Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Westerner's Radio Theater #040

First up on Ranch Radio this morning is the 5/16/1936 broadcast of the Light Crust Doughboys followed by the 8/12/1950 broadcast of Tales of the Texas Rangers starring Joel MeCrae.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tipton introduces measure to address wildfire danger

As the state reels in the aftermath of multiple fires, Colorado’s congressmen are scrambling to pass legislation to reduce the chances of future burns. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, has introduced the Healthy Forest Management Act of 2012, which would give state governments more control over thinning forests in high-risk areas, removing dead trees and those affected by bark beetles. “Wildfire has taken a devastating toll on communities, the environment, wildlife habitats and water supplies in Colorado and across the Western United States,” Tipton said in a news release. “This legislation treats the bark beetle epidemic, drought and other conditions that have made our forests highly susceptible to wildfire.” High-risk areas are any public or national forest lands currently or likely to be affected by bark beetles, drought or otherwise deteriorating forest health conditions, according to the bill. These areas can be designated by either state or federal governments. Tipton staff members emphasized the importance of giving states the power to designate high-risk areas and develop plans for mitigating the danger.Though the bill has measures to protect water resources, wildlife and their habitats, the government could subcontract projects to for-profit loggers. The bill specifies that projects to remove wildfire fuel may not involve clear-cutting. The Healthy Forest Management Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner and DougLamborn, joins multiple other forestry provisions in the Farm Bill, which passed the Senate in June and now is in the House...more

Energy Department Can’t Locate $500,000 in Stimulus Money

The Energy Department can’t figure out how hundreds of thousands of dollars in “green energy” stimulus money earmarked for manufacturing equipment was spent, according to a new report from the agency’s Inspector General. DOE’s IG stated in a July 2012 audit report that $500,000 of equipment bought with stimulus money to fund the Advanced Batteries and Hybrid Components Program cannot be located. The authors of the report examined three recipients of stimulus money: A123 Systems, Inc., Delphi Automotive Systems and Johnson Controls, Inc...more

Study Finds Effects of Thinning Improve Old-Growth Forest Restoration

Thinning treatments helped restore old-growth forest conditions in a restoration project on the Flathead National Forest, according to a team of researchers from the University of Montana. The study, which was published recently in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, is being called the most detailed analysis yet of restoration treatment effects on forest spatial patterns. Andrew Larson, a UM assistant professor of forest ecology and the lead author of the study, said monitoring results from the Meadow Smith old-growth restoration project show thinning treatments successfully restored spatial elements of old-growth forests. Larson and his co-authors, former UM graduate student Kyle Stover and UM associate research professor Chris Keyes, examined how thinning treatments changed tree patterns in the Southwestern Crown Collaborative (SWCC) project area, a 1.5 million acre area spanning the Blackfoot, Clearwater and Swan river valleys that encompasses portions of the Flathead, Helena and Lolo national forests. In a second analysis, they compared tree maps from restored forests to tree maps from historical old-growth forests to evaluate how effective the treatments were at restoring old-growth conditions...more

Little Bear Fire: Report outlines possible damage from flooding

A high risk of public and private property damage exists in the aftermath of the Little Bear Fire from storm runoff and debris flows, according to a report compiled by the Burn Area Emergency Response team of the U.S. Forest Service. "Hydrological modeling indicated flow increases from pre-burn conditions of 70 percent to 459 percent" from a 25-year, one-hour storm. The writers warned about possible damage to the casino at Ski Apache, to some private structures and to several state roads, including Ski Run Road. The Little Bear Fire burned an area about 8.5 miles wide and 13.7 miles long, bounded on three sides by the village of Ruidoso, the communities of Alto, Angus, and New Mexico Highways 48 and 37. The area, already identified as a potentially high urban interface risk, included several values pegged as "very high risk" because of the after-effects of the fire, as well as municipal waters and private wells because of potential sediment and ash flows. The team declared 53 percent of the burn area as high or moderate burn severity. The BAER team identified several streams in the burn area that drain directly into the urban interface below. "A large number of residences, infrastructure and commercial properties below the burn run a very high risk of experiencing damaging effects during the monsoon season and from heavy or extended precipitation events this winter," the team wrote. "In addition, the area attracts many visitors and summer residents, and the threat to downstream areas in these watersheds is very high."...more

Beef: Not Using Technology Carries Huge Negatives

New research presented at the 2012 American Society of Animal Science meeting provided insight into the consequences if U.S. farmers and ranchers no longer used productivity-enhancing technologies to raise beef cattle. If technologies were withdrawn, 17 million more acres of land and 138 billion more gals. of water would be required to produce the same total amount of beef. At the same time, 18 million extra metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) would be released in the U.S. alone and 16.9 million acres of forests would be destroyed in other countries. Overall, the U.S. beef supply would decrease 17%, stimulating more beef production in other countries. “Global demand for safe, affordable beef has increased during the last 50 years, and U.S. producers have responded by adopting innovative products and management practices that help them produce more lean beef,” says Jude Capper, Washington State University adjunct professor and author of the peer-reviewed study. “If use of these scientifically proven, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved technologies were discontinued, our research shows the end result would be sobering: more cattle, more land and more water needed to produce the same amount of beef, and more CO2 released into the atmosphere.”...more

Kirtland Air Force Base Jet Fuel Spill Threatens Albuquerque Water Supply

Environmentalists call it the largest threat to a city's drinking water supply in history, as much as 24 million gallons of jet fuel - or twice the size of the Exxon Valdez oil spill - seeping into an underground aquifer and steadily toward this drought-stricken city's largest and most pristine water wells. But more than 12 years after the toxin-laden plume from a 40-year underground pipe leak was discovered at Kirtland Air Force Base, estimates of its size and its threat to the water supply of New Mexico's largest city keep growing, less than half a million gallons have been pumped out of the ground, the Air Force is two years away from finalizing a cleanup plan and local officials are still arguing about whether the spill is something they need to get involved with. "We're pretty soon going to be swimming in this stuff, " Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Board member Rey Garduno said at a recent hearing held shortly after the New Mexico Department of Environment acknowledged the size of the spill could be as much as 24 million gallons, or three times previous estimates. He called the spill a "traveling tsunami." Although no one can really say how soon the plume might hit well fields, other board members remain confident the cleanup is in good hands...more

Follow a gospel song through the decades - video

Some fun with the Rob Mills Family.

