Saturday, December 21, 2013

Did BEER create civilization? Ancient man developed agriculture to brew alcohol, NOT to bake bread, claims scientist

Some scientists claim beer - not bread - is the reason early man adopted a society based on farming around 10,000 years ago, a key moment in our evolution. The cultivation of grain saw the transition away from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and a widely-accepted theory is that the crops were used to bake bread, but experts claim it was the prospect of a brew that drove the desire to settle down and start a farm. One of them is Patrick McGovern, the director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania. He says beer has a number of advantages beyond the intoxicating effects and taste, such as a high B vitamin content, the essential amino acid lysine and the fact it was safer to drink than water as the brewing process killed off bacteria and viruses. 'With a four to five percent alcohol content, beer is a potent mind-altering and medicinal substance,' McGovern told science magazine Nautilus, adding that ancient brewers were medicine men for their communities. He highlighted how traces of sage and thyme, which contain anti-cancer properties, were found in ancient Egyptian beer jars. Similarly wormwood, which also has cancer-fighting agents, has been found in ancient Chinese rice wine. Beer also acted as an important catalyst for people to act as a community and was used in ceremonies and celebrations - much as it is now. The theory of the importance of beer was first sparked by Middle Eastern pre-history scholar Robert Braidwood at the University of Chicago in the 1950s. Pointing to grain and sickles found in settlements of the Natufians, who lived from 13,000 to 19,000BC in what is now Syria, Jordan and Israel, he says barley was a reason humans settled and abandoned a nomadic way of life. He says the Natufians used the grain for food, but an academic rival, Jonathan Sauer, said that the basic reaping technology available would have brought in a 'pitifully small return of grain for their labour'. Therefore, they would have wanted something more rewarding and valuable than food - alcohol. The theory has been backed by Solomon Katz, an anthropology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who claims there is little evidence of the popularity of bread...more

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1172

Jimmy Wakely - Its Christmas can be found on his Jasmine 4 CD collection A Rainbow At  Midnight.

Artist Biography by Bruce Eder

Jimmy Wakely was one of the last vocalists to make it in movies as a singing cowboy or transform a movie contract into a successful recording career. A protégé and discovery of Gene Autry, he was never remotely as successful as Autry in movies, nor did his record sales approach those of his mentor, but Wakely was successful as a crossover act, his voice and repertoire attractive enough to find favor with pop as well as country & western audiences. James Clarence Wakely was born in Arkansas on February 16, 1914, but was raised in Oklahoma, where he spent much of his early life in a succession of odd jobs while he nursed his ambitions for a career in music. Eventually he joined up with Dick Reinhardt and Johnny Bond to form the Jimmy Wakely Trio in 1937. Their main influence was the Sons of the Pioneers, and their singing and playing proved attractive enough to land them a regular broadcasting gig in Oklahoma City. Having achieved some recognition locally, they managed to parlay that into a meeting with Autry when he toured Oklahoma in 1940, and the singer was impressed enough with their work to invite them to California. Wakely and company became regulars on Autry's Melody Ranch radio show, and also began appearing in his films for Republic Pictures. Strangely enough, despite Wakely's later success, Johnny Bond became the first member of the trio to get a recording contract in 1941. Wakely got his own recording deal in 1942, shortly after he left the Autry fold, and had his first hit a year later with a cover of country yodel star Elton Britt's wartime anthem, "There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere." At the time, despite -- or perhaps because of -- the omnipresence of World War II in peoples' lives, the singing cowboy image that Gene Autry established in movies was still thriving. On the home front, the public (especially the kids) liked the movies, and there was money to be made. Autry was serving in the U.S. military, but Roy Rogers and Tex Ritter both continued riding and singing their way through screen adventures, and other small studios were in the market for their own singing cowboys. Monogram Pictures, Republic's major competitor among B-movie studios, approached Wakely with a contract in 1944, and his first picture, Song of the Range, was a modest success, leading to a five-year stint in front of the cameras. Wakely was never as natural an actor as Autry or Roy Rogers, but his voice was attractive and his 28 Westerns were reasonably successful in their time. Amid Wakely's work in B Westerns, his recording career thrived, as he began recording a uniquely sophisticated array of country, cowboy, and pop songs. His string began with his own "Song of the Sierras," a richly atmospheric ballad that presented his voice in a deep, serious light. His first major crossover hit followed a year later in 1948 with "One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)," a touching song about a tragic romantic triangle that reached the top spot on the country & western charts and the Top Ten on the pop charts. Wakely became especially closely associated with the music of honky tonk songwriter Floyd Tillman, and one cover, "I Love You So Much It Hurts," spent five weeks at the number one spot on the country charts in 1949. It was producer Lee Gillette who thought of teaming Wakely up with songstress Margaret Whiting in what proved to be a very successful partnership. Their first song together, the infidelity story "Slippin' Around," set the pattern for their partnership, the effervescent Whiting and the smooth, laid-back Wakely -- who, by that time, was becoming known as the Bing Crosby of country & western music -- balancing each other perfectly. "Slippin' Around" spent 17 weeks at the number one spot on the country charts and a week at the number one pop chart position, and the two had nine subsequent hits together, including "Wedding Bells" and "When You and I Were Young Maggie Blues." It was inevitable from all of this success that Wakely would become a media star. In 1952, he became the star of The Jimmy Wakely Show on the CBS radio network. After co-hosting the ABC television network series Five Star Jubilee in 1961 with Tex Ritter, he continued to record for his own Shasta Records label, which he founded as a mail-order distribution company in the mid-'60s. He continued to perform live in an act that included his son and daughter, and remained popular during the 1970s, until age and health problems began taking their toll. Wakely died of emphysema in 1982.

Traditions: La Posadas

By Mary Ann Montoya

Most of us have traditions that are almost in our DNA but we can’t remember their origins — luminarias and La Posadas could fall into that category.

Luminarias, what are they?

If you’ve lived in New Mexico for any length of time, you’ve seen the beautiful scenes of candlelit paper sacks atop walls and walkways of homes and businesses during the Christmas season. Luminarias in our village of San Rafael that I remember since I was a child, are little bonfires that line the street leading to the parish church.

The explanation given to me was that we had to light the way so that Joseph and Mary could find their way to the place where Jesus would be born.

Another version of the luminaria and most common today, are brown paper bags filled with dirt and a candle. The bags are given to children to fill and then place a small candle in each one...

What is La Posadas?

Posadas, Spanish for "lodging" or "accommodation," is a novena (nine-day prayer) where there is a reenactment of Joseph and Mary seeking shelter in Bethlehem. It is said in plural because it is celebrated more than one day during that period.

The novena represents the pregnancy of Mary carrying Jesus.

Nowadays, in San Rafael and many other small villages in the Southwest, luminarias are lit outside the home hosting that particular evening’s Posadas.

