Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's Final -- Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use

by James Conca

OK, can we please stop pretending biofuel made from corn is helping the planet and the environment? With huge subsidies for ethanol in gasoline, with all States now selling gasoline having some ethanol blend, and a general misconception that these biofuels are green, corn ethanol has taken on a $30 billion/yr life of its own.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released two of its Working Group reports at the end of last month (WGI and WGIII), and their short discussion of biofuels has ignited a fierce debate as to whether they’re of any environmental benefit at all.

The IPCC was quite diplomatic in its discussion, saying “Biofuels have direct, fuel‐cycle GHG emissions that are typically 30–90% lower than those for gasoline or diesel fuels. However, since for some biofuels indirect emissions—including from land use change—can lead to greater total emissions than when using petroleum products, policy support needs to be considered on a case by case basis” (IPCC 2014 Chapter 8).

The summary in the new report also states, “Increasing bioenergy crop cultivation poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity” (WGIII).

The report lists many potential negative risks of development, such as direct conflicts between land for fuels and land for food, other land-use changes, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity and nitrogen pollution through the excessive use of fertilizers (Scientific American).

....So where is the U.S. today in corn ethanol space?

In 2000, over 90% of the U.S. corn crop went to feed people and livestock, many in undeveloped countries, with less than 5% used to produce ethanol. In 2013, however, 40% went to produce ethanol, 45% was used to feed livestock, and only 15% was used for food and beverage (AgMRC).

The United States will use over 130 billion gallons of gasoline this year, and over 50 billion gallons of diesel. On average, one bushel of corn can be used to produce just under three gallons of ethanol. If all of the present production of corn in the U.S. were converted into ethanol, it would only displace 25% of that 130 billion.

But it would completely disrupt food supplies, livestock feed, and many poor economies in the Western Hemisphere because the U.S. produces 40% of the world’s corn. Seventy percent of all corn imports worldwide come from the U.S. Simply implementing mandatory vehicle fuel efficiencies of 40 mpg would accomplish much more, much faster, with no collateral damage.

In 2014, the U.S. will use almost 5 billion bushels of corn to produce over 13 billion gallons of ethanol fuel. The grain required to fill a 25-gallon gas tank with ethanol can feed one person for a year, so the amount of corn used to make that 13 billion gallons of ethanol will not feed the almost 500 million people it was feeding in 2000. This is the entire population of the Western Hemisphere outside of the United States.

...Additional unintended effects from the increase in ethanol production include the dramatic rise in land rents, the increase in natural gas and chemicals used for fertilizers, over-pumping of aquifers like the Ogallala that serve many mid-western states, clear-cutting forests to plant fuel crops, and the revival of destructive practices such as edge tillage. Edge tillage is planting right up to the edge of the field thereby removing protective bordering lands and increasing soil erosion, chemical runoff and other problems. It took us 40 years to end edge tillage in this country, and overnight ethanol brought it back with a vengeance.

...We should remember that humans originally switched from biomass to fossil fuels because biomass was so inefficient, and took so much energy and space to produce.

Study: Fuels from corn waste worse than gas

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help fight climate change. A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7% more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline. While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won't meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel. The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than $1 billion in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue. The biofuel industry and administration officials immediately criticized the research as flawed. They said it was too simplistic in its analysis of carbon loss from soil, which can vary over a single field, and vastly overestimated how much residue farmers actually would remove once the market gets underway...more

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Breaking in the new hands

by Julie Carter

Nothing smells better to a cowboy than a sweaty horse as long as it's his favorite. Well, except maybe a pretty girl, as long as she's his favorite.

A quality horse worthy of a cowboy's love and respect doesn't just happen. There are many hours and countless miles invested between a pretty little colt and a good finished horse.

Starting colts is part of the normal operation on most ranches. The young cowboys look forward to it and a new crop of colts will keep them busy.

Sometimes extra hands are hired to help and occasionally there's a twister who likes nothing better than to ride a horse that likes to buck. The horses will get in the spirit of this and some will pitch every time a rider swings up just because both the rider and the horse like to show off.

Billy was such a horse. With this reputation, he was known as the "initiation horse," saved for the new hires.

Initiations provide a little fun with newcomers to see if they were worth their salt. They would rope Billy out of the horse herd, and he would stand quietly while he was saddled and the cowboy got topside.

