23 Aug 2019

What Killed These People?

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Atlas Obscura:

No one knows exactly how they got there—the skeletal remains of 500-some-odd people spread around Lake Roopkund, in the Indian Himalayas. Since the bones were rediscovered by a forest ranger in 1942, a number of haunting—if unsubstantiated—theories have circled the skeletons like vultures: Had these been Japanese soldiers who succumbed to the elements? Victims of a landslide or forgotten epidemic or attack?

Now an international team of more than two dozen researchers has thrown more than one wrench into this enduring and alarming mystery. As it turns out, the remains do not all date to the same historical period—and they don’t even share a common geographic origin. This means that, many centuries apart, different groups of different peoples from different parts of the world somehow all met their demise at this same spot, which has since earned the popular moniker Skeleton Lake. The researchers published their puzzling findings yesterday, in the journal Nature Communications.

Éadaoin Harney and Nick Patterson, biologists at Harvard University and two of the study’s 28 authors, say they were very surprised by what they found in their DNA analyses. With their colleagues they looked at 76 distinct skeletal elements, 38 of which provided full genomic information, and all of which combined to present an impressive diversity: Of the 38 individuals, the remains of 23 date approximately to the year 800, while the remains of the other 15 date approximately to 1800. Though the 23 older individuals all appear to have come from South Asia, Harney and Patterson say there is evidence indicating that they came from different places within the subcontinent, and the evidence indicates that their remains were “deposited in more than one event.” All but one of the other 15 individuals, meanwhile, came from as far away as the eastern Mediterranean—perhaps, says Patterson, from somewhere in the Greek-speaking world. The remaining individual had Southeast Asian ancestry, and so constitutes a third distinct group.

Ayushi Nayak, another author of the study and a PhD candidate in archaeology at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, emphasizes that those three groups were represented in the remains of just 38 individuals. How many more historical periods and geographical regions, she wonders, might lie within the site’s hundreds of bones? Looking at all of them was not feasible for just one study, but the remaining samples have been well preserved by the chilly Himalayan air, so more research is possible.

RTWT

23 Aug 2019

Old Ranchers Know Better

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Via Bob Golden:

An old rancher went to a town hall meeting. The local politician was there to talk about the latest Ag legislation he proposed. The politician talked about grazing, property rights, irrigation, and how the government could help the generational ranchers of the area.

After listening to the impassioned promises put forth by the politician, the old rancher raised his hand to ask a question.
Seeing that he had the attention of the weathered old rancher, and thinking he could score some points, the politician took the old man’s question….

Old man: “Senator, did you know that cows, horses and goats eat the same feed?”

Senator: “Yes sir, everybody knows that!”

Old man: “Then senator, can you tell me why cows poop patties, horses poop cubes, and goats poop pellets?”

Senator: “How would I know the reason for such a simple thing like poop?”

Old man: “Then senator, can you tell me how a man who doesn’t know shit, can help me run my ranch?”

23 Aug 2019

NBC News Editorial Opines: “Heterosexuality Is Just Not Working”

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These days, I seem to keep stumbling upon items which astound and boggle the mind, provoking the thoroughly depressing reflection that the establishment of the last mid-century, so commonly criticized for materialism, conformity, and anti-intellectualism, today looking backward seemed so optimistic and healthy and rational when compared to its totally-deranged contemporary replacement.

When you read this item blithely celebrating the implausible notion that women can separate themselves from Nature and Biology by a simple exercise of existential choice, you might think that NBC News these days is recruiting its editorial talent straight out of the looney bin, but no! Dr. Marcie Bianco is “an associate editor at the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She was formerly the Editorial & Communications Manager at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, where she served as editor-in-chief of the monthly newsletter, Gender News, and the annual print publication, upRising, in addition to being the founder of the Clayman Institute Feminist Journalism Writing Fellowship.”

It’s not just NBC News, the crazies are running Harvard, Yale, and Stanford.

Over the past week, an assortment of trending stories — from Jeffrey Epstein to the Dayton and El Paso mass shooters, to Miley Cyrus’s separation and Julianne Hough’s declaration that she’s “not straight” — together have laid bare the strictures of an American patriarchy on the edge of a nervous breakdown. As the status quo, heterosexuality is just not working.

