Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wolf Hunting, Governor Palin Style

Here's the reason this blog is named Helicopter Barbie. Mudflats posted it, because Shannyn said it best:

"...blogger Shannyn Moore was born in rural Alaska. If there’s anyone who can claim to be coming at this particular issue from a truly “Alaskan perspective”, she’s the one. She speaks about the wolf hunting issue as the daughter of a trapper, not a relocated environmentalist from the East Coast (not that there’s anything wrong with that). She agreed to write a post on her own blog about this topic and to let me cross-post here.

And as you read through the post, realize that I was one of the people who voted the wrong way on Ballot Measure 2, thanks to the confusing wording courtesy of our Lt. Governor, Sean Parnell."

Wolf in Governor’s Clothing

Shannyn Moore

The smell of fresh snow and the burning fuel of a Ski-Doo Olympic Snowmachine are part of my vivid childhood memories. I would hang on to my pop’s snowsuit, as we rode through Alaskan muskegs, down river banks, and up power line trails. Checking our trap line was dirty work. Bait consisted of freezer burnt salmon and road kill rabbit retrieval missions. I grew up with the smell of skinned mink, beaver, muskrats, coyotes, and wolves in my garage. We took the hides to the Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage and sold them. Staying in a hotel with plumbing and television was our decadent reward. I learned more about nature from trapping and hunting than I did from any biology class. Habits, tracking, instincts; I was in awe of the Nature around me and then I helped kill it. It wasn’t easy. Mink are smart as white collar thieves. They could get bait out of a trap nine times out of ten, and defecate before departing, a not-so-subtle message to Pop and I.

I don’t write these things to brag, just as fact. You may be revolted by this lifestyle, and I won’t argue. I share this to provide you the reference of my horror of aerial wolf hunting. Shooting wolves from planes is to hunting, what hiring a prostitute is to dating.

Alaska has a long history of bounties and hunting-much of it controversial. Aerial wolf hunting began in 1948. In 1972, Congress passed a law that prohibited aerial wolf hunting. Problem solved? No, under the guise of “wolf control,” permits were issued to “pilot gunner” teams in 1979. In 1992, under Governor Walter Hickel’s Administration, the Alaska Board of Game initiated a wolf control program with the goal of reducing numbers by 80%. Under threat of a massive tourist boycott, the “land and shoot” policy was reintroduced. During Democrat Governor Tony Knowles Administration, only non-lethal measures were used against wolves. The Wolf Management Reform Coalition collected 33,000 signatures to put an aerial wolf hunting ban on the November 1996 ballot; 59% of Alaskans voted for it, with the exception being a biological emergency. A Republican Legislature introduced SB74. This bill eliminated the need for a biological emergency to justify aerial wolf control and usurped the will of the people. Governor Knowles vetoed the bill and the Republican majority overrode it. In March of 2000, SB267 was passed which allowed hunters other than the state biologists to aerially shoot wolves. That same year, Alaskans voted on another ballot initiative to ban aerial wolf hunting by a 53% majority. In 2004, then Governor Frank Murkowski reinstated aerial wolf hunting to private hunters. He opened up 60,000 square miles of Alaska for the flying cowboys. All you needed was a plane and a permit.

With all of this history, we should have been prepared to deal with a Palin Administration hell bent on killing wolves. She and I were “raised by the same wolves”, and she wants to shoot them out of planes. She stacked the Alaska Board of Game with pro-aerial wolf hunters. She was successful at merging faulty science, Safari Club International interests and state funded propaganda; spinning a web of lies to masquerade as conservation. I’m not sure where it started; maybe a spam email promising penis enlargement from shooting mammals out of planes went viral. Running our policy on “Faith Based Science” hasn’t worked; animals you believe are here for you to rule, and exist because Noah got two of them on a boat and they managed not to eat each other is one thing. But if you refuse to use the brain God gave you for observation and noticing patterns of science, well, how good of a steward of the Earth are you? Years of classic, scientific studies by Adolph Murie and Vic Van Vallenbergh have been mocked or ignored. Their studies were in the field, observing the balance between wolves and ungulate populations. They proved what common sense verifies; wolves take the weak and the sick thereby strengthening the herds. The Alaska Board of Game lacks common sense and ignores science. The Board is loaded with Viagra starved, trigger-happy Alaska Outdoor Council and Safari Club International agenda driven thugs.

