More on Cheney’s Hunting

Ezra Klein writes:

One thing to be clear on: Dick Cheney wasn’t hunting. He wasn’t doing what Ted Nugent does, or what Indians used to do. Cheney was killing things.

I have to agree:

Monday’s hunting trip to Pennsylvania by Vice President Dick Cheney in which he reportedly shot more than 70 stocked pheasants and an unknown number of mallard ducks at an exclusive private club places a spotlight on an increasingly popular and deplorable form of hunting, in which birds are pen-reared and released to be shot in large numbers by patrons. The ethics of these hunts are called into question by rank-and-file sportsmen, who hunt animals in their native habitat and do not shoot confined or pen-raised animals that cannot escape.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that 500 farm-raised pheasants were released yesterday morning at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township for the benefit of Cheney’s 10-person hunting party. The group killed at least 417 of the birds, illustrating the unsporting nature of canned hunts. The party also shot an unknown number of captive mallards in the afternoon.

Personally, I don’t care much for guns. I am against most attempts at gun control, and think people should be allowed to own weapons to defend themselves, to hunt with, and to use for sport. I hate hand guns, as all they are for is killing people. I have no problem with hunting, particularly deer and game that can be used for constructive purposes. But simply spending a day killing 70 birds- birds you have no intent to eat? That is just sick.

I don’t think I could ever look at myself in the mirror again, let alone my cat, were I to engage in this sort of behavior. And I have no idea why anyone would think it is fun.

*** Update ***

Apparently that is an old press release, and not the trip that happened the other day. I stand corrected, yet I still think it is sick.






126 replies
  1. 1
    Tim F. says:

    He wasn’t doing what Ted Nugent does

    Thank god.

  2. 2
    Pb says:

    John, check the date on the original–12/9/2003. Still a valid comment on Cheney, but not necessarily valid regarding *this* hunting trip.

  3. 3
    Mike S says:

    It doesn’t even sound fun. There is no sport to it. There’s the old line fishermen use when someone complains about not catching any fish.

    “It’s called fishing, not catching.” Same thing here. It’s called hunting, not killing.

  4. 4
    Ancient Purple says:

    Cheney is simply someone who wants to assert his manhood here. Honestly, what other purpose is there to “the great hunt” that Cheney engaged in other than to pretend that his testosterone levels jumped 73% because he shot at penned birds?

    Most hunters I know engage in the sport for a variety of reaons, most of which are utilitarian in nature. Cheney was simply wanted to be a man by toting a shotgun, killing animals, and then returning home, patting himself on the back for a job well done.

    You are right. It is sick. But Cheney is a sick person.

    Remember: he is one of only four Congressmen who thought Meals on Wheels was bad legislation.

    Meals. On. Wheels.

  5. 5

    To be fair…

    That article linked is referring to a “hunting trip” that occured a few years ago.

    I don’t know if what they were doing this weekend is the same. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife site, it is Quail Hunting Season.

    So I don’t think we know exactly what this trip was. If it was wild hunting, or if it was more like a classic Aristrocratic Fox Hunt.

  6. 6
    Perry Como says:

    As someone who grew up hunting the idea of caged game that you release and shoot is disgusting. The idea of not eating what you shoot is deplorable and sadistic. If you aren’t willing to field dress and eat your game, you shouldn’t be out there killing things. Go to a f*ckin’ range.

  7. 7
    don surber says:

    Ancient Purple: Director of Meals on Wheels in Wyoming County raked in $460,000 a year.

    They can spin it all they want but the 18-hour gap indicates there was some hiding (sobering up?) going on. Podhoretz nailed the issue. Malkin and the rest can spin all they want, real conservatives demand personal responsibility and accountability.

    Cheney ain’t showing either

  8. 8
    Theseus says:

    Personally, I don’t care much for guns. I am against most attempts at gun control, and think people should be allowed to own weapons to defend themselves, to hunt with, and to use for sport. I hate hand guns, as all they are for is killing people. I have no problem with hunting, particularly dear and game that can be used for constructive purposes. But simply spending a day killing 70 birds- birds you have no intent to eat? That is just sick.

    Agreed. Killing for the sake of killing is just plain twisted. I don’t see any way you can rationalize what this is without making yourself look really bad.

    I remember when I was living for awhile in Spain and went to see some of the bullfighting. I was amazed how fundamentally unfair it was. The poor animal is hacked to pieces, on the verge of death and THEN the “brave” and “courageous” bullfighter sweeps in for the kill. Well, wow, how impressive. I always root for the bull to mow those fuckers down.

    IMO, if people want to call themselves “hunters”, hunt dear, game or whatever with knives and leave the big bad guns at home. Then I’ll be impressed.

  9. 9
    Marko says:

    I…think people should be allowed to own weapons to defend themselves, to hunt with, and to use for sport. I hate hand guns, as all they are for is killing people.

    I’m honestly not trying to be difficult here but that comes across as if you only support use of guns for self defense against animals. I suppose you can “hate” something but still support someone’s right to own it and use it for self defense.

    Seems a bit muddled for such a flashpoint issue from the normally high contrast John Cole.

    BTW, totally agree on the immorality of canned hunts or hunting for any reason other than subsistence or husbandry.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    As someone who grew up hunting the idea of caged game that you release and shoot is disgusting

    Word.

    The idea of not eating what you shoot is deplorable and sadistic.

    Double word. And deer and pheasant are so tasty. Deer tenderloins in some wine and butter is good eating. And deer burgers, and deer jerkey. YUMM. Especially since I am on a diet.

    If you aren’t willing to field dress and eat your game, you shouldn’t be out there killing things. Go to a f*ckin’ range.

    Since someone has mentioned him already, Sweaty Teddy would agree with you.

  11. 11
    Mr Furious says:

    I followed up my earlier, light-hearted, Photoshop joke post with more of a tirade wharn I learned of Cheney’s “hunting” history.

    I posted it as a diary at Kos, and it got 300 comments—many of them hunters even if they are lefties over there. Not very many people have any respect for this kind of wanton slaughter masquerading as “outdoorsmanship.”

    Cheney is a deplorable human being for EVER partaking in something like that, once or twenty times, 2003 or next year. If this turns out to be another “canned” hunt, the same goes for the jackass that caught a grill full of shot—he deserves it.

  12. 12
    Mary says:

    Well, if my cats had proper little hands instead of paws, I think they’d be in favour of just that kind of hunting. Little barbarians.

    But yeah, that’s a really nasty practice. Kill a few birds quickly and humanely if you’re going to eat them? Fine. But I can’t understand anyone who thinks there’s anything sporting about shooting captive animals like that.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go open a small can of processed stupid turkey for the hopeful furry beast at my feet.

  13. 13
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Sounds like the VP got out all liquored-up while partaking of the glorious sport of chasing after baby-ducklings with a shotgun and shoots one of his buddies. Too fun.

  14. 14
    Mr Furious says:

    To be clear—the guy who Cheney shot is a jackass for being friends with Cheney, not because he is at all at fault for being in the way of Cheney’s blind swingaround shooting spree. And he only deserved it if this was a canned hunt and because of the fact that he’ll walk away from it. I don’t actually mean he deserves to get killed or anything.

    I might be furious, but I’m Cheney or anything…

  15. 15
    Jim Allen says:

    Re: “Personally, I don’t care much for guns. I am against most attempts at gun control, and think people should be allowed to own weapons to defend themselves, to hunt with, and to use for sport. I hate hand guns, as all they are for is killing people. I have no problem with hunting, particularly dear and game that can be used for constructive purposes.”

