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A Guide to Hidden Agendas

Posted by gamecocksunlimited on May 18, 2012

May 21, 2007 / by jimbeers


One of my favorite books as a kid was A Field Guide To Animal Tracks by Olaus J. Murie. Truth be known, I probably read that Guide as often and in as many locations in and around our home as I did the Herter’s Catalogue. (The latter was full of duck decoys and duck hunting paraphernalia and sales’ pitches like the one I still remember about why you should buy crow decoys. A crow was pictured walking away from a bird nest with an egg in his bill, presumably a species of waterfowl highly prized by duck hunters, above the caption, “Let’s Gang Up on Killer Crow”. Ah, those were the days.)

I learned, and still learn a great deal about animals and what they are up to thanks to practicing those rudimentary skills I first developed under Mr. Murie’s tutelage. Therefore it occurs to me that you might find it interesting to read about hidden agendas. Although I do not currently have the time to write A Field Guide To Hidden Agendas, I do think it would be interesting to reveal the hidden agendas behind the environmental and animal rights propaganda presented as “news” in just one day’s editions of the Washington, DC papers. If by so doing you take an interest in finding and exposing hidden agendas, much like recognizing and understanding animal signs; I would consider my time well spent.

So let’s just focus on the Washington Times and Washington Examiner (I forget the other paper but my wife gets it on Sundays for the “ads”) today, Monday 21 May 2007.

1.Headline on the front page of the Washington Examiner:
“Migrating beavers threaten wetlands”, “Fairfax (sic, County) officials forced to manage nature at Huntley Meadows Park”, “As rodents move downstream, dams are being abandoned and officials must work to preserve wetlands.”

Do you see the hidden agenda(s)?

First, the “Park” s justified and remains “important” in large measure because of the presence of “wetlands”. But, just like “old growth woodlands” and “ancient forests” and “Critical Habitat” for this and that; wetlands evolve and change. They fill in with silt and become meadows much like forests that burn down begin processes of change (grasslands to forbs to brush, and then to two to four or five successive tree communities that shade out others or out-compete for water or whatever before that “precious” climax mix appears usually as the least biodiverse plant and animal community that covers that piece of ground. So beavers come and go in spite of government land purchases and wetlands silt up despite professorial pronouncements about the “ecosystem” or the “importance” of this or that “indicator” species or the policies of rich bureaucrats and powerful politicians.

Second, did you catch that phrase ”forced to manage nature”? This rich (5.8 Billion Annual Budget and they are always “short of necessary funding” and can’t even mow the hip-high grass in road medians that are very dangerous to motorists) Eastern, urban County doesn’t want any County resident to think they would ever “manage nature” unless “FORCED” to do so. Why? Because these urbanites won’t even support “management” of deer that are so abundant that human deaths, human disease, auto accidents, and landscape eradication are now too common. In that instance (deer), the County response is to hire a “wildlife biologist to explain to the public ‘how to live with wildlife’”. So any move by the County to “manage nature” is OK if “forced” by beavers abandoning aging marshes (beaver do not “migrate”) while human taxpayer complaints take a back seat to these rich and naturally naïve urban governments.

Third, the phrase “officials must work” is merely humor placed there to divert attention. Any and all “work” will be performed by contractors and subcontractors and ultimately three guys from southern Mexico.

So the Hidden Agenda is that government policies can and will “preserve” specific wetlands at specific stages of their development to meadows just like the Feds do with “old-growth” and “ancient forests” in spite of retiring rodents. Government policies will keep certain bird species wherever we saw them years ago no matter what. Government isn’t and shouldn’t “manage nature” unless forced to by NATURE (may she be blessed). Finally, all this claptrap that you will hear from environmentalists and animal rights radicals should be believed because it is publicly supported by government.

2.“Scientists say no-fishing zones help coral”, “Coral reefs around the world are being destroyed by commercial fishing”. “Parrotfish seem to be a really important part of the recovery and health of these reefs” said Daniel Brumbaugh, chief coordinator for the research team dubbed the Bahamas Biocomplexity Project”.

Gosh, “parrotfish” and a “chief coordinator” of a “Biocomplexity Project” all in one place? Who could dispute this? I mean parrotfish are beloved and recognizable aquarium fish similar to whales and elephants and sea otters in their “lovableness” and, well chief coordinators are “chiefs”. Like spotted owls and snail darters, we don’t eat parrotfish and we know little about them so anything we are told we believe. They are “canaries in the coal mine”, “indicator species”, “endangered”, “threatened”, “at risk”, “Native” (everything is somewhere), “declining”, “threatened by global warming”, “necessary”, “unique”, and ad infinitum or ad nauseam as the case may be.

