Saturday, November 29, 2014

Obama says Keystone XL is for exporting oil outside the U.S., experts disagree

President Barack Obama and many other Democrats think there’s little to be gained by building the Keystone XL pipeline. "Understand what this project is," Obama said at a Nov. 14 press conference in Burma. "It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. That doesn't have an impact on U.S. gas prices." Two days later, in Brisbane, Australia, Obama described Keystone XL as "a pipeline shipping Canadian oil to world markets, not to the United States." Predicting the effect of the pipeline on gas prices is a little tricky. Experts tend to agree that it could impact gas prices, but the effect would be indirect and minimal. But in this fact check, we’re going to focus on the export question -- whether or not, as Obama said, Keystone XL’s primary destination is beyond the United States. We found that Obama’s off the mark. In recent years, the United States has become a net-exporter of refined oil products, like gasoline, jet fuel and asphalt (meaning it exports more products than it imports), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. However, it is a net-importer of the crude oil it uses to make those products. Keystone XL would transport crude oil from Canada’s tar sands through the Midwestern United States down to the Gulf Coast, and there are refineries all along the proposed route. (The map is from TransCanada, the pipeline operator.)  America gets more crude oil from Canada than any other country. Nearly all of Canada’s exports go to the United States, and this accounts for about a third of America’s total crude oil imports. Much of its oil already makes it to the United States by rail and existing pipelines. We asked several energy economics experts, and they believe that quite a bit -- if not most -- of the Keystone XL crude oil will be bought and used by American refineries. "It’s difficult to say with any certainty, but it is most likely that most would be refined in the U.S.," said Kenneth Medlock, an expert in energy economics at Rice University in Texas. A recent State Department report argues that it would not be "economically justified" for Canada to primarily export its Keystone XL oil to countries other than the United States, when there are plenty of American refineries to consume it. Some independent refineries -- particularly those in the upper Midwest, but also in Texas -- are in desperate need of crude oil, said Charles Ebinger, a senior fellow in energy security at the Brookings Institution. Currently, the refineries have to import crude from places like Venezuela and Mexico -- though it would be cheaper and better for overall energy security to buy from a North American source, rather than pay high transport costs...more

The Gruberization of Environmental Policies

by Paul Driessen

Call it the Gruberization of America’s energy and environmental policies.

Former White House medical consultant Jonathan Gruber pocketed millions of taxpayer dollars before infamously explaining how ObamaCare was enacted. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” he said. “It was really, really critical to getting the bill passed.” At least one key provision was a “very clever basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”

The Barack Obama/Gina McCarthy Environmental Protection Agency is likewise exploiting its lack of transparency and most Americans’ lack of scientific understanding. EPA bureaucrats and their hired scientists, pressure groups and PR flacks are getting rich and powerful by implementing costly, punitive, dictatorial regulations “for our own good,” and pretending to be honest and publicly spirited.

EPA’s latest regulatory onslaught is its “Clean Power Plan.” The agency claims the CPP will control or prevent “dangerous manmade climate change,” by reducing carbon dioxide and “encouraging” greater use of renewable energy. In reality, as even EPA acknowledges, no commercial-scale technology exists that can remove CO2 from power plant emission streams. The real goal is forcing coal-fired power plants to reduce their operations significantly or (better still) shut down entirely.

The agency justifies this by deceitfully claiming major health benefits will result from eliminating coal in electricity generation – and deceptively ignoring the harmful effects that its regulations are having on people’s livelihoods, living standards, health and well-being. Its assertion that reducing the USA’s coal-related carbon dioxide emissions will make an iota of difference is just as disingenuous. China, India and other fast-developing nations must keep burning coal to generate electricity and lift people out of poverty, and CO2 plays only a tiny (if any) role in climate change and destructive weather events.

The new CPP amplifies Obama Administration diktats targeting coal use. Companion regulations cover mercury, particulates (soot), ozone, “cross-state” air pollution, sulfur and nitrogen oxides that contribute to haze in some areas, and water quality. Their real benefits are minimal to illusory … or fabricated.

Obama Rules Are Coal In America's Christmas Stocking

Funny how this always happens: Right before a big holiday weekend, when almost no one is paying attention, the Obama administration announces hundreds, sometimes thousands, of new regulations.
Early Christmas Season Surprise: 3,000 New Federal Regulations

Earlier this week, news broke that businesses and consumers should get ready for more than 3,000 new regulations that will hit the economy in 2015. The national media yawned.