Once the new twister was aboard, Billy would swallow his head. If the twister made a ride, he was accepted as an equal. If he was thrown high enough for the birds to build a nest in his hat, times would be hard for him for a while.

If a new hand didn't strike the old hands just right, they would skip the initiation "for fun" part and Billy would be on a temporary vacation. Such was the case with the story that follows.

A new twister showed up at the ranch late one evening. He allowed that he had come to help the ranch boys out a little. He had recently been working at the feed store in town, but was ready to outpunch anybody around - assured that he was loaded up with cowboy skill. 

The regular cowboy crew looked him over, took in the boots with 18" high tops, under-slung heels and britches tucked in. They saw that he had a hat with a big turkey feather.  They also took notice of the attitude.

Before light the next morning all the hands gathered at the horse pen. The wagon boss was roping out horses to work that day. The feed store cowboy stood around, anxious to get to work on this big, prestigious outfit. 

With dead accuracy, the boss laid a houlihan loop over one horse after another for the waiting cowboys. When the crew had their mounts, the boss dropped a loop over a big, stout-looking dun. 

When the loop settled, the dun set back, blew a few rollers out of his nose and wouldn't come out of the herd. Finally, one of the hands, already mounted, had to dally up and drag him out.

The boss told the new hand: "Here's your horse. His name is Sam Bass. He's 7 years old and you won't need that bridle. He's still in a hackamore."

Proving that attitude doesn't always replace intelligence, the new twister took in all the expectant faces, looked over the dun blowing snot in front of him and told the foreman, "You can take Mr. Sam Bass and stick him up your ..."

 It rhymed. No one knew that this new twister was also a poet.

With the turkey feather pluming above his hat, the feed store cowboy was last seen fading off into the sunrise as he headed back to town, rethinking his career choices.

