Monday, May 23, 2011

City Council to Discuss a Revised Burning Ordinance Tomorrow Night

City Council will discuss a revised Burning Ordinance at tomorrow's, Tuesday night (7 PM) Council meeting.

Agenda Items (From the Council Packet):

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation--(Councilor Bonebrake)
3. Roll Call--B. Fitzpatrick
4. Consent Agenda
a. Minutes of May 10, 2011 Regular Session--B. Fitzpatrick, Motion/Approve
5. Citizens' Participation
(Citizens may address the Council on items not on the Agenda. Council may not be able to provide an immediate answer or response, but will direct staff to follow-up within three days on any question raised. Out of respect to the Council and others in attendance, please limit your comment to three (3) minutes. Please state your name and address for the record.)
6. Proclamation for Poppy Day--Mayor Dorrah, Read
7. Ordinance No. 3302 Bum Permit--J. Price, Motion/Approve
Possible 1st Reading
8. Ordinance No. 3303 Create Parks and Recreation Board--M. Kee, Motion/Approve
Possible 3rd Reading
9. Award of the 2011 Thin Overlay Paving Bid--M. Owen, Motion/Approve
10. Resolution No. 36592010-2011 Budget Changes--J. Dexter, Motion/Approve
11. Rules and Procedures of the Baker City Council--M. Kee, Discussion/
12. City Manager/Department Head Comments
13. Council Comments
14. Adjourn

Burning Ordinance (No. 3302)

The city has made a few changes to the new burning ordinance (No. 3302) they introduced about a month ago. One positive change, from my perspective, is that they changed the hours allowed for burning to between 7 AM and Dusk. The ordinance introduced a month ago had restricted burning to between 7 AM and 4 PM, when many people are working, at least on week days.

You can find the revised burning ordinance in the May 24 Council Packet that was posted this morning.

They are still restricting what can be burned in burn barrels. The new ordinance will change the things that are allowed to be burned in burn barrels by eliminating yard debris and wood, etc., and allowing only paper. There are some problems for citizens with this approach, as discussed below, the main one being that those who don't have the space required for open burning will no longer be able to burn yard debris in their burn barrels. There are other problems as well, and I will point them out in a post following tomorrow night's meeting, as I have very limited time right now.

I sent the following e-mail regarding the revised burning ordinance to the Council and City Manager today:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Councilors and City Manager:

Mike posted the Council Packet to the city website this morning (Thanks Mike) and I was just now able to read it over for the first time.

A few questions/comments:

1. The Purpose states that:
This ordinance shall promote the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Baker City due to the air pollution and fire hazards caused by residential burning involving burn barrels, open burning and the burning of refuse.

As has been pointed out, air quality in Baker City has been improving for several years. The new ordinance will change the things that are allowed to be burned in burn barrels by eliminating yard debris and wood, etc. While these burnable items are allowed in legal open burning by the ordinance, many residents in Baker City's higher density neighborhoods will no longer be able to burn them due to the 25 foot radius required for open burning. They won't have the room required, so even though they might have the radius allowed for using burn barrels, they will no longer be able to use them for their most common purpose--the burning of yard debris, wood and cuttings.

1a. Is it your unstated purpose to make burn barrels useless for their primary use at many city residences and thus eliminate the burning of yard debris, wood and cuttings at these residences (due to the lack of space for open burning?

1b. Do you have any data from local studies that would indicate periodic "residential burning involving burn barrels, open burning and the burning of refuse" is significantly detrimental to the "public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Baker City due to the air pollution and fire hazards caused by" this type of burning as it is practiced in Baker City? If there were some objective data available, it could be balanced against the harm that will be caused to the users of burn barrels by this ordinance.

2. When the ordinance refers to "small commercial fire pits and grills," is it referring to items commercially available for consumers at retail outlets, or to pits and grills used at commercial establishments, or both?

3. SECTION 3. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS, states under E., that "Only untreated wood, paper products and yard debris are permitted to be burned."

SECTION 5. OPEN PILE BURNING REQUIREMENTS, states under A., that "Open burn piles shall only contain dry leaves, wood, or paper."

One might assume that instead of just dry leaves, that the ordinance intended to allow the normal practice of allowing other yard debris, such as weeds and plant stems like old raspberry canes as well. Is the latter the correct reading and intent?

That's all for now. Thanks for a reply.



My previous post on this issue can be found at:

MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011
War on the Poor Escalates--City Ordinance Would Add Restrictions to Burn Barrels (There is a New Burn Fee Too!)

More after tomorrow night's meeting.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

YouTube: "After The Rapture"

I had heard a thought of those remaining after the Rapture perhaps looting some empty homes and businesses-but this is Hilarious!

YouTube: "After The Rapture"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Obama's New War on Libya was "illegal from the start."

In this Edition:

- Obama's New War on Libya was "illegal from the start."

- ODFW Kills Second Wallowa County Wolf, Collars Alpha Male of Imnaha Pack.


Obama's New War on Libya was "illegal from the start."

From Information Clearing House:

The Illegal War in Libya

By Glenn Greenwald

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation" -- candidate Barack Obama, December, 2007

"No more ignoring the law when it's inconvenient. That is not who we are. . . . We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers" -- candidate Barack Obama, August 1, 2007

May 19, 2011 "Salon" - - When President Obama ordered the U.S. military to wage war in Libya without Congressional approval (even though, to use his words, it did "not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation"), the administration and its defenders claimed he had legal authority to do so for two reasons: (1) the War Powers Resolution of 1973 (WPR) authorizes the President to wage war for 60 days without Congress, and (2) the "time-limited, well defined and discreet" nature of the mission meant that it was not really a "war" under the Constitution (Deputy NSA Adviser Ben Rhodes and the Obama OLC). Those claims were specious from the start, but are unquestionably inapplicable now.

From the start, the WPR provided no such authority. Section 1541(c) explicitly states that the war-making rights conferred by the statute apply only to "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." That's why Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman -- in an article in Foreign Policy entitled "Obama's Unconstitutional War" -- wrote when the war started that the "The War Powers Resolution doesn't authorize a single day of Libyan bombing" and that "in taking the country into a war with Libya, Barack Obama's administration is breaking new ground in its construction of an imperial presidency."

Ackerman detailed why Obama's sweeping claims of war powers exceeded that even of past controversial precedents, such as Clinton's 1999 bombing of Kosovo, which at least had the excuse that Congress authorized funding for it: "but Obama can't even take advantage of this same desperate expedient, since Congress has appropriated no funds for the Libyan war." The Nation's John Nichols explained that Obama's unilateral decision "was a violation of the provision in the founding document that requires the executive to attain authorization from Congress before launching military adventures abroad." Put simply, as Daniel Larison concluded in an excellent analysis last week, "the war was illegal from the start."

For rest of article, see Salon.

Imperial Secrecy

By Stephen M. Walt

May 19, 2011 "FP" -- Glenn Greenwald has a couple of must-read posts over at Salon, and I want to highlight the connection between them. The first post deals with the familiar issue of anti-Americanism, and Glenn makes the obvious but often-forgotten point that foreign animosity to the United States is largely a reaction to things that the United States does. In other words, they don't hate us for our freedoms, or for our values, or even our supposedly decadent TV shows. Rather, people who are angry at the United States -- and this includes most anti-American terrorists -- are opposed to different aspects of U.S. policy. Whether those U.S. policies are the right ones can be debated, of course, but the key point is that anti-Americanism doesn't come out of nowhere.
His second post draws on a just-published New Yorker article by Jane Mayer, detailing the Obama administration's unprecedented campaign to preserve official secrets and to prosecute leakers and whistleblowers. We've already seen the outlines of this campaign in the administration's overheated response to Wikileaks and its harsh treatment of alleged Wiki-leaker Bradley Manning, but Mayer offers a typically thorough account of just how widespread the administration's campaign is and I recommend you read it for yourself. The irony, of course is that candidate Obama used to be a loud advocate of greater transparency in government. But now that he's president, not so much.

The point I want to highlight, however, is that these two phenemona are tightly linked. America's global military presence, and its penchant for intervening in other countries for various reasons, inevitably generates a hostile backlash in lots of places. We tend to see our actions as wholly benevolent, in part because we take our leaders' rhetoric at face value and assume that if our stated purpose is noble, then the people whose countries we are meddling in will see it that way too. But no matter how noble our aims may be, military intervention and occupation inevitably creates winners and losers, and some of the losers aren't very happy about it. And because force is a crude instrument, even well-intentioned actions often have unfortunate unintended consequences (like civilian deaths). And so some people plant IEDs, or organize suicide attacks on our troops or our clients, and the most extreme of them even fly airplanes into buildings.

When things like this happen, Americans begin to see the world as increasingly hostile and dangerous, and so they naturally demand that the government do more to protect them. And as both Joseph McCarthy and Dick Cheney understood, the easiest way to convince people to give up their civil liberties is to magnify foreign threats. Once people are sufficiently scared, they will be more than happy to compromise civil liberties, especially if they think this is necessary for their protection (see under: Patriot Act).

For rest of Article see "Foreign Policy."

ODFW Kills Second Wallowa County Wolf, Collars Alpha Male

From ODFW:

Subject: Second uncollared wolf killed by ODFW last night
Date: Thu, 19 May 2011 10:02:46 -0700
From: Michelle Dennehy

Update May 19, 2011

Second wolf killed to reduce livestock losses

A second uncollared wolf from the Imnaha pack was killed by ODFW last night (May 18) as part of efforts to reduce livestock losses by wolves.

