Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NMCOG seeking DNA from historic Mexican Wolves


Dear members,

We are looking for individuals who might still possess historic Mexican Wolf hides/skulls from any wolf killed in New Mexico prior to the current re-introduction period.  These wolves might have been killed or found by your grandparents/great grandparents and are perhaps still displayed in your trophy room or gathering dust in a barn somewhere.

NMCOG is attempting to gather DNA from historic Mexican Wolves in order to further scientific research to prove that Mexican Wolves and Gray Wolves are of the same lineage and therefore, should not be classified as two different species within the Endangered Species Act.

As most of you are well aware, the USFWS is currently attempting to expand the range and protections of the Mexican Wolf.  NMCOG is fighting this expansion.  An expansion of this nature will undoubtedly put NM and AZ on the path to becoming the wolf predation mess that is currently being experienced in WY, ID, and MT.  With the USFWS proposing an increase to between 300 and 1000 wolves the ungulate populations of NM simply can not sustain an additional predator pressure of that size.

Please contact the Council if you know of anywhere that we might be able to find the DNA that we are looking for.  Feel free to forward this email to anyone that you know might have historic Mexican Wolf DNA. 

Thanks for your help!

Kerrie C. Romero
Executive Director (www.nmoutfitters.com)
51 Bogan Rd Stanley, NM 87056

Governor calls EPA 'enemy of agriculture'

Gov. Dave Heineman on Monday called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the “enemy of agriculture” and said the federal agency is the biggest regulatory issue facing Nebraska producers. “The federal government, particularly under the Obama administration, has been overly aggressive with regulation,” Heineman said during a conference call with reporters. “We all support clean air, clean water and appropriate regulations. But it is the EPA that is the enemy of agriculture.” A series of proposals and disagreements in recent years -- from proposed regulation of farm dust to considering a reduction in the amount of ethanol required to be blended into gasoline -- have strained the relationship between producers and the EPA. Farmers and ranchers argue they know how to best care for the land they rely on to survive. Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach, on the same conference call with the governor, summed it up. “Whether it has been the EPA’s past clandestine flights over Nebraska to spy on livestock feeding operations, or their move to try and regulate individual farmer’s properties now through Waters of the U.S., or their foolish move earlier this year to try to change the RFS (Renewable Fuels Standard), the EPA is the biggest regulation problem that Nebraska farmers and ranchers face.”...more

PLF to forest service: stop coveting private water rights

Last Friday Pacific Legal Foundation filed this comment letter with the United States Forest Service, in opposition to a proposed policy that would prevent the owners of private water rights from transferring them under state law from existing uses to other more economical uses. The American West has an interesting history of privately held rights to use water on federal lands. The United States adopted an active policy for settling its new territories through the Homestead Act, which led to private ownership of most land between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, as well as on the West Coast.  But in the Great Basin and other Western high desert regions (generally the area between the Cascade and Sierra Mountains on the West and the Rockies on the East), there were relatively few takers for homesteads.  This region is generally arid; only those limited areas with adequate surface water supplies were ultimately homesteaded. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the land lay unproductive.  By federal policy, most of the remaining public land in the West remained open for cattle grazing, timber production, and mining.  Section 9 of the Mining Act of 1866 explicitly deferred to state law on the question of whether and how these miners, ranchers, and others established water rights on the public lands they were using.  By the end of the Nineteenth Century, the result was a patchwork, in which the federal government owned most of the land, while private parties owned extensive water rights for stockwatering and mining and milling, as well as for farming in those areas with enough water for irrigation...more

Hired hunter kills wolf in Washington

One wolf has been killed by a hunter hired by Washington, a state where the animals have been regaining a foothold in recent years after being hunted to extinction in the early 1900s. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said hunters were back out Monday, targeting three more wolves in the Huckleberry Pack to protect sheep in rural southern Stevens County. Wolves from the Huckleberry Pack this month have killed 22 sheep and injured three more, despite preventive measures, the agency said. Environmental groups oppose the hunt...more

Guard dogs continue to frighten hikers on high mountain trails

Judy Graham has been hiking in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton for more than three decades. But recently the 68-year-old has added something to the hiking sticks, water bottle, rain jacket and sketching supplies she always takes along — a loaded Glock. Graham is arming herself because she fears the large, white Akbash dogs that guard sheep herds around Silverton and other high-mountain towns, particularly along the popular Colorado and Continental Divide trails. The aggressive dogs have continued to be a controversial backcountry problem in spite of efforts to lessen encounters between the dogs and recreationists. "I have been hiking these mountains for a long time, but I won't go out anymore without a gun," said Graham, a painter who spends a lot of time in the backcountry to catalog scenes for her art. Matt Janowiak, district ranger for the Columbine District of the San Juan National Forest, said he wishes more of those complaints would make it to his office so he can do something about the problem. His office has received only one in the past two years. He said contracts with ranchers who have grazing permits now specify that the herds need to be at least a quarter-mile from the Colorado and Continental Divide trails. If animals are closer, the U.S. Forest Service can take away ranchers' permits. The problems with the Akbash first came to public attention in 2009 when a woman was bitten while riding her bike near Vail...more

