White Hunter, Black Heart

The guy who is paying $350K to shoot a black rhino in Namibia is getting death threats. To be fair, the male rhino is too old to breed and old males can sometimes become a danger to other wildlife, so perhaps this guy deserves a bit of a pass. That said, the Internet tells me that this is his 2012 Christmas card (via):
whitehunter

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191 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    Get outta town.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Is that Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

  3. 3
    Scott S. says:

    Do guys like this not realize that sending a card like this is basically saying “I have a very tiny winkie, and that completely freaks me out”?

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    Basically, even if Santa wises up and armor-plates his sleigh, he’s going down this year.

  5. 5
    Keith P says:

    If they were black and living in Omaha, the cops would have confiscated their kids by now.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    Hey, they didn’t say Happy Holidays. Finally, someone who’s putting Christ back in Christmas.

  7. 7
    WaterGirl says:

    Wow. Just wow. I get kind of a sick feeling when I think about the young girls. Please tell me it’s possible to grow up to be normal in a family like that.

    @Baud: hahahahaha

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    Good title

  9. 9
    Jen says:

    Old and unable to reproduce or not, if this guy really cared about “conservation”, he could donate the $350K to the cause and let the poor creature die of old age.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    Wikipedia says

    The M2 has been referred to as “Ma Deuce”,[5] as a GI phonetic slang or “the fifty” in reference to its caliber. The design has had many specific designations; the official designation for the current infantry type is Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible. It is effective against infantry, unarmored or lightly armored vehicles and boats, light fortifications and low-flying aircraft.

    So yeah, this year they’re bagging themselves a sleigh.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @Jen:

    To be fair, I think Namibia decided to kill off these rhinos one way or the other, so they held an auction for hunters in order to make a buck off of it. To my knowledge, he didn’t go to them.

    This guy’s seems like a douche, but I don’t think he did anything wrong in this particular instance.

  12. 12
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Knowlton is so rich that he carries a pair of zircon-encrusted tweezers to pull that tiny thing out when he takes a pee.

  13. 13
    Botsplainer says:

    @Jen:

    Old and unable to reproduce or not, if this guy really cared about “conservation”, he could donate the $350K to the cause and let the poor creature die of old age.

    Look, the guy is a Texas asshole, and anybody who has the coin for a $350,000 bid on a hunt needs a tax increase. Plus, he’s a gun nut, and has a family of gun nuts, and that card is gay in not the good way.

    That being said, the wildlife managers have deemed the animal a threat to breeding populations, and it’s death is designed to enhance and prolong the species; I trust their judgment.

  14. 14
    AnonPhenom says:

    “So much douche. What can men do against such reckless asshattery”

  15. 15
    Scotty says:

    Somebody has a tiny penis.

  16. 16
    WereBear says:

    @Baud: This guy’s seems like a douche, but I don’t think he did anything wrong in this particular instance.

    I dunno, based on my early dating in a redneck enclave… the heavy “fantasy shooting things” element in this guy’s life bodes no good.

    I had a semi-stalker in high school who was neck-deep in gun culture and dreamed of the day he could enter West Point and go on to an officer career. (Believe me, the crush was totally one-way.) So he got disqualified for something picky physically, like flat feet or vision or teeth, something totally out of the blue he never suspected would trip him up.

    And I sympathize; this is a heckuva blow.

    But he went off the deep end and became a drug dealer with a definite sadistic side and I distanced myself from that whole crowd in self-defense.

    Just sayin’.

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Scott S.:
    What it says to me is, “I am a profoundly sick puppy.”

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    Canned hunts and the people who participate in them are beyond contemptible.

  19. 19
    Botsplainer says:

    @Baud:

    To be fair, I think Namibia decided to kill off these rhinos one way or the other, so they held an auction for hunters in order to make a buck off of it. To my knowledge, he didn’t go to them.

    There is an argument to be made that by auctioning the right to hunt it, conservation managers perpetuate the profit motives that are at the heart of the poaching of the endangered species. Perhaps a better approach would be to have the managers kill the animal and to then incinerate or otherwise completely spoil the remains. Of course the money will be used for good – likely more anti poaching patrols, so it isn’t clear cut. In any event, the animal is temperamentally unsuitable for a sanctuary or zoo.

    Anyway, it’s interesting that the very arguments used to justify culling this animal apply to justification for culling wealthy white Texans of later years…

  20. 20
    Botsplainer says:

    @Cacti:

    Canned hunts and the people who participate in them are beyond contemptible.

    Agreed. Genuinely unmanly.

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Please tell me it’s possible to grow up to be normal in a family like that.

    I don’t claim to be normal, but I did grow up in a redneck, gun nut, hunting-camp type of family (with a lot less money than the asshole pictured above) and turned out to be a liberal who advocates strict gun control, so that’s possible.

    Here’s hoping Lil’ Smokie above hires a hippie carpenter to build an animal head display and Willow falls for him and runs off with the two girls.

  22. 22
    Elmo says:

    I love venison. I love elk sausage. I bet I would even like moose chili. But God help me, I am not capable of sighting down the barrel and pulling the trigger, even on the deer that destroy my hostas and tomatoes every year.

    And that would be for food. How soul-deadened do you have to be to sight down the barrel and pull the trigger, in order to get a wall decoration?

  23. 23
    Hal says:

    Fine. The Rhino is a threat. Euthanize it instead of having some button dicked asshole with a gun fethish blow it’s head off.

  24. 24
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    I haven’t kept up with this, but this rubs me the wrong way.

    I found this National Geographic piece interesting:

    Knowlton is a consultant for the Hunting Consortium, an international guide service, and a co-host on a hunting show on the Outdoor Channel called Jim Shockey’s The Professionals. He says he has hunted more than 120 species on almost every continent.
    .
    In response to his critics, Knowlton told CNN: “I respect the black rhino. A lot of people say, ‘Do you feel like a bigger man?’ or ‘Is this a thrill for you?’ The thrill is knowing that we are preserving wildlife resources, not for the next generation, but for eons.”
    .
    He called himself a “passionate conservationist” who “believes in the cycle of life.” Knowlton and the Dallas Safari Club have said the hunt will target an older male rhino that is no longer able to reproduce, and will therefore not hurt the status of the species, which is embattled partly because of poaching for its valuable horns.

    Emphasis added.

    Hmm… He has a TV show. How convenient.

    It seems to me that there’s more to a group of animals than whether a member can reproduce or not. If he’s being disruptive, tranquilize and move him seems (perhaps naively) to be a better solution.

    Some conservation groups, such as the WWF and Save the Rhino, have expressed support for such limited, controlled hunts if they raise money for conservation. But animal advocates like the Humane Society of the United States and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have loudly condemned the practice.
    .
    Jeff Flocken, North American director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told National Geographic that hunting sends a signal to world markets that the animal is worth more dead than alive. Conservation efforts should focus more on ecotourism and photo safaris, he said.
    .
    The Dallas Safari Club says not enough money is raised that way. Save the Rhino said in a statement, “It would be nice if donors gave enough money to cover the spiralling costs of protecting rhinos from poachers. Or if enough photographic tourists visited parks and reserves to cover all the costs of community outreach and education programmes. But that just doesn’t happen.”
    .
    Still, Dereck Joubert, a conservation filmmaker and National Geographic explorer-in-residence, disagrees with the hunting tradeoff, criticizing what he calls “conservation by the gun.”

    We want animals to thrive in the wild – not mostly to have targets for rich guys with too much money.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @WereBear:

    the heavy “fantasy shooting things” element in this guy’s life bodes no good.

