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Wolf - Pin
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Okay, so I'm a little behind the power curve on this one. If I'd done this ten years ago when I was supposed to we'd all be able to retire, but, what the heck. Anyway, it's not howling at the moon is it!? Be thankful for some things. Also for all those with whom aerial wolf hunting is an issue the 'running free' gesture of this pin can become one of fleeing with the addition of the Supercub pin hovering behind and above. The early reaction to the artist's proof on this one has been outstanding and we could have sold it many times over here at the studio, so I'm pretty certain you will do well with it too. I don't really need to dwell on the natural history of the wolf: you all probably know more about it from humping all that wolf gear out there than I ever will. To be honest about it, I have seen them in the wild only one or two times in my life. Years ago, there used to be a terrific display at the Tok visitors center. (Tok is the first 'town' you come to in Alaska when you come up the highway.) The display, which took up the whole wall, was seven wolf cub pelts, and one (presumably the mother) adult skin all tastefully tacked up to represent the Alaska Flag (aka Ursa Major). Get it? the pelts were the stars! Talk about 'cher tasteful art! I wonder if they got a NEA grant for that? Where is Jesse Helms when we need him!?...I wonder if it's still up. Anyone gone through Tok Junction lately? Let's hear about it. I guess everyone saw the horrific CNN footage of Alaskan wolf "control", so there isn't too much I could add to that. Res ipsa loquitor...the thing speaks for itself. I am surprised that more political hay wasn't made of it by our friends in the environmental movement, but this brilliant opportunity seemed to sort of pass by. Guess they are still reeling from the Newt phenom. As sympathetic as I am to the goals of the environmental people, can I please say something here? These folks have been trying, rather successfully I might add, to tie people's sympathy for baby seals and whales, wolves and other legitimate wildlife and environmental issues to left wing politics. Any lobbyist who works only one side of the aisle is asking for big trouble. And, I mean, where is it written that if you are against clear cutting you have to be a socialist? Green Party please take note. Also, hate to remind you that the uncontested father of the government's involvement in the environment: the pal of John Muir: the guy who set aside just about all the parks and forests and saved the buffalo etc. etc. and was the only modern president who was a genuine outdoorsman, who really loved the out-of-doors and was not some goat roping fool standin' around with a couple of pathetic looking dead ducks at a photo opportunity, was my personal favorite, T. R. Roosevelt, a Republican. Name anyone who's done more. Be honest. As a result of the enviros arrogantly splitting off from the admittedly moss backed, but still very important older "conservationist" outfits that had, and still have important public support, votes and money, we got a big mess on our hands. Ducks Unlimited was buying habitat before the Nature Conservancy was even thought of. Indeed, that's where they got the radical idea that if you want the benefits of property you ought to buy it. And by the way, that habitat is still there, not just for ducks, but all the other stuff, too. As far as I can tell, if it weren't for duck hunters and the marshes they have preserved, there wouldn't be any wetlands at all in California. So where do these people get off coralling the environmental issues and bundling them up with all these woo woo politics? Well, they're (we're) paying the price now. The animals are out of the cages. Alaska's representation on these issues is an excellent case in point. Stevens, Murkowski and Young. A real wrecking crew that ought to make even the most liberal of my friends begin to see the logic of term limits. Thanks in at least some measure to the sharp pointy sticks the enviros have been poking into these guys over the years, (not to mention the derisive laughter), Alaska is about to get a buzz cut the likes of which you have not seen in your worst nightmare. Which group has the credibility to go into one of these offices and even try to get an appointment, let alone get an argument listened to? (I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the only way you're going to hurt these guys is in the primary election with a legitimate conservative environmentalist. After all conservation is a very conservative impulse.) Anyway, in taking stock for what to do next, we might all just want to think about this a little before we act. In the real world a lobbyist that screwed up this badly would get canned. For incompetence, of course, but mainly because of a lack of effectiveness due to bridge conflagration. If you are a big time donor of time or money to an environmental group, do you know where your lobbyist is tonight? And by the way, while we're examining our hole card here, has anyone ever sat down and done a focus group study to determine who are the most likely people to gain from environmental initiatives and programs? Inner city youth? Or upper and middle, but mostly upper income people? Sure, they're gonna try to be hip and say the