Monday, November 30, 2015

The Old West...

Obama eyes legacy-defining climate pact

President Obama heads to Paris Monday seeking to clinch an international climate pact that would help define his legacy. But major obstacles stand in the way of that goal, including the dispute over whether the document will be legally binding for all the countries participating or whether political pressure would be the main enforcement mechanism. Obama is also facing pressure at home from Republicans who oppose his executive actions on climate change and want to derail the global deal organized under the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change. For a president who has made climate change a top priority of his second term — and has become the first commander in chief to take significant action to counter global warming — the Paris meeting presents a rare opportunity to make significant headway in fighting climate change. While domestic climate policies, like Obama’s carbon dioxide limits for power plants, can only have a marginal impact on global temperatures, getting the rest of the world on board can make a real difference. “Obama 2.0 looks very different from Obama 1.0 on climate change,” said Timmons Roberts, an environmental studies professor at Brown University and fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Obama has staked a lot on Paris being a success, as can be seen by the effort his White House has put into these bilateral agreements and commitments,” Roberts said, referring to recent high-profile agreements on climate change that Obama has made with the leaders of China, Brazil, Mexico and other nations...more

The New ‘Consensus’: 97 Percent Of Americans Aren’t Worried About Global Warming

While 97 percent of scientists may agree mankind is driving global warming, 97 percent of Americans don’t seem to care about the issue when stacked up against other concerns such as terrorism or the economy, according to a recent Fox News poll. A November Fox News poll of more than 1,000 registered voters found that only 3 percent listed “climate change” as the most important issue facing the country today, down from 5 percent in August. Americans were much more worried about terrorism, the economy and immigration than global warming.  Even among Democrats concern for global warming was low. The Fox poll found only 6 percent of Democrats listed global warming as their top concern, compared to 1 percent of Republicans...more

Solyndra II: Energy Company Busts on Eve of Climate Summit

As President Barack Obama departed for the climate summit in Paris, he faces a new “Solyndra” scandal as Spain’s Abengoa SA, which received $3 billion in administration sustainable energy loans and Export-Import Bank guarantees, announced that it has started bankruptcy proceeding and may soon default on its debt.  The Obama administration tucked $90 billion of stimulus money for energy projects into a huge corner of the $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed with no Republican votes barely a month into Obama’s presidency.  The money was supposedly allocated to fund “strategic clean energy investments intended to promote job creation and promote deployment of low-carbon technologies,” but much of it was squandered. The General Accounting Office in April warned that of the 38 sustainable loans and guarantees, “the total expected net cost over the life of the loans” was “to be $2.21 billion, including $807 million for loans that have defaulted.” Until now, the most infamous of the Department of Energy renewable energy projects was Solyndra, whose bankruptcy cost the U.S. taxpayers $535 million. But with $2.7 billion in Department of Energy loan guarantees and $225 million since 2010, Abengoa SA just began insolvency proceedings in a Spanish court on November 25 as a technical first step toward a possible bankruptcy, according to the Washington Times...more

Ex-CIA chief: Fear for environment stays US hand on ISIS oil wells

A former CIA director says concerns about environmental impact have prevented the White House from bombing oil wells that finance the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). “We didn’t go after oil wells, actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls, because we didn’t want to do environmental damage, and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure,” Michael Morell said Tuesday on PBS’s “Charlie Rose.” Morell cautioned that he does not “sit in the room anymore” where strategic decisions are made, but said prior to the Paris terrorist attack earlier this month, “There seemed to have been a judgment that, look, we don’t want to destroy these oil tankers because that’s infrastructure that’s going to be necessary to support the people when ISIS isn’t there anymore, and it’s going to create environmental damage.” Since the attack on Paris, the U.S. has tried to cut off the terrorist organization’s revenue stream by bombing oil trucks. “So now we’re hitting oil trucks,” Morell said. “And maybe you get to the point where you say, we also have to hit oil wells...more

Space mining is now part of American law

The Commercial Space Launch Act of 2015, recently passed by both the House and Senate, is unique because the legislation covers a subject that is not directly related to space launches and was once the stuff of science fiction. An entire title of the bill covers the subject of mining resources from asteroids and other celestial bodies.  The crucial paragraph in the title concerning space resources states:  “A United States citizen engaged in commercial recovery of an asteroid resource or a space resource under this chapter shall be entitled to any asteroid resource or space resource obtained, including to possess, own, transport, use, and sell the asteroid resource or space resource obtained in accordance with applicable law, including the international obligations of the United States.” The language of the act is a clever way of getting around a provision of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which states, in Article II, “Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” In general, property rights are secured by a state for its citizens by the exercise of national sovereignty. A mining operation in the United States owns the minerals it unearths because the government grants it the right of ownership by exercising its power of sovereignty. The language of the act by implication acknowledges the provisions of the Outer Space Treaty. The United States is not going to claim the moon or an asteroid as its national territory. But it is granting the right of American citizens to own minerals that they extract from celestial bodies...more

Coyote enters Laguna Beach home and snatches pet Chihuahua, owners say

A coyote snatched a small dog from inside a Laguna Beach home Monday night, the dog's owners said. John Fischer, who lives in the 500 block of Oak Street with his wife, said the couple's three Chihuahuas started barking about 7:45 p.m. Fischer, who was in the kitchen, didn't think much of the noise. The dogs were in the bedroom with his week-old granddaughter, and he assumed they were reacting to a visitor they were expecting. But as he left the kitchen, Fischer glimpsed something running out of the bedroom and into the yard. It was a coyote, and it was carrying something. "I could see the white in his mouth," Fischer. "They're very fast. He was gone like a shot." Fischer had enough time to see the animal had seized Eloise, an 8-year-old Chihuahua. "The dog was screaming," he said. "It was awful." Fischer searched for the coyote, hoping he could scared it enough to drop the dog, but he found nothing...more

A little more of those coyotes capturing carne del chihuahua or guts del gato and we're likely to see predator control from drones and helicopters.

The Nude Duel that Will Not Die


August 24, 1877

A wild picnic is in progress just outside the city limits of Denver, Colorado. Notorious brothel owner Mattie Silks is among the party crowd. She is with her “kept man,” Corteze Thomson, a handsome, fleet-footed gambler.

After numerous rounds of drinking games and bawdy fun, Silks notices a voluptuous business rival, Katie Fulton, displaying an extreme amount of affection toward her man. Words are exchanged, and threats are made. Neither soiled dove backs down.

A duel is suggested and agreed to, with Thomson acting as Silks’s second and Sam Thatcher as a second for Fulton. Pistols are produced. To facilitate better aim, both women strip to the waist. In classic dueling fashion, the two women step off the required paces, turn and fire.

In the twilight, a cry is heard, and a body falls to the ground. Everyone rushes forward through the billowing gunsmoke to see which queen of the demimonde is still standing. To the crowd’s surprise, both prostitutes are still on their feet. Thomson, however, writhes on the ground with a bullet in his neck.

