It is official

You might have figured it out in comments below but it is official: because the Feds are allowing a three- decade exemption for wind farms to kill as many eagles as they “need” to, and because they exert no pressure on tribal use (right and understandable for religious practice, but ignoring the profitable if clandestine traffic in feathers for dance costumes), falconers will no longer be allowed to catch “up to six” eagles for falconry in areas of proven depredation, exactly reversing the win- win scenario Cat details below.

Nobody ever took six a year, an infinitesimal part of the breeding surplus; ranchers had proven predators removed; falconers got the companionship of one of the world’s formidable predators, often for decades, and the chance to participate in one of if not THE oldest falconry tradition on earth, at least six thousand years old.

Presumably if we do not fight this it means “for three decades?” Or forever?

And why in hell not allow trapping in wind farms?

No more of this!

Trouble coming: APHIS

A  few weeks ago the Sportsman’s andAnimal Owners Alliance warned us that, despite the efforts and concerns expressed, literally for years, by small breeders, APHIS was coming. They listed these points of concern:

“Can hunting dog kennel owners sell pets?

Can breeders ship sight-unseen where relationships have been well established ?

Can litters be whelped inside the house?

Are rescues still exempt if they ship sight-unseen?

Can animals, other than rabbits, be shipped for preservation of the species?

Do the APHIS regulations take precedence over state license regulations?

How can we believe the answers from APHIS staff who do not understand the questions?

Does APHIS plan to offer any protection for newly licensed breeders so that kennel photos are not added to the ASPCA “puppy mill” data base and other sensationalized uses?

If you are reported to APHIS as needing a license, are investigators required to have a warrant to enter your premises?

Is everyone on the same premise required to be licensed if one person must be licensed?

“The rule is overly complicated, inconsistent, and certainly not easy to understand. The internet and chat groups are full of conversation about this rule with a number of interpretations and a wide variety of opinions being circulated.  APHIS also posted another Question and Answer Fact Sheet with their explanations to some of the major concerns submitted during the rule making process.  Again as last year, the Q&A contains many half, incomplete, or misleading answers.  The reality is that the final interpretation of the rule and its definitions will be at the discretion of APHIS inspectors and staff.”

Here are (a few of many) examples:

“The AWA Standards of Care for housing, facilities, exercise, cleaning, sanitization, employees, housekeeping, and pest control will not be revised.

“Living under USDA licensing is NOT an option for the average home-based retail seller. The average house cannot be converted to a USDA compliant facility. Federal standards for licensed facilities dictate sanitation measures not feasible in a normal home, surfaces that are impervious to moisture, ventilation, bio-hazard control, veterinary care, exercise, temperature controls, waste disposal systems, diurnal lighting, drainage systems, washrooms, perimeter fencing, as well as transportation standards for regulated animals.

“… IF you can give up a room in your house and convert it to be the moisture proof, sterile environment described above, AND gain approval from an APHIS inspector, you may be able to crate or pen animals in that room. This room would then be for either adults or puppies/kittens but not both. Under the USDA standards puppies and kittens under 4 months of age cannot be housed in the same primary enclosure with adults, other than the dam/queen or foster dam/queen. Since the remainder of your house does not meet the above requirements, allowing animals to roam freely would cause you to be in violation of the AWA. And unless your bedroom is coated in epoxy and has a floor drain, you won’t be doing any whelping there.

“A separate facility will be needed for females by two weeks prior to whelping. Even if you make one room in your house compliant with the AWA standards, females cannot be whelped in that room. That means an additional room will be required, plus one for each additional litter within the next 3.5 months.

“Any room in your home used for whelping or birthing must meet USDA standards – impervious to moisture – meaning tile floor and vinyl-coated walls.

“All surfaces touched by animals must be waterproof and sterilized every two weeks with your choice of live steam under pressure, 180 degree water and detergent with disinfectant, or a combination detergent/disinfectant product.”

