Friday, November 28, 2003

Something to be Thankful For

Love him or hate him, everyone must agree that our president has balls. Going to Baghdad in that big plane, right into the belly of the beast, tweaking the enemy's nose, having turkey with the troops, and going home before he was even missed, took some big cojones.

And no writer reported it better than Francis W. Poretto, the Curmudgeon Emeritus at Palace of Reason.
Imagine being one of those miscreants. Imagine learning, as they all have by now, that the man you'd most like to kill, the man you've already tried to kill once, has just flown quite literally into your midst, sat down to a hearty dinner with his retainers, and flown out again without mussing a hair.
Just a taste. Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Honest Opposition

My mother always told me that if I wanted to criticize something I had to offer a positive alternative. I guess my mother was smarter than the mothers of those who oppose our president. All they seem to be able to do is tear things down. When they offer alternatives, they do not offer serious alternatives. They offer that we should turn over the Iraq situation to the UN, as if the UN hadn't already abandoned the country, as if G.W. hasn't already done everything in his power to get them to go along.

But the biggest dishonesty of the left is their failure to accept the plain honest fact that we are already in Iraq. They might have opposed our move into Iraq, but they will have to get over that now. "Working with world leaders to abolish war" (Dennis Kucinich) is a fine idea, but utterly dishonest. If elected, Kucinich would be the only world leader who has expressed an intention to abolish war. But, while Kucinich is in deep denial about reality, he is not alone. "Turn over operations to NGOs and the UN" (Wesley Clark) would run afoul of the fact that that they have already cut and run. And the best one is the almost unanimous agreement of the nine dwarves in the debates that, whatever else we do, we have to get these American companies in Iraq off of the gravy train. Alternative please? French and German companies perhaps?

The reason these democrats offer no solutions is because they believe that their credulous constituency seeks none, and needs none. The democrat party has shown an almost imperial propensity to ignore the issues of their constituency. And who can say that they are wrong? The blacks, to whom they offer nothing, grant an almost unanimous voting bloc to the democrats. The republicans, who give high office and endless deference to members of the black race, get almost no votes (10% in 2000) at all from that group. The trial lawyers, who finance the democrats almost single-handedly, get (and demand) nothing more than a total lack of tort reform, No action is demanded for all of that money. At least in that case, no action is a good thing. The seniors, offerred an entirely new entitlement for medicare drug benefits, are about to experience a filibuster from the democrats, attempting to block the first attempt to expand this entitlement in almost thirty years. But no serious observer believes that this stand against their interests will cost the left any senior votes.

But now we are involved in a world war. Our very way of life and even our survival is at stake. And the democrats? Have they offerred anything at all besides empty criticism of the Bush approach? Ok, they hate Bush. They really really wish that we had never disturbed Saddam Hussein and had stayed home. They can't believe that Bush ignored France and Germany on this one. But he did. Now what? These are men who actually wish to be put in charge of operations. One would think that they, or at least one of them, would offer a plan that reflects some simulacrum of reality. But if they have, I haven't seen it.

I believe them when they indicate the depth of their enmity towards G.W.Bush. I don't understand it, but I believe it. But until and unless they offer some semblence of a plan for moving forward, they are not electable. It is utterly dishonest. My mother always knew how to detect honesty. And, as a democratic pol for fifty years, at the age of eighty nine, even she will be voting for G.W. next November. Again.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Ration(al) Energy

As I contemplate the world that my children will inherit from us, it pains me to see the extent to which crucial decisions regarding the shape of that world are founded upon junk science and demagogue-inspired hysteria. If only scientific decisions could be made by the dispassionate consideration of science, rather than the emotional feelings of misinformed masses. So much single-interest politics decides so many debates.

But wait a minute! Am I not falling into the trap set by the leftie crowd, which believes that so many political questions could be resolved if only the rest of us would realize that the left is correct, and not ideological in the least? Is there really a right and a wrong, even in science? Specifically, can the Global Warming and Nuclear Energy debates ever be resolved by consideration of the science?

