Tuesday, July 31, 2012

EDITORIAL: Fracking flop

The anti-affordable energy crowd has suffered another setback. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday released the results of extensive testing that found nothing toxic in the water in Dimock, Pa. That’s the town where the anti-drilling documentary “Gasland” filmed dramatic images of a homeowner lighting his tap water on fire. The film blamed the strange occurrence on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a procedure that uses a pressurized mixture to extract natural gas from shale rock formations. It argued the process had polluted the nearby ground water. Liberals were so thrilled by the hit job that they awarded it a special jury prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. According to the EPA’s study, drilling is the not the root of the problems in Dimock. The agency sampled the well water at 61 homes and found health concerns in only five of them. The substances found include arsenic, barium and manganese, all of which are naturally occurring.inconvenient truth for self-styled environmental activists who’ve been protesting fracking operations is that natural gas’ abundance in the United States is a threat to trendy energy sources like wind and solar. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, domestic natural gas production increased 24 percent between 2006 and 2011. As more gas was extracted from the ground, prices dropped 72 percent, making it far less expensive for consumers to heat their homes during the winter and power their appliances throughout the year. For the affordable energy industry, fracking is critical because it makes it possible to draw natural gas and oil from difficult rock formations. Without it, large pools of untapped energy would be kept off-limits. That’s exactly what anti-progress liberals want. Cheap, abundant, affordable and sensible choices like coal, natural gas and petroleum encourage energy independence based on domestic production...more

Waterless Natural Gas Fracking Method Unveiled

A planned shale gas drilling project in New York state has drawn global attention for its aim to make use of a waterless form of hydraulic fracking – a new technique designed to reduce the pollution associated with controversial natural gas drilling processes. According to an industry report, the project is focused on using a technology that pumps a thick gel made from propane into the ground as opposed to using traditional methods of hydraulic fracking that make use of a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals to extract natural gas reserves from deep shale formations. Unlike traditional technologies, the gel from the new liquefied propane gas (LPG) fracking method reverts to vapor while still underground, and as a result returns to the surface in a recoverable form. According to its developer, Calgary-based GASFRAC Energy Services (TSX:GFS), the gel also holds advantages over water-based methods in that it does not carry the chemicals used during the drilling process back to the surface...more

Union Boss Says Green Jobs Are Bull**** video

Another undercover operation by Project Veritas, which is led by investigative video specialist James O'Keefe, has revealed what labor unions truly believe about the billions of dollars that go toward the alleged "greening" of our energy usage.  They're "bull****"  Those were the words that came out of the mouth of John Hutchings, a legislator for New York's Broome County, who is also a construction market representative for the Laborers International Union for upstate New York. He is also an executive officer of the Central New York Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, according to his bio...more

Obama’s Right—in a Perverse Way—about Government Playing an Important Role for Small Businesses

President Obama recently got himself in hot water with his “you didn’t build that” remark, which trivialized the hard work of entrepreneurs.
But he is right—in a perverse way—about government playing a big role in the life of small businesses. Thanks to a maze of regulations, the government is an unwelcome silent partner for every entrepreneur. And we’re not talking small numbers.
Read More

Death Creates Shovel-Ready Jobs, But Senate Passes Bill To Increase The Punishment For It

Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill (S. 3412) to raise the estate (death) tax from 35% to 55%. But, why are the Democrats trying to create a harsher punishment for dying, anyway?

And, is it a death tax – or a death penalty? To follow Justice Roberts’ Obamacare logic, it’s only a tax on people who choose to die.

With Obamacare, liberals argue that everyone uses health care, so everyone should have to buy it. By that logic, everyone uses death, so everyone should have to pay for the cost of it. Or, maybe, everyone should be required to buy death insurance.

But, what exactly are people who die being punished for?

Well, for one thing, they stop paying taxes – and liberals want to provide a disincentive for anyone to do that. Death is their last shot at looting and pillaging what you worked your whole life to earn. But, with an Obamacare-esque death insurance mandate, the government would keep getting a revenue stream from you long after you're gone.

And, dead people are free from government control and coercion. No wonder liberals are waging a war against religion.

Still, unlike the Stimulus, every death actually does create a shovel-ready job. So, why do they want to punish it? And, are grave diggers independent contractors? Do they work for small businesses?

The bill the Senate passed doesn’t just boost the death tax – it also greatly expands the number of people and businesses subject to it. (Liberals are always preaching about being more “inclusive,” you know).
According to House Joint Committee On Taxation analysis, the number of people who will have to pay this 55% (post mortem) would skyrocket:
  • 12 times more taxable estates would have to pay the 55% tax,
  • 9 times more small businesses would have to pay the 55% tax, and
  • 20 times more farming estates would have to pay the 55% tax.
Look, I know you can’t take it with you – but, can’t you at least give it to the people you love?

Drought prompts request to suspend ethanol law

Livestock and poultry producers formally asked the Obama administration Monday to suspend the nation’s renewable fuels standard because it is causing “severe economic harm” as corn prices surged to a record. A coalition including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council, sent a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency asking for a waiver “in whole or in substantial part” the output requirements under the Renewable Fuels Standard for 12 months. “An unsustainable situation has been created by the drought combined with the lack of cushion in corn supply due to the tremendous demand from ethanol producers,” Tom Super, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, part of the coalition, said Monday on a conference call with reporters. “We believe that the RFS is causing severe economic harm during this crisis.” The drought that sent corn prices to a record is devastating meat producers, and the demand for grain used to make ethanol is reducing available supplies to make food, the livestock groups said. The current mandate requires refiners to use 13.2 billion gallons of the biofuel this year and 13.8 billion in 2013. It’s “time to wean” the ethanol industry off government mandates, J.D. Alexander, the president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said on Monday’s call...more

