What is Sweeter than Honey? What is Stronger than a Lion?

Lionby T7/30/15
OK, time to weigh in on the Cecil the Lion story. First let me say that the slaughter of a protected animal is heartbreaking. I understand the rage this kind of thing causes. Tracking and killing the Nemean Lion with his bare hands made Hercules a hero of Greek mythology. He wore its skin and used its head for a helmet. Tracking and killing Cecil with a crossbow (and later shooting him with a rifle) made Walter Palmer infamous.

The problem with animal poaching is not simply rich big game hunters coming from overseas, the real villians are the local poachers, corrupt or incompetent park wardens, officials and governments and how they are in bed with the so-called legal hunt industry. A guy like the Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer was likely just a dupe, conned into thinking he was on a legal sanctioned hunt with all the government paperwork taken care of.

I’ve heard this story dozens of times, with animals from a preserve crossing, driven or baited into a kill box whereupon they are taken by foreign trophy hunters. I seriously doubt the idiots who ran the hunt were baiting Cecil in particular, they would have made their money no matter which male lion took the bait. They just happened to get the alpha, one who probably grew less afraid of humans and more willing to be fed by them.[pullquote]What happens when the court of public opinion degenerates into an Orwellian two-minute hate, and people will do or say anything to bring the alleged perpetrator down, no matter how vicious.[/pullquote]

Of course the behavior of the guides after the fact tells you everything you need to know. If the report is true, the act of trying to destroy the GPS collar indicates beyond a shadow of a doubt they were low lifes.

Now believe me, I understand how repugnant all hunting is to animal lovers. These are magnificent noble and wild creatures who need to be protected, especially when their populations are threatened or endangered. And yet part of wildlife management in Africa takes the shape of controlled hunts to reduce populations of some animals for whom there are no longer enough top level predators to keep their numbers in check. This has been going on for 90 years or more in Africa. That being said, the amount of money that poachers and big game hunting adventure charlatans can make is so extreme that greed and corruption always follow.

The African Elephant is in huge danger of being poached to extinction. They’ve tried permanently dying ivory pink, to destroy its market value, to no avail. Right around the time the Cecil story broke, poachers killed a whopping five Elephants in Kenya. The Washington Post reported it.

Back in the early part of the last century, few made a peep when it came to great white hunters going on African expeditions and indiscriminately killing big game. Teddy Roosevelt, a progressive icon, face on Mt. Rushmore, had a collection of trophies that would make most progressive animal rights activists’ heads explode. Name any large African species, and I guarantee you Teddy bagged one. He would roll into an African community, employ dozens of bearers, scouts, cooks, etc., virtually changing economies overnight.

In fact, the big game hunters of a generation or two ago, guys like Hemmingway, would have a checklist of major and minor trophies, and went on their expeditions with a staff of locals who were prepared to skin, butcher, and pack up heads for transport home.

This trade continues today, and it’s no surprise. If you’re a poor African, or even a reasonably well off one, an official or ranger, imagine what it’s like to get $50,000 USD a pop for putting a wealthy foreigner in crossbow range of a lion, or rifle range of a water buffalo or elephant. Meanwhile, in many cases a big game kill feeds entire villages of people. Now I’m not saying I approve, but this is part of the reality of the big game industry. It’s a perfect storm of huge upside to the greedy for the kills, not enough people to stop illegal poaching, and local support from the poor who get periodic free feasts of bush protein.

Back in the day it wasn’t just about macho types going on these hunts to satisfy some love of killing or to procure animal heads or rugs for their dens. Many of these hunts were ostensibly justified as ways to fill natural history museums and institutes of higher learning with exhibits. Bringing corpses or body parts of dead animals home so we could study them.

Next time you go into a natural history museum, count the dead things. It’s kind of easy to focus rage on one hunter, but there is a whole infrastructure that went into killing Cecil. The rube who pulls the trigger is just the last link in the chain. I’m not sure that denying Palmer’s patients dental care really is going to do anything to break the links. It may give us the feels that we’re doing something good and just, but I remain skeptical.[pullquote]If there was a “kill” button in addition to a “like” button on Facebook, would anyone press it?[/pullquote]

I live in Maine, and a trip to sporting goods Meccas like Cabela’s or LL Bean means you’re going to see at the very least, a stuffed moose, black bear, bobcat, foxes, deer, and beaver. The biggest stuffed animals are frequently nicknamed and become local attractions. Like Cecil, only dead.

While I’m all for free speech and expressing outrage, I’m growing concerned about Facebook or other social media mob justice. When somebody’s reprehensible or apparently reprehensible actions go viral, it’s a small matter for people to mete out punishment with nothing more than a few posts or clicks. You can cause businesses to close, destroy professional ratings, or in other ways smear or disparage your targets to the point where they fear for their lives.

I understand fully the allure of being able to punish those we believe are wicked. But I do also realize how often the court of public opinion, and how often the prevailing wisdom turns out to be wrong. I question leaving up the severity or appropriateness of punishment, to the mob. In the name of Karma, some think it’s enough to shut down Walter Palmer’s dental practice, throw him and his family into hiding. Others talk, mostly in jest, about shooting him with a crossbow and beheading him as revenge for Cecil. And some of those posts sound less like jest, and more like actual death threats.

While I in no way approve of what guys like Palmer did, I’ve got to wonder if people remember a little dark chapter of American History called the Salem Witch Trials. Where a few young girls freaked out the pious elders of a community in a 17th Century Massachusetts town by accusing residents of witchcraft. Accusations which led to executions of the supposed witches.

I guess I have to ask what happens when it’s this easy to whip up hysteria and hatred and focus it on people who may be innocent of some or all of what they’re being accused of? And who determines the appropriateness of the punishment? Who does the fact checking? What happens when the court of public opinion degenerates into an Orwellian two-minute hate, and people will do or say anything to bring the alleged perpetrator down, no matter how vicious.

Is it OK to leave punishment to the people who highlight the bad behavior with the clear agenda of inciting others to punish the wrongdoers on social media? I don’t know about you, but that whole piling on mentality kinda gives me the shivers. I look on my wall the other day and there was a share about Cecil. Except I never shared it.

