Author Archives: completeangler

Your national park – access by smartphone only?

May 8, 2017

 

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

Watch out folks! The next step for some of the feel-gooders is going to be completely banning all of us from personally visiting some of those special places. Why? Because we contribute to sound pollution.

When I wrote Fishing Close to the Bank, I dedicated one chapter to places that I named based on a borrowed term from Diana Gabaldon’s book, The Scottish Prisoner. Those places are called “Fridstools.” They are places where one can just get away and absorb the surroundings or seek sanctuary from what is going on in the world around us.

So, I truly appreciate the solitude that is available in places like the national parks and mountain streams, but the “protectors” are may be going too far.

Recently, some researchers, paid for under the guise of being National Park Service employees, conducted a study that they say determined that human-made sound is drowning out nature.

Now, if it were practical that I could get the government to allow only me to enjoy those special places, maybe I would go along, but these so-called researchers may have an agenda that will deny us all. They have already made moves to keep all but a select few out of public lands. They tell us where we are allowed to go and when we are allowed to go there. They give priority to one group over others all the time and this study could make it worse.

I don’t doubt that most of their findings are correct. They ran around the country planting microphones and recording devices at almost 500 sites around the nation, including 23 in Colorado. They recorded a total of 1.5 million hours of the sounds of nature and found out that “human caused” sounds are twice as high as natural sounds at well over half of the sites.

You have to read between the lines a little to see what is coming. A Denver Post article quoted Rachel Buxton, a CSU post-doctorial scientist as saying that, “… noise pollution is disrupting wildlife ad scaring away animals, INCLUDING ENDANGERED SPECIES.” (emphasis added). I will leave it up to you to analyze that statement, but allow me to add a comment about Rachel Buxton: She is a “conservation biologist” that is an outspoken opponent of oil and gas exploration, especially fracking. She has suggested that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally should be outlawed because it has “inundated” a prairie dog colony with noise pollution, and she openly admits that public land visitors are polluting the very thing they are going to enjoy – surprise, surprise. Incidentally, when the Post interviewed Buxton, they had to do so by telephone. She was in India, a country with more than 1.3 billion people. She must like being around all that noise at least sometimes.

You may think I am crazy, but I see these people as proposing to replace all those recording devices with video cameras and microphones so you can access them through you smart phone and enjoy the experience without actually being there. That way us nasty humans will no longer be part of the wilderness experience. We can stay home and pollute only our immediate surrounding and the rest of the world will remain pristine in the true meaning of pristine. If you do think I am crazy, read this quote from that Denver Post article:

Federal land managers are considering installation of sound walls around industrial sites, mandatory shuttle buses to cut car traffic, and new road surfacing designed to absorb noise from vehicle engines and tires. Flight paths could be shifted to route planes and choppers over already-noisy roadways.

Remember, I only send out these missives via email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

Judge Gorsuch – His nomination and appointment was necessary

April 10, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

From the very beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign I said that the one most important reason for defeating Hillary Clinton, and for that matter, Bernie Sanders, was the probability that the next president would be making at least one appointment to the Supreme Court. In February 2016, when Judge Antonin Scalia died, the situation became critical.

Of course, President Obama jumped at the chance to make the election inconsequential in the next Supreme Court nomination by immediately proposing a very liberal-minded Merrick Garland. He did so, in my humble opinion, to further the efforts on behalf of the left to continue their legacy of using the courts in lieu of the legislature as much as possible.

When it became apparent that the new president would, in fact, be nominating a replacement for Judge Scalia, the election took on an even more important sense of importance as far as I was concerned. One thing I really hoped for was that we in Colorado could replace Michael Bennet, the Democrat senator. I knew that Bennet would line up behind his liberal colleagues to try to block any nomination, should a Republican win the Whitehouse. I was right of course, but I held on to some hope that he would find it within himself to back a Colorado judge. On that, I quickly determined that my hopes were wrong.

