Scott Mayer

July 3, 2015

Crowdfunding for Almost Everyone

15870049980_f2cc2b087e_qMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

During the ginned up controversy surrounding the religious freedom law in Indiana, Memories Pizza was nearly put out of business for merely answering “incorrectly” a hypothetical question about catering a gay wedding.  Shortly after the incident, a GoFundMe campaign was started and subsequently raised nearly $850K for the owners, who, at the time, were forced into hiding with an uncertain future.

This was not the end result certain groups were looking for.  Today, in politically correct America, freedom of choice is limited only to the “correct” choices, and the totalitarian left demands the final word on all such things.  That word was effectively nullified in short order by freedom-loving Americans who financially contributed to the cause of liberty – for everyone – in support of freedom of association and religion.

Fast-forward to the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore, and a group of police officers set up a GoFundMe page to provide support for the six officers facing charges in what Alan Dershowitz has called a “show trial.”  While most of the facts are still unknown in the case, GoFundMe shut down the page within 40 minutes due to some recent changes to its terms of service.  The site had made these changes following the hugely successful fundraising campaigns in support of businesses like Memories Pizza and several Christian bakeries that had chosen not to bake cakes for gay weddings.

GoFundMe proudly displays the message “crowdfunding for everyone” on its homepage, but that is a misnomer, since it has created a set of guidelines to discriminate against the campaigns of certain groups of people.  Per the new terms of service, these include “[c]ampaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.”  While this may sound like reasonable policy, the wording clearly leaves much open to interpretation.

But since GoFundMe is a private entity, shouldn’t the owners just be left to associate with whomever they wish?  Or should the government step in to stop the “H8” and use force to require GoFundMe not to discriminate and allow “=” access for “everyone”?

Of course, the government should do no such thing.  The free market (combined with a stable rule of law) already handles these types of issues without the need for government to step in.  The fact that GoFundMe chooses to not serve a particular segment of the population using its own vague set of rules doesn’t create a human rights problem (as the use of force does); it creates a market opportunity.

If enough people take issue with this policy, an enterprising individual will come along and effectively tell GoFundMe to GoPoundSand by starting a pro-liberty version, and provide some competition in the crowdfunding business (yes, business).  This person could profit handsomely by providing the world with a little bit more diversity.  While this may come as a shock to those who hide behind the currently hijacked term “liberal,” these very same market forces hold true for pizzerias and bakeries, making the left’s continuous tyrannical stomping of liberty for naught.

One other thing that will drive the left nuts: successful crowdfunding campaigns also help highlight the abysmal failure of the welfare state, and they do so in real time.  Private charity is much more efficient than big government.  When people are free to vote “like” or “dislike” with the click of a button, more resources end up actually reaching the intended targets (the Clinton Foundation would be a poor example, though).  It’s much harder for fraudsters to pull the wool over the eyes of millions of people with smartphones who are collectively making billions of decisions instantly while interacting with others.  On the other hand, the massive and inefficient welfare state is wrought with fraud and abuse due to the dependency it creates, bureaucratic self-interest, and the reality that government is able to react only with the speed of a Banana slug on Quaaludes.

Crowdfunding that occurs within a truly free market gives the silent majority a platform to collectively make some loud noise, and challenge what used to be the final word of the left.  An unchallenged final word equals control, which is why progressives simply can’t allow “crowdfunding for everyone.”

 


Iran has a Pet BaRock

OMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

The creator of the iconic Pet Rock passed away just the other day, but following Obama’s “negotiations” with Iran, it is now clear that the president may in fact be the 2015 equivalent.

Here are some highlights from a copy of the original Pet Rock training manual (emphasis mine) that could provide some insight into the mindset of Iranian leadership during “negotiations” with Obama to reach a “deal” that Israel says is “detached from wretched reality.”

Your pet [BA]rock and you.

