THETA, TN – Up here at Theta, Radar and I try to get by the best we can enjoying the rural bucolic existence, and the clean air in “God’s Country”.
There is only one measuring stick in what has been gone on since 1996 – nigh almost 20 years, in the world of the “Lickers And The Flatters”, and that is whether you win or lose.
Me and Radar set out on this journey – Speaking Truth To Power In 1996 – long before Mr. Keith Dane ever darkened the doors at The Humane Society Of The United States. Long before Mr. Wayne Pacelle ever considered spending a dollar of HSUS money on this issue. In fact, one of BGB’s closest associates provided Mr. Wayne Pacelle with his picture that Celebration Chairman David L. Howard put on Celebration garbage cans in 2012. BGB’s friend spent time with Mr. Pacelle on his only trip to to the Celebration in 2012. BGB’s friend likes Mr. Pacelle and knows he is a bright capable man.
Billy Go Boy’s story line has not changed. He is just a grizzled old-timer, colorful raconteur, ornery coot living off the land, sharing the homestead with his trusty gaited walking coon huntin’ mule Radar who can find his way home out of the thickest swamps on the darkest nights. Speaking truth to power in the Tennessee Walking Horse community since 1996. Everyone is welcome to come up to Theta and pull up a chair on the porch and talk Tennessee Walking Horse “goings ons”.
The PAST ACT is dead.
And it won’t be effectively revived in 2015, either.
Congressman Ed Whitfield is “tainted and radioactive” where the PAST ACT is concerned. And there are serious questions if Rep. Whitfield is out of the woods on the Ethics probe, although deals have been known to be made on various things in Washington, DC. And there could have been a deal made on this one, too. The Congressman is not giving interviews and he hasn’t been heard from on the PAST ACT since July 31, 2014.
And it is strange that Congressman Whitfield didn’t even thank the PAST ACT supporters on December 11, 2014
From where BGB is sitting up here at Theta, the PAST ACT was more lost by the HSUS, than won by The Lickers. The HSUS has a myriad of conflicting interests with its various projects and priorities.
Mr. Pacelle decided that the PAST ACT issue with Ethics complications was “not good for business”, where those other interests were concerned, so Mr. Pacelle pulled the plug on the PAST ACT.
The Kaleidoscope has turned and what lined up in the 113th Session of Congress, 308 – 60 – 118 – won’t line up in the 114th.
It’s long gone.
It’s not coming back.
Rest assured that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is not going let it come back.
The Battle going forward for “The Horses” is going to be won or lost in the Red and Blue States on this Map:
The HSUS is not effective in these States.
The HSUS is hated in these States.
As seen with the PAST ACT and “Dutch”, the HSUS does not have the “stuff” to WIN the ultimate battle to protect “The Horses”. The HSUS should be commended for the McConnell undercover work, but you can only live so long on your laurels.
And the McConnell incident is now four years in the rear view mirror.
You only see HSUS’s best shot when its fund-raising is threatened and “all is on the line”.
The Tennessee AG-GAG situation was an example of that.
Mr. Pacelle went on Ellen Degeneres Show and Carrie Lee Underwood saddled up.
The PAST ACT was not an example.
Mr. Pacelle didn’t go all out like that for the PAST ACT.
The PAST ACT was small potatoes compared to Tennessee AG-GAG stakes. And when things got sticky with the Whitfield Ethics probe which involved HSUS employee Ms. Connie Harriman-Whitfield, Mr. Pacelle called off the dogs and put out the fire.
Mr. Keith Dane had problems wanting the HSUS to get credit even when it was in the PAST ACT for Mr. Dane to sublimate and subordinate the HSUS getting the limelight in the interests of advancing the interests of the PAST ACT being enacted into law.
HERE IS WHITFIELD AIDE MARTY IRBY EXPRESSING FRUSTRATION W/ HSUS
When Mr. Keith Dane wouldn’t agree to allow people from other organizations to go with Sound Horse Advocates to lobby Representatives, as Congressman Whitfield Aide Marty Irby suggested (because the HSUS is detested by many on Capitol Hill), that exemplified and highlighted the problem.
When Keith Dane unadvisedly put the picture of Priscilla Presley with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) in The Washington Post, it again showed extremely poor judgement, and it hurt the PAST ACT. Mr. Dane put the interests of the HSUS of being able to “take the credit” for Ms Presley lobbying for the PAST ACT ahead of what was best for the success of the PAST ACT.
That does not lead to winning results.
When a group of TWHBEA Sound Directors led by Keith Dane was two weeks late getting out and delivering an inept “FLATTER FLYER” trying to persuade the TWHBEA membership to reject the draconian By-Law changes, it again demonstrated a lack of ability to deliver in the clutch. TWHBEA voted over 70% to go sore Big Lick in 2014, when a year earlier in 2013, its members voted 63% to Pass the PAST ACT.
Mr. Dane is a nice man, a likable man, a well intended man, but he has been measured in the balance and found wanting in crucial areas. Mr. Dane’s skill set and the stigma of The Humane Society Of The United States is not what is needed in going forward to protect and Win for “The Horses”.
The battle will now have to be won by the American People.
And the further the HSUS stays away from the front lines, the better the chances will be for success.
There are two reasons the HSUS cannot be successful.
- It is tainted with self-interest.
- It will often put its other myriad policy objectives ahead of the Cause of eliminating soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.
Proof positive is what happened to the PAST ACT in 2014.
