October 23, 2018

Prominent Marine Biologist Facing 20 Years in Prison for Feeding Whales

Hat tip to reader “Harley”

Nancy Black, a well known “whale expert” is being charge with violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act because she allegedly fed killer whales in 2005, a claim her attorney says is false. The story is bizarre and drives home further thoughts of fascist government control over our lands and waters.

Tom Remington

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SOPA/PIPA Misunderstood by Those Who Misunderstand the Misunderstood

SOPA and PIPA are acronyms for U.S. House and Senate bills designed to censor the Internet and in particular a focus on putting out of business political pundits and anyone who associates with or perhaps even “links” to those websites.

In Politico yesterday, Tim Mak quotes Erick Erickson of Red State:

“Congress has proven it does not understand the Internet. Perhaps they will understand brute strength against them at the ballot box. If members of Congress do not pull their name from co-sponsorship of SOPA, the left and right should pledge to defeat each and every one of them.”

While I can share in the sentiments that “brute strength” at the ballot box might oust certain supporters in Congress of SOPA/PIPA, I have to disagree with Erickson’s assessment that “Congress has proven it does not understand the Internet”. On the contrary! I believe Congress completely understands the Internet and thus this is the real reason for SOPA/PIPA and all other Internet limiting/censoring bills that have been proposed over the years.

Government works everyday to limit our freedoms and destroy our rights. A free and uncontrolled-by-government Internet is a direct threat to Congress and the White House.

Congress completely understands that the freedom to exercise one’s first amendment rights via the Internet does not bode well for them. They fear truth and work hard to suppress it. Truth always wins out in the end so why should Congress fear the Internet?

We shouldn’t buy into some claim that Congress is ignorant of the Internet. They simply want to usurp that power and freedom away from their subjects as well. Ultimately it’s all about control. Freedom is the antithesis of control.

Tom Remington

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Robert Fanning, Jr. Candidate for Mt. Gov. “Speaks From the Heart”

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“Recodification” of Maine Statutes in 2003 Gave That State It’s Ban on Snaring

In 2003, by mandate of the Maine Constitution, laws governing the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife were “recodified”. The end result was a statewide ban, with exceptions, on the use of snares for trapping, other than underwater snares for beaver and foothold snares for bear.

If you are puzzled, join the ranks of thousands of other Maine sportsmen.

Let me present a bit of personal history to help readers understand how I got here. As a hunter, I have become concerned over what I believe to be an overgrown population of coyotes in many parts of Maine. This has contributed to a sizable reduction in the whitetail deer population there. Efforts to do something about that population have seen many hurdles and are currently mired in court orders and confusion over just what the Maine laws are. Perhaps it is intended to be this way.

Trappers using snares has proven to be an effective tool to target those coyotes who like to consider wintering deer yards as their own private 5-star restaurants. Implementation of snares around deer yards took care of a respectable number of coyotes that would kill winter-weary deer.

Use of snares was stopped and subsequent lawsuits by environmental and animal rights groups, coupled with a federal listing for protection of Canada lynx, has left Maine in a situation where, even if IFW agreed coyotes were that serious a problem, there is little they are willing or able to do to stop the demise of the deer herd.

But confusion has run deep as to what the Maine laws governing trapping and in particular snaring are. Here’s a brief history.

In 1929, the Maine Legislature passed and was signed by the governor, a law that banned the use of snares…..period. Over the years there have been minor changes to what equipment and definitions constituted a snare. I believe it was in 1983 when the Maine Legislature mandated that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) begin a program to control the population of coyotes. This, to my knowledge, was the first attempt at implementing the use of snares.

Through the 80s and 90s, it seems the Maine Legislature as a whole has been mostly supportive of controlling coyotes and have instructed MDIFW to do something about coyote control, and yet there is none.

To keep my focus where it needs to be in this article, I’ll become more directed to the events of 2003. The Maine Legislature and Gov. Baldacci, signed into law LD237, “An Act to Improve the Coyote Control Program”. Initially, LD237 was a bill to ban snaring again, even after it had shown its effectiveness. Subsequently and during debate, etc., LD237 was amended and thus the title I gave above was attached to the bill.

LD237 was not an all out ban on snaring. What remained was the authority given to the commissioner of MDIFW to use “agents” to “meet management goals established by the commissioner for deer……”. I say this with all due diligence that I firmly believe the overwhelming majority of Maine sportsmen believe this is the law that is in place today as it pertains to snaring. If this were the case, then surely the Commissioner, Chandler Woodcock, or any commissioner before him or after, could have easily put together a plan to implement a targeted snaring program for coyotes in areas of Maine most vulnerable to coyotes……if that were the law.

As the result of a lawsuit filed against Maine by the Animal Protection Institute, in 2007 a Consent Decree was activated by the Courts. In that Consent Decree, the use of snares was prohibited within those Wildlife Management Districts that had been deemed critical habitat for the Canada lynx; a species protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Because the majority of hunters and trappers (and to be honest, I think the ignorance ran deeply into MDIFW and probably the Maine Legislature) were still thinking that Maine was operating under the statute of LD237, people began asking why MDIFW didn’t implement snaring programs in areas outside critical lynx habitat. Downeast regions come to mind.

