Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spin Doctor

The pictured blue device is called a Spin Doctor. It is used to restrain goats and sheep and I believe it turns or spins so a rancher or vet can do a procedure. If you want to crop a tail or tag an ear this is helpful. They might even be doing worse things to the poor male sheep or goat. I think they have a larger size used for dealing with cattle.
Last winter the TV show 60 Minutes did a segment on a woman named Temple Grandin. She is a professor of animal behavior and an acknowledged expert on treating animals humanely in feedlots and slaughterhouses. She claims to have an edge in instinctively understanding how animals feel because she is autistic. Interesting theory.
Besides teaching, she has a career in the livestock industry. She can communicate with animals and understand how to better manage them. On the TV show she talked about seeing how this device calmed animals during procedures and rigging a similar device for herself to calm herself. It works for her.
The machine is probably called the "Spin Doctor" because it spins, but I was more familiar with hearing that phrase used to relate someone who verbally tries to manage the news by cleaning it up. They "spin" it. Think the White House Press Secretary's recent comments about "What Joe Biden meant to say"about swine flu and travel. Yesterday we heard President Obama saying that supreme court nominee Sonia Sotomayor would "probably rephrase her comments" in which she said "a wise Latina judge often would make better decisions than a white male." Come again? This is a good example of current spin doctor practices.
Maybe John Q. Public is like the sheep in the spin doctor device. We are restrained and captive while they (politicians) are doing awful things to us and we don't object. Spin doctors. Nasty stuff happens.

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