Well, Ted, We’re Waiting…

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Paul Ryan proved he was true to his word (unfortunately) and made good on his promise to see that his 10 year old daughter kills her first deer this year.

Now it’s time for his fellow die-hard bowhunting fanatic, Ted Nugent, to live up to (so to speak) a promise he made back in April. According to the website Right Wing Watch, Nugent swore that: “If Barack Obama becomes the President in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

It seems to me, if Nugent’s a man of his word, he has only five months to either die or go to jail. Well, Ted, we’re waiting…

Right Wing Watch reports that at the NRA’s national convention, Nugent called Obama a criminal and denounced his “vile, evil, America-hating administration” which is “wiping its ass with the Constitution.” And he concluded a video stumping for Mitt Romney with, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Any questions?” Meanwhile, Romney stated on a radio show, “It’s been fun getting to know Ted Nugent.”

With friends like Ted, who needs enemies?

 

Unfortunately, This Time Paul Ryan Was True to His Word

It seems the only time you can count on a politician to make good on a campaign promise is when it’s something detrimental, like approving the Keystone Pipeline. I fully believe Mitt Romney would have done that, as promised, if he had been elected. And I had no doubt Paul Ryan was serious when he announced his plan to have his 10 year old daughter kill her first deer this year.

While I’m thankful he didn’t make Vice President, unfortunately it freed him up to spend more time at his hobby of murdering animals. And sure enough, he saw to it that his pre-teen little girl joined the ranks of deer assassins as well. On Thanksgiving (of all times), he sent her up a tree outfitted with a .237 caliber rifle to wait for one of the practically tame deer they feed to wander within range of her tree stand and blammo, that’s all she wrote. Physically, the “hunt” could not have been easier. Psychologically and emotionally, it may have been more of a challenge for her had the promise of being showered with daddy’s praise weren’t so alluring.

Ten is an extremely young age to have your heartstrings and pre-pubescence conscience toyed with. It is three years away from being considered teenaged—far too young to drive, vote, partake in alcohol or even to go to war.

I’m glad my father didn’t get his kicks killing animals. As any reformed hunter will tell you, obedience to peer pressure or a father’s expectations can take half a lifetime to outgrow. Hopefully it won’t take that long for young Miss Ryan to develop her conscience and decide to do what’s right.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Still Undecided? Vote against the Bow Hunter

If you’re one of those hold-out voters we keep hearing about who hasn’t yet decided who to elect for President, here’s an idea for you: cast your vote against the guy that boasts a bow hunter as his Vice-presidential partner in crime—the Robin to his Batman. (That would be the Republican, Mitt Romney—in case you’ve been lucky enough to miss his outspoken VP sidekick and hunting addict, Paul Ryan, yammer on and on about his favorite hobby of launching aluminum shafts tipped with razor-sharp arrowheads into the bodies of innocuous, peace-loving deer.)

I can understand and relate to the disillusionment anyone might feel about our current President. Some of the things he’s pulled—joking about eating dogs, removing their canine cousins, the wolves, from the federal Endangered Species list thereby casting their fates into the eager hands of hostile states, or relegating  horses and burros to the slaughterhouse—are unforgivable. We can’t let him get away with that sort of thing in the future.

But, there’s no doubt that the other candidate would commit equally atrocious crimes against animals, in addition to mocking global warming with his stated goals of approving the Keystone pipeline and opening up fragile federally protected lands to oil drilling. Adding insult to injury, Romney had to go and tap not just a hunter, but a goddamned bowhunter—the most sadistic strain of killer out there—for a running mate.

Unfortunately for dedicated animal advocates, we’re forced to have to choose between the lesser of two evils yet again. In this case, the bowhunter is clearly the greater evil on the ballot.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

It’s Not Rocket Science, Warmer Oceans = Stronger Hurricanes

Meteorologists have for the most part been ducking the topic of global warming in relation to Hurricane Sandy in the same way that biologists try to steer clear of the subject of animal sentience or the AMA avoids any mention of the link between the consumption of animal products and the increased rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancers in this country.

History’s greatest scientists have all been free-thinkers, unafraid of pushing the limits of human understanding. But it seems most out there today are content in their mediocrity—let’s not have anything groundbreaking or earthshattering interfere with business as usual, interrupt the flow of funding or threaten a precious reputation.

