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Last night, Stephen Colbert tore into the Dallas Safari Club, which is auctioning off a permit to hunt and kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia... in order to "protect" the black rhino.

I don't need to tell you about all the charitable work I do.  That's what my publicist is for.  But I do do it.  And I realize I just said "do do".  Point is, I'm a great guy.  Even though I don't give to charity anymore.  But it's not my fault.  You see, our stagnant economy has taken its toll on all charitable giving.  Donations to the top 400 charities are down this year.  Even my charity, the Stephen and Melinda Gates Foundation, has had to cut back on our important work of figuring out what we were raising money for.  We were this close to a cause.

Fortunately, one organization out there is using the free market to create proper incentives for doing the right thing.  And it brings us to tonight's Wørd: Philantrophy.

Folks, nothing tugs at the heartstrings more than animal charities.  Although, I for one don't know why Sarah McLaughlin has imprisoned all of those dogs and cats.  Let them go, you monster!!

And I believe it is especially important to protect our dwindling endangered species.  (Moderate Republicans?)  (audience laughter)  Especially, folks, especially the black rhino.  (Michael Steele?)

You see, there are only about 5,000 of these majestic creatures left in the world, down 96% since the mid-70s.  (Wiped Out By Disco Fever)

Now, one of the reasons they've been dying out is poachers are killing them and harvesting their parts for traditional medicine.  For instance, in China, it's believed powdered black rhino horn "can cure a wide array of ailments, from snakebites to devil possession."

Wow, those Chinese have some crazy beliefs!  Everybody knows the way to cure devil possession is with holy water.  (Also The Cinnamon Challenge)

Now, luckily folks, one group has stepped forward with a bold conservation plan.  The Dallas Safari Club has announced they will save the endangered black rhino by auctioning off the chance to shoot one.  (shocked audience reaction)  It's like the old saying, if you love something, set it free.  Then, when it has a bit of a head start, open fire.  (If It Comes Back To You, Run!)  (audience laughter)

And, folks, the Safari Club's spokesman, Gayne Young, is approaching the sensitive subject of sacrificing an endangered species for the greater good with all the gravity you could hope for.

GAYNE YOUNG: The Dallas Safari Club will be auctioning off a black rhino hunt in Namibia at this year's convention. ... I'm just super-stoked about this. ... It's worth it, folks.  The money goes to something incredible, the trophy is just astronomical.  I cannot imagine having a black rhino. ... I cannot even begin to tell you how rare this is.
Best of all, the more you shoot, the rarer it gets.  (audience laughter)

Now, the Safari Club is auctioning off a special rhino hunting permit from the Namibian government, expected to rake in three quarters of a million dollars, all of which goes directly to Namibia's Black Rhino Conservation Trust.  (Minus "Conservation" Or "Trust" Or "Rhinos")

And folks, the rhinos, if any of you were worried, the rhinos will never even notice.  As Dallas Safari Club executive director Ben Carter said:

BEN CARTER (10/22/2013): Black rhinos tend to have a fairly high mortality rate.  Generally speaking, out of a population of 2,000, harvesting three rhinos over a couple or three years has no impact on the health of the rhino herd at all.
Yes.  There isn't much impact if you kill one rhino or three rhinos.  Or how about this?  We shoot all 5,000 remaining rhinos.  That'll bring in $3.7 billion dollars.  And we can use that cash to keep one last rhino safely confined.  (In Case We Want To Shoot Him)  (nervous audience laughter)

Folks, I believe this is the only practical way to save the species.  Because as Dallas Safari Club director Ben Carter further said:

BEN CARTER (10/22/2013): People are talking about "Why don't you do a photo safari?" or whatever.  Well, that's great, but people don't pay for that.
He's right, no one will pay for a photo.  That's not a trophy.  How are you going to hang a photo on your wall?  (On A Rhino Horn?)  But, think about it.  If we really want to raise some cash, you know what people do pay for?  (Meth?)  They pay for sex.  To save this endangered animal, the Dallas Safari Club should auction off a night with a rhino.  (Plot Of "Hangover 4")  (audience laughter)

