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Plot or not?

Posted Saturday, January 5, 2008, at 9:25 AM

I don't often write on anything even remotely political, but I do take an interest in animal welfare issues. This bit of news information is both - and, as such, would be better for Sacha to write about on her blog --- but I guess I'll just jump into it, for what it's worth...It's on my mind.

Two things make matters more difficult (news-wise): 1) I inadvertantly let my Newsweek subscription lapse (thought I was paying it, when I was paying up on the U.S. News & World Report to 2014...Grrr..Don't trust those subscription companies who call by telephone!!!)...and 2) I have an antiquated dial-up computer system that won't let me get on the Newsweek site.

I'm feeling very incompetent this morning. I'll bet I even misspelled "incompetent..." (Is that an "e" or an "a"???) Nothing looks right anymore.

SO, with that rambling preface, here's the issue at hand: My animal welfare people have started circulating alarmed emails about a certain David Huckabee, the son of the current winner in the Iowa caucasus race. It seems that when Huckabee was governor of Arkansas, his son was fired as counselor at a Boy Scout Camp, because he and another boy tortured and killed a stray dog. Reportedly, the governor put pressure on the authorities, so that there were no charges brought against his then-17-year old son. The then-governor is quoted as saying something to the effect that the boys were putting the dog out of its misery. It was emaciated and had mange. Reports indicate that the boys hanged it from a tree branch, among other things.

Lots of issues here to discuss, as the national blogs are full of some pretty rough comments about everything from "good 'ole boy" attitudes to parental responsibility to Arkansas politics.

What do you think? Does it matter? Do a son's actions, however cruel, reflect on the father? Should Huckabee have allowed his son to "face the music"? Is it a "boys will be boys" issue? Will such an issue translate into problems on the national scene, should Huckabee win the presidency? Is this some sort of "smear campaign," launched by anti-Arkansas forces??

You can read the Newsweek's report at http://www.newsweek.com/id/78241

(Copy and paste into your browser, and maybe you'll have better luck than I did. A friend had to copy the account and email it to me.)

I would be interested in your observations.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Absolutely, he should have let his son face the music! That's a good portion of what is wrong with the world today--parents who can't accept their children are wrong in some manner and help them deal with it the right way.

-- Posted by luckyone on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 11:18 AM

I have seen this report. I personally am not happy with what the son did. However, I am not sure that a father should be held personally accountable for this action. No matter what you teach your children sometimes 17 year old sons will just do things that you just can't understand. I have raised a couple sons and I know they can do some pretty stupid things. From the very rich to poorest. From atheist to a great religious figures. We are all susceptible to have our children do things that are immoral, unethical and illegal.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 1:38 PM

He should have made him face the music and not used his power to get him off the hook..

-- Posted by LUFER on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 1:45 PM

He should have faced the music. Emaciated and w/ mange or not, hanging an animal from a tree is just WRONG! Though it doesn't necessarily mean it reflects on his father as a person, it does show what Huckabee truly believes in when dealing w/ wrong and right. America may no longer be "color blind" but I don't think they are ready for a redneck president.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 1:49 PM

Mange is so easy to cure - and all that's needed for "emaciated" is FOOD!

I would really like to find out more about this incident.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 3:03 PM

I know this sounds bad. It is bad that the young man did this, however none of us knows what punishment Huckabee dealt to his son.

This probably has nothing to do with his political power. I don't know any parent who would not have rather handled this situation themselves.

A lot of great talk on here about facing the music, but just what punsihment do you propose for a 17 year old boy that has done such a thing? Prison time? Give me a break.

A lot of talk about parents letting their children face the music. Never seen a parent that didn't defend their child when they were in trouble. Each and everyone of you will do it and your parents did it for you.