Because of declining hunter success throughout the 1990s, residents of McGrath were vocal about the need for aerial wolf control. They complained loudly and constantly that there weren’t enough legal moose to hunt. The most comprehensive moose population survey to date was done in the fall of 2001. Alaska Department of Fish & Game Biologists documented moose numbers and the bull/cow ratios within a 520 square mile area around McGrath known as the Experimental Micro Management Area or EMMA, as well as the rest of Game Management Unit (GMU) 19D East. The target ratio for a sustainable hunted population is 30 bulls/100 cows. Within the EMMA, that ratio fell to an unhealthy 18 bulls/100 cows. Outside EMMA and basically outside the range of lazy 4-wheeler hunters, that ratio was 44 bulls/100 cows-well above the healthy target. Here’s the kicker direct from the Alaska Department of Fish & Games official report:

“The low bull:cow ratio in this area (EMMA) results from an imbalance between hunting and recruitment. The bull:cow ratio in the remainder of GMU 19D East remains relatively high.”

In other words, the science from ADF&G’s own biologists contradicted the need for any predator control. Studies conducted for the McGrath Adaptive Management Team proved that over-hunting was the reason for the lack of moose in the area, not wolves. That data was buried and wolf control was implemented.

Right before the 2006 Election, Alaskans for Wildlife submitted 57,000 signatures to get another aerial wolf hunting ban in place. Newly elected Governor Palin and the ADF&G issued even more wolf kill permits and put up a $150 bounty. A state judge ruled Palin exceeded her authority and the bounty was scrapped. At the end of the 2007 legislative session, Palin flooded the legislature with bills to ease up on wolf hunting restrictions, but the bills were held up in committee. In the spring of 2008, Palin tried to declare wildlife an “asset” of the State to make their management off limits to ballot initiatives. She covertly tried to tack a wolf hunting bill on to an animal cruelty bill, SB 273, introduced by Senator Bill Wielechowski. Pun intended: she got shot down.

Last month Alaskans voted once again on Aerial Predator Control. The intent of the ballot initiative was simple enough; to prohibit the shooting of wolves and grizzly bears from aircraft. Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, overseer of elections, did his part to insure the proposition language was confusing enough to guarantee failure:

Ballot Measure 2

Bill Amending Same Day Airborne Shooting


This bill amends current law banning same-day

airborne shooting to include grizzly bears. The

bill permits the Board of Game to allow a predator

program for wolves and grizzly bears if the

Commissioner of Fish and Game finds an emergency,

where wolves or grizzly bears in an area

are causing a decline in prey. Only employees of

the Department of Fish and Game could take

part in the program. Only the minimum number

of wolves or grizzly bears needed to stop the

emergency could be removed.

Should this initiative become law?



Parnell was dragged into court several times for misrepresenting the intent of the initiative on the ballot. Many Alaskans were confused by the ballot language. My neighbor is a retired state engineer. He is a bright man and a conservationist. He voted no despite being an outspoken opponent of aerial wolf killing. Had I not known to vote yes, I would have voted no too. Now, aerial predator control proponents can disingenuously claim that Alaskans favor killing wolves and bears from planes as evidenced by the 2008 vote on Ballot Prop 2.