    Wow — that states my position on guns exactly. Except for that “dear” part, as my wife might get nervous…

  16. 16
    SayUncle says:

    Monday’s hunting trip to Pennsylvania by Vice President Dick Cheney in which he reportedly shot more than 70 stocked pheasants and an unknown number of mallard ducks at an exclusive private club places a spotlight on an increasingly popular and deplorable form of hunting, in which birds are pen-reared and released to be shot in large numbers by patrons.

    Yes, quite deplorable. Now off to the store to buy some T-Bones, pork chops and wings!

    I hate hand guns, as all they are for is killing people

    IPSC, IPDA, hunting, etc. Plenty of uses other than killing people. most defensive gun uses involve handguns because it’s hard to navigate daddy’s 12 guage or 30-06 down the hall when something goes bump in the night.

  17. 17
    skip says:

    This macks of a frag episode or worse.

  18. 18
    Andrei says:

    One thing to be clear on: Dick Cheney wasn’t hunting. He wasn’t doing what Ted Nugent does, or what Indians used to do. Cheney was killing things.

    I’d have to agree with Uncle’s snark.

    The fact most of us don’t pull the trigger ourselves has little real impact on the fact that nearly all of our meat is basically mass slaughter. Read Fast Food Nation if you want the real scoop on what killing is with regard to our food industry.

    Is Cheney an ass for wanting to pull the trigger personally? Go ahead and call him that if you like if it makes you feel better, but really… how is your BBQ steak at the Sunday football game really that different?

  19. 19
    srv says:

    I think it’s clear that Dick is a quantity over quality guy.

    I was thinking of opening a new ranch in the Hill Country. Seems like there might be a market for pheasant waterboarding.

  20. 20
    Perry Como says:

    IPSC, IPDA, hunting, etc. Plenty of uses other than killing people. most defensive gun uses involve handguns because it’s hard to navigate daddy’s 12 guage or 30-06 down the hall when something goes bump in the night.

    I’m not a big fan of handguns either, but I can see the allure of competition (a “liberal” friend of mine just got his IPSC certification this weekend). Hunting with handguns is silly, imo. I think they are silly for home defense since the likelihood of hitting something when you are startled awake at 3am is slim. Not to mention alot of people don’t put nearly enough rounds through their pistols on a regular basis to be a good shot.

    For home defense, one of these with one of these is hard to beat.

  21. 21
    Rudi says:

    Hey let’s nominate Chenney and Kerry for Stupid Hunters Hall of Shame. Maybe they should hunt together!!

  22. 22
    Pb says:

    Andrei,

    Is Cheney an ass for wanting to pull the trigger personally?

    Yes.

    Go ahead and call him that if you like if it makes you feel better, but really… how is your BBQ steak at the Sunday football game really that different?

    1. See above.
    2. I’d actually be eating said BBQ steak, and for nourishment, not just killing a cow for sick thrills and no other reason.

  23. 23
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Is Cheney an ass for wanting to pull the trigger personally? Go ahead and call him that if you like if it makes you feel better, but really… how is your BBQ steak at the Sunday football game really that different?

    Because the cow that became the steak wasn’t killed under the auspices of “sport.” Also, that cow gets killed purposefully–there’s an intention to get food from it. What Cheney did was more like walking into a pet store, opening fire, and leaving than anything related to meatpacking.

  24. 24
    Carpbasman says:

    Yes, quite deplorable. Now off to the store to buy some T-Bones, pork chops and wings!

    There’s a qualitative difference between killing an animal for food and killing an animal just because you can.

    There’s also a qualitative difference between killing an animal just because you can and actually hunting it as opposed to going to a canned game preserve where they just release game for you to shoot at.

    Reasonable people can make moral distinctions here (or choose not to).

    At any rate, the meat-processing industry comes fraught with it’s own moral (not to mention health) problems given the way that many animals are raised. But that’s another discussion. And I say this as a devoted carnivore (as I once told the proseletyzing militant vegan who asked me why I ate meat, “The food chain.”)

  25. 25
    Vladi G says:

    Is Cheney an ass for wanting to pull the trigger personally? Go ahead and call him that if you like if it makes you feel better, but really… how is your BBQ steak at the Sunday football game really that different?

    Are you serious? I’ve read Fast Food Nation? How is it different? Well, for one, the people working in the slaughterhouses about whom Eric Schlosser wrote didn’t sound like they were doing to satisfy their personal bloodlust. Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like a big difference.

    Because, ya know, killing an animal and using it’s parts in various industries is just the same as killing for the sake of killing. What Cheney was doing was essentially skeet shooting with live targets. Pretty tough to get steak out of a piece of clay.

  26. 26
    Vladi G says:

    I’ve read Fast Food Nation?

    There shouldn’t be a question mark at the end of that sentence. My bad.

  27. 27
    srv says:

    People just don’t understand, this is just perfectly normal human behavior. With all his responsibility, Dick just doesn’t get to vent like these guys do:

    Fun with Iraqi Kids

  28. 28
    SayUncle says:

    Hunting with handguns is silly, imo

    People do it and I think there’s even a season just for handguns (don’t know for sure, even though I’m a gun not, I’m not a hunter myself as I’m just too big a wimp to kill things). Heck, people hunt with dogs and atlatls.

    I think they are silly for home defense since

    I disagree for too many reasons to get into here.

    There’s a qualitative difference between killing an animal for food and killing an animal just because you can.

    People eat game birds.

    Reasonable people can make moral distinctions here (or choose not to).

    Didn’t say they couldn’t but the only difference between Cheney’s ‘hunt’ and that McD’s cheeseburger is who offed the critter. We like separation from the dirty work. I do. I don’t kill my own. Now, the better argument against it would be ‘this type of hunt isn’t as sporting.’

  29. 29

    Badn anaology, Andrei, 10 yards. There’s remarkably little “hunting is wrong” here. If Cheney stalked out 417 birds to kill and eat, well … then he should use his ninja skills to stop the Iraq War once and for all, but otherwise, OK. But shooting fish in a barrel is supposed to be an *expression*.

  30. 30
    Steve says:

    Unless you think the 400+ birds shot by Cheney’s “hunting party” ended up on a plate somewhere, I find it irrelevant that people eat game birds as a general proposition.

  31. 31
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Heckuva shot, Cheney!

  32. 32
    neil says:

    The fact most of us don’t pull the trigger ourselves has little real impact on the fact that nearly all of our meat is basically mass slaughter

    Wait.. you mean this meat I’m eating comes from an animal that’s been _killed_?

    Oh wait, I always knew that and so has everyone who’s ever eaten meat. In fact, it seems like this moral quandary was settled long ago for most people: the reason the animal was killed was so people could eat it, or use it for something useful. Kind of a low bar, but it seems to work for me.

    Cheney did not eat the 90 pheasants that he blasted away. He probably did not intend that anybody eat them. If they were even eaten, it was purely incidental — Cheney killing the pheasants did not further the goal of the pheasants being eaten, since we have more humane ways to prepare a hundred live birds for human consumption than shooting them on the wing. So it introduces a whole new moral quandary: Is it okay for an animal to be killed for Dick Cheney’s entertainment?

  33. 33
    SeesThroughIt says:

    the only difference between Cheney’s ‘hunt’ and that McD’s cheeseburger is who offed the critter.

    No, the difference is that in the McDonald’s case, the critter was offed so that it could be made into hamburger; in Cheney’s case the whole point was to off the critter (to off as many of the easily-offed critters as possible, even) and nothing more.

