Words, words, words…

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, Mark Levin and a long list of others dedicate thousands of hours of air time and millions of words to make the point that liberal policies don’t work; that they don’t solve the problems of the economy, race relations, international relations, etc.

Their case is only as good as they are articulate in making it.

There is one place, however, in which you can see liberalism’s failures exposed graphically in barren landscapes, catastrophic erosion, precipitous gullies, desertified grasslands, washed away soil, etc. That place is here, on the

(Note: Since this is an unfolding story, I’ll be adding to it as time goes on and as I make new discoveries. In spite of that, the story will always begin at the beginning, but if you’re following it as it develops (and don’t want to have to search through the whole thing to find out where you left off) I have included search terms similar to chapter headings that you can use to go straight to more recent posts.)

One more note: many of the comparisons I present here use the technique of rephotography. What that means is, I locate an old photograph in one of a number of places — old movies, magazines, or books; museum collections; the files of the U. S. Forest Service or some other government agency; family collections, my own colletions (I’ve lived in the West and been involved in environmental issues since 1980) and then I relocate where that photo was taken and rephoto it as exactly as I can.

I’ll start off with one of the most startling examples of what this technique can reveal. The first photo in this comparison comes from the files of the Sedona Heritage Museum. It was taken by a local writer and photographer and shows cattle on an area from which they had been permanently banned about a year previous by order of the U. S. Forest Service. My suspicion is the writer knew cattle had been banned from this area and intended to use this photo to prove that a violation of the had occurred.

Below is her photo taken on 12/29/1957. Cattle are plainly visible. Note the condition of the land. There are trees and lots of grass. The land looks healthy. There is no indication of desertification nor of erosion. At this point the land had been grazed for more than 50 years.

1957 near Sedona Arizona, rangeland grazed for more than 50 years. (photo courtesy Sedona Heritage Museum)

Shortly after the above photo was taken grazing was effectively halted here. Fifty-six years later I reshot the photo. Here’s what the same place looks like after it had been “protected” for more than half a century.

2013 - Same location as above. protected for 55+ years. Photo by Dan Dagget

Notice the changes. First of all, the grass is gone. Second, the trees are bigger and there are more of them. Third, there has been significant erosion. For instance, the mountain on the right doesn’t extend above the ridge as far as it did in the original photo. In fact, you can barely see it through (rather than above) the trees. The reason, I believe, is that the point where I was standing when I shot the second photo is three feet lower than the original photo point because that much soil has eroded away.

At this point you may say, “Wait a minute! How could removing the cows cause all these negative effects? Environmentalists have been campaigning for years to remove cattle grazing from public lands because they claim doing so would reverse desertification and prevent  erosion.

Other changes have happened here. After ranching was stopped here, houses were built in the area. (The chimney of one is visible above the trees just left of center in the “after” photo.) Also, an area nearby has been made a U. S. Forest Service trailhead, and people now hike and bike through the area. A small power line has also been constructed through the area — to service the house. In fact, I was standing under the power line as I shot the “after” photo.

Where does that leave us? If protection causes the kind of ecosystem changes illustrated in these two pictures, the same thing must have happened in other ecologically similar places where similar management changes have been made.


The photo shown below was taken by the U. S. Forest Service as a monitoring tool to determine how human activity (in this case, cattle grazing) effects a certain area of the Coconino National Forest in central Arizona near my home town — Sedona.

Faye Canyon US Forest Service monitoring site (near Sedona, Arizona) 1958

Since 1958 (the date of this photo) this same site has been periodically re-photographed, and certain data (plant species, density, and condition) have been recorded.

This is the same place in 1974.

Faye Canyon US Forest Service monitoring site (near Sedona, Arizona) 1974

Here it is in 1979… About this time (in 1977) grazing was effectively halted on this USFS grazing allotment.

Faye Canyon US Forest Service monitoring site (near Sedona, Arizona) 1979

In 1988…

Faye Canyon US Forest Service monitoring site (near Sedona, Arizona) 1988

Here it is today, in 2013. Notice the changes. The trees have gotten bigger. There are more of them. There is less grass, more bare dirt, and erosion is accelerating.

Faye Canyon US Forest Service monitoring site (near Sedona, Arizona) 2013

The change is revealed more effectively if you take a look beyond those trees.

Faye Canyon US Forest Service monitoring site (near Sedona, Arizona) 2013 beyond the trees.

Here it is easy to see that there is a lot less grass, a lot more bare dirt, and much, much more erosion. Scroll back up and see what it used to look like.

This land has effectively been “protected,” for more than thirty years. According to liberal environmentalist dogma it should be returning to ecological health instead of  turning into desert. What has happened here and what can we learn from it?

Stay tuned.


