We will have so many awesome Second Amendment posters that you may get bored with Second Amendment posters (as if!). Plus other cool, funny stuff and dogs!
I wrote the other day at some length about the incredible link between dogs and humans. There are two things I want to say. The first is to publish in the body of my blog a comment from Lee, about dogs’ contribution to civilization:
I read somewhere that the domestication of the dog was the first step towards civilization. Dogs have played an integral part in helping man build civilization by aiding herders, farmers, and hunters, and by helping provide security. During the course of developing civilization, the role of dogs have expanded and also become more specialized.
I don’t know if this was theorized by someone just gaga over dogs (which I am myself, so I don’t blame them), and/or if it’s really true. But it sure sounds plausible to me!
But if it is true: think of the ramifications of a society that bans dogs. While it may not plunge man into pre-civilization darkness (hunting is no longer necessarily needed to provide protein in the Western diet, and ratters are no longer quite the necessity they once were for keeping food and grain stores safe from vermin), it still speaks volumes, as far as I am concerned.
The second thing isn’t really something I want to say. It’s something I want to show:
Hat tip: Danny Lemieux
I am so lying in the caption of this post. Nevertheless, it’s precisely what I thought when I saw a story saying that Chinese activists, using a social network, were able to stop a shipment of hundreds of dogs destined for the cook pot:
Dogs destined to be slaughtered and served up in China’s restaurants were saved when the truck transporting them was intercepted by animal rights activists.
The vehicle, carrying 505 canines packed into just 156 tiny cages, was stopped on Yunnan Province’s highway from Fumin to Kunming after other drivers spotted its sickening cargo.
Sadly, many of the dogs were in such terrible shape, they died before their rescue could be fully effected. Thankfully, though, many others were saved, although I do wonder whether they can ever be domesticated.
The debate about “which candidate treats dogs worse” inevitably descended into farce, with almost no intermediate steps. Putting aside the insanity of spinning a presidential campaign around decades’ old decisions about dogs, Americans are probably going to be sympathetic to putting a dog in a protected hutch on the roof of a car, rather than forcing it to be in a car with five children and a ton of luggage. After all, everyone knows that dogs like to do this:
(Image from Cute n Tiny)
Americans, however, are probably less sympathetic when it comes to dog a l’orange, or other tasty Fido fricassees. In America, dogs are man’s best friend, not man’s favorite meat.
With that in mind, James Taranto offers some truly excellent “Obama has gone to the dogs — and eaten them” jokes:
#ObamaDogRecipes: Yorkshire terrier pudding, mutt chop, Pekingese duck, bichon frisee salad, beagle with cream cheese, pure bread.
“So, Mr. President, where shall we go to eat?” “I know a great Spot.”
If you want a friend in Washington, don’t eat him (credit to Jim Geraghty).
Happiness is a warm puppy, with a side of fries.
Obama’s favorite fast-food joint? Checkers (Patrick Daly).
I wouldn’t vote for that guy for dogcatcher.
Did you hear about the insomniac polyphagiac president? He lies awake at night wondering if there is a dog.
My friend Earl, however, sent me the best joke I’ve seen yet when it comes to Obama’s penchant for taking a familiar, loving expression (“You’re so sweet, I could just eat you up”), and turning it into a multicultural, autobiographical boast about gnawing on a dog’s bones (and not the ones that the dog himself buried in the back yard for later consumption):
UPDATE: And more Barack “Dog Eater” Obama humor, this time from Ace of Spades. (H/T: Mike Devx)
The following italicized paragraph started out as an observation I made about some ardent liberals of my acquaintance, but I’ve since decided that it applies well to the politics of the Left and the Right or, more accurately, the statist versus the individualist:
Conservatives find people to be a source of pleasure and objects to be a utilitarian resource. Conversely, Leftists find objects to be a source of pleasure and people to be a utilitarian resource.
The above started with something I learned long ago about autistic children. One of the earliest indicators of autism is that autistic children don’t point to things. Your average pre-verbal or early verbal child will point to a cup with the expectation that you, the parent, will understand that the child wants milk. An autistic child will not make this “mind-to-mind” connection. Instead, the child will take the parent’s hand (an object) and guide it to the cup (another object) in an effort to make the two objects work together. (In autistic children, or at least in some autistic children, this seems to be an inability to understand communication, rather than a failure to recognize shared humanity. Once the autistic child is given a means to communicate, he or she is fully capable of engaging at an emotional or spiritual level.)
