47 thoughts on “Mark Twain: “Is a tail absolutely necessary to the comfort and convenience of a dog?””

  1. tails useful?   very much so when used as metaphors in the political world. what wag or wonk could live without using the “wag the dog” phrase now and then?


    on the mundane serious side, but important to translating dog-ese

    above from veterinary network makes a point to ponder when transposed and applied to societal stifling communications of any sort:

    And what happens if the dog does not have a tail (or ears)? If the owner decides to amputate those parts of his animal’s body, he may have serious problems with other dogs. Failing to demonstrate dominance or submission can lead to a violent confrontation since it can be interpreted as a challenge.

  2. community communications such as protests  – dog tails?  what if those tails are bobbed somewhat by laws like this?


    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s top Republicans cited events in cities around the country — but not the Jan. 6 riots in Washington — as Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday to create tougher penalties for people who participate in violent protests.
    Opponents of the bill said it was a racist reaction to a problem that hasn’t occurred in Florida. They saw it as an attempt to squash the voices of groups like Black Lives Matter.
    The new law will enhance penalties for crimes committed during a riot or violent protest. It will allow authorities to hold arrested protesters until a first court appearance and will establish new felonies for organizing or participating in a violent demonstration.

    and from jurist:

    After the bill passed the Florida Senate last Thursday, Micah Kubic, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida released a statement calling HB 1 “racist, unconstitutional, and anti-democratic.” He also stated that he believes “Gov. DeSantis and certain legislative members are aiming to shut down political speech they disagree with in a direct attack on the First Amendment and at the cost of Black and Brown people. Finally, Kubic called the then bill “a disgrace to our state.”

  3. speaking of a successful communication, this from the guardian:

    A runner talked his way out of a face-off with a large bear that pursued him for several minutes in Grand Teton national park in Wyoming, a showdown the runner captured in a three-minute video that went viral.
    Evan Matthews said he often sees bears on his runs, but none had dared to come so close.
    “This one was interested in me, so I had to change its mind,” he wrote.
    Rather than use his bear spray, which he deemed a last resort, Matthews opted to reason with his ursine inquisitor.
    In the video, the “cinnamon phase” black bear is seen stepping out of the woods and on to a road, despite Matthews’ stern objections.
    “Hey – no!” Matthews shouts. “I don’t care if you’re hungry. I’m not your food.”
    The bear continues to advance.
    “Sure,” Matthews says, “we could take a walk if you want. You don’t get any closer, though.”
    One defense experts say can ward off bears in the wild is to play dead. But Matthews chose not to do so, both because this was a black bear and because, he said, a solo bear with this much interest in a person “is not trying to eliminate a threat – it is trying to find an easy target. Don’t be one.”
    Matthews retreated towards his car and continued talking to the bear, seeking to convince it he was human and “not to be mistaken with any other animal”.
    After stalking the runner for half a mile, the bear ran back into the woods.

  4. So I get a news lead from CNN each morning called 5 Things. This was in today’s Five Things. 

    3. Infrastructure
    The largest coal miners’ union in America is backing President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion green energy plan. It may seem like a case of strange bedfellows. But the coal industry would benefit from the Biden proposals to rebuild bridges, ports and airports — likely boosting demand for steel, which typically uses coal as a key ingredient. The infrastructure plan also calls for expanding access to broadband in rural areas where many coal mining communities are located. The president of the United Mine Workers of America also said the plan would create lots of new job opportunities. In a completely different infrastructure realm, the Biden administration kicked off a 100-day effort to beef up cybersecurity in the nation’s power grid, calling for industry leaders to install technologies that could thwart attacks on the electricity supply. This comes after a cyberattack in Florida that sought to compromise a water treatment plant.

    Whatcha think of this, Bob? Runs counter to the RW screed about green energy being a job killer and echoes what thinking people have been saying all along. 

  5. … and in other news, it’s snowing this morning in East Bumfuck. I knew there was an 80% chance of precipitation, but silly me, I expected rain. 

  6. As with cats, dogs use their tails for balance.  Also, they use them as a social signal to let others know their mood.
    Unlike humans, dogs can’t lie.

  7. My brother near KC got a dusting of snow yesterday.  Maybe jack saw a few flakes, too.  

  8. POTUS Joe will make it hard for anyone except the  ws/gqp vote for anyone but a Dem.  A lot of folks may stay home next year because they can’t admit they like what Dems are doing, but don’t want the things that benefit them to go away.  Be prepared for a heaping, helping of crazy from the far right.

  9. Pogo

    The Biden plan liked by the miners is the same one proposed by Hillary that the right wing attacked to scare them into voting against her.


  10. Tucker was unusually loathsome last night


  11. snowed here in ole kentuck too.  good thing the almost full-blooming azaleas got covered cause there’s about an inch on the tarps atop them.  32 degrees expected tonight so the tarps wil stay put til tomorrow.   strange to see snow on wildflowers and redbud trees. 

  12. Is it POSSIBLE for Tucker to be any dumber than he is? It appears to me that he’s been on a downward spiral into deeper levels of dead bang stupidity for quite a few years, and it seems to me like he’s just about reached the bottom of the cone.

  13. loved that val vs. gym match yesterday.  bet she’s still in good enough shape from her days as police chief she could literally take to the mat that former wrestling coach and teach him a thing or two.

  14. it’s been reported that lachlan is more to the right than daddy rupert murdoch so maybe tucker is just trying to suck up to the new boss for a bigger raise or time slot. could be too he’s trying to out compete hannity in a**holeness.