The Consent Decree was to remain in effect until such time as Maine was granted an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), for the “incidental” taking of lynx during trapping season. Once again, sportsmen waited eagerly for Maine to acquire such a permit, believing that with this ITP, the commissioner has authority under LD237 to begin a snaring program. In the meantime, the deer herd is suffering.

I was one of many in the ranks of those led astray, or poorly informed, who wrote extensively on LD237 and the commissioner’s authority granted in that bill, fully believing through many hours of research that LD237 was the snaring law we were abiding by. Nobody has attempted to clear this up that I am aware of.

So, what law is the MDIFW, trappers and the people of Maine being governed by as it pertains to the use of snares? It took me many hours of research and a lot of dead ends and frustration, before I contacted the Maine Law Library seeking information, hoping it would answer some of my many questions.

What really piqued my level of frustration came when I was reading the Application for an Incidental Take Permit. Included at the end of this application was a copy of the trapping laws and rules that govern trapping in Maine. This is where I came upon Maine Statute 12252. Reading that statute, it says that it is unlawful to “set or tend a snare…….”. I told myself that there was something seriously wrong here. This isn’t even close to LD237, the law I and many others believed to be the law governing snaring.

A very important note that needs to be made here: This is the only statute provided in the ITP application that refers to the use of snares for capturing and killing coyotes. More in a minute.

Once the fine people at the Maine Law Library helped me and sent me some 800 pages of files and documents, I have learned that LD1600, “An Act To Recodify the Laws Governing Inland Fisheries and Wildlife” is the bill that governs trapping statewide.

Before I proceed, I want you to embed into your memory that LD237 was signed into law by Governor John Baldacci on April 25, 2003.

On June 3, 2003, Governor John Baldacci signed into law LD1600. LD1600 was introduced by Senator Bruce Bryant. There were no sponsors or cosponsors. Mr. Bryant was Chairman on the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife at that time I was told by the Law Library. By law, the Joint Committee was to read LD1600 and debate all 600 pages or so and they ultimately made a unanimous recommendation to the Maine Legislature, “Ought to Pass”. According to House and Senate records there was no debate on LD1600. It passed the Legislature on May 27, 2003 and was signed into law by the governor as described above.

The Maine Constitution, Article X, Sec. 6, mandates the “recodification” of statutes every ten years beginning in 1973.

Section 6. Constitution to be arranged by Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court; Constitution to be enrolled and printed with laws; supreme law of the State. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court shall arrange the Constitution, as amended, under appropriate titles and in proper articles, parts and sections, omitting all sections, clauses and words not in force and making no other changes in the provisions or language thereof, and shall submit the same to the Legislature; and such arrangement of the Constitution shall be made and submitted to the regular session of the Legislature in 1973 and every 10 years thereafter unless sooner authorized by the Legislature; and the draft and arrangement, when approved by the Legislature, shall be enrolled on parchment and deposited in the office of the Secretary of State; and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to the books containing the Revised Statutes of the State. And the Constitution, with the amendments made thereto, in accordance with the provisions thereof, shall be the supreme law of the State. (emphasis added)

My first knowledge about codification as it pertains to laws taught me that codification was more of a housekeeping measure. Its intent was to clear up language, redundancies, typos, grammar, etc., that sometimes made it difficult to interpret and administer the laws, but never to alter the law. Once statutes have been “codified”, which according to the Maine Constitution appears to have been in 1973, each ten-year term becomes “recodification”.

Wikipedia defines “recodification” this way:

Recodification refers to a process where existing codified statutes are reformatted and rewritten into a new codified structure. This is often necessary as, over time, the legislative process of amending statutes and the legal process of construing statutes by nature over time results in a code that contains archaic terms, superseded text, and redundant or conflicting statutes. Due to the size of a typical government code, the legislative process of recodification of a code can often take a decade or longer.

I think it becomes clear and should be a logical conclusion that the purpose of recodification isn’t to rewrite existing laws; only to clear up any confusions, etc. that make it difficult to understand the law.

And so, with the passage of LD1600 by the Maine Legislature, this is where the MDIFW came up with the statute that they provided in the application for an ITP to the USFWS that included a statewide ban on the use of snares.

As you might expect, this story doesn’t end here. In the “recodified” MDIFW trapping laws, i.e. Maine Statute 12252, Section 2, paragraph A reads: “A. Set or tend a snare for the purpose of trapping any wild animal or wild bird, except as provided in section 10105, subsection 1 and section 12259;” (emboldening added). If we examine the “recodified” MDIFW statutes under section 10105, subsection 1, we see that it tells us that the commissioner has the authority to issue permits to anyone in order to assist in the “taking and destruction of any wildlife”.

However, there is no mention in Statute 12252, of any reference to section 10105, subsection 3, “Coyote Control Program”, which I am under the impression is an attempt to recodify LD237. There exists no other place in the MDIFW statutes any law that resembles LD237 except for what is found in Statute 10105, subsection 3.

But, I’m left here with some of what I am considering serious and troubling problems with this entire procedure and the end results. First, if the purpose of recodification is to clear up confusing laws, errors, etc., one would think that during this process that Maine Statute 12252, Section 2, paragraph A. would have been changed to read: “A. Set or tend a snare for the purpose of trapping any wild animal or wild bird, except as provided in section 10105, subsection 1 and subsection 3 and section 12259;” (I emboldened what should have been added during recodification.)

