WARNING:  This is a rant, and one for which I make no apologies.

Humans comprise only 1 of 2.12 million species on the Earth today that we know of.  Some scientists believe there are actually somewhere between 5 million and 10 million species on the planet.  Think about that one for a minute … we are not the ‘be all and end all’ of the planet, although it seems we are trying very hard to end life on this planet for most all species including ourselves.  The one thing that humans take the #1 place for, though, is arrogance.  Humans evolved and at some point, decided that they are the most valuable, superior species on Planet Earth.  To that end, mankind has somehow concluded that it is his “god-given right” to kill members of every other species either for food or for sport.

Do you remember a man named Greg Gianforte?  He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2017-2021 and is now the governor of Montana.  But what Gianforte is most famous for is beating up a member of the press, Ben Jacobs of The Guardian, simply because he didn’t like the question Mr. Jacobs asked him regarding his view on health care policy during his 2016 campaign.  Gianforte tried to claim that Mr. Jacobs had grabbed his wrist, but that was proven to be a bald-faced lie by witness testimony and recordings of the event.  In the 2016 election, Gianforte was elected despite (or perhaps because of?) his assault on the reporter … says something about the state of Montana and its people.

Gianforte lasted only four years in Congress but is now the governor of Montana and never has there been a more despicable example of the human species.  What has he done now, you ask?

It happened last December 28th when Gianforte decided to commit murder.  The 5-year-old mountain lion was wearing a GPS-tracking collar that Yellowstone biologists use to monitor the rare and elusive predators. Park staff knew the animal by its research number: M220. I have no idea what gave Gianforte the notion that what he was about to do was in any way fair or honourable, but what he did was chased the mountain lion with hounds until it ran up a tree for safety, at which time Gianforte and his friends shot and killed the lion.

Look at this face … isn’t it far more beautiful than that if its murderer, Greg Gianforte?

There was no ‘fair fight’ … Gianforte and his group had 4 bloodhounds and hi-powered guns that could cover a distance far greater than the lion could, while the lion had only his claws and teeth and he could not possibly have gotten close enough to cause so much as a scratch on any of those so-called ‘men’.

This was far from the first murder Gianforte has committed upon other species. Less than a year earlier, Gianforte killed a Yellowstone wolf in a similar area that was also wearing a tracking collar, prompting an outcry among environmentalists.  On October 28, 2000, he was fined a measly $70 for violating state Fish and Wildlife Commission rules by killing an elk. In February 2021 while governor, he violated state hunting regulations when he trapped and shot an adult black wolf known as “1155”.  This sorry excuse for a ‘man’ believes he has a ‘right’ to murder innocent animals for trophies!

Gianforte grins as he shows off his “trophies”

Gianforte has four children … this ‘man’ should NEVER have been allowed to reproduce!  Why isn’t this ‘man’ in prison???  He committed a crime … a crime against this entire nation, against all inhabitants of this planet!

While I believe that Gianforte is among the very worst examples of the human species, there are others vying for that title.  In a period of just under six months last year, hunters shot and trapped 25 of Yellowstone’s wolves — a record for one season — the majority killed in Montana just over the park border. The hunting has eliminated about one-fifth of the park’s wolves, the most serious threat yet to a population that has been observed by tourists and studied by scientists more intensively than any in the world.  The Republican-controlled legislature in Montana passed laws mandating a decrease in the state’s wolf numbers and allowing hunters to catch wolves in neck snares, hunt them at night and lure them with bait, sometimes chopping off the animals’ feet and heads, among other atrocities.

A wolf’s carcass left to rot by murderous hunters

I’ve long said, only half-jokingly, that if I get the chance to come back to Earth again, I’m coming back as a wolf.  I still hold that hope, for I’ve always felt that the wolf is my ‘spirit animal’ if such a thing exists, but today I hope that if I do return to Earth as a wolf, it is almost anyplace other than the United States!  People here love their guns and are so damned arrogant that they believe they are superior to every other species and that it gives them the right to murder members of other species.  Heck, I won’t even kill an ant or cricket I find in my house if there’s any way to rescue them and return them to nature!  Apparently I am an anomaly among the human species, at least in this backward nation!

Meanwhile … no, humans, you are quite possibly the most flawed species that exists today.  You fight against doing those things that might ensure the survival of yours and others’ futures here on Earth, but would rather keep driving your big cars, keeping your house the perfect temperature, and buying more and more ‘boys toys’ — guns to kill, to murder.  To murder … helpless wolves, mountain lions and other beautiful animals who have never harmed you in any way.