Great story, except for one problem: It didn’t happen.

Here’s the real story...


Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1527

Its Swingin' Monday and here is Kevin Fowler performing Get Along.  The Tune is on his 2004 CD titled Loose, Loud & Crazy

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A ‘wilderness’ pack trip

The living link
A ‘wilderness’ pack trip
Our Water
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            I just finished building a fire in the shop wood stove and remain agitated.
            My woodpile is wet from the Thanksgiving rain, but anybody should be able to build a fire out of wet wood. It is the “safety matches” that have stirred my ire. Remember safety matches that could be struck by stropping them across the side of your Levi’s? “Safety” was the ability to actually strike them when conditions were real and dangerous. Safety has now entered the realm of “saving” some idiot by some grander idiot writing regulations from his or her west wing office. It is infuriating to attempt to strike a single lit match from five or six toys that break or fail to strike without holding your mouth right, your left foot in the air, and reading from the instructions of demands imposed on once grand old match company, Diamond!
            They even have a politically correct name, Greenlight. That’s right, and the light is so dim you have to put reading glasses on to see it. Greenlight, my … No, let’s make the best of this situation and saddle a horse and a mule and throw a diamond to make it somewhat realistic.
            The Greenlighters will likely stumble over the implications of throwing a diamond. On second thought, let’s throw a squaw. That’ll give ‘em hiccups.
            Saddling in the dark
            Since we saddled just a horse and a single mule, we were already rimming out from the Shaw Place before sunup. Sunup had us looking into the ridgeline of the Robledos on our backtrack. The sound of hooves on rocks was timeless. The mule was traveling easily and the horse, new to leading a mule in such proximity, had already been warned with a rowel raked across his right flank not to try to kick his traveling companion again. His lesson in good behavior was brief but lasting.
            The first opportunity for water was a drinker on the pipeline extension from Faulkner Well, but nobody was interested. It was by now light enough “to shoot” as it is described in ranchland vernacular.
            As we left the drinker, it occurred to me that every point of water should be named. This trough was nameless and that had to be remedied.
            The ride up the basin toward McCall Reservoir was easy going. The traffic from town keeps the two track beaten out and the gravelly clay bottom muffled most equine footfalls. Named for its concrete damn and spillway construction, McCall Reservoir was as full as sedimentation allowed. It needed cleaning, but the wet bottom has not allowed it. Using a dragline came to mind, but there is no such availability in this area.
            The climb out of the McCall Basin was halted twice to let the animals blow. They controlled the climb as long as they didn’t take advantage of the trust extended on them. That is an earned empowerment offered ranch horses. It is a silent respect of which most folks have no concept.
            Topping out and looking into the Coyote drainage was met with the first vehicle encounter of the morning. It was a Jeep replete with a lift kit, rock grabber tires, and a Yeti cooler likely filled with cold lubricants. The ride into the canyon detoured into the drainage that empties into Coyote Tank. Chris had walked the Cat up there to clean the tank and repair a breach on the northeast corner. I wanted to look at it.
            For many years, that tank was the only water in that reach of Coyote. The alternative was for cattle to walk to the Kimble Well miles down the canyon. Several years ago Leonard and I installed a pipeline from Kimble, a storage, and two drinkers at a point across the canyon. It was there the animals were again offered water. The horse played in it, but didn’t drink. The mule wasn’t interested.
            I got off to check cinches. A motor cycle came down the creek. I couldn’t see it from that vantage point because of the mesquite, but I could hear it. I had no interest in “looking” at it.
            Our continued ride was westward rather than down the canyon to Kimble. I had seen enough of Kimble in the days and weeks previous as we rebuilt pens for working cattle. The well there was now pumped by a solar system, and, even in the heat of summer, it has kept up with the cattle (and wildlife) demands. It is a critical, permanent water source.
            Our route took up upslope through the Coyote Pasture which has the capacity to carry the ranch’s entire cow herd for a month as long as enough water can be supplied through the infrastructure installed by the ranch. I like this pasture and like it more by the abundance of grass that has come in the aftermath of a brush treatment project applied the same year we installed the twin drinkers. Riding up the canyon west from the storage was purposely quiet and made quieter by intent to look, smell, and study the landscape. The brush treatment was sensational. We were beyond the necessary rest periods following the treatment which precluded cattle during the growing season, but that protocol would be continued because of rotation limitations. We don’t yet have enough water there to support large numbers of cattle in the heat of the summer.
            The next water was the Hackberry Tank that splits the Coyote and Hersey Pasture fence where the two track tops the ridge from the Hersey Basin. Our route now equated to only seven air miles from the morning’s start, but at least nine miles of actual travel. Every point of water encountered was there because of ranch efforts. It was at Hackberry, a tank that doesn’t hold water well, both the horse and the mule finally drank.
            Our route continued higher as we began the climb in earnest toward the top of the Las Uvas ridgeline and Magdalena Peak. We stopped and glassed the broad hillsides of Bell and Tailholt Mountains. On one of the two state trust sections in the basin below us, another permanent water source, a well, is desperately needed. Part of the binocular inspection was to conceptualize locations and routes of pipeline installation. That water is needed to bolster benefits to livestock and wildlife in summer months that can reach 105°.
            The remainder of the day crisscrossed a mosaic of infrastructure investments all designed around manmade water developments. Modern traffic traversed the canyon bottoms while the realm of only the horseman extended to the ridgelines with an increasing sense of wonder that all sides of the wilderness debate try to describe.
            It was there on the high points and ridges the essence of Aldo Leopold writings rang in truest form. “It is difficult for this generation to understand this aristocracy of space based on transport,” he wrote of his experiences in Arizona’s White Mountains and similar places where all other sources of transportation ceased and mounted horsemen emerged alone and “always found the frontier.” In this passage from the mindset of Escudilla and Mogollon, a true relationship of “wilderness” places the horsemen in full partnership, not separation, with the concept.
            “It (wilderness) was too big for foot travel …” he said.
            The ride could have taken in a swath of country dotted with an even dozen more points of water on the ranch all there solely because of livestock. In this story, I choose finally to reach the point of rocks on the mesa jutting off from Magdalena Peak and its massive FAA radar facility, south from Sugar Loaf, and upon the highest points of the massive watershed that eventually emerges as Apache Flats on our Butterfield Trail Ranch another seven air miles to the southwest.
            It was on the point I tied the mule and hobbled my mare bound gelding. They would each receive a ration of grain from the panniers and I would gather enough juniper wood to start a fire with my old style safety match. I’d listen to it crackle before it settled enough to set my folding wire grill to braise the cut of meat wrapped around a cold pack and stuffed into a little tea pot. A tortilla and a slice of cheese would complete my meal.
            Reclining in my sleeping bag from that vantage, lights on I10 would be visible throughout the night of relative sleeplessness. I never sleep well the first night away from home in any circumstance, but I would savor the surroundings and being there with only the horse and the mule. Tomorrow, we would ride another 18 miles to the Butterfield headquarters, and we would study the country through these rancher eyes that know this existence is actually part of the system that exists in permanence.
            Any disruptions, therein … have profound implications.
            La ultima
            This chronicle is fictitious.
            This ride was made not in a single event, but in a series of ongoing days of ranch life. The ride, though, is perhaps important for people who need to understand the complexity of our lives on this land that is now designated National Monument by executive order.
            We simply do not know what our future holds.
            If we are not extended the courtesy of the importance of an inescapable historic tenure, perhaps we should be granted the importance of our role in 99.9% of the available water that now exists in this setting. We are the water on our ranches and the water is us. We are absolutely surrounded by infrastructure that doesn’t exist in a void. We are the resident stewards and even science will eventually disclose the importance of our role in this modern setting.
            Is there interest in such a ride? We could make it two hours, a half day, two days or a full week. The outcome might just change some lives and beliefs.

                Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Proponents suggested this area has wilderness characteristics. It is ironic that in the words of their gate keeper ranchers are the living link to the concept.”

I just can't get that image of Wilmeth striking those greenlight matches out of my mind.  I'm bettin' he turned loose with more carbon dioxide than a whole case of those damn things would save.

Baxter Black - The national insect

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection. Warm memories, overstuffed afternoons and family. Yet rising from this cornucopia of good feelings, like a rubber chicken from a shopping cart full of cut-up fryers, is that runner-up for national bird... The Turkey.

Despite its cinder block-like intelligence, gurgling vocals and dangling snood, there is nothing absurd about the turkey being nominated as our national bird. After all, a group of entomologists has tried to convince Congress to name a national insect. Their suggestion was the monarch butterfly.

I have always assumed that the turkey was passed over for the bald eagle for obvious reasons; beauty, grace, majesty, strength and inspiration. But after watching Congress consider the monarch butterfly, I realized how it is simply a matter of which special interest group presents the most convincing case.

There was considerable rancor stirred amongst the feminist groups when they pressed their case for a national insect to represent them. They were divided between the ladybug and the queen bee. 

Organized religion sprang forth to submit their nominees. The Catholics liked the idea of a preying mantis on the 50-cent piece. The Methodists suggested the water skipper while the Baptists chose the lobster.

The legal profession marshaled its considerable influence behind the scorpion. Civil service employees thought the humble, diligent ant would be a good choice. Roto Rooter placed the tumblebug into consideration.

Suggestions for the national insect came pouring in from special interest groups: Pork Producers — the sow bug, carpenters — termites, insomniacs — bed bug, librarians — book lice, Nike — millipede, Republicans —the Sherman tank, Adams County bowling team — bowl weevils, uncle wanted aunts, the A’s wanted the B’s, Volkswagen wanted the beetles, honky — tonkers wanted night crawlers, and the Texans thought the oil derrick would make a nice national insect!

Julie Carter's "revival"

Welcome to the West as I see it

Within these pages, you will find the end result of a lot of living and laughing, finally put between book covers to share with the world. A laugh is never a better laugh than when it can be shared and shared again.

I hope you choose to own a copy of my book, Cowgirl Sass and Savvy. It is a selection of some of the first stories individually published in a syndicated column by the same name that I have written weekly since 2002. They offer you a peek into ranch and cowboy life that isn't what you see as you drive by or what you read in the glossy slick magazines selling cowboy clothes, furniture and adventures.

And most of all, I hope the stories bring you, at the very least, a smile and a good laugh. No better gift could I offer you.

November 20, 2015


Filed under: General — Julie Carter @ 5:59 pm 

Welcome to the revival of the Julie Carter/Cowgirl Sass & Savvy blog. I will bring bringing to you the same wit and wisdom in print via my Sass & Savvy stories, along with a new photography business and things to go along with that. This site will link you to my landscape photography for sale along with items available on this site: books, calendars and posters.

Coming soon will be a link to my books in a digital download form as well.

I’ve been off on life’s adventures for the past 4-5 years, what we would just call living, and so have neglected the site but today, is REVIVAL DAY.

Stay tuned. Find me on face book at Julie Carter and Julie Carter Photography.

I also offer you a glimpse of this rural area as I see it through my camera lens. Shop the Mercantile page for posters that I have combined my photography with words I have written. Also there are calendars showcasing some of my favorite photos from this year. A link to my landscape photography website will let you browse through what I see when I travel down the dirt roads of the West.

There’s Big Money in Global Warming Alarmism


A sociologist with no training in the physical sciences is puzzled why most Americans think the world is not doomed by global warming. So flummoxed is Yale’s Justin Farrell that he decided to study the question in the most scientific way possible. And he managed to publish his results, “Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change,” in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

What do you think his conclusions were? Perhaps that thirty years of failed temperature predictions boosted Americans’ skepticism? Or that the obvious eagerness of politicians to leverage exaggerated fears have left many skittish? Or maybe it’s the dearth of severe storms, despite the many promises that floods and droughts would drown and parch us all?

No, none of that. Farrell discovered that private groups spent their own money to say that things were not as bad as alarmists claimed. He told TheWashington Post that these “contrarian efforts have been so effective for the fact that they have made it difficult for ordinary Americans to even know who to trust.” Indeed, I, myself a climate scientist, no longer trust anything non-scientists like Farrell tell me about global warming (which he incorrectly calls “climate change”).

Farrell is right about one thing: Global warming alarmism is big business. On one side you have Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, The Climate Project and dozens upon dozens of other non-governmental organizations who solicit hundreds of millions from private donors and from government, and who in turn award lucrative grants to further their agenda.

You also have the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, both Houses of Congress and many more government agencies, spraying global warming money at anything that moves and at staggering rates — billions of dollars.

And then you also have every major and minor university — with contributions from every department, from Critical Literature Theory to Women’s Studies — all with their hands out and eager to provide the support Greenpeace, the government and others desire. Add to that another two or three dozen think tanks which are also sniffing for grants or which support government intervention to do the impossible and stop the earth’s climate from changing.

Every scientific organization which is dependent on grant money has released a statement saying “something must be done” about global warming. They’re supported, fawned over and feted by just about every news and media agency. And don’t forget the leadership of most major organized religions have their own statements — and their hands out.

We’re not done: we still have to add the dozens of Solyndra-type companies eager to sell the government products, to get “green” subsidies or to support its global-warming agenda. Included in that list are oil companies. Oil companies?

Yes. Oil giants aren’t foolish. They want to benefit — and also don’t want to suffer from — the mania that surrounds all things climate change. Their activities are often mercenary: Oil companies will and do fund research that casts a bad light on coal, its main competitor, in hopes of lessening competition but also in expectation of securing peace with activist groups.

