Backwards

In 1985, I came to New York City for the first time.  I remember the almost unimaginable expectations I had:  the Big Apple, “If I can make it here”, and all that.

Of course, I arrived in the middle of a garbage strike, so the streets were filthy, mountains of trash bags were on every street, and rats the size of fox terriers roamed the streets like packs of hyenas, in broad daylight.

I remember being hustled on every block by someone, not asking but demanding that I buy their cheap tat of dubious origin, and every shop along the street was proclaiming that they had to sell sell sell all their merchandise NOW! because they were losing their lease.  (A total lie, like so much about New York.)

Then I went to the Lower East Side.

I was forcibly reminded of all this yesterday morning, when I saw this front page pic:

…and the accompanying article:

It’s been six months since the mayor promised to pump more money into the city’s street-cleaning efforts. And the trash problem has only gotten worse.
De Blasio in September announced initiatives to reallocate Sanitation Department funding to bolster litter-basket pickups in communities hit hardest during the pandemic, including Bushwick in Brooklyn. But according to the official mayoral report of “acceptably clean city streets,” street cleanliness there plummeted to 33.3 percent in January, compared with 86.1 percent the month before.
The same neighborhood scored 95.4 percent a year ago.

But this post isn’t about New York fucken City.  It’s about the whole country.

NYFC Mayor Bill de Blasio is quite clearly the most Marxist of all elected officials in the United States (residents of San Francisco, Portland and Seattle may quibble), and it is quite clear that what he is doing as mayor is just a microcosm of what his fellow Marxists are attempting to do all over the country.

They’re taking us back into the Third World.

Anyone who has ever spent any time in Third World countries will know that one of the most obvious manifestations of Third Worldliness is the amounts of trash that people there just toss out into the streets and out of car windows;  and when you travel through the countryside, fences will be plastered with plastic bags and other trash blown against the wire by wind.

Here’s Los Angeles:

…and San Francisco:

…Chicago:

 …and Philadelphia:

I could go on, but you get my point.

Let’s look at other aspects of the Third World… such as their elections.

In the main, Third World elections are corrupt, whether through the actual process or whether by fraud, suppression of the “incorrect” vote or denying impartial monitoring of the process.

Oh look, it’s Detroit in November 2020:

Here’s another example of blocking observers from checking the counting process:

Oh wait, that’s not Detroit;  it’s Nigeria.  I was distracted by the razor wire atop the wall.

Does any of this ring any bells?

A new report on the vast expansion of mail-in ballots in the 2020 election is set to spark new concerns among some Republicans who back former President Donald Trump’s charge that some states went too far to change the rules — illegally.
Among the three “key takeaways” cited was this: “28 States changed their policy to make it easier to use a mail ballot.”
As a result, it added, “For the first time ever, more people voted early with a mail ballot or in-person than filled out a ballot at the polls on Election Day.”

Of course, the typical Third World mantra about elections is, “One Man.  One Vote.  One Time.”

So here’s the U.S. version:

It would be an understatement to describe H.R. 1 as a radical assault on American democracy, federalism, and free speech. It is actually several radical left-wing wish lists stuffed into a single 791-page sausage casing. It would override hundreds of state laws governing the orderly conduct of elections, federalize control of voting and elections to a degree without precedent in American history, end two centuries of state power to draw congressional districts, turn the Federal Elections Commission into a partisan weapon, and massively burden political speech against the government while offering government handouts to congressional campaigns and campus activists.

And that’s the opinion of the National Review, surely the most ineffectual and milquetoast collection of conservatives around.

And finally, let’s consider the corruption through nepotism that is a fact of life in the Third World — and now in the U.S. as well:

During his long senatorial career, Joe Biden cast himself as an everyman, “Amtrak Joe,” known for taking the train daily to Washington, D.C., from his home in Delaware. The image he sought to create was one of a simple legislator independent of the usual corrupting influences pols face.
In truth, Joe Biden knows those influences all too well. He heads up a family of wealthy lobbyists and political operatives who have spent decades trading on his last name.
In Profiles in Corruption, Peter Schweizer points out that the Biden family’s wealth “depends on Joe Biden’s political influence and involves no less than five family members: Joe’s son Hunter, daughter Ashley, brothers James and Frank, and sister Valerie.”