Bears Ears And Tears

They’re at it again, folks.  The greedy fools running this country (into the ground) have decided that … what the people want matters not.  In essence, they have said, “We will tell you what you want … now sit down and shut up … oh yeah, and don’t forget to pay us your tax money so we can waste more money on utter stupidity!”  Yes, Filosofa is in fight mode once again.  Damn these greedy bastards.

In 2017, Trump announced he would downsize both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, which would be the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.  Now folks … first of all, those aren’t Trump’s lands to do with as he pleases … they are OURS.  After Trump made that announcement in 2017, a public comment period was opened by the administration whereby fully 99% of the respondents opposed the decision.  We spoke … we said, “No, leave our beautiful land alone!” bearsIn addition to the people’s voice, there are numerous legal challenges still pending in the courts that have held up the implementation of the act.  But now, all of a sudden, the Department of Interior has announced that plans have been finalized to open up roughly two million acres of formerly protected land in southern Utah to the fossil fuel industry for mining and drilling.  Mining and drilling for the very things that are decimating our planet, killing wildlife, and ensuring the extinction of the human species.  Without permission from the owners of that land.  Without approval by environmental groups or the courts.

According to the Interior Department’s acting assistant secretary of land, materials and minerals management, Casey Hammond …

“These cooperatively developed and locally driven plans restore a prosperous future to communities too often dismissed and punished by unilateral decisions of those that would not listen to the voices of Utahns.”


Wrong, wrong, wrong, and once again wrong.  Those “communities too often dismissed and punished” are the indigenous people of the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and Pueblo of Zuni, and they are in a lawsuit challenging the dismantling of Bears Ears National Monument!  Don’t, Ms. Hammond, pretend you are helping the very people you are hurting!

We need more coal, oil and gas like we need fourteen more holes in our heads!  Oh, but wait … Trump did promise the ignoble oil and coal barons that he would give them carte balance to destroy the natural resources of this nation, didn’t he?  Silly me … how could I forget?

The Department of Interior is headed by none other than David Bernhardt.  Bernhardt’s past, like that of EPA head, Andrew Wheeler, includes serving as a lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry … in other words, his best buddies are in the oil industry, the very industry this asininity is designed to help.  His legal clients included the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents dozens of oil companies, and Halliburton Energy Services, the oil and gas extraction firm that was led by Dick Cheney before he became vice president to George W. Bush.  What a tangled bloody web!

earth-criesThis is yet another example of Trump & Co putting more money into the pockets of the already-wealthy, at the expense of the other 99% of people in this country.  Fossil fuels are on the way out the back door, globally.  Trump brags that the U.S. is now the biggest producer of oil.  Guess what?  That’s nothing to brag about.  It would deserve far more kudos if we could say we were the largest producer of wind or solar energy, that we had decreased our dependence on fossil fuels.  Whether Trump, Bernhardt or their cronies at Exxon-Mobil like it or not, coal and oil are rapidly becoming dinosaurs in the energy market.

Regardless of the pending lawsuits, the Trump administration intends to plow forward with its plans.  When questioned about those lawsuits and how they can move forward before those are resolved, Ms. Hammond replied …

“If we stopped and waited for every piece of litigation to be resolved, we would never be able to do much of anything around here.”

Much of this country has been decimated … skyscrapers rise to the clouds where animals once roamed free.  Oil derricks have replaced beautiful land in the west, and ugly surface mines have replaced what were once beautiful mountains in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky.  Where once there were life-giving trees, there are now ruins, devastation.  Where once streams and rivers ran clear, now they are filled with toxic sludge.

Soon, this …

Bears Ears-1

… will look like this …

oil-wellsIf Donald Trump and his cronies have their way, the entire nation will be covered in buildings, mines, drilling rigs, and waste dumps.  No more beautiful national parks, mountains, hiking trails, clean beaches, green valleys …

Which would you rather have?4k-wallpaper-beautiful-flowers-clouds-1266810



While We Were Watching The Circus …

clown trumpWhile we keep watching the circus playing out before our eyes, the clown with the funny hair and weird makeup who keeps tweeting mindless inanities, things are happening in our government.  Things that will have an effect on our health, our freedom of press, our very lives.

We may wake up some morning and find that any number of things have changed overnight.  For instance, we might wake up and find that our national parks and wildlife refuges no longer exist as such, for they have been sold to ExxonMobile for drilling rights, or dispersed to various coal companies for mining rights.  Or we might waken to the news that an entire Indian nation has been forced to leave their land for lack of water.nat'l park shutteredWhy, you ask?  In late December, amid the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Interior, currently under the direction of Acting Secretary David Bernhardt, proposed changes that would make it harder for the public and media to obtain records of agency dealings.  According to The Guardian (you don’t find these things in U.S. news)

“Among other wide-ranging revisions to its Foia [Freedom of Information Act] regulations, the interior department’s proposal would enable the agency to reject Foia requests that it considers “unreasonably burdensome” or too large, and it would allow the agency to impose limits on the amount of records it processes for individual requesters each month.