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First published on American Thinker:

Most environmentalists I know consider themselves non-religious, even anti-religious. A few subscribe to “new” religious denominations such as Unitarianism, which I have heard described as “church for atheists with children.” None, as far as I know, would take kindly to being described as practitioners of fundamentalist, Bible-thumping, “ol’ time religion”.

The irony, here, is that contemporary environmentalism and fundamentalist religion have so much in common.

Take the most basic assumption of contemporary environmentalist doctrine. Individual environmentalists and environmental organizations, alike, hold that the one and only way to solve the problems they address is to “protect” the environment. Who they would protect it from, of course, is us, based on the further assumption that everything that goes wrong with the environment — desertification, species extinction, invasion by non-native plants, etc. — is the result of human misuse or overuse or just plain use of “nature” or the ecosystem, or whatever you choose to call our surroundings.

This assumption has become so all-encompassing that we now even blame ourselves for occurrences we used to call “natural” disasters.. Hurricanes are our fault (a result of Global Warming). Weather too hot — our fault. Too cold — ditto. There are even plenty of people who say earthquakes and tsunamis are our fault; also caused somehow by Climate Change.

Such a line of reasoning leads inevitably to the conclusion that the only way to solve any and all environmental problems is to somehow get us humans to use less, produce less, and reproduce less. So, at environmentalists’ behest our government creates such things as wilderness areas and nature preserves, on the theory that nature-left-alone will heal its human-caused wounds and help sustain at least a part of the planetary life-support system. In some countries, Canada, for instance, there are areas into which humans are forbidden to even set foot. More radical environmental groups, such as Earth First! (which I played a small part in helping to form) are pushing for similar measures in the U. S.

You’re not paying attention if you haven’t recognized this as simply a rerun of the biblical story of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

This congruence of environmentalism and fundamentalism isn’t a coincidence. It can be traced to the fact that John Muir, “the spiritual father of the environmental movement” who founded the Sierra Club, the first environmental group, was a Calvinist. Calvinists, who first coined the word “fundamentalist” to describe themselves, held that the original sin for which humans were punished by expulsion from Eden, is a defining characteristic of what it means to be “human.”

As a good Calvinist/fundamentalist/environmentalist, Muir was a frothing misanthrope, referring to humans as “the Lord Man” and writing, “Man is always and everywhere a blight on the landscape.”

So, as modern day green fundamentalists engage in a ritual re-creation of the expulsion of “the Lord Man” from Eden, one could make the case that they are indulging in a religious exercise rather than applying a practical effort to solve environmental problems.

Using an approach derived from fundamentalist  religion to deal with real world problems (and there are plenty of environmental problems that are real and serious) has a huge downside. First, it dooms us to deal with practical problems with an approach that treats them as invariably a matter of good versus evil, of “us” (the righteous Earth Savers) against “them,” the heretics and devils (Global Warming Deniers, capitalists, one percenters, Republicans,…)

Because this makes those issues a matter of winning and of defeating devils rather than solving problems, we spend more time proselytizing, evangelizing, and battling in the arena of politics than we do learning to live sustainably within our surroundings. Evidence that this is the case is provided by the fact that environmentalists measure their success in terms that really have nothing to do with the ecological problems they supposedly set out to fix. Among those terms are:

• the number of converts (members, supporters, and devotees) groups are able to evangelize, and the amount of contributions they are thus able to attract

• the extent to which they are able to convince the rest of us to blame the villains, demons, devils, satans, they blame — capitalists, free enterprisers, private land managers, meat eaters, the 5 % of the world’s population who live in the U. S. and use 25% of the world’s resource, and…

• the extent to which they are able to inject their doctrines, prejudices, and policies into the rules by which our society operates.

Does this approach of using religious-style rituals, exorcisms, and crusades work to make the environment any better, healthier, more sustaining?

To true believers that question doesn’t even make sense.

Religious truth is a matter of faith. It can’t be falsified by experience or fact. Can you prove via experience, facts, or science that God didn’t make little green apples, that Buddha wasn’t truly enlightened, or that Islam isn’t the religion of peace?

In the same way, and for the same reasons, it is just as impossible to debunk the charge that we are the cause of global warming, climate change, species extinction, or whatever.

This is why using environmentalist dogma to guide the creation of legislation and regulation violates the separation of church and state. It is also why doing so can lead us to results that are just the opposite of what we intend. If environmental policies can’t be proved wrong by experience, facts, or science, there is no way to prove that they don’t work, even when their results are absolutely disastrous.

This fatal flaw isn’t limited to environmental policies, it extends throughout liberalism. The reason it is impossible to prove (at least to liberals) that wealth redistribution doesn’t solve the problem of poverty, no matter how much poverty rates increase under those policies, or that Obamacare doesn’t create the best health care system possible, no matter how much rates increase or how many people end up without insurance as a result of those policies, is because liberalism, as well as its offspring, environmentalism, is a matter of blind faith, not reason.


