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Going to the Dogs

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y wrote: "To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs." Mark Twain wrote: "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man." But what, of the would-be Napoleon? What of the bumbling, prosperous fellow, lost in the fog of his own affluenza?

Let me set this straight from the beginning: there is a fundamental difference between the average American's life and a wealthy American's life. If the average American wants a new car or a lake house, they would save, sometimes for years, and dream of the possibilities. In their minds, they've lived there for years before ever making the down payment. If you're wealthy and you want something, you just buy it. The time-lapse between desire and fulfillment becomes dangerously distorted. To those who can buy everything they want, it becomes: why can't I have whatever I want?

The subject of entitlements has become all the rage in Washington, but one side of the street remains uninvestigated. If, as the Supreme Court declares, money equals free speech, then free speech begins and ends with a dollar sign. Freedom becomes quantified; those with money have more freedom and those of us with less money, have less freedom.

Mark Greenberg is a New York Real Estate mogul and would-be Republican Congressman from Connecticut, only he can't get elected. He first ran in 2010, then in 2012, and then announced this year's campaign, just five weeks after the polls closed. Admittedly, it's not easy running red in a blue state, but it's easier to push your way to the front of the line in a small party, especially when you have deep pockets and can fund your own candidacy. How deep? Greenberg owns 25 buildings in New York City, plus interests in 34 companies, both here and abroad. It's safe to say, Mr. Greenberg has bus fare and could fund these campaigns long after the comedy becomes tragic.

You see, Mark Greenberg is a Tea Party Republican running in a very blue state. Every bio of Mark Greenberg refers to his non-profit animal rescue shelter The Simon Foundation, founded by Mr. Greenberg and his wife.

The Simon Foundation was a bare-bones operation in the early days. Mark and Linda posted photos and bios of the animals on Pet-finder and other web-based adoption services, and then personally delivered each and every one to their new forever home. ~ The Simon Foundation

In July of 2008, Mr. Greenberg bought Hemlock Kennels in a residential neighborhood of Bethlehem, CT. For some reason the neighbors objected to Greenberg's 70 Pit Bull terriers and filed numerous noise complaints. The neighbors just didn't understand Mr. Greenberg's freedom. Greenberg had purchased the kennel from a town selectman and the city attorney had spoken openly against a neighbor proposed ordinance, limiting residential dog ownership to twenty.

As a Tea Party Republican, Mark Greenberg believes taxes are too high and government is too big and its regulations are over reaching. That's why Mark Greenberg gave testimony before the state house, promoting Revised Bill 6303, privatizing animal control.

Revised bill 6303 Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2011) (a) Any regional or municipal dog pound facility may enter into a contract with one or more public or private nonprofit animal rescue organizations for the payment by such animal rescue organization of the costs for providing treatment by a licensed veterinarian to an injured, sick or diseased animal that is impounded at such regional or municipal dog pound facility.

By now, Mr. Greenberg has a new animal shelter facility built and speaks in favor of a bill filling it from the public trough. And Mr. Greenberg is just a nice man and it sounds like a good bill to help sick and injured animals. I might even believe that, if Mr. Greenberg wasn't such a staunch opponent of health care for needy human beings.

Under Revised bill 6303, the animal control officer is the final authority unto god. Who is the animal control officer for the Bethlehem area? Why that would be Ms. Judy Umstead. And what are Ms. Umstead's qualifications? She manages Hemlock Kennels, owned by Mr. Greenberg and lives on the property. What was it that Mr. Greenberg told the State House? "We are under agreement with the town of Bloomfield and the City of Hartford."

Greenberg lobbies for a law where he has a direct financial interest. He then has his own employee named animal control officer. When another shelter opens up in town, guess what happens? Officer Umstead visits the competition three times in two weeks. On the third visit, she shows up at 6:30 in the morning with a state trooper in tow. Umstead claims the temperature inside the shelter was 31 degrees. The National Weather Service says the low temperature for that day was 34 degrees.

Sixty plus dogs are impounded and dispersed to area shelters, including Hemlock Kennels. The search warrant said Umstead was looking for animal cruelty and the confiscated animals were to be evaluated by a qualified veterinarian, but were they? Nope! No report ever appeared. You see there are some crimes, like animal cruelty, where just being accused is damning enough. An officer of the court (Umstead) claims animal cruelty before a judge with her own personal weather report. Was the judge aware the defendant was a competitor of the Simon Foundation? Did the judge know officer Umstead was an employee of the owner of the Simon Foundation?

The Simon Foundation has a 36,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility. It has everything an animal rescue facility should have and even has something most animal shelters don't have, like their own registered lobbyist.

Chris Janelli, on his Linkedin page calls himself a Director of "The Simon Foundation." I bet you can't guess who else calls themselves a Director of the Simon Foundation? (Jeopardy theme music) None other than Ms. Judy Umstead! As well as being a Director, Chris Janelli describes his current position as: "Executive Director -- The Simon Foundation -- Center for Canine Behavior Studies | CEO Dogs for Life, Inc. " Behavior Studies; CEO at Dogs for Life, Inc. Co-founder at Bio Wellness, Inc. " Co-founder BioWellness, Inc. -- healthcare technology "
There is no reference to a Center for Canine Behavior Studies at the Simon Foundation. There are several "Dog's for Life" websites, but none of them have ever heard of Mr. Janelli. He is a registered lobbyist with the state of Connecticut, representing just one customer. The Simon Foundation or the Center for Canine Behavior Studies, you ask? No, he's a lobbyist for the "Distressed Patriots of America LLC.". He also penned a screed for a group called the New Boston Tea Party "where Revolution is the solution" entitled, "Connecticut's Day of Reckoning is closer than you know."

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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