Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Trump backs off background checks — but green light on red flag laws?

Ed Morrissey

Hey, he never promised you a Rose Garden … ceremony. After publicly endorsing the expansion of background checks for firearms sales, Donald Trump has reversed himself after hearing from Republican allies and NRA chief Wayne LaPierre. However, that doesn’t mean that Trump won’t pursue other changes in the wake of two mass shootings:

President Trump talked Tuesday with National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre and assured him that universal background checks were off the table, according to several people familiar with the call.
Trump told LaPierre that the White House remained interested in proposals that would address weapons getting into the hands of the mentally ill, including the possibility of backing so-called “red flag” laws that would allow the police to temporarily confiscate guns from people who have been shown to be a danger to themselves or others.
Nonetheless, the president’s conversation with LaPierre, which was first reported by the Atlantic, further reduced hopes that major new gun-safety measures will be enacted after the latest round of mass shootings.
At the time, reports emerged that Trump had bought into the idea of getting expanded background checks passed that he had already begun planning a Rose Garden ceremony. That idea got planted in Trump’s head by his daughter Ivanka, according to the Atlantic, and it took some effort to unplant it:

His daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, had proposed the idea of a televised Rose Garden appearance as a way to nudge her father toward supporting universal background checks. The president had recently suggested he was open to the gun-control measure, tweeting, “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.” To be sure, this was similar to how he’d responded to other mass shootings during his 31-month presidency, and each time, the push for action fizzled. But the prospect of a Rose Garden ceremony, his daughter thought, where Trump could sign a document and call it “historic” and “unprecedented”—and receive positive media attention—might be the best chance of yielding real change.
For a moment, it looked like it just might work. “He loved it. He was all spun up about it,” said a former senior White House official who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke with me on the condition of anonymity in order to share private conversations. On August 7, the president picked up the phone to discuss the idea with Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association. “It’s going to be great, Wayne,” Trump said, according to both a former senior White House official and an NRA official briefed on the call. “They will love us.” And if they—meaning the roughly 5 million people who make up the NRA’s active membership, and some of Trump’s electoral base—didn’t, Trump reportedly assured LaPierre, “I’ll give you cover.” (The White House did not return a request for comment for this story.)
“Wayne’s listening to that and thinking, Uh, no, Mr. President, we give you cover,” the former senior White House official said in describing the conversation. The president reportedly asked LaPierre whether the NRA was willing to give in at all on background checks. LaPierre’s response, the sources said, was unequivocal: “No.” With that, “the Rose Garden fantasy,” as the NRA official described it to me, was scrapped as quickly as it had been dreamed up.
Expect to hear plenty about the NRA’s influence from critics today, but that will miss the point. Trump might have been willing to cross the NRA — in fact, he might still be willing to do so on other points, such as red-flag laws. Trump changed his mind when he saw that he had no support for expanded background checks from his own party, CNN reports this morning...

That makes Trump’s initial embrace of expanded background checks rather foolish, and should call into question the wisdom of having Ivanka as a political adviser. These political calculations were obvious from the very start and should have been considered before going public. Rather than provide a consistent approach to leadership in the wake of the shooting, Trump has made himself look tentative and defensive, not to mention under the thrall of special-interest groups.

...CNN’s interpretation makes sense, too, as both CNN and the Washington Post report that Trump seems ready to move forward with red-flag laws. The NRA opposes those in practice (although not in theory), but they have much more support within the GOP than the largely non-responsive expanded background checks. Red-flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection order laws or ERPOs, are also more popular among Republican voters in a new poll noted by NPR

...There are some serious concerns over due process with red-flag laws, but those could get worked out in the statutes.