As a snapshot of 2019 America, these stories present a startling picture: Men continue to coerce, harass, rape and kill girls and women — and go to extreme lengths to avoid responsibility for their actions. On the other side of the issue, girls and women are challenging heterosexuality, and even absconding from it altogether.

Framed differently, the picture is this: Men need heterosexuality to maintain their societal dominance over women. Women, on the other hand, are increasingly realizing not only that they don’t need heterosexuality, but that it also is often the bedrock of their global oppression.

Patriarchy is at its most potent when oppression doesn’t feel like oppression, or when it is packaged in terms of biology, religion, or basic social needs.

Patriarchy is at its most potent when oppression doesn’t feel like oppression, or when it is packaged in terms of biology, religion or basic social needs like security comfort, acceptance and success. Heterosexuality offers women all these things as selling points to their consensual subjection.

Historically, women have been conditioned to believe that heterosexuality is natural or innate, just as they have been conditioned to believe that their main purpose is to make babies — and if they fail to do so, they are condemned as not “real,” or as bad, women.

Celebrities are not always at the vanguard of feminist thought, but both Julianne Hough and Miley Cyrus have recently spoken out about sexuality in ways that puts the power — and responsibility — back into their own hands.

RTWT

What can one possibly say? If heterosexuality has really stopped working, we obviously don’t have much to worry about, since in ten decades or so, there will simply be no more people at all.

22 Aug 2019

How the Democrat Candidates Would Introduce Themselves at the Next Debate If They Were Honest

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From esr at Armed and Dangerous:

Hi, I’m Joe Biden. I’m the perfect apparatchik – no principles, no convictions, and no plan. I’m senile, and I have a problem with groping children. But vote for me anyway because orange man bad.

Hi, I’m Kamala Harris. My white ancestors owned slaves, but I use the melanin I got from my Indian ancestors to pretend to be black. My own father has publicly rebuked me for the pandering lies I tell. I fellated my way into politics; put me into the White house so I can suck even more!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth Warren. Even though I’m as white as library paste, I pretended to be an American Indian to get preferment. My research on medical bankruptcies was as fraudulent as the way I gamed the racial spoils system. So you should totally trust me when I say I’m “capitalist to my bones”!

Hi, I’m Bernie Sanders. I honeymooned in the Soviet Union. I’m an unreconstructed, hammer-and-sickle-worshiping Communist.

Hi, I’m Kirsten Gillibrand. I used to be what passes for a moderate among Democrats – I even supported gun rights. Now I’ve swung hard left, and will let you just guess whether I ever had any issue convictions or it was just pandering all the way down. Tee-hee!

Hi, I’m Amy Klobuchar, and I’ve demonstrated my grasp on the leadership skills necessarily for the leader of the Free World by being notoriously abusive towards my staff.

Hi, I’m Robert Francis O’Rourke. I’m occupying the “imitate the Kennedy” lane in this race, and my credentials for it include DUI and fleeing an accident scene. The rumors that I’m a furry are false; the rumors that I’m a dimwitted child of privilege are true. But vote for me anyway, crucial white-suburban-female demographic, because I have such a winning smile!

Hi, I’m Pete Buttigieg. I was such a failure as the mayor of South Bend that my own constituents criticize me for having entered this race, but the Acela Corridor press loves me because I’m fashionably gay. And how right they are; any candidate you choose is going to bugger you up the ass eventually, but I’ll do it like an expert!

Hi, I’m Bill de Blasio. I’m as Communist as Bernie, but I hide it better. And if Pete thinks his constituents don’t want him in this race? Hold…my…beer!

Hi, I’m Cory Booker, and I’m totally not gay. OK, maybe I’m just a little gay. My city was a shithole when I was elected and I’ve done nothing to change that; I’m really just an empty suit with a plausible line of patter, especially the “I am Spartacus” part. But you should totally vote for me because I’m…what was the phrase? Oh, yeah. “Clean and articulate.”

Hi, I’m Marianne Williamson. If elected, I will redecorate the White House so it has proper feng shui. I am the sanest and least pretentious person on this stage.