It has passed, without most of this being clarified. Lane Batot’s friend Jill Porter, who has been fighting the act for a long time, wrote:

“It goes into effect in 60 days.   It’s 91 pages of convoluted and hard to understand new regulations for anyone breeding pet animals (dogs, cats, pocket pets, reptiles and much more.)  The short of it is that even smaller home based breeders like me can no longer ship puppies without being USDA licensed.  The requirements to be licensed will force us to not be able to raise dogs the way we do, as family members in our homes.  Because of many other changes, it also has a horrible impact on our ability to make good genetic decisions for our breeding programs, and so much more. I am still in shock about this as is everyone who knows about it and understands what it is going to do.  The reasoning was to control the huge volume breeders that sell sick puppies sight unseen over the internet, but in reality it will hurt the small, quality dog breeders who show and preserve the valuable genetics in each breed.  Some of my friends have already announced they are closing down their breeding programs, since they have rare or less common breeds and can’t function with the new regulations. (These are the good breeders who raise dogs in the home, do all health testing, are very active in their breed clubs and more.)  It is going to be such a loss to see those breeds and bloodlines disappear. But hey, it’s the government and animal rights groups in action.   At least the big puppy mills will stay in business (and THAT is said with a HUGE amount of sarcasm) since they don’t care if they have to keep dogs in cages to comply with regulations.
    
“This is a huge victory for the radical animal rights group the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) who pushed for it  To them all breeders are puppy mills and they want to see all breeding stopped forever.    Their president said he wants to see domestic animals become extinct…  They don’t help shelter pets, they use their money for lawyers, pensions and lobbbying but their commercials make you THINK you are giving to save puppies and kittens in shelters.  Check out www.humanewatch.org for more.”

Text of the act, or most of it, should be here.

Quotes

Courtesy of emeritus zoologist and Ice Age maven Valerius Geist:

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

“The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse.”

“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”

(All from H. L. Mencken).

What do people in the anti- gun media…

… think of us? Not much, apparently…

A few quotes:

“Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” asserted that gun rights advocates aren’t “normal people,” they have no “other interests,” and they are uninterested in their wives or kids…”

“The Post’s Gene Weingarten in 2011 spat on the Second Amendment as “the refuge of bumpkins and yeehaws who like to think they are protecting their homes against imagined swarthy marauders desperate to steal their flea-bitten sofas from their rotting front porches…”

“After Columbine, a Boston Herald op-ed [yes, in Massachusetts!] described the average participant in a 1999 Boston Common pro-gun rally as a wannabe “hicksville cowboy, as in way out there, somewhere off the Mass Pike or at the far reaches of 93, from towns with something to prove and lots of Amvets posts…”

[… when speaking about sales without background checks, gun controllers always refer to “gun shows.” Most guns used in murders aren’t bought at gun shows — they’re stolen or bought on the street. But gun shows are large gatherings of the “gun tribe” — and so they must be shut down…]

“Gun control, it turns out, is largely culture control.”

For an antidote, read Dan Baum. Or this fascinating bit about the granddad of all civil liberties pro- gun thinkers, former civil rights activist Don Kates. I thought that he perished in the Cretaceous Extinction Event like Col. Cooper!

Invincible Ignorance?

I hate to rant but (I can see everybody believes THAT)…

Well, first Reid provoked me with this, knowing that it was like poking a stick at a hot rattlesnake.

At first I just sputtered. “I can’t even debunk this– it is like Mary McCarthy’s famous remark on Lilian Hellman: “Every word she says is a lie including AND and THE.”

Except of course it is not a “lie”– it is merely smug, invincible ignorance, with libel of all hunters or even non New- Yorkers thrown in for snark. Would the “Paper of Record” accept an op- ed on any other subject featuring as basic an example of incorrect terminology as using “bullet” for”shotgun cartridge”? That indulged in such basic illogic as comparing putting voluntary limits on a tool used in a sport with limiting the effectiveness of one primarily used in self- defense?

