Friday, February 12, 2016

An Evangelical Approach To Jamaican Dancehall

The Bundy Clique Didn't Know What Hit Them

Taylor Grazing Districts in 1937
(Opportunity and Challenge: The Story of BLM. DOI, BLM, 1988. Washington: GPO.)
Growing up in the American West, it was only natural to take an interest in the management of public lands, particularly the vast empire of grazing lands. Ranchers had little interest in purchasing all the land, due to the high costs, and efforts to turn the lands over to the states in the 1920's foundered over mineral-rights fights, sheep/cow rancher disputes, and various conservation concerns.

The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 ended the era of granting homesteads, and conclusively-ended the Range Wars of the turn of the century, and brought some organization. It's quite an achievement, really!

It is interesting how Tea Partiers and various right-wing groups have concocted entirely-fictional alternative Western histories about the Feds usurping the roles of the States and private interests. The Feds were there all along. At. Every. Single. Step. You can look it up!

The end of the Oregon standoff provides no end of amusement and instruction, from the Malheur-Refuge-occupier's rage that the Feds had jurisdiction over Federal lands, to Cliven Bundy's appeal for a court-appointed attorney, to wonderment over the ACLU's absence, to puzzlement over the Oath Keepers flaking out, to the absence of FOX News, to desperation over the lack of marijuana on the high desert of Oregon. At every step, they exposed an inability to grasp their real situation, and an ignorance of the real history of the American West.

Both these Taylor Grazing Act history links are useful:

Taylor Grazing Act of 1934:
The first grazing district (Rawlins), was established in Wyoming on March 20, 1935; others soon followed. By June 1935, over 65 million acres had been placed in grazing districts. All the established grazing districts are still in effect today.

Effects of the Taylor Grazing Act in Wyoming:

Meanwhile, homesteading—the claiming, improving and finally the acquisition of full title to relatively small plots of federal land for farming or grazing—continued. In 1914, private land still made up only about 16 percent of the state. In 1916, Congress expanded the amount of land a person could claim to include a full square-mile grazing homestead. As a result, the amount of private land doubled in the 1920s in Wyoming as nearly 10 million acres passed from federal into private hands. Private land by the end of the decade made up about 40 percent of the state.

In 1926, Wyoming Congressman Charles A. Winter, a Republican, began pushing for transfer of federal lands in all the western states to those states, and spoke repeatedly on the subject in Congress and around Wyoming. In 1927, the Wyoming Legislature unanimously passed a resolution in favor of cession. In 1928, Winter ran for the Senate against Democrat John B. Kendrick, the incumbent, a longtime stockman who had first come up the trail from Texas in the 1880s. Kendrick opposed the cession idea, and won the election.

Still, the idea seemed to gain power. In 1929, President Herbert Hoover proposed ceding 190 million acres of federal grazing to the states, 17 million of those in Wyoming, but with the federal government retaining the mineral rights. He appointed a committee. After many hearings the panel proposed cession of grazing lands to states that would accept them, but with the federal government retaining mineral rights, and retaining also all federal forts, forests, parks, monuments, reservoirs and bird refuges.

Congress started work on a bill that included these provisions, and allowed the states to sell the land at $3 per acre and lease lands that weren’t sold. The proceeds would help fund education.

Still, the stock raising interests were unable to unite behind the proposal. Wyoming Wool Growers President Tom Cooper of Casper testified that $3 per acre was too high. Others, Senator Kendrick among them, said the mineral rights needed to be included as well. In 1933, Kendrick introduced a bill that would have included the mineral rights with the ceded land. It failed. Kendrick died soon afterward. Wyoming’s new senator, Joseph O’Mahoney, introduced a similar measure but it failed as well.

Meanwhile, Franklin Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, took office in January 1933 and immediately launched his New Deal proposals to a heavily Democratic Congress. National politics had shifted dramatically.

I Loathe Ted Cruz, But His Ad Is Pretty Funny

We're in California; we don't see the new stuff.

Very 'hood. Not straight out of Compton, exactly, but maybe Lynwood. Didn't expect it of Ted Cruz. Gotta roll with the times.


Awoke from a dream. Can't stay long. I need to return to my selfless crusade to vaccinate the Alpine kangaroos of Arizona....

Terror Of The Leaf

On tonight's walk, Bella's Nose pointed straight up as we passed by a Man Sleeping on the Sidewalk. Bella's Nose also alerted her to a Mysterious Presence across the street, so we investigated and flushed out a Crafty Feline Spy hiding in the grass. Bella's Nose proved useless, however, in deciding what to do when a man flew a drone with pretty green and orange lights right by us. Bella just stared at the novel object.

At one point, I looked behind me and saw a jet-black, black-widow-black, rat-sized object, moving quickly in a herky-jerky fashion straight towards us. Panic! Turned out, it was the shadow cast by a street light of a large, falling leaf.

Getting Push-Polled By The Clinton Campaign

Predictable, but some people find it outrageous:
INTERVIEWER: “Uhhh, what if I were to tell you The New York Times expressed serious reservations about Bernie Sanders being able to work with Congress and described him as ‘divisive’ — would you now be “more likely’ or ‘less likely” to vote for Sanders, or has your opinion remained unchanged?”

ME: “You mean Sanders would be more divisive than Hillary Clinton? Huh? Seriously? Has the esteemed New York Times been paying attention to politics in this country for the past 25 years since the Clintons emerged as national political figures? Besides, I’ve been quoted in the New York Times six times, at least that I know of — and twice they misspelled my name. Now, you think I give them my credibility?”