According to the Daily Caller, the administration's "Unified Agenda for Fall 2014" contains "189 rules that cost more than $100 million." That's a $20 billion a year tax on small businesses, families and corporations.

If you thought President Obama was skirting the Constitution with his amnesty for 5 million illegal immigrants, consider that almost none of these new rules he's pushing have been approved by Congress.
These are powers asserted by the executive branch's alphabet soup of rule-making agencies. Unelected bureaucrats make the rules; you live by them.

The new edicts include everything from the Obama administration's bid to regulate the Internet to the kind of light bulbs you can buy to a requirement that restaurants post the calories on Big Macs, pizzas and muffins.

...Shame on the White House for imposing such burdens on employers and families when finances are tight and jobs still scarce. Shame on Congress for letting it happen.

In January the new Congress should pass the Reins Act. It requires congressional approval of all new regulations costing more than $100 million. It should do so, then cut the budgets of agencies that don't comply.

Last time we checked, Congress still has the power of the purse. It should start using it.

USDA Buys Cranberries For Food Pantries And School Lunches: ‘It’s A Win-Win’

USDA Cranberries - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed to purchase up to $55 million in cranberry products to the Congressional Cranberry Caucus. The USDA doubled with this buy the previous one, which was in January. The agreement ended up with the Agriculture Dept. getting 68 million pounds of surplus cranberries, Green Bay Press Gazette reported. The U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said on a press release on Monday that Wisconsin is the main producer of cranberries and the decision of the USDA is to help growers at a tough time. The USDA doubled with this buy the previous one, which was in January. The agreement ended up with the Agriculture Dept. getting 68 million pounds of surplus cranberries, Green Bay Press Gazette reported. The U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said on a press release on Monday that Wisconsin is the main producer of cranberries and the decision of the USDA is to help growers at a tough time. The result of this buy will be more stable cranberry growers. The USDA became proprietor of the oversupply of the fruit, so this means that the growers are getting from 10 to 19 cents a pound, Local 12 noted...more

Yes, we have a "Congressional Cranberry Caucus" and they're making sure those surplus cranberries are gobbled up by USDA.  A nice picture of what the DC Deep Thinkers have wrought.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Gun sales boom on Black Friday: Almost 3 background checks per second

The busiest shopping day of the year also saw a major boom for gun sales, with the federal background check system expected to set a record of more than 144,000 background checks Friday, according to the FBI. The staggering number of checks -- an average of almost three per second, nearly three times the daily average -- falls on the shoulders of 600 FBI and contract call center employees who will endure 17-hour workdays in an attempt to complete the background reviews in three business days, as required by law, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said. Last year, the agency completed 21 million background checks, and about 1.1% of those purchases were denied, the agency said. Firearm background checks have doubled from the more than 9 million conducted when the system was implemented in 1999. Ten factors can disqualify a purchase: felony conviction, arrest warrant, documented drug problem, mental illness, undocumented immigration status, dishonorable military discharge, renunciation of U.S. citizenship, restraining order, history of domestic violence or indictment for any crime punishable by longer than one year of prison...more

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks, Property Rights!

by John Stossel

This Thanksgiving, I give thanks for something our forebears gave us: property rights.

People associate property rights with greed and selfishness, but they are keys to our prosperity. Things go wrong when resources are held in common.

Before the Pilgrims were able to hold the first Thanksgiving, they nearly starved. Although they had inherited ideas about individualism and property from the English and Dutch trading empires, they tried communism when they arrived in the New World. They decreed that each family would get an equal share of food, no matter how much work they did.

The results were disastrous. Gov. William Bradford wrote, "Much was stolen both by night and day." The same plan in Jamestown contributed to starvation, cannibalism and death of half the population.

So Bradford decreed that families should instead farm private plots. That quickly ended the suffering. Bradford wrote that people now "went willingly into the field."

Soon, there was so much food that the Pilgrims and Indians could celebrate Thanksgiving.

There's nothing like competition and self-interest to bring out the best in people.

While property among the settlers began as an informal system, with "tomahawk rights" to land indicated by shaving off bits of surrounding trees, or "corn rights" indicated by growing corn, soon settlers were keeping track of contracts, filing deeds and, alas, hiring lawyers to sue each other. Property rights don't end all conflict, but they create a better system for settling disputes than physical combat.