Governor Palin did her part to defeat the initiative as well. She approved the use of public money and ordered the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to publish a 26-page full color pamphlet called “Understanding Intensive Management and Predator Control in Alaska.” It circulated through newspapers statewide and was mailed to tens of thousands of Alaskans just days before the election. The pamphlet emphasized “how well the current system is working.” Jim Marcotte, Director of Support for the Board of Game, said the pamphlet was not meant to influence voters-Really? Spending public money to tell Alaskans that the Aerial Wolf Control Program is necessary to protect our moose and caribou populations just before a statewide election wasn’t an attempt to influence the outcome? The fear machine was in full force. The message was clear: wolves threaten hunters’ ability to put food on the table. But the truth was more about putting pelts on a wall. In addition to the pamphlet and mailers, the state paid for Board of Game members to fly all over Alaska to “educate” the public on the benefits of predator control-again just before the election. This entire predator control program is about turning Alaska into a wild game farm. In response to the allegation that she signed off on a “propaganda campaign to justify the state’s barbaric wolf slaughter from the skies,” Palin said, “My understanding is this program was funded by the Legislature to factually explain game management practices to Alaskans, and I don’t have a problem with that.” The total bill for the “education” was $400,000. Nearly the same amount of money she vetoed for high school drop out prevention. It’s shameful she spent almost half a million dollars on pamphlets to compensate for Alaska’s prohibition on Cialis. Hey, if you’ve been shooting wolves out of planes, and you have an erection lasting for more than four hours, check the Boone & Crocket stats, you may have a trophy!

In June of this year, the ADF&G broke their own predator control regulations with the slaughter of 14 wolf pups near Point Moeller. Under the ADF&G Wolf Control Regulations (5AAC 92.110(i)), “Denning, the killing of wolf young in the den, is prohibited.” On site at the scene of the crime were Deputy ADF&G Commissioner for Wildlife, Ken Taylor, and The Director of ADF&G’s Division of Wildlife Conservation, Doug Larsen. Why were suits from Juneau involved in a routine field operation? Why do we pay them salaries to enforce laws they are either unaware of, or choose to break? Perhaps they knew they were breaking their own law and were there to support the cover-up and clean up crew.

ADF&G Biologists want to “maintain” caribou herd numbers between 3,000-4,000 animals on the Alaska Peninsula near Port Moeller. According to former ADF&G Commissioner Ron Skoog, the caribou populations on the Alaska Peninsula have fluctuated many times over the last several decades. Indeed, the caribou population on the Alaska Peninsula has dropped to 500 or fewer at least 3 times over 132 years. ADF&G Biologists obtained emergency permission to kill wolves by misleading the Board of Game and Alaskans to think the current decline is unprecedented. This is clearly NOT the case.

Sarah Palin has been in a position to do the right thing for the wildlife of Alaska. Independent Alaskan Biologists have been begging for her ear. Faith based science is not science, yet it is what she has used in her policy making; mocking legitimate studies, and embracing big game hunters. The Rapture is not an environmental policy nor is it a game management policy.

It’s been a long time since I set or checked a trap. I’ve spent hours behind a camera, camping in bear refuges, in awe of the nature of Alaska. When I was a child, I had no idea how big the world was, or how tamed parts had become. Looking at the world, I know Alaska is precious in its wildness. Why can’t we just let Nature run wild?

Photos courtesy of Florian Shulz; Special thanks to Leo and Dorothy Keeler.


And the bottom line is... If humans were meant to hunt wolves, they could run faster than the pack.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vets on National Archives Bldg

Vets on National Archives Bldg
(full story at link)
Washington -- Five military veterans, all members of Veterans For Peace, are breaking camp from their perch on the National Archives building this morning, taking with them their 22x8-ft. banner demanding "DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY: WAR CRIMINALS!" that has overlooked their 24-hour action on a narrow ledge 35 feet above Constitution Ave.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Alaskan Wildlife for Obama

The Caribou are Supporting Obama,
as Are the Rest of the Wildlife in Alaska!
Buzzflash is selling them if you like buttons. I sure as hell don't trust their future to republicans, would you?

Just had to share.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Economic Darwinism at its Zenith

Rainman's satire nails it every time.

And adieu Stephen, best wishes for you. I already added magazine to my bloglist and am making a post for everyone to understand wth is going on.

