A Mexican Standoff with Reality

WASHINGTON, DC – Flanked by the embattled President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon and the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, a weary looking President Barack Obama used a press conference to angrily denounce as “Alarmist and inflammatory” a recent report issued by the conservative Heritage Foundation that declared the massive chain of UN administered Mexican Refugee camps in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas as “a bottomless well for narco-insurgency” and “a threat to the territorial integrity of the United States”. The camps, home to at least 2.5 million Mexican nationals, are dominated by the “Zetas Confederales”, a loose and ultraviolent umbrella militia aligned with the feuding Mexican drug cartels that now control upwards of 80 % of Mexico.

President Obama’s political fortunes have been reeling recently in the wake of high profile incidents that include the kidnapping of his Special Envoy for Transborder Issues, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and the car bombing assassination of popular California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that killed 353 people in Sacramento last month. Both events have been tied directly to factions of Zetas “hardliners” who operate with impunity on both sides of the US-Mexican border. President Obama used the conference to point to the “clear and hold” COIN strategy that has recently restored order and even a degree of tourism to Las Vegas, once the scene of bloody street battles between Zetas, local street gangs and right-wing American paramilitary groups, as a sign of the success for his administration. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill remain skeptical and say that it is likely that President Obama will face a primary challenge next year from Senator Jim Webb (D- Va), a former Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, who called the president’s COIN strategy “The right course of action” but ” Two years too late”….

That fictional scenario above is offered as a thought experiment.

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Pigging Out, Wisconsin Edition

A few days ago James Rummel put up a post about the expanding feral pig population. In his post he had a link to a map that showed where the populations of the feral pigs were. I wondered why there were none reported in Wisconsin, and others raised questions about the map.

I would have to now agree with those who said that it was a reporting issue – looks we have them in Wisconsin after all. Here is a page from the Wisconsin DNR site from January of ’08. Seems they are indeed all over the state.

The position of the Wisconsin DNR seems to be the same as the DNR in Ohio – they want them dead, anytime, anywhere, anyhow. All you need is a small game license and the permission of the land owner to harvest as many of them as you want. If you are a land owner you can harvest them no questions asked.

This is a very good page from the Wisconsin DNR website that describes feral pigs, how they live, breed and feed. Amazing creatures, as they eat just about anything they can get their snouts on. I am sure they are tasty as well, and I just may need to gear up to find out someday.

Don’t forget, if you have photos of wildlife in urban or suburban settings, Jonathan is looking for those and you can find his new blog on the subject here.

Suburban Wildlife Link Dump

A few days ago I left my gym after another great workout. It was around 9pm. The parking lot and surrounding area was cold and dark. The usual silence was broken by a sound I hadn’t heard for 30 years, since I visited a family friends’ farm. I heard the distinct sound of coyotes howling. It sounded exactly like this.

I was shocked and not shocked at the same time. I have written rather extensively on the coming issues we have with animals encroaching back into suburbs and cities. On the one hand I was surprised to hear the coyotes so close to me smack dab in the middle of Madison, Wisconsin. They sounded very excited, and I surmised that they were celebrating a kill, be it a domestic dog or perhaps a deer. On the other hand I remembered all I had written about the seemingly increasing populations of wild animals in what used to be a “no mans land” for wild animals – urban centers. After thinking about it a while, it really is no surprise. The zoo does indeed seem to be coming to us.

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