Nestle joins the “plant based burger” movement

In the end, this is all being cooked up (literally) by the people trying to drive the beef industry out of business. You know what we have to do, people. Suck it up and start eating more steaks.
A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewOu rah! What a great way to fight a war. lol — jtl, 419
by Jazz Shaw at Hot Air

 

First, it was Burger King. Next came Chick-fil-A. Then it was Little Ceaser’s. Companies have inexplicably been signing on to use laboratory-grown, plant-based “meat” substitutes in everything from burgers to sausage. And now, joining the parade is Nestle. Wait a minute… Nestle makes burgers? I thought they did hot chocolate. (CNBC)

 

Nestle is looking to take a bite of the growing U.S. plant-based burger market.

Through its Sweet Earth brand, which it acquired in 2017, the global food giant will launch its Awesome Burger in the fall. The vegan meat substitute will be available at grocery stores, restaurants and universities.

Sweet Earth founders Brian and Kelly Swette said they began developing their own plant-based burger several years ago — before nearly every restaurant chain announced a plant-based option and Beyond Meat went public.

Okay, so Sweet Earth Foods is a brand that Nestle bought to expand their portfolio. You can take a look at this particular horror show at their site. They’re prominently advertising the “Awesome Burger” as coming soon. I’ll give them credit. The actual burger part of the sandwich does kinda sorta look like a real hamburger if you don’t stare at it too closely. But still… not quite. Take a look for yourself. (Click on image for full-size picture.)

See what I mean? As I said, it sort of looks like meat, but there are weird gaps in the patty. It looks fairly juicy, but keep in mind that this is an advertising photo and those things rarely look like what actually comes out of the package and winds up on your plate. If you’re not familiar with the process, take a gander at this report on how photographers make the food look so delicious. The list of secret tricks includes, but is not limited to, glue, sponges, tampons, shoe polish, and motor oil.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits Of course, now that I think about it, would you rather eat something made of tampons, shoe polish and glue or “soy DNA injected into genetically engineered yeast that’s then fermented?” (That’s literally a company description of the impossible beef and how they design it in the lab.) Might come down to a coin toss if you ask me.

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)  So this particular nightmare is spreading faster than I’d ever imagined it would. Whether you’re going into a restaurant and placing an order with your nifty new AI-controlled robot waiter or picking up something at the grocery store to cook at home, you’ll need to be on your guard. I think they’re still required to tell you that you’re purchasing some sort of Frankenplant composite, but labels can be tricky. Be sure to ask first.

In the end, this is all being cooked up (literally) by the people trying to drive the beef industry out of business. You know what we have to do, people. Suck it up and start eating more steaks.

Environmental and 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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We’ve seen this movie before and it does not end well. It always ends up in a pile of dead bodies. — jtl, 419

The Jan. 6th Show Trials Threaten All of Us

By Ron Paul, MD via LewRockwell.com

The recent felony conviction and eight month prison sentence of January 6th protester Paul Hodgkins is an affront to any notion of justice. It is a political charge and a political verdict by a political court. Every American regardless of political persuasion should be terrified of a court system so beholden to politics instead of justice.

We’ve seen this movie before and it does not end well.

Worse than this miscarriage of justice is the despicable attempt by the prosecutor in the case to label Hodgkins – who has no criminal record and was accused of no violent crime – a “terrorist.”

As journalist Michael Tracey recently wrote, Special Assistant US Attorney Mona Sedky declared Hodgkins a “terrorist” in the court proceedings not for committing any terrorist act, not for any act of violence, not even for imagining a terrorist act.

Sedky wrote in her sentencing memo, “The Government … recognizes that Hodgkins did not personally engage in or espouse violence or property destruction.” She added, “we concede that Mr. Hodgkins is not under the legal definition a domestic terrorist.”

Yet Hodgkins should be considered a terrorist because the actions he took – entering the Senate to take a photo of himself – occurred during an event that the court is “framing…in the context of terrorism.”

That goes beyond a slippery slope. He is not a terrorist because he committed a terrorist act, but because somehow the “context” of his actions was, in her words, “imperiling democracy.”

In other words, Hodgkins deserved enhanced punishment because he committed a thought crime. The judge on the case, Randolph D. Moss, admitted as much. In carrying a Trump flag into the Senate, he said, Hodgkins was, “declaring his loyalty to a single individual over the nation.”

As Tracey pointed out, while eight months in prison is a ridiculously long sentence for standing on the floor of the “People’s House” and taking a photograph, it is also a ridiculously short sentence for a terrorist. If Hodgkins is really a terrorist, shouldn’t he be sent away for longer than eight months?

The purpose of the Soviet show trials was to create an enemy that the public could collectively join in hating and blaming for all the failures of the system. The purpose was to turn one part of the population against the other part of the population and demand they be “cancelled.” And it worked very well…for awhile.

In a recent article, libertarian author Jim Bovard quoted from Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago about how average people turned out to demand “justice” for the state’s designated “political” enemies: “There were universal meetings and demonstrations (including even school-children). It was the newspaper march of millions, and the roar rose outside the windows of the courtroom: ‘Death! Death! Death!’”

While we are not quite there yet, we are moving in that direction. Americans being sent to prison not for what they did, but for what they believe? Does that sound like the kind of America we really want to live in?

While many Biden backers are enjoying seeing the hammer come down on pro-Trump, non-violent protesters, they should take note: the kind of totalitarian “justice” system they are cheering on will soon be coming for them. It always does.

The Best of Ron Paul, MD

Options for Homeland Defense, Inc. (Protecting Liberty through Private Firearms Ownership)  

“Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” – Jeff Cooper

Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first.

In Warren v. District of Columbia the court ruled, and the Supreme Court upheld, that “(T)he desire for condemnation cannot satisfy the need for a special relationship out of which a duty to specify persons arises.” Because the complaint did not allege a relationship “beyond that found in general police responses to crimes,” the court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim.

The bottom line is that your local police are not legally obligated to protect you, the average citizen. In addition to the Warren case, there are hundreds of court rulings which state that cops are not legally responsible for protecting individual citizens. For example, see Zelig v. County of Los Angeles.

The government can’t protect you as you saw on September 11, 2001 as well as during the Washington, DC area “sniper” rampage and the plethora of active shooter events that we have had since.

In fact, the government could very well be our greatest fear, due to its propensity to murder people because of their ideas (See Ruby Ridge, ID and Waco, TX).

A simple internet or youtube.com search of “the police state” or “police brutality” will reveal literally thousands of violent crimes (from assault to cold blooded murder) committed by the State’s costumed emissaries of officially sanctioned violence (aka The Police State) against harmless and innocent people.

So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU It is your duty and personal responsibility to protect yourself and your loved ones.

This responsibility is a natural right given to us by God as human beings and guaranteed to us as individuals by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Options for Homeland Defense, Inc. offers professional weapons and tactics training that will make the difference. Instructed by experienced combat veterans—guys that have “been there and done that.” It offers private instruction at its privately owned range and mobile training teams are available. All interactions are confidential and discrete.

Contact: You can contact us via email at editor@flyover-press.com or through any of the contact or email links on our Web Site at www.flyover-press.com

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Joel Salatin: The Ron Paul of Family Farmers

By Ginny Garner via LewRockwell.com


Sitting on a picnic bench across from Joel Salatin on a beautiful day on Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, I am struck with how much the farmer, author and lecturer reminds me of Ron Paul: Mission-driven, a leader who has inspired millions around the world, a Christian, family man, libertarian, self-sufficient, charismatic, energetic, enterprising, optimistic, hard-working, a teacher, a communicator, a brilliant unorthodox thinker, confident yet humble, good-humored, athletic, frugal, and possessing a strong bearing and commanding presence. A great and good man.

If you type the question “Who is the most famous farmer in the world?” into Google, the result is Joel Salatin. He has appeared in many documentaries on factory farming and/or the rogue food movement including Polyfaces, Food Inc., Fresh, Revolution Food, Sustenance, Freedom From Choice, What’s With Wheat?, American Meat, and At the Fork. Ron Paul also appears in Farmageddon which shows government agents swat teaming family farmers for selling raw milk, destroying their animals and their livelihoods. Salatin has written 12 books, lectured all over the world, edits the Stockman Grass Farmer, and the self-described “lunatic farmer” shares his musings online.

Four generations of Salatins live and work at Polyface: Joel’s mother Lucille who originally owned the 550-acre farm with her husband Bill who passed away in 1988; Joel, Teresa, his wife of 40+ years, their daughter Rachel who does marketing for the farm, and son Daniel who has been managing the farm since he was 18, his wife Sheri and their three children. The farm provides food for 3,000 in the community and local restaurants.

At Polyface Farm simple farming methods are modified by new technologies. The farm is regenerative, sustainable and organic: no pesticides, chemical fertilizers or antibiotics have ever been used and seeds have never been planted. The carbon-based ecosystem is teaming with life. The movement of the animals and their meeting with grass on the farm is carefully and lovingly managed. High-tech fencing keeps the animals in and the predators out. The cows, chickens, hens, baby chicks, and rabbits look healthy and content and so does the team who work on the farm. People travel from all over the world to visit Polyface, take a tour, participate in summits, and learn how to start or develop their own farms.

A palpable spirituality permeates this space: the cycle of life is fully expressed, with every living plant, animal and person doing their part and working together in perfect synergy. Life is biological and therefore fundamentally sacred and the sacrifice of life to feed or serve others is understood. This philosophy is most certainly in stark contrast with the transhumanist agenda of the global technocrats to transform humans into machines.

Over the past 50 years factory farming dominated by industrial giants took control of agriculture in America, with government regulations favoring the monopolists and governments subsidizing many farmers. For decades growing consumer awareness and concern about industrialized farm products and the globalized industrial food system vastly increased the market and demand for organics, but agribusiness has incrementally hijacked the label organic. While organic family farms constitute only 2% of agriculture in the US and the average age of a family farmer is 60, the local rogue food movement is growing, especially since the Covid coup. Salatin says if the farming methods used at Polyface were globally implemented, all the carbon depleted from the soil since the industrial age would be sequestered within 10 years.

Q & A with Joel:

How did you get started in farming?

My dad was an accountant and my mom a teacher. They didn’t see this farm as a business. They never made money. We stand on the shoulders of greatness. We got a blank slate. We leveraged a simple but elegant basic philosophy of non-chemical using nature as a template, a carbon economy. Teresa and I lived in the attic on $300 month and drove a $50 car. We were married 20 years and figured out all we spent on cars and it didn’t add up to $20,000. We have been frugal. We never had a TV. If we made a windfall we wouldn’t change anything. We enjoy writing, have no desire for material things, and have a happy, content, well paid team. I’d rather be a pauper with a team who would die for me than die with millions in the bank with team members who don’t like me. We put a lot of attention on what are we here for – the sacredness and righteousness of what we are doing for the land, culture, community, and people. It doesn’t get any more noble than healing.

When did the modern organic food movement begin?

J.I. Rodale published the Organic Farming and Gardening magazine in 1942, there was the Agriculture Testament by Sir Albert Howard in 1943, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962, Mother Earth News during the Vietnam War era, Wendall Berry’s “Unsettling of America” in 1977. The idea of organic farming was then codified. There was “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, and the documentary Food, Inc.

How did “the Covid coup” affect the Polyface Farm business?

Nice little entrepreneur owned local restaurants has been one of the most viable small local capital things someone can get into. We served 50 restaurants and it’s unfortunate but about 30 of these small businesses shut down.

What role should the government have had in response to Covid-19?

None. Health is not a government responsibility; it’s a personal responsibility. As soon as you make it a government responsibility, you begin taking sides as to which procedures are good and which are bad. Obviously, expert opinion is often wrong: think DDT, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and antimicrobial soap.

How has Covid-19 changed local farming?

2020 will go down as a time of accelerating interest in questioning scientific orthodoxy and individuals taking responsibility for their own health realizing they can’t depend on government yo-yos to do it. Catastrophes don’t make trends, they clarify trends. The seed companies sold out and you couldn’t buy freezers at Lowes. Supermarket shelves went empty last spring (2020). There has been a tsunami of interest in gardening and in homesteading. One million backyard chicken flocks went in, and we sold many raise-to-lay pullets and hens. They start to lay eggs at about the 20th week. Customers walk in the Polyface store and tell us “Before this I would have never come out here and I can never go back.” There is a homesteading movement and the price of small acreages, five acres and down, it doesn’t go on market for 24 hours, and people get 10-15 % above the asking price.

What can you say about the thinking of these customers on the Covid shots?

There are people questioning vaccines. They have children with autism, they are aware of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s work with the Children’s Health Defense. More dots are being connected with adult ailments linked to vaccination like autoimmune diseases. I didn’t know there was a fund for people who got hurt from vaccines. There is an alignment of this vaccine questioning group against the overall pontifications from the CDC and this is all eroding faith in conventional thinking. Not the least of this has been the inversion of eating butter and lard which the government claimed was not healthy and hydrogenated oil which consumers were told was healthy. They have an overall question about how to stay healthy including economic concerns: what happens if we become a banana republic? How do I stay healthy if the stock market crashes?

How did people allow industrialized farming to take over?

We are addicted to convenience. We would rather drink coke and at age 50 expect many visits to the doctors. These things accumulate. The statistics 35 years ago were 18% of per capita income was spent on food while 9% was spent on health care. Today 9% is spent on food and 18% on health care. There is a link. You get what you pay for with clothes, automobiles, country club memberships, TVs and food. This is food on the table, and it’s a sacred spot. We are supposed to buy a Pinto and have the health of a Mercedes. The hardest thing to change is diet. We like what we like, like the smells of grandma’s kitchen. The most intimate thing we do is to take this material, eat it, and it becomes me. This is common sense.

We are told climate change is a threat, carbon is bad, coal plants must be shut down. The farm economy is based on carbon and globally soil has been severely depleted of carbon. Can you reconcile these two views?

You can never go wrong building up the carbon in soil. So why not start with where everyone agrees and leave the causes and fringes alone? Further, how about reducing energy consumption, like regionalizing food systems rather than globalizing them. Like using your kitchen to prepare food rather than urban industrial centers. Like eating whole foods rather than processed foods. If we reduced processing and transportation energy, we’d get carbon reductions by default.

How would you describe the beliefs of those interested in food self-sufficiency?

When we began getting notoriety visitors were liberals caring for the earth and tree huggers, and then the home schooling movement joined them. The visitor ratio shifted to a lot of conservatives. We had these two polar opposites coexisting. They all agreed they didn’t like the system. When you do something unorthodox and unconventional and you find it rewarding, your next thought is “What else have I been missing?” People started going to the acupuncturist instead of the doctor, started baking bread, started putting chickens in their backyard, and buying the acres to put in milk cows. I think 2020 will go down as a similar pivotal time in the overall health movement. An MIT professor who studies trends concluded liberals and conservatives agree on three things: 1) 2020 showed we are going in wrong direction and proved we are dysfunctional 2) I want to help the situation, and 3) I don’t know how. The energy and power we can bring is we can show people how so they can say “I helped.” We can bring functionality where there is dysfunction.

What kinds of health issues can result from food supply chains?

Vulnerabilities are pathogens, toxins and diseases that affect the food system, like swine flu, influenza, and Covid. The food industry is sterilizing everything. Food doesn’t have life in it. Hydroponic crops are not grown in soil but they are called organic. Animals, plants and humans can have an effect. The genetic diversity of all our major food sources is narrow. All dairy cows in the US come from two bulls. The homogeneity of genetic selection creates more vulnerability. Diversified pasture is a more healthy, resilient system than annuals and monocrops. We are setting ourselves up for an Irish potato famine.

Do you foresee food shortages?

I don’t. We are not going to run out of food. For the first time in history we are throwing away 40-50% of the food on the planet. You can increase the population by 50% and we are growing enough food for people. China is paying people to have kids. Africa has untapped potential and is awash and rich in resources. The problem is socioeconomic. US foreign aid displaces their own indigenous wisdom and ability to grow. There is sickness and disease that are unrelated to fertility. The problem is we have a shortage of nutrition. Food plays a role in the rise and fall of civilizations. Historically soil erosion meant there wasn’t enough food. Population growth would be decelerating in the US if it weren’t for immigration. There won’t be a farmer’s revolution in the US – there are twice as many people in prison than farmers – but there could be a food issue. A lot more people are interested in food than in growing it. Polyface Farm is now getting four times the county average of production per acre pasture, four times per acre of the average farm in the county. Imagine if the whole country did that. We could double or triple that production in five years if we wanted to with a change in management. The US has 35 million acres of lawn not including golf courses and 36 million recreational acres for horses, that’s 71 million. Think of the millions of acres of unused suburban land that can be turned into production area if the Bureau of Land Management would allow it

What can people do to start to become food self-sufficient?

The idea that we can create a different world but nobody has to change is not true. Everything that is going on now – Biden, Trump – we have a physical manifestation of decisions people have made until today. In 40 years, it will be the same thing. The future starts now. I have a favorite Chinese proverb, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” We must make a change. Bloom where you are planted. Fill your space whether it’s an apartment or a condo, townhouse or house. Put kitchen scraps in a composter and let the earthworms eat it. You can hang things, pack compost in, and have an herb garden. Put a bee hive on your roof or a garden. Raise chickens or rabbits if you have any land. Buy two bushels of green beans and can them. Create a food larder. Historically homes had a chicken house next to it, a piggery next to it, and the pigs would get the spilt milk from cheesemaking. How much whey in cheesemaking do we throw away instead of feeding it to pigs because we have a segregated food system? In my perfect world there wouldn’t be egg sales at the supermarket. If one in three households had chicken scraps, they would turn it into compost, feed it to earthworms, and feed them to chickens. Surround yourself with people who appreciate this.

How else can unorthodox thinking further be applied to decrease dependency on the industrialized farming system?

There’s a day called the Great American Smokeout that started about 20 year ago – one day when no one will smoke. What if there was a Great American Junk Food Out? For one day no one ate junk food. Imagine the repercussions of that. It would bring the industry to its knees.

How does farming differ from the virtual world?

A garden is one thing in the life of children that is real; it’s viscerally participating in the mystery of life. How much time do people spend in front of screens playing games? This is fantasy. When you get immersed in real life drama, not games, it’s for all the marbles. When the tomato plant dries up and dies, you don’t have another tomato plant in a minute. This finality is real which makes life more sacred, and death is part of that cycle. You can compensate for that by moving to a more resilient system.

How is that accomplished?

Diversification is the answer. True organic soil doesn’t dry out as fast. We built ponds as part of flood control. This is water that accumulated in February in ponds. We were really dry. We got nice rain last night. Decentralize animals so they are not in the same structure, and then the structures are cheaper. If something happens to the chickens, you have cows. An efficient, integrated, relationally complex system takes a lot of attention to create. Having a functional team takes a lot of effort to create in a business environment rather than letting it spin out of control. Fragility doesn’t take any effort.

How does someone become an intern at the farm and what is the impact of that experience on them?

Apply. We have a formal selection and vetting process; the primary criterion is attitude and spirit. For those young people to step in and viscerally participate in healing beyond themselves creates purpose-driven incentive. There are few things as profound in life.

How does someone become an apprentice at Polyface Farm?

At the halfway point of the five-month stewardship program (internship) you can apply for the 12-month additional apprenticeship. By that time, we’ve been together for about three months so it becomes fairly clear what makes a good fit. At that point, of course, we seriously consider leadership qualities.

What can you say about your new book?

I have written a manuscript for another book to be published next month called “Polyface Micro” and it talks about raising animals scaled down to a microscale, like two cows. What if I live in a New York apartment and am devoted to animals and not plants? How do you do it with no odors? It takes 11 chickens on average to generate the same manure as one dog. Flies come to the manure and lay eggs, and the maggots come from flies. People say, “I’ve only got one acre, how do I do this small?” It’s a big umbrella thought: if you want to you can, it’s mental more than anything else.

How are family farmers, including you, fighting back against unfair government regulations?

A whole movement called the ROGUE FOOD movement has launched to inspire and inform people how to circumvent onerous and malicious government regulations. We share techniques and encourage circumvention rather than compliance. (Polyface Farm is hosting a Rogue Food event in August.)

Related links:

http://www.polyfacefarms.com

https://polyfaceyum.com/news/from-the-field–a-story-from-joel/

https://rumble.com/viw11d-joel-salatin-on-the-21st-century-farming-renaissance-feeding-the-world-ance.html

https://roanoke.com/archive/farm-fame-q-a-with-sustainable-farmer-joel-salatin/article_fb30dff0-927d-50e2-95ae-c37c13d27b53.html

https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/news/farm-life/article/2015/03/16/virginia-farmer-turns-300-a-month-2

http://growingroots.info/growing-roots-book-dia-exhibit06.htm

http://www.tammijonas.com/tag/joel-salatin/

https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2011/10/10/joel-salatin

The Best of Ginny Garner

   

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual

Planned 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.

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In Defense of Tucker Carlson

By Andrew P. Napolitano via LewRockwell.com

Shop all books by Judge Napolitano

In March 2017, I received a tip from a friend in the intelligence community that the British Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ — the United Kingdom’s domestic and foreign spies — had been asked by the CIA to spy on candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S presidential election campaign. He elaborated that Trump’s claim that “someone tapped my wires” was essentially true. The tip was potentially explosive, so I ran it past two other friends in the intelligence community, and they confirmed it.

When I went public with this, all hell broke loose in my professional life. The British spies denied spying on Trump, who by now was the president of the United States. Former Obama administration folks denied asking the Brits to do this and denied that it was done.

I was accused of fabricating this so as to make Trump look good. The prime minister of the U.K. had one of her deputies call my bosses at Fox and demand that I recant what I had said or be fired. Fox asked me to lay low for 10 days, which I did, but Fox backed me when I explained the verifications conducted by my sources.

My source spoke to British agents who confirmed that their colleagues had spied on Trump.

When I went back on air, my colleague Bill Hemmer asked if I stood by my revelations. I told Bill that getting beaten up in the press is the price one occasionally pays for challenging those in power. Two months later, four GCHQ agents told The Guardian newspaper of London that my revelations were true, and my professional life returned to normal.

During one of my meetings with my sources, they told me that the National Security Administration, America’s 60,000-person strong domestic spy apparatus, was listening to our conversations and monitoring our texts and emails.

It is utterly terrifying to realize that your daily communications are being scrutinized by the government without probable cause and without a search warrant, both of which are required by the Fourth Amendment. It gives you pause before communicating; pause that churns the stomach; pause that is profoundly un-American.

Last week, my Fox colleague Tucker Carlson had a similar experience when an NSA whistleblower revealed to him that the NSA was monitoring his communications. He reported this on his Fox television show, and it is safe to say that the NSA became furious.

Tucker, like me, believes that the Constitution means what it says. The rights it protects are both man-made, like the right to vote; and natural, like religion, speech, the press, self-defense, travel and privacy. The late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called privacy the right most valued by civilized persons.

The point here is that the CIA folks who triggered the spying on Trump and the NSA folks who spied on Tucker and me have all taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. Thus, when they spy without warrants or have foreign colleagues do it for them, they are not only subverting natural and constitutionally protected rights, but they are also committing the crimes of computer hacking and misconduct in office.

The whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to be an obstacle to the government’s appetite for information about us. The amendment was written while memories of the British use of general warrants — which permitted agents to search wherever they pleased and seize whatever they found — were still fresh in the minds of those who fought the Revolution and wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

On Dec. 4, 1981, 20 years before 9/11, President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12333. This directed the military — the NSA is in the military — to begin spying on Americans whose communications presented a danger to national security, and to do so without search warrants. The NSA relies on this unconstitutional executive order for authority to engage in mass warrantless surveillance or targeted, individual warrantless surveillance.

Subsequent presidential executive orders have been written with the mindset that the president as commander in chief can operate outside the Constitution.

This perverse rationale has brought us where we are today — a place that Reagan himself could never have recognized and of which he would never have approved. Today, the NSA captures all data communicated into, going out of and within the U.S. That includes the content of all text messages, emails and phone calls, as well as financial, legal and medical records — the list is endless. This data consumes 27 times the contents of the Library of Congress every year.

All this is far too much for the NSA to read and digest, which is how the hijackers and killers who perpetrated 9/11, and how domestic mass murderers and their confederates, have slipped past them.

But when the NSA targets a specific person, as it did to me in 2017 and does to Tucker Carlson today, it is sure to examine in near real time whatever it has gathered.

This should provoke outrage across the political spectrum. The NSA was after Tucker and me because, as libertarians defending privacy and believing that the Fourth Amendment means what it says, we have been harshly critical of it. But the NSA is part of the government. Can the government use its powers to chill the free speech rights of its critics? Of course not.

The Supreme Court has ruled many times that chilling — government behavior that gives one pause or fear before speaking freely about the government — is a direct violation of the natural and constitutionally protected right to the freedom of speech.

Tucker Carlson and you and I can say whatever we want about the government and it cannot legally or constitutionally chill or prevent that. If it could, then our rights are just empty claims.

Why have we reposed the Constitution for safekeeping into the hands of those who subvert it?

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

The Best of Andrew P. Napolitano

Options for Homeland Defense, Inc. (Protecting Liberty through Private Firearms Ownership)  

“Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” – Jeff Cooper

Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first.

In Warren v. District of Columbia the court ruled, and the Supreme Court upheld, that “(T)he desire for condemnation cannot satisfy the need for a special relationship out of which a duty to specify persons arises.” Because the complaint did not allege a relationship “beyond that found in general police responses to crimes,” the court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim.

The bottom line is that your local police are not legally obligated to protect you, the average citizen. In addition to the Warren case, there are hundreds of court rulings which state that cops are not legally responsible for protecting individual citizens. For example, see Zelig v. County of Los Angeles.

The government can’t protect you as you saw on September 11, 2001 as well as during the Washington, DC area “sniper” rampage and the plethora of active shooter events that we have had since.

In fact, the government could very well be our greatest fear, due to its propensity to murder people because of their ideas (See Ruby Ridge, ID and Waco, TX).

A simple internet or youtube.com search of “the police state” or “police brutality” will reveal literally thousands of violent crimes (from assault to cold blooded murder) committed by the State’s costumed emissaries of officially sanctioned violence (aka The Police State) against harmless and innocent people.

So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU It is your duty and personal responsibility to protect yourself and your loved ones.

This responsibility is a natural right given to us by God as human beings and guaranteed to us as individuals by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Options for Homeland Defense, Inc. offers professional weapons and tactics training that will make the difference. Instructed by experienced combat veterans—guys that have “been there and done that.” It offers private instruction at its privately owned range and mobile training teams are available. All interactions are confidential and discrete.

Contact: You can contact us via email at editor@flyover-press.com or through any of the contact or email links on our Web Site at www.flyover-press.com

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FYI – Are We Nazi Germany?

History may not repeat itself totally but it sure as hell rhymes a lot. — jtl, 419

americanthinker.com
Are We Nazi Germany?
By Ronald E. Yates


I’ve noticed that whenever the subject of Nazi Germany is raised, someone always says something like this: “It’s unbelievable that Adolf Hitler was able to manipulate and control the entire German population.  It just seems impossible.”

Yet that’s exactly what he did.  Yes, there were some dissenters and political foes, but they were subdued and quashed as the boundless power of the Nazi regime shut down all dissent with the use of the brown-shirted Sturmabteilung or SA, the Schutzstaffel or SS, and the dreaded Gestapo or Geheime Staatspolizei.

Perhaps a bit of context is in order here.  I spent three years in Germany with the Army Security Agency involved in SIGINT (intelligence derived from electronic signals and systems used by foreign targets).  I am fluent in German, my wife is German, I have studied German history, and I keep up with current events in the country.
Like a lot of Americans, I always assumed that America was safe from the kind of tyranny the German people experienced under the heavy hand of the Third Reich.  There is no way our federal, state, and local governments could restrain and control the American people the way Hitler and his Nazis dominated the German population, I thought.

Yet, for the past eighteen months, that’s exactly what has happened in America.

A nation that always prided itself on its independence and individuality was suddenly locked down.  Travel was restricted, schools and businesses were shuttered, we were commanded to wear face masks, voting laws were altered, isolation and quarantines were mandated, and speech was censored by social and mainstream media if Big Tech oligarchs judged what was said or written as “misinformation.”

It didn’t stop there.  A public health emergency was declared, borders were closed, and large gatherings were forbidden — including church attendance, funerals, and weddings.

In short, civil liberties that Americans had always taken for granted were suspended by those in power, just as the Nazis rescinded the rights of the German people, including a free press guaranteed by Germany’s Weimar Republic (1918 to 1933).  The German press quickly complied with its new masters.

Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s Minister of Propaganda, had no use for a free press and once said, “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

Alter that quote a little, and you have a passage more relevant to American social media today: “Think of social and mainstream media as a great keyboard on which Big Tech oligarchs can play.”

Big Tech in the United States is following another Goebbels maxim: “Not every item of news should be published.  Rather, those who control news policies should endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.”

We know what that “certain purpose” is.

During Biden’s socialist regime, the legacy media’s goal is to promote socialist policies and protect our feckless president from all criticism — the same objective that Goebbels was tasked with during Adolf Hitler’s reign.
No doubt Goebbels would be proud of America’s Big Tech oligarchs.  They are performing the same tasks in 2021 America that Goebbels performed during the 12 years of the Third Reich.

Instead of opposing restrictions on our First Amendment rights, which guarantees five basic freedoms (religion, speech, the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances), millions of panicked Americans were quick to acknowledge and tolerate these new restrictions of their civil rights.  The media declined to investigate the pandemic, its source, its causes, and its severe impact — especially on young children and the elderly.  Instead, our media spent most of the pandemic refusing to look at China as the cause and source of the COVID-19 virus, choosing to pillory President Trump for daring even to suggest that China might be culpable.  Today, we are learning (much to the chagrin of the media) that Trump was probably right.  The virus came from a Wuhan, China lab and not from a flying rodent.

As was the case in Nazi Germany, American K–12 schoolchildren and students in universities are being indoctrinated with political dogma from socialist organizations like Black Lives Matter.  Curricula are filled with the bogus and deceptive Critical Race Theory and the debunked and fallacious 1619 Project.  Those who don’t adhere to the dogma are ostracized, canceled, and even fired from teaching positions.

In 1930s socialist Germany (Yes, folks, the Nazis were socialists.  Nazi stands for “Nationalsozialist” or National Socialism), the Nazis went even farther.  They sent educators, religious leaders, and political opponents to concentration camps like Dachau.  They encouraged supporters to take to the streets to harass and assault Nazi opposition.  It was a winning tactic because few Germans dared oppose armed mobs of brownshirts who were never arrested or prosecuted for their assaults on people or property.

Sound familiar?  Remember Black Lives Matter and Antifa in places like Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and New York City?  They are still burning and looting.
“Whoever can conquer the street will one day conquer the state, for every form of power politics and any dictatorship-run state has its roots in the street,” Goebbels once said.  “Total dominance is the goal.”

In Germany, it was one-party dominance that put the state at the summit of the political and social lives of the German people.  History was rewritten, free speech was suppressed, books were banned, people’s lives were monitored, and religion was ridiculed and stifled in favor of the secular nation.

Today, Democrats in Congress talk about banning or outlawing the Republican Party — or at least those Republicans and independents who supported and voted for Donald Trump or who refused to follow government decrees and diktats during the pandemic.
Others are quick to support the lockdowns and suspension of civil rights.

“This pandemic is a ‘black swan event,’ one without modern precedent,” opined Harvard Law professor Charles Fried.  “Most people are worried about restrictions on meetings — that’s freedom of association.  And about being made to stay in one place, which I suppose is a restriction on liberty.  But none of these liberties is absolute; they can all be abrogated for compelling grounds.  And in this case, the compelling ground is the public health emergency.”

I’m not buying it.

What we have experienced in the United States since January 2020 has been a gross overreach of state and national power — the domination of individual freedoms never before seen in this country.

Where were the resisters, the “anti-Nazis”?

In Nazi Germany, Jews were portrayed as a public health menace, vermin to be exterminated.  The monthly magazine Neues Volk, published by Germany’s “Office of Racial Policy,” argued that all Jews suffered from “hereditary illness” and that each Jew cost German taxpayers and the community 60,000 Reich Marks over the course of a single lifetime.  Lists of Jews were compiled in every German town and city, and today we know that millions were rounded up and murdered.

There are troubling parallels to that kind of thinking in America today as examples of anti-Semitism escalate day after day, mostly from a left that supports Palestinian causes and terrorist tactics but maintains a visceral hatred toward Israel.

Democrat members of Congress have taken that kind of political and social “cleansing”
even farther, insisting that Republicans, conservatives, and anybody who supported or supports Donald Trump should be sent to “re-education camps” and “deprogrammed.”
Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other leftist Democrats insist that “lists” should be made of all Trump supporters so they can be “ostracized and otherwise punished.”  Keeping “enemies” lists was a favorite tactic of the Gestapo.  Thank you, AOC, for reintroducing this insidious tool to Congress.

But Democrats didn’t stop there.  Michael Beller, principal counsel for the tax-supported Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), said in a video that the children of supporters of President Donald Trump should be seized and placed in “re-education camps.”
“We should go for all the Republican voters, and Homeland Security will take their children away, and we’ll put [Trump-supporters’ children] into re-education camps,”
Beller said in the video.

Beller must have been listening to Adolf Hitler, who, in 1933 said this about children: “If the older generation cannot get accustomed to us, we shall take their children away from them and rear them as needful to the Fatherland.”
Is this the state of our nation today?

We are a country divided politically and socially into warring tribes: Democrats vs. Republicans, liberals vs. conservatives, minorities (brown, black, and yellow people) vs. whites, victims vs. oppressors, communities “of color” vs. police, the “haves” vs. the “have nots,” socialists vs. capitalists.