Fish Kill Averted - Department of Interior Agrees to Release Water Into Klamath River

After weeks of lobbying by tribes and experts monitoring water levels and temperature in the Klamath River, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has authorized the release of water from its largest tributary to avert a fish kill. With California suffering from prolonged drought, the Hoopa Valley, Karuk and Yurok tribes have been pressing officials to release water from Trinity River dams to prevent disease from starting and spreading among fish. Conditions, they said, had been dangerously close to those that killed tens of thousands of fish in 2002, compromising fisheries and traditional ways of life for years. On August 22 the Bureau of Reclamation announced it will reverse a June 30 decision not to release water and will instead take water from Trinity Reservoir “to supplement flows in the lower Klamath River to help protect the returning run of adult Chinook salmon,” according to a statement. “We have determined that unprecedented conditions over the past few weeks in the lower Klamath River require us to take emergency measures to help reduce the potential for a large-scale fish die-off,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo in the statement. “This decision was made based on science and after consultation with Tribes, water and power users, federal and state fish regulatory agencies, and others.”...more

Funny how that science changed in just 60 days.  Gov't mgt = Political mgt, not scientific mgt. 

Texas' historic bison herd has more roaming room

The state's historic bison herd just got more room to roam in a West Texas park. About 100 bison descended from the Southern Plains herd now have access to 10,000 acres in Caprock Canyons State Park. Park staff last week opened the acres up to the animals that are members of the Official Texas State Bison Herd. The expansion is a big step in a program that started widening the animals' access starting in 2010. The Texas herd was started in the 1870s with five bison calves captured by Charles Goodnight, one of the most prosperous cattlemen in the American West, with more than 1 million acres of ranch land and 100,000 head of cattle at his peak. His wife urged him to save the bison, also known as buffalos, because hunters were killing them by the hundreds of thousands for their hides and meat and to crush American Indian tribes who depended on the animals for food and clothing. The herd was donated to the state in 1997 and moved to 330 acres of the state park, which was once part of Goodnight's JA Ranch between Lubbock and Amarillo. When the Transcontinental Railroad was built across the United States in the 1800s, the bison - which are believed to have numbered in the tens of millions - were split into what was known as the Northern and the Southern herds...more

Mammoth Skeleton Discovered In North Texas

The skeleton of a mammoth has been discovered in North Texas – and the enormous find is being donated to the Perot Museum in Dallas. The remains of the prehistoric creature were found on a ranch in Ellis County, and researchers say the skeleton is about 85% complete. Navarro College Professor Tom Vance has been in on the dig since the discovery earlier this year. The first pieces uncovered were portions of a tusk and front arm bone, “But we did not have enough (bones) at that time as far as it’s identification,” said Vance. “We eventually found the cranium of the animal, and were able to determine that this was a Mammoth not a Mastadon.” Dr. Ron Tykosky with the Perot Museum says that the skeleton was discovered by accident – when a rancher was digging a hole with a backhoe to sell gravel and sand to the highway department. “This is a Columbian Mammoth, a different species from the Woolly Mammoth that most people think of” says Dr. Tykosky “it’s bigger than Woolly Mammoths and probably less hairy.” The 40,000-year old beast as been named “Ellie May” according to Professor Vance because it was discovered in Ellis County in the month of May...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1278

This will be a "Country Classics" week and we'll play some tunes that have been on Ranch Radio before, but not since we've been on YouTube.  First up will be Eddy Arnold - Anytime.  The tune was recorded in New York City on August 20, 1947 and released in 1948 on the RCA Victor label. 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Rep. Stewart seeking to demilitarize federal regulatory agencies

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said a police show of force against protests in Ferguson, Missouri, that have been compared to an invading army is boosting interest in his effort to demilitarize federal regulatory agencies. But Stewart told the Deseret News and KSL editorial board Monday that he isn't trying to take advantage of the concerns raised by the local police reaction to demonstrations against the police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old. "I don't feel comfortable taking advantage of that and trying to sell it by saying, 'Well, look what's happening out in Ferguson, therefore, come support my bill.' I think those situations are different enough," he said. Still, the images of a heavily armored vehicle rolling through the small St. Louis suburb while officers outfitted in battle-ready camouflage gear carry automatic weapons is having an impact. "There's no question it's brought much more attention to the bill because of what has happened in the last few weeks in Missouri," the 2nd District congressman said, helping the public to better understand what he's trying to do. In June, Stewart introduced what he's calling the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act in response to SWAT-style teams at various federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management. His bill, which he said likely won't go before Congress until early next year, followed the standoff earlier this year between heavily armed BLM agents and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters. "There is just no reason, I don't think, that the Department of Education, the IRS, or the FDA, or, you know, pick a regulatory agency, needs what is essentially a SWAT team," Stewart said...more

Central Nevada Ranchers Fighting BLM Over Grazing Rights

In May the Bureau of Land Management relented and announced it had come to a year-long deal with ranchers on the Argenta allotment on Mount Lewis in the Battle Mountain District to allow grazing. The BLM reneged.

