, we’d be told so relentlessly.

      Also, 19 people who were shot were treated and released the same day. That’s not typical of wounds caused by a “high powered rifle”. My guess is they caught him with a rifle in the car, but the actual shooting was done with something more like a 9mm handgun or carbine.

  11. That NewYoker cover is quite accurate for my neighborhood. To my west my neighbor has the BLM sign up on a tree and the “In this house we believe BS sign. To my east they have a thin blue line a, “Fuck Biden” sign (not just the LGB), a Trump 2020, and Trump 2024.
    The neighbor to the west doesn’t get along with anyone, the one to the east is a great neighbor.

  12. Regarding #1: “A rainbow flag would be more accurate.”

    My thought exactly.

    Having said that, I have seen the Police Officer flag displayed on a house in our neighborhood.

    There are a few displayed items that I do not recognize: the item to the right of the liberal stairs and the sign on the conservative door.

    As for #2, my initial reaction was, “meh, nice puff piece about some local kid.” However, considering that “Let’s go Brandon!” is as much an indictment about a clueless media as it is about a clueless President, I immediately questioned the motive of the press in trying to re-frame (“re-claim” in the parlance of the Left) the meaning of the phrase.

    Maybe I was reading too much into it, but the media has not earned the benefit of many doubts lately.

    -Jut

  13. 5. That dog list is absurd for the reasons you mention. In addition, I don’t think people select/own dogs for their intelligence. No dog will ever be a Rhodes Scholar. No dog will ever win a Pulitzer in literature or a Nobel in Physics (though Bailey was known to steal my phone on occasion and send badly-worded text messages to her dog-friend Cooper). They can’t even add fractions, though maybe with the right-colored fur, they could get admitted to Yale or Columbia…no idea.

    But we don’t care. Dog owners don’t care about smart or dumb. They care about loyalty and love and dedication and pet-ability. Dogs have those qualities in spades.

    Oh…every dog is smarter than any cat.

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