The young female wolf was shot on private land. At the time, the wolf was with four other wolves from the pack (including one of the younger collared wolves) in an area where livestock depredation has occurred this year.

The latest confirmed depredation by a wolf (a calf) occurred the evening of May 16, 2011. All wolf kills of livestock this year have taken place on private land.

More information:


Update May 19, 2011 3 p.m.

Imnaha alpha male wolf re-collared

SALEM, Ore.—The Imnaha wolf pack’s alpha male was fitted with a new working GPS collar today.

Its GPS collar stopped working back in May 2010.

The alpha male was found in good condition in a trap set by ODFW on private land in Wallowa County, east of Joseph, Ore. He was tranquilized, fitted with a new collar, and released.

The trap was set as part of efforts to catch and kill two uncollared wolves from the Imnaha pack, to reduce livestock losses by wolves in the area.

As the two uncollared wolves have been killed, ODFW has now removed traps from Wallowa County.

“We hope the experience discourages the alpha male from returning to this area, which is private land with livestock operations,” noted Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Wolf News

Update, 5/17/11

A young Male wolf was killed in Wallowa County this morning (Press release below). Here is a comment from a friend about the situation:

The kill permits issued to ranchers allow killing of wolves on public [and private] land where they have grazing allotments. As far as known, NO depredations have occurred on land where fladry or RAG boxes were used. This whole shebang is rancher appeasement. The ranchers resent the wolves being on their property without having the right to kill them out of hand. The science is shaky on the effectiveness of killing wolves to "learn them a lesson." Better husbandry is the answer.

There are 40,000 cows in Wallowa County, four or five head have been killed by wolves, we only have two dozen wolves in the whole state, and ODFW decides that killing wolves is the answer?? All confirmed losses have been compensated at full market value, the losses are miniscule anyway, essentially insignificant compared to routine losses from disease, weather, accident, other predators. All or nearly all the non-lethal measures have been paid for by conservationists or the state, working sometimes through NGOs. It's not rancher pocketbooks that are hurting, it's their sense of entitlement.

See also, Some facts About Wolves and Dogs Killing Cattle below (After ODFW press releases).

Wolf killed in Wallowa County in effort to reduce livestock losses

Michelle Dennehy Tue, May 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM
This will be issued shortly out of ODFW News.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
Fax: (503) 947-6009

For Immediate Release May 17, 2011

Wolf killed in Wallowa County in effort to reduce livestock losses

SALEM, Ore.—An uncollared young male wolf from the Imnaha pack was trapped and euthanized this morning by ODFW staff. The action occurred on private property with livestock operations, where wolves had killed livestock in late April 2011.

ODFW killed the wolf in an effort to reduce livestock depredation in the area. Despite non-lethal methods in place to prevent wolf-livestock conflict, wolves from the Imnaha pack have killed at least four domestic animals this year. The pack was also involved in livestock losses in the same area at about the same time last year.

“This action is not something that we take lightly, but it is consistent with the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “This will reduce the food requirements of the pack and discourage further use of this area [livestock operations on private lands].”

Efforts to remove a second uncollared wolf from the pack will continue.

ODFW has also issued 12 “caught in the act” permits to livestock producers in the area of the Imnaha pack. With the permits, the livestock producers may shoot a wolf they “see in the act of biting, wounding or killing livestock.” All of the permit holders are using non-lethal methods to prevent wolf-livestock conflict.

The purpose of these permits is to provide livestock producers with additional tools to protect their property. Morgan noted that the opportunity to use these permits is rare. “Wolves tend to avoid humans, so seeing one in the act is unlikely. None of the livestock producers that have lost animals to wolves so far have seen a wolf actually attacking their livestock,” he said. “However, we want to give ranchers the ability to protect their private property should they see a wolf biting, wounding or killing their livestock.”

More information: and

From the first link just above:

ODFW to kill two wolves in response to repeated livestock losses

. . . .
Wolves throughout Oregon remain protected by the State Endangered Species Act.

Wolf management in Oregon is guided by the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, first adopted in 2005 after an extensive public process and updated last year. The plan seeks to conserve wolves while protecting the social and economic interests of Oregonians.

“Wolves have made Oregon their home,” said ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator Ron Anglin. “Oregon has a Wolf Plan that allows us to meet the conservation mandate required by state law and manage the inevitable conflict with livestock and other land uses.”

With ODFW now taking over responsibility of wolf management, ranchers and livestock producers need to work directly with ODFW when wolf/livestock conflicts occur east of Hwys 395-78-95. Ranchers that see wolves on their property or suspect wolves have attacked livestock should immediately call ODFW, USDA Wildlife Services or a county official.

Oregon currently has three wolf packs: the Imnaha (10 wolves at latest count), Wenaha (six wolves) and Walla Walla (three wolves). The Walla Walla pack is new and wildlife managers are still trying to determine their range, which could primarily be in Washington State.


Some facts About Wolves and Dogs Killing Cattle

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Government Report: Less Than 1% of Cattle Killed by Native Carnivores and Domestic Dogs
Taxpayers Fleeced by Federal, Predator-Control Program

Contact: Wendy Keefover | WildEarth Guardians | (303) 573-4898, Ext. 1162 |

Denver, CO—Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agricultural report released last week. WildEarth Guardians claims the findings should bring into question the tens of millions per year taxpayers and livestock growers spend on lethal and non-lethal control of native carnivores.

“The real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife – it’s illness and weather,” stated Wendy Keefover of WildEarth Guardians. “The predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native animals and birds in America. Despite governmental evidence about miniscule livestock losses, ongoing covert federal wildlife-killing operations are conducted each year on our most treasured wildlands and forests,” she added.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), an arm of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), compiled the newest cattle inventory and loss numbers. In 2010, cattle inventory dipped to 94 million head, down from 104.5 million in 2005—the last time NASS issued its Cattle Death Loss report. According to the report:

• The top five killers of cattle are respiratory problems (over one million); digestive problems (505,000); complications while calving (494,000); weather (489,000); and “unknown” non-predator causes (435,000). Non-predator cattle losses totaled nearly four million cattle. Respiratory, digestive, and calving problems and weather issued caused 64% of all cattle mortality.

• In comparison, only 220,000 cattle losses stemmed from livestock predators or 0.23% of the total cattle production over the year. Cattle predators counted by NASS included: coyotes, cougars, bobcats, lynx, dogs, wolves, vultures, bears and “others.” Predation by native carnivores really only amounted to 170,800. That is because dogs killed more livestock (21,800) than any other species except coyotes (116,700). “Unknown” predators killed 27,300 cattle. Wolves reportedly killed 8,100 cattle, while felids (pumas, bobcats, and lynx) killed 18,900 cattle.

Meanwhile, federal agents associated with the USDA’s Wildlife Services program killed 114,522 mammalian carnivores (including 480 wolves; 82,097 coyotes; and 477 domestic dogs) in 2009. It spent $121 million that year.

Ironically, the USDA houses both Wildlife Services (a federal, wildlife-killing agency) and NASS (the statistics bureau).

“Wildlife Services has an unending arsenal of poisons, aerial-gunning crafts, and hidden explosive booby traps that have assaulted not only our native wildlife—including a terrible assault on wolves, but also people and their pets. American taxpayers unwittingly foot a portion of this $120 million annual bill – while its sister agency shows that few wildlife actually kill livestock.”

According to NASS, ranchers and farmers reported that they spent $185 million on non-lethal forms of wildlife control such as guard animals, exclusion fences, and removing calf carcasses.

“The livestock predation myth is a big lie imposed on the American public. While lethal predator control doesn’t even help the fat cats of agribusiness, it does ensure that the USDA-Wildlife Services stays in business. While the feds assault millions of our native wolves, bears, cougars, and coyotes, the true cattle killers are illness and weather. The Wildlife Services’ lethal predator control program must end, and the taxpayers, wildlife, and wildlands will reap the benefits,” stated Keefover.


Read the NASS report on Cattle Death Loss, May 12, 2011

View Cattle Death Loss Charts

Revisit numbers of wildlife killed by USDA’s Wildlife Services

See Mammalian Carnivores (i.e. Coyotes) Killed and by Method

Compare with sheep losses

Just a short & sweet relay of wolf related news tonight.

Fish & Wildlife Service Photo (above)

There have been a number of disturbing comments recently from people who, in my opinion, appear to be anti-wolf extremists in the western states. Here are a few comments, and all except the first, were forwarded in articles from North East Oregon Ecosystems.

All this since the Feds announced that they were removing federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies and will review the status of endangered gray wolves in the Northwest. (Fact Sheet.) Shortly thereafter, Oregon announced they would kill 2 wolves.

From a poster, Wallowa County Chieftain reporter, Brian Addison, to my Facebook page:

"The killing of the two wolves is ridiculous. More appropropriate to trap and euthanize whomever brought this upon NE Oregon."


The following articles were found and forwarded to me by North East Oregon Ecosystems.

I try to delete the profanity. JH.

The display of so called control by the IDF&G is a joke. IDF&G simply stalled long enough to allow a doubling of the already massive wolf population. These criminals responsible for destroying the Nations greatest hunting should be fired. No more consensus, and no more trust for these b-------.They asked to have another chance, and they blew it.