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By Dan Dagget

Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

What’s funny about liberals? That they actually believe that stuff. Liberal dogma, I mean. In fact, if you take off your liberal blinders (If you happen to be wearing a pair), liberal politics reveals itself to be nothing more than a string of second-rate comedy routines.

Take Global Warming, for instance. It doesn’t take a PhD to recognize this scam as nothing more than a cheap imitation of the old Saturday Night Live “Landshark” skit. For those who aren’t old enough to have seen “Landshark” (or are so old they’re unable to remember), it was a take-off on the movie “Jaws.” Bill Murray, disguised in a Muppet-style shark suit, would ring the doorbell of an unsuspecting Gilda Radner, who would refuse to open the door because she had heard there was a landshark prowling the neighborhood. The “shark” would then attempt to fool Radner by announcing itself in a tinny monotone as a “Plumber,” and when that didn’t work, “Cable guy,” or  “Flowers” and finally, “Candygram,” at which point Gilda would open the door, and, there would be the landshark, which would then mock-devour her to the “Dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum” theme of “Jaws.”

The difference with the liberal political version of this routine is, instead of  “cable guy,” “flowers,” and “candygram,” liberals threaten us with a litany of crises they’ve dreamed up specifically to convince us that we ought to open the door to what they’re all trying to sell — bigger government. In the 1970s they tried “return of the ice age” to convince us that we should surrender more of our rights and liberties to the government (which means to them), and when we got bored with the “ice age” scare, and it lost its traction, they changed to “the end of the rain forest,” then “death of the oceans,” and “the ozone hole,” More recently, they’ve come up with “global warming,” at which point some of us said, “Wait a minute, You just said “return of the ice age.” Now it’s “global warming?” Do you really think we’re stupid enough to believe that humans are making the world too cold and too warm at the same time?”

So, they changed to “climate change.”

I guess “whatever” is next.

And when we finally do open the door to one of these scams by electing some liberal or other to office, the remedy they propose to solve any or all of these the problems is always the same. In fact, liberals only have one remedy for anything: That we invest them with more authority so they can gobble up more of our freedoms with more government, more regulation, and more sure-fire solutions that don’t work.

The theme music, however, remains the same…

Dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum.

Posted in 1001 Ways to Debunk Global Warming, Conservative Environmentalism, Conservative environmentalist, Green Conservatism, Holding Liberals Accountable, Liberalism Doesn't Work, Liberalism's Deepest Darkest Secrets, Natural Conservatism, Nature is Conservative | Leave a comment


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Because a public school in Queens, NY has become the first in the nation to serve only vegetarian food

And, because a new eating disorder: orthorexia (the compulsion to eat only politically correct foods — no dairy, eggs, meat, grains, fats) — is sweeping the nation.

I have decided to re-post EAT MEAT AND SAVE THE PLANET!

Every time some overinflated Hollywood celeb or irrelevant British royal says we all have to become vegetarians to save the planet, I think about how rarely I’ve seen wildlife in a vegetable field. No elk, no pronghorn, certainly no mountain lions. And if I do happen to see a rabbit or a prairie dog among the veggies, I know whoever planted them is doing everything they can to get those uninvited guests out of there to keep them from eating up the produce or polluting it with e coli.And wildflowers? In a field of vegetables wildflowers are considered “weeds” and treated as such.

On the other hand, visit a cattle ranch here in the West and you have a good chance of seeing deer, elk, pronghorn, coyote, black bear, bobcat, rattlesnakes, gila monsters, road runners, Gambles quail…. the list is too long to print here. Get lucky and you might see a mountain lion. I know a rancher who has seen a couple of jaguars on ranchland here in Arizona.

As for wildflowers, as I write this, I’m looking at a ranch out the window of my camper, and I can see giant saguaros, cholla cactus, palo verde and creosote bush. The Arizona poppies, brittlebush, and desert marigolds were spectacular this spring, and the native grasses are providing plenty of forage for wild and domesticated animals alike.

An activist vegetarian responding to what I just said would point out that growing vegetables requires a lot less land than raising meat. This enables us to protect more land and allow it to return to nature so it can be home to even more wildlife and wildflowers.

That would be an effective counter-argument if it weren’t true that raising meat on the land can benefit it ecologically even more than protecting it.

How’s that?

Scientists who’ve studied the matter tell us that grasslands and grazing animals evolved together and developed an interdependence similar to so many other mutually beneficial relationships in nature: bees and flowers, beavers and meadows, reef fish and coral. When cattle are managed so that they act like natural grazers, i. e., when they are kept in herds and moved across the landscape in response to conditions of moisture, season, and other natural factors, they create this same kind of interdependence.