    Hard to say. Big game hunting used to be a thing among the elites back around the turn of the 20th Century. Teddy Roosevelt was a ferocious hunter. I can kind of understand the desire among some modern elites to continue that “tradition,” even though it has no place in the modern world except in the context of managed conservation. On the other hand, I do think there is a difference between modern day “gun culture” and the old-fashioned hunting culture that Teddy Roosevelt and others were a part of. Given this Christmas card, it wouldn’t surprise me if we hear about some tragedy involving this guy at some point.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    I think he should take Ronnie, the old rhinocerous, out with a rocket launcher.

    Because hunting with automatic weapons — how manly! What skill!

    (That home arsenal? Who’s he expecting? Zombie Pablo Escobar?)

  27. 27
    WereBear says:

    @Betty Cracker: I don’t claim to be normal, but I did grow up in a redneck, gun nut, hunting-camp type of family (with a lot less money than the asshole pictured above) and turned out to be a liberal who advocates strict gun control, so that’s possible.

    Heck, I’m very familiar; I spent the years from 8-18 in small town, central, Florida, and I’m currently in a Far North version, where everyone fills the freezer with venison. And I’ve got no problem with that; I’ve come to realize that hunting wild game is by far the better choice in our society than crowding mutant animals into sewers and filling them with antibiotics.

    It’s the fetishization that freaks me right out. Giving your toddler a gun for your Christmas card? No one, not growing up or not where I live now, would think that was anything but crazy. He’s a wanna-be hunter.

    He’s Bridge Over the River Kwai too far.

  28. 28
    Botsplainer says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Here’s hoping Lil’ Smokie above hires a hippie carpenter to build an animal head display and Willow falls for him and runs off with the two girls.

    Being a Texas “man” of means, he’s probably got one or two on the side. What he doesn’t know (because he’s a complete asshole and would go apeshit if he found out) is that lovely Willow tired of being a hunting trip widow a few years ago, and after sobbing to her girlfriends, sisters and mom about his frequent and often suspicious absences, found herself a companion that attends their megachurch. What started as a sounding board friendship blossomed into something special, and she’s not completely sure about the genetics of the youngest one.

    Of course, I have no facts to back any of that up and know none of these people, but it’s a guess….

  29. 29
    raven says:

    OK, I know we are all pissed off but he’s not going to hunt and shoot the animal with the .50.

  30. 30
    Glocksman says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Given the coin required to buy that kind of arsenal (that M2 alone is $30k+), I agree that a tax increase isn’t out of order.

    @Baud:

    You’ve found where the Council stashed Willow and Xander.

  31. 31
    Aji says:

    @dmsilev: They found out Santa’s not really white. Open season.

  32. 32
    danielx says:

    It’s too early in the morning for concentrated essence of douchebag. Also, too, no normal person keeps a fifty cal sitting around the house, let alone puts it in a Christmas card. The thought of this guy having a Class III firearms license is something less than uplifting, although I’m sure he’d be a big hit at the (in)famous Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Amir Khalid says:

    By the way, how is it legal — even in America — for a private citizen to own a .50 calibre machine gun? Are they considered the same as rifles and pistols?

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    We want animals to thrive in the wild – not mostly to have targets for rich guys with too much money.

    It seems counter-intuitive that to raise money against killing black rhinos, you auction off the opportunity to kill one as a high-priced thrill of a lifetime event.

  36. 36
    Dave says:

    @WereBear: Not good that he became a drug dealer but he would have been a horrible officer. The people that want it the most are usually the ones that are least suited, Not always but often enough that if it goes beyond typical young person enthusiasm it ends up a red flag for me.

  37. 37
    Botsplainer says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    It seems to me that there’s more to a group of animals than whether a member can reproduce or not. If he’s being disruptive, tranquilize and move him seems (perhaps naively) to be a better solution.

    As an animal not raised in captivity with an aggressive nature, he’s completely unsuited for the zoo or for a sanctuary, presenting a danger for human handlers and other animals. Plus, the cost of transport is huge.

    The answer is in killing him. I do agree with one aspect of what the animal rights nuts at HSUS say, though – the auctioned hunting right does help to rhetorically support the black market in rhino parts and meat, which is why I made the suggestion to have the rangers do it and spoil the corpse for any use afterward, even for meat.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: My guess is that the weapon has been rendered nonfunctional. Basically, a piece of sculpture. Or he has a special license for it..

  39. 39
    Chyron HR says:

    As if Robocop wasn’t bad enough, now they’re remaking Scarface?

  40. 40
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Amir Khalid: You can own a cannon in the US if you qualify to get a “tax stamp”. Of course, that means letting the ‘ebil gubmint know all ’bout yer bidness’, but them’s the breaks.

    One of my uncles had a 3 pounder similar to this. He shot it at artillery ranges a few times.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  41. 41
    Cacti says:

    @Botsplainer:

    The answer is in killing him. I do agree with one aspect of what the animal rights nuts at HSUS say, though – the auctioned hunting right does help to rhetorically support the black market in rhino parts and meat, which is why I made the suggestion to have the rangers do it and spoil the corpse for any use afterward, even for meat.

    This.

    Culling is a legitimate practice. However, if the goal is preservation of the species, they seem to be stepping all over their own dicks with the message that the chance to kill one for sport is something to be coveted.

  42. 42
    beth says:

    Is there really any hunting that goes on in something like this? I’m asking because I really don’t have any idea how these canned hunts work. If you have a specific animal you’re going to shoot, is that animal put in some sort of enclosure to be sure it’ll get shot? If so, at that point, doesn’t it just become shooting something for the fun of shooting something rather than hunting? Do real hunters really enjoy this type of hunt?

  43. 43
    celticdragonchick says:

    @WereBear:

    He’s Bridge Over the River Kwai too far.

    yep.

    I have no problem at all with deer hunting etc as it is practiced in North America…and sometimes small game (what you can shoot with a .22) is a major staple for poor rural families. I have enjoyed hunting and I like basic target shooting.

    That being said, what I see in the card above gives me the absolute creeps. Kids posing with guns??! A freaking M2 heavy machine gun in the foyer?

  44. 44
    Botsplainer says:

    @danielx:

    It’s too early in the morning for concentrated essence of douchebag. Also, too, no normal person keeps a fifty cal sitting around the house, let alone puts it in a Christmas card. The thought of this guy having a Class III firearms license is something less than uplifting, although I’m sure he’d be a big hit at the (in)famous Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot.

    I’ve gone to Knob Creek to shoot a number of times, but never to the machine gun shoot (too many accidents, too much toothlessness). They’re pretty nutty, but on regular days, they run a pretty safe operation and are rigid in their protocol (watched one guy get himself banned for a minor safety infraction). There’s always some full autos, and the guys are happy to let you try theirs out.

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    @beth:

    If so, at that point, doesn’t it just become shooting something for the fun of shooting something rather than hunting? Do real hunters really enjoy this type of hunt?

    Yes to the first.

    No to the second.

    Alabama and Mississippi have laws against canned hunting FFS.

  46. 46
    Glocksman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s legal under Federal law if you (and this is simplfying the process):

    1. Are permitted to own one in the state you live in. Many states prohibit possession of full auto.
    He’s in Texas, so he’s legal.

    2. Pass a background check and provide a letter of permission from the ‘Chief Law Enforcement Officer’ for where you live.
    For city dwellers this means the Chief of Police and rural residents get it from their county Sheriff.