Yet, a few scientists are beginning to tip-toe gingerly into the fray by tentatively linking “Superstorm” Sandy to the effects of the unprecedented anthropogenic increase of carbon in the atmosphere and the subsequent weather extremes we’ve been seeing in recent decades.

According to an October 30th blog post in Scientific American, “Scientists have long taken a cautious stance, but more are starting to drop the caveat and link climate change directly to intense storms and other extreme weather events, such as the warm 2012 winter in the eastern U.S. and the frigid one in Europe at the same time. They are emboldened because researchers have gotten very good in the past decade at determining what affects the variables that create big storms.”

In answer to just how Hurricane Sandy was intensified by global warming, Scientific American explains: “Climate change amps up other basic factors that contribute to big storms. For example, the oceans have warmed, providing more energy for storms. And the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, so it retains more moisture, which is drawn into storms and is then dumped on us.”

Additionally, climate scientists, such as Charles Greene at Cornell University, have recently shown that as more Arctic sea ice melts in the summer—because of global warming—the Jet Stream is more likely to take the kind of big southward dip in the U.S., Canada and the Atlantic that occurred during hurricane Sandy.

The term, “global warming,” adds to the confusion of naysayers who point to wintertime cold temperatures and freak blizzards as “proof” that the Earth is not really getting warmer. A clearer name for the contentious phenomenon would be “atmospheric warming” or “ocean warming,” since that’s what’s really happening and because that’s scientifically indisputable. Warming ocean temperatures are responsible for the climate changes affecting us all on the land, but of course, one overly-successful species, who shall remain nameless (okay, it’s Homo sapiens), is ultimately responsible for heating up the atmosphere and the oceans to begin with.

Humans can no longer plead ignorance. Back in 2007 a Scientific American article by Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, wrote an article titled, “Warmer Oceans, Stronger Hurricanes.” He concluded that although the number of Atlantic hurricanes each year might not rise, the strength of them would. And according to Munich Re, one of the world’s largest insurance firms, “Climate change particularly affects formation of heat-waves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity.”

Oliver Stone, the acclaimed writer/director of pioneering films such as Platoon, JFK, Nixon, and W, called Sandy “punishment for Obama and Romney ignoring climate change.” In an interview with HuffPost Live on Tuesday, the filmmaker expressed dismay that neither presidential candidate has been willing to talk about global warming, either before or after the superstorm that ravaged the entire East Coast and beyond. Stone hopes the storm’s silver lining is that President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, pull a U-turn on climate change.

“I was a little disappointed at the third debate when neither of them talked about climate control and the nature of the situation on earth,” Stone said. “I think there’s a kind of a weird statement coming right after it. This is a punishment. Mother Nature cannot be ignored.”

Repugs From the Pit of Hell

I voted today; filled in my absentee ballot, that is. I wasn’t real keen on any particular candidate, just wanted to get it over with so I don’t have to think about politics for a while.

I’m a private person, and I respect other people’s right to their privacy. I don’t expect anyone to publicly declare how they voted if they don’t want to. I will tell you, though, no Republicans (or Repugs) got my vote.

Sure, there have been a few good Republican leaders in the past. Abe Lincoln comes to mind. And I thought Washington State’s1970’s-era GOP governor, Dan Evans, was a decent man—until I learned he was so tight with Ted Bundy that he vouched for the notorious serial killer’s character in a written testimony to a Florida court of law when Bundy was on trial for the brutal murders of numerous young women, including a 12 year-old girl.

It’s common knowledge that Ted Bundy was a staunch Republican. He campaigned for a number of prominent GOP candidates and likely would have fancied himself as a future contender for that party, had reckless behavior not gotten him arrested and prosecuted for his extracurricular activities.

Another active Republican serial killer of note, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, can’t seem to keep his mouth shut on the campaign trail about his murderous urges, as well as his intent to train his 10 year-old daughter to become a conscienceless killer like her daddy…or Ted Bundy.