Knowing that your property is really yours makes it easier to plant, grow, invest and prosper.

In Brazil today, rainforests are destroyed because no one really owns them. Loggers take as many trees as they can because they know if they don't, someone else will. No one had much reason to preserve trees or plant new ones for future harvests; although recently, some private conservation groups bought parcels of the Amazon in order to protect trees.

The oceans are treated as a commons, and they are difficult to privatize. For years, lack of ownership led to overfishing. Species will go extinct if they aren't treated as property. Now a few places award fishing rights to private groups of fishermen. Canada privatized its Pacific fisheries, saving the halibut from near collapse. When fishermen control fishing rights, they care about preserving fish.

Think about your Thanksgiving turkey. We eat tons of them, but no one worries that turkeys will go extinct. We know there will be more next year, since people profit from owning and raising them.

In Recent Prairie Dog Case, the Federal Government Admits Something it Tries to Cover-Up

Little noticed in the recent court decision about the Utah prairie dog, which struck down for the first time the listing of a species under the Endangered Species Act, is the federal government admitted something that it and other proponents of the Act have long tried to conceal: the Act restricts and prevents otherwise normal and legal forms of land and resource use, such as agriculture and construction. The case, argued successfully by Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation, elicited some telling responses from the government. Proponents of the Endangered Species Act have long claimed that the Act does not restrict or prevent normal and legal land and resource use, in an effort to shield the Act from legal challenge that it violates the Constitution’s Taking’s Clause, which states “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Despite this plain language, and that landowners, such as those in southern Utah with prairie dogs on their land, have had significant portions of their property converted into de facto federal wildlife refuges for endangered species, proponents of the Endangered Species Act maintain otherwise. While the Utah prairie dog case disproves the patently false claim that the Endangered Species Act does not restrict land and resource use, the government ironically put itself in the position of having to admit this. The crux of the government’s case is that federal protection of the prairie dog is legally justified because the rodent is involved in interstate commerce. According to this line of thought, this triggers protection under the Act because the Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” Over the years, and especially since the New Deal era, the scope of the Commerce Clause has been expanded so massively that the federal government feels it can regulate just about anything, however tenuous or even nonexistent its links to interstate commerce. The problem with the government’s Commerce Clause claim in the case of the Utah prairie dog is that the rodent lives entirely within Utah and is not involved in, or has any effect on, interstate commerce. Yet because the federal government put itself in the untenable position that protection of the prairie dog under the Endangered Species Act is legally justified due to the Commerce Clause, the feds had to admit the Act prevented otherwise normal and legal forms of land use in order to try to create a “nexus,” or link, to interstate commerce...more

Officials say economic outlook good for public land transfer, but keep study under wraps

The costs of transferring 30 million acres of public lands to Utah pencil out for the state, according to a team of economists. But state officials are not quite ready to release the 800-page study that backs up those findings. State lawmakers pushing the idea — and the public — will have to wait a little while longer to see the proof, officials told an interim legislative panel Wednesday. The Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office intends to complete an "analytical summary" of the long-anticipated report, freshly completed by economists at three Utah universities after more that a year of data gathering and number crunching, office director Kathleen Clarke told lawmakers. The economists said Utah could manage federal public lands to harvest oil and gas and timber while providing outdoor recreation and preserving "unique landscapes and ecosystems." "We want Utah to be prosperous. This requires an enduring and diversified economy," the economists wrote in their conclusion, quoting the Governor’s Council of Balanced Resources. "To get there we need to pursue development and the recreation economy and ensure our efforts to promote one economic sector do not unduly restrain another." The 13-chapter study is intended to guide decisionmaking surrounding the state’s quest, codified in a controversial 2012 state law, to gain control of most of the land administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Each chapter tackles a critical public lands issue — including wildfire management, quality of life issues, mineral resources and outdoor recreation...more

