Cowboy Ethics: The Code of the West

I found myself scraping the bottom of the barrel this morning for a feature article for today. Seems that everybody has shut down, probably because of the holidays. But then something told me (probably the plethora of articles on the ongoing war in the streets of America) that a re-run just might be “what the Dr. ordered.” You should be proud to be called “cowboy” for more reasons than just your knowledge of cattle. — jtl, 419

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe following is taken from Chapter 23 of Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume’s book: The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits.

America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. – Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

As I wrote in an earlier chapter, there are a number of definitions of what it takes to be a “real” cowboy but most of them do not come close to capturing the essence of the word.

The American Western Frontier was nowhere near as violent as Hollywood has portrayed it. In fact, it was a more peaceful place before the arrival of “law and order” than it is today. Just as anarcho-capitalist libertarians would predict from a free society, institutions sprang up spontaneously in response to special needs—grazing rights, water rights, dealing with the Indians, etc. – and then, unlike “government” today, the organization was dissolved once it no longer filled a useful purpose.

Most traditional Westerners have strong cultural ties to the old South because many of the early settlers were either fleeing the War of Yankee Aggression or reconstruction. They brought with them a certain rebelliousness and love of liberty and individual independence. Superimposed on top of that, the harshness of survival on the Western Frontier resulted in the development of the philosophy of life we know as the “Cowboy Way.”

“Cowboy” is much more than a livelihood. The ethical principles of libertarianism provide the foundation for peaceful societies. The Cowboy Way is a philosophy for living one’s individual, personal life in a peaceable fashion. The two are totally compatible. Neither advocates the initiation of force or violence against any human being, the operative word there being “initiation.”

Cowboys are independent and like to be left alone. They are heroes not just because they do a dangerous job, but because they stand for something. Principles like honor, loyalty and courage are at the core of the Cowboy Way.

Cowboys are generally peaceable men but will defend themselves and their honor without hesitation. They are honest, hard working and believe that no one should be awarded a day’s pay without turning in an honest day’s work. As Michael Martin Murphey sings in the lyrics of Cowboy Logic:

If it’s a job, do it. Put your back in to it. ‘Cause a little bit of dirt’s gonna wash off in the rain.

If it’s a horse, ride it. If it hurts, hide it. Dust yourself off and get back on again.

Their book, Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn From The Code Of The West by retired Wall Street investor James P. Owen and David R. Stoecklein (2005) focuses on the values that are part of our heritage, “values all Americans can share, no matter what our politics, our religion, or our station in life.”

They explain the “Code of the West” as being ten principles:

  1. Live each day with courage;
  2. Take pride in your work;
  3. Always finish what you start;
  4. Do what has to be done;
  5. Be tough, but fair;
  6. When you make a promise, keep it;
  7. Ride for the brand;
  8. Talk less and say more;
  9. Remember that some things aren’t for sale; and
  10. Know where to draw the line.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but it certainly provides good examples of “natural law principles” by which to live.

As a young child, I remember listening to The Lone Ranger (and his faithful companion, Tonto) on an old battery powered radio. Later, after moving to the conveniences of town life, I recall watching Sky King, Roy Rogers (and his loyal partner Dale Evans) on an old snowy, 17 inch, black and white TV. What a wonderful role model these people were for American children of my generation.

Early in the book, I mentioned that legendary film star and humorist Gene Autry (1907-1998) was a partner in the Lightening C Rodeo Company. I saw him and his horse Champion (a beautiful blazed faced, stocking legged sorrel) perform many times at the Colburn Bowl in Dublin, TX.

He was a wildly popular recording, movie, and television cowboy superstar of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. He recorded more than 600 songs, wrote or co-wrote more than 250, had a successful weekly radio show for 16 years (Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch), starred in over 90 movies, and 91 half-hour television episodes of The Gene Autry Show. He toured extensively for public performances with his horse Champion. He is the only entertainer to have five stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (one each for radio, recording, motion pictures, television and live performance).

Mr. Autry was a man of high moral character that stood for everything good, decent, and fair. He promoted his own “Cowboy Code” which reflected his character on and off the stage:

1. The cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.

2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.

3. He must always tell the truth.

4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.

5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.

6. He must help people in distress.

7. He must be a good worker.

8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.

9. He must respect women and his parents.

10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

Today, as I write this, America is no longer great because she is no longer good. America needs the cowboy today more than ever. But there is a problem.

Principles like truth, honor, loyalty, courage, hard work, trust and respect render the ruling elite’s agenda “unsustainable.” They are not compatible with radical environmentalism, diversity, sustainability, redistributionist statism, economic socialism, industrial fascism, radical feminism, hate crime, hurtful words and animal rights.