Your PET [BA]ROCK will be a devoted friend and companion for many years to come. Rocks enjoy a rather long life span so the two of you will never have to part—at least not on your PET [BA]ROCK’s account. Once you have transcended the awkward training stage your rock will mature into a faithful, obedient, loving pet with but one purpose in life—to be at your side when you want it to, and to go lie down when you don’t.

Initial Training.

Nobody, but nobody likes a surly, misbehaving rock. Therefore, it is most important that you begin training immediately. Your PET [BA]ROCK should be made to know who is the boss, and that you will demand certain good manners and impeccable behavior if the two of you are to have a happy, well adjusted relationship.

The leadership of Iran clearly read and followed this manual to a T.  The instinct of most American presidents would be to halt any type of negotiations at the sight of Iran bombing a mock U.S. aircraft carrier (during “negotiations”) or after hearing its supreme leader call for “death to America” (during negotiations).  But not the obedient Pet BaRock.

SECTION ONE  

Simple obedience.

Come.

It is essential that your PET [BA]ROCK learn this command. A rock that doesn’t come when it’s called will cause its owner endless embarrassment.

Heel.

It is extremely unusual to see a rock strolling around unaccompanied-There’s a very good reason for this. Most PET [BA]ROCK owners have had the patience and good judgment to teach the command, HEEL.

To teach your PET [BA]ROCK to HEEL, simply follow these easy steps. First, place your PET [BA]ROCK on the floor or ground directly behind your right heel. Next, give the command, HEEL, and stand absolutely still. Slowly, without moving your feet, turn and look down at your rock. You will be both pleased and amazed to see it is still there, right where you want it be, directly behind your right heel. Your PET [BA]ROCK has learned the command.

Following Pet BaRock’s “red line” incident, the Iranians surely understood that teaching the president simple obedience would be an easy and rewarding task.

SECTION TWO

Amusing Tricks.

Few pets are more anxious to please their masters than are PET [BA]ROCKS. It is surprisingly easy to teach your rock cute tricks that will entertain you and your friends for hours

Despite the danger posed to the American people, Pet BaRock seems to love performing this next trick for our enemies.

Roll Over.

Your PET [BA]ROCK will learn this trick the very first time you give it a lesson. That statement may be hard to believe but it is, nevertheless, quite true. The best place to teach your PET [BA]ROCK to ROLL OVER is on the side of a hill. Place your rock on the ground at the top of a hill and give the command, ROLL OVER. Now, let go of your rock. It’s that simple!

The following may best describe the current state of Obama’s presidency:

Rock Bottom.

If your PET [BA]ROCK appears nervous and fidgety, it’s a better than even chance it’s suffering from dreaded Rock Bottom. No other disease is as debilitating to PET ROCKS as Rock Bottom. The first symptoms are manifested in an almost unbelievable forgetfulness. Your PET [BA]ROCK will not remember a single command or trick. All the hours of training will be forgotten. It will be the saddest day of your life. From simple loss of memory it gets worse. So bad in fact, that we won’t go into it here. Suffice to say that, should your PET [BA]ROCK contract Rock Bottom, get a new PET [BA]ROCK immediately. There is no known cure.

Unfortunately, due to Iran’s new Pet BaRock, it is the United States that is tumbling toward rock bottom on the world stage.

 


Force Iran to ‘go green’

SolarMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

Several days ago during the KSFO Morning Show out of San Francisco, a caller raised an excellent question with regard to Obama’s nuclear “negotiations” with Iran. The astute caller asked why it was that the Obama administration didn’t just demand that Iran scrap their dangerous nuclear “power” program and instead “go green” by switching to solar and/or wind power just as they expect Americans to do. A very good question since the Left loves green energy and detests all things nuclear. But that would be to expect consistency from the Left.

Two of the adults in the room, Benjamin Netanyahu and Senator Tom Cotton, clearly understand that Iran really has no interest in using nuclear for power generation or medicine as claimed, and that allowing Iran to continue with its program would only serve to give the bomb to an Islamic terrorist state hell-bent on the destruction of Western civilization.