Backers of Alaska gold mine win court battle with EPA

Pebble Partnership, the Canadian company behind the project, which would take place near Anchorage, claims the regulatory agency has conspired illegally with opponents of the mine to devise scientific and environmental justifications for blocking it. Salmon fishermen in Washington state and Alaska, Native American groups and environmental organizations have opposed the massive project for several years, and had appeared to have gotten it scuttled prior to Tuesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Russel Holland, in Anchorage. “We expect the case may take several months to complete,” Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier said Tuesday after the U.S. District Court ruling in Anchorage. “This means that, for the first time, EPA’s march to preemptively veto Pebble has been halted.”  Holland's ruling stops the EPA from taking action against the project until he makes a decision on Pebble’s lawsuit claiming the agency broke the law to stop the mine. Pebble Partnership's lawsuit claims the EPA secretly relied on opponents of the mine to help craft a “patently biased” environmental assessment that determined the project could be devastating for the salmon of Bristol Bay. “Instrumental to this scheme was EPA’s clandestine use of the de facto advisory committees – made up of individuals and groups who have been vehemently opposed to any mining of the Pebble deposit – to help the agency plan and then implement unprecedented steps designed to guarantee that no mining of the Pebble deposit would ever take place,” the company’s lawsuit claims. Holland’s preliminary injunction order indicates he believes Pebble Partnership has a chance to prove its case. But EPA spokeswoman Jennifer Colaizzi expressed doubt that the judge will ultimately side with the mining company...more

New Jersey Hiker Photographed Bear Before It Killed Him

A New Jersey hiker killed by a bear in September took a series of photos of the animal with his cellphone before it mauled him to death. Police in West Milford have released five photos taken by 22-year-old Darsh Patel before he was killed by the 300-pound black bear while hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve. The photos show the bear behind a fallen tree in the woods. Investigators say the phone was found with puncture marks from the bear. The photos were released after filed an open records request. West Milford police and the state Environmental Protection Department said last month that the bear did not seem interested in food and exhibited “stalking type behavior.” Patel, a senior at Rutgers University, and his friends were hiking when they noticed the bear following them, authorities said. The group scattered and they called police when they realized Patel was missing....more

Monday, November 24, 2014

USFWS Says Wolf Spotted On North Rim Of Grand Canyon Is A Rocky Mtn. Gray Wolf

A female gray wolf that dispersed from the Rocky Mountains, presumably in search of a mate and new territory, has been roaming the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, according to a DNA analysis performed for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The confirmation announced Friday came from analysis on a scat sample conducted by the University of Idaho’s Laboratory for Ecological, Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics. The lab now will turn to comparing that DNA to DNA samples taken from other female Rocky Mountain gray wolves to see if it can pinpoint where the North Rim wolf came from. “The DNA results indicate this wolf traveled at least 450 miles from an area in the northern Rocky Mountains to northern Arizona,” Benjamin Tuggle, the Fish and Wildlife Service's Southwest regional director, said in a release. “Wolves, particularly young wolves, can be quite nomadic dispersing great distances across the landscape. Such behavior is not unusual for juveniles as they travel to find food or another mate.” The scat sample was obtained Nov. 2 by researchers. Efforts to capture the wolf to obtain a blood sample and replace a worn radio collar were unsuccessful and suspended due to cold weather, the agency said. With the confirmation, the wolf automatically gains protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to Defenders of Wildlife...more

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Thankful is the cowboy way

By Julie Carter

As a rule, a cowboy is a man of few words.  His thankfulness for his life is heartfelt but will be expressed in a simple manner.

The job doesn’t pay much, but the air is clean. The benefit package is limited, meaning ranch rules are he can have two horses, one dog and he must use both for work. If he happens to get hurt or sick he will just have to get better and sooner rather than later.

His clothes don’t have designer labels. He has one “town” shirt and Lord willing, he will have saved enough for new chaps by Christmas.  A pair of clean jeans, a mostly ironed shirt and the dust knocked of the toe of his boots make him ready for polite company.

He gets mail once in a while. The latest catalog from the veterinary supply is the highlight in the week.

His schedule is pretty simple. It coincides with Mother Nature and Father Time. If the weather lets him and there is any daylight left, he will get it done. Once in a while he is forced to meet a deadline set by an arriving load of feed or the cattle trucks at shipping time.

His pickup is old but it still runs good enough to get him where he needs to go. His horse is young and still has a little buck in him. For a cowboy, it doesn’t get much better.

The roads out at the ranch don’t have traffic lights and there are definitely no heavy traffic issues.  A traffic jam to a cowboy is when he needs to move a large herd of cattle through a small gate.

Neighborhood gangs are made up of the neighbors coming to help. The closest thing to smog arrives in the spring in the form of blowing dust and smoke from the branding irons. Sometimes when he starts up the old pickup it belches a little black smoke. Some might call that smog.

Office politics don’t exist and a nylon rope keeps things politically correct with a cow.
There are no lines to stand in to wait for anything.  Back of the line to a cowboy means riding drag behind the herd.