My support of Darryl Glenn in his efforts to unseat Bennet began early in Glenn’s campaign. It would have been so good to have both of our senators working with each other, rather than always cancelling each other’s votes. I don’t know if it would have made a difference, but I was so disappointed that Senator Cory Gardner did not do more to support Glenn. He (Gardner) even travelled to another state to support their candidate rather than stepping up behind Glenn at home. That is all water under the bridge.

I exchanged e-mails with Sen. Bennet on several occasions and I still held out hope, when he assisted Sen. Gardner in introducing Judge Gorsuch to the Senate. I hoped against hope that Sen. Bennet would for once look like a Coloradoan rather than just another fall-in-line Democrat when he emailed me saying in part, “…I will oppose efforts to filibuster his nomination.” He also said, “I take seriously the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to thoroughly vet Judge Gorsuch.”

If he actually took his responsibility “seriously” he would have said so, rather than participate in the dog-and-pony show that the Democrats put on during the hearings. And, of course, he did not have to vote for cloture because all that was prearranged as to who would be part of the defeat of that motion.

What he could have done was to vote for Judge Gorsuch in the end. There again, his vote would not have not changed a thing, but it would have demonstrated to some of us serious Colorado residents that the guy had something other than pure partisan blood in his system.

I doubt seriously that I will agree with everything the Supreme Court does over the next few years, but I know one thing for sure: It will not be as easy as it could have been for the extreme left-wingers of this nation to legislate from the bench and we are getting just a little closer to having three branches of government once again.

Remember, I only send out these missives via email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

Time to give Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission the responsibility they should have had in the first place

March 27, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

As a caucus member of the Colorado Sportsmen’s Roundtable, I sat through an afternoon of information sharing at our session in Glenwood Springs last Saturday.

Once again, I have to qualify what I am about to say and explain what may look like a switch in position on my part because I was so adamantly opposed to the merger of the Colorado State Parks and the Division of Wildlife. I fully understood why that merger was deemed necessary, but that did not make me like it any better. I know there is still some confusion, but one thing that is important is that, in spite of the merger, the funding for parks and wildlife is separate – they do not work under a combined budget.

What they do work under is what is called an enterprise agency. In other words, they exist on funding from users. The problem is that Colorado Parks and Wildlife, as it is now known, does not under the current system have the ability to set fees. That has, and could continue to be a problem because, as it stands now, when you pay for your hunting licenses and parks passes the money is then allocated through the budget process by legislation, as are the fees for those licenses and passes.

In the past, the representatives from the agencies would go before the legislature asking for license fee increases and the legislators, as they often do, have visions of being beat over the head with a ballot box so they are reluctant to vote for the increase. That has created a problem because, rather than increase fees a little each year the agency now finds itself in a crunch where more services are being demanded with less revenue because there has not been an increase in license fees since 2005 and in parks passes since 2010. Meanwhile, spending power has decreased by an estimated 22 percent. Now the sportsmen and women of this state are faced with large increases all at one time.

We need to give the CPW commissioners the power to raise fees in a very regulated manner and take the politics out as much as possible. Either today, or in the next few days a bill, now called the CPW Financial Sustainability Bill, will be introduced into the House. This bill, in a nutshell, gives the Commission limited authority to set parks, hunting, fishing and aquatic nuisance sticker fees under the following guidelines:

Individual park fees would be capped at no more than 50 percent.

Application fees would be capped at $20 and hunting and fishing licenses capped at no more than 50 percent increase.

Senior fishing licenses would be set at 1/2 the price of resident prices.

ANS stickers fees will also be capped.

And most important is that the bill will allow future fee changes (under the caps) to be based on the Consumer Price Index. This is the guideline used for several years for non-resident fees and it has worked relatively well.

I believe that it is important that us hunters, anglers general outdoors enthusiasts support this bill, and there are a few people that need to know now that we support it:

First of all, let Marc Catlin know how we feel. He probably assumes he knows, but give him some support so he can tell his new friends in the House.

