Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Stand and Fight

 “Think of this as an endless war,” Rick Berman told a roomful of gas and oil executives a few months before yesterday’s scorched-earth elections. “You can either win ugly or lose pretty.”

We suspect the Sons of A.L.E.C.[i] say such things to each other when they don’t think anyone’s listening, but we shouldn’t be surprised when a bit of the green zombie fluid that passes for blood in these creatures oozes through for us to gawk at. Snake oil is as American as P.T. Barnum and J.P. Morgan. In fact it's a hybrid of the two and has been around since at least as long as those rich, dead, white guys walked the Earth. 

Rick Berman, a Big Oil lobbyist, made the above comments while giving a pep talk about the infinite, patronizing wisdom of Big Oil’s handful of billionaires using dark money to throw elections. Oddly, his message was also meant to comfort the consciences of some of these extremely rich energy elites, some of whom apparently were feeling a bit queezy about participating in such a massively cynical and destructive con scheme as buying politicians for the sake of denying Global Warming. Some of these guys have kids, after all. To these executives whose souls haven’t yet been ossified in some tar pit, Berman’s message was: Not to worry!! Now that the Supreme Court has been firmly deep-pocketed by your boss, the Beast, you executives can relax. You, like the courtiers of King Louis the 16th, no longer need any stinking public opinions. Winning, as in plutocracy, is the only game in town now. Ask any rich football player. With enough money, you can beat your wife and beat the rap. Ask Louis the 16th. It’s just business.

Obviously their hubris will kill them, and we should all hope for their speedy and painful end. But if we don’t stand up to the gangrenous challenge tossed our way in the form of yesterday’s stolen elections and fight, it’ll kill us, too. We shouldn’t be surprised.

The only reason we know about Berman’s pep talk to these captains of Big Oil’s Scum Fleet is because one of those captains allowed his guilt to get the better of him and he leaked the contents of Berman’s message to the “liberal” press (full transcript) who dutifully buried it. Heard of Rick Berman? Probably not. Case closed, but the scum still leaves a sheen on the water that no one, not even the professional deniers, try to deny anymore.

If any American to the left of Attila had any doubts before yesterday’s elections that our country is being held hostage by filthy-rich sociopaths and downright psychopathic corpo-terrorists enabled by their bigoted, idiotic teabag “electorate”, these “election” results should disabuse them of their fantasies.

We have no democracy left in our elections. They have been sold to the highest bidder. Until we can effectively kill the flesh-eating zombie the corporate Supreme Court unleashed upon us—the Supreme Court that opines that zombie drool (and money) is speech—this will not only remain the case, but we will rot in our body politic until we match the foul appearance of its murderer.

This does not mean we are without democracy. It means that, notwithstanding notable and heartening exceptions, by and large Democracy does not reside in elections anymore. It lies in direct action. For the next couple of years, putting your bodies on the line for the sake of what you believe in and for what you hope your children will believe in is your vote.

Direct action does not mean violence. It does not mean the gunnut-style threat of violence. It means nonviolent civil disobedience. Placing your bodies, en masse, in front of the coal trains, the fracking rigs, the limosines carrying the zombie fodder to their next corporate feel-good power point seminar. It means placing yourself in the position of surviving Hurricane Katrina--that perfect metaphor of what these corpo-terrorists would like to do to all of us if given half the chance--and asking yourself “where can I be most useful?” It means saving lives. It means being creative. It means being brave, being very brave.

Direct action does not mean not voting. If boycotting elections to prove a point were going to work it surely would have by now. God knows we’ve given that approach plenty of chances. Progressive politics are our collective statement that we believe in Democracy and in civil society and that, as soon as we purge their filthy money out of our elections, we will have both. Until that happens, don’t look at rigged elections as the path to power. Look at them as statements. They know that we’re still out here and onto them, they know we're the majority and they fear us. Why else do they have zombie pep rallies with the likes of high-paid shills like Berman if they didn’t? Why else would one of those corporate elites have leaked his speech? They won't admit it but their actions, as always, belie their hearts, such as hearts are in their kind. 