Julie can be reached for comment at

Of cows and acts of faith

The colors of the season of Pentecost
Of cows and acts of Faith
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            She was born before the midway point of the 20th Century on a first Sunday following the first full moon after a spring equinox. As such, her name was appropriately … Easter.
            At least as far as the Wilmeth grandkids knew, she was just a milk cow of strange color. That color suggested she wasn’t a standard Guernsey that was so prevalent in the milk pens of our Grant County youth. For years, she made her home at Mangus Springs where my paternal grandparents lived and across from where Dusty and Pat Hunt now ranch.
I don’t think the milk shed where I spent time with her and my grandfather, Albert
Wilmeth, still exists. It was east from the little board and batten house where my grandparents lived and on the fence between the irrigated pasture and the unnamed pasture to the south.
As an adult, I now ponder things like unnamed pastures. Why there was no name attached to it is a puzzle of some immensity. The intimacy that existed between those westerners and that land was absolute and why it wasn’t named doesn’t make sense, but every afternoon at 4:30, Grampa would make the trek to the milk shed. If one of us kids was with him, we’d carry the pail. There is no telling how much milk that bucket caught. It was scrubbed and shining clean.
            Easter was always there and never do I remember having to gather her. She’d be there swishing her tail chewing her cud eyeing us with immense brown eyes as we came through the board gate to start the process. The little milk shed consisted of a feed room and an attached covered milking area. There was a feed stanchion on the wall against the feed room and hay would be thrown through the opening in the wall where it was attached.
            As I look back now, I think she was the only animal on the place that was fed hay regularly. Horses were grained but were turned out on the naturally sub irrigated bottom for grazing. Only Easter got the hay that was stacked neatly in the feed room. She also got a sweet feed ration that would be doled out from a worn coffee can.
            The pattern was always the same. Grampa would take his flat nosed shovel and clean the two dried cow patties off the floor that were deposited during the prior milking. He’d lift both cleanly in a practiced slice and hitch motion whereby the patty was lifted off the floor cleanly and tossed to the back of the shovel in an extended motion. I marveled at the efficiency of that movement.
            He’d then toss the shovel full of manure into the stack on the pasture side of the board fence. The pile would accumulate weeks and months of daily tosses until it was moved to Grandma’s melon patch alongside the main corral.
            Easter would then be invited in by opening the gate and she’d go directly to the stanchion. It was then Grampa would retrieve his tin of bag balm and he’d rub her teats and udder with it. Her color, which included her udder, had to have taken a daily beating in that harsh New Mexico sunlight.
            Easter would then be milked. By the time I knew her, she never offered to kick or misbehave. Her demeanor was a fitting tribute to her name. She wasn’t a big producer, but she was perfect for the house needs. As we finished, she’d get another half can of sweet feed and then we’d be done. That cow, with such a sweet disposition and born on the most holy of days so long ago, would take her leave in typical cow hocked fashion, drop her head, and wrap her tongue around the nearest blade of grass to start the process over again.
            May her memory remain for numbers of … Easters.
Colors of Easter 
            As the Christian world enters the sanctuaries of our Lord this morning, worshipers will be greeted to an explosion of light. White and gold will dominate and elevate the sensory perception of the importance of this day. The brilliance of the display stands in juxtaposition to Good Friday and its Service of Shadows with the extinguishing of light and the slamming of the Bible to symbolize the Christ’s death and the subsequent closure of his tomb. That event was drenched in darkness, black, death and mourning.
            Easter stands in immense contrast … He has risen!
The color change communicates the movement of sacred time as well as personal faith journeys through these days.
            White is an overwhelming reminder of purity, angels, and the promise implicit in the resurrection. It illuminates the gift of God’s grace.
Gold is the value of his presence. It offers added light, and exaltation.
            The days of Easter are supremely important to Christians, and it isn’t just Holy Week. It continues through Pentecost, a series of seven subsequent Sundays. That 50 day stretch is a means to shape a most sacred reawakening and a time to define what it means to be Christian.
It is a spiritual reminder for our reverent and faithful responses to God.
            Through those days, the colors of the sanctuary will change. Whereas red, and particularly red violet, symbolized the blood of Christ through Holy Week, that color transforms into joy and celebration during Pentecost.
Purple will be prominently displayed. It symbolizes our association with the royalty of our God and the shared spirituality we are bequeathed.
Yellow is a modern addition that suggests not just spring but brightness of the sun, joy, and happiness. Bright blue joins the modern additions of the sky and heaven beyond. Pink offers a fresh beginning, and, rose, joy and jubilation.
To the beginning  
            In early Christian services, the Easter vigil was also the preparatory time for new converts. Often that would be done in a sunrise service which, in itself, remains hugely symbolic. Starting in predawn darkness, the rising sun will displace the gloom of darkness, the reminder of Christ’s death. The changes mimic the steps of the process and the personal faith journeys believers share. As the sun rises, colors will creep across the horizon bringing stepwise the reawakening, the resurrection, and the promise of eternal grace and salvation.
            It was only then, in the freshness of morning light, the new converts would emerge clothed in white. They would be baptized.
            He has risen indeed!
            My grandfather was not an overtly religious man.
            Other than marriages and funerals, I never saw him in a church. I certainly never sat next to him in worship, but I did see his hands upon God’s creatures. I know he silently packed water and hay to a deer that he had cut out of a fence. The deer had been entangled in the barbed wire for days if not weeks when he found him. He nursed that wild animal hoping for healing grace, but it didn’t happen.
            I know he suffered the loss of it with private tears when he discovered the deer had died.
            He extended the same silent demonstration of kindness and empathy toward Easter, the little milk cow. Their relationship was simplistic and gentle. Perhaps her arrival was more than symbolic when she was born on that Easter morning some 65 years ago. That cow was born without any of the yellow and cream points of her Guernsey lineage.
Easter was my grandfather’s living Easter miracle … she was pure white.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “His hands were such distinguishing features … God didn’t extend the gift of those hands without something else in mind.”

Baxter Black - Western migration more like invasion

The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has brought attention to a common point of contention that has happened in state after state. It is a generational change, a population shift that is the result of the inevitable roll of civilization.

It also marks a shift from rural to urban.

Over the years, I have watched certain western towns and cities evolve into mini-metros that no longer belong to the state that bore them; Santa Fe, Aspen, Missoula, Sedona, Monterey and Deer Valley. They become baby Berkeleys or Austins or Madisons. They grow and metastasize. They start changing the laws, the values and the livelihoods of the invaded towns and states into those from the cities the migrants left behind.

It is often referred to as “Californication.” The new wave of settlers leave the state of their upbringing because it’s too crowded, crime is omnipresent, politics are corrupt, freeways are snarled and it’s no place to raise a family.

One day, on vacation, they drive through a western city with spectacular views, open space, friendly folk and not much crime, so they buy a piece of property. They build a second home and commute back and forth. It’s so quaint that they stay.

