Thursday, August 28, 2014


WE'VE ALL HEARD THIS QUESTION. Haven't we.  What came first, the chicken or the egg. Any one who has actually read this blog and checked my status, will know that I am a member of a Christian Faith and so I have deeply held roots in the Bible.  And the story of the creation says that the earth was created and, among other things, animals were placed on the earth. Adam was assigned to give each of the animals a name, and one of those was the chicken. Oh! and Adam and Eve were the first people placed on this newly created planet that we know as Earth. So, the Chicken came before the egg and Adam and his wife Eve were the first people placed on the earth. I also know that this was not the first planet that was created and had people placed on it. And no, I don't not know what number we are in that line of planet creation.  But that is not the reason of this post.  Just a filler until I get to the real reason for posting this first.  
I am really concerned about the Ebola outbreak in Africa. And the suffering the people there are going through.  But, I am a little confused about something here.  The medical people have said that the only way to get Ebola is to come in contact with the body fluids of someone who has it. Now, if that is the case, how did the first person get it.  Someone had to have it to give it to the second one. But the second one couldn't get it because the first one didn't have it.  Did you follow that?  If not, I'm sorry, but I am not going to go back and try to rewrite it.
But if the first person to ever get it didn't get it from someone else, then they had to get it from somewhere. And that being the case, isn't it possible for someone to get this without coming in contact with someone who already has it?  Just a question I have no answer to.  Like I do for the Chicken and the Egg.
And That's The View From The Ditch Bank

Monday, August 25, 2014


AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT THINKS SO. What am I talking about you say.  Well, give me a minute or several and I will tell you.  Two things, actually. 

1. Last night there was an earthquake in the NAPA valley. A 6. something. While the news did mention some of the damage to buildings and other property, most of the concern was with the wine.  OH, NO, wine bottles were smashed, wine barrels were broken open, thousands of dollars lost.  Well, it wasn't really lost, because it is insured.  So, guess the insurance companies lose. But then, they have been paid to lose, haven't they.  While I am not concerned about the lost wine, I do have one concern.  California is in the midst of a very severe drought. So, maybe they should just shut down those 500 plus wineries and put the water to better use. But, no, unfortunately, since I am in the minority on this, I am sure that the wineries will get financial help to rebuild and replace and they will go on, while others will suffer with limited water resources.

2. Back in the dark ages, when I went to school, even high school, and yes there was high school way back then, we started school at 9 a.m. and finished at 3:30 p.m. Then after school, we went home, on a bus, did chores, ( milked cows, got in firewood, etc ) and then if you happened to be on the basketball team (I was) then you drove back to the school 30 minutes away for practice. And we were home and in bed by 10 p.m.  So, what is the purpose of this post.  Somewhere along the line, schools started earlier and let out earlier. I don't know why and won't speculate why, but for whatever reason it happened. Now, Pediatricians want schools to start later so that teenagers can get enough sleep. And some schools have done this and reports show that the students are more alert because they can sleep in for an hour longer.  Now school starts at 9 a.m. at those schools. But, the news report on this was following a high school student and the report said he still goes to bed around midnight, the same as usual, but he can sleep later in the morning before he gets up.  Well, DUH!  I don't care what time school starts or stops, but these students could go to bed an hour earlier and accomplish the same thing.  Somehow, I feel I am in the minority on this one also.

3.  And a final note.  A while back a lady said her dog was bitten by a Mojave Rattle Snake. She was told that was not possible because those snakes did not live here. They lived in California. Well, guess what, snake handlers have caught several of the deadly Rattlers in the southern part of the State. Yep, folks, they are here.  How did they get here.  Well, they probably slithered here from California looking for water.