Scott Rockholm
Save Western Wildlife Inc.
Rockholm Media Group

Date: Sat, 14 May 2011 13:31:19 -0600
Subject: Re: Fw: Wolf Harvest

Here's an idea. Collar 10 wolves with a $1,000 redeemable tag. Open the season on wolves until all ten tags are redeemed. At that point do it all over again. Offer bonus $$ for the longest tail, longest fangs, widest skull, largest paw, etc. With some incentives Idaho's outdoorsmen would solve the wolf overpopulation with-in two-three years. A similar program should be instituted on bears and cougars until the elk and deer herds are recovered to maximum carrying capacity.

On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 8:55 AM, wrote:


Five wolves shot in Lolo from helicopter post

May 13, 2011 By Rocky Barker - Idaho Statesman

Aerial gunners killed five wolves in the Lolo region of northcentral Idaho since Wednesday.

Shooters for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services quit Friday, saying weather conditions were no good for shooting wolves from a helicopter, Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials said.

Fish and Game biologists have recommended wolf numbers be reduced in the Lolo to help struggling elk populations. But the steep, heavily forested wild area is a hard place for shooters to locate wolves, even though some of the predators have radio collars.

Wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains were removed from the federal endangered species list more than a week ago and Idaho once again has authority to manage the animals. The Fish and Game Commission is expected to set its goal for the wolf population at somewhere below 500 next week.

Biologists estimate there are from 705 to 1,000 wolves in the state. But no one knows how many are in the Lolo area.

Fish and Game hopes to reduce wolf numbers to between 20 and 30 wolves in the two big game units that make up the Lolo zone.

What we send out is for information on the wildlife issues. We do not always agree with the position or statements of the articles. If you wish to be removed please send the word "remove".


"The ESA is the most Draconian law on Americas books"
Yellowstone is Dead ....75,000Youtube views ..... 12 minutes

Robert T Fanning Jr.Chairman & Founder
Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, Inc
75 Bridger Meadow Lane
P.O. Box 7 Pray, Montana 59065
Phone 406-333-4121
----- Original Message -----
From: Toby Bridges
To: Will Graves
Cc: Governor Brian Schweitzer ; ID Governor Butch Otter ; MT FWP Director Joe Maurier ; IDFG Director Virgil Moore ; MT FWP - Liz Bradley ; IDFG Commission - Tony McDermott ; MT FWP Reg. Supervisor Mack Long ; MT FWP Reg. Supervisor Jim Satterfield ; MT FWP Reg. Supervisor Pat Flowers ; MT FWP Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson ; IDFG Brad Compton ; MT Rep Champ Edmunds ; MT Sen Greg Hinkle ; MT Sen Joe Balyeat ; MT Rep Mike Milburn ; MT Sen Debby Barrett ; Senator Jon Tester ; Senator Max Baucus ; Congressman Denny Rehberg
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: wolves


I just published the e-mail and photos I sent out yesterday, detailing the close proximity wolves now have to Missoula...
and touched on the E. granulosus danger...and the fact that most all of the wolf sign I have found in this area has been
within 2 to 3 miles of MT FWP Region 2 Headquarters - and that they have never issued any kind of warning or precautionary alert to nearby residents.

I'm gone the rest of the week - hunting.



Other Articles & Comments from North East Oregon Ecosystems:

After using radio collars to track and kill wolves from helicopters, USDA admits aerial gunning of wolves ‘inefficient and expensive’.

Hunt halted after aerial gunners kill at least 5 wolves in Idaho

LEWISTON, Idaho - Aerial gunners in a helicopter have killed at least five wolves in north-central Idaho since Wednesday in an effort to protect elk herds, but the hunting has been halted because it hasn't been as successful as expected, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game official says.

Deputy Director Jim Unsworth said agents with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services suspended the hunt indefinitely Friday because it was inefficient and expensive. He said some wolf packs are being found by radio collars worn by individuals but the wolves are in thick timber making them difficult to shoot from the air.

"The elk and deer are on green-up down low and the wolves are there with them," he told the Lewiston Tribune. "They are in that lower-elevation, big-timber kind of stuff. We can find the packs, but you can't find the wolves to do anything from a control standpoint."

State officials want to kill up to 60 wolves in the region, leaving about 20 or 30, in the wake of the Obama Administration removing the predators from Endangered Species Act protections last month.

With the aerial gunning from a helicopter having less success than officials hoped, Unsworth said hunting outfitters and their guides in the Lolo Zone have been authorized to shoot wolves during the spring bear hunting season.

Estimates put Idaho's wolf population at 705, but officials with Fish and Game said the number after this year's litter of pups may exceed 1,000.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is expected to approve a fall wolf hunting season throughout the state, and Unsworth said the commission is also likely to approve trapping for wolves. He said officials might try aerial hunting again following the fall hunt.

"The reality is it's going to be a long-term effort and we are going to have to use a combination of methods including the control effort and trapping to meet the 20 to 30 goal," he said. "Some folks think you just show up and take whatever you want when using a helicopter and that is just not the case."

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Karen Michael
Animal Defense League of Arizona

Boise, ID

Date: May 13, 2011
Contact: Ed Mitchell
(208) 334-3700

F&G Has Resumed Wolf Management

Since resuming wolf management earlier this month, Idaho Fish and Game already has initiated several actions across the state.

Six control actions have been authorized in response to livestock depredations.

Fish and Game has resumed the lead for resolving conflicts with wolves, and the agency will once again issue permits to control problem wolves. Fish and Game also has resumed responding to livestock depredation by wolves. Regional supervisors can authorize wolf control actions, which typically peak in the summer.

Most control actions would be carried out by Wildlife Services, but sport hunters may be used in future depredation hunts to help resolve wolf conflicts in localized areas, similar to the way deer and elk crop depredation hunts are conducted.

In 2010, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed 75 cattle, 148 sheep, two horses and one domestic bison. In addition, 14 cattle, 30 sheep and one livestock guard dog were considered probable wolf kills.

In the Lolo elk management zone in north-central Idaho, Fish and Game is putting into action a wolf control plan, outlined in an earlier plan submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act's section 10(j). The plan is a commitment and an incremental effort to manage for 20 to 30 wolves in the Lolo zone until elk herds recover.

Current research shows excessive elk mortality caused by wolf predation continues in the Lolo zone.

Control efforts were initiated immediately in the Lolo zone to reduce wolf numbers before the elk calving season, and it will help survival of last year's calves as well as adult cows.

Fish and Game has authorized licensed outfitters to take any wolves they encounter incidental to spring black bear hunts in units 10 and 12, which comprise the Lolo zone. The effort will continue through June 30.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services removed five wolves in the Lolo Zone by helicopter. The control action has been suspended indefinitely until conditions improve.

Wolves in the Lolo zone are currently at lower elevations where the snow is gone, and even with radio collars, they are hard to see under tree cover.

In addition, Fish and Game biologists are developing monitoring strategies to ensure the best possible population information is collected. Fish and Game will have the lead for monitoring wolves across most of Idaho, with the Nez Perce Tribe providing collaborative assistance in north-central Idaho.

Fish and Game will discuss plans for a fall hunting season with the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the May 18 meeting in Lewiston. The commission is expected to set seasons at the July 28 meeting in Salmon.


Well, the killing has begun in the Lolo/Clearwater in Idaho under the authority of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Five wolves have been shot from a helicopter by Idaho Wildlife Services. Another 60-80 to go, but I bet they run out of money before they get the rest of the wolves. The anti-wolfers are ecstatic calling it "wonderful news".

News > Local News > Environment
Five wolves shot in Lolo from helicopter
By Rocky Barker -
Published: 05/13/11

Aerial gunners killed five wolves in the Lolo region of northcentral Idaho since Wednesday.

Shooters for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services quit Friday, saying weather conditions were no good for shooting wolves from a helicopter, Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials said.

Fish and Game biologists have recommended wolf numbers be reduced in the Lolo to help struggling elk populations. But the steep, heavily forested wild area is a hard place for shooters to locate wolves, even though some of the predators have radio collars.

Wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains were removed from the federal endangered species list more than a week ago and Idaho once again has authority to manage the animals. The Fish and Game Commission is expected to set its goal for the wolf population at somewhere below 500 next week.

Biologists estimate there are from 705 to 1,000 wolves in the state. But no one knows how many are in the Lolo area.

Fish and Game hopes to reduce wolf numbers to between 20 and 30 wolves in the two big game units that make up the Lolo zone.

Read more:


Wolf issues up close, personal in Troy

By Brian Addison
Wallowa County Chieftain | 0 comments

While the wolves from the Imnaha pack east of Joseph and Enterprise are grabbing headlines for their interactions with livestock, the Wenaha pack is becoming quite familiar to many of the residents in north Wallowa County near the town of Troy.

“I’ve seen the wolves on my property,” said retired logging company owner Erv Hafer. “Two big wolves trotted right past me the other day. I got on my three-wheeler to go look for them and saw three more.”
. . . .
While there have been no reports of wolf depredation on cattle in the area, Hafer said there have been three recent cases of wolves preying on elk on his property, which he said were confirmed by the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.
. . . .


From a Friend:

The permits to kill wolves who are attacking stock allow killing wolves on public land grazing allotments as well as private property - I think this is wrong. On the other hand, Carter Niemeyer told me last night that in the last 15 years only 56 wolves have been killed under these permits in the whole lower 48. Incidentally, the number of wolves killed overall exceed the number of cows killed by wolves - total wolves killed is about 1500.


If anybody encounters the cry, "They're eating all our elk!," these two stories should set them straight, if possible:

Hazers hired to run elk off prairie
East Oregonian
May 8, 2011

JOSEPH — Craig Nichols squints through his binoculars at a herd of 250 Rocky Mountain elk on a distant grassy ridgetop, framed against the snow-covered Eagle Cap Wilderness.