    3. Pay a $200 transfer tax on the weapon to the ATF, along with all of the forms.

    Anywhere from 3 to 9 months later you can pick up your machine gun.
    Since 1986 the supply of civilian transferable full autos has been frozen due to a change in Federal law.
    This is the primary reason why legal full autos in the US are very much rich man’s toys, as expanding demand and frozen supply equal high prices.

    A MAC 10 that went for $500+tax in ’86 now goes for $4000+, not including the $200 tax.

    Just by looking at that card, I’d hazard a guess that he’s spent at least $55,000 on those guns.

  47. 47
    kathleen says:

    What can you expect from a family that dresses its beautiful baby girls in black? What are they mourning?

  48. 48
    Botsplainer says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Two thoughts – they’ll have to make Omnicorp even more controlling and evil for the Robocop remake, and for Scarface, for the proper amount of depraved, senseless violence, he should be Russian.

  49. 49
    celticdragonchick says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    I have seen a number of people and units in the Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enacting hobbies who own period cannons. They are expensive to build and expensive to shoot. (ever tried to find a cooper who is willing to build the wheels for the artillery carriage?)

    I am in the 2nd NC Continental Line (Rev War), and the unit just voted to build a light 3 pounder carriage. They are a serious bitch to try to drag around the battlefield on tow ropes…

  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    @Botsplainer:

    they’ll have to make Omnicorp even more controlling and evil for the Robocop remake

    I’d say, look for a Dick Cheney-esque CEO.

  51. 51
    kathleen says:

    @Betty Cracker: Anybody who wears black hose and gloves with a bright green dress is not going to fall for a hippie carpenter. I suggest you replace him in your fantasy with a personal trainer named, oh, I don’t know, Scott? Brett? Connor?

  52. 52
    celticdragonchick says:

    I have to say that I really do like the wrought iron bannisters, though. Whoever those folks are, they are effing loaded. (and I would hazard a guess that the M2 .50 cal was 6 figures all by itself)

  53. 53
    PurpleGirl says:

    @kathleen:

    What are they mourning?

    Her youth and innocence.

  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    @Dave: Oh heck, the guy was a mess before and after, no question.

    But that’s my point. The gun fetish was a symptom.

    As liberals, we give the benefit of the doubt. Even if we find a cultural or personal practice to be off-putting to us personally, we strive to see the other person’s point of view and come down on the side of tolerance. Which is a good thing. I do it.

    But we also be blithely unaware of sincere, bone-deep, deviance sometimes. It’s kind of the way women are trained to be polite, even when some utter asshole is getting in our space and trying to order us around.

    In The Gift of Fear, the author points out that this guy might be more than a rude jerk; he could be a predator grooming potential prey. Flat out defending our person and our preferences can look “rude” but I don’t care. (And “rude” is cultural… nothing I’ve ever done would look out of line if a man did it, so to hell with my upbringing.)

    Like I said, I’m understanding of hunting and I’ve eaten venison and complimented both the shooter and the cook. But I’m not giving this guy a pass; not because he’s stupid rich and not because he’s stupid publicity seeking and not because he’s stupid.

    He armed a toddler on his Christmas card. Unless you are publicizing Bad Santa II: This Time It’s Personal, that’s deeply messed up.

    Because toddlers, all children, just might be the number one demo who gets killed with guns.

  55. 55
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cacti: A potentially dangerous non-breeding animal is removed, and the government of Namibia (not among the world’s richest countries) gets a quick 350 large for its conservation efforts. I fail to see the downside of this, and it appears many knowledgeable groups agree.

  56. 56
    rk says:

    I have to say this. I’m not an American by birth, but even having been here for over 25 yrs this is still a culture shock when I see it. I can’t imagine let alone relate to this type of casual attitude to guns. Funny how humans are so different that sometimes I feel that this type of man and I might as well be from different planets.

  57. 57
    Botsplainer says:

    @kathleen:

    Judging by Amber’s Facebook page, I’m guessing that personal trainer from her megachurch workout facility would be about right.

    https://www.facebook.com/amber.knowlton.1/about

    It starts off with her asking him whether he thinks she’s pretty and if he’d leave her behind for a week or two each month for suspicious hunting trips.

    Next thing you know, there’s tears over a shared wine bottle after a workout in the afternoon, and one thing leads to another…

  58. 58
    Cacti says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I fail to see the downside of this, and it appears many knowledgeable groups agree.

    And other knowledgeable groups disagree.

    And your point is?

  59. 59
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Hunter discovers it doesn’t feel good to be hunted. Cry me one.

    Here’s the deal: whenever a Safari Club scumbag shows up with a bag of cash, as if by magic a “problem” elephant or leopard or lion or rhino needs to be taken care of. Bank balance running low? Oh, what luck, we have a problem animal just showed up and we really need it shot by some bloated American fuck.

    I don’t believe in a retributive afterlife, but if I did, there would be a special punishment for the people who hunt big game in 20-fucking-14. An eternity of being hunted, wounded and never dying would suffice. Perpetual Actaeon.

  60. 60
    Glocksman says:

    @beth:

    As far as I can tell, this is only a permit to hunt that particular rhino and not a ‘canned hunt’ as we use the term here in the US.
    He still has to get out in the field and track it down.

    Personally I think ‘canned hunt’ is a contradiction in terms, as you’re not hunting a damn thing, you’re just killing.
    No sportsmanship or skills needed.
    If that’s what you want to do, take a job in a slaughterhouse and kill steers all day long.

  61. 61
    Cacti says:

    @Glocksman:

    As far as I can tell, this is only a permit to hunt that particular rhino and not a ‘canned hunt’ as we use the term here in the US.
    He still has to get out in the field and track it down.

    A real hunt is one where the hunter has the possibility of coming home empty handed.

    Do you think there’s any possibility at all that Mr. $350k doesn’t get his trophy kill?

    Canned hunt.

  62. 62
    Ash Can says:

    To me, that Christmas photo just screams, “Someone in this household is going to end up dead, either from accidental shooting or suicide.” I fear for those kids.

  63. 63
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @beth:

    If so, at that point, doesn’t it just become shooting something for the fun of shooting something rather than hunting?

    The Safari Club mentality is that they are collectors of rare things, and if that means Dickless Creepard Jr shooting a rare deer that’s been specially confined in an enclosure, well, it means that Buford Fartbreath III didn’t get to spend his millions doing it.

    The man talks about wanting to get intimate with the rhino. It is a creepy fetish, and if big game hunters weren’t out there blowing away endangered species, they’d be abducting young children and locking them in their basements.

  64. 64
    Fluke bucket says:

    Hope he gets to keep the meat. His wife could use a sandwich.

  65. 65
    Gretchen says:

    @kathleen: Yes! who looks at a black dress and thinks “this would be adorable on my baby girl. While she holds her gun. ” Mom is so skinny she’s borderline anorexic, so maybe the personal trainer (or several) is a thing. Personally, I hope she’s got the personal trainer and hippie carpenter both.

  66. 66
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cacti: Expressing an opinion, just like you.

  67. 67
    DissidentFish says:

    @WereBear: I agree with your points, but children 0-14 are almost 10 times less likely to be killed by firearms than any other age demographic, according the CDC.