New Mexico: US geoengineers to spray sun-reflecting chemicals from balloon

Two Harvard engineers are to spray sun-reflecting chemical particles into the atmosphere to artificially cool the planet, using a balloon flying 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The field experiment in solar geoengineering aims to ultimately create a technology to replicate the observed effects of volcanoes that spew sulphates into the stratosphere, using sulphate aerosols to bounce sunlight back to space and decrease the temperature of the Earth. David Keith, one of the investigators, has argued that solar geoengineering could be an inexpensive method to slow down global warming, but other scientists warn that it could have unpredictable, disastrous consequences for the Earth's weather systems and food supplies. Environmental groups fear that the push to make geoengineering a "plan B" for climate change will undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Keith, who manages a multimillion dollar geoengineering research fund provided by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, previously commissioned a study by a US aerospace company that made the case for the feasibility of large-scale deployment of solar geoengineering technologies. His US experiment, conducted with American James Anderson, will take place within a year and involve the release of tens or hundreds of kilograms of particles to measure the impacts on ozone chemistry, and to test ways to make sulphate aerosols the appropriate size. Since it is impossible to simulate the complexity of the stratosphere in a laboratory, Keith says the experiment will provide an opportunity to improve models of how the ozone layer could be altered by much larger-scale sulphate spraying...more

Scientists respond to this article

Recent media claims (see: that we have plans “... to spray thousands of tonnes of sun-reflecting chemical particles into the stratosphere…” in attempt to combat global climate change, are incorrect.
Instead, we are addressing the growing pressure to “geo-engineer” the climate by exploring techniques to demonstrate the effects of such proposals without adding the proposed sulfate species (which are naturally occurring in the Earth’s lower stratosphere) in any amount that could possibly alter the background stratosphere. The Guardian article that first reported such claims (and subsequent articles mentioning the piece) was never fact-checked in even the most superficial sense with either one of us. A related New York Times article ( provides a more balanced approach and a piece in Business Insider also provides clarity (
In summary, we have been and are currently exploring possible new strategies for interrogating the stratospheric system without affecting the background stratosphere in any quantitative way. To date, we have not written any proposal to actually do so. We want to be absolutely clear that that we have no plans to implement a geoengineering field study to release “thousands of tonnes of sun-reflecting chemical particles into the atmosphere to artificially cool the planet, using a balloon flying 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico.”...

NM facility to undergo tough environmental scrutiny as Feds eye power plant, mine

A federal agency announced Wednesday it will begin an environmental analysis of Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine that is sure to bring heightened regulatory scrutiny of the facilities west of Farmington. The U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement intends to prepare an environmental impact statement, the agency said in a Federal Register notice published Wednesday. The EIS is a major federal study that could take years to complete. It will analyze several related impacts of the mine and power plant. Environmental groups, including the San Juan Citizens Alliance based in Durango, Colo., had pushed for the study. The EIS will analyze potential impacts on air quality and climate change, water quality, public health, cultural and historic resources, visual aspects, threatened and endangered species and other areas...more

Odering a pizza in an Obama second term

Go here to see what you can expect.

Song Of The Day #885

Ranch Radio has received a request from Provo, Utah for "any of those old duets by Kitty Wells and Red Foley."

Happy to comply with the duo singing No One But You, recorded in 1955.

Did the state make you great?

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

— Barack Obama

And who might that somebody else be? Government, says Obama. It built the roads you drive on. It provided the teacher who inspired you. It “created the Internet.” It represents the embodiment of “we’re in this together” social solidarity that, in Obama’s view, is the essential origin of individual and national achievement. To say that all individuals are embedded in and the product of society is banal. Obama rises above banality by means of fallacy: equating society with government, the collectivity with the state. Of course we are shaped by our milieu. But the most formative, most important influence on the individual is not government. It is civil society, those elements of the collectivity that lie outside government: family, neighborhood, church, Rotary club, PTA, the voluntary associations that Tocqueville understood to be the genius of America and source of its energy and freedom. Moreover, the greatest threat to a robust, autonomous civil society is the ever-growing Leviathan state and those like Obama who see it as the ultimate expression of the collective...more

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Amonix closes North Las Vegas solar plant after 14 months, $21 million in subsidies

The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility about a year after it opened. Officials at Amonix headquarters in Seal Beach, Calif., have not responded to repeated calls for comment this week, but the company began selling equipment, from automated tooling systems to robotic welding cells, in an online auction Wednesday. A designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits for the North Las Vegas plant and a $15.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2007 for research and development...more

Senators Rebuke Interior on Missing Tribal Jobs Reports

Congressional pressure is mounting on the U.S. Department of the Interior for officials there to explain why they haven’t released any tribal economic and employment reports since 2007, in violation of biennial reporting requirements mandated by federal law. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, and vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar dated July 16 that chastised the department for “failing to release vital labor information which will help Congress, Alaska Natives and Indian tribes evaluate employment conditions in Indian country,” according to a Murkowski press release. Soon after the letter was sent, Interior officials promised to meet with SCIA staff on July 20. “We intend to sit down with SCIA staff to brief them on our efforts to ensure our reporting meets the standards of federal agencies in reporting official statistics, and contains high quality, reliable information that will better serve the long-term interests of American Indians and Alaska Natives,” said Nedra Darling, a spokeswoman for Interior. Murkowski and Barrasso, like some tribal observers, believe the reason the Obama administration has not rushed to quantify the effects of the spending is that it may not have been effective in reducing historically high unemployment rates on many reservations...more

Oil and gas production growing under Obama?

The Obama administration today continued to trumpet growth in domestic oil and gas production that happened under its watch. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in a blog post published today, wrote that “domestic oil and natural gas production has increased every year President Obama has been in office.” President Obama and administration officials have been quick to point out the strides taken by the oil and gas industry during his term, citing the fact in his State of the Union address this year and in countless other remarks. Those comments have frequently frustrated some in the energy industry, who say the gains in U.S. oil and gas production have happened because of innovation and ingenuity, not politics. Salazar, in his blog post detailed several examples of industry growth during Obama’s term, emphasizing “the President’s strong record on oil and gas development.”

Nationwide, domestic oil and natural gas production has increased every year President Obama has been in office. In 2011, American oil production reached the highest level in nearly a decade and natural gas production reached an all-time high. America’s dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year since President Obama took office. We have cut net imports by ten percent – a million barrels a day – in the last year alone. At the same time, we have implemented comprehensive reforms in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has made offshore development safer and more responsible.

In addition, Salazar wrote, the president has overseen expansion of drilling and production on federal lands and waters. That figure “increased by 13 percent during the first three years of the Obama administration combined, compared with the last three years of the previous administration.”

Zain Shauk at Fuel Fix

Conservation legislation likely to stall during general election

Dozens of conservation bills in Congress are likely stalled until after the November election, including two measures that would add new protections to thousands of acres in Northern New Mexico. Congress will recess for most of August. When senators and representatives return, they’ll be caught up in election fervor, and bills already stuck in committees are unlikely to move, according to congressional staffers. Three bills involving New Mexico lands — the Rio Grande del Norte Conservation Act, the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act and the Valles Caldera National Preserve Management Act — are pending in the U.S. Senate. The Rio Grande National Preserve Management Act has made it out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to the Senate floor. The committee is chaired by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who supports all three and hopes to see them through before he retires at the end of the year. “Not a whole lot will happen before the election,” predicted Bingaman aide Maria Najera. “There’s a move to put a package of bills together including those [an omnibus bill] that would hopefully pass in the lame-duck session.” The Rio Grande del Norte and Columbine-Hondo bills have broad support among Taos County residents and some ranchers, sportsmen and environmentalists...more

Senator to Forest Service: Rebuild fences to help Montana Ranchers

Senator Jon Tester is calling on the U.S. Forest Service to quickly rebuild hundreds of miles of National Forest fencing recently destroyed by Montanas record wildfires. Tester said that without fencing, ranchers cannot control their herds and that thousands of animals are roaming onto private property. Fires across southeast Montana have affected 256 miles of private fence bordering Custer National Forest and 151 miles of National Forest fencing. Tester wants the Forest Service to prioritize its available resources to rebuild the fences, as well as watering tanks and other grazing infrastructure located on Forest Service property. Tester noted that wildfires also destroyed nearly 190 miles of fence and nine stock tanks on Northern Cheyenne Reservation...more

Ore. Wildfires Leave Ranchers Without Grazing Land

ROBERT SIEGEL: Two giant wildfires in eastern Oregon have killed hundreds of cattle and jeopardized ranchers' livelihoods. The fires have burned more than 1,000 square miles of sagebrush and juniper and that leaves ranchers with nowhere to graze the cattle they managed to save.