“Most of them are bedded down,” he says softly.

The elk are slug-a-beds this bright spring morning on Wallowa County’s rolling 150,000-acre Zumwalt Prairie. Unfortunately for them, Nichols’ job is hazing elk herds off the prairie toward the forested breaks of the Snake and Imnaha rivers to the north.

Related story:

Wolves bring howlin’ good time to High Desert Museum
KTVZ (Oregon)
May 8, 2011

BEND, Ore. -- A pack of wolves invaded Central Oregon this weekend --- but not to worry, they were here to entertain and enlighten.

Three wolves dazzled sold-out shows at the High Desert Museum south of Bend this weekend.

It's all part of a special exhibit called "Mission- Wolf" put on by the Colorado-based Mission Wolf Refuge Project.


Idaho wolf disaster continues, coyote attacks Connecticut man while he mows his lawn
May 8, 2011

Idaho has officially declared a "wolf disaster" and has just obtained an Endangered Species Act pass to allow for a controlled hunt. Ostensibly, the Idaho wolf hunt is about protecting sheep, because sheep ranchers experience the greatest wolf predation losses. Added incentive: tourist hunters are competing against locals to obtain a limited number of elk tags. Climate change, disease, or coal-bed methane impacts reducing elk numbers? Move along...nothing to see here.


Wolf delisting puts spotlight on the west
Idaho Mountain Express - Opinion
May 6, 2011

A major new chapter is beginning in the Northern Rockies wolf saga. By summer, the gray wolf will again be taken off the endangered species list in Montana and Idaho, the result of Congress' attaching a rider to budget legislation directing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to remove protections in these two states and parts of Utah, Oregon and Washington. This decision returns daily management to Montana and Idaho, meaning a great deal of work lies ahead for the states' wildlife agencies and governors.

Monday, May 9, 2011

War on the Poor Escalates--City Ordinance Would Add Restrictions to Burn Barrels (There is a New Burn Fee Too!)

[Edited May 10, 2011]
Note--According to the Council Meeting Agenda, Council will consider a possible second reading of the new burning ordinance on Tuesday, May 10, in City Hall at 7 pm. A possible second reading might not be true--they may do both a second and a third reading and pass the ordinance.

New Note: May 10, 2011.

I Watched the video of the meeting tonight--they are taking another look. They say they are concerned that a few issues may have come up, and that they they are concerned that they might be restricting open burning like barbeques, recreational burning, and religious ceremonies, so they are going to redo it. Note that they have no concern for the poor and low income people.The issue, and the new ordinance, will be addressed at the next Council meeting.

Listening to the Council, led by Councilor Calder (on this issue), discuss burn barrels and a new burning ordinance at the April 26 meeting, one might have gotten the impression that burning, especially in burn barrels, is creating an air quality emergency, while requiring a huge drain of Fire Department resources for investigating complaints.

In my view, the ordinance is a solution in search of a problem and a heavy-handed regulation that treats us all like children. It is a form of collective punishment that like my old second grade teacher, would make the whole class stay after school for the transgressions of a few. Of four immediately adjacent neighbors (across, behind, or next door), all burn, either open, with burn barrels, or both, except one. The one that doesn't, a life-long County resident, has no problem with the long-standing practice. At least one (perhaps two), didn't know about the change for burn barrels until I spoke with him 3 days before the May 10th meeting. Similar situations exist throughout our fair city of less than ten thousand people. I don't currently use a burn barrel, although I would like to in the future, and I do burn yard debris.

The ordinance, in restricting the time of burning to between the hours of 7AM and 4 PM (so that working people will be less able to use them, as pointed out to Council by Jim Silsby at the April 26th meeting), by restricting the use of burn barrels to the incineration of paper only, and by restricting the space needed to "15 feet from any combustibles (buildings, vehicles, fences, etc.) and property lines," will make the primary uses of burn barrels illegal for many residents, who may not be able to comply with the seemingly unreasonable content restrictions and the space needed for open pile burning.

Concerning air quality, Councilor Calder stated it was a "quality of life Issue." She stated a citizen with "breathing issues" came in, apparently to her upscale shop on Main Street, and complained about burning, while telling her that a fee of $180.00 a year would be appropriate because that is what it would cost a residence for garbage pick-up.

Is Air Quality really a Concern?

That was my question, so I asked the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) what our air quality has been over the last 5 years (2006 to 2010). Their records indicate the following:

In 2006 there were 329 Good days, 25 Moderate days, 0 UFSG (US EPA Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups), and 0 Unhealthy days.

In 2007 there were 324 Good days, 39 Moderate days, 0 UFSG (US EPA Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups), and 0 Unhealthy days.

In 2008 there were 331 Good days, 34 Moderate days, 1 UFSG (US EPA Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups), and 0 Unhealthy days.

In 2009 there were 336 Good days, 25 Moderate days, 0 UFSG (US EPA Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups), and 0 Unhealthy days.

In 2010 there were 345 Good days, 11 Moderate days, 0 UFSG (US EPA Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups), and 0 Unhealthy days.

So in fact, last year, 2010, was our best air quality year for the five your period. It has been getting better since the 1980s actually.

There is no doubt that there may be some transient and very short-lived concerns about smoke when someone burns yard debris, especially if no one has taken the time to inform them about how to do it properly (no wet leaf piles, air intake vents at bottom of burn barrel, etc.). If it is done properly, the concerns should be minimal, much less than what is experienced from, or while driving through a Forest Service controlled burn, or as experienced when driving by the city homes the Fire Department occasionally lights up for training exercises, where the smoke is intense and the smell lingers for days (as they did a week ago or so). Less problematic for many than when someone burns the willows and weeds in an irrigation ditch, in or outside of the city. Less problematic for many in fact than the noise produced by the constant rumble, horns and delays caused by the ever present trains or the early morning high-pitched buzz of planes flying low over the city.

Councilor Calder: "it's about time!"

While some of Ms. Calder's clientele, those so very special connoisseurs with the money to purchase the fine wines and cheeses, "organic" produce, fancy gadgetry, and other high-priced items (I and many of my neighbors can't afford to shop there), may object to the long established practice of burning in our small economically divided town, burning is often practiced among lower income people who depend upon it because they can't afford garbage service. Many who can afford garbage service burn too. In my mind, there is more to it than the judgements of the well heeled in balancing the alleged good versus the alleged bad. She and the rest of the Council ignore the importance of the fact that 650 burn permits were issued last year, which likely understates the number of residences who burn yard debris, limbs and paper every year. She did report the anecdotal number of 100 complaints to her, and another 100 phantom complaints to the city administration, to add to the 100 after the fact, and 40 active burning complaints cited by Fire Chief Price, which she admitted might be all the same (100 or so) people), but even her anecdotal numbers still show the users of the long established practice of burning far out numbering those who complain. [This whole episode, along with the Property Maintenance Ordinance, reminds me of the folks in a place I once lived, who moved into new tract houses near a dairy, and immediately began complaining about the smell, as if it was something new, abnormal and obnoxious--ultimately driving out the dairy.]

Baker City Fire Chief Jim Price

I did ask Fire Chief Price to document the equipment, time and money involved in the 40 "active" (they went down to take a look) complaints he said they received for illegal burning. Concerning the documentation, I simply said "I would like to be able to see any documentation you might have." The reason I asked is because the Council didn't, and it seemed to me that if the city is going to start restricting burning, and charging for burn permits, that they ought to look into the reality of his claims. Staff has distorted the truth before, as you probably know. In his response to my request, he said he would have the documentation on Monday, but he did not say he was charging me for it. On Monday, after he got the documentation, he told me he would charge me $59,50 for the information, which I cannot afford to pay. Seems like someone ought to bring that information up in a spreadsheet or list of individual reports in about ten minutes.

In contrast to Chief Price's response, Police Chief Lohner responded to a request for information on property maintenance cases without asking for money. He had the info on property maintenance available in spread sheet form, except for some details that he referred me to the Sheriff's department for. I'm perfectly willing to pay for the 25 cents a copy, but Chief Lohner provided quite a bit of information on one sheet without cost.

[Aside: My main concern about the response to asking for the information is that there was no discussion of any charges in the Fire Chief's initial response about getting the information. For example, when I ask the city for a CD/DVD they tell me what it will cost up front. If I ask Circuit Court for a copy of a record, they tell me I have to pay $0.25 a copy with no labor charge. I didn't feel like I was making a more formal public records request as cost has not been a major concern in any other requests for information, and Chief Price did not indicate that it would be a time consuming problem for him and costly for me. If I thought he was going to charge a large amount of money, I would have made a formal request with all the appropriate language about waivers for the public interest, limits on cost before proceeding, etc.

One has to wonder whether the fire department is keeping any of their call info on spreadsheets/databases.  You'd think that might be the minimum standard in our advanced, historic "fair city."]

Will the ordinance serve the goals sought by its proponents to restrict burning of plastics and other obnoxious or toxic materials?

While the ordinance may bring the city mostly undeserved additional revenue, it will make it harder for truly low income people to get rid of yard debris, without providing people-friendly options. Many do have wood stoves and fire places that can, do and will serve as incinerators for some of these materials. If catalytic and more efficient wood stoves are then used for the purpose, it will reduce the efficiency of the stoves and result in even more smoke and particulate pollution in Baker City. Think--Which chimney is that burning plastic odor coming from, anyway?

"People-Friendly" Solutions to getting rid of the waste (Are there better alternatives than criminalizing the unfortunate?):

I discussed some of these options with City Manager Kee back in late April.