For instance, ExxonMobil recently pledged to give Stanford University “up to $100 million in grant money over 10 years to support climate and energy research.” As reported by the website No Tricks Zone:
Four big international companies, including the oil giant ExxonMobil, said yesterday that they would give Stanford University $225 million over 10 years for research on ways to meet growing energy needs without worsening global warming … In 2000, Ford and Exxon Mobil’s global rival, BP, gave $20 million to Princeton to start a similar climate and energy research program …
Shell Oil since 1999 handed out $8.5 million in environmental grants. Like ExxonMobil, many grants flowed to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, but $1.2 million went to the Nature Conservancy; the remainder was spread to several different environmentally-minded groups.

According to The Washington Times British Petroleum regularly gave to several environmental groups, such as “Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, the World Resources Institute, various branches of the Audubon Society, the Wildlife Habitat Council.” It’s important to understand that these groups accepted the money BP gave them. The Washington Post confirms the Nature Conservancy pocketed over “$10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations.”

Joanne Nova has documented the massive amount of money pouring from government into the pockets of individuals and groups associated with the environment. “The U.S. government has provided over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks.” $79 billion.

And Farrell, our stalwart sociologist, nabbed $126,000 from the EPA between 2012 and 2014, and another $18,500 from the National Science Foundation to study the environment and society. Doubtless he will be similarly rewarded in the future. Funny he never mentioned his funding, nor the funding of all those pushing scenarios of the world’s end.

All that is on one side. And on the other? Well, there’s a handful of privately funded think tanks, a smattering of generous individuals and businesses, a journalist here and there, and (ahem) a few skeptical scientists scratching what living they can, all trying vainly to tell the world that the sky isn’t falling and that government intervention isn’t needed.

In the interest of full disclosure, the total amount of any consideration I have ever received from any oil company, or any oil company affiliate, is, rounded to the nearest dollar, $0. But it was in cash. Skepticism of environmental apocalypse does not pay.

Originally posted at The STREAM 

Greens ‘smuggle’ climate policy into the church to tip climate politics

By Marita Noon

Without the evangelical community’s involvement, efforts to build a “broad coalition to pass major climate policies” are “doomed,” according to a just-released report from New America — a nonprofit group that claims to be “dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age.”

“Spreading the Gospel of climate change: an evangelical battleground,” according to E & E News, offers: “An autopsy of evangelicals’ influence on U.S. Climate law.” While the efforts “failed,” the report concludes it is “not a lost cause,” as the authors posit: “there is an untapped potential for environmental activism in the world of evangelical Christianity.” The closing words are “it is a battle worth fighting.”

So, while the initial effort may have failed, its supporters haven’t given up. They hope to learn from their mistakes and continue the crusade to “get evangelicals to tip the politics of the climate” — which consists of big-government solutions like a carbon tax and higher energy prices.

...While I hope all readers find the report’s inside strategic analysis interesting, evangelicals should be particularly alarmed with the realization that we have been, and will continue to be, the target of an organized and well-funded effort, from outsiders who “lacked deep knowledge about evangelicalism,” to “recruit evangelicals into policy solutions to climate change.”

While admitting failure, there was some early success. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California and author of the best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, was, in 2006, a signatory to the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). In 2008, the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson appeared in an ad for climate action. Some Southern Baptist leaders drafted their own ECI — which was never launched. The report states: “Movement leaders, funders, and the environmental movement were optimistic that this small victory could be the foundation for even more ambitious legislative goals.”

The report is a fascinating case study of the outside effort to “smuggle” the climate policy campaign into churches.

When I read the full 27-page document, the influence of “environmental funders” became obvious: “Since the mid-1990s, environmental funders recognized the need for a broader field of faith-based movements who could expand the influence of environmentalism to unlikely allies. They also realized that evangelicals had a special role to play in this religious portfolio because their religious community was closely associated with the Republican Party.” Evangelical Christians became the target of “constituency engagement development.” Financial grants were made to increase the role of climate change in churches. Environmentalists worked to reframe climate change as “Creation Care” and “hoped that evangelical Christians might publically embrace climate change as a moral issue and an authentically ‘conservative’ concern.”

To do this, funders looked to the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) “to reach out to evangelicals and leverage the moral authority of faith.” The report states: “With funding from the Hewlett and Energy Foundations, the EEN launched the Evangelical Climate Initiative, the culmination of its four-year effort to encourage major evangelical institutions to develop a public witness on climate change.” Notable Christian organizations, such as World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship were given thousands of dollars to name a “Creation Care Chair” in their senior staff. The report concludes: “From 1996 to 2006, EEN leaders and environmental funders believed that the Creation Care movement was on a trajectory of growing legitimacy and power.”...

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.


Ponder this...

Take a close look at this map:


Undoubtedly, you've seen maps like it before. It is a map of the lands claimed by the federal government of the United States of America. And, undoubtedly, you can see that there is a huge discrepancy between the lands east of Colorado and those west. You may have even thought about the huge financial hardships that this map represents for American citizens of the West, or the lack of access all Americans deal with when trying to enjoy our "public" lands.

In the past few years, you may have become aware of how the federal mismanagement of their lands has resulted in chronic catastrophic wildfires which have polluted the air, burned millions of animals senselessly, and destroyed the watershed for generations. You may have learned about how Congress uses their power over the West to extort votes from western legislators at the expense of every American.

But ponder this...

This map was provided by the Department of the Interior as a representation of the lands controlled by the federal government in 1968! Over 47 years ago! And did you know that the very FIRST "Wilderness" area designated by the federal government happened in 1968! And since 1968 more than 108,916,684 acres have been designated as "Wilderness" and that number is growing rapidly. This massive overreach of federal power has left westerners in the dire situation they now find themselves in.

What about your state? How many acres of Wilderness or Monuments have been created since 1968? Do you have better access to your public lands...or worse? Are your forests healthier since 1968...or dying by the thousands of acres? Is your state in a better financial condition than it was in 1968...or is it struggling? And last but not least, which of your elected officials are fighting for your state's sovereignty and well-being by stemming the tide of federal control over your lands?

Elections are just around the corner and most candidates for office realize that the Transfer of Public Lands is a very important topic on this election's platform. Many will say the right things. But I encourage you to do your homework. If they have already been in office, what have they done to protect your state, rather than bow to the federal government every time they grab another chunk of land? If they have never been in office, do they truly understand the principles of local land management? Will they stand strong to defend the Constitutional rights of your state against the onslaught of federal overreach?

Or will they bend with the wind of "compromise", more worried about the next election than the welfare of their people?

Hmmm....definitely something worth pondering....

American Lands Council

Muncy is on a title quest


LAS VEGAS – If the cycle continues, the 2015 ProRodeo season will be golden for Taos Muncy, a two-time world champion saddle bronc rider from Corona, N.M.

