The Watering Hole, Thursday August 15, 2013; Wolves

“The precise origins of man’s unusual fear of the wolf are obscure. The wolf is human’s most feared animal, even though there has never been a verified account of a healthy wild wolf attacking and killing a human in North America. There have been many maulings caused by bears, and many a diver has experienced a shark attack, but never a wild wolf attack. So why are wolves so feared and hated?”
(Jill Missal

In just the last couple of days I’ve received communications from both Defenders of Wildlife and the Center For Biological Diversity on what is an apparent ‘pause’ in the clearly politically-motivated effort, courtesy of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to delist — and hence enable the mass killing — of all (reintroduced) gray wolves in the lower 48, save for the small handful of (reintroduced) Mexican Gray Wolves in E. Arizona and W. New Mexico. Here are the most recent messages; they are, at least, encouraging . . . to all but the wolf-haters:

USFWS halts peer review process for national wolf delisting proposal
Public outcry over excluded experts raises serious concerns over scientific integrity

WASHINGTON (August 12, 2013) – According to news reports today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) has put on hold the scientific peer review of its proposal to strip federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves across nearly all of the lower 48 states.

The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

“While we still disagree on the merits of this premature delisting proposal, at least the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service understands the magnitude of the issue. It’s a relief that the Service has listened to the voices of wildlife supporters nationwide who have called the integrity of their peer review process into question. Cherry-picking scientists is not a good way to do business. To ensure impartiality and scientific integrity, we recommend that the Service turn the peer review over to the National Academy of Sciences instead of trying to manage the process itself. Either way, we look forward to a fair peer review of the science behind this ill-advised delisting proposal, and we hope the Service turns to the best experts in the field regardless of whether they have written letters about the use of their science in the proposal.”


Last week, several wolf experts were excluded from consideration for a peer review panel to evaluate the scientific basis for delisting gray wolves nationwide. They were excluded for signing a letter in May that criticized the Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal, saying: “Based on a careful review of the rule, we do not believe that the rule reflects the conclusions of our work or the best available science concerning the recovery of wolves, or is in accordance with the fundamental purpose of the Endangered Species Act to conserve endangered species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.” Among those excluded were Robert Wayne of UCLA, Roland Kays of North Carolina State University and John Vucetich of Michigan Technological University.

And this, from the Center For Biological Diversity:

After protests by the Center for Biological Diversity and others, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just suspended the independent scientific review of the wolf delisting proposal in order to deal with criticisms that top wolf scientists had been excluded.
It’s an important victory but we still have a long fight ahead of us.

Now more than ever we know that politics, not science, is driving this proposal to strip Endangered Species Act protections from wolves. Last week, three scientists were cut out of the review process because they’d signed a letter raising serious questions about the delisting proposal.

It seems obvious that this latest ploy was an attempt to keep dissenting opinions out of the scientific peer review mandated by the Endangered Species Act. It failed, thankfully, after Center and other wolf supporters turned up the heat.

Below is an ‘old’ rendering that I ran across (somewhere) circa 2002, one that has been resident on my hard drive since I first scanned it way back then, more than a decade ago. Sadly, I can offer no attribution, can only offer it for admiration of its implicit message. And in the process, note that no matter the sad reality of the moment, I can still only wonder just what might be the cosmic explanation of the embedded human flaw that seems to DEMAND that we KILL wolves . . . even though our only reasons for doing so are irrational fears, hatreds, and politics.

Wolves-2“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.  Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion.  We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves.  And therein we err, and greatly err.  For the animal shall not be measured by man.  In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.  They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”  ~Renée Askins in Shadow Mountain – A Memoir of Wolves, a Woman, and the Wild; Anchor Books, ISBN 0-385-48226-4

Stated another way (the Wingnut version of irrational fears, hatreds, and politics”):

[The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone is] “the equivalent of detonating a nuclear bomb in the West.”  ~Paul Hoffman, appointed deputy assistant secretary of the Interior in January 2002 as overseer of the National Park Service, as quoted in 1996

Open Thread.

