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"$12 Million Animal Shelter Opens"

By       Message James Armstrong II       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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I picked up The Berkeley Voice this morning and the headline read, "$12 million animal shelter opens."

Okay, I love animals as much as anyone else, and I have a ton of pseudo-pets out here, too.  However, to spend so much money on this problem, while ignoring the "homeless problem" and saying you "don't have the money!"?  I understand, from this article, that the previous animal shelter was a problem, so I understand needing to take care of it.  Also, this was voted upon ten years ago, but there was a homeless problem then as there is now, so I don't see that as an excuse.  If the voters had decided to allocate money to the homeless problem a decade ago, we may not be here right now, arguing over the civil rights of homeless people, and the scapegoating of them, by these businesses and their (greedy) advocates.

There was a "$7.2 million property-tax bond measure," and the voters decided it was worth it.  Hey, I'm all for "happier animals," although I do not know how you quantify that statement with anything tangible, like facts or logic.  Logically, animals are outside animals.  I am constantly hearing people (probably from Walnut Creek) say, "Oh, that poor dog, having to live outside."  What?!  Animals, especially dogs, love being outside.  It's their natural habitat, you idiot.  For the price of this venture ($19 million total), you could have bought ten acres and put them out there, and had out buildings (or bungalows) for the services part.  Or educated people to the fact that animals are naturally disposed to living outdoors, while human beings don't seem to be, so much.


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I am not allowed to post the article on this blog because of "legal constraints" with this blog site (, so you will have to just figure that out on your own.  I find this tedious and annoying, by the way.  Fix this, too!

Look at that photo, everyone.  Is this South Beach, Miami, Florida, or is this Berkeley, California.  I do not understand the need for such frivolities.  And, I am not talking about the equipment they will be receiving to help animals, either.  But, again, couldn't we have serviced them in cheaper housing units?  This is a bit... gaudy

"The 12,000-square-foot, two-story shelter cost $12 million with the city kicking in an extra $5 million over what taxpayers approved."

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Again, do we need all that room that is not a wide-open field?  I'm serious here people!  We could have done this cheaper!  In fact, if anyone in this community had any imagination (and I can't for the life of me figure out why, since this town is chock full of free-thinking artist-types) at all, they could have combined the homeless and animal-shelter problem by combining them.  The taxpayers could have funded a dual measure.  You have a facility where the homeless get help and right next to that the animal shelter and facility.  We could have made some of the homeless advocates of the animals, paying them to distribute information to those very same taxpayers who funded the project.  This would also take care of the volunteer problems a lot of these places encounter.  You could have homeless folks working with animals, cleaning them, giving them baths ... this creates better self-esteem for the individual.  You could then push them into city college and, if they get through that process, end up helping animals in the long run, and themselves, and others.

We can fix these problems, everyone.

On a side note: I have been told by a few of those friends I have tremendous respect for that I should dial back the usage of the words "Nazi" and "Fascists."  That I would probably get a better response.  And, after mulling that over in my head for a bit, because I respect the opinions of those I like, that I will oblige.  Sometimes, my ego gets in the way.  Ego is a strong force, especially for the writer; it is fuel (for me).  It is what drives me a lot of times.  That and having a bit of a "justice complex," but that's okay, I can live with that scarlet-letter pejorative (of sorts), because I am on the side of righteousness.  I know this because if I weren't on that side, my life would be much tougher, and I would have to re-think my thought-process.  The only reason I used those two words so much -- "Nazi" and "Fascists" -- is because I want people to pay attention.  And people do not pay attention unless you grab their attention from them.  And, make no mistake, I believe in the words in which I speak (and write), but I will dial that back a bit, as I do not wish to polarize too much, as I do care about the message that much and should get out of the way of that message.

But I digress:

"Dogs are already in better health because individual kennels sealed off from one another make it less noisy," and, "dog and cat areas have individual heating and cooling systems"... and the homeless people have to go to a place where corruption, racism, favoritism, and bed bugs are rampant to get shelter? 

We just went through a mini-hurricane here in Berkeley, California, and the mayor never once opened an "emergency shelter" for the homeless.  Thanks, mayor ('Master') Bates!  We appreciate that out here!  We got a record amount of precipitation a week ago, but at least the animals will be nice, warm and dry!  I am so comforted knowing that these animals, who are more natural outside than inside, are being taken care of, while human beings, who are predisposed to living inside shelter-type places, get soaked, catch colds, and get everyone else sick, because we didn't worry about human being's overall health.

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"Even better are isolation kennels for sick animals which further reduce the spread of disease."

Again, I am not an ogre.  I love animals.  Reggie is one of my (pseudo) pets!  My good friend, Debby Segal's, cat is the animal I speak of.  He loves me, too.  And I love him.  Hey, I am secure enough in my sexuality to admit that.  Every once in a while I will crash on Debby's couch, and I will awake to Reggie sitting on my lower abdominal region... there is a joke there, but for the sake of this article, I will abstain.  Anyway, so I love animals.  Gregory is my friend's pit bull, and I love him to death, too.  So this isn't me being some cruel guy not caring about the overall welfare of animals.  This is a logical human being asking the question, who is more important in this society?  Human beings ore animals?  Hell, that isn't a fair question, because both are important, equally.  And, why couldn't we help both of them at the same time?  Why is everything either-or situation in this society?  Why don't people create solutions that actually work instead of disposing of human beings like they were "detritus," or "blight"?

-James Richard Armstrong II


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I'm a homeless student, writer, and activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.).

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