But actually, a treaty forcing Iran to drop its nuke program and “go green” might have a better chance of turning this whole debacle into a win/win situation vs. whatever see-no-evil plan Team Obama unilaterally comes up with behind closed doors. A win for President Obama who could feed his fragile ego by finally being able to point to a reason — any reason — for his “prophetic” Nobel Peace Prize win. And a big win for the civilized among us by keeping Iran nuclear-free, and forcing it to use an extremely expensive energy source that would surely help send it into an economic death-spiral. The green movement has already done a fabulous job on our own economy, so why not export some of the same “winning formulas” to our enemies?

Of course, all of this assumes that Iran would actually comply with any such treaty. After all, a treaty is merely a piece of paper with some words scribbled upon it that one party can easily choose to ignore if so inclined. And wouldn’t it be foolish to trust the word of an Islamic state that wishes to destroy Israel, calls for “death to America,” and is well known for conducting an actual war on women, and gays? Of course, those reasons alone wouldn’t be enough to cause the Left to lend support to the use force for non-compliance. But the strategic insertion of language into the treaty labeling Iran as “climate deniers” (a major offence as some state governors may soon discover) for being incompliant would surely be enough to unleash the full wrath of the Obama Administration, and a willing national coalition of greenies upon them.

In the unlikely event any such treaty ever did come to fruition, I am fairly confident that Hillary’s brother would somehow “coincidently” become the sole provider of solar panels to the Iranians.

 


Family Fake-kidnaps own Child

kidnapMy article as originally published in American Thinker:

What on Earth were these people thinking? A Missouri mother had her 6-year-old son faux abducted by a coworker of the child’s aunt as a way to teach the boy a powerful lesson about the potential perils of stranger danger.

From NBC News:

A 6-year-old Missouri boy was led to believe he’d been kidnapped, shown a gun, and threatened with being sold into “sex slavery” — and it was all part of an alleged plot to teach the boy a lesson because he was “too nice” to strangers, authorities said.

[snip]

On Monday, Firoved allegedly kidnapped the child after he got off a school bus and said he would never “see his mommy again,” authorities said. Firoved also showed a handgun to the now-sobbing boy, then drove around in his truck, and finally tied him up and covered his face with a jacket when the child wouldn’t stop crying.

The blindfolded child was then taken to family’s home, put in the basement, and his aunt allegedly removed the child’s pants and told him he could be sold into “sex slavery,” the sheriff’s office said. The boy was eventually led upstairs and lectured about the dangers strangers could pose.

Okay, I realize using NBC as a source probably has some wondering if this story is in fact true. And that would be understandable given the growing firestorm surrounding Brian Williams coupled with past NBC scandals such as the selective editing of the 911 tape in the George Zimmerman case. But I did check around and there are several other outlets running the story, including Fox News.

That said, I must admit it is pretty hard to believe that a family would engage in such horrifying teaching methods as a means to stop their child from being “too nice” to strangers.  A “teaching” method Democrats would surely label as torture if used to interrogate hardened Islamic terrorists, so subjecting a 6-year-old to it is totally beyond belief. Fortunately, it does appear that those involved are unlikely to escape punishment for this truly evil scheme.

All four were charged Thursday with felony kidnapping and child abuse, and were being held in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to police and court records. Firoved, Brewer and Kroutil were also charged with felonious restraint. Court records online did not list attorneys for any of the four. Attempts to contact family members were unsuccessful.

I’m certainly not a psychologist, but it’s hard to imagine that the trauma this poor child experienced during the “kidnapping” wouldn’t cause some kind of lingering PTSD-type of psychological damage. Let’s hope it doesn’t.

By the way, I can’t help but wonder if Brian Williams misremembers a similar type of traumatic event happening to him way back when he was a young lad.  If so, he could add it to the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious resume he’s already concocted for himself.

 


Ban all human-shaped targets?