In Europe, Germany has begun a total phase out of nuclear power generation.
Germany disconnected the first of its 19 nuclear power stations Friday, beginning an unprecedented phase-out that underscores differences between some European nations and the United States on securing future energy supplies.
Germany is the first major industrialized nation to renounce the technology. Under a deal negotiated after years of wrangling between the government and power company bosses, all Germany's nuclear reactors are to close by 2020.
In October 1998 a coalition government was formed between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green Party, the latter having polled only 6.7% of the vote. As a result, these two parties agreed to change the law to establish the eventual phasing out of nuclear power.
But the Greens, who were instrumental in pushing through this policy change, have no idea how the power generated by nuclear plants will be replaced. Presently about one third of electric power generation is handled by nuclear plants. Has anyone even considered how much extra air pollution will be created by this folly? And, aren't the Greens the same ones who are demanding that the German government comply with the Kyoto protocols? Consider:
Germany's other main fuel for base-load electricity is brown coal (which produces about 1.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide per MWh). Over half the country's electricity now comes from coal. Arising from the Kyoto accord, and as part of the differentiated EU "bubble", Germany is committed to a 21% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2010.
German public sentiment in the last few years has swung strongly in support of nuclear energy. A poll late in 1997 showed that some 81% of Germans wanted existing nuclear plants to continue operating, the highest level for many years and well up from the 1991 figure of 64%. The vast majority of Germans expected nuclear energy to be widely used in the foreseeable future. The poll also showed a sharp drop in sympathy for militant protests against transport of radioactive waste.
In November 1998 Germany's electric utilities issued a joint statement pointing out that achievement of greenhouse goals would not be possible without nuclear energy. A few days later the Federation of German Industries declared that the "politically undisturbed operation" of existing nuclear plants was a prerequisite for its cooperation in reaching greenhouse gas emission targets. Nuclear energy currently avoids the emission of about 170 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide, compared with 260 Mt/yr being emitted by other German power plants.
But these are practical considerations. The fact that nuclear power is the cleanest and safest power generating technology has never been seriously refuted. The emotional effect, however, is the point of the exercise. Radiation is BAD. Children are in danger. Mean nasty capitalists will profit. Case closed. Who needs so much electricity anyway? We can conserve. Something else will be invented. Don't worry, better technologies already exist, but the bad capitalists have bought the patents and are keeping the technology off the market. When these greedy capitalists have no choice, all will be revealed. Power will flow. Air will be clean. Children will be happy.

The environmental movement today is some sort of an institutional Andy Rooney: All they have to do is complain. Their sole responsibility is to point out dangers. It will ever be someone else's problem to clean up the mess that these destructive policies create. In May the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service pointed out that "the Endangered Species Act is broken", due to the flood of litigation from environmental groups. These groups sue the government over the designation of habitat, even though there is plenty of evidence that this litigation hurts, rather than helps the animals they claim to support:
Faced with mounting numbers of court orders from six years of litigation, the Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon run out of funds to designate critical habitat for threatened and endangered species, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson said today.

More important, the flood of court orders requiring critical habitat designations is undermining endangered species conservation by compromising the Service’s ability to protect new species and to work with states, tribes, landowners and others to recover those already listed under the Act, Manson said.

In July, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will exhaust the funds required to meet its obligations to designate critical habitat under court orders and settlements for FY 2003.
“The Endangered Species Act is broken. This flood of litigation over critical habitat designation is preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from protecting new species and reducing its ability to recover plants and animals already listed as threatened or endangered,” Manson said. “Imagine an emergency room where lawsuits force the doctors to treat sprained ankles while patients with heart attacks expire in the waiting room and you’ve got a good picture of our endangered species program right now.”
And so it goes. The Global Warming debate threatens to impoverish the developed countries, even as the science becomes more and more equivocal as to whether mankind-induced warming even exists, and there is no consensus that there is anything humans can do to affect global temperatures anyway. The Senate recently convened hearings on the subject, and before the hearings even began the Senators leading the inquiry, McCain and Lieberman, announced that the outcome was not in doubt, and the only reason that they were having the hearings was to decide on exactly what kind of legislation they would create. But then, most congressmen don't even believe that the place is on the level. But one thing is certain: over 90% of senators and congressmen are reelected come election time. And single interest politics trumps the science almost all of the time. As Spock once said: "Cry for the children."