He claimed his first gold buckle in 2007 during his inaugural trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Four years later, he added a second world title. Now he’s four years removed from that 2011 championship.

“My goal every year is to win the world (title),” said Muncy, who is “Riding for the Brand” of Tate Branch Auto Group, which has dealerships in the southeastern New Mexico communities of Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs. “I’d like a fighting chance when I get to the finals.”

He has one. He sits fifth in the world standings and is poised to make a run at this year’s NFR, which takes place Dec. 3-12 in Las Vegas. That’s the richest rodeo in the world with a purse of $8.8 million; go-round winners will earn more than $26,000 for each of the 10 nights in Sin City.

Muncy has earned $98,654 this season and trails world standings leader Cody DeMoss by $20,743. That’s means the New Mexico cowboy is about a second-place go-round finish out of leading the world standings. He’s well within range.

This year marks his eighth NFR qualification in the last nine years – the one year he missed ProRodeo’s grand championship was because of an injury. What might be just as impressive as anything is that he’s just 28 years old. Of course, he’s been one of ProRodeo’s elite bronc riders since he was 19.

He won his first world title at age 20, about six months after claiming the college title while competing at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He became just the third contestant in rodeo history to have earned a collegiate championship and a world championship in the same discipline in the same calendar year, joining all-around great Ty Murray and bull rider Matt Austin.

That shows just how difficult it is. It would be akin to a Heisman Trophy winner being named the Super Bowl MVP in his rookie season; being a regular fixture at the NFR is also as telling to the cowboy’s talent. In addition to riding bucking horses at a top level, a rodeo cowboy must handle the logistics of being on the road and away from home and family for weeks – sometimes months – at a time.

“Time goes too fast, so you’ve got to enjoy your family as much as possible,” said Muncy, who lives on the ranch with his wife, Marissa, and their daughter, Marley, 3, not far from his parents, Blaine and Johnnie. “My family’s pretty tight. That’s the one good thing about rodeoing; I might be gone for 10 days tops, but when I’m home, I’m with them.

“In rodeo, we’re all one big family. It’s a great lifestyle.”

It’s even better for athletes that are winning, and Muncy won his share. Over the course of the 2015 regular season, he earned 12 titles. But in order to make nearly $100,000 in a year, he also placed pretty well along the way.

Giant 7-Foot to 8-Foot Skeletons Uncovered in Ecuador Sent for Scientific Testing

Strikingly tall skeletons uncovered in the Ecuador and Peru Amazon region are undergoing examination in Germany, according to a research team headed by British anthropologist Russell Dement. Will these remains prove that a race of tall people existed hundreds of years ago deep in the Amazonian rainforest? Since 2013, the team has reported finding half a dozen human skeletons dating to the early 1400s and the mid-1500s that measure between 7 feet and 8 feet (213 to 243 centimeters) in height. Dement told Cuenca Highlife: “We are very early in our research and I am only able to provide a general overview of what we have found. I don’t want to make claims based on speculation since our work is ongoing. Because of the size of the skeletons, this has both anthropological and medical implications.” In late 2013, Dement received word that a skeleton had been uncovered by a Shuar local, approximately 70 miles (112 kilometers) from Cuenca, in Loja Province, Ecuador. Dement traveled to the site and recovered the rib cage and skull of a female which had been exposed by flooding. The bones were thought to date to 600 years ago. The rest of the skeleton was located and, once assembled, reportedly measured 7 feet and 4 inches (223.5 centimeters) in height. This prompted the formation of a research team including four researchers from Freie Universit├Ąt in Germany, and the assistance of Shuar locals. Funding was provided by the university for excavation and investigation. Recognizing it is a controversial area of research, Dement noted “Even though I had been working with Freie for many years, I was concerned that they might not give a grant for someone looking for giants. To outsiders, especially scientists, I understand this sounds a little hair-brained. […] “Because of the sensational nature of this, we have to be extremely diligent in our research since it will be met with a great deal of skepticism,” he said. Three complete skeletons and two partial skeletons had no disfiguration and they were relatively healthy. Dement told Cuenca Highlife: “The skeletons show no signs of diseases such as the hormonal growth problems that are common in most cases of gigantism. In all the skeletons, the joints seemed healthy and lung cavity appeared large. One of the skeletons that we have dated was of a female who was about 60 when she died, much older than typical cases of gigantism.” The burials were elaborate. Bodies were wrapped in leaves and buried in thick clay. This sealed the skeletons and protected against water intrusion, leaving the remains in fairly good condition...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1526

Our gospel song this Sunday is Fellowship by Chester Smith.  The tune is on his Castle LP titled The Dynamic Hillbilly.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gila diversion pact signed in D.C.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Monday afternoon that Secretary Sally Jewell signed the New Mexico Unit Agreement with the New Mexico Unit of the Central Arizona Project Entity, late in the day on the deadline date set forth by the Arizona Water Settlements Act. The executed agreement opens the door for a series of environmental reviews of a potential diversion of the Gila River. In a release, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science Jennifer Gimbel stressed that signing the agreement does not ensure a diversion, but greenlights the upcoming National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and Historic Preservation Act review processes. These must be successfully completed before any final project could be approved. Those processes will not begin until the N.M. CAP Entity develops a 30 percent design of a proposed project. N.M. CAP Entity Chair Darr Shannon responded to the big news, saying simply, “The New Mexico CAP Entity will continue to move forward with diligence and integrity regarding the job we have before us.” Monday’s action comes after a lengthy period of negotiations between the N.M. CAP Entity — following their formation in August — and Interior regarding a list of supplemental terms required by Jewell, outlining the federal standards the project must meet and placing more responsibility on the CAP Entity. It also comes after the delivery of a petition signed by 5,400 opponents to a diversion, urging Jewell to not sign the agreement. Some of those opponents, while disappointed with the Interior secretary’s decision on Monday, were heartened by the importance placed on the upcoming environmental measures in the release...more

Global Warming Double Dipper Enriches Family With Tax Dollars

by Ethan Barton

A global warming crusader used a tax-exempt nonprofit to stuff his families’ pockets at the expense of taxpayers, according to a complaint filed with the Internal Revenue Service by two watchdog groups Tuesday.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Cause of Action filed a complaint asking the IRS to revoke the exempt status of the Institute of Global Environment and Society Inc. — a global warming advocate that has received over $60 million in federal grants.

The nonprofit’s founder and president is George Mason University Professor Jagadish Shukla, who was also the lead signatory of a Sept. 1 letter urging President Obama to investigate fossil fuel companies for deceiving “the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

The letter said the government should use the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that is used to prosecute members of organized crime syndicates.

“It’s incredibly ironic that, while Dr. Shukla accuses global warming skeptics of deceiving the public, his own environmental organization has been pulling a fast one at taxpayer expense,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “His attempt to use RICO to silence public debate is groundless, and so is his organization’s tax-exempt status.”

