Open Thread 4/21

- Get your ballot in the mail by tomorrow, King County.

Link and the Rising Seas

– Apparently the Bundy Ranch standoff is like Rosa Parks and Gandhi rolled up in one.

Admitting privileges for doctors who perform abortions is such a problem. Part 2,874,098,236,930,671 in an infinity part series.

The fact that I liked the explodey fun time action sequences means that a movie in which Captain America is pretty much straight up Chelsea Manning and the security state is literally nazis means that it’s secretly glibertarian and in-group approved… but… since we’re on the subject, HOW DARE HE SPEAK AGAINST THE GLORIOUS SECURITY STATE! HAIL HYDRA!


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bundy is just another freeloading western rancher. Even when they operate legally, these guys live off taxpayer-subsidized water reclamation projects and below-market grazing fees on public lands — it’s absolutely a taxpayer-subsidized business. And when a rancher like Bundy can graze his cattle on federal land, he essentially has no capital outlays for his business. (Nor does he pay property taxes to local government that support roads, schools, or other public services that he and his family use every day.)

    To understand how big a deal this is, you have to know how the beef industry works. There are three stages in beef production: Cow-calf, stockers, and feedlot.

    In all three stages, feed is most of the cost of doing business. In the first two stages, land is a proxy for feed cost. Let me explain how this works.

    A cow-calf farmer maintains a herd of cows that give birth to 1 calf a year, and the calves are sold when they’re a few months old, typically for around $400 to $600 each. This farmer makes all his money from the calves he sells. His only significant capital investment is land, plus the initial cost of acquiring the cow herd. Operating expenses are minimal, because the land feeds the cows and calves, and while cows have to be replaced about every 10 years (a cow typically produces 10 calves over 10 years, then is sold for slaughter), the herd produces the replacement cows, and you only need 1 or 2 bulls for a herd of 50 to 100 cows. So almost all of the expenses of this operation are land costs — buying the land, and paying land taxes.

    The stocker buys calves from a cow-calf farmer and grazes them for several months to a year, then sells them to a feedlot. Like the cow-calf farmer, the stocker’s only major investment is land, and there’s little or no operating expenses other than land costs. Unlike the cow-calf farmer, though, the stocker also needs working capital to buy calves.

    The feedlot operator has much smaller capital costs, because he doesn’t use much land, but he needs a lot of working capital, because he has to buy large amounts of feed that he doesn’t get reimbursed for until he sells the cattle to a slaughterhouse at the end of the rearing cycle. Thus, most of his business expense is feed costs, not land costs.

    It’s possible, of course, but not typical to combine all three stages in one operation, i.e. a rancher who produces his own calves and rears them until they’re sold to a slaughterhouse. However, most western ranchers in places like Nevada sell their cattle to feedlots, which are concentrated in the midwestern corn belt states, which is also where the slaughterhouses are concentrated.

    It is self-evident that in the first two stages of beef production, the producer’s only major financial outlay is for land costs. If the government provides the land, as it does for most western ranchers like Mr. Bundy, that need for capital disappears although the rancher then needs some working capital to pay the grazing fees while waiting for the receipts from calf sales to come in. And if, like Mr. Bundy, you’re not paying the grazing fees then you have pretty close to zero business expenses and the calf sales are pure profit.

    I’m sure we would all love to own a business where our capital is provided by the government for free and we have no business costs. That is, taxpayers are footing the bills for producing our product, but we get to keep all the sales receipts. That’s exactly what Mr. Bundy is doing. And a deal like that is so lucrative, it may be worth killing some people to hang onto it. Certainly, the old-time free-range cattlemen thought so, back in the days when there was no law in the West and Winchester rifles ruled. Mr. Bundy refers to this as his “heritage.” The rest of us are taught that this was the outlaw era of western settlement, and that the coming of lawmen like Wyatt Earp, the end of the range wars, and the civilizing of the west was a good thing. Apparently Mr. Bundy doesn’t think so, though.