Look at it this way. Capitalism, as these rich wingos define it, is dead. It's continued destructive existence can therefore only mean that the creatures who still adhere to it are flesh-eating zombies. That this is extremely problematic only clinches my point, because it's a fact that there’s nothing more fun than putting fear in the heart of a flesh-eating zombie.  Ask any Hollywood movie mogul. Zombies are, at best, conflicted beings and they wriggle so satisfyingly when they're distressed. Remember: we are the majority. They know that and are confused. They're wriggling. It's a fact. I rest my case.

There are those in America who don’t give a second’s worth of consideration as to whether snake oil is actually good for you or not. They gulp it right down because that’s what they’ve always done and because that’s what their momma and their daddy have always done and if it’s good enough for them and…etc. They are the minority. On the other hand, if you are the kind of American who has been around since long before the robber barons and their public relations scumbags tried to sell you the lie that you are not the majority, the kind of American who actually does place high value on freedom and democracy and who will stand and fight for those values, you should first of all be angry at this, another stolen election. You should be very angry. And then you should get ready to vote with your body, your direct action. Now is the time if there ever was one. There are plenty of opportunities. Look for them. Be creative. 

We haven't lost. Stand and fight.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Let’s Have A Grown-up Conversation About Global Warming

Thoughts on the 50th Anniversary National Wilderness Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 15th-19th, 2014

Here’s a picture of a rattlesnake.

Not just any rattlesnake, but one I and a friend almost stepped on while sauntering down a well-trod path at Petroglyphs National Monument just west of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We were taking a brief respite from the 50th Anniversary National Wilderness Conference, a fine event sponsored by some fine and strange bedfellows indeed, including the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (clearcuts), the Pew Trust (Sunoco Oil) and Wilderness Watch (the kick-butt wilderness watchdog group you should join[i]). I didn’t see where the Bureau of Reclamation or the Army Corps had chipped in, and I hope that at the 60th celebration conference we have defied this infuriating trend toward quid pro quo “partnering” and away from true conservation to the point where I don’t see them chipping in for that one either.

Interesting panels and discussions were definitely thick at this one, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how much the progressive, deep-ecology side of the debate was openly represented. That, I think, was largely due to the active engagement of progressive groups like Wilderness Watch, who spent serious time and energy swimming upcurrent against the quid pro quo crowd (clearcuts)[ii]. But Dave Foreman and the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, sharing the stage within a mere timelapse of three days? You wouldn’t have seen that combination if, say, the Wilderness Law’s 50th anniversary had fallen under Gale Norton’s watch[iii]. The Bush Administration would have seen such active engagement of citizens demanding meaningful participation at a government-sponsored event as a terrorist attack[iv]. I was impressed, which says a lot about how easily impressed I am. Aw, shucks…

Do you see the rattler? Neither did we, until Dee went from talking about esoteric river trips to a reality-based four-feet in the air and five-feet away, followed by myself in a matter of nanoseconds, no confounding, hair-splitting thought processes necessary. All instinct, and what a wonderful way to exist, if only for a nanosecond.

I have had a peregrinatious life, which in the West means I’ve been lucky. I’ve been incautious enough to have found myself four feet above more than several rattling rattlers before the speed of thought caught up with me, and so I’ve become somewhat of an expert at regarding an individual snake’s beauty from that most-advantageous perspective. You can believe me, then, that although I’m sure there are snakes out there that are just as beautiful, there are none that are more so. She was fat and bright, maybe four feet long (or maybe twenty, my memory’s kind of fuzzy on that point) and a vibrating rear end that would make an exotic dancer jealous. By the time my thoughts recongealed and I reached for my camera, she had scooted under the bush, and even at five feet away I couldn’t see anything of her except what you see in the picture, and a hint of her vibrating tail, which looked more like the skeleton seed head of a Crested Wheatgrass stalk than a world-class beauty’s butt, which somehow my camera missed. What a gracious being to express her feelings to us in such a focusing way.

I’ve always been offended by the so-called Tea Party’s co-opting of the Rattlesnake flag, because I like rattlesnakes. They let you know as quickly as they can--which is usually just before you step on them—that you’re about to step on them, and they’re always scooting away from you when they coil, so as not to strike unless as a last resort. They’re polite, to use a word no credible person with a straight face would use when describing the intentions of your average armed teabagger at a gun rally.  This is an excellent case in point, by the way, in defense of the Rights of Nature[v]. How are snakes going to sue the bastards for libel unless they have adequate copyright protections? Mere coincidence that they don’t? I don’t think so.