The cowboy (because of his philosophy) is a misfit and must be destroyed.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. by Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume. Click here to buy the paperback version from Land & Livestock International’s aStore.

Digital media products such as Kindle can only be purchased on Amazon.com. Click Here to buy the Kendall Version on Amazon.com

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Merry Christmas

You’ll love this.

10 best Christmas on the ranch photos

Merry Christmas everybody. — jtl

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The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume setA: The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty and The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. 

 

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Cattle Futures Rally Follows Through

From The Beef By Cassie Fish, CassandraFish.com

If there was any doubt that cattle futures made an important low yesterday it’s being confirmed by this morning’s strong triple digit gains in feeder cattle futures, which still carry their much needed 450 point limit. Though weary from this week’s extreme drama, traders have already calculated likely retracement levels for feeders and fats as they ponder the bigger question, is this mighty bull market over?

Open interest has come out of live cattle futures by the thousands recently, nearly 20k in the last 2 days taking OI to 270,823, the lowest level since July 2013, when OI bottomed at 266,604 contracts, the lowest live cattle OI since 2010. That’s a loss of over 100,000 contracts since this year’s record set in February 2014. This certainly speaks to the exodus of a great deal of outside money, some of which left all exportable commodities as investors search for opportunities less influenced by the surging U.S. dollar. It’s also a sign that what’s left of this bull market is now of concern primarily to those in the cattle and beef industry.

So instead of entering 2015 with burdensome OI and overbought technical indicators, this market will begin 2015 with a sizeable correction under its belt and weak longs gone.

Technical damage has been done if the 100-day moving average is used as an indicator, though looking back at the spot daily chart, Jun LC was below the 100-day for 6 weeks before breaking out to the upside. Arguably that was from $20 cheaper than today, end users were still grappling with the beef production short fall, retail beef prices still had a great deal of catching up to do and cheaper cost of gains for cattle feeders were just starting to creep into the marketplace.

Bear arguments are as common today as they were back in June. The question is are these concerns more valid today than they proved to be then?

The futures market has cleansed itself and is ready for a rally. Not always, but many times the end of the year finds traders accumulating positions for a spring rally following a Thanksgiving to Christmas correction. This year will probably not be any different and the next 2 weeks will very likely see buying on setbacks.

         Packer Margins Better; Cash Fed Cattle Higher?

So it really boils down to how the real world plays out over the next 8 weeks especially. For starters, the drop in cash cattle prices has improved packer margins dramatically, closer to a negative $30 than they’ve been in several weeks. But so far, packers have yet to buy enough cattle at $156-158 to reload inventories. Trade volumes the last few weeks have been abysmal, and there has been some carryover in feedyards, as packers made the decision to use up the high-priced inventory before year’s end. But right now cash cattle prices look fully steady next week and possibly higher, then higher New Year’s week.

Boxed beef prices will find their bottom as well before year’s end, buoyed by smaller kills and the lowest wholesale prices in over 2 months. Traders will be watching carefully because the velocity of the January boxed beef rally will be a vital indicator as to whether beef demand in fact has been truly limited by retail prices over $5 per pound.

All systems are go for a rally. Formidable overhead resistance looms in most active Feb LC from $164-166 and Jan FC at $225-229. How the market handles those levels will tell market watchers a great deal.

The Beef is published by Consolidated Beef Producers…for more info click here.
Disclaimer:  The Beef, CBP nor Cassie Fish shall not be liable for decisions or actions taken based on the data/information/opinions.

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The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of the betrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.

 

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EPA: Time to Abolish, Not Merely Restrict

Written by  for The New American

EPA: Time to Abolish, Not Merely Restrict The federal SWAT team of nearly two dozen heavily armed agents from the EPA, FBI, and other agencies descended on the Canal Refining Co. in Church Point, Louisiana. Their target: Hubert P. Vidrine, Jr., the plant manager. His crime? Allegedly storing hazardous materials. His employees were herded up and treated like criminals. They were prevented from using the restrooms for several hours, as well as being denied the right to call their homes and daycare centers to make plans to have their children picked up.

That was in September 1996. It took the federal government more than three years, until December 1999, to indict Mr. Vidrine on one count of illegally storing a hazardous substance, during which time his name was publicly dragged through the mud, his liberties were greatly limited under pre-trial probation, and his family’s finances were devastated. The case against Mr. Vidrine turned out to be completely bogus, a malicious fabrication. The federal prosecutors, realizing they would lose in court, dropped all charges before the start of the trial. On September 30, 2011, 15 years after being subjected to the grief and humiliation of the EPA’s initial assault, Mr. and Mrs. Vidrine received a measure of redress, in the form of a decision by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty awarding them $1,677,000.00 in damages and legal costs.

