Sunday, April 10, 2016

Four politicos and an outsider

Lead Sled
Four politicos and an outsider
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            We’ve been working cattle for four days.
            These bones were weary after the evening of the second day, but the morning of the third day was accompanied by a resurgence of go power. It felt good to be horseback. My two oldest granddaughters joined our little troupe and that added to the pleasure of it all.
            Because of water project delays, we have been late moving into our Goodsight Pasture. We must have all water sources producing when we move the entire herd into any pasture and that supply has been marginal because of delays approving replacement of several pumping units. They are vital. It caused much more work that it should have, but we have no choice other than accept the delays.
            The work was topped off by the arrival of the truck to haul the remnants of our 2015 calves to market. The crew was down to BJ, his wife and kids, and me. In loading, we worked everything on foot including the cull cows that will go on another truck later. Everything went smoothly, but that wasn’t by accident. Most times working livestock slowly is fast and combined silence is even faster. It is a learned skill and it cannot be preplanned. Not a plan in the world could be drawn up to cover all the intricacies we face. In fact, the most common course of events in any given ranch day is to follow your nose out the door and start.
            The end goal is clear, but how we get to that point is always subjective and conditional on a myriad of things. Experience makes it easier, but experience alone doesn’t teach you everything. Mostly, it prepares you to adapt and deal with … the unexpected.
            Presidential Politicos
            The claim of experience isn’t just confined to the citizenry that is actually productive. The crew in Washington is notorious for claiming expansive experience. The tone is especially shrill among the presidential hopefuls. It is there the candidates polish their narrative in order to usurp cardinal value one over another.
            Hillary’s claim on experience is probably valid. Her involvements are continuously being revealed by the glowing fires that continue to burn in a 180° arc from horizon to horizon on her backtrack. We don’t have to regurgitate each debacle on record. They all suggest that she is a master at uncharted chaos. If this nation needs expanded political calamity, she is most experienced. If elected, her future claim as the richest woman in the world has better than even chances for success. She’ll wear Air Force One out flying to exotic locales extracting the next commissioned deal for the Clinton-Rodham Foundation.
            Yessiree Bob, she’s got plenty of worldly experience.
            The little communist is a bit less experienced in brokering deals. He got his work experience protesting during his college days. Bernie (can we only imagine having a president named “Bernie”?) graduated in 1964 and worked first as a voluntary head start instructor. He followed that by becoming a psychiatric aide. He then carried nails for a carpenter. Starting in 1968 in his adopted state of Vermont, he ran unsuccessfully first for governor and then the Senate. He finally gained success as being elected mayor of the city of Burlington. In 1990, he was elected to an “at large” congressional district and held that position for 16 years. He was elected to one of the Vermont senatorial positions in 2012. His national prominence, other than he didn’t become a Democrat until 2015, took a meteoric rise by filibustering the Bush tax cuts.
            Bernie did get more worldly experience by running on his high school track team.
            The Canadian, Cruz, became a naturalized American citizen in 2005. He attended private high schools in Texas graduating in 1988. From his adopted state, he opted to go to Princeton where he graduated cum laude in 1992. He was the national debate contest winner the same year. Following his days at Princeton, he went on to law school at Harvard. He was on a national debate team that was second in world competition losing to Australia. For a time in ‘97/’98, he worked for a private law firm. He was drawn to politics largely from that point working first for George W. It was back to government from that point as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003-2008. He went back into private law practice from 2008-2013 (where his biggest monetary judgment was a combination of personal injury awards in New Mexico for $54M). It was then on to Washington as Texas’ junior senator in 2014 so he could run for president.
            Ted’s worldly experience comes largely from history classes and family ties in Cuba and Canada.
            The Donald, of course, has ties to a score of countries in various business deals. He quit school when he was 13 in large part because “he was pretty rough” or so his brother once said. He then enrolled in a military school and finished high school at the rank of captain. He worked for his dad while going to college and took over the reins of the company when he was 25. His first big success was investing $550K in a family owned 1200 unit apartment complex and drove the occupancy from 34% to 100%.
            In 1971 he really started to grow. His net worth went from $220K in 1968 to between $2.9-9.2B today (based on which biased source checked). His businesses now extend through six pages of Wikipedia data. He has authored 18 books, invested in sports, real estate, television, and numerous other ventures. He has survived some 300 major legal entanglements including four bankruptcies, and yet … politico Kasich claims he has no applicable experience.
            And, since Kasich’s name comes up, he needs scrutiny as well. He is another government scion. He is a climate change believer and has turned against fracking at least in his home state of Ohio. He is a Buckeye through and through having graduated from the Ohio State University. He was a political science artist who went to work as a legislative staffer fresh out of the University. He won his first elected position at 26 as an Ohio state senator. In 1983, he was elected to national office and the House of Representatives. He reminds us now he stayed until he accomplished all by balancing the budget essentially single-handedly as ranking member of the House budget committee. His subsequent foray into the real world included accepting several board positions and working for Leman Brothers before it went belly up. In 2010, he returned to his desire for the public spotlight as the head buckeye and governor of Ohio.
            His world experience is great enough to denigrate the Donald’s as a viable candidate for … President of the United States.
            The Lead Sled
            Every child born in 2016 will have a gigantic weight tied to his or her being. Depending on the metal being substituted for the proxy of relative value, it could be a weighted 2.4 pound belt if it is made out of gold, a 4,650 pound ingot if it is copper or a 19,090 pound sled if it is made out of lead. That is the current equivalent of debt this government has placed on each and every American child.
            Pity the poor kid who pulls his load in lead. Pity still the kid who has to pack the copper around, but pity every kid who has to carry the cumulative lunacy of their corrupted forbearers. The outrage should be overpowering and a greater question should be asked. Where is future generation indentured servitude set forth in our Constitution?
            The current crop of candidates aside it is too bad we can’t pick the next president on the basis of debt adjusted to current dollars. Andrew Jackson would be my pick. He left the Union with a national debt of $37,000. This fellow in our White House is going to outperform that on the basis of bondage assigned every person.
            His legacy debt is $42,000 per American.
            This all elevates the matter of experience, political experience, onto a higher realm of scrutiny. Has Hillary, the little communist, the Canadian or the buckeye really ventured onto real world ice? Their resumes don’t exhibit any such proof. This nonsense of calling one or the other out on the basis of experience for the job is ludicrous. Chances are nary a one of ‘em has signed a paycheck on the basis of his own enterprise. If they know about withholdings, it must be on the basis of being present in some committee hearing where the newest burden is loaded upon the populous.
            I am weary of them and the real question is … does America have the experience to clean its political house?

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “The question is not what political experience has done for us but … to us.”

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