Monday, April 20, 2015

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Defends Federal Land Management

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today defended the federal government’s land management and brushed off calls from legislators in Alaska, and other states, to seize federal lands. Jewell spoke at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, to a standing room only crowd, many from a nearby conference of the outdoor recreation industry. It was a room strongly in favor of preserving federal land. Jewell urged them to make their views known at every level of government. “These are lands that belong to all American people. Just because they’re in the boundary of a state does not mean they belong to the residents of that state. They belong to all American people,” she said. The Alaska House last week passed a bill demanding the federal government turn over its lands in Alaska to the state. Similar measures have passed in other western states. Speaker of the Alaska House Mike Chenault, like other Republican legislators, says it’s a just cause. “I’m not afraid of a fight, and I’m not afraid of doing what I think is right,” he said, in supporting the bill in Juneau. Jewell doesn’t sound too worried. “While there has been a fair amount of rhetoric and even some laws passed in state legislatures, there’s none of them that have been found to be constitutional with regard to a takeover of federal public lands by states,’ she said. “So there’s a lot of talk but there hasn’t been a lot of action.” The talk in Alaska grew louder this winter, when the Obama Administration announced a series of anti-development measures in the state...more

Legislation to "seize" federal land? Most of the bills are calling for a study on the possibility of transferring some of these lands back to the states.   Does Jewell believe it is not "constitutional" for the states to conduct these studies?  She knows it is, but like many in the enviro community Jewell is doing her best to mislead and distort the issue.  Why are they working so hard to prevent these studies?  The feds do a study before they acquire lands, why shouldn't the states?  Let's get the facts out there first and then debate the issue.  What are they afraid of?

Oil Spill You've Never Heard of Has Been Leaking Into Gulf of Mexico for a Decade

When Hurricane Ivan struck the Gulf of Mexico off of Louisiana in 2004, the force of the waves prompted a mudslide that toppled an offshore well platform owned by Taylor Energy. Since then, more than 10 years ago, oil from the undersea wells has been leaking into the Gulf unabated. And the leak is far larger than reported. According to an Associated Press investigation, recent U.S. Coast Guard figures show that the volume of the continual spillage is 20 times higher than figures originally put forth by Taylor Energy. Taylor Energy for years reported that the volume the leak was declining: from 22 gallons per day in 2008, it was said to taper down to 12 gallons per day over the following five years. But the 2,300 pollution reports analyzed by the AP didn't match those figures. Rather than decline, the pollution reports documented a dramatic spike in the size of oil sheens and the volume of spilled oil since September 1, 2014, just after federal regulators began sending government observers on the observation flights with the Taylor contractor that had been reporting spill volumes. A Taylor spokesman declined to comment on AP’s findings. The federally managed effort to stop the flow of oil has been “shrouded in secrecy,” according to the AP. Now, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is urging the government to release documents related to the spill and mitigation efforts...more

Greens against the poor

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and the whole gang of Democratic leaders claim that one of their highest priorities is to lift up the middle class and reduce the income gap between rich and poor.

That goal collides with what they admit is their very highest priority: stopping climate change. Their agenda is driven by the millionaire and billionaire Democratic donors who make the party possible. But the agenda also involves making energy, home heating, transportation and just about everything else less efficient and more expensive to the middle class and poor. The people who lose their jobs when the climate-change Stalinists prevail are the people at the bottom and the middle of the income ladder.

...For several years now, the environmental conferences in posh places like Aspen, Sun Valley and Rio become parking lots for private jets.  Hillary Clinton requires a private plane when she gives her $200,000 speeches. She and her jolly green friends then opine about why the poor should do their part to help save the planet by giving up coal mining, trucking, welding, construction, pipe-fitting, drilling and other jobs that are vital to their very livelihoods. Farmers in California have to watch the browning of their state and the loss of their property to save salmon and trout. Some 42,000 fewer Americans have jobs thanks to Mr. Obama's decision at the behest of the Environmental Defense Fund to kill the Keystone XL pipeline.

...A Gallup poll found in March 2015 that only 2 percent of Americans perceive the “environment/pollution” as the nation’s “most important problem.” And a Bloomberg poll last year specifically listing climate as an candidate for “most important issue” found only 5 percent of Americans concurring. Polls also show the richer Democrats are, the more they care about climate change. Maybe that’s because green policies hurt the poor and working class — starting most obviously with opposition to modern drilling techniques such as fracking, and with blocking infrastructure projects that would create tens of thousands of high-paying union jobs.

A recent Brookings study entitled “Welfare and Distributional Implications of Shale Gas,” finds that the 47 percent decline in natural gas prices due to the shale gas “fracking revolution” has meant the “residential consumer gas bills have dropped $13 billion per year from 2007-2013.” This has saved gas-consuming middle-class families an average of $200 per year, with some families saving nearly $500 a year.