  34. 34

    Didn’t say they couldn’t but the only difference between Cheney’s ‘hunt’ and that McD’s cheeseburger is who offed the critter. We like separation from the dirty work. I do. I don’t kill my own. Now, the better argument against it would be ‘this type of hunt isn’t as sporting.’

    Oh come on. There’s no sport at all. Might as well walk into grocery store and start blasting the frozen chickens in the deli department.

    If you just want to shoot something for target practice, they make these things called clay pidgeons.

  35. 35
    capelza says:

    There is something to killing what you EAT…we do it here. My parents raise their own beef, nice life for the cow, then suddenly they get some corn…yum, thinks the cow, and then without realising it, they’ve gone to cow heaven where the grass is always sweet. Us? We annually go with the rest of the famliy and shoot and kill what we will eat for the year. If we don’t, we don’t eat very much meat. Often, getting the animal out, after we have butchered it ourselves involves packing it out on our backs over several miles. Lots of fish, mind you, ’cause that’s what we do for a living. Plus we know that what we ate did not suffer a lifetime of crap in the meat and poultry industry.

    There is a movement for humane farming and ranching…I try to follow where they sell their meat and buy that.

    That all said, killing a shitload of birds just because you can is sick, especially on one of these canned hunts. What reason, but the joy of killing something? There is nothing sporting about it, nothing noble and certainly nothing neccessary. It is the adult equivalant of little boys torturing kittens.

  36. 36
    Vladi G says:

    People eat game birds.

    You think Big Dick and his 10 person hunting party ate 417 Pheasants?

  37. 37

    not the trip that happened the other day.

    Are you sure they’re not related? Maybe he was going for the rare five-day, three-species two-state, “killing things” trifecta.

  38. 38
    neil says:

    I knew that I’d read something related to “this sort of behavior” before.

    “We were terrible to animals,” recalled Mr. Throckmorton, laughing. A dip behind the Bush home turned into a small lake after a good rain, and thousands of frogs would come out. “Everybody would get BB guns and shoot them, “Throckmorton said. “Or we’d put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them and blow them up.”

    Nicholas Kristof, _A Philosophy With Roots In Conservative Texas Soil_
    The New York Times, May 21, 2000

    [Neil] Bush told the audience and the Provo Valley Herald that even though George W. Bush is president, Neil Bush can still see in him the 16-year-old who gave him and his younger brother 10 seconds to start running down the hall before firing BB pellets at them.

    _Presidential Brother Explains Presidential Character_
    Provo Valley Herald, March 2, 2002

  39. 39
    Clever says:

    C&L has the press gaggle video. Scotty won’t give substantive answers on the delay. The Press Corps were not amused.

    The use of the sentence “the facts as I know them” by Scotty makes me want to retch. Long live truthiness…

  40. 40
    SayUncle says:

    No, the difference is that in the McDonald’s case, the critter was offed so that it could be made into hamburger; in Cheney’s case the whole point was to off the critter (to off as many of the easily-offed critters as possible, even) and nothing more.

    So, you contend to know precisely what they would do with these birds?

    Oh come on. There’s no sport at all. Might as well walk into grocery store and start blasting the frozen chickens in the deli department.

    I’m guessing you’ve never shot at a bird on the wing?

    Unless you think the 400+ birds shot by Cheney’s “hunting party” ended up on a plate somewhere, I find it irrelevant that people eat game birds as a general proposition.

    There’s these things called freezers that you can store them in. That amount of birds isn’t out of the ordinary. My neighbor does this and he keeps two freezers full. They (about 6 guys) release 500 birds each time. So, unless you have proof that the bird bodies were intended to be disregarded completely, I’m assuming these guys were hunting like other hunters do.

  41. 41
    John says:

    I wish we lived in a better world where stories like this Cheney shooting weren’t that news worthy.

    Only in this current political climate can “both sides” rush to their defenses and start a blog/talk show fake hysteria over this news.

  42. 42
    Waxmaker says:

    The birds Cheney shoots are actually eaten, btw. Once he’s shot them, his aides leap into action and pluck, clean, vacuum-pack and freeze them for the trip back to Washington, D.C. He eats some, but many are given out as gifts (to gift someone with meat that you’ve shot yourself is a MAJOR token of esteem–Cheney well knows this, of course.)

    Why on earth would he waste the meat? He doesn’t have to do any of the dirty work, and it’s valuable stuff for personal bonding in the game of politics.

    Canned hunts are very unsporting, yes… but it looks like he was just ranch hunting this time. Not that it really matters; he likes shooting things, and his lifestyle supports doing this in as much ease as possible. So he’s bloodthirsty and pampered. Among politicians, what else is new?

  43. 43
    capelza says:

    Say Uncle…right there, in your statement…”They (about 6 guys) release 500 birds each time.” Why the hell not just kill the birds without going through the pretense of “hunting”? Because it’s more “fun” to kill them and pretend to be the “mighty hunter”.

    Besides, there’d be no lead in them to crack your teeth on and no waste of ammo.

  44. 44
    SeesThroughIt says:

    So, you contend to know precisely what they would do with these birds?

    Do you contend to know?

  45. 45
    Andrei says:

    Are you serious? I’ve read Fast Food Nation? How is it different?

    I guess you missed the parts about how our livestock is raised and the conditions the slaughterhouses have been allowed to exist now to mass consumption?

    What Cheney was doing was essentially skeet shooting with live targets.

    Which is soooooooo dramatically different than raising cows in close quarters in their feces and feeding them crap food to fatten them purely for the purpose of being killed. But we’re eating them! That’s sooooo different. Yeah… sure. You keep kidding yourself with that level of standard. At the end of the day, animals are specifically being raised and killed to fulfill the sole purpose of the human race’s God given right to buy steaks at the Safeway down the street or to “hunt for sport.” At the end of the day, they are treated in a way that is sick and are still being killed without regard to the impact.

    Uncle is right imho. The only real difference is that most of us aren’t doing the killing even though our lifestyles and rampant consumerism requires mass slaughter of animals in entirely unheathly ways to our bodies, to the environment and to the animals. We justify our behavior as rational and Cheney’s desire to shoot birds as crazy.

    But the difference is neglible quite honestly.

    Also, I think Capzela makes the point: Being forced to eat, dress and raise what you kill makes you remarkably more honest about the nature of this sort of discussion.

    It’s not that I think Cheney wasn’t being an ass with being on a hunting trip to shoot birds, even ones that were raised for nothing more than that sort of “sport.” It’s that I find it remarkbly hypocritical to not view most of what we have come to expect in our mass consumerist nation in the same light.

  46. 46
    Pb says:

    The alleged details of what happens to the birds afterwards–not that I think it makes Cheney’s participation in the original hunt any less reprehensible–are pretty well confirmed.

    Mr. Cheney, who almost never speaks to the news media, had no comment on his trip or the identity of his hunting companions, and his office provided only sparse information. White House officials also declined to release photographs they have of the vice president in full hunting mode. But the vice president’s spokesman, Kevin Kellems, did say that the pheasants were cleaned, packed and sent to those less fortunate.

    “The birds don’t go to waste, they go to hunger relief charities,” Mr. Kellems said.

    Mr. Kellems, however, said he could not provide the names or locations of any charities or soup kitchens that received the birds and did not know how they were prepared, when they were served and who in fact ate them. (Pheasant under glass was an aristocratic dish of an earlier era; today’s pheasant aficionados say the birds are delicious, although bony, and can be tough if improperly cooked.)

    Did I say that it was pretty well confirmed? No, I never said that. Never said that. Absolutely not.

  47. 47
    srv says:

    Andrei’s right. At least Dick partakes in the slaughter himself. Not like 90% of hunters are being fair to their game. Why are the sheeple with affluenza somehow more ethical by ignoring reality?