    2010, United States
    Firearm Deaths and Rates per 100,000 Cause of Death Deaths Population Crude Rate
    00-04 yrs Firearm 82 20201362 0.41
    05-09 yrs Firearm 73 20348657 0.36
    10-14 yrs Firearm 225 20677194 1.09
    15-19 yrs Firearm 2331 22040343 10.58
    20-24 yrs Firearm 3870 21585999 17.93
    25-29 yrs Firearm 3434 21101849 16.27
    30-34 yrs Firearm 2738 19962099 13.72
    35-39 yrs Firearm 2411 20179642 11.95
    40-44 yrs Firearm 2379 20890964 11.39
    45-49 yrs Firearm 2695 22708591 11.87
    50-54 yrs Firearm 2685 22298125 12.04
    55-59 yrs Firearm 2297 19664805 11.68
    60-64 yrs Firearm 1742 16817924 10.36
    65-69 yrs Firearm 1270 12435263 10.21
    70-74 yrs Firearm 1046 9278166 11.27
    75-79 yrs Firearm 903 7317795 12.34
    80-84 yrs Firearm 761 5743327 13.25
    85+ yrs Firearm 723 5493433 13.16
    SOURCE: http://webappa.cdc.gov/cgi-bin/broker.exe

    To me the real statistics are frightening enough without right winging the science to make our point.

  68. 68
    Aji says:

    @Ash Can: Not the only two options, and definitely not the one that that photo screams out to me.

  69. 69
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Scott S.:

    Do guys like this not realize that sending a card like this is basically saying “I have a very tiny winkie, and that completely freaks me out”?

    If it was just the cards one would just say the guy has an odd sense of humor and the money to indulge it. However combine that card with the willingness to pay large amounts of money to shoot rhinoceroses,..

  70. 70
    Botsplainer says:

    @Gretchen:

    Personally, I hope she’s got the personal trainer and hippie carpenter both.

    In other words, there might actually be a sandwich. ;)

  71. 71
    Botsplainer says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    However combine that card with the willingness to pay large amounts of money to shoot rhinoceroses,..

    There’s a photo on his wife’s facebook page of her posing behind a very dead (and looks to be very old) male African lion. That wasn’t an inexpensive opportunity either.

  72. 72
    WereBear says:

    @DissidentFish: Thanks for hard info… this is the Internet Age and I really should see if there’s facts out there :)

    From the looks of things, it’s the elderly who are most at risk.

    This may sound like a classic confrontation with an elderly mother who won’t give up her car. But it’s in fact about a loaded .38-caliber handgun that she keeps wrapped in a scarf in her top dresser drawer in a Southern California retirement community. Guns in Frail Hands

    See, I learn fast :)

    But my larger point prevails; you don’t put deadly weapons in a child’s hands. Did Jonas Salk feature wheelchairs and leg braces in his Hanukkah card?

  73. 73
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Knowlton’s suffering from severe Backpfeifengesicht led to his love of guns.

  74. 74
    Michael says:

    OT, but MSNBC has the Hoboken mayor on record (and providing documentary evidence, apparently) as saying Christie’s office refused to funnel federal Sandy Relief money to her city unless she approved a real estate development project

    Story here

    She didn’t approve the deal, and got a few hundred thousand dollars instead of the ~$130M she requested.

    This seems to me like it might be a big deal, bigger than the bridge…

  75. 75
    beltane says:

    @Botsplainer: These people are obviously being crushed by their intolerable tax burden.

  76. 76
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Michael:
    If it involves federal money, there’s a possibility of federal charges, right?

  77. 77
    WereBear says:

    @Michael: It’s the crushing accumulation of each new revelation. All has been hidden, out of fear.

    But now, we are seeing the triggering of an Event cascade.

  78. 78
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    As liberals, we give the benefit of the doubt. Even if we find a cultural or personal practice to be off-putting to us personally, we strive to see the other person’s point of view and come down on the side of tolerance

    hence the trouble with liberalism.

  79. 79
    dmsilev says:

    @Michael: It ties into the theory that the Fort Lee mess was more over development rights to a land parcel near the bridge than it was over some pretty meaningless political endorsement.

    Follow. The. Money.

  80. 80
    Botsplainer says:

    @beltane:

    These people are obviously being crushed by their intolerable tax burden.

    Every time Knowlton sends a check to the IRS, Sweet Baby Jesus cries.

  81. 81
    Cacti says:

    @Michael:

    This seems to me like it might be a big deal, bigger than the bridge…

    Petty corruption like closing traffic is usually just the tip of the iceberg.

    When you have to publicly announce “I’m not a crook,” or “I’m not a bully,” you’re past the point where you’re going to change that perception.

  82. 82
    Ash Can says:

    @Michael: Sounds like we’re about to meet more top administration officials appointed by Christie who were doing things behind his back and lying to him about it, and whom he’d never met before in his life anyway.

  83. 83
    Gex says:

    “gay and not in a good way”

    Sigh.

  84. 84
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Botsplainer: You keep talking as if the hunt is for a particular individual male. That doesn’t seem to be the case (at least in the links I’ve seen). NatGeo:

    The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) says it expects the permit to sell for at least $250,000, possibly up to $1 million. According to an official release from the club, Namibia has never before sold a black rhino-hunting permit directly outside of its borders.
    .
    Typically, the five Namibian permits that are issued each year are sold to local hunt operators, which then book clients from around the world. Those permits have typically gone for a few hundred thousand dollars.
    .
    In recent years, however, Americans have not been able to import black rhino trophies into the U.S., which has limited the interest from that country, reported the DSC. But the Fish and Wildlife Service is set to grant an exemption in this case, as part of a deal that Namibians will hope will also bring in a higher price for the permit, explained Nelson Freeman, a spokesperson for Safari Club International.
    .
    The move is not without precedent. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had previously granted a permit for a trophy of an older, nonbreeding male black rhino taken from Waterberg Plateau National Park in Namibia in 2009.
    .
    […]
    .
    The club said that the hunt would target an older, postbreeding male black rhino (a bull), an animal with a reputation for being territorial and for even occasionally charging and killing younger bulls, cows, or calves.
    .
    “Removing these individuals can lead to greater survival of other rhinos and, in turn, greater abundance of the species,” wrote the club.

    This seems to be all about letting the US get involved in the action again. Not culling a particular troublesome male.

    IOW, it seems to be all about letting rich guys with too much money in the US bid to bring home a trophy.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  85. 85
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gretchen:

    Mom is so skinny she’s borderline anorexic

    Most happily, she’s currently “writing [her] first cookbook,” according to the FB page Botsplainer linked to.

    TaMara and jeffreyw better not even think of resting on their laurels.

  86. 86
    Patrick says:

    @Michael:

    This seems to me like it might be a big deal, bigger than the bridge…

    I agree. This is big. But why in the world did she wait so long in telling this stuff? Instead, as the Governor’s office has stated, she has been grateful and supportive of Christie.

  87. 87
    scav says:

    Texas sure breeds ’em big and special. Megachurches add that special polish (keeping the mas in Chistmas and spreading the peace of the season). Rather like the detail that the stockings are going aaac!

  88. 88
    blueskies says:

    @Botsplainer: This is the woman who recently got taken to task for this photo:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=791885544171422&set=a.154290261264290.35157.100000499515668&type=3&theater

    Kill pussycat! Kill!

  89. 89
    Poopyman says:

    This has got to be the creepiest Christmas card I’ve seen. Kind of a 2014 version of “An Addam’s Family Christmas”.

    @Botsplainer: Not much meat on that sandwich.

    @Aji: Yeah, my money’s on auto-erotic asphyxiation. Or maybe not even “auto”.

  90. 90
    Poopyman says:

    @Amir Khalid: You betcha!

  91. 91
    dmsilev says:

    @Patrick:

    I agree. This is big. But why in the world did she wait so long in telling this stuff? Instead, as the Governor’s office has stated, she has been grateful and supportive of Christie

    Safest time to stand up to a bully is when other people have already started doing it. Human nature.