Another study by John Harpole, president of Mercator Energy in Colorado, finds that because the poor spend far more on utility bills than do the rich as a share of their incomes, “the poor benefit far more than the rich from the shale oil and gas boom.” The savings to the poor have been multiple times larger than the value of the $1 billion a year the feds throw at the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Last month Mr. Obama pledged to cut America’s carbon dioxide emissions up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050. Paul Driessen of the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow calculates this would end up “taking us back to Civil War-era emission levels, 150 years ago.” He adds: “Poor, minority and blue-collar families will have to find thousands of dollars a year for soaring electricity, vehicle and appliance costs. Small businesses will have to find tens of thousands of dollars to keep the heat and lights on. Factories, malls, school districts, hospitals and cities will have to pay millions more.”

Interior moves to raise drilling fees on BLM tracts

The Interior Department kicked off a major rulemaking today that would update fees oil and gas companies pay to drill on public lands. The Bureau of Land Management published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) that requests public comment on potential changes to oil and gas royalty rates, rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances.
The public has 45 days to weigh in. The ANPR asks the public to suggest how BLM should craft a rule, but it is not a regulation in itself.  Updates to BLM's royalty rate structure would offer the agency important flexibility at a time when oil production has risen on public lands in each of the past six years, Jewell said.  Conservation groups have supported higher fees to produce and maintain leases on public lands. Roughly half of those revenues go to the U.S. Treasury, with the rest going to the states where drilling occurs.  But today's move will generate blowback from energy companies that argue they already pay more to operate on federal lands due to longer permitting times and the persistent threat of lawsuits from environmental groups...more

Obama amnesty granted 500,000 Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants

The administration has granted about 541,000 Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants under President Obama’s original 2012 deportation amnesty for Dreamers, officials told Congress in a letter made public Wednesday. That means almost all of the illegal immigrants approved for the amnesty are being granted work permits and Social Security numbers, opening the door to government benefits ranging from tax credits to driver’s licenses. Social Security officials, in the April 10 letter to Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, said they don’t keep track of how many illegal immigrants have been denied numbers, and defended their process for granting the ones they have doled out. “We will not issue an SSN if an individual has insufficient or unacceptable documentation,” Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said in the letter. “In addition, we will not issue an SSN if [Homeland Security] is unable to verify the individual’s immigration/work authorization status.” Social Security numbers are considered one of the gatekeepers for being able to live and work in the U.S., and some experts have said granting them to illegal immigrants makes it easier for them to access rights reserved only for citizens, such as voting. But the Obama administration has ruled that the illegal immigrants it has approved for its temporary deportation amnesty, known as “deferred action,” are here legally for as long as the program exists, and so they are entitled to work permits and Social Security numbers.   Washington Times

No charges yet in Tierra Blanca Ranch case

It was a day that made headlines all over New Mexico and across the country when New Mexico State Police showed up with a search warrant at the Tierra Blanca Ranch in October 2013, checking on the welfare of children living there. A source alleged that many of the children had been abused. No one was there at the time, triggering an Amber Alert for nine boys who were later found safe. Almost 19 months later, the Children, Youth and Families Department still hasn't release much information. “I can really not release any information regarding what was found or what exactly occurred,” said Henry Varela, CYFD spokesman. Last year, the department made a one-year deal with Tierra Blanca to give CYFD access to any kids living there and set up rules for the ranch to follow. During its inspections, the agency said it never found any children there. In a statement, Tierra Blanca owner Scott Chandler said he's reached out to CYFD to renew that deal, but claims he hasn't gotten a response. The agency could not confirm that. Chandler maintains the ranch has done nothing wrong. He said the raid hurt Tierra Blanca's reputation and drew a lot of negative attention to New Mexico. The investigation into the abuse allegations is now in the hands of the Socorro County district attorney. No one has ever been charged. Tierra Blanca is still open and accepting applications for the summer.   KOAT-TV

NMSU Cowboy Reunion 1964 Part One

For the NMSU Cowboy Reunion.  1964 Part 1  Roger Miller - Chug Uh Lug, Buck Owens - My Heart Skips A Beat, Connie Smith - Once A Day, Stonewall Jackson - BJ The DJ, Marty Robbins - Cowboy In A Continental Suit.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