Corb Lund's new album inspired by cowboys, ranchers and family history

Three years ago, Corb Lund began a long struggle to produce his seventh studio album. "I was just hitting a wall after the sixth record," the 43-year-old country artist said in a recent interview. "I was really stumped for awhile." For the first year and a half of the album-writing process, Lund spent time living in Las Vegas, New York and Austin. He then retreated to the northern Alberta log cabin he built with his aunt and uncle. After he finished writing the songs, Lund brought them to a recording studio in Edmonton. His touring band, Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans bass player Kurt Ciesla, guitarist Grant Siemens and drummer Brandy Valgardson, spent only two weeks recording the songs for the album, aptly named "Cabin Fever."...more

Wyoming denies Forest Service a permit to move prairie dogs

State wildlife officials have denied a request by the U.S. Forest Service to move as many as 2,000 prairie dogs in northeast Wyoming. The plan was unpopular among ranchers on the Thunder Basin National Grassland in Converse, Weston and Campbell counties. The ranchers say prairie dogs are destructive to rangeland. The plan called for moving prairie dogs near homes to an area in northern Converse County where the animals couldn't be poisoned or shot. Aaron Clark, chairman of the Game and Fish Commission, says commissioners consider the views of landowners before granting such permits. He says nearly every landowner where the prairie dogs were to be reintroduced was against the idea. Forest Service officials say they will likely resubmit their relocation plans next year. AP

Northwest Alberta wolf bounty leads to howls

Some people living in High Prairie, Alta., are outraged over the local government paying a bounty on wolves in the area. "We're talking about pack after pack after pack that are not problem animals — that are being killed for profit," said Jocelyn Lloyd, who lives in the area about 400 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. Wolves can be a problem for ranchers and have been known to kill farm animals. To reduce the wolf population, the Municipal District of Big Lakes council put out a bounty on the animals. In two years, more than 300 wolves have been killed and a total of $87,000 paid out...more

Ranchers and environmentalists team up to save aspens

The big, old aspens on Monroe Mountain aren’t growing little aspens anymore, and it’s hardly just "tree-huggers" who are worried. The 175,000-acre mountain southeast of Richfield is the summer home of 972 cows and 1,496 sheep, plus a swarming elk herd that was nowhere to be seen before the 1980s. All three of those species rely on airy aspen groves where grasses and leafy plants thrive, but all three also eat aspen twigs and keep them from growing into new tree stands. Without a change, spruce, fir or sagebrush could take over, decreasing forage and forcing some livestock off the mountain — either by U.S. Forest Service rule or by simple lack of calories. A collaboration of environmentalists, ranchers and state and federal officials is working on a new grazing and forestry plan that, among other things, aims to give some places a respite from nibbling teeth so aspens get a head start toward the 7-foot height that generally means safety. "We’re 100 percent for it," said Greenwich-based rancher Rayne Bagley, who pays the Forest Service for the chance to run cattle on the mountain and meets monthly with the collaboration committee. "If we get the aspen back, it increases our feed." That’s the primary goal for ranchers, who want a system that gives them the same time or more to graze on the mountain. Other partners, including the Grand Canyon Trust and the Utah Environmental Congress, want aspens to persist as wildlife harbors or even just forest cover instead of dry scrublands...more

Song Of The Day #894

Pull Down The Blinds by Lattie Moore is Ranch Radio's tune today and you can find it on his 29 track CD  I'm Not Broke But I'm Badly Bent.

Update: It ain't you, I can't get it to play either. None of my songs will play so something's awry at OpenDrive.

Update: Its playing fine now.

Ranchers see conspiracy in big elk herds

Butte Valley rancher Bert Holzhauser said he believes state and federal wildlife agencies have been involved in a multi-year plan to build up elk herds in anticipation of expanding wolf populations. He said he's counted up to 300 elk, a favored food for wolves, on his property. Holzhauser said the elk have destroyed fences, crops and other property at his ranch and predicted, "It won't be long before they're all over the valley." As wolf populations increase, which he and others believe is inevitable under present policies, Holzhauser predicted they will kill elk and deer and "then they're going to start working on our livestock." Holzhauser was among several Butte Valley people urged to form a citizens group that can require local, state and national government agencies to work with them when developing plans affecting their lands and livelihoods during a meeting last week at Dorris City Hall. Dorris is about 5 miles south of the Oregon border on Highway 97, between Klamath Falls and Weed, Calif. The meeting was organized because of concerns aired by ranchers and farmers about damage caused by increasing numbers of elk and fears about the long-range impacts of wolves. Before and after the informal meeting, several Butte Valley ranchers said they have seen OR-7, a wolf that left a pack in northeastern Oregon, and other wolves in Klamath, Modoc and Siskiyou counties. At the meeting, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey and Liz Bowen and Mark Baird, president and vice president of the Scott Valley-based Protect Our Waters, urged Butte Valley residents to work together to challenge and, if necessary, oppose regulatory agencies. "We're standing up and defending them because our way of life is being threatened," Lopey told a group of about 50 people. "I'm one of those sheriffs who believes there's still a Constitution."...more

Animal Ag Alliance cuts ties with Bank of America

Last month, the Animal Agriculture Alliance reached out to Bank of America with concerns about its public support of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and asked the company to sever its ties to the extreme animal rights group. The bank indicated it would not discontinue its HSUS affinity card program, so the Alliance has decided to end its relationship with its bank of 25 years.

Bank of America’s Agribusiness Executive emphasized in a phone conversation with Alliance CEO Kay Johnson Smith that the affinity card program with HSUS was not new and that HSUS received no preferential treatment. He emphasized his long-time connections with agriculture and his sincere commitment to supporting agriculture through numerous sponsorships, research and service.