His outlook on the weather sums it up in an ever optimistic attitude of “maybe it’ll rain one of these days. It always does eventually.” In the meantime, its winter and time to chop a little fire wood before it gets dark and keep the axe handy to break ice on the water tanks in the morning.

He sees in one day more of creation than most will see in a lifetime of the Discovery Channel. He watches natures cycle in wildlife of all kinds as the coyote hunts, the deer and elk graze and hawks on the wing observe from above.

For this life he is most thankful. He knows he can ride to the top of a ridge and be just about as close to his Lord as he is going to get on this earth. His prayer for himself is that Lord willing, he’ll be here next year to say thanks again.

Julie can be reached for comment at


Rain running off the eaves
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            Let’s begin where this isn’t supposed to start … it’s raining.
            Water is running off the eaves as if it is serious. The matter is supported by the drumming on the metal roof. It could be classified as dreary, but I sense no such description. These kinds of mornings can only be described as joyful.
            I love the rain.
            I know exactly where if not when metal roofs became my preference, too. My grandparents’ place on Bell Canyon remains my claim on such matters. Sleeping out on the porch was the genesis that elevated tin roofs to importance. When just a hint of sprinkle gave way to a full blown storm, nothing can compare to those old strong barn tin roofs. The wafting of the smell of night showers with the impact of cool air across that screened porch while in that warm bed with fresh sun dried sheets was nothing short of glorious.
            Pulling the covers up to be consumed by that cavalcade of sensory explosion gave rise to why rainy mornings can be described as joyous. Maybe New Mexico has something to do with it as well. There is no place on earth that I have experienced that has offered such parallel natural exultation. Call it bias, it remains the basis to judge many things.
            Maybe it is just memories of home …
On a grand morning not long ago we moved a pasture in the rain, and, while the folks from town that came to help lacking cowboy logic and protection suffered mightily, I savored the morning. I was warm and comfortable in my slicker and horse and I both enjoyed everything about the experience.
Exposure to real conditions is the best teacher.
Dusty and I have stripped off more than once to build a fire to dry our clothes and warm our bodies. Two most memorable times were both on the sides of mountains. Both were deer hunts.
One was on School House Mountain and that juniper fire saved the day and our spirits. The other was on the side of Granny Mountain and there was nothing on us or around us that wasn’t dripping with water.
The latter had started with a ride from Corral Canyon down into the Sapillo and on up the river to the old Heart Bar round corral across from to the mouth of Fall Canyon. We arrived in mid afternoon and had time to put the wall tent up, get our camp in order, and cut and stack firewood. We cooked a good supper and were inside the tent when the rain started. The patter on that wall tent grew to a pounding, but we remained dry and comfortable. We commented that if wanted to rain for two days, let it rain!
It let up enough to allow us to rim out onto Granny and spend the next day hunting before we got wet. We dried by the fire and came off the mountain in the dark in a high trot.
Another grand lightning display and hard rain was experienced at the Trotter Place on the Middle Fork. Hugh and I had arrived at sundown and unsaddled and fed the horses just before the storm hit. We felt our way around the inside of the cabin and got a lantern lit. We ate and decided to go to bed and listen to it rain. In the midst of the display that lit up the meadow outside the old cabin like day, I glimpsed a visitor to my bed. It was a rat sitting on my sleeping bag in upright pack rat fashion just staring at me. When the lightning lit the backdrop, I could see him silhouetted there on my midriff. I mentioned it to Hugh and he told me to shut up and go to sleep. Eventually, the rat left, and the rain continued.
Perhaps the most enduring memories, though, came from wet corrals and the smell of horses. Once, my granddad and I had come in to unsaddle at the headquarters on the Mangus only to get caught in a rain at the barn. We sat there protected and looked out into the storm through the big open door. I suspect not much was said. Grandpa was not always talkative on those occasions. When it was over, we probably went to house to get in the pickup to “go see where it rained”.
That simple thing we did with regularity. Rain was so important to our lives, and that included therapy for our souls … nostalgia.
            I started this with the intention of Thanksgiving.
            The rain changed the course of events, but not the intent. In fact, the same natural inclination has everything to do with Thanksgiving. The same basis of nostalgia emerges.
With our increasingly gray heads, a different dynamic is developing. Certainly, we refer to the importance of the renewal of ties to family and friends created by Thanksgiving, but those that made it most appealing to us are now largely gone.
            Seldom is there a day that goes by that I don’t think about one of my grandmothers. Unequivocally, they were the forces that kept our families together and Thanksgiving was hugely important in that regard. Those celebrations were prompted by those who came before our grandmothers and instilled in them the same thing.
            We are now the caretakers.
            With that responsibility, what was it that created that sense of awe and excitement of this holiday? It wasn’t a Detroit Lion football game because, in the early years, none of us had a television much less interest in a Thanksgiving Day football game.
            Games were played. Rousing games of Pitch were played by the men on the card table set up in the living room. The women cooked, talked, and laughed in the kitchens. Almost universally, the kids were outside. We were on our own until Nana or Grandma called us to the meal.
            Outside, we did what we always did at the ranch on the Mangus or the farm on the Gila … depending on the grandmother’s house we had made the first stop. We had our BB guns or .22s depending on the age and the year. We caught a horse or went to the barn or the creek or river to pursue our self evolving agenda.
            Whether we knew it or not, the day was interwoven with fall and harvest and the conclusion of the yearly cycle. If it was at the Mangus, the meal was largely a function of what Grandma had ‘put up’ and retrieved from the cellar. If it was at Cliff and the Gila River, the meal was a function of canned mincemeat, ham from a butchered hog, eggs from the henhouse, or what was retrieved from the freezer and the shelves of home canned larder in the pump room. A major portion of the pending feast was raised or processed by our grandmothers’ hands. It had come from harvest of our immediate control.
            Implicit in that whole process, the ties to our surroundings were direct and the results were chained to generational connectivity. Home was sanctified and all the attachments therein defined the matter of … nostalgia.
            I miss my grandmothers.
            I have come to recognize the immensity of their impact on me and, for that, I am eternally grateful. I also give them most of the credit for creating the backdrop of importance attached to this holiday.
            The changes that have occurred from then until now worry me. Certainly in my family there is no longer a strong connection to our surroundings. It has been a long time since the meal was fashioned largely from harvest managed from our own hands.
Football is on the television. Youthful memories are not derived from wet leaves, fresh air, creek banks, or a horse caught on which to play cowboys and Indians. The connection of harvest is at best an abstract notion, and, in that, there is danger and loss.
            It is seen in the corrupted opinions of how our lands should now be managed, the distance from things actually natural, and the plunging numbers of those who have direct connections to the past through skills and ethics of those who preceded us.
            If we are judged on the basis of maintaining what once were simple but have become esoteric traditions of value, we have failed.
            The most valued memories of this holiday and all that frames it are the most simplistic. Just like the rain that has finally stopped dripping off the eaves, memories and the security of the circumstances that emerged as representing home are the real basis for this celebration.
It has meaning to this gray headed rancher, and I pray that a semblance of it remains with those whom I actually have some … influence.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “In memory of my grandmothers …”

