Saturday, July 25, 2015

Happy Day of The American Cowboy!

S. RES. 219

Designating July 25, 2015, as “National Day of the American Cowboy”.

July 9, 2015
Mr. Enzi (for himself, Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Risch, Ms. Heitkamp, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Tester, Mr. Rounds, Mr. Lankford, Mr. Thune, and Mr. Hoeven) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to

Designating July 25, 2015, as “National Day of the American Cowboy”.
Whereas pioneering men and women, recognized as “cowboys”, helped to establish the American West;
Whereas the cowboy embodies honesty, integrity, courage, compassion, respect, a strong work ethic, and patriotism;
Whereas the cowboy spirit exemplifies strength of character, sound family values, and good common sense;
Whereas the cowboy archetype transcends ethnicity, gender, geographic boundaries, and political affiliations;
Whereas the cowboy, who lives off the land and works to protect and enhance the environment, is an excellent steward of the land and its creatures;
Whereas cowboy traditions have been a part of American culture for generations;
Whereas the cowboy continues to be an important part of the economy through the work of many thousands of ranchers across the United States who contribute to the economic well-being of every State;
Whereas millions of fans watch professional and working ranch rodeo events annually, making rodeo one of the most-watched sports in the United States;
Whereas membership and participation in rodeo and other organizations that promote and encompass the livelihood of cowboys span every generation and transcend race and gender;
Whereas the cowboy is a central figure in literature, film, and music and occupies a central place in the public imagination;
Whereas the cowboy is an American icon; and
Whereas the ongoing contributions made by cowboys and cowgirls to their communities should be recognized and encouraged: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) designates July 25, 2015, as “National Day of the American Cowboy”; and

(2) encourages the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Obama, Iran & U.S. Marines

California animal activists arrested after releasing 5,740 mink and destroying property

Two animal-rights activists have been charged with terrorizing the fur industry during cross-country road trips in which they released about 5,740 mink from farms and vandalized the homes and businesses of industry members, the FBI said Friday. The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Joseph Brian Buddenberg, 31, and Nicole Juanita Kissane, 28, both of Oakland, Calif., and federal prosecutors charged them with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. A federal grand jury indictment unsealed Friday said the two caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages during 40,000 miles of cross-country trips over the summer and into the fall of 2013. They allegedly slashed vehicles' tires, glued businesses' locks or smashed windows, vandalizing property in San Diego, Spring Valley and La Mesa, California. They are also charged with vandalizing and attempting to flood the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, home of an employee of the North American Fur Auctions...more

Friday, July 24, 2015

New Evidence Proves 'El Chapo' Did Not Escape, He Was Let Go

Many experts in Mexico and around the world are still unclear just how high complicity is in the alleged escape of powerful and wanted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, but what is becoming clearer, as further evidence is revealed, is that the Sinaloa cartel leader was allowed to leave jail. The Ministry of the Interior told reporters Thursday that there are five main facts that prove that Guzman was let go from prison, including the fact that his GPS prisoner tracking bracelet was deactivated long before his escape. “Prison officials also deactivated the motion sensor alarms throughout the maximum security jail in Almoloya de Juarez (about 60 miles north of Mexico City) enabling Joaquin Guzman's people to excavate the complex, high-tech and highly precise tunnel into his cell,” the ministry added. The prison officials also neglected to follow cell rotation regulations for El Chapo: he was left in the same cell since he was locked up 17 months ago after his arrest in February 2014. The surveillance camera in Guzman's cell was also moved, apparently in order to allow for a blind spot in the shower area. In spite of this, guards arguably should have still been alert to his suspicious behavior: the video still clearly reveals El Chapo looking at the floor of the shower and tightening his shoelaces, before heading to the shower area one last time, crouching suspiciously and disappearing. Guzman was also allowed, against all prison regulations, to receive over 500 visitors, including lawyers, friends and intimate visits with women...more

Insiders discuss escape by "El Chapo"

...The gathering last week at Le Peep café in San Antonio would seem unusual almost anywhere except south Texas, where Mexico kind of blends into the United States—and so does the drug trade. Seated next to the cartel operative was a senior Mexican intelligence official. And next to him was a veteran American counternarcotics agent. They bowed their heads for prayer and then proceeded to talk a peculiar kind of shop. A few days earlier, Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficker, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, had escaped again from one of that country’s maximum-security prisons. No one in this deeply sourced group was surprised. Nor were they particularly interested in the logistical details of the escape, although they clearly didn’t believe the version they’d heard from the Mexican government. They were convinced it was all a deal cut at some link in the system’s chain. Our breakfast minister even thought that Chapo had likely walked out the front door of the jail, and that the whole tunnel-and-motorcycle story had been staged to make the feat sound so ingenious that the government couldn’t have foreseen it, much less stopped it. Such an outlandish notion may not be surprising to anyone who knows anything about Mexico. But as someone who lived there for 10 years, and reported on the country almost twice that long, what surprised me were the men’s theories on why anyone in the Mexican government would have been interested in such a deal. Perhaps, I wondered aloud, Chapo had possessed information that could have incriminated senior Mexican officials in the drug trade and, rather than try him, they had agreed to turn a blind eye to his escape? The heads around the table shook back and forth. Chapo, they believed, had been thrown back into the drug world to—wait for it—restore order. Things have gotten that crazy. “When I first heard the news, I thought this is either a good thing or a bad thing,” said the cartel operative. “Either this is a sign of how far things in Mexico are out of control. Or this shows that the government is willing to risk a certain amount of international embarrassment in order to restore peace for Mexican people.” Surely I’d been out of Mexico too long, I told the table. How could anyone believe that Chapo’s escape would be good for public security? They pointed to what’s been happening in his absence. The levels of drug violence in Mexico have begun to surge. An ascendant cartel, known as Jalisco Nueva Generacion (the New Generation Jalisco), has launched breathtaking attacks against security forces and public officials. Led by yet another ruthless killer named Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, the cartel has set up armed roadblocks to search cars driving into and out of some of the most important cities in central Mexico, in order to keep out its rivals. And when authorities have attempted to stop the organization’s members, they’ve fought back with some serious firepower. A spectacular rocket attack earlier this year downed a military helicopter, and a rampage against Mexican police left 15 officers dead in a day. Chapo, my breakfast companions said, was forged in the early years of the drug war. He was old-school. And for all his lunacy and willingness to do whatever it took to build his empire, he had been a kind of mitigating force—killing when he was betrayed, but staying away as much as possible from attacks against the government as long as the government allowed his business to operate. If he were allowed to get back to business, the breakfast bunch said, he’d take care of El Mencho—most likely in a spate of violence that, while painful, would be quietly treated by Mexican authorities as a necessary evil. And whichever cartel leaders remained standing would be much weakened...more

Of Men and Wolves - The challenge of reintroducing the Mexican wolf and its journey home

