One the controversial grizzly bear DNA earmark-

Bill Schneider writes about McCain’s persistent campaign story about the “horrible” congressional earmark to study DNA of grizzly bears.

McCain, Palin, Earmarks, and the DNA of Bears and Harbor Seals. New West. By Bill Schneider.

This whole thing has irritated me plenty. First there is McCain’s persistent lying or ignorance of substance of his favorite earmark story. It shows him to be stupid, cynical, careless, or all of these.

Second, I’m irritated at those conservationists who dismiss the study as just an attempt to open up grizzly country to development.

The actual number of grizzlies was an important fact to determine.

You can’t use use science only when it is in your interest. Otherwise, you are hardly different than the oil companies.

Yes, the fact that there are more grizzly bears in NW Montana than anticipated will be used as an argument to open the country up, but that needs to be fought in other ways, not by attacking the science.

I’m glad a good count was done, and it was worth $3-million. McCain can stuff it.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

118 Responses to McCain, Palin, Earmarks, and the DNA of Bears and Harbor Seals

  1. avatar Mary Sohn says:

    I was also struck by the idiocy of McCain’s remark about the bear DNA study. But then, he did pick Palin as his running mate, so a lack of even basic knowledge about wildlife conservation and the value of wildlife studies should have been anticipated. This is a dangerous twosome.

  2. avatar Maska says:

    Ralph, thanks pointing out that it’s no more ethical for conservationists to cherry pick our science than it is for oil companies, livestock owners, or timber companies.

    As for McCain and his ill-chosen running mate, it’s sad that they find it necessary to pander to the most ignorant, obscurantist elements in American society.

  3. avatar chuck parker says:

    The sole purpose of the DNA study was to get grizzlies in the Northern Rockies delisted, which opens up grizzly country to development, and opens up legal grizzly bear hunting. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee didn’t advertise the fact that the purpose of the DNA study was to get grizzlies delisted, but if you read the minutes of the IGBC meeting, which are not published until it’s too late to do anything, it’s crystal clear the DNA study was necessary to delist grizzlies.

    It’s silly for McCain to suggest the DNA study is “pork” for bear paternity tests, or for tracing bears that “mug” people. But you could still argue that it was a pork barrel project. As Bill Schneider points out, many people know the money could have been put to better use on behalf of grizzly bears.

  4. avatar vicki says:

    After watching tonights Vice Presidential debate, I am dumbfounded as to the cause of people’s faith in Sarah Palin.

    Upon hearing arguments made about specifics to the healthcare system in this country, I found myself questioning how I would tell my employees that I was ending their benefits if McCain were to be elected.

    I listened to her boast her “Energy” reforms and call energy her area of expertise. I nearly vomitted at the hypocracy of the woman’s statement, literally. Her continual references to being a oil and gas regulator were a political slap in the face. She was more like a oil and gas enabler. For any person who to stand up and state that drilling is absolutely safe to call themselves an expert is either extreme ignorance personified, or straight up (and more likely) a malicious lie.

    I don’t care how many wells you drill, or how good the technology becomes, we cannot predict what changes will occur as a result of such activities. Even if we could, no one could ever guarantee with any degree of certainty that we could drill without end and have no accidents or adverse effects.

    Looking at each person’s take on this was an eye opener. Considering I was already decided against Palin’s credibility, integrity, position or knowledge, that is huge. I am more convinced now than ever, we are an undereducated nation when it comes to energy use. I can state quite frankly, McCain/Palin lacks the most.

    I guenuinely hope that when Obama is elected he and Biden place scientists and inovators on committees that would provide for an honest and progressive evaluation of what really good alternative fuels and production techniques our government employees.

    Regardless of Biden and Obama”s lack of complete understanding of energy, I don’t think we could question their intended path toward change or the motivation behind it. However, I have grave reservations and fear about the truth behind MCain/Palin’s motives and extensive lack of knowledge or desire to change.

    Palin should have been a boxer, she showed great skill in bobbing and weaving her way out of having to give real answers. I find it particularly note worthy that both she and McCain refer heavily to notes, while their oposition was well versed and educated on issues without having their responses mapped out on paper. I feel it showed the had a true understanding while McCain/Palin understand how to say what their advisors write for them.

    She compared herself previously to a pitbull and I can see why. As with any animal that has been bred with the intention of altering it’s mental status to bring forth negative reaction, (which is a precipitated by artificially stimulating what few remaining real instincts the animal has)you can only expect the pitbull to give what it is conditioned to do….kill without real reason, or turn on you and attack. They are bred for fighting, but are lacking any other survival skills. That lack creates a dependency on the handler….who handles Palin?

    It is somewhat ironic however, that she brings up the pitbull. It is an animal that man has screwed up so much by interfering with it’s natural genetics, that it is being slaughtered and outlawed throughout this country. More cities each year are requiring gigantic insurance policies for liability in order for people to own one. Who insures Palin or McCain? No one. But we all would be liable for their damages.

  5. avatar catbestland says:

    Vicki,

    “Who handles Palin?” — Cheney. Read “TRANCE-formation of America” by Cathy O’brien and Mark Phillips. In fact, I thought one of the most telling moments of the debate was when Biden called Cheney the most dangerous vice president this country has ever had, or words to that effect. I guess Palin was programed not to be as painfully embarrassing to watch as she has been in the recent past. The expectations for her were very low and she beat the spread but there was absolutely no substance in her answers. The programming was obvious from the tone in her normally shrill harpee-like voice. Tonight she at least didn’t sound like fingernails on a blackboard. Catch her on any unscripted, unprogrammed moment and her voice could shatter glass and send dogs into brain siesures. God, I hope we don’t have to listen to that for the next 4 years.

  6. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    Palin brings to my mind the Pennsylvania deer hunter who, upon motoring down a rural road fails to see a white-tailed deer and then screams LOUDLY about the state Game Commission’s deer management policies and objectives.

  7. avatar jimbob says:

    Ralph, I agree wholeheartedly. It is a damn good thing this study was done (as long as we can trust the results). I, for one, do not support delisting, but if it happens I want to know the true numbers not just somebody’s “best guess”. If delisting does happen I will be more comfortable with it. I’m sure most people here know many fish and game biologists use various types of data to determine population counts of animals, but they are all, at best, guesses. They do not seek to do a true population count of numbers of individual animals.

  8. avatar chuck parker says:

    I don’t know why this has become the place to talk about Palin and the VP debate, but since it has, here’s a geography lesson about Alaska/Russia for Palin.

    It must be tough to see Russia from Wasilla, since it’s a 35 mile drive from Wasilla to Anchorage, a 500 mile flight from Anchorage to Nome, and a 200 mile flight from None to the tiny town of Gambell, on St. Lawerence Island in the Bering Strait, at which point you can see Russia 35 miles away. Of course you’re looking at the Kamchatka Peninsula/Chukotka District, 285,000 sq. miles (the size of Texas) with 55,000 people, and 400 miles of roads. It’s a 9 hour flight to Moscow. I think people on the east coast are closer to Moscow than Palin, and the average plumber in New Jersey has as much diplomatic experience with Russians as Palin.

  9. avatar Ryan says:

    WTF people, Mccains point was that Earmarks are a complete waste of taxpayer dollars that fly by with little scrutiny. Granted his choice of examples was inflamatory to this crowd, but that was not his point. This study would have still happened, but it should have been passed on its own merits, not as an ear mark. Want to look at a prok barrrell bill full on non relavant items, look no farther than the current bailout bill for Fannie Mae/ Freddy mac.

  10. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    While I agree with you about earmarks, I think you’re being disingenuous. McCain could have found MANY better examples of pork, but he specifically chose a project that involved (1) federally-funded research and (2) and endangered species. I’m sure he did so because he knew this would go over well with conservative voters who felt disenfranchised by the northern spotted owl and gray wolf controversies.

    An important point that has been left out of this conversation is that under G.W. Bush money for research on wildlife, along with federal funding for conservation agencies, has dried up considerably. I suspect (though I can’t confirm) the reason this project went as an earmark was because there was no other mechanism for funding it.

    – – – – –

    Chuck, whatever the motive, knowledge about grizzly bear populations is a good thing! It allows us to make informed decisions about their management.

  11. avatar vicki says:

    Ryan,
    Fine, that was his point. His method of delivery was lacking.
    Either way, he is a hypocrit.

  12. avatar Barb says:

    Vicki, your quote is brilliant!

    ………”As with any animal that has been bred with the intention of altering it’s mental status to bring forth negative reaction, (which is a precipitated by artificially stimulating what few remaining real instincts the animal has)you can only expect the pitbull to give what it is conditioned to do….kill without real reason, or turn on you and attack. They are bred for fighting, but are lacking any other survival skills………”

    You need to be writing letters to editors too.

  13. avatar kim kaiser says:

    “the average plumber in New Jersey has as much diplomatic experience with Russians as Palin” AND HUSSEIN!!!! he has never run anything,,and you want him to be the president,,,at least she s the bottom of the ticket and not at the top,

  14. avatar JB says:

    Kim,

    McCain was in the military , retired in 1981 and became a U.S. Senator in 1982. In other words, he has worked for the Government his whole adult life. Obama was the president of Harvard Law Review, a community organizer, and taught constitutional law for over a decade.