Shukla was “double dipping” between his nonprofit and George Mason, according to the complaint.
“Evidence gleaned from public and IRS records tends to show that Dr. Shukla was compensated by George Mason University for time spent on IGES projects and vice-versa,” the complaint said. “It is not clear what work, if any, Dr. Shukla performs on behalf of IGES that is separate from his full-time work as a professor and director of the Climate Dynamics Program at George Mason University.”

For example, Shukla received $333,000 from IGES in 2014 for working 28 hours per week and was paid $314,000 by George Mason that same year. He earned $647,000 total in2014 between George Mason and IGES.

Meanwhile, IGES’ business manager and Shukla’s wife — Anastasia Shukla — received $166,000 in 2014, while his daughter, Sonia, is employed as their assistant at an undisclosed salary.

...Also, IGES received more than $3.8 million in government grants, which accounted for all of its contributions and all but nearly $14,000 of its total revenue, according to the complaint. That means Shukla and his family were actually paid mostly with tax dollars.

Hunting group encourages members to kill wolves, coyotes

Charlie Lasser has seen what wolves can do to cattle, and it's not pretty. "A wolf never kills one of my animals," said Lasser, a rancher near Chetwynd. "What it does, it hamstrings them, cuts the muscles in the back so they can't move their back end, and then it eats them alive. "They try to keep them alive as long as possible," he added. "They keep coming back and eating on it. They like good beef and they like fresh beef, they don't want that old rotten stuff." Faced with an uptick of predators in the South Peace, including wolves and coyotes, the Dawson Creek Sportsman's Club is encouraging its members to head into the bush and bag as many as legally allowed. The suggestion comes as the B.C. government plans to carry out its own cull of up to 160 wolves in the South Peace. In a recent newsletter, club president Andy Waddell told his members to "get out there and bag a few (predators) to help our moose, deer, and elk populations recover." "I'm hoping to (bag a few) myself," Waddell told the Alaska Highway News. Like hunters, ranchers are concerned about the issue. Large packs of wolves have been reported around the Groundbirch area, Waddell said, even taking down a full-grown Charolais bull in the community pasture—a $6,000 loss for that rancher, he said...more

2015 Brings Fewer Fires but More Damage to Ranchers in West

Wildfires have ravaged the drought-stricken Western U.S. this year, causing millions of dollars in damage and impacting the livelihoods of American ranchers. This past year of fires has been the second worst in a decade, ranking just behind the devastation of 2006 by just few thousand acres. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, fires from Jan. 1 to Oct. 30, 2015, have wiped out 9,407,571 acres of grazing land and forest. That’s equivalent to the landmass of New Hampshire and Connecticut combined and almost triple the damage seen in 2014 despite the fact that there actually have been fewer fires than normal in 2015. But the fires that have happened this year have been disastrous. The Soda Fire in southwest Idaho was one of the worst after it started on Aug. 10 when lightning struck. Nearly 280,000 acres, mainly Bureau of Land Management grazing land and some private property, was scorched black. An estimated 250 cattle were lost in the Soda Fire. These types of wildfires are becoming more commonplace, says Wyatt Prescott, executive vice president of the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association. These disasters also takes a toll on ranchers who have to find a way to feed their cattle immediately after the fire and impacts them for years to come. “Moving forward, ranchers will be chasing pasture all over the West trying to find enough to get them through until they get back on their range permits,” Prescott says. For public land grazers, that wait after a fire tends to be two years. During that time, the fuel load of brush undergrowth and grass makes the land just as susceptible another large fire. “From the cattle industry's perspective, it is just such a waste and shame that we see these catastrophic wildfires,” Prescott says. He adds that ranchers could utilize those resources by putting more cows on those at-risk lands...more

Cochise ranchers feel abandoned by D.C. on border issues

DOUGLAS – Border security is a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail, but Arizona ranchers who live near the border say they’ve been left out of the debate and forgotten by Washington lawmakers, who they say have done nothing about immigration reform. “In the federal government, there’s absolutely zero level of urgency,” said Ed Arshurst, a rancher in Cochise County. Arshurst’s ranch is 20 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border. A year ago he set up a camera system to capture images of the people who cut through his property. “See, this is dope,” Arshurst pointed to video images and photos of two men in camouflage clothing carrying large backpacks. “That traffic is no different, I’d say it has increased, although the government does not want people to know that,” Arshurst said. “You become numb to it, because there’s so much of it.” Cochise County shares 83 miles of border with Mexico. Although the number of undocumented workers crossing has declined, the region remains a major drug trafficking corridor. “We’ve had 51 trucks through our ranch in the last three and a half years, full of marijuana, full-size pickup, and hadn’t been caught,” said John Ladd, a rancher who is right on the border just west of Naco. “They’re cutting the steel wall down in the daytime, and driving three miles to the highway. Now you tell me that we have a secure border.” Ladd said he often sees smugglers or their lookouts on his ranch. Ranchers in Cochise County say they were promised more security five years ago after Robert Krentz was shot and killed on his ranch about 25 miles north of the border. “He called his brother on the phone, and he said there’s this illegal that looks like he’s sick, please call the Border Patrol,” said Susan Krentz, his wife. “That was the last time we heard of him. The next time we found him, he was already dead.” Robert Krentz’s murder remains unsolved. Border ranchers say they have had numerous meetings with lawmakers from Washington, including U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Sen. John McCain of Arizona. “But nothing has changed,” said Ladd...more

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

China ‘cloning factory’ to produce cattle, racehorses and pets

The world’s biggest animal “cloning factory” is due to open in China, producing one million calves a year, sniffer dogs and even genetic copies of the family pet. The £21 million “commercial” facility will edge the controversial science “closer to mainstream acceptance”, Chinese media said, following the development of a technique which began when Dolly the sheep became the first cloned mammal when she was born in Scotland in 1996. The centre may cause alarm in Europe, where the cloning of animals for farming was banned in September due to animal welfare considerations. But Xu Xiaochun, chairman of Chinese biotechnology company BoyaLife that is backing the facility, dismissed such concerns. “Let me ask one question. Was this ban based on scientific rationale or ethical rationale or political agenda?” Mr Xu told The Telegraph. “Legislation is always behind science. But in the area of cloning, I think we are going the wrong way and starting to kill the technology.” Interest in agricultural biotechnology has been rapidly increasing in China, where farmers are struggling to provide enough beef for the country’s growing middle classes. Prices of the meat are said to have tripled from 2000 to 2013. Mr Xu said his new facility will clone racehorses and a handful of dogs for people with “emotional ties” to their pets, but its main focus was producing cattle. The factory, which will include a 15,000 square metre laboratory, an animal centre, a gene bank and an exhibition hall, is currently being built in the port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, and is due to open in the first half of next year.

Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Account

By Dean Weingarten

Wolf attacks are extremely rare, less common than mountain lion or bear attacks in North America.   It is not hard to understand skepticism about a hunter’s account of a wolf attack where he used a .380 pistol to successfully defend himself, in central Wisconsin.   The pistol used was a Walther PK.The Department of Natural Resources investigated.  They believed the account, but did not list it as a wolf attack, because there was no injury to the defending human.
The first wolf came in from the right, mouth open, fangs ready to rip into Nellesen’s leg. A swift kick from the man’s boot landed square on the wolf’s face and deflected the bite.
“That first wolf missed my leg by 8-10 inches,” he said.
The other two wolves weren’t far behind. As the next wolf leapt toward Nellessen, the man jumped back and was able to fire a single round into the animal. Nellessen was unsure of the lethality of the hit, but two wolves immediately retreated for the bush at the sound of the gunshot and the third limped away “like a gut-shot deer,” said Nellessen.
Another account from the same area lends credibility to Nellesen’s story.  A father and son were in the area for a youth deer hunt on October 10th, a little more than two weeks after the first incident.
That incident involved a father and son who had one wolf pass by them at about 10 feet and a following wolf come to within 5 feet before a shot was fired into the air, according to DNR Chief Warden Todd Schaller.
Both incidents occurred in the Colburn Wildlife Management Area,  which is located in Adams County, about 75 miles due north of Madison, Wisconsin.
Nellessen says this about the classification of his incident as “not an attack”:
“You do not have to be harmed to be attacked,” Nellessen said. “They can label it whatever they want to label it. I thought I was going to die and I had to defend myself. That first wolf’s teeth just missed my thigh. “I let the authorities know what happened. I took them to where it happened. I could have walked away and not said anything, but what if something would have happened to someone else? I had to report it.
WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Accountt
WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Account
The Department of Natural Resources temporarily closed two of the parking lots  for the management area.  Traps were set for wolves, but none were caught.  The DNR thought the incident serious enough that they had decided that any wolves caught would be euthanized.

Wolf attacks were common in Europe, with wolf attacks woven into legend and history.  Few wolf attacks have been documented in North America; there are no written records before the introduction of European civilization; certainly North American Indian legend considers wolves dangerous; but there are not “documented” attacks, as newspapers were non-existent.  Bernal Diaz, in “The Conquest of Mexico” mentions “wolves” as among the predators that were fed human flesh by the Aztecs; but that is not an attack, as such.

Most likely, attacks occurred, but simply were not recorded. With the arrival of Europeans, wolves were shot on sight, and quickly driven from areas that had established the rule of law.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Obamacare calorie rules brewing trouble for craft beer makers


Obamacare regulations could be brewing up trouble for small breweries wanting to grow.

Beginning next year, restaurant chains with more than 20 locations nationwide will be subject to new rules requiring calorie information on all menus. Restaurants will have to measure menu items made in-house, but when it comes to products such as beer — which are manufactured elsewhere and distributed to chains — the data must be shipped with the product.

Brewers are facing the prospect of spending potentially thousands to determine calorie counts for every variety of beer produced. Unless they spend the money to provide the information, breweries may never get their products into chain restaurants, like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee’s.

As is often the case with regulations, smaller breweries stand to lose the most.

“A regional craft brewer or a major brewery can spread the cost over a much larger volume of sales and it’s not so unreasonable for them,” said Paul Gatza, a former brewer who now heads the Boulder, Colorado, based Brewers’ Association, an industry group.

“Smaller guys that are just trying to sell a keg or two here or there, they have a decision to make on whether it is worth the additional cost to try to get their beers into chain restaurants,” Gatza told Watchdog.

The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of finalizing menu labeling rules that were part of the Affordable Care Act. Intended to make Americans more aware of their dietary choices, the rules are subject to controversy on several fronts, and the FDA announced in September that implementation of the new rules would be pushed back one full year, until December 2016, as the feds try to work out the kinks.

It's time to Bear Down

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Thankfully living the good life

 by Julie Carter

Pumpkins have lost their toothy grins and are now joined by turkeys, pilgrims holding platters of food and cornucopias spilling over with vegetable bounty.

If there is any doubt which season is headed your way, the commercialism of it will quickly bring it back to your recollection. No sooner did the garden supplies take the back row at the big box stores than the red and green sparkles of Christmas were front and center. It was August.

November has a way of sparking within us the need to remember the things that inspire us to be thankful. As a child in school, we were assigned to write “Why I am thankful” lists. Today, social media is flooded with those same lists from young and old alike, often in a daily missive for every day of the month.

Much of what I am thankful for in my life now comes from what those that came before me endured in hardships that I only heard about but haven’t personally endured.

We in this current world take our comforts so much for granted. We can't control the weather outside so we create climate-controlled environments inside and live there. As a civilization, we have invented enough forms of electronic entertainment to keep us mindlessly busy 24/7 and never notice what Mother Nature is doing outside. We have a gadget that will tell us if we need to know.

Each generation has a generation before it that lived a very different life with completely different challenges. My kids never knew what black and white TV looked like while I remember when the first one showed up at my grandparents' house. My grandparents remembered when radio was pretty exciting stuff second only to actually having the electricity to use it.

I could outline "hard times" lived by each generation in my family back to the immigration from the "old country." But today I'll just say I'm thankful for their tough mind sets and willingness to make do. Their survival allowed for my generation to be born.

My grandmother wrote about when she was only 18 and had just married my grandfather.

It was in 1930. They lived in a one-room cabin near a freshwater spring in the mountains of Southern Colorado. He worked at a sawmill too far away to travel daily so he left on Monday mornings not to return until Saturday night. They had a dog, a milk cow and very little food. 

She related that they survived on venison and not much else. She made cottage cheese from the cow's milk and my grandfather trapped for coyote, fox and bobcat to sell the furs to supplement a very meager income. 

During their first spring together, the thoughts of green vegetables from her carefully tended garden excited her so. Then in the first week in July, there came a hard freeze and her rows of vegetable plants turned black. She fell to the ground and cried but not for long. She simply started over. That fall she was blessed with a bountiful harvest in spite of the very late start.

My grandmother wrote, "They were years of very hard times, but the memories are sweet and precious. We raised our kids on beans, love and poached venison. Looking back I see just how little material things mattered. Survival and family were what life was all about. Sixty years later, it still is."

Imagine an 18-year-old of today living with so few resources. Survival meant food and shelter, not the latest fashion in belly-button revealing clothes or owning the newest version of the coolest phone.
I’m fairly certain my grandchildren will find no sacrifice in my living today. There isn’t any.

Our "hard times" are so truly relative to the times we live in. Her life gave me a solid perspective on mine. That is what I wish for the generation after me to understand.