22 Aug 2019

What If the Sanest Democrat Were Nominated and Elected?

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Rob Long, at National Review, visualizes Marianne Williamson’s presidential inauguration.

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT

LIVE CNN BROADCAST

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Jake Tapper: . . . and we’re live now from Washington, D.C. As you can see, there are the steps of the Capitol, ready for the swearing in of the 46th president of the United States, dignitaries filing in, there’s Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Senate majority leader Cory Booker, and we’re joined by Jim Acosta, Jim, do we have any sense of what that coffee hour was like, when the outgoing president, Donald Trump, and Mrs. Trump hosted the incoming president-elect?

Jim Acosta: No, Jake, we really don’t know. It was always going to be a tense meeting, of course — the president as late as last night continuing to tweet angry messages to some of us in the media and some of his own staffers, who he has blamed for his surprising loss in November. And the president-elect reiterating her philosophy — which I guess we can now call official United States policy — that all anger will be answered with love —

Jake Tapper: Her psychic-energy policy, is that right?

Jim Acosta: Right. And that I think was the subject of their initial meeting — I see you are showing some of that tape from this morning now — we can see the president looking angry and tense — and now here President-elect Williamson is greeting him with a kiss and —

Jake Tapper: Do we know what she whispered in his ear just then?

Jim Acosta: We do not, Jake. Sources tell me that whatever it was, President Trump didn’t understand it.

Jake Tapper: I’m getting word that the president and president-elect are walking out for the swearing in. But to get back to whatever she whispered, Twitter is abuzz right now with the speculation — and right now it’s just that, speculation, I want to stress that — that whatever the president-elect whispered was in, and I’m quoting someone close to the Williamson camp, was in an ancient Druidic language. Any more information on that?

Jim Acosta: Well, as we’ve been reporting, the president-elect claims to have been erecting a psychic-energy cleansing shield since the morning after that surprising Election Night, and while we don’t know what form this kind of cleansing energy beam might take, it’s fair to assume that Druidic forms are —

Jake Tapper: Jim, I don’t mean to interrupt but we’re seeing a lot of the new Williamson cabinet officials and others take their seats. There’s the new FDA chief, magician David Copperfield, along with Secretary of Wellness — that’s the new term?

Jim Acosta: It is.

Jake Tapper: . . . Gwyneth Paltrow, and the steel box being carried by the Marine? That contains the frozen head of Walt Disney, am I correct?

Jim Acosta: Yes, and of course the frozen head of Walt Disney is going to face some serious opposition in upcoming Senate confirmation hearings, even from the president-elect’s own party, as I believe it is the first time — I may be wrong about this — but I believe it is the first time a frozen severed head has been nominated for the position of secretary of state.

Jake Tapper: We will confirm that, of course, but I think you may be right.

Jim Acosta: And just now being led in is Jasper, the Labrador retriever selected to be the next secretary of defense — excuse me, secretary of love —

Jake Tapper: It is a very loving breed, that’s for sure. Just, you know, all smiles and acceptance.

Jim Acosta: Sources close to Senate majority leader Cory Booker tell me that Jasper is expected to sail through his confirmation hearings. …

RTWT

22 Aug 2019

Trainwreck Letter From an Ex-Wife

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Penelope Gristelfink.

The Urban Dictionary defines a “trainwreck” as “something that is so bad that you don’t want to keep watching or following but you just can’t look away from it.”

Kevin D. Williamson’s ex-wife wrote an enormously long, rambling, getting-everything-off-her-chest letter to the Atlantic’s editor, congratulating him for firing her ex-hubbie, which is as bad a trainwreck as you are ever going to find. Naturally, that leftist sewer site Medium hastened to publish it. You can’t believe that you are still reading this stuff, but you find that you can’t stop.

Dear Jeffrey Goldberg,

Thank you for firing my ex-husband Kevin D. Williamson. …

So thank you again for coming to your senses even if your due diligence was three days too late for the tastes of the Twitter “mob.”

All that said, when Kevin turned my head, I was a senior in high school, and I came from a very dark, violent family where no one genuinely loved me, and he was the first man I ever slept with and he was nine years older than me. What’s your excuse?

