You’ve probably heard the phrase “early adopters” used for the first brave souls to take up a new technology. Early adopters are much loved by hi-tech firms: They serve as end-of-line product testers, shaking out the last few wrinkles while paying for the privilege.
Well, everything in this universe has its opposite, every yin its yang. Whether or not you are an early adopter, spare a thought, please, for us late abandoners.
The inspiration for this column comes from the January 19th issue of The New Yorker, which I have just been looking through.
I say “looking through” because if, on a conservative website, you confess to actually reading that magazine, people cut you out of their wills. The editorial line of TNY is Cultural Marxism naked and unashamed. The lead editorial in the aforementioned issue, for example, is a long shriek of horror at the notion that voters should have to identify themselves at the polling booth. It calls for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which ought to have been repealed long ago, to be strengthened to deal with this outrage.
All right, all right, maybe I’m a metro-con at heart: red outside but blue inside. (“A lovesick Apache” was the best “Oreo”-type simile my wife and kids could come up with when I challenged them for one.) TNY nonetheless runs some good meaty nonpolitical articles, and the cartoons are still of a high standard. It’s worth…looking through.
So there I was, reading”sorry! sorry!”looking through a rather dull article by veteran nonfiction writer John McPhee. The piece is titled “Structure” and deals with the way McPhee organizes his material.
That is borderline interesting to me. I undergo periodic spasms of guilt about making a living by writing, an occupation for which I have never had any formal training. I should get more professional, I tell myself: take a creative-writing course; schmooze publishers and agents; start a Twitter feed, whatever that is; remember that “embarrass” has two r’s but “harass” only one, so I don’t have to look it up every damn time; try harder to give a flying falafel about the zeitgeist; and yes, learn how to structure my material.
McPhee was making a bit of a meal of his topic, though. Frankly, I didn’t think the piece was very well structured. Around a third of the way through I was about to give up when suddenly McPhee’s hand came up out of the page like Carrie’s from the grave and grabbed me.
He’s writing about his switch in the 1980s from index cards and a manual typewriter to a personal computer. An IT manager at Princeton University got him started:
When I met him in 1984, the first thing he said to me was “Tell me what you do.”
He listened to the whole process from pocket notebooks to coded slices of paper, then mentioned a text editor called Kedit, citing its exceptional capabilities in sorting….
That was the Carrie moment. KEDIT (the system documentation always prints it in uppercase) is my text editor of choice. I’ve been using it as long as McPhee has, and before that I was coding for IBM mainframes using XEDIT, which was the inspiration for KEDIT. I probably spend more time in KEDIT than in any other program. I do most of my writing in native HTML, entering it into KEDIT, with a mass of KEDIT macros for one-key insertion of all the commonest HTML tags.
Why the constant harping about the separation of church and state, but not, say, the separation of naturalistic metaphysics and the state, the separation of feminist theory and the state, or the separation of Rawlsian liberalism and the state?
My answer might disappoint Mr. Feser: Because the founders of this nation denied the very object of metaphysics (reality), hated women as much as today’s feminists hate themselves, and were just as ignorant and confused about justice as John Rawls.
And yet Feser’s question hovers over Moloch’s second term like a threatening cloud about to waterlog the ship of fools the White House has become. If the federal government can replace irrevocable definitions of moral philosophy, then why not those of mathematics, physics, or logic?
But why would our government presume to create new laws of nature? Answer: The handiwork of a ferociously anti-intellectual sect of Germanic pietists with only makeshift educations, America has always denigrated philosophy, the science of reality. With few exceptions (Thomas Sowell springs to mind), today’s “philosophers” are academic state hirelings, ideological apologists for any progressive government in power, hence irrelevant to the larger society such governments seek to crush.
With 376 years of institutionalized pseudo-philosophy behind them (counting from the publication of Descartes’s error-ridden Discourse on Method) and 496 years of rebellion against apostolic authority, revelation, and reason (starting from the posting of 95 blunders by a feces-eating alcoholic from Eisleben), today’s Puritan-liberal establishment has gone from fundamentally transforming America in 2008 to fundamentally transforming the laws of nature in 2013.