It’s taken the Left some time to effect their change of the United States, surely the first among First World nations, into a Third World state.

But here we are.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.

Colonial War

Over the years, many people have written to me asking about early South Africa, and more specifically about the Boer War (or, as the Boers called it, the Vryheidsoorlog, or [Second] War of Freedom) from 1899-1902.

A few days ago, I found an old 1992 documentary on BoobTube, and it’s not bad — only just a tad over an hour — and it covers the period quite well, and impartially.  So that’s your weekend viewing assignment.  (There will be a test.)  If any questions of history remain, write to me and I’ll put the answers up in a follow-up post next weekend, when I’ll talk about my family’s relationship to the war.

There are three books I’ve always recommended on the topic:  Rags of Glory by Stuart Cloete, and the book it’s partially based on, a campaign journal called Kommando  written by Deneys Reitz, a wartime Bitter-Ender (you’ll get that explained in the video above) who went on to become the Deputy Prime Minister of the unified South Africa.  Both are absolutely brilliant — Cloete’s book also incorporates a view of the Boer War from the British perspective, and it’s both accurate and illuminating.

The third — an actual history book — is The Boer War  by Thomas Pakenham, generally regarded as the sine qua non  of historical sources for the conflict.  Written during the late 1980s, it’s devoid of any hint of the political correctness which infests later works on the topic.

Enjoy.

And Yet Again

As I’ve said in the past, here and here, Chile’s Augusto Pinochet was a conundrum.  Others, it seems, are even more positive than I am:

Almost nobody is more reviled by the international intelligentsia and media than the late Augusto Pinochet, the late 20th -century Chilean dictator. He holds a prominent position in the political left’s “rogues’ gallery” comprised of those who stood in opposition to their goals.
His supposed “crimes” included conducting a military coup to illegitimately grab control of the Chilean government from a popularly elected president, rounding up and torturing huge numbers of innocent citizens (killing as many as 80,000 in the process) and corruptly stealing vast sums of money while ruling as a dictator.
But many of those claims are either false or exaggerated — most credible estimates of those killed are below 5,000 — or they must be viewed in context. More important, if we raise the examination of Pinochet from the bitter soil of leftist ressentiment to the question of human flourishing, he appears as one of recent history’s shining lights.

Read the whole thing — and my earlier posts on the topic too, if you haven’t seen them before.

I will never forget two things about my visit to Chile:  the sight of old women placing flowers on the sidewalk outside Pinochet’s modest private home (now a museum) in Valparaiso, and at a formal dinner one night, one of the toasts was:  “To General Augusto Pinochet, savior of Chile.”

It was delivered without irony, well received and supported by all the guests, and even more telling, it was said in English — no doubt for our benefit, and to make a point.

Interesting stuff.

Challenge Accepted

I have a confession to make.  While I’ve hunted animals all over the world, the only one I’ve stayed away from (because cowardice) is the South African Cape buffalo.  Other reasons:  if you wound them, they will probably come after you — I believe that it’s the animal which has caused more professional hunters’ deaths than any other, and if I recall correctly, by a large margin.

Here’s a sample pic:

As the late Peter Capstick (who wasn’t killed by a buff) once said:  “They look at you like you owe them money”, but while I would defer to his judgement in everything else, in this case he’s severely understated the case.  Maybe that’s how they look at you when they’re in a good mood, but they’re so seldom in a good mood, who would know?  Their look is not so much a glare as a challenge.  In the above pic, which shows an old bull, please note that his bad mood may have been caused by the lions which left the scars on his back, and while they’ve healed, he hasn’t forgotten about it.

Small wonder that lions will almost always try for buffalo calves, because even when a cow gets into the picture to protect her calf, she won’t follow up the attack once the lions have given up on the calf and slouched off to find an old wildebeest or some other alternative.  However, this is not the case with buffalo bulls, who will not quit until they’ve disemboweled a lion or two and stomped on the remains with their broad hooves.  Lest anyone think I’m exaggerating, allow me to recount the tale of what happened to Doc Russia and Mr. Free Market on their last buffalo hunt.  (As a point of interest, both men were using rifles chambered in .375 H&H, which is the absolute minimum.)