Just a hypothetical, but say you’re a crank who really hates your neighbor. You carefully craft a Facebook post impugning your neighbor’s character, painting them an animal abuser, rapist, child molester, whatever. You show damning pictures, audio or video, all produced by you, apparently catching them in the act, or featuring tearful “eyewitness” testimonies about how horrible your neighbor is, and hatch a whole narrative around the false media.

Seems to me it would be a small matter to execute an effective social media smear campaign on almost anyone. And even easier if they are only marginally competent parents, or breeders of puppies, hunters, confederate flag flyers, smokers, or really anyone who engages in behaviors that large numbers of people online might find offensive.

One need only look at the talkback of any YouTube posting that makes an accusation of a heinous act, and it’s clear there are always some who hate first and ask questions later.

I guess what I’m saying is, I’m deeply disturbed by the wholesale joy expressed by the social media mob, gleefully remarking about how payback’s a bitch, he’s getting what he deserves, blah blah. Going for the vengeance feels, but perhaps not being rigorous enough when it comes to getting all the facts. Do we really want a world where the social media mob, for instance, is able to carry out a de facto death sentence? And would the anonymity of the Internet be enough to shield those complicit in the downfall of another human being from any responsibility?

With the rush of power at being able to punish the wicked being so seductive, it doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to presume it could inspire vigilantism. And isn’t that kind of thing exactly what we’re fighting with ISIS? The lone wolf killer whipped up by his online peeps, hammering away at how awful we infidels are.

I think the danger is, people with ill intent could target their enemies and take them out too easily with social media. Just by simply lying. Because nobody really checks what’s real with any seriousness. It’s mostly Google-truth. What’s that saying about a lie can go around the world four times before the truth gets its socks on?

Walter Palmer and Bill Cosby could be just the beginning. It’s easy to demonize and keep demonizing, because there is a glut of material that has tipped the scales of Internet justice way past the point of no return. Whether they are guilty or not is moot. The question is, do you want to belong to a social media lynch mob?

And how confident are you that it’s right for you to exact justice yourself? If there was a “kill” button in addition to a “like” button on Facebook, would anyone press it? It seems to me that it wouldn’t take much to hashtag somebody you didn’t like as a serial kitten-killer, puppy eater, somebody for whom such-and-such lives don’t matter… or worse, the same way others branded innocent people as witches and devil worshippers in Salem.

For my part, I’m fine with using my words to express my disgust at the big game industry. But you know what? I’m going to draw the line when it comes to participating in the social media mob. I’m not really an end justifies the means type. I would never give a restaurant I never visited a bad review in order to punish the owner for something he did that had nothing to do with his business.

I wouldn’t try to intimidate or scare, or show up at somebody’s house or place of business on the strength of some smear piece I saw on the Internet. I wouldn’t put the person’s home address on Twitter and exhort the twittersphere to go dick with him. To me that’s kind of crazy. There’s a big difference between thinking somebody should be punished, and joining a mob that does the actual punishing outside the law.

There has been a drive to extradite Palmer to Zimbabwe to face poaching charges. Good. Signing petitions and protesting in front of the justice department is way less creepy than trying to destroy the accused’s life on social media without due process. • (2351 views)

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46 Responses to What is Sweeter than Honey? What is Stronger than a Lion?

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    One might note that, according to some reports I’ve heard, the meat of the animal is left to the nearest village, so that at least the victim isn’t wasted. By contrast, the hunters of a century ago were mainly after trophies (some of which could be sold for a good price, such as elephant tusks or rhinoceros horns).

    The mob reaction is interesting, and a reminder that a large number of people today (especially, but not exclusively, liberals) prefer animals to people. Killing a lion is far worse to them than killing a human (or selling unborn baby organs at a profit).

    An interesting take on the ethics of hunting can be seen in Richard Connell’s story “The Most Dangerous Game” (which was an inspiration to Zodiac). I picked up a copy on book discount table; it was a hardback of the single story, and the cover showed a hunter who looked very much like Teddy Roosevelt.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      People have been indoctrinated by the atheistic, naturalistic Left to value a lion over a person. Quick, tell me what the penalty is for killing an eagle? $5000? $10,000? I think it’s something like that. And I’m certainly against idiots just taking pot-shots at birds just for a few feathers. But you can actually kill unborn children and make a profit selling their body parts. No penalty at all (unless there really is a hell for such people).

      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with loving animals. I love animals. But I don’t think those who profess this great “love” for animals actually love animals. It’s simply a vehicle for them to express their hatred of people, perhaps even in some ways their own self-hate.

      And it’s not that there aren’t lots of disreputable people. There are. But what people have done is turn their grievance or chipped shoulders into a way of life, a near religion. And they use all these puppies and baby seals like you would a Sacrament. (Rush calls abortion a Sacrament of the Left, for example.)

      This also points to a recurring theme in our society: emotionally shallow and fragile people. We’re getting lots of that these days. And instead of calling it what it is, they get away with calling themselves an animal lover or something. Maybe part of them does love animals. But there’s often a whole lot of other gunk in there mixed in.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Great essay, T. One of the things I’ve tried to do is pull myself out of the loop of the mob, out of the Fad of the Day, out of the Political Drama of the Week. I very rarely visit Facebook these days. You and me are both men of words and generally only inane utterances can be crammed into a Tweet or a Facebook post. Jonah Goldberg calls Facebook “Satan’s Urinal.” And despite the piss he’s been doing at National Review the last couple of years, he’s right.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. (Surprise surprise.) My premise is that our dumbed-down education system, our dumbed-down media, and our dumbed-down entertainment industry have created The New Man that the Left always hoped for: dumb, compliant, vulgar, and easily baffled. All this man has left are the emotions of a juvenile. Self-restraint is for losers. And not to be forgotten is that all these attributes help create a mob.