Ask the monopoly private garbage pick-up business, Baker Sanitary (I have recently received a rumor that Baker Sanitary is selling the business to another, probably larger, garbage business [think Waste Management type corporate conglomerate?], or whoever they may be, to provide containers more appropriate for the amount of garbage produced at the residence. Many cities provide a smaller container for those residences with one or few individuals, at an appropriately reduced cost. I once brought this up to the owner of Baker Sanitary at a Council meeting, but it didn't fly with him.

Manager Kee suggested that another solution on the above theme would be to provide bi-monthly pick-up, instead of weekly, to reduce cost to the resident. I would think in the case of singles or in some cases couples with no children at home, that once a month pick-up would be enough. As a single low income person, I produce about a cubic foot of garbage (or less) per week that I can't otherwise legally get rid of through recycling or burning (and I don't always burn what I could), but your mileage will vary due to consumption patterns and other variables. I often see larger families with over-flowing garbage receptacles every week. It seems clear that the costs to dispose of their garbage should be more than those producing little garbage, unless of course, you think that those producing little garbage should subsidize those the produce a lot.

Encourage people, like neighbors, to share a percentage of the cost in maintaining a single garbage container.

Encourage, as a public service, the local monopoly garbage business to take in yard waste for free for a few weeks in the spring and fall, instead of just restricting free yard debris dumping to only those those with accounts.

Encourage use of leaves and grass clippings for mulch and compost.

Instead of banning the most popular use of burn barrels--burning of yard debris and limbs--educate residents on proper burning techniques and construction of air intake openings on burn barrels so that combustion of materials can take place more completely and efficiently without causing smoke.

Urge compliance with current laws by pointing out the wonderful opportunity to recycle plastics and other toxic materials at Baker Sanitary's great recycling facility on Campbell Street. If police of neighbors smell burning plastic in the neighborhoods, remind the offenders of the law and the harm it does, as well as the availability of the recycling facility. If the practice continues, cite them.

Does Councilor Calder have different standards for the business related proposed liquor license fee and the proposed burn permit fee?

Councilor Calder on liquor license fee at April 26 Council Meeting:

Jeanie Dexter, Finance Director, explained that there used to be a $10.00 city liquor license renewal fee before it was removed four years ago at the request of Council.

Councilor Calder responded that "four years ago, when we removed that renewal fee, it was because there was no real work to the city for that renewal fee" because the Chief's work is done during the OLCC [Oregon Liquor Control Commission]license renewal process.

Finance Director Dexter, in response to that point, noted that "there is quite a bit of work . . . involved in patrol obviously with some of those businesses that have those liquor licenses, obviously not all of them. . . ." [Alcohol related under the influence incidents, fighting, disturbances and accidents, both at a bar and afterwards, sometimes at home as in domestic violence and violation of restraining orders, or on the way home like DUII. There may be no record tying the seller of alcohol to the subsequent incidents. While some bars may selectively cut-off certain individuals for their own reasons, many serve alcohol to others beyond the point of slight inebriety.]

Councilor Calder responded that "I think everything that has come to Council as needing attention, has been related, I mean what we've heard about, has been related to the gaming license facilities, … there is no role in a business license renewal with OLCC . . .You have to show that you have your multi-million dollar worth of liability insurance [ Wildly overstated. OLCC website says that for brew pubs and On-Premises Commercial Licenses "applicants must obtain and maintain liquor liability insurance in the minimum amount of $300,000," not multi-million dollar amounts of liability insurance. Chris.] Calder goes on-. . . it requires nothing from the city so to charge is strictly revenue generating. There is nothing in the act of renewing a license that generates a cost to the city." [Emphasis added. I do recall previous council meetings regarding problems at establishments like Stockman's and others.]

City Manager Kee responded that "there is work that we put into these renewals. . .because they have to check to make sure whether any laws have been broken."

Chief Lohner indicated that while there may not be much work associated with approving OLCC licenses for businesses unless there is something abnormal "but throughout the year, obviously, if there are issues that goes on, I discuss that with OLCC, so there is an ongoing through the year. . . ."

It seems clear that businesses that sell liquor are associated with post license renewal police work.

How does Councilor Calder see the burn permit fee issue?

Councilor Calder's Different Standard on Burn Permit Fees

As pointed out by Baker City resident Jim Silsby at the April 24 meeting, issuing a permit takes about 5 minutes, about the same for dog licenses. Chief Lohner indicated that renewal of liquor licenses may take as little as ten minutes if there are no past issues to consider, but more time if there are.

Note that Councilor Calder also misrepresents number of cities that allow burning and is no longer trying to tie a fee, in this case the brand new $25.00 burn permit fee, to just the cost of issuing the permit, or, in fact, to any cost actually related to those costs. She is not even concerned apparently with the cost of issuance in this case, as she was with the liquor license fee. That is likely due to the fact that she has wanted to get rid of burn barrels for over a decade and seems to prefer limiting costs for business owners, a class of which she is a prominent member, but has little real concern for those who need a burn permit.

Is the User Fee Approach to Fees (Taxes) Always Appropriate?

Councilor Bonebrake: Fees Should be Related to Cost of Service

Councilor Bonebrake suggests we should operate on a more business-like model that reflects the cost of doing business with fees tied to the cost of service.

When Councilor Bonebrake, a founder of the Baker County Library, and also (earlier in the meeting when talking about burn permit fees) City Manager Kee, suggest that fees should be based on work generated and cost of service, does that mean that we should also reduce property taxes for education for those that have no children? Should we also quit charging sidewalk fees to those residents who have no sidewalks, don't want them, won't get them, and etc.? Will they deduct a portion of property taxes going to the airport for those who don't and won't be able to use the airport? Shall we renegotiate the incredibly generous lease on the old Carnegie Library used by the "Arts" aficionados? How about financing the library solely on user fees instead of a levy? Where does it end?


Baker City Budget 2011-2012:
Personal Services (i.e., employee costs) represents over 71% of the total appropriations in the General Fund.

Baker City Budget 2010-2011:
Personal Services (i.e., employee costs) also represents over 71% of the total appropriations in the General Fund.

Baker City Budget 2009-2010:
Personal Services (i.e., employee costs) represents over 63% of the total appropriations in the General Fund.

Wow, >71%. No wonder we have no money for basic infrastructure and the city wants to find more revenue through fees

New 2011-2012 fee Schedule is here.

More video clips from the meeting:

Councilor Coles on New Baker City Fees and Budget Process

Councilor Roger Coles talks about potential problems associated with raising current, and creating new, city fees prior to allowing the Budget Committee, composed of the Council, and an equal number of informed citizens, to assess all budget issues first.

He explains that raising various fees for residents in the recessionary economic environment, especially for seniors who haven't seen any cost of living raise [Social Security has not had a cost-of-living increase for two straight years], when we face more important costly increases for basic services, like sewer and water, is counter-productive "nickel & diming the public" before the budget process has started.

A friend offered the thought that all the hoopla over the new burning ordinance, and the Property Maintenance Ordinance serves as a huge diversion from the pressing, real and basic infrastructure problems that we face. [Gosh, aren't you just giddy about the fact that we were busy persecuting the poor and rejecting system development charges while Baker City's infrastructure crumbled?]

(Council ultimately set the fees without allowing the citizen input from the Budget Committee deliberations.)

Perhaps more later.
The entire April Council Meeting can be downloaded at:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wolves, bin Laden, Libya, etc.

InThis Edition:

- North East Oregon Wolves: Lawsuit to Stop Unwarranted Killing of Wolves.

- Chris Hedges and Phyllis Bennis on bin Laden and Terrorism.

- William Blum on Libya

Edited 5/4/11]

North East Oregon Wolves

From the US Fish & Wildlife press release:

Lethal control measures will be handled by the Service and will involve capturing and euthanizing two un-collared sub-adults from the Imnaha pack. This control effort will avoid breeding adults and pups, and will not jeopardize the continued existence of the pack. The Service and partners have taken similar action in other areas throughout the Rocky Mountain region, such as northwestern Montana, to manage the size of wolf packs. This approach is intended to encourage wolf packs to target their natural prey and reduce attacks on livestock.

Comment & Questions:
The last sentence is complete nonsense unless they know something I don't know. Do they have a heart to heart with the wolves and explain to them why they are killing two sub-adults. What is the link between killing two subadults and changing wolf behavior?

Also. no fladry or RAG boxes might be understandable, but why no herder or any measures at all to protect their cattle from predators? [Chris]

Fish & Wildlife Service Photo (above)

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Unlawful Killing of Endangered Wolves in Oregon

PORTLAND ORE May 03, 2011
Four conservation groups today moved to stop the killing of two wolves from the Imnaha Pack in eastern Oregon. They filed suit in federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has ordered and plans to carry out the killing of two wolves from the pack in response to a late April wolf kill of a calf. Cascadia Wildlands, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild brought the suit, arguing that the Fish and Wildlife Service has not conducted the necessary environmental review to kill wolves in Oregon and that such killing violates the federal Endangered Species Act which, at least for the time being, still protects Oregon’s wolves. . . . .“

Wolves have only begun to recover in Oregon with fewer than 25 wolves in two packs. Despite their small numbers, Oregon wolves will be removed from federal Endangered Species Act protection very soon under a congressional rider attached to the budget bill funding the government for the remainder of 2011.

Oregon’s struggling wolf population cannot sustain these killings,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The killing of these two wolves highlights why Congress should not meddle in complex scientific decisions over the management of our nation’s endangered species. Oregon wolves are nowhere near recovered and continue to need protection.”

