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  • Caput lupinum

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on December 27th, 2012 (All posts by )

    Cynic that I am, I am deriving a great deal of amusement from some of the media-political-general public storms whipped up in the wake of the horribly tragic Newtown shootings, and the deaths of two firefighters in an ambush set by an ex-convict in upstate New York. As if the shootings weren’t horrible and tragic enough in themselves, now we get to enjoy the reflexive Kabuki dance of ‘we must ban those horrid gun-things!’ being played out – especially since some of the very loudest voices in this chorus are politicians and celebrities who live with a very high degree of security at their workplaces and homes, and whose children attend rather well-protected schools. Such choruses appear to be completely oblivious to the fact that for many of the ordinary rest of us, poor and middle-class alike, the forces of law and order are not johnny-on-the-spot in the event of an attempted robbery, rape, break-in or home invasion. To rely on the oft-used cliché, when moments count, the police are minutes away. In the case of rural areas in the thinly-populated flyover states law enforcement aid and assistance might be closer to being hours away.

    That ordinary and law-abiding citizens might have darned good reasons to have a private arms collection – and a legal right right to do so under the terms of the Constitution – appears to have escaped certain minions of the mainstream press. Many in broadcast media have leapt into the fray, vigorously performing the gun-ban-kabuki-dance and enthusiastically denigrating those citizens who disagree with them. Piers Morgan is not the only, although the most obnoxious example. As a side-bar, I thought we had enough home-grown condescending a-holes that we didn’t need to import any more from England … but it appears that Mr. Morgan has enthusiastically taken advantage of the protections offered by First Amendment to tear down the Second. Admittedly, there is no legal justification for throwing him out of the United States on that basis, but it is jolly good fun watching him squirm under the lash of flyover-country contempt. You want to get up on your CNN bully pulpit, Mr. Morgan? OK, then – become accustomed to dodging the metaphorical spitballs, rotten eggs and moldy vegetables flying in your direction. As the man advised us – punch back twice as hard.

    Punch-back is also happening to the publishers and staff of a hitherto relatively unknown local newspaper who thought it was a brilliant stratagem to post an interactive map of gun permit holders. Which is a bad idea on several levels; although the publisher is trying to veil it in the thin justification of the public’s right to know in the wake of the Newtown murders. The list may not be entirely current, it may endanger women targeted by abusive exes and stalkers, having a permit doesn’t necessarily mean gun ownership, the permit database says nothing about rifles and shotguns, it may have the effect of telling the criminally-inclined where small arms might be found – or not … but it appears that the main motivation in publishing it in a readily-accessible form was to encourage the naming and shaming of permit holders … all a part of the gun-ban-kabuki-dance, of course. Tit for tat is being administered to the publisher, staff, owners and all of the Journal News – in that bloggers have been enthusiastically researching and posting every bit of information findable on them, including pictures of the publisher’s residence lifted from Zillow. It’s all very good fun for those members of the public and the bloggerati who are most particularly annoyed by Mr. Morgan’s condescension, and the arrogance of the Westchester Journal News, but in a larger sense it is dead serious business. They are responding to a concerted attempt to demonize ‘the Other’ – in this particular case, the ‘Other’ are law-abiding and responsible owners of any kind of firearm.

    This ‘Othering’ that I have been noticing for about the last five years or so – although it might have been going on in a more subtle way for decades before then. It’s a process that’s more in the open now, voiced in stronger language, and from the mouths and keyboards of people – like newspaper publishers, TV news anchors, politicians and actors – who once were more circumspect in voicing them, and thereby appeared to be either evenly balanced or above the fray entirely. It’s a dangerous business, since once it has gone beyond a certain point, those designated as ‘others’ are removed from consideration due to fellow citizens and human beings. They have essentially been declared – as is the title of this essay – a wolf’s head; “an outlawed felon considered a pariah – a lone wolf – open to attack by anyone.” A wolf’s head – the end product of systematic ‘othering’ through social conditioning, the legal system, or a combination of both – deserves no protection under the law, no consideration from the upright and the right-thinking, who may be disposed of whenever convenient without a second thought. And that is what is motivating a lot of the fury; the suspicion that legal possession of firearms under the terms of the Constitution is the only thing which will prevent ‘othering’ from running its full and deadly course.


