Good News / Bad News / Other Bad News

It’s rather sad that the good news today is that a cop is going to be indicted for murdering an unarmed black man. See also Zandar from this morning before the announcement.

Elsewhere: I haven’t had time to write about them, but you’ve probably heard about the BS “string” videos some Fetus People made to entrap Planned Parenthood. Someone asked Hillary Clinton about them, and she fudged, calling the videos “disturbing.”

Fudging and not taking firm stands until she knows where the opinion polls are going are old tools in HRC’s toolbox, but she’s treading on unusually dangerous ground here. Her biggest fans are liberal/progressive middle- and upper-class white women who are not going to take kindly to the dissing of PP. Remember what happened to the Susan B. Komen Foundation?

I’m ambivalent about Clinton, but I always thought she could be counted on regarding feminist and reproductive rights issues. If she’s squishy on Planned Parenthood, that’s a big mark against her.

She also tap danced around a question about the Keystone XL Pipeline this morning. Not smart.

Elsewhere: The whole Internet and much of television is in an uproar over the gruesome shooting death of Cecil the Lion. In brief, Cecil was a famous and much loved lion of Zimbabwe who was lured out of a wildlife preserve and shot with an arrow by a dentist from Minnesota. The lion had to be tracked for 40 hours before the dentist and his “guides” could finish him off.

Now the dentist has closed his practice and gone into hiding, and fears for his life. Lots of people looked up personal information about him and published it on the Web, a practice I do not condone. But the public shaming is the least he deserves. I’m not opposed on principle to all hunting, even though I wouldn’t do it myself, but to me there’s something obscene and depraved about killing a beautiful, healthy animal for fun. If public shaming stops at least some big game hunting, I’m all for it. As long as nobody gets hurt.

There has been some grumbling about all the awful things going on in the world, and why are people getting their panties in a bunch over a lion. Maybe it’s because there are so many awful things going on in the world, that when some jerk for no good reason destroys a thing that was good, that made the world a little brighter, it’s too sad.

Elsewhere: See Steve M about the 17-year-old who died because a 911 dispatcher wouldn’t send help. The dispatcher was offended by the caller’s language, apparently.

Elsewhere: It’s damn hot in Brooklyn. I’ll cheer up when the temperature goes down.

26 thoughts on “Good News / Bad News / Other Bad News

  1. Wow, that dispatcher really has a thin skin, and he needs to find other work. When you’re dealing with people during a crisis or during a time when they are trying to put their lives back together all kinds of ugly things come out and you just have to roll with it and do your job. That’s part of being professional. I know from personal experience and so does my wife.

    If the gunshot victim might have been saved if he had dome his job, he should be prosecuted.

    I’m on board with Cecil. I hope the government of Zimbabwe decides to press charges.

  2. He broke the law in Zimbabwe. He has a record of illegal hunting and fishing in Minnesota. Confiscate the head and skin he stole and return it to Zimbabwe where it belongs. Any other endangered animal trophies (he has killed an elephant) should be confiscated and returned to the country of origin, or incinerated. Maybe some hacker can locate the guy’s taxidermist and shame him too. Cremate all his trophies and give him the ashes.

  3. Re the Outrage about Cecil: I support a kitten/cat rescue in northeast Connecticut. I can’t give them as much as I’d like but I help as I’m able to. One kitten saved and placed in a home is one little critter saved and given to a loving home. It makes us better when we can do something to save an animal. Sometimes human problem just seem overwhelming but saving one little kitten feels good and helps us keep faith in our ability to effect change.

  4. Re the ‘good’ news. Anybody who kills someone, whether the shooter is a cop or a civilian, should have to answer for it. Tough questions. If the victim was unarmed (I don’t care what complexion the victim is) there should be a trial or a review which ensures the verdict was not a whitewash. (Double meaning intended) The NRA sponsorship of legislation which insulates a shooter should be reversed. The NRA wants to issue a ‘double-oh’ designation to white gun owners – a license to kill.

