Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
by Jim Beers 12/1/06
(Shibboleth, n. a test word or pet phrase of a party, sect, etc.)
This week's news reads like something from one of Stephen King's novels. First, a 12', 600 lb alligator maimed and tried to eat a Florida drug-user swimming nude in an alligator infested lake. But for four very brave Sheriff's Deputies the man would be dead today. Second, a 2.5 Ton killer whale almost drowned a handler in one of those water shows by dragging him under water. Third, a turkey flew into a Minnesota home on Thanksgiving Day. Fourth, a "series of sea lion attacks" in California ("a rogue sea lion bit 14 swimmers this month", "10 more swimmers chased out of water", one "bit a man" "on Manhattan Beach", sea lions "capsized a vintage 50-foot yacht", and "a lifeguard was bitten three times while swimming") made the news.
One would think that such news would cause us to question public opinion and policies regarding the non-management and increasingly hallowed status of animals being fed and constructed by animal rights and environmental lies and propaganda. Quite the opposite has been the case. In fact, exactly like Hitler blaming the Jews for everything and then setting fire to the Reichstag to prove his cockamamie claims to skeptical Germans: we see the clear evidence that contradicts the specious claims of environmentalism and animal rights but then we nod like "bobble heads" as blatant ignorance and propaganda claims flood the airwaves and newspapers and schools.
Here are but a few of the avalanche of shibboleths spewed forth about these items in recent days.
1. Regarding sea lions, "Some scientists speculate that the animals' aggressive behavior was prompted by eating fish contaminated by toxic algae or by a shortage of food off the coast."
Fact: Wild animals (squirrels, rabbits, foxes, cougars, wolves, etc.) get more unpredictable and dangerous when they become familiar with and live around unthreatening human habitation. This is especially true where they are fed or enjoy food and safety. I learned this first from my grandmother regarding squirrels in city parks or near her home. If anyone believes this "toxic algae" or "shortage of food stuff" I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. "Shortage of food" is environmental/animal rights shorthand to avoid the fact that there are WAY TOO MANY sea lions for the available food. While Californians elect politicians to make more Marine Sanctuaries and to close down more hunting and fishing, the increasing sea lion populations decimate salmon, bite people, capsize boats, and pollute coastal waters and harbors (think about all those seals and sea lions lounging around San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay, think about what they weigh, what they eat and all that poop and urine) big-time. The newspaper picture shows "researchers" looking at 140+/- sea lions within 100 feet (they extend beyond both sides of the picture) lounging on 12 6'x14' floating piers under the caption "Sea lions strike back". Pardon my anthropomorphism but "strike back"? Strike back for what? They are treated better than cows in Hindu India or cats at a New York City Cat Show!
2. More on Sea Lions - Sea lions "typically bite only if they feel threatened or cornered". "Researchers have described the most recent attacks.as abnormal behavior". Fact: There are more sea lions by far in and around west coast towns and cities that at any time in the past century. These "cute" marine mammals have been "loved by all" ever since some were trained to balance balls on their noses in circuses and to bark and clap their flippers when tossed a fish. They have been given "quasi-sacred" legal status in the US (along with all those other "lovable" marine mammals) for 35 years since passage of the ludicrous Marine Mammal Protection Act and the takeover of the UN and US environmental agencies by environmental and animal rights activists. "Studies" of these creatures (like all other wildlife) are backward glances that postulate "laws" for the future. Only thing is wildlife biology isn't chemistry or physics; it is an ever-evolving scenario that varies greatly from place to place and from circumstance to circumstance.
Using the last 35 years (as marine mammal
populations exploded and all human use or
management was forbidden) to forecast the future
is like predicting how China or Iran will behave
in the future based on the same sort of sophomoric
assumptions of the past 35 years. Like the
"shortage of food" nonsense is meant to further
marginalize fishing, and the "toxic algae"
silliness is meant to lard the need for more
government bureaucracies to smash American
enterprise: so too is the "only when threatened"
and "abnormal behavior" academic claptrap meant to
check any objections to continued non-management
of these highly destructive animals.