Proof positive is blowing the potential of what “Dutch” could have meant to passing the PAST ACT.
Everyone agrees that the HSUS biggest contribution was the exposure of the Big Lick training methods in 2011-2012 by Hall of Fame Trainer Jackie McConnell which was exposed on ABC Nightline. If it wants to be useful, the HSUS should try and do another one of those. Or just provide support to organizations or persons which can have success.
Following the McConnell expose’, the HSUS fumbled the opportunity provided by Big Lick Trainer Barney Davis. When Mr. Davis was interviewed by Keith Dane for an all important Youtube, Keith Dane wasn’t even mic’d up. The resulting Youtube lacked the punch it needed. Consequently, a vital opportunity was lost.
BARNEY DAVIS – SORE BIG LICK TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE TRAINER
“Every walking horse that enters into a show is sored. They’ve got to be sored to walk. There ain’t no good way to put it but that’s how it is.”
Then when Barney Davis was booted out of the 2012 Celebration Inspection area by Celebration CEO Mike Iman for helping the USDA spot sore horses, Keith Dane and the HSUS sat silently by rather than maximize the publicity potential that the event presented.
THE FAILURE TO DRAW TO ADEQUATELY “DUTCH”,STORY AN ABUSED TWH
Perhaps the worst example of lost opportunity was that of the abused horse “DUTCH” rescued from slaughter. On a scale of 1 – 10 on potential, the HSUS scored about 2 when it should have been a 10.
The publicity potential of “Dutch” story was woefully wasted.
The opportunity for “DUTCH” came on the National Stage of “WALK ON WASHINGTON”. The All American Walking Horse Alliance announced on June 15, 2014, “A Tennessee Walking Horse brother named “Dutch” who was the victim of soring abuse and headed for slaughter has been invited to attend the rally to educate the public and elected officials. “Dutch“ was abused by the soring practices used to create the sore Big Lick with pads and chains.”
The stage was set for the National and International Media to see right in front of the U. S. Capitol the cruel abuse caused by the sore Big Lick to a living Tennessee Walking Horse.
Then the afternoon before “WOW”, in a total surprise, the HSUS unexpectedly pulled the plug on “Dutch” attending “WOW”. It was similar to how Mr. Wayne Pacelle pulled the plug on the PAST ACT. Here is the June 17, 2014 last minute announcement: “Organizers of the All American Walking Horse Alliance were informed late Tuesday that the Humane Society of the United States decided not to bring a rescued and badly scarred Tennessee Walking Horse named “Dutch” to the “Walk On Washington” rally in front of the U. S. Capitol. All questions regarding Dutch should be directed to the HSUS at 301-258-1491 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The eyes of the Nation were on “WALK ON WASHINGTON” and the media coverage was amazing. ABC, PBS, USA TODAY, MIAMI HERALD, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, but there was NO “Dutch”. Extensive last minute arrangements by AAWHA had been made for “Dutch” to be part of “WOW”.
At “WOW” , the Media Representative of the All American Walking Horse Alliance had the presence of mind to extemporaneously interview “Dutch” rescuer Kelly Smith and get so Dutch’s story would be known.
But the opportunity on the huge stage was lost.
If “Dutch” had been present at “WALK ON WASHINGTON” to show what the sore Tennessee Walking Horse racket does to helpless horses, International Headlines focusing the eyes of the world on the problem.
It could have passed the PAST ACT.
And to have the opportunity for the Father of the Horse Protection Act former Senator Joe Tydings to be there with “Dutch”, in 2014, as Senator Tydings was with “Papa Charcoal” 45 years ago in 1969 would have made national and international headlines regarding the ongoing abuse and cruelty to Tennessee Walking Horses.
It was a huge blown opportunity, and extremely poor judgement by the HSUS.
All the HSUS got out of “Dutch”‘s situation was a local article by The Tennessean reporter Heidi Hall who finally got something right on her way out the door at the newspaper. Vindication of her article was when Celebration Chairman David L. Howard labeled it as “lazy unethical reporting”.
THE ULTIMATE HSUS MISTAKE ON THE PAST ACT
The HSUS made many mistakes to hurt the cause of the Sound Natural Walking Horse in 2014, but the worst was when Mr. Wayne Pacelle made a cold calculating decision not to go to the Wall for the PAST ACT. Mr. Pacelle didn’t use his influence to persuade lame duck Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to use Cloture to pass the PAST ACT with over 50 Senators and the Bill having been approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, and send it on to the House with massive public approval and momentum behind it. In that scenario, it would have most likely passed the House, Ethics allegation or not ethics allegations.
But like “Dutch”, the HSUS zigged when it should have zagged.
Going forward, the HSUS needs to get in the background and stay there.
The fight for “The Horses” can best be successfully pursued by citizens groups who do not have the “Baggage” of The Humane Society Of The United States.
To be successful, the fight going forward is going to be to organize the resistance in Red and Blue States, then take down the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse Shows where they exist, and to encourage Sound Horse people to leave TWHBEA.
It can best be accomplished with citizens groups like the All American Walking Horse Alliance as demonstrated with “WALK ON WASHINGTON” with the HSUS operating in the background. Perhaps hitting another undercover investigation or something it does best.
If they are truly interested in helping the cause of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Mr. Wayne Pacelle and Mr. Keith Dane need to go low profile and be supportive of citizens efforts that can win the day for “The Horses”.
Happy New Year!