That's a problem in a town called Burns, as we hear from Amelia Templeton of Oregon Public Broadcasting.

AMELIA TEMPLETON: The night the fires started, a thunderstorm passed over the Trout Creek Mountains. Lightning ignited the dry grass. Richard and Jeanette Yturriondobeitia own a ranch at the foot of the mountain.

RICHARD YTURRIONDOBEITIA: We could see smoke, so we went that direction and the fire came to meet us. It looked like hell or what you would imagine hell would look like.

AMELIA TEMPLETON: Swift winds from the thunderstorm blew the fire west toward the ranch, so Richard, his wife and daughter and a few close friends saddled their horses and began rounding up cattle as the fire raced toward them.

RICHARD YTURRIONDOBEITIA: Cows are not afraid of fire. They just go where they normally go and so you have to get them to move.

AMELIA TEMPLETON: The wind kept switching directions. The fire trapped the animals and killed more than 130 cows and calves and one bull.

RICHARD YTURRIONDOBEITIA: They're my cows. I just couldn't help them. That's the part that gets me.

JEANETTE YTURRIONDOBEITIA: We've never experienced anything like this. I've never seen this.

AMELIA TEMPLETON: That's Richard's wife, Jeanette.

JEANETTE YTURRIONDOBEITIA: And people say to us that we'll lose more if their feet are burned or their bags are burned, their udders. They don't have a chance.


U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought dries up hay crop; prices in Colorado climbing sky-high

Drought conditions are taking a big bite out of the Colorado's hay crop, knocking production back my more than one-third and in some cases tripling local prices, the Aspen Times reported Tuesday. "Hay is going to be scarce, and prices are going to go up," Kit Strang, whose family has ranched in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1965, told the newspaper. The paper found that because of the dire drought there is "precious little hay for sale in Colorado." Western Colorado ranchers also fear the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will force cattle off leased grazing lands on the range early this year. Both agencies said they were weighing options. Wayne Ives, range manager with the Aspen-Sopris District of the U.S. Forest Service, said a decision could be made in September. Cattle are typically allowed to graze until mid- October.
"I'm afraid we're going to have to get rid of part of the herd this fall," rancher Rory Cerise said of his 70-head herd in the Emma area. His wife, Lucy, added, "Where we'll be hurting is if we have to start feeding early."...more

Drought dims ranchers’ prospects

With feed yields down and summer forage ranges disappearing, cattle producers are digging in for more tough times ahead. Despite rains over the weekend and a thunderstorm on Monday, Tooele County has seen an exceptionally dry year that has taken a toll on many local ranchers’ operations. Extreme drought conditions have forced many of the county’s ranchers to pull their livestock off their summer ranges early and buy hay they would normally grow themselves. Leland Hogan, a Tooele rancher and president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, said the problem is critical. “If we get rain through the rest of the summer periodically it will improve soon, but we’re just about to the point where there isn’t any more availability,” he said. “A lot of people will have to sell their livestock because they won’t be able to feed them. More cattle will go to market early, and more will be sold than normal.” Hogan said cattle having to leave their summer ranges early will put more pressure on the market to supply feed, and prices will continue to be driven higher. “We’re in an extreme drought,” Hogan said. “We had to pull our livestock off our summer range early, and our first crop of hay was about 50 percent of what it normally is.”...MORE

Feds haul water to horses as Nevada drought bites

Drought conditions have intensified in much of Nevada and natural surface water sources in the Fish Creek herd management area south of Eureka are disappearing, the Bureau of Land Management says.
The bureau said it was now hauling water to horses in the Battle Mountain District to two locations where water has already dried up. With the co-operation of several livestock grazing permittees, two developed water sources have been repaired and activated to give the horses added sources of water. It says the wild horses are not in poor body condition at this time, but that could change in a very short period of time due to extended drought conditions. Some horses are showing signs of drought stress and losing weight, it said, and the bureau was concerned about their health, particularly the foals. The appropriate management level is 107 to 180 wild horses. The current population is about 256 wild horses. Water was hauled to this HMA in 2000 and 2004 due to severe drought conditions and subsequently an emergency wild horse gather was implemented in order to save them from suffering due to lack of forage and water...more

Drought wilts crops as officials pray for rain

Oppressive heat and a worsening drought in the U.S. Midwest pushed grain prices near or past records on Monday as crops wilted, cities baked and concerns grew about food and fuel price inflation in the world's top food exporter. Soybean prices at the Chicago Board of Trade set a record high and corn closed near a record as millions of acres of crops seared in triple-digit heat in the Corn Belt. Corn fields have been plowed up in many locations for lack of rain. Now soybeans, which develop later than corn, are in the bull's eye. "I get on my knees everyday and I'm saying an extra prayer right now," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters after briefing President Barack Obama. "If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it." Drought conditions now extend over more than 60 percent of the lower 48 states, the government said. The Department of Agriculture on Wednesday extended drought aid to an additional 39 counties designated as primary natural disaster areas, bringing such aid to a total of 1,297 counties across 29 states. Vilsack said rising grain prices would mean meat and poultry prices will be higher this year and next, although the inflation may be delayed as farmers start culling their herds due to high feed prices and meat supplies stay adequate. But the outlook for higher food prices could add up to another headache for Obama as he faces a November election with high joblessness and slower economic growth. Hard-hit livestock producers and other groups want the Environmental Protection Agency to give oil refiners a waiver from the mandate to blend ethanol into gasoline, arguing demand for the corn-based fuel was driving up corn prices. About 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop now is used to produce ethanol. But Vilsack said there was no need for such action as yet. "There is no need to go to the EPA at this time based on the quantity of ethanol that is in storage," he said. The U.S. drought is expected to be felt worldwide as the world's biggest grain exporter struggles with shortfalls. The United States exports more than half of all world corn shipments and is also the single top exporter of wheat and soy...more

Rising Corn Prices and Your Grocery Bill

Corn prices are nearing the record highs of last summer as the U.S. Midwest suffers its worst drought since 1956. Shoppers should expect higher grocery bills, because corn is used in three-quarters of supermarket products. But don’t panic. Overall cost hikes are likely to be modest. “A 50% increase in the price of corn tends to raise total shopping bills by about 1%,” says Ricky Volpe, a research economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn’s price has jumped 45% this summer. Of course, even a modest increase to shopping bills is unwelcome news for households on tight budgets. Strange as it may seem, farm crops aren’t nearly the largest component of food prices. In 2008, just 15.8 cents of each dollar shoppers spent on food went to farms, according to the USDA. The rest paid for labor, packaging, transportation, advertising and more. Broken down by industry, food processors, which turn crops into things like cereals, sweets and oils, capture nearly twice as much of consumers’ food spending as farmers, and foodservice companies, more than three times as much. The effect of rising corn prices will vary sharply by food, however, based largely on the amount of processing involved. Farms collect just 7% of the retail price of cereal and baked goods, but 14% of ice cream, 37% of butter, and 46% of whole milk. They collect 51% of retail beef prices and 34% of pork...more

