Monday, April 19, 2021

Idaho legislature considers absorbing part of Oregon

 A joint House and Senate committee of the Idaho legislature listened to an appeal by members of a group that want Idaho to absorb most of Oregon. The request is a longshot -- requiring approval of the legislatures of both states as well as Congress -- but the invitation from Idaho lawmakers may have been the biggest win so far for the group, Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho, the Idaho Press reportedIdaho state Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, helped make the April 12 meeting possible. "Why not have the conversation? It’s an intriguing idea. There absolutely are benefits to the idea," she said. "It’s not necessarily something that would happen right away." But she noted movements of citizens in Eastern Washington and Northern California that also would like to become part of a "Greater Idaho." The founder of Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho, Mike McCarter, said in his presentation that the "boundary between Oregon and Idaho is outdated because it doesn’t match the cultural boundary between urban communities who like Portland’s leadership and rural communities that are traditional, family-oriented, self-reliant." He pointed out the benefits for Idahoans as well, including more state tax money, access to the International Port of Coos Bay, new industries and the chance to "alleviate future overcrowding" in Idaho...MORE

The Great Rooster Fight


 The Scribes

The Great Rooster Fight

View from the Top of the World

By Stephen L. Wilmeth


            If enough water passes under the bridge, the great divide is recognized by more than wrinkles.

            So, it was this week when I was looking at some poorer doing calves that our youngest granddaughter is tending. She has done a great job and her mama talks about hearing her opening the gate into her little set of corrals and banging the bucket on the feeder as she spreads the ration for her red coated patients as early as 5:30 in the morning. The calves have turned a big circle in the past two weeks.

            We are proud of her diligence.

            I was thinking about that and other things as I climbed the little rise to her pens on Thursday afternoon. I had brought her some hay and wanted to visit with her about her task. That’s when the fight started.

            Appearing out of cloud of dust (literally), the golden devil ran to the middle of the trail, rose up to his full rooster glory, and crowed at me.

            Don’t you pull that nonsense with me!

            My remarks went unheeded. In fact, he came at me and in the same motion I kicked dirt in his face and really got after him. That only invigorated him as he tried to get his spurs out front, and shadow boxed at me in midair.

            D*mn, you!

            He remained ruffled up, crowing and clucking like a banshee, and planted firmly in the middle of the path as I retreated to my pickup to get my shovel. That dadgum rooster wasn’t going to bluff me!

            But, there was no bluff.

            When I got within social distancing of him, he came at me with a vengeance, raising cane, and flashing those spurs. He was in midair when I connected with a left-handed swing on the back side of the shovel and knocked him sideways. He no more than hit the ground than he was coming back as I swung back in a right-handed counter sending feathers flying this time with a full edge hit.

            Back and forth, back and forth the battle raged as he had me backing off that slope in wide eyed disbelief.

            It was in that time frame I swung, missed him, and lost my balance. Over backward (a full gainer!), I went off that incline.


            By golly, it rang my bell as I tried to get ready for his next move trying to get my shovel in a defensive position as I laid there flat on my back with my feet uphill. All I could think about was trying to keep him off my face with those spurs just a’flying like a bronc rider.

            He had prevailed, though. There I was, the great foe, sprawled out in the dirt trying to get some air in my lungs. He had won the round convincingly. Like a prize fighter he shook himself, looked again at his accomplishment, turned clucking to himself, and left.

            Dang, I hope nobody saw that …

            The Scribes

            The press has done a study on themselves.

            Their problem is there is no trust across the deep chasm of their work, and, obviously, someone must have told them it is an issue. As with all self-assessments, there was no real objectivity. The study wasn’t presented in any scientific form. The executive summary certainly would not have suggested any self-incrimination even it had been done. They did come up with what they are describing as core principles, though. There were five of them.

            The first was they believe the public expects them to watch over leaders and the powerful. Next, they are to elaborate on behalf of the voices that go silent. The third tenet is society works better with knowledge out in the open. Number four was the more facts people have the closer to the truth issues become. Lastly, it is their duty to spotlight community difficulties so they can be solved.

            Really, is that what you came up with?

            It is hard to refrain from cynicism. A first question asked would be why did it take a study to come up with those findings? Those should have been the first lessons learned in Scribedom 101. Moreover, those should be standards that are fundamental in the character of the individuals involved.

