Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's
Number 809, February 15, 2015

The only reason Obama wants to control
the Internet is to shut us up.

Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next

a Newt!

A Tale of Two Newts:
Prohibition Rears it's Ugly Head AGAIN!

by Jeff Fullerton

Bookmark and Share

Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

The last few weeks have been fertile for philosophical contemplation.

Between the ongoing crusades to ban wood stoves and furnaces and Glenn Beck's second Agenda 21 novel I am a bit fired up to say the least in regard to the alarming efforts to undermine human freedom and personal independence in the name of saving the planet.

The story I just finished Friday evening is the second of two works that takes up with the escapees from a gulag / death camp style compound that are now at large in the "Human Free Zone" that I just discovered to be right here in my own backyard of Western Pennsylvania!

Was thinking the latter will make for good book review. But it takes a second place to another preoccupation that really hit my psyche hard recently when I called a fish distributor in Florida to inquire about Japanese Firebellied Newts.

An old favorite of mine that I've kept from time to time through the years. The last one I had in the 1990s I named "Gingrich" after the then current Speaker of the House for shits and giggles.
This species was very common in the US pet trade up until shortly after that time when the newts coming from Japan—Cynops phyrrogaster were for the most part displaced by the Chinese newt—Cynops orientalis from mainland Asia—that came along with the flow of Asian turtles and other species that became abundant for a while with the thawing relations and increased trade with China.

Call me picky—but for various reasons I prefer the Japanese newts over the Chinese ones. I like their chocolate brown skin that has a more granular texture vs the smooth black rubbery appearance of the latter. Both have similar red bellies with black mottling.The Chinese newts are smaller and less temperature tolerant. Which is not that big an issue for me. But I just like the ones from Japan. Probably because they were the familiar pet shop newt of my childhood days and I'm nostalgic.

Spent a good bit of time searching and doing researching on the husbandry. Entertaining possibilities of signing up for some of the Amphibian forums like the Dendoboard and where people have posted adds for offspring of Firebelly and Swordtail / Gold Dust Newts*. But I'm hesitant. There's this underlying apprehension that these organizations like others I've belonged to over the years are full of people who are buy into the ecofascist mantra and are willing to just roll over and give the enemies of the hobby—everything they are demanding to the point of destroying the hobby forever. Some of the conservation oriented threads suggest strongly that is the case. So I'm hesitant to join anything anymore.

And if that is not bad enough—From the guy in Florida I got an earful of the same.
After I decided to call that company in hope that it might be the one I'm looking for. And at a pretty good price too in comparison to other sources.

Apparently the newts in question are true pyrrhogaster and are captive bred in the USA. Which sounds encouraging because I think this species was being bred a lot and young ones were being sold at reptile shows and expos back in the 90s before the Chinese newts became the mainstay in the retail pet trade. He said the coloration was like a dark black charcoal (which sounds more like the Chinese newts) but the tails are pointed which are said to be a distinguishing feature of Japanese Firebellies. There is a lot a variation in color and belly patterns in both species so I think it might be worth a chance of ordering a half dozen to make the shipping cost worthwhile and maybe get more if they are the one I want. Or who knows—maybe I'll just have to settle for the Chinese species—if I must in order to have Firebelly newts again. Better than nothing and I would have no problem accommodating their need for cooler water in my basement which is perfect for heat sensitive amphibians.