That’s why cattle have been successfully used to restore ecological health to land that has been damaged by mining, by raising crops in ways that exhaust the land’s fertility, and even by the environmentalists’ panacea “protection.” For instance, in Arizona and Nevada, cattle have been used to return native vegetation to denuded mine sites and piles of mine waste on which other forms of reclamation had failed. How do they do it? By stomping in seeds and mulch and nourishing the mixture with their own natural fertilizer. Sheep and goats have been used to create firebreaks and remove nonnative plants at various locations from East to West, and sheep, goats, and cows have been used to revegetate land damaged by catastrophic wildfire.

I haven’t heard of a single case of soybeans or broccoli being used to achieve any of that.

As for all that cow flattulence and belching the anti-meat folks tout as a cause of global warming, properly grazed grasslands have been shown to be so effective at sequestering carbon in green and growing grass that some ranchers have been able to supplement their income by marketing carbon offsets created by their naturally-managed cattle.

That works even if you don’t believe in global warming

Acknowledging the effectiveness of these techniques the state of Florida has come up with a plan to contract with ranchers to use their livestock to improve that state’s rangelands’ ability to absorb, clean, and sequester water. One of the aims of this program is to raise the water level in the Everglades. That’s right. Florida is using cows to rewater the Everglades.

On the other hand, when grazers are removed from the land the ecological results can be disastrous.

In Central California, when cattle grazing was removed from seasonal wetlands called vernal pools, the native plants and animals that live there, some of which are endangered, were displaced by nonnative weeds in as few as three years. When grazing was resumed the rare plants and animals returned.

Also in California, the threatened bay checkerspot butterfly has disappeared from lands from which cattle grazing was eliminated — to protect the butterfly. On lands that continue to be grazed the butterfly has managed to persist.

Because of this and similar instances “cessation of grazing” has been recognized as one of the main threats to some of California’s most sensitive ecosystems by the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition. That organization includes The Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, and Audubon, among others.

And, for those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember (and want to link back to) the story of the native fish in Arizona (the spikedace) that was sustained by grazing for more than a century and exterminated  in less than a decade by “cessation of grazing,” or the Drake exclosure that’s been protected for more than 60 years and is as bare as a parking lot while the grazed land right next to it is covered with native grasses.

There’s more:

Meat is the only human food that can be raised on land that is officially designated wilderness. Not so with vegetables.

Meat can be raised on land that can also be used for recreation such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, orving, downhill skiing, and birdwatching. Vegetable fields are off limits to most of those. Just try riding your orv or your horse through someone’s field of bok choy.

So, the next time you chow down on a big juicy steak or leg of lamb, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for saving the planet, and remember that you are enjoying the only food that can be raised within a diverse, native, openspace ecosystem in such a way that it restores, sustains, and even enhances that ecosystem.

On second thought, maybe you ought to order two steaks. It’s going to take a lot of cows to remedy all the ecological damage perpetrated by vegetarian environmentalists.

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Note: This article was first published on American Thinker:

The most frustrating aspect of the continuing verbal marathon about guns and gun control is that no one is talking about the real cause of our continuing problem with mass, meaningless murder.

That means no one is talking about real solutions that will have real results.

Instead, we are once again talking about disarming law-abiding citizens, or (more accurately) pushing government deeper into our lives by diluting the only document on the planet — the U. S. Constitution — that protects humans from tyranny.

Take away guns and you still have violence. But take away our Constitution and you empower tyrants, both illegal and legal, who will have plenty of guns whether they are banned or not.

So, why are we spending so much time talking about a non-solution to such a serious problem?

One reason is because the liberals who make up our current ruling class, in a very significant way, have caused these senseless tragedies, and they certainly don’t want to talk about that.

How did liberals cause recent gun massacres? I discussed that in an earlier piece — “Ban Liberalism Not Guns.” Here, however, I want to address a more important topic — Why liberals aren’t interested in real solutions to the problem of senseless, mostly random violence, whether it is perpetrated with a gun or otherwise. In fact, I want to talk about why they aren’t interested in any solutions at all.

One reason liberals aren’t interested in solving problems is because they are so totally invested in using them.  Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s first White House Chief of Staff, made that clear when he voiced the cardinal rule of liberalism, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

How do politicians “never let a crisis go to waste?” They use it to get elected.

They use problems of all sorts to get elected by blaming their political opponents for causing the problem and by selling themselves as the saviors of those of us whom they can convince are victims of said problem and of the “villains” whom they say perpetrated it.

And once elected, they use this same blame game to get their policies enacted, increase their political power, and enhance their chances of getting re-elected.

Before we follow that thread any further, I want to point out that there is another reason the liberal ruling class isn’t interested in solutions: They don’t have any.

In another post made the point that liberals were doomed to selling less (blame, hate, problems) because nothing produces solutions better than free-market capitalism applied by individuals blessed with a high degree of individual political freedom. This system, as devised and utilized in the good ol’ USA, has enabled us to achieve a greater and broader prosperity than any other society in human history.