            Their grandmothers should have drilled every one of those points into their hearts and minds before they even thought of attending those bastions of the false science of institutional journalism. The honest points are much more simplistic and, in fact, more succinct. Their study could be compressed into three.

As practiced today, their body of work is of the press, by the press, and for the press regardless of words otherwise.

            View from the Top of the World

            Of course, that is a play on the words of Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. The President had actually borrowed the gist of the wording from a Theodore Parker sermon given in 1858. Lincoln’s law partner, William H. Herndon, returning from Boston gave him a copy of the Parker address and witnessed Lincoln marking with a pencil the line reading Democracy is direct self-government, over all the people, by all the people, for all the people.

            Given the suggestion the press is, in effect, using the concept in their own actions, they would probably be aghast knowing they are being compared to the idea of being associated with a translation of the Bible. Parker, too, borrowed the phrasing. It came from the prologue of the translation John Wycliffe did back in 1384.

            The Bible is for the government of the People, by the People, and for the People.

            Having survived the Great Rooster Fight, I am strongly reminded that all of us can stand a little comeuppance and thoughtful reawakening. The operative words are … We, the People.


            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher form southern New Mexico. “Where is that danged rooster anyway?”

Lincoln is also purported to have said:

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Historians have concluded that Lincoln never said those words.

My research, however, has discovered exactly what Lincoln said:

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, and them's good enough odds for me.
~~Frank DuBois

Supreme Court passes on Second Amendment cases challenging lifetime gun ownership ban

 The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up three challenges to a federal ban on gun ownership for people convicted of nonviolent crimes, disappointing Second Amendment advocates who hoped a more conservative court would begin to chip away at the restriction.

By not taking the appeals, the nation's highest court let stand a series of lower court rulings that prohibited people convicted of driving under the influence, making false statements on tax returns and selling counterfeit cassette tapes from owning a gun.

The decisions Monday, which were handed down without explanation, are the latest in a series of instances in which the Supreme Court has skirted Second Amendment questions. The high court last issued major guns rights rulings in 2008 and 2010, cases that struck down handgun restrictions in the District of Columbia and Chicago.

Gun rights groups vowed to continue to press the issue.

...Several of the court's conservatives signaled in recent years that they were interested in revisiting the issue, and it's not clear why they chose not to do so. Four conservative justices have expressed a desire to address outstanding Second Amendment questions – enough to take a case but one vote short of the five needed to corral a majority. Many expected Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, seated last fall, to provide that fifth vote...MORE

America’s New Pastime: The Politicization of Everything

P.J. O'Rourke

 Many of us haven’t talked much to our families this past year. You could blame the pandemic for this (or America’s response), but it’s that every holiday brunch, every Wednesday Zoom call, every banal group text all get blown up by politics. 

Ubiquitous political ideology is the meta-virus interwoven within COVID — it invades each facet of our lives as we cherish our political identities like swaddled newborn babies. With myopic religious fervor, The Left of Right worships either Fauci or Trump, readied with our fangs out, weaponized with our rage-bait sound bites if someone dares disagree with our curated perspective.

Our legendary Editor in Chief P.J. O’Rourke reminds us of the vitality of political distancing in 2021. He notes that as Washington’s shadow grows and the machine of politics curdles into a golem dictating everything from mask mandates to the reopening of schools, that our humanity and freedoms will continue to wither.

Right now, the most dangerous thing about politics is… politics.

Politics are dangerous to everybody. This is true if you’re scraping spray-painted obscenities off your Trump/Pence yard sign and wearing your MAGA cap at half-mast in mourning. And this is also true if you think AOC and the Green New Dealers have just dealt you a straight flush. (Flush twice – it’s a long way from Congress to your lunch bucket.)

Of course, politics have always been dangerous. Politics are how it’s decided who controls government… Whoever controls government controls the force of the law… And the force of the law is a lethal force.

Fail to pay a parking ticket and you’ll be fined. Refuse to pay the fine and you’ll be jailed. Try to escape from jail and you’ll be shot. Every law, every government rule and regulation, no matter how trivial or picayune, is obeyed at the point of a gun.