TSA Let 25 Illegal Aliens Attend Flight School Owned by Illegal Alien

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved flight training for 25 illegal aliens at a Boston-area flight school that was owned by yet another illegal alien, according to the Government Accountability Office. The illegal-alien flight-school attendees included eight who had entered the country illegally and 17 who had overstayed their allowed period of admission into the United States, according to an audit by the GAO. Six of the illegal aliens were actually able to get pilot’s licenses. Discovery of the trouble at the flight school began when local police--not federal authorities--pulled over the owner of the school on a traffic violation and were able to determine that he was an illegal alien...more

2 Seattle men stopped at border for having illegal chocolate eggs

Two Seattle men say they spent more than two hours in a detention center at the Canadian border after U.S. border agents discovered illegal chocolate eggs in their car. Brandon Loo and Christopher Sweeney told KOMO-TV they decided to bring home some treats for friends and family during a recent trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. They bought Kinder Eggs -- chocolate eggs with a toy inside. The two men say border guards searched their car and said the eggs are illegal in the United States because young children could choke on the small plastic toys. Importing them can lead to a potentially hefty fine. Sweeney says the bust was a waste of his time and the agents' time. The men eventually got off with a warning. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman declined to comment about the case Tuesday night. The agency warned on its website around Easter that the treats can't be imported legally. The agency says it seized more than 60,000 Kinder Eggs from travelers' baggage and international mail shipments in fiscal 2011. AP

Let's see. 

--A person can illegally enter the U.S. and  start a flight school
--A person can illegally enter the U.S. and get your pilot's license at a flight school started by an illegal alien
--But by God the Easter Bunny can't get away with anything.  You'll hippety hop yourself to the federal hot seat with huevos de chocolate.  

Song Of The Day #884

Ranch Radio continues to acknowledge the passing of Kitty Wells with her 1961 hit Heartbrake U.S.A.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Salazar: GOP budget 'death knell' for conservation

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday that budget proposals by congressional Republicans could amount to "a death knell" for conservation programs nationwide. Visiting the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge outside Boynton Beach, Salazar at times struck a political tone, criticizing the GOP while touting the Obama administration's Everglades restoration efforts. He said he feared a turnaround in a variety of conservation efforts because of budget cuts that "basically decimate" core programs. "A great fear I have is that there will be a U-turn," he said...more

The appropriations bill now being considered by the House and that funds the Dept. of Interior, EPA, Forest Service and some smaller agencies cuts their budgets by 4%. That's right 4%.

And everyone should be ashamed. Salazar for saying a 4% cut is a "death knell" and the R's for not cutting more.

Heather Wilson to Paint Martin Heinrich as Enviro Extremist in New Mexico

Environmental politics are alive and well in the New Mexico Senate race. At a briefing with reporters today at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, New Mexico Senate candidate Heather Wilson and campaign aides laid out their plan of attack against Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich, against whom Wilson is running in New Mexico’s competitive 2012 Senate race. It includes painting Heinrich as an environmental extremist, hitting him on a few key policy points. “New Mexico is one of the top energy-producing states in the nation,” Wilson, 51, told reporters. “On this issue particularly, congressman Heinrich is way out on the extreme of his own party.” Wilson’s campaign plans to hit Heinrich on his opposition to the Keystone Pipeline project, which the Albuquerque Journal has backed in editorials, and his vote in favor of House Democrats’ cap-and-trade bill in June 2009. The Wilson campaign will also blast Heinrich, 40, for his vote in favor of health care overhaul and, specifically, the medical-device tax it included. “It is nearly unanimously agreed in New Mexico that the Keystone Pipeline will create jobs in this country,” Wilson communications consultant Todd Harris told reporters. On emissions policy, Harris said, Heinrich “aggressively pursues a cap-and-trade bill because that’s in line with his liberal politics.”...more

Do it, Heather, do it!

The not-so-great 'Green Fleet': President Obama’s skewed national defense priorities

As the Department of Defense (DoD) faces drastic budget cuts, the last thing the military needs is to be forced by President Obama to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on an expensive green energy agenda. This week President Obama’s green regime at the Pentagon will be in the spotlight as the U.S. Navy’s “Great Green Fleet” – a strike group that the Obama administration hopes to run completely on alternative fuels by 2016 – sets sail as part of training exercises in the Pacific. One would think the fleet would take to the seas with a great deal of fanfare, but the Navy has kept it quiet and it’s not difficult to figure out why. President Obama clearly doesn’t want the American people to know how much his plan to green the military will cost. As Wired magazine uncovered, a recent DoD report revealed that their biofuels program will amount to an extra $1.8 billion a year in fuel costs for the Navy alone. This ludicrous pricetag is not surprising: through Congressional oversight efforts, we found that in 2009, the Navy paid an outrageous $424 per gallon for 20,000 gallons of renewable diesel, and in December 2011, the Navy purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuel for $12 million, equaling about $27 a gallon. The Navy is not the only service being subject to this great greening agenda: last month, the Air Force bought 11,000 gallons of alcohol-to-jet fuel at $59 a gallon, twice as much per gallon as what the Navy was forced to spend...more

Las Cruces council sides with larger national monument proposal

Points and counterpoints were made Monday — and logic and emotions clashed with one another for almost four hours. In packed Council Chambers at City Hall, a standing-room-only crowd gathered and more than 50 people spoke for or against a resolution supporting the proposed Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Supporters of the monument proposal made their pitch, and opponents presented equally compelling arguments that the size of the proposed monument is too big and should be scaled back. This drawn-out discussion about land that isn't even within the Las Cruces city limits lasted throughout much of the afternoon during the council's meeting. Most people were allowed one minute to express their opinions, but many of their comments went beyond the time limit imposed by Mayor Ken Miyagishima. Others in the public who made prior arrangements got to speak longer, anywhere from 6 to 9 minutes. "There is conflicting information on every point," said rancher Tom Mobley. "I have significant investment on something you're (the council) willing to bet you're right on. I'm not willing to take that bet." Las Crucen Jim Harbison added, "I'm opposed. Why would we want to restrain private land to only 12 percent? ...We should not pass control of the land on to the federal government." Victor Monjarez, a retired U.S. Border Patrol agent, said the resolution was "a bad idea today as it stands." "It's a very bad idea, not only for the residents of southern New Mexico but for middle America as well," Monjarez said...more

I'm holding fire on this for now. Might say something that would end up hurting the folks I'm trying to help.

Grizzly deaths puzzling

Bear biologists are refraining from assigning a single reason for a two-fold increase in the rate of natural grizzly bear deaths. Ten of the 16 grizzlies that have met their ends this summer have died of natural causes, according to data from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. Historically, humans are to blame for more than 75 percent of the bear deaths in the first half of the summer. While the rate is just 37 percent this year, it is derived from a small sample size, and biologists aren’t jumping to any conclusions. “We should be careful not to make too much of this,” said Frank van Manen, team leader for the group. “We’re seeing the typical range of conditions that we’d see with grizzly mortality. “The fact that there were two females with cubs that were killed inflates the numbers a little bit,” van Manen said. “We’re seeing an aging of the population as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if we start to see more of these bears dying from old age.” A major increase in natural mortality could have bearing on policy. The study team is tasked with conducting research that will determine whether Greater Yellowstone Area grizzlies retain “threatened” status under the Endangered Species Act. In November, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals prohibited the federal government from pulling ESA protections. The court upheld Judge Donald Malloy’s ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to account for the potential harm to grizzlies from the decline of whitebark pine trees...more

