Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Administrative State


Managing the Resource

The Administrative State

Yapping Chihuahuas    


            The Administrative state is that branch of the national government that has the most effect on your daily life and has become out of control, unmoored to any system of democracy.

                                                                               ~ John Yoo

            The drought drones onward.

            Amidst the daily duties of managing what we are brainwashed to reference as global warming, the horizons have been reduced. In fact, on Tuesday, the visibility on the north end of the ranch was limited to under a mile. You couldn’t even see Jim and Faye’s house off the slope in the Uvas Valley from the Matamora well.

            As the day wound onward the reliable southwest flow of wind reappeared and aggressively manhandled the cancer-causing particulates and greenhouse gases within the shroud of smoke, and drove them northeastward. What was revealed was that there still are islands of mountain ranges in southern New Mexico.

            In order of appearance, the Goodsights, The Cooke’s range, the Las Uvas, the Caballos, the Frau Cristobals, and, finally, the Black Range reemerged from hiding. It was the latter that revealed the source of the federal gaseous soup. The Black Fire was belching a fountain of smoke 35,000’ into the wild brown and yellow cast wonder.

Yessiree, the United States Forest Service was up there managing the resource in its annual pent-up cataclysm of conflagration of up to 9,000,000 acres of (perhaps) once iconic American forest lands. In the immediate process, they were contributing to the even grander desequestration of carbon being stoked and released into northern New Mexico skies.

When these various smoke plumes join to spread on across the heartland and the nation, their collective pall makes a cow fart look like an electron arrayed against … the planet of Jupiter.

The Administrative State

The collection of the various federal agencies is no longer a national posse of cohorts, but, rather, a legion of nonelected jefes and dictators.

They are the constitutionally silent, fourth branch of government, and many should say they are also its most powerful component. For example, every environmental rule is not a congressional dictate. The height of an allotment boundary fence is not a congressional parameter. The Wilderness Act says that grazing shall continue where it was in place at the time of the signing of the bill in 1964, but over 80% of those same legal allotments are now gone. Congress hasn’t enacted an all-comers welcome party at the border, nor does it set miles per gallon requirements for new cars. Congress didn’t demand mask coverage over the past two years. It doesn’t dictate what color to paint your storage tanks, and it doesn’t oversee the requirement to hold in check the executive branch to create millions of acres of protected land designations in the Antiquities Act out of its phrasing of the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the object.

The fact is the most impactful regulatory demands on our daily lives don’t come from Congress nor do they get approved by those characters that represent themselves to be game changers when they get elected to serve. It is endless, though, and the bottom line is that ordinary people have no representation against the most critical burdens of their daily lives.

The Administrative State rules supreme.

From the standpoint of budgets for agencies, they are funded by annual appropriations as discretionary funding which constitutes about one third of all the monies spent annually by Washington. Try to find actual reductions of agency funding, however. Discretionary funding is largely a hokum reference to what constitutes another bottomless swamp of mandatory funding. Abject mismanagement is even rewarded.

The sickening air of this week’s western air quality is witness to that fact.

Yapping Chihuahuas

Today, Paul texted from his front row seat observing the various extras from the bar scene in Star Wars (Chicago) that he’d really like to leave that urban nightmare, close the front gate, and reside simply at the ranch.

For some reason his text reminded me of what Tim recently said about pretty boys that can rope, but spend way too much time riding along watching their shadows and constantly delegating the hard work to anybody but themselves. He described these prima-donnas as yapping Chihuahuas always barking and drawing attention to themselves, but always finding a way out of the heat when the fangs appear.

If his cow pasture theorem is true, it can be deducted the Congress, too, could well be dominated by a collection of yapping Chihuahuas. The suggestion comes from a principle in administrative law that Congress cannot delegate its legislative powers to other entities. The term of reference is the nondelegation doctrine. This prohibition involves Congress unconstitutionally delegating its legislative powers away to administrative agencies, or, worse yet, to private organizations, NGOs.

John Yoo, he of aforementioned quote, says the Supreme Court should have stepped in long ago and slapped some sense into this collection of office holders who have traded away their primary duties. They ride along, watch their shadows as they stride to the dais, and constantly delegate away their sworn allegiance to uphold the Constitution of these United States. Little do they know or care that the big end of the ruling megalith they think they oversee is now operating beyond the bounds of constraint and control.

It is an understatement to say this country is in a mess. Name an area or observe a list of highest citizen concerns and the realization abounds that failure is the likelihood. Couple that with a chief executive that rules through the oracle of the teleprompter and there becomes little expectation this system has the ability to correct itself.

From a regional perspective, the effects are erasing the character of local communities. The impact of Washington is everywhere. Nobody is in charge, everybody is in charge, and the administrative state only gets more authoritarian.


Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “God bless Texas this morning.”

The post-New Deal administrative state is unconstitutional, and its validation by the legal system amounts to nothing less than a bloodless constitutional revolution. The original New Dealers were aware, at least to some degree, that their vision of the national government's proper role and structure could not be squared with the written Constitution: The Administrative Process, James Landis's classic exposition of the New Deal model of administration, fairly drips with contempt for the idea of a limited national government subject to a formal, tripartite separation of powers. Faced with a choice between the administrative state and the Constitution, the architects of our modern government chose the administrative state, and their choice has stuck.[1]
Gary Lawson, Harvard Law Review, April 1994

Senate heads for gun control reckoning after Texas school shooting

 Senate Democrats say a major floor debate on gun control is inevitable after a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left at least 19 children and two adults dead, only 10 days after another massacre killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo.  

The second high-profile killing spree in the span of just more than a week means that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) will be under heavy pressure to bring a gun-control measure to the floor before the July 4 recess, risking a partisan brawl that could be tough on vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in swing states this fall.  

“We need to vote. We need to hold every member of the Senate accountable. Every one of us should be put on the record,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the chairman of Judiciary’s Constitution Subcommittee, who held a series of hearings last year to address gun violence...MORE

Ancient fossils of gigantic 'Dragon of Death' flying reptile unearthed in Argentina


The discovery of new fossils suggest gigantic dragons were flying around Earth alongside dinosaurs 86 million years ago. 

Scientists in Argentina discovered a new species of flying reptiles as long as a school bus known as "The Dragon of Death." 

A study published online in April detailed the findings in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research.

reconstruction of the pterosaur – and accompanying images on social media – displayed in Mendoza, Argentina, recently drew attention to the study. The pterosaur, also known as Thanatosdrakon amaru, is believed to have predated birds as the first creatures with wings to hunt their prey. "The Dragon of Death" is a combination of Greek words for death (Thanatos) and dragon (drakon). 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

More Heat, More Drought: New Analyses Offer Grim Outlook for the U.S. West.

The ongoing drought in the U.S. West is expected to persist through this summer, raising the risk of water shortages and wildfires. While California, Arizona, and New Mexico are now facing the brunt of the drought, new research suggests that Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming will increasingly come to look like the Southwest as temperatures continue to rise. 
 In its latest seasonal outlook, the National Weather Service projects the drought, which began in early 2020, will continue across virtually the entire American West. Cooler waters in the Pacific are giving rise to fewer storms in the Southwest, while higher temperatures on land are drying out soil. In the last two years, average temperatures have been upward of 2 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) warmer ac 
ross the West and more than 3 degrees F (1.7 degrees C) warmer in much of the Southwest. 
 “The dryness has coincided with record-breaking wildfires, intense and long-lasting heat waves, low stream flows and dwindling water supplies in reservoirs that millions of people across the region rely on,” University of Colorado climate scientist Imtiaz Rangwala wrote in The Conversation.
The number of days with “fire weather” — high heat, low humidity, and wind — has grown across much of the American West since 1973, according to an analysis from Climate Central...more

Roughing it, deluxe (Ted Turner's Vermejo Park)

 For well over a century, travelers have been searching for rebirth in the American West with a type of increasingly pampered rusticity. It may have reached its apex at Ted Turner’s New Mexico ranch

...It’s Vermejo Park Ranch, at over 550,000 acres the largest single piece of privately owned
land in the United States: covering significantly more territory than Bryce, Zion and Canyonlands national parks 
put together. And it has been known for over a century as a place owned by illustrious public people who weren’t inviting you to visit: first a Chicago millionaire, then a group of Los Angeles millionaires, then Texas millionaires, and then Ted Turner and Jane Fonda. After the couple split in 2001, Turner started to slowly turn Vermejo into a wildlife park and very high-end hotel for 50 to 60 people a night. Today it is one of the most expensive places to stay overnight in the nation: The least costly room, during offseason, can run as high as $2,000 a night (for two people, meals included). The best rooms, in-season, are twice as much. It’s worth noting that Amangiri resort in southern Utah is actually twice as expensive.

We’re going not only because I’m curious to see the place. I also have an intense fascination with the phenomenon of “roughing it deluxe” and its role in the development of the American West — beginning with the generations after the Civil War, when the West became the “new America” that people from the North and the South could still romanticize in a way they had once viewed the original colonies. And once the trains began connecting the country, not only was new commerce and migration possible, but so was a different kind of leisure travel — including the taking of trains to rivers largely unfished, herds of trophy animals unculled and intense outdoor experiences that could be over in time for a lovely lunch or tea...MORE

Monday, May 23, 2022

Californians could see mandatory water cuts amid drought

 California Gov. Gavin Newsom threatened Monday to impose mandatory water restrictions if residents don't use less on their own as a drought drags on and the hotter summer months approach.

Newsom raised that possibility in a meeting with representatives from water agencies that supply major cities including Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Democratic governor has avoided issuing sweeping, mandatory cuts in water use and instead favored giving local water agencies power to set rules for water use in the cities and towns they supply.

January through March typically is when most of California’s annual rain and snow falls, but this year those months were the driest in at least a century. Despite calls for conservation, the state's water use went up dramatically in March — 19% compared to the same month in 2020 — and now Newsom is considering changing his approach...MORE

Antitrust Investigation of 'The Big 4' Proposed by Senators' FTC Resolution


"The top-four beef packers increased their market share from 32% to 85% in the past three decades. At the same time, each year since 1980, an average of nearly 17,000 cattle ranchers have gone out of business,” says the Bipartisan Beef-Packing Investigation Resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

Digging into the history files, Sen. Warren and Sen. Rounds called on the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 (FTC Act) to dive into the antitrust allegations against “The Big 4” including Tyson Foods Inc., Cargill, JBS SA and National Beef Packing Co.

The FTC Act allows the president or Congress to investigate and report the facts relating to any alleged violations of the antitrust Acts by any corporation within one year, says Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. This act has not been utilized by Congress since the Great Depression era.

The senators’ resolution directs the FTC to report to Congress within one year on the extent of anticompetitive practices and violations of antitrust law in the beef-packing industry, including price fixing, anticompetitive acquisitions, dominance of supply chains and monopolization, says the resolution...MORE