The bill will begin its travels in the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee. Jeni James Arndt (D) Dist. 53 is the chair of that committee – send her an email – let her know. jeni.arndt.house@state.co.us.

The vice chair is Diane Mitsch Bush (D) Dist. 26. She needs to know too:

diane.mitschbush.house@state.co.us

The Minority Caucus chair is Yeulin Willett (R) Delta and Mesa Counties. Willett needs to be able to stand up for the minority and tell them how involved the sportsmen are in this process. yeulin.willett.house@state.co.us.

I happen to like Bob Broscheid, who is the Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. I think he has been up front and honest with us, and that he has a very difficult position, but one that he is very qualified. He has certainly been hampered by the merger and by other things that seem to have taken center stage, but this financial sustainability is important and we need to get it right. For my part, I think this is the right bill. I think it has been too long coming, but must get passed now. Otherwise, we will only dig a deeper hole. Broscheid said something Saturday that scares my hunting boots off. He said, “If we don’t pay attention now, the sportsmen and women of this state risk becoming inconsequential.”

This bill may not be perfect and it may seem that we are putting too much trust in the members of the CPW Commission, but when it comes down to it, those commissioners probably understand the plight of those of us who think like I do much more than the typical politician.

If you have an uncontrolled desire to contact all of the House Ag Committee, just go to the Colorado House website. There you can find the necessary information to call or email each and every one of them.

Another good source of information is Doug Vilsack, the DNR Legislative Liaison: (720)456-8596 or douglas.vilsack@state.co.us 

Remember, I only send out these missives via email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

Colorado has two senators – or one senator and one Democrat

March 20, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 Over the past several years Colorado has been highlighted in ways that upset me, to say the least.

My opinions that direct this belief actually started in 1992 when the spring bear hunt was outlawed in Colorado. I am not a bear hunter and I happen to think that hunting laws need revision on a regular basis. I also believe we elected our state legislators to examine, modify and pass appropriate laws and that the initiative process in Colorado has been abused. Enough said about that.

I also think Colorado’s positions on things like the cartridge capacity of firearms magazines and the legalization of recreational marijuana have given us undue attention from the wrong people. There are several other examples I could cite, but we have already debated them over and over again. I, and people that think like me, have lost and we must look forward.

Colorado now has the chance to be noted for something else. We could have one of our own sitting on the Supreme Court. I don’t advocate for Judge Neil Gorsuch because I think that Colorado could get some preferential treatment, but rather because I truly think this man is qualified and I think there are those who oppose him simply because he was nominated by President Trump. His hearings start today.

Judge Gorsuch presently sits on the States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Court in Denver. I have looked at several of his rulings as well as his dissenting opinions. I do not agree with all his decisions any more than I agree with any judge sitting on any bench, but I honestly think that Judge Gorsuch knows how to apply the rule of law and fully understands what the Constitution is meant to provide for the citizens of this great country.

We are going to hear a lot of baloney from those that oppose this appointment. They will bring up the judge’s comments on a hypothetical situation in which he told a law student that many women manipulate maternity leave policies of companies. It was a classroom discussion and was interpreted differently by students in that class, but we will likely only hear from those who oppose Gorsuch’s appointment and we will hear them say he is in favor of employers asking applicants what their family plans are.

We will also hear how this judge favors industry, but I only see that he favors the side he thinks is right (as in right and wrong, not right and left). He also seems to parallel the beliefs of Antonin Scalia, the judge he is replacing. That, in and of itself, is enough for my support.

Unfortunately, we as Coloradoans will have another blemish on our record after Judge Gorsuch is confirmed, which I believe he will be. We will probably be noted for having a senator that voted against this appointment based purely on party lines. Michael Bennet has done very little for Colorado as a whole. He has demonstrated, at least to me, that he is a Democrat first and a Coloradoan second.