This should not be a surprise to anyone, as from the beginning Ivanka has pushed liberal and environmental causes, even inviting Al Gore to meet with President-elect Trump on climate change. This is from a July 18, 2019 story on Voice of America   

Even before her father’s inauguration, Ivanka Trump had singled out environmental regulation as a primary policy focus. In December of 2016 during her father’s presidential transition, she brought former Vice President Al Gore, a leading environmental activist, to meet Trump to discuss climate change.  Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have in the past donated or raised money for Democratic candidates and are often seen as championing issues traditionally considered liberal, including environmental protection and climate change mitigation. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is seen by some as a defeat for the first daughter and advisor to the president in her battle for clout in the White House.  But Monday’s speech may indicate that Ivanka Trump's influence on this issue is growing, and environmental protection may end up becoming another item on her already extensive portfolio ranging from job creation, fighting human-trafficking, and empowering women around the world.
She has also pushed for affordable childcare, equal pay for women and paid family leave. President Trump has said she is "like a Democrat" and Ivanka has referred to herself as a "moderating influence" in the administration.

How California Environmental Law Makes It Easy For Labor Unions To Shake Down Developers (greenmailing)

“Greenmailing” drives up construction costs and wait times, making the state’s already expensive housing even less affordable.


The state of California has made it shockingly easy for construction unions to delay new construction under the guise of environmental protection, through a practice known as "greenmailing." And time after time, they have. Consider Newport Crossings, a 350-unit apartment complex complete with 7,500 square feet of commercial space, and a half-acre public park proposed by developer Starboard Realty Partners. Starboard's planned development would replace a blighted, 1970s-era shopping center where some 70 percent of the shopfronts sit vacant. Newport Crossings would add new housing to an area currently dominated by office blocks, shops, and restaurants. Normally, this sort of project would meet stiff resistance in California, where approval times for a comparable development can range from two to three years. But Starboard worked with community groups to iron out issues over parking and landscaping, and agreed to reserve 78 of its new units for lower-income renters. "These Newport Crossings guys really went the extra mile and met with environmentalists, met with some of these slow growth guys. Met with a whole host of community types," says Erik Weigand, the vice chair of the Newport Beach Planning Commission. (Weigand also serves as the treasurer of the Orange County Republican Party.) "They met with everyone, and came up with a project that everyone would like." By law, projects like Newport Crossings must make plans available for 45 days of public comment. And in January of this year, on the very last day of the mandatory comment period, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SWRCC)—a union representing 50,000 carpenters throughout the Southwest—submitted a letter detailing a number of supposed deficiencies in the city's environmental study of Newport Crossings...MORE

The Cruelty Is The Point Of Environmental Regulation

Environmentalists won't save the earth, but they'll make you suffer for your sins.

Michael J. Knowles 

A man may defecate with impunity on the streets of San Francisco. Should he choose to shoot heroin while using the citywide open-air john, the government will step in only to offer him a clean needle. Excremental and pharmacological waste litters the sidewalks of the once-Golden City. Environmental activists pay no heed. They have more important regulations to enforce — like banning water bottles at the airport.Yesterday, San Francisco Airport officially banned the sale of plastic water bottles in the name of environmental protection. The new rule won't achieve that goal. The airport will continue to sell plastic bottles of soda, juice, and sports drinks. But environmental regulations have never sought primarily to protect the environment. The rules seek chiefly to inconvenience. When it comes to environmental regulation, the cruelty is the point. Air travel dehydrates people. A grown man might lose up to half a gallon of water during a ten-hour flight, and travelers haven't been permitted to carry their own water past security since 2006. So while the new ban on plastic water bottles will fail to reduce plastic consumption by any meaningful amount, it will succeed at raising awareness about environmental issues. A secular penance, the rule recalls your secular sin: pollution. Each thirsty layover strikes like another lash of the discipline. Mea culpa! mea culpa! mea maxima culpa!Many of the environmental rules not only fail to protect the natural environment, they actually increase the damage. In 2016, the state of California banned single-use plastic grocery bags. A study three years later by University of Sydney economist Rebecca Taylor showed that after the ban plastic consumption actually increased. Shoppers who had previously reused plastic grocery bags for household trash bought thicker, more environmentally damaging plastic bags in their absence. How about the environmentalists' decision to replace plastic grocery bags with paper? A 2011 study from Britain's Environment Agency found paper significantly more harmful to the planet than plastic. The pulp and energy required to produce paper means that one must reuse a paper bag three times to bring its environmental impact down to the level of single-use plastic...


