Just the other day, I posted about Amerikka doing its best to reach shithole country status. Naturally, no matter how great a country truly is, there’s always the fucking idiot contingent who moans that they have higher taxes, so bad. I would be more than happy to pay taxes which went to the common good, that’s the point of taxes. Here in Ustates, taxes rarely go to the common good. They certainly don’t under the current regime. Taxes end up in the pockets of the obscenely wealthy and corrupt. Today brings you a fine example of where tax dollars in this shithole go.
The Trump administration has launched a commission at the Interior Department to promote big-game trophy hunting and the “economic benefits that result from US citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.” The council, which will cost taxpayers $250,000 a year, is charged with making recommendations to Secretary Ryan Zinke about removing barriers to importing trophy hunting animals—such as the recently overturned ban on elephant and lion trophies from some countries—and relaxing legal restrictions on hunting and importing endangered species.
Anyone impressed by this? Anyone happy about having their pocket picked for this utterly immoral, corrupt bullshit? Wait, it gets worse.
The members of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, which is holding its first meeting Friday, include a reality-TV safari hunting guide, a former beauty queen, gun industry representatives, members and affiliates of a controversial trophy hunting group, and a veterinarian associated with an exotic animal breeding facility in Florida that sells endangered animals to roadside zoos.
“It’s really embarrassing,” says Masha Kalinina, the international trade policy specialist for the wildlife department at the Humane Society International. “I just question the qualifications of each and every one of these people. Notably missing from this trophy hunting council are legitimate representatives of the conservation community with proper scientific credentials and a record of successful conservation programs, along with wildlife law enforcement experts and biologists who have no financial stake in promoting trophy hunting.”
The council’s charter calls hunting “an enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival.” Along with pushing to relax imports of trophy animals, it will also review the way the US complies with an international treaty designed to protect endangered plants and animals that guides regulation of the exotic animal trade. But the membership of the council seems heavily weighted toward people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.
Indeed, the country’s largest trophy-hunting lobby seems to have an outsized role on the council. Of the 16 IWCC members, at least 10 have an affiliation with Safari Club International, which represents wealthy big-game hunters who often tangle with the Fish and Wildlife Service over permits to import of game trophies from overseas, particularly for endangered species. The advocacy group, with 50,000 members, frequently lobbies Congress and federal agencies to fight environmental regulations. It sued to overturn the Obama-era ban on importing elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Trump administration ended the ban earlier this month, despite the president’s earlier objections and comments that elephant hunting is a “horror show.”
Those members include Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist and asshole extraordinaire who killed Cecil the Lion.
The principal deputy director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Greg Sheehan, who is effectively running the agency in the absence of a congressionally confirmed director, oversees the IWCC. He is an SCI member and attended the group’s convention in Las Vegas last month when it awarded its “professional hunter of the year” honors to a South African man who has been fined for leading hunts of endangered black rhinos.
It gets much worse from there. It’s a sickening read, and its symptomatic of the rot spreading out like gangrene from the current regime to poison everything. Those people who want to point to higher taxes in other countries, countries which provide healthcare, free education, and many other benefits to their citizens, you need to shut the fuck up when tax dollars here go to such evil, corrupt enterprise.
Mother Jones has the full story, with all the relevant links, and you can read about all the members of this “council”.