Thursday, December 23, 2010

Save the Wolves from GOP Predators and Palin

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

A bone-headed decision to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered species list applies to wolf populations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho and Montana, and parts of Utah, Washington and Oregon. Apparently, gray wolves in Wyoming remain protected under terms of the Endangered Species Act. This 'act' has transferred the 'management' of the wolf population from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to state and tribal agencies. In Idaho -- the wolves have become legal targets for hunters in short order.
Idaho Fish and Game commissioners have already adopted dates for the wolf hunting season in the state and will set quotas once delisting takes effect.

"We have to move on and manage them similar to other big-game animals," Idaho Fish and Game Director Cal Groen said. "This is good news for wolves, elk, rural communities and hunters. I believe this action will help defuse the animosity and anger associated with wolves when we can manage wolves in concert with our other big game species."

The Fish and Wildlife Service will monitor the delisted wolf populations for a minimum of five years to ensure that they continue to sustain their recovery. At the end of that time, it will be decided if relisting, continued monitoring or ending service monitoring is appropriate.

Idaho governor C. L. "Butch" Otter has said he supports reducing his state's wolf population from its current level of around 800 animals to 100. "I'm prepared to bid for the first ticket [hunting license] to shoot a wolf myself," he once said.

--Lindsay Barnett

Ranchers are apparently the largest group demanding the eradication of Wolves. Especially troublesome are incidents in which the Alpha male is 'murdered'. In Washington state, an alpha male over several generations was killed, his 'pelt' sent to Canada, presumably for 'sale'. Hideous! And --no ---states do not have the right to eradicate any population! Some laws are unjust if not stupid! Alaskan attempts to eradicate wolves are disingenuous and Sarah Palin knows that that is the case. And, in any case, the wolves were there first! What if a law saying that wolves had a right to 'eradicate' were put into effect?

Ranchers have no legitimate complaint. Many have in fact encroached upon 'ancient' habitats and, in any case, they use land owned by the public for 'free grazing'. Anyone getting a 'free lunch' has nothing to complain about. But now --we are expected to turn a blind-eye to the murder of noble animals. In fact, wolves were never a problem until their habitats were encroached upon. As someone who spent much of his childhood on a ranch in West Texas, I can say with some experience: animals are a threat only when we have trespassed upon them. They have rights too!

Wolves also occupy an essential niche in vast, complicated ecosystems.
Wolves are the top predator in most environments in which they live and the trickle down effect of their presence is astounding. In Yellowstone, prior to the wolves' reintroduction in 1995, elk basically roamed wherever they chose and tended to spend most of their time in the river valleys. This excessive streamside grazing prevented willow and cottonwood tree growth along the river banks. But when the wolf returned, the elk quickly learned they couldn't set up permanent housekeeping in the valleys and they moved on to make a living in other areas. This, in turn, allowed young trees to grow along the riverbeds. The new trees shaded the river water, creating improved habitat for trout, which thrive in cooler, darker waters. The new willows and cottonwoods attract additional migratory birds and provided new food sources and building materials for beavers. The beavers then built dams which created new marshes and wetlands that in turn attracted otters, ducks and other species.

Wolves provide tremendous economic benefits

Ecotourism is quickly moving to the forefront of family recreational activities. The longing to see animals in their natural habitat has created an economic boom throughout the United States. In Yellowstone, fishing has always been a big industry and the improved environment along the river caused by the wolf's presence has improved fishing opportunities. The wolves themselves are also a huge tourist draw, with many people making Yellowstone their vacation destination expressly for the purpose of seeing wolves. Indeed, most sunrises in Yellowstone are accompanied by rows and rows of nature lovers with spotting scopes, all straining for a glimpse of the elusive wolf.

Wolves pose little threat to livestock and humans. In fact, their prey of choice has been wild game like deer and elk for centuries. The same is true for human/wolf interactions. Despite claims by wolf opponents, the fact remains that aggression by wolves against humans is a very rare event.

--Benefits of Wolves : The ecological and economic benefits they bring
The only justification for killing of animals is for food! However, no one has ever said that wolf meat is going to make any difference whatsoever to those who go hungry because the GOP has transferred vast amounts of American wealth upward to a ruling elite of just one percent of the total population. The greatest threat to those who may be near starvation is the GOP --NOT the noble wolf! Again --the American right wing, the GOP in particular, is not only wrong but dead wrong and wrong-headed, and, at their very core, stupid, evil and --charitably --misguided!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How the U.S. Invented 'al Qaeda'!

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

Al Qaeda was a U.S. creation, specifically a product of inverted right wing psuedo logic. If 'al Qaeda' did not exist, never mind --the shills would invent it and cite it to justify wars abroad, crackdowns on freedom at home! They would bestow upon it a virtual existence via press releases, propaganda and outright lies --deliberate attempts to mislead the American people!