All that’s left is for Americans on opposing sides to arm themselves and commence slaughtering one another because of conflicting political and social opinions or skin color.  Wouldn’t China, Russia, and America’s other enemies just love that?

In 1920s Germany, it was Hitler’s brownshirts attacking the feeble Weimar Republic — Germany’s first experiment with democracy.  It was a growing Communist Party vs. a nascent Nazi Party.  But after 1932, when Hitler and the Nazis gained power, Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and political opponents were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.

Is this the “Endlösung” (final solution) that some socialists, radical leftists, and Democrats are proposing for America’s Republican Party, conservatives, and Trump supporters?

Are we headed for a one-party socialist political system in which we allow our rights to be suspended indefinitely, the way we did for the past 18 months?

After millions of courageous Americans went to war in World War II and more than 500,000 made the ultimate sacrifice fighting fascism, are we going to roll over and accept domination by a few elite socialists and leftist Democrats who are convinced they should remain in power ad infinitum?  Are the American people going to submit to the Big Tech oligarchs, the corrupt and compliant media, and the socialist elites in Washington and allow their rights to be trampled and obliterated?

Are we becoming Nazi Germany?

Ronald E. Yates is a U.S. Army veteran, author, former Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent, and professor and dean emeritus of journalism at the University of Illinois.  His website: http://www.ronaldyatesbooks.com.

Image: Louis P. Hirshman via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.
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The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits

The 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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It’s Saigon in Afghanistan

With friends like us, who needs enemies.

Afghanistan is not known as a “graveyard for empires” for nothing. And we (Vietnam Veterans) tried to tell them that from the get go.


by Ron Paul, MD

The end of the 20-year US war on Afghanistan was predictable: no one has conquered Afghanistan, and Washington was as foolish as Moscow in the 1970s for trying. Now, US troops are rushing out of the country as fast as they can, having just evacuated the symbol of the US occupation of Afghanistan, Bagram Air Base

While perhaps not as dramatic as the “Fall of Saigon” in 1975, where US military helicopters scrambled to evacuate personnel from the roof of the US Embassy, the lesson remains the same and remains unlearned: attempting to occupy, control, and remake a foreign country into Washington’s image of the United States will never work. This is true no matter how much money is spent and how many lives are snuffed out.

In Afghanistan, no sooner are US troops vacating an area than Taliban fighters swoop in and take over. The Afghan army seems to be more or less melting away. This weekend the Taliban took control of a key district in the Kandahar Province, as Afghan soldiers disappeared after some fighting.

The US is estimated to have spent nearly 100 billion dollars training the Afghan army and police force. The real number is likely several times higher. For all that money and 20 years of training, the Afghan army cannot do its job. That’s either quite a statement about the quality of the training, the quality of the Afghan army, or some combination of the two.

Whatever the case, I am sure I am not the only American wondering whether we can get a refund. The product is clearly faulty.

Speaking of money wasted, in April, Brown University’s Cost of War Project calculated the total cost of the Afghanistan war at more than two trillion dollars. That means millions of Americans have been made poorer for a predictably failed project. It also means that thousands of the well-connected contractors and companies that lurk around the US Capitol Beltway pushing war have become much, much richer.

That’s US foreign policy in a nutshell: taking money from middle-class Americans and transferring it to the elites of the US military and foreign policy establishment. It’s welfare for the rich.

Meanwhile, the Costs of War Project also estimated that the war took more than a quarter of a million lives.

The Biden Administration may believe it is saving face by installing a military command of nearly 1,000 troops inside the US Embassy in Kabul, but this is foolish and dangerous. Such a move establishes the US Embassy as a legitimate military target rather than a diplomatic outpost. Has anyone at the Pentagon or the State Department thought this through?

Plans to occupy the airport in Kabul are also unlikely to work. Does anyone think that, having come this far, an emboldened and victorious Taliban are going to sit by as US or allied military occupy the Kabul airport?

Trillions of dollars wasted and millions either killed or displaced from their homes. For nothing. The lessons of Afghanistan are simple: bring all US troops home, defend the United States as necessary, and leave the rest of the world to its own business. We’ve tried it the other way and it clearly doesn’t work.

The Best of Ron Paul, MD

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Death Jabs, Fear Masks, & Corona Communism: This is Exactly How Every Bad Idea From the Establishment Has Been Defeated in All Human History, Just Stay the Course

By Allan Stevo via LewRockwell.com

There has never been a time like this, some people say. That would be shortsighted to say. There have, in fact, been many times very much like this.

An elite group captures control of a society, the society finds itself in ruins under their goofy ideas, the society either crumbles under those ideas and disappears into the background, or it wins the fight to remove from power the purveyors of the goofy ideas and correspondingly that society prospers in a renewed renaissance of virtue and sense.

The more a society prospers, the more potential return there is for the goofy in stepping forward to corrupt and take over that society, the more incentive there is for the goofy. Also, the more incentive there theoretically should be for the upright. Though, in a period of great prosperity, the upright tend to grow comfortable and lazy and forget how much they have to lose by behaving negligently with their birthright of freedom and prosperity.

Goofy is a gentle euphemism for evil. Evil is the more correct way to describe the goofy ideas that are being pushed upon us.

As I pointed out in this piece about reopening after the lockdowns, written in April 2020, a full year ago, throughout recorded history, the most common way the goofy-idea-pushing ultra minority elite were put back in their place was by scapegoating a troublemaker or a group of troublemakers and performing one of the main functions of the prison system: protecting society from the individual or individuals in question by isolating them from the rest of society. The most effective way to isolate from society and to make sure a criminal, a tyrant, or other goofy person never does a society harm is to execute them. That was a common solution throughout history for handling goofy tyrants.

John Wilkes Booth, a stage actor, called out this long held ideal after executing the tyrant Abraham Lincoln, a man who was so uniquely egotistical in American history that he decimated the military age male population of his country. That was how egotistical, tyrannical, and hard-to-work-with Abraham Lincoln was. Booth was said to have called out “Sic semper tyrannis” after assassinating Lincoln, “Thus always to tyrants,” or sometimes translated as “Death always to tyrants.”

The southern states sought to secede. They wanted to be left alone. It was the northern states who were the aggressors, refusing to negotiate civilly with the south and then ultimately refusing to let those states go peacefully.

A debate about a Lincoln lasts to this day. Was Lincoln a good guy or a bad guy? Many people say he was amazing. That thought is absorbed like pablum by many, and is done so with so little critical thought. Anyone who oversees the deaths of so many on the battlefield and the visiting of utter terror among so many more civilians — women, children, and the infirm — is a hard one to call a good guy, no matter how one uses the ends to justify the means. And the ends weren’t all that good: he put down the second American Revolution, work that George III of England couldn’t do, in order to preserve the imperfect US Constitution, which is generally used as a tool for tyranny.

Yes, the Constitution is a good rallying point for the goofy times we live in, a better document than what popular culture could conjure today, but if the best we can do is a document that has helped bring about the injustice and terror of the present (which is what the Constitution is constantly used for), then we have a pretty impoverished view of human potential and have quite a dim future ahead of us indeed.

Thankfully, so much more is possible and so many realize so much more is possible in their own lives, regardless of what a bureaucrat or judge say the Constitution means.

Individually, we can know our own values and know our own boundaries. We can identify our values, communicate our values, and defend our values. We can identify our boundaries, communicate our boundaries, and defend our boundaries. You don’t need a majority of the neighborhood for that to happen. You don’t need a quadrennial election. You don’t need your neighbor’s input for that to happen. We need no one else to do that. We need only ourselves for that to happen.

And that’s exactly what’s happening. More Americans are doing exactly that. They are saying “Yes!” to good things. They are saying “No!” to bad things. They are becoming increasingly firm and resolute about that. And that is exactly how bad times turn into good times.

In all eras, there have always been goofy people with goofy ideas that might feel good in the short term but which are so very self sabotaging in the long term. In this era, we tend to call those people leftists. No one ever pretended Sodom and Gomorrah was going to ride to the rescue. No one should today pretend that San Francisco or New York or Washington, D.C., or any state capital will ride to the rescue. Those goofy people, those people with such comfort around pure evil, they exist in every era and have such plentiful short term prosperity in every era, sometimes even long term prosperity. They are not the variable, they are the constant. They are best ignored.

There is another constant: the sheeplike. They exist in every era. They just want a good leader to follow. They will just as easily follow a righteous leader as they will follow a goofy Cuomo as a leader. They just need to be presented with that confident, comfortable, heart-warming, easy-to-love choice. The sheep too are not the variable. Yes, they do shockingly foolish things while following their foolish leader, but that is not an issue worth obsessing over.

What is to be obsessed over is this exactly: the steel-spined, the lions, the righteous, those who know good from evil, those who cherish that line between good and evil as boundaries and values, who seek to live a righteous life, who of course screw up from time to time, who of course make mistakes, but who will defend and advance what is right and do the important work against that which is wrong.

Those are the third group of people who are the variable across every era. That third group are the ones who determine the trajectory of society based on whether they stand up, or alternately, based on whether they stay asleep. I am here to wake the lions, to rouse them from their slumber, because once that’s done, I know how masterfully they will stand up and breathe freedom into the world around them through their every free breath, through their every free action. It is impossible for a roused lion to avoid rippling freedom and goodness into the world around him. They are not perfect, but they are pretty good at that.

Dear lion, our future rests on you. Will you act? Will you shirk? It is up to you.

Your every action matters.

All you really need to do, in order to end this all in victory, is to live life as truly free as you can.

If you are wearing the face mask any longer and for any reason, please stop with the face mask and do so right now, committing to never again let yourself live by the low standards of others in the name of obedience. Read “Face Masks in One Lessonto help you make that happen. Read these pieces at LewRockwell.com, to help you accomplish the same, and sign up for the email newsletter at RealStevo.com for videos, classes, and activism opportunities on exactly that as well. We can beat back this medical tyranny before it’s too late. 

The Best of Allan Stevo

Options for Homeland Defense, Inc. (Protecting Liberty through Private Firearms Ownership)  

“Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” – Jeff Cooper

Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first.

In Warren v. District of Columbia the court ruled, and the Supreme Court upheld, that “(T)he desire for condemnation cannot satisfy the need for a special relationship out of which a duty to specify persons arises.” Because the complaint did not allege a relationship “beyond that found in general police responses to crimes,” the court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim.

The bottom line is that your local police are not legally obligated to protect you, the average citizen. In addition to the Warren case, there are hundreds of court rulings which state that cops are not legally responsible for protecting individual citizens. For example, see Zelig v. County of Los Angeles.

The government can’t protect you as you saw on September 11, 2001 as well as during the Washington, DC area “sniper” rampage and the plethora of active shooter events that we have had since.

In fact, the government could very well be our greatest fear, due to its propensity to murder people because of their ideas (See Ruby Ridge, ID and Waco, TX).

A simple internet or youtube.com search of “the police state” or “police brutality” will reveal literally thousands of violent crimes (from assault to cold blooded murder) committed by the State’s costumed emissaries of officially sanctioned violence (aka The Police State) against harmless and innocent people.

So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU It is your duty and personal responsibility to protect yourself and your loved ones.

This responsibility is a natural right given to us by God as human beings and guaranteed to us as individuals by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Options for Homeland Defense, Inc. offers professional weapons and tactics training that will make the difference. Instructed by experienced combat veterans—guys that have “been there and done that.” It offers private instruction at its privately owned range and mobile training teams are available. All interactions are confidential and discrete.

Contact: You can contact us via email at editor@flyover-press.com or through any of the contact or email links on our Web Site at www.flyover-press.com

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Privatize the Police

By Murray N. Rothbard via LewRockwell.com

Abolition of the public sector means, of course, that all pieces of land, all land areas, including streets and roads, would be owned privately, by individuals, corporations, cooperatives, or any other voluntary groupings of individuals and capital. The fact that all streets and land areas would be private would by itself solve many of the seemingly insoluble problems of private operation. What we need to do is to reorient our thinking to consider a world in which all land areas are privately owned.

Let us take, for example, police protection. How would police protection be furnished in a totally private economy?

Part of the answer becomes evident if we consider a world of totally private land and street ownership. Consider the Times Square area of New York City, a notoriously crime-ridden area where there is little police protection furnished by the city authorities. Every New Yorker knows, in fact, that he lives and walks the streets, and not only Times Square, virtually in a state of “anarchy,” dependent solely on the normal peacefulness and good will of his fellow citizens. Police protection in New York is minimal, a fact dramatically revealed in a recent week-long police strike when, lo and behold!, crime in no way increased from its normal state when the police are supposedly alert and on the job.

At any rate, suppose that the Times Square area, including the streets, was privately owned, say by the “Times Square Merchants Association.” The merchants would know full well, of course, that if crime was rampant in their area, if muggings and holdups abounded, then their customers would fade away and would patronize competing areas and neighborhoods. Hence, it would be to the economic interest of the merchants’ association to supply efficient and plentiful police protection, so that customers would be attracted to, rather than repelled from, their neighborhood. Private business, after all, is always trying to attract and keep its customers.

But what good would be served by attractive store displays and packaging, pleasant lighting and courteous service, if the customers may be robbed or assaulted if they walk through the area?

The merchants’ association, furthermore, would be induced, by their drive for profits and for avoiding losses, to supply not only sufficient police protection but also courteous and pleasant protection. Governmental police have not only no incentive to be efficient or worry about their “customers’” needs; they also live with the ever-present temptation to wield their power of force in a brutal and coercive manner.

“Police brutality” is a well-known feature of the police system, and it is held in check only by remote complaints of the harassed citizenry. But if the private merchants’ police should yield to the temptation of brutalizing the merchants’ customers, those customers will quickly disappear and go elsewhere. Hence, the merchants’ association will see to it that its police are courteous as well as plentiful. Such efficient and high-quality police protection would prevail throughout the land, throughout all the private streets and land areas.

Factories would guard their street areas, merchants their streets, and road companies would provide safe and efficient police protection for their toll roads and other privately owned roads. The same would be true for residential neighborhoods.

We can envision two possible types of private street ownership in such neighborhoods. In one type, all the landowners in a certain block might become the joint owners of that block, let us say as the “85th St. Block Company.” This company would then provide police protection, the costs being paid either by the home-owners directly or out of tenants’ rent if the street includes rental apartments. Again, homeowners will of course have a direct interest in seeing that their block is safe, while landlords will try to attract tenants by supplying safe streets in addition to the more usual services such as heat, water, and janitorial service. ‘

To ask why landlords should provide safe streets in the libertarian, fully private society is just as silly as asking now why they should provide their tenants with heat or hot water. The force of competition and of consumer demand would make them supply such services. Furthermore, whether we are considering homeowners or rental housing, in either case the capital value of the land and the house will be a function of the safety of the street as well as of the other well-known characteristics of the house and the neighborhood.

Safe and well-patrolled streets will raise the value of the landowners’ land and houses in the same way as well-tended houses do; crime-ridden streets will lower the value of the land and houses as surely as dilapidated housing itself does. Since landowners always prefer higher to lower market values for their property, there is a built-in incentive to provide efficient, well -paved, and safe streets.

Private enterprise does exist, and so most people can readily envision a free market in most goods and services. Probably the most difficult single area to grasp, however, is the abolition of government operations in the service of protection: police, the courts, etc. — the area encompassing defense of person and property against attack or invasion.

How could private enterprise and the free market possibly provide such service? How could police, legal systems, judicial services, law enforcement, prisons — how could these be provided in a free market?

We have already seen how a great deal of police protection, at the least, could be supplied by the various owners of streets and land areas. But we now need to examine this entire area systematically. In the first place, there is a common fallacy, held even by most advocates of laissez-faire, that the government must supply “police protection,” as if police protection were a single, absolute entity, a fixed quantity of something which the government supplies to all. But in actual fact there is no absolute commodity called “police protection” any more than there is an absolute single commodity called “food” or “shelter.”

It is true that everyone pays taxes for a seemingly fixed quantity of protection, but this is a myth. In actual fact, there are almost infinite degrees of all sorts of protection. For any given person or business, the police can provide everything from a policeman on the beat who patrols once a night, to two policemen patrolling constantly on each block, to cruising patrol cars, to one or even several round-the-clock personal bodyguards.

Furthermore, there are many other decisions the police must make, the complexity of which becomes evident as soon as we look beneath the veil of the myth of absolute “protection.” How shall the police allocate their funds which are, of course, always limited as are the funds of all other individuals, organizations, and agencies? How much shall the police invest in electronic equipment? fingerprinting equipment? detectives as against uniformed police? patrol cars as against foot police, etc.?

The point is that the government has no rational way to make these allocations. The government only knows that it has a limited budget. Its allocations of funds are then subject to the full play of politics, boondoggling, and bureaucratic inefficiency, with no indication at all as to whether the police department is serving the consumers in a way responsive to their desires or whether it is doing so efficiently. The situation would be different if police services were supplied on a free, competitive market. In that case, consumers would pay for whatever degree of protection they wish to purchase.

The consumers who just want to see a policeman once in a while would pay less than those who want continuous patrolling, and far less than those who demand twenty-four-hour bodyguard service. On the free market, protection would be supplied in proportion and in whatever way that the consumers wish to pay for it. A drive for efficiency would be insured, as it always is on the market, by the compulsion to make profits and avoid losses, and thereby to keep costs low and to serve the highest demands of the consumers. Any police firm that suffers from gross inefficiency would soon go bankrupt and disappear.

One big problem a government police force must always face is: what laws really to enforce? Police departments are theoretically faced with the absolute injunction, “enforce all laws,” but in practice a limited budget forces them to allocate their personnel and equipment to the most urgent crimes. But the absolute dictum pursues them and works against a rational allocation of resources. On the free market, what would be enforced is whatever the customers are willing to pay for.

Suppose, for example, that Mr. Jones has a precious gem he believes might soon be stolen. He can ask, and pay for, round-the-clock police protection at whatever strength he may wish to work out with the police company. He might, on the other hand, also have a private road on his estate he doesn’t want many people to travel on — but he might not care very much about trespassers on that road. In that case, he won’t devote any police resources to protecting the road. As on the market in general, it is up to the consumer — and since all of us are consumers this means each person individually decides how much and what kind of protection he wants and is willing to buy. All that we have said about landowners’ police applies to private police in general.

Free-market police would not only be efficient, they would have a strong incentive to be courteous and to refrain from brutality against either their clients or their clients’ friends or customers. A private Central Park would be guarded efficiently in order to maximize park revenue, rather than have a prohibitive curfew imposed on innocent — and paying — customers. A free market in police would reward efficient and courteous police protection to customers and penalize any falling off from this standard. No longer would there be the current disjunction between service and payment inherent in all government operations, a disjunction which means that police, like all other government agencies, acquire their revenue, not voluntarily and competitively from consumers, but from the taxpayers coercively. In fact, as government police have become increasingly inefficient, consumers have been turning more and more to private forms of protection. We have already mentioned block or neighborhood protection.

There are also private guards, insurance companies, private detectives, and such increasingly sophisticated equipment as safes, locks, and closed-circuit TV and burglar alarms. The President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice estimated in 1969 that government police cost the American public $2.8 billion a year, while it spends $1.35 billion on private protection service and another $200 million on equipment, so that private protection expenses amounted to over half the outlay on government police. These figures should give pause to those credulous folk who believe that police protection is somehow, by some mystic right or power, necessarily and forevermore an attribute of State sovereignty.

[Excerpted from Chapters 11 and 12 of For A New Liberty.]

The Best of Murray N. Rothbard

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When a Socialist Became the Secretary of the Interior

Another example of how socialists and communists ended up in high government posiitons in the 19th century. Read it on https://revisedhistory.wordpress.com
Posted 6/22
A

revisedhistory

by Al Benson Jr.

Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America

I have noted in recent articles the impact that socialists and communists had in the history of this country well before the twentieth century–going all the way back to the 1840s. Lots of historians–so called–will seldom, if ever, acknowledge this. Even less will they make mention of the basic socialist foundations of the “conservative” Republican Party. This is history we are not supposed to be taught. And mostly, we aren’t. We have to find this out for ourselves by doing the homework.

One thing that does aid us is that more and more, the socialists are not bashful in admitting their impact on our earlier history. Where the historians ignore it, the socialists brag about it. Donnie Kennedy and I, when we wrote our book Lincoln’s Marxists, the first edition of which was called Red Republicans and Lincoln’s…

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The Road to Authoritarianism Is Paved With Fiat Currency

by Ron Paul, MD via LewRockwell.com

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced it will maintain an interest rate target of zero to 0.25 percent for the rest of 2021. The Fed said it will also continue its monthly purchase of 120 billion dollars of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities.

Some Fed board members are forecasting a rate increase by late 2022 or 2023, though with the rate still not reaching one percent. The Fed will neither allow interest rates to rise to market levels nor reduce its purchase of Treasury securities. A significant increase in interest rates would make the government’s borrowing costs unsustainable.

The Fed also raised its projected rate of inflation to three percent, although it still insists the rise in prices is a transitory effect of the end of the lockdowns. There is some truth to this, as it will take some time for businesses to get back to full capacity. However, the Fed began taking extraordinary measures to prop up the economy in September of 2019, when it started pumping billions of dollars a day into the repo market that banks use to make short-term loans to each other. The lockdowns only postponed and deepened the forthcoming Fed-caused meltdown.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank recently released a paper warning about the Federal Reserve continuing to disregard the inflation risk caused by easy money policies designed to “stimulate” the economy and facilitate massive government spending. Germans have reason to be sensitive to the consequences of inflation, including hyperinflation. Out-of-control inflation played a major role in the collapse of the German economy in the 1920s, which led to the rise of the National Socialists.

This pattern could repeat itself in America where we have already witnessed the rise of authoritarian movements. Last summer, groups exploited legitimate concerns about police misconduct to ferment violence across the country. Can anyone doubt that an economic crisis that leads to mass unemployment, foreclosures, and maybe even shortages will result in large-scale violence? Or that the violence will be exploited by power-hungry politicians? Or that many people will once again fall for the big lie that preserving safety requires giving up their liberty?

The apparatus of repression already exists in the form of a surveillance state, police militarization, and big tech’s cooperation with big government to stamp out dissent. Now, President Biden and his congressional allies want to use the January 6 US Capitol turmoil to justify expanding government powers in the name of stopping “domestic terrorists.” Part of this new campaign is expanding censorship of “extremism,” defined as any views that threaten the status quo. The Biden administration has taken a page from the Communist playbook in suggesting people report their friends and family who are becoming “radicalized.”

We may still have time to prevent collapse in America, or at least to make sure the collapse leads to a transition to a free society. The key to success is spreading the ideas of liberty until we have the ability to force the politicians to dismantle the welfare-warfare state and the fiat money system that is the lifeblood of authoritarian government.

The Best of Ron Paul, MD

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How to Destroy a Viable University Program in Three Easy Lessons: A Study in Bureaucratic Incompetence, Empire Building and Petty Tyranny

https://wordpress.com/post/landandlivestock.wordpress.com/17295

by

Dr. Jimmy T. (Gunny) LaBaume

INTRODUCTION

At the beginning of the Spring 09 Semester, one of my courses did not have enrollment sufficient to justify the offering and was cancelled. One of the students who had enrolled needed the course for graduation. As I have done for the previous 23 years in such situations, I offered him opportunity to take the course through the individual study vehicle. At the time, I had no inkling of resistance from the administration—it had never happened before.

My new captive (tenured but not yet fully promoted) department head came into my office and told me, flat out, that I was not going to do that. I was incredulous and demanded an explanation as to why. The response was that she wanted me to devote that time to “program building.”

I explained that, since the materials were already prepared so the marginal cost (to me in terms of time) of offering the individual study course was essentially zero. She insisted. I indicated that I intended to take the matter to higher authority.

She perceived this as a threat to her newly minted authority and, it would be no exaggeration to say that she went berserk—screaming, crying and making outlandish, nonsensical statements. For example: “The first time I was ever shot at I was 14 years old!” What? What on earth could that possibly have to do with my offering a student an individual study course? The answer is obviously “nothing” except to a mentally and emotionally unstable individual.

I later figured out that there was a connection between that statement and the discrimination that I have been exposed to over the years for being a veteran. I have never given anyone even a remote reason to believe that I represented a threat of violence. Yet, that is the perception—for no reason other than the fact that I am a veteran of two wars (more on that below). The next Monday I made it a point to assure her that I would never in a million years initiate violence against any other human being but, if violence is initiated against me (or my family) I will use whatever level of force necessary to get the perpetrator to cease whatever he/she is doing.  

But back to the screaming and hollering: In response, the dean (not so coincidentally) happened by. (I believe the departmental secretary retrieved him after the evacuation of the NRM wing of the building.) He came in and essentially told me that I would not offer the student the individual study course. So much for the student oriented campus lie. 

Toward the end of the conversation (if you could call it that), the dean strongly implied that his intent was to discontinue the agribusiness program. To paraphrase: If there are no students, there is no need for the classes. Of course, that is obvious and I agree to that point.

But then he went on to say, if there are no courses, there is no need for you (pointing at me). I asked if he was threatening to fire me. He responded with a typical melee mouthed paraphrasing of his previous statement. I objected that I was a tenured full professor and that I am qualified and I have taught courses in every subject offered at ANRS—soils, range, and animal science in addition to agri-business. He said that “we already have people teaching those courses” and walked out.

So under duress, I went to work “program building.” The story follows.

The Light Comes On

My program building activity quickly took on the character of a criminal investigation. But I struggled with continuity. I couldn’t “connect the dots.” I just couldn’t seem to find justification in the form of motive for the seemingly irrational administrative behavior that I had observed over the past 10-15 years. Alice in Wonderland was the only term that would come to mind.

But then one day during April, 2010, I was sitting in my office and in walked Dr. Earnie Harmon—the man under whose leadership Range Animal Science at Sul Ross State University made more progress than ever before or since in its entire history. With him was an old SRSU alum by the name of Jack Fletcher (Class of 1949). We had a long and interesting visit. 

Jack was at Sul Ross when the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) was founded and was a classmate and lifelong friend of its first president, Mr. Harley May. After graduation and a short stint with what was then known as the Soil Conservation Service, Jack was commissioned by Art Linkletter & Associates to do a “fact finding” tour for potential agribusiness investment in Australia.

The short story is that Jack ended up being the co-founder of Australia Land and Cattle Company (ALCO). At its zenith, ALCO controlled 4.3 million acres of rangeland, had put 25,000 hectares (1 ha = 2.41 acres) into cultivation (mostly sorghum), built a large feedlot, owned a controlling interest in a slaughter and meat processing plant, had several agribusiness product dealerships,  and a marketing arrangement with the Japanese to export the product to Japan. It was the largest agribusiness investment in the history of Western Australia.

Alumni like Jack Fletcher are not the kind that Sul Ross needs to be alienating. But unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. In the first place, he is still quite miffed over SR’s shoddy and unjust treatment of his lifelong friend, Harley May.

But the more significant problem arose years ago when Vic Morgan told him that he intended to change the image of Sul Ross from that of a “Cowboy College” to one more like a “Harvard” for West Texas. At that point, Jack told Morgan that he had seen his (Jack’s) last dollar (apparently he had been making a substantial annual contribution to the SR scholarship fund). 

That eureka moment brought a flood of memories that connected the dots for me. The purpose of this paper is to chronicle how this destructive agenda was implemented and how it continues unabated.

I recalled Dr. Earnie Reesing being upset about the same statement from Morgan back when he first became president.

I recalled when Del Davis was hired. Dr. Davis was at the bottom of the faculty’s list but he was hired anyway. I realize now that was because Morgan, et al knew they could lead him around by the nose (he was willing and accepted the job without tenure). Although he was the lowest ranked of the applicants by the faculty, Davis was hired by Morgan and Cochrum because they knew he would be malleable (because he would be vulnerable because he was not tenured).

I went to NMSU for two years shortly after Davis was hired. I came back in January 1986 and Kinucan was hired (I think) during the summer to begin the 86-87 academic year.

Davis didn’t last long (torpedoed by his troops for kissing Morgan’s ass) and Weyerts took his place. Meantime, Kinucan was working in the background.

I also recalled Larry Sechrest once referring to “the sycophants that Morgan and Cockrum have gathered around themselves.” Kinucan became a favored disciple because he is a sycophant and would do whatever Morgan and Cockrum told him to do, which is exactly why he was made “dean.” No doubt they hatched the “School” and “Dean” scheme as a way to accomplish the agenda of changing the image of Sul Ross.

Kinucan actually helped engineer (was one of the primary driving forces, to be exact) the re-organization of the old RAS Department into the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences—the beginning of the end—the worst thing to ever happen to agriculture at Sul Ross since it was first taught in the 1930’s. He was the key player in the hounding out of Dr. Paul Weyerts which was without a doubt conspired with Morgan and Cochrum.

He was instrumental, in one way or the other, in creating a shamefully long list of victims—carnage left in the wake of self-service. The ultimate result was a 75% decline in enrollment which weakened once viable programs and rendered them vulnerable to the axe of the budget cutters.  

And the plan has succeeded, in part anyway. The image of Sul Ross has been changed from that of a “cowboy college” to something else (but certainly not Harvard). This has been to the detriment of the whole campus. The evidence (enrollment data) cannot be denied. Class rosters for all agricultural classes held at Sul Ross during the period in question reveal that: In the fall semester of 1994 the Range Animal Science “Department” had a total enrollment of 766 (687 undergraduates and 79 Graduates). By the spring semester of 2008, enrollment in the “School” of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences had declined to 294 (264 undergraduates, 30 graduates).

The revelation also shed light on the mystery of how I have managed to survive in the Marxist dominated academic environment in spite of my incessant political “incorrectness” and blatantly open teaching of private property rights and free market principles.

When I finally got back “home” (to Sul Ross as tenure track faculty), I made a conscious decision to stay out of campus politics. My survival strategy was to retreat to my office, take care of my business and stay out of everyone else’s. It dawned on me that my libertarianism was tolerated because I did nothing to interfere with their agenda to change the university’s image.

What follows is a detailed description of many of the events that have taken place that support this conclusion. My purpose is to chronicle who, what, when, where, how and why the image of Sul Ross State University as the world’s premier “cow college” has been destroyed.

CONNECTING THE DOTS

Methods

Along about the time the Department of Range Animal Science came into existence at Sul Ross State University in the 1930s, Ludwig von Mises reasoned that socialism was doomed to failure, not only because of the lack of incentive to produce, but also because there is “no means to calculate.” There are no market prices available for use as a basis for the allocation of scarce resources. There are no profit centers for which to hold anybody responsible (1). In the absence of any objective means for decision making, government bureaucrats are left with only one alternative—personal agenda. Nowhere is this “calculation failure” more frequently and blatantly demonstrated than in the modern state supported university.

The decline (and imminent demise) of the Agricultural and Natural Resource Programs in general (and the Agribusiness program in particular) at Sul Ross State University that began in earnest during the fall semester of 1999 is a textbook example of the “calculation” failure of socialism.

I sympathize with John Semmens (2). Having been an inside observer of government funded higher education for over three decades, I can assure you that every free market criticism ever leveled at the institution is true. Ideologues devoted to big government comprise the majority of the institution’s occupants.  The rest are generally unwilling to make waves for fear of retribution or placing their paychecks in jeopardy. And this is one of those places that advertises itself as a “market place for ideas?”

I grew up in West Texas and have been directly associated, in one capacity or another, with Sul Ross since 1972. I am aware that the old original Departments of Range Animal Science (RAS) and Education are what built Sul Ross State University. As goes Range Animal Science, so goes Sul Ross State University. I love Sul Ross in general and Range Animal Science in particular. My intentions are honorable and none of them include standing idly by while a small hand full of childish, petty tyrants and narcistic sycophants destroy what has taken a multitude of good men (and a few good women) over 75 years to build.  

There is such a thing as an objective ethic. What is going on within the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at Sul Ross State University (especially in the Animal Science Department) is fundamentally wrong by any standard of ethics. I have every intention of doing all I possibly can to correct the situation before it is too late.

This investigation and analysis was conducted using the praxeological (3) methodology of Austrian Economics. Since humans act subjectively, human action can not be mathematically modeled. Thus praxeology is based on logic (deductive), not mathematical (inductive) reasoning. Furthermore, history does not prove anything. One must first have a theory of human behavior founded on natural law premises (what we know to be axiomatic about the basic nature of man). Only with such a theory can history be accurately interpreted.

My conclusions and assertions are supported by documentation in the form of letters, memos and recorded conversations coupled with strongly linked sequences of circumstantial evidence in cases where intentional secrecy has rendered documents unavailable. Most antidotal evidence was corroborated with at least one other person.

Note that circumstantial evidence is generally admissible in court and can even be adequate for conviction provided it is overwhelming and all points in the same direction. This preponderance of the evidence standard is the level of proof required to prevail in most civil cases. I am willing to testify under oath to the veracity of the conclusions developed herein.

Externalities

At least two exogenous variables may be contributing to the decline in enrollment at Sul Ross State University—America’s Second Great Depression and the steady decline in the quality (level of preparedness) of our students. The former, although likely to persist for 10 to 15 years, is (hopefully) temporary.  The latter is beyond internal control. It may even be insurmountable but, at best, it is a problem that must be solved on the societal level. 

Possibly, the current economic depression has had some negative effect on enrollment. However, there are at least two indications that is not the case. First, historically, university enrollments increase during hard economic times due to the lack of jobs and/or unemployed people seeking to acquire new skills. Second, enrollments at competing area schools (Midland and Odessa Colleges) do not seem to be suffering the same fate. And third, the overall decline in SRSU enrollment was a clearly identifiable trend long before the depression began.

Poor Quality Students: Nothing less than nation wide academic fraud has been perpetrated against the taxpayer by the public school systems over the past 4 or 5 decades. The product of this deception is the average (poor quality) high school graduate. SAT scores peaked in 1962 and have been in a steady decline since—in spite of numerous “adjustments” to the data in an effort to conceal the truth.

