Q&A: New Fish and Wildlife Guidelines From The New York Times: WASHINGTON, May 23 - The southwestern regional director of the United States Fish
May 26, 2005

Q&A: New Fish and Wildlife Guidelines

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, May 23 - The southwestern regional director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has instructed members of his staff to limit their use of the latest scientific studies on the genetics of endangered plants and animals when deciding how best to preserve and recover them….

Dale Hall, the director of the southwestern region, in a memorandum dated Jan. 27, said that all decisions about how to return a species to robust viability must use only the genetic science in place at the time it was put on the endangered species list - in some cases the 1970’s or earlier - even if there have been scientific advances in understanding the genetic makeup of a species and its subgroups in the ensuing years.

Mr. Hall’s memorandum prompted dissent within the agency. Six weeks later, his counterpart at the mountain-prairie regional office, in Denver, sent a sharp rebuttal to Mr. Hall.

Mr. Hall’s policy, he wrote, “could run counter to the purpose of the Endangered Species Act” and “may contradict our direction to use the best available science in endangered species decisions in some cases.”

Q: So what do these new guidelines mean to me?
A: It probably means more to the species and subspecies that weren’t identified clearly befor the 1970’s.

Q: What?
A: See, genetic science has taught us more about speciation than we’d previously known, but this memo makes it all right to ignore that.

Q: So can I shoot this thing here?
A: What thing?

Q: There’s a sort of furry thing here. I want to shoot it.
A: It depends on what it is.

Q: It’s furry and sort of brownish grey. Can I shoot it?
A: Does it look like a squirrel?

Q: Kind of like a very big squirrel with longer legs and bigger teeth than most squirrels have and horns and… well, yeah, mostly like a squirrel.
A: Go right ahead. Squirrels aren’t endangered.

Q: Thanks! *BLAM!*
A: No problem.

Q: Now how about this thing over here?
A: What thing?

Q: Looks sort of like an Alabama Sturgeon. It’s be nice to throw an M-80 in there and watch it blow up, but I heard they’re endangered. Are they?
A: Well, if you identify ‘em that closely, yeah.

Q: But…?
A: But what if we weren’t such sticklers about classification? Would you say, for instance, that what you’re looking at is a sort of “fish?”

Q: Oh yeah. No doubt about that. It’s a fish. So?
A: Are “fish” themselves endangered?”

Q: Not on yer life! There’s gazillions of ‘em!
A: Yes there are.

Mr. Hall’s policy, he wrote, “could run counter to the purpose of the Endangered Species Act” and “may contradict our direction to use the best available science in endangered species decisions in some cases.”

Q: So what do these new guidelines mean to me?
A: It probably means more to the species and subspecies that weren’t identified clearly befor the 1970’s.

Q: What?
A: See, genetic science has taught us more about speciation than we’d previously known, but this memo makes it all right to ignore that.

Q: So can I shoot this thing here?
A: What thing?

Q: There’s a sort of furry thing here. I want to shoot it.
A: It depends on what it is.

Q: It’s furry and sort of brownish grey. Can I shoot it?
A: Does it look like a squirrel?

Q: Kind of like a very big squirrel with longer legs and bigger teeth than most squirrels have and horns and… well, yeah, mostly like a squirrel.
A: Go right ahead. Squirrels aren’t endangered.

Q: Thanks! *BLAM!*
A: No problem.

Q: Now how about this thing over here?
A: What thing?

Q: Looks sort of like an Alabama Sturgeon. It’s be nice to throw an M-80 in there and watch it blow up, but I heard they’re endangered. Are they?
A: Well, if you identify ‘em that closely, yeah.

Q: But…?
A: But what if we weren’t such sticklers about classification? Would you say, for instance, that what you’re looking at is a sort of “fish?”

Q: Oh yeah. No doubt about that. It’s a fish. So?
A: Are “fish” themselves endangered?”

Q: Not on yer life! There’s gazillions of ‘em!
A: Yes there are.

Q: So I can - ?
A: Yes.

Q: KABOOM!
A: Heh heh.

Q: That was great! Say, would you like to help me dynamite that herd of - uh, “generic mammals” down there?
A: I thought you’d never ask.

 
Senate Republicans to Reject Nuclear Option in Favor of Biowarfare           Opinions You Should Have

Senate Republicans who feared that they would not get the 50 votes they needed to destroy the filibuster spoke of abandoning the so-called "nuclear option" in favor of biological or chemical warfare.

"We should just gas all of them," said Sen. Rick Santorum of the Democrats, almost immediately after he had called them Nazis. Sen. Santorum later told critics that he had meant "sedating all of the Democrats with a non-toxic inhalant."

Another proposal on the table in behind-the-scenes discussion among conservative GOP senators is to inroduce Santorum's 6-year old niece, Bonnie Santorum, known to politicians as "Contagious Bonnie," into the Senate chamber. Most of the GOP senators have individually caught flus, coughs, incapaciting colds, and head lice from Bonnie in unfortunate happenstance encounters over the past two years, and Dr. Frist has certified that they have built up antibodies to her. Democrats, however, are expected to suffer and become unable to report for work long enough for the GOP to take advantage of their absence.

"And then the only issue would be whether we had a quorum," said Frist. "And when Dick Cheney is the Presiding Officer, well, a quorum is what we say it is."

Q: So I can - ?
A: Yes.

Q: KABOOM!
A: Heh heh.

Q: That was great! Say, would you like to help me dynamite that herd of - uh, “generic mammals” down there?
A: I thought you’d never ask.

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