  48. 48
    Al Maviva says:

    My main problem with canned hunting is that it’s an abbatoir masquerading as “sport.” I don’t have a big problem with the killing part of it, and believe you shouldn’t eat anything that you’d have a problem killing. The hypocrisy of the canned hunts bugs me. It’s like the shooters are pretending to be real hunters, and claiming the mantle of something traditional, good, decent and honorable. In real hunting, you have to put some effort into it to get the game. It’s often hard, Capelza makes a great point about having to hump a deer carcass out to the road; it’s about suffering through the heat and the cold, up hills and down, and then having the discipline to make a good shot. In real hunting, a lot of the bigger stuff, including cutesy animals not traditionally classed as dangerous game like deer or pig, can do you in, especially once the animal is wounded. If you do it right, you follow a set of sportsman’s ethics that takes into consideration avoiding the unnecessary wounding and suffering of animals, as well as the safety of fellow hunters and generally respecting the land.

    I’ve seen how the other half lives. I lived in Germany for a while and was lucky enough to enjoy aristocratic-style hunting with beaters for a few years. It was the only access to hunting I could get and while it wasn’t red flannels and a cabin in the Adirondacks, it wasn’t as ridiculous as I thought it would be at first blush. There was a recognizable sporting ethos involved in it, and it was egalitarian in its own way: if you could afford the massive cost of licensing and gear, you could play. Please save the invective, it’s about the only way you can legally hunt in much of western Europe, and I lived in Germany at the time. Even with the beaters, the loden coats, the little horns and the formal dinners after a day’s hunt, it’s still a lot more sportsmanlike than these canned hunts. While you use beaters the game isn’t raised domestically, you take what the field gives you, and the birds are generally fit and fast (rather than fat, slow, and low flying). The beaters aren’t serfs either, often they are either municipal gamekeepers paid to maintain game and forests, or apprentice hunters, and they work perpendicular to the walking hunters, to drive game in front of the hunters into a safe firing zone. It’s not much different from driving white tail deer if you are out hunting with a dozen buddies in PA or Georgia. Well, if most of your buddies were PhD/MDs, had a “von” surname, or made money in steel. Yet there is a sporting ethos to it that has to be followed, with an emphasis on making a sportsmanlike, skillful, humane kill. Without killing your hunting partners. Truth told I’m pretty disgusted with the canned hunts and Cheney’s inability to admit a foulup… for a guy who aspires to patrician status he sure let his team down here.

  49. 49
    ppGaz says:

    I was a dead shot as a kid with my .22 and my slingshot, bringing down dangerous pigeons and jackrabbits out in the desert. Then one day I didn’t like killing the critters and I have never shot at anything other than a paper target since.

    But that’s just me. Most of the hunters I know hunt or trap legally for meat and hides. I have no objection to any legal hunting. I do however want guns and ammo kept away from kids, mentally ill persons and criminals to the greatest possible extent. If that means some gun controls, then so be it.

  50. 50
    Pb says:

    Andrei,

    You’ve convinced me. Let’s start replacing the slaughterhouses with cow hunting ranges, there’s money to be made!

  51. 51
    Vladi G says:

    Not that it really matters; he likes shooting things

    Unless it means doing it overseas during a war. I’ll correct you: he likes shooting defenseless things that pose no threat to himself.

    Which is soooooooo dramatically different than raising cows in close quarters in their feces and feeding them crap food to fatten them purely for the purpose of being killed.

    You’re missing the distinction. There’s something much different about killing caged animals because you’re planning to sell them at a market, and killing caged animals because it gives you an erection. Perhaps you’re in the latter class and you don’t see the distinction. Some of us do.

  52. 52
    srv says:

    I’ve often thought that the best thing PETA could do for their cause would be to operate a slaughterhouse or two.

    With school tours.

  53. 53
    SayUncle says:

    Do you contend to know?

    Yeah, I do. Now. And, by golly bob, it’s as I said. They’re not wasted.

    Because it’s more “fun” to kill them and pretend to be the “mighty hunter”.

    I don’t disagree. But still, we’re back to the comparison to cows, chickens and other critters we kill to eat.

    You’ve convinced me. Let’s start replacing the slaughterhouses with cow hunting ranges, there’s money to be made!

    Heh. That’s seriously funny!

  54. 54
    Vladi G says:

    I’ll correct you: he likes shooting defenseless things that pose no threat to himself.

    I should actually clarify this, because now that I read it again, it covers a lot of things. I should say, he doesn’t like “shooting” things. He likes “killing” things. He just apparently doesn’t care for the sport of it.

    Really, “canned hunt” sounds a lot like an oxymoron.

  55. 55
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Maybe that’s why he shot his lawyer buddy. The tame quail and ducks just got too boring.

  56. 56
    Mac Buckets says:

    No offense to wildlife lovers, but pheasants are pretty much disposable birds up north, so Cheney and Co. might inquire about going to my uncle’s farm in South Dakota, where they can shoot all the ringnecks they please. Most years, he moans on and on about the birds (he tells me that they reproduce like rabbits, and that almost all of the unhunted ones die in the winter anyway), and a couple hundred less pheasant in a day wouldn’t be a bad start.

  57. 57
    Steve says:

    I suspect, Mac, that you’re talking about wild pheasant, rather than pheasant that are raised in a pen specifically for the purpose of being shot. I would stipulate that controlling the wild animal population is a commendable purpose for hunting, whether or not you eat the animals you shoot, and it sure beats the heck out of letting the excess deer or pheasants starve during the winter.

  58. 58
    Andrei says:

    You’re missing the distinction. There’s something much different about killing caged animals because you’re planning to sell them at a market, and killing caged animals because it gives you an erection. Perhaps you’re in the latter class and you don’t see the distinction. Some of us do.

    So what it really boils down to for you is that if Cheney felt remorse for killing birds raised to be shot and eaten, his actions would be okay in your book?

    You do understand that the birds are being raised *specifically* to be killed and eaten, right? That’s what a “hunting ranch” is all about. But if Cheney didn’t shoot them, they’d still be slaughtered. If we (humans) didn’t need them, people wouldn’t raise them. Period.

    And my point is that to be outraged over how some people get off in killing animals seems so small and covers up the more important issues of how we treat our food supply in general. How we are destroying the environment in doing so, how we are getting fat and how we have come to understand so little of our impact on the planet with our behavior that people would get outraged over canned hunting trips but still eat a burger at Mickey D’s or a 12 pieces chicken bucket from KFC.

  59. 59

    No offense to wildlife lovers, but pheasants are pretty much disposable birds up north, so Cheney and Co. might inquire about going to my uncle’s farm in South Dakota, where they can shoot all the ringnecks they please. Most years, he moans on and on about the birds (he tells me that they reproduce like rabbits, and that almost all of the unhunted ones die in the winter anyway), and a couple hundred less pheasant in a day wouldn’t be a bad start.

    Most of the good pheasant hunting any more is done on private land. The public land is overcrowded with guys in orange.

    It costs about $200/day per person to hunt like that.

    But it’s become a big industry up here to rent out your land like this.(talking Iowa, Minnesota, Dakotas, etc.) This isn’t the same as Chicken Ranch hunting… these are wild birds on private farm land.

  60. 60
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Andrei–

    If I make a concerted effort to eat only Niman Ranch beef (and I do), am I allowed to think that Cheney’s a chump and a pussy for getting off on killing minus all that “hunting” stuff?