Bank of America does not consider the $60 from each affinity card as a donation, but rather a “fee” paid to HSUS (and other affinity program participants) for bringing in new clients. When told that HSUS spends a great deal of money of disparaging campaigns, as well as legislative and legal attacks against farmers and ranchers, yet it spends less than one percent on direct animal care, he recognized that statistic. He then discounted it by saying people believe HSUS helps animals and they enjoy having a card with cats and dogs on it.

Ironically, the bank’s representative specifically pointed out that the most critical issue right now for agriculture is the constant pressure on people in the food business.

After this conversation and careful consideration, the Alliance has decided to terminate its relationship with Bank of America. The Alliance cannot continue a business relationship with companies that are contributing financially to extreme animal rights organizations that seek to eliminate the animal agriculture industry. The Alliance appreciates the support of its members and others in the agricultural community who took action on this issue. Thanks to those who voiced their concerns to Bank of America via social media, phone conversations, and mail. We will continue to speak up for America’s farmers and ranchers who continue to provide us with a safe, healthy, and affordable food supply.

press release

Monday, July 30, 2012

New breed of ranchers shapes a sustainable West

Normally, listening to a cattleman talk with reverence about managing grass and water, using terms like "holistic" and "sustainable," would be akin to hearing an environmentalist marvel about the horsepower in an all-terrain vehicle. It seldom happens. But a new breed of cowboy, like Jones, is changing how ranching is being done in the American West and might – just might – alter the dynamic in the "range wars" that have engulfed the region for more than a half century. Make no mistake: These are not new arrivals carrying out green techniques for the feel-good sake of being green. They are ranchers managing the land in benevolent and environmentally sensitive ways because they think it will help them survive – and make money. "As a matter of necessity, the old way of ranching is giving way to a new paradigm," says Bill Bryan, head of the Rural Landscape Institute in Bozeman, Mont. "For some, ranching was pursued in the past with an emphasis on raising beef at the expense of everything else. Raising animals for the dinner table isn't an activity that has to be at odds with the environment." Nor is this some New Age boutique movement – a few quixotic ranchers trying to be good stewards of the land while overseeing a few hobby cattle. Some of the biggest land-owners in the West are embracing elements of the practices, such as media moguls Ted Turner and John Malone, who oversee a combined total of 4.3 million acres – the equivalent of a couple small New England states. The movement also includes people from diverse philosophical and business backgrounds, from Peggy Dulany, a member of the Rockefeller clan, to former Wall Street hedge fund managers to caretakers for the Mormon Church...more

Does this sound like your place?

Traditionally, cows are turned out to graze largely unattended on vast open expanses, where they eat the vegetation until it is virtually denuded. This, in turn, can lead to greater dependence on costly hay, as well as antibiotics and pesticides.

New Mexico Equine Vesicular Stomatitis Case Count Rises

More than 20 vesicular stomatitis (VS) cases have now been confirmed in New Mexico horses, according to a July 25 update from the New Mexico Livestock Board. The current outbreak began in late April when two horses in Otero County tested positive for the disease. "At present, there are in excess of 20 confirmed cases in New Mexico," the statement read. "Counties with (currently) confirmed cases include Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Socorro, Valencia, and Lincoln." In June State Veterinarian Dave Fly, DVM, announced in a statement that the state's livestock board had implemented movement restrictions in response to the numerous confirmed or suspected VS cases. The full list of restrictions is available online. In the statement Fly said the restrictions "will remain in effect until New Mexico is declared free of vesicular stomatitis."...more

Drought bill may carry mammoth farm bill into law

A comparatively low-priced disaster bill for livestock producers hit by the worst drought since 1956 may be the ticket to passage for a $500 billion farm bill now in limbo in Congress. Republican leaders in the House of Representatives scheduled a potential vote for next week on disaster relief. Farm and environmental lobbyists said the vote could create a path to enacting the farm bill although there was no agreement among House Republicans on the scope of the legislation. Two-thirds of the continental United States was under moderate to exceptional drought with 40 percent of U.S. counties declared agricultural disaster areas. While crop insurance will aid many growers, livestock producers with drought-stunted pastures face skyrocketing feed prices. Republican leaders are sitting on a five-year House farm bill that faces so much opposition that it could be defeated if put to a vote. Some Republicans say it needs more reform and more spending cuts. Democrats oppose the bill's $16 billion in cuts in food stamps for the poor. The bill would save $33 billion over 10 years but boosts crop support prices. While a stand-alone disaster bill was possible, some farm lobbyists said disaster aid could be wrapped into a one-year extension of the 2008 farm law, which expires on September 30. In either case, it could open the door for a House-Senate compromise on farm subsidy reform and enactment of a long-term bill this year, said lobbyists...more

Fla. man who lost hand charged with feeding gator

A Florida airboat captain whose hand was bitten off by a 9-foot alligator faces charges of feeding of the animal. Collier County Jail records show 63-year-old Wallace Weatherholt was charged Friday with unlawful feeding of an alligator and later posted $1,000 bond. His next court date is Aug. 22. Weatherholt was attacked on June 12th as he was giving an Indiana family a tour of the Everglades. The family said Weatherholt hung a fish over the side of the boat and had his hand at the water's surface when the alligator attacked...more