Jenna Rose DuBois Dec. 24, 2000 - August 15, 2019

Jenna Rose DuBois, age 18, departed this earth on August 15, 2019.

As a youngster, Jenna loved animals and cooking. She won buckles for showing animals at the Southern New Mexico State Fair and prizes for her baking at both the SNSF and the New Mexico State Fair. Jenna was fearless in her approach to anything, and made her grandmother keep a “wounded animals hospital” for whatever she brought home, including lizards and hawks. Jenna was a free spirit. She lived life to its fullest and made up her own rules. This eventually brought her into conflict with authorities. Maturing over time Jenna was in the process of straightening things out. She graduated from the New Mexico National Guard Youth Challenge Academy where she was selected as the outstanding female cadet. Two days prior to her untimely death, Jenna bought her dad lunch and told him “I’m going to make you proud of me.” Her free spirit, creative mind and outgoing personality will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

She is survived by her parents, Janet Harmon Sanchez and Frank Austin DuBois, two sisters, Jayce Ellison DuBois and Cora Elizabeth DuBois, maternal grandmother Joyce Holland Harmon, paternal grandparents Frank and Sharon DuBois, aunts Katy Duggan (Jed) and Sevon DuBois Villarreal (Israel), uncle Frank Harmon, uncle Tony Harmon(all in Las Cruces) and many cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandfather Hal Harmon. Services will be held Saturday, August 24, 10:00 am, at the Getz Funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the DuBois Western Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 1998, Mesilla Park, N.M., 88047, where a scholarship for NMSU students is being established in Jenna’s name. Or you may donate online here:

A favorite memory - video of surprising Jenna

One of my favorite memories was when I surprised Jenna at the school bus stop with a horse for her. Below is a video made of the event, from 2014.

Grizzly Came as He Slept, Took Him Away

Julien Gauthier was collecting nature sounds for a music project in Canada 

A highly rare unprovoked grizzly bear attack took the life of a 44-year-old French man in Canada's Northwest Territories last week. The BBC reports Julien Gauthier was asleep in his tent early Thursday when a grizzly bear came upon him and dragged him away. His body was found the next day. The Canadian-born Gauthier—a composer-in-residence with the Brittany Symphony Orchestra in France—had been traveling along the Mackenzie River to record nature sounds for a music project; he had done something similar over five months in the Kerguelen Islands in Antarctica in 2018. The female biologist who was with him near the village of Tulita was able to find some hikers who enabled her to activate a distress beacon, which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police responded to, reports the Guardian. She told Le Parisien, "He had asked me to take part in this adventure, we had been thinking about it for three years. We were so happy to get to do it." The Guardian quotes a Canadian official who says the Northwest Territories have only seen four fatal animal attacks in the last two decades. newser

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

Here is another hit by Webb Pierce: I Don't Care (1955). THE WESTERNER

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The President and Congress Are Fiscal Swamp Monsters

