Saturday, August 28, 2004

John F(lying Dog) Kerry.

Source for the picture.

John F(lying dog) Kerry brought the dog story out at least twice, once for Tour of Duty and once for the humane society. Let’s recount just one - I don’t read much fiction anymore, so we can bypass Tour of Duty. But afterwards, a bit of a buried story lurks in the details.

Here’s the Humane USA version (see full questionnaire): “I have always had pets in my life and there are a few that I remember very fondly.

“When I was serving on a swiftboat in Vietnam, my crewmates and I had a dog we called VC. We all took care of him, and he stayed with us and loved riding on the swiftboat deck. I think he provided all of us with a link to home and a few moments of peace and tranquility during a dangerous time. One day as our swiftboat was heading up a river, a mine exploded hard under our boat. After picking ourselves up, we discovered VC was MIA. Several minutes of frantic search followed after which we thought we'd lost him. We were relieved when another boat called asking if we were missing a dog. It turns out VC was catapulted from the deck of our boat and landed confused, but unhurt, on the deck of another boat in our patrol.

“I also fondly remember a parakeet in college, Dodi Faustus. Dodi was a smart bird who learned a few words of French and Italian, but not smart enough to avoid having to be rescued from a tree once. My daughters and I had a Golden Retriever named Winston. Today, Teresa and I have a German Shepherd named Cym and a yellow parakeet.”

Thoughts On-Line does a great job of discussing the physics of such a flight.

The logic of a dog on a Swift Boat was discussed on Hugh Hewlett’s radio show with a Swift Boat vet:

Hugh Hewitt: "Steve, was there a dog named VC on your boat?"
Steve Gardner : ""Buddy, to the best of my knowledge (laughing), I never saw any dog at any time on the 44 boat."
... HH: "In the time that you were on the swift boats --totally-- did any of the swift boats have a dog?"
SG: "Never saw one, ever."
HH: "Would it have been a good idea to have a dog on the swift boats?" SG: "Not likely."
HH: "Why not?"
SG: "Because there was just too much action going on. We had hot brass rolling around there any time we were in a firefight. He would have got beat up."

OK. Enough of flying dogs. Onto dead whales for votes.

If you read the full questionnaire, perhaps you noticed another story. In response to a question, The (F)lying Dog states: “Take strong stands against commercial whaling at the International Whaling Commission meeting, including a ban on Makah whaling? ___ yes _X_ no. NOTE: I have consistently opposed commercial whaling. At the same time the U.S. commitment to Native Americans must be honored. I strongly prefer that there be no lethal takes of whales occur, but I also support Native American treaty rights. I will be following the current litigation regarding the Makah case closely.”

Classic Kerry. So close to his abortion position: I am personally against it, but I think that certain people need to have the right to choose.

And beyond the chutzpah, something here bothers me. Although no date is given on the questionnaire, it is entitled “2004,” so it must be current. The Makah story is old; current events are only the last gasps of the litigation cycle: Gray whales were taken off the Endangered Species Act List in 1994. The Makah Indians then wanted to resume their ancestral whale hunts. Lawsuits ensued.

In 1998, the hunt was scheduled to resume: “The Makah won permission from the International Whaling Commission to harpoon up to five migrating gray whales per year from 1998 through 2002.”

The situation changed again shortly thereafter: “Latest 2003 developments suggest that the U.S. Court of Appeals has declared the hunt to be illegal as the federal government had violated laws protecting endangered species. In 2003, it now appears that the hunt has been stopped.” Note that this link isn’t a news site but has a link to a lengthy government paper on the matter.

The latest news, however, brings it into focus:

“The Makah Tribe cannot hunt gray whales until the U.S. government conducts a full-blown environmental analysis; and the tribe and the federal agency that sponsors its hunts also must win an exception to the Marine Mammal Protection Act before any tribal whaling can take place again.

“Even as the tribe has sought to appeal the three-judge panel's ruling on the issue -- twice unsuccessfully seeking to win a review by the full 9th Circuit -- federal marine officials have been conducting the environmental study called for by the court.

“That upsets activists like Markarian, who yesterday again called the government's support of the Makah whale hunts a waste of tax dollars.

“‘We hope the Bush administration finally understands the meaning of the word ‘No,’’ Markarian said.”

The Bush Administration? The Makah Indians brought the lawsuits. The 9th Circuit said the study had to occur. Seems to me the Makah Indians need to understand the meaning of “No.”

And there’s (F)lying Dog Kerry: Environmentalists, I agree with you; and Makah Indians, you, too. And here is his Native American team.

This guy would sell his mother grave marker for a vote.

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