The reasons the Republicans didn’t get my vote are many—they all have to do with threats facing the diversity of life on Earth. (Sorry, but concerns about the economy do not trump the continued habitability of the planet.) Now, if you don’t believe the scientific evidence for global warming, by all means vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket—they’re the anti-science candidates—as long as the things those two do believe in don’t put you off. Freedom of (or from) religion is one thing, but anthropocentric ignorance at the expense of the environment is not a God-given right.

There’s a new breed of Republican stalking the streets of D.C. these days, and they take their religion dead seriously. Ask Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA). He called evolution and the Big Bang Theory, “lies from the pit of Hell” at a “sportsman’s” banquet at the Liberty Baptist Church (be sure to check out the heads on the wall behind him here).

While just yesterday, Indiana Republican Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock, said he believes pregnancies from rape are “something that God intended to happen.” Clearly, to Mourdock, every sperm is sacred, even if it came from a violent rapist (never mind that procreation was the furthest thing on the perpetrators mind.)

For his part, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan worked shoulder to shoulder with Missouri republican congressman Todd Aiken to try to redefine rape as either “legitimate” or some other unfortunate scenario that these two guys don’t think should warrant a woman’s right to choose whether or not to bring forth another human life into this overcrowded world. In other words, if a woman became pregnant as the result of some loveless, devious act of seduction that was slightly less violent than their idea of “legitimate” rape, she would be forced to spend the next nine months carrying around an unwanted child (Like Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, pregnant with the Devil’s spawn).

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney plans, if he becomes president, to cut funding for birth control to developing nations. None of these Republicans seem to be aware of the staggering human overpopulation problem threatening the future of all life on this planet.

And I’m sure if you told them our species was solely responsible for causing an ongoing mass-extinction on a scale not seen since the K-T extinction event that ended the age of dinosaurs 65 and a half million years ago, they’d really look befuddled. After all, wasn’t the Earth created by God for Man only 10 thousand years ago? And if Man overcrowds the Earth and destroys the atmosphere, isn’t it just “something that God intended to happen?”

 

To Wildlife, They’re All Assault Weapons

During last night’s debate, the president accused his opponent of pandering to the NRA by changing his stance on so-called “assault weapons.” The accusation is valid—former Governor Mitt Romney also pandered to the pro-gun lobby big-time by tapping die-hard “sportsman,” Paul Ryan, as his running mate. But at the same time he made the accusation, President Obama pandered to the NRA himself.

Though Barack Obama has never been a hunter (to his credit), he was quick to give oral tribute to hunters and “sportsmen” who use their weapons regularly and repeatedly (albeit “legally”) to assault the non-human citizens of this country. At the risk of showing his hand, I’d speculate that if it wasn’t for the power of the National Rifle Association to make or break an election, the president, deep down, would ultimately prefer to see all dangerous weapons banned.

Though they tiptoed gingerly around the subject, both candidates agreed that all guns are dangerous in the wrong hands. From the point of view of the wildlife, all weapons are assault weapons—and all hunters are the “wrong hands.”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Hunting Perverts Kids’ Natural Affinity for Animals

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that the serial killer, Keith Hunter Jesperson, first got his taste for killing animals at the early age of six. I bring this up again because of the fact that our potential vice president-to-be intends for his 10 year-old daughter to get her first taste for killing deer this fall.

Candidate Paul Ryan said in a recent interview with the Safari Club International: “Lately, I’ve had the great pleasure of introducing my children to the hunt.  I have some two-seated ladder stands, so I take my kids with me for deer gun season (one at a time of course).  I also take my kids pheasant and duck hunting.”

Children are impressionable and easily influenced in their pre-teens. What kind of person wants his daughter to imprint on the killing, death and dismemberment of a creature as beautiful as a deer, duck or pheasant before she’s even old enough to date—let alone drive a car? And what kind of society encourages its children to learn to blast living beings out of existence? Are we trying to send a message to our youngsters that non-human life has no value and that an animal’s death is meaningless? Or are we purposefully trying to recruit more serial killers like Keith Hunter Jesperson, Jeffry Dahmer, Zodiak or Alaskan trophy hunter, Robert Hansen, who began their fledgling murder careers by killing animals?

The media has largely joked-off Paul Ryan’s plan to corrupt his little girl with killing, but when there are innocent lives at stake, it’s no laughing matter. In some cases it’s the hunting industry and their state game department puppets that are to blame for pushing kids into the killing fields earlier and earlier. Although no state issues a driver’s license to anyone less than 16 years old, most states don’t even have a minimum age for shooting at an animal with a gun.

