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To The Point

Will wonders never cease? Border security continues to be the dominating issue across the nation . . . while nothing is done at the border. One member’s ranch house has been broken into three times in the last 110 days. The last time the illegal alien was not satisfied with just breaking in and stealing all the food and supplies in the house, he found a can of spray paint… to deface the multigenerational home and stole the ranch hand’s dog. That last act proved to be his downfall. The ranch hand was at a neighboring ranch doing chores. When the ranch’s dogs began looking off to the west, the cowboy saw his dog being led off across the pasture on a piece of rope. The hand stopped the illegal alien and called the Border Patrol. While they waited for the agents, the thief freely admitted that he was taking the food to his drug running crew down the road a piece. This is along the border that “is as safe as it has ever been,” according to the Secretary of Homeland Security. In recent weeks her attentions have been turned to other national threats like volcanoes and gulf oil well blowouts. However, somebody clearly got the President’s ear recently. Right at press time President Obama announced that he would be sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the border and asking Congress for $500,000 to devote to the situation. This was after he welcomed Mexico’s president into our White House and our Congress to chide our nation for trying to protect itself, which he called violating human rights and providing guns to his nation so that they can harm Americans. He, and many, many others have been particularly harsh on the state of Arizona for stepping up to the plate to protect its’ citizens. Never mind that on the same trip, in the same interview he was decrying our violations of human rights, Calderon boldly admitted that Mexico would never sit still for the kind of invasion from foreigners that the United States and our border states face every day. After the initial jubilation that the President, only two months after we lost Rob Krentz, acknowledged the problem, the questions set in. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) criticized the number of troops. He is right. How much help will 1,200 troops do on a border that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico? Although the men and women trying to protect the border are happy to have any help, including the 34 troops that Governor Richardson sent in April. Someone in Texas thinks that, with the $3 million per mile border fence, $500 million isn’t enough, and that it should be devoted to Texas where the largest section of the border exists. And it will go on. But hopefully something will help.      We have long heard about how the ability to read is declining in our population. That has never been more clear than in the past several weeks. Perhaps a large part of the answer to our nation’s problems on the border and elsewhere is mandatory remedial reading and/or a dose of hooked on phonics for everyone. While perhaps not perfect, the Arizona law merely restates what is currently in federal law. Similar mandates exist in other states. Most anyone who bothers to read the Arizona law will find that it is not, and is not intended to be, a license to profile. High ranking administration officials, including the U.S. Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the State Department official who compared Arizona’s law to human rights violations have all admitted that although they appear to be experts on the subject, have never read the law. Albuquerque’s Mayor, R.J. Berry, stepped up to the plate with a plan to meet a campaign promise and do the right thing by ending the City’s “sanctuary city” policy in a very common sense manner. Anyone arrested in Albuquerque — regardless of color, race, creed or language — will be processed through a center that includes facilities for the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). Albuquerque will not be devoting resources to “immigration enforcement” and victims and witnesses will not be addressed in any way in this process.Although members of the City Council unsuccessfully tried to bring down Berry’s policy, in the first week of its’ application some 30 illegals, many of them multiple offenders, were identified and caught by ICE. Word also surfaced that New Mexico’s Children, Youth & Families Department (CYFD) had not been checking on the nationality of juvenile offenders since about 2006. Last month a 20-year illegal was arrested for his third or fourth child molestation — the first one dating back to 2005. That policy has changed too. Then there are the threats and implementation of boycotts of Arizona. The amount of money that governmental agencies at all level across this nation must have been spending in Arizona is simply shocking. No wonder these governments are facing major financial crisis’. . . let’s cut those travel budgets, stay home and get the work of the people done. The Albuquerque City Council unsuccessfully tried to institute its’ own Arizona boycott. The City of Los Angeles also threatened to break all ties with Arizona. A member of Arizona’s Corporation Commission, which regulates utility distribution, offered to renegotiate the contracts that supply about 25 percent of LA’s power. Of course the media immediately jumped on that one, claiming that Arizona was threatening to cut off power to California. I was particularly amused by one New Mexico radio station that got the