Traditionally, it begins Dec. 16 and ends on Christmas Eve. This evening in San Rafael, residents will be on their fifth night of the Posadas, which began on Monday.

San Rafael chooses to use homes for days one through eight. However, on day nine, the small Village in Cibola County, chooses to use the Parish Church on Christmas Eve...

I can’t write about traditions without the mention of the food, especially prepared for the Christmas holiday. Many people will agree there are many words, particularly food terms, which trigger great memories at Grandma’s house.

There would be a matanza, the slaughter of a pig, weeks before Christmas; people were poor but they raised pigs and chickens for their own use.

At the matanza, chicharrones (fresh pork rinds) were cooked in a huge kettle over an open fire. Fresh chicharrones topped with red chile on a flour tortilla were “to die for” as they say. The rest of the pork was prepared for chile meat that would go into dozens and dozens of tamales, enchiladas, and posole.

While the men worked outside around the fire, the women were busy inside making the chile and rolling out tortillas.

A week or so before Christmas Eve, the baking of pastelitos, bizcochitos, and sweet homemade bread began.

I can almost smell the delectable aroma coming from the kitchen...

Christmas Eve is and has been a great family gathering. Aunts and uncles along with their children came to Grandma’s house to share in the festivities. Eating went hand in hand with passing out presents to the children.

At 11:30 p.m. we all went to church to celebrate Midnight Mass, La Misa del Gallo, which means “the Mass before the rooster crows.”

After Mass, we walked home to hear some of the men singing Las Mananitas outside Grandma’s house. This was a tradition that gave honor and joy to someone you loved; she was a godmother, aunt, or grandma to some of the troubadours. Needless to say, they would be there until the early morning hours singing and eating and drinking coffee before they went home.

Which word was invented in year of your birth?

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has created an online 'birthday word' generator where people can find out which word came into use in the year they were born. Any birth year from 1900 to 2004 can be searched, and the tool generates the word that had the first known usage in that year. The tool also gives quotations of when the word first appeared.

What the Government Got You This Year (in Pictures)

Today, the Senate is set to pass the new U.S. budget deal in all its spend-tastic glory. Lawmakers have hemmed and hawed about making any cuts to spending, despite countlessexamples of ridiculous decisions that have wasted taxpayers’ money.
So it’s timely that the office of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released its 2013 “Wastebook” yesterday, listing 100 examples it deems wasteful spending this year. In our infographic below, we’ve picked just a few of the highlights of your tax dollars at work.

Greetings from Chuck (The epic christmas split)

25,000 Endangered Species Condoms Will Be Handed Out This Holiday Season

The Center for Biological Diversity is handing out 25,000 free Endangered Species Condoms in all 50 states this holiday season to raise awareness of the devastating effects of runaway human population growth and overconsumption on endangered plants and animals. More than a half-million Endangered Species Condoms have been given away since 2009. The condoms — wrapped in colorful packages featuring six different endangered species — are being distributed by hundreds of volunteers around the country at events and venues like holiday parties, churches, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, health clinics, skate parks and yoga studios. “The Earth’s population now tops 7 billion people, and that has a huge impact on wildlife, climate and the resources we all need to survive,” said Taralynn Reynolds, population and sustainability organizer at the Center. “These are big issues that need to be talked about, and the Endangered Species Condoms give people a fun, unique way to start the conversation.” The Endangered Species Condoms packages feature a sampling of wildlife threatened by population and accompanying slogans like “Wrap with care…save the polar bear,” “In the sack? Save the Leatherback” and “Be a savvy lover…protect the snowy plover.”...more

I'm saving a pack for Santa.  There's too many of his little elves running around down here pretending they are enviros.

"In the sleigh or in the hay...No Mo' Enviros"

If CBD thinks condoms are an interesting way to start a conversation, I now know why Rudolph has a red nose. 

Tule Springs preservation proposal advances in Congress

A proposal to grant special status to thousands of acres containing prehistoric artifacts north of Las Vegas advanced in Congress on Thursday. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill that would designate a Tule Springs Fossil Bed National Monument on 22,650 acres. The action was taken by voice vote as the Senate panel met for the final time in the 2013 session. The bill advances to the Senate floor in January, while a companion bill still awaits action in the House. Besides adding a new feature to the national park system, the sweeping bill also would redraw the federal land map in parts of the Las Vegas Valley. It would expand conservation areas of Red Rock Canyon by 1,530 acres, release 9,700 acres along Sunrise Mountain that had been tied up in wilderness studies, convey 645 acres of federal land to North Las Vegas for development, and turn over 660 acres to the city of Las Vegas for the same. The measure also would deliver 1,211 acres of federal land at Nellis Dunes to Clark County to create a park for off-road vehicle users, and set aside 1,886 acres to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for a new campus in North Las Vegas...more

Udall calls river mining by proposed monument 'disastrous,' gold hobbyists differ

A trio of gold panning enthusiasts has found themselves caught up in Sen. Mark Udall's push to create Browns Canyon National Monument. Udall called on the Bureau of Land Management this week to "challenge" mining claims located in the Arkansas River and his proposed Browns Canyon National Monument. "Mining on the river could destroy the pristine water quality and scenery that has made Browns Canyon one of the top rafting and fishing destinations in the country," Udall said in a press release that characterized the claims as potentially "disastrous" for Chaffee County. The three men who hold the claims, however, have a different take. Cañon City resident Dan Scavarda and his cousin Tom Tella bought four mining claims covering 80 acres near their property at Chateau Chaparral, an RV campground in Nathrop. The pair described themselves as amateur gold panners who had never owned a mining claim before. They planned to follow the lead of other prospectors using dredges to glean the precious metal from the river bed. "We're not gold miners, we're not looking for profit, we're just recreational guys," Scavarda said, describing the dredge they planned to use as a "lawnmower on a vaccum cleaner."...more

Court Grants Extension on Deadline for Jaguar Critical Habitat Determination

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) requested and recently received an extension of the deadline to reach a final determination on critical habitat for the jaguar. The previous settlement agreement date for publishing a final decision was December 16; the new publication date is February 14, 2014. The Service requested the extension due to the unavailability of required personnel (and related contractors) during the recent lapse of appropriations (furlough), as well as the rescheduling of court-ordered deadlines and other commitments for unrelated matters involving the same personnel since the restoration of appropriations. WildEarth Guardians (plaintiff) did not oppose the extension request, which was signed by D.C. Circuit Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on December 3, 2013. The Service has proposed to designate 858,137 acres in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico as critical habitat for the jaguar (Panthera onca) under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal was informed by information compiled by and modeling conducted by the Service-assembled, bi-national, scientific Jaguar Recovery Team. A comment period on the proposal will not be reopened...more