At the end of July the BLM told ranchers using Mount Lewis that “drought triggers” had been met and cattle must be removed in seven days.
“We must remove the cattle from our summer grazing country on the mountain, where there is ample feed and adequate water, to the flat, where there is very little of either,” rancher Pete Tomera told the Elko Daily Free Press.

Bob Schweigert of Intermountain Range Consultants in Winnemucca says ranchers had to sign new grazing agreements with the BLM in May and the BLM is violating terms of those agreements.
The BLM agreed to review key monitoring locations in coordination with permittees in early June, but the scheduled joint monitoring was canceled. Instead days later a rancher came across BLM employees conducting monitoring without any ranchers present. Another monitoring outing was scheduled on short notice while permittees were away from the area, and testing again was done without ranchers present.

 “They lied to us again,” rancher Eddyann Filippini told the Elko newspaper. “(Battle Mountain BLM manager Doug) Furtado can’t be trusted and we don’t trust the data they collect from the range monitoring sites when they don’t allow us to accompany them.”

...The ranchers say delays in getting cattle out on the range and what fencing they were required to do by BLM has cost them half a million dollars.

Reportedly some ranchers chose to defy the latest order to remove their cattle, contending the BLM breached the agreements made with ranchers.

A demonstration similar to one in May, dubbed the “Cowboy Express,” is scheduled in September — in which riders are to carry a petition to Washington, D.C., seeking the local BLM manager’s firing.

Famous Utah Rock Art May Be Thousands of Years Younger Than Was Thought

One of the most iconic works of Ancient American art is likely hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years younger than was previously believed, according to new research. The giant display of ghostly, larger-than-life-size, ochre-colored figures painted on a remote sandstone wall in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is considered the defining example of a rock art technique known as the Barrier Canyon Style. The style, recognized by its wraith-like, often limbless, anthropomorphic figures painted on a heroic scale, is found throughout the Colorado Plateau. But since the original Barrier Canyon panel, known as the Great Gallery, was first discovered by scientists in the 1920s, experts have debated how old the images are, and what culture created them. Some archaeologists have theorized that the rock art may be as much as 4,000 to 7,000 years old. But new chemical analysis of the Great Gallery, combined with some other geological detective work, suggests it was painted much more recently, and may even be little more than 1,000 years old. “The painting of the Great Gallery occurred during a window between late Archaic time, around A.D. 1, through the introduction of maize and the bow and arrow to Utah, and on to the peak of the Fremont culture A.D. ∼1100,” writes a team of archaeologists in today’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the team limited its research to the famous Great Gallery, they say that their findings may have important implications for the origins of the Barrier Canyon Style. If their data are correct, they say, the rise of this style of art may coincide with the advent of agriculture in the northern Four Corners region, perhaps inspired or influenced by immigrants from the south who introduced farming to the area...more

NM snake sightings on the rise, including more venomous Mojave rattler

The Mojave rattler, one of the most lethal rattlesnakes in the Southwest, has been gradually moving into new territory in Southeastern New Mexico. The snake is a type of pit viper that has recently migrated from California and Arizona and appears physically similar to the area's native Western diamondback rattlesnake and black-tail rattlesnake. Mistaking the Mojave rattler for the other rattlesnakes could mean the difference between life and death according to some experts. The Mojave rattler's fangs are infused with a neurotoxin that is much more potent than its diamondback counterpart, leading the New Mexico Game and Fish Department to dub it the "most dangerous of the state's rattlers." The snake has a reputation for being quick to strike and has venom nearly as toxic as a cobra according to a Game and Fish Department fact sheet on New Mexico rattlesnakes. Rick Johnson, a Carlsbad resident, was surprised to have seen two dead baby Mojave rattlers since last week. Johnson's mom found and killed a 10-inch-long snake after she found it on the porch of her La Huerta residence on Monday, and Johnson also saw another baby Mojave rattlesnake after it was killed last weekend by workers at the Riverwalk Recreation Center. "I didn't even know they existed until my mom told me about it," he said. Tony Hutchins, a snake whisperer in Carlsbad, said he first noticed the non-native Mojave rattler in and around the city about five years ago. Hutchins described the snake's venom as a "whole cocktail" and warned that if bitten, the nearest hospital should be alerted as the victim is en route because doctors must use different anti-venom for Mojave rattler bites than for other rattlesnakes. Carlsbad Medical Center averages three to five snake bites per year and has treated five patients for snake bite wounds this year according to Nicole Chavez, the hospital's emergency room director. Doctors routinely practice for the scenario, especially since the number of snakes in the city has been on the rise...more

