Monday, January 18, 2021
The assault on freedom of speech in America is accelerating, with a former Facebook executive calling for news outlets on the political right to be deplatformed by telecom giants including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. The stunning remarks Sunday came from Alex Stamos, the former chief security officer at Facebook, during an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources." "We have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences," Stamos declared. "There are people on YouTube for example that have a larger audience than daytime CNN, and they are extremely radical and pushing extremely radical views. So it's up to the Facebooks and YouTubes in particular to think about whether or not they want to be effectively cable networks for disinformation." Stamos then named two conservative influencers he thought should be targeted as soon as possible – Newsmax and OANN, the One America News Network – both of which he called a "problem." "We're gonna have to figure out the OANN and Newsmax problem," he said. Stamos' comments came the same day that Parler, a popular right-leaning alternative to Facebook, was struggling to return to the internet, after being booted by Amazon Web Services for an alleged lack of moderation amid the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol...MORE
Sunday, January 17, 2021
We often long for those simpler days of “small” everything -- small cafés, small mom and pop groceries, small bookstores, drugstores, the “filling station” and a movie theater.
Most small towns had one doctor, sometimes a dentist and if you were lucky, the guy who had the hardware store could also fix your TV and your watch.
Football coaches suggested that you haul hay for the summer to get stronger and fall school schedules were abbreviated to accommodate haying season.
You couldn’t help but date a friend’s ex-girlfriend (or boyfriend) and actually it was cool to date someone from a neighboring town as long as it wasn’t someone from the rival basketball team.
Going to parties in a barn, a pasture or the middle of a dirt road was the norm and snipe hunts were scheduled regularly for any naïve visitors that might happen along.
The stop light was the reference for all instruction for locations on Main Street. Directions beyond that involved such as “turning right at Mabel’s house” and traveling to the end of the street where the pavement ended. “And right there, just past that big oak, is an old shed. You turn right there and go down the two-track road there by the mailbox, or where the mailbox used to be, and go another 100 yards or so and you can’t miss it.”
The Mark It
Et tu, Brute?
By Stephen L. Wilmeth
ȺS WE go into the New Year, we look back upon (the year) as one of the most momentous years in our history, and the events of the year may be expected to have far-reaching effects upon everyone engaged in livestock agriculture. We are now approaching the second month of our part of (the) World War (unstated) and it becomes more and more apparent that livestock agriculture will play an important part in winning the war for the United States and her Allies, and as (the) Secretary of Agriculture says, “in dictating peace.”
The Mark It
Too many things are hanging like a dust cloud across the width and breadth of drought stricken Mason Draw.
The cow market has pushed itself into an already overloaded 40-foot flat deck to add insult to sleep ravaged nights. When to pull the trigger on selling calves in the face of increasing drought is but one of the many components of tracking weekly cash market trends.
The sales over the last two weeks have remained sideways with the interesting corollary of mid four weight calves bringing nearly the same as mates a hundred pounds heavier. Does it make sense to put more money in the next 100 pounds of gain for a bonus of a single portrait of President Jackson or will the snow in northeastern New Mexico generate enough enthusiasm to make the Flint Hills stocker operators compete for limited calf numbers in another month and a half? Only time will tell, and the tracking and the worry will continue. The trendline will be studied.
We will mark it.
Some 74,000,000 Americans are not at all happy about the unilateral miscreation of the president’s social media rights, either. The self-anointed dark knights of the tech left have breached the bounds of all common decency and convention of standards. It doesn’t need to be stressed any further. It is abundantly and continuously displayed. It is lock step with the chow line of followers and disciples of progressivism in all of its many shadows and shades of gray. It will be countered by those increasingly dismayed Americans who will remember that words and actions will suffer consequences through their future choices.
Indeed, mark it.
