All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Free Cheese

I don't know if you've ever eaten government cheese or not.  The USDA used to, and may still I don't know, buy up milk fat and have it made into cheese.  This was a good deal for dairy farmers as it allowed them to produce and sell more milk and the government would buy up surplus.  This kept the retail prices higher and stable for the farmer, allowing him to sell all he could produce without having to worry about a pesky supply and demand curve.

There were some other benefits too.  The second group to benefit was the welfare industrial complex.  This group consists of all the professional welfare workers, their subcontractors, consultants, warehouse workers, agricultural concerns etc.  Free cheese is big business.  The farmer gets a cut.  The cheese guy gets a cut.  The truck driver gets a cut.  Then you have all the case workers, cheese distribution specialists and accountants who do the work and demonstrate and document the need for free cheese.  Free cheese is big business.

Of course there is one last group that benefits from free cheese, the poor man eating it.  Although the program allegedly exists for his benefit, he is only a minor part of the process.  As long as he shows up every other week to pick up a bag full of cheese and other government subsidized products they are handing out, all is well in the economy of "free cheese".

America is so good at free cheese that approximately 1/3 of the population gets in on it and makes a sandwich.  That doesn't count all those who benefit from jobs and profits form working in the free cheese complex.  According to this: there are 86 million workers supporting 148 million takers in a country with a population of about 340 million.  That's a lot of free cheese from not a lot of producers.

If tomorrow you were to move, not take, just move the cheese, you'd upset a lot of people.  After all, they were counting on that cheese being right there.  You moved it.  You are a bad person. 

For arguments sake lets say that someone saw a piece of cheese that they thought, because nobody else could possibly want that piece of cheese, they could get it for the taking.  Again for arguments sake, lets say that a tiny family of mice had been eating on that piece of cheese nobody else wanted for about 140 years. 

In order to be the old rat in charge of the pack, you have to be cunning and vicious.  It has to look like the cheese just happened to fall into your lap, or the other rats will be jealous.  You arrange for consultants to consult, advisors advise, the bureaucrats lick boots, not because you've arranged for the boot licking, that's just what they do, its in their nature.  When they see an ass, they want to kiss it.  They want to be "change agents".  Just tell them "its the law" or call it "policy" and they will blindly do your biding without considering if it is right or just.

Imagine that the rat, having set the wheels of steal into motion, is just about to have his piece of cheese fall into his lap, when a cat stops by to visit the family of mice.  Instead of getting the cheese the rat gets his tail stepped on.  Now the rat has to go out and get a bigger cat.

If you've grasped my analogy you now understand what is going on with the Bundy Ranch in Nevada.  Except the Bundy family has over the years played by the rules and only stopped when it became clear that no matter what they did, someone was going to rustle their cheese. 


It Has Happened

The in-laws have arrived for Easter and a couple of weeks of grandkid time.  The kids are loving it.

Blogging will be light as I lose access to my home PC.  Latter, blogging will be light due to me losing my mind.

Age by Car Radio

Student: Every button is programmed to pop, rock, and rap -- except the oldies station for your parents.

Young Professional: Still programmed to rap, rock, and pop, plus the station that gives the traffic reports. As you approach your 30s, you'll probably also add the talk station that everyone at work talks about.

Established Professional: Will use the "scan" button and until you hear the first pop tune you learned as a kid on the oldies station.

Approaching Middle Age: Thank goodness for "adult" pop, rock, and soul; will actually listen to the oldies for a few tunes.

Truly Middle Age: It's not that you're old enough to listen to the oldies, it's just that they keep playing songs you know.

Approaching Retirement: The radio is either on the oldies or off.

Retired: Stopped listening to the radio -- that "oldies" station started playing all of this "new music."


Brave New Skoos

In another case of blame the victim, a Pennsylvania school decides that the best course of action is to throw the retarded kid under the bus.
A learning-disabled 15-year-old Pennsylvania sophomore was threatened with felony wiretapping charges for using his school-approved iPad to record being bullied by other students.
After his numerous reports to teachers went unheeded, the student, who has not been identified, decided to take matters into his own hands after repeatedly being tripped, pushed, insulted, nearly burned with a cigarette lighter, and generally bullied since moving to the South Fayette School District 20 minutes outside Pittsburgh.
“I was really having things like books slammed upside my head,” the teen said in a report. “I wanted it to stop. I just felt like nothing was being done.”
The student told his mother about the bullying and, to prove he wasn’t making the stories up, recorded an incident during class with his iPad’s audio recording function, which captured students making mean and harassing comments and even pretending to strike him in order to frighten.
“According to [the student's mother], as the teacher is heard attempting to help her son with a math problem, a student says, ‘You should pull his pants down!’ Another student replies, ‘No, man. Imagine how bad that (c**t) smells! No one wants to smell that (t**t).’ As the recording continues, the teacher instructs the classroom that they may only talk if it pertains to math.
Shortly thereafter, a loud noise is heard on the recording, which her son explained was a book being slammed down next to him after a student pretended to hit him in the head with it. When the teacher yells, the student exclaims, ‘What? I was just trying to scare him!’ A group of boys are heard laughing.” 
Obviously this is the retarded kids fault.  After all his parents are the ones who hate him enough to send him to a public school in the first place.  Child abuse starts when you put your kid on the yellow bus.  I guess the good news is that the judge found the retarded kid guilty of the reduced charge of disorderly conduct.  Good thing the principle erased the evidence of bullying, otherwise the wiretapping charges may have stuck.

