Sunday, September 11, 2011

Living In Freedom

Terrorism isn't about blowing up buildings or killing people. Terrorism is intimidation. The attacks of September 11, 2001 have achieved a terrorist victory that we Americans gave to them: They hit the twin towers, but we've allowed ourselves - encouraged ourselves - to succumb to the fear. Full article by Lif Strand

Friday, August 5, 2011

DoW: They say they don't make things up...

In their ongoing war against environmental truth, Defenders of Wildlife just put out an article entitled "We Can't Make These Things Up", professing horror that NM Game & Fish have lifted their ban on trapping.

Author James Navarro wrote: "At least 14 endangered Mexican gray wolves have been caught in traps set for other animals, and many have been injured. Two were so badly maimed that their afflicted legs had to be amputated."

What the article doesn't bother pointing out is that Mexican wolves are damaged by trapping by the Mexican wolf program people themselves, in their incessant messing with the animals to replace batteries in collars, perform veterinary exams, give vaccinations and sometimes to haul adult wolves back to civilization to be force-bred and pups to be captive raised.

Defenders of Wildlife may not make things up, but they are notorious for not telling the full story. The Mexican wolf program is the biggest abuser of Mexican wolves there is.

As always, I urge people to read the Mexican wolf program's monthly and annual reports if they want the full truth.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tucson: The environmental litigation factory capitol of America

Tucson is the environmental litigation factory capitol of America. Tucson is home to the Center for Biological Diversity which has been spewing out lawsuits over alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act. And the CBD has been raking in millions in legal fees for these lawsuits under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).

Nationally the CBD has become the poster child of a litigious environmental group...prompting Congress to actually try and reform the Equal Access to Justice Act and cut off the pipeline of taxpayer money to the CBD and other similar environmental litigation factories such as Western Watershed Project and WildEarth Guardians.

CBD engages in what some call the "EAJA racket".

Read full article at

Friday, June 24, 2011


Copyright © 2011 C. R. Edmunds June 24, 2011

Spin is a term used to describe a process of twisting strands of fiber together to form thread, yarn, rope and such. It is also used to describe twisting information in a way so as to create a new description of reality, a new thread of thought so to speak. At its darkest, spin is a way of manipulating the thought of others as a means to an end that the others might not agree with if they were told the same story with all the facts unspun.

Let me give you a couple examples of this thing I call envirospin, taken from a pair of news releases put out just today by Wild Earth Guardians and Defenders of Wildlife. Both of them basically are some quick spinning of facts to “prove” that environmentalists aren’t to blame for the massive catastrophic wildfires now occurring around the US.

WEG’s envirospin is in the form of a kind of sleight of hand in their news release, “Lack of Logging Isn’t To Blame in Massive Forest Fires”. Here we have the statement that there have been “few lawsuits challenging sensible fuel reduction on the national forests in the last decade”. On the surface that’s of course true – but only because a) all the suing was done before the last decade, b) the definition of “sensible” fuel reduction is defined by the environmental groups themselves, and c) this decade’s “few lawsuits” doesn’t include all the habitat litigation that has the same effect, since endangered species lawsuits stop work in the forest just as effectively as logging lawsuits do.

Few lawsuits maybe, but to make sure everyone toes the line, the various environmental groups send a representative to every planning meeting to make sure that all understand the threat. It’s kind of like the mob sending a hit man to your restaurant for lunch to remind you how risky it would be to not pay your protection. So yes, not so many lawsuits about logging these days if you believe the envirospin – but that doesn’t mean that the lack of logging isn’t to blame.

DoW ‘s email news release this morning, “Wildlife Alert”, is another envirospin magic trick. DoW says that humanity is the root problem, because people cause climate change (note that environmentalists don’t use “global warming” any more - too many freezing people are dubious of that concept). DoW snuck wildfires into the news release, hoping that no one would notice their clumping of “forest health” with all the other natural-type stuff like droughts, storms and floods. This unbelievable spin would have the reader believe that human management of forests, particularly environmentalist dictated management practices, is not a factor of catastrophic wildfire. Oh yeah, humans are the cause – envirospin tells us that humans are the source of everything bad – but environmentalist humans are not the problem in any way.

Envirospin is interesting in how similar it is to other serial criminal activity. The perpetrators get more and more confident and less and less circumspect. They figure no one can catch them out. They begin to believe they’re invulnerable.