Anyway, this particular rattlesnake, at this particular interlude between wilderness workshops, keynote speeches and plenary sessions crystallized a thought that had been eddying around in my mind as I absorbed as much as I could from such diverse conference participants as Forman and Jewell. I guess at the risk of seeming unfair or uninformed, I’d tag those two as fair representatives of the two ends of the spectrum on conservation and wilderness debates represented at the conference as well as within the larger debates between reasonable people who aren’t banking on a one-way trip to heaven after they finish frying this world. More on them in a minute, but that’s my point. The critical debates swirling around us in the face of Global Warming about how we humans should even see the non-human world, let alone relate to it, are not linear, as in having only two ends. It’s a continuum, encompassing all, and if we North American environmentalists have had a single blind spot these last thirty years or so, since the slash-and-burn Reagan years forced everyone to the left of Attila to duck for cover, it is the Silo Syndrome[vi], where we see “our” cause as separate from the wholesale crumbling of a reason-based society. “When,” you might protest, “has our society ever been reason based?!”, and I would readily agree. I’m a Luddite at heart, too. But as was on full display at this formal, well-funded wilderness conference, Global Warming is the undercurrent for everything we who yearn for rational discussions talk about these days, and it is a difficult, almost rudderless conversation, which means starting from difficult (read: problematic) places if you’re going to start from anywhere at all, which we really should. So for easy reference, a “fear-based society” is the opposite end of my admittedly-constructed spectrum, and fear-based societies are demonstrably bad for the environment, environmentalists and everybody else, including snakes.

This hasn’t always been the case, and to her great credit, as well as to the credit of those who invited her, Sarah James of the Gwich’in Nation, whose lands encompass the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and whose survival depends on its protection, was the sole plenary speaker I heard mention the term “human rights” in relation to environmental politics[vii]. Others hinted at it, which is a sign of great hope to me, but let’s be blunt. The rattlesnake’s continued well-being depends on how we relate to ourselves as much as how we relate to the rattlesnake. Human rights is the third leg of a monster centipede with a hundred legs, bigger than the combined weight of all of our silos. That's a scary centipede. I’ll try to explain.

When I was an organizer for the Montana Human Rights Network, our executive director would often recount how, back in the “days” when the environment was an issue with more political traction (read: more grant money) than human rights, he would approach the various statewide conservation organizations for cooperation and support on the Fight-The-Right issues we were working on, only to be told something to the effect that “Well, we’re with you in spirit but we really can’t come out in the open on this one. You know…it would offend some people we’re trying to work with.” Etc. These days the situation has been reversed somewhat, and thus the Silo Syndrome perpetuates itself. We stand alone, we get picked off alone. It’s a shame, isn’t it?

My own entrance into human rights politics was precipitated by the violent “Wise-Use” reactions, orchestrated by the extractive industries, against local environmental activists—my friends—in the Northern Rockies. I simply couldn’t see how the two weren’t inextricably tied. You can’t have meaningful dialogue about mutual respect for people and the environment with the political equivalent of a spoiled five-year-old throwing a tantrum, could you? I didn’t think so, and I’ve looked at such far-ranging Land-based messages represented by icons like Forman and Jewell with just such a lense for many years. It’s interesting, that for all the damage done to our body politic by the anti-enviro tantrum throwers who are never brought to account, we as conservationists never take them on holistically, with accountability as a reasonable goal. Global Warming has its own focusing power now, but it still seems that, for all our trying, somehow we have avoided effectively defending the Land and Water as a cohesive, planet-loving movement, which in turn leads us right down these ultimately self-realized paths of muggings by the various enviro-bashing, teabaggin’ sovereign-citizen movements such as we have been plagued with in the past and our politics are currently infested with now. The quid pro quo/ collaboration crowd rushes in to fill the gap that we ourselves left open to them, and are as wrong as they can be. The most fundamental issue of the day is whether or not humans are to continue on this planet and that issue does not have “two sides”. We’re clearly up against dysfunctional, apocalypse-driven behavior on a massive scale. What to do?

Well…it must be clear to you by now that, barring those beautiful nanoseconds when I’m four feet above a rattling rattler, I’m one of those people who are doomed to confounding, hairsplitting thought processes and, if you’re still reading this, so are you. My condolences, and I’ll try to finish this thread with as little more pain as possible. But now that you’ve read this far and I know you’re hooked, I feel a responsibility to give you fair warning that, as a banjo player, I tend to digress. I’ll explain some more, in other words. Here goes.