The kill order stems from a wolf depredation of a calf last weekend, another in February, and six cattle depredations in May and June 2010 attributed to the Imnaha Pack. Nonlethal measures to keep wolves away from livestock – including fencing, a range rider, hazing and cleanup of livestock carcasses – are being used and appear to have some success. It is also notable that ranchers are compensated for livestock losses to wolves, which is not the case with the far more common occurrence of other predators taking livestock. In 2005, for example, domestic dogs killed 700 sheep and cows in Oregon, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. . . . .

(See URL above for rest of article.)

New billboard by NE Oregon Ecosystems will greet travelers in La Grande, OR

May 3, 2011
Wally Sykes, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems,
(Phone number available upon request)

Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife, 208.424.9385,
Greg Dyson, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, 541.963.3950 x22,
Rob Klavins, Oregon Wild, 503.283.6343 ext 210,
Billboard backers hope wolves, wildlife will stir Wallowa County tourism
Advertising effort draws attention to Wallowa County’s unique potential as Oregon’s ecotourism

La Grande, OR - A new billboard by NE Oregon Ecosystems will greet travelers in La Grande, OR near the Interstate exit onto Highway 82 eastbound. The ad displays a wolf and an American eagle against a backdrop of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, advertising the “Wallowa Country” as a tourist destination for wildlife watching.

“Wallowa County has one of Oregon's greatest raptor environments on the Zumwalt Prairie and is home to both of Oregon's two wolf packs. The draw of wolves, raptors, elk, even an occasional moose, wolverine, and now, buffalo – amid the largest native bunchgrass prairie in the NW, in the mountains and vales of two Wilderness Areas (one the largest in Oregon), and in spectacular Hells Canyon– makes our County a premier location for this booming recreational activity,” said Wally Sykes, a cofounder of NE Oregon Ecosystems.

Sykes pointed out that wildlife watchers spent $45 billion in 2006, and said they would like to see this region share in the booming industry. A recent study by the University of Montana showed that the desire to see wolves alone brings an additional $35 million a year to the area around Yellowstone National Park.

“Last year NE Oregon Ecosystems helped with some early wolf-related tours and events,” he said, “and the response was terrific. Local inns have had inquiries for this summer, and we've been contacted by tour operators hoping to set up regular scheduled excursions.”

He added that a growing number of visitors were interested in animal tracking, bird watching, photography, hiking, and camping, especially where they might hear a wolf howl, see its tracks or, best of all, actually have the thrill of seeing one.

“Wallowa County is already special because of its wilderness and wildlife, prairies and mountains, Hells Canyon, Wallowa Lake, the friendly people,” Sykes said. “For many, being in wolf country adds that extra draw that will make them choose our county over other destinations.”

The billboard, which will be up for a year, was paid for by NE Oregon Ecosystems with contributions by Oregon Wild, Hells Canyon Preservation Council and Defenders of Wildlife.

An earlier billboard by the same sponsors publicized the $10,000 reward for information on the illegal killer of the Wenaha Pack wolf shot last fall. That billboard was removed after a complaint by the property owner. It was replaced by local stockgrowers with an image of a menacing wolf and a political message.

NE Oregon Ecosystems is a group of Oregonians, mostly from Wallowa, Union, and Baker counties, who support sound conservation and environmental policies, and promote the economic benefits which they produce. Last year it sponsored showings of the documentary Lords of Nature in Baker City and Enterprise, and arranged a presentation by Timmothy Kaminski of Mountain Livestock Cooperative, Bozeman, Montana, on ways to reduce livestock/wolf conflict. It contributed last summer to the
program which provided a range rider to patrol Wallowa County grazing allotments in wolf territory.

Enviros sue to stop feds from killing wolves
May 3, 2011 | 12:15 PM | By Cassandra Profita

Four conservation groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the plan to kill two wolves in the Imnaha pack.

That was fast! The plan was just announced at the end of the day yesterday after it was confirmed that another calf in Wallowa County was indeed killed by the same pack that has killed several other calves over the past year.

The conservation groups – Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, Hells Canyon Preservation Council and Oregon Wild – say the feds haven’t done the proper environmental reviews, and that killing the wolves would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act (Gray wolves in Oregon are, for now, still listed as threatened. But they’re due to be delisted any day now.). . . .
(See URL above for rest of article.)

Chris Hedges and Phyllis Bennis on bin Laden and Terrorism.

On Osama Bin Laden’s Death

By Chris Hedges 


Editor’s note: Chris Hedges made these remarks about Osama bin Laden’s death at a Truthdig fundraising event in Los Angeles on Sunday evening.

May 02, 2011 "Truthdig"

-- I know that because of this announcement, that reportedly Osama bin Laden was killed, Bob wanted me to say a few words about it … about al-Qaida. I spent a year of my life covering al-Qaida for The New York Times. It was the work in which I, and other investigative reporters, won the Pulitzer Prize. And I spent seven years of my life in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I’m an Arabic speaker. And when someone came over and told Jean and me the news, my stomach sank. I’m not in any way naïve about what al-Qaida is. It’s an organization that terrifies me. I know it intimately.

But I’m also intimately familiar with the collective humiliation that we have imposed on the Muslim world. The expansion of military occupation that took place throughout, in particular the Arab world, following 9/11 – and that this presence of American imperial bases, dotted, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Doha – is one that has done more to engender hatred and acts of terror than anything ever orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

And the killing of bin Laden, who has absolutely no operational role in al-Qaida – that’s clear – he’s kind of a spiritual mentor, a kind of guide … he functions in many of the ways that Hitler functioned for the Nazi Party. We were just talking with Warren about Kershaw’s great biography of Hitler, which I read a few months ago, where you hold up a particular ideological ideal and strive for it. That was bin Laden’s role. But all actual acts of terror, which he may have signed off on, he no way planned.

I think that one of the most interesting aspects of the whole rise of al-Qaida is that when Saddam Hussein … and I covered the first Gulf War, went into Kuwait with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, was in Basra during the Shiite uprising until I was captured and taken prisoner by the Iraqi Republican Guard. I like to say I was embedded with the Iraqi Republican Guard. Within that initial assault and occupation of Kuwait, bin Laden appealed to the Saudi government to come back and help organize the defense of his country. And he was turned down. And American troops came in and implanted themselves on Muslim soil. 

When I was in New York, as some of you were, on 9/11, I was in Times Square when the second plane hit. I walked into The New York Times, I stuffed notebooks in my pocket and walked down the West Side Highway and was at Ground Zero four hours later. I was there when Building 7 collapsed. And I watched as a nation drank deep from that very dark elixir of American nationalism … the flip side of nationalism is always racism, it’s about self-exaltation and the denigration of the other.

And it’s about forgetting that terrorism is a tactic. You can’t make war on terror. Terrorism has been with us since Sallust wrote about it in the Jugurthine Wars. And the only way to successfully fight terrorist groups is to isolate themselves, isolate those groups, within their own societies. And I was in the immediate days after 9/11 assigned to go out to Jersey City and the places where the hijackers had lived and begin to piece together their lives. I was then very soon transferred to Paris, where I covered all of al-Qaida’s operations in the Middle East and Europe.

So I was in the Middle East in the days after 9/11. And we had garnered the empathy of not only most of the world, but the Muslim world who were appalled at what had been done in the name of their religion. And we had major religious figures like Sheikh Tantawy, the head of al-Azhar – who died recently – who after the attacks of 9/11 not only denounced them as a crime against humanity, which they were, but denounced Osama bin Laden as a fraud … someone who had no right to issue fatwas or religious edicts, no religious legitimacy, no religious training. And the tragedy was that if we had the courage to be vulnerable, if we had built on that empathy, we would be far safer and more secure today than we are.

We responded exactly as these terrorist organizations wanted us to respond. They wanted us to speak the language of violence. What were the explosions that hit the World Trade Center, huge explosions and death above a city skyline? It was straight out of Hollywood. When Robert McNamara in 1965 began the massive bombing campaign of North Vietnam, he did it because he said he wanted to “send a message” to the North Vietnamese—a message that left hundreds of thousands of civilians dead.

These groups learned to speak the language we taught them. And our response was to speak in kind. The language of violence, the language of occupation—the occupation of the Middle East, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—has been the best recruiting tool al-Qaida has been handed. If it is correct that Osama bin Laden is dead, then it will spiral upwards with acts of suicidal vengeance. And I expect most probably on American soil. The tragedy of the Middle East is one where we proved incapable of communicating in any other language than the brute and brutal force of empire.

And empire finally, as Thucydides understood, is a disease. As Thucydides wrote, the tyranny that the Athenian empire imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. The disease of empire, according to Thucydides, would finally kill Athenian democracy. And the disease of empire, the disease of nationalism … these of course are mirrored in the anarchic violence of these groups, but one that locks us in a kind of frightening death spiral. So while I certainly fear al-Qaida, I know it’s intentions. I know how it works. I spent months of my life reconstructing every step Mohamed Atta took. While I don’t in any way minimize their danger, I despair. I despair that we as a country, as Nietzsche understood, have become a monster that we are attempting to fight.

Thank you.

See for their reader's comments.

Justice or Vengeance?

By Phyllis Bennis

In the midst of the Arab Spring, which directly rejects al-Qaeda-style small-group violence in favor of mass-based, society-wide mobilization and non-violent protest to challenge dictatorship and corruption, does the killing of Osama bin Laden represent ultimate justice, or even an end to the "unfinished business" of 9/11?