  61. 61

    And my point is that to be outraged over how some people get off in killing animals seems so small and covers up the more important issues of how we treat our food supply in general. How we are destroying the environment in doing so, how we are getting fat and how we have come to understand so little of our impact on the planet with our behavior that people would get outraged over canned hunting trips but still eat a burger at Mickey D’s or a 12 pieces chicken bucket from KFC.

    I’d love to have a nice discussion on the food production system. I’m not a fan of the big corporate farms, and I think the meat you buy today tastes like shit.

    The problem with such discussion usually comes in when people go all PETA on ya, complaining about things they know absolutely nothing about.

    Even so, that’s not a comparable situation to canned hunting.

  62. 62
    Vladi G says:

    So what it really boils down to for you is that if Cheney felt remorse for killing birds raised to be shot and eaten, his actions would be okay in your book?

    No remorse needed. I just think it’s kind of sick for someone to cream their jeans over shooting what is essentially a defenseless target. Perhaps you don’t. But what do I know? Maybe the guys at the slaughterhouses really get off on it.

  63. 63
    Andrei says:

    You more than welcome to think Cheney is a chump. Period. I know I do.

    But I might still think you’re a chump for not raising your own livestock and eating food in a “real” way while holding your nose to the ceiling in criticizing Cheney for killing birds while not doing so in a “real” hunter fashion.

    You know… all that pot… kettle… black stuff and all.

    Come on… you can’t see the irony? People get outraged at canned hunting expeditions while enjoying the spoils of the modern age which is basically all about not having to do real, messy “grunt” work because it takes so much time and effort and away from our ability to rant on a blog?

  64. 64
    Vladi G says:

    Come on… you can’t see the irony? People get outraged at canned hunting expeditions while enjoying the spoils of the modern age which is basically all about not having to do real, messy “grunt” work because it takes so much time and effort and away from our ability to rant on a blog?

    I’m not criticizing him because he doesn’t like to work at killing things. I’m criticizing him for his apparent bloodlust. Me? I like a good steak, but not so much the killing. I leave that to my cousin up in Montana, who used to slaughter cattle on the side. I went with him once when he took down two head, and quite frankly, the worst part for me was the first minute or so when the animal was killed. After that, it was just a piece of meat. But I don’t remember any hooting and hollering and high-fiving going on after they killed the animal.

    It’s not the laziness. It’s the desire to kill and then act like the mighty hunter that I think is a sick. From my understanding, it’s the real, messy, grunt work that most hunters find appealing. It’s the sense of satisfaction you get from tracking your prey, thinking like your prey, ya know, the actual “hunting” part. Otherwise, what’s the point. Like I said before, you might as well shoot clay pigeons.

  65. 65
    SeesThroughIt says:

    No, I see your point, Andrei (and like you, I have serious problems with today’s meatpacking industry, which has defintiely fueled my desire to seek out smaller operations like Niman Ranch that care more about quality, environmental sustainability, ad raising animals the way they’re supposed to be raised than, say, the profit-whores at IBP). I guess I’m just not as inclined to make such a big overarching conflation between Cheney using birds for target practice and a slaughterhouse.

    Yes, I understand that both are killing, and I definitely see how the massive modern feedlot symbolizes our desire for convenience and for somebody else to do the dirty work. But I don’t think these are two peas in the same pod the way you do, I guess. Cheney calls what he does “hunting,” and supposedly, he actually pays for the privilege of having somebody make a bunch of defenseless targets for him; how many people would plunk down money to go work in a slaughterhouse, ya know?

    There’s a utility in slaughtering cattle to make beef, for which there is a great demand. You can argue about how awful the cattle’s lives are and how horrible these massive feedlots are, and I’d agree with you–hence my desire to eat Niman Ranch. But the utility is still there; the purpose of it is to provide food. For canned hunts, the purpose doesn’t seem to be anything other than killing; it’s not even real hunting, and it certainly isn’t done out of necessity.

  66. 66

    Long time reader, sometime commentor…

    Speaking for myself, I like guns, am a Life Member of the NRA, hunter since the age of 13, and would vote for “W” if he could ever get a thrid term (yes, I know he can’t).

    I think the gun-grabbers are Nazis. Hunting is a moral, lawful activity; anti-hunters are communist pinko swine.

    With that out of the way… Hunting accidents are bullshit. As others have indicated, there’s no such thing as a hunting accident. If there’s one recreational sport where safety has to be numero uno, it’s hunting. All the safety drilled into me while learning about guns and hunting must’ve escaped Chaney’s Hunting Party

    All of the spin I’ve read, heard and argued about point to one thing: Cheney’s a fucking idiot. I, speaking for myself only, have no problem with hunting, I do, though think that canned hunts are for gluttonous kings. OK, so this quail hunt wasn’t canned, it still looks bad, at least to me. Dick Chaney is not a private citizen. He is the second most public citizen in the US of A and as such he shouldn’t engage in patrician activities (like private quail hunts), it’s just not classy. Sure, other presidents and vice-presidents take vacations and do/did all sorts of things, but the potential for bad press (case in point) ought to be enough to put off such activities until the term is over. Then it’s time to relax; stay out of the limelight when you’re on a day off. Be seen at the opera, be seen at the Olympics, be seen watching the Olympics on an iPod at the opera! Be seen with guns, but at a pro-gun rally saying pro-gun things, be seen with your lesbian daughter and her “friend,” but don’t do something stupid like shooting your elderly pal in the face! Finally, why even bother with a cover-up at all? It loooks like a cover up when others are apologizing for you. I’d have gone public with this immediately; not called a press conference, but gone to the cops and explained everything to them on the way to the hospital. It’s not like these people are hard-pressed to find a good lawyer or two.

    Stupid shit! This isn’t helping, Dick!

  67. 67
    an american says:

    I’m also a NRA Life Member.

    That Cheney and the other “manly men” in his “hunting” party would slaughter over 400 birds released from pens in front of them tells you everything you need to know about their character.

  68. 68
    Par R says:

    From the radio earlier today:

    “Would you rather go hunting with Dick Cheney or riding in a car over a bridge with Ted Kennedy?”

  69. 69
    Steve says:

    Come on, the joke’s not funny unless you can also work in Clinton and Robert Byrd.

  70. 70
    Digital Amish says:

    My nomination for best spin of the day goes to Hugh Hewitt for:

    News reports say the hunter injured crept up on Cheney and another hunter without announcing himself

    (emphasis mine)

  71. 71
    Radioleft says:

    I want the guy to DIE so they can hold Cheney on murder charges.

  72. 72
    Sojourner says:

    They (about 6 guys) release 500 birds each time.

    Ah, it’s always refreshing to hear about such manly pursuits as killing birds who are disoriented and have absolutely no chance of getting away.

    But then that’s what makes these guys (and Cheney) unique. They love to kill the defenseless. It’s such a manly pursuit.

  73. 73
    Darrell says:

    I want the guy to DIE so they can hold Cheney on murder charges.

    The left will overplay their hand on this as usual, because so many really are hateful freaks.

    And before casting all the blame on Cheney, I’d like to hear details on how this accident occurred.

  74. 74
    Darrell says:

    “Would you rather go hunting with Dick Cheney or riding in a car over a bridge with Ted Kennedy?”

    Perhaps Ted Kennedy will take to the Senate floor demanding to know why Cheney took so long to report the accident.

  75. 75

    Oh please, Senator!

    Radio Left is clearly as much of a representative of the American Left as Hitler is of the American Right.

    Look at a headline from their site: “Chavez and the good people of Venezuela have only the best of intentions for USA”.

    Give me a break. Trying to associate that nutjob with the left is laughable.