Oh, I don’t think so.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rethinking Environmentalism

Rethinking Environmentalism
Copyright © 2011 C. R. Edmunds

You can’t see the forest for the trees – an apt description of
environmentalist litigation-driven forest management resulting in fires like the more than 700 square mile Wallow Fire in Arizona.
As the Wallow Fire in Arizona and New Mexico approaches the half-million acre mark it consumes hundreds of square miles of forest that includes protected habitat of endangered species, not to mention non-endangered species like elk, rabbits, songbirds, coyotes and – oh yeah – humans. The Wallow is not a “normal” or “healthy” wildfire. This is another in a series of catastrophic wildfires predicted to keep happening. It is a wildfire that has just destroyed what has been called the largest stand of old-growth Ponderosa pine in the world.

For decades our resource management agencies have been slammed with lawsuit after lawsuit under the guise of protecting our environment. Even so, after the last catastrophic wildfire in Arizona (the half-million acre Rodeo-Chediski fire in 2002) President Bush passed the Healthy Forests Restoration Act. The aim was to allow federal forest management agencies to address the millions of small-diameter trees that make up so much of today’s Ponderosa pine forests. These trees aren’t saplings - they are trees that are around a century old that can’t grow any larger because of overcrowded forest conditions. They burn like matchsticks.

The problem is that environmental groups kept suing to stop the forest restoration work. The result is litigation-managed national forests based on environmental group claims that their science is the only way to go, that somehow their science is better than any that would allow forest restoration.

It’s not hard to understand that a million acres of burned up forest, wildlife and human habitat in under a decade in one state alone says pretty clearly that the environmentalist agenda for forest management doesn’t work. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and the pudding has burned to a crisp.

It is no news that forests that are not logged and that are also subject to rigorous fire suppression are at the most risk of catastrophic fire. Why, then, do environmental groups fight so hard against any other science, such as that of the science of forest restoration to maximize forest health?

Well, when an environmental group has major income from litigation, and has a tremendous budget for soliciting donations, what do you expect? They aren’t about to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs with science that is good for the environment - they only use science that supports their litigation.

Environmental groups make a tremendous amount of money. A quick survey of some of the top-earning “environmental conservation” groups at shows that these groups reported literally billions of dollars of income to the IRS last year. Yes, you read it right, billions (see sample below). And that’s just one year’s income. Wouldn’t you think that with that much money coming in to environmental organizations, we should see some real environmental improvement around us?

So here’s my suggestion. The next time you receive a contribution request from an environmental group claiming they’re going to protect a plant or animal species you care about, ask yourself this: Just what has this group actually accomplished so far for the environment? Sure, they’ll tell you that the reason they need more money is because the “bad guys” (government or usually some natural resource based industry) are doing so much damage.

I say it’s not about any anti-environment bad guys. It’s not really about the environment at all. Just follow the money.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mexican Wolf’s Enemy #1

Copyright © 2011 CR Edmunds

Right now, all over the web and in print, there are words of panic regarding the amendment to the Continuing Resolution (CR) legislation proposed by Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM). Since no formal appropriations bill has been signed for 2011, the CR allows continued funding of federal agencies (Amendment No. 342: "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used for the continued operation of the Mexican Wolf recovery program").

What has gotten so many people upset about cutting funding for an obviously failed program, particularly in a time when so many more critical programs are facing the axe? Pro-wolf people would like you to think that throwing more money at Mexican wolf recovery will make it work better. Mr. Pearce understands that no amount of money is going to fix what has become one of the most embarrassing of all the attempts to protect "endangered species" in the history of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), particularly when the source of the problem is the program itself.

Let's for the moment put aside the troubling questions that put doubt on the legitimacy of the attempt to "reintroduce" Mexican wolves to begin with (two of the most obvious: Can it be called reintroduction when the animals never used the reintroduction area as native habitat? Can animals that have been bred by humans from a limited genetic pool that may not even be pure be considered a real species?).

The base cause for the failure of the Mexican wolf program has nothing to do with ranchers or right-wing local governments, despite what the pro-wolf supporters like to claim. No, the fundamental problem with the program is actually the fact that it doesn't have any wild animals in it.

But what are Mexican wolves if not wild animals, you ask?