They bring with them the conveniences and expectations they took for granted in their metroplex. The locals originally look at it as a blessing, a taxable addition. The more they cater to new money, the deeper they fall into the trap of dependency.

Then the newcomers begin to miss the attitudes and modernity that made big city living bearable.
“This is the 21st century! Let’s get with it!”

They have no historical sense of intrinsic value or the hardship of generations, or the workin’ man culture. They are Princess Di trying to fit in with Duck Dynasty.

The Liberal Bully of the Week - Bureau of Land Management

by Rusty Humphries

The Liberal Bully of the Week can really only go to only one organization this week. There were few challengers to the crown who even came close: the Bureau of Land Management.

Thank God the BLM put down the guns in Clark County, Nev., and backed down (for now). The last thing we need is jackbooted government guys with guns pushing around citizens so they can look and feel tough

Still, I don’t think Cliven Bundy is the Great American Hero he has been acclaimed in some conservative circles.

Quotes like this are not the words of a modern day John Wayne: “I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada,” Mr. Bundy said in a radio interview. “I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.”

That’s just flat-out nuts, and to not pay more than $1 million in grazing fees on land you don’t own — because you don’t want to — is not a reason for good-hearted Americans to come armed and to your defense.

To be fair, some BLM supporters need to seek a rubber room and professional help as well.

Rob Mrowka, senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, says, “The BLM has both a statutory and a sacred duty to manage our public lands in the public interest, to treat all users equally and fairly.”

A “sacred duty”? There we go again, comparing the creation to the Creator. Since when is the BLM known for treating anyone — much less ranchers — “equally and fairly”? They are better known as the arbitrary enforcers of laws nobody voted for in an attempt to foster favor with environmental extremists, as well as for their power- and land-grabbing patrons in Washington, D.C.

The BLM has some responsibilities, but as a former resident of Nevada, I can say without hesitation that agency is far too quick to threaten, intimidate and unnecessarily bully American citizens. Case in point: protecting the sensitive feelings of the BLM thugs by erecting “First Amendment Zones” to keep the pesky taxpayer and concerned citizen away.

For threats, theft of livestock, the reduction of First Amendment rights and far too many other abuses to list here, this week’s Liberal Bully of the Week is the Bureau of Land Management, which needs to remember that its employees work for the people, and its role is one of service, not imposing servitude

Rusty Humphries, a nationally syndicated talk-radio host, is a contributor to The Washington Times.

Department of Interior Asked To Investigate ALEC Bills In Wake Of Bundy Ranch Standoff

The ranking member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation wants the Department of Interior's inspector general to determine whether laws pushed by conservative groups are undermining the agency's work. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) sent a letter to DOI acting Inspector General Mary Kendall Wednesday asking about this issue in the wake of a standoff in Nevada between militiamen and officials from the DOI's Bureau of Land Management. Rancher Cliven Bundy has refused for years to pay grazing fees for his use of federal lands, saying he does not recognize federal authority over public lands in the state. The issue came to a head last week when BLM officials seized hundreds of Bundy's cattle, and armed right-wing and anti-government groups flocked to the area for a showdown. Authorities then abandoned the cattle seizure, citing "serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public." Grijalva asked Kendall to look at what role the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which brings together conservative lawmakers and corporate interests to develop model legislation, has played in passing state laws that contradict federal land management policies or directives. He also asked Kendall to examine how those laws have affected Interior staff. Grijalva cites a recent article in The American Prospect that links ALEC to bills in Utah claiming that federal ownership of Forest Service lands violates state sovereignty, and seeking to expand grazing into areas currently off-limits. Grijalva also notes that Bundy spoke at a committee hearing in March 2013 on an ALEC-backed bill in Nevada that dealt with the transfer of federal lands to state control...more