Thankfully living and thankfully blessed, Julie can be reached for comment at

WAR!! and a warm horse

A warm horse
Life in our line of sight
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            Yesterday morning started at 4:45 in pitch darkness.
            My horses conversed with me as usual. Bailey, always the most vocal, nickered softly and repeatedly. Pop stretched and relieved himself in a favored spot. Dotsie met me at the fence and walked with me to the barn with its expanded metal gates. She stood there in the way until I forked her hay onto the cement slab.
            Pop and then Bailey got theirs as the alpha horse presence dictates. Everybody knows the routine and everything is the same if I follow the routine. There was no squealing by one of the mares. I don’t like that.
            I was saddled, loaded, and nearing exit 116 at 6:30. It was still pretty dark and the lights were on when I hit the county road heading to the headquarters. I unloaded one horse at the cattle guard separating our Coldiron and Burris Pastures. It was Pop and I called to him to back out of the trailer. I let him make his customary inspection of the surroundings before I pulled the cinch and swapped his halter for a bridle.
My grandfather never even owned a halter.
            At the same time, Leonard was starting riders from four locations as we prepared to sweep the Burris Pasture. Our task was to wean calves and make one more pass through the herd branding missed, late calves. This ranch’s entire herd was supposed to be within the boundary fences of the pasture as called for in our rotation strategy. At just over 13 sections, we would have the Burris Pasture gathered in four hours.
For the moment … it was just the horse and me.
            The Gather
            The Burris Pasture gather is always good.
            It is cut by two larger ridgelines from a midpoint to the eastern boundary, but it is mostly easy country. If the ridges were not there, you wouldn’t even have to shoe a horse, but they are.
            Pop and I always take the southeastern corner of the pasture because of how the road enters the ranch and it is the most obvious and necessary sweep from that perspective. We worked our way up through the creosote that covers the south facing ridge. He knows the routine as well as I do. Seldom do we pick up cattle off the low ridgeline but we have to make the ride to the corner to make sure nothing is there. With multiple riders, we will drop riders off on increments and they will start their sweeps north toward what we call the Hepo Trough. With a single rider the same thing is done but sweeps are big zigzags and back tracks that take more time.
            Pop was fresh and he responded to my heels. I will stay completely out of his mouth when he is tuned in. I expected he would become less attentive as he got warmer and other riders and cattle caught his attention.
            As I rode, many things were obvious. The feed remained good and our plan to turn the cattle back out after the day’s work in the same pasture for several more weeks appeared to be workable. We picked up the first pairs at the crest of the swell. They started easily and did what all cattle do when they are started. They headed toward the nearest water. I stayed with them long enough to make sure the laggers were moving. I returned several times in the next 10 minutes to push on two pairs and a heifer that would drop their heads and return to grazing in my departure. Their herd mates could be seen trailing north on their own and without pressure.
            Every swell produced cattle as we picked our way east. The big end of the older cows always started with nothing more than a whistle or a voice queue from a distance. Some younger cattle interested in our arrival required direct pressure in the form of the horse and me to move them off.
            Repeatedly, we watched those cattle run pitching toward the increasing drive numbers headed north to meet yet more cattle at water… running not from us as much as running because of the cool morning and energy … another indicator that our standing feed and program were working.
            When we neared the eastern fence, we had to peak one more time into a little drainage that follows the fence line back to the far southeastern corner. Without fail there were three cows and two replacement heifers. Pop reluctantly responded to drop back off the ridgeline to pick them up. We framed them by coming off the ridgeline to their west and using the eastern fence as our line of drive. Everything went as planned except for one of the heifers that tried to run under us against the fence. We got her headed and turned, but I could now smell and feel a warm horse under me.
He would get yet warmer as we hustled back to the ridgeline to again shape that little bunch of cows before they scattered. The first of them, though, were already topping the ridgeline further north along the fence on Mayci Point rather than turning west under the point with the main drive. Pop and I would have to cover both sides of the point.
            We dropped under the point to make sure everything was moving before we returned in a high trot to start the climb on the backside. I let him stop and blow as he wanted as we worked higher. At the top, I stepped off to give him a good blow. He stretched and relieved himself with a low groan. I checked the cinch and then tried to assess how the greater gather was developing. I could see riders on Weldon Point, several points on the Lazy E ridgeline, and in Apache Flats between our Cuidado and New Joy drinkers. A big throng of cattle had gathered at Hepo and more were flowing in. To the west I could see dust but no cattle yet from that vantage point. Cattle were flowing toward New Joy Tank from three directions.
            Leonard had riders coming from all directions.
            Over the next two hours the gather would develop into two big drives. The cattle from the south end of the pasture were thrown together at Hepo and more cattle were added at the Halfway Drinker. The cattle from the north end of the pasture were started in mass from the New Joy Tank and trailed under the point and west along a remnant of the old Butterfield Trail. More cattle flowed into that drive from the drainages on the south side of Weldon Point.
            Leonard and I hooked up on the drive from HEPO. We discussed the sort that would start when we hit the pens at the headquarters.
            By the time we closed the gates in the big dry lot at the headquarters, a thousand head of individual animals were milling and bawling. Cows were calling calves, calves were screaming for mamas, and the age old practice of sorting soon started. After a quick drink, Leonard and I swapped horses and started the sort. Two of his grandkids were called to join us in the big alley to keep cattle moving under us. Matt Matsler controlled the flow of fresh cattle to us and everything progressed at a steady pace. We then broke for lunch.
            After lunch, Jack and Brenda Moore and Mike Lucero started the branding crew as the sort continued. By late afternoon, we were finished, the weaned calves were fed, and the rest of the herd was turned out. Another ranch day was done, and I headed for home with tired equine partners. Bailey nickered at me when I fed her, and Pop stretched.
            Life was normal, or … was it?
            Was my grandfather’s day on December 7, 1941 any different than the day of our gather yesterday? I would surmise the proceedings in his line of sight that day were normal. The change started with the radio coverage when he got home and continued with headlines in his newspaper the following week. Otherwise, his surroundings were dominated by Hereford cattle while ours were cross bred red Angus. If he was at a headquarters he would have broke for “dinner” while we broke for “lunch”. The corrals in his day would have had no livestock transportation parked around them. Ours was surrounded by horse trailers and pickup trucks. He would have had an oak fire going for the branding crew and he would have roped. We had a silent iron with its electric cord run across the ground becoming a nuisance from time to time. He would have grimaced at our calf table. We both rode the same saddle, though, when we made the cut. When we sort, I always saddle one horse with his saddle in honor of his memory.
            Indeed, it would have been another normal ranch day, but that would change. In his case, his oldest son went off to Europe to fly the race horse of medium bombers, the B-26, in the air war. I don’t have that son, but I am worried sick about my country just as he was in 1941.
            He and I had/have the privilege of viewing a normal ranch setting regardless of the consequences elsewhere. From this point forward, however, the rest of my world, just like his on that fateful day, won’t have the same normalcy.
            God Bless this nation and this world … I am afraid both will need it.

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “If you don’t think chaos is upon us … I will gladly fill the role of the fool.”