Invasive insect threatens iconic Florida citrus

Citrus has always been synonymous with Florida. The orange adorns the state license plate. The University of Florida's famed football stadium was named after an orange magnate. There is even a county called Citrus. Throughout the decades, the citrus industry has always stood strong — through freezes, hurricanes and rampant development. But now the $9 billion industry is facing its biggest threat yet, putting at risk the state's economy but also its very identity. Blame a mottled brown bug no bigger than a pencil eraser that carries a lethal disease. In China, where the problem was first discovered, it's called huanglongbing. Translation: "the yellow dragon disease." In Florida, it's known simply as "greening." It arrived here via an invasive bug called the Asian Citrus Psyllid, which carries bacteria that are left behind when the psyllid feeds on a citrus tree's leaves. The tree continues to produce useable fruit, but eventually disease clogs the vascular system. Fruit falls, and the tree slowly dies. The psyllid isn't native to Florida, but it is believed to have arrived from someone who perhaps unknowingly brought a slip of a tree from Asia. Some think it then spread on the winds of hurricanes a decade ago. There is no cure for greening, and no country has ever successfully eradicated it. All of that has Florida's growers in a frenzy to find a way to stop it. Nearly all of the state's citrus groves are affected in varying degrees by greening disease, and researchers, growers and experts agree that the crisis has already started to compromise Florida's prominence as a citrus-growing region. Florida is second in the world, behind Brazil, in growing juice oranges, producing about 80 percent of juice in the U.S. This past growing season, the state produced 104 million boxes of oranges, which comprise the bulk of Florida's overall citrus crop. In 2003, two years before greening was discovered and prior to several devastating hurricanes, 243 million boxes were picked...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1277

Its Swingin' Monday and here is Zeb Turner's 1947 recording of Coal Miner's Blues.


Artist Biography by Steve Kurutz - Born as William Grishaw, honky tonk guitarist Zeb Turner took his name from his best-loved composition, the "Zeb Turner Stomp." Turner first turned up on wax as a member of the Hi Neighbor Boys on the American Record Label in 1938, but he soon left the group to join forces with his brother James who took the stage name of Zeke Turner. The Turner brothers played guitar on many sessions shortly after WWII, turning up on records by Red Foley and Hank Williams and writing Eddy Arnold's 1947 hit, "It's a Sin." In addition to lending his country boogie guitar work to others, Zeb Turner often recorded in his own right on small, regional labels such as Nashville's Bullet Records and, later, Cincinnati's King Records. Though he never enjoyed mainstream success, Turner did have a long career, eventually ending up as a folksinger in Montreal.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Call of the West

 by Julie Carter

The siren’s song of the West is not audible and yet it pierces the heart of men in every walk of life.

The sirens of Greek mythology lived on a rocky island in the middle of the sea and sang melodies so beautiful that sailors passing by could not resist their lure to disaster on the rocks.

That same silent song in the West pulls, tugs, woos and creates an unexplainable desire within men. It calls them to a way of life in a place where renewed hope springs eternal for a better life in a less cluttered world.

Horace Greeley is credited for popularizing, 150 years ago, the idea of "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country." Today, the West is still a magnet to men and women of all ages.

A June 2014 “Money” article related that 9 of the ten fastest growing states in the U.S. are in the West, led by North Dakota and followed by Wyoming, Oklahoma, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Texas, South Dakota and Nebraska. West Virginia, the only eastern state, landed in the number three spot.

A study of Western culture revealed three out of five men and nearly half of women would like to be cowboys for at least a day. Many have opted for complete lifestyle changes. In droves, they have packed up their lives and moved to the West, finding a place in the open spaces much like the 100 years of homesteaders.
The sheer number of transients to the West dictates that not everybody can be a cowboy. But a good number will take on the trappings of the trade, buy a 40-acre ranchette, and put a rocking chair on the wrap-around porch to watch the sun set over a small barn that houses two horses, a 4-wheeler and a couple of llamas.

It is a new West and is clearly an amalgamation of the many phases of an evolving genre. While the West does not own the cowboy, it is the cowboy that epitomizes the West in the minds of those that seek him.

It is a West where cattle are still king and four door pickups and aluminum trailers ferry the cowboy crew miles across ranches, counties and states - a West where ranchers hang on to an ever-changing way of life necessitating better practices in order to physically and financially stay on the land.

There are those who come to feed their soul from the history created by those who came a century or more ago to grow with a new country. These were men who rode hard, shot straight and died young. Their ghosts walk the boardwalks of old towns in western territories and call to a breed of modern man who believes they are living a hundred years past their time.

While the siren of the West may not lure man to disaster as did those of Greek mythology, the man that heeds the call will find today's cowboy life is not in the clothes he wears or the substance of his dreams.

To this day I have not ever seen the visiting pilgrim come to the ranch, dressed out in his version of cowboy clothes, begging the boss to let him drive the feed pickup, fix a broken float on a water tank or built a 5-mile stretch of barbwire fence.

That in itself is proof of a complete lack of understanding about how the West is really won in this new millennium.

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

Cleansing of the West

Cleansing of the West
The Attrition of Multiple Use
The expansion of Constitutional Incapacity

By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            Life, Liberty, and Property was the vision that Thomas Jefferson had. He was overruled and the peculiar phrasing of Pursuit of Happiness was inserted.

Jefferson then demonstrated a very distinctive Jeffersonian characteristic. He was embittered when his words were deemed inadequate and altered after he was charged with capturing the context of debate. He preferred his original inclination with its adherence to natural law. When he didn’t prevail, his rebuttal became skewed to silence and … grudges.