Now, I'm not saying that someone should go fuck a black rhino.  (audience laughter)  That's sick!  I'm saying they should make love to it.  (Once You Go Black Rhino...)  (wild audience laughter and applause)  That idea's very popular with the people!  (audience cheers)

Now in the morning, you just leave $750,000 on the dresser.  If you don't call the next day, she'll understand.  (She's Thick-Skinned)

Nation, this Dallas rhino club idea can raise money for all sorts of important causes.  I mean, who amongst us hasn't seen a homeless man begging on the street, and felt deep sadness that you could not hunt him for sport?  (We Miss You, Mayor Giuliani!)  (audience groaner)

I mean, think about this.  New York City Opera just recently had to close for lack of funds.  If only they'd have let us hunt the fat ladies.  I mean, I happen to know their horns are an aphrodisiac in Norway.  (Used During Fjord-Play)  (audience groans and laughter)

But you know what non-profit organization could really use this kind of fundraising technique?  The Dallas Safari Club.  I say we just auction off a chance to hunt one member.  I mean, they'll understand.  I mean, also, it's such a beautiful pelt.

You know what?  I might make a vest out of it.  (Philantrophy)  And that's the Wørd.  We'll be right back.

Video below the fold.

He also briefly talked about the new hats for the Marine Corps that some right-wingers are complaining about for looking too gay.
Stephen then talked about scientists creating a tomato-potato hybrid.
Meanwhile, Jon looked at how a lot of other countries are mad at us because of the NSA spying on them.
Jon then looked at the case of the national security team member who was fired after being caught as the guy behind an anonymous Twitter account bashing both sides.
Stephen talked with actor Stephen Fry, and Jon talked with actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hunting and Fishing Kos and Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Srsly (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    ban nock

    Something needs to be done to stop the poaching that will exterminate these creatures.

    How about adding arsenic to the powdered horns seized in Africa before returning the stuff to the black market to be sent on to the buyers in China? Or maybe irradiating the stuff so that users would wake up one night to find their balls glowing in the dark? No one would be harmed who did not consume the product taken from the dead animals.

    The wimpy measures being taken so far are doing nothing to stop these on-going crimes against our shared natural heritage.

    •  Do not call for the death or poisoning of another (0+ / 0-)

      human being, that is against site rules.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:26:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then how about just announcing that all rhino (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        horn has been poisoned and would continue to be poisoned forever?

        That should knock the bottom out of the market.

        •  how about we just stop talking about killing (1+ / 0-)
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          people, we're better than that.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:16:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not me (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not better than that. I believe in self-defense, and in defending the helpless.

            You can climb up on a cross if that elevates you somehow, but I'm staying with my feet planted in the real world.

            And I'm gonna say what I think no matter how much you desire to control that.

            Repeating my point, I think that if it is announced that the supply of powdered rhino horns has been laced with arsenic,
            or irradiated so that users balls will glow in the dark, then anyone who consumes the product is fairly forewarned, and what happens to them next I don't care. Just don't care. And I don't care what what think about that.

  •  in all seriousness, there are lots of debates over (5+ / 0-)

    the whole issue of "harvesting" endangered animals like rhinos, elephants, and tigers.

    The real difficulty with wildlife conservation is the lack of HABITAT. Captive breeding can, with many species, produce an increase in the number of individuals, but the lack of habitat often leads to the awkward problem of having a fairly large number of individuals of an endangered species, but having no place in the wild to PUT them (there are more tigers in zoos worldwide, for instance, than there are in the wild worldwide--to the point where most zoos now give contraceptives to their tigers to PREVENT them from breeding). Even the largest of wildlife refuges and national parks have a finite amount of space, and if the species is allowed to produce more individuals than the carrying capacity of the available land, the result is starvation and death. Because of human actions, animals can no longer move on to another area when their current habitat becomes over-used--they are forced to remain in the same place, which never gets any opportunity to recover. Animals like elephants or rhinos can destroy their entire habitat in a very short time if they exceed their carrying capacity, leading to the decline and death of the entire population (and the habitat destruction also carries a number of other species with it).

