Cecil the lion

150730_SCI_Cecil_lion.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2OK, I’ll easily admit I’m not much of a fan of trophy hunting. I have no problem whatsoever with hunting if you’re going to make use of your kill, say for food. Nor am I much of a fan of big-game hunting with a crossbow, at least without a rifle as back up. I, like most hunters, believe in being humane. So this isn’t as off base as its bias makes it sound.

Via minnpost.com commenter Rachel Kahler (emphasis added).

In an interview with ThinkProgress, hunter and author Jonny Miles called what happened “an abomination” because of how Palmer and his guides carried out the purely trophy killing:

“On the specifics of the hunt, with baiting, with using lights, and also killing a lion that has a pride — all of it just adds up to an incredibly unethical, unscrupulousway of going about this. … Hunting shouldn’t be about ego. It should be the opposite. It should be about awe at the natural world.”

But should blame rest squarely on Palmer’s sadistic shoulders?

Sure, if he were even remotely concerned with the most basic ethical code of hunting, he wouldn’t be preying on a protected, soon-to-be endangered animal to begin with. But one man’s bloodlust doesn’t explain why the opportunity to kill Cecil was ever presented to him.

Time magazine’s Nash Jenkins writes:

“Zimbabwe was once celebrated as the ‘breadbasket of Africa,’ whose fertile earth supplied the world with abundant tobacco, corn and wheat. Today, 76% of its rural population lives in abject poverty, dependent on foreign food aid and desperate measures — like the poaching of the wildlifeor rendering assistance to those who want to hunt or poach.”

Jenkins points out that 80% of Zimbabwe’s safari wildlife population died between 2000 and 2003.

What most people have missed about the poaching of Cecil the lion: There’s someone else to blame..

Really? Steven Hayward over at Powerline has some real data on this:

May I suggest everyone calm down and ponder the inconvenient fact that Dr. Palmer’s paid hunting excursion contributes to the net saving of endangered animals in Africa? And that the predictable impulse—to ban all trophy hunting—that is sure to follow this ghastly mistake is likely to have the reverse effect, and speed up the extinction of rhinos and elephants?

Terry Anderson and Shawn Regan explained the matter at the time of the Parsons incident:

Anti-hunting groups succeeded in getting Kenya to ban all hunting in 1977. Since then, its population of large wild animals has declined between 60 and 70 percent. The country’s elephant population declined from 167,000 in 1973 to just 16,000 in 1989. Poaching took its toll on elephants because of their damage to both cropland and people. Today Kenya wildlife officials boast a doubling of the country’s elephant population to 32,000, but nearly all are in protected national parks where poaching can be controlled. With only 8 percent of its land set aside as protected areas, it is no wonder that wildlife in general and elephants in particular have trouble finding hospitable habitat.

For the landowners who bear the costs of wildlife, the decision of whether to protect wildlife is a simple one: if it pays, it stays. The ban on hunting gives wildlife little or no economic value, causing rural Africans to view wildlife as a liability to be avoided rather than an asset to be protected. As a result, landowners have increasingly turned to agriculture instead of habitat protection, which decreases available habitat and increases the potential for human-wildlife conflicts.

In sharp contrast to Kenya, consider what has happened in Zimbabwe. In 1989, results-oriented groups such as the World Wildlife Fund helped implement a program known as the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources or CAMPFIRE. This approach devolves the rights to benefit from, dispose of, and manage natural resources to the local level, including the right to allow safari hunting. Community leaders with local knowledge about wildlife and its interface with humans help establish sustainable hunting quotas. Hunting then provides jobs for community members, compensation for crop and property damage, revenue to build schools, clinics, and water wells, and meat for villagers—just as Parsons’ elephant did.

By granting local people control over wildlife resources, their incentive to protect it has strengthened. As a result, poaching has been contained and human-wildlife conflicts have been reduced. While challenges remain, especially from the current political climate in Zimbabwe, CAMPFIRE has quietly produced results with strikingly little activist rhetoric.

The numbers attest to the program’s success. Ten years after the program began, wildlife populations had increased by 50 percent. By 2003, elephant numbers had doubled from 4,000 to 8,000. The gains have not just been for wildlife, however. Between 1989 and 2001, CAMPFIRE generated more than $20 million in direct income, the vast majority of which came from hunting. During that period, the program benefitted an estimated 90,000 households and had a total economic impact of $100 million.