  92. 92

    @Betty Cracker:

    Here’s hoping Lil’ Smokie above hires a hippie carpenter to build an animal head display and Willow falls for him and runs off with the two girls.

    That’s a fairy tale I could get behind!

    re the card, I guess they forgot about the whole “peace on earth” thing.

  93. 93
    Aji says:

    @Poopyman: I was actually thinking of something more violent and other-directed, shall we say. He doesn’t strike me as the most stable brick in the wall.

  94. 94
    Poopyman says:

    @Michael: Dailykos has a tweet from Chris Hayes:

    Christie’s office doubling down and saying Mayor Zimmer’s allegations are “outlandishly false.” This is going to get so so ugly.

    Popcorn time!

  95. 95
    jayjaybear says:

    That card can’t be real! It looks photoshopped…his head is at a weird angle and where the heck did the rest of that left-side banister go after it went behind the wife?

  96. 96
    Aji says:

    @Hillary Rettig: Peace on Earth? That’s for long-haired DFHs. You know, like Jesus.

    Their god is the stoner god of Leviticus. No, the other kind of stoning.

  97. 97

    @Baud: He only doesn’t do anything wrong if you totally negate the rhino’s desire to live.

  98. 98
    Culture of Truth says:

    Maybe this explains all those alien visitations out in the middle of nowhere.

  99. 99
    Patrick says:

    @Poopyman:

    Christie can deny it all he wants. But he can’t deny the numbers. Why did he only give Hoboken $300k when they asked for $100million?

  100. 100
    Cermet says:

    You can just see the love for Christ by that family photo – at least what the sicko values more than his wife/children …

  101. 101
    Botsplainer says:

    @Poopyman:

    Popcorn time!

    Just don’t throw it scornfully at old white gun nuts with low T for being tattletales. You’ll get shot.

  102. 102
    CaseyL says:

    I carry no brief whatsoever for gun nuts or the gun culture, but I have to disagree with the comments about how this guy is a sick fuck for posing his family in a Christmas card photo where everyone is armed.

    Because that is totally a routine thing to do in Christmas cards among the Southern white gun set. Family-with-guns-at-Christmas photos and Family-portrait-with-guns are very much a Southern white gun culture thing. I’ve seen dozens of them, representing all income ranges.

    It is startling, but the guy isn’t a sick fuck for doing it: he’s following his cultural norm for doing it. That means the photo is “normal” for his culture. You can argue the culture is sick, fine (and I’d agree with you), but don’t single this family out for particular odium.

    In fact, based on the cultural norms this family follows, paying $350K to a national park to shoot an old rhino is possibly the highest expression of support for conservation they’re capable of.

  103. 103
    GregB says:

    Now imagine the response from the conservative cultural commentariat if the exact same photo was enacted by another family, say perhaps, the Obamas.

    Does anyone want to guess what they would say about their character? What type of culture would the conservatives claim is being promoted or glorified?

    On an OT note, it appears an Iranian diplomat has been assassinated in Yemen.

  104. 104
    scav says:

    @Patrick: The comparison of amt asked for and and amt awarded should be an easy one to make and exhastively too. limited time frame. geographic specificity. could very well winkle out a few more decisions that suddenly went the gov’s way, unexpectedly, as well as buttress these claims.

  105. 105
    Culture of Truth says:

    @CaseyL: Fair enough, but GreB makes a good point too.

  106. 106

    @Cacti:

    Dick Cheney, for example.

  107. 107
    Botsplainer says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Most happily, she’s currently “writing [her] first cookbook,” according to the FB page Botsplainer linked to.

    All I could think of when I saw that was “what the hell could some early 30s Texas trophy know about cooking well enough to share and be different enough to sell?”

    At that age, most young women haven’t even hosted a Thanksgiving dinner yet, and know shit all about staging items to come out the same time, spice balance, the value of acids or how to bake with consistency.

  108. 108
    kdaug says:

    @Cacti:

    A real hunt is one where the hunter has the possibility of NOT coming home empty handed.

  109. 109
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @CaseyL:

    Well put.

  110. 110
    GregB says:

    @CaseyL:

    You know what other kinds of pictures used to be perfectly normal among a large section of Americans?

    Perhaps we shouldn’t have been outraged about this cultural norm?

    I call bullshit.

  111. 111
    scav says:

    @kdaug:

    A real hunt is one where the hunter has the possibility of NOT coming home empty handed.

    Easy. Could make ’em real by twelve-packs and shots imbibed rather than propelled. A careful choice of responsible gun owners to surround themselves with could have a similar effect.

  112. 112
    Baud says:

    I wonder how much they would pay to hunt the most dangerous game.

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    @CaseyL:
    How does someone belong to a sick culture without being sick in more or less the same ways as that culture? Isn’t that inherent in the idea of being a creature of one’s environment?

  114. 114
    Poopyman says:

    @CaseyL: His “culture” also happens to fetishize a gang of traitors who waged war against the United States, so fuck ’em hard.

  115. 115
    kc says:

    perhaps this guy deserves a bit of a pass.

    No.

  116. 116
    Botsplainer says:

    @GregB:

    The young man on the right of that photo always haunted me. You have a number of reactions, some with glee, some with stupid, one with gloating hate, and sadness on the faces of some girls.

    The young man on the right, though, appears to have an expression that mingles revulsion and fear, as if he was unhappy with what transpired, but fearful to act on it.

  117. 117
    Soonergrunt says:

    I’ve no doubt this guy is a grade A gun-humping asshole, but this picture sure looks photoshopped to me. Has anybody managed to dissect OR authenticate it?

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Nothing says “Let us celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace” like dressing up like extras from Dynasty and getting out your guns’n’ammo!

  119. 119
    Schlemizel says:

    @Poopyman:

    Never forget that. They waged war against our country and they did it for the sole purpose of maintaining the right to own other human beings and do with them as they wished.

  120. 120
    Schlemizel says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Thats what I thought too. I am not sure which I more want to be true – that they actually did this or that some yahoo photoshopped it. Is there anyway they could both be false?

  121. 121
    Botsplainer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    How does someone belong to a sick culture without being sick in more or less the same ways as that culture? Isn’t that inherent in the idea of being a creature of one’s environment?

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons) , Eudora Welty, William Faulkner and Tennessee Wiliams, to name a few, were definite products of the culture without adhering to the worst sicknesses of that culture.

    I’d also name folks like IWW organizer Covington Hall and LBJ to that list.

  122. 122
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Soonergrunt: Here is a page with the Xmas card and a bunch of images of his “trophies” that claims they’re from his Facebook page.

    Their room with the pool table is a bit creepy if you ask me…

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  123. 123
    CaseyL says:

    @Amir Khalid: It’s a difficult issue. People are the product of their culture, full stop. Things are acceptable and normal in a culture that are not acceptable and normal outside of it.

    If the goal is to make it so that a particular action or belief is no longer considered normal and acceptable anywhere, the method has to be different, depending on whether the sickness is individual or cultural.

    It is much, much easier to deal with individual sickness, because the individual gets little to no external validation.

    A cultural sickness means practices that outsiders find repulsive are validated within the culture. The entire culture will rise up to defend what it considers its legitimate cultural norms.

    I’m not justifying the Southern white gun culture. I’m saying that it exists, and calling someone “sick” for fitting into their culture is anthropologically and psychologically inaccurate. They’re not sick; they’re sane according to their cultural norms.

    I don’t know why some commentors think I’m justifying cultural norms simply by pointing out they exist.