    60 Responses to “Caput lupinum”

    1. Mike K Says:

      The ignorance of the anti-gun hysterics is annoying but to be expected. It is no longer expected that you need to know what you are talking about to opine in the electronic media, such as TV. David Gregory and his magical magazine is only one small example. During the first Gulf War, I was listening to a radio interview show when he came on, obviously drunk. I wonder if he has a drinking problem or it was a one-time event. You know what they say about drunk drivers driving drunk 200 times for every times they’re caught.

    2. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Mike, I am still jaw-droppingly astonished that just about everything to come out from the news media within the first twenty-four hours of the Newton shooting, of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman matter, the Benghazi consulate matter … all of it was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrongedy wrong. And in some cases – like Benghazi – we still don’t know what really happened.

    3. VSSC Says:

      “when moments count, the police are minutes away.”

      I first heard that from a Cop.

    4. PenGun Says:

      So I wander where I will out here in the bush, no cops for miles and they are generally not in good enough shape to even get to me with any ease, should they feel the need.

      There are bears and cougars nearby with elk a bit further into the bush and I carry a stick. I carry it to lean on when I rest and although it’s a fine piece of boggle wood it’s not much of a weapon.

      Am I missing something here? I don’t seem to need a weapon for anything I can think of.

    5. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Good for you Pen-gunny. You are so special and fortunate. Unfortunately, a lot of other people do not share your good fortune, in that they share your ability to scare off perils with a stick.
      Good luck with the bears, too – I won’t tell them that you are crunchy and taste good with a selection of nice condiments.

    6. John Cunningham Says:

      Senator Feinstein, (Commie, CA)has introduced a bill which will be a line in the sand for many of us. if a few million gun owners take one cop or soldier with them, the state will collapse.

      and what Solzhenitsyn thought about self-defense–
      “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
      – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

    7. PenGun Says:

      “Good luck with the bears, too – I won’t tell them that you are crunchy and taste good with a selection of nice condiments.”

      Sweetie I have named several of them and meet them quite often. Perhaps you have been reading backwoods scare novels with the manly hero protecting the …. it’s really too funny. These are black bears and not very dangerous at all when treated with respect.

      Any wild animal has to be very careful as to the fights it picks. A cougar will run if you can convince it you will fight. No doctors in the bush. Sort of like being uninsured in the States.

    8. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Well, if you can only count on running into those sweet little harmless black bears, Pen-gunny, then your stick is perfectly OK. Grizzlies might be another problem.

      “No doctors in the bush. Sort of like being uninsured in the States.”

      Ok, here’s this thing that supercilious Euros usually don’t know about medical care in the US. Go to an emergency room – they have to take care of you. Major heart attack, ingrown toenail, legal, illegal, resident or tourist, ability to pay nil or otherwise. They have to take care of you. It’s the law.

      There’s also this other recent development – walk-in, for-fee clinics …

      However, that was not the main thrust of this essay, Pen-gunny – adventures in the wild with wolves and that. It was routine demonization of ‘the other’ and the various nasty paths that might lead to. Do try to stay on-topic.

    9. Mike K Says:

      PenGun, your cougars must be more cooperative than ours in California. Running a trauma center, I have had some experience with those who got too close to cougars. Of course, they didn’t have your profound knowledge. I believe they tasted the same, however.

      I was in Banff about 20 years ago when a ranger pointed out a trail going north. There had been a grizzly bear that had killed a camper the week before up that trail. Two newspaper reporters had shown up to investigate the story. The ranger showed them where the incident had occurred but advised to stay in town as the bear had not been found. They ignored him and became the next story.

      We’ll see you in the papers.

    10. Jonathan Says:

      Re the news media, don’t forget Katrina, the TX national guard memo, etc., etc.

    11. Bill Brandt Says:

      Pengun – I know by now that you won’t change me and I won’t change you – but your attitude towards wildlife seems to mirror that of our late Timothy Treadwell.

      Of course the Alaskan “Brown Bear” (really a grizzly) would most likely have one of your named bears for breakfast, but the attitude is the same. He had names for them too and I suspect a particular 2 worded name for the last one he saw ;-)

      I am not saying that all wildlife is dangerous but having an attitude that none of them are will get you in trouble – sooner or later.

      It’s all about respect – for their unpredictability.

    12. Bill Brandt Says:

      Jonathan – no wonder the print media – and viewership of the network news – is sliding. Thank God for the Internet. And UK newspapers that seem to be more objective than so many of our own.