That gun is called politics. And what makes politics so dangerous right now is that Americans – Left, Right, and Center (if there even is a Center anymore) – have come to believe that the answer to every question is political:

  • How much money should we have? How much money can we have?
  • What’s a dollar worth?
  • How many dollars must we pay employees?
  • Who are the employees required to be? Who is allowed to employ them?
  • Who’s a real American?
  • Who’s just pretending?
  • Who gets to exercise free speech? What if they speak too freely?
  • What should be taught in school? What should be believed in church?
  • Which doctor can we go to?
  • Which car can we drive? Or do we have to take the train?
  • And what should the weather be like?
...Politics is a zero-sum game… Only one side can win. Individual people compete too. Only one person can be CEO. But there are plenty of different types and kinds of CEOs you can be. And how often do you apply for a job as CEO? Most of the time, when people are competing, it’s a game like golf or Little League, not a matter of life and death and parking tickets like politics.

...Politics is famously good at creating divisions. To bolster support, politics depends on a feeling of “Us.” But every “Us” needs a “Them.”

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Mexican cartel threatens deputies, Dannels says

The Mexican cartel has threatened deputies with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Mark Dannels said earlier this week. The sheriff shared the information with a small group of ranchers and homeowners gathered at the First Baptist Church in San Simon on Wednesday evening. The meeting was called so that residents could learn more about the situation with undocumented migrants coming across the border from Mexico. Dannels told the crowd of about 25 people that the Mexican cartel is extremely organized on both sides of the border and no one crosses from Mexico into this country unless they pay a member of that organization first. “We have empowered a criminal organization called the cartel based on the decisions being made in Washington, D.C.,” Dannels told the church group. In a brief phone interview with the Herald/Review on Thursday, Dannels said of the cartel threat: “We have had threats and we’ve addressed it the best we can. We’re taking safety precautions to protect our deputies. If there are any new developments we will let the public know.” Dannels told the group that the number of undocumented migrants coming through the border in Cochise County has grown from about 300 last spring to about 2,500 a month now. Information released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection jibes with Dannels’ statement. Statistics released in March show that the number of people coming to the U.S. illegally — including unaccompanied children — continues to swell. In the Tucson Sector — which includes Cochise County — there were “encounters” with 7,079 unaccompanied migrant children in March. That’s up 83 percent from March 2020, when authorities encountered 3,859 unaccompanied youngsters. Encounters with single, migrant adults trying to enter the country illegally also jumped in the Tucson Sector, with 68,436 last month, compared to 21,189 in March 2020...One letter written by the Western States Sheriffs Association of Laramie, Wyoming, expresses solidarity with the Southwest border sheriffs and the perils the organization says some of their colleagues are facing. “In consultation with our membership on the Southwest border, it has become evident based on information learned that local law enforcement is a verified target of illegal aliens and drug smugglers crossing into the United States. Not reported in the national media are the countless violent interactions between local law enforcement and illegal aliens that are resulting in injury and death.”...MORE



State government and law enforcement in Arizona are facing similar issues:

On Friday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Arizona would take matters into its own hands regarding the onslaught of undocumented migrants pouring into the state unless something is done in Washington, D.C. Ducey’s statement came after the Arizona Department of Public Safety spotted 20 undocumented migrants in Chandler Friday. The state agency said it was rebuffed by both the Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they asked for help. The migrants were released into Chandler.

Local law enforcement is being threatened by the Mexican cartels on the one hand, and are being "rebuffed" by federal law enforcement agencies on the other hand. This means local law enforcement is threatened by both entities, i.e. action by the Mexican cartels and inaction by our own feds.


RANGE magazine has been reporting on the exploits of billionaire Hansjorg Wyss while mainstream media dozed

RANGE magazine has been warning readers about Hansjorg Wyss since 2014. A billionaire Swiss “philanthropist," Wyss puts his clout behind some of the most extreme groups and initiatives now hounding Western ranchers.

Although Wyss appears to have been largely unknown to the mainstream media until recently, RANGE magazine’s plucky investigative reporter, Dave Skinner, has written numerous articles, beginning in the Winter of 2014, tracking Wyss’ enormous donations and dubious activities.

Loyal RANGE readers will be alarmed that Wyss is currently poised to take the helm of one of the largest media organizations in the world. In an article dated March 27, the Chicago Tribune reports:

“An octogenarian Swiss billionaire who makes his home in Wyoming and has donated hundreds of millions to environmental causes is a surprise new player in the bidding for Tribune Publishing, the major newspaper chain that until recently seemed destined to end up in the hands of a New York hedge fund.