As Walter Williams described it, “At least a third of entering freshmen must enroll in a remedial course either in math, writing or reading, which indicates academic fraud at the high school level. A recent survey of more than 30,000 first-year students revealed that nearly half spent more hours drinking than they did studying. Another survey found that a third of students expected B’s just for attending class, and 40 percent said they deserved a B for completing the assigned reading” (4).  They actually go out of their way to conjure up ways to avoid learning.

A recent example: During the week of Labor Day (September) 09, I was summoned as a witness in a civil law suit. The initial plan was that the trial would likely extend through Tuesday and Thursday. I announced this to my classes and gave them an assignment to be completed in lieu of class room time.

Then, before the date arrived, it looked as though the trial might be postponed—a change that I also passed on to the classes. One of the young females went immediately into a temper tantrum—hand slinging, eye rolling, and mumbling curse words under her breath. Her problem was that she did not want to “come back to campus from the Labor Day weekend for Tuesday classes.”

I told her that, if she would shut up for just a minute, I would explain the situation. She threw herself back into her chair and said something like, “Wow, dude!” If I had referred to one of my professors as “dude,” I would have been told to leave the class room and never come back. She got lucky.

Then, during the following class meeting the class discussion led to a comment from her, “I was wondering how you got to be so ‘cranky.’” Should faculty have to put up with open insults from students? Under worthy leadership, it wouldn’t.

Later in an Environmental and Natural Resource Economics class discussion, I asked the question, “Do you believe there are people in the world who would, if they had a chance, release a biological agent that would eliminate half of the world’s population because they believe that humans are the scourge of the earth? She immediately replied that, yes indeed, she believed that there were such people. “In fact,” she continued, “I have thought of doing it myself. I’ve thought of impregnating the coffee bean with a strain of Anthrax. That way it would destroy the working class because they depend on caffeine for energy.” I was incredulous and, from the looks on their faces, so were the rest of the students in the class.

I drafted an email to Bonnie Warnock (Department Head), Rob Kinucan (Dean), Don Coers (Vice President for Academic Affairs), Ricardo Maestas (President) and the Head of the University Police Department. I stated clearly that I did not believe the situation merited immediate action but that they needed to be on notice that it was a situation worth watching. I did not get one single reply—not as much as an acknowledgment. As I am writing this, that same student is working in the work-study program in the Natural Resources Department.

Along these same lines, I have personal knowledge (a close relative was a victim) that gang rape has been committed in the dorms at Sul Ross. Of course, these incidents have been hushed and covered up because the university is legally bound to provide a safe environment and it is not doing that.

None of this is anything that most students do not know and are not willing to admit. They actually make jokes about the situation. I have had numerous frank discussions with them about the problem. I actually had one, openly in front of her classmates; tell me that, if I was going to make them read a book, she was not going to take any more of my courses.

The most common explanation heard from them is “student laziness.” There is more to it than that. The evidence is that the malady is due to an artificially high time preference which is, in turn, the perfectly predictable outcome of democratic socialism (5).

In the meantime, well intended administrators and faculty grapple and fumble with possible solutions. A good example is the currently fashionable idea of “critical thinking”—i.e. teaching students how to think critically. However, there is one small problem. I constantly find myself having to devote valuable class time to teaching basic 8th grade concepts of history, civics and mathematics. They simply do not come to us with the basic tools (fundamental quantitative skills, principles of economics and facts of history) required for thinking critically.

Recent conversations with colleagues from New Mexico State University and The Ohio State University confirm that this problem is not unique to Sul Ross. They are experiencing it too—along with generally declining enrollments. This is a problem that extends far beyond Sul Ross faculty, staff and administration.

A Brief History of Agriculture at SRSU

Sul Ross State University has a long history of serving production agriculture in West Texas (6). Animal husbandry was first added to the Sul Ross curriculum in the Fall of 1933 when Dr. Wallace D. Stiles was employed to head the new “department” and teach three courses. This continued until the summer of 1934.  

Then agriculture began to be taught again in 1936 under the direction of A.J. Bierschwale. At that time Sul Ross became the “District Center for Agriculture” in cooperation with the State Department of Education. Bierschwale was appointed as immediate supervisor of the vocational agriculture being taught in El Paso, Fabens, Odessa and other schools on the Edwards Plateau.  Sul Ross provided an office for Mr. Bierschwale.  During the long term he spent most of his time in the field, but he taught regular college courses during the twelve weeks of the summer session. 

For six years Mr. Bierschwale held this role as director of vocational agriculture in the area and part-time teacher of the subject at Sul Ross. He founded the animal husbandry department in 1941 and was appointed to head the “vocational agriculture department” at the college on a full-time basis. He remained head of the Sul Ross Range Animal Science Department until his retirement in August of 1958.

He was replaced by Dr. Everett E. Turner (who was one of my teachers when I came to Sul Ross in 1972 for a Master of Science degree in Animal Science). Dr. Turner was followed by Drs. Earnest Harmon, Del Davis and Paul Weyerts.

As a parenthetical note: Agriculture (Range Animal Science) at Sul Ross made more progress and grew more during the administration of Dr. Earnest L. Harmon than anybody before (the words of Dr. Samuel N. Little) or since (my observation). A couple of examples serve to explain why:

One summer, Dr. Harmon did not have enough money in his budget to buy feed for the rodeo practice stock. Of his own accord and because he had good working relationships with local farmers and ranchers, he managed to obtain the use of some farmland out in the Hovey area. Again on his own, he went to the local bank and borrowed enough money to bring in a hay crop. He commuted back and forth all summer, brought the hay in and sold it to the university for the amount of his note at the bank plus accrued interest. He had also made many very good contacts in Washington, D.C. In fact he managed to get himself appointed to a high level USDA committee—quite an accomplishment for a bumpkin from little old Sul Ross. He had no funds for such travel so he paid for it out of his own pocket. We only wish we had leadership like that today.

I was teaching courses in range management at Sul Ross as (adjunct faculty) during the last couple of years of Dr. Harmon’s Tenure. Upon his departure, Dr. Sam Little was appointed acting department head. Little did I know that I was about to witness the beginning of the end of Range Animal Science at Sul Ross.

Dr. Little kept trying to “weasel” (my word) out of the interim department head job. I encouraged him to stay but he insisted that he had no such desire. I pestered him until he finally told me the truth about why. I will never forget those words. “All they want is someone to get rid of Barney (Nelson, our secretary) and Weyerts (aka Dr. Paul) and I want no part of that.” I understood and dropped my encouragement.

Once he stepped down, Paul Will was appointed interim department head. It is ironic that, just the semester before, Will had came up for promotion and tenure and Dr. Harmon had recommended that he not be promoted and his contract not be renewed.

Will gleefully accepted the job. The instant Barney heard that, she turned around, put a piece of paper in her typewriter and typed out her resignation. One down, one to go.

For the rest of the time Will was interim (before Del Davis was hired), he hounded Weyerts. Followed him around and monitored his classes. If Paul let one of his classes out a few minutes early, Will made a note. It was ridiculous!

But then Dr. Del Davis was hired as permanent department head. It is interesting to note that, back in those days, the faculty was the initial selection committee. The RAS faculty had select Davis as their third preference—below two much better qualified candidates. When the recommendation was forwarded to the Vice President and President, they ignored the faculty’s recommendation and hired Davis anyway. To me it seems obvious that the reason was that they (Cockrum and Morgan) assessed Davis as being the weakest and most easily manipulated—a “yes” man. He demonstrated that tendency by accepting the job without tenure—a very naive thing to have done.

I had been initially hired to pick up 6 Sch release time for Jim Nelson who had landed a large research grant. With Harmon’s resignation, that turned into a full time teaching position but still only as adjunct faculty. Just before Davis was hired, Will came into my office and told me, point blank, “there will not be any money for you next year.”

I got busy and, on very short notice, found a temporary position at New Mexico State. In the meantime, Dr. Davis had been hired. The day that my wife and I went to my office to pack my things and move to Las Cruces, NM, Davis came in and tried to talk me into staying. In other words, there WAS indeed money for me but I had made a commitment to NMSU and I kept it.

I was back at Sul Ross within a year and a half. And, the best that I can figure, Will’s deception (outright lie, in fact) cost me at least $10,000 in moving and relocation expenses—a hell of a lot of money for a fledging young assistant professor in 1986. The very same man is still at Sul Ross today as Head of the Animal Science department and continues his destructive modus operandi. He played a key role (at the direction of Kinucan) in the shameful (and outright illegal) way Dr. Jeff Pendergraft was treated (see other parts of this report). 

Be that as it may, throughout the period between its founding and Dr. Harman’s departure (over forty years), “Range Animal Science” thrived and improved under various (departmental or divisional) organizational structures. The department offered only one undergraduate degree—a Bachelor of Science in Range Animal Science with “options” (or “majors” or “areas if emphasis”) in Animal Science, Range and Wildlife Sciences and Agri-Business. Furthermore, each “option” allowed for an 18 Semester Hour minor in any of the other programs. In other words, in its hay day, agriculture at Sul Ross was diversified yet seamlessly integrated in a manner in which the various disciplines were mutually supportive (See Table 1 and compare it to Table 2). This organizational structure provided students a great deal of flexibility in the design of their programs in accordance with personal needs and career objectives and opportunities. As a consequence, Sul Ross produced a much more versatile and marketable product than it does today.

Table 1: Degree Plans and Course Listings in Effect Just Prior to Re-organization (Taken from the 1994-96 and 1996-98 Catalogs).

Animal ScienceCore (Note 1)  ANSC  NRMAGB (Note 2)Minor (Note 3)  ElectOther (Note 4)Total (Note 5)
Reproductive Physiology63458 1869132-137
Equine Science (Note 6)63571241867131
Meat Science (Note 6)63568   4130
Production63502071864132-137
Animal Health Management63658 18911130
Agricultural Edu. (Note 7)63       
        
Natural Resources        
Natural Resources Manage.        
with emphasis in Wildlife        
Range and/or Ecosystem        
Management (Note 8)63155361864130
         
Agricultural Business63248161867130

Note 1: One of the often cited reasons for the decline in degree plan flexibility after the reorganization is the “legislatively mandated 60 semester hour core.” It should be noted that the pre-reorganization core actually consisted of 63 (vs. 60) semester hours.

Note 2: Note that 3 of the existing 6 degree plans include from 4 to 7 semester hours of what are now AGB courses as requirements and/or “select from” courses.

Note 3: An 18 semester hour minor in Agricultural Business was a catalog recommended minor for all animal science and natural resource options. The agricultural business minor was in business and/or economics which is an option that needs to be reinstated via a change in the degree plan.

Note 4: Consists of “generic” courses such as Statistics, Plant and Animal Genetics, Select from any RAS course, Seminar, etc.

Note 5: Totals do not add because certain courses specified on the degree plans were from groups of “select from” courses. Often the total semester hours of listed courses exceeded the actual semester hours required.

Note 6: The equine science option was eliminated completely from the 1996-98 catalog. Therefore 1994-1996 catalog data were used. Also; the course schedule for the meat science program contained material errors in the 1996-98 catalog. (Three courses were listed both as “required” and also as a part of “select from” listings.) Consequently, the 1994-96 catalog data were used. All other data are from the 1996-98 catalog.

Note 7: The agricultural education program did not come into existence until after 1998.

Note 8: The various emphases were achieved through “select from” courses.

In retrospect, trouble appeared on the horizon as early as the 1970’s. During the late 1960’s and early 70’s, class rooms were overflowing at most of the nation’s institutions of higher learning. (This was primarily attributable to the Vietnam war—a college deferment was generally considered preferable to Vietnam.) Demand was high and, consequently, the price went up in the form of stricter admissions standards and academic rigor. Also as a result, campuses grew and prospered. With SCH funding abundant, dorms and classrooms were built, new curriculum and programs developed, etc. (Mountainside Dorm and the Turner Range Animal Science building are monuments to this period.)

But then the war was over and along with it went the deferment derived demand. Also about that same time, prospective students discovered that they could make as much money as a welder as they could with a bachelor’s degree. This, of course, left college and university administrators scrambling to figure out how to justify those now empty class and dormitory rooms.

Administrations essentially responded to the situation in one of two ways. A minority sold “quality.” My first tenure track faculty position was at Ft. Lewis College (FLC) in Durango, CO in 1978. At that time FLC was a small institution comparable to SRSU in student enrollment. It had chosen to go the “quality” route. Not so mysteriously, its classrooms were full and new buildings were being constructed while “colleagues” at other schools scratched their heads.

Of course the other approach was the selling of “quantity”—admit them regardless of qualifications and worry (saddle the faculty with worrying) about the consequences later. Unfortunately, that was the route taken by SRSU.

The bottom line: Sul Ross has come to be commonly perceived (by many students themselves as well as taxpayers around the state) as being the university to which students go when virtually no other college will accept them. This is in spite (and perhaps because) of the rampant grade inflation that takes place on this campus (something not unique to SRSU). We have come to the point where parents and employers need to lower the average student’s grade by at least one letter, and interpret a C grade as an F in order to gain a true picture. This could not have resulted in anything but decreased enrollment.

In spite of this, Sul Ross (and its agriculture programs) managed to hold its own up until the beginning of the new millennium. All of that changed in the fall of 1999 when the program ceased being a “division” and became a “school.”  Since that time agriculture at Sul Ross has atrophied and declined more than during any comparable period during its entire history. 

How and why? The complex web of deception and corruption renders the organization of a coherent explanation very difficult. However, perhaps it can be viewed as a step wise process.

STEP 1: BUILD A FRAUDULENT EMPIRE: IF IT AIN’T BROKE, FIX IT ANYWAY!

The Division of Range Animal Science was converted to the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and first began to operate under that title in the Fall of 1999.

An examination of class enrollment data (taken directly from class rosters) for the period between Fall 94 and Spring 08 reveals some interesting relationships (7). For example: With a few exceptions (spring semesters are usually lower than fall semesters as is reasonable to expect), total enrollment in all undergraduate courses in agriculture reveals a steady decline from 687 in the Fall of 1994 to 264 in the Spring of 2008. Enrollment in agri-business courses fell from a high of 88 in the Spring of 1996 to a low of 12 in the Fall of 2008. The revealing thing is that there are two points at which both of these enrollments declined precipitously. The first is the semester (Spring 00) after the reorganization from a division into a school. The second is the semester after implementing the new degree plans reflecting the politically determined mandates to limit all degree plans to 120 semester hours and do away with the minor (more on that below). These events have all been especially damaging to the agri-business program.

Returning to the reorganization itself, in the absence of any objective means to calculate, the decision to reorganize was made by guessing and motivated by a greater concern for appearances than for substance (“Schools” with “Deans” are much more impressive—“Harvard” sounding—than “Departments” with “Heads”). During the promotional phase, it was postulated that Sul Ross needed to “modernize” its agriculture programs in order to be competitive with the larger (primarily land grant) institutions. With no means to calculate, this guess seemed to be as good as any. The argument was persuasive in the absence of any other objective criteria. No one at the time, including myself, seemed to recognize the ultimate consequences. However, as is common to government bureaucracies, guesses are often wrong due to the law of unintended consequences.

In addition, legally and ethically questionable measures had to be resorted to in order to make the plan work. I am told that, by law (or governing board fiat), in order to offer a major in a particular field (especially at the graduate level), a “department” has to have a minimum number of faculty members. That requirement was met through a less than transparent manipulation of the faculty and its qualifications. In other words, the books were cooked. 

Consider the Natural Resource Department for example: At the time of this writing (April 2009) this department has five faculty members, one of which is the dean. (I always found it humorous that the dean evaluates the department head as his administrative subordinate in the school and the department head evaluates the dean as his subordinate in the department—only in government does one encounter such nonsense.) Range management is the field of expertise of both the dean (who teaches only one course) and the department head (who teaches all the rest). The faculties of the wildlife management, conservation biology and agri-business concentrations consist of one faculty member in each of those programs.

Yet the department offers undergraduate degrees in each of these concentrations and masters degrees in range and wildlife management. To offer what appears to be (leaves the impression of being) a degree (and especially a graduate degree) in a field with only one member on the faculty is little more than fraud against the taxpayer of the State of Texas.

I have personally been a useful pawn in this fraudulent empire building process due to my broad background in Animal Science (MS), Business and Economics (BBA and minors at both the masters and PhD levels) and Natural Resources (range management at the PhD level).

Under the departmental system, I taught courses in Animal Science, Soils, and Range Management along with the Ag-Business courses. This particular combination of courses was geared toward production agriculture. In fact, the particular package could have easily been called a “ranch management program.” Such a well rounded program in production agriculture is essentially impossible with the current degree plans (more on those below).

One of the first signs after the reorganization of an ensuing turf battle was when I was told that I could not select an office in the west wing of the new building because that was the “animal science” wing and I needed to be across the hall in the “natural resources” wing. Shortly after that, I received the message loud and clear when I was told that I would no longer be teaching the General Animal Science course, a course which I had taught for 13 years. When I asked why, I received an “archetypical code language” answer that essentially meant that it was because I was not a part of the “Animal Science Department.”

I have since come to understand the real motive. All one has to do is realize that government bureaucrats are motivated the same way as anyone else—by self-interest. That course was always packed (especially in the Fall semesters) with freshmen, many of them undecided as to their majors. It was a very valuable feeder for the Agri-business Program and its loss has greatly damaged that program.

It is natural that Animal Science would want to keep it “in-house.” Any doubt about the efficacy of this statement should be alleviated by a careful examination of the degree plan and who teaches the course under the current structure. The “why” is self-evident. Individual gain in the Animal Science department has been, at least in part, at the expense of the agri-business program and, more importantly, the student.

In any event, the reorganization was the beginning of a gigantic rift (and sometimes outright animosity) that has since developed between the two “departments.” The “fortress” (us vs. them) mentality has risen to the point that the hallway that separates the departments is referred to as the “Rubicon” or the “Great Divide.” If it were not for infrequent tense encounters during trips to and from a common men’s room, there would hardly be any contact at all between the faculties of the two “departments.”

A specific case in point is building security. As it is, NRM faculty have key cards for access to the Animal Science wing—but only because that is where the one and only copy machine is located. Animal Science faculty cannot access the NRM wing of the building. A similar situation exists with some of the class and laboratory rooms. This makes for a really awkward, embarrassing situation when a faculty member from one of the departments is trying to give a prospective student and his/her family a tour of the building. In the same way, simple office supplies are kept under lock and key on both sides of the great divide.

Then there is the situation where individual faculty members have purchased equipment with funds from outside sources (grants). One department being allowed to charge the other for use of that equipment may (or may not) be appropriate. Prior to the reorganization, it likely would not have been an issue as we had a much greater tendency to work together when we were one department. Be all that as it may, allowing one department to charge the other for the use of that equipment but not vice versa is rightfully perceived by the loosing side as being unjust.

Another case in point is the “Beef Production from Conception to Consumption” grant obtained by two Animal Science faculty members (one being the Department Head) and a member of the Business Administration faculty (who also happens to be the wife of the Animal Science Department head). The course listing (8) includes two ANSC 4311 Problems in Animal Science courses. The course titles and descriptions were lifted almost verbatim from the catalog titles and descriptions of two agri-business (AGB) courses: AGB4316 Farm & Ranch Records and Accounting and AGB4303 Farm and Ranch Management. When questioned, the project director admitted that the intent was for the Department Head’s wife (who is not on the ANRS faculty) to teach these courses. Although one of his responsibilities is to review all of the school’s grant proposals, the dean claims to have been unaware of this trespass. 

In the same vein but within the natural resources department, although I was used to fill the requirement for minimum number of faculty, I have not been asked (allowed?) to teach a single natural resources course since the reorganization. I had taught the Soils and Range Management courses since 1986. This is further evidence of the fraud. This has also damaged the agri-business program because these courses served as “feeders” in the same way as the general animal science course.

Furthermore, to place agricultural economics or agri-business under a “natural resources” department is absurd (more below on why and how it has been detrimental to the program). No prospective student seeking a degree in agricultural economics or agri-business is likely to think of looking under “natural resources” to find one. Exactly the same things can be said about placing the Agricultural Education program under the Animal Science Department and requiring a large number of animal science courses on its degree plan. I am told that is due to some kind of “regulatory” or “legal” requirement. Frankly, I am not convinced that is the whole of it.

The following memorandum from me to Robert Kinucan is offered as evidence that I had perceived and communicated a problem to the dean as early as January of 2002.

In turn, it is also supports the contention that Morgan’s method of selecting sycophantic subordinates filtered all the way down to the departmental level.

M E M O R A N D U M

Date:   6 Feb 02

From:   J. LaBaume

To:       R. Kinucan

            The File

Subject: Evaluation of Dr. Luis Harveson

My purpose here is to document the conversation that we had during the last week of January, 2002.

As you know, I firmly believe that the costs associated with written performance evaluations greatly exceed the benefits. This conclusion is not based on some half considered notion. I personally observed the destruction of the US military by Enlisted Evaluation and Officer’s Fitness Reports long before the establishment was rendered the coup de grace by Equal Employment Opportunity legislation and radical feminism. Furthermore, the phenomenon has been well documented by Col. David Hackworth and many others in various professional military journals. But…sometimes one runs out of options and I seem to have exhausted mine as will become apparent in the following.

The beginning of the decline in the Agribusiness program is identified with our re-organization. Placing the program under the Natural Resource Department was probably a fundamental error in the first place–free market economists and environmentalists being natural enemies.  However, that problem was not of large enough proportion to have been un-surmountable–given adequate departmental leadership.  The lack of leadership on Dr. Harveson’s part may have been malicious (the motive for which escapes me) or it may be due to his being a gross ignoramus (one that is 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus). The reason is irrelevant. The facts are as follows (in no particular order).

First, and of least importance, is his failure to see that the agri-business program was adequately promoted. In fact, it would appear to the contrary.  Neither on the SR web page nor in the catalog is the agribusiness program clearly identified as a separate program/major. Instead it is buried so deeply within the Natural Resources information as to be almost unidentifiable. I have since pointed these problems out and the web page has been changed and, I understand that the catalog is being changed also. Never the less, this served as an indicator of administrative incompetence and sign of things to come.

Dr. Harveson’s first “official” interaction with me as Department head was when he marched into my office and announced, with no sign of solicitation of comment or input, that I would no longer be teaching the General Animal Science course. I had taught this course for at least 15 years and it had served the very useful purpose of feeding the agri-business program. Be that as it may, I offered no resistance but did ask “why.” The reason given was that “the Animal Science Department wanted all of those courses for themselves.” Well, OK, that sounds “reasonable,” I guess—considering what I know about academics and their propensity for empire building.  I let it go.

But then the basic, introductory courses in Range and Soils (which I had taught for as long and had both served the same purpose of feeding the program as GAS) soon followed suit—again with no solicitation of comment or input and no concrete reason given. Again I offered no resistance because, personally, I would rather stick to my specialization anyway. At the time it had not dawned on me how much the program had depended on students recruited from these basic courses.

Then there was the situation where I had a student about to graduate who had put off taking the Soils course. As long as I can remember, Soils, being required for most of all our majors, has been offered every semester. So, I advised the student that he should take soils. The student returned to my office and indicated that Soils was not being offered. What? Impossible! So, I took him in tow to the School office where Becky confirmed that, in fact, Soils was not being offered for the semester in question. When asked why, the jest of the response was simply, “because Dr. Harveson said so”–again, to my knowledge, none of the faculty having been asked for input.

Then came a real mystery. For years (longer than I can recall), my classes were scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That dates back to my service in the Marine Corps Reserve where, once each month, I needed Mondays and Fridays for travel to duty. Having my schedule arranged that way insured that no student suffered in any way for my service.

Then, one day out of the blue, Dr. Harverson marches himself into my office and announces that I needed “to schedule some MWF classes.” After I explained to him how the TTh scheduling got started, I pointed out that, in recent years, I have been giving financial management training seminars to Farm Service Agency Borrowers (who have children who just might be interested in Sul Ross) on weekends and often needed Friday and/or Monday for travel.  He indicated that he didn’t really care (I could “arrange for a graduate student to cover my courses”) whether the students were penalized or not. Again no real or logical reason was given. It was simply, as a matter of fact, dictated in his (what I have by now identified as typical) high-handed way.

I know by now that you are wondering whether or not you really knew me as well as you thought you did. You are wondering why I took all of this without complaint. That would seem to be out of character.

Well, not really, because the events cited up to this point only indicate that the man is depriving a village of an idiot. That’s not a major crime but it gets much worse. What follows is evidence that he got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn’t watching and should not be allowed to breed.

The first such event involved a student by the name of John Chris Hull.  (I have retained a copy of the original correspondence [e-mails between Harveson and myself] should they ever be required.) Anyway, Mr. Hull was absent from my (TTh) Range Management class eleven times. He seldom turned in his homework (having an average of 35%) because his “workbook was all messed up”—a comment which eventually brought forth eye rolling from the remainder of the class. He scored 64 on the first major quiz and 52 on the second. At that point, I had advised him to drop the course (before the last day to W). He agreed and disappeared never to be seen by me again.

But, little Mr. Hull did not disappear completely. Instead, he complained to Harveson that he wasn’t getting his money’s worth from the course. Did Harveson investigate the allegations? Did Harveson make any inquiry of me? No. Instead, without question, he immediately took the student’s word/side and informed me, in his standard high-handed way, that I would give the student an “I” for the course—a mandate of interest to The National Association of Scholars. (In case you are not familiar with the organization, this is a group that is keen on the maintenance of high academic standards as well as defense of academic freedom.)

I responded to Dr. Harveson with what amounted to an explanation of my materials and methods of class conduct that was more elaborate and detailed than he deserved. I also gave the student the F that he had earned. In fact, this explanation was so detailed that it would have been obvious to anyone with an IQ of anywhere near a rock that my ass is ALWAYS covered. I haven’t survived for almost 30 years amongst the most vicious school of barracuda on the face of the earth (academics) without knowing how to do that. Apparently it wasn’t so obvious to Dr. Harveson as is evidenced by his next shenanigan.

This one also involved a student complaint. Again, did he investigate? No. Did he come to me with the “problem” and find out that it was not really a “problem?” No. Did he learn anything from what I had told him during the exchange outlined above? No. Did he find out that I ALWAYS, regardless of class, keep my ass covered by taking great pains to see to it that my students get much more than the minimum amount of information they have a right to expect from a course in the subject? No. Did he ask around enough to find out that, if frequency implies legitimacy, then the most legitimate (certainly the most frequently heard) student complaint is that of “too much” material, not the opposite? No, he didn’t bother himself with any of these things or with gathering any other pertinent information.  Instead, he announced publicly, in an open faculty meeting, that I needed to stick to “appropriate course material.”

Now, I must admit that this one got to me a bit. So, I summoned the little twerp to my office and gave him a lecture on the fundamentals of leadership. I also meticulously explained the evils of censorship and the historically founded purposes for academic freedom. He acted like he understood, but apparently he did not. 

That became apparent at the lecture given by the state’s lawyer (Gomez) on November 2, 2001–and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Reliable sources report to me that Harveson asked Gomez, “Who properly determines what is appropriate course content?”  Gomez answered that in almost all cases it is up to the instructor, not the department head or dean. The only exceptions he mentioned were cases where the department expected a certain minimum of key concepts to be conveyed so that the student would be prepared for the next level of course work.

In other words, Gomez told him exactly the same things that I had told him once in writing and then again as “fatherly” advice in my office. The boy may have a learning disability.

As you will recall, just a few days ago we were discussing Alexander Tyler’s sequence through which the world’s great civilizations have progressed in relation to America’s current position in that sequence. We asked rhetorically, “what can we do?”

Well, it is certainly a mistake to put faith in politicians. What is needed is more of an intellectual transformation. As Yuri Maltsev points out, “We are in a continual struggle to educate the next generation, and we are a long way off from seeing the political consequences of a revolution of ideas. In the world of ideas and public affairs, we must go about our work without expecting immediate success. Our efforts may not even bear fruit until after we are gone from the scene.”

I am satisfied with that. It matters not that I be gone from the scene. What matters is the eventual fruit. We can never expect intellectual fruit in the absence of academic freedom and that is what makes people like Dr. Harveson (Market Socialists and their criminal accomplices the Cultural Marxists) dangerous.

On the other hand, he is a sycophant (that’s the fancy word for what we country boys call an “ass kisser”). This being a required character trait, he will likely go far as a university administrator and the sooner he gets started, the better. Dangerous people must be made to realize that there is a price for their actions. 

I never received any manner of reply or acknowledgement to this memo.

After a great amount of frustration associated with seeking “the” definitive answer to the problem, it eventually dawned on me that it might be “hidden in plain sight.” Prior to the reorganization, every degree plan required at least some courses in agri-business and/or mentioned agricultural business in the catalog as a viable minor. All the degree plans provided for a minor for which agribusiness was often selected, which is natural and logical for any “applied science” major. It dawned on me that I might find an answer with a careful examination of all of the school’s degree plans that became effective after the mandate to drop minors. Unfortunately, here is what I found.

In addition to the agri-business program, the Department of Natural Resources offers 3 plans that lead to Bachelor of Science degrees in Range Management, Wildlife Management and Conservation Biology. In addition to its two year vocational programs, the Department of Animal Science offers 6 undergraduate degree plans—Agricultural Education, Animal Health Management, Production, Equine Science, Meat Science and Reproduction Physiology.

Of these nine (9) degree plans, NOT A SINGLE, SOLITARY ONE OF THEM SO MUCH AS MENTIONS AGRI-BUSINESS—certainly not as a minor and not even so much as a suggested elective. On the other hand, the agri-business program lists some 25 semester credit hours of Animal Science and 28 of Natural Resources. Apparently the one man band is supporting the orchestra but playing without pay. And furthermore, the primary heading on the “Agricultural Business” degree plan is Natural Resource Management with Agricultural Business (no emphasis) beneath.

Summary to this point: Legislative, governing board mandates, and locally made decisions with respect to the core curriculum, minimum of 120 sch degree plans and disallowance of a required minor have pretty much eliminated any flexibility a student might have in obtaining his university education. Add to that the competitive “empire” building between the departments (and even programs within departments) most of the course work is dictated leaving the student with very little room to address personal needs and interests. Possible electives on the degree plans range from a paltry 9 to 13 Semester Hours.  This set of electives also has to include “additional courses recommended or for certification that can be used as electives.” The result is a narrowly specialized graduate whose education is really not much of an “education.” Add to that the fact that many (if not the majority) of our graduates end up not working in the field of their university major. Such narrow specialization is better reserved for the Masters and PhD levels.

Table 2: Semester Hour Requirements by Degree Plan as of Fall 09

        Animal Science Dept.CoreANSCNRMAGBElecOtherTotal
Reproductive Physiology6046-473-4011 120-122
Equine Science6045-463-4012 120-122
Meat Science60453-4012 120-121
Production60463-4011 120-121
Animal Health Management60473-4010 120-121
Agricultural Education602370036 (1)126
      Natrl. Resources Dept.       
Range Management60743(2)010 120
Wildlife Management60744(3)09 120
Conservation Biology60344(4)013 120
        
Agricultural Business60Note 5Note 52510 120
  • Includes 12 SCH of specified Industrial Technology and 24 SCH of specified education courses. Note that the degree plan is 6 hours over the mandated 120 SCH and that includes no electives.
  • Composed of 29 SCH of “NRM Core” plus 14 SCH in the “concentration.” Under the concentration there 19 SCH of courses listed plus another 11 SCH of “additional suggested NRM courses (that) can be used as electives. On top of all of the preceding, there are 14 SCH of biology courses listed as “Additional courses needed for rangeland specialist (which) may be used as electives.”
  • On top of the preceding, there are 15 SCH listed as “additional suggested NRM courses (which) can be used as electives plus yet another 15 SCH listed as “additional courses needed for wildlife biologist certification which (may be used as electives).
  • The “concentration” consists of 13 SCH to be selected from a total of 17 SCH of listed NRM courses. In addition, there are 30 SCH of course work listed as “additional course suggestions which may be used as electives.”
  • The NRM and ANS courses required consist of 4 SCH of NRM plus choose 21 SCH from a list of 33 SCH of ANSC courses and 25 SCH of NRM courses.

On the other hand, agricultural business is the only degree in the entire School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences where the student can attain the course work to complete the degree plus the course work equivalent of the “old fashioned” 18 semester hour minor plus 13 hours for electives and still remain within the total 120 semester hour limit. As a matter of fact, with good advising and the judicial use of electives and “select from” courses, the student could actually attain 31 semester hours which is actually more than the course work equivalent of a double major  (see Note 5 to the table).

Catalog course listings

This examination of the degree plans prompted a perusal of the course listings in the university catalog. In addition to the “Beef Production from Conception to Consumption” trespass discussed above, said examination revealed other turf infringements: For example (emphases are mine):

  • ANSC2325 Equine Business Management: A study of the management practices of different types of horse businesses…focus (is) …contracts and records, budgeting, insurance, employees, taxes, advertising, client relationships
  • ANSC 3314 Farrier Business Applications and Ethics: …preparing and maintaining business records and files, maintaining banking information and tax information, updating customer account files and bank accounts, printing reports and balancing checkbooks
  • ANSC 4302 Management Procedures in the Meat Industry: …business management practices (with)…focus on specialized aspects of the business
  • ANSC 4601 Techniques in Agricultural Enterprises: …management of various agriculture enterprises

Those sure appear to be agri-business courses to me. It is obvious that, not only has the Animal Science Department eliminated agri-business courses (AGB) from all of its degree plans, it has actually usurped the teaching of the subject.