As far as the laws that govern snaring, doesn’t it make sense that if a law is created that bans snaring and there were exceptions to that ban that all exceptions would be listed? Furthermore, shouldn’t it be expected that this should have been corrected during the recodification process? So was this a mistake by those undertaking the ginormous task of recodification, or something more sinister?

Second, before you answer that last question about the possibilities of something being more sinister, let me get back to something I mentioned before about the only snare-relevant statute included on the application for an ITP was 12252. Why didn’t the application also include statute 10105? The ITP application was drafted, according to dates on the draft, August 13, 2008. Gosh, the recodification and passage of LD1600 took place on June 2003.

The purpose, I am to presume, of MDIFW including the trapping statutes for Maine, is to show the USFWS what Maine’s current laws are that pertain to trapping, including snares so that USFWS officials can better determine how current laws will effect protection of the Canada lynx. The application included 12252, which “exceptions” 10105 subsection one but no mention of subsection three.

Was the omission of Statute 10105, the recodified law about coyote control and snaring an error, or something more sinister? You have permission to attempt to answer that now, however, you might want to read further.

Third, I have one more issue to discuss and bring to light. Above I provided information that I had as it pertains to codification and recodification. I think I made my case that recodification is not a tool to be used to rewrite existing laws, only to clear up discrepancies.

If that be the case, then certainly there is room for debate as to whether the recodification of the laws governing snaring were clearing up discrepancies or rewriting laws.

I am of the opinion that Maine Statute 12252 is a clear attempt at re institution of a statewide ban on snaring as was done in 1929. Maine Statutes in 1929, Chapter 331, Section 44 reads: “No person shall set a snare…..for any fur-bearing animal…”. Statute 12252 reads that it is unlawful to: “Set or tend a snare for the purpose of trapping any wild animal or wild bird”. Other than changing up some non existent and outdated terms and language, the recodification appears cut and dry.

I’m not sure the same can be said about Maine Statute 10105, Section 3, paragraphs A, B, and C. This has to be either an attempt to recodify LD237 or LD237 was stricken from Maine Statutes and this law was inserted in its place. This article is already quite lengthy but I believe it’s imperative to post the following information in order that readers can easily review and decide for themselves.

First, is LD237 passed into law on April 25, 2003:

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §7035, sub-§3, ¶B, as amended by PL 1999, c. 636, §1, is repealed.

Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §7035, sub-§3, ¶B-1 is enacted to read:

B-1. An agent may use snares to control coyotes during winter months under the following conditions.

(1) Agents may use snares only for animal damage control purposes to help meet management goals established by the commissioner for deer, threatened or endangered species or other wildlife species or to benefit agricultural interests as described in paragraph C.
(2) Agents must be trained and certified by the department in the use of snares.
(3) Agents must be deployed by a department wildlife biologist before setting snares.
(4) Agents shall post access points to areas in which snaring activity is taking place, including, but not limited to, roads and trails for motorized vehicles, cross-country skiers or hikers or other obvious travel ways that may be used by people.
(5) An agent shall plainly label snares with the full name and address of that agent.
(6) An agent shall keep an accurate record of the number and location of snares set by that agent and must be able to account for those snares at all times.
(7) An agent shall check that agent’s snares that are equipped with relaxing locks on a daily basis.
(8) Department employees may accompany agents at any time an agent is checking snares.
(9) Agents shall report monthly to the department on forms provided by the department the coyotes and nontarget species taken by snaring during the reporting period.
(10) The commissioner shall revoke the snaring certificate of an agent who violates any provision of this paragraph.

The commissioner shall adopt policies and procedures on the use of snares as necessary to minimize the potential for taking nontarget species and to adequately protect threatened and endangered species.

And the following is Maine Statute 10105, Section 3:

3. Coyote control program. Pursuant to section 10053, subsection 8, the commissioner shall maintain a coyote control program as follows.

A. The commissioner may employ qualified persons to serve as agents of the department for purposes of coyote control. These agents must be trained by the department in animal damage control techniques and must be utilized by the department to perform coyote control duties in areas where predation by coyotes is posing a threat to deer or other wildlife. Each agent shall execute a cooperative agreement with the department specifying the conditions and limitations of the agent’s responsibilities as an agent, including any terms for reimbursement of expenses or payment of wages.

B. Agents must be trained in the use of snares and must be deployed in the unorganized townships to control coyotes during the winter months. All snaring must be carried out under the direction of department officials and with the knowledge of the local game warden. All areas of snaring activity must be adequately posted.

C. Agents may be utilized for the benefit of agricultural interests as long as the department is reimbursed annually for the cost of those efforts by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources from funds specifically appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources for that purpose.

It certainly would appear to me that certain liberties were taken in “recodifying” LD237, if that is what this is supposed to be. While at first glace it may appear that this recodified statute is the same or at least similar to LD237, there is at least one specific qualifier in this statute that does not appear in LD237 and is far more than a clarification of text or outdated language, etc.

The first sentence in subsection “B” above states: “Agents must be trained in the use of snares and must be deployed in the unorganized townships to control coyotes during the winter months. (emphasis added).

