Bad news for houndsmen…

.. and all hunters. David Zincavage reports, furiously, here.

From an unremarkable story, earlier:

“California Fish and Game commissioner Dan W. Richards travelled deep into the wicked terrain of Idaho’s Flying B Ranch to fulfill a long-held goal. “It was the most physically exhausting hunt of my lifetime. Eight hours of cold weather hiking in very difficult terrain. I told the guides I appreciated the hard work. They were unbelievably professional, first class all the way,” he said. Richards said he took the big cat over iron sights using a Winchester Centennial lever action .45 carbine. Asked about California’s mountain lion moratorium, Richards didn’t hesitate. “I’m glad it’s legal in Idaho.”

And now he is ousted from office:

“Although the kill was legal in Idaho, California has outlawed the hunting of mountain lions for decades. More than 40 state legislators called for Richards to resign in March, saying he showed poor judgment in killing the cougar when the practice is opposed by most Californians…[Michael] Sutton, an executive with the Audubon Society [who was at the same time elected Vice President of the Fish and Game Commission], said later that the killing of the lion and Richards’ comments defending it were factors in his decision to vote to replace Richards.”

Zincavage: “The president of the State Fish & Game Commission is supposed, in California, to be out of line when he uses his office to speak in favor of hunting.”

LA Weekly, though reporting that some comments against Richards were “pretty terroristy”, is flat- out exultant:

“Needless to say, he was immediately attacked by every shade of the left — from animal-rights crazies to some of the Legislature’s most mainstream Democrats… [really?!]… although Fish and Game commissioners haven’t explained specifically why they decided to vote Richards down from his throne today, it was clearly a symbolic move to kill the human who killed the beast… Let this be a lesson for all trigger-happy Republicans who dare to dream of swimming against California’s blue tide: We’ll eat your grin for dinner.”

Several churning thoughts: is hunting in Cal really that partisan an issue, or just in a few big cities? What do some of my friends who are Democrats and hunters say, in and out of Cal? What does this bode for the politics of hunting, and the nation?

For certain, it is a black day for the hounds. I wonder who they will call when a lion next stalks, or eats, a runner. Will they let them use hounds?… even end up begging for them, when nothing else works? I wouldn’t let my dogs step foot in California, where a coursing ban is on the agenda, and mandatory spay- neuter waits in the wings…

Important Reminder

… for anyone who breeds dogs or cares about the Old Ways: please write to oppose the new federal APHIS regs! Jess sums it up well:

“The comment period is to let APHIS know that there are problems with this new rule. It should be abandoned completely. Tell them. Do you plan to purchase a puppy that will be shipped to you? Tell them. Do you have a rare breed that depends on easy shipping to maintain genetic diversity? Tell them. Do you want to be able to buy from the breeder of your choice, whether that breeder is local or across the country? Tell them. Do you know breeders that will not be able to comply with the AWA regulations? Tell them.”

This post is an essential example of the blog category “Read The Whole Thing”. If these regs had been in place when I brought my three breeders back from Asia, the whole Querencia tazi family and strain would be nothing but imaginary, unfulfilled potential in Asia. Jess, who has a few more dogs than we do, would not be legally able to let her dogs sleep in her bed any more (seriously), by sudden and utterly arbitrary federal fiat.

Whether driven by a sinister conspiracy or “merely” invincible ignorance (I think chance determines more disasters than conspiracy but also that well- organized fanatics can move faster than the complacent majority), these regs must be stopped. Someone on another blog thought my use of the challenge or outright dare “Molon labe!” (“Come and take them…”) was over the top. How would you feel if the government planned to casually destroy over a decade of your work and love, your intentional and careful breeding of a unique domestic animal in a tradition thousands of years old? Now multiply throughout the nation…

If this model were law…

None of my dogs could breed (or have been bred); nor could virtually any dog I have had in New Mexico, nor my friends’ dogs, all working hunters, all sound. EVERY DOG YOU HAVE EVER SEEN IN Q BLOG.*

Think about that when somebody says such “guidelines” are no threat…

Click on diagram to enlarge:

(Thanks to Jess)

*(No “titled” ancestors in Asia; no saluki registration so no “standard” to adhere to; and the longdogs and lurchers are not “purebred”. The so- called “crosses” of Asian tazis and salukis are not considered so by the SCOA either although they are no more, or less, crosses than ones of Arab X Kurdish blood).

The end of Civilization?

This would be hilarious if it were a last- page ad satire in Wired. But somebody BUYS these. We. Are. So. Doomed

I was going to quit for the night with this but will post two real working rifles above. Their combined cost with scopes is less than this one’s.

Why we won’t shut up

Jess has taken down the post explaining why we fight against arbitrary breeding regs and requested I remove the link. I will let my own words stand for now.

Virtually EVERY DOG THAT APPEARS HERE REGULARLY, or that I have ever bred, is ineligible to breed under Los Angeles and fer Chrissake EL PASO rules, and arguably or at least practically speaking by Albuquerque ones, be they rare breeds, salukis blocked by SCOA factions because they come from improper countries or have “bad” colors, lurchers, or longdogs. I am tired of hearing (A) it won’t affect me (B) I’ll just ignore it (C) I live in a rural place. You know my favorite Trotsky paraphrase: You may not be interested in “X”, but “X” IS interested in you.

More cheerful programming to resume soon. Below, useless forbidden mutts here and in Kyrgizstan.

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 “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…

More Doom

Birmingham, once one of the greatest gun centers in the world, has renamed its gun quarter.

“One of Britain’s oldest industrial areas has been renamed after council leaders claimed local people no longer wanted to be associated with the weapons of war.

