In 2005, a federal judge ruled that ballast water from oceangoing ships is a pollutant and must be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, under the Clean Water Act. This was in response to the invasion by zebra mussels, tiny black-and-white striped bivalves that are related to clams and oysters.

The troublesome creatures are native to Asia, and began invading freshwater bodies of water in Europe in the 1700s, and spread until they are now found in great numbers in all European waters. Biologists say that they came to the Great Lakes in the ballast water of cargo ships, and spread from there as far south as Arkansas, and into New England Waters. 

The mussels attach themselves to screens and water intake pipes of wells and water treatment plants, where they reproduce rapidly and in great numbers, clogging filters, disrupting water flow, and resulting in millions of dollars in damage every year.

The mussels also threaten aquatic plants and animals, causing alarm among biologists, and environmentalists, as well as commercial and sport fishermen. Zebra mussels are also believed to be the source of avian botulism, which has killed tens of thousands of birds in the Great Lakes.

States from California to Michigan have enacted strict laws about ballast water, requiring oceangoing vessels to prove that they will not discharge contaminated bilge or ballast water into waterways. One Wisconsin lawmaker declared "We will not sit back while our waters are destroyed."

Asian carp are another invasive aquatic species that have spread rapidly in the Mississippi River, after first being introduced to North American waters to help control aquatic planters. But nobody expected them to reproduce in the great numbers they have, causing concern among environmentalists, who fear the fish will compete with native species for food and living space.

The carp have created so much trouble that several states have sued the federal government to keep waterways closed to prevent their spread into the Great Lakes. Michigan stated in one lawsuit that the carp would adversely impact the state’s sport and recreational fishing industry, and could result in the loss of 4,000 jobs.

Okay, what does this say about our priorities. Apparently we care more about our freshwater fisheries than we do our cities and towns. What about those other invaders, the millions of illegal aliens that flood over our borders and wreak havoc on our economy? Why don’t we care as much about the welfare systems, schools, hospitals, and jails that are stressed beyond their capabilities dealing with that invasive species? What steps are we taking to stop them?

Actually, maybe our priorities are the same after all. We apparently are doing (or not doing) the same thing, at least in relation to the Asian carp. Because just like the illegal human invaders, President Obama and his administration have ignored the facts and repeatedly denied that the carp pose any threat, and in January, 2010, the Supreme Court rejected a request by Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for an injunction to require the Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago’s Municipal Water Reclamation District to close the locks on the Chicago Area Waterway System canal to prevent the spread of Asian carp into Lake Michigan.

Hey, if we can’t stop human invaders from taking over our country, why should we even care about fish, right?

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16 Comments on Mixed Up Priorities

  1. Maxc says:

    The answer is: If we control the fish invaders, we will have a better country/environment to turn over to the human invaders.

  2. Ken H says:

    Bad Nick, it is obvious that zebra mussels and asian carp can’t vote. In other words, obama can’t be bothered to do any thing about the illegal invasion of possible voters. The states can rightly pass and enact laws to limit alien plant and animal life, but if they have the temerity to try to pass or enforce laws to aid them in controlling the illegal aliens obama and his legal team are all over it. Holder is such a joke for an AG that it is absolutely laughable. He is supposed to be for all americans, but he jumps on the party bandwagon to garner votes for obama. I despair.

  3. In my opinion, from all I’ve read on the subject, there’s a good case to be made for the fact that the illegal immigrants are a net plus for the economy. Sure, they present a burden on our social support infrastructure, but most of them work (doing jobs Americans don’t want and wouldn’t do for such low pay), pay taxes (sales tax at a minimum, and most pay payroll taxes, too), some even open businesses (some of us *like* Mexican food) which pay taxes, and contribute in other ways to make for more vibrant communities. This nation is a nation of immigrants and using the ‘illegal’ argument is just an excuse to keep people not like us out of here. Not fair, in my opinion. Got any statistics to prove they are a net negative for the economy?

  4. Barry Crocker says:

    One dead farmer in AZ is enough statistics for me!

  5. Paul Stough says:

    Just a couple of statistics. Because of the unfettered influx of illegal aliens into this country, there is a huge over supply of of low skilled and unskilled labor, which in turn has driven down, or held down wages and benefits for millions of Americans to the point now that over 40% of people who file Federal income tax, dont make enough money to owe any Federal income tax, and therefore dont have a vested interest in how the government spends tax money.

    Another statistic; meat packing plants are one industry that uses a lot of illegal aliens. If wages for these jobs had kept up with inflation from that 60s when there were relatively few illegals in the country, today a packing house worker would be making about $20-$25 per hour, but instead they average packing house worker makes about half that wage.

