The most disappointing and shameful thing about American agriculture is how so many people look and talk down upon the welfare state while, at the same time and as a group, being the largest welfare recipient on earth–with the possible exception of the intentionally miss-named “Defense” Industry. We should be ashamed or ourselves. — jtl, 419
The federal government, without constitutional authority, has retained control over more the 50% of all lands west of the Rockies (it controls less than 5% of land east of the Rockies by comparison). When it feels like it, Congress pays western counties a fraction of the taxable value of the lands it controls, which in some counties is more than 70%, 80%, and even 90% of their total tax base for funding schools, police, etc. Congress calls these payments PILT, or Payments In Lieu of Taxes that counties would otherwise generate if Congress honor the same statehood terms to transfer the public lands. Because western communities are dependent on PILT, Congress is able to bully, shakedown and extort these communities at the expense of all Americans whenever Congress wants to grow its power, influence and “its dysfunctional favor bank” like some “two-bit protection racket.” The end result of this tight-fisted federal control over western lands is to “disenfranchise and extort the American people to benefit special interests, to enrich the well-connected at the expense of the disconnected.
The day after he delivered the official tea party response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) aggressively challenged Attorney General Eric Holder on the constitutional basis for the executive orders Obama announced in his speech.
After questioning Holder about NSA surveillance programs, Lee moved on to discuss the president’s renewed efforts to bypass Congress with executive orders. He asked Holder specifically about the legal basis for the executive order that effectively delayed the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.
“I’ll be honest with you, I have not seen — I don’t remember looking at or having seen the analysis in some time,” Holder said of the three categories Lee laid out that Obama could have used to delay the mandate, “so I’m not sure where along the spectrum that would come.”
“But you’re the attorney general, I’m sure he consulted you,” Lee interrupted, as Holder attempted to explain that he did not know what basis Obama had used for his executive order.
When Holder pushed back against Lee, saying that Obama’s limited use of executive orders have not gone outside of his constitutional power, Lee responded, “General Holder, I respectfully, but forcefully, disagree with the assertion… When you look at the quality, not just the quantity but the quality, the nature of the executive orders that he has issued, he has usurped an extraordinary amount of authority within the executive branch.”
A Handbook for Ranch Managers. In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.
You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.