    HRC is playing it safe. That’s not leadership – it’s cheap politics. Take a stand. Quit being a groomed horse to the professional handlers who parse every word you’re allowed to say in public and control every question you are asked in staged events. Be real.

    Re the big game hunter. How does it feel being ‘stalked’? Your hunters are using the Internet, the media, phone and email to intimidate you. There is no arrow – you won’t suffer and bleed for 40 hours trying to escape your trackers. You might be financially damaged or ruined. Excuse me if I feel more sympathy for Cecil. And hopefully other ‘hunters’ will beware lest their fortunes or their company’s prosperity is linked to a ‘sport’ with no sportsmanship and you get ‘points’ for killing without need.

  5. Maybe it’s just spinning your wheels, but at least it’s an opportunity to vent in some small way.

    I know the probability of anything being done is beyond nill, but you can also sign the petition for Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom to be rescinded. I did. Even if it only counted in the court of public opinion it was still a satisfying effort in knowing that I added my voice to the weight that will bear upon his legacy. I agree with President Obama…When you have to drug a woman for the purpose of sexual conquest..You are a rapist!

  6. My God, if anybody should be able to recognize a right-wing con job when she sees one, it’s Hillary Clinton.

  7. I think Hillary did a pretty good job of fence sitting. She managed to say nothing while saying something. Of course it’s disturbing..but what is she disturbed about? The fact that Planned Parenthood is making available aborted fetal tissue , the fact of how that tissue is considered and handled for utilization, or is she disturbed by the fact that some unscrupulous slime bucket stooped so low in mischaracterizing the motives and purpose of Planned Parenthood with a clandestine video?
    The fact remains that those abortions will occur regardless of whether the remaining tissue is tossed in an incinerator or utilized for legitimate research purposes. If somebody is using that tissue to manufacture some high end luxury anti aging beauty cream for people like Ann Romney,then I can see a real cause to be disturbed about.

  8. I’d like to second the notion that HRC’s “disturbing” might have been aimed at the purveyors of the video. I’ve not seen video of her interview, so cannot judge from her body language, tone, etc., but her record of support for reproductive rights is very strong, and no one who has doubts about Planned Parenthood is going to vote for her anyway, so I don’t see this as a political calculation.

  9. 1. Hillary isn’t even POTUS yet, and already she’s “triangulating!”

    2. If you need to hunt for food – no problem.
    It you want to hunt for the sheer fun of killing something. Look in the mirror, and think how much you’d like to be stalked and killed, just for the joy of killing.

    3. If you can’t stand “foul” language, wtf make you decide to be a 911 dispatcher?
    People in desperate situations have been known to curse! Kind of like your mama when she first got a look at you!
    You want polite language?
    Get a job in a church.
    This is like pharmacist’s who don’t want to sell birth control products.
    Find a nice job at some Dominionist “Christian” Evangelical Church.
    The pay may not be great, but then you won’t have to dispense anything that offends your (selfish) little buttinski sensibilities!

    It’s so hot an humid in my neck of Upstate NY, that even the crack of my butt sweats!

  10. “The Obama administration plans to restore federal funding for prison inmates to take college courses, a potentially controversial move that comes amid a broader push to overhaul the criminal justice system.”

    As I’ve written here (and other sites) before, while I was attending college, I also taught college level courses in a Maximum Security Prison in Upstate NY.
    I taught there from the fall of ’77, until Reagan came in and blew the program up, in early ’81.

    The inmates got no time off of their sentences, and had to do any assigned homework on their own, in the evening, when whatever else they had to do, finished.

    The program had been around for years.
    And every tracking mechanism showed that those inmates who walked out with an Associates, Bachelors, and even a Masters Degree, almost never returned!

    It worked so well, that of course Reagan and his handlers had to kill it.

  11. I was listening/watching to satsang over the internet last night, ostensibly the topic was about whether life exists on other planets, but it really came down to the nature of life itself – which is a spiritual matter – and especially the subject of reverence for all life. The topic of life on other planets has been co-opted by kooks, but it’s really a spiritual subject.