  76. 76
    Jess says:

    But I might still think you’re a chump for not raising your own livestock and eating food in a “real” way while holding your nose to the ceiling in criticizing Cheney for killing birds while not doing so in a “real” hunter fashion.

    Andrei,
    I agree with your points about the meat industry, and am a fair-weather vegetarian for a whole bunch of reasons (moral, environmental, health), but there is a real difference between normal human hypocrisy/willful ignorance and the mentality that gets off on canned hunts. People who enjoy killing things as an end in itself (I’m willing to give serious hunters the benefit of the doubt, even though I don’t personally understand the urge to hunt for any other reason but survival) are usually psychopaths, devoid of empathy, and therefore a danger to their community. A lot of psychopaths end up in positions of power unfortunately, largely because they’re completely merciless and without boundaries in their drive to win, and because their sickness isn’t usually recognized for what it is. Maybe some people who thought of Cheney as strong and forceful will have second thoughts…

  77. 77
    Andrew says:

    I want the guy to DIE so they can hold Cheney on murder charges.

    Geez, people, let’s keep our heads about us. We all know that he will turn into a vampire because Cheney went over to feed on his prone body after he got shot. He CAN’T die now.

  78. 78
    Jess says:

    they’re completely merciless and without boundaries in their drive to win,

    On second though, I believe my wording was off: “win” implies a true contest with rules and all. “Dominate at all costs” is closer to what I meant. It’s not about personal achievement, but about destroying others.

  79. 79
    Perry Como says:

    Are we sure that Whittington wasn’t actually a human-quail hybrid? He may have been flushed out by the dogs and Cheney was concerned after the President’s State of the Union.

  80. 80

    Oh shit!

    Perry definitely won PotD with that. Nice!

  81. 81
    Havoc says:

    Eh I don’t like club hunts but you get so many birds per year. For guys who try to get their 50 birds in two days instead of a whole season it’s their business. These are high end clubs and all the birds are cleaned frozen and shipped to the end user who frequently gives them away.

    One lousy Whitehose Dinner for “Ambassadors”.

    These birds still had a better life on the game club than that Tyson factory raised chicken your so rightously eating.

    Still us middleclass guys tend to support http://www.pheasantsforever.org/ Pheasants Forever in improving habitat to support larger pheasant populations on ranch and farm land.

    PS all pheasants in Europe and the U.S. were brought here to be killed for sport

    Pheasants are from China.

  82. 82
    Winchester 1200 says:

    There are only two rules for hunting. 1)Only aim at what you intend to kill 2)eat what you kill
    If Cheney comes clean and say he meant to shoot Witington and then eats him, he is okay in my book. Otherwise the veep just seems like an asshat who can’t really handle a gun.

  83. 83
    Fledermaus says:

    You think Big Dick and his 10 person hunting party ate 417 Pheasants?

    But maybe he gave them to the local food bank.

    No, stop laughing, I’m serious!

  84. 84
    Par R says:

    Again, to paraphrase atrios, most of the comments in this thread have all the sophistication of late night conversation among modestly intelligent but incredibly stoned college freshmen.

  85. 85
    Steve says:

    Perhaps Ted Kennedy will take to the Senate floor demanding to know why Cheney took so long to report the accident.

    On that note, it’s been awesome to see all the conservatives who have been taking cheap shots at Kennedy all these years suddenly join the “hey, a fella can make a mistake!” caucus.

  86. 86
    ppGaz says:

    Dick Cheney’s top 10 excuses for shooting fellow hunter Harry Whittington:

    Author unknown …

    10. Sick and tired of Whittington’s “Hey, I’m having a heart attack” jokes

    9. Pushed over edge by Dixie Chicks and Streisand blasting on pick-up truck stereo

    8. Ongoing dispute over whether it’s acceptable to torture quail before shooting them

    7. Thought he saw Scooter Libby on other side of tree line

    6. Bombed out of his gourd on Wild Turkey and Lone Star Beer

    5. Companion’s ill-advised decision to wear Moveon.org sweatshirt

    4. Was trying to impress Jodie Foster

    3. Whittington’s repeated ribbing that Bush is actually the “real president”

    2. Targeting scope on rifle made by Halliburton

    And the number one excuse given by Dick Cheney for almost blowing away hunting companion Harry Whittington…

    1. Because he’s a wartime vice president, damn it.

    Via email from an old friend.

  87. 87
    stickler says:

    Not that I have anything to add.

    Oh, wait, I do:

    Wait.. you mean this meat I’m eating comes from an animal that’s been killed?

    Oh wait, I always knew that and so has everyone who’s ever eaten meat.

    No, you’d be surprised. I have a few acquaintances who couldn’t eat meat (chicken, even) on the bone because it wigged them out. Imagine the Gary Larson “Boneless Chicken Ranch” cartoon while you contemplate that kind of hypocricy. I was raised hunting upland bird and ducks/geese, and I was always left aghast when these idiots dear friends tried to justify their queasiness. Good grief, just eat tofu if you don’t like the moral implications of eating animals. But for God’s sake don’t pretend boneless meat is somehow better.

    And, as someone who teaches German history, I just love (and may yet steal for classroom use) Al Maviva’s description of German hunting.

    It’s not much different from driving white tail deer if you are out hunting with a dozen buddies in PA or Georgia. Well, if most of your buddies were PhD/MDs, had a “von” surname, or made money in steel.

    That’s priceless. Just curious, were any of the “vons” named Krupp? (Seriously, I’m not being snarky, that was a cool anecdote and I want to know.)

  88. 88
    6Gun says:

    I’m surprised — no, wait, I’m not actually — that the abortion debate hasn’t been dragged into this tempest in a teapot. It should be. That relativism and rationalizing and careful parsings and obscene leftwing fury hasn’t been employed to justify the holy right to terminate human life while professing white-faced shock at the VP of these Socialist States shooting birds for sport.

    It’s just sick, I tell you: Shooting quail. While nobly defending traditional, need-based hunting, ostensible gun rights, and in-the-wild forays by old guys with arms. Shooting quail is just plain sick.

    But it’s not partisan — or myopic — to think so.

    And penned birds? Birds not eaten? The outrage! The righteous character assassination! And all this while the bulk of the US will do pretty damn much whatever amoral act it wants.

    But let’s impeach the VP for his character. For shooting birds and not consuming them.

    Most of you people are completely upside down in this issue.

  89. 89
    StupidityRules says:

    There are some nice slaughterhouse jobs for Cheney in ‘Fast Food Nation’.

    First we got the “sticker” who does nothing else for 8 hours a day than slitting necks of steers, one every tenth second. Then you got the “knocker” who welcomes the cattle by shooting them in the head with a captive bolt stunner.

    Killing hoards of defenseless animals. I guess it would be his paradise.

  90. 90
    SayUncle says:

    Ah, it’s always refreshing to hear about such manly pursuits as killing birds who are disoriented and have absolutely no chance of getting away.

    Yes and the cow you’re having for dinner this week, he had a sporting chance. My neighbor usually releases them several days before the hunt.

  91. 91
    Sojourner says:

    But let’s impeach the VP for his character.

    Wrap it in whatever pretty paper you can find but the reality is there’s something profoundly sick about someone who shoots animals that are unable to escape. No love of hunting here because there ain’t no hunting. It’s all about killing.

    Oh, and don’t forget the fancy bow.

  92. 92
    Sojourner says:

    Yes and the cow you’re having for dinner this week, he had a sporting chance.

    When was the last time people paid good money for the chance to kill a cow in a slaughter house. A new tourist attraction: kill a cow for sport.