Thursday, December 19, 2013

One Million Americans Speak Out Against Stripping Federal Protections From Wolves — Most Public Comments Ever on an Endangered Species Act Decision

Approximately 1 million Americans stated their opposition to the Obama administration’s proposal to strip endangered species protections from gray wolves in a public comment period that closed today. This is the largest number of comments ever submitted on a federal decision involving endangered species and reflects broad dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s politically driven move to turn wolf management over to states across most of the lower 48. “Americans overwhelmingly oppose removing protections for wolves, and for good reason. Wolves have recovered to just a fraction of their range and are severely threatened by state-sanctioned hunts intended to decimate them,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “We hope the Obama administration will hear the pleas of hundreds of thousands of citizens and maintain these critically needed protections for wolves.” The 750,000-plus comments, being delivered today to the Fish and Wildlife Service by multiple conservation groups, will bring the total number to well over 1 million...more

Wyoming Wolf Delisting Challenged in Federal Court

Conservation groups today challenged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s premature removal of federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Wyoming. Arguments were heard at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. this morning. The court’s decision will determine whether Endangered Species Act protections will be restored to gray wolves in Wyoming unless and until state officials develop a stronger wolf conservation plan. Earthjustice is representing Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity in challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s September 2012 decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in Wyoming. “The questions asked by Judge Jackson at today’s hearing got to the heart of the issue,” said Jason Rylander, senior staff attorney with Defenders of Wildlife. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cannot ensure sustainable populations of wolves in Wyoming when the state’s laws allow so much unregulated wolf killing. We are hopeful that the court will agree the decision to remove federal protections for wolves in Wyoming was as unlawful as it was unwise.”...more

$12K Reward Offered In Suspicious Panther Death

The Florida panther is one of the most endangered animals in the world, which is why state and federal wildlife officials are now offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the suspicious death of an endangered Florida panther. The panther was found dead Dec. 7 in the Big Cypress National Preserve with a suspected gunshot wound. She was on a back country access road frequented by hikers, hunters and people who use off road vehicles. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating...more

Endangered Species Act Protection Affirmed for Two Washington Plants

Federal scientists confirmed today that two extremely rare eastern Washington plants granted Endangered Species Act protection in April 2013 do indeed need protecting. Rejecting a Rep. Doc Hastings-led effort to derail the plan, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reaffirmed that the best available science shows that Umtanum desert buckwheat and White Bluffs bladderpod deserve federal protection and designated critical habitat. Protections for the two plants, which are found only in Washington’s Hanford Reach National Monument, are the result of a settlement reached between the Center and the Service in 2011 to speed up protection decisions for 757 species around the country...more

Federal Agency Denies Protection For NM/AZ Orchid

A purple orchid found in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico will not be added to the federal endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its decision on the Coleman's coralroot Wednesday. It found that while mining, off-road vehicles, livestock grazing, disease and drought threaten the flower, the continued existence of the species is not threatened. The Center for Biological Diversity had petitioned the agency in 2010 to list the coralroot as threatened or endangered. It later sued, saying federal protection is the only way to ensure the orchid does not disappear completely. In Arizona, the coralroot is found in the Santa Rita and Dragoon mountains. It grows in moderate shade in oak woodland canyons, hills and drainages. AP

Decision on endangered listing for wolverines extended

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials on Tuesday announced a 6-month extension on the decision on whether to list wolverines under the Endangered Species Act. The announcement comes after state wildlife management agencies in the West asked for a delay, saying the science behind the proposal was "faulty" because it was based primarily on climate change. The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies crafted their request for a 90-day extension of the public comment period during a November meeting in Salt Lake City. The Fish and Wildlife Service said in Tuesday’s announcement that the extension is allowed "when there is substantial scientific disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the decision at issue." There had already been one extension of the comment period. The new deadline for a final rule will be Aug. 4, 2014. Wolverines, famous for their wandering ways and ability to survive tough conditions, were eradicated from the lower 48 states by about 1920. Since then, animals from Canada have moved into Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington state. Colorado and California each now have one male wolverine resident...more

NM AG Gary King sues to block horse slaughter facility

New Mexico's attorney general sued on Thursday to block a horse slaughter plant scheduled to open next month from becoming the first facility of its kind to operate in the United States in more than five years. The move is the latest in an ongoing legal battle that has pitted animal protection groups and their allies against an industry fighting to regain a foothold in the United States. "Commercial horse slaughter is completely at odds with our traditions and our values as New Mexicans," New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said in a written statement. "It also poses a tangible risk to consumers and to our environment." The lawsuit and an accompanying request for a temporary restraining order target Valley Meat Co., which plans to convert its cattle slaughterhouse in Roswell, New Mexico, to one processing horse meat starting on January 1. The suit further alleges that because many horses are administered scores of drugs while alive, their meat is likely adulterated, unsuitable for human consumption and in violation of state food safety laws. An attorney for Valley Meat called the lawsuit an inaccurate portrayal of the company's environmental history and an act of political grandstanding by King, a Democrat who has announced plans to run for governor of New Mexico in 2014. "The idea of suing someone for an anticipated violation of the (New Mexico) Food Act is crazy," said Blair Dunn, an attorney for the company. "This amounts to nothing more than a frivolous and harassing lawsuit going after a lawful business."...more

Gary King & Gov. Martinez agree on one thing:  If they don't like the business you're in they'll come after you with the full apparatus of the state.  That to me is scary.

Thinking of starting a business in NM?  Better check with G&G (Gov. & Gary) first.  If it doesn't meet with their personal likes or conflicts with any future political plans, your start up could be costly, lengthy and at the mercy of a politically connected lawyer, otherwise known as a judge.  

This could be why NM is dead last of all the states in economic freedom.

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1171

Homer & Jethro - All I Want For Christmas Is My Upper Plate

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Millions at stake for counties

The Washington County commissioners approved salary increases and an increase in the 2014 general fund budget on Thursday, but warned they could be facing major budget constraints depending on how Congress shapes a proposed federal budget agreement. An Interior Department program called Payments in Lieu of Taxes was established in 1976 as a way for rural counties and other local governments to offset the loss of tax revenue that comes with having large areas of non-taxable federal land within their borders. In Utah, where nearly 60 percent of the state is federally owned, the payments have been an essential part of county budgets, helping to fund law enforcement, roads and a number of other services. Nearly $9 million went to the five-county area in southwestern Utah this year. But with the end of the year approaching, local officials are getting uneasy about the program’s future. Congress hasn’t acted on payments due for the 2014 fiscal year, and while PILT is listed as a priority in the bipartisan budget agreement now awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature, Congressional appropriators would still have to actually fund the programs. The PILT program represents only a small fraction of the federal project — about $425 million is the projected spending for 2014 — but officials say it is significant for smaller governments. The federal government authorized $421.7 million in PILT payments nationwide for 2013, an amount reduced by $21.5 million due to sequestration. Most of the funding goes to smaller governments in the West...more

Has PILT ever been fully funded?

