Sunday, May 08, 2016

2.0, REINS, and ASSES

2.0, REINS, and  
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            The use of acronyms by the federal machine long ago became annoying.
Tuesday night was a monumental example. Americans are fed up to their eyeballs by the endemic nonsense that seems to be contagious when elected officials travel to Washington. It is somewhat reminiscent to a comment I remember hearing from a Park Service official at the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
“This would be a great place if all these people would stay away!”
The contradiction of the public support for Trump and yet the avalanche of opposition by the Republican National Committee against him has been a great divide. If the party brokers don’t think we saw and grimaced at their actions, they are bigger fools than they appear. The Vermont ‘Berners’ must find it equally condescending and incredulous. They lose more even when they win.
The combination clearly demonstrates Americans are tired of being taken for granted. Moreover, the unaltered conduct by political party leadership is going to have long lasting implications. Without us, there would be no one way ticket to their wealth and stardom. If this is a great place, it is because our people are resilient and have survived regardless of the assault waged against us. We don’t want business as usual. Our reward is not life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our reward has increasingly become … the cupboard that is robbed as a matter of course.
So, the elected officials who will have to interact with the new president are going to have to start demonstrating allegiance to their oaths by going to the well in bursts of native cleverness. Many of them, too, face reelection and they have to once again convince the folks they actually represent their best interests. As an indicator, they have started the search for novel ideas for attention. In one case, they are creating laws that force the enforcement of other laws. On April 28, one such draft was discussed. On that day, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on ‘Locally-elected Officials Cooperating with Agencies in Land Management Act’ or The Local Management Act.
They elevated LOCAL into exploratory discussion.
LOCAL is designed to mitigate the exploding agency jurisdiction through uninterrupted regulatory expansion. All of the debilitating impacts of the unrelenting growth of regulations and expansion of the federal estate which contributes directly to the loss of tax base, the destruction of local custom and culture, and the collapse of rural communities have finally reached a committee hearing. In order to alter the trend, the law is intended to make agencies actually read and conform to existing laws.
The legislation is designed to mitigate problems by demanding federal agencies actually coordinate with the local governments that find themselves weighed down with mountains of bureaucratic burdens maintaining communities adrift in a sea of federal domination. It is intended to legislate communication between local administrative agency bureaucrats and local governments in land use decisions.
It also intends to offer a more responsible approach to federal land acquisitions, but that is not the issue. The issue is the hypocrisy of the entire effort. Major legislation such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) already set forth the requirement to coordinate with local communities. The agencies have simply ignored the law and written regulatory enforcement policies that administer the laws as they see fit. They are already required to coordinate. They are already required to respect multiple use management and the real needs of local communities, but what have they done? They have blatantly altered the landscape and the dictates of the laws. They simply ignore the requirements.
If Congress was really interested in altering the devastating impact of this federal agency management on rural communities, they’d send a real signal. They’d cut the budgets. Instead, they raise budgets and explicitly support the actions leading to agency abuse.
Their LOCAL discussion is gutless.
2.0 and REINS
In February, the BLM doubled down on the elimination of coordination with local governments.
The agency issued notice to amend their existing regulations that establish the procedures used to prepare, revise, or amend land use plans pursuant to the FLPMA. A preliminary review of the proposal clearly indicates the changes are not procedural, but represent a fundamental reduction in the role of local governments in the planning process. Coordination isn’t just being diminished. It is being eliminated. The process was done with minimal public discussion and no oversight under NEPA. This is hugely troubling and illegal.
Having nothing to do with the BLM announcement (although it addresses the very concerns of what has been dubbed 2.0 in the West) Utah Senator Mike Lee has attacked the regulatory expansion in a parallel manner to LOCAL. He details his approach by trying to capture the majority belief by the American people.
“Many Americans assume that they’re being lied to when their elected lawmakers blame someone else for the rules that are raising their costs of living and eating away at their paychecks.”
Really Senator … assume?
His understatement reaffirms the concern that unelected bureaucrats simply impose their will unilaterally and do so by crafting more favorable regulations that reflect their agenda. In order to fix the problem (which he and his colleagues can’t fix by using their constitutional authority), he proposes an abomination named ‘Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act’ or REINS.
This bill would require congressional approval for all major regulatory rules so that members of Congress could no longer blame executive agencies for costly regulations. The problem is they, the elected officials, would have to have to expand their staffs in order to be informed of what to do. We must remember they demonstrate little aptitude to actually think and act in unison. The outcome would only add to the cavernous layering of Washington ineptness.
No, if Congress was really interested in altering the devastating impact of the federal agency management on rural communities, they’d send a real signal. They’d cut the budgets and impeach the suggested Executive in Need of Scrutiny that is eviscerating this nation. Instead, they raise budgets, and, in doing so, explicitly support the actions leading to agency abuse.
So, the REINS discussion emerges as a gutless, demonstrative wet noodle that offers lipstick service toward the real issues that are killing the West.
 From the Burris Pasture, however, we have determined that an acronym can actually make sense. It was purely circumstantial in its discovery.
The ‘Assemblage of Stereotypical Scofflaw and other Elected Snakes’, or, ASSES, was revealed and adopted after encountering the third rattlesnake of the year only days ago in Apache Flats. The snake wasn’t nearly as lethargic as he should have been after a morning that started in the mid to upper ‘40s, but he surely was a Crotalus atrox. He announced his presence while we were trying to navigate a big Tabosa bottom that can swallow a horse if the wrong holes are not avoided.
Horse and I got balanced as best we could and the deadly contest began.
Me, with my 5/16th inch true, extra soft lay rope with its exposed honda swinging, and he, atrox with his mad on and his camouflage blending into the thick grass buzzing, the encounter proceeded. Feint there and miss, strike there and miss, and the horse jerked loose and ran backwards as the battle raged. Finally, an opening was offered as the scofflaw, head raised stationary as the coils beneath him drove him crablike toward an escape route. The velocity of the swinging honda broke down through the thick grass and a convincing blow was landed. Again and again the vote was tallied and the outcome was concluded. Horse was retrieved, soothed for a few seconds, and reminded all was well. The rope was coiled and laid across the pommel as the horse stood relaxed as I remounted.
Every eye, every ear, and every sixth sense, though, was arrayed and on duty as the remainder of the treacherous bottom was navigated. We emerged unscathed.
We have to be the same way in November. Acronyms have long become tedious. It is time to talk straight, and it is time to act with constitutional authority.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Listen … the people are speaking.”

Will they let you take a rope into the voting booth?

No more "rope a dope" from DC.  Put a couple flying U's across their ASSES and send the culls scurrying.

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