    13. Miss Joe Cropsey Says:

      Is PenGun auditioning for the Timothy Treadwell sequel? I heard Werner Herzog is starting pre-production for Grizzly Man 2. I wish PG well in his adventures but in the Black Hills of South Dakota we have to shoot cougars off our porches. I don’t have any kids or pets but my neighbors do. And they shoot ’em too, not while hiking on some path to Xanadu but on the freaking front yard.

    14. Missing Joe Cropsey Says:

      The only black bears I’ve ever encountered were in New Brunswick, Canada. My mother’s folk live there and they all kept hunting/fishing cabins on the Restigouche River. You could skip a stone across it in places and be in Quebec. The bears would run away if you were even able to spot them. But you could spot their remnants. The scat obviously, but bloody pools in the mud surrounded by their tracks. I was a kid then and not worried while fishing in the deep wood. But always my Dad or an Uncle around watching us. Oh yeah, and guns. Everyone had a gun and could use it. Never saw a handgun but rifles galore. Lots of them stacked on shelves. Maybe that’s why the bears run away? I hope so. Perhaps that’s why some folks are safe on a stick. But this was late ’70s.

    15. Bill Brandt Says:

      @Missing Joe Cropsey: Grizzley Man 2 – The Rumble In BC – he has already interviewed the most likely MEs and made sure there was a stainless steel tray “small” enough ;-)

      Seriously I tell people when I saw that movie – with Treadwell ranting and raving against people and for “his” bears – about halfway through the movie I started rooting for the bears! (and they didn’t let me down)

      BTW I could tell you a dozen stories of dumb tourists and wildlife from Kenya to Alaska.

    16. Mike K Says:

      “BTW I could tell you a dozen stories of dumb tourists and wildlife from Kenya to Alaska.”

      One of my pet peeves is idiots from Marine Del Rey (powerboat capital of the world) who tried to pet the buffalo at Catalina. We had been going to Catalina since the late 60s. There had been a small herd of buffalo since the 1920s. About 1980, some idiot woman wanted her husband to take a photo of her with a buffalo. Of course, it butted her. Any sensible buffalo would have.

      She sued.

      All the buffalo were moved off the island and there are none left to see.

      Then the enviro Nazis killed all the goats. The goats had been there since the 1500s. No matter. They weren’t “indigenous.” Then the wild pigs. Now there is nothing but the rattlesnakes.

      If only it were open season on enviros.

    17. zenpundit Says:

      Even a small black bear is much stronger than a human. Or even one of the great apes. Bears have their foreleg bicep tendons insert/attach at the wrist, not the elbow joint as do primates, creating a very powerful lever.

      Most bears are not particularly aggressive towards humans – people usually get into trouble with bears because they are idiots who feed or irritate the bear. I saw a wild bear once in Canada and that was a delight, but if a bear was very hungry or aggressive, I’d want more than a stick between me and it.

    18. Bill Brandt Says:

      Mike – there is no common sense in the legal system here but I don’t think I am saying anything controversial.At least to most people.

      In Kenya I was in a camp a week after 2 women from the Bay Area decided to leave their tent and take a midnight stroll – found next morning gored by a cape buffalo. After dinner you are escorted by guards with automatic weapons and told not to leave your tent. During the night the Cape Buffalo just wander around, grazing.

      In Alaska – on the Denali Hwy I see tourists stop their cars running up to a moose and her calf to take pictures.

      And in Alaska – in Brooks Camp (a fascinating – arrive by float plane – entry by lottery Federal National Park) – some Swiss tourists pretended to “no habla” when a ranger is screaming at them to leave the foot bridge 2′ over the water – allowing some grizzlies to swim under – They had to take pictures.

      Have to tell you that man recently killed by a grizzly up there – taking his picture – his own stupidity. I think too many people raised in urban settings anthropomorphize animals – heck that is probably a strong current in the “animal rights” movement – assuming animals act like people – and have motives like people.

      Of course when an animal does what it does by instinct it always is the one to pay. I could give you a dozen such stories.

      I hope you get a chance to go to Brooks Camp – first thing is that you sit in a little log cabin theater watching a movie about bear etiquette.

      They are there to feed on salmon and will not bother people unless they feel threatened.