As the Obama adm. limits energy production on federal land, revenues decline causing more pressure to cut spending - like for PILT.

The best answer is to transfer these lands so they can either be managed or taxed by the states.

The energy industry is preparing to move beyond Keystone XL — and that’s no eco-lobby victory

by Erika Johnsen

If there is one overarching lesson to be found in yesterday’s Energy Information Administration report on the United States’ relatively newfound and positively dizzying energy abundance largely unlocked by the auspices of the private sector and recent drilling innovations, it’s that fossil fuels are not going anywhere for quite awhile — which makes it rather unfortunate for the radically progressive eco-contingent that they have worked so very hard to manufacture the Keystone XL pipeline as the major politicized issue on which to hang their climate-change hats. The oil-and-gas industry is awash in resources, and while the Keystone XL pipeline would have been the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, safest, cleanest way for Canadian and North Dakotan companies to transport those goods, it is still perfectly profitable for them to find other ways around the bottlenecks that the relative lack of available pipeline infrastructure is creating — namely, railroad.

The eco-lobby’s biggest argument throughout this entire painfully drawn-out episode has been that allowing the pipeline to proceed would exacerbate the onslaught of climate change by allowing Canada to more readily develop their oil sands; President Obama himself tried to reassure them on that score by directing the State Department not to issue their approval unless they determined the project would not cause a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions. As sane, rational people everywhere have been trying to impress upon these determinedly single-minded eco-radicals, however, the permanent absence of the Keystone XL pipeline will do exactly nothing to stop these companies from developing those resources. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, whether that means using more railroad or shipping their products by sea to the ever-eager buyers in China.

The entire fruitless exercise, however, has been an apt lesson in how not to pick your battles. Oil companies have been acting pragmatically as it’s become increasingly clear that the administration is deliberately slow-walking the endeavor, and Reuters reported yesterday that Continental Resources, one of the companies that has committed to shipping crude via the Keystone pipeline’s proposed northern extension, thinks that energy companies will be able to equip themselves to cope without it:

Continental has signed on to ship some 35,000 barrels of its own oil from the Bakken field of North Dakota on the 1,179-mile, $5.4-billion Keystone XL line. But construction of the pipeline has been delayed for years as TransCanada has sought regulatory approvals, and Continental has since turned to railroads to get its crude to oil refineries. Harold Hamm, chief executive of the independent oil producer, told Reuters that his company and the U.S. oil industry in general are no longer counting on Keystone XL. …When asked whether Keystone XL is still needed, Hamm said “not for our Bakken (crude). And is it needed for the industry? I don’t think so … not in the U.S.”… Continental now ships 90 percent of its crude oil by railcar, Hamm said. Rail transport can be more expensive, but it allows shippers more flexibility on where the crude is shipped.

The only victory that these self-fancied “green” fanatics will have secured here, in the eventuality that the administration does reject the pipeline, is in thwarting the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly form of transport.

U.S. Senate’s confirmation of proposed BLM chief no fait accompli

The 36 year-old son of a former Barrick Gold executive, a protégé of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, is finding his nomination as the next U.S. Bureau of Land Management director is anything but a fait accompli as far as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources is concerned. Neil Kornze, the son of former Barrick U.S. Exploration Manager and a former Newmont Mining chief geologist, Larry D. Kornze, has spent 11 years working in Washington, D.C.; eight years as a staff member for Reid on public lands, forest and mining, and three years with the BLM, currently as the agency’s principal deputy director. The League of Conservation Voters is backing Kornze’s nomination. LCV Deputy Legislative Director Alex Taurel observed, “As a westerner, he knows first-hand the importance of careful stewardship of our public lands. He's the right choice for the job, and the Senate should act quickly on his nomination." Reid’s remarks prompted a retort by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, who suggested Kornze lacks the experience required for the position of BLM director. “Specifically because the Federal Land Policy and Management Act states that the BLM Director: ‘shall have a broad background and substantial experience in public land and natural resource management’, he said, noting that former BLM directors Bob Abbey and Jim Caswell each had more than 30 years of experience in land and natural resource management. “In contrast, as we’ve discussed,” Barrasso told Kornze, “you’ve spent less than 3 years at BLM and no time at any other land management agency. “And with all due respect to the Majority Leader who was here to introduce you, I think this is not the resume of the ‘perfect’ nominee and to me it doesn’t suggest that you will be the ‘best director we’ve ever had,” Barrasso emphasized...more

Oh yes it is.  With Reid and the enviros backing this will happen.  The language in FLPMA was put there by the BLM to try to make their Director a "professional" like the Chief of the Forest Service.  It's never worked.

10,000 back petition asking interior secretary to protect park

During a trip to North Dakota in August, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said it was important for energy interests in the state to extract oil and gas with less impact on the environment. This week, the Dakota Resource Council announced it is sending a petition with more than 10,000 signatures to Jewell, urging the secretary to do what she can to help protect Theodore Roosevelt National Park from what has been dubbed “encroaching oil development.” DRC senior field organizer Scott Skokos said Wednesday that the plan is for the petition, which was rolled out in late August, to be hand-delivered to Jewell this month. About 10,260 supporters of the cause were able to sign their names via mega-petition website, Skokos said. Oil and gas industry infrastructure and flares can also clearly be seen at different locations in both of the park’s main units, but Naylor said it’s not just sightlines that are being or could be affected — wildlife, clean air and other aspects of the park are also affected...more

Global warming will kill us all, warns Common Core-aligned homework

Fifth grade students at Fremont Elementary School in Colorado were assigned a reading passage that describes global warming as a dangerous, man-made phenomenon that will destroy civilization in a few hundred years. The reading assignment was found inside a workbook aligned with the controversial national Common Core curriculum guidelines, and was titled “Homework from the Future.” It tells the fictional story of a visitor to the year 2512 who discovers that the eastern United States is under water and the country’s population greatly reduced, all thanks to man-made global warming:

  By the early 21st century, people knew that the massive use of fossil fuels was heating up the planet. But people didn’t stop their destructive lifestyles. They just kept using up Earth’s resources. The ice sheets melted, and Earth’s crust shifted. .. In 2130. the oceans began to rise over farmland and cities. In 300 years, most of the eastern United States was covered with water.

This is not the only assignment in the workbook that advances liberal environmental views. Another reading–that was not assigned to students–tells the story of Farmer Laura, who wins the coveted “Farmer of the Year” award by creating a successful organic farm that doesn’t consume fossil fuels. The story argues that “Global climate change is a serious problem,” and even cites a real study from the Rodale Institute, an organization that promotes organic farming.