The Political Junkies:

Roubini’s essential thesis:

Today . . . the US has performed the greatest nationalization in the history of humanity. By nationalizing Fannie and Freddie the US has increased its public assets by almost $6 trillion and has increased its public debt/liabilities by another $6 trillion. The US has also turned itself into the largest government-owned hedge fund in the world: by injecting a likely $200 billion of capital into Fannie and Freddie and taking on almost $6 trillion of liabilities of such GSEs the US has also undertaken the biggest and most levered LBO (“leveraged buy-out”) in human history that has a debt to equity ratio of 30 ($6,000 billion of debt against $200 billion of equity).

So now Comrades Bush, Paulson and Bernanke (as originally nicknamed by Willem Buiter) have now turned the USA into the USSRA (the United Socialist State Republic of America). Socialism is indeed alive and well in America; but this is socialism for the rich, the well connected and Wall Street. A socialism where profits are privatized and losses are socialized with the US tax-payer being charged the bill of $300 billion.

This biggest bailout and nationalization in human history comes from the most fanatically and ideologically zealot free-market laissez-faire administration in US history. These are the folks who for years spewed the rhetoric of free markets and cutting down government intervention in economic affairs. But they were so fanatically ideological about free markets that they did not realize that financial and other markets without proper rules, supervision and regulation are like a jungle where greed – untempered by fear of loss or of punishment – leads to credit bubbles and asset bubbles and manias and eventual bust and panics.

In TPJ’s view, “socialism where profits are privatized and losses are socialized with the US tax-payer being charged the bill” is simply an extension of the new Republican doctrine of an “ownership society.” The new Republican doctrine simply values the “ownership” of the instruments of America’s capital over the value of the production of profits represented by those instruments.

If this sounds like the classic balance of power between ownership and labor – it is, but it extends far beyond those classic lines of political policy. In order to protect investments, Republicans are now willing to protect corporate profits at any cost as a mechanism of protecting the investor class. In its grand scope, Republicans have over the past eight years:

1. Relieved a growing number of employers from providing health insurance with the highest rates of uninsured employees in history;

2. Dismantled environmental regulations to protect corporate profits;

3. Distorted, manipulated and falsified scientific research to deny global warming as a political strategy to protect corporate profits;

4. Extended the biggest share of tax breaks to the investor class;

5. Devalued the US Dollar to lows not seen in history and threatening the US Dollar’s position as the reserve currency of the world while;

6. Driving up prices that Americans pay for all imported goods, particularly the price of energy;

7. Deregulated reasonable controls on the financial markets that permitted the creation of investment vehicles that led to the housing crisis and the credit crunch while;

8. Using tax dollars to protect investors from losses.

All these developments represent the Republican “ownership society.” The examples are just a few from among a plethora; globalization in the context of the “ownership society” could fill countless articles. It is economic Darwinism at its zenith.

It also squares with the Republican philosophy of shrinking government to the size of a bathtub and then drowning it. Using tax dollars to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the bail outs to come, make the cost of the war in Iraq pale in comparison. Ultimately, however, the Federal government will have to cut social programs to pay for the increasing debt. Republicans will then have dismantled the social safety nets constructed over generations while enriching corporate America.

Question for Americans: is this the policy you want guiding America for the next eight years?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

About those lobbyists...

My Friends ad

Will the real Sarah Palin please stand up.

Tina Fey does Helicopter Barbie to perfection. Hillarious and dead-on...

Saturday Night Live - Palin / Hillary Open - Video -

Gov. Palin and Senator Clinton address the nation.

Something tells me there's an Emmy for this in Fey's future.

AP Chevy Chase said Monday he wants Tina Fey to go "even harder" on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin than she did in her "Saturday Night ...

Debunking the 'Bimbo Doctrine' - Financial Post


Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm adding this link to the Stuff here. So we can see who's being pandered to and who's being pandered against.