102nd Old Timers' Reunion brings back families, friends far and near every year

One word echoed over and over at the 102nd Deming and Luna County Old Timers' Reunion — "Community." That's the way guests for the annual event this past weekend summed up the appeal for one of New Mexico's long-standing social gatherings. "There's nothing like coming home," said Janet Gardner Barclay, a 1975 graduate of Deming High School. "I come to this whenever I can. It's fun to catch up and visit with old friends every year." The annual get-together is organized each year by the Old Timers' Association of Luna County — a committee that charges a $1 yearly due, or a $100 lifetime membership. Over 472 dinners were served on Saturday at the annual banquet and dance held at the Special Events Center. "It brings back a lot of memories," said Sylvia Coussons who serves as treasurer for the group. "We are a tight-knit community — always have been — and people like to come together once a year to bring back old memories." Sylvia's husband, Jack, served as president of the association back in 2000. Coussons has given service to the Old Timers for the past 40 years. She said some of the founding families of the organization are gone, but the offspring have kept the "fire burning and the legacies continue." She added: "The class reunions for the 1940s, '50s, '60s and '70s held this same weekend in town help to bring more people into our group." The Kreteks handed out the "Oldest Awards" to Dr. Paul Feil, 92, and Cleo Morgan, 93. Cherise Baker (32) and Raymon Farrell, 34, received the "Youngest Awards." Past presidents of the association were introduced and Joe Delk rosined up his fiddle bow and the Delk Band churned out hit after hit of two-steps and cowboys waltzes. "This thing just keeps growing," Coussons said. "We are close to feeding 500 guests each and every year. Who knows, maybe next year we can break past 500 friends."...more

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Just close the gate

by Julie Carter

Gates left open, ones that were found closed on approach, have been an ongoing issue in ranch country for more than a century.

In 1897, a New Mexico state law was written levying a penalty for leaving a gate open. The fine was to be not less than $5 and not more than $10. In 1919, the law was amended and the misdemeanor crime came with a stiffer penalty of not less than $10 and not more than $25.

Obviously the law was put in place because people were as disrespectful about another man’s business as they are today. Somebody was leaving the ranch gates open causing untold issues with escaped or lost cattle. 

Barbwire, sometimes referred to colloquially as “bob wire or bobbed war,” was invented in the late 1860s and followed by as many as 570 patents for additional “improved” versions.

The “devil’s rope,” hated by some, sought after by others, was a highly effective tool that quickly became the fencing method of choice. As it worked its way to the West, it impacted life in that era as dramatically as the telegraph, windmills and the railroad.

With fencing came the necessary gates. Anyone that has ever had to figure how to open a well-constructed barbwire gate can attest to the difficulty that can be built into it.

Generations of skilled fence builders, in my opinion, focused more on making sure the gate was impossible and impassable than on the function for which it was intended. This reasoning comes from years of needing to get through gates that required practically dismantling the gate in order to open the portal it guarded.

However, certainly not all of them earned a reputation for that level of difficulty. And in that was born the problem of the gate left carelessly open by some unknown soul who either didn’t know better or didn’t bother to care. 

And so, a law was written to address the crime but the financial penalty changed nothing.

So 114 years later in 2011, the issue was again before the New Mexico state lawmakers. House Bill 391 was introduced and ultimately signed into law by the governor, thereby enhancing the penalty for leaving a gate open. 

Should outlaws, renegades or thoughtless idiots running the back roads of New Mexico ranch lands leave a gate open, they can be fined not less than $250 and not more than $1,000. However, as in the century preceding, the process of enforcement is almost impossible and/or non-existent.

The litigious society we live in mandates the effort. Livestock let loose as a result of a gate left open can put motorists in a life and death situation.  A collision with livestock causing injury or death to a roadway motorists could result in not just the economic loss of livestock to the rancher, but financial liability for damages for the Department of Transportation. It’s simple economics.

Ranch kids are ingrained from birth to “shut the gate.” No questions asked, no discussion. They walk, talk, eat, breathe and shut the gate. It’s part of life. The penalties for not doing so are quite unpleasant. They often go hand-in-hand with witnessing the destruction or loss caused by that simple failure to follow that cardinal rule.

My suggestion would be, if in fact you can catch the culprit and prove that he did it, to give him the same punishment universal to ranch kids throughout the millennium. 

A good swift kick in the pants is cathartic for the giver, and if administered with proper skill, is quite memorable for the receiver. Instant gratification and not a lawyer in sight.

