I Have a Good Fence

I woke up one night to the sound of an elephant trumpeting. This is not terribly unusual, so I laid there for a minute, but didn’t hear anything more so I went back to sleep. The next morning I was looking in the direction of my water trough when I noticed that the fence didn’t look right. I walked down to the fence and when I looked to the south, my left, this is what I saw:

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Some animal had obviously hit the fence and bent a number of the y-standards at a slight angle. When I walked along the fence to the south a few meters this is what I noticed:

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That is the spore of an elephant, in this case the left front foot, just outside the fence. I took another couple of steps along the fence and I saw this:

ElephantSpore-RightFront

That is the spore of the right front foot of the elephant. Now, I couldn’t figure out how the right front foot landed inside the fence until I asked myself a question. When the elephant’s left front foot hit the ground, where was his head? Well his head was about a meter inside the fence line. He was still technically outside the fence but the y-standards would have been bent at 30 to 40 degree angle.

Now, if his head was a meter inside the fence line, then he had already come into contact with the top electric line which runs around the outside of the fence. So, when his left front foot hit the ground he was already trying to turn around and run the other direction. And since his left front foot hit the ground so close to the fence his left front leg would have made contact with the other two electric lines, so he was really trying to turn around and run away. As for that spore inside the fence, the bottom of his right front foot probably caught the bottom of the fencing material and slid it up the bent-over y-standard far enough for his foot to come down inside the fence. Then after he ran away the y-standards rebounded to the position in the first photograph and the fencing material slid back down making it look like his foot had magically gone through the fence before it hit the ground.

This illustrates one of the interesting things about living here. Every so often I get presented with a puzzle; a damaged fence, some spore, etc. and I have to figure out what happened.

Cliven Bundy – Seditionist or Patriot?

Cliven Bundy has said:

I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada, …I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But, I don’t recognize the United States Government as even existing.

Well, for someone who does not recognize that the United States Government exists he sure does like the American flag.

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If Mr Bundy really believes that he must only obey the laws of the state of Nevada, then he should disdain the US. flag and fly the Nevada state flag.

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On the other hand, I can’t really picture a lone horseman riding across the Nevada desert carrying a Nevada state flag.

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It just wouldn’t have the panache of the stars and stripes, but panache isn’t the reason you fly one flag instead of another, or at least I hope it isn’t.

I have also read that Mr Bundy carries a copy of the US. Constitution with him. This seems a little strange since that is the document which defines the government that Mr Bundy does not recognize as existing.

Now for a few questions about Mr Bundy, does he vote? He can vote for state and local candidates without actually voting for US. senator, representative, or president, but I can’t picture him passing up the opportunity to vote for John McCain and Mitt Romney instead of President Obama, whom he probably thinks would be much happier as a slave. If he did vote for any federal office then he implicitly recognized the validity of the federal government.

Does he pay federal income tax? If he does then, again, he implicitly recognizes the federal government and the fact that it has the authority, through the tax system, to take some of his money.

What kind of money does he carry in his wallet? I’ll bet that the bills are all Federal Reserve Notes, signed by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Treasurer of the United States.

Does he have a passport? Actually, I doubt if he does, but all U.S. Passports have the following statement on the first page:

The Secretary of State of the United States of America hereby requests all whom it may concern to permit the citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection.

So anyone who uses a US passport to travel internationally is identifying himself as a ‘citizen/national of the United States’. Besides, I don’t think he would get very far trying to travel internationally using a passport issued by the state of Nevada.

Does he support the US Military, especially our troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan? I would bet that he vigorously supported both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and supports the idea of sending troops back into Iraq to fight ISIS there and in Syria. The problem is that the troops he supports are members of the US Army, Air Force, Marines etc. Even the National Guard units that served in the Mid-east were there because they were called to active duty by the Federal Government and were under the control of the US Army and Air Force while on active duty.

There are numerous other ways that US citizens, including Gliven Bundy interact with, and thus acknowledge the existence of the Federal government such as paying a federal tax every time you buy fuel, going through a DHS security check when flying commercially etc.

By this time you may have the idea that I don’t think very much of Mr Bundy and you are absolutely correct. The far right likes to call Mr Bundy a patriot, but you can’t refuse to recognize the federal government and still be called a patriot. I was going to call him a seditionist, but there seems to be only one way in which he refuses to recognize the Federal government, and that is his refusal to pay his grazing fees. So, he’s not a seditionist and he’s certainly not a patriot, but there is one word which does describe Mr Bundy, he is a plain old-fashioned deadbeat.