Bundy supporters party, welcome ‘domestic terrorist’ label

Wearing a cowboy hat and with a copy of the U.S. Constitution poking from his shirt pocket, controversial rancher Cliven Bundy on Friday asked dozens of supporters of his cattle-grazing feud with federal land managers what they thought of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid calling them “domestic terrorists.” “Are you guys domestic terrorists?” he asked the crowd gathered around a stage near the north bank of the Virgin River. The supporters, many wearing name tags that said “domestic terrorist,” erupted with cheers and applause. “That’s what I thought. I thought Harry was right,” said the 67-year-old Bundy, who was accompanied by armed escorts. He made the statement before a “Patriot Party” that started at 5 p.m. with music by Madison Rising and Ron Keel, who sang with Black Sabbath briefly in 1984. A party atmosphere among a few hundred people grew as more supporters trickled in around 5 p.m. Some people were cooling off in the river while dozens of armed militia members wearing camouflaged fatigues patrolled in and around the area. At Friday’s news conference, Bundy said, “We’re not asking the county sheriff to disarm the citizens of the United States. We’re asking the United States to take the government-issued guns away from these people, and when they have uniforms on they shouldn’t be packing a gun.” Asked what he’d do if he was served with a warrant for violating federal laws, Bundy answered, “What I said is, I’d yield to the sheriff but I wouldn’t yield to the feds.” If the sheriff served the warrant he said he’d surrender. “Well, I’d have to.” He said he has a right to graze his cattle on public land, not just a privilege. “They’re rights. And I own those rights,” he said. Bundy told his supporters that they were the heroes in the standoff, not him...more

Bundy supporter OWNS Chris Hayes on MSNBC: ‘We will not allow governance by gunpoint, ever’

Nevada assemblywoman Michele Fiore clashed with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes regarding rancher Cliven Bundy’s conflict with the federal government on Friday. As Hayes pressed Fiore about her position on the standoff, she relentlessly criticized the government’s handling of the situation. “Why are you there near the Bundy ranch tonight celebrating?” Hayes asks. “Questioning why the heck the federal government felt the need to come in armed to collect an unpaid bill. I mean, that was pretty bold and blatant,” Fiore said. “I mean, generally when my — when our federal government comes in armed, we’re expecting a bigger problem… We will not allow governance by gunpoint, ever.” When Hayes asked if Fiore agreed with Cliven Bundy, Fiore grew angry. “No, Chris. Don’t put words in my mouth. I’m not saying I agree with Cliven Bundy. What I’m saying is the way this was handled is really suspicious,” she replied. “I mean, if we literally sent our federal government to the borders to secure ‘em against terrorists crossing, hey, I got that. But they want to come here with arms because cows are grazing? That’s uh — Chris, I’m sorry, I think you’re out of your mind.” After pointing out that the damages Bundy owes haven’t even been defined, Fiore went in for the kill. “If you owed the federal government money, Chris, do you want them coming to your house pointing guns at your wife and children? Is that OK with you?” “No,” Hayes replied. “But is it OK with you if every rancher in the country stops paying their grazing fees?” Fiore said no, but insisted, “Don’t come here with guns and expect the American people not to fire back.”...more


Gallup - Most Do Not See Global Warming as Serious Threat

The majority of Americans continue to believe that the effects of global warming are happening or will begin to happen during their lifetimes. At the same time, many fewer, currently 36%, believe global warming will pose a serious threat to their way of life during their lifetimes. The results are based on Gallup's annual Environment poll, conducted March 6-9. Only about half of those who expect global warming to occur during their lifetimes, 51%, believe it will pose a serious threat to their way of life. This explains the gap between Americans' perceptions that global warming is occurring and that it will be a threat. Although the gap between the perceived occurrence and perceived threat of global warming remains wide, it is narrower than in the past. The percentage of Americans who believe global warming's effects will happen during their lifetimes is the same now as it was in 1997, when Gallup first asked the question, and is among the lower readings over that 17-year span. During that same period, the percentage who believe global warming will threaten their way of life has increased from 25% to 36%. Gallup's 2008 survey marked the peak in the belief that global warming will happen during one's lifetime (75%) and that it will seriously threaten one's way of life (40%). Currently, 54% of Americans say the effects of global warming have already begun to happen, with 3% saying they will begin in a few years and 8% saying they will happen during their lifetimes. Another 16% expect that global warming's effects will not start in their own lifetimes but will affect future generations. This leaves 18% saying the effects will never happen, double the 9% who said this in 1997...more

