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!

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!

Agenda?

My more fanatic readers might know that, years ago, I published several articles in The Atlantic, most importantly a cut from Eagle Dreams that was later selected for Best American Travel Writing of 2002.

Shortly thereafter, the magazine was sold to new owners, and I received a correct but cool letter informing me that my kind of writing (whatever that is) would no longer be welcome there and that, more comprehensibly, that they would be relying more on staff.

I was a bit hurt but such things were, I assumed, routine; my good editor had departed to (!) Vanity Fair. For along time I thought little about it, though I was mildly perturbed by the amount of Animal Rights- toned remarks and even stories. They also hired one or two vegan writers (not as far as I can see to write on AR or vegan topics) and published a few reviews reflecting such viewpoints. Their wonderful and carnivorous food writer Corby Kummer (our four beast two- day South Italian red sauce owes much to him) was not fired but relegated mostly to the cyber version.

What crystallized my growing suspicions was an article attacking what the writer called “foodie gluttony”. I can accept that Anthony Bourdain might not be to everyone’s taste (though he is the skinniest glutton I have ever seen— see photo below!) But earnest, Green, “eat mostly vegetables” Michael Pollan?? As far as I can see his only sins are to eat good meat and to have tried hunting…

My suspicious nature wide awake now, I found explicit confirmation of the magazine’s quite unstated editorial bias in the July- August issue. In a review of the life’s work of childrens’ book author Beverly Cleary, Jonathan Schwartz, the magazine’s literary and national editor, who arguably sets the tone and certainly decides, for instance, what books are reviewed, says:

“For instance,Henry feeds his dog horse meat, as kids did in 1950– a fact that my son, raised an animal welfarist and a vegetarian, has to reconcile with Henry’s likable and admirable qualities.”

WTF?? I can accept that they don’t want me, and have the right not to buy my work or ideas. I feel a little worse about not having any likable or admirable qualities. But does he, or the otherwise mainstream magazine, reject all carnivorous readers, even those with demonstrably good environmental histories like mine? Where does he stand on, say, domestication? Should my dogs be vegetarian or simply not exist? I think if the magazine actually espouses such an agenda those of us who buy it should be, in the interest of candor, informed. I for one have doubts about renewing.

Below, Libby and a more famous glutton:

Worst NYT piece EVER?

Unfortunately the Times is not up to Jeff Lockwood’s standard today, at least outside of their science pages. Last night Daniela sent me this essay by a philosophy professor at Rutgers who is also a visiting one at Princeton (which at least balances him and Peter Singer with Freeman Dyson, who outweighs them both together intellectually), suggesting that we must totally eliminate all carnivores in order to stop suffering on the planet. That anyone this immune to reason, or innocent of any knowledge of anything outside his abstract field, gets paid handsomely for using his brain at any college is a damning comment on our society, education, and of academia as a whole today. This should only have been printed in The Onion. I won’t dignify it by quoting further, but am considering a letter to the paper– think about writing one too (they have already closed comments).

And the other depressing fact is that, if you wade through those comments, the most common reaction after the sensible variants on “what a fool!” and “what was the Times THINKING?” is the one that humans should be eliminated, voluntarily or involuntarily. This hatred of humanity among our elite classes is almost as scary as Professor McMahan’s hatred of reality and incomprehension of what life is. Both are utterly fascist, even beyond Naziism in their implications.

Matt exclaims: “What a troubling, sad piece—this man teaches!”

Lighter reaction– Daniela accompanied the link with the following note: “Well, I’m just about to see whether I have any reasonable carne to indulge my heathen self in!”

And one last point– what must excellent science writers like the Times’ Nicholas Wade think about sharing space and money with such invincibly ignorant idiots?

Update: Daniela comments in an email: “I like Jeff Lockwood’s take on ethics! That would make Prof. McMahan a philosophiopath, for being too ignorant to know how to pose a philosophical question. In the Hebrew Hagada the one who doesn’t know what to ask is called “Tam” – “an innocent”…The text suggests you help him”.

I am not sure I know how…

Hybrid review

A scathing but side- splitting car review from Jeremy Clarkson, the guy who brought us car shoots earlier:

“It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more…

“The Honda’s petrol engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer…

“The nickel for the battery has to come from somewhere. Canada, usually. It has to be shipped to Japan, not on a sailing boat, I presume. And then it must be converted, not in a tree house, into a battery, and then that battery must be transported, not on an ox cart, to the Insight production plant in Suzuka. And then the finished car has to be shipped, not by Thor Heyerdahl, to Britain, where it can be transported, not by wind, to the home of a man with a beard who thinks he’s doing the world a favour…

“But let me be clear that hybrid cars are designed solely to milk the guilt genes of the smug and the foolish. And that pure electric cars, such as the G-Wiz and the Tesla, don’t work at all because they are just too inconvenient…

“The only hope I have is that there are enough fools and madmen out there who will buy an Insight to look sanctimonious outside the school gates. And that the cash this generates can be used to develop something a bit more constructive.”