For just as one who attempts to redefine the circle as a four-sided polygon shows complete ignorance of geometry, one who attempts to redefine marriage as a union of two persons of the same sex shows ignorance of moral philosophy, which I believe is a true science just as rigorous, exact, and objective as mathematics.
A people with 1,296 years of Christendom in their cultural makeup, the French have recently shown themselves capable of uniting around human nature’s laws. The million-person anti-gay “marriage” and adoption protests in Paris on January 13 included some of the most disparate elements. Leprous immoralists, socialist harpies, and liberal quadrupeds marched alongside Catholics, Jews, and Muslims.
These surprising coalitions were united by a common understanding of a foundational principle of moral philosophy, namely that human nature exists and follows laws in its very constitution.
Xavier Bongibault, president of the Plus Gay Sans Mariage association, came out in favor of this axiom and later helped organize the protest. In a SÃ©ronet interview last November, he displayed knowledge of moral cause and effect by declaring gay adoption “an opening to incest and polygamy.” For Bongibault, it is evidently one thing to degrade oneself through an unspeakable act against nature, another to institutionalize that degradation as “marriage.”
With the Washington establishment agreeing that what America needs right now is to double down on guest workers and amnesty for illegal aliens, it’s worthwhile to notice how a serious country such as Israel deals with past mistakes in immigration policy.
In America, we try not to learn from the past. For example, in all the talk this year about a new amnesty, how often have you heard mention of one of the 1986 amnesty’s chief unanticipated consequences: the subsequent Hispanic baby bubble?
This drove up the total fertility rate among foreign-born Latinas from 3.2 in 1987 to 4.4 in 1991 before finally subsiding back to the baseline in 2000. (The replacement rate is 2.06.)
The demographic bulge proved hugely expensive to California taxpayers. In the later 1990s, this pig-in-the-python cohort started to overcrowd California schools, leading to construction of new ones. Since it takes forever to get anything built in California”the $578,000,000 Robert F. Kennedy facility on Wilshire Boulevard didn’t open until 2010 after a 21-year ordeal”by the time the new schools were finally finished, many of these Amnesty Bubble kids had already dropped out.
The Public Policy Institute of California asked in 2002:
Why did total fertility rates increase so dramatically for Hispanic immigrants?…In California alone, 1.6 million unauthorized immigrants applied for amnesty (legal immigrant status) under this act. The vast majority were young men, and many were agricultural workers who settled permanently in the United States.
Illegal aliens who get amnestied get lonely and send for ladies back home. When they aren’t illegal anymore, it’s time to have babies. The PPIC continues:
Previous research indicates that many of those granted amnesty were joined later by spouses and relatives in the United States….As a result, many young adult Hispanic women came to California during the late 1980s.
In contrast, Israel is not the kind of country to follow up a failed immigration experiment with more of the same.
Between 1984 and 1991, Israel achieved a public-relations coup by importing tens of thousands of Ethiopians who claimed to be Jews. Over the last decade, however, Israel has been taking direct action to limit its black citizens’ fertility.
Originally, Israel had banned immigration by the various sub-Saharan African tribes that claim some kind of hazy Jewish heritage, arguing that they aren’t real Jews. (Recent DNA studies suggest that Ethiopian Jews are only tenuously related to other Jews. These communities probably had a limited number of Jewish ancestors, travelers who married into the much larger local populations.)
In the fevered post-1967 ideological climate, however, Zionism was denounced around the world as racism, as the latest manifestation of white colonialism. The Jewish state hit upon the PR masterstroke of embracing its Ethiopian aspirants.
This didn’t mollify the Arabs, but the symbolism pleased a more important audience: American Jews concerned about Israel appearing racist. Unsurprisingly, this living proof that you could be Israeli and black proved immensely popular with American Jews, who showered Israel’s small community of Ethiopians with $600 million in donations.
Also unsurprisingly, the Ethiopians have proved increasingly less popular with their Israeli neighbors, who have come to view them and their children as backward and crime-prone. Whether that is due to white Israelis’ racism or to the blacks’ shortcomings is a matter of dispute.
What is clear is that Israelis have lost their naÃ¯vetÃ© about African immigrants.