    The point is that screaming at someone and sending them death threats, when that person is behaving in accordance with what all their family and friends and everyone else they know considers acceptable, is unlikely to change their beliefs or behavior.

    You’d think that would be self-evident. Apparently not.

  124. 124
    ruemara says:

    @kathleen: Pre-mourning for the inevitable ‘accident’.

    Look, I want to learn to shoot, even heavy weapons shooting. I want to learn how to hunt and fish. I want to learn dressing a carcass and I’d love to stock my refridge some rabbit, venison and partridge. Plus, there are flocks of turkeys around here, just waiting to be made into a fab feast. But I do not understand killing for trophies or sport. It’s a step away from serial killers actions, in my mind. I don’t mean to insult those here who like sport hunting, but if I’m going to shoot something that I don’t want to eat/need to protect myself from, then it’s going to be with a camera.

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: To be fair, most of the shots are gorgeous and I do not think death threats make any pro-life person look good.

  125. 125
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Imagine all the wonderful things he could do with 350K. Imagine the joy he could bring to lives. Maybe visit the burn ward at a children’s hospital with an open checkbook.

    But this human detritus wants to kill something magnificent.

  126. 126
    kindness says:

    Not quite gun porn but in really bad taste.

    wtf were they thinking? That 50 cal is illegal in California though unless it is inoperational. What would you do with it anyhow other than movie props.

  127. 127
    Amir Khalid says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:
    I’m pretty sure I don’t want Cory Knowlton “caring” about me the way he “cares” about wildlife.

  128. 128
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I used to work with a fellow who had a federal firearms license and could own machine guns. He did and he went on shoots, large and small. He didn’t carry a gun or talk about them incessantly, he just liked how machine guns worked. I wouldn’t call him a gun nut even though his hobby was a little strange. And in high school I worked for a man who had a half track and a 50 cal M2 to fit in the gun ring on the cab. It was missing a firing pin but this man was fully capable of make a new one. He rented this stuff out for movies. I don’t think he had any other guns.

  129. 129
    Poopyman says:

    @Soonergrunt: @Schlemizel: I can’t tell. It looks more like it suffered from some lossy compression somewhere on its trip around the intertubes, maybe more than once. EVERY edge is messed up.

    Of course, that’s also a good way to cover up manipulation, but given other supporting evidence folks have linked to on this post, I’m inclined to believe it’s unaltered.

  130. 130
    kdaug says:

    @ruemara: Word of caution on the rabbits – they’re tasty, but they stink to high heaven when you clean them (the kind of scent you can still smell 2 hours later).

    Might want to stick to squirrels. Almost as tasty, a little stringier, but they smell way better.

  131. 131
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Right but I was responding to the “automatic weapon” post that was obviously based on the photo.

  132. 132
    GregB says:

    No one here is screaming or sending death threats.

    But if screaming and sending death threats are part of a cultural norm then what right do you have to object to it.

    I also take back all of the bad things I ever felt about the Klan during during Reconstruction and the Jim Crow days, it was just them acting on their cultural norms and no one should think poorly of them because everybody was doing it.

  133. 133
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @GregB:

    Hyperbole much?

  134. 134
    Ruckus says:

    @Patrick:
    A politician in a “corrupted” state probably has to do some give and take to get anything done. If the story is true she was looking for 130 mill for her area. And got a pittance of that after all. It may have just taken a push from an outside event, the bridge, to trigger her into seeing that cc is just a big bully/blowhard and that going along gets next to nothing.
    Or I could just be full of shit.

  135. 135
    GRANDPA john says:

    I am old and unable to reproduce also, Should I be worried that they will come after me next

  136. 136
    wasabi gasp says:

    That bleak decor is givin’ me the willies. Feng shui, motherfucker, feng shui.

  137. 137
    Ruckus says:

    @GRANDPA john:
    As someone getting close enough to that age I’d say there is certainly a segment of the population that should worry you.

  138. 138
    Glocksman says:

    @Poopyman:

    Possibly not, but the disappearing banister and the brown whatever it is behind the wife that doesn’t go with anything else in the picture sure raises some red flags.

    Add that to that a google picture search only brings up 2 links to the card (here and the dodo page linked earlier), and that there is no metadata at all in either file tells me that it’s probably been altered.

    Though to what extent I have no idea.

  139. 139
    Amir Khalid says:

    @GRANDPA john:
    Well, presumably you’re not out there killing women and children in a mindless rage, you don’t have valuable horn growing out of your head, and you’re not carrying a couple of tons of tasty meat on the hoof (as it were). So you should be safe.

  140. 140
    CaseyL says:

    @GregB: You’re being willfully obtuse. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be morally repulsed by another culture’s norms; I’m saying that moral repulsion by outsiders will not change those norms.

    What changed the culture of the South so that slavery and lynching were no longer acceptable norms?

    Was it outsiders saying nasty things about them?

    Or did it take an armed conflict, sustained military, judicial, and political intervention by the Federal government, and sustained (often fatal) civil disobedience over multiple generations by people who opposed those norms?

    In order to change cultural norms, you have to change the culture. Cultures do not change direction radically or quickly by peaceable means, nor by verbal action alone. It almost always takes force, overwhelming force, followed by sustained and arduous effort which may also include use of force, as when federal troops had to be sent to the South to protect children going to school.

    (And even then, the change may be more apparent than real: Confederatism never really died out in the South, witness its swift political revival.)

    I don’t know what the “answer” is. If I had a magic wand, I’d isolate sick cultures, cut them off entirely – no roads in or out, no planes, trains or automobiles; give them no economic or agricultural assistance – and leave them to die. Because nothing else seems to work.

  141. 141
    Ruckus says:

    @CaseyL:
    I agree with your comment.
    I also agree with gbear’s comment.
    But the two are not in disagreement as some think. gbear is right that the culture of the south, the kkk, was and is wrong but and needs to change but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist nor that everyone felt part of it. Enough did, not as many still do but it is a part of our larger culture, like it or not, part of it or not. We want to get rid of the gun culture, the inequality part? We have to change people’s perceptions, their beliefs to do it.

    ETA My bad, very bad, it was GregB’s comment not gbear’s. Sorry

  142. 142
    aimai says:

    @DissidentFish: That strikes me as an odd reading of an odd statistic. And not responsive to the meaning of werebear’s comment which is that if you own or store a gun in your own house the most likely people to get shot are your own children. And those deaths are almost always fatalities. I’d want to se the statistics broken down this way (gun injuries and fatalities by gun household) not globally in terms of all deaths in the country. Just since christmas there have been several “accidental” deaths of babies and toddlers with guns that “accidentally” or negligently discharged in their own homes. And every one of those deaths, unlike what I’m sure are a greater number of deaths in car accidents, were completely unnecessary.

  143. 143
    debbie says:

    What an unwelcoming foyer. No furniture?

  144. 144
    chopper says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    He called himself a “passionate conservationist” who “believes in the cycle of life.”

    By ‘cycle of life’ he means ‘I get to shoot at things that can’t fight back’.

  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @aimai: To be fair, most deaths are fatalities.

  146. 146
    WaterGirl says:

    @Betty Cracker: It’s Addams Family meets Justified. That’s what’s creepy about it. (Love Justified, though!)

    completely edited because I finally found the words I wanted.

  147. 147
    aimai says:

    @Schlemizel: I don’t see why it wouldn’t be both real and photoshopped. They have more than enough money. Its a posed, professional, picture not a family snapshot. The infamous Jaimie Dimon “tennis balls” family christmas card was also obviously photoshopped. I’ve known wealthy people to have their chins photoshopped out of wedding pictures.