68 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Thursday August 15, 2013; Wolves

  1. Wolves are not incorporated so obviously they don’t need or deserve special government protections or considerations.
    If each wolf were to incorporate and become at the very least an LLC, then they could lobby congress and get the sweet inside deals and no bid contracts that other corporations get

    • as you would expect, there’s a lot of buzz here in New Mexico about the gray wolf.

      a wingnut hunting type acquaintance of mine is insistent the wolves are eating all the other game animals, and thus need to be eradicated.

      i asked him how the wolf population was controlled over the past 500,000 years or so..**crickets**…

      much of the problem, as usual, are humans encroaching on their natural habitat. “i’m building a hunting cabin up in the mountains where i can take the wife, kids and the dogs and live in seclusion” (among the wolves)…jeeezzzussss……..

      • In the early 2000’s, we camped regularly and for longish summer stints in the wolf reintro corner of Eastern Arizona. We would occasionally hear them howl at night, but only once did we ever see a mating pair, and they were cool . . . we watched the romp together on the meadow; they displayed no malice of any kind, only that ‘happiness’ that comes when wild critters are allowed to run free.

        A cowboy we knew back then in AZ HATED the wolves, wanted each and every one of them shot, trapped, poisoned, made no difference so long as they were DEAD. I asked him why he hated wolves so much. He said, “Because they eat cows.” I sat silently for a moment or two, then looked at him and said, “I’ve heard that, yes. Wolves eat cows every now and again. But my question is, do they eat ENOUGH of the fucking things? And the answer to that is clearly NO. There are hundreds of thousands of goddamned cattle running loose in the National Forests along with what, fifty Mexican gray wolves?”


        I figure wolf haters hate wolves because something deep inside them tells them that wolves are infinitely smarter than they themselves are. I suspect they also hate cockroaches for much the same reason. Republicans are like that, unfortunately. I would support legislation that encouraged wolf populations to grow and grow and grow. I would favor it even more if there was a rider attached that allowed and enabled the extinction of stupid shit humans, i.e. Republicans and teabaggers.

        We should work to make the world a better place: Wolves yes. Human idiots NO! Something like that.

        • I adore wolves. I despise republicans. I have an irrational fear of cockroaches.

          But I think if we replaced all the republicans with cockroaches we would be much, much better off as a country. Just sayin….

          • Wolves have character. Cockroaches pretty much don’t have a lot of character, and Republicans have none, so yes, we’d be better off if Roaches were elected to both House and Senate, and Republicans lived under the sink, in septic tanks, etc. . . . what I would call a “better fit.”

            Imagine the blessing we’d all benefit from if, say, Boner lived under a sink somewhere, or maybe under a rock (assuming he doesn’t already live . . . ummmm . . . “there”.


  2. Evangelical Pastor To Stand Trial In Massachusetts For Alleged Crimes Against Humanity

    A federal judge on Wednesday denied a motion to dismiss a crimes against humanity case brought against evangelical pastor Scott Lively of Massachusetts.

    Lively is accused of violating international law by inciting the persecution of LGBT individuals in Uganda. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) in 2012. (bold text added by me)

    This trial could have the C Street crowd shaking in their shoes. And it should!

  3. Thanks, Snowden. Derek Mead discovers that the Snowden leaks will cost American tech companies cooperating with NSA between $21.5 billion and $35 billion over the next three years:

    “The United States, serviced by giants like Google and Amazon, has until now spent more money on cloud computing than the rest of the world combined, but that gap has closed considerably, with Western European markets expected to grow heavily in the next few years. While Europe in particular has been open about trying to spur local cloud efforts, American firms still had a great opportunity to dive into a budding market. But with the US’s great cloud computing secret now out in the open—American servers can be tapped whenever, in secret, with secret court orders—those firms are going to have a much more difficult time competing with upstarts like Iceland, where strict privacy laws have fostered growth in cloud computing and hosting services.

    That the US’s intrusions into data would have chilling effects on the data economy is no surprise. ”It is often American providers that will miss out, because they are often the leaders in cloud services,” Neelie Kroes, European commissioner for digital affairs, told the Guardian in July. “If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government, then maybe they won’t trust US cloud providers either.”

    • I’ve got an external terabyte hard drive the size of a deck of cards. What do I need ‘the cloud’ for?

      Rich fucks can’t get richer because Obama’s NSA forces US companies to give them the keys to all their lockboxes? I hate it for them.