Israel’s government has allowed most of the remaining Ethiopian Jews to immigrate, but it has not leapt at any of the new opportunities facilitated by DNA testing to declare additional East African tribes eligible. For example, since Robert Mugabe began destroying Zimbabwe’s economy, some of the Lemba people of that unfortunate land have been agitating for the right to move to Israel based on their vaguely Jewish customs and DNA. But Israel has not been forthcoming.
The booming Israeli economy naturally attracts black illegal immigrants. The Israeli government long relied on Egypt’s Mubarak regime to keep blacks from approaching its border, but the Arab Spring sprung a leak in that system.
So Israel has been hustling to finish its border fences to keep out black undocumented workers (or, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls them, “illegal infiltrators”). Contrary to American conventional wisdom, fences seem to work just fine in Israel. The Interior Ministry recently announced that African intruders dropped from 2,295 in January of 2012 to only 54 in October.
On January 23, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women in combat. He gave the generals three years to open up all positions to women, and if any of them think there is a job women can”t do, they”ll have to explain themselves.
The combat arms”infantry, armor, and artillery”are closed to women for good reasons: They can”t do the job, and they keep men from doing the job.
Drones and laser-guided munitions haven”t changed things for a grunt: You still have to run up hills with an 80-pound pack, live in dirt for weeks, and hump 96-pound 155mm artillery shells onto the back of a truck. Your buddies count on you to carry them out of the fight if they are wounded, and they can”t count on someone with half the upper-body strength of a man.
An extensive 1994 Army study of men and women”written by a woman”discovered the obvious: “The average woman does not have the same physical capacity, nor can she be trained to have the same physical capacity as the average man.” There were tests with practically no overlap. On Maximum Lifting Strength, the worst 2 percent of men were at the 92nd percentile for women.
Soldiers may have to kill or be killed at close quarters. All your enemy needs is an extra inch of reach, an extra pound of muscle, or an extra burst of speed, and he will use that advantage to kill you. No one is talking about putting women on professional sports teams”we might lose a game!”but the military is now asking for weak links that could get the whole squad killed.
Last year, a lady Marine captain named Katie Petronio wrote an article for the Marine Corps Gazette called “Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal.” She is a pretty tough gal”she says she could bench-press 145 pounds and squat 200 pounds”but when she worked with men in the field, “the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines.”
She writes that if women join up, the infantry is “going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females.” Some of these toy soldiers will break before they even see the enemy and then spend their lives drawing disability pay they don”t deserve.
Women in combat? Combat means close quarters. During the 2003 Iraq invasion, Marine Ryan Smith rode in an amphibious assault vehicle designed for 15 men. There were breakdowns and “by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back.” They went 48 straight hours in the vehicle with no sanitation, and men got dysentery. “When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE [meals ready to eat] bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face.”
When they got to Baghdad:
We had not showered in well over a month and our chemical protective suits were covered in a mixture of filth and dried blood. We were told to strip and place our suits in pits to be burned immediately. My unit stood there…naked, sores dotted all over our bodies, feet peeling, watching our suits burn. Later, they lined us up naked and washed us off with pressure washers.
Squad Leader Smith does not want women in combat.
As ex-Marine John Luddy explained in a Heritage Foundation report, there are other reasons why women don”t belong at the front:
[I]n the one historical case where women were deliberately placed in combat”in Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War”they were removed within weeks. The reason: It was clear that men reacted to the presence of women by trying to protect them and aiding them when they became casualties instead of continuing to attack. The Israelis also learned that unit morale was seriously damaged when men saw women killed and injured on the battlefield.
Men take crazy risks to make sure women are not captured and to rescue them if they are. Remember Jessica Lynch, the 100-pound supply clerk who got into a traffic accident during the Iraq invasion and was taken prisoner? The Army told colossal lies about her Rambo-style knife fight with Iraqis”she went down on her knees to pray and never fired a shot“and then went to absurd lengths to get her back. There was a diversionary battle to draw off Iraqi troops, and a joint team of Delta Force, Army Rangers, Navy Seals, and Air Force Pararescue Jumpers”with much better things to do”snatched her from a hospital that turned out to be unguarded.
PFC Lynch was lucky. She fell into the hands of a regular Army that treated her well. But what would the Taliban do with a captured American woman? Gang-rape her, for sure. Then would she disappear into the most wretched brothel in Afghanistan or come back mutilated and pregnant and a psychological wreck?
