Killing Endangered Species to Save Them

I thought I was beyond astonishment. I've been to the State Fair twice, I've been embroiled in Texas politics and I've dug into the thievery of Wall Street and Washington ... but I've never seen such jaw-dropping stupidity as the latest proposal from George W's interior department.

The boneheads in charge of administering our nation's policies toward the world's endangered species have decided that the way to "save" Asian elephants, Amazon parrots, and other species threatened with extinction -- is to kill them!

What we have here is more of the ivory tower, laissez-faire bushwa that substitutes for thinking in this corporatized administration. Their assertion is that if America's pet industry, circus companies, fur and skin purveyors, and safari firms were able to -- ahem -- "harvest" a big bunch of these already endangered animals each year, these corporations would pay harvest fees for each animal taken, thus allowing governments in these impoverished countries to funnel the money into better conservation programs for the animals that survive.

It would be akin to letting a crime syndicate pay fees for its own heists so local police could fund crime prevention lectures.

Of course, in the real world, what this harebrained scheme would do is to put a price on the head of every animal, providing an irresistible and uncontrollable market incentive for freelance entrepreneurs to kill, ship, and profit from endangered wildlife.

Yet, interior department officials are pushing blindly and unilaterally ahead with their executive "reinterpretation" of the Endangered Species Act, simply dismissing anyone who protests - as one Bushite scoffed: "There are critics who are going to claim some kind of ulterior motive" to our action.

Yes! The motive is your mindless determination to twist all laws to serve corporate interests. To fight their perversion of this law, call the Animal Welfare Institute (703) 836-4300.

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