Hansj√∂rg Wyss (pronounced Hans-yorg Vees), the former CEO of medical device manufacturer Synthes, said in an interview Friday that he had agreed to join with Maryland hotelier Stewart W. Bainum Jr. in a bid for Tribune Publishing, an offer that could upend Alden Global Capital’s plan to take full ownership of the company.

Wyss, who has given away some of his fortune to help preserve wildlife habitats in Wyoming, Montana and Maine, said he was motivated to join the Tribune bid by his belief in the need for a robust press. 

‘I have an opportunity to do 500 times more than what I’m doing now,’ he said.'”

If Wyss becomes the owner of Tribune Publishing, doing “500 times more” than he is doing now portends badly for American ranchers, farmers, and small towns throughout the West.

Dave Skinner’s Winter 2014 article, “Patterns on the Landscape” revealed Wyss’ involvement with a number of anti-grazing, anti-resource development individuals and NGO’s working in concert to radically remake the West, including the now-defunct Western Progress, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, the Soros-connected New Venture Fund and countless Democrat candidates. Skinner reports:

“Federal Elections Commission records show Wyss made about $38,000 in political contributions between 1998 and 2002, all to wilderness-friendly Democrats or PACs. However, as a Swiss citizen, Wyss cannot legally make direct political contributions to either parties, PACs or politicians without a green card and permanent U.S. residence. Today at age 78 and $12.4 billion net worth (according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index), Wyss is either Pennsylvania’s biggest billionaire, or Switzerland’s second biggest.”

Skinner continues:

“After Western Progress closed its doors, in 2009 the Wyss Foundation donated $400,000 to “public charity” CAP [Center for American Progress].

Alongside the CAP funding went an even $1 million to the Tides Foundation.

But there’s more. In 2011, the Hansjorg Wyss Foundation donated $1.325 million to CAP, and $1 million to New Venture Fund.”

Throughout his reporting on Wyss and other dark money types, Dave Skinner has made the case that massive funding and political activism, aka “astroturfing,” are driving the policies that are hurting Western agriculture and property rights. See “Identify Your Enemies” (Winter 2015).

“The Green Insiders” (Spring 2015) details Wyss’ entanglement in medical malpractice through his medical company, Synthes. Synthes was found to be responsible for deaths related to the off-label and experimental use of his products on patients. And there’s more, Skinner writes:

“In July, Washington Examiner reporter Richard Pollock found a mysterious line item in the disclosure forms for White House special adviser John Podesta: $87,000 in consulting from “HJW Foundation”—HJW being Mr. Wyss, of course. Bottom line: A small affair involving illegal human experimentation, deaths, federal prosecution, four jail sentences, and a fine of $23.8 million, as well as after-the-fact malpractice settlements.”

Subsequently, Johnson & Johnson purchased Synthes in a deal that produced “almost $10 billion in assets” for Wyss.

And, it turns out, the extremist Center for Biological Diversity is one of Wyss’ pet beneficiaries. Skinner reports:

“CBD director Kieran Suckling told the Inquirer that Hans Wyss ‘liked that we were both nimble and aggressive.’”

"Money Talks, Freedom Walks" (Summer 2015) connects the dots between Wyss, Bill Gates and a gaggle of NGO's bent on the destruction of Western resource development. Skinner gives an accounting of the astonishing donations Wyss has given to the likes of Trout Unlimited, Western Rivers, The Nature Conservancy and many others.

In “Hans-n-Harry’s Garden of Astroturf” (Fall 2015) Dave Skinner brought to light Wyss’ sizeable donations to national monuments campaigns in Nevada. Wyss’ generous “sprinkling” of dollars was used to create the illusion of popular support for national monument land grabs, where there was in fact significant grassroots opposition from the people of Nevada. 

In "Monumental Megabucks" (Winter 2017)Dave Skinner explored the machinations behind a political battle that, like a recurring nightmare, has returned to southeastern Utah in the form of a massive national monument. Biden recently reignited the war of “Bears Ears” with his promise not simply to “restore” it to Obama’s designation of 1.3 million acres, but to expand it to nearly 2 million acres—or more if the greens get their way. And Wyss has been in the fray all along. Skinner writes:

“Although you probably have never heard, seen or read of him, this man, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, has done more to encourage the creation of new national monuments than any person on Earth. How? He opened his wallet, giving untold and mostly unknown millions to environmental groups for a spin campaign in support of President Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act.”