            The majority of other phrasing was left intact and unchanged. In his mind, that substantiated his aptitude to convey the concepts of the debates into specific language. King George, of course, was the villain and he was time and again referenced in the words Jefferson used to craft the Declaration of our Independence.

            Jefferson’s insistence on the use of Property versus Pursuit of Happiness remains hugely important. How on earth can Pursuit of Happiness even be defined?

 To those who understand the tyrannical force governments can become, the matter of Property must be recognized as the sole source of collateral for the American citizen. The two are not mutually exclusive. They are the miracle that sets the American model apart, but, whereas the American citizen was the centerpiece, Property was the shield. It was the armor that protected the gift of sovereignty. Without Property, the American citizen quickly loses his vested standing, and, without the sovereign American citizen, King George emerges to control … everything.

            Multiple Use Management as the proxy for private property

            The mere definition of multiple use management should remind us that Jefferson’s genius has legs.

Multiple use was created in the vacuum of Jefferson’s preference for private land ownership. It is government speak for the conditional commitment of managing federal lands for productive enterprises. In particular, it elevated the importance of mining, logging, livestock enterprises, and fluid mineral extraction alongside leisure and recreational uses. It became synonymous with the nebulous classification of highest and best uses of lands.

From a historical standpoint, though, it was the federal mechanism to placate western representatives and hold them in check from revolting over the federal retention of lands. Those leaders believed in the Jeffersonian insistence in transferring title of public lands to the American citizenry.

Government had reneged big time and that trend continues. It owns 40% of the lands of the United States, it controls at least 15% of the remaining, and displays no hesitation in acquiring yet more. Regardless of explanation, that represents a boat load of the actual constitutional allowances under the Property Clause, and sections 2, 16, 32, and 36 of each Township of several western states whose populous was deemed too ignorant to support the education of their uncouth youth.

How can those two polar extremes exist under original intent?

Multiple use was concocted as the proxy to jump start and fuel local economies of the West where federal dominion limited the benefits of private property. Its creation was purported to reduce reliance on government in reducing debt and stimulating local wellbeing. It was intended to help create products, pay taxes and bills, and provide jobs.

But, now, it, too, is disappearing. There is logic that suggests its rate of decline is more rapid than that of endangered species. Casting aside the 173,790,000 acres of lands the federal government holds in trust for the purpose of Indian and military reservations, the federal agencies control 640,000,000 acres directly (in addition to the effective control of the noted private lands that exist in checkerboard holdings arrayed within those lands). The assumption would be that the majority of those lands exist as multiple use as promulgated by extensive federal legislation at least since the Stock Raising Homestead Act of 1916.

Multiple use management, however, now constitutes less than 42% of that federal land designations (along with a shrinking portion of state lands management).

In work done in 2013 by Joanne Spivack of the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance, it was discovered there are now more federal acres designated as Wilderness, National Park Service non-wilderness, and USFWS wildlife refuges (collectively, the big three) than exist under multiple use management. In fact, those legislative designations alone are greater by 3,100,000 acres than multiple use managed lands.

To add impact, there is also another 98,480,000 acres of national recreation areas, inventoried roadless areas, wilderness study areas, and 30,200,000 million acres of special protective designations where multiple use is a restricted use rather than a purpose of the designations. That represents 153,875 square miles of protections with full or partial diminishment of productive and job creating activities. That is an area equating to the contiguous states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and 39% of Pennsylvania.

If the big three were added to that land mass, it would require an area the size of the foregoing (including all of Pennsylvania) in addition to the states of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to accommodate the federal footprint.

Where’s the leadership?

Can any reasonable elected leader anywhere deny the impact to the economy if an area equating to the Northeast and the entire eastern seaboard is retired from productive endeavors? Could a single leader today or any day stand on his perch and advocate the expansion of such a travesty when national debt is $17 trillion, unemployment remains at some contrived, dishonest reporting level, and 11 States are managing the trend toward supporting more welfare recipients than gainfully employed citizens?

This is a debacle!

Yet, leaders like Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Raul Grijalva, Ben Ray Lujan, Mark Udall, and 400 more like them advocate, faithfully approve funding, and campaign for sopping up more private property and saving the last, great places that once existed as multiple use.

Remember their Oaths

Every one of these leaders swears an oath of office upon being elected.

In one form or another, that oath captures the following:

I ____________, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States (and the Constitution of the State on the part of the state representatives) and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter, to the best of my ability, so help me God.”

The time has past that we must realize the pledges rendered in the mere repetitive recapitulation of these words has long been verbalized hypocrisy. There is no constitutional basis for the actions of leaders who willfully and purposely follow their party line in perpetuating and exacerbating this assault on the American citizen. What is most tyrannical is the corrupting nature of robbing that citizen with the very armor that protects him and his United States from leadership that not only fails to read the legislation they pass, but fails to read and defend the Constitution of which they bear false witness.

Indeed, Jefferson was right. He not only perceived the mirrored protection of the cornerstone, he revealed its genius. Americans, vested in private property, will not only defend their system, they will protect it from those whose actions harm them or it.