    Tell me again who is more qualified? I never get tired of hearing your paranoid-delusional rantings!

  15. avatar JEFF E says:

    Kim KAISER,
    What is your point in referring to Obama by his middle name, always. What are you attempting to prove?

  16. avatar frank says:

    That is all she has. She/he (does it matter) has never seen a show that is not on Fox News.

  17. avatar vicki says:

    He (Kim is a man) uses his middle name as an attempt to mentally link Obama with a horrific terrorist and raise fear in the minds of those who read it. It is a terrorist tactic in itself.

    However, most intellegent people will see that for what it is, a weak and irrational rant aimed at undermining the confidence of those who choose not to share Kim’s views.

    It will resolve many who read the rantings to further support Obama, as they would not want to be associated with the ideals of someone who seems so unhinged and hateful.

    Kim,

    I will address the one signifigant thing you stated///Obama was elected- to senate, by people who knew and still know him and support him. He has more vision and focus than McCain, and is not tainted by his experiences.

    The senate yields far more national power than a governor does, it effects our nation as a whole. It is responsible for legislating and changing our government, and our citizens.

    You should recognize that McCain is a war hero, but he is no maverick. He has had twenty years to prove he could effect positive change, break out of the mold of Bush presidents and help shape our country. Instead he has aided in it’s failed economy, and it’s blackened image as a world leader. He has helped the destruction of resources and strengthened our dependency on fossil fuels. He has negated his opportunity to advance alternative energy, and in doing so, help rid us from dependence on those who aid the very hostiles that would see us all dead.

    Surely we cannot be expected to trust our security(national, legislative, economic, environmental) to a man who’s record has shown to have supported the vast majority of the decisions that have led our great nation to this dismal state it is in.

    He is not a catalyst for change. He is a veil that hides the truth, that he would be more of the same bad leadership we desperately need to escape.

    Placing someone into office that would commit our children to fight wars that weaken our economy and insight the rage of the people world wide is a risk we cannot afford to take.

    McCain and Palin would have us believe that they are righting the wrongs of the world to save our soldiers from disgrace. That is a farce, as their is no disgrace in having served your country in victory or defeat. Soldiers are honorable because they have sacraficed of themselves to do service for their country, not because they win.

    Mr. McCain should know better, having served in a “policing action” that was seen by the world as a defeat of us. No American who served or died for us is a disgrace, period. They are heroes. He included.

    But being a hero is not a canvas for presidency. It is a show of great courage and self sacrafice. Being courageous does not give you all that is needed to govern a country.

    Luckily for us, we can all see that being brave is not only a character found in soldiers. We see it in children, in teachers, in mothers and fathers, in common acts of kindness, in our neighbors and friends. We can see it in a person who chooses to run for presidency knowing he faces hatred and adversity based on his age, his skin color, and his middle name.

    Palin is a VP condidate, and we should all pray that if McCain is elected (very unlikely) he outlives his time in office. For two reasons:

    1. Palin as a president is a dismal picture that would cause even further detrement to civil rights, women’s rights, our country’s global reputation, homeland security, the economy, and the environment.

    2. He should live long enough to be able to see what harm his ill laid plans and narrow scoped understanding will have caused the American people.

    I am hopeful that McCain will not be president. But I am even more hopeful that who ever is elected will excercise wisdom, integrity, humility, intellect, courage, and compassion. I would also hope that we will see a president who will usher in a new era, that changes the course of our environment….and brings the environment back to it’s feet, and pushes it forward.

  18. avatar Jay says:

    Kaiser, you’re a uneducated fool. I hope you’re having fun watching your party’s lying jackasses swirl down the toilet. I know i’m loving it! Haaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh. Eight years of Obama you crybaby!!!

  19. avatar Wolfy says:

    Wow, what was the topic of this thread again? From the looks of the last post, this thread has spiralled down to a “he said/she said” debate. Let’s face it folks, our government is in as deep financial trouble (if not more) as the rest of economy. In this thread, we are just arguing about the crumbs under the dining room table while the cupboard is nearly bare. It may not be long before we see a real collaspe in our way of life; all this bickering will seem pretty childish then. Perhaps its time to shut this thread down and move on.

  20. avatar vicki says:

    Wolfy,
    Do you then feel that debate about who will govern us through that crisis is irrelevant?
    Perhaps it is of value to many of us to express that we see an issue with the outgoing administration, and that we’d prefer not to have the next continue that tradition.
    As for “he said/she said”, well I’m not getting that from this thread. But, that is all interpretation I suppose.
    Yes, we have a failing economy. My father is an economist, and he says we are headed for the next Great Depression. Which is another reason why we should all be speaking up now. Otherwise, we have no one but our selves to blame when it happens. Each piece of the puzzle needs to be in place, or the puzzle is never a complete picture.
    So I agree that we are arguing some points, but they are no less important than any other.
    After all, this blog is dedicated to environmental issues. The environment, and it’s use, is playing a major role in a presidential election-for the first time. That is because the isue effects, in great capacity, our government, economy, security, safety, and life-style.
    Ofcourse we will talk about how the candidates effect issue pertaining to those things.

  21. avatar Jay says:

    How ’bout paying your fair shair you freakin’ cheapskates!!! Ralph, you ought to post this story on the main page, people need to see this.

  22. avatar Virginia says:

    Since this topic has turned to a discussion of John McCain and by default, Sarah Palin, it angers me when I see MCain’s health care plan for the rest of us, as he has spent most of his adult life under the best health care plan in the world – that of the government official. He uses the years he spent as a prisoner of war to make sure we know that he didn’t have the best health care in the world during that time. Well, 58,209 other American soldiers did not come home as he did. 303,635 American soldiers were wounded in action. So, let us put this in a little perspective and tell me why his being shot down over Vietnam qualifies him to be president. As for his choice of a vice-president – please tell me why she is the most qualified person in the country to be considered for the second most important job in the world.

  23. avatar Cord says:

    Jay,
    In your opinion, what’s the fair share for a family of 7? Under Obama’s planned tax increase for people who make over $250K the Palins still would not pay more. The article is a nice try at spin but falls flat if a person actually thinks it through.
    The Obama’s made close to $1M in ’06 at 28% tax rate and $4.2M in ’07 at 32%. Was this fair?
    Seems like it’s realative to income. Like it should to be.

  24. avatar Layton says:

    Wow!!

    I go to the mtns. for a couple of weeks and look what I come back to.

    To say the least I’ve lost a lot of respect for a lot of the people that frequent this site.

    Normally, when a person advances a view here – especially when it is a view that is not 100% shared by ALL concerned, there are cries for “prove it”, or “where is that documented?” or “that was never peer reviewed” — how come not in this case?

    It seems like — if it is a view against the right side of the aisle — that the more far fetched and nasty it might be, the more it is encouraged.

    I have seen Sarah Palin, and her family, and her state, and her city, maligned here more than I would have ever believed would happen. With NO ONE asking for any sort of verification of ANYTHING concerning her.

    McCain has PAID his dues – many times over – to be treated with some respect, even if you don’t agree with his political views. But, I guess since he is on the same side of the aisle as President Bush, that is all negated!!

    You yap like a bunch of cowardly hyenas — and deserve just about as much respect!!

    NO, you DON’T know who I will vote for, I’m not sure myself. But I do know one thing for sure, that decision ( if it were to be to vote for the dems’ side) will sure as hell be negatively influenced by what I see here.

    Ralph said on a thread awhile back that SOME politics would naturally come with any discussion of endangered species, etc. (no, I’m not quoting, I’m paraphrasing) — but the rumors, innuendo and general BS I see here lately just boggle my mind.

    Try to come up with some facts or maybe just stick to topics that you at least profess to know something about!!

  25. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    I found this while looking for information on moose in Alaska. Source docudharma; Sept 25, 2008. “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, avid helicopter hunter and lifetime NRA member, has opposed native subsistence rights ever since she came into office. Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said “Thanks but no thanks” to her ongoing efforts to ban indigenous moose harvest.” Interesting in light of the fact that this moose harvest is used by her to support aerial hunting of wolves. Some over harvest(?) photos with no caption are also shown.

  26. avatar catbestland says:

    Layton,
    Upon reviewing the above comments, it appears that each and every one who has stated some particular dissatifaction with the McCain/Palin ticket have also cited some sort of reference. Whether it be links or books or reviews of the debates and policies. Perhaps you should follow up on the suggestions before you condemn those who make them. It looks like everyone here has done his or her homework. Maybe you should too.

  27. avatar Layton says:

    Placing someone into office that would commit our children to fight wars that weaken our economy and insight the rage of the people world wide is a risk we cannot afford to take

    My father is an economist, and he says we are headed for the next Great Depression.

    Regardless of Biden and Obama”s lack of complete understanding of energy, I don’t think we could question their intended path toward change or the motivation behind it.