story right and was giving its’ contemporaries grief for poor reporting — while at the same time continuing to host calls on the Arizona’s “immigration law.” I cannot tell you the number of times I called in and told them it was border security . . . they agreed and they continued right on with their mis-characterization. And there’s more There have been several other revelations in the past few weeks. Someone has found that beef is not bad for you . . . processed beef is bad for you — all that salt and chemicals, you know. And, it has been found by someone that organic foods are no more nutritional than conventionally produced foods. Imagine that! Then there is the guy who had decided that salt cedars don’t consume any more water than other riparian trees. There are a few of our members who would like to have a conversation with him. Finally, there are the just plain oxymorons. There is a new governmental working group — to identify more “green” jobs in New Mexico agriculture. Dah! On The Positive Side . . . The Krentz family was honored by the National Rifle Association (NRA) at their annual convention, complete with a chartered plane to fly them from Las Cruces to North Carolina. At the least it was a welcome break and get away. The New Mexico Beef Council held its’ fifth “Gate To Plate” Tour this time traveling Route 66 . . . sort of. No one in New Mexico need ever question the benefits of their check off dollars devoted to this tour. The response by decision-makers including a wide variety of media, governmental agencies, members of the Legislature and their staff learned more about the value of agriculture and its families to our state in two days than most do in a life time. From watching humane handling practices at the Clovis Livestock Market, to a T4 branding, there was no doubt that even the most skeptical were impressed and began understanding why we do what we do. No visit to New Mexico ranch country is complete without a grilled steak and a barn dance. The things that aren’t planned are often the most interesting part of any tour. Last time it was the bus driver, who faints at the sight of blood, hitting the ground not long before we needed to start the winding drive from Glenwood to Cliff. This year it was a bicyclist who was traveling down I-40 on his life-changing journey from the Carolinas to California.About the Montoya exit this recovering vegetarian was looking for a place to bed down for the night. As he approached the crumbling buildings of Montoya, he could hear music in the distance. He followed the road to the T4 headquarters. After a few minutes he found Scott Bidegain and asked if he could camp for the night. Scott told him “Sure! And, oh by the way, there are some steaks on the grill, go grab you a plate.” You might imagine that some of us in the barn who hadn’t seen the latest guest arrive had a few raised eyebrows as this skinny guy in his bicycling garb (who probably needed a shower) joined us for dinner. Turns out that the guy was a vegetarian when he left home on his epic journey. As he ate with giving strangers along the way, he soon learned that he would need meat to see the task to its’ conclusion.He was on his bike the next morning about the time the party weary T4 crew made it back to the barn. His contemplation for the rest of the trip is whether he will stay on the West Coast or come back to Santa Fe to settle down. You can be assured that the two perfectly grilled steaks gave him power and stamina for a few days. We have seen several news clips on KOAT TV in Albuquerque and based on tour participation, I would bet that we will be seeing more ag on KRQE in the future. We will see benefits from this event for months to come. The only bad thing about the Gate to Plate Tour is the fact that the Beef Council can only afford to do it every other year. The Good Times. I have taken way too many trips back home to Cochise County, Arizona during the past many months. Although I have had the opportunity to reconnect with many, many old friends and family, it was all at funerals and not much fun. Margaret Haas and I have hatched a plan to fix that.The economy has reached a point where no single family or even several families can afford to host a party. Besides we are all getting so old that it is just too much work. We also find that folks are just “too busy” to attend established meetings of the various groups we belong to — besides these days these events are pretty much downers, too. So, we are going to establish a bank account for donations. As funding allows, every year or so, we are going to rent the lobby of the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas. We are going to round up a band — hopefully Billy Ben will bring his guitars. We are going to get the hotel to cater food and we are going to have a party! Hopefully Cy and his bride will make another flying trip home, Gary and Pam McBride will make the trip, and Grant and Kristy Boice, Doc and the crew will come down from Phoenix . . . I could go, but you all know who you are. The working title of this shebang is the Gadsden Reunion . . . if anybody has a more clever name, please suggest it! All that other stuff . . . Yes, unfortunately there are numerous “missions to accomplish” that will be the topics at the upcoming Summer Convention at the Inn of the Mountain Gods June 27 through 29. The short list is greenhouse gases, outstanding national resource waters, monuments and wilderness designations and more wolf litigation. Please make plans to be there and keep an eye on the website to keep up!