From the student’s perspective, the reorganization coupled with the loss of the minor has caused a great deal of confusion and apprehension concerning course scheduling and graduation dates. It has been especially damaging to the agribusiness program. This program’s heavy reliance on minors from the animal science and natural resource programs served the students well in that economic knowledge and business skills are essential to any “real world” technical field. In accordance with the basic nature of man (we all want all we can get for as little as we possibly must give), if students can obtain a university degree without an 18 semester hour minor, they will—especially at a State subsidized institution attended by students with compulsory state primary and secondary “educations.”

It is also interesting to note that, earlier in the process of looking into opportunities for “program building,” I sent a mass email to the entire ANRS faculty asking for suggestions as to how we might cooperate by developing areas of emphasis or some other means that would return our programs to the level of integration, cooperation and viability that they once were. I RECEIVED ONLY TWO RESPONSES.

One was from the individual that handled the Agricultural Education program which is not surprising considering the fact that Ag Ed finds itself in virtually the same relationship to the animal science department as agri-business has with natural resources—playing a fraudulent supporting role. Notice the past tense of the verb. I have recently learned that this individual has resigned to take a position in the education department over on the main campus. The place is coming apart at the seams.

The only other support came from the veterinary technician, probably the most technically competent and student oriented individual the Vet Tech program at Sul Ross has ever had. Once again, notice the past tense of the verb. He recently resigned citing intolerable leadership (harassment from above) as his sole reason. In an email I received from him dated 4/23/09 he said with reference to his new job: “Life here is good!  I forgot how nice it is working with professionals. Everyone from the administrative asst. (a real admin asst) to the animal techs to the boss man, professional, treat you with respect and appreciate the job you do. I’m trying to figure out why I stayed at Sul Ross as long as I did.”

Summary

When the reorganization was being considered, the argument presented was that Sul Ross needed to move more into the “mainstream.” An examination of the ag-econ and/or business programs at “mainstream” (primarily land grant) universities reveals that their current curriculums more closely resemble what we had at Sul Ross under the old Department of Range Animal Science—a core of ag-econ and/or agri-business courses supplemented with areas of concentration (or minors) in other areas of business, economics and agriculture. In other words, the law of unintended consequences caused the outcome to be the opposite of the objective initially stated. But there is an abundance of evidence indicating that these consequences were NOT unintended at all. They were indeed intentional—the initially stated objective was not the same as the underlying agenda. Regardless, the stated objective has not been achieved and the agri-business program has been a major victim of that failure.

To restate the fundamental premise, we are all motivated by self interest. Before the reorganization, working together was in everyone’s own best interest. The new organizational structure, coupled with poor judgment in management decision making, has changed the environment from an atmosphere of collegial cooperation to one of “every man for himself.” We are no longer a cohesive unit. We are eight little individual fiefdoms all under the control of the lord of the manor (aka the naked emperor; aka the dean). With each actor being both predator and prey, the organization is essentially cannibalizing itself. 

Then, there are those of us (agri-business, for example) who were more prey than predator. Our biggest mistake was blissfully minding our own affairs and trying, to the best of our ability, to do our one and only legitimate job (teaching). In our naiveté we clung to the idea that we were still “team players” and failed to recognize and respond appropriately to the sea change in the institutional environment. The change in the organizational structure changed the interpersonal relationships among the faculty. Unfortunately, it was programs and, as a result, students who have been the real victims.

These are all problems that can be fixed. But it will take extraordinary leadership. Do we have it?

STEP 2: ORCHESTRATE AND PRESIDE OVER A MASSIVE FAILURE IN LEADERSHIP AND THE PROGRESSIVE EROSION OF COLLEGIAL TRUST

Indeed, the Emperor has no Clothes

Introduction: To understand human behavior, one must look for motive. Why would any university administrator want to destroy part of his empire?  Garry Reed once said, “Give a small man with a small mind a small amount of power and watch the abuse begin.” And then Hans Hermann-Hoppe followed with, “Different people rise to the top under socialism than under capitalism. The higher on the socialist hierarchy you look, the more you will find people who are too incompetent to do the job they are supposed to do. It is no hindrance in (to) a …politician’s career to be dumb, indolent, inefficient, and uncaring. He only needs superior political skills (9).”  They both have their points.

James Wiggins offers yet another explanation for bureaucratic behavior that otherwise would appear to be irrational (10). To paraphrase Wiggins first law: Genuine private property expands the real ego arithmetically: counterfeit ownership expands the spurious ego exponentially.

“Genuine” private property is property that the person acquires through the application of his own physical and/or intellectual energy. Such property is legitimately under the owner’s total control.

On the other hand, counterfeit ownership is associated with the law and principle of agency.  Since “ownership” does not arise through any effort of “production” on the part of the agent, his ego is subject to spurious and unfounded expansion. In other words, the agent’s modest reward does not allow adequate ego expansion and he comes to view what he manages as his own (a part of his person).

The typical bureaucrat does not own what he administers. However, he sees his relationship as being one of ownership. As a result, his “spurious ego expands at a furious rate” and he becomes what is colloquially known as a “petty tyrant.”

Nowhere is Wiggins First Law any more readily observable than within the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at Sul Ross State University.

Once again, politicians and government bureaucrats are motivated just like everyone else—by self-interest. The possibility of fulfilling the inherent desire for money, power and prestige (in exchange for little or nothing) is a powerful incentive—especially if the player perceives that there is little or no personal risk involved. Often times the motive is simply passive—not a motivation to act but a motivation to be inactive. Said administrator believes that his salary will continue no matter what happens to a particular element of his organization. The old state paycheck will arrive regardless of whether or not operations are efficient and/or as effective as they could be with greater effort.

Or perhaps just the simple desire to avoid confrontation is sufficient to explain inaction. Any effective leader worth his salt does not actively seek confrontation. However, he does not shy away from it when the situation demands.

Each of the historical events depicted herein would be trivial if considered singly. However, when considered as a whole, they paint a crystal clear portrait of the productivity destroying environment within which the ANRS faculty has had to function.

None of this depiction is meant to be “sour grapes” or vindictive in any way. It is simply intended to establish a readily observable profile of character traits of key personalities based on over 20 years of documented observation. What will be revealed might, at best, be described as a “massive failure of leadership” or, at worst, an overt vindictive destructiveness. No matter, it will be instructive in identifying the source and explaining the current situation at ANRS.

Over the past (almost) 25 years, I have witnessed a violation of every generally accepted fundamental principle of leadership imaginable. The ANRS faculty have been subjected to a condescending (if not always in word, certainly in manner) leadership style that is simply inappropriate for professional people. The authoritarian style of management is useful under certain circumstances—i.e. when the manager has all the information, when prompt unquestioning obedience is necessary (as in the life and death situation of combat, etc). But, it is never appropriate for highly trained professionals. It always comes home to roost as it has this time.

Fail to be Innovative, Aggressive and Pro-active in Marketing Your Service

Introduction: It is said that, although you may have built a better mousetrap, you must advertise in order to sell it. All forms of promotion of the agri-business program have been seriously deficient since the reorganization. At every turn, the program has been used to promote the natural resources programs. The re-organization buried Agi-business beneath Natural Resources in all promotional materials (catalog, brochure, web page). No prospective student looking to study agri-business would logically think to look for it buried deep within a department of natural resources. That was not the case under the old Range Animal Science Department where all areas of emphasis (majors) received equal billing. (Incidentally, in all catalogs that go back as least as far as the early 1980s, agricultural-business was the first area of emphasis mentioned.)

Brochure.  With reference to the agri-business recruiting brochure, only two (out of six) of the small pages (double sided, three way fold) actually have anything to say about the agri-business program. The rest promote natural resource interests. Apparently I gave the then current department head far too much liberty in the last revision. It was summer and I was out of town. I did manage to communicate with him and essentially told him to leave the brochure “as is.” I had no idea that such drastic changes would be made. Furthermore, I was never shown a draft containing all those changes until after a large number of them were printed.

Web Page. A search of the SR web site for “degree plans” turned up the following under: “Listings of undergraduate courses in agricultural business offered by Sul Ross State University’s department of natural resource management.” No other program or department’s web page says anything about the agri-business program.

For example from the Animal Science Section of the Web Page: “Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science can choose a concentration in Agricultural Education with secondary teaching certification, Animal Health Management, Animal Production, Equine Science, Meat Science, Reproductive Physiology and Pre-Veterinary Medicine academic advising.” No mention of agri-business or any other field within the natural resources department for that matter. And the reorganization was not divisive?

The Natural Resource segment of the web site does at least mention agri-business as a minor. But again, that is an error or something that has inadvertently not been removed since we were politically declared to be “minor free.”  Even at that, agri-business is buried beneath a long list of possible minors.  Quote: “Our minorminOur degree offers great flexibility to customize your education to meet your interests and needs by providing a wide selection of minors to choose from. Some of the more popular minors for our students include biology (wildlife biologist, range scientist), criminal justice (game warden), and agri-business, animal science, or industrial technology (ranch manager).” The ironic thing is that animal science majors are, in general, more likely to choose a “minor” in agri-business than are natural resource majors.

Catalog. Once again, as with the brochure and the web page, Ag Business is buried (hidden) beneath NRM in the catalog. For example (from the catalog in effect at the time this was written): On page 129, beneath a large all cap “NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT” heading, there is a small, 3 paragraph description and a bullet list full of typos. About the same can be said for pages 130 and 131 (which, themselves, seem to be somewhat redundant).

In addition, I am listed in the catalog as a “professor” under the Natural Resources Department when, as discussed above, I have not taught a natural resource course since the reorganization. Even my “official” title is a fraud against the taxpayer.

These are changes that need to be made to the catalog. But, it is astounding how difficult such a seemingly simple process can be for an institution with no means to calculate and, consequently, no directly identifiable lines of responsibility.

Recruiting. When the dean told me that I needed to become active in recruiting, I replied that “recruiting is not my job” and indeed it is not. As I point out below under the topic heading of “Unreasonable Expectations”, teaching 12 to 14 semester hours is full time, if done right.

However, my investigation has led me to a different conclusion. Somebody has been taking the taxpayers money and pretending to be a “recruiter.” The statement that recruiting was not my job was met with “I don’t want to hear that” which confirmed what I had suspected all along—the faculty is being saddled with (and set up to be blamed for) the failures of a centralized administration.

As with so many other things, recruiting efforts have changed drastically from what they were prior to the reorganization. In recent years we have experienced a tremendous increase in “centralization” and micro-management from above. Nowadays we are definitely top down vs. bottom up as we were under the old structure.

One of the policies (which definitely came from above) that has had tremendous impact on ANRS recruiting is a sensitive issue—but needs desperately to be openly discussed. Personally, I could care less what any individuals sexual preferences might be—simply none of my business what anybody else does in their own closet. With that said, to have openly gay recruiters amongst rural parents at FFA conventions and the like is, at best, very poor judgment. The rural peoples of the South and West resent open and unwelcome attempts to force East and West Coast values on their culture. As a recruiting effort, it would be silly to think it would achieve results. When I brought up the subject with the dean, I was told, “don’t even go there”—revealing the absence of the leadership trait called “courage.”

It used to be that some of our recruiters knew and understood agriculture.  During better years, at least one SRSU staff recruiter was a former RAS student. As a matter of fact, Denna Massey and Janna DeMott (recruiters at different times) were both agri-business majors with rural-agricultural backgrounds. They understood our market—both prospective students as well as parents. They also understood our programs. We desperately need to return to the days of having our own “dedicated” recruiter—someone that knows agriculture, our constituency (rural people and their culture), us, and our programs.  I suggested to the dean that of all of us, only he has the “horsepower” to make that happen. He immediately said that he did not have such horsepower and slipped into a stereo-typical monotonous explanation as to why—he had suggested it to the VPAF who was in favor but someone… Interpretation: He lacks the courage and perseverance necessary to properly take care of his people.

It also used to be that our secretaries (before they became “administrative assistants”) were sent leads by recruiters from the registrar’s office. Then, we had a form letter (signed by each “program director”) that went with a mailing package to each of these prospective students. It didn’t dawn on me until I became involved in “program building” during the Fall 08 semester that this process had ceased.

I inquired and found out that the practice has been revived but in a different format. I had never been told of that. At first anyway, regular prodding was necessary for faculty to obtain a copy of the lists. The department head would periodically receive emailed lists of admitted students, applicants and prospects. She would then sort them and eliminate all but those who had expressed an interest in agriculture before sending them on down to interested faculty.

I was never told that I could obtain complete (un-edited) lists directly from the recruiting office just for the asking. After being told by a colleague, I contacted the recruiting office and asked to be sent the lists directly. They began arriving immediately.

I have since launched an email campaign to contact all the students on the list and introduce them to the fact that we actually have an agricultural business program at Sul Ross—something that is frequently unknown to prospective students because of the deficiencies in the catalog, web page, and brochure outlined above. 

My intention was to follow up the email campaign with a mailing. However, I was informed by the NRM administrative assistant that the department head said we would not be spending “M&O” money on postage to mail program information to “undecided” students. It makes absolutely no sense to not send “undecided” students information. What other basis might they have to decide? As a part of the complete overhaul of the recruiting function, each program needs to be allocated recruiting funds to use in the manner that best fits the need.

I discussed the recruiting issue with some of my former and current students. The consensus amongst current students was that advertising/recruiting was lacking because “hardly anybody knows about it” (with “it” referring to the agri-business program).

There are generally 10,000 plus kids present at the annual State FFA convention. I was told by a former student, who was at last years convention as a representative for his company, that the SRSU table was not manned all the first day and only a small part of the second. This was corroborated by a graduate student that observed something similar the year before. A third former student observed similar at the last SALE convention. I wonder if anyone bothers to go to producer meetings such as the Texas and Southwest Cattleman’s Association. On second thought, openly gay individuals would not fit in very well there either.

Deny the Obvious and Refuse to Recognize the Problem:

When confronted with the fact that the precipitous decline in enrollment at Sul Ross (in the School and particularly in the Agri-business program) coincided with degree plan changes precipitated by the change in organizational structure, the dean brushed it off with a waive of the hand. His exact response was “but I just think something else is at work” with no offer as to what that “something else” might be.

I suspect that I know. To summarize to this point: With regard to the overall decline in school enrollment in general and agri-business enrollment in particular, the numbers speak for themselves—precipitous declines occurred with the reorganization from division to school and again with the politically mandated elimination of the minor.

However, with regard to the dean’s comment that it is “something else,” I strongly suspect that the rumor mill sheds light on what was (is) in his mind. It seems, according to the coffee shop gossip, that “old LaBaume is running all the students off with his ‘war stories’” etc.” Whether these rumors have been purposefully and malicious planted or their source is simply a misunderstanding of the terms is irrelevant. Allow me to clarify a couple of things.

First, yes, I did serve the country as a Marine during two wars. As most any veteran will tell you, that does not necessarily endure one to the Marxists oriented liberal types that generally populate universities. Mistreatment of veterans on the home front (due to fear and lack of understanding) is nothing new—in America it dates back to the Revolution. As most young, naive veterans usually find out, the hardest part of the ordeal is the “homecoming.”

Second is a definition of the term “war story.” I do use that term but not always in the sense of an actual “shooting war.” I also use the term to identify real world personal experiences of life outside the pampered confines of the Ivory Tower. These are experiences that I have gained by actually being out in the industry, doing what I teach. These are experiences that often conflict with textbook solutions—something that the vast majority of academics, never having been there, can not relate to. 

Third, this reflects a weakness in the student evaluation process. (More on the Misuse and Abuse of Student Evaluations below.) In this case, it is a problem of selective interpretation—reading things into the evaluations that are not there. The only (no exception) comments that I have ever received from students that specifically refer to “war stories” indicate that the student understood the above definition of the term and appreciated the first hand, real world knowledge imparted to him/her through the technique.

Finally, here is my challenge: Over my teaching career, I can produce an absolute minimum of at least 100 satisfied “customers” for each and every dissenter anybody can find!

Be all that as it may, the dean went on to erroneously maintain that the relationship between the organizational change and enrollment “is a correlation and correlations do not prove anything.” This is a red herring argument—a feeble attempt at deception through the substitution of scientific terminology for true scientific discipline. When reasoning inductively, it is technically true that correlations do not prove causation. However, it is also irrelevant in this case. Human behavior simply can not be mathematically modeled using any statistical technique.  Reliance must be on logic applied to what we know to be true about the basic nature of man. Empirical data can only be used as support. And as I established above, the data does, indeed, support the theory.

Rational, reasonable people avoid making decisions based on gossip, innuendo, and surmise. The first step in problem solving has always been to objectively identify the problem. This we have yet to do.

Carefully Select Malleable Subordinates

Non-tenured mid to lower-level administrators (usually department heads) are vulnerable—not an enviable position at the university. Appointing department heads that can be easily manipulated (either because they are eligible for promotion and/or tenure or because they are willing to do the dirty work) is a circuitous way of implementing an authoritarian style of leadership (referenced above) while avoiding the consequences. It also ignores the first law of sound leadership. Authority can be delegated. Responsibility can not. Never-the-less, that is exactly what took place immediately after the reorganization.

A few personal examples will suffice to make my point. Over the years since the reorganization (and at tremendous inconvenience to myself and my students):

  • I have been arbitrarily forced to completely change my long held class schedule for no logical reason (or at least none that was ever explained to me). This not only caused unnecessary extra work for me (I had to completely revamp all of my course materials), it caused great consternation amongst my students. Many (if not most) hold outside jobs in order to finance their education. This little exercise in futility (except for the petty tyrant muscle flexing) caused a great deal of unnecessary re-scheduling of classes and work and, consequently, a great deal of anger and resentment amongst the people we are supposed to be serving (students). All of this was at the hands of an untenured department head—with the full knowledge and consent of the dean.
  • On more than one occasion, I have suffered actionable, federal criminal violations of my constitutional rights to freedom of speech and academic freedom through attempts to dictate what would (or more accurately, would not) be discussed in my classroom. At this point, one example will suffice: Students notoriously have difficulty with the agricultural statistics course (see “poor quality students” above). From the beginning of one semester, I had planned (and advertised in my syllabus) to completely cover the course material (which included Block and Two-Way Analyses of Variance) before the last two class sessions—which I had set aside strictly for the benefit of the students (exam review and questions). When those days arrived, THER WERE NO QUESTIONS! (See “poor quality students” above.) That was also close to the time that federal massacre in Waco had taken place. I had an award winning documentary of the event— “Waco: The Rules of Engagement.” I asked the class if they would like to see it. One hundred percent said yes—no dissenters. But later, a student (expecting to receive an F – see “poor quality students” above) complained. Then, in an open faculty meeting, that same non-tenured department head chastised me and instructed me that I was, from now on, to stick to “appropriate material.” My explanation (same as above) fell on deft ears—including the dean’s who sat passively through my public embarrassment and even added his two cents.  The dean’s actions reflect the dual standards he applies to his underlings. It is common knowledge that Dr. Will (animal science department head) and his wife show popular movies in their classes. To my knowledge, nothing has ever been said about that.
  • I have actually been told what grade I was to give a student (another unlawful violation of academic freedom).  The student in question had not turned in a single homework assignment, had a dismal daily average grade and had miserably failed the first major exam. Seeing that he was not going to get a “free ride” (see “poor quality students above), he complained to that same non-tenured department head who, in turn, instructed me that I would give that student a passing grade. I refused that order and notified the dean from whom I received no support.
  • I have been arbitrarily forced to betray a promise of assistance to a student that would have cost the university nothing. During a recent past semester, one of my courses did not have enrollment sufficient to justify the offering and was cancelled. One of the students who had enrolled needed the course for graduation. As I have done for the past 23 years in such situations, I offered to give him the course through the individual study vehicle. At the time, I had no inkling of resistance from the administration—it had never happened before. My new captive (tenured but not yet fully promoted) department head came into my office and told me, flat out, that I was not going to do that. I was incredulous and demanded an explanation as to why. The response was that she wanted me to devote that time to “program building.” I explained that, since the materials were already prepared and ready to go, the marginal cost (to me in terms of time) of offering the individual study course was essentially zero. She insisted. I indicated that I intended to take the matter to higher authority (VP academic affairs because, by that time, I had already figured out that the dean was essentially worthless in such situations). She perceived this as a threat to her newly minted authority and, it would be no exaggeration to say that she went berserk—screaming, crying and making outlandish, nonsensical statements. The dean (not so coincidentally) happened by, came in and essentially told me that I would not offer the student the individual study course. So much for the student oriented campus lie.  Toward the end of the conversation (if you could call it that), the dean strongly implied that his intent was to discontinue the agri-business program. To paraphrase: If there are no students, there is no need for the classes. Of course, that is obvious and I agree to that point. But he went on to say, if there are no courses, there is no need for you (me). I asked if he was threatening to fire me. He responded with a melee mouthed paraphrasing of his previous statement. I objected that I was a tenured full professor and that am qualified and I have taught courses in every subject offered at ANRS—soils, range, animal science in addition to agri-business. He said that “we already have people teaching those courses” and walked out. I suspect that my tenured, but not yet fully promoted, department head was acting under duress at his behest.
  • And then there was the very misleading NRM Status Report, Spring 2010 as delivered to Dr. Ricardo Maestas in a meeting on 19 Mar 10. First a description of how the meeting was conducted. Dr. Bonnie Warnock, NRM department head, conducted the meeting. In addition to myself and Warnock, Rob Kinucan, Lewis Harveson, Patricia Harveson and Lisa Smith. Warnock had prepared the document cited in the title above and distributed copies to all attendees. It was the first time I had seen the document and, consequently, was taken somewhat by surprise by its unfavorable slant toward the agribusiness program in general and me in particular. It is unlikely that there are any outright lies in the document, Warnock is smarter than that. It is not a fraud by “commission” but one of “omission.” The lie comes in the form of what is not said.
  • First, there is the description she provided of the activities of each faculty member. This generally included a list of courses taught, research interests and accolades (awards received) etc. That is for the entire faculty except me and the dean (a “special” case). Ours only contained a list of the courses taught (see pages 1 and 2 of the original document).
  • Then we were asked to each present something about ourselves and our programs with Dr. Maestas given the opportunity to question and interact with each of us. When it came my turn, he asked me specifically about my research program. I responded that I had just delivered a paper at the last Southern Economics Association annual meeting (which Warnock was and is fully aware of) and that my primary interests were in the area of private property rights on the so-called “public” lands. Being from New Mexico, he picked right up on that and actually lectured the others as to what an “extremely complicated” problem that is—it seemed to make him happy.
  • On page three, Warnock addresses what she calls “Strengths.” The introductory paragraph begins “The Wildlife, Range, and Conservation Biology (NRM) faculty are well regarded at the state and national levels….” She carries on for over a single spaced page and makes absolutely no mention of agribusiness.
  • Then we come to “Weaknesses and Areas of Potential Growth” on page 4. Immediately after apologizing and downplaying the enrollment problems in conservation biology (“We do not have the number of students that we would like in this concentration”), old Jimmy T’s agribusiness program rates a full paragraph all of its very own.
  • The introductory sentence reads: “Agricultural Business has declined over the past decade (from over 70 majors in 1995 to less than 20 now)…” However, what it does is shed a bad light on agribusiness relative to the other programs.Total class enrollment in all undergraduate courses in agriculture for the period between the Fall of 1994 and the Spring 2008 reveal a much more complete and accurate picture of the real problem. Total enrollment in all courses in agriculture during that period reveals a steady decline from 687 in the Fall of 1994 to 264 in the Spring of 2008. Agribusiness has not declined any more than the “School.” To imply that it has by presenting its data and not presenting the School’s data is nothing more than a lie. 
  • The accompanying data table and graph does essentially the same thing—the way the data is presented is biased against agribusiness. Warnock presents enrollment data (and a corresponding graph) from the Fall of 2003 to the Fall of 2009. But once again the form of the presentation is deceiving. She separates Agribusiness undergraduate enrollment data from NRM undergrad data. What is never mentioned (even so much as in a footnote), however, is that Agribusiness consists of one program with one professor. To the contrary, NRM has three programs and 3.5 professors (the dean teaches one course per semester). A simple division of NRM data by 3.5 would drastically alter the impression left by these “statistics.” Or how about cost per semester credit hour generated? Why not present graduates (instead of enrollment) by professor and program and the total cost for each? Cherry picking data is dishonest. (As I always tell my statistics students, “Figures do not lie but liars sure as hell figure.)
  • In the concluding sentence to this paragraph, she says, “Dr. LaBaume may need to update his course content and utilize more technology as well to move the program forward and increase recruitment and retention.”  I will separate my response into two parts.
  • First is the “need to update…course content.” What is that supposed to mean? Have they reinvented the calculus since the analysis of variance technique was developed? Do Credits no longer have to equal Debits in accounting? Utter nonsense.
  • Next is the “need to utilize more technology.” She has mentioned to me several times the idea of offering on-line courses. I would be more than happy to do that—if I can ever figure out how to insure the integrity of the examinations (I’m not a technology Luddite but I am old fashioned about integrity). Having students come to the campus for exams would defeat the purpose of offering the courses to attract students who can (or would rather) not come to the campus.
  • I suspect that the term “technology” also includes such things as Power Point. This prompts me to recall a conversation I had with a group of students recently (one of them being Kendal Chilcott). They were standing in the hallway outside Scot Erickson’s classroom. I asked them what they were up to and they indicated that they were supposed to be in Erickson’s class. I inquired as to why they weren’t. The consensus was, “What’s the point?” According to them, Erickson publishes his power point presentation on the internet. Then he comes to class, flashes it on the screen and reads it to them. Indeed, what is the point of attending class only to be so insulted?
  • Each of my syllabi begins with a quote taken from the London School of Law web page. “Taking notes interrupts the learning process – so in this regard, classroom formats hurt students. If professors want to maximize a student’s experience in class, print out essential notes, and let the students “think” in class.” This is known as the “Socratic” (after Socrates) method of teaching.
  • That is essentially what I have been doing for at least 10-15 years now. I refuse to fall into the “if it ain’t broke, fix it anyway” trap that has played such a prominent role in the demise of the old RAS. We have had way too much of that attitude over the past decade.
  • It will be interesting to see what, if any, comments she will have on my 2009 evaluation. A colleague over in another department was given a no merit rating because he “writes on the blackboard”—i.e. does it the way that has worked for literally hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Say “Team Players” when you really mean “Sycophants”

Early in his reign, the Dean spoke of “team players.” Now, in retrospect, I suspect that what he really meant (and wants) is a crew of sycophants. Regardless of whether or not that is the case, the term is objectionable in that it smacks of communism. It implies that somehow we have been able to breed a higher form of man who willingly (even eagerly) sacrifices himself and his own welfare for some mystic “greater good.” This is an idea that is diametrically opposed to what we know about the basic nature of man. He acts in his own self-interest.

However, we can, and often do, observe behavior in the workplace that might be described as “team player.” In fact, we, more often than not, observe such behavior within successful organizations. Why? When we examine such organizations closely, we find that they are structured so that the self-interest motive of the individual is aligned with the goals of the organization.

The organizational structure of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences is nice and neat and, like those of the larger land grant institutions, looks great on an organizational chart. The problem is that it is a failure. The reason for the failure is that self-interest motive is not aligned with organizational goals. To the contrary, the individual motive is counter to organizational objectives. Each individual player has his/her own little empire, the preservation of which is in his/her own self-interest. This inter and intra departmental competition counters organizational success. Its designers were either grossly ignorant or set out to intentionally destroy agriculture at Sul Ross—i.e. to fulfill the agenda of changing the university’s image.

An example is offered to illustrate: I do not know whether what I am about to relate was done with malice aforethought or happened simply because of the organizational distortion of motive descried above. It really makes no difference. The net result remains the same.

At the beginning of the Fall 09 semester, Dr. Luis Harveson went to the main campus to help with advising. Before he left, he came by my office and ask if there was anything in particular that I wanted him to tell any Ag-Business student that might come through the process. My only response was to just be sure that they are following the degree plan.

The next day one of those students came to my office with his registration materials. Harveson had signed him up in one of his own courses that already had an enrollment of 40 students. In the meantime, two of my AGB courses were struggling to make. Team playing? Hardly!

This same pattern was repeated again in the Fall of 2010. A new transfer agribusiness student came into my office after being “advised” by somebody other than me. His stated objective was to major in agribusiness and get a teaching certificate—completing the required courses for such a program within the 120 semester hour constraint would be a completely full schedule with no room for other courses. Whoever had “advised” him had put him into the Wildlife Resources class. Who that advisor was is no mystery to me.

Alienate Your Primary Clientele (While Pretending to be a “Student Centered” Campus):

Over the years I have witnessed numerous students being awarded special favored status. This includes having certain course requirements waived or easier courses substituted for courses they couldn’t seem to pass—the university level equivalent to what is known in public education as a “social promotion.” I have actually witnessed Masters Degrees being conferred on people who literally read at a third grade level. That is not what capable and deserving students envision when looking for a “student centered campus.”

I have also witnessed the converse—good students being treated poorly. A couple of recent examples come to mind.

A few semesters back, we had an international student in our School who was working on a Masters Degree in Animal Science. Somehow he, of his own initiative, ended up in my agricultural marketing course. I found him to be one of the better students I’ve had in quite awhile. He was very inquisitive and always questioned anything he did not fully understand (English is a second language for him).  I like and encourage questions but apparently all professors do not. In an animal science class, he was told that he was “a visitor here” and so he just needed to “sit there and be quiet.” Unbelievable! Do you suppose we will be getting many more students from his home country?

Most of the AGB courses are advanced and taught on an annual or two year rotation. Therefore, their not being offered timely can cause difficulty for students’ class scheduling and graduation plans. To mitigate this, my policy has been, should a course not “make,” I offer anyone enrolled (that anticipates graduating before the course is scheduled to be taught again) the opportunity to take it as AGB 4311 Individual Study. Due to the fact that my course materials are well organized, the marginal cost of this (to me and Sul Ross) is the next thing to zero and is very much in keeping with the “student oriented campus” concept that we openly advertise.

As I outlined above under “Carefully Select Malleable Subordinates,” a couple of semesters ago, I was confronted with that exact situation. I did what I had always done and promised the student affected that he could take the course as an individual study course. However, for the first time in my entire teaching career (that spans more than 30 years) I was flat out refused permission to do that and ended up having to renege on my promise to the student. Does that sound like a “student oriented campus” to you? 

Producers vs. Parasites: Government Driven Curriculum

Very closely connected to the alienation of the producer and the anti-producer attitude displayed by many faculty and university administrators is the federal governments influence (indirect dictation, actually) of university curriculum. Over the years since the early 1970s and especially in various natural resources fields the general attitude of the professions themselves has been one of pro-big government/anti-producer. It is not surprising that this has been encouraged (and even driven) by the federal government. Compare the range and wildlife management curriculums of any university with the job description/requirements for entry level employment in those fields with any federal agency—Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, etc. It is obvious that the federal government is dictating university curriculum. It also explains a great deal of the outright hostility toward private property rights and free markets that emanates from both the federal government and its various agencies and the university.

Misuse and Abuse of Student Evaluations

There is interplay between the university’s student generated evaluations of faculty and the poor quality of students being admitted. Student course evaluations actually aggravate the problem, especially when they are abused, which is all too frequently.

Students are provided the opportunity to evaluate professors toward the end of each semester. Common sense dictates and common practice holds that, if a professor is actually doing his job, a small minority (up to 10%) of these should be negative. However, with “selective interpretation,” student evaluations have been used as a backdoor way of censoring faculty. This is especially problematic for non-tenured faculty and has contributed heavily to the lowering of standards and rampant grade inflation. It is a documented fact that promotions and tenure have been denied at Sul Ross by vindictive committee members making a “federal case” out of a small minority of student’s opinions about the professor under review. Indeed, the inmates have been given the keys to the asylum.

Unreasonable Expectations

The ANRS faculty is tacitly pressured to do research and publish in the so-called “referred journals” (another of the state’s gate keeping mechanisms to squelch freedom of expression in the name of the “party line”). This pressure is de facto in that it actually exists but is without lawful authority.

The model comes from the land grant institutions where agricultural faculty members are involved in teaching, research and extension. The difference is that any professor who is hired by a land grant to do research and/or extension has his teaching schedule adjusted accordingly. Land Grants split their faculty’s time between teaching, research, and extension with publication expectations being based on the pro-rata time of each activity that is assigned to the professor. For example, someone who is 100% teaching would have little or no publication expectations. At the other extreme, someone who is 100% research, would be expected to devote his time exclusively to the conduct of original research and publication of the results. Furthermore, extension specialists often publish things that are not original research.

In general, the pressure to publish in refereed journals goes a long way toward explaining the fact that the drivel found in those journals is very often either irrelevant or down right silly. In particular, pressure to publish at SRSU is little more than a con job on the faculty. In addition to the drivel, it also explains the poor teaching performance we see. Simply stated, there is no possible way that any person can teach 12 to 14 semester credit hours and simultaneously do justice to a research program. One or the other, and probably both, are certain to suffer.

This is not what Sul Ross is or was ever intended to be. We take pride in being a “student oriented teaching institution.” It is what we advertise. It has been our trademark and has served us well throughout all of our history.

Be all that as it may, this criteria has, in fact, been used “selectively” at ANRS to deny promotion and tenure to certain individuals (more specifics below).  

Alienate Your Base of Support (The People Who Actually Pay Your Salary):

All fields of agriculture are applied sciences meaning that application of the technology has economic implications. As researchers and teachers, developing these technologies and applying them to the business of food and fiber production is what they pay us to do.

For many years, agriculture at Sul Ross focused on production. We had excellent working relationships with production agriculture and support from producers. We had numerous working relationships and agreements with area ranchers and were welcome on their land. With a few minor exceptions, that is no longer true. We have alienated many of them. Most are afraid to allow anybody from SRSU near their property. (In fact, I am that way about property I own.)

