Sunday, August 05, 2018

The Government Coloring Book

Of Fence Posts and Water Storages
Shades of Yellow
Tribal Connections
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            Another round of the ESPY awards was recently handed out.
This year’s winner of the Arthur Ashe Award was the crew of women athletes who had suffered under the care of the doctor who repeatedly breached his Hippocratic oath. They had had enough of his role as transgressor of their most intimate trust. These ladies joined a list of other athletes who have been honored with recognition of selflessness and courage. They join a list of folks like North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano and Arizona Cardinal football player Pat Tillman who both displayed the epitome of courage in their lives and their decisions that affected others.
Good for them, and may others also be recognized in defense of lives and liberty that are too often taken for granted and minimized.
Shades of Yellow
The fake news of today is not a new phenomenon.
It has existed regardless of the hyperbole or the outrage of recent depictions of journalistic bias. What we are realizing is the fact that weaving the news is a rampant tribalistic endeavor. The outcome is largely a function of surroundings and personal influences.
It is an expression and extension of individual self service.
In American history, a best case example of journalistic induced war was the Spanish American War. It was there that William Randolph Hearst created demand for his newspapers by crafting melodramatic depictions of the individual lives of exploited Cubans. Horrific tales of wrongs enraged American readership. The plight of female prisoners was chronicled. Along with their children, they were being starved. Children were being separated from their families and parents! Valiant rebels were fighting without the aid of anyone. Executions were widespread and daily events.
Its real outcome, though, was the expansion of tree harvests to provide enough pulp to print trainloads of newspapers. It was jingle in Cambria based Randy’s pockets.
By the time the Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, he had the American people primed to support and demand that Cubano rights be made manifest.  It was high time to go to war.
“Kill the miscreants!” whoever they might be. Reunite those poor children with their parents!  Right those wrongs and align yourselves with the righteous mobs induced by Hearse (original spelling) and his rival, Pulitzer, who together created political road maps to shape the culture and beliefs of the masses.
Indeed, what became known as the yellow press has long existed and it remains in its full and iridescent color today.
Of Fence Posts and Storages
We have been duped.
There are no better examples than the emergence of the uncontrolled power of the Executive Branch’s agencies. It is there that laws are actually written, rewritten, and interpreted. In too many ways, Congress has worked itself out of its primary role as stewards of creating constitutional laws. Certainly, laws have been passed in abundance, but the actual interpretation through the crafting and implementation of regulations has been the domain of the modified star chambers known as agencies. It extends down to local offices and individuals.
Indeed, color is an example.
Fence posts and water storage units on federal land ranches reflect the changing of administrations. There was a time in past decades that the demand on T posts was a reddish and grey color to get new fence installations certified. Subsequent color shifts became green with white tops and then that became all green on the basis of sights and sound doctrine. It was apparent the updated guideline writers had never driven a steel post standing on the side of a rocky hillside gauging blows from the driver off the white markers to avoid over draw and broken and cut hands.
NoSiree, the compatibility with nature was more important than the hands of a rancher.
Then came the color schemes on water storages. The original units were left unpainted which ultimately became a patina that blended into the landscape as if they were grown there. Then the yellow doctrine guidelines demanded that anything red be covered with dune beige before certification and collaborative partnership payments could be let. The result were beacons across the landscape that strobed like neon signs on faraway hillsides and as far away as they could be seen.
The current guidelines now demand camouflage, but the Real Tree® patterns of Louisiana don’t look quite kosher on the desert basins of southern New Mexico so change is likely hanging in the balance.
The law, whether it is FLPMA or perceived, will likely again be changed as specialized expertise evolves and or a new administration arrives. All shades of yellow will be there to help guide the demands and the new authority.
Tribal Connections
Defense against the ever evolving passion laws (NEPA, ESA, the Clean Water Act, etc.) has taken center stage and the outcome is critical. In the absence of private property protections, our own tribal instincts have been forced. We have all come to realize that if we don’t protect each other we have no defense.
As such, maybe it is time for our own version of the ESPY awards. The recipients would be recognized for their selflessness and courage in the protection of constitutional private rights, the encouragement of the individual, and … the rejection of the stain of yellow doctrine.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Woe be to the future fence builders when the rule visionaries experience an epiphany and realize straight fences are not natural, but human inventions.”

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