I’m all for less AynRandian (read: less disingenuously predatory) human beings like Sally Jewell being put in charge of the Department of Interior. She’s obviously a step or five in the right direction away from Gale Norton, who once went on record as opining that the Southern “cause” during…you know…the Civil War (!) was basically sound (!?!). And I doubt if Jewell’s political enemies will come up with any dirt as damning as the quid pro quos between Norton and that criminal, corporate fall guy, Jack Abramoff. But that’s beside the point, isn’t it? The fact is that both Jewell and Norton welled up, so to speak, from the very corporate oil patches that are Mother Earth’s most intractable foes, Jewell from Mobil and Norton from Royal Dutch Shell. I can understand why a politician like Bush would pander to chicken-eating dogs vying to watch the henhouse, but not so much why Obama thought he had to move in the same direction, and make no mistake. As good a heart as Sally Jewell may have or as much as we love our R.E.I. goodies[viii], she was Obama’s overture to just such a chicken-eating beast[ix]. That’s just Ugly Politics 101, and nothing against Jewell. But putting Mobil on your resume for Secretary of the Interior lowers you a notch or two on the environmental trust-o-meter. How could it not?

On the other hand, I’ve always fallen in with the EarthFirst(!) vision, which boils down to the super-simple, self-preserving philosophy of the Earth coming First[x] while also having a basic problem with “monkeywrenching”. I never could make the leap that wrecking some working stiff’s stuff would somehow convince him to quit acting like an asshole. I’m a working stiff, too, and sometimes I act like an asshole. Empathy is what Jesus, among other people, said would save the world if anything could, and I agree with him on this point. It’s also one of the core radical notions we Deep-Ecology types ask those same stiffs to have for other species. Wrecking loud, obnoxious equipment is a great outlet for many things, and I still greatly admire those who don’t confound themselves with such thoughty thoughts. But this is Reason Number One that I ended up on the Human Rights side of environmentalism.

Reason Number Two had to do with war. In early 1981, I joined Missoula’s budding EarthFirst(!) chapter with the purest of heart, the best of intentions and at the nadir of my Realpolitik naiveté. I’d been working the woods for several years by then, seen and understood the damage being done and I was righteously pissed, but I thought revolutions were easier than they were. After an extended low-rent vagabond through Mexico and Central America, though, where I had my first real chance to do face time with bulletholes punctured into adobe church walls and burnt out buses within which kids died, I started paying more attention to who our homeboy elites were and what, if they were capable of sponsoring such savagery down there, they were capable of doing to those of us up here who would be so brave and foolish as to openly advocate violence against their pet bulldozers. I thought I saw horns poking through what was left of the hair of Senator Jesse Helms, a personal friend of El Salvador’s Roberto D’Aubuisson, and Reagan’s lead man for D’Aubuisson’s mass-murder doctrine we still pay dearly for. Wow, I said. I better get my shit together before I take these guys on.

As we all know by now, I was right about them[xi], but I’m not bragging. I’m just explaining how I tripped away from overt EarthFirst(!)-ism and headlong into the first of the three major human rights crises generated by our homeboy wingnuts directly related to environmentalism in my adult lifetime: the Central American anti-interventionist movement. “Let’s have a grown-up conversation about wars”, we said, “which are always bad for the environment." When Congress broke the law and approved Reagan’s $27 million dollar demand to fund his drug-running Contra buddies, I got myself arrested for hanging plastic hamburgers and bananas on a federal courthouse doorknob and not apologizing. It was disobedient, but it was civil, like the stunt EarthFirst(!) pulled off at Glen Canyon Dam with the 300-foot-long plastic crack. Call us hypocrites, but you can’t help but love that kind of stuff. Still, I steered away from publicly-implied threats I couldn’t back up. I didn’t rule out serving myself up to the bloody buddies of D’Aubuisson, but I preferred to maintain a least a bit of an illusion that I could choose my own time and place. Comfort’s where you find it.

