Friday, June 29, 2007

FBI probes attempted firebombing of researcher's car

The FBI is probing the attempted firebombing of a car owned by UCLA medical professor Dr. Arthur Rosenbaum as an act of terrorism. The bombing occurred Sunday, and a group calling itself the "Animal Liberation Brigade" is threatening Professor Rosenbaum with more violence. The group said in the following in their "communique" ( a "comminque" is pretentious AR-speak for a press release issued by a criminal element ) :

"Rosenbaum, you need to watch your back because next time you are in the operating room or walking to your office you just might be facing injections into your eyes like the primates, you sick twisted f---."

Wow. Such venom, such vitriol, such unbridled hate. I thought AR was all about compassion, tolerance, peace, love, and all that wonderful hippie-type stuff? Can't you just feel the love and compassion oozing from the fine folks at "Animal Liberation Brigade"?

One thing I find interesting here is the comments by Chancellor Abrams that even those who agree with AR "should divorce themselves from those who engage in violence, harassment, and criminal acts and do what they can to bring the lawbreakers to justice.". I am familiar enough with the ways of AR organizations ( and admittedly cynical enough ) to know that such a hope is a pipe dream. Rest assured that some ARAs will completely agree with this crime, and that the silence from the rest will speak volumes. You will here nothing from PeTA, HSUS, or any other AR propaganda machine condemning this. I would welcome them proving me wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

UK Environment Minister rules out Foie Gras ban

Here is some refreshing news, especially considering where it comes from. According to this article, The UK's Environment Minister has ruled out a ban on the sale of foie gras. Ben Bradshaw, the Environment Minister said the following: "Ultimately, the most effective action that can be taken is for individuals not to buy foie gras, if they dislike the way it is produced.". This is exactly the point I have made before in response to the silliness of foie gras bans. Let the free market decide. There is no need for the heavy hand of intrusive big government. If people do not like foie gras, they will not purchase it, and that for which there is no market will disappear. Chicago aldermen, are you taking notes? You could learn something about free markets and personal liberty from Mr. Bradshaw's comments.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dumb and Dumber: Ingrid Newkirk versus Michael Moore

There's nothing quite like watching two idiots go at each other, so this attack by Ingrid Newkirk on left-wing documentary maker and half-baked conspiracy theorist Michael Moore is quite entertaining to say the least. According to the article, in her letter to him, Newkirk referred to Moore as being the proverbial "elephant in the room" because of his weight problem and called him a hypocrite. Ingrid calling someone else a hypocrite? Now that is funny indeed. Ms. Newkirk and her organization are the very poster children for hypocrisy! If Ingrid really wanted to convert Mr. Moore to vegetarianism, insulting him doesn't seem to be a very smart way to go about it, but then again, Ingrid certainly isn't the sharpest tool in the shed.

Another embarrassment for PeTA

PeTA has received yet another embarrassment as two PeTA employees went on trial today for allegedly "dog-napping" a hunting dog belonging to an animal control officer. The dog was allegedly picked up by two PeTA employees and its tracking collar removed and thrown on the side of the road, perhaps indicating they had no intention of finding its owner. The two employees are each charged with grand larceny for the dog ( a felony ) and petty larceny for the collar ( a misdemeanor ). The dog was later found by police in the back of a PeTA-owned van driven by the employees. All I can say is that is one lucky dog that the cops showed up. Given PeTA's sordid history, the last place you want to be if you're a dog is in the back of a PeTA-owned van. We'll keep an eye on this one as the trial progresses.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jerry Vlasak launches insane homicidal diatribe on pro-AR blog

Self-anointed "animal liberation press officer" Dr. Jerry Vlasak has offered up a bizarre, misanthropic, venomous screed in the comments section of a pro-AR blog. Most of this is Dr. Vlasak regurgitating what we have heard from him before: calls for the murder of animal "exploiters", and it really does speak for itself. It is the ranting of a lunatic. There are a couple of statements made by Dr. Vlasak, however, that are worth analyzing:

"Despite all the millions of dollars and untold human hours spent on currently accepted tactics of education, legislation, and demonstrations, more animals are being tortured and killed every year, both in the US and worldwide than at any time in history. As a scientist and physician, I am taught to question techniques that do not improve results."