“This Court finds probable cause did not exist to indict Hubert Vidrine, nor to doggedly pursue him for close to four years,” said Judge Doherty. Moreover, she noted, the EPA’s Keith Phillips “acted with malice” and “set out with intent and reckless and callous disregard for anyone’s rights other than his own … to effectively destroy another man’s life.”

Taking cognizance of the “egregious conduct displayed by an agent of the government and the devastation wrought on otherwise law-abiding citizens,” Judge Doherty noted that if not for federal immunity law, which disallowed punitive damages, “this Court would have awarded punitive damages in the hope of deterring such reckless and damaging conduct and abuse of power in the future.”

While a punitive judgment in the Vidrine case might have rendered some deterrent effect on the EPA’s rampant abuses, the rogue agency’s ongoing exercise of regulatory despotism is a clear sign that something more than a punitive judgment (paid for by the taxpayers) is needed. The EPA’s SWAT raids have continued, and the agency has become the Obama administration’s prime tool for usurping legislative powers and wreaking havoc upon our economy by executive fiat.

“Obamacare for the Atmosphere”

This past June, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy (shown above) announced the Obama administration’s draconian new restrictions on electrical power plants, supposedly aimed at combating the (nonexistent) threat of global warming by drastically cutting carbon dioxide emissions. A clue to the destructive potential of this unconstitutional EPA mandate can be found in the enthusiastic praise heaped on it by Daily Beast writer Jason Mark, who saw the “numbingly complex” nature of the new regulations as cause for rejoicing. “You can think of the power plant rules as Obamacare for the atmosphere,” exulted Mr. Mark.

And, like ObamaCare, the costs will continue to skyrocket, if Congress allows the EPA mandates to stand. In addition, more power plants will shut down and our power grid security will be compromised, with brownouts and blackouts becoming more and more common. But the power plant rules are only the tip of the EPA iceberg that is ripping a gaping, lethal hole in the hull of the USS Titanic. In 2013, the EPA released its study entitled Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters, which signaled a ramping up of the agency’s plans to claim regulatory authority over virtually all water within the United States. The agency is now asserting that “intermittent, and ephemeral streams, are physically, chemically, and biologically connected to downstream rivers via channels and associated alluvial deposits.” The same applies, says the EPA, to “vernal pools” and “prairie potholes” even if they are miles from any water reasonably considered “navigable.”

Obama’s EPA has grand visions of controlling everything under the sun: soot, road dust, rainwater runoff, pesticides, chlorine, methane, ozone, chloroflourocarbons, and, most especially, CO2 — human breath — which, far from being a pollutant, is a beneficial gas that is essential for plant life on this planet. All the EPA’s claims, naturally, are aimed at protecting the environment and are based on sound science. Right? If so, why has the agency steadfastly and repeatedly refused to allow independent scientists to review its work and even stonewalled congressional subpoenas to release the “science” it is using to impose hundreds of billions of dollars in costs on Americans?

On November 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. R. 4012, “The Secret Science Reform Act,”  to prohibit the EPA from “proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible.” That’s a start, but a better approach would be to follow the proposal of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) to abolish this unconstitutional monstrosity, a solution that this magazine — along with the late Milton Friedman, Dr. Ron Paul, and many other freedom advocates — has championed since the EPA’s misbegotten birth in 1970.

Photo of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

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Combat Shooter's Handbook Combat Shooter’s Handbook. Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first. So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU This Handbook is intended to help you exercise that right and meet that responsibility. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

 

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CME Expands Limits; Cattle Futures Botto

Notice how the government measure (limits on trading price) that was intended to “stabilize” the market ended up doing the opposite–making the market more volatile. There are always, with no exceptions, unintended consequences associated with any and all types of interventionism. — jtl, 419

By Cassie Fish, CassandraFish.com via The Beef

As was bound to happen once the CME Group finally adequately expanded the limits to facilitate liquidation in feeder cattle futures, both feeder and live cattle futures have decisively rallied this morning, leaving impressive tails in several contract months.

The real gutting took place in just 4 days in Jan feeders. As of last Friday, the feeders had retraced to the bottom of the $14 trading range it had found itself in since late September. But Monday’s gap lower left an ominous top, trapped longs and technical carnage followed quickly by the painful realization that daily trading limits had not been adjusted to accommodate a market that had increased exponentially over the last several months.