Substitute “wilderness” or “wildland” or “corridor” or “roadless” for “no-fishing zones”, and then substitute “hunting” or “logging” or “grazing” or “ranching” or just plain “rural home sites and communities” for “fishing” and there you have it. It is succeeding in eliminating hunting and sport fishing and ranching and logging and dog ownership and country living for all but the rich so why not claim that “fishing” is “destroying” “reefs”. Never mind that this false assertion should spur interest in developing and employing fishing techniques and methods that minimize or eliminate “reef” destruction as we did years ago with grazing and logging and hunting and fishing and dog ownership to no avail regarding today’s radicals. Nope, an “expert” has spoken and numerous staffers on Congressional staffs and in the White House and in all the agencies (State and Federal) are rubbing their hands and burning up the phone lines about all the places that “need” “no-fishing zones” and all the money they will need to “protect” them and all the votes to be had.

So this Hidden Agenda is that man is bad and he ruins nature everywhere. The only answer is closing more and more areas to the human presence and outlawing more and more human uses of renewable natural resources. We are Sooo fortunate to have such “concerned” and “wise” coordinators and politicians and bureaucrats to guide us not for OUR good but for the “good” of Mother Nature as they see it.

3.“Wildlife Federation says global warming may kill state flowers”.

This startling “fact” should carry a warning to only read it if you have a strong stomach. The fact that we Virginians revere the Dogwood (you can always tell them by their “bark”) should give us a few more years before they are only found on Newfoundland since the dogwood currently is found way south of us at this time.

The Wildlife Federation was founded and spent its early years as a sportsman’s organization of high purpose and proud reputation. During the Carter years and subsequent to the passage of the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Animal Welfare Act, Equal Employment Opportunity (race and sex preferences and elimination of qualifications for Federal employees), and the Civil Service Reforms that established the Federal agency managers as political hacks and ne’er-do-wells of the first order; the Wildlife Federation like the Federal natural resource agencies swerved into the environmental radical camp opposed to management and use of natural resources and never looked back. This “warning” of “impending environmental doom” has about as much legitimacy as bones thrown on a cave floor by some witch doctor painted up like a billboard painter on a Friday afternoon. In other words zero. Yet here it is in the “news”?

The Hidden Agenda here is that there is no end to the doom right around the corner as the world inevitably gets warmer due to human activities. This one is especially “appropriate” for teachers to scare little munchkins with. Of course our only hope is “more” government regulations, “more” control of our lives, and “more” revelations from these “Federations”, “Foundations”, and even the vaunted “Biocomplexity Projects”. Forget any question about weather changing constantly and any role for the sun, either you accept this or you are cast out of the tribe and left for those benevolent wolves the government is so fond of. I wonder what a Virginia will be like when there are jaguars running around eating urban joggers and little guys in loincloths dipping arrow points in frog poison and the state tree is the mahogany tree and the state flower is the orchid? Well at least I won’t have to cut any more firewood.

4.“Bat cave protects at-risk species”, “The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency now owns a cave”, “About 126,000 gray bats hibernate in the cave in the winter” and the cave “supports a maternity colony of 50,000 to 100,000 gray bats”. “The Nature Conservancy purchased the cave last year with help from a private donor and a grant from the US Fish & Wildlife Service.” Also, “the conservancy has contracted Julian Lewis, and Indiana cave specialist to inventory caves”. “Findings include a new species of cave beetle, several new groundwater crustaceans, and several species of millipedes that previously were unknown.”

“Unknown”? Like the snail darter (you remember the little minnow that “stopped the Tellico Dam right after passage of the Endangered Species Act), Tennessee watersheds and their caves are fairly biologically distinct. Minnows, for instance, that evolve in creeks located in “hollers” often are incapable of surviving in the larger and deeper streams fed by the creeks and even less can they survive the large river environments in order to get back up some other stream to reach some other “creek” for which they are suited so they interbreed for generation after generation in their isolated habitats. The result? Blue-finned minnows here that are “unique” and a “separate species (or subspecies or race or populations or distinct population or distinct population segment) from ALL the others. Nonsense. Cave “millipedes” and “beetles” and “crayfish” evolve similarly in isolated habitats and just because there is a different eye color or size or whatever, those little boys and girls that have “loved” and studied beetles since they were little and are now beetle PhD’s think they have struck pay dirt (or is it tax-dirt?).