The willingness of certain conservatives to run backwards from the evil of this whole election affair does not go unnoticed. Those of us who grew up in southwestern villages and towns with high percentages of dirt streets know what barrio dog fights are. Implicit in that memory is a profound lesson. Joining the fight on the side of slacker mob is defining. There is an outcome. Unless the canine mob kills the he dog that is being jumped, he will eventually get even.
That eventuality will drive his life and existence … just mark it.
Et tu, Brute?
Do Republicans believe joining forces with democrats on any assault plan to oust this president predicated on grudges and political animus will make their party better?
If they do, they don’t have a true read on the attitude of the 74,000,000 who form their base. Further, several things must be demanded. First, they must clarify their true regard for the oath of office they swore to uphold. Viewing the Constitution on the basis of accepting every ballot that can be gathered, intercepted, counterfeited, packaged, and drug through the door for blessing by acclimation is poor form.
It gives one pause.
Secondly, they must assess what they are really gaining for the pleasure of delivering a sucker punch at the exit doors. Could it be they, too, are worried about something that has been left unsaid or in the recesses of some dark cellar?
The whole thing is a reminder that politics is the one of the only professions whereby some measure of exceptionalism is not a prerequisite for entry. The hoodlum, the dude, the grifter, and the idiot have as much or more chance of success than anybody to gain and hold office. There is no process for advancing the statesman who recognizes his own stature in life as subservient to the duty and the honor of a bonded trust.
Maybe it is time for the republican party to join the ranks of the democrats. They seem to want to and they have certainly proven they can’t prevail in their present form. It only gets worse, though. Both sides of the aisle are being recognized as obstacles to the preservation of our union.
The operative word is ours.
It isn’t just theirs, but that is the way it has likely, to a greater or less degree, played out. You’d at least expect them to ride for the brand with whom they came to the dance. There can be nothing more disappointing than to have the lead steer turn back, run under you, and take everything with him just as you’re about to get the drive penned.
Oh, hell, not you, too!
The forward hereinabove was dated January 1, 1942. That was 25 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The theme is so familiar it could well be dated similarly, 2021. The cash prices in the market report were a recapitulation of the forces that impact our modern counterparts. They are simply adjusted for the time value of money.
The war mentioned is the real difference. The modern version is what we are witnessing. The major enemy we face is internal. Like other businesses, our cow business is not operating on simple supply and demand. It has and will continue to be buffeted by pandemic and or political driven undertows.
So will our country.
At some point, we must all recognize the price being paid is simply too great to accept. Something drastic must be done. As it is, we will never have faith in the story line … much less an American election.
Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico.
There can be nothing more disappointing than to have the lead steer turn back, run under you, and take everything with him just as you’re about to get the drive penned.
He used the correct term in steer. They are lacking certain body parts to be described otherwise.
Notice also the instances where he instructs us to "mark it." I'm concerned that, before this is all over, we'll each need a jumbo-sized tally book.
However, our team of deep thinkers figgered a way around it. They’d artificially inseminate Martha! I can just see these characters squatting under an Acacia tree, breakin’ out a case of Congo Lite and drawing their plans in the dirt with pipettes.
But since Martha wasn’t cooperating anyway and no sweet smelling rhino geldings were around, they decided to collect Arthur’s semen with an electro ejaculator.
We’re taking ourselves way too seriously. If you root for the Redskins or the Braves you are a bigot, and don’t use the tern “Indian” either. They are “indigenous native Americans”. And what’s with “African or Afro Americans? Does that make me an agri-American? People who live on the African continent don’t refer to themselves as American Africans. That would be ridiculous; most haven’t even been here. So why do we call native black people African Americans? It’s the same way with Mexicans. A lot of my best friends have been Mexicans in my life but I’m confused. Are they now Latinos or Hispanics? Why can’t we all be simply Americans?
And by the way, just because your great-great-grandparents were terribly treated as slaves doesn’t give you a get-out-of-jail-free-card, or the the right to torch stores, steal stuff and ruin the livelihood of hardworking store owners.