NM gun dealer Reese takes defense stand in firearms smuggling case

The prosecution has rested and Rick Reese has taken the stand in his own defense in the U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, N.M., a spokesperson for the embattled gun dealer and his family told Gun Rights Examiner by email yesterday. Arrested last August, Reese, his wife Terri, and their sons Ryin and Remington, are on trial for conspiracy, aiding and abetting smuggling of firearms, money laundering and making false statements to investigators, in a case where the government’s own evidence and testimony are raising serious questions about the appropriateness of the charges and the ordeal they have put the family through. “The prosecution rested their case on Friday,” the spokesperson wrote. “Rick took the stand after lunch and our defense attorney Bob Gorence started his questioning by asking Rick to explain his work ethics and how he got to be where he is and how he became successful. “We could see he clearly had difficulty and became very emotional talking about all he and his family had sacrificed to get to where they were before they were arrested,” the spokesperson continued, promising “Once this is over, I can hardly wait to tell you all the ins and outs of this tragic case. Until then, I have to be oh so careful in the information I report.” “I would have thrown [government informant Jose Roman] out of the store," the Las Cruces-Sun News reported Reese maintaining under oath. "I would not put my wife and sons in harm's way, ever."Additional trial details are being regularly reported in an outstanding series by the Tea Party Patriots of Luna County, who already filed several updates today on the cross-examination of the lead ATF agent in the investigation...more

Learnin' Proper

Song Of The Day #893

It's Swingin' Monday on Ranch Radio and here's Toni Price who's gonna Get The Hell Out Of Dodge.  Think I'll saddle up and go with her.  The tune is on her Born To Be Blue CD.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dem lawmakers to announce bill limiting online ammo sales

Two Democratic lawmakers on Monday will announce new legislation to regulate the online and mail-order sale of ammunition. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.) said the new law would make the sale of ammunition “safer for law-abiding Americans who are sick and tired of the ease with which criminals can now anonymously stockpile for mass murder,” in a statement released Saturday. The lawmakers cite the recent movie massacre in Aurora, Colo. for spurring their bill. “The shooter who killed 12 and injured 58 in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater this month had purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition anonymously on the Internet shortly before going on his killing spree, according to law enforcement officials,” the statement reads. “The shooter used a civilian version of the military’s M-16 rifle with a 100-round drum magazine, a shotgun and two .40-caliber semi-automatic handguns commonly used by police officers.” Lautenberg and McCarthy, who will unveil their new proposal at New York’s City Hall say they intend to “make it harder for criminals to anonymously stockpile ammunition through the Internet.” Lautenberg and McCarthy are two high profile advocates of gun control legislation, but they face an uphill struggle in Congress...more

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

R.I.P. common sense

by Julie Carter

It has been at least ten years since I decided that people in this world couldn’t get stupider. Daily, I’m reminded of how wrong I was.

I’m not talking about a lack of intelligence or about ignorance –as in an unlearned state. I’m speaking of pure, unadulterated stupidity that has been coaxed, coddled and petted by at least one generation leaving no hope for the next.

I was mixing up a desert that required a cake mix and I noticed that on the back of the cake mix box the instructions are now in English and Spanish. The bilingual print includes a warning to not eat raw cake batter.

What? You mean the cake batter left around the edges of a mixing bowl has been a hazard to our health for 300 years and they are just now telling us?

A mother watched as her toddler climb the ladder on the playground set to come swooshing down the big plastic slide on a 90-degree summer day. The pained sounds from the child indicated it wasn’t a pleasant experience but instead of investigating, she coaxed her back up the ladder for another run at it.

This time the wails led her to search out the cause, only to find second degree burns on the child’s bare legs where the hot plastic had burned them. Her reaction was to not to wonder why she hadn’t checked it out beforehand, but to threaten and demand that “caution” signs be placed at the playground stating that the slide might be hot. Perhaps the notices will help her be a better parent.

Swing sets today include smaller bucket-type seats for toddlers. However, it was recently proven they are not practical for a teenager with too much time on his hands who thought he should wedge himself into it.

Circulation to his legs was immediately compromised causing swelling and the absolute fact he was not going to be able to extricate himself from the swing. A call to 911 and a few chuckling firemen later, he was on his way home. Hopefully the lad is a little smarter but no one is taking bets on it.

When I was a kid, we had an outhouse! Yes, the hole-in-the-ground, wood shed-over-the-top, splinters-in-your-hiney outhouse. And furthermore, you had to walk across a little plank bridge over a deep irrigation ditch with rushing ice-cold water to get to it. It was truly down the garden path.

There were no EPA and hazmat permits posted at the outhouse and there was no code enforcement or engineering on the bridge. And not once did it become an issue unless I was caught playing in the ditch water when I was told not to. The ensuing discipline is another of today’s missing elements.

My mother cooked, canned, churned, sewed, gardened, laundered and kept track of her four young outlaws, myself included. She pretended she wasn't worried when we all left the house horseback, headed for the pine-covered hills to play cowboys and Indians. 

She was both concerned and amused when we older two tried to lose the younger two. Maybe she never knew how close she came to having only two children left in her brood. Tough little buggers, those younger boys were.

How did we get from there to now, where “they” think we need to be warned about eating raw cake batter and mothers require a sign to tell them something might be hot on a blazing sunny summer day?

God help us all if the day ever comes this world has to go back to basic survival. There will indeed be a cleansing of mankind.

Julie can be reached for comment at jcarternm@gmail.com.