Reintroducing a predator species to its historical habitat manifests dispute between wildlife agencies, environmental organizations, and people who are affected by the animals' presence on the landscape. The effort to reestablish the Mexican wolf in Arizona and New Mexico has met many challenges because the wolf competes with human use of the land. Wolves roam among domestic animals, threatening the livelihood of ranchers and perhaps altering the future of public land and the wilderness. Despite differences, and in some cases, opposition to the reintroduction of the Mexican wolf, the challenges have been met with sometimes ingenious, and sometimes practical and straightforward solutions. "The reintroduction of the Mexican wolves was the most difficult of any projects to reintroduce wolves anywhere," L. David Mech said. Mech is a senior research scientist at the Northern Prairie Research Center with the U.S. Geological Survey. He has studied wolves for almost 60 years. "The animals were all captive-bred and lacked the skills to survive in the wild," Mech said. Even though the wolves were catching elk, initially they also attacked livestock and roamed near human activity. "They were released in an environment that lacks large, expansive wilderness areas free of livestock." Conflict was inevitable...Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revised the section (10)j regulations to the Endangered Species Act regarding the Mexican wolf. Among other changes, the new guidelines include increasing the recovery area so the wolf can expand farther north into Arizona and New Mexico and south into its historical range in Mexico. Increasing the Mexican wolf's territory has advantages, but expanding its range into desert and other unsuitable habitat not part of its historical habitat could harm recovery and management efforts. The more wolves that get into trouble in those less suitable areas translate into more management. "We already lack the funding to launch a larger-scale wolf recovery program," deVos, from Arizona Game and Fish Department, said. Only a tiny portion of historical habitat remains in the U.S. Southwest, he said. The southwestern U.S. comprised about 10 percent of the Mexican wolf's original range, with the remaining 90 percent in Mexico. "They aren't called Mexican wolves for any other reason than they came from Mexico," deVos said...more

House Votes To Stop GMO Labeling

A bill that would pre-empt state laws requiring labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods passed the House of Representatives Thursday. It would replace any mandatory GMO labeling laws with a voluntary labeling program for nonGMO foods similar to the one for organic labeling that’s now run by the USDA. The Senate Agriculture Committee hasn’t yet advanced a companion bill introduced by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), so the existing state GMO labeling laws in Vermont, Maine and Connecticut haven’t been voided yet. Still, a host of agricultural groups hailed the House vote. “The passage of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act is a significant victory for the freedom of soybean farmers to make the most of the broad range of advances that biotechnology provides for our industry,” said Wade Cowan, American Soybean Association President and a soybean farmer from Brownfield, Texas. The bill also drew praise from the National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association and American Farm Bureau Federation, whose president, Bob Stallman, said in a statement: “Congress stood with farmers and ranchers today in supporting innovation that helps the environment and keeps food prices down for everyone. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 would protect consumers from confusing and misleading GMO labels and create a national, voluntary labeling standard based on science and common sense.”...more 

All these ag groups supported taking authority away from states and vesting it in the federal government.  The power flow would look something like this:


And here I thought we were working to do just the opposite. 

Senators seek COOL solution

North Dakota’s senators say they hope to placate Canada and Mexico by making country of origin labeling of U.S. meats voluntary — but that may not be enough. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., joined Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to introduce the Voluntary Country of Origin Labeling and Trade Enhancement Act of 2015, repealing mandatory country of origin labeling for beef, pork and chicken. In May, the World Trade Organization ruled for the fourth time that the U.S. mandatory COOL law violates international trade agreements. The WTO has started arbitration to determine the level of retaliation that Canada and Mexico will be authorized to implement. “Retaliatory tariffs won’t just impact meat producers and processors but will also affect consumers, businesses and jobs, so Sen. Stabenow and I have developed a solution that should work for all of them,” Hoeven said in a statement. “We cannot put ourselves in a position where Canada and Mexico can retaliate against us for mandatory country of origin labeling, but we can have a voluntary labeling program and still meet WTO requirements.” The move was meant to avoid tariffs by Canada and Mexico, but the Canadians are still expressing disapproval...more

Ag producers have always fought for less regulation on themselves, but with COOL were imposing more regulation on a different sector of the food chain.  Don't regulate ME but regulate THEE seems inconsistent to me.  And if a program is voluntary, then let it be voluntary without any federal or USDA involvement.

Hoeven said making the program voluntary will maintain “born, raised and slaughtered in the United States" standards for Grade A labeling of meats while meeting WTO mandates. He said the label serves as a marketing tool.

If left alone to do so, ag producers and their organizations are perfectly capable of developing their own marketing tools.

“Families in North Dakota and across the country want to know where the meat they buy and serve comes from,” bill co-sponsor Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a statement.

If that statement is accurate, rest assured the industry will quickly move to satisfy the demand, without any federal rules or mandates. 

Running to Uncle Sam to solve all our problems has been a disaster for agriculture, and it's time we put a stop to it.

Lawsuit targets cattle grazing in Fremont-Winema National Forest

Three environmental groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over claims that livestock grazing in the Fremont-Winema National Forest is harming two federally protected fish species. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by Western Watersheds Project, Oregon Wild and Friends of Living Oregon Waters, alleges that forest managers have violated the Endangered Species Act by allowing ranchers to turn out cattle in the forest despite evidence that the grazing is imperiling Lost River and shortnose suckers – two endangered fish found only in the Klamath Basin. The agency monitors grazing within the forest with an eye on how it affects suckers, but the plaintiffs allege agency officials have ignored their own data indicating that grazing livestock have eroded streambanks and reduced water quality in the fishes' critical habitat. They also allege ranchers have repeatedly violated the terms of their permits with no recourse from the Forest Service...more

Ranching history preserved in old barns

FORT KLAMATH — There was a time the barns at the Nicholson Ranch were jammed with milking cows, draft horses and all sorts of ranching odds-and-ends. The cows and horses are gone, but the barns resonate with the history of times past. “I think we've got to preserve the past,” quietly but forcefully insists Bill Nicholson, 80, whose grandfather, William Elmore Nicholson, purchased the then 320-acre ranch from George Shepard in 1898. “Future generations need to know now this county and country was formed.” In recent years the ranch and neighboring lands, a total of about 960 acres have been leased out to ranchers from Dixon, Calif., who move 1,300 to 1,400 Angus cross cattle to the Wood River Valley for summer grazing. Nicholson has retreated from many of the day-to-day chores, turning those responsibilities over to Butch Wampler. Instead of ranching, Nicholson is focused on preserving the area history, including the two barns on his family ranch. The horse barn was built about 1918 while the milking barn dates back to 1932. The horse barn, which held 21 draft horses and had a harness room, serves as a still-developing museum that features the history of the Nicholson family and early valley settlers. The milking barn, with 50 stanchions, where the 100 cows in the Nicholson Ranch's Cloverdale Dairy were milked twice a day, emphases the dairy history. Both are filled with photos, from ranches and ranching families like the Wamplers and Sisemores to old barns and winter carnivals when Fort Klamath hosted round-trip cross country ski races to Crater Lake. There's horse tack and other items preserved from early ranches and dairies. “That was the big thing here in the '20s,” Nicholson says of dairies, noting there were several dairies and creameries in the Fort Klamath area nearly a hundred years ago...more

Thursday, July 23, 2015

D.E.A. in Disguise: Who Really Arrested El Chapo?