My allegations of spousal abuse were shot down when I filed a protection from abuse form. I was mouthy and disheveled in court because I had to go to a women’s shelter and it was my day to cook breakfast for everyone and I wore a hat, and the judge asked me why I was wearing a hat, and I said, “I didn’t have time to do my hair.”

Kevin got his due process. I lost that case, and I got kicked out of the shelter because the judge asked me when I was on the stand where I was staying, and I answered honestly, and that was enough of a disclosure to violate the shelter’s confidentiality rules. All of this is a matter of record within our court system which used to dog my ex-husband from time to time, back when he was just a newspaper editor in Montgomery County and had nasty things to say that irked the League of Women Voters, but it also pains me because I kind of can’t believe, on entirely separate intellectual grounds, that you would go so far in the direction of appeasement and accommodation as to hire him in the first place.

Here are the brass tacks disclosures. What Kevin and I have in common are that we are both from Lubbock, Texas, both grew up in incredibly violent, chaotic households, both like to read and write, and both offered to write for your magazine. What Kevin and I no longer have in common is that I am still a member of the white working class he actually despises and disparages in his anti-Trump writings. You hired him after your magazine turned down a piece I wrote about organizing my fellow servers at a restaurant last year. (Mobius picked up a better version.)

Unlike Kevin, I did not become desensitized to violence because of having seen my mother and stepmothers beaten by a man. Unlike Kevin, I have actually moved to a small town in Appalachia because I was living in a boarding house in a slum outside of Philadelphia, and I could not take the drugs nor the crime nor the cost of living in my neighborhood any longer. A quarter of the ceiling in my room caved in two winters ago. I did not have a stove, and for three years I had to wash my dishes in the sink of a bathroom barely more presentable than that in a truck stop. I lived next door to the same women’s shelter I had gotten kicked out of. This past winter, I was without power frequently because of how ill-equipped the old housing stock was to deal with multiple tenants. (It was a Victorian era building). After a snowstorm, I went two and a half days without running water, and in December a meth-addled prostitute who lived on a floor above me took an ax to a man’s head.

Until last winter, when the house became really unsafe, I pretty much woke up every day and thanked God that I was there, instead of still married to Kevin, because he was just that mean.

Now that I have moved to a small military town between Philly and Pittsburgh, I feel that I understand conservatives in a way that I never have. The town is so beautiful and affordable. People are just so terrified it will change. It is also full of snaggle-toothed, mullet-sporting Confederate flag-flying freaks and plenty of people who want to assure me that the military is out there “fighting for our freedom.” This in spite of the fact that they fought only for enhanced state power, and since they have been over in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have lost habeus corpus, any expectation of privacy online or otherwise, and all of my income to student loan or medical debt and predatory auto loans. I have never had a credit card with more than a $500 limit. I haven’t gone anywhere on vacation since I was 13 years old, except maybe attending a wedding with Kevin in Austin. My credit score is 185. During the Recession, I lost my job three times in five years. I am economically dead. I don’t even have a pulse.

I didn’t come here on assignment; my assignment is my life.

Bang up job they’re doing, those soldiers, protecting my freedom.

My downward mobility issues aside, I also moved here to be closer to the best friend of my late stepmother, an exquisitely kind, married, pro-life evangelical Christian. ….

Sincerely,

Amanda Norris, a.k.a Penelope Gristelfink

P.S. If I have an abortion, I’m agonna name it Kevin.

Whole Thing

21 Aug 2019

Redefining the Museum in Left-Speak

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Wikipedia: “Jette Sandahl (born 1949) is a Danish curator, museum director and business executive. Founding director of the Women’s Museum of Denmark and the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden, she has more recently served as director of the Museum of Copenhagen. She is currently a member of the European Museum Forum’s board of trustees.”

Zachary Small, at the normally ridiculously left-wing Hyperallergenic blog, blandly describes the establishment brouhaha over a new revised (and Woke) definition of a museum originally intended to be quickly rammed through into acceptance.

For almost 50 years, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has defined the museum as “a nonprofit institution” that “acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study, and enjoyment.”