    Speaker mentioned that there are Tibetan Buddhists who gently take insects and carry them to holy sites, and perform various chanting rituals, all with the goal of accelerating the bugs’ spiritual evolution, because on their own, the insects will take far longer to reach this goal.

    The point is, that life generally is very cheap on planet Earth, with people killing each other or lovely animals like Cecil for little or no reason or even for sport. Speaker made the point that reverence for all life, as the Tibetan Buddhists exemplify, is a universal requirement on the spiritual path – you’re not evolved hardly at all until you have this under your belt.

  12. “something obscene and depraved about killing a beautiful, healthy animal for fun”

    I agree, there is no excuse for it. If your hunting something that you do not plan on eating then something is wrong. I used to hunt quite a bit, it was something I did in my teen years with the old man, pheasants, ducks and geese only and every bird was eaten. The last time I went hunting I shot a Canadian goose in a corn field in South Dakoda, the goose was still alive so I had to ring its neck to put it down, I never liked doing this but once the bird is injured it is the humane thing to do. This particular bird had a banded collar, I remember the old man being really excited as he had never shot a banded bird in all his years of hunting. I sent the collar information into the DNR and received a letter months later documenting the birds entire journey it had lived 18 years before I shot it the same age as I was! Reading those details and the thought that I ended its long life was it for me, I’ve never gone hunting again, it aint for everyone!

  13. My father moved from New Jersey to Alaska in the mid 1930s. He worked in the lumber and mining camps for a few years but eventually got into his true love, aviation. That landed both my parents at Ladd Field during the war.

    In his wilder days, he would occasionally have to hunt for food, but, he never did it for the sheer joy of killing, just when it was a necessity. The thing that changed it for him was that after the war, some of the lads from the Army Air Corps took to shooting moose from helicopters, with no need for food and no intention of wasting time between kills. That was it. Hunting was never looked upon with any respect in our household again, unless it was a question of survival.

    I know some hunters whom I respect, but they haven’t shot an animal in years, one said hunting was just an excuse for a good walk in the woods. Another realized that what he enjoyed was the tracking and stalking skill it took to get close to an animal. So started carrying a camera instead of a gun.

    A few years back some of the lads in the neighborhood were suffering from the testosterone poisoning of youth, and developed a fascination with hunting. They described a game farm down in SC where you basically hired a blind and bought a sack of feed corn and sat there with a gun or a bow until some poor schmuck deer wandered up to your bait. Beer was optional. That’s about the most pathetic thing I have ever heard of.

    I am glad to say I think they discovered the joys of young love before any of them actually killed anything.

    I know sometimes deer populations and such have to be reduced for the health of the population. I can live with that if the hunter has respect for the animal and the skill to kill it cleanly. The problem I have is when some jerk thinks he is a lot better with a bow that he truly is and an animal suffers needlessly.

    We’ve been lucky to have a few deer on our front lawn this year. They usually come in the early morning and we can sit and watch them and the rabbits over a cup of coffee. It’s almost enough to make me stay put for a few more years.

  14. The dentist’s mistake was that he killed the wrong cat. You should never shoot a lion with a tracking collar, a name, two prides of his own, and lots of human friends. You should only shoot lions that are mateless, nameless and friendless. That’s just common sense.
    And no luring out of sanctuary, no spotlighting, and no slow kills; that’s cheating, punishable by doxing.

    So it turns out that hunting, despite its glamorous aura of lawless freedom, is as hide-bound by custom as is civilization. It’s human nature to both make limits, and chafe at them.

  15. A dentist has that much free time and that much spare money so he can waste both like this ???????????!!!!!!!!!!?????????????


    Tax the crud out of these rich pieces of crap so that they have to go back to work, not playing big game hunter. Stupid, foolish, wasteful, testosterone challenged rich jerks!!!!

  16. You should only shoot lions that are mateless, nameless and friendless. That’s just common sense.

    Duh! It’s why most serial killers target prostitutes.