Philanthropist, zealot or monster? The deeper you dig into the mystique of Hansjorg Wyss, the more monstrous he appears. In May of 2018, Truth in media reported an incident that has been otherwise buried by mainstream media. It reads:

“Victim advocates are slamming Harvard University, the Clinton Foundation and John Podesta’s think-tank for their silence over an ongoing investigation by New Jersey prosecutors for the brutal sexual assault that a woman alleges was committed by their donor, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.


Wyss, who contributes millions to many high-profile liberal causes, is a financial donor to Harvard, the Clinton Foundation and Podesta’s Center for American Progress. Last fall, prosecutors in Morris Township, New Jersey, opened an investigation into an alleged brutal 2011 sexual assault of Jacqueline Long, then an employee of Wyss’ foundation.”

RANGE has taken great strides in warning the public about Hansjorg Wyss, his tainted activities, radical alliances, and intention to do “500 times more” than he has already done. Exposed by RANGE magazine’s deep diving reporter, Dave Skinner, this “green” Swiss billionaire is on the verge of becoming a media mogul with even greater power to “remake” America and the West. Now is the time for all who love the American Cowboy and the Western way of life, to sound their own alarms.

CJ Hadley
(800) 726-4348

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And what a deal it is: 1 year $19.95, 2 years $34.95, 3 years $49.95.
Take advantage of a great opportunity to receive this award-winning publication. Do it today! Don't let Wyss and others take away our beloved West.

Friday, April 16, 2021

White House reverses course on refugee cap after Democratic eruption

The White House Friday reversed course on refugee admissions, after an earlier announcement maintaining a controversial Trump-era refugee cap was met with disdain by Democrats and immigration activists. Following a day of blowback from Democrats, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced Biden would set a new, higher ceiling in May after initially saying it would keep the current 15,000 limit. The initial decision had led to widespread complaints from Democratic lawmakers and groups representing refugees, who had already been urging Biden to lift the ceiling put in place by former President Trump. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who came to the United States as a refugee, called it "shameful." Psaki's statement late Friday attempted to walk back the controversial announcement. It said that Biden’s directive earlier Friday had been the subject of “some confusion,” and that while it would be difficult to meet Biden's goal of allowing 62,500 refugees into the country this year because of changes imposed by Trump, it would seek to announce a higher ceiling than 15,000 in May. “For the past few weeks, he has been consulting with his advisors to determine what number of refugees could realistically be admitted to the United States between now and October 1. Given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited, and burdens on the Office of Refugee Resettlement, his initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely,” Psaki said...MORE

Colorado ranchers fight ballot proposal they say would be devastating to ag industry

Saja Hindi

Colorado ranchers and farmers are fighting against a 2022 proposed ballot measure that they say is yet another attack on the state’s $47 billion agriculture industry.

Initiative 16, a section of which is referred to as “Wilbur’s Law,” adds livestock and fish to the state’s animal cruelty law and redefines what constitutes a “sexual act with an animal,” including practices often used in breeding and animal husbandry. It also requires that slaughtering of livestock only occur if an animal has lived a quarter of its natural lifespan — estimated at 20 years for a cow, for example — which would vastly change current practices, considering cattle are often butchered well before they turn 3.

The website for the ballot initiative, called Protect Animals from Unnecessary Suffering and Exploitation, or PAUSE, says it will extend animal welfare rights to all farm animals and that there is “no rational reason to exempt farmed animals from basic abuse laws that currently exist to protect our pets.”

“After seeing with our own eyes, thousands of chickens on a Colorado organic free range farm left without food and severely abused, we knew there was a discrepancy between the public image and the reality of some farms,” the PAUSE website said.

The two designated representatives of the initiative, Alexander Sage of Broomfield and Brent Johannes of Boulder, did not return The Post’s multiple requests for comment. They would have to gather 124,632 valid voter signatures to get it on the November 2022 ballot.

A coalition of livestock and farming groups called Coloradans for Animal Care opposes the possible ballot measure and challenged the decisions of the state’s Title Board with the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. The coalition believes the title includes “political catchphrases” meant to sway voters. Its members also argue that the proposal deals with at least two subjects when ballot measures can only have one, and that the Title Board’s rules are misleading.

Carlyle Currier, a rancher from Molina and president of the Colorado Farm Bureau, said it simply on the coalition’s website: It’s the “most radical and extreme ballot initiative Colorado has ever seen.” Already, Logan County commissioners signed a resolution opposing the initiative, according to the Sterling-Journal Advocate.