In other news, the Nevada division of the Bureau of Land Management has offered summer internships to the bully's. 


Can You Hear Me Now?

The weekend is over and it "looks like" the "good guys" have "won" on the Bundy ranch.

I wrote that first sentience because it felt good.  Deep down in my gut I want it to be the gods honest truth.  I want the good guys to beat the living hell out of the bad guys.  The good guys being the cowboys and the bad guys being the carpetbagger representatives of the federal government.  I went back and put quotes over: "looks like", "good guys" and "won", because the reality is all of those terms belong in brackets.

There is no doubt that the federal government is the largest bad guy in the United States today.  Deep down in your gut, you know that the politics of pull have more influence in the halls of power than the principles of truth and fair dealing.  We know this and we know that there is no practical solution to the problem.

Clive Bundy comes along and we learn that he is being run rough shod over by the BLM.  The reasons why the BLM is doing this are obscure.  We hear about a turtle that is "in danger" because of Clive's cows.  Apparently the turtles and the cows have gotten along just fine for over 140 years.  We smell a rat.  We know about Agenda 21.  Is this what's really going on? We don't know.  Is this yet another case of blind environmental over reaching?  We don't know.  We hear about Harry Reid and backroom deals involving the Chinese and other corporate players.  Is this what's going on?  We don't know.  We hear that Clive Bundy owes over a million dollars in grazing fees.  I've demonstrated that the math doesn't add up, either he runs more than 900 cows or something else is going on.  Is this just another case greedy federal managers looking to generate more revenue by squeezing the tax payer?  We don't know.

A large part of the problem in this case is that we don't know.  Nothing about the official version of events makes sense.  The BLM has a court order.  Big deal.  The courts issue rubber stamp court orders all the time.  There is no reason to have any faith in the courts when it comes to administrative decisions. 

What we do know is that the federal government and their bureaucratic minions do make unjust policies and decisions on a regular basis.  We have seen out of control environmentalism, power hungry boot lickers, and backroom deals for the privileged politically connected.  The federal government lies.  The IRS has been lying about the politics behind tea party groups and tax exempt issues.  Eric Holder lies about running guns to Mexico.  He decides what laws he will and will not enforce. 

What the truth is you can't say anymore.  What the truth is not, if experience is to be our guide, is what the government is saying.

What about good ole Clive?  All he is saying is that his family has ranched that land for 140 years.  That's it.  Other people have dug through the old free range and settlement laws and looked for possibilities for a legal argument.  Bundy hasn't made a case that I've seen.  He may have a good case for all I know, but he isn't saying what it is.  If he does have a case why not put forth an equitable solution?  On the other hand, I've not see where he is claiming the 600,000 acres that the BLM says he is claiming.  Clive has said he has rights to the river bottoms, not the whole county.

What we have is a situation where our "hero" probably isn't 100% in the right.  In a way that doesn't really matter.  Depending on whose count you use, about 300 to 400 people came to Bundy's aid.  They came, at their own expense, packing their own guns and ammunition and supplying their own food and water.   Some of them came to bear witness to the events, some to protest, some came to fight.

Don't make the mistake of believing that the came to fight FOR Bundy.  Most of them never heard of him, or knew that you could run cows in the desert, or care one way or the other about free range issues.  They came out to fight because they know something is wrong with this country.  They don't know if Bundy is in the right.  They know that the government is in the wrong.  Our government is in the wrong about almost every issue facing this country today.  People know that.  They know it deep down in the gut.  They are mad as hell about it.

Why did the BLM back down?  Waco Texas, Ruby Ridge Idaho and Wounded Knee South Dakota.  I don't for one minute believe that the Obama Administration fears the military prowess of a few hundred militia members in the Nevada desert.  A company of men and modest air support would wipe out Bundy in short order.

The BLM backed down because no matter what they do to Bundy, they would lose.  It's been a slow media cycle.  Obummer has been blundering from one failure to another.  The administration doesn't want news stories about how a brave rancher whose family settled in the desert 140 years ago was murdered by federal agents so they could give the land to turtles and Chinese solar companies.  That's it.  They don't want the bad press that would come if they machine gunned 300 people.

Bundy has won nothing.  The BLM didn't propose a deed transferring him the land; they didn't put together a long term lease deal.  What they said was, "ok not today".  They let the cows go.  They pulled out.  They will be back.  Next time the news media will be focused on other more titillating subjects.  Next time Bundy will lose and it will cost him more than his cows.

None of that matters today.  Across America there is something happy on the wind.  In front of computer screens, and in coffee shops and diners and at the local watering hole, men are asking their buddies, "did you hear about Bundy?".  Yeah, the feds are pulling out, we won.  Who is this "we"?  They didn't go and no one won.  What they mean is: "I'm mad as hell about the direction this country is going! Can you hear me now?"