In the wake of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s sensational escape from Mexican prison on July 11, explosive new allegations have emerged about the circumstances of the February 2014 arrest in the resort town of Mazatlán that landed him behind bars. For more than a year, the official story of El Chapo’s arrest has placed elite Mexican marines at the head of the operation, with U.S. federal agencies playing a crucial intelligence support role. However, a new report citing U.S. government sources claims that account is false. According to leading Mexican investigative newsmagazine Proceso, the agents who arrested Guzmán weren’t Mexican at all — they were Americans, members of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service, dressed as Mexican marines, working alongside one or more unidentified U.S. intelligence agencies. Government officials from Mexico and the U.S. have yet to dispute the accuracy of the story, published in the magazine’s July 18 issue...more

87% Of Undocumented Immigrants Will Stay Under Obama’s New Policies, Report Says

Under new immigration enforcement programs the Obama administration is putting in place across the country, the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants — up to 87 percent — would not be the focus of deportation operations and would have “a degree of protection” to remain in the United States, according to a report published Thursday by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington. The report found that about 13 percent of an estimated 11 million immigrants without papers, or about 1.4 million people, have criminal records or recently crossed the border illegally, making them priorities for deportation under guidelines the administration announced in November and put into effect July 1. The new program is likely to result in a drop in overall deportations from inside the country by as much as 25,000 a year, the report finds, but an increase in deportations of immigrants who were convicted of serious crimes, pose national security threats or were caught crossing the border illegally. The findings come as federal and local immigration enforcement policies are under intense scrutiny after the killing on July 1 of Kathryn Steinle, who was fatally shot on a pier in San Francisco by a Mexican immigrant with a long record of felony convictions and deportations. The immigrant, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, was released by the sheriff in San Francisco, a self-declared sanctuary city, without federal agents being notified. Although the Migration Policy Institute is not an advocacy organization, its research has lent support to measures granting legal status to unauthorized immigrants. Its report is based on data from the Department of Homeland Security and the Census Bureau, among other sources...more

Illegal Alien Crime Wave in Texas: 611,234 Crimes, 2,993 Murders

by J. Christian Adams

The murder of Kathryn Steinle on the Embarcadero in San Francisco by an illegal alien is the most familiar example of a crime committed by an alien.  But an unreleased internal report by the Texas Department of Public Safety reveals that aliens have been involved in thousands of crimes in Texas alone, including nearly 3,000 homicides.

PJ Media obtained an never-before-released copy of a Texas DPS report on human smuggling containing the numbers of crimes committed by aliens in Texas.   According to the analysis conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, foreign aliens committed 611,234 unique crimes in Texas from 2008 to 2014, including thousands of homicides and sexual assaults.

The Texas DPS report says well over 100,000 individual criminal aliens have been booked into Texas jails:
From October 2008 to April 2014, Texas identified a total 177,588 unique criminal alien defendants booked into Texas county jails. These individuals have been identified through the Secure Communities initiative, in which Texas has participated since October 2008.
There are almost certainly more criminal aliens who haven’t been identified as aliens.  The 177,588 criminal aliens identified by Texas through the Secure Communities initiative only can tag criminal aliens who had already been fingerprinted

These pinatas let Mexicans whack El Chapo and Donald Trump with a bat

Escaped drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the head of the Sinaloa cartel, is one of the most powerful, rich and feared criminals in the world. His cartel is responsible for killing thousands of people. But that reputation hasn't deterred entrepreneurial piñata-creators in northeastern Mexico such as Dalton Ramirez, who are "meeting customer demand" by creating piñatas resembling "El Chapo," adorned with gun-shaped sunglasses. It also comes with a smaller, suit-wearing piñata made to resemble Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has made disparaging comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime...more

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Obama's War on Dishwashers

by Leah Barkoukis

In an effort to meet President Obama’s greenhouse gas emissions goals, the Department of Energy is going after dishwashers. And if that sounds ridiculous to start, wait til you hear the details.
According to a recent proposal, the DOE wants each dishwasher to complete a load of dirty dishes using only 3.1 gallons of water, among other efficiency changes. Currently, 5 gallons are permitted, which is down from the 6.5 gallons that were standard before similar DOE regulations were passed in 2012.
Industry experts are now pushing back, and rightfully so. These regulations would do more harm than good for both the environment and American consumers, “essentially turning back the clock to the days of hand-washing dishes,” according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
Here’s why:
Home appliance manufacturers recently completed several rounds of testing to the proposed standards. The testing revealed a build-up of film, fats and grease on dishes at the end of the cycle. As a result of the proposed standards, it is highly likely that consumers will pre-wash dishes or choose to repeat dishwasher cycles, thereby erasing any energy or water savings.
In other words, the 70 percent of American families who use dishwashers will likely waste even more water (not to mention time) trying to get the dishes done.

House Subcommittees Dissecting National Park Service, Searching For Solutions

How can concessions agreements with the National Park Service be improved? What sort of innovations should the Park Service consider for the next 100 years? Those topics will be dissected by two House of Representatives subcommittees this week. The subjects are not new by any stretch. Concessions operations in the National Park System have been scrutinized, kicked around, and questioned for some time. Back in 1998 Congress thought it had fixed the approach to managing long-term contracts in the parks, but problems that have surfaced in the past year have led some members of Congress to voice concern that the contracting system is ineffective. The poster child, if you will, of the concessions program's ills is the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, where the park's handling of the massive package of lodging, dining, and activities concessions has generated lawsuits and hard feelings. At issue was the decision by the Park Service to split the South Rim's concessions package in two; Delaware North Cos. received one half, while the winner of the larger, second half remains up in the air. The sheer magnitude of that half, which includes the El Tovar Hotel, the Bright Angel Lodge, and Phantom Ranch, has created a nightmare of sorts. Driving the problem was that Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which has held the contract for decades, had amassed nearly $200 million in improvements to the lodgings and restaurants; if Xanterra didn't have the contract renewed, it would be entitled to that sum from its successor. The Park Service borrowed about $100 million from across the park system to, in effect, buy down that number to a somewhat more reasonable $100 million with hopes the contract would generate competition among companies that could manage to both assume that debt and operate such a large operation...more

Montana’s Big Recreation Ranches a Hot Sale Item

The market for large recreation properties in Montana has been active this year, according to one real estate firm. “This market is hot,” said Dave Johnson, a partner in Hall & Hall real estate in Bozeman. “There’s a lot of action.” So far this year, Johnson said Montana has seen six sales of properties valued at $15 million or more. Among the big sales Hall & Hall has overseen is the 10,600-acre Chimney Rock Ranch west of Big Timber along Lower Deer Creek for $17.5 million and the Willow Creek Ranch west of Livingston, where more than 18,000 acres sold for $22.5 million. Johnson said the recent sales are a sign of buyers’ increased confidence in the U.S. economy. He noted that some of the properties had been on the market for years with no offers...more

Groups Threaten to Block Obama Administration’s Latest Gun Control Move

Two of the nation’s leading gun rights organizations have vowed to stop an attempt by the Obama administration to implement broad new gun control measures. On the heels of a report in the Los Angeles Times claiming that millions of people on Social Security could be prohibited from purchasing firearms because they have their affairs managed by a representative payee, both the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have said they will fight to keep the plan from going into effect. The plan, similar to a policy already in place at the Veterans Administration, would designate anyone who receives Social Security but has another party legally manage his benefits a “prohibited person” under federal firearms law. So far the VA policy has affected around 177,000 veterans, but the proposed Social Security policy would touch far more, as many as 4.2 million...more

Press Remarkably Incurious About BLM Agent Behind Stolen Gun Used in SF Slaying

By David Codrea 

Bolstering the sentiment that establishment media commits sins of omission as well as of commission, a curious void exists in the media narrative of the oft-deported illegal alien felon who allegedly shot a woman to death with a gun stolen from a BLM agent: The identity of the agent.