This morning most active Jan feeders bottomed at $212.10, just 0.20 short of a mirror break of the 2-month trading range in just 4 short days, a $27.20 break in Jan and $33 in spot. Since bottoming the first 5 minutes of trading this morning Jan has rallied $6.37 points this morning off the low and anywhere from $9 to $11 from levels traded synthetically yesterday in feeder cattle options.

Since we’re keeping score, spot LC has declined almost $16 from its high and most active Feb LC $17.62, 700 points just this week. On a spot basis, this correction rivals the Feb 2014 high to the May 2014 low correction only in price, certainly not in time, the former covering almost 3 months and the later under 2 months though arguably most of it in under 4 weeks.

Cattle futures are trading in a volatile fashion this morning, with the operative word beingtrading. With the expansion of the limit, order has been restored but not confidence as reflected by dramatic intra-day swings. Besides being road weary, traders have the holidays, end of the year, and 2 USDA livestock reports as additional reasons to limit participation or stand aside all together, which won’t help the market find it’s bearings short term.

         Cash Cattle and Boxed Values Capitulate

The cash fed cattle market traded sharply lower this week in the midst of the melt down, mostly in the $156-157 area compared to last week’s 5-area average of $162.28 and almost $15 off of the all-time high paid in November. Cash fed cattle prices have followed the futures market back to levels seen in September.

The USDA choice cutout is in hot pursuit also, losing $7.54 from a week ago, quoted at $242.41 while select if down $5.24 at $231.13, taking the select fed cutout discount to the cutter cow cutout for the first time, also since September. The choice cutout bottomed in late September at $237.66 and this level is expected to hold. Packer margins have already improved enormously. Holiday productions cuts and a recovering futures complex will translate to improved interest from beef buyers.

A bottom is in sight. What we are seeing today is the tail end of exhaustion selling. It’s been a huge break accompanied by an exodus taking open interest to the lowest level since August 2013. The bigger question is whether the major top is in, but that’s a discussion for another day.

The Beef is published by Consolidated Beef Producers…for more info click here.
Disclaimer:  The Beef, CBP nor Cassie Fish shall not be liable for decisions or actions taken based on the data/information/opinions.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Details

You have until December 31 of this year to take advantage of Section 179 expenditures for 2014. Although it is too late for 2014, Section 179 should be a part of your cash flow plan for 2015.

Plan backwards. Figure out how much you need of Sec 179 deductions to zero taxable income. Monitor, and adjust your plan accordingly, at least monthly (even daily if you have a computerized accounting system).

Be careful. Note that permanent fencing and corals do NOT qualify for Section 179 treatment because they are attached to the land and, consequently, are classified as real property. However, portable fencing (step in posts, tape, etc.) and cattle panels (Powder River style) do qualify.

Remember: No business decision should be made solely on tax consequences if it is not a sound economic investment. A bottom line example:

Assume you are considering a Sec 179 project that will cost you $100,000 and you are a 35% tax payer. Section 179 means $35,000 to you in “saved taxes.” So, in reality, the project only cost you $65,000. It may not be economically feasible at $100,00 but it might at $65,000 — do the numbers and do not forget to consider the “time value of money.”

One last note. Also remember that Sec 179 has a “carry over” provision. In other words, if you have more Sec 179 deductions than you need to reduce taxable income to zero, any excess can be carried forward for several years until it us used up.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. — jtl

By Jami Howell via Northern Ag Network

Section 179 Expensing and the Bonus Depreciation are designed help businesses keep more capital, while also getting needed equipment, vehicles, and software.  However the clock is ticking.  Only equipment or software purchased and put into use before the December 31st deadline qualifies.  Nothing has been decided as this point for the 2015 tax year and hopefully will not again be decided in mid December.

Northern Ag’s Russell Nemetz spoke with Curt Barnekoff, a certified public accountant with Galusha, Higgins and Galush for a little insight into Section 179 and the Bonus Depreciation.  One of the key questions was with just a few days left in the year, if these new purchases had to be physically on the farm or ranch to avoid being in violation of the IRS tax law.

CLICK HERE to listen to the interview.

What was covered in the 2014 Tax Extenders package passed by Congress: Tax Extenders – Section 179 Expensing

Section 179 Expensing

Reauthorized 2014 Limits:

$500,000 total deduction

Purchases not to exceed $2,000,000

Fully phased out at $2,500,000 of purchases

Tax Extenders – Bonus Depreciation

Bonus Depreciation – Reauthorized (50% Bonus Depreciation)

What Is Bonus Depreciation? 