End of the line for the lead bullet? Regulations, bans force switch to 'green' ammo

When the last bullet-producing lead smelter closes its doors on Dec. 31, it will mark a major victory for those who say lead-based ammunition pollutes the environment, but others warn 'green' bullets will cost more, drive up copper prices and do little to help conservation. The bid to ban lead bullets, seen by some as harmful to the environment, started slowly more than a decade ago. But with two dozen states, including California, banning bullets made of the soft, heavy metal, the lead bullet's epitaph was already being written when the federal government finished it off. First, the military announced plans to phase out lead bullets by 2018. Then the federal Environmental Protection Agency, citing emissions, ordered the shutdown of the Doe Run company's lead smelter in Herculaneum, Mo., by year's end. Whether by state or federal regulation, or by market forces, lead bullets will be all but phased out within a few years in favor of so-called green bullets, experts say. While many believe that this will help the environment by keeping lead from contaminating groundwater, others say switching to copper-based bullets will cost hunters and sportsmen more and have little effect on the environment. "Whatever the EPA's motivation when creating the new lead air quality standard, increasingly restrictive regulation of lead is likely to affect the production and cost of traditional ammunition," the National Rifle Association said in a statement...more

Gallup: Record high fear 'big government'

A record number of Americans think that “big government” is the biggest threat to the country, according to a new poll. The Gallup survey released on Wednesday showed that 72 percent of people say that “big government” is a bigger threat to the country than “big labor” or “big business.” That’s the highest percentage of Americans who have expressed the preference since the pollster began asking the question in 1965. According to the poll, just 21 percent of Americans cite “big business” as the greatest threat to the country, and only 5 percent have concerns about “big labor.” The recent wariness about the government could be partly due to troubles with the recent rollout of ObamaCare, as well as revelations about surveillance from the National Security Agency (NSA), Gallup noted. Though Republicans have driven the recent trend and are more concerned about government overreach, they are not alone. The survey found that 56 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents also fear “big government.”...more

Judge denies effort to block release of Krentz file

Documents related to the investigation of a 2010 killing of a rancher along the U.S.-Mexico border must be released under Arizona’s public records law, a judge ruled Tuesday. Authorities said Robert Krentz was gunned down on his property near Douglas. Investigators initially said they believed that a scout for drug smugglers was to blame for his killing, but the case remains unsolved. The killing prompted renewed calls in Washington for increased border security amid speculation that the death was somehow tied to smugglers. Krentz’s wife, Susan, had sought to block the release of the case file as authorities continue to investigate, claiming her privacy interest outweighed the public’s right to access under Arizona public records laws. Cochise County Superior Court Judge Charles Irwin heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys representing The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star. The judge then ruled against Krentz’s efforts to block authorities from releasing the file. “The law recognizes the importance of public transparency and public access to law enforcement records, especially in a case like this one,” said attorney David Bodney, who represented the Republic. Susan Krentz declined to comment Tuesday. Her attorney didn’t return a telephone message. Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels has said the Krentz case remains a top priority and that his office had developed numerous “persons of interest” who might have information on the killing. He has declined to discuss the status of the case in detail...more

American Farmland Trust opposes new conservation fee on farmers, ranchers who try to help the environment

Congress is about to impose a new conservation fee on farmers and ranchers who volunteer to help the environment as part of the Senate-House budget agreement, according to Andrew McElwaine, President and CEO of American Farmland Trust. AFT today said it will oppose a provision in the agreement authorizing the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to charge farmers up to $150 to help them prepare farm conservation plans. "Reducing nutrients from farm runoff costs almost 60 percent less than the same reduction from a sewage treatment plant," said McElwaine. "We should be rewarding farmers who voluntarily put conservation plans in place. Instead we're going to charge them." "Conservation plans are a fundamental first step farmers take to reduce erosion and keep sediment and nutrients from running off their land. Without this plan, those reductions won't take place and instead taxpayers will have to pay to upgrade local water and sewer systems. "Taking this action at a time when it appears Congressional negotiators have failed to come to agreement on a new Farm Bill is extremely disappointing. Many critical federal farm programs ended on September 30 when the last Farm Bill expired and thousands of family farmers and ranchers are facing an uncertain future." release

AFT thrives off the gov't teat, so hates to see anything like a user fee. If a farmer, rancher or any land owner wants to permanently limit the use of their property, let them absorb the entire cost of their choice, not foist it on the American Taxpayer.  If AFT wants to subsidize that choice they can raise the money privately.

Editorial - Nevada judge gets it right in water dispute with Utah

Earlier this year, we worried Utah might not fare well by having to rely on courts to protect its water interests in a proposed plan to pump from beneath valleys that straddle Nevada and Utah. At the time, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert had decided not to sign an agreement with Nevada that would have allowed pumping under certain restrictions and conditions. We’re still not certain how the issue ultimately will play out in court, but the first step in that process is encouraging. Nevada’s Seventh District Court Senior Judge Robert Estes last week rejected the state’s approval for the project and sent it back for more careful consideration. Among other things, the judge told state engineer Jason King to take a closer look at the groundwater resources in Utah’s Millard and Juab counties and consider how pumping Nevada’s spring valley would affect those levels, according to the Las Vegas Sun. That is exactly the kind of analysis needed. As Utah officials and environmentalists have been saying for years, the results of such pumping could be disastrous. Utah’s deserts contain fragile plant species that keep the soil in place. This allows ranching to thrive while also sustaining wildlife that feed on the plants. Drain water from beneath these plants and they might die, leading to dust storms and destroying the area’s economy. By the time such effects become apparent, it might be too late to reverse the process, even if pumping should stop. That point was not lost on the judge, who said the mitigation plan was flawed. He said it should include a specific course of mitigation and a determination on when to take those steps in order to preserve the water rights of people who live in those valleys. The judge said the state engineer also must ensure the water pumped away could be replenished in a reasonable time. That’s a difficult calculation to make in the midst of a prolonged drought in the area. That is the heart of the problem. Las Vegas continues to grow, but its ability to sustain life isn’t growing along with the population. The metro area gets nearly all its water from the Hoover Dam reservoir. With rainfall on the decline, the available water won’t go as far as it once did. The same can be said for the arid valleys of rural Nevada and Utah...more

Research reveals insights on consumer demands for transparency

Transparency in the food industry is a growing topic of conversation and, in order to continue to effectively communicate with consumers about the food they grow and raise, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®) conducted research to hone in on the topic of food transparency, specifically how important it is to American consumers. According to the survey, food transparency is very important. Fifty-nine percent of respondents report it is extremely important (rated it as an 8 to 10 on a 10 point scale) for grocery stores and restaurants to provide information about the way the food they sell is grown and raised. And over 50 percent say they want more information than they are currently getting. The good news is that farmers and ranchers across the country have the information consumers are asking for. However, it needs to be shared. “The call for transparency from the American consumer is real,” said Katie Pratt, an Illinois farmer and one of USFRA’s Faces of Farming and Ranching. “However, as an agriculture community, we have the tools, the real-life experiences and the stories to share with those who purchase the food we grow and raise. And we can continue to increase consumer confidence in our great systems of American agriculture.” “Information about how a food product was grown and raised is important for consumers. It’s almost as important as the price,” said Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation and USFRA Chairman. “The research found that when asked which is more important when making purchasing decisions, how much a food item costs or how much information is available about how it was grown or raised, 45 percent of total survey respondents chose information and 55 percent chose cost. That is significant.”...more