In my opinion, this far exceeds what should be considered “recodification” of existing laws. Nowhere in LD237 did it state that snaring can only take place in “unorganized townships” nor was it limited to the winter months.

Granted LD237 gave the authority to the commissioner to formulate a plan which may spell out precisely that snaring will be in unorganized townships and in winter only. However, that was not necessarily the desire of LD237 nor was it even implied, nor is it the point of this article. If the Maine Legislature had intended to ensure that snaring was only going to take place in unorganized townships during the winter, then the bill would have stated such. Whoever rewrote this took the liberty to add in language that didn’t exist in LD237.

The question should become, who authorized or took in upon themselves to rewrite the laws of the state of Maine? Unless the laws in Maine that govern the recodification process are so lenient as to provide for such action, one must be left questioning whether this in an illegal action that needs some serious attention.

It should matter not whether one thinks snaring should or shouldn’t be used. It matters not whether snaring, if used, were to be relegated to unorganized townships. It matters not whether snaring should take place in winter or summer. What should matter is whether or not the recodification process in Maine results in the rewriting of laws enacted by the people of Maine? This cannot be. There has to be some kind of better oversight here, otherwise what confidence do any of us have that every 10 years our laws will get changed and we know nothing about it.

Did the process fail the people or was the failure a result of the process, which includes certain checks and balances or lack thereof? The Maine Supreme Court, via the constitution, is responsible for this undertaking. Were there all the necessary checks and balances done here to ensure no rewriting would take place.

The recoded laws, done by whom I am not sure, then went to the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Did they read the entire revised statutes or give it a cursory nod that it must be alright? Was there a failure to perform according to the wishes of the people of Maine?

And then it went on to the Legislature in which there was no debate recorded. This should tell us nothing was read and obviously no questions asked. It all appears like a very easy and convenient way to make changes and rewrite existing laws for which most people will never be informed about until one day it might effect them personally.

While recodification may be a great idea and may help in the process of reading, understanding and applying laws, if laws are being rewritten, whether intentional or not, whether allowed by law or not, it can’t be. Something must change. This is a faulty process to say the least.

In my mind, I am left with three very important and unanswered questions:

1. Was it someone’s intent through recodification of the MDIFW statutes to actually alter the existing laws that govern snaring or was it ignorance, lack of proper skills and poor workmanship?

2. Was the omission of Maine Statute 10105 on the application for an Incidental Take Permit from USFWS an error, oversight or was it intentionally left off in order to deliberately deceive anyone reading the application?

3. And during the recodification process was it also intended to NOT make reference to Maine Statute 10105, subsection 3 when the recodification of Maine Statute 12252 was carried out?

Answers to these questions will never come about as there is no way to prove a person’s intent. I feel it is my duty and responsibility to share what I have learned and to ask questions that many of us will also be asking.

If, however, there is intent here somewhere to deliberately mislead the people of Maine through, 1). Using recodification as a tool to rewrite Maine’s laws, and/or 2). intentionally deceive the USFWS in order to achieve an ITP, then I shall have nothing to do with that. Other than exposing what I know, there is no way that I will become partner to any unethical, illegal or deceitful acts in order to obtain an objective that I feel is important.

I hope my efforts have helped some to come to better understand where we are as it pertains to snaring and trapping and its associations with Canada lynx.

Tom Remington

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Obama Administration’s Attempt to Define “Significant Portion of it’s Range”

Let me say right off the top in order that some may not want to waste their time seeking truth, that I believe very strongly that the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA)(Act) is unconstitutional. It is such because it does not stand up against the authority of the Constitution in which a statute cannot, in and of itself, be a violation of the Constitution. It also does not mean that I oppose species protection. The majority of people in this country don’t care nor are they free to undertake independent thought to learn about the truth. Most every, if not all, laws on our books are nothing more than tools to extract power from the people and put it into the hands of government. I pray for your epiphany for truth.

However, simply because I believe the Act is criminal, doesn’t dismiss me from exposing the further fraud behind the ESA and now the attempts by Congress and the Obama Administration to “fix” it.

As I have written about recently, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources has begun a series of hearings to examine the Endangered Species Act, (ESA) in hopes of determining: “How litigation is costing jobs and impeding true recovery efforts.” With the Committee using that description of the intent of their hearings, should we hold out any hope that any efforts will be directed at amending or, as some are asking, repealing of the ESA? Not likely.

But this has not stopped the Obama Administration of getting into the ESA fray. After all, we do have an election coming up and doing and saying anything to steal a vote is chichi these days in Washington. The “Services”, collectively the Department of Interior, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have gone all out to help Americans define the simple phrase, “significant portion of its range”.

That phrase is used extremely sparingly in the ESA and it pertains, at least in my mind and after reading Obama’s proposal I question if the “Services” have any mind, to criteria used to determine when and if a species might be considered for federal protection under the ESA.

Either I’m not fully enlightened or am too honest, but I happen to think that “significant portion” would mean a big or perhaps as much as a majority or more of something, especially when used in the context of a word that describes size, i.e. “portion”. Evidently I’m wrong, according to the “Services” Draft Policy to define “significant portion of its range”.