Sunday, November 16, 2003


Almost a month ago I announced that I could not support Bush for reelection. I wrote that no democrat could be worse. I wrote that voting for the least bad candidate, even though I disagreed with the way he was doing his job, was the wrong thing to do. I wrote that Bush was incompetent.

I was wrong.

Since I wrote that post a lot of American troops have died. American helos have crashed. And the reality of slipping approval poll numbers combined with a surging Dean candidacy have brought the concept of a President Dean into better focus. So I reevaluated my position from a fresh blank piece of paper (it's what I call Zero Base Thinking), and the only conclusion that I could make is that, despite his faults, there is no choice but to support G.W.Bush with all of my heart. And there is one single reason that trumps all other considerations: he will never abandon the American nation and people to the will of the enemy.

He, alone among the other candidates for president, knows that we are in a war of survival. He, alone among the candidates, has a strong moral center that can not be swayed by polls. He, alone among the candidates, is a man of his word. He, alone among the candidates, will support Israel no matter what happens. And, most important of all, when he says that we will never abandon the fight, unlike the other candidates, I believe him. And our enemies are coming to believe him as well.

It may be true that he has had some trouble getting his team on the same page that he is on. He has had some trouble managing the rest of his agenda. He has promoted a new and unnecessary entitlement program. He is a big government, protectionist, prohibitionist, deficit raiser. He represents what used to be the platform of the democrat party. But.

We are in a war against an enemy who will not stop trying to destroy us until he is soundly defeated. Such a defeat is something only a president can prosecute and win. The congress can slow or stymie a president who tries to do the wrong thing, but congress can not make the president do the right thing. Congress can not have vision or a coherent plan. President Bush does.

I am not going to shut my eyes, hold my breath and vote for Bush. I shall campaign for Bush. I shall try to get others to vote for him. I have embraced his presidency and will support his vision without reservation.

There is no other choice. He is not the least bad candidate. He is the best candidate. He is the only candidate.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Words Have Meaning

Definitions of words are definite. Words Have Meaning. There is no doubt about it. The problem is, however, that we can not always agree on exactly what the meaning is. We can, however, always understand our own names when called

In my house we have two pre-teen boys running around, and the meaning of words is a source of frequent discussion. Even names can become a subject of heated debate. My youngest, we call Gobo, while my name for my eldest is Bogie. Gobo would rather be referred to as Bogie, while Bogie would prefer Sir. My wife insists that she can never remember which is which, so she calls them by no name at all, and relies on body language to differentiate the boys. Each of my sons has a host of alternative sobriquets for his counterpart. Yet no matter what name we use, we always know to whom we are referring, and we always know when our number is being called. When someone at the opposite end of the house yells out "DADDY!" it can sound an awful lot like "EDDIE!" (another name for Bogie) yet I always know when it is me they want.

Now we are advised that a majority of Europeans believe that it is Israel that is the primary source of instability in the world. We are also advised that it is Zionism that is a festering sore on the body politic, that this is not to say that it is the Jews that stand in the way of world-wide harmony. But we can put all of that on an equal footing with the viability of the purchase of a lottery ticket as a solution to a shortfall in this month's rent: it is not believable. With remarkable clarity, it is now apparent that a preponderance of opinion holds the Jews responsible for many of the world's ills. That an immense number of people agree that "these little people are the root of evil" as the composer of "Zorba the Greek" claims. 36 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote stunningly that
My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled--as others have been--into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.

Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--make no mistake about it."
Yet a major American national political party allows a vicious anti-semite to contend for its presidential nomination, as if it is OK to lobby one's constituency to murder, as long as the intended victim is a Jew. But at least Brother Al doesn't hide behind words like Zionism as the excuse for his hatred. Why do we allow Europe to do so? Zion means Jew. We all know that.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

What Islam is this?

This was supposed to be a restful day. The wife had gone off with my youngest for some event at Sunday school, my eldest was safely asleep for at least the next two hours, and I had just settled into my chair with a cup of java and made the mistake of firing up the Windows box as the radio began a couple of hours of Breakfast with the Beatles. As the greatest ouvre of British music ever created played in the background, my computer screen revealed the most significant event since 9/11/01.

The murderous, death-and-pussy-seeking bastards have attacked, successfully, their own. Not for the first time; not by any means. But this time, everyone has noticed. Every Muslim, at least. At midnight, at the feast of Ramadan, Arab families in Riyadh celebrating Mohammad's sanctity together were deliberately blasted to kingdom come by their "brothers." The timing was deliberately chosen so as to kill and maim the maximum number of women and children, who were all consummating the end of the fast together with their men-folk.

This time even Reuters gets it:
RIYADH (Reuters) - Shocked and angered at an apparent suicide bombing against Muslim families in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan, ordinary Saudis said the bombing on Sunday would destroy any lingering support for Muslim militants.

Bombarded by brutal television and newspaper images of carnage caused by a midnight explosion at the housing compound of Muhaya, on Riyadh's desert outskirts, many were united in condemning the second deadly attack in their capital in six months.

"What Islam is this? They are terrorists," said Hamdan Youssef, a 39-year-old businessman.

The attack came almost six months to the day after May 12 suicide bombings in Riyadh -- which Saudis describe as their own September 11 -- killed 35 people, including nine Americans.
But Sunday's targets were overwhelmingly Arab and Muslim.
Just as on 9/11, in an instant, the world has changed. Muslims everywhere can no longer understand or support the death-craving lunatics, who have finally revealed their true agenda in terms that even a mutilated little girl could understand. No longer just bystanders. No longer any excuses. No person who has read and understood the Koran can accept these tactics: deliberately killing Muslim men women and children is NOT ALLOWED! This is not the work of believers in the teachings of Mohammad. This is the work of power mad fanatics who want something far more pedestrian that the reappearance of the Madhi. They simply want to replace the house of Saud and become the rulers of the oil kingdom. That's how al Jazeera sees it, and until this morning they were fans of bin Laden and his followers.
The deadly bomb attack on a housing complex in Riyadh represents the latest battle between the Saudi Arabian monarchy and its armed opponents in a war to eliminate the other.
So, my restful Sunday is shot. I will be reading, writing, and monitoring the situation for the next few hours, at least. I am interested to see how the Western media perceive this event. They have an almost unbroken string of misperception of events in the Arab world. Our intelligentsia and media seem to feel a commitment to avoid the truth about the war that we have been in for the last decade. But today is big. This is unavoidable. Al Qaida has revealed its new strategy. Since December of 2001, when bin Laden was killed (OK, maybe just horribly wounded, but I don't believe that he's alive) they have seemed to lack focus. But this latest attack is focused like a laser beam. It is temporal, secular power that its current leaders crave. This is great stuff. They want to kill their own. What a break for us. Even if they destroy the House of Saud, and take power in the desert kingdom, their credibility is shot among their own crowd. No Mahdi would violate the Koran in this way. This is not the beginning of a new Caliphate. This is a war for the oil wells and Mecca, between Arabs. I wish both sides the best of luck and good shooting in this next chapter of the war.

Let the Games Begin!

Friday, November 07, 2003

Time to Get Serious About War

The President made a magnificent speech yesterday at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy. It bears reading by all serious Americans. It was followed by an even more magnificent column by Victor Davis Hanson in today's National Review.

