We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, December 6. 2017
Photo: Lamborghini tractor for sale. Nice Christmas present idea?
Elephant economics: To save elephants, we should promote commercial use and encourage ivory markets and trophy hunting
Either that, or surround each elephant with an army
Trump Gives Back Millions Of Acres of Public Lands To Utah: What This May Mean For The Future Of Government
The Puritan War on Christmas
At the time, Christmas had a history of drunken revelry and debauchery. See The Lord of Misrule
The 1970s Global Cooling Scare (and how the warming scare could not have happened without it)
Cruelty and Sexual Harassment
Both Men and Women Can Be Sexual Predators
Public university to rename building because its namesake was a political ‘opportunist’
Harvard Student Whose Father Escaped Communism Has a Message for Her Fellow Students
Nancy Pelosi: Republican Tax Reform is the “End of the World” and “Armageddon”
It's also returning taxes to Bush/Clinton levels
7 Reasons Trump Would Be Right To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Eternal Capital
But will it piss off Palestinians? They're always pissed off anyway
Islamist suicide plot to assassinate Prime Minister Theresa May foiled
More appeasement might help a lot
TNR: The Democrats’ Dangerous Obsession With Impeachment. The party needs to focus on winning elections, not removing Trump.
‘MORNING JOE’: TRUMP TEAM ‘GOING TO JAIL ... FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES’
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE WAS COMING FROM INSIDE THE FBI - When lying to the FBI wasn’t a crime.
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MORNING JOE’: TRUMP TEAM ‘GOING TO JAIL ... FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES’
Curious Person: "Uh, Joe, about that assistant of yours who died under the most mysterious of circumstances, complete with an autopsy by medical fraudster...."
JOE: "Well.....Look! Over there! A squirrel!"
"Trump Gives Back Millions Of Acres of Public Lands To Utah"
The true story is right there. Today these are public lands. You can drive there and camp on them, hike for miles, see wildlife and wild places. Once the state gets these lands they will be sold off to the rich and to corporations not all of these new owners will even be Americans. You will be fenced off these lands and your only option then will bbe to drive by them at 65 miles and hour. The state of Utah is right now the worst offender in this and has colluded with big corporations in an attempt to sell off public lands.
Another myth in the story is that much/most of these lands are "private" and necessary to sustain ranchers. Some of this land is available for ranchers to pay a fee and use for grazing. This has gone on for decades and many of these ranchers think that this land is theirs. They have been caught in the past threatening civilians with guns and claiming that the land was privately owned. They consider it their little fiefdom; it is their land not your land. I do understand their feelings, over the years they have come to take this arrangement for granted and resent the change. But in most cases even after the land is dedicated a monument they can still use it for grazing. Only those parcels that were putting wildlife at risk were removed from the grazing permit system. This story is full of misinformation and there is a land grab going on in the West.
Trump Gives Back Millions Of Acres of Public Lands To Utah: Yesterday, President Trump returned much of the land that the Obama administration stole from the state of Utah under the Antiquities Act.
The lands were never the State of Utah's, which gave up title to the land when becoming a U.S. state in 1896. They still remain federal land, though without the protections accorded Monument status.
Monument protections depend on the proclamation, but typically restrict most commercial development, such as logging, drilling, and mining. Pre-existing grazing practices and rights-of-way are generally honored. Recreational use is permitted. Native rights to sacred lands are also protected.
Permitted Uses in Western National Monuments (PDF)
Well... maybe! Utah and a dozen other Western states are actively trying to get the federal government to turn over massive amounts of federal land to the states. They have been working this for years. The state legislators are in discussions with private landowners and potential investors to buy this land. The monument status would have prevented this for lands protected by that status. Make no mistake, there is a land grab in the making and that is what is behind this deal.
Zach, we may agree for once ! The Federal government needs to keep ownership of all of all Western federal lands, for when (hopefully) california/oregon/washington seceed(s), to preserve pacific trade routes and military installations.
Maybe those ranchers feel they "own" the land because for decades they poured millions of dollars of labor and money into them to make them into some usable form. we're not talking grassland here, that is/was scrub and sagebrush desert. Also providing water for their cattle b y drilling for wells and setting up cisterns while tending miles and miles of fencing.