Julie can be reached for comment at

Wild Cow Hunts

Presidential aspirations
Wild Cow Hunts
Words or Actions
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            There is a picture of Grandpa Albert Wilmeth on my tack room wall.
            He is probably 18 or so which would make the year about 1910. He is mounted on a little black horse that probably didn’t weigh a thousand pounds. His stirrups extend below the girth line. The horse has shades of mustang about him with a head that modern bridles may not fit. In fact, it looks like he’s fitted with a side pull arrangement with rope reins. Maybe the available bridle at that time didn’t fit either. He had his ears back listening to the rider without any suggestion of more serious intentions.
            Grandpa is wearing a short brimmed black hat that could have been a derby or it was cut down from a wider brim at some point. He has Levi’s and a jumper on and he’s tied hard and fast. In the backdrop there are two horses. One is probably a sorrel with a flaxen mane that has been combed out with some care and the other is a bay. Both look like they are out of a Charles Russell painting with need of a hundred pounds added to their frame. They are ground tied and both are standing and dozing.
            The scene is on a wooded hillside in the Gila. It was winter or early spring.
            It was too early to be working located cattle and the backdrop is not one that I would place my grandfather in his daily life. If I had to guess, I will wager the scene was from … a cow hunt.
            Cow Hunts
            J. FrankDobie chronicled cow hunts in the Texas brush country.
            In one of his accounts, he described how brush country cowboys would stick a needle into the fleshy middle of their saddle skirts for sewing the eyelids of wild cattle shut when they turned them loose to be led home by a neck oxen or another lead animal.
            The process would start with roping the animal. There are many accounts of roping wild cattle and Dobie recounts in vivid description many of them. Among his accounts, the night ropings stand out. The danger and the skill required to get such an undertaking done was incredible. The setting was brush country and the need was to catch cattle grazing in the grassy clearings. The cattle had become so wild they simply couldn’t be caught in the day when they retired to the thickest brush. The cowboys would watch for tracks and move into an ambush with enough numbers shape the cattle for other ropers or to spread out enough that multiple chances at a shot could be afforded.
            With a bit of ranch humor, the stories are fascinating.
            There is a story of a vaquero roping what he thought was black calf. It turned out to be a full grown bear. In another story, the roped animal was thought to be a blond colored calf. Every time the cowboy would trip the animal and get down to tie it, it was on its feet either coming up the rope to him or running in circles away from him. This adventure went on until it was light enough see and it turned out the calf was a lion!
            When the cow brute was successfully caught and snubbed to a mesquite, it was typically left tied for a period of time. The rationale was practical. First, draining off a bit of energy was a safer bet than competing with a fully charged animal that was intent on squaring the deal. The second was to retrieve a lead animal. In south Texas that was usually an ox.
            Onie Sheeran, Atlee Weston, and a five year old pet brindle ox by the name of Pavo once cleared 125 head of cattle off a range for a fee of $5 per head. Pavo led every one of those mavericks to a pen near a windmill where they could be handled and eventually driven away. Pavo shared the cowboy’s camp every night as well as the charred prickly pear fed to the captured cattle.
            The snubbed cattle would be sore by the time Pavo or one of his contemporaries were necked to the roped animal. They would then be turned loose and the necked partner would eventually lead the animal to the place he was used to being fed. In this case, it was that pen near the water source.
This process was also captured brilliantly through the genius of J.R. Williams in his Out Our Way caricatures. In framed snapshots, the daily lives of the characters Curley, Stiffy, Soda, Ick, and Wes were played out. Cowboys, old and young, smiled at the matter of fact skill of the characters. Implicit in them were the real life cowboys who actually lived those moments and got it done.
Both Dobie and Williams witnessed the skill and the courage of those men and their horses.
            As a child, I listened to similar stories with utter fascination of the cowboys of my heritage. Those cow hunts were in the Mogollon Mountains of southwestern New Mexico. In these cases, I never heard any accounts of oxen as neck animals. It was always burros.
            The use of the needles was novel. When I read Dobie’s reference, I thought it was brilliant. The impression was left by my maternal grandfather who delighted in talking about turning yoked pairs loose on the side of a steep hill. There would be a thunderous skirmish as the roped maverick would fight the lead animal. Off the hill they would go, breaking brush with the little burro kicking the maverick every step of the way. After a time, the burro would get the upper hand and the two would head for Sacaton Mesa and the juniper corrals above Rain Creek.
              The south Texas use of the needle, though, would have reduced a great deal of the conflict and danger. Those cowboys would retrieve their needle, jerk a mane or tail hair, thread it, and sew the eyelids of the steer shut. They would then be turned loose, and the oxen would have immediate control of the maverick. The suture would be clipped when they turned the yoked pair loose at the water and the pens of destination.
            Presidential aspirations
            As the executive branch hopefuls commence smiling, start kissing babies, run to the right, and remind all of us it takes money to win elections, I can’t help but envision there is a better way to eliminate the fodder from the single person who has the constitutional head and skill set to lead this country from the precipice. The place to start is to eliminate all but one debate and substitute a series of cow hunts for those cancelled.
            Every aspect of presidential leadership would be fully exposed.
            Although it would be important, the selection process wouldn’t hinge on who collected the biggest pen of cattle. What is most important is to fashion a process that reveals who the person actually is. The need is to gauge and highlight any incremental success as the series unfolds. The candidate who emerges as gaining ground and shaping his or her battleground with the most logic and economy of effort would be judged most favorable.
            Quite frankly, we are all weary of Washington words. What is needed is to strip the wordsmiths from the pack and highlight the leader who has the fortitude to offer his life for the cause of this nation. The marginal details would reveal that leader in every aspect of life and duty.
            Starting with the timing, the need would be to engage not at the convenience or comfort of the cow hunter, but for the success of the outcome. The reliance and care of the only assigned partner, the horse, would be most telling. That interaction would not be just for the hunt itself, but the commitment of devotion the candidate displays to his charge and his ally.
            The use of the lead animal would be optional. The candidate with the heavy conscience might balk at the secular aversion of employing a beast of burden, but his success would be in jeopardy. Decisions to address political correctness or limit greater loss would be observed with clarity.
            That is especially true if the decision is made to employ the most simplistic blindfold approach of the needle and the horsehair suture. As the old time cow hunters found out, it doesn’t take too many death experiences to become realistic in using the few safeguards actually available when self-reliance is the only alternative.
            Smile if you will, but we need brutal honesty and the emergence of fundamental, visceral presidential leadership. Words have been used for couching and perpetuating deception. Action is necessary.
It is time to mount up and … go cow hunting.