    One can reasonably debate the ethics of killing animals for food but killing disoriented animals that have absolutely no chance of escaping is no different than stomping a cat to death. Sick sick sick.

  93. 93

    Minor Detail, but it conveniently fits the M.O. of this administration to a T
    Here

    NEW YORK In the aftermath of the Saturday shooting, Texas state wildlife officials reported late today that while Vice President Dick Cheney had purchased a valid non-resident hunting license, he did not obtain a required “upland game bird stamp.”

    A warning citation–which carries no fine or penalty–will be issued to Cheney, which state officials described as “routine.” Cheney’s office said he would promptly send in the $7 for the stamp. However, as the Dallas Morning News headlined on its Web site, he was, on Saturday, “hunting illegally.”

    The first official report on the shooting of a fellow hunter on Saturday by Cheney was issued late today by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It follows much controversy and speculaton stemming from the failure of the vice president or the White House to announce the incident for 18 hours.

    The report, posted at the Smoking Gun site, confirmed the time of shooting of Harry Whittington at 5:30 pm on Saturday and that Cheney was wearing a “blaze orange” cap and “coat/vest” and brown trousers and was toting a Perazzi .28 caliber shotgun.

    The “Game Law Violated” box was checked, with the violation listed as section “P&W Code 43.652.” According to an online rundown on that sectin, this relates to the lack of the upland bird stamp. The text follows: “Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person may not hunt a
    migratory or upland game bird in this state unless the person has acquired a migratory or upland game bird stamp, as applicable, issued to the person by the department.”

    At the same time, the Kenedy County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon issued a press release noting that an “investigation reveals that there was no alcohol, or misconduct involved in the incident.” It added that Whittington “collaborated Vice President Cheney’s statement,” and concluded, “This was no more than a hunting accident.”

    However, that office had previously disclosed that it was not able to interview Cheney Saturday night after the shooting, and did not do so until Sunday morning.

    Meanwhile, one of the many odd details about the episode involves the third hunter in the group. Some news outlets, including The Associated Press in some dispatches, after not disclosed the name, while many others have said it was Pam Willeford, the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and a native Texan.

  94. 94
    Perry Como says:

    See Dick. Run!

    /not my line

  95. 95
    Sojourner says:

    Minor Detail, but it conveniently fits the M.O. of this administration to a T

    Since when do the rules apply to this crowd? Rules and laws are for weenies. You know, executive privilege during the reign of King George.

  96. 96
    BumperStickerist says:

    Hey, the birds died doing what they loved to do.

    It was a 28 gauge shotgun blast from 25- 30 yards.

    The real scandal is that the gun was Italian made.

    …. and given to Cheney by Saddam Hussein in 1989.

    .

  97. 97

    In case anyone didn’t notice…

    6Gun is a fucking lunatic.

  98. 98
    Vladi G says:

    If only this were in Wyoming, then Cheney could have had a silencer. Then they never would have had to tell the press.

  99. 99
    SayUncle says:

    One can reasonably debate the ethics of killing animals for food but killing disoriented animals that have absolutely no chance of escaping is no different than stomping a cat to death.

    Err, they will be eaten. Read up in comments a bit more. It’s considerably different than stomping a cat to death, even if you’re going to eat the cat.

  100. 100
    SayUncle says:

    If only this were in Wyoming, then Cheney could have had a silencer.

    You can have a sound suppressor in Texas too, and 36 other states.

  101. 101

    I own some guns for hunting, I own some guns for self-defense, some of them are for “keeping the King of England out of my face”, and I own some guns just for the sake of owning them. Given that, what Cheney did was criminally neglectful; it’s absolutely no different than had he put someone in the ICU by backing over them with a car. It is with this (and not partisanship) in mind that I think Cheney deserves a long jail sentence.

    This whole “ranch” hunting thing is for pussies, and I strongly disagree with this sort of hunting style that treats the death of a living animal as mere target practice.

    I think it should be noted that not all of my handguns would be appropriate for self-defense, and therefore I see no reason to think of them as being limited to “killing humans” (admittedly, there are a few that, pretty much, are only suited to self-defense, including those I that I carry daily – don’t endanger myself or my family, and it’ll never become an issue you need to worry about). I’ll also say that handgun hunting is far more challenging than hunting with a rifle; modern long guns mean that “hunting” is often more like “plinking at 100 yards or less”.

  102. 102
    6Gun says:

    I love the pattern, pedantic, uninformed, self-important and mewling as it is:

    “I own guns.

    “I’m a hunter.

    “I’m a self sufficient constitutionalist.

    “Ergo, Cheney is a sick fuck who should go to jail for criminal neglect, probably being drunk, holding off the White House for days, and for plugging defenseless, bewildered birds (which is just like stomping on cat’s heads … with a silencer.) And for a long time. Godfuckingammit. And if you disagree, you’re a fucking lunatic!”

    Funny, I always thought the presumption of innocence was a constitutional right.

    Opinions and assholes, I guess. That and the worst kind of blog comment threads; the meandering, excessive, contradictory, and self righteous ones.

  103. 103

    Cheney was wearing a “blaze orange” cap and “coat/vest” and brown trousers and was toting a Perazzi .28 caliber shotgun.

    A Perazzi? He’s not hunting with a Winchester or a Remington?

    An Italian shotgun!? Seriously? The Vice President of the United States hunts with an Italian shotgun?

    Jesus christ.

    Here ya go folks… Dick Cheney’s shotgun… All $12,999 of it.

    From the looks of it, I guess a good old fashioned American gun wasn’t pretty enough for his metrosexual attire.

  104. 104
    6Gun says:

    Note to self: The mods at BJ allow “fucking” when it’s directed properly:

    “You’re a fucking lunatic.” This is the proper response to a conservative viewpoint and will be allowed.

    But they don’t allow it when it’s repeated, especially when doing so redirects it in a way apparently politically incorrect among proud and noble BJ commenters.

    Chumps.

  105. 105
    SeesThroughIt says:

    some of them are for “keeping the King of England out of my face”

    Bwah! Another Simpsons classic. “If I didn’t have this gun, the king of England could just walk in here anytime he wants and start shoving you around. [pushing Lisa] Do you want that? [pushing her harder] Huh? Do you?”

  106. 106

    Bwah! Another Simpsons classic.

    Definitely one of my favorite episodes :)

  107. 107
    Havoc says:

    Hey Steve:

    How astute of you. While alone late at night with his young female staffer, Kennedy was Driving Drunk as a skunk, driving on an expired drivers license, failed to go to a house with a light on 150 yards away after the crash, walked back across the island to the rented cottage, and sat in the Back seat of a car talking to his lawyers, then refused to report it, swam the channel to town and spent the night at a hotel… then in the morning reported it to the cops.

    Now, had Cheney been drunk as a skunk, out alone in the middle of the night and accidently shot his secretart, then not reported until morning so that she bled to death, while on an expired drivers license ….

    … your whine might have some kind of ring of veracity… but it’s just a whine.

    George Killen , the State Police Detective-Lieutenant who investigated the accident, said that Senator Kennedy “killed that girl the same as if he put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger.”

    “Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law?
    Or is there one system for the average citizen
    and another for the high and mighty?”
    – Senator Ted Kennedy, 1973 –

  108. 108

    W00T! It’s Chappamoonbat time again!

  109. 109
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    I don’t think it’s paranoid at this point to conclude that Cheney is a mean, sadistic bastard — which makes it entirely believable that he’d get a kick out of blasting birds by the score immediately after they were released from cages. We used to hear how paranoid it was to keep insisting that Nixon was still a mean bastard — after all, he’d been elected President, which surely proved by itself that he must have turned statesmanlike. Cheney, I think, is worse; he doesn’t even have the excuse of Nixon’s perpetual neurotic insecurity and terror of criticism.