But an updated version of the definition would incorporate mention of “human dignity and social justice,” references which have split the consortium’s 40,000 professionals representing 20,000 museums across ideological lines. And last week, 24 national branches of the council — including those of France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Canada, and Russia — requested a postponement of the revision’s official vote in order to deliver a “new proposal.”

Jette Sandahl is the Danish curator who lead ICOM’s commission on the new definition, suggesting that the current one “does not speak the language of the 21st century” by ignoring demands of “cultural democracy.” Her amended conceptualization of the museum reads:

    Museums are democratizing, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures. Acknowledging and addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present, they hold artifacts and specimens in trust for society, safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights and equal access to heritage for all people.

    Museums are not for profit. They are participatory and transparent, and work in active partnership with and for diverse communities to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit, and enhance understandings of the world, aiming to contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary wellbeing.

Backlash to Sandahl’s suggestion came quickly. Juliette Raoul-Duval, who chairs ICOM France, soon denounced it as an “ideological” manifesto, “published without consulting“ the national branches. Even Hugues de Varine, a former director of ICOM and an early proponent of the “new museology” movement in the 1970s, found the definition effuse. The Art Newspaper reports that he was surprised by the “over inflated verbiage” of an “ideological preamble,” which does not distinguish a museum from a cultural center, library, or laboratory.

Evidence suggests that the feud between different interests in ICOM began as early as June. It was then that François Mairesse, a professor at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and the chair of the International Committee of Museology, resigned from Sandhal’s commission believing that it contradicted two years worth of past discussions.

“A definition is a simple and precise sentence characterizing an object, and this is not a definition but a statement of fashionable values, much too complicated and partly aberrant,” Mairesse told the Art Newspaper. “It would be hard for most French museums — starting with the Louvre — to correspond to this definition, considering themselves as ‘polyphonic spaces.’ The ramifications could be serious. ICOM’s statement can be included in national or international legislation and there is no way a jurist could reproduce this text.”

Many critics agree with Mairesse, judging the new definition as too political and too vague for defining museums.

RTWT

21 Aug 2019

“I’ll Never Go Into a Press Pool Again!”

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Quint, the establishment journalist, describes a Donald Trump White House press conference. link

Donald Trump comes cruising in. The reporters form themselves into tight groups. You know it’s kind of like ol’ squares in a battle or like being roped together at a Hillary press conference. And the idea is if the Donald goes after one reporter and then that reporter would start hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes the Donald would go away.

Sometimes he wouldn’t go away.

Sometimes the Donald, he looks right into you. Right into the reporter’s eyes.

You know the thing about the Donald, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be a real politician. Until he bites into ya with those scathing remarks and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch complaining and the airways and Internet explode despite all the pounding and hollerin’ that the Donald isn’t a serious candidate. And that’s when the Donald comes in and rips ya to pieces.

I’ll never go into a press pool again.”

HT: Vanderleun.

20 Aug 2019

“Welcome to the Land of the Perpetually Whiny and Offended”

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Jon Gabriel wrote an excellent column last Saturday in Arizona Central.

One normally only quotes some key bits with the intention of persuading readers to click on the link and read the whole thing at the original published location, but, Good God! the AzCentral page is so loaded with pop-up ads redirecting you elsewhither and, unaccountably, tosses you off the relevant page and on to later stuff with the touch sensitivity of (dry) Nitrogen Triiodide that I reluctantly came to the conclusion that this fine editorial has a very poor life expectancy and will very soon be completely inaccessible, so I’ve quoted the whole bloody thing.

Welcome to America, the land of the perpetually whiny and offended

Opinion: Instead of debating ideas, the left and right are demanding that anyone who annoys them be cast out of polite society.

Sarah Silverman has been canceled. A Hollywood director fired the progressive comedian because of a sketch she performed a dozen years ago.

“I recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part,” Silverman said on a recent podcast. “Then, at 11 p.m. the night before, they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode.”

The Comedy Central sketch lampooned a well-intentioned liberal who stupidly wore blackface to better empathize with African Americans.

“I was doing an episode about race,” she explained. “It was like, I’m playing a character, and I know this is wrong, so I can say it. I’m clearly liberal. That was such liberal-bubble stuff, where I actually thought it was dealing with racism by using racism.”

