Category Archive 'Nevada'

15 Apr 2014

Rancher Bundy’s Standoff With the Feds

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BundyRanch

John Hinderaker took the time (which most commentators have not) to look deeper into the equities of the recent confrontation between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Federal Bureau of Land Management.

First, it must be admitted that legally, Bundy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The Bureau of Land Management has been charging him grazing fees since the early 1990s, which he has refused to pay. Further, BLM has issued orders limiting the area on which Bundy’s cows can graze and the number that can graze, and Bundy has ignored those directives. As a result, BLM has sued Bundy twice in federal court, and won both cases. In the second, more recent action, Bundy’s defense is that the federal government doesn’t own the land in question and therefore has no authority to regulate grazing. That simply isn’t right; the land, like most of Nevada, is federally owned. [86% — JDZ] Bundy is representing himself, of necessity: no lawyer could make that argument.

That being the case, why does Bundy deserve our sympathy? To begin with, his family has been ranching on the acres at issue since the late 19th century. They and other settlers were induced to come to Nevada in part by the federal government’s promise that they would be able to graze their cattle on adjacent government-owned land. For many years they did so, with no limitations or fees. The Bundy family was ranching in southern Nevada long before the BLM came into existence.

Over the last two or three decades, the Bureau has squeezed the ranchers in southern Nevada by limiting the acres on which their cattle can graze, reducing the number of cattle that can be on federal land, and charging grazing fees for the ever-diminishing privilege. The effect of these restrictions has been to drive the ranchers out of business. Formerly, there were dozens of ranches in the area where Bundy operates. Now, his ranch is the only one. When Bundy refused to pay grazing fees beginning in around 1993, he said something to the effect of, they are supposed to be charging me a fee for managing the land and all they are doing is trying to manage me out of business. Why should I pay them for that?

Read the whole thing.

A lot of commentators on the Right discovered that Mr. Bundy lost in federal court and was clearly defying the law, but those editorialists failed to notice that, in a manner not unprecedented in the history of the American West, in Mr. Bundy’s case, the law is in the hands of special interests and is being used to take away what other people own.

Nevada became a state in 1864. Why exactly is it, that 150 years later, the United States government is still sitting on 86% of all the land in Nevada? Why wasn’t the grazing land used by Mr. Bundy been sold to the Bundy family generations ago?

If the Bundy confrontation proves anything, it demonstrates just how past time it is for most federal lands to be privatized.

09 Jan 2012

New Nevada Brothel to Offer Opportunity to Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

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Is Jabba the Hutt a role-model to you? Do your personal fantasies run to inter-species sexual exploitation? A Nevada entrepreneur named Dennis Hof (best known for publicizing a brothel he owns via a reality tv program on HBO) plans to open the “Area 51 Alien Travel Center,” a Sci Fi-themed bordello 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas on Highway 95. Hof has announced that he is hiring Hollywood madame Heidi Fleiss to dream up female alien costumes, make up, and decor.

Las Vegas Review story

Hat tip to Emmy Chang.

03 Nov 2010

How Did Harry Reid Pull It Out?

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Byron York explains in the Washington Examiner that union money and gambling industry muscle allowed an extremely unpopular senator to survive a weak challenge.

Funded by millions of dollars from public-sector unions, Reid relentlessly attacked Angle from the moment she won the GOP nomination. Many of the earliest attacks went unanswered, forming impressions of Angle so negative that they outweighed the voters’ negative opinion of Reid.

And then there was Reid’s organizational strength. Both Reid and Angle held their election-night parties in Las Vegas casinos, Reid in the new Aria complex and Angle at the Venetian. That’s nothing out of the ordinary in Nevada, but the difference between them was that Reid was entirely at home, with the enormous financial power and organizing muscle of the gambling industry and its union allies in his corner, while Angle was relying on votes from people who live far from Las Vegas. Republicans across the country who were hoping for a miracle in this race discovered that raw power wins the day.

And bending the rules, too. On election day there were reports that casino giant Harrah’s had worked with the Reid campaign and the unions, particularly the Culinary Workers Union, to herd virtually all unionized employees to early voting stations to vote for Reid. According to a report in National Review Online, one Reid staffer told Harrah’s officials that he would do anything — for emphasis, he wrote it ANYTHING — to get those workers to the polls.

By mid-day Tuesday, the Nevada Republican Party had filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office. “Employees’ votes were being tracked and supervisors were instructed by top management to personally confront employees to find out why they had not voted,” the complaint said. “Further, the evidence shows that Harrah’s management has continually communicated to employees their concern with electing Harry Reid and not just to ensure that the employees voted for the candidates of their choice.” Such conduct, the complaint argued, violates Nevada law.

15 Jul 2010

From the Grave

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Things are really not looking good for Harry Reid in his home state.

This obituary appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on July 13, 2010:

CHARLOTTE MCCOURT Charlotte M. Tidwell McCourt, 84, of Pahrump, passed away July 8, 2010, after a long illness. She was born Dec. 25, 1925, in Wellington, Utah, and was a 40-year resident of Nevada. Charlotte held a zest for life and loved serving her family of five children; 20 grandchildren; and 65 great-grandchildren. She had been the wife of Patrick L. McCourt for 67 happy years. Active in her community, she assisted in many political figures’ campaign efforts. As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Charlotte served as a leader in the Relief Society for over 20 years. She and her beloved husband also served a full-time mission in the Cabanatuan Mission in the Phillipines. Charlotte is survived by her husband, Patrick; children, Pat and Nellie McCourt, Dan and Lanny Shea, Bill and Marsha Sortor, David and Sherry d’Hulst, and Tom and Ann McMullin; and many grandchildren. A memorial service was held Saturday, July 10, at the LDS Chapel, 921 E. Wilson, in Pahrump. We believe that Mom would say she was mortified to have taken a large role in the election of Harry Reid to U.S. Congress. Let the record show Charlotte was displeased with his work. Please, in lieu of flowers, vote for another more worthy candidate.

22 Apr 2010

Elite Laughter at the Idea of Bartering for Medical Care

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Sue Lowden, Republican candidate for the Senate from Nevada

Snotty progressives are laughing themselves silly over Nevada Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s reference to the old fashioned practice of impecunious patients compensating their doctor with gifts of goods or services.

In reality, back when I was a boy and even earlier, when you went to the doctor or the hospital, they just treated you. The modern custom of demanding that you fill out a form promising to pay and supply your insurance card before they look at you did not exist.

A small percentage of patients, of course, couldn’t, or wouldn’t, pay. In the old days, doctors just looked on treating such patients as their personal charitable contribution to the community and an inevitable part of the cost of practicing their profession.

The poor, of course, consisted of two kinds of people. There were the unfortunate but decent people, and there were the bums and deadbeats. Doctors could console themselves that they would only have to treat deadbeats once in a very long time, since shame would cause the deadbeat patient to go down the road to another physician the next time he was ill, and he’d naturally work his way through every available other doctor in the neighborhood before returning to the first.

Respectable people without money would find a way to compensate their doctor. One doctor I used to know as a boy received fresh baked bread every week from a widow on Social Security he’d taken care of. Men would turn up at the doctor’s house on Saturday, look over the premises, and find painting or repairs that needed to be done and start working without permission. Farmers without money would deliver fresh produce or meat. Yes, a doctor might well be given a number of chickens.

The left finds the idea that it is possible to try to discharge a debt informally and without cash changing hands funny. Personally, I’d say that all the sneering and crude guffawing over Ms. Lowden’s observation simply demonstrates all over again just how provincial, unsophisticated, and unfamiliar with normal life modern leftwing fashionistas really are.

One of my Yale classmates was snickering away this morning, sarcastically asking the doctors in the class how they’d like being paid by barter. I responded:

How about you? You’re a lawyer. Suppose some poor little old widow lady getting $600 a month on Social Security came to you and begged you to represent her. You know she can’t afford to pay you, and you know she needs the help. So when you solved her little problem, she sends you cookies at Xmas time every year. Does that work for you, or are you going to insist on a program forcing everybody in America to pay thousands of dollars a year for legal services insurance or go to jail, and a big federal bureaucracy rationing legal services and setting your fee schedule?

30 Aug 2009

Standing Up to Harry Reid

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the mistake of trying to intimidate the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Instead of being frightened, Review-Journal Publisher Sherman Frederick reported what Reid did and openly defied him. I wish I lived near enough to Las Vegas to subscribe.

On Wednesday, before he addressed a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Reid joined the chamber’s board members for a meet-‘n’-greet and a photo. One of the last in line was the Review-Journal’s director of advertising, Bob Brown, a hard-working Nevadan who toils every day on behalf of advertisers. He has nothing to do with news coverage or the opinion pages of the Review-Journal.