The results go beyond the CAMPFIRE areas. Between 1989 and 2005, Zimbabwe’s total elephant population more than doubled from 37,000 to 85,000, with half living outside of national parks. Today, some put the number as high as 100,000, even with trophy hunters such as Parsons around. All of this has occurred with an economy in shambles, regime uncertainty, and mounting socio-political challenges.

Throughout southern Africa, hunting and wildlife-related tourism have spurred private sector investment in wildlife conservation. The region is now home to more than 9,000 private game ranches, 1,100 privately managed nature reserves, and over 400 conservancies. In Namibia, which allows hunting, more than 80 percent of all large wild mammals live on private and community lands, and those populations have increased by 70 percent in recent years. In these regions where wildlife pays its way, habitat is conserved and wildlife populations thrive.

I don’t know if there are data for lion populations in Zimbabwe, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that lion numbers have also increased. The tragic irony here is that if the animal lovers who want to mount Dr. Palmer’s head over their wood pellet stove get their way, they may well hasten the demise of the very creatures they say they want to save.

Continue reading: Lions, Triggers, and Critics, Oh My!

By the way, we’ve been talking about poor Cecil for about a week now, in that time we have murdered, presumably legally 20,293 unborn human babies, without the slightest regard for how much pain we cause them, the only concern seems to be how much their broken bodies may be worth. Which is more important?

Iran, Hubris, Appeasement, and Despotry

Jonathan S. Tobin had some thought on the Iran treaty, they’re good thoughts, well presented, so let’s look in on them.

Following through on its strategy of trying to make Congressional approval of the Iran nuclear deal irrelevant, the Obama administration pushed through a resolutionimplementing the agreement today at the United Nations Security Council. Both Congressional Republicans and Democrats attacked that move, but that did not deter the president and his foreign policy team from following through on their plan to make an end run around Congress. This arrogant slight to the legislative branch will add fuel to the fire of critics of the Iran pact as they push to shame Democrats into making good on their past promises to insist on an agreement that would, at the very least, live up to the administration’s past promises about inspections and transparency. Yet even in the face of this presidential chutzpah and staggering betrayal of principle, the odds still heavily favor his effort to get the necessary votes from his party to sustain this strategy. Thus, while those Democrats who view their campaign pledges about both the Iranian threat and the security of Israel as still binding should be focusing on the gaping holes in the agreement, they should also ponder the presidential hubris that is at the core of this effort to marginalize their Constitutional obligation to weigh in on the most important foreign treaty signed by the United States.

That arrogance was on display yesterday as Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows. Their blithe assurances about the deal make the U.S. safer could be dismissed as mere hyperbole but their insistence that there is “no such thing in arms control as anytime, anywhere,” inspections of nuclear sites is not only a lie. It is also a direct contradiction of their past pledges on the issue. Indeed, Moniz specifically said, “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access” to Iranian military sites in April during an interview with Bloomberg.Kerry has been navigating a similar zigzag course on a host of other issues regarding the deal including that about Tehran coming clean on past military nuclear research.

Continue reading Presidential Hubris and Arrogance Drive Appeasement of Iran.

I have no argument with anything he says here, but some extension may be in order.

I usually don’t refer to this mess as appeasement, and for a reason. Chamberlain was a good, decent, and honorable man. He sincerely believed perhaps that Munich would work, and he knew that Great Britain was not ready to fight the war. The analogy I use is that Britain at the time of Munich, was in much the same spot as the United States was at the time of the Argentia Bay meeting, just starting to spool up for the fight, and with a very divided population, just coming to grips with the fact that Hitler wasn’t the comic-opera figure that they had been making fun of since at least 1933.  See Charles Utley for the best explanation of the kerfluffle of the (6-year-old Queen’s Nazi Salute). Like him, my first thought was that quote from the blitz.

When she was advised by the Cabinet to send her children (Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose) to Canada to avoid the blitz she gave a straight forward answer: “The children won’t go without me, I won’t go without the King and the King will never leave.”

That tells you all you will ever need to know about the royal family.