Applies to certain qualifying property

New, placed in service during the year, 20 years or less

Depreciation deduction for 50% of cost

Encourages reinvestment in new capital assets

Purchase of $250,000 new tractor would allow bonus depreciation of $125,000 and reduce taxes by $43,750 using a 35% tax rate

Answers to Common Section 179 Questions: From the http://www.Section179.com Website. (NOTE:  The Section179 Calculators have not yet been updated) What Sort of Equipment Qualifies in 2014?

Most tangible business equipment qualifies.

Equipment (machines, etc) purchased for business use

Tangible personal property used in business

Business Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 6,000 lbs (Section 179 Vehicle Deductions)

Computers and Computer “Off-the-Shelf” Software

Office Furniture and Office Equipment

Property attached to your building that is not a structural component of the building (i.e.: a printing press, large manufacturing tools and equipment)

Partial Business Use (equipment that is purchased for business use and personal use: generally, your deduction will be based on the percentage of time you use the equipment for business purposes).  

List of Section 179 Non Qualifying Property

Real Property does not qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. Real Property is typically defined as land, buildings, permanent structures and the components of the permanent structures (including improvements). Other examples of property that would not qualify for the Section 179 Deduction include paved parking areas and fences.

Air conditioning and heating equipment

Property used outside the United States

Property that is used to furnish lodging

Property acquired by gift or inheritance, as well as property purchased from related parties.  (No, you can’t sell equipment to yourself and qualify for Section 179)

Used Equipment (that is new to you) qualifies for Section 179, however used equipment does not qualify for Bonus Depreciation.

Does lease equipment qualify for Section 179? 

Yes. The obvious advantage to leasing or financing equipment and/or software and then taking the Section 179 Deduction is the fact that you can deduct the full amount of the equipment and/or software, without paying the full amount this year. The amount you save in taxes can actually exceed the payments. 

CLICK HERE for more Detail

How do I elect to take the Section 179 Deduction?

To elect to take the Section 179 Deduction, simply fill out Part 1 of IRS form 4562, and attach it to your tax return.  You may claim Section 179 deductions up to the due date (including extensions) for filing your taxes for the tax year you are claiming the deduction. Initially you were not allowed to claim Section 179 for previous tax years – however, under Rev. Proc. 2008-54 you are now able to amend and elect Section 179 if you previously did not for tax years beginning after 2007 and through currently 2014. For more detailed information, check the www.Section179.com website or contact your tax preparer.

© Northern Ag Network 2014

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might be interested in this books supplement: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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Update from the American Lands Council

There has been a lot of publicity about the report recently released by Utah’s Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office and not all of it is accurate.  Opponents perpetuate the myth by trying to say that “we cannot manage our own lands without selling them off”, knowing full well that most people will not actually read the report, but will instead believe whatever sound bites someone throws at them concerning it.

We believe that you are not “most people”.  We want and encourage you to read the report, or at least their summary of the report and get the facts for yourself.  Below are some quoted excerpts of the report with references to where you can find them.  As you read the facts, you will discover that not only can we afford to manage the public lands as states…but we absolutely can NOT afford NOT to!

PATHWAY TO A BALANCED PUBLIC LANDS POLICY: A Review of and Recommendations Based On An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah

Excerpts:

“the federal management of the public lands is ‘Out of Balance.’ The congressional mandate to manage the lands according to the principles of “multiple-use and sustained yield” has become mired in inefficiency, paralysis, and a predisposition to limited-use management. This immobilization has an effect upon State and local economies, private enterprise, recreational access, rural culture, and the health and sustenance of the very lands entrusted to federal stewardship.”  Page 3

“The Study contains extensive useful information, and should be read as an integrated whole in order to appreciate the complex and inter-connected nature of the economic and cultural attributes of the public lands. Most significantly, it demonstrates that a transfer of the public lands can be an economically sound pathway to a more balanced public lands policy. The Study demonstrates that this can be accomplished without sacrificing the beauty of our State, the quality of our life, or the attraction of Utah to tourists and recreationists from around the country and the world.” Page 4

“The Study suggests some alternatives by which wildfire costs could be reduced or revenue increased to meet increased costs. Changes in fire suppression approaches and mitigation could allow for management at lower costs. ‘[L]and managers can actively manage forests and rangelands and regulate the wildland-urban-interface to make them less vulnerable to dangerous fires.’”  Page 11

“The Study observes that ‘[s]ustainable management of resource uses such as timber harvesting and livestock grazing is compatible with healthy vegetation and normal wildfire activity. Harvesting, prescribed burns and preparedness can reduce the severity and cost of wildfire.’” Page 12

“Another section of the Study notes that access to roads and trails on the public lands is important for many recreation activities. The Study concludes that ‘access to roads and trails would increase following land transfer . . . the state would likely be more permissive than federal land managers in this regard.’” Page 13

To view and download the summary, click here. To view and download the FULL report (784 pages), click HERE.