 Ivan Eland

All the recent talk in the political media has been about ideological division and partisan rancor, yet the results when progressives and nationalists and Democrats and Republicans agree should also give one pause.
The president and Republican and Democratic congressional leaders have just agreed on a two-year budget that would hike federal spending $320 billion above the fairly strict spending caps of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which is obviously no longer controlling the budget. Curiously, over the two years, a Republican president just agreed to add $46.5 billion in defense spending and even more—$56.5 billion—in domestic spending.
To state the obvious, neither party cares about yawning federal budget deficits (which will approach $1 trillion) that have compounded into a whopping $22 trillion in national debt (and counting). With unfunded pension plans at the federal, state and local level, the unfunded liabilities for the entire nation are estimated to be a staggering $150 trillion.
David M. McIntosh, President of the Club for Growth, was quoted in the New York Times lamenting, “It’s pretty clear that both houses of Congress and both parties have become big spenders, and Congress is no longer concerned about the extent of the budget deficits or the debt they add.” With all due respect to McIntosh, the country didn’t accumulate a $22 trillion debt overnight. Both parties, including the Democratic Party, with a reputation for big spending, and the supposedly fiscally responsible Republican Party haven’t really been consistently fiscally responsible since the 1990s.
The only time Republicans tender the claim of responsibility is when they are opposing a Democratic president. Starting with Richard Nixon, when they get the presidency, Republicans irresponsibly cut taxes and increase spending, thus ballooning budget deficits and piling on debt at a rapid rate. Thus, in terms of a spending record when running Congress, the two parties are roughly equal—very bad—but as far as presidential records, Democrats are better at restraining spending and reducing deficits. For example, since Harry Truman, the champion of fiscal restraint was Bill Clinton. He and runner-up Dwight Eisenhower, the last fiscally responsible Republican president, were the only two presidents to reduce federal spending as a percentage of the nation’s total economic output.
The last brief bout of fiscal responsibility occurred for a few years after the 10-year Budget Control Act of 2011 was enacted during Barack Obama’s administration. After his initial pork barrel “economic stimulus” program intended to combat the Great Recession, Obama’s second term saw a reduction of budget deficits by an average of 11% per year as a result of military and domestic spending reductions of an average of 2% per year. (By way of comparison, President Trump is increasing such domestic and military spending by almost 4% per year and has so far added more than $2 trillion to the national debt.)


Century link is here

To install my new internet setup...don't know when I will be back online.

Fifth NRA Board Member Resigns Amid String of Recent Defections

A fifth member of the National Rifle Association's board of directors has resigned, the latest in a string of high-profile defections within the powerful gun rights group in recent weeks. NRA board member Richard Childress, a former NASCAR driver and the owner of a self-titled car racing enterprise, submitted his resignation to the board, John Frazer—the organization's secretary—and NRA President Carolyn Meadows on Monday, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Newsweek. This marks the fifth resignation from the NRA's board of directors since August 1, when three board members quit after they allege they were sidelined for raising questions about apparently lavish spending and mismanagement by top executives. Childress, along with former NRA President Lt. Col. Oliver North, had previously authored a memorandum to the chairman of the NRA's audit committee and Frazer (in his dual capacity as general counsel) expressing how they were "deeply concerned" about the billable hours being racked up by the organization's outside counsel, William A. Brewer III. The letter revealed that Brewer's firm earned $24 million over a 13-month period, payments that Childress and North described as "excessive on their face." Childress, also serving as the NRA'S first vice president, read North's resignation letter aloud at the annual meeting in April. A fourth NRA board member, Julie Golob, announced her departure on August 12. Childress did not refer in his resignation letter to the Brewer dispute or any of the myriad fiscal and governance scandals that have plagued the NRA since April, when The New Yorker documented what would be the first in a long line of allegations of financial misconduct that have racked the organization...MORE

