The big news as 2011 thankfully draws to a close is that OR7 hiked around 700 miles from the Wallowas to the California border, which the young wolf crossed on Thursday without answering border checkpoint queries regarding whether or not he was carrying any fruit or other vegetable material from Oregon into the pristine environs of northern California. Kids today just got no respect for authority.
Naturally, this development has conversation "conservation" groups wetting themselves in delight. Patrick Valentino, who is on the board of the California Wolf Center, which is dedicated to the preservation of wild wolves, has a different view. "We need to reduce the emotional component about wolves and focus on both the science and conservation of wolves," he said. "The return of wolves should not be seen as an anti-ranching event. In fact, we should find ways to bring stakeholders together whether they are pro- or anti-wolf."
Yeah. That's the same line they fed to Oregon ranchers back when the first 66 Canadian wolves were released in Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the mid-1990s. Much like is now happening in California, the first lone wolf was noticed in Oregon about four years after the initial release. Within 9 years, Oregon had a pack. Three years later, Oregon had four packs. And folks like Patrick there were still peeing on ranchers' boots and telling them it was raining.
Over the past two years, they've killed 20 cows and calves. And at anywhere from $700 to $1000 or more per head, you don't have to be a math major to figure out that ranchers have been taking some financial hits while the environmeddlists prattle on. Initially, the state rejected the idea of reimbursing ranchers for the losses, but sombody apparently clued them in that, as the state claims ownership of the wolves, any damage is the state's (taxpayers') responsibility. There's really no difference between that and having a DHS employee, driving a state car while drunk, smashing into your car and totaling it; the state doesn't get to say, Gee, sorry".
So the state has reversed course, and will compensate ranchers - though at what level remains unclear. Probably, they'll try to claim depreciation, much like car dealers do when you drive a new one off their lots. They'll want to estimate the mileage on the cow, try to determine whether the horns were operational, and all that.
Meanwhile, down in California, Patrick and his ilk have found more ranchers, and those boots shore look dusty.
Forget "Remember the Alamo!", the folks who've been trying to sell you on "sea kittens" now want you to Remember the Cows. Yes, just in time for the New Year celebrations, those wacky, fun-loving types from PeTA have cropped up again: they want Illinois to install highway signs in memory of cattle killed when trucks hauling them flipped in two separate wrecks.
An IDOT representative says it's not going to happen because only relatives can request such markers, according to state law. The cows, however, may now be eligible to vote....
This animal "rights" group really needs to cut back on its CO2 emissions.
On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he will slash corporate taxes again on Jan. 1 in the final stage of his Economic Action Plan, dropping the federal business tax burden to just 15%.
Along with fresh tax cuts in provinces such as Alberta, total taxes for businesses in Canada will drop to 25%, one of the lowest in the G7, and below the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development average.
Combined with free trade, actual energy development (as opposed to the "green" junk associated with US policies), and shrinking government - removing it from individual lives wherever possible - Canadian incomes are on the rise, the Loony is strong, and the country has an AAA credit rating. Their unemployment rate is also lower than in the USA.
"The Harper government has pursued a strategic objective to disembed the federal state from the lives of citizens," wrote University of Calgary Professor Barry Cooper, in the Calgary Herald.
It's unfortunate for the rest of us that Obama and his minions are incapable of learning.
According to an impeccable sourcewho studied environmental law at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and holds five degrees, a guy named Barack Obama, who was then using the name “Barry Soetoro,” visited Mars during the years 1981-1983. No, really....
See, here's the deal: the CIA tapped ten teenagers and trained them to be chrononauts, and ol' Barry was one of the lucky ten! This was a super-secret program run by the CIA and DARPA that employed Tesla-based teleportation to transport the chrononauts to and from Mars. It's nice to know that he was up to something productive during his lengthy absences.
You'd think the feds would've used Area 51 for this stuff, but that place was probably full up with alien corpses (desert air helps preserve 'em, and all), so instead the whole Tesla portal operation was run inconspicuously in Pasadena, CA, according to the "whistle-blowers".
No, I don't mean another flavor of the Independent Party.
There comes a time when it becomes necessary to face facts, however unpleasant they may be; a time in which men and women of principle find themselves with little choice but to step forward, take the bull by the horns, and confirm by public announcement that which has become all too apparent: this political process smells like a porta-potty on a hot day in Juarez.