      You can walk among them – with rangers stationed nearby – but respect is the key. Make noise and give them the right of way. I didn’t name a one. Just kept out of their way ;-)

    19. Dan from Madison Says:

      Pengun and his little stick are full of crap, as usual. Eventually the cougar will get a tasty meal – anyone that understands cougars knows that Pen’s location, size and habits are being imprinted upon the cougar during the cougar’s usual route through the woods (they work circles of their “turf”) and one day the timing will be right. Even if Pen had a gun it would be over before that part began.

      That is, if any of what Pen wrote is true. And I don’t think it is. He-man Pengun is probably sitting in a high rise in Toronto writing that nonsense.

      Back on topic, I agree with you on this Sgt. – the media are breathtakingly dumb when it comes to matters of – well, anything. I love asking these types exactly what an “assault” weapon is.

      Jonathan provided other examples, and I have one more. Every year about this time we get the stories about carbon monoxide poisonings. I don’t enjoy reading about people’s misfortune, but I do like reading how wrong the articles are describing the HVAC systems since that is what I do for a living. Pretty much every bit of information in the articles is wrong is some fashion.

      In general, “reporters” don’t really know much of any real world practical knowledge, that I can tell anyways.

    20. Jonathan Says:

      Many years ago one of the Chicago papers did a special report on commodities trading, one of the city’s main industries. The cover photo on the supplement showed a clerk or trader at the Board of Trade, who was signalling either to another trader or to a broker to buy twenty contracts. The caption said something like, “A trader signals to buy two contracts”. This is like publishing a report on Boeing with a cover photo of a 747 and a caption that reads, “The two-engined Boeing 747”. (The difference between the signals for twenty and two was two fingers held to the forehead vs. the chin.) Any of the hundreds of people who worked at or for the CBT could have corrected this error. The CBT employees who gave public tours could have corrected this error. Yet they still made the error.

      Who doesn’t have a story like this, about media people making howling errors on a topic that he knows something about? And who doesn’t then think: If they’re getting obvious stuff wrong on topics that I understand, they must be getting lots of big stuff wrong on other topics that I don’t know much about.

    21. Missing Joe Cropsey Says:

      @ Bill Brandt-
      “Seriously I tell people when I saw that movie – with Treadwell ranting and raving against people and for “his” bears – about halfway through the movie I started rooting for the bears! (and they didn’t let me down)”

      No doubt. My first impression was he was a typical Southern California surfer, and I’ve known a few. But then I began to wonder if he was on drugs esp. LSD or something like it. I hate to say this but he was asking for his death by Grizzly. You can only muss with nature a few times before the hammer falls. It’s too bad he brought his girl.

      @ Bill Brandt –
      “I think too many people raised in urban settings anthropomorphize animals.

      Mr. Brandt. Well said. I lived in Hyde Park (Chicago)for several years. I’ve lived in suburban New England and now the non-suburban Black Hills of SD. The East coast has no predatory animal. And they’ve lost sanity. The people (RI idiots) in my town threw a fit when the town hired a “gunhand” to shoot the coyotes. I would have been arrested for shooting a coyote before it attacked a child. Life or Law signals when it’s time to move.

    22. Dan from Madison Says:

      @Missing Joe I hate to get off topic but you raise an excellent point. City dwellers who feed and coddle things like deer unknowingly bring their predators with them (i.e. cougars). This is an enormous problem in more rural states such as Colorado. We have read time after time about people getting careless with nature and getting gored/eaten by bears/cougars.

      Recently in Madison there was a spree of coyotes taking off family pets such as dogs and cats for consumption. Can’t discharge a firearm legally in the city so they did…pretty much nothing and have to live with the menace. I am glad I now live on a farm where if we have a problem, we just take care of it. And so do the other rural residents and farmers. Not a day goes by where I don’t hear the crack of some sort of firearm if I am working outside. Some of it is probably target practice, but I am quite positive that a lot of it is pest control.

    23. Mike Doughty Says:

      The media usually get just about everything wrong. I have had the misfortune to have involvement in a number of incidents that have been reported on in the media (murders, explosions at chemical plants, fires, strikes). In every single instance there were significant errors in the reporting of these incidents, often ones that would lead people to the wrong conclusions. I have to extrapolate that this is true in other instances; accordingly, I take nothing reported in the media at face value.