AKA the Influence Trade. So will the man using lobbyists turn around and stab them in the back if he is elected? Or are his campaign promises as full of hot air as he is? What a joke. Of course it can be argued that these people are in it for whatever they can get. And know they'll be dumped the minute their job is done. Hmm... wonder who insured them and their families?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

War Crimes Conference

Can we as a nation abide by the rule of law? I missed the first day of this but the videos are archived and they come back in the morninging at 9am. Amazing information every true American should know, not just poli-sci wonks.

Untitled Video warcrimes 1, warcrimes Ustream.TV: 9/13/08 02:18PM PST. 8:09pm

Live video by Ustream
Untitled Video warcrimes 1 @ Ustream.TV: 9/13/08 02:18PM PST.

"A two-day conference on obtaining prosecutions of high level American war criminals will open September 13th, in Andover, Mass. The conference will explore the legal grounds for, and plan for, obtaining prosecutions of President Bush and top officials of his Administration for war crimes.

"In the tradition of America’s Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials after World War II, Justice Robert Jackson, the Conference’s purpose is “to hold high U.S. officials accountable in courts of law and, if guilt is found, to obtain appropriate punishments.

"Otherwise,” said the Conference’s convener, Lawrence Velvel, “the future will be threatened by additional examples of Executive lawlessness by leaders who need fear no personal consequences” for their actions, leading to “the possibility of more Viet Nams, more Iraqs, and more repression.' "

It took how many years to get Pinochet?

I might stay up all night listening to this.


The Truth Squad

Mudflats posted this list a couple days ago. Is this Orwell or are we living in Pigs in Space? And no, I'm not calling these ladies 'pigs', it just feels like that reality more and more. I mean, with Russia being so close and all...

The Truth Squad... more hot milfers. I recognize Michelle Bachman and Marsha Blackburn from the RNC.

National Members Of The Palin Truth Squad:

· Former Governor Jane Swift (R-MA)
· Governor Linda Lingle (R-HI)
· Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, (R-AK)
· Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
· Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
· Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
· Congresswoman Thelma Drake (R-VA)
· Congresswoman Mary Fallin (R-OK)
· Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
· Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX)
· Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
· Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI)
· Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC)
· Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
· Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM)
· Jo Ann Davidson, RNC Co-Chair
· Rosario Marin, Former U.S. Treasurer
· Meg Stapleton, Former Aide To Governor Palin
· Kristan Cole, Lifelong Friend Of Governor Palin

State Members Of The Palin Truth Squad:

· Former Lt. Governor Jane Norton (CO)
· State Representative Amy Stephens (CO)
· State Board of Education Member Peggy Littleton (CO)
· State Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff (FL)
· County Commissioner Mildred Fernandez (FL)
· Former Iowa Senate President And Former U.S. Ambassador To The Eastern Caribbean, Mary Kramer (IA)
· State Representative Jackie Walorski (IN)
· State Representative Laura Brod (MN)
· Former GOP State Party Chairwoman And Former State Rep. Barb Sykora (MN)
· Jayne Millerick, Former NH GOP Chair (NH)
· State Senator Jennifer Beck, Honorary Co-Chair NJ Women For McCain-Palin (NJ)
· Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, Honorary Vice Chair NJ Women For McCain-Palin (NJ)
· Bergen County Clerk Kathe Donovan, Honorary Co-Chair NJ Women For McCain-Palin (NJ)
· DA Dona Ana County Susana Martinez (NM)
· Former Lt. Gov. Lorraine Bono-Hunt (NV)
· State Senator Barbara Cegavske (NV)
· State Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert (NV)
· Sue Lowden, Nevada GOP Chair (NV)
&# 183; Kay Ayres, OH GOP Vice Chair (OH)
· Betty Montgomery, Ohio Women For McCain-Palin Chair (OH)
· Mary Taylor, Ohio Auditor Of State (OH)
· Margie Hughes, Clackamas County Chair Of Women For McCain-Palin (OR)
· Linda Neace, West Linn Small Business Owner For McCain-Palin (OR)
· Deanna Smith, Women For McCain-Palin Chairwoman (OR)
· Renee Amoore, PA GOP Deputy Chair (PA)
· Joyce Haas, PA GOP Vice Chair (PA)
· State Senator Lisa Baker (PA)
· Diana Irey, Washington County Commissioner (PA)
· Christine Toretti, RNC National Committeewoman and McCain-Palin Pennsylvania Co-Chair (PA)
· Kim Ward, Westmoreland County Commissioner and McCain-Palin Pennsylvania Regional Chair (PA)
· Former First Lady Susan Allen (VA)
· Lori Ann Miller, Young Republican Federation Of VA Chairman (VA)
· Former Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow (WI)
· Peggy Oban Boze, McCain-Palin Chairwomen For King County (WA)
· Susan McCaw, Former Ambassador To Austria (WA)
· Della Newman, Former Ambassador To New Zealand (WA)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Buttons for Obama/Biden