But here comes the disturbing part. In the conversation—the possibility that the federal government might try to ban Firebelly Newts (Cynops) as an invasive species came up. I asked if there was anyway to stop them—he said maybe—but conceded that usually when the government experts want to do something it is for a good reason**. That kind of blind acceptance of authority I find disturbing. Since he is originally from the Northeast I am not surprised at that attitude. Many of the reptile enthusiasts from that region were always big supporters of environmental causes. The Mid-Atlantic Reptile show raised money to help conserve rainforests in Costa Rica and the hobbyists made compelling arguments for captive breeding to take pressure off wild herp populations which influenced the Maryland DNR to allow commercial propagation of native species. I used to think that was a good thing and still do—as well as trying to be conscientious about trading captive bred native species and not releasing exotics into the natural ecosystem. The dealer talked about south Florida where he is located being ground zero for many invasive species—which is factual—and also faults hobbyists as the major source of them from deliberate release into the wild. In Florida maybe—but elsewhere deliberate introduction by government agencies, bait trade or accidental introductions via global commerce also play a significant role. I chose not to get into too a lengthy discussion or debate—and decided to just order the newts online afterward. Requested to have them held at the Post Office for pickup there which will be safer for them and the postman attempting to deliver to my door in this weather or leaning them in the mailbox.

The dealer said they are always available and there's probably a few months before the government takes action and according to him it will be mainly banning import and prohibiting them in commercial aquaculture but like the 4 inch turtle law might not affect private hobbyists that much. We gotta do something about this one—because there is probably going to be a ban on interstate transport in this and there goes the option of going to another state to have your cake and eat it too—should I choose one day to move out west go get away from the bucket heads of Harrisburg—I won't be able to take my firebellies, Ishigame and other exotics with me.

The bucket heads, eco-nazis and bootlickers—are the main reason I shifted from from indigenous to exotic species. Had they left well enough alone I would have been perfectly happy to stick with spotted, wood and eastern box turtles. But they wanted to prohibit them and grandfather those of us who had them while systematically marginalizing the captive population out of existence with a ban on importing animals legally obtained in other states or breeding of any future generations from captive stocks. So I had to turn this into an editorial because there is a need to tell our side of things and also to deconstruct the idea of grandfathering which the man I talked to this afternoon said would likely be the case for hobbyists who already have the newts. My beef about grandfathering is that is essentially submitting to being systematically marginalized and squeezed out of existence and is also selling out future generations of hobbyists by trading away their freedom to do what we are able to do now—just so we can continue doing it a little while longer.

That's called betrayal. And it's wrong. And no matter how compelling the moral argument or valid the science behind it—it is still wrong because it is destroying human freedom and economic well being for the sake of unattainable promise of a perfect world. It's the Virtue of Selfishness vs Greed for Real Estate that underlies most arguments built on claims of righteous indignation or clear and present danger. And considering that the road to hell is always paved with good intentions—choosing the virtue of selfishness is the one case in which the lesser of two evils is anything but evil. Especially when the consequences of not acting are not as dire and apocalyptic as claimed*** and the benefits do not justify the cost. Often it is just a grab bag for people seeking power to address a pet peeve or to support the agenda of someone who promised them a free lunch.

The Nature Nazis have their pet issue—which are literally about our pets—and the numerous reasons they want to take them away. And of it's not bad enough that many fellow herptile hobbyists seem to have no viable political opposition party turn to—so many of them like so many I've talked to—seem to happily accept the decisions of government agencies whose minions loathe the very idea of any private individual having anything to do with a live reptile or amphibian and want to shut down everyone in the private sector. Which is true across the board for the majority of people in the federal or state wildlife and conservation agencies. Not even a year after I changed course they are already fixing to come after my new stuff—the ecofascists are beating the drums to come after our turtles, our newts and our wood furnaces and little dogs too!

Environmental fascism is brought to you by the same people who gave is the Unaffordable Care Act. Funny thing; making health care less affordable and less accessible is a good way to bring about that reduction of the human population that environmentalists have been harping about for years. That's the ultimate cost of that free lunch so many thought they were getting.

The herptile hobbyist community—along with the rest of America and the world needs to wake up to the ugly reality of who their real enemies are and stop showering them with their approval -—like assuming that every policy decision that contracts their freedom is automatically good and for heavens sake stop giving money to groups like PETA, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club!

