Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Science Endangered at the Fish and Wildlife Service

#USFWS #endangeredspecies #ESA #BaldEagle #UCS #UnionofConcernedScientists #whoopingcrane #wolverine #wolves

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Reposted from DAILY KOS

Koch brothers freak out in response to Rolling Stone expose

Tim Dickinson's fantastic expose of the Koch brothers in the latest issue of Rolling Stone has gotten plenty of attention. For very good reason: it's a well-sourced, deep dive into the very toxic—literally toxic—business that earned the Kochs enough money to buy up an entire political party. That and the wrongful death judgement, six felony and numerous misdemeanor convictions, the tens of millions of dollars in fines, and the trading with Iran are all included in the story, well worth your time.
No one has given it more attention, it seems, than the notoriously thin-skinned Kochs. 
In typical Koch fashion, they don't argue the facts of Dickinson's story. They attack Dickinson, who responds here. 
Here's the nut of his detailed response.

Koch, in particular, takes umbrage with my reporting practices.
For the record: In the weeks prior to publication, beginning September 4th, Rolling Stone attempted to engage Koch Industries in a robust discussion of the issues raised in our reporting. Rolling Stone requested to interview CEO Charles Koch about his company's philosophy of Market Based Management; Ilia Bouchouev, who heads Koch's derivatives trading operations, about the company's trading practices; and top Koch lawyer Mark Holden about the company's significant legal and regulatory history.

The requests to speak to Charles Koch and Bouchouev were simply ignored. Ultimately, only Holden responded on the record, only via e-mail and only after Holden baselessly insinuated that I had been given an "opposition research" document dump from the liberal activist David Brock. (This is false.) From my perspective as a reporter, Koch Industries is the most hostile and paranoid organization I've ever engaged with—and I've reported on Fox News. In a breach of ethics, Koch has also chosen to publish email correspondence characterizing the content of a telephone conversation that was, by Koch's own insistence, strictly off the record. […]

[I]n the main, the Koch responses attempt to re-litigate closed cases — incidents where judges, juries, and, in one case, a Senate Select Committee, have already had a final say. They only muddy waters that have been clarified by a considered legal process.

Dickinson then provides an exhaustive, 14-point taken down of each of the Kochs' complaints about his story, including every instance in which the Kochs do not actually dispute the facts that he has reported, but attempt to obfuscate them and whine about that fact that he reported them. They also don't acknowledge that Dickinson attempted to give them the opportunity to talk to him about his story while reporting, but they refused.

The Kochs clearly do not stand up well to close scrutiny, and clearly are not prepared for it. For some reason, probably because they're richer than god, they seem to assume that they should be able to swoop into our political system and attempt to buy it without being subject to close examination. That attitude, along with their long history of abusing people, the environment, and the political system, is doing them no favors. They've made themselves the subject of this election, and if Democrats hold the Senate, it will largely be because the Kochs have made themselves such good enemies.

Monday, October 5, 2015


When will our U.S.A. Congress place value of American lives over 
the misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution?

Another gun massacre.

Yet again we witness blood spilling of innocents, because an unbalanced soul was allowed to legally acquire an arsenal of weapons and use them as he deemed fit.

The reason for these shootings that have become commonplace in our country does not matter. 

Does not matter if the shooter hated his victims because of their religion, their political leanings, their race, or their sexual orientation. 
As far as I’m concerned, none of us need to know those details, it certainly won’t bring about the return of lives lost.
It will simply provide fodder for other unbalanced, mentally ill souls to mimic horrific power grab and notoriety, by brandishing a weapon designed to kill as many people possible, as quickly as possible.

And mimic they will.

We are fools if we think this epidemic of gun violence will be stemmed any time soon, without serious changes to gun control laws.

We have compiled a page of articles on gun violence in our U.S.A.
Gun statistics, Congress members who have obstructed bills designed to stem this blood bath in schools and churches, N.R.A. lobbying influence, and some pretty callous comments from GOP candidates seeking the American presidency.

Please, if you have time, read through this information, discover how your congressional Representatives and Senators voted concerning gun legislation.
Then vote for common sense gun safety legislation, when you have the opportunity to do so in November 2016.