Proposed food safety rules miss the mark

The first major reform of food safety laws in seven decades, the Food Safety Modernization Act, was enacted in January 2011 with the intent of making food safer and reducing foodborne illness. However, the Food and Drug Administration’s plans to put FSMA rules in place are too broad to do the job well, according to farmers. Among Farm Bureau’s top concerns with the proposed regulations is FDA’s apparent unwillingness to focus on commodities that are associated with foodborne illness. “We urge FDA to reconsider standards that take into account the relative risks and comparative benefits associated with individual commodities. FDA should initially propose regulations for only those commodities with a history of microbial contamination,” Farm Bureau wrote in lengthy comments recently submitted to the FDA. Only once those regulations are successfully put in place and enforced, should FDA even consider expanding regulations to cover other commodities...more


Oglala Sioux won't force ranchers off land for bison plan

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has backed away from a plan to force cattle ranchers from their leased lands for a 100,000-acre bison reserve in the South Unit of Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota. Ranchers had criticized a June ordinance that revoked grazing leases on 10 parcels within and near the boundaries of the South Unit. The council rescinded the ordinance late last week at the urging of Councilman James Cross, the Rapid City Journal reported. Cross said people in the district he represents were strongly against the ordinance, and he criticized a committee that brought the plan to the council for not going to the districts to gather input. The tribe and the National Park Service are working on making the South Unit of Badlands National Park into the nation's first tribal national park. The Stronghold Buffalo Unit was part of that plan. Ranchers in the area say they will oppose any move to force them out because they have nowhere else to go. AP

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1170

Terry Fell - We Wanna See Santa Do The Mambo  For those not familiar with Fell, here's a short bio:

Artist Biography by Cub Koda

Known for his one big hit, 1954's "Truck Driving Man," Terry Fell is but a footnote in country history, but an important one nonetheless. His hit literally spawned the whole truck driving saga that is still a major part of country music's lyrical pool. He was also the first to see the promise in a young Buck Owens, signing him to a manager's contract and using him as a lead guitarist on his sessions. Fell started his recording career around 1945 as a member of Billy Hughes' group for Fargo Records. After the lone Fargo release, Fell recorded for Courtney and 4-Star, kicking up enough noise and sales with the 4-Star singles to get signed to RCA Victor's new 'X' subsidiary in 1954. It was at his first RCA session held in Hollywood that Fell waxed his first, and biggest, hit, the two-sided smash "Don't Drop It" and the immortal "Truck Drivin' Man." At first, "Don't Drop It" was the side to watch, spawning no less than five different cover versions for two different marketplaces. But it was the flip side that became the classic, spawning innumerable cover versions and hitting again on the country charts as late as 1976 for Red Steagall. Fell stayed with RCA and show business for the next five or six years, seeing no more hits but making serious inroads into the behind-the-scenes side of Nashville. Although he continued to record sporadically for Crest, Lode, and even RCA again, he had made the successful move into songwriting and music publishing, earning far more than he ever had as a performer.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One of President Obama's most radical Interior nominees is confronted by Sen. John Barrasso

by Ron Arnold

If Rhea S. Suh is confirmed by the Senate, she would have the power to block natural gas recovery and eradicate resource production on vast swaths of America’s federal lands, the coastal continental shelf, and astonishing amounts of private property.

Suh is President Obama’s nominee for assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks in the Department of the Interior.

She would control two major bureaucracies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (9,000 employees and more than 150 million acres) and the National Park Service (21,989 employees and 84.4 million acres, including more than 4.3 million acres in private ownership).

Such power in Suh’s hands would be a disaster for resource production and the national economy.

She spent more than a decade from 1998 to 2009 working for two major Big Green foundations, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($7.4 billion assets), and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation ($6.3 billion in assets).

Suh is an alumna of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, which includes more than 200 Big Green foundations that are dedicated to stopping development of America's abundant natural resources.

She joined the Interior Department in 2009 as assistant secretary for policy, management and budget, where she converted the mining-friendly Minerals Management Service into three industry-punishing agencies.

Suh’s track record shows nothing but opposition to tapping America's natural resources.

But something unexpected happened Dec. 12 during Suh's confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso read from a 2007 statement by Suh in which she said natural gas development is “easily the single greatest threat to the ecological integrity of the West.”

The quote came from an interview published in a Hewlett Foundation newsletter.

“If confirmed,” Barrasso said, “it will allow you to essentially stop natural gas production … so I want to know how members of the Senate who support natural gas could support your nomination.”

Suh — a master manager and strategist not to be trifled with — was unruffled by Barrasso's question.

She responded with a declaration of support for Obama’s "all-of-the-above" energy strategy “in which natural gas is a hugely important component,” then smoothly and gracefully explained that her grant making at Packard and Hewlett was solely “to enable conservation solutions that were balanced with development, as well as preservation.”

Barrasso was not impressed:

“I would also like to read from an op-ed by the Washington Examiner on your nomination, by Ron Arnold, titled, ‘Another Big Green power player moved up in Obama’s Washington.’”

The Examiner op-ed described in detail Suh's lengthy record of opposition to resource development.

“But even after you joined the Interior Department, you stated to the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s 25th anniversary, that ‘I look forward to working with you, my colleagues ... ’”

Barrasso waved an arm, interrupting himself to tell Suh, “You’re not there anymore, you’re at the Interior Department, yet you’re still saying that ‘I look forward to working with you, my colleagues, mentors and friends, to utilize the skills and talents of the EGA community to advance a more resilient world and a resilient movement.

“So my question to you,” said Barrasso, “is how can you expect the members of this committee to suddenly expect you to change your views if you’re confirmed?”