Stocks Are Our Salvation

Let's see, how am I doing since I put most of my retirement-fund eggs in one mutual fund basket last March?

Year Of The Monkey

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

"Auburn Road" Will Be On "Good Day, Sacramento" Next Tuesday!

Hope the girls sing, particularly 'Tuff Girl'.

"Auburn Road" will be on "Good Day, Sacramento" next Tuesday! Hope they sing!

Posted by Marc Valdez on Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Every Sunday, I've started waving back at the evangelist wearing the "John 3:16" shirt on the pedestrian overpass over Highway 50 near the Bradshaw exit. I mean, he's putting in the work. Got to admire that.

Witch Of The North By Northwest

Tim Black Looks At The Choices

Poor Jeb!

Life can be tough:
MANCHESTER, NH—Plunging into a downward spiral of despair and self-doubt after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, a demoralized Jeb Bush reportedly succumbed this week to New Hampshire’s ongoing heroin epidemic. “Unfortunately, Jeb has suffered a number of significant career setbacks and personal humiliations recently, which left him depressed and highly susceptible to the allure of the cheap and widely available heroin in the rural Northeast,” said political analyst James Peek ....


Excellent Gymnastics Routine!

Let Him Take The "Counrty"

As long as we can keep the country.

Leave Disco Out Of It!

Marco Rubio promises: “When I’m president we’re gonna ban disco music!”

That won't do! My whole mental world is governed by a disco soundtrack. It would be like suffering a lobotomy:

Bernie Sanders Is More Progressive Than Hillary Clinton

For all Hillary's strengths, I don't think she is as progressive as Bernie Sanders.It's good to have solid choices.

Posted by Marc Valdez on Monday, February 8, 2016

Ammon Bundy, Disloyal Thief And Bully

Ammon Bundy, from jail:
This is a call to action for any elected representative in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, the State of Washington, and Ohio. You have constituents in federal custody. Please visit and contact them to voice your support for free speech, the right to assemble, and civil disobedience," Bundy said in the statement. "It is your duty to hold federal agencies at bay, protecting the people in your state," he continued in his statement to state officials.

"And to those who disagree with my speech, or our civil disobedience, and may dislike our ideas regarding that the land belongs to the people: Please remember that you do not want free speech to be retaliated against by government officials. If you do not advocate for government to tolerate ideas that it hates, then the First Amendment and free speech mean nothing," he continued. "Arm yourself with ideas. Arm yourselves with education. Argue and disagree. Be free.

And following Mr. Bundy's suggestion, I will do exactly that. You are not "the people". You are a rancher, and thus a stakeholder. It is not the responsibility of the American people to hand their property over to you without payment. Large swathes of the West remain under Federal control because of the difficulty of establishing cost-effective ranches. Someone has to be the responsible party for the American people's land, and the Federal government is their agent. Menacing Federal workers and average citizens with guns and threats must be resisted.

Rubio Craters

Chris Christie is pretty odious most of the time, but he's learned some useful skills, which he uses to simply crush the argument that Marco Rubio should be elected President.

Republican David Frum:
The normal reason to adhere to talking points is determination to advance a controlled message - and to avoid an unhelpful quotation. By contrast, Rubio’s 4x repeat was not an act of excessive message discipline. It was a display of panic at a moment of uncertainty. Faced with a genuinely new situation, Rubio could not figure out what to do ... and so stumbled into doing precisely the wrong thing. The big question about Rubio is: can this untested novice cope with the demands of the presidency? Voters have pitifully little information about him. In this way, Rubio is NOT like Obama at all.


RIP, Dennis Yep

Oh, this is too bad. What a good guy!
Dennis Yep passed away peacefully at home on January 27, 2016. For information about his Celebration of Life, please visit: In lieu of flowers, a foundation will be established. Please contact the family about contributions in memory of Dennis at:

If It's On The Internet, It Must Be True


Nothing To See Here

Idly looked in the trash. Noticed my wallet there. (WTF?)

A New, Local Tarantula

Something surprising about the Sacramento area:
(CNN) An expansive, decade-long survey of tarantulas in the United States has uncovered 14 new species, including one named after the "Man in Black."

Aphonopelma johnnycashi, named for Johnny Cash, can be found around Folsom State Prison in California, where Cash made a famous recording and about which he wrote a hit song called "Folsom Prison Blues." The males of aphonopelma johnnycashi are generally black, mirroring Cash's famous penchant for dressing in black, said biologist Chris A. Hamilton, who did this research while at Auburn University.

"Neighbors 2"

While waiting to see "Hail, Caesar!" I also saw this trailer. A hedonistic sorority spoof. Ordinarily I'd ignore it, but it stars Chloe Grace Moretz, who is AMAZING, so this film is likely AMAZING too! Maybe a thinking-person's hedonistic sorority spoof.

"Hail, Caesar!"

Great, great Coen Brother's fun!

After Texas Stopped Funding Planned Parenthood, Low-Income Women Had More Babies

Well, duh:
The analysis, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, documents a significant increase in births among women who had previously received birth control at clinics that no longer get state funding.

The researchers, from the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, say their findings offer a sneak peek of what may happen in other states that have cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

Back In Drought

Beginning to get worried. Long-range forecasts are quite negative for rain in February. We may be sliding right back into drought-land.

Love La Toya's Thursday Night Dancehall!

Dancehall is awesome, and Thursdays with LaToya are great!

Posted by Marc Valdez on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

RIP, Maurice White


Just turned on this brand, brand-new computer. I feel like a mule driver on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.