Since everyone asks, I'll answer it loud and clear. Yes, we pay our freelance writers. And no, when they write opinion pieces, we don't tell that what they can and cannot write.
Such is the case with my friend and colleague Dave Begel. He was a journalist before I was born, and he writes some of the most controversial blog posts on OnMilwaukee.com. I respect what he does for us, even when it incites and incenses our readership.
Sometimes I agree with him.
Other times, I do not.
Today was one of the days I do not.
Dave wrote a blog post about so-called attack dogs. He claimed that the dogs, not the owners, are responsible for violence.
Dave is wrong on this one.
Yes, certain types of dogs have stronger jaws. Certainly those dogs are more frequently raised in hostile, untrained environments. Obviously, these are the dogs that are raised to fight.
But even if rottweilers, doberman pinschers and pit bulls are more frequently trained to be aggressive dogs, it doesn't mean they are genetically predisposed to be attackers.
I'm not an animal psychologist, so I concede that different dogs have different temperaments, and indeed it might be easier to allow these breeds to become violent.
But the crux of the problem is almost completely with the owner. Raise and train a properly socialized puppy, and you'll get a great dog.
Look, I know one sweet and kind pit bull that would let you put your entire head inside her mouth without chomping down. I trust this dog around my daughter, and this dog was rescued from a drug house, so she didn't come from the best upbringing.
Many of us at OnMilwaukee.com are ardent backers of the Humane Society, ASPCA and MADACC. I certainly am. I brought back a rescue dog from Mexico. Playa is the best dog I've ever had.
And I will always, always, always give a dog the benefit of the doubt. To propose rounding up an entire breed because of unrelated, albeit vicious incidents, is cruel and ignorant.
I'm still a fan of Begel, and like my colleagues, we'll still continue and defend his right to write what he wants. We read all the hate mail and nasty tweets. It's part of the job.
But Dave got this wrong.
Don't blame the dog. Blame the owner.
Replace "dog" with"gun" and "dog owner" with "gun owner" and you'll know how those of us feel about the 2nd Amendment.
I think I'm hip to your metaphor here... as far as OMC goes, you are the owner, Dave is the dog. So all the hate mail that might be rolling in from dog lovers should go to you? That's pretty generous.
All kidding aside... when you read him comparing walking a dog to carrying a kilo of cocaine, did you at least drug test him? Breathalyzer?
5 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published July 3, 2015
It's a long-standing tradition at Summerfest - and at plenty of other festivals - to use radio station DJs to introduce a headlining band. It may seem like a five-minute formality, but as usual, there's a back story to most of what the public sees while standing on the Summerfest bleachers.
Published June 29, 2015
It hasn't been a good month for the Stars and Bars. Only 150 years after it should've disappeared for good, national online and brick and mortar retailers have yanked the Confederate battle flag from their shelves and their sites. In other words, you will no longer find Confederate beach towels, belt buckles or even the General Lee (I'm bummed about that, actually) at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Etsy, eBay or many other stores around America. Fortunately, you won't find them at Summerfest, either, in the state that lost 12,216 men to the Civil War.
Published June 25, 2015
To me, the Kings Of Leon were supposed to save rock music. When I saw them for a second time at Summerfest in 2006, this time at the Miller Lite Oasis, something felt wrong. KOL seemed slow. Plaintive. Quiet? Turns out that was the direction this band would head in, and it's what made them extremely popular. But I came into tonight's show with an open mind and was rewarded with old Kings, and even lulled a little with new Leon.
Published June 22, 2015
"Summertime" is a great song - so great that it's been covered 25,000 times since George Gershwin wrote it in 1934. One of the more enchanting - and special - versions of the jazz standard has just dropped from Nineteen Thirteen, an enigma of a Milwaukee band. Featuring Victor DeLorenzo on percussion and Janet Schiff on cello as its two permanent members, you almost have to see this group to believe it.
Published June 18, 2015
Even though Summerfest gets passed over by lots of national media - at some point, let's put the onus on getting the word out better, OK? - there's no doubt that this gigantic musical festival is Milwaukee's crowning annual achievement. Here are the annual picks from OnMilwaukee.com Publisher Andy Tarnoff.
Published June 11, 2015
Have you ever caught a Major League foul ball? Or more than one? And do you still have them? It's a pretty special moment, I must say. I'm not sure I'll ever do it again.
Published June 4, 2015
As first reported by OnMilwaukee.com, Dogg Haus owner will open Plum, a cocktail lounge at 780 N. Jefferson St., Thursday. We got inside for a first look.
Published May 27, 2015
The sounds are a little different inside Miller Park during a weekday day game. It's not that it's much quieter or more empty than a night game, although it's pretty easy to tell the difference. Even though the parking lots today were jam-packed, there are lots and lots of kids here. And adults who probably should be at work.
Published May 13, 2015
Yesterday, Packers fans were delighted to watch Aaron Rodgers dominate on "Celebrity Jeopardy." Indeed, it feels nice to have a smart guy calling signals under center (in your face, Jay Cutler). But Wisconsin sports have been full of intelligent players through the years. Here are six.
Published April 30, 2015
Just a few years ago, all Katie Daly knew about candles is that they smelled nice, and she liked having them around the house. Her boyfriend, Cody Weiss, didn't disagree. But Daly, always a self-admitted "type-A antsy person" found herself bored and browsing Pinterest one day, when she saw a how-to guide to making soy candles in Mason jars. The corporate trainer melted some wax on the stove, adding some lavender oil - and found herself surprised when the candle actually burned.