The second environmental crisis demanding a strong human rights response was the militia flare-up of the mid-nineties. Lots of people forget now, but if you were an environmentalist in the Northern Rockies during that time you would well remember that the so-called “Wise-Use” movement that morphed into the “militia movement” had been ginning logging-industry activists bent on enviro-bashing since Jim Watt started brushing his fangs with government-funded toothpaste. The Spotted Owl decision in 1990 was the icing on the cake, and Ruby Ridge sent them right over the top, where they have stayed ever since (Actually they’ve been there since before the Civil War, but that’s another rant[xii]). On the day Oklahoma City was bombed, for instance, I was wheeling my four-year-old son past the Ravalli County Courthouse in his Flexible Flyer, only to find out later that our courthouse had received its own bomb threat that morning. As much as the automaton messaging at our thousand airports blather on about how serious our elites take “terrorism”, no one was ever found and convicted for perpetrating that atrocity, as well as many other atrocities I could list but for the sake of being relatively positive, I won’t. In fact, after things cooled down, several of those very “militia” enablers rose to seats of power within local, state and national government, and have stayed there.

This sort of stuff would stick in the craw of conservationists living in the Northern Rockies, and when the Montana Human Rights Network sprang into existence to counter the second violent wave spilling out from the Secessionist Right, some of us joined up and many remained active in the Fight-The-Right movement, because of our primary concern for the Land. “Let’s have a grown-up conversation about guns,” we said, which also didn’t go anywhere immediately, but is still a central conversation to have concerning environmental awareness, since the third environmental/human rights crisis, Teabaggery, plagues us to this day mostly, I believe, because we progressives don’t tend to deal with the meta-crises of our time whole-cloth.

I think “environmentalists” are too often too shy to call themselves “progressives” and vise-versa and for the wrong reasons. The silo syndrome not only fragments us and makes us easier targets, it’s unnecessary. Defending the right to Dissent, specifically the rights of beleaguered environmentalists, should always be at the top of any Deep Ecologist’s list of grave concerns, and it used to be. Iconic conservationist, Stewart Brandborg, who gave us the Wilderness Law as much as any other single person, living or otherwise, had it right decades ago when he saw his main job as Executive Director of the Wilderness Society from 1964 to 1976 not so much in terms of getting more Wilderness per se as in “making Democracy work.” He and his colleagues recognized the Whole Cloth, that if you’re going to have human societies living on the land—and Mother Nature doesn’t necessarily agree with us on that point—then it follows that the only path toward healthy human societies are healthy environments, and vise versa. Otherwise, something’s gotta give, and you know who’s punching above our weight on that one.

To be as clear a banjo player can possibly be (please refer to above warning) for several decades, Dave Foreman and those many others who have shared the EarthFirst(!) vision of the Earth coming First[xiii] and acted upon that vision in their multitude of ways, have continued to be key voices in America in defense of the Land and Water and I can’t speak highly enough of them. Suffice to say that they are clearly as relevant to today’s discussions as they were back in the good ol’ days when we were more naïve and, by definition, more hopeful.

And yes, Sally Jewell, for her part, is better than Gale Norton, which is great for about as far as you can throw a Prius. I wish her the very best of luck, which of course means that We The Privileged Ones still have a long way to go, Realpolitik-wise. 

Which brings up the key to crystalizing modern environmental thought-processes that we ignore at our great peril. Most wilderness debates in America to date have resided predominantly within the demographic of those from relatively-privileged backgrounds. The Global Warming crisis has the potential of turning that demographic anomaly on its head, in a positive, more universal direction which is where it absolutely must be. Our personal belly buttons are only so interesting. But that’s the very thing. Our boring uniformity invites the very real danger that the incredibly obtuse academic “neo-greens” coming almost exclusively from that same overeducated demographic, will prevail against educated reason itself. Geo-engineering and “eco-gardening” our way out of an environmental crisis brought on by our very proclivity for that very sort of thing is not only not rational, it’s dysfunctional. But the neo-greens techno-message dovetails so perfectly with the very extractive industries that have been the bane of every intact ecosystem on the planet since the dawn of the Industrial Age[xiv] that it is a very well-funded message indeed. Such specious, “balanced” arguments are fetching top dollar these days because the despoilers recognize our weakness if we don't, and they move accordingly in isolating us as activists, seeing an easy split of existing conservationists right down the middle if they can just aim their “smart” axes cleverly enough at our heartwood. Please see Ugly Politics 101 above. It’s not rocket-science.