Colorado Livestock Association CEO Bill Hammerich said not only would it hurt the state’s agriculture industry, it’d affect meat and meat product exports, which make up nearly 14% of Colorado’s exports.

“Talk about devastation,” Hammerich said. “Our rural communities would be totally devastated by this.” He added that the Front Range communities would also feel the effects in the long run, because they wouldn’t be able to get local meat.

Specialty producer Jennifer Melichar, who owns Boulder Beef and ranches in La Salle and Longmont, said the slaughtering age restriction is particularly harmful. It’s not financially feasible to feed cows for that long, said Melichar, who generally processes her animals at 18 months.

Not to mention, she added, if ranchers wait that long to process meat, it’ll be tough and flavorless, and consumers would see more fat in the meat. Melichar castrates the steers on her ranch at birth to keep the meat tender, which she said would also be prohibited.

Worker safety is another concern, said northeastern Colorado dairy farmer Mary Kraft. Her farmhands artificially inseminate cows — which would be against the law if the ballot measure passes. Doing so eliminates the need for herd bulls, which are notoriously dangerous, she said, and keeps the cows producing milk.

...The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association is also against the measure, writing that it would have “significant, extremely negative impacts on Colorado’s animals, their owners and the veterinary profession.”

“Every veterinarian takes an oath to protect animal health and welfare, prevent and relieve animal suffering, promote public health, and advance medical knowledge,” it said. “Initiative 16 threatens all of those commitments.”

The group worries that veterinarians will face animal cruelty charges for performing routine procedures like spaying and neutering if the measure is passed as written. PAUSE supporters do not believe this is the case, according to the FAQ on their website.


Border-jumping 'gotaways' spike 156% from last year

Illegal immigrants are escaping capture at more than double the pace of a year ago, according to Texas figures that show the surge of migrants being caught at the border is just a part of the problem the Biden administration is facing. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which runs its own camera system under Operation Drawbridge to track illegal entries, shows nearly 21,904 migrants who evaded capture from January through April 7, according to data shared with The Washington Times. That is up from 8,561 “gotaways,” as they are known, during the same period in 2020, which works out to a 156% increase. Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez in Val Verde County, along the Rio Grande, said that number is likely too low. “People are coming in by the droves,” he said. While most of the attention at the border right now is on unaccompanied juveniles, law enforcement officials say the more worrying aspect for border security is the people who aren’t being apprehended at the line. Law enforcement at some parts of the border report an increase in dangerous encounters with migrants who, rather than flee or give up, are willing to fight. In Texas, the Cotulla Independent School District sent a letter April 1 warning parents to be wary while their children walk home from school or play outside their homes. La Salle County, where Cotulla is located, has eight to 10 car chases a day, and many of those result in bailouts as migrants and smugglers ditch their cars and flee through neighborhoods, the school system told parents. Chases at speeds topping 100 mph have increased along the border, as have accidents involving smuggling attempts. Two mass-casualty events have occurred in the past couple of months. One smuggling crash killed 13 in California, and another killed eight in Texas. Residents across the border tell visitors that they have never before seen such a situation...One indication of the gotaways is how often migrants are trying again. The Border Patrol reported a 22% recidivism rate in March. In 2018, the recidivism rate for the entire year — meaning the same person was caught more than once in a 12-month period — was 11%. It was just 7% in 2019...Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said the estimate for gotaways was 24,000 in February and 37,000 in March. Those were just the ones agents know about. He said the smugglers know agents are swamped by dealing with the families and unaccompanied juveniles. Some of the network of highway checkpoints, which used to act as a second sort of virtual border, are shut down because the agents have been redeployed to caretaking duties for the families and children. It’s part of a broader problem of the smugglers dictating the terms of the border. They send across families and children knowing it will overwhelm agents, taking them out of play as more high-risk smuggling ventures, such as drugs or migrants who don’t want to be caught, are pulled through the border elsewhere. “These are the individuals that the cartels are working very hard to evade apprehension,” Mr. Judd said. “That should be scary to anybody, that there were 61,000 in the last two months that we don’t know who they are, we don’t know where they came from, we don’t know their intentions in this country. We’re so tied up with unaccompanied children, family units, that the more dangerous ones are getting away.”...MORE