      As to mountain lions, Dan and I have had numerous communications over the years on this subject. I live in lion country in Colorado, in a mountain community near Colorado Springs. I’ve seen lions on a number of occasions and have neighbors with wildlife cams who regularly get photos of them. I have studied the literature (both scientific and otherwise) and talked to people who have devoted their lives to the study of these animals. Anyone in lion country that thinks they can’t be attacked by a lion is being very foolish. Lions are quickly losing their fear of human, just as they have lost their fear of dogs. 100 years ago a lion would run from a dog…..any dog, no matter how small. This was so because the only natural predator of lions were wolves, and there was an association there (smell maybe?), and the fear of dogs was passed from mother to kits. But no more. Today a dog is simply food to a lion, and we have had numerous dogs of all sizes attacked and taken in this area. Near Denver a few years ago a lion came over a 6 foot fence, through an open door into a bedroom where a couple was asleep and took a Lab, jumping over the fence with the 72 pound dog in its mouth.,2933,398502,00.html

      Lions used to run from people, because people used to hunt and kill lions. The fear of people was passed from mother to kits. But we don’t hunt and kill lions any more. Where lions and people encounter each other on a regular basis, lions are quickly losing their fear of people and starting to see them as food.

    24. Mike K Says:

      “I hope you get a chance to go to Brooks Camp – first thing is that you sit in a little log cabin theater watching a movie about bear etiquette.

      They are there to feed on salmon and will not bother people unless they feel threatened. ”

      I remember a story of a guy fishing for salmon somewhere on the peninsula and caught a nice one. That area has a small house built for cleaning the salmon and he was carrying the salmon up to clean it when a grizzly confronted him. He threw the fish to the bear and it took off.

      I almost bought a house just north of Homer some years ago. Whiskey Creek. It’s just off the road to Homer. I have an Alaska license and considered moving there, at least part-time, when I was younger. I got offered a job in Wasilla, where Sarah Palin was Mayor, by a surgery group who wanted me to work summers so they could all take off. I thought about it.

      Jonathan, have you read Michael Crichton’s essay on “The Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect”:

      “Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
      In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

      — Michael Crichton

      I miss him every week.

      Mission Viejo is no longer rural, as it was when I moved here. It does border on the Cleveland National Forest, however and has a number of green belt areas that are pretty wild. Several years ago, a local oral surgeon’s wife was attacked by a cougar while mountain biking. Her companion, another doctor’s wife fought him off her. Her face was badly mauled and her husband fainted when he saw her in the pre-op room. While searching for the lion, the sheriff’s helicopter found another victim, also a mountain biker. He had been attacked while fixing something on his bike. His body had been dragged into the brush and his liver had been eaten.

      I’m also not sure that PenGun isn’t a BSer.

    25. Dan from Madison Says:

      “His body had been dragged into the brush and his liver had been eaten.” Standard procedure for a cougar. They hide their prey for later dining and always enter through the belly cavity of the prey after they kill it.

    26. Jonathan Says:

      Michael, I haven’t read that essay but I’ve heard of Gell-Mann. You see this kind of thing all over the media. You also see media people, particularly on TV, ignorantly repeating each other’s verbal errors until the erroneous usage becomes standard. For example, jet fighter became fighter jet. And in discussing a trumped-up financial scandal where the govt went after exchange-based traders for trading “on the curb” (i.e., after the mkt had formally closed, as in the old days traders had sometimes continued to do business on the street in front of the exchange after mkt hours), the Chicago papers used the British spelling of the term “kerb trading” because they took their initial information from reports in British papers and didn’t understand the origins of the words they were using.

    27. Bill Brandt Says:

      @Dan – The media is breathtakingly dumb – or I would say, more accurately, lazy. How difficult is it to make a reasonable effort ensuring your facts are correct?

      2 nights ago i am watching TV and they are telling of a Cessna that crashed. I looked at the plane and that was no Cessna.

      And I think you are right about Pengun. Nobody who lives in the wild would be that careless with wildlife…and expect to live long.

      Your remarks about shooting coyotes reminded me of a policy Montana & Wyoming ranchers had concerning wolves and the environmentalists who got them a “protected” status –

      “SSS” – Shoot, Shovel, and Shutup.

    28. Dan from Madison Says:

      Bill – I think lazy is a huge part of it, but more importantly I believe that most “journalists” and/or reporters have an axe to grind (ax?).

      There is a lot of SSS that goes on in rural settings and at farms. Just another chore that needs to be done sometimes.