And of course the not very subtle dismissal of NYC cops shooting bystanders because EVERYBODY is a bad shot. You think someone who had been through a serious class like Gunsite would miss 30% or more of the time? Maybe one reason that NYC cops in particular are so bad is that they live in an anti- gun culture, though studies show that cops who are not gun nuts are almost always bad. She should be forced to read the Armed Citizen page in the publications of the “mindless” NRA.

I do read anti- gun propaganda, and one of its most striking features is that it is virtually always factually and technically incorrect– even those who say they know guns make mistakes. And they never, never read our side enough to even refute our facts. They already know we are mindless, paranoid, frightened, even racist, and probably don’t believe in evolution… even if we are scholars, or women or Hispanic…

And then I began thinking about history, and subtleties even our allies don’t mention, perhaps because nobody reads outside the lines anymore. The roots of the three- shell limit are historically interesting and have little to do with anything but a bunch of rich sportsmen, who thought repeaters ungentlemanly, trying to put the brakes on market hunting in a time of little enforcement– they also banned gauges larger than ten, an arbitrary and unnecessary move never done in, for instance, England. Both bans could be repealed today with no bad effect. They have no effect on conservation– driven shoots in Europe make bags of 1000 plus with archaic side- by- sides like mine.

The anti- repeater bias might well have started with the excitable conservation pioneer and bigot William Hornaday, who like the artist Frederick Remington believed the US should be a “pure” Anglo- Saxon nation. In one of his books on wildlife he had photos of a Browning autoloader. On the same page he complained that such were used by immigrant filth from the dregs of Europe’s society, and that Italians and other inferior “races” should not only be refused entry but deported with all their descendants. Imagine my reading this in the fifties after it was recommended to me by an old WASP librarian.

He wanted all Italians, “southern and eastern Europeans”, Slavs, Jews, Asians, and “negroes” deported; better at least than the unspeakable Remington, who wanted them exterminated and offered to help in one of his letters. Remington: “You can’t glorify a Jew! Nasty humans! I’ve got some Winchesters and when the massacring begins, I can get my share of ’em and what’s more I will. Jews, Injuns, Chinamen, Italians, Huns – the rubbish of the Earth, I hate.” I don’t put political standards to art, but if I owned a Remington and read that, I’d sell it so fast it would bounce on the way out– and maybe use the money to buy a Charlie Russell…

Compare to two other establishment figures, both hunters and infinitely more appealing than Hornaday, never mind Remington: Teddy Roosevelt and his generous acceptance of anyone who embraced our culture, and Aldo Leopold (who married a NM “Mexican”).

I added, in my note to Reid: “I assume you are acquainted with the utterly racist origins of handgun control? Think “Jim Crow Laws” or read Condoleeza Rice on her childhood in the segregated south, or the pro- gun liberal Don Kates. Hint: white people had no trouble getting guns, just like rich people in New York today.”

Maybe sometime I’ll talk about “Progressivism” and eugenics. Know your history!

Politicians & Animal Rights vs the right to breed YOUR dogs

By intention I don’t do much politics here- I am neither partisan or, mostly, interested enough. But does ANYONE pay attention to the fact that one socially conservative Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, is in bed with HSUS, Wayne Pacelle, and the whole Animal Rights movement, and has been for many years? Worse, he seems to fly totally under the radar. If you care about hunting, or, especially, private dog breeding, Google “Santorum HSUS” or “Animal Rights” or even “Wayne Pacelle”…

A lot of nutty stuff left and right, approving and critical, is available, but some of real substance is up too. Many people think or comment “I’m against puppy mills.” Fine, but much of the proposed legislation, like Governor Perry’s below or some of Santorum’s failed attempts, would not just ban commercial breeders (who in any case have the money to move, fight, rebuild their kennels in technical compliance, or otherwise evade). Such laws would have prohibited my breeding (all of five non- profit pre- homed unique sighthound litters so far), and/ or have stopped me from bringing over my entire hound family, including Ataika, Queen of the World, who we got and lived with for a month in Almaty– she was among other things, including just IMPORTED (apparently inherently evil), under 6 months old. Think she would have been as social and civilized later?*

The very sane Bob Kane on Santorum’s proposed 2005 PAWS bill:

“PAWS has virtually nothing to do with animal welfare or closing Animal Welfare Act “loopholes.” It’s a direct attack on U.S. hobby breeders, hunting dog owners and animal rescuers. PAWS federalizes hobby pet breeding.