This is due, at least in part, to the fact that the production orientation has slowly, but progressively, changed over the past 25 years into an elitist attitude of science for science sake. In the minds of the people who actually produce things of economic value, we have been (rightfully) placed in the category along with preservationists and other radical species of environmentalists. Numerous conversations and observations are enlightening.

I have witnessed open hostility toward producers over the years. For example:

I recently overheard a faculty member refer to “cowboy poetry” as an oxymoron.

My first recollection of Robert Kinucan (now ANRS Dean) was when he was a brand new assistant professor of range management fresh out of Texas A&M. Dr. Del Davis introduced him at the Fall Faculty meeting. After a few words of introduction, Dr. Davis addressed Kinucan directly, “Rob, you might think about developing a working relationship with some of the area ranchers (something to that effect). Immediately Kinucan launched a long rant that boiled down to ranchers “already having destroyed their rangeland” and being “beyond help” because they are too “to ignorant” or “stubborn” (something to that effect). When the fact is that nobody knows the land better than the man (and in a few cases the woman) who is the 4th generation upon it. For obvious reasons, no government bureaucrat can or will manage the land like the person who owns a capital interest in it. The man just can’t seem to bring himself to

I once heard Kinucan mock Mr. Clayton Williams (a long time friend and supporter of Sul Ross) characterizing him as some sort of “green toothed moron hick” thumping his “Aggie ring” on the table.

Although these (and other similar) opinions were carefully expressed in private, it is impossible to conceal such an attitude from the general public. The word eventually gets around and not necessarily from being “leaked.”  For example:

I am aware of a class having been invited by an area rancher to come onto his private land for a field trip. The rancher’s intent was to conduct the event horseback at his own expense (a fantastic opportunity for the students). But the same faculty member who had made the disparaging remarks about ranchers abusing their land informed him, “I don’t ride”—a revealing statement that did not impress the rancher/supporter or the students.

One of our former students is the executor of a relative’s estate. They have over $2.0 million they are looking to give Sul Ross but want it to go toward a “ranch” emphasis. They were at, and were not impressed with, the “Trans Pecos Wildlife Conference” because there was no recognition or even mention of production agriculture or any role it might have.

I have personally had former students (who are now owners of large ranches) express incredulity that they had never been contacted by Sul Ross in general or ANRS in particular. 

Allow State of the Art Facilities to go Unused and Idle:

Sul Ross has a small feedlot that has sat idle (except for occasional and incidental use) for many years. The Animal Science department has failed to take advantage of abundant opportunities to bring in outside monies and help promote the university through cooperation with private business—i.e. testing of feed additives, animal health products, etc or perhaps even acting as a bull test center. Why have these opportunities not been pursued? Answer: poor leadership.

Harassment from Above: Violations of human rights and the creation of a hostile workplace environment.  

Over the years, I have witnessed myriad examples of bureaucratic nit picking, dual standards, policy making based on personal agenda, and various other minutia resulting in the waste of untold amounts of time and resources.

In addition to the violent verbal assault delivered by my emotionally unstable Department Head that I described above, I have repeatedly been subjected to discrimination and a hostile workplace environment. A few examples follow:

And a Grateful Nation Says “Thank You” One More Time: A personal experience with discrimination as a veteran. It is no secret that Vietnam veterans were treated shabbily—met at airports with barrages of rotten food, called “baby killer” and the likes. That was absolutely true as a group. But as an individual, I was actually treated worse over Desert Storm than I was over Vietnam—and most of that maltreatment was at the hands of employees of the State of Texas.

I received my mobilization notice on a Saturday in Dec 90 which ordered me to report to active duty the following Saturday. The next week happened to be the week before final exams at Sul Ross. I gave my exams early in order to report as ordered.

Before leaving, I went with Dr. Paul Weyerts (then Range Animal Science Department Head) over to the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Dave Cockrum. At that meeting, I was informed that I would be placed on a “leave of absence without pay.” I had no problem with that. I had been taking the taxpayer’s money for some time and considered the situation as my opportunity to do what they had been paying me for.

But then I received my first paycheck from the Marine Corps. I was only a SSgt at the time but, with family separation allowance, combat pay, etc., I actually made more money as a SSgt in the Marine Corps than the State of Texas had been paying me to teach at the university level. Ironically, becoming qualified to teach at the university level had taken me 20 years of formal schooling. By contrast, at the time, to be a SSgt in the Marine Corps one did not have to have a high school diploma. Being able to scream and cuss loud enough to make things happen was about the sole qualification. I took that as being an indication of the relative worth that society placed on the respective activities—i.e. it was just as important that I teach its kids how to kill people and break things as it was that I teach them how to husband their resources and manage their businesses. Morale dropped a notch.

It was not until the Battalion was formed that I learned what many of the other States had done for their employees. New Jersey, for example, kept their State employees on full pay while they were deployed to Desert Storm. Many of the companies (United Parcel Service, for example) augmented their employees’ salaries. For example, if the Marine had been earning $50,000 per year and then suddenly found himself as a LCpl in the Marine Corps earning $12,000, the company made up the difference. We Texans were the brunt of all the “Tall Texan” jokes—haw, haw, thought all you guys had oil wells down there, etc. Morale dropped another notch.

We returned to CONUS (military acronym for “Continental United States) 15 May 91. We all had two weeks of accumulated leave on the books so we were put on what was called “terminal leave.” That meant we went home but remained on the Department of the Navy payroll for two weeks. I drew my last pay check on 1 June 91.

The schedules already having been published, it was too late to schedule any courses for teaching during either of the summer sessions. Granted, I was in no mental condition at the time to be in front of a class room. But, conspicuous in its absence, was any offer to shuffle the schedule in any way in order to make room for me to get back on the payroll. Morale dropped another small notch.

But then someone told me that I was eligible for unemployment insurance. So, I took my young Christian ass over to the State office in Pecos, walked in and told them that I was a Desert Storm veteran. All the girls about wet themselves—oh you are our first one, here fill out the paperwork. So, I filled out the paper work and they sent it off to Austin. It came back rejected. The reason that was given was that I was a university professor between two contracts. I appealed the decision arguing that that was not a true statement. My last employer was the United States Marine Corps and not the State of Texas. The reply essentially amounted to “slo slolly Challie you are SOL.” So, I sat from 1 June until 1 October without any sign of an income. Morale was pretty low by this time.

Then the fall semester started. I was supposed to be eligible for promotion and tenure that semester. But, word came down through the “chain of command:” “We are not sure we can promote and tenure you because you missed the semester that you were at Desert Storm.”  I beat that one but had to call the US Attorney’s office to get it done.

Even with that, “concerns” were expressed amongst the faculty (primarily Kinucan and Will) about my being awarded tenure based of my being “too militaristic.”

Morale was about rock bottom by now…I thought.

After the semester was well under way, word got back to me through several of my loyal students. It seems that the topic of “workplace violence” had come up in one of Dr. Paul Will’s classes. Three guesses who was “elected” as “most likely to commit workplace violence” at SRSU? Yep, old Jimmy T. It hurt.

We had a secretary at the time that referred to me as her “little war monger.” That always had a sting to it. I finally had a little personal conversation with her that got it stopped but the previous couple of months had not done much for the morale problem.

Then, several months later, the Oklahoma City bombing took place. I had been self-sequestered in my office all day, including through the lunch hour, and had not learned of the event. After lunch, a work-study student (the aforementioned secretary’s assistant) came into my office and told me about the event. She then said something that left me entirely speechless. She said that the reason that happened was that “there are too many people in this world like you.”

Periodically through all of this, I was reminded of the SSgt sitting on his sea bag at 3:00 AM in the darkened terminal at Edwards Air Force Base, CA in September of 1970. We were alone, a plane load of Marines. As he gazed into space, he said to no one in particular, “And so this is how a grateful nation says ‘thank you?’”

I have since modified that a little: And a grateful nation says “thank you” one more time.

Other incidents and early indicators:

It is rightfully said that hind site is 20:20. In retrospect, there were numerous incidents that occurred early in the dean’s tenure that were harbingers of things to come. For example: Early on, he had issues with Ted Yadon (the ranch manager). So, he launched a blatantly obvious effort to get rid of Ted by assigning him a task that he likely could not complete and essentially force him to resign. Kinucan decreed that the “ranch manager’s” job required a Masters Degree. Now this is a guy who drives a tractor and runs a weed eater.

Another early indicator of things to come was the year we had invited Isidro (Chilo) Matamoros to do the SALE lecture. Chilo was on the animal science faculty at La Esquela de Agricultura Pan Americana (also known as Zamarano). He was (is) a dear friend and capable assistant in putting together our study abroad venture in Honduras (more on that below). Unfortunately, just before he was scheduled to depart the country, hurricane Mitch hit the coast of Central America. That left him stranded and us without a SALE speaker.

The obvious fix was for me to deliver the talk as it was already scheduled to be about Zamarano and our experience with conducting a SRSU class there. Before the meeting, Kinucan (department head at the time) came into my office and instructed me to “not say anything inflammatory.” I accused him of attempting to censure my talk which he, of course, denied.  Clearly, he had no compunction about violating my 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech at least until he realized that I recognized it as such.

A few more recent personal experiences will serve to illustrate: While working on a new recruiting brochure for the agri-business program (the reason for that is discussed in another section of this paper), I submitted a draft to the dean and department head. At the bottom of the brochure I had included my contact particulars along with the title, “Professor, Statistics and Economics” which precisely describes what it is that I do (teach). The dean promptly informed me that I was not to include those descriptive words because my “official” title was “Professor of Agribusiness”—a typical example of incessant nit picking and micro management that we endure while the really important things go unaddressed.

A similar incident occurred over my personal web page. A part of my “program building” effort has been to identify a market niche that we might be able to exploit. Pursuant to this, I employed my SRSU granted personal prerogative to create a web page. I worked closely with the Sul Ross Web Master, meticulously following the guidelines provided.

I called it the “Center for the Application of Austrian Theory to Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.” I almost immediately received a very condescending email from the dean telling me that I could not refer to it as a “center” because that implied that there was some sort of building or physical structure. He also opined that “the Board of Regents might be surprised that we had such a structure.” Well, maybe. But they would likely be more surprised to learn of the illegal and unethical shenanigans that go on around here.

A web dictionary search of the word “center” brought up over 30 definitions and/or uses of the word. Only a very small number of those refer to a building or any other type of physical structure. In other words, the word “Center” does not necessarily imply there is any sort of building or physical structure.

I also took the matter to IT where I was told outright that, as long as I conformed to their guidelines (which I had), what I called my personal web site or what I put up on it was absolutely none of anybody else’s  business, including the dean’s. With all due respect to the man’s leadership style, the title remains on the web page.

I found it ironic (actually, a self-contradiction)  that, during the exchange, the dean made reference to how well our “traditional” agri-business program had worked for us in the past and said he didn’t see the need to change anything. That seemed to me to be a strange statement seeing as how nobody had suggested that we change any part of the curriculum. I suspect that it was for one of two reasons—either gross ignorance of economics or another attempt at censorship.

His ignorance of economics has been evident on several occasions over the years when he has asked me for an economic interpretation of some very simplistic issues.  He just somehow does not connect the dots between his lucrative salary and industrial-agricultural production.

On the other hand Austrian Economic Theory is staunchly private property and free market based which generally does not set well with Marxist leaning radical environmentalists. Being shed of a free market economist, who incessantly challenges Marxist ideology and does not buy into cronyism and corruption, always makes life easier for collectivists. This also may explain why I only received one response when I asked my colleagues to critique a collection of essays that I had pieced together [as editor] dealing with free market solutions to contemporary environmental and natural resource issues.

I will however agree with one aspect of the self-contradiction. We did indeed do well with our “traditional” approach for many years—just as we did very well for over 40 years with our “traditional” Department of Range Animal Science (which has been destroyed by false empire building).

Another email dated 3/23/10 from Kinucan to Pendergraft further illustrates the same kind of ridiculous harassment. …we have encountered some lost individuals looking for our facilities.  They are looking for the equine facility but go to the SALE arena which is named “San Antonio Livestock Exhibition Equine Center.”  I think they are looking for the horse barn, which is officially named the “Equine Facility,” but may mistakenly be referred to at the Equine Center.  Jeff, I think the problem may be that the activity announcements made by your students erroneously refer to the Equine Facility as the Equine Center.  I will stand corrected if this is wrong, but it reminds us that we need to be careful in how we refer to the facilities.  We had this kind of confusion with barns (i.e. beef barn/auction barn) in the past and it could be a serious issue if an ambulance shows up at the San Antonio Livestock Exhibition (SALE) Equine Center when in fact they were needed at the Equine Facility (or vice versa).  I ask all of you to help insure we use the correct names in our correspondence, announcements, and conversations and to insure that your students are also aware of these subtle, but important, distinctions.

Thanks, Rob Kinucan, Ph.D., Professor and Dean.

My initial reaction to this was: “Holy shit! Now we know why total enrollment has declined from 800 to 200 over the past ten years. They couldn’t find the fucking place. Jez…”

Another example comes to mind that illustrates the dual standards applied to favored vs. disfavored faculty. One of the disfavored also happens to be a single parent. Once, when his small child was ill and not able to go to day care (or school as it might have been), the faculty member brought him to his office where the child remained for the day. As things usually begin, some whiner complained. The faculty member received a very condescending letter (or email) from the dean badgering him about the “serious infraction” and admonishing him to not do it again. Fine, but the tale is in how others have been treated. The dean’s own children, when small, frequented the RAS building and even went for “horseback rides.” The same can be said for the children and grand children of other faculty and staff—the small children of the dean’s secretary come immediately to mind. The uneven handedness even applies to students. I once had a single student whose baby sitter was a no-show on the day of the final. She came to the final and brought her child. The dean’s secretaries actually cared for the child while the student took her exam. Personally, I believe that is exactly what should have been done, being that we are a “student oriented” campus and all of that. However, the point is not what should or should not be done. The point is the dual standards to which faculty and staff are subjected. 

And speaking of favored vs. disfavored faculty: Pendergraft and I were both told that there would be absolutely no short courses justified for the summer of 2009. Neither of our courses offered in Mexico had the required enrollment of ten students so both were dropped. A subsequent Freedom of Information Act request for documentation of short courses justified and the pay records of other faculty revealed that the same standard was not applied to all faculty. As a matter of fact, certain favored faculty were paid for teaching classes with as few as two students enrolled (data taken from the individuals’ pay records obtained through a Texas Open Records Act request.

And then there is the case of charges of “nepotism” being applied selectively. Several years ago, when the job that Scott Erickson now fills came available, Dr. Paul Weyerts was Department head and Kinucan was an Assistant (or perhaps Associate) Professor.

Weyerts’ son-in-law, Frank Snider, was just completing a PhD in Animal Science at New Mexico State University and applied for the job. A great howl went up. Kinucan shouted “nepotism” from the highest hill and eventually got Frank’s application discarded. Well, OK…but…

When the new major and accompanying faculty position in Conservation Biology came into being, Kinucan wholeheartedly supported Patricia Harveson (Lewis Harveson’s wife) to fill the position. With me, that’s OK too. Patricia is an amiable person and seems to be doing what she is paid to do very well.

But…the problem is the inconsistency. How can anyone with such a blatantly dual set of values call him/her-self a leader? How can faculty be expected to respect and follow the guidance of such a person?

Kinucan’s role and personality reversal upon being appointed dean is worthy of note. Dr Weyerts was department head when Kinucan was un-promoted, un-tenured faculty. It was plain that Kinucan absolutely despised Weyerts. But, when promotion time came, he (Kinucan) fretted over his fears that Weyerts would stand in the way of his promotion and tenure. I found myself stuck in the middle. Kinucan told me directly that, if that happened, he would “devote ever ounce of his intellectual ability” to getting even with Weyerts. Now that Kinucan has the power he is exerting it in an attempt to prevent Dr. Pendegraft’s being promoted (more on that below). In other words, his attitude changed with his role—a complete 180 degrees. Ironically, again I find myself caught in the middle. The instructive point is that Kinucan is the common denominator in the two dissentions.  

There are many more examples that I could cite but the current (at the time of writing) dilemma of Dr. Jeff Pendegraft tells it all. (Note that Dr. Pendergraft has now resigned being added to the long list of Kinucan’s victims.)

Dr Pendergraft (Dr P, as many of his students call him) has been eligible for and has applied for promotion to full professor for the last three years (coming up again soon as this is being written). He has been denied all three years. As a full professor, I have been on the School level promotion committee all three of those years.

Over the years, I have worked with Dr. P both inside and out of the university and have always found him to be competent and amiable. No one had ever indicated to me anything to the contrary. For that reason, I was quite taken aback by the objections I heard at his promotion hearing that first year. I had no idea that he was such an “incorrigible” person. Due to shock and absence of any substantive documentation or other evidence, I chose to abstain from the voting that year.

I took the time to prepare a little better for the second year. The meeting went essentially the same as the first. The vote was three (Drs. Will, Erickson and Yoder) against and one (me) in favor of promotion. At that time, I asked (in fact I pleaded) for them to show me any sort of documentary evidence upon which their vote was justified. I got nothing of any substance. In the meantime, the dean had sat totally silent. I asked him how he intended to vote. In the typical non-committal way, he indicated that he would vote to not promote but offered no concrete reason as to why.  

I went on to note that, although I am not licensed to practice law, it seemed to me that they were inviting civil action against the State of Texas (as well as themselves as individuals), I received no substantive response. They acted as though they were unconcerned about that.

The only justification ever offered was that Dr. P lacked “collegiality” which is defined as “cooperative interaction among colleagues.” Many of the organizations that act as watchdogs for academic freedom and tenure have taken a strong position against the use of collegiality as a separate criteria for promotion and tenure. (See the American Association of University Professors’  (AAUP) On Collegiality as a Criterion for Faculty Evaluation.) I am convinced that, in this case, collegiality is being used in exactly the way that AAUP fears—as a tool of censorship.

The third year added to that conviction. Dr. Lewis Harveson, being a newly promoted full professor, joined the committee in the third year. Dr. Harveson is the wildlife management person in the natural resources department. As such, he has had little to no professional relationship with Dr. Pendergraft. The meeting that year was also held in an unusual way. Very little was said. It went something like this:

Dean: Is there any discussion?

Silence

Dean: So, all in favor of promotion, raise your hand.

I raised my hand.

Dean: All in favor of denial of promotion raise your hand.

The other four hands shot up

Dean: Let it be so noted. Meeting adjourned.

I have since come to doubt that any of my votes or objections in any of the three years actually made it up the chain to the VP for Academic Affairs and the President. Of course, that would be easy enough to find out with Freedom of Information/Open Records Act requests, should that ever become necessary.   

The interesting thing was that Dr. Harveson’s hand was one of the first to shoot up to deny the promotion. I found his enthusiasm strange considering what I knew about his relationship (or lack thereof) with Dr. P. When I asked him why he voted the way he did, he referred to Dr P’s “publication record” as being “inadequate” in his estimation—i.e. proof that the de facto pressure to publish actually exists (or comes into existence when it fits the agenda) even though it is without lawful authority.

It should also be noted that, at the time of this writing and contrary to SRSU rules and regulations, he (Dr. P) has not received anything in writing concerning the proceedings. He has met with the Animal Science segment of the committee and asked for guidance as to what he needs to do to regain their graces. The record of that meeting reveals that he was given little to nothing—certainly no concrete, actionable specifics. 

Dr. P has actually submitted written requests for guidance. Quoting from his: “request for written responses for my denials of promotion and no merit evaluation: This letter is in regards to requesting a written response for my denial of promotion from each level of the promotion and evaluation procedure. I have been denied promotion 2 years in a row and this year I received a no merit evaluation. I feel these evaluations of my performance at SuI Ross are biased and are a form of retaliation for speaking out for student rights. This request is to ensure that I may clearly address any areas that this University thinks I may be lacking to be promoted and receive higher evaluations in the future. Please see enclosed documents summarizing my activities over last year and my tenure at SuI Ross.” As of the date this was written, he has had no response.

Additional evidence supporting the conclusion that Dr P is the victim of a conspiracy to deprive him of his basic right of due process arose from a recent proposal submission for a USDA grant.

During the month of January 2009, Dr P and I worked together on a proposal for a USDA-ISE Grant entitled “Development of Cooperative Relationships with Mexico to Enhance Internationalization of Teaching and Research.” Dr P, Dr. Martin Terry (of the Biology Department) and Mr. Leo Dominguez where listed as investigators and I was the “Principle Investigator (PI)” although Dr P had done the bulk of the work. The reason for that was transparently obvious to anyone who was (is) even remotely familiar with the turmoil in the Animal Science Department—i.e. such a proposal would not have had the proverbial “snow ball’s chance” at making it past the Department Head’s review if Dr. P had been listed as PI.

It was also as transparent as anything could possibly be that Dr P was the one who was going to do the resident “in country” work. I had agreed to be the principle investigator because: 1) I thought it to be a project worthy of supporting and 2) everyone involved knew (and knows) that the proposal would never have made it above the departmental level if Dr P had submitted it as PI. 

As is “normal” in any government bureaucracy, it came down to a mad rush to get the proposal through all of the bureaucratic steps by the deadline. My department (NRS) head promptly signed off with the full knowledge and consent as to the reason (stated above) that I was listed as PI. In fact, we discussed it.

The next step was the dean’s office. His first “objection” was that it was “not transparent” (a currently in vogue buzz word employed by politicos and government bureaucrats.)  He was referring to the fact that I was listed as PI but it was Dr P who was going to need the release time. Unlike the Conception to Consumption proposal described above, he went through the proposal with a fine toothed comb. His only semi-valid objection was that there would be no one to take care of the horse barn in Dr P’s absence (which was a requirement in the proposal).  I volunteered to oversee that activity but got no response.

Dr P pointed out that he had discussed the situation with the ranch manager and his assistant and they both had agreed to help with the barn. The dean flatly refused saying that duty was “not their job.” As is relayed in the segment under the heading of “recruiting,” when I told the dean that “recruiting was not my job” he flared and said that he “didn’t want to hear that!” OK. But, now that Dr P needs a hand in the horse barn in order to implement his proposal, working in the horse barn is not the ranch manager or his assistant’s job? Isn’t it funny how the story changes with the agenda? Furthermore, the job descriptions for the dean and both ranch workers clearly state that they are to assist with all livestock maintenance. Isn’t it a bit strange that the ranch manager and his assistant take care of all the other classes of livestock for all the other programs—except the horses in the horse barn? Meantime, Dr. P personally mucks horse stalls. What kind of way to run a “ranch” is that? The dean deliberately instructed the ranch manager and his assistant to disregard their duties. 

During the course of our meeting, we found out that the dean was also working on a USDA proposal. That is all he said. So, I asked him (innocently, actually) what his proposal was about. He said it was a “study abroad” thing that he was working on with a guy from San Marcos. Apparently his is a “Challenge Grant” which is “different” from ours. However, the only difference is that one requires matching money and the other does not. Looks like a clear cut case of conflict of interest to me.

It should not surprise anyone who has bothered to read this far, but I have taped every committee or faculty meeting and conversation I’ve had with the dean since the first time I was victimized by one of his temper tantrums—shaking, quivering hands and lips, flushed face, pallor around the mouth, etc (more on this below). When he found out that I was taping the meeting, he (unsuccessfully) attempted to mask his anger management problem by making a joke about it. All I could say is that “A guy has to protect himself around here. There are things going on that people go to jail for and I want no part of that.” He said, very curtly, “I don’t know anything about that,” whirled and walked away—having never since said a word to me except when forced to acknowledge my presence in an accidental face to face encounter. Guilty as charged? Most any prudent criminal investigator would certainly have his suspicions strongly aroused by such behavior.

After the meeting we were discussing the proposal with Leo Dominguez (listed as one of the “investigators” on the proposal and the person who coordinates outside funds for Sul Ross). Leo said that the proposal “External Funding Approval Form” (which allegedly has to be signed by all administrators in the PI’s chain of command) has (or at least started out as having) no “legal” significance. The form itself is of his (Leo’s) design. Its only purpose (at least originally) was to assist with the coordination and accounting for all the proposals and grant monies that come into the university. So, this amounts to a clear cut case of unintended consequences—the form has evolved into an instrument for harassment, blackmail and petty tyranny. 

Returning to the proposal itself: After the meeting, Dr P made the corrections to the proposal that he thought would address the dean’s concerns and resent it to him. The deadline for submission was the next day (Friday) at 3 PM. Dr P spent the day on the main campus working out details with Leo Dominguez’ staff and did not get a chance to check his email. I was in my office and continuously logged on to my email account all morning. At 8:45 AM, the dean emailed further revisions and indicated that he had to have agreement with them before he would sign the approval form. The problem is that he only sent the email to Dr P and did not so much as send a “cc” to me, the Principle Investigator. As a result, we failed to meet the deadline for submission. Does that seem strange or even that it might have been inadvertent? Not really, if you understand the situation and, if you have read this far, it surely does not.

Then on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 4:41 PM, Dr P sent the dean an email inquiring as to if there would be a time during the week that we could go over his recommendations for the proposal. The dean ignored it. So, at 11:10 on 1/22/09, Dr P sent the email again and added that he was just checking back to see if we could visit with him regarding his recommendations. Finally on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 3:52 PM he responded with a lecture in his standard condescending manner about lead times, concerns, alternate arrangements, how to judge who should be the PI, covering faculty teaching needs, and so forth ad nauseam and ultimately concluding with “…I don’t think it is necessary for us to meet at this point.  Also, given that our last meeting was surreptitiously recorded it has changed the atmosphere of collegial trust for this type of interaction and likely altered how we handle future meetings.”  

As I mentioned just above, he seems oblivious to the fact (or has conveniently forgotten) that he was the one to permanently change “the atmosphere of collegial trust” on December 10, 2002. I still have the memo he sent me and I still vividly recall the telephone call he made to me on December 6, 2002. I also have the memo that I sent him earlier documenting a conversation that we had had in his office. A warning he ignored that reveals that the problems we are experiencing now (and their causes) are nothing new. I identified them for him a long time ago, back when there was “collegial trust” amongst us. He wouldn’t listen then. He surely won’t now.

And there is more.

Misappropriation of Funds and Other Miscellaneous Corruption:

Some years ago course fees were set up to help offset program expenses. I will leave revelation of the details up to those who were victimized. For now, suffice it to say that, the obvious idea was that the more students in class, the more it cost to run the class, the more money there would be available to support the class.  Furthermore, at least initially, the money was supposed to be spent in the semester for which it was collected. 

However, after incessant harassment from above and a series of account manipulations (associated with how the university budgeted for funds to replace these fees when the Texas State University System did away with them), Dr P’s horse science program has, at best, been unjustly robbed of its due by an unethical manipulation of state funds being allocated to the benefit of the department head’s program. At worst, there is a distinct possibility that a thorough investigation would reveal malfeasance if not outright fraud against the taxpayer of the State of Texas.

In addition to vigorously standing up for his program, Dr. P has openly pointed out other areas of corruption. For example, he has pointed out that the dean has lied about the resident veterinarian’s credentials—he does not have a license to practice veterinary medicine in the State of Texas, yet he purchases and handles controlled substances and prescription drugs.  He draws blood for Coggins, tuberculosis etc without the required DEA and DPS registration. Some of these activities are documented on federal forms.  Thus, when he signs his name to those documents he his committing federal fraud. Obviously, pointing those things out has not endeared Dr P to everyone in the Animal Science Department and the dean’s office.

Finally, Dr. P is left with essentially no administrative remedy. TheGrievance Committee (if there is still such a thing) is stacked with the very people (and/or their cronies) who are the problem. I personally volunteered to serve on this committee but was completely ignored. (As of 19 May 2010, the committee had been convened and a decision is pending.)

In summary, the only “justification” that has ever been offered for denial of Dr P’s promotion and his incessant harassment is that he “lacks collegiality.” Having known Jeff Pendergraft since he first came to Sul Ross, I find it hard to believe that he is, by nature, a cantankerous, incorrigible man. I do, however, find it easy to believe that he would be assertive (even down right aggressive) in the defense of the wellbeing of his charges (students) and what he knows to be just (ethically right).  It is called “leadership”—a set of character traits in very short supply within the Turner Range Animal Science Building. I strongly suspect that his assertiveness in such matters has been unjustly interpreted as a lack of “collegiality” and is, therefore, the sole source of his harassment.

In sum, the preponderance of the evidence points to an actionable conspiracy to deny Dr. Jeff Pendergraft his basic right to due process.  Whether or not it comes to that is not for me to say or even recommend. However, there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that it is very much a part of the rift and divisiveness that is destroying the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at Sul Ross State University.

Other incidents include the summer of 2009. Dr. Pendergraft planned to offer two

Fail to Take Care of Your People, Look after their Welfare and Programs

In his very first faculty meeting, the most effective university administrator I have ever had the pleasure of working with said, “My job is to see to it that you have what you need to do your job.” That, in a short sentence, summarizes leadership. The attitude at ANRS is more of the nature of “sink or swim.”

An example of this type of failure is the AGB4316 International Development course, clearly of a multi-cultural nature. At one time it was listed on all SRSU degree programs under the core curriculum as satisfying the “multi-cultural” requirement. But then, somehow it mysteriously disappeared with no mention having been made to me and apparently no response from my “leadership.”

The evolution of that course makes for an interesting story in and of itself. Some years ago, certain members of a Consortium of Hispanic Serving Institutions obtained a USDA Challenge Grant to explore the “internationalization of agricultural curriculum” at their universities. New Mexico State was the lead university with SRSU, Texas A&M Kingsville and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez being participants. I represented SRSU.

The third year of the project, each university received $10,000 in “seed money” to implement the conclusions of the consortium. I used the money to explore opportunities in Honduras, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Mexico and ended up deciding to take the AGB4316 class to La Esquela Agricola Pan Americana (Zamarano) in Honduras.

The excursion went without a flaw and is still talked about today by its participants. Unfortunately, that was the end of it. From that point forward, I received no financial support of any kind to continue the program—not even a token amount to print brochures or put out any other form of advertising. Apparently seed do not germinate in the sterile soil of SRSU/ANRS.

Another example of the lack of impetus and follow through is a proposal that has been discussed around ANRS for many years. A commonly accepted rule in higher education is that economics departments feed off of business schools. An examination of the organization of universities offering degrees (and especially graduate degrees) in agricultural economics and agri-business reveals that, more often than not, the agricultural economics and the business/economics faculty are one and the same. Many times and for years the possibility of a joint appointment for me between ANRS and Business/Economics on the main campus has been mentioned. But, the idea has never been acted upon until recently and that was not by leadership but by my own personal initiative. I personally dealt from a weak position with the business/economics department head. I was turned down flatly. Perhaps if the idea had been presented at the dean’s level, it might not have suffered such a fate. 

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

Re-reorganization and re-revamping of degree plans

The optimum solution is to re-reorganize in a manner that actually promotes cooperation instead of divisiveness. In conjunction, the minor needs to be restored in such a manner that any ANRS program would be acceptable as a minor for any of the others. Room (in terms of semester credit hours) for suggested/recommended minors needs to be made on all degree plans within the legislatively mandated 120 SCH limit.

This “room” can easily be made from two sources:

The first is a reduction in the core curriculum requirement. A Google search revealed a plethora of examples of institutions with excellent reputations of providing high quality educations and, at the same time, requiring far fewer core courses. Take little Grove City College, for example: Since its founding in 1876, Grove City has sought to provide liberal and professional education of the highest caliber. Long recognized for its academic quality, Grove City College insists that all its graduates possess, in addition to specialized knowledge in major or professional fields, a high level of cultural literacy and communication skills. This program of studies is a broad range of liberal arts and sciences, consistent with many national recommendations for excellence. This helps to insure that graduates have the marks of educated persons, whatever their profession (Taken from the Grove City Web Page). What is instructive is that Grove City College’s “claim to fame” is that they provide their students with a “high level of cultural literacy.” Yet they only require 38 to 50 credit hours of core courses. Why on earth do we require 60?

Another rationalization offered by the NRM department head for not having minors in the natural resource programs is the special requirements for federal agency employment or certification-licensing. First, these should not be a “required” part of the program curriculum simply because not all natural resource students aspire to work for the government. Fulfilling any such requirements should be the individual student’s responsibility and could easily be included on a list of recommended “minors” or “areas of emphasis.” I received a Master of Science degree in Animal Science from Sul Ross in 1974. I simultaneously met the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ education requirements for the CPA certificate. My intention at the time was to practice public accounting with a specialization in ranch accounts. I could never have achieved that goal with the constraints that are currently foisted upon the hapless students in both the natural resource and animal science departments.

Recruiting

Recruiting needs a complete rethinking and overhaul. School (and departmental) dedicated recruiters need to be hired with faculty of the hiring school or division being a part of the screening and selection process. Each program needs to be allocated recruiting funds for its own use.

We need innovation, new ideas and a revival of old ones that are known to work. For example, a concerted public relations effort needs to be directed at Texas Ag teachers and 4H program directors. There is a current bumper crop of veterans out there with GI benefits and just waiting to be “harvested.”

We need to return to our roots and make sure we are forever and always represented among producer’s associations, like the American National Cattlemen’s and its state affiliates (especially in Texas and New Mexico). 

Completely rework annual faculty evaluation procedures and periodic promotion and tenure processes

Since watching the “fitness report” completely destroy the united States Marine Corps, I have objected to written evaluations. They are demoralizing and result in more conflict and ill feeling than they can ever hope to prevent or resolve. They always end up with the opposite of the intended effect—not as measures of leadership but as measures of “followship.” More frequently than not, they end up being used as a political weapon to “even the score” with whomever might disagree with the power structure’s agenda.

