Government by illusion
By Jim Beers
April 17, 2007
The U.S. Congress has vowed to not renew the federal tax cuts that expire in 2-3 years. Although this will increase everyone's (who pays taxes) tax bill, we are told that it is not a tax increase. What do you call a statement that is neither true nor a lie?
A half million people (kids, urban elites, anti-hunters, students as an assignment, socialists, all of the above) have written into the U.S. Department of the Interior asking that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act because of global warming threats to its habitat. The Interior Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in particular, need little encouragement to set this legal hammer in place for every lawyer from "Hades to breakfast" to pick up and go into U.S. Courts to seek "redress" to stop roads, the auto industry, land development, animal husbandry, and the U.S. Economy.
The Democrat politicians would have done this long ago if they could have; the Republican politicians have moved in this direction a bit more gradually, but are headed toward the same end; and both political parties are now vying to see which one can get the next movie award for telling the scariest global warming tale (Bride of Global Warming, Global Warming II, The Return of Global Warming).
The point is that both political parties are buying into Global Warming and skeptics are derided as "deniers" as in "desertification deniers" and "global cooling deniers" of recent vintage. It goes without saying that every bureaucrat and professor who can belly up to the plate is pitching for the polar bear listing - while dollar signs whirl through their eyes like those old Scrooge McDuck cartoons. All of this, mind you, while movie stars are embarking on global warming college tours in the midst of the coldest U.S. April on record.
But let's set aside my skepticism, and for a moment, accept what all of the above global warming advocates say is happening. If everything is warming up, that raises an interesting wildlife question. Why is the U.S. government and the State of Colorado setting loose hundreds of lynx in Colorado? You remember the lynx, don't you? The Northern cat that has historically come and gone in Northern U.S. states with cold weather and snowshoe hares (their main food) since time immemorial, and has been "researched" by federal bureaucrats who want to "list" it, anyway they can. "Anyway they can" included falsifying "sightings" of the cats by federal bureaucrats by placing fur from mounted lynx on government scent posts. Ski resorts were torched by environmental radicals claiming they were on "habitat" critical to lynx, and federal bureaucrats claimed the lynx were also "vulnerable" to auto traffic, so closing roads would also be necessary to "save" them; all in all, they were a "utility" species like polar bears, that had all sorts of potential.
In truth, the lynx, like the snowshoe hare are in a low cycle, due in large part to a cessation of logging (the hares need brush and twigs to survive, and that disappears as forests age) and they are no more vulnerable to traffic than any other predator. Colorado, in even the best years for lynx is the extreme Southern edge of their range, and they have never been as abundant there as in more Northern states, even with Colorado's high country elevations.
The lynx set loose in Colorado are disappearing like passenger pigeons, and they occasionally pop up hiking over the Great Plains states (looking for hares), a fate in all seriousness as reprehensible as releasing an alligator in Hudson Bay, or kicking loose a caribou in Panama. So, why is the federal government and Colorado subjecting these lynx to this fate, when the world (and Colorado) is supposed to be WARMING UP? If Colorado is on the Southern edge of lynx habitat in the best (i.e., coldest, and years of high snowshoe hare abundance) of times, how come the same guys beating the global warming drums are dumping lynx in Colorado?
The answer may lie in Georgia.
The hunters in Georgia probably think they have a great DNR. They aren't like those poor bums in New Jersey, where the state worships black bears, or those poor guys in Massachusetts where the state bans trapping, or the poor guys in Illinois, where the conquest of the state government by Chicago politicians is strangling hunting, by gun control and urban values forced on the rural parts of the state. No sirree, Georgia is the South and hunting is part of the culture, and the state "guys" work for the hunters. Note the following from Georgia Outdoor News:
"Opposition by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to a specialty license plate that would raise money for SEEDS, a program that promotes hunting and fishing to kids, resulted in the SEEDS fundraiser being cut.
Volunteers who have been organizing kids' hunts and youth conservation work days through the SEEDS program expressed shock.
GON is still confirming exactly who all was involved in lobbying against the SEEDS license plate, but what has been confirmed is that the DNR leadership, including DNR Commissioner Noel Holcomb, spoke to key legislators to get the SEEDS fundraiser cut from HB 485. None of the other 13 new specialty license plates included in HB 485 were cut."