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Hunting wild cows successfully … will erase pretension.”

The California Drought and the Free Market

By Michael L. Grable

A long story in The Desert Sun (a Palm Springs daily) recently manufactured a lake out of a puddle in California's perennial water problems.  Maybe it's just Governor Moonbeam's gang feeding propaganda to the fourth estate, but it's a good example of how government regulation and media indoctrination so often contrive to strain at capitalist gnats and swallow collectivist camels.
The story's complicated (like everything concerning California water), but it's basically about the Morongo Band of Mission Indians selling its Millard-Canyon water rights to Nestlé S.A., a Swiss food and beverage giant which annually bottles about 200 million gallons of the Band's water as Arrowhead 100% Pure Mountain Water.  Although that sounds like a lot of water, it's only about the amount 400 homes or a single golf course would annually use.

Anyway, the Cabazon Water District, the State of California, and maybe even the federal government are trying to muscle a sovereign nation (the Morongo Band) out of its right to sell its water to a private company (Nestlé), which, after all, only processes the stuff for its highest and best use – drinking. 

Meanwhile, Governor Moonbeam's gang has dumped one-third of a trillion gallons of California mountain water into the Pacific Ocean in its ecological crusade to "save" a two-inch smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  That sounds like a lot of water, too, and it is – enough, apparently, to service the annual needs of 666,400 homes or 1,666 golf courses.

So – unless my arithmetic fails me – Californians donating their California water for delta smelts to swim in is 1,666 times more critical than the Morongo Indians selling their California water for Californians to drink.  This seems a perverse priority in the midst of an historic California drought.  After all, Californians don't drink delta smelts.  Neither do Californians flush their toilets with delta smelts, nor bathe in delta smelts, nor water their lawns with delta smelts, nor wash their dishes, clothes, or cars with delta smelts.  In fact, Californians don't do anything with delta smelts.  The same goes for vernal pool fairy shrimp, Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders, Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs, Colorado pikeminnows, unarmored three spine sticklebacks, desert pupfish, tidewater gobies, and Modoc suckers.  So why would parched Californians prefer the water needs of delta smelts over the water needs of 666,400 California home owners or 1,666 California golf courses and their patrons? 

That's not to mention Californians having demolished 29 of their statewide dams during the last two decades.  Why would drought-prone Californians squander two decades of their winter rains and snows, which they could otherwise have collected as freshwater in the reservoirs behind the dozens of their dams they demolished?

The short answer in both cases is California's governing moonbeamery.  Rachel Carsonism and Sierra Clubism may not directly send too many voters to the polls, but they both spend mountains of money to indirectly influence the cultural climate and the political process.  In no other state has environmental and ecological evangelism succeeded more in distorting free-market decision-making.  And, like every other instance of Left-Coast liberal lunacy, the market distortion eventually spreads eastward to academically, journalistically, and politically infect national decision-making.

Forty million Californians live in a Mediterranean clime, which, without intervention, probably couldn't readily support the water needs of even one fourth as many Californians.  For example, Chile – another of the only six Mediterranean climes on earth – has fewer than half as many people as California living in an area almost twice as big as California.  Moreover, most of California's present water-management and distribution system was initially planned almost half a century ago.  

So what's next for parched Californians – besides a $100-billion bullet train (through uprooted almond groves) to nowhere; several millions more thirsty displaced persons from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; and an avalanche of new regulators and regulations to effect Governor Moonbeam's 25% water-use reduction order?

In addition to fewer flushes; fewer baths; fewer lawns; fewer golf courses; and fewer dish, clothes, and car washes, the next California crusade will be for fewer steaks, fewer chops, and fewer cheeseburgers.  When Friends of the River and For the Sake of the Salmon meet Farm Sanctuary and Mercy for Animals, Governor Moonbeam and his gang will likely be coming next for Californians' meat.