right thing about the environment at a cocktail party, but, as the tax screw is tightened and when you insist that your environmental candidate tax the daylights out of these people, who are already paying over 50% of their income and providing about 40% of the total take from income taxes, even though they constitute less than 4% of the tax returns, sooner or later they're going to vote for the Contract. Wake up folks. As an environmentalist or conservationist, what the hell do you care how someone votes on taxes or any of the rest of it? And while I'm on a roll here, may I also do my part to dispel once and for all another load of hogwash laid on us in large part by the environmental lobbyists and their penumbra of new age (God, just the arrogance of that phrase! new age, as if human nature had changed somehow...) class traitors (i.e. like someone said recently, playing all eighteen holes of the American Dream but not wanting to pay the green fees...). Where was I? Oh yeah, the hogwash. Native Americans as environmentalists. Not. I mean, there are some, just like in every other race, but I am really tired of this constant bleat that they are somehow "natural" environmentalists. I'm trying to think where this all got started, and I think it was that public service ad by the American Ad Council that we used to see years ago. Remember? a car drives by and throws some litter out along the highway, and then the camera zones in on a lone Indian warrior who sheds a tear. Or, it might be the famous and oft quoted alleged "speech" of Chief Seattle which I understand was really written by some white activists in California many years ago. Am I wrong? Tell me. Whatever the deal, I don't believe anyone can even make a basic argument that Natives are any more environmentally concerned than anyone else. Reference back to how kind they were to the environment as patent nonsense. They hadn't even invented the wheel yet, so how the hell were they going build interstate highways, railroads etc., and generally plow the place up? The problem is, Natives are on planet earth with the rest of us and, sorry, they are just going to have to, as they say these days, deal with it. What is going on in Southeast Alaska right now for instance is as we say, an environmental crime. In a thumbnail sketch it goes like this. Even though, in Southeast Alaska, Native land claims had already been settled by an earlier act of Congress, the Natives there got in on the Act (Alaska Native Land Claims Act) and were ceded huge tracts of very valuable and environmentally key land in the Tongass on the emotionally argued basis that it was needed for "traditional subsistence" purposes. Fair enough. Fishing and deer hunting by a few locals will leave the land in tact. However, rather than use the land for subsistence purposes, outside logging companies were called in by the Native Corporations to clear cut vast portions of these, now private properties. The logging continues at an amazing pace as you can see if you travel through Southeast. However, as we all know, and as has been demonstrated ad nauseum by conservation groups fighting the Forest Service and their allies in the timber industry, it isn't economical to log in the Tongass. Of course, there were huge losses on these logging projects, which should have ended the deal right there, but no. Responding to this great distress, a special Act of Congress is obtained which allows the Natives to sell these losses to profitable companies, like Proctor and Gamble. These funds are then distributed, someone told me tax free! to individual shareholders in the Native corporations. Now Stevens, Young and Murkowski are promoting more land to go to some other "landless" Natives they have identified, so they can do the same thing. In other words they are using the Natives as a sort of flow though account to clear-cut the Tongass Forest. Let me hasten to note, that not all Natives agree with this policy or with the logging. Some are quite angry: some have even tried to sue. That's my whole point here. Natives are just as varied in their points of view, and just as subject to temptation as the rest of us. But, human nature is what it is, and if someone were periodically laying a tax free check on you for 16,000 dollars or so, how hard are you going to fight for your traditional subsistence lifestyle (which is, truth be told, pretty damned miserable most of the time)? The brilliance of this plan from the politicos point of view is that unless someone (as I am trying to do here) is willing to get out front and speak the unspeakable (Hey! Natives are just the same as the rest of us and we all gotta live here!) they are going to skate this hustle right through. So, back to our main topic here (re-examination of environmental lobbying efforts) we are going to have to see if the environmental lobbyists we hire with our donations are going to be able to get up and be heard on this one. The Congressional Delegation and their big timber company financial supporters are counting on the fact that the environmentalists, already co-opted by political correctness, will just sit by and watch the First Americans reenact the history of the Second Americans. So get your honky butt out of the sweat lodge and get to work. Well, let's move on to the real problem: too many babies. SIZE: 2"x1.25"

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