    Gun fetishists are gun fetishists–they are proud of it. I’m sure if they knew how blue staters view the card they’d just laugh. Its not a smear on them because they like what they see. I”m also sure the guns were unloaded or never loaded and they, therefore, don’t see any issue with allowing the girls to handle or pose with them. Its a totemic, fetish, item for the parents. They’d think all this outsider fuss about posing their angelic little girls with weapons was as silly as complaining about posing a baby on a tiger skin rug. Neither the excess nor the image bother them.

  148. 148
    Poopyman says:

    @debbie: Well, it’s possible he piled the wife, the kids, and the guns into the minivan and ran down to the local Sears for the Christmas portrait.

    Or not.

  149. 149
    aimai says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Heh! Typed too fast! I meant to say “injuries are almost always fatalities.” Lots more people get injured with guns than are killed. I’m actually kind of fascinated by the number of reported injuries that are not fatalities by gun owners. There was a short lived website run by a guy who put up cautionary pictures that gun owners sent him of their own injuries from negligent discharges. Horrifying because the picture made clear what the mere written account doesn’t which is that the scars and the actual debility caused by, say, shooting yourself in the hand or leg, are lifelong and often very serious. But I don’t think in the current gun hysteria climate he could keep the site running because gun owners have become very protective and secretive about negligent/accidental injuries.

  150. 150
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    To be fair, most deaths are fatalities

    Dick Cheney being the notable exception.

  151. 151
    GregB says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    I think I had too much syrup on my pancakes and was suffering from sugar induced agita.

    Casey, points taken. Also, as the link to the lynching picture noted, it was people seeing such grotesque behavior in print that helped to bring attention and ultimately helped to end such behavior.

    So in short, people lodging death threats against this guy are total dinks and if the photo turns out to be his actual Christmas card he’s a total dink and I hope that his kids make it out of that gun and cadaver laden mausoleum and into adulthood.

    Peace.

  152. 152
    raven says:

    @GregB: Dinks? They don’t look like the dinks I knew.

  153. 153
    danielx says:

    @Cacti:

    When you have to publicly announce “I’m not a crook,” or “I’m not a bully,” you’re past the point where you’re going to change that perception.

    Yup, kind of a major tell. Sort of like when the president (any president) feels compelled, during the course of some scandal caused by an underling, to say “I have full confidence in so-and-so’s abilities etc”, or words to that effect. At that point so-and-so knows it’s probably time to polish the resume and start putting a few boxes in the car to take to the office.

  154. 154
    Eric U. says:

    @GRANDPA john: what is hard for me to fathom is that the elderley tea partiers have no recognition that the republicans would happily let them die if they could — too expensive. The only thing stopping them is that they need the votes.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @aimai: I knew it was a typo and I usually ignore them, but this one was too amusing to pass up. Rather like the time my not-at-ditzy mom was asked by a friend what sex a mutual friends baby was and responded, “I am not remember, but it was either a boy or a girl.”

  156. 156
    GregB says:

    @raven:

    OK, total puds.

    Sometime I slip into my late 70’s slang.

  157. 157
    scav says:

    @aimai: Nor that cheapass stair that I believe is really like that. Tucked up against the wall but flared out a bit at the bottom to go all Gone With the Windish. Didn’t bother with the bannister or the pretence of one further up: the top railing takes a dive just as it goes behind her. But, yep, probably Pshopped, many things are, so that is neither here nor there really as proof of authenticity. The thin veneer of nouveaux riche tawdry is consistent somehow.

  158. 158
    Ash Can says:

    Since when do we condone fucked-up behavior on the basis of “everyone else does it?” If the entire culture exhibits objectionable behavior, it doesn’t make the actions of any individual members of that society less objectionable. Teaching small children from birth to embrace and glorify gun violence is fucked up, period, and I don’t care if it’s the norm in this family’s society. In fact, its pervasiveness makes it worse.

    There are places in this country where hunting — for animals that are both plentiful and are eaten once killed — is the norm, and it’s common for families to pose in their hunting garb with firearms that are clearly designed for use in hunting. That’s not what’s going on in this photo. This photo says “We love things we can kill other people with, and we’re teaching our kids to view their fellow man the same way we do. Merry Fucking Christmas.” That’s fucked up, no matter who else in their lives behaves the same way.

  159. 159
    kc says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    That is one fugly foyer.

  160. 160
    Talentless Hack says:

    @Botsplainer: I kind of wonder about people like that. Is hunting and shooting guns all they do? Do they go to the theater? Do they like cooking? Gardening (which is probably the opposite of what they do, but whatevs)? How’s his golf game, or is hunting feeble old game with big ass guns compensation for his high handicap?

  161. 161
    CaseyL says:

    @GregB: Peace to you, as well.

    Also, as the link to the lynching picture noted, it was people seeing such grotesque behavior in print that helped to bring attention and ultimately helped to end such behavior.

    Very true. A consensus to take action has to come from somewhere, and moral repulsion is a good starting point. As Abraham Lincoln said (perhaps apocryphally) to Harriet Beecher Stowe, “So this is the little lady who started this great war.”

  162. 162
    Ash Can says:

    @CaseyL: Great clarification; I understand your point much better now.

  163. 163
    Poopyman says:

    @Poopyman: No really, I do wonder if it’s not a prop used at a professional photographer’s shoppe. The monogrammed stockings and guns might have been brought from home, but I can just as well picture a bridal party standing there.

  164. 164
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Somehow that reminded me of the assistant manager where I tended bar for a year just after grad school. He was a lovely fellow who talked about how he would walk in the door after work, drop his pants and his wife would give him a blow job.

    But he also had some of the funniest versions of idioms that I have ever heard, before or since.

    “Necessity was my mother’s invention” was one of my favorites.

  165. 165
    WaterGirl says:

    @WaterGirl: I would like to amend my previous comment. It’s Addams Family meets Justified meets Stepford Wives.

  166. 166
    Mino says:

    @Baud: No, they did not. Is a bunch of last minute hooey to excuse their greed. They have under 2000 rhino in Namiba in a range of 60,000 square miles. Old bulls are pushed out and become like dagga boys.

  167. 167
    Matt says:

    @Botsplainer:

    As an animal not raised in captivity with an aggressive nature, he’s completely unsuited for the zoo or for a sanctuary, presenting a danger for human handlers and other animals. Plus, the cost of transport is huge.

    Totes.

    Oh wait, you meant the RHINO, didn’t ya? :)

  168. 168
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Matt: (Piggy-backing on your post.)

    WWF Rhinocopter.

    When there’s a will, there are other solutions.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  169. 169
    gene108 says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons) , Eudora Welty, William Faulkner and Tennessee Wiliams, to name a few, were definite products of the culture without adhering to the worst sicknesses of that culture.

    They all – in their own way – rebelled against the “conventional wisdom” of their cultural norms and became very harsh critics of those norms.

    I do not think an adult Faulkner was the sort of person to have a Confederate battle flag proudly displayed in front of his house, for example, though I am sure many people who grew up with him were proud of the Stars and Bars.

  170. 170
    aimai says:

    I’m anti gun (in the sense of anti gun in private ownership) but not anti hunting in the least. And I don’t come from a hunting culture or know anyone personally who hunts. I really could care less if some families in some part of the country like to pose with their guns for Christmas photos. And I even don’t really care if a rich guy wants to show off his money and his gun fetishism by paying 350,000 dollars to kill (not to hunt, to kill) a nearly immobile, senile, old animal. I’m sure there are very wealthy guys in this country who would happilly pay that amount of money just to be permitted to push down the plunger and blow up an outhouse.