And as a physician Dr. Vlasak is also taught to be beholden to the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. Yet he is a constant promoter of violence and a purveyor of violent, irresponsible rhetoric. The Hippocratic oath is supposed to be the physician's highest ethical standard, and Dr. Vlasak seems to ignore his responsibility to it at every turn, choosing instead to promote the very opposite: harm to his fellow human beings.

"Fear is an effective factor in altering behavior,......."

Yes indeed, it certainly can be. Just ask al-Qaida and other Islamo-fascist, jihadist groups. They live by the very same same creed as apparently Dr. Vlasak does: if people reject your point of view, then by God, FORCE them to accept it through terror, intimidation and violence. Indeed, the use of fear and intimidation to coerce is the very definition of terrorism. Such tactics have no place in a free, open, and democratic society, Dr. Vlasak.

"Lastly, anyone who believes in the possibility of total animal liberation while billions of humans continue to inhabit and decimate the planet is delusional. Only when most humans have died off will there be a chance to returning to a society that values all beings for who they are."

This one is so insane that it is truly frightening. Now Dr. Vlasak is apparently, at the the very least indirectly, advocating for genocide. I wonder if he would volunteer himself to be in the group of "most humans" who have "died off"? Don't hold your breath. Again, I ask the same question: how can a physician, who swears an oath to not harm people, take such a position and still be considered credible? I leave it to you, the reader, to decide.

I don't believe that most people in the AR movement share Dr. Vlasak's crazy views. He is the most lunatic of the lunatic fringe. Something also tells me that Dr. Vlasak wouldn't actually himself do the things he advocates, because, like the rest of radical AR leadership, he is a coward. He has no intention of giving up his ivory tower for 6x6 cell and a girlfriend named Bubba. But if he can find at least one "useful idiot" who is willing to do his bidding, then he has, at least in part, accomplished his goal. Dr. Vlasak's latest trip into madness reminds me of this great quote by Roy McMurty, Attorney General of the province of Ontario, which I will leave you to ponder:

"It is important to answer the mad man. It is important because, left unanswered, his lies and his malice can poison the climate. They can do worse. They can make other men mad. Left unanswered for long enough, they can nourish everything in men and women that is hateful and destructive and murderous. Our end is to ensure that every time the madman shouts in the market place, he is answered."

Dr. Vlasak and his ilk are madmen, and their "shouting in the marketplace" must be answered.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thought for the day

"That government is best which governs the least."

- Thomas Paine

Update to ALF attack on non-fur selling "fur" store

Last week, I posted about an ALF vandalism on a store in Pennsylvania that has the word "fur" in its name, but doesn't actually sell fur. Well, the story has been updated to now include comments by self-anointed ALF "press officer" Dr. Jerry Vlasak. Yes, this is the same Dr. Vlasak that advocates murdering scientists to stop animal testing. In the story, Dr. Vlasak dishonestly attempts to shift the blame for the attacks from the perpetrators and onto the victims. Why? Simply because they use the word "fur" in their name. Dr. Vlasak is using the exact same kind of logic here that some people use to blame a rape victim, rather than the rapist, for the rape: since a woman was dressed provocatively, it is her own fault, not the fault of the perp, that she got raped. After all, by dressing provocatively, she was "just asking for it". Dr. Vlasak is using the same horrid logic: since the business uses the word "fur", well, it's their own fault they got hit. As per usual for Dr. Vlasak, he is utterly intellectually and morally bankrupt.