As for what I mean by saying “liberals don’t have any real solutions… to anything,” consider how well they’ve handled the “War on Poverty” – nearly $20 trillion spent since LBJ initiated this monstrous government redistribution of wealth in the 1960s, and the administration tells us 1 in 6 are still “in poverty.” And how well is the welfare state and income redistribution working for Greece? Spain? The United Kingdom? France’s Labor Minister, Michel Sapin, recently described that country as “totally bankrupt.” The UK doesn’t look for economic recovery until after 2017.

How about race relations? The election of Obama in 2008 was supposed to usher in a “postracial era,” but today racial polarization is as bad (or worse) than it has ever been. Anyone who opposes Obama on any issue is tagged a racist, an extremist, an enemy.

The energy crisis? Can you say Solyndra and wind power? And, in spite of the fact that global warming has been revealed to be a fraud based on trumped up data, liberals keep telling us that there is scientific consensus on the matter except for a few oddballs who ought to be thrown in jail because they are Global Warming “Deniers”.

Getting back to gun violence… Want to bet that limiting our access to guns will reduce gun violence. It hasn’t worked anywhere it has been tried.

Because “using” crises is so valuable to the liberal ruling class, even if they had a solution to anything, they wouldn’t apply it. After all if your entire political strategy consists of using crises and problems to paint your adversaries as villains and enemies in order to get people to vote for you, the last thing you want to have happen is for a problem to be solved.

What’s more, because liberals have such a terrible track record at solving anything, if a problem is solved, most likely it will be solved by the opposition, i. e. those pesky free-market capitalists.

Then what?

What does continuing to elect liberals to run our government get for you and me?

First of all it gets us a lot of “solutions” that don’t work.

Even worse – it gets us a society that operates on the basis of hate and divisiveness. Can you think of anything worse than that?

Evidence of this is easy to find – the movie, Django Unchained, provides an excellent example. So do all the tweets in support of Christopher Dorner, murderer of four in his recent crime spree. And then there are all those episodes of “gun violence.”

Continuing to elect politicians who have nothing to sell but blame, hate, and “issues” gives us a society in which it pays to invent crises — so you can blame them on your opponent. Remember acid rain, the ozone hole, the coming ice age, the death of the oceans, OVERPOPULATION!, and on and on. In every case we were told that the only way to avert each of these “crises” was to elect liberals/democrats because the Republicans, free-market capitalists, or America caused them… by creating More.

Which brings us to another history lesson.

In his 1968 book, The Population Bomb, biologist Paul Ehrlich told us that hundreds of millions of us would die during the 1970s no matter what we did because we had already outstripped the planet’s ability to feed us and to supply us with the raw materials necessary to sustain our lifestyle. He also predicted that, by 1985, so many billions would have died that the Earth’s population would have shrunk to 1.5 billion. And by 1999, the overconsuming U. S. would suffer such devastating environmental catastrophes that the life expectancy of its citizens would have dropped to 42 years, and its population would be a mere 22.6 million.

Instead, in 2013, the population of the world is at 7 billion and growing, the U.S. population is over 300 million, our prosperity is unprecedented (At least it was until we elected the Pelosi Democrats in 2006 and Obama in 2008.), and our life expectancy continues to rise.

To underscore how wrong Ehrlich was, many countries now are concerned about underpopulation rather than overpopulation. Why? Because their “Ehrlich scare” birth rates are too low to produce the workers needed to keep their economies running (and to support all those seniors).

What saved us from Ehrlich’s predictions of doom? The same thing that has saved us from scarcity and adversity so many times – human ingenuity and initiative applied within the framework of a free-market economy.
This reveals what may be the most ironic downside of continuing to elect politicians who have nothing to sell but blame: It gives us a society in which the problem solvers, the tragedy averters, the producers of abundance are villainized. A society in which we regularly vote against the people who can solve the very problems that supposedly plague us.

In this upside-down process the people who continually sell us less (liberals/Democrats) end up being the only ones with more – more money, more power, more everything. Barack Hussein Obama, unsurpassed peddler of “less” is now worth $11.8 million and lives like a king.

The best way to wrap this up, I believe, is to restate, in a form simple enough to remember easily, what continuing to elect politicians who have nothing to sell but blame, hate, and less gets us.

It gets us a society that operates on the basis of hate, divisiveness, and blame.

It gets us a society in which politicians rise to power by inventing crises — so they can blame them on their opponents and use that blame to get elected.

It gets us a country ruled by a government with a vested interest in solutions that don’t work. After all, if a problem is solved, politicians can’t use it to get elected anymore.

In a society of this sort the surest route to power is to cast yourself as a victim. As a victim, you become an asset to the liberal ruling class which can use you to villainize its opponents (because they made you a victim) and attract votes by casting itself as your savior.