Baxter Black: If organic movement took over home building

In the land of Nod a movement sprung up to build houses without the use of power tools. The advocates of organic construction (OC) supported the movement because it prohibited the recovery and use of the carbon.

To be OC any lumber used must be hand-hewn, saws must be manually operated. Mule power is approved.
Machine-made tools must be made by a blacksmith and made from stones, dug and formed by hand.

Electricity must be generated by wind power or water wheel. Those who live in the OC Stone Age houses glory in their contribution toward low environmental impact. They expect the government to give them tax breaks (think Al Gore) and to subsidize the craftsmen who do the grueling everlasting sawing, shimming, pounding and digging to build their houses under OC rules.

Well, we don't live in a land of Nod. There is no movement to build houses like the Native Americans before Columbus arrived. But that thought occurred to me when I read a newspaper article titled, "Don't let your children grow up to be farmers." It was written by a Connecticut man who, according to his story, was inspired by what is being called today, "The Food Movement." He threw himself joyously into the cause!

The government and many private entities have established foundation grants or donors to support "small farming." He was given financial help to encourage his venture. As he cleared his small acreage and learned first hand the effort it takes to farm, he avoided anything with the word "chemical" in it. No fertilizer unless it was from an organic source; no antibiotics, medicine, anesthetic or parasiticide to care for his sick animals, no insecticides, GMO's, no herbicides for his crops, he didn't even use rat poison.