Here’s another something I learned that also gave rise to the same thought about recognizing a shared humanity (or canine-inity) versus a utilitarian view of other life forms: Dogs are different from monkeys when it comes to interactions with humans. Although monkeys are genetically much closer to humans, they share no kindred feelings with us. Dogs, however, do. It turns out that dogs are born with the knowledge that they can communicate non-verbally with humans. When they are puppies, they already know how to track a human’s eye movements or pointing hand in order to gather information. And as all of us who have dogs know, dogs have incredibly high emotional intelligence. They may be non-verbal, but they read us well, and communicate beautifully using their body language.
Monkeys, however, although they are our genetic cousins, do not see humans in a communicative way, and therefore ignore humans entirely. If a human stands before two boxes, one of which has a treat, and then points to the box with the treat, the monkey will ignore that gesture entirely, while a dog will soon be munching happily away on the goodie.
(Cats, of course, are God-like creatures. They can read us just fine, but they think that cat-to-human communication is demeaning, and that human-to-cat communication is unnecessary.)
And then there are people with personality disorders (narcissism, sociopathy, psychopathy, etc.). Some years ago, I read a wonderful book called Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend, which concerned itself with the nature of personality disorders. One of my takeaways from the book was that people with personality disorders do not recognize other people’s humanity. Instead, for someone suffering from a personality disorder, other people are simply objects to be manipulated, in order to benefit the disordered person.
With all of that in mind, think about the way in which Leftists view people: people are “interest groups,” “victim classes,” “identity groups,” “racial groups,” etc. There are no individuals in liberal-land. There are political classes that can be manipulated to achieve Leftist goals. Those who refuse to be objectified in this way (usually conservative minorities) are savagely attacked for leaving the object group. That’s not how conservatives roll.
Likewise, Leftists are convinced that salvation lies in objects: electric cars, solar panels, smart grids, etc. Objects become objects of worship, shrines before which we lay our wealth, while de-personalized groups of humans are co-opted to serve these Gods.
Am I nuts or am I on to something?
Perhaps I’m misunderstanding things here, but as I read this article, five British police officers got badly mauled by a single dog because none had a gun. It wasn’t until a SWAT team arrived that the attack ended.
In America, the police are minutes away when seconds count. In England, the police are there, but who cares? Even the dogs aren’t scared.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here before, but my dog is perfect. Her perfection isn’t always obvious to the uninitiated. Those who don’t know what’s really important might think that, because she’s a mutt, she’s a little goofy looking. They may feel that her habit of slipping on the kitchen floor and crashing into kitchen cabinets bespeaks a lack of that grace and elegance that the best dogs should have. And maybe, just maybe, there are some who think that, because she doesn’t do tricks (no rolling, no shaking hands) she’s not too bright. As I’ve said, the people who see only those traits — traits I find endearing — are missing her essence.
My dog is perfect because she is quite possibly the nicest dog in the world, which is exactly what one wants in a family pet. She adores people, but in a diffident way that precludes aggressive friendliness. She stands there, face smiling, tail wagging gently, signalling to people that she would be very happy to engage with them, but allowing them to make the first move. No wonder the little girls in the neighborhood are her biggest fans. She’s tidy, obedient, cuddly, playful, etc., etc. Where it matters, she’s the best.
What does this have to do with Tim Tebow?
Well, Tim Tebow didn’t win his last football game. It was a biggie, and his team had a fairly ignominious defeat. That allowed the usual crowd to talk about the fact that, as a quarterback, he’s still immature (which, given his age and short career falls into the “well, duh” category), that he’s got a bizarre playing technique, that he’s too slow to react, etc. He is imperfect and, the naysayers imply, unworthy of the attention lavished upon him.