Hays and Manjarrez

Remember Arizona Class Smuggling Corridors?
Hays and Manjarrez
Playing defense in the Red Zone
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            The Las Cruces City Council chambers were packed for the discussion of endorsing 600,000 acres of national monument in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. The Council voted 6-0 in favor of the resolution endorsing the proposal. Their vote joined an existing 5-0 vote for a similar supporting measure from that county’s board of County Commissioners.
            The Council now has two parallel resolutions for the matter of trying anything and everything to get elevated federal protective measures plastered on the lands of the county. Their other supporting measure was aimed at the pending S.1024 from New Mexico senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall. This former version of the twin bill attack (or is it the latter?) supports something under 400,000 acres of a combination of designated Wilderness and National Conservation Area buffers.
            Odds makers would have a field day with the likelihood this Council would endorse any and all measures that would chase this concept. Councilor Sharon Thomas noted she didn’t want to confuse the two issues by cross collateralizing the Council’s intention with qualifying language … Huh?
            In the comments from the councilors totally ignoring the 32 opposing responses of the 49 total public comments, Councilor Olga Pedroza’s was the most revealing. She spoke to the point made by the retired Border Patrol Sector Chief’s comments about terrorist threats relating to the border. She chastised the assemblage for even suggesting the idea that the monument proposal posed a threat to national security. Furthermore, she never wanted to hear the suggestion of terrorist threats mentioned in that chamber again!
            Playing Defense in the Red Zone
            Back in round three of this seven year long political game of gotcha, the senior senator from the state of New Mexico, Jeff Bingaman, rolled out his S.1689 which attempted to save 259,050 acres of lands for the future. One of the major objections to the bill was wilderness designation in the footprint of the one of the three parts of the measure that was nearest the border.
            The objection centered on border areas of safe haven and the Border Patrol’s inability to patrol them adequately. The staffs of Senator Bingaman and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance quickly minimized such rationale noting that a MOU signed in 2006 between the secretaries of the departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Homeland Security had resolved the dispute.
            The dispute centered upon what the senator stated wasn’t a problem in the first place and that was the danger emanating from border wilderness. “Wilderness isn’t causative (of increasing border insecurity),” he counseled.
            Retired Border Patrol officials strongly disagreed with the premise. Members and board officials from the National Association of  Former Border Patrol Officers denounced the logic from their experience on the ground. They were ignored by the senator and they were minimized by the press.           
Viewed now in a historical perspective, the senator and the proponents of the bill argued that the MOU, with its protocol for negotiating access aside from matters of hot pursuit, took care of the very problem they maintained never existed … legislative restrictions on the Border Patrol to assure protection of the border.
Interestingly, the senator changed his proposal by reshaping the boundary nearest the border giving the Border Patrol a five mile buffer to operate. The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance promoted the concept the senator’s actions strengthened security of the entire border.
            Former Chief of Border Patrol Flight Operations, Richard Hays, has an interesting take on the five mile buffer. “It’s nothing more than forcing the Border Patrol to play defense in the Red Zone,” Hays described this week.
            Hays’ comment is enormously intriguing. It refers to metrics admitted by the Border Patrol in securing the border. Statistically, if illegals are not caught in the most critical buffer … 25 miles … they don’t get caught. Taking away 20 miles of the 25 mile buffer in the Bingaman bill puts the Border Patrol in a very vulnerable position.     
“It’s no different than making the current Super Bowl champion play defense starting on or inside their 20 (yard line) next season,” Hays continued. “The Border Patrol may be good, but they’re not that good.”
            Bingaman’s bill … and the national monument proposal both force the Border Patrol to give up 80% of the playing field in that all important buffer zone!    
            MOU look back
            The last document signed by then Secretary of Interior, Gale Norton, was the now infamous 2006 MOU. The document resulted from the interagency battle that has been waged between the federal land management agencies and the Border Patrol on about 90 miles of Arizona border for over a decade. At issue was access to federal lands on the border.
            “For a long time, we just thought it was a turf war with the Park Service,” Hays said.
He and others now know it was the land agency management policies that came from the dictates of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the expansion of what must be described as de facto wilderness management mentality and policy. He remembers vividly the Park Service Ranger at Organ Pipe National Monument warning him that he would be ticketed and prosecuted if he landed a helicopter for any reason in designated Wilderness within the monument.
“I told him if he tried to pull that on me I’d arrest him and haul him in front of a federal magistrate to resolve the issue,” Hays recalls.
That is exactly the environment that has existed on the border. That was also the issue at stake when then Border Patrol Headquarters Division Chief for Policy, Victor Manjarrez, was assigned to conceptualize and negotiate a document that would resolve the access impasse.
“Secretary Norton was really good to work with when we started that process,” Manjarrez remembers. “She knew the problem.”
The matter appears to have been such a problem the Secretary would not leave her office until something was accomplished to halt the interagency war. 
“The MOU was the last document she signed,” he stated. “It was very important to her that she conclude the matter.”
Has it worked?
“No,” Manjarrez continued. “Good intentions often fail miserably …”
The Testimony
On the day of the Las Cruces City Council meeting, the now retired Victor Manjarrez walked to the dais to offer his expert opinion on the matter of protected lands adjacent to the border. Since 2006, Mr. Manjarrez had added a bit more resume to his dossier. He had been named Sector Chief of the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector. His accomplishments there elevated him by one assessment to the position of ‘Golden Boy” within the agency.
With his accomplishments, his growing reputation and the chaos continuing in the Tucson Sector, he was transferred to Tucson as that Sector’s new Sector Chief. Did Victor Manjarrez succeed at Tucson?
No, his MOU, and … his stance on principle blackened his eye and his relationship with the Border Patrol hierarchy.
Today, private citizen Manjarrez works as an expert in homeland security system applications world wide. He will soon have yet another graduate degree in homeland security systems design as well. The border remains to him a primary focus.
Mr. Manjarrez was not allowed to conclude his presentation to the Council when he was cut off by Mayor Ken Miyagashima. Because of the importance of that testimony it appears herein below in its entirety. It is important America understands the implications. His testimony is as follows:

“Good Afternoon
Although throughout my career I served in various locations along the southwest border and Washington, DC, I was considered a subject matter expert within the Department of Homeland Security in border security operations in Arizona.
I will tell you that years of neglect in Arizona facilitated the ability of criminal organizations to exploit the border. In addition, many geographical features and legislative decisions non-intentionally helped facilitate the movement, concealment, and effectiveness of these same criminal enterprises when they would operate in southern Arizona. Many of these impediments infringed on the 25 mile statutory authority afforded Border Patrol agents. This authority allows Border Patrol Agents to enter any private lands within 25 miles of the border for the purpose of performing their duties and is critical in maintaining border security (the author notes here that the same 25 mile authority to enter private lands does not apply to federal lands. The Border Patrol can go anywhere they want at any time without notice within that 25 mile buffer (ostensibly) on private land, but don’t have the same authority on all federal land).
Over half of the Arizona border lies within some form of a protected land that is either managed by the Federal or state government. These protected lands provide concealment and facilitate the movement of criminal organizations that have endangered the residents of the United States and will continue to do so as long as the Border Patrol is restricted from executing its duties to the full extent of the law.
Not only do these protected areas make the job of border security extremely difficult they are a magnet to the criminal element which often does significant damage to these pristine areas. Ask the manager of Organ Pipe Monument or the manager of Buenos Aires refuge … they will tell you how these areas are nearly ruined because of the unintended consequences of providing a safe haven and corridor of travel for the criminal element.
There are some that will tell you that the (2006) Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Interior allows the Border Patrol to operate as they should on protected lands and in spirit and intention it does … but in practicality it FAILS MISERABLY. You see, DOI has a difficult mission of protecting our natural resources and providing services. One portion of DOI, the law enforcement side, appreciates and understands that along with protecting our natural resources we must increase our homeland security efforts within these protected areas, but unfortunately they are a small portion of DOI and most of the time they are overruled by the other side of the house in DOI.
Others will claim that the areas being proposed are “far too north to be of a concern to border security” and they are WRONG.  The city of Phoenix is approximately 180 miles north of the border from Nogales, Arizona and law enforcement still locates what is referred to as ‘open air staging areas’. These ‘open air staging areas’ are simply spots in the desert near a city with bus lines, interstates (highways) and other modes of transportation which allow the criminal element to blend in with the local residents. A protected area near a border city only invites the criminal element to exploit the area …
Before you take action to support ANY proposed protected area please consider the fact that the Tucson Sector has received unprecedented resources in terms of agents, technology, and border infrastructure, yet they still led the nation in arrests with nearly 124,000 arrests last year while the El Paso Sector managed just over 10,000 arrests. Also, business leaders in Tucson and Phoenix will tell you that the perception of an uncontrolled and chaotic border in Arizona has hurt their business opportunities.
Let us make sure we help protect our own backyard by not providing the criminal element an incentive to exploit our border region. Please find balance of protecting our natural resources and enabling our homeland security officials to effectively execute their duties”
The Prediction
Earlier in the day of the Council action, both Hays and Manjarrez were on a local Las Cruces radio program. They were asked how dangerous the Bingaman legislation or the proposed national monument could be based upon their experience and knowledge of border security.
Hays’ response was most pointed. “It could be the most dangerous smuggling corridor in the nation,” he said.
The rationale was that it would match all of the characteristics of the Arizona corridors. In addition, it has closer proximity to I10 and the ultramodern rail line that forms part of the boundary on the footprint nearest the border (the Potrillo Mountain portion) and the federal land north from that entry point is essentially unlimited.
How far north does that go? “A clear shot all the way to the Colorado border…” was the Hays conclusion.
Defense in the red zone and a clear shot to the Colorado border … perhaps America should take the issue of terrorists and border security just a bit more serious than have the Dona Ana County Commission, and … the Las Cruces City Council.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Hays and Manjarrez remain as puzzled at the mentality of the environmental left as the rest of us. The ‘Left’s’ September 10th mindset of our borders is going to get us all into deeper trouble.”

The Ethanol Mandate Is Worse Than The Drought


This has been a cruel season for America's agricultural economy. It was partly unavoidable, as our nation's farmers are being devastated by this summer's brutal and worsening drought. The farm economy has withered along with the crops, and the American consumer, once again, will pay for it with higher food prices.

One of the hardest-hit commodities, corn, plays a critical role in our food chain. This year's crop yield could be the worst in 15 years, and corn prices have already hit record high levels.

But aggravating the problem and adding to the crisis is the U.S. government's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that a certain volume of ethanol (15.2 billion gallons in 2012, mainly derived from corn) be blended into gasoline. This is an arbitrary figure, set irrespective of market supplies, demands or price. It applies to corn that's desperately needed for livestock feed and food for consumers.

The RFS has diverted so much corn as a questionable substitute for gasoline that in the face of this drought-depleted harvest, major food-producing companies such as Smithfield are being forced to seek alternative markets for grain to meet the demands of their livestock and at more affordable prices. Ironically, if the ethanol mandate did not exist, even this year's drought-depleted corn crop would have been more than enough to meet the requirements for livestock feed and food production at decent prices...

Ethanol now consumes more corn than animal agriculture does. According to a study recently released by the Center for Global Food Issues, ethanol production currently uses more than 40% of the U.S. annual corn supply, representing a 300% increase from 2005 to 2011. The resulting impact on corn prices is stunning: Per-bushel prices jumped to a record high last week of $8.24 from $2 in 2005, the year the ethanol mandate was put in place.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also reported that a record-low 26% of the corn crop is rated to be in "good" or "excellent" condition—down 40% from a year ago. And 45% of the corn crop is in "poor" or "very poor" condition. The USDA has declared nearly 1,400 counties in 31 states disaster areas as a result of the drought.

The current corn-price crisis demands that lawmakers and regulators immediately consider how to amend the RFS to help ease the pressure it is placing on the supply of corn for food, and to help reduce the cost to consumers.

Romney says EPA should be force of good, not evil

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should use its power for good, not evil, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told supporters Thursday night at a fundraiser in London where he will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics. “My view is that the EPA — if it keeps to its mission and does not use its power to foster or further an anti-carbon energy agenda — would be a more effective department,” Romney told the crowd...more

Mr. Romney, leave them their current authority, budget and no. of employees and they will do evil.