Good News: New vaccine could prevent ravages of Alzheimer's disease

According to this article, a promising new vaccine is perhaps just around the corner that prevents the worst symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. They hope to have it available to patients in about six years. This vaccine, like most treatments, was first tested on animals, in this case mice, before it went to human clinical trials. Yet, despite seemingly infinite examples to the contrary, we are told ad nauseum by ARAs that animal testing is completely unnecessary. We are told by ARAs that animal testing has contributed very little to the advancement of medicine. We are told it is nothing more than torture of animals by evil, sadistic scientists greedy for money. History ( in conjunction with common sense ) , of course tells us otherwise and exposes their lies for what they are. For a list of historical medical milestones made possible by animal testing you can go here. For a listing of veterinary applications made possible by animal testing, go here. The Research Defense Society also offers a cool feature for updates on current, ongoing research, that can be accessed here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Monster grizzly captured in Montana

On a lighter note, here's a little interesting news for fellow bear lovers. Bear biologists in Montana recently trapped a 7 foot 6 inch, 750 lb. boar grizzly in Montana while capturing bears to fit them with tracking collars. They estimate the bear they've nicknamed "big daddy" could reach 900 lbs. after the summer feeding season. While big Alaskan coastal brownies can top 10 ft. and 1500 lbs., 750 lbs is certainly beastly proportions for a Rocky Mountain grizzly. Very cool. Get the whole scoop here.

More of Wayne Pacelle's less-than-truthful Congressional testimony exposed

I commented about a month ago about how HSUS president Wayne Pacelle offered up untrue testimony before the House Agriculture Committee while testifying about animal welfare in agriculture. I pointed out that Pacelle made the false claim that a cow having "mad cow" disease entered the U.S. food supply. Now, Pacelle has been called out by swine veterinarians for yet more dubious testimony at the same hearings, in which Pacelle also made the claim that pigs could contract "mad cow" disease. This article points out, that in fact, "mad cow " has never naturally occurred in pigs. Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, said of Pacelle's assertion: "There was very little science. The testimony was basically sensationalism and fear mongering.". Indeed. But that is generally what comes out of the AR movement. Lots of lies, sensationalism, and emotionalism, but very little in the way of facts or scientific truths. If Pacelle is willing to be less than truthful when testifying in front of the duly elected representatives of the people about agriculture, then how can we trust him and his organization to tell the truth on issues like wildlife management, scientific research, or anything else that that HSUS seeks to influence public policy on?

Doh! ALF idiots attack "fur" store that doesn't sell fur

According to this story, the Animal Liberation Front ( ALF ) is taking responsibility for vandalism at Linda's Fashions and Fur Salon in Geistown, Pennsylvania. Apparently none of the ALF criminals bothered to check up on their chosen target before indulging themselves in their need to vandalize: the business in question doesn't sell fur, and hasn't for the past 20 years. Intelligent people, these ALF types, aren't they?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Something sportsmen and ARAs can agree on: The 'World Hunting Association" sucks

I don't know how many are familiar with it yet, but there is a new organization out there calling itself the "World Hunting Association" ( WHA ) . The purpose of WHA is to make hunting into a kind of absurd reality TV show ( it is not shown on TV, footage must be viewed on their website, which I will not do them the favor of linking to ) in which contestants "hunt" ( term used loosely) whitetail bucks on an enclosed Michigan ranch in a tournament for cash prizes. It is apparently supposed to be modeled on the popularity of fishing tournaments. Of course, the difference is glaring. Fishing tournaments are based on catch and release in which anglers must release their catches unharmed. Hunting, however, is of course lethal.
I take a number of ethical issues with what WHA is doing. First, hunting should be a private experience that is done alone or with one's friends and family. It is an experience that is both joyful and solemn at the same time. It should not be a bizarre public spectacle like a Roman gladiatorial contest. To make it such shows gross disrespect for both wildlife and hunting traditions IMHO. Second, is the fair chase issue. "Hunting" large game like deer in an enclosed area like this is not fair chase because it serves to limit the natural abilities of the animal, particularly the ability to elude and escape, and because it lowers the amount of skill required of the hunter. Third is the issue of monetary prizes for hunting. This is also an affront to ethical hunting tradition. The only rewards from hunting should be food for the table, memories, time well spent with nature, one's self, and one's companions, and perhaps a well-earned trophy of a magnificent specimen. A $600,000 check from a scantily clad bimbo for killing an enclosed animal doesn't fit into the equation.
The only purpose of the WHA is to cheapen the hunting tradition and experience and to make a mockery of ethical hunters who hunt in a spirit of fair chase, conservation, and sportsmanship. Many well known, respected members of the outdoor community have rightfully come out and condemned WHA. Among them:

- Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops, the nation's largest hunting and fishing
specialty retailers

- The Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young Clubs, keepers of hunting records

- Mossy Oak brand camouflage

I would encourage all, hunter and non-hunter alike, to join in this condemnation. Sorry for the rant, but this subject has been bugging me for a while and I had to get it off the my chest. Few things ruffle my feathers more than crass, unethical "hunters" and those that support them. ARAs, excluding the ALF types, do not make me as angry as these people do. I rank "slob hunters" just below pedophiles, wife beaters, and terrorists in the amount of disdain I harbor for them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A little more nature photography

I love this new digital camera we got recently. It seems to take pretty good pictures. It's amazing what you can find, quite literally out your back door, if you look closely and are fortunate enough to live in a fairly natural area. I found this columbine, our state flower, in full bloom, growing within the protective shade of a Gambel oak, on a short little trek from our house into the woods.

Some good comments on the "Reciprocation as the Basis of Rights" post

A few weeks ago I posted some lengthy, but well informed and intelligent comments on reciprocation as the basis of rights by a reader, Carol. An anonymous poster has left some comments in response to Carol's that I think are worth reading in hopes of fostering a discussion of what I think is the "where the rubber meets the road" area of the AR debate. That post is a few weeks dated, and is no longer on the front page, but it, along with the new comments and my response, can be accessed here.

PeTA wants Paris Hilton as spokesperson

This story is just too funny on the one hand, and too much of an indictment of PeTA's character, on the other, to pass up. The folks at PeTA are seeking out Paris Hilton ( a.k.a. inmate number 9818783 ) to be their spokeswoman for chickens according to MSNBC. The cynical, dark humor side of me thinks that Hilton certainly would make a good PeTA spokesperson. After all, she is a spoiled, pampered, whiny, ego-maniacal, utterly clueless celebrity brat, and she would be joining others much like herself on PeTA's roster, such as Pam Andersen and Alec Baldwin. On the other hand, it seems like Hilton's mental health is somewhat fragile at this point, and one can see how utterly shameless PeTA is being in trying to exploit someone who may be in a less than rational condition to further their own ideological ends. But that's typical PeTA for you. In their world, "animal exploitation" is bad, but exploitation of people, especially women, for ideological gain, seems to be just fine. The funniest quote from this whole thing: "We have a good track record at reaching celebrities behind bars" by PeTA's Dan Mathews.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Death toll from apparent "animal liberation": 400 mink and 2 family dogs

This is a rather disturbing story coming out of Pennsylvania. Four hundred mink will killed when they were released form a mink farm, and two dogs were also stabbed or shot. As the article states, no one has taken responsibility for this act, but it sure seems like it has the Animal Liberation Front ( ALF ) or other similar radical "animal liberation" group written all over it. I would guess that the dogs were killed because they were apparently trained to round up the minks, and the perpetrators couldn't allow that to happen. This incident pretty much sums up what is so wrong about "animal liberation" terrorists. To release animals into the wild like this is nothing short of criminally irresponsible. First off, it often ends up killing the very animals that these miscreants claim they want to protect because they often die from exposure, being run over, predators, etc.. Furthermore, such a release has the potential to also devastate the local ecosystems by the influx of these often non-native animals. And these are the same people that claim to care about animals and the environment. Why would those who favor AR release animals to die and kill dogs one might ask? I think the answer is that because to the AR/animal liberation mindset, self-serving ideology and agenda trumps all. If some animals must be sacrificed to achieve their goal of "total animal liberation", in the words of Ingrid Newkirk, then that is an acceptable loss in their minds. In short, the ends justify the means. We saw a similar thing in the U.K. recently in which some animals were killed in an ALF arson at a dairy farm that damaged farm machinery and a hay barn. Again, the fact that some animals were killed is inconsequential to the perpetrators. You will not here either of these actions condemned by PeTA or any other outlet of the animal rights mafia. Why? Because there seems to be an unwritten rule amongst many ARAs that you never, ever criticize a "direct action" or the ultra-radical lunatic fringe that conducts them. To do so is to harm "the cause". The hypocrisy here is mind-boggling as well. To the AR mind, it is apparently OK for them to kill animals if it somehow advances the "higher goal", but God forbid using animals for life saving medical research or shooting a deer to put food on your table.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