These naysayers, of course, are missing the point. Well, I agree that Tim Tebow is not perfect, because no human being is, he is an exemplary young man in all the areas that matter. He is deeply kind, humble, generous and, as we learned today, truly stalwart. Despite sustaining very painful injuries after this weekend’s game was already good and lost, Tebow did not give up and, instead, played through the pain:
“I just wanted to show character. You just continue to fight and it doesn’t change who you are, how you play, how you go out there, you should be the same at all times,” Tebow said. “That’s what I wanted to show, it didn’t matter if it was the first play or the last play or you were down by 42. I was going to be the same player and I was still going to give everything I have. Because that’s all I have to give.”
There is a fundamental decency in that statement that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with whether Tebow ever wins another football game. It is enough that this season placed Tebow in the public eye so that as many people as possible can hear his message. Certainly, his message his about his faith, and I don’t want to belittle that core component of his personality. To limit what he offers to faith, however, is to do him disservice. His approach to his faith means that, in his conduct, he sends a larger message about the human spirit, and this is a message that should reach all young people, whether they share his faith or not.
Certainly, I want my children to know that you can be famous, good-looking, talented . . . and courageous, kind, generous, moral, chaste, and all the other good stuff he is. In a world saturated with Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Gansta Rappers, and all the other foul people polluting pop culture, what a tremendous gift Tebow is to our young people. He uses his bully pulpit, not to tell people to use one sheet of toilet paper, buy $100,000 electric cars, or have sex, but, instead, to lead by example in the purest sense. His is a doctrine of love, not just for God, but for human-kind.
It is this last point that makes a mockery of those anti-Tebowists who claim that they fear criticizing him lest his fans become violent. No, I’m not kidding. Max Lindenman, who feels as I do that Tebow has become an important symbol in the culture wars, caught a liberal columnist make precisely this point:
Yesterday in the Atlantic, I read a blog post that really turned my head. Robert Wright warns non-religious people, especially those he calls “liberals,” that “dissing” Tebow is a bad idea…because it might make the other guys really mad. Extreme “religious conservatives,” who “consider themselves to be at war with the prevailing culture,” will take cracks against Tebow as cues to “reject the entire liberal agenda, ranging from gay rights to uncensored science education in the public schools.” Liberals, he advises, should be as discreet regarding the Broncos QB as the Jyllands-Posten wasn’t regarding Muhammad, prophet of Islam.
Unlike the Islamists, Tebow is the Abou ben Adam of faith, one who manifestly loves his fellow man as part of his faith in God. No one who respects Tebow is going to use violence as a means of expressing that support.
There are others like Tebow — Marine Lance Corporal Donald Hogan, for example, who
earned was awarded a posthumous Navy Cross — who have this abiding love for mankind. What they lack, however, is Tebow’s prominence. There are too many heroes whose work is done in the quiet and the dark. Tebow brings their ethos into the light.
I don’t care that Tebow is a somewhat ungainly quarterback. As a parent, and as someone who has watched our pop culture decay for too many years, I care deeply that Tebow is almost perfect in the areas that matter. He is a gift to our culture, and I hope that as many people as possible appreciate this gift.
I’ve tried to be mellow about the Saudis. My all-American training in moral relativism has allowed me to find excuses for the misogyny that makes women 54th class citizens, and for the antisemitism that makes it illegal for Jews to travel to Saudi Arabia, and for the censorship that makes possession of a Bible punishable by death, and for the stoning of adulteresses, and for whipping and hanging gays, and for funding the world-wide Madrassas that train boys to kill Jews and Americans. Each of those was just a by-product of the unique Saudi culture and, really, who am I to criticize them?
But today, for the first time, the Saudis went too far — they’ve banned dogs!
Saudi Arabia’s religious police have announced a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said on Wednesday.Othman al-Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa, told the Saudi edition of al-Hayat daily that the commission has started enforcing an old religious edict.
He said the commission was implementing a decision taken a month ago by the acting governor of the capital, Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, adding that it follows an old edict issued by the supreme council of Saudi scholars.
The reason behind reinforcing the edict now was a rising fashion among some men using pets in public “to make passes on women and disturb families,” he said, without giving more details.
Othman said that the commission has instructed its offices in the capital to tell pet shops “to stop selling cats and dogs”.
Somebody had better get the big guns on this one and call PETA, ’cause you just know that an edict like this will swiftly be followed by street-corner beheadings of dogs (and maybe their owners, too).