Silverman may have lost a movie role, but at least she still has a career. Not everyone targeted by the “cancel culture” has been so lucky. Just look at Roseanne Barr, who was fired from her TV show for a bad tweet.
No one is immune from the Cancel Culture

All comedians are watching their backs these days. Kevin Hart was fired as an Oscars host because of decade-old jokes, and Aziz Ansari spent a year in professional hiding after a date gone wrong got him lumped in with the #MeToo backlash.

Silverman now regrets the blackface skit but fears more fallout. “I think it’s really scary and it’s a very odd thing that it’s invaded the left primarily and the right will mimic it.”

She didn’t have to wait long for conservatives to join cancel culture.

Want more opinions? Subscribe to azcentral.com.

A trailer for upcoming film “The Hunt” was released online and controversy followed. The horror film shows wealthy liberal elites hunting a ragtag group of red-state “deplorables” before the backwoods heroes start fighting back.

Despite its portrayal of rural conservatives taking down villainous progressives, several right-wing media stars were outraged.

Even the president joined the backlash. “Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate!” Trump said on Twitter. “They like to call themselves ‘Elite,’ but they are not Elite. In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite. The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos.”

The movie didn’t seem to deal with race one way or the other, but the studio took the hint. Within a day, they pulled the film.

Cancel culture is spreading for one simple reason: it works. Instead of debating ideas or competing for entertainment dollars, you can just demand anyone who annoys you to be cast out of polite society.

Way back in the mists of time, say five years ago, if you didn’t like a TV show or movie, you wouldn’t watch it. Now you can ensure that no one watches it, just by slinging some outrage on social media.

Our woke mentality is America’s new Puritanism. Instead of a handy list of sins written thousands of years ago, modern sins are ever-changing. A joke that was deemed progressive a decade ago is retroactively condemned as hate speech.

“If you say the wrong thing,” Silverman said, “everyone is, like, throwing the first stone. It’s a perversion. It’s really, ‘Look how righteous I am and now I’m going to press refresh all day long to see how many likes I get in my righteousness.’ ”

When the mob has burned one witch, they tighten the buckles on their hats and pore through old YouTube videos for their next victim.

It’s time for the perpetually offended on the left and right to bring back two concepts the Puritans were at least familiar with: grace and forgiveness.

20 Aug 2019

“A Varied and Valuable Tool”

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Cat Urbigkit writes books and raises sheep and Hereford cattle in Sublette County in Western Wyoming. If you raise sheep, wolves are a serious problem. Cat has also occasionally run into human predators and she consequently look upon guns as essential tools.

I continue to renew my [concealed carry] permit when it comes due, even though most of the time I openly carry a firearm– because I keep guns in my work truck as a rancher. I’m a woman who works alone outside on most days in a remote region that is home to numerous large carnivores, so yes, I am armed.

Firearms are valuable tools in my life, just as necessary as standard fencing pliers, rope, an assortment of gloves made from leather, cotton, and wool, and the ever-present shovel.

My firearm use is a result of my personal journey. As I became more proficient with each gun, and we have changes in our lives and on the ranch, my need for various types of firearms and calibers changes. Much as the case of our shovel collection.

Living on a ranch, we have numerous types and styles of shovels: plastic shovels to push snow off our steps; strong but lightweight shovels strapped onto snowmachines; short, narrow shovels to dig up weeds; wide, curved shovels for firefighting; manure shovels; and traditional wooden-handled shovels in every ranch truck. Each shovel is best-suited for specific tasks, as each firearm we wield.

I’m disappointed to listen to national news media talk about gun ownership in America as though it were an alien idea. Interviews with gun owners are rare, and tend to involve either members of the gun lobby, or people at a shooting range – both of which are members of our “gun culture,” but neither of which are representative of the varied users of guns in America.

When major media in our nation talk about guns, the discussion involves speakers in metropolitan areas, usually after a horrendous tragedy. They aren’t airing interviews of people who take their children out with gundogs to hunt birds; elk hunters preparing for mountain trips they’ve dreamed about for years; former military members who enjoy competitive shooting sports; women who train to never become victims; gun collectors dedicated to preserving history; or ranchers who use firearms as tools, to name a few.