Proposed Monument Stirs Debate

Looking south from near the crest of the Siskiyou Mountains into the Horse Creek drainage his family has called home for 135 years, Gary Rainey sees more than evergreen forests. "This land is our way of life, literally our heart and soul," he said. "Our cattle have been running (grazing) here since 1875, same strain of cattle on the same land. We raised our food from the garden. We raised the hay to feed the cattle. Everything we do is about keeping this place healthy." "And it just tears your heart out that this could be taken away," added the former logger. He and his cousin, Steve Fisher, are outspoken among Siskiyou County residents in their opposition to a proposed 600,000-acre Siskiyou Crest National Monument they fear would change their lifestyle and degrade the land. Proposed a year ago by the Ashland-based Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, the monument would stretch out along the Oregon-California state line. It would link the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument to the Oregon Caves National Monument and the Siskiyou Wilderness Area near Happy Camp. In Oregon, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in a 2-1 vote in April joined its counterparts in Josephine, Klamath, Douglas and Deschutes counties in approving an order urging the federal government to halt attempts to place more restrictions on public lands until the county and other stakeholders get a chance to weigh in. Specifically, the commissioners were concerned a presidential proclamation could create a monument with little public input...more

Thanks to chance stop in NM, artist's work now gracing cover of Zac Brown Band album

Artists dream of gaining attention. But what happens when it's national attention? Brandon Maldonado is experiencing it and he's doing just fine. His artwork — "Our Lady of Merciful Fate" — is being used as the cover art for Grammy Award-winning country group Zac Brown Band's new album, "Uncaged." The album was released July 10 and Billboard is predicting the album will sell more than 200,000 copies in its first week and debut in the No. 1 spot. The cover piece is only the latest work that he's done for the band. Maldonado said about two years ago, the Zac Brown Band was on tour and made a stop at the Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents The Pavilion right before the band released its last record, "You Get What You Give." "They boys were doing some local sightseeing in Old Town, and they just happened to go into Johnny Salas' shop 'Santisima'," he said. "I wasn't there but my work was and Zac picked up a few pieces and contacted me shortly after and made it clear that he wanted me to do work for their next album cover. It's kind of funny that it was about a week before he even released his second album."...more

Song Of The Day #882

In honor of Kitty Wells passing Ranch Radio brings you her 1955 recording There's Poison In Your Heart.

"Your lips are sweet as honey, but there's poison in your heart."

I've known a few like that, how about you?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hunting bill stirs up New Mexico Senate race

An environmental group that is part of a coalition behind a $2 million dollar advertising blitz supporting U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich's campaign for U.S. Senate has joined sportsmen groups in pushing his legislation to improve access to millions of acres of public land. The measure introduced by Heinrich, D-N.M., calls for an inventory of all public parcels larger than a square mile where hunting, fishing and other recreation are allowed but where access is blocked. It also asks agencies to acquire easements and rights of way for improving access. The National Wildlife Federation last week joined a number of sportsmen's groups from around the West in backing the bill, which is just the latest in a decade-long effort to overcome access issues created by a combination of population growth, changing demographics and the landownership checkerboard that defines the American West. Heinrich is in a tight race against Republican Heather Wilson for the seat currently held by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring. Wilson's campaign said the endorsement was a political ploy by environmentalists cloaked as sportsmen to further their liberal agenda. "This group is part of the same environmental extremists that are spending a million dollars to falsely attack Heather because she doesn't share their job-killing agenda," said Wilson campaign spokesman Chris Sanchez...more

Ben Nelson Goes Cow (Fees) Tipping

When outgoing Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) announced last month that he was pushing to reduce America's national deficit by reducing "welfare ranching" in America's heartland, so quiet was the political response in Washington that you could practically hear the crickets chirping along the Potomac. Undaunted, Sen. Nelson last Wednesday went one step further, announcing that he has introduced an eminently level-headed "Fair Grazing Fee" bill, designed to require the various agencies of the executive branch to charge market-level grazing fees for private ranchers who are running livestock on public land. More crickets in Washington. But not on the ranches and farms of the nation's vast ranch lands. And certainly not in Nebraska. There, Sen. Nelson's new initiative is a very big deal for many different reasons. After all, it's not every day when an elected official, in the selfless pursuit of a common good, bucks up against the power of entrenched special interests and ... wait, wait, what's that? Sen. Nelson pitched his plan not just out of pure deficit-minded selflessness but because Republican nominee Deb Fischer, running this fall for the seat he is vacating, is herself a current beneficiary of "welfare ranching?"...more

Landowners form rangeland fire protection association

A group of private landowners in Elmore County have formed Idaho's first rangeland fire protection association (RFPA), setting up a response system to prevent and suppress fires on their land. The Mountain Home Rangeland Fire Protection Association was established in a memorandum of understanding signed with the Idaho Department of Lands, according to a press release from the department. A similar agreement is also being developed with the Bureau of Land Management. In Idaho, private rangelands are protected either through a fire protection district or a fire protection association. The Department of Lands has responsibility for 10 protection districts covering 6 million acres of mostly state and private land in Idaho. The U.S. Forest Service and BLM each are responsible for a large district, and two timber protection associations exist in central and north-central Idaho. An RFPA is a nonprofit organization established to prevent and suppress range fires. It is governed and directed by the members and is funded by fees set by the local board and grants...more

Groups protest plan for Sonoran Desert monument

Conservation groups are questioning a proposal to allow recreational target shooting throughout the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has released a proposal to manage 1.4 million acres in south-central Arizona, which include the monument. The groups say the BLM hasn't explained its rationale for allowing target shooting and filed a protest by the Monday deadline. Monument manager Rich Hanson said Tuesday that the agency believes it can manage the recreational sport without a blanket ban across the monument. The groups further allege that the BLM's proposal could harm cultural resources and that its road system is inadequate. The BLM is under a court mandate to finalize the plan by September 15. AP

Vast F.D.A. Effort Tracked E-Mails of Its Scientists

A wide-ranging surveillance operation by the Food and Drug Administration against a group of its own scientists used an enemies list of sorts as it secretly captured thousands of e-mails that the disgruntled scientists sent privately to members of Congress, lawyers, labor officials, journalists and even President Obama, previously undisclosed records show. What began as a narrow investigation into the possible leaking of confidential agency information by five scientists quickly grew in mid-2010 into a much broader campaign to counter outside critics of the agency’s medical review process, according to the cache of more than 80,000 pages of computer documents generated by the surveillance effort. Moving to quell what one memorandum called the “collaboration” of the F.D.A.’s opponents, the surveillance operation identified 21 agency employees, Congressional officials, outside medical researchers and journalists thought to be working together to put out negative and “defamatory” information about the agency...more

Feld Entertainment's Federal Racketeering Case to Proceed Against ASPCA, HSUS and other Animal Rights Groups and their Lawyers

Feld Entertainment, Inc. is pleased by today's Court decision permitting the company to proceed with its federal racketeering and conspiracy (RICO) claims against the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal rights groups and their lawyers. "This ruling sets the stage for Feld Entertainment to finally have its day in court to seek justice for having to spend a decade defending itself against manufactured litigation. When parties abuse the judicial system and its process, as alleged here, there are remedies, including triple damages," said John Simpson, Fulbright & Jaworski, counsel for Feld Entertainment. Feld Entertainment filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against ASPCA, HSUS and other animal rights activists and their lawyers for racketeering violations, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and the Virginia Conspiracy Act. The claims arose out of a prior case that Feld Entertainment successfully defended, resulting in a judgment in its favor on December 30, 2009, which has been affirmed in its entirety by the Court of Appeals. In that case, the Court had found, among other things, that the lead plaintiff, Tom Rider, was a paid plaintiff and fact witness with no injury "whose sole source of income throughout the litigation" was provided by his organizational co-plaintiffs and their lawyers. In today's decision, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan recognized that Feld Entertainment had sufficient allegations to proceed with claims that the victims of the defendants' RICO violations were not only Feld Entertainment, but also members of the public who may have been improperly induced to make donations to the animal rights organizations based on the manufactured lawsuit...more