Remember, I only send out these missives via email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

Bob

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

 

Time Change is a Waste of Time

March 16, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

I will make this short this week. You see, I don’t have the time to do much more. I lost an hour Sunday and I will not be able to do what I should have done during that hour.

Actually, I didn’t lose it; the State of Colorado took it from me. Not to worry though, they promised to give it back in the fall. At least they are not going to redistribute it and let the goofballs in Washington, D.C. have part of it before they give it back. If they did that, I would probably only get about 13 minutes back, and only that if I agreed to wear a seatbelt in the bathtub.

I was once told a story by a learned old man. He told of an Indian warrior who sat for many days making a new bow. He then took several more days to make a handful of arrows for his new bow. But alas, when he tried to use the bow and arrows together, he found that the arrows were too short and would not work with his brand new bow. To solve the problem the Indian sat down, mixed up a special batch of pine pitch and some other secret ingredients, then cut off the front of each arrow and glued it to the back of the arrow to make the arrow longer. Only when each arrow failed again did the frustrated warrior realize that he had wasted a lot of time that could have been used to do it right in the first place.

When I was growing up in Ouray, there were a few hundred men working at the two major mines in the area. I remember at least once when the mine my dad worked at adjusted their work hours so those working underground could come out an hour earlier in the evenings. What a novel idea it was for them to make that adjustment without government intervention.

I see now that the Colorado legislature is considering at least one bill, and probably some others that would put us on permanent Daylight Saving Time. They have tried this before and spent many hours debating and rehashing the whole thing. The last couple of times, in 2011 and again in 2013, the proposals were to keep Standard Time year around. Obviously, they both failed and we continued with this silly ‘spring ahead and fall behind’ routine that does nothing but give our lawmakers a reason to sit on their loincloths and re-invent the arrow.

My big question now is this: If we do stay on Daylight Saving Time who is going to give me back my hour?

Remember, I only send out these missives via email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

I have a better idea and it is the same as yours

March 6, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado. 

With all the hoopla in Washington, D.C. getting the attention of the news, we sometimes tend to forget that we have a group of lawmakers in our own state that need to know that we are paying attention to them also.

One of the big platforms in the GOP campaigns of this last election was the promise to begin to reduce the regulatory nightmare that has slowly engulfed the people of this country and given the violation of a regulation the same consequences as the violation of a law.

So, I thought it appropriate that the first bill introduced in the 2017 session of the Colorado Senate was one that dealt with part of this problem.

SB 17-001was somewhat unique in its conception because it was a bill sponsored by a father and son team. Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton carried the bill in the upper house (Senate) and his son, House Minority Leader Patrick Nevill, R-Castle Rock, co-sponsored the measure.

In short, the bill provided that if a small business committed a minor violation of a rule, the agency responsible for that rule could, instead of immediately fining the violator, give the business 30 days to cure the violation. There is a lot more to it, including defining of the small business and limiting the actions to violations that do not include the safety of employees. We are talking about things like record keeping and administration matters.

Well the bill skated through the Senate without much problem. It passed the Senate on the third reading on Feb. 1 and was introduced in the House on Feb. 6. From what I could find out, the bill had some fairly good bi-partisan support and had a chance for passage by the house, but the Democratic controlled House had different ideas; they effectively killed the bill in committee.

The crazy thing about politics is that a sane person will be left scratching his head over some of the antics these so-called representatives go through. It turns out, according to several things I looked at recently, that the Democrats kind of liked this bill. Their problem is that they can’t get much recognition from their constituents if they pass a bill sponsored by two Republicans, so they evidently decided to kill the bill and write one of their own, which basically included the same provisions. That way it will be their idea; they will be the heroes of the day. I saved a copy of the text of SB-1. My information is that Rep. Tracy Kraft-Thorp will likely introduce the Democrat version. It will be interesting to see if she uses very similar language. I plan to compare the two.

