A guest post by Jim Beers:
This morning’s news reports on the TV and the radio are full of a news item broken in The New York Post that an employee of The US Census Bureau has revealed that he was told months before last year’s Presidential Election to do whatever it takes to lower the Unemployment Rate below 8% before that Election. As a result this employee (and others?) fabricated interviews and data that did indeed reduce the National Unemployment Rate below the magical 8% level, above which no President had ever been re-elected in recent times. As all the reportage of this scandal fulminates about how unbelievable it is to imagine a “federal employee” or a “federal agency” actually lying like this and then further maintaining a political fiction of this magnitude as some sort of scientific or analytical finding for more than a year now; an explanation is emerging.
The explanation given is that direct control of the US Census Bureau (as with the IRS managers that “handled” Tea Party tax exemption requests, State Department Security managers that “handled” Benghazi, and ATF managers that “handled” Fast & Furious gun smuggling to Mexican killers and Drug Lords) was placed totally under White House political hacks and czars when the current Administration took office 5 years ago. As was once so aptly observed by that American philosopher and former great catcher for the New York Yankees, Yogi Berra; for me this US Census Bureau scandal was “De ja vu all over again”.
About a month ago I was interviewed for an article about wolves in a Montana newspaper. Last week, I read several comments about the article. Couched in the remarks about how anyone quoting me should (along with me, ranchers, hunters and other rural residents) be declared mentally unbalanced and committed, were the following two quotes: “You are not going to change the minds of the thousands and thousands of tourists and potential new residents each year who come to Montana to enjoy and appreciate living, breathing wildlife, and who fully understand that wolves predate (although the incredulously ridiculous wolf depredation “figures” flagrantly bandied about by anti-wolf advocates border on the inane), and increasingly more of whom are not among the dwindling 5 percent of the nation that still hunt (and, overwhelming, for nothing other than the thrill of doing so).” “Between 1996 and 2006, the nation’s hunters declined by 400,000. … [This decline] coincides with a 13 percent increase in wildlife watching since 1996.”
The foregoing two quotes tell us two things. First the writer is unapologetically a pro-wolf advocate with neither tolerance nor respect for anyone objecting to being forced to live with wolves. Second, and most important for us here, is the use of numbers, percentages and trends (i.e. implied “science” and analysis of mathematical and statistical data if you will) to “prove” the author’s claims about the inevitable ascendancy of the pro-wolf “ecosystem” and the concomitant decline of the biological travesty known as the Rural American “Ecosystem” (economy, lifestyle, human benefits, liberties, etc.) known to rural Americans from the signing of the US Constitution until recently.
The dirty little secret about these (wildlife, hunters, “watchers”, etc.) numbers, percentages and trends is this: they have been generated, “analyzed” and reported on by the US Census Bureau since 1982.
Year-in-year-out the US Census Bureau interviews Americans about fishing, hunting and wildlife recreation, they collate and analyze the “data” they collect and then they issue and update the “National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation”. This National Survey is both bible and source of unassailable numbers for every radical, bureaucrat, politician, and other ne’er-do-well involved in: – Eliminating hunting, fishing, ranching, trapping, cropland and pastures, timber management, wildfire-fighting, private property, local governments, animal ownership, roads, dams, irrigation, animal damage control, animal management for human benefit, etc., etc. – Increasing the range and densities of dangerous, deadly and destructive predators from wolves and cougars to grizzly bears; Wilderness; federal land acquisition and control; wild animal claims that diminish human rights and freedoms; government size, funding and power, etc., etc.
I know what you are thinking: “Why are federal Census employees and their Bureau doing this?”; “How do Census bureaucrats know what to ask or how to report their findings?” and “How reliable is what they report?” The answer to these questions is that the US Census is merely a tool for truly sinister agendas.
First of all, the US Census Bureau like every bureaucracy since antiquity wants first and foremost to grow itself. One of the best ways to do so, next to conjuring up some new urgent and important task that no one else can do, is to actually do someone else’s urgent and important task. In this case the US census Bureau is ever on the lookout to “collect” data for others at a price and preferably ad infinitum and thus the US Fish and Wildlife Service has had a permanent staff of “experts” “running” the National Hunting and Fishing (the purposeful common misnomer) Survey for over 30 years now. This staff of US Fish and Wildlife Service “experts” (historically run by an anti-hunter overseeing a staff that is at best indifferent to hunting and fishing et al and at worst radical environmental ideologues) composes the questions, analyzes the “data” and actually issues the reports.
The US Census Bureau merely accepts millions of dollars during each ten-year Census Cycle for “collecting” the “data”. Once again, I hear you thinking: “Why is USFWS doing this?” This is a good question and the answer is because the State fish and wildlife agency Directors let them. So now you ask, “That doesn’t make sense that state Directors let them”? A little history might help you understand.