Thursday, August 21, 2014


OR MAYBE THEY DO.  The environmentalist groups, that is.  I have said in the past, and I will say again here, that I am an environmentalist. In the respect that I believe in protecting the land and the air and the water. But the environmental groups that I have mentioned in previous posts just don't understand that. They have an agenda that is contrary to actually protecting the land. A few decades ago I took a picture of a cabin on the San Francisco River that had been there for decades.  Then these groups made the BLM and the USFS remove all cattle from public land, to protect the river, they said.  Now the river is grown over with scrub trees and brush that it is choking the river bed and there is no way that this cabin can be seen. Even in the winter time when the leaves fall.  Then, because they made the uneducated politics in the East pass laws that made logging public forests illegal and running cattle on them illegal and now the forests have grown so thick with brush and new trees and dead grass that when there is a fire, it grows and grows to catastrophic measures. They just don't realize that logging trees and running cattle help keep the forest healthy.  Now, they have proposed that 546,335 acres of stream side habitat in nine western states be set aside for the protection of the yellow billed cuckoo. this is a bird that lives along streams. The reason is to protect the rivers and streams in the named states. The rivers are the Sacramento, the Eel and the Kern in California, The Gila, the Colorado, the Verde and the San Pedro in Arizona, The Gila and the Rio Grande in New Mexico as well as rivers in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Texas. Michael Robinson an official with the Center for Biological Diversity said this was a victory for the cuckoo as well as the rivers and streams.  The cuckoo's decline is representative of the poor job we've done caring for our waterways, so this is a big step toward being better stewards of our rivers and steams, he said. Protecting these stream side habitats will also protect healthy water quality for people.
So, as I said, they just don't get it.  The unhealthy conditions of the streams and the forest started when they began to remove those from using these land and water areas and it has just gone downhill ever since.  Yep, As Mr. Robinson said, we have done a poor job of caring for the rivers and streams, and if they keep "protecting" these water ways for the purpose of a bird or a little fish or something that has existed in these waterways for century's, then the waterways will disappear along with the "protected" species.
There is definitely something cuckoo here, and it is not the yellow billed bird.

Monday, August 18, 2014


WHAT, EXACTLY, IS CONSIDERED THE STAFF OF LIFE:  Well, bread is considered the staff of life. And bread is made from flour, which is usually made from wheat.  Notice I said "usually" made from wheat. I realize there are other flours available, like cornbread. That is not what this post is about, though, so if you made it this far, bear with me.  I am going to talk, write, a bit about wheat. And what we as individuals can, or cannot do, about it.  So, first, a short, mini, really small, history lesson. 
What I will mention is a short lesson in interstate commerce. Now, you can research this and find a lot more than I am going to mention here, but here is a short lesson. A few years ago, OK, decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a man couldn't grow wheat for his own use. Why? cause if he did he wasn't buying it on the market and thus impacting interstate commerce.  Make sense. We ll, lets look at it for a bit more.  An Ohio farmer, Roscoe Filburn, had a 23 acre farm, but was allowed to grow wheat on only 11 acres. This 11 acres of wheat he could sell. But he raised more wheat than that, but he didn't sell it, he fed it to his chickens so that his family could have a "Chicken in their pot" ( a play on words uttered by Franklin Roosevelt ). So when the government learned he was growing this extra wheat they fined him 49 cents for every bushel he grew over his allotment, even though he was using it for his own use. Still, the above Supreme Court decision against him. This was impacting market place trade, they said.  This was in 1942. This losing case solidified the idea that growing and consuming wheat entirely on your own farm counted as interstate commerce and could be regulated by the federal government under the commerce clause.  A little stretch.
Now, lets fast forward to 2005. And replace chickens and wheat for marijuana.  No, I am not advocating marijuana as the new staff of life.  It is a drug, a harmful drug and should be treated as such.  But, back to the story. Using the Filburn case, the Supreme Court held that Medical marijuana cultivated and consumed entirely with in the State of California still counted as "Interstate Commerce" and led Judge Clarence Thomas to say   "If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually any thing--and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
And based on the governments generous interpretation of the commerce clause to the detriment of private property, two executive orders have come to the attention of many Americans. The first one was issued by President Clinton in 1994 and the second one by President Obama in 2012.  And what exactly do these two orders address?  Well, food. So let's take a quick look at what the basis is for these two orders.  They come from the Defense Production act.  Nowhere in the constitution is Congress granted authority over all American resources and the fruits of its citizens' labor, let alone to delegate that authority to the executive branch. The fourth amendment preserves the right of people to be secure n their persons, houses, papers and effects, commonly considered as belongings.
Now, these two orders address the allocation of food resources and define it is detail. The DPA does not mention food at all any where in it's 2,418 words.  The DPA does mention machinery to produce defense materials. Nowhere do these two orders differentiate between government and private property. The two orders the full spectrum of emergencies. This is broadening the scope of the 1950 DPA act. Although both orders address national defense preparedness, Under Obama's order 13603, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to allocate food resources "as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote national defense under both emergency and non-emergency  conditions. Other cabinet heads are given similar authorization over a lot of things including health resources, water and civil transportation, all going to the Secretary of Commerce. 
There is a lot more to this, and I have just given a small portion of all of this. When there was an outcry over Obama's order, his proponents said that it was just doing a tidy up of the order issued by Clinton. If this is a tidy up job, I feel that we all need to be alert to what may take place.  Since this Executive Order gives Obama and his cabinet heads the authority to regulate any thing, even in a non emergency situation, they could come in and seize your garden or fine you for growing one because it is contrary to the DPA or it is interfering with Interstate commerce. Even if you are not selling the produce, just preparing it for you table or your pantry.  Just don't take a jar of jam across State Lines to give to a family member, that may cause such an economic catastrophe that the whole country goes under. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