Frankly, I would be better impressed if the lawmakers were trying to remove the burdens of regulations, rather than just lightening the load a little, but at this point I will take about anything that points out the fact that giving the regulators the power of lawmakers is never a good idea.

Remember, I only send out these missives by email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

Bob

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

Are the ‘supporters’ really supporting?

February 27, 2017

 

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

I have held back writing about the following topic for some time now. I was hoping to be successful in separating the fact from the fiction and in this case it has been difficult.

First, let me be clear that I personally think that oil and gas pipelines make perfect sense. I know first hand where several pipelines cross Colorado and I can see that the overall impact is negligible. In most cases, where the pipelines have been in place for a few years, there is little, in any, sign that a pipeline exists, save the yellow markers that warn future excavations.

So, when I learned of the problems being encountered to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline, my first thoughts were in complete support of the project, but it did not surprise me in the least that there were organized protests.

I also happen to believe that protests are appropriate when a person or group of people desire to make a point. The problem is that today’s protests are much more than that. They become an excuse for untold numbers of “followers” and “supporters” that largely have no idea who they are following or what they are really supporting to show up hoping to get their mugs on television or in the newspapers

had no problem with President Trump taking steps to make it possible to complete this pipeline.

As I said before, I had a hard time determining what the facts really are in this case. The confrontations with law enforcement and government officials were largely over-reported, while the underlying facts were brushed over.

Last November a Denver woman, Red Fawn Fallis, was arrested at one of the protest sites for allegedly trying to kill a Pennington County, South Dakota deputy. The news about the protests continually bring that arrest back up, often without noting the date or the exact nature of the arrest and sometimes even making it sound like a new case, but always proclaiming the woman’s innocence. This is just one example of one-sided news coverage.

There are estimates that claim that about 10,000 people joined the campsites that were established near the Standing Rock Sioux property. I say “near” because the pipeline did not actually cross the Standing Rock Reservation. It did cross 1,094 feet of land owned by the federal government. That’s right; of the 1,200 miles of pipeline, we are talking about 1,094 feet. And few news reports mention the fact that the area already contains eight other pipelines and one high-voltage electric transmission line. One of those pipelines is a dual 42-inch line put into service in 1982.

I could go on and on about the logic of completing the pipeline, but that is not really my point. I think the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been dealt a raw deal; not by the government or the Energy Transfer Partners, but by those thousands of people who showed up and then left all their garbage behind. They claimed to be all so worried about the environmental impact of a thousand feet of pipeline and then left enough garbage, human waste and even abandoned dogs behind without considering in the least what would happen when the ground thawed, the rains came and the entire mess could be washed into the surrounding ground and even into the Missouri river.

For about one year these outsiders flocked into the “spiritual camps” to create huge mounds of trash and when they were told to leave, they left. The news often said that the “protesters were cleaning up the area in preparation of being forced to leave.” That statement is not true and I have to empathize with people like Dotty Agard of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as she stood in front of cameras and explained that it was her tribe and the state that would be cleaning up the mess.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said the state would be seeking contractors and who would pay the contractors for the cleanup would be determined later. He said he did not want to stand around and argue while the waste and debris floated down the Missouri River. That all boils down to the fact that those so-called supporters are nothing but phonies and have done a great disservice to the people of the Standing Sioux Tribe, the people of North Dakota and the people of the United States in general. I will believe they are serious when they show up with the estimated 2,500 pickup trucks needed to clean up their crap.

Back to the logic of the pipeline for a few thoughts: According to what I have weeded through and believe to be factual, the entire length of the DAP is going to be underground. It does not cross reservation land and will replace between 500 and 700 railcars and another 250 trucks that would be needed to transport the oil. Logic tells me that it is much more likely that there will be an oil spill as a result of a rail or truck accident than it is likely that the pipeline will burst, but I will leave my opinion there and let you arrive at your own.

Remember, I only send out these missives by email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

© Robert R. Cox 2017