“Opponents of the name change say the Gun Quarter has been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

“But the move has been approved by council cabinet member for regeneration, Tim Huxtable, who said he was simply responding to public opinion.

“The council received a petition signed by just 50 people objecting to the name…

“Evidence produced by the council to back the move included a report from the Newtown Neighbourhood Forum claiming that “it is not wise” to retain the Gun Quarter because the area has suffered from gun crime and the name is also associated with the arms trade.” (Arms trade? Well, of sorts– see below).

The two parties did not line up as you might expect:

“The decision resulted in Coun Huxtable, a Conservative, being accused of political correctness by Sir Albert Bore, leader of the opposition Labour group.

Sir Albert (Lab Ladywood) said: “What kind of nonsense is it when we replace the Gun Quarter with St George and St Chad?

“Like it or not, and I am not into the arms trade myself, the Gun Quarter has a historical connection with this city. This is just political correctness.

“The decision was described as “a terrible shame” by the owner of Birmingham’s best known surviving gun maker, Westley Richards & Co.” (“International arms traders”– makers of six figure bespoke doubles!)

The locals seem generally unhappy. “Pauline Luke, who worked for 30 years in a company in the Gun Quarter, said the re-naming was “ridiculous”.

“Making guns is part of our heritage and something we should be proud of, not ashamed of,” she said.

“Her boyfriend, John Dangerfield, said: “Calling it after St Chad Cathedral makes sense but not St George – wasn’t he all about slaying and killing people?””

Uh, yeah. “RTWT”.

HT Vic Venters. And full disclosure: I own a Birmingham gun.

One more thought re Brit pop culture: not all that long ago, when Tom Baker was Dr Who, he could evoke knowing grins as he took a punt gun into the sewers of Victorian London to use against Weng Chiang’s giant rat, “made of good Birmingham steel”. Of course he also mentioned a fish dinner with the venerable Bede in the same episode…

Queen Victoria’s Hound?

Terence Clark sent a fine Landseer portrait from the 19th century of what appears to be a female saluki– or, better, tazi; actually to my eye the dog seems eastern, Asian, even specifically “Turkmeni”. She is doing the rarely portrayed “propitiating” smile and but for color resembles Ataika I think. Terence said, quoting the Country Life article, that it was a portrait of a dog called “Eos”, a favorite of Victoria’s, and could better be seen at this gallery.

Jess at Desert Windhounds was puzzled– like all of us she is curious about what one might call non- traditional saluki provenance, and this one and the name Eos seemed disconnected:

“Eos was a greyhound belonging to Prince Albert, brought with him from Germany.”

Terence suggested the dog in the painting might be one of two “Indian greyhounds”– salukis– that the younger Prince Albert (King Edward to- be) brought back from India in 1876, but Jess reminded him the dog in that painting couldn’t have been one of the Indian salukis because Edwin Landseer died in 1873.

And why should we care? I do, at least, because with increasing efforts by scientifically illiterate breed fascists to restrict the term, and all legal breeding, to the descendants of forty- odd Arab dogs randomly selected by British colonial administrators in the early 20th century (apologies to Terence, an Arabic- speaking former diplomat who does NOT believe this!), we need all the evidence we can find of the high- quality “metapopulation” that runs from North Africa through Central Asia. Jess is on the track:

“According to The Year-book of Facts in Science and Art, John Timbs, 1839, from 1830 to 1837 eleven Persian Greyhounds [emphasis mine– SB] were bred or kept in the Zoological Society Gardens. Which wouldn’t include dogs in private hands.

“The Book of Sports, British and Foreign, 1843, has an account of Zillah (who was black and tan though I’ve never read that Landseer painted her), and mentions that at that time there was a dog at the Zoological Society Gardens, and one owned by the Duke of Devonshire, who owned several Landseer originals, and had one of his own dogs painted into “Laying Down the Law.”

“I can find a record of a Landseer work called “Persian and Greyhounds” from 1837, but no image online.”

Does anyone have any leads?

Some “Country” Music Videos: Nostalgia and Chills…

Not all “country” music is unsophisticated or even American. Here I give you a bunch of stuff I have been working through and following. Let us start with Tom Russell’s classic “US Steel”— a straight- up traditional country lament complete with sweet pedal steel, but set in Pennsylvania rather than on the border or even Appalachia, full of sad images of decaying industry. I sent it to Marty Stupich, who worked in and documented that mill in the 80’s and now is photographing the abandoned smelter in El Paso, and to Retrieverman in West Virginia, who has been musing on such things. (I also suggested he look at a pre- doctrinaire Steve Earle in the stirring if slightly sinister “Copperhead Road” — a mini- movie with echoes of Thunder Road. Rednecks strike back…)

Which suggested in turn Show of Hands’ poignant “Country Life”. No jobs… no pubs… even in the American west, are we following England down?

The next jump almost leaves the tradition– Show of Hands provides the soundtrack to a traditional, rhyming poem turned strange, a very dark contemporary Christmas tale by Charles Causley, but the images in this version are adopted from Anime! I think it works. Causley changed Herod, the archetype of an arbitrary wicked king, into a more contemporary bogeyman, a sort of supernatural child molester, and put him in the English countryside. SOH gave him a soundtrack that stands at least MY hair on end. And the animator covered all this and added an apocalyptic edge– look at the sky and feel the wind over the line “…melt in a million suns”.

Enough doom! End your tour with “Longdog”, a merry tale of a merry poacher and his lurcher, also by Show of Hands; a hunter- gatherer, a “Municipal Paleolithic Man” in action. If dogs are outlawed only outlaws will have dogs…