PCRM Advisory board member Heimlich: Cure AIDS by giving patients malaria

This comes from the "you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried" department here at the Speciesist's Corner. Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the famous "Heimlich maneuver" for choking victims, has come up with a rather insane idea: to cure AIDS by injecting patients with live malaria, according to this report. According to the report, an AIDS experts is calling Heimlich's theory "scientifically unsound" and "ethically questionable". Indeed, to try to cure one disease by introducing another seems not only illogical, but also to be a violation of the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. It reminds one very much of bizarre medieval medicine. Dr. Heimlich is an advisory board member of the grossly misnamed Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine ( PCRM ) . For those not familiar with it, PCRM is a radical animal rights group posing as legitimate medical group. Less than 5% of PCRM's members are physicians, and much of their funding comes from PeTA, funneled through the PeTA Foundation. Their only reason for existence seems to be to work against sound medical research using animals, to promote veganism, and to attempt to deceitfully give some kind of scientific credibility to AR ideology. I think this article speaks volumes about the kind of quacks and crackpots that form PCRM. I leave it to you, the reader, to decide for yourself if you think this is "responsible medicine" or not, and whether any "medical" organization that would have such an individual as an advisory board member is fit to be giving trustworthy medical advice.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Our 12th wedding anniversary

I would be remiss if I didn't mention this, today is the 12th wedding anniversary for Stephanie and I.

"You in the moonlight, with your sleepy eyes, could you ever love a man like me?
You were right, when I walked into your house, I knew I'd never want to leave."

From "Leather and Lace" by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley

I still love those lines for "our" song. Thanks for making the last dozen years the best of my life. Here's to hoping for dozens more. You're the best, Steph. I love you.

PeTA's latest goofiness: Tax breaks for vegetarians

This story actually broke last week, and I intended to comment on it then, but I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off since about the end of last week. It's a little late, but hey, it's just so darn much fun when Ingrid, Bruce, and company come up with a really dumb idea, which seems to be most of the time. Since people get a tax incentive for purchasing a hybrid vehicle, the brilliant folks at PeTA thought that it would be a good idea to write to the leaders of Congress to ask for a tax break for vegetarians as well. According to PeTA's claims, vegetarians do more for the environment than those who switch to a hybrid car, and since hybrid owners get a tax break, they figure vegetarians should as well. The astute reader will recognize quickly the most glaring problem with this: how does one actually prove to the IRS that one is a vegetarian? It's easy to prove you've purchased a hybrid car: you've got your bill of sale, your proof of insurance card, your registration, etc. . But there is no way to provide proof that one is a vegetarian. Food receipts don't work because how does Uncle Sam know you're not hiding the ones for baby back ribs and pepperoni pizza and only producing the ones for Brussels sprouts and tofu? I know this is heady stuff for PeTA, but somebody has to call a spade a spade. It also seems to me that common sense would dictate that we need LESS red tape and bureaucracy in the tax code, not more. If PeTA is really serious about helping the American taxpayer, how about they write to Congress and ask them to stop wasteful pork barrel and entitlement spending, and to stop funding idiotic, expensive foreign policy blunders like the Iraq war. Don't hold your breath. As a footnote to this story, there is a clip from CNN of this story being read on their newscast. Scroll down to the line about PeTA wanting tax break for vegetarians, click it and it will play. The anchor woman's sarcasm after the story is read is nothing short of priceless.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Urgent alert for outdoorsmen: Tell Microsoft to stop funding HSUS