A search shows no press sources have revealed that information at this writing, 20 days after Kathyn Steinle was killed. Not nationally and not locally...

...It’s not like there’s no legitimate public interest in identifying the agent or ranger (depending on the story you read). Who is this person, what were the circumstances that led to a gun being left in his/her car and stolen, and are there any prior indicators in this individual’s employment record?  Oversight seems especially relevant in an anti-gun town like San Francisco...

So what’s with the universal lack of progress — if the Google News feed is any indicator — on our intrepid watchdog journalists providing the public with a bit more depth on this? Just how did a gun “transfer” from a federal agent to a career criminal, and one who took advantage of government’s blind eye to even be here in the first place? After all, it’s not like guns being stolen from agents, most of the time due to improper retention and storage, isn’t a widely known and publicized problem.
Do you doubt, had a gun been stolen from your car and then used in a murder, that not only would your name be widely spread (and smeared by gleeful antis painting you as a typical, irresponsible ammosexual), but that you’d be lucky to escape serious criminal charges, and crippling civil ones as well?

Seeing as how the media evidently has no interest in pursuing this further, if you’d like to join me, why not demand an answer from BLM at their Twitter feed (@BLMNational) and Facebook Account? It would be nice if enough TTAG readers created the public pressure to get information the press, for reasons of its own, seems to not want to explore and share.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rush Limbaugh-Irresponsible Headlines Scream of "Worst Drought Ever" and El Nino, But We've Gone 21 Years Without Global Warming!

RUSH: Now, I just saw this.  It doesn't matter what network.  I'll just tell you it was Fox, but it doesn't matter what network.  As you know -- let me set the table -- there is a horrible drought in California.  It's worse than any drought has ever been ever at any time, anywhere on the planet.  This drought is so bad that it's given other droughts a bad name as frauds.  It's a drought so bad we can't recover from this drought.  This drought, and it's all because of global warming that, by the way, isn't happening, 21 years with no temperature increase.

...So here comes Fox News, and they have a report on the upcoming El Nino that people are now thinking they see forming out there in the far reaches of the western Pacific.  And it's looking bad, folks.  Oh, man, it's looking bad.  It looks to rival the El Nino we had in 1997, and they got some meteorologist hack to come on and tell everybody the following:  It's going to be a lot of rain, but it isn't going to alleviate the drought by a thimble.

You know why?  Because it's gonna cause so much damage, it's gonna wash away so much property that the rain that we get is not going to result in any drought relief whatsoever.  And that is just flat-out irresponsible.  I'm sorry.  This global warming stuff's bad enough, but now we've got these people predicting doom six, seven months away from now based on an El Nino they think is forming. And now they're already telling us it's gonna be really bad, so much rain, it will not help the drought.  Now, go figure that.

It was a news report.  I'm not blaming Fox. They found some meteorologist expert, probably put out a press release with a logo and so forth that makes himself an expert, and he's out just preaching doom and gloom to everybody.  So in the middle of one of the worst droughts in the history of droughts, a forecast is for massive El Nino rains this winter, but it isn't gonna matter, it isn't gonna matter.  You know why?  'Cause you're gonna lose your house, and roads and bridges are gonna wash away.  And it's going to be utter disaster.  How can the people of this country ever, on a single given day, feel optimistic about anything if they happen to watch the news?  It's impossible.

...Oh, yes, and of course it's because of global warming.  Yes, even though we haven't had one of these since 1997, yes, it's because of global warming.  Anyway, it just ticks me off.  Meanwhile, Daily Caller: "Earth Is Nearly In Its 21st Year Without Global Warming -- After September of this year, the Earth will be entering its 22nd year without statistically significant warming trend, according to satellite-derived temperature data."

Not computer models, not projections, not wild guesses, but actual satellite data, the most reliable data there is.  "Since September 1994, University of Alabama in Huntsville’s satellite temperature data has shown no statistically significant global warming trend. For over 20 years there’s been no warming trend apparent in the satellite records and will soon be entering into year 22 with no warming trend apparent in satellite data.

California fines irrigation district $1.5 million, first ever against senior right holders

California drought regulators sent the strongest signal yet that they're serious about cracking down on water waste by proposing a first-of-its kind, $1.5 million fine against a group of farmers they say illegally took water. The fine announced Monday by the State Water Resources Control Board is the first ever levied against an individual or district with senior rights that are more than a century old and have long provided immunity from mandatory conservation. The fine follows months of unprecedented cutback orders to communities, businesses and the powerful agriculture industry during the fourth year of the devastating dry spell in California. The state is fighting off court challenges to its authority to control water use and doubts over whether it has the resources to enforce its orders. The water board levied the historic fine against the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, which serves 160 farming families and a suburban planned community of 12,000 people in the Central Valley. Andrew Tauriainen, a water board prosecutor, said the district was outspoken over continuing to illegally take water, and the fine should show others such brazenness will draw the attention of investigators. Byron-Bethany Board President Russell Kagehiro said the state was making an arbitrary example of his district at the expense of its customers and farmers, which stand to lose $65 million in crops under the cuts demanded by the state. The district has previously filed a lawsuit seeking to preserve its water access. "Farmers have to sort of weigh the cost of losing that crop, I guess, against potential fines," said Jeffrey Michael, an economist at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

Browns Canyon goes National; As in Monument, after many years of efforts

Although it took decades and an entire “village” of people to do it, Browns Canyon National Monument became a reality Saturday and will be preserved for generations to come. A large crowd of more than 500 people gathered at Buena Vista High School Saturday to celebrate the designation of Colorado’s newest national monument. Browns Canyon is a 21,589-acre parcel of federal lands located along the Arkansas River between Salida and Buena Vista. “Our public lands are a great gift and it is more important today to preserve these special places than ever before,” said Sally Jewell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior. “They tell our history, culture and speak to who we are — wild spaces and wild animals are some things we still enjoy.”...more

Jewell vows to meet court deadline, avoid Colowyo mine shutdown

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell insisted over the weekend that she and other federal authorities are “doing everything we can” to stop a shutdown of the Colowyo coal mine, which could include a request for more time to finish a court-ordered review. Jewell squeezed in a meeting on the mine’s future late Friday with a dozen northwest Colorado officials and congressional staffers, telling them that she feels confident that her department will be able to complete an environmental review by the Sept. 6 deadline. “I have a team of people working hard on it and they’re telling me they think they can get it across the finish line,” said Jewell after Saturday’s dedication of the Browns Canyon National Monument. If not, she said she believes U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson will grant the Office of Surface Mining more time to finish the National Environmental Policy Act review on the eight-year-old mine-expansion permit...more

Venezuela orders producers to divert food to state stores

A food industry group said Monday that Venezuela's government has ordered companies to distribute food staples to a network of state-run supermarkets amid chronic shortages of basic goods. Federal authorities ordered producers of milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour to supply between 30 percent and 100 percent of their products to the state stores, he Food Industry Chamber said. Chamber President Pablo Baraybar warned that the order could cause major supply problems. The chamber says there are 15 times as many private stores in the socialist South American country as state-run ones...more

 Welcome to the world of a government-controlled food production system.