TargetMy article as originally published in American Thinker:    

Pennsylvania representative Thaddeus Kirkland (Democrat) has a brilliant plan to finally put an end to violence and will introduce legislation that bans human-shaped targets on civilian shooting ranges within the state.

His memorandum in part states:

Rather than perpetuate violence by continuing to allow individuals to practice their target shooting by shooting at human silhouette targets at shooting ranges, my legislation will prohibit the use of targets that depict human silhouettes at shooting ranges across the Commonwealth.

While I doubt you’ll find many violent criminals at public shooting ranges practicing their craft on paper humans, law-abiding citizens do depend on these targets to practice their right of defense (something France could learn from) from those who intend to do them harm.

Fortunately, the use of animal targets such as bear, deer, turkey, and elk will still be within the law (at least until PETA gets wind of this), but I do have one question.  Would this ban on human-shaped targets include all humans, or just the ones that happen to be older than the age of legal abortion?

Just sayin’.

 


America is in a Progressive Chokehold

15393977094_82b1786e83_qMy article as originally published in   American Thinker:

To allege that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was fully responsible for the chokehold death of Eric Garner would be absurd.  Nearly as asinine, though, given the available evidence in the case, was de Blasio’s unbelievably divisive red-herring declaring that “centuries of racism” were somehow at the root of Garner’s untimely death.  Now, it appears the race-baiting propaganda of de Blasio, Obama, Holder and Sharpton, has finally come to bear fruit given the recent execution of two NYC police officers.

Comrade de Blasio likes to scold America regarding human rights yet embraces an ideology that places people — regardless of race or gender — in an unyielding big-government chokehold.  This “progressive” ideology leads to an equally wretched existence for all but the politically connected at its lesser extreme and is responsible for the murder of over one-hundred-million innocent men, women and children (and “centuries” were not required in doing so) at its most.

It’s well noted that Garner was being arrested for his participation in a black market that exists solely because of sky-high cigarette taxes.  There can certainly be harsh consequences that one must live — and sometimes die — with for resisting arrest as Garner clearly chose to do.  But when government gets to the point where every minute detail of a citizen’s life is micro-managed by “expert” planners, hungry for more power and tax revenue, it eventually becomes nearly impossible to not be in violation of some vague or inane statute.  As this over criminalization that degrades liberty becomes more systemic, a greater number of people will end up in tangles with police (who are human and make mistakes) and the result will be a greatly increased chance for something to go terribly wrong.

Frédéric Bastiat warned against these types of legal bastardization in his timeless essay, The Law, written more than one and one half centuries ago.

It is not true that the mission of the law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our will, our education, our sentiments, our works, our exchanges, our gifts, our enjoyments. Its mission is to prevent the rights of one from interfering with those of another, in any one of these things.

Increases in the impossible task of central planning assure that things will go terribly wrong thus requiring government and its cronies to create scapegoats to mask-over the inevitable failures. Today, the scapegoat for the failures of the “progressive” welfare state is so-called “racist” cops.  Tomorrow it will be what ever the big-government complex, including its protectors in the mainstream media, need it to be in order to further the “progressive” cause.

Unfortunately, today, Americans can now end up in potential harm’s way just for opening a lemonade stand without a permit; feeding the homeless; making Gibson Guitars out of unauthorized wood; collecting rainwater on one’s own property or as in the case of Eric Garner — selling “loosie” cigarettes.  It is amazing that those who decry police encounters gone awry think the solution is even more government, which as a consequence will result in increased police encounters.

No, de Blasio certainly didn’t kill Eric Garner, but he, President Obama and the bulk of the Democratic Party clearly support the “progressive” government chokehold on liberty that bears some responsibility in Garner’s death.  And the sideshow of anti-police rhetoric turned violent shows they’re willing to mask the failures of “progress” by any means necessary.

Big-brother likes to play really, really rough, so unless this “progressive” chokehold on liberty is released, Americans may as well get used to gasping for air.

 


Torture or Education?