World's largest highway overpass for wildlife on track in California

Hoping to fend off the extinction of mountain lions and other species that require room to roam, transportation officials and conservationists will build a mostly privately funded wildlife crossing over a major Southern California highway. It will give big cats, coyotes, deer, lizards, snakes and other creatures a safe route to open space and better access to food and potential mates. The span along U.S. 101 will only be the second animal overpass in a state where tunnels are more common. Officials say it will be the first of its kind near a major metropolis and the largest in the world, stretching 200 feet above 10 lanes of busy highway and a feeder road just 35 miles northwest of downtown L.A. "When the freeway went in, it cut off an ecosystem. We're just now seeing impacts of that," Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation told The Associated Press. Scientists tracking mountain lions fitted with GPS collars found roadways are largely trapping animals in the Santa Monica Mountains, which run along the Malibu coast and across the middle of Los Angeles to Griffith Park, where P-22 settled. The result of that isolation, researchers say, is imminent genetic collapse for mountain lions. Habitat loss has driven the populations to inbreeding that could lead to extinction within 15 years unless the big cats regularly connect with other populations to increase their diversity, according to a study published this year by the University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Davis; and the National Park Service. The $87 million bridge last month entered its final design phase. It's on track for groundbreaking within two years and completion by 2023, according to engineer Sheik Moinuddin, project manager with the California Department of Transportation. Construction will take place mostly at night and won't require any lengthy shutdowns of the 101 freeway, officials said. Moinuddin said Caltrans considers it a "special" project that the agency hopes will inspire others like it across the state. One of the reasons it's special is that 80% of the money to build it will come from private sources, Pratt said...MORE

Surviving the Ride on the Jackass Mail

...In September 1857, John Butterfield won the contract for the Overland Mail Company, and was given one year to ready his 2,700-mile-long trail for service. By the start of service in September 1858, he had significantly improved and shortened the trail and provided regularly spaced water sources, which benefited the San Antonio and San Diego Line.
The Jackass Mail had its contract as a through-mail cut short on January 1, 1859, because of the duplication of mail services with the Overland Mail Company. After that date, they carried mail from San Antonio to El Paso, Texas, and from Fort Yuma to San Diego, California. Although there was now no through-mail, the line still carried passengers on the entire length of its trail.
Superintendent Woods stated in his November 1857 report to Postmaster General A. V. Brown that: “We had seven coaches on the road….” Mostly, they were worn-out wagons that frequently broke down.
Because of the unreliability of a set schedule for the passengers on the San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line, some passengers heading west from San Antonio departed at El Paso to transfer to one of Butterfield’s more reliable Concord stage Celerity wagons. In 1859, George Foster Pierce was a passenger from San Antonio to El Paso where he transferred to a Butterfield stage. In his memoir he stated: “The stage from San Antonio runs no further than El Paso, and we had to wait two days for ‘the Overland,’ as it is called.”

Phocion R. Way was a passenger on the Jackass Mail in June 1858 and complained bitterly about the unreliability of the stages. He wrote in his diary:

“…3 o’clock P. M. We are now about 8 or 10 miles from Mesilla. We have stopped to feed. We took another passenger at Mesilla, which makes our whole number 5. We have also to carry feed for our mules, a large amount of baggage and the mail, which makes our load very heavy—unusually heavy. The driver is fearful that we will break down before we get through. The company should have sent another carriage but it was not done; in fact, the company have deceived us and acted shamefully from the start. They told us that the two carriages we started with would go all the way through to San Diego, and both of them have been taken from us. We left the last one at Fillmore and have an old wagon in its place. The one we have is strong and would do very well, but we should have another; it is not sufficient. The mules we have now are good, but those we have had were broken down things; and what is worse than all, they tell us now that the wagon will go no further than Tucson, and consequently those unfortunate fellows who are going through to San Diego will have to ride mule back from Tucson and keep up with the mail which is also packed on mules, and travels day and night. The poor fellows will have to travel 500 miles over a barren desert and I am afraid it is more than they can stand. It is a gross imposition that should not be born [sic] and the public should know it. They paid their money with the full understanding that they were to be taken through in an ambulance. The men employed along the line are fine fellows, and of course they are not responsible for this. This is an important route and will be much traveled, and [the] Government should see that it is properly managed.”