Personal freedoms that have been misinterpreted by those hiding behind their twisted version of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, do not trump the right for Americans to be allowed to safely attend school, church, or go to work.

Think about it, if you remember Sandy Hook.
What threat did 20 kindergardeners and their teachers possibly make to the one who ended their lives?
That day was mass murder of innocence.
Not self defense by the shooter.

If these unbalanced souls intent on mass murder purchase their guns legally, then somewhere, the system is broken. 
If Chicago, Illinois, with one of the strictest gun regulations in the country, still leads the U.S.A. in violent gun deaths, the system is broken. 
If all we can say is that the victims have our thoughts and prayers, yet our elected "leaders" choose to do nothing, then the system is broken.

We have to change this by voting out the politicians who place the gun industry's profits and political influence above the very lives of Americans they swore to represent when they were elected to office.

Thank you.
~ Vote4Wilderness

Sunday, October 4, 2015

#GunSense #GunControl #NRA

Obama: 'Our thoughts and prayers are not enough' via @KGWNews

Obama Condemns ‘Routine’ of Mass Shootings, Says U.S. Has Become Numb

Oregon college shooting is 994th mass gun attack in US in three years … 

Mass shootings in Western states, by the numbers

Oregon Gunman’s Father Dismayed by Lack of Gun Legislation

Why we're still debating guns in 2015

How Australia and Britain Tackled Gun Violence … via @intelligencer

19 Years After Passing Strict Gun Control Laws, Here's What Happened in Australia

After a 1996 Mass Shooting, Australia Enacted Strict Gun Laws. It Hasn’t Had a Similar Massacre Since.

You have a right to laws that keep you safe from gun violence

How They Got Their Guns 

Watch Megyn Kelly Skirt Obama’s Point About Oregon UCC Shooting To Help NRA Spokeswoman Knock Gun Laws

Jeb Bush Blows Off Oregon Mass Shooting Deaths by Saying “Stuff Happens” … 

Jeb Bush shrugs off Oregon shooting: 
“Stuff happens” 

Jeb Bush under fire for 'stuff happens' comment on gun violence

‘What Are You Going to Do?': Trump Pathetically Shrugs Off Shooting

"Donald Trump Says Armed Teachers Could Have Stopped Oregon Shooting"  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Let’s Build a National Wolf Recovery Plan

This makes sense. 
We, those who wish gray wolves to inhabit the U.S.A. again, and those who see gray wolves as a threat to their way of life and their livelihood, would do well to reach a compromise.
We have been conducting a wolf war for 40 years now, and the gray wolves have paid the ultimate price.
Far too much wolf blood has been shed.
Time for a truce. 
Our wolves deserve some peace.

What do polarized politics within the U.S.A. Congress have to do with conservation of America’s public lands ?


Vote4Wilderness is a community Twitter account that was created in order to share awareness about the anti wilderness stance that currently exists within the U.S.A. Congress. 
We have to deal with this until 2016, when hopefully reason will prevail, and we will vote in a change of Congress that will not place special interest alliances over sound science concerning management of our U.S.A. wilderness and wildlife.

Hope springs eternal.

Being a part of a political movement entails acceptance of the points of view held by all of the individuals working to change the status quo.
While we are all working to ensure that Congress does not zip bills through the Senate and House that would destroy our access to public lands and future survival for our wildlife that inhabit our USA wilderness home, we do have some rather stark differences.

Some of us hunt and fish.
Some of us repel off the face of a mountain.
Some of us ski.
Some of us kayak and ride river rapids in a raft.
Some of us backpack into deep wilderness, far from campgrounds.
Some of us simply hike around a campground.
Some of us do not hunt and fish. 

The common shared interest that we have is confronting the very real fear that certain members of this Congress wish to seize, or to sell off our American public lands.

Some of these Congressional representatives have ties to anti government zealotry that threatens not only possession of our shared lands, but also stands to destroy the very threads that have woven the tapestry which America is.