Saturday, January 16, 2021
An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 US-bound migrants have entered Guatemala from Honduras since Friday, a spokesman for Guatemala's official immigration agency, Alejandra Mena, told CNN on Saturday. Thousands of people are joining the US-bound groups to flee a life of poverty and violence. Two devastating hurricanes struck the region late last year, exacerbating the economic strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Guatemala's Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Honduran authorities to do more to "contain the massive departure of its inhabitants" in a statement issued Saturday. A video captured by CNN on Saturday showed a large group of people pushing past a cordon of Guatemalan soldiers to gain access to highways traveling to Mexico. Authorities estimated nearly 3,500 people made it pass the cordon...MORE
These are items I've run cross on the 'net, and chose to share with you because I found them to be important, ridiculous, interesting or just indicative of what or how the media is covering these issues.Donald Trump Jr. to Be Deposed in Inauguration Spending Investigation
Farmer Bill Gates is now the biggest owner of agricultural land in the US - billionaire Gates buys up 242,000 acres across 18 states
- Microsoft founder Bill Gates is now the biggest private owner of farmland in the US, according to The Land Report
- The tech billionaire, 65, owns 242,000 acres of agricultural land in 18 states
- His largest holdings are in Louisiana, Arkansas, Arizona and Nebraska
- Gates owns total of 268,984 acres of land of all kinds, including in suburban Phoenix, Arizona, which he aims to turn into a 'smart city'
- Gates is the fourth richest person in the world with net worth of $121billion, according to Forbes
- John Malone, the billionaire businessman and Liberty Media owner, is biggest overall US landowner, with 2.2 million acres of land
- It is unclear why Gates has invested so heavily in farmland, but could be connected to climate change
- Land owned directly and through Gates' investment entity, Cascade Investment
- Cascade Investment's money manager, Michael Larson, is reportedly to be Gates's land portfolio manager
President Trump has been impeached, and the trial seems unlikely to begin until he is no longer the President. There is some dispute about whether the Senate can try an impeachment of an ex-official. But it has done so in the past, most famously in the case of ex-Secretary of War William Belknap, and for reasons adequately covered by others I think that is proper.
If it does, there comes a secondary procedural question. Who presides? According to Article I, Section 3, normally "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate," and in her absence, other Senators preside. But "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside." Should we think of the trial of ex-President Trump as the trial of a President?
I started reading through the Belknap Senate trial and quickly came across conflicting clues. It seems to me that the answer to this question depends on the precise theory under which ex-Presidents can be impeached, and both theories were mentioned during the Belknap trial.
One theory is this. Technically, there is no restriction on who may be impeached and tried by the Senate. Article II says that "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," but that provision technically establishes one of the consequences of impeachment—removal—it is not the impeachment power. The impeachment power is contained in Article I, and says "The House of Representatives … shall have the sole power of impeachment" and "The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments." That is the impeachment power, with no limit on who can be impeached.
The other theory is this. Impeachments of ex-officers are permitted because impeachments of officers can't be defeated by the resignation or departure of the officer. Otherwise, officers could evade the Senate's judgment, and most importantly, could evade the Senate's power to impose disqualification from future offices, a power expressly mentioned in the Constitution. This theory might not extend to the impeachment of private citizens, etc., but it would allow impeachment of ex-officers as an extension of the power to impeach and disqualify officers.
Early the next morning, from his vacation home in Kauai, Hawaii, Zuckerberg held a phone call with Sandberg, Bickert, Clegg, Kaplan and other executives. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, was on the call, along with Neil Potts, the public policy director for trust and safety policy, and Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams, among several others.
Zuckerberg said he had decided that Trump’s attempts to incite violence and undermine the democratic process were grounds for an indefinite suspension. No one voiced a dissenting opinion, the people familiar with the call said.
Shortly thereafter, Zuckerberg published a Facebook post explaining that “the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”