And the turtle breeders who said "We support these laws", in regard to restrictions on keeping native species figuring they will always be allowed to breed and sell exotics. But before they know it—someone will be coming after their stuff! It's a lot like "I didn't speak for the Jews because I was not Jewish" and in the end if they allow this to go on there will be no one left to speak for them.

For now I am determined to go ahead with my plans with the newts. I'm waiting on two baby European Pond Turtles from The Turtle Source to be delivered as soon as the weather is safe for shipping—hopefully this week! And looking get a few more later in the season in addition to expanding the Japanese Pond Turtle flock with some of my own captive borns. Then start hitting the reptile shows where I might pick up or trade for new bloodlines of various things. And maybe get a table of my own someday and—(that dirty word)—SELL**** a few of my own along with surplus plants to make a little evil money and clear out the greenhouse. That would be a dream come true. Just to live a little more before the ecofascists ratchet down on everything. Maybe I'm being too polemic but between the drumbeat to ban wood burning and the one to ban the keeping of reptiles and other things—how can I not despise them and wish to see them destroyed as they seek to destroy our way of life and everything we hold dear.

End Notes

Cynops ensicaudata—with two subspecies C. e. ensicaudata and C. e. popeii from Okinawa and the Ruyuku Islands at the lower end of Japan's archipelago. Similar to Cynops phyrrogaster but larger with gold colored speckling or stripes on their backs. Used to be available in the US pet trade but is rarely seen anymore. The things we take for granted! Maybe someday I'll be able to get some captive born offspring someday.

** A good reason? NOT!

*** The issues pertaining to invasive species are very much like the issues pertaining to guns and public safety. Banning them will make the activists and like-minded fellow travelers in the governmental agencies feel good for a while—but will not do that much to solve the problem.

**** A dirty word to many state conservation agencies like the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission filed under the "Unlawful" catagory—"To sell any species of reptile or amphibian from commonwealth waters".

Additional Notes: Will incorporate some of this into a much needed Open Letter to Herptile Hobbyists that will be forthcoming. The hobbyist communities needs a big shake up before it's too late.

My newts arrived last week alive and well and are currently doing fine. Unfortunately they are probably the Chinese species. So the search for true phyrrogaster goes on. Best bet are the breeders on the Caudata list or one of the bigger reptile shows like the one in Hamburg PA or Columbus Ohio. The latter I used to go to with Big Bob and I here it may still be good.

As for getting back into the hobbyist organizations—there may be some utility to be had akin to Jesus eating with the tax collectors and sinners. Also I must admit it is a good way to keep a finger on the pulse of the ecofascist agenda. Back in the day it was a good source of enlightenment to back up the claims of the few lone voices who were warning us about the evils of Agenda 21 and the various government agencies striving to curtail private property rights and putting resources off limits.

And it was always a good barometer—like a union newsletter or many a biased cage liner to at least know who not to vote for!

Later thoughts:

If you have not guessed by now. It was prohibition aimed at some of my main passions in life that drove me to become a libertarian. And when it comes to the agenda of the environmental extremists—herptile enthusiasts and others who deal in live goods have become the quintessential canary in the coal mine. It is the bellwether of the Deep Ecology movement and what they want to do to this country. Hopefully they can be stopped. Maybe if more people can be alerted to how these policies will affect their own personal enjoyment of life—along with their ability to make ends meet—it might not be too late to turn things around.

This pen exposes ecofascists like Woody Guthrie's guitar was said to kill the garden variety.

But best of all and had I put it off I would surely have forgotten: they hate being exposed most of all because like all forms of bad governance—and all of them are bad to one degree or another—they cannot govern very effectively without the uninformed consent of the governed.

AKA the Sheeple!


Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Just click the red box (it's a button!) to pay the author

This site may receive compensation if a product is purchased
through one of our partner or affiliate referral links. You
already know that, of course, but this is part of the FTC Disclosure
Policy found here. (Warning: this is a 2,359,896-byte 53-page PDF file!)

Big Head Press