The department oversees hundreds of millions of acres of public land, including national parks, as well as the country’s endangered species programs. Under the Trump administration, the department has embarked on an aggressive agenda of opening these lands to oil and gas drilling and mining while rolling back a wide variety of environmental regulations.

Records uncovered using the Freedom of Information Act in recent months have revealed the department’s close ties with energy industry groups as well as several apparent ethics violations among top political officials.

Daniel Jorjani, one of interior’s top lawyers and a former employee of the Koch-brother-backed conservative group Freedom Partners, signed off on the proposed revisions, which are facing harsh criticism from civil society groups that rely on Foia to track the department’s actions.

The changes are part of a broader drive to limit public access to interior department records. In October, the Guardian reported on a leaked interior department guidance that directed US Fish and Wildlife Service employees around the country to take a less transparent approach when responding to Foia requests about the agency’s endangered species programs.”


Ryan Zinke

The proposal was made by Ryan Zinke before his contentious departure, and the announcement was made on Friday, December 28th, in the midst of the chaos of the government shutdown and the circus acts that accompanied it.  The public was invited to comment until January 28th (three days ago) with no extension.  Local, regional, and national organizations including the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), the Wilderness Society, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club are among those who submitted comments, as well as organizations representing the media, including the Society for Environmental Journalists and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

As part of the change, requests would be transferred to Deputy Solicitor General Daniel Jorjani, a former advisor to the mega-donor conservative Koch brothers. Interior career staff previously oversaw the requests, while Jorjani is a political appointee.

FOIA requests would also need to be much more detailed according to the new rules, and among other caveats, Interior “will not honor a request that requires an unreasonably burdensome search.”  And of course it is incumbent on the Department of Interior’s Jorjani to determine what constitutes an “unreasonably burdensome search”.  The proposal comes amid a large uptick in FOIA requests as journalists, climate advocates, and others work to gain information about the Trump administration’s large-scale environmental rollbacks and efforts targeting public lands.

Last week, the Interior Department announced that it would extend the comment period by only one day, from January 28 to January 29, after more than 150 organizations requested an extension. The department said the 24-hour extension was to “ensure interested parties have the full 30 days to submit their responses.” Without a second extension, the comment period ended at midnight on Wednesday.

And in related news … The Wilderness Society reported yesterday that in Wyoming, 140 parcels, totaling 150,000 acres were posted for sale.  Meanwhile, in Utah, 156 parcels, totaling 217, 475 acres were posted. These actions, also, had been announced during the shutdown, but the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had only a week to review comments from the public.  The entire process brings into question, how much consideration the BLM gave to the comments submitted.  That is our land, folks … public land.

Funny, but I remember some point during Trump’s campaign that he said he would “drain the swamp” and make government more ‘transparent’.  Apparently the words ‘swamp’ and ‘transparency’ have been re-written under the alternative dictionary of Trump & Co.

What could possibly go wrong if this proposal is finalized, as I expect it will be?  Let’s think about what the Interior Department does.  It is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, territorial affairs, and insular areas of the United States.

With both actions and speech, Trump has shown time and again that any respect he has for the public lands, for the protection of wildlife, and for the Native American tribes takes a backseat to profit for the oil, gas and coal industries.  His massive de-regulations on the fossil fuel industry, his promotion of pipelines such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access, and his lack of concern over clean air & water, marine life, wildlife, and human health make it essential that we have transparency in the departments (Interior, EPA and Agriculture) that manage these functions.  And now, that is being taken away.  And we hardly noticed, for we were focused on the circus.circus.jpg

Trump Picks More Losers …

The rollback of regulations that were meant to protect the environment and the withdrawal from the Paris Accord were bad enough.  The nomination of climate change deniers Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke to top positions in agencies whose primary functions pertained to protecting the environment added insult to injury.  And now, to ice the cake, Trump has appointed William Happer for the key job of “senior director for emerging technologies” at the National Security Council.Will-Happer-climate-science-denierWant to know what’s wrong with William Happer?  Happer is a “theoretical physicist”, whatever the heck that is, at Princeton, and is one of the most demented climate change deniers in existence.  Here are just a few of the things he has to say about climate science …

  • In Defense of Carbon Dioxide: “The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.”

  • “This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda.”

  • “The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler. Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews.”  Say WHAT???