Our stories may be alien to those who haven’t shared the same life journeys, but they are the stories of American gun ownership. In a way it’s no wonder we don’t hear our stories in national media. With the current gun debate so narrowly defined, what gun owner would be willing to be interviewed by a national network or news outlet? The risks are great: nuances will be missed; statements can be taken out of context for a soundbite; and the internet backlash/cyber bullying by cowards with keyboards is nearly guaranteed.

We’ve become the silent majority.

It always amazes me that urban nincompoops in New York and other big cities, who know absolutely nothing about guns, are perfectly prepared to offer detailed regulatory schemes affecting people like Cat Urbigkit living in the remote wilds of Wyoming.

20 Aug 2019

It’s Important to Know These Things

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20 Aug 2019

Vonolel, General Roberts’ Charger

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The best example of what was called a Nejdi horse that comes to my mind is ‘Vonolel’–the horse of General Roberts. Here is a letter that General Roberts has written to Homer Davenport in 1907 and a photograph showing Lord Roberts mounted on the Vonolel, c. 1881

“ENGLEMERE, ASCOT, BERKS,
4th March, 1907.
Dear Sir,—I have been a long time replying to your letter of the 22d of November, in which you asked for information about the Arab horse I had in my possession for many years. I have deferred doing so until I could send you a photograph of the horse; this I have been able to discover quite lately. I bought the horse in Bombay in 1877. He was a pure-bred Nedj Arab and was then five years old, and had quite recently been landed from Arabia. The following year I took him to Afghanistan, where he was with me for two years in extremes of heat and cold, and very often with difficulty about proper food for him, but while other horses fell off in condition from not getting forage, the little Arab maintained his throughout. I kept him all the time I was in India and in 1893 brought him to England. He attracted great attention at the late Queen’s jubilee in 1897; he died two years afterward, and is buried in the garden of the Royal Hospital, Dublin, in which I reside while commanding in Ireland. During the twenty-two years he was in my possession he travelled with me over fifty thousand miles and was never sick or sorry. He measured exactly 14 hands 2 inches.
Believe me,
Yours very truly,
ROBERTS, F. M.”

———————–

Kipling’s tribute to Lord Roberts: “Bobs” (an excerpt):

If you stood ’im on ’is head,
Father Bobs,
You could spill a quart of lead
Outer Bobs.
’E’s been at it thirty years,
An-amassin’ souveneers
In the way o’ slugs an’ spears—
Ain’t yer Bobs?

What ’e does not know o’ war,
Gen’ral Bobs,
You can arst the shop next door—
Can’t they, Bobs?
Oh, ’e’s little but he’s wise;
’E’s terror for ’is size,
An’—’e—does—not—advertize—
Do yer, Bobs?

Now they’ve made a bloomin’ Lord
Outer Bobs,
Which was but ’is fair reward—
Weren’t it, Bobs?
So ’e’ll wear a coronet
Where ’is ’elmet used to set;
But we know you won’t forget—
Will yer, Bobs?

———————–


The grave of Vonolel, the famous and bemedalled horse.

Many people walking the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham will pass a small grave without noticing, and yet this grave is perhaps the most unusual grave in Dublin itself. In the grounds of the Hospital, one finds the final resting place of ‘Vonolel’, twenty-nine years old on passing, but a veteran of conflict.

In the parade celebrating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, General Roberts led the colonial contingents in the procession on his grey ‘Vonolel’, the only horse to be awarded campaign medals for the Afghan Campaign and the March to Kandahar.

    “When the Queen awarded medals to her officers and men who has taken part in the Afghan campaign and in the expedition to Kandahar, she did not forget Vonolel. Lord Roberts hung round the animals neck the Kabul medal, with four clasps, and the bronze Kandahar star. The gallant horse wore these medals on that day in June when the nation celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee”

So read The Irish Times of October 21, 1899.

Much more information on the horse can be gathered from an earlier piece however, dating from January of the same year, when Vonolel was still living. In it, it was noted that Vonolel had come to England “having been practically all over the world with his master”. He was described as “..a type of the highest class of Arab charger” and it was noted that “he traces his descent from the best blood of the desert.”

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