In direct answer to the drop in sportsmen’s numbers over the years, meddlesome state game departments are encouraging grade-schoolers to get a taste for killing (thereby perverting their natural affinity for animals). For example, Alabama opens deer season two days early for children under the age of 16 (so they’ll have a better crack at “bagging” one), and Maine holds a “Youth Deer Day,” allowing pre-season bow hunting for children ages 10 to 16.

Farley Mowat, author of Never Cry Wolf and A Whale for the Killing, wrote the following about his indoctrination to hunting in his foreword to Captain Paul Watson’s Ocean Warrior:

“Almost all young children have a natural affinity for other animals, an attitude which seems to be endemic in young creatures of whatever species. I was no exception. As a child I fearlessly and happily consorted with frogs, snakes, chickens, squirrels and whatever else came my way.

“When I was a boy growing up on the Saskatchewan prairies, that feeling of affinity persisted—but it became perverted. Under my father’s tutelage I was taught to be a hunter; taught that “communion with nature” could be achieved over the barrel of a gun; taught that killing wild animals for sport establishes a mystic bond, “an ancient pact” between them and us.

“I learned first how to handle a BB gun, then a .22 rifle and finally a shotgun. With these I killed “vermin”—sparrows, gophers, crows and hawks. Having served that bloody apprenticeship, I began killing “game”—prairie chicken, ruffed grouse, and ducks. By the time I was fourteen, I had been fully indoctrinated with the sportsman’s view of wildlife as objects to be exploited for pleasure.

“Then I experienced a revelation.

“On a November day in 1935, my father and I were crouched in a muddy pit at the edge of a prairie slough, waiting for daybreak.

“The dawn, when it came at last, was grey and sombre. The sky lightened so imperceptibly that we could hardly detect the coming of the morning. We strained out eyes into swirling snow squalls. We flexed numb fingers in our shooting gloves.

“And then the dawn was pierced by the sonorous cries of seemingly endless flocks of geese that cam drifting, wraithlike, overhead. They were flying low that day. Snow Geese, startling white of breast, with jet-black wingtips, beat past while flocks of piebald wavies kept station at their flanks. An immense V of Canadas came close behind. As the rush of air through their great pinions sounded in our ears, we jumped up and fired. The sound of the shots seemed puny, and was lost at once in the immensity of wind and wings.

“One goose fell, appearing gigantic in the tenuous light as it spiralled sharply down. It struck the water a hundred yards from shore and I saw that it had only been winged. It swam off into the growing storm, its neck outstreched, calling…calling…calling after the fast-disappearing flock.

“Driving home to Saskatoon that night I felt a sick repugnance for what we had done, but what was of far greater import, I was experiencing a poignant but indefinable sense of loss. I felt, although I could not then have expressed it in words, as if I had glimpsed another and quite magical world—a world of oneness—and had been denied entry into it through my own stupidity.

“I never hunted for sport again.”

There is a 50-50 chance that an avid (and possibly rabid) bow hunter, who is taking “great pleasure” in perverting his young children’s natural affinity for animals, could become our next vice president. Let’s hope Mitt Romney doesn’t lend Ryan his magic underpants for the upcoming debate with Vice President Biden. Our family values are really at stake this time.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

There Was Magic in the Underwear

There was magic in the air last night—magic underpants, that is. Mitt Romney must have been wearing a crisp new pair for the debate. It’s not likely he would have beaten an intelligent, popular incumbent president without them.

Special skivvies aside, Mitt’s disregard for the environment showed through in the first few minutes with the line, “I like coal” and his promise to approve the Keystone pipeline. It was if he was saying, “Bring it on!” to the disastrous impacts of global warming. And by boasting about having five sons, he was clearly thumbing his nose at the problem of over-population.

For the sake of the natural world, Mr. Romney should trade in his magic undies for a crystal ball—or a dose of reality. Maybe then he’ll be able to see what rampant coal and shale oil extraction and burning are doing to the Earth and the atmosphere and how unbridled breeding is threatening this, the one and only planet we’ll ever know.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson