Thursday, May 06, 2021

Simple Courtesies

 

MPF

Simple Courtesies

30X30

By Stephen L. Wilmeth



             The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.

            John Adams

            MPF

            Something under seven percent of all Americans watched this week as the masked and aviator bedecked fellow that lives in the White House read the state of our union address.

            The script indicated the administration wants to harvest and or borrow another $6T on various projects that are going to make the country healthier, wealthier, and wise. That is a chunk of change when the current debt is $28.23T (at the time of this exercise). It is also a matter of increasing marginal pucker factor (MPF) when considering that the resulting obligation is reaching upwards toward 150% of GNP.

            The problem is the Truth in Accounting group (TIA) calculates a much different national debt. Their approach includes promised but unfunded liabilities. These include Social Security and Medicare on the basis this government assures the American public they will be funded.

            When these promises are added, the national debt is closer to $125T.

            Of course, that figure sends the MPF soaring to the unattainable level of 625%. Another way of explaining this blistering pace of spending out running common sense is to suggest every dollar earned by the entire nation for over ten years (yes, interest has to be inserted into the algorithm) would have to be diverted to pay for these cumulative political spending frenzies without adding another penny from future campaign promises.

            In comparison, this makes drunken sailors look like Buddhist monks or even sober royal family members. It also reminds us of the gross negligence of the entirety of congressional actions since the turn of the century. These characters, who in no way will refrain from future spending, are simply out of control.

            It makes us all think about constraints that could or should be added to the original Constitution, but decency is the operative word. Simple courtesies simply don’t exist in the minds and bodies of these elected representatives.

            Simple Courtesies

            Without doubt, the Founders and the Framers conceived of a collection of sovereign states united in their efforts to protect the established union.

            Just like families, the states were independent and intent on taking care of their internal problems, but assisting the greater assembly of families (other states) on a societal basis. The carefully structured protection of the small against the large was created to make sure the greater assembly was not allowed to dictate or direct state business except joining the whole in those narrowly defined caveats of defense, foreign involvement, and federal administrative allowances.

            In other words, senators and congressional representatives (and your handlers) stay the hell out of other state’s business and sovereign territory unless it is a matter of the greater union’s defense and enduring freedom!

            There should be two other writs as well.

            No individual or assemblage of elected representatives have the right to encumber future generations short of national defense and imperiled liberty threats. This should be emphatic and cardinal.

            Lastly, any action taken by the elected body of servants must be paid on the basis of defined and secured monies. Zero based budgeting should be a constitutional tenet. The federal mandate should have always been that secure income and or funding minus expenditures must equal zero by the end of every congress.

            Andrew Jackson shouldn’t be the only president with that simple, decent courtesy burned in his soul.

            30X30

            In the recesses of ongoing masked Zoom meetings, another plot is thickening.

            Of course, in the spirit of public awareness, a bit of background is in order. When 30X30 is first set forth, the Westerner shouldn’t assume it has anything to do with the .30-30. The .30-30 in this context refers to the venerable old Winchester cartridge that was introduced shortly after the advent of that company’s Model 94 lever action rifle invented by John Browning. The round, available in 1895, was the first to be propelled by smokeless powder. The name came from the caliber, .30, and the amount of powder in the original charge, 30 grains, hence .30-30.

            The pending exercise has nothing to do with the punchy form of 30/30, either. That is the reference used to describe a certain body type. Rather than saying something unbecoming, the more cultured description of 30/30 can be used. The implies the body is 30” wide and the length of his or her Wranglers is 30” or less.

            He or she isn’t short and fat. Rather, they are just 30/30, but that brings us to the newest 30X30. It has all the appearance of rendering these bumpkin references obsolete.

            This is the environmental crusade’s master plan to save 30% of the land and water mass of the United States by 2030. Although the powerful NGO planners have canned talking points used for their expeditionary forays into the press, the White House is in mute mode when questions are asked.

What does this mean and whose ox is going to be gored?

It won’t be the green engineers. It likely won’t be the land-based folks east of the 100th Meridian who live in original and nearly equal states, either. No, it will be out West. That’s where the modern environmental movement was founded when it was discovered what could be accomplished when federal land ownership exceeds private holdings. Unelected bureaucrats, meddling politicians, and pampered flower children ran naked warbling in delight.

The states had no real direction over it. Their control was lost by ineffective means of maintaining their promised rights. Now, the next wave of eliminating indigenous citizenry, rural residents, is underway.

The 30%, though, is perplexing. In one form or another, Government already owns 61% of the West. If the land being targeted is simply adjunct to those holdings, the subject of John Adams’ warning has schemed, and … lived in our midst far too long.

 

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

DuBois column: Winchester aimed at the West

 


Winchester aimed at the West

A different barrel and different ammo, but still a 30-30. This time, though, it is called 30 by 30 and it is the new battle cry by the enviros and the Biden Administration. They want 30 percent of the land in the U.S. set aside in protected areas, and similarly 30 percent of the ocean.

Advocates had been proposing this type of action for some time, but this particular effort got kick-started by Swiss philanthropist Hansj√∂rg Wyss, who donated a billion dollars to launch the Wyss Campaign for Nature. The Wyss campaign called for 30 percent of all lands to be protected. That was quickly followed by the large environmental organizations issuing a statement calling for 30 percent of all land be set aside in protected areas by 2030 and 50 percent be sustainably managed by 2050. 

In January of this year President Biden issued Executive Order 14008 “Tackling the Climate Crises at Home and Abroad.” While most of the media focused on the specific climate change provisions and the order to “pause” oil and gas development on federal lands, Section 216 of the EO, titled Conserving Our Nation's Lands and Waters states:  “The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality…shall submit a report to the Task Force within 90 days of the date of this order recommending steps that the United States should take, working with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, agricultural and forest landowners, fishermen, and other key stakeholders, to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.”

We need to ask what will it take to reach that 30 percent? Federal lands encompass 640 million acres, about 29 percent of the U.S. land mass. However, a study by the U.S.G.S found that only 12 percent of those lands meet the protected status required to reach the 30 by 30 standards. They propose that an additional 440 million acres would be required to obtain their goal. That’s an area twice the size of Texas.

What about private lands? You know the enviros covet them, and this program provides an excellent opportunity to either acquire or obtain control over private property.  In conjunction with this program, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has expanded the Conservation Reserve Program, which pays farmers to halt production, by 4 million acres. In doing so, he brushed aside grain growers fears this would send a signal to other countries to step up production. USDA will also consider ramping up their program to purchase perpetual easements over private lands.

Another option for both USDA and USDI is the outright purchase of private lands. Making this a more plausible option is President Trump’s signing of the Great American Outdoors Act last year, which guarantees, without debate, $900 million a year for federal land acquisition. Was that enough to satisfy the enviros? Of course not. One enviro spokesman recently pointed out the $900 million was a 1978 number, and after factoring in inflation, the appropriation should be $3.4 billion per year.

With respect to federal lands, the big stick everyone will be watching for is the use of the 1906 Antiquities Act.  That law has been determined by the courts to grant the President unlimited authority to designate national monuments without allowing for public comment and without considering the environmental or economic impact of the designation. Given the short, nine-year time frame to meet the 30 percent goal, they very well may be gearing up for a monument onslaught that far surpasses Obama’s record setting 26 new national monuments.

The enviro lobbyists have recently done a great job in bringing in Native Americans to be upfront on many enviro initiatives, especially those pertaining to federal lands. Now, however, the enviros are eyeing the 56 million acres of land held in trust for Native Americans. It will be interesting to see how welcoming the tribes will be to having national parks, wildlife refuges and national monuments created on tribal land.

Climate what?

I predicted last fall that Biden’s enviro initiatives would all be proposed under the umbrella of climate change, and so it is with 30 by 30 program, as it is only a part of the President’s EO on climate change. I’m sure it is just a happenstance that Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), along with 17 Republican cosponsors, has introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act.  The bill is aimed at “bolstering agricultural carbon markets.” This is not a totally bad bill, but let’s take a closer at the language used to describe and justify the legislation.

The bipartisan bill would create a structure at the Department of Agriculture to help farmers increase their adoption of “climate smart practices” and have better access to voluntary carbon markets, Stabenow told reporters on a Tuesday call.

Here the D.C. Deep Thinkers are saying farmers aren't changing their production practices at an acceptable rate, or that those who are changing are adopting dumb practices rather than "climate smart practices" as defined by the government. 

 ...but the burgeoning private markets for carbon credits vary in quality    

Something is "burgeoning" in the private sector? Oh no, the DC Deep Thinkers cannot allow that. 

bill would create a structure at the Department of Agriculture...voluntary carbon markets. 

Whenever you create a "structure" in a federal agency, history teaches that, over time, the "structure" will become a bureau or a division and the program mandatory 

 “Most of these carbon markets are complex and farmers need help to get started,” Stabenow said.                                                                                                          

These ag producers manage land, livestock, crops and sophisticated heavy equipment. They manage their own budget and the marketing of their products. Yet the DC Deep Thinkers believe they need government's help in selecting a program because it is all too complex? 

 Therein you find the word that almost always leads to more government spending and control. The word is "complex".  Whenever you hear a politician utter the word "complex" be assured it will be followed by expressing the need for some new government expansion. 

In reality, the exact opposite is true: the more complex an issue the less the government should be involved. Governments have demonstrated over and over again they cannot manage simple, straight forward programs. Why on earth, then, would anybody think they could adequately manage a "complex" issue or program? 

Until 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 (www.thewesterner.blogspot.com) and is the founder of The DuBois Rodeo Scholarship and The DuBois Western Heritage Foundation

 This column originally appeared in the May issues of The New Mexico Stockman and The Livestock Market Digest.

Addendum

Since writing the above, I found this passage that should put all private land owners on alert


When it comes to protecting private lands, there’s nowhere to go but up.

A mere 3% of protected areas in the country are on private lands, despite the fact that 60% of all land in the country is privately owned.

That’s bad news for biodiversity.

“Researchers have found that we’re losing habitat for threatened and endangered species twice as fast on unprotected private lands as we are on public lands, which is a big deal when you realize that a huge percentage of our threatened species live in places like the Southeast and areas outside of where we have a lot of federally protected public lands,” says Richards.

One way to begin protecting more private land is to ramp up existing programs that help local government agencies or land trusts buy private property outright or provide incentives for conservation easements.

This would indicate the battle will take place before the appropriation committees. By using existing programs, the proponents already have the legislative authority to accomplish their goal. What they don't have is enough funding to reach their desired outcome. However, with dems controlling both houses of congress and the White House, the likely success of increased funding seems imminent. 


Monday, May 03, 2021

Bobby Unser, 87, Indy 500 champ in great racing family, dies


 Bobby Unser, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and part of the only pair of brothers to win “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” has died. He was 87.

He died Sunday at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico of natural causes, The Indianapolis Speedway said Monday. Unser won the Indy 500 in 1968, 1975 and 1981.

His younger brother, Al, is one of only three four-time Indy 500 winners in race history. Al Unser won the race in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987. The Unser family tradition stretched to Al Unser’s son, Al Unser Jr., who won the Indy 500 in 1992 and 1994.

Bobby Unser was born Feb. 20, 1934, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but moved with his family as a child to New Mexico. His father owned a garage along Route 66 and he his brother grew up tooling around in old jalopies before he began his racing career in 1949 at Roswell New Mexico Speedway.

After a two years in the U.S. Air Force from 1953 to 1955 — a stint for which he was always proud — Unser turned to racing full time and became one of the greatest racers in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history.

He was one of just 10 drivers to win the 500 at least three times and Unser and Rick Mears are the only drivers to win the 500 in three different decades. Unser was one of six members of the Unser family to race in the Indianapolis 500.

His final Indy 500 victory in 1981 came in a Roger Penske entry in one of the most controversial and contentious outcomes. Unser beat Mario Andretti by 5.18 seconds, but officials ruled Unser passed cars illegally while exiting the pit lane under caution — drawing a penalty that docked him one position and moved Andretti to winner.

Penske and Unser appealed and after a lengthy process the penalty was rescinded in October of that year. It was the 35th and final victory of Unser’s career.

At Indianapolis, Unser produced 10 top-10 finishes in 19 career starts. He led led in 10 races for a total of 440 laps, which to this day ranks 10th on the all-time list.

After his driving career, Unser moved to broadcasting and won an Emmy Award as part of the ABC Sports broadcast team for “Outstanding Live Sports Special” for its coverage of the 1989 Indianapolis 500.

Unser is survived by his wife, Lisa; sons Bobby Jr. and Robby; and daughters Cindy and Jeri.

KRQE

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Biden admin sending 500 USDA employees to assist with border crisis


The Biden administration is asking US Department of Agriculture employees to abandon their day jobs and volunteer for months-long stints at the US-Mexico border, despite repeatedly insisting that the influx of unaccompanied minors has not reached ‘crisis’ levels. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offered employees an ‘informational unaccompanied minors’ session last week ‘to learn more about volunteer detail opportunities for employees’, according to an email obtained by The Spectator. Volunteers would be responsible for working directly with migrant children to interview them for their legal cases and help connect them with adult sponsors residing in the United States.‘These are children in need and government employees now have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these children, families and communities impacted by this migration,’ Terry Cosby, acting chief of the NRCS, wrote in the email, dated April 22. ‘I urge you to seriously consider answering this call to service to make a difference.’ The Department of Agriculture confirmed to The Spectator that they will be sending 500 employees to the border as part of the volunteer program, which is being conducted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The USDA said that the temporary loss of these staffers would not affect day-to-day operations. ‘Those who are accepted to volunteer will work with their supervisors to ensure their duties are assigned to other staff for the duration of the volunteer assignment ensuring continuity of service; some will perform a portion of their duties remotely,’ the USDA said in a statement. ‘We expect no disruption in service to our customers while we answer the call to assist with this critical humanitarian effort. USDA’s total commitment will be approximately 500 staff from a pool of 100,000+ total USDA workers.’...MORE