Experts still baffled by 132-year-old rifle found leaning against a tree in the Nevada desert

A 132-year-old rifle discovered on a remote rocky outcrop in the heart of the Grand Basin National Park in Nevada is still a mystery as researchers try to find more answers. The Winchester rifle, which was found unloaded in November, has been shipped to the Cody Firearms Museum in Wyoming where it is temporarily on display among 7,000 other guns. Museum workers said there are no records showing who owned the rifle and that its lifter was removed making it able to only fire a single shot at once, according to Fox News.  Researchers looked for when recorded fires occurred in the area as an aid in dating its presence at the juniper tree, which the gun was found propped up against. If the rifle had survived the fire, it would have proven to be useful in finding answers, however, researchers learned there was never a recorded fire in the region.  Archaeologists also searched soil in the area but turned up nothing...more

Pentagon Tells Military Recruiters ‘No Guns’ Allowed at Centers – “CLOSE THE BLINDS” for Protection (VIDEO)

Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno said on Friday he has no plans to arm recruiters or add security patrols to military recruitment centers in the wake of the Islamist terror attacks on unarmed, unguarded military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Thursday. Odierno basically said he doesn’t trust his troops to handle their weapons properly.

Also on Friday, the Marine Corps ordered recruiters to not wear their uniforms at work for ‘force protection.’
Today the Pentagon added this–
Military recruiters are being told to “close the blinds” for added safety.
Gretchen Carlson reported:
We have just confirmed here at FOX from the Pentagon, that the head of the US Northern Command has now issued a directive to authorize recruiters not to be able to carry weapons at the centers but he wants them to implement new security measures like “closing the blinds at the office.”

via the Gateway Pundit

Drug war partnership with Mexico a farce

By Ruben Navarrette Jr. 
You mean to tell me that a notorious Mexican drug lord who was arrested in February of last year and whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes to be about $1 billion managed to escape from the Altiplano maximum-security prison west of Mexico City in a poor country where many people earn as little as $6 per day?

How did that happen? Take a guess. Money opens doors. But more important, in Mexico, it also builds tunnels.

...Since 2008, under the Merida Initiative — which was intended not just to disrupt drug syndicates but also to create reforms in the courts and prisons that help sustain the rule of law in Mexico — Congress has appropriated about $2.3 billion in aid to our neighbor.

Mexico wants to project an image of modernity. But Guzman’s escape under suspicious circumstances shows that the old Mexico won’t go quietly.

...It is no wonder that U.S. law enforcement officials who have chased Guzman for years are furious. They wanted him extradited. And if that had happened, the drug kingpin would almost certainly still be in U.S. federal prison. Which is probably why Mexican officials refused to hand him over. They were likely in no hurry to give up their leverage with the United States — or, perhaps, with the cartels.

With El Chapo on the loose, the Obama administration is offering Mexico drones, federal marshals and even a special task force to bring him back. Mexican officials have not responded to the offer.
We never learn. What makes us think the Mexican government doesn’t know exactly where to find Guzman — that is, if it had any interest in doing so?

El Chapo’s “escape” should be the last straw in the farcical partnership between the United States and Mexico in a drug war that has become a joke. You can’t partner with someone who doesn’t respect you, and the Mexicans are treating the Americans like chumps. They intend to take us for all they can get, and give us nothing in return but lies, frustration and disappointment.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Environmentalists, EPA Force The 200th US Coal Plant To Retire

A lawsuit brought by environmentalists and federal regulators has forced a major utility to phase out coal use at six power plants in Iowa. Activists claim these retirements bring the total number of U.S. coal plants shut down to 200 — or 40 percent of the U.S. coal plant fleet. On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department of Justice announced an Iowa subsidiary of Alliant Energy agreed to pay $7.1 million in civil penalties to environmental projects for violating the Clean Air Act. The settlement also requires the company to stop burning coal or shut down six power plants in Iowa and pay $620 million to upgrade the plants...more

ASU professor seeks Billy the Kid's death certificate

A retired Arizona State University professor is taking his pursuit of a death certificate for Billy the Kid to New Mexico's highest court. Historian Robert J. Stahl filed a petition Friday with the New Mexico Supreme Court to order the state's medical examiner to create the document for the legendary outlaw, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. Stahl says he hopes the court will order the Office of the Medical Investigator to consider the evidence and determine whether William H. Bonney's death can be certified. According to most accounts, the Kid was fatally shot by Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner in 1881. But some claim Garrett shot someone else and the Kid took up ranching or escaped to Texas under an alias. Stahl is a member of the non-profit Billy the Kid Outlaw Gang, an organization formed to protect the "true" history of the Kid. He wants to silence rumors that Bonney escaped the sheriff's bullet. An official death certificate would end the attention that has been given to impostors who claimed they were the Kid, said Stahl...more

Chapo’s escape: ‘This is going to set us back years’

Hours after the world’s most infamous drug lord, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, escaped Mexico’s highest security prison, the United States offered everything it has – marshals, drones, even a special task force – to help recapture him. But the Mexicans have kept the Americans at bay, without giving an answer on the extra help, according to Mexican and U.S. officials. They say the delay has confounded law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border and undermined efforts to find Guzmán, the billionaire head of the Sinaloa cartel known as El Chapo, before his wealth and global connections help him disappear last weekend. “We can’t really understand why they are refusing to give an answer,” said one Mexican official, who works in the country’s security apparatus but was not authorized to speak publicly about his government’s deliberations. “We’re just on standby.” Mexico’s hesitations over the U.S. offer reflect years of strain between the countries as their ambitious joint effort against the cartels has waned, including a drop in extraditions to the United States and divided priorities in Mexico. Mexico’s interior secretary, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, said Monday night that the two countries were cooperating, just as Mexico worked closely with Guatemala to secure its southern border. But at a news conference about the search for Guzmán, who absconded through an elaborate tunnel dug 30 feet beneath his prison shower, Osorio Chong made clear that no additional U.S. assistance should be expected. “We are not going to do something new beyond what we have already been doing,” he said...more

