Monday, December 5, 2016

Forgotten (or Expunged?) History - Wolves

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Sanatyana

Jim Beers

Churchill worried not so much that those who forget the past are condemned to relive it, but that the loss of the past would mean “the most thoughtless of ages.”

As rural Americans, urban Americans, federal bureaucrats, radical organizers, federal politicians, professors, media mavens and the Washington “establishment” continue their 45-year hokey pokey wolf dance on the national stage; reasonable Americans are saying, “Enough!” Millions of lost tax dollars, extensive rural ruination, diminished big game herds, widespread disease infecting the American landscape and state governments becoming little more than enablers to radical causes and federal bureaucrats: all this with nothing more to anticipate than more and more and more. Watching all the “returning wolf management to states”; “studies” that are little more than propaganda pieces; and “documents”, “hearings”, “input”, and “decisions” that are no more than Soviet rules issued to vassal “republics” in the 1950’s is like listening to vile rap music words 24/7 in some tyrants prison cell.

We have become inured to the lies and unjust nature of the last 45 years under the Endangered Species Act, especially concerning wolves and grizzly bears. Opposition to wolves, grizzly bears and federal decrees about wildlife and “the environment” is equated in schools to smoking, racism and questioning government sex and race preferences. No one seems to believe anymore that wolves, like grizzly bears, do not belong in settled landscapes.

Just how far into imaginary unrealism about wolves we have sunk came home to me today as I read a Book Review in the Sunday Wall Street Journal. It was a history book that brought to mind Santayana’s aphorism and the unattributed observation about Churchill that appear above.

The reviewer was Stephen A. Schuker, a professor of history at the University of Virginia. The book is The Pursuit of Power: Europe, 1815-1914 by Richard J. Evans, published by Viking, 819 pages. It is the “seventh in a nine-volume set by distinguished practitioners spanning European history from the classical world onward.”

A few quotes from the review can give the flavor of the book:

“Liberalism, romanticism, nationalism, socialism, communism, anarchism, positivism and other ‘isms’ all find a place in these pages.”

“He writes with admirable narrative power and possesses a wonderful eye for local color; few readers will complain.”

“The author does equally well in showing how Europeans gained mastery over the natural world. They constructed roads and canals, and they channeled today’s navigable rivers, draining the malarial swamps around them, even before railroads and telegraphs linked distant cities beginning in the 1830’s.”

Note that this is a history book with no particular axe to grind about nature other than to place in perspective human events in a constantly changing environment of nature and human society. It is with this perspective in mind that I quote the following observation in the review and ask you to consider the words I have highlighted.

“Although village communities remained in the grip of atavistic superstition and enchantment, the inhabitants gradually tamed the ubiquitous forests and subdued the wild animals that made them dangerous. (Wolves, all the same, continued to eat 200 Russians annually for decades.) Mr. Evans traces the origins of zoos and elucidates the mania of aristocrats for displaying status by hunting big game, which they could do conveniently with new breech-loading rifles."

Consider these two facts together: “wolves continued to eat 200 Russians annually” and the advent of “breech-loading rifles”. Not even the “convenience” of “breech-loading rifles” (the equivalent of today’s drones, satellites and missiles in those years) could repress the human carnage from wolves in the pre-Soviet Russian Empire. Setting aside the losses of sheep, cattle, desirable game animals and what we know today about wolves as vectors of disease – wolves kill people. Depending on available food, weather, wolf density and other factors wolf attacks can increase or decrease but never disappear.

Despite a written history going back to Pliny the Elder (a Roman naturalist and military commander that died during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD) about the death and destruction caused by wolves; as Churchill and Santayana observed we prove ourselves to be “the most thoughtless of ages”, “doomed to repeat” what history warns us about in no uncertain terms.

We sit back and tolerate wolves being forcibly reinserted into the settled landscapes not only of the United States but of Europe as well. We accept the silliest lies and disinformation (that they are an endangered “Species” and thus must be accommodated no matter the costs) as justification for this.

We now are supposed to believe that wolves are “unique”; as distinct from other animals as hippopotamuses from giraffes. In fact they are as biologically “unique” as an Irish setter is from a basset hound.

Wolves breed with and have viable puppies with coyotes, dingoes, jackals, and ALL domestic dogs; yet we are told that the death and destruction wolves bring to settled landscapes must be endured because they are as “important and unique” as a rhinoceros is from an elephant or a crocodile is to riverbanks.

Wolves are currently crossbreeding with coyotes and dogs wherever the two cohabit in the Lower 48 United States.

All the falderal about “red” wolves, “timber” wolves”, “Mexican” wolves, “gray” wolves, etc. is silly justification for the sort of broad political agendas behind other environmental bogeymen like the climate change circus. Such wolf distinctions as bigger, smaller, darker, lighter, and behaviorally different based largely on the circumstances of their upbringing are characteristics shared by all those animals with which they breed and produce viable offspring. Imagine two Doberman pinscher breeders arguing about which kennel has the “best” Doberman: the muscular ones or the thin ones; the aggressive ones or the family-pet ones; the tall ones or the shorter ones; the dark ones or the red or lighter colored ones; etc., etc.

While wolves are the largest and most dangerous manifestation of the animals they breed with; we need go farther than the simple observations of dog owners worldwide when we remove the anthropomorphism and understandable affection so common among dog owners for their dog or dogs. Any dog can be mean and dangerous. Whether from mistreatment or simple behavioral differences due to a lack of any discipline, St. Bernards have suddenly killed children in the home as well as have Staffordshire Terriers killed children and elderly members in the home. Even mellow dogs like Golden retrievers have been known to snap and bite kids that get too near them while feeding. Yet most St. Bernards are wonderful and patient family pets and many Staffordshire Terriers have been known to be fierce defenders of “their” family and residences. Domestic dogs that run away have been known to quickly form a “pack” and prove remarkably dangerous and destructive to domestic and wild animals and even children that catch their interest while at the same time urban parents supporting wolves will rightly call the police or dog wardens to quickly catch or dispatch such “packs” immediately. Does anyone seriously wish to argue that 100+ lb. wild wolves are not infinitely more dangerous when hungry, or in packs, or when someone runs or shows themselves to be young or elderly or disabled, or is between them and a dog they want to kill or livestock or a downed game animal they want to kill and/or eat?

In the light of repeated historical records of wolf violence on humans, what are we to make of those persons forcibly imposing the wolves in our settled landscapes? Are they simply fools? Are they ignorant? Are they (like climate change believers with other far-reaching agendas) fooling us purposely? Are they pagan believers in the worship of animals in an imaginary ecosystem? Are they eugenicists, bent on “controlling” rural populations? Are they radicals intent on returning rural America for unfathomable reasons into those no-humans, wild and dangerous forests that our ancestors made into productive and fruitful human societies?

What would drive anyone to return something into their neighbor’s midst that killed “200 Russians a year for decades”? What could justify something that is like returning malaria or a dictatorship to communities where they would only kill a few hundred people a year? How did such a thing ever arise in a Constitutional Republic like the United States of America or in the European Union? Are there no good men left?

How sick is all this? How anti-human!

The incoming US Administration nailed it right on the head, “Washington is a swamp and it is time to drain it!” Federal excess in the US has gone way beyond the Pale and must be restrained significantly.

To quote Shakespeare’s Puck in A Midsummers Night’s Dream, “What fools these mortals be.”

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, 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 in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

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