  28. avatar Layton says:

    Sorry — I hit the “submit” to quick.

    Cat, here are a FEW comments from ONE thread — could you point out the places where:

    ” it appears that each and every one who has stated some particular dissatifaction with the McCain/Palin ticket have also cited some sort of reference. Whether it be links or books or reviews of the debates and policies.”

    I can’t seem to find them.

    “Placing someone into office that would commit our children to fight wars that weaken our economy and insight the rage of the people world wide is a risk we cannot afford to take”

    “My father is an economist, and he says we are headed for the next Great Depression.”

    “Regardless of Biden and Obama”s lack of complete understanding of energy, I don’t think we could question their intended path toward change or the motivation behind it.”

    “Catch her on any unscripted, unprogrammed moment and her voice could shatter glass and send dogs into brain siesures.”

    Somehow these little snippets seem to me to be more like unsupported opinions!!

  29. avatar Barb says:

    Layton,

    Whoever you vote for is your business.

    However, I think it’s obvious that Sarah Palin is both a hypocrit and not an intelligent woman who is capable of stepping in for a President in the case it would be necessary.

    She has shown herself to not be able to intelligently discuss issues on the spot. She seems only to be able to recite what her handlers are feeding her, peppering it with silly eye winks and phrases such as Dog Gone it……….. Joe Six Pack………” to make the average American feel she cares about them.

    Palin is more interested in her worldview and “morals” than in anything else. In the debates she was asked about the VP’s role and she made a comment that was very similar to Dick Cheney’s view of the Vice Presidency — that the role could be expanded or whatever — as necessary.

    That actually is not true. It is set by congress what the VP is responsible for. They are to cast a deciding vote in case of a tie. They are to preside over the Senate. They are to step in, in the case something would happen to the president.

    Dick Cheney has mocked the American people by trying to get his files legally declared “off limits” to the people!

    Sarah Palin is against abortion in the extreme cases of rape or incest — an opinion that goes against the majority of Americans as it invokes ideas of religious radicalism — and she is the one preaching of the fanatic Islams but HER brand of fanaticism is OK apparently.

    Actually, when she was mayor of Wasilla, it was a common feeling that she should be more concerned with roads rather than abortion.

    Conservatives like to champion themselves as staying out of social issues — Sarah Palin seems MOST interested in social issues and when “socialism” suits her, she is for it as she has stated she wants “more health care available for disabled children.”

    Excuse me? Isn’t that “socialism” by the Republicans own stance?

    Now, shall we discuss her environmental record?

    She and the Safari Club, a wealthy man’s canned hunting organization that hunts exotic animals such as zebra, elephants, etc. for TROPHY, shamelessly promoted the aerial killing of wolves and bears in certain areas of Alaska to “increase moose and caribou populations.” This aerial killing is brutal and considered both cowardly and an unfair chase as the pilot chases the animal to EXHAUSTION and then guns at it until it is dead.

    The animal suffers and does not die immediately as it bites as it’s wounds wondering what is happening.

    Twice, the voters of her state voted to OUTLAW this practice, but she continued to push it anyway as she and the Alaska Game Board feel it BRINGS IN MORE HUNTING REVENUE.

    This is appalling and just one thing that Palin supports. She also does not believe the Polar Bear is in trouble and has no interest in finding out if it actually is — she’d rather just dismiss it to those “crazy environmentalists.”

    What else would you like to know about Sarah Palin?

  30. avatar catbestland says:

    Layton,

    So,we are not allowed to have opinions upon whether Palins voice is pleasant or not??? It seems that everyone who has made a comment on her policy has backed it up with some form or reference. Oh wait, except you! According to you those who express distaste for Palin’s policy on the environment “yap like a bunch of cowardly hyenas . . .” And we will keep on yapping as long as our wildlife and environemt are threatened by more of the same Bush administration policy that has assaulted them for the past 8 years. I’d rather hear hyenas that Palin’s voice. If she gets her way there won’t be any hyenas to yap.

  31. avatar Cord says:

    Barb,

    Quote from Barb:
    “In the debates she was asked about the VP’s role and she made a comment that was very similar to Dick Cheney’s view of the Vice Presidency — that the role could be expanded or whatever — as necessary.”

    Concerning the role of VP, here is a direct quote from Biden in the debate:
    “I would be the point person for the legislative initiatives in the United States Congress for our administration. I would also, when asked if I wanted a portfolio, my response was, no. But Barack Obama indicated to me he wanted me with him to help him govern. So every major decision he’ll be making, I’ll be sitting in the room to give my best advice. He’s president, not me, I’ll give my best advice.”

    Direct quote from Palin during debate:
    “Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president’s agenda in that position.

    From Wikipedia concerning the informal duties of VP:
    “The informal roles and functions of the Vice President depend on the specific relationship between the President and the Vice President, but often include drafter and spokesperson for the administration’s policy, as an adviser to the president”

    Quote from Barb:
    “In the debates she was asked about the VP’s role and she made a comment that was very similar to Dick Cheney’s view of the Vice Presidency — that the role could be expanded or whatever — as necessary.”

    I’d ask you what is the difference in their explanations and the role of VP?
    Also Barb said:
    “What else would you like to know about Sarah Palin?”
    Your sources for the info in your post?

  32. avatar Barb says:

    Barb,

    Wow — this is incredible information. I wonder why she would oppose it? Seems extremely deceptive and the height of hypocrisy.

    “I found this while looking for information on moose in Alaska. Source docudharma; Sept 25, 2008. “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, avid helicopter hunter and lifetime NRA member, has opposed native subsistence rights ever since she came into office. Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said “Thanks but no thanks” to her ongoing efforts to ban indigenous moose harvest.” Interesting in light of the fact that this moose harvest is used by her to support aerial hunting of wolves. Some over harvest(?) photos with no caption are also shown.”

  33. avatar Salle says:

    In a picture of a protest held against Palin in Anchorage recently, I saw a poster that said “Palin + Bush with Lipstick”.

    If that is the case, she doesn’t have to know diddly, just look at the puppeteer slots in his back…

  34. avatar Salle says:

    Oh crap!

    I mean “Palin = Bush with Lipstick”

    Yikes

  35. avatar Barb says:

    No — CHENEY with lipstick.

    Her view of the role of the VP is much like Dick’s– no accountability to the American people.

    Bush is just lame.

  36. avatar Layton says:

    I’ll bet you gals just LOVED Hillary — didn’t you.

    Sorry Cat, I still don’t see any of those references.

    You folks have fun — I don’t EVEN have a critter in this cat fight.

  37. avatar Barb says:

    Actually no.

  38. avatar Salle says:

    Actually,

    I see her as having the “joe-sixpack” popular appeal of bush with the danger factor of cheney. The complement being the aged mccain filling in the blanks with his cheneyesque-monotone-of-doom speech patterns and know-it-all memory bank.

    How come nobody’s brought up the fact that mccain had a role in the LAST MAJOR BANK BAILOUT of the 1980’s? Anybody remember that one? Come to think of it, george’s brother, neil~wonder where they’ve kept him under wraps for eight years, had a big role in that too, and then cheney was living in the clan’s compound at the time too and…

    Hmmm…..

  39. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    In the VP “debate” Palin said “There is a toxic mess on Main Street and it’s affecting Wall Street.” Did she mean it the other way around?

  40. avatar vicki says:

    Layton,

    Three of the comments you quoted were mine. I just love it when you pay soooo much attention to me! I obviously get a charge out of you.

    At any rate-check with economic analysis sites using the search enigine “economics+depression”. I stated what my father had told me…no speculation, just relaying what I heard. I hasn’t been wrong about much in my life. He doesn’t make economic statements at all without lengthy contemplation. But forgive me, he is an expert, so I do listen to what he says about economics. I guess I consider him a trust worthy reference.

    Don’t take my word, or even Pop’s. God forbid you should think anyone might actually know a bit about the subject of their opinion. That would leave you with no need to argue. Get any basic college econ text. They will show you the way to understanding economics. Or trust government and media analysts every where…they seem to be agreeing.

    As for the second statement, referring to her views on war, and international affairs, that is my opinion. I based it on watching her debate, listening to her (while she called one general by the wrong name three times-yep she’s well informed alright) speak directly as to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It didn’t just materialize…it was based on what I heard the woman say. And for her insighting rage….I encourage you to study the Quran, and what fuels the flames of extremism and terrorism. I actually have. Then tell me who you think will be defending this country against that? Our children, young men and women, or John and Sarah?

    As for the third statement of mine, read the part again where I wrote “I DON’T THINK”. I believe that presents an opinion when it is used to modify a sentence. You’ll note I didn’t say “the fact is”

    As for McCain deserving respect, I think you are referring to his military record. I could be wrong though. I do know however, I am appreciative for his service, I never said otherwise. But he put himself into the pool of public opinion. If he can’t swim, he can take himself back out. Aside from his service record, he is no more deserving of respect that any other candidate is.

    But you are kinda throwing stones, accusing we “cowardly hyenas” of not giving facts. I saw none in your statement. Once again though, you call names while condemning others for doing it.

    Like or not Layton, we have all based our opinions on what research we have done. I didn’t hear anyone claiming expertise,, just expressing opinions they base on what they have learned.

    The funny thing is, presidents and law makers base their opinions, and impose them into our government. They get those opinions from what they have researched or believe. They don’t always quote a source of factual reference. Often they proclaim they do it in the name of God. Yet you demand no proof of God’s existence before allowing them to be elected or write laws. Should we not be held to that same standard? Or do we have to quote a reference source everytime we have an opinion?

    Since you are no more an expert than the next person here, maybe you should explain why your name calling or suggestions are should be of any consequence to anyone. Or why you’d think calling anyone insulting names would incline them to give a darn what you suggest? Maybe you should practice what you preach and stick to “topics you profess to at least know something about”. But I would personally like for people to feel free to express their opinion, even when they are not aligned with my own.

    I am not “professing” to be an expert on anything, nor did anyone else. But I can tell you that my views are based on things you can easily research to find verification of. Palin’s record is a matter of public record. Her statements are quoted in every major paper, on every major channel.

    I have said this before, but I will again for your benefit.
    I am opposed to her stand on abortion and federally funded contraception for minors, drilling and conservation, healthcare reform, economic reform, and energy reform. I also find her irrational(my description) rants about Obama being a terrorist to be malicious and racially tainted. But again, this is my opinion…just as your is that we are “cowardly hyenas” undeserving of respect.

    By the way, your assumption that all of us loved Hillary was quite wrong. I did not support her at any time.

    Hope you had a nice trip to the mountains.

  41. avatar Valerie Bittner says:

    just exactly why is McCain considered a “war HERO”? Didn’t many others wait their turn as well to be released from prison. Moreover, wasn’t he responsible for the killing of many innocent North Vietnamese?

  42. avatar vicki says:

    p.s. I am sorry if my assumption that you are not a doctor of yapping cowardly hyenas was wrong.

  43. avatar JEFF E says:

    Vicki,
    your pointing out to Layton his lack of rudimentary understanding of the English language. I don’t think he is even aware he does not understand English.

  44. avatar kim kaiser says:

    just exactly why is McCain considered a “war HERO”? Didn’t many others wait their turn as well to be released from prison.

    in addition to all of them being heros in my book, ( i live next door to a gentleman who was a pow as well in vietnam, and has a bent arm from being bayonetted and not given attention) McCain was found out to be the son of a military admiral by the viet cong,,and was told he could leave early, McCain told them others were here before him, and he gave them 4 or 5 more years,, so what if he killed innocents, so did the al qada in the towers, and what i fail to see in your hatred of millitary and military people. it is not what war the generation happens to be fighting,, its the commitment to the country, and there companions that they fight with to defend your right to do what you do in our country, whether its to burn the flag, get a welfare check or whatever, there commitment, i am quite sure, far exceeds yours to this country,

  45. avatar kim kaiser says:

    that they willingly will pay for with there life,, how about you!!??

  46. avatar Jay says:

    Kaiser, you seem to be pretty defensive on the military service thing, so let me ask you this: did you vote for Bush? If you did, you’re a hypocrite, because Georgy-Porgy had his daddy get him out of going to Nam. In the meantime, John Kerry’s service was slandered by a bunch of a-hole, chickensh!t Bushies. I don’t give two craps whether he was a supply clerk or a war hero, at least he was there. I give McCain credit, he didn’t use his admiral daddy to get him out of going to Viet Nam. However, being a POW doesn’t buy presidential experience, and to exploit it to tug on heart strings and buy votes is in my eyes insulting to the thousands of war heros who don’t go around telling everyone who will listen how much of a hero they are.

  47. avatar JB says:

    One of the arguments put forth in favor of John McCain is that he is much more experienced than Obama (he has served in the Senate since the early 80s and been employed by the government nearly his entire life). The following website (thanks for the reminder, Layton) aggregates data from historical polls that rank the “greatness” of various presidents (see: http://electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Info/experience.html). What do the data show? That there is no relationship between experience and greatness. In fact, some of the least experienced presidents are considered our best (e.g. Abe Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson all rank in the top 10). The “take-home” message: don’t make your decision on who to vote for (or not vote for) based on experience.

  48. avatar vicki says:

    Kim,
    Okay, I am normally tollerant of you, but I am growing tired of hearing you babble off b.s.
    I said McCain was a war hero. I have no issue with any person who is a service man or woman. I commend and appreciate his sacrafice. I am a very patriotic person. I have a stock pile of guns, and am told by a friend that because of the numbers I own, my copies of The Anarchist Cook Book, and my history of voting American Independent, I may even have made Uncle Sam’s coveted watch list. (I haven’t tried to fly lately, but who knows).
    What I have said, and will say again-please read one word at a time and make a sentence- is:
    There are many heroes in the world, they are not qualified to lead this country, nor is John McCain.
    I respect his service to our country, I have issue with his politics. He is no less nor more worthy of respect than any other candidiate.

    I am surrounded by heroes. Doctors, parents, teachers, kids who can dial 911, fire fighters and police officers. I even feel, -Kim hold your breath- that a black American who endures hatred based on his MIDDLE name and his skin tone, to run for president is a HERO.
    But being a hero is not the primary criteria for getting my vote for president. So if you consider heroisism a criteria, tell me… aside from a time in history when courage out weighed fear, and self sacrafice was evident , what other criteria would you have?

  49. avatar vicki says:

    Need I remind people that Timothy McVeigh was a service man as well. They burried him a terrorist. Having a service record is not a good reason to vote for anyone.

  50. avatar catbestland says:

    Benedict Arnold was a General and hero of the battle of Saratoga.

  51. avatar Cord says:

    Vicki and Cat,

    You lambaste Kim for refering to Obama’s middle name. (which I have to agree has absolutely nothing to do with anything) But you come back by not so subtly compairing Mccain with McVeigh and B. Arnold. Wow.
    Most everyone here states over and over again how Mccain is not qualified. Why Obama is more qualified?

  52. avatar JB says:

    Cord,

    I answered your question (above), but nobody wants to have a logical debate. Here’s what I said:

    “McCain was in the military, retired in 1981 and became a U.S. Senator in 1982. In other words, he has worked for the Government his whole adult life. Obama was the president of Harvard Law Review, a community organizer, and taught constitutional law for over a decade.”

    Note, I also posted that government experience has little to do with a President’s success. From my perspective, Obama’s experience with constitutional law makes him a better candidate. Being shot down and subsequently tortured in Vietnam might make McCain a war hero, but they do not a president make.

  53. avatar catbestland says:

    Cord,
    No one has compared McCain to McVeigh or B. Arnold. We simply point out that being a war hero does not necessarily qualify one to be president of the US.

  54. avatar vicki says:

    Cord,
    I was NOT comparing McCain, I was making a point that being a veteran is not the sole criteria for being president. Being a hero does not qualify you to be president. History shows us that there are many people who perceive patriotism and being a faithful American in different ways, and many instances have proven to have disasterous results.
    Why is McCain qualified? I have asked this numerous times, and gotten no substaintial responses. Perhaps you will be the first to give some.

    However, I can tell you why I will be voting for Obama.

    Firstly, I believe you should vote even when you think the choices are bleak. Because as an American, and as an adult, you will have a life long obligation to choose between the lesser of two evils. (That does not mean I don’t like either choice this election.)

    Secondly, I believe that we will never have a president that stands for, or enacts, only policies and values that I agree with.

    Thirdly, I believe Obama the better candidate.
    a. I agree with his economic plans (not entirely) but much more than McCain’s. I see McCain, after having reviewed his statements and so forth, as a continuation of the last administration.
    That is in large because I do not believe in sacraficing an entire economy for one man’s belief that God told him to defeat Sadam Hussein-or because we as a nation have developed a selfish and destructive addiction to oil.

    b. I believe we need to have an apllied time line for converting our country to alternative and greener energy sources. I know McCain has stated in his platform that he wants to explore greener fuels and lessen dependence on foreign oil. He hasn’t given me any indication that he will restrict drilling state side, and off shore, to an amount that will aid us in ending dependence on oil, foreign or domestic.

    c. I am a medical administrator, and have pretty good knowledge on how the successes and failures of the system have impacted average Americans, and poorer Americans as well. I do not agree with socialization in it’s entirety, of the system. However, I have reviewed McCain’spaln, and see as a clinic administrator, and an employer, how it will devestate the health care system. His plan is a recipe for disaster.
    Having said that, I don’t think Obama’s is perfect either-but do see it is much more sensible and will be easily adapted.
    Personally, I think that the government needs to mandate minimal requirements for insurance companies to cover prevention, and to end pre-existing limits for cancer and hereditary deseases.
    I also believe tax breaks for healthcare to the employee or covered insured is a wasted effort, it will not make people go get care. They will go blow it on T.V’s and luxuries, not get better health care.
    If we get tax breaks, it should be a credit for out of pocket expenses directly relating to co-insurance, co-pays, and deductables. Waive the percent of AGI requirement. It is a crappy tax loop-hole that never helped anyone but the wealthy anyhow.
    I say, give the employers a sliding scale reimbursement to aid them in providing a better benefit package for employees. Help them provide better insurance, better retirement, better leave packages.
    (Since I am not running though, I opt to support Obama-he is closer to what I see as a good way to help the health care system. Ha!)
    d. Obama grew up like most Americans these days, in a lower middle class family, with grandparents having a huge role….in a mixed family (broken, but mended-not black and white). So I think he is more in tune with the working class, the struggling, the single parents, the grandparents raising their kid’s kids.
    e. he is more revered and less hated world wide, (yes generlized, but still relevant). He will therefore, more likely to heal our deseased international reputation.
    f. McCain has proven ineffective in changing policies, for the most part, in his 20+ years in office. Having opted to support the Bush(s) most of the time, he has been a contributor to the current economic collapse our country is in.
    Obama will , and has began to, administor new economic reform. Nearly thirty years of republican policies has resulted in the current problems….time for someone who is not a Reaganomics throw back…but is commited to fixing what is broken. ( I don’t think that Kenisiology is right, don’t go there please. ) Supply and demand both play a part in economic stabilty…it is neither one side or the other that determines success, but a balance of both.

    e. I cannot find it within myself to over look the ignorance of people who say that teens should be abstinent. It is a primitive hope for a not so primitive time. I want every teen who asks for birth control to get it. Period.
    Statistics show, if they ask for contraception, they have likely already had sex, and will have sex with or without the aid of contraception. I say give them contraception, including condoms, for free. You are much less likelyto pay for their child’s medicaid and welfare that way.
    I also feel without a doubt, that it is up to a female what she does with her body. Being anti-abortion is a fine moral high ground to stand on, but it is a personal moral high ground, and should never be a government imposition of religeous beliefs onto women. In the long run, each person who does, or does not have an abortion, is responsible for their choice…and lives with the consequence of conscience all on their own.
    Any brutilized woman should have a choice about carrying a child to birth that was the result of the sickest kind of pain one has to endure. No one, absolutely no one, has a right to force her to be reminded every moment of every day that she has been victimized.
    Given that, I am opposed to McCain/Palin. That doesn’t make Obama more qualified…just the McCain ticket a model of what I am opposed to.

    Lastly, as a person who is concerned about our environment, I have been over joyed to see the attention being placed on it this election. After having reviewed things like voting on clean water, clean air, funding for alternatives, etc. I have found Obama’s record to be far more environmentally friendly.

  55. avatar Ryan says:

    Ryan,
    Fine, that was his point. His method of delivery was lacking.
    Either way, he is a hypocrit.

    What the guy has no earmarks on record..

    Barb,
    Check your source.. Hunting from helicopters in AK is extremely illegal.

  56. avatar catbestland says:

    Ryan,
    From Defenders of Wildlife FAQ about aerial hunting…
    “For more than 30 years the state of Alaska has attempted to circumvent the Airborne Hunting Act, enacted in 1972, by exploiting a loophole in the law allowing states to “administer” wildlife using aircraft. Under the guise of wildlife management, Alaska contends its current aerial hunting program is not hunting at all but constitures legitimate wildlife management that artificially boosts wild moose and caribou populations.”

    To add to this travesty, Sarah Palin offered a $150 bounty for the severed left forelimb of each wolf killed and people pay big bucks to participate in the “administering” of wildlife. Any way you look at it, it is hunting wolves from helicoptors. And to make it worse, it is done for profit.

  57. avatar vicki says:

    Ryan,
    I have seen video footage of it being done.
    Either way, aerial hinting is not illegal, so from helicopter of plane, it is still wrong.
    As far as earmarks…well, earmarks are not the only political sin a politican can commit. Perhaps many would feel it was unnecessary if funding were being appropriately distributed. No- that doesn’t neagte that there are earmarks, but it does give me a fair indication that they were created out of need for some other way to get funding to the right places….like endangered species, conservation, medical research….the list is lengthy.

    For reference, voting for oil companies to benefit from our tax dollars and being given tax breaks is wrong. It may not be labeled an earmark, but I’d say it is just as bad. It is all semantics, one wrong doesn’t justify another…

  58. avatar Barb says:

    Ryan,

    Geesh — please check YOUR sources — it has been done for years and years in Alaska — despite voters rejecting it twice.

    The way they get away with it is they call it “predator control” — they feel their state has the “right to manage their predator populations.” (they claim it increases moose and caribou populations which is hogwash.

    Sarah Palin, the State of Alaska Game Board and The Safari Club (a canned trophy hunting organization that backs it financially) are promoting it to increase hunting revenues.

    Criminal yes? Illegal — TBD…..

  59. avatar Barb says:

    I am disgusted with the Republicans, yet have not been much of a fan of the Dems either.

    The Repubs have been in office for 8 years now — and we have the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And it ain’t getting any better –stocks have taken a huge tumble despite the ‘bailout.’ They have to accept some major sresponsibility.

    People can blame one side or the other; the fact is it takes two to tango, it takes both sides to enact any legislation. Repubs blame Dems for pushing to give loans to unqualified people. What smart bank would do that? No banks were FORCED to give out loans to people unworthy of the credit, yet they did. Why? Yes, Barney Frank was supposed to be watching but obviously he wasn’t. But how important really is one man anyway to this fiasco?

    Now the Republicans are smearing Obama as they are desperate as they see their poll numbers decreasing. They are spending campaign time and money using Sarah Palin as the attack dog trying to somehow convince the American public of the RIDICULOUS assertions that Obama is a “terrorist” or has associated with terrorists when our economy is declining more and more every day, so they can detract from it and smear Obama. Do they really think we’re that stupid?

    These hypocrits see Ronald Reagan as their hero, a God, worshipping the man. He’s not. Hey, Religious Right — listen up — the Bible warns against creating “false idols.”

    Since the Reagan years, the U.S. has had its worst deficits/worst job losses on the Republicans watch. Yet they continue to pummel the airwaves with how “great” Ronald Reagan was; a fiscal conservative, etc, etc. Why exactly was he great? Because he preached morals? That isn’t the president’s job! It’s primarily:

    1) to provide for the common defense/a nation’s security
    2) Collect taxes and be good stewards of our money

    And yet, with the worst economic crisis since the great depression, Republicans still have the AUDACITY to claim themselves as “fiscal conservatives?” Their party line has become a national joke.

    To those that have voted Republican in the past; what’s the saying…. “Fool me once… it’s your fault, fool me twice………”

    It is not patriotic to just parrot the party line of the lost Republicans, claiming to care so much about moral decline to the detriment of ignoring fiscal responsibility — it is not patriotic to pay taxes either.

    If the Repubs care so much about moral decline, then they should go become a preacher or minister. We need business-minded adults in government who care about our planet.

    Repubs try to act so patriotic with their rah-rahs for our military. We can’t have a strong military without a strong economy.

  60. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    Barb, as a retired Air Force officer (a lieutenant colonel with 26 years of service), let me just say that I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.

  61. avatar vicki says:

    Alan,
    Thank you for your service. Ialso agree with Barb. I usually do:) Have a nice evening.

  62. avatar Barb says:

    Thanks Alan and Vicki. I’m usually being lambasted or harrassed for my opinions on more hostile blogs. 🙂

    To me, it’s all just common sense, something that really has been lacking.

  63. avatar vicki says:

    Barb,
    I agree. Common sense is virtually endangered in Washington, and in government period. Maybe we should write a bill and ask to have it introduced, requiring they protect all politicians who have any. But then, who exactly would be protected? Ha!!
    Keep speaking out. It is important for the undecided to hear you.

  64. avatar Ryan says:

    “Geesh — please check YOUR sources — it has been done for years and years in Alaska — despite voters rejecting it twice.

    The way they get away with it is they call it “predator control” — they feel their state has the “right to manage their predator populations.” (they claim it increases moose and caribou populations which is hogwash.

    Sarah Palin, the State of Alaska Game Board and The Safari Club (a canned trophy hunting organization that backs it financially) are promoting it to increase hunting revenues.

    Criminal yes? Illegal — TBD…..”

    No its illegal.
    Read page 17..
    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/regulations/pdfs/general.pdf

    As for the predator control programs, they are put in place to benefit subsistence hunters and state residents who depend on game for part of there winter meat supply. It has been going on pre-palin and will continue post palin.

    SCI is not just a canned hunt organization, they are the one of the largest hunter rights organization in the world and have played critcal roles in protecting endangered species and habitat in many countries. I am a proud member even though I despise canned hunts.

    BTW, your hawgwash is fact, controlling predator populations does increase ungulate populations. Whether or not you choose to believe it and it mandated by alaska’s constiutuion under the maximum sustained yeild doctrine. (one which I have issues with with regards to how they manage there fisheries)

    We have had bad deficits, largely due to the fact that our goal was to make the dollar highly valued, making our markets very attractive to imports and not as attractive to exports. Bill Clinton got his noteriety due to the stock market bubble, which in turn lead to the housing bubble during Boy Wonders term. We were due for a market readjustment, this last bill will just prolong our economic woes IMHO.