    Or there may be another factor: Hemingway once wrote how much fun it was to kill huge numbers of birds, not because they required skilled target practice, but just to kill a whole lot of animals. And Hemingway, of course, spent his entire life hysterically trying to compensate for the fact that his mother had wanted a girl so much that she made him wear a dress until he was 5.

    As for what the New Republic gleefully refers to as “the blood-soaked Cheney shotgun rampage — OK, ‘hunting accident’ (how drearily PC!)”: my mother, admittedly always eager to think the very worst about Republicans, suggests one possible rational reason for Cheney’s otherwise inexplicable determination to sit on the news for 24 hours. Just possibly the Veep and the rest of his hunting party had been imbibing a bit too much Hop Juice prior to the hunt, and he was at least tiddled enough to make it very embarrassing if he met the press immediately. (Even this would look better for him than her alternative theory: since Whittington apparently has a reputation for supporting Texas prison reform — not a cause dear to the President’s heart — maybe Cheney just took a bit too literally the Justice Department’s recent suggestion that the President has the legal right to order the assassination of subversive Americans?)

  110. 110
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    As for the “most of us eat slaughtered animals” line that’s filled most of this thread: there’s no excuse for EVER tolerating unnecessary torture of animals. Before 9-11 broke, the Washington Post and Andrew Sullivan had been paying some attention to the atrocities inflicted on animals in Ameica’s slaughterhouses afer the regulations were loosened a few years ago (under Clinton, by the way). But if you’re going to eat an animal, you have the obligation to kill it as painlessly as you possibly can — and blowing part of its body off with a shotgun (leaving a lot of wounded ones to limp off) obviously ain’t that way.

    Now add to this the fact that Cheney doesn’t even have the powerful human desire to eat meat as his motivation (a motivation that it’s damned hard for most of us to ever give up — my God, we evolved as partial carnivores). Nor does he have the motivation of engaging in an especially difficult kind of skilled target practice. He just likes to kill things. Lovely.

  111. 111
    HH says:

    “…Cheney was killing things.”

    Thanks, for those of us unclear on the concept.

  112. 112
    HH says:

    He returned, shotgun breached, without a bird in hand, insisting he had killed a goose but was “too lazy” to carry it.

    Sick bastard!

  113. 113
    rachel says:

    …And Hemingway, of course, spent his entire life hysterically trying to compensate for the fact that his mother had wanted a girl so much that she made him wear a dress until he was 5.

    Really? That has got to be the most interesting thing I’ve read in this whole thread. Got links?

  114. 114
    Don Surber says:

    6 Gun:

    Presumption of innocence is a constitutional right. And if Cheney is ever charged and tried, the court will grant him that.

    But the court of public opinion is not governed by the Constitution and the First Amendment gives me the right to say Cheney should not be shooting people. I’m a conservative. I believe in personal responsibility and fuill accountability in government

    Cheney is Oh-fer

  115. 115
    Sojourner says:

    It’s considerably different than stomping a cat to death, even if you’re going to eat the cat.

    Different how? In both cases the whole point is killing.

    If he wanted food, there’s a whole lot cheaper ways to do it. That excuse doesn’t meet the straightface test.

  116. 116
    skip says:

    6 gun says, “most of you people are completely upside down in this issue.”

    Unlike the VP, who was probably sideways (eschewing the Merlot).

  117. 117
    Steve says:

    W00T! It’s Chappamoonbat time again!

    Hey, take it easy on that guy. He’s probably right that Ted Kennedy’s negligence was worse than Cheney’s in the present case.

    Cheney’s 2 DUIs, on the other hand… not so obvious that there’s a difference, other than the fact that Cheney was lucky enough not to kill anyone.

  118. 118
    HH says:

    “so obvious that there’s a difference, other than the fact that Cheney was lucky enough not to kill anyone.”

    And “lucky enough” not to leave a person to die… other than that…

  119. 119
    Darrell says:

    He’s probably right that Ted Kennedy’s negligence was worse than Cheney’s in the present case.

    They’re not in the same league. Furthermore, there is a considerable body of evidence that Mary Jo Kopechne would be alive today had Kennedy reported the accident immediately. He didn’t even try.

    Kennedy never went to jail over this. He did not pay for his crime. Yet Steve says any reference to this incident is a “cheap shot”. Given that Kennedy got off scott free, how in the hell do you figure it’s a cheap shot to point out what Kennedy did, and what he got away with? You’re hack Steve, nothing more

  120. 120
    Darrell says:

    Given that, what Cheney did was criminally neglectful; it’s absolutely no different than had he put someone in the ICU by backing over them with a car. It is with this (and not partisanship) in mind that I think Cheney deserves a long jail sentence.

    Glad you’re waiting for all the facts to come in before pronouncing guilt. Typically, you will agree ahead of time with your buddies where each of you will be, which areas you will hunt, and discuss which directions you’ll fire when a covey of birds appear. If such a discussion took place and Cheney’s friend went off on his own ignoring this, he would be at fault, at least in part. Having said that, it’s always your responsibility to know where you’re firing, no matter what.

    I suspect this accident occurred because the birds were too fat to fly well and Cheney blasted away at at ground level as the pheasants ran away. I agree there is not much sport in shooting penned birds, but it’s hardly like stomping a cat to death as others on this thread have alleged, especially since the birds are given to charity to feed the poor.

  121. 121
    Waxmaker says:

    He returned, shotgun breached, without a bird in hand, insisting he had killed a goose but was “too lazy” to carry it.

    That particular hunting trip was ridiculous enough all by itself without the distortion that article gives it.

    An aide carried the goose so Kerry wouldn’t be photographed holding a dead animal. Kerry tried to joke it away by saying that he was too lazy to carry it because he had stayed up late watching the Red Sox game. Stupid, but it’s not quite a matter of him killing a bird and leaving it because he was actually too lazy to carry it.

  122. 122
    skip says:

    Yeah, Kerry did something bad and that makes THIS fine.

  123. 123

    “You’re a fucking lunatic.” This is the proper response to a conservative viewpoint and will be allowed.

    No, you’re a fucking lunatic because you tried to tie this to the abortion debate.

    You’re a fucking wacko.

    And thankfully Don Shuber addressed your stupid ass “innocent until proven guilty” shit. That applies to the justice system, not public opinion retard.

  124. 124
    HH says:

    “Yeah, Kerry did something bad and that makes THIS fine.”

    Er no, it’s just that the condemnations of Cheney as “sick” are a little silly after it’s clear Kerry had no intention on killing that goose for any reason other than political points (by the way it was never confirmed whether the aide carried it or not… only three of four geese could be conted). And of course now Paul Begala proudly comes out in his hunting gear to boast of his quail hunting passion. Ezra got any comments on that?

  125. 125
    HH says:

    Make that “counted”.

  126. 126
    jeff says:

    I’m not a hunter, but my father was, and as a kid I went out with him many times. My father thought tree stands were unsporting, and always did his hunting from the ground, and I’m inclined to agree with him about it.

    But slaughtering farm-raised birds is morally equivalent to kids going out with BB guns and shooting pigeons. A farm-raised bird is obviously docile and has no natural fear of humans. This isn’t hunting, it isn’t sport. It’s a bunch of elite yahoos pretending to be “real men.”

    Cheney mocked John Kerry for pretending to be a hunter — looks to me like it’s the same deal for him. Poser.

    What’s the old saying, “Like shooting fish in a barrel?”

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