Times are critical now. We must either get serious about what we are doing or stop. Being in between doesn't do anyone any good. We are either in a war to save civilization, or we surrender until our enemy either fades away or convinces a bigger majority of us that they are serious. I don't believe that surrender is an option, but warfare is either waged or not; there is no middle ground.

We know precisely the crisis and we know the enemy. The mixture of autocracy, religious intolerance, and feelings of inferiority brought on by globalization has created a lethal brew in all the unfree parts of the Islamic Arab world. Again, our crisis is not really with the majority of Muslims who live under consensual or semi-democratic auspices — in Turkey, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, or India. Instead it is in the Middle East where a minority (encompassing millions) has turned to fundamentalism and hatred of a dominant West to account for the misery incurred by its own economic and political failures. And these belligerents will only quit when they believe it is in their own interest to do so.
Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to the representative government. This "cultural condescension," as Ronald Reagan termed it, has a long history. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would "never work." Another observer declared the prospects for democracy in post-Hitler Germany are, and I quote, "most uncertain at best" -- he made that claim in 1957. Seventy-four years ago, The Sunday London Times declared nine-tenths of the population of India to be "illiterates not caring a fig for politics." Yet when Indian democracy was imperiled in the 1970s, the Indian people showed their commitment to liberty in a national referendum that saved their form of government.

Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are "ready" for democracy -- as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress. In fact, the daily work of democracy itself is the path of progress. It teaches cooperation, the free exchange of ideas, and the peaceful resolution of differences. As men and women are showing, from Bangladesh to Botswana, to Mongolia, it is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy, and every nation can start on this path.

It should be clear to all that Islam -- the faith of one-fifth of humanity -- is consistent with democratic rule. Democratic progress is found in many predominantly Muslim countries -- in Turkey and Indonesia, and Senegal and Albania, Niger and Sierra Leone. Muslim men and women are good citizens of India and South Africa, of the nations of Western Europe, and of the United States of America.

More than half of all the Muslims in the world live in freedom under democratically constituted governments. They succeed in democratic societies, not in spite of their faith, but because of it. A religion that demands individual moral accountability, and encourages the encounter of the individual with God, is fully compatible with the rights and responsibilities of self-government.

Yet there's a great challenge today in the Middle East. In the words of a recent report by Arab scholars, the global wave of democracy has -- and I quote -- "barely reached the Arab states." They continue: "This freedom deficit undermines human development and is one of the most painful manifestations of lagging political development." The freedom deficit they describe has terrible consequences, of the people of the Middle East and for the world. In many Middle Eastern countries, poverty is deep and it is spreading, women lack rights and are denied schooling. Whole societies remain stagnant while the world moves ahead. These are not the failures of a culture or a religion. These are the failures of political and economic doctrines.

As the colonial era passed away, the Middle East saw the establishment of many military dictatorships. Some rulers adopted the dogmas of socialism, seized total control of political parties and the media and universities. They allied themselves with the Soviet bloc and with international terrorism. Dictators in Iraq and Syria promised the restoration of national honor, a return to ancient glories. They've left instead a legacy of torture, oppression, misery, and ruin.

Other men, and groups of men, have gained influence in the Middle East and beyond through an ideology of theocratic terror. Behind their language of religion is the ambition for absolute political power. Ruling cabals like the Taliban show their version of religious piety in public whippings of women, ruthless suppression of any difference or dissent, and support for terrorists who arm and train to murder the innocent. The Taliban promised religious purity and national pride. Instead, by systematically destroying a proud and working society, they left behind suffering and starvation.
Just a taste, kiddies. Your assignment for today: read them both. Today

Today's Funny (or not)

I got this in my email from a vet I know. While it's funny, it is sadly all too true as well. See if you can figure out where he served in Nam.

The Differential Theory of US Armed Forces (Snake Model)

Upon encountering a snake in the Area of Operations (AO)...

1. Infantry: Snake smells them, leaves area.

2. Airborne: Lands on and kills the snake.

3. Armor: Drives over snake, laughs, and looks for more snakes.

4. Aviation: Has 12-digit grid coordinates of snake from GPS. FAC gives steer to target. Can't find snake. Returns to base for refuel, crew rest and manicure.