AS WAS MENTIONED.  I mentioned in the previous post that the Fish and Wildlife Department is proposing to expand the habitat for the Mexican Gray Wolf program. While this expansion is still in the talk about it phase, as in,  We are holding meetings in the cities mentioned in the news articles and allowing people to comment, etc., I am going to make a little prediction on what will happen when the expansion is approved.  As I assume it will be. Or not.  But, for the sake of this post, lets assume it has been expanded and the boundaries relaxed so the wolf packs can spread out. This new expansion applies to New Mexico only, as far as I have read. So I will focus on that.

OK, the wolf has been restricted to the forest areas of Southeastern Arizona and Southwest New Mexico. So now it is able to go wherever it wants to in New Mexico from West to East and from the border with Mexico on the South to Interstate 40 on the North.  Interstate 40 bisects Albuquerque on an east to west direction. Or a west to east direction, if you prefer.  So, with that in mind, the wolf's mind, that is, he will take his pack and amble out of the forest to the east, down to the little settlement of Nutt. Nothing there of interest, except a Bar, so he may stop in for a drink. Since the Wild Life is not very active there, he will travel on to Hatch, there to pick up a little green chili and put it in his pack.  ( Kids have back packs, wolves have wolf packs ) Then he will stroll up the Rio Grande to San Antonio and the Owl Cafe, where he will have a Hamburger and have them put some of his Hatch Chili on the burger.  He will skirt Los Lunas and the prison there, he has an aversion to being in captivity, so he will slink along the Bosque as he heads for Belen. Not a lot going on there, so he will slip on up the River to the casino where he may try his hand, Uh paw, at a game of chance.  Then on to Albuquerque for hot air balloon ride.  Oh! wait.  Now there's a problem. The balloon field is north of I 40, and he is not allowed to cross I 40.  And the traffic in the city is horrendous, so he will slip into the Monzanos and catch a break in the traffic in the East mountains, cross I 40 there, then  amble back into the city and on the the balloon field for that ride.  After that, perhaps a ride on the tram to the top of the Sandia's and back down, then a short stroll to a station to catch the Rail Runner to the halls of government in Santa Fe'. Ah! now, that's the only way to travel.  Sure is a relief for sore paws. 
Meanwhile, back at the Hatch Chili farm, part of the Pack chose to opt out of the balloon ride and decided to try further East. There they find the Rio Grande also, then in to the City of the Crosses and a field of White Sand. Also, there is a restricted area, visits allowed only at certain times of the year.  if the wolf could read he would see that a weapon of mass destruction was tested there decades in the past. A little farther north and close to the Albuquerque traveling wolf, he will find a field being developed for space travel.  Maybe he can go in and get his name on the list.  If monkey's can go to space, why not a wolf. Oh well, on east and to the oil fields of the eastern and southeastern part of the State.  And the Texas State line.  Just like I 40, the Texas State line is only a line on a map and the wolf don't know that, so he will be GTT.  For those of you that don't read shoot em up westerns,  That means Gone To Texas. Wonder where he will wind up. 
Now keep in mind, this is the Mexican Gray Wolf.  But if you remember the above mentioned boundaries, he is not allowed in Mexico. That is his Southern boundary. But If he actually wants to go home, maybe he can  go to a Border Patrol station and get them to deport him.  Just a thought.