  65. avatar Ryan says:

    BTW, what did the voters reject twice? I am refering to your balantantly wrong helicopter hunting quote.

  66. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    You appear to be on a pro-Palin rampage this evening. Yes, the issue of predator control predates Palin, but she has been an outspoken advocate of the program.

    A couple of things to keep in mind: (1) in 1996 and 2000 voters rejected initiatives aimed at promoting aerial control/killing of predators (wolves, wolverine, and brown bear). (2) Now Sarah Palin and the Alaska legislature are quietly working to pass bills that would deny Alaska voters the right to vote on key wildlife issues.

    Moreover, your implicit assertion that Palin’s support of aerial gunning is to benefit subsistence hunters is absolute BS. Palin (and prior governor Murkowski) sued to keep native subsistence hunters from expanding a customary moose hunting area. Sounds like a real advocate for the people, eh?

    By the way, the notion that you expressed in your other post–that aerial gunning of predators is the State of Alaska’s way of looking out for the “majority” of its citizens, IS hogwash. How many of Alaska’s citizens hunt Moose every year (annual harvest in Alaska is about 7,000 animals). Somehow, I don’t think increasing 7,000 animals by what–maybe 10%–is going to benefit the majority of Alaska’s citizens. Rather, I would argue that the costs associated with aerial predator control, which are substantial, are actually a drain on the resources of ADF&G.

  67. avatar JB says:

    Addendum:

    I was at the annual meeting of the Wildlife Society in Anchorage in 2006 where I listened to two long-time ADF&G wildlife managers make an impassioned plea to stop the aerial gunning of predators. It was their belief that there was no scientific justification for the practice (I’m trying to find the cite).

  68. avatar Ryan says:

    JB,

    First off, a lot of people hunt moose. The reported numbers are only for metro areas and do not include subsistience hunters. What is the Caribou harvest as they are the most abundant food source? If you read the areas where the predator control is going on, its all rural areas. Not exactly helping the city hunters.

    BTW, They were sueing to keep subsistence hunting out of denali national park, you’d probably even agree with them on that one. I truly believe that the programs in place look out for the rural citizen, who tends to have no voice in todays political spectrum as majority rules. I also do not believe in game management by ballot measure, leave the control of that to the professionals, not housewives.

  69. avatar Ryan says:

    BTW if the success rate is 10% state wide for moose I’d be suprised as I hunted moose in AK for 7 years with my family and friends and we never killed one.

  70. avatar Ryan says:

    Jeff E,

    The subsistence fishing they were fighting involved nets in the Kenai and other popular rivers. Good on them and good for her fighting the constant entitlement the natives are seeking at the expense of all US citizens. I feel that no one should get special rights based on there heritage, skin color, or personal life choices. Its racism at its finest.

  71. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    Actually, the success rate is about 20%. Each year roughly 36,000 people in Alaska hunt for moose (source: http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/fhw06-ak.pdf). However, not everyone hunts every year. A good estimate is that roughly 1/3 don’t hunt in any given year. One third of 36,000 is 12,000 for a total of roughly 50,000 moose hunters statewide. According to the Census Bureau, the population of Alaska is 670,000. Thus, roughly 7% of Alaskans hunt for Moose.

    But I’ll go a step further: the meat brought in by a hunter in the family affects the whole family. Let’s assume that no household contains 2 hunters and each household contains 2.8 people. Thus, even using the most liberal estimate, only 21% of Alaska residents are affected, not the majority as you claimed before.

    Also, note that I’m assuming everyone in a family who hunts moose is affected, even though the only people that are really affected are those who don’t get a moose because of wolf or bear predation. Now, let’s calculate how many this might be. Let’s assume that we can boost the moose population by 25% through the use of aerial gunning of predators (I think you’ll agree this is a liberal estimate). Let’s assume this 25% boost in Moose numbers has an equal effect on hunter success. Thus, moose hunter success would increase from 20% (or roughly 7,000) to 25% or 8,750. That’s 1,750 extra households with moose, multiplied by 2.8 people per household, for a grand total of 4,900 people affected, which is less than 1% of Alaska’s total population.

    Still think predator control in Alaska is a worthy cause?

  72. avatar JB says:

    “.. good for her fighting the constant entitlement the natives are seeking at the expense of all US citizens. I feel that no one should get special rights based on there heritage, skin color, or personal life choices. Its racism at its finest.”

    You can’t be serious?! So let me get this straight, Europeans come to Alaska, steal the native people’s lands and kill any that resist, and then have the audacity to claim its racism when Natives wish to assert their right to govern their use of some of the natural resources that were stolen from them?

  73. avatar Jay says:

    Man Ryan, that’s pretty heartless. They don’t have the opportunity to participate in the mainstream economy for any source of income and rely a great deal on the food they can gather from the land, but you suggest they’re getting special rights? Wow, you really are a republican! “Hey, you natives, we bought this land fair and square from the Russians, so you stop shooting all our moose and feeding your family so we can sell those tags to rich white hunters from the lower 48. Leave those salmon alone too.”

  74. avatar vicki says:

    JB,
    I’d say it is more like historical preservation of heritage. Or maybe even restitution by proclaimation-the government, and treaties it has made, is ensuring these native people the right to continue living the way they believe they were meant to.
    Who would call it racism? Some would I am sure. The word racism is used as a tool or weapon, and rarely as a genuine explanation of anything.
    I encourgae people to remember that it was not native people who slaughtered game for trophies or counties, and it was not them who lead the way to environmental havoc.

    To force them to abide by the same rules as everyone is like punishing everyone in a school because one child pulled the fire alarm….it would be unjust.

  75. avatar vicki says:

    I meant bounties, not counties.

  76. avatar Barb says:

    I can’t understand why anyone intelligent would support Palin. She has shown that she doesn’t care what voters say or want — ex: aerial wolf hunting. They twice voted it down. She claims to care about her constituents — no, it appears she cares more about hunting revenues.

    Ryan, even after reading your posting, I am unsure what you think of this barbaric practice. It’s not sportsmanlike, it’s just downright cruel and archaic.

    Ryan, I’m glad you admitted that the “Safari Club” IS in fact a canned hunting operation, even though that’s not all they are about. Any organization that promotes canned hunting of animals is disgusting — how could you support that? Surely there are BETTER organizations to support than an organization that takes pride in canned hunting of zebras, giraffes, polar bears, etc. as TROPHIES.

    Hunting has been historically for survival — not to collect “pretty pelts” of dead animals.

    Have you ever heard of the Wildlife Experience in Colorado? One of their founders is the founder of Re-Max. I heard he’s a gun ho pro-Safari Club guy…..

  77. avatar JB says:

    Vicki, racism was Ryan’s term, not mine. However, we shouldn’t get caught up in the fallacy that native people lived in “balance” with nature. Remember, there were no Europeans in North America when we (human beings) killed off the Mammoth, saber-toothed tiger and numerous other megafauna. This feat is solely attributable to the so-called natives.

  78. avatar Barb says:

    Actually, Ryan, your derogatory tone towards “housewives” is noted. Is someone with a professional job, is informed, and who also has children, a “housewife” to you?

  79. avatar vicki says:

    JB,
    I know it was Ryan’s. I was actually supporting your stand.
    However, I was taught there are lots of contributory factors to the die out of mammoths.
    Saving the history lesson (I am sure it is not my area of greater knowledge when it comes to mammoths)-I wasn’t saying that native people are the symbol of balance. However, knowing many natives, ( and being related to many) I have come to understand that they historically lived indebted to nature, in reverance of it….not being wasteful. Of course there are exceptions. They do have a right to live how they have, spiritually and historically. Their rituals revolve around nature and so does their culture.
    Could you imagine, if Christians were told they couldn’t sing Amazing Grace or go to church? Uckkkhhhh, the mess we would have. But it is the same principal….you take away a part of someone’s belief system and you will have a very ugly outcome.
    I know that is a bad analogy, but hey….I am sick (stomache flu, yippie) and very sleepy. I’ll try better next time.
    I don’t know that man can truly live in balance with nature when we have created such an un-natural world. We have a very supeficial and artificial existence, and nature is very much a realistic and essential only existence.

    I also noted the derogatory tone toward housewives from Ryan. I can say that I am not suprised though.

  80. avatar vicki says:

    p.s. even though I question man’s ability to live in a one hundred percent balance with nature, I have absolutely no doubt what so ever that we have an obligation to try. In consideration that the true perfect balance may not be possible, we should have as minimal an impact we can on nature. It is our responsibility to our children.

  81. avatar Barb says:

    I agree with you 100% Vicky.

    By man’s very nature, we can’t live in harmony — but we sure can try to reduce our damage to our planet and be RESPONSIBLE instead of arrogant and greedy, leaving the mess to our children to clean up!