I guess if he would have eaten it or stuffed and mounted it like a big game hunter it would have been alright.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 5:25 PM

I guess we'd need to know what the penalty would be for a misdemeanor in Arkansas at that time.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 7:14 PM

Do you think it is considered a misdemeanor?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 10:50 PM

Animal cruelty is a felony in 41 states. The only non-felony states I saw on the Humane Society list were Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah. In all those states, it's a misdemeanor.

I'm rather surprised by these findings, frankly. I had no idea that so many anti-cruelty laws had been passed.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 6, 2008, at 7:29 AM

That his son allegedly tortured a dog in itself does not necessarily reflect badly on Huckabee. Even teenagers with the best parents can do horrifying things. What does reflect badly is his reported obstruction of justice, indicating a tendency to bend/break the rules for parties in which he has a special interest. We want a president who's fair and stands up for the oppressed--not one who covers up for the oppressors.

I'm not much into politics, either, except when it comes to animals. I've read that Mitt Romney strapped the family dog(in a carrier) to the top of his car for an extended road trip. The dog reportedly became sick and soiled himself and the top of the car. Romney's reported response was to pull over at a gas station, hose off the dog and the car, throw the dog back into the carrier and take off again. This seems to me very short-sighted. Couldn't he have made better plans for transporting his dog? Even if he didn't forsee any problems with the transportation method, surely he could have had the kindness to change the arrangements after the poor dog became so sick.

Unfortunately, choosing who you want to vote for is never as easy as simply picking the most animal-friendly person.

-- Posted by Youngest Child on Sun, Jan 6, 2008, at 3:31 PM

You know what Youngest Child. Selecting our Presidents based upon their past humane treatment of animals is just about as good a reason as any. Do you really think the things they are spouting out are really how they feel or what any of them really intend to do?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jan 6, 2008, at 4:23 PM

I.B., no, it's prolly not what they intend to do. I dunno if any of you watched the news the other night (it wasn't KFVS12, but channel 6 on the antenna), but they had a story on there a/b the newly elected governor of Kentucky. The family they interviewed are in the same boat as me and my family...my kids have medicaid, my husband is covered at work, and I have nothing b/c we simply can't afford it. They asked the governor-elect a question during one of his speeches via satellite, and it was a/b his plans for healthcare. He didn't even address their question w/ an answer that had anything remotely to do w/ the topic. But later went on to touch on what he would do a/b health care if he was elected. Now elected, he has done a complete 180 on what he originally claimed, and is making cuts to Medicaid, among other things. I HATE politics for this reason. I think there should be a new law or something saying if any of these officials elected into a major office don't stick to their word, we have every right as citizens to fire them and re-elect someone else. Not that it would do much good, but I think in the long run, it would keep these people from lying the way they do.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Mon, Jan 7, 2008, at 12:00 AM

You can't legislate honesty. The more laws we get, the more messed up we get.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jan 7, 2008, at 7:12 AM

Personally, I don't think the son's actions reflect on the father. However, the fathers actions afterwards do. I don't want my politicians covering up mis-deeds based on self-interest. I know politicians do it and when I find out about it I never vote for them again.

-- Posted by Ducky on Tue, Jan 8, 2008, at 1:16 PM

incompetent--you did good!!!!!!

-- Posted by changedname on Tue, Jan 8, 2008, at 1:22 PM


Dexterite, who are you calling incompetent?

Did I miss something??

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 9, 2008, at 9:24 AM

Ms M D was worried she had spelled incompetent incorrectly!!!!!!!!!!! there's no incompetency on the board......lol...........

-- Posted by changedname on Wed, Jan 9, 2008, at 2:06 PM

I am aware of people who have been removed from an elected public office for attempting to fix a friend/relative's traffic ticket. Those wrongdoers got their just desserts. I think that anyone who violates the public trust by using the influence of their public position to benefit a friend or relative in any way should forever be barred from holding any public office. So the question is if Huckabee did in fact attempt to influence the investigation of his son's possibly criminal actions. If so, he is the sort of sleazy person the public needs protection from for the rest of his natural life.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Wed, Jan 9, 2008, at 7:25 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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