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

The release of the Senate CIA “torture report” has certainly prompted some mixed reactions, mostly divided along party lines.  The mainstream media have expressed moral outrage – outrage – over the contents of the report, while the conservative media has rightfully questioned the timing of the release, the numerous holes in the report, and the validity of describing as “torture” the methods used by the CIA.  Add to mix the hypocrisy of the MSM ignoring Obama’s dead-by-drone policy that has blown many terrorists and innocents into chunks.

As to whether the interrogation methods employed by the CIA constitute actual “torture,” a Human Events article from 2007 (since we’re dredging up the past) written under a pseudonym by a retired naval aviator (yes, a slight pro-Navy bias is detectable) may help provide some context:

Based on lessons learned from survivors of the brutal North Korean and North Vietnam torture of US military prisoners of war, the Department of Defense ordered all branches of the services to implement comprehensive Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (S.E.R.E.) training programs. Every member of Congress should be extremely well versed on the military S.E.R.E. programs since they have had direct oversight and funding of these programs for over 40 years. [snip]

What actually happens in S.E.R.E. in the field? Classes of 40 or more “students” are put through beach and water (swimming) survival techniques, similar to the TV show “Survivor” but without the rewards challenges. The class is then moved to a remote location to survive and evade prior to entering the US Navy run POW camp.

Once captured, these “students” were hooded, with their hands bound; fully interrogated; and then finally brought to the POW camp:

Arriving at the POW Camp I was kept hooded and placed in a small box, 2 feet wide, 3 feet long and maybe 3 feet high. I was left the fetal position, sitting on my butt, stripped nearly naked (just week old BVD’s) and left sealed with your defecation can inside your box. Heat, cold, isolation, no communications, and constant noise, music, propaganda, coupled with verbal abuse by your captors is the norm, 24/7.

Almost makes club Gitmo sound like paradise, but it gets worse:

Then it was time for the dreaded waterboard.  What I didn’t know then, but I do now, is that as in all interrogations, both for real world hostile terrorists (non-uniformed combatants) and in S.E.R.E. a highly trained group of doctors, psychologists, interrogators, and strap-in and strap-out rescue teams are always present. My first experience on the “waterboard” was to be laying on my back, on a board with my body at a 30 degree slope, feet in the air, head down, face-up. The straps are all-confining, with the only movement of your body that of the ability to move your head. Slowly water is poured in your face, up your nose, and some in your mouth. The questions from interrogators and amounts of water increase with each unsuccessful response. Soon they have your complete attention as you begin to believe you are going to drown.

And if a “student” POW escapes and is subsequently recaptured?

This time we went right to the water hose in the face, and a wet towel held tightly on my forehead so that I could not move my head. I had embarrassed my captors and they would now show me that they had total control. The most agonizing and frightful moments are when the wet towel is placed over your nose and mouth and the water hose is placed directly over your mouth. Holding your breath, bucking at the straps, straining to remain conscious, you believe with all your heart that, that, you are going to die. [snip]

S.E.R.E. training is not pleasant, but it is critical to properly prepare our most endangered combat forces for the reality of enemy capture. Was I “tortured” by the US military? No. Was I trained in an effort to protect my life and the lives of other American fighting men? Yes! Freedom is not Free, nor does it come without sacrifice. Every good American understands this basic principle of our country and prays for the young men and women who have sacrificed and are out on the front lines protecting us today.

The author writes that there may have been as many as 40,000 of these students who were “tortured” over the years in the SERE program.  He also specifically mentions one pilot who wasn’t given the opportunity to utilize his SERE training:

Lt Tom “Stout” McGuinness of the VF-21 “Freelancers” went through S.E.R.E. training during my tenure. But when it came down to the crisis moment, his “interrogators” did not give him the waterboard. They merely went into the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 11, slashed Tom’s throat, and flew the first aircraft into the North Tower of World Trade Center on 9/11.