I was just recently forwarded this disturbing article that claims that Microsoft will be making donations to the Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) through a pilot program involving Windows Live Messenger. HSUS is perhaps the most dangerous of the AR organizations because they are exceptionally wealthy and because they cloak a lot of their more radical ideas behind mostly benign animal welfare language. Unlike PeTA, whom most of the population recognizes as crackpots and idiots, HSUS is taken seriously because of their welfarist language and rather deceptive name. If you are a hunter or angler ( or if you simply dislike the radical AR agenda), please write or call Microsoft (contact info is in the article) and let them know your disapproval for their support of this freedom-stealing organization. Let them know that you will not be purchasing their products until they either withdraw support for HSUS, or, at the very least, to be balanced and offer an option in the same donation program for people to donate to pro-sportsmen charities such as Ducks Unlimited, Hunt of a Lifetime, or a similar organization. Remind them that HSUS is a radical animal rights organization, not a mainstream, moderate animal welfare organization, and that they have no ties to animal shelters, rescues, or local humane societies . Remind them that HSUS is a wealthy political lobbyist group that does very little in terms of actual, real, hands-on help for animals. Remind them that HSUS has a radical agenda that seeks an end to all hunting, fishing and scientifically-based wildlife management, promotes unnecessary, regressive restrictions on scientific and medical research using animals, and seeks a vegan society. Be respectful and dignified in your writing or call, but also be blunt and forceful enough so that they understand your displeasure. Being angry, swearing, etc. in your communication will only make matters worse. As the article points out, several companies have already severed their ties to HSUS because of pressure from sportsmen. We do have financial clout in that most of us have disposable income that we can decide to spend, or not spend, on their products, and it can make them listen and help make a difference. A good way to start right now, if you have not done so already, is to stop using Microsoft's Internet Explorer and download the open-source Mozilla Firefox. It is faster, more secure, better looking, and generally superior to Microsoft's product in every way. Looks like it's time to either go to Linux or get a Mac.

One thing in this article that needs correction: bear hunting has not been banned in Colorado. What was banned was the SPRING bear season, as well as baiting bears. Bears may still be hunted in the fall. Indeed, since the spring hunting ban went into effect, Colorado's bear harvest has actually increased because the Division of Wildlife simply moved the bear season to coincide with the fall general deer and elk seasons. What was once a kind of specialty hunting that attracted only a few hunters, now gets a lot more attention from the general hunting population. People will purchase a bear tag along with their deer or elk tag in hopes that they will simply stumble across a bear, which certainly can happen. The result: bigger bear harvest, increased revenue for conservation and habitat acquisition, and egg on the face of a national animal rights industry lobbyist group that chose to interfere with our local politics and had it backfire on them.

AR whackjob eats corgi in protest

According to this article, British artist and ARA Mark McGowan has eaten a cooked Welsh Corgi on the radio in a bizarre protest against fox hunting. Apparently, Yoko Ono, wife of the late John Lennon ( the multi-millionaire who sang "imagine no possessions" ) was with McGowan and also tried the cooked canine. McGowan is known for his strange stunts. He one time carried a raw 27 pound turkey on his head walking 11 miles backwards while shouting to overweight people in a "protest" against the "obesity pandemic". WTF? He also dined on fox one time to bring attention to the "plight of crackheads" (aren't crackheads responsible for getting themselves into their own "plight" in the first place, I might ask?). The astute reader will notice that Mr. McGowan claims that his little stunt was "an art piece". No, Mr. McGowan. It is a bizarre stunt by an individual who seems to have a desperate need to draw attention to himself that one can't help but wonder may border on the pathological. As long as the AR movement has wingnuts like McGowan speaking out for it, it will be seen for what it is: bizarre fanaticism on the lunatic fringe of society.