And then there is his fellow Republican Rick Perry, who fails on dumbass grounds anyway but tends to pose as a red blooded western foe of bureaucracy. I call bullshit. From petbreedersandowners.com: “HB1451 created a new state agency, allows for entry into a private residence without the owners presence, establishes a public database to include the private information of pet breeders, established a bounty fund for animal rights activists to report pet breeders to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, and is a contradiction of the key values supposedly upheld by Gov. Perry. These bills were heavily backed by the H$U$, ASPCA, PETA, and other animal rights groups, and promote their agenda.”

Statist meddlers & “botherers” both…

The results can be seen in Continental European countries, where an unholy alliance of government and closed registry breed clubs can now decide who is born. A friend in Germany wrote:

“But here in Germany it is very difficult to breed with brindle salukis. I think you remember the brindle Metzlers dogs. They tried to get permission to breed their bitch Bahia, but in the shows they only got a “good” and that is not good enough for the breeding permissions.”

Priceless unique genetic diversity is being lost for no demonstrable reason at all, and it CAN happen here– intact dogs of my AKC and Saluki Club unacceptable bloodlines are in peril of compulsory sterilization in Albuquerque because of former (Democrat– stupid knows no partisan boundaries) Mayor Marty Chavez’s Orwellianly- named HEART regs. Longdogs and staghounds, types prized and run in New Mexico longer than (I suspect) the authors of such regulations, are mere worthless “mongrels” of course.

[Elaborated from a comment of mine at Atomic Nerds.]

*Meanwhile it seems it is OK for urban shelters to import strays from Mexico to meet the demand caused by the “birth dearth” apparently resulting from too much compulsory spay neuter in pc precincts– look it up…

Magdalena Lion Hunt

My friend and “cousin”, local rancher, reader, and hunter Sissy (Mary Helen Gianera Pound) Olney, ran into us in the Capitol Bar in Socorro yesterday and told us to look up this YouTube of her husband Tom and nephew Royce hunting mountain lions in the Magdalenas on horseback with hounds, the traditional way.

The video, by the NM game & Fish Department, is amusing and professional, the hunters articulate and enthusiastic, the hounds even more excited. The humans exhibit a practiced competence that makes it all look easy– I have known Tom over 20 years, and his father Hugh was one of the pioneering local hound men. They tree a cat a couple of times, photo it, let it go, and explain why…

At this point I should and will state that comment threads outside Q are more often than not fatuous at best. But these ones are truly amazing.

The first here is the best– it is not only WRONG but: what about NEW MEXICO COUGAR HUNT and NEW MEXICO GAME AND FISH does this person not understand?!

“Hunting cougars is not funny, is an endangered specie and it must be protected! Hunting a cougar is criminal.

“Hunting a big cat is criminal. Who hunts an animal like this most be behind bars. Everybody should tell this to the Canadian Authorities.”

Must I say? Not “specie”, not endangered, must not most, not illegal, NOT CANADA.

The second is more literate– if no less fatuous AR boilerplate and propaganda:

“Shooting any animal sitting on a branch takes no skill whatsoever to do it. If these “men” had their act together they would see that. But, it takes all kinds in the world. Unfortunately, we all suffer the loss of animals because these guys have nothing better to do with their time. It is sad for the cats, even sadder for the misfits that hunt them. Get a life.

“I love all these stupid comments about killing livestock etc. Hunting mountain lions is killing and wasting a beautiful animal for some misfit to get his jollies nothing more. Don’t give me the crap about losing livestock. It is a cost of doing business, that simple. If you don’t like it, don’t be in the livestock business moron… if you are a stupid rancher get out of the business.”