Invasion of The Drug Cartels

Kitty Wells, ‘Prototype’ for Female Country Singers, Dies at 92

Kitty Wells, the singer whose achievements as a solo artist broke down barriers to country- music stardom for women, has died. She was 92. Wells died yesterday at her home in Madison, Tennessee, of complications from a stroke, the New York Times reported, citing her grandson John Sturdivant Jr. Wells was the first female artist to have a No. 1 country single. She reached the milestone in 1952 with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” a song that blamed unfaithful men for causing “many a good girl to go wrong.” Afterward, she became known as the queen of country music. Twenty-three singles she recorded made Billboard magazine’s country top 10 between 1952 and 1965. Before her rise to prominence, women were typically confined to country duos or groups. She blazed a trail for singers such as Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette to become household names on their own. “Kitty Wells is the prototype,” said Kyle Young, director of Nashville, Tennessee-based Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which inducted her in 1976. “Her success in selling records and concert tickets led record companies to open their doors to women artists.” For more than 70 years, she was married to Johnnie Wright, who toured with her and also worked with his brother-in-law in Johnnie and Jack, a country duo. Wright came up with her stage name, found in the title of a folk song, “Sweet Kitty Wells.”...more

Song Of The Day #881

Ranch Radio will honor the passing of Kitty Wells today with her 1960 recording of Amigo's Guitar.

The tune is available on many of her collections such as The Essential Recordings CD

Monday, July 16, 2012

A lesson in irony

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of  Agriculture, has stated it is actually proud of the fact it is distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever in its history.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals."   The Park Service has stated that the reason for the policy is because the animals will grow increasingly dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.

Thus ends today's lesson.

Hidden Government Scanners Will Instantly Know Everything About You From 164 Feet Away

Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you. And without you knowing it. The technology is so incredibly effective that, in November 2011, its inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel to work with the US Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded "in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the Director of the CIA and with the support of the U.S. Congress." According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies. Their plan is to install this molecular-level scanning in airports and border crossings all across the United States. The machine is a mobile, rack-mountable system. It fires a laser to provide molecular-level feedback at distances of up to 50 meters in just picoseconds. For all intents and purposes, that means instantly. The small, inconspicuous machine is attached to a computer running a program that will show the information in real time, from trace amounts of cocaine on your dollar bills to gunpowder residue on your shoes. Forget trying to sneak a bottle of water past security—they will be able to tell what you had for breakfast in an instant while you're walking down the hallway....more

High cost of fantasy fuel

Why does America’s economy feel like an SUV running on fumes? The Obama administration’s laughably rigid enforcement of a Bush-era ethanol mandate typifies today’s regulatory climate. When Uncle Sam governs with a tire iron in his hand, U.S. companies wisely pull off the road and pray for new management. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has slapped a $6.8 million penalty on oil refiners for not blending cellulosic ethanol into gasoline, jet fuel and other products. Those dastardly petroleum mongers are being so intransigent because cellulosic ethanol does not exist. It remains a fantasy fuel. The EPA might as well mandate that Exxon hire leprechauns. So far this year — just as in 2011 — the supply of cellulosic biofuel in gallons totals zero. “EPA’s decision is arbitrary and capricious. We fail to understand how EPA can maintain a requirement to purchase a type of fuel that simply doesn’t exist,” said Charles Drevna, president of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the Washington-based association for the oil-refining industry. President George W. Bush idiotically signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. Beyond prohibiting Thomas Edison’s groundbreaking incandescent light bulb by 2014, EISA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandated cellulosic ethanol. Under the RFS, refiners had to blend 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2011. Although this substance is not extant, EPA then demanded to see 31 percent more of it. This year’s quota is 8.65 million gallons. Somehow, EPA expects cellulosic ethanol to leap magically from test tubes into storage tanks...more

EDITORIAL: Gov. Moonbeam’s ‘Hydrogen Highway’

Now Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown wants to ensure even more cash is flushed down another pie-in-the-sky transportation project known as the Hydrogen Highway. Such pricey ventures are why the once Golden State has lost its luster. To pander to self-styled environmentalists, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004 endorsed the idea of creating a network of hydrogen fuel stations that would run along the length of the state. Once these stations were operational, consumers were supposed to flock to the showrooms to buy brand new, zero-emissions hydrogen vehicles. A grant program was established in 2007 to bankroll the expensive infrastructure investment. Not surprisingly, the plan has so far been a total flop — except for the handful who have profited from it. More than $37.7 million in taxpayer funds have flowed into the scheme, resulting in the construction of just 10 hydrogen stations. As of 2011, the California Energy Commission counted just 250 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV) on the road, meaning the infrastructure subsidy has thus far amounted to $148,000 per owner. It’s not clear how many more members of the public are going to be willing to fork over the $100,000 sticker price currently adorning the utilitarian transportation modules powered by this fashionable fuel. In May, the Energy Commission canceled $27 million worth of Hydrogen Highway grants after a columnist for the Santa Monica Mirror pointed out the process of approving them appeared rigged, with just two companies landing the majority of the sweetheart deals...more

Delays in new food-safety regulations cause frustration

Last year President Obama signed a law hailed as the most sweeping overhaul of food safety in 70 years. Fast forward 17 months, and major portions have yet to be implemented. The Food Safety Modernization Act moves the Food and Drug Administration away from its traditional role of responding to adulterated food to a more modern one of requiring companies to stop contamination before it happens. It allows the agency to issue mandatory recalls and hire more food-safety inspectors. The act passed with bipartisan support and broad backing from the food industry and consumer and public health groups. The law will touch the vast majority of foods Americans eat. FDA oversees most of the nation's food supply, except for meat, poultry and processed eggs, which are under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the new law hasn't gotten out of the starting gate. Three of the most important rules awaiting approval are: •Safety standards for irrigation water, manure, worker hygiene and wildlife that can contaminate fresh fruits and vegetables. •Foreign supplier verification programs that make importing companies responsible for the safety of the foods they bring into the United States. •Requirements that food companies have a plan in place to identify possible sources of contamination and specify what they will do to deal with them...more

Song Of The Day #880

It's Swingin' Monday on Ranch Radio and here is Chubby Wise fiddlin' Eight Of January.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

And the horse he rode in on

 by Julie Carter

Cowboys that hang in the same circles identify each other by their ride long before they recognize a face.

In the world outside of cowboy, if you were to inquire about someone in town, you might get a litany of descriptions. "Gwen? Sure, I know her. She's a marine biologist, has a couple kids and lives over on the hill above the golf course."

Or, "Bob? He's looking pretty good for his age, but he did just win a Nobel prize for something no one understands. He's some sort of nuclear physicist. He lives down by the lake, has a boat at the marina."

With cowboys, the dialogue will go something like this: 

"Dan? He's the one that rides that well-made paint horse and ropes heels. That's sure a nice horse. I used to have one about like that and, man, I won a lot of money on him." 

Or, "Jess? I don't know him personally, but I sure like that big blue horse he rides."