                                                     READ ENTIRE COLUMN

$200,000 of Homeland Security funds spent on jaguar “attitudes” surveys

by Cindy Coping

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) more than $2 Million of its own funding to spend on jaguar recovery in the United States border region instead of securing the border. USFWS has already spent $775,000 of that funding to place camera traps around southern Arizona and New Mexico in hopes of photographing jaguars and ocelots. More recently, according to Greenwire, another $200,000 of Department of Homeland Security funds were spent to study ranchers’ attitudes toward jaguars. The survey results are to be incorporated into a jaguar recovery plan that is likely to be released in 2015.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) claims that human hunting and habitat destruction is a primary threat to jaguars. The linked article from the news service Greenwire spins this global statistical finding into misleading  innuendo that ranchers and hunters are the primary threat to jaguars in the southern USA. To the contrary over  the last 28 years, no jaguars have died at the hands of poachers, hunters or ranchers in the United States. In contrast, unprofessional, unethical and even illegal attempts by biologists to snare jaguars for study have inhumanely finished off at least four of the endangered beasts in the United States, northern Sonora and the Yucatan within the last decade.

This is not to say that information quoted directly from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees is by any means accurate. The Greenwire article quotes Mary Anderson, FWS border mitigation coordinator as stating,
“There’s a lot of concern by the public regarding the presence of jaguars in their area, and we’re just trying to find out what those concerns are so that we can educate the public.”
For instance, she said, if people don’t realize that jaguars mainly eat deer and javelinas, then that fact could “lessen concerns of the public regarding the threat of jaguars to humans.”
Apparently Ms. Anderson is unaware of the recent study by Cavalcanti and Gese showing that in Brazil, nearly one-third of a jaguar’s typical diet is beef cattle. She may also be unaware of several lethal attacks on humans by jaguars in Colombia, Belize and Guayana in the last five years, in addition to a three year old child that was taken from the front steps to her grandmother’s home by a jaguar that fractured her skull with its massive jaws. When we interviewed the world-class 1960’s-era jaguar hunting guide Curtis Prock, we learned that he was called upon twice in British Honduras to track down jaguars and recover the remains of children they had taken.

More importantly, lives are threatened directly by the failure of the U.S. Government to secure our southern border. The current policy compromises the safety and security of the nation so that transient, lone male jaguars can cross the border to hunt for nonexistent mates in Arizona and New Mexico. No naturally occurring female jaguar has been seen in Arizona since at least 1949, and that one is questionable. No naturally occurring female jaguar has ever been documented in New Mexico. There is no verifiable evidence that breeding populations of jaguars ever occurred naturally in Arizona or New Mexico. Many ranchers live between the border and the so-called “forward operating bases” of the U.S. Border Patrol. One of those ranchers, Robert Krentz, was murdered on his own property by a man he identified in his last radio transmission as an illegal immigrant. SACPA opposes this perversion of the Endangered Species Act which seems to be employed as a political excuse for continuous border insecurity.


Renewable energy 'simply won't work' says top Google engineers

Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible. Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. These aren't guys who fiddle about with websites or data analytics or "technology" of that sort: they are real engineers who understand difficult maths and physics, and top-bracket even among that distinguished company. The duo wrote, "Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach."...more

We need to raise the price of water

by Randy Simmons

Last January, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency following projections of severe drought. State bureaucrats and local officials jumped into action and mandated any number of water conservation tactics. While some have been relatively successful, most will do nothing. In fact, it appears that despite the drought, water use may have actually increased in the past year.

So, exactly how much do Californians value their decreasing supply of drinkable water? According to the California Water Service Company, it is valued at less than a penny per gallon. If water were plentiful, an almost-zero price would not be a problem, but under the current situation it is truly a catastrophe. The average American uses 100 gallons per day, Californians average 124, and in some regions of California up to 379 gallons per person per day. That sounds a bit outrageous for a state experiencing a drought of Biblical-plague proportions, doesn’t it?

The solution to rectifying California’s abysmal water conservation record might be found in California’s agricultural sector. In just the past year, prices for irrigation water have risen from ten to almost forty times last year’s price. Those who have the water to spare can make a sizable profit by selling it to those who need it. Thus, because the value of water has significantly increased, every gallon is a precious commodity that is not wasted.

But won’t raising prices only hurt the poor and have little effect on those who have the money to afford it anyways?

Charging more for water need not create undue hardship for poor or lower middle class families. Establish a minimal per capita water use level and then charge progressive water rates so that any extra water used is billed at a higher rate. This allows consumers to choose if they are willing to pay for an extra long shower, to water their lawn or to wash their car.