Monday, August 11, 2014


AND RELATED THINGS:  Years ago, when I was young and growing up and decades prior to that, things went kinda like this.  The ranchers ran cattle on the Forest, and were governed by a permit from the forest on how many cattle they could run on a certain number of acres. And the lumber businesses cut timber and hauled it to the mills and made lumber. And the trees they cut were specially market by Forest Service personnel. And, of course, miners dug holes in the ground to remove minerals.  And the Forests were healthy and the grazing land was healthy as the hooves of the cattle cultivated the ground and they fertilized the land and the rain watered it. When the loggers left an area they had to block skid trails to prevent erosion and re-seed the land that they had torn up and the forest continued to be healthy and new trees would grow. And the Ranchers and the loggers took care of the land because they depended on it to sustain them.  The mining industry is different, as they extract the ore from the ground and they have to remove huge amounts of earth to recover a small amount of mineral. And it is not renewable. I am not knocking the business, just stating a fact.  Then, in the um, 1970's or so, there sprang up some groups that felt that the earth needed environmental protection. The ranchers and the loggers, who depended on the land, agreed, not realizing just what these groups were about.  Group like the Sierra Club, Forest Guardians, and Earth First.  They didn't want the earth environmentally protected, they wanted people off the land. And they started with the loggers and the ranchers and the miners. And for the most part, they succeeded.  But that was just the start. And did I mention this was the Western States they were targeting. And then they began to get an uninformed and uneducated congress to pass laws that forced the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife departments to enforce the laws that were passed in the halls of congress. And so it began. the Mexican Spotted Owl was put on an endangered list and farmers and ranchers and loggers couldn't work if an owl was spotted, (pun intended) and the owl had to have 1500 acres or more to mate in. So highway projects were put on hold during mating season, jokes abounded, and congress was cursed, but not quite as much as the above named groups. Then they had little fish listed as endangered and messed with farmers irrigation water. And on and on. And then they released the wolf in Yellow Stone Park. As soon as that was accomplished, they released a Mexican Grey Wolf in Southeastern Arizona and Southwest New Mexico.  Now, this is the crux of this message. The Big Bad Wolf.  These are not really a pure wolf.  And it is not really a wild wolf. It is a wolf that has been in captivity and fed and handled by humans. So when they were released into the Wild's of the above mentioned States, humans, this was in rural areas. And the people of these rural areas were threatened by the wolf. Literally. So some were shot. And the city people, even in the two states where the wolf resides, got upset when the country people complained. And then the Wildlife department, put collars on these wolf's so they could be tracked. And if one was caught killing a ranchers cattle, an investigation was launched to try to prove that the wolf was not to blame. But, the wolf packs are not growing in numbers like they envisioned. So, now, they have initiated a new plan. 
Now, the Wildlife Department is proposing to let the wolf expand it's territory. To include all of Southern New Mexico. Clear up to Interstate 40. Well, now, this is interesting.  I-40 cuts across the middle of the City of Albuquerque, and Grants, and Gallup, and Santa Rosa, and there are a lot of cities and farms and people within this area.  This goes from the area in Southeastern Arizona to the New Mexico/Texas State line and up to I-40.  Makes a person wonder what will happen when these wolves invade Belen, or Albuquerque.  And if they can't read the sign when they get to I-40 so are not aware of the boundary and cross it, and invade the art community and halls of government in Santa Fe'. The environmental groups are wishy washy on this plan.  The like the idea of an expanded territory for the wolf.  But there is a part of the plan they don't like. Oh! I haven't mentioned that part yet.  Heh Heh. That part allows the public permission to kill a wolf if they feel threatened. Effectively removing many of the current laws and restrictions regarding the killing of wolves.  Just when you think some things have leveled out and a plan is being accepted, ( not that the wolves in the rural areas have really been accepted ) here comes the government and stirs things up again.  Yep,  look out folks in the metropolitan areas, cause here comes the BIG BAD WOLF.  Better not talk about how big his eyes and teeth are. Just shoot him.