When, in the 1950s, Nikita Khrushchev said, “We will bury you,” and, “Your children will live under communism,” Eisenhower’s America scoffed.
By 1980, however, the tide did indeed seem to be with the East.
America had suffered a decade of defeats. Southeast Asia had fallen. The ayatollah had seized power in Iran. Moscow had occupied Afghanistan. Cuban troops were in Ethiopia and Angola. Grenada and Nicaragua had fallen to the Soviet bloc. Eurocommunism was all the rage on the continent.
Just a decade later, the world turned upside-down.
The Berlin Wall fell. Eastern Europe was suddenly free. The Soviet Union disintegrated. China abandoned Maoism for state capitalism.
Now, 20 years on, the wheel has turned again—toward darkness.
No longer do we hear chatter about “The End of History” and triumph of democratic capitalism, of America imposing her “global hegemony” or leading mankind into “a second American century.”
The hubris is gone, and triumphalism has given way to anxiety, apprehension, alarm.
In an essay, “The Return of Toxic Nationalism,” Robert Kaplan, a geopolitical analyst for Stratfor, writes that Western elites are even yet failing to see the larger, darker picture of our evolving world.
These elites identify with the like-minded in other lands and “prefer not to see the regressive and exclusivist forces … that are mightily reshaping the future.”
Egypt and the Mideast offer “a panorama of sectarianism and religious and ethnic divides. Freedom, at least in its initial stages, unleashes not only individual identity but, more crucially, the freedom to identify with a blood-based solidarity group. Beyond that group, feelings of love and humanity do not apply.”
This is “a signal lesson of the Arab Spring,” and out of it will likely come an “Islamist-Nasserite regime” in Cairo.
“Asia is in the midst of a feverish arms race,” writes Kaplan. Nationalism there is “young and vibrant—as it was in the West in the 19th and 20th centuries.” Having consolidated the homeland, China is moving to annex her adjacent seas, and a formerly pacifist Japan is “rediscovering nationalism as a default option.”
Nationalism is “alive and thriving in India and Russia,” with New Delhi building armed forces that will be among the world’s largest.
“Race hatred against Muslims is high among Russians, and just as there are large rallies by civil-society types, there are also marches and protests by skinheads and neo-Nazis, who are less well-covered by Western media.”
At the height of its power”it was called “Canada’s natural governing party” for generations”the Liberals made no secret of their desire to make the Great White North more “European.”
(Hence Pat Buchanan’s famous nickname for the smug, spayed, socialized-everything nation they proudly created during almost three quarters of a century in power: “Soviet Canuckistan.”)
So it is with more amusement than surprise that we learn that among those currently vying for the Grit’s leadership are a former prime minister’s son…and his father’s former mistress.
How veritably French, non?
The “son” is Justin Trudeau, whom I introduced to Taki readers last year as a flouncy-haired, forty-year-old Fauntleroy, “slender of body and of resume,” “living in the moral equivalent of his father’s basement.”
Justin’s most notable accomplishment to date has been forcing Canada’s conservatives”for whom the former PM’s surname is a spittle-flecked swear word; as a child, I’d assumed the man’s first name was “That””to pay the late Pierre pere backhanded compliments, Ã la “As least the boy’s father had a few accomplishments to his name at that age….”
So who’s the broad?
Meet Deborah Coyne, seen here at Trudeau’s state funeral with her love child by PET, standing next to the PM’s infamous ex-wife (and former Rolling Stones groupie turned bipolar drunk driver) Maggie and her kids, including Coyne’s future opponent (and her daughter’s half-brother), Justin”I told you this was all tres franÃ§ais, did I not?
Years ago, Coyne telephoned the divorced, out-of-office Trudeau to bluntly inform the 67-year-old (she was 30) that he was her soul mate. Never one to turn down a chance to get laid, Pierre embarked on a May-Jurassic affair with Coyne, which produced a daughter, Sarah”who, given her unpromising genetic makeup, is shockingly cute.
Less cute is the notion that someone, anyone, with some unbroken-chain-of-custody connection to Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s penis is somehow automatically qualified to run the man’s party and perhaps even the nation.