Randy T. Simmons is a political scientist who emphasizes the importance of economic reasoning to better understand public policy. He believes the study of politics cannot be separated from the study of markets. Simmons uses this framework to evaluate environmental and natural resource policies. 

What you don't know about Obama's amnesty plan

...But the policy the White House actually announced, as opposed to the policy the President described in his speech, was not merely a directive to emphasize enforcement against those who have committed crimes, or even a simple pause on deportations for millions of Americans here illegally. The policy the White House actually announced, in a memo from its Office of Legislative Affairs hours before the President's speech, was a 17-point plan including several new programs without congressional approval, budget appropriation or spending authorization, and many of which the President either didn't mention or which bore only a faint resemblance to what he described in his speech...more

NH: Dog Fights off Coyote that Attacks Mistress

The first coyote was recorded in New Hampshire in 1972.  By 1980, they were found across the state.  Eastern coyotes have wolf genes, and are larger than the western variety, reaching as much as 60 lbs.
The first coyote attack on a human in New Hampshire occurred in 2012.  Ironically, the boy's dog ran off, leaving him to fight the coyote.  From

The boy’s dog ran away when the coyote approached which left the boy to fend off the coyote’s attack on his own. After repeatedly punching the coyote in the nose, the coyote eventually ran off leaving the boy scratched and potentially bitten. As a precautionary measure, the teen is undergoing a course of rabies shots intended to thwart the deadly viral infection.
The second coyote attack occurred just a couple of days ago, near Greenland, NH.  In this case the woman's dog was an able defender, and gunshots failed to drive off the animal.  From
The woman involved in the Monday morning attack didn't want to be identified. Her 4-year-old dog, Mac, has too many wounds to count and is wearing a pain patch on his hind leg but was credited with fighting off the coyote.
The woman and her dog were attacked while they were walking in a field on her property. Her husband heard her screams and drove his truck to separate them from the wild animal.
"He fired off a couple of shots," said Police Chief Tara Laurent. "Not at the coyote, because it was near his wife, but he shot off a couple of rounds thinking it would scare the animal off, which is usually the case. And it didn't seem to faze the coyote in this particular case.
The attack occurred in a rural area of fields and forest.  No mention is made of the make, model, or caliber of the firearm used.

The man and wife are undergoing rabies shots as a precautionary measure.  Their dog, Mac the Coyote Fighter, is recovering.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Here's Where You'll Find America's Wild Turkeys

If you're looking to find a wild turkey, your best bet is to hit the US heartland. Nine out of 10 states with the most turkeys were found in the middle of the country, according to a new report by Trulia, which tracked the number of turkeys the US Geological Survey found in a given county over a 2-1/2-hour survey time period...more

Take one look at the map and you'll see a huge error.  The map shows the number one county as Roger Mills, Oklahoma, where you can find approximately 29 turkeys in 2 1/2 hours of looking around.  Go to Washington, DC and you'll see a big old overstuffed Turkey every 2 1/2 seconds.  The biggest flock of freedom stomping guajolotes in the world are right there in our nation's capitol.

These Gross School Lunch Pictures Are Going Viral With the Hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama

First lady Michelle Obama’s quest for healthy school lunches sparked a backlash today from the very people who are served the grub in cafeterias across America. The campaign went viral when students took photos of their lunches and shared them on Twitter using the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama. For the past several years, ever since Congress passed and President Obama signed a 2010 measure to impose federal regulations on school lunches, the first lady championed the new standards for schools.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency responsible for implementing the regulations, defends the 2010 law as an “opportunity to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs.” The agency said the photos “do not fully reflect the full range of choices students are provided.” Critics of the standards, like Daren Bakst, want students to have more options. “Parents, not the government, know what’s best for their children,” says Bakst, a research fellow in agricultural policy at The Heritage Foundation. Michelle Obama, in a May op-ed for The New York Times, boasted that “Today, 90 percent of schools report that they are meeting these new [lunch] standards.” She used the opportunity to criticize Republicans for attempting to make changes to the law...more

Here's some of the pictures students are tweeting:

Yummy, yummy, Michelle knows best for your tummy, tummy.

"Losing Our Land" - Must Watch TV

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1332

Governor Jimmie Davis performs I've Been Changed as our gospel selection today.  The tune is on his 1968 album Amazing Grace