In its place, Pursuit of Happiness has remained and prevailed.

Again, how can that be defined? The truth is it wasn’t founded in natural law and remains a meaningless jumble of words. It is transient, it conveys nothing substantive to the sovereignty of the American citizen, and it offers no defense against those who harm the system. Those individuals now populate leadership halls in abundance.

Whether or not that can be fixed remains unanswered, but … Jefferson had a solution for that, too.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Excluding tribal and military reservations, federal ownership of lands equates to the entire country east of the Mississippi. When the reservations are added, they would in addition consume Texas, Hawaii, and all of the U.S. island territories.”

Notice what Wilmeth has beautifully written: Our rights are individual rights, and property is the shield individuals have to protect those rights.   Here are some of my favorite quotes, with some even addressing that pursuit of happiness phrase:

Property is a central economic institution of any society, and private property is the central institution of a free society ~ David Friedman

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. ~ Samuel Adams

All power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. ~ James Madison

Every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his. The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property. ~ John Locke

Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. ~ John Adams

The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections. ~ Justice Robert H. Jackson

 The makers of our constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness... They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of the rights and the right most valued by civilized men. ~ Justice Louis D. Brandeis

As long as the law may be diverted from its true purpose -- that it may violate property instead of protecting it -- then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting to gain access to the legislature as well as fighting within it. ~ Frederick Bastiat

The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property. ~ Karl Marx



Baxter Black: Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, why?

by Baxter Black

Jeff needed a workin’ pen for his little herd of cows. He decided all he needed was some panels and a head gate. He rounded up some 16-foot panels of continuous fence, a metal head gate and two 8-foot posts.

Part of his intention was to involve his family with the cow project. Let them get a sense of what it takes to raise and manage cows. To teach them by example about the work ethic and Christian behavior. Jeff was qualified; he was a dealer for one of those companies that sell cattle-handling equipment. Of course, he decided he could cut costs and labor because he knew the short cuts. He only had twenty cows, so a second-hand head catch would work. Some of the panels were damaged at the store, he could use them. On roundup day he was ready.
With his three kids, the oldest nine, and the wife, they made the cattle drive and herded them into the corral. He had patched together a short alley parallel to the fence that directed the cows to the head gate. Jeff had driven two, eight-foot wooden posts into the soil with his tractor. The head gate was wired to the front of the posts, and the ends of the foot-long horizontal connecting rods were wired to the inside of the posts.

The first cow into the alley was the out-of-control renegade cross-bred that stands back in the corner and glares at you! Jeff had not thought a “sweep” was necessary, in his dreams he thought they could just put a bar behind the cows as they came down the alley. This meant directing his children to scare the cows and push them up. They were screaming, banging pots and pans, plastic whips and an empty dog food bag!

Jeff was trying to get the bar behind the cow, then race up to the head gate to catch her, then back to push, then back to catch her … the cow banged into the head gate head-first! It was closed. Jeff ran forward to open the gate. The cow backed up. Jeff closed the gate and ran back to push her up. She beat him to the head gate again … banging it over and over! Each crash bent the posts further and further forward till they were at an angle!

Trail Dust: New Mexico county boundaries evolved over time

Development of our state’s county boundaries over the centuries forms a curious story virtually unknown to New Mexicans.

Neighboring Texas has a total of 254 counties, most of them comparatively small. By contrast, New Mexico’s counties number only 33, but all are respectably large in size, except tiny Los Alamos County, at only 111 square miles.

When Gen. Stephen W. Kearny seized New Mexico for the United States in 1846, he found the Mexican province divided into three large administrative districts, each governed by an official called a prefect. But it was a far cry from the county system of local government familiar to Americans.

Such a system was not introduced until 1850, when Congress created the Territory of New Mexico. Within two years, 10 counties had been defined, but were identified only on maps, since no survey of boundaries had yet taken place.

At that time, New Mexico stretched from the Texas line westward to the border of California and took in even the southern portion of Nevada.

Four of the New Mexican counties extended in an unmanageable sweep from Texas to California. One of them, Socorro, was believed to have been the largest county in the United States.

From then on, to the end of the century, county boundaries were constantly redefined by the territorial legislature.

Part of the reason had to do with federal actions that led to major changes in the boundary of the territory itself. The first involved the Gadsden Purchase (1853), when the U.S. acquired from Mexico a large wedge of country within the border region of the present states of New Mexico and Arizona.

Soon afterward, the territorial legislature added the Gadsden acquisition to Doña Ana County. It thereby became the fifth county reaching from Texas to California.

However, what the legislature giveth, it can also take away. In 1860 a legislative act from Santa Fe lopped off the western half of Doña Ana, creating the new county of Arizona.

That entity, nevertheless, enjoyed only a short life. For President Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, signed a bill (1863) cutting New Mexico roughly in half. The western portion became the separate territory of Arizona.

As a result, the New Mexico counties that had included significant ground in the west now found themselves with much diminished boundaries.