Cowboys will notice and evaluate a horse long before they even look at the rider. When they do get around to noticing the rider, they will already have an impression of the type of person who would ride a horse like that.

The stars of the rodeo world are no exception to this ironclad rule. Cowboys who are likely to never come into personal contact with the sport's champions will be very aware of the horses they ride right down to their age and names.

Some horses achieve as much fame as the riders. Viper, Speed Williams' good horse, had a rope named after him. Many pastures, barns, ranches, sometimes even the children, are named for a favorite horse.

The women of the sport are no exception. Every barrel racer in the world can tell you the story of Charmayne James and Scamper, a tale that will include the cloning of this one-of-a-kind legendary horse. 

In the world of ropers, cowboys are often introduced according to their horses. They might be marine biologists or nuclear physicists, but no cowboy will ever know or care.

Jess was calling around lining up new partners for a upcoming roping. He had gotten a phone number from another roper by describing the horse ridden by the man he wanted to call. 

When he called the man, the first thing said after Jess introduced himself was, "You ride that big blue horse, the one with the brand that's a bunch of numbers?" Now that everyone was identified, a deal could be made. 

Cowboys will spend more time getting their horses ready, tuned-up, tack checked, trailer ready, gear, feed and medicine loaded, than they will on themselves. Hours will be devoted to the horses, generally starting days ahead of any scheduled roping or rodeo. 

About fifteen minutes before time to leave, they will run in the house and grab the first shirt in the closet. Good to go. 

A cowboy knows it doesn't much matter to any other cowboy how he looks, but he does know he will be judged by the horse he rode in on.

Julie can be reached for comment at

Code Duello

No means for Conflict Resolution
Code Duello
What is old … should be new again
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            Lee Robbins told me about the cowman he had gone to when he first arrived from Texas. He had found work on the branding crew at the Flying A’s. Lee thought he was being taken advantage of a bit when he rotated into the flanking position and the roper roped the biggest calf in the pen around the neck.
            “I hear you boys from Texas can flank these little bitty New Mexico calves,” the roper had muttered under his breath as he turned, tied hard and fast to face the storm. “Go down the rope to that one.”
            Lee had felt the same sort of wrath when he was challenged with the sorrel horse that could stick his head between his front legs elevated three feet in the air.
            “Get yourself a bat and hit him in the head when he does that,” the same fellow suggested. “I’m sure it will stop him from doing it.”
            Lee admitted he tried it and came close to breaking his own neck trying to seek vengeance in a situation he needed to be in full control of every sense he ever had.  He realized he could no more hit that horse in that situation than he could hit a bulls eye at 150 yards with a BB gun.
He learned a very important lesson from that fellow … there is nothing like a little humility to adjust a reckless, condescending attitude.
The ghost of Old Hickory
Andrew Jackson was a cocky little character. I would imagine he was a bit hard to take in many circumstances, but you can’t deny his never say die attitude.  That president, who never knew he couldn’t, just didn’t know there was such a thing as quit.
He was also clairvoyant. His prediction the Civil War would be fought … and lost by the South decades before the war was an eerie example. He suggested that the folks of the South would first fight for themselves, and then … they would fight each other, and, then …they would lose.  He was right.
There is another fascinating aspect in the thinking of Jackson in his assessment of conflict resolution. As a southerner, he was fairly north-south. He was not only appalled at the statutory elimination of conflict resolution that occurred February 20, 1839, he worried openly that the very future of the country was put in jeopardy as a result.
What happened on that day in history? Dueling was outlawed in the District of Columbia!
Jackson agonized over the congressional action. He simply didn’t know how future conflict would be substantively reduced. By the looks and actions of our world as displayed and acted out by Congress since those times … he was right.
Code Duello
Dueling was once rather commonplace. How commonplace you might ask? It wasn’t just Alexander Hamilton’s death at the hand of Aaron Burr that made history. A bit of research turns up at least 56 United States senators dueled from the time of our independence to the end of the Civil War.
There were also at least 29 governors, seven cabinet secretaries, and 57 Congressman who also adhered to the rules of the day … the Code Duello … and blasted away at sunup at the Oaks!
In fact, there are several thousand documented accounts of dueling in the United States in matters associated with leadership. The vast majority were in the south. What was the cause of that phenomenon? It appears to be founded in honor and integrity!
Many writings of the time set forth the premise that honor could not be repaired through mere words or through a legal system. Likewise, there were issues that simply needed to be resolved outside of a legal system that could become bogged down and impacted.
Dueling was an extralegal means to defend and repair that honor. It can be argued it was actually a preferred regional method to resolve conflict before the Civil War. It proved to be cheap and it was very effective!  
How effective?
A study done by Broderick and Mason suggested it was a deterrent that was 88% effective. Can you imagine that rate of success?
If Santa Fe and inner city high schools could graduate 88% of their freshman level entrants, they would double their actual graduation rates!
How about criminal assimilation or the termination of smoking habits? An 88% success rate would be astounding based upon study results.
The result Factors
What makes the history of dueling so intriguing isn’t the fact that poor leaders were disposed of with regularity. On the contrary, the actual rate of deaths was very low. Only one in 14 duels resulted in a death. It was the blood on the ground and the stains down the pants legs that became the real modifiers of behavior.    
 In studying the issue, even the sorry state of accuracy of the weapons was part of the reeducation process. Sightless, smooth bore pistols with short sight radii combined with sweaty hands, elevated heart rates, and adrenaline in abundance made for very poor accuracy. (Remember Lee Robbins trying to hit that bucking horse with the bat as he contemplated his own survival? He couldn’t get it done!)
Of all the senators who fought duels, only three were actually killed. Another factor that has so much modern consequence is the fact that the overwhelming majority of all those killed were just politicians. Doctors and store owners tended to adjust the prices of their goods and services to remedy discord.
The Mason-Dixon Line was also a factor. The majority of duels (and thus modifying behavior) took place south of the Line. The further north the less likely duels would be fought.
There was a definite northern societal repulsion of the event. The further north from the Mason-Dixon Line the more barbaric it was deemed by Americans. It was ‘brutish’ and those folks always supported a more civilized method of conflict resolution … words and intelligence.
That was exactly what Andrew Jackson feared. He feared that in the absence of dueling there would be a void of any appropriate means of mitigating libel which, by its very nature, would encourage undesirable social behavior.
Shall we count the ways he was right?
To the modern world
Washington confounds us.
It seems that each and every leader that crosses the thresholds of Dulles or Reagan International runs the distinct risk of losing his or her foundational identity. We, the American public, are lost in the shuffle. We are insulted by their fiduciary irresponsibility to our existence. We are appalled at their human nature to seek compromise and cooperation rather than deal decisively with conflict through a constitutional compass. We are abandoned through their absence of moral courage with … words and intelligence.
Jackson got it right. His fears were manifested in the highest order.
There is no reference to his insight as to the depth and breadth of the mechanism he deemed so important to conflict resolution. As a southerner who fought several duels was he compelled to believe it was a universal need, or, with age, would he have been content to simply overturn the decision by Congress in 1839? That decision was limited to the District of Columbia.
What if dueling in the heart of our black economic hole, Washington DC, was made legal and mandatory in a constitutional amendment? What if was limited only to Washington elected officials who swear an oath to uphold the Constitution?
The historical facts seem to strongly suggest the mere threat of the act would refocus debate to the merits of conflicting positions rather than on attention paid to libel leveled by the two dysfunctional parties in our midst.
As we are left to contemplate such a rational concept, we can only visualize the scene at the Oaks when the former Speaker of the House was challenged to a duel by the Lady from Minnesota after the Speaker informed America that we would have to see what Obama Care really meant only after the bill was passed.
At 24 paces, the two would turn to the order …READY!
The adrenaline would cause all order of muscle control to start to flutter.
At the default state of AIM … the orifice of the end of those .32 caliber dueling pieces would start to appear to be cavernous.
At the verge of FIRE … the good speaker could be heard to scream … “Uhhhh …. Let’s plug these holes and get serious about your position there, Ma’am! I am starting to see your point!!”