Thank you for taking the time to understand these issues and share the facts with all within your sphere of influence!

American Lands Council http://www.americanlandscouncil.org/

859 W South Jordan Pkwy, 100, South Jordan, UT 84095, United States

You can also keep up with American Lands Council on Twitter or Facebook.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

You might be interested in this books supplemental volume: A Handbook for Ranch Managers.

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Big Bull Move; No Adjustment of CME Limits

From The Beef by Cassie Fish, CassandraFish.com

Feeder cattle futures are locked down the CME mandated 300-point limit for fifth consecutive day taking live cattle futures along for the ride as fear spreads. There are already more offered limit down today than yesterday as a true snowball effect is underway.

Feeder cattle options are still trading as “market makers” in the feeder cattle options pit are able to complete transactions reflecting, synthetically, where the market may be headed. The options market is the only barometer market watchers have besides the size of the unfilled futures sell orders piling up, totaling over 2600 in Jan FC alone. At this writing, there was a sizeable option trade in Jan feeders at the futures equivalent of $209, $7.60 lower than Jan futures before values slipped further to what constitutes a $208 offer and $207 bid.

Many traders and those in the cattle industry reached out to the CME yesterday, pleading for an expansion of the 300 point limit so that the pressure valve of pent of panic selling can be relieved, but the CME did not act. The only statement they have issued is that “the CME is monitoring the situation closely.”

         Big Bull Move; No Adjustment of CME Limits

As cattle prices increased in value over 39 years, from the $20s to the $90s the trading increments became larger, though no change was made to the 100-point limit in cattle futures. It took an extreme situation brought on by BSE in Canada in 2003- which caused the U.S. to slaughter over 700k week after week and fed cattle prices to exceed $100 as the U.S. filled Canada’s void- to force the exchange to expand limits to an appropriate 300 points.

This year, as the biggest bull market in cattle since the late 1970s gained steam, values have increased dramatically. In the last 20 months, feeder cattle futures on a spot basis have risen 46%. The 300 point limit equaled 2.2% of the value in April 2013. That same limit was 2.7% of the value of the contract in 2003, the last time the limit was expanded. Splitting the difference for arguments sake, and applying the same simple methodology, the feeder cattle futures limit based on today’s Jan FC price should be expanded to 550 or even 600 points. There was a rumor yesterday the CME was considering that very change.

When a futures market is functioning properly, it provides a risk management tool that’s heart and soul is basis. Packers offer basis contracts to cattle feeders and end users. Large cattle feeding entities offer basis contracts to feeder cattle producers. Flat price risk is transferred to basis risk. When the underlying futures contract is out of step with the physical side of the market, (today’s weekly feeder cattle index is estimated at $234.73 though the daily number has fallen to $221), basis becomes skewed and even worse. When a disastrous event like the one occurring today is allowed to continue, unchecked, it blows historical basis relationships out the window, which costs all participants sooner or later.

CME cattle futures provide a vital business management tool. The CME profits from the cattle and beef industries’ participation and in return the cattle and beef industry has the right to require a reliable, liquid and responsive marketplace to transact business.

If you feel the CME needs to act, please contact the exchange and let your voice be heard.http://cmegroup.com

The Beef is published by Consolidated Beef Producers…for more info click here.
Disclaimer:  The Beef, CBP nor Cassie Fish shall not be liable for decisions or actions taken based on the data/information/opinions.

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The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. This is the volume that pulls it all together. With reference to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s description of Murray Rothbard’s work, it is a “unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.” Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

You might be interested in the three volume set which includes: The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History and The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty

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Utah Demands Feds Surrender Lands by Dec. 31

While apparatchiks for an all-powerful U.S. government and far-left activists are fuming over the plan, Utah lawmakers, citizens, and experts say the time has come for the state to manage — and profit from — its own resources. Constitutionally speaking, experts say the lands should have gone to state control generations ago, as the federal government promised when Utah became a state.

Knowing that the title to more than 65% of the land area west of the 100th meridian (about Denver) is claimed by the FedGov, how can anyone believe that we live in anything but a communist country? What else would you call it? — jtl, 419

Written by  at The New American

Utah Demands Feds Surrender Lands by Dec. 31

 With the federal government engaged in a de facto unconstitutional occupation of some two thirds of Utah’s territory, citizens of the state and their elected representatives have had just about enough. So, on December 31, the State of Utah is formally demanding that Washington, D.C., relinquish control over more than 30 million acres of valuable land currently controlled by various federal bureaucracies.