Last, but not least, electing politicians who trump up problems and use them to get votes by heaping blame and vilification on their opponents gives us a society in which those who truly are able to solve problems, create abundance, and get us out of the mess we’re in are invariably cast as villains.

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The tragic killing of 26, including 20 children and 6 teachers, at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut has liberals once again clamoring for government to severely restrict gun ownership or ban it outright.

The conservative response has been all over the map, saying that ball bats, hammers, and cars kill more people, so liberals should be calling to ban them too. On a more serious note commentators on the right are also blaming drugs, video games, and an entertainment media that has become an orgy of violence.

While those latter three charges bear significantly more merit, the fact remains that both sides are just plain missing the point.

The problem, when it comes to orgies of mass destruction, isn’t guns, it’s liberalism.

Cho Seung-Hui, who killed 32 people and wounded 17 others on April 16, 2007, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia is reported to have left a note in his dormitory room containing a rant that denigrated “rich kids,” and claimed he did what he did “to inspire generations of the weak and defenseless people.” Those are all sentiments more recently expressed by the Occupy Wall Street movement and our liberal president, Barack Obama, who blames the rich for virtually everything that is wrong with America (or the world for that matter) and sells himself as a champion for the poor and underprivileged.

Eric Harris, who, with Dylan Klebold killed 13 and injured 21 at Columbine High School in Aurora, Colorado, hated country music, people with a limited vocabulary who mispronounced words, people who believe professional wrestling is real, and fans of Star Wars. Sounds to me like he hated the same people whom Barack Obama has referred to as “bitter clingers.”

Jerrod Loughner, shooter of U. S. Representative Gabrielle Gifford and 18 others (6 killed) in Tucson, was a “truther.” He believed George W, Bush was responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Towers in New York and the deaths of the 3,000 people who perished there. I know plenty of liberals who believe the same thing.

Adam Lanza. Who killed 26 and wounded 2 more at Sandy Hook was a vegan. He was opposed to eating meat or any product produced by or from animals, such as cheese or eggs. He was against killing animals or even inconveniencing them but he had no trouble killing human children, lots of them. Veganism is common among liberals.

Before you get the wrong impression, I want to make it clear that I’m not saying these people were (or are) liberals. Whether they were liberal or conservative is irrelevant. What I’m saying is that liberalism and its practice of using blame and villainization as a political tool drove these people to the brink and over it. Timothy McVeigh, certainly was no liberal, but it was the Branch Davidian disaster in Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge in Idaho, both done under the authority of Clinton Administration Attorney General Janet Reno, that he said drove him to do what he did.

This is not just a matter of politics. Liberals tell us that global warming, capitalism, corporatism, Americanism, speciesism, threaten the very existence of life on Earth. And that homophobia and Islamophobia, make what life does manage to persist prejudiced and unjust. The only way to save the planet from this litany of disasters, they tell us, is to wrench power from the practitioners of the old ways that have created all of the above. Conservatives, Republicans, the 1%, those who believe in America as the shining city of the hill, all of these practitioners of the old ways must be overcome or the world is doomed.

Sufficiently frenzied by this doomsday drumbeat global, warming zealots are calling for the jailing of climate change “deniers.” Some have called for their death.

Vegetarians sport bumper stickers that read: “Meat is murder.”

“The rich aren’t doing their fair share.” says Obama and his minions. Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, says times are as bad today as they were during the time of the “Robber Barons” when, she suggests “The labor leaders of that time, … were ready to kill.”

Daily Beast writer Buzz Bissinger says Alex Jones, a blogger who defends gun ownership, should be shot.

Some simplify all of this to charge that there are just too many people. They openly wish for pestilence or even nuclear war to kill millions, making Cho Seung-Hui, and Adam Lanza seem rather tame by comparison.

To me all of this is the same as screaming fire (as in Ready!… Aim!…) in a crowded building and continuing to scream until one of the less tightly wrapped within earshot snaps and commits an outrage like Newtown or Columbine. And when that happens, the old ways and their practitioners —conservatives, gun rights advocates, talk show hosts, believers in that shining city — always get the blame.

A better way to set blame, I believe, is to apply the old adage, “Follow the money.”

Who benefits from these tragedies? Not conservatives. Not gun owners. Not the 1%. Not people who want to mind their life and liberty and spend their time pursuing happiness.

Liberals benefit from these tragedies — they use them to grow the power of government and increase their degree of power within that government. Now, in the aftermath of Newtown, as liberals clamor for more gun control and bigger government you can hear them cranking up the volume in hopes of un-hinging some other unfortunate to create another catastrophe to which they can apply Rahm Emanuel’s dictum:

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

At this point it seems to make sense to call for banning liberalism, but that would make us just like them. A better idea is to convince liberals to stop screaming “Ready, Aim, Fire” and become conservatives. Accentuate the positive! Increase freedom! Free your initiative to create a rising tide of wealth that lifts all boats. Eat whatever you want. Have or don’t have as many kids as you want. Get as rich as you want. Drill and mine for the energy you need, and if doing so creates problems, deal with those problems by using the greater wealth you’ve created by mining and drilling. If the world is getting warmer, use the power of free enterprise to adapt to it and make life better for all of us in a world that’s warmer or cooler or whatever, because the only thing more certain than the fact that the world is always changing is the fact that the best means of dealing with that change is freedom.