The reason? "It was in direct conflict with a major source of funds for existing DNR programs, meaning the Bobwhite Quail Initiative (BQI) and the Nongame program."
What is going on here is something I am especially disliked by state and federal bureaucrats for mentioning. All of the state fish and wildlife agencies are being run more and more from Washington, and specifically from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is not just the Endangered Species Act, or the kind of employees hired, or the sort of students turned out of the Universities today, although these do contribute to the problem.
The real reason is MONEY. When you see the words Nongame, Native Species, Native Ecosystems, Invasive Species, Species of Concern, Keystone Species, or really, any of a dozen other terms of budget art; be aware that they are merely words used to justify giving federal tax dollars to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to pass through (with "overhead" withheld, of course, and "instructions" called "strings") to state fish and wildlife agencies - to do everything except hunting and fishing programs.
State bureaucrats and politicians love this "free" money. The state bureaucrats think hunting and fishing are going to be wiped out anyway, and this not only replaces and increases their "budget" it opens up a whole new world like the feds have, of immeasurable programs that always need "more" as far as the eye can see. The state politicians are content to measure their bureaucrats like Highway Department Administrators on how quickly and how much federal money is obtained.
I hope some of you aren't crushed by this exposure of Santa, the Easter Bunny, and now "our state" fish and wildlife agencies' real role. As I have said in numerous articles over the past two years, Congress authorized the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use $80 million to have the states put together wish-lists of all the things they would "need" to do to their state what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing to the U.S.
State politicians didn't pay attention, and now these gargantuan wish-lists have been rolled up in Washington, and Congress is only too eager to start the money flow for all those things "to keep all of these 'nongame' species from becoming Endangered" (to "save the federal government money", don't you know). The amount is over $100 million per year already, and it will climb every year that federal politicians want you to love them. To say it will approach and then exceed a billion soon, would be no exaggeration.
Yesterday, I spoke with a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee who laughingly told me I should have "stuck around." My old Division (the one that give the hunting and fishing excise taxes to state fish and wildlife agencies for hunting and fishing programs) is growing by leaps and bounds. "They are reorganizing it to make more 15's (a high supervisor job, paying $115,000 + per year, plus bonuses) because of all the growth in state programs." Translation, the "nongame" funding program will soon surpass, and then replace the hunting and fishing programs. They will hire more anti-hunters, and while building the nongame funding flow from Congress, they will loosen the rules for hunting and fishing programs till they slowly disappear, as is happening with other federal efforts nationwide.
By the way, the reason the Georgia Director is so worried about his "nongame" funds from license plates is that they have to come up with a modest (10 to 15 percent) match of state funds to get the federal funds (to make it look good.) Where do you get the money? The "Nongame" advocates don't buy licenses, they don't support rural economies; in fact, they are the ones destroying ranching and logging, and big game hunting as you are reading this. Care to bet about Peter (hunting and fishing) being robbed to pay Paul ("Ecosystem tinkering")?
So, there you have it. When is a tax increase not a tax increase? Why do both state and federal governments propagandize Global Warming, and school kids implore the government to list the polar bear because of global warming, while the same governments are dumping hundreds of lynx in the most extreme Southern part of their always-changing range, when we are all supposed to believe that Colorado will soon look and feel like Costa Rica, and be home to jaguars? And finally, why would a state (Southern, at that) DNR oppose a money-generating license plate for kids, hunting, fishing?
The answers are not really answers at all. There is only one answer. These things are happening because each of us refuses to stop it. We each prefer to give our state politician a pass, when he "gets" other things and we all want to believe that our state bureaucrats still work for us. We think our trade or recreation organization is standing up for us - when they are merely angling for the next job. We are comforted by federal politicians mentioning "tools in the toolbox" as possible helps, while federal bureaucrats lie with impunity, and are rewarded for bamboozling rural Americans. So the federal politician gets re-elected, the federal bureaucrat gets a "15," the state politician gets credit for getting "more," and the state bureaucrat gets a big bonus for getting so much, so quick.
Meanwhile, we send money to the people lying to us about everything from temperature change and polar bears to wolves.
Illusion or conspiracy? I leave it to you.
See biography for Jim Beers
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