Yet, as Bob shook hands with our senior U.S. senator in what should have been nothing but a gracious business setting, Reid said: “I hope you go out of business.”

Later, in his public speech, Reid said he wanted to let everyone know that he wants the Review-Journal to continue selling advertising because the Las Vegas Sun is delivered inside the Review-Journal.

Such behavior cannot go unchallenged.

You could call Reid’s remark ugly and be right. It certainly was boorish. Asinine? That goes without saying.

But to fully capture the magnitude of Reid’s remark (and to stop him from doing the same thing to others) it must be called what it was — a full-on threat perpetrated by a bully who has forgotten that he was elected to office to protect Nevadans, not sound like he’s shaking them down.

No citizen should expect this kind of behavior from a U.S. senator. It is certainly not becoming of a man who is the majority leader in the U.S. Senate. And it absolutely is not what anyone would expect from a man who now asks Nevadans to send him back to the Senate for a fifth term.

If he thinks he can push the state’s largest newspaper around by exacting some kind of economic punishment in retaliation for not seeing eye to eye with him on matters of politics, I can only imagine how he pressures businesses and individuals who don’t have the wherewithal of the Review-Journal.

For the sake of all who live and work in Nevada, we can’t let this bully behavior pass without calling out Sen. Reid. If he’ll try it with the Review-Journal, you can bet that he’s tried it with others. So today, we serve notice on Sen. Reid that this creepy tactic will not be tolerated.

We won’t allow you to bully us. And if you try it with anyone else, count on going through us first.

Read the whole thing.

I look forward to 2010.

25 Apr 2009

Tuscarora, Nevada Loves Rock & Roll

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Mormon cricket, Anabrus simplex

Fortunately for residents of the remote Nevada village, Mormon crickets don’t, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The residents of this tiny town, anticipating an imminent attack, will be ready with a perimeter defense. They’ll position their best weapons at regular intervals, faced out toward the desert to repel the assault.

Then they’ll turn up the volume.

Rock music blaring from boomboxes has proved one of the best defenses against an annual invasion of Mormon crickets. The huge flightless insects are a fearsome sight as they advance across the desert in armies of millions that march over, under or into anything in their way.

But the crickets don’t much fancy Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the townspeople figured out three years ago. So next month, Tuscarorans are preparing once again to get out their extension cords, array their stereos in a quarter-circle and tune them to rock station KHIX, full blast, from dawn to dusk. …

[Mormon] crickets are a serious matter. The critters hatch in April in the barren soil of northern Nevada, western Utah and other parts of the Great Basin, quickly growing into blood-red, ravenous insects more than 2 inches long.

Then they march. In columns that in peak years can be two miles long and a mile across, swarms move across the badlands in search of food. Starting in about May, they march through August or so, before stopping to lay eggs for next year and die.

In between, they make an awful mess. They destroy crops and lots of the other leafy vegetation. They crawl all over houses, and some get inside. “You’ll wake up and there’ll be one sitting on your forehead, looking at you,” says Ms. Moore.

They swarm on roads, where cars turn them into slicks that can cause accidents. So many dead ones piled up on a highway last year that Elko County, Nev., called in snowplows to scrape them off.

Squashed and dying crickets give off a sickening smell. “For us, it’s mostly the yuck factor,” says Ron Arthaud, a painter here.

Many springs, the infestation is negligible. But every few years, far bigger swarms hatch. From 2003 to 2006, armies of crickets went forth. They smothered the county seat, Elko, causing pandemonium as residents fled indoors. Realtor Jim Winer couldn’t, because he had to show homes. “I carried a little broom in my car,” he says, “and when I got out, I would sweep a path through the bugs to the house.”

Every half-century or so, plaguelike numbers hatch. The critters got their name in the 19th century after a throng of them ravaged the crops of a Mormon settlement. But “I don’t think they care about Mormons or Baptists,” says Lynn Forsberg, who runs Elko County’s public-works program. “I don’t think they care about anything.”

Including one another. Mormon crickets are programmed to march. Any cricket that falls by the wayside is eaten by others, ensuring that at least some cross the hot, barren stretches well-fed.

Following an unseasonably warm winter, some in Elko County fear a big crop this year.


Migrating crickets can be a road hazard


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