Clive Bundy is in the news again. 

There are some things you easterners don't understand.  That perhaps you should.  The first is that all states except Texas and Hawaii that came into the union after the war of northern aggression, do not enjoy the same property rights as those states that joined before.  That means that things don't work the same way in our part of the country as they do in yours.

The first thing that is different is what is called split or divided estate.  If you live out east a split estate is rare.  Basically if you are a eastern land owner you probably own the rights to the minerals, water, and access to all lands that you hold deed to the surface rights.  Another issue that is different is water rights to streams and surface water.  Out east if you live on a river you can generally take as much water as is reasonable for your use out of the river.  Not so in the west.  Water rights are determined on a totally different basis, which amounts to a first filed first served sort of rule.  I'm over simplifying but this isn't a class on the legal peculiarities of the west.

The next way things are different is the manner of settlement.  When the west, by which we are talking about west of the Mississippi river, except again Texas and Hawaii, was settled it was under a system of land grant, mining and homestead acts.  The specifics of each system isn't all that important, just keep in mind that each system had a method where by a person could gain ownership rights to the land.

The Louisiana Purchase which gave us a big chunk of "The West" was considered by some as "Jefferson's Folly" due to the fact that much of the land was believed unsuitable for farming.  This is why some maps of the time labeled the area "the Great American Desert".  After the war of Northern Aggression the US Army had a abundance of killers and nobody left locally to kill.  Those men were sent west to invade and murder people living on land that Jefferson had purchased form France.  France never told the Indians that it wasn't their land but that's another story. 

After the war some enterprising men decided to round up unbranded cattle and sell them to the folks back east.  The great trail drives began.  Cowboys became ranchers and the smart ones began to play by the rules and settle vast areas of previously unutilized land.  Most all the land was what is called "open range".  Open range means that unless someone held a deed purchased from the government, or otherwise officially recognized by the government i.e. Royal Spanish Land Grant anyone could use the land.  First come first serve.  What the smart ranchers started doing was filing deeds on waterholes, staking mining claims, establishing logging companies and other wise tying up the useful land, while not wasting money on the marginal grazing land.

Everyone, including the Federal Government was happy with this arrangement. 

Typically this is how things have worked here for about the last 140 years or so.  This is why when you see a ranch for sale like this one the listing breaks down the deeded and lease acres. 

Which brings us to Clive Bundy and his ranch in Nevada.  Clive's ranch is a mixture of deeded land, water rights, state lease and open range.  That open range was claimed by the Bundy family and continuously operated from 1877 until 1993 with no problems.  Do the math that's 116 years of Federal, State and local government APPROVED constructive possession. 

So what happened 20 years ago to disrupt the apple cart?  Some bunny huggers decided that there is a special kind of turtle on some of the land that Bundy's cows run on.  That's when the BLM decided to place a special "Tax" on Mr. Bundy so they could get some funds to "do something" for the turtles.  Just to confuse you a bit, apparently there are some biologists that feel that cow pies provide a enhanced dietary option for the turtles.  Turtles eat the cow pies because the nutrients in the dung are more concentrated than eating the raw forage.  That's right the cows are good for the turtles.

How many cows are we talking about?  908.  That's right 908 cows, not 908 AU, 908 cows.  In an area of several square miles.  The BLM is claiming that Mr. Bundy owes them over $1 million dollars in grazing fees.  I'm not sure what the mix of deeded and open range is that Bundy is using, but assuming the data from the BLM is correct, and assuming the rate of $1.35 AU/mo for the grass, land that was considered to poor of quality to lease prior to 1993, I arrive at a figure of $145,000 for 20 years of grazing (450AU X $1.35 X 240months).  That ain't over a million dollars.  Most ranchers wouldn't pay for 240 months, more likely it would only be 4 or 5 months for each year which gives us a figure of $72,900 for the last 20 years! 

You know why Bundy didn't pay BLM lease fees?  They aren't entitled to them.

I won't get into Agenda 21, States Rights v Federal Government, BLM grazing policy, the right of these turtles to exist in the desert, or the fact that they've gotten along just fine with the cows for the last 140 years, and might even be doing better because of them.  All of that plays a part and I'm not disputing it.  Make what you will of those issues.  Mr. Bundy has by right of settlement 116 years of undisputed constructive possession of the land, plus his deeded rights, PLUS over 20 years of disputed or at worst adverse possession of the land.  Under common law its his land.  The BLM gave up any rights to this land in 1897.  Don't believe me.  Believe Cornell Law's online resource.  Better yet here is the statue in Nevada.

Bundy owns that land.
Bundy's cows are being rustled.
Bundy's civil and property rights are being trampled.

If Clark County NV wants to assess property taxes, even back taxes for the last 5 years, I'm OK with that.

The BLM is out of line.  They could solve all of this by agreeing that the Bundy family has proved up on that land back in 1897 and assess them the 12 1/2 cents per acre demanded by law and turning over the deed.  Make Bundy pay for the land by section like he would have had to back them, and make him pay in silver dollars if you want.  Assuming 50 sections at 12.5 cents/acre the BLM would gross $400,000.  They're spending more than that to steel his cows.