2.. Killer Whales are dangerous predators. Those performing in tanks are captured along the NW coast where they eat primarily salmon and are therefore much more docile most of the time than their high seas cousins. Those from the high seas and North Pacific eat seals and other whales and their young (and any other worthy hunks of meat that make themselves available) and there is a long tradition in N Pacific native culture about men killed by Killer Whales. Does anyone really believe that a lone native in a kayak or on the edge of the ice (places where seals occur and lone men are vulnerable) is REPORTED and verified as killed by a Killer Whale? Today? Fifty years ago? One hundred years ago? Like wolf kills of humans in early America or Russia or Europe, such evidence is merely denounced by animal rights activists who are then believed by the schools, newspapers, and media mavens. Why doesn't Fox News cover the ongoing hidden efforts to change the name of Killer Whales to Orcas? Image is everything you know: mustn't let the kids think these are anything but big cartoon characters.
3.. Man has been "encroaching on habitat" for eons. "Habitats" change and man's needs change. It is a credit to man (especially in the US) that we express concern for maintaining species of plants and animals. It is a disgrace that we place any (much less all) plants and animals on a par with and even above man and his needs. It is ignorance of the first order to believe that mandating no-use, no-management, and no-ownership of plants and animals is either good for the plants and animals (it devalues them) or appropriate for mankind worldwide.
4.. Turkeys, like ruffed grouse and migrating songbirds, often (in the fall especially) fly into and through windows. A certain reflection at a certain time of day with a certain sky or tree colors can make a window look possible to fly through. Instead of acting stupid about this, Fox News ought to be questioning the claims that windmills for power (one of those reasons given for not needing to drill in Alaska or off the coasts) don't kill birds. Those windmills are sited EXACTLY where the most wind blows. Those are EXACTLY where birds have migrated for centuries. If a bird can fly into a window at certain times, why not into a giant whirling propeller?
5.. Elephant "attacks" are up for the exact same reason that sea lion attacks are up and cougar attacks are up and alligator attacks are up and coyote attacks are up. That is that there are TOO MANY of them and they are in places THEY OUGHT NOT TO BE. Whether it is a sea lion "bite" in California surf or a coyote trying to kill a kid in a Cape Cod backyard or an alligator killing women along a canal or a cougar killing joggers and bikers along a path or a kid smashed lifeless as elephants wander through Tanzanian crops and villages the problem and the solution are the same. REDUCE THEIR NUMBERS AND KEEP THEM REDUCED: LIMIT THEIR DISTRIBUTION CONSISTENT WITH HUMAN NEEDS AND KEEP THEIR DISTRIBUTION WITHIN THOSE BOUNDS. It is really not rocket science.
6.. Vultures are not, by any stretch of even the most rabid environmentalist's imagination, "Threatened", either factually or legally. In fact there are lots and lots of vultures and more now than at any time in my lifetime (I'm 65). Ever wonder why? The absolute protection of Federal law has, as with so many other species, resulted in TOO MANY. This protection has, as with so many other species, fostered a lack of fear of men and the emergence of such formerly unobserved behavior as killing ewes and lambs as the ewe gives birth in pastures in S Virginia. (These aren't your Mom and Dad's vultures anymore.) Then there is the other end of a vulture food supply expansion. As hunting and guns and trapping are more and more proscribed, there are more furbearers and small game "Frisbees" along the highways: a veritable vulture feast of annually reoccurring incidence. All in all things couldn't be better for vultures (just like the overabundant cormorants but that is another story): "Threatened" indeed!
7.. Last but not least there is the dark and
sinister "effects of hunting" alluded to by the
"animal expert" and agreed to by the other half of
this chirping duet. The "EFFECT OF HUNTING" (on
sea lions, elephants, bears, alligators, etc.) is
to REDUCE THEIR NUMBERS; ESTABLISH THEIR
DISTRIBUTION; AND ADJUST THEIR BEHAVIOR TO AVOID,
RATHER THAN THREATEN OR KILL HUMANS. Additionally,
hunting, trapping, and fishing generate income in
the economy; generate income to sustainably manage
all animals for mans' benefit; minimize the need
for government control programs and therefore
taxes and regulations; provide human enjoyment and
endless products of unique natures; and last, but
certainly not least give enduring VALUE to
wildlife and its' habitat that is the ultimate
reason for its preservation. In line with this,
the entire subject of population levels and
distributions and controls
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