This sounds a little better:

Politico is reporting the comments today, and says that Romney also criticized as overreach the Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v. EPA decision in 2007.
“I happen to think that the decision by the Supreme Court and by the administration to have the EPA also regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide was beyond the intent of the original legislation,” Romney said.

Do We Want To Buy Canadian Oil From The Chinese?

Buoyed by White House inaction, China's state-owned oil company has made a multibillion-dollar bid for a Canadian company with interests in Canada's oil sands — North American oil for the lamps of China. 'Do we really want to be buying our oil or Canadian oil back from the Chinese?" asked Sen. John Hoeven on Thursday as he reacted to news that China's state-owned oil company, CNOOC Ltd., had launched a $15.1 billion takeover bid for Canada's Nexen Inc., a company with operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Our answer would be no. But it may happen, thanks to the Obama administration's indifference to developing energy resources anywhere on the North American continent or building the Keystone XL pipeline linking Alberta's oil-rich sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Prior to Nexen, CNOOC has made roughly $6 billion in smaller acquisitions in recent years. It has most notably hooked up with Chesapeake Energy for a joint venture in the Eagle Ford Shale formation in Texas, and with Norway's Statoil in the Gulf of Mexico, an area where the Obama administration has placed draconian restrictions on U.S. drilling. CNOOC is just one state-owned Chinese company seeking to quench China's thirst for energy. Total acquisitions by Chinese energy firms jumped from less than $2 billion between 2002 and 2003 to nearly $48 billion in 2009 and 2010, according to the International Energy Agency. As the Institute for Energy Research reports, PetroChina, owned 86% by the Chinese government, produced 2.4 million barrels of oil a day last year, surpassing Exxon by 100,000. PetroChina's output increased 3.3% in 2011 while Exxon, the former leader, fell 5%...more

Donors who bailed out Ca. parks want their money back

Saying they feel betrayed by the discovery of $54 million hidden in two state parks accounts, a growing number of groups that donated money to keep California state parks from closing this year now say they want a refund -- or at least a binding promise from lawmakers to spend the extra money on parks. "They sort of came to us under false pretenses. They cried wolf, and we responded," said Reed Holderman, executive director of the Sempervirens Fund, a nonprofit conservation group in Los Altos. "An elegant solution would be for them to refund the nonprofits, and put whatever is left into parks." Holderman's group announced in March that it would donate $250,000 in private donations to the state parks department to keep Castle Rock State Park off the closure list. Known for its sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, Castle Rock is located along the Santa Cruz-Santa Clara County line. State Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned Friday and her top deputy was fired after Gov. Jerry Brown's administration announced the state parks department had kept $54 million in two accounts without reporting it to the state Department of Finance.There has been no evidence that any of the money was embezzled or stolen, and Coleman says she did not know of it. Still, the discovery came at a politically difficult time for the governor. Brown announced last year that the state was so short of cash that 70 state parks -- one-quarter of the entire system -- had to be closed by July 1 to save $22 million. Critics called the threat a political gimmick to convince middle-class voters to support Brown's tax increase measure on the upcoming November ballot...more

See previous post California parks director resigns amid scandal-Closes 70 parks while hiding a $54 million surplus

Record number of coal-fired generators to be shut down in 2012

Facing declining demand for electricity and stiff federal environmental regulations, coal plant operators are planning to retire 175 coal-fired generators, or 8.5 percent of the total coal-fired capacity in the United States, according to an analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). A record-high 57 generators will shut down in 2012, representing 9 gigawatts of electrical capacity, according to EIA. In 2015, nearly 10 gigawatts of capacity from 61 coal-fired generators will be retired. While many of those coal plants are old and relatively inefficient, the scope of this new planned shutdown is unprecedented. “The coal-fired capacity expected to be retired over the next five years is more than four times greater than retirements performed during the preceding five-year period,” EIA noted in the analysis...more

‘The Sheep Are Like Our Parents’

Irene, a 55-year-old Navajo herder and weaver, led from behind, making sure none of the animals on the right side of the flock straggled or strayed. She wore sweat pants, a long-sleeve T-shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. Following her instructions — “Keep them together but don’t rush them” — I did the same on the left. A motley crew of dogs, though good at keeping predators away once we were in the mountains, were useless as herding animals. I was here to get a taste of the traditional-contemporary life of Navajo pastoralists. My plan was to join Irene as she moved her sheep up to the Chuskas — a strenuous eight-hour trip — then stay for a few days on the ancestral land where generations of her family have spent summers. For centuries, Navajo shepherds living between Shiprock and Gallup, N.M., have practiced this seasonal migration with their flocks. Most of the few who do it today are women who weave the rugs for which the region is famous, tend to their animals and live far off the grid from June to October. Navajos can be guarded about how deep they let outsiders into their world, but some shepherds and weavers are beginning to embrace the idea of cultural tourism, both as a new source of income and out of a desire to share this part of their heritage before it disappears. Guests can help herd sheep and learn skills like weaving, natural plant dyeing, Navajo cooking, storytelling and more. It’s like going to a spartan Navajo dude ranch, where visitors can have an authentic experience of a fading American Indian way of life...more

Kit Carson items on the auction block

Carson's message pouch
An auction in Santa Fe next month will feature Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy’s leather riding coat, plus more than a dozen of Kit Carson’s personal effects. The Auction of Santa Fe at the Hilton Hotel on Aug. 11 and 12 includes 653 items, including nearly 300 paintings by well-known artists and more than 300 American Indian collectibles. It also includes 18 lots of historical artifacts collected by the late artist Ralph Meyers of Taos and his family. Among those items is the elk-skin riding coat that belonged to the French archbishop of New Mexico in the 19th century, estimated to be worth between $10,000 and $15,000. The Carson artifacts include his flintlock pistol, issued for use in the Mexican-American War; his personal document bag, used to carry items to presidents and generals; pack saddles; bridles; snowshoes; a trastero or cupboard; a tin box; a wooden bench and other items...more

Song Of The Day #892

Some voices were just made to sing together - like George Jones & Melba Montgomery. The Gospel tune on Ranch Radio today is Don't Go by one of my favorite duos.