  • “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”

So, just what qualifies him for this position?  Well, for many years, he was chairman of the board of the George C. Marshall Institute, which was funded in part by the Koch brothers to promote climate science denial.  He also writes and co-signs anti-science Wall Street Journal op-eds.

Will-HapperThe reality is that Happer knows little about emerging technologies or real threats to America’s national security but he does know a great deal about denying climate science. And, sadly, that appears to be the only qualification you need to join the Trump team these days.

Another Trump nominee, J. Steven Gardner, had been nominated to lead the Interior Department’s mining agency, but withdrew his nomination earlier this week.  Gardner was a long-time coal advocate who applauded the decision last year to allow coal companies to dump their toxic waste into streams.

According to Tom Morris of the Sierra Club …

“Gardner has shown time and again that he will try and fight anything that gets in the way of profits for coal executives — even if it means sacrificing the health of the families and communities …”Steven GardnerLike Zinke, Pruitt, Happer and all the rest in the current administration, he is a denier of climate science.  Some of his beliefs:

  • Mining is simply “accelerated erosion”
  • Mountaintop mining is good because it creates flat land
  • There is no such thing as renewable energy

Fortunately, Gardner has withdrawn his nomination in light of the stalled confirmation process, and certain requirements by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) with which he was unwilling to comply.  Good riddance, but who will be next?  No doubt another person who doesn’t believe in science, but rather puts corporate profits above preserving our lives.Patrick Chappatte / International New York Times


Arctic Splendor … For How Long?

Before I jump in to my topic this morning, grab your coffee and pull up a chair … I have some gorgeous pictures I want to share with you!arctic-8arctic-1arctic-3arctic-4arctic-9Gorgeous place, isn’t it?  Don’t you just love all the wildlife running free?  What?  Where is it?  It is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Feel free to grab a couple of the pictures to remember it by, for soon … soon it is likely that it will no longer be so pristine, so beautiful, and the animals are likely to be gone.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), one of the last unspoiled landscapes in the world, occupies 19.3 million acres of stunning wildlands in northeastern Alaska.arctic-mapThis land has long been a source of controversy between those who would protect both the land and the wildlife, and the others who would like to drill for oil on the land.  In 1987, an impact study showed that if drilling were to take place …

“… expected displacement and reduction of wildlife populations and natural processes would cause a major reduction in the value of the area as a pristine, natural scientific laboratory.”

During the past decade, with climate change initiatives, a lower demand for oil, and President Obama’s push to add further protections to the refuge, the controversy died down considerably. And then came Donald Trump, beholden to the big oil companies and caring not a whit for the environment, wildlife, or the raw beauty of the land.Polar bear, Arctic National Wildlife RefugeShortly after taking office, Trump unveiled his fossil fuel-dependent “America First Energy Plan”.  In his first months, he signed several Executive Orders designed to pave the way for opening previously protected lands and waters for resource extraction. In May, Interior Secretary Zinke signed an order that requested an updated assessment of untapped potential oil and gas reserves in Alaska, which could then be used to make a case for drilling in the Arctic Refuge.arctic-10In an August memo, it was revealed the Department of the Interior wanted to lift a longstanding moratorium on exploratory seismic studies in the refuge.  Now – remember the donor tax cuts bill that passed last December?  Yeah, that one … the one that gave all those lovely tax cuts to the wealthiest 1%, increased both our debt and deficit, and left the rest of us in worse shape than before.  Well, turns out that the republicans in Congress folded legislation into that bill that will ultimately open the doors to drilling for both gas and oil.arctic-7This week, the first permit application to begin seismic testing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), was submitted by two Alaska Native corporations and a small oil services firm. The Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service was not happy, however.  The Fish and Wildlife Service complained that the permit application failed to provide studies about the effects of the seismic work and equipment on wildlife, the tundra and the aquatic conditions in the refuge.  In other words, no environmental impact study was included.

Peter Nelson, director of federal lands at the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife, said: “One thing is pretty notable: how many inaccuracies and missing pieces of information there are. It really provides more evidence that industry and the Trump administration are being pretty reckless with this process.”arctic-6The area is home to polar bears in winter and porcupine caribou and hundreds of migratory bird species in summer. No drilling has been done there since it became a refuge in 1980 and no seismic work since the mid-1980s.

Hats off to the Fish and Wildlife Services for standing up for further testing before any drilling is done, but thumbs down to the republican-majority Congress who sneakily embedded this proposal into the tax bill in such a way that denied democrats the opportunity for opposition.

The Arctic National Wildlife Preserve is one of the few such unfettered areas left in the world.  Look back, if you will, at the pictures in this post, and then ask yourself … do we want those beautiful areas to



this …ugly.png

… in just  few short years?