Back in the late 1970’s it was not uncommon to hear federal bureaucrats and political appointees in Washington say, “In just a few years, trapping will be banned in most states and hunting will not be far behind”. Also, “Fishing will disappear as well and then the government will concentrate on preserving wilderness, saving keystone species, setting aside more endangered species areas, conducting ecosystem research, eradicating non-native plants and animals, controlling human activities that harm the environment,” etc. While all this tickled the federal bureaucrats who survive on federal Appropriations from Congress: it scared the dickens out of State fish and wildlife agency bureaucrats who survived primarily on licenses, excise taxes, and permits necessary for wild animal management.
So in the waning days of the Carter Presidency a vision was conjured up by federal and state “partners” that would benefit each. The federal bureaucrats that collected hundreds of millions in excise taxes annually that by law could only go to state fish and wildlife programs would “partner” with the state Directors and skim off millions of dollars each year to hire a USFWS staff to contract with and work with the US Census Bureau to “count” and help “bring together” the gazillions of wildlife watchers and wildlife lovers that heretofore have been ignored so that they will “support” federal Appropriations and state funding from state Legislatures in the future. All that was needed, they thought, was to count all those folks and measure their enthusiasm and politicians would be bowled over with thoughts of courting their votes.
The USFWS staff was hired, the State Directors (with State Governor/Legislature approval??), okayed skimming the funding from their state’s portion of the annual allotment in Washington before it made it to the state; and the USFWS holding it, spending it and quietly reporting on what they were doing with it to the state directors.
Just as The Endangered Species Act’s precedents influenced the Kelso Decision of government power over private property for whatever government wanted to do; so too did this sub-rosa scheme of federal and state bureaucrats laundering money set the stage for the theft of millions 15 years later from the same federal excise taxes by federal bureaucrats with a “wink- wink, nod-nod” from state directors to capture and forcibly introduce wolves into areas where they destroy hunting, animal husbandry, rural economies and rural life as Americans had come to know it AFTER Congress had refused to fund the wolf debacle.
Thus began 20 +/- years of USFWS “National Survey staff “ massaging questions and data to “prove” the viability of The Brave New World just around the corner. It was geared to justify “Chickadee (i.e. Non-Game Funding) Check-offs” on state and federal tax returns but it failed miserably.
Then there was a proposed tax on birdseed but the birdwatchers and bird paraphernalia manufacturers were less than enthusiastic to say the least. Then there was the proposed tax on binoculars and on hiking equipment and camping equipment; all of which failed : unless of course you count the ascendancy of the current female outdoor activity retail store magnate as Secretary of the Interior, and “about time” I say (not really).
Even though all those clever schemes came to naught, the federal and state bureaucrats use the National Survey to continue generating largely bogus nonsense at a cost of millions about how wolf lovers and new birdwatchers will generate the GDP of France annually if only the government spends more money and imprisons any rural residents not willing to move to the city when so ordered.
They bamboozle politicians and hunters and fishermen while schmoozing the likes of Defenders of Wildlife and HSUS et al with the discouragement of rural residents and the encouragement of fund-raising enthusiasms of urban lovers of TV Nature/Animal shows. Just as Heinrich Himmler, the Head of the Gestapo, once famously observed, “We want to use science that supports our ideology” so too are these federal and state directors and their supposed future constituencies searching for data that supports their ideology.
Thus this fellow condemning me thirty years later with the numbers, trends and percentages from no less an authority than the United States Census Bureau! But consider the biggest irony in all this, like Lenin’s statement that “we will buy the rope from the capitalists that we use to hang them with”, the federal and state bureaucrats and their radical environmental/animal rights “partners” have been funding this “National Survey” to eliminate hunting and fishing with the very excise tax funds collected from hunters and fishermen to preserve and manage hunting and fishing for 30 + years! Is this a great country or what?
Finally, “the De-ja-vu all over again” aspect for me is this. For 30+ years the US Census Bureau has been a complicit, though ignorant, partner with federal, state, and radical organizations whose goal is the destruction of hunting, fishing and rural America, truth be known. This has gone unnoticed and is an illegal (in most or all states federal fund eligibility cannot be reduced by state directors but only by the Legislature and/or the Governor each and every time it occurs) activity. So when we are stunned by current White House covert manipulations of the Census Bureau to lie about the Unemployment Rate before an election in order to re-elect a President – remember, the Census Bureau is only acting in the finest traditions of the NSA (no scratch that one), in the finest traditions of our federal and state wildlife bureaucrats and previous Census Bureau heroes who we all know have only the highest standards and goals.
19 November 2013
If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks. 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. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades. Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: email@example.com