Monday, August 4, 2014


I KNOW THAT CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.  Things usually move forward or backward.  They rarely stagnate.  At least not forever. Still, some change is hard to take and some just causes a person to shake their head in wonder at it all.  So, here are a couple or three things that fall in one or the other of these category's. Read it and agree, or disagree.

1. I grew up in a small Mormon community a little over 100 miles from where I now live. I know it has not stagnated, but I don't like a lot of the changes I see there.  But this post is not about there. It is about here.  Kinda.  I live in a small ex mining town a few miles from the City of Silver. When my wife and I were growing up in the 50's, family trips were made to Silver City.  Often for my wife, occasionally for me.  The town was relatively clean, shopping was plentiful and banking was good.  There were several good set down restaurants and the downtown was a vibrant place to go. There was a bar downtown called the Buffalo. Other than that, there was a lot going on.  Fast forward to the 2000's and change has taken place.  The town is still a mining town, well kinda.  But the downtown has changed. A lot. I is not the clean town it used to be. The shopping has gone away. Even the Buffalo Bar has closed down.  Why.  Well, I have my ideas, and I am probably a majority of one on this, but I feel Wal Mart has came in a ran off most of the businesses, booze is available at all the grocery stores and the pharmacy's, like Wal Greens and so the bar business has went home, so to speak. The downtown is populated by hole in the wall shops and dogs.  And it is not clean.  And a woman, who probably came here form who knows where, was recently heard to say, " I just love it downtown, it is so spiritual".  Uh, no it is not. I hate to even go downtown any more and avoid it as much as possible.  And most others I know who have been around here for very long do also.  Nope, can't feel spiritual there.

2. The city Fathers and Mothers of the New Mexico City of Santa Fe' have decided to spend up to $100,000 to lure the TV show The Bachelor to film an episode in the city. This in a city and State that have a lot of financial problems. And a lot of the  people who live there have objected to spending that much money on the possibility of a TV show coming there, when there are so many problems in the city that need to be addressed.  Just another case of some one being "star struck" and wanting the lure of Hollywood, thinking that by doing so, it will showcase Santa Fe' to the world and bring in tourist dollars.  Tourist dollars help the motels and cafes and a few stores, but jobs of a substantial nature are what is needed.

HIGH ON THE HOG:  There was a news report on the price of bacon.  News Flash   It's not just for breakfast any more.  Why is the price going up.  The news says because a virus has killed thousands of baby pigs and so the price has gone up.  Now, I like bacon, but bacon has gone out of sight on more than just the price.  I also like a BLT sandwich, which is not a breakfast meal, but really, chocolate dipped bacon for desert.  No, don't think so.  It is used on burgers, crumbled up on salads and used on so many things any more, that it is difficult to find a good pound of gold flaked bacon for breakfast.

So, the theme of these three items are just what the title of this post says.  They are just not the same any more.  And while change and progress are a good thing, for the most part, and while I have never been inside the Buffalo Bar and don't care that it is shut down, I do lament the changes that are regressive, and a lot of what I see in this area are just that. In my opinion.