    29. VSSC Says:


      If we decide to move back to 54/40 up from 49th parallel will you fight, and will it be stick or something with more reach? It would give us the opportunity to flex our Military as a warmup for the invasion of Mexico, grab your shale resources, and maul a bunch of leftists all at the same time. What’s not to like?

      49 and STFU, or 54/40 and fight.

      BTW that’s a great Internet connection you got going in the wilds of Canuckistan …

    30. Tim Says:

      PenGun follows the Teddy Roosevelt maxim – speak softly and carry a big stick. I think he missed out on the softly part though.

    31. Dan from Madison Says:

      54/40 or fight – now we’re talking!

    32. PenGun Says:

      Nice. I live out here by the edge of civilization because I love the wild things. I have been wandering here for many years and understand the animals. A Grizzly is a predator and everything he sees is possibly dinner, none around here.. A Black Bear is a scavenger and opportunist, very much like us. They do not look upon other animals as prey although they will participate in feeding on already dead animals. A big Cougar is about 150 lbs and quite lightly built, they do not like to fight for their food. They stalk and attack from behind if they can. They will run from a serious challenge. It’s not worth their while to take any damage at all. The Elk are very dangerous in season, not so much when it’s over.

      I can move very quietly if I want and the stick is small. I generally make normal traveling noises in the bush and although I often see bears before they see me but they know I’m around. In cougar areas, further up the hill, I check my six a lot. I am old but I still lift weights and unless the cougar can take me down and finish me fast I will break it, as I said they are lightly built.

      I don’t need a gun. You people don’t need em’ either but I guess your culture, LOL, requires them.

      It’s obvious to anyone with a brain and access to Google that guns cause far more damage in your country than they prevent. The rest of us, noticing this, have decided guns are best well regulated.

    33. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      This ‘Othering’ that I have been noticing for about the last five years or so – although it might have been going on in a more subtle way for decades before then.

      It has been going on for decades, and it has not been subtle if you were willing to concede that there are those who wish you and yours dead and/or maimed. It is a hard thing to accept, even when they have been saying it openly for generations. Go on the Leftist web sites or publications that are probably regular reading for our trolls and you will find calls for death, heads on spikes, lynching, etc. for disagreeing with them. What has started in the last few months is a return of that feeling. We are the “other” to them, and now more and more they are the “other” to us. And the efforts of the Left to reinforce that divide are not originating from either ignorance or error, but are deliberate and strategic.

      It is going to come down to a no-quarter battle. One of the things that happens when the rule of law is made obsolete, is that the constraints on behavior implicit in the rule of law also become obsolete. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

      As far as PenGun’s adventures in the wild; I too have my doubts as to the veracity of them, but if they are true … Darwin never sleeps.

      I am not too far, I suspect, from Mike Doughty above. I live in a county seat, albeit a mountain and rural county. I have open fields on 3 sides, but am actually well within city limits. I have bear visit my yard regularly, from their scat. I hear cougars calling at night during the spring and summer. A couple of years ago, one wandered into a morning mass at a church in town, bringing the rite to a hasty close. The north end of the county has the highest cougar population per square mile in the state, and our crack Division of Wildlife dumps the bears they are re-locating from around the state in the west end of our county. A number of years ago, the son of a former neighbor lived in a trailer in the back country in the west end of the county. A relocated black bear broke into his trailer, killed and ate him. Somewhat north of there, a black bear tried to break through the front door of the home of a co-worker. The sequalae of my friend protecting his wife and children included bear stew.

      Oh, yes. We have packs of coyotes here too. You can hear them, and they take the occasional pet.

      I spent a large part of my career reading people, usually felons. Going purely on intuition, I think I am going to agree with Dan re: Toronto. Could quite easily be wrong, but that is how it seems to me. YMMV

      Subotai Bahadur

    34. Missing Joe Cropsey Says:

      “Wet streets cause rain.” That’s why I pay no attention to “respected” news purveyors these days. But it’s fun to watch ’em chase their tails and tales.

      @Bill Brandt. “In Kenya I was in a camp a week after 2 women from the Bay Area decided to leave their tent and take a midnight stroll – found next morning gored by a cape buffalo. After dinner you are escorted by guards with automatic weapons and told not to leave your tent.”
      My sister the inveterate athlete decided to take a run while in Kenya about 8 years ago. Her friends own an enormous ranch. They didn’t realize when my sister said “run” she meant 10 miles (just a stroll for her). So she wasn’t warned about the wildlife. She became acquainted with it during her jog. After a few miles she thought something was trailing her so she circled back to the house. She was being followed by baboons which she saw. She recalls it vividly and calm.