Environmentalism’s Opposition To Human Flourishing


Human beings must work in order to survive.  This is not an opinion.  It is a simple fact of nature.  If you lay there and do nothing, you will eventually die. You could get someone else to occasionally stick a berry in your mouth and pour water down your throat but then that other person would have to do work.

The necessity of work is part of our nature.  In fact, the more we produce, the better off we all are.
Without modern productivity, every person would have to spend all day just gathering enough food and water to subsist – a condition that was common prior to the industrial revolution and a condition that unfortunately still exists for much of the third world.

In an environment in which all of your waking hours were devoted merely to subsistence, there would be no time to research life saving drugs, invent better smart phones, find new sources of energy, erect skyscrapers, launch satellites to space, or study black holes.  In such a state, there would be no time to blog, post on Facebook, surf the web, listen to music, play video games, watch the sunset, take a road trip, go to the movies, visit a museum, take a cruise, go shopping, watch TV, attend a party, read a fashion magazine, practice an instrument, take a walk,  draw a picture, sit on the beach, go to a sporting event, watch your kids play, take a hike in the mountains, or do any of the other things people in developed countries take for granted.

Productivity is essential to the furtherance of human life.  As we find ways to produce more in less time, it allows for time to be spent on fulfilling other human desires which are unlimited.  That is why advances in technology do not create unemployment, but rather create a rising standard of living for all.

In light of this principle, what if someone were to suggest that doing less is actually beneficial? Not less in terms of any given individual’s preference to work more or less based on their values, but rather, to do less in aggregate.  If someone were to make such a claim, wouldn’t we have to question their definition of “beneficial” and ask “beneficial to whom?”

Well, such people do now exist and make exactly this claim. The Center for Economic Policy and Research, a liberal think tank, has concluded that working less hours is actually good for all of us.  According to this article:
A worldwide switch to a “more European” work schedule, which includes working fewer hours and more vacation time, could prevent as much as half of the expected global temperature rise by 2100, according to the analysis, which used a 2012 study that found shorter work hours could be associated with lower carbon emissions.
Evidently, working less will benefit us all, not by reducing our stress levels or for some other purported psychological or physiological reason, but to make the earth colder in one hundred years!
The article continues:
“The relationship between [shorter work and lower emissions] is complex and not clearly understood, but it is understandable that lowering levels of consumption, holding everything else constant, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” writes economist David Rosnick, author of the study. Rosnick says some of that reduction can be attributed to fewer operating hours in factories and other workplaces that consume high levels of energy.
Let me get this straight.  What is completely certain is that by working and producing less, we will all be worse off in terms of living standards since we will have less.  Reality makes certain of this.  However, based on a highly disputed theory of global warming and the “complex and not clearly understood” relationship between “shorter work and lower emissions” we should adopt a more “European” work schedule which means work a lot less.  In other words, according to this study, we should reduce our material prosperity, life expectancy, and day to day happiness in order to possibly reduce emissions which may keep the earth from getting warmer in one hundred years...
What this preposterous study really exposes is the environmentalist disdain for human life...

What the religion of environmentalism really opposes is man’s nature, i.e., the fact that man must reshape the earth in order to survive.  If one believes the earth is some kind of deity to be intrinsically worshiped apart from any concern with human life what amount of “slowing down” will appease them?... 


Should meat be taxed like alcohol and cigarettes?

At this time of year, the last thing anyone wants to think about is paying more taxes. But there's one tax I'm in favor of - and you should be, too, if you care about your health and the health of the planet: a sin tax on meat, cheese and other animal-based foods. If Congress were to levy a 10-cent tax on every pound of meat sold in grocery stores and restaurants - and a modest sin tax on each dairy item and carton of eggs - it would not only stimulate the economy but also give people yet another incentive to give tasty vegan foods a try, which would then help to reduce the nation's health care costs and its Sasquatch-size carbon footprint. Americans have to pay excise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline to help offset the health and environmental costs of these items, so it's not too much of a leap to expect people to pay extra for unhealthy - and unnecessary - foods that harm people and animals, waste resources and contribute to climate change.  Before you balk at the thought of more taxes, consider this: We pay a tax on gasoline in order to motivate us to conserve fossil fuels, which in turn is aimed at reducing pollution and combating climate change, so shouldn't we also pay a tax on animal-based foods for the very same reasons?...more

So wrong, for so many reasons. Take for instance, the author's assertion concerning the gasoline tax:

We pay a tax on gasoline in order to motivate us to conserve fossil fuels, which in turn is aimed at reducing pollution and combating climate change

I'm pretty sure Ike and the 1956 Congress weren't thinking of global warming, climate change or reducing pollution when they passed the Federal Aid Highway Act, which created the federal fuels tax and the Highway Trust Fund. The purpose of the tax and fund: to build the Interstate Highway System. You know, so we could drive bigger rigs farther and faster and burn more fossil fuels than ever before. I know, Al Gore may have told you he invented the Interstate HWY System, but it just ain't so. The fund has been amended for mass transit and leaking underground storage tanks (I think Al Gore actually did invent those) and increased twice for deficit reduction. Sorry, no global warming. 

