(/sites/default/files/uploads/2014/03/1280px-Horse_closeup.jpg)At Grand Army Plaza, beneath the golden equestrian statue of General Sherman, the horses stand, lazily flicking their ears, and occasionally glancing around as a yellow taxi driven by an angry Pakistani wheels around past the Plaza Hotel, brakes squealing, an Al Qaeda friendly Nasheed blaring through the open window.
Feathered plumes, scarlet red, sapphire blue, electric purple, matching the colors of the plush linings of their carriages, stir faintly in the wind. The drivers, wearing black top hats and colorful suits, chat with each other while waiting for a tourist from Baltimore or Beijing to take a ride. The horses stir, shaking their heads, as the Chinese artists sketch caricatures for 5 bucks a piece and the African vendors lugging sacks of fake Rolexes or pirated Fendi handbags look around suspiciously for the cops.
Like true New Yorkers, the horses of Central Park pay little attention to what is going on around them. No matter what happens, they yawn, showing their teeth and showing how little it moves them. But though the bored urban equines do not know it, their world is about to change. The horse is not ordinarily an endangered animal, but if New York’s new progressive mayor has his way, the horses of Central Park will be extinct and the only equine in sight will be General Sherman’s golden horse sneering down at the parvenu jewelry shoppers of Fifth Avenue.
On the other side, at Columbus Circle, beneath the looming tower of Time Warner Center where CNN personalities chatter endlessly, pedicabs offer rides for three dollars a minute. One enterprising competitor has even cut his fare down to a measly two dollars.
The drivers, mainly Nigerians, who have taken over much of the tourist trade in the city, hassle tourists, urgently calling them over. “Hey guy.” “Madam, madam, come here.”
There are no proposals to ban the pedicabs. The only animal they exploit is the human animal, and it isn’t always clear who is exploiting whom.
Turkish pedicab driver Savas Avci was caught ripping off tourists by offering them a $1 a block ride with a $100 per person minimum written in fine print on the card. Surprised Irish and Asian visitors completed a 10 block ride and were hit with a $400 bill. The pedicab scam wasn’t illegal, but it was typical of a new tourist trade dominated by foreign scam artists, who unlike the carriage horse drivers, have no roots in the city and no sense of tradition.
Meanwhile a twenty minute horse carriage ride, complete with warm blankets and cocoa, runs to fifty bucks.
Though the horses huffing clouds of warm breath into the cold air of a March morning may not know it, they have long been the targets of an urban predator that their instincts, wired for warning them of cougars and rattlesnakes, had not prepared them to detect. While the horses grew complacent in a city whose predator food chain culminates in the rare coyote that crosses the George Washington Bridge, they were being stalked by the city’s true predator.
Homo progressivus’ hunting call is a whine emitted through a megaphone at a rally and he marks his kills with regulations.
Horses have long been the chosen prey of Homo progressivus and this election, PETA, an animal rights organization that killed 2,000 cats and dogs in one year, and NYCLASS, a wealthy anti-horse group dominated by a real estate tycoon who appears more interested in seizing the stables where the horses live, than in their welfare, finally got their way.
Bill de Blasio, who had picked fights with such New York traditions as the Columbus Day Parade and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, vowed to get rid of the horses in his first week in office.
The week passed and the horses stayed.
Bill de Blasio and the new progressive City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito glutted themselves on NYCLASS’ dirty money, but in between kicking black kids out of charter schools and paying back neighborhoods that voted Republican by seeing to it that they didn’t get plowed, the progressive politicians have yet to land the killing blow on the horses of Central Park.
Chicago however is moving faster.
Alderman Ed Burke, an Obama and Blagojevich ally, and the godfather of Chicago politics, dubbed its real mayor, has put a hit out on the horses of Chicago.
Burke said that, “Carriage rides have outlived their usefulness in Chicago.” That is usually Democratic machine politician slang for not enough money changing hands.
Animal rights activists and their real estate backers have more money than horse carriage drivers. The modest stable buildings are no match for the liberal real estate developers seeking to put up pricey hotels and progressive animal rights activists easily overwhelm drivers who may get only eight fares a day.
The anti-horse activists of Homo progressivus spent $1.3 million on Bill de Blasio. The drivers bring their own coffee with them in a thermos because a Starbucks coffee is too pricy for their budgets.
Bill de Blasio refused to visit the stables where the horses are kept. The money has changed hands, his mind is made up and he doesn’t want to be confronted with the anger and suffering of the working men whose jobs he is taking away.
“We are in the biggest, densest urban area in North America. It is not a place for horses,” Bill de Blasio said at a NYCLASS press conference.
But Central Park was designed for horses. The cars came later.
Manhattan streets run on a straight and narrow grid, but Central Park is full of curving lanes. Individual riders pass under the arching fairy tale Gothic Bridge along a dirt path while puffins dive in the reservoir, herons land in secluded watercourses and turtles sun themselves on rocks near hidden waterfalls.
Unlike the noisy and cramped urban hunting grounds of Homo progressivus, where activists shriek through megaphones, council members pass regulations that no one needs and inspectors take bribes not to implement them, where blighted towers of housing projects rise above troubled streets and Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo yell at each at dueling press conferences; the park is a natural environment. It is a place for animals and people, for tall trees and quiet paths.
The new post-human progressives however see humanity as a blot on nature.
PETA kills cats and dogs to remove the “taint” of human bred species from the environment. The anti-horse campaigns follow the same ideology. The carriage horses, like the cats and dogs, have been tainted by human exploitation. They must be destroyed.
The left’s war on horses is part of its war on humans.
A horse infected with rabies, as described by William Youatt, the English veterinary surgeon, “will furiously seize and bite other horses, and even his attendants… will level with the ground every thing before him, himself sweating and snorting, and foaming amidst the ruins.”
Homo sapiens, when infected with the mental virus that transforms him into Homo progressivus, insists that he is making the world a better place even as he lashes out, foaming at the mouth, and destroying everything around him.
At Grand Army Plaza, the horses stand waiting for their next trot through the park, occasionally glancing at the tourists who come too close, but while the cougar is easily distinguishable from the cat and the wolf from the dog, both horses and men find it difficult to look into the milling crowds and distinguish Homo sapiens from Homo progressives.
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