by Barry Denton

View From the Backside

Land Grubber!

by Barry Denton

They say that in Arizona and New Mexico that roughly 16 percent is privately owned land. The rest of it belongs to some sort of government agency. For instance there is Indian Land, The Bureau Of Land Management, The Bureau Of Reclamation, The Department of Defense, Fish and Wildlife, National Forest, National Parks, and State Trust Land just to name a few.

It certainly doesn’t leave much for the taxpayers who actually pay the bills in their home state. This is nothing short of disgusting. Why should our governments own any land other than what is necessary for the military and national parks? With our national debt in the trillions why would the government not be selling off some of these lands to help pay it down? Why not sell some of it reasonably to young people that are starting out and want to start a ranch or farm. How about selling some to hard working people that need a boost to get ahead?

Military families might be good ones to help also. They notoriously are the lowest paid government workers and have the most dangerous jobs. Hard working people don’t want a hand out, but a hand up that they could pay back just might make some sense. In America the government forces us to give charity to freeloaders. Why not help the working guy for a change? Just think how successful America could become.

A few more facts that you might be interested in are: Arizona has the largest percentage of land set aside for Native American Reservations. The Navajo are the largest Native American group with seventy eight thousand in New Mexico alone. I have not yet figured out how the Navajo became Native Americans. From the research that I did the Navajo did not arrive from Mexico until 1768. Keep in mind that Jamestown was founded in 1609. I guess that would make the folks that arrived in Jamestown Native Americans as well. I mean no disrespect to the Navajo, but the government fools that came up with this half baked assessment. Does that mean the government profiled the Navajo because they were a tribal people?

The abject stupidity in our government is astounding! Did you know that it is still against the law to keep a donkey in your bathtub in Arizona? The other day the Federal Bureau of Investigations had some guy and his family barricaded in a house in northern Arizona. Finally he told the FBI guys that he would surrender to the local sheriff only. They finally called the local sheriff and the guy surrendered peacefully. He then had to appear before a federal judge.

After he appeared he was released on his own recognizance. The rest of the story is that the FBI had brought in SWAT teams from Los Angeles and Las Vegas along with several FBI officers and all they needed was the local sheriff. This was a great example of wasting your tax dollars. The Cliven Bundy event in Nevada was just as pathetic. The Bundy’s were never violent people. The government killed several of their cattle, so they must have thought the cattle were dangerous.

How come the People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals did not intervene on behalf of the slain cattle against the government agents? Who are they going to attack next? Will federal agents be arriving at your ranch soon?

There are 11.2 million acres of National Forest Land in Arizona. In New Mexico the Gila National Forest is the largest at 3.3 million acres. For the last 20 years the United States Forest Service has been working hard at getting cattle off of the National Forest land. They also seem to want to end mining, logging, and hunting operations as well.

What is the federal government going to do with all this land if they do not let the citizens use it? Why are the taxpayers not able to use land that they are paying for? I have also noticed that many Forest Service employees have forgotten that they work for the taxpayer. It seems like these government agencies have a vendetta against hard working every day American citizens.

The first thing the Feds could do is give most of the land back to the states and let them decide what to do with their own land. Our President seems bent on doing what he wants with his executive orders so why can’t the rest of the citizens do what they want? I think most of us would welcome our own land back. My best bet is that it would create an economic boom like we have never seen before! I do believe that we need a government, but probably a government about one-tenth of the size we have now.

I was getting fuel the other day in Camp Verde, Arizona and someone in a Mercedes rolled down his window and asked to buy my hat. Foolishly I said no, but I did offer him an authentic cowboy pocket knife with the end of the blade broke off so it could double as a screwdriver.

Our roundup supper was prior to election day so everyone wanted to know about the issues and the candidates. Most had heard that the Republicans had a good chance of winning so they were eager to cast their ballots. The ranchers have been bludgeoned for six years by the current administration so there was finally some hope in the air.

I think after six years the ranchers would have voted for a third grader with a broken arm over a Democrat. I’m sure that goes for the rest of the country as well per the outcome of the recent election. Isn’t it remarkable that the majority of the country voted with a small group of cowboys and cowgirls. That is how you tell there has been a creeping crud permeating the country for too long.

My next duty was to meet with our congressman who is a champion of the “working person”. Yes, that’s what I said, and he has the record to prove it. One of the few members of congress that is not a lawyer and actually cares what his constituents think. Funny thing, but one time I used the term “working person” in describing a problem to one of our state legislators and he had no idea what I meant by that term. Talk about disconnected.

Back to the congressman, he was delighted with the sweep of the election that the republicans made. I expressed to the congressman that now my fellow cattle folks were concerned that the Republicans would squander their victory like they had done so many times before. They have a history of not knowing how to handle victory. I know there are at least a handful of good Republicans that possess some courage, but most seem to quake in their boots when their opponent looks cross eyed at them.

Why would you ever make concessions when you are the one with the power? Do you remember the story of Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem? As I remember it at that time you were required to go to the temple twice a year and sacrifice a lamb for God. You had to buy your sacrificial lamb from the Pharisees that owned all the sheep and made the rule in the first place. Jesus was aware of this and walked up to the tables full of money in the temple and turned them over with the help of his disciples.

Can you imagine the look on their faces? He intimidated the Pharisees so much that they wanted him put to death. And you know the rest of the story.

It’s time for the Republicans to intimidate instead of negotiate. While I agree that the country is more polarized than it was 30 years ago, I think it is actually a healthy evolution. We are in part of a cycle and bipartisanship will come back around in the future. Now is not the right time for it. Someone has to lead and it may as well be the newly elected Republicans. Are they capable?