Wild animals that need the protection of the ESA need it because of outside pressures they have no control over; give them back their natural habitat or remove toxins or other outside pressures from their habitat and they proliferate like… well, like wild animals. In fact, healthy species are extraordinarily adaptable - they just need half a chance and they'll thrive. We have plenty of examples of how that works (normal wild animals can thrive even living around humans - the peregrine falcon being a case most people are familiar with). Even such rabid environmentalist groups as the Center for Biological Diversity state that the ESA is one of the most successful environmental laws in U.S. history, with hundreds of endangered species' populations increasing to sustainable, healthy levels.

Of course, the success stories occur when humans back away from messing with the species in question and let them do their thing. The Mexican wolf has no such luck. The 50 or so wolves that the program counts are in the wild, but they are not wild - they are merely feral. This is because humans interfere with every aspect of their lives: The Mexican wolf program chooses which animals will be in the packs and which wolves will mate; pups are stolen from their mothers in the wild so they can be hand-raised in captivity; adults and half-grown wolves are trapped every few years so they can be examined and their collar batteries changed. Of course the program is a failure. It causes physical damage to the wolves (there are three-legged wolves out there because of the trapping, wolves have been run to death by program helicopters) and psychological damage (wolves become habituated to humans; they don't know how to be wild wolves after that) to the animals the program is supposed to be protecting. Every chance a Mexican wolf gets to be wild is thwarted by the intense hands-on management of the program.

The Mexican wolf program is a Mexican wolf's worst enemy.

The very best way to ensure that Mexican wolves thrive in the wild is to prohibit any more interference in their lives by the experts. Let the many hundreds of Mexican wolves in captivity in zoos and refuges around the country live out their lives behind bars in peace. Captivity is all they've known, after all, so they should be as content as any other predator living that way.

And let the Mexican wolves in the wild alone, to survive as best they can. Maybe they'll make it, maybe not. But at least they'll be wild.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mexican Wolves - A Human Problem

Copyright © 2011

The Mexican wolf problem is actually a people problem rather than an animal problem. Mexican wolves are a subspecies of gray wolf that have been chosen for protection under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unfortunately, the ESA has been used as a political weapon rather than an environmental tool, and the Mexican wolf issue is a case in point.

The Mexican wolf reintroduction program has from its inception failed to take into account a number of critical issues which bear directly on the program's capacity for success. The points below may be verified with just a little research at the Mexican wolf program's own website - the program does not seek to hide this information, just doesn't make it very public, and doesn't incorporate these points in its management of the wolves.

1. The area chosen for "reintroduction" in the United States was in fact never native denning habitat or prime hunting territory for the Mexican wolf;
2. The program has not taken into account the humans who live and work in the "reintroduction" area;
3. All wolves in the program descend from just a handful of wolves; no research has been published to demonstrate that it is even possible to rebuild a viable subspecies from such a limited gene pool; and
4. Almost all Mexican wolves are not actually wild, but are feral. They do not act like normal wild wolves. Almost all of the wolves are either captured or raised from conception in zoos and refuges. They are hand-fed in captivity (never learning to hunt) and routinely handled by humans (veterinary care including regular vaccinations, frequently transported from zoo to zoo and refuge to refuge, collars put on and batteries regularly changed). Perhaps worst of all, the wolves rarely are allowed the full pack experience; they do not get to choose their mates and go through the normal mating ritual (breeding matches are determined by the wolf program, not the wolves), young wolves are not taught to hunt by their parents or members of the packs they were born into since if born in the wild, many of the pups are removed from their mothers and raised in captivity.

Wolves that do eventually get turned out into the wild have no idea how to act like normal, wild wolves. Several years of independently collected data demonstrates that Mexican wolves are attracted to human areas of activity, and naturally end up killing livestock and pets. Ranchers are somehow blamed for their own losses, when those losses are being enabled by Mexican wolf program management.

Mexican wolves are not in danger of going extinct at this time, as there are hundreds of them living in captivity and that number could be increased at any time. However, Mexican wolves are not given a chance to live naturally in the wild, nor does the Mexican wolf program seem inclined to give them that chance. There is no way to know whether Mexican wolves could thrive on their own as a subspecies in a wild habitat that is native to them given the current management of this program. The Mexican wolf problem is thus entirely a human management problem.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Common Sense Revisited

Copyright © 2011 CR Edmunds

This morning I was sitting in the bathroom meditating when my eye happened to fall on a package of toilet paper. On the side was printed “Common Sense By the Roll”. Common sense – toilet paper? I tell you that got me thinking.