      @PenGun “A big Cougar is about 150 lbs and quite lightly built, they do not like to fight for their food.”
      I can’t post pictures here but if I could I’d show you one of a 200lb cougar shot 5 miles from my doorstep here in Custer, SD. It’s paw is bigger than your cranial vault. More than 7′ from tail to snout. They have to eat a deer a week to maintain. Their calories don’t come from defenseless berries. Is this guy the Chicagoboyz jester?

    35. Bill Brandt Says:

      Missing Joe – Dan – if I remember my Cougar info right they generally like to break your neck first – the rest is easy. And the human victims rarely see them before attacked.

      Out here the wise people of CA enacted a “no hunting” initiative of Cougars with the inevitable consequences.

    36. PenGun Says:

      “@PenGun “A big Cougar is about 150 lbs and quite lightly built, they do not like to fight for their food.”
      I can’t post pictures here but if I could I’d show you one of a 200lb cougar shot 5 miles from my doorstep here in Custer, SD. It’s paw is bigger than your cranial vault. More than 7′ from tail to snout. They have to eat a deer a week to maintain. Their calories don’t come from defenseless berries. Is this guy the Chicagoboyz jester?”

      They are considerably smaller here, probably a different type of Lion. We have a gazillion deer here. The Cougars do well. They are only dangerous in the spring when the 2 year old males get turfed out by their parents to find their own territory. That’s when we get attacks, usually on joggers and mountain bikers and almost always from behind.

    37. Missing Joe Cropsey Says:

      I posted the cougar pic on the erstwhile blog just so you can get an idea of the size. This one was killed 2 years ago during cougar season not 5 miles from my house. Cougar hunting started two days ago and will last through March unless 70 females are culled first. Yes, 70.

    38. Mike Doughty Says:

      Even the most cursory investigation will show that people can and have been killed by black bears, even in Canada, where evidently “magical thinking” really isn’t sufficient.

      Anyone who thinks that he can “break” an attacking mountain lion is a person with true macho fantasies, and complete ignorance of these animals.

      The best thing one can do in areas where bears or lions are known to be is to carry bear spray. Based on research, it’s better than a gun. I own several guns, but my primary reason is two-legged varmints.

    39. PenGun Says:

      Well a few pics. I actually hunted bear with my 4×5 camera but could never get a good shot. I will be trading that on a digital cam soon.

      A medium large sized black bear track, maybe my bud Thomas but I think he is a bit bigger.:

      A small Elk:

      Many deer:

      From this summer.


      “If we decide to move back to 54/40 up from 49th parallel will you fight, and will it be stick or something with more reach? It would give us the opportunity to flex our Military as a warmup for the invasion of Mexico, grab your shale resources, and maul a bunch of leftists all at the same time. What’s not to like?”

      Last time you tried that we burned Washington.

      How about this? I am 66 but I am in pretty good shape and rather strong. I will fight you with bare hands if you come up here. Name your place and time. You guys can fight without guns … right?

      Uh huh. 3MB/s down and 350KB/s up. It’s called cable. It reaches to all kinds of places you know. Oh BTW that’s 25Mb/s if you are confused by Bytes.

    40. PenGun Says:

      Just a bit more. The Vancouver Island Cougar:,d.cGE

      I do plan at some time in the future to attempt the good death some Buddhist masters have done. When you are finished with your body it is a tradition to find a Tiger or Lion of some kind and offer your body to feed her kids. Now this will be very difficult as one needs to still be strong enough to get up there and still be convinced the end is near enough for this to be a good idea.

      Who knows, they might take me early.

    41. Kirk Parker Says:


      Am I missing something here? I don’t seem to need a weapon for anything I can think of.

      Yes, you are–two things, actually. First of all, you have a very limited thought process. Secondly, you’ll be absolutely fine as you are–until suddenly you aren’t and then it will be too late.

    42. Dan from Madison Says:

      Pen – your comments about cougars are hilariously uninformed. Like most that you post here.

