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.

Segregation

I see that some Black people want to start an all-Black community somewhere:

“We are dealing with systemic racism,” Scott wrote in an op-ed for Blavity last month. “We are dealing with deep-rooted issues that will require more than protesting in the streets. It’s now time for us to get our friends and family together and build for ourselves,” Walters, who serves as the president of the organization, said in an interview with Yahoo News. “That’s the only way we’ll be safe. And that’s the only way that this will work. We have to start bringing each other together. We really just want you to come and hang out and feel safe,” Walters said. “You don’t have to worry about the Karens of the world and anything like that. You just come in and have fun. We’ll have a sportsman area, like a Black sportsman area with fishing, hunting, shooting range, ATV trails. We really just want to build a tight-knit community for our people to just come and breathe.”

Scott said in the report that black Americans need to own land and create their own social, political, and economic institutions.
“Amass land, develop affordable housing for yourself, build your own food systems, build manufacturing and supply chains, build your own home school communities, build your own banks and credit unions, build your own cities, build your own police departments, tax yourselves and vote in a mayor and a city council you can trust,” Scott wrote. “Build it from scratch. Then go get all the money the United States of America has available for government entities and get them bonds. This is how we build our new Black Wall Streets. We can do this. We can have Wakanda! We just have to build it for ourselves!”

Let’s hope this is the start of a trend.

I know, this may sound strange coming from a lifelong and bitter opponent of apartheid.  The fundamental difference between apartheid and this idea, however, is that apartheid was forced upon people by government policy.  This, however, is a bunch of people who want to band together — a natural right of free individuals, as enumerated in the First Amendment.

And I want it to work — I really do.

However, not only have I seen this fail elsewhere in the world, but we have ample evidence right here in the U.S. to suggest that even with all these good intentions, it’s likely to fail here too.  But hey:  if it worked for the Mormons in Utah, who’s to say that it wouldn’t work in Georgia — if the right people get to congregate according to this plan.

Good for them, say I.  Just as long as they don’t expect too much help from government — because that, you see, would be un-Constitutional.