Not only the student evaluation portion, but the entire faculty evaluation process at Sul Ross is so “open ended” with so few checks or balances as to be very easily manipulated in either direction (favorably or unfavorably) to the faculty member depending on the evaluator’s personal agenda. Over the past 25 years, I have seen corrupt administrators manipulate this system to the ruination of numerous promising careers. The real danger is that it is being used to circuitously circumvent the legalities of intellectually essential freedom of speech and academic inquiry. It amounts to little more than backdoor censorship and will continue to be used to this end unless it is totally revamped.

Leadership

We need courageous, bold, assertive, aggressive leadership to get us through these trying times. Being told “don’t even go there” or “I don’t want to hear that” or “I just think something else is at work here” or “I do not have the horsepower (to get the job done)” will not get it done. Indeed the emperor has no clothes. We must insist that our leader take charge and solve the problem (especially that emanating from the Animal Science side of the Great Divide). Leadership interaction and conduct within the departments as well as among them needs to be firm, fair and friendly—in a spirit of fairness and cooperation. Seeing that this happens is a job for leadership. 

And most important of all, we need a leader that can figure out how to stop these egotistical clowns from acting like three year olds. Our survival depends on it. Whoever that turns out to be must understand the trilogy: lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!  

Post Script: It seems that shenanigans never end.

At this point a third step in the destruction process can be added: MAKE RULES THAT ARE EASILY BROKEN: BUT ONLY BY OR FOR THE FAVORED

The following consists of a log of subsequent infractions, random thoughts, memories and additional discoveries subsequent to writing the initial report. Indeed it never seems to end.

23 Jul 10: Rodeo Coach Position search:

Sometime during the month of July 10, Kerry Doster resigned as SR’s rodeo coach and instructor in farrier technology under what seemed to me to be mysterious (certainly sudden and somewhat secretive conditions) to “take a similar position at (another college).”

The position was (and still is at the time this is being written) listed on the “Job openings at SRSU” web page (https://www.sulross.edu/pages/3273.asp) as “Rodeo Coach (half time with additional half time appointment).” The job description (at https://www.sulross.edu/pages/5862.asp?jobid=10427) says:  “Half-time Rodeo Coach, with additional half-time appointment with duties as assigned such as teaching or ranch technician, depending on qualifications.” The important thing to note is that there is no mention of the “farrier tech” program.

Also on the “Job openings” page, positions that are “frozen” are, never-the-less, still listed—for example, the agricultural education—assistant or associate professor of animal science and even a “half-time information facilitator.” All of these “frozen” positions have job numbers and are linked to job descriptions. But, conspicuous in its absence is any mention of the “farrier tech” program.

The way it is now is bad PR. I have been approached by several people with expressions of fear that the intent is to “just allow the program to die a peaceful death and hope nobody notices.” 

If that is not the intention, then we need to at least include it in the same way that we do other “frozen” positions.

If that is our intention, we need to be honest with the folks who pay our salaries and openly say so.

The horse shoeing program has historically been important in several ways: It was an important feeder for other programs. Many (probably most) of the students who were initially attracted to Sul Ross by the two year associate degree ended up staying for a four year program. It was an important conduit for contact and interaction with local producers and it is dovetailed well with the Equine Science program. Under competent management (after the necessary “fence mending”), this program could be resurrected into its old self.

I realize that we are looking for ways to comply with recently imposed budget constraints. I also realize that the process requires priority setting and sometimes having to make tough choices.

Back in the days of the old “Department of Range Animal Science” (with a total enrollment of nearly 800 students), we had one “secretary” and a couple of work study students. Today (with a total enrolment of just over 200—a 75% decline) we have three “administrative assistants” and an army of work study students to do the same (maybe even less) work. If the problem is a simple matter of budget, the choice doesn’t seem to be too tough—unpleasant maybe but not tough.

As always, I’ll be glad to help in any way I can.  jtl

29 Jul 10: email from Kelly Slover. The pipe that was used to build the decorative fence along the highway in front of the Sunday House, was originally donated to the rodeo program—but mysteriously disappeared.

30 July 10: I heard/saw on the CBS Channel 7 News this morning where the “Borderlands Research Institute” has been awarded $20,000 by the Safari Club. There was no mention of how the funds are to be used.

The fact that, organizationally, I am a part of the big time Natural Resources Department and my office is right across the hall from the director of the BRI and I had to learn about this via the public media is just another example of the secrecy and turf protection kind of things that have gone on since the RAS was discarded and replaced by the great ANRS Empire.

30 July 10: Update on the rodeo coach position: Copy of an email sent to the Exes Directors on 29 July 10. I never got a reply of any kind to the two emails.

As usual, things, including Kerry’s resignation, have been shrouded in secrecy from the get go.

I volunteered to serve on the selection committee but was “politely” declined with a “we already have some people lined up to do that.” But then I was made a counter offer—to serve on the selection committee for the ranch worker job. So, old Ted and I are agonizing over all the qualified applicant’s trying to figure out who would be best at running a weed eater. (That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t detect it.)

Entwined in all of this is the question about the farrier tech job. A few days back, I sent RK the following email (in italics).

Rob, it has come to my attention that there are some inconsistencies in the web advertisement of the rodeo coaches position.

The position is listed on the “Job openings at SRSU” web page (https://www.sulross.edu/pages/3273.asp) as “Rodeo Coach (half time with additional half time appointment).” The job description (at https://www.sulross.edu/pages/5862.asp?jobid=10427) says:  “Half-time Rodeo Coach, with additional half-time appointment with duties as assigned such as teaching or ranch technician, depending on qualifications” with a full-time salary ($39-$44,000). There is no mention of the “farrier tech” program.

Also on the “Job openings” page, positions that are “frozen” are, never-the-less, still listed—for example, the agricultural education—assistant or associate professor of animal science and even a “half-time information facilitator.” All of these “frozen” positions have job numbers and are linked to job descriptions. But again there is mention of the “farrier tech” program.

If our intentions are to maintain the farrier tech program (as our constituents have been led to believe), should it not at least receive a job number and job description and listed as “frozen” along with the other half time positions?

I suppose the real question is: What, exactly, are our intentions for the farrier tech program and precisely how do we plan to implement them?

I have yet to receive a reply.

Then late yesterday afternoon (after I had already left the office), this arrived in my inbox from RK (again in italics).

The rodeo search committee has made their recommendation from the pool of 14 applicants for the rodeo coach.  We will be interviewing Chance Campbell this week for the position.  He will be on campus Thursday, July 29, 2010 for an interview.  This is happening quickly, and I’m still getting the schedule together.  At this time it looks like he will be available to meet with faculty, staff, and students in room 124 from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday.  I hope you will all make time to meet with him during this period.  I’ll keep you posted as the search progresses.

Rob

I was in the office by a little after 9:00 this morning (the 29th). I found the email and sent him an email (at 11:14 AM—plenty of time before the scheduled 1:30 PM) asking if we were still on for 1:30 this afternoon. I have yet to receive a reply.

Along about noon I stopped by the saddle shop to talk to Garry Dunshee about the ranch rodeo which I plan to help with. Gary was also on the selection committee (thank God) for the rodeo coach’s position. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned the interview this afternoon. Gary looked at me really funny and said, we already had that interview at 10 this morning. As I said above, I was in my office this morning shortly after 9:00 AM—in plenty of time to have been notified (either by word or email) of the interview. I was not.

In fact, I never heard another word about it.  

23 Aug 10 When I approached Chance I tried in every way I could muster to let him know that I “had no doubt what-so-ever that he could run a quality rodeo program. My intention was not to interfere with that in any way. To the contrary, my intention was to protect him, as best I could from “harassment from above.”

He immediately shut me out, not giving me a chance to completely explain. It is very likely that someone else simply got to him before I did—Paul Will, probably.

30 July 10: Recollections: Insights into the man, his personality and character: (in addition to the temper fits and anger management problem discussed in other places of this paper)

Damon White (a former student) reminded me. Back when Damon was a student here, he went on a field trip with Kinucan. RK showed up in a pair of sandals and a very wide brimmed floppy hat – looked like a burnt out 60 model hippie turned bird watcher. Later Damon advised him that he really ought to “leave the sandals at home.” The light has now dawned for Damon. He realizes why the farrier tech workshops he held for our students (put together by Jim Merideth, another of Kinucan’s victims) were short lived. Kinucan took the first opportunity to get rid of him.

The old stare down tactic: RK used to make a game of making eye contact with someone and holding it until the other person looked away. He perceived that to be some sort of way to establish his dominance. In fact, he even bragged to me about doing it to Morgan.

Crying like a baby: On two separate occasions, both during times when he was up for promotion-tenure, he was in my office weeping like a small child. One was when he feared that Weyerts would hold up his promotion to Associate award of tenure. He truly hated Weyerts and swore to me that, if Weyerts ousted him, he would “devote every ounce of his intellectual ability to getting even.” The other time was when he made a comment about the issues at City Hall without knowing that my wife had been involved. This time he really sobbed like a small child—with real tears too. At the time, I thought he was truly sorry for what had happened. I have since figured out that it was out of fear that I might also, out of vindictiveness, oppose his promotion-tenure.

30 July 10: I heard/saw on the CBS Channel 7 News this morning where the “Borderlands Research Institute (BRI)” has been awarded $20,000 by the Safari Club. There was no mention of how the funds are to be used.

The fact that, organizationally, I am a part of the big time Natural Resources Department and my office is right across the hall from the director of the BRI and I had to learn about this via the public media is just another example of the secrecy and turf protection kind of things that have gone on since the RAS was discarded and replaced by the great ANRS Empire.

I was in the office most of the summer. Harveson also came in some. Every time he would come in, he would go into his office and close the door (my door always stays open). Also, anytime anybody else (Warnock) goes into his office, they always close the door. And that is even if he and I are the ONLY people in the entire building. Secrecy? Paranoia?  

Just like the CEO of BP wants his life back, I want my RAS back!!

17 Aug 10: This is a memory that surely needs to be included as it clearly illustrates Kinucan’s attitude toward cows, horses, cowboys, cowgirls etc. I was nominated to Who’s Who Amongst University Professors by Whitney Darrah (used to be). Kinucan and I were talking about it. In his normal condescending manner, he was slighting the award and had mentioned something about how the appointment was made. I pointed out that, in order for a student to be able to recommend someone, that student had to have at least a 3.5 grade point average. He acted surprised and said something like: “Oh, I didn’t know Whitney was that kind of student. I thought she was just one of those ‘rodeo whores.’”

****************************************************************************

Computer Room: Back when the RAS building renovation was being planned, I was asked several times (at least twice) by Luis Harveson (then the Department Head) what I would like to see included. I always replied that, since my program did not require expensive equipment or animals, about all I could think of would be a room full of computers that would serve primarily as the hub of activity for agribusiness.

In the summer of 2010, I inquired of Rose about the possibility of moving my classes into a smaller space/room and suggested the computer room as one of the alternatives.

In an elaborate, rambling email dated Sun 8/15/2010 2:22 PM to Rose and I and cc’d to Kinucan, Warnock informed me that “…your classes will not be scheduled in this room.” The reasons given boiled down to: The computer lab is private property of the Harvesons because it was their grants that built and are maintaining it.

She also stated that “…there were multiple discussions on potential uses for an NRM computer lab during planning and construction.” I recall no such discussions. If they ever happened, I was never invited to participate.

What follows is the Email Exchange WRT classroom assignments:

From: Jimmy LaBaume

Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:53 AM

To: Rose Enos

Subject: Classroom Arrangements

Hey Rose, I’ve been thinking of doing this for several years now but just haven’t seemed to get around to it—too many things of higher priority.

As you may realize, all of my classes are scheduled to meet in Room 129.

But, with one exception, since they are advanced they are small. We really “rattle around” in Rm 129. A smaller, more compact area would be much better. In fact, either the Seminar Room (124) or the computer lab would work well. (Incidentally, when the plans were made for the new building, the computer lab was supposed to be for my agribusiness classes. But, as with a lot of other things around here, I don’t know what ever happened with that????)

The exception is ANS/NRM 3308 Ag Statistics, Since it is required of most all of our majors, it is always fairly large. Hence, Room 129 is fine and that is where it should stay.

This coming semester;

AGB3402 Agri-Marketing is at 9:30-10:45 AM (TTh)

AGB2302 Agri-Economics is at 11:00-12:15 AM (TTh) and

AGB4308 NR & Enviro Economics is at 2:00-3:15 PM

Is either the computer lab or the seminar room scheduled for use during those times?

Thanks.

jtl

I then received this curt reply which was cc’d to Warnock:

From: Rose Enos

Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:31 PM

To: Jimmy LaBaume

Cc: Bonnie Warnock

Subject: RE: Classroom Arrangements

I’ll let you know when I get a chance to go over the schedules.

Then I receive this from Warnock (Note cc to Kinucan)

From: Bonnie Warnock

Sent: Sunday 8/15/2010 2:22 PM

To: Rose Enos; Jimmy LaBaume

Cc:  Robert Kinucan

Subject: RE: Classroom Arrangements.

Jimmy,

I will have to go over room schedules with Rose to determine if there is the possibility of scheduling some of your classes in room 124. 

To clarify the computer lab (NRM 126) there were multiple discussions on potential uses for an NRM computer lab during planning and construction.  The reality was that there was no institutional money to purchase computers and equipment.  All of the computers have been purchased with grant money, with Louis and Patricia leading on the initiatives for bringing in those funds, specifically for our NRM graduate program.  Patricia has taken the lead in maintaining the lab, due to her expertise.  We have limited support from OIT in maintaining the lab and all repair and updating of equipment and supplies for the lab is taken care of with grant money.  This makes this lab very different from the undergraduate labs on main campus. 

Because of the reality of the development of the lab, no undergraduate classes are scheduled in the lab.  The only courses that are scheduled in this room are graduate level.  It is used primarily for graduate research and graduate teaching.  The only students that have swipe card access to the lab are NRM M.S. thesis students.  This is not going to change, so your classes will not be scheduled in this room. 

Undergraduate courses, such as your Ag Marketing class and my Inventory and Analysis course, can utilize the classroom, and faculty are encouraged to utilize the lab.  This is done by scheduling the classroom on an as needed basis for class projects.  To do this, you would go through the room reservation process with Rose.  I schedule my Inventory lab in the computer lab 3 weeks during the semester.  You are free to schedule for specific projects for a class 3-4 weeks per semester, to allow students to work on a project during class time with your input and supervision.   This allows undergraduates to benefit from the computer lab in a classroom setting, but does not tie up the computer lab for 3 hours a week, when the professor is only lecturing.  This creates a balance of the needs of our graduate students and our many undergraduate classes.

Undergraduates can only have access to the lab with faculty or graduate teaching assistant supervision. This is done to limit the number of viruses and unauthorized programs and activities on the computer lab computers.  I am sure that you understand the need for these restrictions. 

I hope that you take advantage of the lab for your Ag Marketing class.  It is a nice opportunity for our undergrads and faculty not to have to schedule one of the labs on main campus.  Bonnie

________________________________________

Comments, thoughts and points that beg further investigation.

BW says: “…there were multiple discussions on potential uses for an NRM computer lab during planning and construction.”

Funny, but I do not recall so much as a single “discussion” much less “multiple discussions” during that phase. All I recall is being asked by L. Harveson (who was the department head at the time) what I would like to have in our “new building.” I was ask that, as an individual, maybe twice. My response was always the same: I do not need animals or special facilities or equipment for business courses. All I can think of is that I would really like to have a large computer room which would hold my classes and generally be the center for agribusiness activities.”

I would like to see the records of those “discussions”—minutes or transcripts of meetings including a roster of those present and a description of what transpired and what conclusions were made.

BW: “The reality was that there was no institutional money to purchase computers and equipment.”

I would like to see the documentation that establishes that as a “reality.” If it is indeed a “reality” then there has to be a paper trail somewhere.

“All of the computers have been purchased with grant money…”

I want to see the paper trail detailing the sources of any such “grants,” (including amounts) and the uses of those funds, including purchase orders, invoices, etc. detailing the purchase of the computers.

BW: “We have limited support from OIT in maintaining the lab and all repair and updating of equipment and supplies for the lab is taken care of with grant money.”

I will need to see verification from OIT that they have placed limits on their support of this equipment. I will also need details of any expenditures that have been made for “repairs and updating of equipment and supplies” showing exactly what grants these funds came out of, invoices, purchase orders, etc.

******************

20 Aug 10: Recollection WRT RK’s attitude toward horses: He condescendingly refers to horses (and dogs, for that matter) as “companion animals” and their owners as “companion animal people” and incessantly expresses his opinion of what terrible people they are—in the vernacular, they are about as silly as they come—nothing worse.

*************

The question came up at the Ranch Rodeo (13, 14 and 15 Aug 10): “Why would anybody make Paul Will a department head unless his intention was to destroy the department?” That is a good question and to it, I would add, especially someone who has known Will for as long as Kinucan has known him (since 1987).

Actually, I have known Paul Will since 1983 and know for a fact that he has been a destructive force and consummate troublemaker within the RAS for at least since that time. What follows are some of the things I recall:

Will came up for his first promotion and tenure (I believe it was) the first semester in 1983 that I began to teach (part time non-tenure track) when Earnie Harmon was department head. Harmon had sent forward a recommended that Will not be awarded tenure and that his contract not be renewed.

But, before the end of that academic year, Harmon had resigned and the department was in turmoil. Harmon’s recommendation Will be terminated (in strict compliance with the rules and regulations in effect at the time) was de-railed or ignored. Will was surreptitiously (and illegally) retained at Sul Ross State University where he has since continued his destructive behavior.

After Harmon’s resignation, Sam Little was appointed as interim dean. Sam kept trying to weasel his way out of it while I kept trying to talk him into taking the job on a permanent basis. I kept pestering him until he finally became forthcoming. He indicated that he did not want “anything to do with that because what they (the administration) wanted was someone who would get rid of Weyerts and Barney.” (Dr. Nelson, was then our departmental secretary.)

So, they allowed him to step down and he was replaced by Paul Will. The moment Barney got the news, she immediately turned around, put a piece of paper in her typewriter and typed her resignation—one down, one to go.

Will took visible delight in his quest to get rid of Dr. Paul. He even went so far as to follow him around and monitor his class schedule. If Paul would so much as dismiss a class a few minutes early, Will would take note. Observing shenanigans was somewhere between comedy and disgust. Will apparently misjudged the tenacity of Paul Weyerts.

By then, I had taught for two academic years and, with Harmon’s resignation, the job had turned into full time. Also by that time my own problems with Paul Will had already began. As he continues to do until this day, he was terrible about turf infringement. He simply did (and still does) not have any scruples about stealing students and courses from other programs.

Dena Massey, who later graduated and became a very successful recruiter for us, comes immediately to mind. Dena was an agribusiness major and I was supposed to be her advisor. As her graduation date approached, it was revealed that she had some things on her transcript that were not required by the agribusiness program. I found out that she had been going to Will for advising. I called foul on him for it and he put me on the top of his vendetta list.

Will had applied for the Department Head position and so did I. Having already had administrative experience at the University of Arizona, I had no inclination in that direction but needed a permanent tenure track job. At that point, Will unleashed his snooping on me. Of course it always worked its way back to me usually from students. For example, one of my better students came to me and told me that Dr. Will had approached him and inquired verbatim—“I hear old LaBaume is not doing his job in that marketing class.” The student corrected him and told me of the encounter.

By that time we had launched a search for a new department head and found Dr. Del Davis (That, in and of itself is another story covered in another part of this paper.) But, before the selection was complete, Will came to my office and told me that “there will not be any money for you for this upcoming year” which was a blatant lie. (Jim Nelson had a research grant that had freed up 6 hours plus the courses that Harmon was no longer teaching.) So, I accepted another temporary (2 year) position to replace a faculty member who was on a USAID assignment in Brazil. Very shortly after Davis was hired, my wife and I were sitting in my office—actually packing my belongings to move to Las Cruces. Dr. Davis came in and almost begged me to stay—again revealing that Will had lied. But, I had made a commitment to NMSU and I felt duty bound to honor it. So, I uprooted my family and moved them to Las Cruces. But,  I was back within a year and a half to replace Sam Little when he retired. The best I can estimate, that little un-necessary sojourn cost me at least $10,000 (in 1984 dollars).

So, this is the caliber man who now is head of our Animal Science Department. I recall having told Kinucan this story several years ago. Perhaps that is the answer to the question. Will was selected to be the department head this time for the same reason he was selected as department head last time—to drop the hatchet on an individual who was out of favor with the administration—only the individual being targeted is different.

 *******

Also a product of the ranch rodeo:

One of the charges levied against Earnie Harmon was using state facilities to handle his own livestock. After the incident, the RAS was essentially put on lock-down. Control of most everything having to do with facilities and everything having to do with livestock moved to the Hill. Livestock could not be moved in or out without going through a very cumbersome process. Anytime an animal died, it had to be left lay until Chuey came down from the hill, took pictures and essentially conducted a forensic investigation. Hamstrung would be a good description.

At the time of this writing, there is some “turmoil” over stall space in the equine facility that was used by some of the teams at the ranch rodeo. Apparently they really made a mess of the facility—water tubs were turned over in the stalls, trash and hay scattered throughout, etc.

The question arises as to who is responsible for granting permission for such facility use. The story is that Chachi Hawkins (ranch rodeo official) told Rose that Pendergraft gave the permission. Pendergraft denies that he did and holds that he has no authority to grant any such permission. So who is the authority?

And this brings us back to the original Harmon infraction: Are the immediately past and current rodeo coaches in violation of the same thing that Harmon was charged for by housing their personal horses in the state’s facility?

All I can say is what a mess. The whole fiasco needs to be brought to the ground and re-organized all the way from the bottom up.  

The trail of carnage:

The record of personnel turnover includes: Jerry Cox, Jim Nelson, Virginia Coger (Really got a bum deal), Marty Estrada (another bum rap), Jim Merideth, Bubba Cannon, Ted Yadon (severly hassled but kept his job), Geoffery Calderon (also had his life made miserable over a sick child but kept his job), Kim Cannon, Hollander, Micky Dart, Dave Duseldorf, Clay Rassmusen, Carol Woodward, Kelly Slover, Russell Sperry, Paul Wyerts, Harley May (a triple bum rap), Darwin Yoder, and now Jeff Pendergraft and more secretaries than I can count. There is likely to be several I have left out.

The succession at RAS went from Bierswale to Turner to Harman to Davis to Weyerts to Kinucan. The vast majority of this turnover has occurred since the appearance of RJ Kinucan

The corresponding succession in the president’s office went (copied from the SRSU Web Site): Eleven men have served as president of Sul Ross: Thomas Fletcher, Robert L. Marquis, Horace W. Morelock, Richard M. Hawkins, Bryan Wildenthal, Norman L. McNeil, Hugh E. Meredith, C. R. “Bob” Richardson, Jack W. Humphries, R. Vic Morgan and Ricardo Maestas, who assumed the office in fall 2009.

Jeff told me on 3/23/10 about Patricia Harveson “going polar” on one of his grad students. Something about the student seeking help with her statistics. He reported the incident and that is probably why PH is so “amiable” now days.

New President’s Dinner: 20 Apr 10 A group of faculty members had dinner with the new president. As things worked out he got a tidbit of information about what has been going on out at ANRS for the last ten years. Unfortunately, it was not nearly enough information for him to get the point.

Here is some of what took place:

I overheard a conversation between Dan Logan, Charles Prude, Paul Wright and Maestas concerning Harley May and Kelly Slover. Logan was adamant that Slover should still be here. They all agreed that Harley got a bum rap.  I had to constrain myself to keep from standing up and shouting, right on…and there is more too! — Marty Estrada, Clay Rassmusen, David Diseldorf and even Paul Weyerts, for example. The really good thing is that it came from an independent source–someone other than an ANRS faculty member. I thought it might open the door for more but apparently not.

Anyway, the man (Maestas) seems to be aware of the fact that our illustrious “leadership” has been very effective in alienating our primary traditional base of support—the producer. He also seems interested in attempting to patch things up. In that vein, Monty Kimball’s name was mentioned as being involved with the Ranch Rodeo Association.  I notice that Maestas wrote it down along with Slover’s,

He needs to be, somehow, notified of the reaction that he will likely get from Kinucan if he suggests hiring Slover again.

Then there were the things that I intended but never got the opportunity to discuss with the New President. They primarily center on the deficiencies in Warnock’s report to him at the departmental meeting.

The numbers, as she presented them, are misleading. How about the fact that total ag course enrollment fell from 687 in the Fall of 1994 to 264 in the Spring of 2008? How about cost per credit hour generated by the various programs.

My personal accomplishments/research interests: Journalistic pursuits: I’ve had lots of things published in regional newspapers. One of my best friends owns the Monahans News and the Pecos Enterprise, Further. Due to my blog (with an average of 67,000 hits per month) more people read the words Sul Ross State University than because of the other faculty put together.

I had proposed a joint appointment for myself in agriculture and business. The idea was weakly supported by Warnock and outright torpedoed without explanation by the female head of the business department. Sex discrimination?

Which leads me to her implying that my courses need to be “updated” and that I need to “adapt the new technology”—all evidence of age discrimination. (See below: Critique of Warnock’s report to the president given to him at the departmental meeting in March 10). 

None of these things were included in any of her statements about me, my qualifications, my accomplishments or my agribusiness program.  

I also would like to have broached the topic of how the re-organization from a department into a school was a fraud against the taxpayer but never got the chance.

Another incidence involving either an outright lie or sloppy management: In Mar 10, Warnock sent me (via email) my Spring 09 Evaluations. She at first sent the Fall 09 ones then came back and said that she erred. Funny thing is that I do not have any record of receiving the Fall ones in the first place.

4/12/10 At the ranch last weekend I recalled Sally’s encounter with RK after Desert Storm. That also meshes nicely with the problems that I had during the aftermath—most of which were fed by gossip—being “elected” in one of Will’s classes as the “most likely to commit ‘workplace violence.’” The attempt to deny my promotion and tenure on the basis that I was “too militaristic.” Kinucan fanned the fires with his malicious gossip. But spreading malicious gossip has, since I have known him, been Kinucan’s way of damaging people (actually destroying some of their lives) that he does not like.

Then there is the prairie dog re-introduction shenanigan at the 02 ranch—a story for another day.

14 Apr 10 It should be noted that I have received no response from Warnock regarding my offer to take some of her load in supervising range management graduate students or my request for suggestions/cooperation on my “defensive monitoring” project. That, in itself could be telling as to their agenda.

16 April 10 In class yesterday we discussed the old Garett Harden/Herbert Malthus prediction of misery as a result of the interaction of population, resources, environment, hunger, technology, etc. I made the comment that I have a friend who believes with all his being that there are people (enviro wackos) out there who are willing (and even desirous) of introducing some sort of biological agent that will wipe out a very large portion of the human population just because they think there are too many people on the earth.

A couple of the students (including Cara Bonin) agreed that they believed that to be true. But Miss Bonin did not stop there. She went on to say, “In fact, I’ve thought about it myself, just more from a ‘personal’ standpoint. I’ve thought of coming up with a way to contaminate the coffee bean with anthrax so as to take out the working class (because they working class is so dependent on caffeine for the energy to do their work).”

Also, during the course of that same conversation, I recalled my first encounter with RJ Kinucan (where he launched a triad against the ranchers for having “already ruined the land” and “being beyond help” etc. etc. etc. As I was talking, she was taking notes surreptitiously (raising the top sheet of her note pad so as to conceal what she was writing at the bottom of the underlying page). The kid may be a plant.

I will relay this event to the powers that be via email (see, the file named “Cara Bonin” for a copy of that email. It is also archived under the Program Building Folder)

19 Apr 10 Another incident came to mind over the weekend that supports my theory that Kinucan had the whole thing (to build himself an empire) all laid out in a master plan from the beginning. This is tied to Morgan and Cockrum as well and some of it has already been documented above.

As stated above, I recalled when they hired Del Davis. Del was the lowest of three applicants in the faculty’s rating. But Morgan and Cockrum hired him because they knew that he would be easy to manipulate (he was willing to accept the job without tenure). Kinucan was selected (actually, “groomed” might be a better word) in the same mold. He was a “yes” man that would go along with anything they wanted to do without making waves or asking hard questions.

I also recalled the time when RK was still not fully promoted (and I don’t think tenured). Weyerts was department head and also a member of the city council. One day after a faculty meeting, Kinucan questioned Weyerts in front of the rest of us over the flap that was going on at the city that Sally was involved in. Weyerts cut him short and then later “explained” to him that my wife was involved in all of that.

The next day, RK came into my office and apologized profusely—actually crying like a baby telling me how sorry he was that he might have hurt my feelings, yada, yada. I was naïve and accepted his apology at face value—told him it was OK and talked to him about the importance of family, etc. It has taken me quite a few years but now I have finally figured out that the reason he was so “sorry” is because he thought I might take my revenge in his upcoming tenure (or promotion) evaluation.

An email dated 3/23/10 from Kinucan to Pendergraft, illustrates how utterly ridiculous Kinucan can be—along the lines of my “Center for Austrian…: On a side note, we have encountered some lost individuals looking for our facilities.  They are looking for the equine facility but go to the SALE arena which is named “San Antonio Livestock Exhibition Equine Center.”  I think they are looking for the horse barn, which is officially named the “Equine Facility,” but may mistakenly be referred to at the Equine Center.  Jeff, I think the problem may be that the activity announcements made by your students erroneously refer to the Equine Facility as the Equine Center.  I will stand corrected if this is wrong, but it reminds us that we need to be careful in how we refer to the facilities.  We had this kind of confusion with barns (i.e. beef barn/auction barn) in the past and it could be a serious issue if an ambulance shows up at the San Antonio Livestock Exhibition (SALE) Equine Center when in fact they were needed at the Equine Facility (or vice versa).  I ask all of you to help insure we use the correct names in our correspondence, announcements, and conversations and to insure that your students are also aware of these subtle, but important, distinctions. Thanks, Rob Kinucan.  

My reaction: Holy shit! Now we know why total enrollment has declined from 800 to 200 over the past ten years. They couldn’t find the fucking place. Jez…

7 May 10: Stephanie Lowrance called. She had told me before that Rose had barged in and chewed them (her?) out for emailing Jeff and I when she had prospective students needing a tour. She was instructed that “protocol” was that she was to email only the secretaries—Rose, Lisa and Corina—and they would take care of it.

It seems that over a week ago, she had emailed them about Chelsea Culvert (a young lady from South Carolina that I have been “working” via email for several months now) wishing to visit on this coming June 28. She (Stephanie) received no reply over the week so she emailed again. This time, Corina (only) replied promptly that “no one would be available.”

That is pure horseshit!

10 May 10: The Bull Fighter (aka Rose) has ran off more students than one might hope to imagine. I told RK a long time ago (when he first hired her) that I did not like her manner—personality of a door knob. We waffled and whined ..well, she’s from California and different from us….yada, yada, yada…Yea right! The truth is that she willingly does his dirty work and he doesn’t have to confront the controversy. In fact, he once told me, point blank, that he “did not like confrontation.” His wife told Sally the same thing about him and his relationship with his own children. The Morgan administration had its door mat and used it skillfully!

David Peikert was in my office for a prolonged visit on Friday 7 May 10. He used to work in the meats lab but quit because of PW. He was in the building to get a sign off to graduate this semester. Nobody was home on the other side of the Rubicon. A year ago, when he applied to graduate, “they” (the Bull Fighter) told him that all those courses PW had put him in would not count toward his degree. This cost him dearly in terms of time. (He is a good kid. Made an A in Statistics). He also told me that he had been queried by PW about Pendergraft. “You in Pendrgraft’s course?” “Yes.” What do you think about him?” “Best teacher out here because you actually learn something under him.” “Which is not what PW wanted to hear. He also said that other students had approached him about JP and he has always told them essentially the same thing—you do your part and there will be no problem. All you have to do is put in the time. He is another (among many) of the disillusioned students we are turning out there to pass the world about how fucked up we are. 

It might be interesting what a FOIA request for the summer that they would not let Statistics make (John Rich and Sarah McCalief were in the course) to see how many short courses were justified and/or un-reported and/or taught “out of research.” (FOIA request has subsequently revealed that that there were multiple courses “bootlegged.” Warnock taught a soils course with 6 (or maybe 7) enrolled. She actually claims that she “paid for it out of research.” In fact, I overheard her tell Lisa Smith (NRM Secretary) exactly that. Did I mention misappropriation of funds?

****

Reference the email from Bonnie Warnock dated Fri 8/27/2010 1:41 PM;

To: Jimmy LaBaume; fernando prieto;

Cc: Alicia Melgoza (amelgoza@uach.mx); Jose Mesta (jgmesta@yahoo.com); Robert Kinucan.

First, it is interesting to note that she apparently replied “All” from an email from me. That email included Alicia Melgoza who BW does not know from Adam. But, it did NOT include Kinucan. In the second sentence she says, “I know that Dr. LaBaume has been talking to you, but he does not work with M.S. students conducting research projects.”

This fits perfectly with the hypothesis that I often jokingly state: that “they have not allowed me to teach a natural resources course since they found out I wasn’t a communist.” Furthermore, in a conversation we had a year or so ago, she was whining about having “9 graduate students to keep up with.” At that time, I told her that I would be happy to help take some of that load off of her. So, her statement in this email confirms my feeling that her failure to respond to my offer to help with those graduate students was not accidental.  She intentionally ignored it.

***

Fall 2010: I see that Will is doing the freshman seminar again this fall. A year or so ago I pointed out to Warnock that we (NRM) were missing out by taking the spring semester in the rotation with ANSC which always has the fall. Will simply uses that to load his own classes.

When I was “assigned” to do the seminar (Spring 11) I inquired about this again. All I got was, “we will continue to do the seminar in the spring.”