The Role Of Markets In A Disaster

Derrell Peel - Oklahoma State University

Markets are the primary means that the production and consumption of products are coordinated in the U.S. economy. Normally markets ensure that supply and demand are in equilibrium, or close to it, at all times and respond to changing conditions through countless small adjustments made constantly by producers and consumers. Market adjustments are typically very subtle and commonly overlooked. A freely-operating market economy moves through time much as driving a car depends on a constant stream of tiny adjustments rather than violent swings of the steering wheel to the right and left. However, sudden, large shocks disrupt the balance of supply and demand and reveal how dramatic market actions occur that help reestablish equilibrium. The recent fire at the Tyson beef plant in Finney County, Kansas is just such an example. It is much like throwing a rock into a pond resulting in a big initial splash and ripple effects spreading out in all directions. The initial splash of the plant closure included a dramatic set of market reactions. With fresh beef production suddenly decreased, boxed beef prices rose sharply to ration a suddenly limited supply. Choice boxed beef prices increased by over $22/cwt. or 10.3 percent in one week. This illustrates one of the most important functions of markets (one that is commonly taken for granted): markets make sure that we don’t run out of things. With less supply available, the market uses higher prices to determine how limited beef supplies will be allocated. It is a common market reaction. When a freeze hits Florida, orange juice prices begin to rise immediately, not because there is an immediate shortage of juice but to make sure that the current supply continues to be available over time. Markets will never tell a consumer that they cannot have a product but prices will rise enough to convince some consumers not to consume as much of the product at this time. The corollary to the above is that markets make sure that we don’t waste products. This is particularly important for perishable products...MORE

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

From 1953 here is Hank Thompson & His Brazos Valley Boys with Yesterday's Girl. THE WESTERNER

Monday, August 19, 2019

How federalism is making a difference on Western lands

It seems in vogue for politicians to propose ever-expansive federal environmental agendas, as if individual freedom and state governance were passe. Witness the one-upmanship on presidential candidates’ environmental agendas or the “Green New Deal,” which massively increases the federal government’s size and scope without doing much to improve the environment.
Lost in all the noise are actions that states and communities are taking to improve the environment around them.
Consider Utah’s success in restoring range lands. Ranching is a deep part of Utah’s heritage and economy, but overgrazed rangeland has been a problem since before World War II, contributing to watershed damage and ultimately federal regulation.
For decades, overgrazing was controlled by reducing herd sizes. Naturally, ranchers didn’t like this, and yet rangeland and watershed damage persisted. This “disconnect” begged for a solution and in 2006, Utah found a better way.
Utah’s voluntary Grazing Improvement Program, taking its cue from actual ranchers who noted that “most rangelands are not overstocked, but they are often undermanaged.” Rather than focusing on herd size, Utah’s approach emphasizes actively managing herds, distribution, and rotation to keep cattle from overusing lands and streams. Installing water systems, fences, and new plants have reduced soil erosion, improved water quality and lessened wildfire damage.
Here’s another example. Wildfires are a routine challenge out West. The U.S. Forest Service and Interior Department routinely bust their budgets fighting them. But the White Mountain Apache Tribe has had great success in keeping fires from raging into catastrophic infernos.
In 2011, the Wallow Fire burned over 500,000 acres, making it the worst fire in Arizona history. Although devastating, the fire would have been worse had it not been slowed by the White Mountain Apaches’ well-maintained forests.
The Apaches manage their forests by mimicking the natural burn-and-growth cycle, clearing logs and brush that could become fuel for fires. Doing so also provides jobs for the tribe, which boasts a healthy logging industry.
Reflecting on the stark contrast between tribal and federally managed lands, Jonathan Brooks, the tribal forest manager, hinted as to why.
“The forests for the White Mountain Apache Tribe, they’re very important for livelihood, for economics, cultural aspects, recreation. There’s so many benefits that the land and that the forests provide for the tribe, and it’s very important for us to actively manage it to keep the forest healthy so that everything kind of maintains its balance,” he said.
Key to that success is the tribe’s being “unhindered by environmental litigation and drawn-out federal government processes,” he added.
The simple truth is, the White Mountain Apache Tribe and Utah locals have powerful incentives to be good stewards of their environment. Their communities directly benefit from good management decisions and are hurt by poor ones. It’s not surprising that many Western states, of varying partisan hues — Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming — proposed or signed bills during their 2019 legislative sessions that attempt to strengthen state and local involvement in federal land issues.
In contrast, federal management is often costly, bound in red tape and litigation, inflexible, and at odds with state and private interests. Federal agencies’ priorities and incentives are less connected to the land, which has resulted in blanket solutions to nuanced problems.
The good news is, the federal government is starting to notice the benefits of state management. For example, in “rethinking our approach to land management,” the Forest Service laid out a “Shared Stewardship” program to foster state and local participation in land management decisions for better results. So far, Idaho, Utah, and the Western Governors’ Association have signed on to the initiative, with Montana and Washington considering it.
Such progress is promising, but Congress can and should goose it along. Shifting more control from Washington to those with direct knowledge of the land and a clear stake in the outcome would be a step in the right direction.