Catholic-bashers worldwide have new reason to bask in schadenfreude at the recent arrest of former Connecticut pastor Kevin Wallin, AKA “Monsignor Meth,” on drug-trafficking charges.
Except for pedophilia, the alleged details in Wallin’s sordid saga combine nearly all the elements that tend to please such blood-sniffing unbelievers. Wallin’s case is a clerical version of Breaking Bad where the antihero vends huge quantities of crystal meth, attempts to launder money through a sex shop called The Land of Oz & Dorothy’s Place, and engages in sexual trysts with “odd-looking men” while dressed as a woman. These details inevitably lead to lascivious headlines such as “The Kinky Priest Who Sold Meth” and “Cross-dressing priest indicted for dealing meth liked sex in rectory.”
(Oh, I’ll bet he liked it in the “rectory,” all right!)
As expected, the snark and smarm are bulging thick, veiny, and purplish on comment threads, as Christianity’s ever-emboldened naysayers use the story to indict Christianity generally and Roman Catholicism in particular. There are LOLs, LMAOs, and ROTFLMAOs in abundance, as well as entirely unconcealed glee at the Catholic Church’s ongoing public-relations self-immolation.
But it would seem to be a severe case of overreaching to indict the entire Holy Roman Church here. In Wallin’s case, Church officials appeared to act swiftly the moment there were allegations of impropriety. He was asked to resign in June 2011 soon after accusations of his rectory-rump-wranglin’ started to surface, and officials only found a bag of “sex paraphernalia” in his room after he officially left his post. And his acts of meth-dealing all appear to have occurred after he was suspended from public ministry in May of last year.
(Full disclosure: I was raised Catholic”including a dozen years at Catholic schools”but I now describe myself as agnostic, because I feel the only truly honest thing to do is admit that I have absolutely no idea why I’m here on Earth. I also strongly suspect that I may simply be too dumb to ever understand why. I didn’t have quite the best experiences with the Catholic clergy, and when stories of priestly sex abuse were gobbling up headlines ten years ago, my main objection was that no one seemed to be paying attention to the grievous and exceedingly sadistic sexual misdeeds of nuns.)
Still, as someone whose only training at a non-Catholic school came in college while obtaining a journalism degree, I often find myself wondering why our popular media tend to create an impression that clerical malfeasance is almost exclusively the domain of white Christians. One occasionally sees headlines about high-profile black pastors who allegedly molest boys or choke their own daughters, but they never seem to be reported with the same degree of triumphant lasciviousness as when the press catches a goyishe man of the cloth with his pants down.
Bloggers quickly compared “Monsignor Meth” to Protestant minister Ted Haggard, who also showed an affinity for sucking schlong and snorting crystal. But I’m reasonably sure I’m the first person on Earth to compare him to Baruch Chalomish, a “millionaire rabbi” who traded cocaine for sex in his “synagogue of sin.”
During a new millennium in which the term “Catholic priest” has been rendered synonymous with “pedophile,” there have been scads”scads, I tell you!”of stories involving Rabbis Behaving Badly, but somehow our modern media milieu has generally overlooked them.
As someone who takes his four years of journalism training far more seriously than his 12 years of Catholic indoctrination, methinks there are multitudinous sins of editorial omission afoot.
In a tiny hamlet next to where I live high up in the Swiss Alps, two gay friends of mine have set up house, and a beautiful old chalet it is. One man, a German, looks like a Panzer commander straight out of central casting; the other is an Englishman, more P. G. Wodehouse than John Bull. Both are very nice, very good-looking, generous, and amusing. I recently asked them if they planned to marry. They looked at me as if I had proposed Russian roulette. Here in Switzerland, a tolerant place as long as one has money, gay marriage does not the headlines make. After all, women’s right to vote was imposed from above on one of its cantons, Appenzell, as late as 1971. American feminists missed the occasion, but Bill Buckley and I did not, writing about how the end was nigh.
Recently The New York Times ran a long and boring article by Bill Keller, a very upright and boring man who used to edit the rag. His dateline was South Africa, and the spiel was how the South African Constitutional Court had established the right of South African gays and lesbians to marry. He then went on to bash Uncle Sam’s intolerance, blah, blah, blah, and to remind us that Thomas Jefferson favored castration for homosexuals. (Ouch”bad old Tom, and in the 18th century to boot.)