May 02, 2011 -- IPS

-- Amman, Jordan — U.S. agents killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, apparently without cooperation from the government in Islamabad. The al-Qaeda leader was responsible for great suffering; I do not mourn his death. But every action has causes and consequences, and in the current moment all are dangerous. It's unlikely that bin Laden's killing will have much impact on the already weakened capacity of al-Qaeda, which is widely believed to be made up of only a couple hundred fighters between Afghanistan and Pakistan — though its effect on other terrorist forces is uncertain. Pakistan itself may pay a particularly high price.

As President Barack Obama described it, "After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden." Assuming that was indeed the case, this raid reflects the brutal reality of the deadly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that preceded it and that continue today, 10 years later — it wasn't about bringing anyone to justice, it was about vengeance.

And given the enormous human costs still being paid by Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, and others in the U.S. wars waged in the name of capturing bin Laden, it's particularly ironic that in the end it wasn't the shock-and-awe airstrikes or invasions of ground troops, but rather painstaking police work — careful investigation, cultivating intelligence sources — that made possible the realization of that goal.

President Obama acknowledged that the post-9/11 unity of the people of the United States "has at times frayed." But he didn't mention that that unity had actually collapsed completely within 24 hours of the horrifying attacks on the twin towers. September 11, 2001 didn't "change the world;" the world was changed on September 12, when George W. Bush announced his intention to take the world to war in response. That was the moment that the actual events of 9/11, a crime against humanity that killed nearly 3,000 people, were left behind and the "global war on terror" began. That GWOT war has brought years of war, devastation and destruction to hundreds of thousands around the world, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond.

There was an unprecedented surge of unity, of human solidarity, in response to the crime of 9/11. In the United States much of that response immediately took on a jingoistic and xenophobic frame (some of which showed up again last night in the aggressive chants of "USA, USA!!" from flag-waving, cheering crowds outside the White House following President Obama's speech). Some of it was overtly militaristic, racist and Islamophobic. But some really did reflect a level of human unity unexpected and rare in U.S. history. Even internationally, solidarity with the U.S. people for a brief moment replaced the well-deserved global anger at U.S. arrogance, wars, and drive towards empire. In France, headlines proclaimed "nous sommes tous Américaines maintenant." We are all Americans now.

But that human solidarity was short-lived. It was destroyed by the illegal wars that shaped the U.S. response to the 9/11 crime. Those wars quickly created numbers of victims far surpassing the 3,000 killed on September 11. The lives of millions more around the world were transformed in the face of U.S. aggression — in Pakistan alone, where a U.S. military team assassinated bin Laden, thousands of people have been killed and maimed by U.S. drone strikes and the suicide bombs that are part of the continuing legacy of the U.S. war.

These wars have brought too much death and destruction. Too many people have died and too many children have been orphaned for the United States to claim, as President Obama's triumphantly did, that "justice has been done" because one man, however symbolically important, has been killed. However one calculates when and how "this fight" actually began, the U.S. government chose how to respond to 9/11. And that response, from the beginning, was one of war and vengeance — not of justice.

The president's speech last night could have aimed to put an end to the triumphalism of the "global war on terror" that George W. Bush began and Barack Obama claimed as his own. It could have announced a new U.S. foreign policy based on justice, equality, and respect for other nations. But it did not. It declared instead that the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and beyond will continue.

In that reaffirmation of war, President Obama reasserted the American exceptionalism that has been a hallmark of his recent speeches, claiming that "America can do whatever we set our mind to." He equated the U.S. ability and willingness to continue waging ferocious wars, with earlier accomplishments of the U.S. — including, without any trace of irony, the "struggle for equality for all our citizens." In President Obama's iteration, the Global War on Terror apparently equals the anti-slavery and civil rights movements.

Today, the Arab Spring is on the rise across the Middle East and North Africa. It's ineffably sad that President Obama, in his claim that bin Laden's death means justice, didn't use the opportunity to announce the end of the deadly U.S. wars that answered the attacks of 9/11. This could have been a moment to replace vengeance with cooperation, replace war with justice.

But it was not. Regardless of bin Laden's death, as long as those deadly U.S. wars continue in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and beyond, justice has not been done.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. In 2001 she helped found and remains on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation.

For some comments on this piece, see:


Why is Libya the Target for US/NATO Missiles?

By William Blum

May 03, 2011 "Information Clearing House" --
See Also William Blum page
Libya: Let us not be confused as to why Libya alone has been singled out for "humanitarian intervention".

On April 9, Condoleezza Rice delivered a talk in San Francisco. Or tried to. The former Secretary of State was interrupted repeatedly by cries from the audience of "war criminal" and "torturer". (For which we can thank our comrades in Code Pink and World Can't Wait.) As one of the protesters was being taken away by security guards, Rice made the kind of statement that has now become standard for high American officials under such circumstances: "Aren't you glad this lady lives in a democracy where she can express her opinion?" She also threw in another line that's become de rigueur since the US overthrew Saddam Hussein, an argument that's used when all other arguments fail: "The children of Iraq are actually not living under Saddam Hussein, thank God." 1

My response to such a line is this: If you went into surgery to correct a knee problem and the surgeon mistakenly amputated your entire leg, what would you think if someone then remarked to you how nice it was that "you actually no longer have a knee problem, thank God." ... The people of Iraq no longer have a Saddam problem.

Unfortunately, they've lost just about everything else as well. Twenty years of American bombing, invasion, occupation and torture have led to the people of that unhappy land losing their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women's rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives ... more than half the population either dead, disabled, in prison, or in foreign exile ... the air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium ... the most awful birth defects ... unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children ... a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris ... through a country that may never be put back together again.

In 2006, the UN special investigator on torture declared that reports from Iraq indicated that torture "is totally out of hand. The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein." Another UN report of the same time disclosed a rise in "honor killings" of women. 2

"It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003," reported the Washington Post on May 5, 2007.

"I am not a political person, but I know that under Saddam Hussein, we had electricity, clean drinking water, a healthcare system that was the envy of the Arab world and free education through college," Iraqi pharmacist Dr. Entisar Al-Arabi told American peace activist Medea Benjamin in 2010. "I have five children and every time I had a baby, I was entitled to a year of paid maternity leave. I owned a pharmacy and I could close up shop as late as I chose because the streets were safe. Today there is no security and Iraqis have terrible shortages of everything — electricity, food, water, medicines, even gasoline. Most of the educated people have fled the country, and those who remain look back longingly to the days of Saddam Hussein." 3
And this from two months ago:

"Protesters, human rights workers and security officials say the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has responded to Iraq's demonstrations in much the same way as many of its more authoritarian neighbors: with force. Witnesses in Baghdad and as far north as Kirkuk described watching last week as security forces in black uniforms, tracksuits and T-shirts roared up in trucks and Humvees, attacked protesters, rounded up others from cafes and homes and hauled them off, blindfolded, to army detention centers. Entire neighborhoods ... were blockaded to prevent residents from joining the demonstrations. Journalists were beaten." 4

So ... can we expect the United States and its fellow thugs in NATO to intervene militarily in Iraq as they're doing in Libya? To protect the protesters in Iraq as they tell us they're doing in Libya? To effect regime change in Iraq as they're conspiring, but not admitting, in Libya?

Similarly Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria ... all have been bursting with protest and vicious government crackdown in recent months, even to a degree in Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive societies in the world. Not one of these governments has been assaulted by the United States, the UK, or France as Libya has been assaulted; not one of these countries' opposition is receiving military, financial, legal and moral support from the Western powers as the Libyan rebels are — despite the Libyan rebels' brutal behavior, racist murders, and the clear jihadist ties of some of them. 5 The Libyan rebels are reminiscent of the Kosovo rebels — mafiosos famous for their trafficking in body parts and women, also unquestioningly supported by the Western powers against an Officially Designated Enemy, Serbia.

So why is only Libya the target for US/NATO missiles? Is there some principled or moral reason? Are the Libyans the worst abusers of their people in the region? In actuality, Libya offers its citizens a higher standard of living. (The 2010 UN Human Development Index, a composite measure of health, education and income ranked Libya first in Africa.) None of the other countries has a more secular government than Libya. (In contrast some of the Libyan rebels are in the habit of chanting that phrase we all know only too well: "Allahu Akbar".) None of the others has a human-rights record better than that of Libya, however imperfect that may be — in Egypt a government fact-finding mission has announced that during the recent uprising at least 846 protesters were killed as police forces shot them in the head and chest with live ammunition. 6 Similar horror stories have been reported in Syria, Yemen and other countries of the region during this period.

It should be noted that the ultra-conservative Fox News reported on February 28: "As the United Nations works feverishly to condemn Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi for cracking down on protesters, the body's Human Rights Council is poised to adopt a report chock-full of praise for Libya's human rights record. The review commends Libya for improving educational opportunities, for making human rights a "priority" and for bettering its "constitutional" framework. Several countries, including Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia but also Canada, give Libya positive marks for the legal protections afforded to its citizens — who are now revolting against the regime and facing bloody reprisal."

Of all the accusations made against Gaddafi perhaps the most meaningless is the oft-repeated "He's killing his own people." It's true, but that's what happens in civil wars. Abraham Lincoln also killed his own people.