I must admit that facing the kind of training our soldiers had to endure in the SERE program sounds horrendous and may explain why I chose a different path in life.  But I am forever thankful for those who willingly volunteer to rigorously train and bravely serve in order to protect the United States of America.  Perhaps individuals who don’t care to receive the same type of education that many of our elite U.S. military forces once received should think twice before willingly becoming terrorists

 


Risky Proposition: Obama and Illegal Immigrants

Immigrant Sign 2My article as originally published in American Thinker:

In a speech containing more than a meager dusting of lies, President Obama quashed any previous assertion that it would be unlawful for him to act singlehandedly on illegal immigration by unlawfully loosening immigration enforcement for those who have unlawfully bypassed the lawful immigration process, which will make millions of unlawful immigrants lawful – unlawfully.  Makes my head spin as well.

From Obama’s speech detailing his unlawful deal:

If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is.

[Snip]

What I’m describing is accountability. A common sense middle-ground approach. If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.

If a greater number of congressional Republicans were equipped with metaphorical body parts of a spherical nature that contained even a slight trace of a certain copper/zinc alloy, the “leadership” would have clearly outlined a plan for ending Obama’s unlawful abuse of power – before leaving on holiday.  I guess the message of November 4 is so yesterday?

Democrats are surely delighted with the president’s executive order, since most of these unlawful immigrants will become useful weapons – future voting weapons – to be used against the Republican Party.  And now that the door is wide open, is there any doubt that Democrats will further build upon their arsenal?

In a post-constitutional America, where the rule of law will now be subject to the unbridled whims of whoever holds the office, placing blind trust in one politician can be an extremely risky proposition.

Obama said it would be safe for a large block of illegal immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and “register” with the government to stay in the U.S.  But he also said that “if you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”  Normally, ignoring immigration laws would make one a criminal, but Obama has dictated that the government ignore this minor detail – for now.

Perhaps a future “thanks for the list Mr. Obama” will be in order?

 


In a way, Hillary was right in saying that businesses don’t create jobs

My article as originally published in American Thinker: 

Hillary Clinton may be an economic ignoramus for saying, “Don’t let anybody tell you its corporations and businesses that create jobs.”  In fact, Daniel Greenfield does a wonderful job dismembering her so-called wisdom in his piece at Frontpage Mag.  But I’m not thoroughly convinced anyone could be so dim-witted as to truly believe such malarkey (except for maybe Elizabeth Warren), so perhaps the “world’s smartest woman” deserves the benefit of the doubt on this one?

I know she’s now attempting to walk back her remarks but I just don’t buy it.  So could it be that the woman who had her presidency stolen from her in 2008 was instead just taking a subtle jab at President Obama’s economic policy?  After all, given six years of Obama’s “fundamental change,” there are clearly some elements of truth to her claim.

As is the case with the multitude of half-truths the Left presents as facts, proper context is required here too.  And within the context of the following, Hillary is absolutely correct in her assertion:

Corporations and businesses don’t create jobs when they see companies nationalized or contract law thrown out as was done during the whole GM and Chrysler debacle.

Corporations and businesses don’t create jobs when they are burdened with the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

Corporations and businesses don’t create jobs when government unleashes thousands of pages of costly new regulations upon a stagnant overregulated economy.

Corporations and businesses don’t create jobs when they witness a President use his pen and his phone as a Constitution-killing weapon of mass destruction.

Corporations and businesses don’t create jobs when they learn that an administration was willing to use the IRS to punish its political enemies.

Corporations and businesses don’t create jobs when a President threatens to put an industry (such as the coal industry) out of business.

Corporations and businesses don’t create jobs when money is extracted from them and given to crony companies such as Solyndra.

Corporations and businesses don’t create jobs when they watch the government take control of 1/6th of the U.S. economy via the healthcare industry and then can’t even build a simple website.

Corporations and businesses didn’t create jobs just because a President arbitrarily decided that 2010 was to be the summer of recovery.