  4. Canada’s most-travelled highway tears through the country’s oldest national park, imperiling both humans and wildlife. But park administrators came up with an inspired solution:

    “They look, for the most part, like typical pedestrian infrastructure: elliptical or boxy concrete culverts under the highway high enough for a human to pass through, or overpasses that would look entirely familiar to the vehicles passing below. All this highway engineering, though, is meant for the benefit of bears. And cougars, and wolves, and elk. …

    [O]ver the years, critics and transportation planners, even some environmentalists have groused about the idea: Taxpayer money, building overpasses for bears? Is that really necessary? Would they even use the things? Researchers have been methodically studying the crossings since 1996 to answer this. And it turns out that, yes, animals deterred by fencing that now runs the full 70-kilometer [43.5-mile] length of the highway in the park actually cross the road an awful lot like a rational pedestrian would. It takes them a while, though, to adapt to the crossings after a new one is constructed: about four to five years for elk and deer, five to seven years for the large carnivores.”

    • As backwards as Florida is, they figured this out years ago to save the Florida panther. Florida uses concrete pipes under the alligator alley
      I just wish there were more of them throughout the state.

  5. When are the news outlets going to acknowledge the 800 lb. gorilla in the room: that the Egyptian military runs Egypt, and only leaders of which they approve can ever remain in ‘power’?

    • Ooh Obama cancelled the exercises …. (slap on wrist)

      Could the US government say it any louder than that – “The Egyptian military is restoring democracy” (John Kerry) …. you what? I suppose what happened this week was just a little ‘vigourous debate’? In this country they make you get an ID card if they want to ‘suppress your vote’.

      I think we are talking less about an 800lb gorilla and more about an 800lb fat Zionist in a coma, Ariel Sharon and his pal Bibi.

    • When are the ‘news’ outlets going to drop the story about the missing white girl …. and cover the f**king NEWS! Welcome to Amurka – here’s what you need to think today.

  6. 7,000 Gun-Loving “Patriots” Living in an Walled Citadel Built Around an Arms Factory in Idaho — What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    Far-right gun enthusiasts say they are planning to build a walled city in northern Idaho for “Patriots” who love the Constitution and hate “liberals, Marxists and blue voters.”
    August 15, 2013 |
    They call it III Citadel, and they say they’ve already lined up “hundreds” of extreme-right gun lovers to join them in the walled city they’re planning for a lonely tract in northern Idaho. The end game, they say, is an ideologically pure settlement of 7,000 “Patriots” built around a huge arms factory.

    But there’s no sign that the latest fantastic plans from antigovernment extremists will ever come to much. Dave Resser, the sheriff of sparsely populated Benewah County, calls the whole thing a “scam.”

    They say they’re not racists and welcome any and all comers, so long as they promise to follow the rules and they’re devoted and well-armed defenders of the Constitution — “liberals, Marxists and blue voters” need not apply.

    But in practically the same breath, the man who with others recently purchased the land enthusiastically described how Latinos and Muslims will be “purged” and “culled” by “fed-up Americans” in the not-so distant future.

    • I say let them build it, move in, get established . . . and then do a “Dresden” to it. Poof.

      I know, I’m a mean and nasty person, one who never even shed a single tear over that Waco incident way back when. Oh well.

        • I could go along with no “Mormonism” everywhere and anywhere, but spare the victims . . . do away with the “ism”, yes; all it should really take is education for a century or so, and then “poof”, Mormonism along with most other god-based “isms” would go ‘poof’ as real knowledge came to supplant each and all of the various religious mythologies that today haunt most of earth’s corners.

          Don’t need ATF to rid the world of ignorance, just need teachers and educators.

    • How many of them gubbermint hatin’ folk are using gubberment assitance? How many will continue their evil gubbernment assitance when they build their own Freedonia?

      AS the signs say, “keep your gubbernment off my medicare, and social security, and, and….”

    • Really, now, what could possibly go wrong when a group of Libertarian lunatics arm themselves in a compound surrounding an armaments factory?

      • Not much, even if the whole place happened to explode at once, for whatever reason. Well, innocent bystanders might get hurt, but I can’t imagine there’d be a whole lot of them in the vicinity anyway, so maybe all will be well once the dust and ash finally settle?

    • I don’t think Goering, Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, et al. ever killed anyone with their own guns either. So yes, there is definitely no guilt implicit if a gun is not used in what some might call ‘crime.’

