PETA Wants Jimmy Carter to Give Up Angling

After former U.S. president Jimmy Carter appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and described how he was accidentally hooked on the face while fishing, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals fired off a letter urging Carter to give up his “cruel” habit of fishing.

Karin Robertson, PETA’s Fish Empathy Project Manager, wrote to Carter saying,

I am writing on the behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 800,000 members and supporters worldwide. I am writing to ask you to please consider recent research indicating that fish are as intelligent as dogs and cats and to most respectfully ask that you take up hiking, bird-watching, or boating without your rod and reel as an alternative to fishing, which causes the animals on the end of the line immeasurable agony.

I have grown up deeply impressed by your dedication to making the world a kinder, better place. Your post-presidential missions, both internationally and domestically, rightly impress the entire world. That’s why we are optimistic that our plea on behalf of other species will fall on sympathetic ears.

I heard you discussing, on Jay Leno’s program, how you were hooked through the face while fishing and the agony of having the hook pulled out of your face while you were held down. Our hope is that this experience may have given you a little insight into the fish’s point of view–every hooked fish experiences the physical agony that you went through.

Beyond the fact that fish feel pain in the same way and to the same degree that you and I do, please consider that fish are also interesting individuals–as worthy of our concern as any dog or cat, animals you would never deliberately hook through the mouth, of course.

Bruce Friedrich chimed in that unlike Carter, fish “can’t go to the hospital” for their injuries (well, if they’d get jobs and a decent health plan . . .)


PETA has a beef with Jimmy Carter’s fishing. U.S. News and World Report, January 10, 2005.

PETA Encourages President Jimmy Carter to Show Fish Some Empathy! Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Undated.

Jimmy Carter on Arafat

Back in October, Jimmy Carter accused Bush of a number of things including exploiting 9/11 for political purposes,

The basic reason is that our country suffered, in 9/11, a terrible and shocking attack … and George Bush has been adroit at exploiting that attack, and he has elevated himself, in the consciousness of many Americans, to a heroic commander in chief, fighting a global threat against America

For the terrorist Arafat, however, Carter has nothing but praise, calling Arafat “”a powerful human symbol and forceful advocate.”

Carter goes on to again criticize Bush for having isolated Arafat,

While he provided indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement and was instrumental in forging a peace agreement with Israel in 1993, he was excluded from the negotiating role in more recent years.

Gag. Carter’s problem is that he was born on the wrong side of the Atlantic. He’d have made a great European statesman.

Maybe I Underestimated Jimmy Carter

This blogger suggests that maybe people like me have underestimated Jimmy Carter,

Actually, I don’t think President Carter and his administration get enough credit for their pivotal roles in ending the Cold War. After all, his four years in office ensured Ronald Reagan’s landslide election in 1980.

Point taken.

Jimmy Carter’s Peace Prize, Part II

Okay, Carter’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize makes sense in light of the fact that the two other U.S. presidents who won the award are Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

Hey, maybe if the Iraqi invasion leads to 300,000+ U.S. casualties — as U.S. involvement in World War I did — do you think maybe George W. Bush will have a shot at the prize, too? Or maybe Bush should follow Roosevelt’s model and attack Cuba!

(You have to wonder if these folks in Norway have a different definition of “peace” than the rest of the known world.)

Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Prize

Let me see if I’ve got this straight? A Noble committee featuring a woman who aided the Nazi war effort decided to give the Peace Prize to a man who is good friend of former Peace Prize winner Yasser Arafat and who in the past praised Niocale Ceausescu’s committment to human rights and more recently complained that U.S. criticism of China’s human rights record was too trenchant.

Sounds about right.

It’s All Jimmy Carter’s Fault

Jimmy Carter wrote an article bemoaning the current state of affairs for the Washington Post recently. Jim Roepcke posted a link to it on his site and I responded with some very unkind words about Carter which elicted some other responses.

Anyway, Daniel Pipes wrote a column last week which really captured my feelings about Carter — namely that the current situation which Carter is so upset about is largely one of his own making. It was Carter, after all, who set the precedent of a completely weak and inadequate response to Islamic extremist actions against Americans.

Pipes writes,

In retrospect, the mistake began when Iranians assaulted the U.S. embassy in Tehran and met with no resistance.

Interestingly, a Marine sergeant present at the embassy that fateful day in November 1979 agrees with this assessment. As the militant Islamic mob invaded the embassy, Rodney V. Sickmann followed orders and protected neither himself nor the embassy. As a result, he was taken hostage and lived to tell the tale. (He now works for Anheuser-Busch.)

In retrospect, he believes that passivity was a mistake. The Marines should have done their assigned duty, even if it cost their lives. “Had we opened fire on them, maybe we would only have lasted an hour.” But had they done that, they “could have changed history.”

Standing their ground would have sent a powerful signal that the United States of America cannot be attacked with impunity. In contrast, the embassy’s surrender sent the opposite signal – that it’s open season on Americans. “If you look back, it started in 1979; it’s just escalated,” Sickmann correctly concludes.

And once the Iranians had the embassy, Carter waited for months before launching that ill-fated rescue mission. The embassy was seized on November 4, 1979, but the hostage rescue attempt was not launched until April 25, 1980.

And what did Carter have to offer the nation? Idiotic speeches about the “crisis of the American spirit” and lame nonsense that the nation just needed more “faith.”

Of course what the United States really needed was a president whose main qualification was something other than the fact that he wasn’t Gerald Ford.