      Bill – you are correct. Typically a cougar will ambush and go for crushing the windpipe. They use the preys momentum and can achieve a neck break sometimes very quickly. They are amazing nasty animals. If pens stories aren’t total b.s., which I suspect they are, he is already being hunted and doesn’t even know it.

    43. Mike K Says:

      I think we should leave PenGun alone. I have lived near mountain lions for many years and have not yet been eaten by one. I have seen them but tended to stay away from them. They prefer prey about the size of a young deer, which is why we get many attacks on children and women of small stature.

      Bears, I avoid but have seen many of them in the Sierras. My ex-wife had her car opened like a sardine can by a bear in Sequoia National Park. She had locked an ice chest in the trunk. Bad decision. The animal I worry most about is the moose. I have seen moose tracks on a trail in Alaska and they are very dangerous if you get in their way.

      Most wild animals are harmless if you stay away from them. The fools do not stay away. I was on a bus in Denali Park when the driver picked up a couple of hikers because there was a small family of grizzlies ahead. I would no more hike in Denali Park than try to fly.

      I know the exact road the kid in “Into the Wild” took into the park and still do not understand how people are so stupid.

    44. grey eagle Says:

      Penngun: “Last time you tried that we burned Washington.”

      I’d be very upset if you do it again.

    45. PenGun Says:

      “Pen – your comments about cougars are hilariously uninformed. Like most that you post here.”

      Interesting, I thought I knew quite a bit about them. Where do you find fault?

      The biggest one I ever saw was perhaps 150 lbs and he was very old. They get darker as they age and he was hard to see in the shadows. He died in my forest a day or two after i first saw him. I did own property here at one time. You can smell em’ if you are paying attention.

    46. Kirk Parker Says:


      By “very upset” Grey Eagle means “join in and help”.

    47. Xennady Says:

      Pengun- You’re about forty years off from the burning of Washington to 54/40 or fight.

      You’re likely further off with your ideas about wildlife.

      Good luck with that.

    48. Dan from Madison Says:

      Pengun – “You can smell em’ if you are paying attention.” And the lols continue!

    49. Tim Says:


      Strange that you would bring up the burning of Washington on this thread. It was the very militia that halted the attempted invasion of Baltimore. British General Ross was sniped almost immediately he stepped onto Maryland soil. See “The Burning of Washington” by Anthony Pitch (British author yet).

      So you bring up an instance where the owning of guns was successful. Probably not a good example from your point of view.

    50. jez Says:

      Please….the only cougars Penguin knows are the female over 50 variety.

    51. Jonathan Says:

      Ha, actually the human cougars can be just as deadly as the animal variety for the unprepared male.


    52. PenGun Says:

      “Pengun – “You can smell em’ if you are paying attention.” And the lols continue!”

      OK, you appear to be an ignorant person. The males often stink pretty bad. Like a huge house cat and the smell is similar to tomcats after pissing on each other. One could perhaps confuse it with a ripe patch of skunk cabbage in season, but it’s not really the same.

    53. PenGun Says:

      “Ha, actually the human cougars can be just as deadly as the animal variety for the unprepared male.”

      Oh that kind I do hunt. I like to walk out of the bar with a 40/50 something cougar if I can.

    54. David Foster Says:

      Anyone know how the human cougars got that particular name?

    55. tyouth Says:

      BIG PUSSY cats, I imagine.

    56. tyouth Says:

      About two months ago I thought my elderly dog (who was lying in the yard, sleeping, btw) had knocked over the trash can and poked through the trash bags. I picked up the garbage and walked on until I got to the door of my pickup. A black bear raised up on his hind legs in front of the truck and I (felt like I) jumped two feet off the ground. The beast turned around and ambled off into the bushes. My adrenaline kicked in! Not sure how tall he was but he sure was wide.

      I was impressed with his face, especially. Beautiful golden brown snout and black nose, sleek black coat. I thought “that” explained what made teddy bears such popular toys in days gone by.
      made teddy bears popular.

    57. Jim Miller Says:

      Sgt. Mom – I just linked to this post — mostly approvingly — and added an example from Neal Peirce that is astonishingly apt.

    58. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Thanks, Jim – linkage most appreciated!

    59. Jim Miller Says:

      Sgt. Mom – You’re welcome. (And I always like it when I find a post worht linking to.

    60. Kirk Parker Says:


      See why we think you’re all bluff? If you’re older than she is, she’s not a cougar.

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