    Ann Coulter wrote about the mob that the Democrat Party and the Left fosters. So as a conservative and a non-mobber, I got the hell out of the Devil’s Urinal of Facebook a while back and am making small efforts (sometimes futile, sometimes not) to stake out a sane ground on the internet with this site. One can’t avoid the daily or weekly dramas. But I’m taking some steps not to make them my own, not to live and die by them.

    So we have these two interesting and related issues of the mob and the lion. It sucks about the lion. Throw the poachers in with a couple hippos and see how they do. But what else can you do? What I see happening with the mob is just what you stated. It’s a sort of two-minute hate. Sometimes it’s just a two-minute drama or two-minute fascination or two-minute distraction. But people are becoming addicted to these two minutes which are now reduced to two seconds (texting and such). Anything to keep the brain cells jiggling so that, in these shallow social-media times, people can mistake motion for meaning.

    One thing about being a small site like this is that (so far) we can talk about stuff in greater detail (but hopefully not in mind-numbing intellectual juicy-chess-club-brain detail wherein all the talk becomes little more than about comparing penis sizes). The mob can’t think, by definition, so addressing these issues on Facebook is out. Addressing them anywhere where drive-by soundbytes predominate is out.

    And to get to the core of any issue, one has to have a pretty good set of chestnuts. People are so used to PC blather (on the right or the left) that they become trapped by the language and seemingly have forgotten how to think and reason. But they sure as hell know how to emote, they know how to ball up their fists in fury. And this whole internet thing can become a disembodied drama unto itself. I very much doubt that many of these people give squat about one lion or lions in general. They just have become addicted to the drama of it all.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One of the things I appreciate about this site is that I can occasionally discuss things at more length than one generally can on NRO, the Daily Caller, or most other sites (though my computer problems play hob with that at present). I will note that I have never gotten on YouTube (though I’ve seen occasional videos from there, such as Leeman Kessler’s “Ask Lovecraft” series), Facebook, or Twittter. And, for the most part, I haven’t missed them.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I get attention deficit disorder just reading the ping-ping-ping comments at the bottom of articles. Granted, some of them are jewels (often far more to-the-point than the article itself). But my mind quickly glosses over at the host of irrelevancies, tangents, and just lack of basic critical thinking.

        And writers — God bless them — all seem to be paid by the word, for you can’t read an article these days at a major site (other than Steyn) that gets to the point. Michael Tanner’s a good thinker, generally speaking, but I read his latest article and thought “Geez…get to the point, such as: There are so many vested interests in Big Government that there is no incentive for reducing it so politicians are pretty much left to tell you what they will add.”

        There. Just put my check in the mail. But getting to the point obviously doesn’t sell newspapers or magazines. And getting to the point doesn’t sound as smart as the prolonged navel-gazing and analyzing. Some topics, of course, take a little bit of analysis and length. But mostly my eyes glaze over trying to read this stuff at other sites that just wanders and ponders and wades and waffles.

        And although I’m not going to generally come out and criticize the writing style of those here (unless I think they are capable of more), I do think everyone needs to remember to “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” And as the anecdote goes, “You have two too many ‘simplifes’ in there.”

        My admonition is to risk sounding dumb by being smart and getting to the point. That’s rare these day.

        On the other hand, things such as Twitter and Facebook lend themselves not to simplification but endless bumper-sticker-sloganeering soundbyte-ism, where quips and forced wit takes the place of real thought.

        But certainly Mr. T. has made the most of his word count (goes with his style). He packs a lot in there, but he is saying something in every paragraph.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Writing to maximize pay by the word is hardly new. Why do you think Dickens devoted a good bit of wordage to discussing the phrase “dead as a doornail” at the beginning of A Christmas Carol? (In fact, one of my high school English teachers actually mentioned that Dickens was a wordy writer because he needed the money — I think for an ex-wife, though divorce was extremely rare in Victorian England.)

          Another interesting example I read about once involves Erle Stanley Gardner, who used to write Westerns for a penny a word. His gunfights never ended with one shot, and he was very explicit as to why.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            For some of his pieces, Churchill would almost gloat over how much he was being paid per word.

            As I recall, Dickens was never divorced. He was long separated from his wife and apparently loved an actress, but he provided for his wife both while alive and in his will.

            Obtaining a divorce under British law of the time was extremely difficult. Even when I first lived in Singapore, which maintained basic British law, it took something like a minimum of three years to be granted a divorce decree, and the people involved had to be living separately for that at least that period of time.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Divorce should be difficult. I like those laws. Unless she’s obviously beating on him, or him on her, it shouldn’t be easy, especially if there are children involved. And this is also very important at the front end. People need to be a little more serious about matrimony and a little less frivolous. If they know it’s hard to get out of, they will be.

              I think the Brits understood what it took to create social order. And they knew what would create social chaos. Of course, they’ve forgotten every lesson they ever learned.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Well, I can see the need to spread out fiction. If it’s good, you don’t want it to end. You want to be entertained. You don’t buy a novel for three pages of story.

            But that’s fiction. When talking political events…wait…..something just occurred to me. Okay. Scratch that. Given that a great deal of political writing deals with fiction, I suppose going for word count makes sense. Keep ’em entertained. And if you can’t dazzle them with logic, baffle them with bullshit. Seems to be a lot of that going around.

            But if you’re aiming for understanding, you use just enough words to do the job, just as you’d use just enough yeast to raise the bread.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              More precisely, a great deal of political writing IS fiction. Particularly if written by liberals (and, occasionally, GOP Beltway Bandits).

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Fantasy. Reality. As Hillary would say, “What difference does it make?”

                What the Left has successfully put into the minds of people is that the only fantasy is religion. And so if you’re anti-religion (in various forms, including the “social justice” pseudo-Christianity and pseudo-Judaism), you’re pro-reality. And as we see just from this stupid lion incident, people are given to simplistic and shallow thinking. It used to be the job of Western Civilization to create the truly wise and sophisticated man, not the pretend-wise and pretend-sophisticated man. But that’s what we have now.

                I’ll never forget those wise words from Barbie: “Math is hard.” Indeed, any real skill, knowledge, or wisdom is hard…harder for some than others depending upon one’s innate talents, but even innate talent requires hard work to develop it.