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I was driving home from a trip to Utah the other day when I noticed two large smoke plumes. One stretched overhead from somewhere north in Utah across the Navajo Reservation and out of sight to the south. The other appeared in the distance along the horizon forming a cloud that touched the top of the 12,600+ foot San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff and extended along the entire western horizon.

This seems to be turning into a trend I thought as I remembered a trip earlier in the summer that my wife Trish and I took north to the vicinity of Missoula, Montana, and then to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Wyoming. Smoke from various wildfires plagued the entire two months of that trip and finally caused Trish and I to give up and head south looking for clear skies. The smoke was constant in Montana, blown over from fires in Idaho and closer ones whose flames occasionally threatened to spread to the campground where we had parked our camper.

The drive from Missoula to West Yellowstone was so smoky that at times I found it difficult to breath. If I had lived in the area I would have had to evacuate. Later, in Grand Teton National Park, the 13,770 foot Grand Teton mountain was sometimes obscured by smoke even when I was literally standing at its base.

Trish and I have traveled to these places for years, and we had encountered smoke in a few localized areas before, but not every day everywhere like this. After two months, we finally had had enough and headed south and eventually home to Sedona, Arizona.

A month later, as I returned to Sedona from another trip to the north, those extensive areas of smoke over the Navajo Reservation and the mountains near Flagstaff got me to thinking. With the liberals in charge of public lands management via the government and environmental pressure groups, this might be the new norm for the American West. In fact, it might be just the beginning.

After all liberals make every thing they touch worse.

Think of how badly Barack Obama and his liberal henchmen have screwed up the economy — 43 months of  8% or higher unemployment, trillion dollar deficits, 47 million on food stamps, $4 gasoline. Think of how they have made the world less safe for Americans, and really for everyone, with our ambassador and his defenders abandoned to be murdered by Islamic terrorists in Libya, our soldiers sent into battle without the right to defend themselves in Afghanistan and on and on and on.

As all this rushed through my skull I felt a chill as those smoke clouds morphed into the tip of a mountain of environmental disasters. I thought of some of the problems that liberals have caused that I’ve written about in this blog — the extermination of the Verde River Spikedace, the desertification of Western grasslands, the tenfold expansion of western wildfires — and I wondered just how much damage Obama and his libs could wreak on the environment if they were given four more years to do it?

I realized I might not be taking my annual trip to Montana and Wyoming next year, and I wondered what other people who consider themselves environmentalists would think if they were visited by this same vision.

Then it came back to me that most of those people who consider themselves to be environmentalists believe liberalism is the means to solve environmental problems, not make them worse.

At that point I found myself hoping that this blog could change a few of those minds and get a few more people to vote against Obama and the threat he poses to the environment as well as to all the other aspects of our future as Americans.

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Surprising, what you can learn about from Nature — if you pay attention. Take peace for instance.

Some ranchers here in the Southwest have learned an important lesson about peace from the mountain lions that inhabit the land grazed by their cattle. The lesson they’ve learned is, if there is a dominant male mountain lion whose territory includes their ranch, it is in their best interest to leave that lion alone even if he kills an occasional calf or colt. Experience has taught these ranchers that an alpha lion enforces a sort of peace and order within his territory. Young males stay away because they know that, if they encounter the alpha within his territory, he will attack them. Perhaps even kill them.

If, on the other hand, the rancher takes offense at having a calf killed by the dominant lion and hunts him down, all of the territory the alpha had ruled and pacified is then open to contest. This attracts all the young males in the area to vie for ascendancy. To sustain the energy to fight and because they leave kills partially consumed to avoid being attacked while they eat them, they make more kills than they would otherwise. In some cases females and kittens become casualties in this melee.

Experienced ranchers know that eliminating the alpha will inadvertently create exactly what they seek to avoid — more predation and more loss of livestock. By trying to create peace they instead end up creating more war.

In a preserve in Africa, which managers hoped to repopulate with elephants by reintroducing a number of orphaned males and females from other locations, a number of the young males formed into gangs, which began to act in very un-elephant-like ways. Most outrageous of these acts were several instances of attacking, raping, killing, and mutilating adult white rhinoceroses — an endangered species.

Preserve managers were at a loss as to how to deal with this activity until one of them got the idea to import some adult bull elephants and see if that worked. It did. No one knows how the “word” got out to the young males. There was no obvious disciplining of the gang members, but, when the alpha social structure was restored, the young bulls stopped acting like mobsters and stopped killing rhinos.