The tune is on their 20 track Vintage Collection CD.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

PETA takes 'bets' on when senator will die after objection to USDA vegetarian push

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has started taking "bets" on its website over when Sen. Charles Grassley will die, after the Iowa Republican scolded the Department of Agriculture for advocating a vegetarian diet. The USDA drew the ire of rural state lawmakers over a newsletter urging department employees to embrace "Meatless Mondays." The USDA later retracted the newsletter and said it wasn't properly vetted, but Grassley vented on Twitter that he plans to "eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation." PETA, on its website, accused Grassley of fighting for Americans' right to be "sick and fat." "We're taking bets (place yours in the comments section below) on how long it will take Sen. Grassley to succumb to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or some other meat-related disease," the post said. "From his reaction, it seems like a pretty safe bet that he's already got high blood pressure," PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said on the site. "Were he a physician instead of a politician who truly puts his rancher money where his mouth is, he'd be guilty of malpractice."...more

“Veggie” diet blamed for poor performance of China’s women volleyball team

The Chinese team lost four of five matches at a world tournament that ended Sunday in Ningbo, China, falling to the United States, Brazil, Turkey and Thailand. While Brazil and the US are powerhouses in women's volleyball, Turkey and Thailand didn't even qualify for the 2008 Olympics, where China won bronze. “They have showed significant decline in their strength and fitness” coach Yu Juemin said of his squad after Sunday's defeat to the US. “We are wary of meat tainted by lean-meat powder, and we didn't eat any during the game period,” Yu told the Shanghai Daily newspaper. As a result, the Chinese volleyball team only eats meat at its training camp, where the food can be tested for contamination. When players go elsewhere in the country, they have to forego pork, beef and lamb — as they did in the lead-up to the volleyball World Grand Prix finals tournament...more

Veggies & Volleyball - nope.

Steaks & Steer Wresting - damn right.

The Westerner's Radio Theater #041

Ranch Radio is cravin' some old stuff this morning, so we bring you two broadcasts from 1939.  First up is a Grand Ole Opry from December 1939 and sponsored by Prince Albert tobacco - it burns 86% cooler than the other brands.  Give a special listenin' to a really swingin' version of The Old Grey Bonnet at 10:50 into the program.  The boys really tear it up.  That's followed by a 1/4/1939 The Lone Ranger titled Lafe Custer's Cattle.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fourmile Fire report: Fuel treatments in burn area were ineffective

The forested land within the nearly 6,200 acres burned by the Fourmile Fire in 2010 that had been treated to reduce wildfire risk did not appear to alter the fire's behavior, and, in some cases, burned more intensely than adjacent, untreated land, according to a final report on the Fourmile Fire released Wednesday by the U.S. Forest Service.

That's the language that the AP is distributing, based upon a more complete article in the Daily Camera. Here are some excerpts from the complete article:
In all, about 600 acres of land within the burn area had been treated -- through measures including thinning and removing lower branches of trees -- to mitigate wildfire risk in the seven years leading up to ignition of the Fourmile Fire on Labor Day 2010.

The majority of the fuel treatments were administered by the Colorado State Forest Service, and much of the work took place on private land. About 66 percent of the land burned by the Fourmile Fire is owned by private property owners. The Bureau of Land Management owns 23 percent, Boulder County owns 6 percent and the Forest Service owns 5 percent.

Most of the treatments in the Fourmile burn area were small and narrow -- only two were larger than 20 acres in size -- and that may have contributed to the fact that the fire, which was spotting up to a half-mile in front of the main blaze, appeared to easily breach the treated areas, according to the report.

The added intensity of the burn in some of the treated areas might also have been because, in some cases, the forestry waste from the thinning operations was still piled on the ground. And, in many instances, prescribed burns -- which would clear out the fuels that lay on the surface of the forest floor, including pine needles and small branches -- were not used.

The findings point to the importance of finishing fuel treatments, including disposing the extra waste, and the importance of performing treatments on a large scale.

That tells us a little bit different story.  The piddly, half-assed, namby-bamby "thinning" projects in the "wildland interface" we hear so much about don't work.  Or, as a professional would say:

"Fires under these conditions are a landscape phenomenon and a landscape problem," said Mark Finney, a research forester at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Montana, who worked on the report. "Fires will spread many miles from where they start and they will cover thousands or tens of thousands of acres. If you're going to design fuel treatment programs to try to mitigate that threat, you need to think on that scale."

There is an effective and efficient "fuel treatment program" - Its called logging.

Is Government Using Best Methods to Fight Forest Fires?

Here's a segment from John Stossel's show on Fox:

NY Times: How Can We Prevent Another Dust Bowl?

The New York Times is running a series in its Debate Room on this topic:
The worst drought in 50 years is scorching crops across the heartland and, as a result, the government has declared one-third of the nation’s counties federal disaster areas.
Are we at risk for another Dust Bowl? If so, what can we do to prevent it?
You can check it out here.

Groups battle over request from ranchers to ease ethanol rule

Interest groups on both sides of the corn ethanol debate are stepping up their messaging on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that lawmakers have targeted in recent weeks. The groups are battling over the renewable fuel standard (RFS), which requires 15 billion gallons of domestic corn ethanol production by 2022. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a main corn ethanol lobby, sent a letter Friday to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack praising the Obama administration for sticking by the rule. A collection of livestock interest groups responded by issuing an advisory for a Monday media call to discuss the need for changes to the fuel standards...more