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Florida Tea Party hates manatees, declares them ‘dangerous’

Jul 26, 2011, 4:41 PM EDT


And who can blame them? Look at this fearsome beast, floating Zeppelin-like in this lagoon, ready to slowly swim toward you and possibly nuzzle your face. “Help!” you gasp, and you crawl back into the boat, terrified. “I think he licked me!”

From Click Rally Magazine:

A Florida tea party has taken another step in its effort to protect the citizens of the United States. While its current list of enemies of the state is expansive — including taxes, high-speed rail, and socialized medicine — it has not yet expanded into the realm of wildlife. While all three species of manatees are listed by the World Conservation Organization as vulnerable to extinction, the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots have declared the mammal “dangerous.”

The Florida political group recently announced its plan to fight U.S. Fish and Wildlife restrictions on boating and other human activities.

True quote from a Tea Party leader:

“We cannot elevate nature above people,” said Edna Mattos, 63, leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots, in an interview. “That’s against the Bible and the Bill of Rights.”

Yes, luckily, the Founding Fathers anticipated the manatee scourge, and installed several stopgaps to keep us safe.

The Kings Bay wildlife refuge in Citrus County has been under federal protection since 1980, and manatee numbers there have increased from just 100 to a thriving population of 550. But burgeoning development and increased tourist numbers have put strain on the animals; between May 1 and Aug. 30 of last year alone, seven manatees were killed by speeding boats. U.S. Fish and Wildlife restrictions curtail boat use and require boaters to reduce speeds.

But now it’s time to show you my favorite quote of the day, week, and possibly forever. I swear this is true. Enjoy:

Although tea partier Mattos said she brings her grandchildren to see the manatees, she doesn’t see a point in the Save the Manatee Club. “If some of these environmental movements had been around in the days of the dinosaurs, we’d be living in Jurassic Park now,” she said.

So, one is a fat, dull-witted, ponderous herd of creatures, and the other is the manatees. Got it.

Tea partiers have a new target: Manatees [Click Rally]
Now it’s manatees? [Switchboard NRDC]

  1. trbowman - Jul 26, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    what does this have to do with sports?

    • Rick Chandler - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:32 AM

      I think you’ve been around here long enough to know that outdoors and nature are frequent subjects of this blog. If that confuses you, just call it a post on boating.

    • skids003 - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:07 AM

      Nothing, Rick is just showing his stupid liberal side. He never writes about anything that might put his left wing liberal buddies in a bad light.

      • hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 5:44 PM

        Luke Scott, is that you? Shouldn’t you be rehabbing or something?

  2. magnificenthack - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Of course the Tea Party hates Manatees. They aren’t White or Christian.

    • skids003 - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      Looking at the thumbs up you got for that smart ass comment and the thumbs down I got for mine, it’s scary to think how many of you are out there. BTW, I don’t agree with the Tea Party on this at all.

  3. ThatGuy - Jul 27, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Non-Story. There are crazies at both ends of the political spectrum. Just like there are people on the left side of it that think animals should be given the rights of humans, and hunters prosecuted for Murder there are people who think saving an animal is not worth inconvienencing humans. Just so happens the ones on the right tend to get more press, because most media is more liberal and it paints all conservatives in a bad light by shining the light on a few crazies.

  4. cleanslaton - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    This IS A STORY, even as it barely relates to sports; It’s already gotten some comments, and I’m sure is working towards fulfilling the website’s content and click-through requirements. It’s a story because you read the article and are now reading my comment. It has incited opinions on both sides.

    to the story now–WOW. Examining the interests of the parties involved has caused me to rule in favor of the sea cows.

    Citrus County Tea Partiers [for]–Bible, Human manifest destiny, operating motorboats haphazardly, ignorantly grasping at & blurting out the first thought that might refute their opinions [i.e. dinosaur rights' referendums organized by mesozoic mammals--I mean, we don't want one of them spittin' dinosaurs hockin' black poisonous loogies at our kids' faces]

    Manatee agenda [for]–existing, living, not becoming extinct.

    Chris Rock was right: anyone that makes up their mind politically before they’ve heard the issue–is an idiot;
    however, there is a clear right & wrong to this. Politics are ‘new’ to the world in relation to the laws of science that govern the Earth’s delicate ecosystems. We can’t just kill inconvenient species because some group of outspoken half-a-tards wants to drive their speedboats fastly through shallow, grassy bays. I hunt & fish regularly, so spare me whatever dumb ‘Jehova gave man dominion over the animals’ bible passage that the Tea Party might reply with; [when citing facts, it's better to use a textbook full of them than a famous work of historical fiction devoid of them.] Biology was here before politics & religion. Biology wins.

    • ssmanatee - Aug 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      i cannot possibly understand how boat speed limits, which are always in place where a seawall exists to avoid erosion, cannot be upheld in manatee saturated areas. they are with us only for a short time in winter and almost always congregate on inland waterways where we’re not supposed to be speeding anyway. that anyone presumes to supersede the protection afforded manatees as endangered is ignorant and repugnant. nobody is suggesting that animals of any sort deserve elevated rights from our population but there’s no reason why we cannot make reasonable and responsible policies so as to co-exist. politics aside, i’d fight this ignorant point of view as hard as i could.

    • chicagomel - Aug 4, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      No it was NOT here before all. God was here before everything becuase God created everything. God should win out. But that said, that does NOT mean they are right. They’re twisting the Bible to fit their own agenda. The manatees should be protected.

  5. rogersdaughter - Aug 2, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Where enviromentalism and animal rights meet human rights.
    I found this article when searching for information to fight UN Agenda 21 – which is about the government controlling land use rights – basically the “redistribution of wealth” philosophy where the gov’t can tell you what you can and can’t do with land you own. Take yours to distribute to those who didn’t work hard enough to earn enough to purchase land of their own….and it applies to third world countries, too. I also have environmental concerns and want to preserve wildlife and the environment. So, it seems both sides go to the extreme. Why can’t we compromise. I don’t want to give up my rights of the basic freedoms of a democracy to install a system (socialism) of social justice. We need to take personal responsibility…and stop with this idea that the government needs to regulate all life on Earth. Especially since we know how well government works. And especially since we know how well the UN works…which brings us to One World Government…but we’ll save that for another day.

  6. chicagomel - Aug 4, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    I agree with whoever said they’re spotlighting the crazies too much. Not all conservatives are that way, and people shouldn’t think they are.