While apparatchiks for an all-powerful U.S. government and far-left activists are fuming over the plan, Utah lawmakers, citizens, and experts say the time has come for the state to manage — and profit from — its own resources. Constitutionally speaking, experts say the lands should have gone to state control generations ago, as the federal government promised when Utah became a state.

The escalating battle now brewing between the feds and Utah formally got underway in in 2012, when Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, riding a wave of public outrage over federal abuses and land grabs, signed the popular Transfer of Public Lands Act. Among other elements, the law calls on the federal government to hand over control of public lands purportedly owned by the U.S. government within Utah’s border

The law also commissioned a study, released this month, examining various aspects of the process and finances — including how Utah would manage the land it is calling on the federal government to relinquish. According to the study, contrary to the hysterical claims of pseudo-environmentalists and federal supremacists demanding ever greater federal land grabs, transferring the lands to Utah would likely be “profitable” for the state.

Indeed, if Utah controlled its own lands — as opposed to bureaucrats and politicians in faraway Washington, D.C., who siphon away much of the state’s wealth and mismanage the resources — the state could easily bring in enough revenue to cover the costs of managing the lands, and then some. According to the researchers, the vast swaths of federally owned land represent an overall “drag” on the state’s economy — especially in the 20 out of 29 counties where the feds purport to own more than 40 percent of the land.

The 780-page study, “An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah,” was performed by economists from three leading Utah universities. It concluded that properly managing the lands by Utah authorities would cost the state government about $250 million annually by 2017. Revenues from those same lands in 2013 were already more than $330 million, with most of that coming from oil and gas royalties.

Depending on oil prices and other factors, a best-case-scenario would see the state’s coffers bulging with over $1 billion in additional revenue annually by 2035. By 2017, with a slight increase in drilling, the state could be earning nearly $400 million per year — more than enough to offset the costs of taking over fire suppression and other management duties from the federal government.

“In conclusion, from a strictly financial perspective, it is likely the state of Utah could take ownership of the lands and cover the costs to manage them,” found the study, which was celebrated by Utahans but blasted by Big Green lobbyists given a megaphone by the establishment press. “Our research also suggests that it could put a strain on the state’s funding priorities in the early years as the state adjusts to the loss of federal dollars, evaluates land resources and conditions, and develops programs to replace those now managed by federal agencies.”

While the potential economic benefits to the people of Utah are clear, many of the officials leading the charge are also concerned about broader issues. As the Western territories were officially becoming states, like in the East, the federal government agreed to eventually transfer those lands to state control. However, as with so many other promises made by the D.C.-based political class, so far, the pledges have not been fulfilled. The 2012 Utah law specifically cited those agreements from when the state joined the Union.

Perhaps the most important issue at play in the whole land issue, though, is the U.S. Constitution. Lawmakers involved in the effort point to, among other key points, Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which outlines what types of property the federal government is authorized to own. The Federalist Papers, too, make clear that the Founding Fathers never meant to have the federal government serve as landlord over half of the Western states, and in some cases, as much as 85 percent of the territory within states such as Nevada.

Despite the 2012 law requiring the feds to get out by December 31 of this year, the controversial federal bureaucracies unconstitutionally occupying and (mis)managing the vast territories — primarily the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service — have refused to cooperate so far, according to news reports. For the state lawmakers and officials behind the effort to restore state sovereignty over the land, however, that is simply not an option.

“We’re going to move forward and use all the resources at our disposal,” explained Utah Rep. Ken Ivory, who sponsored the 2012 law and also leads the American Lands Council, a group seeking to strip the feds of their gargantuan land holdings across the Western United States. Among other possibilities, state leaders are exploring a plan to hire a private law firm to lead the charge in court if Washington, D.C., refuses to surrender the lands by the deadline set in the law.

The first step in the process is to see whether the federal government will voluntarily comply with the Constitution and Utah’s law mandating that it be upheld. “That’s what you do any time you’re negotiating with a partner. You set a date,” explained Rep. Ivory. “Unfortunately, our federal partner has decided they don’t want to negotiate in good faith. So we’ll move forward with the four-step plan that the governor laid out.”

While the governor who signed the 2012 law has not been quite as enthusiastic as state lawmakers, he welcomed the report and vowed to continue considering the state’s options. “I expect that public discussion will be well-served by this report,” Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement about the study. “It is important to make decisions based upon a thorough review of accurate, relevant information.” He also said his office and the legislature would “continue to review” the study and “pose questions for further consideration of the legislature.”

As The New American reported earlier this year, Utah and its citizens are hardly alone in seeking to wrest control over the lands and the vast wealth currently claimed by the feds. In April, lawmakers and elected officials from nine Western states even met at the Utah Capitol for the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands. “Legislators from across the West are saying enough is enough,” Washington State Rep. Matt Shea told The New American after the summit. “We are banding together to fight federal overreach wherever it rears its ugly head, not just talk about it.”

“The federal government cannot possibly know how best to manage land in the thousands of different locales like the people of those areas could,” the popular Republican lawmaker explained, echoing the sentiments of countless other policymakers and activists who say the federal government needs to be stripped of its vast, unconstitutional land holdings. “Clearly, the people of Western states would do a better job managing those lands.”

Already, the federal government alone purports to “own” about a third of the land in the United States — and with ongoing land grabs across the country under various pretexts, those numbers continue to mushroom. “The enabling acts of the Western States make it clear the federal government was meant to be a steward only until such time that the states could manage,” Rep. Shea explained. State and local governments also have vast land holdings.

Eventually, some advocates of reducing the gargantuan federal footprint across the Western states hope some of the land can be sold off and become private property rather than being owned by government. Getting the feds to relinquish control to state governments, though, would at least represent a good starting point.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at anewman@thenewamerican.com.

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The Essence of Liberty: Volume II (The Economics of Liberty)The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty will introduce the reader to the fundamental principles of the Austrian School of Economics. The Austrian School traces its origins back to the Scholastics of Medieval Spain. But its lineage actually began with Carl Menger and continued on through Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and many others. It is the one and only true private property based, free market line of economic thought. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume set: The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History and The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. 

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Live Cattle Futures Succumb to Feeder Futures Collapse

My wife’s intuition tells me that I need to say a few words about “limit down (or up)” days. First, what they are: The government in all its wisdom and through its Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has determined that no commodity future should be allowed to change in price by more than their arbitrarily determined number. That is the “limit.” 

So, a limit down or up day essentially boils down to–there was not a market. Very few, if any trades were made simply because the fixed price would not clear the market. 

Don’t you just love it when government functionaries think they are smarter than 300,000 (or more) people making their own decisions? — jtl, 419

From The Beef by Cassie Fish, CassandraFish.com

A fourth limit down day in feeder cattle futures is proving too much for live cattle futures and each contract month has made a new low for the move catapulting through support and reaching levels not seen since September. Perhaps the CME needs to step in and expand the limit for feeder cattle futures which will allow the longs to liquidate so the market can relieve the pent up pressure and halt this snowballing money game. Otherwise this debacle will have a difficult time concluding.

If it wasn’t such a tragedy, it would be laughable that one of the smallest markets at the CME, in terms of open interest and volume is now holding not only live cattle futures hostage but the cash cattle market as well.

         Panic, Panic – Money, Money

Since the daily limit down moves make it difficult if not impossible for most feeder cattle futures longs to bail out of losing positions traders look for something to sell, in order to spread up their long, and live cattle futures, especially the deferred contract months, have been the short leg of choice. Panic selling ensues in the live cattle as well and any would be buyers keep their hands in their pockets, knowing full well that until the feeder mess is dealt with, bottom picking is too dangerous.

New stringent margin requirements have only upped the ante literally, as traders must wire quickly or endure harsh penalties. Here’s the CFTC ruling as explained by clearing firms:

In direct response to the recent CFTC ruling, Futures Commission Merchants will start posting aged margin call charges on a daily basis, starting Nov 17th. Specifically, for margin deficiencies less than $10,000, on day 5 of the margin call, a $10 fee will be imposed daily. Calls from $10,000 to $25,000, on day 3 will be charged $10 per day until the call is met. On a third day call in excess of $25,000, a fee of $25 per day will be charged until the call is met. This is in response to a new CFTC ruling. This is an industry wide ruling.

         Small Market Wields an Ugly End to 2014

Discussions of fundamentals today are important only to point out that a similar collapse in boxed beef prices or cash cattle prices can’t be found. There certainly have been other times in history when run-away breaks have occurred in cattle futures- numerous mad cow scares, 9/11, pink slime, dairy buy-out, Nixon price freeze.

This time, it is longs trapped in an illiquid, small futures contract making mincemeat out of the Bull of 2014 with 10 more trading days left in this historic year. It’s very easy to read a great deal into this break and draw conclusions that may or may not be based in reality. One thing is certain, an extreme extreme like this one will have some sort of counterbalancing reaction.

The Beef is published by Consolidated Beef Producers…for more info click here.
Disclaimer:  The Beef, CBP nor Cassie Fish shall not be liable for decisions or actions taken based on the data/information/opinions.

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The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume setA: The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty and The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. 

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