Tea Party vs. Manatees: It's On

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in the process of writing rules to protect manatees, the fat monsters who occasionally get lost and dominate media coverage for weeks, from boating and other "activities" that constantly kill them in Kings Bay, Florida. So, is the local Tea Party chapter okay with this? Ha ha, no, not at all.

Boaters in Kings Bay, which was featured in Jacques Cousteau's manatee documentary Forgotten Mermaids, have killed 13 manatees over the last decade with their aquatic death machines. The Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to pass permanent rules protecting Kings Bay as a refuge: "For instance, federal officials can establish temporary no-entry areas lasting up to two weeks if a cold front hits before the manatee season begins, or after the manatee season has closed, to prevent manatees from being harassed in Kings Bay. They're accepting public comments on the proposal through Aug. 22."

Accepting public comments, you say?

"We cannot elevate nature above people," explained Edna Mattos, 63, leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots, in an interview. "That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights." [...]

"We believe that (federal regulators') aim is to control the fish and wildlife, in addition to the use of the land that surrounds this area, and the people that live here and visit. … As most of us know, this all ties in to the United Nations' Agenda 21 and Sustainability."

Agenda 21 is a program, adopted by the U.N. in 1992, to encourage countries around the world to promote only development that does not harm nature. Pundit Glenn Beck and other conservatives have attacked it as an attempt to impose world government's rules on every aspect of American lives. The Citrus County tea party group's website says Agenda 21 is "designed to make humans into livestock."

Mattos said she enjoys showing off the manatees to her grandchildren, but she had little use for the Save the Manatee Club, explaining, "If some of these environmental movements had been around in the days of the dinosaurs, we'd be living in Jurassic Park now."

Who wouldn't want to live in Jurassic Park? I mean, after they repair the fences, electrical grid, etc. (There was an incident in 1993.) It's hard to believe that dinosaurs would be more dangerous than the citizens of Florida, anyway.

[Image via AP]