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “I worry that the Jackson prediction of the Civil War outcome is the same plight we find ourselves in here in the West. We fight for our existence, but it is a fight that remains incongruous and woefully undercapitalized. Will our fate be the same?”

Brutal Gestapo Tactics Are Being Used Against Homeowners All Over America

Property rights are being absolutely shredded all over America.  Buying a piece of land and enjoying it with your family has always been a big part of the American Dream.  Unfortunately, in the United States today you don't actually own your own home.  If you don't pay your rent (property taxes) your home will be taken away from you, and you are only allowed to use your property in very narrowly defined ways.  The control freaks that run things tell us what we can build on our own property, what we can grow on our own property, what types of gatherings we can have on our own property, how many visitors we can have on our own property and they have imposed very strict rules about how our property must be maintained.  If we get "out of line", they will use "zoning ordinances" and "code violations" to make our lives a living hell.  All over America today, brutal Gestapo tactics are being used against homeowners that just want to be left alone.  Anyone that has ever dealt with a "compliance officer" or a "nuisance abatement team" knows what I am talking about.  But if we have so very little "freedom" on our own properties, then how in the world can we continue to call this country "the land of the free"?
Thug Wakes Woman Up And Yells At Her In Bed For Letting Her Grass Grow Too Long
Down in Georgia recently, a huge male "compliance officer" let himself into a woman's home, marched into her bedroom and started yelling at her for letting her grass grow too long while she was still in bed....
A woman got the shock of her life when she woke up to find a stranger in her bedroom, yelling at her to wake up because her grass was too long.
Erica Masters was asleep when Columbia County Code Compliance Officer Jimmy Vowell entered her Martinez, Georgia, home without permission to serve a violation notice for her overgrown lawn.
After knocking on the woman's door a few times, Vowell let himself and made his way into her bedroom, which was captured on surveillance video.
How would you respond if a strange man barged into your bedroom and started berating you about the length of your grass?
Elderly Americans Being Evicted For Not Paying Property Taxes
All over America, homeowners are being evicted from their family homes because of unpaid property taxes.  In some cases, the amount that is owed is only a few hundred dollars.
Big banks such as Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have been buying up tax liens all over the country because they are extremely profitable....
Tax liens can yield an incredible rate of return, as high as up to 50%. Many state laws permit tax lien purchasers to charge homeowners extremely high interest rates and fees to redeem their property in order avoid foreclosure. (For example, redemption penalties in Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Texas all exceed 20%.) For these reasons, tax lien sales are often marketed as "get-rich quick" schemes on websites. Investors take advantage of the fact that the tax sale process is arcane and rarely understood by homeowners. And states do little to inform homeowners about steps they can take to avoid foreclosure. Very few states have enacted procedures to protect owners' equity interests or to avoid windfalls to purchasers, and almost no states have updated tax lien laws to reflect current economic conditions or to ensure that proper safeguards exist to avoid unnecessary loss of homeownership.
In many cases, elderly Americans that don't even understand what is happening are being forced from their homes just so that the "investors" can make some quick money.  Just check out what one recent report said happened to an 81 year old woman living in Rhode Island....
The report cited a case of an 81-year-old Rhode Island woman who fell behind on a $474 sewer bill. A corporation bought the home in a tax sale for $836.39. The woman was evicted from the home she had lived in for more than 40 years and the corporation resold the place for $85,000, the report said.
Most investors, however, buy tax liens for the interest. That's because many states allow investors to charge rates of 18% or more on the outstanding debts. And, in some cases, as much as 20% to 50%, the report said.
Here is another example of an elderly woman being evicted from her home over unpaid taxes....
One elderly Montana woman, who lived alone and had no close family to help her, fell more than $5,000 behind on taxes, the report said. After she failed to respond to letters from the company that bought her home in a tax sale, she was evicted from her Missoula home. As a result, she lost about $150,000 in equity in the property, according to the report.
Could you do that to an elderly woman?
Shame on those that are pulling these scams, and shame on the states for not changing their laws to prevent this from happening.
40 Years Of Home Improvements Gone
All over the country, control freak bureaucrats are using "code violations" to force homeowners to tear down beautiful home improvements.
This is especially true for homeowners that have gone "off the grid".
For example, a 67 year old man in California has spent 40 years transforming his property into an amazing "off the grid" self-sustaining habitat....
Four decades ago, Hoffman started some home improvements on his house in the wooded hills of the Marin County town of Lagunitas. He harbored ideas and theories of how people could live more sustainably. He started building.
He dug a massive valley near the slope of his home and installed a pond. In the middle of it he built a concrete boat to house a 15-foot well. The groundwater would refill the pond, through a sun-powered pump.
As the owner of a tea distribution business, Hoffman also built a tea-house with ornate metal carvings of dragons and a sloped tile roof.
He carved elaborate caves to dry his rare tea leaves. He constructed a tower bearing a solar shower that hovers over a moat carrying recycled water from the house.
“Most people come here, they see the visual, they see the structures,” said Hoffman. “For me what’s important is the systems behind it.”
But now authorities are making him tear everything down because of "code violations".  Hoffman has been charged fines that total over $200,000, and he is being forced to tear down "all 30 of his illegal structures" by the beginning of August.
Survival Garden Ripped Out By Government Thugs
I have used the following story before, but it is another perfect example of the kind of Gestapo tactics that are being used against homeowners all over the United States.
Just recently, one unemployed woman down in Tulsa, Oklahoma had her survival garden brutally ripped out and carted away by government thugs...
A Tulsa woman is suing the city's code enforcement officers after she said they cut down her garden with no cause.
Denise Morrison said she has more than 100 plant varieties in her front and back yards and all of them are edible and have a purpose.
She knows which ones will treat arthritis, which will make your food spicy, which ones keep mosquitoes away and treat bug bites, but she said none of that matter to city inspectors.
Last August, Morrison's front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.
And for this woman, it really was a "survival garden".  She relied on those plants and trees for her food and for her medicine.
But the government thugs left her with nothing.
Now she will have to do the best that she can to survive on government handouts.
Other Examples
Sadly, there are so many other examples that could be discussed of brutal Gestapo tactics being used against homeowners all over America.
The other day, I wrote about how one man down in Arizona has been sentenced to 60 days in prison and has been fined $12,180 for hosting a Bible study in his own home.
Most of the time the gatherings were only of about 15 or 20 people.  They were not unruly and did not make an unreasonable amount of noise.
If we can't invite a few friends over to our own homes, then how much "freedom" do we really have left?
In the state of California, armed "nuisance abatement teams" roam around looking for someone to hit with a "code violation".  Preppers and those that prefer an "off the grid" lifestyle appear to be some of their favorite targets.
You can view a video about these "nuisance abatement teams" in California right here.  But please be warned that the video is likely to make you quite angry.

Here's the video linked to and you can read  the rest of this post at The American Dream.