    An old Native American saying says: “A frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives.”

    I’m SO sick of so-called Conservatives trying to make it fashionable to antagonize and belittle people who care about the environment, acting like, “let us grown ups” handle business, (yea, let them handle it — they have over the last 8 years — and what do we have? The biggest national deficit EVER IN HISTORY, a financially ruined economy, job losses, exponentially rising costs in health care, a war that has no end, 4000 of our service men and women DEAD) and the environment will “take care of itself.” Or God himself will “take care of it.” Or “man is not capable of destroying the planet.”

    Really? If you believe that, I’ve got a Bridge to Nowhere I’d love to sell you!

    We literally fished the sh–t out of our oceans…….. we nearly decimated the beaver…… we nearly killed off all the bison………we nearly killed off all the wolves………..it goes on and on………..

    Where’s the “conserve” in “Conservatism???????????”

    Man is a STEWARD of the earth and animals — that does not mean he has the right to pollute and destroy! Even if you are not at all religious, when exactly did “dominion” come to mean abuse?

    OK — I’m off my soapbox….

  82. avatar vicki says:

    Barb,
    Thanks, want to be my running mate in 2012? Just kiddin’ folks, you can breath now!!!!
    Seriously Barb, you are in CO, so we should get to gether sometime. It is always nice to gather in the name of good things….

  83. avatar vicki says:

    I just watched a fun show that was filmed in Iceland. Appearantly we could take a lesson from their conservation policies.

  84. avatar JEFF E says:

    Ryan,
    What you apparently don’t get in reference to Native Americans is that the hunting and fishing rights that are exercised are the results of TREATIES between those native peoples and the United States Government, Not entitlements.
    In Alaska however, instead of individual treaties with the various tribes, the law was written covering all Native Alaskans with regard to hunting and fishing and echoed the treaties in the lower 48.

  85. avatar JEFF E says:

    This just in. Sara Palin will not do any more TV interviews except Faux News Sean Hannity and/or Greta Suristin.

  86. avatar Layton says:

    Just for grins and giggles, why don’t some of you folks google up something called the “Community Reinvestment Act” and find out — who was in control when it was proposed and what year it was – oh yeah, and who pushed it during the PREVIOUS administration?

  87. avatar Ryan says:

    JB,

    You can’t be serious?! So let me get this straight, Europeans come to Alaska, steal the native people’s lands and kill any that resist, and then have the audacity to claim its racism when Natives wish to assert their right to govern their use of some of the natural resources that were stolen from them?

    Yep, every race on this planet has been conquored at one time or another and forced to assimilate into the society of there conquors, why should the native americans be any different?

    Jeff E,

    I am fully aware of that, look no farther than the columbia river to see what the “stewards of the land” do to protect endangered salmon and steelhead runs. Many of those treaties are archeaic and need to be rewritten.

    Jay,
    Man Ryan, that’s pretty heartless. They don’t have the opportunity to participate in the mainstream economy for any source of income and rely a great deal on the food they can gather from the land, but you suggest they’re getting special rights? Wow, you really are a republican! “Hey, you natives, we bought this land fair and square from the Russians, so you stop shooting all our moose and feeding your family so we can sell those tags to rich white hunters from the lower 48. Leave those salmon alone too.”

    Please read the ADFG hunting regulations that allow residents regardless of skin color, the opportunity to harvest there winter meat supply in large quantities in remote areas. There are plenty of moose to go around, also if you read a bit more, caribou and salmon aremuch more vital compenents of native alaskans diets as they are much more easily obtainable.

    Are you saying that native americans are too stupid to go to college or get a job in mainstream society? Geeze that doesn’t sound like racism at all!

    Barb,
    Most things in life arent nice, this is no different. I am pro predator control and have little problem with arial gunning. I read your posts on the WWP blog and some of your biological hopes are a bit jaded by warm fuzzy feelings. Feral horese are no different than feral cats and deserve the same treatment.

  88. Layton,

    THe Community Reinvestment Act became law during the Carter Administration.

    It was amended several times. The abuses came with regulatory changes adopted during the current Administration.

  89. avatar kim kaiser says:

    Good point Ralph, , the congress has been in control by democrats for 25% of the current adm term., and there lack of exercise of power to make the oversight changes,. of whcih this event has reared its head in, say, the last two years,,, good to know you know how to put part of the blame in the right place,, the do nothing, democratic congress,,,

    fact is, if you (people in general) didnt make money under this admin and you cant say you are better off, then you are either one or both of two things, stupid or lazy, every oppurtunity has been given to every american to improve themselves,, except for the above,(stupid or lazy) and to blame others for your lack of motivation, creative thinking and hard work,,, well, just goes back to being a socialist, let the govt take care of the lazy and weak,,,and foster more mediocrity,

  90. avatar Moose says:

    Layton,
    CRA didn’t begin dealing with these types of loans till 2005….and, they entail less than 20% of the subprime mortgages that we’re talking about now…they aren’t the issue. Sen Gramm was instrumental in having the SEC back off on investigating this situation. Both parties have had a hand in this mess!

  91. Kim,

    If socialism comes, it looks like it will come through the Bush Administration. The government is already buying large parts of the banks so that they will keep running (maybe)

    Marx, Lenin, George W., the great socialists.

    Capitalism will never be the same.

  92. avatar Layton says:

    Moose,

    I agree that BOTH parties are to blame for the current mess. I’m simply trying to point that out to the folks here that think the mess should all be laid at the feet of the current administration.

    The act came in in the Carter administration and was pushed hard by the Clinton administration. It was NOT just a republican thing. Folks from both parties warned about what could (would) happen, but the happy folks with the “EVERYONE should have a house” wouldn’t listen.

    To a large extent, politician are politicians and it doesn’t matter a damn if they are represented by donkeys or elephants or whether they are black or white!!

  93. avatar JB says:

    “To a large extent, politician are politicians and it doesn’t matter a damn if they are represented by donkeys or elephants or whether they are black or white!!”

    Layton: On that point we agree completely! However, the Republicans have controlled the office of President as well as the Congress far more often than not over the past 40 years, so if we’re assigning blame, they deserve (at least) the majority of it.

  94. avatar JB says:

    Kim,

    Sorry to see Ralph beat me to the punch. At this rate we’re going, Bush will have nationalized/socialized the majority of the government by the time he leaves office!

    FYI: I don’t think the “weak” or the “lazy” are to blame for our current financial woes. Rather, it appears the rich, greedy, and powerful are to blame.

  95. avatar Barb says:

    Great post Ralph!!!!!
    **********
    Kim, If socialism comes, it looks like it will come through the Bush Administration. The government is already buying large parts of the banks so that they will keep running (maybe) Marx, Lenin, George W., the great socialists.
    *********

    Vicki, I’d like to get together for coffee, etc. but I fear of putting my contact info on any blog as I was seriously harrassed over a year ago from some crazy wolf hater — I’m pretty sure he was from Wyoming. I finally had the sherriff come over to file a report. 🙂

  96. avatar Barb says:

    Great post Ralph!!!!!
    **********
    Kim, If socialism comes, it looks like it will come through the Bush Administration. The government is already buying large parts of the banks so that they will keep running (maybe) Marx, Lenin, George W., the great socialists.
    *********

    Vicki, I’d like to get together for coffee, etc. but I fear of putting my contact info on any blog as I was seriously harrassed over a year ago from some crazy wolf hater — I’m pretty sure he was from Wyoming. I finally had the sherriff come over to file a report. 🙂

    As far as warm fuzzy feelings, Ryan, I’d rather live in a world with warm people than cold.

  97. avatar Barb says:

    Ryan,

    maybe some of my “warm fuzzy feelings” for feral horses and wolves comes from the atrocious and barbaric treatment they’ve suffered at the hands of man.

    Are you at ALL familiar with how feral horses have been persecuted in the past?! Have you ever read anything about them? Are you familiar with Wild Horse Annie?

    Are you familiar with the story of Raggs the Digger, an incredible wolf in Colorado who was treated like an “outlaw” and for years evaded federal agents by his cleverness?

    I’d rather live with feral horses and wolves anyday than with jerks like you. (sorry Ralph)

  98. avatar JB says:

    Ryan says: “Yep, every race on this planet has been conquored at one time or another and forced to assimilate into the society of there conquors, why should the native americans be any different?”

    I don’t know….perhaps because our government recognizes the tribes as sovereign nations, relations with whom are governed by treaties (state law does not apply).

  99. avatar Ryan says:

    “maybe some of my “warm fuzzy feelings” for feral horses and wolves comes from the atrocious and barbaric treatment they’ve suffered at the hands of man.

    Are you at ALL familiar with how feral horses have been persecuted in the past?! Have you ever read anything about them? Are you familiar with Wild Horse Annie?

    Are you familiar with the story of Raggs the Digger, an incredible wolf in Colorado who was treated like an “outlaw” and for years evaded federal agents by his cleverness?

    I’d rather live with feral horses and wolves anyday than with jerks like you. (sorry Ralph)”

    First off, I am not anti wolf but I have no issue with population control..

