Endangered Species & Eugenics as "Science"
By Jim Beers
The dictionary tells us that “eugenics” is simply “the science of improving the qualities of the human race, esp. the careful selection of parents.” For the past 150 years this “science” has stressed unfettered government programs in various forms to:
- Abort, sterilize and euthanize as much as 1/3 of the US adult, sub-adult and fetal population “determined” to be “deficient”; plus “races” like Negroes, Italians, Jews and others in disfavor; the mentally challenged; criminals; homosexuals; and a range of individuals considered to be unacceptable variants of the “standards” of the day.
- Regulate, through licensing and bureaucracy, who may marry, who may be born, who may have children and what “sort” of child may be allowed to live.
Think this definition is extreme? Consider Margaret Sanger’s statements about “inferiors” like Negroes as she placed her birth control facilities in their neighborhoods. Consider Nazi rationales as they rounded up, imprisoned, used as slave laborers, and murdered the mentally challenged, Gypsies, Jews, Slavic people and eventually anyone they considered less than enthusiastic Nazis. Consider Japanese policies toward those they conquered from China to the Philippines. Consider Hutu and Tutsi actions of late in Rwanda. Consider Communist (Russia/China) actions toward the rich and educated and their families as they took power.
The foregoing events are only recent the most recent. Even an historical overview of such incidents from would fill uncounted pages from accounts of total annihilations like Carthage to the total cultural absorptions resulting from religious conquests and nations colonizing and “civilizing” more “primitive” societies and regions.
Always, the “conquered” or the targeted group is “determined” by an all-powerful government to be unworthy of the protections and respect afforded the conquering group. Slave labor or death is justified as warranted based on the “science” of the day from common knowledge (i.e. they are stupid, or dangerous, or unreliable, or too expensive to maintain, etc.) to the “science” of today (i.e. the world is already overpopulated; we are running out of resources; we are “progressing” beyond families and religious beliefs; they cause trouble as we grow government and pass more and more central-control and anti-Constitutional legislation). In short, there is no “science” behind human eugenics. There have always, and only, been hidden agendas, pandering politicians, self-serving bureaucrats, wealthy ideologues, and truly radical organizations seeking to remake society in their favor and under their control.
In the mid 1920’s the University of Wisconsin funded a graduate student to write a paper on a Eugenics View of Alma (a tiny town on the Mississippi River), Wisconsin. He quickly identified over a third of the populace that would (should?) qualify for sterilization and limits on any marriages or permission to have children. Writing this I am reminded of a book review I read recently that cited a not so long ago campaign by eugenicists to create a sperm bank for, and offer in vitro fertilization to, “worthy” females to create fertilized eggs of famous and “perfect” human specimens. One such group receiving such requests for sperm and/or egg donations was former Nobel Prize winners. One such “perfect” person wrote back, “I think you might be better off requesting sperm from my father, the shoemaker. I am merely the father of two adult sons that I still support and that between them cannot even play the guitar.” Imagine, a Nobel Prize winner that could spot humbug quicker than Miss Marple: will wonders never cease?
Now we shift from the humbug of human eugenics to the nonsense of “endangered” species’ laws and associated government abuses that are strangling rural America.
The Endangered Species Act has evolved over the past 45 years into what is perhaps the most powerful tool to grow central (federal) power without any Constitutional constraints in the history of the United States:
- State jurisdictions and authorities steadily dwindle as federal mandates more and more take on the nature of Proclamations of Pre-Christian Kings ruling with the backing of “gods”.
- Local government powers are disappearing and their revenues to perform even basic services like law enforcement are drying up as federal controls dictating land uses on both public and private property increase and state protection of “their” Local governments are forfeit by state politicians and bureaucrats in hopes of receiving better treatment from federal overseers.
- “Taking” of private property without compensation for questionable purposes is now a routine power of federal bureaucrats as they 1.) Close public lands; 2.) Restrict public and private timber and forage management and use by citizens; 3.) Proscribe through use of unlimited federal force what wild animals will or will not be allowed or managed in every locality; and 4.) Enforce their mandates by utilizing Terrorist laws, property seizures, prison terms, large fines and loss of voting rights and gun possession rights.