Bin Laden should pay royalties to the U.S. right wing if, indeed, he ever benefited from his new found celebrity, his holographic 'creation' by the mass media, his elevation to arch-enemy status! His is falsely characterized as the 'mega-terrorist' brain behind a sinister world terrorist organization resembling an octopus with tentacles in every real or fictitious terrorist attack. There had not been anything like it since Bond fought SPECTRE --an evil terrorist organization specializing in terrorism and extortion. In the Bushco rewrite the part of Blofeld is played by Bin Laden.

It was a crock!

It was the CIA which bestowed upon Bin Laden himself his near mythical image of sinister master terrorist who commanded a vast world wide network from deep inside a cave in Tora Bora. This was all really, really bad fiction. Many Hollywood producers would have laughed out of their offices anyone daring to pitch it! It was, it seems, a very, very bad rewrite of Ala Baba and his 40 thieves. Ali, like Binny, lived in a cave but --alas --did not have cell phones. But neither did Bin Laden.

The immediate acceptance of the Bush official conspiracy theory proves the diminishing IQs of those who insist upon believing it. The consolation is this: the CIA has no future in Hollywood!

A bad b-movie!

According to the official version of the lie (charitably: the 'myth') goes something like this: the CIA and the Saudis are said to have funded and armed Bin Laden throughout the 80s. His mission impossible: wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. In fact, Bin Laden was working for the CIA.

Simply --Al-Qaeda means 'the base'; in this case --the computer data base of thousands of mujahideen trained and recruited by the CIA. The mission: defeat the Russians. This is cold war James Bond stuff and, in some cases, a just a bad rewrite. Life imitates spy movies.

The problem has become apparent over time: Washington did not know what to do with this 'database', this network that had become obsolete with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It obviously never occurred to DC spooks and/or analysts that with the withdrawal of the Soviet Union, Ala Baba, uh, Bin Laden would focus upon U.S. imperialism throughout the Middle East! But did he? More likely --he was just the convenient scapegoat for an inside job that would become the pre-text, the boogie-man to be cited as justifying a war for the oil resources of Iraq, the poppy (opium) resources of Afghanistan.

The source for how 'al Qaeda' got its name is Sir Robin Cook, the former British Foreign Secretary. In order to protest the British connection to this sorry story, Cook resigned his job.

Benazir Bhutto: Bin Laden was Murdered

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bush's Tragic Legacy at Home and Around the World

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

One hopes that thinking about Iraq has gotten clearer since Bush violated U.S. laws and international commitments in order to: 1) seize the oil fields of Iraq; 2) exploit the 'threat of terror' to consolidate his 'base' at home, 3) subvert Constitutional guarantees that give Americans the right to denounce incompetent and/or traitorous 'leaders'.

An evil legacy of this idiocy is the recent decree that would allow the government to 'sanction' i.e, kill its vocal opposition.
Civil liberties advocates and legal authorities struck back Friday at what they describe as the “deliberate targeted killing of U.S. citizens far away from any active hostilities, as long as the executive branch determines unilaterally that they meet a secret definition of who the enemy is.”

In an admission that took the intelligence community and its critics by surprise, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair acknowledged in a congressional hearing ... that the U.S. may, with executive approval, deliberately target and kill U.S. citizens who are suspected of being involved in terrorism.

--William Fisher, Legal Experts Slam Assassinations of US Citizens, February 06, 2010
This reminds one of the infamous assertion by the newly appointed Gen. Michael Hayden that the legal standard to begin an investigation or, possibly more Draconian measures, was 'reasonable suspicion' --not 'probable cause' as it is, in fact! The General was wrong! He betrayed the fact that he had never bothered to read the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
That the possible murder of U.S. citizens by our own government even saw the light of day is not just worrisome, it is cause for alarm! We should be yelling --crowded theater or no! The very concept is repugnant and those politicians entertaining it should be fired, impeached, removed, tried upon the probable cause they have violated U. S. laws against sedition.

Next time --unless these ideas are exposed, eviscerated and laid bare --a future would-be tyrant may find it easy to carry out a program of rampant murder upon a mere 'suspicion' about which he might even be inclined to lie. Such a tyrant might order the round-up and incarceration of anyone daring to express a disagreement! There is precedent! In the Germany of Adolph Hitler one need not 'do' anything to be arrested, detained, imprisoned and, eventually, murdered. One had only 'be'! A Jew ! A Gypsy! A non-Aryan! Thus not even the pure Aryan was free to act! He could only 'be' but not as a free individual but as a cog in the enslaved collective! This is what happens when the rule of law is flouted and or ridiculed as it was during Bush's eight years each of which were Annus horribilis!
The President revealed this ... as he fairly spat through his teeth, words of unrestrained fury directed at the man who was once the very symbol of his administration, who was once an ambassador from this administration to its critics, as he had once been an ambassador from the military to its critics.

The former Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, had written, simply and candidly and without anger, that "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

This President's response included not merely what is apparently the Presidential equivalent of threatening to hold one's breath, but within it contained one particularly chilling phrase.

"Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," he was asked by a reporter. "If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don't you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you're following a flawed strategy?"

“If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic,” Bush said. “It's just -- I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.

Of course it's acceptable to think that there's "any kind of comparison."

And in this particular debate, it is not only acceptable, it is obviously necessary, even if Mr. Powell never made the comparison in his letter.

Some will think that our actions at Abu Ghraib, or in Guantanamo, or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, are all too comparable to the actions of the extremists.

--Keith Olberman, Bush owes us an apology
While he occupied the White House, his opposition was often called traitorous by that term and others as well. That this chill upon 'free speech' could happen in America where it was often said It Can't Happen Here begs an explanation! The question is not whether it might happen but why it happened in the first place and when it will happen again!
A state is not, like the ground which it occupies, a piece of property (patrimonium). It is a society of men whom no one else has any right to command or to dispose except the state itself. It is a trunk with its own roots. But to incorporate it into another state, like a graft, is to destroy its existence as a moral person, reducing it to a thing; such incorporation thus contradicts the idea of the original contract without which no right over a people can be conceived.

--Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace
Thus, it was in 1795 that Kant made quick work of the very concept of aggressive war. I find it ironic that as soon as this nation under incompetent and criminal leadership abandons those principles we find ourselves in a state of Perpetual War from which only an increasingly tiny ruling elite will benefit! This elite is Moloch by any definition!

Totalitarian regimes and other "fear based" societies are considered by Natan Sharansky to be "tyrannies". Though an apologist for Bush, Natan Sharansky is at least correct about that much! However, the "basis" for the specific principles of International Law to which the U.S. is "obliged", indeed, even insisted upon are as follows:

An excerpt:

(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
I also recommend ‘Preventive War’ and International Law After Iraq. An excerpt from the introduction and executive summary:
However if change is to be effected, it must be carried out in way(s) that promotes international peace and security through multilateral action and the rule of law. This may be time consuming and frustrating, but the alternative danger is a weakening or even abandonment of the rule of law and undermining the prohibition on the use of force which has been the product of not only the international consensus to avoid war following two world wars but decades of consensus.

--‘Preventive War’ and International Law After Iraq, Duncan E. J. Currie LL.B. (Hons.) LL.M., 22 May, 2003
To conclude that because one has power its exercise is always right is, simply, wrong! It's a non sequitur! On trial for his Nazi crimes at Nuremberg, Goering called it "victor's justice"!
The victor declares what is right and moral and through some charade transforms these propositions into "legal" form and engaging in some meaningless ritual, punishes the losers.

--Hermann Goering
Goering's position is the Nazi position and that of anyone else, most recently, Republicans who subscribe to it! The law of the jungle, it will describe the ultimate descent of civilization unless it is eschewed. It must be pointed out that even Goering --a Nazi --did not consider for a moment that it was 'right'. It was and remains, as he said, the exercise of power by those who have it against those who don't! There is nothing 'right' about it and no victory can make it so.

Eventually Iraq will form an Islamic socialist/theocracy and --if it wishes to survive --an alliance with Iran. American soldiers will have been sacrificed for nothing! Is this how conservatives and/or GOPPERS define 'victory'?

Iraqis opposing a U.S. war of aggression are hardly "subversive"; many Iraqis will call those who oppose the U.S. by the word: "patriots". I refer you to William Pitt, Earl of Chatham who admonished the British parliament with what was very nearly his dying breath:
If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I never would lay down my arms,—never! never! never!

--William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (1708–1778)
And what term is used to describe the Americans who fought with the Lincoln Bridge and others against Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Are they terrorists?

Terrorism is Worse Under GOP Regimes

It used to be that one need not be "left" to denounce wars of naked aggression! I denounce the idea of "pre-emptive" strike; it is a return to the law of the jungle in which " is nasty, brutish, and short"! Every tin horn dictator from N.K. to Iran need only cite the Bush doctrine to justify their armaments.It's hard to imagine how one can win a moral argument by so willingly, so eagerly giving up the moral high ground --as Bush has clearly done!

My remarks are not merely theoretical. Just as FBI statistics prove conclusively that terrorism against the United States was worse as Ronald Reagan waged his similarly failed "war" against 'terrorism', so, too, Bush has failed! In fact 'terrorism' against U.S. 'interests' is always worse under GOP regimes. Coincidence? No! It is the understandable reaction of people to U.S. imperialism as it was the reaction of Zulus and eventually the people of India against the British!

Terrorism under Bush increased with his declaration of no quarter for those nations harboring or nurturing terrorists! Though he would not admit it, Bush had in mind administering his new acquisition--Iraq --by way of puppet governments. The ex post facto rationalization --bringing Democracy to Iraq --was not conceived until it was clear that no WMD would be found and, secondly, that the mis-named insurgency would not go away! At various stages, Bush and Bushy thought things would get better.

They never did!

But we are expected --I suppose --to surrender our freedoms willingly because a moron fucked up! I don't think so!