5 Changes Needed to Prevent More Wildfire Deaths

Wildfire veterans with decades of experience have a different perspective than the Washington bureaucrats to whom they ultimately answer. But while the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly, the people putting their lives on the line point to some simple, straightforward solutions to the dangers they confront. Wage timely, forceful attacks on fires when they first materialize, they suggest. Schedule safer, more effective work shifts rather than sending crews into the fray in the afternoon, when they’re exhausted, the fire is burning hottest and winds pick up and shift flames in various directions. Let fires that don’t threaten lives or properties burn themselves out rather than attacking every fire in the middle of nowhere, they advise, as the ecology of many areas depends on occasional wildfires to burn out excess fuels. And perhaps most important: Stand down when danger looms. National wildfires policy was borne of the “Big Blowup” of Aug. 20-21, 1910, when forest fires killed 85 people, burned 3 million acres and destroyed several towns in Idaho, Montana and Washington. But the push to suppress all wildfires may not be serving the nation well today — practically, financially or environmentally, fire managers suggest. The fire-prevention and -suppression approach held steady for more than 100 years, with one interlude in the 1970s, when the public heeded scientific findings that wildfires can help forest ecology. That controlled “let it burn” approach came to a quick halt after the 1988 fires in Yellowstone — the nation’s original national park and the crown jewel of its parks system. The beloved icon of the West was ravaged by fires from that June until November, with more than 150,000 acres burned. The public was apoplectic...more

Effects of pine beetle outbreak might not be as bad as predicted, experts say

Predictions were dramatic. Streams would rise. Nutrients would be lost. Fire would ravage the red forests in ways we could only imagine.
The mountain pine beetle epidemic was severe, the worst in North America’s recorded history. It crept through mountainsides in the West and left behind a scar of red and gray trees.
As the epidemic nears its end in some areas like the Medicine Bow National Forest, some scientists are discovering their predictions may have been backward. Stream flow has not increased, and nutrients are still in the ground.
“The big trees died, but there are still residual trees left,” said Brent Ewers, a botanist at theUniversity of Wyoming and one of the scientists on the study. “These forests are more resilient to the outbreak than we thought.”
Ewers and fellow researcher Paul Brooks, a hydrology professor at the University of Arizona, presented their information recently at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
The researchers started studying the Medicine Bow and Roosevelt national forests in 2008 with experts from across the western U.S. They wanted to know how much stream flow would increase and how much carbon and nitrogen would flood down the mountains.
Snow falling in healthy forests collects on needles and evaporates. What falls on the ground is often used by trees before it reaches groundwater or streams, Brooks said. The rest flows into our rivers, lakes and reservoirs amounting to the bulk of the West’s water supply.
Most people believed that without trees drinking water and tree needles cradling snow to be evaporated, more water would flow down into streams, he said.
They also thought carbon and nitrogen, chemicals released from trees after they die, would pollute the water. Both chemicals in large quantities can become toxic and could have required pricey solutions at water treatment plants, Brooks said.
An increase in water and chemicals can be effects after small fires or isolated logging projects. What some scientists didn’t realize was the sheer extent of the pine beetle damage. Instead of localized fires or logging, pine beetles swept through entire mountain ranges, burrowing in large trees, laying larvae and spreading their deadly fungus.
Snow then fell in large open areas, evaporating and blowing away the same as if it had fallen on fresh pine needles. New plants and trees on the ground flourished without the big, older trees, drinking the excess water, Brooks said.
Remaining trees and plants are absorbing nitrogen, causing the forest to actually grow faster than before, Ewers said...more

I don't understand.  We were told global warming had caused the huge beetle infestation.  Global warming is bad. But then there's mother nature, who is more resilient than all the researchers and envirocrats combined.

Would You Believe Zero Terrorist Attacks Foiled by the NSA's Phone Record Dragnet?

When U.S. District Judge Richard Leon issued his preliminary injunction against the NSA's phone record database yesterday, part of hisanalysis (which I will discuss in my column tomorrow) concerned whether the collection of telephone metadata counts as a "search" under the Fourth Amendment. But Leon also considered whether such a search might be "reasonable," even without an individualized warrant, because of its usefulness in preventing terrorist attacks. That part of the analysis was pretty straightforward, since the government had presented no evidence that the database has been useful in preventing terrorist attacks:
The Government does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA's bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature. In fact, none of the three "recent episodes" cited by the Government that supposedly "illustrate the role that telephony metadata analysis can play in preventing and protecting against terrorist attack" involved any apparent urgency....
Given the limited record before me at this point in the litigation—most notably, the utter lack of evidence that a terrorist attack has ever been prevented because searching the NSA database was faster than other investigative tactics—I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism.
Leon's conclusion on this question is striking, since you'd think the Obama administration would be highly motivated to show that the database has been crucial in saving lives. If the government cannot muster a single plausible example, how can such a massive invasion of privacy possibly be justified?...more

Farmers, ranchers won't fight Antibiotic Rule

Farmers and meat-industry officials said they embrace the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's effort to limit the use of antibiotics in animals raised for meat even as they don't see it changing much about how livestock are raised in the U.S. The FDA's policy, unveiled on Wednesday, seeks to phase out farmers' and ranchers' use of antibiotics to promote the growth of chickens, cattle and pigs. The decades-long use of the drugs on farms is widely believed to have contributed to a proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria that endanger human health. The rules would compel the industry to use antibiotics only when medically necessary, making it effectively unlawful to use them to make animals larger. Many in the industry say they are cautious, providing the medicines only as a measure to prevent or treat illness and so don't see widespread impact. Critics say the rules don't go far enough because they would still let farmers and ranchers use the drugs in feed and water as a preventative step. A more effective policy, they insist, would be to bar their use except when treating sick animals. The new rules require that licensed veterinarians oversee farmers' antibiotics use. In one sign that little may change, Eli Lilly & Co. and Zoetis Inc., two of the biggest manufacturers of animal antibiotics said they expected little impact on sales from the FDA's decision. The American Meat Institute, a trade group representing meatpackers such as Cargill Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc., said it welcomed the FDA's guidance and "supports the prudent and judicious use of antibiotics in food animal production under the care of a veterinarian."...more

North America to Drown in Oil as Mexico Ends Monopoly

The flood of North American crude oil is set to become a deluge as Mexico dismantles a 75-year-old barrier to foreign investment in its oil fields. Plagued by almost a decade of slumping output that has degraded Mexico’s take from a $100-a-barrel oil market, President Enrique Pena Nieto is seeking an end to the state monopoly over one of the biggest crude resources in the Western Hemisphere. The doubling in Mexican oil output that Citigroup Inc. said may result from inviting international explorers to drill would be equivalent to adding another Nigeria to world supply, or about 2.5 million barrels a day. That boom would augment a supply surge from U.S. and Canadian wells that Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM +2.00%, news) predicts will vault North American production ahead of every OPEC member except Saudi Arabia within two years. With U.S. refineries already choking on more oil than they can process, producers from Exxon to ConocoPhillips are clamoring for repeal of the export restrictions that have outlawed most overseas sales of American crude for four decades...more

Steve Pearce Book Signing - Thursday - La Posta

 “God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. This book is a compilation of the events that shaped my life.” – Steve Pearce

Book Overview:
“Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!” is a unique and fresh look at the life of New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce. Following his life story from his early days in West Texas, born the son of a sharecropper, to the military, the oilfields and eventually to the U.S. Congress, the book gives insight to the events that shaped Pearce’s life and led him to his current leadership role as the Congressman for New Mexico’s Second Congressional District. 

