May 20, 2019

Jim Beers: Polar Bear Mythology Redux

*Editor’s Note* Over the years, and in particular 2008, I covered extensively polar bears and the dog and pony show that then President George W. “I love to Spend Money” Bush entertained us with in declaring the polar bear a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. This was a fine example of how ignorance, corruption, special interest, greed and money have hijacked and destroyed legislation intended to protect actual endangered species and not increase bank accounts.

Polar bears may have never been threatened but today that doesn’t stop the opportunity to exploit a species for more sinister goals.

Below is an article written by Jim Beers in reference to an article published in the Wall Street Journal about polar bears; one that asks the question, “Are Polar Bears Really Disappearing?” As you will read, Beers points out that for the last several decades the population of polar bears globally has actually remained unchanged, with what one could argue as normal fluctuations that occur due to local circumstances. There is one other issue in the Wall Street Journal article that I wanted to mention that I think is of utmost importance for readers to understand.

One night as Churchill’s “bear season” was gearing up, I sat down with Kevin Burke, a man who has lived with polar bears all his life, as both a Churchill native and a ranger in the deep bush country. He has also spent countless hours assisting the Ph.D.’s who study bears and predict their imminent demise. “I’m just starting to resent being told that I’m not seeing what I know abso-flipping-lutely damn well that I’m seeing with my own eyes,” he said (using considerably more colorful language). With polar bears, it’s not always black and white.

This is one of the problems that exist today. So-called scientists with an agenda – perhaps fueled and funded by special interest, seeking outcome based ‘science’, disregarding and even demonizing boots on the ground reality.

Here is Mr. Beers article.

While interesting and worth the read, Zac Unger’s article to plug his book on polar bears has one very shaky foundation. His statement, “Almost everybody agrees there are between 20.000 and 25,000 polar bears alive today. That number is a whole lot bigger than it was 40 years ago.” Not so.

In 1972 when there was legislation (Marine Mammal Protection Act) being composed in Congress, I shared an office on K Street in Washington with the newly appointed Marine Mammal Coordinator of the US Fish & Wildlife Service. As environmental claims flew about these bears and manatees and seals, et al, I asked about polar bear numbers that were claimed to be around 5,000 worldwide. He laughed and said although counts were poor, “there are probably about 20,000 worldwide”. Passage of the MMPA in that year stopped polar bear hunts while assuring hunters and Alaska and other nations that wanted to continue hunting as revenue generators and bear management programs that, “when ‘Optimum Sustainable Populations’ were established, hunting would be re-allowed.” OSP was never established and hunting never permitted.

In 2008, the Bush Administration declared polar bears “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act to throw a biscuit to environmental claimants that “global warming was melting (all?) the sea ice and dooming polar bears.” Like federal claims about wolves, polar bear “facts” are mainly environmental mythology, hidden agendas and government growth propaganda disguised as Armageddon and good intentions.

Jim Beers

8 February 2013

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.

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I Ate My Dog For Homework

Two things in play in our society today and one of them dominates all others. The second issue is that our society struggles to laugh at themselves and find humor in things where humor is intended to be found. The first and most dominant point of departure is hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy reveals myriad things in a society, one of which is the manifestation of people’s incompetency to make legitimate judgements about much of anything worthwhile. Hypocrisy is dishonesty and when we exemplify that we are also showing the world our anger and hatred, all of which drives our bias.

A current example playing out in this nation is the joke telling dealing with the topic of President Barack Obama’s revelation that when he was a kid growing up in Indonesia he ate dog. Do rational people care about this beyond the obvious, that either the president’s family was poor and that’s all they could afford or eating dog was acceptable table fare?

Even though I think we as a people are losing our ability to laugh, I still believe that existing in a society that considers laughing healthy, we have always had a strong yen for humor. Once, every comedian and late night talk show host made gobs of money telling jokes about presidents. We all laughed no matter who was in the White House. Of course some presidents became better targets of the quipsters, mostly dependent upon what they did or said. I even recall impersonators like Rich Little, who struggled to impersonate some presidents and then got plenty of mileage from others, sometimes by just the simple way they looked or the tone and quality of their voice. Think of the actor John Wayne, who had a distinct walk and a voice to go with it.

Today, people too often tend to limit their laughter based on political bias. This is where the hypocrisy comes into play. A joke about George Bush may make some laugh and others not, taking offense that they are being made fun of or that somehow it’s not fair. If the same comedian told a joke about Barack Obama, the roles become reversed. Don’t misunderstand me here. This hypocrisy swings in all directions and the worst kind is that coming from those who refuse to recognize it for what it is.

Let’s also be honest, if that’s possible anymore. Barack Obama is half black and half white. We have struggled as a society to get beyond racism and bigotry and as such, I’m positive in my assessment that a lot of restraint has been shown in targeting Barack Obama for jokes out of fear of just what has happened; accusations of racism.

President Obama ate dog as a child. What’s wrong with that? I’ve written about eating dog in our history and that eating dog is still the cuisine of some societies. When President Jefferson sent Captains Lewis and Clark to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean, neither of the men or their expedition would have survived had they not eaten dog. But as humans, we are prone to make jokes about it, I think some because we are uncomfortable with talking about the subject, but mostly because humor defines us.

On the website The People’s Cube, an entire array of photoshopped pictures depicting President Obama eating or chasing after dogs with the intent of eating them, can be found.

On John McCain’s Twitter page he posted a photo of his son’s bull dog and ends his Tweet by saying, “I’m sorry Mr. President, he’s not on the menu!”

When asked at a press conference, White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, struggled to answer the question as to whether the President was aware of all the jokes but he couldn’t resist making a joke about the jokes.

If you click on the link to John McCain’s Twitter page, you can read some of the comments irate people left to John McCain about his sick sense of humor.

But what about the hypocrisy? Recall, if you will, that not long ago, there were a lot of people very upset about the movie “The Grey”. Two issues played out here. The movie was about a plane that crashed in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. Survival was key, i.e. finding food and prevent becoming food. The plot is about these survivors fending off a hungry pack of wolves. The first issue of outrage was that the makers of the movie dared depict wolves in a truth setting; that they are bloodthirsty killers. The second issue is that the wolves they killed, they ate.

Hang on for a second. This is a movie! But yet there was still outrage. In addition, before filming of the movie began, the cast and staff tried eating some wolf meat in order to gain a better understanding of what they were up against. Doing so has “dogged” them ever since. (See what I mean?)

The point is there was outrage over this and I recall reading in several places among the media outlets, including Online, that people just did not eat dog. That our society (American) has never eaten dog, etc. etc. etc. This is what prompted me to dig back through the Lewis and Clark Expedition journals to recount all the times they not only ate dog meat buy preferred it over deer or elk. In addition this dog meat they ate, included domestic dogs they bought from the natives and coyotes and wolves they were able to kill during their journey.

The hypocrisy here is that while there was outrage that dogs were depicted as being eaten in a movie, there was no outrage at the disclosure that President Obama actually did eat dog as a kid. Instead, their biased anger is directed at those who chose to make jokes about it, seemingly now supporting the eating of dog….well, depending upon who did the eating I guess.

One can argue that most of these jokes originated from people or organizations that are working to elect a different president, but why is this all of a sudden different or deserve a different level of scrutiny? Campaigns bring out the worst in everybody.

What the reasons are that President Obama ate dog as a kid, I don’t know, nor do I care. I think some of the jokes are funny. I find some a bit over the top. I certainly can understand a person who adores dogs, finding offense in some of these photos and jokes. And I find the same level of humor disseminated the same way regardless of which side of the political aisle they walk on.

Tom Remington

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