Iran is a completely different case, the United States can eliminate Iran whenever we care to exert ourselves, I’m rather amazed we haven’t, given the provocation. There is simply no great power contest here as there was in 1938. This is a simple sell-out of American principles (at least since 1945), and the hubris of attempting to use the UN to override the Congress is simply a continuation of Wilson’s attempt to sell off American Sovereignty to anyone but America, combined with what has become traditional for this administration, a blatant disregard for American Constitutional law.

This administration has always and continuously followed those precepts, to denigrate America in the world, and to subvert the checks and balances that have served us so well. That the current Democratic Party has gone along with this is no surprise. It has been their policy since 1972. But the feckless, mendacious, acquiescence of the rest of Congress, to their own detriment, is hard to understand, and even harder to stomach.

We have about a year and a half of this despicable president left, and then, hopefully, a major rebuilding job, if, and only if, we get our heads out of sand (or other less pleasant places) and elect people who know what it means in the modern world to lead, to have principles, in other words, to be an American. If we don’t, America, and Western Civilization itself, are likely doomed by 2020, since Europe has surrendered, and the UK seems to have lost whatever principles it ever had. It’s hard to believe Cameron has the same job as Chamberlain, let alone Churchill, he’s such a mealy-mouth cretin. And in any case, as Nigel Farage said last Friday, the EU will bleed Briain dry supporting the ones who will not work in southern Europe. A sad end for a people who have been prosperous since King Alfred the Great established the very first nation-state.

And those are the stakes, for Congress right now, and for us as citizens in the next year. Is America to continue, dragging civilization along, or simply sink into the abyss with Rome and the others. It’s up to us to decide.

What is America?

It’s late and getting later.

Enjoy, but more to the point,

Learn and employ!

Christenrein

Paul von Hindenburg, president 1925–1934, pain...

Paul von Hindenburg, president 1925–1934, painted by Max Liebermann in 1927 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mark Steyn had some thoughts the other day on the SSM ruling specifically and on the role of these decisions on the future in general. They’re good thoughts, as usual, and should be heeded.

Last week, I swung by the Bill Bennett show to chew over the news of the hour. A few minutes before my grand entrance, one of Bill’s listeners had taken issue with the idea that these Supreme Court decisions weren’t the end and, if you just got on with your life and tended to your garden, things wouldn’t be so bad:

Claudine came on and said that’s what Germans reckoned in the 1930s: just keep your head down and the storm will pass. How’d that work out?

David Kelsey writes from the University of South Carolina to scoff at that:

In one corner, we have government recognition of marriage contracts between gays. In the other corner, we have Jews, Catholics, gays, their sympathizes [sic] and other undesirables being put in Nazi concentration camps.

One of these things is nothing like the other, unless you’re a lunatic. Maybe the reason conservatives keep “losing everything that matters” is because they really can’t tell the difference. Which causes increasing numbers of people to recognize them as lunatics.

Since you call me and Claudine “lunatics”, allow me to return the compliment and call you an historical illiterate. If “one of these things is nothing like the other”, it’s because that’s never the choice: It’s never a question of being Sweden, say, vs being the Islamic State (although, if you’re a Jew in Malmö, they’re looking a lot less obviously dissimilar than you might think).

All societies exist on a continuum. Neither Claudine nor I said a word about “concentration camps”. But you give the strong impression that that’s the only fact you know about Nazi Germany: Nazis = concentration camps, right? No wonder you think everything divides neatly into opposing “corners”. In the world as lived, there are no neatly defined corners. Things start off in the corners and work their way toward the center of the room.

Claudine and I were talking about Germany in the Thirties – before the concentration camps and the Final Solution, before millions of dead bodies piled up in the gas chambers. So you need to have an imaginative capacity. It’s not clear from your email that you do, but give it a go: Imagine being a middle-class German in 1933. No one’s talking about exterminating millions of people – I mean, that would be just “lunatic” stuff, wouldn’t it? And you belong to a people that regards itself as the most civilized on the planet – with unsurpassed achievements in literature and music and science. You might, if you were so minded, call it Teutonic Exceptionalism. And you’re “progressive”, too: you pioneered the welfare state under Bismarck, and prototype hate-speech laws under the Weimar republic. And yes, some of the beer-hall crowd are a bit rough, but German Jews are the most assimilated on the planet. The idea that such a society would commit genocide is not just “lunatic”, it’s literally unimaginable. […]

The National Socialist German Workers Party is the largest party in parliament and thus President von Hindenburg has appointed its leader, Herr Hitler, as Chancellor – not der Führer, just Chancellor, the same position Frau Merkel holds today. And the National Socialist German Workers Party starts enacting its legislative programme, and so a few weeks later the Civil Service Restoration Law is introduced. Under this law, Jews would no longer be allowed to serve as civil servants, teachers or lawyers, the last two being professions in which Jews are very well represented.