Money and fear: How Juárenses react to escape

“El Chapo for president of Mexico,” Pastor Galván says. “He’s like Pancho Villa or Emilio Zapata. They had money but they helped the poor, something the government doesn’t do.” That was one of the many reactions I received during a trip to this border city two days after Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s extraordinary escape from the high security Altiplano prison outside of Toluca, Mexico. How could this happen at Mexico’s “supermax” prison, and what did people think about it? Chapo was at Altiplano from 1993 to 1995 before being transferred to another prison in Jalisco from which he escaped in 2001. No one had ever escaped from Altiplano since it opened in 1991, even though the prison houses most of Mexico’s highest profile inmates. It has walls 3 feet thick in order to repel an attack from outside, restricted airspace and cell transmissions, as well as regular polygraphs for all staff. Peña Nieto may have felt that keeping Chapo in Mexico was a matter of national pride. More likely, I think, was the fear that Chapo would reveal all sorts of government-cartel connections to U.S. authorities in an effort to plea bargain his case. What do Peña Nieto’s constituents feel about this daring event?“It’s all money. Even up to the president. All corrupt,” shouts Juan, a Mixteca Indian who sells trinkets on the Mexican side of the Santa Teresa border crossing west of Juárez. “He snaps his fingers,” says Josué Rosales, who works in a hospital on the edge of Juárez. “He has power all over the world, can tell anyone that he knows where their mother lives, their family. He has so much money no one can stop him.” Aurora, a lifelong resident of Juárez says, “To me, he is just a businessman. The people wanted him freed.” Carolina, also from Juárez, adds, “For a man with hardly any education, he became an extraordinarily successful businessman.” She blames the escape not on Chapo but the Mexican government. “It’s a global shame, a world embarrassment.”...more
Sorry folks, I have a tooth extraction today...yippee!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

CDC issues new warning: don’t snuggle or kiss your family’s pet chickens

Harrigan and her family keep these four hens as pets. The Harrigan brood's laying and strutting and clucking proved so popular in its Little Neck neighborhood that other humans on the block constructed their own coops for their own tenants to keep up with the Harrigans. "Since we got chickens, all the neighbors decided they wanted chickens," Harrigan said. The CDC put out a warning asking chicken owners not to snuggle or kiss their birds for fear of contracting salmonella. "Chickens actually have salmonella naturally and they don't get sick from it, but humans do, and the main symptoms are diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain," Dr. Robert Glatter said. He didn't need to read the CDC report detailing the rise in salmonella infections from pet chickens, ducks and turkeys in 2015 to recommend against keeping chickens as pets. "The main issue is that people just don't wash their hands after they handle them, especially children," Glatter said. "So I am really against this, I think it's just not a good practice in general."...more

Dutch Harbor post office asks wildlife officials to help stop eagle attacks

Images of eagles cover postal service vehicles and uniforms nationwide, but in the Aleutian Islands, real live eagles are landing on the heads of customers picking up mail at the Dutch Harbor post office. With eight eagle attacks reported outside the Dutch Harbor post office this year, the U.S. Postal Service is conferring with another federal agency on the best way to protect customers, according to Dawn Peppinger, a USPS marketing manager in Anchorage. Peppinger said she only learned of the problem last week after a local postal employee contacted her in response to questions from the Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman. The next day, she said she’d contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage for advice. Eagles are a federally protected species. While she said she’s still researching the issue, one likely solution is to remove the nest from the nearby cliff following nesting season, with a FWS permit and working with the property owner. Eagle attacks are routine during the summer nesting season in Unalaska, and warning signs are posted near where people walk under the cliffs where the protective raptors are tending their offspring. On June 29, the Unalaska Department of Public Safety reported another attack: “Caller reported having received several lacerations, requiring medical attention, after being attacked by one of the pair of nesting eagles at the Dutch Harbor post office. Additional warning signs were provided for the parking lot at the PO.”...more

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Cowgirl Tough

by Julie Carter

Little girls are not all born "cowgirl" tough. They also don't have to be a cowgirl to have the trait.

Many of those lessons, though, are taught in the dust of a corral or at the end of a day so long that her saddle becomes a torture chamber and the dark has overtaken everything.

Daughters and their daddies have a special relationship that is an unpredictable mixture of tenderness and toughness.

With a soft heart, he will give in to her natural wiles that turn him to putty with the sound of her voice and the batting of her eyelashes.

With an iron-tough determination, he will go beyond the bounds of good sense to protect her, even when it means evoking her anger and forcing a daughterly pout directed at his resolve.

With a soft voice reserved only for her, he will tell her that life will let her down, and like the falls she has taken from her saddle horse, it'll hurt, but only for a little while.

"Honey," he will say, "cowgirls don't cry."

In his guidance, he'll tell her, "When you fall off, you get right back on and ride. Don't wait, don't think about. Just do it. And honey, cowgirls don't cry."

Those life lessons will always serve her well.

The taste of dirt in her mouth, the pain of a hard-ground landing and the sting of the tears as she fights them back are physical memories that translate to that "grown-up living" everybody talked about.

True to her training, she never let the world see her heart break; she was determined there would be no evidence of a "fall apart." In the recesses of her mind, those words echoed like down a long canyon, "Honey, cowgirls don't cry."

Life gives no quarter to those in boots and jeans. It batters and buffets, tosses and slams.
Whether natural or man-made, the storms in life keep coming.

There have been times in my life when, in spite of that stainless-steel badge of courage I was handed as a very young girl, I cried.

I cried when my first horse, Ranger, died. I was 5 years old; he was 20-something and in a running fit of his last breaths of life, he raced the length of a meadow and then lay down as his heart stopped beating. I lost my first best friend that day.

I cried when my best buddy, our blue-eyed Australian shepherd, Sally, was no longer at my bedroom window every night to be let back into the house after my dad had put her out.

The loss surpassed all the usual teenage heartbreak brought by peers, boys and the drama of growing up.

I cried when my dad sat before me and told me that we were moving from the ranch I'd known as home all my life.

I was 16 years old and recall the moment still, with a sharp pain in my heart and tears waiting to fall, not because of his words, but because it made him cry too.

Until that moment, I'd never seen my dad cry.

Through the years, there have been other occasions for tears. Happy tears and heartbreak tears. Sometimes I let them fall, but more often, I did not. "Honey, cowgirls don't cry."

When my dad lay dying at the age of 50, cheated of the life he worked to create, I cried every tear I hadn't cried up until then.

It seemed as if they'd been stored for that moment when the pain of the loss far surpassed the indoctrination of "cowgirls don't cry."

And when it was over, so were the tears of that magnitude. I knew the lesson was not in the "not crying." It was in the determination to get back on and ride again.

I finally understood that he wasn't telling me not to cry, not really. He was telling me to not quit and not stop trying. What he was really saying was, "Cowgirls never give up."