This story of achieving the American Dream and of overcoming adversity through faith and hard work is a must read!

About Steve Pearce:
Stevan Pearce currently serves as the Congressman representing the 2nd district of New Mexico.
Steve was born in 1947 to a large working-class family. He was raised in Hobbs, New Mexico, where he currently resides with his wife Cynthia. His father worked as a roustabout in the oilfield. With six children to feed, times were often hard in the Pearce household so the family sold vegetables on the side of the road to make ends meet.  
Steve attended New Mexico public schools his entire life, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from New Mexico State University and an MBA from Eastern New Mexico University.
He served as a combat pilot in the United States Air Force, flying a C-130 in the Vietnam War.
Pearce flew over 518 hours of combat flight and 77 hours of combat support. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals, as well as seven other military medals and four exceptional service awards. Upon returning to the United States, Pearce was assigned to the Strategic Air Command at Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of Captain.
Steve is a respected small-businessman. He and his wife Cynthia owned and operated Lea Fishing Tools, an oilfield services company in Hobbs. Because of this experience, Steve thoroughly understands the economic issues facing the country and is well aware of the regulations and taxes that plague small-business owners.
They sold the business after he was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2002.

Online version of bio available here.

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1169

Ranch Radio's tune today is Cliffie Stone's 1947 recording of The Christmas Waltz.  For those not familiar with Cliffie here's a short bio.

Artist Biography by Jana Pendragon

A native of California, Cliffie Stone was born Clifford Gilpin Snyder in Burbank on March 1, 1917. The son of entertainer, comedy star, and banjo picker Herman the Hermit, Stone was known for his struggle to bring California's country & western music into favor in post-World War II America. He began playing bass in big bands with Freddie Slack and Anson Weeks as well as with other bands around Hollywood and Pasadena, but it was his work on radio stations KFUD and KFWB that brought him respect. Shows such as Covered Wagon Jubilee and Lucky Stars, broadcast out of Los Angeles, allowed him to show off his numerous skills. Working as a DJ, comedian, performer, and host, Stone won fame doing 28 radio shows a week between 1943 and 1947. As a featured performer on the Hollywood Barn Dance, he made a place for himself in country music history. In 1946 he accepted a position with Capitol Records, who were gearing up for the still as yet undefined Bakersfield movement. An A&R executive with Capitol for 20 years, Stone discovered Tennessee Ernie Ford, whom he managed from 1947 to 1957, Molly Bee, Hank Thompson, and others who were flocking to L.A. to record.

In spite of his success at Capitol, Stone was best remembered for his radio work. His show on Pasadena radio station KXLA, Dinner Bell Roundup, was a daily variety presentation that brought large numbers of country & western entertainers into the homes of his listeners. In 1944 the show picked up and moved to El Monte. The new location brought with it a new name, Hometown Jamboree. Recording six albums of his own he earned co-writing credits on hits "Divorce Me C.O.D.," "So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed," and in 1947, "Silver Stars, Purple Sage, Eyes of Blue." He recorded with various versions of his own band, including Cliffie Stone & His Orchestra, Cliffie Stone & His Barn Dance Band, as well as Cliffie Stone's Country Hombres.

Concentrating on the business side of things, the 1960s saw Stone's publishing company, Central Songs, flourish. He even headed up a label, Granite, for a time. The father of Curtis Stone, one of the founding members of Highway 101, Stone wrote several books, including Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Songwriting but Didn't Know Who to Ask, published in 1991. He died of a heart attack on January 17, 1998.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Wilderness advocates sharply divided on 'consensus' proposals

...If Thomas’ “golden decade of conservation” relies on the success of consensus and collaboration, then there may be no better test of that theory than Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. FJRA is the first major piece of federal land management legislation in Montana to spring from the well of “collaboration,” and it is by far the most ambitious and controversial. Many wilderness advocates have fiercely opposed the measure since its introduction in 2009. Their primary criticism of the bill, though they have many, is that it mandates the Forest Service log tens of thousands of acres in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Kootenai national forests. Sen. Max Baucus followed Tester’s bill with a proposal of his own in 2011. The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act has many of the same detractors who say it designates a paltry amount of wilderness while locking-in grazing, logging and motorized recreation. However, with its lack of logging mandates and fewer carve outs for permanent motorized recreation, the opposition from the environmental community is less severe. Both bills rely on the idea of bringing the timber industry groups, conservationists and other stakeholders together to hammer out consensus proposals for public land management. That concept, particularly when it comes to Wilderness proposals, has fierce detractors in the environmental movement. Count 88-year-old Stewart “Brandy” Brandborg among them. Brandborg was director of Wilderness Society from 1964 to 1977. His grass-roots organizing and advocacy were pivotal in the passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act. Collaboration, as demonstrated by the process that created FJRA and the Heritage Act, is antithetical to the original concept of the 1964 Wilderness Act and threatens to undermine the bedrock administrative laws that demand public involvement and transparency in land management decisions, Brandborg said. “Good management of land prescribed by public land agencies, and good protective measures for water and our environment in general, are being subjected to a rash of proposals and policies that defy every rule and every restriction we’ve placed on resource management,” Brandborg says. “I take gross exception to the go-along policies of those state and local organizations who say we can embrace collaboration.” Four-and-a-half years since Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act was first introduced, the bill continues to languish in the Senate, and wilderness advocates remained locked in a bitter internecine battle that some say could undermine the entire future of wilderness in Montana...more

Nevada sage grouse critic calls feds closed-minded

An ex-state lawmaker and longtime critic of U.S. land managers says he’s convinced the feds have already made up their mind to list the greater sage grouse as a threatened or endangered species. But a Bureau of Land Management official says that’s not the case and insisted at a public meeting in Elko this week they want the community’s input on how best to save the troubled bird without a federal listing. Elko County Commissioner Grant Gerber suggested the BLM and U.S. Forest Service are seeking comment on a regional sage-grouse conservation plan only to placate critics of the push to protect the greater sage grouse, which is found in 11 Western states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Oregon. Ranchers, miners, energy developers and state officials fear restrictions on the use of public lands in sage grouse habitat would have deep economic consequences in the rural West. Former Republican Assemblyman John Carpenter said he believes the government is determined to list the chicken-sized game bird as part of a bigger strategy to lock up federal lands. “These people don’t give a damn about the sage grouse. All it is is for control,” Carpenter told the Elko Daily Free Press. “They want to get control of the people that are using the public land and get them off,” he said. “They want to get the cowboys and the miners and recreationists and everybody else and get them off.” BLM Elko District Manager Jill Silvey disagreed with Carpenter’s assertion that the BLM was in favor of a listing...more