    Secondly,
    What about the animals ran off water holes and food sources ruined by feral horses. They have no ecological place in the west as they are not native, just like range cattle! Who cares what some feel good person with no biological background has to say (wild horse annie). The bottom line is that horses or burros do not belong free roaming on the north american continent, they are not native and lots of damage to fragile desert ecosystems.
    BTW, I am familiar with how they were persecuted before and when nobodies looking, I thin their numbers as well.

  100. avatar Barb says:

    YOU are not native to North America either. You are probably of European descent. Perhaps you don’t belong in the West. The West is for people with OPEN MINDS, something you obviously don’t have.

    Was it OK for ranchers to just shoot feral horses then?

  101. avatar Barb says:

    Ralph

    May I have Ryan’s IP address so I can track who he is and report him to the authorities.

    He just ADMITTED to shooting wild horses and that, my friend, is against the law.

    He’s nothing but a troll.

  102. avatar Barb says:

    Ryan,

    Why don’t you take your “fragile desert ecosytem” and shove it up your you know what?

    Ecosystems are only fragile when HUMANS destroy them. Animals have LITTLE or NO effect.

    I care first for animals — especially those that have been persecuted by jerks.

  103. avatar John says:

    I find the boasting of hunters, both old and present, extremely insufferable. Whether it be to carnivore or herbivore.

    Remember that little thing called ecology, Ryan? Y’know that area of science which studies animal impacts on the environment?
    Funny thing how nature takes care of itself quite nicely until humans try to take over the reigns – drives the cart off the road, if you catch my drift.

  104. avatar Barb says:

    Environmentalists need to remember it’s usually not animals but people who destroy environments.

  105. avatar Bonnie Kelly says:

    Please do not equate hunters with the jerks that shoot something just because they can. A hunter respects and appreciates the animal he is pursuing and utilizes the results for sustenance. Anyone who doesn’t is just a thug with a gun.

    Ryan has a point that left unchecked feral horses can be destructive to their habitat. I think, however that most of the problem is the type of habitat they are allowed. Most herds I know of are in arid semi desert or desert areas. As such they are in direct competition with deer, elk, and antelope. Even so, they might be able to pull it off except that the habitat is also public land that is grazed by sheep and cattle. If we could get the sheep and cattle off the range and allow a reasonable population of preditors, I think feral horses would cease to be a problem.

    Their eating habits do not put them in direct competition with deer and elk and left to themselves, I believe the population would stabilize at a level the land could sustain.

    Personally, I feel that wild horses ought to have a place on our open lands. Granted, they stem from domestic stock, but they’ve been out there for 400 years, surviving under some pretty tough conditions. Besides, scientists tell us that horses used to roam North America in prehistoric times. Maybe we could think of it as re-establishing a native species; one that died out a really long time ago.

  106. avatar vicki says:

    John,
    THere have been numerous debates here over the usefulness and ethics of hunting.
    Sufice it to say that most people who here who hunt strongly disagree with any hunt that is unsportsmen-like, including aerial hunting.
    However, many do hunt responsibly (which is the majority), and they are the largest population of people who contribute to conservation efforts. Not all of them are the scurge of the earth. In fact, it is what has led many to their love of nature, and a compulsion to protect the environment.
    Let us all remember that aerial shooting and canned hunts are not really hunting….what those activities are is cowardly acts of species genocide.
    When you shoot an animal that is contained to an area where it has no possibility of escape, it is no different than shooting your neighbors’ pets. You have removed the fundamental elements of the actual hunt. You may as well go shooting animals at the zoo.
    It is not, and should not be associated with, hunting.

  107. avatar outsider says:

    wow I guess there are some out there who are willing to sacrafice their enviromental idealogy, for a few wild horses that are worse than cattle and sheep on the range.

  108. avatar catbestland says:

    Outsider,
    Wild horses are not worse than cattle and sheep on the range. They may not be good for western eco-systems but at least they are constantly on the move which allows for regerneration of vegetation. I am always amazed when “anti-” environmentalists start spewing off (non)facts and have absolutely no proof of what they say. Several months ago, for an extended period of time I agrued with Ryan who claimed that wolves were not keystone predators. Even when presented with evidence (from the US Dept of Wildlife) that indeed they are, he maintained that this is an oppinion.

    Barb-It is a waste of time to argue with someone whose view of wildlife is based on selfishness and greed in that they think wildlife exists solely for the “sport” of hunting. And that any threat to that sport in the form of predators should be eliminated no matter what the cost is to the eco-systems. As Vicki mentioned, those hunting to put food on the table are generally more respectful of nature than that. It is also a waste of time to argue with those who believe the the land on which our wildlife resides, exists solely for the purpose of supporting their way of life. (public lands ranching)

    There are those who cannot think in terms of the greater good and who believe that individual interests are far more important than the effects their ill-advised actions have on society or the planet. They opt to believe that their good fortune (whether it be business success, hunting bounty or monopolizing public lands) will have a positive effect on societal prosperity. (The trickle down theory) They tend to vote for the candidate promising the best chances of realizing that selfish gain. In their greed, they don’t realize that these are empty promises (made by even more greedy people than they) that will never come to fruition and will result in the destruction of the very thing the voter wished to achieve.

    Then there are those who tend to place more value on the welfare of the planet and its wildlife, understanding the benefit to all in protecting biological diversity. They tend to vote with this ideology in mind. The problem is that most candidates who stand for the greater good cannot break the bastion of political power held by truly dangerous beasts, and if they do, they are usually “controlled”, “managed”, “administered” or otherwise “removed” from office, much in the same way as, JFK, RFK MLK and any others who at least attempt to create policy that will benefit more than just the priveledged few.

  109. avatar Jay says:

    No Ryan, are you saying they’re too stupid? Why don’t you go tell them they can’t live the way they choose–you tell them they have leave the place they were born to go to college and get a job in some coporation. How bout we put that shoe on the other foot–how ’bout you give up your home, your truck, your color TV’s and computers and internet and you move up to the Alaska bush and live off the land. Whaddya say Ry, how bout you just give up everything you’ve grown up with and change your lifestyle completely?

  110. avatar Barb says:

    Cat – I agree 100% with you —

    “There are those who cannot think in terms of the greater good and who believe that individual interests are far more important than the effects their ill-advised actions have on society or the planet. They opt to believe that their good fortune (whether it be business success, hunting bounty or monopolizing public lands) will have a positive effect on societal prosperity. (The trickle down theory) They tend to vote for the candidate promising the best chances of realizing that selfish gain.”

    McCain and Palin are engaging in hate-filled rhetoric, whipping up their crowds in frenzies, where it has even gone so far as to have some citizens calling out “Kill Obama the terrorist!”

    It reminds me of the KKK or scenes from the movie “Mississippi Burning!”

    McCain even called the audience his “fellow prisoners!”

    He’s not only erratic, he’s unstable.

    Do we want an unstable person in the highest office in the land? That would be scary.

    Not even mentioning if he died (of cancer) and his ill-informed, white supremist, right wing nut, Palin, got in.

  111. avatar Barb says:

    Since you mentioned canned hunting, I think we should discuss “The Safari Club” — a very expensive “hunting” club for overpaid executives who want to pretend they are Teddy Roosevelt.

    They “hunt” exotic animals for trophy — zebras, polar bears, giraffes– and then call it conservation.

    Why not just put all that money into REAL conservation?

  112. avatar Layton says:

    Wow, the natives are really restless!!

    On one hand we have folks saying “they were here first, they should be able to do what ever they want to cuz’ we stole it from them anyway”.

    Then, on the other hand we have some folks saying “it doesn’t matter if they’re NOT native, they are wild and therefore should be allowed to do what ever they want to”.

    Seems to me that both views can’t be right.

  113. avatar outsider says:

    wow I guess I hit a sore spot on the horse thing, but if you have ever seen the range where they run its pretty hamered, they graze considerably closer to the ground leaving the plant cominuties in poor vigor. They have minimal mangament at best and in most cases non at all. No one keeps them pushed out of ripairain areas, as is the case with some sheep and cattle. With the new laws that our lovely horse loving congress passes its almost impossible to slaughter horses anymore so these “wild” herds are growing by leaps and bounds, stories of people turning their “beloved” pets out because they cant afford the 150-200 ton hay. At least in the past they could dispose of them and recoupe some of their money.

  114. avatar Barb says:

    It comes back to personal responsibility. If people are just turning their horses loose, they could consider having their pets euthanized by a vet. If they can’t afford that, they probably couldn’t have afforded the horse in the first place I am guessing…..

    The real problem is too many PEOPLE — overpopulation. Yet the U.S. continues to let thousands of immigrants in per year. Other countries don’t do this. We can’t forever continue to let a constant stream in — at some point we have to say “Sorry, we’re filled up.”

  115. avatar Barb says:

    Exactly what other native wildlife are the cattle (or horses) displacing?

  116. I am ending this thread. It has gone on a long time, but now it is really off topic.

    Thank you all for your many comments.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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