Then you state new taxes on meat and dairy products would "stimulate the economy."  How can that be when your cool Keynesian cohorts advocate tax increases to "cool off" an economy?

I'm sick of these so-called "sin" taxes anyway.  There wasn't anything about smokin', drinkin' whiskey or milk, eatin' meat or scramblin' your eggs in those clay tablets anyway. If there's a sin, its the corrupt implementation of our tax system itself.  If you have to tax something, then tax the Congress critters, IRSers and their enablers who created this morally corrupt system and leave the rest of us alone to go our merry way.

Will there be a National Conversation after environmentalist shoots energy worker?

by Noah Rothman

Get ready for a week of introspection from the press, particularly the left-leaning media, as a wave of tortured self-criticism characterizes coverage of what is sure to dominate the news cycle for the foreseeable future… LOL. Just kidding!

A disturbing story flagged by The Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay out of West Virginia indicates that a man, enraged by the drilling taking place in his state, shot an employee of an energy exploitation company on Monday.
A man dressed in camouflage with his face painted black approached Mark Miller, an employee with HG Energy LLC, on Joe’s Creek near Sod, Napier said.
“At that time he played Mr. Miller a recording that said ‘Stop the drilling’ and then stuck a gun through the window of the passenger side of the truck,” [Lincoln County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy J.J.] Napier said.
For a media culture that is quick to blame conservatives for every episode of violence with a potential political motive, the commentary community’s silence on this incident is deafening.
The Washington Examiner’s T. Becket Adams, formerly of The Blaze, has a solid set of examples of the media’s lamentable impulse to link conservative rhetoric to episodes of violence.

This incident didn’t seem to inspire many on the environmental left to lead a “national conversation” about the “culture of hate” their zealotry had wrought.

But for all the left’s efforts to impugn the tea party movement as replete with violent sociopaths, they often find it impossible to fathom the notion that their rhetoric could be prompting the violent to behave violently.

Utah Supreme Court request could have big implications for state's bid to claim roads on federal land

Three federal judges are asking the Utah Supreme Court to clarify the meaning of a short section of Utah law that has big implications for counties' claims to roads criss-crossing federal lands.  Counties, joined by the state, have filed more than 20 federal lawsuits in recent years, trying to get control of more than 35,000 miles of roads or road segments under a Civil War-era statute known as RS2477. On Friday, though, U.S. District Judges David Nuffer, Clark Waddoups and Robert J. Shelby sent an order to the Utah Supreme Court asking, essentially, whether Utah law bars the lawsuits. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, an intervenor in the federal cases, argues that the Utah Code has a seven-year "statute of repose" that means any lawsuits making a claim to the roads had to be filed by 1983, seven years after RS2477 was repealed in 1976.  The first of the lawsuits was not filed until 2011. The federal judges write in their order that "If SUWA's assertion is correct, then the R.S. 2477 Road Cases pending before this court would be barred." But if the code is interpreted as a "statute of limitations," the seven-year clock may not have begun ticking until the counties discovered they were injured by federal action to close the roads, according to case law cited in the order...more

Obama will visit the Florida Everglades on Earth Day — to talk about climate change

Saturday morning, President Obama gave a speech on climate change — to preview a bigger speech on climate change. In the President’s weekly Saturday morning address, he declared that he’s headed to the Florida Everglades Wednesday — Earth Day — to “talk about the way that climate change threatens our economy.” “The Everglades is one of the most special places in our country,” the president said. “But it’s also one of the most fragile.  Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure — and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry — at risk.” “Climate change can no longer be denied — or ignored,” said Obama. By going to Florida to address climate change, then, President Obama could force more of a focus on the state’s unique vulnerability — where flooding and spoiling of water supplies by saltwater are already recurrent problems — and where its politicians stand on that...more