Considering that, who do you believe Nature would recognize as an advocate for peace…

Those on the right, who would sustain the U. S. as alpha — as the established lion/adult bull whose power and mere presence causes lesser powers to defer and keep a low profile in order to avoid triggering a response?

Or would Nature dub as “peacemakers” liberals, such as Barack Obama, who apologize for America’s exceptionalism and seek to abdicate our position as the world’s alpha. As Obama dissembles the U. S. position as the only superpower what we see happening is exactly what Nature has told us would happen. Encouraged, as were the elephant gangs in Africa, by the lack of an alpha presence, humans have been forming gangs and creating political chaos around the world. In Egypt, Syria, Libya, India, Greece, even France, and the U. K. The list grows every day.

What can Nature teach us about all of this? She can teach us that the alpha way to peace practiced by dominant lions, adult bull elephants, and even a super power U. S. works. Nature has developed, tested, fine-tuned, and applied this lesson via millions of years of evolution, adaptation, and trial and error.

Via that same educational process, Nature teaches us that removing the alpha inevitably results in chaos and strife that can only be relieved by the ascension of a new alpha… and that trading the old lion for a new one can have its downside.

Without the U. S. who will ascend to alpha status? A resurgent Russia? Communist China? A nuclear Iran? A sharia-enforcing Islamist Caliphate?

How sure a path to peace is that?

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(This post is about the right way to be green in terms of money – the green of an economy)

When it comes to sports, we get it.

When it comes to economics, we don’t.

When it comes to sports, everybody knows that, in order to have a successful team, you’ve got to have big scorers — the more the better.

When it comes to economics there are plenty of us who are unaware of that simple truth even though the situation is similar if not identical

In sports, everybody knows that, if you have prolific scorers on your team, you’ll win more games and attract more fans and make more money. And they also know that more money will flow, not only to your big scorers, but to everyone associated with your team — the other starters, the role players, the bench warmers, even your farm teamers and your retired players on pension. And that’s not all. Your coaches will make more money, too, and their staff, your sportscasters, the people who run the concession stands in your stadium. The league of which you are part, and even the teams you beat will make more money because of the additional fans and bigger TV contracts your big scorers will attract when you play those other teams. In other words, the more big scorers you have on your team the higher everyone’s boat will float.

It works the same with an economy. If you have big scorers participating in your economy, i. e. people who know how to be successful and make lots of money, hire lots of people, and invest in lots of growth, those economic big scorers will keep your economic tide rising and everyone’s boat floating higher and higher.

And economic big scorers can create wealth and jobs on an order of magnitude that dwarfs the effect of any sports star.

Why is it, then, that, when it comes to a sports team, everyone is eager to celebrate the good scorers, pay them astronomical salaries, bring in role players to help emphasize their skills and talents, and, in general, bend over backwards to keep them happy and on the team, but, when it comes to the economy, we villainize our good scorers, constantly accuse them of not doing their fair share, harp about cutting their salaries and raising their taxes, blame them for everything bad that happens, and place more and more restrictions on them, effectively disabling their skills and disarming their talents?

Why do we find it so hard to recognize the equivalence here when in both cases the results are always the same: Cut the salary of your good scorers and eventually they will leave to play for someone else. If and when that happens, your winning percentage will drop, your income will shrink, and everyone in your organization (or your country) will be worse off as a result.

Barack Obama would never dream of telling LeBron James “You didn’t do that…” regarding his selection as Most Valuable Player on the team that won the NBA Championship this year.

But he says it every day to people who far outstrip LeBron as Most Valuable Players in a much bigger league – the U. S. economy.

Any team with players who constantly complain about their team’s high scorers’ income, blame them for everything that goes wrong, incessantly agitate for “income redistribution,” and refuse to take any responsibility themselves quickly fulfills its destiny as a loser. The same goes for a coach guilty of the above.

And yet that is the way Barack Obama and many of the rest of us, especially the liberals among us, participate in the economy today. On a sports team, players who display the attributes I just listed are quickly recognized as losers and traded, released, or retired. In an economy (a country), we can’t replace our players, but we can trade our present “the old ways don’t work,” coach for one who can inspire us to feel like a member of a team again, a team that can and deserves to win. It’s happened before. That’s what Reagan was doing with his image of America as a “Shining City on a Hill.” So was JFK with his “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

If you think it’s corny or “so yesterday” to think in those terms again, think of what America accomplished when it valued its Most Valuable Players and thought of itself as a winner. We created a nation with degree of prosperity, freedom, optimism, and can-do-it team spirit greater than any the world has ever known. We saved the world from two world wars. We rebuilt it after the last one. We took the first steps on the journey to the stars. We were a nation people would risk their lives to come to. And I’m just getting started.

Losers don’t do that.

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