Mr. FM had bagged his buff the day before in a fairly short hunt, and now it was Doc’s turn.  His luck was not as good as Mr. FM’s, and it took him a while to find a decent target.  Eventually, the guide spotted a pair of young bulls grazing together, and Doc decided to take one, which he did.

To everyone’s astonishment, the other bull didn’t disappear off into the wilderness;  oh no, he sauntered about a hundred-odd yards away, turned and watched his buddy die.

The dead buff was loaded up into the truck and back they all went to the hunting camp.  I say “all”, because the surviving buff followed them all the way back to the camp. Clearly, he had mischief on his mind, and had the camp not been a large one, everyone involved might well have become the targets of his revenge.

What’s even more interesting was that they weren’t aware that he’d followed them — until the next day when they went out and saw his tracks leading from the death scene all the way back along the side of the road — but not on it — and they had no clue that he was there.  (Despite their enormous size, Cape buffalo move through the bush like shadows.)

I told you all that so I could tell you this.  The above pic is part of this article, which talks about the optimal cartridges for dangerous game.

You’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating here: cape buffalo are really, really big and really, really tough [and really, really mean — K].  As a point of reference, a big bull can weigh twice as much as a mature bull elk.
Buffalo have thick hides, dense muscles, and heavy bones that are known for defeating lightly constructed bullets. Since buffalo are often encountered at close range and in thick cover, the margin for error is very small and more than a few hunters have lost their lives (or spent time in a hospital) as a result of poor bullet performance.

Go ahead and read the rest of the article:  it’s a good one.  And even if you never hunt Cape buff, just tip your hat to the guys who have, and will in the future.  There is no bigger (and potentially more-dangerous hunt) than this one.


Update:  Mr. Free Market sent me a pic of his buff:

His rifle is a Blaser S2 double in .375 H&H, the scope is a Swarovski Z6i 1-6×24.  Nothing but the best for His Lordship… and yes, it was a one-shot kill.

As Usual

Following on from yesterday’s news about Chile voting to “change” their constitution — really, overturning the one passed into law by Augusto Pinochet and putting in a new, “progressive” (Marxist) one — the Left in Chile did the usual:

Violence, looting, and disorder erupted in Chile on Sunday evening after an overwhelming majority of people voted in favor of destroying the country’s constitution, replacing it with a new document more favorable to the nation’s left wing.

On the night of the elections, local media reported that police arrested at least 19 people for looting a pharmacy and a supermarket. In the commune of Melipilla outside Santiago, rioters attacked a police station, injuring eight officers, while also installing barricades on a carriageway to prevent the movement of traffic.

No doubt, this was all part of the “wild celebrations” that followed the vote result.

So just to be clear:  if the Left loses, they riot and loot;  and if they win, they riot and loot.

Something we can probably expect in the U.S. when Trump cleans their clock next week.  See the next post for details.

I think I’ll head off to the range as soon as it opens in a couple hours.  Handgun practice this time?  I think so.

Goodbye Chile, Hello Venezuela

And another one bites the dust:

Wild celebrations have been seen across Chile after the country voted to rid itself of its dictatorship-era constitution left behind by Augusto Pinochet’s regime.
Chileans voted overwhelmingly in a landmark referendum on Sunday to replace the constitution, long seen as underpinning the nation’s glaring economic and social inequalities.
Thousands of people flocked onto the streets of Santiago amid a cacophony of horn-blaring to celebrate a crushing victory for the ‘Approve’ campaign – by 78.28 percent to 21.72 percent, with over 99 percent of the votes counted.

And its replacement?

People hope a new constitution would expand the role of the state in providing a welfare safety net, ensuring basic rights to health, education, water distribution and pensions.

Ah yes, an expanded state… [sigh]

And why not?  After all, they voted for it, despite the dismal track record of an “expanded state” failing everywhere it’s been implemented.

My post title says it all.