For Taos County, that proved to be its second major territorial loss. The first had occurred in 1861.
With organization of the Colorado Territory in that year, Congress had amputated a huge piece of Taos County, centered on Trinidad, to fill out the Colorado boundaries we know today.

Even apart from these major episodes, county boundaries remained in a constant state of flux. As New Mexico’s population expanded into previously unsettled areas, the territorial legislature seemed to take genuine glee in scissoring up the map to reshape old counties and from them cut out new ones.In the second half of the 19th century, for example, San Miguel County suffered 11 “boundary redefinitions,” Bernalillo County 15, and the record-holders, Doña Ana and Socorro, both experienced 17.

It appears that record keepers of the day had a hard time tracking all the changes. but it was necessary to do so, since county boundaries played an essential part in determining the districts for membership in the territorial House of Representatives.

In January 1876, the legislature abolished one of the original counties, Santa Ana, and parceled out its area to neighboring Bernalillo and Sandoval counties. Geographer Jerry L.Williams claims this was the only case in New Mexico history in which a functioning county was dissolved.

With opening of the 20th century, New Mexico had 20 counties. By the statehood year of 1912, that number had climbed to 26, and then to 31 by 1921.

In the latter year, the period of radical or chaotic adjustment of county boundaries seemed to have come to an end. Only two important exceptions can be noted in the recent era of stability.

The first occurred in March of 1949. The U.S. government, which had federalized a mountainous section of Santa Fe and Sandoval counties for atomic energy research, returned the land to state jurisdiction. From it, Los Alamos County was formed.

Second, Cibola County was split from Valencia County in 1982. The main reason was that residents of the Grants area had been 70 miles from their former county seat at Los Lunas.

It remains to be seen whether New Mexico has any more new counties in its future.

Now in semi-retirement, author Marc Simmons wrote a weekly history column for more than 35 years. The New Mexican is publishing reprints from among the more than 1,800 columns he produced during his career.

Montana U.S. Sen. Candidate Mocks Gun Owners, Christianity, the Bible, and the Family

Montana State Senator Amanda Curtis (D-76 Dist.) is running for U.S. Senate and will no doubt be trying to run away from her past statements mocking guns, Christianity, the Bible, and the family. She just stepped into the race in place of John Walsh, the Democrat candidate who had to step down amid a plagiarism scandal. On August 22 the Tea Party Express posted a compilation of Curtis's statements that include laughing at gun owners who stress the importance of having a gun for self defense. She does this by telling stories about walking home "in the dark, through parking lots and everything," without a gun. She looks into the camera, feigning surprise, and says, "I'm glad I made it."  She then references someone who brought up "the God almighty, and natural law, and the Bible, and biblical this and biblical that, and Christianity and fundamental Christianity." After saying these things she looks into the camera and grimaces, like the mention of these things caused her pain...more

The Massive Trucker Shortage Could Hit Your Wallet Soon

Truck driver Anthony Plummer remembers when he was in the middle of the country on a long-haul delivery when he learned his daughter was sick in the hospital. “I was told to get back [home] as soon as possible. But there are a lot of rules that limit how much I can drive, so I told them I would get back as soon as I could.” It was after this incident that Plummer decided to make a career shift to become a regional truck driver. “It blew my mind if something were to happen and if I was way across the country. Every now and then I still go out there to long run because she is doing better, but it’s rare.” Plummer isn’t alone with his career move as the trucking industry suffers a shortage of drivers across the board, especially among long-haulers. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the industry is about 30,000 short of qualified drivers. Over the next 10 years, that number is set to rise to 200,000. The industry, which has an average 115-120% annual turnover rate, according to Brian Fielkow, CEO of Jetco Delivery, a logistics company specializing in regional trucking, also has an aging problem. Bob Costello, chief economist at the ATA, says the average age in the for-hire truckload market is about 49, and for less-than-truckload drivers (LTL) and private carriers the average is about 55. The trucking industry is a vital component to economic growth, with trucks hauling 70% of all freight tonnage moved in the U.S., according to Costello. And as the economy continues to improve so does demand, which is good news for the industry and the economy, but there isn’t enough capacity to keep up...more

The Federal Bagpipe Police?!?

Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve shared horror stories about government thuggery and I’ve shared horror stories about government stupidity.

Thanks to Mark Steyn, we have a story that exemplifies both the brain-dead nature of the public sector and the nasty nature of our bureaucratic overlords.

You may have read about the federal milk police. Well, here’s some of what Mark wrote about the Kafkaesque legal regime the federal government maintains for people who want to cross the border with….drugs? no…weapons? no…biological agents? no, nothing like that. We’re talking about bagpipes.
…17-year-old Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean, of Concord and Londonderry, New Hampshire – understood that if you go to a highland fling a couple of hours north in Quebec you’re now obligated to get your bagpipes approved by US Fish & Wildlife. …So Messrs Webster and Bean got their CITES certificate and presented it to the US CBP agent at the Vermont border crossing. Whereupon he promptly confiscated their bagpipes on the grounds that, yes, their US Fish & Wildlife CITES paperwork was valid, but it’s only valid at 28 ports of entry and this wasn’t one of them. Nor is any other US/Canadian land crossing.
Geesh, those poor kids. Their valuable instruments get stolen by the keystone cops simply because the feds arbitrarily decided that federal government paperwork is only accepted at certain federal government outposts.