⦁ Katie Tubb is a senior policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Sophia Bagley is a member of the think tank’s Young Leadership Program.

Nearly 200 undocumented migrants found in Southwest New Mexico

ANTELOPE WELLS, N.M. — The United States Border Patrol agents apprehended 194 undocumented migrants on August 18 in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The undocumented migrants in this group were primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied juveniles. According to U.S. Border Patrol, agents encountered the group at 3 a.m. attempting to illegally enter the United State at the camp Bounds Forward Operating Base adjacent to the Antelope Wells Port of Entry. The majority of undocumented migrants in the group were from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. U.S. Border Patrol says though recent monthly figures show a decrease in apprehensions, they continue to arrest high numbers of undocumented migrants entering the United States compared to last year. “This high number of apprehensions continue to present a challenge to our border operations as this remains a national security and humanitarian crisis,” the U.S. Border Patrol news release said...MORE

Swedish child climate activist reportedly a tool of Al Gore–linked corporate green hucksters

Monica Showalter

Kids are great tools for big money and major powers lurking in the shadows, attempting to enact a political agenda.  The latest instance, and it's a doozy, is young Greta Thunberg, the Swedish child climate activist who's coming to the states (with a big carbon footprint, according to today's piece by Thomas Lifson) to persuade us all to jump in on the global warming cavalcade of green laws to restrict our own freedoms — which, as it happens, will just coincidentally make the green elites even richer.
No wonder they're the shadowy forces bankrolling her peregrinations.  According to a report that ran in The Times (subscription only), titled "Greta Thunberg and the plot to forge a climate warrior," green corporate energy companies looking to turn a profit from green contracts were behind the young Greta's much ballyhooed rise from the beginning.  Far from being some persuasive and charismatic kid out to save the Earth, as the press is reporting, the Times found that:

T]he Greta phenomenon has also involved green lobbyists, PR hustlers, eco-academics and a think tank founded by a wealthy former minister in Sweden's Social Democratic government with links to the country's energy companies. These companies are preparing for the biggest bonanza of government contracts in history: the greening of the western economies. Greta, whether she and her parents know it or not, is the face of their political strategy.
Here's what the Times reported on who Rentzhog really is:
Trained by former US vice-president Al Gore's environmental group, the Climate Reality Project, Rentzhog set up We Don't Have Time in late 2017 to "hold leaders and companies accountable for climate change" by leveraging "the power of social media".
He and his chief operating officer, David Olsson, have backgrounds in finance, not environmental activism: Rentzhog as the founder of Laika Consulting, an investment relations company, and Olsson with Svenska Bostadsfonden, one of Sweden's biggest property funds, whose board Rentzhog joined in June 2017. The platform's investors included Gustav Stenbeck, whose family control Kinnevik, one of Sweden's largest investment corporations.
In May last year, Rentzhog became the chairman and Olsson a board member of a think tank called Global Utmaning (Global Challenge). Its founder, Kristina Persson, is an heir to an industrial fortune. 
The list of corporate luminaries and green hucksters that follows in the background to this Global Challenge angle is stunning...