Some time ago I wrote about common sense but I now realize I missed the mark on the topic. Back in June 2009 I said "With the mass withdrawal from fundamental interaction with nature (growing our own food, building our own houses, being responsible for our own safety) that has resulted from mechanization, technological innovation and the internet, we have lost the need for exercising our common sense."

I've changed my mind. I think we definitely have not lost the need for exercising common sense – we need common sense now more than ever. I’m pretty sure that such a need is obvious, based on this past year's elections, the urban legends and other nonsense posted on social media sites and emailed all over the place, the bizarre news reporting, the declining health and increased pharmaceutical use, and the continuing economic depression.

The cumulative effect of years of believing that Big Government will take care of us has brought us exactly where we are today. I’m thinking that the Powers That Be don’t want people to use common sense because that makes it so much easier to manipulate the people. Unfortunately, the Powers That Be don’t really know how to run things very well, when it comes down to it.

Of course, in order to understand that, you’d need common sense.

Let me put it plainly for those lacking in common sense: If the Powers That Be were very good at running things, why are we still having the problems we have? Why are kids still not getting a good education? Why are there still no decent jobs? Why are people still losing their houses? Why are people getting sicker instead of becoming healthier? Why has there been so little advancement in alternative energy? Why are we getting patted down in airports, treated like criminals in our own country? Why are there still war, hunger and poverty in the world?

Why, when we’ve all put so much effort and money into fixing these problems, do they still exist?
I submit it is because people have given up using common sense.

Thing is, we all have the ability to use common sense and I think that most of us figure we are using common sense all the time. But if what passes for common sense isn’t based on any sort of reality, how can it be common sense at all?

Actually, it can be. Common sense is simply what people in common would agree on; a common, natural understanding of how things are in life. Here’s the thing, though - when people base their reality on TV, movies, social media and propagandaa the news (let’s call all of that fiction) that’s what their common sense is based on.

Eventually the decisions we make play out in the world. So, whatever the world we live in looks like today – be it political, educational, health or economic – that is the result of the choices we made. If we don’t like what we see, then it’s only common sense to look at why we made those decisions that got us here. After all, we can’t ultimately blame it on Big Government when we’re the ones who voted all those people in.

Let me put it plainly again: If our kids aren’t doing as well in school as kids in other countries, if our bank accounts are going down while national debt is going up, if degenerative disease is on the rise, if alternative energy is still too expensive, if food quality is getting worse and worse, if pat-downs are only a hint of what’s to come next year, if our sons and daughters are dying in foreign countries for reasons no one fully understands any more – and if we’re the ones who have been voting all along to make things the way they are – whose fault is it that it’s this way?

Isn’t it time to start making better decisions? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to start basing our decisions on better quality information?

What I’m suggesting here is that if we don’t like what we see out there in the world, then maybe it’s time to stop basing our common sense on fiction and start basing it on reality. It’s time to stop taking what emails and social media and talking heads say at face value, and start looking at how things are in front of our own faces.

I’m suggesting that we each make New Years’ Resolutions to open our eyes and ears, and think for ourselves.

Here’s how to start: Don’t believe everything you read or hear – if it sounds too good or too conveniently simple to be true, it probably is. If it’s biased in favor or against anything, it isn’t news, it is propaganda - turn it off, delete it, turn away from it - and please! Don't pass it on!

Start being critical about the information you are receiving. Remember the old line “follow the money” (All the President's Men, by Woodward and Bernstein)? Good advice, even if it turns out that it never was said by the informant.

Let’s resolve to make 2011 the year of common sense. Think for yourself!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Environmentalism's impact on the economy

Here's a book to read in 2011: Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem

Check out the review at
From the review: "Strong laws guarding private ownership stimulates an economy while lax laws or laws prohibiting ownership will depress an economy."

A friend of mine pointed out that laws about private ownership have been steadily eroded over the past decade or two. People lose their private property through condemnation by government, which then turns around and gives the property to commercial developers for malls (Kelo v. New London decision in 2005 says the government can do so). Here in the west we're seeing the Endangered Species Act being used as a tool to continue eroding private property rights.

Next time you're swayed by an environmentalist group's glossy photos of big-eyed "endangered species" think twice. Not every good intention is truly a good one.