We also have Congress members who will use hysteria and paranoia, as tools to push their agenda.
Any means to an end.
Bill Would Roll Back Public Lands Protections In The Name Of National Security

As citizens of the United States of America, we are not one faith, not one party, not one race.
We are the melting pot of the world.
A nation of indigenous people and a slew of immigrants who seek refuge, and the hope of prosperous, peaceful lives for ourselves, our children, and our children yet to be.
At the end of the day, we simply wish a chance to survive, to live to see another day.

So, this is where the recreational hunter and the tree hugger realize that they are fighting for the same thing.
Odd bedfellows we make, but the goal of KeepItPublic binds us together.

Let’s vote out those in Congress whom wish to divide us, and to sell off our American wilderness, our home, our heritage.
Vote for Wilderness in 2016.

Thank you.

Photo: Bunkerville

Friday, May 1, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reposted from Think Progress:

Murkowski Threatens To Fire Park Rangers In Continued Fight With Obama Administration
AT 1:14 PM - UPDATED: FEBRUARY 24, 2015 AT 8:58 AM

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, center, smiles as she speaks about Keystone XL, accompanied by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., left, sponsor of the Keystone XL pipeline bill, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) threatened to cut thousands of park ranger and natural resource management jobs across the country — including in her home state of Alaska — escalating an ongoing fight with the Obama Administration over its plans to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Murkowski, who has called the Administration’s recent plans to protect 12 million acres of wilderness in the Arctic Refuge a “war on Alaska,” is threatening to use her power as chair of both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and an Appropriations subcommittee to reduce the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) 2016 budget. The Alaska Dispatch News reported that Murkowski suggested “squeezing” the Department’s funding, endangering the jobs of federal workers employed by the agency, including at the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

At a two day retreat with key Alaska officials attended by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Murkowski suggested that reducing funding for DOI is just one of a variety of strategies at her disposal, according to the Alaska Dispatch News. 
In response to Jewell’s comment that “jobs in Alaska are on the line” if the budget is reduced, Murkowski said that she is “fighting for access to land,” and “if budgets are reduced and people lose their jobs, then that is an outcome.” According to Alaska Public Media, Murkowski made clear she feels that “a job is transitory,” and land access is “what we need to be fighting for,” rather than “some short-term job for a bureaucrat.”

According to a 2013 economic analysis,  DOI’s payroll and other agency activities in Alaska supported close to 27,000 jobs including in outdoor recreation, energy development, and research. Nationwide, Interior had approximately 75,000 employees directly on its payroll in 2013, including 12,563 at the National Park Service, 6,069 at the Fish and Wildlife Service and 6,091 at the U.S. Geological Survey.

In addition to layoffs of park rangers and wildlife management professionals, cutting funding for key programs at Interior could have serious negative consequences for tourism and economic activity across the country and in Alaska. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates more than $9.5 billion in consumer spending, supports over 92,000 direct jobs, and produces more than $700 million in state and local tax revenue each year in Alaska.

Murkowski’s threats this week are the latest in the Alaska congressional delegation’s responses to the Obama Administration’s plans to protect the Arctic Refuge and certain offshore areas in the Arctic. As ThinkProgress previously reported, Murkowski echoed outlaw Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in calling the Administration’s actions “a stunning attack on [Alaska’s] sovereignty.” Alaska Representative Don Young (R) described the President’s plan as “disgusting for the nation, disgusting for the people. This man, this person, has gone completely wacko.”
Former Alaska Senator Mark Begich criticized Murkowski’s response to the Administration’s Arctic Refuge as political theater.

“It makes good political fodder complaining about a Democratic administration and you don’t have to do anything about it,” Begich told Politico. “I understand the politics of this. The politics back home in Alaska is yell about ANWR and you score brownie points.”
Secretary Jewell is scheduled to testify before Senator Murkowski and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the DOI’s 2016 budget on Tuesday, and in front of her Appropriations subcommittee in early March.

Claire Moser is the Research and Advocacy Associate with the Public Lands Project at the Center for American Progress. You can follow her on Twitter at @Claire_Moser.

Tags: AlaskaArctic National Wildlife RefugeInterior DepartmentLisa MurkowskiSally Jewell