There is a reason that Congress and the President, beyond the usual politics, are taking a look, finally, at the ESA. It’s badly broken. In its day, it was intended, we were told, to provide a means in which government regulation could prevent the needless destruction of plant and animal species. Perhaps because the bill was signed into law by President Richard Nixon, who was embroiled in the Watergate scandal, set the stage for a bill designed to fail. And fail it has.

The Act has done little to save species and a lot to put a lot of money into the bank accounts of environmentalists, stifling job growth and stripping Americans of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

If you and I can get beyond arguing whether the ESA is worth anything and discover that it’s not, then surely we can begin to see the efforts of Congress to examine portions of the ESA and President Obama’s administration to define words in the Act as laughable.

Regardless of whether President Obama thinks he can define “significant”, it is NOT going to do anything to change the problems with the ESA. Among the massive issues that makes the ESA look like a falling down old barn, is the lack of specific information in the administration of this bill. This leaves the door open to giving the Secretary of Interior too much discretion, flexibility and deference as it pertains to interpretive policy, and it has led to a myriad of court rulings in which judges have taken it upon themselves to interpret the ESA in any fashion they can.

One of the downsides to the judicial branches of our government is that every time there is a court ruling the words created in that ruling become case law and at least to some degree becomes precedent in future court cases, regardless of the truth or accuracy of what is written.

So what I can say right from the beginning that what the “Services” are attempting to do in defining “significant portion of its range”, is to hand select from existing statutes, case histories and case law, some or all which are seriously flawed, combined with their own interpretations of what they think the intention of the legislators were in writing the Endangered Species Act.

What on earth could go wrong?

Remember back in 1998?, when then President Bill Clinton was answering questions before a grand jury about his involvement with Monica Lewinsky? He was asked if there was anything going on between him and Miss Lewinsky. Bill Clinton responded to the jury:

“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

This kind of jibber-jabber spin is endemic among politicians and governmental agencies. That’s why we all hate them so. Obama’s “Services” people don’t go quite to that extreme in their attempts to define “significant portion of its range”, but read what they did say.

This Draft Policy took approximately 20 or more pages to conclude using the various resources and criteria I have already described above to determine that “significant portion of its range” in its entirely, together, as a whole, means:

provides an independent basis for listing and protecting the entire species

In other words, this is pretty much what we have all become subjected to over the past near 40 years. Some too highly paid, well indoctrinated person(s) at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) made a determination that a particular species was in trouble and was in trouble over a “significant portion of its range” and therefore was declared “endangered” and the “range” essentially became critical habitat.

But the “Services” have determined that it depends on what the meaning of significant is as to whether or not significant actually becomes significant.

This draft policy includes the following definition of “significant” as it relates to SPR [significant portion of its range]: a portion is “significant” in the context of the Act’s “significant portion of its range” phrase if its contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction.

Significant, used as an adjective, which if my English 101 is correct, is defined in most dictionaries as:

1. important; of consequence.
2. having or expressing a meaning; indicative; suggestive: a significant wink.
3. Statistics . of or pertaining to observations that are unlikely to occur by chance and that therefore indicate a systematic cause.

If “significant” is used as an adjective to describe portion, and portion in this context relates to a physical area or size of land, i.e. range, then wouldn’t significant portion suggest what is being talked about here is geographical scope of the range of a species?

The “Services” concluded that the choice of definition for “significant” is “important”. Therefore, it’s not the size of the portion of the range but the importance of the portion of the range they have decided to use.

I could go on with such foolishness but it’s more important to provide focus on what’s the bottom line. The bottom line here is that not only will Obama’s Draft Policy not only not help anything as it pertains to the ESA but will in fact make matters even worse.

Nothing in this policy limits the discretion and authority of the “Secretary” to implement and make definitions and rulings as he/she deems “scientific” and necessary for the administration of the ESA. Not only that, but this policy seriously places into the hands of the government, greater authority to not only create “portions of its range”, in other words, the Secretary can declare a species endangered and establish all the “critical habitat” he wants. He will still have power to create Distinct Population Segments. However, this new policy will allow the Secretary, through a series of predetermined “thresholds”; a measure of how important it is to protect one small area where a certain species may exist in order to save the entire species globally, create millions of tiny DPSs that the “Services” have said they don’t want to do.

Try to paint a picture in your mind of what this might look like. Haul out a map of the U.S. and it is peppered with 6,537,129 little dots where the Secretary has created a “significant” “significant portion of its range”. And that “significant” range happens to be the 350-acre ranch your trying to eke out a living on. I think this is significant.

Oh, that won’t happen! You all say. Won’t it? If not, then why is this included in the Draft Policy?

Therefore, if a species is determined to be endangered in an SPR, under this draft policy, the
species would be listed as endangered throughout all of its range, even in situations where the facts simultaneously support a determination that the species is threatened throughout all of its range. However, we recognize that this approach may raise concerns that the Services will be applying a higher level of protection where a lesser level of protection might arguably fit if viewed across a species’ range. The Services are particularly interested in public comments on this issue.

I am sure that how I see this Draft Policy and how others may see it will be worlds apart. For those who have faith and confidence in government and believe the ESA is a viable statute that actually protects species, while preserving the rights of Americans, you may think this attempt at defining “significant portion of its range” is a good thing. I do not!