As for environmental destruction, horses and donkeys aren't native, they are invasive, imported species, yet the BLM spends millions of our tax dollars paying people to feed the parasites in some bizarre money laundering operation. But it's ok because the damage is incurred to rancher's investments of fencing and grass.
And the drug cartels and illegals pouring across the border do more damage than some cattle crapping on the ground.
That land didn't have any value until Hiligula and Harry Reid sold off the valuable minerals and resources that lie beneath that ground.
Tell me, how is it fair for states in the West to have 2/3 or more of their land locked up by the feds? Look at any state east of the Mississippi, you don't see that kind of land grab. How are these states supposed to be able to raise $$ from their land if it is out of reach? How are they supposed to be able to develop, grow and attract new residents and people if most of the land is not theirs to use?
Have you LOOKED at some of the MILLIONS of acres that are locked up by the federal government. It's not as if Utah is one Grand Canyon after another or one Yosemite after another. Much of it is dry, empty desert far from civilization.
Why is it assumed that the States would not make good use of their land, but the feds would? How are the feds smarter or any less politically motivated than state government? They are NOT.
I am sick of the EAST COAST elites, telling us small (in population) Western states that we cannot use our lands for grazing, mining or timber. This is not 1850. We are not going to clear cut our mountains or strip mine our lands and pollute. This is OUR land that we cannot use or benefit from, cannot tax and, therefore, our growth is more limited.
UNFAIR. NOT RIGHT. The Constitution of this country intended for the States to have a lot more power than this Antiquities Act has done to us. Stop the fear mongering. No, states do not want to sell off every single bit of public land. No, states are not looking to destroy every natural awesome place in their borders. ALL LIES.
I spend a lot of time in Utah and the land in question is a jewel not exactly as you describe it "it is dry, empty desert far from civilization". But one wonders why then would the state or a private owner want the land if it were merely a dry empty desert?
This land wasn't "grabbed" by the federal government it was the federal governments land before the state existed. As such it belongs to all of us. You need to visit the Bears Ears NM and the Grand Staircase Escalante before you can appreciate it. And by "visit" I mean walk it, camp on it, take a 3 or 5 day hike on it. Don't just drive through it at 65 mph headed for the next Holiday Inn. This land is a treasure and should be reserved for everyone's use forever.
The grand Canyon gets literally 10's of thousands of visitors every day during peak season and those visitor numbers have doubled in the last 10 years. Almost half of those visitors are foreign visitors bringing money and jobs here. They wouldn't come here to drive by fenced off Rancher owned land, they come to visit public lands. Our current national parks are over crowded we need to increase these opportunities for Americans and visitors to see and use these parks/NM's.
Elephants, to be protected, need to be an economic asset to the locals who have to live with them nearby.
Little Ice Age: Kukla was in on that, but where, oh where, were Fran and Ollie?
re: OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE WAS COMING FROM INSIDE THE FBI - When lying to the FBI wasn’t a crime.
The "noose" is "tightening" all right.
And, yes, people are going to jail.
The question is whether the FBI will suffer the consequences of its two-faced "interpretations" of who is lying to the FBI, and whether to charge them or not. If so, a lot more people than just Flynn will face jail time.
I've long maintained that one of the biggest problems of a large government state is that the bureaucracy itself becomes a special interest, and it virtually by definition has the most access to the levers of power. Now we are seeing what happens when that special interest aligns with one political party over the other.
Lamborghini built tractors long before they moved into sports cars. My understanding of the story is that Old man Lambo had bought a Ferrari for his wife, who proceeded to burn out three of the notoriously brittle clutches. In exasperation, Lambo ordered his mechanics to install one of his tractor clutches into it, and then proceeded to tell Old Man Ferrari how he had "improved" his car. This set off a feud between the two men that led to Lambo deciding to set out to build a better car than Ferrari had ever built.
The engines that powered Triumph, Morgan and other successful British sports cars in the Fifties started out as a tractor engine (the Standard Vanguard). Notoriously tough and indestructible engine.
Lucas electrics, on the other hand...were often self-destructing.