Julie Carter will admit to sometimes crying, but can be reached for comment at

Bull Shift

Nature Existentialism
Bull Shift
Artificial Selection
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            Eric Hoffer once wrote that every great cause becomes a movement, which becomes a business … which becomes a racket.
            The political parties have long since moved into racket status. A case in point took place on our local airwaves last week. Conservative talk show host, Kelly O’Connell, had the local newspaper editor and a Democratic city councilman on his show discussing among other things the attempt to recall the councilman. When asked why he was an intended target for recall, the councilman waffled awkwardly and never came close to the disclosure that his stance on issues follows an external progressive agenda that has little to do with local issues. He even suggested at one point he didn’t really know.
            He was represented in his defense by the local editor who has recently filled a weekly slot on the show exhibiting the same political rationale. The discussions have prompted a growing number of callers, but any objective listener must come to the conclusion the editor, through his daily paper, is selling and couching every issue based on the radical liberal agenda. The question to readers is why do we read a paper that systemically represents one side of every issue? Furthermore, why do we even know the political leanings of the editor? Wouldn’t his profession, and, certainly his paper, be better served by the crafting of comments that minimizes his personal beliefs?
            Why should we bother to buy any subscription that is always biased, is predicated on defending a political party, and provides a front line defense for the tedious progressive agenda that has little to do with local culture?
            Several times during the course of the morning’s show, the councilman turned to the editor for his defense. The crowning point came when the editor suggested that no councilman should be confronted with recall unless or until malfeasance is proven. In other words, once elected a progressive hack with his network of handlers can do anything he or they want until he is convicted of a crime. He even rebuffed the host’s suggestion that voters have a continuous right to superintend their local governing councils. His point was the real measure of control the voter has is when he pulls the lever for his preferred candidate. He grounded that suggestion on his belief such an approach gives the voter more power.
            Indeed, the political system in America has passed Hoffer’s movement stage. It has gone beyond the business stage, and has entered the realm of racket. It has succeeded in marginalizing the individual and it relegates the matter of people to a conditional status of importance.
            They are important only on the basis of voting for the right candidate.
             Bull Shift   
            I have had my fill of run off, fight you with anything progressive editors, slick bulls, and indeterminate councilmen.
Yesterday morning was one of those rare southern New Mexico occasions when it is cool and overcast with a threat of rain. The early monsoon has been hit and miss and we have been on the miss side of the ledger. There is such a short period of time when conditions allow our summer rains, and, when chances are missed, anxiety always increases. Maybe that has as much to do with my frame of mind as anything, but the bulls haven’t helped.
            I was behind the first trailer when I pulled into our Butterfield headquarters. Leonard was already gone with three horses and two of his grandkids so I turned right and headed to Trail Pasture where I would find him. He was gone from our Monterrey pens when I got there, but he had been there long enough to pen a neighbor’s bull which was part of a group of cows that we intended to gather and put back through the fence.
            Thinking we might need the pen where the bull stood, I stopped long enough to run him into the load up and reopened the gate into the water lot. I got back in the truck and hadn’t gone 100 yards when I spotted the second of the two bulls we knew were with the cows. I unloaded Bailey and, without much effort, had him penned in the water lot. We had both bulls gathered.
Before I could even get the gate latched, though, the newly penned bull was trying to fight one of our bulls through the fence at a fence line drinker. I drove our bull out of the pens, and left the other bull alone hoping he wouldn’t find something else to fight.
I found Leonard and his grandkids near the gate where they had just put a dozen cows and calves through. He told me what had transpired and I told him about the second penned bull. He told me that bull wouldn’t drive and had tried to run up under one of the kid’s horses.
We went about our business and found another dozen head of cows and crossed them back home. We then went looking for the hole in the fence. That was found within the hour and repairs were made. It was time to deal with the penned bulls.
That lasted long enough to return to the corral to find the second bull again fighting another of our bulls through the fence. He was on the prod. Leonard said that was how he acted when they had tried to get him in the corral earlier. Not putting a horse in with him like he was, we went in on foot only to have him challenge us and then turn and charge the corner of the pen. The wood and wire corner shattered like glass as the sailed through it. He ran out about 35 yards, turned blowing snot and pawing the ground, and was ready to fight all comers that dared challenge him.
I decided I’d call Jim and tell him his milk pen calves were at the Monterrey pens ready to be hauled home to their mamas. One was in the run up acting like a gentleman, and the other was outside the pens waiting patiently for him.
            So it is with animals and … men.
            Artificial selection
            The scientific evolutionary pantheism that the American progressive movement has become cannot be overlooked. The review must begin with self imposed study of history.
Every American should take at least some time and review the Nuremburg trial transcripts and then attempt to follow the threads of decision making back to the philosophic originators of the holocaust. What is revealed is ghastly.
Perhaps more than any Nazi, philosopher Martin Heidegger offers a clear picture of what it means to categorize the masses into necessary and unnecessary segments of humanity. His most horrific contribution to the German nationalist socialism philosophy was actually revealed after the war. It pertained to the matter of killing Jews and other undesirables as determined by Nazi hierarchy. The explanation must start with the basis that the Nazis believed western man had lost all suggestion of symbiosis with the natural world. Jews were deemed to be the most extreme example. Because they were not tied to Germanic land and the environment, they did not exist within an authentic lifestyle.
Without that authentic lifestyle, those beings could not properly serve the needs of the nation much less the party, and, in fact, they were foreigners to true existence. Without that authentic lifestyle and its accompanying true existence such beings could not authentically live hence … they could not authentically die.
On the basis of that warped philosophy, the holocaust didn’t really take place. In essence, the murder of millions of people didn’t actually happen because such deaths were unrecognizable by logic!
This should prompt us to hearken back to the suggestion by the local editor that withdrawing electoral oversight actually elevates the power of the people. Such logic can only be tied to the artificial selection of which people he actually refers. In the case of local elections, the network led by the editor and his authentic progressives has perfected the means to prevail in local elections by targeting low turn out communities and precincts. They then flood the community with prescribed news interpretations. By doing so, they can then prevail in installing their agenda.
The people of such empowerment are not the majority, but a minority of authentic naturist existentialists supported by their core group of believers who will go to the polls upon command. Then, without a conviction of a crime, the radical liberal office holder can continue willful disregard for local customs and culture without concern of recall.
In conclusion, I’ll trust the bulls over men every time … at least they reveal their true colors.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico.

DuBois Column

The topics this month are budgets, enviro lawsuits, toad roads, and kiddy carrots.

Budget time

The House Appropriations Committee has approved the fiscal year 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. This legislation includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Forest Service.

The bill totals $30.17 billion in funding, a decrease of $246 million from last year and $3 billion less than the President’s request.  Of interest to many, especially the counties, it includes $452 million to fully fund “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT).  Also included is $3.6 billion for the Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service to prevent and combat wildfires.   

The bill also contains policy riders, which the Committee says are “to stop job-crushing bureaucratic red tape and regulations at federal agencies…that stymie growth, hurt businesses both large and small, and damage the U.S. economy.”

Let’s take a look at some of these riders.

For the Department of Interior, there are policy provisions that: 

° Prevents the listing of the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act,
° Requires the de-listing of wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes from the endangered species list
° Prevents the implementation of Secretarial Order 3310, issued on December 22, 2010 (Wildlands policy)
° Requires a government-wide report on expenditures for global warming, and
° Prevents the BLM from studying the consolidation of Arizona and New Mexico state offices

For EPA, the most talked about rider will prevent the enforcement of the waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.  In addition, there are provisions preventing any rules which require the reporting of green house gas emissions from manure management piles, and one that prohibits the regulation of lead content in ammunition or fishing tackle, and another that prohibits the use of funds to limit recreational shooting and hunting on federal lands.

