Managing the Resource
The Administrative State
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.
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.”