I see it as further pushing the ESA bus over the cliff. It defines nothing. It only serves to foist even more autocratic power into the hands of government, particularly that of the Secretary of Interior. And, gives authority to the Secretary to amass hundreds upon thousands of SRPs (Significan Range Portions) and DPSs (Distinct Population Segments) all over the country.

One can think of instances where this authority and application may be practical but you shouldn’t think it actually will. One example might be the instance in Wyoming, where the state, in working with the Feds, has come up with a SRP of sorts that provides protections for the gray wolf in one zone, while at the same time the rest of the state isn’t burdened under the same ball and chain of ESA protection. But when you consider the amount of abuse that will come from this authority, it becomes a more effective fire starter than an extinguisher. There are so many catch words and phrases in this Draft that one would be foolish to think it’s intended for anything of value to the people.

While I am not expecting anything productive to come out of the Committee hearings in Washington, I will write them and tell them that they need to derail this Draft Policy and actually get down to meat and potato changes or consider complete repeal of the ESA.

If you would like to take the time to read Obama’s Draft Policy, you can read it at this link. In addition, at the end of the Policy proposal, you’ll find specific questions the “Services” are seeking comments on and how you can submit comments about this policy. Comments will be opened for 60 days after the official posting of the Draft to the Federal Register.

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Iowa Speech to the North American Elk Breeders Association Annual Convention

*Author’s Note:* As requested by many readers, below is a copy of my speech I delivered to the North American Elk Breeders Association Annual Convention in Waterloo, Iowa on August 6, 2011 at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center.
Please note that when I give speeches I generally work from an outline and notes. I do not “read” my speeches. So the content of what is below is similar to the remarks delivered during the speech but is not an exact replication of what was said.
For readers of this blog, I also took the time to add hyperlinks to references whenever possible and also at the end included notes, comments and quotes that I may not have used during the speech due to time constraints.

Keynote Address to the North American Elk Breeders Association Annual Convention
Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, Waterloo, Iowa
August 6, 2011

I would like to take a moment to thank all the members of the North American Elk Breeders Association for providing me with the opportunity to come to Waterloo, Iowa, to the annual North American Elk Breeders Association Convention to speak to you today. In particular, I want to thank Brenda Hartkopf for working with me and figuring out all the logistics to get here and exactly what I was going to do when I did. Thank you!

I thought I would begin this evening with an old humor story that is quite fitting with the theme for which I am going to speak. It’s the story of my Uncle Virgil and Aunt Florena. They were country folks. As a matter of fact they lived very far out in the country and ran a small farm raising a few cattle, some pigs, chickens and the like. Where they lived wasn’t the end of the world but you certainly could see it from there.

One day, it was midday when most farmers were inside, out of the hot summer sun, a knock came on the front door, an indication it must not be someone of familiarity because nobody they knew used the front door. Florena answered the door. She opened the fairly large inside door and through the screen door observed a weasily-looking man with thick glasses and messy hair.

“I am from the Department of Agriculture. Here’s my card. I am inspector 356124987920475443. I am here to inspect your farm,” he said.

“We ain’t buying nothin you’re selling so git out!” exclaimed Florena and as she was shutting the door in his face he yelled, “My card says I can inspect your farm!”

Florena yelled to Virgil and told him he had a visitor. Virgil went to the front door and opened it and still standing there was the same man.

Before Virgil could speak, the man says, “I am from the Department of Agriculture. Here’s my card. I am inspector 356124987920475443 and I am here to inspect your farm!”

Virgil examined the card and then told the man to get off his property. The inspector, not taking no for an answer says, “You can see on my card that I have a right to come on your property anytime I want to perform random inspections.”

Virgil once again examined the card and said, “You go do what it is you have a right to do and then get the hell off my property!” and with that slammed the door ever so deliberately in his face.

Virgil returned to the living room where he was trying to watch a little television and catch an afternoon nap. After about an hour, Florena woke up Virgil asking him if he could hear something peculiar. Both heard noises coming from what appeared the side of the house. Virgil went to the back door, opened it and listened. He could hear hollering.

“Hello! You, up at the house! Come and get your bull!” cried the inspector.

Virgil assessed the situation to discover his prized bull had the inspector pinned up a tree with no intention of letting him down anytime soon.

The inspector yells again, “Come and get your bull!”

Virgil called back, “Why don’t you show him your card?”

I grew up in the country poor. Poor meaning I had little in the way of material things. We had electricity, no indoor plumbing and not until later as a kid growing up did we enjoy the convenience of running water in the house. But I had it all. I thank God everyday for parents who instilled in me the importance of being fiercely independent. One cannot fully enjoy the God-given, unalienable right to liberty unless they have been taught to live independently. As a boy I was taught that you work to solve your own problems and the last thing ever mentioned was a need to ask government for something.

From the moment we are born we are free. We are individuals gifted from God with rights, none of which are bestowed upon us by man. It is only man, since our birth that has striven to deny us of our rights. Why is that?

It’s all about control. For any individual or group of individuals to force their will upon the rest they must first gain control over the people they wish to control. This is being done in many ways. I will talk about a few of them tonight.

The biggest threat against those who desire dictatorial powers over you, is an independent person. They hate us because they can’t control us. We must become independent in both our actions and our thoughts.