***

9/7/10: Last weekend Logan Lair (Reeves County Agent) told me that he has enrolled in the “on-line” Masters Program. He is taking a class from Will. All he was told to do was come up with a power point presentation—something he does at least weekly as a county agent. His direct words were, “I do not want to buy a Master’s Degree.”  

9/9/10 Recollection: RK once told me (at BBNP on the “Trespass Cattle” project) that, for retirement, he wanted to buy an RV and do an extended stay tour of the National Park system as a “volunteer.” There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that. But, it is further evidence of his “preservationist” tendencies. National Parks do not “conserve” natural resources. They “preserve” natural resources (for future generations of park rangers and guys like RK) at the expense of the folks in America who actually produce things of economic value).

9/10/10 Recollection: I saw essentially the same thing happen to Virginia Cogar back in the early 1980s that they are doing to Pendergraft. It is also important to know that the players lived to regret their actions. According to a conversation with Earnie Reesing, they realized that they had done Virginia wrong. They had ruined someone’s life over something very trivial.

10/11/10 Recollection: Further evidence of RK’s dislike for production agriculture. Corroborated by Damon White, Cedric Selby, Larry ________, and Candy Ruffian. Back in the day, RK and I entered debate of the Savory Grazing Method on several occasions. He was never able to prevail using only the facts and sound (time tested) principles of ecology. He would always eventually bring up the intensity of managerial input needed to properly implement the method. Then his conclusion would always be; “they will never do that” implying that “they” (ranchers) are either too stupid, too lazy or both.  

9/22/10: Recruiting Email Exchange. See email folder “recruiting and internships” and summarize the Janna-Denna exchange when it comes to a head.

On Monday, 9/27/10 I received the email below from Bonnie Warnock (cc’d to RJ Kinucan) with reference to my email “Recruiting for ANRS.” For the past 23 of my 24 continuous years at SRSU, I have listened to and read so much of the Naked Emperor’s (aka RJ Kinucan, the dean) condescending rhetoric to know it when I see it. There is no doubt that he composed most of the following message. His style is written all over it—i.e. he is the only man I have ever known that can “schmooze” (his own term for what I call “phony flattery”) while, at the same time, come across as condescending. The words of the email are in black. The red are my analysis.

Jimmy, Thanks for the summary of the observations, discussions, and comments we have had in the past years regarding Sul Ross recruiting. 

(Analysis: First, I did not “summarize” any of those things (observations, discussions or comments). I passed along what Dena and Janna told me. We have had no such “discussions…in the past years.” I do recall having brought it up on several occasions only to be shot down immediately or told by the dean that he did not have the “horsepower” to influence the way recruiting was conducted.) 

I agree with many of the ideas in the summary.  My initial request for “program building” in agricultural business was with the hope that you would apply your business acumen and marketing skills toward developing approaches that we can take to improve recruiting while still operating within the personnel and monetary constraints that we contend with. 

(Analysis: Only the Naked Emperor could (would) compose a sentence like that—phony flattery simultaneously wrapped in a condescending tone. Also, this is news to me. For the first time, ever, we now have a definition of what “program building” is supposed to mean. It’s funny how that was never explained before.)

It would be very beneficial if you could move forward with this information and develop a proposal with specific action items that the institution can take.  Please make this proposal as detailed as possible including the activity, projected cost, and number of personnel needed. 

(Analysis: Not a sentence Warnock would ever write. See Final Conclusion below: no way in hell would any such proposal see the light of day when it came to implementation.)

I’m sure you realize that we have been actively participating in many of the events noted by Dena and Janna, including the wildlife brigades, wildlife expo, 4H, FFA, and the state conventions and stock shows.  Please include these facts in your proposal. 

(Analysis: Oh really? My sources tell me that, in the past, at least two years running SR had a booth at the FFA convention but it was not manned one full day and manned only part of another? Specifically, what kind of “conventions” and what “stock shows?” Sounds like fluff words to me.)

You have a unique set of business skills and experience that no one else in ANRS possesses, and I know that your background can contribute markedly in this effort. 

(Analysis: More phony flattery. Bonnie Warnock would never use a phrase like “contribute markedly.” Gimme a break!)  

I look forward to reviewing your proposal. Bonnie

Final conclusion: This is nothing but Kinucan generated harassment. He could care less about any such proposal. I can say that with confidence because any idiot could figure out that those in charge of recruiting would never in a million years stand for any such outside initiated “turf infringement.”  Any proposal I made would be met with an eye roll and not stand a snowball’s chance of being implemented. It is obviously intended to “give old Jimmy T a make work job to keep him busy so he has less time to fuck with us and expose our corrupt shenanigans.”

My Answer

9/30/10: Email to BJW: CC to RK, Cullins, Schwab, Coers, Maestas, Janna, Dena: BCC to Pendergraft, Exes BOD.

Bonnie, your flattery is appreciated but a bit misguided. Actually, I am more of a management and finance guy with marketing being the very weakest of my business skills. But, I do appreciate the kind words anyway.

My original intent was simply to pass along what I thought might be some useful information to the folks that are charged with the mission. (And I actually, although naively, believed that I might get some honest answers to my honest questions.)

Be that as it may, I think what you suggest is a great idea and would be more than happy to take on the challenge—provided a couple of serious (but not insurmountable) obstacles can be removed.

First, if done thoroughly and properly, it would be a mammoth project in terms of time. I would need at least six semester hours release time.

Second, although this would be a bottom-up project, it would have to have top-down support to have any hope of succeeding. It would be futile and a total waste of time unless sanctioned by Drs. Maestas and Coers. Also, all stakeholders (including those who hold the purse strings and will be called upon to actually do the work—Mr. Cullins and Mr. Schwab) will need to be included in the process. I would also want to include outside advisors who actually know what it is like down there “in the trenches”—I am obviously thinking of Dena and Janna.

On the other hand, my year and a half long investigation (that goes way beyond recruiting) reveals that recruiting is only a small piece of the puzzle—a tiny subset of a much larger problem that is rooted in 15 (plus) year old agendas. Once we get the last of the corruption rooted out and competent leadership in the right places, these smaller problems will disappear as if by magic.

It will all work out.

Meantime, we must continue to march. So, I will be glad to chair an ad hoc committee to address the issue at hand (recruiting for ANRS). When do we start?

I never got any sort of coherent reply—proof that the whole thing was as I described above—a make work project meant to shut up my pressing the administration to do its job. 

However, at my insistence, the ad hoc committee was convened a few days later. Janna and Dena (who drove all the way from Wicket to Alpine on her own dime), Schwab and a couple of recruiters were present. Later Warnock and Kinucan walked in. I had not invited them because I knew what they would do—kill any viable idea with reasons why it won’t work. Apparently Schwab had taken it upon himself to invite the duo. However, it worked out very well as Janna and Dena got to see, first hand, the kind of hurdles that we have to struggle with on a daily basis. They did exactly as predicted—had some sort of “rationale” for why any suggestion by Dena or Janna would not work or could not be implemented. All the effort put into the task was essentially wasted.

It should also be noted that Schwab called me a liar when I quoted total enrollment figures (the 800 to 200 data). I actually have those class rosters.

“Rodeo 101” (the documentary) that caused such a stir. Whose idea was it? Who was the driving force? Who signed off on it? Etc. Who should have been monitoring the whole mess as it progressed? The dean, who else? Destructive of the “cowboy image?” You bet. On purpose? Without a doubt!

Ayn Rand once said that people can avoid reality, but they cannot avoid the consequences. Our reality is that you cannot get by indefinitely with pretending to be something you are not. Then Randy Blach (with CattleFax) said that the market has a paddle that’s big enough for everybody’s behind. We are taking our paddling in the form of declines in enrollment.

13 Oct 10: The following email to BW documents how I have been assigned teaching duties without having ever been consulted about it.

Hey Bon, questions WRT ANSC1101 Intro Agriculture Natural Resource Management for the upcoming Spring 2011 session:

  1. Who is really supposed to be teaching it? Yesterday, by happenstance, I checked my Spring 11 schedule on Banner and was surprised to find that I am listed as teaching the course. (Hostile workplace environment?) So, I went to the schedule that Rose sent around (9/23/10) and see that it lists Patricia as the teacher.
  2. I don’t mind doing it at all but, if that be the case, I would greatly prefer doing it at 12:00 on Wednesdays—class attendance is always better mid-week than it is either on Mondays or Fridays. Would it be possible to make that change?
  3. Have we made any progress toward getting our side of the great divide its share of Fall Semesters? Old Will stole his first student from me back in the 80’s and I’ve been keeping an eye on him ever since. I can tell you for sure, this is his modus operandi. The Fall semesters are loaded with freshmen—he just can’t pass up the opportunity to use this basic, required of all, class to load his courses—which, in and of itself, is a great disservice to our student body.  

12 Oct 10:  Volunteered to serve the “special committee dealing with the faculty evaluation process” but was subsequently declined. The roster of committee selected read like a Who’s Who amongst abusers of the faculty evaluation process. 

5 Nov 10: Monica Quiorga, her husband and two children were in town and stopped by for a brief visit. They had been in my office for less than 15 minutes when the Bull Fighter (aka the Dean’s Secretary aka Rose) came charging over and asked Monica if that was their dog outside in their pickup. Monica said that it was and was immediately informed (with great enthusiasm if not outright glee) that “no dogs are allowed on the campus.”

17 Nov 10: Recollection: The “change the image” agenda was the reason the Honduras course (the culmination of 3 years of work by the Consortium of Hispanic Serving Institutions concerning the “Internationalization of Agricultural Curriculum”) received no support in any subsequent year that it was unsuccessfully offered—not so much as enough money to get brochures printed.  

18 Jan 11: School Faculty Meeting: Flagged Programs:  I got a real bomb dropped on me at our school faculty meeting this morning—the beginning of the Spring 2011 semester. No one had so much as hinted to me anything about this—it came as a total surprise and public humiliation.

According to our illustrious leader (Kinucan, who water wouldn’t follow down the drain), the “review committee” (the Coordinating Board of the Texas State University System has “flagged” (whatever the hell that means) three of our programs as being “unproductive.” He gave no guidance as to how we should go about getting these programs “UN-flagged.” They did manage to define “unproductive” as being less than 25 graduates in the previous 5 year period.

The three programs are: Farrier Tech, Vet Tech and Agribusiness. And it all began with the outright criminal fraud that was perpetrated against the loyal taxpayer of the state of Texas and continues to this day as is chronicled by this document. It is instructive to review how things used to be (before the “reorganization) vs. how it is and has been since.

How things used to be: We were the Department of Range Animal Science and administratively under the Division of Professional Studies (the name actually varied over the years). We only offered one degree—a Bachelor of Science in Range Animal Science. But, the student could declare several different emphases or “concentrations”—agribusiness, animal production, range management, wildlife management, etc. We all worked together and thrived. Toward the end of this era (the fall semester of 1994) the Range Animal Science “Department” had a total enrollment of 766 (687 undergraduates and 79 Graduates) (These figures were taken directly from the class rosters and therefore, include some double counting. However, so do the comparative post-era figures below.)

How things are now: We are reorganized into a “School” –the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences complete with a dean and two departments complete with two department heads—the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Natural Resource Management—which is obviously more “Harvard” sounding than the old Department title.)

We no longer work together. In fact, the workplace environment is downright “hostile.” The new structure created 8 little fiefdoms that viciously compete with each other for students and available resources.

If you are an Animal Science major, you take animal science courses and no (or very few) from any other department or program. If you are a natural resources major, you take natural resource courses and no (or very few) from any other department or program.

There are now 5 separate four year “degrees” offered in the animal science department – Animal Production, Reproductive Physiology, Equine Science, Meat Science, and Animal Health Management (and they still list Agricultural Education which is supposed to be a “frozen position.)” plus the two year associate programs—Vet Tech, Farrier Tech and Meat Tech. They also list Pre-Veterinary Medicine which is not a degree program.  Most of these programs require one course in Natural Resources but only a couple of them even mention Agribusiness.

In the NRM “department” there are three, four year degrees in Natural Resources—range management, wildlife management, and conservation biology. Agribusiness is also housed within the Natural Resources Department.

Range Management is headed up by Bonnie Warnock (with the Naked Emperor – aka Kinucan) teaching one course; Wildlife by Lewis Harveson; Conservation Biology by Patricia Harveson (Luis’ Wife—nepotism??? Well, you tell me) and; Agribusiness (which is my program).

The problem is deep and wide as anyone who has read this far surely realizes. But, the immediate problem being addressed here is with the way that the graduation data are presented to the coordinating board. All three NRM “concentrations” are considered “one degree,” while Agribusiness alone is considered as a separate degree.

So, total graduates for the past five years were reported to the coordinating board: Natural Resources Management 48; Agri-business 9. In other words, the Agribusiness degree was “flagged” but the combining of the three NRM degrees saved all three of them. If the NRM degree was put on the same footing (separated into its three “concentrations”) the picture would be quite different. For example, the conservation biology program has been in place for four years now and has had only 2 graduates.

Essentially the same thing happened over in the Animal Science Department—all five “concentrations” were combined as one degree to conceal the failure in some of them. The Farrier and Vet Tech programs were “flagged” because, being two year associate degree programs it was not possible to conceal the graduation rate.

As I always tell my statistics classes—figures don’t lie but liars figure. And this is a classic case.

By the spring semester of 2008, enrollment in the “School” of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences had declined to 294 (264 undergraduates, 30 graduates). This represents a 75% decline in warm bodies sitting in classrooms over the 15 year period since the RAS Department was unceremoniously dumped.

21 Jan 11: Other miscellaneous observations and facts:

What have you done for me lately? At the time of the original fraud, I (agribusiness) was placed under the Natural Resource Department but have never been allowed to teach a natural resources course since. At first glance, including agribusiness in a natural resources department is illogical—that is unless one realizes the underlying motive/agenda. I needed to be counted as one more professor to satisfy the states faculty requirements. (Exactly the same reason the, now defunct, Agricultural Education position was illogically placed under the Animal Science Department.) Now that conservation biology has been added (and another faculty member hired) in NRM, they no longer need me to perpetuate the fraud against the people of the State of Texas. 

Secretaries v. Administrative Assistants. What’s the difference?: We were instructed by our department head at the School faculty meeting to try to think of ways to “save money.” A re-reorganization back to the departmental level would save substantial amounts of money. For example: The difference between a Department Head’s salary and a Dean’s salary and the difference between two department head’s salaries and two faculty member’s salaries. But the biggest saving of all would be in the area of staffing.

When the new (school) era began, one “secretary” and a couple of work study students took care of the entire faculty and a 766 enrollment. Today, after 15 years of the new era and a 75% decline in course enrollment, three “administrative assistants” and an army of work study students can’t take care of much of anything (except insisting that faculty file the appropriate form to get a classroom unlocked). Does this offer the potential for saving money? Absolutely! The difference between the salaries of three “administrative assistants” and one “secretary.”

Misappropriation of Funds: Covering summer teaching with research grant monies: The summer that Jeff and I were left holding the bag (first summer we attempted the class in Mexico) because the class did not have enough enrollment to “make,” BW taught a Soils course that was also short the required enrollment and “paid for it with research money” (a direct quote from a statement overheard at the Departmental faculty meeting following the School meeting on 1/19/2011.  Summer I 2009 Warnock was paid to teach Soils with 8 enrolled. She also taught 5302 Ecology & Field Biology 6 (which is a legitimate graduate course) and the same with 5316 “Research “ with 6 enrolled. This is a total of 9 hours that she was paid for. Out of that 3 came out of grant money and 6 were regular salary– over 100%. Summer II she was paid from grant money but did not teach any classes.

Hostile Workplace Environment: See the email exchanges with Lisa and Warnock’s threatening reprimand that violates my right to free speech. Also see the “letter or reprimand” Warnock has placed in my “personnel file” and my rebuttal letter.

My “crime” was to light heartedly tell Lisa Smith that she was “the consummate government bureaucrat and a petty tyrant which made her so much fun to mess with. Lotflmfao.”

So, at the time this was written (28 Feb 11), the formal “process” of intimidation and retaliation against me for defending Dr. Pendergraft was well underway.

The letter of reprimand was only received in hard copy and should be in the current file that is still in the banker’s boxes in the gym.

My Rebuttal Follows:  This document was to be placed in my personnel file as a challenge to Warnock’s unfounded accusations. When I delivered the document to Judy Perry (Personnel Director) I also requested that it be placed in Warnock’s file.  I later received a letter from Coers (VP Academic affairs) denying that request based on something to do with the seriousness of the charges I levy. I strongly suspect that the real purpose was to protect Maestes as it documents, and names witnesses, his blatant act of age discrimination as well as Warnock’s. It also documents other incidents (with witnesses) of a hostile workplace environment.

Date:               February 15, 2011

From:               Jimmy T. LaBaume

To:                   The Personnel File

Subject:           Rebuttal of Bonnie Warnock’s Letter dated January 20, 2011.

I have shared Dr. Warnock’s letter, along with copies of my emails, with a number of Sul Ross alums and, without exception, the responses have been with incredulity. They ranged from “Say what???” to “Unbelievable!!!” to “Apparently no one out there has a sense of humor anymore.” Any rational, reasonable person would conclude that the email exchange (that Warnock refers to in her letter) began as innocent banter which was escalated into something much greater than necessary. Only someone with an ulterior motive, emotional imbalance or both could be so venomous in making the proverbial mountain out of the proverbial mole hill.

When I sent the original inquiry (the initial email of the referenced exchange), the facility use request form had already been prepared. I knew (and still know) what is required to reserve a facility for use by an outside entity because I have done it numerous times before. And in fact, it was this previous experience that prompted my inquiry. Said experience does not bear out Ms. Smith’s implication that the requested facility is automatically unlocked at the appropriate time as a result of filing the use request form. To the contrary, every single time (with one exception and that is when I took it upon myself to make sure the custodian unlocked the room) that I have reserved a facility (whether it be the lecture room for a producer workshop or a classroom for an Exes Board of Directors meeting) the facility has never been unlocked at the appointed time. I inquired about the unlocking simply because I have grown tired of being so embarrassed in front of the general public.

But, Ms. Smith, having apparently been derelict in her duties in the past, became defensive and, in the process, indeed revealed herself as a silly little petty tyrant.  Someone gave the woman a key and she built an empire upon it. The silliness of the whole situation is highlighted by the fact that, in an email dated 2/10/11 to all NRM faculty and students, Ms. Smith refers to herself as a “Nazi.” I find it hard to believe that she thinks being a petty tyrant is worse than being a Nazi. Obviously, Ms. Smith does have some sense of humor.

Knowing that, I had considered the exchange with Ms. Smith as little more than amiable banter—but then there was an abrupt escalation in the form of a scathing, inflammatory email from Warnock chastising me for imagined improprieties and lecturing me on my email etiquette. If instead she had initially approached me in a civil manner, things would have been entirely different. Judging solely from Warnock’s handling of the situation, Ms. Smith is not the only petty tyrant in the RAS building.

Be all of that as it may, it is irrelevant.  More relevant are the three things that Dr. Warnock overlooked in her fit of adolescent temper:

  • Nowhere in the ethical or legal code of any civilized society is it written that anybody has any sort of “right” to not be offended.
  • However, it is written and generally accepted in all free societies that humans, for no reason other than they are human, have certain unalienable rights and among those are the right to speak freely no matter who it may offend.
  • It is also written that any government functionary may be held personally liable under the causes of action defined by 42 USC 1983 or Bivens vs. Six Unknown Agents 403 US 388 (1971). Furthermore, if said functionary acts in a manner which is violative of clearly established constitutional rights, he/she is not immune from suit as an individual, Harlo vs. Fitzgerald, 457 US 800 (1982)

As a functionary of the government of the state of Texas, Dr. Warnock abused her official position, violated my right to free speech (as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and in violation of Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code) and retaliated against me for attempting to exercise my First Amendment right to free speech.

Motives

I have been the victim of irrational outbursts of uncontrolled anger from Dr. Warnock before. For example: At the beginning of the Spring 09 Semester, one of my courses did not have enrollment sufficient to justify the offering and was cancelled. One of the students who had enrolled needed the course for graduation. As I had done for the previous 23 years in such situations, I offered him the opportunity to take the course through the individual study vehicle. At the time, I had no inkling of resistance from the administration—it had never happened before.

Dr. Warnock, who at the time was my new captive (tenured but not yet fully promoted) department head, came into my office and told me, flat out, that I was not going to do that (offer the student an AGB4311 course) and it did not matter that it might hold up his graduation.

I was incredulous and demanded an explanation as to why. The response was that she wanted me to devote that time to “program building.”

I explained that, since the materials were already prepared, the marginal cost (to me in terms of time) of offering the individual study course was essentially zero. She insisted. Still not believing my ears, I informed her that I intended to take the matter to higher authority.

At that she suddenly and violently exploded. It would be no exaggeration to say that she went berserk—screaming, crying and making outlandish, nonsensical statements. For example: “The first time I was ever shot at I was 14 years old!” What? What on earth could that possibly have to do with my offering a student an individual study course? The answer is obviously “nothing” except to a mentally and emotionally unstable individual.

In response to all the screaming and crying, most of the east wing of the building evacuated. Apparently someone fetched the dean since he seldom shows his face outside his office any more. He came in and, being that higher authority, essentially told me that I would not offer the student the individual study course. So much for the student oriented campus lie. Then, in baby talk, he offered Warnock, who continued to stand there and sob, “Oh, let me give you a hug.” All this was in front of my (the victim’s) desk.

Obviously, she created a hostile workplace environment in her very first days as department head. After this most recent incident, I see in her emotional volatility, the potential for violence. Her initial email and her letter are both examples of an out of control anger management problem that needs medical attention. The woman has no business being in any sort of supervisory or leadership capacity.

And there is something else that I have observed from other encounters—someone above her saw the possibility of using her anger management issue toward another end. I have known Bonnie Warnock for many years. She was my student. Over those years I have read many things she has written. It doesn’t take a skilled writing analyst to see that the words in that letter are not Bonnie Warnock’s. She simply does not use that type of vocabulary or phraseology. However, and again from long experience, it does sound like something that Robert Kinucan might have written (perhaps with the assistance of the state’s attorney).

I believe that there is a very high probability that Dr. Warnock has been “thrown under the bus” by her superiors. Set up to face any legal repercussions that might arise from her violation of my God given, constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Numerous incidents point to a conspiracy to violate said rights. (Note that: How to Destroy a Viable University Program in Two Easy Lessons: A Study in Bureaucratic Incompetence, Empire Building and Petty Tyranny provides abundant prima facie evidence of that contention.

Some examples: “A Critique of Warnock’s NRM Status Report, Spring 2010 As delivered to Dr. Ricardo Maestas in a meeting on 19 Mar 10” clearly documents the fact that I am being discriminated against.

The first indicator is how the meeting was conducted. Dr. Warnock, as NRM department head, conducted the meeting. In addition to Warnock and I, Rob Kinucan, Lewis Harveson, Patricia Harveson and Lisa Smith were present. Warnock had prepared the document cited in the title above and distributed copies to all attendees. It was the first time I had seen the document and, consequently, was taken somewhat by surprise (a better word is “blindsided”) by its unfavorable slant toward the agribusiness program in general and me in particular. It may not be fraud by “commission” but is most assuredly one of “omission.” The lie comes from what was not said.

First, there is the description she provided of the activities of each faculty member. This generally included a list of courses taught, research interests and accolades (awards received) etc. That is for the entire faculty except me and the dean (a “special” case). Ours only contained a list of the courses taught (see pages 1 and 2 of the original document).

Then we were asked to each present something about ourselves and our programs with Dr. Maestas given the opportunity to question and interact with each of us. When it came my turn, he asked me specifically about my research program. I responded that I had just delivered a paper at the last Southern Economics Association annual meeting (which Warnock was fully aware of but neglected to mention) and that my primary interests were in the area of private property rights on the so-called “public” lands. Being from New Mexico, he picked up on that and actually lectured the others as to what an “extremely complicated” problem that is—it seemed to make him happy.

On the third page, Warnock addressed what she called “Strengths.” The introductory paragraph begins “The Wildlife, Range, and Conservation Biology (NRM) faculty are well regarded at the state and national levels….” She carries on for over a single spaced page and makes absolutely no mention of agribusiness.

Then we come to “Weaknesses and Areas of Potential Growth” on page 4. Immediately after apologizing and downplaying the enrollment problems in conservation biology (“We do not have the number of students that we would like in this concentration”), the agribusiness program rated a full paragraph all of its very own.

The introductory sentence reads: “Agricultural Business has declined over the past decade (from over 70 majors in 1995 to less than 20 now)…” Obviously, that puts a bad light on agribusiness relative to the other programs.The lie is in what was not said.The facts of the matter are:Total class enrollment in all undergraduate courses in agriculture for the period between the Fall of 1994 and the Spring 2008 reveal a much more complete and accurate picture of the real problem. Total enrollment in all courses in agriculture during that period remained in a steady decline from 687 in the Fall of 1994 to 264 in the Spring of 2008—a decline of about 75% (these data were taken directly from the class rosters for all agricultural classes taught during that period). Agribusiness has not declined any more than the “School” has declined revealing a higher level problem. To imply that it has by presenting its data and not presenting the School’s data is nothing more than intentional deception. 

The way the data is presented is biased against agribusiness. Warnock presents enrollment data (and a corresponding graph) from the Fall of 2003 to the Fall of 2009. But once again the form of the presentation is deceiving. She separates Agribusiness undergraduate enrollment data from NRM undergrad data. What is never mentioned (even so much as in a footnote), however, is that Agribusiness consists of one program with one professor. To the contrary, NRM has three programs and 3.5 professors (the dean teaches one course per semester). A simple division of NRM data by 3.5 would drastically alter the impression left by these “statistics.” Or how about cost per semester credit hour generated? Why not present graduates (instead of enrollment) by professor and program and the total cost for each? Cherry picking data is dishonest. (As I always tell my statistics students, “Figures do not lie but liars figure.”)

In the concluding sentence to this paragraph, she says, “Dr. LaBaume may need to update his course content and utilize more technology as well to move the program forward and increase recruitment and retention.”  I will separate my response into two parts.

First is the “need to update…course content.” What is that supposed to mean? Have they reinvented the calculus since the analysis of variance technique was developed? Do Credits no longer have to equal Debits in accounting? Utter nonsense!

Next is the “need to utilize more technology.” She has mentioned to me several times the idea of offering on-line courses. I would be more than happy to do that—if I can ever figure out how to insure the integrity of the examinations (I’m not a technology Luddite but I am old fashioned about integrity). Having students come to the campus for exams would defeat the purpose of offering the courses to attract students who can (or would rather) not come to the campus.

I suspect that the term “technology” also includes such things as Power Point. This prompts me to recall a conversation I had with a group of students recently. They were standing in the hallway outside Scot Erickson’s classroom. I asked them what they were up to and they indicated that they were supposed to be in Erickson’s class. I inquired as to why they weren’t. The consensus was, “What’s the point?” According to them, Erickson publishes his power point presentation on the internet. Then he comes to class, flashes it on the screen and reads it to them. Indeed, what is the point of attending class only to be so insulted?

Each of my syllabi begins with a quote taken from the London School of Law web page. “Taking notes interrupts the learning process – so in this regard, classroom formats hurt students. If professors want to maximize a student’s experience in class, (they should) print out essential notes, and let the students “think” in class.”

This teaching method dates back to Socrates (469?–399 b.c.). In fact, it is commonly known as the Socratic Method and is used in law schools all over the world. It is the method I have used for 35 years of teaching at the university level. I refuse to fall into the “if it ain’t broke, fix it anyway” trap that has played such a prominent role in the decay and demise of agriculture at SRSU over the past decade and a half.

In all fairness, I should say that such corruption is not confined to ANRS. A colleague in another department on the main campus was given a no merit rating because he “writes on the blackboard”—i.e. does it the way that has worked for literally hundreds (if not thousands) of years.

In summary, the environment of this meeting was not only hostile but also a clear cut case of age discrimination. 

There was also another incident that occurred shortly after adjournment of the departmental meeting with Dr. Maestas. We were standing in the hallway talking with the president when one of the natural resource graduate students (a very pretty young Hispanic girl) happened by, stopped and was introduced to Dr. Maestas. The ensuing conversation was mostly related to her graduate work and career goals and objectives. Toward the end, Maestas looked at Harveson and asked if we could hire her. He then stepped sideways toward me, placed his arm around my shoulder and said (in front of all the aforementioned witnesses), “If we can only convince some of these older professors to retire, we could hire two like her.” Did I mention a hostile workplace environment? Now we can add age discrimination.

Regardless of whose words they are, this is nothing but a blatant retaliation and attempt to discredit and harass me for my ardent defense of Dr. Jeff Pendergraft who has been immorally and unlawfully victimized by a “rule by fear” administration out here at the RAS.

Fear is not in my vocabulary. I refuse to sit idly by while a small group of narcistic sycophants with pathological anger management problems destroy what it took a lot of good men 75 years to build. To that end, you indeed have not seen anything yet.

Regardless of the source, the letter was intentionally threatening and intimidating (both misdemeanors). The author(s) are guilty of official harassment, creating a hostile workplace environment, retaliation and misuse of official information (3rd degree felonies) as well as age discrimination and defamation.

Considering that all of the above crimes were over Dr. Warnock’s signature, I request that, in addition to my personnel file, a copy of this letter of rebuttal also be placed in her personnel file as a matter of record.

Furthermore, I anticipate further harassment and do not in any shape, form or fashion waive any of my constitutional rights.

Addendum:

I hesitated filing this for several weeks after it was written, hoping Dr. Warnock would come to her senses and perhaps even offer an apology. But then, on the morning of Feb 15, 2011, I was subjected to another episode of her wrath—the straw that “broke the camel’s back.”

I had made an innocent inquiry requesting the use of an NRM computer for one of my classes. In the course of the email exchange, she accused me of “yelling at her via email” and informed me that she resented it. (I had unintentionally, unknowingly actually, forgot to turn my cap lock off.) She lectured me sternly about email etiquette and professionalism.

Being twice her age and having three times her experience, I advised her, in a “fatherly” tone and fashion, that she really should figure out how to get control of her anger management problem. At that, she accused me of being “belligerent and confrontational” —all this from the woman whose first official engagement of me was in the form of shouting, screaming at the top of her lungs, crying and making nonsensical statements. 

I feel like the old cliché we used as adolescents—I can’t seem to win for loosing—which is further evidence that the whole campaign is intentional and with malice aforethought.

End of Rebuttal

I recall back when Kinucan was an associate professor up for promotion and tenure. He hated Paul Weyerts and had an irrational fear that Weyers was out to stop him from being promoted and tenured and getting his contract renewed. He whined to me about it frequently. I recall his making the statement (almost verbatim) that, “if he (Weyrts) does that (caused denial of promotion) to me, I will devote every ounce of my intellectual ability to seeing that he is brought down.” To combine a couple of old clichés, it seems now that the “tables are turned” he has “changed his tune.”

2/7/11 it dawned on me:  Some weeks back Warnock hastily entered my office and acted like she wanted to hastily leave. I was working and it was only minutes before class time. She quickly dropped my student evaluation reports onto my desk and indicated that “this number right here (pointing to the overall score) is what I will use in your faculty evaluation.” I replied that was OK, I guess, but I really didn’t recognize the significance of it. She then came back with, “I’m just telling you. That is the number I will use” turned and walked hastily out.

It dawned on me that she had probably accessed an email that I sent to the “student evaluations committee on 11/15/2010 expressing the concern that student evaluations are cherry picked and selectively enforced by corrupt administrators to achieve personal agendas (Reference is the original email).

2/14/11: For the record. Last week, Pendergraft, Harveson (the chair for some unknown reason) and I were the only faculty members present at the interview of a prospective candidate for the open Veterinary position. During the interview, the voluntarily brought up the fact that, due to her experience being mostly in the private sector, she didn’t have many (if any) publications in academic journals. Harveson fell all over himself telling her that that didn’t really matter much here at SR because we are a “teaching” and not a “research” institution, etc, etc, etc. I digitally recorded Harveson’s response to my question as to why he chose to NOT promote Pendergraft. He very clearly says that his “problem” was with his “publications.”

Chris Gill: Monday of last week Warnock was in my office and asked about the field trip to the Circle Ranch. During the conversation, she referred to Gill as “eccentric.”

In an email dated 2/10/11, Lisa Smith refers to herself on the “Subject line” as a “Nazi” – which is worse, a Nazi or a petty tyrant?

Email Exchange 2/15/11 with Warnock:

Initial Email:

From: Jimmy LaBaume
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 7:47 AM
To: Bonnie Warnock
Subject: Computer

Bonnie, do you plan to use the “portable” computer (the one on the cart) this morning at 9:30? If so, let me know and I will bring it back.  

If not, I will be able to make use of it for most of the rest of the semester at that time on TTh’s.

jtl

Reply:

From: Warnock
Sent: 8:59 AM
To: LaBaume

Jimmy,

Which portable computer are you referring to?  If it is the one that is currently in 126, I am about to hook it up to the soils equipment in the lab.  I have an old laptop in my office that you can utilize for teaching if needed.

Thanks

Bonnie

Response: Note: I had been answering another person’s email and had my cap lock on to distinguish my words from his. Also note that the language is totally polite.

From: LaBaume
Sent: 9:00 AM
To: Warnock

I THINK THAT IS THE ONE THAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. THE LAPTOP WOULD BE FINE. THANKS.

JTL

Then the answer:

From: Warnock
Sent: 9:08 AM
To: LaBaume

Jimmy,

That computer was purchased on grant funds to go with the AA.  It is not a general departmental computer, but has just been stored in room 126, to keep it out of the way of the soils and nutrition labs.  I do not appreciate you “yelling” at me over email.  I will get the laptop and a cord out for you to use this semester.