    So I’m unmoved by this picture. I think its ugly and tacky because a miasma of stupid, cheesy, financial excess just leaks off it. Who is it supposed to impress and enthrall? More people just like these with more money than taste. The addition of the machine gun or whatever it is in the front is just kind of the last nail in the coffin since by definition it costs a bunch and can’t actually be used legally since private wars in this country are outlawed.

    Here’s the thing–you have to know that these people have the money to own this shit before you can be impressed, because otherwise the card has no more impressive ability than if I send out a picture of me posed in front of the White House with a sign under it that says “My new home!” The entire family and the guns look like they are posed with rented props. And rented props that get their significance from mere cost/rarity/and political tribalism.

    I feel sorry for them, actually. What horribly trivial people they must be. If I had millions of dollars you wouldn’t catch me sending out a picture of me posed with expensive items or signalling so deseperately that I HAZ ALL THE MONEEZ AND CAN KILL SHIT. Its just so…pathetic really. Maybe thats the New Englander in me. Real money just doesn’t bother with this kind of display.

  171. 171
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @aimai: I think it’s basically a business card for the holidays. To drum up/keep business in the big game hunting business. I suspect it goes out to people who know what all the gadgets are already.

    Hunting Consortium – scroll down a bit.

    Corey Knowlton – U.S.A.

    Associate hunting consultant for The Hunting Consortium Ltd. , Corey Knowlton is a highly experienced international hunter who has worked in the hunting tourism industry for more than a decade and is considered one of this industry’s rising stars. Corey Knowlton has hunted widely on 6 continents taking more than 120 species, including a Super Slam of wild sheep and the big five in Africa. Corey has worked for the Hunting Consortium for three years as a client consultant in Texas and the greater Southwest region as well as our broadcast media specialist. Corey is well-known for his work on the successful television series The Professionals, which he co-hosts and co-produces, with Jim Shockey. Corey Knowlton is especially experienced in North American big game hunting, having taken almost all of the North American 29 big game species. Corey travels constantly throughout the year exploring new areas and helping develop new hunting programs for the Hunting Consortium. He also occasionally guides our clients in South Texas and elsewhere.

    Languages: English, Spanish

    It’s all about more notches in the bedpost gun…

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  172. 172
    gnomedad says:

    All set for the War on Christmas.

  173. 173
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    Feng shui, motherfucker, feng shui.

    Nominated for rotating tag.

  174. 174
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @CaseyL:

    In order to change cultural norms, you have to change the culture. Cultures do not change direction radically or quickly by peaceable means, nor by verbal action alone. It almost always takes force, overwhelming force, followed by sustained and arduous effort which may also include use of force, as when federal troops had to be sent to the South to protect children going to school.

    “The first thing a principle does — if it really is a principle — is kill somebody.” (Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night)

  175. 175
    andy says:

    Culling is one thing- letting some dick with a gun fetish pay for the pleasure of pulling the trigger is another.

  176. 176
    Cervantes says:

    Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak, the state of Ohio should hire this villainous, abominable misleader of youth to conduct its executions.

  177. 177
    aimai says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Gaudy Night! One of my favorite books! And one of the most important lines in the whole book.

  178. 178
    aimai says:

    @andy: I’d be ok with it if he had to stand within charging distance and let the rhino take a run at him. If he has the guts to duel with the rhino I don’t begrudge him the chance.

  179. 179
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Super Slam of wild sheep and the big five in Africa

    This is what I mean about big game hunters being creepy kill collectors. Some people pay money to see lions and elephants and leopards in the wild, while fuckers like Knowlton and that bastard Bob Parsons pay money to kill them.

    Shooting rare wild sheep? such gun, so hunter, wow.

  180. 180
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @WereBear: No no no… a resonance cascade.

    “Don’t worry, we’ve assured that Administrator that nothing can go wrong.”

  181. 181
    Tavella says:

    By the way, I wouldn’t buy into the whole “it’s a *scientific* cull”. Kenya and Namibia both are notorious for selling slaughter licenses for profit, and the “wildlife manager” is generally a government crony, not an independent scientist. If a bull is still powerful enough to drive off younger bulls, he almost certainly isn’t a “non-breeding animal”; he’s the biggest baddest set of genes around and should in fact be the one left in place. But such bulls are the sort of trophy dickwads like this prize, so they are set up to be murdered as the most profitable. It’s exactly the same motivation as the poachers, just with a government gloss.

    I mean, do you think Namibia magically has exactly five “problem” animals a year?

  182. 182
    Ruckus says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:
    I used to hunt, ducks and geese mainly. Then one day, before dawn, standing around with my fellow hunters, freezing our asses off, watching geese fly just out of range and dive bombing for the refuse fence where we couldn’t shoot and while looking down the barrel I realized that brains weren’t what kept them from arming themselves and shooting back. It was opposable thumbs.
    Never hunted animals again.

  183. 183
    Annamal says:

    @CaseyL:

    In order to change cultural norms, you have to change the culture. Cultures do not change direction radically or quickly by peaceable means, nor by verbal action alone. It almost always takes force, overwhelming force, followed by sustained and arduous effort which may also include use of force, as when federal troops had to be sent to the South to protect children going to school.

    I would agree that cultures don’t usually radically change direction but I would definitely argue that they can. It took less than 30 for my country to go from removing laws which banned homosexuality to full on gay marriage, which constitutes a fairly major culture shift with very little in the way of violence and I’ve seen other completely radical shifts in direction within my lifetime.

  184. 184
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    A former coworker went on a canned boar hunt with a friend. (The friend’s hunt.) The hunter was waiting in the fenced field for the boar to be flushed out by the dogs. “I wanna take him out with a pistol!”

    Suddenly, here comes the boar. And there goes the boar, right past the hunter, head first into the hunter’s truck. Bounces off, shakes his head, barrels around the truck, discovers that the door on the other side had been left open. The boar thinks “Cave!” and tries to leap in.

    The hunter got his boar, eventually. And moaned for a month about the cost of repairing his truck.

  185. 185
    Joseph Nobles says:

    If Lee Oswald had had money.

  186. 186
    Luz LeStrange says:

    God Bless ‘merica

  187. 187
    joel hanes says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    “Don’t worry, we’ve assured that Administrator that nothing can go wrong.”

    I have a Black Mesa parking permit on the car, but after eight years, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ll never see HL3. A damned shame, too — best FPS evar IMHO.

    “Why must we all wear these stupid ties?”

    But my favorite is Dr. Kleiner’s broadcast monologue after the destruction of the portal.

  188. 188
    Fred says:

    @Soonergrunt: I think what gives that feel is the lack of a corner in the wall behind the group. On close inspection, that wall looks like it is curved to follow the stair and without a corner. Check out where the trim meets the floor on the right side of stairs too. Curved walls are not what most of us are used to seeing in homes. Pricey wood work and such.

  189. 189
    Fred says:

    @aimai: My dad taught me that, “There is no such thing as an unloaded gun.” He was raised in the mountains, loved to hunt and was a lifelong NRA member. I think he would have found the photo a bit disgusting. For him guns were never toys but always serious business.

  190. 190
    Queenofswords says:

    @Ash Can: As people Have pointed out, photo is of Alison Hannigan and her husband Alexis Dennisof, both actors from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I do believe those are their real kids. This is just an internet joke.

  191. 191
    Chris says:

    @dmsilev: Santa should drop a few targeted munitions on this guy.

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