By the way, bagpipes apparently get all this unwanted attention because some older instruments have components that are made of ivory, and that’s verboten under environmental laws.

Anyhow, you won’t be surprised to learn that the petty paper pusher who confiscated the bagpipes is also a total jerk.
When the CBP agent seized Messrs Webster and Bean’s bagpipes, he told them – with the characteristic insouciance of the thug bureaucracy – that they were “never going to see them again”. But thanks to the unwelcome publicity the Homeland Security mafiosi were forced to cough ‘em up.
But the story doesn’t end here.

California Trees Nailed As The Source Of Mystery Infections

A fungus called Cryptococcus gattii can cause life-threatening infections, especially in people with compromised immune systems. One-third of AIDS-related deaths are thought to be caused by the fungus. But though people in Southern California have been getting sick from C. gatti for years, nobody knew how. Eucalyptus trees were a prime suspect, since they harbor the fungus in Australia. But even though eucalyptus trees grow like crazy in Southern California, the fungus hasn't been found on eucalyptus there...Bingo! C. gattii from three trees, Canary Island pine, New Zealand pohutukawa and American sweet gum, matched almost exactly with C. gattii from infected patients. And the tree samples matched not just those from recent patients but from people who were sick 10 to 12 years ago. Thus this strain of C. gattii has been causing health problems in California for at least that long. The were published Thursday in PLOS Pathogens...more

Feds ban school’s beloved "pink cookie"

School children in Elyria, Ohio are mourning the demise of a 40-year tradition – the loss of their beloved pink cookie. The fabled cookie, long served in local school cafeterias, was done in by a pound of butter, six cups of powdered sugar and the Obama administration’s food police. “It no longer meets the national school lunch program guidelines for snacks,” said Amy Higgins, the spokesperson for Elyria City Schools. “It has too many calories.” The USDA “Smart Snacks in School” standards mandate that all snacks must contain less than 200 calories. It’s not exactly clear how many calories are in the pink cookie but the recipe for the frosting calls for a pound of butter. The cookie was banished to comply with the federal guidelines. “We can’t have them in the cafeteria for sale, period,” food services director Scott Teaman told The Chronicle Telegram. “The guidelines for snacks are very strict, and there is no wiggle room.” Thus marks the end of a longtime lunchroom tradition and sparking disappointment across the city. “It’s a tradition,” Higgins told me. “It’s not only a tradition it’s one that tastes really, really good. You’d be surprised by how many people are upset about the pink cookie going away. Anyone who’s gone to Elyria schools in the last 40 years knows the pink cookie.” Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda remembered tasting her first pink cookie when she was just a little girl. “I grew up eating them,” said Brinda. “They are a comfort food. It’s one of those things that’s special to our community.” The mayor says the cookie’s demise is the talk of the town. “This cookie has a cult following,” she said. In 2009 the cookie was crowned “Best Cafeteria Cookie” by Cleveland Magazine...more

Venezuela to introduce new biometric card in bid to target food smuggling

Venezuela's president, Nicolás Maduro, plans to introduce a compulsory "biometric card" designed to limit individuals' food purchases using a fingerprint scanner. The move, announced on Wednesday, is part of the government's latest effort to fight the oil-rich nation's chronic food shortages, which it claims result from hoarding by speculators, who resell goods at a profit, and from smuggling into neighbouring countries. This will be the second time the government has introduced a fingerprint-based system to track and limit food purchases. Earlier this year, Venezuelans were encouraged to sign up voluntarily for a similar system to be used in government-run shops, promising to end scarcity of basic food stuffs and ease the queues outside grocery stores. But this Secure Supply Card failed to survive beyond the trial phase. "We are creating a biometric system … to function in all distribution and retail systems, public and private," Maduro said in a televised address on Wednesday. "This will be – like the fingerprint scan we use in our electoral system – a perfect anti-fraud system." He gave no further details about how the system will work or when it will come into effect. According to government sources, more than 40% of goods purchased in Venezuela – including medicines and basic food stuff – are smuggled out of the country. Price controls and heavy subsidies mean goods purchased in Venezuela can often fetch close to four times their original price if taken to neighbouring countries...more

Subsidies lead to price controls, which leads to biometric cards, which leads to...

The Feds Let Go of Dozens Illegal Immigrants Convicted of Murder, See Where They Are on This Map

The Center for Immigration Studies has used information provided to the office Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) to map out the locations of where convicted killers were let go by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in 2013. The killers were booked out in 24 states and were associated with 96 different cities, according to the CIS report. The following map shows with red dots the ZIP codes where they were released and with blue squares the ICE centers where they were booked out...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1276

We continue our "Hank Week" with Hank Williams performing Calling You.  The tune was written by Williams and was recorded in Nashville on December 11, 1946 for the Sterling record label.  It was the first song he recorded at his first recording session.