  15. Prince performing “Sometimes It Snows In April” Live At Webster Hall – April 20, 2004

    Sometimes it snows in April
    Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
    Sometimes I wish that life was never ending
    But all good things, they say, never last
    All good things they say, never last
    And love, it isn’t love until it’s past

  16. Yup… most dogs use their tails for balance.  But not if you happen to be a Pembroke Welsh Corgi (also known as The Queen’s Dog).  

  17. i understand tail-docking IF the owner herds sheep.  Ear-clipping of dobermans and such is even less considerate, as doing so reduces the dog’s ability to express emotion and perceive its surroundings 

  18. US Capitol investigation: Pelosi concedes to even partisan split on 1/6 commission in effort to jumpstart talks – CNNPolitics

    (CNN)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is offering a significant change to her plans for a 9/11-style commission to investigate what led up to the Capitol insurrection on January 6, proposing to create an independent panel with an equal number of Republican and Democratic members, a source familiar with the negotiations told CNN.
    Pelosi briefed her leadership team on the new proposal Monday evening, the source said, as she looks to break a logjam with Republicans on the commission to investigate the attack on the US Capitol.Pelosi teased the changes in a letter to colleagues on Friday afternoon. The speaker wrote that she had “once again sent a proposal for such a Commission to the Republicans, modeled after the 9/11 Commission.”
    “The challenge that we have is: what is the scope? The scope — what we want is one thing: the truth. ‘What happened on 9/11 and how we can prevent it from happening again?'” Pelosi said at a news conference last week. “It’s not about reviewing the elections. It’s not about examining Black Lives Matter. It’s about what happened on January 6 and how we can prevent it from happening again. So if we can agree on scope, I think that we can agree on a commission. The size, timing, all the rest of that, those are negotiable, and that’s not the main part of it.”
    The offices of both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who have been actively involved with the negotiations, told CNN they have yet to see a new draft proposal and they have not had any communication with Pelosi on the commission in several weeks.On Tuesday, McConnell signaled that he was ready to deal, but hadn’t heard of any changes to the proposal.
    “Number one, the commission needs to be balanced,” McConnell said. “And number two, the scope of it needs to deal with a little bit broader than just January the sixth. We’ve also had a number of violent disturbances around the country last year, and I think we ought to look at this broader scope, and with a totally balanced, 9/11-style commission. If she were willing to put that forward, I think it would enjoy broad bipartisan support.”

  19. My dog’s tail has a particularly useful purpose – it signals to me that she’s about to shit on the floor (15 1/2 year old lab doesn’t have the control over her anus she used to have when she was only 15). Keeping an eye on her when she’s standing and walking around in the house has saved some, but not all, cleaning up of dog shit on the floors.

  20. when happily excited, instead of wagging back and forth, Bu’s tail spins like a propeller.  she’s gonna lift off into space one of these days.

  21. patd…  that’s looks like a picture of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi… which does have a full tail.  The Pembroke is born with a bobtail… which is docked shortly after birth.
    Pogo…  I have the same problem with a 17 yr old cat.  But gotta admit that a dog makes a much bigger pile…   🙂

  22. Prince is the only celebrity death I’ve ever cried over.  I cried during the Super Bowl tribute to him,  too.  If I was going to cry over anyone, I would’ve thought it would be Freddie Mercury.  
    Pogo – You give Tucker too much credit.  He can go lower…if it is allowed.

  23. BiD, I’d probably concede that for Tucker there actually may be no bottom.
    And yes Renee, unless you have a cat like our paralegal’s (she tells me it’s 18 pounds) the dog’s is a more daunting proposition than the cat’s.
    Poobah, as Carroll Shelby (a la Matt Damon) would say, “Well what’re you doing here?”

  24. Tucker Carlson has made a career of being stupid  the stupider the better

  25. So, against my better judgment i watched a clip of the current FauxNews bomb-thrower, today, and i’d venture he is unhinged, i.e. not completely sane

  26. bink, it’s not a case of what breed Bu is but what breed she isn’t.  according to the vet dna folks, she’s what’s called a “super mutt”  (mostly beagle & retriever tests indicate with a lot more thrown in including the kitchen sink i bet); but  from the looks of her, one might say she’s a miniature yellow lab or a very very big flappy-eared chihuahua.  she makes strange noises when she tries to bark.  sometimes it sounds like a normal bark, sometimes raspy snorts and sometimes like a scream.  very peculiar 30+ lb dog whose best buddy is bodhi the 15lb cat.

  27. good night sweet prince, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest  🙂

    and don’t count on doing anything of importance tomorrow ‘cepting drinking lotsa liquids and taking a tylenol if /when you need it

  28. earth day tomorrow so if no one else comes up with a thread for fearless leader to schedule, I’ll post a suitable recognition of the occasion one way or another.

  29. Email from Dr. offering vax at 3 locations. Not mine, but one was close.  Filled out the form and they are only offering at one location far away.  The rollercoaster ride continues.

  30. i got my 2nd dose, yesterday, no side effects. My arm isn’t even sore but it was for a few days after dose #1

    Can’t you bum a ride off someone, and keep the windows rolled down, BiD? How in the heck do you get anywhere, anyway?! You may consider those queries to be rhetorical, i don’t mind. You’re just voluntarily extending your stay in pandemic purgatory, but whatever suits you🤷‍♂️

  31. bink, wiki gives the background for why the name:

    The English term enlightenment is the western translation of the abstract noun bodhi, (/ˈbdi/SanskritबोधिPalibodhi), the knowledge or wisdom, or awakened intellect, of a Buddha.

    that cat is the embodiment of awakened-ness

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