                Because of the various Grand Conceits that take the place of thinking, there are a lot of people who think they are wise simply because they can either throw around bumper sticker slogans or (in the case of being “nice”) because they drop tears for a dead lion. Life in this Leftist-infused secular culture is becoming a constant theatre of the absurd. But because they don’t believe in God (cast off as “the flying spaghetti monster in my garage”) then their ongoing Grand Conceit is that what they believe is reasonable, true, and of course has nothing to do with superstition or hucksterism.

                This cult-like thinking has reduced the brain of many people (especially those who have gone to university, and especially those in the sciences) to nitwits, powered by powerful emotions that they are The Smart and Compassionate People. This is why the abortion issue is pretty much being ignored outside of conservative circles. That’s because The Smart and Compassionate people know that it’s just a bunch of muck-raking by those low-brow conservatives. After all, these Progressive types think they are the true champions of the helpless and the underprivileged. So killing unborn children and selling their body parts for profit (using government funding) is just more hyperventilating by “the right.”

                So, yes, much of news has become a fantasy, a “narrative” to use the words of the Left. And this whole lion business shows the pea-brains we have developed that hyperventilate about relative trivialities while ignoring the real Monster in the Garage (or in the abortion clinic). And I dare say, this trivialization of our culture does not now just effect liberals.

    • T says:

      I find Facebook just fine for keeping track of distant relatives. I’d never know what my nieces and nephews looked like if not for seeing their pictures online. I’ve seen a whole generation grow up on Facebook, and that’s kind of cool. However, the dark side of the social network is that it does have teeth, and mobs do form around certain stories. The problem is, it’s EASIER than you think, to just up and decide stuff like, “hey, I think today I’m going to be a champion of gay people,” (or black people, or rape victims, or people beaten up by cops, etc.) That’s fine, that’s free speech. But the lazy man’s free speech is kind of this ‘swallow and share’ nonsense, where you gravitate toward the most divisive, least-fact checked snippets from far left stormtroopers. And it’s never just about discussing the problem, it’s about seeing how your internet mob can bring on the smackdown to those who offended you.

      Take Fox news haters. I just saw something grip Facebook about porn star Jenna Jameson, being hired by Roger Ailes as a pundit for the 2016 elections. Came from some left-wing fake news smear site, trying to be like the Onion. It even quoted some fallacious leaked internal memo quoting Ailes as having said something like “I don’t really care what Jenna says, I care that old white guys will be watching her with a bottle of lube in one hand and a bottle of viagra in the other.” Personally, I rejoiced. Finally, a TV executive who understands me! I thought. But sadly, it turned out to be totally bogus. Jameson has appeared on Fox, and I guess that she was such a druggie trainwreck, that it got some ratings.

      But holy crap, you’d have thought Facebookers were just handed free crack. Even some of my family members, “I KNEW IT!… That’s Fox for you… blah blah” the piling on was unbelievable. You see, the truth has ceased to matter on the great social network. Facts, our favorite stubborn things, have ceased to matter. What matters is the emotional drug-rush of tearing down those whom you believe are the wicked. That’s what ISIS is doing, that’s what anti-hunters are doing, that’s what the Facebook lynch mobs are doing.

      And if you challenge them, you get treated like you approve of rape, child molestation, animal cruelty, whatever. Why? Because they are seeing red over the IDEA of the offense, not the facts surrounding whatever story. People rush to be champions before ever questioning the narrative that gave them the feels.

      It’s an age where, if you show a video of a cute cat, or adorable child, you reduce human beings to emotional crack addicts. All your narrative has to be is effective emotional incitement, it doesn’t have to be TRUE. Imagine it, here’s a cute baby, well did you know, that she’s dying of cancer? Send money to save her! Charities like the ASPCA know how to tug heartstrings enough to get people to open their checkbooks. We should all understand that the left is deploying social media in a way that gets more soft-headed Americans to rush to champion a cause or agenda which holds out the carrot of being able to actually destroy the reputation or business of the people on the sharp end of the axes they grind. Terror experts worry about “lone wolves”… The social media mobs are just the lazy version of those.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Now you understand why we have jokes about aliens visiting Earth and concluding that there’s no intelligent life here. People feel — lots and lots — but how often do they think?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        But holy crap, you’d have thought Facebookers were just handed free crack. Even some of my family members, “I KNEW IT!… That’s Fox for you… blah blah” the piling on was unbelievable.

        I’ve cut back on all that, Mr. T. I agree with Rush that the 24 hour news cycle has become but a drama. People who are hooked on this stuff are people trying to bring some meaning (or at least distraction) to their lives. I say, read a book. Paint a picture. Take a walk. Join a community group that tangibly does something. Take a bath even (some need it). But *do* something. And Facebook is not doing something. It’s pure 100% mental masturbation. And, yeah, I’ve stroked a time or two in the place that Jonah Goldberg called “Satan’s Urinal.” (NRO itself is the Establishment Republican’s Urinal, but that’s another issue.)

        Yes, I agree. The truth has ceased to matter on social networks. But I think that’s reflection of our silly, nincompoop, girlified culture. As Dennis Prager notes, truth is not a left wing value. He also notes how we have replaced standards with feelings.

        Drama is a value that everyone partakes in these days in itty bitty likey-like bits here and there. Man’s soul is always in need of nourishment. And he instinctively tries to look for meaning, for camaraderie, for a whole lot of things. But looking for those things on Facebook is likely looking for love in a brothel.

        What matters is the emotional drug-rush of tearing down those whom you believe are the wicked.

        That’s exactly right. It’s the emotional drug-rush. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Also note, that it is typical to think of Christians as the most self-righteous boobs on the planet. And some are. But I think we can see that Progressives are the most self-righteous and morally obnoxious people on the planet. And, yes, those who consider themselves conservative partake in this BS as well. In fact, I had the wind taken out of my sails this weekend when talking to a conservative Christian (or so I thought) who noted that their son was taking up a profession in agricultural production on a small scale whereby his organizing goal was to “heal the earth.” I thought Christians didn’t believe in infusing inanimate matter with various sprites and stuff. This is pagan talk, as far as I’m concerned.