The basis for all this under the auspices of this federal Act is purportedly the “need” to “save” “species” from extinctions. The determination of this need; when it is deployed; where it is deployed; how it is deployed and why it is deployed is reputedly (like eugenics) not based on pandering politicians, self-serving bureaucrats, radical organizations, wealthy mandarins or hidden agendas; but rather on “science”. But, based on the eugenics model, we are wise to ask, “What science?” Since the federal government pays “scientists” for much of the “science” they utilize, this is not some sort of “black helicopter” question by a conspiracy theorist.
The Act was passed with great fanfare to “save” “SPECIES”. We were treated to tale after tale of Bald eagles, rhinoceroses, elephants, Whooping cranes, and Grizzly bears et al hovering on the cusp of extinction. Habitat loss, hunting, commercialization, farming, grazing, logging, fishing, urbanization, over-(human) population, energy development, capitalism, lack of UN authority over commerce, antiquated governance, out-of-date property concepts, pollution, lack of animal “rights”, and the simple lack of government funding for more regulation of human activity and for “research” to monitor “the ecosystem” were mixed in a (“witches brew” from Macbeth) stream of publicity of things that needed either government control, funding or the wise oversight of UN/EU/US and other “Developed” countries’ governments if any animals or “environmwent” were to be left.
Universities, schools, the media and politicians quoted US Fish and Wildlife Service and UN bureaucrats that in turn cited University “scientists” (more often than not in the Pay of government or with the expectation of sharing in future government funding and “scientific stardom”. Soon we were all convinced of the quasi-religious need for only “native” SPECIES and the righteousness of eliminating all “non-native” or “introduced” SPECIES (and big government was our only hope).
Federal bureaucracies and federal funding grew even faster than federal authorities and jurisdictions. “Partnerships” between bureaucrats (and politicians enabling them) grew with radical organizations and radical causes that were also growing apace and were largely responsible for the new laws, the new regulations and the concepts and court decisions underlying them that evolved into “saving” “endangered SPECIES” and restoring the “native” plant and animal communities sans the human (i.e. European humans that along with their non-native settled landscapes) presence that polluted it. If you doubt that, what date other than 1492 AD (Columbus’ arrival) is ever used or inferred to declare something as “native” or “non-native”?
So, I say again, “What science?”
If “SPECIES” must be “saved”: “What is a “SPECIES” and exactly what are we “saving?”
When the Act was passed and for hundreds of years before; a “SPECIES” was simply a group of animals or plants with similar characteristic that were capable of breeding and birthing viable (able to reproduce when grown) offspring with shared characteristic of the parents. In other words, an elephant and a lion are definitely separate SPECIES; while a horse and a burro are Separate SPECIES since their offspring (a mule) are sterile and therefore cannot produce viable offspring.
This was the common understanding and the commonly presented definition of “SPECIES” when laws and regulations as Draconian as any ever passed in the US were presented to the public and passed by politicians with nery a word or caution of where this would lead.
My 1929 Manual of the Vertebrate Animals doesn’t even mention a “SPOTTED” Owl while identifying The 15 SPECIES of Owls present in the US. Yet, thousands of jobs and the economic and cultural life of many Counties were destroyed by the federal government’s decision to shut down the forest management (firs control, logging, etc,) in SW Oregon for an owl they called “SPOTTED”. A “SPECIES”?
A dam in Tennessee was held up and would never have been built but for a special federal law to set aside a federal declaration of “Endangered” for a minnow-like fish called a Snail Darter. The Tennessee watersheds are distinguished by short rivers out of mountainous areas flowing into larger rivers. Each smaller river has darters that evolve mostly isolated from each other such that some evolve red fins or slotted gill covers or darker undersides, etc. Is one such group of “Darter” a SPECIES?
Over time the USFWS developed “science” and Regulations giving themselves authority over not only “SPECIES” but also “Subspecies”, “Races”, “Populations”, “Distinct Populations” and the bizarre classification “Distinct :Population SEGMENT!” What else is left? Again had I ever told you this 25 years ago you would have laughed at me and sent for the padded wagon to take me to the asylum.