(*Demonstration* – At this juncture, I will do a demonstration using a rope and a jackknife. I present the rope. It’s about 6 feet long. I will ask the audience to picture this rope as big and as long as they wish and to imagine how many important and powerful uses such a rope could have.

I then will take the jackknife and cut the rope in half and then ask the audience if the rope still has the same powerful possibilities and uses.

I keep repeating the cutting of each piece of rope in half until I am left with a tiny piece. At some point I will ask the audience if there are any issues going on in our country today that are dividing us as citizens (the long piece of rope) that will eventually render us useless.)

I would like to read a quote to you tonight from Thomas Jefferson:

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add, ‘with the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

I was asked to come to Iowa tonight to speak to you about H.R. 2210, the “Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2011”. H.R. 2011 has had several identities over the years. Among them, H.R. 1688, H.R. 3829, H.R. 2308 and several Senate versions of a very despicable and useless piece of legislation geared at one more step toward the annihilation of our property rights.

Fortunately none of the versions of this bill have ever made it to the House floor but we cannot rest on any comforting feeling that this bill is dead. We know for a fact that Congress adds bills such as this to other pieces of legislation in order to get them passed. It isn’t until later that we discover what had happened. We must fight this legislation.

Jefferson understood that true liberty cannot be recognized and appreciated without the respect of others’ rights and he blamed the law or laws as often a projection of the will of tyrants. It is the tyrant that seeks to destroy you and me. They hate our independence.

The most pitiful and hypocritical part of H.R. 2210 is that it is worded in such a way as to promote good ethics and sportsmanship. Imagine if you will our Congress imposing on us its will of something moral or ethical. Talk about hypocrisy! Talk about tyrannical!

Our Congress is probably the most corrupt organization in this country. They consider themselves above the law. They talk down to “we the people”. They are out of touch. It seems everyday we hear of another scandal coming out of Congress, enough to make a grown man vomit. We hear of congressmen taking photos of their private parts and plastering them on the Internet and these idiots want to legislate to us something concerning ethics, fair chase and sportsmanship? They wouldn’t know decency if it bit them.

And for you holier-than-thou “hunters” who subscribe to such nonsense, get down off your high and unethical horses and let he that is without sin cast the first stone.

What is “fair chase”? Who decides? And why do you think it should be you? Can you realistically sit in your well-equipped tree stand, in which you have driven to in your lavishly expensive ATV, over land you paid thousands of dollars for a lease to hunt, park near to the food plot you planted in order to “bait” deer or other game to come to, so that you may take your pick of the litter and then call high-fence hunting unethical, lacking in fair chase?

Another important quote that I would like to share comes from Abraham Lincoln.

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

And here we find ourselves in this convention better than 150 years later wondering why the people have been subdued. The people have been overthrown! And thus we are sitting here looking at legislation that is clearly an overthrowing of the U.S. Constitution if not our God-given rights to freedom, property and the use of it. We must overthrow the men who are perverting our laws.

I’ll remind you again, H.R. 2210 has nothing whatsoever to do with sportsmanship, ethical hunting, fair chase or any of the rhetorical garbage we are having forced into our brains. It’s about control – pure and simple.

Those wishing to control us have several agendas and many tools in which to accomplish their goals. We must learn them. It’s the only chance we have to fight back. H.R. 2210 is only a small tool. There are wolves, Canada lynx, tiny little fish, global warming, etc., the lists are endless. Learn what they are.

How many people sitting here tonight are aware of President Obama’s Executive Order #13575? If you are not, you MUST learn about it. I do not have time this evening to give you details. President Obama understands that the last stronghold or frontier in America that generates independent thinkers and those aimed at living independently (the biggest threat remember?) is rural America. EO#13575 aims to destroy rural America as we know it today.

Read about it. It’s vitally important that you know. I will however ask you this: If President Obama’s goal of EO # 13575 is to “help” rural America, then why did he appoint members from his cabinet, such as Defense Secretary, Homeland Security, Federal Communications Commission, etc., to his board of directors? Think about it.

It’s about control ladies and gentlemen!

Gary Allen, in a book he wrote called, “None Dare Call it Conspiracy”, wrote:

“Control necessitates a static society……So, legislation is promoted to restrict entrepreneurial effort”.

Everyone sitting in this audience tonight exemplifies “entrepreneurial effort”, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. You are independent thinkers. You want to live independently. You want government to butt out of your life and your ranches. People cannot control you if you are not static. Attending this convention is one means of being in action, working to improve what you do. This is all contrary to what government wants in you. Therefore, the attempt once again at an H.R. 2210-type of legislation – promoted legislation to “restrict entrepreneurial effort”.

There have been many attempts over the years to ban high-fence hunting. The most recent resulted in a victory for the citizens when a citizen’s initiative was voted down that would have ended high-fence hunting in North Dakota. Idaho had a similar outcome and Montana did not. There are others. We must fight these together.

Efforts like this will never end. There are enough useful idiots in this country eager and willing to carry out the agendas of those entities wishing to subdue the independent and freedom loving people.

What kind of people knowingly work to destroy their country or their constitutions? If I had the answer to that question, I wouldn’t be here tonight now would I? But let me try to explain using examples from people who have asked the same questions.

