Monday, June 13, 2005


Lil' Ol' Del Rio, which is literally at the bottom of the 300 foot cliff I live on top of, has made national news once again! The last time I remember seeing Del Rio get such attention was on the Discovery Channel's program, "When Snakes Attack"...or Bite...or something like that. Discovery Channel did a right nice bit on the Pentacostal Church Snakehandlers in Del Rio.

In case you hadn't heard, Del Rio has long been the site of the biggest cockfight in the United States. It's not exactly been a huge secret, that Cocke county and Newport were ground zero for all things cockfighting. The feed store where I get my dogfood each month, carries a full selection of game chicken accoutrement, feeds and items.

Which brings us to the BIG STORY.

What strikes me as interesting, but hardly surprising, is that nowhere is any county involvement mentioned. This was strictly a federal and state operation. Cocke County has only one, sainted, ACO to deal with the entire cockfighting, pit-bull-fighting and general neglectful state of animal welfare in the county. Animal welfare is just not a high priority to this county and it's a dangerous business to enforce.

According to J.J. Stambaugh's article in the Knoxville News Sentinel, "The Del Rio operation was "the largest and likely the oldest cockfighting pit in the country, having been in operation for more than 60 years," according to officials from the Humane Society of the United States."

Call me jaded, call me cynical, but I don't believe for one moment that anyone living in Cocke County, least of all the county officials, were unaware of a cockfighting "stadium" capable of seating 400 was sitting in their backyard for the past 60 years. So why didn't they do anything about it? I hope we get to find out which local and state officials were busted in the raid...cause I'm sure there will be a few.

I can think of a few reasons why nothing was done. Just north of here, in Greene County, they tried to enact a dog licensing law some years back that would require dogs show proof of rabies vaccination. Evidently, all of the county officials were treated to death threats at their homes. People feel that strongly about a 6 buck vaccine. It finally blew up and the result was a county animal shelter that does no adoptions. Animals go in, but they don't come out. All animals are euthanized. Can you spell "Draconian"?

I suspect the local officials failure to deal with the cockfighting problem, or the local paper's failure to report about it is based in fear and just plain cowardice. I'm sure there's a little graft and political backscratching involved somewhere with a liberal slice of not rocking the boat. Not sure where...it just seems logical.

The thing is, I've actually grown to like the game chicken people since I moved here. It's a case of "Love the chicken people; hate the chickenfighting". The birds are breathtakingly beautiful and there is a high degree of skill that goes into their breeding. I just wish they wouldn't fight them and some other purpose could be found for them to keep these strains of birds going. The game chicken people honestly love their birds and I'm sure more than a few tears were shed by big rough grown men when 305 of these magnificent roosters were put down on site during the raid.

Do check out Stambaugh's article...it's well worth the trouble of subbing to KnoxNews.

Maybe the embarrassment of all this will spur Cocke County to get poor Ennis, the County ACO, some help to do his job properly. Yeah, right...when monkeys fly out of my butt maybe.

5 Comments:

  1. stan clark said...
    Your blog is riveting, Rosie. Rosie, the riveter? We people of Del Rio are also proud for making the news last year when the TBI busted both of our whorehouses, the Brown House and Brenda's, and fined the four girls (sex workers) $50 each, the same as the almost cockfight observers. Do you know how many bxxxxxxxxxx it takes for a hooker to make that kind of money at Del Rio rates? One was 54 years old! In Del Rio that means 44 years of hard experience wasted. It doubled our unemployment rate.

    "The game chicken people honestly love their birds and I'm sure more than a few tears were shed by big rough grown men when 305 of these magnificent roosters were put down on site during the raid."

    There are cockfight busts about every week in the US, but never, until now, are the roosters rescued by killing them. Barbarians!

    "Maybe the embarrassment of all this will spur Cocke County to get poor Ennis, the County ACO, some help to do his job properly."

    I feel Cocke County would unanimously support Ennis, whom I admire greatly (God, I love that Calico up for adoption!), if he did his job and arrested those who were responsible for killing those 305 magnificent roosters, and Del Rio filed a class action lawsuit against the US Humane Society for this inhumanity and cruelty to animals to empty their treasury ($100M). Then Del Rio could afford new whorehouses with younger girls. Having 54 year old hookers is downright embarrassing. Put that girl back on her feet! It is the feds (FBI, IRS, Ag Dept) Ennis rightly fears, not the locals.

    Seriously, Gibran's PROPHET is my favorite also, and I feel that calls for a diffenent approach (See LAWS, FREEDOM and CRIME & PUNISHMENT). Progress can be made, but slowly. When I was a kid the Pigeon River was jet black from pollution! I kept waiting for it to literally catch on fire like the Cuyahoga River did in downtown Cleveland, O. Now the Pigeon River is only brown - like the French Broad. Opposing sides worked together to solve the problem rather than the shock and awe invasion by the feds on Del Rio. You stated you like kickboxing but not cockfighting. I don't care for either one. Have you ever had a long-legged female kickboxer land an ankle bone right to your temple? It hurts. Women are more flexible than men and can spread their legs more freely making them more lethal. And some spread their legs more freely than others. And making comments like that is how I got long legged female kickboxer ankle bones struck against my temple. Guys can only kick about waist high, which is still high enough to neuter his opponent. Why not simply switch Rule Books? Make cockfighting non-lethal with spur boxing gloves and outlaw switchblades and provide a means for the losing bird to escape unharmed and take a TKO?