In the face of what theologians might call Invincible Ignorance (“stupid rancher..”) the rational mind quails. So I answered coolly, as I hope we all would:

“Actually it takes enormous skill and experience to train a pack of dogs, not to mention horses, and we are not even talking about maintenance and time.

“The Olneys are second and third generation hunters and pro ranchers, and even so let more lions go with only a digital record than they take– AS THEY DID THIS ONE. I suspect they care more knowledgeably for lions than their critics.”

And the implication that the hunters are somehow not “men”? How… early 20th century Freudian. Apart from the physical dangers, and the skills needed to ride for days and miles in hard country: the very female Sis, hound woman, mother, grandmother, 4th generation ranch matriarch, “Cowboy Bitch” (her own sardonic formulation), and the first female brand inspector in the US, is more of a woman AND a “mensch” than the critic whatever her or his “gender” to put it in proper pc terms will ever be…

The Parrot Bites Again

Matt Mullenix said of the line below: “Journalism: Dead.”

” Alan Parrot, one of the world’s foremost falconers…. “

Steve again: all this is in reaction to a link I couldn’t get but which I have seen plenty similar to the last few days, like this one. There has also been a lot of talk on some of my informal discussion boards. An interesting quote from one first– I’ll leave it anonymous as I don’t have permission, but I believe it 100%:

” I’m just wondering when some of the people Hari Ha Ha [ he is a Sikh convert sometimes known as Hari Har Singh Khalsa–SB ] has named as ‘class A felons’ will sue him for libel. Surely some of the P-Funders could show damages caused by the online smear-campaign he launched via his website, savethefalcons.org. A good friend of mine spoke to him several years ago, and with Hari Khalsa Parrot’s consent, took notes of their discussion. During that discussion, Parrot asked my friend to broadcast to the U.S. falconry community that if any opposed him, he would personally see to it that falconry in North America is shut down. I have no doubt that the guy is a delusional moon-bat; the question is how much of a menace could he ultimately prove to be? “

This was when he was proposing to Mongolia that he run the entire Asian saker trade to the Arabs himself. When they refused (and eventually made him persona non grata and kicked him out of the country– after someone– hired by him?– suspiciously beat him up) he then accused the P- Fund (specifically Tom Cade), Nick Fox, the Russian Mafia, the World Wildlife Fund, the US ambassador to Mongolia, the head of Mongolia’s wildlife department, the whole CITES organization, the USFWS, and I was told ME after I complained about it, of devising a conspiracy to make millions and drive the saker into extinction in the wild. Strange bedfellows to say the least…

He also keeps citing million dollar prices for birds. Journalism? This is their go- to falconry guy? Have they ever heard of Google? (Nick Fox at least had some good refutation up for a while, and there is a good overview here). But can’t they even look at falcon sales sites? $5000 is HIGH these days (except possibly– the story goes–for at most four or five individual unusual–for reasons more superstitious than scientific– smuggled birds a year that seem to go to certain Arabian families again and again). And six figures would be an unlikely high figure for even these.

He once tried to hire me for $50,000 a year, which I have never made, to manage some facility in Santa Fe. Turned him down without a lingering doubt.

As Mary McCarthy said of Lillian Hellman “every word that comes out of her mouth is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.”

I even wonder if he didn’t get his Bin Laden hawking fantasy from this enjoyable novel, where some old coots from the CIA find a nuclear terrorist by tracking the houbara migration– and offering him one of those “special” sakers!

You can bet that I will blog this, Parkinson’s typing or not. But don’t expect one this long every day yet–it took me an hour!

Update: David Zincavage is on the case. This should be good, and I hope there is more to come. Not the least funny thing is his comparison of Parrot (“Peh- RO”??) to Timothy Treadwell, though it may reflect badly on poor Treadwell, who only got himself and his girlfriend eaten by a grizzly, rather than first trying to own and then petulantly ban an entire cultural practice…

Update 2: I THOUGHT I had dealt with all this when it was fresh in my mind– see here.