        But I digress. Using Facebook facilitates becoming unhinged. It’s sort of the Brown Shirt of social media.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    William Sullivan has an article on this topic over at American Thinker (not that Mr. T didn’t cover it all well).

    With our well-programmed “love for nature and animals” (via “The Lion King” or otherwise) as a backdrop, one must first preface any statement with a “Don’t get me wrong.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I love animals…lions at a distance. I’m not stupid enough to think I can get out of my Range Rover and pet them or (as that one idiot couple did in Alaska a while back) sleep in and around grizzlies in complete safety. (It was safe for the grizzlies…and nutritious, if humans are indeed nutritious.) But it was one lion, not the downing of a 747 full of people. These nitwits who get all teary-eyed over this ought to be shown National Geographic videos of male lions killing the cubs of prides they have taken over. Some perspective here, please.

    Apparently Jimmy Kimmel was near tears talking about the lion. Weep over your wife buying a mink coat when you don’t have the money for it. Weep over your dog getting run over by a bus. Weep over the way Obama and the Democrats are effing up the country. But it’s a bizarre situation when people get all teary-eyed over this. I didn’t know Kimmel was such a girly-man. I thought he was a friend of manly, no-nonsense, Adam Carolla.

    If I was doing Facebook right now, I would be posting recipes for lion. Here’s the wisdom of Kimmel:

    Kimmel continued, “If you’re hunting to eat or to help keep the animal population healthy or it’s part of your culture or something, that’s one thing, but if you’re some A-hole dentist who wants a lion’s head over the fireplace in his man cave so his d******** buddies can gather around it and drink scotch and tell him how awesome he is, that’s just vomitus.”

    Hey, isn’t hunting trophies part of our culture? It really bugs me to see such thoughtless wusses in our culture. I think, as T noted, that this dentist had no intention of doing anything illegal. And if you ask me, our culture has become full of atheistic assholes and pagans. We cry rivers over a lion but where’s the scorn for abortion, for selling baby parts? Don’t baby lives count?

    • T says:

      Sign up the hot chick who in the face of the anti-big-game-hunting backlash, posted a ton of her hunting photos online. The most effective being her with an enormous dead giraffe, its neck curled around her. Listen, I don’t really approve of big game or trophy hunting. But I do hunt and fish for food. And I do know a big game hunter personally, a guy who has gone to Africa to kill an elephant, lion, and various horned creatures with a magnificent antique double rifle. The carcasses of the dead animals DO indeed adorn this guy’s man cave.

      If social media helps people exercise free speech and get big game hunting and poaching stopped, then that’s an effective use of free speech. But going after individuals, intimidating and cyber bullying is just way too much of a left wing “end justifies the means” approach, and is also a crime.

      As for the Planned Parenthood ghouls, there is nothing to stop a right wing social media mob from forming over that. I worry about that too. I don’t mind shining light on them, and using my free speech to weigh in on the issue, but you won’t find me harassing or cyber bullying the abortion doctors in those videos and trying to destroy their lives. If they broke the law, charge them. Have free and open discourse about the moral and ethical issues. Let congress keep trying to defund the organization, but if somebody tries to close the doors of Planned Parenthood as a vigilante, by inciting a social media lynch mob, I can’t say as I’d see that as anything but two wrongs not making a right.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Listen, I don’t really approve of big game or trophy hunting. But I do hunt and fish for food.

        I think there are several issues intertwined here, Mr. T. One is the morality of trophy hunting. Personally, I’d rather photograph these magnificent creatures. But I also understand that “shrink-wrapped on a Styrofoam backing” is not a type of bloodless animal grown in soil behind the butcher’s shop somewhere. I really do think some people are stupid enough to not understand that hamburger comes from grinding up Daisy.

        Still, at one time there were *lots* of animals in Africa, seemingly an endless supply. Now that is not the case. So the issue no longer need restrict itself to squeamishness (or that other ideology whereby man is considered a plague on the earth and we should just all die so that the earth can heal itself and Bambi can romp free). The issue is putting the survival of a grand species (don’t give a rat’s ass about some obscure species of minnow) before the thrill of big-game hunting…which, of course, can still go on to a very limited degree to manage the herds.

        Save the lions. But for god’s sake, California, use the water you have and quit being environmental wackos about some species of fish you’re trying to save. Man’s needs count too. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. I wouldn’t go so far as a friend of mine, but he says he’d drill through the last reindeer’s head to get at the oil in Alaska.

        As for the knack of social media becoming a mob, that is the nature of the Left. They have politicized everything and reduced people to simple-minded nincompoops. And we’re also looking head-on at the namby-pamby religion of Wussified Man. Wussified Man gets all teary-eyed at the plight of polar bears, baby seals, and lions but cares not for the unborn, for the national debt, for the invasion of illegal aliens, for the lies of those government, for Iran getting the bomb, or anything *substantially* important. Wussified Man is a masturbatory narcissist and silly flabby-head in regards to what is important.

        I think abortion should be outlawed. That will take more people coming together on this issue until it can become law.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I really do think some people are stupid enough to not understand that hamburger comes from grinding up Daisy.

          Oh no, do you mean I am eating hamburgers made from murdered animals?

          but he says he’d drill through the last reindeer’s head to get at the oil in Alaska.

          If I recall correctly, the caribou herds have increased since the Alaskan pipe line was build. Seems the little darlings like the heat it puts out.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            The Left, progressives, anarchists, secular humanists, atheists, and all those types have been trying to knock man off his status as something special. In doing so, they have not just equalized man (never their desire) but have lessened him. There is a very widespread vibe out there that has more love for animals (more in the abstract) than one’s fellow man.

            Much of this is from two influences: Darwinism and the attempt by the Left to subvert religion. And it is in the Judeo-Christian tradition that man is considered top-dog and caretaker of the rest of nature. So one can actually find lot of good conservative reasons to take responsible care of the earth (although I’m not quite sure how to “heal” the earth…fill in the Grand Canyon maybe?)