What I find so ludicrous are the realities. Unless Keller is an utter fool, which he probably is, he must know very well that gays in South Africa risk being lynched by their fellow Africans if they show homosexual behaviors such as flirting or kissing in public. Never mind what the court has ruled: Equal rights for gays are as likely to be respected in South Africa as I am to lead the Gay Pride Parade in Greenwich Village come June. Keller should have at least pointed out that before anything else, South Africa”Johannesburg being one of the world’s murder capitals”must ensure that first and foremost comes the right to live and not be murdered, and then to worry about gay marriage. But no, the fact that a South African court established the right for same-sex marriage makes America the hate and intolerance capital of the world, so there.
In good old Britain, where I assume most upper-class males are gay, a High Court judge recently said the following:
So much energy and time has been put into the debate for 0.1 percent of the population, when we have a crisis of family breakdown….We need a much more focused position by the government on the importance of marriage.
If Harvard geneticist George Church gets his way, we may be seeing Neanderthals in the not-so-distant future”without having to first drink a quart of Old Overcoat.
The kerfuffle arose when Der Spiegel interviewed Church about his recent book, Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves. People got the impression that Church favors using ancient DNA to create a Neanderthal and is looking for a woman crazy enough to be the surrogate mother. He’s trying to back off, but there’s no reason to believe him. He does favor this experiment, although he doesn’t have want ads out for the crazy lady. Yet. Here is the relevant passage in his book:
If society becomes comfortable with cloning and sees value in true human diversity, then the whole Neanderthal creature itself could be cloned by a surrogate mother chimp”or by an extremely adventurous human female.
That’s clear enough. For some reason people make a distinction between what you write in a book and what you say to a reporter, presumably because no one ever actually reads the book. It only becomes controversial when it comes straight out of your mouth.
George Church says he believes that conjuring up a Neanderthal could be done in the near future and that it would be a good idea to do so. Genetic technology has been advancing furiously over the past decade, and if anything the pace is accelerating. And there is no fundamental reason why this couldn’t be done. So he’s likely correct in thinking that this will soon (ten years?) be possible”except that you certainly wouldn’t want to use a chimpanzee surrogate. Neanderthals had big heads, larger than those of people today, and I doubt if a lady chimp could manage. Church is a world-class expert in lab genetics, but he clearly doesn’t know much about birthin’ babies.
Church is not just thinking about creating a single Neanderthal. In the Der Speigel interview, he says:
You would certainly have to create a cohort, so they would have some sense of identity. They could maybe even create a new neo-Neanderthal culture and become a political force.
He’s a classic mad scientist”not that there’s anything wrong with that!
I am not sure that reviving the Neanderthal race would be a good idea”but it sure would be interesting.
A number of people have said that recreating Neanderthals would be fraught with ethical problems. Of course that does not matter one way or the other. It’s impossible to imagine contemporary Americans refraining from anything on ethical grounds. No, the key question is whether there’s any money in it.
There might be. For one thing, Neanderthals were a good deal stronger than modern humans. They would revolutionize football, and what could be more important than that? They could out-hit Sosa and McGwire”without steroids. They’d dominate power events such as weightlifting, and people have done worse things than revive extinct species in the quest for Olympic gold. Certainly the East Germans did.
Their minds might differ in interesting ways, and that could be profitable. People think of Neanderthals as stupid, mostly because they lost out to us, but we really don’t know whether they were or not. Their brains were certainly bigger than those of modern humans. For all we know, they were smarter. If they turn out to be a lot smarter, there could be trouble. I think we’ve all seen that movie”the good one, with Charlton Heston, not the crappy one with Wahlberg. But even if they end up enslaving humanity in the long run, they might first give some hedge fund a short-term edge. Which is what counts.
Real money, though, is made by lawsuits rather than doing anything useful. The real value of Neanderthals must lie in their grievances rather than their possible accomplishments.
Messing with the privates “ Fighting on the wrong side “ The next
failed state “ Bibi squeaks out a win “ The Inauguration in verse and
song “ Bang! Bang! says Michelle “ Safe and free with Janet “ 700
grand for a chicken wrongly choked “ Biting offenses “ MLK Day on MLK