L.A. Clippers Owner’s Girlfriend, Al Sharpton, and Voter ID, Herpes

I see that the L.A. Clippers owner is scheduled to receive his 2cd Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP, along with racist theologian Al Sharpton in May. He’s also now under fire for making comments to his “girlfriend” about posting pictures of herself online with black celebrities. Judging by the owner’s previous depositions, I’m not going to assume too much about what kind of relationship they have. I did stumble across a graph that showed the breakdown by race of herpes amongst different demographics.

Today, I see Sharpton in a picture with Obama in a story about voter fraud or their opposition to voter ID. Made me think of Coleman Young, the former long-time mayor of Detroit, and a comment about the “Detroiting of the United States”. It suddenly seemed an apt comparison. I had a brief struggle with my natural tendency to defend my hometown versus reality, and reality won, rather easily. Someone had once made a comment about corrupt inner city black politicians, and I had a similar struggle, my natural tendency to want to stand up to what sound like racist comments versus reality, and while the debate lasted a little longer, reality once again won that one, too. But I don’t think it’s really about racism; the only aspect of race involved is in the self-chosen tribalism of many American blacks, in that they culturally stick up for someone based on their skin colour without really considering whether the candidate is worth a crap or not.


An Earth Day Thought Experiment: Cypress Or Eucalyptus?

A local mulch company got me thinking about this Earth Day thought experiment. The commercial claims that eucalyptus trees grow 4 times faster than cypress trees. I’ve never taken Biochem, but I seem to remember running across the equation for photosynthesis before. In terms of mass balance, how much nutrients are required for 4 generations of eucalyptus versus 1 generation of cypress? Are the eucalyptus producing 4 times more Oxygen in the same period of time as 1 generation of cypress? Are they contributing more Oxygen into the atmosphere to create water vapor, (which is far more effective at altering our climate than Carbon Dioxide, I seem to recall reading)?

In short, do we really fully understand what atmospheric and geographic effects are due to anthropomorphism? Cypress is a native species. Is eucalyptus? How do we really know that in an attempt to provide mulch by replacing cypress with a rapid growth plant that we are not accelerating the atmospheric processes we claim to be trying to slow down? If I had to choose one word to describe those making public policy these days, it’d be ‘hubris’. They claim to understand complex systems beyond question. And from what I’m seeing, they’re more interested in stifling dissenting opinion than they are finding out the answers to legitimate questions.

Major Respect To BLM Agents On The Ground For Averting A Tragedy

Before I say anything, I *hate* sharing infowar links. That said, this is a pretty moving video, and well, if my animosity towards infowars is mis-placed, my apologies.


That said, The BLM on the ground did the smart thing by standing down. This was an absurd situation, and I’m sure the agents weren’t exactly thrilled with the whole thing.  I applaud their decision to walk away from this situation. Purportedly over a freaking tortoise that is thriving on the land in question. The video is chilling, to any one who’s lived through the incidences where the government refused to back down, and people ended up dead needlessly.


Anyway, this probably was a historic moment, and so give infowars credit where due for capturing and sharing it.

God bless, and be careful out there.


Taking Sides – The Bundy Ranch v. The BLM

Unfortunately the internet isn’t a place for unbiased facts. It’s a place where you have to wade through every single author’s biases to try to make sense of what’s transpired, and in doing so, join the ranks of Biased Internet Authors, if you choose to write your takeaway on the subject you just researched. By writing your opinion, you could come on the wrong side of the internet mobs, which sometimes end up escalating affairs outside of the internet.

At this point, I’m just trying to gather the historical data. I’m not interested in the federal level cronyism that is likely behind it all, but I don’t have the resources to make those kinds of claims. However, I recognise the extreme amount of biased opinion writers, each claiming to have the final word. It’s all so much rubbish. But in gathering the historical data, I have to take information from both biases, and sift through their emotional attachments to whatever cause they believe in to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

First off, let me state that I don’t know the basis of the rancher’s claim, but presume that if the BLM attempted to buy out the rights to that claim, they must have believed that there was a legitimate claim somewhere. They must have recognised some legal claim if they were willing to buy it.

I’m going to leave that paragraph by itself, because to me, that’s unassailable evidence that the BLM at one point in time recognised that he had a legal claim, in spite of what any “Last Word Authorities” on the subject have to say about it.

I don’t know what, if any, legal basis the BLM believed he had when they tried to buy it, but when they were unsuccessful, apparently that’s when some politically connected court (that’s maybe not fair, but I’ve read enough to recognise when some decision comes out of a politically biased court) stepped in, and said, okay, well if he won’t sell the claim that the BLM believed he had, then just take it. What concerns me, is that the federal government stepped in on a pretext of protecting a tortoise. A tortoise that government showed was thriving on the land the BLM thought the rancher had a claim to, because of the improvements the rancher had made at his own expense. There was apparently a 10x higher population density of the tortoises on the land where the rancher had made improvements as in the surrounding desert. The tortoises are slated to be culled by the land managers, (not sure if that’s the BLM’s duty or some other agency), apparently.