    "Yeah, right...when monkeys fly out of my butt maybe"

    I'd like to see that! :-) Stan

    PS http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ohs55/message/5 for another view.
    Rosie said...
    You object to women kickboxing since it deters you from making inappropriate advances upon women. heh.

    That's why we do it.
    stan said...
    Nah, I learned how to duck. :-) It's them Lorena Bobbit steak knives I object to (I moved from Del Rio to Manassas) that turned me into a recluse who still sleeps on his stomach.

    I object to putting knives on chicken legs also and letting them fight to the death. I wouldn't care to watch that on ESPN any more than watching ESPN's female kickboxing thingy. I think it's dumb, unnecessary and counterproductive for game fowl enthusiasts to do so.

    I hate to see Del Rio drug into this cockfighting mess since it's really not their fight. It appears that what happened is there is a 'cockfight' going on between the UGBA (United Game Breeders Association) and the HSUS (Humane Society of the US), and both are equally guilty and using DC corruption corrupting it even more. The UGBA hired a high price Lobby to expose the HSUS, whose management is about as humane as Jerry Falwell is Christian. BTW, the Del Rio 'Little Brown House' of ill repute that the TBI shut down is now even more ill reputer; they turned it into a church! Probably to those strychnine-drinking, snake-handling Pentacostal holy-rollers.

    The head of the UGBA is no better. In fact he owns the Del Rio Cockfight Pit - or did until 6/11. Now the FBI owns it. He bought the 24 acres and 'cockdome stadium' early this year for $100K. I'm thinking of bidding on it when it goes on the chopping block. Actually, I was on a Del Rio/Slabtown househunting trip, where my sister lives, when the raid occurred. Florida is too damn hot here on the Redneck Riviera (Panama City Beach), and four hurricanes blew me all the way to Atlanta last year. Like a Salmon, I have this strange urge to return home to spawn and die. I think I'll skip the spawn part. :-) How do you get from Hartford to ATL anyhow? I got lost four times coming home and even stopped twice for directions. On the plus side, I always wanted to visit my birthplace, Waynesville, Canton and Heywood County. And that's all I know about that. Stan

    PS Rosie, did you ever know or beautify CNN Anchorman Linden Soles for the camera when you were there? He was great in WAG THE DOG, one of my alltime movie favorites along with GWTW, NBK and Mutiny of the Bounty. I think he and I have something in common over a 747 crash over NYC 9 years ago. He was stock brokering and playing the guitar in Canada the last I heard. Lynne Russell remains my all-time favorite CNN Anchorwoman. I'll never forget the day they showed us a full head-to-toe shot of her. I'll never forget her famous line at the end of each 30 minute rotation either, "Give me a minute and we'll do it all over again."
    kashmir_red said...
    Rosie, have you been watching the news lately? Seen a pattern forming? Having been born and raised in Cocke County, I can say this with a fair level of certainty- the only reason why Brenda's, the Brown House, and the rooster pit in Del Rio were busted is because of money and politics. Somebody isn't getting paid any more. Personally, I think DA A.S. (shmuck that he is) is planning to run for office and proclaim that he was behind the whole investigation. Also, have you noticed that all of these arrests, including the searches of the local florist, the arrest of a deputy and jail staff, FBI searches into the drug fund....have all occurred relatively close to the end of our sainted sheriff's term in office? Noticed that he cannot run again? HMMMM...wonder why all these activities (which has reportedly been under scrutiny since at least 2002) haven't been investigated sooner? It's all connected. In the land of the good ol' boy system where elections are decided either by who knows who or which candidate is the lesser of two evils, I don't see things changing very much any time soon.
    Don't get me wrong. I'm proud of being from Cocke County, but the truth is the truth.
    Rosie said...
    You know, Red...after having worked in corporate America for a bit...the whole "Boss Hog" thing and good ol' boy politics is alive and well all over. Whether you see it in Atlanta, Los Angeles, or Nu York City, it's the same damn thing. It speaks many languages.

    Yes, I get The Plain Talk and follow the news a bit, though it intrudes on really important issues like blackberry picking. putting up jam, milking goats and making cheese. It seems to me that what is happening is bigger, badder good ol' boys from the state and feds are coming in and shaking things up. I know you aren't living here right now, so let me tell you...things are changing.

    They are breaking ground on a new Lowes next to the Walmart. They got the liquor by the drink ordinance straightened out so there is now a Ruby Tuesdays. They are blacktopping The 15th and finally replacing all the bridges that were put up after the flood of 72. I told Betty Jo Frisbee that I wouldn't sell until they painted lines in the road.

    Anyways...the biggest loss from having the FBI's narrowed focus on Cocke County...and face it...there's alot to look at here between the chop shops, the meth labs, the cock fighting, moonshiners and what some call the finest marijuana this side of the Mississippi...as far as I'm concerned is the loss of Newport's Nathan's Hotdog vendor. Damn, them were good hotdogs! Rumors of him being an FBI informant were ruining his business so he shut down when time came to renew his contract. He is on the record that he is not connected with the FBI.

    I can't say nothin' bout our sainted Sheriff except what a fine job he's doing. He's got kinfolk living near me.

    I will say, I thought it pretty funny that one of the local attorneys was banned from representing defendents in the cockfighting charges because he himself was arrested at the cockfight raids.

    All I can say is...I came here because of all of this that is Cocke County....good, bad, ugly and indifferent. I love it just the way it is.

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