The Senate Committee on Appropriation has just passed their version of this bill, but I haven’t read the particulars.  I believe they are good though.  How do I know?  Because Senator Tom Udall doesn’t like the amounts appropriated or the policy riders.  I mean he really doesn’t like them.  "I cannot stand by and watch while our nation's most important environmental laws are dismantled through policy riders that have no place in a funding bill” says Udall.  Udall presented two amendments to the committee, one to raise the spending amounts and another to strip all riders from the bill.  Both amendments failed to pass.

And for those who thought the Republicans in the House would cut the budgets of the land management agencies, you needn’t worry.  For instance, compared to last year, BLM has a $45million increase in their budget.

And speaking of BLM, during a recent Joint Legislative Hearing Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told two federal land officials, “I come bearing good news. I think if your employees keep up the arrogance, keep denying access to the land then very soon we’ll be able to dramatically cut your employees back and start turning those powers over to the states.” 

We are with you on that Mr. Gohmert, whether or not they get their arrogance under control.

Enviros & Local Community

The WildEarth Guardians have been suing anyone and everyone over the years, always in the name of the environment.  Well how about their impact on the local communities where they are filing these suits?  Americans for Prosperity wanted to know and funded a study to find out.  The study was done by Ryan Yonk, Ph.D., Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at Southern Utah University and Randy Simmons, Ph.D., Department of Economics and Finance at Utah State University. “What our study found was a negative impact on household income (in) places where WildEarth Guardians are active,” Yonk said. Yonk said household income is $2,500 less in areas where WildEarth Guardians conduct “litigation for the wild.” “This approach is successful in meeting their own goals, but it comes at a cost to local communities,” he said.

We’ve known this all along, but now we can put a number on just how much WildEarth Guardians and similar groups are costing rural communities.

Toad Road

There’s a newly installed mode of transportation to keep New Jersey's threatened wildlife safe. Toads and other small animals have been hit while trying to cross River Road in Bedminster, so the township — with the help of the Department of Environmental Protection — installed a series of underground tunnels to help them get to the opposite side.  The five tunnels run from the land next to the Raritan River to the grass and woods on the other side. Wooden fencing surrounds each tunnel entrance and lines the roadway, making the tunnels the only way for the animals to cross the road explains the local paper.

I’m sure this will start a new trend.  We are sure to have turtle turnpikes and frog freeways in our near future.

Carrots for kids

The unappetizing report card for Michelle O’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act continues.  The program spends $12 billion a year on school lunches, $3 billon on breakfast programs and “serves” 32 million children, or nearly 45% of the total U.S. youth population.  It is also creating tons of trash as kids throw their healthy meals away.

Now comes summer school and the anti-meat activists are still pushing their veggie regimen.  The results?  School districts are reporting big declines in participation after just one week.  That won’t stop them though.  Some Minneapolis public schools have obtained food trucks so they can stalk kids at local parks and give them carrots.  Yes, carrots.  And now their nutrition director is asking for $6 million to bring the program to the entire district.  Let’s call it a Have Carrot Will Travel program for the summer.

One thing, though, should be made clear to the drivers of those food trucks.  They better not run over any toads.

Till next time, be a nuisance to the devil and don’t forget to check that cinch.

Frank DuBois was the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003, is the author of a blog: The Westerner ( and is the founder of The DuBois Rodeo Scholarship

A version of this column originally appeared in the New Mexico Stockman and the Livestock Market Digest.

Baxter Black: Holding the Snaffle Bit Futurity

Have you ever been drivin' a set of pasture cattle down the lane? Then you notice them stringin' out longer and longer, driftin' over into the ditches along the side 'til pretty soon you're a half mile ahead of the lead steer.

You look back at the feller you put ridin' drag. Over the backs of the wanderin' herd, through the dusty haze, there he is. He's got his two-year-old brown gelding spinning in a tight circle to the right. The colt's head is pulled to the inside, butt down and tail tucked in. Then the colt's nose is pulled down against his chest and he's backin' up in quick steps. Suddenly the horse and rider burst forward like Custer's charge and reach a gallop within a few strides! He leans all the way back. The colt's whole body tips back, head up, front hooves locked straight. The hind legs stiffen and reach plum under the head. He sticks his butt nearly to the ground and skids to a sliding stop.

The cowboy pauses, pats ol' Brown and gazes off listening to the thunderous applause of the imaginary crowd.

"You crazy two legged mare ridin' maniac! Get those cattle up here!"

Every outfit's got a feller who hired on to cowboy and get another fifty a month to ride a couple of colts. The better they seem to be with horses, the more their attention seems to wander workin' cattle. They can't help it. It's in their blood. They march to a different drummer, those boys. Some of 'em are so good with horses it's hard to believe they can't read each other's mind.

Enviro to Coloradans worried about coal-mine shutdown: ‘Tough sh**’

A WildEarth Guardians official had this message after the Interior Department refused to appeal a court ruling that could cost the jobs of 220 Colorado coal miners: Tough luck. Except he didn’t say “luck.” “My initial response is ‘tough sh**,’ ” Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians climate and energy program director, told the liberal Colorado Independent in a July 13 post. “They [the Interior Department] didn’t appeal, and there is nothing they can do about it now,” Mr. Nichols said. Supporters of the mine decried his comments Thursday as “callous” and an example of the group’s “out-of-control war on coal,” as Advancing Colorado’s Jonathan Lockwood put it. “I wonder if Jeremy Nichols has the courage to say that directly — face-to-face — to the 220 coal miners who will lose their jobs if Nichols and WildEarth Guardians are successful in shutting down the Colowyo Mine,” said Amy Oliver Cooke, energy policy director at the free-market Independence Institute in Denver. “Better yet, I wonder if he would be that callous to the children of those same men and women,” she said. “In that one statement, Nichols personifies modern environmentalism. It’s an elitist movement with no regard for hardworking families in Colorado or any other state.”...more

Ms. Cooke is right about environmentalism being an elitist movement and the harm it can cause.  But before we go too far down the road of victimhood we should ask:  How did they get in a position to publicly treat us with such disdain?

They developed the tools and methods to elect politicians who have done their bidding by a) the passage of environmental laws b) the appointment of officials to administer those laws and c) the appointment of judges to interpret those laws.

Until the we turn this around in the voting booth we can expect more laws, more environmentalist administrators and more bad court decisions.

And continued disdain from the environmental movement.

Spanish town to put its pigeons on the pill

A town near Barcelona has announced that it is putting its pigeons on contraceptives in order to reduce the growing population of feathered friends. The Catalan town of Badia del Vallès announced the plan via a statement on the town hall website. "Every morning, three automatic dispensers will scatter the required dosage to the pigeon population," said the statement. Each pigeon will be fed 10 grams of Ovistop, a product made of corn seeds covered in Nicarbazin, which acts as a contraceptive for the birds. The first dispenser was installed on Monday July 13th near the town's Civil Guard headquarters, while the other two will be installed on school roofs next week. The pigeons will be put on the birth control pill from July until December, the high season for pigeon breeding...more

I've previously posted on a Toad Road, a Bee Highway, and Prairie Dog Peanut Butter. Now we've got, what shall I call it...Birdie Birth Control? Pigeon Pills? Or maybe I should just call it a Pigeon Pecker Predator and leave it at that.