There are three hidden agendas here.

First, there is the justification for “more” Federal dollars to be poured through US Fish and Wildlife Service (with the necessary “administrative rake-off) and then “given” to the tax-exempt and highly profitable and powerful TNC and their ilk. This continues to make them bullet-proof from calls for them to be denied tax-exemptions and to stop their political lobbying and “support” of politicians. It makes it easier for them to keep their books closed to audits since they are “saving” so much and are important “partners”.

Second, it continues the myth of the status of bats and beetles, et al. Gray bats “endangered” when there are 126,000 in ONE CAVE in Tennessee? When like the “other” “endangered” bat (the Indiana bat) they pop up all over the eastern US “discovered” at the last moment to stop some development or road. ONLY the bat (or beetle or millipede) professor knows and he or she will never think, much less say, there are “plenty” or “enough” or “what there were 50 or 100 years ago”. Not only these “specialists” are the final word on “species classification” and therefore the “experts in court cases and before Congress and in Recovery Plans” (and therefore the recipients of millions and the reins of power) now even spelunkers see the “discovery” and “mapping” of caves as a source of Federal money (“mapping subcontractors” to whom, TNC, USFWS?) and power since “they must be “saved” and “managed” for their “uniqueness” and who better than the spelunker? By letting the myth of the status of every unknown plant and animal as told by their advocates drive national policies, we have placed ourselves and our country at the disposal of the preconceived notions of ideologues and radicals.

Third, this is a carefully contrived example of why the US Congress “must” give the US Fish and Wildlife Service Billions more (the justification paperwork was submitted to them two years ago by state fish and wildlife agencies) to “save”, and “manage”, and “census”, and “research”, and “investigate”, and “buy land for”, and “control human activities that threaten” every IMAGINABLE plant, animal, and “ecosystem” that is “declining” or “in trouble” or “at risk” or approaching “endangered status” etc. in each state. Around $80 Million was given the states four years ago to quietly “assemble” (in a described format that could be rolled up in Washington by the US Fish and Wildlife Service) ALL the plants, animals, and ecosystem that every cave specialist, zoologist, mushroom professor, grass specialist, etc., etc. could identify as “needing” governmental “help”. Imagine what the bat guy thinks about the new road or the mushroom girl thinks about the subdivision or the grass professor thinks about the tree farm or the ornithologist thinks about bird hunting, well it is all there (but unmentioned) in those State Comprehensive Wildlife Plans that no one other than the state bureaucrats understood or reviewed. The bottom line is that the state agencies are letting hunting and fishing tank as they join hands with the environmental radicals and Federal bureaucrats to reorient the state agencies into Federal subcontractors getting annual “grants” from the Congress via the US Fish and Wildlife Service (minus the necessary administrative deductions of course) with the Federal strings that if you followed them back go into TNC and HSUS offices. Welcome to The Brave New World of the immeasurable (as opposed hunting and fishing programs) and always growing environmental preservation movement.

Not bad for one day’s hidden agendas in just two newspapers.

Two final notes from today’s paper fit perfectly with this little hidden agendas vignette as closing thoughts. First, US Senator Saxby Chambliss was booed at a state Republican Convention in Georgia recently as he explained the “bipartisan immigration reform package unveiled this week”. His explanation was that “the crowd’s reaction” showed “a lack of understanding”. (This elite attitude applies in spades to all these environmental and animal rights schemes we are so concerned with.)

Second, one of my heroes, Dr. Thomas Sowell noted in a fine article today that, “Central planning, judicial activism, and the nanny state all presume vastly more knowledge than any elite has ever possessed. The ignorance of people with Ph.D.’s is still ignorance, the prejudices of educated elites are still prejudices, and for those with 1 percent of a society’s knowledge to dictate to those with the other 99 percent remains an absurdity.”

As to the revered Senator, Phhffffttt!! To Dr. Sowell, Amen.

Jim Beers
21 May 2007
– If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

– This article and other recent articles by Jim Beers can be found at (Jim Beers Common Sense)

– Jim Beers is available for consulting or to speak. Contact:

– Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed inNorth Dakota,Minnesota,Nebraska,New York City, andWashingtonDC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and onAdak,Alaska in theAleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor inWashington,DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides inCentreville,Virginia with his wife of many decades.


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