    Cliven Bundy is a throwback to a vanished age. He’s emulating the outlaw cattlemen whose gangs terrorized sodbusters, shot up saloons, and gunned down western lawmen. They were the Old West version of the Mafia. Mr. Bundy is nostalgic for those bygone days, but nobody else is. There was nothing romantic about those Old West criminals, and there’s nothing noble or patriotic about modern-day land thieves like Cliven Bundy. He’s simply a craven thug who thinks he can rule with a gun and laws don’t apply to him.

    This is a job for U.S. Marshals, just like in the old days.

  2. 3

    Liberal Scientist is the "Most vile leftist on this blog!" spews:

    Check this out.

    An unveiling ceremony took place in front of the Federal courthouse in Charleston, SC, honoring J. Waties Waring, “whose legal opinions helped end segregation and the doctrine of separate but equal”

    Big Stuff.

    Who couldn’t be bothered to show up? Huckleberry Graham, of course, but more telling, puddibigot’s hero Tim Scott – Bibul-thumping global warming denier and monied-interest whore, who happens to be black.

    puddibigot tosses his name around as one of his answers to charges of right-wing racism, but the guy can’t be bothered to appear at a ceremony honoring one of the most important people in the dismantling of legal segregation.

    I wonder why?

    Mark Sanford, who represents Charlston in the US House couldn’t be bothered to show up, either

    I wonder why?

    My guess, is that the Southern Strategy is so a part of their DNA that they might spontaneously combust (into a burning cross?) at such an event.

    Tim Scott is like Phylis Schlafly or Ken Mehlman – a person perfectly willing to collaborate in the oppression of people with whom they share demographic traits, in exchange for personal power and gain.

    Eh, puddibigot?

  3. 6

    Deathfrogg spews:

    The good Christian Citizens of Ft. lauderdale have come up with the perfect solution to their homeless problem. Of course, the Police always do this shit anyway, this just gives them the “legal” foundation for kicking people while they’re down even harder.

    There’s nothing like having nothing, and then having one’s only change of clothes, extra blankets, identification cards and the two or three family pictures confiscated for the crime of being noticeably starving and unwashed in a public place where the rich Christians can see.

  4. 7

    Deathfrogg spews:

    Funny how the hard-core authoritarians are all acting like tough guys about their support for the welfare rancher, but the reality is, that in the discussion forums that are harping about the subject, they all seem to think the land surrounding his melon farm belongs to him even though the family didn’t own the property at all until 1948. Land that had been ceded to the Shoshone First Nations people back in the 1870s.

    Ths dumbass old fucktard can’t even get his own story straight. I’d roll right in there with the US Marshals.

  5. 8

    Travis Bickle spews:


    Tim Scott is like Phylis Schlafly or Ken Mehlman – a person perfectly willing to collaborate in the oppression of people with whom they share demographic traits, in exchange for personal power and gain.

    Here’s Tim Scott, just last week, collaborating with Cory Booker, with whom Scott shares a rather noticeable (no, not the shaved head) demographic trait, to oppress some underprivileged young people by giving employers incentive to hire them and teach them some necessary job skills:

    “Our competitiveness and economic strength depend upon our commitment to developing a 21st century workforce,” Senator Booker said. “I’m thrilled to join with Senator Scott in putting forward this bipartisan, private sector-driven legislation that can create more career opportunities, especially for our young people. The LEAP Act will motivate employers to invest further in our workforce and help expand the economic recovery by tackling unacceptably high youth unemployment.”


    Let’s bash him for spending Good Friday with his family.

  6. 10

    Jon Matheson spews:

    I just heard one of the groupies who wants to head to the ranch explain it…” it’s Harry Reid’s son and the Chinese Communists that want the land for a some kinda solar power field, well I’m going down to find out the truth…” It’s just sad.

  7. 12

    Jon Matheson spews:

    No Joke. The old man who said it had a deep voice like some PBS narrator. Roger,that is a an elegant run down of the cattle biz. Thank You.