But that wily old fox Hindenburg knows a thing or two. So as president he refuses to sign the bill into law unless certain exemptions are made – for those who’ve been in the civil service since August 1st 1914 (ie, the start of the Great War), and for those who served during the Great War, or had a father or son who died in action. And the practical effect of these amendments is that hardly any Jew in the public service has to lose his job.

And so in April 1933 it would be easy to say, if you were a middle-class German seeking nothing other than a quiet life, that, yes, these National Socialist chappies are a bit uncouth, but the checks and balances are still just about working. What’s the worst they can do?

Paul von Hindenburg died the following year, and his amendments were scrapped.

That’s Germany’s civil service in 1933. What of America’s civil service in 2015? […]

So observant Christians will no longer be able to serve as town or county clerk. Are comparisons really so “lunatic”? The logic of the 1933 Civil Service Restoration Act is that the German public service will be judenrein. The logic of the 2015 Supreme Court decision is that much of the American public service will be christenrein – at least for those who take their Scripture seriously. That doesn’t strike me as a small thing – even if one thought it were likely to stop there.

But don’t worry, Supreme Arbiter Anthony Kennedy, like President von Hindenburg, has struck a balance:

Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.

That’s a very constrained definition of religious liberty. He’s not saying you’ll be able to live your faith, but he’s willing to permit you to “advocate” for it.

The Stupidity of Sophisticates :: SteynOnline.

Isn’t that nice of him, for now anyway. We can advocate for our faith, as long, of course, as we don’t offend anybody. How long you think that’ll take? Five minutes or thirty seconds?

Mark ends with this, and so do I, because once it is said, there’s little more to be said, although quite a lot to be done.

For some of us, that won’t do: what matters is the abandonment of first principles – on free speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion and much else – and when that happens you stand against it, because it won’t stop there. It never does

Video Saturday

I haven’t watched this one yet, I’ll be watching it with you. But when Scott Johnson over at Powerline tells me it’s worth my time, it invariably is. So here it is.

 

Bret Stephens from DHFC on Vimeo.

On a completely different subject, this one I have watched and enjoyed, although it is slightly NSFW. From Two Nerdy History Girls.

Have a good weekend.

 

So Nice to be Appreciated

greywolf

As all who read here know, it hasn’t been an easy year for me, what with all the things that have happened. That of course, includes my dearest friend and editor contracting cancer, and her miraculous cure and continuing stay in the convent, where she is recovering, the Lord be praised!

That set off a few things (or exacerbated them) in me, and there have been quite a few times when I didn’t think we would continue, but it seems to have gotten into the blood. :)

And so, as you’ll see in the sidebar, we have a new award. We share it with nineteen other blogs, and it’s a company I’m proud to join. Here they are.

America’s Watchtower

Bunkerville

Earl of Taint

Free North Carolina

Gates of Vienna

Independent Sentinel

Lady Raven’s Blog

Maggie’s Notebook

Nebraska Energy Observer

Partneringwitheagles

PUMAByDesign001

Right Ring

Silent Soldier

Talk Wisdom (not wholly political)

Texas Fred

The Last Refuge

The Mad Jewess

Western Rifle Shooters Association

Zero Hedge

Whoa! I noticed I have only 19. Okay I think not all have to be political … just conservative.

Hocuspocus13

And so thanks to Cry and Howl, it’s nice to know someone reads this stuff, after all.

Ernie Banks once said:

Awards mean a lot, but they don’t say it all.

The people in baseball mean more to me than statistics.


He’s right, and on a couple of levels. Without you guys, who read this stuff, it means nothing. And to be honest, the best thing about the whole blogging experience, for me, is that it brought me to meet the woman who became my dearest friend, and Jessica’s friendship and love is more than worth every minute, and there are a lot of them, that I’ve spent on this blog.
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