The time has come for a third Party in this country; one which most Democrats and a substantial number of Republicans can agree to support because doing so will not conflict with their core values. Toward that end, I propose the formation of the OPM Party.
The core value of the OPM Party, revolving as it would around the concept of spending Other People's Money, is precisely attuned to the central value of most Democrats and many Republicans; joining the Party would render unnecessary the ongoing charade of "reaching across the aisle", as for most, the fabled aisle would simply not exist. As well, the mainstream media would find its task of selecting an appropriate person to elect to higher office immeasurably eased, as they would no longer be saddled with the burden of attempting to portray themselves as impartial agents in the process of vetting; essentially, anybody in the OPM Party will pass muster.
Granted, the formation of the OPM Party is bound to leave a few discomfited Republicans - and even the occasional Democrat - on the sidelines, but it's a small price to pay, because despite Obama's failed pledge to serve as a uniter, the OPM can actually follow through. There is no more unifying force than money - especially when yours is omitted from the equation.
Cash-strapped Tri-Met has been cannibalizing bus services to pay for their trains; that's been mentioned many times here. As it turns out, they're cutting all kinds of things except, it appears, building more train lines and staffing their P.R. department.
Even as public health experts fret about the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, money-strapped TriMet made deep cuts to cleaning crews charged with scrubbing down its vehicles. Now, riders can expect a bus to be deep cleaned only once a year. Preliminary results from the PSU study showed 120 bacteria colonies found on trains and buses, including signs of the the flesh-eating MRSA.*
The cloth seats are especially nice, don't you think? Only one person does deep-cleaning and disinfection these days, so each vehicle is treated once a year. Don't forget to wash up after disembarking. And have a nice day!
*the Zero article is somewhat misleading, as there are a number of MRSA bacterial variants; not all are of the flesh-eating variety - some just cause pneumonia.
American "charities" The Nature Conservancy and the African Wildlife Foundation have once again demonstrated their compassion, their generosity, and their insatiable desire to Save The Planet™ - no matter what it takes.
A Kenyan tribe living near the area famous for its links to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement has been engulfed by violence after wildlife charities arranged to buy their land.
Kenya’s Laikipia district has been part of the traditional territory of the Samburu tribe for centuries until two US-based charities – The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) – agreed to pay $2 million for their land, which was officially owned by former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi.
Soon after, the Kenyan police began a series of brutal evictions of the tribe, burning their villages, killing and stealing their animals and assaulting men, women and children. Survival has recently received reports of an elder being shot ‘in cold blood’.
Following waves of violence from the police, the Samburu began legal proceedings against AWF and ex-President Moi, to plead for their rights to the land. A subsequent court demand for no further harassment of the Samburu has been ignored.
TNC has a long and storied history of meddling; they joined with the Audubon Society and other "conservation" groups in efforts to block the US Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. zoos from removing all remaining California condors from the wild and placing them into an intensive captive-breeding program. They lost the protracted legal battles, the remaining 20 or so birds were removed to the program, and today there are some 400 birds; most are managed to expand the gene pool, although a number have been carefully conditioned for release back into suitable habitat. One, born in Oregon and paired with a bird from the San Diego operation, have successfully hatched and raised a chick since being released.
Audubon has since hailed the condor recovery program as a success; intimating that they were somehow involved in some way apart from the efforts to litigate it into oblivion. Due to their extensive history of duplicity and inhumanity, such organizations are undeserving of support; they're largely self-serving P.R. machines.
You're going to love ODOT's latest ploy: variable speed limits. As ODOT spokeswoman Kimberly Dinwiddie puts it, slowing down traffic is a good thing: while it might sound counterintuitive, it actually makes sense when you look at it from a more scientific angle.
"It's like pouring rice into a funnel," she said. "If you pour the rice really fast, it'll get clogged up but if you pour it slow, it'll flow smoothly."
As anybody who's ever driven highway 26 at rush hours knows, those metered on-ramps really smooth out traffic. It's not uncommon for vehicles to move along at clips of as much as 5 m.p.h. Soon, they'll be able to extend the fun across even more lanes!
About - face! Verizon has decided to drop that whole "convenience fee" in reponse to what they referred to as customer feedback. Their announcement today came amid sustantial customer backlash as well as a statement from the FCC that they planned to "look into the matter." 2011, it seems, has been the year of aborted fees.