Bonnie

It simply did not dawn on me that she might take offense:

From: LaBaume
Sent: 9:10 AM
To: Warnock

Yelling? What in the world are you talking about?

jtl

Oh now I understand. Note the sudden change in demeanor. No salutation “Jimmy” no signature “Bonnie.” The woman was clearly angry.

From: Warnock
Sent: 9:13 AM
To: LaBaume

The all caps is yelling in email.

Bonnie J. Warnock, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Natural Resource Management

Sul Ross State University

P.O. Box C-16

Alpine, TX 79832

432 837 8488

Being twice her age and having three times her experience, I advised her, in a “fatherly” fashion, that she really should figure out how to get control of her anger management problem. At that, she accused me of being “belligerent and confrontational.” I feel like the old cliché we used as adolescents—I can’t seem to win for loosing—which is further evidence that the whole campaign is intentional and with malice aforethought. 

At 2:15 in the afternoon it turned completely cold. The following was with a cc to Robert Kinucan

Dear Dr. LaBaume,

This is to address your behavior toward me this morning.  I felt that I was being very helpful and professional, when I arranged for you to use a laptop and found a cord for your use.  It is a commonly known email convention that all caps is equivalent to yelling.  I felt that I addressed this lack of email etiquette with professionalism; simply pointing out that it was a behavior that I did not appreciate.  When I delivered the computer to your office, you were belligerent and confrontational, telling me that I needed to address my anger management.  I was not angry at that time or when I sent the email to you previously.  You than let me know that you felt that I was “out of line” when I sent the formal letter of reprimand about your email communications with Ms. Smith in January.  You also stated that the “fight was not over.”  I feel that this statement was threatening and unprofessional.  We are not in a fight.  Please express your concerns with the letter of reprimand by following university policy, and submitting a rebuttal, rather than making threatening statements.  I welcome a reasonable discussion of your concerns, but will not tolerate threats and tirades.  I expect professional behavior from all of the faculty and staff in the department of Natural Resource Management.   

Sincerely,

Bonnie J. Warnock

Sul Ross has been placed on probation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) which is the accreditation body. If SR loses its accreditation, its degrees will not be worth the paper they are written on.

In addition, the Veterinary Technology Program is on probation with its accrediting body. It has now been un-accredited by the AVMA.

University Policy: Warnock has, on several occasions, referred to university policy and procedures. But, I have yet to receive any sort of interim report concerning my annual evaluations. I only find out if my contract has been renewed, and on what terms, merit or no merit, when I receive the letter from the president—which is sometimes very near or even after the beginning of the semester. Nor have I ever had the opportunity (since Dr. Paul was being railroaded) to evaluate my supervisor. Both of which are prescribed procedures in the Faculty Handbook.

Faculty Handbook: 210. A. 3. c) Form FE-4 “Summary of Evaluations.” This form is to be completed by the department chairperson and is to be signed by both the chairperson/dean and the faculty member. (I have never seen an FE-4).

Spring Semester 2011: When Banner registration was opened, courses in farrier tech were listed as being available. Several students enrolled in these courses. Then, before the close of registration and with no notice whatsoever, the courses just “disappeared” from the options. (Again for emphasis, this was done before registration ended.) I “inquired” via email to the entire “chain of command” as to what happened. Several days later, I received a reply from Paul Will which, in effect blamed the act on the “higher ups” just deciding that the courses were not going to “make” so they cancelled them.  I replied (with cc to all the “higher ups”) to the effect that, had they sent out some sort of notice, it might have been possible to recruit enough interested students to get the required enrollments. I received no response to this email.

Weekend of 2/19-20/11I recalled a good example of how they change the rules to suit their agenda. It deals with the availability of enrollment, graduation, etc data. Prior to the rule change, Jeff P and I worked freely and openly with Donna Alpert to obtain class rosters, graduation figures, etc. They helped a great deal in uncovering the causes and effects of past policies and procedures. But that, in itself, created a problem—for the administration, that is. So, true to character, they suddenly changed the procedure making such data much harder to access—it now has to be for “institutional research” (and, of course, approved by the appropriate “authority”)

Years ago recollection: It was before the remodeling job. P summoned me into a classroom where he was giving an exam to show me what one of his students had written on the exam. It was something like “I am going to pass whether or not I do this exam so screw yourself because I hate your guts (not an exact quote). I would have failed her but I don’t know what he did. Shortly after that, I ran into Kinucan in the hallway and naively told him about the incident—at the time I had no idea of his hostility toward P. When I told him, it was like someone touched him in the behind with a cattle prod. He almost jumped across the hall and started pacing—hatred written all over him. Apparently he was thinking of having a serious confrontation with P at that moment but decided to back off.

More recollections: 3/14/11: I recall Kinucan bragging about:

            1. How “they” (Morgan, Cockrum, and himself) were planning to circumvent (via legal loophole of some sort) the agreement they had made with Dr. Paul when they convinced him to “agree” to “early retirement.” (As per the faculty handbook, someone who takes early retirement is allowed to teach a course (or perhaps two) and maintain an office in the RAS.) It is noteworthy that Dr. Paul never taught a single course after that nor did we so much as see anything of him in the building until 2010 or 11.

            2. How he “schmoozed” Morgan and Cockrum. Of course, he did that by telling them what they wanted to hear and agreeing to carry out their “change the image” agenda.

            3. How “they” were able to circumvent the desires of certain grantors of scholarship funds so the funds could be used to further their agenda. Specifically, I recall RK talking about the scholarship that was set up by the Timmermans in honor of their son (Joe) who was killed in an automobile accident on his way from Balmohrea to school at Sul Ross.

Exchange with Warnock WRT Faculty Evaluations (see Calendar year 2010 file for originals).

—-

M E M O R A N D U M

Date:   18 Apr 11

From:   Dr. Jimmy T. LaBaume

To:       Dr. Bonnie J. Warnock

Subject: Form FE-4

Bonnie, included herewith is my Form FE-4 for the calendar year of 2010. Since there are quite a few things here that are totally new to me, I do have some questions. They are not so much about my evaluation as they are about the process in general.

Last Wednesday (13 Apr 11) when you delivered my Form FE-4 for signature was the very first time I have ever seen a completed FE-4 since my first year (1983) of teaching at Sul Ross. Over the past 28 years I have only been allowed (on a very limited number of occasions) to provide “selected weights.” Beyond that, I have never seen a completed form FE-4. If one can be produced with my signature, it is only because the signature was forged or I was “tricked” into signing upon provision of the weights but before it was completed by the evaluator.

Also, attached was another form, the likes of which I have never seen before. “NRM evaluation guidelines” consist of almost two pages of minutia – supposedly a list of evaluation criteria with point values arbitrarily assigned to each item—the obvious purpose being to lend an impression of “objectivity” when a mathematically talented third grader could figure out how easily the data could be manipulated to whatever end desired by the evaluator.

As I said above, never before have I seen this form, nor was I informed as to the numerical values of the various activities listed. My question is: What (or maybe I should say who) is the source of this form? Could it be the product of the most recently convened committee to study the faculty evaluation process? If so, I would think that the committee would have insisted that the faculty be informed on how it is to be judged prior to the judgment. That would seem only fair.

OK, with all of that said and the relatively unimportant (mostly for my information only) questions asked, here is the most important question. So now we have a series of calculations that culminate in a single number—a total of 78.6. What does that mean? Does it mean that I am a “high C” professor? To rephrase the question: How does that relate to the all important bottom line meritorious, with merit and no merit categories? Why would any faculty member “Approve” such a form until he/she knew the answer to that question?

Over the years I have not paid much attention to these kinds of things because I never felt the need to. I did my job and was rewarded accordingly. But that was before I witnessed Dr. Pendergraft’s “railroading” by corrupt administrators through unscrupulous manipulation of the slack (loopholes) in the process. Such a workplace environment deserves eternal vigilance.

—Warnock’s Answer–

M E M O R A N D U M

Date:   Apr 19, 2011

From:   Dr. Bonnie J. Warnock

To:       Dr. Jimmy T. LaBaume

Subject: Form FE-4

It is unfortunate that you have not paid much attention to the evaluation process during your career at Sul Ross from 1987 to present. I will strive to answer your questions as they pertain to this year.

The attached “NRM evaluation guidelines” are a way to increase objectivity and allow the NRM faculty to see what I am using as an evaluation tool. This is more objective to me. The former lack of objectivity was one of your concerns about the process, so I developed the list that was attached to your FE-4. I had noted previously that I would do this. The evaluation guidelines are based heavily on Texas A&M-Kingsville’s evaluation guidelines, with some modifications to tailor them to our department. As I said when I gave you the FE-4, this is the first time I have used the evaluation guidelines, so I would appreciate constructive input.

This has nothing to do with the faculty evaluation committee.

As the department chair, I look at your FE-3, evaluate it on the FE-4 summary sheet and make a recommendation. At this time there is nothing in the faculty handbook that relates to a “grade” for the merit recommendation. I intend to recommend you for merit this year.

—Analysis of Warnock’s answer—

Thank you for your reply to my inquiry about the evaluation process. Your memo indicates that you will “appreciate constructive input.” It is my intent to provide that.

For the record, there are several things that need to be clarified and facts that need to be established as such. I will approach it one sentence at a time. I have put your words into italics for the sole purpose of distinguishing them from mine. You wrote:

It is unfortunate that you have not paid much attention to the evaluation process during your career at Sul Ross from 1987 to present.

Observation: That sounds like a sentence that could have been written by Rob Kinucan. It has happened before. If that is because he has mentored you well, then that is indeed “unfortunate.”  Rob is the only person I have known during my 67 years on this planet that can set out to “schmooze” (his term) a person and come across as condescending in the process.

First point, a few minor corrections of fact for the record: My teaching “career” at Sul Ross actually began in the Fall of 1983 and continued through the Spring of ‘84. I then went to New Mexico State for 3 semesters (Fall 84, Spring 85 and Fall 85) and returned to Sul Ross for the Spring of 1986.

Second point: My unconcern for the evaluation process (or any other of the administration’s jobs) until recently is not what is unfortunate. What is unfortunate is that corruption has reduced collegial trust and created such a hostile workplace environment within our school that I feel compelled to concern myself, not only with the evaluation process, but other processes as well.

I will strive to answer your questions as they pertain to this year.

I apologize for not making it clearer that I am not nearly as concerned about my evaluation for this year as I am about the process in general—past, present and future. I should have phrased the question more succinctly. Why is this the first time I have ever seen a competed FE-4? I never missed it so why start now? Is it because we have been ignoring published administrative procedures and this is an attempt to cover-up that up or somehow rectify it?

The entire second paragraph is rendered moot by your third paragraph. However, it is filled with misstatements and inaccuracies that need to be noted in the record.

The attached “NRM evaluation guidelines” are a way to increase objectivity and allow the NRM faculty to see what I am using as an evaluation tool. This is more objective to me.

When read literally, these are fair statements. By saying “a way to increase objectivity” and “more objective,” you did not say that the guidelines are indeed “objective” and they are not. Ask ten people to select point values for each of these items and you will get 10 different sets of point values.

 The former lack of objectivity was one of your concerns about the process, so I developed the list that was attached to your FE-4.

This sounds like you did it all for me. Thanks.

I do not recall ever expressing any such specific concern and doubt that I ever did because “lack of objectivity” has never been my real concern. My real concern is (and always has been) the ease with which the process can be manipulated to fit whatever personal agenda there is to be served at the moment. And the lack of objectivity is not “former.” Even after considering the “NRM evaluation guidelines,” the process is still grossly lacking in objectivity.

 I had noted previously that I would do this.

Oh really? When was that? I show no record of having received any type of correspondence and the only conversation I recall having in months was about two sentences long the day you delivered my student evaluations.  

 The evaluation guidelines are based heavily on Texas A&M-Kingsville’s evaluation guidelines, with some modifications to tailor them to our department.

Well shucks, and I was thinking it was done specially for me.

As I said when I gave you the FE-4, this is the first time I have used the evaluation guidelines, so I would appreciate constructive input.

I am glad to do that but first; let’s take a look at your last paragraph. 

As the department chair, I look at your FE-3, evaluate it on the FE-4 summary sheet and make a recommendation. At this time there is nothing in the faculty handbook that relates to a “grade” for the merit recommendation.

Thanks for openly admitting it. That is the point I have been trying so hard to get across. The entire process is nothing but a waste of productive time (yours, mine and all the other department heads’ and faculty members’ on the campus). It means absolutely nothing because, after all is said and done, the only decision that is important to anything (no-merit, merit, meritorious) is entirely at the whelm of one person. Beyond that level, the department head’s recommendation is customarily “rubber stamped” right on up the sacred, miss-named, miss-used and abused “chain of command.”

I intend to recommend you for merit this year.

For what it is worth (seeing as how nobody but the fat rats at the top is going to get a raise anyway) thank you.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Faculty members are the only people at Sul Ross who are treated worse than students. Although department heads are usually members of the favored class (or they wouldn’t be department heads) they are exposed to an extra danger. If I was a department head, I don’t think I would like being in the position of knowing that, if I violate anyone’s rights, I can be held liable as an individual and I would go down alone. You department heads have been thrown under the bus.

I am opposed to any kind of written evaluation system. I personally witnessed the “fitness report” completely destroy the united States military. One simple personality conflict can ruin careers. They are not measures of leadership. To the contrary, they are measures of follow-ship. They are demoralizing and accomplish nothing except the creation of resentment. So, in a perfect world, we would do away with the whole sordid mess.

Of course, that is not likely to happen. So, until we can come up with a better solution, we (as faculty) must make it apparent to all in the “chain” – top to bottom – that they will be held legally liable for their abuses.

End of Response

The only reaction I received from Warnock was a very curt dismissal: “I am in receipt of your two memos.”

Discrimination other than for age

The discrimination that I suffered is not confined to age. I have been discriminated against because I am a veteran of two wars: (Relate the story of the aftermath of Desert Storm – See Novel).

In addition, so was Marty Estrada. Marty had a serious PTSD problem which really surfaced after the tragic death of his spouse of over 30 years. Instead of trying to help the man, he was demeaned and gossip and miss-information was maliciously and with aforethought passed on purpose—the purpose being to get rid of Marty because he was not one of the “yes” on all points of the agenda men. They (specifically Ronnie Dotson who what Chief of SRSU Security/Police and in cahoots with Robert Kinucan) kept an illegal file on Marty in the UPD office’s files. All of this in anticipation of forcing Marty out. The Ferrier Technology program has not been anything near what it used to be since Marty left. In fact, it is currently “flagged” by the state for closure due to lack of enrollment and graduates.

More lies told to the new president: According to the version given by Warnock to the new president at his first meeting with the Natural Resources Department, we have at least one of (if not “the”) most diverse departments on campus. I knew we had two women but I had no idea that we had a “Hispanic” and a “Native American.” I inquired as to who was who. Patricia Harveson is supposed to be “Hispanic” but speaks little to no Spanish (the definition of the word being “Spanish speaking”); and Warnock herself claims to have some fraction of Indian blood that qualifies her as “native American” but beyond that unsubstantiated claim there is no evidence that would support that.

The Marty Estrada Case

Marty was one of a very long list of “casualties” of the plan to change our image as hatched by R. Vic Morgan and carried out by Robert J. Kinucan. I will never forget some of the things (as in malicious gossip) that Kinucan spread about Marty when he was trying to drive him out.

They were down right scandalous and outright illegal. In fact, Kinucan told me about a file that they were keeping on Marty up at UPD. It might be worthy to note that Ronnie Dotson, now Brewster County Sheriff, was the man in charge of UPD at the time.

According to Kinucan, old Marty had found himself a girlfriend–some gal that was supposedly married to some federal cop of some kind. They (Kinucan and Dotson) had managed to somehow get hold of motel records where, allegedly, Marty and this gal stayed together (and rented XXX rated movies) in Odessa/Midland. Kinucan’s exact words were: “I guess old Marty can’t get it up any more without watching porn movies.”

First question: Where (how) did they get such information without a warrant? There are two possible answers: (1) They didn’t have a warrant which is a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment. Furthermore, I am not aware of anything that was going on that might have been used to justify a warrant; or 2) A file with such detailed information may never have existed. This too is a good possibility because spreading malicious gossip about someone he wanted to discredit was (and still is) a favored Kinucan modus operandi.

This should be investigated further.

Denial of Access to a Public Meeting.

The following email exchange clearly establishes the fact that I was denied access to a public meeting. The offense is aggravated by the fact that repeated requests were made for my presence by the person to be subjected to one of their final retaliatory actions. Dr. Pendergraft resigned shortly after that meeting.

From: Jeff Pendergraft

Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 10:36 AM

To: Paul Will

Cc: Scott Ericsson; Ricardo Maestas; Don Coers; Robert Kinucan; Toni.Hunter@graybecker.com; Corina Fernandez

Subject: Meeting request for Dec 16, 2010

Dr. Will,

I have been working with Corina to set up another meeting time with my Peer Review Committee since the December 6 meeting was canceled.  She said you guys wanted it on December 14 in the morning during all of our finals and to have someone proctor my final exams.  I told Corina that I was not going to do that because one of my final exams includes presentations and an oral examination.  I requested for us to meet on December 16.  I have students here from Puerto Rico all week working with us so if we could determine a time to meet on December 16 it would be helpful.  I can meet anytime after 10:30 am on December 16.  It appears that none of us have finals on that day.  I have to take our guest back to the Midland airport on Friday the 17 of December.  In our meeting I would like to discuss my professional development plan I submitted on June 14, 2010, the use of the Ag Ed office space you mentioned in your Dec. 2 email, and the reinstatement of my P-card.  You never responded to my letter dated September 6, 2010 regarding this matter.

Please let me know what time will work on the December 16.

Thanks,

Jeff

From: Corina Fernandez

Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 1:19 PM

To: Jeff Pendergraft

Cc: Scott Ericsson; Paul Will; Louis Harveson

Subject: Peer Review Committee

Dr. Pendergraft-

The Professional Peer Review Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 16, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. in the Dean’s conference room.  Please be advised that it is a closed meeting.  For scheduling purposes, please email me back a confirmation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you.

Corina Fernandez

From: Jeff Pendergraft

Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 11:27 PM

To: Corina Fernandez; Scott Ericsson; Paul Will

Cc: Louis Harveson; Jimmy LaBaume; Ricardo Maestas; Don Coers; Toni.Hunter@graybecker.com

Subject: RE: Peer Review Committee

Corina and remaining Peer Review Committee members,

Corina thank you for helping me finally get this meeting arranged.  I will be able to attend this meeting.  However, I have not found any policies or procedures which indicates that this is a closed meeting.  I have attached the policy and procedures to this email for every one to review.  The policy and procedures of 2.20 state “This peer review shall recognize that Sul Ross State University has invested considerable time and effort to recruit and retain capable tenured faculty members.  Therefore, the primary objective or peer review in the performance evaluation of tenured faculty shall be to conserve this investment and guarantee that all tenured faculty remain active, productive scholars and teachers”. 

If the university really believes in it’s own philosophy then it would make sense to have Dr. LaBaume participate on my Peer Review Committee.  As you all know Dr. LaBaume is a senior level full professor who has actually worked with me for the past 14 years.  He would bring great incite and advice to my Peer Review Committee.  Therefore, I would like to request his participation in my Peer Review Committee.  The more the better.

However, if the university is still set on it’s so called hidden agenda then it makes perfect sense why policy and procedures are not being followed, to deny Dr. LaBaume from participating in this process and demand a closed session. 

I hope the university will be more collegial and allow Dr. LaBaume to participate on my Peer Review Committee.

I look for your response.

Jeff

From: Corina Fernandez

Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 10:21 AM

To: Jeff Pendergraft

Cc: Scott Ericsson; Paul Will; Louis Harveson

Subject: RE: Peer Review Committee

Dr. Pendergraft-

Thank you for your confirmation, the meeting is set for Thursday, December 16, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in the Dean’s conference room.  It is the wishes of the Professional Peer Review Committee that it be a closed meeting. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

Thank you.

Corina Fernandez

Jeff Pendergraft

Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 1:34 PM

To: Corina Fernandez; Paul Will

Cc: Scott Ericsson; Louis Harveson; Jimmy LaBaume; Ricardo Maestas; Don Coers; Toni.Hunter@graybecker.com

RE: Peer Review Committee

Corina and remaining Peer Review Committee members,

It appears that Dr. Louis Harveson will be allowed to participate in my Peer Review Committee meeting so it makes perfect sense to have Dr. LaBaume participate too given that he is the only full professor at the ANRS who is not involved in my Peer Review Committee and he has seniority over Dr. Harveson.  I am confidant that Dr. LaBaume will provide valuable incite and advice that will ensure that this process will move forward in a positive manner and meet the goals describe in the policies and procedures of 2.20. 

Therefore, I would request the participation of Dr. LaBaume in my Peer Review Committee process and our meeting for December 16, 2010 at 10:30 am.

Thank you,

Jeff

Professional Peer Review Committee meeting 12/16/2010

Scott Ericsson

Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 3:54 PM

To: Jeff Pendergraft

Cc: Robert Kinucan; Don Coers; Fernando.Gomez@tsus.edu; Ricardo Maestas

MEMORANDUM                                                    

SENT ELECTRONICALLY AND CERTIFIED MAIL WITH RETURN

304 E Harriet Ave, Alpine, Texas 79830

DATE:              December 14, 2010

TO:                  Dr. Jeff Pendergraft, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science

FROM:            Professional Peer Review Committee

CC:                  Dr. Robert Kincuan, Dean, School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Dr. Don Coers, Provost and VP for Academic and Student Affairs

Dr. Fernando Gomez, Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, The Texas State University System

SUBJECT:      Professional Peer Review Committee meeting 12/16/2010

Dear Dr. Pendergraft:

Responding to your December 12, 2010 e-mail request, our understanding is that the grievance committee has finished and communicated its recommendation, which is that you and your Peer Review Committee meet to complete your evaluation.  The grievance process is over.  We have been trying, as you are aware, to schedule that meeting with you.  The Peer Review Committee process does not contemplate participation of third parties, and we respectfully deny your request to bring a third party to the meeting.

Incidentally, we take strong exception to your vague and unsubstantiated accusation of “hidden agenda”.  Our purpose is unitary, simple, and above board: to provide you feedback on your performance with the hope and expectation that it will improve.

We will see you on December 16, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. in the Dean’s Conference room.

From: Jeff Pendergraft

Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 8:11 AM

To: Corina Fernandez; Paul Will

Cc: Scott Ericsson; Ricardo Maestas; Don Coers; Robert Kinucan; Toni.Hunter@graybecker.com; Jimmy LaBaume; Louis Harveson

Subject: RE: Meeting request for Dec 16, 2010

Dear Peer Review Committee,

Responding to your December 14, 2010 e-mail denying my request for an open meeting, my understanding of the Government Code Chapter 551. Open Meetings § 551.074. Personnel Matters; Closed Meeting is that subsection (a) does not apply if the officer or employee who is the subject of the deliberation or hearing requests a public hearing, which I have done.  I also found no policy or procedure in Sul Ross’ 2.20  guidelines for Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty that states this must be a closed meeting and therefore Dr. LaBaume should be allowed to participate.

The grievance committee is not finished with my grievances, as you know Dr. Coers’ email dated July 1, 2010 requested the Peer Review Committee provide me by August 31, 2010 with further details about deficiencies in my most recent performance evaluation which resulted in the Committee’s “no merit evaluation”.   This did not happen and instead I received a second letter from my Peer Review Committee dated September 24, 2010 filled with vague and multiple unsubstantiated accusations.  I responded to those accusations in my letter dated October 29, 2010.  My Peer Review Committee just ignored that letter just like they have refused to comment on my June 14, 2010 professional development plan.  Therefore, the grievance process is not over and I am still pursuing my grievances as recommended by Drs. Maestas and Coers from our summer meeting. 

Since it has taken so long for the committee to finally agree to a meeting time, I will still agree to see you on December 16, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. in the Dean’s Conference room.

Jeff

From: Jimmy LaBaume

Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:19 AM

To: Jeff Pendergraft; Corina Fernandez; Paul Will

Cc: Scott Ericsson; Ricardo Maestas; Don Coers; Robert Kinucan; Toni.Hunter@graybecker.com; Louis Harveson

Subject: RE: Meeting request for Dec 16, 2010

Being on the periphery of all of this, I’m not sure I totally understand what is going on—it seems that the dots just do not connect.

First, a question. Is it true that Dr. Luis Harveson has been added to Dr. Pendergraft’s peer review committee?

If the answer to that is affirmative, then

a.       It is also true that I am not in Dr. Pendergraft’s department but…

b.      neither is Dr. Harveson?

Add that to the fact that during the last school level promotion committee meeting, Dr. Harveson (his first time to be eligible to be on said committee) voted to NOT promote.

While, I voted to Promote.

And so now, “The Peer Review Committee process does not contemplate participation of third parties, and (they) respectfully deny (Dr. Pendergraft’s) request to bring a third party to the meeting.”

Well technically, I would not be a “third” party. I would be a “fourth” party and the only “party” without an axe to grind.

Come on guys, it’s me, old Jimmy T.—the “tell it like it is guy!” If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it IS a duck. It is obvious to anyone with half a brain that this whole fiasco has been little more than a hatchet job—vigilante justice carried out by the old boys of the network.

I am terribly disappointed.

jtl

From: Robert Kinucan

Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 2:07 PM

To: Jimmy LaBaume

Subject: RE: Meeting request for Dec 16, 2010

Dr. LaBaume:

Your email is acknowledged.  Have a nice day.

Rob Kinucan, Ph.D., Professor and Dean

This curt answer is obviously a dismissal-a “we don’t care because we are above the law.” Otherwise, I have no idea as to what his purpose was to answer the way he did unless he thought that, in some way, it might cover his own ass. Ultimately, being the fearless “leader” he is the one that is responsible for the whole deal and, therefore, the one that should do the most jail time.

End of email exchange

The resignation letter follows:

Jimmy T. LaBaume

Sul Ross State University

Alpine, TX 79832

July 21, 2011

Ricardo Maestas, President

Sul Ross State University

Alpine, Texas  79830

Dear President Maestas:

I regret to inform you that I will be unable to consummate another contract with Sul Ross State University for the academic year beginning with the Fall Semester of 2011.

I have been diagnosed with what is known as “Gulf War Syndrome” (Gulf War I service related) and PTSD (Vietnam service related). It is the opinion of my medical advisors (both civilian and the Veteran’s Administration) that I need to “slow down” a bit if I wish to live much longer.

In the most frank of terms, it is their opinion (and mine) that the stress associated with the lying, deceiving, self-dealing, obfuscating, violations of law and disregard for common human decency that are now considered perfectly normal and acceptable within the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences is accelerating the deterioration of my health.

For this reason, I am compelled to “retire” to more productive and less stressful activities.

I love Sul Ross. It has been my life since I first came here as a graduate student in 1972. Indeed it is heartbreaking to have watched a small handful of narcistic sycophants destroy what it took a lot of good men 75 years to build.

And it is only because of the great respect that I have for those men and a multitude of wonderful students that I remain…

Respectfully yours,

Jimmy T. LaBaume

Footnotes and Reference

1. Von Mises, Ludwig. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics. 4th Revised Edition. 1996. Chapter XVI. The Impossibility of Calculation under Socialism. Pages 698-715. Fox & Wilkes. San Francisco. (The entire book is available for download at http://mises.org/resources/3250). 

2. Semmens, John. 2008. A Career Working Behind Enemy Lines. Mises Institute Daily Article Posted on 9/19/2008. 

3. Praxeology is a term that was coined by Ludwig von Mises to mean “the science of human action.” The methodology is based on deductive (vs. inductive) reasoning—e.g. it is non-mathematical. A more detailed explanation of the methodology can be found at: Understanding Praexology: The Layman’s Version. Or, for an even more detailed treatment, see Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action. The entire 906 page book is downloadable from the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

4. Fraud in Academia by Walter E. Williams. Townhall.com Wednesday, May 06, 2009 http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2009/05/06/fraud_in_academia

5. The De-civilization of America by Jimmy T. LaBaume. FlyoverPress.com. http://www.flyoverpress.com/decivilizationofamerica.htm

6. Thanks go to the staff in the SRSU archives for this history.

7. Thanks go to Donna Alpert for these data.

8. C2C Course Listing: http://www.sulross.edu/pages/6712.asp

9. Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1988. Why Socialism Must Fail. The Free Market. July. Ludwig von Mises Institute.

10. Wiggins, James. 1974. The Decline of Private Property and the Diminished Person. Chapter 7 in Blumenfield, Samuel L. (Ed). Property in a Humane Economy. Pages 82-83. Open Court. LaSalle, IL 278 pp.

Appendix A

LIST OF SPECIFIC CRIMINAL CHARGES THAT CAN BE SWORN OUT AND CIVIL ACTIONS THAT CAN BE FILED AGAINST SUL ROSS STATE UNIVERSITY AND ROBERT KINUCAN, PAUL WILL, BONNIE WARNOCK AND LEWIS HARVESON AS INDIVIDUALS.

It seems to me that firm cases could easily be built for: 1) creating a hostile workplace environment; 2) official retaliation; 3) violation of the whistle blowers act; 4) violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act; 5) age discrimination (at least two counts); 6) harassment 7) violation of my right to free speech (as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and in violation of Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code); and the Good Lord only knows what else a bright attorney that becomes thoroughly familiar with the case and its history might find.

Also, add the fact that any government functionary may be held personally liable under the causes of action defined by 42 USC 1983 or Bivens vs. Six Unknown Agents 403 US 388 (1971). Furthermore, if said functionary acts in a manner which is violative of clearly established constitutional rights, he/she is not immune from suit as an individual, Harlo vs. Fitzgerald, 457 US 800 (1982).

In addition, my resignation letter (and medical records) document the fact that I have suffered tangible, quantifiable damage. Said actions are directly responsible for my being forced to change my plans to work another 3 years and prematurely retire.

Appendix B

A more intellectual explanation of how economics and natural resources are so entirely different and how a range manager evaluating a free market economist has built in bias.

Austrians use deductive logic derived from axioms (self-evident truths) to build their conclusions from the micro level up. This is not completely unlike mathematics.

Probably the biggest contribution to the chaos and diversity of economists’ opinions is that mainstream practitioners want economics to be a quantitative science – a natural science; a “hard” science – when in fact historical comparison is far more valid.

Economics is about people and their behavior, which makes it a social science more akin to psychology or sociology than to physics, chemistry or biology. In fact, the high level of mathematical abstraction is nonsense seeing as how there are no units to measure subjective valuations.

However, rather than being a subset of history, economics it is really a subset of philosophy. In fact, it once fell under the term Moral Philosophy. The term “moral” is, of course, heavily loaded today, but the casual amorality with which we now indebt people yet to be born suggests that our abstracted theories of aggregations have turned many into sub-human agents.

Political economy is a phrase that has also been used in the past and also has more merit than our current approach. Politics and economics are inseparable. Every human issue boils down to a property rights issue.

An article from one year ago asked, “What good are economists anyway” http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,619901,00.html

Economics is the study and analysis of the past. As such, it should be a subset of history. Instead, economists want to turn their discipline into a physics level science where results can be predicted mathematically. At least history majors don’t strut around claiming that they can predict the future based on their studies.

Then this could be the basis for (or a part of) showing how Ecological-Environmental Modeling is flawed just like Econometric Modeling. This is in fact the correct approach to the problem.  Individual behavior is as unpredictable as a molecule of gas.  However, the decision space of the individual is limited to the actions and circumstances of the individual being measured.  Like looking at a quantum experiment, the looking itself affects the thing that is seen, the where, the what or the when.  But only the aspect observed yields an accurate measurement, with all other factors reduced to unknowns.

But when the system examined is a collection of similar individuals, either gas molecules or human beings, then as Mises showed, the system, by virtue of the limited decision space of the individual components, has a limited number of outcomes that are generally predictable statistically.  The reason is that the limited decision space of one individual is similar to the decision space of any other within the system under the same general circumstances.  So no matter what the individual decisions were at the time, they were limited to a specific range for the system as a whole.

What must be understood in any study of this nature is what is directly measurable and what is not.

Furthermore, Azimov chose his second rule because it affects the decision space of the measured.  You do not want the gas you are studying to know you are studying it.  You do not measure each individual molecule.  That will change it’s behavior, and thus the outcome of the study.  Instead, you measure the system.  You observe the historical action of all the individuals over time and draw conclusions based on what you know of the decision space of the individual components and what you observed in the system.

Keynesian theory in this respect amounts to no more than a sleight-of-hand magic trick or a crystal ball.  There is no measurement; there is no solid information, and no real predictability.  The only thing predictable is the errors that arise from the assumptions of knowledge and understanding on the part of the predictors.  Keynes did not concern himself with the individual decisions, but looked only at the system and tried to define the individuals via their systemic behavior.  This requires creating smaller groups of individuals and defining what they behave like.  The individuals that are fundamental to any of the systems or subsystems described is too small for Keynesian analysis.

So by concentrating on statistical observation only, and not looking at the fundamental decision space of the individuals, Keynes places himself in the unholy position of great observer without any clue to true nature of the things he sees.  His predictions are a guess.  He refuses to peek into the microscope to see the particles of humanity that are there causing the effects he sees.

Mises, Bastiat, Rothbard et al, understood the fundamental cause of economic action lies in the decisions of individuals, and that any observed effect in the history of economic activity is sourced by those decisions, and the limits in which those decisions were made.  Austrian’s predictions are better because they are truly an educated guess, not a crystal ball.

Austrians understand that the behavior of an economic system is caused by particles of humanity.  Keynesians only feel the wind and don’t recognize the true nature of the thing they think they know.

Add This: https://landandlivestock.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/corruption-of-academic-journals-for-profit-and-climate-change-propaganda/

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