            Darwin taught us that we are all brothers with slime and slugs. I have since learned that this is not the case, although we still have no idea how life came about. But we can know with assurance that the mechanism of mutation/selection can’t build the complex systems of life, although it can shape life (sometimes spectacularly) with those systems already in place. There are plenty of reasons to deeply admire nature. But one of them is not because it is a direct mirror of ourselves. We are indeed something special. Toads don’t write Shakespeare or paint the Mona Lisa. It may be only metaphorical that we are made in God’s image, but we are not made in a chimpanzee’s image.

            StubbornThings being the place where you’ll typically “hear it here first,” I’ve got another one for you. I think a major factor behind this raising of animals to the level of humans (or beyond) is because dogs and cats have become raised to the status of substitute children for many. And as much as I love ol’ Fido, when Fido dies, he gets buried out behind the barn. But now — oh, good god (and I do work for a client who does this) — you can have have your pet cremated and all sorts of things. And although cremation makes sense as a convenience factor (gotta do something with the carcass), I think this shows animals being raised from “man’s best friend” to something just a little creepy.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I think a major factor behind this raising of animals to the level of humans (or beyond) is because dogs and cats have become raised to the status of substitute children for many

              I believe it was Mike Ryoko who wrote something like this back in the 80’s. If I recall correctly, his rationale was that for the first time in our history, many couples were not having children, thus pets had become surrogate children.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One thing to note about rendering game species extinct is that you deprive future game-hunters of the opportunity of hunting that species. This is why some differentiate between conservation and environmentalism.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Very true.

            I have a bit of environmental wacko in me and I”m not afraid to say so. I love animals for the sake of animals. But not to the point of shutting down civilization.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        If they broke the law, charge them.

        This would be a reasonable suggestion if the justice department, and government in general, actually enforced the laws in an honest/unbiased manner across the board. Do you think this is presently the case?

        Let congress keep trying to defund the organization, but if somebody tries to close the doors of Planned Parenthood as a vigilante, by inciting a social media lynch mob, I can’t say as I’d see that as anything but two wrongs not making a right.

        Which is the greater wrong, using social media to shame and attempt to close the doors of PP, or “abortion” doctors killing babies just about to be birthed?

        Your post demonstrates a huge problem the Republicans have in fighting not only murdering abortion doctors, but all the outrages the Left have perpetrated against our nation.

        It is no exaggeration to say that the Left will get behind murder before admitting any flaw in their utopian beliefs. Give this to them, they are united and will go to the barricades for their convictions.

        Please compare that to your oh-so-reasonable response. This milk-toast manner does not often work against ideologues who fall into line like soldiers to support the most immoral policies and actions; actions which nobody would have even dared defend a couple of decades ago.

        It may be unfortunate, but it will take more than a “let’s be reasonable” attitude to unite and arouse the the public. And it is an aroused public which will be needed to expose and eradicate the criminals killing babies about to be born, and in some cases even after they are born. Don’t scorn and shame murderers? Sorry that idea is a non-starter.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          This is like the problem of boycotts. If liberals are free to use boycotts and the threat of them to coerce businesses, but conservatives choose never to do so, businesses will be coerced by liberals but never by conservatives. Likewise with the use of social media mobs. The best choice is to stop the vicious tactics — but that requires good behavior by both sides, and liberals are allergic to decency and civility.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            This is like the problem of boycotts. If liberals are free to use boycotts and the threat of them to coerce businesses, but conservatives choose never to do so, businesses will be coerced by liberals but never by conservatives.

            We need to be activists to some extent. The problem is, the Republican Party is not. They have no vision for themselves or the nation. The Left does. I may not like their vision, but it’s something to shoot for. It’s an appealing vision (to them…to the juvenile and Vulgarian minds).

            We don’t have that. Although the Left is indeed made up of a broad coalition, and one that is sometimes in conflict (feminism will take a back seat to both Islam and “black lives matter”), they are more or less working toward the same goal. On the right, as I’ve been saying out of frustration of late, we make herding cats look easy. Christians have turned all left wing…even those who suppose they have not.

            And there are plenty on “the right” who are simply libertarians who are anything but traditionalists or conservatives. They are liberals in drag. And then if you actually do find a conservative (or just someone with a good bullshit meter), it’s often the case that you’ll run into mere *descriptive* conservatism, because doing something is a whole other realm.

            So conservatism has become little more than a book club or a pretend party where we get together and pretend we are for guns, god, and George Washington but this means little more than a “Like” on Facebook, in practice.

            Hand it to the Left. They may be freaks, fools, flakes, feminists, faggots, and philanderers, but they’re willing to act on what they believe. And most conservatives just sit there and make intellectual arguments and maybe hand out a few “tsk tsk’s” and that’s about it. And we see this reflected in the Republican Party which thinks it somehow beneath them to actually engage in such ungentlemanly behavior as having a belief and defending it.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Which is the greater wrong, using social media to shame and attempt to close the doors of PP, or “abortion” doctors killing babies just about to be birthed?

          I would stop short of killing abortion doctors or showing up at their home. But I think a good, honest protest at the front gates of Planned Parenthood is just what the doctor ordered.

          Decent people need to exert a certain amount of pressure. It’s a fuzzy line, but there is a line between being a sane advocate of a good cause and a mere Brown Shirt. The Left (especially the Pink Mafia) are today’s equivalent of Brown Shirts. They are the people demanding (and often getting) that people lose their jobs because they aren’t sufficiently pro-sodomy.

          We need laws against abortion. And to get there, we need to change public opinion about what abortion really is. And probably the sonogram has been one of the biggest factors in changing people’s ideas about it. That is clearly not just a “lump of tissue.” But that’s not the end of it. We need activists, and politicians, and others willing to not just wring their hands but to actually try to pass laws against it.