Wyatt Earp gun sells for $225,000 at auction - video

An auction of memorabilia tied to legendary Arizona lawman Wyatt Earp drew more than 6,400 online bidders and more than 400 collectors to a lively, standing-room-only auction house here Thursday night. Headlining the auction was a Colt .45-caliber revolver that descendants of Earp say was carried during his time in Tombstone, Ariz., and possibly used in the shootout at the O.K. Corral. It sold to a New Mexico phone bidder for $225,000, far exceeding the pre-auction estimated high value of $150,000. The audience hooted and hollered appreciatively. "I think we crushed it," said Josh Levine, owner of J. Levine Auction & Appraisal. "I was happy the fair market really decided what these items were worth. I had no idea whether these items were going to sell." Among those who took home pieces of iconic Wild West history was John Anderson, a founder of Isagenix International in Chandler, Ariz. He outbid others to snag Earp's Winchester lever-action shotgun for $50,000 though its high value was at $125,000.  The collector of antique guns also picked up a Remingtonball and cap revolver belonging to Earp's lawman grandfather for $12,000 and the vast archive of three-time Earp author Glenn Boyer for $55,000. The Colt .45-caliber revolver that sold to the New Mexico bidder was considered controversial because its serial number was rubbed off and the gun's barrel, cylinder and grips had been replaced. Other notable items in the auction included a Colt revolver belonging to Earp's brother, Virgil, that sold for $37,500, exceeding its estimated value of $30,000...more

Saturday, April 19, 2014

After the standoff, what's next for Bundy and BLM?

by Christi Turner

...After 20 years of flouting the law, Bundy owes the BLM over $1 million in unpaid grazing fees and fines and has defied two court orders. Former agency insiders and legal experts say the feds may have little choice now but to round up Bundy himself. Some of the armed militia members who showed up at the scene could face legal action as well. Nonetheless, the outcome of the standoff may set back the BLM’s future dealings with other recalcitrant cattlemen. It likely damages the agency’s public image, and may encourage the idea that the agency will capitulate if threatened with force.

...In terms of how to resolve the Bundy issue in particular, “I do think the agency and the government have some options available to them,” said Bob Abbey, who was Nevada state director of the BLM between 1997 and 2005, national BLM director between 2010 and 2012, and who dealt with Bundy on several occasions during his tenure. “One thing would be to meet with the judge and see if the judge were willing to issue a contempt of court citation against Mr. Bundy,” which would allow the agency to put him behind bars for ignoring court orders.

As Turner points out, that's exactly what they did to rancher Wally Klump.  See here.

Megyn Kelly - Senators Reid & Heller debate Bundy Ranch "domestic terrorists" -video

Western lawmakers gather in Utah to talk federal land takeover

 It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday. More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds. "It’s simply time," said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. "The urgency is now." Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, was flanked by a dozen participants, including her counterparts from Idaho and Montana, during a press conference after the daylong closed-door summit. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee addressed the group over lunch, Ivory said. New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington also were represented. The summit was in the works before this month’s tense standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing, Lockhart said. "What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem," Lockhart said. Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said Idaho forests and rangeland managed by the state have suffered less damage and watershed degradation from wildfire than have lands managed by federal agencies. "It’s time the states in the West come of age," Bedke said. "We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado." Ivory said the issue is of interest to urban as well as rural lawmakers, in part because they see oilfields and other resources that could be developed to create jobs and fund education. Moreover, the federal government’s debt threatens both its management of vast tracts of the West as well as its ability to come through with payments in lieu of taxes to the states, he said. Utah gets 32 percent of its revenue from the federal government, much of it unrelated to public lands. "If we don’t stand up and act, seeing that trajectory of what’s coming … those problems are going to get bigger," Ivory said...more