Kids, cats and polar bears...
dear to my heart.

Just so you'll know where to get them if you like...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Kiko's Place: Light in the Piazza

Kiko's Place: Light in the Piazza

1962 film about a mom dedicated to the welfare of her child. And the kid LOVES dogs. Cute, poignant, latin romance in a beautiful setting that appreciates love.

Yvette is the dimwitted daughter awakening to the delights of love with George (untanned!) Hamilton as the just-as dimwitted latin suitor. This movies is so cool and touches you on many levels, as light-hearted as it is. And the scenery ain't no slouch either--inside or out. Filmed on location in Firenze (Florence) in the time of Camelot.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Isn't Palin supposed to move to Cheney's undisclosed location after she gets elected, not before?
--Josh Marshall

Must be planning the nuptuals.
Palin Leaves Campaign Trail. Flees North. <-Mudflats

My Barracuda

By Jimmy Buffett
Well I saw this couple
Just the other day
Livin' under a bridge
In a homeless way
Like a million others
All over this land
Livin' day to day
Without a master plan

In this unforgiving world
There ain't no doubt
It will chew you up
And it will spit you out
She calls him barracuda
My barracuda

She used to work in the circus
A real high wire act
He was a lion tamer
Up until the attack

He came without instructions
Then he came unglued
Now he's just a monster
in a human suit
She calls him barracuda
My barracuda

She still can't figure out
What she's doin' down here
And she don't know
If he loves her or not

He may be a barracuda
But he's the only lover she's got

#1 Reason Why I Love Joe

He's very well aware of the need to pursue the LAW... to "restore the constitution to it's rightful place in our society."
"Collecting data" (collecting evidence)
"Building the file" (building a case)

"Out of the need to preserve the notion that no one..... is above the law."

Leahy, Waxman, and Conyers (my other 3 heroes) will do their job. Of that I have no doubt. And here's a group of movers and shakers that can facilitate it happening...

"The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched." -Supreme Justice Robert H. Jackson, at Nuremberg.


Book Review by Motherbird:

IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE by Sinclair Lewis
Book review by Jodey Bateman

Another little something that poor students of history should read, by your favorite Libertarian...
It Can't Happen Here by Ron Paul
Dec 21, 2004 ... Those who believe a police state can't happen here are poor students of history. Every government, democratic or not, is capable of tyranny. ... - 12k

lobbyist in common

This is something nagging at me from a couple days ago.

Palin and Abramoff had a lobbyist in common.

What about those forced abortions for the contract sweatshop workers in the Marianas? Are those in common also, in any respect? That's the kind of people the Gov. of Alaska is in bed with.


I'm pretty sure Jimmy Buffett has a song named this too. About living under a bridge? I'll have to dig it up.

But Ann and Nancy didn't like their version being used.
Republicans Lack Heart!


North To Alaska

So there's a real storm brewing and I didn't want to clutter up my nice homey blog with this politico hubbris.

Presenting, my new blog...

H E L I C O P T E R .. B A R B I E

The Girl Who Would Shoot A Wolf