There is a LOT more– RTWT.

HT Iain Murray at NRO .

AR, PC, and all that

(They’re always out there).

From Dr. Gale Goodman: PETA killed 95% of the animals they received last year. And they dare compare chicken farms to Auswitzch?

David Zincavage reports on Thought Crime in Central Connecticut (which may be in a race with California and Maryland to be the most PC state):

“On October 3, 2008, Wahlberg and two other classmates prepared to give an oral presentation for a Communication 140 class that was required to discuss a “relevant issue in the media”. Wahlberg and his group chose to discuss school violence due to recent events such as the Virginia Tech shootings that occurred in 2007.

“Shortly after his professor, Paula Anderson, filed a complaint with the CCSU Police against her student. During the presentation Wahlberg made the point that if students were permitted to conceal carry guns on campus, the violence could have been stopped earlier in many of these cases. He also touched on the controversial idea of free gun zones on college campuses.

“That night at work, Wahlberg received a message stating that the campus police “requested his presence”. Upon entering the police station, the officers began to list off firearms that were registered under his name, and questioned him about where he kept them.

“They told Wahlberg that they had received a complaint from his professor that his presentation was making students feel “scared and uncomfortable”. …”

Words fail..

Here is a long, thoughtful, and not at all ranty discussion of how “theory” dessicates literature and does a disservice especially to the student, who is bereft of such things as sympathy for characters and their struggles.

A few paragraphs, a couple going to the heart of the matter to show that even old- fashioned revolutionaries valued high culture, the other to point at a pet peeve of mine.

“Some of its defenders genuinely seem to believe that there is something radical or progressive about the present system. But it is worth stressing how wrong this is. The radical tradition in British politics, as on the continent, was overwhelmingly committed to education as a powerful means of personal empowerment and social improvement, and this attitude persisted well into the sixties. The motivation for replacing grammar schools with comprehensives was not to water down what was taught at the grammars, but on the contrary to ensure, in Hugh Gaitskell’s phrase, ‘a grammar school education for all.’

“Even among revolutionaries, similar views prevailed and, despite a positively post-modern penchant for indoctrination, the Soviet Communist Party accepted the centrality of high culture within the school curriculum. While some Bolsheviks sought to replace ‘bourgeois culture’ with a new ‘Prolecult’, Lenin himself defended the importance of pupils studying ‘the material that was bequeathed to us by the old society.’ (!!)

And: “Some schools go to extraordinary lengths to suppress the instinct for knowledge. Frankie — a pupil in a large inner-city comprehensive — told me the following story. His school has the sort of discipline and truancy problems familiar enough to many British schools, but in one respect the place is remarkably well organized: every book in the library is colour-coded according to the age of the children who are permitted to read it, and nobody is allowed to take out any book of the ‘wrong’ colour. So it happened that the school authorities, grappling with the daunting problems of managing a big inner-city comprehensive, took the time and trouble to track down and punish Frankie for taking out of the library a book on how the mind works, which they considered him too young to read. “

I may scan some photos soon to show exactly what I (and my parents) thought of that attitude…

The most important thing any animal person or freedom lover who reads this blog should do: write, email,and call your Representative and tell him or her to vote against HB 875, the so- called “Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009”. This insidious piece of legislation would likely put an end to all small- scale gardening, urban farming, and local markets. It has been nicknamed “The Monsanto Bill”. The woman in this video can seem a little drifty, but her points on CHOICE and heirloom seeds are well taken.

The easiest way to do this is go to www.house.gov/writerep : all you have to do is put in your zip and it will give you your congresscritter and how to get in touch with them. When you call their office someone will answer the phone, just tell them (politely) that you are calling to express your views on HR 875. Tell them your views, they’ll take your name and address and pass your comments along to the congressperson.

And soon we will have to deal with NAIS as well.

Update

In links, below, I pointed to a Guardian list of newly banned words and terms. They included “Siamese twins; Calcutta; deaf ears; illegal asylum seeker; province of Northern Ireland; grandmother; bachelor.”

I didn’t follow it through but Matt did, and found the article author’s good response:
“There are too few active homosexuals and career women in the Third World. This is because blacks and Asians — from Australasia to Bangalore — have a tendency to put them in a pot, cook them and eat them. Primitive African tribes also eat crippled people — those in a wheelchair, or merely suffering from a hare lip — and indeed those they consider to be ethnic minorities. I know of one handicapped spinster who committed suicide rather than be eaten by some gypsies in Bombay. Her illegitimate daughter, an air hostess, who herself had given birth to Siamese twins in Calcutta, appealed for clemency but this fell on deaf ears. She is now an illegal asylum seeker living in the province of Northern Ireland — and a grandmother to boot, with a bachelor son.”