Live From Bundy’s Nevada Ranch: The Funny Way Supporters Are Responding to Harry Reid Calling Them ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza traveled to Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., on Friday to embark on a “fact-finding” mission. Prior to attending a “big rally” made up of hundreds of the cattle rancher’s supporters, D’Souza planned to talk to some of the people who Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has labeled “domestic terrorists.” Broadcasting live from Bundy’s Nevada ranch on “The Kelly File,” he revealed that supporters — made up of men, women and children — were wearing “domestic terrorist” name tags on Friday. D’Souza said seeing children wearing the tags shows just how absurd Reid’s allegations are. He also told Megyn Kelly that he is now “sensitive” to situations where an individual is targeted by the federal government because of his current case involving a violation of campaign finance law. Some have speculated he was targeted following his anti-Obama documentary. “My case is going to trial in May and I am preparing for it. It’s created to in me a feeling of vulnerability and, of course, a sensitivity to these kinds of issues of justice,” he said. “But, of course, I didn’t have SWAT teams on me, I wasn’t in the sights of snipers — so I feel that these guys have been facing some real domestic terror from their own government and that’s a very scary idea here in America.” “There is a big clash going on between people who see themselves as patriots standing up for the principles of 1776, equal rights under the Constitution, and the federal government,” D’Souza said. “We want to live in a country where Lady Justice is blind and you don’t have her looking out through just one eye.” D’Souza also characterized Reid’s inflammatory remarks as a “vastly unjust portrayal of domestic terrorism.” He argued the senator is intentionally “stirring the pot” and called on President Barack Obama to condemn Reid’s statements and urge him to apologize. However, that seemed unlikely to happen as Reid doubled down on his “terrorist” comments on Friday. The conservative filmmaker urged Bundy and all of his supporters to refuse to let that kind of rhetoric cause them lose their cool. It’s the kind of case that can “make your emotions run away with you,” so both sides need to show restraint and prevent the situation from escalating into a Ruby Ridge-type of incident, he added...more

Friday, April 18, 2014

Administration punts on Keystone, Obama faces Dem revolt

The Obama administration once again has punted on a final decision for the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing ahead of the holiday weekend it is extending a key review period indefinitely -- a move that could push off a determination until after the midterm elections. Republicans, as well as red-state Democrats who want the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline approved, slammed the administration for the delay. Democrats even threatened to find ways to go around the president to get the project approved. "It's absolutely ridiculous that this well over five year long process is continuing for an undetermined amount of time," Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a statement. Republican Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry called the decision "shameful," noting that another spring construction season will come and go without the project. The administration had been in the middle of a 90-day review period for federal agencies assessing an environmental study from the State Department. But the State Department said Friday it is giving agencies "additional time" to weigh in, in part because of ongoing litigation before the Nebraska Supreme Court which could affect the pipeline's route. If the route changes, officials made clear the State Department reserves the right to conduct another environmental impact study to include more public comments, which could delay the process more. Further, the department said officials need to go over the "unprecedented number" of new public comments -- roughly 2.5 million of them -- received during a separate comment period that ended in early March.  Keystone supporters in Congress were furious with the decision. Just days earlier, 11 Democratic senators had written to President Obama urging him to make a final decision by the end of May, complaining that the process "has been exhaustive in its time, breadth and scope." With the extension, the administration effectively has turned down that request. One of the letter's signatories, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is in a tough re-election fight this year, said the decision amounts to an "indefinite delay" of the project. "This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable," she said...more

Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as ‘domestic terrorists’

Senate President Harry Reid called supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy “domestic terrorists” Thursday, turning up the rhetorical heat on the already tense situation at the Nevada cattle operation. “Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Mr. Reid in remarks at a luncheon, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which sponsored the event. “… I repeat: What went on up there was domestic terrorism.” The Nevada Democrat was referring to the hundreds of Bundy backers — some armed, some from out of state — who congregated at the ranch last week in a show of support as the Bureau of Land Management began seizing the family’s cattle in a dispute over grazing fees. More supporters are expected to flock to the ranch Friday for the Bundy family’s “Patriot Party,” a community event aimed at thanking those who have supported them during the stand-off with the BLM. Mr. Reid had remained mum on the conflict until Monday, when he told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas that “it’s not over.” In his Thursday remarks, he criticized Cliven Bundy refusing to comply with federal authority by paying his grazing fees. “Clive Bundy does not recognize the United States,” Mr. Reid. “He says that the United States is a foreign government. He doesn’t pay his taxes. He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”  The Bundy family had no public comment Thursday on Mr. Reid ’s remarks, but did post a video statement called “The Truth” from rancher Cliff Gardner...more

I believe this is the video referred to in the Washington Times article.

Charlie Daniels thinks Harry Reid should be jailed, and names the charge

Country star Charlie Daniels had some strong words about Harry Reid today after the Nevada Senator said that supporters who showed up near the Bundy Ranch to support Cliven Bundy are domestic terrorists. Suffice to say, Reid isn’t a politician in good standing with Daniels:

  Charlie Daniels         @CharlieDaniels

Harry Reid you should be put in jail for impersonating an American


Bundy Ranch Standoff Could Spark New Sagebrush Rebellion

By William Perry Pendley