Friday, August 15, 2008

Sometimes A Rattler Is Just A Snake

Freud would have a field day with The Kevster's latest anti-DNR screed.

He's having a squeamish little hissy fit because the DNR is following their mandate to conserve the native species of Wisconsin and that includes, to Kev's chagrin, snakes.

You can almost see the revulsion as Kevin squeals and squirms about those awful, icky snakes. "They could kill you," he yelps. Well, probably not.
A late 1950s study estimated that 45,000 snakebites occur each year in the United
.[3] Despite this large number, only 7,000 to 8,000 of those snakebites are actually caused by venomous snakes, resulting in an average of 10 deaths.[6][7] This puts the chance of survival at roughly 499 out of 500. The majority of bites in the United States occur in the southwestern part of the country, in part because rattlesnake populations in the eastern states are much lower.
But facts won't stop our Kev. At least, they haven't in the past. This is just another excuse for him to show off his ignorance and spotlight his contempt. It's a good thing that he doesn't draw a government paycheck for sitting on his backside and writing all his anti-government, anti-conservationist tripe. [insert knowing wink here]

If he wants to stop the senseless deaths in America I have a suggestion. I'll bet he won't take it. He likes his metaphors to be steely.


  1. It was a serpent what tempted Eve, doncha know. Best to be safe.

  2. Actually, Mr. Fischer was largely quoting my article, so (at least in this instance) your argument is probably not so much with him as it is with me.

    That said, I doubt the families of the ten people you've cited who will die this year of venomous snakebites will take much comfort in your dismissal of their fatalities as 'improbable'.

    Further, while I concede that the majority of these deaths take place in the southwest, the focus of my article was a nefarious, taxpayer funded DNR effort to stock Wisconsin forests with deadly rattlesnakes.

    As for your contention that guns are more dangerous, I propose a test of that hypothesis, whereby I'll spend the night sleeping in a room full of firearms, while you settle down for the evening cuddled up with an equal number of Massasauga and timber rattlers...


  3. Gravelle-

    That may have been your attempt (for whatever bizaare reason), but that was not Fischer's.

    And what would you tell the hundreds of thousands of people that are suffering the loss of a loved one, due to gun violence? "I'm sorry your loved one is dead, but the gun didn't kill them, it only made it easier and more likely to happen"?

  4. First of all, let's tell the truth. The DNR isn't stocking Wisconsin forests with deadly rattlesnakes; they're restoring habitat. It's not as if the DNR is putting snakes into forests like they would fish in a lake.

    Nice try though...

  5. So, the retort to "Don't use my tax money to infest the woods with deadly snakes" is "Gun are bad, n'kay?"

    I suppose I'd be justified in responding to that with something along the lines of "Hey, look over there! Isn't that John Edwards' girlfriend?" ...but I'm not so much into the irrelevant tangential diversionary style of debate.

    I'll take the detour this far though: I'd tell those victims (of criminals, not guns) not to allow activists to wave their dead relatives around as political props. To do so allows killers and their apologists to defer the focus from themselves and misdirects our ire toward hunks of metal.

    But back on topic, I still gotta go with the proposition that purposely infesting our public forests with (always) poisonous, (always) venomous, (sometimes) deadly rattlesnakes is a reeeeeeally bad idea, and I hope nobody dies because of it.

    If they do, I'll take little solace in saying "I told you so", and I'll be more than a little p*ssed off that my tax money was used to populate our forests with friggin' rattlesnakes...


    p.s. Just saw the follow-up semantics dodge. Here's a direct quote from the story:

    "They have been working hard to restore the state's native rattlesnake population..."

    Rest assured that, were the rattlesnake population "restored" in say, your basement, you'd no doubt consider it an infestation...

  6. Ah, but my basement is not their natural habitat, so they could not be restored to where they never were.

    And given your tangential response to my post, then aren't you waving the nonexistant bodies of rattler's victims as a political prop, just to cover your fear of snakes?

  7. Your basement *was* their natural habitat before some evil capitalist cleared the forested land and built a house there. Your disregard for the old growth forests and nature's creatures, and your sponsorship of the nefarious urban sprawl that displaced them is perhaps fodder for a different debate.

    And when my topic is "rattlesnakes are deadly", the victims of snakebites aren't tangential.

    They're right on topic.


    (BTW, I love snakes. But I've had three pet rats in the past, and I know them to be intelligent and affectionate animals. It would break my heart to feed a rat to a domesticated snake.)

  8. Granville-

    The snake bite victim line is in response to your gun shot victim line.

    And feed the snakes frogs. Frogs aren't smart or friendly.

  9. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that I'm the only post responder who has sought out and handled a Timber Rattler in the bluffs South of La Crosse decades ago.

    That said, Fisher lacks the, oh, shall we say, physical ability to reach a rattlesnake den. It is not as easy (or as dangerous) as walking into a bar, then driving home drunk. These are reclusive rodent eaters of out of the way places. They also taste absolutely nothing like chicken.

    Were Fisher to attempt to get close enough to a rattlesnake to complain about it, his odds of having a heart attack are far greater than being struck by the snake.

    -Soft Words and Broad Swords -