    • So by his own logic, he does not think that welfare fraud is criminal, right? Nor voting fraud? (and while both are rare, they do occasionally happen). But no guns, no violence or threats of violence. Dealing in illegal subastances can’t be criminal, then.

      I would be curious, does that buffon REALLY and literally mean “gun”, or is that just meant as a euphamism for violence? What about using a blunt knife?

  7. QOTD:

    “Where will [Obama] get his ‘national police’? The NaPo will be recruited from “young out-of-work urban men” and it will be hailed as a cure for the economic malaise of the inner cities. In other words, Obama will put a thin veneer of training and military structure on urban gangs, and send them out to channel their violence against Obama’s enemies. Instead of doing drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods, these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people “trying to escape” — people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama,” – Orson Scott Card, in an “experiment in fictional thinking” that “sure sounds plausible.”

  8. Fits my morose mood today…

    People underestimate the risk of catastrophic events when they can’t think of any recent ones:

    “Take the possibility of a major impact by an asteroid or other near-Earth object. The last impact that did serious damage was the Tunguska event over central Russia in 1908 (though there was no actual impact with the surface of the Earth—an asteroid or comet roughly 300 feet across apparently exploded in the air). Small wonder, then, that “20 years ago the near-Earth-object field practically didn’t exist,” says Don Yeomans, who heads NASA’s near-Earth-object program. … Back then, “we had ‘the giggle factor’ when it was mentioned that these objects could be dangerous and could be looked for,” Yeomans says. “People would laugh and say, ‘Yeah, when was the last time?’ Simply because we didn’t see them, they didn’t take the threat as seriously as we have come to.”

    But in 1993, astronomers Carolyn and Gene Shoemaker and David Levy spotted a comet (now called Shoemaker-Levy 9) on a collision course with Jupiter.

    Millions saw the incredible video of the massive explosions. There were 21 separate impacts, the largest of which was 600 times more powerful than the entire world’s nuclear weapons arsenal. The crater it left was 7,500 miles across, almost big enough to reach from the North Pole to Rio de Janeiro. A single impact like that would have wiped out life on Earth. The movies Armageddon and Deep Impact followed in the next few years, along with a couple of ultimately false alerts from the astronomy community about possible near-Earth objects headed our way that got huge press coverage. In the past 10 years, funding for NASA’s work to spot objects that might collide with Earth has gone from practically nothing to more than $20 million a year, and we’ve located more than 90 percent of the big ones that could do serious damage.”

    • Bill0 has always been a racist but he’s been absolutely rabid since the Zimmerman trial. Can you imagine what he would be saying if his guy had been convicted?

  9. Wait! Hold the Presses!!
    We have a tie with Bill O’Rabidly for the rabid prick of the day award!!
    Ex-Navy chaplain: Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis is possessed by a ‘demon of murder’
    “Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt said in a video released Thursday that Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) is “ruled by a demon of murder” and that she should be prosecuted for her supposed role as a murderer of unborn children.”

    Rabid Prick of the Day? I report, you decide.

    • Quickly: if I might for whatever reason ever be offered the choice between, say, spending an evening with Wendy Davis or with Herr Klingenschmitt, well, let’s just say that Wendy would most assuredly be my FIRST!!!!! (second, third, fourth, ad infinitum) choice — just for TALKING! and that would surely be the most gratuitous reward possible, including any and all effort and anticipation, etc. As for Klingenschmitt?


    • Klingenschmitt is the ex-Navy chaplain the RW likes to trot out as an example of religious persecution. He was proselytizing way too much for the DoD’s taste. (I think he was Navy, but I could be wrong.)

  10. Allen Lanier, one of the founding members of Blue Oyster Cult, passed away today from C.O.P.D. (a heavy cigarette-smoking habit got him).

    Some of their more chart-hitting songs: Don’t Fear the Reaper, Burning for You, Godzilla, Veteran of the Psychic Wars (from the Heavy Metal movie, plus another couple of theirs were in the movie, but I don’t recall which ones).

    One of the songs that Allen wrote (if I did this correctly):

    in thee

  11. The latest completely unhinged, right-wing insanity:

    Bryan Fischer: Obama Was Photoshopped Into Bin Laden Situation Room Photo

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