5. Ranger: Plays with snake, then eats it.

6. Field Artillery: Kills snake with massive Time On Target barrage with three Forward Artillery Brigades in support. Kills several hundred civilians as unavoidable collateral damage. Mission is considered a success and all participants (inc. cooks, mechanics and clerks) are awarded Silver Stars.

7. Special Forces: Makes contact with snake, ignores all State Department directives and Theater Commander Rules of Engagement by building rapport with snake and winning its heart and mind. Trains it to kill other snakes. Files enormous claim for travel pay settlement upon return.

8. Combat Engineer: Studies snake. Prepares in-depth doctrinal thesis in obscure 5 series Field Manual about how to defeat snake using countermobility assets. Complains that maneuver forces don't understand how to properly conduct doctrinal counter-snake ops.

9. Navy SEAL: Expends all ammunition and calls for naval gunfire support in failed attempt to kill snake. Snake bites SEAL and retreats to safety. Hollywood makes fantasy film in which SEALS kill myriad extremist snakes.

10. Navy: Fires off 50 cruise missiles from various types of ships, kills snake and makes presentation to Senate Appropriations Committee on how Naval forces are the most cost-effective means of anti-snake force projection.

11. Marine: Kills snake by accident while looking for souvenirs. Local civilians demand removal of all US forces from Area of Operations.

12. Marine Recon: Follows snake, gets lost.

13. Combat Controllers: Guides snake elsewhere.

14. Para-Rescue Jumper: Wounds snake in initial encounter, then works feverishly to save snake's life.

15. Supply: (NOTICE Your anti-snake equipment is backordered.)

16. Transport pilot: Air-drops expired snakebite kits two grid squares away on roof of children's hospital.

17. F-15 pilot: Misidentifies snake as enemy Mi-24 Hind helicopter and engages with missiles. Crew chief paints snake kill on aircraft fuselage.

18. F-16 pilot: Finds snake, drops two CBU-87 cluster bombs, misses snake target, demolishes embassy 4 km east of snake due to weather. Cites inclement weather (Too Hot, Too Cold, Clear but overcast, Too dry with Rain, Unlimited ceiling with low cloud cover etc.) Suggests procurement of million-dollar, air-to-ground anti-snake bomb.

19. AH-64 Apache pilot: Unable to locate snake, cold-blooded snakes don't show well on infrared. Infrared only operable in desert AOs without power lines or SAMs.

20. UH-60 Blackhawk pilot: Finds snake on fourth pass after snake builds bonfire, pops smoke, lays out VS-17 to mark Landing Zone. Rotor wash blows snake into fire.

21. B-52 pilot: Pulls ARCLIGHT mission on snake, kills snake and every other living thing within two miles of target.

22. Missile crew: Lays in target coordinates to snake in 20 seconds, but can't receive authorization from National Command Authority to use weapons.

23. Intelligence officer: Snake? What snake? Only four of 35 indicators of snake activity are currently active. We assess the potential for snake activity as LOW.

24. Judge Advocate General (JAG): Snake declines to bite, citing grounds of professional courtesy.

The Next Phase of the War

Dr George Friedman of Strategic Forcasting Inc. has written a brilliant essay that puts the situation in Iraq in perspective and, I believe, gets it exactly right. I read it about three weeks ago but, what with reality and other silly things, never posted it. But now, with the passage of almost a month since he wrote it, it is even more true and on the mark. Unfortunately, Stratfor's free website doesn't have it anymore. But, thanks to my brilliant research techniques (Google, of course) I found it in Italy, in English, here.

I won't go on or quote extensively from it, because you must read it for yourself, but I can't resist just one tidbit:
We need to recall the two strategic reasons the United States had for invading Iraq -- as opposed to the public justifications:

1. Seizing the most strategic country in the region as a base of operations from which to mount follow-on operations against countries that collaborate or permit collaboration with al Qaeda.