          It’s complete baloney by those who say they want abortion to be “safe, legal and rare.” The actuality is that abortion is a tremendously powerful recruitment tool, for once a woman has had an abortion, she is in the position for the rest of her life to try to morally defend that position. That’s a big cult-like “gotcha” from the standpoint of the Democrat Party. So, as others have noted (such as Rush), it’s a lie to say that the Left wants abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare.” Pro-choice actually means pro-abortion. There was a great article at American Thinker (or somewhere) the other day that listed all the ways that abortion advocates do all that they can to encourage women to have abortions.

          I know that Mr. T is a bit soft on the fire-and-brimstone. And that’s fine. But I agree with you, Mr. Kung, that “scorning and shaming” is just what the doctor ordered. Now, I’m pretty sure Mr. T has it in his head that “scorning and shaming” means taking us back to the time when women were forced to wear a scarlet letter. But even that is a better alternative than killing unborn babies and ghoulishly selling their body parts. And I think we sell ourselves a little short if we think that bringing some kind of shaming pressure against unwed mothers, abortion, sleeping around, etc., leads necessarily to the scarlet letter.

          But our society is so formed right now that the point of government, in practical terms, is to eliminate the costs for bad behavior. We’re being hooked into a cult of government via sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. This is the Brave New World. Recreational sex is the Soma to some extent. And government is there to make sure that this Bacchanalia has a backstop: abortion. That’s what people want. They want sex without responsibility. Now, with socialized medicine, they want their Twinkies and donuts without responsibility. And in foreign policy, we now want nuclear weapons without responsibility.

          It is unworkable to have a culture that is constantly being reduced to the state of the perpetual juvenile because he always has Big Sister there to bail him out.

          The above is all right-wing radical stuff that paints me as taking part in a “war on women.” That’s what they call it if you question killing the unborn or promoting slut-like promiscuity amongst women. I happen to like the old-fashioned notion where women forced men to be a gentleman before giving themselves away. Now it’s just a sexual free-for-all market. And we’ve encouraged that market by making abortion legal and telling women that in order to truly be “equal” they have to deny their natures and become as sexually driven as the typical male.

          No one law, or many laws, can stop or reverse this. But it can never happen unless the idea of being a slut, or a Tomcat, is socially incorrect. A culture where anything goes is not a culture. It’s just biding time while it disintegrates. And if you look at the birth rates of Europe, for example, this is literally happening. It’s all well and good to get a chuckle out of the Monty Python song, “Every Sperm is Sacred.” But if you totally separate sex from procreation, you get what we’re getting now: extinction. Hell, we’re even glorifying anal sex between men and putting it on a wedding cake. How bizarre is that?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I’ve noticed that although liberals use 1984 as a tactical/strategic guide, their goals owe a lot more to Brave New World.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I have to agree with that.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I haven’t read “Brave New World” in quite a while. But it’s interesting to note that central to that Utopian, centrally-controlled, totalitarian society is that people are actually bred to certain professions or tasks. I don’t think we’ll have that kind of control of breeding for the foreseeable future. But in the meantime the Left concentrates on breeding minds. They’re not shy about indoctrination.

              And they have, for all intents and purposes, been able to turn men into women and women into men. That’s no small achievement. I get a kick out of reading this history of the rise of Nazi Germany that I’m reading now. Back then, there were a lot of people (by no means just Nazis) complaining about the degeneracy of places such as Berlin (which would be a cousin to San Francisco today). And they were complaining about the girlified male.

              This provided much of the impetus for the various hiking clubs and stuff where men could do more physically active things. Sure, the Nazis used this trend to fashion the Hitler Youth. And here and there more than a little homo-eroticism was inserted. But I find it interesting to compare the cultures. Germany was adrift much as I think we are adrift. And as I’ve quipped before, we (or at least Europe) could use a benevolent Hitler…one without the ovens.

              But for men to assert themselves as fathers and strong leaders would be a huge threat to this culture that has settled into the idea of Equality Uber Alles. (Truly, you should understand what admitting homosexual leaders into the Boy Scouts is all about…it’s about undermining men being men.) It’s now unthinkable (and certainly politically incorrect) to suggest that men be men and women be women. We’ve (via our engineered minds) have advanced past our biology. We’re not limited by our biology which, to remind all of you, is one of the central aspects of abortion. Abortion is needed to free women from their biological nature.

              Is what I write good or bad? Misogynist or realist? Reactionary or visionary? Basically let’s talk about this stuff while we still can because the Brown Shirts are gathering, often dressed in pink instead.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Incidentally, I’m curious what book you’re currently reading on the rise of the Third Reich. I have a LOT of material on the subject, so unless this is a really new book, I probably have it. (Two good possibilities would be the first volume of Ian Kershaw’s biography of Hitler, and the first volume of Richard Evans’s history of Nazism.)

          • T says:

            Well, thanks for calling me reasonable, anyway, Kung. I don’t get much of that.

            Here’s how I respond to the gun issue: I exercise my second amendment rights. I both own and carry. I take it seriously. I have trained and practiced, and try to be the most responsible armed citizen I can be. As for abortion, God didn’t favor me with a uterus. Nor with the moral certitude that mothers don’t have the right to end their unborn children’s lives while they are still part of their bodies.

            However, I do like that people are compassionate enough to fight for the rights of the unborn. I think compassion is the way to fight that battle. The second, and I mean the second you turn the abortion debate into a self-righteous crusade, with teeth… meaning the threat of violence, what you do is reveal a hypocrisy about your respect for life in general.

            It’s back to what I was saying about punishing the wicked. The whole shaming and destroying mentality is not rational discourse, it’s emotional tantrum-throwing outside the rule of law. Yeah, go ahead and shriek baby-killer, threaten to tar and feather them and bring your wrath down upon these ghouls… and you lose.

            It’s not how pissed off we are at injustice that’s going to solve anything. It’s about not being unjust yourself. Me, I’m not going to have an abortion any time soon. And if I have a sphere of influence among my family and friends, I will certainly argue the life issue within that. Just as pro-choicers do with them and theirs.

            The most effective arguments are made by debunking faulty logic. Exposing the hypocrisy of things like saying on the one hand “black lives matter,” and on the other aborting black children. Or testifying that there’s such a thing as “white privilege,” except when it comes to aborted white children. On the one hand giving a bigger welfare check to women who squeeze out as many kids as possible, almost guaranteeing that they enter lives of poverty and despair, while at the same time offering abortion services, which results in a disadvantage when it comes to getting government benefits for giving birth.