Most people are not even aware of the fact that during and shortly after the Revolution, the United States rounded up no fewer than three esteemed gentlemen and sent them to Europe for the purpose of making treaties and finding trade partners. The U.S., after all, had lost all of their business dealings and partners with England when it declared its independence.

The three me were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Quite the trio.

Thomas Jefferson visited many towns about Europe and he had a bit of a ritual he would undertake as a way to gain a sense of what kind of people he might be dealing with before actually sitting down to talk business.

His first action was to find the tallest building in the village – often this was a church steeple. He would climb it and gaze about the landscape hoping for a sense of the surroundings.

This was soon followed by walks about the village simply meeting people and talking to them. Yet, this was another attempt at gaining a better understanding of the people before expending time and energy hoping to find good character people he wished for his new country to do business with.

This action was described in a book titled, “The Young Jefferson” by Claude G. Bowers. Bowers wrote that in Jefferson’s travels, anytime he arrived at a village were he witnessed that people placed the importance of dogs or other animals above that of man, he packed up his belongings and left town immediately. Jefferson understood that people who think like this are untrustworthy and certainly someone he would not consider a viable trade partner. This is a difficult concept in America today. Just look around you.

Eric Hoffer, in his book, “The True Believer” spends a great deal of time giving us clues as to what makes people eager and willing to follow “mass movements” tick. Hoffer’s book, although written in the mid 1940s and dealt with a subject he called mass movements, really can apply to any large or small group. We today, tend to call them special interest groups.

It must be pointed out here that some of us don’t understand that there are a lot of people in this country today who want to live in a communist or socialistic country, where government decides everything for us. This begins very early on in the “education” process, so that today, regardless of the truth of historic outcomes of all attempts at socialism/communism, still we are able to lead people to believe this time will be different.

Hoffer says that those who are willing to work to destroy their own way of life, are obviously very unhappy with the life they have. For that I am saddened. I had nothing and yet I had everything, among the most important a strong foundation in God as my creator and a firm belief that I am, like the Bible says, created in God’s image. I do not see God as a weak person and someone who has to depend on government to survive or to even enjoy life. No, I am of His image, therefore, I am independent, free, respectful, caring of others and not wishing to impose my values on those of other people because I respect their rights as mine. If what I have to offer is good, people will be drawn to it.

I’ll remind you yet again, you become a threat to those wanting to control you when you are independent and seek to protect liberty, not just for yourself but for everyone.

Recall what Gary Allen said, “Control necessitates a static society…..So, legislation is promoted to restrict entrepreneurial effort.” H.R. 2210 is but another tool in which it’s design is to render you elk ranchers static and ineffective. They want you to go away. They know they can’t convince you to give it up all at once, but they sure know one small step at a time will surely get the job done.

Elk are your property. You have rights to your property, none of which came from man or our and any other government. Ending high-fence hunting is a destruction of your property and your property rights. You, the person sitting next to you, your neighbor or the U.S. Government does not have the right to take your property away simply because they don’t like what you do with it.

Ayn Rand, a Russian immigrant, who some believe possessed idealistic views on rights while other find her writings spot on, once wrote about property rights this way:

“The right to life is the source of all rights – and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product is a slave.” Ayn Rand from “The Virtue of Selfishness”.

Is it then for this reason that countries that are run by dictators ensure that the people never own property? What say you then of those in this country who openly admit that man should never own property, that all things are owned collectively for the good of all?

Once again, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“Property is the foundation of all civilized society.”

As people in this country work vehemently to give our country away, they want to give your property away as well. According to Jefferson, such a move would lead to an uncivilized society. Is that the goal here?

One step at a time, those wishing to control the masses will take what is yours if we do nothing about it.

A few months ago, I wrote a multi-part piece called, “The Crippling and Destructive Power of the Endangered Species Act”. I want to invite everyone here tonight to go to my blog and read it. It will begin to give you insight into how complex and deep reaching the efforts are to end your independence and entrepreneurial effort. It’s not a simple H.R. 2210 bill. It’s about control and the powers seeking that control are much bigger than you might imagine but that shouldn’t discourage us from fighting.

As I close tonight, I want to leave all of you with a challenge. I want you to leave here tonight not taking what I told you as necessarily the truth. I challenge you to go find out for yourself. This will further strengthen you as an independent thinker, someone who is not going to be controlled so easily.

Please take what I have shared tonight and consider if anything I have said makes sense. Hopefully, enough of what I said will at least get you thinking and finding hope that with a stronger you, we can become a stronger nation.

I’ll leave you tonight with a quote. This is actually something my brother sent me a short while ago. With his permission, I added a word or two for effect.

“The dog, the owl, the whale, the seal, the elk, the wolf, the smelt, are all tools, lies and deceit used against property rights, to include what is yours in your mind and to see who is still paying attention in America. Those paying attention threaten the tyrannical dictators of the planet.” – Al Remington

Thank you!

Included below are names with links that didn’t get mentioned due to time constraints. Please feel free to take the time to read these and go to the sites linked to and learn more about the powers seeking your destruction.

The United States Constitution reads in Article II, Section 2, Line 2; “2: He [president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

World Heritage Convention

United Nations Agenda 21

Quotes:

The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written. – Franklin Roosevelt

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