I Know Because I Read It On The Internet
I don’t really want to do two Palin posts in a row, but I will. Because hippies irritate me. I received a silly forwarded letter of outrage about the whole aerial hunting in Alaska thing, which was the first alarmist letter I happened to see after her speech. We’ve all heard that she tried to ban books and thinks that the war in Iraq is mission from god (which it isn’t – it’s just a horrible, horrible mistake – and anyway both rumors are inaccurate, but that’s irrelevant in politics – which reminds me of that album Rumors by Fleetwood Mac. Remember that record? I was 14 when that came out and thought Stevie Nicks was really hot, even if I cheated on her with my High Society photo of Suzanne Somers.)
At any rate, I received this email asking breathlessly “have you heard of aerial hunting?” and explaining how evil Gov. Palin used loopholes to allow the aerial hunting of wolves in Alaska. It closes with a link to some video footage and the warning: “Caution, graphic images of wolves being murdered!”
First of all, let’s get one small fact out of the way: you can’t murder a wolf. Because it’s a fucking WOLF. Aside from that, the implication that she used trickery to give her and her buddies the right to strap into Hueys and waste wolves with fully automatic weapons is absurd. The truth is actually a bit simpler (though it sounds like a lot less fun): the Alaska Department Fish and Game culls the wolf population every year as part of their predator control program. Seems wolves are really efficient predators and kill the vast majority of moose, caribou and elk that die in Alaska every year. And believe it or not there are still people in Alaska that can’t run down to Whole Foods to buy lobster bisque and some seasoned flank steak for dinner. So if they want to feed their family something besides snowburgers, they pretty much depend on the same moose, caribou and elk that the wolves are killing.
This year, fish and game set a goal of 455 to 670 wolves to be taken. Unfortunately, only about half of that quota was met, so they began permitting aerial hunting in order to try close the gap. As of May of this year, the state was still short of its goal, but estimated that the 127 wolves taken by aerial hunters resulted in 1,400 moose or 3,000 caribou (or some combination thereof) NOT being murdered by wolves. Of course, taking wolves by rifle is far more vicious than a pack of wolves chasing a moose down, latching onto its neck and legs until it collapses, then ripping it into pieces bite by bite while Rocky the Squirrel cowers behind a pine tree and sobs his little squirrel eyes out. So maybe that’s the reason they’re upset.
Before I close, I do have an admission to make: I am aware that this was a bit of a cheap post. First, I put in the gratuitous boobies (really nice gratuitous boobies though) which is bad enough. But far worse is that I took the easy path tonight: debunking the claims in these silly alarmist letters (sent by either party) is like shooting fish in a barrel. From a plane. The only reason I chose to mention this particular letter as opposed to one full of dire warnings about the evil Mexicans that sneak over our border, rape our women, steal our jobs, use our bathrooms and sell drugs to five year old children is that debunking knee-jerk hippie silliness is more fun and less depressing than taking on the absurd fear-based arguments that the neocons are selling this year.
But I’ll probably get to those too.