This entire “Comedy”; to use the word Dante used to describe a trip through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven; is no better exposed than when we look at wolves. The “WOLF” was placed on the Endangered Species List right out of the chute. This, despite the widely acknowledged fact that “WOLVES” numbering in the hundreds of thousands to millions were and are existing throughout northern North America, Asia and Eastern Europe but “Wolves had almost entirely been extirpated at great expense and effort and with very good justification from the settled landscapes of the Lower 48 US States and Western Europe.
During the first 10 years of the Act, a Wolf was a Wolf was a Wolf. Then we were told there were Gray wolves, and Timber wolves, and “Red” wolves, and “Mexican” wolves. We were then told that “only” “Red” wolves belonged on the East Coast and that “only” the “Mexican” wolf belonged on the Southwestern States. When the USFWS asked Congress for funding and authorization to introduce “Gray” wolves into the Upper Rocky Mountain States, Congress refused to either fund or authorize what was sure to be a very unacceptable move. The USFWS then defiantly and secretly stole (the correct term) millions from State wildlife funds; went to somewhere in northern and/or Western Canada, trapped “Timber” (?) or “Gray” (?) or (??) wolves entered the US without filing Import Documents you or I would go to jail for failing to file as to origin and “SPECIES” and then kicked them loose in Yellowstone National Park a unique bit of federal real estate that since it was declared while Wyoming was still federal property was never and remains outside any State authority or jurisdiction. The rest is, as they say, history.
But is the “WOLF” a “SPECIES”? The wolf breeds freely (as much as any breeding is “free” amongst Canids) with coyotes. In fact, the latest bid environmental boogey man is “HYBRID” COYWOLVES. Are Wolves and Coyotes ONE SPECIES? Their offspring share parental characteristics and produce viable offspring.
But wait, WOLVES & COYOTES breed freely with dogs! Big dog, little dogs, bird dogs, watchdogs, hounds; it makes no difference. Their offspring share parental characteristics and produce viable offspring. Therefore, are Wolves, Coyotes and Dogs ONE SPECIES?
But wait again, Wolves, Coyotes and Dogs breed freely when they encounter with Dingoes (Australia), and Jackals (Africa). Their offspring also share parental characteristics and produce viable offspring as well. Therefore, are Wolves, Coyotes, Dogs, Dingoes, and Jackals ONE SPECIES?
These questions are not just academic. When I was in college it was a laughable matter to discuss “lumpers” and “splitters” when it came to defining species, no more. The federal government today is competing with Russia and China for the title of most oppressive, most bureaucratic and most abusive government in the world based on such humbug as SPECIES.
We were told two things as these laws began their growth all around us. First, we needed to save species because a “SPECIES” may contain the cure for cancer or some other such invaluable (to humans?) benefit. Second, “native SPECIES” “belong” (why is never explained) where government and “science” tell us. Because of these truly nonsensical bits of flimflam, government (i.e. bureaucrats, politicians, radical organizations and the rich and powerful) can take property without compensation; vacate growing swaths of rural America and steadily destroy State governments, Local governments, rural homes, rural families, rural communities, rural economies, hunting, fishing, trapping, all manner of human activities, farming, ranching, logging, timber processing, American culture and American traditions. “Species” is indeed important.
But, when we say we “must save” SPECIES X, what are we saving? The animal’s body with some unique DNA? The animal’s presence in our surroundings no matter its effect on human society? Subjects for entertaining documentaries? What and why? What justifies what this law and its administration and enforcement have become?
Endangered Species “Science” (and therefore justification) is every bit as lousy as Eugenics “Science”. Both are really only faux “science” that is merely a veneer over a conglomeration of pandering politicians, self-serving bureaucrats, radical organizations, hidden agendas and the rich and powerful. Each justifies the unjustifiable with hoakum copied from some carnival barker giving away kewpie dolls that are no more than milestones on the road to ruin.
Of course the Endangered Species Act (a mere Law) must be repealed just like Prohibition (a Constitutional Amendment) was repealed after 13 years of corruption, economic ruin, decay of law enforcement and attempts by the criminals to take over all control of everyone with the help of politicians, police and bureaucrats lining their own pockets at our expense.
As with Eugenics, all it ever takes for something like the Endangered Species Act to destroy us is for good men to do nothing.
6 August 2016
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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.
Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.
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