2. Transforming the psychological perception of the United States in the Islamic world from a hated and impotent power to a hated but feared power.

The most significant impact the guerrilla war has had on the United States concerns the second goal. The perception (as opposed to the reality) of the war is that the conventional forces of the occupying power were helpless in the face of the guerrillas. There was certainly truth to that, but only in this sense. The guerrilla movement has remained well below critical mass -- it in no way threatens either the occupation or the operational capabilities of the United States. Total casualties relative to the force are insignificant from a military point of view.
He goes on to identify our real goals and problems and, not surprisingly, doesn't seem to agree one bit with the nine dwarves. RTWT

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Alaska vs. Wolves

Alaska game officials on Tuesday approved the state's first program in more than 15 years to shoot wolves from aircraft. In perusing the coverage (thank you Google News) from the various outlets, a funny thing happens. The Alaska news outlets report a very different story than that portrayed by the establishment media outlets. Let's take a look.

In the Anchorage Daily News the story is reported as non-controversial, while the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is positively enthusiastic, with both papers pointing out that the local residents need at least 150 Moose to survive, while the burgeoning Wolf populations have made Moose and Caribou populations decline to the point where no more than 90 animals can be harvested any more. At the same time, the stories carried by Newsday and CNN are full of angst about the poor wolves, and the unnecessary meanness of the process of hunting Wolves from the air. They give short or no shrift to the fact that families are going hungry and that the people and government of Alaska find this to be a fair balancing of the equities in this situation.

In Alaska, the debate is over whether private or state employed hunters will cull the Wolves. In fact, if Governor Murkowski would allow state game control officials to do the shooting he would not have needed this (unanimous) ruling by the Alaska Board of Game. But Priscilla Feral, president of the Connecticut-based advocacy group Friends of Animals, has threatened a national boycott of Alaska tourism if this policy is implemented. I am sure that Priscilla has never dined on Moose or Caribou. I am also sure that the death of a Wolf is more important to her than the hunger of an Alaskan family. I'd bet that the only feral beast she's ever consumed is her husband (sorry, couldn't help mysef from using that pun, but she surely has an appropriate name for someone with her job description).

What is it about liberal do-gooders that they feel that they have the right to interfere in other people's business? And how much of it comes from their feeling that they have the power to interfere in the first place? These are the same people who go off to Africa on eco-tours to see the animals. They are not about to boycott Kenya over its bush meat economy. I have never heard them making a fuss over Central and South American's fondness for Monkey and Guinea Pig meat. In Alaska, where Wolves are not endangered and therefore are hunted and trapped for their pelts all the time, the death of 200 more is not very controversial. What is far more important is families that need to find Moose to survive. I have eaten Moose and Caribou and can assure those who haven't that Beef, Sheep, and Pork are far better tasting. No one is shooting these animals for fun. The cost of a tenderfoot hunt in Alaska combined with the latest prices for taxidermy make pleasure hunting for Alaska Moose pretty rare, and not much done in this particular area of the state anyway. We are talking about food for people who have no other choice. So why is Ms. Feral and her buddies so up in arms?

Because they think that they have an issue. Something that they can use to get the great unwashed (that's us) interested in the poor little Wolf cubs that will lose their mothers to the cruel, cruel airplane men. They have already lost the fight over the trappers, so they are going after the pilots who are being empowered to shoot a maximum of 200 Wolves in a very small area of a very big state.

"The Wild" is a very misleading term, since people live almost everywhere. Many of the residents of Alaska are refugees from Connecticut and other "civilized" places. That's part of the problem, of course, since the indigenous population is a protected victim class so beloved of the multi-culti liberals. But Viet Nam veterans who moved to Alaska to live free away from the America that spat on them after they returned from serving their country get no such regard, and they make up a substantial part of the population of this part of Alaska. The coming days will show whether this story has legs. But, with Newsday and CNN pumping the story already, it doesn't look good.