A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Dec 23, 2015

The bigger the fish tank the worse the service ...

Courtesy Google Images
It is quite common for places of business to showcase fish tanks for the benefit of their waiting customers. Though a believer that fish should be left in their natural habitats, as a diver, I love watching fish and am drawn to the tanks immediately.

What I have noticed, as a frequenter of many business establishments, is that the bigger and more elaborate the tank, the worse the service and the more aggravated the clients in the waiting rooms are! It is so common that upon entering a business, I immediately brace for a battle when confronted with a happy plastic diver blowing bubbles on a beautiful artificially sunlit reef!

What I have also noticed, is that when the tank is placed primarily for the benefit of staff viewing, the service is great suggesting that the staff is under pressure to perform properly rather than trying to hypnotize those in the waiting area into believing that they are being treated efficiently and with respect.

How about leaving the fish where they live and just doing whatever job it is well and without guile!

Dec 15, 2015

When father does not know best ...

UPDATE:   Although found guilty of animal cruelty, the klansman's son was fined $100.00 despite the fact that the veterinarian testified that the dog would have died in 48 hours if untreated. Worse - the judge would not allow the veterinarian to testify that the dog suffered because she, the veterinarian,  is not a mind reader and that there is really no proof that animals suffer. The judge bemoaned the fact that there are not different standards for city and country kids as he really hated to convict the kid. 

What an outrage. Anybody smell something rotten here??

What should a parent not do when told that their child has been arrested for animal cruelty?

A prosecutor colleague of mine filed a case against a young man for animal cruelty. Rather than recognizing that animal cruelty is often a precursor to violence against people, seeking to identify the underlying reason for this aberrant behavior and interceding on behalf of the psychological wellbeing of his son - this father responded by threatening the life of the prosecutor. What if I told you that this father was a prominent and high ranking Klan member?

Raised in an environment where both the rhetoric and perhaps deeds condone bigotry and gratuitous violence, it is possible that children of these "wizards" will be praised for their sociopathic behavior. In fact, animal cruelty may be the accepted laboratory to destroy empathy in those children. When caught, the youth is taught to threaten the prosecutor with violence to solve the problem! This is particularly awful as mentoring humane behavior is the most efficient and successful way to teach it. What better imprimatur than the participation of parents, teachers, and peers to foster humane treatment of all living things? What chance do these kids have?

Shall we predict the future?

The prosecutor will get protection. The animal will receive care. The father and son will face charges.

But who will protect us all from these future sociopaths?