Friday, April 01, 2005

The Reality Inversion Layer Descends Further

(Backfilling - originally posted here.)

Trophy Hunting Advocate Named Acting Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

— The Humane Society of the United States

WASHINGTON – Today, The HSUS expressed its strong disappointment that Interior Secretary Gale Norton has named Matthew J. Hogan to be acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Hogan was formerly the chief lobbyist for Safari Club International (SCI), an extreme trophy hunting organization that advocates the killing of rare species around the world.
Okay, "extreme trophy hunting" sounds exciting, but what's it about? And that word "killing" - so judgemental!
SCI members shoot prescribed lists of animals to win so-called Grand Slam and Inner Circle titles. There's the Africa Big Five (leopard, elephant, lion, rhino, and buffalo), the North American Twenty Nine (all species of bear, bison, sheep, moose, caribou, and deer), Big Cats of the World, Antlered Game of the Americas, and many other contests.

To complete all 29 award categories, a hunter must kill a minimum of 322 separate species and sub-species - enough to populate a large zoo.
Sounds difficult. Can't be cheap either.
This is an extremely expensive and lengthy task,
and many SCI members take the quick and easy route to see their names in the record books. They shoot captive animals in canned hunts, both in the United States and overseas, and some engage in other unethical conduct like shooting animals over bait, from vehicles, with spotlights, or on the periphery of national parks.
What's the fuss about? Hell, it's not like they're using explosives or poison, is it? Great White Hunters all.
SCI members have even tried to circumvent federal laws to import their rare trophies from other countries. Prominent SCI hunter Kenneth E. Behring donated $100 million to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum and, according to published reports, tried to get the museum's help in importing a rare Kara Tau argali sheep which he shot in Kazakhstan and had shipped to a Canadian taxidermist - one of only 100 Kara Tau argali sheep remaining in the world.
It would be ridiculous to imagine for an instant that the hundred million was donated for anything resembling that purpose, but that's a lot of money to be demeaned by even the appearance of trying to leverage it in this way. Of course he's not going to demand the money back if he doesn't get his way, but it's tainted by association. (And in the "no surprises there" department Behring is, predictably, a corpulent white dude.)

What's a good black joke without a punchline. Wait for it ... you know it's coming.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, now under Hogan's watch, is the agency charged with granting or denying such trophy import permits.
Poacher turned gamekeeper? Yeah, and this is a genuine Rolex.


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