            What happens, rather than discussing whether our laws make sense, is that we enter endless semantic arguments. We turn to the selection of vocabulary, and the emotional charge certain words carry. We spin our wheels about that, and leave the hard work of discourse largely alone.

            The best discourse allows the emotional tantrums, but then goes, OK, you done? Let’s continue.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Timothy, the name of the book I’m reading is “The Coming of the Third Reich” by Richard Evans. I don’t consider it particularly good and I won’t be reviewing it. But it is full of dates and names and that sort of thing. I just don’t think it does much of a job painting the picture. It’s too dull. I find myself skipping through this one.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    George Neumayr has an article on the subject: The Age of Sentiment and Cruelty. And it has a great opening paragraph (writers all, take notice!):

    “Kimmel Chokes Up On Air Over Cecil the Lion,” read one headline last week. Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel has come a long way from the The Man Show. He used to skewer weepy, sentimental celebrities. Now he has become one of them.

    The second one ain’t bad either:

    Kimmel joined a chorus of celebrities in denouncing a dentist for the “self-indulgent” killing of an African lion. Would Mia Farrow and company ever describe abortion as self-indulgent? Killing unborn children, we’re told, is now an essential part of the human lifestyle, an acceptable cost in a society that prizes recreational sex.

    And, gosh darn it, the third one may be even better:

    Somehow this same society can look at recreational hunting and see barbarism. Its awe for nature doesn’t extend to human nature. The more impure modern man becomes, the more purity he demands outside of himself. Amidst all of his ghoulish experiments on defenseless unborn children, he insists that nature go untouched. While polluting his body with drugs, he insists on unpolluted skies.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      An interesting article. It reminded me of the observation that Puritans hated bear-baiting not for its cruelty to the animal, but for the pleasure of those who watched.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Don’t get me wrong. I know there are people who probably like hunting animals with the same gusto that the SS hunted Jews. No, I don’t equate animals with people or Jews with bears. But I do think that for some people hunting is a very primal thing…even ugly.

        So I am tangentially sympathetic to those who don’t like hunting for sport (as opposed to hunting for sport and then eating what you kill…I don’t suppose lions are typically eaten).

        Times do change. In Africa, aside from culling the herds, I think we’re better off hunting with a camera or microphone. These are magnificent animals. They do deserve a nobler fate than ending up on the walls of our private studies. And you don’t have to be one of those oddball human-haters to say so — the kind who think humans are a plague on the planet, evolved from chimps, and don’t deserve any rights that a slug shouldn’t have also.

        I think civilized human beings should not enjoy the suffering of others, animal or human. Period. But hunting animals for food or killing to keep a herd within limits I think are just fine. But hunting big game for sport (unless the prey is Jihadists) is problematic. And, hey, there’s an idea for ya.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Interestingly, Heinrich Himmler really had a low opinion of hunting (though this may have been influenced by the fact that Göring was such a big fan of it). I once read that he referred to it as “sheer murder” to his masseur, Dr. Felix Kersten (who was fond of hunting).

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Und der Fuehrer was a vegetarian mit einem sweet tooth.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Funny how some of these guys were health Nazis (literally). And yet they were some of the worst people ever. Maybe being kind to Bambi and eating sprouts says very little about one’s character, although those who are cruel to animals give a strong indication that they are psychopathic.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              There was a comic strip called Thatch back in the 1980s that parodied political correctness. At one point, Thatch went on a date to some liberal restaurant. When he asked for a hamburger, the server angrily asked if he wanted to kill a bovine and addressed him as “Herr Hitler”. One wonders if the cartoonist realized (as the server and Thatch didn’t) that Hitler was a vegetarian.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                To paraphrase P.T. Barnum, “one can never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Left”.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Are you comparing me to Heinrich Himmler? How dare you!! Why you snaggle fraggin’ frappin sapping muddah fuddah.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I don’t know. Do you have severe stomach pains that can only be assuaged with massage? That’s what Dr. Kersten did (and used his influence as a healer to help reduce the number of victims of Himmler’s personal empire).

  6. HarveySeef says:

    Do you agree with the psalmist that God’s Word is “sweeter than honey to my mouth”? Why, or why not?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m not sure if T is subscribed to this article and will ever see this comment. But let me respond for him. I know him pretty well. I think he might say something like this:

      Honey is somewhat a problematic metaphor. Honey is good, but it is awfully darn sweet and perhaps best served on top of oatmeal than eaten by the spoonful.

      The same with religious belief. That there is a God or Creator seems inevitable given existence. Simple self-referencing ideas such as materialism don’t actually answer the question of existence but just try to explain it away or try to say that any other possible answer to the question than materialism is inherently nonsensical. [Editor: T might not phrase it like this, but I did.]

      Being a lover of animals (and charter member of PETA: People for Eating Tasting Animals), I’m no zealot. I don’t believe that slugs are the same as people. People are exceptional. There is human exceptionalism because without it, without that special moral sphere that humans inherently occupy, there is absolutely no argument for humans treating animals any better than lions treat zebras.

      The animals rights movement has mixed up, and mixed in, the exceptional notion of people being good caretakers of animals with the atheist/materialist/Darwinist idea that any old animal out there has the same rights as a human. Or to put it another way, no human has rights higher than a slug.

      Plus — and this is central — inherent to the zealous PETA crowd is a hatred for human beings. Young skulls-full-of-mush have been taught for decades now that humans are a plague on the planet. So their “love” for animals is often little more than a back-handed stab at humans who they see as the real pest. A lion killing a human is not a story (and if it is, it’s more of a commendable story as the Left sees it). But let a human kill a Lion and it’s as if you’ve just fed Bambi into a wood chipper.

      Okay, maybe this isn’t exactly how T would have answered this. And he can chew my butt out later for misrepresenting his views. But if he wouldn’t say the above, he should. 😀

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