It’s a job patronage system, meant to take the Chicago machine nationwide.
"Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious." — The Ayatollah Khomeini
(hat tip: Jihad Watch. Check it out to read how jihadists are killing comedy and music in Pakistan.)
Actress Ashley Judd has been in the news lately for her work as a spokeswoman for Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. She appears in a video attacking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for authorizing a state program to hunt wolves from the air to control their population:
Alaska instituted the aerial hunting of wolves to control populations that had grown too large and were thus endangering the viability of moose and caribou herds, on which Alaskans rely for food. An overpopulation of wolves also endangers the wolves themselves: left with not enough prey after decimating the caribou and moose herds, the wolves will either starve or be forced to move into human-inhabited areas to hunt, something they would normally avoid. (Something similar happens here in Southern California. Every year or so, there's a report of a starving or sick wildcat entering hillside communities and killing pets or even endangering children.)
As far as aerial hunting being some sort of atrocity, the video fails to mention two things: first, Alaska's rugged terrain practically dictates tracking by air, if the program is to be at all efficient. Second, and more important, the wolves themselves are not shot from the air; federal regulation prohibits it. They can only be tracked: the kill-shot itself must be fired from the ground. (PDF) Judd and the DWAF are dishonest to suggest otherwise. But even if shooting from the air were allowed, I fail to see a problem with it. This is hunting, not a sporting match under Marquess of Queensberry rules.
Far from being some cruel blood-sport, Alaska's wolf-hunting program seems to be an example of intelligent wildlife management, benefitting not only the prey herds and the humans who depend on them, but the wolves themselves. As the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Wildlife Conservation explains:
In control programs, predators are reduced in number but never permanently eliminated from any area; viable populations of predators are a requirement of law. The long-term goal of a successful program is increased prey density, increased harvest, and stable populations of predators. Biologists determine the level of predator removal needed to allow growth of prey populations. Biologists determine predator population objectives for areas that can achieve desired levels of harvest. Intensive management efforts, including predator control, focus on achieving those objectives.
And, indeed, the Alaska program has worked: the caribou and moose herds have increased as more calves are born and survive, which should help stabilize the population in future years. The wolf populations have not been eliminated from any area, and those that remain have plenty of food.
Judd and the DWAF are also practicing a strange ethics: killing the wolves is wrong, but letting the wolves annihilate the caribou and moose herds (and thus then face starvation) is okay. Even more bizarre, Judd is a advocate for unrestricted access to abortions. So, killing wolves is horrific, but killing a human for the convenience of the mother is a good thing?
Ashley Judd is yet another poster-child for why celebrities should stick to the entertainment business and leave policy to the grown-ups.