    The only method to prevent that is to control the size of the population by removing individuals. Some can be relocated in other parks or refuges, but this presents its own problems--many animals are territorial and will, if relocated, try to make their way back "home". And relocation doesn't solve the basic problem of not enough wild space, when the relocation territory is also filled. For many species, the only remaining option for removing individuals is to "cull" them.

    There is also the economics of endangered species, which is particularly important in animals with a high cash value, like rhinos, elephants and tigers. Supply and demand dictates that the fewer of these animals that reach the market, the higher the price goes, and the more extreme the risks that poachers are willing to take to make that money. There has been serious consideration by many conservationists to deliberately market high-cash animals like rhinos or elephants to raise the supply, lower the price, and lower the incentive for poaching. This also gives direct economic benefits to the local populations, who then view their local wildlife as an economic resource to be protected and conserved (which is also a benefit of local "eco-tourism").

    And then there is the economics of conservation itself. Most conservation programs are seriously underfunded, and are pretty much left to fend for themselves. So it makes good practical sense for conservation programs to utilize culled individuals as an economic resource. The hunting club in this story is correct about one thing--the loss of a small number of individuals over a few years is not a real threat to the population, and as we have seen some individual animals MUST be culled anyway to maintain the habitat. So conservation groups and wildlife refuges have indeed turned this into a source of revenue and resources, by selling permits for hunting, and then by selling the ivory or rhino horn or whatever. That money is then used to fund further anti-poaching and conservation efforts.

    It is not a simple issue, and there are no easy solutions. Which is why the debate never ends.


    •  All thoughful points with merit. However, this (0+ / 0-)

      particular thing with the DALLAS SAFARI CLUB just looks really bad no matter how you look at it. And I dont think a different pin or PR firm would have helped. It would still sound like "Well, we had to kill them in order to save them. And pocket the proceeds".

  •  Does a mass murderer HARVEST humans? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    God, I hate that fucking word in the context of hunting.

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:56:14 AM PDT

    •  harvest has a precise meaning when used in (1+ / 0-)
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      the context of wildlife management. It means the regulated and scientific management of species using controlled hunting. If you can't understand the difference between murder and hunting we probably don't have much middle ground for discussion.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:18:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh please. I understand quite well. My opinions, (1+ / 0-)
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        which do result in inflammatory comparisons occasionally, perhaps would blunt our discussion.

        I do not believe for one second that responsible wildlife management is the concern or goal of the people discussed here.

        My knee jerks alot, yes, but it does jerk based on some reality.

        Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

        by Floyd Blue on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:32:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  safari club supports an activity regarding (0+ / 0-)

          black rhino that is also supported by 83% of the member countries of CITES. You might not like it, but harvesting black rhino certainly is responsible wildlife management.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:23:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  i only know of the (0+ / 0-)

      Ghastly Organ Pirates ... they mess up everything.

      Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

      by greenbird on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:02:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's gotten to the point where countries are (1+ / 0-)
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    deliberately cutting off rhino horns in an attempt to prevent poachers from killing the rhinos.  They'll tranq the rhinos, cut off their horns, and then wake them.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:06:20 AM PDT

  •  If I were a celeb in need of an image makeover (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    or awaiting trial on the latest drug bust/weapons charge/assault claim/tax evasion allegation/other unfortunate incident, I'd be sure I won this auction. Then have my pic taken with the LIVE black rhino and call it a day. After that, all will be forgiven and America will love you for a good long while no matter what you did. As for the DALLAS SAFARI CLUSTERFUCK CLUB, I hope their bid for attention with this auction brings them a great, great deal of it.

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