The faces of the Despoilers and their enablers, at least here in Montana, have not changed, nor has their message, which is predominantly about bashing anyone to the left of Attila[xv] , which includes all environmentalists, as “eco-terrorists”. In fact our message hasn’t changed either. We talk about the Land and the public interest. They talk about for-profit death and destruction and what they’d like to do to “shit-stirring” environmentalists if given half a chance, which, if one regards the Roberts' Court in its full enormity, they've been given. “Let’s have a grown-up conversation about Global Warming,” we say today, and they throw an armed fit. Good grief.

I hasten to re-iterate that this screed is as full of holes as Swiss Cheese, which some people don’t like. But even if you don’t prefer your cheese with holes in it, you might concede the point that it still exists within certain sandwiches, which is exactly where it seems we all are today, ready to be served up…to whom?

Call me a hypocrite, because it’s all so confounding and hairsplitting anymore I would, from time to time, agree with you, and I’m O.K. with that. But as all of us who have experienced wave after wave of reactionary nature-bashing in the Northern Rockies know, there are a lot of people who will purposely run over a rattlesnake sunning itself on a road, and who are, sadly, unreformable. You can’t argue with them about it. They want to kill for the mere reason of the hatred that got stuck somewhere in their system long ago for some reason that they are probably originally innocent of but should have worked themselves out from under by now don’t you think (!?). As a resident of a rural community in these teabaggy times, I know a few of them personally and, speaking with that voice of authority, my common sense urges me to avoid purposely stepping on them. But I tend to ignore this good advise and follow my instincts instead, by doing just the opposite. What a beautiful way to exist, if you can get away with it, and kind of fun, too. If you’ve ever been four feet high above a demurring rattlesnake and had a good outcome you know what I mean. I’m certain that this is the correct way to live these days. Step on the stolen image while thanking the snake and offering to find her a good pro-bono lawyer, like Wilderness Watch does.

The point? For all the human rights aspects that surround our Category-Five Global Warming disaster, I hereby opine that it’s not our job to try to understand these unreformable people anymore. Our duty to them is to say: If Heaven is where you’d really rather be, I wish you Godspeed and Good Riddance[xvi] and then move on with getting our own shit together. I further opine that, as far as anything goes anywhere, Dave Forman is exactly right on some things, Sally Jewell is mostly right on a couple things, and the rattlesnake trumps everybody.

How about we tear down these silly silos we who know the difference between conservation and capitulation have needlessly built up around ourselves? It’s not all about Wilderness. It’s not all about Human Rights. It’s not all about War. It's not even about our silly ol' selves, even though we have to pretend that it is in order to get a damn thing done.

It’s about snakes. That’s the point.

[ii] There were many great wilderness lovers and advocates who made their careers in the Forest Service in attendance and who made the agency a better place for wilderness junkies like myself to work. I am critiquing the organization, not those individuals.
[iii] “Libertarian” Secretary of the Interior under George W. Bush, 2001-2006. Resigned in the wake of the Abramoff scandal, a beltway criminal scheme where “libertarian” politicians who made careers out of advocating for less government were paid off in exchange for demonstrating exactly what they meant by “less government”. Norton resigned before she could be formally investigated, but not before she gifted a sweet oil-shale deal on public lands worth billions to Dutch Royal Shell, with whom she miraculously found herself working for after she left Government. I’m pretty sure Foreman would have loved to have shared a stage with her, but not vise-versa, and definitely not a stage in large part paid for by the U.S.D.A.
 Armed guards barred Stewart Brandborg, one of the last surviving founder of the Wilderness Law, from entering the Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor’s Office in 2005 by Supervisor Dave Bull, a Bush-era agency operative pandering to the “fears” of the local Wise Use crowd he had gathered inside for a photo-ops to promote a massive logging scheme. A portrait of Stewart’s father, Guy Brandborg (Bitterroot Forest Supervisor from 1935-55) hung from the entrance wall.
[v] Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972)
[vi] I just made that up (I think) and if I did I hereby gift it to the Public Domain. Feel free to steal it!
[viii] Previous to her appointment as Secretary of the Interior, Jewell was C.E.O. of R.E.I.
[ix] Nothing against beasts, but dogs can be seen as an invasive species. No analogy is perfect. I just do my best.
[x] Duh.
[xiii] Duh.
[xiv] “Keeping The Wild”
[xv] Nothing against huns. Just sayin’…Atilla.