The point being two-fold. The BLM sought to limit the ranchers’ access to the land under a false pretext. This is what is called fraud in the private sector. This is punishable by prison time in the private sector. The fact that it is not when it is committed by unelected bureaucrats or elected officials is something I find disturbing at any level of government, but especially at the highest level. That there is a culture that is above the law, and can send armed people to perpetrate their fraud without fear of consequence, well. Let me let my blood settle down for a second. It’s not just that a fraud is being committed that bothers me. It’s the armed seizure and destruction of a citizen’s property by a militarized police force, who by law, should be working with local authorities, but weren’t… ah, any way, I guess is the paragraph where I tried laying out my reasons for wanting to get to the bottom of this, while trying to keep my blood from boiling over at the absurdity of it.

In any event.

Here’s what people with a bias against the rancher have to say about the legal history of the area, (another self-proclaimed “Last Word Authority” on the subject).  They spend a lot of their time attacking their political enemies, so there’s no point in even pretending it’s an unbiased source.


I wasn’t going to include a Glenn Beck interview, because Beck is a polarizing person with his own bias, but at least we get to hear the rancher in his own words. I’m not sure if I understand his position, but the fact that all of the other ranchers in the area have been run out of business since the BLM started administratively managing the land in the area, and to realise he’s the last one left, well, I’m willing to give him an ear, even if I don’t fully understand how he got to his conclusion.



This person seems sympathetic to the rancher, based on another article I’ve read, (I’ll try to dig it up, he writes in a pretty even-handed style). and may be the heart of the claim “prescriptive rights”. (Remember, the BLM offered to buy some kind of rights from the rancher, so they believed he had a legal claim at one time.)


There’s a level-headed solution, but apparently no one wanted to get in the way of a federal agency with powerful cronies in the Senate running rough shod over a private citizen, in what many are speculating is a land grab to make powerful cronies in the Senate richer. And after witnessing this, I’m starting to understand that where 80% of a state’s land is controlled by the federal government, it makes a Senate position a position of a  powerful land broker.




Geographic Background Clark County Nevada

BLM Closure Map


Clark County, NV GIS map


Bundy protest site


1873 map of area

1879 map of area

1888 map area showing bunkerville & mesquite, NV

1897 map are of bunkerville, NV



(from http://www.delamare.unr.edu/Maps/digitalcollections/nvhistory/search.html )


No patent was ever granted to the name Bundy, if this search query is correct. ( Not conclusive, but for sake of completeness.)

I don’t know what the land rights the BLM attempted to buy from the rancher, but I don’t believe the rancher claims to be a patentee. The reason I find this interesting, is if the BLM is asserting an authority, why did they first try to buy whatever land rights it is the rancher owned? In any event, I don’t know the name of the rancher’s ancestor who purportedly secured the rights that were passed through generation. I think it’s important to note, that the ancestors *sold* the rights, so there should be legal records somewhere.

The BLM And Cattle Ranching

It was a tense situation, and I think it’s to the BLM’s credit that they stood down. The rhetoric on both sides is discomforting: from a Senator calling those who came to the defense of the rancher terrorists, to the ranch supporters who are using this as an example of successfully using the 2cd Amendment to defend against tyrannical government. While I might agree in principle with the latter, the possibility of that rhetoric needlessly escalating a situation in the future would play right into the former’s.


There are a couple of first impressions that are striking: the little guy standing up to the bureaucratic behemoth. The very image of an armed showdown between citizens and government. An unelected bureacracy setting up little more than human cattle pens and declaring them “First Amendment Areas”. Mass graves for cattle dug by the federal government. These are the things that grab our attention, they are the easy parts of the story to have a visceral reaction to, which is probably how this has become a subject of the day. The harder parts to understand, especially if you haven’t lived somewhere where things like water rights are common topic of discussion, are just how did the legal issues surrounding the incident lead to what by all appearances looked like it was headed for another Waco/Ruby Ridge/Kent State type of militarized government forces kill its citizens.

Here’s a brief letter from a fellow NV rancher outlining the background of the controversy.


Essentially, I think what the rancher is saying is that by forcing a reduction on the amount of cattle that can graze on federally *mamaged* land, it will negatively impact the rancher’s claims to water rights that were paid for to the state.

There are at least two important issues, the focus of most of the debate is whether the rancher had a right to resist the agency’s attempt to regulate him out of business, but the one that raised my immediate attention isn’t being talked about very much: was this roundup and killing of the rancher’s cattle the proper course of action. One representative claims the BLM violated the law, that they were not authorised to act without local authority.


As far as the land claim central to all of this, here’s a statement from the rancher’s daughter:



The family purchased rights to work the land in 1887. The BLM attempted to buy the rights, but were turned down. So, is this an eminent domain case?




The mass graves for the cattle are a little disturbing, in a case full of disturbing aspects.