    Supply and demand works!

    Also, this is not a partisan issue as no Administration, Republican or Democrat, has done much to stop the illegal invasion since Eisenhower did in 1953.

  6. Don Damkaer says:

    Amen Barry and add some dead Fed Agents to that list! More statistics are readily available if you come to the border and open your eyes. One that comes to mind is watching 45 children cross the border from Mexico to catch the school bus in Columbus, NM for the 30+ mile ride to school in Deming each day! Another would be who is paid to pick up all the trash they leave on the trek into the US? Come to AZ and I will personally escort you into the hills via 4×4 and you can see what it is like. Listen to the sheriffs of AZ counties and hear what they have to put up with.

  7. Paul Stough says:

    Speaking of sheriffs in Arizona, has anyone else seen the story about Sheriff Joe arresting three of his deputies who were involved in drug and human smuggling?

    Sad state of affairs!


  8. Paul Stough says:

    To J. C. Webbber III who said: “In my opinion, from all I’ve read on the subject, there’s a good case to be made for the fact that the illegal immigrants are a net plus for the economy.”

    I believe the same could be said that slavery was a net plus for the economy as well. Would it be ok with you if we brought back slavery?


  9. Dave says:

    Those kids who cross the border from Palomas Mexico (Columbus New Mexico is a few miles north) are US citizens who have as much right to a US education as the kids in Columbus. Trying to equate them with illegal aliens says a lot more about racism than economics.

  10. cc says:

    Dave: Say when and I’ll meet you in Deming, NM or walk over to Palomas, MEX with you to the Pink Store to inquire about the children’s citizenship. I’d like some answers.

    But when Deming, NM schools get thousands of $$$ per year for ADA (Average Daily Attendance) from Santa Fe…..who’s going to ask re-citizenship.

  11. Bucky says:

    Your comparing two different things Nick, but I live in Mich and have seen the negative effects of both illegal entries of both these species. And I am 100 percent behind our goverment stopping the entry of all of them….

  12. Allan says:

    It is one of the federal governments jobs to protect our borders. The states have to protect their citizens if the federal government does not do the job that was delegated to them. This administration would rather get involved with issues that it has no business with than doing what it is supposed to do. States are overburdened with expenses from illegal aliens. They have to control their expenditures or they will end up in debt like the federal government. Amnestey is just legalizing a problem, not solving it. I think using people outside the USA as they are needed on a [temporary legal basis] would keep a good balance rather than half guarding our borders and turning a deaf ear to states that are adversely affected by the illegal immigrant problem.

  13. Paul Stough says:

    Allan-How does the border enforcement of this Administration compare to the border enforcement of past Administrations?

    Reagan even gave amnesty to millions of illegals.

    As I said before this is a non-partisan issue.


  14. Allan says:

    Regardless of which party is in office the illegal immigation problem is something that needs to be addressed preferably by the federal government but otherwise by the states. Ignoring or legalizing the problem does not make it go away. I just received word that a relative of mine along with a friend of his were killed in Az by an illegal immigrant last week. The Hispanic man in his 20s confessed to the crimes. This is a fact and illegals are involved in a great deal of crimes in the state.

  15. Dave says:

    Was this the same illegal alien who according to John McCain set the wildfires in Arizona?

    I live in New Mexico and am thankful that our illegals seem to only want to work. I live on the Rio Grande and have even given a drink of water to some of them heading north as they walked on the levee. When asked, I’ve even told them how far it is to the next border patrol station.

    CC: Accosting little kids at the Pink House in Palomas or on the US side would probably be considered child abuse. I’ve got better ways to spend my time than trying to defend a charge like that. Maybe you should find another hobby?

  16. Bill Daines says:

    While our list of priorities may be off, we do have to protect our great lakes. Where oh where does Chicago get their water? Lake Michigan. Now consider where other cities get their water. When our great lakes are totally ruined by marine life not native to the great lakes, and the avian botulisim continues to kill fish which the birds eat then kills the bird. When you walk the shore line of Lk. Mi. and see the green scum then do some research only to find it can be deadly to animals. Then what can it do to humans. Ya, the carp can disrupt sport fishing but see what they do to boaters. Even swimming could cause them to jump.
    Today we do not have adequite border protection nor room to house all the illegal aliens so just where should our priority be? I say for every legal citizen, please take in an illegal alien then tie em up and transport them back across the border. Then I’d suggest we stop giving out foreign aid and bring our military home then use that money on american jobs, cities and roads and our American border security. Bad Nick, I’ve decided not to vote for you for President but to run myself!

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