  17. Talk about a feeding chain..Now this dentist is going to be prey to a legion of lawyers.. 40 hours of billing from high priced lawyers to save him from extradition and prosecution will give him a sense of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of being the hunted.

    Maybe I’ve got a character flaw that needs to be looked at, but I’ve got no sympathy for this guy. I hope they run his ass into the ground,financially speaking. To spend $50,000 bucks to kill a beautiful animal just to serve as a trophy to his male ego borders on sickness.. How better that money could have been spent on something meaningful and constructive outside of his own selfishness and ego. Typical Repuglican!
    Jeffrey Dahmer had a similar affliction of killing animal just for the sake of killing. I’d recommend that society keep an eye this dentist.. Killing an animal for food or killing for defense is understandable, but killing for sport, to me, is a sign of a warped individual.

  18. Swami, you’ve got a Knack sometimes.

    One of the haunting details of this affair is that Cecil had five cubs, so that Jericho, the beta male will probably kill them to ensure his bloodline. There it is, in quantifiable form, the unintended, unseen consequences of our actions. The other lesson that jumps out is that some people have too much money and influence for the common good. I like to think that if I had his spare stock of the quick and ready, I might have constructed a soup kitchen or something of value, but then I have too many things to hang on the wall anyway. Perhaps that’s an unfair advantage, and then power corrupts of course, so I can’t be sure on my moral superiority. But, this was an act of a man that clearly lacked understanding. It was brutal and selfish, and moreover it clearly displays what goes on when the oligarchy acts without restraint. And it could get worse, “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.”

  19. goatherd …Oops. Sorry about that unintended post. I’m in the habit of copying and pasting the name of the person I’m replying to. It seems I have a touchy browser that’s posting when it should be pasting.
    Anyway, in reply to your comment I was reminded of a story I once read about Hermann Goering.. It is said that he cordoned off a huge section of forest in occupied Poland for his private hunting reserve. In that reserve was an extremely rare wild horse called Przewalski’s horse. The horse was something like a missing link in the equine evolutionary chain or had some genetic distinction that made it rare and valuable. Goering would hunt these defenseless animals just because they were rare and he didn’t have to answer to anybody for killing them. Like killing Jews didn’t give him enough satisfaction?
    Goering had that same sick disregard for the beauty of nature that this dentist has.

  20. Hunting is morally complex. Sure, it’s about killing beautiful animals; but those beautiful animals themselves kill beautiful animals. Big game hunters are important fundraisers for conservationism. It’s a predator-prey paradox; the predator kills individual prey but has a vested interest in the survival of the prey species. _Smart_ hunters know this.

    My critique of the dentist (whose name I refuse to remember) is not moral but intellectual; the dummy blew it. He killed an alpha specimen, not a cull; essentially Zimbabwe’s pet; that’s bad wildlife management practice, and it made human enemies for him. He should have known that 50K$ was buying him something illegal; it’s much cheaper and politick to bribe an official. Had he done that, and killed a bachelor lion, then nobody would have objected. What a fool!
    Well… maybe he _did_ know that he was breaking the rules, but he thought that he wouldn’t get caught. Still a fool.

  21. Well, my objection to trophy hunting endangered animals IS moral. It’s an abominable indecent act. Anyone who kills an endangered animal for sport deserves nothing but scorn and jail, and is a perfect shit heel of a human being on the same level as the Taliban soldiers who blew up a 1700 year old Buddha statue. Find something beautiful and rare, and kill it for kicks. $50,000 is damn cheap for a lion, seeing as how there are only 10,000 left. $350,000 for a black rhino? They are almost extinct. They’re priceless. How much to take a shit on a Tintoretto? There are at least 600 of those left. These trophy hunters should not be allowed to bring the skins and heads of the endangered animals they kill back into the states. I thought it was already illegal to possess endangered animal parts in this country. I know it’s illegal for a non-Native American to possess an eagle feather.

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