Harvard Climate Loon: Keto Dieters Are Killing the Planet Because Bacon and Butter or Something

Add the ketogenic diet to the ever-growing list of monsters under the beds of those suffering from climate change hysteria. Apparently all of the bacon and butter we consume is going to KILL EARTH:

The climate change hysteria mongers are always defaulting to opinions from the United Nations, blissfully unaware that not everyone is a fan.
Noted keto advocate Dr. Jay Wrigley has quite a different view of what and who is bad for the planet:

 When given the choice between a U.N. climate opinion and, well, anything else I'm taking anything else every time.

Farmers and ranchers caught in the middle of Trump’s trade wars

The past few years have been trying times for America’s farmers and ranchers. As President Trump’s trade war with China drags on with no end in sight, the outlook for the American agricultural sector, deeply dependent on expanded market access abroad, gets ever bleaker. Within a few days of his inauguration, Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a promising trade pact between Pacific Rim nations that would have been a boon for domestic agriculture. By cutting agricultural tariffs and reducing quotas, the TPP made significant progress in opening notoriously closed Asian markets. The remaining TPP countries moved forward with the agreement after the U.S. withdrawal. As a consequence, American farmers and ranchers now face higher barriers than their competitors in lucrative markets like Japan. As if that weren’t bad enough, American farmers and ranchers face an uncertain future in China’s enormous market. The Trump administration correctly identified legitimate problems with China’s trade policy practices in last year’s report by the U.S. Trade Representative, including cyberintrusions into commercial networks, theft of trade secrets, intellectual property abuses, and forced technology transfer, among other charges. But rather than use the report’s findings to pursue a thoughtful, comprehensive strategy with like-minded allies, the Trump administration waged an aggressive, undisciplined tariff war that has done little to change Beijing’s behavior while imposing big costs on Americans. Despite the president’s claims, American consumers, families, and businesses, are paying the tariffs, which have triggered predictable retaliation from Beijing that has fallen particularly hard on American agriculture. In 2017, the year before the trade war began, Chinese buyers imported approximately $19.5 billion worth of American farm products. In 2018, due to Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs, American farmers and ranchers sent less than half that amount to China (a little more than $9 billion). Soybean exports to China, for instance, fell from approximately $12.2 billion in 2017 to $3.1 billion in 2018. Likewise Bloomberg recently reported, “U.S. farm income dropped 16 percent last year to $63 billion, about half the level it was as recently as 2013.”...MORE

Rancher focuses on keeping his land healthy

Theresa Davis
Ranching in the rough New Mexico desert is a delicate balance. “It only takes a year or two to wreck a ranch in this desert environment, and it can take generations to get it back,” said Mike Mechenbier, who owns Four Daughters Land and Cattle Company, south of Los Lunas. Western Landowners Alliance recently hosted a tour of Four Daughters as part of its summer Stewardship in Action series. WLA executive director and former rancher Lesli Allison said the tours allow ranchers to show they care about the environment and are practicing sustainable agriculture profitably. “Ranchers and landowners speak from a place of experience,” Allison said. “They know the land and look at the world in a different way. If anyone can fix the environment, it’s going to be them.” Mechenbier’s ranch is 250,000 acres in Valencia County. He is on The Land Report magazine list of America’s 100 largest landowners. The long-time rancher said agriculture in the region is family-oriented, but not always sustainable or economical. He wants to change that, so over the past three decades Mechenbier has implemented ranching practices that help the environment and make economic sense. Mechenbier uses a regenerative grazing program for his Angus and Hereford cows with soil and watershed restoration in mind. Holistic Management International educator Jeff Goebel said that in New Mexico’s dry environment, livestock grazing actually helps stimulate the carbon cycle and create healthier soil. The trick is to prevent overgrazing, which can devastate soil nutrients and harm a water source. “You shouldn’t have an animal in one place for too long,” Goebel said. “You need to give the plants and soil time to recover.”...more

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

Its Swingin' Monday and we have Asleep At The Wheel with Hubbin' It (1993). That is Huey Lewis sharing the vocal with Ray Benson. THE WESTERNER