‘Live and die by this’: Sheep shearing a spring tradition in Taos

...Martinez learned his trade from his dad when he was younger. And after 36 years in the business, he’s sheared wool from sheep in just about every Western state, for small gatherings like that in Taos as well as huge flocks on giant ranches. Martinez said his work is enjoyable, especially now that he mostly travels only in Colorado and Northern New Mexico. When asked if it is hard work, he said, “It’s hard if you don’t know how. But what work isn’t hard?” For such a proud tradition, shearing sheep is a quick and unceremonious affair. As a local rancher backed his trailer into the dirt-floor warehouse and directed his sheep into a cage, Martinez got situated in his back brace — tied off to a metal bar with rope to reduce the pressure on his spine. He grabbed one of the bigger sheep by the neck, plopped it on its butt and started cutting off its wool with a larger-than-normal pair of clippers. In just a couple of minutes, a pile of wool lay on the ground and the sheep ran back to huddle with the others in the corner. One of the smaller flocks belonged to Gesi Romero, of Llano Quemado. He had only four sheep Friday, but he recalled stories of his grandfather who once had a herd of 800 animals that grazed the llanos between his family’s home and Ojo Caliente, crossing the Río Grande via a little ledge not far from where the golf course is now. As Romero tells the story, pressure from the U.S. Forest Service forced his granddad to slowly sell off the flock over a half century ago. Even still, raising sheep is in his blood, he said. “We live and die by this,” he said. Romero came up tending to the sheep, most of them the same black-faced breed he brought to the ag center. Once or twice a year, his family slaughtered a sheep and had everyone over for a celebration. Nothing was wasted, he said, not even the tails — which they’d roast on a open fire just like a hotdog. “I like to say a prayer to the spirit, tell them thank you,” Romero said. Over the din of the shears and the banter of the other ranchers, Romero said one adage explains the culture of raising sheep in Northern New Mexico — “You can take my wife, but don’t touch my land, my water … or my sheep.”...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1416

Our gospel tune this Sunday is My Sinner Friend by Doc Williams & The Border Riders

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bourbon bandits...Wild Turkey whisked away

The mystery of who's been spiriting away barrels of Kentucky bourbon might soon have a resolution, as authorities seem close to revealing details about a possible theft ring. So far, one person has been arrested in the theft of Wild Turkey bourbon from a Kentucky warehouse, but a prosecutor signaled Friday that the case is much broader. Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland said he expects multiple people to be indicted as his office prepared to present the case to a grand jury in Frankfort, Kentucky. "If all things fall into place and nothing else develops, we'd go and present that case for indictment on Tuesday," he said. Investigators have recovered barrels and bottles of stolen whiskey; the volume is significant, the prosecutor said. "It's more than I could imagine one person drinking in a lifetime," Cleveland said. Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said the case has mushroomed from an investigation that began with the recovery of barrels of Wild Turkey bourbon found behind a shed, with spray paint covering the labeling on top of each barrel. Bourbon barrels weigh hundreds of pounds each when filled with aging whiskey. "I'm amazed at the amount of bourbon that we've recovered, the amount of bourbon that's been stolen," he said...more

Court: Navajo presidential election cannot be held Tuesday

A Navajo Nation judge has ruled that election officials cannot move forward with Tuesday's belated presidential contest, but the decision is likely to be appealed. Window Rock District Judge Carol Perry's ruling Friday centers on a bill tribal lawmakers passed earlier this year to fund a referendum that essentially would eliminate the Navajo-language fluency requirement for the tribe's top two posts. Perry said she knows Navajo voters and the presidential candidates have been affected greatly by a widespread debate over the role the tribe's language plays in politics and culture. But she said the bill is clear that the referendum must be held before Navajos choose their next leader. "The logic in determining the qualifications of candidates first and thereafter holding an election is not only sensible, but it is the law," she wrote...more

Texas Thieves Target Beef Brisket

A smoking new crime trend has taken off in barbecue-obsessed Texas this year, mirroring a spike in the price of beef: People are stealing brisket. Even after the capture of a brisket bandit in San Antonio this month, restaurateurs aren't resting easy, because of fears that copycat criminals could prey on their barbecue pits. San Antonio police caught up with Allen Meneley on April 12, nearly two months after he became a prime suspect when a surveillance video appeared to show him snatching 13 smoked briskets and 10 cases of beer from Augie’s Barbed Wire Smoke House.  Texas-style smoked brisket has become trendy across the country in recent years, helping fuel a surge in prices that has also been linked to a string of barbecue-related thefts in Austin. Brisket prices have somewhat come down recently, though they remain well above their historic levels.  In Austin, a Texas man was convicted this year of stealing at least $2,000 worth of brisket from several local supermarkets. Detective Rickey Jones, who is investigating the case, said he is still trying to determine the whereabouts of his accomplices—as well as the pilfered meat. He suspects the thief might have sold it on the black market...more(subscription)

President Says ISIS Camp in Mexico Vindicates His Amnesty Policy

President Obama says that evidence that the Islamic State has opened a training camp in Mexico, just a few miles from El Paso on the Texas border, vindicates his decision to grant expedited amnesty to illegal immigrants from Latin America. "We've all seen the atrocities these terrorists are capable of," the President observed. "Who can blame Mexicans for fleeing? To deny these refugees sanctuary would be inhumane. To deport them would be cruel and unusual punishment. To delay their integration into our society merely on the grounds that Congress has failed to enact the necessary legislation would be barbaric." Obama ruled out the possibility of any aggressive action aimed at neutralizing the ISIS threat near El Paso, claiming "it would be an unconscionable intrusion on Mexico's sovereignty...more

ok ok, so its satire...I just had to post it.