Corporations and businesses clearly aren’t creating jobs which may explain why the labor participation rate is at a 36-year low in spite of government’s historically massive “stimulus” and money-printing programs — the vary things that Hillary thinks create jobs.

Businesses do however create jobs in a free market protected by the stable rule of law under a more limited government, like they did during the “era of big government is over” economy that Bill Clinton inherited from President Ronald Reagan.

Corporations and businesses most certainly do create the jobs.  They just don’t do it when they’re terrified by an anti-business tyrant such as President Obama.  I wonder what Hillary Clinton would do to make sure “corporations and businesses don’t create jobs” if elected President in 2016?

 


Bird Brains Outsmart Progressive Brains

IMG_1320My article as originally published in American Thinker: 

When does the dismantling of an aged, blighted, environment-exploiting symbol of capitalism and the returning of a small portion of a beautiful body of water to its delicate natural state — a simple no-brainer for any greenie worth his weight in solar panels — cause a dilemma for the environmental movement? It does so when it happens to be colonized by a protected species of nesting birds like the ones inhabiting the old eastern span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

I’ve been watching this story unfold for the past several months (Hat tip: Brian Sussman and KSFO) and somehow these birds continue to have the audacity to refuse to do what bureaucrats armed with massive taxpayer funded coercion wish for them to do:

With the demolition of the old Bay Bridge eastern span already six months behind schedule, Caltrans plans to spend $12.8 million to beat the clock on a bird-nesting season that could tie up the takedown well into next year.

At issue: 800 or so double-crested cormorants – a state-protected “species of special concern” – that have enjoyed migratory squatter rights on the bridge since they moved here from Alaska, Mexico and Nova Scotia in 1984.

Does the fact that some of these birds happen to be illegal immigrants explain the apparent preferential treatment they’re getting and why it is that the taxpayers are being tarred and feathered to such an extent? And the situation is only getting messier for taxpayers:

Cute as they may appear, the double-crested cormorants and other birds that call the old Bay Bridge home are fast becoming a $30 million-plus headache.

[Snip]

As crews demolish the 10,000-foot-long steel structure where the birds roost, they’ve had to navigate around broadly interpreted state and federal environmental laws designed to protect the feathered critters.

“We are not going to argue with the law — the issue is often the interpretation of it,” said Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the Bay Area Toll Authority, which is overseeing the tear-down.

“And the fact is, the bridge construction has suffered tens of millions of cost overruns and months of delays as these (enforcement) agencies have interpreted the regulations,” Rentschler said.

The bird-friendly moves include Caltrans spending $709,000 to build 2½-foot-wide nesting “condos” on the underside of the new bridge, in the hopes that the 800 or so state-protected cormorants would move off the old span.

An additional $1 million has been spent to try to lure the birds over to the new bridge, using bird decoys, cormorant recordings and even nests made from discarded Christmas wreaths.

But the birds haven’t budged, prompting Caltrans to draw up Plan B — speeding up the demolition in the hopes of beating next spring’s nesting season because, once the birds start laying eggs, the work has to stop.

How could it be that human progress has caused nature to act so — unnaturally?

It appears that man and nature are able to peacefully coexist as many species simply adapt to changes in their surroundings — as has occurred for millions of years — and sometimes even prefer what man has to offer. But there may be a hidden lesson in this for a state like California.

Build all future dams with thousands of “structural” concrete cubbies that are sure to become populated with one or more protected species.  A bird, a snail — it won’t take much.  There will then be no way on Mother Earth that we’ll be seeing dams removed or the fight for the removal of others without an enormous amount of in-fighting amongst various environmental groups with competing interests.

So in the future, don’t just construct a new “dam” to help curtail the water woes of a state like California. Build a massive concrete-reinforced wildlife “sanctuary” that directly backs up to beautiful “wetlands.”  The enormous “Cormorant nesting platform” spanning the San Francisco Bay that was previously built has clearly been an enormous success.

Perhaps the birds are more open to real progress than those who call themselves progressives?