Muammar Gaddafi has been an Officially Designated Enemy of the US longer than any living world leader except Fidel Castro. The animosity began in 1970, one year after Gaddafi took power in a coup, when he closed down a US air force base. He then embarked on a career of supporting what he regarded as revolutionary groups. During the 1970s and '80s, Gaddafi was accused of using his large oil revenues to support — with funds, arms, training, havens, diplomacy, etc — a wide array of radical/insurgent/terrorist organizations, particularly certain Palestinian factions and Muslim dissident and minority movements in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia; the IRA and Basque and Corsican separatists in Europe; several groups engaged in struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa; various opposition groups and politicians in Latin America; the Japanese Red Army, the Italian Red Brigades, and Germany's Baader-Meinhof gang.

It was claimed as well that Libya was behind, or at least somehow linked to, an attempt to blow up the US Embassy in Cairo, various plane hijackings, a bomb explosion on an American airliner over Greece, the blowing up of a French airliner over Africa, blowing up a synagogue in Istanbul, and blowing up a disco in Berlin which killed some American soldiers. 7

In 1990, when the United States needed a country to (falsely) blame for the bombing of PanAm flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, Libya was the easy choice.

Gaddafi's principal crime in the eyes of US President Ronald Reagan (1981-89) was not that he supported terrorist groups, but that he supported the wrong terrorist groups; i.e., Gaddafi was not supporting the same terrorists that Washington was, such as the Nicaraguan Contras, UNITA in Angola, Cuban exiles in Miami, the governments of El Salvador and Guatemala, and the US military in Grenada. The one band of terrorists the two men supported in common was the Moujahedeen in Afghanistan.
And if all this wasn't enough to make Gaddafi Public Enemy Number One in Washington (Reagan referred to him as the "mad dog of the Middle East"), Gaddafi has been a frequent critic of US foreign policy, a serious anti-Zionist, pan-Africanist, and pan-Arabist (until the hypocrisy and conservatism of Arab governments proved a barrier). He also calls his government socialist. How much tolerance and patience can The Empire be expected to have? When widespread protests broke out in Tunisia and Egypt, could Washington have resisted instigating the same in the country sandwiched between those two? The CIA has been very busy supplying the rebels with arms, bombing support, money, and personnel.

It may well happen that the Western allies will succeed in forcing Gaddafi out of power. Then the world will look on innocently as the new Libyan government gives Washington what it has long sought: a host-country site for Africom, the US Africa Command, one of six regional commands the Pentagon has divided the world into. Many African countries approached to be the host have declined, at times in relatively strong terms. Africom at present is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. According to a State Department official: "We've got a big image problem down there. ... Public opinion is really against getting into bed with the US. They just don't trust the US." 8 Another thing scarcely any African country would tolerate is an American military base. There's only one such base in Africa, in Djibouti. Watch for one in Libya sometime after the dust has settled. It'll be situated close to the American oil wells. Or perhaps the people of Libya will be given a choice — an American base or a NATO base.
And remember — in the context of recent history concerning Iraq, North Korea, and Iran — if Libya had nuclear weapons the United States would not be attacking it.

Or the United States could realize that Gaddafi is no radical threat simply because of his love for Condoleezza Rice. Here is the Libyan leader in a March 27, 2007 interview on al-Jazeera TV: "Leezza, Leezza, Leezza ... I love her very much. I admire her, and I'm proud of her, because she's a black woman of African origin."

Over the years, the American government and media have fed us all a constant diet of scandalous Gaddafi stories: He took various drugs, was an extreme womanizer, was bisexual, dressed in women's clothing, wore makeup, carried a teddy bear, had epileptic fits, and much more; some part of it may have been true. And now we have the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, telling us that Gaddafi's forces are increasingly engaging in sexual violence and that they have been issued the impotency drug Viagra, presumably to enhance their ability to rape. 9 Remarkable. Who would have believed that the Libyan Army had so many men in their 60s and 70s?

As I write this, US/NATO missiles have slammed into a Libyan home killing a son and three young grandchildren of Gaddafi, this after repeated rejections of Gaddafi's call for negotiations — another heartwarming milestone in the glorious history of humanitarian intervention, as well as a reminder of the US bombing of Libya in 1986 which killed a young daughter of Gaddafi.
Two more examples, if needed, of why capitalism can not be reformed.

Transocean, the owner of the drilling rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico a year ago, killing 11 workers and sending two hundred (200) million gallons of oil cascading over the shoreline of six American states, has announced that (through using some kind of arcane statistical method) it had "recorded the best year in safety performance in our Company's history." Accordingly, the company awarded obscene bonuses on top of obscene salaries to its top executives. 10

In Japan, even as it struggles to contain one of history's worst nuclear disasters, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has proposed building two new nuclear reactors at its radiation-spewing power plant. The plan had taken shape before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and TEPCO officials see no reason to change it. The Japanese government agency in charge of approving such a project has reacted in shocked horror. "It was just unbelievable," said the director of the agency. 11

Which leads us to A.W. Clausen, president of Bank of America, speaking to the Greater Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, in 1970:

"It may sound heretical to some in this room to say that business enterprise is not an absolute necessity to human culture ... Ancient Egypt functioned more than 3000 years without anything resembling what we today understand by the term 'corporate enterprise' or even 'money'. Within our span of years, we have witnessed the rise of the Soviet Socialist empire. It survives without anything you or I would call a private corporation and little that approaches our own monetary mechanism. It survives and is far stronger than anyone might have expected from watching its turbulent beginnings in 1917 ... It is easy to mislead ourselves into thinking that there is something preordained about our profit-motivated, free-market, private-enterprise system — that is, as they used to say of gold, universal and immutable."

Items of interest from a journal I've kept for 40 years, part III
• Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez memoir, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story, pages 349-350: April 6, 2004. Sanchez was in Iraq in video teleconference with President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. One major American offensive was in operation, another about to be launched. According to Sanchez, Powell was talking tough that day: "We've got to smash somebody's ass quickly, "Powell said. "There has to be a total victory somewhere. We must have a brute demonstration of power." Then Bush spoke: "At the end of this campaign al-Sadr must be gone. At a minimum, he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out. Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can't send that message. It's an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. ... There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"

• Noam Chomsky: "If there is really authentic popular participation in the decision-making and the free association of communities, yeah, that could be tremendously important. In fact that's essentially the traditional anarchist ideal. That's what was realized the only time for about a year in Spain in 1936 before it was crushed by outside forces, in fact all outside forces, Stalinist Russia, Hitler in Germany, Mussolini's fascism and the Western democracies cooperated in crushing it. They were all afraid of it."

• To Hitler, America was both the enemy and a role model, inspiring in its imperial seizure of great territories by force, its use of slave labor, its eradication of native populations.

• NATO's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, made clear in a speech to the Brookings Institution in Washington in 2008 that western interests in Afghanistan went well beyond good governance to the strategic interest in having a permanent military presence in a state that borders central Asia, China, Iran and Pakistan.

• CIA Special Collections of documents; "Instances Of the Use of US Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2010"

• Michael Collon: "Let's replace the word 'democratic' by 'with us', and the word 'terrorist' by 'against us'."

• Ron Paul: "Those who caution that leaving Iraq would be a disaster are the same ones who promised the conflict would be a 'cake-walk'."

• Spc. Alex Horton, 22, writing in a blog while a marine in Iraq in 2007: "In the future, I want my children to grow up with the belief that what I did here was wrong, in a society that doesn't deem that idea unpatriotic."

• Henry Kissinger in a 1970 memo to Nixon: "The example of a successful elected Marxist government in Chile would surely have an impact on –– and even precedent value for –– other parts of the world, especially in Italy; the imitative spread of similar phenomena elsewhere would in turn significantly affect the world balance and our own position in it."

• Paul Craig Roberts: "International polls show that the rest of the world regard the US and Israel as the greatest dangers to world peace. Americans claim that they are fighting wars against terrorism, but it is US and Israeli terrorism that worries everyone else."

• Chris Hedges: "If you are a young Muslim American and head off to the Middle East for a spell in a fundamentalist 'madrassa,' or religious school, Homeland Security will probably greet you at the airport when you return. But if you are an American Jew and you join hundreds of teenagers from Europe and Mexico for an eight-week training course run by the Israel Defense Forces, you can post your picture wearing an Israeli army uniform and holding an automatic weapon on MySpace."
• "The US has never had a 'foreign policy' but a fanatical domestic policy which, once it had bled through to the Pacific, sought new hosts on which to feed." Patrick Wilkinson

• C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite (1956): "The only seriously accepted plan for 'peace' is a fully loaded pistol. In short, war or a high state of war preparedness is felt to be the normal and seemingly permanent condition of the United States."

• The United States goes around the world sprinkling democracy dust.

• Iran, the latest threat to life as we know it.

• "Iran hit back at US allegations that it has failed to crack down on fugitive al-Qaeda members, calling on Washington to apologize to the world for its own past support of the network. 'The Americans should present a full apology to the international community for the support they gave to al-Qaeda,' said the foreign ministry, referring to a period in the 1980s when millions of dollars of covert US aid was channeled — through the Pakistani secret service — to Islamist groups battling the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan." (Agence France Presse, June 2, 2003)

• Tom Hayden: They believe that the exposure of the generals to a civilian academic atmosphere may humanize the process of war-making, not worrying that the actual danger may be the militarizing of the university.

• Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in his 2007 book, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World": "I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil."After an avalanche of commentary, Greenspan backpedaled and obfuscated in his comments. He insisted he was talking about "oil security" and "the global economy". But this was just proving his own point that mentioning oil as a motivation for war is "politically inconvenient". It's no way to get young men to kill other young men who've never done them any harm.

• The American people have no more authentic control over their government than do people in countries that we call dictatorships, particularly on issues of foreign policy.